She is seven when she solves her first case.
Though, admittedly, it is a bit of a stretch to call that her first case, and she was five weeks away from being eight.
Still, it looks more impressive on her resumé. Or it would if she had one.
Regardless, she is seven and dressed in all black, holding her grandfather’s hand and shifting impatiently on her feet. Her parents have gone to speak with the bereaved, immediate family, and she doesn’t know anyone else here.
She’s bored, but not bored enough to leave her grandfather’s side, and it helps that he’s making snarky comments about the other attendees for her ears only. It’s entertaining, until he gets to,
“What are those ungrateful wretches doing here?”
Haru doesn’t quite know what a wretch is, but Grandpa’s tone has suddenly become more earnestly mean, almost hostile, and she doesn’t like it.
She tugs on his hand.
Grandpa looks down at her and visibly softens, one scruffy gray eyebrow rises, “What is it, child?”
She shrugs and points–at the two ungrateful wretches, then at the photograph at the front of the room–and then shrugs again.
She is seven and she doesn’t talk much. At all.
Still, Grandpa doesn’t much mind.
“That’s his second son and the wife, they wanted ownership of some branch office of the company and then ran it into the ground. Came back and demanded a job at the main office. They’re probably here to squeeze out whatever inheritance they can. Like vultures around a carcass.”
The old man next to them overhears, twitches, and says, “I’m not a carcass, Kuwabara, you crusty old bastard.”
She startles–that’s definitely a bad word–and looks up at the old man. The old man looks exactly like the photograph.
The old man is a ghost.
The ghost looks down at her, equally startled.
Thirty minutes later, the police have arrived to arrest the second son and his wife–both screaming about how they’ll get revenge–and her parents are staring at her bewildered.
She tugs Grandpa’s hand again, rubbing at her throat. This is the most she’s ever said at once, she thinks, and she’s awfully thirsty.
(As the years pass, Haru gets better at speaking more. She’s not better at being tactful about it, but she blames that on Grandpa).
Kenichi is listless when they join him, pale and lifeless, and maybe at another time she’d think it’s funny–considering he’s a ghost and all–except right now, with the expression on his face, it’s the furthest thing from it. Even his hideous shirt with neon geometric shapes seems less vibrant than usual.
“What’s wrong?” she asks, in a furtive whisper, trying to keep it within their half ghostly huddle of four.
They’re in the far corner of the lobby, about twenty feet from the smoking area, which is the outermost limit Kenichi can get from his brother. It’s also the closest Haru–as Kuwabara-Honinbou’s granddaughter–and Hikaru–as someone who has become a weird Go mystery–can get to Ogata without him looking at them strangely and walking away. And unknowingly dragging Kenichi along with him.
It takes a beat for Hikaru to notice, but Sai has picked up on it, too. He looks… understanding. Worryingly so.
Kenichi wavers before answering, “I… I think it’s time for me to move on.”
A/N: Anon, this probably isn’t what you had in mind, but please enjoy both ficlets and thank you for prompting (En)Closure fic 😀