Okay, guys. Let's give this a go. This is my first story, so don't be too harsh.


Chapter 1

The wind blowing through her hair always seemed to bring a smile to Mai's face.

Whether it be the hot summer breeze bringing with it humidity and the sweltering heat, the sweet spring breeze that made her feel light and carefree, or the colourful autumn breeze that made her want to dance among the bronze leaves of fall; Mai loved the wind.

However, her favourite season of all had to be winter, Mai favouring the chilling winds the most.

Not many seemed to enjoy the frost of winter or its harsh winds, but Mai loved the spine-tingling feeling of the freezing cold winds flying up her back and through her hair, making the short strands twirl around her chin and bringing a sweet smile to her face, snow dancing through-out the street and the air.

Yes, winter was definitely her favourite out of all the seasons.

Closing her eyes as another gust came sweeping through the street, Mai tucked her face into her oriental-patterned scarf with a twitch of her lips, tucked her hands deeper into her pockets of her military blue coat and continued trudging through the streets of Shibuya.

Now at 20 years old, Mai had matured greatly in the 4 years since Naru had packed up back to Britain. Now standing at 5'6" with her light brown strands sitting barely an inch above her shoulders, Mai had become a woman with healthy curves; toned thighs and calves and wide hips that curved into a flat stomach. Satisfied with her B-cup breasts and her not quite-so-cooperative skin, Mai was like every other woman in regards to their body; she'd trade a lot of things, but she'd deal with it.

However, though her body had changed, some things about Mai were the same.

She was still a professional 'trip-over-flat-surfaces' girl and a Class-A 'fall-up-the-stairs champion'. She still dearly loved to laugh and enjoy the simple things in life, because what was the point in wasting our time worrying over things? Her temper could still rival that of the Hulk at times when she believed herself right (which was most of the time) but her kindness and compassion always shined through.

But again, with age, Mai had matured greatly in regards to the world around her. Working at SPR, though demonstrating that the world was hiding some unspeakable horrors, had opened her eyes to a whole new world and it's realities. She liked to believe she was not as naïve as she once had been. She could see that there wasn't always kindness in peoples actions, but she could also see that not all actions were intended to be cruel.

Also, her powers began to mature with her age. She knew she had slight latent ESP when she demonstrated intuition in past cases with a few cases of Astral Projection, but as time went on, the lack of use of her powers seemed to make them grow so much more.

At odd times, she found her powers seemed to flare. One time she even found herself putting her hand through her desk at home, causing to panic excessively and took hours before she managed to get it out again.

Also, she seemed to have developed psychic power in channeling, nearly giving her heart attacks when she would observe spirits roaming downtown Tokyo like they were on their way to work, or when she'd be working and she'd feel an icy touch down her spine from a spirit wandering too close.

Mai tried not to cause herself untoward trouble by trying to help every single spirit that she saw. She knew it would be impossible and that some just didn't want to leave this plane of existence

Now a second year in University, Mai was studying towards her degree in Psychology while taking a few courses in Commerce. Working at SPR had made her fascinated towards the workings of the mind and hopefully, if all goes well, she was aiming towards studying a higher degree in Parapsychology once she completed her Psychology Degree.

Though SPR had closed, the members (excluding Lin and Naru) had kept in close contact. Bou-san and Ayako always seemed to close by to have lunch with or see a movie, especially since they were an item now. Bou-san was still her spastic older brother and Ayako the supreme and powerful older sister, and made sure she remembered it when they frantically doted on her when the entire flu season seemed to infect just her.

John, the lovable priest from Australia, decided to stay permanently in Japan while working at the orphanage (which he took great enjoyment in). He often joined the group for pizza and movie nights where Mai and Bou-san liked to feast thoroughly on their spoils of garlic bread and Harribo gummy bears while Ayako watched in disgust and John contently ate in silence.

Masako wasn't heard from much. On and off, one of the group seemed to bump into her at a coffee shop or see her on tv, but other than that, she seemed quite content to cut all ties with the group once Naru left for England.

And good ol' Yasuhara was still around. Since Mai and Yasu were attending the same University, they often met up for lunch or had study sessions in the library where they would often split up and savagely look for an empty table, guarding it with their lives once found while on the phone telling the other of their location. Library tables were scarce and students were often desperate in their need to defend their territory.

Also, they could guard each other's things while the other used the bathroom.

Mai's little family was quite perfect and she wouldn't change any of them for the world. Though she missed her parents, the ache was soothed with her new family and allowed her to continue enjoying life.

The departure of Naru and Lin was hard.

So very hard.

Mai cried for days after they left. Naru had shot down her confession, accusing her of loving his brother, having no doubt that she did. But the truth was:

She didn't love Gene like that.

Oh, don't get her wrong. She loved Gene dearly, but as a friend. As the years went on, it became clear that she truly did love Naru. So much.

But the hard truth was that he didn't love her.

That's probably what hurt her the most. Knowing that she loved someone so dearly and they didn't want you, it made Mai feel ill.

But as Mai grew older, it became easier to bear until it became clear that if Naru didn't want her; then it was his loss.

There was no use in pining after him when she could move on and be happy. So she did.

She grew and she burned brighter than ever.