...if you just saw "Hikaru" in the description and came here: check the category. Not a Hikaru no go fic. ^~ But hey, you could always go and watch Otogizoushi. It's a great anime - I especially loved the Heian arc - and it deserves more ficcage.

As for this little storylet (if it can be called even that...) This is something I wrote right after I finished watching Otogizoushi. It's mainly my immediate feelings - which, I admit, might be pretty pessimistic. But, in other words, there be SPOILERS here. Don't read if you haven't seen it all.

This is far from being any great piece of writing, but now that there's a category for Otogizoushi here, I thought I might as well post this. And I know, I switch from present tense to past tense just like that there - too lazy to do anything about it.

Written in the Wind

Every morning when Hikaru opens her eyes to a new day, she can hardly know what that day will bring. School and holidays, rain and sunshine, happy days and angry words all follow each other as certainly as the sun sets and rises, as the tide turns. Day after day, night after night. There's Sadamitsu with his ridiculously straightforward suggestions, Kintaro who never seems to have enough to eat, Urabe with a mysterious line or two, the ever loyal Tsuna worrying over her... and, above all, her beloved brother, finally returned to her.

She is happy, is she not? Was this not her greatest wish, to be again reunited with her brother? And now, finally, the world is as it should be.

The world is as it should be, and how utterly wrong is that.

She hears a distant flute, and her hand rises to her neck where a bright red pendant used to hang. She sees a distorted image in the train's window and turns to look, heart in her throat, but it was nothing but a stranger. When she walks on the streets she hopes to feel a familiar presence, but among all the people of this great city, there is no one for her. She can hardly know what a new day will bring, but one thing is certain: she will never catch that glimpse of red hair and a black coat that she longs to see. Day after day, night after night, the world spins on its ancient track round the sun, and nothing changes.

Had he not promised her fulfilment?

Or had that been nothing but a lie, a line to make her follow him... or perhaps, for him, this was fulfilment? He had wanted this, even thanked her as he vanished. Perhaps, for him as for the world, everything was as it should be. How could she know, how could she ever even begin to understand someone like him? She was like a child who had caught a glimpse of a great secret, written in the wind by rain and light, but she had not yet learned to read and couldn't decipher it. All she knew was that this secret had left an ache in her heart that did not go away.

She should have been happy, she knew that. She had a good life, good prospects. A good home, trustworthy friends, bright future – but somehow, she couldn't think of any of that. The ideas of college, work, marriage, possible children seemed much more unreal to her than all she had been through. When you had touched eternity, seen the magic of existence, how could you return to every-day life, be what you used to be, alone with your knowledge?

How could you forget a thousand-year-old love, all the despair and passion...

Your spirit is strong, he had once told her, long, long ago, on a night when she had still been blessedly ignorant. She could only hope that it was true. That she would be able to live through this life, if not happy, at least content, with people who loved her and who were dear to her. And then, perhaps, in a next life, she would not have to remember.