This is based off the anime, not the manga—though I will include the whole Oliver Davis and Eugene Davis stuff since it was brought up in the anime—and is set after Mai graduates high school and is returning to SPR after her two-year absence. My first Ghost Hunt FF, I needed a break from my Darkest Powers stuff and I love the character dynamics in GH. Even though this first chapter is really short, please R & R to let me know how I'm doing!
Also I'd like feedback on whether this should be T or M. I've got no problem writing one way or another.
Chapter 1: Mai's POV
I waited nervously at baggage claim. It's an interesting part of the airport, it has the same attraction for spirits that doorways do, in between places, neither here nor there. Almost a rite of passage, get your bag and you've earned your right to leave purgatory—because, let's face it, the airport is purgatory.
I hadn't let anyone know I was coming home. I'd received Lin's email, offering me a full-time position at Shibuya Psychic Research when I checked my inbox at the airport; I'd had the plane ticket to come home for three months now. Some coincidence.
I tried not to jump for joy when I saw my bag, the beacon signaling the end of my hellish commute. I still felt off from the time change but a quick glance at my watch told me that it was barely after eight. My landlady from when I was a high school student had emailed me a lease on a studio apartment in the same complex I used to live in and I'd faxed her back the filled forms a week ago.
I decided that that was the best place for me for now and crammed into the train going into the city. It would have been easy to retrace my old route home but the big purple bag with all of my worldly possessions was a little cumbersome. I made it just in time to catch the office as it opened and pay my deposit and first month's rent, then retrieve my key. The apartment was small, studios tend to be, but with the sleeper sofa bed and kotatsu I felt like my Japanese roots flowed seamlessly into the western style of living I'd become accustomed to.
It only took a quick shower and a change of clothes to really make me feel like my old self. It was odd being home and hearing my native language coming in from the streets and radios. I missed the diversity of my American home but not having the tradition and culture of my real home had been like missing a piece of my soul.
It was almost nine fifteen before I decided to head over to SPR and make my presence known. I'll admit I was nervous to see the gang again, especially Naru since we hadn't parted on the best terms. I might have brushed my hair a few thousand times more than necessary and applied just a tinsy bit of mascara and lip gloss. I couldn't decide whether to put my hair up or not, it had grown out while I was away, almost mid-back—not really a fashion statement so much as I just kept forgetting to get it cut.
It was warmer in Japan than Pennsylvania and I tucked a jacket into my messenger bag and chose lavender low-tops instead of my heavier boots. The rest I kept to the outfit I'd grown accustomed to wearing, jeans and a linen top, light purple to match my shoes. I was used to wearing something that looked professional enough for me to be taken seriously but was breathable and comfortable enough for me to sit in the same position for hours monitoring thermal and regular video cameras or run really fast from a particularly nasty spirit.
It became a power struggle between me and my legs to walk down the sidewalk the closer I got to SPR and I had to focus on calming my breathing. I replayed my dramatic exit two years ago over in my head for the millionth time. We'd been arguing about my involvement in a case, again. He'd wanted to leave me home like an errant puppy while the rest of the team went on a case.
"Naru I am not a child!" I'd yelled at him, fists curling at my sides. "Stop trying to keep me on the sidelines!"
"You ARE just a child Mai." He'd replied calmly without looking up from the file he was flipping through. "A reckless child with powers she can't control and a complete lack of disciplinary structure. I won't be held responsible when you hurt yourself doing something stupid and dangerous."
"If that's the way you really feel, that I'm stupid and a danger to myself and others-"
I'd left the office and returned to answer calls and do paperwork only when he'd left. In the two weeks that followed I applied and was accepted for an internship with the Pennsylvania State University Paranormal Research Society. One of the members kept tabs on people with what they dubbed "potential" and I had blipped their radar. They'd continued my training and I continued working on cases, sending regular letters back to SPR about new activity worth noting and funny stories of Americans who were completely convinced that they were haunted when it was actually coyotes or—in one memorable case—neighbors with a few interesting midnight kinky hobbies. I got letters that had a paragraph written by everyone except Lin and Naru. Lin would send me an email every now and then with some dry super boring parapsychology article attached and I'd read it and send him back my thoughts.
Then I'd gotten the dream. It was one of my dreams with Eugene Davis—Naru's twin brother who had designated himself my spirit guide. In it Gene had said nine words;
"Mai, it's time to come home. Oliver needs you."
I'd bought my return flight the next day. Of course I could only afford a flight that left three months from then but it gave me a chance to say all my goodbyes and get my affairs in order.
I was surprised when I looked up to see I was standing in front of the SPR building and took a deep breath.
"Time to face the music." I muttered and, squaring my shoulders, went inside.