Spirited Away: The Return Home

Chapter | 6

I woke up late the next morning, keeping my eyes closed as long as possible.

I wasn't scared that if I opened my eyes I would be in my own bed, because I could still feel Haku's hand in my own. I just didn't want to open my eyes, because of the hot breath against my neck and an arm slung over my body.

Why was I still occupying this position when all I had to do was roll to the side? Well, could you blame me for not doing it?

Now I only had to figure out how I got into the position I was currently occupying.

I was certain that when I had fallen asleep, Haku was seated in the chair next to the bed, not sleeping peacefully under me.

Then I realized it was because he was still holding my hand; he promised that he wouldn't let go and he didn't.

What was I thinking; of course he would get uncomfortable sleeping in a chair all night. He must have gotten in next to me during the night.

Wow, I never pictured Haku as a guy who takes any chance he gets.

Haku stirred and slowly opened his eyes.

The universal they was right; there really was nothing hotter than a sleepy guy.

When his eyes met mine I could feel my entire face turning as red as a tomato.

He blinked lazily up at me, his body awake, but his mind still fast asleep.

It took him while to understand why I was blushing so ferociously, but when he got the picture he snapped into action very fast.

Haku shot up, sending me sprawling off the side of the bed and onto the hard floor.

"Shit," I whispered softly as I sat up, rubbing the elbow that happened to hit the floor first.

"Chihiro!" Haku called out before he got out of the bed and knelt down to help me stand up.

"I'm so sorry, I panicked when... Well you know," he said shyly and blushed a little.

His hair was a little rustled and his clothes were creased, how could I possibly be mad at him when he looked like that?

"I guess it's my fault for letting a guy trick me so easily" I said with fake disappointment, "I should have known your true intensions Haku." I continued my charade of mock hurt, adding extra dramatic effect by turning around and throwing my arm up to cover my face.

Well, the reason for this was also since I wanted to burst out laughing at the expression on Haku's face.

Luckily he caught on.

"Hay! It's not my fault you literally threw me into the bed when you turned around in your sleep, all I did was keep my promise," he said with the same mock expression on his face.

I burst out laughing and he joined in.

Once I finally calmed myself down, I asked him again, "But really now, what happened last night after I fell asleep?"

He looked at me, pushing his hair out of this face before he replied.

"Nothing, I swear. After you fell asleep you started to roll around. I tried to wake you up but you slept like a rock, you didn't even wake up when I stood up to shake you awake,” he said.

“It was then that you pulled me over you. I figured that the best thing for you was for me to just sleep next to you on the cover and that’s when I fell asleep as well," he said, raising his hands like a sign of innocence.

I laughed again and felt the blood rushing up to my cheeks.

Haku went over to the windows and flung the doors open, stepping out into the sunshine.

I could feel the heat pouring into the room from outside and realized that I was still wearing the clothes I had been wearing for the past two days.

"Haku, would it be possible to take a bath somewhere?" I asked as I stepped out into the hot sun, my entire body starting to heat up.

He thought about this for a minute.

"Not a problem," he answered and walked past me back into the room, calling for me to follow him.

We walked down the stairs and into Yubaba's office.

The witch was sitting at her desk, perfectly dressed and made up.

She looked up from the papers she was reading when we walk in, her hands pulling the pair of glasses she was wearing from her face.

"What is it? I am very busy," she said bluntly, almost as if she was dismissing us before we could say anything.

"Chihiro needs to take a bath, may she use your bathroom?" he asked, getting straight to the point since spinning stories obviously wasn't something Yubaba enjoyed very much.

"Fine, but make it quick," she said, returning to her paper work, “I’d hate for you to stink up the place,” she added, almost as an after-thought.

I held my tongue, knowing that a battle with Yubaba was a lost battle.

I followed Haku as he walked behind Yubaba and through the door that Boh had kicked down when I first came to the office.

Boh! I almost forgot about him. I wondered what he looked like now, and if it was even possible for him to age like Haku could.

We followed the hallway and turned right at the fork, this led straight to the bathroom's door.

I knew this at least since I had snuck in through the bathroom window when I tried to reach Haku after he was attacked by Zeniba's little flying paper men.

"Okay, is there anything you need?" he asked me when we stopped in front of the closed the door.

I thought about this for a moment and realized that I would need my clothes that I had packed into my back pack.

"I need my backpack. I left it in the office last night, would you go fetch it for me?" I asked, opening the door and stepping inside.

Haku smiled and turned to go get it.

I stood alone in the bathroom looking at all the things.

Absent minded, I ran my fingers over the rim of the tub; which was basically a mini pool since it had to fit Yubaba.

The entire room was as lavishly decorated as the rest of Yubaba’s apartment, with shelves lined with lotions and herbs in little glass bottles on every wall.

There were even a few paintings I recognised from the human world.

I walked back to the bath and turned the taps until water started flowing into the tub.

Steam rose up from the water and made me realize how sweaty and dirty I really was.

I pulled off my shirt and took off my jeans, tossing them next to the bath tub.

There was a knock on the door and I hurried over to go get the things from Haku.

I opened the door just enough for Haku to pass me my bag, but not nearly wide enough for him to see me in my underwear.

"Yubaba said you should use some of the products on the shelves to get rid of the, um, human smell" he said and I thanked him, closing the door.

Human smell, she so did not say that, I thought as I placed my backpack on one of the counters.

Before I got into the bath I took out the clothes I planned on wearing, laying them out neatly.

After this I went over to the nearest shelf and to my amazement there were bottles labelled 'shampoo' and 'conditioner'.

I even found something that resembled a bar of soap.

Gathering my goodies, I carried them over to the bath tub; which was almost full, and laid them down on the stand next to it.

I turned that taps off and tested the water before removing the last of my clothing and slipping into the tub.

The water felt like it was burning not only the filth away from my body, but also the problems that I’d been dealing with for the last two days.

Once it felt like the water had cooled down enough I pulled my head underwater and stayed down, gasping for air when I finally came up.

The bottle that was labelled shampoo smelt amazing, almost as if it sunshine stuffed in there.

I rinsed and use conditioner the second time around.

After this was done, I grabbed the nearest sponge and started scrubbing my entire body free from dirt and sweat.

I lay there for a few more minutes longer before I got out and dried myself off.

It was refreshing to put on new clothes, it felt like days since I had done something as simple as that. I instantly felt less agitated when I was wearing less hot clothes, almost as if I had peeled away at the thing that was making me so hot and bothered.

I took the towel and started drying my hair off, but after I realized that it was futile I decided to just let it air dry.

I put all my things back in my bag- including my dirty clothes.

I would have to ask Haku where I could wash my clothes since I didn't know how long I would be staying this time.

I opened the door and stepped into the hallway, steam threading by my sides.

Since there was no one in the hall or Yubaba's office, I decided to go back to the room in the tower.

The stairs were much easier now that I wasn't as tired anymore, and I made it to the top in no time.

I hadn't been expecting any one to be in the room, but when I opened the door (without knocking) Haku stood there... Shirtless.

I stopped in my tracks, staring like a moron before my entire face lit up like stick of dynamite.

By now I was already a good way inside the room, and already closed the door, meaning there was nowhere I could run.

I threw my hands up to cover my face, dropping my bag to at my feet.

"I'm sorry!" I exclaimed, hoping that my voice didn't really come out as squeaky as I thought it did.

"It's okay, Chihiro, you can open your eyes" Haku, laughter coating his voice.

Why was he laughing at me? He was the one standing half naked in the room!

"Why are you laughing at me?" I asked bewildered, removing my hands from my face.

Haku still hadn't put on a shirt and I couldn't tell if this bothered me or not. No it did, and totally planned on telling him that until he walked over to me.

I took one step back for every step he took forward until my back pressed up against the door, but Haku kept coming at me.

"What, haven't you seen a man without his shirt on?" he asked, putting his one hand next to my face so that he was leaning over me.

My face must have given away the answer to that question, because a look of surprise crossed his face.

"What? Are you really that innocent?" he asked without backing away from me.

"No, I'm not. It's your fault for undressing in random places".

When I said this he actually moved in closer until his mouth was inches away from mine and said "O, you’re not? Then you won’t mind if I do this" he whispered before his mouth was on my neck.

I felt a sharp prick and then my natural instincts kicked in.

Before he could back away I had my hands planted firmly on his chest and pushed him practically off his feet.

I was so embarrassed that I didn't know what to do from there on out.

I could feel tears threatening, accompanied by a burning sensation on my right hand.

Haku stood in front of me, cradling the side of his face.

It took me a while to connect the dots; that I had slapped him pretty hard.

I turned, opened the door behind me and bolted out.

Hot tears ran down my cheeks before I could wipe them away, and my neck hurt stung from whatever he did to it.

Why had he done that? Was it his idea of fun or was he actually trying to get something out of me?

Either way it didn't matter.

I had no idea where I was going; all I knew was that I had to get away from the bath house as far as possible, even if it was just for the time being.

Before I knew it I was out of the front entrance and across the bridge.

I looked up at the clock as I ran past it and saw that it was 12 o'clock, meaning there was a few hours left before it became dark.

I reached the river before I stopped, gasping for breath.

Somehow I knew he was already there waiting for me, but that didn't mean that I had to talk to him.

I sat down at the top of the steps and Haku did the same. And that’s how I stayed for a very long time, ignoring Haku.

A soft breeze swept across the valley, making the grass dance along with strands of dry hair trailing across my face.

This was getting annoying.

"Go away, Haku" I said without turning to look at him, because I knew that if I did he would see how red my eyes were from crying.

Either he wasn't listening or he just didn't care, because he made no move to leave after I told him to.

I couldn't sit still anymore; I would go crazy if I didn't start moving again.

Swiftly I jumped up from the steps and walked over to the lowest step before I jumping onto the nearest rock and then to the next and the next before I reached the other side of the small river.

Haku got up and followed me when I walked down the path that led back to the old building that brought me here the day before.

We walked in silence and it didn't bother me one bit; I had nothing to say to him.

I knew I was being childish by going to the one place I knew would actually evoke a reaction from Haku, but I wanted to make him pay for what he did.

Even so there was something that stopped me from going into the old amusement park building.

"What’s wrong?" Haku asked from behind me, "Why don't you go back home?"

I just stared at the door in front of me, not making a move to open it.

If I opened the door there would be a chance that I could never come back here and this scared me more than confronting Haku about his actions.

I still couldn't understand why he did it.

He had more than enough chances to try something on me last night, but he didn't. What could have changed his attitude towards me so drastically?

I was with him since the moment we saw each other again, and I didn’t say anything strange to him.

The only time he was out of my sight was when I was taking a bath... Where did he go in that time?

Come to think of it, Yubaba was also gone from her office when I returned from my bath. Did they talked about me?

How did I not see it coming!

Yubaba must have said something to him to make him act in a way that would send me running for the hills, and the worst past was that I fell straight into her trap.

I was almost worse than she was.

I turned around to look at him.

At this point I didn't care anymore, I let the tears flow freely down my cheeks.

"So, that's your plan?" I calmly asked Haku who was standing close by.

He simply looked at me with a sad expression, and I understood that it was never his plan.

"Who told you to get rid of me?" I asked again, my voice coming out clear and strong through my river of tears.

Once again the look on his face told me everything that I needed to know.

I took one step forward and then another until I was planted firmly against his chest.

He didn't hesitate when he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me even tighter against him until there was nothing separating us from each other.

"I'm sorry" he whispered in my ear, his voice tight with emotion; what emotion it was I didn't know.

I answered him by wrapping my arms around him as well.

The wind rustled around us and we pulled apart when we realized how long we've been just standing there.

"We should go back?" Haku said silently without looking away from me, almost as if he was just saying it because he had to instead of that he wanted to.

I nodded and walked past him up the path back to river.

Maybe things would work out for me here in the spirit world?

Who knew, this could be where I belonged after all.

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