Disclaimer: I don't own Hikaru no Go. Otherwise, I'd know a little more about Go than I really do.
Story: Hikaru was turned to the hacker world at an early age. Haunted by Sai, she reluctantly integrates Go into her carefully crafted world. Of course, she uses multiple personalities as an excuse to everyone else, seeing as how she has the bad habit of being a con artist.
Warnings: Age difference and anyting else that comes up.
Pairings: Eventual Ogata/Hikaru, though plenty of one-sided Others/Hikaru
Chapter Two: Runaway Train
"Ne, ne –Hikaru-chan! What is that?" Sai tilted his head and stared at what his host was doing, confused by it and yet delighted by the odd display of numbers and other things he didn't understand.
"This? This, Sai, is going to be my most important project yet," Hikaru grinned mischievously. "With this, I can find anyone with a cell phone or GPS, and I can adjust and strengthen the signal by bouncing it and rerouting it through the satellites in space. My internet's piggybacking on it anyways, so I know how to do the similar process. It shouldn't be too hard to tweak it…"
Sai didn't understand a thing she said. He supposed it was probably the same for her with Go.
"Hikaru…when can we play Go?" he asked quietly, pouting just a bit.
She looked hesitant and he turned his subdued look on her in question. She flinched. Aw man, those eyes...and that pouting face…
"Well, a promise is a promise," she muttered to herself. "I guess soon, Sai. I suppose I'll need to learn the basics though. I can't pull off a "Heian noble Go master" act, if I can't even do or understand Go right. I might mess up, or misunderstand something –then the charade's up."
"Good idea, good idea!" Sai clapped his hands excitedly.
He ignored the reluctance in her voice and the disinterested look on her face. He had time to convert her after all. And if he continued to show interest in her life loves, surely she could open her eyes to Go and come to love it as well! But…
"Pretty~" Sai sighed, distracted as he watched Hikaru's 'falling snow' screen.
"Oi, oi! You want Go, yeah? I need the basics here!" Hikaru snapped him out of it.
"Ah, hai!" So then Sai began teaching her the rules of the game, the more common terms, and whatever else he could without a goban. It would've been easier with one on hand…
"Hm, this would be easier if we could have an actual board and some stones," Hikaru scratched the back of her head.
Sai grinned. "We think alike, Hikaru~"
She stared at him before shrugging it off. "We should go over to Gramps and see if he'll let us use that goban you came out of."
"Yes, let's go, please!" he was tempted to add the 'eyes' for good measure, but Hikaru was already moving and it was already a sure thing.
"Hey, Sai, I'm going to tell Gramps about you, 'kay? I don't like lying to him and I'm the only one he's got, since Obaa-san died last year."
Sai blinked, caught off guard. "Okay. If Hikaru think it's okay."
Soon enough, they'd reached his house and Hikaru was explaining the entire thing to her grandfather, who was staring at her. And then he was cringing away, and staring at the area around Hikaru.
"So you believe me?" she raised her eyebrows at his actions.
Shindou Heihachi peered very closely to Hikaru's sides. "I'm old and superstitious. I'm of that generation, Hika. Is he here now?"
"…Yeah. He's to my right."
Heihachi cringed again. "Do you want an exorcist? 'Cause you know, I know someone who knows someone –"
"Ojii-san!" she called out in alarm. "No, no. It's fine. He's really nice anyways, so…" she patted Sai's back and gave a strained smile to her grandfather, who looked ready to do an exorcism on her himself.
"Goban, goban!" Sai enthusiastically reminded her.
"Un. So…about that Go board, Gramps?"
Heihachi shook his head to clear it before focusing back on his granddaughter and her ghost. "Well, alright. I already have it in the house, so you can use it. It's set up in the living room."
Eagerly standing up, she gave a quick hug to her grandfather and then exited out of the kitchen, heading to the living room where Sai's Go board sat innocently in the middle of the room. Sai went over the rules again and then had her practice placing the stones onto the board the correct way.
"Hey, hey! Sai! I wanna do it like you. Can you, like, show me an image or something on how you did it a long time ago?" Hikaru spoke aloud, unmindful of her grandfather freezing on the way back from the gardens and staring in horror at her.
He shivered and moved on.
Sai frowned to himself, wondering if it was possible. Deciding to give it a try, he brought up a random game and Hikaru watched closely to it. Then she started practicing until she was as close to Sai's style as possible, for a short practice.
"Why don't we practice you saying a mark and me putting it down? That way it becomes easier to do with practice, and maybe become second nature," Hikaru suggested, and Sai happily agreed.
"Hikaru, he still there?" her grandfather hesitantly cut in sometime later, when Hikaru was reasonably sure she was used to placing the stones and placing them in the right place.
"Yeah, Gramps. We're practicing something about 'Life or Death' problems," Hikaru turned to her grandfather with a bright smile.
"I see," Heihachi mumbled, sitting beside her slowly. "If he's…1000 years old. I suppose he would be behind on Go stuff, right? Like rules."
Hikaru and Sai both blinked at him, though he couldn't see one of them.
"Like komi? There is komi now. That is a more recent rule," he explained.
"Komi?" both host and ghost echoed in confusion.
'I don't remember such a rule called komi in Torajiro's time,' Sai thought about that in confusion.
"I don't remember komi being around in Tora-chan's time!" Hikaru pouted.
Sai grinned to himself. 'Twins, twins, twins! We really are like twins~ And eheh. Tora-chan…Torajiro would have really liked her.'
"Who's Tora-chan?" Heihachi looked at his granddaughter weirdly.
"Torajiro, of course. Shuushaku," Hikaru said nonchalantly.
Heihachi was surprised, but shook his head. Of course it was.
"Anyways, komi is…" and he explained that and a few other rules since Shuushaku's time, since apparently his granddaughter's ghost possessed him too.
He really should have expected that.
"I think you should take a Go class just in case. You can even practice this…'Sai' persona there," he reluctantly brought up. "Do you really think this is such a good idea?"
"Yeah, Gramps! Don't worry about it! I got this," Hikaru winked at him and gave him the thumbs up, good guy pose.
Heihachi smiled, though he worried about her. She'll be alright, and he knew she had a habit of doing things like this. She just couldn't help it.
He still couldn't forget how she had managed to successfully fool people into thinking she was an actual doctor when she was six.
"Okay, I'll check out a class then. I'll go looking for one tomorrow and maybe find someone to play Go. How's that sound, Sai?" Hikaru directed at him, snickering mentally at her grandfather's shiver.
"Yah, yah! Let's do it, Hikaru-chan!"
"We can even modernize our Go!" Hikaru cheered with him.
And so, that is how they started their partnership. Therefore, the next morning, Hikaru was getting ready for the day. She'd searched out a place at the district club nearby that was holding beginner Go lessons the night before, and decided it was as good a place as any. She'd just finished brushing her teeth, hopping on one foot as she tried putting on a sock on the other, when Sai brought up her parents.
"Anou, where are your parents, Hikaru? Won't they mind you just going off somewhere?"
Hikaru flinched and nearly fell, but managed to balance herself by leaning against her closet. She quickly adjusted her sock a final time and then straightened up.
"No. They won't. They don't really know or care what I get up to, and they're never around to be bothered about it anyways," Hikaru shrugged and then turned away from Sai, closing the discussion.
Of course, Sai had a lot of questions still, but it seemed it wasn't the time. So he just watched Hikaru flit about her room, getting ready, and then was rushing out with him floating after her. They were at the center already in no time, and it seemed they'd gotten there early.
Hikaru peeked into the class, seeing people playing but no teacher yet. She pouted and refrained from going inside just yet, mind scheming up something. She really shouldn't…
But she really couldn't help herself.
Smiling widely, she entered the class and went to the front, bringing attention to herself and had some murmuring amongst the class in return for it. Her eyes caught sight of the nametag on the desk, and her grin widened slightly.
"Hello, everyone! Shirakawa-sensei will be late today, therefore I'll take over for a bit until his arrival. I'm Shindou Hikaru and I hope to teach you well!"
Sai face palmed.
"Welcome, Shindou-sensei!" the class greeted her.
"Also, please do not mind if Sai-sensei joins us. If I seem like another person, then I probably am," Hikaru said confusingly, and Sai couldn't help but think she did it on purpose.
There were hesitant and confused looks around the class, but then Hikaru began the lesson. She started well enough on her own, teaching what she knew and rolling it over as 'review'. Then she had Sai take over. After a moment of just saying what he did, she stood still and looked dazed.
"S-Shindou-sensei?" one of the people bravely called out.
"Shindou again, hm?" Hikaru straightened and smiled regally at the person. "Ah, this looks like a Go class. How wonderful! Since Hikaru isn't available now, I shall have to take over, I suppose. Class, I am Fujiwara no Sai."
She kept smiling through the class' disbelieving and confused stares. It was harder to ignore Sai's giggles and not to break out into her own.
"Okay, Hikaru-chan~ My turn. Listen to me and just copy what I say!" Sai eagerly went along. It was kind of fun.
Sai began lecturing and Hikaru mimicked him to the others, even going so far as to copy his gestures and get so into it that she matched his expressions and the tone of his voice. The class, finding it a rather bizarre day, just went along with it –especially as they were learning a lot and it was very engaging. Some of them had formed their own theories to themselves, but didn't think it mattered too much to be brought up at the moment since they were learning and learning quite well.
"Looks like my class got stolen from me," an amused but unfamiliar voice said, once Sai had taken a breather.
The class as one, with Hikaru (and Sai), turned to face Shirakawa Mishio watching the lesson and smiling in bemusement.
"Ah, hello," Hikaru smiled enigmatically. "I think Hikaru knows your name, but I apologize and admit that I don't. I am Fuijwara no Sai, Go-sensei."
"Don't call me 'Go-sensei', Fujiwara-san," Shirakawa held up his hands, smiling good naturedly. "Please. It's Shirakawa Mishio. Pleased to meet you."
"Pleased to meet you. I think Hikaru will be taking control now," 'Sai' informed them all nonchalantly. The real Sai laughed outright and clapped in enjoyment.
Hikaru stood still again, before becoming aware and looking around and seeing everyone staring at her. She turned bright red and smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of her head.
"Eheh, gomen, gomen. Shindo Hikaru, new student," she bowed to them. "Sorry again, Shirakawa-sensei. I, uh, sometimes just do things like this. 'Stealing a class,'" she ended wryly.
She also explained about Sai and the MPD thing, which cleared it up for most people and confirmed a few who'd guessed it.
"Well, why don't you take a seat and I'll take over for now," Shirakawa grinned, very amused about it all. It was quite entertaining, what he'd caught before he interrupted. And Sai had seemed like a very competent teacher, and most probably Go player.
Still sheepish (but not really), Hikaru sat down and started to learn herself.
A couple times, she let herself bring 'Sai' out and then interact with the others as the Heian ghost, more often than not just parroting whatever answer Sai had for them. It was Sai they were talking to, after all, so he should be expressing himself through her (like the original purpose of this whole act was supposed to be). She ignored the more wary reactions, deciding she had time to convert them to the dark side soon enough.
The last time she brought Sai out, she and him saw one of the other players playing harshly against another player, and being quite demeaning and arrogant about it. Both she and Sai scowled.
"Hikaru, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Yes, I totally am."
And then she pulled out her 'Sai' posture and strode over there gracefully but angrily.
"You! Dishonor! I shall not condone the dishonorable conduct of bullying weaker players than you, commoner! I shall slay you with my sword on the battlefield of Go, and teach you a lesson on such shameful behavior. Beware! I shall correct this injustice!"
"Uh, Shindou –er, Fujiwara-san, calm down," Shirakawa tried to placate both host and ghost, who were in tandem with each other. Hikaru was mentally ranting at the man in the modern way, even as she repeated Sai's old-fashioned angry lecture. "I'm sure Akota-san is sorry and will apologize. Won't you, Akota-san?"
"Y-yes!" the man squeaked.
Huffing angrily one last time, Hikaru lifted her chin disdainfully and turned on her heel, walking away like a Heian noble.
Akota and Shirakawa both sighed in relief.
After that, it wasn't too long until class was over and Hikaru was curiously heading over to Shirakawa.
"Yes, Shindou, er, Fujiwara?" At her shaking head, "Shindou then. Is there something I can help you with, Shindou-san?"
"Oh, um, do you know where I can play Go at? It'd be nice to get in more practice and I'd like to maybe gain more experience, especially since Sai is around and I might as well try to keep up with the game."
"Ah, I see. Well, there's a good Go salon a little bit nearby. I can write down the directions and address for you, if you'd like?" he offered kindly.
"Sure! Thanks, Shirakawa-sensei. And sorry again, about earlier…and 'cause of Sai," she shrugged in embarrassment.
"No, it's quite alright. I enjoyed the show and having someone take over my class for a bit. And you can't help Sai, right? It must be weird to have another personality, and a male one at that."
"Very weird," she nodded mock-wisely.
He laughed lightly, finishing up writing.
"Here you go. I look forward to next class and hope you and Sai come back!"
"Will do!" she gave a salute and then headed out.
"There you go, Sai. A Go salon. Wanna head there now and play a game before going home?"
"Yay! Hikaru-chan!" Sai celebrated happily before glomping her affectionately.
Soon, they were walking out into the streets and wandering around, trying to follow the directions. When they were reasonably close, Hikaru ducked into a store where there was a mirror in the back.
Sai watched as Hikaru adjusted her shirt and then grabbed her jacket, putting it on in a certain way.
"What do you think, Sai?" she asked of the few changes to her look that actually made a rather startling difference.
"You look like a really pretty boy," Sai complimented in awe.
Hikaru smirked at him and then gathered up her dark hair, taking the black locks and pulling it behind her, before putting it into a loose ponytail. Then she grabbed her backpack and moved out of the store and walked all the way to the Go salon with Sai trailing after her.
And that is how Ichikawa Harumi first met Hikaru.
"Anou sa, is this where I can play Go?" a soft-cultured voice filtered into her ears and she looked up abruptly, immediately blushing upon seeing the effeminate boy in front of her.
She didn't think she'd ever see a prettier boy than Akira, but she was proven wrong. And goodness, she might have even gotten a crush! And so easily and quickly…How embarrassing.
"Hello," she mentally shook herself out of it. "Welcome, I'm Ichikawa Harumi. The entrance fee is 500, if you'd like to come in and play the others."
The boy gave a small smile and she felt her heart thump loudly in her chest. He took out his wallet with long, pianistic fingers, and then handed her the correct amount.
"Please sign here, and put your level beside it," she smiled politely, embarrassed to find that she'd been watching his hands intensely as he'd signed his name.
"Level?" his soft tones floated through the air.
"Yes. The level your Go-playing is at," she tried to explain a little more.
"I see. I've never had it professionally graded, I suppose. May I be an unknown, my dear?" he leaned over the counter and looked straight into her eyes with the greenest shade of eyes she'd ever seen. Her breath hitched.
Ohh, and that soft smile…She's sure she's imagining the quick playful quirk it took on for a moment.
"Of course," she answered breathily.
And then Hikaru gave her one last smile and went further into the salon. She snatched up the sign in sheet and read his name.
Fujiwara no Sai.
Touya Akira hadn't really expected much from the day. He thought it would follow his usual routine. And then he saw an effeminate boy walking around and kindly challenging the patrons to a game, and rousing them into easy cheer. Intrigued, he went over himself and thought he'd introduced himself to the newcomer.
"Hello," he called out as he tentatively tapped the boy's shoulder.
He turned around and Akira was graced with a soft smile. He could feel his face start to heat up and mentally shook himself. What an odd reaction…
"I'm Touya Akira. My father owns this place. I was wondering if you'd like to play a game?"
The soft smile turned rather mischievous, before returning back to normal. The boy agreed and Akira led him to the back, eager to play someone around his own age. Though he didn't expect much, it was still nice to be able to play someone near his age and wouldn't begrudge or be jealous of his own talent at the game. It wasn't like he couldn't play shidougo either, and it was enjoyable at all to be playing at the same time as someone he'd hopefully be able to become friends with.
He wasn't looking for a challenge. Not this time. He could do that plenty with the other Go players his father met with.
No, this time, he would like and hope that he'd make a friend over Go.
The game, surprisingly, was going actually pretty well. Then the other boy started to press harder and Akira's pleasant surprise began to feel more like confused anxiety. He started to sweat a little, until they reached a point in the game where he realized that his opponent was playing shidougo against him.
When he lost, Akira couldn't look up from the board and stayed rooted to his seat.
"Thank you for the game," he heard that awful soft voice speak.
And then he was pretty sure he was alone.
Hikaru, on the other, had already begun thinking about other things, one of which included her papers that she needed to finalize so she could go to Kaio High School next school year.
Started 1/22/13 – Completed 1/22/13
A/n: Huh, wow. I hadn't expected such a good response to this. I'm really enjoying writing this fic, but I actually didn't think people would care too much for it (especially with the eventual pairing). That's just awesome sauce, peeps. As for Kaio and Haze, I'm going with that there is a junior high version and a high school upgrade for both. And originally, I was going to have Ogata and Hikaru meet when she's 15, but I think it would be best to introduce them together earlier to get readers used to their interactions (odd pairing and all).
To KittyCat: Well, I updated. How's that? :D
To Guest: Thank you! Glad you think so. I wonder what you're wary of, though I understand the pairing part. I promise, on that part (because I usually do odd pairings and age difference is common for me), that it's not going to be rushed nor all really focused on the romance kind of thing. On romance, I generally seem to get a good response from people, so I hope you'll find it fine in the long run. As for the dating, that's just a notation for me to keep note of and see how long it took me to finish the chapter. If I have the right motivation and inspiration, I can get a chapter done within a day at least and update regularly, if not faster (I also tend to do batch updates, so an update for a chapter could wait until I finished a chapter for some other stories). The first chapter of this took longer, more to do with holidays and things I had to catch up in RL.