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the man behind the rumors and myth

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Date occasionally wonders where Furuya is and what he’s doing right now, but he doesn’t really get much chance to talk about this friend who’s disappeared for years - not after Matsuda’s death, anyway.

And then one day, a conversation with Takagi led to a chance to talk about Furuya again.

“I heard that you were the top student at the police academy!” Takagi exclaims excitedly.

Date rolls his eyes as the memories of the academy days come flying back. “Idiot, those are just rumors.” 

Perhaps it’s because it’s Takagi, the junior officer he’d developed a fast friendship with and come to think of as younger brother in some way, he finds himself diving into a bit more details than he usually would when others brought up the subject, reminiscing a little more about the old days and talking about some worries he wouldn’t usually share in front of others. “I was always number two. Neither my brain nor brawn was ever a match for that guy …”

“That guy?” Takagi asks.

Date thinks about Furuya Rei from the academy days, ever so earnest, often to the point of over-seriousness that used to annoy Matsuda. Talented and hardworking at the same time. A bit like Takagi in this regard. He’s about to tell Takagi just that but then stops himself.

He’s long suspected that Furuya - and also Morofushi - went undercover somewhere and had to cut contact with them. Although it feels pretty unlikely that Takagi and Furuya would ever cross paths while Furuya’s undercover, and even less likely someone else ever figure out the secret of Furuya being undercover if Takagi ever were to say something about the conversation he had today, Date decides that some level of caution is still required when it comes to discussing secrets such as this. So glosses over the similarities part more vaguely and says, “He was a gentleman like you … I wonder where he is and what he’s doing now …”

Date’s suspicions of Furuya and Morofushi going undercover deepened even more when he received the package containing Morofushi’s cell phone - with a bullet hole. The news - or rather, the obvious implications of the broken phone - left him stricken. He felt very heavy, and he couldn’t even begin to imagine how Furuya felt - it must be even worse, Date knew. And he probably wasn’t even allowed to display any grief outwardly, considering the dangerous nature of his work.

As he tells Takagi about Furuya - albeit vague as possible - he thinks about the dangerous nature of their work, once again. About the bullet hole through Morofushi’s phone, about Matsuda and the exploded ferris wheel cabin, and about Hagiwara and the bomb in that building. “He might’ve even overestimated his abilities, done something stupid and got killed by now,” god, he hopes that’s not the case. Date has full trust in Furuya’s abilities, but Furuya’s natural tendency to put in his full efforts sometimes can be hazardous to himself. Not to mention now that Morofushi was no longer by his side, Date couldn’t help but worry that this might make Furuya become … reckless. “You’d better be careful too … you might be a police detective, but you still only got one life. Don’t lose sight of that, alright?”

He really doesn’t want to bury another friend again.

But, if he’s being honest, he’s equally worried that in Furuya’s case, he might not even find out if Furuya died. Morofushi had Furuya to send back his phone for him, but is there anyone who could do that for Furuya? Not to mention Morofushi had an older brother, but Furuya didn’t have any family left. 

God, he hopes Furuya is taking care of himself and being careful, wherever he is.

 


 

Edogawa Conan tilts his head curiously. “Takagi-Keiji, I remember you said that before you talked with Date-san, you’d always thought he was the top student.”

“Oh, right,” Takagi says. “That’s because that’s what I’ve heard many people say.”

“Which turns out just to be a rumor,” Edogawa continues.

“Yeah, Date-san says there’s this other guy who’s actually the top student instead. Said he’s a gentleman.”

Why were there rumors in the first place though, Edogawa ponders. He’s talked with other officers too and found out that indeed many of them have heard about Takagi’s senpai Date-san being the top of his year at the academy. Looks like the rumor was really wide spread - almost like it was intentionally spread to cover up the truth.

Perhaps to erase the presence of the real top student, who was going to start undercover work? And it makes sense they would want to select someone with excellent scores to do undercover work too … Sato-san said Date-san was a year older than her, so that would mean he would be 29, if he were still alive.

Edogawa has a faint suspicion he knows who this “top student” is.

“Well, for some definition of gentleman, I suppose,” he mutters to himself.

“What?” Takagi asks.

Edogawa smiles brightly. “Oh, I just remembered that Ran-neechan asked me to pick up the dinner order at Poirot, so I should go. Goodbye, Takagi-keiji!”