"Now Jou-chan, you can't possibly eat all that food!" Bou-san exclaimed as he stared down at her loaded plate with shock.
"Hey! It's not your wedding, and I'm a growing girl! I need my nutrition." Mai replied, sticking out her tongue.
"Still, I could feed an entire monastery with that food. You're not eating for two are you?" He teased as he wriggled his eyebrows.
Mai flicked her spoon towards his face. Direct hit to the forehead! Bou-san wiped his face as he grumbled under his breath about there still being food in the spoon.
Serves him right! But still, even she had to admit that it was a lot of food. The plate was full to bursting, and there was even a smaller plate next to it with even more. It was Madoka's wedding to Lin, and they had wisely decided to put a buffet in. Mai had heaped her plate with a lot of everything, and then some. She really need it, too.
After the "disappearing incident", as they now called it, she had been in an almost constant state of hunger. Since her spiritual power got stronger, it seemed that she needed to eat more and more just to keep herself sated. The feeling had been growing weaker over the past few days, but for the present, she was still starving. And she would probably stay that way for a little while longer.
She gave a start as she felt someone touch her hand. Bou-san. He had his hand on hers as he stared, concerned, at her. She snatched her hand away, utterly annoyed.
"Bou-san, just because my powers went wacko that one time doesn't mean that I'm going to go 'poof' in the middle of the dining table! I was just thinking. Stop treating me like a child!" Mai cried, frustrated. It had taken her weeks to convince them that she was stable enough to go to the wedding, and still they were checking up with her.
Bou-san quickly backed off, with a small huff of irritation. She hadn't wanted to freak out at him, but she was getting very, very sick and tired of their constant hovering. There was only so much a girl could take, after all. And being cooped up in a house for nearly a month was far too much. Really, she hadn't even done anything that scary. Just went 'poof' a little in the middle of a dojo. No biggie.
Although, Mai hadn't really gone 'poof' exactly. The storage room was directly underneath the training room of the dojo, so she hadn't really teleported as much as she had 'fell'. By turning her body into spiritual matter and phasing through the ground. Either way, the team had been afraid to let her out of their sight, just in case she might do it again.
Mai couldn't blame them.
It turned out that she had used up so much energy 'passing through' that she had soon passed out after Ayako and Bou-san had found her. She had been knocked out for almost a week before she had woken up. And surprisingly, her first sight had been Naru. He had been sitting a chair next to her bed, looking like he hadn't moved for a while. Mai had actually been a little touched at this, at least until he had opened his mouth.
He had lectured her for hours on 'proper usage of spiritual powers' and 'stop doing stupid things Mai'. Sometimes she thought that he had been born grumpy. Really, what had put him in such a terrible mood?
He had even assigned someone from the team with her at all times when she wasn't on lock-down in the SPR building. Mai had, of course, protested. She had even sarcastically suggested that he just handcuff her to the bed, but he had just smirked and said that that was plan B.
He had eventually let the security up so that she could go to the wedding, but still- rude. And she hadn't wanted to miss this for the world. Lin had been so adorably nervous throughout the entire ceremony. And she had photographic proof! Mai giggled in hysterical excitement, fantasizing of what she would do with that kind of blackmail. She ignored Bou-san as he tried to inch away from her, obviously freaked out with her behavior. Really, Yasuhara wasn't the only one allowed to be maniacal.
This wedding had been such a dream. They had had it in such a beautiful building, one which could feasibly double as a castle on the weekends. Flowers were everywhere, ranging from large carnations in their beautiful arrangements to the small daises that were scattered along the floor. Madoka had been absolutely gorgeous in her dress, and even Lin had looked quite dashing. The ceremony had been a little long, but it had been absolutely spectacular.
The ceremony had been so beautiful in fact, that Mai had gone through quite a bit of tissues throughout it, much to the ire of Naru. The man simply couldn't understand why people would cry at weddings, and she had long since given up trying to explain it to him. His was a mind of cool logic and calculations, where something as abstract as being moved to tears by happiness simply did not compute.
Mai gave a sigh as she remembered the look of disdain on his face when he had glanced at her mountain of clumped up tissues. Well, even that hadn't put a damper on her mood. Her spiritual instinct was acting rather well behaved, and there had even been times where she could almost forget it existed. Hardly a single overwhelming compulsion towards Naru! Mai couldn't help but hope that it was maybe, possibly, please, oh please- receding. Because of this wild hope, she was in a phenomenally good mood.
Well, the food also put her in a good mood as well. Mai had needed to blink a few times after she had seen the dinner table. Or rather, tables. Tables and tables of the most exotic, delicious and mouth watering dishes she had ever seen! A buffet of this size was exactly what her bottomless pit of a stomach needed at the moment. She wasn't sure why she was so hungry, but she did remember something Naru had told her about how her body was trying to get the expended energy back.
Mai could only shrug at this. Feeling hungry was one of the lesser ordeals her spiritual instinct could put her through. All she needed to know was that she could dig in, and eat as much as she wanted. The food was so good too! She could barely recognize some of the dishes because they were so strange. Gourmet food! Growing up as an orphan, she had never eaten, or even looked at anything like what was being put before her now. She desperately wanted to know what they all were, but Naru would probably just make some comment on her intelligence if she asked him. The Jerk-face.
But no matter what personal reservations Mai had about him at the moment, even she had to admit that he looked good today. The man was stunning in black, but he was absolutely breathtaking in blue. It was dark blue, but nonetheless, she had no idea how Madoka had gotten him to wear it.
Not for the first time, Mai suspected that Madoka had magic powers. Strong ones too, if she could withstand the patented 'Oliver Davis Glare' he had given her when she had told him. Mai gave a small snicker as she witnessed a girl who couldn't trying to talk to him. It looked like Naru had been trying to get to his seat, but the girl seemed to have blocked him, and was now trying to flirt with him. Ugh. Another one.
Even with his ever present 'grumpy face' on, Naru had managed to attract quite a number of girls during the ceremony. They had fawned over him, at least until he opened his mouth and scared them away. There had even been some brave ones who had actually tried to ask him out. Mai gave a wince as she watched, yet another girl, running away in tears. Naru really was the worst confess-ee ever.
Mai would know.
He also seemed to attract very, very clumsy girls. Because really, every girl that had tried to come up to him had been involved in some incident or another. One had tripped, another had spilled her drink all over herself, and some other girl had even ripped her dress right down the middle. Mai would normally pity them, but really, they should have known what they were getting into by talking to Naru. She was actually suspecting that he was causing the incidents, probably with his evil glare of ultimate doom.
Mai had no time to finish this train of thought, as a loud crash startled her back to reality. There goes yet another one, she silently commented as the girl who had just confessed to him broke her heel and fell. She even rolled a little before hitting a rather large flower arrangement. Hard.
Ouch, that's gotta hurt.
If they had asked her, Mai would have warned them about him. But no, some of them had actually pushed her out of the way in order to sit next to him at his dinner table. Leaving her to sit next to Bou-san and Ayako. Her only comfort had been that Naru's glare of doom had almost had them in tears after a few minutes. These girls really didn't know the first thing about him.
But Mai did. She knew that he didn't like vapid girls, ignorance, and well- a whole bunch of other things. She also knew that Naru really, really didn't like people fighting over him like how those girls were doing. Whether this stemmed from his time in the orphanage, Mai didn't know. What she did remember was how mad he had gotten during the Gellerini case, when Ayako and Masako had tried to fight over him.
She gave a shudder as she recalled the look in his eyes when the dam had finally burst and he'd started to yell at them. Strangely enough, Naru didn't get angry like she'd thought he would. He was always so cold all the time, so nobody had expected his anger to be that...explosive. Thankfully, Ayako and Masako had already learned their lessons by now, but the girls in this wedding were still figuring it out. Well, those hilarious incidents they all seem to get in would help.
Mai gave an irritated look as she watched Naru walk back to his seat, completely ignoring the traffic wreck of a girl behind him. How on earth could he look so composed and in control? Well, that was Naru. He had the ultimate one track mind, and if something did not interest him, then he paid absolutely no attention to it. Or insulted it. Either one, really.
As Mai learned her chair back, she could see that the chairs next to him had been finally been replaced. It had turned out that they had been broken. So, when those girls that had pushed her out of the way had tried to sit in them, the chairs had completely fallen apart. The girls had fallen straight to the ground, and had run away after they realized that Naru still wasn't going to pay attention to them, even to help them up.
The chairs had laid in splinters on the ground afterwords, and well, it had actually been a little strange. They had almost looked like they had rotted from the inside out, kind of like really old wood. But of course, that wasn't the case. Bad craftsmen ship had been the true villain. But still, those girls would probably be picking splinters out for a week. Boy, was Mai glad she hadn't been sitting in those chairs.
'If you're not going to eat the food, you should at least give it to me.'
Mai gave a start, and looked down to see Bou-san's fork suspended over her dishes. With a scowl, she used her own fork smack his hand. After giving a satisfied smile at his sharp hiss of pain, she picked up a small piece of food with her fork and plopped it in her mouth.
Mai quickly spit it out. She made a face as she realized she had just eaten a Brussels sprout. Ugh. Gourmet or not, those things are pure evil. Ignoring Bou-san's wide grin at her expense, she scanned her plate for something to take the putrid taste out of her mouth. Ooh, Ayako had said that the grilled meat was rabbit. Mai picked up a big piece with her fork and shoved it into her mouth, ignoring Bou-san and John's astounded looks.
Really, they were acting like she was some kind of magician. She could eat whatever she wanted! Mai quickly gulped the bite down in order to stick out her tongue at them.
Or at least, she tried to. But suddenly her psychic power reared up and she felt herself getting very dizzy.
The room swayed as her head filled with images. The floor underneath her seemed to fall away as they flashed through her head. A dark hole. A big, meaty hand reaching in. Grabbing her by the throat and dragging her out. The frightened screams of her children right before the hand had snapped her neck. 'Crack'
"Mai! What's happening?"
Bou-san's voice snapped her out of it. Mai shook as she looking around to make sure that she was back in the dining hall. She was covered in a cold sweat and she found that was panting from exertion. Mai looked up with wild eyes to see everybody's concerned faces, staring right at her. She opened her mouth to make up some excuses, but something else threatened to come up.
Mai quickly stood up and ran to the bathroom, barely making it before she began to puke. Tears squeezed out from her closed lids as her ears still rang with the frightened screams of the baby rabbits. She could still feel the dirt underneath her paws- fingers, she corrected herself. Having a vision that was set in the mind of someone else did not mean that she was that person. Or animal.
A few minutes later, her heaving brought up nothing, just pain as it clenched her stomach muscles. Mai gazed down with pity at her ruined green dress, remembering how long Ayako, Masako and her had looked around for it. Her forehead still felt hot, so she leaned against the wall of the stall, trying to soak in some of its cold.
So, her spiritual instinct was at it again. It seemed that it's reach had extended to food choices as well as personal ones. How could this happen? It had been behaving so well during the ceremony. It hadn't even sent her that many compulsions towards Naru. Her good mood was all but destroyed, and she found that she was actually very upset about this.
For a moment, Mai had actually believed that maybe it was done. That maybe she was normal. And well, if it wasn't using its power to force her towards Naru, then what had it been doing? She wasn't as naive to think that it would leave her alone out of sheer pity. It had probably been doing something freaky or strange when she hadn't been paying attention. But, the ceremony had gone along perfectly, well, almost perfectly because those clumsy girls kept getting into those ridiculous accidents-
Mai paled as she finally put the pieces together.
She felt like puking again as she realized what it had been doing. Her spiritual instinct had been making the girls who went up Naru get into those accidents. They weren't just clumsy. The broken heel, the ruined dress, the broken chairs- all her powers.
Mai felt horrible, and not just because of her vomiting. Those poor girls. They hadn't deserved her territorial spiritual instinct accosting them when they were just trying to talk to a guy. That just wasn't fair. But, as bad as she felt about it, she couldn't do anything about it. She couldn't exactly go up to those girls and say 'Sorry, but my weirdo psychic powers didn't want you getting close to that guy'. Yea. That wouldn't go over too well.
So, Mai just had to keep it in. Great, yet another thing she couldn't talk about. She was getting so tired of it all. And this freaky rabbit death flashback was just another sign reminding her that she couldn't walk away from this. Even if she was getting completely sick of it. But of course she couldn't show this.
Mai could hear the team's quick steps as they rushed into the bathroom, and she could almost sense the questions buzzing around in their heads. After taking a deep breath to steady her, Mai raised her head to look into the worried faces of the team.
Ayako was already leaning forward to wash Mai's face with a napkin, and she was mumbling intelligible words of comfort. Masako was standing as elegantly as she could near the mirrors, pretending not to be interested in the least. John was staying as close to the door as he possibly could, probably because he wasn't comfortable with the idea of being in the woman's room. Of course, Bou-san had no such reluctance, and was standing right next to her, his face both concerned and scared.
'Are you sure you're not pregnant?" He nervously joked. Mai couldn't even summon up a decent glare at that, so she settled for a poor one.
'No! It's just some bad food, I'll be fine." She calmly lied. She couldn't tell them the real story of course, they'd just get even more worried. She would just have to blame the whole thing on food poisoning, and hope they bought it.
'Was the 'bad food' also responsible for your psychic vision back there?'
That voice wasn't Bou-san's. It had come from behind him, near the door.
'That was-That was just a fluke! It was nothing okay? I'm fine now." Mai responded as she rose, trembling, from the tiled floor. She took a quick look at Masako, who was standing by the mirrors with the sleeve of her perfect kimono covering her mouth. Judging by how Masako wasn't heaving buckets, she probably hadn't had the same vision, which was strange. Normally Mai's powers pulled Masako along for the visions, but then again, this vision had been anything but normal.
And Naru seemed to somehow sense that as well, if the calculating look he was directing at her was anything to go by. As a researcher, he probably knew all the telltale signs of a psychic vision, and she had probably exhibited most of them back there. But, no matter how much she desperately wanted to be comforted after that horrible vision, she couldn't risk Naru finding out about her strange powers. She couldn't let any of them find out.
With this thought, she slowly stood up, brushing the wrinkles out of her dress. Mai pulled on the same mask she always did in times of crisis and gave everybody a cheerful grin. She quickly thanked Ayako for the napkin as she started towards the door.
'I see.' Naru responded when she ignored him as she passed him by the door, but Mai knew him well enough to see the real meaning behind that statement. 'I see.' in Naru-speak meant 'I am in no way falling for that pitiful excuse, Mai, and we will talk about this later'.
Mai walked out as calmly as she could out of the bathroom, holding her head high. She turned to see that the team was following her, and they all looked very distressed. With how horrid she felt right now, she just couldn't deal with them asking her about it as well. She would only feel worse after lying to them.
She called to them, trying to sound as lighthearted as possible, and said ' Guys, I'm fine!' Judging from their looks of disbelief, they weren't buying that. Trying to alleviate their concerns she continued to talk .
'Really, I am. I just need to lay down for a bit, okay? Then I'll be right as rain!' Mai gave a wide grin at them, trying to look as happy as she could despite the weight in her throat.
'Are you sure?' John said tentatively, obviously nervous with the idea of her going off alone. He really was a nice person, but right now, she just really wanted to be alone.
"John, you're acting like Naru. I'll just be in the reception hall, resting for a bit. I'm not gonna disappear or anything, you know.' Mai gave an amused smirk as John quickly reddened. Facing the rest of them, she gave another bright smile before slowly walking away, trying to keep balance on her small heels. She could sense that they were still looking at her, so she called back. 'I'm fine, guys!'
Mai walked the steps away from them as resolutely as she could, determined to keep appearances up. If she faltered for a step, one of them would most likely run forward to help. No matter what happened, she was not going to show any weakness. No matter how much she wanted to. Story of her life, huh?
Her pretending seemed to have paid off, because no one followed her as she turned the corner to the grand reception hall. Maybe she could do this! Now, if only she could figure out what had just happened.
Mai walked a little to the side, and found that they still hadn't put away the chairs from the ceremony. She took a seat next to an extravagant bouquet of carnations, and heaved a loud sigh. Her ears were still ringing with the screams from the vision, and she found that her hands were also shaking.
Mai had had a great deal of dreams about people's deaths, but she had never in the history of her powers had one about an animal's. She remembered reading something about how animals didn't have enough spirit to leave traces for a psychic to pick up, and if she followed that line of reasoning, then she shouldn't have even had that freaky vision. But she had, and that was the problem.
She didn't even know how her powers worked anymore! Even though she had put in quite a bit of time researching, trying to find a clue, just a hint of what was going on with her, but to her extreme disappointment - Nada. After the incident at the dojo, Mai had even started looking through the psychic tomes that Naru had lying around the office.
Mai had had a lot of free time after Naru had refused to let her leave the house, and she had used it to do some research. For someone so neat, he sure pitched his books all over the place! But, she knew that this was more to due to the fact that he expected her pick them up than it was to any disorderly habits he may have. Despite this, she made sure not to let him see her reading the books, and only hid away a few of them under her bed.
The only reason that he had even let her outside of the house for the wedding was because Mai had claimed that she had complete control over her powers. If he found out that she was doubting that, even for a second, he wouldn't hesitate to lock her away again. And next time, he would probably watch over her himself, instead of leaving that task for the rest of the team. So, she just read the books late at night in her room, and she always returned them the next day, before they could be missed.
Despite this, Mai knew the odds of keeping something hidden from Naru in his own building were slim to none, but she was hoping that she would find her answers before he found her out. Sadly, she hadn't found much at all. She had figured out a few important things, but nothing on the scope of what she was hoping for. Although, she now knew that her powers and her instinct weren't one and the same.
In truth, her instinct in itself wasn't that special. All animals have instincts, and well, no matter how much they try to separate themselves, humans are essentially animals and as such have instincts as well. Naru, Bou-san, Yasuhara, John, Masako- they all have their own instincts. Yet, normally, a person could overpower that instinct, and rationalize it away. This wasn't the case with her. Hers seem to be more powerful, and more in-control than normal instincts were. Mai gritted her teeth at this, frustrated with it all.
Why couldn't she just be normal, for once in her life? Why couldn't she just have one thing, one thing, just to herself? She blinked back tears, and shook her head to chase the thoughts away. Mai gave an inward dry laugh at the thought. She was so far from normal, it was a wonder she even existed. She couldn't have normal parents, a normal life, or even a normal love life. No, she had to be a god-darned orphan with wildly psychotic psychic powers and be in love with one of most unattainable men on the planet.
Of course, her supposedly 'normal' human instinct would go haywire as well. It had probably taken control of her psychic powers when she was little, and used them for its own uses. Mai may be able to use it at times, but she was just loaning it from its real owner- her instinct.
That was why her powers had always been so strange. They had always been a little wild, what with astral projecting her at the strangest times, and giving her visions even when she didn't want them. Mai had always assumed that they just had a mind of their own, but she would have never guessed that the term was more literal than it was figurative.
She gritted her teeth, trying to force herself to stop thinking about it. Thinking about all of this would get her nowhere fast, it was just a one way ticket to insanity. She had to stop. Mai tilted her head back to rest on the chair, and tried to relax a little, but all she could think about was what she had figured out after hours of research.
Psychic energy was in itself old. Some theories even suggested that the original humans had had some degree of psychic powers, but had lost them over time to the ravages of rationality and free thought. The area of the brain that had these powers was unused by most people, but there were certain people who could use that part. People like her, and the team.
Yet, unlike the team, her abnormally strong instinct had grabbed the reins of control from her, and was using her psychic powers for its own ends. It was probably so intertwined with her psychic powers now that they were the same entity. They would probably never be separated. In fact, her instinct was probably the reason she even had psychic powers. That part of her would have probably have stayed dormant for her entire life if her instinct hadn't suddenly decided that she needed to use them. And why? To get the attention of the very powerful psychic Naru, of course.
It was as driven as it was single minded, which left Mai to wonder why she hadn't noticed her instinct before. The only conclusion she could gather from her research was that its connection with her psychic powers was so strong that it had gained in strength alongside her psychic powers. Her instinct hadn't started out so powerful, but as she trained her powers, she had inadvertently bolstered her instinct as well.
This was just to much irony for her to bear. Mai had struggled to develop her psychic powers just so she could stop relying on others for their help during the cases, and the only thing she got out of it was a psycho spiritual instinct that made her completely dependent on Naru. It was completely misusing its growing power, and it was pushing her to her absolute limits. And her psycho instinct was now using this power to take control over her emotions.
Her emotions! That was just not fair at all. An instinct normally had the power to made someone scared, or even angry, but hers seemed to be taking that control a little too far. It wanted Naru, simply for the fact that he was powerful, and it was using her own emotions to make her happy with the idea of being with him. Mai had been living in a world of confusion after she had inferred this from her studies, and was now doubting everything around her. Did she even like her friends, or was her affection for them simply engineered as well? What about her-
Mai forced herself to stop right there, unwilling to think further on the subject. She had been plenty upset about this after she had figured it out, and she wasn't going to let herself fall back into that same depression. Avoidance seemed to be the best way to keep her hold on her sanity, and she was fully willing to exploit that option. Her new motto was deny, deny, deny and hope it gets better. Even with all the time she had spent trying to research her powers, there had never been a case like hers, and as such, she couldn't find a way to stop them.
Just her luck, huh? And now there was a new twist in her powers, ones that had her experiencing the death of a rabbit, of all things. Mai heaved another great sigh, and leaned forward to prop her head up on her hands. A rabbit was such a small thing too, and she doubted that it even had enough spirit for her psychic powers to respond to. Yet, nonetheless, they had, and she was left here wondering why. Most psychic who had visions only had visions about human deaths, but her powers seemed to be expanding their scope.
So now animal deaths were counted too? Were her powers so strong that they could now recall animal deaths with the same clarity as humans? Just great. Wonderful, now she couldn't even enjoy some nice meat every now and then. Maybe if she just kept to humanely killed animals, her powers would take pity on her and leave her alone. It was worth a try at the very least.
Mai still had some questions about the whole ordeal, but she doubted that she would have them answered anytime soon. There probably wasn't a psychic on earth that could tell her why her powers were growing in that direction, and the only one that could possibly shed some light on the situation was the one person she couldn't tell.
And really, she was so tired of it all. The others had even started to notice. Mai still refused to tell them anything, but this just seemed to be getting them even more worried. She had told them all that she was just a little exhausted from all the work she'd been putting in, but this just seemed to get them even more worried. Bou-san had started pestering Naru to give her more days off, and even Ayako had been saying that Mai needed a break.
Mai rubbed her eyes as she visibly sagged down the chair. She hadn't even had a single good nights sleep since she had passed out after the dojo. She kept having that same dream, and the worst thing was that she couldn't even remember it!
Just the trees, and the laughing and that she was so happy. Yet, rather than waking up fully rested from these wonderful dreams, she just woke up even more tired. Really, it was almost as if she was expending energy when she was dreaming. Mai gave a snort at this. Right, her spirit was astral walking to some foreign place, staying there the entire night and then coming back just when she woke up. Absolutely preposterous.
A loud clicking sound coming towards her jolted her out of her seat, and she turned to see Ayako coming right at her. Judging from the hard stare she was directing at Mai, she was upset. Bad things happen when Ayako is upset. Mai instantly froze up as she came closer.
'Just what is going on with you?" Ayako asked, her mouth set in a straight line. Mai opened her mouth to reply, but Ayako cut her off before she could repeat the same excuses that she had given before.
'You know what? I don't want to hear your excuses. You need to relax. And as a doctor, I am ordering you to go on vacation.' She stated matter-of-factly, crossing her arms across her chest.
'But the office! I can't just go on vacation now, I need-"
'No. You need to calm down. You need to start having some fun.' Ayako took a deep breath as she looked at her. Mai wondered what she was seeing. She doubted that she looked really good right now, with her dress completely dirty, her makeup running down her face, and the bags under her eyes fully exposed. Most likely, she looked like a complete mess.
Oh, this wasn't helping her case at all.
'I was planning on giving you this for your birthday, but I think that now may be a better time.' Ayako said this softly, as if she was trying to soothe her. She held out an envelope and waited for Mai to take it. Mai stared confused at it. She had expected Ayako to start ranting and raving, not for her to start giving presents. Mai slowly took the envelope and opened it, and gave a gasp as she realized what it contained.
'A ticket to Hawaii! Ayako, I can't possibly accept this!' She cried. This was far too much. Ayako had been hinting a little about going away somewhere, but Mai hadn't expected anything like this! And of course she couldn't possibly take it. If there was one thing Mai prided herself on, it was her independence, and she wouldn't sacrifice it just to get some rest and relaxation.
Yet, at the same time, she underestimated Ayako's own drive.
'You can, and you will. Don't worry, the entire team is coming too. I even gave one to that narcissist. He said he wasn't going to come, but I have a feeling that he'll change his mind when he finds out you're coming too." Ayako said the last few words pointedly, as if Mai understood what she meant. Uh oh, Ayako was acting like it was already decided. And it probably was in her mind. But what on earth did Naru have to do with it?
Mai just scrunched her nose up in confusion. What should her coming have to do with anything Naru decided? The man was as stubborn as a mule, and two times as likely to kick. She was about to say so before Ayako grabbed her hand. Dragging her towards the dance floor, Ayako continued talking.
'Here. You can thank me with a dance. And you'd better start smiling!'
Mai didn't even have time to respond before they were swallowed up by the crowd. Ayako wasn't going to let this go without a fight, and right now, Mai was all outta fight. She would just have to accept this before Ayako thought of an even wilder plan to get her to relax. And Mai really didn't want to wake up one day strapped to a hospital bed with Ayako standing over her, holding a syringe full of sedatives. Mai would still have to make this gift up to her of course, probably with a whole lot of thanking.
Thinking that she might as well start now, Mai tried to talk to her, but the sound of the music was just too loud. She resorted to yelling a thank you into Ayako's ear, one that could barely be heard above the loud thumping of the speakers. Yet Ayako seemed to catch it, and she responded by spinning her around in a circle, giving a relieved smile as Mai laughed in exhilaration.
Ayako was right, Mai was getting a little stressed. That whole 'relaxing' session in the reception hall had her feeling worse than she had before, especially with how disappointed she was with her spiritual instinct. She smiled as she watched the others dance beneath the colorful lights. John was surprisingly good at doing the robot. And Naru was, of course, standing by the sidelines, his eyes still watching her. Great, now he was suspicious.
But you know what? Mai deserved a vacation. Between random bursts of spiritual power and freaky rabbit death flash backs, she had barely even had enough time to enjoy life before her spiritual instinct sent yet another compulsion driving her towards Naru. As she watched Bou-san try and teach Masako how to do the Macarena, Mai realized that a trip to Hawaii with the team might be just what the doctor ordered. Well, what Ayako had ordered.
After all, what could go wrong in Hawaii?
A/N: Hello All! I don't own Ghost Hunt.
I'm back! Finished my exams, and darned proud of it. Thanks to those who wished me luck! Now, I'm actually going somewhere with this fic. I may have taken a break from this, but trust me, it was a very productive break. Also, what I wrote before about the chapters being smaller is turning out to be a complete lie. The next couple of chapters are going to be big.
I'm almost done writing the next chapter! It's set in *Hawaii*, and of course Mai gets into her fair share of trouble. Also, we finally get a hint of that cross-over with Detective Conan! Hope you guys like it.
I was originally going to upload a mini-chapter to this story, but then I realized that if I uploaded every single one of my ideas, you guys would be far too confused. Plus, I have a couple of AU situations that have nothing to do with this fic. A lot of the other uploads on that other fic, 'Psyche', will have traces of this story in them. Reading it would give you guys a much better sense of where I'm going. Plus, some events that I couldn't fit into this fic are going to be uploaded onto that one, kinda like behind the scenes.
I had an absolutely wonderful time reading your reviews, and they actually kept me writing! Thanks for actually reading this long A/N and I hope you stick with me!
Thank you all very much for reading!