**DISCLAIMER** I DO NOT OWN SPIRITED AWAY! STUDIO GHILBI AND HAYAO MIYAZAKI DOES! ^_^ enjoy
Spirited Away 2: Unfamiliar Realm
Chapter 1: The bloody reunion
It had been little over six years since Chihiro had been spirited away, but it felt like a life time. She had changed, but only her parents had noticed. Chihiro had become more mature and grown up after that ordeal and it still puzzled her parents as to what made her change. They of course, remembered nothing about them being spirited away while Chihiro remembered it all. But it had been so long that it seemed like a distant dream. Chihiro would sit in her room for long periods of time sometimes, staring at a picture of the Kohaku River that was taken before it was filled in. She would stare and try to remember what it felt like to fly on Haku's back whilst he was a dragon, and to have the wind rush past her. At first her parents were a little concerned, but they said nothing and just let things be. After all, this Chihiro wouldn't wine about every little thing and she didn't seem so spoilt and loud.
Chihiro was well liked among peers at school-she was polite and humble and easy to talk too, but often she'd stare of in a daze. At first she was ridiculed about it because everyone had heard the rumor about how Chihiro and her family had been spirited away, but they lessened once people got to understand what Chihiro was really like.
It was mostly during math's lessons that Chihiro would daze of most, because that's when she was most bored. Chihiro's close friend, Oli, who sat in front of Chihiro, leant back in his chair. He had shabby, dark sandy colored hair and was somewhat of a class clown from time to time, and almost ALWAYS a tease.
"Yo. Psst, Chihiro" he whispered. "Your gonna get in trouble again if you don't snap out of it"
"Hmm?" she turned to look at him, still partly in her dream world.
"You were day dreaming again. Snap out of it"
"O-oh, aha…sorry Oli" He looked down at the refill paper on her desk. His eye nearly twitched. It was another drawing of that guy she called Haku or sometimes Kohaku.
"Why do you keep drawing the same character over and over again Chi?" Chi was Oli's nickname for Chihiro.
"What do you mean?" He picked up the paper and put it right in her face.
"Thiiiissss! You keep drawing the same imaginary character all the time. The only other thing you draw is that dragon, and even then it's the same one" He just put his hands behind his head, sighed and leant back in his chair.
"At least it's not the same pose every time"
"Oh be quite Oli! Your gonna get us in trouble. And leave her alone, she can draw what she wants" hushed Heili from beside Chihiro. "Don't listen to him Chi, he's just jealous cause you won't draw him. Besides, that Haku character would be way cute in real life" said Heili, Chihiro's other close friend. She was extremely pretty with long, lush blonde hair, fair skin, deep sea blue eyes and a pretty face. Her physique was slender, not skinny. Chihiro knew the difference. It was hard for Chihiro not to often envy her friend when she herself was so plain. There was nothing definitive or pretty about her.
"Hey, Chihiro" whispered Oli, still leaning back on his chair. "Are me and Helly still going back to your place after school?" He turned his head a little to face her.
"It's Heili! Pronounced Hay-lee! Its not friggen Helly"
"Yea yea yea, what ever" said Oli brushing it aside. "So are we still going to you place or what? I want you to show me where it is everyone says you and your family were spirited away"
"You idiot! You shouldn't bring that up! She might not want to talk about it"
"Aww c'mon! She's never actually denied she was spirited away now has she? But you don't actually believe that she was, do you?"
"O-of course not! It's completely stupid. And…wait a minute" Heili suddenly had an epiphany...if you could call it that. "Why don't you ever go in to the forest yourself huh? Everyone knows it's supposedly somewhere in that forest where she was spirited away so why didn't you go explore it yourself?"
"Hah! I knew it! You're just as superstitious as me! Right Chi!" she turned around to see Chihiro gazing out the window again. Both Oli and Heili sighed.
"She does that every time we even remotely mention being spirited away" declared Heili.
"Yea I know…kind of makes you wonder if it really is true, ya know?"
"Yea. It'd be nice to know for sure though if she really was spirited away"
Chihiro and Heili walked, gossiped and laughed whilst Oli just followed lazily behind with his in his pockets.
"Finally, home sweet home" said Chihiro as she unlocked the door with a spare house key she kept hung around her neck. "Mum? Dad?" she yelled as she opened the door. "Huh…guess their still out…Sweet! House to ourselves!" Oli and Heili did a little whoop in excitement. "You guys sit down and make yourself at home while I go run and get the mail. I forgot to check it" Chihiro dashed out the door and Oli put his feet up on the coffee table.
"Hey! Get you feet of the table!" growled Heili.
"Sheesh, you sound like my mum. You know how scary that is? Besides, she said make yourself at home"
"Yea well there are boundaries to that saying" Heili gave Oli's feet a little push and when they shifted, they knocked something of the table.
"That's your fault" said Oli putting his feet down.
"Yea right" she scoffed. "What is it anyway?" she asked as Oli searched the floor around the coffee table for what ever it might be that feel off.
"Found it!" he declared. "Its just some box" He slid out from under the table and as he was trying to stand to his feet, he dropped the box and it fell open, upside down.
"Nice going Oli" hissed Heili mockingly.
"Yea yea, get of my back" he hissed back. "Woaah" he said as he lifted the box, closed the lid and put it on the ground beside him.
"What? What!" urged Heili. Oli sat back on the couch and opened his palm.
"This was inside that box" In his palm was a small, solid gold cubed object with multiple engravings on it.
"Wooah. What is it?"
"AAHH! HAKKUU!" Chihiro's scream from outside broke their thoughts and the two friends dashed outside.
Chihiro walked to mail box and hummed herself a little tune. "Chihiro" said a voice so faint that Chihiro thought she was imagining it. She opened the mail box and grabbed the heap of letters and junk mail inside. Why oh why did her mother never collect the mail, she wondered. She walked back up the path to her house and heard her name again but the voice seemed more solid…more real. Chihiro froze in her tracks. There came a rustle behind her. She turned around to see a young boy with an unforgettable face, trying to support himself by holding on to the mailbox.
"Ch-hiro" he muttered quietly before falling limb to the ground
"AAHH! HAKKUU!" she yelled. She dropped the mail and ran to the young river spirits side. He had multiple cuts and bruises on his body, some serious, other merely grazes.
"CHIHIROOO!" yelled Heili who immediately emerged from the house with Oli, and ran down the drive way at full speed. They could see her huddled over something on the concrete.
Heili was the first to reach her. "Ch-Chihiro. What's wrong? We heard you scream" Heili gasped in shock as she saw the young, limb boy on the ground.
"H-help me get him inside. QUICK!" yelled Chihiro. Heili could see Chihiro was near the brink of tears. Oli didn't ask questions but instead grabbed the mystery mans feet whilst Heili helped Chihiro carry the upper half of his body. They shuffled slowly and awkwardly up the small hill with Chihiro's house at the top and lay the boy immediately down on the couch.
"Lock the door!" Yelled Chihiro. The last thing she wanted was her parent's barging in and calling the police. She quickly noticed the box on the ground and the golden seal on the floor. She picked it up fuming.
"Who touched this! Who opened the box!" Both Heili and Oli looked around sheepishly.
"Never mind. Oli, run up stairs to the bathroom and grab the first aid kit. Heili, there's a large red bucket outside near the tap. Fill it with water and grab a flannel from the kitchen. Dont forget to look the door when you come back inside!" Chihiro threw Heili the house key and caught it with ease. "GO!" yelled Chihiro. Heili and Oli nodded and ran to do what they were told.
"Haku? Haku can you hear me?...Kohaku?" The boy grumbled so he was not completely unconscious, but his breathing was heavy. She felt his forehead. Just as she thought, it was burning which meant he had a bad fever.
"I got the water!" declared Heili as she rushed through the front door with a red bucket full of water. While she ran to get the flannel from the kitchen, Oli dashed down stairs box a big full of first aid supplies. He placed the box on the coffee table without saying a word. Heili ran back into the lounge and handed Chihiro the flannel, then quickly locked the front door and put the house key on the coffee table. Chihiro immediately dipped the flannel in the water and began to gently wipe away the blood from the mysterious man, once she removed his leather jacket to reveal more wounds underneath. Heili and Oli both watched in silence as they looked at Chihiro gently wipe away the blood and perspire. She was like a whole new person right now. Never had they seen her so focused and serious.
"Oli, run upstairs and find a blanket" she said without diverting her gaze and attention from the mysterious man.
"This may sting a little so bear with me ok?" she said as she grabbed the antiseptic from the first aid box and applied it to his cuts, starting with the more serious ones first. The boy grimaced at the sting of the antiseptic and even gave a small yell of pain.
"Throw me the blanket" said Chihiro as Oli emerged from upstairs with a large, thick, plain baby blue blanket in his hands. She gently placed the blanket on top of their injured guest to keep him warm.
"Heili can you run in to the kitchen and find me another flannel please and bring me a bowl of water too" Chihiro's tone was kinder and softer now...closer to the Chihiro, Heili and Oli knew. They were still stricken with shock at one: the injured man ( techinically still a teen) and two: Chihiro's sudden authoritive behavior and reaction. They had no idea she had it in her. Heili emerged from the kitchen moments later with the bowl of water and new flannel. Chihiro grabbed the new flannel, dipped it in the bowl of fresh water, wrung it, and then placed it on the strangers' forehead. She continued to clean his wounds with the other flannel and Heili and Oli noticed her breifly wipe a single tear.
"Who is he!" yelled Oli demandingly. "When you yelled, you yelled out Haku right! Is that really the HAKU from you drawings!"
"Stop it Oli! Can't you see she's upset!" defended Heili "She's trying to keep the poor boy alive!".
"No…it's ok. You two have the right to know. *sniff* He is Haku, the one from my drawings" Heili and Oli's jaw dropped. They weren't really sure what answer they were expecting but it wasn't that.
"But…he looks nothing like the guy from your drawings" stated Oli. And he was right. Haku had changed a lot, but Chihiro still recognized him instantly. Haku had changed his hair and his clothes so much so, that he was barley recognizable. His fringe was still perfectly straight cut with bangs on the side, but the rest if his hair was cut shorter and was no longer perfectly straight at the bottom and instead of the forest green colour she remembered, it was now black. It was a similar cut to the character Riku in Kingdom Hearts 1. He had also grown a lot taller and broader to. His clothes no longer resembled anyone from old feudal Japan but instead a modern day teen. He wore a plain dark gray tank top with a black leather jacket, which Chihiro had removed so she could get to the wound easier, and dark, baggy denim jeans which were torn at the knee.
"Your right" Chihiro smiled weakly. "He doesn't look anything like the guy from my drawings…but it is him"
"But…who exactly is he?" asked Heili. "I thought he was made up. How'd you two meet? Actually, what I really wanna know is why the hell he's so bloodied up!"
"I wish I knew that myself" mutterd Chihiro. Oli just sighed in exasperation and then spotted the gold seal glimmering in the coffee table.
"Ok, now I've got a question. What the hell is this? You freaked out when you saw it" asked Oli picking it up. Chihiro turned around immediately and snatched it off him.
"Don't touch that! Just leave it alone…please"
"Why though? What's so important about it?"
"I…might tell you later. Just let it be for now" Chihiro stuffed the gold seal in her pocket.
"What the hell was the gold seal doing on the lounge coffee table!" she wondered. "Mum must've been cleaning up my room again and found it. Dammit! I thought I hid it well enough. Oh well" three years after Chihiro had left the spirit realm; she saw a box sitting randomly on her bed one day, with Zeniba's solid gold monogram seal inside. Chihiro had no idea why or how it was in the human world in the first place, but she made sure to hide it very carefully and make sure no one knew about it. Something told her she had to protect it, at least until someone came to get it from her. Chihiro even went so far as to make a replica of the box and seal. Only she could tell which one was the real one though. She could always feel the power emmetting from it when ever she held it.
"So…are you gonna tell us who he is?" asked Heili hopefully.
"I don't know. It's not my place to say really. I'll ask him when he wakes up if it's ok"
"You mean if he gets up" muttered Oli
"He will get up!" Chihiro protested furiously, then looked away in shame. "I-I'm sorry you two. I'm getting mad when I shouldn't be. You've been nothing but helpful. When he wakes up, I'll decide how much is safe to tell you"
"Safe to tell us? Chihiro…what's going on?" urged Heili. Chihiro just shook her head, indicating that she wouldn't say anymore. Haku groaned quietly.
"Haku? Can you hear me?" He groaned again almost as in response. "Haku, I don't know why, but I have Zeniba's seal here" She took the seal from her pocket and held Haku's hand with seal stuck between her hand and his. "Listen, I know your too weak to heal yourself, so try draw on the power of Zeniba's seal" Her hand squeezed his, and a soft green light slowly began to envelope Haku. The other two scarcely believed their eyes. They just gawked at the scene before them. All of Haku's wounds started to heal. The lighter ones healed completely without leaving a trace, while the serious ones merely closed over. Chihiro let go of his hand and placed the seal on the coffee table. Haku opened his eyes ever so slightly and turned his head to face Chihiro. He smiled briefly, then it dropped. He struggled to speak. "Get rid of…the seal."
"Yes, I was just about to go hide it again" Haku gently shook his head.
"No. You have to…get rid…of it for good"
"But...it's Zeniba's. I can't just throw away something that belongs to her. Especially not something so important"
"Throw it somewhere…where no one will…ever find it. Like a lake. It…won't get damaged. When the time is right...we'll find it again"
"But…Haku" She was about to protest before Haku's eye's heavy and he quickly fell into a calm but deep sleep. His breathing was already regular and calm which made Chihiro smile in relief. He'd live, thanks to the seal she guessed.
"Chihiro, we deserve an explanation" demanded Oli.
"Well…I guess it can't hurt too much" said Chihiro caving in under peer-pressure. She was too tired to argue or refuse anyway. She wondered what the unexplained cause for her fatigue was. "Finally!" yelled Oli.
"I'll be back in a minute" Chihiro dashed up stairs and re-appeared a moment later carrying an exact replica of the box the seal was in.
"What gives?" asked Heili as Chihiro put the real seal in the original box and used the house key to lock it. Nobody would think to look for a key that could be easily found. She didn't bother to put it back around her neck.
"Haku told me to get rid of the seal so that's what I'm gonna do" She ran into the kitchen, came out holding a knife, then ran into the laundry and appeared holding a sewing kit box as well.
"What the? Whats with the gear?" asked Heili.
"Help me tip the other couch on its side. I'm gonna hide the fake seal and box inside"
"Fake seal?" Oli muttered to himself before opening the second box. He looked inside and saw an exact replica of the gold seal. Even though he was the only guy there, the girls handled tipping the other couch onto its side on their own. Oli had no idea why he did, what he did next. Something came over him and he had no idea what compelled him to do the following. While the girls were busy tipping the couch on its side and slicing a hole in it, Oli grabbed the fake seal, unlocked the box with the real seal inside and pocketed it, then put the fake seal in its place and locked the box again. He also locked the box that had the fake seal inside. He noticed the girls had just finished slicing open the hole in the couch.
"Here" he said walking over to them, and handing them the original box that now had the fake seal inside.
"Thanks" said Chihiro as she fidgeted around to try and stuff the box inside the couch.
"He suggested throwing it in a lake or something right? Should I walk down to the pier and throw it in the sea?" Oli asked while Chihiro started stitching up the hole in the couch.
"Yea, ok. Thanks" Oli picked up the empty box and made his way to the pier.