Hikaru gasped, waking with a start, and he breathed hard after. His hands were fisted against Kaoru's shirt and his shoulder but he made himself let go, looking for any life in Kaoru.

Suddenly, Kaoru's heart monitor sped up, beeping erratically. Hikaru jumped back in surprise as Kaoru's body began to convulse. "What's happening?" Hikaru cried, turning to his father who was standing over his shoulder now.

He glanced back at Kaoru and jolted when he noticed the glimmer of Kaoru's soul, lingering around his body in bright colors. Kaoru was trying to reattach himself to his body but it wasn't working. "His body is rejecting him!"

Dad turned his head toward the door with wide eyes. "The nurses are on the way. If they try to resuscitate him now, he may lose the connection."

Hikaru growled and threw his self forward. He would force Kaoru back into his body if he had to. He moved his hand over the glimmering soul, trying to coax it into the body, but it would not respond and the heart monitor continued in its harsh speed.

Forcing the body against the bed to slow its convulsions, Hikaru yelled, "What do I do?"

Looking over his shoulder, Hikaru saw the horrified expression on his father's face. He didn't know what to do, it was obvious.

"I'm not losing him," Hikaru said, turning back to Kaoru's body and suddenly… everything slowed. His adrenaline had kicked in, making everything fast and slow simultaneously. Hikaru's eyes darted from the heart monitor, to Kaoru, to Kaoru's soul. He could the echo of shouts in the hallway as the nurses or doctors sprinted towards Kaoru's room. The air stank of medical supplies. Kaoru's body shook on the blanketed bed and his soul was hesitating just beyond reach.

Hikaru suddenly knew what had to be done.

He threw his hand out at the soul, thrusting his hand against the energy, and just as he suspected, he was able to grab a firm hold around it. "What are you doing?" his father asked in exasperation.

"I'm going to seal him in," Hikaru said quickly. And then he was pushing and pushing Kaoru's soul into his body. Energy vibrated around him, shaking the bed, the walls, the floor. There were shouts somewhere outside the room. They were close, too close, and could interrupt what Hikaru was about to do. In an instant, Hikaru turned and aimed at the door with his hand and forced the door shut with a blast, sealing the door from outsiders.

He turned back to Kaoru and continued the process, forcing the soul. The energy ran through his veins, bursting and excruciating. "Stop!" Dad yelled. "You could tear your own soul apart!"

Hikaru laughed. He was counting on it.

He forced the soul into the body but it still convulsed with a wild heartbeat. It wasn't attaching. There was loud banging on the door from the hospital staff, demanding to be let inside.

Holding Kaoru's soul there, Hikaru closed his eyes with his teeth grit tight. He located his own soul. To his own recognition, he realized his soul was completely different from Kaoru's. It was sparkling cool colors rather than Kaoru's warm.

Then he took his own soul and cut into it. He wasn't sure how he knew how to do such a gruesome task, but he didn't care. He cried out in complete screaming pain as he felt a pain more excruciating than anything he'd ever experienced. And that was only a small cut into his soul.

He forced a small part of his soul to continue to divide from himself through the burning, exhausting, paralyzing cuts. He wanted to vomit, to pass out, to just stop, but he kept going. Hikaru was gasping for air and something dripped down his chin. Blood? Tears? He had no time to stop and check.

And suddenly that piece of his soul was free and Hikaru was left panting with eyes still closed. His soul felt raw and it pulsed from the loss but he could still feel just a little from his soul fragment.

With no hesitation, he forced his soul fragment into Kaoru's body. It complied easily as it was a part of him and melted into Kaoru's body. He forced the connection between his piece and Kaoru's soul and it latched on hungrily, recognizing a healthier soul. The two pieces combined and Hikaru let go, feeling weak.

Kaoru's soul and his shard infused and began to tether itself to Kaoru's body. It was strange to watch such light combine beneath the skin of a body, but it shone so brightly to Hikaru.

It was the last thing Hikaru glimpsed before he dropped to the floor.


Kiyoshi watched his boys sitting together on Kaoru's hospital bed and smiled sadly. They had both survived the soul infusing. He could see it, any ghost or life-reaper could see it. Hikaru's soul was laced within Kaoru's and in response; the rest of Hikaru's soul was drawn to it. That is why the two were inseparable in the last two days since Hikaru's collapse.

Hikaru, being stubborn like Kiyoshi, had kept this information to himself. Kiyoshi didn't blame him though. Kaoru was being held alive by Hikaru's soul and when he did die, Hikaru would die with him. Now that their souls were bound, their fates were bound together to each other too. They would die in unison.

Yuzuha entered the room just then and if Kiyoshi still had a heart, it would have beat ten-fold. He missed her so much and for the first time in a long time, he allowed himself to be in the same room as his wife. She smiled widely at their boys and said, "Your friends are here!" She gestured behind her as the five of them entered the room.

Kiyoshi smiled wider and then focused his attention on his boys' smiling faces one last time as they visited with their friends. Soon, Hikaru and Kaoru would realize that they could no longer see ghosts. Their powers were gone.

Kiyoshi was glad for it. His boys would be safe, finally; he could move on.

So he went to his wife, pressed a kiss to her cheek, and did the same in turn to his sons. They both snapped their gaze in his general direction simultaneously. Neither seemed to even realize how in sync they were now.

"Goodbye," he whispered. "See you later."

Then he allowed himself to fade. He faded fast.


The End! I hope that was satisfactory. Good Lord, I am so nervous for your reactions. So uhhh... please read Sanity's Edge and The Knives in His Sleeves. Thank you for reading my lovelies!