Renaissance of Love

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or buildings, locations, etc. mentioned.

It had been three years since Casper Johannes McFadden found himself a living, breathing 18 year-old. In that time, he had grown accustomed to wearing clothes again, showering, eating, and sleeping, among other everyday activities. One role came easier to him than most: husband. Kathleen "Kat" Amelia Harvey, who had been living in Whipstaff since she was 13, was now Kathleen Amelia McFadden. He had proposed to her on her 18th birthday, but they had not tied the knot until Casper felt ready. Kat's beloved father, the parapsychologist Dr. James Harvey, explained to her that Casper needed time to adjust.

Soon after he was given his human life back, Casper confessed to everyone--Kat, Dr. Harvey, his uncles--that James' late wife, Amelia Harvey, had given Casper another chance to be human. Amelia, now an angel in Heaven, had been watching Kat grow into a young woman, but also noticed that her little ghost friend, Casper, had been harbouring romantic feelings for her. Kat, who always believed that unless by some divine miracle, Casper would never been human again like he was on the Halloween night when she was 13, resolved to find a human man to love her. She went on a string of bad dates, including one a few weeks after her 18th birthday with a paranormal enthusiast who ended up trying to jump into bed with her by the end of the night.

Kat had gone on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, which only took a year of study. The profession suited her caring manner perfectly. She worked at the Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, about 35 minutes away from Friendship. It was hard work, with Kat often working eight hour days six days a week, inserting intravenous lines and administering medications. All the while, she lived with her father at Whipstaff…and Casper. Even The Trio realized their nephew, the "little short sheet", loved Kat.

When Amelia realized this, she decided it was time to give Casper--and Kat--a chance at happiness. One night, she turned him human again.

Casper sat quietly looking out at the sea from his bedroom window. Mentally, he had progressed from twelve to eighteen, but still remained in a little ghost's body. His thoughts wandered back and forth between Kat and her date. He had seen him when he had picked her up: he was handsome and drove a red sports car, something any normal girl would find hard to resist--even Kat. Then, a vaguely familiar light filled the room, and a bright red glow filled his line of view. It was Amelia in all her heavenly, radiant glory. Casper's blue eyes went wide. "Why…" he started, but Amelia put a finger to her lips to quiet him.

"I've been watching you, Casper. I know about your feelings for Kat. She needs someone to love her, protect her, care for her. She needs a man. Can you be that man?"

"A man? But how can you…" Then it dawned on him. "Can you really make me…do you think you could do it?"

Amelia smiled. "You know I could. But you have to promise me something."

"Anything!" Casper said hurriedly.

"Take care of her."

"You know I can. I will." he said meaningfully.

Amelia nodded with a serene smile on her angelic face. Then she lifted her hand to her lips and blew a heavenly kiss to him, as she had done years before.

Casper proposed to Kat on her 18th birthday in March. He had presented her with an antique gold locket in lieu of an engagement ring. His mother, Elizabeth, had received a similar locket, as the advent of the engagement ring was seen some dozen years after she and J.T. were married.

Casper and Kat were married a few days after Casper's birthday in June in New York City, Kat's hometown. They were married at Church of the Holy Innocents, which was where James and Amelia had married thirty years before, and where Kat had been baptised. As was customary, Kat and Casper had to wait six months to marry in order to show the necessary paperwork (though the dates on Casper's baptismal and confirmation certificates had to be brought forward by about 90 years) and go through a marriage preparation course.

On their wedding day, Kat, in a form-fitting white silk dress that evoked the Victorian period, was led down the aisle by her proud father, who had kissed her on the cheek when they arrived at the altar. Kat's hair was pulled back in an elegant bun, and the gold engagement locket encircled her neck. Casper, with his blonde hair slicked back, wore a black suit and white shirt with a silver waistcoat similar to what his father wore on his own wedding day. Casper thought in sadness about how his own parents weren't there to witness his own nuptials. He was sure his parents would have adored Kat and her father.

There were very, very few guests. At least, human ones. Besides James, there were no other human guests present. The Trio were hiding in the cloisters and had promised to save any mischief for the reception. James, most of all, was glad to see they kept their promise. At least, partially kept.

"Can I shout Mozel tov at the end?" asked Fatso in a hushed whisper.

"You idiot. They're Catholics!" exclaimed Stretch as quietly as possible.

There was a short pause.

"I think I farted." uttered Stinkie.

"Shame on you! Don't you know you're in a church?" exclaimed a horrified Fatso.

Stretch covered his face with his palms. "At least they're quiet idiots," murmured Stretch from beneath his transparent digits.

An hour later, Father Brennan pronounced them man and wife. After a joyful kiss, Casper and Kat retreated down the aisle to a waiting horse-drawn coach, similar to the ones ridden by tourists in Central Park. Kat had mentioned to Casper years ago that one of her fondest childhood memories was of her and her parents riding in one snowy evening. Casper decided it would be fitting to recreate that memory--but with just the two of them.

Fifteen minutes later, the newlyweds arrived at a reserved suite in the St. James Hotel for their minute reception. James was the only one waiting. He explained that the Trio had spotted some "good fleshies" near the Empire State Building, and couldn't resist. They did leave the new couple something special. They gave the couple a picture of Casper's parents wedding party ensconced in a brass frame, as well as a similar empty frame for the couple's own wedding picture.

James gave his daughter a kiss on the cheek just as he had done back at the church. "Your mother would have been so proud," he whispered. Kat and Casper had their first dance as a married couple to a very familiar song. They heard strains of the song Remember Me This Way by Jordan Hill--the first song they had danced to all those years ago at Kat's Halloween party, where they shared their first kiss.

After a few hours of spending time together relaxing and telling tales together, James went back to his own hotel across town. The newlyweds were left on their own for a very intimate evening. About an hour later, Kat was sleeping. nestled in Casper's arms. He couldn't believe everything that had happened since that day Kat and James came into his life--well, afterlife--and what it would eventually lead to.

The next morning, the couple left New York City for their honeymoon in Connemara, Ireland for a week. Casper's father's ancestors had come from Cloghane on Dingle Peninsula, and Kat thought, as the farthest she'd ever been outside the United States was Mexico City (where her father had worked on a bizarre case involving Pancho Villa's ghost), they should honeymoon there. They strolled on the beach hand in hand, and took in the local atmosphere. Casper and Kat sat on the beach at dusk one evening, looking out across the sea together, much like when Casper took Kat to the top of the lighthouse in Maine. They would be back at Whipstaff soon, settling in to their new life together. For now, they just enjoyed the beautiful sight of the setting sun.