Swept Away

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Hikaru no Go-related material belongs to Yumi Hotta.

Warning: Mentions of Reincarnated!Hikaru. Slice of life and all the inane things we face in life. Stories are based on Canon, but are changed to better integrate Hikaru. Slightly skewed timeline in Hikaru no Go-verse - if events and people don't match up, make a note and comment. All questions, comments and concerns can be addressed in the review section.

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The boy couldn't help but roll his eyes after the prompt as he continued browsing the site, getting familiar with the interface and all that it had to offer. It was his first time with a computer, and it definitely showed, if the snickering behind him was a judge of anything.

His eyes furrowed in irritation and he ground his teeth, the grip on the mouse a little too crushing to be considered normal. Maybe it was a little funny seeing someone not know how to use a mouse, but who could blame him? He never had much use for computers, preferring sports instead. Well, at least until today, he thought. So if he asked a stupid question here and there, so what?

Sighing, the boy ran his hands through his bleached bangs, refocusing on the task at hand, letting the world around him slip away. Gotta find an opponent. How does that work anyway? Like really, they should def-

USER JayN has issued challenge. ACCEPT?

-initely make it easier, the boy finished. Huh. Look at that.

Challenge accepted. Game start.

The game started, loading up the virtual go board. His opponent, who had the first hand with black, chose the bottom left star without a moment's hesitation and the boy paused, momentarily confused. He scratched his head, tilting his head to the right as if examining the board, before muttering to himself, "A first hand on a star was unthinkable in Shusaku's era. Times sure have changed."

The game had definitely evolved over the years and it was definitely disconcerting, but he continued on. The results spoke for themselves.

It was a massacre. Plain and simple.

Black's mastery over the game was pitiful to say the least. Their game spoke of immaturity and stubbornness as they charged recklessly headlong into the unknown. It poked the preverbal sleeping dragon, which no idea as to exactly what lay underneath until it was too late and paid the ultimate price.

Reading far into game, bleach banged youth sighed, already knowing the outcome. His opponent's fate had been sealed within the first couple hands, but instead of seeing, or perhaps, unable to see, they continued their useless assaults against his well secured territory. Going into the match, the boy had been excited, hopeful even, for a good game, but that excitement quickly dwindled.

Congratulations SAI. USER JayN has surrendered. Issue challenge to USER Jayn? Find new opponent?

While the match wasn't anything to write home about, it did teach the two-toned youth something. He needed more practice. Definitely more. There were new rules and regulations that he needed to learn - the opening game and the new komi rule definitely surprised him - and that just didn't agree with him. He liked being in control of things, after everything that had happened, and as such, didn't enjoy being surprised and those changes had definitely been a surprise.

With hope that the coming matches would be enough to sate his appetite for Go, he continued on.

He continued playing for several more hours, winning each and every match, slaughtering his opponents and forcing them to eventually resign. It filled him with a sense of accomplishment. Of wholeness. Peace.

He hoped that it would be enough.

Within the past year, he began having dreams. Dreams of a game he barely recognized, a game called Go. He dreamed of the Heian court, and the Go-Tutor named Sai. Dreamed of the man's successes, his failures and his eventual end at the hand of his precious Go, an end known and mourned by none.

He dreamed of a man Shuusaku, a man who rose to great heights in the Go-World and whose death shook the very foundations of the game itself. He dreamed of this and so much more. With each and every dream, the boy was left with a bittersweet nostalgia of a lifelong gone. They were so vivid, like memories. His memories. But that was impossible. Reincarnation didn't exist, and even if it did, why could he remember?

And remember he did.

So much pain. So much suffering. So much of everything. All for a stupid board game that only geezers like his grandfather bothered to play now a days and even though they were his own thoughts and feelings regarding the matter, he immediately felt the irritation. The agitation that these men were sure to have felt when someone so readily dismissed the game.

He was losing himself.

It was starting to become hard to distinguish what were his own feelings and what was foreign. Faced with all of this, the boy didn't know what to do. So today, he did what his heart told him. Did what his body ached for him to do.

He played. He played and played until his eyes were bleary from the strain. Played until all thoughts of Go vanished and complete emptiness remained.

Sai and Shuusaku wanted to attain the Hand of God. Wanted to continue their lives playing a game that only they were the masters of. Wanted to continue playing for all of eternity if they could. And perhaps they would, through him it would seem - Shindou Hikaru.

He clenched his eyes tightly, pushing back the tears as he pulled the covers over himself.

But what did Shindou Hikaru want?

That was the million dollar question wasn't it? What did Shindou Hikaru want? If someone asked him a year ago, before all the dreams, before the dead men and their obsession with Go, he would have said without hesitation a Soccer Pro.

But did what he want truly matter in the scheme of things. If what he felt and coming to understand was true, then Shuusaku was Sai and he, Shindou Hikaru was them reborn.

Did God want him on this path? Was that his Destiny? His Fate? Was he to struggle for the Hand of God until the end of his days as well?

The lines were starting to blur and nothing made sense anymore - things were changing and would continue to change. Hikaru desperately hoped that he wouldn't be swept away.

To Be Continued

AN: I've been inspired by many of the stories found in the Hikaru no Go archive, stories by Esama and Esa MaRie especially, and wanted to try my own. I'm not sure I'll continue this, but it was fun nonetheless.

EDIT: Thanks to madparrot for pointing out my spelling mistake. Oopsies on me.