(A/N) So here we are, the last chapter. I'm not writing this on my home computer, I'm still on the mainland. So please excuse any spelling or punctuation errors but I have no reading program here. I also apologise for the late update but I have been very busy. So without further ado I introduce the last chapter by Velf…
Home is where the heart is. (Part 2!)
Linca was actually waiting for Chihiro in the lift. After being hugged to pieces Chihiro was dragged into her room where Rin was waiting.
"We demand to know everything! On pain of many hours of tickling!" Cried Linca. Chihiro looked up at the hauntingly beautiful white eyed spirit, Linca was flushed blue and seemed very agitated; Rin was frowning, her generous lips were pressed together, her soft brown eyes had an almost comical mix of irritation and worry hidden in their depths.
"Both of you are pathetic," Chihiro almost sneered. "There is no use trying to intimidate me. I've just had a demonstration of that from his majesty upstairs. He's an expert, compared to him, your idle threats are laughable. Besides you're not going to do anything to me, not with a dragon on my side." Chihiro grinned; Rin's frown deepened and Linca's eyes seemed to get improbably large. The two spirits looked at each other.
"Do… Do you mean what I think you mean?" Stammered Linca. Chihiro sighed, it would be all over the bathhouse by nightfall, but she did not care anymore. Besides Haku would never suffer to keep such a thing secret. She was sure he would practically parade her around the bathhouse if she let him.
"He has asked me for a chance, he was very persuasive so I eventually agreed."
Linca gasped and bounced on her toes, she clapped her hands and squealed.
"AT LAST! I finally managed to get you a lover!"
"She said she was going to give him a chance not jump on him." Snapped Rin, if anything the spirit woman looked more worried. She brushed a strand of unruly brown hair from her small, lovely face. The careless grace of the gesture struck Chihiro. Rin must have been someone important at one point; she was tall, statuesque and lovely in a severe way. Chihiro pictured her in fine clothes in a richly decorated room. The image seemed to fit. Her bathhouse uniform seemed jarringly out of place on her. Chihiro blinked and picked up the thread of the conversation again. It was almost bordering on an argument.
"Oh come on!" cried Linca, "Can you really see green and handsome not wanting her in his bed? I give it two weeks, our sister is gorgeous, and he simply does not have the will to resist her charms."
"If you are right, which I seriously doubt, but if you are… perhaps it would be prudent to speak to him."
"HELLO!" Shouted Chihiro waving her hands. "The human is still here!" She glared at the pair of them, annoyed and a little hurt. "Rin, leave Haku alone. He would not appreciate you talking to him in that way and I certainly would not. I'm a big girl and he will do nothing improper I assure you. Linca, give the "lets get Chihiro laid" campaign a rest. Your attitude to this is sweet and I know you just want me to be happy; well your mission is already accomplished. I need no help in any other department of my life; especially not my love life." Rin grumbled and Linca pouted. Chihiro, suddenly just wanted some peace, she was beginning to miss the serenity of Haku's underground home. She knew she was just tired but that did not prevent her snapping at her sisters. "Now I suggest you two go and do whatever it is you're supposed to be doing."
Rin looked hurt, but Linca recognised the symptoms of emotional burn out.
"I like that!" She chuckled sarcastically. "And after we raided her chocolate supply for her." Linca tossed Chihiro a large bar and handed one to Rin who immediately perked up.
"I've told you before about stealing my chocolate," growled Chihiro.
"We were anticipating your need, especially since we decided to give you a lesson in spirit world sex education." Chihiro laughed, the niggling tiredness seemed to recede a little. She unwrapped her chocolate.
"If that's the case I think I'm going to need some of my pudding as well." Linca dragged pillows and a blanket off the bed and the three sisters sprawled and chatted together.
"So let me get this straight." Chihiro said after listening to her sisters for some time. "Female bonded spirits only get pregnant when they wish and don't actually need to have sex to get pregnant." The spirits nodded. "Female non-bonded spirits like you two are only fertile every other spring and do have to have sex to get pregnant." Again the nod of affirmative. "But you don't get pregnant unless you want to; unless someone casts a fertility spell on you."
"A particularly nasty thing to do, but it does happen." Mumbled Linca.
"It's a bit like rape," said Rin quietly. "And it is treated as such. The justice masters of the shadow people can exact terrible penalties from perpetrators."
"So," said Chihiro, trying to move on from the unpleasant subject that was clearly affecting Rin. "Like human men, bonded and non-bonded male spirits are fertile all the time. But again they have control over it, apart from every other spring." Chihiro frowned, "It seems that the entire spirit world goes into a huge rutting session every other spring."
"It's important." Said Rin. "Most spirits are so self absorbed and unaware that they would never breed at all unless instinctively driven to it. It can be difficult for we non-bonded spirits, especially if you're single."
"It's really no different from spending a holiday alone," said Linca. "It's annoying and you feel very lonely but it's gone in 3 months." She grinned, "Besides you can guarantee that every other male single spirit is feeling the same way. You can pick up so many lonely males, and they are all so grateful, it's almost sickening." Rin rolled her eyes.
"It's supposed to be aholy time Linca. When you contemplate the meaning of you're existence."
"Rubbish!" Snorted Linca, "it's all about sex and anyone who tells you otherwise is repressed. It should be fun." Chihiro smiled, and decided to rescue Rin.
"So, if you let me continue." The two spirits looked back to her. "When you get pregnant, or rather when it's the right time of year and you decide you wish to get pregnant…" Chihiro screwed up her face in concentration. "You carry the essence of the child within you, but not physically like humans do. You sense when the child is ready and then give birth by a transportation spell. When brought fully into existence, the child takes form, with a little help from the parents/ parent."
"By Jove I think she's got it!" Said Linca in her best English accent. Chihiro pulled a face.
"And you said my reproductive system is weird! Yours is just over complicated and confusing. It's a wonder that you breed at all."
"We don't need many children, we are immortal and so do not have to constantly replace ourselves like humans do." Mumbled Rin. "Some of us do die, due to human intervention, killing each other or simply because we no longer wish to live." Chihiro nodded, trying to take it all in.
"I think I'm still going to have to be careful, I'm human and cannot conveniently switch my womb on and off."
"Anyone with a decent amount of power can solve that. Zeniba can render you infertile until you are ready to spawn. A bit like being on the pill." Mused Linca.
"What's the pill?" Asked Rin. Linca laughed and Chihiro groaned.
"Well…" Said Chihiro. "It's all to do with hormones."
"Hormones? You've not mentioned them before." Rin looked truly puzzled.
"I'm getting more chocolate." Announced Linca, "this could take a while."
Two weeks passed. Yubaba did not return but no one seemed to care. The bathhouse ran smoothly. Chihiro's days consisted of rising at a leisurely hour and helping Rin, Linca and Kamaji out when they needed it. She also started on the accounts. It was like trying to decode another language. Yubaba obviously had no concept of basic maths.
She also spent time with Haku.
She found it difficult to relax with him around. Her thoughts became confused and she could not think straight. He had only kissed her properly a few times but she was always awkward and unsure. He was the perfect gentleman however and never overstepped the mark. When she froze he would stroke her hair and murmur soothingly to her. He seemed to have infinite patience with her and slowly she was learning to trust herself as well as him. He had started stealing kisses when she did not expect it, she had to admit she liked being surprised.
It had taken time to get around to it but she had decided to write a letter to her parents. She sat at her small desk in her room, with the sun pouring through the balcony windows, warming her shoulders.
"Where to begin?" she thought.
"Dear Mum and Dad,
Very happy in the spirit world, wish you were here.
BTW, Tell that man I'm sorry I stabbed him. I'm also seeing a very powerful river spirit who makes me forget how to speak and breathe."
Chihiro chuckled to herself, sighed and picked up a pen.
Dear Mum and Dad.
You probably won't believe me but I'm in the spirit world. I'm sorry if I have worried you or caused you trouble. I'm happy and I'm healthy. Remember you can come and visit me if you wish.
I have someone I'd like you to meet.
I'll write to you again in a month.
"Short but sweet" breathed a deep masculine voice in her ear, making her jump. "A bit like you really." She turned her head to try and tell him off for sneaking up on her, yet again. But he stilled the comment by touching his lips to where her neck met her shoulder.
"I know you hate being sneaked up on, but I can't help it, it's just so easy." He mumbled into her neck. His mouth started to work it's way up her throat, making her shudder. He paused to glance at her letter, he smiled.
"So you want your parents to meet me? I did not know we where that serious." She elbowed him playfully in the stomach. One thing had not changed, he still tormented her.
She folded the letter and put it in an envelope and addressed it. A difficult thing to do with a dragon nibbling at her neck. She shoved the letter at him.
"Stop that!" she protested. "Now keep your promise and send this." He sighed dramatically and stood. He held the envelope on the palm of his hand. He squinted at it. The colour seemed to drain from the envelope, turning it transparent, then it vanished. Haku gasped and swayed. Horrified Chihiro was at his side in a heartbeat.
"Haku!" She bleated. "What's wrong?" She helped him to a chair.
"Oh nothing." He said tiredly as he sunk into the chair. "Just drained myself a bit too much. I am always underestimating how much power it takes to affect events in a world where magic as we know it does not exist." He closed his eyes; she put her hands on her hips and glared at him.
"You should be more careful! I've had enough of you exhausting yourself on my behalf. I'm writing no more letters." He opened one green eye and looked at her.
"Nonsense." He mumbled. "You need contact with your family and if you don't write to them I will." He held out his arms. "Now stop glaring at me and come here."
"I'm not finished telling you off yet." She grumbled.
"Believe me, I'm suitably chastised. Now come here. I promise I'll never do anything nice for you again." She smiled and slipped onto his lap and rested her head on his shoulder. His arms folded around her and he sighed.
"You're difficult, you know that?"
"Yes," she replied. He gave a low chuckle; she could feel it rumbling in his chest, it was a pleasant sound.
"It's a good thing that your stubbornness is one of the things I love about you." He said jokingly. He kissed the top of her head.
"I love you too." The words were out of her mouth before she realised what she was saying. The response had been automatic, coming from the heart and bypassing her brain entirely.
He became very still, she could feel the muscles tensing in his chest, legs and arms. He turned his head to look down at her; he looked truly stunned.
"What did you say?" he hissed. Chihiro pressed her face into his neck, red with embarrassment.
"You heard me." She mumbled. He sat up and cupped her face in his hands, making her look at him.
"Say it again," he said. "Please, I need to hear you say it when you're looking at me." His face was so eager and sincere she felt her heart ache, how could she deny him anything?
"I love you Haku, I have since I was a child." He just looked at her, his wide jade eyes where fixed on her, as if seeing into her very heart. Then he kissed her, hard, unrelenting, crushing her to him, his hands tangling in her hair. He had never kissed her like this before. He so thoroughly ravished Chihiro's senses that all thought left her mind completely. She threw an arm around his neck, her other hand touched his jaw feeling the movements of the muscles in his face as he continued to kiss her. He never gentled his kiss in fact he kissed her all the harder as she responded to him. Chihiro thought her lips must surely be bleeding after his teeth raked over them for the third time. It was as if he wanted to possess her entirely, mind, body and soul. When he finally let her go she touched her figure to her lips and found her mouth undamaged. She frowned, her sanity was gradually returning to her and something was wrong. She lifted her hand to touch her cheek, it was wet with tears, but not of her own making.
"Haku?" She breathed looking at him in wonder, "what's the matter?" The dragon blinked sending more salt water tumbling down his cheeks. He did not have the words to tell her how he felt at that moment so he hugged her tightly instead.
"Nothing, nothing is wrong, everything is perfect." He whispered. He stroked her hair, and nuzzled the side of her face kissing her jaw line. "You're home with me and nothing will ever separate us." Chihiro sat up and touched his face, tenderly wiping away his tears with her fingertips.
"Don't make promises you cant keep." She whispered. He just smiled at her.
"Do you really think I would let anyone come between us? The Old Ones could not even do that."
"I know that." She mumbled. "But you are not all powerful Haku. You can't control everything." He grinned; the mischievous sparkle was back in his eyes.
"You have no idea how powerful I am little one, best not worry your pretty little head about such things."
"Arrogant lizard." Chihiro muttered but she kissed him, tasting the salt still on his lips and snuggled down his lap again and rested her head under his chin. Haku sighed and she felt him relax beneath her.
"Stubborn human." He mumbled. "It is a good thing I love you, or I would spank you for your insolence. " She smiled against his chest.
"You'd have to catch me first." Then she giggled. "Besides I might like it." He chuckled with her.
"I'll never understand humans." He sighed.
"I hope not," Chihiro replied feeling sleepy now, the rhythm of Haku's breathing and heartbeat was soothing. That and his bodies warmth and the warmth of the late summer sun, was making her deliciously drowsy. "Driving you to distraction is one of the highlights of my new life here."
"Well I would hate to suspend any pleasure of yours," he grumbled. His arms tightened around her. "Now will you stay with me while I take a quick nap?"
"You could not move me if you wanted to, you make a good pillow." She yawned. He sighed and started breathing more deeply. Chihiro smiled to herself. She had no idea what her future held, but she was sure that she would no longer have to face it alone.
The human and the dragon fell asleep together, bathed by the rays of the late summer sun pouring through the open windows.
A/N- Well that's it folks. I would like to thank every single one of you who has taken the time to review this fic. You will never know what your support has meant to me.
Again thank you everyone, especially my husband who has had to suffer his wife spending hours on end on the computer, coming to bed late, and pestering him for spellings while he is trying to watch the TV. Thank you darling you've been a saint, I love you endlessly.
Just so you know it does not end here. Go to my profile page and you will see that I've kept going. I could not let it end here, there were enough loose ends to make a serviceable jumper out of them. So if you liked this read on…
HentaiChibisattack- Err right now.
Nicollete crescente- Well I hope you're not disappointed!
Miss Lady Marauder- sorry this took so long.
Kari-mun- LOL, no I'd never write an R rated story (I'd probably just laugh through the entire thing, good erotica is hard to write and I'm never going to attempt it!) If you do draw something I'd love to see it, if poss.
LadySeaElf- Glad you liked the gods, I worked hard to describe them as I imagined them.
Nuriko-4-ever- Thank you for all your wonderful reviews, I'm extremely touched.
Storm-maker- He does but Chihiro will be the perfect moderator for those tendencies don't you think?
Winter-iel-o burzum- Thank you.
Xris- not a bang exactly, more a fading into the sunset.
Dark Ginzuishou- No matter, just glad you've enjoyed it. I don't ask for review and try to answer everyone who gives me one, even if it's just to say thank you. So Thank you!
Faith-Catherine- Ah the best name in the word, and spelt the superior way! Sorry that I've kept you waiting.
PetiteLumiere- I may take you up on that, if I write a sequel.
Nefandus- AH HA! Read on my friend!
Dana Daidouji- He fancies the pants off her, that's why he's so patient.
KatsyKat- I'm glad I kept the realism, it's important too me.
Got oranges- Yep (as demonstrated in chapter 20 something.) Oh I dare! (I thought them up in the first place, I have a thing for men's legs.)
Eli- It has to end!
Kataan- Both, it's difficult for her, she has had a hard life and finds it hard to trust. Remember her own family he betrayed her twice!
Alassea2- Yep I do, in moderation.
Adora bell dearheart- All good things come to an end.
Nahela- yes fluff was needed, a nice soft come down.
Lilly20- here it is.
Julie- Sorry to tease, I hope you find this a suitable conclusion.
Hollywood1390- She's only 20, she is hardly hobbling to her grave just yet! We all die, it's the surest thing in life, but how we live! Well that's the big question, Do you think Chihiro is using her time wisely?
Sadame X- I think that you would write a wonderful fic, and it shows a commitment to your other story that you want to finish it first. Let me know if you do write one.
OceanicGoddess- A bit slow but I got there.
Riceballplum- haku has control over his looks/age as he practically chose his human body. So theoretically he could get younger again, if he wished.
Mari-chan- glad I did not make you want to puke! This one should not be vomit inducing either. (Well I tried.)
Alatril Carnesr- Glad you liked it, hope this one is a fitting end.
Yue- I am I am!
Fukari- forgive my ignorance, but what is a lemon?
Neko-miya- Sorry too keep you waiting, glad you like the story.
Kyra Star- it was not the original cast, but good all the same. Susan Kay, a great book.
Evil Duckie- No I'm not published, I just write for fun. This one is the last chappie.
Aharah Musici- I know, brush your teeth after this one.
Avolare- Thank you, that mean a lot to me.
Lost-and-lonely-pheonix- (and maro) Here is the update, I hope I don't fluster you again.
Reason- This is the last update.
Manuca- I'm not going to tie up all the loose ends, I'm keeping the ending open.
Crazianimegirl- Hope you are feeling better. I look forward to your next update.
Tirya King- Thank you I hoped Haku's age would fit in well. All teasing gone now, just fluff.
Manga-boy-lover- You and me both!
Viking-ulf- This is a happy one too.
M.M- Glad you liked it, not much more to go now, just this one.
Muki.angol- This is the last chap I'm afraid.
Alexian-goddess- If you liked the last one, you'll like this one.
Big book worm- Thanks, will read your update when I can, I've been SOOOOOOO busy this week.
Ce'lyra- It is! I'm so sorry.
Samsonite- I could keep going, I have plenty I could write about, but this feels like the write time and I don't want this to be a fic that is never ending and then the author just runs out of ideas. I shall quite while I'm ahead.
Kurenoharu- Will see howl when it comes out here, it sounds wonderful.
Shitza- Sweden? That's just a hop skip and a jump from Shetland! I do have plans for an epilogue but I need to plan it properly.
Thehopelessromantic- Yes I'm a sufferer of hypercliffyiosis. There is no cure. Be careful it's contagious!
I wish I was Kermit- Would you really want to piss him off? You're braver than me if you do…
In the words of a friend…- Ah yes, Colin Firth, the ultimate Mr Darcy. Funny though I never noticed any white dragons or evil witched in Austin's work, LOL. But yes I do see where you are coming from, Chihiros, denial and then she and Haku's slow changes in attitude are very Austin -ish. It's an honour to be compared to her. However there was defiantly no making out in pride and prejudice.
Wyldcat- Sorry for the fluff, but it is needed I think. Hope I've not done too much for you in this chapter.
Sargent Snarky- Hugs Haku doll. Thanks. Wanting to hit man comes with liking them, strange but true. I do know how you feel, it's tough and gets no easier with age. What's a snarkle rabbit? Should I be afraid?
Presea Combatir- It was getting a little old, things went ok, despite the circumstances it was nice to see the family.
Alaina Isake- Don't blush, it's not that emmbaresing! Well I can't talk, I blush terribly.
Hikari mizu- that's it hog the story and keep it secret, we can be our own secret society of ff lovers. Only sharing the good stuff with each other.
Ivorystar- Yes he is old, but cute.
Mizuirosnow- yes it is, sorry. Not many people write for spirited away, but it's bigger than a lot of other subjects.
Tippy-chan- I picked that number because it's around the period that the Neolithic humans on Japan started to become more developed. I thought that if Haku had been born the same time as human culture was getting started; it might explain his likening for humans.
Placidsnowflake- you reviewed twice! That's a compliment I suppose or did you just forget? Yes more fluffiness here.
Dimac99- You have bugged me in person for an update, so here I am updating straight after an interview. I must be mad.
Pyramidgirl89- I hear ya… "What is this life if full of care we have no time to stop and stare" (at fanfiction)
Spiritedawayrocks- Well almost admitted, William Shakespeare has much to answer for.
Reluctant Dragon- I do like the "whole arrogant, self-confident river dragon men thing..." LOL, if Chihiro does not what Haku then…
S.B Kisses- Yes fluff abounds here too.