Mai walked into the SPR office in a pretty bad mood, which was never a good sign. She wasn't the sort of person who often had bad days, she was usually cheerful, but she had had a terrible day at school. The teacher had decided to pick on her because of her week long absence while she had been working on their last case, and because of that she was now late. The last thing she needed now was to be scolded by her narcissistic boss Shibuya Kazuya, aka Naru.
After closing the door she took off her jacket and left it in the closet. She stood there for a moment listening, but when she didn't hear anything form Naru she went over to her desk and sat down. Maybe Naru hadn't even noticed her absence from the office. She stared at the papers which were lying on her desk, waiting to be filed, and felt tiredness creep up around her. When the doors of Naru's office opened she quickly grabbed the nearest document and pretended to read it. After all, a good camouflage was half of success. Or something like that.
"Thank you very much Shibuya-san." An older man who had just exited Naru's office said. "I'm really grateful that you agreed to take the case."
Naru only nodded his head in reply. Sometimes Mai wondered if it was painful for him to talk or something. When the doors closed behind the man Naru turned his attention to his young assistant, watching her with his blue eyes which Mai loved so much.
"Call everyone, we have a new case." He said and went in the direction of his office.
Mai sighed in relief; it looked like he hadn't noticed anything after all.
"And next time don't be late. I'm paying you for being at work, not the other way around." He added as he walked into his office and closed the doors.
Mai stared at the place where he had disappeared for a moment before sighing in resignation. She should have known better than to hope that Naru wouldn't notice something like that. It was as if he had his eyes everywhere and on everyone. Sometimes she wondered if he was a normal human. She shook her head and picked up the phone which was sitting on her desk. A small smile worked its way onto her face. She had started to miss her co-workers already…
"Mai! I haven't seen you for such a long time! I missed you!" Takigawa said half an hour later, closing his arms around the petite girl.
"Bou-san… can't… breathe…" Mai mumbled, trying to break free from his bear hug. She had missed him too, but that didn't mean that she was keen to earn some internal damage from it.
"Let her go you moron, you're killing her!" Ayako interrupted them, hitting the poor monk on the back of his head.
He quickly let go of Mai to hold his head in his hands.
"Stop abusing me you old hag!" Takigawa shouted in the redhead's direction.
"Who the hell are you calling an old hag?"
"There is only one person in this room!"
"Now now, Takigawa-san, Matsuzaki-san, please calm down." John tried to calm them down by walking between them.
It only left him deaf…
Mai smiled to herself. She liked the feeling she got when they were all together. It was almost as if they were family.
"Oh, how sweet." The new voice rang from the direction on the door and Mai turned around. Gene walked into the office with a smirk on his face, just as handsome as his brother's. "Our two infamous lovebirds are at it again." He looked at the two adults with humour in his blue eyes, not paying any attention to the murderous glares which they sent his way.
Yes, Gene was now a member of the SPR team. It had been a massive shock for everyone when Gene had showed up in their office one day. Mai still remembered the event clearly. She had never seen so much emotion on Naru's face before, and it never happened again. The truth was, Gene had never died. He came close enough, but he survived. Yes, he had been the victim of a hit and run. But what Naru hadn't seen in his vision was the fact that his twin had been saved by a fisherman who had showed up in the nick of time. He saved Gene and left him in the hospital, where he spent a long time in a coma. The doctors hadn't informed his family simply because they had no idea who he was. He hadn't had any identification with him since somewhere in the water his wallet with his ID had fallen from his pocket. But as an older brother he still felt the urge to protect Naru, even though he was unaware of it. Thanks to his ability as a medium he had been able to perform astro-projection to Mai, who had similar powers to his and was on a similar level. He helped her with clues, communication with ghosts and other things. As soon as he was able to he had arrived in Tokyo. He stayed with them because as he said 'they were a lot of fun'.
Before the two adults could start another fight Naru emerged from his office, looking around.
"Do we have to wait for anyone else?" He asked, walking over to his usual place where tea was already waiting for him.
"Masako isn't here yet." Mai replied, looking around and not spotting the black haired medium anywhere.
"Hara-san has her own business to deal with for now so she won't be working with us on this case." Naru answered, taking a sip of his tea.
"Well then everyone is here." Mai replied as everyone took their places around the table.
"Good, then we can start." Naru opened the file with information form their client, who had been with him earlier. "The client is a teacher from Shore High School."
"I've heard about this school." Takigawa interrupted him, furrowing his brows. "In the morning, they were talking about it on the news…"
"I heard it too!" Mai exclaimed, sitting up straight. "They were talking about missing students or something like that. And someone died there…" The last part she added quietly, wishing that she hadn't had to.
"Well, if you could just let me finish then I would tell you what happened." Naru snapped, making Takigawa and Mai look down at the carpeted floor. "Three girls and five boys have disappeared in the last two months. The fact is that the victims went missing overnight from their beds. There were no signs of burglary or fighting. In one case the window in the girl's room was left open, but that's all. Before it happened the girls were talking about some curse, but the teacher couldn't give me anything specific about it. Students and teachers are scared; some parents have even removed their children from the school."
There was a moment of silence as everyone thought about what had just been said.
"Eight disappearances… it sure looks serious." Takigawa said, rubbing his chin. "Do you have any theories Naru?"
"Not really. But the cases make me curious." The boss replied honestly.
"What about this curse thing?" Mai asked, looking at the others. "Is it even possible for something like this to happen?" She wondered aloud.
"It's possible, there are many different kinds of curses from all across the world." Gene answered, looking at her. "But if there is a curse, we won't be able to do anything without knowing who the culprit behind it is." He furrowed his brows slightly as he thought about it.
"But we don't know yet if there really is a curse or a ghost. Maybe someone just spread a rumour and people believed it." Ayako stated, shrugging her shoulders slightly.
"But what about the disappearances?" Mai asked, turning her gaze to the priestess.
"When I lived in Australia there was a man in one of the schools who was kidnapping teenage boys, keeping them for some time and killing them later." John was the one who replied to her, wincing at the memory. "It could be the same deal with Shora High School. Teenagers often look for abnormal things when something has scared them."
"I hope that's not the case." Mai whispered. It was horrible to think that someone was able to do things like that just to please his sick imagination.
"We can't say anything for sure until we check out what's going on over there." Nary said, standing up. "We are leaving tomorrow at ten."
Everyone nodded and followed suit, preparing to leave and get ready for the case.
"And Mai," When the brown haired girl turned in his direction he added "Try not to be late." With that he walked into his office.
"Jerk…" Mai mumbled under her breath as she walked to her desk.
In the quietness of Naru's office, his brother's voice rang in his head.
"You know, you can always make sure that she won't be late"
"Do I even want to know what you mean by that?" The younger twin answered.
"You can always drive her home, stay for the night and then…"
"If you want to live longer I advise you to shut up." Naru snapped, breaking the connection between them.
In the main office Mai looked at Gene, who was sitting on the couch with a smirk on his face.
"What is so funny?" She asked, wondering what was behind his good mood.
"Oh, nothing important." Gene answered, directing a wide smile to her. "Don't worry you pretty head over it."
With that he moved to Naru's office. After all, he hadn't finished teasing his brother.
edited by: Dark Akuma Hunter