This takes place after the Bloody Labyrinth which is the Urado case. I've only read the manga and haven't watched the anime, so all my info comes from there.

Summary : When Mai comes in early to work one day she finds something she was never meant to see and absolutely everything changes from that point on.

Disclaimer: Anything you recognize I don't own :(


Mai watched out the window of the SPR van as the scenery passed by. They were on a quiet scenic road through the forest, but it was starting to get dark out and the forest was beginning to all look the same. Mai held in a sigh she had clearly not thought this trip all the way through. It was only Lin and Naru with her sandwiched between them for hours; they were the quietest most stoic men of her acquaintance and she was going to die of boredom before they reached their destination. Without the other members of the team making noise Mai felt awkward and stifled by the silence. While she and Lin-san were on better terms after the Christmas case at the church with little Kenji she wasn't sure how to start a conversation with him and starting one with Naru, or rather Oliver, was out of the question. How did one start a conversation with their soon to be ex-boss after finding out that you had been dreaming of his dead brother, that you've never physically met, for nearly a year? There was nothing she could think of to say that wouldn't be trite and she did not need another reason for Oliver to call her stupid. He already did that far too often and even she could recognize that now would be an awful and insensitive time to lose her temper.

She tapped her foot on the floorboard as she stared blankly into the fading daylight. On either side of the young high-schooler both men tensed at the repetitive sound and movement of the girl squished between them. Oliver was the first to break composure and shoot her a harsh glare. She continued to tap in a steady rhythm completely unaware of both men's irritation or her own part in it.

Lin's fingers tensed against the steering wheel as he shot a cross look at Oliver over Mai's head. Lin had no idea what would possess the other man to bring along the young girl to search for his deceased brother. He figured there had to be some reason or cover story, but Oliver hadn't told him anything at all. Lin had just shown up at the SPR office as soon as possible after Oliver had called him to tell him he had a lead on Eugene's body. He had not expected Oliver's young female assistant to throw an overnight bag in the back and carefully hop into the middle seat of the vehicle like she normally did on regular cases.

He had expected Oliver to say something derogatory to cause an argument and kick Mai out of the van, but all his young charge had done was tuck what Lin thought was a photograph into his female employee's pocket before climbing into the van himself and quietly giving him the directions to the location.

"Mai," said Oliver, a warning clear in his voice.

The girl started and her large cinnamon colored eyes blinked bewilderedly up at him. Her eyes always looked huge, soft and-. He scowled. Her eyes made her look naïve that's what he meant.

"Stop tapping your foot."

Mai felt heat rising on her cheeks and knew she was blushing. Never mind, based on the looks Lin and Oliver were giving her, she would be murdered long before she could die of boredom.

"Sorry Na-. Sorry I'll stop," she said stumbling over the nickname she had given him. She would have to stop calling him Naru in her thoughts. His name was Oliver, Eugene had said so and he hadn't denied it when she called him that at the office. She had a pretty strong gut feeling that his full name was actually Oliver Davis, but that she shouldn't mention that at the moment with Lin-san in the car. After all, it was only on the last case that Bou-san had told her and the other members of SPR all about Oliver Davis and his brother Eugene Davis. She rolled her eyes even she wasn't that forgetful and it would be a very big coincidence if her boss, a paranormal researcher whose real name was Oliver who had a brother named Eugene wasn't the infamous Oliver Davis. She didn't quite understand why he hadn't trusted her or the others with the information earlier, but she had a feeling she still wasn't supposed to know and that it would cause a huge argument with Lin-san to bring it up and possibly annoy Oliver too.

"It's getting late and we still have a while before we arrive. Lay back and go to sleep," Oliver said curtly before crossing his arms and staring out the front window.

"I'm not a dog," she grumbled back, but she settled back and closed her eyes. It only took a few minutes for her to be rocked to sleep by the familiar motions and rumbling of the car. Within fifteen minutes the young girl was lightly shivering and in danger of hitting her head on the dashboard from leaning too far forward. Lin watched Oliver take his suit jacket off, gently pull Mai to lean against his side, and drape his jacket over the shivering girl.

Lin's visible brow rose and he glanced suspiciously over at his young charge. It was suspicious that the two hadn't bickered at each other throughout the car ride especially after that dog comment Mai made, but this? Oliver initiating unnecessary physical contact especially with a girl? Not even just contact though. He was practically letting Mai cuddle him for warmth. This was beyond bizarre for the younger man. He flickered his vision over Oliver again and wondered if the young scientist had finally discovered emotions. He disregarded that thought immediately. Oliver was a brilliant at some things, but an absolute moron when emotions were involved.

"She lacks the simple ability to even sleep without hurting herself," Oliver muttered at Lin's perplexed look and brushed off his unasked question, before turning to look out the window. Something was definitely going on, but Lin knew he would never get anything out of Oliver that he didn't want to share. He cast an assessing glance at the sleeping young woman, but Mai he could probably get to spill the details if Noll wasn't near her. With his plan of attack decided Lin turned his attention away from the two teens and focused on driving. He still had a long way to drive this evening and there would be plenty of chance to corner Mai tomorrow.

Lin was beginning to put stock into Oliver's theory on Mai's latent "animal instinct" ESP. While Noll was busy contacting a dive team and preparing things for the search, he had set his shiki to follow Mai around. They followed her around for the better part of the morning, but every time Lin got close enough to corner her she managed to slip away. He had questions, more questions than he thought he would ever have for a high-school girl. Things just kept not adding up.

When they had reached the lake the evening before, after Noll's bizarre behavior in the car, the two had stared out at the lake before exchanging an indecipherable look and then turning in for the night. He didn't know why she was there, obviously she knew something, but just how much did she know? And was it the truth? And even if she did know something there was no reason that Lin could imagine for independent, determined, grief-stricken Oliver to bring her to something they were desperately trying to keep a secret and Lin didn't believe that Mai was the type to blackmail anyone. So, he had a lot of questions and the only two people who could answer him weren't talking.

He finally found her out on the porch staring intently at the lake with teary eyes. She looked devastated and lost. He sighed quietly and pinched the bridge of his nose and now he didn't have the heart to interrogate her while she looked like that. He wasn't into making school girls cry and she looked prepared to weep at any provocation. He just hoped Noll knew what he was doing. It would be a long couple of days of waiting for the dive team to search the entire lake, especially with the added difficulty of the dam churning up the water. Oliver was withdrawn, Mai wandered around uncharacteristically quiet and still the whole time, and Lin still didn't understand how this had come to be. They ate meals in quiet and didn't speak or argue throughout the rest of the day. He was feeling at his wits end with the odd behavior of the two and had half a mind to call Martin and Luella, Oliver's parents to see if they could talk some sense into their son.

Mai still felt awkward and it was compounded by a sense of distance she felt between her and the other two occupants of the cabin. She had worked with these two men for nearly a year and it was only now dawning on her how much she hadn't known and how much of their lives they hadn't shared or outright lied to her about. She wanted to feel betrayed, but it wasn't like she had been very forthcoming with her past either. No one had even known she was an orphan until recently and she had never told any of her coworkers how her parents had died or anything significant about her past either.

She keenly felt a sense of loss already even though Lin-san and Oliver were still with her. There would be no more cases after this, no more taciturn, but gentle Lin-san, no more sweet John Brown, no more silly fights with Masako, no more teasing Ayako about her age, no more unnecessary fussing from Bou-san, no more over the top dramatics by Yasuharu, and especially no more enigmatic, narcissist, but secretly kind Naru. She wanted to cry when she thought of no longer working with them, somehow between bickering, hunting ghosts, and saving each other's lives they had become a family to her. But crying hadn't helped her when her parents died or when she was alone in her apartment, so she held her tears back and made tea for everyone. This weekend would be horrible no matter what, but at least the tea would help soothe everyone's nerves and give them something to do with their hands.

Now she was doubtful that any of her feelings were reciprocated by the others. Lin and Oliver would go back to England after they found Eugene's body and she couldn't blame them. The rest of the team would soon go back to their busy lives too and leave her alone again. No one else ghost-hunted full time and she didn't have anyone's phone numbers or contact information to keep in touch with them. She closed her eyes as a pain went through her heart. She had already seen everyone for the last time and hadn't known it.

And Eugene was another matter altogether. She had no idea how to feel about him. He had only contacted her in her dreams by accident while trying to reach his brother, but he had been terribly kind to her and he deserved to pass on peacefully after they found his body. She would miss him desperately too and the help he had graciously given her.

She couldn't say some of it wasn't selfish though. She was concerned about what would happen to her in her dreams after Eugene passed on. The best-case scenario would be if she stopped having the dreams altogether. If the reason she had started having psychic dreams was because Gene was trying to contact his brother and not her latent ESP interacting with the haunted locations Oliver had brought her to then it was possible the dreams would stop. Mai was an optimist, but even she knew that her luck wasn't that good. She was more worried that without a guide she would continue to have these nightmares, but that they would get more dangerous and she wouldn't understand how to control or stop them.

Mai knew how to survive regular life by herself. She considered herself quite capable after living on her own as a teenager, but sometimes she was scared of this new reality she lived in. She hardly wanted to admit it, even to herself, but the powers she had discovered in herself and the abilities of others terrified her. The moment of your death was terrifying. Her heart still raced if she thought about laying on that cold metal table with her head thrown back and her neck exposed. The death dreams were scary by their very nature, but they weren't what scared her.

Mai didn't like to think about how she had reached out in the astral plane and left her very physical house key as a token for Masako while she was lost on the last case. She hadn't known it was possible to do that with an object at all and even Masako Hara, famous medium, hadn't had an idea how it had been possible for her to break the rules of physics even though she had been beyond grateful for Mai's reassurances. Masako had encouraged her to ask Naru, but she never had managed to get around to mentioning it and now she wouldn't ever get a chance to. Now that there was so little time left. Besides now that she knew that their main purpose in Japan had been to find Oliver's murdered brother, she didn't think they would appreciate or have time for a dumb question from a stupid high-schooler.

It was on the second morning of their trip that the dive team managed to uncover a wrapped body in the cold lake. Both days of the search had been cold, but clear and the water was low at this time of year. Had they searched in the Springtime it might have taken longer. The dive team had called ahead as soon as they resurfaced with the body and the small group of ghost hunters were waiting at the launch when the dive team arrived. The group watched anxiously as the team still in their dive suits, carefully laid out the wrapped body. Mai knew just from the waterlogged blanket that this was Eugene's body. She blanched and wiped at the skin of her arms as she felt the phantom sensation of the softness of the fabric against her battered body from the dream.

The dive team made their way inside the cabin to change and give them some privacy while they identified the body. Mai noticed Lin standing a few steps back, likely to allow Oliver to decide what he wanted to do. But Oliver was stuck. He had frozen as they laid the body out and he was ramrod straight now. This was his brother. Prior to this morning it hadn't felt completely real. He had experienced the vision with his psychometry and believed it enough to travel halfway around the world, but it had still felt like it was happening to someone else. One of his hands was clenched so hard that Mai could see where his short, blunt nails had cut into the meat of his hand.

Mai fought back her own feelings of despair and caught his other hand in hers. The warmth of her hand seemed to break him from his stupor and he intertwined their fingers and tugged her forward as he walked toward the body.

"Come along then," he said and then cleared his throat to cover up the hoarseness of his voice.

The two of them made their way quietly and trance-like down the launch and both of them crouched down in front of the body in unison. Mai dashed away the tears in her eyes and took a shaky breath in. Sweet, kind Eugene had never deserved such a painful terrifying death like this one and poor Oliver had been left behind by his twin. She wished for both of their sakes that she could do anything to change it.

Oliver kept a tight lid on his emotions. He had known Gene was dead for a year and besides Mai was shedding enough tears to cover for the both of them. He missed his brother desperately and was relieved to have found him at last even if it was like this. This had felt like the longest weekend of his life, but Mai was an unexpectedly good addition to this trip. He didn't know how he would have survived this experience without her kindness. She had been quiet, considerate and had often brought him his favorite blend of tea unprompted. He was beyond grateful for her assistance in locating his brother and her presence this awful weekend.

With his hand that wasn't clasped by Mai he reached out and unfolded the edge of the blanket. The logical part of his brain noted that for a year-old corpse his brother didn't look as terrible as he expected. Perhaps, between the cold water and the blanket he had been wrapped in decomposition had slowed down. The other part of his brain reached forward and brushed his brothers tangled bangs out of his face. Gene had never liked his hair in his eyes. As Oliver brushed the lock back three bright red drops of blood that had gathered on his palm when he clenched his fist earlier dripped onto his brother's forehead.

Mai let out a startled cry at the morbid visual and a teardrop joined the spots of blood. She reached out with a trembling hand and went to wipe off the offending fluids, but as she touched the body it began to glow. Or more precisely, strange characters lit up Gene's arms in a silvery glow.

As soon as Mai had touched the body, one hand became stuck to Gene's forehead and both hands burned intensely hot.

"Mai?" she heard Gene's confused voice cry out in her head.

"Eugene!" she cried out loud and the glow from his hands spread over his whole body until it culminated with a bright flash and suddenly the skin below her hand was warm and pliant. She pulled her hand away and scrambled back so fast that she nearly fell onto her backside. She watched one limp hand reach up slowly to Gene's head and heard a low gasping sound before she was swept up and behind Oliver's back.

A/N So yeah here's the next chapter. I think at this point we can assume that this story is wildly canon divergent.

Please let me know how you like it by reviewing.

Thanks for reading.