Mika Part One

BY : Manga-bird
Category: +G to L > Ghost Hunt
Dragon prints: 2352
Disclaimer: Ghost Hunt belongs to Fuyumi Ono and Kodansha. This story has been written for my own enjoyment, and I make no money from its publication.

Hello again! This is another story I wrote a long time ago, but hopefully you'll still enjoy it.

Shibuya Psychic Research – Available for hire to scientifically research and subdue unexplained phenomena that occur around their clients.


President of SPR (Shibuya Psychic Research) Shibuya (aka Naru) – 17 years old. He's cool-headed, good looking and smart, but he's a super narcissist. So he has been nicknamed Naru. (Short for narcissist)

Mai Taniyama – A lively 16-year-old student, who works part time at SPR. She's enthusiastic though Naru always gives her a hard time. (She's only seen Naru smile in her dreams.) But she may secretly be in love with him.

SPR members are:

Lin – He's a man of mystery who works closely with Naru.

Masako Hara – A psychic medium. She is well known in the psychic business.

John Brown – An exorcist who speaks with a Kansai dialect.

Ayako Matsuzaki – A self-claimed Miko.

Houshou Takigawa – Formerly a monk at Mt. Koya.

Mai looked up from the paper work and yawned, God, it's dark out…how long have I been sitting here working? What! Ten thirty! I'd better get home! She thought in a panic as she got out of the leather chair at her desk. She grabbed her light brown chequered coat and left the office-come-living room area, which was decorated with tinsel and mistletoe and headed to Naru's office. I guess I should tell him I'm leaving…I'll try not to disturb him too much though; he was in such a mood earlier! She thought as she approached his door and eased it open before stepping inside the plain dark room with shelves full of psychic books and supernatural phenomena. Wow, this is almost exactly the same as Sakachi-kun's room that I saw in one of my dreams in Ryokuryou high school last month! She thought, shivering at the memory of the young student, who had committed suicide and tried to curse on of the teachers. I'm surprised Naru's talking to me after some of the things I said to him on that case…she thought.

As she looked in she saw him slumped over his desk, his short black hair shadowing his dark eyes. Sighing she ruffled her brown-blonde hair and walked towards him quietly, looking down at his innocent face in the lamp light,

"You know, you look so cute when you're sleeping…shame you're such a narcissist though." She thought aloud as she took his coat from the back of his chair and gently draped it over his shoulders to keep him from getting cold. He stirred slightly in his sleep letting out a small sigh. Mai smiled despite herself and stroked his hair gently a couple of times before leaning down and kissing his forehead lightly. "See you tomorrow Naru." She whispered gently in his ear, feeling his warm breath on her cheek.

"Mai! What are you doing here?" Lin asked from the doorway. Mai turned in surprise to see the tall figure in the doorway with a long black fringe draped over one eye. That's a unique haircut…short at the back, but long at the front, however…strange as it is it's actually kind of…cool. She thought as she looked at him.

"Shh…he's asleep." She whispered as she walked quietly to the door and eased it closed. "I just went to say good night and saw him sleeping…it didn't seem right to disturb him…he works too hard." She replied as she leaned on the wooden door. Lin gave her a very slight smile; he still a little edgy around me because of that camera incident…either that or he's just a natural loner. She thought as she looked into his dark blue eyes that reminded her so much of Naru's.

"It's very late…you shouldn't walk home on your own this late. Anything could happen." Lin said as she buttoned her coat. Wow, this is the longest conversation we've ever had…maybe I should try to get to know him, and then he wouldn't seem so intimidating. She thought as she pulled the collar down neatly and smiled up at Lin, who had a file under one arm, obviously intending to drop it off in Naru's office.

"Oh, don't worry, I'll be fine, besides, this isn't the first time I've done it." She replied brightly. Lin put a halting hand on her shoulder as she turned to leave, pulling her back towards him,

"I can't let you do that. Naru would never forgive me if I let you go…" He said as he opened the door to Naru's office and pushed her inside gently. Mai watched as Lin walked over to Naru and leaned down beside him, putting an arm across his shoulders while the other rested on his arm. She couldn't hear what he said, but a few moments later Naru sat up slowly, putting a confused hand on his shoulder where he could feel his coat sliding down his back.

"Strange…I don't remember falling asleep." He said sleepily as he sat back and rubbed his eyes. "Mai! You're still here?" he asked in surprise. Mai looked around, feigning confusion, gently tapping her chest, stomach, head and thighs before looking back at Naru,

"Yes. It seems that I am still here." She replied, smiling brightly, swearing that she almost saw a flicker of amusement in Naru's eyes as he got to his feet and pulled his coat on, though his expression portrayed one of annoyance.

"Well, since you're so dim that you might get lost, I had better walk you home." He said, watching as Mai threw a sulky scowl in his direction.

"Well, if I'm so dim that I'd get lost, then how are you going to get me home? Do you even know where I live?" she asked as she crossed her arms, waiting to see if she had found a flaw in his chide.

"Actually yes, I do know where you live…it's in your employee details along with your phone and account numbers, which you gave to me." He replied, feeling a slight satisfaction as Mai's face turned slightly red and she clicked her fingers dramatically,

"Damn! I thought I had you there…why do you have to be so damned…smart!" she said as she scowled thoughtfully at the floor. Naru allowed himself a very small smile as he turned towards Lin, who merely sighed and rolled his eyes. "Anyway, it's fine, I've already told Lin-san I can walk alone, no problem." She said as she looked up.

"No, I won't hear it. You're my responsibility until you reach you front door, so if anything were to happen it would be my fault…besides, who'd make the tea if you disappeared." He added as he walked towards her. Mai backed into the hall and waited for Lin and Naru to join her. Lin closed the door as Naru pulled the van keys from his pocket and gave them to him. "Lin, you head on home. I'll take Mai home and then walk over." He said,

"Oh no, if it means you have to walk then please don't bother. It's a cold night." Mai insisted as they walked out of the SPR building and down the steps to the path.

"I'm walking you…the idea of being with me for five minutes isn't that unbearable is it?" he asked as they watched Lin head towards the large black van in the car park.

"Was that a joke, or were you just being your usual narcissistic self?" she asked, forgetting who she was talking to for a minute, but when she realised what she had said she clamped a hand over her mouth, feeling her face turning red, but as she stole a glance at Naru she thought she saw a small smile for a moment until he glanced in her direction and hid it again, replacing it with a scowl. "I'm sorry…it was uncalled for." She apologised, even if it is true. She thought.

"It doesn't matter…" he replied as they walked down the street. Mai drifted off for a moment, her eyes looking at the path beneath her feet, but not concentrating on where they were going, why am I suddenly so nervous? It's not like I haven't been alone with Naru before…maybe it's because he's walking me home and it has nothing to do with work…oh! Shut up Mai! Stop being such a kid! She scolded, "Mai…you're going the wrong way." Naru said as he took her arm and pulled her round the corner of a shop.

"Sorry." She apologised as she looked up and Naru released her arm. She put her hands in her pockets and watched her breath condense on the cold winter air. As she looked over she saw Naru rubbing his hands together. "Here, let me help." She said as she stopped and turned to him, taking his hands in hers as she rubbed them, feeling them warm up slightly. "Why didn't you just put them in your pockets?" she laughed as she looked up at him,

"My pockets have holes in them." He replied with a shrug,

"Even so they'd still keep your hands warm." She scolded lightly. "I'll bring in a sewing kit tomorrow to fix them for you." She added as she released his hands, keeping a hold on one of them and, as they walked, she slid both of their hands into her left pocket,

"What are you doing?" he asked in confusion as they walked, feeling a sudden awkwardness at having his hand in Mai's pocket, but his hand also felt a lot warmer.

"Well, you're pockets have holes in them, so I'll lend you mine until we reach my house." She replied, blushing slightly as she realised she was making a move on him, easy Mai, down girl. She thought as they walked past more closed shops. As they walked she spotted a middle-aged couple walking towards them. As they passed the man looked at them and smiled,

"Ahh, young love." He sighed to his wife as they passed. Mai paused and looked back at the blonde man with a frown, Love? Naru? She thought,

"Oh, they make a cute couple." The brunette wife said in reply as she gripped her husband's arm. Mai felt herself blush and looked up at Naru, who was also looking back, cute couple? Yeah right! He thought, feeling the sudden urge to do something, though she didn't quite know what.

"God, they thought we were together…pretty dumb huh?" Mai said, forcing a small laugh as they started walking again.

"Definitely…that's a really stupid thought…" Naru agreed half-heartedly as they walked. Mai sighed and looked up, I don't recognise this place…I never walk past this shop on my way home! Where exactly is he leading me? She wondered as she stopped,

"I'm going the wrong way? You should check your own directions! This isn't the way to my house!" she laughed as she looked back, "Actually, I don't know where we are." She added as she looked around. "What?" she asked as Naru chuckled,

"This is a short cut, don't worry…I know where I'm going." He added as he pulled their hands out of her pocket and led her down the street. A short cut? To my house? I never knew that you could get to my street from here… she thought as they crossed the road. Naru continued to lead her on until they reached a long alleyway between two small shops, one clothes shop and one newsagent.

"Wait! You want to go down here?" Mai asked timidly as they stopped. Naru looked down at her with a small, teasing smirk on his face.

"Mai, are you scared?" he asked in mock surprise. Mai ignored his dig and blushed slightly as she eyed the dark alleyway.

"Well, it's not that I'm scared…not really, it's just…you're going to laugh…" she muttered as she looked at the ground,

"Scout's honour." He replied as he held up a hand.

"My parents told me I wasn't aloud to walk through dark alleyways at night…" she said sheepishly, looking up as Naru chuckled. "What happened to your honour?" she snapped as she blushed and looked away,

"I never said I was a Scout. Come on, it's not as if you're walking through it alone." He added as he started walking, releasing her hand as he walked into the darkness of the alley. Come on! You hunt ghosts for god's sake! A few moments in a dark, unwelcoming alley isn't going to kill you…I hope she thought nervously as she looked into the dark passage. Pausing she looked back at the well-lit street before hurrying into the alley after Naru, but she couldn't see him anywhere. There was light at the end of the alley, but she couldn't see him.

"N-Naru? Where are you?" she asked quietly as she slowly walked forward, carefully placing her feet down with each step, hoping not to trip. This is weird…Naru's being so…normal. Usually he's a complete narcissist! He rarely even smiles, though this isn't the first time…he was really kind when we fell down that well together a few months ago…he even did some magic to cheer me up…I wish he'd smile more often. She thought as she walked, trying to keep her mind away from the dark thoughts at the back of her mind, but as she approached the half-way-point in the alley these thoughts crept forward along with a surge of panic. Where's Naru? He should have answered by now! He's okay right? What could have happened to him? There's no one else here…is there? She thought fearfully as she clutched the collar of her coat tightly. "Naru? Naru! Are you alright? Naru? Kazuya Shibuya! Answer me right now!" she shouted, feeling her heart beating quickly in her chest, the alley seeming to close in her as she stepped slowly towards the exit of the alley, but as she stepped forward she felt a hand on her shoulder from behind. Mai jerked away and gasped, turning to see Naru,

"Hey, you must have been scared…you used my real name." Naru said. As he stepped out of the alley beside her,

"What the hell were you doing? You scared me half to death! I called for you, why didn't you answer? I was worried!" she shouted as she slapped his arm, feeling her heart beating quickly in her chest, though it was slowing down. Naru rubbed his arm where he had been hit with a slight grimace,

"Sorry, I had to stop and tie my shoe. I was only crouching by the wall, I didn't think you'd be so scared." He said apologetically. "This way." He added as he turned left and crossed the road with Mai close behind. As she looked around she still didn't recognise anything, though they were now walking past rows of houses rather than shops. "Are you giving me the silent treatment now?" he asked as they walked,

"Oh, no, I was just…thinking I guess." She replied as she put her hands in her pockets. "What do you want to talk about? You've said before that you don't have time to talk about anything that isn't work related, but…we're not at work now…" she asked as she looked up at the man beside her,

"Hm, you have a sharp memory…how about your family?" he asked as he looked down at her,

"Well, my mum died a few years ago, so I live with my dad, but I don't really see him much. He's gone by six and doesn't get home until really late, so I'm usually in bed…I don't even think he'd notice if I didn't come home…He's so busy, I never even see him at weekends! He's always working! You know…you remind me of him a lot…" she replied as she stole a glance at him,

"How so?" he asked, oh, as if you had to ask!

"Well, you're always working so hard! You never take any time to just…be yourself and do what you want to do…are you following me?" she asked. Naru closed his eyes and smiled slightly, though he didn't allow Mai to see it.

"Yes, but working is what I want to do, it's who I am. That's why I work so hard…if I had children maybe I'd be different…I'd have to take care of them, but since I don't, and have no intention of having any in the near future, it's okay for me to work all these hours." He replied, but Mai shook her head and tugged on his sleeve, not looking up at him,

"No, it's not alright…I worry about you sometimes, and it's not just me. Lin-san worries too, and so do all the others, though they don't see you working as much as we do…you should relax sometimes! Come and talk to us for a while! You don't have to work all the time, and if you have too much to do then let me help! It's what you employ me for after all." She argued, giving him a small smile as they turned a corner,

"You worry too much." He replied. Someone has to. She thought as she looked around, recognising the familiar semi-detached houses of her street. "There's your house." He added as he stopped.

"Oh, I never knew this short cut…thank you." She said as she looked at her dark house. He's not home yet. She thought as she looked at the empty driveway. "Um…I don't suppose you'd want to come in for a coffee would you? It's pretty cold out here…" she said as she turned back to him.

"I really should get back…Lin will be wondering where I am." He added. Mai nodded and looked back at the dark windows, suddenly feeling a shiver, Mai! What are thinking? It's just your house! She scolded. She was about to say goodnight when there was a loud rumble from above. Mai looked up and felt a raindrop hit her face, shortly followed by another.

"Come on, you can call Lin-san from my house. I've been experimenting with my cappuccino machine for a while now. Dad bought it for me last Christmas." Mai said as she pulled him quickly across the road and up the red brick driveway to the front door. Mai opened her coat and reached into her breast pocket, taking the key out and slotting it into the door. "Come on in." she said as she turned the hallway light on and looked up the stairs before walking down the hall to the kitchen.

"Mai? Do you have a younger sister?" Naru asked as he entered the kitchen wearing a black turtleneck jumper, trousers and socks. Mai went to the cappuccino machine and took the glass coffee pot to the sink to fill it with water, listening as the rain pounded heavily on the kitchen window, wow; we made it just in time. She thought,

"No, the pictures are all me. I'm an only child." She replied as she turned the tap on. "How about you? You never speak about your family…is Lin-san related to you? You have a strong resemblance," she asked as she turned the machine on and turned away from it.

"Perhaps." He replied enigmatically.

"Do you like being a man of mystery that much?" she asked jokingly as she walked back down the hall and turned right, into the living room. Inside was a television by the window with a coffee table by the wall and two white leather armchairs with a sofa between and in the corner, between the chair and sofa, was a medium sized Christmas tree, which Mai had taken down from the loft a few weeks ago, knowing that her father wouldn't have time to do it, I wonder if he'll be home this year? Last year he had to work…wait a minute! What if I have to work? She thought as she looked over her shoulder at Naru, then again, there could be worse fates, besides if dad is working then at least I won't be alone like I was last year. Mai hopped onto one of the chairs and leaned on one of the arms with one leg tucked beneath her thigh while the other rested on the opposite arm of the chair facing Naru, who stood in the doorway, "Go ahead and lounge. Sofa, chair, it's your choice." She invited as she lay back.

"Mai? You really shouldn't sit like that while wearing a skirt." He said as he sat on the sofa and crossed one leg over the other, averting his eyes from Mai,

"Oh, sorry…you don't have to be so rigid you know…I said you can lounge. Why don't you lay back? You'd be more comfortable." She added as she swung her legs to the floor and stood up, going into the hall and coming back with a wireless phone. "Here, give Lin-san a call." She said as she handed the small red phone to him. As he made the call Mai walked back to the kitchen and poured out two cups of coffee. She got a tray and put the two large cups on it along with a bowl of small marshmallows, a small pot of cocoa powder and a plate of homemade cookies. "Hey, I wasn't sure if you wanted anything to eat. Here, help yourself." She said as she put the tray on the wooden coffee table and picked up one of the cups. Naru walked over and lifted the other cup, adding a few marshmallows and a sprinkling of powder. Mai sat on the floor by the table and crossed her legs, munching a chocolate chip cookie.

"These are good…did you make them?" Naru asked politely as he walked back to the sofa with a biscuit and sat on the left cushion, leaning one elbow on the arm.

"Yeah, I made them yesterday at school…I usually leave some out for my dad, but he never eats it." She replied as she stretched her legs out. "I'll put some in a bag for you and Lin-san before you go." She added.

"Thanks…" he replied. Mai waited a few moments sipping her coffee, glancing at Naru every so often. He looks a little awkward…come to think of it, this is the most time I've ever spent with him outside of work where he doesn't have a book or something in his hand…maybe he's…nervous? No, he's too much of a narcissist for that! If in doubt he'd probably talk about himself! But…if that's the case…she thought as she looked at him, he has such wonderful eyes! She thought as she looked at the dark blue orbs, which stared at the coffee cup.

"Naru…are you okay? You seem preoccupied or something." She said finally.

"Well, I wouldn't say preoccupied…I'm just not used to this…to be honest the only person I really talk to out of work is Lin, and even then we're usually talking about work." He replied. Mai thought for a moment and then smiled,

"What about Masako? She said you go out together all the time!" Mai replied, not really surprised,

"Masako-san is…insistent. I don't socialize with her if I can help it. She's helpful while she's working with us, but she's awfully…" he trailed off,

"Clingy?" Mai offered,

"Yes, she does like to hold onto me, but unfortunately there's not a lot I can do about that." He replied.

"And why is that?" Mai pried gently,

"I'm tired of this conversation…" Naru decided,

"Alright then I'll teach you how to relax and socialize. Firstly, I told you to lounge. Lay back on the sofa…go on." She ordered, placing her empty cup on the table. Naru put his cup on the floor by his feet and sat back while leaning his chin on his hand, but he didn't lie down. "Oh, come on! There are three cushions on that sofa! Just lie down!" she ordered but he still didn't move, so Mai got up and grabbed his feet, pulling his body round until his head was resting on the arm and his feet were on the other arm. She crossed his legs and then sat on the floor beside him, "Comfortable?" she asked. Naru paused a moment giving her a look of surprise, feeling some of the strain leave his back as he lay there,

"Yes." He replied. I can't believe he runs his own company, but he's never sprawled across a sofa before! She thought in disbelief.

"Next, we'll talk. You choose. Any subject at all." She said as she looked up at him,

"Do you have a boyfriend?" he asked, smirking as he looked down at her red face,

"Okay, certain subjects are just off limits!" she replied, he asked that on purpose! He knows I don't have a boyfriend! Does he think I'd be working with him in all my spare time if I had a boyfriend? Oh my god! What if he's guessed the truth and he's just asking that question to tease me? She thought in a panic, looking away as her face turned even redder.

"I take it that's a no. Me neither. I don't think I'd get on with anyone well enough to go out with them." He added, "What's your excuse?" he asked tiredly, his eyelids dropping slightly.

"Well, I just haven't been asked…there is someone I like, but he's kind of…out of my league I guess." She replied. Naru sighed tiredly as his eyes closed,

"That surprises me…you have a bright personality, even if you do dumb things sometimes…I don't think that anyone's out of your league if you believe in yourself…" he replied, his voice trailing off as he fell asleep. Mai pushed herself onto her knees and crawled closer to him. His eyes were closed, emphasising his long eyelashes. His face was peaceful and without a care, the thoughtful frown he usually wore had slipped away. Mai smiled and brushed his fringe out of his eyes gently, glancing down briefly to his lips, oh no you don't Mai! She thought as she got to her feet, picking up Naru's cup on the way. She took the empty cups to the kitchen, grabbing Naru's coat on the way back and throwing it over his sleeping form before lifting the phone and redialling his house. Lin sounded tired as he answered the phone, but was grateful for Mai's call.

"He's asleep. I think it would be best to leave him where he is…he's not doing any harm and besides, it's still raining out there." She said looking down at Naru as she turned off the living room light. Lin stayed on the phone long enough to agree with her before he hung up and went to bed. Mai wrote a quick note for her dad to explain Naru's presence, sticking it on the closed living room door before going up to bed.

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