Undying Love – Confessions
Author's Notes: Hi. I apologize for not updating in forever. I've been busy with school, as of late… and I also had a serious case of writer's block. I've kind of been lacking my interest on Spirited Away, as I've moved on with new anime obsessions… but I guarantee that I will finish this story. The completion of this story is just a matter of when. I haven't had as much inspiration with fanfiction lately, but I'm trying my best to get back on track with all of the stories that I wanted to work on. Anyways, I'm so very sorry for the delay, and I'll try to update some more when the winter break comes along.
"So what's going to happen to the investigation now?" asked Haku, glancing at his mistress from the spacious balcony that connected to Yu-Baaba's office.
Yu-Baaba sighed, diverting her attention from the documents on her table to her stern bathhouse apprentice. "The elders wish for us to continue the investigation after the Cherry Blossom Festival. They insist for us to continue our preparations for our guests, and to try and restore the bathhouse to its original condition, before this attack."
"That's predictable…" commented Haku, staring down at the ruins of the backyard shed below. "With the festival being so nearby, there is no way that they can re-locate the festival without alerting others of the delay. Thousands and thousands of years of tradition would be ruined."
"Not only would it ruin the traditions that the Spirit World has held for so long…" Yu-Baaba added grimly, frowning. "Our prestigious reputation at the bathhouse would be tainted with a black mark. What's to keep others from considering the possibility of another Drayk attack on my bathhouse? If news ever got out about what happened here earlier, we would lose a substantial base of customers…"
The river spirit nodded at the elderly woman's words, frowning at this unfortunate and accurate observation. Now, not only did the bathhouse management have to deal with the sabotage of the priceless shrine back in Osaka, but they would have to worry about the dangerous implications that the Drayk brought to this bathhouse…
"Is there a reason why you called me here, Mistress Yu-Baaba?" he exclaimed a few minutes later, breaking the silence.
"Ahh… yes, yes indeed. Any fool would know that Drayks do not breed anywhere near this area. Fact of the matter is that this attack on the bathhouse is obviously intentional, and I want the mastermind of these terrifying acts to be stopped in any way possible…" Yu-Baaba paused in thought, before continuing. "I want you to conduct a private investigation on this Drayk attack, and to report all of your findings and progress to only me."
Two hours later…
Blue-green eyes stared nervously at the familiar brunette, as he tried to conceal himself behind the garden walls. He quietly observed as the young girl continued to play with the single cherry blossom petal in her gentle fingers. Temptation pushed him to attempt to talk to Chihiro, but his mind always stopped himself from doing so. His mind nagged at him of all of the awkward feelings that would arise if he approached his former girlfriend. And so, Haku decided to keep his distance, continuing to watch Chihiro from afar.
"At least she made it out okay… from the Drayk att--" However, before Haku could finish his train of thought, he was interrupted by a small voice.
"Haku, stop lurking there and sit beside me…" a hand patted on the empty seat on the small bench, and soon enough… the river spirit dragged his unsure self to this available seat.
Once he sat down, an awkward silence clouded the garden again. The former couple was at a loss on what to say to each other; this would be their first real conversation since the break-up. A few more minutes passed before one of them decided to spark some sort of discussion concerning the recent events. "So… is it true that you are Raisuke's date to the Cherry Blossom Festival?" quietly asked Haku, keeping his gaze on the floor.
Immediately, Chihiro had visibly winced at the question, biting her bottom lip nervously. The concerned brunette was planning to break the news to Haku herself, but her mind came up blank. She couldn't think of any way to confess to him without hurting him… like she did last time, with their break-up. How could she ever explain herself now, without hurting him even further? "Yes…" she replied softly, unable to think of any other response she could give him.
Haku let out a disappointed sigh, dejected. So the rumors that Rin told him of earlier were true. A sharp twinge of pain stabbed his heart, and a part of his mind somehow nagged at him that Chihiro was betraying their relationship. 'What relationship? You and Chihiro broke up… doesn't that mean she has the right and freedom to be with whoever she wants?' a voice in his mind, pointed out. "Why?" Some, it bothered Haku that Chihiro perhaps found something pleasant and lovable in Raisuke… that she couldn't find in himself.
"Well…" started Chihiro, playing with the hem of her sleeve. "After I got news that Raisuke became conscious, I went to visit him. We talked for a bit, and later on in our conversation… he had asked me to accompany him to the upcoming festival. I tried to back out of his request as kindly as possible… but he had insisted upon the issue, and well… I couldn't refuse! As much as you might hate the facts, he saved my life, and this "date" is the least I could do to repay him."
Chihiro observed quietly as Haku seemed to silently wallow in his misery; she somehow felt so guilty once again. "Please understand Haku… I didn't and I still don't want to hurt you in any way, especially with this arrangement with Raisuke. I give you my word that this arrangement is strictly platonic, and I hope that these recent events won't destroy our… close friendship. Things will still be fine between us, after all of this is over, right?"
"Close friendship…" repeated Haku, his voice barely above a whisper. 'Is that all we are now? Close friends?' His troubled feelings ran through his mind…
Soon enough, Haku had realized his mistake, before covering his mouth with one hand and reprimanding himself mentally. He had said his thoughts aloud! Meanwhile, Chihiro's mouth opened and close, not knowing what to say. "I… well; I still haven't been able to properly sort out all of my feelings as of late. So much has happened in the last few days, and I haven't had as much time as I needed for my own personal reflection…" the brunette squeezed his hands reassuringly. "Sometimes….I still can't help but feeling the mild warmth while being with you; the butterflies in my stomach flutter when remembering of all of the amazing times when we were together. Something tells me that my feelings for you do go deeper than a simple friendship… but I'm unsure of those feelings would define love."
Chihiro slightly paused as to gather her thoughts, before continuing. "I have to admit that when I'm around Raisuke, sometimes I can feel the slightest tug on my heartstrings. Even so, they can hardly compare to the reoccurring warmth that I experience when I'm with you. I… I sometimes glance at you afar, and the happiest moments of us together, start to flood into my mind. Sometimes… I do wonder why I asked for this break-up to begin with. However, some fear of uncertainty soon fills my body: an uncertainty about us. Somehow, it re-assures me that what I did was the safest way for me to deal out my feelings. But, every now and then, I question if this uncertainty was worth sacrificing our romantic relationship…"
As soon as those words registered into Haku's mind, he felt a brief tinge of agony before bitterness took over. Did this mean that all of the pain he went through, for the many days… had been for no good reason? Was all of this mess just because she felt like breaking up for the sake of one fleeting second of confusion? What did that say about how important Haku really was to her life to begin with? All of his greatest fears kicked in, as all of his worries channeled towards his next rash words.
"Don't you date tell me that you don't know why you started break-up. You've hurt me so deeply… and now you don't know why you started this? Don't try to play two sides of the fence; it's either me or Raisuke…" he whispered dangerously.
Chihiro looked immediately hurt and dejected; how could he think so lowly of her? "You make it sound like I'm having an affair! It's not like that at all… and you are taking everything out of context! I said that my relationship with Raisuke was and is still strictly platonic… why can't you believe me?" inquired Chihiro. "Besides, you have no right to reprimanded me… especially since you never told me about Hikaru! I had to find out about her from some of the other bathhouse workers!"
A sudden look of surprise caught the unprepared river spirit, before he hardened his expression. "Hikaru and I have worked at the bathhouse for years… and we never have been romantically involved! But you… you said it yourself; you had the smallest tugging of heartstrings for Raisuke. And as for me, I have no intimate feelings for Hikaru… and that's where we are different. The smallest flicker of tender feelings for Raisuke was the same stir of sensations that made us lovers! Your words are not enough of a reassurance for me anymore, especially after I had to find out about your date from Rin."
A few moments of silence, before Chihiro stood up without warning and pushed passed Haku. "If my words don't mean anything to you, then there is no use explain myself… is there?" Chihiro asked quietly, more to herself than Haku… giving him a rueful half-smile.
Haku watched Chihiro's retreating back, as slow and fleeting moments passed. He concentrated on the dissipating sound of her footsteps… before noticing the trail of crystal drops that stained the ground. They were her tears.