Back To December

An Unfinished Business Oneshot

Authors Note:

Alright, so the miracle of this whole thing is that I originally finished this all in about 3 hours total. Then, I edited it for about a week and a half trying to make it absolutely perfect, which it probably won't be but still. The crappy part? I'm pretty sure it sucks. Really badly. I mean, writing songfics in theory sounds fun, but when you come to a certain point, it feels like you've just been restating yourself half of the time. So please, go easy on me, but don't hesitate to tell me I repeated myself about 50 times. I choose to blame the English language for not having enough ways to express guilt and regret. But thankfully, I spellchecked this thing about 20 times until I was absolutely positive it was purely perfect to all extents of spelling. The writing itself? Well, that's sort of up to you to tell me in review form. I guess if this doesn't end up with 2 reviews in total I'll feel a little better, but Halloween's past and I don't know who's even reading Casper anymore. I probably should've sped the story up, huh? Anyways, please tell me what you think and maybe, just maybe Chapter Four will be posted real soon and remember, the Unfinished Business Soundtrack will be out by sometime during early to mid-December. (: Oh, and Happy early Thanksgiving! :D

I'm so glad you made time to see me

How's life? Tell me, how's your family?

I haven't seen them in a while

Casper knew he would regret leaving. Or at the very least, regret not saying goodbye to Kat. And right now as he watched- invisibly of course- Kat toss and turn in her sleep, he truly felt remorse. How could he have done that to her? Sure, maybe they wouldn't be able to be together, but they would always have been friends. No matter what. But now, all he could do was watch her slumber silently as anguish took him over.

Watching her, his mind began to wander to the others he'd left behind; Dr. Harvey, and his uncles- Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso. Were they doing okay? Were they angry at him for leaving? He didn't know, and hadn't seen them since he'd left. Kat was the only one he'd ever checked in on, and even then it was far too rare for him to find time and a good chance to visit Kat to risk exposing himself to his uncles, who would immediately know of his presence or losing time with her. Besides, he was sure his uncles were just fine without him, and only missed him- if it could be called that- because he had practically been their unpaid, poorly treated servant. But that was beside the point, the point of this visit was Kat. Not his vile relatives.

You've been good, busier than ever

We small talk, work and the weather

Your guard is up, and I know why

Actually, now that he thought about it, as much as he regretted leaving, there was one thing he didn't regret- allowing her to have the social life she had now. When he'd left, her father had pressured her constantly to make new friends and let him go. Yes, it stung to think that Kat was pushing away his memory, but Casper could understand why she was doing it.

Kat was seemingly happy, with a ton of new friends, including a boy named Cameron and several of her former 6th grade classmates. The same ones who had once though of her as a freak, now saw her as a close friend. Funny, how life sometimes worked.

Casper moved closer to her, still in his invisible form. He floated above her for a moment, watching over her sleeping form before inching closer and settling down on the bed next to her.

Kat turned away from him in her sleep, murmuring incoherently to herself and tugging the pillow closer to her head in a sleepy manner. A few moments later, her body tensed up and Casper held his breath, trying not to make a the slightest sound. Does she know I'm here? He thought, readying himself to bolt out the balcony doors. But thankfully, she soon relaxed and sighed in content, her breathing staying slow and even.

Because the last time you saw me

Is still burned in the back of your mind

You gave me roses, and I left them there to die

Casper also let out a sigh of relief, mirroring that of his friend. Maybe if you didn't just abandon her, then you wouldn't be in this mess right now. He thought glumly to himself, thinking back to that day, the day when he decided to leave and find a way to come back to life, just as he had the night of the Halloween dance. Because maybe, just maybe Kat would be with him if he were a human. She had definitely seemed to like him on that night, between dancing together and sharing a kiss that was both wonderful and horrible, filled with the beginnings of love and lots of heartache. But then again, leaving the way he did probably ended things between them before anything could have begun, saying she had even liked him like that.

So this is me swallowing my pride

Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night

And I go back to December all the time

And now, as he watched the human girl sleep, he realized he'd made a huge mistake in leaving Whipstaff. He should have stayed, and maybe eventually Amelia would've given him his wish, or he'd find the recipe to the Lazarus.

Yeah, but by the time that would've happened, Kat probably would've found someone. A selfish part of him said.

But it would've saved everyone a lot of trouble and hurt, just sucking it up. The more humble part of him argued.

The humble voice won out, silencing that of the other. It hadn't been fair to Kat to just leave and not even say goodbye to her face, leaving her only a lousy letter on the counter. Nor, was it fair to Kat that he had told her he loved her in that letter, leaving her with so many questions and so much confusion.

Everyday, as he'd wandered from place to place in search of a way to be human again, he'd thought of her. Her long brown hair, her dark laughing eyes... her smile, everything. Kat filled his thoughts all the time, even when his attention was needed elsewhere. It didn't matter, because no matter what, that guilt stuck with him and was forever attached to her memory. Every thought of her, every dream- they were all filled with fault.

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you

Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine

I go back to December, turn around and make it alright

I go back to December all the time

Originally, he'd tried to convince himself that it was the right thing to do and that it was wrong, unnatural even, for him to believe she could be with him the way he was. Humans were meant to be with humans, and ghosts, they were meant to eventually move on. So he'd left, leaving him to wish that he'd realized what he did now, back then. But unfortunately, there was nothing he could do now but hope that someday, if he ever became a human again, she would somehow find a way to forgive him.

These days, I haven't been sleeping

Staying up, playing back myself leaving

When your birthday passed, and I didn't call

Ever since he'd left Whipstaff- his home since birth, he hadn't been able to sleep. During the two years he'd lived there with Kat, he'd grown used to sleeping by her side and now couldn't readjust to sleeping alone. While he was supposed to be sleeping, he instead lay there and replayed the night he left over and over until his figurative heart ached.

Casper watched silently from a distance as Kat read his letter. She looked absolutely devastated and would have made his heart pound guiltily given the fact that he still had one. You're doing the right thing, he counseled himself knowing that if ghosts could truly shed tears, he would be. You and her will never work unless you're a human.

And with that, Casper took one last look at the only girl he'd ever loved and flew off to the west, away from the manor, the little town of Friendship, and most heartbreakingly; Kat Harvey.

And last month on Kat's birthday, a day where she was feeling especially alone what with her mother dying and him leaving, he watched silently from her window as she looked through her old photo album at pictures of her and her mother. Tears rolled down her cheeks and dropped onto the pages, making him wish desperately that he could comfort her and tell her it was going to be okay.

Casper's gaze moved to the side table that sat beside the bed, to where the two year old letter sat, obviously having been folded and crinkled multiple times. She's been thinking about me, He thought feeling both sheepishly pleased and extremely conscience-stricken. He picked up the old letter, smoothing it out and reread his words, feeling his heart grow sicker with every word.

Kat,

I'm sorry to leave without saying goodbye but I have some things that I need to take care of involving the Lazarus machine. I don't know when I'll be back but I couldn't leave without telling you this; I love you Kat, as more than a best-friend. I know there's a very good chance that you don't feel the same but I had to tell you this. Before I met you, my unfinished business was how I'd died; young and violently. But when I met you, that changed. You became my unfinished business, Kat and that's why I'm going to find a way to be human again. And because I love you, please don't come after me. Hopefully the next time I see you I'll have good news.

Love,

Casper

He dropped the letter back onto the side table like it had burned him. And it had, in a way. Casper shook it off and in opening his azure eyes, found his eyes settled on a few of the smaller moving boxes Kat had brought with her to Whipstaff two years ago, still untouched in the corner of the bedroom.

Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times

I watched you laughing from the passenger side

And realized I loved you in the fall

He, to his surprise, found himself smiling at the memory of the first time they met. How she'd been going through her clothes and had tossed a pair of socks behind her, going straight into his mouth. They tasted awful, but they were the beginning of a beautiful friendship. She'd turned around and her beautiful brown eyes widened in astonishment and fear of him. He'd tried, and failed to explain himself and to calm her but no, her eyes rolled back in her head and she fainted right before his eyes. And after he'd woken her up by pouring water on her, Kat opened her mouth and let out such a loud scream that he was positive the whole town of Friendship, Maine could hear her. Thinking about their meeting led his mind to the memory of the time he'd realized he loved her.

Kat had been half asleep, talking to him about memories of his life and about her mother and the worry that she held inside of her about the possibility of her mother being a ghost, and not remembering her. Casper had been assuring her that she hadn't forgotten her- couldn't have forgotten her, even though he couldn't guarantee this. But she seemed to take comfort in his words and looked at him with her big eyes, filled with unspoken thanks. And in that moment, he knew he'd have felt his heart squeeze and butterflies in his stomach if he still had either one of those body parts.

And as she was falling asleep, her eyes closed and her voice sounding distant, he chose his words carefully.

"Kat?" asked Casper, cautiously.

"Hmm?"

"If I were alive," He stuttered, nervously. "Would you go to the Halloween dance with me?"

"Mhm." She mumbled.

He hesitated but decided to go for it. "And Kat?"

"Hmm?" Kat's voice sounded even more distant by now, and he couldn't be sure she would understand him.

"Can I keep you?" He whispered in a soft voice, causing Kat to shiver.

"Mhm." Kat mumbled again, a small smile on her face.

He grinned, and leaned down, pressing his lips to her cheek as much as was possible for a ghost anyways.

Kat shivered again and tugged the sleeping blanket closer to her face. "Casper, close the window. It's cold."

His smile faltered and he sighed, slinking down the the foot of the bed and curling up comfortably. Why had he even bothered? She was a human- alive and with a beating heart. And he was a ghost- dead and haunted. It was obvious that ghosts weren't meant to be with humans.

And then the cold came, the dark days

When fear crept into my mind

You gave me all your love, and all I gave you was goodbye

But then of course, here Casper was, sitting by the girl he left behind when he'd decided to pick up and go. He couldn't even enjoy the fact that this was the first time he'd dared come in the room while she was here. He couldn't enjoy her company, thinking about how angry she'd probably be if she knew of his presence. But that was his own fault, he had chosen to leave. He deserved her anger, for all the things he didn't do and for all the mistakes he made that affected her.

So this is me swallowing my pride

Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night

And I go back to December all the time

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you

Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine

I go back to December, turn around and change my own mind

I go back to December all the time

Casper sat silently for a moment, listening to Kat's breathing to be sure she was fully asleep and that she wouldn't be awoken. When he was satisfied, he allowed himself to say the three words that he'd wanted to say to her since he left.

"I'm sorry, Kat." Casper said aloud, staring out the window at ocean that lay just beyond the cliff Whipstaff sat on. "I'm sorry, for everything."

I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile

So good to me, so right

And how you held me in your arms that September night

The first time you ever saw me cry

Casper felt better, letting this out but knew deep down that it wouldn't have made much of a difference if he'd written it in the stars. He'd made his choice, and there was no going back. But for now, he allowed himself to reminisce one more time, on one of his favorite memories of her. One where she'd been truly kind and gentle, showing him the side of her that few others, aside from her father had seen since her mother had passed away, having been masked by a fairly believable tough and sarcastic attitude.

It was about a year prier to his bedroom visit, and Casper, the usually outgoing, perky ghost was in one of his rare depressed moods. He'd been alone, wandering all day through his father's old lab and searching the shelves, drawers, cabinets- everything for some kind of clue as to how to re-start the Lazarus machine. But alas, he had no such luck and his hands were empty handed, much to his dismay.

"Dammit." He mumbled, knocking over some of the dusty books sitting atop of J.T's desk. They hit the ground with a thud, allowing a cloud of dust to rise from the pages of the battered novel, a seasoned copy of Dracula.

"You know," A familiar voice behind him said. "That books probably worth thousands. I wouldn't beat it up too much more, or all that money'll go straight down the drain."

Casper smiled sheepishly, embarrassed at having been caught during a tantrum. "Sorry. And it was my dad's favorite book... I wouldn't be able to give it away anyway."

Kat returned his smile, only hers was filled with amusement. "Ah, so he was into scary stories?"

The young ghost nodded, gesturing towards himself. "Ever since I- you know, died." A faraway look came over him suddenly, but it was gone as quickly as it had appeared and he grinned again, this time more tenderly. "What're you doing down here anyways?"

Kat shrugged, plopping down in his father's old beaten up chair which, unsurprisingly, released even more dust into the air and making her cough. Casper chuckled softly and when the air had cleared enough, Kat glared at him but coughed, ruining the threat. "I got bored. Figured I'd come see what you've been doing all day." said Kat in a slightly hoarse voice, coughing a little at the end.

Casper shrugged, glancing around the old, dusty lab. "Just, looking around,"

"For the recipe." Kat finished, even though he'd planned on letting it end there. His gaze returned to her and his eyes saddened, confirming her accusation. The room was silent for a moment as she searched his face, and he awkwardly floated there, feeling like a pet goldfish. Kat sighed, and sat forward in her seat, looking deep into the azure eyes belonging to the boy- ghost before her. "Why?"

His eyes narrowed, a little annoyed at her for even asking. Kat knew exactly why he was looking, but she wanted him to confirm it for her. "Don't do that."

Kat's eyes filled with confusion, actually almost convincing him. "Do what?"

His words were harsh, making his stomach sick. Casper had never acted this bitter towards her, and guilt immediately coursed through him, but he chose to ignore it. "Manipulate me into telling you what you already know."

Hurt flashed in her dark eyes for a second, but she hid it well, putting a cool expression on her face. "I'm not."

"Liar." murmured Casper, turning away from her and floating towards the shelves he'd previously been searching.

"I just want to help, Casper. I do know what you're looking for, I do know what you plan on using it for, but what I don't know is why you're still wandering around this old cave hoping it'll just magically appear before you one day."

He tried to think of a comeback, something witty enough to silence her and leave him to his search, but he couldn't find one. His shoulders sagged, and he looked down at the ground a good couple of foot below him. "I have to, Kat. My dad- it's what he wanted. What I want."

Kat stood up and closed the distance between them so she was only a foot or so away from his floating form, looking genuinely concerned for her friend. "I know."

Casper examined her, and could tell she wasn't lying, which now left him confused. "Then-"

She lifted her hand, perfectly manicured for an upcoming dance- one of course, he couldn't attend- and silenced him. She was quiet for a moment, obviously choosing her words carefully. "But why his lab? Why would he hide it in such an obvious place? I mean, if you know where the Lazarus is, then you'd be within distance of the recipe."

Casper considered this for a moment. "I- I don't know. I just thought that maybe-"

Kat shook her head, again silencing him. She wasn't harsh, but she was confident, obviously knowing she was right. "No. If it were me, I'd hide it somewhere where they couldn't guess- wouldn't be able to guess."

He chewed on this theory, examining it carefully for flaws to argue but couldn't, it made sense. Actually, it was perfect. Casper nodded slowly. "That makes sense. Thank you, Kat."

She beamed at him, and her dark orbs shined gleefully, making her look absolutely beautiful in his eyes. He could only imagine how much more beautiful she'd be through the eyes of a human. "Anytime, Casper. I'm always here to help."

The memory was plain, containing no real reason for his stomach to do flip-flops, but that was it. The plainness, and her sincere concern were enough to drive him nuts. Though, the memory also revealed something to him. Because he had left, he'd broken his unofficial agreement to be there for her. Damn.

Maybe this is wishful thinking

Probably mindless dreaming

But if we loved again, I swear I'd love you right

I'd go back in time and change it, but I can't

So if the chain is on your door, I understand

Casper knew it was stupid, crazy even to think this, but he couldn't help it. Casper knew Kat would have a lot of difficulty forgiving him if and when he came home. And knew that even if she had felt the same, she probably either didn't feel that way anymore or didn't trust him anymore. But, he couldn't help but hope deep down in his ghostly heart that she could forgive him and that he'd have a second chance to make things right. And while Casper wished that Kat would forgive him and give him another chance, if she chose not to forgive him, he would understand.

This is me swallowing my pride

Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night

And I go back to December

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you

Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine

I go back to December, turn around and make it alright

I go back to December, turn around and change my own mind

I go back to December all the time, all the time

Casper noticed then, that the sky was beginning to turn light and realized that soon Kat would awaken to go about her human life and be with friends and be normal. So, taking one last look at Kat he leaned down and once again, just as that night in this very room, pressed his lips to her skin. She again, shivered and pulled the quilt- his quilt, he discerned with a bitter smile, closer to her petite frame. Casper glanced dolefully around their- her room, he decided, one last time before turning towards the doors to the balcony.

"Goodbye, Kat." He whispered wistfully to himself, as she was asleep. Casper then lifted himself from the ground, through the doors and began his flight south, back in the direction he had originally come.

But, what he didn't know was the second his lips had touched Kat's skin, she had been awoken. Of course, she hadn't known that he'd really been there, thinking it'd been another of her too-real dreams of him. The second he'd left though, Kat opened her eyes that were swiftly filling with tears and whispered to herself.

"Goodbye, Casper." And as the tears fell from her eyes, onto her cheeks and down her chin, she tried, unsuccessfully to ignore her previous "dream" and all the memories that filled her along with it. She never did manage to close her eyes and return to sleep that early morning, too filled with bittersweet memories to rest her wary mind. But just as Casper had predicted, Kat managed to suck it up and go about her day, talking to her human friends- including the boy Casper had mentioned, Cameron, who held a certain romantic interest in Kat, much to her obliviousness- and goofing around, being normal. Or as normal as a girl who loved a ghost could be, that is.

Authors Note Numero Dos:

Anddddd, the end. :D Or the beginning, actually. But still, either way it's an end to the one-shot. So, what did you think? Did it rock (doubts) or did it suck? Tell me in a review, I'd love to know what you think. Maybe if I get a couple of reviews I'll think of doing more one-shots and songfics and such in the future. Who knows, maybe I'll write another for Christmas or something, or maybe even a House of Night or Vampire Academy/Bloodlines one or something. Oh, and you should be uber proud. I almost hit the 4,000 word count with 3,937. So close, yet so far away. :(