Author: Auditory Eden
Warnings: Language…Nothing too bad, though
Notes: Ties to Connections and Not Quite Forever
What Lin Thinks
What I really want to know about Haku and Sen, two of the most mysterious people I've ever met, ever, is this: did they really, seriously think they were hiding it? I mean, the fact that they were totally and hopelessly sweet on each other. Maybe even in love. Although, she's ten, so I doubt it.
Which might lead you to ask, "Why would they hide it?" Well, duh! If you have to ask, you've obviously never had a childhood crush. It's embarrassing. But also, Yubaba would probably kill them if it ever got out. So why then, were they being so goddamn obvious!
The first time I thought there might be something between them was right after Sen got hired. When Haku had brought her down, he was cold. Not his normal cold either—he was being a bitch. And really making a point of it, too. Like she'd insulted his mother, or something. Or thrown a mole at his shadow. Normally, he just acts like he doesn't know you exist. He acted like he hated her, or wanted her dead. Go figure. Then she starts getting all faint and cries when I tell her not to trust Haku. Um, big red flag, anyone?
After everyone else is gone to bed and fallen asleep—and that's about twenty of us, in one big room—she starts crying again. I'm right next to her, so I can hear that she's quietly chanting, through sobs, "He said he's my friend, Haku's my friend, he said he's my friend..." Obviously, I was missing something.
Okay, so warning signs, people. Neon ones, with obnoxious music playing to catch your attention.
Point two: I was woken up early by the feel of someone walking on the edge of my futon. I very, very carefully opened one eye, and there was Haku, bent over Sen's futon, and whispering, "Meet me on the bridge. I'll take you to your mother and father..." Then he got up and left.
So I followed her, naturally. I figured he'd take her to the pig pens anyway, so that wasn't really a problem. I crept behind as he led her through the gardens, and out to the three buildings where the pigs live. Normally, he would have noticed me, but I think his senses where kind of dampened by being around her. Maybe he just noticed her so much more that he didn't notice anything else.
So she sees her parents, and shouts some nonsense about saving them and not getting too fat, and then starts crying and run out. It takes Haku about three minutes to find her, and just my luck, she's chosen to sit on the other side of the hedge I'm hidden behind, literally right in front of me. He crouches down next to her and gives her her clothes back. She pulls a card from the pile and reads, "Chihiro?" She looks at him. "That's my name, isn't it?" He explains that Yubaba stole her name to control her, and that she'll never get home without it. That he can't remember his own. Pulling a package from his haori, he leans closer, and hands her an onigiri. "Eat it," he tells her, "I put a spell on it to give you back your strength."
This is quite literally the nicest I've seen Haku be to anybody. Ever. This is nicer than even the bathhouse legends of him having helped a yuna who broke her arm on the job. And no even believes that story. They say it exaggerates his almost non-existent good qualities too much.
Then, out of the blue, he hugs her. This is Haku, I'm talking about here. Mr. I'm-so-much-better-than-you-go-die-in-a-hole Haku!
Then I have to leave because it's either that or not get enough sleep to function.
Sen...Chihiro, whatever, doesn't show up until about ten minutes before work starts. I wonder how much of that time she spent with Haku. She doesn't seem to mind that Haku invaded an all-female bedroom, but she's too young for such thoughts.
The third big warning is obsession. Hers, over him. Every third word, it's Haku this or Haku that or have you seen Haku? I cant tell if it's hero worship or a crush—most new girls like him for two point five seconds until they figure out that he's a cold, unfeeling bastard. But this goes on a lot longer than most new-girl crushes. And with greater intensity.
And of course, clambering into Kamaji's room to find Haku half-dead and Sen all set to go off and save his life...I guess no one told her chivalry is dead. So, stupidly, I ask what's going on. D'you know what the old spider says? Love.
Excuse me? She's ten years old! Love, my ass! And then I look back through all the memories I have of her two day stay, and I am hit with an overwhelming impression of her worrying herself gray over Haku, Haku, Haku! '
Okay, so fine. Maybe it's love. Maybe he loved her back. But gah! They're so young! And now I sound old!
The last clue, or rather, the thing that made it most blindingly obvious, was when they arrived back from Zeniba's, hand in hand. And when they ran back towards the river, hand in hand. I mean really. After all that, and now they're practically flaunting their relationship?
Anyway, after Haku got back, he was totally mopey. I mean, you could tell if he was five doors down across the hall because of the angst vibes. Of course, he didn't tell anyone, but it was obvious. He got a lot nicer, too.
Then he vanished.
I mean that literally. He disappeared. There one day, gone the next, which we were all used to, but he didn't come back. Like, at all. For the next fifteen years.
When he did come back, he was only thirteen. Let's do a little addition: Ten, his age when Sen was here, plus fifteen, the years he was gone, equals twenty-five. And he was thirteen. Don't ask me how, because I couldn't begin to tell you.
And with him is this girl. Brown hair, very long, pretty face, and they mind-meld. Like, constantly. Three guesses who and the first two don't count. Well, duh! It's Sen! And she's thirteen as well!
So she gets her job back. Only, this time she gets to keep her name, because it turns out that Sen is her real name, her god name. That she's a god, and so is Haku. And they're soul mates. Actually, she's not just a god, she's a very, very powerful, rich god who was disowned by her father because she was in love with, and wanted to marry, Haku. Whose real name is Kohaku.
What does thins all mean? I was right! So were Kamaji, and Zeniba, and everyone else, but, I was right!
But, honestly, they weren't fooling anyone.
Parting Comments: And here's another for the books. Gosh, I have more stuff for these two than, like, any other pairing. LOLZ. Well, no, not more than Yuffentine. But this is mah number 2.
Love it? Hate it? Tell me.
Hugs and Kisses