This story is set after Noll and Lin return to Japan. It's been on my mind for awhile and then I thought, Noll's parents undoubtedly want to meet the girl that helped him find Gene's body, right? So why not...well...you'll see what I'm talking about. So read and review. And though he isn't in this chapter, beware a meddlesome brother that thinks his younger brother should get a move on. Ah, a mischevious Gene...how great! R&R and let me know what you think. This will be my first chapter fic of 2008!
"Taniyama-san?" the brown-haired assistant looked up curiously at the sound of her name. She was surprised to see Lin-san standing in his doorway looking at her. She began to stand up but stopped as he held his hand out and she looked at him curiously as she waited for him to continue.
"Madoka is a bringing a good friend of hers into the office. A new client, if you will. I'm giving you fair warning. This case will be in England. Why Noll's father can't investigate, I do not know. But we both know that Noll will be roped into this if Madoka can manage it." Lin told her and Mai giggled softly before she straightened up completely from the crouched position she had been frozen in.
"I see. So I should be prepared for iceberg Naru, eh?" she asked and Lin just chuckled before nodding. Mai rolled her eyes before she pushed her seat in and started for the kitchen.
"Would you like some tea, Lin-san? I think I'll make some for Naru as well considering he'll be in a better mood than normal. Especially if I get it to him...before Madoka and her friend comes." Mai said cheerfully. Lin just nodded before he retreated back into his office.
While the idea was good he couldn't help but think Naru was going to be...not pleased at the tactics his parents were using to get him back home. And to meet Mai apparently. And she had no idea Madoka would insist she travel to England as well to help with the case. Lin sighed. Why was Madoka always involving him in her shenanigans?
'Because she knows you can't refuse her puppy dog voice or face for that matter.' he told himself. He began to brace himself for the angry that would come later that night, after all he was the one that had to share that blasted hotel room with Naru.
"Taniyama-san!!" sang a voice as Mai set the tea down on Naru's desk. She winced as she saw Naru's eyes narrow at the voice. There went any hope of telling the young man about his...visitors.
"Mai..." he bit out in a low warning. She gave a bright smile before grabbing his arm, causing his eyes to widen slightly, before using all of her to pull him out of the office. Madoka stood there hanging her coat up along with the young woman's coat that was standing beside her.
"Oh, and you've dragged Noll out of the deep recesses of that thing he calls an office, excellent, excellent." Madoka said pleased. She disappeared into Lin's office and a moment later the taller man had joined them. Naru had sat down in his chair while Mai retrieved his tea and went to get two more cups for their visitors, Lin had declined.
"Noll, Lin-san, Mai-chan, this is my best friend, Antoinette, from college." Madoka introduced the black headed woman sitting next to her. "She is also our next client! The site: a haunted showboat. The location: London, England!" Madoka said brightly.
Mai felt the atmosphere drop considerably. She peeked at Naru and winced at the withering glare he was giving Madoka. The cheerful woman just smiled at him before reaching over and patting him on the hand. Mai swore that the temperature dropped even more than before.
"And you have no choice, Noll. Martin and Luella's orders. You have to take the case. Like it or not." Madoka sang. Mai saw the glare that the woman was giving Naru even though she seemed to be smiling.
'Now I know where he learned to be that evil.' Mai learned with a wince. Madoka was good at wrapping Naru around her finger. Even now Mai could see that Naru was accepting the face. Though the scowl on his face clearly said that he didn't like it at all. So Mai decided to jump in and try to defuse the situation. Who knew? Maybe the case would be interesting enough that he would forget that he was being forced to take it!
"Miss..." Mai trailed off as she looked at Antoinette, thinking it would be rather rude if she just called her by her first name. It just wasn't polite in Japanese society.
"Johnston, Taniyama-san." Antoinette supplied with a gentle smile and Mai returned it.
"Miss Johnston...what exactly have you been experiencing on the...ship?" Mai asked. She wasn't exactly sure if that was Madoka had said. But from the smile that Antoinette was giving her she realized that she had been right.
"Many years ago, my family did many tours around the English peninsula on the boat. However, about seventy years ago, for some reason my great-grandfather put a stop to the shows. None of our family knows the reason why.
"My sister and I are trying to restore the ship so that we can resume the tours. We've got most of the boat done, however...we've had to put a stop to it. Tools go missing, our workers become ill for no reason. The wiring doesn't work even though all tests tell us that there's power in the wiring.
"And then...there's the 'Lady'. Whenever she shows up someone gets hurt. And not just bruises but serious damage. One of our major decorators is still in a coma because a ladder fell on her. People have also called me and told me that the boat's motor is running and there looks like there is a party going on.
"But...the motor in the boat...is nearly one hundred and twenty years old. We've tried to turn it one before. It won't turn on." Antoinette said. Mai felt her eyebrows shoot up in obvious surprise. She couldn't believe that a boat could be so haunted before.
"If there's no power on the boat then we can't power the necessary equipment. Therefore we cannot investigate." Naru said and Mai rolled her eyes. He was still trying to get out of it. No doubt because of the fact that his parents had gave him no other option than to take the case.
"That's why there are such things as power supplies that last for days, even months. But I must say...nice try." Madoka said with a bright smile that caused Naru to glare at her before Madoka turned on Mai. Mai felt her stomach drop. What did Madoka want from her?
"And you have been ordered by the Daviess to come as well. They're absolutely dying to meet you." Madoka said brightly. Mai's eyebrows shot up in surprise as she tried to think of an excuse. Until she felt a glare on her back.
She looked at Naru and winced at the glare that he was giving her. It clearly said 'If I have to suffer, so do you.' Mai turned to Madoka and gave a small wince before she sighed.
"I'm really horrid at English, Madoka." Mai tried to get out of going. She felt Naru's glare intensify on her shoulder. She ignored it. She saw that Madoka was looking at her with the same look that she had been giving Naru only a few moments earlier.
"Lin and I can teach you on the plane ride along with Noll. The plane leaves in four days. I've already contacted the rest of the SPR Irregulars. Yasuhara was the one that made the plane reservations. Everyone will be coming to help investigate. So like Noll...you really have no choice." Madoka said. Mai sighed in defeat before finally agreeing.
After hours of discussing it was arranged that they would meet at the SPR offices at five am four days later. They would then travel to the airport, meet the rest of their group, and head for England. Mai could already feel the headache she would have for getting up so early. She realized that she really was to dedicated to her job.
Oh, I wonder how this will turn out. Hm...I wonder what will happen now. And how will Mai get along with Noll's parents? And will Noll let Madoka live? Wait for the next chapter. And review!