Vampy: Hello! This is my first Ghost Hunt fanfiction. I hope I did okay on it! I worked really freaking hard on it, so please don't say stuff like "This is so boring" or "You're writing is really awful." I mean, I LOVE getting helpful criticism, but please do it in a way that won't hurt my feelings. That's all I ask! I don't own anything from Ghost Hunt. Please enjoy!
This is a rewritten/edited version of chapter one.
Killer's P.O.V /thoughts
Ayum/Gene/Mai in dreams
He sat at the cafe below the infamous Shibuya Psychic Research building, drinking tea and pretending to read the newspaper; seemingly just like all the other customers when in reality he was looking for the girl he had chosen to be his next pawn.
A shiver of excitement ran up his spine. He had always enjoyed the thrill of the game, almost more than the killing itself. He loved watching the family and friends of his victims squirm as they tried to save their loved ones from their horrible deaths. None of his opponents so far had been a match for his wits; he couldn't help but find that disappointing.
But now he'd chosen the perfect opponent and the perfect victim. He wanted a challenge this time, someone who would really try to fight back. Someone who seemed feisty.
His breath caught in his throat when he saw her from over the top of his newspaper. There she was. His muse, his victim, his toy. He'd done his research on her, found out where she worked, found the route she always took to get there. Yes, she would be the perfect next victim.
Her short brown hair, her honey brown eyes that would light up with the determination and happiness of youth. Oh, he could just envision the life fading slowly from her eyes as he killed her, terror replacing the happiness. She was loved by everyone she worked with and would be missed. And her boss, oh how he couldn't wait for a battle of wits against Oliver Davis! He could hardly wait for the perfect opportunity to make his move. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation before getting up and paying his bill. He still had a few more things to do before the game board would be complete.
Mai Taniyama sighed as she walked up the steps to Shibuya Psychic Research, SPR for short. She was late. Again. She rubbed her eyes a little, hoping that they weren't too swollen from crying. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her and the redness still hadn't completely left her eyes when she left for work.
Mai could just imagine what Naru would say if he found out she was late because of something as 'insignificant' as a breakup. Mai sighed again at the thought of her boss. Oliver Davis, famous ghost hunter and ESP extraordinaire (not to mention a genius), was more commonly known as Naru among those who worked at and with SPR. Mai smiled a little as she remembered when she had come up with the silly nick name for the narcissistic young man. It had been exactly five years ago today.
She'd still been in high school when they first met. Naru, along with his assistant, Koujo Lin, had been investigating paranormal activities at the old school house. After accidentally breaking a camera and causing Lin to get hurt, Mai became Naru's stand in assistant. Somehow she ended up getting a full time job with SPR. Funny how things worked sometimes.
She paused a moment at the door when she heard loud laughter inside. The others must have gotten there already. That was unexpected and a little unwanted since Mai didn't want them to ask about why she was late. She had met Houshou Takigawa (Monk), Ayako Matsuzaki, Masako Hara, and John Brown around the same time she'd met her boss. They had all become regulars at the SPR office, often helping Naru when a client came in with a difficult and potentially dangerous case. Heaving another sigh, Mai opened the door and forced a bright smile onto her face.
"Good morning everyone! What a surprise to see you all here so early!" Mai exclaimed with false cheer as she hung up her coat, getting a chorus of "good morning's" as she walked to the kitchen to prepare some tea since she knew that Naru would order her to do so. Sure enough, said young man called from the next room with his usual demand for the beverage.
Monk stood up and followed Mai. He leaned against the counter as he watched her fill the kettle with water before placing it on the stove.
"Are you okay, Mai?" The sandy haired man asked, studying her carefully.
Mai turned and smiled sadly at him. "I'll be fine, Monk. Thanks for asking. "
He nodded slowly. "Does it have something to do with that boyfriend of yours? If he hurt you, Mai, then I'll go give him a piece of my mind." Monk smacked his fist against his hand for emphasis.
Monk's a lot more observant than people give him credit for. Luckily he's still dense when it comes to noticing if someone has a crush on him. Mai shook herself mentally and chuckled a little at the eager expression on his face.
"No, you don't need to go after him. We broke up. He wasn't satisfied with what I was giving him in our relationship. I guess that I just didn't love him the way he wanted me to," she replied.
"Is it because you're still not over Naru?"
Mai almost dropped the kettle in her surprise as she pulled it off the burner. Before Naru had gone back to England, she had confessed her feelings to him. He insisted that her feelings were for his twin brother Gene rather than him. Naru had left her heartbroken and confused.
She whirled around to face the monk. "Why on earth would you think that?! Of course I'm over Naru! But. . . I do have feelings for someone else. . ."
"Oh? Who's this mystery guy?" Monk grinned and ruffled Mai's hair playfully.
"Monk!" Mai whined in protest (and partly in answer, though he didn't need to know that) as butterflies fluttered in her stomach from the casual touch. "Don't mess up my hair!"
Monk laughed before smoothly taking the tray filled with tea cups for the gang. "I'll take these, you get Naru and Lin their tea."
"Thanks." Mai smiled gratefully up at him, then headed to 'the lair' to give her anti-social boss his tea.
After handing out Mai's tea to the others, Monk sat back down on the couch. Now that Mai and her boyfriend were through, it was a good opportunity for him to tell her how he felt. But, then again, they had just broken up. The was no way she'd be ready for another relationship right off the bat. Besides that, she saw him as nothing more than an older brother figure. Not to mention she already had someone she liked. Monk sighed in annoyance and let his head fall against the back of the couch as he frowned.
Ayako noticed Monk's slight frown and rapped her knuckles lightly against his head. "You shouldn't think too hard there, Monk. You'll end up killing off your brain cells."
Monk brushed her hand away, staring at her indignantly. "I can think with out my brain dying, you old hag."
"Excuse me?! Who are you calling an old hag?!" Ayako grabbed his ear and pulled hard, causing Monk to grimace in pain.
"Ow! Ow ow ow ow ow! I said OW!" Monk yelled.
"Ha ha ha!"
Both Monk and Ayako stopped when they heard laughter coming from Naru's doorway. Turning, they saw Mai leaning against the door frame to keep herself from falling over as she laughed. Though they hadn't planned it, Monk and Ayako gave each other a small thumbs up for making Mai feel better.
"Please refrain from making so much noise that I am distracted from my work." Naru's voice came from inside his office, causing the girl to roll her eyes and head to Lin's office to give him his tea.
When Mai got back to the area where everyone (with the exception of Naru and Lin of course) was sitting, John and Masako were talking about where they wanted to go on their Christmas trip together. They'd been dating for a year now and Christmas would be the day of their anniversary. Monk was still sitting on the couch, but this time he was asleep. Mai stared at him. "I can't believe he fell asleep so quickly. "
Ayako smirked and held up to magic markers. "Wanna draw stuff on his face?"
Mai grinned with mischievous delight as she took one. They had gotten a good deal of doodles on his face by the time Monk woke up and grabbed Mai's wrist. The brunette stared at his hand on her wrist before looking up into his eyes. Monk was staring right back at her, an unreadable expression in his eyes. They both could feel something akin to electricity shooting through them where their skin touched. Mai sat there for a moment more before pulling her wrist away with a light blush. Only Ayako had noticed the moment that had passed between the two of them. She hid her grin with a hand.
About an hour or so after 'the moment', a woman came into the SPR office.
"Is Mai Taniyama here?" The woman asked as soon as she entered the room.
Mai stood up. "I'm Mai Taniyama. May I help you?"
"My name is Kazuki Tachibana. I have a warning for you, Taniyama-san."
"Why don't you sit down while I get my boss." Mai motioned towards the couch, feeling slightly uncomfortable about Kazuki's words and wanting her boss to be present so she could get his take on things.
Once everyone was situated, Naru asked Kazuki to explain.
Kazuki took a deep breath and collected her thoughts before beginning her story.
"About five months ago, my daughter Mizuki disappeared. My husband is. . . was an important political figure and wasted no time in hiring the best detectives to find her. No one could. We received several phone calls from the one we believe had taken her, all of them going on and on about some 'game' we were taking part in. The very last call we received stated only that we had lost. We never found Mizuki's body.
"My husband killed himself shortly after. I think it was about a month after everything had settled down that the dreams started. It's always the same. Mizuki is running, always looking over her shoulder as though someone were chasing her. I can see a man walking behind her, taunting her by how slow he was walking, knowing that she wouldn't be able to get away. It always ends with her being stabbed repeatedly and screaming out for me to find her.
"There were two other victims after my darling Mizuki was killed. They were both taken the same way and their families were forced to participate in the 'game'. I knew who was going to be taken. Mizuki told me." She looked directly into Mai's eyes. "And you're next if you don't do anything."
Everyone stared at Kazuki in shock. Naru quickly recovered and took control of the situation.
"Thank you for your warning. We will be sure to keep a careful watch on my troublesome assistant."
"Hey!" Mai protested.
Kazuki stood up, bowing to everyone before walking out of SPR without another word.
"Well. . . That was weird." Monk said after a few moments of silence. Everyone nodded in agreement an went back to doing whatever they were doing before Kazuki Tachibana came in, her warning forgotten by all except one.
Naru stood in his office with one hand cupping his chin as he worried about his assistant.
A few days later, Mai was walking to SPR; once again late for work. This time she had slept in too late. She'd had a very strange dream the night before, but unfortunately couldn't remember it. She soon gave up trying to remember what happened in the dream and focused instead on the feelings she was having towards Monk. Mai couldn't deny that there had definitely been some sparks the past couple of days, but neither of them had made a move. Was he waiting for her to confess first? Or was she just imagining the sparks after all? Making herself believe something was there when it wasn't, just because she wanted it to be there?
A strong winter wind blew, bringing her out of her thoughts and prompting Mai to wrap her coat tightly around her body. A rusty creaking sound made the girl jump slightly. She turned her head to the right, seeing only an empty playground. The wind had caused the swings on the swing-set to sway gently back and forth; producing the creaking noise she had heard. Mai gave a little laugh as she shook her head at herself. Maybe Tachibana-san's warning affected me more than I want to admit. She thought as she walked over to the swings. Mai brushed her hand over the seat nostalgically before sitting down to swing.
Naru sat back in his chair with an annoyed sigh. Mai was late. Again. She probably got distracted by something, which wouldn't be entirely surprising since it happened all the time. But Naru still couldn't get that warning they had received from Tachibana-san's out of his mind. He'd seen the sincerity in her eyes.
He looked at the clock again, his knee bouncing up and down in agitation. Finally he couldn't take it anymore. Naru picked up the phone, immediately dialing Mai's cellphone number.
Lin entered the office, also feeling anxious about the younger girl's absence. He watched as Naru waited for Mai to pick up.
Please pick up, Mai. They both prayed.
Figuring it wouldn't matter if she were a few more minutes late, Mai took a seat on the swing, kicking her legs back and forth until she was high in the air. She laughed happily as her hair flew around her face from the wind. She jumped off the swing after a few more kicks, flying in a high arc and landing on her feet in front of the merry-go-round. She came face to face with a young girl as she straightened up and jumped back in surprise.
"Wah! You startled me!" Mai exclaimed, pointing at her accusingly.
The girl simply looked at Mai with expressionless eyes. After a moment, Mai dropped her arm and cleared her throat to fill the silence. "Um. . . Are you lost?"
"You shouldn't be here."
Mai blinked in surprise. "Why not?"
"You need to leave before he comes." The girl stared at Mai, her gaze seemingly looking right into Mai's soul.
Mai started to ask what the girl meant but was interrupted by her cell phone ringing. She answered it quickly, holding a finger up to say 'just a moment'.
"Sorry I'm late, Naru, I'll be at the office soon," She said into the phone.
"Mai, where are you?" Naru's voice sounded strange, almost worried.
Mai frowned a little, confused at Naru's tone of voice. "I'm at a playground not too far from the office. Why?"
"Mai, don't tell me you've forgotten about Tachibana-san's warning already? You shouldn't be-"
"Excuse me, miss." A voice distracted Mai from hearing the rest of Naru's sentence. Mai turned to face whomever was speaking.
"Oh, hello. Can I help you with something?" Mai politely asked the man who had been standing behind her.
The man smiled at her, a little bit too friendly for Mai's liking. "I'm a little lost and I was wondering if you could give me directions."
Mai smiled back, feeling a little bit uneasy. The strange girl who had told her to leave moved closer to Mai and tugged on her sleeve.
"It's him. You need to run."
Mai froze, keeping the smile plastered on her face. She noted that the man didn't appear to hear or even see the girl.
"Mai? Who are you talking to?" Naru asked.
"Ah, sorry Naru! I'm on my way. This random guy just came up asking for directions is all." Mai said, trying to let him know she was in some sort of trouble with out having to actually say so in front of the man she had been warned away from.
The man's eyes narrowed and he lunged forward, snatching her cell phone from her hand and throwing it to the ground. She screamed as she turned, trying to get away, but she was too late. The man covered her mouth and nose with a sickly sweet smelling cloth. Mai struggled briefly before everything went black.
"Mai! Mai, what is going on?" Naru shouted into the phone as he heard her scream. Lin pulled out his cell phone and quickly called the police.
"Mai isn't able to come to the phone right now. She's a little bit. . . tied up at the moment," A deep, ice cold voice spoke into Naru's ear. Naru quickly grabbed a recorder and put his phone on speaker so Lin could hear.
"Who are you and what do you want with Mai?" Naru asked calmly.
The voice laughed. "Sorry, Dr. Oliver Davis, but I'm not going to tell you who I am. That's part of the game, you see. If I told you who I am then you'd be able to find out where Mai is and that would destroy the whole purpose of this game, now wouldn't it? Oh, but I haven't explained the rules. All you have to do is find her. You may use any resources you have, even the police. Usually I leave clues. . . but since you lot are psychics, I think it would be more interesting if I let you figure Mai-chan's location on your own. If you can find where I am keeping her in seven days then she will still be alive. If not... well, I'm sure you know what happens if you don't find her within the time limit. Good luck, Dr. Davis. I've done my homework, now let's see if you can do yours. Let's see if you're really as great as people say."
And with that, the dial tone was the only thingto be heard.