Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Act the First ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Act the First
Outside the Elsinore theatre and playhouse, Kyoto
Jodie shivered as her short blonde hair was tousled in the breeze, half-longing to be inside in the beckoning lights and noise of the show that was on. In the dark streets of late-night Kyoto, the showhouse was a beacon of light and noise- though a darkness had descended on it lately, since it had changed owners, and sometimes, despite the light and warmth, the building chilled her. But she was paid too much to walk away from a job where she simply stood at the door and prevented people from sneaking in for a free show or to cause other trouble, and jobs were hard to come by these days, especially in the notoriously jealous entertainment industry.
She saw something shift in the shadows a little way down the road, headed towards the theatre.
“Who’s there?” she called to the approaching figure. “Stand! And unfold yourself!”
The man stepped into the light spilling out of the foyer, and she relaxed. Though the man had the face of a criminal, she knew him well enough to know that there was a good soul inside that lumpen face and sharp mind. More importantly, he had the guard shift after her.
“Andre?” she sighed. “You come most carefully upon your hour.”
“’Tis now struck twelve,” he said, pulling his nametag out of his pocket and affixing it to his uniform suit jacket. “Get thee to bed, Jodie.”
“For this relief, much thanks…” she sighed gratefully, removing her own nametag and rubbing her eyes under her glasses. “’Tis bitter cold and I am sick at heart.”
“Have you had a quiet guard?” Andre asked, glancing down the empty road, beckoning to the theatre with a jerk of his head and a mocking smile that said “aside from all that”.
“Not a mouse stirring,” she said, fingering in her pockets for her keys and making to leave.
“If you do meet Shinichi and Shuuichi, rivals of my watch,” Andre asked her as she walked away, “Bid them make haste.”
“I think I hear them,” Jodie said, glancing to the side as two figures quickened across the empty street with familiar fluid, purposeful gaits. “Stand!” she called. “Who’s there?”
“Friends to this ground,” a young man said, and Shinichi stepped into the light illuminating Jodie and Andre, with Shuuichi only a pace behind. “And liegemen to the magician.”
Jodie nodded to them and continued on to her car. She knew the men- Shuuichi worked there as she did, though almost never on the same shift, and Shinichi was a friend of the stepson and nephew of the owner of the theatre, the son of the previous owner. Well, Andre could deal with them.
“Welcome, Shinichi,” Andre said jovially. “Welcome, good Shuuichi.”
“What, has this thing appeared again tonight?” Shuuichi asked sharply. Andre’s jovial manner faded as he remembered precisely what his colleague was referring to.
“I have seen nothing…” he said uneasily, staring up into the dark night sky as if the denial would act as a jinx.
“Shinichi says `tis but our fantasy,” Shuuichi said, glancing with a twitch of a mocking smirk at the younger man, “This dreaded sight, seen twice of us…” he too glanced suspiciously at the sky.
“Tush, tush, `twill not appear,” Shinichi laughed, his blue eyes sparkling as if to mock the men, which he was in fact doing. “Let us hear Andre speak of this.” He had already had enough of Shuuichi’s version of the tale. If they were imagining it- which he was certain that they were- then they could not possibly have had identical hallucinations. Inconsistencies would appear in their stories.
“Last night of all,” Andre began, raising his voice as a burst of cheering came from the theatre- the show was probably ending soon- “Shuuichi and myself… the bell then beating one-” he fell silent, staring at the sky with bulging eyes, colour leeching from his face. “Look where it comes again!”
Shinichi and Shuuichi turned, to behold a terrifying apparition. The lights from the theatre seemed to pale into darkness, so that only the glowing white figure, deeply familiar and yet so strange, seemed to exist in the world; his dark hair, still a slight mess in death, fell over one eye, shadowing a face that seemed to be made of light. He was still dressed in luminous yet transparent white, pristine and perfect as he floated, huge, above them, wrapped in blue spirit fire, the flames not touching him. His visible blue eye seemed to pierce them, striking straight through the three, bringing the truth of the wrath of Heaven to them and pulling from them a powerful desire to simply fall to their knees and confess every sin that they had ever committed. Shinichi stared, dumbfounded. This was in defiance of all science, all logic, and yet he trusted nothing more than the testimony of his own sight…
“In the same figure, like the magician that’s dead…” Andre said in a trembling whisper, “Looks it not like the magician?”
“Most like…” Shinichi admitted in a quiet undertone. “It harrows me with fear and wonder.” He knew that Shuuichi might have been watching him again with that irritating golden glare that he always got when he was right and you were wrong, but he would have to take his eyes from the spectre of Kuroba Toichi to do so, and Shinichi knew that he could not.
“Question it, Shinichi!” he prompted him instead. Shinichi swallowed to steel himself, spreading his arms in supplication, then forced his voice to life.
“What art thou that usurp’st this time of night?” he called to the vision, “If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, speak to me. If though art privy to this place’s fate…” he glanced at the theatre. The audience had not left the hall; it was as if the ghost had frozen time and space to have its own. “By heaven I charge thee,” he continued, his voice stronger, echoing off the buildings, “Speak!”
The ghost did not; instead, with a last piercing glare- he was not smiling; he had always smiled in life, and now he did not, and the effect was disconcerting to say the least- he turned, drawing a billowing white cloak around him, beginning to fade.
“Stay!” Shinichi called desperately, stepping forward as if to follow it. “Speak, speak! I charge thee, SPEAK!” He ran forwards, but Shuuichi grabbed his arm, yanking him back just as he ran into the road; the headlights of a lonely passing car blinded him for a moment, and then by the time it had passed the ghost was gone. Shinichi fell to his knees by the roadside, his whole body suddenly weak and given over to a violent shivering, though he had not been cold before.
“’Tis gone and will not answer,” Andre muttered redundantly. Shuuichi stared down at the shuddering Shinichi, inwardly only being thankful that Jodie had not borne witness yet to this terrible creature; she had known the old owner for a long time, and it would have broken her heart to see that he did not rest.
“Shinichi?” he said instead, reaching out to place a hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “You tremble and look pale…”
“Is it not like the magician?” Andre whispered again, still staring to the sky, where the stars were still hidden behind the light pollution of the unsleeping streets.
“As thou art to thyself…” Shinichi said in a trembling voice, “’Tis strange. This bodes some strange eruption to our city…”
“Good now, tell me,” Andre said, helping him stand and walk over to sit on the front steps, “why this same strict watch so nightly toils the streets? Why such daily mart for malicious gossip- the implements of war?” It was true that there was now fierce competition between Japanese magicians, ever since the one considered the greatest in the country had been reduced to the spectre that had just left them; they would use any weapon to bring themselves higher, often by climbing up the crushed reputations of their peers.
“The last magician was by Tsukumo Motoyasu dared to a faceoff,” Shuuichi remembered, thinking of the vicious rivalry that had existed between the two great magicians many years ago, before… “Our valiant Kuroba Toichi did succeed, as Tsukumo died attempting to perform the greater trick, and thus forfeited his life, and this theatre which had stood as the wager.”
“Now, young Sanada Kazumi doth well appear to recover of us, by skilful magic, this foresaid place so by his mentor lost,” Andre said, speaking of the late magician’s greatest protégé, who had argued that Kuroba Toichi’s death onstage meant that he were not such a great magician, and was rapidly building his own reputation as a more skilful magician than the current owner, a man who was certainly a lesser magician that Toichi in the opinions of the men sitting on the cold steps.
“And this is the main motive of our preparations,” Shuuichi concluded, “the source of this our watch, and the chief head of this poste-haste and rummage in the theatre.”
Light burst upon them; the showhall was emptying, oblivious, chattering crowds swarming down the steps towards them. The three quickly moved out of their way, towards the post where Andre should be standing.
“Let us impart what we have seen tonight to young Kaito,” Shinichi muttered to the other two, apart from the happy masses, “for upon my life, this spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it?”
The other two glanced at each other, an obviously nervous look meeting one that was always cold and certain, whatever was happening underneath, and they nodded.
Shinichi watched people pour into the street, still gripped by a cold, dark uneasiness that no amount of light and warmth could dispel.
The office in the apartments of the magician and theatre owner, Snake
“Young Kazumi, thinking by our late brother’s death our work to be disjoint and out of frame, hath not failed to pester us with the surrender of this place and reputation lost by his mentor.”
Snake angrily slammed his hand down onto his desk at the mere thought of the arrogant young magician who had been rapidly rising in popularity lately. Was he not as good a magician as his late brother, if not better? Something had to be done!
Enter the paparazzi.
“We have writ to Tokyo,” he said, “to find some means to suppress his further gait.” He nodded towards the two officers in the corner of the room, who had agreed to verify some particularly disturbing rumours about the young man which might just be perfect to destroy his reputation- and clean criminal record. “We dispatch you, Takagi, and you, Sato, to Tokyo.”
“We show our duty,” the two choursed, leaving the room.
“Heartily farewell,” Snake said to their departing backs. Minami frowned but said nothing. She was still pretty for her age, a slim woman with long dark hair, but she was still evidently a woman who was nearly fifty, with few talents beyond her stage skills as a shill. She should probably not be capable of marrying again at her age, let alone- but still, it kept her son in college funds and a roof over both of their heads, albeit the more glitzy than usual roof of the apartments in the very top floor of the Elsinore Playhouse. She disapproved of such gossip warfare- Toichi had never engaged in such, thinking it dishonourable- but then, the two brothers were as different as night and day. One would not even think they were related at all.
She wandered away from the conversation, staring up at the portrait of Toichi which still hung in what was now Snake’s office as the head of security, Ginzo, entered with his son.
“Saguru, what’s news with you?” Snake asked, all smiles and friendliness to the blond young man, the same age as her son. “What would’st thou have?”
“Your leave and favour to return to France,” the young man said softly. “Willingly I came to Kyoto, to show my duty in your debut. That duty done, my thoughts and wishes bend towards France.” He was a polite young man, and Minami was fond of him, and she wished that he would not leave- despite their rivalry, he and Kaito had long been friends.
“You have your father’s leave?” Snake asked, glancing at the theatre’s longtime head of security. “What say Ginzo?”
“He hath, my lord,” Nakamori Ginzo said, placing a hand on his son’s shoulder, a slight smile crinkling his face.
“Take thy fair hour, Saguru,” Snake said with a smile and a wave. “Time be thine. Spend it at thy will.” Saguru nodded and waved politely back, making for the door, which opened before he reached it, admitting a slight, pale young man with messy dark hair, almost the polar opposite of the blond, pristine Saguru.
“But now, my cousin Kaito…” Snake said, pouring on further god cheer as he spread his arms welcomingly, “and my son!” Minami looked around, catching sight of her son as he entered. He did not smile back at his uncle and stepfather, nor display any of the joy that radiated from the man. He was a world apart from the bouncy boy that she had last seen last summer holidays, before he had gone back to Wittenberg College, too far away for regular visits. He had next returned for his father’s funeral, this dark depression already deeply set upon him.
“A little more than kin and less than kind…” Saguru murmured as he passed his old friend, placing a consoling hand on his shoulder before continuing away, eager not to miss his flight, followed by his father. Kaito’s blue eyes- so sharp, so bright, so like his late father’s- followed him away for a moment, before lowering and darkening again. These past couple of months, he spent much of his time seeming to gaze into another world, one that seemed to be situated around his knees.
“How is it that the clouds still hang on you?” Snake asked, even he unable to ignore Kaito’s depression.
“Not so, my lord,” Kaito replied softly, glancing up at his uncle with cold, deadened eyes. “I am too much in the sun.”
Minami walked over to her downcast son, placing her hands on his shoulders and trying to look into his eyes, though he refused to meet hers. “Good Kaito,” she said with false brightness, “cast off they nightly colour and let thine eye look like a friend on Kyoto.” She glanced back at Toichi’s portrait, her forced smile faltering. “Do not forever with thy vailed lids seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know’st `tis common… all that lives must die.”
“Ay, madam, it is common,” he said flatly, colourlessly, his eyes never leaving their watch of some lower level of reality.
“Why seems it so particular with thee?” she begged, reaching out to take his hand.
Suddenly filled with energy, he smacked it away again. ““Seems”, madam?” he said with sudden venom. “Nay, it is! I know not “Seems”!” He strode away from her, anger crackling around him like lightning borne from the dark clouds of his depression. “’Tis not alone my suits of solemn black…” he continued, staring up at his father’s portrait, his eyes sliding over his uncle as though he were not there, “nor the dejected visage that can denote me truly. These indeed seem…” his anger suddenly faltered, his voice, which had risen considerably, dropping again, depression consuming him once more. “But I have that within which passeth slow.”
Snake watched his nephew’s fleeting rage without a muscle moving on his face, only his warm smile slowly fading. Now, cool and calm, he spoke to Kaito’s back, though whether or not the youth could hear him none could tell. “’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Kaito, to give these mourning duties to your father…” he bowed his head to the portrait briefly. “But to persevere, `tis unmanly grief.” He placed a hand on Kaito’s shoulder, turning the young man to face him. Kaito’s eyes widened in some odd surprise at the contact. “Think of us as a father. That which dearest father bears his son do I impart towards you…” Kaito’s eyes finally rose to lock his uncle’s in a mercilessly cold stare. Snake could read nothing in them. “You intent in going back to school in Wittenberg is most retrograde to our desire. We beseech you to remain here…” he continued, stepping away, unable to face the young man’s cold glare any longer, turning his gaze instead to the far more pleasant sight of Minami. “Our chiefest courtier and our son.” He slowly wrapped his arms around her, not looking back at Kaito, wondering if his eyes had changed at the contact. Perhaps they had only grown colder.
“Kaito, I pray thee, stay with us,” Minami pleaded, always attempting to lighten the atmosphere. “Go not to Wittenberg.”
He finally risked a glanced back at Kaito to see that his gaze had returned downwards once more. “I shall in all my best obey you, madam,” he said, his voice now barely above a whisper.
“Why, `tis a loving and fair reply,” Snake said warmly, letting a smile spread across his hard features once more. “Madam, come. This gentle accord of Kaito sits smiling to my heart.” His arms still around her shoulders, the two left, gently closing the office door behind them, leaving Kaito alone. It was only when alone that his Poker Face truly cracked, tears pouring down his cheeks as he slumped in the desk chair, head in his hands.
“O that this too, too solid flesh would melt…” he gasped, sobbing, thumping his head and hands against the desk. “O God! God! How weary, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world…” he threw his head back, screaming to the uncaring world. “Frailty, they name is woman!” Letting his head fall back against the chair backing, he was now looking upside-down at his late father, wondering if he would still smile now. “Married with my father’s brother,” he lamented bitterly, “but no more like my father than I to Hercules.” His head fell forwards again, almost panting as he fought to control his tears. “But break, my heart… for I must hold my tongue.”
“Hail, my lordship.”
His head jerked upwards as the door creaked opened, composing himself and drying his tears in a quick motion.
My good friend?” he wondered as he recognized the voice, and then brought up a smile as he saw the young man who entered the office, not merely the same age as Kaito but often seeming to be the same everything. Perhaps narcissistically, the two had fast become best friends. “What make you from Wittenberg, Shinichi?” he asked his classmate with a false joviality akin to that his uncle had displayed not long before. Shinichi did not smile, perhaps sensing the lie- he was far too good at that sort of thing.
“My lord, I came to see your father’s funeral…” he began, half-heartedly, for as good as he was at catching lies he was not so skilled at fabricating them.
“I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student,” Kaito laughed coldly. “I think it was to see my mother’s wedding.”
Shinichi cast his own cerulean eyes downwards, away from Kaito’s twisted, mocking gaze. “Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon,” he admitted.
“My father!” Kaito could not help exclaiming as his fists clenched against the desk, pushing himself to his feet. “Methinks I see my father…”
“Oh, where, my lord?” Shinichi said in surprise, wondering if he had seen the ghost after all.
But Kaito merely turned a sad smile to him, staring at Shinichi with a deep and wounding grief. “In my mind’s eye, Shinichi,” he said softly.
“My lord…” Shinichi said, looking away, steeling himself for the tale to come. “… I think I saw him yester-night.”
“Saw?” Kaito asked, faintly but cordially curious. “Who?”
“My lord,” he said, lowering his voice lest some passerby in the corridor should hear- and there were many in such a large and prolific playhouse as the Wittenberg, which hosted many shows beyond the headliner magic act- “The magician your father.”
“The magician my father!” Kaito cried, suddenly full of animation, flying over to Shinichi, staring him in the face, searching desperately for any trace of a lie, though he knew that Shinichi did not. “For heaven’s love… let me hear!”
“Two nights together,” Shinichi said, getting straight to the point, knowing that in Kaito’s fragile mental state there was no time to waste, “Shuuichi and Andre encountered a figure like your father, and I with them the third night kept the watch.”
“But where was this?” Kaito responded, eyes wide like a child’s, attention riveted. “Did you not speak to it?”
“My lord, I did!” Shinichi insisted. “But answer made it none.” Kaito’s energy fell, flopping backwards to sit on the edge of the desk, seeming suddenly drained.
“’Tis very strange,” he commented, his voice muffled as he raised his hand to his mouth, as if bile had risen in his throat.
“As I do live, `tis true,” Shinichi agreed. Kaito wondered away, staring up at his father’s portrait, the twinkling blue eyes above the warm, true smile seeming to still retain life, benevolently watching over them all.
“I would I had been there…” Kaito said, a wonder in his voice as he locked identical eyes with his father.
“It would have much amazed you,” Shinichi said softly.
“I will watch tonight,” Kaito decided, looking back over his shoulder at his best friend. “Perchance `twill walk again…”
“I warrant you it will,” Shinichi promised.
“I’ll speak to it,” Kaito swore, a new fire igniting in eyes long cold and dead, “though Hell itself should gape and bid me hold my peace. Let it be in your silence whatsoever else shall hap tonight.” He turned, rubbing his hands together as he planned. Shinichi mentally planned to locate coffee- his friend would not face his father’s spirit alone.
“Upon the platform, `twixt eleven and twelve, I’ll visit you,” Kaito promised. Shinichi nodded, recognizing that, his decision made, Kaito needed to be alone to prepare to face his father’s ghost.
“My duty to your honour,” he said, leaving and shutting the office door behind him.
“Farewell,” Kaito called after him.
Alone again, Kaito did not cry this time but was still uneasy as he faced his father’s portrait once more, wondering how much what he would see tonight would bear resemblance to his memories.
My father’s spirit in arms?” he wondered. “All is not well. I doubt foul play; would the night were to come! Then sit still, my soul… foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o’erwhelm them to men’s eyes.
A park on the banks of the Kanogawa
Saguru located his sister by listening to the melodious voice singing old folk tunes. Aoko adored nature; she was always in the nearby parks, often in the deeper parts with banks of flowers and woody copses. When he finally located her, she was sitting on a fallen log by the side of the river, looking like some wild child with a few of her favourite flowers twisted into her tangled brown hair and her shoes lying somewhere among the tall blooms, her bare feet dangling in the clear water. Still, it was so characteristic of the aura of purity and innocence that radiated from his sister; no wonder Kaito was so enthralled by her. Yet as he was now…
Well, Saguru was leaving tonight. He would not be here to watch over her. Better to warn her to watch over herself.
“My necessaries are embarked,” he called, “farewell.” Aoko looked up in surprise, having evidently not noticed his approach, her song haltering and falling silent. Her radiant smile, however, a precious rare beacon of true light in Elsinore these days, remained, only widening at the sight of her elder brother.
“And sister, let me hear from you,” he said, spreading his arms, palms out, questioning. She stood, shaking her elegant dancer’s legs to dispel water from her toes, the crystal droplets briefly twinkling in the twilight before rejoining the river.
“Do you doubt that?” she giggled, before throwing her arms around him in an affectionate hug. He held her close, as they had when they were children; he did not know when or even if he would return from France, he was now leading such a life there. The thought of leaving his sister alone…
But she did not think she would be alone…
“For Kaito and the trifling of his favours,” Saguru said abruptly, still holding her, “hold it not permanent, not lasting.” He felt her stiffen in his arms, and wondered if her smile had faded.
“No more but so?” she quietly asked, her voice almost pleading.
“Perhaps he loves you now,” Saguru cautioned, smoothing her hair and looking over her head to the very top of the Elsinore, still visible over the tops of the trees, “but you must fear his will is not his own. Weigh what loss your honour may sustain if you lose your heart. Fear it, Aoko. Fear it!” Aoko broke away from her brother, looking away from him, fighting the hot sting of tears at the very suggestion that Kaito’s love for her might not be true, nor that she would allow her heart to defeat her sense. But when she looked up at him again, her bright smile had returned, and she winked a bright eye at him.
“I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, as watchman to my heart,” she promised in excessively pompous manner. A moment later, both dissolved into giggles. Aoko doubled up, clutching her stomach, and Saguru took the opportunity to dig her shoes out of the flowers and throw them at her, purposely missing. Instead, however, they clattered against another pair of feet.
“Yet here, Saguru?”
Both quickly sobered themselves as Aoko picked up her shoes and Saguru stepped forwards, straightening before his father.
“I stay too long…” he murmured to his sister, “here my father comes.” Aoko stepped into her shoes as they composed themselves. Ginzo cast an inscrutable glance over his children before focusing on Saguru.
“My blessing with you,” Ginzo said kindly, choosing to ignore his children briefly regressing twenty years, “and these few precepts in thy memory…” Aoko, knowing that he was about to embark on father-son advice and was thus not focusing on her, sat back down on the log and started rooting for her socks.
“Give thy thoughts no tongue,” Ginzo began. “Give every man they ear but few thy voice. Costly thy habit as they purse can buy, rich, not gaudy. Neither a borrower nor a lender be. This above all…” he looked his son straight in the eye, an odd glint in his own, perhaps proud, perhaps sad. “To thine own self be true.”
Saguru nodded, bowing slightly to his father as his watch beeped, knowing that he must leave soon. “I take my leave, my lord.” He glanced backwards at his sister as he left. “Aoko, remember well what I have said to you.”
Aoko only waved as her brother left, praying that her father would not ask.
“What is it, Aoko, he hath said to you?” he asked.
“Something touching the lord Kaito,” she hedged nervously.
“What is between you?” her father pressed. “Give me up the truth.”
“My lord,” she sighed, unable to suppress a smile at the thought of the young magician, “he hath importuned me with love in honourable fashion.”
“Lord Kaito is young,” her father said sternly, snorting dismissively. “Do not believe his vows.”
Aoko said nothing, looking away when her father looked at her, but she knew that he could tell that she did not wish to be separated from Kaito.
“I would not, from this time forth,” he ordered firmly, stormily, “have you give words or talk with the lord Kaito.” He glared at her as she twisted her hands, staring at her now clad feet, but she knew that she had no choice against her father’s dictates.
“I shall obey, my lord,” she whispered. With another harrumph, her father turned and strode back to Elsinore, apparently satisfied that she would keep her vow; after all, he had access to every security camera in Elsinore, and Kaito did not often leave the playhouse these days. Aoko followed him, knowing that she was being summoned home, and already missing Kaito.
Outside the Elsinore
“It is very cold,” Kaito said, pulling his coat around him, gazing morosely into his empty coffee cup. The hot brew had been finished hours ago, and nobody could tear themselves away from the front steps to fetch more. “What hour now?”
“I think it lacks of twelve,” Shinichi said, staring up at the sky.
“No, it is struck,” Shuuichi said, glancing at his watch. Suddenly, the light of the fluorescent hands was drowned out by something shining white. He did not need to look up to know, but did anyway. “Look, my lord…”
“It comes!” Kaito gasped, eyes rooted unblinkingly to the sky and the known yet unknown figure before him. Once more, his pristine white clothes seemed to glow, blue spirit fire once more wreathing him like chains in some morbid trick; once more one eye was veiled, the other almost piercing their souls. Father and son locked eyes for a long, silent moment, then Kaito’s hands slowly fisted as he remembered his resolve.
“Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!” he prayed under his breath. “Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned, I will speak to thee.”
He reached out a hand to his father, raising his voice to call to him. “Magician, Father, Master of Illusions,” he cried, “O answer me! Tell why the sepulchre hath ope’d his ponderous and marble jaws to cast thee up again!”
His father said nothing, but merely reached out a hand as if beckoning him, backing away. Kaito stepped forward to follow him, stepping into the road, but Shinichi and Shuuichi ran forwards, tightly grasping his arms to prevent him.
“It beckons you to go away with it,” Shinichi cried fearfully, “But do not go with it!”
“What should be the fear?” Kaito said coldly. “I do not set my life at a pin’s fee… and for my soul, what can it do to that- being a thing immortal as itself?”
“What if it draw you into madness?” Shinichi yelled, refusing to relinquish his grip, as did Shuuichi. “Think of it.”
“You shall not go, my lord!” Shuuichi growled, attempting to drag him back into the Elsinore, but Kaito’s struggles only redoubled as his father’s spirit drew further away.
“My fate cries out!” he cried. “Unhand me, gentlemen!” His father’s spirit turned, as if checking to see if he was following. “Go on, I’ll follow thee,” he called, briefly weakening his struggles. Shinichi and Shuuichi weakened their grips accordingly, and Kaito took the opportunity to twist and slip away from them, knocking them to the ground and tearing away after the ghost. Within moments, he was gone. The two stared after him for a moment in shock.
“Something is rotten in the state of Kyoto,” Shuuichi murmured.
“Let’s follow him,” Shinichi said, already on his feet. Shuuichi hesitated for a moment, as he ought to be on the door, but the show would not end for another hour; the girls behind the front desk could deal with anyone entering. He set off after his fleet-footed friends.
An empty back alley in Kyoto
Kaito considered himself in good shape- amazing shape, if he was honest, and he regularly entertained/infuriated classmates with amazing acrobatic feats, often when escaping the repercussions of even more amazing tricks- but even he was now beginning to falter. The ghost was leading him down empty roads, into darkness and away from people. Soon, his glowing form seemed to be the only light left in the world, even visible through his eyelids as he closed his eyes, leaning against a wall and panting heavily.
“Speak!” he gasped, wiping sweat from his forehead. “I’ll go no further.”
I am thy father’s spirit, the apparition- not quite said, it wasn’t quite normal speech, more like a change in the texture of the wind that resolved itself within his ear as speech.
“Oh, heaven!” he gasped, staring at his father once more, exhaustion having nothing to do with the way he leaned against the wall as his knees gave way.
If thou didst ever they dear father love, the ghost whispered, Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Murder?!” Kaito thought in shock. It had not been an accident? His fists clenched until his nails drew blood from his palms at the thought that some person could so coldly- and successfully– steal his father’s life away. “Haste me to know it,” he snarled, “that I may sweep to my revenge!”
Now, Kaito, hear, his father commanded. It’s given out that, sleeping in mine workroom, a serpent for a trick stung me… but know… that the serpent that did sting the father’s life now wears his top hat.
“Mine uncle?!” Kaito gasped in shock. He disliked the man already, but if he had truly…
Ay, the ghost confirmed, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous wife… there was venom in the insubstantial voice now, as potent as that which had claimed his life. Sleeping within mine workroom, thy uncle stole with juice of cursed Hebenon… in mine ears did pour the leperous distilment. Thus was I, by a brother’s hand, at once dispatched. His laser blue glare now focused once more on his son. If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not… but howsoever thou pursuest this act, taint not they mind against thy mother. He began to fade, the alley sinking into darkness once more as a frozen wind swept through, stronger than normal, carrying his fading words to Kaito’s ears. Adieu, adieu, Kaito. Remember me…
Kaito stared to the fading figure until long after he had completely vanished, unable to stop his “unmanly” tears from falling once more, this new information reviving his grief as fresh and strong as if his father had just died again mere moments ago.
“Remember thee?” he whispered to the falling wind. “Ay, thou poor ghost! Yes, yes, by Heaven! One may smile and smile and be a villain- at least in Kyoto. So, uncle, there you are!” his voice slowly rising until he screamed to the empty night, “I have sworn it!”
“What news, my lord?”
Kaito turned, blinking as his night vision reasserted itself, to see two patches of darkness slowly resolve themselves into the black-clad figures of Shinichi and Shuuichi, both sweating heavily as they finally caught up with him.
“No, you’ll reveal it,” he said quietly, loathe to risk revealing his quest.
“Not I, my lord, by Heaven!” Shinichi cried, looking scandalized.
“Nor I, my lord,” Shuuichi swore desperately. Kaito looked over them once more. Shinichi was his dearest friend, and Shuuichi was not loyal to his uncle; he had been close friends with his father…
“As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,” he decided, “give me one poor request.” He drew his stunt gun from his pocket; it was only termed a stunt gun because it did not fire real bullets (not yet, but give Kaito some time with a screwdriver), but the thin steel playing cards could be embedded in metal, and thus could probably do damage enough to a person. “Never to speak of this that you have seen… swear by my gun.” Some supernatural power seemed to grip him, his hair and clothes flying crazily in the wind again, a strange glow in his eyes.
“Oh, this is wondrous strange!” Shinichi gasped, but he and Shuuichi both bowed and swore.
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Shinichi, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” Kaito smirked, striding past his kneeling friends to return to Elsinore. “But come, the time is out of joint.” He stared up again to the dark sky, preparing himself for the task that was to come. “Oh, cursed spite,” he whispered, “that ever I was born to set it right!”
Thus ends act 1. You like so far? If there’s anything- particularly any lines (I know some people find Shakespeare to be dense prose) that you don’t quite understand, mention in a comment and I’ll get back to you ^_-
I do not claim to own Magic Kaito or Meitantei Conan, which are property of Aoyama Gosho. I obviously can’t claim to own Hamlet either, as property of the great Bard himself, but frankly weirder people have been accused of writing his plays.
Act the Second