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Journey

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----- Saturday, 09.10 A.M. Kudou Residence, Dining Room -----

A sigh.

It’s the umpteenth time she sighed.

Another sighs.

Most probably her food had already getting cold at this rate, because she just stirring her curry with that blank look on her face for a long time now. I wonder if something bad had happened last night? Even though she said that Kudou-kun had been staying with her up until morning comes, I haven’t seen him at all today. Has he left again? Abandoning his girlfriend in his own house just to chase down another case? Geez! When I take my eyes off of him for just a second, he disappeared! How dare he did this again to her? I don’t care what reason Kudou-kun has, but abandoning his wounded girlfriend –she got that wound to protect him, to top it off- for a case is just too much. I won’t let it slip this time. Not a chance! I’m so gonna beat Heiji up for his buddy’s stunt! And speaking of which, where did that Ahou had gone to so early in the morning?

“Say, Ran-chan…” she didn’t make any reaction to me calling her name, looks like she still wondering in her own thoughts, most probably about Kudou-kun. So I had to wave my hand right in front of her face “Ran-chan? Are you okay?” finally she takes attention this time

“Hu… huh?”

“Are you okay?” I asked her again

“Ye… Yes, I feel better already” stammering, she tried to smile awkwardly. There’s definitely something wrong with her. I know she tend to hide her sorrow behind that smile. If she doesn’t want to talk to me about it, it’s okay. But I don’t want her to swallow it by herself either. So, what should I do?

Suddenly, Sonoko-chan’s face popped inside my head. I know it! If she can’t talk to me, then I just have to find someone she can talk with. What a brilliant idea!

“Say, is it okay if I invite Sonoko-chan along here? It’s been so long since I last saw her”

“Huh? Sonoko?”

“Yes!” I beamed at her, but it washed away as I see her troubled expression “I can’t?”

“Well… It’s not like you can’t… This is Shinichi’s house, so we’d better ask for his permission first…” she stammered while avoiding a direct contact with my eyes, it made me feel more worried “But, I’m not sure Shinichi will be glad to have Sonoko here… I mean, they are always at each other’s neck when they meet. Besides, Shinichi doesn’t really like to have a guest in his house. Well, except you and Hattori-kun, of course” she smiled still so awkwardly when I cast my eyes down “I see…”

But then, she continued “Umm… Let me ask him first, okay?” and takes out her cellphone before disappeared back into Kudou-kun’s room.

I think I will have to inform Sonoko-chan about what’s been happening with Ran-chan, so she will make sure to come here and talk to her. I know I’m being a busy-body here, and that probably will annoy her. But after what had happened yesterday, Ran-chan definitely need someone to talk to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be me, as long as she has someone she could believe and depend to, anyone can do. I thought Kudou-kun will be here for her, but seeing him vanished again, I can’t just stay and do nothing. So I texted Sonoko-chan and ask her to come here and try to make Ran-chan talk about whatever it is that’s been burdening her.

Right after I’ve done with texting Sonoko-chan, I saw Ran-chan striding back to dining room with a bit more cheerful expression “Guess what? Shinichi said it’ll be okay to invite Sonoko here!”

“Really? How nice!” yes! With this, I can execute my plan “Then, lets ask her to come here right now. Come on, come on!” I asked her a bit too excited and jumped a little from my seat.

“Okay!” then she dialed some number on her phone. Not too long, I could hear her saying “Sonoko, it’s me. Do you have time today?” she smiled at hearing her best-friend voice

“Huh? No, it’s not about our report. I finished that already” she waved her hand

“Hahaha… Really? Then, you can look at mine for your reference. Uh-huh, of course I don’t mind” she nodded even though she knew Sonoko-chan can’t see her doing that

“Erm, well… Actually, Kazuha-chan and Hattori-kun has arrived here since yesterday. She said it will be fun if you’re able to come here too” she explained and waited for Sonoko-chan’s respond patiently before saying “Eh? Sera-chan?” somehow she looks troubled “We… well, I’m not sure, but I guess that’s okay… I mean, I’m actually at Shinichi’s house right now, so… Huh?? NO! It’s not like that!” I could see her face becoming red while she stammered “I mean, I did stay over at his house, but… N-NO! We’re not… I mean…” whoa, she has become as red as a tomato now “Geez, Sonoko! It’s not like what you think it is! Shinichi and I haven’t gone that far! Uhh, I mean…” wait, wait! What are they talking about? I want to hear too “Wait, Kazuha-chan! What are you doing?”

“Hmm? I just want to know what you guys are talking about, since you have become so flustered and it seems so fun”

“Geez! Not you too, Kazuha-chan!”

“Sonoko-chan! You definitely have to come here and let’s continue interrogate her then!” I half-yelled to Sonoko-chan over her phone and catched her answer “Got it!” before she disconnected the phone and made Ran-chan sighed.

“You guys are really…” she deadpanned me before she strode back to Kudou-kun’s room. That make me realized, she always come to Kudou-kun’s room every time she had to call or text him. Is it really that confidential? Or, was she just liking the private moment between them? Well, whatever, as long as she is happy, then I’m not gonna complain to him. Not yet.

----- Saturday, 09.20 A.M.  Kudou Residence, Kudou Shinichi’s Room -----

Sigh…

I don’t know why it had become like this, but I guess half of it was my fault. I haven’t fully explained to them about what had happened, so its only natural for them to be curious. Especially Kazuha-chan, since she has been witnessing what had happened yesterday. But I have no idea as to what I should say to her. I want to keep this secret, too. I know how dangerous it will be if any other people finds out. Besides, its not like I could tell her about any of this at all. That’s why I’m a bit lost. I don’t know how I should face her and talk to her without also informing about the reason behind what had happened. I know Kazuha-chan really concern about me. And I can’t turn to Shinichi for advise too. I don’t want him to feel sorry because he had made it difficult for me. Instead, I’m glad that I’m able to share this with him.

As if that’s not enough of a problem, she wants Sonoko to also come here. I have known Sonoko since little, so it would be incredibly difficult to pretend as if nothing happened –she will definitely try to probe me- and I’m not as good as Shinichi when it comes to acting. But since Shinichi said it was okay for letting Sonoko come over, I don’t have any other way than to be ignorant. I can use my wounded arm as a reason for my aloofness, I guess.

PING!

Oh, there comes Shinichi’s reply about Sera-chan.

 

From: shinichi910@ym.co.jp

Subject: Re:Coming over

Text:

Can’t be helped, then. Sera can come too if she wants. But don’t let her enter my room and the room across mine, kay?

Oh, and don’t let her wander around my house either! It’s disastrous enough even without her interference.

 

Ps:

Ran, it’s okay if you want to talk to them about us. I’ll understand (Well, even though I’d really appreciate it if they would stop teasing me… I mean, us)

I’m sorry I made you lie to your friends.

You could never tell them about that thing, but you can always talk to them about whatever you want, okay?

Miss you already,

Shinichi

 

Geez! Since when did he had become so sweet and understanding like this? I wonder what made him changed? Was it because what had happened between us last night?

………

KYAAAAA…!!!

You moron, you can’t always reminiscing about last night!

Oh God! What should I do? I still can’t believe we did that… that kind of thing!

My heart can’t take it!

Was it really happening? I mean, Shinichi and I… We were…

Was doing that made us officially lovers now?

But really… Why did he know what’s been troubling me even without me telling anything? Well, he wouldn’t be called Heisei Holmes for nothing, I know. His observation skill is so thorough its frightening. But still, I’m glad that my boyfriend is a detective! A very good one at that! (Oh God, I’m actually calling him my boyfriend!) And actually, I’m so proud of him! (Okay, that really sounds like Yukiko-obasan’s talking) ever since we were child, he’s been my role model of a perfect guy (well… love-interest, to be honest). Even though sometimes he can become so annoying, he’s still the one I care for the most. That’s why I can’t see any other man that could take my interest except him.

Lately, I feel like Shinichi has opened up a lot to me –the more so ever since he told me about everything- it’s like that thin layer of gap between us had disappeared entirely. He has become so sweet and warm -even though sometimes he is still being oblivious to those around him- being near him really feels like riding a roller coaster, it’s so unpredictable yet it excites me even more.

I told him about how I feel, so there’s nothing wrong for me to write this kind of reply, right?

 

From: mouri_ran@ym.co.jp

Subject: Re:Coming over

Text:

No need to worry, I’ll take care of it *wink

By the way, I’ve been coming in and out your room for several times already, so am I banned, too?

 

Ps:

Are you sure? Once I told them about us, you know we will never hear the end of it…

How did you manage to put me into ease each time even without hearing me complaining, Shinichi?

But, guess that’s one thing that make me love you even more…

Miss you always,

Ran

 

Oh my God! I’ve sent it!

Was that too much? Will he like it or dislike it instead?

Is this how it feels when we wait for the guillotine to chop us down while waiting for the answer of a confession? I can’t calm myself. What should I do if he finds it gross?

PING!

Oh God! Here it comes…!

 

From: shinichi910@ym.co.jp

Subject: Re:Coming over

Text:

There’s this special rules: only I and my girlfriend is allowed to enter my private property. Violations of aforementioned rules such as trespassing, breaking in, etc., would lead into disastrous punishment.

In other words, you’ve got the free pass to enter all of my property, got it?

 

Ps:

I aware of the consequences, Ran. But if by doing so could make you happy and lightens up your burdens even just a little, then I won’t think twice.

Don’t miss me too much, I’ll be back by the end of afternoon.

Shinichi

  

I really have no idea how he always manages to put a smile on my face. Only by texting each other like this, I feel like he is always taking care of me and my feelings comes first. Even though he never tells me how, it seems like he always knows when I need him the most, he’ll be by my side, both as Shinichi and Conan. Having him as my boyfriend is really something!

PING!

Huh? Another mail? Did he forgot to mention something?

 

From: shinichi910@ym.co.jp

Subject: Re:Coming over

Text:

I love you more than you know

Shinichi

 

See? This is what I’m talking about. That deduction geek actually has this romantic side of him too, huh? It made everything that has happened worthy. I don’t mind waiting for him if this is what I’ll get in the end. Shinichi is worth waiting for. I’ll fight alongside him so that we could be together in the end. I want to become his strength, not his weakness. That’s why, I’ll fight for it until my last drop of blood. Even if I have to face hell, or be in the edge of death, I won’t waver. I want to be stronger for him, for us…

 

----- Saturday, 09.45 A.M. FBI Safe House, Minato-ku, Tokyo -----

 

PING!

Oh? What would she say?

 

From: mouri_ran@ym.co.jp

Subject: Re:Coming over

Text:

I’ll be waiting for you, Shinichi…

Ran

 

Heh… it’s so much like her. I grin unconsciously at seeing her reply. She makes me want to come home as soon as possible. Feels like I can understand a little about why Mom always want to be by Dad’s side –even abandoning their only son to go abroad together- and vice versa. All the little things that I’ve been taking for granted, I could appreciate it even more now -after what had happened- and come to understand that our times together is precious. Besides, I intend to make up for my absence during the times I lied to her. Well, actually doing something romantic is not my style. Even so, if that can make her happy, then there’s nothing wrong with it at all. I can survive the never-ending teasing in exchange of her smiling face. Not a problem at all. I’ve been wanting to tell her for so long. After I finally could do so, it makes me feel like drowning in the sea of happiness. All the more so when she accepted me.

Knowing that she is waiting for me, make me want to do my best. Even when I’m facing the dead end, I won’t give up. Not now, not ever!

So, this little thing about facing an ex-member of the black organization in front of me, to get a words of truth from her mouth, would be my goal right now. I don’t need to pretend to be someone else, because somehow I know that by pretending, all I’ll get is also just a small surface of the truth. I want her to tell me the whole truth –even in a puzzle like shape- so I’ll tell her nothing but the truth. It’s a risky gambling. But if I know the tricks, then I’m sure I’ll win this match.

 

He inserted the security code then pushed open the heavy-guarded steel door, leading me to another heavy-guarded steel door within a small room surrounded by nothing but a thick wall.

“Are you sure about this?” he asked me for the umpteenth time, and I answered the same “Yes. I am” which he replied by staring me as if he’s been staring a wacko “Do I need to remind you how dangerous this can be?”

“Akai-san? Have I ever told you about the golden ratio? It’s the same as that” I can see his brow furrowed, thinking about what the connection between a life-threatening action with an ancient formula of a design. “We need the 10 cm difference to make it a perfect win for this risky gambling. The only way I could think of is by doing this”

He finally sighed “If you’re sure” and made no other comments

“Please make sure no one will be witnessing this other than you, Jodie-sensei, and James-ojisan” I remind him again just to be sure, which he replied “I made arrangement so that the camera surveillance divided into 2 views. The one that has you inside will be destroyed right after we’re done” and opened that too high handle of the steel door for me as I replied “That will be perfect”

 

-Surveillance Room-

“Can I call you Ayano-san?” I smiled upon seeing her sitting in a slumped position in her bed, with her legs being cuffed with long chain adjoining another handcuff placed on her hands.

She furrowed her brows at seeing me entering the maximal-protection room, and something inline with a shock could be seen from her eyes, before it shifted again into nothingness “My name is Edogawa Conan, nice to meet you” I casually greeted her, which she replied uninterestedly “What was that FBI guy’s thinking, bringing a child here. Is it just another tricks to make me speak? Hmph! Not gonna work. I don’t have any sympathy even to a child” she stared at me with an icy cold eyes while gritted her teeth “Get lost! Or I’ll make sure you wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly, brat” she tried to be as ruthless as she can, but I can sense her eyes flickered with worry and uneasiness since she saw me entering the room. Hee… interesting.

I snorted “You are a bit late for that, Ayano-san. I’ve seen countless of nightmare ever since I’ve come to know your organization, especially one with a code-name of Gin” I stared at her intently and observe her facial expression while stating about her coworker. As I thought, she seems startled when I mentioned Gin “Vermouth told me about their intentions of exterminating you, the ex-number 2. It would be nice if you tell me your real reason for your betrayal. That way, I can make a counter-measure towards Rum’s plan. And perhaps, it can also lead to a protection of your beloved one, Holy Wine”

She gaped at me, but as nothing came out of her mouth, I thronged her again with information “Judging from your track-record, you have been a loyal worker which they valued so much, until you blow their financial state along with a huge number of another loss. It’s just a matter of time until they erase your existence, you know that too. And now, they’ve found your replacement” She really had become as white as a sheet while listening to me “And I bet you wouldn’t like it if I told you who will likely replace you in their organization. They wouldn’t hesitate to use a genius child of yours as their brain for collecting organization’s funds and also train that child to be their assassin. You know what I mean” I looked at her deeply so that she could see how serious I am.

She hissed and suddenly jump out of her bed to strangle my neck with both of her hands. I could hear the dangling sounds of chain colliding near my ears. The sudden impact made my back slammed to the wall behind me with a loud thud. I feel a bit dizzy because the back of my head also collide with the wall, but I made no effort to break free. I could feel her uneasiness mounting from hearing my statement about using a child and trained them to be an assassin. She interrupted my train of thoughts by shouting “Why did you…! Where did you get that information from!” I can’t help but to smiled at hearing this ‘Bingo!’ and replied with only one word “Curacao” while looked into her dilated pupils.

I eagerly waited for her to compose herself while praying my method would be precise to approach her. Finally, she loosened her strangle and let go of my neck

“You… who are you?” she asked me by looking directly into my eyes now

“Ckckck… Quid pro quo, Ayano-san” I smiled while waving my forefinger. She has taken the bait “I’ll only come out if you do the same” all that’s left to do is to make an exchange.

 

-Meanwhile, in the other side of the room-

I could feel the chills run down my spine as I watched what was going on through camera surveillance. I knew that Cool Kid wasn’t just an ordinary kid like others. I could even say that he is a genius and mature enough compared to other child his age. I can also feel this mysterious aura that covered him, that stating he is not what he seems to be. Nonetheless, he is trust worthy and dependable. Even our James seems to placed a big value of trust on him. I lost count on how often we have been cooperating with him, and judging from the stories Shuu has conveyed to us, he often helped us in time to failed the organization’s evil plan. But never in my wildest imagination a thought about who he really is crossed my mind. Even though Shuu seems to know this crucial information that he pretends didn’t have any idea of what I’m talking about when I asked him one time.

And now, he managed to prove his capability again, more than what we had expected him to do. Cool kid managed to get a reaction from the steel woman –as we nicknamed her because of her thick fortress of not reacting to anyone and anything nor any method we used to make her spill the beans- and a strong one at that, with just talking to her. She reacted to what he’s been saying. It also struck me in an awe as I gnawed the information he’s been relying to her. How come he knows all of this things? When even we didn’t have any idea of its existence? What else did he know that he hasn’t conveyed to us? I bet he knows a lot more than this.

What a scary kid…

 

-Back to surveillance room-

“I have one condition” she finally looked into my eyes after being in a silent for a long time now, she looks like thinking hard before managed to get a decision “I want YOU to protect HIM” she looked deeply into my eyes while pointing her finger at me, as if asking me to vow to protect her son in her stead, which I replied with reassuring but firm gaze “I will”

At hearing this, she let out a sigh, and she smiled at me for the first time “I have heard about you once from Vermouth. And I guessed you’re the one responsible for Curacao’s changed of heart, too” as if knowing what I want to ask, she continued “Oh, yes. I was there before she led that tractor” she turned and head to the direction of her bed “I planned to kill her. She is our information specialist, that makes her dangerous even to us; because she has all that delicate information within her. And I know she managed to get my secret out, too. I can’t risk her telling Rum about it” she slowly sat on her bed, now facing me with her head up “As I pointed my gun, she only smiled that tender and caring one at me, saying that there’s no need for me to kill her, because she finally understood how I’ve felt: to have someone important that’s worth our life for. And that she already placed a helping hand for me, saying I will meet YOU eventually” a slight pause, before she smiled again “Then she went just like that. I’ve never imagined that she, out of all people, betrayed Rum. She even sacrificed her own life to safe those children, children that’s not even hers” she smiled but her tears flew freely on her cheeks while continuing “We’re the same. We have done the fatal error on our task before, and we’ve been given the second chances to fix it, under strong surveillance. But we also like a two sides of a coin, while I have the string to someone important for me when she doesn’t. While I have the strong motivation to keep going, when she’s empty. While I have one solid color, when she got all the color but not even one represented herself. Such irony. But I guess that’s what makes us feel the attachment to each other. She always wonder what color could she be, what kind of person would she be? What kind of feeling could she get, from having something or someone important? She was my rival, but she also was my best friend. That’s why I’m glad she died while able to carry that feeling” she lifted her head and said “Thanks to you” while looking at me.

Her words make me remember about that time, when we were hunted inside the giant merry-go-round in Touto Aquarium*. Later, Haibara had told me that she had met with her –as Sherry and Curacao- but she helped her and told her to run from the danger that was coming closer –Gin, to be exact- knowing what will happen if they manage to find them, the traitors. She said Curacao just wanted to know what color could she be, and wonder if she is better being the Cool Onee-san rather than being Curacao, Rum’s subordinate “Also, please tell that boy –the smart boy who was with you, and also the one that sent an SMS to Rum about Bourbon and Kir using my name- there’s someone inside the organization who need to be rescued. They will kill her and makes her son as her replacement. He has to find her. The ex-number 2” that’s what Haibara had said reciting her speech. That’s why once I heard about Vinsanto, I could piece the puzzles right away. And it has been right.

Seeing me silent, she started again, asking the inevitable “What do you want me to do? You know now that I couldn’t get any recent information about organization anymore, since they intended to kill me. So the thing you wanted from me is not information or me being double-agent. You also seem to have a strong connection from the inside. Even without my interferences, you’ll get what you need. And there’s no way you wanted me to kill all of them since you have a strong sense of justice. You said you want information about my son’s whereabouts so that you could make a counter-measure towards Rum’s plan…” a pause, then as I predicted from the looks on her face, she asked me “How did you manage to get to know Rum’s plan in the first place? With that confident look on your face, I bet you already know exactly what it is, am I right?”

Geh. She hit the nail. Its not even a question, it’s a statement! “Hee… You are indeed sharp” I give credit to her insight, and that’s precisely what I need from her “But before I could tell you about it, you have to give me another clue from the insider point of view”

“Whatever you need” she shrugged

Smirking, I added “This could take long”

Chapter Text

----- Saturday, 10.30 A.M. Kudou Residence, Dining Room -----

I could hear a screeching sound of a brake from Shinichi’s front gate. And to my great fear, Sonoko has emerged from the limousine not long after. Followed by Sera-chan. Great. This is the first time for me to feel such terror when seeing my own best-friend, like something in my stomach has knotted itself. Not to mention, my other best-friend from Osaka has been looking at me with her hawk-like eyes that full of curiosity, waiting patiently for her target to be off guard then she will attack mercilessly. Inhaling a deep breath, I arrange my thoughts again about what I should and shouldn’t say to them. Right on cue, the door had been opened with such fierce by a very excited Sonoko. And that grin that plastered on Sera-chan’s face… God, can I really manage this?

Shinichi’s house is unusually packed with people this morning. And between the chatter, I bet even Hakase could hear Sonoko’s delighted squealing coming from Kudou’s house. Being ganged up by my best-friends like this is surprisingly nerve-wrecking. I found it hard to defend my self. At least, Shinichi gave an okay for me to spill whatever I want that had been happening between us. But still, I want to keep a bit of it as our own little secret. That is, if I managed to dodge the question, or they have enough pity on me.

Sonoko had begun her attack promptly once she set her butt on the couch, she doesn’t even let me pour some tea for them when she asked “Sooooo… You’ve finally met your husband yesterday. How did that go?” with such a provocateur kind of behavior

“N-nothing much, really…” I just have to dodge as well as I can

“You know you can’t give me that” she deadpanned “After such romantic confession in London, I bet something happened” she clasped her hand and outrageously mimic me “Oh, Shinichi… Now that you’re here, finally I could give the answer to you…” she puckered her lips and continued “While we’re at it, I’d gladly give my virgin lips, too…”

“So… Sonoko! It wasn’t like that!” I can feel my cheeks burning

“Then! What was it like?” Sonoko… she looks like a leech, really…

Kazuha cut in before I could react “Yeah, tell us! You said Kudou-kun even stayed with you until morning com…”

“WHAAAT?!” comes the shriek from both Sonoko and Sera-chan

“Kazuha-chan!” ugh, I should have explained properly to Kazuha-chan first

“You and Shinichi-kun stayed the night together??” Sonoko squeaked

“Kudou-kun is here??” ugh, not Sera-chan too

“It was just a coincident that we met in the first pla… wait! Sera-chan! Where are you going?” it’s my turn to squeak

“Of course to find Kudou-kun! Where’s he?” she said a bit too excitedly

“Shinichi isn’t here. He’s been going out with Hattori-kun since this morning” I had to raise my voice as she was sprinting to the door “Oh… I see…” she halted, but… Why is she suddenly looked so gloomy? “Do you perhaps need to see Shinichi or something?” I had to make sure

“Huh? Oh, n-no… I mean, I was just curious about your boyfriend, that’s all” she shrugged as if it has been nothing, but I could sense she need to see Shinichi for something serious. Hmm, maybe I should let Shinichi knows about this later.

“Huh? Why did it seem like you are so excited about Shinichi-kun being here? Do you perhaps…” Sonoko trailed off, as if scrutinizing her. I wonder what is it that makes Sonoko become this serious “Do you also happen to like him?”

… wha???

“WHAT? N-NO! That can’t be!” Sera-chan waived her hands furiously, but a blush coming out on her cheeks as she says so. Sera-chan… are you really…?

“That’s not it, Ran-chan. Relax” she looked into my eyes. Duh, am I really that predictable? I feel kind of guilty for some reason… “This is just about a case. Well, I’m working on this case for quite a long time now. I want his help for this case I’ve been trying to solve, it’s too tough for me alone, so… I’m thinking of taking his advice, that’s all” she also smiled this time “As what I said before, only Ran could snipe at Kudou-kun’s heart, and vice-versa, okay?”

“Sera-chan…” I don’t know what to say. She is such a sweet and bright girl

“Well, if you say so” Sonoko shrugged and let it go, only to attack me again “So? What had happened between your night together with your husband?” again, that leech face

Sigh. I bet I have no other option “Very well. If you want to know, I’ll tell you” I could almost see Sonoko beaming “But! I need to talk privately with Kazuha-chan first!” I just dragged Kazuha-chan out to one of the guest room and slammed the door shut before start talking seriously with her

“Kazuha-chan, I have a favor I’d like to ask of you” I clenched her arm

“Sure?” she tilted her head wondering what am I about to talk in such a serious manner

“The thing that happened in the Bank, I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t talk about it at all to both Sonoko and Sera-chan” seeing her getting more confused, I guess I should try to explain slower “I mean, I don’t want to talk about that robbers and what they did… it still hurt to remember. But I’m okay now because Shinichi was there. You don’t have to worry; I’ll talk about it with Shinichi. Perhaps I would even make him my private punching bag” I giggled to the thought of making Shinichi my private punching bag before continuing “And about Shinichi who was in disguised. He was in some kind of undercover mission then, so it will be bad if someone out there knew he was in the Bank at that moment. I can’t tell you any further reason, but it’s very important to keep it as quite as possible. Please understand, Kazuha-chan…” she looked at me as if she wanted to ask further, but then she nodded and said “Actually I just want you to talk about whatever burdening you to someone, so you wouldn’t have to carry the pain by yourself, that’s why I called Sonoko-chan to come over, but…” she sighed, then smiled “If that’s what you want, then it’s okay”

“Thank you, Kazuha-chan” I hugged her

She hugged me back “I really want to see Kudou-kun as your punching bag, though” and laughed, that made me laugh too.

Really, I’m so lucky because I’ve been surrounded by people who cares about me. They do in their own way. Including Shinichi, of course. I mean, especially Shinichi. That stupid deduction-geek is always having his own way to express his feelings –sometimes in a weird and hard to understand way- despite how he looked from the outside, he cares. And if we look closer, he is that kind of people who will give his all to do whatever he thinks is right and worthy to fight for. How can I blame him then?

“I suggest we head back to them now, before Sonoko destroy Shinichi’s furniture with rage” I’m in the middle of opening the door when Kazuha-chan grab my arm “But then, what should we say if they ask how you both have met that day?” which I answered “Leave it to me!” while winking.

Smiling, we headed back to the living room. Only to be welcomed by a very annoyed Sonoko who puffed impatiently. However, I couldn’t spot Sera-chan which why I asked “Where is Sera-chan?” and welcomed by a murderous glint by Sonoko “Now, you want to talk privately with Sera-chan? Go ahead, go ahead. Who am I to you, anyway” she swung her head and sighed dramatically

“Geez! It’s not like that, Sonoko! I just don’t want to repeat the story over and over again. I’ll go get her very quick, and why don’t you serve yourself something to drink in the mean time?” before I went to search for Sera-chan I could hear Sonoko’s replied “Hmph. I am not his wife. So, unlike you, I’m not familiar with this house”

“Geez, Sonoko!” that was an understatement since Sonoko has always go in and out Shinichi’s house since we were child. Well, not as often as me, but still… oh, there she is

“Sera-chan? What are you doing?”

“Huh? No, nothing really”

Well, I’m sure it’s not nothing, since she’s been trying to open a door to Shinichi’s room “That’s Shinichi’s room. But its locked. He doesn’t really like to have someone intruding his personal space, so…” I trailed off, not wanting to explain that I’m the one who locked it, even as per his order

“I guess. As I remembered, Kudou-kun was like that ever since. But it’s a different matter if it was you, though” seeing my surprise face, she continued “I’m also a detective, you know? I know that he asked you to lock his room” with understanding smile on her face “Shall we go back now?”

I grabbed her arm before she manages to go downstairs “Sera-chan, if there is something you really need from Shinichi, I could…” I trailed off, thinking what could I do?

Well, I could give her Shinichi’s number –of course after I asked his permission first- so that she could discuss her ‘case’ directly with him. Or I could call him now with my phone so that she doesn’t has to call him herself. Or I could inform Shinichi that she need his advice, so that perhaps Shinichi would call her back? Or… “It’s okay, Ran-chan. You don’t have to do all that” smiling, she strode back to dining room “He is smart. So I know he picked my clue already”

Huh? What did she say?

I don’t know why, but suddenly I feel very aware of something. Sera-chan said she has been giving Shinichi clues for her case, that means she knows how to communicate with him, or she has already done it. But Shinichi hasn’t told me his interaction with Sera-chan, aside from him remembering that we have met her before. And I doubted she knows Shinichi’s phone number or email address. So, how on earth…?

That leave only one possibility. And that possibility made me feel my stomach whirls itself. Does she aware of who Conan really is? How come?

With all that thoughts and possibility I’m thinking about, I didn’t aware that we’re already back to dining room, where Sonoko and Kazuha-chan has been waiting eagerly for me to begin the story. I made a mental note that I had to talk with Shinichi about Sera-chan and what she had said, just in case.

  

----- Saturday, 07.10 A.M.  Kudou Residence, Kudou Shinichi’s Room -----

I could hear someone talking in the back of my head, at first I couldn’t really get what they were saying, but as I heard the familiar voice emerged from one of the voices behind, I snapped my eyes open. Only to wonder where is this place? It’s not my room, but the surroundings feel so familiar. Added with this strong but calming scent that filled my nose, the feeling of uneasiness had vanished, replaced with a pleasure and a comfort kind of feeling.

Remembering what had happened last nigh, a slight blush crept my cheek. I am well aware now. I am in Shinichi’s room, laying peacefully on his bed, and I’m sure I was hugging him until recently. To be precise, until his parents opened the door and woke him up –I believe I could hear some teasing coming from Yukiko-obasan- which he replied with grumbling and somehow I’m sure his cheeks were red too, judging from his stammering voice.

I didn’t dare presenting my self in that kind of state, especially to my boyfriend’s parents. Whatever excuses I have, I don’t believe I can even manage to greet them a good morning without spilling what happened the night before between us. So I thought closing back my eyes would rather be a wise decision.

“Geez, Mom! You are the one who suggest this bed-sharing idea. You don’t need to explain to me about what I should or shouldn’t do” he sighed

“Oh well, whatever happened, happened” hearing Yukiko-obasan’s voice, I could almost manage to imagine her sly grin

“Do you really think we wouldn’t find out, Shinichi?” the usually calm and manly voice of Shinichi’s father seems like a mocking tone to me, I wonder why?

“Wait…! Where did you get that key from?” I can sense a jolt beside me as Shinichi abruptly jumped out of the bed

“I am still the original owner of this house, my boy” that wasn’t just my imagination;

Shinichi’s father really mocking him, and now he is laughing his heart out

“Dad!” somehow I could sense that a horrifying things would happen

“~No need to be shy, Shin-chan! Hohoho…” what are they talking about?

“You need to restrain yourself better, Shinichi” why didn’t Shinichi say anything?

“I am sure I had taught you to be a gentleman Shin-chan, but still… for you to be doing that to Ran-chan…” What? What did they… How could they know…?

“And what exactly did I do?” I knew Shinichi was challenging them back, as an image of his smirking face flashed my head, with his detective-mode tone of voice

After seems like eternity, I finally could hear Shinichi’s father sighed in some kind of a resignation voice? “Okay, okay. We lost” huh? Was this a competition from the start? “You’ve gotten better each time. I’m proud of you, my son”

“What? We’ve lost already?” said Yukiko-obasan in a dejected voice

“Since when did you realized this key is a fake?” a fake key? What does it have to do with…

“The fact that you only flashed the key for a brief moment rather than showing it to me in a full view, and the fact the the size is a bit different. Also, the pattern is different. The real one has a symmetrical pattern on both side of the lock, unlike this one that has a bigger side to it” Shinichi said all that in a calmer tone

“I see. So you’ve made a precaution, huh?”

“It was necessary”

“You are the one who wanted a camera surveillance installed in your own room, so you have to be prepared for what it caused too, Shinichi” … what? He installed a camera? In his own room?

“That’s why I made it only I have the access to control room” he really went to that length?

“Then, don’t forget to mention this to Ran-chan. In case she changes here… don’t tell me you intentionally want to see her naked?” WHAAT?!

“Mom!” is that true, Shinichi?

“Come on dear, we don’t want to wake Ran-chan up, do we?” I swear I could sense Shinichi’s father’s gaze piercing my back

“We’ll wait in the study. You have 15 minutes to be ready~” she shouted

“… Geez! What a handful parents!”

When I heard the door closing, I shot up from the bed. I intended to kick Shinichi out with my fine leg, but at seeing his warm smile directed at me, somehow my leg won’t move

“Sorry about that. And, before you kick me, I was planning to tell you about the camera. But well…” he scratched his cheek “I told you so many things already last night. I want you to take it easy. It was just me being over careful; paranoid even” he strode back to the bed and sat beside me, putting away stranded hair out my face “Just in case, go change in toilet okay? Unless…” he didn’t let it finished as he kissed me. I lost count on how many kisses we shared already. Oh well, I don’t mind, but “Shinichi, your parent’s waiting…”

“I still had 12 minutes. Besides, mom knows I only need 3 minutes to change” smirking, he slowly pushed me back to his bed.

 

----- Saturday, 11.05 A.M. Kudou Residence, Dining Room -----

“Whatever it is you are thinking now, it didn’t go that far, Sonoko!” geez, how many times do I have to repeat that to her?

“You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?” she loomed her face in front of mine, trying to collect whatever it is that I was hiding from her. Well, I told them about this morning, minus the camera thing, of course. Perhaps that is what intrigued her “You didn’t tell us everything” as she said that, Kazuha-chan chirped “Of course! Ran-chan haven’t told us about the night when Kudou-kun nursed her… Oh” gasping, she shut her mouth.

Oh, great…

“Nursed? Do you by any chance hurt yourself? Speaking about it, you haven’t use your right arm much” there comes Sera-chan’s comment, which triggered Sonoko’s “That’s right! What happened to the bruise over here too? It wasn’t from your karate practise” she traced the patch on my cheek, that made me wince

“Oh, this was nothing. You see, when we hang out with Hattori-kun yesterday, we happen to bump with some robbers in the bank. It turns out to be a bit of a serious situation we’re in” I tried to explain as simple as I can, leaving out the detailed information when Sera-chan said “Don’t tell me you were in the bank with the robbers who blew up the building?”

“Yes, the three of us were there. Well actually, only Kazuha-chan and Hattori-kun were inside the bank when the first bomb had blown. I was out of their radar but I couldn’t go out as I were trapped inside the building. I made an attempt to sneak out, but one of them caught me. That was when I got this bruises” Sonoko gasped and hugged me when I continued “I was out for a moment. When I finally woke up, Hattori-kun had already evacuate all of the hostages. So Kazuha-chan and I follow him to the back door, and we manage to get home with Subaru-san’s help” I was planning to tell them we get out from the front door, but somehow I know Sera-chan will dig up about this case. And if she manages to know that we weren’t inside one of the hostages as I said we were, she will get more curious. So I need to explain what had happened truthfully, but careful enough not to let delicate information slipped.

“Why did you get to the backdoor instead of mixing with other hostages in evacuation point?” as I thought, it got to Sera-chan’s

“We indented to, but as Hattori-kun goes missing, we couldn’t help but to look after him first. That’s when we met Subaru-san. Apparently, he was also there but unlike me, he successfully sneaked out and called for a help. So we just followed his instruction to sneak out from the back door with him” Sera-chan only nodded while listening to my explanation when Sonoko cut in “Don’t tell me the one who saved you from the backdoor happened to be your husband?” her giggling somehow annoyed me “That’s right! Shinichi happened to be near the backdoor with his mother. So they brought me, Kazuha-chan, and Subaru-san on her car, while Hattori-kun stayed to inform the police” I was going to continue when Sonoko cut in again “Let’s skip the boring one. Just tell us already what had happened between you and Shinichi-kun afterwards?”

“Yes! Yes! I wanted to know what had happened after I left the room?” now Kazuha-chan chirped, I could saw the relieved face of hers when the story about the robbery ended “You know? I was there when Kudou-kun knocked and entered his room. Oh, Sonoko-chan! If only you saw that face of him when he looked at Ran-chan!”

“What? What kind of face did he make?” Sonoko asked curiously

“It’s kinda hard to describe; but that soft gaze, that warm smile, it’s so full of love! It’s as if he is stating his love for Ran-chan only by looking at her! Gosh, it melted my heart too ~” was that a blush on Kazuha-chan’s face am I seeing now?

“I bet it kinda got to him seeing his beloved wounded” it’s Sera-chan’s turn “Every human male has this kind of ‘wanting to protect their mate partner in order to keep their offspring safe’ subconscious sense planted inside their mind; a gift from our ancestor to prevent human kind from extinction. That makes it sensible if he wants to hasten himself at securing his descendant by being together with you” I got to see her smirk clearly as she stated this “In other words, he would want to have sex with you. More than before”

I could only gape –and blush furiously- at hearing Sera-chan’s, ahem, vulgar explanation. It made me remember about what Shinichi had been sputtering then –about hormonal kicked in upon being his teenager self back and something about a proverbial sentences of subconscious instinct of being male- that makes sense now. Well, what we had been doing that night was already a dead giveaway of what will happen next, though.

“Looks like someone’s been reminiscing about that special moments ~” Sonoko’s teasing made me come back to earth. I mean, we are in the middle of talking about that kind of thing, so it was only natural for me to blush, okay? Not to mention, this is Shinichi we are talking about. And all that things HE had done yesterday night, there is no way I could still manage to calm myself down!

“Come on, tell us already! What did Kudou-kun do that night?” Kazuha-chan squeaked into my ear

“I bet he kissed you. He did, didn’t he?” Ugh, Sonoko and that leech-like smile of hers

“I can hardly guess what he did” then comes Sera-chan’s smirk

“He… uhh, he…” I could only look at the floor “He… did. Shinichi kissed me”

“KYAAAAA~” both Sonoko and Kazuha-chan screams their lungs at the news, only Sera-chan remained calm

“What was it like? Kissing him, I mean?” Kazuha-chan asked promptly

“It… it felt… really good…?” as I was trailing, Sonoko pressed further explanation “Oh come on, Ran! Tell us already, what kind of kissing did you guys do?” Sonoko could really good at interrogating people like this “Well, it was just a simple lips touching… at first…” Gosh! What should I tell them? “I… I mean. I imagined our first wouldn’t… I mean, it wasn’t supposed to be like THAT, but...” I can’t! my heart can’t take it! Oh God…

It was Sera-chan’s turn, she smirked knowingly “I bet he did more than just a simple peck on the lips?”

“I’m not so sure. I mean, it was like a blur to me. Especially when he licked my lower lips in between our kisses, I was just…” Gosh! What am I spouting? “I mean; I couldn’t think at all! It just happened”

“What’s just happened?” Sonoko pushed further and further for detail

“He… he used his…” I’m not sure I can spell it right

“He used his tongue while kissing you?!” Sonoko grabbed my shoulder “Really?!” shaking me using her two hands now

“He did that?! Oh. My. Gosh!” Kazuha-chan had all the red color on her face, well, I can’t blame her though

“Kazuha-chan, don’t make it sounds like that, please!” I cried

“Well, of course she did! You just told us he french-kissed you! On your firsts, too!” Sera-chan was like… oh, forget it

“Woah, woah… Hold on! I can’t believe Shinichi-kun had the gut to do so! I mean, he was *as passionate as a dead fish* up until now!” really, Sonoko…

Sera-chan made that iconic thinking position when she said “Maybe that was the cause instead. He was like suppressing his feelings all this time, right? So, when he finally gets the green signal, he stomped on the gas in a wild run” Eh, really?

“Yeah, you could put it like that, too. But still, I didn’t see Kudou-kun as some hot-blooded-hormones-driven that makes him a running-wild-teenager who will attacks his childhood friend once-they-get-set-into-being-lover kind of person” what a way to say it, Kazuha-chan

“Well, perhaps he was tired of being that good-for-nothing-loser that wasn’t brave enough to make further progress with his crush since childhood?” again, what’s with that wording you guys? I could almost pity Shinichi here

“Either way, Kudou-kun made some big step, don’t you think so?” I don’t pay attention to whom talking about what in this state anymore

“Wait! We can’t make any conclusion just from this information. We have to dig up further to be able to wraps the situation clearly. Supported by a solid proof would be better”

“Leave the digging up to me! Soooo, Ran ~ what else did Shinichi-kun do?”

“Huh?” my head feels dizzy; I know my face is burning it feels so hot I had to fanned myself

“Come on, we all know it usually started with only a light kiss. But in no time, you’ll find yourself naked in his arms”

“Na… nak… naked??? No! I… I had my clothes on! He… he buttoned back the pajama!”

Silent

……

GAH…!!!

Oh my Gosh! What am I???

“He what?”

“Buttoned back?”

“You were…?”

……

“WHAAAAATT???!!!” what an ear-piercing chorus

“Ran-chan, don’t tell me…”

“He did what?!”

“What did you guys do?”

I wish I could dig up a hole right then and there, and buried myself deep in it.

Since I know I can’t, I would just take a deep breath, relax myself, re-arrange my thought, and be done with it!

“No, we didn’t go that far. I mean, we hadn’t had sex…” almost did, but “Shinichi had stopped before we get to the point where we couldn’t stop it” there is no other way than to tell them everything now. My mistakes, I know “That time, he said: Ran, I really want you to be mine right now. But I know this wasn’t right. This wasn’t how it supposed to be -in a rush, I mean- You deserve so much better than this. I want to cherish you, coz you really precious to me. So, let’s take it slowly, shall we?”

Taking another deep breath, I continued “Honestly, I feel a bit down. But also relieved and happy in the same time. It was so complicated I don’t know how to describe it”

After a long silence, I decieded to tell them how I feel “I love Shinichi. Knowing that he also feels the same was what matters the most to me. Knowing that I’m important to him was also something I really wished for along this time. So, I wouldn’t ask for anything anymore”

After digesting what I had said, Sera-chan finally break the silence “Then, he didn’t force himself on you, did he?” she asked, looked a little like a concerned father

“Of course he didn’t! He wouldn’t do something I wouldn’t want” I feel the urge to defend him somehow

Kazuha-chan cut in “Then, you let him because you also want it?” oh great. Me and my big mouth

“I… I wanted it” pausing, I decided to be true to myself and my friends “I want him to do things… to me…” God! What a confession I made! What if Shinichi hear what I said? It’s embarrassed me to death!

“I knew it! You finally confessed! Takes you long enough, years even!” comes Sonoko’s delighted voice

“Well, we weren’t official until recently” I heard myself stuttering when Kazuha-chan agreed “I know how it felt, Ran-chan. It’s not an easy task to break a line between love and friends” when we saw a grief in her face, Sonoko and I could only hug her “Kazuha-chan…” followed by a pat in the shoulder by Sera-chan “Seeing Ran-chan, you only have to have faith on yourself, Kazuha-san” she said

Then, Sonoko abruptly smirk while saying “It’s true you had to have faith on yourself. But sometimes, man needs to be pushed to take action, you know? All we had to do is giving them the right trigger” seeing Kazuha-chan in a dazed, she continued “Leave it to Love-strategist, Sonoko the Cupid!” what a horrendous name, hahaha…

Chapter Text

----- Saturday, 07.25 A.M.  Kudou Residence, Study Room -----

As I opened the door to the library, I could see my mom were readying herself –wait, was that my boxer she’s been plugging onto? - “Shin-chan! I didn’t think you’ll be here on time”

I deadpanned her “Good morning to you too, Mom, Dad”

“Finished your business?” I’m gonna wipe that annoying smirk off your face, Dad

“None you should know. And Mom, what are you doing with my boxer on?”

“Ckckck… We need to be thorough in everything we do, my dear” she really remembers me of someone; he also did that kind of being thorough too… using that damn underwear tricks on me, this time I’ll make sure I’ll make him regret that. Oh, and also for using that dirty camera-on-the-dove-trick, you’ll pay for your deed miserably and…

“I contacted my friends from Interpol. He’d want to see that directly” okay, let’s forget about that thief for now

“It’s still too dangerous to let it out now. I’ll just give them the copy of their share. They will have to be extra careful, not to let them know we knew” opposing my father’s inquiry was the first for me, however I have to be extra careful regarding about this matter

“I know where you’ve come from, Shinichi. But we also have to put ourselves in their shoes. This is a very delicate matter, so it’s only natural that they would want to make sure the authenticity of the information and its source” well, it’s true. I nearly fall from my chair when they didn’t even require my personal information then

“Fine. But please make sure the one who will indulge in this matter is trustworthy”

“I’m not gonna put my son’s life in the hand of someone that isn’t trustworthy, Shinichi”

“I know, Dad. It’s not about me. It’s about her. That’s why…” ugh, I don’t want to imagine how she will gonna react when I tell her this. I just hope she wouldn’t throw one of her dangerous alchemic reaction to my face… and hope that she’ll want to cooperate with my ‘crazy plan’, as she’d phrases it

“I understand. It will make do for now” Good. I know Dad will do something about this

“Coming from you, I guess it will be enough of a prove, Dad. They have no other way than to believe you” and they’ll have no other option than to cooperate

“I guess so. Then, how about Zero?” ugh, I nearly forget him

“He’ll be there”

“Good. This will double the result” hahaha… sure it will, but I also have to double the effort, too “The thing is, he is a bit… well, doesn’t matter. It will work somehow” I hope he’ll listen to me. I ought to make some back-up plans in case he wouldn’t cooperate and go berserk with Akai-san like last time*…

“Preparation complete, guys. We need to get going now. Yuusaku, be careful okay?”

“You should be careful yourself, dear” oh, here comes the infamous-lovey-dovey-comedy-duo…

“Oh, don’t worry about me. I handle Shin-chan all the time and I’m still alive”

“What was that supposed to mean, Mom?” Am I that poisonous?

“It means; he is no difference than you. Oh, I’m so excited to meet him I can’t wait~” you’re joking, aren’t you? How come you levels a detective and a thief the same? He and I are like oil and water, earth and moon, and so on… really, sometimes I couldn’t get what she’s been thinking. Women. Sighs…

“Then, until we meet again there”

“Wait, Dad!”

“Hmm?” ugh, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this

“Thank you. For the advice, for helping me with this, and… well, for… just being here. This means a lot to me” God, I don’t know this can become so embarrassing

“… Everything for my son” ugh, I can’t meet him in the eyes

“Whaaat~? No thanks for me…?” ugh, not you too, Mom!

“Yeah, yeah… and thanks to you too, Mom”

“Geez! What a difference!” she is been complaining, but I know she is happy

“Oh please! I don’t want to see my face grinning stupid like that! Tsk” to see my own face smirking like an idiot in front of me; it’s really creepy, I tell you

“Oh, come on. There’s nothing wrong with my expression” wait, did she just?

“Ku… Kudou?” oh? I didn’t see him coming

“Oh, you finally awake, Hattori” wha…? Mom? What are you trying to pull here?

Oh great, poor Hattori. And stop winking at me, will you?

“Ku… Ku…?” Oi, oi… your face! It’s like you are seeing a ghost now. I’m not dead, by the way

“You are blocking the way, Hattori”

“What are you doing standing there like a statue of liberty? Come on, I gotta get to Hakase’s now” I wonder when he will get used to this. He definitely knows that mom was able to do this. You even experienced it yourself, being in disguised as me “Wha…? Why…? Who is…?” so, why are you still that shock?

“Can’t you tell the differences? You are detective, aren’t you?” Well, even I couldn’t differentiate between the real Hattori and you from this point when you put your disguise on

“Wha…? Of course I am!”

“Can’t we just get going? I always punctual, you know?” or you’ll have to witness a teenager shrinking in front of your eyes

“Well, what a pity. I guess I’ll see you later, Hattori” shoo, shooo…

“Wait!”

“What?” aarrghh! What now, Hattori? “Hey! Let go of my hand”

“Touch me and you’ll be dead, Hattori!”

“Just drop it, Hattori” Sigh… Mom will never drop her acting once she’s in it

“I’ll just go first, Shinichi” Oh great. You’ll just slip yourself out of this, right Dad?

“Kay”

“Take care, Dad”

“Which one of you is the real Kudou? I know one of you must be Yukiko-obasan!”

“You still can’t tell?” don’t provoke him, mom!

“Listen, this is no time to be doing this now” I really need to get going before my own body failed on me. Besides, Ran will likely done changing by now

“Yeah, I need to get going”

“Wait! I’ll call Neechan then! If she manages to know who’s the real Kudou, only then I’m willing to give up” what? As if I want her to see me gulfing in that burning pain in front of her! No way in hell I’d do that!

“Hee… interesting”

“Oi, Hattori…!” Geez! he already sprints towards my room

“Just let him be. You want to know too, don’t you?”

“Know what?”

“About whether Ran-chan will be able to spot the real you or not” well, I had to say that was a bit of an interesting prospect, but…

“And you also want to test how good your skill is?”

“Well, a test-drive won’t hurt, right? Besides, what I’m about to be dealing with is master of disguise himself” that glint on your eyes said everything, mom. Sigh, better not to provoke her

 

“Oh, there they are…” Hmm? “Oi Hattori! Let go of her now! Geez! Don’t you know she is wounded?” What is he doing, dragging her like that?

“Oh, sorry Neechan” you only realize it now? Just because Ran wears a sweater and a jeans that didn’t allow her wounds to be seen, doesn’t mean she’s not hurting

“Shin… Shinichi?” Yeah, I’m still me. And another bonus me.

“Yo, Ran!”

“Ran, are you feeling better?” I’ll smack him if he made her wounds worse

“Geez! Stop mimicking me already!”

“That’s my line!”

“So, Neechan? Do you know which one is the real Kudou?”

“Oww, Hattori! What the hell are you doing?” my cheeks! Don’t treat me like I’m kind of that damn, creepy phantom-thief

“It hurts, damn it!”

“Because I can’t! Even after I did that! Kudou were just like an amoeba’s splitting themselves!” he looks like he wants to cry

“Yeah, that’s your problem”

“You don’t need to pinch my cheek that hard, moron”

Giggles…

Huh? Who is…? Ran?

“Why are you giggling like mad?”

“Well, I guess I know how to get the real Shinichi out” oh, she’s smiling. Despite not knowing the reason why she smiles like that, I really like her smile

“Oh? By that you mean?” are you provoking her, Mom?

“Just let me do something to make sure, okay?” why is she blushing by the way?

Make sure? She was in the closet when I changed my clothes, and she hasn’t seen me until now. So it wasn’t because of the clothes she knew. Then, how… in the… world…?

Oh god, she’s so close! Too close! What do you think you are doing, Ran?

Don’t tell me you are going to…?

Urgh, I had to dodge somewhat, I know… but somehow I don’t want to move…at all…

God, she is so… “Ra…mmmmhhhh…”

Don’t you know that everyone’s watching? Since when did you become such a brave girl? I know you always are, but not in this kind of thing. Oh well, whatever…

We’ve been doing this for who knows how many times already, but I can never get bored.

No, never with you. Your lip’s so addicting, it made me crave for even more. I don’t want it to end, but… they are watching us; you know? And I bet Hattori wouldn’t be able to close his mouth like before again, after watching us being like this. And my mom, she will do 1001 teasing to us.

Geez Ran! You initiated it first, so don’t come complaining to me later about me not being able to restrain my self from public display of affection.

After some blissful moment, we unwillingly let go “What a dangerous way to find me, you silly girl!” I pinched her nose “What if the other one is Kaitou Kid?” hey, don’t laugh! I’m being serious here!

“I know it’s you even before I saw you, Shinichi” huh? What’s that supposed to mean?

She just giggles at seeing me get more confused, before finally explain “It was your scent. And the way you look at me from the first time Hattori-kun dragged me out” is that so? “You were worrying about my wounds, weren’t you?” Hee… so that’s why you knew? “Your observation skill isn’t bad. That’s my girl!” way to go, Ran!

Looking up to the still shocked and embarrassed Hattori, I can’t stop my self to mock him “Happy now?” I want to open my mouth when mom cuts in “Looks like Ran-chan is the better detective, eh? That’s why I said you don’t make trouble with woman Shin-chan, Hattori-kun?” again, with her annoying wink “Thanks to you, I get to see Shin-chan’s dumbfound face, it’s priceless! Nice work, Ran-chan! Show it to me again next time~”

See? She even managed to tease me before running out giggling like a mad chicken. I bet Dad will know about this in no time. And Hattori… Well duh, let’s give him some time to collect himself, shall we?

 

She walked me to front gate. I told her I would be at Hakase’s house during my ‘transformation’ in order to maintain the usual checking by Haibara during the whole process, and to avoid her or anyone else seeing me in that state, because I prefer not to be seen by anyone during that time; not only for my pride or whatsoever, but to prevent a shock that might happen to whoever witnessing a human shrinking. Between hearing it from me and seeing it with own eyes, nevertheless it would be a difficult task to comprehend to.

“Are you mad, Shinichi?”

“Hmm? Why would I?”

“Well… because… I ki-kissed you? In front of your Mom and Hattori-kun, even…” I am not immune, who can resist you?

“I don’t mind even if you do that again in front of whole world to see” yes, I am sure about that “But, promise me not to do that if the other is Kaitou Kid, okay?” well, not like I would allow that to happen, though

“Baaka~ I can always tell if it’s you” she was certain when she said that, but a minute later she hesitated “Well, he did almost kiss me that one time at Jirokichi-ojisan’s giant zeppelin, but I stopped him right before he was able to…” what… did you say? Who?

“But! He didn’t! I didn’t let Kaitou Kid kiss me even when he disguised himself as you, Shinichi!” wha…?

Wait… I’m a bit lost… I guess I’m hearing things

Who did what to you?” that’s why I had to make sure

“K… Kaitou Kid? He almost ki-kiss me… when he disguised himself as you…?”

“……”

“Shin-Shinichi?!”

……

“THAT DAMN…!!!”

“Wa-wait, Shinichi! I said he didn’t manage to kiss me!”

“I’LL KILL HIM…!!!”

“Shinichi! My first was with you!”

“HOW DARE HE…”

“What happened last night was all my firsts. And I don’t mind to…” she gasped

……

Huh…???

“I… I wouldn’t let anyone did that to me… except…”

“Except?”

“Except… you”

“… Really?” She just nodded, without meeting my gaze. How cute

“No one has ever…?” She shakes her head

“Not anyone but me?” She nodded again

“And why is that?” She flinched, but then she looked at me shyly. At first she hesitated but she manages to get a word from her quivering mouth, not to mention with that furious blush coloring her cheek. She’s so appealing being in that state

“Be-because I… I…” Come on, Ran… Say it

“I… I li… li-like…” Is she trembling? God, she is so…

“Geez! You knew it already!”

“Yes, I know. But I want to hear it”

“I did. I said it once, no… twice?” I rolled my eyes, yeah sure

“But never to my face” oh come on, it has different feeling to it when you said it to Conan rather to ME directly

“You’re just teasing me, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m not”

“But, you knew already!”

“I know. But I want to hear it directly from you, right now, right to my face” before I turned back to being that pint-sized cousin of Kudou Shinichi again, as the world know it

After spending eternity to manages her breath, she finalyy held her gaze onto me while saying “Shinichi, I… I like… No, I… I lo-love you!” woah…! She combusts!

And so do I.

Really, hearing it directly from her, it was really something else. I feel some kind of warm-wave spreading all over my body, while my face in heat and my heart couldn’t stop beating like crazy. I suddenly need more air to breath. I know I’m being ridiculous; well, after what I did oh so confidently last night, I find myself smiling from ear to ear like a giant idiot now. She is the best thing that could happen to me, I know I want to treasure her for the rest of my life

“I love you too, Ran” I smiled unconsciously while caressing her hands in mine. It felt so warm and tiny in my grasp. She smiled the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. I wonder, will I get enough of that? Absolutely not.

I was about to kiss her, when suddenly I felt a throbbing pain in my chest, like a sword had been pierced through it. This pain is so familiar I could almost laugh when it comes. I know I run out of time. I have to run to Hakase’s as fast as I could. I know that. But I don’t want to leave her alone like I used to. Not this time. So I forced myself to stand up and kissed her. And even though I know she worried at seeing my condition, she still accepted the kiss wholeheartedly. I couldn’t stop the burning pain, the heat that courses through my body, the daggering sounds of my heart throbbing, and my sweats that flows uncontrollably out my whole body, and my trembling hands. I couldn’t stop any of it. But I could also feel the bliss of being together with her, that she is there for me and will always be there for me.

“Shinichi, promise me you will come back. Whether as you… or another you…” that’s the first thing she said after we broke apart.

I couldn’t help but to smile at hearing her choice of word “Of course I will” as I bumped my forehead into hers, a bit panting but still trying to keep my cool –I know, I want to at least not look vulnerable in this state, even if I really do look like one – while whispering words that only meant for her “I’ll always come back to you, Ran…”

With that, I smiled and let her go. She watched me as I tried to drag my foot to Hakase’s front door. I know she is trying her hard not to escort me, or not to let her tears falls down her cheek. Instead, she stood there and smiled when I looked back to her direction before going in to Hakase’s. She then turned her back and went inside my house gracefully.

At that time, I don’t know why, but she looked most beautiful to me.

 

“I told you not to be late” was the first thing Haibara said to me, she stood inside and let the door open “Lay down in the sofa. I’ll start injecting the first trial before the temporary antidote runs out of its effect” what did she say? The first trial? She makes it sounds like the antidote is some kind of a romantic-comedy drama series that need to be injected down my body one a day “Yes, I need to inject the antidote 24/1. That way your body will maintain in the current form –Kudou Shinichi’s form- before I lessen the dosage and you’ll completely be back on your true form. But to do that, I need to monitor you heart rate and maintain some of the test so that I’d be able to determine its effect and how your body respond” she halted for a brief moment, allowing me to digest the new information she has been giving me. Well, I’m sorry if my thinking process is a bit slow at the moment, considering I had to battle the heart-throbbing pain that burns all my flesh right now, while keep remembering to breath “Does that… means… you’re able to…” a few words come out of my mouth before I squirm as another attack strikes my heart

“Don’t raise your hopes up though it’s still an experiment. If it worked, you’ll be able to turn back into your true form. But if it failed, you have to be ready for its real side effect –failure to stabilize the antidote carrier will lead into decomposition of some organs; such as heart failure. It even could lead into your death- aside from the fact that you’ll still be Edogawa Conan. That is, until I could reach my former experimentation data in the organization’s main processor –if it hasn’t been destroyed along with my treachery- to build a perfect antidote” she said all that in just one breath before tugging her hypodermic needle right into my face “So? Shot your chance as usual?”

I raised my hand before she was able to shot me the transparent thing inside “Not now. I still need… Edogawa Conan”

Now that Ran knows, I don’t find being Edogawa Conan such a haunting fear anymore though I still want to return back being the real me. I learnt that no matter what I had become, she is still there waiting for me to return. I want to consider my option carefully, now that I have someone who will yell at me –and most likely make me her punching bag- if I don’t take my own safety into consideration. And I really need Edogawa Conan for the upcoming task. If my calculation were right, she will open up to Edogawa Conan who was in the same age as her son more than to Kudou Shinichi. Besides, he will be there too, disguise as Kudou Shinichi in the same time. Oh well, after hearing what happened in that giant balloon, I promise I’d make him regret his reckless action. In the hard way.

 

----- Saturday, 08.45 A.M. Professor Agasa Residence, Tokyo -----

“What took you that long, Hattori?”

He greeted me with that sarcastic comment once I stepped my feet in the living room of Professor’s house. Edogawa Conan did. Not that proud Kudou Shinichi “Being one foot small doesn’t decrease your cockiness, I see” he deadpanned me. What a way to greet your best buddy “After what had happened to me so early in the morning, I bet a warm-water relaxation and a couple glass of caffeinated drinks along with a bite of curry rice wouldn’t hurt” I strode down to the couch where he sits there, spreading a too big newspaper for him to hold in front of his also too big glasses, which he replied absurdly “Who cooked the curry?” that made me blinks a few moment before answering “Neechan, of course?”

He didn’t make any comment, instead he took out his phone and let himself busy texting someone. I could guess who this someone is, judging from the sweet looks on his face I bet it’s Neechan whom he texted with so eagerly. After that morning show –I’m sure he just wants to shows off his lovey-dovey relationship with Neechan- I don’t know why, but seeing him like that pisses me off even more. Well, I knew how he felt towards her and vice versa, but I didn’t think he had it in him. It’s more like, he switched into a kind of very different people when he faces her than when he faces his other acquaintances. Me, for example.

“What?” he glares at me grudgingly; even though I did nothing to piss him off. Oh well, I guess I should just get used to it. It’s the only way out.

“You can always have that curry when you’re back. No need to grudge me for eating it before you do, Conan-kun” I snatched the newspaper out from his lap with a winner smirk, which he rewarded me with annoyed face.

I just begin to read the first headline when he said “I told her everything. She knew I am Kudou Shinichi” which made me choked my own spit. Really, could you just give me some kind of warning before you spit that out like it was nothing?

“And?” regardless, it is a big news

“She accepted it” I could see a hint of relieve on his face -mixed with a sad smile- before he continued “She said she always had the suspicion. But she didn’t confront me because she knew I have a reason not to tell her until now. It was just like you said, Hattori. She was waiting for me to tell her myself, all this time” he lifted his face to look into my eyes “She knew it was me right from the start. Just like this morning, she could tell just from one look. It was also the same when we were in the Bank. She knew even though I told her nothing…” he snorted while clenching his hands in a tight grip and stared into nothing but the rug “I don’t have any idea how she did that. I’m like a fool. I was no different with that murderers who lead us far away from truth by placing a deceit trick that seems impossible to do, a perfect alibi that avoid ourselves to be spotted, a false, artificial hint that impossible to crack. She saw through it all. What Mom said was right. She is the better detective…”

This is the first time I saw that kind of expression on him. It wasn’t that a defeated one, nor a pissed off one. Rather, it was a full of understanding and acceptance, and I could sense a hint of proud in it, too. “See? I told ya!” I nudged his right side with my biggest smile “If even you lost to Neechan, this makes me the third best detective, huh?” I made up a pout that made him chuckled “I will never win against her, you know?”

I deadpanned him “Wait! We’re in a tie, so it makes you and I the second” I pointed my finger towards us, which he replied with shining bright laughter “You are best at what you do, the way you are, Hattori. I can’t compare you with anyone, not even myself”

……

I blinked

Is this that proud, arrogant, prince of charming Kudou Shinichi talking?

Geez! I didn’t see that coming, at all!

“Stop spouting nonsense, you brat!” I intentionally messed up his hair –which he protested by yelling at me- knowing all I could do is to tease him, to cover up my own embarrassment.

I think he has changed. Or perhaps this is the truest form of him, which he hides due to his ridiculous high amount of pride. Deep in my heart, I know his sincerity when he said that though.

It was always the same for me, Kudou. It’s the same…

I might sound like a cheesy playboy saying this, but… you are the best part of my life, you know? –after Kazuha; not that I would admit it loudly though- After knowing you, I also changed. I wanted to be the better man, so that I can point my head up when I had to walk side-by-side with you, my greatest rival that is also my best buddy.

“Now, just tell me what should I do to help you, buddy? Hattori Heiji at your services” I exaggeratedly bowed down while bouncing one of my hand in front of my face, and placed the other one at my back

“Shut up”

 

----- Saturday, 11.22 A.M. FBI Safe House, Minato-ku, Tokyo -----

‘There is something different about that boy; his pure, crystal-clear eyes, his confidence, his calming presence, and his knowing smiles just looked the same as him’ she thought. Her conversation with that weird kid had brought back another memory to her. Back when she was still as cold a stone and ambitious, when she believed she was a genius with nothing worthy her attention outside herself. She remembered how arrogant she was, knowing the feeling of bearing the utmost power to control everything as she wanted it to be. Well, at least she was just one level below the first person in the organization. Nothing, and no one would be able to tackle her down from her crown, not even the dearest Vermouth, her nemesis. She wasn’t even exaggerating when she said she was the source of their current wealthy position, she was one of the few who made them become such a large -if not massive- crime syndicate who had planted their root over every government in over-powering country. And she was proud to be one of them.

She was a free kind of individualist, not wanting to be tied with anything bothersome in the world. Despite that, her ego to control everything had been her weapon to really take control over everything –added that she is already a genius, that made her able to know how to- and made it her own little stage. That’s why, when anokata made it clear to her that her mission is to collect as many fund as possible, recruit as many agents as possible, and to infiltrate their agent to as many source as possible, she knew right away that she is able to handle her mission smoothly and swiftly, without any notice from any one that they are recruiting their own doom, and they took her advice without knowing what they’re really investing into.

While anokata being their mastermind, she was their manipulator, and Vermouth was just a mere executioner.

However, no matter how ridiculously rich she had become, no matter how much of a doll she could use as her shield and a black-goat in her stage, no matter how much power her one sentence could bring to another human kind, she was still alone. She has no one to depend to, and no one will defend her.

That loneliness was eating her from the inside, bit by bit.

The fact that anokata treasure Vermouth while she was just one of his tool, wasn’t helping at all. Despite all of her vehement achievement, she could be replaced once she lost her chance. With only one mistake, her life will be no other than just a tiny little spot that needed to be cleaned. And when that time comes, she just knows that Vermouth will be the one who will ‘clean’ her.

That’s what makes the clash between her and Vermouth seems so bloody and full of resentment towards each other.

 

She was in that pitch-black mental state when she met him.

She had done her task of eliminating the unnecessary profiteer in some tropical island, leaving him dead after robbing whatever he stole from the organization’s fund, by setting his ferry into a blast, along with all his man inside. But then, a typhoon occurred out of no where in the middle of the sea, swallowed her tiny boat into the cortex within minutes. She had thought that was finally her end.

When she opened her eyes, only to be welcomed by that bright and warm smile, as if thanking god that she had made it through her crisis with that relieve plastered all over his face, she had to wondered, what kind of fate that’s await her? If he ever learns who she really is, perhaps he will make that same relieved face when she dead.

He was an easy-going person, and contrary to his occupation that surely requires a bit of brain to be used, he was like an idiot. He was an idiot not because of his brain capability –no matter how sucks a doctor is, they still require some degree of brain capability to be acknowledged and to be able to open their own clinic, wasn’t they? – it was rather because of his naivety, and his optimistic behavior that knows no boundaries that’s very contrast to her own, it choked her and made her heart aches. Every time she looks at him, it was like looking at her bloody reflection that full of sins. Despite of that, it was what attracted her to him. She wanted to know how it feels to be an idiot, to be pure, to be human again…

That was what intrigued her to that feeling; the feeling of wanting to be free from their grasps, to be out of their hellish circle of kill or being killed. But she knew best that it’s impossible to do so. She also knew her place wasn’t within this man’s embrace. It’s always kill or being killed for her. So before they are able reach him and grasp the situation, she planned to end it without involving her man. But when it was time for her to end her life, he took out her gun he had taken from her the first time he found her body, as he smiled he said “I’d rather have you pulled the trigger to my mouth than collecting your scattered body” and casually walked to her whilst putting the gun in her hand, directing it to his heart “I did my very best to fixed you up, so please don’t waste it” he smiled that same, bright smiles as she first saw him, and after that, everything went red…

 

Without really realizing it, a few drops of crystal water had been fallen to her cheek. She hadn’t been able to protect the man she loved, but she will never stop trying to protect what’s left from him; their son.

Seeing that boy today, made her realize that there were still hopes left even for her. It was as if he had sent that boy in his stead, to protect their son. She wouldn’t want anything than her son’s safety, leading a peaceful life far from their grasps ‘I wasn’t able to protect you, but at least let me protect our son in my own way’

Along with that statement of hers, she stood up from her bed, and looked through the camera with an intense gaze “I am willing to be the bait. Let me do it”

 

Later, when Rye opened the door to let her join them and do her mission, he asked her “Why?”

She just smiled and closed her eyes while answered him “A bullet needs an ammunition. Even though I’d just be one of that tiny dust, at least I can contribute in the creation of that one, special weapon; Silver Bullet” apparently her answer was all it took for him to also believe in her true motivation. She already gave the exact location of her son to Kudou… no, Conan… -well, that doesn’t matter- and he believed that boy… no, that guy… -well, whatever- will make a move immediately. He’ll leave that to him. It will be least suspicious if he’s the one who do it instead of a bunch of FBI agent.

 

Between her musings, she also wondered what really makes her believe in that boy? That she is willing to be the bait to lure Rum out? That even Curacao was willing to sacrifice her own life and had a changed of heart? What made him so special that even Vermouth finds him amusing? Judging by how the upper line of the organization doesn’t know such a dangerous threat exists, she knew that there should be someone who covered him up. Whoever they were, it has to be in a quite high rank of the organization itself. Vermouth being one of them.

Chapter Text

----- Saturday, 11.22 A.M. Kudou Residence, Dining Room -----

Really, Sonoko doesn’t seem to be satisfied by what I had told her. Nevertheless, it exhausted me to the core dealing with her and her curiosity. She was still probing me even when I said I wanted to keep a little detail to myself.

“You sure that Shinichi-kun didn’t do anything other than… that?”

“I am still healthy and in no condition of being in a memory loss, Sonoko. So I am sure”

“Even though you guys had spent the night together? In the same room even in the same bed?”

“He was just sharing his bed because his Mom told him to!”

“Oh? Then, did he kisses you also because his Mom told him to?”

 

I was just about to open my mouth when I hear his voice “What is wrong with me kissing my own girlfriend?”

The source of the voice had emerged from behind the door, sulking, if I could say “And what’s wrong with wanting some privacy between lovers?” he strode to where I sit, not bothering some pair of startled eyes that stared him “Get your nose out of this, Sonoko!” he glared at Sonoko, but I could see his expression becomes somehow more relaxed when we locked eyes “Tadaima. Sorry I’m late”

I couldn’t believe what I saw “Shin…Shinichi?” so I unconsciously reached towards him. As if knowing what I have in mind, he kneeled in front of me, so that I could touch his face. My trembling hand stroke his cheek, very gently because I’m afraid that if I touched him, he will vanish like a thin air. But no, he was still there kneeling even after I rubbed both of my hands on his cheek. He’s really there. But something was off about him though I couldn’t really pinpoint what it is that feels a bit different. I furrowed while inspecting him from head to toe. He is definitely Shinichi, but there’s something different about his presence. He still looked brilliant and a bit arrogant, still good-looking and attractive, still had that crystal-clear blue eyes. But his gaze was different. Oh! His smell! He smells different (okay, I know I sounds like a pervert over my own boyfriend, but I know his scent so well I couldn’t let it go from my head because it was so addicting. Gosh! I really had become a pervert) not to mention, his clothes were different than what he had been wearing this morning. And if I looked closer, his hair seems like as if it had been waxed a tiny bit. Strange, Shinichi never used a wax, besides he doesn’t have any in his room and closet. So I deliberately touch his hair. It feels soft indeed, but usually Shinichi’s softer. It would fall into my hand like a silk, fluttering around by a blowing wind.

“Ran…?”

His voice startled me. There, I spotted another strange thing about him. The way he called my name was different. I’m not only talking about his tone that was a bit higher than usual; I feel like he had lost the intimacy when he called my name earlier. Well, it was like what he used to call me before… ahem, before last night (no, I guessed he had started calling me like that after he confessed to me in London, and it had become clearer last night) It was as if he devoted all of his love to me when he calls my name. Sometimes it feels so dearly, sometimes sexy and seductive (well, that sexy and seductive calling was only in our private moment though) and in another times mocking; but it always full of caring and love.

I know I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t shake the feeling that the man kneeling in front of me is not my Shinichi.

 

flashback

----- Saturday, 09.10 A.M.  Haido City Hotel, Tokyo -----

I didn’t know that playing with a detective could become this dangerous; well, I have come to a close call each time he presented himself in my heists, but I managed somehow. But this time, we collided each other coincidentally. I was tailing my target when the robbery happened, and it turns out that my target was one of the robbers. Jii was a living proof of that entire mess, being one of the hostages himself at that time. I was curious when Jii said someone was wearing a disguise –a perfect one at that- and captured all the robbers. Not to mention he was able to manipulate all of them into his trap, including the Bank’s officer (my target, actually) that turned out to be their accomplice. To top it off, Jii was sure that the said person managed to breach the Bank’s security system, even though he wasn’t sure how he did that. Not only he managed to safe all the hostages in time –amazingly, that included the robbers too- he also put the police into a wonder, when the one who came out of the mess was someone else. Somehow, I get the feeling that this case was deeper than what it seems.

When it comes to this high level of a game, I had someone in my head –someone who is capable to do all that alone- so I went to check him myself. But he wasn’t there. He was nowhere to be found at that time. Edogawa Conan was not in the Bank. Instead, it was Subaru Okiya -based on what he claimed himself as- to be precise, someone who’s in disguise and claimed to be Subaru Okiya. I recalled he is the man that live in Kudou Shinichi’s house –yes, I do the usual checking of some certain detective, anything related to my favorite critic would come in handy at a time, especially when I disguised myself as him; the taller him I mean, not the shrimp one- a mysterious man with perfect background; too perfect it become suspicious. It was as If he was born just in one day. As a disguise master, I usually checked my target thoroughly so that there’s no way someone could tell me from the real one. That’s why in this line of work, I could spot the difference between the real identity and a made-up one; between a disguise and a real face. And Subaru Okiya was a made-up one, including his face and his personality. All of him was fake. A fake identity that’s been created with a high level of maintenance, and with help from professionals. At least I know he is a fake, though I didn’t know the purpose behind creating that fake identity. When it comes to him, there is always more to it than what it seems.

Later when I sneaked into police HQ in wonder who in the world that person was, and what really happened to my target as she went missing just like that, I bumped into Hattori Heiji -the Detective from the West- and that only made my presumption becomes clearer; that Kudou Shinichi was the one behind this. What I could get from the police was just a piece of the puzzles, not all of it presented. Or in this case, someone was deliberately trying to hold some of the crucial information, with a really well-made cover story.

I didn’t mean to actually threat him or anything, I don’t usually probe at some other person’s business, too. But there is no way I would let it slip this time. Not after I finally able to locate my real target. It needs more than a year for me to be able to get the information of that woman. She was one of them, she was the one who issued my father’s assassination. She was the one who recruit phantom thief in search of Pandora in the first place, and she was also one of them who killed him. I trailed all of my father’s movement based on the hints he left in his ‘inheritance’ and that’s where I found the record of their conversation eight years ago. The day before they killed him. Her voice echoes in my mind since; cold and piercing like ice, with no hints of emotions. When my father found her weakness, she mercilessly told him she will kill him, along with the information he held about her. I don’t have any idea what it was, but Dad had told her that he was willing to help her to protect it, because he also has someone important like she was. But she declined.

The only hint I could gather about her was her gender, her estimate age, her voice, and her code name: Vinsanto.

That’s why when she goes missing, I know that this has everything to do with tantei-kun. Well at least, my target will be safe under his supervision. That is, until I get to meet her directly and find out what had actually happened to the former Kaitou Kid, to dig up about that creepy organization that was behind the assassination and what their business is with my father. Also, what is the connection between tantei-kun with them? Did he perhaps have the same target as me? I want to make sure, that’s why I trailed him.

What I didn’t expect is that he was really there, as Kudou Shinichi; not that fake child. Sure, I met him several times –met was an understatement since what happened were usually a clash- but that was always with Edogawa Conan. That is the first time I saw the real him. Even though I wasn’t there physically, I could feel the tense of just seeing him. He wasn’t wearing that innocent face of Edogawa Conan at that time, that is why his presence could make anyone presented there feel the pressured; a dark aura mixed with that ice-cold piercing-gaze surrounded with heavy mood. To prove it, even Hattori Heiji didn’t dare to look at him directly, afraid of the fact that the man in front of him –which he called best friend- were able to kill someone just by looking. Something must have happened in the bank, something critical that could have made a brilliant and level-headed man with a calm composure became deadly feared. Geh, I don’t even want to imagine that.

But the thing I’m afraid of happen to be true, seeing that girl from the Detective Agency was being treated by a doctor –their family’s personal doctor I supposed, looking from the interaction between the lady with the old man that was way too familiar for just a stranger- in the second floor room. Judging from the interior, it belongs to a boy; moreover, the framed picture on the desk shows two persons: Kudou Shinichi and Mouri Ran in their school uniform. This was the reason behind his rage, I suppose. Well, I don’t want to stick my nose in it, moreover facing a detective in a rage wasn’t in my to-do list. Hence I continued my mission to locate my target. But no matter how many times I command my dove to circle the field around his residence, I couldn’t find my target inside nor in the neighbor house of that inventor. Sigh, there is no other way than to wait and see for a clue while hoping I could get an advance progress.

And the progress advancing too fast, in my opinion. Well, I didn’t expect to witness him making out with his woman, not at all, but I couldn’t turn off the camera from here, mind you? And if I command my dove to get out from the balcony’s trailing then, I’m sure he’ll find me out. Nevertheless, he was able to locate my micro-camera. Heh, as expected of him.

 

That’s what brought me into this situation. He demanded me to meet him here, in the middle of a day, in an empty suite room of a five-star hotel at Haido City. It’s not like I fancy to meet him privately like this, but I couldn’t run away because I also have a thing or two to confirm. And by meeting him like this, I hope I could get what I want without any unnecessary battle. Despite my noble intention, I had my hang-glider with me, a Kaitou-Kid dummy, a sleeping gas, and a couple of flash capsules. I also didn’t forget to bring my card-gun; just in case. And a couple of disguises including the one I’m wearing currently. Hey, you can’t blame me for doing some necessary precautions, right? This is him I’m dealing with, so this was no exaggeration. Unless I want my identity to be revealed and end myself in jail. No, thank you.

 

I still can picture him accurately even now: he was suddenly standing in front of me –my camera, I mean- looking very pissed while directing his watch at the camera, then flashing its light on and off for a couple of time before going back to bed. “What the hell was that?” was the first thing that crossed my mind along with a cold sweat that run down my forehead. He found me out!

Curious, I rewind the video and catch his finger pointing at his watch: 9.10 then the lights were a Morse code: Haido City Hotel. The last was him pointing his finger at the camera. Camera equals me equals Kitou Kid equals 1412. So, it will be like this: Haido City Hotel room number 1412 at 9.10. Hmm, pretty straight-forward message. The only thing I don’t know is about the time, was it 9.10 in the morning or evening? Nah, whatever. I’ll wait if I have to.

Then funny thing happened when I approached the reception desk and asked for room number 1412, the receptionist asked whether I was Mr. Katsuki Doitou or not, and when I nodded, she said that Mr. Kudou will arrive late and then I should wait in the room while giving me the access card. He used my alias back then, huh? But he used his true name; it means he will be facing me as his true self. Or so I thought.

 

The door finally opened right after I finished checking the veranda (just to make sure I have a way out of this room safely, considering he didn’t set up any trap to catch me) I could see a slender but quite tall man entered. He wears sun-glasses, his slim figure wrapped by a dark-casual suit with a blue turtle-neck inside mixed with dark-blue jeans. His wavy light-brown hair touched the collar of his turtle-neck, it even covered his ear completely. But I still could see a tiny black-earpieces etched on his right ear. That aside, he didn’t wear any other accessory, not even his infamous watch. I couldn’t see his belt –yes, the one that usually can flop a ball out of nowhere- and he wears a different shoes this time; well of course, the usual wouldn’t fit the him now. He casually walked towards a chair and throw his access card on the coffee table along with his glasses while ripping the brown wig away before he sat there. Kudou Shinichi emerged from his disguise. But instead of a pair of blue eyes, I gaze to his now hazel eyes; well guess that’s make it the only disguise left that wasn’t undone. He gestures me to sit in the other chair, but I prefer to just stand a good meter away while making my self comfortable.

“So? What do you want?” was the first thing he said to me; it made me chuckled

“Wasn’t that my line?” you’re the one who called me out here, remember?

“Then, let me correct my question: What it is that you are searching in my house?” ouch, that piercing gaze of him make me want to fly out of the window instantly

“Always straight forward, aren’t we?” hang on, me

“You probably know that hijacking some other person’s private life wasn’t a noble thing to do, right?” he shifted from his position and made me on alert (who knows what other weird things he’s been mixing up within his daily-necessities?) “Give me the record” he said then stretched his palm towards my face

I whistled “What a way to ask”

He sighed before continued his speech “I plan to report you to police. But well, that would be pointless considering you are the culprit” a paused, then he smirked “Guess there is no other way than to make a barter”

Strange, this is strange. I didn’t expect him to be willing to make a deal with me, rather than trying to catch me like he used to. Well, this time it’s not a diamond that I stole, it was just a record of his ‘night activity’ that could be conclude as a ‘no harm done’ specification. Either way, I could still use this as my chance “By barter, you mean?”

“My deduction is that you are searching for something/someone; or you are trying to dig some information that has a connection with me, or what I’m dealing with. Since you don’t have many time and opportunity to plant a bug or going undercover yourself, it means you’re just want a visual confirmation. That’s why you planted a hidden camera instead. Looking from the way you worked, you usually do a very thorough action. But since you’ve only got a little amount of time, you just have to make it as it is. Based from that fact; I could make a conclusion of what you are searching for”

“And what is that, tantei-san?” he managed to awe me by his deduction ability again, but like hell I’d let it show

“I knew you must have sneaked in to the police. But there’s no answer for what you are looking for there. You make a conclusion that I must be mixed up with this since Hattori was unusually there in Tokyo Metro HQ when he gives his testimony of a recent case. That could only be one case: The Bank Robbery” he looked at me sharply before he continued “I said that what you are looking for wasn’t within police investigation. And you know I was there when that case happened. That left one thing: you are looking for what I’ve been covering from them”

“Right” was the only word I could sputter as my body tensed by what would come after

“Let me ask you one thing, Kid. Do you aware of what you are dealing with?” again, with that piercing gaze of him

“What I could tell you is: that was what I’ve been searching all this time. So, whatever I’m dealing with, I would never back down” I stepped towards him. And only by that time I could see his face clearly. That make me halted all my movement and my heart thrummed in an alert as a realization gnawed me. My poker face was the only thing that didn’t failed me, thank God. Another thing I had to thank God is my fast response that was working as if in auto-pilot movement “Who are you?” I pointed my card-gun at his direction while my other hand was ready to throw at least two sleeping-gas bombs.

He chuckled and said “15 minutes” pardon?

“You need quarter an hour to realize I’m in disguise. Quite a record” he was still so calm considering I can shoot him whenever I feel like it

“Well, thank you. But I’m not happy with that” he stood up and touched his right ear

“Did you hear that, Shin-chan?” He spoke to himself “Yeah, yeah I know” before he lifted his face to looked at me with a bright-shining smile. And that glazy eyes…What in the world he’s doing? No, no! Heart, don’t thumped that fast will you? This was just a disguise, not the real Kudou Shin… wait! Then what if he’s the real deal? Argh, why in the world I was nervous about seeing him smiling? And what the hell did I think in the first place?

Calm down, me “Where’s Tantei-san?”

“Oh, he’s been busy with something, that’s why he asked me to come in his place” he touched his neck in a swift movement, then he continued to speak with a really different voice; a woman’s voice now “Let me introduce myself. I am Kudou Yukiko, Shinichi’s beloved mother” her accent and her way of speak also became 180 degrees different from the former cool manner “Yes, I’m also good at disguise. However not as good as you, nor my former teacher” he… I mean, she. She strangely looked at me with a warm smile before continued “I’ve been communicating with Shinichi this whole time. Now that I was found out, you could listen to him as well” she gave me another same wireless black-earpieces by flicking it with her finger.

I had to let go of my capsules to be able to catch it, that means only my card-gun was left “Oh, where’s my manner?” I placed my gun back inside my suit and slip the earpiece on before bowed politely to her “Pleasure to meet the talented, beautiful actress in person” I gallantly step forward towards her and kissed her right hand while kneeling “Time couldn’t fade your beauty, I’m sure. Even if you had to hide its shine beneath the ugly mask” smirk

“What do you mean by that?!” I couldn’t hide my giggles when I heard his annoyed voice over the earpieces

“Just stating some fun facts. No offense” which he replied by a grumbled noise

“Back to business, shall we?” I remind him again, before he decides to cut me off from the conversation

“What do you know about her?” he finally back with his serious tone

“You sure have a high level of curiosity. But I know how it feels, since I’m the same as you”

“Listen, Kid. Its important for me to know how far did you got, for the sake of my plan –and yes, I’ll explain that plan to you later- before I tell you everything I know. That is, if you are sure you want to indulge yourself in a dangerous matter as this one”

I went silent for a couple of time; considering my choice. It’s not because this matter could be dangerous like he had told me that I’m considering it. Heck, if we talk about danger, I’ve been in a close call as often as I take my bath, I could say. It was rather because of my own secrecy. If I want to get to my target, I had to cooperate with tantei-kun and whatever plans he has. But the risk of telling him behind the story of this chasing wasn’t light either. Moreover, he is a detective –a great one at that- that makes me have to be in a tight spot. It’s just a matter of time before he’ll be able to reveal my real identity based on the story I’d have to explain to him.

As if seeing my insecurity, he continued “Listen, I understand that you have your own consideration. But the people we’ll be battling with is no ordinary. They are ruthless, cold-blooded assassins that didn’t even flickered their eyes when killing someone. I couldn’t guarantee your safety either. But at least, what I could do is to not indulge myself into the matter you object me to follow. That, I could promise”

“Why do you think I would believe you? You already tricked me by sending your disguise”

“That was necessary. I need to know that you are able to spot the people that was in disguise. We’ll have to face other disguise master aside from you. Two of them, at the very least”

“And what makes you think I’d cooperate with you?”

“Based on my deduction, we have the same goal. I’ll let you in, but you’ll have to help me”

“What good it will do to me if I do so?”

“I know you’re able to conduct your own investigation. But with the information I have about them, at least you’ll be able to approach faster and more efficient. And it will be more effective with the information sharing”

I laugh at hearing this “You mean, I have to cooperate with detectives and polices? So that they could put me behind the bars more easily?”

“They won’t know your true identity. Scratch that, they wouldn’t even know your involvement, if you want it to be sealed” In other words, I’ll be depending on you and your mercy, huh?

“Tell me one reason why I should do as what you say?”

“Because I need your help”

“You? A detective, need a help from me, a thief?” a silent, then I heard his voice again “Why not?”

 

----- Saturday, 11.12 A.M. Kudou Residence -----

I don’t know whether I should call him brave or reckless. After that, I agreed to cooperate with him on one condition: he would never dig up about my personal information unless I said otherwise. Well, deep inside I know he wouldn’t even if I didn’t mention my conditions. He wasn’t that kind of people who will stoop that low. Besides, his sense of justice wouldn’t allow himself for stabbing my back, the one whom he asked for an aide for. Yes, I know him that much. And I believe in his sincerity regardless of what he is. I could even say, he is the only detectives that’s worth my trust; he’s like my long-lost brother –including our clash and rivalry- that will still help me when I’m in needed even if I hadn’t asked him to. That just the kind of person Kudou Shinichi is.

He gave the answer right after we reached agreement. He even let me in on his interrogation with her at FBI’s base. I listened to all of their conversation alone in that suite room (Unfortunately, that lovely lady of Kudou’s has to go for another errand. She did the disguise art wonderfully, but she still lacks of speed on doing so. But after I gave her tips and tricks here and there, she managed to improve her skill faster and better). First thing that comes to mind after hearing their conversation was ‘What is with this ridiculous alcoholic beverages codename of theirs?’ as if it wasn’t enough, I remembered about the first clue of my big-case: Snake. I knew that it was just his alias –or codename, if you put it their way- but I thought it was some kind of an animal-based-alias which reflect their skill; a sly, venomous slick-like person thus named Snake. Or a Scorpion. Then, what would I be to them? A prairie chicken? Nah.

 

He hasn’t given me all the details yet when he went to the interrogation room to face Vinsanto. So, I had to make a rough guess about what they were talking. Well, not like it was a hard-task, given my ability to process and piece the two and two together. However, if what he wants me to do next is that thing, then he would have known I need more information than just this. A detailed version of everything he knows. But that will have to wait. I believe I have to put my focus into the task at hands: to survive the battle named facing the curious friends of one girlfriend, and to nonchalantly duck the teasing and probing that comes from gossip-queen. Again, that wasn’t a life-threatening task, but I’d prefer not to if I have choice.

I began to think, is this his way of punishing me after I ‘unintentionally’ witnessed what they had done last night? Suddenly I could imagine him popping up my head while smirking “Evil done to others comes back to the perpetrators”

Detectives. I shouldn’t have believed in them.

 

 

----- Saturday, 11.22 A.M. Kudou Residence, Dining Room -----

 

This is the first time I met him directly. Not just over some conversation about him that I heard from someone else. I had a deep impression of him when I first saw him long time ago at the beach. I thought he is a wizard that time -up until now to be honest- Why? Because he is the only one that was able to put that kind of face on Aniki. But not just that actually, I kind of had that feeling that he is special, he is different than any other person I’ve met. He has this mysterious yet alluring aura around him, and I believe when he put his skill into something, then a wonderful thing appears like a magic. But of course, I know that magic is just compilation of tricks that lead our perception into something else that we didn’t know exist; or a trick of presenting what we know as an impossible become probable. That sole reason was why I had put my trust on him. Moreover, after I watched what he had done with my own two eyes, he proved himself to be the great wizard. He fascinated not only me, but anyone who might have happened to testify his action.

This time, he did the magic again. By appearing right in front of my eyes as Kudou Shinichi himself. I don’t know what trick he had done for him to be able to present himself like this –seeing his last condition as a shrimp little detective, Edogawa Conan- but that trick is what exactly I will have to gain from him, no matter how.

As I tried to calm myself from the shock -well, I can’t say it was a shock; it was rather like a pleasant surprise for me- I trotted to the kneeling Kudou Shinichi, deliberately trying to make him aware of my presence by coughing several times –I know it’s lame, but I’m not gonna win his attention from his girlfriend if I didn’t do that- and finally able to have him look at me, aware of other people’s presence other than his girlfriend’s.

“Nice to see you again, Kudou-kun” I deliberately put the clue right in front of his face while grinning and sticking out my hand towards him in an attempt to have a hand-shake gestures. He tilted his head slightly before his eyes lit into acknowledgement

“Oh, yeah. Nice to finally see you too, Sera-san” heee… he tried to ducks my straight ball, huh? Not gonna work ~

“I see that you recognize who I am even though this is our first time meeting directly?” I keep putting pressure into some words that I believe he will notice as my clue. A clue that stating I know who he really is; or rather, who he was before he appeared as himself.

“Well of course, I will. Anyone will” he stated confidently as he stood from his kneeling position and grabbed my hand, shaking it with firm grip “I’ve heard about you from Ran and my cousin” as if knowing my unraveled question about his cousin, he continued “Edogawa Conan, my cousin, was talking about you and how great of a detective you are. He even said if Sherlock has sister, it will be you”

Sherlock’s sister, huh?

“Well, it’s my pleasure to hear about that from Sherlock himself” take that!

“Pardon?”

“I see that your cousin, Edogawa Conan, has been considering you as Sherlock Holmes. So, I am pleased to be able to meet with the real Sherlock Holmes this time…” Not only with his disguised form; Is what I’ve been stating with my eyes. And seeing from his startled expression, I’m sure he took on my words

Surprisingly, he begins to chuckled at hearing this “You’re wrong. I am not Sherlock Holmes” he smiled, but I could see seriousness and sincerity in his face; not that kind of a dreadful face that know his secret has been discovered, nor a surprised one. If this was just an act, I should say his acting skill was superb. I nearly believed he wasn’t what I meant he was.

Our conversation was being cut by Sonoko’s comment though “You don’t have to pleased this mystery-otaku, Sera-chan. Or else his cockiness will go past to seventh-heaven” she tsk-ed him and was trying to say another insult when Kazuha-san cut in “Kudou-kun! Glad you’re back! I thought you had left again without…” she glanced nervously to where Ran has been sitting.

“Nah, I was just saying hi to professor. And retrieve my mails while in the way” he turned and face Ran, continuing his speech “And bought something to attend to your wounds” he casually lifted one of Ran’s arm and placed it to his shoulder “Shall we?”

Ran tried to refuse being lifted like that “I… I can walk on my own. Besides, it wasn’t that serious…”

“Your viewpoint of wasn’t that serious wounds are surely vague, you know?” he scowled at her and practically put Ran’s arm back on his shoulder “Just put up with this or would you like me to carry you like a princess?”

Her jaw hung for a couple second before she managed to sputter “I… prefer this way”

I could see Kudou-kun’s warm smile while he supports her weight. Suddenly a thought crept to my mind; will he does the same if I’m the one whose being wounded?

Gasp. What was I thinking? I shake my head in order to make my thoughts clear. Then, I heard him saying “Aa, Kazuha-san. I’m sorry I had to make Hattori went to police HQ earlier this morning, as I needed his help to inquire something from the polices. But don’t worry, he’ll be back soon. Meanwhile, please make this your own home. As for Sonoko and Sera-san, I’m sorry but I’d like to take a rest for now. You both can go home”

What? He let Kazuha-san wander around his house but banned me? I was just about to open my mouth when I heard Sonoko speaking “What? You let Kazuha-chan wandering around but you shunned me out?” she huffed

“Well, unlike you, Kazuha-san wouldn’t stick her nose in something she shouldn’t” ugh, I bet that comment wasn’t just for Sonoko

“What? For your information, I have no business with you” she hmph-ed him

“Then go home” he replied indifferently

“Ran’s safety is what concerns me, you know? As if I’d let you devour her whole!” I’m sure Ran’s face went beet red at hearing this even though all I could see is just her tensed back

“You’re talking like I’m a hungry, dangerous beast, you know?” he glared at Sonoko with a bit red-tint-cheek

“You are! Obviously!”

“Tsk. Whatever” he turned back his attention to go upstairs

“Wait! Where are you taking her to?” we followed them automatically, each one with a different set of goals

“My room. So that I can devour her whole without your interruption” I could hear Kazuha-san squealing and blushing like a fan girl seeing her bias in a sexy-erotic scene on some love-comedy drama

“Like hell I’d let you!” Sonoko began stomping her foot and attempting to block the way to his room

“Quit it, you two!” Ran finally explode “Shinichi! Don’t give them the wrong idea! Sonoko! Don’t prompt him to do his another pranks. Geez!” she snatched the plastic bag Kudou-kun has been holding and strode towards one of the guest room “I’ll tend my wounds myself. Be good you two!” while grabbing Kazuha’s hand before they disappear to the other side of the door and slammed it shut.

That makes the two of them pout but complied anyway.

 

“Just so you know, I wouldn’t set my foot out from your house, so that I could chop your head as soon as I caught you doing… mischievous things to Ran” Sonoko begin to bark her threat to Kudou-kun, which he calmly respond

“Just so you know, I would never force myself to someone I lo…like” he coughed in embarrassment, correcting his phrase

“Are you sure? You nearly lost your composure last night, aren’t you?” Sonoko seems like she doesn’t want to back out, as she smirked mockingly at him

“I am not” he averted his gaze to look at the door where Ran has been swallowing herself to and continued “She is the most important for me, so I don’t want to rush things out. She deserves so much better than that” he smiled sweetly, aiming at someone behind that closed door.

To say I am struck at hearing this from him is an understatement. I haven’t had a single idea that Kudou-kun could be very… romantic. And considerate. Seems like Sonoko has also had the same thing running in her head, seeing her awestruck expression that slowly turned into a smile.

“Alright. You passed” she suddenly said that out of the blue

“Huh?” came his bewildered answer

“I was just testing you, you dummy!” Sonoko shook her head, calmly explaining things to him “I know you secretly love her way before she does. But you’re too afraid to confess because you thought that could distort your friendship. And I know you care about her all this time as her friend. But I got to make sure you will keep caring and cherish her even after you have become her boyfriend –officially- and you wouldn’t abandon her and disappear just because some stupid case, like what you’ve been doing lately” she turned to look at him directly in the eyes and said “Perhaps you didn’t know this, but she had cried over you too much it made me sad just by looking at her. But what hurt the most is that she kept her cheery attitude and forced herself to smile as if nothing has been troubling her -even in front of me- while in fact she is rotting inside. So, Shinichi-kun… if you ever leave her and hurt her again… I’ll make sure you won’t be able to live in peace forever”

Now it was his turn to made that awestruck expression upon hearing what Sonoko had said. But then, he smiled bitterly “I know I’ve hurt her. And I have no control over what had happened already, nor can I changed it. I can’t promise you I wouldn’t make her sad or cry anymore either; not if I can help it” I saw Sonoko was about to complaint but he silenced her with his look “But I’m willing to make it up to her. Even if doing that could take me my whole life, I’ll make it up to her in my own way. And this, is something only I can do, no matter what you or anyone else say”

He strode to where Ran is, leaving Sonoko –and me- stunned there, gaping and blushing at a same time. I’m not sure for how long I let myself gaped in an awe, witnessing the other side of him that feels cool, sweet and warm, but in the same time scarily determined. I have never seen such maturity in any other guy beside him; not even my brothers. Sonoko’s chuckled is the thing that snapped me from daydreaming about him when I heard her saying “Hmp. He has his way with words; as usual” which I could only respond with a nod.

“Well then, since I have important family meeting, I better go. How about you, Sera-chan?”

I consider my option for a moment there, before I sighed and told Sonoko that I also had to come home, so that I can discuss an important matter with someone.

We went back to dining room to fetch our belongings whilst Sonoko offer a chauffer to send me home by one of her family’s driver –along with the car- which I rejected politely by saying I could get some work out in my way home. The front door suddenly creaked and opened, viewing no other than a foot-tall little boy with spectacles, trying to shut the door then slipped in some home slippers casually while putting his little white-red sneakers in the rack. He smiled innocently at seeing us approaching the front door “Sonoko-neechan! Sera-neechan! I didn’t know you were here, too” in his ultimately high-pitched voice “Where is Ran-neechan?” he asked while scanning the room before he landed his gaze onto me, tilting his head a bit to the left as if he was surprised at seeing my expression “What’s going on?”

I was the one who supposed to be asking about what is going on here!

I mean, I’ve been seeing Kudou-kun just a minute ago –I’m sure it wasn’t over 3 minutes ago when he disappeared into that room- then Conan suddenly appeared from the front door?! What the heck is happening here? It’s impossible!

“Co… CONAN?!”

“What’s wrong, Sera-neechan? You looked like you’re seeing a ghost. Was there any ghost here?” he asked turning his head left and right, as if trying to search for a shadow lurking around in dark corners.

Are you kidding me? I’m sure what I’m seeing is only my hallucination, or a poltergeist of Kudou-kun; if only Sonoko didn’t confirmed I have been seeing the real thing “What’s wrong with you, Sera-chan? It’s only the brat, Conan. Don’t scare me like that!”

Ignoring Sonoko’s rumbling, I dart my eyes to the door, then to Conan again, while my head was busy calculating possibilities or trick that they are scheming against me. The idea of Kudou-kun splitting himself in just 3 second wouldn’t possibly be done. Nor that Kudou Shinichi and Edogawa Conan was really a two different person could be included in my deduction –because they were the same- that I believe was the fact he had been hiding from everyone. So, there must be some trick behind this. Come on, think Sera! Eliminating all the impossible… wait! There’s still that thing left to support my deduction. All I have to do is to search for a crack in this trick, and made him spit out the truth by presenting the prove right in front of his eyes. Perfect!

I tried to takes a breath to be able to collect myself again, because I know I had to make sure what I’ve been thinking is right after all.

I hastily grabbed one of Conan’s arm and dragged him to where Kudou-kun has disappeared into. If Kudou Shinichi wasn’t there, then I win. But if he is still there, then I have to confront him right away before he disappears and left no trace of the truth, again.

And making sure whether he is a friend or a foe.

Chapter Text

To be honest, being a detective is the most thing I like in the world. I always want to become one, like a person I look up for the most; Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed having to pieces the scattered puzzles into a whole truth, observing the anomaly, and finding the evidence of a case. I often forgot everything once I indulge myself in deducting mystery. I even consider catching some criminals as one of my useful exercises –the adrenalin; the reflexes; it’s dangerous yet addicting- despite the danger and pressure, I would give my best to solve it. Furthermore, if someone’s life was at stake, I would never abandon or walk away from it.

But after tasting the bitter aspect of being a true detective in action, I must reconsider my opinion about the nobility and proud in doing it. In order to maintain the secrecy, I often had to lie -even to the person closest to me- and set a trap to get the suspicions away. Even if by doing so could rip my heart into millions of pieces, make my inside tumbled -consumed by guilt and fear- and led the person I love into danger. I even had to sacrifice one thing for me to be able to reach another. I used my ability to observe, to deduct, and to motion the people exactly as I planned while counter-measure the step of the enemy; making it looks like a pawn I use in a game in order to reach victory: to serve justice and stop them from doing another harm. In the end, I could only cling to what people would say as faith. Hoping that everything will be better after the storm passed. The price for justice seems to be too high sometimes, that makes me wonder am I doing the right thing?

Nevertheless, I’m not backing down. Not now, not ever.

 

----- Saturday, 11.55 A.M. Kudou Residence, Living Room -----

 

“Kazuha-san?” I called the ponytailed girl as I closed the door behind me, while counting down “Ye… yes?” came her nervous answer “I’m sorry to tell you this but, seems like Hattori forgot to bring his wallet that he left at Hakase’s. He asked to be picked up at police station now”

Her daydreaming state-like face suddenly turned into that of a really pissed mother hen when she heard what I said, before finally sigh and muttered something that sounds like “That ahou…” so I decided to tell her further “Actually, I’m the one whom he asked to pick him up. But I have something I should take care of here, so if you don’t mind…” I glanced to Mouri-san’s direction whilst saying that, so she could take the hint.

“Ah, it’s fine. I’ll be going” seems like she took it good “His wallet is at Agasa Hakase’s house, right? Then I’ll fetch it first before I…”

“You don’t need to” I cut her before she could finish her words “Tantei-ku… I mean, Conan will be here delivering the wallet”

As I finished saying that, the door suddenly opened into a loud thud, showing that boyish-girl dragging Tantei-kun behind with much force. Seeing her determined face directed at me, I know it’s starting.

Show time.

“What’s wrong, Sera-san?” as I put up an innocent front plus a bit bewildered expression, I asked her “Something the matter?” she looked like ready to fire up at me, but tantei-kun cut her with his usual cheery high-pitched voice of innocence “I see! So that’s how it is!” that successfully take her attention away from me “You really are a great detective, Sera-neechan. Even without me saying it, you knew I was here to deliver Heiji-niichan’s wallet, don’t you?” that beam on his eyes, I couldn’t believe he was the same person as the one I saw sitting here yesterday with that look on his face. Maybe I’m not the only good actor here?

“Huh?” as she is processing the information, Tantei-kun manage to slip out of her grasp then strode to Kazuha-san’s to give the wallet “Heiji-niichan said he’ll be glad if you are the one who will bring his wallet. Although he told me not to say this to you” hee… so he does understand how to move people using that trick, huh? “That ahou” she grabbed it with a blush and said “Can’t be helped then. I’ll be sending it to him” before disappeared behind the door in a hurry, and with a blush up until her ears.

Now, all that’s left is just us. I mean, me as Kudou Shinichi versus the Sera girl. While the real Kudou Shinichi making himself comfortable sitting near his girlfriend in the couch. Damn. I’m supposed to clean your shit while you’re flirting with your girlfriend? That said, you don’t need to give me That Look, as it only pissed me off more than necessary. You annoying little bas… “Who are you?” she can’t just cut off my musings, can she?

I sighed “As I recall, we already made an introduction to each other a few minutes ago, didn’t we?”

As if not listening to what I said at all, she stubbornly kept her suspicions “Who are you really are? Why are you doing this?” she shifted her firm gaze towards me to Mouri-san’s at a moment before continued her speech “Do you really wanted me to speak here? Right in front of her?” correction: she looked grimly at Tantei-kun now. Take that!

But he looked back at her with this lost-chick’s eyes, and making it clearer by lifting one of his eyebrow up and tilting his head juuuuuust a bit making it looks so right: he doesn’t follow what she’s speaking about. He really is the son of former talented actress, Fujimine Yukiko, isn’t he? Add his Dad’s blood and intelligence into his DNA, boom!

“Go ahead” is what I could only say, regretting it afterwards because her attention was back into me again. Well, I liked being in the spot. But not in this kind of situation where I can’t just play and tricked people with my magic tricks. No fun at all!

“You are not Kudou Shinichi” she started with the straight ball, as always

“Why do you think so?” I put an incredulous face, as if I heard something really unrealistic

“Because the real Kudou-kun is him!” she pointed at Tantei-kun with strong confident blaring from her eyes.

I sighed my whole-life-amount-of-sigh while leaning on to the wall behind me “Not again”

“Huh? A, again?” she repeated in a more curious tone

I scratched my hair even if it’s not itchy “Listen, he may have been clever for his age, but that’s because I taught him everything I know about detective work even before he could remember his own name. I even used to play detective with him from time to time. And if it’s about our look, it highly probable because we share the same genes within our bodies, since we’re blood-related after all” I stopped to look at her for a couple second before I continue “I didn’t blame you for thinking so, since someone I knew from my childhood ages have also had the same suspicions as you are at first” I glanced at Mouri-san who was a bit red in the face, that made me chuckles “She was also asking me for a proof to temper her suspicions, which I did. So I’m not gonna repeat it twice” she seems to be a bit startled about the fact that Mouri Ran had also challenged me, Kudou Shinichi, to proof my own identity.

“But if you still want to test me, it’s fine. But I don’t think it could be of any use to back up your deduction. If even Ran, who knows me from inside-out since we’re child, couldn’t work every suspicions into a valid proof to support her incredibly mislead theory, then why would you think you can do otherwise?” what I said is true after all, there’s no one else that would know Kudou Shinichi better than her -even compared to his own parents- because she knows his other side that even his parents didn’t. They’re inseparable in the first place. Oops, I ought to stop making it like other person’s matter; it’s not them, it’s us. That’s what making me move closer to where she is. I sat on the couch’s banister, and circled my arm in the back of the couch while my other hand took Mouri’s hand in my hold and put it on my lap. She flinched a little, but didn’t protest. I could see him smiling sweetly when I can’t hold myself to take a peek. He is indeed smiling, isn’t he? But why did I have a Goosebumps all over my body, I wonder?

 

‘Oi, oi! I didn’t do it because I want to! It’s the situation that force me to take action. You get it too, right?’

‘Stop making excuses, you bastard! Get your hands off of her!’

‘She wouldn’t be convinced otherwise, that Sera girl’

‘Don’t do unnecessary things! Or else, I’ll send you flying with my ball!’

‘Heee… enjoy your ball, then’

 

Yep, after our short kind-of-telepathy-conversation with a lot of sweet smile as an icing, we come up with an agreement: truce.

I saw him climbing up her lap, and nearly tripped but she caught him in record time before his face smooch the rug. Yep, she unconsciously let her hands off from my grip to be able to catch him. Is he doing it on purpose? The tripping and all?

I really wanted to smack his head but instead of doing so, I randomly ruffled his hair, asking “You okay?” with an “Un” and a smug face as an answer. I seriously will take you up on my glider and then let you go in the middle of the ocean someday, I swear.

Now, back to business shall we?

“When Ran’s suspicions were grounded by a solid reason, I’d like to know yours” I observed her from head to toe before I said “There’s something bugging me this whole time: why are you so sure that this brat here is the Real Kudou Shinichi –as per your deduction- and not the other way around?”

After waiting in a silence for a couple minutes, she finally looked back at me “That… has nothing to do with you” it pissed me off, but I should stay in Meitantei’s persona. There’s no way he’d gotten rash with her “It has everything to do with me instead, don’t you think?”

Since she gave no reaction at all, I probably should fish… (gosh, I unconsciously said that F thing!) I mean, I should go further to make her speak “Look, I don’t want to play hide-and-seek with you now. So I’ll get to the point: What makes you think that me, Kudou Shinichi, has been shrunk into 7 years old boy despite my real presence here?” I pressed her further while walking away from the love-birds “You are a detective -a good one at that- that’s why I believe you already know this: we need a solid foundation for our deduction based on the fact we’ve found, and a valid proof to support it. All you lack here is a proof. But looking at your confidence, I know you have one. And I know there’s something you want from me after you have your suspicions justified. That’s why you choose to face me directly. Am I right?” I challenged her using this opportunity. I know she’s pride to be a detective, and that same pride is what will lead us to reveal the truth.

“I… I don't know what you are talking about” she’s still holding her ground, huh?

“Any normal people would never consider the brat as me, when I am here myself. Unless you have something that caused you for thinking so. I am asking what is it?”

After seems like eternity, she finally took a deep breath and looked into my eyes squarely “You were right. I have a proof. A living proof named Mary”

“Mary?”

“Yes. It’s the little girl with a blonde hair. I have shown her picture to you back when we were at the red villa. And another time when you saw her near my hotel room when a novelist murdered his editor that turned out to be his long-lost-first-love: The I-sea-tell case. Add with the recent murder of the spiritual detective, Gaito Hotsuta, I believed you’ve seen her three times”

I eyed her for a second before I add “Sorry to disappoint you, but I have never been there so I didn’t have a clue of what you’re saying” she seems to nearly lost her patience when I said that, but she sighed and continued “Right, the one I showed it to was Conan-kun”

“I’m curious, though. Can you tell me, who is this Mary and what is your relation with her? Or is she somehow having anything to do with me or Conan that you wanted us to acknowledge her presence?”

She looked like she was debating about something on her mind, as she kept glancing between me and Meitantei –that’s currently sitting so comfortably on his girlfriend’s lap- looking very lost and confused. Seeing her like that, I was just about to open my mouth when I suddenly heard my voice –Kudou Shinichi’s voice to be exact- from somewhere behind “You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to, or if you can’t”

She looked at me with eyes that seems like to say ‘Are you sure?’

Before I know it, that ghostly voice came up again “You don’t have to know everything, because some things better left unknown” this time, I managed to open my mouth swiftly, lip-syncing with anything that might have come “Even so, you are a detective, as I am. Curiosity and knowledge is one of many things that make us become one. Heck, if someone put their mind and effort into it, everyone can become one” her attention was zeroed on me, that is why she wasn’t able to look at Meitantei’s expression behind her back “How we handle things is something that makes us different”

At hearing this, I have to put all my effort to keep my poker face. He really has something in him that could move people; whether by his words and his actions.

“Then, what do you think I should do?” she asked me with that eyes of a lost-kitten

I smiled for a brief moment before I turned my back and head towards the window “Well, it’s true that sometimes you have to be specific and have a sharp eye to look for a little detail, because a trivial thing is an important hint to solve a case. But sometime, you also need to broaden your view to be able to grasps the whole thing, the source of everything that happened that is bigger than just one case and deeper than what it seems” see? My decision to face the window is right after all. It’s impossible for me to stay as his persona while hearing him speaking like this. I know my poker face is beginning to crack the moment he opened his mouth. And I know there will be more “You also didn’t have to had an absolute control over everything for you to be able to reach your goals. As long as you have your will and you stick to it, you’d make a difference; because your actions influence others to take theirs, and in the same time, it made a synergy that link to your fate. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s up to you to make it there. So all you have to do is to not give up and keep going; and believe that in the end, everything will be right again”

“I see…” I heard her, but I still need time to collect myself. I didn’t dare to leave my position that are facing the window. Not now, after what I heard. And you can’t blame me for doing this. His words struck my heart really hard. From the look of his eyes, what he said wasn’t only mean to her. It was like, he knows me better than I thought.

“You really are Kudou Shinichi” I could sense a resignation in her voice

A silent, then she continued “You seem to have a way to reverse your condition, or so I thought. That is what I wanted to know, at first. But now…” her dejected face is really cute, that’s what I thought the first time I turned to face her again.

She sighed and then smiled to me -an apologetic one- before she excuses herself home and strode to the door.

“You are free to believe what you choose to believe; the more so when you have a proof. It was there because something really happened, right?” oi, oi! Why are you contradicting yourself now? “You are welcome anytime if you want to talk about it, Sera” although I really wanted to smack him, I gave her the best charming smile ever before she shut the door. With the same blushing cheek as the ponytailed girl from before.

Siiiiigghhh…

Speaking about charmed blushing girl, it remembers me about what I heard before he came (Oh yes, I still had the earpiece on one of my ear. But of course, I made it invincible with my disguise trick… Okay, I was just putting on some make-up and a bit plasticyn to covers it)

 

flashback

“Haibara, do you have sisters? I mean, do you have family other than Miyano Akemi?”

“She is the only family I had. Both our parents were dead when we’re still young”

“Then, how about cousins?”

“Dunno. Never met anyone beside my sis”

“I see…”

“Why? You wanna make one for me? A family, I mean…”

“What funny things are you saying?”

“……”

“You already have one, don’t you? There is professor, the kids, and also me and Ran. You also have a place to be now. So, don’t go and throw it all like it was nothing”

“I have never had any intention to do so, though”

“But you tend to do it in times of danger. Don’t ever think that sacrificing yourself will make it all better. Don’t you think that it will break their heart more by doing so? You had lost your sister in order to protect you, so you must have known how it feels to be left like that. That is why no matter what, you must thrive hard to live, Haibara”

“Whatever brings you to be like this, Kudou-kun?”

“I was just saying, you know”

“I see. I nearly think that there were some errors on the temporary antidote I gave you earlier that made a change of attitude on the test subject because of some brain damage as a side effect”

“Ha ha ha… You are so not cute”

“Thank you for your compliment”

I heard voice of door shutting. At first I thought that little girl has left the room. But I knew it was the other way around when I heard her chuckling. With an almost inaudible voice she said “You are kind, Kudou-kun. So very kind. But that’s what makes you the cruelest to me…”

Then a long silent before I heard a knock on the door “Ah, sorry I forgot my vest”

“You came back just for that?”

“Yeah, it’s… chilly outside, you know. Well, then”

“Kudou-kun…”

“Hmm?”

“… No. It’s nothing”

“? Ah! I forgot to say. Thanks for this, you’re a life saver!”

“Hmph! I didn’t do it for you”

“Yeah, yeah. I know”

 

back to the now

I followed him upstairs after he commanded begged me to, leaving after he set his girlfriend warm and comfortable on the couch, that included brought her a tea and some snack to spend her recuperate time with.

“You sure are popular among women, aren’t you?”

“Huh?”

Don’t give me that ‘huh’. After disguising as you even just for half a day, I could tell who had been smitten by you. Moreover, there are more than one person. But looking at your oblivious expression, I sincerely took pity on you

“You sure as hell smart and brilliant, but you are as dense as a Llama”

“The hell are you talking?”

“It means: you only have eyes for your girlfriend, huh?”

“Obviously?”

He is such a thorough observant person, but he’s indifferent to the idea of some other person’s affection towards himself as a man. Except that girl from Mouri Detective Agency, of course. What a complete opposite of me, the charming Kaitou Kid. Well, I guess that could be classified as his benevolence trait, but if he knows how to use that side of him as one of his weapon, he could turn it as his benefits -I know he isn’t that kind of person though- just like what I’ve been doing as Kaitou Kid the gentleman. What a waste.

Oh well, I guess I should just get used to it.

“I have to go there tonight” his voice brought me back to the world

“To fetch him?”

“Yeah”

“Can you do it? I mean, how… Don’t tell me that you’re faking your ID”

“I don’t. I’ll go there as myself”

“Hee… so it really is possible. Then why…”

“I couldn’t. My body will become immune if I took the pills too often. That’s what Haibara said”

“I see” he unlocked the door to some kind of a… closet?

I was about to ask him why in the world would he bring me to a closet full of woman’s clothing, but stopped when I saw him lifting a wooden lid and placed his hand there. Soon, the big mirror slid it self, showing another room that was instantly lit up soon after the door has been opened.

It wasn’t wide or extravagant as the other room I saw, it was rather small. But it was being furnished with all kinds of gadget –and it was all the high tech gadget- with a lot of screen, making it look like a futuristic chamber of some secret agent in one of the movie I saw. I could spot some transmitter, a router, a bug-repellent: an electronic radio-wave distractor, security device with alarm system, some kind of tracker device, and even things I haven’t seen before. If Jii saw this, I knew he’d be thrilled.

“It’s closed network system. I can monitor all of this from my smart phone. Password protected, of course”

“Whoa… Where did you get all of this?” it looks like a mini-investigation bureau office to me

“Doesn’t matter. I show you this because you’d need it”

“CCTVs even in your own room?” I couldn’t stop myself to explore some devices

“Oi, don’t touch that! I haven’t subscribed your fingerprint yet. Put your hand there”

Wait, a finger-print-reader? Are you kidding me?

As if knowing what I had in mind, he sighed “I need your finger print so that you could have an access to this room, not because I want to know your real identity. But if you’re not sure, you can do it yourself. I couldn’t delete your history, but at least I could protect it from being seen by anyone other than you”

“… Why are you doing this?” I know he stored all of his important and delicate information here. Yet, he let me have an access to all of that?

He just simply smiled “I trust you”

I knew I looked like an idiot now -with my jaw hanging and all- but really, you can’t blame me.

“You can do whatever you want with this -some research or anything- except for stealing purposes, you hear me?”

“What else?”

“Huh?”

“Come on, I know you wanted me to help you to track and find them –beside disguising as you for practical reasons- that’s why you are giving me the access. But there are more to it, right?”

“Hmph. You are sharp, as always”

“I may not be a detective like you, but I do have intuition. And it’s a good one I tell you”

“Right. You know that I’ve been tracking them this whole time –get to work while listening to me, would you? Finger prints- and I could say, despite the close call, I got to get closer to my goal. One time, there was the Org member –her codename is Curacao- that they sent to steal NOC-list from PSB. It contains all the information about all the agent that was undercover within their organization. She managed to do it, but she lost her memory in the process. But in the end, she betrayed them. So the data was safe. Even so, she had sent 5 NOC list to them before she lost her memory, and they got their hands to eliminate at least 3 agents that time. But another two was, no, is still in danger, as they were still under suspicions. I pulled some strings to deceived them and safe the agents, but it’s just a matter of time until they found out”

“Let me guess, you have the data of those NOC-list with you, right?”

“Yes. I happened to hold onto it. At first I didn’t know what it really is until recently. It was an encrypted data” he opened the cabinet under the table, and entered some code to a device that has been covered as a mere bento-box (Was that food real?) showing some rectangular colorful plastic-resin kind of book divider?

“This contains the encrypted data about NOC-list. This was hers; Curacao’s color” he gave that thing to my palm “I made a copy of that, stored in a place only I know. I’m sure you could decode it yourself, right?” I just nodded “Remember all the agent’s name and face with their codename in the organization, including the institution they are working for”

“That’s a tall order! How many of them here?”

“No big deal for you. I remembered them myself just by one look” he is making me sweat drop

“Just in case we cross our paths with them, you’d know who’s a friend and a foe” he suddenly made a grim face after saying it, which made me sigh “I really don’t want my guess to be right, but it always is. What else do you get, Meitantei?”

“It’s… the real reason why I came to you for help” he said that after finally taking his sweet time lingering in front of a big safety-box covered as a mere mirror hanging on the closet wall. Again, finger-print based security plus the code, huh? Also a retina-recognition system? You’d made even Jirokichi Suzuki into a shame.

What he was holding onto is a tiny black memory card “This… is also a NOC list”

“Oh come on, more names to be remembered?” I whined while plopping my butt in the chair

“It’s the contrary to the other NOC-list. Your life would be in a great danger by knowing the faces and remembering the names”

I gasped when all of his words clicked in my head “Don’t tell me…”

“Yes. It’s not ours. It’s theirs…!”

 

----- Saturday, 06.39 P.M. Kudou Residence, Living Room -----

 

I am in the middle of preparing our dinner after I successfully threatened persuaded Shinichi to at least let me do something I could beside laying down on the couch all day -unconsciously devouring all the cookies that he had bought for me- while making this pleading puppy eyes at him (the thing that he always does when Conan-kun wants my permission for something) and it worked. I also had prepared my necessities in a small back-pack for 2 days’ trip. What’s left is just my passport, but Shinichi had asked Hattori-kun to bring that from my house, saying that we will be having our little trip before going back to school on Monday. Dad was reluctant to give us permission at first, but after I promised him to take home some souvenirs (and signaling him that he could go for a mahjong while I’m not around) he finally let us.

I intended to focus on my cooking’s so it wouldn't get burned, but I can’t help but to witness those two’s clashing: biting each other neck and trying to punch each other with their claws while making a hissing sound non-stop. They looked like a comedy duo; if only they put on their costumes: one clad in a white tux with monocle and magician’s hat; while the other dressed as Sherlock Holmes along with the magnifying glass and the trademark pipe.

“Why me?”

“If it’s you, you could do it”

“I’m flattered. But I don't want to do it”

“It’s only if it turned out to be like that”

“Then, don't make me do it”

“Sigh… It’s just a precaution”

“I wouldn't do it. Never”

“You have to”

“… I hate you”

“Oh, come on! What are you, a kid?”

“I am. You know my motto: no one gets hurt, right?”

“Yeah, yeah I know”

“Then you better not ruin it!”

“Only if I can help it”

“You little annoying bas…!”

“Geez! Stop making a fuss with my face and voice, would you? You ruined my image!”

“I don't give a damn about your image, you kuso-tantei (damn-detective)!”

“You kuso-gaki (damn-kid)!”

“Hey! Don't point that thing to me!”

“Then lower your card-gun first!”

Enough! I have had it enough! “Geez! Stop it, you two! Shinichi! You’re not a kid anymore, behave! Kid! You’re supposed to be the adult here, hold back!” geez! this combo is making my head hurts.

They finally settled down by my command. Well, I ‘unintentionally’ glaring at them while carrying a kitchen knife on my right hand, and a fist on my other hand. That’s what make them behave like a good boy actually. But seems like they don't have a ‘naka ii’ (good terms) words in their dictionary and peace never lasts.

“You get what you want, so my part today’s done, right?”

“Yeah, well done. You going somewhere?”

“What? Miss me already~?”

“I just thought I’ll put you into sleep forever”

“Oi, oi! I have my own life; you know? I can’t be you forever. But well, if you want me around that bad…” snickered

“Don’t let anyone see me getting out of my house”

“You are no fun at all”

“The same goes to you”

“Oh yeah? I have never put on an innocent face while doing dirty things behind, though”

“Really? Sure, you’re just putting up a brave front while you’re chickening inside each time you have to face the so called innocent yet dirty kid, aren’t you?”

“Well at least, I managed to get what I want without using dirty tricks”

“Are you trying to say that tricking people and stealing as nothing dirty?”

“It’s called art. Anyway, what matters is the purpose behind the action, you know”

“In my opinion, the process is way valuable than only the result”

“It means nothing if you failed in the end”

“Unfortunately, I have never failed before. Thanks to me valuing the process”

“I never did, too. Thanks to me being a result-oriented gentleman”

“Gentleman my ass. You’re just a rotten playboy”

“Hee~ so the playboy said”

“Who is what you say?”

“Tsk. Figure it out yourself, detective”

“Why’d I do what you asked me to?”

“Hey! Is that your way of speaking to the one you begged for a help for?”

“It’s bargaining, not begging. You also get the advantage, were you?”

“Advantage my ass. Disguising as you are the most boring thing I ever did in my life. Loosen up a bit, would you?”

“Shut up”

“You lost”

“Is this even a game?”

“It’s a competition about whose better”

“A detective is definitely way better than a thief”

“As I said, it’s an art. Whilst yours are just a critic”

“I made the truth opened by being one”

“While lying yourself and covering it up as a reason to protect someone?”

“……”

“Or, were it you, yourself, whom you’re trying to prote…”

BHAM…!!!

Clatter

“If you dare insult Shinichi about that while you don't know a thing, I’ll be the one to sent you flying myself, Kid!” I glared at him after I ‘unconsciously’ broke some wooden panel in Shinichi’s kitchen. Oh well, I’ll make sure to repair it later.

Gulp “Uhh… S, sorry ma’am…?”

“It’s fine, Ran. It’s the truth anyway”

“Shinichi…” I don't want to see that face of him again, it’s suffocating to even just seeing him like that “You’re just doing what you thought were right, Shinichi. I understand”

When I see him respond to nothing, I don't know what should I say so that he’d understand that he wasn't wrong. I want him to let go of the guilt and burdens of lying to me all this time. But I don't know how… “I was mad, its true. But I can’t blame you of what you did either” I grasped his tiny hand in mine in order to make him understand that I’m being serious about what I said.

“She is right. Sorry, I went too far with the jokes. If I were you, I’d do the same, though” I thought I saw Kid’s bitter expression for a split second before it turned into calmness again.

“Still, I did what I did. I’ve hurt you, Ran. I thought you’d punish me –like you will never talk to me again, after turning me into a pulp with your karate; or something along the line- but I found it the other way around. I’m at loss of words, you know?” he sheepishly smiled that makes him look even cuter. No wonder he could deceive anyone with that –including myself at first- add with the way he looks now. But I thought that it was just in his nature, the Shinichi I knows always had this childish side of him, even though for some people he is matured for a boy his age –a mature and brilliant prodigy- but he was always had this innocent and bright side that makes me wonder, how did he ever manages to do that anyway? “Oh? So you were hoping to be beaten by me?”

“Whoa… I thought you’re a narcissist, turned out you’re an M?”

“That’s not what I…”

“Relax, Shinichi. I’m not about to go to jail because of child abuse” I smiled sweetly, relaying the message through it, making him paled and nervously gulped

“Uhh… I looked like him now, but I’m not him so I’m out of this, right?” Kid made a step back, in an attempt to run and safe his life from me glaring at him.

“To someone who disguised himself as certain someone several times and made fun of others? Well, who knows?” it's fun being able to tease both the famous detective and thief. Oh, joy of life.

“I… I’ve got something to do. So I better…” he didn't even wait for my reply as the room instantly being filled with pink smokes, leaving only Shinichi’s clothes scattering above the floor soon after the air starting to clear itself.

“He borrowed your clothes?”

“I lent him some” he calmly picked up his clothes

“Sheesh… next time he disguised as you, notice me first, would you? What if he did something… unthinkable while being you?” I frowned at only the thought

“He wouldn't dare. I made him understand that you are off limits” again, that confident smirk on his face, it made my heart beat every time I see it

“You’re just enjoying yourself seeing me get flustered, weren’t you?” I pouted

“Nope. It’s because I know you’ll find out in just a second”

“But still, what if I didn't recognize him disguising? I don't want to even think about what I’d do” it’s true, I have never wanted to do any sort of thing with any other men beside Shinichi

“Hee~? What will you do, I wonder?”

“Tha… That’s not what I…” oops, did I said it out loud?

“Looks like what we did last night wasn't enough for you?”

“Shinichi!”

“Like I said, I don't mind a kiss or two even when I’m like this, you know?”

“You baka! I wouldn't…” why is the room suddenly feel so hot?

“Why? You even kissed me in front of my mom earlier” that annoying smirk of him is really pissing me off sometimes

“Argh! Don't make me remember it! It’s so embarrassing I could die” I don't know what’s gotten into me, suddenly being so bold like that. Ugh, what kind of face should I make in front of Shinichi’s mom?

“What? You’d do it with Shinichi but not with Conan?” His grin suddenly replaced by a frowned “Wait, don't tell me that you’re only attracted to my appearance?” that dramatic look on his face is really something

“What are you saying? Of course not” I huffed while trying to control my blood circulation. In vain

“Then, proof it!” Ugh~ somehow I know that he’s just teasing me, but I can’t help but to be flustered; and what’s with that glint and smexy air surrounding him?

“We can’t. What if someone come?” get a grip, me. Think of him as nothing but a sexy cute little puppy

“It’s fine. We still have about 20 minutes to ourselves” Since when did he was able to climb up the dining table?

“There are the cameras…” Uhh… Why can’t I move my legs?

“I’ll erase the footage later”

“Shin…ichi…” he’s getting closer… I know I should’ve dodge, but why can’t I turn my face away from him? “S… Stop…” I’m sure he could hear the thrumming sound of my heart from this point. Oh God, he’ll really ki…

“Pffttt…!” huh? What in the world…? “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…!”

I watched him burst into laughter. He laughed so hard, while curling up his body and clutched his stomach with one of his hand, and made the other hand hit the table continuously.

I can feel the blood circulation that I tried to control earlier flowing up my head in an instant. While I had my heart thrummed in excitement before, it lit with a different kind of excitement now. I have never feel like I want to pummel someone as hard as I want to do to him now. Really, he can become such a jerk sometimes

“Really, Shinichi?” fine, if this is how you wanted it to be, then I’m up with your game.

I’ll make you regret this, Shinichi!

Chapter Text

----- Saturday, 09.10 P.M. Narita International Airport, Departure Gates -----

 

“Where the hell is he?”


After making me do his legwork all day, and pushed Kazuha on my way to Mouri’s apartment to fetch Neechan’s passport then took some blows from the sleeping detective, I’ll make sure to pay him about that forgotten wallet thing (but when did he took it from me, I wonder?) someday. As if it wasn't enough, he selfishly let me be alone with 2 witches… ahem, girls, in the airport without even trying to explain why would I be flying to some deserted island rather than going back home to Osaka. Geez, this is what I don't like about him; always have everything planned out but never take the trouble to explain beforehand. Sigh, I guess I should just let myself flow with the wind then.
Sure enough, I spot him walking out of men’s toilet near checking point we were standing. He wears white-blue checkered long-sleeve underneath maroon hoody sweater (he didn't bother to tuck the hem of his shirt inside his trouser, making a delinquent yet sexy atmosphere around him when he dressed like that) and blue jeans with matching blue sneakers. He hides his hair within the hood but I could spot a white-framed glasses tucked between his eyes. Unlike the nerd-looking and too-big glasses he usually wears as Conan, this one is a small full-framed glasses that made it looked stylish instead. I had to admit that he has a good sense of fashion that matched up with his slender yet fitted body. Along with that good-looking face, I wouldn't be surprised if he were being surrounded by woman as soon as he walked out of his hiding spot. Add to the way his brilliance radiating from his eyes, surely enough he caught a lot of attention when he walked past other people (mostly woman) to where we stand in the line. They flocked onto him like he was some kind of a circus attraction, really. One of them even grabbed his backpack in time to prevent him from passing them, just to be able to have a small chit-chat before he glided his way towards us, with a cool manner as if nothing happened.


I’m about to open my mouth and thronged him with complaint when I catch a movement from the edge of my eyes, a long-black hair swaying as the owner ran into him and enveloped him in a hug, making him step back a few moments before that hesitation and bewildered expression replaced with soft smile and warm embrace. Guessing from their indifferent reaction, they don't even aware of the look the people sent their way. Especially the woman that grabbed Kudou’s backpack before, she bites the handkerchief strong enough to make it tear into pieces.


“Neechan kinda getting bold this day, huh?” I mumbled to myself, remembering what she did this morning “Well, I guess its fine. They are dating anyway” came Kazuha’s unnecessary comments “I know they are. I just wasn't expected her to be touchy feely in public” I was just saying, you know? Not like I feel jealous of him or anything. Nope. I’m not jealous at all. It’s pointless to expect Kazuha to do the same with what Neechan is doing to Kudou. So, I’m not making myself miserable by getting jealous of their relationship “What are you sulking at for, Heiji?”
“……”
Yeah, I know, I know. I am sulking but not jealous “Nah. You wouldn't get it”
“What do you mean? Of course I get it!”
Thump
Eh? Did she mean it?
“It’s because they were being separated for that long, their longing and mutual affection become too difficult to hold back. We can’t blame them”
“……”
Yeah, I was stupid for hoping she will understand that I’m jealous because I also want to be like that with her. Uhh, I mean, I was just a biiiiiitt jealous “Whatever”
I tried to avert my attention from the two lovebirds by looking fiercely into my watch, the clock ticking inside stating that we are going to be late if we didn't check ourselves in now. Turning my heels to the counter, I intentionally made my voice louder “Kazuha, we are checking in now. Just let that ahous enjoy their flirting before they realized they’re running late”
“You are just jealous, aren’t you Heiji?” came Kazuha’s dejected voice rather than her usual pissed-off blabber
“Huh?”
“I’m not a detective, but I’m not that dense, you know?”
“What do you mean?”
“Just admit it already, geez” admit what?
“No matter how hard it is; you need to tell the other person your true feelings. Or else, they wouldn't have any idea” I couldn't react to that.
Uhh… You don't expect me to confess to you in this very un-romantic place, do you? Not when Kudou got to confess his undying love to Neechan in front of Big Ben!
“What nonsense are you spouting, Kazuha?”
“Don't play dumb, Heiji! Act like a man you are!” yes, I’m a man. But this kind of thing has nothing to do with gender, don't you think?
“Like I can confess here?!” “You like Ran-chan, don't you, Heiji?”
……
Wait, what did she say?
For a moment, I couldn’t catch what she’s been saying since we said it at exactly the same time
“Huh?”
“Who’s going to confess here?” “Who’s the one I like?”
……
Good Lord, please kindly tell me that you’re just joking at this very moment.

When I busy indulging myself in self-pity and horror, I catch sight of a glint in the edges of Kazuha’s eyes. Indicating that she’s been containing that crystal water leaking out from her beautiful orbs. Duh, this is not going to work
“Where the heck did you get the idea of that false accusation from, Ahou?”
“Then, why are you always looking secretly to Ran-chan then blush all this day?”
“I didn't… Urgh, it’s not what you think it is!”
“You even stammering every time you spoke with her”
“That because she was… doing something… I didn't expect her to do”
“You even didn't mind to fetch her things for her. I bet you’d do anything she ask you to”
“Kudou was the one who ask me”
“Then why didn't he do it himself? Why did it have to be you?”
“Because he was… busy at the moment?”
“At first, I thought you were doing it for Kudou-kun. But you’re not a type of person who’d just happy become an assistant, your pride wouldn't allow you to do that. Unless you had a strong reason…”
Well, duh. It’s not like I could tell her Kudou’s real situation “… You don't need to know the reason” is all I could say, but it sparked something in her eyes.
Shock. Dejection. Sad. Understanding eventually
“And where did you go all day today?”
“I told you already, I was just doing legwork for Kudou!”
“It’s because Kudou-kun’s here so you want to avoid seeing both of them being lovey-dovey, right?”
“Why would I do that? Neechan is Kudou’s woman, you ahou!”
“Exactly. That’s why you choose to leave. Or getting frustrated over yourself. Just like what you did not too long ago”
“Wha…? Seriously, Zuha?”
“I… If you want to confess to Ran-chan, I won’t say you shouldn't do that; nor will I hinder you…”
Ugh, why did her words feels like a stab to my heart? “So, you’re okay with me being with another girl? Is that what you want to say?”
“… You are free to do what you always want” seems like she couldn't hold her tears anymore, as it sparkling down her cheeks
“Really?”


Then, don't blame me if I do this!

To hell with modesty. If Kudou could do it despite being under watchful eyes, why couldn't I? So I grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to me before I took her waist inside my embrace. I know it’s highly possible that she would kick me or throw me out till I landed in those deserted island we’re going to go to, but I don't have any objections to the possibility of hurting my own body, if it means I could let her know how I feels. And make her realize that she is making a grave misunderstanding by saying I like Kudou’s women. When the one I truly like is her.
Parting our lips but not letting her out of my grasp, I looked into her eyes “You are the one I like, you Ahou!”
When she doesn't give a damn reaction to my confession, I let her go but hold her hand instead. “No one’s getting closer to what’s mine” and walked to the check-in counter. Registering our names, tickets, passports and luggage to the still flushing receptionist that are trying to make an awkward welcoming smile to the four of us.
Wait… four of us?
Damn!
I really don't want to look towards where they were standing, but my curiosity always got the better of me. And soon I regretted doing it. That smile of him really made me want to smack that annoying, leech-like smirk off his face with a real Katana. Not like I fancy digging my own grave here, but what else should I do in that situation?
Hang in there, me!

 

----- Sunday, 07.10 A.M. Alor Island Airport, Arrival Gates -----


I’ve never feel so refreshed despite being in a 10-hours flight from Japan.


We finally arrived at our destination: Alor Island, one of many islands located in Indonesia. Surely, we have to trailed down the dirt road with no paving whatsoever to reach one from many beautiful beaches here, but it was so worth it as we inhaled a very refreshing air, greenery everywhere we see, a cool weather surrounded with warm sunlight, and I could hear the sounds of waves hitting the shores not too long from our position, along with the smell of sand and ocean water “The beach must have been near somewhere” I stated unconsciously to our guide that currently driving behind the wheel of an old cobalt-blue jeep we are currently sitting in “You were right. You can walk down a path to the beach near your stay” his Japanese wasn't so good but still understandable, while his English was rather fluent. So I prefer to speak with him in English for a better conversational method “Is that so?”
He smiled and continue “Yes. It will only take you 10 to 15 minutes by foot. And the path is quite easy, you wouldn't become lost as it only has one pathway to the beach. Locals frequently go there to fetch fish, seashells, swimming, or just stay for the sunrise or sunset”
“I see. I’d like to go there”
“And if you want, I could tell you some romantic spot that perfect for a date. Locals rarely go there so you could enjoy yourself with your girlfriend without interruption” he added that to me while winking, making me unwantedly blush. Thank God I prefer to sat in the front seat, so Ran and the other wouldn't notice my facial expression from the back seat. I don't know if they could hear what we’ve been saying though. So I deliberately changed the topic before it become too awkward “By the way, how long have you been staying here?”
“Staying…?” he blinked in confusion
“Yes. I know you weren’t a native. I guess you have been staying here for more than 5 years?”
A pause before he asked “How did you…?”
“Seeing your interaction with them, apparently they didn't consider you as an outsider. Your knowledge of the people and places was beyond natives themselves, added your perfect dialect. But you still have a slight difference to them: body measures, skin and eye color, and habitual moves. Besides, you address them as ‘the locals’ not ‘we’. It said a lot”
“Whoaa… I’m impressed. I thought foreigner wouldn't be able to differentiate us, having the same ancestors of Melanesians and all…”
“It was just me having this kind of observational habit. That's all”
He nodded for a moment before he stared at me for quite a long time (I wanted to shout ‘please pay more attention to the rocky roads in front of us rather than staring at me intently?’) his eyes sparkled making him looks like a child that had a new toy in hand “Interesting” he added “It’s the first time for me to meet with your kind, too”
“Excuse me?” my kind?
“Yes. A trustworthy detective and his friends”
Thump.
Don't tell me he was able to recognized who I really am? Despite me wearing a light disguise?
“Oh, you don't have to worry. I’m a no detective. It was just me having this kind of strong insight for knowing people’s true intentions. You could also call that a gut” he brushed it off as if it was nothing of the like; the fact that he looked like he could read my mind is.
This is nuts “Are all the people here like you?” I just had to ask
“Hahaha! Not at all. They are mostly innocent people with no idea of how the devil disguised in human form worked. It wasn't because they are stupid or anything. It was just a matter of Who is the most powerful of all”
“I see. I’ve heard that most people here are religious, with strong faith to God”
“Exactly. That what made them fear no human. They are afraid to only God. The rest of it treated as ‘fate’ or what they called as ‘God’s will’ and ‘Karma’. Natural disaster being one of them”
“But you are different” I intentionally drifted it back to his gut, as he said before
“Well, long story short, I originally born and raised in the metropolitan city, far from here. Our family was poor, so we were at the lowest in food chain, if I could say so myself. So it was natural for me to even witness the cruelest thing human could do to each other. But me and my brother managed to crawled up to the higher pyramid of those food chain, and naturally we knew how it feels to be worshipped and treated like a King in our own kingdom of massive chain-group company. That's how I’ve got my insight of people. That's how I differentiate and categorize people based on their intentions, especially towards us. Eventually, all of that mask tired me out. So I let go of all of that and fled here, in order to stay sane. Thank god, I managed to find good people with good true nature here”


“I understand your point” I nodded to him. My attempt to make him open up to me seems like working -whether because his so called gut or our appearance- it seems like we successfully got his trust. Judging from the way he told us his story, it could be classified as a mild trust, right? I just need to develop it further so that I could accomplish our mission of coming here. He mentioned his brother once, and I got to know more about him and his brother. Well, I know a bit of information about his brother, but not about him. Because she mentioned that she has never had met the said brother of her lover directly.
Just when I’m about to ask him about how did he manage to found her and the child, he asked “How is she?”
Well, I know well enough who he refers to “She is doing fine. Currently she is under protection of FBI, and she is willing to cooperate with us in order to safe Mamoru” I could see him sighing and he looked a bit relieved hearing the news “Thank God she is okay. I’ve never heard about her again ever since we had done our little vengeance” by ‘little vengeance’ he means about the economic disaster, right? How could that be little? As if knowing what I had in mind, he laughed it off like it was nothing “Tough people prone to bounce back, wouldn't they?”


As he tells me more about that little vengeance, I could see that he is the kind of people that once he put his trust on someone, he’d took that trust to grave. The same way with how he had trust his brother; he trusted his brother enough to make him trust his decision: to trust a woman whom he barely meet and know nothing about, and to protect her using his own life. And now, to protect his brother’s will, he’d do anything to protect his nephew –which he did splendidly all this time- that will lead to him trusting us, too. That is, not until they somehow managed to sniff Mamoru’s existence and capability. No matter how tight she closed the trail, they managed to trailed them back. I don’t know who has this high ability of investigation beside Bourbon and Curacao in the organization, but one thing that sure is Rum was the one to issued the order. The question is, where did he first found the lead? Ugh, I ought to stop thinking about this. All I need to do is to focus on our plan, and I need to make it fast.


“So, are you one of those FBIs too? Or are you some kind of a private detective undercover?” he smiled meaningfully. Yes, he had told me everything I needed to know; from his past, his personal information, detailed information about Mamoru and his brother, until the fact that he actually had met Vinsanto once, even without her knowing. He just laughed it off as if it was nothing –like usual- when I asked his method of being able to made a prank to the genius woman “Me and my brother was an identical twin, you see. Even our traits and intelligence were the same. I just need to put on that unfashionable clothes and made my hair a bit messy, all done!” err… okay. I got it, but he kept on rumbling “Even our type of women we like were the same. So when once I told him I liked Ayano-san too, and asked whether I could kiss her just once, he punched me on the eyes! Hahahaha…!!!” I sweat dropped at the thought. Really, having a twins can become problematic if not nerve wrecking. Thank God I don't have one. Nope, that Okita-something has nothing to do with me even though we really looked alike. And KID definitely wearing disguise so he looked like me, but we’re just like fire-and-water; we couldn't be put together in the same time and same place. Definitely couldn't be described as twin. Yup.


Back to the matter at hand, I guess its time for me to come out, too “Oh, where’s my manner?” I slipped my glasses off and stretch my hand in an attempt to make a hand-shake “My name’s Kudou Shinichi, a high-school detective. I’m not an agent, but I currently work with them to trailed the Organization. Nice to know you” he welcomed my handshake with a firm grip and a small smile “And the dark-skinned teenager that currently nuzzling his head off is Hattori Heiji, also a high-school detective and my best friend. The sleeping woman on his shoulder is his girlfriend, Toyama Kazuha” he nodded while looking at them from the rear mirror “So, the long-haired beauty must be your girlfriend, then” that made me blushed a little at the mention of my girlfriend “Ye, yes… Mouri Ran, my childhood friend that also my girlfriend” I guess I can’t get used to introducing Ran as my girlfriend, despite all the things we had done as lover (ahem! Focus, me!) from the rear mirror, our eyes accidentally met just in the same time as I was thinking that we haven’t been able to do lover’s thing at all today (the hug was yesterday) except to intertwined our hands during the flight “I thought you were sleeping?” so I asked her
“I guess I awake in the middle of the trip, because of the bumpy road”
“I see. You should have told me sooner”
“I… I’m sorry, I didn't intend to eavesdropped on your conversation, but I didn't know when is right to…”
“That's not what I mean. I just wanted to check your condition. You are feeling a bit nauseated during the flight, so I thought we could just stop in the middle our trip to ease your nausea and change the mood” her cheek painted in red a little as she heard this from me. But really, she should know better
“Oh, don't worry. We’ll arrive at our destination in about 10 minutes” Ari-san, the guide chirp in. We agreed to just call him Ari-san, since his name is too long and too difficult for us to pronounce “I had our breakfast ready at the inn in time of our arrival, so I suggest we fill our stomach first then do the trivial things later” by ‘trivial things’ he means is the time we discuss our next move and plan accordingly, to keep the suspicion of the organization away from Mamoru’s real whereabouts and how to bring Mamoru into Japan as natural as possible. Well, I have the support for the data and security from FBI, but we still need to take extra careful measures to bring him in “I guess you were right. But first, I need to wake up our two slumbering lovebirds, before we take our breakfast”
Ari-san just laughed “Guess they were tired from the long trip. You guys could take your time and rest too as soon as we reach the inn”
“Thank you, Ari-san” Ran bowed a little as a polite gesture towards him, which he replied by bowing his head slightly “Don't mention it. By the way, since we only had 4 rooms in the inn, you don't mind if you guys share your room, right? The other two rooms had been occupied by me and Mamoru, so it only left two for the four of you” he explained almost apologetically
“That would be more than enough. Kazuha-chan and I used to share our rooms, too” at hearing this, a thought suddenly crossed my mind “Huh? Ain’t you sleep with me?”
I looked at her flabbergasted expression before correcting my words “Ahem, I mean, we’ll share the room so that Hattori and Kazuha-san would be able to have their little chit-chat in privacy? Since they haven’t been talking to each other after what happened in Narita” I tried to explain myself, wondering how the hell do I look like now with this suddenly hot air around my face “But if you don't wish to, you don't have to. I mean, it's all up to you” geez. My intentions were innocent when I suggested the room sharing with Ran. But after seeing her flushing red face, I unintentionally thought about what might happen between us should we share another night together while me being the real me. In a tropical land with romantic atmosphere surrounding us nonetheless. Bad, bad thoughts “Well, I guess I better share with Hatto…”
“No!” she cut in “I… I mean, you were right. They need to talk in private. I mean, we should let them talk and give them space, shouldn't we?” she stuttered with a bright red face, but still looking at me with some kind of hope.
“Well, if you’re fine with it…” it’s so awkward for me to pretend to be calm while inside my heart’s thrumming like a rock-band at the thought of sharing the night together with her, again.
“That is, if you’re fine with that too, Ari-san” I glanced at the middle-aged man that was trying his best not to burst out in laughter, seeing our awkward exchange of opinion and how we settled the matter using poor excuses
“Well, all is well for me” he finally managed to say something “My room and Mamoru’s is in the first floor, so you guys are free to use the room upstairs to do whatever you need” and he said that not without winking meaningfully to me, which I reply only with a thanks while scratching my cheek.

 

----- Sunday, 09.10 A.M. Arifiyanto’s Inn, Alor Island -----

It was somewhat refreshing to see four teenagers stretching up once we got out of the car after quite a long trip; each of them busy exchanging nonchalant conversation, about how beautiful the island is, how nice the scenery, and how they will spend their time playing around the beach. Oh, and I think they saved the room’s sharing for latter discussion (or no discussion at all, seeing how the two of them steadied their hearts to share the room for each lovers) oh, joy of youth. I’m a free kindred spirit, so I have absolutely no rejection of savoring the time spent as long as we’re being responsible of whatever actions we decided to took. And I trust this teen detective to have his own fair judgment and being wise enough in his green age. He cares for others, he is responsible and dependable, he is smart and sharp enough for him to be able to calculate and deduce everything without being told, and for the most part, she would never put her trust on someone who couldn't win over her heart and critical assessments. To top it off, he was being trusted even by the FBI’s to run this mission without their direct supervision, knowing full well that they could depend on him and his actions.


The moment I saw him on the airport, I knew that he is the one Ayano-san told me about. I intended to just become no one –only a humble guide- as I introduce myself to him and his friends, but he didn't take it as an offense, instead he willingly allowed me to lead the way and play the game fairly. Testing the water at first, then carefully produce his own stance after comparing the data with actual fact. No trespassing nor compelling his intentions, deliberately making room for me to withdraw or come out. That was what a professional negotiator would do, and he had done it so smoothly. It results to him having my full-trust, and I know he appreciate it since I get the feeling that he also knows what kind of a person I truly am.


With this peace of mind, I can entrust Mamoru’s protection on him.


“Mamoru, come out. Our guests had arrived. Get here and greet them properly” I called him from the front door. But I couldn't hear a single response from within the inn. As if on cue, I could hear the girls squeaking “Kyaaa~ how cute. How old are you? What’s your name?” and “He looks a lot like Conan-kun, doesn't he?” and there, I could spot Mamoru being surround by the teens “Fer real, this kid looks like the innocent you, Kudou! Hahaha!” and another comment “He has bigger eyes, though” and his offended voice “What do you mean by innocent me?”
“I’m sure you’ll become as handsome and good-looking as this Onii-chan here” said the long-haired girl, which the other two teens replied with whistles “Go ask Kudou to make one fer you, Neechan”
“Sure. After you made one for Kazuha-san, Hattori” he successfully silenced him
“Geez! Don't scare the kid, Heiji” the pony-tailed girl elbowed so called Hattori Heiji and dragged him inside the inn, after asking me where the toilet is and I let them in saying they should treat themselves as in their own home.
“Anyway! You are Mamoru, right? My name is Mouri Ran, and this oniichan whom they said looked like you are Kudou Shinichi. While the other two is Hattori Heiji and Toyama Kazuha”
“Hi there, Mamoru. Nice to meet you” Shinichi-kun bended his body over so that he could be in line with Mamoru’s height, just like what his girlfriend is doing
“Hi! My name is Mamoru Adhiniyanto and I’m 7 years old” looked like Mamoru took a liking on them, especially those two as he chirped “I heard from Ari-occhan that you were going to get me to meet my mommy?” uh-huh. He is always that straight forward. No idea who he got that traits from.
His bewildered expression changed into that of the soft one “You want to meet her? Sure, I’ll take you to her” this made a beam on his face “Really, niichan?” he nodded in response and continued “But in order to do that, you have to do some things first”
“What is that?”
“Your mom lived in a country named Japan, to go there, we need to take the airplane. Can you do it?”
“No problems. Ari-occhan often take me to a long-trip by using airplanes and even boats”
“Good. Second, your Mom speak using Japanese. So, you’d have to learn Japanese. Do you mind?”
“Uhm. I can speak Japanese a little” he sounded not so confident. Well, I understand Japanese but none of the people he met with were a native or fluent (other than his rarely met with mother)
“Great. Then this pretty neechan here will teach you Japanese more, how about that?”
“Really? Then, then, can I read a books that full of Kanji if neechan teach me?” his mood perked up whenever we mentioned books
“Of course you can, Mamoru-kun. I don't know how good of a teacher I am, but I’ll do my best teaching you” said Ran-san in a motherly tone
“The last is, you have to wait and be patient before you could live with your mom again. You will eventually meet her after everything’s settled” Shinichi-kun said that as he stroked Mamoru’s head gently
“Is the bad guys still around? Is it not safe enough for me to meet with my mom now?” uh-huh. Straight ball, as always. I was curious of how he will explain this to Mamoru though
“Unfortunately, yes. For now, but rest assured, we will do our best to catch the bad guys and send them all to prison, so that it will be safe for you and your mom to be together. I promise” he said and I sighed, letting the breath I unintentionally hold all this time
“Why would you do that for me, Niichan?” there. His critical assessment he got from his respected mother
“Well, I’m not doing it only for you, to be honest. I’m doing it for my sake, too. In order for me to be together with this beautiful Neechan, I have to catch the bad guys and end their miserable actions”
“I see… so, it’s a promise?”
“Yes. Promise”
“Then, I would cheer on you and neechan, until you guys could make one like me” he beamed innocently at them, thus made them blushed and awkwardly denied whatever stupid idea Hattori-kun had spouted before.
Really, after learning about how they had discovered Mamoru’s existence and capability, I couldn't rest a single day without worrying and being paranoid. But somehow after I met with him directly like this, I got the feeling that everything will turn out alright. Also, I thought that this is the time for us to come out of the shadow. I protected Mamoru using all I’ve got, but now, I intended to help this guy using all my might. I have no objection to use all my resource, wealth, and everything to back him up. And I will let him know I’m being serious.

 

----- Sunday, 09.30 A.M. Arifiyanto’s Inn, Alor Island -----

It’s now or never.


Or so I thought when I saw a chance to drag Kudou out from the kitchen, while the girls had been busy helping Ari-san preparing the table for our breakfast.
“What are you trying to do, Kudou?”
“Whatever you mean?” urgh, not with that innocent face again. You could deceive people by that look on your face Kudou, but not me
“Why do I have to share my room with that Ahou rather than with you?”
“Oh, so this is about that, huh?”
“I know you are scheming something, Kudou. But it’s not gonna work”
“Sigh. I’m not”
“Then, lets switch our belongings”
“Listen, Hattori. First, I really don't plan to intrude your romantic relationship with Kazuha-san. Second, I do that only because I want to spend as much time as I can with Ran. You know that I can’t be in this state for more than 24 Hour. Third, because this time will gonna be the last I’ll spent with her before I took my leave” he said the last words with that serious face as if stating he’ll be gone forever…
“… what do you mean by that?” of course, it wasn't just my imagination. I need to crosscheck this thing with him.
“I guess this is time for you to know my plan, then” as he said that, he made that I can’t help it kind of face with a bit of a forced smile.
That made me have this kind of a bad feeling.
Really, really bad feeling.

 

----- Sunday, 03.30 P.M. Lingal Beach, Alor Island -----

I should thank Ari-san for spotting this place to me.


That is what I thought after we land our foot in Lingal Beach, or so he said about the beach’s name. After a bit of adventuring the rocky little path that surrounded by luxuriant array of tree from the Inn, the rocky path eventually smoothened when its rocks replaced by gentle and soft sands. The sounds of waves hitting the shores were clearly getting louder as we traveled down, as if it was some kind of a gentle strokes to the mother earth from deep within the calming sea. Smells of ocean and blue hitting our nose every time the summer breezes go past us. It was such an amazing view we had there; it was like we are looking at the end of the earth as the line of sky and ocean only been able to be separated by the different color of blue along the line. It was a perfect light-blue water coming up to white, smooth sand beach; altering it depths by the degradation of blue. The seen through crystal-like sea water enact the colorful coral reefs below, enlivened by colorful little fish swimming around, make it looked like a true underwater kingdom of little heaven on earth.
We took our time to be mesmerized by it, inhaled the peaceful atmosphere while carving the sights into our memory lane, making it an unforgettable pieces of experience. Especially with her beside me as we intertwined our hands, walk through the sands and getting wet by the splashing waves that hit our bare foot. It was so peaceful and calming, as if none of the harms could break away the silence in this separated world. This is absolutely what I need before facing the dark, evil creature named after alcoholic brands. I will squeeze this time in my heart as one of my forte in facing the dread that awaits me, not long after this. I am fully aware that I made myself in grave danger by doing so, and by Hattori’s strong rejection to the plan, I know it has everything to do with the continuation of my life. Risking not only my own future, but also Ran’s and everyone involved in this. But no matter what, this is the only way for us to be able to capture them and make this dreadful event of life ends, without hurting another innocent life that threatened to block away their path. I have to do this.


The most difficult part is to tell her.


How am I supposed to tell her that I willingly get my neck in the guillotine for the sake of eradicating the black organization? There’s too many lives that depended on the successful of the mission, and for the most part, my life and the ones I cared for the most. Not to mention, the promise I made to Mamoru-kun not too long ago. Can I really shoulder all of that? Am I really able to do this right?


I don't know the answer.
I can’t predict future nor can I change the past.
All I can do is just to try my best.


And to try my best is what I’d done when I did tell her all of this, to make her understand why I had to do this, and to hope my true intention could reach her. Although she was crying while listening to me, shaking and not able to sustain my words that made her flopped onto the sand, all of her body limp as if no amount of energy left inside her. No amount of happiness left as I enchanted the dread plan to her; as if I sucked all of her souls. Nothing left. She was like an empty shell.
And it hurt.
It hurt me so much to see her like that, because of me. I want to severe my tongue apart, that only speak things that hurt her. I want do drown my body into the ocean, that only brought her pain. I want to torn my heart apart, that only able to broke hers. I feel like I was nothing. I feel empty inside. Even my tears felt like string of curses, weighing too much for me to hold back.
“I’m sorry…”
I fed up to say sorry to her.
But that’s the only thing I was able to say to her
“I’m so sorry, Ran…”
Again and again. No matter how many times I said it, I know it wasn't going to be a remedy to her pain. It worsened the pain instead.
“Sorry…”
But again, that’s the only thing I was able to say to her.

I flopped into the sands, trying uselessly to hold the sobs, the tears, the anger, and the dread within my heart. I don't know what I would become after this. I don't know if I will still be able to come back to her.


Today, everything will begin.
Or end.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, 07.10 A.M. Alor Island Airport, Arrival Gates -

I've never feel so refreshed despite being in a 10-hours flight from Japan.

We finally arrived at our destination: Alor Island, one of many islands located in Indonesia.

Surely, we have to trailed down the dirt road with no paving whatsoever to reach one from many beautiful beaches here, but it was so worth it as we inhaled a very refreshing air, greenery everywhere we see, a cool weather surrounded with warm sunlight, and I could hear the sounds of waves hitting the shores not too long from our position, along with the smell of sand and ocean water

"The beach must have been near somewhere" I stated unconsciously to our guide that currently driving behind the wheel of an old cobalt-blue jeep we are currently sitting in

"You were right. You can walk down a path to the beach near your stay" his Japanese wasn't so good but still understandable, while his English was rather fluent. So I prefer to speak with him in English for a better conversational method

"Is that so?"

He smiled and continue "Yes. It will only take you 10 to 15 minutes by foot. And the path is quite easy, you wouldn't become lost as it only has one pathway to the beach. Locals frequently go there to fetch fish, seashells, swimming, or just stay for the sunrise or sunset"

"I see. I'd like to go there"

"And if you want, I could tell you some romantic spot that perfect for a date. Locals rarely go there so you could enjoy yourself with your girlfriend without interruption" he added that to me while winking, making me unwantedly blush.

Thank God I prefer to sat in the front seat, so Ran and the other wouldn't notice my facial expression from the back seat. I don't know if they could hear what we've been saying though. So I deliberately changed the topic before it become too awkward "By the way, how long have you been staying here?"

"Staying...?" he blinked in confusion

"Yes. I know you weren't a native. I guess you have been staying here for more than 5 years?"

A pause before he asked "How did you...?"

"Seeing your interaction with them, apparently they didn't consider you as an outsider. Your knowledge of the people and places was beyond natives themselves, added your perfect dialect. But you still have a slight difference to them: body measures, skin and eye color, and habitual moves. Besides, you address them as 'the locals' not 'we'. It said a lot"

"Whoaa... I'm impressed. I thought foreigner wouldn't be able to differentiate us, having the same ancestors of Melanesians and all..."

"It was just me having this kind of observational habit. That's all"

He nodded for a moment before he stared at me for quite a long time (I wanted to shout 'please pay more attention to the rocky roads in front of us rather than staring at me intently?') his eyes sparkled making him looks like a child that had a new toy in hand "Interesting" he added "It's the first time for me to meet with your kind, too"

"Excuse me?" my kind?

"Yes. A trustworthy detective and his friends"

Thump

Don't tell me he was able to recognized who I really am? Despite me wearing a light disguise?

"Oh, you don't have to worry. I'm a no detective. It was just me having this kind of strong insight for knowing people's true intentions. You could also call that a gut" he brushed it off as if it was nothing of the like; the fact that he looked like he could read my mind is.

This is nuts "Are all the people here like you?" I just had to ask

"Hahaha! Not at all. They are mostly innocent people with no idea of how the devil disguised in human form worked. It wasn't because they are stupid or anything. It was just a matter of Who is the most powerful of all"

"I see. I've heard that most people here are religious, with strong faith to God"

"Exactly. That what made them fear no human. They are afraid to only God. The rest of it treated as 'fate' or what they called as 'God's will' and 'Karma'. Natural disaster being one of them"

"But you are different" I intentionally drifted it back to his gut, as he said before

"Well, long story short, I originally born and raised in the metropolitan city, far from here. Our family was poor, so we were at the lowest in food chain, if I could say so myself. So it was natural for me to even witness the cruelest thing human could do to each other. But me and my brother managed to crawled up to the higher pyramid of those food chain, and naturally we knew how it feels to be worshipped and treated like a King in our own kingdom of massive chain-group company. That's how I've got my insight of people. That's how I differentiate and categorize people based on their intentions, especially towards us. Eventually, all of that mask tired me out. So I let go of all of that and fled here, in order to stay sane. Thank god, I managed to find good people with good true nature here"

"I understand your point" I nodded to him.

My attempt to make him open up to me seems like working -whether because his so called gut or our appearance- it seems like we successfully got his trust. Judging from the way he told us his story, it could be classified as a mild trust, right?

I just need to develop it further so that I could accomplish our mission of coming here. He mentioned his brother once, and I got to know more about him and his brother. Well, I know a bit of information about his brother, but not about him. Because she mentioned that she has never had met the said brother of her lover directly.

Just when I'm about to ask him about how did he manage to found her and the child, he asked "How is she?"

Well, I know well enough who he refers to "She is doing fine. Currently she is under protection of FBI, and she is willing to cooperate with us in order to safe Mamoru" I could see him sighing and he looked a bit relieved hearing the news

"Thank God she is okay. I've never heard about her again ever since we had done our little vengeance" by 'little vengeance' he means about the economic disaster, right? How could that be little? As if knowing what I had in mind, he laughed it off like it was nothing "Tough people prone to bounce back, wouldn't they?"

As he told me more about that little vengeance, I could see that he is the kind of people that once he put his trust on someone, he'd took that trust to grave. The same way with how he had trust his brother; he trusted his brother enough to make him trust his decision: to trust a woman whom he barely meet and know nothing about, and to protect her using his own life.

And now, to protect his brother's will, he'd do anything to protect his nephew –which he did splendidly all this time- that will lead to him trusting us, too. That is, not until they somehow managed to sniff Mamoru's existence and capability.

No matter how tight she closed the trail, they managed to trailed them back. I don't know who has this high ability of investigation beside Bourbon and Curacao in the organization, but one thing that sure is Rum was the one to issued the order. The question is, where did he first found the lead?

Ugh, I ought to stop thinking about this. All I need to do is to focus on our plan, and I need to make it fast.

"So, are you one of those FBIs too? Or are you some kind of a private detective undercover?" he smiled meaningfully.

Yes, he had told me everything I needed to know; from his past, his personal information, detailed information about Mamoru and his brother, until the fact that he actually had met Vinsanto once, even without her knowing. He just laughed it off as if it was nothing –like usual- when I asked his method of being able to made a prank to the genius woman

"Me and my brother was an identical twin, you see. Even our traits and intelligence were the same. I just need to put on that unfashionable clothes and made my hair a bit messy, all done!" err... okay. I got it, but he kept on rumbling

"Even our type of women we like were the same. So when once I told him I liked Ayano-san too, and asked whether I could kiss her just once, he punched me on the eyes! Hahahaha...!" I sweat dropped at the thought. Really, having a twins can become problematic if not nerve wrecking.

Thank God I don't have one. Nope, that Okita-something has nothing to do with me even though we really looked alike. And KID definitely wearing disguise so he looked like me, but we're just like fire-and-water; we couldn't be put together in the same time and same place. Definitely couldn't be described as twin. Yup.

Back to the matter at hand, I guess its time for me to come out, too "Oh, where's my manner?" I slipped my glasses off and stretch my hand in an attempt to make a hand-shake

"My name's Kudou Shinichi, a high-school detective. I'm not an agent, but I currently work with them to trailed the Organization. Nice to know you" he welcomed my handshake with a firm grip and a small smile

"And the dark-skinned teenager that currently nuzzling his head off is Hattori Heiji, also a high-school detective and my best friend. The sleeping woman on his shoulder is his girlfriend, Toyama Kazuha" he nodded while looking at them from the rear mirror

"So, the long-haired beauty must be your girlfriend, then" that made me blushed a little at the mention of my girlfriend

"Ye, yes... Mouri Ran, my childhood friend that also my girlfriend" I guess I can't get used to introducing Ran as my girlfriend, despite all the things we had done as lover (ahem! Focus, me!)

Out from the rear mirror, our eyes accidentally met just in the same time as I was thinking that we haven't been able to do lover's thing at all today (the hug was yesterday) except to intertwined our hands during the flight "I thought you were sleeping?" so I asked her

"I guess I awake in the middle of the trip, because of the bumpy road"

"I see. You should have told me sooner"

"I... I'm sorry, I didn't intend to eavesdropped on your conversation, but I didn't know when is right to..."

"That's not what I mean. I just wanted to check your condition. You are feeling a bit nauseated during the flight, so I thought we could just stop in the middle our trip to ease your nausea and change the mood" her cheek painted in red a little as she heard this from me. But really, she should know better

"Oh, don't worry. We'll arrive at our destination in about 10 minutes" Ari-san, the guide chirp in.

We agreed to just call him Ari-san, since his name is too long and too difficult for us to pronounce

"I had our breakfast ready at the inn in time of our arrival, so I suggest we fill our stomach first then do the trivial things later" by 'trivial things' he means is the time we discuss our next move and plan accordingly, to keep the suspicion of the organization away from Mamoru's real whereabouts and how to bring Mamoru into Japan as natural as possible.

Well, I have the support for the data and security from FBI, but we still need to take extra careful measures to bring him in "I guess you were right. But first, I need to wake up our two slumbering lovebirds, before we take our breakfast"

Ari-san just laughed "Guess they were tired from the long trip. You guys could take your time and rest too as soon as we reach the inn"

"Thank you, Ari-san" Ran bowed a little as a polite gesture towards him, which he replied by bowing his head slightly

"Don't mention it. By the way, since we only had 4 rooms in the inn, you don't mind if you guys share your room, right? The other two rooms had been occupied by me and Mamoru, so it only left two for the four of you" he explained almost apologetically

"That would be more than enough. Kazuha-chan and I used to share our rooms, too" at hearing this, a thought suddenly crossed my mind

"Huh? Ain't you sleep with me?"

I looked at her flabbergasted expression before correcting my words "Ahem, I mean, we'll share the room so that Hattori and Kazuha-san would be able to have their little chit-chat in privacy? Since they haven't been talking to each other after what happened in Narita" I tried to explain myself, wondering how the hell do I look like now with this suddenly hot air around my face

"But if you don't wish to, you don't have to. I mean, it's all up to you" geez. My intentions were innocent when I suggested the room sharing with Ran.

But after seeing her flushing red face, I unintentionally thought about what might happen between us should we share another night together while me being the real me. In a tropical land with romantic atmosphere surrounding us nonetheless. Bad, bad thoughts

"Well, I guess I better share with Hatto..."

"No!" she cut in "I... I mean, you were right. They need to talk in private. I mean, we should let them talk and give them space, shouldn't we?" she stuttered with a bright red face, but still looking at me with some kind of hope.

"Well, if you're fine with it..." it's so awkward for me to pretend to be calm while inside my heart's thrumming like a rock-band at the thought of sharing the night together with her, again.

"That is, if you're fine with that too, Ari-san" I glanced at the middle-aged man that was trying his best not to burst out in laughter, seeing our awkward exchange of opinion and how we settled the matter using poor excuses

"Well, all is well for me" he finally managed to say something "My room and Mamoru's is in the first floor, so you guys are free to use the room upstairs to do whatever you need" and he said that not without winking meaningfully to me, which I reply only with a thanks while scratching my cheek.

- Sunday, 09.10 A.M. Arifiyanto's Inn, Alor Island -

It was somewhat refreshing to see four teenagers stretching up once we got out of the car after quite a long trip; each of them busy exchanging nonchalant conversation, about how beautiful the island is, how nice the scenery, and how they will spend their time playing around the beach.

Oh, and I think they saved the room's sharing for latter discussion (or no discussion at all, seeing how the two of them steadied their hearts to share the room for each lovers) oh, joy of youth.

I'm a free kindred spirit, so I have absolutely no rejection of savoring the time spent as long as we're being responsible of whatever actions we decided to took. And I trust this teen detective to have his own fair judgment and being wise enough in his green age. He cares for others, he is responsible and dependable, he is smart and sharp enough for him to be able to calculate and deduce everything without being told, and for the most part, she would never put her trust on someone who couldn't win over her heart and critical assessments. To top it off, he was being trusted even by the FBI's to run this mission without their direct supervision, knowing full well that they could depend on him and his actions.

The moment I saw him on the airport, I knew that he is the one Ayano-san told me about. I intended to just become no one –only a humble guide- as I introduce myself to him and his friends, but he didn't take it as an offense, instead he willingly allowed me to lead the way and play the game fairly.

Testing the water at first, then carefully produce his own stance after comparing the data with actual fact. No trespassing nor compelling his intentions, deliberately making room for me to withdraw or come out. That was what a professional negotiator would do, and he had done it so smoothly. It results to him having my full-trust, and I know he appreciate it since I get the feeling that he also knows what kind of a person I truly am.

With this peace of mind, I can entrust Mamoru's protection on him.

"Mamoru, come out. Our guests had arrived. Get here and greet them properly" I called him from the front door.

But I couldn't hear a single response from within the inn. As if on cue, I could hear the girls squeaking

"Kyaaa~ how cute. How old are you? What's your name?" and

"He looks a lot like Conan-kun, doesn't he?" and there, I could spot Mamoru being surround by the teens

"Fer real, this kid looks like the innocent you, Kudou! Hahaha!" and another comment

"He has bigger eyes, though" and his offended voice

"What do you mean by innocent me?"

"I'm sure you'll become as handsome and good-looking as this Onii-chan here" said the long-haired girl, which the other two teens replied with whistles

"Go ask Kudou to make one fer you, Neechan"

"Sure. After you made one for Kazuha-san, Hattori" he successfully silenced him

"Geez! Don't scare the kid, Heiji" the pony-tailed girl elbowed so called Hattori Heiji and dragged him inside the inn, after asking me where the toilet is and I let them in saying they should treat themselves as in their own home.

"Anyway! You are Mamoru, right? My name is Mouri Ran, and this oniichan whom they said looked like you are Kudou Shinichi. While the other two is Hattori Heiji and Toyama Kazuha"

"Hi there, Mamoru. Nice to meet you" Shinichi-kun bended his body over so that he could be in line with Mamoru's height, just like what his girlfriend is doing

"Hi! My name is Mamoru Adhiniyanto and I'm 7 years old" looked like Mamoru took a liking on them, especially those two as he chirped

"I heard from Ari-occhan that you were going to get me to meet my mommy?" uh-huh. He is always that straight forward. No idea who he got that traits from.

His bewildered expression changed into that of the soft one "You want to meet her? Sure, I'll take you to her" this made a beam on his face

"Really, niichan?" he nodded in response and continued

"But in order to do that, you have to do some things first"

"What is that?"

"Your mom lived in a country named Japan, to go there, we need to take the airplane. Can you do it?"

"No problems. Ari-occhan often take me to a long-trip by using airplanes and even boats"

"Good. Second, your Mom speak using Japanese. So, you'd have to learn Japanese. Do you mind?"

"Uhm. I can speak Japanese a little" he sounded not so confident. Well, I understand Japanese but none of the people he met with were a native or fluent (other than his rarely met with mother)

"Great. Then this pretty neechan here will teach you Japanese more, how about that?"

"Really? Then, then, can I read a books that full of Kanji if neechan teach me?" his mood perked up whenever we mentioned books

"Of course you can, Mamoru-kun. I don't know how good of a teacher I am, but I'll do my best teaching you" said Ran-san in a motherly tone

"The last is, you have to wait and be patient before you could live with your mom again. You will eventually meet her after everything's settled" Shinichi-kun said that as he stroked Mamoru's head gently

"Is the bad guys still around? Is it not safe enough for me to meet with my mom now?" uh-huh. Straight ball, as always. I was curious of how he will explain this to Mamoru though

"Unfortunately, yes. For now, but rest assured, we will do our best to catch the bad guys and send them all to prison, so that it will be safe for you and your mom to be together. I promise" he said and I sighed, letting the breath I unintentionally hold all this time

"Why would you do that for me, Niichan?" there. His critical assessment he got from his respected mother

"Well, I'm not doing it only for you, to be honest. I'm doing it for my sake, too. In order for me to be together with this beautiful Neechan, I have to catch the bad guys and end their miserable actions"

"I see... so, it's a promise?"

"Yes. Promise"

"Then, I would cheer on you and neechan, until you guys could make one like me" he beamed innocently at them, thus made them blushed and awkwardly denied whatever stupid idea Hattori-kun had spouted before.

Really, after learning about how they had discovered Mamoru's existence and capability, I couldn't rest a single day without worrying and being paranoid. But somehow after I met with him directly like this, I got the feeling that everything will turn out alright.

Also, I thought that this is the time for us to come out of the shadow. I protected Mamoru using all I've got, but now, I intended to help this guy using all my might. I have no objection to use all my resource, wealth, and everything to back him up.

And I will let him know I'm being serious.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, 09.30 A.M. Arifiyanto's Inn, Alor Island -

It's now or never.

Or so I thought when I saw a chance to drag Kudou out from the kitchen, while the girls had been busy helping Ari-san preparing the table for our breakfast.

"What are you trying to do, Kudou?"

"Whatever you mean?" urgh, not with that innocent face again. You could deceive people by that look on your face Kudou, but not me

"Why do I have to share my room with that Ahou rather than with you?"

"Oh, so this is about that, huh?"

"I know you are scheming something, Kudou. But it's not gonna work"

"Sigh. I'm not"

"Then, lets switch our belongings"

"Listen, Hattori. First, I really don't plan to intrude your romantic relationship with Kazuha-san. Second, I do that only because I want to spend as much time as I can with Ran. You know that I can't be in this state for more than 24 Hour. Third, because this time will gonna be the last I'll spent with her before I took my leave" he said the last words with that serious face as if stating he'll be gone forever...

"... what do you mean by that?" of course, it wasn't just my imagination. I need to crosscheck this thing with him.

"I guess this is time for you to know my plan, then" as he said that, he made that I can't help it kind of face with a bit of a forced smile.

That made me have this kind of a bad feeling.

Really, really bad feeling.

 

- Sunday, 03.30 P.M. Lingal Beach, Alor Island -

I should thank Ari-san for spotting this place to me.

That is what I thought after we land our foot in Lingal Beach, or so he said about the beach's name. After a bit of adventuring the rocky little path that surrounded by luxuriant array of tree from the Inn, the rocky path eventually smoothened when its rocks replaced by gentle and soft sands.

The sounds of waves hitting the shores were clearly getting louder as we traveled down, as if it was some kind of a gentle strokes to the mother earth from deep within the calming sea. Smells of ocean and blue hitting our nose every time the summer breezes go past us.

It was such an amazing view we had there; it was like we are looking at the end of the earth as the line of sky and ocean only been able to be separated by the different color of blue along the line. It was a perfect light-blue water coming up to white, smooth sand beach; altering it depths by the degradation of blue. The seen through crystal-like sea water enact the colorful coral reefs below, enlivened by colorful little fish swimming around, make it looked like a true underwater kingdom of little heaven on earth.

We took our time to be mesmerized by it, inhaled the peaceful atmosphere while carving the sights into our memory lane, making it an unforgettable pieces of experience. Especially with her beside me as we intertwined our hands, walk through the sands and getting wet by the splashing waves that hit our bare foot. It was so peaceful and calming, as if none of the harms could break away the silence in this separated world.

This is absolutely what I need before facing the dark, evil creature named after alcoholic brands. I will squeeze this time in my heart as one of my forte in facing the dread that awaits me, not long after this. I am fully aware that I made myself in grave danger by doing so, and by Hattori's strong rejection to the plan, I know it has everything to do with the continuation of my life. Risking not only my own future, but also Ran's and everyone involved in this. But no matter what, this is the only way for us to be able to capture them and make this dreadful event of life ends, without hurting another innocent life that threatened to block away their path. I have to do this.

The most difficult part is to tell her.

How am I supposed to tell her that I willingly get my neck in the guillotine for the sake of eradicating the black organization? There's too many lives that depended on the successful of the mission, and for the most part, my life and the ones I cared for the most. Not to mention, the promise I made to Mamoru-kun not too long ago. Can I really shoulder all of that? Am I really able to do this right?

I don't know the answer.

I can't predict future nor can I change the past.

All I can do is just to try my best.

And to try my best is what I'd done when I did tell her all of this, to make her understand why I had to do this, and to hope my true intention could reach her. Although she was crying while listening to me, shaking and not able to sustain my words that made her flopped onto the sand, all of her body limp as if no amount of energy left inside her. No amount of happiness left as I enchanted the dread plan to her; as if I sucked all of her souls. Nothing left. She was like an empty shell.

And it hurt.

It hurt me so much to see her like that, because of me. I want to severe my tongue apart, that only speak things that hurt her. I want do drown my body into the ocean, that only brought her pain. I want to torn my heart apart, that only able to broke hers. I feel like I was nothing. I feel empty inside. Even my tears felt like string of curses, weighing too much for me to hold back.

"I'm sorry..."

I fed up to say sorry to her.

But that's the only thing I was able to say to her

"I'm so sorry, Ran..."

Again and again. No matter how many times I said it, I know it wasn't going to be a remedy to her pain. It worsened the pain instead.

"Sorry..."

But again, that's the only thing I was able to say to her.

I flopped into the sands, trying uselessly to hold the sobs, the tears, the anger, and the dread within my heart. I don't know what I would become after this. I don't know if I will still be able to come back to her.

Today, everything will begin.

Or end.

 

- A Glimpse tO The future -

"Welcome to the black Organization, Kudou Shinichi" said a pretty golden-colored hair woman to a seven year old kid in front of her and continued "May I know your reason to come here by yourself? or perhaps you're willing to take my offer last time?"

He sighed, but instead of answering her, he asked her back "How about you? What makes you took me under your wings deliberately?"

"Well, as I said, it would be my pleasure to crush my rival's son by my very own hand. Of course, that will be after you, Vinsanto's son, finished his tasks" she leered with a glint in her eyes. The eyes of a predator that was ready to munch down the prey anytime.

"That was just on the surface" but he didn't even blinked his eyes. Instead he lazily turned his attention around the pension, seemed a bit impressed by the extravagant of the interior design. Who would put a Lamborghini inside their living room, anyway? "What is your real motive to protect Mamoru? Or should I say, why did you protect me?"

"You are no fun" she booed him and took a bottle of finely distillate moonshine from her bar "Want some?"

"I'm under age"

"You'll be 18 soon, will you not? So it's fine to take a sip"

"I'm now in the body of an 8 years old kid, mind you?"

"Tsk"

He sighed "Just a sip"

He sat in the high chair by pulling his body length then jumped over to the soft cushion on the top "Take it as my gratitude, Chris. I owe you. But it won't be long to pay you back"

"Oh, such a gentlemen you have become, Shin-chan" she said it using his mother's voice and tone, that successfully irked him

"Stop it. The last thing I wanted to be with here is mom" he grumbled and took his glass, pouring his throat with the liquid that warmed his body all over

"Then, who do you want to be with, Shinichi? Me?" She was using Ran's voice now, with her accent and innocent. It pleased Vermouth when he was choking the minute after he heard his girlfriend's voice

"Damn. That's not funny!" He mumbled while trying to reach the tissue over the counter

"How far have you two gone?" She sneered, lifting up her thin eyebrows with real curiosity

"Alor Island, Indonesia" he said while opening the jar of a honey-lemon "it took 10 goddamn hours and several bumpy trails to reach the inn. And don't forget about the boat. I sincerely thought no human would be able to survive on such deserted island" he made a big scoop then plunged it into his now empty glass

She blinked.
Again.
And again.

'Usually, he is a smart and quick witted man -I mean boy- but he is surprisingly blockheaded about this kind of thing, huh?'

Thus, it was not her fault to laughed her lung out loud, until her stomach ache and she had to squirmed because she had difficulty to breathe "you... you are really... something, aren't you?" She was amazed by the fact that her silver bullet is as innocent as her angel.

The person in charge was just looking at her unusual cheerfulness with bewildered face, not sure if he had to sulk or laugh it out together with her. He wasn't sure what makes it so fun about him telling her the story behind his makeshift identity as Mamoru. It was full of struggle indeed.

Well, his physical look was -luckily- about the same as Mamoru, beside the color of Mamoru's irises that was brown, and he needed to tamed his cowlicks with a bit too overboard pomade, and a bit tanning on his too pale skin, everything matched. Oh, you don't need to teach him how to behave like a real kid, because he was always doing it when he was Conan.

So, there. His infiltration to the Black Organization using Mamoru's identity was as smooth as a baby's ass. At first, he predicted Vermouth will be his obstacle to gain his access to the inside. But she seemed to surprised him by deliberately willing to be his chaperone, with hatred and vengeful motivational cover-story presented to the other members. She said she was willing to spare his neck as a bait to lure his momma, because her task to end Vinsanto's life was being interrupted by the robbery event.

And now, here he was. Freely roaming around her penthouse and got the access to observe the inside organization's head office as Mamoru, without disturbances from the lower level members.

Somehow, he too predicted this actions of hers. But he didn't want to bet into his luck and he thought to better process with the worst case scenario. But the curiosity was killing him "Seriously, Chris. What makes you do this?"

She smiled at him with a (unusual) warm inside her irises "Secret makes a woman, woman" She winked and tap his head once. These kind gestures of hers made him a bit startled because what he believed about her was wrong.

He cannot ignore the gnawing curiosity inside him though, and that was what made him pout "I am a detective. It will only be a matter of time before I figure it out"

She just chuckled then head back to her room waving good night "Feel free to roam around, I can not keep any secrets from you, anyway, detective"

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, 8:40 P. M. Abeno Haruka Observatory decks, Osaka, Japan -

"Are you afraid of high place, Ayano-san?" Asked a young man wearing black hat to a lady that was preparing to wear her safety suits.

"Not really" she answered calmly while tightening the elastic rope around her waist "Are you?"

"I love 'em" said he flashing his white teeth "I would not be called Phantom Thief if I were afraid of it" the gleam in his eyes spoke that he was not a mere staff for this 'hanging on a rope in the edge of the tallest building in Osaka to look down, hopefully not die' kind of attraction.

She had observed how the visitors of this attraction were able to look belowdecks to find the best view from 300 meters above the ground in a magnificent way. Yeah, they would barely hanging themself around a rope and look down their foot from the edge of the railings. The staff would put their safety suits on and they could hang in midair, foot barely touch the concrete as they bent over their waist around Harukasu's observatory decks that was just one level below the helipad.

Some of them were screaming and want immediate rescue from the staff to regulate their breath (and hopefully tune out their scream, please), but the other looked fine. Well, they were a bit pale and shaking but they looked fine. Perhaps that was the last time they decided to waste their money just for this kind of adrenals adventures.

As for her, she used to do various things for her night-job, so this stunt was far than what she usually handled. A piece of cake. She mentally noted.

"Do not let this stuff lower your excitement, please" he remarked as if he knew what she has been thinking "the real challenge is below and after" he pointed down with his forefinger "remember : 10 seconds before you jump down. More or less than that, you are no good"

"Yeah, I get it" she winced once she remembered that she has to go down all the way from 60th floor to fake her death. Yeah, what a magnificent way to die, lady. The rope was supposedly cannot tolerate her weight and the speed of her fall, then it will break. Or one of her former co-worker would be willing to cut it lose. That is, after they were expected to shot her about several times.

Escaping with shots wound all over her body then jump out of the window would not be a piece of cake, indeed. Plus she has to bring that weird boy along, with everyone expecting her to give his safety a priority.

Plus, she will unfortunately hit by a car after she landed. Thus, will make her an unidentifiable dead body. And likely, police will state it as accident.

Great. What a great plan you have cultivated, detective. Are you sure you don't have any grudges against me?

Speaking about the little detective, it brings back memories, once when she was still a prisoners of FBI's.

"The officers that issued the statement of your death will likely be BO's NOC" the weird boy, Conan, was talking in a manners that someone would never think that he was planning an extreme death; with all of excitement over his face, one would think that little boy was just happy he will be having his ice cream.

"That won't be enough to rule Rum out" she remembered she had scoffed her nose to him, reminding that his carefully scooted plan was just a play thing

Rather than having his disappointment, he presented her with a gleam on his eyes, saying "that will be Mamoru's role"

"Elaborate" she demanded

"Relax, your son will be safe and sound" he gave her assurance she needed, and she was grateful for that "Rum will have to involve himself in order to seek for your son. That would be a task no other person than him would be able to do. That is, if my suspicion was true" he was speaking as if his suspicions were already true "BO will find no little boy on that site, so they would have to resort to police assistance to locate him"

She wanted to said something but he cut her "you will know what will happen when it happened" he stared into her eyes for a long time before continued "whatever happened to me that time, please do not let go of me" and winked meaningfully.

End of flashbacks.

'Que sera, sera' Then?
She smiled then jumped out of the decks, vividly heard screams coming from the back of her head.

 

- Tuesday, 8:10 P. M. Abeno Haruka's 33rd floor, Osaka, Japan -

A small figure was smiling at the cctv from one of the screen inside his workroom. Soon, the show will begins. He had arranged the preparations based on their plan, and now is time to execute the carefully crafted plan with bravery.

Inside his little white lab-coat, he was wearing a big shirt and big shorts, fastened around his belly with elastic belt made by his weird yet kind neighbor of professor. The elastic belt will hold his body and (hopefully) would stretch about half of this building's length when he jumped.

He gulped down.

Only one hour left before the show time.

He made sure he had inserted the Baron's Project into BO's head computerizations data system, making them believed that they owned the best hacking-device that will made them the ruler of the world. Without their knowing, their system was the one being controlled and monitored by the main system.

The Baron's Project reminded him of his father's novel : the Night Baron. The name itself were a dead giveaway as to where Anokata was having his inspiration came from (added with the apoptoxin's name aptx 4869 -that read as Sherlock- and what not, he just knew that Anokata is not really creative for naming, or he was just being lazy). That's what he called as copyright. They could stated that they own the characters -the Night Baron- but it merely only one part, while the true rights will obviously owns by the author. Coincidentally, he is the author's only son, so it was just obvious he will have the real share of those copyrighted materials, right?

The support system -which were planted on theirs- will inform him what had been happening to the main system that located in his own house and thus, they could tracked down their activities to deduce what will happen next. Obviously, the activities included not only financial data; their assets, Agent's name and code, Agent's task report, research report, and every other report will flow down to him while they think they delivered it to Anokata. Of course, he had camouflaged the system as theirs, without anyone able to notice that they were being spied and controlled by the hands of this genius's little kid.

He had been testing the Midnight Baron with help from Kid The Phantom Thief that were running and monitoring the program from his house. Kid were tasked with diverting the data so that he could send the appropriate information to the trusted agents from each of the institutions. Somehow, he just knew that Kid were doing it carefully albeit his tremendous amount of protest (and a lot of swearing) inside their little lab for this past two weeks.

Speaking about past two weeks, Vermouth was really nice and surprisingly helpful. She even willing to help him get out of the BO's hold and thus, made him wonder what she'd do if she was about to meet her nemesis, Vinsanto. She indeed agreed to help him out, despite the real reason for her to do that, but he doubted she would do the same for Vinsanto.

Vinsanto's (fake) death would be the only thing that could bring peace to both BO and herself. He believed Akai had already made the preparation for Vinsanto & Mamoru's new life, with her being an informant and kyouryoku (cooperative), that would not be a problem. After all, she has Mamoru (and Ari-san) as her light if she ever get lost again.

Shinichi was lost in his mind when he looked up and saw his superior, an IT development sections chief called sake entering his workroom "How is it going, kid?" his hoarse voice filling up the room.

His demeanor was nothing but ill mannered. He used his time mostly behind the screen, that was clearly stated in his pale skin with dark circles around his eyes. His extra-thick glasses spoke how he habitually spent his days on a poorly lit room and how rare he gulped down nutritious meal based from his thin body.

It irked him every time he landed his foot on his territory without a proper etiquette "just a bit more" he faked his innocence and smile "mom said we can have our holidays after I finished the program" he looked at him skeptically and continued "so can I really have it, uncle?" He was using an excuse to be with his mom to dig out information from him

He hump his nose, clearly looked uninterested "whatever. As long as you finished it up" he was beginning to scanned and looked at the monitor when his phone rang "yeah? .... understood" and shut it down again "listen, kiddo. You can have your holiday with your mom or whoever you want. But you better finish this up by the end of this week, got it?" He cannot even gave more appropriate words to a child, no wonder if he hadn't had girlfriend, Shinichi thought

Shinichi was putting up a curious face as his answer "why the hurry, uncle?" while tilting his head to the left. Usually, the section chief would lingered longer than this, albeit his reluctance, he said that he was keeping a good eye on Mamoru so that he would not go around and play too much, leaving his duty on hold

"The Boss is coming. He want my report" he snarled

"WHAT?! When? Where?" Shinichi almost forgot that he was Mamoru, his sudden demand after Sake spoke about meeting the boss was obviously suspicious. Then he nervously corrected his act "I really want to meet the boss! I bet he is as cool as Superman!" his mood boosted as if he would really meet Superman, he jumped out of his chair and run around the room excitedly "I want to see him, I want to see him!" And grabbed Sake's arm "can I? Can I?"

"Tune it down, kiddo!" He rashly get rid of his hold "I'd be killed if you tag along" he snarled the rushed out of the door

"Che! What a timing!" Shinichi turned on his heels then busy typing on the keyboard and soon the cctvs were being centered in the main screen "if I cannot come along, then all I have to do is to tag beyond" he smirked.

Chapter Text

- Tuesday 9:10 P.M. Abeno Haruka's Helipad, Osaka, Japan -

"How is it going with the Baron's project?" Using his silvery stick that had a crow-like statue engrave on top of it, a short, slouched built-old man was taking his step carefully out of the helicopter that had just landed 300 meters away from ground

"It was progressing smoothly, boss. We could expect the result by the end of this week" answered another man that was wearing a white lab-coat with a bit too much excitement on his face "that boy really is a genius. He even made the back plan for the program to clean out on itself should an error occurs" the gleam on his eyes shone through his glasses that made his appearance looked rather like a pervert than a scientist "he does not have any idea of what we made him doing. If only he had not whined that much to see his mother everyday, I was going to take him under me rather than to have that woman slice his throat"

"Watch your mouth. That woman is still your superior" he staved in his stick onto him, his menacing eyes sent a warning of a future made of ashes should he behave wrongly

"I... I am sorry, boss! I just..." he went pale and shook his head back and forth, trying to rescue whatever left of his future

"Leave"

The scientists gulped down his nerves, eyes darting around to search for the exit and flew immediately as he glanced obscurely through a doorway that lead to a level below the helipad.

Without his knowing, the slouched figure with sharp, dent nose pointed at him while making an eye-lock with another tall man with long, silver hair behind him. He met his gaze with a nod before catching his step with the scientists as if he made no efforts on hunting the prey with his big step and silently sliced his throat from behind him, only seconds before the man found his run away.

"Tsk" the boss, as they called him, snorted "What a dull day" he continued walking straight into the staircase as if no corpse laid underneath him, with open wounded around his throat "Gin, clean it" and stepped on the body as if it had never been one of his worker.

 

- Tuesday 9:10 A.M. Teito Store House, Tokyo Bay, Japan -

"Are we really going to do this?" Said Camel, one of FBI agents while opening the trunk of a silver Mercedes Benz that was parking outside the store house

"Yeah" answered a man wearing black turtleneck while preparing his SPR-1 made by Pindad, then stuffed it inside the bag "ask Vinsanto to hurry up, would you?"

"Alright" he looked a bit unsure but took his leave anyway and went inside the FBI's facility base 'just leave it to Akai for planning. All I have to do is to not mess it up, again'

Camel walked in a hurry, worried that he might have passed Vinsanto on his way to the facility. The entry had been separated into two, one is the main entry, while the other is a back-pass.

Well, it has been called 'main entry' even though it looked just like a sliding garage door made by rusty steel from outside the store house. As soon as someone entered the store house though, they will be welcomed by another sturdy, steel door with passcode and fingerprint reader as the key into the inside.

As for the back-pass -as the agents referred the door with- it was merely a back door that could only accommodate one person each route, being camouflage as nothing but a stack of empty drums outside, but it integrated with heat censor and infrared light that will be active once a suspicious person came through -or any other person that has not been listed to the facility access gate- and made anything or anyone passing it sliced into tiny pieces of flesh.

If one still want to get in and out unscathed, he/she will really need not only the passcode, but also permission to enter from one of the agent inside. Why the hassle? It is usually being used as the safe house that keep VIPs or witnesses unharmed.

Vinsanto is one of the VIP that was being processed into FBI's witness protection program. Clearly, it made her being the center of attention between the agents. No one wants to take the risk for such a valuable informant. She needed to be able to stand up as a witness in the case's trial and also in the actual court.

That is, if she was lucky to fend her life from her assassin. Added that she agreed to become the bait to lure Anokata (or at least RUM, Anokata's right hand man) out of his nest, it will be a big challenge to maintain her safety. No normal person would willingly throw her into the lion's den. Normally, that will be the best course of action.

Hard to say, Akai Shuuichi is not normal. In a good way, fortunately. Added the brilliant detective Kudou Shinichi on his back, risky is their new term of normal. Agent Camel wasn't to blame for finding it hard to comprehend their way of thinking. Any other normal person would. But again, the composition of FBI's brain and the police's savior left nothing to doubt. They will retrieve Mamoru a.k.a Edogawa Conan back and alive with Vinsanto's help.

"Are you ready?" Camel said after he found her on the first level, zipping up her bulletproof vest then stuffed her USP Pistol inside black stockings between her thigh

"Anytime" she walked past him, intended to be on the lead but halted as something crossed her mind "where is that detective boy?"

"He said we will meet up at Harukasu by 8:10 tonight" agent Camel responded, waiting for another of her remarks but as he found her turned her heels then walked away, he sighed then walked behind while thinking 'please, let it be a successful mission'

 

(Additional works)

-----Sunday, 11.10 P.M.  Alor Island Airport, Departure Gates-----

As I walked through the immigration door, I remembered all the things that happened before. I cannot shake the empty feeling I got since we waved each other a good bye at Ari-san's inn. Shinichi were smiling, he kissed me before I took my seat in the front with Mamoru-kun. This time, rather than "I am sorry" I could hear him said "Thanks, Ran. Wait for me" with eyes that full of life.

I'm glad he did. I'm glad we were both able to come to our mutual understanding, living our life with hope and joy until the time for us to reunite come.

"Are you afraid, Mamoru-kun?" I asked him once we put our seatbelt in the plane's cabin, he took the window seat

"I am. But uncle told me to be strong. And he and Shinichi-oniichan promised me that everything will be better. So I will wait and do my best" I smiled and adored him, what a mature way of thinking this child has "besides, Ran-neechan is here. So I'm not afraid" she smiled back at me.

As our plane took off, I drifted to sleep, releasing the tense and nerves my body has been feeling after we went to the beach. The memory of the twilight in the sea coming back vividly...

 

-----Sunday, 04:.10 P.M.  Lingal Beach, Alor Island-----

Shinichi was crying. He was crying helplessly.

Seeing him crying like that in front of me, something stirred within my inside. He was in pain; seeing him like this pained me, too. And I know I was the source of this.

Although I had promised myself to be tough, in the end I ended up crying again. Hurting him again like when I cried over him for a foolish reason that is my own pain and sorrow.

He didn't deserve this; he didn't need to be hurt just because of my foolishness and selfishness. He needed me to be strong at this moment. So, I decided to stand up and reach him, being the one to be dependable in times like this.

He seemed a bit surprised as I touched his cheek with both of my hands, forcing him to look at me. I want him to look at me.

Yes, look at me, Shinichi. I'm no longer crying, I'm no longer in pain. I understood. And I will stand up for you, for us; this time.

You don't have to feel sorry for me. I want to get rid of that guilt lingering in your eyes. I want to erase that sorrow and pain in your heart. I want to ease your burden within your shoulder. I want to become the source of your strength, not the opposite. Now, please let me soothe your wounds. Let me lighten your mood. Let me erase your fear. Let me be the one for you, as you are for me.

He seemed to understand that even though I said nothing. As he circled his arms around me, we hugged each other as if we would never let go.

"Shinichi... Hug me..." I made my decision: I want to be his, and I want him to be mine. It has always been like that, and I'm not gonna regret it.

 

At first he was hesitant. He'd look me in the eyes and ask me again and again. But my firm answer finally gave him the courage. Courage to take our relationships into the next step.

I know maybe this is too soon for a normal couple. But I guess we are not normal –considering we had been together since childhood- and had already developed the feelings of affection in early stage, this is not too sudden.

However the consequences that may take in the future, I trust that Shinichi will be there –in any form he could- and be the gentlemen he is, he would take every responsibility upon himself. Even if that wasn't the case, I still want to be with him; holding him tight even for just a night.

This way, I hope I could reach him and be the light he needed whenever he'd lost in the dark.

This way, you will have the push you need to come back to me. So, this is not a goodbye. I would never make it a goodbye for us "I'm fine, Shinichi. Everything will be fine. Because I know you will come back to me"

I smiled and cried as he hugged me tightly, releasing all the pain and worry he had been restraining himself with. In that moment, eternity feels like just a mere word; word itself couldn't describe how we feel. And at that time, I know I had found my purpose of life.

To be with him.

We were holding hands as the waves hit our bare feet.

Our path would divert in two, but our goals were the same. Thinking that, I managed to control my fear and face whatever future will be for us.

I will be fine, Shinichi.

You too, take care and stay safe.

Until we meet again...

Chapter Text

'Professor and Haibara had done such a good work. Plus, with Takaaki Yuuya's help, we get to proceed the program faster than expected' chanted Kudou Shinichi as Mamoru, the non-spectacled seven years old boy with straight, brown-hair that was facing a big screen fueled with programming code, making his finger dance with the keyboard on a fast note without looking at his back even once.

He do not need to look at his back to know that Vermouth was there for about three minutes now, silently observing her little charge in action.

She knew that he had felt her presence "Are you that desperate to be killed by me, cool guy?" So she didn't bother with any nonsense chit-chat

"......" he did hear her, but he decided to let her expanded their topic

"I did tell you that once you were done with your task, I'd slash your neck in front of your mom's eyes, didn't I?" She made her move smoothly like a snake, slithering behind him before she grabbed his neck and strangled him with only her left hand

"I cannot afford to let you do that, unfortunately" he calmly answered then stopped his busy fingers to face her by turning the chair "Why are you so set to kill Vinsanto, anyway?"

She had never truly intended to strangle him before, but his curiosity made her want to "Need not to know" she gave him a cold stares, but it didn't feel as cold before. He is her soft spot, indeed. Added Angel together with him, then she thought she would pleasantly kill whoever's head just to protect both of them. Oh, damn.

"I need to act fast since unlike you, I'm not that good with disguise" he pointed his thumb to the screen "this program, Midnight Baron, is what they need. The longer it took for me to complete this, the greater risks I would be in"

"Oh? So you intended to get out?" She skimmed the screen halfway but instantly lost her interest "I cannot afford to let you do that, unfortunately" she snickered while throwing his words back at him

Rather than scared, he chuckled and gave her his cunning smile "Were you that lonely?"

"Oh, yes I am. It was so much fun with you around, cool guy" She sneered, rummaging her clutch to take a cigarette "but Yukiko will kill me if she knew I was kidnapping her only son in my house" then lit it just to puff the smoke in front of his face

He grunted and shoved the ashtray on her "Relax, at least I will make sure she wouldn't hurt your face"

She lifted her eyebrows, looking at the ashtray that was just a millimeter away from her hand "I will really be going to kill you if you tried to get away from here, Shinichi-kun" her tone was going serious.

She looked firmly into his eyes to search something, some answers, and found it when he stared back at her with utterly confident hint, his stare was as firm and thus, she tucked her lips in a resignation, thinking 'that's silver bullet-kun for you'

"Then... all you need to do is just shoot me in the head" he smiled when she finally sighed to accept the ashtray

"That will do" she was smiling when she put her cigarette down, "don't blame me for a couple of shots though. I will have to make it real bloody" she was making her way to the door when she heard him saying

"Thanks, Chris-basan (aunt Chris)"

"Call me Neechan (sister)"

"Yes, yes. Chris-baasan (grandma Chris)"

She threw the ashtray on his direction before shutting the door.

He chuckled then grabbed the ashtray that were laying underneath his desk with his right hand, 'guess I would not be this lucky if it weren't her' as he stared blankly into the screen, everything that had happened at Alor island came back like a piece of photographs on his mind.

 

- Sunday, 08:10 P. M. Arifiyanto's inn, Alor island, Indonesia -

The crowds that were looming around Arifiyanto's inn were all headed back to the airport, with a bit player change as a result of the plan.

Mamoru was the one that were being switched with the high school detective, Kudou Shinichi. But Mamoru's uncle was still in the dark as to how the hell that Shinichi boy could replace his nephew and took his place in the organization? He guess he was so desperate to deliberately hang their life on the hand of a teenager, wasn't he?

"Ari-san" said mentioned tall, handsome teenager with a cowlick on the back of his head "we are all set"

"Yeah" the older man that was always wearing short trousers with light Hawaiian-shirt put his cigarette down the ashtray after exhaling the last lingered smokes "I am ready"

"The agents were on standby too. You will be meeting him at the shore as planned" he wanted to explain the plan to make the last crosscheck with him, but he cut him

"I know how it will work, boy. No need to chanted down and again how I am suppose to die" he sipped his last iced coffee "Heck, worst come to worst, I just need to shot myself before making my grand jumping-off-the-cliff performance, right?"

"Ari-san..."

"It's fine, boy. I'm ready to do everything for their sake. I won't throw my life that easy though, as I still want to see Mamoru with his brightest smile" he reassured him and thus made him less worried

"But, there's still a hole in the plan" Ari-san, as the boy called him, wondered aloud "how are you going to replace Mamoru? No offense, I am sure you both are genius, but we cannot turn you into a 7 year old boy in a day, can we?"

"Sure we can" he smiled, now this was his time to reassure the old man "as I stated before, I have antido,, I mean a drug, that will turn me 10 years younger"

"But..."

"The professor I knew created it for his research, and it has been tested and guaranteed to be safe" he knew he lied, but he did it without even a hint of guilt 'I guess I used to do it now, lying, I mean'

"Then I'll leave the rest to you" said Ari-san with a tint of uneasiness on his eyes

"I just need a couple of Mamoru's clothes, a hair dye, a pomade, contact lens and a bit freckles to make it work" as he said, he pulled all the things he mentioned from his backpack, looking like doraemon with his all-purpose-wallet

'And a miracle to turn a healthy 17 years old boy into a first grader' said him forcing a smile

"Aaarrrghhh...!!!" The said boy that was healthy, was suddenly looked as pale as a white sheet

"Goddamn! Are you okay boy?" He was genuinely shocked at the sudden change of attitude from the teenager "Sh*t! What happened?"

"Aaaarrgghhh...!!!" He was becoming more panic as the boy looked like he would collapse anytime

"You don't go sick in times like this you know? They are on their way!" He looked around to find someone, or something, heck, anything to do!

"The... drugs..." he heaved "please get out... I need... to change... back" he looked as if he was gasping for air, clutching his heart tightly

"But..!" He cannot just leave a sick boy alone now, can he?

"I will gonna be... alright... this is just... the drug's effect..." he staggered while trying to go to one of the room downstairs

"But boy...!" the boy shut the door and locked it in front of him before he could even take a step inside.

Then he heard him screaming like crazy "For God's sake...!"

Black Organization or whatever come last, now his priority is to bring the boy out of the room or seek for some help "open the door! we need to get you to a doctor!"

He tried to open the door, but it still being locked. "Sh*t!" He never thought that someday he need to break his own door to save the one that supposed to save him instead "Open the...!"

As he tried to break through the door again, it suddenly clicked then opened. Thus, he lost his balance that made him successfully landed on the floor. He was going to curse again but whatever he wanted to say died down when he looked up. He found Mamoru standing there, a bit gasping but alive.

'But hey, Mamoru has already gone and supposedly sit down on the plane for Japan now, hasn't he? And what's with this Mamoru, I mean, this kid attire? He wears too loose shirt and a big trousers. Looking closer, he is not Mamoru. their eyes color is different, and also with their skin color... don't tell me!'

"Hello, Ari-ossan" said the little kid "can you help me bring Mamoru's clothes, please?"

- Sunday, 09:10 P. M. Alor island, Indonesia -

A black-made of steel-bird was flying in a lower ground of an island, the engine's sound were loud they could turn the attention of the islanders and made them wonder what kind of people were inside. Some of the islander's little kid were waving goodbye to the blackbird, hoping it would land near their house. Well, at least they were innocent about the helicopter inhabitant's true motive to come to their island. If they were to know, guess they would be the one to fly away from their grounds.

"Korn, turn the area once then land in one of the nearest shores" said a cold, low voiced man with as cold eyes, commanding the one called Korn that was piloting the helicopter

"Ryoukai* Gin" he made the blackbird glided to the right then turned the area while searching for a better spot to land, whilst his female-companion was looking at the ground using binoculars from her Heckler & Koch's sniper-rifle.

"Spotted the target" said funky-looking girl with a butterfly tattoo on her face "he is not alone though" she grinned then happily lifted her PSG1 and locked the target "ready to eliminate the hindrance. Such an easy target"

"Hold it, Chianti" a golden-haired woman stopped her and made her sulk "we need the child unharmed. Don't recklessly killed the old man in front of his eyes"

"What are you being so considerate for, Vermouth?" Said a long-haired man called Gin menacingly

She sighed "I don't want to handle a child in tantrum. No matter how much of a genius he is, he will not function without his cool head"

"So? What are you suggesting? Kill them both?" Chianti chirped in with a glitter in her eyes, looked as happy with the increasing target of her beloved PSG1. But Gin lifted his hand as if commanding to lower the sniper's, that was successfully lower her mood also

"You deal with the kid" Gin said, "I will kill the dog" and made Korn landed the helicopter in the shores as planned

"That's what I am here for" she chuckled then she wore the mask on her face, made a bit finishing touch and arranged her wig before she coughed and said "I am ready" with Vinsanto's voice "Come to Momma, little son"

 

- Monday, 09:10 A.M. Teito Store House, Tokyo-Bay, Japan -

"How is things going over there?" Asked Kurogane Ayano a.k.a Vinsanto, to Jodie Starling that was monitoring the subject, Mamoru (Edogawa Conan), that was currently being held by the Black Organization

"They took the subject by private-plane from Indonesia, then delivered him again by heli, as planned" she glanced towards her direction once, then continued focusing on her monitor and earphones "the coordinate of the last movement was at Abeno Haruka's helipad, Osaka city"

"ハルカス?Harukasu?" She wondered aloud "then they must be going to placed him on the sub-contracts..." she mumbled "that was our second-place beside main IT Building at Marunouchi, Tokyo"

"Mind to explain further?" The FBI's agent inquired

"The sub-contracts, is an office building at Abeno Haruka or Harukasu, that handles data of all branches, including data from our main contract. It specializes in database arrangements and research, besides being Anokata's personal property"

"How many floors the boss own at this building? We need to get the blue print ASAP" said Jodie. She was ready to call someone over her phone, but halted it when she heard nothing from Vinsanto

"... all of it" she didn't seem amused at all while delivering the information, which was different from Jodie's reaction

"Are you kidding me?!" She half shouted at her unconsciously

"Anokata is one of the Tops in Japan, remember?" She lifted one of her arms to bring Jodie something like a lists on papers "this contains his assets. And it included the recently built Abeno Haruka at Osaka"

"Then, do you know where they might..."

"No, I don't. It was just recently built so I have never been there" she answered in all the same cold manners

Jodie's dumbstruckness had changed into worry when she said "how are we going to get there then? We do not have permission for investigating since we came here on undercover mission"

"Then, why don't you just ask Japan's policemen?"

Jodie sighed "as if they would assist us with pleasure..." she explained the untold questions from her companion "we are not that, well, close... with Japan's police task"

Vinsanto just lifted her eyebrows as if stating 'you are the one to make simple things difficult'

She was ready to say something, some insults perhaps, when the door suddenly opened, making a bright ray of light came through from the room behind, leaving a silhouette of a tall man with a cowlick on his head

"Mind if I join the conversation?" He said, "I have good news regarding about Meitantei, I mean, Conan" he entered the room graciously, his demeanor was oozing brilliance and confidence that made it easy to assess him on the first impressions "oh, where is my manner?" He coughed then continued his introduction "my name is Kudou Shinichi, high school detective"

Vinsanto was scrutinizing the teens in front of her with disbelief looks, her mind was busy thinking the impossibilities that were cracked by the facts that was being presented right in front of her eyes

"That Kudou Shinichi...?" Jodie hop on from her chair, cutting whatever trains of thought the other woman was thinking "I've heard a lot about you. Shuu also said how much you've been a big help from time to time" she became lively and full of hopes "I really wanted to meet you. You know, Shuu has never spoke about someone else's the way he spoke about you" she looked exactly like his fangirls in Vinsanto's eyes

"Nice to meet you too, Jodie-Sensei" he stretched up his hand to shook hers "I too, have heard a lot about you from Ran and my cousin"

"Your cousin?"

"Yes. Edogawa Conan is my cousin" he smiled then glanced to Vinsanto's direction while saying "I don't remember the exact family tree too, but anyway my Mom is still related to his, so we are blood-related cousins"

"No wonder!" Clapped Jodie, "you guys seems similar in one and other way" she wanted to speak more but Vinsanto cut her

"Who sent you here?"

"Akai Shuuichi. He wanted to say something to you, by the way, Jodie-sensei" he gave his phone to Jodie then waited for her to get out before continued "Yes. I'm not the real Kudou Shinichi" he calmly stared at Vinsanto "the real one is being held by your boss, as you thought. He sent me here, to be his eyes and his ears"

He studied the data on the monitor quickly while saying "so, please act as if you don't know a thing about me disguising as him. That, and..." he smiled then plopped his butt on the chair, grinning "I can provide you with anything you need, including blue print of this building"

"How?" She vaguely scrunched her nose

"Because... him and I, we are related by blood" his mischievous smile looked as confident and bright as the moonlight that night.

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, 9:30 P. M. Abeno Haruka's Observatory Decks, Osaka, Japan -

Unlike the inner elevator that The Boss were waiting for, the main elevator that Shinichi and Vinsanto were getting at was quicker. It needed only 5 minutes to reach up to the tallest floor. It hasn't stopped on each floor so it was far more efficient for them to catch up with Anokata.

Surely, the other member has already informed him about what was going on below, and they knew Vinsanto's direction was up. So it was unlikely that they would let her has her way without the direct execution.

The minutes the door was opened, Gin was waiting for them with his gun ready to shoot. But he get a bit distracted as he saw no one was inside the lift. He stepped inside but then she managed to knocked him with her kick from above the lift's ceiling.

She intended to get outside but he grabbed her hair and pulled it to his gun, ready to shot her brains scattered. Right that minutes, a sounds of broken glass was heard and a sniper's bullet get through Gin's right arm before it landed on one of the white pillar.

He unwillingly let go of his prey, crunching his body into his knees. Vinsanto was making his bewildered moment to let go and seek for her way out. She shot him a few bullets while shouting at the crowds to get out of her way. But he didn't waste his time. With a clenched jaw he hold his bleeding arm then moved along track-suiting his prey, his pistol ready to shoot again without minding the innocents who would have been shot by it.

While Gin was busy handling Vinsanto, Shinichi snuck around from the ceiling and speed his way out to the inner elevator. In the corner of his eyes, he saw pink smokes bursted, making the fire alarm switched on with blaring sounds.

"Good job, Kid" Shinichi snickered, leaving the chaotic glassed floors filled with pink smokes along with the mass of people scattering about everywhere. Hopefully, it will hold Gin's movement so that Vinsanto would be able to lure him to the rooftop and Shinichi could snatched time to follow Anokata's track.

When he stepped in front of the inner lift, he smiled at the sight of a slouched old-man with his bodyguard-like attendant that was waiting peacefully for the elevator to come. No one other than them was sighted, that made him wonder about the bodyguard's ability to guard the boss alone.

'Finally!' Shinichi thought, not able to tuned down his excitement.

"What are you doing here, Boss?" He innocently raised his voice, then walked slowly to lesser the distance between them, eyes locked into both men standing in front of him

"Your employees were busy over there" he cocked his head to the left, directing where Gin was being commanded to take care of the traitor.

The first to look at him was the attendant. From his angles, Shinichi could clearly saw his dark eyes scanning his entire body as if he was assessing the little boy. His stares pierced through him. The minutes he landed his eyes on Shinichi, he felt a pressure that could lifted and twirled his stomach. It was dark and heavy, the dark pressure felt as if it could eat him alive or crushed him right away. Thus, his heart rate go up as he felt he was being stripped out, making his true intentions as clear as purified water.

Then Shinichi saw him smiling, from the way of his chin's movement and how his eyes bent down, even with the mask on, he was sure the attendant was feeling elated by Shinichi's appearance. Or rather, something within him woke his interest up. It sent shivers down his spine.

Despite the clenching fears, he tried to control his triggering heart with as many oxygen and bravery he could mustered

"I had finished my task, that was why I want my reward" Shinichi spoke. He was trying to fish their reactions.

"Heh!" The slouched-built old-man finally gave his attention to Shinichi "how dare a kid like you raised your voice to me..."

He was approaching Shinichi with his stick pointed towards his face "state your name!"

The previous dark pressure was not as heavy as that who come from the attendant, Shinichi could tell. The old man sure is scary. But he has no power to control people by only his stare, nor he could read him as good as the other man did by a glance.

Instead of facing the old man, Shinichi thrust his attention to the attendant that was staying silently to observe him "I am currently speaking with the real boss here" Shinichi smiled when he caught a glimpse of surprise inside the old man's eyes

"You are the one they referred to as Anokata, are you not?" Shinichi moved his feet towards the attendant even though it felt so heavy "as I stated before, I would like my reward"

Shinichi could feel him leering, he knew that what he had been saying was indeed the truth. Thus, he successfully managed to impress him, or he felt like he has a new toy ready to play his game.

Nevertheless, he would be the one to play Shinichi's game as he thought fit.

"You are quite impressive, I should say" the attendant, he meant The Boss, finally opened his mouth "you've got guts to actually come here"

It was deep and secretive. It came along with his demeanor that full with confidence and oozing powerful waves of idealism which could be abusive if he intended it to be one.

The minutes Anokata opened his mouth, the slouched old man reverted back to his position behind him, his figure looked like a rat weeping away.

Soon after he had shed his mask of the mere attendant, the atmosphere around him changed.
Dark, powerful, ruler, mysterious, sharp, intellect, feared; was mere words that can depict only a bit of his layers of soul.

Shinichi had to work really hard just to maintain his stance with cool mannerism. He wondered if this was what it felt like to meet the real, living Moriarty.

"What do you want?" Shinichi did not really think that Anokata will listen to whatever demand he was asking, therefore he had no expectations whatsoever about him granting Shinichi a reward

"What is your real reason for conducting Reverse Aging research?" there were no harm in trying, though.

Shinichi knew from the data result about all of the activities of the researchers and their research goal; that they were trying to invent a pill that was revolving around Reverse Aging solutions.

All of the experiments and trial of apoptosis, stem cell's experiment, targeting mutant mtDNA, reactivating splicing factors, using cannabis, senolythic drugs, synthetic peptide, even targeting eternity using big jewel known as pandora, all for the sake of eternal life.

He looked at him with questioning eyes before he stated "I thought you would be begging for me to spare your life and those relatives of yours"

He then calmly nodded "I knew you are a genius, but I hadn't thought that you are also critical"

He suddenly grab Shinichi in the collar with his left hand, his movement was as smooth and efficient that he gave Shinichi no time to dodge "but you see, some things better left unknown"

This gripping position made Shinichi was just a millimeter away from Anokata's face. He used this chance to ripped away the mask he has been wearing, only to find a familiar face. The difference was that the man he expected to find was supposedly far older than this.

"Apoptoxin 4869" Shinichi leered while chanting those words to him. He jerked his face then threw him until he landed brutally on the pillar. Shinichi coughed but his face looked satisfied at seeing The Boss's expression of disbelief before he had thrown him.

"You..!" His pointed eyes glinted in a way that allowed Shinichi to know that he was right on the spot 'Bingo!'

"NOW!" Shinichi yelled at no one in particular. But second after that, a sniper's bullet came across the glass from behind Anokata. The bullet might hit the fatal spot on his left chest, but it didn't even grazed his hand.

Vermouth was the one who took the bullet. Even with her bulletproof vest, the caliber of it was too big and heavy that made it landed on her right shoulder. Blood seeped from her clothes then dripped to the floor, making an ugly sight of red behind the dark jumpsuit.

Without minding her sacrifices, Anokata sped away to chase Shinichi who was aiming for the main elevator. He was getting targeted by Anokata's bullet but he made it to the elevator with just a scratched wound here and there. Unfortunately, the main elevator hadn't come no matter how many times Shinichi tried to click the button. So he was trapped between the glassed wall and Anokata's gun.

"This is the end for you, little Holmes" he leered then shot Shinichi's right arm deliberately slow, as if he was enjoying the moment he shredded his prey's flesh. Then he aimed for his left leg, but Shinichi dodge in a record time while kicking him a ball that came out of nowhere. He got a bit distracted but soon came back into his step and ready to shot him a quick death with bullet on his head.

Anokata predicted that the little boy will try to get away using the elevator, as the door to it was finally opened. But instead of trying to get inside the elevator, he pushed himself out and broke away the glassed wall that was already broken by his multiple shots earlier. His tiny body soon disappeared within the night sky.

He looked below but found nothing.

Chapter Text

A/n: spoiler of file 2000+ from the original DC Manga about The Boss!

 

- Tuesday, 8:40 P. M. Abeno Haruka's 33rd floor, Osaka, Japan -

The cctvs showed the main entrance of the building along with all the view from the elevator's door angles, located on each floor level plus the observatory's decks

"The only floor that didn't had the cctvs were helipad and janitorial" he murmured then busy typing some program to locate Sake's existence by face recognition system.

Sake's face soon being showed in one of the screen, seemed like he was waiting for the inner elevator.

He looked around via cctvs again, wanting to make sure about each of the members positions and their current situation.

The main lobby was filled with people busting around. Some were queuing for the observation decks or for the rooftop views. They are mainly tourists or visitors that were curious about the new animated program that was etched all along the glassed wall of Harukasu's observatory decks.

Some of them were chilling out in the cafe belowdecks or they were brave enough to try the skyline. Whatever they did, Shinichi bet no one had ever thought that they currently are hanging around the private property of The Boss, Moriarty within Black organization.

Who thought that The Boss himself will be touching down onto his newly acquired building coincidentally right when Shinichi snuck his nose there? It  was like he wanted Shinichi to know him and be closer to him. Shinichi bet he will take the invitation even though he had to be very careful if he didn't want to end his life. It was as risky as it sounded, but he will never let this chance slip away.

There were only one back door of this building, but it was used for logistics. The main elevator placed in the outer side of the building was facing west, stretched from 2 level below the helipad until lobby, which ranged all the 66 floors. But the inner elevator were being placed in the middle of this building, stretched from 2 level below helipad until the main IT research floor, the 33rd floor, which had Mamoru's work chamber in it.

'Most likely he will come from above, not below' he thought then typed a few instructions on the keyboard. It was useless to use face recognition system as there were no records whatsoever about Anokata. Not even his physical appearance nor his identity and any other information was there 'clean freak' he sweared as he failed to locate the data.

'It will be a big surprise for Vinsanto though, meeting his ex-employer at a time like this' he remarked after he finished informing Kaitou Kid and FBIs about The Boss plan of coming.

No change of plan, but it will have to be improvised accordingly 'I need to gather more informations about Anokata before Vinsanto pick me u...ooops'

Right on cue, on one of the cctv, he saw her broking down the glass wall from outside of the building after she shot the glass a couple of times. She deliberately waved her body with the swing of the rope to get the push she needed before she landed on a scattering glasses and soon jumped out of it while knocking few people she met halfway 'oh wow, what a way to attract their attention towards her. This is definitely Kid's scheme. Lucky she did not wear a white cap with glowing white tuxedo on her'

She opened some doors on her way, deliberately showing as if she hadn't seen the blue print of this building and searched blindly for her son. The janitor room that was located right beside the main elevator was her actual target. She threw something inside before shut it down again as if she had entered the wrong room.

'Good. The temporary antidote that she threw inside the janitor room was ready. The actual antidote supposed to be completed after Haibara had her previous research data. Added with the newest research report, I know that she will have the permanent antidote in just the right time' Shinichi noted mentally.

While Vinsanto was making a chaos, Shinichi saw three people were entering the observatory decks from the exit stairs to helipad.

The first person to get inside was a tall and lean man wearing a black cap, he was holding the door for someone behind him. Shinichi noted that he even wore a mask and thin gloves on both of his hands. So it was difficult to identify his identity since it was as difficult to capture his face. The only thing he got to know was his height and his hair color, a deep black and no white hair at all. Oh, seemed like he was also a lefty.

Then he saw a slouched-built old man with silver walking stick entered right behind him. His dent nose pointed downward and his white hair almost cover all of his face, except that he has a black, sharp eyes. He was wearing some kind of a ring, and he noticed that the stick he was holding has something engraved on it.

A feeling of familiarity kicked in, he knew he had met or seen this old man somewhere, Shinichi thought. Then the memories came back like a flood right after he zoomed the ring on his finger. It was a crow, as well as the engraved crow on his silvery walking stick.

"Karasuma Renya" the name flying on his head like a lightening had struck him. He was sure he would not let this chance slip away. Meeting The Boss here was probably his last and only chance.

The last person to enter was someone who was not a stranger to him.

Gin.

Tsk.

It will become more difficult to get out of here if Gin were present. But at least, he had just two persons to identify as Anokata. The black-cap man or the slouched-old man.

Looking at their gestures, Shinichi deduced that the old man is Anokata. The theory was that Gin and the other person seemed to obediently followed his instructions, and based on how this old-man behaved and being protected, he would not be an unimportant person for such cautious treatment. But he needed to observe them up close to make a factual deduction.

9:20

Right. It's time for me to go. Vinsanto was waiting for him outside of the door, he needed to act quick.

"Fancy meeting you, detective" was the first thing she said while hugging him

"Same here" he smiled, feeling a bit wilder about her affection 'oh well, we are supposed to be mother and son now'

But soon he remembered something more important as he became serious "Listen, Anokata is here. He was still on the observatory decks, but I bet he would be here in a minute. Can you stall?" He knew he was asking a lot. By stalling him, she had to present herself in more danger than what she was supposed to be.

"How about Rum?" She seemed like she was assessing her choices

"Negative. But Gin is present" she wanted to say something but he cut her "and also Vermouth"

"Tsk. What a bunches of maintenance" she sighed "Gin will likely shot me on the head without even giving me 5 minutes to stall. You are aware of that already, right?" She scooped him on her lap then run into the main elevator as planned

"I asked Akai-san to immobile Gin. But I don't know what the other one would do. I haven't seen him and there were no data about him at all" he mumbled with a shaky voice, Vinsanto did not have a single minutes to be waste to mind his comfortableness inside her scooping arms

"What do you intended to do by meeting him?" She changed Shinichi's position as if she was bringing a bag of sack on her shoulder "hang in there" and get her pistol to shoot the guards down

"I needed to make sure who Anokata really is. The only way to do that is to get face to face with him" he finally could get into his own foot after they were inside the lift "Good. Akai-san is ready on his position. The boss were still waiting for the inner lift. I expect we will be going to face Gin the minutes we opened the door"

She sighed then gently shook his hair. Somehow she had expected that this brave detective will be willing to sold his own safety in order to seek for justice, or even a bit of it "Not Fancy meeting them, though"

In the other side of the lift, Gin was smiling excitedly while caging his arms with his hand gun "Fancy meeting you, traitors!"

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, 9:55 P.M. Abeno Haruka's Helipad, Osaka, Japan -

"Once a traitor, always is" Gin leered menacingly when he locked sight of his targeted prey, the woman was all bleeding and exhausted. She hadn't successfully dodged every bullets Gin had shot. Some of it were nesting all around her body.

Her tattered clothes were proves of Gin's brutal shots and his temper. She mumbled grudgingly that he cannot even let it stay intact as it was her favorite. He could not even spare a woman on punching them simultaneously nor jabbed her head a few times.

She was sure she had a concussion, judging by how her sight became blurred and the increasing pain on her head every time she moved. But it wasn't a right time to mind her head, as Gin was targeting it with his brand new pindad handgun. Rather, it was all she had to mind, or else everything she did will be a vain.

'Come on, kiddo! Longer than this, and I will be a sack of just a lifeless body with no head' she mumbled.

He didn't have any idea how his request would affect her life, did he? How easy does he think it was to commanded her to stall, with Gin lurking around seeking for your head?

"Wait!" She unceremoniously shrieked as she saw him pulling off the safety pin "I know something you would be begging for me to tell you!"

"As if I care" his cold, deep voice broke, it was even colder than the winds of the winter night

"Silver Bullet!" She shouted then smile as she saw Gin's furrowing brows "He is real and alive"

"Hmp! I will kill that FBI bas***d with my own hand" He cocked his arms then begin targeting her again.

Her laughter was something he didn't thought she would be doing "Not that one. Rye was cooperating with him, instead" she grinned before she prepared herself to do the last action while counted until 10 "he will eradicate your existence in just one shot" then deliberately jumped out of the building in the same time as Gin pulled his trigger.

- Tuesday, 10:18 P.M. Abeno Haruka's Helipad, Osaka, Japan -

A small silhouette sneaked into the stairs while checking out the situation from the back of the door after he had successfully climbed out the outer fence of the helipad.

His ragged clothes were tattered with blood, that mainly came from his left arm, making his white lab-coat degrading with red. He had not thrown his lab coat so that it would not be used as a way to find out his true identity. He'd rather carry it with him even after it cannot suit his bigger body.

Yup, he gulped down the antidote minutes before he climbed the fence. All he has to do was counting to get the pill effects on him, while sheltered in the darker side of the area. Kid had left the spare safe suit for him. He could spot a dark glasses and a brown cap underneath, along with the gloves. Plus, he had left an ID card along, still sticking on the safe suit read as 'skyliner instructor' named Umeda Aoi.

The said person was a real worker of this attraction, only that he was probably sleeping soundly somewhere, not even aware that his coworkers (Kid in disguise) had left the sleeping pills into his coffee cup. In order to match the later investigation, Kid (still disguise as his friend) will give solutions to his 'slacking on his shift' friend that he was on duty with him all the time until he heard the shots and get out of the building after it hadn't been so chaotic. He aware that he will give the police a false statement, but it was better than being fired from this high-income job.

Everything had been calculated and prepared accordingly.

That included the time of their 'fallen' strategy. A moment after Vinsanto jumped out of the helipad, he counted until 10 then deliberately pushed his body into the glassed wall. Normally, people who fall will go below, and that was what made Anokata thought he would crashed his tiny body right in the entrance door of the lobby of this building. In his case, instead of falling below, he clicked the elastic belt (that was hanging near the glasses) that made his body fled up the building until he landed on the edge of the outer helipad area.

If he hadn't counted right, then Gin must have been still there, targeting his pistol to Mamoru -as he knew him as- after it shot his mother a couple of times.

 

He then felt the throbbing pain inside his heart, his body temperature went up that made him shiver and drenched with sweat. Something was different with the antidote effect this time, it was more painful and stretched longer for the pill to work. Shinichi wondered was that because of the new invention of Haibara or his body immune system that has come to get immune of the antidote.

'Anything but the later, please...' he mumbled while clenching his chest tightly.

He had to get out of the helipad in no more than 5 minutes, as the cctvs will be back and active after it. Shinichi had arranged so that the cctvs will jammed on those time they were trying to escape. Added with kid's pink smoke over the area, it will be difficult to identify him nor Vinsanto.

Well, that was only a precaution. Even if they did captured his face on the cctvs, they wouldn't have thought that the little boy they were searching for had grown into teenager. Nor they would thought that a woman near their 40's will become a (pretty cute) high-school girl that was separated from her friends because of the chaos.

It really is risky. Vinsanto might be dead seconds after she drank the re-constructed APTX 4869 that Haibara had successfully invented based on her physical examinations. In other words, it was her exclusive apoptoxin that made her younger more than half of her actual age, but it will only last a few hour. Counted that she didn't die.

As the last pain throbbed his body, Shinichi thought about the most important person for him as his motivation to come back to her, as what he had promised.

'Ran...'

 

- Tuesday, 11:22 P.M. Teito Store House, Tokyo Bay, Japan -

 

In the contrary of the calmness of the night shores, FBI safe house was packed with busy agents. Some of them  were trying to make a detailed report of the previous rescue, another were busy handling the police's investigation, while the other  were in task of tying the loose end.

At mentioning Mamoru a.k.a Conan's whereabouts, Jodie was quite vocal at first. She was just concerned with his safety. But after Akai Shuuichi had told her not to worry and that he was the one being in charge of him, she calmed down subsequently.

Obviously, after knowing that Conan-kun couldn't present himself  as Mamoru neither Edogawa Conan anymore, Akai had no choice but to wait for the person himself to come out and tell the tale to his comrades. Meanwhile, he will wait until it cooled down. Oh, and one more thing he needed to take note of, was the state of his birth-mother. If what Conan has told him was true, then he definitely need to arrange a meeting with his mom, or sister soon.

Talking about family, there were these sweet family over here. Mamoru's uncle (Ari-san) was very cooperative and he actually had willingly become their financial support for this project. All of the things that were being requested by Edogawa Conan was obviously not a cheap one. He even set a private laboratory for Haibara Ai, equipped with things she needed and also assistance from biggest med-lab from his home country. He unofficially had become one of their team now. He mingled with other agents as if it were his own house, despite that there were no vacant room he could use to be his own.

The  only vacant room was being held by Vinsanto with her son, the real Kurogane Mamoru, with happiness filling the air. Even when her body ached, her expression showed nothing but happiness

'Everyone deserved a second chance. So was with her case' James had once told Jodie to assist Vinsanto for her new beginning. As Jodie herself was former product of FBI witness protection program before James took her  to be his pupils.

 

With her ability, she would be placed on the investigation team without even a training. But she still needs psychological test or even a trial before she could really plunged herself and joined them. That was, if she intended to do it. James bet she will become one of the cooperatives at this BO case, especially for the sake of his favorite Silver Bullet-kun. Unbeknownst to Conan, Vinsanto had placed a great favor of him, and thus they knew she was being sincere.

 

- Tuesday, 11:22 P.M. Kudou Residence 2nd floor, Beika, Japan -

 

Kaitou Kid finally could take a breather for a little while, he was busy going on and around Osaka, Tokyo bay, and now Beika. Lucky for him, Jii was able to assist him on monitoring the situation through the main system of Midnight Baron inside Meitantei's house as his substitute. But even so, he had been busy doing all the legwork before the planned day.

Nevertheless, he wasn't going to complain to Meitantei about how he dumped all those stuff onto his nose, because he did get a handful information he needed, especially about the organization that was clearly responsible behind his father's accident. On the other note, Meitantei's deduction of their same goal were true. That was why he had decided that he would dive himself until the root this time, along with his favorite critics.

He had doubted his crazy plans at first, but Meitantei had proved him wrong. 

Pray tell, they did successfully get him according to the plan. Edogawa Conan, or rather, Kudou Shinichi is alive and healthy, currently slumbering within the safe embrace of Mouri Ran, both of them laying on top of the couch -with Shinichi's broad shoulder as the cushion of her gf's head- inside his house  after they finished up their late-night-meal made by Akai Shuuichi before he left to the facility.

From the second floor, a tall man that usually wears white cape and a dangling clover glasses on his heist, was looking at the two lovebirds saying "Welcome back, Meitantei"

He get out of the house from the window on Shinichi's room, clearly not wanting to be spotted by the owner. All that's left was to prepare himself for the next round of the plan whereas Kudou Shinichi will infiltrate into BO to investigate himself. Sounds fun, indeed.