title: this is not a fairy tale, probably
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Hikaru/Akira, Sai/Kouyo, Hikaru's father, Hikaru's grandparents, other cameo
rating: G
warnings: fractured fairytale, poor attempt at humor on my part
summary: It was once an epic tale of a boy and his love of bloodstains...
notes: written for Round 014 of blind go

It so happened once... actually, probably more like three or four times... Time is more like an origami Yoda than scientists willingly will let you believe. Many folds it has, always bending back upon itself it does. It could have happened as many as fifteen times, but any more than that would just be silly. However, IT did happen. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

And so the story actually beings... There was once a boy. He had a mother and a father, as most organically-derived boys do. However, once he reached a Certain Age, his mother left. Did she leave the world? Did she leave the boy and his father? Was she abducted? By neighbors, aliens, dragons, demons, angels, monsters, fairies, trolls, hobbits, time lords, or spirits? Or some subset or combination thereof? Who knows?

As far as the boy knew, his mother was gone, and his father stood before him, wifeless. His father knelt before him, and put his hands on the boy's shoulders.

"Son... There are many things I should say to you at this point, but none come to mind. See, it's just you and me now, and I don't know about you, but that terrifies me. I'm going to go on a trip... for work, you see. Yes, for work. It's about work. While I'm gone, I want you to stay with your grandparents. They will care for you... hopefully, far better than they cared for me."

"Dad," the boy replied, "you do not fill me with confidence."

"No," the father agreed. "But you needn't worry. All will be well. But... and I cannot overstate this... Do not go into the storage shed behind your grandfather's house. Do not touch the storage shed behind your grandfather's house. Do not look at the storage shed behind your grandfather's house for long periods of time. Do not breathe air that has blown your way from the storage shed behind your grandfather's house."

"I think I want to travel with you, dad, all things being equal," the boy opined.

"No, that's not an option. Don't worry. There is a considerable amount of dust in the storage shed behind your grandfather's house, and if your grandmother sees you seeing it, she'll want you to clean it up," his father informed him cheerfully.

"Oh," the boy brightened.

"Also, it's wicked haunted," the father continued, equally cheerfully.

"Oh," the boy's shoulders sagged.

With that, the father took the boy to his father's house, and then left. To travel. For. Work. The boy was not unhappy, of course. His primary programming had been set at an early stage for single-minded impulsive self-gratification, so the boy was remarkably able to adapt and entertain himself. His grandparents were pleased that he was with them, and his grandmother was a better cook than his departed - to where? - mother and his grandfather was a bigger part of his life than his father had been.

Honestly, there are boys who are far worse off.

Because the boy is a boy and not an elephant, who brag constantly about the persistence of their memories to the general annoyance of giraffes everywhere, he forgot entirely his father's strange and disturbing warning about the storage shed behind his grandfather's house. One day, then, many hours after his father had left, the boy found himself creeping up the stairs in the storage shed behind his grandfather's house. For what reason did he lurk there? For what purpose did he quest? For the service of what logic was he creeping alone, when even he, at that moment, felt this was a task better suited to two, say, a boy and a girl who was sturdy enough for the boy to hide behind?

Questions, questions.

The boy found a small table-like thingy with what appeared to be bloodstains on it. Boys and bloodstains... is there any more heartwarming combination known to man? Surely not. Of course, of course, he reached out to touch the bloodstains. And then it happened.

His father was not quite the fool he seemed. The shed was, indeed, wicked haunted. By touching the bloodstains, the boy released a ghost. The ghost looked at the boy and the boy looked at the ghost.

"You're a ghost," the boy stated.

"You're a boy," the ghost replied.

"Is there... something you want?" the boy asked.

"I... I... I..." the ghost seemed troubled, like he was searching for an answer that had eluded him for a millennia. "Oh! Would you like to play a game?"

The boy looked at the ghost wondering if that was truly what he wanted or if that was just what he could think of. "Well. I like games, some."

"I always wanted to play video games!" the ghost clapped and spun in the air childishly.

"I... don't think those have been invented yet," the boy said, sad to disappoint the ghost.

"No? I thought they would be by now!" the ghost pouted.

"Time is an illusion. And so are pants," the boy quoted someone wiser than him.

"Oh, that is true," the ghost nodded sagely. "Well, then, how about board games?"

"Let's go see what my grandfather has," the boy suggested.

The boy and the ghost went back into the house, where the grandmother scolded the boy for getting so dusty. Thus, the boy took The Most Uncomfortable Bath Of His Admittedly Short Life while the ghost... watched. Cleaner, and more appreciative of the notion of privacy, the boy went to his grandfather, and asked him about board games.

However, at first, the grandfather made a ruckus. Grandfathers are very good at making ruckuses, and grandmothers hate that about them. Therefore, the grandmother came in to swat the grandfather with her broom. She might have had a broom because she was secretly a witch, or she might have had it because the floors were dirty. The boy liked having both options.

After she had thoroughly trounced the grandfather, she turned her gaze to the boy and the ghost she could not see. "Good heavens!" she exclaimed. "I thought your bangs had been like that because of the dust! What happened to them?"

The boy tried to look at his bangs, but it was futile, as his eyes would not jump out of their sockets to look at him from another angle. Lazy damned eyes. "What did happen to them?" he asked.

"They're blond!"

"Are they?" the boy asked, suddenly excited. If his bangs were blond, he was now officially a rebel. He could go on and invent rock 'n' roll or something!

"What happened?" his grandmother demanded.

"Mm..." the boy pondered what to say, but what was there to say? "I met a ghost in the storage shed," he offered.

"That place is wicked haunted," the grandfather muttered from the floor where he was playing dead to avoid any further wrath from the grandmother.

"Do ghosts turn people's bangs blond?" the grandmother asked.

The boy looked at the ghost and the ghost shrugged. "Well... sometimes..."

"Apparently," the boy replied.

"Oh. You should get rid of it," the grandmother fussed.

"He wanted to play board games," the boy replied.

"What an odd ghost. Get rid of it in a hurry. You heard him, you lazy oaf. Get him your board games," the grandmother kicked the grandfather.

"Right, right," the grandfather slowly got to his feet.

"It's amazing how grandparents everywhere are exactly the same. Exactly," the ghost cheerfully mused.

"Amazing," the boy agreed for different reasons.

The grandfather produced a variety of board games. Monopoly, Clue, Snakes and Ladders, Girl Talk, Battleship, Othello, Guess Who?, Candy Land, Upwords, Junta, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mouse Trap, shogi, Pandemic, Operation, Yahtzee, Mahjong, mancala, and Stratego. None of the games seemed immediately recognizable to the ghost, so the boy pulled out a few, and they started to play. The played a few games of Clue, Candy Land, Girl Talk, and Othello, but the ghost was starting to get bored, and when ghosts get bored, they begin tinkering with the fabric of reality.

The boy decided that he had to be more proactive, so he decided to mimic his father in his time of crisis. He informed his grandparents that he was going on a journey... for... work.

Admittedly, the boy knew little about ghosts, but he was somewhat hoping that, if he got far enough away from the storage shed and the bloodstains that he loved so dearly, the ghost would disappear. That did not happen.

They crossed the bridge over the river that was really more like a creek near his grandparents' house. They went past a ramen stall, and the boy realized that he did not bring money, which might prove to be a most unfortunate twist of events. The went past a library. They went past a bookstore. They went past a cackling old man tormenting a flashy gigolo. They went past a short red-haired boy hanging off the arm of a taller black-haired boy. The boy thought they might know some fun games, but he was socially awkward and his rebel bangs made it hard for him to just walk up to people (since he was trying to act cool). They went past a small roundish boy with round glasses and a sneer on his face. They went past a pretty girl who was dominating some older guys. The boy was deeply intimidated by her, so he rushed away when he saw her, and yet he would probably end up dreaming of her. They went past a girl with a huge dog. The boy wanted to play with the dog, but the ghost was afraid of dogs.

The boy was getting tired, and he thought maybe if he went to a temple, he could have the ghost exorcised or something. However, the boy was quite without any good sense of religion. He went up a rather formal walk to a traditional-looking building. He looked around. It had one of those water thingies that bounced back and forth and made noise, and it had a trim garden and it had a nice house with a cute boy on the front step. It did not have any flags or bells or... well, temple.

Something may have gone awry.

He went up to the cute boy. "Is this a temple?"

"No, are you an idiot?" the cute boy asked him cutely. Or, angrily, the boy was somewhat blinded by cuteness.

"I have a ghost who wants to play games," the boy sighed. "It's been a long day."

The cute boy blinked at him. "You're strange."

"So are you," the boy replied stubbornly.

Sighing, the cute boy stood up, straightening out his yukata. "Ok, well... my father plays go. Does your ghost like go?"

The boy looked at the ghost and the ghost looked at the boy. "Let's try it," the boy suggested to both the ghost and the cute boy.

The cute boy led the boy and ghost around the house to where his father, a rather stern and formal-looking man, sat in front of a small table-like thingy, much like the small table-like thingy with bloodstains back in the storage shed behind the boy's grandfather's house. The boy looked up at his ghost.

Who was staring at the cute boy's father, his arms and legs straight out so his body, clad in strange, old timey clothes, looked like a giant star with dark, rich hair floating all around.

"I WANT TO PLAY WITH THAT MAN!" the ghost declared, his eyes sparkling dangerously.

"Does it seem like your ghost knows go?" the cute boy asked.

"I think the ghost wants to play naughty games with your dad," the boy explained sheepishly.

"Oh," the cute boy looked from the boy to his father and back again. "Then, shouldn't he possess my mother?"

"YES, YES I SHOULD!" the ghost agreed, and zoomed off into the house.

"You're going to regret saying that," the boy sighed.

"Hey, your bangs turned black," the cute boy frowned. "I thought you were a rebel."

"Oh," the boy frowned, picking at his bangs. "So did I."

"Husband," a woman's voice called out from inside the house. "I have a mighty need for you!"

Startled, the cute boy's father stood up. "Coming, dear."

"You're really going to regret saying that to my ghost," the boy sighed. The cute boy was already upset that he wasn't a rebel...!

"Mm," the cute boy mused. "Well. ...Would you like to learn to play go?" he asked the boy, smiling.

When the cute boy smiled, he was 17.5 times cuter than normal, with a 2.5% margin of error. It had later been scientifically determined to be true. The boy had no idea what go was, but he was suddenly very, very eager to learn and play.

The End.

Hikaru tucked the blankets right up to his daughter's chin, and smoothed her hair out. He left the nightlight on, and crept out of her room, closing her door most of the way closed, being careful to not let it squeak.

Downstairs, Akira was sipping his nighttime tea, and reading. He smirked as Hikaru came back into the living room. "You know, someday you're going to have to pay for her therapy, all because of that damned book you made her."

Hikaru smiled slightly, and kissed his husband's temple. "Totally worth it."