Chapter 25: Kiss of Eternal Life and Love

Disclaimer: I don’t own Spirited Away. Just re-posting the story by moviefan-92

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Lord Okaia took a deep breath and let his power die down. He slowly walked over to the piece of coal that was once Clam and looked down at it. His back was turned so Chihiro could not see the look on his face, but she assumed that he was very upset.

“Lord Okaia?” she asked quietly.

The sorcerer sighed and turned to her with a sad smile on his face. “Hello again, Chihiro. I’m glad you were able to find the spirit of life.” He noticed her looking at the piece of coal and he sighed again. “I assume you’re wondering why I didn’t tell you about him.” Chihiro nodded. “When I looked into your future, I saw your confrontation with Clam. And though it resulted in his death, it worked out for the best, wouldn’t you agree?”

Chihiro reluctantly did, even though it was sad that Clam did have to die. “I guess so.” She muttered sadly.

Lord Okaia nodded. “However, had I told you about him, things would have turned out differently. How would you have reacted when you saw that the one who wanted you dead was here to greet you? How would Clam react once he saw that he no longer had the element of surprise?”

Chihiro shook her head. “I don’t know.”

“That is my point. Things may not have worked out for the best, which is why I kept quiet, so things could play out like this.”

“But,” Chihiro looked at the lump of coal, “he’s… he’s…”

“Never going to harm anyone ever again.” said Lord Okaia, placing the lump of coal in his pocket. “I gave him a second chance, but he just wouldn’t stop. I knew he wouldn’t, and you almost died because of it.”

Chihiro gulped. “He was the one who…”

“Took my true love away.” Lord Okaia finished. “Yes, he was. And after I stripped him of his power and dismissed him, he came here. Then he goes and tries to force the same fate upon you and Kohaku that he forced upon me. I couldn’t allow that.”

“But I thought you didn’t kill anyone.”

Lord Okaia frowned. “I don’t, but someone was going to die. It was going to be either you or Clam. Now the question was who the killer would be. It was either going to be Clam, in which case the victim would be you, Kohaku, who would have killed Clam to protect you, and the third possible killer,” he took out a card and showed it to her; it was a mirror, “was me. I would not allow Clam to kill you; that was out of the question. And Kohaku has yet to take a life. Though him taking Clam’s life would not be considered an act of evil, I did not want him to have to experience taking a life. Some spirits aren’t bothered by taking others’ lives, and then there are those who won’t be able to sleep at night for a long time with the knowledge that they took a life. I didn’t want to risk Kohaku experiencing that. So I took the burden upon myself, even though I hate violence.”

Chihiro was touched. Lord Okaia was so selfless. “Lord Okaia…”

Lord Okaia held up his hand to silence her. “You don’t have to say anything. I am happy to take the pain of others so they may be happy. And now is the time for you to be happy.”

Chihiro didn’t know what to say except, “Thank you, Lord Okaia. You’re a good friend.”

The sorcerer smiled. “Go to your love. You have about 20 minutes left. Go and live the life that was taken from me.”

Chihiro bowed. “Yes sir, and thanks again.”

She turned around and ran towards the bathhouse. Lord Okaia watched her go. He was happy for her and Kohaku; they could have a life together with the one they loved, something that he knew he could never have. But he was happy. Happier than he had been in a long time.

“Take care, my friend.” He said before vanishing in a flash of light.

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

Haku could hear voices. That was good; it meant that he was nearly awake. He could already feel his body fighting off the affects of the sleeping herbs. He shouldn’t have woken up for at least another day and a half, but his mind was stronger than his body, and his mind was determine to wake up.

“She’s back! She’s back!” he heard someone cry. “Chihiro’s back!”

“Chihiro…” Haku muttered.

His eyes snapped open and he was suddenly wide-awake and feeling well rested. But that didn’t matter to him; not if what he heard was true. Throwing off the covers, he hopped out of bed. He was still dressed in his clothes from yesterday, but even if he wasn’t he would have ran out of his room as if his life depended on it.

Outside in the hall, spirits were running around excitedly, all of them heading for the front doors. Haku grabbed the nearest spirit and demanded answers.

“Is it true?” he asked, sounding desperate. “Is she back?”

“Chihiro?” the spirit asked. Haku nodded. “Yes, there was a commotion outside and someone went to check on it. They said they spotted her coming this way- Hey!”

Haku practically threw the spirit aside as he raced to the front doors. There was already a crowd outside talking excitedly. Most of them moved aside when they saw Haku coming.

“So you’re finally up.” Came a familiar voice. It was Lin, and she was giving Haku a very smug look. “Just in time too.”

Haku glared at her. “I’ll be angry at you and the others for what you did later.” He turned back to the bridge and saw the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on walking towards the bathhouse. “Chihiro…”

Haku was about to go out to meet her, but someone else beat him to it. Yubaba stepped out in front of everyone, looking very irritated.

Chihiro’s face fell slightly when she saw that she would have to deal with the witch before she could go to Haku. “Hi, Yubaba.” She said, trying to sound cheerful.

Yubaba’s eyes narrowed as she glared at her. “Back again, are you?” Chihiro nodded. “You know, I just can’t figure you out. You keep saying that you want to stay, and then you keep leaving. I don’t like job-hoppers. Make up your mind. Do you want to stay, or not?”

Chihiro cocked her head to the side. “Of course I do. I just had some business to take care of first.”

“And that involves stealing?”

Chihiro blinked. “Stealing?”

“Don’t play dumb!” Yubaba snapped. “You know exactly what I’m talking about! Sneaking into my office and stealing my train ticket! Who do you think you are, Lupin the 3rd?”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t steal any…” Then Chihiro realized that Bôh must not have told his mother about giving her the tickets. “Oh, no. I didn’t steal them. They-”

“Don’t lie!” Yubaba shouted. “You can’t fool me. How dare you do such a thing after all I’ve done for you. I should send you to the pigpen for a month.”

Haku didn’t like Yubaba threatening Chihiro, not one little bit. “Yubaba!” he growled in warning.

Yubaba visibly winced at the tone in the river spirit’s voice. She knew that if she did anything to harm Chihiro, Haku would do worse to her. She wasn’t planning on carrying out her threat, just to remind Chihiro who was in charge.

Chihiro on the other hand was finally fed up. All these people kept thinking that they could boss her around and do whatever they wanted with her just because they were powerful. But now she had that power too, and she was going to stand up for herself and not let anyone push her around anymore. Yubaba may be her employer, but there was no way she was going to threaten to turn her into a pig, or coal, or any other thing that popped into the witch’s mind.

“Yubaba, I did not steal from you!” she snapped. “And I am tired of you threatening me. If you’re going to send me to the pigpen, then do it now. Here’s your chance, and it’s the only one I’m giving you.”

“No!” several spirits shouted.

“Chihiro, don’t!” Haku cried. If Yubaba did do anything, he would simply reverse it, but he didn’t want anything to happen to begin with.

Chihiro smiled. Somehow she knew that the powers she was given were stronger than Yubaba’s. It was like a sixth sense, and Yubaba didn’t seem to notice the difference in her.

“It’s ok.” She assured them. “I’ll be fine.”

Yubaba smirked. “Well if you’re so sure, I’ll increase your punishment to two months instead of one.”

“Bring it on, Granny.”

Yubaba waved her hand and cast the spell. Chihiro sensed the magic and blocked it with her own. It was surprisingly easy to do.

‘That wasn’t as hard as I thought.’

Yubaba was clearly surprised by this. “Huh? Why didn’t it… Grr. Fine, try this!”

She increased the power of the spell and cast it again. Just like before, it simply bounced off Chihiro.

“That’s two strikes, Granny.” Said Chihiro. “One more and you’re out.”

Yubaba began grinding her teeth together in frustration. “FINE, YOU WANT IT, YOU GOT IT!”

She formed a ball of magic, putting all her power into this last spell. She was convinced that no tricks the human used could stop this. She would also extend the punishment to three months for being cheeky.

Yubaba threw the ball of magic. This time Chihiro had to physically block the spell. She caught it in her hand and held it until the magic ran out. Once the magic faded she gave the stunned witch a smug look.

“Strike three and you’re out.” She said triumphantly.

Yubaba’s mouth was hanging open in pure shock. “B-B-But… h-how did you… you… My spell. You should be able to do that, unless you’re a… a…”

Haku looked at Chihiro in awe. “A spirit.” He whispered.

Chihiro smiled. “Yes, I have gone to see Lord Okaia and the spirit of life. I was granted the opportunity to become a spirit and I took it. There’s just one more thing I have to do to complete my transformation.” She calmly walked across the bridge, stopping only to say to Yubaba, “And I didn’t steal those tickets. Bôh gave them to me.”

“Wha-” Bôh gave her the tickets? How come she was the last to know? She turned to the crowd, knowing that Bôh was in there somewhere. She spotted his baby face surrounded by several spirits. “Sweetie, is this true?”

Bôh nodded happily. “Yup!”

How embarrassing. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It was a surprise!” Bôh said innocently. Yubaba just sighed.

Haku’s heart was pounding as Chihiro approached him. She was radiating with love and happiness, and it was all directed at him. He loved her so much and yet he hadn’t told her how he felt. She had confessed to him. She had managed to work up the courage to tell him. And then she had gone on a journey that could result in her death just to be with him. He would have done the same, of that he was certain of. Just to spend one day with her would have been worth it, but what he really wanted was forever. And if it was true and she had become a spirit, then they could have it.

Time seemed to stand still as Chihiro came to a stop in front of him, gazing lovingly into his eyes. “Haku…” she whispered.

Haku was struggling to find something, anything, to say. “Chihiro, I was so worried about you.” he said, before mentally scolding himself for saying like that, wondering why couldn’t say what he really wanted.

Chihiro chuckled. “If you were worried about the person that was trying to kill me, you can relax, he’s gone.”

Haku felt like he was about to cry. “I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there to protect you.”

Chihiro just smiled. “This was my choice, Haku. I told you I loved you. I was willing to do anything to be with you, even if you didn’t love me back.”

It was now or never. “I do love you, Chihiro. I love you more than you could ever know. I’ve just been afraid. Afraid to love a human.”

Chihiro reached up and rested her hand against his cheek. “I know. But I’m not human anymore.” She said smiling. “Or at least I won’t be after this.”

And she kissed him. It was their first kiss. A truly magical one, both figuratively and literally. As the two poured all their love and emotion into each other, Chihiro began to glow as her transformation began. Had she not been caught up in the moment, she would have noticed all the cheers from everyone and the voice of the spirit of life speaking to her.

“Well done, child.”

Both Chihiro and Haku wanted this moment to last forever, but certain events prevented it. The golden light began to lift Chihiro away from Haku. The two stayed connected as long as possible, but Chihiro was eventually lifted too high up and their lips separated.

She could feel it. She was changing in both body and soul. This was much more intense then when her transformation first began. But it wasn’t unpleasant. No, it was glorious. She felt like she had been reborn, like she was truly alive for the first time.

The golden light began to fade away as the transformation came to an end. Chihiro couldn’t describe the sensation she was feeling. It was marvelous. And it was only the beginning of her new life. She reached into herself and found what she was looking for. She called it forward and felt her body change. She switched from her human form to her dragon form.

Haku’s eyes were wide in awe as he watched Chihiro make her transformation. When she turned into her dragon form, he couldn’t resist. He changed into his own dragon form and joined her in the air. She was just as beautiful in her dragon form as she was in her human. Pink scales covered her body and hair, the same brown color as her human form, ran down her back in the same fashion as Haku, only longer.

The two dragons intertwined with each other in a loving embrace in the air, resting their foreheads together and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. On the ground, several people were crying tears of joy. Surprisingly, even Yubaba’s eyes were a little watery, but she did a very good job at hiding it.

“So much for your matchmaking plans, Lin.” Rita commented, unable to tear her eyes away from the two spirits in the air.

Lin sniffed, trying hard not to cry. “Oh, shut up!” she snapped. “You’re ruining the moment. Just look at how happy they are.”

Bôh was positively beaming and clapping his hands. “Yay! They did it! Yay!” His joy turned to confusion as he watched the two dragons turn back into their human forms and fly up into one of the top windows of the bathhouse. “Hey, where they going?”

Rita gulped. “Wasn’t that… Haku’s room?”

Lin snickered. “We won’t see them for days.”

Bôh cocked his head to the side. “Why not?”

Yubaba was getting a very uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu from Bôh’s question and did not want to get into that conversation again. “Ok, everyone, back to work. The mushy stuff is over. You’ll see much more of that stuff between them in the future. And you are all going to give those two some time alone. And no one is to bother them until they come out. Understood?”

“Yes, ma’am!” everyone cried.

Lin and Rita were shocked by this. “Wow, Yubaba can really be nice when she wants to be.” Rita muttered.

“Yeah.” Lin agreed. “But she’s right, those two deserve some time alone together. And I don’t think anyone would want to walk in on them anyway.”

Rita snickered. “Clam might, that pervert. Hey, whatever happened to him anyway?”

Lin just shrugged.

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