CHAPTER SIX: NAKAMOTO CASE CONCLUSION
At Jen's instance, and considering the fact that Kimura refuses to let go of her, they all move toward the kitchen with the hopes of getting Kimura to eat something; the small girl's weight loss is more apparent as the sunlight beams in through the kitchen's windows. With Nakamoto-san still stunned at her daughter's change in personality, Jen is the one who makes a simple dish for the small girl using what she finds in the cabinets; the distracted, in-shock mother is only barely able to mumble her okay to Jen about scavenging for food.
But Nakamoto-san isn't the only one perplexed, with many of the others watching carefully as Jen helps the little girl eat, encouraging her to eat slowly so as to not get sick. Each time Monk or John try to talk to the girl, or even make her laugh, Kimura shies away toward Jen with a flushed, bashful expression. While John accepts the girl's preference with a soft smile, Monk feels a bit of bitterness at the blunt rejection. Mai is the one who pats him on the back comfortingly with an amused, if a bit confused, expression on her brows.
Masako and Ayako share irritated glances, only to sharply look away from each other with a huff as they realize that they agree on something. Mai watches their exchange with a frustrated expression, pouting as she settles down at the table and focuses her attention on Kimaru. Can't they just be happy that Kimaru is eating? It doesn't matter who helped her in the end as long as she gets help. Considering that Constantine-san calmed her down enough to eat, she has to at least know what's doing to some degree. She glances toward Naru, who has yet to voice his opinion on the situation and as usual, watches with a cold calmness that Lin matches. When he catches her eye, she just gives him a cheeky smirk. I half-expected Naru to throw a tantrum that someone else got Kimaru before he could. Hopefully this whole thing will humble him, but that might be too much to ask for.
The kitchen's silence grows from restless to peaceful the more that Nakamoto-san accepts that it doesn't matter how - as long as her daughter is smiling and eating. Jen patiently watches from the corner of her eyes as she tends to Kimaru before finally Nakamoto-san takes a deep breath and looks at Jen.
"Okay. I'm ready. Tell me what you did and what's wrong with my daughter."
Jen smiles softly, giving Kimaru a pat on her head as she turns her attention toward the girl's mother. Kimaru pouts as her new favorite's attention is away from her, but beams each time Jen encourages her with small head pats. The encouragement is all she needs to keep eating, stuffing her cheeks as her stomach growls. Each bite makes her mother beam with a soft smile, but the accusing glares that she sends toward Naru and SPR don't go unnoticed. Mai flinches each time the mother looks her way, I guess she blames us for not doing whatever Jen did sooner.
"This is going to be long and complicated," Jen warns lightly, "But the first thing you need to know is that SPR aren't completely useless."
Naru's sharp look only makes Jen grin madly as she continues, "Their footage of the bookcase moving helped confirm something for me and I'm sure that they would have put together what I have eventually - I just don't think Naru, or any of them, could actually confirm what I concluded until they met Kimaru for themselves."
It's an acceptable enough answer that Naru settles down to let her explain for herself; considering the shared look that passes between them, Jen is sure that Naru already figured out what she has, but he's just been waiting for enough evidence to prove it. Boston whispers harshly in her ear about sharing the credit, but she pointedly ignores him to focus solely on Nakamoto-san, who nods along hesitantly with Jen's answer.
"The good news is that you're not haunted," Jen beams as the way the tired mother sighs in relief, "And aside from my spirit guide, there are no spirits here. No demons. Nothing."
Nakamoto-san's relief is apparent, but it does not last long as she thinks to Jen's previous statement, her eyes frantic, "-But the bookcase? And I saw her toys flying?"
Jen scratches at the back of her neck, "And this is where it's going to get complicated, so please listen to me very carefully and understand why I've come to this conclusion. There are a couple of things going on here, I'll tell you what they are and then I'll tell you what your possible solutions are."
Her carefree tone starts to drop as a more professional voice begins to take over; the calm professionalism is such a drastic change from the Jen that they met a few hours ago that it takes Mai off guard. Yasu just smiles ominously, as if the sudden change just tickles him whereas John just watches curiously.
She takes a deep breath and taps the side of her temple with the tip of her finger, "There's no haunting here, but to your daughter, the demons she sees are real to her. Which is why no one's else saw them - it's all in her head. I saw all the medications faxed over - all of which would be helpful if she wasn't suffering from hallucinations. What she is seeing is very real to her and she's young, so it's scary. Stressful. Bound to cause nightmares and night terrors. I'd suggest you talk to her doctor about schizophrenia."
Mai looks at Jen's explanation stunned, blinking owlishly before she glances toward Naru who is nodding in agreement. Ayako goes to speak, but Naru harshly cuts her off before she gets the chance, calming telling her to let Jen talk. Jen nods briefly in appreciation before she continues.
"- That's the first thing. We need to get her hallucinations under her control, or things could get worse. I felt it when I first got to her door, but I believe that your daughter has a gift. A gift that, since she is so scared, is manifesting her own fears and emotions. The bookcase - the stuffed animals - all the things that you and your household have experienced moving around isn't from a ghost, but from her. So unless her hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety get help - things will continue to move around and she will continue to get worse because at the root, that's the real source of her problem."
Jen bites at the bottom of her lip, hesitant to continue, but at Nakamoto-san's instance that whatever she is about to say can't be any worse than what's already been said, Jen continues with her lengthy explanation.
"Her gift combined with her illness is a problem, but the biggest issue is the fact that your house runs along a lay line."
Mai is the one to voice the question, tiling her head curiously, "What's a lay line?"
Naru looks at her irritated that she even has to ask, but Nakamoto-san seems relieved that she's not the only one who doesn't know what the lines are. Jen smiles comfortingly and continues to gently pat Kimaru's head every time the small girl glances at her for praise.
"Think of lay lines as the power lines of the other side; they are a big source of energy for everything paranormal. Where they cross paths can be a dangerous hot spot, but I don't think you're in a crossroads, just on an abnormally large lay line. In the case of people with gifts, lay lines will either drain and disorientate you, or power you. In Kimaru's case, because she's so young - it's a mix of both"
"But we've lived at this house since she's been born," Nakamoto-san protests lightly, but Jen continues.
"-I felt a surge the other day - the same day that the SPR got the footage of the bookcase moving. It was the only confirmation I needed that you're on a lay line. I did a bit of digging before coming here and found out that some of the lay lines have been having - issues lately. For the past year, they've been slowly growing and for the past six months, they've been having patterned surges of power. I'm sure that's why Kimaru has been getting worse only recently - the power is just simply too much for her since she doesn't understand it. That combined with hallucinations have just made her so scared that she can't properly function."
Naru stays silent and only nods his approval every so often during Jen's speech, confirming that he already knew what she concluded; Mai huffs with minor frustration, crossing her arms tightly across her chest that once again, Naru knew something and failed to let anyone of them in on it. He could have saved them a lot of grief if he spoke up sooner. Her frustration is shared by Ayako and Monk, who both harshly whisper, you knew, to Naru, who doesn't reply.
"So - what can I do to help her," Nakamoto-san's voice is quiet, "Do we need to move?"
"Only as a last resort," Jen reassures her, "There's a few things that needs to be done, the first being a change in medication for Kimaru; something that you'll have to carefully review with the doctor. Once her hallucinations are under control, it will be a much smoother process. For her gifts, it will have to be a little bit of trial and error. I'll leave you with the salve I used on her today and a printed copy of the sigil I drew on her forehead - you don't need any gifts for the sigil, you just have to believe it will work and copy it directly. Draw it on her skin with the salve and that'll calm down her nightmares enough for her to sleep and push away the negative energies that's been created around her."
Jen sighs deeply, "-But the salve is only short-term. It won't last for long periods of time and it's not the only thing that needs to be done for her. We can't control the lay lines and the surges, but we can control her energies. The salve is best for nightmares and when she is having an episode, but long term? The first would be seeing a reiki master, I can recommend a good one to you, but they need to take all the energy that is here and balance it out. Probably more than once. As for her gifts - I have stuff at my office that I'll drop off for you tomorrow. Puzzle games that will help tune her gift so it has something to focus on. Even something as simple as getting a deck of cards and getting her to 'guess' each card will work too."
"- In the future," Jen pats Kimaru's head, "-As she gets older… gifts are a particular thing. So it may die down as she gets older, or it won't. If it doesn't, I'll leave you with a card to someone who can help her when she's older."
Nakamoto-san gently dabs at the tears in the corners of her eyes, though overwhelmed with the onslaught of information, her relief that it isn't something bad - it's not something that's going to actually hurt her daughter - is more overwhelming as she can only continue to give her thanks. Kimaru watches her mom curiously, a small frown on her face, but Jen reassures the small girl with a comforting smile, patting her head.
"Will that really work," Ayako expresses her doubts, eyebrow raising.
"I wouldn't suggest it if it wouldn't," Jen swears immediately, a large cheeky grin on her face, "Like anything, it will take time and it will be in her best interest to show her how to properly express her gift and protect herself."
Jen's expression shifts, looking toward the mother with concern, "I won't lie, if her gift continues to grow at this rate, especially on a lay line, hauntings may be the least of your concern. There are a lot of things out there, some not so nice things, that may try to take advantage of your daughter because of her gift."
Kimaru's mother's relief is short-lived, panic flooding her face immediately at the thought of something coming after her daughter. Jen continues nonetheless, "But with proper training, it won't become an issue. If it'll make you feel more comfortable, when I drop off some training exercises for her, I can also put a few protections up."
Kimaru's mother, still not fully reassured, "That would be nice - thank you. I will be sure that our maid properly distributes the funds between your organizations and I assure you that both SPR and Lifetower will receive glowing recommendations from me."
"You're work in there was decent, Constantine." Naru states simply the moment that everyone shuffles out of the property. "Interesting, to say the least, but I am mildly surprised that you were smart enough to come to the same conclusion that I did about the girl."
The SPR group stops at their van, with Lin focusing on packing up the equipment with minor comments to Mai about what to hand him next. Jen, however, settles on waiting for a taxi while ignoring the jab at her intelligence, focusing more on double counting the yen in her hand.
"Decent or not, I did your job for you in a matter of hours while it took you three days just to see the girl. At that rate, I'm surprised at the amount of cases that you manage to snag."
Mai makes a face at the sudden rudeness, though she has to admit that it's not as if anything Jen said was wrong. Yasu manages to hide his snicker behind a cough, though when Naru glances at him, he gives a blindingly innocent smile. Ayako's frustration is visible, with Monk having to talk her down even though he glances at Jen with a mild irritation.
"I suppose you're not really wrong," Yasu comments easily, his smile still innocent though it doesn't quite meet his eyes, "This was hardly our best case, so we should be thankful that you managed to show up when you did before the client got upset with us."
It's clear who his comment is directed to, with the others shifting uncomfortably while Naru remains (at least on the outside) indifferent. Masako is the only one who seems openly against the statement, huffing as she crosses her arms against her chest. The only indication that Jen notices Boston's laughter in her ears is the slight smile that starts to crack on her face.
"I still think she was a little upset with us," John adds waily, but gets cut off as he's about to continue by a small girl running down the drive after them.
Kimaru's mother is chasing after her daughter worriedly, but Kimaru makes a straight be-line for Jen, arms open wide. Jen, to her credit, recovers from her surprise quickly enough to stoop down to catch the little girl as she stumbles over weak feet. Jen stands up, holding the small girl in her arms tightly as Kimaru wraps her arms around her neck. Yasu and John share a glance at the slightly uncomfortable look on Jen's face that flashes before she smiles brightly at the mother.
"I"m sorry, she just insisted on saying a proper goodbye to you."
"Thank you," Kimaru's small voice whispers and Jen's face softens, squeezing the girl tightly before letting her go.
Jen watches as the little girl runs back to her mother, smiling brightly as she waves back at the team. She ignores the tightness forming in her chest as Boston teases her about having feelings.