Ok, ok spoilsports. Not letting me have my nice sensible ending. I suppose this is what fanfiction is for, bending the rules.

Here you go. See if you like this one better...

Alternate Ending:

Sadako was asleep, her head resting on her wrinkled hands - the worry lines lessening around her eyes. Shō lay on the white hospital bed, sleeping peacefully, his chest rhythmically moving up and down with each breath. Arrietty sat on the windowsill looking out at the world go by in the early morning light. Shō had got back from surgery earlier that morning and went straight to sleep - the doctors told them it had been the strain of running combined with an odd heart palpitation. Nothing that couldn't be sorted out quickly at the hospital, but it had given everyone a little shock when they had to rush him to hospital.

The little borrower was relieved that Shō was alright, but she was also worried about what would happen when her tou-san came to get her. Would Shō be alright or would his heart play up again? She sat there thinking as the sun rose above the horizon, and way after the doctors had come to check on Shō (she had hidden behind the curtain when they had come in).

She just didn't want to think about what could happen to Shō is she left him the way he was. Her resolve was set. She climbed out of the gap in the window and shimmied her way down the side of the drainpipe on the edge of the building. The early morning sun was lighting her way, as if it knew what she was planning on doing.

She reached the bottom with few problems and raced across the road towards the tallest tree she could see. She had no sticky tape with her this time, but the tree had plenty of branches close to the ground and plenty of knotholes and wrinkles in the bark for her to climb the tree with ease. She got to the top, hands bleeding and grazed, just as the sun had passed the horizon. It was just as it had happened little under a week ago. This time, the wish would be a little different.

"Why Arrietty, what a pleasant surprise. I hear Shō is in hospital, I hope everything is going to be ok before you go home."

The Lendwitch appeared much quicker than she had the first time. Arrietty sensed she wasn't far away when she was watching her latest magic borrower.

"I have a wish for you, Lendwitch. Except this time I don't want to borrow."

"Well, child. I must say that I am accustomed to hearing this, but I almost never follow through with it. Why on earth should I give you the power to become human when I have given you as much already?"

"Shō needs me; they say his heart palpitation was a minor, rare occurrence, but what is it happens again? Sadako is getting old and his mother doesn't seem to want to give him the time of day. What better reason could I have than keeping Shō alive?"

"I see your point, but it would require a lot of magic to keep you as a human permanently, and, as you know, my magic requires you to give something up. I seem to remember it was your sight you gave up to become a human last time. What can you possibly give me this time?" the Lendwitch said agitatedly.

"Would my sight not suffice again? I would gladly give up my sight to help Shō, even though it would hinder me in my being with Shō." Said Arrietty, she was running out of ideas.

What could she possibly have that the Lendwitch would want?

"I cannot take the same thing from any one person twice, child. That is not how my magic works, although you do have something that I want. It isn't something that would hinder you in your time with Shō, it is merely the product of me being a vain old woman."

"What is it? I will give you anything you ask, just let me be human again."

Arrietty was getting desperate.

"Your hair, it is such a beautiful colour and I'm so bored with black. It's just so cliché…."

Arrietty's hands instantly went to her hair, hanging loosely down her back.

"Oh don't worry, child. I won't take it all from you, just most of it. I think you would look lovely with a pixie cut. Just like a fairy!"

The Lendwitch sounded delighted with her proposition. It seemed a fair trade, it would soon grow back. So Arrietty nodded her head in agreement. With one swish of her hand, Arrietty's hair was short, a cool breeze hitting the back of her neck. The Lendwitch's hair had gone from being dark ebony to the fiery red of Arrietty's hair. She held up a mirror for Arrietty to see the change - the cut seemed to show off her round cheeks and made her dark brown eyes stand out.

With another wave of her hand, Arrietty was suddenly at the bottom of the tree and was growing. She was lucky it was still early and there was nobody around to see a human pop up from nowhere. The Lendwitch had not followed her down from the tree, but Arrietty knew she was still watching. She started the walk back to the hospital room, wandering how long the shocked look would remain on the faces of Shō and Sadako.

10 years later

"Primrose, it's time to come inside and wash your hands for dinner." Arrietty called from the house.

A whine came from the 4 year old at the bottom of the garden.

"But mama! Grandpa Pod and Spiller were showing me how to catch a grasshopper!"

"No, Primrose. It's dinner time. Tou-san, Spiller, will you be joining us? Kaa-san helped me make it, so it should be delicious. We've even set you guys places."

Pod hopped onto his granddaughter's shoulder, but Spiller had disappeared off into the undergrowth. No doubt he was going to find his own dinner. Arrietty didn't mind.

She and Shō had moved in Sadako's house when she had passed away a few years ago. It was no longer empty, since it now held 2 families of borrowers and a new (and growing) family of humans. Arrietty loved the house and she loved her family, she couldn't just run away from both so she had combined both. Luckily her parents hadn't taken it too badly and they doted on their two grandchildren - the four year old Primrose and the 18 month old Thorn (both named for their parents love of gardening). She wouldn't have had it any other way - her heartwish really had come true.