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Seven Days for Shinichi and Ran

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The marker made a squeaky noise, as Shinichi used it to write on a portable blackboard. It was well past midnight in the library of the Kudo mansion, but he was still writing down details about this case. Ran wasn't home, so she wasn't there to force him to go to sleep, like she usually did when he worked on something for too long.

Shinichi went over to his desk and took out some pictures from the file he received. He was on the trails of a serial killer that was on a murder spree in Tokyo, although that was only discovered recently. The newspapers, who were all over that case, also were on his desk. However, the press would not write about how Superintendent Megure had asked Shinichi to help with the case, he requested that his participation would remain a secret only known to a few people, for security reasons, because this case was quite personal for him.

He pinned photos on the board and wrote the details beside them:

Name: Miki Yamaguchi
Age: 6
Cause of Death: Sliced Throat

Name: Aya Nakano
Age: 7
Cause of Death: Strangled

Name: Yoko Hayashi
Age: 7
Cause of Death: Drowned

Name: Riko Tsukino
Age: 6
Cause of Death: Broken Neck

Name: Kyou Hashimoto
Age: 6
Cause of Death: Head Trauma

Five dead girls in the last two weeks. The coroner's reports also spoke of multiple bruises, but thankfully, of no signs of sexual intercourse. They were found in dumpsters in shady districts of Tokyo, exactly three weeks after they went missing each.

Shinichi started to juggle a football while he was thinking. Not too much was known about the serial killer, profiling suggested that it was a male in his thirties. And that was it for now. The killer was careful and the police was stuck. Which is why Shinichi was on the case now. He would have to visit the places where the girls were found soon, they were all still heavily guarded by the police, of course, so maybe he could still discover something that forensics had missed. Hopefully he could catch that guy before another girl was killed.

'But for now, we have nothing...no evidence, no suspects, no leads...damnit...', Shinichi thought to himself and kicked the ball into the blackboard out of anger and frustration, making it collapse with a loud noise. Shinichi sighed and sat down at his desk in the library. This case was ugly, there was no way around it; and really depressing too. No matter how much he thought about it, Shinichi couldn't understand how somebody could do this.

"Daddy?"

Shinichi jumped up from his chair and looked over to the door, just to see his six year old daughter Reiko peeking through the half opened door.

"Reiko! I'm so sorry, did I wake you up?" Shinichi said and hurried across the room to the door.

"No, cough...I couldn't sleep and then I heard a loud noise from here..." Reiko explained, as she entered the library. She was dressed in one of her pink pyjamas and clutched her plush bunny, a present for her fourth birthday, in her left arm. Even in the shadows of the door, there was no doubt about who her mother was; Reiko looked so much like Ran, it was almost as if Shinichi's wife had taken a pill to become six years old again. But that kind of stuff was long banned into the realm of fiction for Shinichi and Ran.

Shinichi knelt down to his daughter and carefully touched her forehead. "Seems like your fever is really going down...hopefully it'll still be this way in the morning. You want to go back to bed?" He asked, to which his daughter nodded, so he lifted her up into his arms and left the library. Thankfully, she couldn't see the pictures of the dead girls; Shinichi made a mental note to be extra certain that his filing cabinet was locked in the next weeks.

"Daddy...? Are you, cough...are angry at me?" Reiko shyly asked him.

That wasn't a question Shinichi expected. "No! Why do you think I would be angry at you?"

"Because...if I didn't get sick, we wouldn't have had to stay here instead of visiting Uncle Heiji with Mommy, Shiro and Yu. And if we went to Osaka, the Superintendent wouldn't given you the case that made you look so grim all day cough..." Reiko explained.

No wonder he had a grim expression on his face, that case was emotionally quite draining, to say the least. "I would never be angry at you because you're sick, not even in these circumstances. And this case...it is a grim case, but that just means it is a very important one. Actually, I should thank you, because this way I got involved in this case sooner and might be able to stop the criminal before he can hurt someone else." Shinichi reassured his daughter.

"This guy must be very evil..." Reiko said.

"Very, very evil indeed..."

"But you are going to catch him, no matter what, right?" Reiko asked with a smile on her face.

Shinichi smiled back. "Of course! Daddy always catches the bad guys!" He said and gave his daughter a small kiss on the cheek.

Reiko giggled and leaned her head against his, clinging to his neck with her tiny right arm. "I love you, Daddy..."

"I love you too, sweetie."

When they arrived at Reiko's room, Shinichi tucked her in tightly; Reiko wanted him to stay a bit, so he took her favorite book from the shelf and read it for her until she was asleep.