(Originally meant to be a oneshot but my fingers wouldn't stop typing… XD)


Do not own POT!


*The Spirit Garden*

Summary:

When Fuji found this amazing job for the summer that paid way above the average, he jumped right in. He should have known it wasn't going to be that easy. I mean, being a live in gardener for $6000 a week… There's got to be a catch, right?


Chapter 1: The New Gardener

Fuji, for the umpteenth time, reread the address in the piece of paper he was holding to make sure he was standing outside the right house. It was an understatement really. He was not standing outside a house nor a mansion. IT WAS A CASTLE! If he had to compare his house. It would be like a little dinghy and the castle like the titanic's grandma. It was ridiculous. It's like one of those dark eerie, scary movie type castles were people walk in and are never seen again! Or were Dracula lived or something… Still, the wage was just too tempting and Fuji wasn't afraid of ghosts. He was fascinated by them, thanks to his sister. If there really were some hunting going on in this place. Fuji will just consider it as a bonus.

A week before class ended, Fuji had been on a mad job hunt. He should have started looking a month ago but honestly, he wasn't that dedicated. After hours of searching online, in news papers and picking up flyers on the way home from school of wherever, Fuji finally gave up and asked a friend for help. Atobe Keigo, the only son of a wealthy family. They met playing tennis in a street tennis court. Luckily, Atobe had just happened to know a job that would fit one of Fuji's hobby. Gardening. Fuji knew that the people he'd be working for are in the same crust as Atobe's family so he had expected a mansion of glamour, style and brilliance not HORROR ViLL. Not only that, he had to travel 4 hours to get here because the house/castle was in the country side. No neighbors for miles and miles away. The place screamed ISOLATION and Fuji's mind screamed FASCINATING. 'No wonder they had to pay $6000 a week. No one in their right mind would stay and work here unless their desperate… Or they're me'

Feeling anticipation in the pits of his stomach, Fuji entered through the giant, rust covered, unlock gates. The moment he stepped inside, the temperature seemed to have dropped 10 degrees. The castle was still a few meters away. It was still 10am but the sky was dark, a promise of a rainy night to come. 15 minutes later, Fuji had finally reached the entrance door to the castle. The giant double door looked even more ominous up close . Fuji looked around for a door bell or something but found none. Just when he was about to turn and walk behind the castle, hopping to find the back door open or something, he heard a loud thud on the other side of the door. Soon after, the double doors swung open as if it didn't weigh more than a feather. What greeted him was a girl, about 12, wearing a maid uniform and holding a duster. She had long brown, twin braided hair and big brown eyes. She stared at Fuji in curiosity but did not say anything. After a moment of silence, Fuji thought he should make the initiative. He put on a smile and raised his right hand to wave hello but before a sound could come out of his mouth, the girl turned around and disappeared inside.

"…" Fuji sighed and decided it would be best that he waits inside for whoever was suppose to be in charge of him. He thought of closing the double door but one attempt made it clear that it wouldn't budge so he gave up. Fuji occupied himself by observing his surroundings. The place screamed gothic. It was like those European vampire castles he and his little brother Yuuta would watch every weekends when they were younger. Complete with wall to ceiling windows covered with blood red colored drapes. Creepy antique looking statues and armors. Long double staircase that lead to another giant double door. A giant black and white chandelier that hung in the middle of the room. Even the paintings were creepy-

"May I help you?" A voice from behind him said. Fuji turned and almost did a double take. In front of him was a real live butler complete with white cloves, back suite, a golden chain hanging from his left breast pocket that Fuji guessed connected to a golden round watch. His hair was black with a purple gloss and combed back neatly. To Fuji's amusement, the butler even had the "One eyed glasses" thing with a chain attached to it. His eyes were jet black and, 'Oh, he's waiting for a reply' Fuji realized and once more put on a smiling face.

"Ah, yes. My name is Syuusuke Fuji. I came for the gardening job? I was recommended by the Atobes" Fuji took a folded envelope from his back pants pocket and gave it to the butler. Once he was done reading he looked back at Fuji.

"Ah, yes. Mister Keigo Atobe did call a few days ago" The butler said and bowed slightly at Fuji.

"My name is Stephen Howard, master Echizen's butler. I am in charge of looking after the welfare of the house and household but my first and for most priority is the master" Fuji nodded in response as he followed the butler into a long hallway. "you will be working in the greenhouse. It is located at the very end of the left wing of the castle. This way" The butler opened the pastel green double door and they were inside the garden. Fuji was awed by the exotic flowers he saw. Some of them was his first as seeing. "We have a library with a complete information of all the flowers we have here. The library room is the 4rth room we passed by. I will give you the list of the flowers later. Now, let me show you to your room" After he had a good look at his room, which he was very content since it had a flat screen tv, no less. The latest computer, a big comfy bed, a reading table, a window (though there's nothing much to see outside) and a shelf full of books. 'At least I wont feel totally isolated from the rest of the world' He thought to himself in relief, making a mental note to e-mail Keigo later. Fuji was then lead to the kitchen. It was big and spacious and had a couple of people working in it. He was introduced to the chef, Allan Maxwell. He was a rough looking, 37 years old, ex-marine Yankee who has a passion for cooking. His blond hair was tied into a pony tail and had green eyes. Allan is also a live in worker. He's been working for the Echizens for 7 years now. He was a cheerful, fun loving guy and Fuji could tell they were gong to get along well. Next to be introduced were 2 maids. Their names were Sakuno Ryuzaki (The one he met earlier), An extremely shy, 12 years old and Ann Tachibana, a mature, 14 years old. Ann worked as a maid every summer for 3 years now. Sakuno had just started 2 weeks ago. They lived in the near by village so they go home at 5pm. The last was a beautiful woman named Aoi Hanamura, master Echizen's private home tutor for 5 years. Although she refused to tell her age, Fuji liked her haughtiness because it reminded him of someone. She too was a live in. The butler, Stephen, told Fuji that he can start working tomorrow and that he should use today to be familiar with the flowers in the green room.

"The master adores the green room. I trust you will keep it clean and beautiful for whenever the master might decide to visit"

"Mr. Stephen, when do I meet my employer?" The butler paused, as did everyone else in the room. The butlers face became serious.

"The master does not concern himself with the help. That is my job. I must advice you to not go anywhere in the castle that I have not shown you. Your pay will be given to at the end of every week. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me or the other worker. Anything else?"

"No sir"

"Then, if you will excuse me" And the butler left the kitchen. Fuji turned to the others and smiled

"I think I ticked him off" he said in a joke. The two maids released a sigh of relief and the chief this his head back and gave a hearty laugh.

"Don't worry, he's always like that concerning the young master" Said Aoi as she came around the kitchen tale and took a good look at Fuji.

"My my, you are a pretty one aren't you?" She said with a playful smile.

"Oi, old woman! He's still a minor you know!" Said the chief with a big smile.

"Hmph!" Was all Aoi said as she as she wrapped an arm around Fuji's shoulders, steering him away from the chef. "Don't hang around that creature, Fuji or you'll catch his ugliness" She said haughtily "Beautiful people like us should stick together!"

"So should us cuties! Right Sakuno?" Said Ann, giving the blushing girl a tight hug.

"Heeey, what about me? Don't I get a hug?" Said the chef trying to pull off a pouting face.

"You can have Stephan" Aoi said. The expression on chef Allan's Fuji and the 3 girls burst out laughing.

'Ah, yes. Its going to be a fun summer job. I'm glad I came' Fuji concluded and allowed the chief to serve him brunch worthy to be served in a five star restaurant.

Fuji spent the morning chatting with chef Allan since he's the only one not running around the house to work like the two maids are doing and Aoi was no where in sight.

"The kitchen is MY territory", Allan said proudly. "You're welcome to come in anytime"

After lunch, Fuji did a little exploring inside the castle while making sure not to be spotted by the butler. He got lost a couple of times. Every room he entered were void of life yet spotless. Always picture perfect. A few guest rooms, entertainment rooms, Bathrooms (If you can still call it that), rooms filled with paintings and sculptures, one room full of different kinds of antique looking instruments in displays. He even found one room with filled with sword collections from different continents. Fuji was in a state of incredulity. He had no idea such a place existed just a few hours from where he lived! He could only assume the contents inside very room he had seen might be worth a minimum of $10 million but that's just his own estimation, he was no expert in fine arts and antiques. After 2 and a half hours of playing around, Fuji had finally found the library. He spent another 1 hour looking for certain books about gardening and rare flowers and plants. He has a little garden himself at home but other than his beloved cacti's, the rest of his garden were common plants.

Every now and then, Fuji would feel sudden chills on the back of his neck and hear strange noises from one end of the aisle. When he goes to investigate it, the strange noises would then start happening at the other part of the room. Fuji deduced that its probably because of the creepy atmosphere that's making him imagine things. As much as Fuji loves all those supernatural stuff, he was a practical man. He'd buy facts over fiction any day.

During dinner, Fuji, Allan and Aoi ate together. Aoi has been with the young master the whole day. Fuji took the opportunity to know more about the owner of the house.

"The young master is 13 years old. He was born physically weak and spend most of his day in bed or on a wheel chair" said Aoi while slicing her food in bite size. "Both parents dead, no living relatives. He's been the master of the house since he was 3. Stephen raise him since birth, that's probably why he feels overprotective of the boy" She took a bite of food and as if on cue, Allan continued the story.

"Aoi and I were scouted for the job by Stephen. Lets just say, our past did not make us welcome to the average working life of the many. Getting hired by Stephen was the best thing that could ever happen to us old folks! We both made a fresh start in this country. The people in the village love us, we have boat loads f money. What more can we want?" Allan took a chomp of his steak and Aoi continued talking.

"The only condition we have was silence. We must not poke our noses on things that Stephen doesn't tell us about or blabber of the things happening in the castle"

"Happenings?" Fuji asked, curious. Aoi seamed to have realized she had said too much and turned to Allan in panic. Sensing this, Fuji thought to ease her worry.

"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to" Fuji said in an understanding tone. Allan scratched the back of his head

"Weeeell… I suppose its okay to tell you, I mean. You'll be working here for a moth or two? I think its important you know these things" Fuji waited patiently and Allan took a deep breath.

"You see kid… This castle is haunted"

"Really?" Fuji breathed, feeling a bit scared and excited at the same time.

"Yeah, Aoi and I have seen some bizarre things in this place. Not that anything dangerous or life threatening had ever happened to us but its still freaking weird!"

"Like… What exactly?" Allan shook his head.

"Naaaw, That'll take all the fun in freaking you out! After all, Its not fair for us, old timers-" He pointed ah Aoi and himself "We had no idea what's in this house when we first came here and we had to learn it the hard way!"

"All I'll tell you, Fuji." Cut in Aoi "The green room is the most haunted place in the castle and that every night, an apparition of a little boy always appear in there. That happens EVERY night. I'm just telling you coz you work there and all"

It was 1:30am and Fuji was wide awake. He had sent an email to Atobe and chatted online with his friends for a few hours. Fuji was hopping to get a lot of sleep tonight but it seems that's just not going to happen. Giving up the thought of a good sleep. Fuji got out of bed and left his room. The hallways was eerie quiet and the glow of the hallway lights made it worst. It didn't bother him though. Fuji though he should go to the garden. 'If I'm lucky, I might see this apparition Aoi was talking about' Reaching the green double doors, Fuji pushed open the left side a little and walked in. The moon was full tonight and it was giving and almost enchanting light against the flowers. Fuji walked further to examine the rare plants. Just when he was about to turn and leave, something caught his eyes. Unsure what it was, Fuji stepped closer, being careful not to make a sound. There was… Something moving next to the blue roses, it was… Fuji took one more step and went still. There, right in front of him, was a boy with his back facing Fuji. He had black hair with a greenish gloss and wearing a white nightgown. The boy was hunched down and was pulling on the flowers. Fuji's eyes opened in surprised. 'Could it be-?' Fuji lifted a hand to rub his eyes, making sure he wasn't seeing things. He looked up again and.

"He's gone" Fuji breathed, walking towards where he was the boy hunched over. On the floor beside the boy was a small pile of withered blue roses and weeds. 'He was weeding?' Fuji thought. The garden was beautiful but it was not properly taken care of. Once you have gotten over your awe at the flowers, you will notice quite a few dead plants and weeds all over. It seems the garden had been neglected for some time now. 'Perhaps that ghost boy isn't a ghost after all. At least, I don't think ghosts weed'

"Hello? Is anyone here?" Fuji called out "I didn't mean to scare you" Fuji waited for a reply but there was none. Deciding to gamble that the mysterious kid was still in the room, Fuji kept on talking.

"My name is Syuusuke Fuji and I'm the new gardener" No response. "I'll do my very best taking care of this garden so that there wont be a single weed or dead plant for you to uproot anymore" A rustling to his left made Fuji turn only to realized that whoever it was went outside the door he came into. Sighing. Fuji heading back to his room. 'Tomorrow is a new day…'

When Fuji woke up the next day, he was starting to realize what chef Allan meant when he said Bizarre. Fuji had sworn he fell asleep on his bed the other night yet when he woke up that morning, he was sitting on the wall with his back leaning against the door. His body wasn't aching and that's a good sign. He told Allan about it and all he said was "Oh ho, ho, HO! Its just beginning, little man!" Fuji would have asked some more but Allan was busy preparing for the young masters breakfast. Fuji thought he'll tell Allan and Aoi about his experience in the green room later.

Gardening is quite a laborious job and just looking at Fuji would make one think that he was not suited for the job. But gardening had always been one of his passions. Just bellow photography which was the first on the list. For a whole week, Fuji worked day and night to make the once neglected garden glow in beauty again and only stopping to eat and sleep. Weeding, changing soil, watering, fertilizer, picking out bugs, rearranging. Most parts were even covered in spider webs. 'Just how long did the garden survive without anyone to take care of it?' The first day Fuji started the job, he had noticed small piles of uprooted weeds and dead plants everywhere. He thought perhaps it was that boy he saw a week ago. He just have come here every night, trying in vain to make the garden better.

On Sunday, his day off, Fuji spent it the day tagging along Allan and Aoi. Allan was getting groceries and Aoi wanted to go drinking and so they did, right after buying some grocery. Fuji bought a few stuff of his own but they were mostly snacks. The feeling of having $6000 in his pocket was quite amazing, being from an average family. He noted to himself to brag about it with his friends when he goes online later. They went back to the castle exactly a quarter to midnight and thinking nothing of it, instead of heading to his room, Fuji went to the green room. He half wished, half expected to see that boy again but green room was empty. Without thinking much off it, Fuji took out some home made raisin cookies still in its wrapped. He bought from the market place thinking he should give it to the boy like an offering or something. Fuji placed it at the spot where he had seen the boy hunched over and took out a piece of paper that had "Please eat it" written on it and placed it above the cookies. So, okay. Maybe he HAD planned for this the whole day but he really wanted to see the boy again, ghost or not. The garden was definitely getting back to like. Fuji was impressed at how much work he had done in just a week. Guess its true what they say "Working at something you love to do isn't work at all" Fuji called it a night and went to his room to sleep.

It's a funny thing every morning. Ever since the first day he slept in that room, Fuji would always wake up to find himself with his bum on the floor and his back leaning against the door. After the 3rd night, Fuji placed a planked and pillow on the floor in front of the door and duck taped a pillow against the back of the door. Waking up on the 4th night, Fuji felt triumphant. His plan had worked! no more hard cold floor to sit on or wooden doors and hello fluffy paradise, even if its in a sitting position.

On Monday morning, Fuji grab a quick breakfast, two slices of toast with honey and a glass of milk, and headed straight for the green room. He headed straight for the direction where he left the cookies last night. What he saw just made his day. The cookies were gone and in its place was a blue rose, plucked from the garden, and on the back of the paper he had left behind as a message for the mystery boy, was a very elegant cursive hand writing saying "Not bad but not good enough. -I don't like raisins". Fuji picked up the paper and folded it neatly then placed it in his pants pocket. He began working while thinking of what food he should give later tonight that would delight this mystery boy . Who ever he was, he was definitely alive and well and has an attitude. While cutting some plants off, Fuji heard the double door open and turned to see who it was. The door was close and he saw nobody there but Fuji had the strangest feeling of being watched. Trying to shake the feeling off, Fuji focused harder on his job. Then, out or the corner of his eyes, he thought he saw a figure walking by. Fuji ignored this and kept of cutting. The sudden sound of someone clearing his throat directly behind made Fuji jump and he ended up cutting the flower.

"Ah, Damn it" He breathed in annoyance.

"I hope this does not happen often, Mr. Fuji" Fuji heard from behind him. He turned around to find the butler inspecting the garden. Fuji placed a smile on his face.

"No, this was the first and I'll try my best to make it the last. I was just surprised" Was his calm and friendly sounding response. The butler didn't even look up.'

"Has anyone else been coming to the green room?" Stephen asked.

"Not that I know of" Fuji lied "Why?"

"I see" Stephen said dryly "Carry on then" The butler turned and left, leaving Fuji to wonder even more about the mystery boy.

That night, before going to bed, Fuji left a bar of milk chocolate and a folded piece of paper with a neatly scribbled

"You don't like raisins? Their good for you though. I hope you like chocolate P.S. What's Your name?" The next day, Fuji stood up (from the floor) And headed bare foot straight to the green room. The chocolate was gone and at the back of the note he left behind, with the same elegant cursive hand writing, say's 3 simple words

"I like it" He didn't get a name but he was content with the reply. At least the boy was willing to communicate.

For the next 3 weeks, this continued for Fuji. He learned more and more about the boy. Fuji even gave him a nick name. "Ghost boy". Ghost boy himself wasn't very pleased and asked to be called Prince instead. This amused Fuji and so just to tease the boy, continued calling him ghost boy anyway. As well as things have been going with Fuji in the garden, he couldn't say the same about the things happening in his room though. He keeps hearing footsteps in the hallway and stops just outside the door and then nothing. The TV would turn on by itself and the computer would just suddenly shut down when he's using it. The worst was when he woke up one morning to see his bed turned up side down. He did run out of the room at that. But the mort disturbing thing for Fuji was the feeling of never being alone in a room even when no one was there but him. Even though he know there are only 7 people living here, The feeling of the castle being full and crowded never went away. More and more, he would hear strange noises. People talking in various tongues, Chairs and furniture's moving. One time he even heard a loud flirtatious female giggle in his room while he was changing clothes. That definitely made things a bit awkward for awhile.

It was the first day of the 5th week. It was just another morning trip to the kitchen for some high class breakfast when the craziest thing happened. From out of nowhere, Someone yelled "Duck!" and Fuji, with his fast reflex, ducked down and he felt a gust of wind go over his head, like someone jumped over him, then a growl. Fuji looked up in front of him to see a big black dog with red eyed staring at him, growling. "Don't move" The voice said again, and Fuji went still. Behind him, soft footsteps approaches. Fuji didn't turn his head until he felt the person behind him.

"Stephen…" Fuji breathed a sigh of relief and returned his attention to the vicious looking dog. "I didn't know we had a dog" Fuji said. His voice was calm and composed not did not betray his true feelings.

"The young master likes keeping strays" Stephen said dryly as he stepped closer to the animal. The once vicious creature now coward before the butler. It was when Stephen raised his right hand that Fuji realized what he was doing. The butler was whipping the poor animal!

"Stephen, Stop!" He yelled, rushing towards the butler and holding his right hand to stop hitting the animal.

"He bit the young masters hand. This thing needs to be punished" The butler replied as he shook Fuji's grip off. The dog was able to escaped, running down the hall, into the kitchen room and out the back door. Fuji stepped back from Stephen.

"I'm sorry but I just cant turn a blind eye on such cruel things" Fuji said, not feeling the least bit sorry at all. Stephen turned to face Fuji and said in a threatening voice.

"The next time you get in my way, I will punish you" And he walked away. Shaking his head, Fuji thought he'd skip breakfast and take a stroll outside. There was nothing much to see but leafless trees and wild grass everywhere. Off at the distance, Fuji saw the two maids just coming in through the front gates. He spent some time trying to sketch the outside for idea's of the garden. It was a cloudy day and the air started to get chilly aroung 11am. Thinking that was it for now, Fuji packed up his stuff and began to walk towards the door.

'I hope that dog is alright now…' He thought to himself turning around to go back inside, Fuji thought he saw something from the corner of his eyes. He turned to see what it could have been. What he saw made him run. Just Run. Towards the kneeling boy who's back was turned to him, petting the same dog he had seen earlier that morning.

'Finally! I caught you!'


AaaaaaaaaND... That was it... The End =D jk, please review and tell me what you think!