Prologue: Requiem for the Restless Souls

Hello, my name is Crescent! This is my first try at a Ghost Hunt fic, so I hope you'll forgive me for any OOC-ness within the story. :) Other than that, I'm pretty confident of my abilities as a writer, as I have been writing for three years on fanfiction. So please enjoy!

Disclaimer: Nope. Not mine... T^T

Note: Prologue takes place day one of Cursed House Case. :D

Chapter Name: Opening: Playing the Scene

Normal POV

Part-time work at Shibuya Physic Research basically made up all of Mai's free time. After all, school went from 8:30 to 3 o'clock. But that wasn't all. There was a short homeroom after school, and then the classroom chores for whichever unfortunate soul had been assigned to them. The earliest Mai left school was around four in the afternoon... just enough time for her to go shopping for dinner before work.

Needless to say, her friends Michiru and Keiko had been pretty upset that she wouldn't be able to stay afterschool and tell ghost stories anymore. Mai had been slightly disappointed as well, but when she informed them that she had to go work with one Kazuya Shibuya... Well, let's just say that they were overly happy about sending her away.

Right after shopping, Mai went home to her cozy apartment, said "hi" to the landlady, dropped off the groceries, changed, and went straight to work. On regular office days, she was almost never late (unless she had been assigned classroom chores).

Mai often met Chiaki-senpai on the way to the office, and they walked together. Most of the time, Taka would already be there, running around and finishing her odd jobs. They'd all sit together and catch up, or Mai and Taka would help Chiaki-senpai with her training. Then Mai was subjected to the orders of tea by, yours truly, the narcissist boss of SPR.

That was the schedule of Taniyama Mai. When cases popped up however, it was flipped upside down, spun around, and deep fried on a pan until it burned and she had no choice but to throw its ashes out the window.

Or sometimes, it didn't take a case to make Mai throw her schedule into the imaginary fireplace of SPR (the trash can inside the kitchen). Sometimes, it just took a surprise. She would sulk, become angry, and then accept whatever was thrown at her, just like Naru had told her when they fell down that manhole in the Yuasa High School Case.

That was exactly what happened the afternoon SPR was supposed to leave for a case at the Yoshimi Household.

Mai sighed as Lin-san handed her the keys to the SPR van. She had just been told to turn the van and air-conditioning on. After all, it was hot outside, and the van was in parked in the sun. Not only that, but the van had to be black. The poor teenager was always stuck with this job, even when it was the middle of winter...

What caught her interest this time though, was the fact that for the first time, Mai had been handed Naru's keys. Due to a little incident the last time Mai had played with Lin's keys (practicing PK-ST after the Yuasa High School Case 'cause she thought it was cool... not that it worked), the key to the van had snapped. Needless to say, Lin was getting it fixed before he could trust her with it again.

As Mai walked out of the office and into the blistering heat of Shibuya-ku, she inspected the keys with curiosity. There was a golden key, which Mai assumed belonged to Naru's house, a silver one identical to the one she had for the office, a smaller one which was probably for the mailbox outside the office door, and the van key. As Mai shuffled the keys around, she came to a keychain.

"Wow! I didn't expect something like this!" Mai exclaimed as she gazed down at the small silver keychain in the palm of her hand. She hadn't expected Naru to have a keychain.

"Why would I need something so unnecessary? Have you lost even more brain cells since yesterday Mai?"

Mai sweat-dropped as she imagined the narcissist in question shooting her down like so.

The teenager shook her head to get rid of the negative thoughts clouding her mind as she rounded the corner and came to the parking lot. Instead, she turned her attention to the keychain once more.

It was a delicate and feminine item, which had put Mai off even more, but she figured that it must've been a gift from someone he couldn't turn down. Maybe Madoka? Well, with something like this it'd have to be. Mai thought. It was a heavy silver rose hanging off a chain in full bloom, void of any color. She turned it around to see the same thing, but her thumb caught in an area slightly more worn down than the rest.

Confused, Mai rubbed at the area a bit before the two roses suddenly split apart. "Oh my god! I broke the keychain! Naru's gonna kill me!" Mai panicked when she dropped the small item. By this time, she was standing in the parking lot next to the black van.

Mai hurriedly picked the keychain off the ground where she dropped it in surprise. When going to put it back together, the teenager froze.

It wasn't broken... it was made to split in half.

Mai swallowed thickly as her eyes scanned over a picture embedded into the rose. Two adults stood side by side, smiling at the camera with the background of a library behind them.

Maybe it was the way the woman's smile was so warm and loving, aimed at the person taking the picture. Or maybe it was the way the tall, light haired man next to her had eyes that twinkled with intelligence and mirth behind rectangular glasses. But... a strange twinge in the back of her mind sent a faint thought zipping through it.

These are Naru's parents...

Her gut told her so.

Mai scanned the rim of the picture, where small letters were carefully craved into the silver.

Luella & Martin

It took Mai a while before she realized it was English. Perhaps those were the names of the two adults?

Mai's eyes widened as she flipped the keychain over to see the other side. There was another picture... This time, two identical boys were sitting side by side in some grass outside. Something inside Mai shattered when she realized who exactly was in the picture.

Noll & Gene

The rim said. Mai bit her lip as tears welled up in her eyes. Why hadn't Naru said anything about this?! The two boys were about thirteen years of age. It took Mai a minute to discover which one of the twins was Naru. One of them was smiling brightly, while the other's face was stoic. Something inside her clicked when she saw the face of the smiling child.

Noticing that she hasn't completed her task yet, Mai quickly went into the van and shoved the keys inside with shaky fingers. Immediately she started the engine and turned on the air conditioning.


How could Naru do this to everyone?

If his name is Noll/Gene, then where did "Kazuya Shibuya" come from?

And who exactly is Gene/Noll?

Mai swallowed thickly before she unlocked the car and left. As she climbed the stairs to the office, Mai resolved to keep the entire incident to herself.

Naru had opened the door for her when she came to the office, and Mai couldn't help but show all of the pain she had just discovered on her face. Needless to say, Naru had been surprised.

"Your keys are so adorable." Mai croaked as she passed him and took cover in the office.

Naru was left standing in shock at the door.

Never before had Mai had to keep a secret as heavy as her own. Who the hell was she to judge? She was a grim reaper walking on Earth for crying out loud! Mai found herself immediately forgiving Naru for keeping whatever secret he was keeping.

She only hoped he could do to the same for her.

Much later, the rest of SPR had gathered in the office, and were just about to leave for the Yoshimi household. Mai smiled at everyone the same way as always, locking up her discovery in the depths of her mind.

Needless to say, when she had to ride with Naru and Lin for about four hours, Mai had no comment. She stared out of the window in deep thought the entire ride, not noticing Naru's looks from the rearview mirror.

Thank you for reading the prologue! I hope you will enjoy the rest of the story ahead!

~Crescent T.