Disclaimer: I do not own Ghost Hunt, or any of the characters from the show/manga, if I did, there would be at least one scene where Mai stumbles into a naked Naru. (Bishounen fan service, yay!)
WARNING Contains Spoilers.
Chapter 18: Confessions of a Narcissist
She could see the stunned horror seep into Naru's eyes as the reality of his actions began to sink in, and Mai hid her face in shame. How could she have let it go so far? Had she secretly hoped that her boss was more aware of himself than he seemed, tempted by the bliss his voice and lingering touches offered?
All I had to do was push him away…
Trembling as she shrunk away from the man she loved, Mai bolted for the door, stumbling in her haste to escape. Self disgust overcame her as she ran blindly, uncaring out into the street. Did he hate her now? Would he fire her?
It doesn't matter…
Nothing mattered anymore.
The sound of stumbling feet and doors left to swing heavily shut informed Lin that all had not gone as well as he had hoped, but it was not until he discovered Naru seated numbly on the floor that he began to wonder just what kind of conversation Mai had with the stubborn youth. Demanding to know what had taken place proved pointless; partially because of the matter's sensitive nature, but mostly due to Naru's current ineptitude of speech.
Lin almost growled in response to the overly simplistic answer. He could tell that much.
"Hurry up and go after her, before she gets caught in the rain and makes herself sick." They both knew it was likely, and the Chinese man had been counting on Naru's annoyance at the girl's potential unavailability to prompt him into movement. The received remark was far from encouraging, however.
"Why don't you do it yourself, then?"
Seized by fury and long-pent frustration, Lin's body moved before he could think; his fist colliding solidly with the unsuspecting younger man's jaw as he bit out a word of warning.
"If that's the way you feel, then you don't deserve her."
Naru couldn't believe it. Lin actually hit him.
It hurts, too…
What was it Lin had said? That he 'didn't deserve' Mai? Disorientated from the punch, Naru fumbled to his feet, still trying to process the implications of his assistant's statement.
Lin had turned to leave (probably to go after Mai in his stead), but stopped to hear what he had to say.
"…What do you mean by that?"
The aggression in his associate's stance seemed to melt at the question, and had the young man been in a more observant frame of mind, he might have noticed the slight curl of a smile reach the older man's lips.
"How about you find Mai and ask her yourself."
Eyes widening, Naru didn't need telling twice. Taking the coat Lin threw him as he ran from the office, the ghost hunter wasted no time in searching for a familiar flash of auburn in the busy streets. The fleeing teen was probably several blocks away by now, but Naru wasn't deterred easily.
Where would someone like Mai go if she were upset?
Would she seek out a friend whose shoulder she could cry on, or race blindly towards solitude? Considering the circumstances, Naru highly suspected the latter, but it couldn't hurt to make a few phone calls just in case Mai proved him wrong.
The young man sighed as he pulled a mobile phone from his jacket pocket, glad that Lin had the presence of mind to pass him his coat as he left, but also dreading the possible conversations said object enabled. Most of their friends would know something was up, and even if he dodged the topic for now, it would be easy enough for the group to pry an incriminating reaction from Mai. Even when the girl said nothing, her actions spoke volumes.
There was a chance Mai might steer clear of anyone pertaining to S.P.R. for the same reasons he found himself reluctant to do so, and since his part-timer had been in such a hurry to leave, it was unlikely she had thought to fetch her belongings on the way out. Naru saw an opportunity, and decided to ring the office's number first.
"Lin, I need you to find Mai's mobile and contact her friends from school. Tell them…"
What had begun as a confident order petered out into vague uncertainty.
"I don't really care what you tell them." Naru admitted, dismissing the issue as irrelevant; "Just let me know if Mai shows up."
His instructions complete, the teenage ghost hunter hung up before Lin even had a chance to reply. Naru almost shuddered at the thought of who he intended to call next, but if Mai sought out any of their number, Takigawa was likely to be contacted first. Jovial teasing aside, their relationship was that of a brother protecting his sister, and he'd witnessed the man calm down the distraught female more than once.
Mai's embarrassment might prevent her from explaining what had happened, but if she desired a shoulder to cry on, there was little that could stop the monk from coming to her aide. The only problem with asking Takigawa for assistance was that if he realised Naru had done the girl wrong, he was liable to prove more of a hindrance than a help.
Better make this as quick and as painless as possible…
The monk groaned reluctantly, glaring at the steadily ringing phone laying abandoned on his chest of drawers - it's timing couldn't have been worse.
Should he answer it?
"Leave it." The woman beneath him beckoned, splayed mahogany locks brushing against him like silk as she pulled him into a passionate embrace. He had not expected things to move so quickly between them, but apparently he had not been the only one left longing for the other's touch.
Happily ignoring the persistent caller, Takigawa returned his attention to the flushed creamy skin spread out before him, the couple's bliss once again deterred when Ayako's mobile began to ring shortly afterwards. Glaring irritably at their second interruption, the miko gave her lover a longing, apologetic glance as her hands rummaged throughout her bag for the twittering device. Assuming that the same individual was responsible for both calls, there were two likely possibilities. Either their expertise was needed for a new case, or something had gone horribly wrong.
Unease flooded the miko's being as she took note of the caller's identity before answering, thinking it unusual for Naru to be contacting them personally if his reasons were purely business related.
"Yes?" Ayako answered promptly, shooting the monk a worried look.
"Mai is…missing." Came the reply, "If she contacts you, please let me know immediately."
Stunned to say the least, the priestess stared at the phone. Had Naru really just used the word, 'please'?
He must be desperate!
"Is there any other way we can help?"
"We?" The young man inquired, causing Ayako to laugh nervously at her mistake, ignoring her stammered response, "Pass the message onto Takigawa for me. If either of you can think of anywhere Mai might go…"
"You said something insensitive and upset her, didn't you." Ayako accused; repayment for his earlier interruption and her recent embarrassment. This time Naru's response was delayed, and somewhat pained.
"…I suppose you could say that."
The miko's tone softened, glad that the youth seemed to be doing everything he could to fix the situation.
"I'll do what I can."
What had begun as a tearful escape through the busy streets of Shibuya gradually became aimless wandering the further Mai travelled. The grey clouds that haunted the city grew ever darker, threatening to release their heavy burden at a moment's notice, but the auburn-haired high schooler was beyond caring. Maybe she could drown her sorrows in the sky's tears, weeping together until there was nothing left to mourn.
Unfortunately, Mai knew her heart would grieve it's loss long after the rain had ceased falling; there was little, save time, that could save her now. Staring at the worn sneakers encasing her shuffling feet, she dreaded the thought of retrieving her belongings from the office.
Could I sneak in without anyone noticing?
Not likely, Mai reasoned. There was little that could pass by the watchful eyes of S.P.R.'s ringleaders without drawing at least some attention; the two men had a tendency to disregard things that held no interest to them, but their choice was selective, not ignorant.
That's right. Naru ignores things that hold no interest for him…
New tears blurred the visions of the shops closing in around her, and Mai began to run once more; sides aching painfully as she fled the numerous couples holding hands, whispering sweet nothings into each other's ears, their faces flushed by romance and the cold air that now bit into the retreating female's arms and legs.
What had possessed her to wear a skirt this morning? However hard she tried to convince herself that it was purely her own taste in fashion, Mai knew perfectly well that the reason she preferred skirts was because they made her look more feminine. And why did she desire to be seen in such a way? It was for him, of course. Kazuya Shibuya, Naru the Narcissist – the too-handsome, too-intelligent, too-self assured love of her life.
I'm an idiot; a fool for falling for such an unattainable man!
A flash of lighting burst throughout Mai's vision, fading as soon as it appeared. The thunder that followed brought with it the trickle of raindrops, growing in intensity as the crowds filling the streets thinned; some rushing indoors while others found shelter under umbrellas of many colours, but Mai had no such provision. Even her coat had been forfeit in her escape.
She had told herself that she no longer cared, but the chill of the heavy rain quickly soaked Mai's clothing, forcing her stubborn nature to admit at least some form of defeat. A gazebo in a small city park proved to be her saviour; the thick bushes blocking out the wind, while the weather emptied the area of prying eyes.
At least if I get sick, I can avoid Naru for a few days. Maybe I can just pretend that nothing happened…
The memory of the look on her boss's face as he realised who he held in his arms upon waking overshadowed Mai's thoughts, sickening her. The hope she had clung to for so long lay tattered and in ruins, but some part of her, some stupid part of her longed for him to find her. After everything she'd seen the ghost hunter accomplish, Naru was certainly capable, but was he willing?
If he finds me, it will be because of the nuisance my absence causes, not out of concern for my wellbeing.
Naru would be angered by her carelessness, Mai supposed, so maybe it would be better if he didn't know. Things were bad enough already without making the situation worse.
So far, he'd had no luck locating Mai. Lin had managed to contact some of her friends from school, but no one had heard from the elusive teen. Though Mai hadn't answered when he'd called her home, there was always a chance she was ignoring anyone who rang, or simply hadn't returned yet. Finally reaching his part-timer's doorstep, Naru knocked, peering through the windows for any sign of life.
From what he could see, the sneakers Mai had been wearing that day did not seem to be present in her hallway, indicating that the bleeding heart of a girl was most likely still wondering around somewhere. Naru cursed, pondering the best course of action. Lin wouldn't like it, but there was a way.
All I need is something that belongs to her…
Naru looked down at the few effects Mai had gathered outside her front door. The pot plant and doormat would be a nuisance to take with him should he need to utilise the technique more than once, but she must have a spare key hidden somewhere, or else Mai would've had more trouble getting inside after she'd left her keys behind last time. He looked briefly under the doormat, hoping that the girl had more sense than that, relieved when the pot plant proved to be her hiding place of choice. Not that either provided much in the way of security, but at least it was the less obvious of the two options, and the object would help him find Mai.
Naru knew he must tread carefully; he was hardly well-rested, and while the occasional use of psychometry didn't usually pose a problem (provided he didn't sync too closely with a person who'd been beaten or killed), his level of concentration probably wasn't at it's best.
It will just take a little more effort to control, that's all.
His decision already made, Naru focused a small amount of energy on Mai's spare key, bracing himself for the flood of images soon to burst forth from the innocent tool. She was drenched, and had been for some time, Naru realised, feeling his skin suddenly grow wet and almost numb with cold; the clothes sticking to him warmed slightly by body heat. Occasional gusts of wind carried rain into the shelter she had found, located in a small city park, judging from the surrounding greenery giving way periodically to buildings and the distinct ebb of Tokyo's traffic.
Helpful, but it would be nice if Mai's location was a little more specific. Naru delved deeper into the memory, searching for landmarks he could use to identify his part-timer's general whereabouts, guilt tearing at his conscience as Mai's despair and tears clouded her, and now his, vision as they ran. She was scared of returning, she couldn't stand the thought of pretending she was fine when she wasn't.
She thinks I don't care about her…
It was no wonder, really. Mai was his complete opposite when it came to emotion and Naru hadn't even realised the extent of his attachment to the girl until recently. In fact, the more he began to realise, the more he had tried to push her away. Maybe even his jealousy towards Lin had merely been an excuse to find some way to protect himself from the unpredictable passion threatening to override his commonsense, Naru wasn't sure.
Pulling away from the humbling vision, the black-clad youth regained his determination. He would find her; he would make things right. Regardless of the memory's turbulent nature, at least one distinctive building had flashed before his eyes, and Naru thought he recognised the area. It wasn't too far from S.P.R.'s office, and definitely within walking range considering the amount of time he had spent looking for her.
Wait for me, Mai. I won't let you escape this time.
No longer aware of how long she had sat listening to the downpour, Mai found her eyelids beginning to droop, tempted to simply fall asleep and forget the day's events. A brief reminder of Naru's heated breath on her neck caused her to falter, ashamed of her actions, but unable to erase the memory of the feelings he had stirred up within her. The more damning evidence of her weakness was that she didn't want to be rid of the momentary bliss her employer's touch provided, regardless of the means by which she had received it.
Mai pulled her knees closer to her chest, hiding her head behind crossed arms in an attempt to drown out the world around her.
What am I still doing here…?
True, she would have to return to the office before she catch a train home, as her wallet had been left behind, but surely one of the nearby shop keepers wouldn't begrudge her the use of their phone. Why hadn't she at least contacted Keiko or Michiru? Her friends from school had met Naru and not-so-secretly adored him, but they would help her in a heartbeat if she called.
Am I simply punishing myself?
"Maybe…" Mai breathed, turning her head to the side, subconsciously drawn to the sound of a passer-by's footsteps. Instead of the hurried splashing that accompanied the trail of those dodging the weather, this person seemed in no particular rush, but it wasn't until she felt their presence stop directly in front of her that Mai truly began to worry.
Wary of the individual's business with her, Mai cautiously snuck a peek at the damp, black-clad man towering over her; pale face impassive, while his eyes spoke of both extreme displeasure and relief.
"I…I'm sorry!" Mai choked out, hiding her face from view.
"If you're apologising for disregarding your health and making me scour the city trying to find you…" Naru lectured gruffly, "Then I accept."
In one smooth movement, Naru removed his coat and wrapped it around her shoulders, silencing the soaked high school student's protests with a single glance. It held one message, and Mai understood the warning as clearly as if he had spoken it; "Don't argue with me."
Allowing herself to be ushered into a waiting taxi, Mai stared numbly at her boss, a million questions buzzing through her mind. Did this mean he didn't hate her? Naru was obviously mad, but it from what he'd said earlier, it seemed as though her reckless behaviour was his only gripe. It couldn't be possible, could it?
He doesn't …mind?
Mai wasn't sure if Naru's feelings on the subject were merely indifferent, or simply a case of his narcissism coming into play. Of course she must want him to hold her close, what woman in her right mind wouldn't wish for him to do so! Mai began to seethe inwardly.
How dare he!
A woman's body was sacred; she didn't just give herself to anybody! The sound of a soft chuckle emitted from the man sitting next to her only incensed Mai further; just what about this situation could be deemed funny?!
"…Idiot." Mai might have been tempted to kill her boss right there and then if it weren't for the affectionate smile that accompanied the familiar insult, effectively disarming her. Suddenly the cuffs of the jacket he had leant her seemed infinitely fascinating, and Mai tried not to think too much about the origin of the coat's warmth, or the soothing scent infused into it's material.
She was still avoiding Naru's gaze when the taxi pulled over in an area the girl didn't recognise, prompting her to glance apprehensively in her saviour's direction. He was already paying the driver and preparing to exit the vehicle when he realised she hadn't moved from the spot.
"Are you coming, or do you plan on drenching my jacket along with the rest of your clothes?"
Anger and embarrassment fuelled Mai's actions as she hastily joined him on the sidewalk, blushing furiously as Naru pulled her under his umbrella and led her towards a large apartment building.
"Do you live here?" Mai ventured, trembling slightly from the cold clothes she still wore. For a moment she thought Naru was going to ignore the question, but instead he merely nodded in affirmative.
"Does that bother you?"
The auburn-haired teen hurriedly shook her head, glad that he could not hear the rapid thumping of her heartbeat as well as she could. From what she could tell, Lin was Naru's guardian of sorts, and though it seemed that the two lived together, the Chinese man was most likely still at work which meant…
I'll be alone with Naru.
Still unsure of her boss's feelings concerning the way he had woken up earlier that afternoon, Mai was beginning to get very, very nervous. When he unlocked the door and motioned for her to enter, she tried to hide her hesitation, but confusion quickly overrode her insecurities when a plastic bag Naru had carried up from the car was thrust into her arms and she found herself ushered towards his bathroom.
"The towels are in the cupboard below the sink." He instructed, "Try not to take too long; I plan on having a shower after you."
"But, my clothes!" Mai protested; what would she wear afterwards? Naru raised an eyebrow at her stammered outburst, indicating towards the bag she now held.
"I stopped by your place to see if you'd gone home first." He explained cryptically, "By the way, you should find a better place to hide your spare key."
Mai fumed, slamming the bathroom door behind her. He'd gone through her things and brought her a change of clothes? She eyed the bag suspiciously – just how thorough had her boss been?
Please don't tell me he…
He had. Naru had fetched her a change of underwear, meaning that he must have rummaged through her drawers to find them; considering that all her socks, bras and pants were all kept in the same place. While she was relieved that she would not be forced to wear wet clothing under the dry set he had found her, or worse yet, forgo the two items altogether, Mai certainly hadn't wanted Naru to see the contents of that drawer. It was personal!
Mai consoled herself with the knowledge that the pieces he had chosen were attractive, yet practical, and opted to block out the rest. If it hadn't bothered Naru, then she wouldn't let it bother her.
It seemed that finding the part-timer had proved far easier than talking to her, and Naru hated feeling at a loss. Making your average female high schooler swoon in order to gain information was a little different than attempting to inform Mai of his feelings for her, and it wasn't exactly an issue he had ever contemplated before. There was also the matter of how she might react to the discovery that he had been lying to her all this time, and the distracting knowledge that his assistant was now enjoying warm water streaming over her body mere meters away from him was not helping Naru organise his thoughts in the slightest.
He would phone Lin, the ghost hunter decided; at least he could let the others know he had found Mai and that their vigilance was no longer necessary. No matter what her reaction to the truth, he would ensure she returned home safely – if the little vixen tried running out into the street again, this time he would chase her.
Mai re-emerged, clothed and dry aside from her hair, as he was hanging up the phone.
"Your turn," She announced more casually than her body language communicated, "I've put my old clothes in the plastic bag you gave me, but I wasn't sure what you wanted done with your coat…"
The appreciative look he was giving her must have caught her of guard, because Mai suddenly went quiet and began staring at the floor.
"I suppose I should be going…"
"Stay." Naru instructed, pleased with the startled response he elicited from the rapidly reddening female, "Lin will return with the car later tonight…"
His words trailed off as he noticed her cinnamon eyes drift towards the storm still brewing, splattered droplets of water trickling steadily down the window panes. It seemed that they understood each other, but as he left the room, Naru couldn't help baiting the young woman once more; Mai's responses were always so lively…
"I wish to talk to you before you leave, so don't try sneaking off."
He'd smirked at her. On the one hand, she could quite happily throttle the jerk of a narcissist for all the embarrassment he'd caused her that afternoon, but if she was honest with herself Mai knew it wasn't purely her boss's doing. It took two to tango, after all.
He just enjoys picking on me…
Or at least, that's what she'd once told Masako. The medium hadn't seemed any happier with the admission, implying that Naru's teasing leaned towards affection. At the time Mai had thought the notion ridiculous, but now she was beginning to wonder; just why did he enjoy making her bite?
Confused and nervous about the conversation Naru had promised, Mai stretched out on the couch, pushing away such thoughts. The shower had stopped running a few minutes ago, so she would find out firsthand what was going through her boss's mind soon enough.
A soft thump followed by the clatter of small objects hitting the floor echoed down the short hallway, and Mai's curiosity got the better of her.
"…Naru?" She inquired, knocking lightly on the bathroom door, "Naru, are you alright?"
When no reply came, she banged on the door more urgently; "Naru! Can you hear me?!"
Mai stared at the doorknob. If she was wrong, the worst that could happen was merely one more embarrassing event in a series of many.
But if I'm right…
She had to get that door open, and fast. Mai tried the knob, relieved to find it had not been locked, but all the more concerned when she discovered the door was obstructed by something.
Gently easing the door open just enough to squeeze through, Mai's fears were confirmed as she took in the sight of her boss lying slumped across the tiled floor. Warm air blown against the palm of her hand as she held it above his mouth proved he was still breathing, and Mai quickly inspected his head in case he'd been seriously injured in the fall. It would need some ice, but for the most part, he seemed okay.
"Naru, wake up…"
His eyebrows twitched in recognition, but he made no effort to move. She tried again, this time yelling at him. Naru groaned and began to pull himself up off the floor, Mai moving quickly to support him.
"Bed…" Was all he uttered, indicating towards a room further down on the opposite side of the hall. Now that she had seen him up close, Mai was amazed at how tired Naru seemed, remembering what Lin had mentioned earlier about him not sleeping. Had he collapsed from exhaustion, or something else?
"Naru, how did you find me?"
A brief look of surprise passed through Naru's eyes at her question, and Mai couldn't help but observe the way his limbs had tensed as she guided him through the door, leaving him to rest on the bed. When it seemed he wasn't going to answer, Mai's eyes narrowed dangerously.
"You know what using your powers can do to you, why did you risk it?!" She demanded, memories of the times she'd waited by his side in hospitals haunting her mind.
"Why did you run out into the rain?" He shot back irritably, Mai falling silent at the rebuke, causing Naru to remember how the incident had started and suddenly regretting his decision to fight fire with fire.
"Mai, about what happened…" He began, and the young woman before him could feel herself tremble at his words.
"I'm sorry!" Mai cried, unable to stand the thought that he might brush aside the desire and affection he had shown her as irrelevant.
"You were half-asleep, and I know I should have pushed you away, but…" She faltered, losing confidence and biting her lip in worry.
"But…?" Naru pressed, not quite the response Mai had been expecting. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing the damning words from her mouth.
"I-I love you! I didn't want you to stop!"
The admission was all it took. His hand reached out, pulling her towards him and trapping her within his embrace – however tired Naru might be, his determination was firmly in place, and Mai knew she could not escape his grasp even if she wanted to.
"Would you still love me if I told you that I'm not the person you think I am?" He rasped; desperation in his eyes. Mai was stunned at first, unsure of how to respond – what if he'd killed someone, or was on the run from the law?
S.P.R.'s part-timer scoffed at the thought. Even if it was something like that, she couldn't envision it being his fault, and the man holding her would probably tell her she was being stupid for even imagining such a thing.
As long as he doesn't turn out to be some sort of 'long lost brother', I can deal with it. Naru is Naru, no matter what secrets he's kept from me.
"I may not know much about your background, but I know you." Mai began, meeting his gaze as she concluded almost defiantly, "I meant what I said, and I won't take it back."
For a moment, she though he was going to kiss her, but Naru pulled away and motioned towards his desk, instructing her to remove a photo frame from the drawer.
"First of all, my name is Oliver Davis. I assumed a false identity to avoid attention, and protect myself while I searched for my brother."
Mai's eyes went wide.
As in Professor Oliver Davis, the one they had been hired to determine whether or not he was a fake?
It all made a twisted kind of sense, Mai realised; if nothing else, it explained why Naru had spoken to her in English in his half-awakened state, since the Professor was supposed to be British. She looked down at the photo in her hands, taken aback by the almost identical faces staring up at her.
She recognised that smile. The conversations she'd had with Lin concerning her dreams instantly came to mind; the way he'd promptly asked if she believed the visions to be supernatural, trying to show her the differences between the 'smiling Naru' and the one now seated before her. Mai secretly thanked Lin for the realisation he had led her to, aware that if she had continued to treat them as the same person, she might have done Naru wrong.
If I had chosen the dream, then my confession would have been to the wrong person.
When she looked up from her thoughts, Naru was watching her intently, no doubt trying to read her expression. Had he seen her reaction to the picture?
"Your brother," She breathed softly, "What happened to him? What was his name?"
Naru raised an eyebrow at her use of past tense when describing his twin, but answered her question nonetheless.
"His name was Gene. He came to Japan to perform an exorcism, and was killed in a hit and run."
Mai swallowed, keenly feeling her boss's penetrating gaze; he must already suspect she knew something. There was no turning back now.
"I think I may be able to help you find him." Mai admitted, treading carefully.
It was unusual to see Naru looking genuinely dumbfounded, and the high schooler tried not to let the sight distract her as she told her tale.
"Do you remember how I asked you if you had returned to the old school building on the first case?"
He nodded impatiently, waiting for her to explain.
"Well, the reason I asked you that…" Mai fumbled, "Was because I dreamt about Gene when the cupboard fell on me. He's been guiding me on almost every case we've had since I met you."
Please don't be angry! I would have said something if I'd known how much it could mean to you!
His reply was hushed, but Mai heard it clearly.
"Then how do you know…" Naru breathed tentatively, "That it's me, and not my brother that you love?"
Mai smiled, walking slowly towards him and resting the palms of her hands gently against the sides of his face.
"I just know."
Any further doubts were silenced as she gingerly pressed her lips to his, elated when Naru's arms rose to hold her, the kiss becoming rapidly less chaste with every strategic brush of his fingertips.
A smirk touched his lips as he whispered seductively in her ear, "I seem to recall you saying you didn't want me to stop…"
Lin breathed a sigh of relief upon entering the silent apartment, this time peacefully so, rather than the previously subliminal tension that even a knife would have trouble cutting through. Mai's shoes were still at the front door, her wet clothes bundled in a plastic bag on the bathroom floor, but the lounge room was decidedly empty.
Noting that Naru's bedroom door was slightly ajar, Lin paled slightly, knocking to announce his presence before poking his head around the corner. While the soundly sleeping couple's position was certainly suggestive, he was relieved that both individuals still wore clothes, implying that whatever they had done to each other couldn't have been too interesting.
Possessed by a moment of evil inspiration, the Chinese man crept quietly down the hallway, returning a moment later, digital camera in hand.
Madoka would reward him well for this.
The sound of stumbling feet and doors left to swing heavily shut informed Lin that all had not gone as well as he had hoped, but it was not until he discovered Naru seated numbly on the floor that he began to wonder just what kind of instruction Miss Koneko had given him concerning his role in her fan fiction.
Apparently it had involved said author beating the stubborn youth over the head with a large, black and yellow book emblazoned with the title, 'EMO for Dummies."
A/N: Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has read this story and enjoyed it, especially those who reviewed! Your support has kept me writing, and has resulted in the completion of this fic.
Also, my obsession with this series knows few bounds. I actually found the approximate location of S.P.R.'s office (if it existed) in Dogenzaka, Shibuya, on Google Earth. For those who are interested, the co-ordinates are: Latitude: 35°39'28.12"N, Longitude: 139°41'47.37"E
...I have one last thing to say:
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell me which one is not like the others
Before I finish this song?
Which one of my chapter's titles doesn't fit in with the others, and why?
Just for the fun of it, and because I wanted to quote a song from Sesame Street (which I don't own, by the way)…