Disclaimer: I don't own Hikaru no Go. The cover image was created by Nensuria - Freepik-dot-com
The noble Shindou family was known to be extremely honorable, tradition-conscious… and perhaps just a tiny bit snobbish. Shindou Masao was the CEO of a middle-sized company of flawless reputation ever since the family business had proudly been handed down to him from Shindou Heihachi, who was now thoroughly enjoying his retirement. Shindou Mitsuko, an exceptionally beautiful woman, was the sun and stars, the soul, the epitome of radiance beneath the perfectly traditional roofs of the various houses the family's members called home. She was outshined only by Shindou Kaede, her eldest daughter and heir to this outstanding linage, a jewel that would one day be entrusted to a suitor of equal social standing.
As for the family's youngest member, Shindou Hikaru, well… that was another story.
Every family has a rebel, or so they say. And the Shindou family's rebel was, without a shred of a doubt, Shindou Hikaru.
The more exciting part of Hikaru's life started on a Tuesday following a completely normal, horrendously dull Monday on which she had to endure yet another fruitless Shamisen lesson.
Tears were slowly but steadily filling the elderly teacher's eyes. Hikaru was currently trying to play a song that was so ridiculously easy that even a two-year old could have pulled it off on the first try. Well, maybe the second try. But it was utterly useless: the teenage girl's fingers were molesting the instrument rather than playing it, causing the expensive handiwork to wail in distress. Akiyama-sensei hadn't known it was even possible to produce such shrieking sounds on a Shamisen before Shindou Mitsuko had come to her house, claiming the elderly lady was her "last hope". At first, Akiyama had thought the mother of two girls was merely being melodramatic. A few minutes into Hikaru's first lesson, Akiyama had understood. And now she was tearing her own hair out. If only she hadn't prided herself so much in her ability to mold even the least promising student into a somewhat passable musician. If only she hadn't taken on this challenge, which had soon turned out to be not actually a challenge but rather a fool's errand. If only she wasn't stuck with this little punk.
Truly, if Shindou-san hadn't introduced Hikaru as her daughter, Akiyama would never have guessed that this brat was even distantly related to the gentle and beautiful woman who had more or less begged the elderly teacher to take on another student. Hikaru had certainly inherited her mother's good looks, but she usually ruined it by wearing torn jeans or multiple layers of equally torn – and often scandalously short – skirts, always in the colors of white, black or grey. Or a strange combination of all three. Needless to say, her shirts also tended to be torn. And if that wasn't enough, this punk was now bleaching her bangs and often had an ungodly amount of smudgy makeup on her face. And her hair was not even an exotic-but-somewhat-acceptable blonde – no! It was white! Which sort of chemical was necessary to turn black hair white? Akiyama shuddered in disgust.
When she felt that her ears could take no more, she made Hikaru stop. The girl may already look like an idol – or rather, a rock musician –, but if she ever decided to follow a music career, people would probably pay her just to make her quit.
"Your mother has let me know that you have to go home immediately after your lesson, without any delay," she told the girl, sending her a pointed look. Hikaru was often late – and not only to her Shamisen lessons, apparently. The little punk grumbled something intelligible, sloppily bowed to her teacher, and left without another word.
Gah! Ungrateful brat!
Boooooooring. Hikaru's life was so god-damn boring, the girl wanted to scream in frustration. The lesson with Akiyama had really exhausted her while, at the same time, boring her out of her mind. She hated playing the Shamisen. She hated it with a passion! And she also hated tea ceremony, she hated poetry, she hated calligraphy, she hated… hated… everything! And a few days ago, her mother had taken away her computer because, according to her, Hikaru hadn't made enough progress in all of this useless stuff. Blah blah blah. As if she wanted to make progress in fucking tea ceremony! Who needs that in the 21st century?
Slowly walking down the street, the girl had an expression on her face that would have sent any children misfortunate enough to cross Hikaru's path running for their mothers. Then she had a brilliant thought: screw supper! She was going to an internet café.
It was exactly 18:45pm. Or rather, it was already 18:45pm, which meant that the girl had only fifteen minutes left if she didn't want her mother to panic and send the police after her. Or a private eye. Or the army. Or worse, her older sister! And what was Hikaru going to do with those fifteen minutes? Exactly. There was only one website, only one place on the net that was truly worthy of anyone's attention: The GhostSpotterChat. For the fifth time on that day. The girl sighed, shoving her bleached bangs out of her face. Maybe she was here now, by any chance… but for the last two weeks she hadn't been. Hikaru didn't dare to hope, to wish… that… that… that…
YES. There it was, the name she'd been hoping to see.
Hikaru opened the chat window and began to type like the crazy occult-fanatic she was.
RamenFan123: Miwa-chaaaaaaan! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° Where have you been? I was so worried, you IDIOT! Σ(っﾟДﾟ；)っ
Miwa-sama: Hika-chan! Sorry, I've been busy with school and stuff. Cram school… TT_TT 'cause too much Manga! LoL
RamenFan123: Cram school … ఠ_ఠ ew! But srsly, I'd rather go to
cram school that have Shamisen lessons with an old bat! But ya see, I'm here even tho my mum has my PC! Come online more often! I miss u!
Miwa-sama: I miss u too. Have you read that new thread on the forum? The interview with the girl that saw that really scary ghost? I luv it so muuuuuuch! w It's creepy as hell!
RamenFan123: Yeah! I've read it… awesome! Ｏ(≧▽≦)ＯIt's so cewl she took a picture! I wanna see a ghost too! I wanna find one and make it scare other kids 4 me… o((*^▽^*))o mwahahahaha! *evil laugh*
Miwa-sama: That would be awesome! And ya could lend it to me! -_- My classmates are all sooo stupid. They are sooooo not cool! LoL! They're my classHATES!
RamenFan123: Hahaha! Classhates! So true!
Miwa-sama: Hey, Hika-chan… gotta go now, the tutor's here… I'm so sorry… TT_TT Maybe I can come back tomorrow… sry sry sry sry!
RamenFan123: NOOOOOOOO! Miwa-chaaaan! ( ͒˃̩̩⌂˂̩̩ ͒) Don't leave me!
Miwa-sama: Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow! Promise! Luv ya! ( ω ) ~
Server: Miwa-sama has logged off.
Up until then, Hikaru's face had remained completely indifferent, not reflecting any of all those frilly emoticons even in the slightest. But now she was pouting. Cram school! Hikaru had her overbearing parents, her oh-so-perfect sister, and now Akiyama to worry about! And her computer had been taken away! Miwako was whining like this just because of cram school?! But cram school was probably pretty awful, too, or so Hikaru guessed. And Miwa-chan was still the cutest little thing on the internet. Yes, Hikaru adored her online friends. A lot. But with Oogliebaer155 and GhostFriend87, and Miwa-sama offline, she had nothing left to do on , the most amazing place for fans of the occult. So she logged off and went home to hear yet another rant about how she was supposed to change and become a proper young lady. As if she would ever let that happen!
"Oh please, Hikaru-chan! Just one tiny little game! It won't take long, I promise!" Shindo Heihachi pleaded with his granddaughter the day after.
Hikaru sighed. Not again. "But Jiichan, don't you have so many minions… erm… former business partners that would kill for the chance to play you?"
Her grandfather sighed, furring his eyebrows. "But Hikaru-chan, you are my granddaughter, I want to play you! I want to teach you how to play. It's not hard at all!" The elderly man probably thought he was cute when pouting. He was wrong. Very, very wrong. But before Hikaru could refuse again, the man had another idea.
"Hikaru-chan, you are still fond of ghost stories, aren't you?" he murmured conspiratorially. "I've bought a goban some weeks ago that is supposed to be haunted. Would you play a game of Go on that one?"
And all of a sudden, the world was perfectly alright again. The girl's demeanor changed completely within a split second. "Oh, really? That would be awesome!" she cheered happily, a huge smile lighting up her face. Her grandfather snickered. "Gotcha," he softly whispered to himself.
The girl's grin turned into a frown once more, and she crossed her arms. "But I'm not sitting in seiza, just so you know!" Most of her family members were so comfortable sitting in seiza, it was as if they had already sat this way in their mother's wombs. Hikaru's legs could live with seiza – for about ten minutes. On a good day.
Heihachi sighed. He knew that Hikaru was never going to be her idea of a proper lady, when would Mitsuko finally come to realize that? "Sit however you like, Hikaru," he assured her good-naturedly, slightly patting the girl's head. And with that, he turned around and went to get the "haunted" Goban.
A few minutes later, the girl walked towards the small "table" that was supposed to be inhabited by some sort of ghost. It didn't look suspicious, not exactly. But… wait a minute… were those blood stains!? The girl's eyes widened.
*Oh my God! What is this? How can she wear such… scandalous attire? I can even see her underwear…,* a soft but clearly audible voice gasped.
What. The. HELL?
"Wh… what? What about… my… underwear?" Her blood froze, and a cold shiver ran down her spine as her hands started to shake with fear. She was alone on the porch. Completely alone. "Who… who's there…?" she whimpered. Oh God! Oh God, oh God, oh God! A ghost! A real, real, real ghost!
*Can you hear my voice?* The voice shook ever so slightly. Hikaru barely noticed that it was full of longing, careful hope, and pain.
"Come out! Show yourself!" she shrieked fearfully and took a few steps back. Was that really a ghost? Like… really? Oh God, oh God, OH GOD! She'd wished for this to happen… but now that it was happening for real, she was so scared that she wished she hadn't wished for it!
Feeling that a panic attack was about to hit her, she frantically looked for her grandfather. But he was still in the house getting some beverages. She needed to distract herself from her fear, or else she was going to lose it.
*You can hear my voice, can't you?* the voice asked once more. It sounded as brittle as if it could shatter at any moment. Full of hope now, but still cautiously so, as if it had been disappointed again and again.
"You…," the girl gasped. "You said you could see my underwear!"
And then there was awkward silence. The silence was actually exactly like before, but Hikaru could tell it was awkward.
*Erm… my apologies… I didn't mean to peek,* the voice said. If she had to guess, she'd say it sounded somewhat flustered.
"You… you pervert!" she hissed. "How dare you look at my underwear!" Attack was probably her best defense here. And he had seen her panties, after all!
*I… I'm terribly sorry, but you were suddenly standing above me… and… and… you were practically shoving your underwear into my face!* Now the voice sounded scandalized.
"Into your face? Where the hell is your face? Aren't you supposed to haunt that Goban-thing?" she practically shouted.
She heard an audible gulp coming from the Go table. "Erm…into my line of sight! Line of sight! I did not actually stick my head under… your… your questionable piece of bottom wear…," the male-sounding voice mumbled sheepishly. "I would never do such a thing!"
Hikaru narrowed her eyes at the Goban. "I hope so," she sniffed. "I've always wanted to meet a ghost, but not a pervert!"
"I have you know that I am not a pervert!" the voice pouted. "It's not my fault you are wearing next to nothing…"
The girl sighed, scratching the back of her head. She hadn't meant to upset the ghost. Maybe she should start a conversation with it…him? "So… erm… what's life like as a ghost haunting a Goban?" she began. "L…life?" the voice sobbed. "I'm dead!" Oh shoot. Making polite conversation simply wasn't Hikaru's forte. Not even with ghosts, apparently. "I didn't mean it like that!" she groaned.
"It's… a bit dull. And a little lonely," the voice admitted after a short while.
"Yeah, no wonder if you pick such a boring thing as a Goban. Should have taken a stack of Poker cards, huh?" The girl had only meant to tease him a little, but the wail that came out of the wooden thing a moment later would probably cause lasting damage to her hearing. "Go is not boring! It's the reason I'm still here! I may be dead, but I want to play more Go!" he whined.
Oh dear God, why couldn't he be a really cool, scary ghost, like the one she'd read about on the forum? Or at least someone who wasn't haunting a Goban of all things? But before she could utter any of her thoughts, the voice resumed speaking, "Well, you may not be my first choice of… accommodation… but I doubt I'll get another chance."
Wait… what? "Erm… sorry, what? What about accommodation?" Hikaru inquired. A horrifying thought came to her mind.
And suddenly, a very beautiful… man… woman… transgender person? was floating above the goban. A split second later, he launched himself onto the girl.
Before as much as a shriek could escape Hikaru's lips, her body slumped to the ground and the world went black.
Notes: This is my very first fanfiction, and English is not my first language. Have mercy. I'm not entirely sure whether or not I will continue this, but I thought I'll see if someone wants to read it.