Title: Misguided Ghost

Setting: Present day, San Francisco. (from The Mediator series.)

Rating: K+

Notes (please read): Hello! This is the very beginning of my different AU challenge, centered around South Korea and China. (WHY AM I SO OBSESSED?) Er... I'll try to keep it diverse—the settings, genres, plots, and the relationship between the two. I'm aiming to go over ten chapters with this, so reviews and suggestions will be cherished and highly welcomed, although whatever you suggest, I'll probably have already considered it since this idea has been with me for a long while now. XD If I do happen to use your suggestion though, I will most definitely credit you! Anyways, I mostly made this challenge for myself because I've been in a horrible writer's block for a while now... I even struggled writing the first chapter of Broken, so I'm hoping this will just sort of help me crawl out of my writer's block. Anyways, I really hope you enjoy these. Please review! :)
Side note: In here, since Hong Kong doesn't have a human name, I've used Xiang for him. Oh, and Gege means 'older brother' in Mandarin.
Side note # 2: "Catch you on the flipside" means "I'll see you later," or even "I'll see you in the next life." I thought it was quite fitting for this series.

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia or The Mediator series... or even Hello Kitty. And I even got the title of this chapter from the song, "Misguided Ghosts" by Paramore, although the song itself doesn't really have much to do with the story.


"So, how do you like your new room, Xiang?"

Yao watches his little brother as the young boy crosses the slightly dim room. The only light are the sun rays streaming through the curtains of his window.

Xiang pulls himself up onto his new bed and gazes out the window that's right by his bedside. He pulls the dark, ragged curtains away, and throws open the windows as a light breeze immediately rushes in. The young Chinese boy leans over the window as his eyes flit over the beautiful scenery.

The window opens up to a picturesque scene of the dark blue ocean, with the sun dipping into the waters and the pink and purple hues mixing in the sky above like watercolors. Even from there, the sound of the waves rushing into the shore are clear as are the sounds of seagulls fluttering by.

"Beautiful, right?" Yao walks over to the small boy and places a hand on his shoulder as he, too, gazes out the window. This is one thing in China he never got to see, so this is definitely a plus in moving to San Francisco.

Xiang pauses for a moment before turning back to his older brother, his indifferent expression ever so present on his face. "Gege..." he begins, choosing his words carefully. "Why did we move here again? It's not like there are no ghosts here. In fact, while in the taxi, I saw a couple of ghosts wandering around outside, and I'm sure you have too."

Yao sighs and scratches the back of his head as he tries to think of a good way to explain this to his ten year old brother.

"Aiyah, Xiang, but isn't this better now, aru? I mean we even have an ocean view from our house, aru! We've never had that before, right? And anyways, we also came here for a new start, aru. After all that chaos of dealing and mediating ghosts... I just thought that perhaps moving here would be like a fresh new start—a turn for the better, aru. Who knows? Maybe the ghosts here aren't as... pleading, shall I say? And after all, here, we can pretend not to see them, aru, so that they won't all come swarming at us! Let's not make the same mistake twice, yes?"

His younger brother gazes back at him, not betraying a single flicker of emotion before slowly turning back to the window, and says no more.

Sighing once more, Yao pats his brother's head and lets it rest there. He knows that probably part of the reason his younger brother is so quiet, stoic, and calculating is because he's been having to deal with ghosts his entire life—helping him mediate them, and even seen things that boys that young shouldn't see, especially with the fights that happened between Yao and some of the more... violent and stubborn ghosts.

Back in China where the two have lived their entire lives, the brothers have been famous among the ghosts for seeing, mediating, and helping them.

It first began when one day Yao was in a severe car accident, but miraculously survived. He did not have any major issues—except for seeing people others could not see. He didn't dare speak a word of his new sixth sense to others though. That is, until he found that his little brother, Xiang, could see ghosts too even though he was never in the accident.

Ever since then, the two have began to try and talk to these ghosts, and after talking, they began to help them. The word soon spread among all ghosts in China—and there were quite a few, mind you—and soon, ghosts were swarming them, begging to either be mediated into the next stage of their afterlives, or the more stubborn ones demanding to be revived again even though that was impossible.

The brothers though didn't dare speak a word of this to alive people though, in fear of being isolated and/or being sent to an asylum for their crazy talk.

In the beginning, it was quite enjoyable and exciting—mediating and helping ghosts. They sometimes even had to fight the more stubborn ones who caused trouble, like poltergeists. These fights a lot of time caused their house to be in wrecks though, causing suspicious policemen to check up on them frequently.

Years went by with the police right under their nose, and the ghosts continuing to swarm them, while causing immense trouble. Soon, Yao had enough of this chaos and lifestyle. He wanted to start anew, with no ghosts swarming his small family again, so he took Xiang and they moved to the Land of Opportunity, America.

And boy, did he hope that this really would be a new opportunity for them.

After a quick moment of reminiscing, wondering once more if moving to America was the right thing, Yao then exits the room and retreats to his own bedroom which is right across the hall.

His eyes widen though and he almost lets out a surprised yelp when he sees someone sitting on his windowsill and gazing out at the scenery. After a blink or two, he realizes from the hazy and slightly transparent form of the figure, that the person is actually a ghost!

Oh dear Lord, no...

The ghost turns to him, and Yao immediately tries to pretend that he hasn't seen him by hastily going over to his desk, but the ghost is quick-witted.

"You can see me, can't you?"

Damn it.

Yao freezes, not being able to think properly, as his mind races at full speed.

"I knew it, you can see me!" The ghost hastily floats over to the Chinese man and faces him, as his smile broadens. His English is slightly accented, but otherwise perfect.

The ghost looks fairly tall, but his face still looks very young with still some baby fat in his cheeks. He has large, bright eyes, and dark, cropped hair with a smile gracing his lips. There's even a slight, stubborn curl bouncing from his head that Yao finds peculiar. The ghost wears an Asian traditional clothing that Yao swears looks very familiar, but he can't exactly pinpoint which country the clothing is from. Judging from the traditional Asian clothes though, Yao figures that he's been around for a couple of decades—maybe even centuries, perhaps.

"Don't try to act like you can't see me! I know you can! I saw you looking at me, not through me. Man, it's the first time in so long since I've found someone who can finally see me, da ze!" the ghost continues to blabber on excitedly about something or the other, but Yao can't seem to find the words to speak. The first day he's arrived in America, and he's already communicating with a ghost... even though it's more so one-sided. The mere thought of that gives him a headache.

"So what's your name?" the ghost asks, interrupting Yao's train of thought once more.

"A-ah..." Yao stammers, still feeling the words die in his throat and his stomach twisting, partly because of his slightly rusty English, but mostly because he feels the dread overflowing him now that a ghost knows for sure that he can see him. Yao then quickly shakes his head. No, he doesn't have time for this. He has to take action—and fast! "Listen here, you—you can't tell anyone about me being able to see you, alright, aru? I'll—I'll even help you get to the next stage—but only you! You just can not tell any ghost about my brother and I, okay?"

The ghost's smile falters as he scratches the back of his head.

"But I don't want to go on to the next stage. I'm happy just here."

Yao scowls. "Alright, fine! Whatever, even better for me, aru! Just promise me you won't tell anyone?" He pauses. "And what are you doing here anyways, aru?"

Usually, ghosts roam the streets, and even the entire world! The only reason a ghost would stay at a house would be... the color drains from Yao's face. Oh no.

"I'm here, of course, because this is my house, da ze!"

...Of course.

Yao sighs heavily. This is what he expected. Only ghosts who claim that a house is theirs would stay at it. But when he entered this house earlier, and checked his room, the ghost wasn't there. Perhaps he was busy roaming and just came back or something.

"No," Yao says firmly. He has to set this boy straight... although he's technically older than him, but that's besides the point! "This house belongs to my brother and I now. You are no longer the owner of this house, aru. If you want, I really could get you to the next stage in life. I mean, it's bound to be much better than here..."

The ghost pouts in response, looking a little miffed, as his curl bounces off his head. He holds his head up high and even crosses his arms across his chest stubbornly.

"I told you, I don't need to get to the next stage. I'm perfectly fine just here..." he pauses as he leans forward with a cocky grin replacing his pout, "...in my house."

Yao glares at the ghost. "Aiyah! This is my house now, aru! You've been dead for decades—centuries now, I assume! This isn't your house anymore, aru! You don't even belong in this wor-"

"If..." the ghost begins, interrupting the Chinese man's rant as he chooses his words carefully, the cocky grin still present upon his face, "you kick me out of my house, then..." he shrugs as he fakes a frown and an overdramatic sigh, "I guess I'll just have to tell the other ghosts about a mediator living here-"

Yao's eyes widen at this as he grabs the ghost's arm—because yes, even though they can float and walk through walls and people, to mediators, they are solid—panic immediately rising. "No!"

The ghost's smile widens as he knows he's finally got him good. "Then you must accept that I live here too! In fact, I'm even nice enough to let you live here with me, da ze! After all, courteousness originated in Korea!"

The Chinese man wrinkles his nose. So he's Korean. His eyes fall down to the boy's clothing once more and finds that it really does resemble the traditional Korean clothing, a hanbok. He's not exactly sure where in the world this boy got that idea from, that courteousness originated in Korea or whatever, but he decides to let it slide and instead sighs heavily.

"So... if I let you live here with me, you won't dare speak of us seeing ghosts to anyone?" Yao asks in a defeated tone as he stares wearily at him.

"Correct-o!" he responds.

The Chinese man groans in response. "I guess I have no choice then, aru..." How did it come to this?

The ghost's smile broadens as he brings out a hand to Yao. "This is how westerners greet, right? I guess since I'm letting you live in my house, we'll have to start with introductions! Since after all, introductions originated from Korea, da ze! Anyways, I'm Im Yong Soo, and you?"

Yao sighs as he shakes the ghost's cold hand. "Yao. Wang Yao."

"Ah, Chinese?"

"Yes."

"Ah... well, this is the first time I've seen a guy like Hello Kitty," the ghost, Yong Soo, says cheekily as he takes a Hello Kitty doll that was sitting on Yao's desk.

"Hey!" Face flushing crimson, Yao grabs the doll from Yong Soo's hand, and possessively holds it to his chest. "T-that's mine..."

Yong Soo blinks incredulously at the Chinese man for a few seconds before laughing boisterously, with his head thrown back. "W-wow, you-you really are such a girl! You're even pretty like one too!"

Yao's anger flaring, and his grip tightening on his precious Hello Kitty, he retorts, "If you're going to be so rude, then maybe I should reconsider and really kick you out of my house, aru!"

The Korean ghost ceases laughing as his now familiar indignant and cocky grin replaces his amused smile. "Then I guess I'll just have to spread the word that a mediator is living here to my fellow ghostie friends, da ze! Did you know that ghosts spread gossip faster than high school girls? It's quite amazing, actually."

His frustration rising to the highest peak, Yao lets out a thoroughly annoyed sigh as he places the Hello Kitty doll back onto his desk and sits in his seat, with his hands holding his head. Relief washes over him as he's vaguely aware of Yong Soo finally leaving his side and going elsewhere in his room.

Perhaps moving to San Francisco was a mistake, after all! For now, he's going to have to live with a freaking ghost! And a horribly annoying one, too!

"Hey, I think we're going to get along just great, da ze- and hey, is this Hello Kitty underwear?"

Definitely a mistake.