Disclaimer: Ghost Hunt isn't mine.


Chapter 1: Briefing


"Mai! Tea."

Mai Taniyama grimaced, once again cursing her egotistical boss Kazuya Shibuya, or Naru, as she had dubbed him. That was her boss in a nutshell, narcissistic Naru...

"Coming!" she shouted down the hallway. The petite 15-year-old girl headed to the small kitchen near the back of the office and set about making tea, wondering why in the world she had accepted his job offer.

Mai was currently employed as a secretary and all around assistant of sorts by SPR - Shibuya Psychic Research, a research center for the study of psychic phenomena, ghost hunting, essentially. The short-haired brunette had met Naru when the 17-year-old tyrant had come to inspect suspicious phenomena at her high school. It had been love at first sight - until he had opened his mouth. Naru was tall and handsome with dreamy blue eyes and perpetually tousled black hair, so how could she help but fall for him? Of course, her infatuation didn't stop her from cringing at every conceited word that came out of his big fat mouth.

After a strange series of events, Mai had ended up working part time at SPR along with Naru's quiet Chinese assistant Lin, who was older than both Mai and Naru. Mai didn't have any living relatives and her co-workers were now basically her family. Families put up with their members' various quirks, just as Mai dealt with Naru's narcissism, and Lin's inability to socialize like a normal person.

"Mai! What's taking you so long?" She grimaced at Naru's impatience and rushed down the hall to his office.

"I'm coming in!" She knocked on his door, and proceeded to barge in without waiting for the okay.

Naru sat at a large walnut desk, sorting through a large stack of files. "Just set it on the table." He didn't even bother looking up from his work.

Mai resisted the urge to pour the tea over his arrogant head, deciding against it when she realized it would ruin his perfect hair. She instead placed it by his side; he was so mean! Insufferable, really - it wasn't like she was stupid! But he was gorgeous, which, in Mai's book made up for pretty much everything. Almost everything.

Not that she was shallow or anything like that, God forbid! In fact, Naru brought out her deepest feelings of loathing. He was the devil incarnate!

"Mai, why are you standing there staring at me like that?" She blushed and smothered her previously murderous thoughts.

"Uh...sorry!" Mai hurried from the room and shut the door behind her, saying, "Lin-san, would you like tea?"

A muffled 'no' came from the other office. That was him. Brusque as always ... Mai just couldn't for the life of her figure out what his problem was.

Mai snapped out of her reverie at the sound of persistent knocking on the front door. She answered by opening it and saying, "Hello, this is Shibuya Psychic Research, can I help you?"

A young man stood outside. He looked to be in his late twenties, with run-of-the-mill brown hair and dark brown eyes. "Hello, I'm Shuhei Hisagi. I'm sorry to intrude, but you deal with psychic phenomena, right?"

Mai smiled; the man seemed to be nice enough. She ushered him in. "Of course, I'm Mai Taniyama. I'll have my boss come speak with you." She left him in the sitting area and went to fetch Naru.

"Hello, I'm Kazuya Shibuya, head of SPR. How can I help you?" Naru approached the visitor in his usual quiet manner, and motioned for the man to sit.

"My father asked me to request your help. My family runs an Onsen and our guests have recently begun complaining about some odd occurrences." The brown-haired man sighed and shifted nervously in his seat.

"Such as..." prompted Naru.

"Well, one woman insists that she sees people in her bedroom mirror, but when she turns around, there's nobody there. Another has complained about a large, reddish-brown stain in her room that keeps growing larger and larger. She claims that sometimes it turns blood red and begins dripping."

"I'm sorry, Hisagi-san," said Naru, "But it seems to me that your customers just have overactive imaginations." Naru sat back in his chair as Mai bit back a nasty retort. Couldn't he give the poor guy a break!?

"I'm sorr-" Mai began to apologize for Naru's rude behavior.

"That's not all though," interrupted Hisagi, twisting his hands nervously. "There's more - one man claims that he hears someone at night whispering, 'She's coming for you! She's coming for us all!' and then screaming. But the worst: my younger sister, Kisa, has horrible scratches running from her shoulder blades to her lower back that look like fingernail marks. We're losing business every day, I'm begging you, please help us!"

Naru looked thoughtfully at the flustered young man, his blue eyes calculating. He turned to Mai and said, "Hmm ... Mai, call Takigawa-san, Ayako-san, John-san, and Masako-san, fill them in on the details and request their help for this particular case." He stood. "Hisagi-san, this case sounds interesting. My assistants and I will begin research tomorrow. We'll need a room to set up our equipment in, and two more to sleep in. I have a feeling your problem will not be easy to solve." With that, Naru once again retreated to his office.

Hisagi smiled faintly, obviously relieved. "Thank you, Mai-san, and thank Shibuya-san for me also."

"You're welcome!" Mai smiled. "We'll contact you tomorrow." She led him to the door and saw him out. This case sounded interesting, and she would get to see everybody again! Another case, another spirit, and this time, free baths! "Onsen, here I come!" shouted Mai.

"What are you blabbering about at the top of your lungs? Some of us are trying to get some work done!"

Way to rain on my parade, stupid Naru....

TBC


A/N: I hope you liked it, I apologize for the shortness... Please take a few seconds to review and tell me what you think, I'd be eternally grateful. Revisions as of 5/25/09.

^Shinigami's Lullaby^