InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The Ghost of Christmas Present ❯ Prologue ( Prologue )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Blanket Disclaimer:

Inuyasha, and the characters therein, are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. I am in no way affiliated with Takahashi, or VIZ Productions.


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Prologue




Hello again! Like the story title? I think it's fitting, if I do say so myself. It's also kind of a pun, since I really mean 'present' as-in 'gift'. Maybe 'Christmas Miracle' would be more accurate. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Is everyone here familiar with my Halloween story from last year? The one where I told you all about how I rediscovered my ability to see and communicate with ghosts, and how I wound up meeting my dead boyfriend, Inuyasha? I know that sounds weird. Trust me, it takes a lot of explaining, every time I actually brave explaining it to a new person. Eri, Yuka and Ayumi all know now, of course. They had been the easiest ones to tell, already knowing Inuyasha existed and all. If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about then I'm just going to stress that you really ought to go read my first story, Every Day Is Halloween, even though the Halloween season is over now. I explain it all there; I don't have time to explain it all again in this story or otherwise, I'll never get to the new, Christmas-y story I want to share with you guys.

I will take a brief moment to remind you all of a few basic things, however, and to catch you up on what all has changed over the last year. I'm Japanese-American but a So. Cal. girl through and through. That part obviously hasn't changed. I'm twenty one years old now – party time! – and am a senior in college, majoring in psychology. I still live in the dorms and still have the same doormmate, Eri, Yuka and Ayumi's room being right next door to ours this year. I go back home between semesters and over most weekends, spending time with my mother, grandfather, and younger brother Souta, who is now fifteen and driving with a permit. There's a horror story if ever there was one!

Souta and I have two cousins: Sango, who's also twenty one and living on her own now, and her thirteen-year-old brother Kohaku, who still lives at home with their parents. Their father is our late father's brother, brother-in-law to Mom. I know I only mentioned my cousins in passing in my previous story, but young Kohaku takes center stage in this one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Let's see, my jii-chan is no longer in the dark regarding my relationship with Inuyasha. He found out pretty quickly, actually; it was really only a matter of time. At first I hadn't thought I'd tell him, not wanting to shake up his reality, but he'd left me with no choice since I hadn't wanted to outright lie to him. The cunning old man had figured out a few days before Christmas a year ago that I had a secret boyfriend, which was funny 'cause at that time Inuyasha and I actually hadn't been together yet, although we'd gotten together that very night. Merry Christmas! After Christmas I wasn't denying it anymore, letting Grandpa assume I had a casual college boyfriend, a conclusion I really don't get since I'd been spending every weekend at home instead of in the dorms – although granted, that had actually been so that Inuyasha and I could have a little privacy, but Grandpa hadn't known that. At first I'd been fine with just letting him think I had a casual college boyfriend, neither confirming nor denying the somewhat playful accusations, but all that changed when he wanted me to get more serious. One day last spring the jig was up, so I'd eased him into it, as much as was possible, finally confessing that my boyfriend was actually a ghost. Seemingly changing the subject when he'd asked me when I was going to do the right thing by bringing my boyfriend home to meet my family, I'd asked him in turn if he believed in ghosts. Scoffing, Grandpa had said not to change the subject, but I'd only insisted that I wasn't changing the subject and that I needed him to answer the question. Eyeing me suspiciously, most likely assuming my boyfriend was a paranormal researcher or something (and disapproving of it), he'd then answered that no, of course he didn't believe in ghosts.

I had suspected as much, seeing as how my mother had been downright adamant that ghosts did not exist until Inuyasha had helped Souta and me to prove otherwise. I'd launched back into my rip off of Jennifer-Love Hewitt's speech from Ghost Whisperer again, then, telling him how I had a gift, and how I could both see and hear ghosts, yada yada yada. Of course he hadn't believed me, although unlike Mom, who had just thought I was being stupid and telling lies, the look Grandpa had given me in that moment had implied that although he didn't really believe me, he'd believed that I thought I was telling the truth. In short, he'd thought I was crazy.

Sighing and not interrupting as he'd very cautiously, as if afraid of saying the wrong thing, told me how there were people who could help me, medications I could take, I'd waited until he was finished and holding his own breath in anticipation of my reaction to shift my gaze and glance beside me, to the invisible man who'd been standing next to me the entire time. The invisible man that I could see. The look in Inuyasha's chocolate brown orbs had been so amusing I'd had to suck in and bite down on my bottom lip to keep from laughing outright. The look he'd given me had been something along the lines of 'Did he really just say that?'

I am studying to become a therapist, after all, so basically my grandpa had just told a future shrink that she needed a shrink. That was snicker worthy. I'd had to resist rolling my eyes.

Giving Inuyasha a subtle nod, he'd nodded back and shimmered away, becoming invisible even to myself. He needed the extra energy to pull off the stunt he was about to perform. The entire living room immediately got much colder, then. Even Grandpa had noticed that. As he'd shivered, wrapping his arms around himself and looking around the room in total confusion, his questioning eyes meeting mine briefly, I had pretty much ignored him whilst setting up a marker and piece of paper on the coffee table as I took a seat on the couch, removing the cap off the marker. Hey, they didn't require as much pressure in order to write as a ballpoint pen.

Grandpa watched, transfixed, both of our breaths visible as puffs of steam, as the Sharpie levitated off the table a few inches before turning midair and, felt to paper, began to write out a message. I'd wanted Inuyasha to write 'I'm real' or something else equally as simple. It's what we'd discussed beforehand, when I'd already sensed that this confrontation with Grandpa was inevitable. Instead, what did my darling, loving, idiot of a ghost boyfriend write on the paper? 'Boo'

Shaking my head and sighing again, I hadn't been able to help chuckling a little despite myself.

That's my Inuyasha... I'd thought, daring to glance back up and meet my grandfather's eyes.

“Sorry, Inuyasha's got a twisted sense of humor at times.” I'd apologized lamely.

Of course, at that precise moment in time, I hadn't gotten to the relationship part of my confession yet. I'd told Grandpa only of my encounter at the graveyard the previous Halloween, of how I'd met the ghosts of Kikyou and Inuyasha and how Inuyasha had helped me help Kikyou find peace. That was about when my jii-chan had launched into his own speech about how there were people who could help me and medications I could take. You know what the scariest part about that thought is? I wonder if those medications really would work, not because I'm actually crazy, because I'm obviously not, but because they would alter my brain chemistry and take away my ability to tune into that other frequency. I found myself wondering just how many other people out there on such medications really ought not to be; how many gifts had been stolen away. On the other hand, I'm sure some of the people on such drugs are legitimately crazy; best to leave will enough alone.

I, however, was not, and am not crazy. Grandpa realized that for himself quickly enough.

In that moment, as what I'd said took on a new meaning, his eyes had widened even further.

“In-Inuyasha...?” he'd stuttered, more asking me rather than meaning to address the man himself, which I think Inuyasha knew although he took advantage of the opportunity anyway.

The marker, which had sat itself gently back down on the table after writing out the word 'Boo', picked itself back up again and wrote 'Yes?'

Stumbling, Grandpa sat down hard in his recliner across from me.

My mother had chosen that moment to enter the room. I'd realized about halfway through my speech that she was watching, having spotted her peaking in on us from the hallway, but I hadn't said anything because I'd known it wasn't my place to go 'Right, Mom?' like a little kid needing her mother to back up her claim. I couldn't ask her to back me up; I was an adult and needed to go it alone. In that moment, however, she chose to back me up of her own volition, and who was I to deny her the opportunity to defend her only daughter?

“It's true, Dad...” she'd said, launching into her own story of how she'd first found out about Inuyasha. First, about how he simply existed, back when I was still trying to help Kikyou, and then later, about how Inuyasha had decided to stick around after the fact because he and I were together now.

Or at least as 'together' as a human and a ghost could be.

For propriety's sake, I'd spared them both the details of my lucid dreams, where Inuyasha would come to me...and usually in me. Mom knew, of course, although I never got very graphic with her, either. I'd told her that Inuyasha and I could be together in my dreams, but that was basically all I'd said, letting her fill in the blanks. In that moment, I'd told Grandpa only of how I loved him, and he loved me, and how we were committed to each other emotionally. How I'd realized I had an even bigger calling than just becoming a therapist, and that now, I'd realized it was my place to help ghosts, as well, with Inuyasha as my spirit guide.

I think now, looking back on it, my desire to become a therapist in the first place might have been a subconscious manifestation of sensing my gift without realizing it. Knowing deep down inside my soul that I was meant to help other people work through their pain and find peace, but being unaware of my ability to help deceased persons in such a way, then obviously I would make the only logical connection and assume that I wanted to help living people, instead.

Not that I don't want to help living people anymore, because I do, but after what happened this last Christmas and what I've been up to on the side between classes, I'm actually still debating whether or not I should waste four more years and thousands of dollars studying for a doctorate degree I might not even use. The beauty of being a ghost shrink is that you don't need a degree for that, and if you do it right, the pay is about the same. Plus in helping the ghosts I'm also still helping living people as well. Half the time, I've discovered, the ghosts aren't actually sticking around because of their unfinished business, but because of ours.

I'll never forget what made me decide to out myself publicly as a medium. I remember it like it was yesterday...