Note: I wondered what would have happened if Kirie killed Mafuyu in hopes that he'd be with her forever, under the mistaken impression that he was her lover.

This is, of course, AU. I'm not sure from canon if Kirie remembers her lover is dead, and I thought it was reasonable for her to forget his name.

From Whose Hands We Never Quite Escape
by Estirose
c 2012

Her lover was back. Kirie felt a surge of rage at the fact that he'd left her, abandoned her, but at least he was back. His clothes were odd, and he didn't seem to recognize her, but no matter. The most important thing was that he was back. She knelt next to him, moving his hair so that she could see his face. So unmarked, so unchanged it was. It had taken him so long to return to her. Why had it taken so long to respond to her pain?

But at least he had.

She didn't know what had taken him so long. Something inside her told her it was his fault, that he should be the one to return to her, that he should prove to be the worthy one after returning home without her.

She was a little vague on what exactly had happened, but she was sure that something had happened. She shouldn't help him at all, just let him find her, and then she would embrace him that one, final time.

Maybe she would take him to the fireplace room, lock the door. Sweep away the device that he'd been holding, put it back eventually when he didn't need it anymore. She wasn't sure what it was, but she sensed it might keep him from her.

And then they would be together. She would take him to be like her, but in a peaceful way. Not like the others that had been intruders, been unworthy of living, unable to ease her pain. Everybody was an intruder, except him.

Yes, he would come and she would hold him until he died. She could see it in her mind's eye, the image of her holding him and him holding her and he would close his eyes. Then he would join her, be with her forever. Join her in her hate of everything that had brought them to this path.

Getting up reluctantly, she coasted away, back through the mansion, knowing in her heart that she was right. He would come.

* * *

Mafuyu walked past the room, the horrible room where he'd seen what they'd done to her. It was amazing; he couldn't find the camera, even after he'd returned to the hallway near the entrance, but nothing had bothered him either. Occasionally walked by him, but never reacted to his presence much. He gazed at the underground lake, wondering if he'd be returning.

He knew what had happened to Mr. Takamine and the others; he'd grieved, broken down. But he'd seen glimpses of the story of Kirie, the one who had killed them. The more he found out, the more he wanted to know.

Even as he grieved, he'd smiled a little. He would record Mr. Takamine's legacy, but he'd also tell Kirie's story. He would let the world know of what happened, if only in fiction. There was some comfort in that, the fact that he would follow in the novelist's footsteps, and maybe he'd be able to bring some peace to the ghost.

And then he'd leave. Hopefully.

The mansion had been trying to snag him, snare him, in some ways lead him here. He hoped it wasn't to his fate. He wanted desperately to live. It wanted him to become a part of it.

Coming to the final doors, he took a deep breath and opened them. He'd see what he could do to ease her pain, make things safer. And then he'd go away.

"You came," she said. "I knew you would." There was a smile on her face, maybe a grimace. "They said that you'd gone away. I knew you'd come back."

"I'm not..." He suddenly realized what was going on.

Kirie thought he was the man he'd seen in vision, her long-lost lover. He supposed he did resemble the man a bit.

Was that why he'd survived when the others hadn't? Because he looked like a man dead years before?

Suddenly she was embracing him. He felt the coldness of her touch, and suddenly felt tired. "Please... hold me. It's been so long."

This hadn't been quite what he had in mind, but despite what she'd done... if she needed a hug to get him safely out of there, he'd do just that. Maybe it was what she'd need to be cleansed, to bring the horrors to an end. He wrapped his arms around her as best he could, trying to not sink into her.

As he did, the world faded. "Don't worry, my love. Soon, you'll be with me and we'll be together, forever. They can't divide us now." Mafuyu would have struggled, but he didn't have the strength. He felt himself lowered to the ground, gently. "Just a little longer, beloved. It won't hurt."

It was surprisingly soothing, coming from a mad ghost. As Mafuyu's energy sapped, he almost hoped he wouldn't come back.

* * *

It didn't take long for her love's form to fade away, the energy around her shredding his corpse and turning it to dust. She wished she remembered his name, but that wasn't important. He could tell her later.

She waited in the chamber for him to fade back in. And he did, after a time. She didn't know if it was hours or minutes or days, but he faded back in. He appeared much as he had in life and in his death, and when he opened his eyes, she was right there. "Now we'll be together, forever," she told him, taking his hand. She was being presumptuous, but it didn't really matter. She wasn't bound to the rules now. She could be with him however and whenever she wished. And she wished to be with him.

"Miku!" he exclaimed, ignoring her presence. He rushed out of the room.

Not expecting that result, she chased after him. She caught up with him in the Cherry Atrium. There were many ghosts there, but they didn't matter, just the one that was heading towards the entrance.

But he didn't hear her. He didn't hear her at all. He was like the rest of the ghosts that she touched but couldn't control, which he shouldn't be. She followed him, wondering who Miku was. Had he found someone? Is that why he wasn't responding?

If so, he would pay the price. She'd find a way to make him feel her pain, forever.

He'd died at the gate, so he had a stronger tie to her than to anyone else because of who he was. She would pull him back... and he would explain the name he kept moaning. She'd give him one chance before he'd suffer.

So, before he could go back into the mansion, she took a hold of him, dragging him back to the gate. Maybe this was a trauma. Maybe he would remember her after he recovered.

He fell asleep in the chamber, as if repeating his death, and she had to admit he looked so peaceful. This time, when he faded back, she kept a hold of him, hoping that he'd focus. "Who's Miku?" she demanded of him.

"Miku... my little sister... she'll come... she mustn't come!"

And then he was out the door again.

Kirie sighed, and then brightened. Maybe he would remember when his little sister came. She would bring the girl down here just as she'd brought him down here, and she would have a family once they remembered themselves. He had mentioned a little sister before, she remembered, before she'd died.

She would hold this Miku as she'd held Miku's brother, and they would all be together. Already he was showing signs of being more conscious than the other spirits in the place. They moved in their patterns but didn't seem to know what they were doing. Even the new spirits, the ones that just came, showed little knowledge of what they were, just reliving the last days of their lives.

Catching up to him again, she brought him back underground, and he slept once more before reappearing. "What's your name?" she asked, when he was awake and she held him once more.

"Mafuyuu... Hinasaki Mafuyu."

His name sounded wrong, for some reason, but she didn't let it bother her. The fact that he said it so vacantly was more cause for concern.

But they had eternity. He would come back to himself sometime and be there for her. Probably his sister would be the same way when she woke up again, but she'd have eternity, too. Assuming she came.

She was sure he was faithful, and his sister was no doubt faithful, so Kirie felt confident that his sister would come, too. He might not like it, for whatever reason. But he'd understand in time, and so would his sister. They could all be there for each other.

Kirie stroked his hair. Maybe if she kept stroking his hair, he'd remember. Not that they ever really touched before, but it was something that she thought might help. Her servant had stroked her hair sometimes, when she got sick. It should work on him.

* * *

In the following days, she watched him when he went. Like the others, he wandered the grounds, forever retracing his last days. He walked up staircases and went through locked rooms, forever searching for something that Kirie didn't understand. "Must rescue Mr. Takamine," he said, sometimes, and she only had a vague idea of who that was. One of the intruders, she thought. Perhaps the one that she'd gotten last.

But sometimes she yanked Mafuyu back, back to the gate, back to where he belonged. There, he was calm. He was somewhat responsive. She could ask him questions, and he would answer.

It was then she discovered that he wasn't who she thought he was. He was not the man who had snuck her out to the Cherry Atrium, but some descendant, some reincarnation of him. But Mafuyu was as loyal to her as his ancestor. Someday, he would return to himself fully and he would understand, and he would help her hurt those who had hurt her, make her hurt less because he could ease her pain. He had been getting a little bit better every time she brought him back, after his sleep.

And it took him a little longer to start wandering each time.

And when his sister came, his Miku, she would help Kirie too. She would die, but not in the way that so many others had deserved. Kirie would stay with her original plan, hold Miku to her as she'd held Mafuyu. She would die like her brother, but be reborn as a proper spirit of revenge.

Kirie was sure it would take her a few years, but she would realize the truth, and then they'd all be together. Mafuyu would have gotten back to himself by then, too.

One day, she felt a new presence. She watched the intruder silently, waiting for the proper moment to bind the curse to her. Everybody but Mafuyu and Miku deserved what was happening to them. Only her beloved and his sister would be spared.

And then the girl called Mafuyu's name. Kirie pulled back, watching this new intruder. She heard the girl's worries about her brother, her missing brother, and knew that this was Miku. She was dressed oddly, but nothing could be done about that; she would have to die soon, become what she was meant to be.

So, Kirie followed her around. Protected her, though she did well with protecting herself with the device, the camera that Mafuyu had told her about. Kirie knew she'd have to make the device disappear because it would stop Miku from changing; nothing could interfere with the whole thing.

And then she waited. And Miku came, just as Mafuyu had. Kirie waited patiently as the girl came to the gate chamber. This time she knew who she was embracing, and it didn't matter. Miku struggled where Mafuyu hadn't, dropping her device in the process. Kirie let her do it, not letting her go, but holding her until she collapsed. Miku would understand later.

Miku disappeared just as Mafuyu had, her body fading for her spirit to be reborn again in the room. She looked blankly at the walls before rushing off, and Kirie sighed. Maybe when they encountered each other in the mansion, they'd see each other. Maybe it would be good for both of them.

And if it didn't, she'd work on Mafuyu. He wandered less. He would bring Miku to her senses, and they'd both stop wandering mindlessly.

It wasn't easy at first. Mafuyu wandered looking for the man he admired. Miku rushed around looking for Mafuyu, and even when she was in the same room as her brother, she never noticed him. She moved spectral dolls in the doll room, raising a camera that didn't exist in the Abyss, wandered among the statues with ropes in her hand. Every so often, Kirie would take Mafuyu and Miku back, so that they would remember, but things were slow. They didn't even really respond to each other in the room, acting as if the other wasn't there.

But she had forever. They had forever. She remembered where others wouldn't, and would have her revenge for the pain caused her, and caused her family. Her new family.

When the next intruder came, looking for Mafuyu and Miku, she didn't hesitate. They were her family, part of herself, and nobody would come between her and them. She made sure this one died a painful death, his body falling into the water of the tank room, torn limb from limb and head from his body. He might come back, she hoped he would, just to see his torment. But that wasn't important.

All that mattered was her family, Mafuyu's gentle gaze and Miku's determination. With those, it hurt so much less, and she would do anything to save them.

Fatal Frame fics