Following Kei's ninth death, his body was still... where his body would once slowly but surely heal its wounds, it seemed to make no such attempt whatsoever. From his chest, not a single breath escaped, and even more so startling, his skin was becoming cold to the touch as each minute passed.
At the time of his death meanwhile, within the theatre, stray cats were running out onto the streets in hordes, escaping some invisible threat inside the hollow building.A shrill shriek coming from the ghostly woman.She was in shock...and she was coming for her dear Kei, just as sudden as his heart had stopped.
How had he tried to leave her so quickly with those nine lives!? She hardly expected it, though what was done is done... "Perhaps he realizes now... he'll come back to me, I know he will."
Within his subconscious, however, Jason was far from gone. He remembered hearing what was around him- the gunshot, someone talking, a loud noise following as if something was ablaze... though none of it truly registered. While in death as Kei his vision through those hollow sockets was dark, in his subconscious Jason was standing in a whitish haze. He should've felt pain, or paralyzing fear... though it was entirely peaceful.
In front of him, a darkened silhouette was approaching.
Ophelia walked closer, her blue eyes peering up at him expectantly with a glimmer of hope in them. She stopped only when she stood chest to chest, mere inches from him.
"So this is it... is this what you wanted?"
Jason's voice usually would have been laced with venom, though there was little emotion present. He didn't even move away when she came near.
"Oh Kei~ must you say it like that..?"
"...You took almost five years from my life."
"I gave you all of me... why didn't you want me~?"
Abruptly Jason had taken her by the shoulders calmly, forcing her to look at him as he uttered the words, in which he had uttered so many times before since he had taken refuge in the theatre.
"...I'm not Kei. I never was."
Ophelia's small body shook when she was grasped, a look of utter surprise on her face. She wasn't mortal, he could never have touched her... then again, her sweet Kei was not too far from her at the current moment.
"Y...You don't mean that..."
"You know I do... and I always have. Deep down you knew it too, didn't you?"
A silence seemed to shake the spirit as her eyes cast downward. Slowly, a tremble went through her, causing her hands to clench into fists.
"You...You have to be."
"...No."There was a long silence to follow where Ophelia merely stared at him.
After some time, slowly, tears began to streak down Ophelia's cheeks. The ghostly woman suddenly grabbed him, burying her face in the man's shoulder.
"You're lying! You left me when I needed you, that night! T...That night..."
Ophelia's voice trembled, her eyes full to the brim with tears.
Meanwhile, Jason stood still as a statue, looking down at her. His mouth had formed a thin line... for once he pitied the woman.
His words only made the woman tremble more and more. Her words hardly came out as she wasn't able to hold back the sobs that came next.
"Y..You. You're not... Kei..."
Surprisingly, Jason put his arms around her almost in comfort.
"What comes next... are you going to let me burn?" He uttered quietly.
"I... I'll return you to who you were. If you wish..."
Ophelia's voice was one of utter defeat, it's tone sounding lost.
He paused for a moment thoughtfully before he looked down at her.
"And... what if that's not what I wish?"
"Why? What is it that you wish..?"
"I have an idea of a compromise... You owe me for my suffering, after all. Don't you?"
Deep down, 'Kei' never did want his mortality back, after all...
and so, as he had suggested, they made a deal.
First, Jason was granted his humanity again.
Secondly... Ophelia let him keep his immortality, though at the same painful cost.
Finally, Jason was free to return to his cursed state as he wished.
He woke up in the theatre as "Jason", his old self, following their deal.Often he can still be found in the streets as "Kei", using that skull as a mask to aid him in his trouble making, which he also had not given up in the long run.In the end, Jason went many months without hearing of OpheliaHowever, undoubtedly, the mirror ghost still remains in the theatre. He finds himself taking reluctant visits now and then, knowing the two are still likely tethered by the curse.
Special thanks to all of you that tore Kei apart limb by limb.