14 or 23, Haru Kuwabara from your Hikaru no Go AU!


I think I’ve got fireflies
where my caution should be.
(Instead of slowing down, I just shine brighter)

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).

///

We talk in the dark as we fall asleep,
and we are objects in the night sky
outside of time.
(it is the exact opposite of alone)

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 😀

Number + Ship + (optional) AU –> my ask box

(En)Closure (the Stars In His Eyes remix), (2016-08-11)

A/N: A little thing for @esamastation’s Random HikaGo Event (if I’m not too late). A sort of B-side to my series (En)Closure, but this ficlet can be read alone since it’s from Hikaru’s POV and my character is only briefly mentioned and doesn’t actually show up.

Enjoy!

~

Sai has barely begun telling his story before he is rudely interrupted by Hikaru. It is something that he will grow accustomed to in a bewilderingly short amount of time.

“Does this mean I can see ghosts now?” Hikaru asks, looking at his own hands in amazement as if that will explain his sudden supernatural ability.

“Perhaps it is–”

“Or is it only you,” Hikaru continues, turning his gaze toward Sai, narrow eyed and suspicious, “Because if it’s the first one then that means I have a cool new skill that I can do stuff with. But if it’s the second one, then that probably means I’m possessed and you need to exorcised.”

In the bare handful of hours that Sai has known Hikaru, he already knows this: children in these times are willful or, at the very least, Hikaru is. Which means it’s not an idle threat.

There were onmyouji in Sai’s time–and in Torajiro’s time, too–no doubt there are still some to this day. No doubt they could very well exorcise Sai, and how will he play Go then?

“No!”

Hikaru’s face only pinches up into even more suspicion.

“I, that is,” Sai rescinds, “I am sure such a thing is not needed. Yours is a fledgling talent, perhaps I am meant to teacher you.”

After all, Sai was an instructor for both the Emperor and Torajiro. No doubt, he is meant to do the same for Hikaru. He just didn’t specify which talent; it’s not a lie.

Hikaru considers for a moment, then nods, “You better not be as annoying as Navi.”

A non sequitur, but seeing as how it’s not an outright refusal, Sai will take it and gladly.

Then, Hikaru cheers, “Let’s go find some more ghosts!”

(It’s at this point that Sai realizes he has very little control over what happens next. This is also something that he will grow accustomed to soon enough.)

Given the sheer size, population, and history of Tokyo finding supposedly haunted places is easy.

Getting into them is another story.

“This is the… fifth time, Shindou-kun,” Ueno, the unimpressed police officer, says way more exasperated than the situation calls for. It’s not like Hikaru was actually doing anything wrong besides, maybe, the whole trespassing thing.

“I didn’t know it was private property?” Hikaru tries, because it worked pretty well the first time and decently the second…

And then it got less effective each time. Apparently, going by Ueno’s expression, it’s not going to fly at all this time. Especially since she was the same officer that found him three of the other times.

Sai, too, has gotten used to inside of the small police station–no longer flitting from desk to desk and asking about each little detail while Hikaru tries not to answer out loud. Getting brought in for trespassing is one thing–he doesn’t want the police to think he’s crazy.

This whole ‘seeing ghosts thing’ is way harder than he though it would be.

“You’re…” A grimace flashes across Ueno’s face, before quickly fading into carefully crafted calmness. “Is there a reason why you don’t want to be at home, Hikaru-kun?”

If anyone else were able to see Sai, they’d know that both he and Hikaru had shared a quick glance of mutual confusion.

“… No?” Then because it looks like that won’t be enough of an answer to satisfy Ueno, he admits sullenly, “I just wanted to see if that place was really haunted.”

“Oh god, not another one,” Ueno blurts out, horrified at the prospect and herself. One desk away, another officer bursts out laughing.

Again, confusion.

“I’m not saying I believe,” Ueno begins, rummaging through her desk for something, “but the number of cases solved speaks for itself.”

She then hands Hikaru a business card with a phone number on one side and two lines on the other:

KUWABARA
Consulting Medium

“Pretentious, isn’t it?” Ueno says with a shrug, “But I’d rather have you call her than have you running around unsupervised.”

“That’s like telling one puppy to guard the other,” says Ueno’s fellow officer, “Though puppies wouldn’t charge each other an arm and a leg for it.”

At the, no doubt, blatant confusion, Ueno explains, “Kuwabara is a teenager, too.”

Everything goes back on track–Ueno letting him off with yet another warning, though this time far more stern and believable–and when Hikaru and Sai leave the station they both decide to stop trespassing in their search for other ghosts.

When Hikaru doesn’t throw the card away, but he definitely shoves it in a pile of random stuff in his room and forgets about it immediately. He doesn’t need to meet some other psychic kid who’ll just boss him around.

(They’ll end up meeting each other in a few months, anyway, but as an insei and the Honinbou’s granddaughter. She definitely ends up bossing him around.)

The second ghost Hikaru sees isn’t haunting a place but a person. A weird blonde guy in a white suit who has a job involving Go because that’s how Hikaru’s life works, apparently.

Hikaru doesn’t realize it’s a ghost, at first. Actually, if it weren’t for the fact that no one else could sense Sai, Hikaru probably would have thought that he was just a weirdo wearing really old-fashioned clothing.

The second ghost’s clothes isn’t nearly so out of date, but it’s definitely not something a kid would wear now. Because that’s what the ghost is–a kid.

At first, Hikaru thought it was a just that blonde guy’s son or something, just some kid making comically exaggerated disgusted faces as the adults next to him flirt. That is, until one of adults’ arms swings right through the kid’s head.

Hikaru stares.

The kid–the ghost–stares back.

At least until the blonde guy walks away, the ghost following as if compelled, into some building which, aggravatingly, kids aren’t allowed into unless they’re insei or, apparently, ghosts.

Sai is perhaps a bit too enthusiastic to voice the obvious solution.

And far too pleased when Hikaru grudgingly goes along with it.

(Hand of God or Destiny? Do all roads lead to the same place?)

~

A/N: This has nothing to do with esama’s Fallen Stars but I swear I’ve read it SO MANY TIMES IT’S JUST SO BEAUTIFUL.

edit: changed HARU to KUWABARA, to make it in line with one of my previous posts in the series

(En)Closure drabble (2015-03-07)

The day Kuwabara-Honinbou asks to play a game against an insei is a memorable one. The Institute had never experienced such a thing before, weren’t sure if they should make it an official match or not, if they should offer the Room of Profound Darkness and whether they should have reporters covering it. A title holder challenging an insei? Unimaginable!

The other professional players were ambivalent, some had thought Kuwabara had finally gone off his rocker (it took him long enough, one Ogata-Juudan could be heard muttering). After all, why else would he have a young woman shadowing his steps for the past week? Others thought it was a refreshing change of pace, perhaps the old coot was finally going to take on an apprentice. Touya-Meijin very pointedly remained silent on the matter, though Touya-Nidan had, what could only be described as, bristled when asked for his opinion.

Meanwhile, the insei practically exploded. It was one thing for one of their own to brag about being rivals with the Go Prince, Touya Akira, it was another for him to be specifically picked out by a title-holder to play a game.

And as the Go world turned into a frenzy, those at the eye of the storm were calm if a little confused and annoyed.

As the Institute finally gets their act together, deciding not to offer the Room of Profound Darkness but still providing a venue. The goban is set on a slightly raised stage, cameras set up to project the game onto a screen so the small audience of professionals, insei, and reporters can see without crowding the two players. On the stage are the stars of the event, Kuwabara-Honinbou and Shindou Hikaru, and one other person much to the consternation of the others gathered. She has the best vantage point, and yet spends the entire match staring at empty air behind the insei. Those who are there for the go game try to ignore the third person on the stage.

For Shindou Hikaru, the day Kuwabara-Honinbou asks to play a game against him is a memorable one, too, but for a different reason. Because he finally meets someone else who can see Sai, the effortlessly ignored fourth person on the stage.

~

A/N: I should probably come up with a title for this, at least for organization purposes. But yes! More of the Haru Kuwabara, onmyouji/medium, universe.

Edit: Now called (En)Closure