Disclaimer: The usual kind of disclaimer…I don't own any of the "Hikaru no Go" characters.
This story's plot will overlap with the manga's, thought there would be slight changes here and there. Some of the changes include Hikaru and Sai being siblings, Hikaru staying with the Toya's, and much more.
A New Beginning
Chapter 1 - Prologue
Hikaru wasn't sure how to react to the current turn of events.
How did this even happen? Oh, yeah, it was all Sai-nii's fault! She was already 12 years old and knew how to take care of herself so there was really no need for her to be here. She could have stayed at a hotel or even in an apartment by herself; her brother really was a worrywart.
Pushing images of strangling her brother aside, Hikaru snapped back to attention.
"Toya-sa…I mean Uncle Koyo?"
She had remembered that the Japanese called each other by their last name and added a "-san" to it as a form of respect. However, as soon as Sai-nii had introduced them, he had insisted on her calling him "Uncle Koyo" and saying how her father and he had been friends before her dad had moved to America. She barely had any memories of her parents, let alone of one of their friends from Japan. However, they must have been pretty close since her brother trusted the man so much as to let him be her temporary guardian.
While she had been spacing out, Uncle Koyo had been looking at her with a worried expression while his wife and son were looking at her curiously.
"Hikaru, you probably don't remember them but this is my wife, your Aunt Akiko and this is my son Akira". Hikaru nodded at each introduction and with a smile greeted "Aunt Akiko" and "Akira" while subtly checking out her new surroundings.
Hikaru couldn't help but be a little curious about this new place; having grown up in America, besides in pictures, she had never really seen a house like the Toya's. Everything exuded an aura of "tradition" from the elder Toya's clothes to the house itself. I mean, for goodness sake, the doors slided! Sai-nii would definitely get a kick out of this, thought Hikaru. Actually, she could even imagine her brother sliding the doors back and forth, back and forth while exclaiming how marvelous it all was. Hikaru just shook her head, sometimes her brother acted like such a kid and he was 13 years older than her!
"Hikaru-chan you have grown so much since the last time I have seen you. And you must be so tired from having been on the plane for so many hours. Here, Akira can you take this to Hikaru-chan's room?" said Aunt Akiko while passing the luggage to her son and would have grabbed the smaller bag that Hikaru was holding if she had not insisted that she could do it herself.
"To our left is the living room and the kitchen is down the hallway. The bedrooms are upstairs. I hope you like your bedroom, and if you don't like anything just let me know." And with that, Aunt Akiko slid the door open to her new bedroom.
Hikaru's jaw almost dropped open. It wasn't the fact that there was no bed in the room; she had guessed correctly that she would most likely be using a futon, but what surprised her were the girly decorations along the room. Smack in the middle of the room, her futon was already out and on top of it there was a pink sakura pattern cover to keep her warm, new looking small stuff animals were lined next to her pillow. The closet was on the left side of the room, a window in front of the futon covered with frilly curtains. And on the right side of the room, frilly looking cushions were scattered around a short vanity table and lacey looking cloth covered a short mini-table with a mini-lamp on top of it.
Out of the corner of her eyes, Hikaru notice Aunt Akiko looking at her anxiously. "I wasn't sure if we should get you a bed or not. Sai-kun had mentioned that you were ok with a futon and we can always change anything you don't like…so"
"No, no this is fine. It all looks so..." Hikaru struggled to find a word to describe the room without insulting her host. Her room in America was more tomboyish than girly, and if she took a closer look, it wasn't that bad. At least the room wasn't all pink colored; there was some lavender, sunshine yellow, white and even light blue.
Hikaru finished with "…looks so amazing" and got a bright smile in return from her host.
"Good, I am glad you like it."
After Hikaru had assured her that she didn't need any help unpacking, both mother and son left her alone reminding her that they would be downstairs should she need any help.
Blinking once and then twice, Hikaru tried to focus. She had fallen sleep and had woken up to darkness. Turning around, she squinted when she thought she saw a small light flicking in and out. With a gasp, Hikaru set upright and stared in wonder at the universe in front of her. On what she had earlier assumed where just white paper doors leading to a closet, lines and various shapes were glowing brightly on its surface. Reverently, Hikaru traced each planet and each star that was depicted on the white screen.
Memories of a long time ago flashed in front of her eyes. A small pig-tailed little girl set on the lap of a long-haired young teenager. Big hands were holding her much smaller ones and tried to teach her how to hold the stones properly. After trying unsuccessfully, said teenager gave up and dropped a kiss on top of the little girl's head. With a mischievous grin, the little girl turned around and slapped the goban in front of her saying "…star…star". With a surprised expression, the teenager answered, "Yes, do you see it Hime-chan? Can you see it? Here is a planet and here a star and…"
Blinking away tears, Hikaru came back to the present. The glow-in the dark mini-universe was probably made by Sai-nii in an effort to cheer her up and as a bribe to allow him back into her good graces. They had originally made plans to move to Japan next summer, but then all of sudden he announced that she would be going ahead by herself first; she had been extremely upset with him. She had come up with various reasons to explain to him why it did not make sense to send her to Japan without him:
1. There was really no point to going to Japan a year ahead. It would make more sense for her to finish primary school in the US and then start middle school in Japan. His response was that he wanted her to have an extra year to get familiar with a Japanese school before she started middle school.
2. Her next idea was The silent treatment. Although to be truthful, it didn't last very long, only a day; who could stay silent when you had a 25 years old man clinging onto you while crying a river of tears asking you "To please say something! To yell at him, call him stupid or an idiot, but to never never never stop speaking to him"
3. She refused to eat or drink anything, and once again it didn't last very long either, just a day and a half. His solution? Not only did her brother do the same, but he also neglected going to work and all he did for that day and a half was sit outside her bedroom door and ask her to eat or drink something every hour.
4. Convince him that having her out of his sight was not a good idea. After all, she would soon turn 13 years old and thus fast approaching what experts called the "adolescence stage" a.k.a. the rebellious ages; when she streaked some of her dark hair blond, his reaction was "Oh, that's so pretty. How come I never though about that?" Next, she skipped school and hung out in a park for a day; when the teacher called him, instead of getting mad, Sai-nii actually freaked out and had the police searching for her thinking she had been kidnapped, had an accident, was dying somewhere on the streets by herself and a bunch of more insane ideas. She had seen him before he had spotted her and the sheer look of fearand desperation on his face before turning to relive upon spotting her still closed her throat up and brought a severe ache to her heart. Thus, the result of Idea 4 had ruled out Idea 5 and any other ideas she might have come up with.
She finally gave in after that and here she was. Actually, she gave in when she realized that small part in her heart that had feared that Sai-nii didn't love her anymore and had just wanted to get rid of her by sending her to Japan was one of the most stupidest beliefs she could ever come up with.
A couple of weeks later….
Akira wasn't sure how to react or think; Fujiwara Hikaru was an anomaly in so many different ways. Out of the blue his father and mother had informed him that the daughter of one of his father's friend would be staying with them for a while. His mother had seemed excited at the prospect of having another child and a girl in particular to fuss over. Both his parents didn't say exactly why she was going to stay, although from their tone he perceived that it was due to some grave circumstance so he didn't ask much. The only thing they had asked of Akira was to be nice to the girl and to treat her as if she was his little sister which was why he was expecting someone much younger and different from Hikaru.
She was Japanese but not Japanese; she had a Japanese name, Fujiwara Hikaru and spoke flawless Japanese. Her features were Asian but her green eyes and blond highlights say otherwise. He had seen some of his classmates dye their hair different colors, so the blond color did not surprise him too much but never before had he seen that shade of green eyes. It was true that she could be wearing contacts, but that shade of green was too real to be a man-made product. He wanted to ask, but then it would be very rude. And Akira strived to never be rude.
"Fujiwara…Fujiwara Hikaru!", their Classic Japanese Literature sensei sounded very exasperated since the same student kept falling sleep in his class.
A partially blond head looked up and the classmate behind her whispered "passage on page 32".
Book in hand, she stood up and read the passage in flawless Japanese, and even before the sensei could ask for an in-depth explanation, she had launched into it… "…and thus this passage can be said to summarize what this whole story is about. Many would claim the hero was an exceptional man, but in my opinion"… heads whirled to the front to see the sensei's reaction.
Fujiwara seemed to have a knack for riling up Amano sensei, whom many of the students found amazing and brave on her part since almost the whole class feared him. She not only fell sleep in class from time to time, and woke up able to answer any and all his questions perfectly, which to the eternal amusement of her classmates, her actions only seemed to increase the twitch on the sensei's left eye. To top it off, she would end a flawless analysis with an opinion that would be nothing but the truth but will somehow end up being an affront to whatever "piece of art" Amino sensei was teaching.
"… he was not that different from any other man. The only difference was that he was born of high-rank so any of his accomplishment would be magnify, and to top it off, he wasn't really as honorable as everyone claimed. Didn't the guy slept with more than half the women in his era? True, sometimes he was the one being seduced, but he still could have said 'No'."
Ticking each finger off as she went, "He didn't married any of them. He didn't love any of them and never even bothered thinking about them after he left them. In conclusion, that shows a not so honorable man".
Before Amano-sensei could respond to Fujiwara's latest opinion, the bell had to ring. Groans could be heard around the whole classroom; they all found the interactions between Amano sensei and one of their own classmate pretty fascinating. It wasn't everyday that one of their own could stand up to the much-feared sensei.
"We would continued next time. Class dismissed." The rest of the class stood up and bowed to the sensei as he left the room.
"Fujiwara that was amazing"…"Hikaru-chan were you really sleep?"…"Are you really from the US? How do you keep up with it?"… "I read it yesterday but it all seemed so complicated"… "…and boring"… "Want to eat lunch outside?'
Akira could not help but shake his head. His mother had been worried about Hikaru keeping up in school and fitting in during the last year of primary school. Not only was she able to keep up in her classes, but was in the top of them and thanks to her outgoing personality, in contrast to Akira's, had already made a lot of friends.
"..ira… Akira! Earth to Akira". Before Akira could respond, his arm was firmly grasped and he couldn't help but follow her as Hikaru pulled him along, there was no point in resisting. From all the chattering around them, it seemed that most of the class was going to eat lunch outside again. Akira would have preferred to read a book quietly in the room, but Hikaru had said, "You can always read outside. And it is more fun to eat with more people."
"Hey Akira, do you have time to stop by this new café? Momo's sister works there and some of us are going to go". Akira shook his head and reminded Hikaru once again that he was heading to his father's Go salon since he had some teaching-games scheduled with some customers.
"Oh, if I find anything good, I bring you some. Where was the Go-Salon located again?"
"It was a good game. But next time, if you are in this same situation, you should place your stone here and then here. This way, you would be able to stop your opponent from capturing this stones."
"Oh, I see. Thanks sensei."
"That's sensei for you and to think you aren't in middle school yet", another customer added.
Before anyway could ask him for another game, Akira headed to the front of the salon to ask Ishikawa-san for some tea.
"I told you already. I am not here for a game, I don't know how strong I am and I am looking for…Oh Akira, there you are".
After introducing Hikaru to Ishikawa-san, Hikaru had settled down and after watching him play one more Shidou-game, Akira asked her if she wanted to play.
At first she had declined, but gave in after much encouragement from many of the customers who had surrounded them upon Hikaru's arrival.
"I know how to play so I don't need any stones! Besides, we are the same age!", Hikaru had exclaimed with a bit of outrage when Akira had asked her to place as many stones as she needed on the goban. Many of the customers chuckled good naturally at the young lady thinking she didn't know that Akira's strength was at a pro's level.
Unbeknownst to all, a surprise awaited them