Chapter 9: Trust Betrayed

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

Being in Haku’s river over the weekend had been pure bliss, but by the time she actually stood on dry land again, she had the worst case of ‘sea legs’. She was all wrinkled up from being in, or under, water for so long, but a simple spell from Haku quickly fixed that. She almost regretted having to return to the bathhouse, but both she and Haku knew that they had jobs to do.

“Haku, that was the most magical experience I’ve ever had!” Chihiro cried as she rode on the back of the great river spirit.

‘I am glad you enjoyed yourself.’ Haku spoke in her mind. ‘I too enjoyed your company. Would you like to come with me during all my trips?’

Chihiro felt overwhelmed. “You’d… you’d really let me?”

The dragon nodded. ‘It would be an honor to always have you with me.’

“Oh Haku… WHOA!”

She had attempted to huge him and nearly lost her grip. She quickly readjusted herself as Haku chuckled.

‘Careful, I wouldn’t want to face Lin if I brought you back damaged in anyway.’

Chihiro smiled. “Don’t worry, I trust you. I know you won’t let anything happen to me.”

Haku winced slightly when she said that. She won’t be happy if she found out that he and the others had secretly been trying to think of a way to send her back to the human world. The thought tore at his heart. He wanted nothing more than to have her with him forever. But he wanted what was best for her. He loved her so much that he would do whatever it took for her to be happy.

He put those thoughts aside. He wouldn’t worry about that now. This weekend with her had been incredible, and he wanted to enjoy these last few moments alone with his love.

‘Hang on tight.’ He told her.

He picked up speed. Chihiro was once again blinded by the bright light that had engulfed them on the way to the river. When the light faded, they were once again in familiar territory, not that Chihiro had seen much else of the spirit world besides the bathhouse and Swamp Bottom. She made a mental note to try and see Zeniba at some point. Perhaps Haku could take her there.

“Haku, slow down.” She cried, as he went in for landing, a little too quickly for her liking. “Haku, slow down! Slow down! Haku! HAKU!”

Haku pulled up a few feet before he hit the ground and landed gracefully on the bridge. Chihiro was wide eyed with a terrified expression on her face; her grip on Haku’s horns was so tight that her knuckles were white. Slowly she slid off Haku and stood on wobbly legs. She could hear Haku snickering and she turned to him, annoyed.

“That was not funny.” She said. “Don’t do that again.”

Haku shifted back to his human form, grinning. “Come on, you enjoyed that.”

Chihiro glared at him, but it was hard to stay angry with him when he was grinning like that and she broke into a grin. “Ok, ok. Just don’t make a habit out of it.” She suddenly noticed that her hair was in her face and she looked over the bridge at her reflection in the water. She’d had bad hair days before, but this was by far the worst; no doubt from spending the past few days underwater and then flying at high speed on Haku’s back. “Yikes! Look at my hair. It’s a mess.”

She saw Haku’s reflection appear next to hers. “You’re beautiful.” He said.

Chihiro blushed and playfully shoved him. “Oh, come on. Look at me. I look terrible.”

Haku’s expression didn’t change. “I’m serious. You’re always beautiful in my eyes.” Chihiro turned a darker shade of red. “But if you’re so concerned with your hair.” He blew lightly at her. Chihiro’s hair untangled and straightened out into her usual hairstyle. “There you go, problem solved, beautiful.”

Chihiro blushed even more. Darn it, why did she have to go all girly now? Then again, how could she not with him looking at her like that?

“I… uh, I guess we should go in.” she said, not sure what else to say.

“I have to check in with Yubaba first to let her know that we’ve returned.” He said.

“Ok, I’ll see you inside.” Chihiro replied happily.

Haku watched her until she entered the bathhouse. He wanted her to stay with him. He would give anything to be with her forever. Sadly, their worlds kept them apart.

Sighing, Haku changed back to his dragon form and flew up to the window of Yubaba’s office.

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Chihiro happily walked through the bathhouse. Several spirits greeted her, but she barely heard them as she reflected back over her weekend with Haku. She was only brought out of her happy memories when someone grabbed her from behind. It was Lin.

“Nice to see you too.” the spirit said irritably. “Honestly, you so caught up in La-La Land that you’re not paying attention to anything else around you.”

Chihiro gave her friend an apologetic smile. “Sorry. I just had such a good time. It was the most wonderful experience ever.”

“Glad you had fun.” Said Lin. “And while you’ve been off with your dragon, we’ve all been working. Oh well, what can you do?” She suddenly got a mischievous look in her eyes. Chihiro knew she was about to be interrogated. “Now then, start talking. I want details. And don’t you dare leave anything out.”

Chihiro chuckled. Lin was just as bad as Mimi. Her human friend always wanted to know about her love life, but Chihiro couldn’t exactly tell her that she was in love with a river spirit. At least with Lin she actually had someone she could talk to.

“It was… incredible.” Said Chihiro dreamily. “Being inside Haku’s river was wonderful. It wasn’t just being underwater. I could actually feel Haku all around me. And when we merged…”

“WHAT?” Lin shouted, bringing a lot of attention to them. “You mean… you two… you two…”

Chihiro realized what Lin was talking about and turned beet red. “Not like that!” she cried. Lin was just as bad as Mimi. “Geez Lin, you’ve got a dirty mind. No, Haku simple merged me with his river, just like he does with himself.”

“He did what?” Lin shouted again. “He actually…”

Chihiro nodded. “I can’t even begin to tell you what it was like. For a brief moment, Haku and I were one with his river. I could see into Haku’s very soul, and he could see in mine.”

Lin was still shocked by Chihiro’s words. It was written all over her face. But so was something else. It looked like anxiousness. Chihiro raised an eyebrow.

“Is something wrong, Lin?” she asked.

Lin seemed to come out of her thoughts. “What? Oh, no. I’m fine.” She looked around nervously. “I, uh, I have to go. I’ll see you later.”

She took off as if she wanted to get away from her. Chihiro cocked her head to the side. “That’s strange.” She said to herself. “I wonder what’s up with her.”

She continued on her way to her room, this time making sure to be a little more aware of what was happening around her. She saw that the bathhouse was actually quite busy today. Poor Kamajii must have his work cut out for him.

Chihiro stopped. Kamajii, she hadn’t seen him in awhile, since even before she left with Haku. She decided to pay the boiler man and his little soot balls a little visit, and began making her way toward the boiler room. When she reached her destination she heard voices from the other side of the door. She wasn’t normally the type of person to eavesdrop, but when she heard her name being said, she couldn’t help but listen.

“…and now she’s going all googly eyed and walking around in a dreamlike state.” That sounded like Lin. Chihiro couldn’t be sure since the door was separating them, but she was pretty sure it was Lin. “This could be bad. It may complicate things.”

“It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me.” That was definitely Kamajii. She knew only one spirit that talked in that sort of voice. “Everyone knows that she loves Haku, well, except Haku. So I don’t see what the problem is.”

“The problem is that Haku is letting her get to him.” The woman that sounded like Lin snapped. “He merged his river with her. Do you know what that kind of connection that could create between them? They knew each other body, mind, and soul. Haku may not be able to let her go if he lets himself get close to her like this.”

Let her go? Why would Haku let her go? It wasn’t like she was going anywhere, nor was it like they were a couple, no matter how much she wished they were.

“Oh Lin.” Kamajii sighed. Ah ha! So it was Lin he was talking to. “You know Haku loves her more than anything. He wants to see her happy, even if that means that he’ll never be happy. Yes, he’s probably making it harder on himself, but how can he resist wanting to be as close to her as possible.”

“It can’t be that hard.”

Kamajii sighed. “I said it before and I’ll say it again, you just don’t understand love.”

“I do so! Chihiro is like a sister to me. I want her to be happy just as much as all of you do.”

If Chihiro hadn’t been so confused by what the two spirits were talking about she would have been touched.

“And Haku isn’t the only problem.” Lin continued. “If she falls in love with Haku anymore it may be impossible to send her back to the human world.”

Chihiro gasped as disbelief washed over her. The human world? They wanted to send her back. No, they were planning to send her back.

“Lin, we’ve talked about this. It’s for her own good. I wish there was some way for her to stay, but there isn’t. We’ve all agreed that she has to go back, no matter what we would rather have. If you think Haku is making things more difficult, then just go talk to him.”

Chihiro felt like someone was crushing her heart. They had been lying to her. Her so-called friends had been sneaking off behind her back to talk about ways to send her back to the human world. They had talked with her, laughed with her, and did every other trustworthy thing friends would do while keeping this from her.

How could they? Chihiro felt completely betrayed and hurt. She couldn’t believe this. How could they do this to her? Suddenly Lord Okaia’s prediction crept into her mind. ‘You will have your trust betrayed. You will turn to those closest to you, only to find that they have betrayed your trust; thus you will turn to others. This is when your journey will begin. You will forgive those that have hurt you, but you can not turn to them for help during your journey.’

She would forgive them? Not likely. Chihiro was suddenly consumed by rage. She didn’t exactly know what would happen when she was told that those closest to her would hurt her and betray her trust, but she didn’t think it would be anything like this. They tricked her. They lied to her. They were planning on sending her back. Well, not if she had anything to say about it.

Chihiro slid open the door the boiler room so hard that she wouldn’t have been surprised if Yubaba felt it up in her office. Lin and Kamajii jumped at the noise and stared wiped eyed at Chihiro who was looking like she might breath fire.

“So, I bet you guys thought you were being really clever!” she cried.

Lin looked like a deer caught in a headlight. “Chi-Chihiro! How, how, how long have you been there?”

Chihiro glared at her. “Long enough to know that I’ve been all googly eyed and walking around in a dreamlike state.” Both Lin and Kamajii gulped. The soot balls all huddled together looking terrified. “How could you do this to me? You tricked me! You lied to me! I can’t believe it! I trusted you!”

“Chihiro, please.” Lin said, her voice pleading. “We were just trying to do what was best for you.”

“Well you obviously don’t know what’s best for me!” Chihiro shouted. “Because your opinion of what is best for me has broken my trust in you! If you want to do what’s best for me, then just leave me alone and never mention the human world again!”

She turned around and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Lin and Kamajii stared at the spot she had been standing at feeling very guilty.

“Maybe we made a mistake.”

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Chihiro stormed through the bathhouse. All the spirits stared at her, wondering how she could have become so angry after being so happy less than five minutes ago.

‘That’s what happens when you put all your trust in someone and they sneak around behind your back!’ Chihiro fumed to herself.

She was mad. Very, very mad. She wasn’t through with Lin and Kamajii yet, but she wanted to see Haku. She didn’t want to believe that he played a part in this. If he had…

She stormed over to the elevator, not sure if she should try to catch the river spirit on his way back from Yubaba’s office, or if she should see if he was in his room. She didn’t have to make that choice because when the elevator doors opened, Haku walked out.

“Hello again…” he said, but trailed off when he noticed the mood she was in. “Chihiro, is something wrong?”

Chihiro stormed past him, grabbing his sleeve and pulling him back into the elevator. She pushed a random button then hit ‘Emergency Stop’, before turning her angry gaze on the confused river spirit.

“I just got back from the boiler room.” she said coldly. Haku merely cocked his head to the side. His confusion made him look cute, but Chihiro’s anger quickly pushed those thoughts aside. “Lin and Kamajii were having a very interesting conversation. It had to do with me going back to the human world. Now why would they be talking about something like that?”

Haku’s eyes widened. He suddenly looked very nervous. “Uh…”

Chihiro’s eyes narrowed. “Yeah, ‘uh’. They also mention how we shouldn’t spend too much time together because it may make it harder to get me to go back to the human world. Now isn’t that strange?” Haku opened his mouth to say something, but Chihiro cut him off. “Haku, how could you? How could any of you? I never would have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself.”

“Chihiro, please,” Haku pleaded. “We were just trying to do what was best for you.”

Lin had said the exact same thing, but that hadn’t helped her, and it certainly wouldn’t help Haku.

“I think that I know what’s best for me!” she yelled, her eyes burning. “I spend 12 years in the so-called life you want to send me back to! I know where I truly belong! I know where my heart truly lies! And that’s right here!” She had to stop herself from saying ‘with you’ at the end of her last sentence.

“Chihiro…” Haku hung his head. He felt ashamed of himself. He just wanted what was best for her, and instead he had gone and broken her trust. He had hurt the one person he loved more than anything in the world, even more than his own river. “I’m sorry.”

Chihiro could see that he truly was, but she was still angry and not quite ready to forgive him just yet. She hit the ‘Emergency Stop’ button again and the pushed the ‘Doors Open’ button.

“Well Lin doesn’t need to worry about us spending too much time with each other.” She said. “I don’t feel like being around you right now.”

She stormed out of the elevator. She didn’t even look back as the doors closed on Haku, who didn’t even attempt to go after her.

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