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[HnG Fic] Fuseki 2/6

FUSEKI | by: e.N Black
Word Count Total: 19,119 | Complete: 06.25.2004
Pairings?: Sai + Hikaru, Akira + Hikaru, Ko Yeoung-Ha + Hikaru
Disclaimer: Hikaru No Go © Hotta & Obata. e.N. Black does not own.

Chapter Two: The Fact of the Matter

Sai was stopped just outside the gates of Heaven by a man with an afro and diamond studded earrings in both ears. There was a thick gold chain around his neck decorated with seven golden keys. He wore a white suit with a flimsy piece of purple cloth tied around his neck. His pants flared at the bottom and shiny black platforms winked at Sai from their place on the glowing road.

“Fujiwara no Sai, right?” the man questioned.

Sai nodded.

“Sorry, cat, ‘fraid I can’t let you pass just yet.”

Sai blinked. “But . . .” he began, however the guard cut him off.

“Just chill, Sai. Archangel Gabriel will be here in minute to explain everything. For the time being just step over here with me, you’re blocking the line.”

Sai obediently moved to stand beside the guard, not wanting it to ever be said that he had contributed to lengthening the already overextended wait. He sighed gustily as he thought, What did I do wrong? He was tempted to ask the sentry but the guy seemed intent on his job making sure names matched faces. The keys around his neck jingled pleasantly with each of his movements.

A few minutes passed and another man, this one with blonde hair though he was dressed in the full battle regalia of samurai seemed to pop into existence beside Sai. He smiled reassuringly at the ghost before scowling at the guard. “Peter, when are you going to let that era go?”

“It’s coming back, man!” Peter vehemently stated.

“No its not,” Gabriel gently assured in return.

Peter glowered at the archangel. “Handle your business and leave me alone.”

Gabriel laughed and Sai was horribly confused. The archangel turned back to Sai and gifted him with a huge hug. “Welcome to Heaven,” he said. “Sorry you can’t stay.”

The soul blinked. “W-What? Why?”

“Because you still have unfinished business even after all this time. God thinks you’d be better off returning to earth; returning to Hikaru.”

Sai’s light colored eyes lit up. “Really?”

“Yes.” Gabriel smiled. “You do rate heaven, you know. In your life you were a little selfish, true, but you’ve acknowledged this. You were also cheated out of living the first time and that’s partially why God allowed you those thousand years. And yes the other reason was indeed for you to show Hikaru that match between you and Touya Kouyo, however, by then you’d worked through your selfishness but not your ambition.”

“What does my ambition have to do with anything?” Sai questioned.

“Plenty. You wanted to achieve the Hand of God in your lifetime and you didn’t get to do it, you barely got to try and that eats at you still. Heaven is a place of peace and rejoicing. You wouldn’t be able to do that.”

“Oh,” Sai breathed out.

“There’s more,” Gabriel continued. “Shindou Hikaru. At some point you gave up your selfishness for him. You made up your mind to stay with him and it wasn’t because he let you play Go. And it’s mostly because of that commitment that God is going to give you a life. Of course only you and Hikaru will ever know the real truth about how you got it.”

“You’re sending me back . . . with a body?” Sai queried incredulously.

Gabriel nodded. “Yes. Hikaru needs you as much as you need him. God wants you to grow old together. God wants you play thousands of games of Go. God wants you be successful. Most of all God wants you to be happy and that’s something you weren’t until you were sent to Hikaru.” The archangel smiled again. “I’ll see you again when the time comes. Until then . . .” Gabriel snapped his fingers.

In a flash Sai found himself on a familiar sidewalk in a pair of baggy jeans and a large shirt imprinted with five fives. His mind felt as though it had been crammed with information that he knew hadn’t happened but was definitely true because God had put it into his memory. His body felt weak and unused. He felt drained and tired but also, for the first time in a thousand years, he felt the sun warm on his face.

Sai smiled.

“Shindou is spazzing out again,” Waya remarked to Isumi as they walked side by side on the way to Hikaru’s house. The sun was on its downward journey. The birds were finding homes for the night. The traffic through that part of town was little to none. Most people would be home by now eating dinner. Waya envied those people. He was hungry and there was no guarantee that Mrs. Shindou would feed them. His complaining stomach combined with his worry for Hikaru was not a good combination.

Isumi agreed with Waya’s diagnosis. “I know.”

“Remember last year about this time when he went on that skip matches rerun?” Waya asked. He looked up into the colorful sky and frowned when he noted the lack of clouds. He had wanted to imagine what foods they could look like.

“He was going through something and was extremely conflicted,” Isumi answered.

Waya’s eyes slid from the sky to Isumi. He stopped walking and grabbed Isumi’s arm. “He told you what was wrong?” the redhead demanded.

“No,” Isumi replied. “But I could tell. His Go board hadn’t been touched in months, it was covered in dust. I had to beg him for a game.”

Waya scowled. That was still more than he’d gotten out of Shindou and they were closer friends. The guy had run every time they’d seen each other. “Was it about me?”


“Was it about me?” Waya repeated.

Isumi shrugged off Waya’s hand. “I don’t know. I just said that he didn’t tell me.”

“But you could be lying because it was about me,” Waya argued.

“It had nothing to do with you,” Isumi stated.

“But you just said that you didn’t know.”

“I don’t.” Isumi stressed. “But you keep hounding me and I’m trying to make you feel better.” Isumi sighed and raked his dark hair with a hand. “Look, the impression I got wasn’t that it had anything to do with you. Alright?”

“Why couldn’t you have just said it that way the first time?” Waya questioned.

“I didn’t expect you to blow it all out of proportion.”

“I wasn’t blowing . . . hey. Does that girl seem like she’s having trouble to you?” Waya pointed to a splotch of red and blue not too far down the sidewalk. The person was leaning heavily on the privacy wall while slowly dragging their self forward. Isumi watched the figure struggle through a few more steps and then weakly slide down the wall to rest in a defeated puddle. Together he and Waya raced up the sidewalk and came to kneel beside her.

“Hey, are you okay?” Waya asked. Isumi extended his hand to help her stand up. Their eyes met and Isumi was treated to a grateful smile.

“W-Wow,” Isumi mouthed. After allowing himself a once over, even a twice over to be sure he had seen correctly, Isumi had to conclude that this person was without a doubt the prettiest man he’d ever seen in his life — even with his overly pale skin, as though he’d never gone outside, and his chapped lips and old lavender hued eyes set in his young face. “Y-You don’t look so well,” he pointed out.

“I know,” the boy acknowledged. “Thank you for stopping.”

“No problem,” Waya insisted and gently pulled the boy out of Isumi’s arms, hoping he wouldn't be considered rude. Isumi didn’t stutter when he looked at Waya, he was not allowed to start when looking at someone else. Even so, Waya couldn’t just leave the guy there as his threatened sensibilities were demanding he do before Isumi became even more enthralled. “Can we help get you to where you’re going?” he offered.

“Yes please. I’m headed to Shindou Hikaru’s house . . .”

“That’s where we’re headed. Some coincidence, huh?” Isumi interrupted and quickly took up residence on one side of the guy while Waya scowled and took the other side. With their hands holding the boy at the elbows to steady him, slowly they began to inch up the sidewalk to their destination. “I’m Isumi by the way.”

“And I’m Waya,” Yoshitaka added when it became apparent that Isumi had forgotten him.

“Fujiwara,” the boy replied and then smiled as though he knew something they didn’t.

Shindou Mitsuko paused before knocking on her son’s door. She was balancing a tray of food on one hand as she listened to the rhythmic placement of Go stones on the board. She doubted if he would eat tonight. After finding him crying in a heap in the foyer she had helped him up to his room. He hadn’t wanted to talk about it and she did not want to force him. She’d left and he hadn’t come down since.

Mitsuko was distracted from her thoughts by the doorbell ringing. She carried the tray back downstairs and set it out of the way so she could open the door empty handed. It was Hikaru’s friends Waya and Isumi and one other that she didn’t know but she did instantly envy his hair. “Hello boys, Hikaru isn’t feeling very well,” she informed them.

“We know, Mrs. Shindou. That’s why we stopped by,” the one called Waya replied. “Can you tell him we’re here anyway, please?” His youthful face looked eager and innocent.

Hikaru’s mother mentally sighed. Waya Yoshitaka was a terror when around her son. If anyone could cheer him up surely it would be him. Seeing no harm in at least relaying the message Mitsuko invited the boys in and called up to Hikaru from the foot of the stairs. “Hikaru, your friends are here!”

The click of stones didn’t stop. “I don’t want to see them right now,” Hikaru yelled back down. He placed another stone as another tear fell. He didn’t want anyone to see him like this. He just wanted to remember Sai. The stones he placed were in the shape of the game with Ko Yeong-ha. He would beat him if it was the last thing he did.

Her hopes dashed, Mitsuko offered an apologetic smile to the three. “I’m sorry . . .” she began but the boy that she didn’t know interrupted.

“Please, could you tell him Sai’s here?”

The lady of the house ignored the twin gasps and incredulous looks from Isumi and Waya as she processed the name. It was the one Hikaru had called out when he’d returned home. It was the name he had cried over. She turned her head to look up the stairwell as she bit her bottom lip. She didn’t know the significance of the name to Hikaru but she was curious to see what would happen. “Hikaru, Sai’s here!”

In his room Hikaru’s hand was frozen over the goban. The white stone within his fingertips fell and ruined the shape below. His heart skipped a beat. There was tingling in his mind as though that spot Sai had occupied had been reawakened. That was impossible though. It was wistful thinking on his part because he wanted it to be so. His mother was none the wiser but she had been unforgivably cruel in saying that name.

Not a second later the door to Hikaru’s room opened and he stood atop the stair well with his gray-green eyes blazing and tears dripping down his face in twin rivulets. He uttered a vicious, “No he’s not!” the words seemed torn from his throat. His hands were clenched into fists at his sides, he sniffled.

“Yes I am!” the boy, Sai, quickly countered. He politely removed his shoes and inched over to the foot of the stairs using the wall for support. “Hikaru . . . ” he said softly and extended the arm that wasn’t touching the wall to Hikaru. “I’m right here.”

“Sai?” Hikaru questioned with complete wonder in his voice. And when the other boy merely nodded Hikaru didn’t wait for further confirmation. Mitsuko saw him run down maybe half of the stairs before he launched himself into Sai’s awaiting arms. The momentum combined with Sai’s pathetic stature caused both boys to end up flat on the floor. When they’d sat up and met each other’s eyes Sai smiled with his own tears glistening in his light eyes and Hikaru was instantly hugging him and blubbering on his shoulder. Sai patted Hikaru’s back.

“H-How?” Hikaru sobbed.

“I was released today,” Sai answered.

Mitsuko was dying to know exactly what he'd been released from. The boy looked as pale as a ghost. Surely his mother took better care of him than that? She watched her son ease out of the tight embrace in which they had cocooned themselves. Then using the tips of his fingers he parted Sai’s extremely long hair which was obstructing his view, and guided it back behind Sai’s ears.

Shindou Mitsuko blinked.

That was not a gesture Hikaru should have used on this particular friend no matter how special. She’d been hoping for a long while that he would do something of the romantic sort with Akari, but he seemed hell bent on being the best at Go. Or perhaps he and Sai . . ? No. She wouldn’t think about it, she wouldn’t make assumptions even if Sai’s appearance had triggered the happiest moment that she had ever seen her son in.

Almost absently she heard Waya say to Isumi, “So that’s Sai,” once he had regained the ability to speak. Mitsuko hadn’t known Waya could be shocked into silence. She turned her attention their way immediately.

“Do you know him?” she asked. Her eyes gleamed. She wouldn’t speculate but she would ask and then deal with the facts as they came to her.

“Not really,” Waya hedged, a bit taken aback by the sudden determined look within Mrs. Shindou’s eyes. “I’ve seen his games though.” He was more than a little irritated though. All this time Shindou had known who Sai was and even where to find him, yet hadn’t said anything to Waya about it.

Games? “Go?” Mitsuko guessed, not overly surprised. It did make sense because Hikaru wouldn’t be interested in the guy if he wasn’t Go oriented and stronger than him at it. She could deduce this easily because of his excitement in having a game against that Touya Akira boy. That was a fact.

Isumi nodded and added to confirm her suspicions, “Word has it that he’s the best in our business.” Isumi hadn’t been in on the whole ‘Who is Sai?’ deal as much as Waya had because he’d been struggling with his own inner demons at the time, but Waya had filled him in.

Go, Mitsuko thought. Of course.


She turned back to Hikaru to see him helping Sai stand and then steadying him. What was wrong with the kid?

“Yes, Sweetie?”

“Food smells great. Can the guys stay for dinner?” His eyes were red from crying for so long but they shined with immense pleasure as they looked at his mother.

Shindou Mitsuko couldn’t find her voice. She merely nodded and led the boys back into the kitchen to eat and hopefully explain what was going on . . . with facts.