I got the most fantastic comment on "FBI agent undercover" (thank you so much, Lily!).
Actually, I got several very lovely reviews on that story, and so I decided to - sort of - continue writing.
So as a thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and/or send kudos, this is for you :)
Why on earth had he agreed to this plan?
Shuichi Akai sighed as he sank onto the bed that was supposed to be his for the coming months. It was simpler than the one in his flat, but given that for all intents and purposes he was a university student now it had to be simple. Just like the stupid car outside. But even if his beloved Chevrolet hadn’t gone up in flames there was no way he could drive it now.
Well, he’d always known it wouldn’t be easy to take down the organisation. He’d just hoped he could do it without another stunt at pretending to be another person.
Last time, however, he didn’t need to use a disguise. But now it took him ages to turn into his alias. The wig was annoying as it was, but masking his face was torture. Not to mention he had to squint his eyes together constantly. But this time, at least, his life wasn’t in immediate danger. Sure, if the syndicate found out he was still alive that would change, but until then he was safe. And there’d be no horrible tasks like the ones he had to carry out during his time as Rye.
Unlike last time though, he had insisted on being kept up to date on the FBI investigations. That was why he was now going over the files James had sent him. There was the obvious one about Kir, and one indicating his disappearance, although the FBI were officially missing proof for that yet. Looking through the files a name caught his eye.
Why was her name in yet another case file?
He quickly scanned the report. Apparently Camel had gotten himself into a predicament at the hotel he was staying at. That man really had some bad luck. Luckily, Conan was able to reach Jodie who was able to help him out by - pretending to be his girlfriend?!
What... The... Fuck! That definitely wasn’t supposed to happen! Jodie wasn’t supposed to - He needed to calm down! Now... As much as he wished it were different, Jodie wasn’t his girlfriend anymore. Hell, she wasn’t even aware he was still alive. Jodie could date whoever she wanted. Especially if it’s only pretend, he tried to remind himself. Of course she had to help her colleague out. He just wished it was possible without any implication of a relationship between Jodie and anyone that wasn’t him...
Shuichi sighed again. He couldn’t wait for his disguise to be over.
Who was he kidding? This was going to be a long undercover stunt.
And why on earth had he agreed to this damn plan?!
Chapter 2 refers to manga case #197 (Detective Boys vs Robber Group).
Shuichi Akai was livid.
He had heard too late about the danger Jodie had been in. By the time James had informed him of what had happened at the bank, the would-be bank robbers had already been arrested (thanks to Conan) and Jodie was safely back in her flat. Having given an account of the events to James, she was now barricading herself inside, refusing to speak to anyone.
Since he couldn’t contact her directly anyway, he had asked Conan for more details on the case. The little detective had not disappointed, and Shuichi admired the amount of information the actually 17 year old boy was able to give him. According to him, Jodie was well enough after case. But then, Conan had mentioned his lookalike with the burn marks on his face.
That man was obviously the reason why Jodie was feeling the way she was. As though his death wasn’t enough, the organisation had to hurt her even more by sending this doppelgänger to verify his demise. Shuichi had known they would do it, and he had known it would hurt Jodie. And yet he had let it happen this way. Dying would have been one thing. But for this, Jodie would never be able to forgive him.
He had never meant to give up Jodie for good. Breaking up with her was meant to protect them both - he wanted to be able to immerse himself in his undercover act, and he wanted to spare Jodie the pain of having an absent boyfriend. But they’d been young, and he had had no idea what he was getting himself into. Then his mission had failed, Akemi had died, and he was so angry with himself that he couldn’t focus on anything else. But with Jodie still being single, he was sure they’d get back together in time. Only they didn’t have time. They needed Rena Mizuyashi as a spy, and for that to happen she needed to kill him. And again he had sacrificed his personal happiness for the bigger goal. Only that this time, he wouldn’t get another chance with Jodie. There was no way one could hurt another person so much and be forgiven afterwards.
He told himself it would be worth it once the organisation was taken down. Jodie would at least get to arrest her parents’ killer and he would finally get to know what they’d done to his father. It was why they had joined the FBI in the first place. Their one objective in life they weren’t willing to compromise on.
But you never know what you have until you lose it. And now that he had lost Jodie, he wanted nothing more than to have her back. Even if he’d never learn about his father’s fate. He couldn’t bring him back. It had been too late for that even 17 years ago, even though his teenage self would never have admitted that. But he could have had Jodie in his life if only he had not been so blinded by his ambition to bring the organisation down.
He wasn’t one to drown in regrets though, and so he would just make sure it hadn’t all been in vain. But damn if it didn’t make him so angry he wanted to punch the entire world.
Chapter 3 refers to manga case #205.
Shuichi Akai was worried.
It wasn’t a feeling he was used to. Despite the many dangerous situations he usually found himself in due to his job (and let’s be honest, his natural inclination), worry was not something he felt often. He couldn’t afford to be nervous or let worry get the better of him. He made sure to be as prepared as possible. Everything else was out of his hands and he wasn’t going to botch a mission by letting fear make him mess it up.
And he really couldn’t mess this up. It was more than just his life at stake.
The problem was Jodie.
From the moment she had entered his life she had upended everything. Where she was concerned, his usual aloofness left him. He had no idea how she had never noticed it, but it was difficult for him to keep his wits with her around. Which was definitely a problem.
Right now, the problem, or rather Jodie, was in a place she really shouldn’t be. Which was inside a department store. That was not only being targeted by a madman (as he just found out) but also the organisation (which was to be expected). Jodie was a capable agent, a really good one actually, and he knew she didn’t need him to look out for her - and it wasn’t as if he had done a good job at that, his mind supplied - but he couldn’t help it. It was dangerous for her to be there.
No matter how many times he reminded himself that today she was not the target, that the organisation was just trying to ascertain his death by testing her reaction to his doppelgänger, he was worried. Very worried.
Jodie wasn’t her usual self. Hadn’t been ever since she had learnt of his death. It didn’t matter it was all faked. Jodie didn’t know - she’ll never forgive you, his brain reminded him - and she was hurting. She was hurting and not paying attention to what was going on around her. She was functioning obviously. Shuichi had asked Black after her, and while the older man was angry at him for causing his goddaughter such distress, he was kind enough to supply Shuichi with information about her. It was enough to make him worry.
How was he supposed to keep calm and stick to his undercover persona if he was so worried about her all the time? How was he supposed to stay hidden if she was so defenseless, and worse, not caring that she was? And now, there were probably several BO members around that would gladly see her dead and he just couldn’t bear it.
“Run! This place is dangerous!”
He’d always known worrying got into the way of what one had to do. Now he knew he didn’t care all that much if it just meant Jodie was safe.
“We’re both at fault, 50-50…”