Hikaru had made the mistake of mentioning Sai to his mother once. She became slightly worried at the apparent obsession he had with his dead brother, but then Sai told him sadly that he probably shouldn't mention him to his parents, he stopped, and his mother eventually forgot the incident.
"Nii-san," Hikaru asked on night after having just been tucked in bed by his mom. "Why can't I tell 'kaa-san and 'tou-san about you?"
Oh, Hikaru, Sai said. It would make them sad.
"Do they not like you anymore?" Hikaru asked worriedly.
It's not that, Sai said sadly. They think I'm gone, and to know I am here, but that they can't see me, or hear me, well, he drifted off.
"Don't cry, Sai. If you don't want me to tell, I won't." Sai sniffled, overcome momentarily by sadness.
"G'night, nii-san," the little boy murmured drowsily. The ghost dried his tears and looked lovingly at the tiny body cuddled under the blankets.
Good night, Hikaru.
Akari was perhaps the greatest blessing Sai and Hikaru found. She had stuck staunchly by Hikaru's side durind his depression. Perhaps it was her age, but when Hikaru told her about Sai, she believed him, and somehow understood. Sai had returned about a week earlier when Akari confronted Hikaru. She had been worried, in her own childish way when Hikaru had seemed so lost after Sai's death, but when he was suddenly happ again, and back to his old self, she was confused.
"Hikaru," she said one day. "Don't you miss Sai-nii?"
"Not really," he said carelessly. "I see him every day."
"But," she said confused. "But he died," she finished in a quiet voice.
"Oh, he did," said Hikaru.
"Then how can you see him?"
"We're not sure."
"Can I see him?" she asked excitedly. Akari had always like Sai and his playful but gentle personality. Hikaru looked like he was listening to someone, and his face fell. "No," he said sadly. "You can't."
Akari's expression mirrored Hikaru's, and he desperately searched for something to appease his friend. Suddenly a grin broke out on his face.
"But nii-san says you can talk to him through me."
"You tell me what you want to say, and I'll tell you what he wants to say."
Akari hesitated for a moment, then said, "Are you sure that will work?"
"Nii-san says it will, and I trust him."
"Okay." She tried to think of something to say, but only one thing came to mind, and it was terribly rude. But she had to say something, and finally she burst out, "What's it like being dead?" She covered her mouth, shocked at her own rudeness.
"Well," Hikaru put his hands behind his head. "He can't really touch anything except for me, and I'm the only one who can see him."
"Why are you the only one who gets to see him?"
Once again Hikaru seemed to be listening to someone she couldn't see, when suddenly, he snorted. "Nii-san says it's because I need him." Grinning, he heaned close to her and whispered conspiratorially, "I think he came back 'cause he wants to play go."
Secretly Akari agreed with Sai-nii, but aloud she said, "Go?"
"You know, that game he always played. He even made money playing it. Hey!" he said excitedly. "Wanna play? Nii-san's been teaching me." Without waiting for an answer, he dove beneath his bed.
"O, okay," Akari stammered, surprised at his sudden disappearance, and watched as he wriggled out backwards from under the bed, dragging something large and wooden. He pulled it to the center of the room and set it in front of Akari. He immediately dove beneath the bed and returned with two bowls filled with stones. He settled across from her and jumped straight into the basics. Id didn't make a whole lot of sense, but Hikaru was happy, so she was too.