Gackt was sitting at the desk in the guest study, slowly making his way through an English book about the history of Vancouver. They’d been here for about 3 weeks and, not counting the last nine months, it was probably the most relaxed he’d ever been. Escaping the pressures back home, responsibly, had been a great idea.
He turned the page and saw before and after pictures of the city. So much had changed since its humble beginnings as a port city to a TV and film hub that hosted the Olympics. As he thought about the Winter Olympics, he felt the temperature in the room drop. He was just going to blame a mischievous ghost, the owners thought the house could be haunted, until he felt something caress his cheek.
He stood up and spun around, looking for something out of the ordinary. What a mistake that had been. He felt an impact on the side of his head that sent him into the bookcase. Before he hit the floor, another blow sent him backwards into the adjacent bookcase. He covered his head just in case anything fell but a presence around his wrist yanked him forward, almost hitting the desk. A kick to the gut sent him slightly airborne and clear of the desk.
He held his abdomen and looked up to see a Noh demon mask smiling at him.
“No… Not again…” He felt his vocal cords stop working, just like the last time. He tried to back away but his legs felt like they were tangled in a bed sheet. The spirit threw him against the desk and then back first into the wall. He slid to the floor and the spirit loomed over him.
“I found you. Again. Fifteen years I’ve been searching for you. How did you hide?”
Gackt felt a presence slither around him and tilt his chin up.
“My mark is gone, how is it gone?! How could you hide from me?!”
It slid Gackt up the wall, knocking his head into a sizeable picture frame and off its nail, breaking its glass on the floor.
“I guess it doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve had a lot of practice, finding new ways to remove souls…” It caressed Gackt’s cheek and slammed his arms against the wall when he tried to fight back. It spread his legs and unzipped his fly. “This is going to be fun…”
“Gackt!” You rushed into the room to see his partner pinned to the wall 1.5 feet off the floor.
“No!” Gackt tried to yell, but of course, no sound was made. You made it halfway across the room before one of the spirit’s appendages thrashed and sent him flying into the door, slamming it shut and bending the doorknob with his back. You crumpled to the floor, shaking and trying to breathe.
Gackt mustered enough strength to get one hand free and reached for his love, but it was enveloped by the evil spirit and restrained there. You started to cough and Gackt could see blood on his lips.
“Maybe I’ll get two tonight… If he survives.” The spirit lifted Gackt’s shirt and caressed the new scars, while another appendage forced Gackt’s mouth open. “My my, what do we have here?” It smiled wider as Gackt’s muscles twitched. “I’ll find out soon enough…”
“L-leave him al-lone…” You coughed out. He had crawled forward a bit but was pressed to the floor by the spirit. He coughed but put his hand under his shirt. He grimaced in pain as the ghost ground its appendage into his back.
Tears formed in Gackt’s eyes. They were an ocean away from home, from his grandmother and sister, and Job. He couldn’t put up any sort of resistance to this spirit, being weaker than he was fifteen years ago… And…
“Ooh, a daughter… Can she see spirits like her daddy? You gifted people just taste so good.”
His eyes were finally full and the dam broke. Tears streaked down his cheeks as he tried to struggle. He froze as he felt the first rubber-band-snap feeling inside his chest. Followed by another, and another. The spirit licked his cheek.
“Just like old times, eh?” it whispered into his ear. The ghost made sure he stayed silent this time, not letting him scream.
That same barfy feeling came over him as his eyes rolled back and his head tilted back, arching him off the wall. Instead of trying to pull his soul out all at once, it seemed to be biting pieces off and ingesting them. He started twitching like last time, muscles and nerves firing off one last resistance to the spiritual assault.
But it all suddenly stopped. He dropped to the floor, head hanging forward, panting.
You was watching a short battle between a dark shimmer and a golden glitter. There was a terrifying howl-scream, a gust of wind, and the dark shimmer was gone.
The gold glitter floated towards Gackt and tilted his chin up. He wasn’t twitching like fifteen years ago, but he didn’t look fully there. A gold light appeared to go down his throat and he took a huge breath. He closed his eyes and the glitter guided him to lie down.
You coughed and gurgled instead of getting a “thank you” out. The glitter came over to him and brushed the hair out of his face. You felt warmth on his back and, after a quick shot of pain, it became easier and easier to breathe. He made it to his elbows and felt the glitter caress his cheek.
It started to retreat and You sputtered out, “W-wait…” It stopped and seemed to turn to him. “Is he okay?”
The glitter seemed to hesitate and a piece of paper floated onto the floor in front of You.
”Both okay. Sore.”
“Is that… thing gone? Forever?”
“Thank you.” He clutched the necklace he was wearing. The glitter came and surrounded the pendant. It grew warm in his hand and then it was instantly room temperature.
“Thank you… Thank you.” He cried to the pendant. He felt a stroke on his cheek and the glitter was gone.
He noticed Gackt shift and that the paper was gone as well. He crawled over to his love and sat up. The glitter certainly wasn’t wrong about being sore. You theorized that when he was thrown into the door, the doorknob had essentially stabbed him (breaking ribs and puncturing a lung a few times). You licked his lips and still tasted blood. But they were both still alive and the thing that had been haunting Gackt was gone for good.
You stroked Gackt’s cheek, feeling its slight dampness and trying to wipe it away. Gackt’s eyes fluttered open and he brought a hand to You’s knee. You held it with his other hand.
“It’s gone.” Gackt looked up at him. “That thing that’s been hunting you since childhood is gone.”
“Gone?” Gackt whispered. You nodded, wiping at his own cheek.
Gackt made a move to sit up but dizziness overwhelmed him and he laid back down.
You took the necklace out of his shirt. “That girl fifteen years ago? The one that fixed you… She gave me this and told me to pray on it when I severely needed help… I wasn’t wearing it on the day of the accident, but I was today…”
Gackt looked at the pendant, thankful that it hadn’t been lost. Things would have been a disaster if history had gone another way.
Their moment was interrupted by a knock on the door. “You okay? The door won’t open.”
“Yes. The house must have settled or something.” You answered. ’Or something’ indeed…
“Rick’s gone down to get some tools, so don’t worry, we’ll have you out in a jiffy.”
Gackt put his head to You’s knee. “This is going to be a bad night…”
“Yeah…” You stroked his head, the both of them dreading falling asleep.