As Kusiro lay on the ground, barely awake, he felt a very odd sensation. It felt as if the earth were draining all of his powers out of him. He began to shrivel back to his human form, unable to hold his dragon form any longer. Cursing himself he slowly tried to stand but found that he was somehow stuck to the ground.
He hadn't thought there would be any problems with him bringing Chihiro back to the human world. She had lived there for many years before returning to the spirit world, and even then she went back to the human world again. Nothing had changed for her until she came back the second time. But when he had taken her through the entrance and Haku had followed, Haku had been very hasty in his escape with Chihiro, not even bothering to finish him off.
As this slow reasoning poured through his mind he suddenly remembered something he had heard in his childhood. It was more of a legend really, and one that no one had seemed to believe. Once you were able to reach your true spirit form you could no longer pass between the worlds for more than a few minutes without paying a very high price. If you didn't make it back to the spirit world in time you would be trapped there and slowly vanish. Kusiro glanced down his body and noticed that it was now possible to see through his feet and hands.
With a groan Kusiro poured all his remaining powers into getting up but to no avail, the earth merely absorbed his powers that much quicker and he became more and more transparent. Finally with a sigh filled with hatred and anger, he vanished into nothing, but not without a vow to return if he possibly could to seek his revenge.
Sounds of shuffling and soft murmurs began to fill Chihiro's ears long before she ever dared to open her eyes. They seemed much too heavy to open, so she just listened, slowly becoming more aware of the world around her, and, of course, the arms that held her safely grounded there. After she became more accustomed to the sounds she began to open her eyes ever so slightly, the light meeting them nearly blinding.
Haku felt her begin to stir but said nothing till her eyes began to flutter open. "Chihiro, are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?"
As her eyes focused on him she began to remember what all had happened. She forgot all about the throbbing in her wings as she recalled what Haku had done and how they nearly didn't make it back to the spirit world. "My wings are a little sore, but that's not important. You weren't hurt were you?" Worriedly she began to search him for any signs of injury.
With a slight chuckle, he grabbed her roaming hands and lightly kissed each one, forgetting the room full of people. "I'm fine as long as you are. Now let me have a look at your wings."
Before she turned for his inspection she threw herself into his arms and scattered kisses all over his face. "I love you." And then as the throats clearing in the background caught her attention she spun around, instantly turning red at all the smiling faces that greeted her.
Haku leaned up behind her to whisper in her ear, "I love you too." And with that he began his inspection of her wings.
There were far too many feathers missing from her wings, but already they were beginning to grow back. She had nearly lost all of her strength before they made it back to the spirit world. Haku had felt himself beginning to weaken but had forced himself to go faster out of sheer willpower. He too was sore but his first concern was to make sure Chihiro was okay. Other than her wings and her severe embarrassment she appeared to be fine.
He pulled her back into his arms and waited for her to relax, but when she only became redder he chuckled. "You know, you don't have to be embarrassed about them being here." He said softly by her ear. Finally she began to relax back against him and everyone else in the room began to relax more, now that they all knew she was okay.
"Chihiro, you are NEVER to go anywhere alone ever again!" Lin ranted. "What would we do if anything were to happen to you? You know Haku wouldn't be the only one to start moping around if you were to vanish. You can't forget the rest of us!" On and on she went until Chihiro started laughing ad her ravings. This time it was Lin's turn to blush.
When everyone was finally convinced she was okay they granted Chihiro and Haku some time alone together. "Haku, when can we get married? I don't want to wait any longer. Who knows what else could happen if we decide on a lengthy engagement."
Unable to keep the smile from his face, he quickly brushed his lips across the tip of her nose. "As soon as you like. And we can send someone to bring your parents here. Iknow Ayame is here now, but they have taken care of you for many years."
"Thank you. I have missed them dreadfully. How quickly do you think a wedding can be arranged here?" She said as she smiled up at him.
"I'm sure they wouldn't dream of taking more than a week to get everything in order."
"Hmm, I suppose I can wait that long." She said softly as she curled back into his arms.
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