This was a normal dream, me just sitting around in a field of lavender and sunflowers. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the warmth that came from the sun that hung high in the sky above me. There were small clouds speckling the sky which made it the perfect day for cloud watching. I opened my eyes and looked up towards the sky, a girl could get used to this kind of dream.
The loud beeping of my alarm woke me from that dream, and I sent it a glare as I slammed a hand down on the snooze button. I reached for my glasses and put them on. I got up from the bed and headed into the bathroom, stumbling as my limbs were stiff.
"Eugh…." I groaned as I got into the shower and allowed the water to roll over my body, it was cold at first and then warm.
There wasn't any school today, so it was possible for me to take a long shower and then make a large breakfast. I could possibly make something for Naru, I was starting to think that he wasn't really eating. Tea and small sandwiches sounded like an okay idea; he had probably been up all night. I climbed out of my shower and turned off the water as I pulled on my clothes for today, a black dress shirt and black and white stripped pair of skinny jeans. I sighed as I made myself a cup of tea before grabbing a thermos and filling it with the left-over tea before closing it up and placing it on the counter so I wouldn't forget it. I made myself a sandwich before grabbing a small container and making a sandwich for my part time boss. I closed it with a quiet snap and let out a small yawn.
"Morning, Bones." I greeted the golden retriever as she passed through the kitchen and went right outside to do her business; I'll have to clean up the back yard later.
I yawned while my body tensed in a stretch. I was tired, yet it wasn't because of my dreams. I didn't really have a bad dream, which was unusual for me. I've had them for so long it was weird not to have any. I finished up my breakfast and I noticed that Bones was sitting by the table while waiting for me, water gently dripping from her snout as she stared at me. I gently put her harness onto her and grabbed the leash, honestly if I wouldn't get a ticket for not having her on a leash I wouldn't even bother. She would never run away; she was trained not to.
"Ready for work?" I asked her.
Bones dipped her head and I pulled on a pair of flats before grabbing everything and putting it into a messenger bag. It was a bit cool this morning, but it was nice compared to how cold it had been. I walked up to the old school building and went right up to the van; I had a feeling that Naru was going to be inside. I saw the black wearing teen and I noticed that he was curled up under his suit jacket. That wasn't a safe way to sleep.
"Naru, you're going to catch a cold sleeping in your van." I told him as I gently shook his shoulder.
He blinked a couple of times before running a hand through his hair. He looked a bit confused as to what was happening. He met my eyes and I noticed him wince from the bright light. He wasn't the biggest fan of bright light it seemed.
"Yuki, what are you doing here this early in the morning?" Naru asked me, I sighed at him.
"I thought you could do with some breakfast; I haven't seen you eat at all and I was starting to worry. I brought some warm green tea and sandwiches," I told him as I handed him the sandwiches and opened the thermos.
He was eating a sandwich as I poured him a cup of tea, I handed it to him, and he quietly accepted it. I was just glad that he was eating. It was starting to bother me how he refused to take care of himself, he was so involved in the case.
"Anything interesting happen last night?" I asked him.
"Yes, though I think you thought of the answer before I did," Naru admitted, though he looked somewhat annoyed to admit it.
"Land Subsidence?" I asked, he nodded.
It was nice to be right for some reason. I heard footsteps approaching and I looked over my shoulder to see Takigawa and the others heading our way. It appears I wasn't the only one to show up a little late today.
"What's going on little boy?" Takigawa asked, "Are you packing up already?"
"Correct." Naru said as he finished off one of the sandwiches and then took a drink of tea.
"You must be kidding me," Ayako muttered as Naru picked up a few pieces of paper and held it up to them.
"I have decided that this case is closed." Naru stated as he drank his tea again.
"Did you exorcise the spirit?" Takigawa asked.
"No, I didn't." Naru said, "This building sank more than 0.2 inches just over night. This is a simple case of land subsidence."
"That's it? The psychic phenomenon was caused by this?" Ayako didn't sound so sold on what was going on here.
Naru sighed as he refilled the cup.
"This whole building was developed on top of damp ground and, based on the numbers of wells that I checked, directly underneath the school is a big water vein running through the area," Naru explained, "There are two other wells, but when I checked for water in them they were both empty, so that's what's going on."
"He's saying that the foundation is weak because the structure was built upon damp land and now that its dry it's going to collapse," I explained to everyone else, "It's quite simple really."
"Simple, she says," Ayako muttered, and I sent her a slightly annoyed look.
"Precisely, in fact you were the first one to think of subsidence in the first place, the classroom on the west side is three inches lower than the east side," Naru told me, "It was what had most likely planted that idea in the first place."
He seemed to know my mind better than I did. How? I've never met someone that was able to read me so well. My mother had struggled with understanding what I was talking about sometimes. I wasn't typically clear with how my thought patterns liked to form.
"That's about 7.5 centimeters…man that's a big gap." Takigawa said in amazement.
"And what about that rapping sound?" Ayako asked.
"It wasn't rapping, it was the sound of the building creaking as it sunk," Naru corrected before looking up towards the old building, "Sooner or later this building is going to collapse, until then the area around it should be declared unsafe to enter."
"That's fine, but it doesn't explain the day I was attacked!" Kuroda shouted as we all went up into the building to gather the rest of the equipment.
"Perhaps it's a floating spirit that likes to follow you around." Naru calmly said.
"So, what are you going to do now Shibuya-san? Are you going home?" Kuroda questioned; she didn't look so happy that he might've been proven wrong.
"Yes, I finished my assignment," Naru said.
"Ah, you're right." I quietly said.
I was going to miss working for Naru. He was an easy boss to understand. The orders were simple, and I could just sit around for a while. It would be difficult to get into this field, though I had a few connections that would make it a bit easier for me. I had enjoyed this far more than I wanted to admit.
"I still think that there are spirits here." Kuroda said.
Bones started to whine, and I watched as her ears flattened slightly. It took a few seconds until I started to feel stressed out. Kuroda was getting angry, and it wasn't something that was needed now. I didn't know what I could say to get her to calm down.
"There aren't, the research results have proven that there's nothing here." Naru said, he sounded like he was beginning to get annoyed.
I went to say smoothing but that smothering feeling appeared, and I began to find it somewhat hard to breathe. Kuroda was glaring right at Naru to the point where I was worried something was going to happen to him. I shouldn't be, if one were to talk shit and then get hit then it was on them. I typically didn't feel bad for them, but right now…Naru was just telling her facts and she was too stubborn to admit that she was wrong.
"It may just be that you can't perceive it," Kuroda said as Bones gave a bark and took a stance in front of me.
"Then you should exorcise it yourself," Naru informed her, "I've decided that my job is done, so I'm leaving."
Kuroda glared at him before shifting on her feet and then leaving with a huff. I let out a very quiet sigh, it was a bit shaky. I'm glad that she's gone, as mean as it was to say. I almost blinked in surprise at that thought, since when did I care about such things as that? I was starting to go soft, damn it.
"I'm going to miss figuring things like this out." I said in a quiet voice.
"What do you mean?" Naru asked me as I went towards the window to look towards the van, I sent him a shrug as I watched Takigawa look up towards the building.
"This was what I kind of wanted to do after college, either that or psychiatry, I'm not sure yet," I explained as Takigawa waved at me with a goofy grin on his face, I rolled my eyes at that.
The glass let out a loud creak and my eyes widened slightly. I could see hairline fractures appearing on the glass and I froze. I was in shock at the fact that this was happening now.
"Yuki, move away from the windows." Naru told me in a dangerously soft voice.
I was too late, and I had to cover my neck and head as the glass exploded everywhere. I winced when I felt small pieces slice into my skin. I could feel the blood welling up and rolling down my arms. I couldn't help but think back to that night. I could smell the scent of rain and I began to tremble slightly. Something grabbed my hand and I was pulled away from the window.
I looked up and saw Naru standing there with a slight grimace on his face. There was a loud series of bangs and I looked behind him to see the doors slamming shut and opening. The building was sinking again, this time it was far more violent. I looked towards my hand and noticed that Naru had a death grip on me. I sighed and calmed down enough to think clearly.
"Naru," I got his attention and he met my eyes, "We need to get out of the building!"
He nodded and moved us towards the broken windows. I whistled to Bones and she shook her body before easily passing the glass and sprinting through the doors as they opened and closed again. I knew I would see her outside. Naru took the jump outside the window and dragged me down with him. I made a face when we landed and I stumbled slightly, glass crunching underneath my shoes. Naru helped to steady me by moving his hand from mine to my arm.
Naru removed his hand and I watched as blood dripped from my fingers and bounced off the ground. I was covered in cuts; I knew that I was lucky enough to not have any on my face. Bones gave a loud bark and barreled into me and knocked me down to the ground. I hugged her close and quietly murmured to her, calming her down. I had worried her, and I hadn't meant to. I pressed a kiss to her head and gave her a quiet apology.
"Are you okay?" John asked as he ran towards us with the others, I nodded at him and his blue eyes widened at something, "Your bleeding."
Ayako was already helping Kuroda and looked furious. I guess Kuroda had gotten stuck on the first floor when the building began to sink. I looked up towards the building and narrowed my eyes at it. This was starting to be very unsafe.
"So, what was that all about?!" Ayako barked at Naru, "You're gonna tell me all that was caused by the land sinking? That, my friend was definitely a poltergeist!"
"That was definitely the building falling apart," I muttered as I eyed her, "The way that the glass had begun to fracture points towards an unsafe structure."
"You're just saying that to stand up for your boss!" Ayako snapped at me.
"I'm not, but think what you want," I sighed as I shook my hand slightly and cleared some of the blood from it.
"Not only did we hear the building warp, but we also heard someone banging on the wall," Takigawa stated.
"This is ridiculous I almost fell for these children's silly joke!" Ayako yelled.
"We need to take this more seriously," Takigawa said.
Takigawa and Ayako left as John went to find a first aid kit. I stared after them for a few seconds and forced the slight hurt down. We were right, and I knew that we were right. I slowly looked towards Kuroda. There was just a variable I hadn't out into account. I looked back to my boss and my eyes widened just a fraction.
"Naru, your hand is injured," I informed him.
"It's nothing, it'll stop bleeding soon." Naru told me as he looked at his hand.
"So, it still needs to be bandaged, unless you want to deal with an infection," I huffed with a slight frown, "I think John is coming back with the first aid kit."
"Go take care of Kuroda-san," Naru told me, I looked at him in confusion, "I just need to be alone for a while. I hate myself so much it makes me sick."
I was going to hit him. I felt a deep frown appear on my face as I turned towards him. I guess I was about to get physical with him, I don't remember walking up to him and grabbing him by the front of the shirt. He seemed surprised that I had done so.
"Listen here, you aren't wrong," I informed him annoyance thick in my tone, "This does not prove you wrong, if anything it proves you right, there's just a variable that has been overlooked. I don't need the wallowing in self-pity, its' unbecoming of you and is insulting to your intelligence."
I released him with a sigh and walked away. John came running with the first aid kit and he opened it. I took out a roll of bandages with a couple of my clean fingers and tossed it towards Naru, who easily caught it. He had been staring at me blankly, I guess he had been a bit shocked by the fact that I had done what I did. He walked off with a thoughtful expression.
"I swear…" I shook my head as I was forced to sit down as John began to clean up my wounds.
"It's a good thing we heard Bones barking when we did, if we hadn't we would've been in trouble," John said as he began to bandage up my fingers, "Did you train her?"
"Yes, along with the help of an old family friend, she was trained to act like a service dog since I had a few problems with anxiety and stress up until recently," I told him as I sent Bones a proud look, "I'm just glad that that period of my life is over."
No, it wasn't I still get pretty stressed out, but I don't want anyone worrying about me. John finished up and I looked at my wrists to see that I had to be bandaged up quite a bit, my fingers were completely covered, and my right arm was covered all the way up to my elbow. I got up and started to walk towards the building.
"Thank you, but I do have a job to do," I informed him, "I'll have to wait at the base until Naru comes back."
"You don't really show what's on your mind do you?" John asked as I sent Kuroda away so that she could relax for a while.
I paused at his words and thought about them for a few seconds. I sent him a side eye glance and he seemed surprised. I gave a slight shrug in response.
"Not really, I've never found a reason to do so," I told him with a slight frown, he scratched the back of his head as his cheeks turned pink, "You are adorable by the way."
He turned a deep red at that, and I didn't give him any response to that. I went back to the base and started to pack up all the monitors and wires into the plastic containers that Naru had in the back of the van. Takigawa was getting ready to perform his own exorcism and I eyed his garb. He really did look familiar to me, but I couldn't place where I had seen him before. It was starting to bother me.
"Oh, you're not staying to watch the monk's exorcism?" Ayako asked me with a slight sniff.
"I'm doing my job; do you have a problem with that?" I simply asked with a shrug John helped by picking up some wires.
"Is it okay to put this stuff away?" John asked me.
"If we need it we can take it out again later, besides, we don't know when this building might collapse," I told him with a slight nod.
"You still believe what that little boy said?" Ayako asked me with a skeptical look.
"Considering the fact that I also came up with subsidence as the reason behind the activity in this building, yes, yes I do," I answered with a sigh, "Unless, you have a better idea than that of a Poltergeist, if so then I'd love to hear it."
I picked up a monitor and started to walk back to the van, I could hear the monk chanting and I felt my eyebrow twitch. I just wanted Naru to come back and show the proof that they were wrong. I knew that he had it, he was just being annoying. I didn't believe in him being like this. I sighed in annoyance when I exited the building and noticed that it had gotten dark outside. Bones had decided to lay next to the van and take a nap.
"Yuki, I set up a tape recorder on the second floor." John told me as I checked the time on my mobile phone.
"Thank you for helping John," I said in a distracted tone as I put my phone away, "It's appreciated."
"It's no problem," John replied with a grin, "I'm going to go look around a little more." John told me."
"Right, be careful alright?" I told him, I was being a mother hen and I honestly didn't care.
"I will." John told me.
I heard the school door opened and I turned, hoping for Naru but I got Kuroda instead. I gave a quiet sigh as I turned away from the van to give her my full attention. It would be considered rude if I didn't. I tucked my hair behind my ear and tilted my head.
"Kuroda-Kohai, what can I do to help you?" I questioned.
"How's everything going?" She asked, she seemed calmer now than she was earlier.
"Well, since you left monk and the miko have both performed exorcisms," I answered, "It's a bit obsessive, but I understand the need to be thorough."
"Where's Shibuya-san?" Kuroda asked.
"He left, I believe he went to research a little bit more," I said, "I'm sure there are no spirits here."
"I saw one." Kuroda said.
"You've mentioned that," I said as Ayako came down to say something, "But the evidence proves otherwise, I'm sorry."
"Playtime is over, you kids should head home," Ayako ordered us, "The exorcism was a success."
"Didn't you say that last time?" I asked as Bones gave a humored sniff.
I looked away to the side when the red haired miko began to glare at me. I guess I shouldn't channel Naru. If he wasn't here to sass people then I thought I could steep up to do the job. I'm not a fan of being glared at if I'm being truthful.
"This time we're sure!" Ayako yelled and I held my hands up to placate her.
"No, the spirits are still here," Kuroda said as she looked up, "I can feel it. There are many spirits here."
I rolled my eyes at that. She really needed to give up this game she was playing. If she continued to do this, when the truth got out it was going to be bad. She would be ostracized. It was not going to be pretty.
"Playing your psychic game again? Cut it out and leave it to the professionals." Ayako said.
"I don't believe you," Kuroda said to Ayako.
"Just rest assured, Ayako may have blown it, but I did it right," Takigawa said as he and John returned to the area.
John was looking exhausted. I felt bad for him, he didn't have to stay and help, but he did. I think we're going to end up being good friends, probably the closest out of all of us.
"How dare you!?" Ayako angrily asked, I sighed as I felt a migraine beginning to form, "Will you knock it off!"
"I'm just being honest," Takigawa said with a shrug.
"Are you going to take all the credit?" Ayako asked.
"No," Takigawa said.
I sighed once again, and the building let out a cry. We then heard some bangs above us. We all looked towards the stair way with serious expressions on our faces. It sounded like someone was physically up there. I was starting to question if someone had snuck past us.
"Everyone is down here on the ground floor, right?" I questioned as I looked at everyone.
"Yeah, this is everyone," Takigawa nodded.
A tapping sound started, and I frowned. It continued for a few seconds before there was a single bang. Then there was silence. It was so quiet; I could hear the blood rushing in my ears. Takigawa then rushed up the stairs to see if anyone was up there.
"Is anyone up there!?" I called.
"No!" Takigawa called back.
"Well then explain the banging I dare you," I told Ayako.
"It was just the wind." Ayako said, I felt anger bubble up in my chest.
"The wind? The wind?!" I asked in a loud voice and she jumped at the volume, "How delusional are you? So, your little idea of spirits turned out to be wrong and you're making an excuse? My boss didn't make any excuses when his theory didn't prove itself, so why is it that you can't accept that you were wrong like an adult?"
They looked at me in surprise and I let out a huff of breath. That had been a mouthful to get out, but it was something this lot needed to hear. Honestly, these adults act more like children then anything. Takigawa went to say something when the knocking started again.
"Knocking sounds? Again?" John asked in surprise then there was the sound of footsteps, "More footsteps?!"
"It sounds like an indoor athletic competition! Let's get out of here, the ceiling could collapse!" Takigawa said.
I nodded and we began to evacuate the old building. I felt something hit my shoulder and I went down as a nearby shoe cubby fell on me. It was warm enough that I could feel it through my clothes.
'Warm?' I thought as I was engulfed in darkness before I hit the ground.
I woke up to that darkness, not just darkness but also small orbs of light, could it be spirits? Maybe not. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore the pain of my migraine. I felt a hand softly move my fringe away from my face, my eyes snapped open and I looked to see Naru? I then studied his eyes, no this wasn't Naru, Naru's eyes were bluer these were closer to grey; they also held a gentleness to them that clashed with Naru's own serious eyes. This guy also had a less muscular build than Naru, though you'd have to be looking for it to see it.
"Who are you?" I quietly asked, I got a soft smile in return, so that's what Naru would look like if he smiled, he should smile, "Are you Naru's brother or something?"
That was one of the theories I had. This teen gave me a surprised smile.
"I am, please call me Gene, I must ask that you not tell him that you met me." Gene told me.
"He'll be mad if I don't.…not a winning a situation either way someone gets mad." I said as I pinched the bridge of my nose, I then let out a dry chuckle, "I won't tell, I just want to see your brother taking care of himself and stop carrying that air of sadness."
Gene looked concerned for his brother.
"Has he been eating?" Gene asked.
"I made sure he had some breakfast today; I don't know about the last few days." I told him as I continued to lie on the ground.
Gene sighed at that.
"I can't make contact with him…I'll tell him when I can, and I will explain everything." Gene told me.
"A smile suits you better than a stressed expression" I told him in a cheeky tone, he rolled his eyes before flicking my forehead.
"You should head back. The others are worrying about you." Gene said.
"Aye aye captain." I said before I closed my eyes and opened them again, when I did it was to the van.
I saw the other's surrounding the van.
"Are you okay?" Takigawa asked.
"Yes, just a headache." I said as I ran a hand through my hair, I stopped in my movement.
Why the hell was my hair short?
Well the left side seemed to be longer than the right; it hit my chin while the other side reached the middle of my ear. What the fuck happened to my hair? Seriously, it was distracting. A weight on my shoulders brought my attention away from my hair. Ayako was giving me a very upset expression and I blinked at her in shock.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" She yelled at me, "I kept calling you, but you wouldn't wake up, I thought you were dead!"
"I'm sorry…" I guilty mumbled.
It was weird having someone be motherly to me, I hadn't felt that since I left Misa a year ago. Even then, she had her moments where I was forgotten. It never bothered me but going from a mother that worried constantly to being somewhat ignored had been jarring. I had gotten used to someone caring about me. Now…now I wasn't used to that.
"Calm down Ayako, you might injure her more," Takigawa said as he spared me a concerned glance.
"Shut up you stupid monk!" Ayako growled to Takigawa and he backed up a little at her expression.
I noticed that someone had draped a jacket over me. I looked down at it and the tan material let me know who it belonged to. I removed it from my shoulders and held it out to Takigawa. He accepted it with a slight sigh.
"You were out for a long time," He informed me, "It's already 4 in the morning."
"Right," I muttered.
Since they didn't say anything about Naru I'm guessing he didn't come back. The jerk. I ran a hand through my hair again and frowned. If it was going to be short on one side I was going to chop it all off. I'd been looking for a reason to cut it real short. It was going to take me a while to get it to the length that I want. I have a lot of hair. I noticed Bones leash in Johns hand; he was keeping the large Golden retriever from pouncing on me.
"What happened to Kuroda-Kohai?" I asked.
"She left; don't you think this is getting a bit serious?" Ayako asked as I scratched my cheek, "The exorcisms haven't worked and I'm starting to fear for our lives."
"Are you going to run away?" I asked in a blank tone.
"What do you suggest we do?" She questioned as she pinched my cheek, "Didn't your boss run away after seeing glass break all around him? Right now, he's probably at home shaking in fear."
"Do you really think that?" I questioned.
"You never know, he may be curled up in a futon crying because we gave him such a hard time yesterday." Ayako said.
"I honestly couldn't see him doing that," I muttered with a frown, "He's too much of a narcissist."
"In the case of Shibuya-san, it'd be more like him to be angry and stick pinks in a voodoo doll." John said.
The chuckles escaped me before I could stop them. I noticed the looks that I was getting and let out a slight cough to hide my humor. I was able to stop myself from smiling. I cleared my throat.
"Why don't I make you guys breakfast? I owe you that much," I offered.
"We couldn't impose," John shyly said as Ayako readily agreed.
"You wouldn't be, I live close to the school, so it is literally no problem at all, besides you all watched over me when I was out of it," I said as I gently took bones leash from him.
We walked to my house and I opened the apartment with ease Bones went in first and I held the door open as everyone piled in. Bones shook her body and took off towards the bed. I let out a sigh of slight amusement at that.
"Nice place," Takigawa said as he looked around.
I had photos up in the hallway of my life and family, the last picture was taken before my birthday, on the last Halloween I had dressed up for. I had gone as a Jedi something that made my mother laugh since she was a Star Trek fan.
"It's very clean." Ayako said in surprise as we all removed our shoes and I led the way to the kitchen.
"Thank you," I said as they all took a seat at the dining room table, I grabbed a bunch of cups and started to heat up a tea kettle with water.
I then set about making breakfast, waffles and strawberries. I could remember all the western recipes from my old life. I made the tea while the waffle iron did the work of making the waffles. That breakfast was enjoyable, I hadn't had a breakfast that enjoyable in a while, I also learned that they had to cut my hair to get me from under the shoe cubby.