The brush snagged, and she yanked it down with a barely-restrained growl that might have been anger at the occurrence, might have been pain occasioned by her violence, and might have been… something else. She glared at the tool and the tangled strands of blue that had come away with it, then tossed it onto the counter and left the bathroom in a huff.
He often brushed her hair. Granted, he wasn’t very good at it — there was a reason he kept his own so short — but it was a gesture that was never lost on her. He would put one hand on her shoulder and brush away with vigor, chattering all the while about what he was going to do that day or the dreams he’d had while they’d slept; her eyes would be locked on his in the mirror, and she would smile.
And that was all she wanted! To keep him beside her, against her, to stay close to him, to know she was first in his thoughts. Was that too much to ask?
But how long would a boy brush his sister’s hair, really? How many years? They were getting so old — he was almost seventeen already! — and eventually, no matter how much she did for him, he was going to realize that she was just his sister. Could never be anything else to him. That he could be brushing anyone’s hair, holding anyone in his arms at night, and that someone who wasn’t blood would probably be more appropriate for that purpose anyway.
The awareness of this inevitable realization was something she tried to ignore, and often managed to, but then it would creep up on her in the dark — those evenings when he could sleep and she could not — and she would fight it off by pressing herself against him, laying a hand on his bare chest to feel his heartbeat, putting her face to his shoulder, and pretending… pretending this was how they would always be.
There was no possible way she could do that now. No more pretending. For one thing, they’d slept in separate beds for the first time she could remember. As she sat on the one and stared at the other through a filter of tears, she wondered how anyone could ever sleep alone. Cold hotel beds and brushing her hair alone in a tiny hotel bathroom, she thought, must always be a symbol of growing apart, of loss, of hatred.
Because, for another thing, he was gone to America, and he would never come back.
No, it wasn’t that she thought he was likely to be killed or defeated. It was just that he had left behind his primary protector against those who might… distract him. It wasn’t that he wouldn’t come back at all. It was just that he wouldn’t come back her Horohoro.
She’d never thought that they would be separated during the course of the fights. Why should they be? Not like this, at any rate. But, having chosen to remain a shaman trainer rather than become a shaman herself — having opted to support him with her entire being rather than pursue her own course — she had unconsciously driven in the wedge that would eventually tear them apart. And she could not protect him now, could not keep his eyes from straying.
There had always been people who looked at him the same way she did. People he looked at the same way. He never realized it, of course, and it had never caused any trouble before — because she’d always been there to keep him on track, keep him where he belonged. But now… now there was a wide ocean, two hotel beds, and a pair of headphones between them. And nothing she could do about it. Not even pretend that what she’d already seen hadn’t happened, or that what she foresaw wasn’t going to happen.
Pirika was not blind.
There was more than one reason she hated Asakura Yoh.
Though I don’t get a similar vibe in the manga, I was just enchanted by a couple of scenes with Pirika and Horohoro in the anime — when they were cuddling in bed, and when he pictured her naked to motivate himself during a particular battle — and immediately determined there must be incest going on or at least contemplated.
I’m a little unclear on how old everyone is at different points in canon. My guess in this piece with the statement that Horohoro is almost seventeen when he leaves for America is based on the fact that at one point in the manga during the Shaman Fight, Amidamaru remarks that it’s been something like three years since he first met Yoh.
Anyway. This is a nearly pointless fic, though there is a follow-up from Horohoro.
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