Far Away

He is never going to initiate it, Mai knows this. She's convinced herself she's just waiting for the right moment. In reality, she's just proving she is capable of being as immovable as he is - it's only been eight years since she met him, after all.

Rated M for Mature. Contains adult themes and scenes.

This story is mainly based after the novels. If you have only watched the anime, you might be missing a few things. If you have read the various spoilers that are floating around the internet for the manga vol. 12, you'll be fine. Drop me a message if you want the link to what has been fan translated of the novels; I'll be happy to send them your way.

Mai liked snow. Ice, however, was a different story.

She sucked in a breath as the car slid across a patch of ice on the road, invisible to the eye.

"It was the right choice to leave the van for the night," Naru said.

Mai gritted her teeth. "Don't talk to me, I'm driving."

"Is that what you call it?" Naru had a hand on the dashboard to steady himself as Mai tapped the brakes at a red light. The car skidded a short distance before coming to a halt. She flicked the turn signal on, even though there was not another car in sight. They were the only ones stupid enough to be on the road in the weather, she thought.

Naru would have driven if she had asked. But she knew he didn't like driving, especially other peoples' cars. Just one of those things you learn after working for someone for almost a decade. Naru had taken the van to the case they were working this morning, leaving his car at the office. Mai had suggested just taking her car back, since the old van would have been hard pressed to find traction in these icy conditions.

Monk had been with them early, and Naru sent him back around midday to a due-any-day with their second child Ayako. Monk had quipped that ghosts were easier to deal with than a very pregnant wife, but Mai had seen the thankfulness in his eyes for going home.

She coasted into the parking lot of the Japanese branch of the SPR. After putting the car into park, she rested her head on the steering wheel. A moment later, she heard the door click as her boss got out.

Mai didn't want to go back on those roads, especially since dusk had fallen. She looked up, and realized Naru had gone into the office instead of straight to his car.

She turned off the vehicle and got out. She could warm up and steady her nerves in the office for a few minutes before heading out again.


"I thought you were going home," Naru said as she passed his office.

"I'm thinking of spending the night here," she said, collapsing onto the couch. She was shaky and chilled from the stressful ride, and they had only been thirty minutes from the client. If it had not been the first night, they would have probably spent it at the house.

Naru didn't answer, which meant he didn't care if she did.

She sat up when she sensed him standing over her. He was dressed well after meeting with the client in a silky gray dress shirt and black slacks. It had taken him some time to start adding color back to his wardrobe. Even the first time he had come back to Japan, he was still wearing black. Mai had asked him if it was because his brother's case went unsolved. He told her it was because there was no reason to let the clothes go to waste. Today, she might have been able to tell if he was lying, but back then she was still unsteady in reading his face.

His face had matured over the years, and he still wore his hair in the 'I could care less' cut, which looked fine to her. If anything, Naru had only improved with age. But when she looked at him like that, she felt like she was cheating on a memory.

"What?" she said, hoping her face was not betraying her thoughts.

"I'm leaving," he said. "Lock the door behind me."

She nodded and stood up. As she passed the window, there were large snowflakes coming down.

An eerie feeling crawled through her stomach. "Naru, it's snowing."

He paused in the doorway, waiting for the point of her statement.

"You won't be able to see the ice."

"I'll manage."

"I don't think anyone should be driving in that."

"Good night, Mai," he said, and shut the door after him.

She sprinted to the door and yanked it open. "Fine!" she called to his retreating back. "I'll say at your funeral: too foolish to listen to one of his psychics' hunches."

He stopped and gave her that look. She glared back, then went back into the office and closed the door behind her.


Mai sat back down on the couch. She was going to end up worrying about him all night. She should have told him to call her when he was back at his apartment. Nah, it would not have mattered, she thought. He would not have done it, and if she called him, he would not have answered.

"You didn't lock the door," Naru said, almost sending her to the ceiling.

"I knew you were coming back," she declared.

"I might have believed that before you jumped out of your skin." He draped his coat over the couch behind her. "I'll take some tea if you are making it," he said before disappearing into his office.

Notes: This story is complete (5 chapters – a little over 5,000 words) because I have a phobia of not finishing a multi-chaptered story. There shouldn't be more than a week between updates, and the more interest, the faster I'll update. Favorites and alerts are great, comments are awesome. Unless you are going to berate me about adding another Naru and Mai story to this fandom – trust me, I already feel guilty about it, ha! x) But have you ever had that plot bunny that just won't go away…?