InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The Ghost of Christmas Present ❯ Christmas Miracle ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Blanket Disclaimer:

Inuyasha, and the characters therein, are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. I am in no way affiliated with Takahashi, or VIZ Productions.


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Chapter four: Christmas Miracle




I was restless all through the rest of the night, staying in Kohaku's hospital room with his family. Aunt Susan had called her husband and daughter shortly after Inuyasha went after Kohaku and they had since both shown up as well. I'd waited until a decent time of morning to call my mother to let her know what'd happened the night before, not feeling it was enough of an emergency to warrant everyone showing up in the predawn hours since all we were really doing was playing the waiting game. She, Souta and Gramps were on their way.

A couple of times some member of the medical staff or another had poked their head in to see how we were doing, or to ask me if I could really see and speak with the ghost of Nurse Mary. Letting them know we were fine, and that there was no change with Kohaku yet, I always told whomever asked that yes, I'd spoken with Mary, and at Mary's own request I'd also spread the word on just who exactly she really was. Everyone knew her name was Mary from the few people who'd caught a fleeting glimpse of her and had managed to read her name tag, but thanks to the rest of her appearance they'd all assumed she was a nurse from the 1960s who'd died back then; they had been unable to find any records of a nurse matching her description that'd passed away. They hadn't bothered looking into the records of living staff from the '60s, who'd survived, or they would've found Mary's picture. It was no wonder no death records had matched up when Mary had actually only died a few years ago. Once everyone found out she was that Mary, just wearing her youthful face, I got a lot of people asking me to give her messages for them, and I had to keep explaining to them that she was always around and could see and hear them just fine, it was just hard for her to communicate with them in return. Feeling I owed Mary a favor, big time, for all her help with Kohaku, I'd gladly relayed whatever messages she'd wanted me to give to the living staff.

My aunt had told me at around 6am that I should get some sleep, that I looked even worse than she felt. Funnily enough, I'd laughed at that. A genuine laugh, and I could tell from the half-smile she'd cracked that her own joke had cheered her up a little, as well. If one good thing had come out of this whole mess it was that she was no longer afraid of me. But I did not want the price of such acceptance to be her son's life. I'd take her downright hating my guts if it meant getting Kohaku back. I'd prayed that hopefully, before too much longer, we would be getting him back.

Sango had shared her mother's sentiment that I'd looked like I needed a nap, gazing my way from her place sitting cross-legged on the floor across the room from me, her back against the wall. She was supposed to go into work in a few hours but had said with conviction she would be calling off. How could she possibly go into work at a time like this? Family came first. I was inclined to agree. That was why, despite how exhausted I'd felt, I hadn't wanted to sleep. How could I sleep not knowing the fate of my darling cousin? Inuyasha had been gone for over five hours at that point, and I knew that, according to him, time passed differently on the other side. Things are much less...linear, there, than they are here on Earth. I'd tried to assure my aunt and uncle that no news was actually good news, because surely if Kohaku had told Inuyasha to get lost and that he wasn't returning Inuyasha himself would've been back by now. It was just too bad we were at the mercy of Inuyasha returning to inform us of what was going on.

“Can't you get a hold of him?” Aunt Susan asked me then.

I shook my head.

“My gift...I don't have any connections to the other side like that.” I explained. “No psychic powers. And if there's a spell for summoning I don't know how to do it. I'd be afraid of trying magic, anyway, in case something went wrong. My version of summoning is just me calling out into the ether no differently from any of you, just speaking out, with it being completely up to the ghosts whether they hear me or not, whether they're listening or not.”

“But...” Aunt Susan started, letting her words trail off with a furrow of her brow.

“Where I'm special is that I can communicate with ghosts in this realm.” I added then.

Maybe one of the reasons she'd feared me so much the whole time was because she'd thought I was like a ghost magnet or something, with spirits popping up from the other side all around me. I know I kind of ripped off the Ghost Whisperer speech to explain myself, but I was actually relieved my life wasn't - and still isn't - like that old TV show. Ghosts don't sense me from the other side and come flocking to my doorstep in droves. Thank goodness.

“I'm really not that special...” I chimed back in then. “I can just...see and hear ghosts easier than other people for some reason. And I have my partner in crime, so to speak, Inuyasha acting like my spirit guide to help me make contact when I need it. But even then he's only helping me communicate with ghosts that're actually here, in our dimension, just invisible, even to me. He helps them figure out how to become visible to me so that I can then communicate with them directly. Normally, he doesn't go away like this to go find another spirit on the other side. I'm not in the business of helping somebody get in contact with a past loved one they just want to get in contact with, I just want to help restless ghosts find closure. But of course, this is a special case, and Inuyasha volunteered to go speak with Kohaku. Even so, all Inuyasha can honestly do in a situation like this is ask the person to come forward; they can say no.”


Sango gave me a knowing wink at the way I described Inuyasha, as if he were only my business partner, but her parents didn't notice.

“But why is Kohaku staying away?” Uncle Hayato asked me then. “Why did he leave in the first place?”

“I can understand,” Sango spoke up before I could answer, saving me from having to say it. “I know I don't really get what it's like, but I can understand the appeal.”

“Well I can't...” Aunt Susan said with a shaky voice, trying desperately to hold back her tears. “He's choosing death over his family.”

She sounded so heart broken.

“It's not so black and white.” I said then. It'd taken a little while for Inuyasha to get me to understand that fact, but now I got it. I'd hated the betrayal in her eyes. “Things are...different, when you're on the other side. It's not personal. He feels...I guess enlightened is the best word, and from his perspective, once you eventually die too then you'll also understand. Time is also different on the other side, so in his mind if he's waiting for all of you to join him one day, it's not really like he's waiting all the years it'll take from our perspective.”

Aunt Susan nodded to that, looking like she understood, she just didn't like it.

Thinking about it, I knew I could only imagine what it was really like for Kohaku in his current situation. Even with all my insight, I knew I couldn't really understand until I too eventually died. My cousin had just spent the last few hours with Inuyasha experiencing what it was like to be a ghost, to be 'immortal' as he'd called it, although I found that a funny way of thinking about it when you take the actual definition of the word into consideration. Still, I could understand how something like that would be hard to give up, although, on the other hand, like Inuyasha had said, he would die eventually, so what was the hurry? I certainly had no desire or intention of killing myself to get there early. Inuyasha was adamant that I live out my life to the fullest and I was inclined to agree. Actually, if he'd wanted me to kill myself that would have probably put a dampener on our relationship, because while I was not afraid of death I was certainly in no hurry to die. It would happen when it happened. That being said, if I did die, but then had the opportunity to come back to life again, would I want to take it?

Tough call.

I suppose, though, that I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, so yes, if my body had been saved, I would choose to go back into it. Sango had asked me once if Inuyasha could go into somebody else's body, a person that was brain dead, their soul moved on for good. He'd kind of danced around the fact that such a thing was physically possible by saying only that it wasn't right. Personally, I agreed. Plus I wasn't so desperate for him to have physical form that I'd take him in anyone else's body. We could be physically intimate in my dreams, and he also got to experience other things, like eating and drinking, so as far as we were both concerned that was good enough. True, they were only imagined experiences, but imagination was the most powerful force of all. Just like the movie What Dreams May Come had said, thought is real, physical is the illusion.

Noticing my contemplative expression, Aunt Susan had asked me what was on my mind in that moment. I'd explained to her then about how, while Inuyasha personally viewed life like an amusement park, and dying early meant you had to leave the park before getting to go on all of the rides, I'd since realized that to other people, the opposite could also be true. I explained that it wasn't as if being a spirit meant you were part of some massive group collective consciousness where your individuality got erased. Okay yes, there was some kind of other realm that was the spirit realm, but you were still you, as Inuyasha had explained it to me. Different ghosts could definitely have differing views and opinions, even when it came to perceiving the universe around them. That was why some ghosts moved on, while others chose to remain on Earth as ghosts. Inuyasha loved the physical realm, finding the other side boring. On the other hand, to other people, life was more like waiting in line to get into the amusement park, and now that Kohaku had gotten in and was experiencing the E Ticket that it was to be able to go anywhere, see anything and practically know everything, we were asking him to leave it all behind with the promise that, someday, he'd get to go back again. When you looked at it that way, it made it easier to understand the boy's hesitation. He was just a boy, after all. What boy didn't want to stay longer in the amusement park after being told it was time to leave?

“If it's really so great then how come your Inuyasha likes it here on Earth better?” Uncle Hayato asked me then, his tone of voice teetering right on the border of confused and suspicious.


I nearly blushed at his comment of 'my' Inuyasha, Sango giving me another wink that was not helping, but then before I could formulate a reply somebody beat me to it.

“Just like she just explained,” Aunt Susan came to my defense, of all people, “different people have different opinions, and Inuyasha just likes it better here while Kohaku thinks it's better over there.”

“Besides, Inuyasha is part of something noble.” Sango chimed in then. “Just like he was trying to get Kohaku to see that his mortality ensures it'll eventually be his time, so too will Kagome die one day, and he...and she, if she likes...can 'move on' at that time. Right now he's just helping her with her calling while she's still alive. After hanging around for Kikyou's sake for fifty years pretty much bored out of his mind, what he does with Kagome now is way more exiting and fulfilling.”

How she'd managed to say all that with a straight face I'd never know.

“To Inuyasha, the other side's just not all it's cracked up to be, and he just likes it here better.” I said then. “It's not uncommon in ghosts who feel they were gypped out on life.”

“But Kohaku was definitely gypped out...” Aunt Susan said then, not really arguing because she understood now, Kohaku's position. She just had her own, different opinion. It was Kohaku himself she wanted to argue with.

All I could do was shrug, and I hated it.

“You know how teenagers are...” Sango said then. “He already acted like he knew everything, so I'm not surprised he'd think he was so much more enlightened than the rest of us now.”

“Hey...” Souta said, appearing in the doorway just in time to hear Sango's comment about teenagers. “I resemble that.”

I chuckled as Souta came in the rest of the way and took a seat on the floor beside me, my mother and grandfather piling into the room right after him. Mom took one look at me and also insisted I get some sleep. I'd tried again to protest that I needed to stay awake in case something changed, in case something happened, but Mom only reminded me of how Inuyasha could visit me in my dreams. If something happened while I was asleep he could easily let me know and wake me up, in that order. Right after Mom finished explaining that to me, I heard Mary's disembodied voice also tell me that if Inuyasha were unable to for whatever reason, she would wake me up if I was needed. Finally conceding, I agreed to take a nap. Uncle Hayato also told his wife to get some sleep. It was a little past 9am at that point and the two of us were both completely exhausted. Claiming possession the two chairs in the room, complete with blankets and pillows one of the nurses had given us a few hours ago, this time she and I slouched and tried to get comfortable rather than sitting upright and talking to help keep each other awake.

I heard the others continue talking quietly for a while, as I sat there with my eyes closed.

“What a Christmas...” Souta mumbled quietly from his place beside me, his head thumping lightly against the wall as he leaned back.

“At least this way the whole family's together.” I replied, trying to stay positive.

“Sleep.” I heard my mother's voice say then. Sighing, I tried to tune out the sounds of medical machinery, allowing my mind to wander.

Thinking about my ghost boyfriend, who was still MIA, I found myself wondering what, exactly, was happening on the other side. Was he having a hard time locating Kohaku? Were they having an argument? Was Inuyasha taking Kohaku around and showing him what all he'd miss out on in life if he died? Could Inuyasha show him a vision of what the future would be like for the rest of us if he died, like Kohaku was Ebenezer Scrooge and Inuyasha was the Ghost of Christmas Future something? It was Christmas Eve. In that moment I had a flash of a daydream of Kohaku waking up in the morning, asking what day it was, and when we told him, why, it's Christmas Day, he'd be thrilled he hadn't missed it.

I chuckled to myself quietly at the random thought, my mind successfully drifting further and further into la la land. I don't honestly know how long I was still awake before sleep finally claimed me, but looking back on it, all I knew was one minute, I was sitting in that chair listening to my family's quiet voices and Kohaku's machines, and then in the next moment I was back in the women's bathroom down the hall, pleading with Kohaku to not do this, to not give up. I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was dreaming, at least at first.

While I've mastered the ability to have lucid dreams without waking up I am still sometimes at the mercy of my unconscious mind informing me of the fact that I am in fact dreaming, even today. Usually, during our nights together, Inuyasha just lets me know right away that it's a dream. My dreams usually start out rather randomly and in various settings, as dreams are wont to do, because I hadn't bothered trying to master what my dream would look like initially upon my falling asleep. Inuyasha just comes to me, informs me that I'm dreaming, I realize it's true without that realization waking me up, and then grinning, we take it from there until my alarm wakes me up.

In that moment, unaware that I was dreaming, I was being tortured by my own subconscious mind in the form of Kohaku's image, the same as I'd dreamt of Kikyou that one time way back when, the night I'd learned that Inuyasha could appear in my dreams. I was crying, and pleading with him to listen to me, to not be so selfish, that it wasn't just about him but his poor family. Part of my mind seemed to remember my conversation with his parents that had taken place after my real life conversation with Kohaku in the bathroom, because I also told the specter of my dream that his mother didn't understand his decision. That she just thought he was choosing death over his family and she was heartbroken because of it. I pleaded for him to understand that he still had so much more to live for, that he'd have the rest of eternity to be dead but he only had the rest of his life to be alive and he shouldn't waste it.

Kohaku wasn't hearing it, repeating, “Tell them I love them...” over and over like a residual haunting caught in a loop, no intelligence behind it. Of course, the real reason behind that was because he wasn't the real Kohaku, but at that precise moment I was unaware of that fact. Every time he spoke I grew more and more distraught, until I collapsed to my knees, crying my eyes out.

Suddenly, Inuyasha appeared behind me.

“Man, your subconscious mind really does love to torment you, doesn't it? I can't leave you alone for a minute.” I heard his amused voice say out of nowhere. Jumping to my feet, I whirled around to face him, and his playful countenance immediately shifted to one of sympathy at my expression. “Nobody's perfect, Kagome. You did your best. You need to stop beating yourself up over it.”

“Inuyasha...?”

“Tell them...tell them I love them...” Kohaku said again, distracting me. I turned back to glance his way.

“Tell them yourself.” Inuyasha said dismissively from behind me, my mind still submitting to the fantasy.

“Goodbye... Kohaku said suddenly, as he faded away.

“Bye.” Inuyasha said with a chipper wave.

I whirled back around to face my boyfriend in shock as Kohaku disappeared.

“Wha...!” I couldn't believe he'd just said that. “Kohaku wait!” I shouted in delayed reaction after my cousin had already disappeared.

“Relax, Kagome...” Inuyasha soothed. “This is just a memory,” he said while gesturing around us at the bathroom, “that wasn't the real Kohaku.”


“It...it wasn't...?” I asked timidly.

He puffed his chest a little, looking smug, perhaps also trying to point out the fact that he was dressed in his favorite shirt and jeans rather than his Halloween costume. “Nope.”

Finally, it dawned on me that I was dreaming.

“Oh, Inuyasha!” I cried in relief, throwing myself at him.

Instantly, all my memories of real life came rushing back to me. I knew my sleeping body was sitting in a chair in my cousin's hospital room. Vaguely, I thought I could almost feel my body as I slouched in the chair, but I didn't drift further awake, my desire to stay in the dream with Inuyasha strong enough to keep me under.

Pulling back from his embrace, I gave him a quick peck on the lips before stepping away and meeting his eyes.

“Any luck with the real Kohaku?” I asked him then.

“Actually...” he started.

“I'm right here.”

Turning my eyes to meet this new Kohaku's gaze, surprised by his appearance, he smirked at me and tsked playfully.

Oooo...” he sing-songed like children do in that 'you're in trouble' kind of teasing voice. “You didn't tell us Inuyasha was your boyfriend...” he emphasized, amused, like he was going to start singing 'Inuyasha and Kagome sitting in a tree' or something.

I blushed, my expression thoroughly destroying any chance of denying it, although it'd turned out that quick kiss hadn't been what'd given us away, anyway.

“Sorry...” Inuyasha apologized, not truly sounding remorseful. “Had to use it as part of my sales pitch.”

“I do gotta admit, it's pretty unlikely I'll ever find myself a girlfriend like this...” Kohaku said then, gesturing to himself up and down. “I didn't think I cared, but the more we got to talking, the more he got me thinking about growing up, and maybe...maybe I do want to experience more things life still has to offer.”

“Hentai...” I grumbled to Inuyasha under my breath, pretty sure Kohaku wouldn't understand the term.

Inuyasha chuckled

“I told him 'bout how I fell for you, and how I was glad you fell for me too, otherwise if we'd gone our separate ways I would've probably chosen to be reincarnated again to lose the memories for a little while.”

I nodded my understanding to that. He'd previously explained how, as a spirit, you could remember all of your past lives, but they're all just kind of there in the back of your mind like vague childhood memories while whoever you were most recently dominates as your truest, or at least latest self.

“If I'd had a chance to come back to life again back when I died I know I would've taken it in a heartbeat,” Inuyasha continued then, “although, all things considered, I'm glad things happened the way they did. All things happen for a reason, right?” he asked somewhat rhetorically, shrugging. “But I hadn't been given a chance that I'd walked away from, I died.”

He turned and met Kohaku's gaze.

“You, on the other hand, are quite alive.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah...” my cousin said, blushing and scuffing his toe, peaking up at me through his bangs.

“I'm sorry, Kagome,” Kohaku apologized then, “I didn't mean to put you through so much.”

“That's all right...” I told him sincerely, resting my hand on his shoulder. “I understand how this is a big decision for you.”

Kohaku shrugged, before glancing up Inuyasha's way a moment.

“It's like Inuyasha said,” he told me then, “I shouldn't be in such a hurry to die. I didn't realize how lucky I was, but then I spoke with a lot of family members...our grandparents, even your father...and everyone's telling me it'd be wrong of me to forsake the gift of a second chance. I'm not supposed to die yet, there are things I'm still supposed to do. But, free will and all that.”

He shrugged again, and I nodded my understanding once more. Technically, we could all choose to die at any given moment, since we were all physically capable of committing suicide. Didn't mean we were supposed to up and off ourselves. There is a grand plan, of sorts, but it's more like the universe just showing us the path it wants us to walk, and in the end it's up to us whether we walk it or not.

“So are you ready to join the land of the living?” I asked him then, chuckling to myself at the literal way I meant such a commonplace expression.

Glancing down at his feet again, Kohaku blushed a little darker.

“Is Mom gonna be mad at me? I never meant to make her cry.”

“Oh, sweetie, no...” Wrapping my arms around him, I pulled him into a tight embrace, tilting my head to rest my cheek on the top of his head. “You've got nothing to worry about. Nobody's angry with you for needing to decide what to do, or thinking that maybe you wanted to move on. They're all just gonna be so relieved that in the end you decided to come back to us. There will be more tears, but tears of joy.”


He nodded his understanding to that.

“Come on, then,” Inuyasha spoke up, “let's do this thing.”

“Go on, I'll be there in a minute.” Kohaku said.

Pulling back from our embrace, I met his eyes, my hand on his shoulder again. He smiled at me.

“I promise, I'm right behind you.”

I nodded then, and meeting Inuyasha's eyes, him giving me an encouraging smile and nod, I smiled back and willed myself to wake up. Suddenly, the sounds in the hospital room became crystal clear, my family's quiet voices, the beeping of Kohaku's machines, etc. I opened my eyes and, stretching to get the kinks out, I sat up straighter in the chair.

“I told you to get some sleep.” my mother said softly, her voice more concerned than commanding.

I blinked in confusion.

“I was asleep.” I replied.

“For maybe like two minutes.” Souta said.

Aunt Susan sat up a little during this conversation and said, “Well I haven't even managed to doze off yet.”

“You should try to get some real sleep, honey.” Mom said then. “You've had a rough night.”

Grandpa, the most on the ball at the moment, took what I said about having in fact been asleep and asked, “Did Inuyasha come to you in your sleep just now?”

I nodded enthusiastically, which earned everyone else's attention.

“Not just Inuyasha...” I hinted, meeting my aunt's gaze.

She suddenly sat up much straighter in the chair. “And...?” she asked hesitantly, desperately needing to know but terrified of the answer all the same. It was my warm smile, before I even said anything, that had her sagging in relief.

“What happened?” Uncle Hayato asked me then, wanting the details. His tone of voice was eager and curious, not demanding in the slightest.

I told them how at first I was just having a regular dream – I didn't bother getting into those details because I wasn't looking for sympathy – explaining only that my dream shifted when Inuyasha and Kohaku showed up. Without hinting at anything his parents might have deemed too adult of a frame of mind for their thirteen-year-old son, and without revealing my own relationship status with Inuyasha, I said how Inuyasha had managed to get Kohaku to understand that he should grow up and experience more things that life still has to offer. I also revealed that, while on the other side, Kohaku had spoken with some of our deceased family members, and everyone was telling him the same thing, that it wasn't his time yet and he shouldn't waste this gift of a second chance at life.

“He's agreed,” I said, “Kohaku's agreed to come back to life.”

There were some cheers of joy that drew the attention of a couple of nurses nearby, which was fine because if we were going to be doing this we'd need a doctor to remove his breathing tube when he woke up, anyway. I let them know that Kohaku should be waking momentarily and the nurses rushed to get our doctor. Everyone in the hospital knew my situation by that point, and so nobody questioned me, taking my statement at face value because they knew I knew what I was talking about.

In that moment I also relayed Kohaku's fears to his parents, and his regret for upsetting them so. I told Aunt Susan that he was worried she was going to be mad at him, and she immediately reassured, not me, but Kohaku himself, speaking into the air that she absolutely was not angry with him and she was only ever so thankful, feeling so lucky and blessed, that he had chosen to come back to them. I'd been right when I'd said there would be tears of joy, because they were flowing freely down her cheeks in that moment, but her smile was the warmest I'd ever seen, her love for her son shining brilliantly in her eyes. Her husband echoed the sentiment, admitting as he spoke to the invisible Kohaku that while he didn't really understand, couldn't really grasp what it was like for him or how tough this decision had been to make, he was so thankful, so very grateful, that he had decided to live again. There were so many father/son things he still wanted the two of them to do together. Sango also chimed in, saying that her job as big sister was to protect her little brother, but how could she protect him from all the unknowns of the other side? He needed to come back to life so that she could protect him again, be a big sister again.

Suddenly, the temperature in the room dropped by at least ten degrees, earning all of our attentions. I glanced Inuyasha's way as his form appeared beside me, my eyebrow cocked in curiosity. He smirked and said, “Don't look at me, I'm not doing it.”

My mother was giving me the same questioning look I had just given Inuyasha, so I relayed his statement that the sudden drop in temperature was not his doing.


“Do you think...” my uncle started to say before letting his words trail off.

“It's me.” Kohaku said as he appeared, and I realized why he'd drained so much heat out of the room when I saw my family members jump in surprise and look at his body at his words. They couldn't see his apparition, but he'd made his voice loud enough for everyone to hear.

I sighed in relief at the sight of him, smiling at my aunt and uncle reassuringly when they glanced my way with questioning eyes. “He's here.” I confirmed, letting them know they hadn't been hearing things. Meeting Kohaku's eyes, I gave him an encouraging nod, while the rest of the family seemingly held their breaths.

“I...” Kohaku started, getting choked up. Minus the actually choking part, of course, since he had no throat to get constricted, although the emotions running through him were powerful enough that I felt an empathic lump form in my own throat as I tried to keep my eyes from tearing up.

“It's okay,” I told him then, “we're all going to be here for you.”

“Kohaku, baby...” Aunt Susan said then. “I'm not mad at you, honey,” she repeated, “I was only sad at the thought of losing my baby. No parents should have to bury their child.”

His mother couldn't see it, but Kohaku nodded his understanding.


“I'm not really sure what to do.” he told me then.

Approaching his body, Kohaku hesitated a moment, reaching out with his hand to almost touch his chest before pausing, leaving his hand suspended a few inches above his body. I could only imagine how surreal an experience it was for him.

Inuyasha, watching from the other side of the hospital bed, shrugged.

“Just follow your instincts and do what feels natural.” he said.


Everyone was waiting with bated breath, giving me questioning looks. I gestured with my hands for them to be patient a moment, murmuring quietly that Kohaku was working on it and we shouldn't try to rush him. The doctor had arrived by that time, too, and he too was waiting for my signal, or some sign from Kohaku's body that he needed immediate aid.

Closing his eyes and concentrating, Kohaku's ghost began rising up off the floor. It certainly wasn't as if a ghost needed to walk on the floor or was otherwise restricted by gravity in any way. It was only our own minds and perceptions of the world around us that created such mortal-like limitations for us when we were no longer alive. A ghost could, in reality, float up a flight of steps, or walk right through them, just as easily as actually walking up the stairs like normal. Drifting higher into the air, Kohaku closed his eyes, as if seeing what needed to be done with his mind's eye. His body rotated until he was floating horizontally, and then moving over his body lying in the bed, his spirit lowered down into his body.

The first sign that it'd worked and Kohaku's ghost wasn't simply sharing the same space as his body was when his heart monitor started beeping faster. Then, groaning and with twitching fingers as his hands reached up towards his neck, Kohaku slowly blinked his eyes open, the doctor immediately removing his breathing tube at my insistence that he no longer needed it. Perhaps under normal circumstances they'd leave it in for a while to make sure the patient was strong enough to breathe on their own, but these circumstances weren't normal and after everything he'd witnessed the doctor was taking my word for it. Kohaku tried to sit up then, but his mother was by his side in an instant, encouraging him to take it easy and not over do it.

“You've been through a lot, sweetie...” Aunt Susan was saying as she ran her fingers through her son's bangs.

“Wa...” Kohaku tried to say with a grimace. “Wa...” Giving up, he closed his eyes and clasped his throat lightly with his right hand. It was very hard for him to talk, not only from the soreness of his throat, but also from his head injury. His brains were still a bit rattled, but he'd recover with time.

Knowing Kohaku would want water a nurse was already by his side with a small paper cup of ice chips, letting him know apologetically that he could try to sip at more water in a little while but for now, the chips would have to do.

“You gave us all quite a scare.” the nurse said with a friendly smile as he let an ice chip melt in his mouth and trickle slowly down his throat.

Kohaku tried to offer her a smile in return after the ice was melted, but it turned into another grimace. He took another chip.


Meeting my eyes after that one was gone, he licked his chapped lips and asked me, “Not...dream?”

“Nope!” I told him happily. “It wasn't a dream.”


He nodded minutely, before closing his eyes.

“Let's let my boy get some rest,” Uncle Hayato spoke up, “he's been through a lot.”

It was true. While his body had just been lying there his spirit had, if you'll pardon the expression, been to hell and back.


As everyone but my aunt and uncle piled out of the hospital room, Sango catching up to me after giving her brother a tender but fierce hug that he weakly returned, I found myself in almost as much of a state of shock as my young cousin. Walking with my family mostly on auto pilot towards the cafeteria, I couldn't stop thinking along the lines of holy shit, we did it.

We did it... Slowly but surely, it was dawning on me. We freakin' did it!


~o~o~o~o~o~

The road to recovery was slow but steady; we were all there for Kohaku, helping him every step of the way, both literally and figuratively. Being laid up in bed for a month, the first thing he needed to relearn was how to walk, although his muscles bounced back faster than we had been expecting. He hadn't suffered any negative side effects like blood clots because the hospital had put him on medication for that, so that was one less thing to worry about. Talking was difficult but getting easier every day. The same went for holding things like pens or utensils. Nothing was actually wrong with his thinking and we all understood that, so that really helped Kohaku the most, I think, that we were all treating him normally and didn't start walking on eggshells around him. Nobody babied him or talked to him like he was 'slow'. We spoke often, Kohaku and I, my cousin eager to share with me everything he could remember from his experience on the other side. He unfortunately didn't come away from his experience with a gift of his own, still 'normal' in that regard, but having become friends with Inuyasha he visited Kohaku in his dreams from time to time so that the two of them could talk as well. Kohaku also kept my relationship with Inuyasha a secret from his parents, agreeing with his sister that they probably wouldn't understand. I might tell them, one day, and I certainly won't lie if they somehow suspect and actually ask me, I'm just not going to go out of my way to bring it up. My aunt and uncle no longer act uncomfortable around me; I'm not really eager to have them thinking me a freak all over again.

As days turned into weeks and weeks into a couple of months, Kohaku was almost back to normal, but with a new outlook on life very few people could fully comprehend. He is now very grateful to still be alive, but he's also not afraid of death, and knows that one day it will be his time. He just intends to live life to the fullest in the meantime; a sentiment the rest of the family shares.

I am now officially a medium and even have a Facebook page advertizing my services. It took us a few tries, with him really revved up on a lot of energy to the point where she could see him herself as that human shaped mist he'd appeared as to my friends before, but my mother managed to get a good photograph of me with Inuyasha standing behind me. He's translucent in the image, of course, his hand seemingly resting on my shoulder. We used real film for that sucker and I had the photograph analyzed by the experts just so that I could put their stamp of authenticity on my page as well. I made it clear we were not in the business of summoning loved ones from the beyond. My job is to placate the restless spirits haunting people's houses or business establishments, or hell even people themselves can be haunted sometimes, a loved one refusing to leave them alone for whatever reason. I also made it explicitly clear on my website that I don't exorcise, that I'm not touting any type of religion whatsoever, and that I have no magical or psychic powers. I've labeled myself a psychologist to the spirits. Yup, just like the dad from the Casper movie. Except he couldn't see ghosts any easier than anyone else could and those ghosts were making themselves seen by everybody. For the record, I've never ever seen a ghost that actually looked like that. I figure the stereotypical 'ghost' image was probably derived from artist renderings of the humanoid mist non-gifted people could sometimes see. If Casper were real, I would see him as the little boy he'd been prior to death.

But I digress.


I'm still in college and definitely plan to graduate. If I ultimately decide to go to graduate school as well, to get my official degree in psychology, I think I'm leaning towards doing it part-time, rather than letting school gobble up another four years of my life in its entirety. It'll take me a little longer that way, but in the meantime I already have a pretty lucrative business that's only gaining in popularity as time goes by, and so I figure I should be able to afford an apartment easily enough. Mom has said that I'll always be welcome at home, which I appreciate, but Inuyasha and I need our alone time, if you know what I mean. While in my dreams is the only way I can really touch him, it certainly isn't the only way he can touch me and I'm looking forward to the day I no longer have to worry about being quiet.

Don't get me wrong. I love our nights together, where I can hold him in my arms, feel his muscles shifting above my body, or below me, depending on our moods, but if he wants to torture me with pleasurable little icy tingles while purposefully being invisible to me so that I don't even know what's coming next until suddenly, I'm coming undone, who am I to stop him?

So that's it. The story of how I officially outed myself as a medium, and how Inuyasha and I, along with Nurse Mary, saved Kohaku's life...but mostly Inuyasha. My beloved Inuyasha. Perhaps he is the Ghost of Christmas Present, after all.


~ Fin ~