Disclaimer: I don't own ghost Hunt. All rights reserved.
I remember the night terrors.
At first, I was determined to deal with it on my own. I'd shut Gene out and I didn't want to worry everyone else from SPR. Naru and Lin were back in England with Gene's body, so asking for their professional help was out of the question. I wouldn't have been able to talk to Naru after my confession anyway.
All of the night terrors dealt with Gene's body being pulled out of the lake. Every time I dreamt of it, I could feel Gene beating on the walls that I'd thrown up against him, but no matter how terrified I got, I never let him in. I couldn't face him. Not with so much doubt pestering my thoughts about the two of them.
'Me or Gene?'
He'd confused me so much with those simple three words. It wasn't until them that my mind registered that Gene was the one in my dreams, not Naru. He was right. Was it him or Gene? It would make sense for me to fall for Gene. Gene was just as mysterious as Naru, just nicer and genuinely kind. Naru had fake smiles while all of Gene's are real. Naru was rude while Gene was a gentleman. Naru had this knack for pointing out every one of my flaws while Gene had the habit of encouraging me.
Naru had made me doubt my own emotions and thoughts. I wasn't sure whether to be angry at him or congratulate him for being able to prove me wrong on the one thing I thought I knew best. It was like something in me had shattered. I'd held myself in such high regards when it came to my own emotions. I'd thought that I was completely reassured in my feelings towards the ice glacier of SPR. However, it appears I'd been proven wrong once again.
It wasn't until I'd fallen asleep in the office and was caught in the middle of a terror that I was able to fix myself.
The body is slowly raised from the lake. I watched as the faded yellow blanket dripped and the weeds dangle off of it, as if begging to be put back in the comfort of the water. Certain places on it had holes, but all in all, it was well put together. The body was placed on the ground gently, and people were gagging from the smell, but I wasn't. I'd smelt it before. A flash of my mothers mangled and rotting corpse flits through my mind before focusing back on the issue at hand.
Naru walks over and pulls back the blanket. Gene's rotting face is permanently engraved in to my mind. But instead of Naru justing turning away (like he'd done before) he continues to stare at the rotting body of his twin brother. My heart pounds as Gene begins to move. He slowly sits up and turns to me. A twisted smile stretches across his tattered and wither face.
A scream lets loose and them I'm shook awake.
Madoka is staring down at me with a serious look on her face. She lets out a sigh, "How long have you been having these nightmares, Mai?"
I quickly sit up and smile innocently, "What are you talking about, Madoka? It was just a random-" My face is jerked to the right from the force of the slap. Tears spring to my eyes as my cheek begins to throb and I lift my hand to my face.
"Do not lie to me, Mai Taniyama." I'd never heard her this angry before. Actually, I'd never seen Madoka with anything but a smile on her face, that's why shock floors me as I watch the tears in Madoka's eyes begin to make their way down her face, but instead of sorrow, all I see is anger. "I know you better than you think, Mai. I know that you don't get any sleep since Oliver left. I know that you have nightmares about Gene and I also know that you're blocking Gene out." My face was now bright red from being found out, with snot and tears streaming down my cheeks and hiccups leaving me. She sighs and swipes at her face, erasing the tears, "Lin left shiki with me. I can control them as well, Mai. I had some of them check on you shortly after the men left, and they delved in to your dream. They saw it all, but I'd thought it was a one time thing. Obviously, it wasn't." She glares harshly at me, "So don't lie to me."
It was then that the damn broke. More tears stream down my face as I begin to sob, "I to-told him that I-I liked him and h-he rejected me. He sa-said that I-I loved Ge-Gene and I'm no-not sure if he's wr-wrong or no-not." I was sobbing in to her chest as she rubs my back.
"So basically, you confessed to Oliver and he questioned your infactuation with him and pawned it off on Gene. You're blocking Gene out because you are confused and you're having the same nightmare because that's when he said this, isn't it? The day you all stopped at that cabin and they found Gene." I nod, still sobbing, in to her shirt, and she sighs, "Mai, I don't think you realize that this is frankly a stupid thing to be upset over. It's as simple as this. Can you see yourself ever being with Gene?"
My sobs hault and I think about the question. Despite the obvious reason we'd never be together (he is dead, after all), Gene is just too... much like me. We'd get along great and I'd bet that he would be the sweetest person that I'd ever date, but there wouldn't be the fire there.
Gene would see the fire in my eyes, and he'd be content with it. He'd find a way to work around it. While Naru would see the fire in my eyes, and he'd want to play with it. He would want to see how high he can make the flame climb before he'd be satisfied. That's just something that goes along with Naru's personality.
While Gene is kind to everyone, for Naru there's only a few certain people. He doesn't treat everyone equally and that's what makes his attention all the more special. Naru always gave me his attention, whether it was to order me around, yell at me, or to insult me.
"It's Naru." I whisper, "It's always been Naru."
Madoka grins, "I figured." Her grin fault era and her serious look is back on her face, "Mai, listen to me. I have no earthly idea when Oliver is going to be back here in Japan, but I do know that your powers are getting stronger. I mean, you've been blocking Gene out for how long?"
"Since Naru and Lin took his body back to England…" I stifle, my nose still running form crying so much.
"So for about a month and a half now." Madoka grins, "No one ever taught you how to do that, and Gene is a pretty powerful spirit, Mai. How hard do you think it should be to shove a PK users twin out of your mind for over a month?" I shrug now, blushing furiously and staring down at my shoes. She laughs, before getting serious again, "Mai, your powers are only going to get stronger and stronger as you get older. Your instincts are going to come in handy, but you can't rely on them completely. I can help you with your powers and also teach you everything I know. As long as you're willing to learn."
Without hesitation, I said, "Yes, boss." She grins at me and I feel the walls that I have against Gene crash down. The empty feeling that I'd felt this past month and a half disappears, and I'm filled with feelings of warmth and calmness.
'Welcome back, Gene.' I think, not expecting him to answer.
'It's good to be back, Mai.' Gene replies.
My shock must have portrayed on my face, because Madoka raises and eyebrow, "What is it?" I explain to her what happened, and she laughs, "It seems that with your powers increasing, you established a mental link with Gene. How interesting." She tucks a lock of my hair behind my ear, "Now then, you should get some sleep, Mai. You look dead tired, and it's almost closing time anyway. We'll start with your learning on Monday, but be warned, this is the last weekend you'll ever have off. So use it wisely."
"Come on Mai!" Madoka shouts at me as I pant with my mouth wide open. My sweat pants were clinging to me and I could feel my hair dripping with sweat. Good thing I'd just worn a sports bra as a top. It was five o'clock in the morning and Madoka had me running for cardio. Apparently, being in shape was the first step. Madoka sighs and jogs back over to me, "Stand up, Mai, we only have a little ways left and then we'll eat breakfast. I'd think you'd want to have time to take a shower before school, right? Or would you rather go to school smelling like that?" That got me up and moving.
"That looks gross, Madoka." I say, glaring down at the food she currently had in front of me.
"Well, it's delicious." She says, her arms crossed over her over-sized chest, "I learned it from Eugene."
'Try it, Mai.' Came Gene's calm voice, 'You'll like it, I swear.'
I sigh and pick up the fork that Madoka had put next to my plate. I twirl the noodles around the fork like I'd seen Madoka do and then picked it up and shoved it all in my mouth in one go. Tomato sauce bursts on my taste buds along with a little of pepper and some other flavorings.
I moan in delight and devour the entire plate. Madoka and Gene both laugh at me as I let out a satisfied burp.
"Do you understand?" Madoka asks, the large oversized book still opened to the page that showed the fire fox.
I nod, "Yes, boss." Madoka nods, before turning to the next page.
"Good to see you can keep up now." Madoka laughs breathly as we run down the street.
I grin, but keep my eyes ahead of me, "We've been doing this for almost a year now, Madoka! I can keep up perfectly fine."
She rolls her eyes and increases her speed.
"Mai, now!" Madoka yells through the walkie talkie and I recite the spell that she taught me. The spirit pauses and begins to thrash around as the spell takes hold and the spirit is cleansed.
I let out a sigh of relief and Madoka grins as she and the others walk in. Madoka gives me a quick hug, "Great job."
Monk wraps his arms around me and twirls me around, "That's my little girl!" Ayako hits him in the head, causing him to drop me. Yasu and John help me up as the two begin to argue. Masako rolls her eyes at them and I giggle.
The figure behind Masako appears before anyone can do anything.
"Masako!" We all yell as the possessed man grabs her.
Something in me grabs Masako and forces her to head butt the man in the nose and the turn around and kick him in between the legs. The man falls over and whatever it was that had grabbed her retreats back in to me.
"What was that?" Masako asks me, looking at me with large frightened eyes.
"I don't know." I say, confusion dancing through me.
"PK-LP." Madoka says again, "It's psychokinesis on a living object. In your case, it was Masako. It seems the ability was pushed out when Masako was in danger."
"But why now?" I ask, confused, "Not just Masako, but everyone's been in trouble plenty of times that the ability would have been useful. Why is it that it was awakened by such a small issue? Monk or Yasu or even John could have helped her before the man would have done any real harm."
Madoka sighs, "I think it's because your connection with Gene is now present. This was the first case I've allowed you on since you began your learning process for ghost hunting. Since you have a connection similar to one that Oliver and Gene had, I think you adapted to the way that Gene's telepathic responses worked."
"So basically, I'm a fill in for Naru."
Madoka gives me a wry grin, "Ironic, isn't it?"
"Congratulations, Mai!" Monk says, hugging me. Ayako was crying as she runs forward and hugs me as well. Yasu gives me a high five and John gives me a hand shake. Masako admires the dress that she's bought with a scheming gleam in her eyes.
"Hey, Mai." Madoka says, pulling me to the side, "This arrived for you this morning at the office." She hands me an envelope and kisses me on the forehead before walking away.
I open the envelope and take out a piece of paper. Something falls out and hits the ground. I bend down and see that it's a beautiful black bracelet. Several different charms hang off of it.
Protective charms. One for warding off ghosts, one for protection against ghosts, one for physical harm from ghosts, one for mental harm against ghosts, one for warding off demons, one for protection against demons, one for physical harm against demons, one for mental harm against demons. There's also a Celtic cross, a Ankh (which is an Egyptian cross), the Star of David (a Jewish symbol), the Christian cross, and a pentagram (the Wiccan symbol for all the elements).
All of these would come in very useful to me on a case. Seeing as I'm a ghost magnet, this is perfect for me.
I suddenly remember the piece of paper, and I unfold it. My eyes skim over the words that are typed in neat kanji. I'm briefly reminded that Naru doesn't know how to read or write in Japanese, so that means it must have taken him longer than normal to write this note; that makes the following words all the more special:
This should be an appropriate gift for you. I'm sure Madoka has taught you what all of these charms are, but then again, you are known for your idiocy. If you aren't sure, look it up. It may help you in the end.
Congratulations on graduating high school.
A small smile settles over my face as the knowledge that Naru sent this to me sinks in. How'd he know that today was my graduation? I glance up at a grinning Madoka and a mouth-hidden-behind-her-sleeve Masako. They were behind this. A laugh leaves my throat as joy sweeps through me.
I slide the bracelet on.
"Hey, Mai." Gene says, a narrow eyes look on his face. I laugh at him. He's such an 'older brother' type of person. Right now he was a little peeved that I'd accepted an invitation from a guy to go to a party.
"Oh, save the lecture, Gene." I grin, "I'm in college now. I should have some type of social life."
"No you shouldn't," he pouts adorably, "Just wait for my brother to get back and give me nieces and nephews."
My face brightens, "Gene!" He laughs.
The onslaught of tapping is echoing around in the office. If it wasn't so fast or wasn't so steady, I'd have thought that Madoka was typing something up, but no. That consistent, speedy typing could only belong to one person.
I slide off my light jacket in a hurry and hang it on the coat rack. It was early August, so a very light jacket was needed. I hang my purse in my small locker. Madoka had installed these small lockers that were more like school lockers. They were black with silver plates on them, and we were to put our things, like purses, in there.
I make my way slowly around the corner and feel tears spring to my eyes when I see the overly tall man sitting on the couch with a laptop. Lin's black hair covered his left eye and he was in the classic white button up and black trousers. An empty coffee cup sits on one of the coasters.
"Lin." I say, trying for his attention.
His head tilts upward and his eyes meet mine. A small smile graces his face and he places his laptop carefully down in the coffee table. He stands and says, "Noll is back in England. I'm here to help you with your growing powers. Madoka has informed BSPR that your abilities are beyond her reach any longer. She's taught you the knowledge but now you must be taught how to control your powers and put them to use."
"So you're here to help me with that?" My voice was a little shaky, but that's to be expected considering I had tears streaming down my face.
"Yes." He says finally, and an awkward silence fills the air.
'I think Lin is feeling uncomfortable.' Gene's voice bounces around in my head.
'He's never really dealt with a crying women before.'
I wipe my face, before darting forward and wrapping my arms around his waist. He tenses for a brief moment, before relaxing and patting me on the head. I pull away and smile up at the stoic man. I hadn't even realized I'd missed him until now.
"Mai!" Madoka shouts from the door, "What are you doing here so early?"
"Just a feeling!" I shout back, still grinning up at Lin, "By the way, keep the sexy time to a minimum, please!"
Lin's eyes widen as Madoka walks in, "What do you—" She stares at him, before a large smile breaks out on her face, "Koujo!" Madoka rushes over to her husband.
Lin glances at me, "How'd—"
"I told her." Madoka says, "It was way too hard not to. It's Mai! For Lords sake."
Lin smirks, "Yeah, it's Mai."
I toss him a toothy grin.
What's that sound? I think moving towards Lin's office. Lin had been there for about three months. He's taught me a lot so far, considering he's a surprisingly impatient teacher, I've advanced a lot. Over the last few cases, my skills have come in handy. With Lin here, I'm now able to control my own Astral Plane. I'm also able to control when I want to leave my body in an astral projection, and I'm training to become a medium. Along with all of this, my instincts are sharper and I've learned to control my PK-LP. I'm also able to out up defense shields against attacks and to attack. I've memorized several spells.
Lin is also in the process of teaching me Latin.
I step in the door way of Lin's office and I feel my face heat at the PDA being shown here. Poor Madoka. That desk has to be uncomfortable.
Lin had Madoka bent over backwards to his desk, and was on top of her. He tied her hands together with his tie and was kissing her.
I slowly take my phone out and snap a few pictures. This will be good for later blackmail. I sneak away.
It was late September and kind of chilly for this time of year. It seems that winter was coming very early this year. It had rained last night, so of course it's freezing now. My winter boots click against the floor as I open the office door and step in. I slide my scarf off and hang it on the rack with my jacket. Opening my locker, I slide my purse in to it, and slam it closed.
I turn around and freeze. What the—
Yasu and John were staring at me with sorrowful expressions. Masako was staring impassively, but I could see how worried she looked by the tightening around her mouth. Monk had Ayako in an embrace (married people, I swear) and they were staring at someone on the couch. I couldn't see Madoka or Lin from my position at the door way, but I assume that they were there too.
"Uh, what's up guys?" I ask; even I could hear the confusion in my voice. My heart begins to pound and my instincts kick in. A sudden feeling if anxiousness and shock flits through me. I don't understand. I begin to walk towards the sitting area, "Why are all of you looking at me like I'm a kicked pup—"
The smell of Earl Grey tea fills the air around him. There he was, sitting so elegantly in the same chair that he always did. His legs were crosses, and he wore the same black clothing that he always had worn. His hair was thicker and longer. He'd also put layers in it, from what I could see. His arms were bigger than I remember, and I could defiantly notice that his chest had gotten wider. Some type of black ink peeked out from his shirt collar (is it just me, or is that a tattoo?); but what really got me were his eyes. They were trained on me, as if he was a predator and I was his prey.
Everyone is quiet for a moment. In those few quiet seconds, I see that Lin is sitting next to Madoka on the couch.
"Mai." His deep voice echoes around the painfully silent office. I force down all of the inner turmoil, and cross my arms over my chest. I raise an eyebrow at the professor in front of me.
"Yes, Professor Davis?" I say annoyingly.
He raises an eyebrow of his own, "Tea." He holds out his empty empty tea cup.
Everyone is quiet for a moment as they gauge my reaction. My face turns red as anger fills my bloodstream. I walk over and jerk the cup from his hand, "Stupid, tea-loving, narcissistic, idiot scientist." I march in to the kitchen to make tea.
I can hear the team laughing from the sitting area.