13: Epilogue

This was written solely by Kanathia, but she allowed me to post it as well.


Kanathia: An epilogue for the story. Enjoy.

XXXxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Yuuko Ichihara reclined on her porch as she was apt to do on hot summer days. Maru and Moro were trouncing around entertaining Mokona for the most part while Watanuki prepared mochi for Yuuko as she had requested, despite his quite numerous complaints.

"Yuuko how much of this did you want me to make? I've been in there for hours and every time you wander in you say it's not enough." Watanuki inserted yet again.

Yuuko leaned back lazily in her chair dragging in a breath of smoke. "We'll have a guest soon. You wouldn't want to be a rude host and not have snacks would you?"

"A guest…who would…? Wait! A guest? As in one person? There's enough mochi in there to feed twenty people!" Watanuki said with his normal dramatic posturing.

Yuuko smirked, but didn't comment.

"You just wanted it for yourself didn't you!" Watanuki accused which garnered a look of fake hurt from Yuuko.

"Why Watanuki of course I don't…ah…" a bell chimed once before going silent. "It seems our guest has arrived."

Watanuki was already making his way toward the front door. "Ah…you?" he said as his eyes fell upon the girl standing there. She raised her eyes at his question.

"I'm glad you could make it." Yuuko said stepping up behind him now wearing one of her more ornate kimonos. When she had had time to change Watanuki had no idea. "Though I suppose it was to be expected."

The girl smiled sweetly. "It is nice to see you again after all this time." She said. "I had nearly forgotten what you look like."

Yuuko laughed. "Well, come in princess. Watanuki has made mochi especially for your arrival."

Yuuko led her to a sitting room with a small table and gestured for her to take one side while she took the other. "You are here because you have a wish." Yuuko said pouring sake the moment Watanuki had brought it to the table. "It is difficult to grant wishes of those who are in the state you are Kanathia."

Kanathia nodded. "Death is not easily overcome. Even for someone such as you." There was a glint in her eye as she tilted her head toward Yuuko that suggested she knew more about that than she was letting on. "Still, it is nice to be able to see again, even if only for this short time."

Yuuko nodded. "When you were stabbed the seal broke because it was guaranteed to last only as long as the feather was safe." She said with a smile.

"I know you ended it early. It could technically have stayed until my death. You gave me a chance to see Hana, and for that I am grateful." Kanathia said and bowed her head a little.

"The exchange was equal. If I did not think it was I could not have done it." Yuuko said a bit harshly though Kanathia could tell that she was only trying to reassure herself lest she be convinced otherwise. "Your current wish?"

"For which you have already received payment." Kanathia said to remind her.

Yuuko nodded. "Indeed, and a high price you did pay."

"I want them to be happy. My brother, Hana, and those children."

Yuuko smiled. "It seems many people have placed their hopes in those children as of late."

Kanathia nodded. "My wish?"

"Shall be granted. Though I must say for a simple increase in fortune you've overpaid." Yuuko frowned.

"Then another wish." Kanathia said with a smile.

Yuuko looked a bit surprised. "Another?"

Kanathia nodded. "Help them Yuuko."

For the first time since she'd met the dimension witch the woman looked truly surprised. "Help them?"

"I grew up in a palace Yuuko. I was always very good at reading people's hidden meanings. You are bound by the rules of your shop. You cannot intervene in their story for free, but that does not mean you do not wish to. A price must be paid, and I have paid one. A wish must be made before you can act and now one has."

Yuuko looked startled by this small speech and nearly dropped her glass as Watanuki entered the room to give them the mochi.

"Thank you." Kanathia said as he set the platter down. "It looks delicious."

"You're welcome." He said with a smile. "I'm glad someone's appreciative." He proceeded to glare daggers at Yuuko who looked wholly amused. As he exited the room Yuuko began to speak again.

"Soon the day when 'time moves forward again' shall come. When it does I will no longer be able to help them." Her gaze had settled somewhere just beyond Kanathia's right ear before finally coming down to meet her eyes. "You and I aren't so different."

Kanathia shook her head. "Perhaps not, but until that time comes you can help them. That's what matters Yuuko. I know you want to help the boy."

"The boy?"

"Watanuki."

Yuuko looked down at her cup. "Even so, there's not much I can do. What he needs must be learned through experience. Not even your wish can change that."

"You're doing enough Yuuko. Being here, having you, I think those things have helped him. Much like Hana and Creshenth helped me in Hoenda. The world becomes bearable when there is someone to relax around."

Yuuko laughed. "I suppose. Though I doubt he sees it that way."

Kanathia smiled. "It's nearly time isn't it?"

Yuuko looked to the moon. "It is."

"I suppose this means I'll be seeing Creshenth again."

"Indeed."

"Yuuko."

The older woman looked down at the sound of her name to find all traces of joking gone from Kanathia's eyes.

"The 'day when time moves forward once more', that day you-"

Yuuko smiled holding up her finger to silence the girl.

"I know what you will say." She said swinging her legs to the side and motioning for Kanathia to follow her as she stood. "And the answer is yes. It is the day I died."

Kanathia nodded. "When that day comes, and time moves forward again I'll be waiting."

Yuuko glanced down with a smile. "You seem sure of how it will happen."

"I have faith in them. They're strong."

"Then it's a date. On the other side?"

"On the other side." Kanathia conceded. "I suppose it's time then."

She stepped out of the paper door on one side of the room and into the streaming moonlight. She turned just enough to see Watanuki enter the room and waved before she disappeared.

"What the-?" Watanuki said dropping the tray he was holding which was thankfully empty.

"It was time for her to cross over." Yuuko said staring at the fallen tray as though he had dropped a piece of expensive china.

"You mean she was-"

"Dead? Yes. You didn't notice?"

Watanuki shook his head.

"Right. Well, you know what this means don't you?" she said deadpan.

Watanuki turned to her a bit stunned.

"We break out the expensive liquor!" She said with a huge grin.

Kanathia: That's it for the epilogue. Rather short I know. I had fun writing this with TsubasaFalls and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it. I've been wanting to write this since I read the end of Xxxholic nearly a year ago. I hope it turned out well. Thanks for all the reviews and we hope to see even more. Well, 'til next time!

~Kanathia