Well, here it is, guys. The final chapter of 'Emotions Galore.' I hope this was worth the wait, even if it is a LOT shorter than my other chapters. A big thank you to all my reviewers/readers who supported me and this story! You're the best, truly! =)
Enjoy the fluffy!
The chirping of birds and a fragrant scent of fresh rain water in the air filled Haku's senses, despite the ominous darkness of the tunnel he continued to courageously step through, knowing he was treading on the territory of the human world. Finally, a light emerged into view, announcing his arrival, that he had successfully crossed the bridge that separated their worlds. It was a true accomplishment, and he smiled. He could see the afternoon sun shining brilliantly and causing the waterdrop-covered leaves of the surrounding plants and trees in the forest to sparkle.
And much to his surprise, he saw a familiar figure crouched in front of the statue.
The figure was wearing the same outfit she had worn upon arrival in the spirit world. The green-striped shirt and the pink shorts and even the bright yellow shoes, with her hair pulled back into her usual ponytail. Chihiro sat there with a twig she found lying off in the road and tracing patterns in the dirt with a saddened expression, as if waiting for a miracle of Haku's arrival that she thought would never be granted to her. The purple hair tie would occasionally glimmer in the sunlight, and Haku felt himself entranced. For a moment, he simply stood there in the tunnel, still enveloped into the darkness and watching her. But he knew he had to continue forward, or else something dangerous could potentially happen that would prevent him from his goal.
So he had made it, he observed. He was now in the human world, and his being didn't begin to fade and the world didn't end. He looked down at his soft hands and traced the lines of his palm. This was real flesh, human flesh. He was human. A soft smile graced his lips. For just a moment, he wanted to test if he still had his powers he wielded as a spirit – and nothing happened. He was truly human. If only Zeniba had warned him beforehand that he would lack all of his powers – but then again, even if she had told him, it wouldn't have made a difference. He would see Chihiro again, with powers or none. It didn't matter. This was something that was destined to happen; he firmly believed that.
Haku's sandals continued to pad gently along the stone, narrow pathway of the tunnel. His eyes never wavered from Chihiro, who was still oblivious to his arriving presence. He stopped for a moment when he saw her squeeze her eyes as the twig she held ceased it's circular movements in the dirt. Tears were welling up, and she let them run freely down her soft, youthful cheeks. And he knew then, she had truly believed he wouldn't come back. Well, then. He was going to prove her assumptions wrong and make those unnecessary tears vanish.
"Chihiro," he whispered mournfully at the sound of her hushed sobs in this short distance. He would close the distance. His hands balled into fists and he stood up straight with newfound strength to keep that a fact. He took several more steps forward… and merged in his new world that he would call home from now on.
Chihiro still seemed oblivious to his form, but he was okay with that. Her eyes were still squeezed tightly shut, so she couldn't see his feet approaching her as he did so. But her eyes shot open upon the touch of his slender hand on the crown of her head. She looked up to meet Haku's warm, green orbs and lips smiling softly down at her. Time stood still for a split moment, and she felt her heart skip a couple beats.
"Haku…" She whispered tearfully, before lunging herself at him and wrapping her thin arms around his neck into a tight hug that nearly squeezed the air out of the boy. Haku seemed to expect this as he held her back endearingly.
"I missed you, Haku…" she murmured, muffled in his shoulder as new tears formed. But she couldn't allow a smile of hope arrive just yet without a confirmation, for it hadn't escaped her notice that Haku didn't hold a potion in his hand.
"I missed you, too, Chihiro," the older boy replied gently as his arms wrapped and tangled around her tighter like it was the last thing he could do before the world crumbled. "So much."
They stayed in that embrace for a minute longer, savoring it. When they pulled away, Chihiro furrowed her eyebrows. "That potion… have you… already taken it or something?"
Haku shook his head but still smiled wide, and Chihiro allowed herself to hope. "No. I didn't take the potion. I didn't find the potion. I never had a potion, in the end."
Chihiro was perplexed. "Then… how are you here? Is it only temporary again?" She asked, those sad tears building up again at the thought of Haku disappearing another time. If last time didn't hurt enough, it was going to hurt a lot this time if it were true, after all the impatient waiting she had to endure those weeks he was gone.
But nonetheless, Haku still maintained a happy smile, and this only confused her more. "I don't need it, Chihiro. It took me a while to realize it, I'll admit, but I think you will find these news quite delightful to your ears."
"What do you mean?" She asked, holding his arms eagerly.
"I'm human." He grinned.
Chihiro's eyes widened. "Wha… what? But… how did you…"
Suddenly, Haku moved in closer and pulled her into another embrace, causing a light blush to play on her cheeks as he leaned into her ear and whispering into it a single word laced with all the affection in the world he could express in his voice: "Love."
Chihiro's eyes sparkled as Haku retracted, finally allowing herself to smile for the first time in a very long time. "I'm so happy." She whispered.
Haku's lips parted to mirror her statement, but he found he was incapable. Instead, his eyes softened for her and he settled with expressing his joy through actions.
"I just… want to try something… if you don't mind, then." Haku murmured. When she didn't object, he placed a hand on her cheek, staring with wonder into her chocolate pair of eyes. He continued to lean in closer until they were inches apart, pausing, then letting his eyes drift shut and continuing forward until their lips met into a slow kiss, as innocent as curious six-year-olds treading on unfamiliar grounds with complete blissful ignorance on how it would possibly affect them later.
It was just a small and simple action with a brush of the lips, but enough to make both children breathless when they pulled away.
Soon afterwards, hands twined under the brilliant shine of the sun, the children with newfound emotions that would affect the rest of their lives, left the tunnel and the statue and down the path.