Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Act the Second ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Act the Second
Ginzo glanced over the photographs on his desk with a saddened eye. Saguru and Aoko, playing together as children… but they were children no longer, and Saguru was already making his own place in the world. Aoko, perhaps, would find hers soon, but…
His gaze skipped over a particular photo where a second boy was playing with his children, finishing his letter and handing it to Jii, the old prop manager who was heading to the post office and had offered to drop off Ginzo’s letter to Saguru on the way.
“Give Saguru his money and these notes,” he requested, sealing the envelope and handing it to Jii. “You shall do marvellous wisely to make enquiry of his behaviour.”
“My lord, I did intend it,” he said, waving and slipping the envelope into his jacket pocket as he left. Ginzo watched him go, returning his attention to the security cameras. Aoko had kept her vow and seen nothing of Kaito so far as he could tell, but seemingly as a result, Kaito…
He whirled around in his seat as his door banged open. He was shocked to see Aoko standing there, tears in her eyes and a terrified expression on her face. With a sob, she hurled herself into his arms. He held her, rocking her slightly and stroking her hair as though she were still a child. “Aoko, what’s the matter?” he asked her softly. She shuddered for a moment, before hiccoughing and speaking.
“Alas, my lord, I have been so afrighted,” she whispered fearfully.
“With what, in the name of Heaven?” he demanded angrily. Had somebody done something to her? If anybody had harmed his daughter-
“Lord Kaito…” she whispered, and Ginzo involuntarily stiffened. Perhaps Aoko did not notice, as she continued with her account. “As if he had been loosed out of Hell… to speak of horrors, he comes before me.” She shivered in her father’s arms as she remembered his visit; his handsome face had been so blank, so expressionless, eyes that had once brightened her world whenever they had sparkled with mischievous merriment so cold and dead…
“He took me by the wrist…” she remembered quietly, trying to forget how cold his touch had been, as if he were as dead as his father… “And raised a sigh so piteous that it did seem to shatter all his being. He seemed to find his way without eyes.”
“I will go seek the magician,” Ginzo decided, wiping his daughter’s eyes. “This is the very ecstasy of love! Have you given him any hard words of late?”
“N-no, my good lord,” she swore, looking up at him through still-tearful eyes. He hugged her once more.
“I feared he did but trifle,” he said. “Come, go we to the magician.”
Still sniffling and wiping her eyes, Aoko dutifully followed.
The two men stood silently before the large oak desk where Snake said, welcoming them with a broad smile. One tall and thin, with long blond hair, the other shorter and stockier with close-cropped black hair, the two men were physical opposites yet just as close friends as the twins Kaito and Shinichi- but not so close friends to them.
“Welcome, dear Gin and Vodka,” Snake said warmly. Minami nodded and smiled at them from behind his desk. Snake, meanwhile, got straight to the point. “Something have you heard of Kaito’s transformation. I entreat you both to gather whether aught to us unknown afflicts him.”
“Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of you,” Minami said quietly. “You visitation shall receive such thanks as fits an emperor’s remembrance.”
“We both obey, and lay our services freely at your feet,” the two men said in unison. Gin’s voice was cold but smooth; Vodka’s voice was lower and rougher.
“I beseech you instantly to visit my too much changed son,” Minami begged sadly. As her son’s sanity had drained, so too had her smiles.
The two left without saying another word. As they left the office, Ginzo appeared.
“The officers from Tokyo, my good lord, are joyfully returned,” he said. Snake smiled.
“Thou still hast been the father of good news,” he praised him.
“Have I, my lord?” Ginzo asked, oddly sad. “This brain of mine hunts so sure that I have found the very cause of Kaito’s lunacy.”
Minami gasped; Snake smiled coldly. “Oh, speak of that!” he said with a malicious glee. “I do long to hear.”
“Give first admittance to the officers,” Ginzo said, stepping outside to fetch Sato and Takagi.
“He tells me, my sweet wife, that he hath found the source of all your son’s distemper,” Snake mused quietly to Minami.
“I doubt it is no other than his father’s death and our overhasty marriage,” she sighed sadly, rubbing her temples. Snake only smiled at her, attempting to cheer her.
Sato and Takagi entered the officer, standing to attention as police officers did near the door.
“Welcome, good friends,” Snake greeted them warmly. “What from our brother Tokyo?”
“Most fair return of greetings and desires,” Takagi said. “The investigation has proceeded well and should suppress the young magician’s levies against yourself.” He handed a public report to Snake to peruse at his leisure.
“Sanada makes vow never more to give th’assay of arms against you,” Sato promised, though she looked slightly like this investigation was distasteful to her.
“We thank you for your labour,” Snake said with a broad smile. “At night we’ll feast together.” The two left without further comment.
“This business is well ended,” Ginzo commented neutrally. Then his visage became stern once more. “My liege and madam…” he went over to close the door behind the departed Sato and Takagi, giving them privacy. “Since brevity is the soul of wit, your noble son is mad… and now remains that we find out the cause of this effect.” He placed a letter on Snake’s desk. “I have a daughter who, in her duty and obedience, hath given me this letter…” Snake looked at him quizzically for a moment, before reaching out and picking up the letter.
To the celestial, and my soul’s idol, the most beautified Aoko…
Doubt that the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.
O dear Aoko, I love thee best… o most best, believe it.
Minami bit her lip as she read her son’s outpouring of passion. She knew that Ginzo had rejected the relationship, but if such passions were true, then depriving her son of contact with Aoko… was it truly enough to drive him so deeply into madness?
“But how hath she received his love?” Snake asked with an odd smile.
“When I had seen this hot love,” Ginzo said sternly, “I went round to work, and thus did I bespeak… “Lord Kaito is a magician out of thy star. This must not be.” And he, repulsed, fell into a sadness, thence into a weakness, and by this declension into the madness wherein now he raves.”
“Do you think it is this?” Snake asked Minami.
“It may be, very likely,” she mused quietly.
“I will find where truth is hid,” Ginzo promised, a steely glint in his eye as he always got when determined about something.
“You know sometimes he walks for hours here in the lobby?” Ginzo asked. He had seen as much on the security cameras. He did not often pay much attention to the cameras in the hours when the playhouse was closed- during the working year, it was always closed during the daytime, empty of the crowds though still filled with the actors, dancers and musicians who daily practiced their next show.
“So he does indeed,” Minami remembered, having seen him there more than once in passing.
“At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him,” Ginzo revealed, “be you and I behind to mark the encounter.” Suddenly, footsteps echoed throughout the lobby; the floors were marbled here, unlike the carpeted halls, and thus they heard Kaito enter the lobby before they saw him. He did not see them, his nose buried in a book.
“Look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading,” Ginzo whispered, pushing Minami and Snake back, out of Kaito’s sight, before approaching him. He allowed his footsteps too to echo; Kaito glanced up at him with sharp eyes.
“Do you know me, my lord?” Ginzo asked tentatively. In an instant, Kaito’s manner changed; he smiled broadly, spreading his arms expansively.
“Excellent well!” he cheered. “You are a baker!”
“Not I, my lord,” Ginzo said carefully. Kaito cupped his chin in his hand thoughtfully, then shrugged and turned away.
“Then I would you were so honest a man,” he sighed, before turning back, all smiles again, hands clasping his book to his chest. “Have you a daughter? Conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive.”
It took Ginzo a lot of self-control to remain impassive. Kaito merely opened his book again at some random point which did not look anywhere near where he had been reading before, reading on with a faint smile.
“He is far gone,” Ginzo murmured to himself, though Kaito no longer seemed to hear or notice him, “and truly, in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. What do you read, my lord?” he asked, louder, trying to remain calm and friendly.
“Words, words, words,” Kaito sighed frivolously, waving one hand in the air.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it,” Ginzo thought. “Will you walk out of the air, my lord?”
“Into my grave?” Kaito shot back sharply, before walking on.
“Indeed that is out of the air,” Ginzo mused darkly. “How pregnant sometimes his replies are! I will leave him and contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.” He raised his voice again to bid Kaito goodbye. “Fare you well, my lord!” he hurriedly strode off. Kaito, though playing dumb, could hear him muttering to his mother and uncle, whom he had seen watching the entire encounter out of the corner of his eye.
“These tedious old fools!” he growled within his mind, while keeping his face blank and simple. He nearly growled aloud when he heard two sets of footsteps approaching, but relaxed slightly when he heard the voices which called out to him.
“God save you, sir.”
“Mine honoured lord!”
“Gin, Vodka,” he said with a smile, turning to face his friends, “how do ye both?”
They retired to the bar; Kaito got free drinks, of course. They relaxed in the corner, catching up, Kaito careful to talk himself in odd circles.
“What have you, my good friends, deserved as the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?” he enquired.
“Prison, my lord?” Vodka asked curiously. Gin, generally the more quiet of the two, simply sipped his drink.
“Denmark’s a prison,” Kaito said, tapping his fingers on his glass, seeming to drift off for a moment, tapping at different heights to draw different sounds.
“Why then your ambition makes it one,” Gin commented softly. “’Tis too narrow for your mind.”
“What make you at Elsinore?” Kaito asked, lazily but perceptively, still seemingly engrossed in the echoes of his fingernails on his glass. He caught the briefest glance between the two, the barest pause.
“To visit you, my lord, no other occasion,” Vodka insisted. Kaito smiled wickedly.
“I know the good magician and lady have sent for you,” he countered sharply.
“To what end, my lord?” Gin responded silkily. He always was the better poker player, but none could match Kaito.
“I will tell you why…” he said, allowing his eyes to glaze, his fingers to still. “I have of late- but wherefore I know not- lost all my mirth. It goes so heavily with my disposition that this earth seems to me sterile… the air, foul and pestilent.” He heaved a heavy sigh, as if to blow such foul air away from himself, tipping his head back in a loose motion, like a doll, to stare at the ceiling. “What a piece of work is a man. In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!” his smile faded slowly, calculatedly. “And yet man delights not me- no, nor woman neither.” He tried to ignore the echo of a giggle in his mind and the flash of brown hair and flowers that accompanied it.
The giggle was replaced by a laugh, deeper and less pleasant to his ears. He glanced across the table at Gin and Vodka, who both now wore restrained smiles.
“Why did you laugh when I said “man delights not me”?” he demanded.
“My lord,” Gin said, “if you delight not in man, what entertainment shall the players receive from you?”
Kaito paused. There were many players about Elsinore, each offering their own version of entertainment. “What players are they?”
“Those you were wont to take such delight in,” Vodka laughed, holding out a flier. Kaito took it, turning it around to read it. It advertised a group of Broadway players who were now travelling Japan with their shows. They had evidently booked a date at the Elsinore- tomorrow night, in fact. They ought, then, to arrive tonight to inspect the set and stage.
“How chances it they travel?” he mused, turning a page of the flier to reveal a photo of a group of men and woman in European mediaeval dress.
“There are the players,” Gin said. Kaito abruptly stood and, still reading the flier, wandered away towards the lobby. The two hurriedly rose and followed.
“Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore,” Kaito said pleasantly, then looked up from his flier and raised a warning finger. “But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.”
“In what, my dear lord?” Gin asked, Vodka merely looking confused.
“I am but mad north-north-west!” Kaito laughed, a mad grin flashing across his face as he popped a deck of cards into existence, let them fly through the air in a complex shuffling pattern, before vanishing once more. “When the wind is southerly…. I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
The looks on Gin and Vodka’s faces clearly said just nod and smile.
Footsteps, many of them, rang out in the lobby as a group recognizable as the people from the flier, though in modern dress, entered the lobby, led by Ginzo, who paused when he saw Kaito before making a beeline for him.
“That great baby you see there comes to tell me of the players,” Kaito stage-whispered to Gin and Vodka. “Mark it.”
“The actors are come hither, my lord,” Ginzo said, beckoning to the group. “The best actors in the world for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, or poem unlimited.” The group presented themselves with small formal bows.
“You are welcome, masters,” Kaito said warmly. “I am glad to see thee well. We’ll have a taste of your quality, a passionate speech.”
“What speech, my lord?” the young woman at the head of the group asked in a rather pleasant, musical voice. She had very long, dark hair and reminded him a little of Aoko.
“I heard thee speak me a speech once,” Kaito remembered of a play he had seen long ago. “Aeneas’ tale to Dido, where he speaks of Priam’s slaughter.”
She smiled and nodded, closing her eyes for a moment as she recalled the tragic story, then launched into a passionate tale.
“… But if the gods themselves did see her then, when she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport in mincing with his sword her husband’s limbs, the instant burst of clamour that she made, unless things mortal move them not at all, would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven, and passion in the gods…”
“This is too long,” Ginzo grumbled after some time. “Look, she has tears in her eyes.” It was true; the passion and tragedy of the tale had clearly overwhelmed the girl, as tears were beginning to leak down her cheeks. Kaito nodded, and she wiped them away, apologizing.
“We’ll hear a play tomorrow,” Kaito said, clapping his hands. “Can you play The Murder Of Gonzago?”
“Ay, my lord,” she nodded.
“Very well,” Kaito said with a broad smile, wandering away. “I’ll leave you till night.”
The Elsinore was an old, western-style playhouse; that is, built like the Labyrinth itself, and containing, Kaito thought, far worse creatures. It was not difficult to lose Gin and Vodka. He sat on some of the statuary on the roof; not the safest position, not a place that the building was designed to allow a person to reach, but Kaito liked it up there anyway. With the wind in his hair, it felt as if his father’s spirit may be near once more. Plus, with nobody capable of intruding on his thoughts, he could drop all masks, just for a time.
“Is it not monstrous,” he mused, “that this player here, but in a fiction, could force her soul to tears in her eyes? What would she do, had she the motive and the cue for passion that I have?” he looked down at his hands, tightly gripping a statue, not for balance but as an unconscious declaration of rage. “Ye I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must unpack my heart with words! For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak.” He blinked, gasping to the empty air as the realization hit him, the wild idea that quickly took rational form.
“I’ll have these players play something like the murder of my father before mine uncle,” he plotted. “I’ll observe his looks. The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”
*bows* thou art most kind, noble Hydok. I pray this is sufficient to thine entertainment.
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.