title: interplanetary
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: multiple characters and their parents
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: what exists between parents and children, over the years.
notes: for blind_go, round 6, smut OR gen! this is the gen one. (word count 4346)


She couldn't sleep at night. In the daytime, she didn't have any time to sleep. She hovered. Her mother-in-law made veiled comments about it, so she was working on it.

She was terrified her baby would stop breathing.

She wanted to be a good mother. It was the whole reason she was born, she came to think. That was a bit extreme... it was just. She never felt like she'd really shone at anything else. It wasn't like she thought she was going to be the best mother in the world.

But she was the only mother this precious child would ever have, and so she'd be almost like a god for her.

Her husband was worried. She didn't want to taint this beautiful time between them. Their first child... She wanted everything to be perfect. She knew that was the problem... life wasn't perfect. She was trying too hard, worrying too much. Knowing that, intellectually, only made it worse. Holding her baby in her arms was the best feeling in the world. She wanted to be able to enjoy it!

Her mother gave her a set of relaxation CDs. It was great, because Akari loved them. For some reason, though, they just left her more on edge.

Akari was nearly five months old. Four months, six days, seven hours, eighteen minutes... Akari was moody all day long. She was daydreaming, now, as she was bouncing Akari around the kitchen. Akari choking. Akari was really sick but she wasn't paying attention to the right symptoms. Akari had a heart problem. A lung problem.

She took Akari outside, singing to her gently. It was good for her to get fresh air, right? She'd changed her diaper twice. Akari wouldn't take her bottle. She was shaking. Maybe she should call the doctor. Akari had been crying for nearly two hours now. Something terrible would surely happen...

"Excuse me. Oh. I'm so sorry to disturb you..."

She clutched Akari to her chest, and looked around. It was the woman next door... That was right, they'd just moved in, hadn't they? Her husband kept mentioning it...

"Your baby. She's so beautiful. How old is she?" The next door neighbor woman smiled easily. She looked really tired and run down, though.

She moved closer to the hedge, and held Akari up a bit. Her face was still red from crying, but she was really just fussing now. "Her name is Akari. She's just a bit over five months old."

The woman beamed brightly. "I'm so happy. We just brought our son home from the hospital. My husband's mother and my mother are here now... he's napping, so I said I'd come out for some fresh air. I'm sorry to just ramble on so, but... I've been feeling so overwhelmed! I never even babysat as a kid, and now I've got a baby under my own care..." She bit her lip and looked back at her house, worried.

Eyes widening, it suddenly occurred to her... all new mothers felt this way? She moved closer to the new woman, and smiled, feeling more confident. "Don't worry, you'll do fine. You won't believe how hopeless I've been! But look. My daughter's quite healthy."

She turned back and looked at Akari, and her shoulders relaxed. "It's so much more comforting when you have someone close by who can understand you. Don't you think? I hope your Akari and my Hikaru can become friends."

"I'm sure they will," she replied, feeling... actually happy.


Everyday, he tried to get home from work as quickly as possible. The past couple of weeks, though, it was impossible to get out of the office before nine. Last night, he barely made the last train. He worried that his wife would start to suspect him of cheating, but that was probably just because he watched too many dramas, when he wasn't working like a dog.

His wife was too smart and too practical, and frankly, too busy to care. However, he had a son now. A glorious, first born, beautiful, bouncing baby son!

He got teased in the office when he called home to check on Shinchirou. That's what women do when they leave babies with their mothers! he got told. He didn't care. His son was just... well, perfect! And it was difficult, being away from home so much!

His wife was so lucky!

It was ten thirty when he got home. He expected all the lights to be out downstairs, so he announced himself quietly, but his wife was downstairs, Shichirou in her arms, singing to him softly while he fussed. He dropped hie briefcase immediately and reached for him simultaneous to his wife noticing him and handing Shinchirou off.

"It's been a crazy day," she sighed. "He didn't get any nap time at all in the afternoon, so he fell asleep right after dinner. I had to wake him to get his bath in, and now I can't get him to go back to sleep."

"Go take your own bath," he offered. "I've got him now. I'm sorry that I wasn't home sooner." He really felt mournful that he hadn't been at home when his wife and son needed him.

She patted him on the shoulder, though. "You're working so hard. Don't be so hard on yourself. I'll be upstairs, then." She kissed Shinchirou's cheek, and ruffled his hair.

It should really be the other way around... but Shinchirou didn't have a lot of hair yet...

He bounced his son a bit, and then sat down with him, spreading out his legs to let Shinchirou crawl around between them. He picked up his son's hands and Shinchirou looked up at him, beaming, and gurgled. He laughed, and picked Shinchirou up, waving his son above his head.

His wife would be angry if she saw, but she was definitely in the bath, so it was fine.

Still, if he played with Shinchirou too much, it would be hours before he was asleep, and then his day tomorrow would be ruined. It was a bit painful to have so little time with his own son... shouldn't every father feel this way?! Working so hard...

It was only worth it if he thought about the future he was buying for his family. Maybe he'd be paying for medical school someday! Or to send Shinchirou to law school. He thought Shinchirou would be a good lawyer. He was very thorough and methodical. He could see it. Still, that sort of skill could be applied in lots of ways. Maybe he'd be a ball player! Or soccer. He was sort of a fast crawler, as far as his father knew.

He could be anything, was the point. His father would be sure of it.

One step tonight would be making sure he got at least a decent night's sleep. He put Shinchirou down, and grabbed his bunny, wiggling it before Shinchirou until it got his attention. He kissed the top of his son's head. "Wait one moment, son. Let's watch that video with the toys and the singing flowers, ok? We like that video, don't we? Yes, we like that video a lot, right?" He nodded brightly, like Shinchirou really agreed with him. He got up to get the tape into the player, keeping one eye on his son at all times.

The tape wasn't where it normally was, though. He kept looking over his shoulder at Shinchirou, who managed to throw his bunny across the room. So maybe a career in baseball was possible after all! He was pointing at the bunny and grunting loudly. It was really cute and masculine, such a strong boy! Ah, he found the tape, and just had to get it in the machine...

Shinchirou whimpered and whined, and then huffed loudly. He turned to watch him. He thought Shinchirou would just crawl over to the bunny, since he was so fast nowadays, but instead, he lifted himself up onto his feet, supporting himself on the edge of the sofa. Setting his eyes determinedly on the bunny, he let go of the sofa.

Gaping, his father dropped to his knees just behind the bunny. His mouth went dry, and his heart was pounding. Quickly, he pulled out his phone, but his fingers fumbled on the controls. The first step was really wobbly, and it looked like he would fall. The second step wasn't any better, so his father started to encourage him. "C'mon, Shin-chan. C'mon, son! The bunny's right here. You want Mr. Bunny, right? He's right here!" He picked up the bunny and shook him, sending his floppy ears dancing over his head.

Even more determined, Shinchirou held his hands out for the bunny and started to tumble forward. At first, it seemed like he'd just fall straight onto his nose, but each time, his little foot came out. It only took four or five steps, but he did it! He did it all on his own!

His father swept him up into his arms and spun him around. Shinchirou was just happy to have his bunny.

His first steps! And he hadn't missed them! He was right there!

Oh, damn! "Honey! Honey, get out of the bath, come down! Shinchirou can walk! He walked!"


He was so still and so patient as she adjusted his uniform, making sure it was perfect. She combed his hair out one more time, too. He was so patient... it was unnerving her!

"Are you imitating your father?" she teased him mussing up his hair.

His round little cheeks turned red, and his eyes widened. "Not good?" he asked, worried.

She shook her head, and shrugged. He was so serious... so much like Kouyo. She was so happy. And yet... "It's fine. It's good. But... if you're nervous, or scared, or happy, that's ok, too. You don't need to hide it."

He nodded, seriously, like a good boy, but he clearly didn't know what she was talking about, and that was to be expected. She smoothed out his hair once more, and put his tiny backpack on his shoulders. He looked so grown up.

She stood up straight, and reached out for his tiny hand. "Ready for your first day of school, Akira?"

He nodded, slightly more enthusiastically. "I am, mother!"

"Right. Let's go!" She kept a hold of his hand, even as they shoved their feet into their shoes. It wasn't required for her to let go of his hand until they were at the school.


He paced back and forth in the hall until his daughter came out of her room to glare at him. He took a deep breath, and knocked on his son's door. Yuuki didn't say anything, but that wasn't unusual. He cracked the door open, making sure... well. Teenaged boys...

That was the problem, right?

"Yuuki?" he said quietly. There was no response. He opened the door fully.

Yuuki was on his bed, earplugs stuck in his ears, his handheld game a hand's distance from his nose. That was almost a relief. He went over to his son, and tugged on the cord to the left earplug. Yuuki objected, turning to glare at him, looking only slightly abashed when he realized it was his father.

"Son, can I talk to you for a minute?" he asked politely, smiling nonconfrontationally.

Yuuki set aside his game, and his mp3 player, but he gave his father a distrustful look. "If this is about that math test, I got a paper cut right in the middle and I had to leave to wash my hands. I ran out of time! I already did the extra credit, anyway."

"No, no," he shook his head, "it's not that. It's." He rubbed his hands together. He'd planned this out. He checked online at work for ideas on how to attack this. He should have made notecards. "It's nothing bad. You're not in trouble."

Yuuki watched him for another moment and then relaxed, apparently believing him.

That was good. Trust was good. All right. He could do this. "See, you're getting to an age... things are changing. Lots of things... change isn't bad. It's good. It's part of growing up. Changing. We don't need to be afraid of change."

"Are you leaving mom or something?" Yuuki asked flatly.

"What?" his eyes widened. "What are you talking about? Of course not!"

"Oh," Yuuki replied, looking suddenly bored.

"I'm talking about your body!" he retorted. "Changes in your body!"

Yuuki pulled his knees up to his chest and scowled.

He sighed, and rubbed his hand over his face. "You've probably, ah, already realized that. That. Things are happening. Magical things. Well, not specifically magical, but... Look. You may not have noticed girls yet, but you will, and you'll want to do things to them. Not violent things! Just. Look..."

Yuuki stared at him like he'd suddenly sprouted bamboo out his ears. "You're not... is this... are you trying to teach me about sex??"

"This is important stuff! Sit still and listen! Maybe this will go easier if I could draw some diagrams..." he pondered, feeling frazzled.

"I'm not listening to this!" Yuuki shouted, turning quickly. He grabbed his game and mp3 player again.

"Son! This is important! This is stuff you'll actually use in life, sooner than you expect!" he desperately pled.

Yuuki shoved his earbuds into his ears and started to loudly sing along with the music, sticking his nose right against his handheld game's screen.

Sighing, he got up. It was useless. Dejected, he left Yuuki alone. Out in the hall, his daughter was in her doorway, grinning.

"Did you try to tell him about the facts of life?" she asked innocently.

"Maybe I can get some books at the library," he winced. She was definitely amused by his failure.

"It's all right, dad. You tried. ...I already told him all that stuff two years ago, anyway," she snickered, slipping back into her room quickly.

He just stared after her. "Why didn't you tell me?" he wailed.


He rubbed the back of his neck as he walked back to his room. He had a million things on his mind, like the notice about the rent increase, the upcoming elections, the argument he was quietly having with his wife for the last two weeks... he walked right into the small table that had the ugly bamboo planter. He cursed under his breath, but he caught the damned thing and put it back the way it was.

His damned foot hurt now, though!

There was a weird clacking noise coming from Yoshitaka's room. He opened the door to look in...

That kid was playing that old man's game again. He mostly played online these days, like that damned computer was cheap or something. He rubbed the back of his neck again. This kid... he looked more like his mother. His personality, though... that was where he was like his father. That was maybe part of the trouble. It was harder to get along with someone similar, after all.

He picked up a black stone off the board, which at least got his son to look up at him. But then he just replaced it, and went on playing. Though, it looked more like he was reading and sticking stones on the board or something. Weird. He hated this game, actually. His wife's father played it for fun and taught Yoshitaka when he was young; wasn't it a bit wussy? If Yoshitaka had learned something else at that time, maybe...

"You're still playing this, huh? I guess it's pretty fun, then."

Yoshitaka just grunted at him.

He sighed heavily, and tossed the stone back into the little bowls Yoshitaka had for them. Though... whoops, it landed in the white bowl. Yoshitaka noticed, too, before he could reach down and get it out. Damn. The damned kid glared at him!

At what point was it that a brat like this grew up into a man? He remembered vividly the day he and his father went out fishing, and he came home with the big catch, and his father had nothing. Something like that, well... he felt like he defeated his father, and that left him defeated as well. But. For Yoshitaka... it was far worse. Not having any common battleground... it was more like Yoshitaka had some other father.

Far worse.

He cleared his throat. "Yo-chan, let's go fishing this weekend. You're older now. There won't be much time for that sort of thing once you're in high school."

"I'm not going to high school," he replied instantly, his voice a monotone. "I'm taking the pro exam. I'm spending this weekend with Morishita-sensei to study."

His eyebrow twitched. Morishita-sensei. Yeah, he remembered that name... That guy. He had a loud voice. "Ah, well. Maybe the weekend after, then..."

"I have to study for the pro exam," Yoshitaka said sharply, looking up at him for a moment before returning his attention to the book in his lap. "And no one calls me Yo-chan anymore."

"Right," his father replied dully. "Well. Maybe in the summer. Before your... pro career... starts." That people got paid to play old men's games...

Yoshitaka grunted at him, so he took that as his cue, and he left, heading back to his bedroom. His initial destination.

The problem with kids growing up was that it made their parents old.


She carefully applied her lip liner, watching her reflection in the glass aptly. She was wearing the earrings that he gave her for her birthday, nearly ten years ago now. Unfortunately, he wouldn't remember them because he didn't really buy them. He only saw them after she opened them, and even then, she was across the wide dinner table.

They were still precious to her.

She got up and smoothed out her skirt, and then she grabbed a silk scarf, one with a black and white pattern. She teased him once that it was her go scarf, but he hadn't pulled his nose out of the book he was reading to look at it. She went out, and down the hall, and then she knocked discreetly on her son's door.

Her husband wanted to make it into an exercise room... for her.

"Enter," he said, his voice clipped. She opened the door quietly.

Smiling, she ignored the boxes all around, as best she could, at least. "Oh my... looks like you're just about ready to go."

"Yes, mother," he said respectfully. At that moment, he was wrapping up his prized goban. That was like a knife to her heart. He wouldn't stay long in a place where he didn't have constant access to his precious game.

"Ah, dear... I know your father has selected this condo himself. I'm sure it's going to be very nice, very posh. It seems, though, that it was only yesterday that I was walking you to school for the first time."

"Yesterday?" he repeated in the same haughty tone his father used from time to time. "That was seventeen years ago."

"Yes, I know," she bowed her head a bit. She probably did not have the right to the feelings she had, not after so many years of only doing what she was required to do as a mother. Her son, however, never seemed unhappy. Why was it only now, then, that she worried about him? "I wish you were not moving there by yourself, though. I know it's very modern. I'd still be happier if you had a wife to take to your new home. Are you really going to be all right, Kousuke?"

He adjusted his round glasses, the same style he'd worn since his eyes were first diagnosed, over fifteen years ago. "I'm not going without staff, mother. I'll be fine."

"I know you will." She smiled affectionately at him. He wasn't, perhaps, terribly handsome, and he was so single-minded. Her best hope, then, was some wonderful female go player. She wondered if any existed, and if they did, if they might be unattached. What if he married a Korean girl? It was her understanding that go was very popular there. He reminded her, though, of the best things about her husband, which gave her hope.

He reminded her of the worst things, too.

She took a deep breath, and pulled the small packet out from her sleeve where she had hidden it. She placed it down on the goban in front of him. He looked up her, quizzical.

She smiled down at her son. "It's just a token. A... house warming gift, of sorts. It's just a little thing to remember your poor mother by," she teased.

"I'm moving to my own place," he said stiffly, picking up the gift. He unwrapped it precisely... when did he stop tearing the paper, she wondered. "I'm not dying, and neither are you. It would be a poor son who would forget his mother."

"That's true, Kousuke," she said nodded, patting him on the head. He instantly smoothed down his hair. When he saw the watch, specially made with a tiny onyx stone at the end of the minute hand, and a tiny diamond stone at the end of the hour hand, he looked genuinely pleased. "Still.

"It might sound odd for you to hear, but I'll miss you."


She was waiting for him at a table in the corner. He knew he was running a bit late, but he made no excuses when he sat down. After all, she had to understand what it was like, coming from work. He'd never been fully in control of his schedule. As soon as he sat down, the waitress came and took his drink order. He went ahead and also added a food order, for both of them.

It was fine, because he knew what she liked.

He sat back, and took a deep breath. "So, Asumi. You're looking good, quite good. It can't have been that long since we last had lunch, can it? Don't tell me you have a boyfriend?" He grinned at his little girl.

"I'm pregnant," she said flatly.

He just stared at her.

He noticed, finally, that she was wringing a napkin in her hand. There were dark circles under her eyes, and she'd been biting her lips. She wasn't wearing any makeup, either.

His hands were shaking. "What do you mean? How did this happen?"

"Dad," she looked away, her lower lip trembling.

He dug his fingernails into his palms. "Are you... getting married?"

She shook her head, and pressed her lips together. "I'm not sure that's a good idea. I don't know what would be a good idea. I don't know what to do. H-he... he's older than I am. I didn't think of it as being..." she kept shaking her head. Her whole body was trembling.

He thought she might burst into tears! He reached across the table, and grabbed for her hand. He wrapped it in both of his own. "Asumi..." Now his voice was shaking! It was hard to accept... she was always independent, and always headstrong. She had wanted to be a go pro, right? She'd done so well for so long. No matter what she did, though, no matter what decisions she made, he had always thought of her as his little princess. Daddy's little girl.

It wasn't so, not anymore. Maybe.

"Asumi. You're not alone. Please don't forget that now... not when you need to remember the most."

She looked at him, smiling... he thought she was really happy, but she was also closer to tears than ever! Really... she should have waited until her mother was with them to say something like that!

"Daddy." She swallowed hard, getting control of her voice again. "I'm scared."

She was still his princess. He couldn't doubt that, not ever. He scooted his chair over, ignoring what anyone else in the restaurant might think. "Honey. We'll figure this out. You and me and mother. We'll figure this out."

She put her other hand on top of his, and squeezed with both hands. He looked down at their conjoined hands.

He... was going to be a grandfather?


It was hard to breathe. If she was sitting up high enough, it got a bit easier, but then she had sharp pain shooting down her side. It didn't really matter that much. She was past caring about those things.

Her son was holding her hand, his forehead against her arm. His body was quivering, really... maybe he was holding back his sobs. Maybe he was just scared.

He was her son, and more than anything, she wanted to protect him from any pain at all.

"Hikaru," she spoke, with effort. His head shot up, and she met his bloodshot eyes.

It was up to him to plan her funeral. She'd done everything she could to make that as simple as possible. She'd done everything she could.

It wouldn't be much longer now, would it?

"Hikaru..." she smiled weakly, unable to do more. There were probably a million things she needed still to tell him. Wanted to tell him. She had been telling him, now, for months. It was a blessing of a protracted illness, perhaps, although he'd been in denial for so long. She tried to tell him so much.

Really, though, she'd had his whole life. What he didn't know by now...

"I'm proud of you, son," she whispered. Tears started to pour down his face, and he began in on a litany of apologies, none of which she needed to hear. He was sorry he hadn't given her a grandchild? That couldn't matter now.

She tried only to squeeze his hand. She couldn't think of better words to be her last. She just...

He used to hang on her every word... but for so long, she wondered if he saw or heard her at all. She hoped that he finally heard her.

That was all she could do.