I don't own spirited away so don't sue me.

A/N. I wanted to write a story. Or at least try to. This is more difficult for me than most people as I'm dyslexic and have to write all this on paper before I even touch a key board! However, being the stubborn sort and reading some fantastic fics I decided to have a stab myself.

After watching spirited away I began to think about what it would really be like if you tried to live with knowledge like that, especially as Chihiro was only 10 at the time. Could you ever forget? Would you be able to live normally? What would happen if people would not believe you? I thought it would be complicated. So this is a story of Chihiro trying to live with her past (or not as you will see) and how her life has been changed by her trip to another world. It will be a slow start but I really want to work on my characters before I start the plot.

Courage of the spirit

(Naff title I know)

Living in ignorance

Chihiro sighed and looked at herself in the mirror. She had had another restless night and struggled out of bed for her 10 o'clock lecture. She glanced at her timetable. Davis; she could not even pronounce the mans name, let alone understand the finer points and themes of his subject European mythology.

It was not as if the subject was not interesting and his Japanese was flawless. Even when he slipped up and cursed in English when the projector broke down, her English was good enough to understand most of what he was saying. Still there were one or two words she did not know at all. She made the mistake of asking a foreign exchange student (a friend of her friend Linca,) what these particular words meant. The young man was a few years older than her. His name was Scott, which she found funny because he was Scottish. Did his parents not like him or something? He had bright red, short hair and was slim and tall. He had a very pale face with a light dusting of freckles over his nose. He had laughed so much at her that his blue eyes had watered. Instead of answering her he had asked her out for a "coffee" to discuss the mystery that was British curses. She had declined.

She pulled on her jumper and grimaced as it mussed up her hair, she had just platted it. She glanced at the clock. It was ten to ten! She raced from her room. A minute later she came skidding back into it.

"Sorry" she said to the wall behind her bed on which hung a picture of a white dragon. She touched the nose and swept her hand up over the head; as she did every morning and night. She then dashed back out.


Davis's voice droned on and on and on. Chihiro was engaged in what she and Linca called "lecture pose." This was something to adopt when trapped in a really boring lecture. It gave you the ability to nap through it, without being too obvious about it. Before meeting Linca, Chihiro had had to run the risk of discovery and embarrassment as falling asleep leaning on the desk was risky as elbows tended to slide and you ended up smacking the desk with your face.

However, Linca being on the petite side, and a good head shorter than Chihiro, could easily rest her head between Chihiro's neck and shoulder. Chihiro could then rest her chin on Lincas head so it did not slip when she dozed off. From the front it looked as if they were both sitting up and paying attention. It was perfect, though it did cause some nasty rumours about their relationship with each other. Chihiro used to blush when people told her these things, but Linca brazenly admitted to anything she was accused of.

"It really puts people off if you seem happy to admit it," she had told Chihiro. "And I pick up more men this way! They seem to be very keen if they think you like women more than them."

"Dragons!" called out Davis. Chihiro, startled out of her catnap, actually started paying attention. "The myth of the dragon is, science thinks, probably based on sightings of the monitor Lizard. These large lizards have a poisonous bite and have been known to attack and eat people." An image of a very ugly looking brute with black teeth and green scales flashed up on the screen. "However, many in mythological circles find this to be merely the scientific community clutching at straws. Where did this amazing concept of a flying lizard come from? It is found in one form or another on nearly every continent and pervades many cultures. Did these cultures develop these myths independently? Or is this phenomenon due to ancient trade? All we can be sure of it that the myth is old. For example, various Japanese spirits could take human or dragon form. European dragons where more lizard like and are classically fire breathing and malicious. No human form is associated with them." Chihiro felt her heart pound and the lecture theatre started to tilt. Unwilling to listen further she stood up and ran from the theatre.


Back in her room Chihiro stared at her picture. She had bought it two years ago. It was painted on silk and had a thin black frame surrounding it. It looked just like him, except the eyes where red instead of the jade green she remembered. The picture was a close up of a dragon's head with a cloudy sky background. Her mother had been worried about her when she had brought it back from the arts fair. But her mother always worried about her. Ever since she had told her about…

She reached up and touched the picture sweeping her fingers over the nose and up, feeling the fabric.

"Were you real?" she whispered her voice wobbled. "Did I imagine you?" she had not cried over this in years but two tears ran down her cheeks. She jumped in surprise to feel the wet on her face. Crying was showing emotion, she had learnt to hide her emotions from everyone. If they knew you, they would hurt you.

"You promised me!" she hissed, angry now. "You promised me I'd see you again!" She stumbled a few steps back. "It's been ten years and not even a post card!" She was feeling foolish but still raw. "You never existed it was all in my head," she closed her eyes muttering. "It was all in my head, they told me it was all in my head." She repeated this to herself over and over again. She opened her eyes and smiled, she was alright, the weakness had passed. But that night the dreams came again, dreams of a place, time and people that seemed very far away now.

She woke with a start. All of a sudden the loneliness and the dark seemed to push down on her. She hugged her knees and wept, wept like she had not let herself for a long time. Her 13-year-old self had made a decision, a decision that had cost her dear, but had allowed her to lead a relatively normal life on the surface. She had denied the truth and now stupid Davis had dragged it all up again. It had never been that firmly buried in the first place. She let her mind tentatively focus on the memories now.

(A/N So what do you think? Please ignore any spelling or punctuation mistakes. I'm very sorry I know it annoys some people but I've checked this document to the best of my computers ability ;) I hope to post again in a week.)