A/N: IDK I am kind of tired out of writing Teen Titan fics. And I love Casper, Stretch is my favorite. So why not. This will be an interesting story. No clue where it is going.
As of June 25th 2016 I am going to beta/edit/rewrite this entire thing! I am excited to show how I have improved.
Kathryn Harvey rolled down the window of her car and turned off the air conditioning. All at once the little dark blue Corsica, now on its last leg, was flooded with the light scent of the ocean breeze mixed with pine trees and saw mills. As she pulled off the main road and started her bumpy journey up the unpaved drive a small yet excited smile crept it's way onto her face.
The ancient car took the bumps and old ruts of the neglected passage well, despite its age, and the young woman couldn't help but look at the surrounding hills, so high and rough, full of trees, tall grasses and secret paths. Unless you knew where to look only Kat, and her childhood friend Casper, could tell you where one path started and another ended. The tall grasses thinned a bit as she reached the crest of the hill and Kat's small smile shined in earnest when a massively tall and slightly foreboding structure poked into view.
Kat had been away from Whipstaff for almost five years. College had taken its toll on her free time and pulled her into the extensive and tiring routine of studying, sleeping, eating when she could and doing mountains upon mountains of homework. Though she had missed this strange house and it's even stranger residents, she knew that this would be one of those visits that would have to end too soon. After all, she had just graduated, and the feeling of knowing your future is just ahead of you rarely allows any young adult stay planted in their home town for very long.
New York or maybe L.A. was her goal, until then it would be relaxing back in to the sleepy small town below and the chaotic yet wonderful life in the time-worn house ahead. This was her chance to rest, recuperate and figure out what the best path for her was. Not to mention, "Casper-" she said with breathy relief. Her one true and very best friend.
Kat sat back in her seat and thought about it, feeling small shreds of guilt and regret well up in her chest. The last time she had been able to visit was in autumn, and Casper; always kind and gentle had been so happy to have her back. They had spent hours together, whole days when they could. Catching up and sharing stories, spending time together though Kat still needed to maintain her studies. Kat had been glad to find nothing had changed after her last visit, they had slipped easily back into their old friendship, she only hoped this time it would be the same.
Looking out the front window as she came to a stop and parked, her eyes gazed up and her heart leaped when she saw the huge towering building of Whipstaff Manor greeting her in all it's brutal glory.
"Home." She whispered with adoration.
Dr. Harvey stood still as a sentinel and watched out the window of his office. A boyish grin sliced across his face and he gently thwacked his cane against an old metal pipe to his left, it ran from the basement all the way up to the attack, the easiest way to get the attention of the youngest and yet strangly enough, one of the oldest, members of the house hold. The rattling of the pipe shimmied throughout the house and he let the lace-curtain he had gently pressed out of the way fall as he turned to leave the room. Exiting as quickly as his limp would allow, Dr. Harvey yelled without bothering to look back, "CASPER, SHE'S BACK!"
A crash sounded from the attic and several doors seemed to slam all at once before, through the ceiling, a white powder puff descended and came to float next to him.
"Really?" Casper asked eagerly, his small white fingers lacing together before his chest, almost as if to pray that this wasn't a joke.
"Go see her." James said smiling softly as he made to head down the hall towards the stairs.
Casper quickly flew off only to return a moment later to asked of he needed assistance, "I am fine, go see her!" He said with affection. The young ghost nodded and took off again at lightning speed. It may have taken James two years to notice that Amelia had been flirting with him, but even a blind man could see how strongly in love Casper was with his daughter. Even the ghostly trio, who was blind to all things sentimental at the best of times, had noticed. They often took great pleasure in tormenting the poor young spirit until his cheeks almost looked red.
His small smile faded as he realized what this visit was going to mean for Casper and for him. Kat was going to be gone again very soon, this time to start her own life. Dr. Harvey only hoped that when Kat broke the news to Casper that she wasn't staying, the poor boy wouldn't sulk up in the attack like he did for nearly two of the five years Kat was gone. A visit two or three times a year just wasn't enough for the young spirit and he often talked about simply flying to her school to see her.
It usually took a few hours for James to talk him out of it, but the young spirit would eventually relent when the doctor would bring up the fact that visiting out of the blue was not only rude, but he was a ghost and while he would never do it intentionally, Casper could cause a lot of problems for Kat if he were to be seen.
James took a firmer grip on his cane as he started his rather anxious first step down the stairs. Since he had fallen from the roof last winter, when Casper had begged him to hangup some Christmas lights, he could barely move it on bad days and that made the large staircase a rather nervous affair for the aging doctor.
Three stairs from the top he glanced out over the railing to see that the front door was already open and Casper was flying in and out like a jet plane. He was talking so fast and in such an excited manor that each time he came in to drop one of Kat's bags in the entryway James only caught bits and pieces of what he was saying.
"And I made this great new souffle- and I got a new baseball- the spiders have been removed from my old room- are you hungry- that is such a long drive-" James shook his head and smiled at the ridiculousness of it. He could only imagine what parts Kat was actually able to catch.
"Casper, slow down!" Kat said with a small chuckle as she crossed the threshold into the house, "Flying and talking at the same time- just start over."
Casper chuckled apologetically, "Right, sorry-"
Kat reached for one of her many bags that Casper had placed so neatly in a stack as her eyes scanned the main room. When they came to stop on her father, who was looking at her with a soft smile, she mouthed hello and James gave a small nod.
"I can't wait to go up into the attic, I have so many things to tell you! You will love it! I was saying earlier that I learned how to make this new soufflé, but the best thing is the surprise I have for you out in the back of the Manor…" Casper stopped rambling when Kat stepped passed him gently and made her way towards her dad. Casper gave a kindly smile and started to take her bags up to his old room knowing full well they'd like a moment together.
"Well…" James said having to clear his throat, "You've definitely grown since I last saw you-" Kat smiled and ran up the stairs towards her dad, not noticing the way he leaned so heavily on the cane.
Dr. Harvey took Kat into his arms and hugged her tightly, "Oh Bucket, I've missed you so much." He said softly, his left hand gently rubbing small circles on her back as he rocked her back and forth, an old habit that had never died.
"I missed you too dad." She said, her cheek pressed to his shoulder as she wrapped her arms around him.
"Okay now, let me have a look at you."
His hand came to her shoulder and gently pulled her away so he could get a better veiw. In that instant he felt his heart melt; she had grown up and become just as beautiful as her mother. Long dark hair, her soft honey brown eyes and wide warm smile. Kat had become a woman while she was away, and James felt a pang of regret. He could see in her eyes the maturity that had come about during her long sojourner into a new and unfamiliar territory. She was wiser, smarter and so full of life that James could tell she would be ready to take her next steps sooner rather than later.
"Come on, let's hit the kitchen- milk and cookies on me." he teased as he brought his fisted hand up to rest on her should.
"We haven't done that since I was like sixteen-" Kat said taking his free hand in hers and turning to lead him down.
"Age has never stopped our traditions bucket, besides, they're Oreos-" he said in a sing-song voice, arching a brow in a knowing manner.
Kat's eyes bulged and her stomach gave a perfectly timed rumble, "Good point."
She turned and started to walk down the stairs but her father's hand slipped from her own and she stopped to turn around in question. At the look of mild pain hidden behind his joyful eyes, Kat's eyes narrowed before they swept up his appearance. Hunched posture, bent knee and a cane-
"Dad? What happened to your leg?" Kat asked as she continued to glance between her father's left leg and the cane he had slung over his shoulder in a composed attempt at nonchalance.
"Huh? Oh, the cane? Don't worry 'bout it. I fell off the roof hanging lights for our resident ghost child. I am fine, it just gets stiff every once and a while. Nothing a hot pack can't deal with. Come on."
They finally reached the bottom several minutes later and walked slowly across the entryway with Kat giving her father much needed support.
Casper eventually floated down to join them in the kitchen after Kat's belongings had been safely stored in his old room. Soon the three were talking, laughing and reminiscing about times long past and memories that had faded. Eventually the nostalgia wore thin and the conversation led to Kat's college and how it had been, the things she had learned and what she planned to do next.
"Are you going to get a job in Friendship?" Casper asked hopefully.
"Well…" Kat glanced at her dad whose eyes darted back and forth between her and the ghost, obviously he was leaving it up to her to tell him.
"That is, I don't know yet, but I was thinking of… maybe-" Kat paused knowing she would need to broach the topic carefully, "traveling for a bit. Someplace I could really get things up and running. Maybe California."
"But Kat, that's clear across the country." Casper said sounding shocked, his bright blue eyes scanned the table back and forth as his semi-transparent brow furrowed in confusion.
Kat nodded and spoke softly, "Yes-" Her eyes glanced away as she tried to think about a better way to say it. "But I'm not sure where I want to go just yet. I will be here for a year or two, maybe, probably- before I know for sure."
Casper's smile returned and he glowed brighter, "Maybe I could help you decide!"
Kat gave a breath of relief, "I'd like that." Casper nodded before his face contorted into shock and he darted towards the ceiling, "Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I have to show you what I made, be right back!"
Kat's eyes scanned over to her father as she tilted her head to the side and pursed her lips.
Silence rang as her father's expression changed into something resembling bemusment.
"What?" She asked trying to give the idea that she had no clue why he was fixed on her.
"Honey, when are you going to tell him?"
Kat sighed and looked down at her ring finger, the diamond ring was not very large, but it was beautiful.
"I'll tell him dad. It just- might take a while." She slid her hand off the table and stood up, "I'm gunna go un-pack. See you here for supper?"
"I thought maybe we could go into town," her dad said as he took another cookie from the plate and brought it to his lips.
"Sure, sounds great. I'll buy." Kat said as she approached the door.
"Over my dead body." Her father said with a mouthful of cookie.
"Seriously dad? Worst place in the world to make that joke, it might just come true." She flashed her eyes playfully and then headed out to go find Casper and his newest toy.
James was left to chew his cookie and contemplate the potential for suggestibilities in ghosts. Lord knew, with the trio around being careful what you wished for had a whole new meaning.
Whelp, that's the edit of chapter one.
A/n: I know it isn't very interesting right now. But give it a chapter or two, you won't regret reading on. I promise.