A/N: Ok, so I haven't written fanfiction in so long since I've been so busy with school and I'm actually writing my own book. Though I guess those can't really be used as excuses since I read a TON of fanfiction lol. I've been on a huge Ghost Hunt kick lately and have had this idea swimming around in my head for a few months now and I finally fleshed it out enough to actually write it. At this point I just hope it lives up to how it sounds in my head.
The story takes place after everything about Naru being Oliver and him being in Japan to find Gene has been found out. Both he and Lin went back to England and have been gone several years. I haven't actually read the manga so all I know about anything not in the Anime is from fanficiton. In this story I decided to have Mai confess how I wanted her to lol.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ghost Hunt =( though I totally wish I did. Also, Point of No Return is not actually written by Mai lol…or me. Credit for that goes to DJ Encore.
Never Let You Go
Mai's Point of View
Mai took a sip of her water, enjoying the coolness of it as it slid down her throat. The summer heat warmed her skin, though not unpleasantly. Placing the glass lightly back on the table, she leaned back in her chair and glanced across the table to the Monk, who had just won the argument over who would pay the bill.
The two friends had just finished up eating an early lunch at Mai's favorite outdoors café. It was a nice little restaurant that most people walked right by everyday without really noticing. Mai figured it was probably for that same reason that it held so much charm for her. It was like her own special place. She had been eating at the café for many years, almost as long as she could remember.
A frown tugged at the corner's of Mai's lips as she thought about the reason she hadn't set foot in the café for almost three years. It had nothing to do with the café itself, and everything to do with where the café was. Just down the street, if she had the stomach to look, the old offices of SPR could be seen. The building which once made her feel at home, a part of a family for the first time in many years, now looked vacant and tugged painfully at her heart in memory of everything she'd lost—in memory of the man she'd lost.
It had been three years since then. She was still short, still clumsy, and still stubborn. She did, however, fill out to a more womanly figure with hips and an actual chest, though she was still a little fragile looking. Her hair had darkened a little, but had kept its reddish tint when she was in the sun. She had let it grow, now reaching just under her shoulder blades and had developed a soft waviness. Her eyes were the same cinnamon color, though Monk had told her they held more wisdom. Mai personally felt that she had always been smart; Naru had just made her look stupid on purpose. Just thinking of Naru made her sigh, and fight the painful clenching of her throat.
It had taken the Monk literally kidnapping her and forcing her back to that street to make her face the past she'd been trying so hard to forget. Even then, she took the seat facing away from SPR, and adamantly refused when Bou-san told her to switch, saying it was better to face it head on. That would have completely defeated the purpose of shutting away everything from that part of her life. Not that she could shut out her ex-coworkers, they ingrained themselves into her life just as deeply as she had into theirs, and neither was willing to let go.
"So Mai, I thought we could talk about tonight," Bou-san said, bringing Mai out of her thoughts. Seeing he had her attention he continued, "I think you should change your number for the show tonight."
Confused, Mai cocked her head to the side, "Why would I do that?"
The show that Monk was referring to was the Live Voices night at local nightclub. When Naru left for England, being the ever narcissistic, egotistical bastard she had come to know over the last year and a half of her life, he made his decision and dropped it on her.
Mai skipped the whole way to the SPR office humming softly to herself. The grin she had plastered on her face had to do with the fact that, for once, Mai Taniyama was going to be early getting to work. Throwing the door open she bounded in, "I'm here…" Her words died off as she saw the office that was normally filled with books on paranormal research, case files, and office necessities, was now completely packed into more than a dozen boxes littering the floor.
Quickly searching him out, she soon met the blue-eyed gaze of her boss, "Naru what's going on?"
His face was molded into an expression she had never before seen on him; there was some emotion swimming just under his stoic façade that she couldn't quite decipher, "Late last night, Gene's body was located." He continued to place the last few remaining books in the now full box, his thick black hair shielding his eyes.
Mai could feel the blood drain from her face as she left the doorway to dazedly sank onto the office couch. For a moment, she could barely think let alone form words. When her mind started to clear, the first thought that forced itself to the front of her mind was Naru. She knew that Gene's death had destroyed him; she could see how it was still hurting him. Raising her eyes, now filled with tears, she asked the first question that came to mind, "Are you ok?"
"Only you would ask such an idiotic question," he said, taping another box shut and dusting his pants off as he stood.
Mai's gaze fell to her lap where she nervously picked at her skirt, "I'll take that as a no then." Her voice seemed small, even to her. She sensed rather than heard Naru's sigh as he came to stand in front of her.
"Mai, we have things to discuss."
"We do?" She asked, still not looking at him.
"Now that Gene has been found, it is time for Lin and I to return to England."
This caught Mai's attention and before she could stop herself, she snapped her head up to look at her boss; the man she had come to know and love with all of her heart, "You're leaving?" She knew the panic she felt was clearly reflected in her voice, but she was beyond the point of embarrassment.
"Yes Mai," he spoke slowly, as if talking to a child, "I came to Japan to find my brother, and now that I have it is time to go home."
She leapt off the couch, "But what about SPR?"
"The office will be officially closed as of five o'clock this evening. I have already made all of the necessary arrangements."
"All the arrangements? Are you sure? What about Monk and Ayako? What about John, Masako, Yasuhara?" She asked, her voice rising with each sentence. Breathing heavily she continued, her voice barely a whisper, "What about me?"
Mai felt the wetness on her cheek and knew she was crying. She had known for months now that Naru was only in Japan to find his brother than that he would return when the task was finished, but somehow, for some reason, she thought she had more time. She wasn't ready to let go.
"I am quite certain that you will all be just fine Mai," he said in his usual monotone, ringing with superiority.
"And how the hell would you know that? Huh? You think that just because you're the great Oliver Davis, that you know everything?" Without realizing it, she had stormed over and was now barely two feet from Naru. "Well you don't know everything Naru!"
He raised one perfect eyebrow, "And what, pray tell, is it that I am unaware of?"
"God, you're too damned smart for your own good. You can figure out impossible problems in seconds and see things no one else sees, so why are you so god damn dense?"
Mai couldn't stop the frustrated yell that pulled itself from her lips, "Everyone else can see it, why can't you?" They were barely a foot apart now.
"Then enlighten me." Naru took a step forward, their bodies almost touching.
He was so close she could smell the scent she had come to think of as purely Naru: tealeaves, mint, and some subtle cologne she could never name. Mai felt herself getting dizzy but knew if she didn't say it now, there wouldn't be a second chance. Lifting her gaze to her boss's impossibly blue eyes, she took a deep breathe and finally told him what she had been carrying around in her heart for what seemed like forever, "Naru…" His eyes flashed with a mixture of curiosity and uncertainty, but she made herself continue, "I love you."
For several, suffocating minutes, there was nothing. Then, he said something that impaled itself into her heart, she could swear she felt it bleeding, "You don't love me. You love Gene." His eyes hardened.
As if physically struck, Mai recoiled from him, stumbling back into the side of the couch. Her heart clenched painfully and she couldn't breathe. She tried to think but all she could hear was his words, over and over in her head. It was as if she were submerged in water and couldn't make it to the surface. He didn't believe her. Well, either that or he was deflecting and just plain didn't want her—didn't care. Both thoughts tore her apart.
"A letter of recommendation will be mailed to you within the week. It has been a pleasure working with you Taniyama-san." With that her stoic boss walked away from her and closed himself in his office. The sound of the office door closing behind him would be ingrained in her memory for years to come.
After Naru left, Mai searched for weeks to find a job. She ended up working as a waitress at a diner in a seedy part of town as well as a nighttime inventory assistant at a supermarket, just to make enough money to live off of. Not that anyone would have guessed, but she really was spoiled at SPR. Sure Mai complained a lot, but Naru had payed her more than enough to live comfortably. Now she was struggling to make ends meet.
This had gone on for a while, working two jobs, as well as attending school. She could feel the exhaustion catching up with her, but she did what she felt she had to do. When her parents died, she vowed she would make them proud and take care of herself; she would make a life for herself. Mai didn't want to depend on anyone, though ironically that is exactly what she ended up doing.
About six months after Naru left, she was working her Wednesday night shift at the supermarket, and only three hours in, she could feel herself shaking with both hunger and exhaustion. It had been a long day, and her shift before school at the diner couldn't have gone worse. The types of people that dined at that particular establishment ranged more toward the shifty, perverted, specimens of the male persuasion, and the tiny waitress dresses the employees—all female—were forced to wear didn't help matters. In that six-month span, she had been hit on and groped more than enough to last her a lifetime.
By the time Mai found herself stacking cans at the back of the supermarket, she knew she was running on empty, though it wasn't until her vision started to blur that she paused from her work. Taking deep breaths, she waited for her vision to clear, but instead little black dots started to swim in front of her eyes. She barely registered hitting the ground and feeling her head connect solidly with the cold linoleum before she lost consciousness.
When she came too, the first thing Mai became aware of was the pain in her head. She could have sword there was a herd of tiny men with jackhammers just pounding away at her skull. "Ow."
"Mai?!" The panic in Bou-san's voice had her opening her eyes only to find his face barely inches from her own.
"Bou-san?" She asked groggily.
She heard his sigh of relief, "Oh thank God." He sat back in his chair, dropping his face into his hands, "Jou-chan you have no idea how worried I was."
It was only now that Mai took a look around and realized she was in a hospital. Monk's hair was not pulled back and fell in disarray and dark purple bags hung under his eyes, which held a seriousness she hadn't seen since she had tried to exorcise the spirits at Ryokuryou High School. "What happened?"
"The other night I got a call from your supervisor at around two in the morning, he said you passed out and they had to call an ambulance," He explained.
Mai could feel it coming back to her, the dizziness, falling, hitting her head. Slowly, she raised a hand just above her left eye feeling a large patch of gauze. She was about to ask why her supervisor would call Bou-san before she remembered that she had listed him as her emergency contact on her employee info card. Making a mental note to do something nice for the monk, she settled down deeper into the surprisingly comfortable hospital mattress. Monk's words finally caught up with her, "Wait, what do you mean the other night?"
"Mai, you've been out cold for two days."
Nearly choking she forced out, "Two days?!"
He must have seen the shock in her eyes, because got up and told Mai to move over. Sitting next to her and wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulder, he held her close, soothingly running a hand through her hair. Mai cuddled closer to the man she had come to see as a brother. He had been the first person to come to mind when she needed an emergency contact for work, he was the person she talked to when Naru left, he was always there for her, and Mai couldn't have been more grateful.
"Why didn't you tell anyone you've been working two jobs?" He asked, his voice soft, but filled with worry and admonishment.
Sighing heavily, she tried to explain, "I needed the money, and I didn't want to bother anyone."
"Mai Taniyama, you should know better," Monk said, "You don't bother any of us and I can't believe you'd think something like that. Do you know how worried I was when I got that call?"
Guilt swelled up in her chest, "I'm so sorry Bou-san, I didn't mean to make you worry."
"Of course I'd be worried, you're running yourself into the ground. The doctor said you passed out from exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration. He also thinks you were coming down with a bad cold. You can't do that to yourself." He tightened his grip on her.
"I didn't mean to, I promise. I needed both jobs in order to keep my apartment, my insurance, get my school books…everything just kept piling up."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"I don't know, " Mai said, "It's been just me for so long…"
Monk tilted her chin slightly so she was looking directly into his golden eyes, "But you're not alone anymore Mai, I thought you knew that. We all care about you, John, Yasu, Ayako, even Masako though she doesn't show it very often." Mai couldn't help but giggle softly at that. "In fact, when I told Ayako you were in the hospital she completely freaked out, you know how she is. By the way she should be here in the next hour or so to see you. She demanded to know how I could have let this happen and asked why you had to work in the first place, since I should be taking care of you." Now it was Monks turn to giggle as Mai shot him a curious look.
"Why should you have to take care of me?" She asked.
"I care about you a lot Jou-chan, you're like the little sister I've always wanted. When you told us about your parents, I was serious about you coming to me if you ever had trouble. I want to be able to take care of you. I make more than enough money to support both of us, and beyond that, I want to."
Mai opened her mouth to tell him that she too loved him like he was her brother, but that she couldn't possibly wedge herself into his life like that. Monk, however, seemed to sense this and plowed right on ahead.
"I want to take care of you. You deserve to just be a kid Mai. You shouldn't be working one job at this age, let alone two. I want you to come live with me, and I won't take no for an answer."
As much as Mai wanted to object, to tell him she would be fine on her own, she didn't want to lie anymore. She could no longer fight the growing need inside of her to reach out and have someone there to lean on. Hugging the Monk tightly around the middle she pressed her face into his shirt and let the tears she had been suppressing fall, "Thank you Bou-san."
And so it was that Mai went to live with Bou-san. He immediately made her quit both jobs, and told her that focusing on schoolwork and being seventeen was all she should be worrying about. Though she enjoyed the lack of stress, she still felt like she should be helping out in some way even though Monk vehemently denied it.
It wasn't until one night almost a year and a half later when the old SPR gang had gone out for a Karaoke night—Yasuhara idea oddly enough—that Mai stumbled upon a way to make both Monk and herself happy. It took everyone there, but they finally got Mai up onstage. She thought about it for a long time, and finally settled on singing Better in Time by Leona Lewis. She had listened to the lyrics, and could feel the message resonating within her.
She had been so lost without Naru. When he left, when she heard his office door shut, she felt a part of her break. Mai honestly didn't know if she'd ever be the same again. She could tell she smiled less, she was less outgoing, she felt more reserved in everything she did. Moving in with the Monk, however, had brought back a small piece of the Mai she had thought she lost. Slowly she could feel herself coming back.
She barely registered the words she sang as they left her mouth, but it didn't matter, she knew them by heart. She thought instead, of a blue-eyed, black haired, man—one who she had pushed to the back of her mind, locked all the memories of him away in a box and tried to forget about. Thinking about him brought back memories of his words, the pain in her heart as he hardened his eyes and walked away. She knew she'd always love him.
When the song had finished, the entire club gave her a standing ovation. Her friends gushed over her voice and Monk angrily asked her why she never told him she could sing. Her answer? She didn't know.
After that, everything that followed happened so fast, and it came to be that Mai would work as a vocal act in the nightclub that Monk's band sometimes performed in. He was good friends with the owner and knew he would love Mai. Mai was happy she could help out with finances—Monk had refused to let her move out—and Monk was happy she was 'taking after her big brother.' And so, Mai began her career at Aura nightclub.
Mai finally came back to earth as Bou-san started to answer her question.
"Well," he shifted uncomfortably in his seat; "I was using your laptop to check my e-mail the other day when I accidentally stumbled across something pretty interesting."
The young brunette narrowed her eyes at her almost brother, "stumbled across what?"
"Now Mai, don't get mad."
"What did you find Monk?" She demanded.
The man crossed his arms over his chest, "Well if you didn't want me to look at it you shouldn't have labeled the folder 'Mai's private folder.' I mean come on Jou-chan, that's just mean."
Adopting the glare she had studied and perfected from her former boss Mai continued her questioning, "What. Damn. File. Did. You. Read?"
"You had to know that the code-name 'egomaniacal ass jacket' wasn't very subtle." Monk couldn't help but chuckle as the girl grumbled under her breath.
"Is there a point to this?" She asked, fiddling with the strap of her bubble-gum pink sundress, "If so, could you get there faster?"
"Fine fine, relax kiddo," He smiled as she rolled her eyes, "Anyway, I was looking at the file and first of all, I didn't know you could write songs, especially songs that good."
Momentarily forgetting her anger, Mai looked up at Bou-san, her Cinnamon brown eyes sparkling with excitement, "You think they're good?"
"Are you kidding me? Those songs are amazing, Mai! They really are. That is why I think you should sing one of them tonight instead of the song you were going to sing."
The girl's eyes immediately widened in horror, "B-but Bou-san, I can't."
"Why not Jou-chan?" The Monk asked. He studied the girl as she wrung her hands and bounced her leg up and down. When she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and began to chew, it dawned on him, "Mai…"
She brought her eyes up to meet his, instantly looking years younger. Bou-san thought she looked like a small child who thought they were about to be told they'd been caught being naughty.
"Mai, I know he hurt you when he left." He saw Mai stiffen, and his words halted, but he took several deep breaths and kept going, "I know you've been carrying that pain around inside of you for so long, and I know that it will never really go away. I also think that these songs, they're going to help you move on. "
Wanting to believe his words, Mai fought the tremble of her lips and asked, "How?"
"I think that by finally voicing all of these worries and thoughts that have been trapped inside your head, getting them out there for people to hear, will start to help your heart feel lighter."
As she sat there, Mai thought over what the Monk said, and she couldn't help but believe him. She had felt like she was drowning for so long, she just wanted to be able to breathe again. Sitting up straight, she wiped her eyes, drew on all her strength, and took a deep breath, "I'll do it."
Bou-san's face split into a wide grin, "Alright Mai!"
The petite girl giggled and smiled back at her friend. She knew she would always love Naru, but that didn't mean she had to be stuck in the loneliness she had created for herself. It had been three years. For the first two, she barely acknowledged anyone. She had been asked out, but turned every offer down. She couldn't look at another man.
When she turned twenty, Monk had sat her down and basically told her she was worrying him again. She wasn't acting like a girl her age should. To ease his worry, Mai had agreed to go out on a few dates with some guys from her college campus. She ended up dating quite a lot, but they never went past first or second dates. The spark she felt for Naru just wasn't there, nothing even close. By this point she dated almost every weekend when she wasn't working and had to say she could be a shameless flirt sometimes—she knew Yasuhara was rubbing off on her.
With this new hope, Mai knew she wanted to stop just 'dating' guys. She wanted to find someone special. Her heart still hurt, and it always would, but she wanted to find a guy who would help ease the pain.
"But Monk, which song? There have to be at least thirty of them."
Despite her frown, the Monk was still grinning, if possible, it was even bigger, "Don't you worry Mai, I've already figured that one out as well."
It wasn't the smile that had Mai worried. It was the scheming glint in the Monk's eye that had Mai rethinking her decision.
Naru's Point of View
Naru sighed and leaned back on the couch. He had never expected to come back to Japan. It had been a few weeks since his father had called and told him that he had been contacted by an old friend and was sending his son to investigate. Obviously knowing the case was valid since his father had already taken it, Naru agreed. In retrospect he should have known something was up when his father informed him that Madoka had begged to be included in the case. Three days later Naru, Lin, and Madoka stepped off the plane and onto Japanese ground.
The case itself had been easy enough to solve and after a few days of settling in, a week of investigating, and a week and a half of Madoka traipsing around the country with Lin on her heels, it was finally there last night in Japan. Naru hadn't left his hotel room since they returned from the case.
Running a hand through his inky black hair, the twenty-one year old thought about the last few years. He was taller, by three or four inches, his jaw seemed stronger, and he had filled out a bit—his brother had always been jealous of Naru's ability to form muscle without ever working out. Other than that, not much had changed. This led him to wonder about the people he left behind. Would his co-workers from SPR be any different? Would Mai?
He felt his heart clench at the thought of his ex-assistant. She would be twenty now. As he often had over the last three years, he found himself thinking of her confession. When she told him she loved him, he felt his heart speed up, his hands shook and he ached—for what he didn't know. He had told her that she loved his brother. Even now, the blue-eyed narcissist couldn't erase the pain in her eyes when he said those words. At the time he had taken it as an admission, or guilt that she'd been figured out. Now, he couldn't be sure.
Naru had decided that he wasn't going to contact any of SPR on his trip. There was no point to reminiscing, and he had a feeling that they weren't all that happy with him—the Monk especially.
A knock drew him out of his thoughts. Narrowing his eyes slightly, Naru left his place on the couch to answer it. Imagine his surprise when the door swung open to reveal a grinning Monk. That was definitely not what he expected. "Takigawa?"
"Naru, how've you been? Long time no see." The monk easily slid past Naru into the room as he spoke.
Naru glared as he shut the door, "Is there any particular reason for this intrusion?"
"Well I see you haven't changed a bit," Monk said. "I got a call from Madoka a few days ago saying you guys were in town."
Naru rolled his eyes. He should have known she would have something to do with it. His body tensed with realization, if Takigawa knew, then…
As if sensing the other man's train of thought, Bou-san cut it, "No, Mai doesn't know you're here." Instantly relaxing, Naru let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. The Monk kept talking as if he hadn't noticed, "The fact that she doesn't know is a miracle to be honest."
Naru raised an eyebrow, "And why is that exactly?"
"Well my cell phone finally bit the dust a few weeks ago, so Madoka called the house phone to get in touch with me," Bou-san explained.
"What does that have to do with Mai?" Monk could hear the anger in the younger man's voice. Though it caught him off guard at first, he knew what brought it on. Naru was jealous.
"Oh yeah, I keep forgetting you don't know these things because you left," the monk jibbed.
"I am quite aware of that thank you, now explain."
Takigawa took a seat on the couch and propped his elbows on his knees, "Well, about six months after you left, Mai was having some…difficulties…"
"What kind of difficulties?" Naru couldn't help but prod the monk into finishing. He had a bad feeling that he wasn't going to like the answer.
"She looked for a good job for a few weeks but no one—and I mean no one—was hiring. Finally she got a job at that seedy diner downtown and worked the morning shift there. I still can't believe the uniforms that manager made them wear were legal." Bou-san watched the other man stiffen at this. "When she wasn't making enough money from that job she got a second job at the supermarket by her apartment and worked the night shift there."
"She worked two jobs?" Naru interrupted the story. He knew he paid Mai more than one normally would a part time worker, but he hadn't known how much she actually depended on the extra money. "Why didn't any of you do something about her situation?"
"Naru, none of us knew. She didn't tell us."
The blue-eyed narcissist let out a dark chuckle; that sounded like Mai. "How did you find out then? If I know Mai, stubborn as she is, she would have taken her problem to the grave."
"Don't joke about that." The seriousness in the normally jovial monk's voice immediately caught Naru's attention. "I found out when her supervisor at the supermarket called me in the middle of the night to tell me that Mai had passed out and was in the hospital."
Naru felt the blood leave his face. Slowly, he lowered himself down onto the couch beside Bou-san. "What happened?"
"The doctor said she had exhausted herself, she was hungry and dehydrated as well. After that, I made her quit her jobs and move in with me. She's been living with me ever since."
There really wasn't anything he could say to that. Naru realized the necessity for the living situation, but that didn't mean he had to like it. For some reason, his chest tightened and he felt angry at the thought of Mai living with another man, even if he was almost positive that Mai's relationship with the monk was purely platonic. The worst part, he thought, was that he had forced her into that situation. He had left without any warning, no time for her to find a replacement job, nothing. She had been thrust back into the world without SPR with bills to pay and no source of income.
"So that answers that question, but I still don't understand why you're here," Naru pointed out.
"Ah, that." Bou-san was back to grinning like a maniac, "I have come to extend an invitation. Should you refuse I am prepared to use force."
Naru did nothing more than raise an eyebrow.
"Mai has, apparently, been holding out on all of us. We accidentally found out some time ago that our little girl is actually a very talented singer. I immediately got her job singing at the nightclub my band plays at occasionally. The manager fell in love with her instantly; she's a huge hit!" It wasn't hard to see how proud the monk was. His eyes were practically gleaming.
"Again, I don't understand what this has to do with me."
Sighing exasperatedly Bou-san continued, "She has a show tonight. She's only doing one song, and I think you should come."
Naru had no idea what to expect, but this definitely wasn't it, "And why would I want to do that?"
"I'm going to tell you what she won't, so listen up." The reaction was slight—most wouldn't notice it—but Bou-san didn't miss it. He saw the narcissist lean ever so slightly closer, and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly. "She has a file on her computer with songs she's written for you. I read most all of them and I finally got her to agree to sing one of them tonight. I think it's something you need to hear. She doesn't know you're coming…if she did, to be honest she would probably refuse to sing. This is something she needs to do, and I think you'll regret not going."
This was probably the first time Oliver Davis, Naru the Narcissist, had been absolutely floored by his assistant. She had written songs for him? Part of him screamed that he should forget everything the Monk had told him, go back to England like he was supposed to, and move on from that chapter of his life, however, there was something, some feeling, he wasn't quite sure he understood, but it's intentions were clear. That other feeling wanted him to go see Mai. She wouldn't know he was there, he could go, get a look inside her head without any consequences.
And if he were really honest with himself, he really wanted to see her.
Realizing the young man wasn't going to give him an answer, the monk quickly wrote down the information for the show and placed it on the coffee table, "Show starts at eight, Mai is on at ten."
Naru vaguely heard the door close as the monk let himself out, mind still in turmoil. He was left wondering how Mai was the only one who could do this to him.
Mai's Point of View
By the time 9:45 came around, Mai was a wreck. Sure she looked gorgeous—hot even, with her blank ankle boots, flowy black skirt that came halfway down her thighs, deep blue silk, low cut, skin tight strapless shirt, hair loose around her shoulders, smoky make-up, and a few select jewelry pieces—but anyone who knew her could see it in her eyes. She was trying not to hyperventilate.
"Ayako are you sure about this," Mai asked, pacing and trying to get her breathing under control.
"Of course I am. You look amazing, the 'choreography' we've planned is perfect, and you've just got to let yourself go, get into the song and hang fun with it." Ayako was smiling reassuringly, but Mai knew why she used finger quotes around Choreography. When they had discussed it earlier, knowing there would be no time to come up with an actual dance for the song, the shrine maiden had told her to simply 'flaunt what you've got.' Mai wasn't so sure.
"Even if I could just let go, you know Bou-san is going to kill be when he sees this outfit and any 'flaunting' I might do." Mai was terrified just thinking about it. The monk had become rather protective of her, the few times she brought dates home they were promptly scared off. Not that she was really all that willing to do anything with the boys she brought home anyway…actually she had come to rely on the monks aggressive behavior when it came to her well-being.
Ayako snorted, "That's an understatement. But by the time he gets wind of it, it will be too late. Besides this night is supposed to be about you." The miko grabbed the younger girl by the shoulders and steered her to stand in front of the floor length mirror in the dressing room. Mai looked at her reflection and was completely stunned—she looked amazing. Ayako really could work miracles.
Feeling a new surge of confidence, the young girl turned to her friend, "I can do this!"
Ayako cupped Mai's cheek with her hand, "I know you can sweetie. Get out there and knock 'em dead."
Naru's Point of View
Standing in the back of the Aura Nightclub, half hidden in shadow, Naru couldn't believe he was actually there. He hadn't been able to get the thought out of his mind. Mai had written him songs. He didn't even know what she looked like anymore. That thought caused a painful tightening in his chest. When he thought about seeing her, the tightness began to loosen, only to be taken over by an overwhelming fluttering of his heart. He didn't know what it was, but it was decidedly more comfortable than the other feeling. That was how he had ended up grabbing his keys and the paper the monk had left on the table, leaving his hotel room before he changed his mind.
He was surprised, as he scanned the crowd, to see both Lin and Madoka among the audience members. Feeling his stare they immediately spotted him and made their way over to him, one grinning like lunatic, the other trying to hide a small smirk.
They had barely made it over to Naru before the lights dimmed for the next act and the DJ announced over his mic, "Ladies and gentleman, I'm here to introduce our next vocalist—sort of a crowd favorite around here." At this point loud cheers could be heard from all over the audience. They must have already known who the next performer was because Naru was sure he heard several wolf whistles and cheers of Mai's name—though at one point he was sure one of them was Yasuhara's voice. None of this sat well with the narcissist. "Singing her original song The Point of No Return, give it up for MAI TANIYAMA!"
The cheers grew exponentially as the music started playing. A voice could be heard first, sweet and clear. The stage was dark but then a spot light came up at the back of the club, illuminating a door only feet from where Naru stood watching in the darkness.
There she was.
Looking at her now, he couldn't believe he had missed out on so much. His eyes greedily took in every detail for as long as he could. Her womanly figure, her thick, wavy locks, her familiar cinnamon eyes. She entranced him. How could she be so incredibly different from the gangly teenager who stood in his office and confessed her love to him?
When she sang, he forced his mind to focus on the words, feelings the power, the emotion she put into them. He couldn't believe it.
Worship and take it and hold on and keep it forever
She had begun to make her way down the aisle in-between massive crowds of people. She was practically floating, looking like she was on cloud nine; twirling and half skipping through the song. Naru took a moment to realize that most of these people were men…men who had a look in their eyes that made the blue-eyed man want to strangle each and every one of them for looking at his Mai.
My heart is a temple you better be down on your knees
Naru felt his hands clench when he saw her gently grab the tie of a man in the audience and bring his face close to hers. She winked at him as she sang and let him go—the young man was obviously dazed. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Naru knew Lin was reminding him to keep his temper in check. That was proving rather difficult however.
It's precious and sacred, don't break it, just keep it together
I'm trusting my instincts I'm giving it to you with ease
The hand on Naru's shoulder clenched tighter when Mai ran her hand over the chest of another man in the audience. When she pulled away the guy kept leaning as if completely taken in by her. It wasn't all that hard to believe. She had grown into herself. She was…stunning.
She had made her way up to the stage by now, helped up the stairs by yet another male audience member. It had taken Naru up to this point to figure out what the rage he was feeling inside of him was. It was jealousy.
Mai took her spot center stage and looked out over the audience. It was at this point that her eyes lost their playful gleam and instead gleamed bright with emotion. After working with the girl for so long, Naru had learned her expressions well. Even after all the time that had passed, and even though she was so different, he could clearly see the pain in her eyes, but looking deeper there was also, longing, and hope, and love.
Please don't make me want you
Although it's much too late
It's just a thing we can't escape
Please don't make me need you
Let the feeling burn
You know we've reached the point of no return
She wrote this form him? He still couldn't quite believe it. He had been so sure that she loved Gene. Why would she want him, the egotistical, narcissistic, emotionless, jerk, when there was his caring, sensitive, and warm twin. Could it really have been him?
I'm flying, I'm drifting, there's nothing more real than this feeling
Love holds all colors and bends like the shape of my heart
I'm shaking, I'm tripping, I'm scared what I might be revealing
I'm fighting to focus and not tear this feeling apart
Naru thought back to that day in the office. He thought about her eyes as she said those words. He thought about her eyes as he told her she loved his dead brother. He though about the way she had simply shut down, the way she looked lost, like she couldn't breathe. What he had thought was guilt, he could now see as he forced himself to remember the look on her face, was really the sight of her being torn apart. He could now clearly see how he had hurt her. He hated himself.
Please don't make me want you
Although it's much too late
It's just a thing we can't escape
Please don't make me need you
Let the feeling burn
You know we've reached the point of no return
Looking at her now as she stood on that stage, he could still see the same pain, the same tear. He knew she, too, was remembering. He wanted nothing more than to see her come sliding into the office twenty minutes late, smiling, tripping over furniture on her way to make his tea.
He could tell the song was almost at a close. Naru took the time to really study her, his eyes traced every inch of her, from her heeled boots to her large cinnamon eyes. Then those eyes met his. Even from across the club he could feel her surprise, then her longing as if it were a physical thing. His heart clenched and he couldn't look away, even as her eyes teared up and one broke free, sliding gracefully down her cheek.
Please don't make me want you
Although it's much too late
You know we've reached the point of no return
As the last note died away and crowd's cheering became deafening, he could still feel her staring at him. He knew those words were for him.
Mai's Point of View
Catching her breath backstage, Mai tried to convince herself that she was seeing things. Naru couldn't possibly be there. But even as she though this, she knew she had seen correctly. There was only one man that could make her heart feel like it was on fire with passion, anger, love, and hate all at the same time. And she had never seen eyes as blue as his, not even Gene's. Once she had finally been told the truth, Mai had come to notice differences in the twins; one being that Gene's eyes had a pale ring of grey right around the pupil. Naru's eyes were the deepest blue all the way through.
The young girl took a deep breath and made her way into the club. She didn't know what to do about Naru, but she knew she had to face Takigawa at some point, so she set out to find him. The club was crowded, and making her way to find her brother like figure was proving more difficult that she would have wished. Brushing off several over eager men, she finally found Bou-san, red in the face and reaming Ayako out for what sounded like Mai's outfit. She didn't know why he yelled at the miko for that…though she had been the one to buy it and insist that it was 'the one.' Ok, so maybe it was Ayako's fault.
Just as she reached the group of her friends, she saw him. Standing a mere twenty feet from her was the love of her life. His blue eyes bore into hers, and she found herself unable to move, unable to speak. She noticed the differences in him right away, they were subtle, but she had spent so much time studying her former boss, that she found it impossible to not notice. As always, she realized, his expression was unreadable.
"Mai!" Said girl found herself being jolted into awareness by a hug that was nearly suffocating the life out of her.
Only one woman she knew could hug like that, "Madoka?"
"Oh honey you were fantastic!" The woman cupped Mai's face and studied the girl. Apparently finding everything to her liking, she stepped back and took her place next to Lin.
Mai smiled at the Chinese onmyoji, "Hey Lin."
The man smiled back at her, and surprisingly, pulled the girl into a gentle hug. "How are you Mai?"
"I'm alright I guess," She answered. Her smile faltered a bit as Naru made his way over.
"Mai," he said.
As hard as she tried, she couldn't suppress old feelings as they rose up inside her, "N-Naru."
There exchange was cut short when Mai felt someone grab her elbow. She swung around to come face to face with Shinji, a guy, a few years older than herself, who frequented the club. He had asked her out after every show. She was never quite sure why she declined every time, he was good looking, charming, successful if his car and clothing were anything to go by, but she still rejected him.
"Mai, you were fantastic tonight," he said, not letting go of her elbow.
"Thank you Shinji."
He smiled, "I think you know what I'm going to ask you already, so why don't you save me the trouble and say yes this time?"
Mai could practically feel Naru come to stand beside her as she blushed, "I'm sorry but my answer is the same as always."
"Oh come on Mai," Shinji argued, "I know you think I'm attractive, I definitely think you're attractive, so why not give me a chance?"
Mai opened her mouth to respond, but was beat to the chase. "I believe she told you no," she heard Naru answer from beside her. Her former boss reached out and gently took her arm back from Shinji. She didn't bother to inform him that he too refused to let go.
"And who are you," Shinji demanded.
Naru stepped closer to Mai, who could feel the heat radiating off of his body. That familiar scent she immediately associated with Naru wafted by her and she nearly fainted right then and there. It had been too long. She ached, longing for him, everything about him. She felt him tense as he answered, "That is none of your concern."
As Shinji opened his mouth to reply, not looking pleased at all, Naru cut him off, "Mai, I would like a work…please." The last part was almost inaudible and completely floored Mai. She was sure that her mouth had to be hanging open. Not able to form a complete sentence, Mai simply nodded her head, oblivious to everything around her.
Naru lead her gently by the arm he still held, to a small dimly lit corner where the crowd seemed to be the thinnest. When they finally came to a stop, he finally let her arm go, though didn't make a move to step away.
Finally the curiosity became too much for Mai, "Naru?" Her came out a mere whimper. She reached out to touch his arm, but hesitated, torn between not believing he was really there and fearing rejection like the last time she was able to touch him like this.
She nearly melted when Naru reached out and grasped her hand, bringing it the rest of the way to his body, laying it gently over his chest. His eyes were no longer hooded, she couldn't quite understand the expression, but the confusion and the need was strong enough to leave her dazed. "Why are you…?" She wasn't entirely sure what she was trying to ask, but he seemed to understand.
"Mai," He paused, reaching out to touch her face, "you're so different."
Not able to help herself, she leaned into his touch, "Of course I'm different, it's been three years Naru."
"I know. I just can't believe I missed so much." Now there was pain shining in his eyes as well. "Mai, three years ago you said something to me." Naru felt her tense and start to pull away but he stepped into her and brought her closer to him, "I was the idiot scientist my brother always claimed me to be. I was so sure that you couldn't possibly know what you were saying, that you were using me as a substitute for him."
"—I know better now Mai." He lowered his head so his forehead was resting softly on hers as she looked up into his eyes. "For the longest time I was so frustrated, not understanding why my chest felt tight and painful every time I thought about you, or why remembering your smile, or the smell of your hair would make me feel dizzy. I didn't understand why seeing you tonight made me ache in a way I didn't think possible. I didn't understand why that boy asking you out make me want to kill him." He spat this last part, almost making Mai flinch. She didn't though, getting an idea of where he was going with it, "I understand now."
He leaned down and pressed his lips gently to hers. Mai had imagined thousands of times what his lips would feel like, what they would taste like. She had been wrong every time. His lips were softer than she could have imagined as they moved over hers, he tasted like tea—not that that was a surprise—but at the same time had a taste that was purely Naru.
After a moment or two, he pulled gently away from her, but kept his hands cupped around her face, softly stroking her cheek. "I love you Mai." He confessed, his blue eyes boring deep into hers. "Do you still love me?"
Mai was in shock. He had finally said the words, the four words she had been dreaming about for years. She felt something inside of her break and she stepped into him, wrapping her arms firmly around his waist and spoke through her tears, "Of course I still love you, you stupid narcissist."
She felt his arms wrap around her tightly, and for the first time in years, she felt at home, she felt safe. Leaning away from him, she slid an arm around his neck and brought his lips down to meet hers in another kiss, but this kiss wasn't about confessions. This kiss was not gentle or sweet. This kiss was filled with everything she head held inside of her for four years. Wrapping both arms around his neck, she felt his arms encircle her and pull her closer, as if to mold her body to his.
A wolf-whistle broke through to them and they pulled apart to see all of SPR standing a few yards away, all wearing identical grins. Yasuhara winked at the couple. Ayako flipped her hair and gave them an, 'I knew this was going to happen' glance. Masako smiled and nodded to Mai, she knew that they were meant to be, and it didn't bother her so much anymore. John smiled, but with a light blush dusting his cheeks. Monk was alternating between grinning and giving Naru his big brother stare of death. Madoka was jumping up and down clutching onto Lin's arm and squealing like a girl half her age. Lin was chuckling and shaking his head slightly.
Mai blushed and leaned into Naru who had kept his hands wrapped firmly around her body as if to protect her. She knew she could never be without him again. He was engrained so firmly into her that she hadn't felt this whole since he left. She had wanted him for so long and she finally felt complete now that he was next to her.
Mai was moving even before she knew what she was doing. She leaned up, pulling Naru down to her height and whispered in his ear, "Do you want to leave?" She pulled back and looked into his eyes, trying to convey her want. Apparently he got it because he nodded and they both quickly bid goodnight to their friends and made their way out of the club, hand in hand.
Mixed Point of View (Naru and Mai) – This is the M part
When they reached the street, Mai began pulling Naru in the direction she knew all too well. Seeing the raised eyebrow of the man beside her she shot him a confused look. "I thought you lived with Bou-san," he offered.
"Oh," she giggled, "after much begging, I finally got him to agree to let me move out a few months ago. I swear he cried more than I did."
Mai was practically skipping down the street, something she hadn't done in many years. She was thankful that she lived so close to the club, she could feel her hand tingle from where his skin touched hers and she knew she wanted more.
Soon enough they were outside her apartment building and impatiently waiting for the elevator. Once outside her door, Mai impatiently fumbled for the key she had kept hidden in her bra, earning another raised eyebrow from her favorite narcissist, to which she merely winked and shrugged her shoulders. Fiddling with the lock to get it just right it finally opened and they entered her sparsely decorated yet comfortable apartment.
Once the door was closed, Naru turned to look at her. Running a hand gently down her arm, sending shivers through her whole body, he whispered in the dark, "Mai, are you sure?" She knew that if she said no, he wouldn't push her, despite the burning need she saw in his normally emotionless eyes.
The brunette stood on her tiptoes and brought her face close to his. "I love you Oliver Davis." She took a moment to relish in the desire she could see building in him, the tremor that ran through his body as she spoke his given name, "I have loved you and wanted you for four years. Please don't make me wait any more."
Naru felt every wall crumble down. He wanted her just as much as she wanted him and he couldn't hold back any longer either. Bringing a hand up to tangle in the hair at the base of her neck, he brought his lips down to hers, wanting to taste everything that was his Mai. Trailing his tongue along her lower lip, he felt her gasp as he delved into her mouth.
Wrapping his other arm firmly around her waist, he felt her legs weaken, as he supported most of her weight. He pressed her back against the door and used it as leverage to hoist her up, wrapping her legs around his waist, pressing them closer.
Mai tipped her head back and groaned as she felt Naru's lips trail agonizingly slow over her neck, barely touching the skin but leaving a trail of heat behind. Panting, he whispered against her skin, "bedroom?"
"First door on the right," She choked out. Naru's lips descended on hers once more as he made his way to her modestly sized bedroom.
Kicking the door closed behind him he slipped her shoes off as well as his own, his lips never leaving hers. How he had deprived himself of this for so long he didn't know. He wanted her, all of her.
Her legs slipped from around his waist and she slid over his body, leaving him gasping for breath, until her feet hit the floor. Mai reached out and began unbuttoning the black button down of the man in front of her, running her hand down over the exposed flesh of his abdomen. She never understood how someone who sat in an office all day could be as built as Naru, but she could clearly feel the hard, flat planes of his abs and felt a shiver of delight course through her body.
She gasped as she felt a hand graze softly over the top of her breast. Only then did she notice her shirt discarded on the floor next to Naru's. The hunger in his eyes set a fire low in her abdomen. Grasping for his belt, she fumbled to get it undone as she felt his lips trail over her neck, then down to her shoulders, sucking and biting occasionally.
Finally free of his pants and relieving Mai of her skirt, Naru scooped Mai up gently lay her on the bed, feeling her pull him down to rest on top of her. For a moment they lay with their bodies pressing against one another, both trembling and suppressing a moan at the feel of the others skin on theirs. He didn't know how anyone's skin could be so soft.
Naru trailed a hand lightly, tracing the top of Mai's lacey black bra, reaching around to undo the clasp, delighting in every whimper she let loose. Throwing her bra to join the other clothes piling on the floor, he couldn't help but think that she was absolute perfection. Groaning in suppressed need, he lightly flicked his tongue over the hardened peak of one breast and heard her moan. Taking the tip into his mouth, he could feel her body shaking beneath his.
Mai could feel his erection against her leg and couldn't help but shift so his desire met hers. She grinned devilishly when he moaned loudly and paused in his ministrations. Gently, she pulled his head up to hers. Looking into his eyes, glazed over with passion she reached down and pulled him out of his boxers, helping him out of them until they too landed on the floor.
Naru could feel every inch of his body tingle with the need to bury himself inside of the small body beneath his. He leaned down and slid her silk boy shorts down her legs and thus discarded the last piece of clothing between them.
Trailing a hand teasingly down her body he parted her legs gently and lay between them, bringing his hand to feel her wetness. Naru smirked as she mewled and gripped the bed sheets in one hand and raked her nails over his bicep with the other. Gently stroking her, he could feel her wetness increase, and slowly slid a finger inside of her.
Mai was so tight; he could tell she was a virgin. He couldn't help but take a moment to be happy that no other man had been with Mai; that she had waited for him. He felt her flinch slightly at the pain, but as he stroked her he felt her slowly relax. He could tell she was getting restless when she began rocking on his finger, moaning his name, "Naru, please."
He could swear he nearly came right then, hearing her plead with him while riding his hand. He took in the sight of her flushed face, head thrown back, eyes closed and mouth open. He leaned down and pressed his lips to hers, trying to show her exactly how much he wanted her. He slid a second finger into her, this time she barely slowed down.
"Naru please…need…you." She panted, breath grazing his damp neck.
He maneuvered his member so that he could feel her wetness on his tip, they both moaned at the contact. Naru whispered against her lips, "This will hurt Mai."
"Please Naru." Her eyes, her lips, her body, all begged him. He couldn't help himself as he plunged deep inside of her.
The heat and the tightness very nearly overwhelmed him. Naru had to physically stop himself from immediately pumping into Mai, knowing that it would hurt her. He had felt her body tense up in pain as he entered her. He stilled once inside her and began caressing her face softly, brushing away tears that leaked from pain-filled eyes. He hated seeing that look on her face, but he knew they both wanted this, and he knew it would get better. He whispered to her that he loved her and that she was beautiful, sexy, and of how much he wanted her.
Feeling her begin to adjust to him, he glided his hand along the side of her breast, down along her side, and between their bodies. Naru used his fingertip to brush against her and heard her breath quicken. Soon she was digging her nails into his shoulders, once again pleading with him. Not wanting to wait any longer, he felt her move around him.
Naru groaned, burying his face into her neck. The sensation was almost too much, his body immediately responding to her and matching her rhythm. The feel of her as they moved together, he knew why no one else ever made him react like she did, it was obvious, she was made for him.
Mai had never felt something so real. She felt so full with Naru inside of her. There had been pain, of course, but feeling him slide in and out of her, as he gasped and moaned, had nearly undone her. She soon felt a heat pooling low in her abdomen. Pleasure so intense, like nothing she had ever felt before grew inside her and she briefly wondered if it were possible to die from pleasure. At the moment she was sure it was possible.
Naru felt her walls shudder and tighten around him as he heard Mai cry out. Her head was thrown back, eyelids fluttered slightly and her mouth remained open in a silent scream as she climaxed. The feel of her tighten around him and the sight of her as she came threw him over the edge and he couldn't hold it in anymore. Naru came inside of her, riding out their orgasms before gently laying himself on top of her.
She smiled as she immediately wrapped her arms around him as if to pull him closer. Once Naru could breathe normally again he pulled out of her and rolled to the side, though never fully detaching his body from hers. He firmly pulled her flush against him and ran a hand down her back.
"Naru?" Mai's sleepy voice reached his ears.
"Yes Mai?" He placed his lips to her forehead, kissing her gently.
"Please don't leave again." Naru felt her tighten her grip on him.
"Don't worry Mai, it took me four years to finally get you, I'll never let you go."
Content that the other was there, that they were finally together, they drifted off to sleep, arms around each other, neither willing to let go.
A/N: Ok so that's the end! 9 hours and one sore back later =) So please please please review and let me know what you think! Thank you for reading!