Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Grey Areas ( Chapter 72 )

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

Chapter Seventy-Two
Grey Areas
Akako ran along the banks, probably looking like any other student late for class, aside from her black dress. That dream again… it had come back, vivid and violent, and ended in a gunshot…
And at the end, there’d been a vague vision of the river… of…
Akako jerked to a stop, back stiffening as she detected the stinging aura, the purity of…
The Wiccan,” she thought with a groan as she spotted the foreign girl crouching by the banks of the Teimuzu. “Why hasn’t she gone home yet? Or has she detected the presence too?
“Is it your doing?” Laura asked as Akako drew near, not looking around- she must have picked up Akako’s dark aura. “Although it doesn’t feel evil… quite. Just… wrong.” Akako crouched down next to her, tracing her finger over the odd shoeprints coming out of the water. There were dribbles of blood around them. “Someone injured? Or…
“It’s not mine,” she said quietly. “It feels supernatural, yes, but the nature of the evil permeating it is not. It is normal, human evil. It is not of Lucifer’s doing.”
“Right…” Laura leaned backwards, sitting on a rock. “Hey… can I ask you something?”
“Do not dare try to exorcise me, Wiccan,” Akako said coolly. The other girl snorted in annoyance.
“I’m not going to, I’m not powerful enough for that, not outside of Scotland anyway,” she said. “But it’s about that. I’m just a little curious… why did you do it?”
“Do what?” Akako hedged, hand still hovering over the footprints, trying to draw up any trace of aura.
“Sell your soul,” Laura said. “What would make you do that?”
“I can’t remember, but I can give a vague guess,” Akako said carefully. “Lucifer takes your memories, you see. When you’re in so much pain, when your soul screams for release… Lucifer comes, and He takes your memories away, and so they can no longer hurt you. He takes your pain with your soul, and He warns you of this beforehand, so to still choose to sell your soul… the pain must be great indeed.”
“That must be lonely,” Laura said distantly. Akako glanced up at her in surprise. “Well, your memories… they’re who you are, aren’t they? Your family and friends, things that made you laugh and cry… they’re all gone now. When it’s all gone, how can you know who you are?” Akako thought of Kudo Shinichi, head wiped by mysterious amnesia, being told that he was Edogawa Conan by the world and so confused about what or who to believe…
“I guess I don’t,” she said lightly, unconsciously clutching her wrist. “All I know is… I didn’t want to be that person anymore.”
“I think I know who that person is, though,” Laura said thoughtfully. Akako stared at her, open-mouthed in shock.
How can that be?!” she thought in confusion. “I’ve been a witch for thirty years, since before she was born! How could she know who I was?” aloud, she said calmly, with a Poker Face worthy of Kuroba, “and who is that?”
“That person,” Laura said flatly, “was a wimp. A pansy. A coward.” Akako bristled. “That person ran away from what hurt her. She sold her memories because she was too weak to take the pain… because she forgot that it does not last forever.”
Furious, Akako stood and made to strike the other girl across the cheek. Laura caught her hand, holding it in an iron grip. “Shut up!” Akako shrieked. “What would you know? You have no idea what I went through!”
“And neither do you!” Laura yelled, thrusting her hand aside. “Stop being so fucking self-pitying! You think you’re the only one who’s ever been hurt? The only person who’s ever suffered? You don’t know what I’ve been through either! There were days when all I could think about was jumping off of a bridge, or in front of a train, only thinking, will it hurt? Will it be quick? Will anyone cry at my funeral? For so long, the answer to that last one was no. I couldn’t think of any reason to live, anyone who would cry. Until….” Laura’s rage calmed as she smiled gently. “Until I met someone who would.”
Akako was struck by the anger of the girl, whose aura seemed too light for such fury. “Wiccan’s power comes from nature and kindness… so how can she go on so about suffering if she…” “What are you talking about?”
Laura glanced up at the apartment block nearby. “I used to be really bipolar, you know. “Black Laura”- a side of me that just wanted to hurt people like I’d been hurt, a feral animal. I was alone except for Black Laura, and I let her have control, and no-one complained because everyone was afraid. All I did was fight. But slowly… I stopped fighting for fighting’s sake. I made a friend, you see.”
Akako stood silent, unsure as to where this was going.
“Charlotte. It was in our first year of high school. I met her through hatred- our mutual hatred of a girl who was, putting it lightly, a bitch. I’d hated her since primary school, but Charlotte had just met her and she was making Charlotte’s life hell. Lots of people were bullying Charlotte, actually. She was nice to people- she just didn’t know how to negotiate a bitch-based social economy. But while she was scared of rejection, she was also even more scared of being alone- so she was kind to me, too. She wasn’t scared of Black Laura, and she even encouraged the real me to surface- she actually liked me, and wanted to be my friend, even when no-one else did. I… really wanted to be her friend too, but at the time the only way I could think to do that was to beat the shit out of the people bullying her. She wasn’t too happy about that, since she doesn’t like fighting, but she didn’t stop being friends with me because of it. It’s an amazing thing, you know- people who don’t give up on you, who know you can change for the better and, even more, don’t mind if you don’t. How can I say it? True friends are people who know all about you and still like you.”
“Why are you telling me all of this? What are you trying to say?” Akako said haughtily, but inwardly, her thoughts were spinning. “Kind people…people who care… who see the real you…
You’re the one who’s lying… lying to your own heart. You shouldn’t make light of a thief like me. Because within that frozen heart of yours, I can see that, hidden deep inside… there’s a beautiful jewel waiting to be found.
“What am I trying to say?” Laura said with a half-laugh. “I’m saying that, I guess… there’s always a reason to keep living. Even if it’s just one person… because no-one’s ever really alone. Suicide… or Witchcraft… that’s just running away from your pain, and in the end all you do is hurt someone else… whoever it’s left that cares, whether it’s a sibling, a lover or a friend. My best friend… all of my friends… Thanks to them, I didn’t run from the past that hurt me. And one day, it didn’t hurt so much anymore. Maybe it’ll always hurt, just a little. But they gave me the strength to look back on my past and not run away. Thanks to them, I found the strength to look back at my past and say, “thank you. I didn’t want you, but I have you and that can’t be changed. So I’ll thank you. Thank you for making me stronger.” I can say that because, even though sometimes it seems like my past will crush me, I won’t have to stand against it alone. If there’s even one person standing beside me to fight with me, just one person who’s standing there and will stay there… suddenly the pain in my past seems so weak. I can be strong for the people standing with me. Even if it’s just one…” She smiled at Akako, suddenly kind. “Don’t you have anyone, witch? Don’t you have anyone who cares about you? Anyone who wants to know the real you? Anyone that you could be strong for?”
A beautiful jewel…
You’re quite the mystery, aren’t you, Koizumi-san?
Akako looked across the river, unable to meet the Wiccan in the eye. Laura was quiet for a while too, giving her time to think. Finally she said, “If you have someone kind enough to care about you, no matter what… don’t let them go. People like that… they’re rare. And their mere presence is enough to frighten away the beast, an aura like light…”
“I know,” Akako said quietly. She started to walk away, and then paused. “Hey… you do know… to stop being a witch… you only damn yourself to an eternity of hellfire. Lucifer dislikes being abandoned.”
“Then he needs to stop being such a poor loser,” Laura snorted. “You know… If you got your soul back, I bet you could be a powerful Wiccan. If you know love and kindness… you could be very powerful indeed.”
“No-one has ever escaped Lucifer’s retribution before,” Akako said.
“First time for everything,” Laura said. “Piece of advice? No matter what you go through, always remember… This too will pass.” Akako heard her leave, back to the apartments. She stared down at her own reflection contemplatively, then pulled a picture out of her pocket- New Year’s with Kuroba and Aoko and Hakuba…
A single tear will melt my heart,” she thought, “and the melting will be so painful. Still… is it worth it… if there truly is a beautiful jewel within… are they not worth the most beautiful jewel that I can give them?
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Miwako sighed in relief as she stepped out of the shower, the hot water having massaged away all of her tensions and worries. She was still a little worried, of course- who wouldn’t be? They still hadn’t stopped this criminal Organization…
But boy, were they close.
Wrapping her dressing gown around herself, she froze as she heard movement elsewhere in the flat. She hadn’t unlocked the door this morning and hadn’t let anyone in, which meant…
Pretty stupid sod, breaking into a police officer’s flat,” she thought, grabbing her gun, although she didn’t figure she’d need more than her fists to deal with some idiot trying to make off with her DVD player.
When she reached the doorway to the main room, though, she froze. A tall figure into black with long silver hair was bent over her computer, with a laptop connected to it. Somehow, he’d gotten through her passwords, to…
Shit,” she thought as she realized what was on the screen. “That’s copies of the data that I got from Hakuba-kun and the others… and their names are on it… shit!” She fired a warning shot which missed the man and hit the wall. He whipped around and fired back, narrowly missing Miwako. In the small space, though, it wouldn’t be hard to get a fatal hit in- for either of them.
Of course, this bastard was facing Miwako on very literally home turf…
She slid her toe under that tatami mat that never did lay down right and flipped it, tripping the intruder, who was standing on the other end. That was all the time she needed to shoot his gun from his hand. He kicked out, though, as he fell, knocking her gun from hers. As she stepped back, trying to shake the soreness out of her arm, he yanked the connecting cord out from her computer and shoved the laptop into his trenchcoat, evidently set on escaping with the data at least, before diving for his gun again. Miwako grabbed his outstretched arm, trying to flip him, but he turned the tables on her, grabbing her with his left arm and flipping her back.
Duh, he was shooting the gun with his left hand,” she realized, managing to twist as she landed without letting go of his right arm, leading to a very satisfying crack from his arm.
“Bitch!” he snarled, kicking her in the back of the neck. Miwako collapsed, gasping, trying very hard not to black out, rolling to avoid another kick. Stopping by her doorway, she reached up and yanked the wires out of her burglar alarm, very satisfied to see the little red light flash to confirm that, yes, a light had just gone on at the nearest police station to inform the cops there that some poor fool had tried to rob Sato Miwako and they’d better come help.
Normally, of course, it was the houseowner that needed help.
The man was backing away towards the open window as Sato grabbed his gun, levelling it at him. “We’re on the third floor, he can’t be planning…” but he was. Just as sirens sounded in the distance- Miwako lived all of two minutes away from the nearest police station- he dropped backwards out of the window, good left arm outstretched. As Miwako ran to the window, she realized that he had grabbed the drainpipe- the burglar’s friend- to slow his fall, like a rough fireman’s pole, and landed in a sturdy crouch next to an old black car which Miwako, thanks to her perspective, couldn’t see the plate number of.
They were already speeding away as a police car came onto the street. Leaning out of her window, Miwako pointed out the disappearing car, and the cop in the police car saluted before speeding off after them.
How much did they get away with?” she wondered. “How much data did they get… do they know about Nakamori-keibu and Megure-keibu… oh, Kami, and Kudo-san, he’s a civilian, if they go after him and his family too…” she jerked out of her thoughts as an ambulance pulled up under the window.
“What happened?” she called out as a man got out of the driver’s side.
“We got a call from a police station nearby,” the paramedic replied. “Apparently somebody broke into a Sato-san’s apartment, and we were given to understand that the intruder would need us.”
Sato sighed heavily but with a little smirk. “They know me so well…”
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“Aniki, are you all right?” Vodka asked as Gin pulled off his right sleeves, exposing the twisted arm.
“Just get out something to use as a splint,” he said roughly, gripping the twisted arm with his left hand. Vodka dug into the boot for some cloth, hearing a nasty crack and a grunt of pain as Gin snapped the bones back into place. Vodka helped his partner wrap up the wooden splint around his arm. He sat down in the driver’s seat again as Gin tugged his sleeves back into place, keeping his arm straight and sticking it in his pocket for a little support.
“It’s not my gun hand, at least,” he snorted, biting down on a cigarette then putting the packet away and pulling out a lighter for it. “Damn that bitch. Thanks to Sake and Schnapps’ messes, though, we don’t have the people to spare to finish her… well, she’ll get hers soon enough, and the rest of them.”
“Did you get the information?” Vodka asked, pulling out and driving down the expressway.
“Enough,” Gin said, pulling open the laptop. “We thought that strike was too well-planned. Somebody had the idea a long time in waiting. They had too much information…” he paused, taking a deep drag on his cigarette, his version of a gasp of surprise. “Well, there’s a familiar name… Kudo.”
“Kudo Shinichi?” Vodka said in surprise.
“Not Shinichi… Yuusaku,” Gin said contemplatively. “His father, a mystery writer, known for helping the cops out on occasion… well, isn’t that interesting.”
“I thought he lived in America these days,” Vodka said. “Last I heard, he’d gone into seclusion in his place in LA in between novels…”
“Exactly,” Gin said. “If you’re in seclusion, who’s going to know what country you’re in, so long as you’re out of sight? He’s certainly old enough to have been planning this for a while, depending on how long he’s known about us…”
“How could he know?” Vodka said.
“Whatever happened to his son, don’t you think he’s liable to know?” Gin said quietly. “I’ve heard of him. He’s got friends in Interpol, the FBI, the police… if he’d decided to do any deeper investigation, he may well have found something.”
“Which makes him a threat, right?” Vodka sneered. “If so…”
“Yes,” Gin said with a humourless smile. “Head back to one of our clinics so I can get this patched up properly… then, tomorrow, we’ll find out just what he knows… and perhaps what really happened to his son. Then… we’ll make sure that that damn family causes us no more trouble. Ever.”
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I don’t know how to address intelligence in biological terms, Mel72000, which is one of the reasons that I went with age… that and it just seemed to work ^_^
Calm, Pretztailfan95… go to your happy place… XD the world is in aisle 3. -_- XD the first drug trial in the fic, of course… she only pretended to try to kill him in the first in the manga XD I watched the video, it wasn’t bad, good quality animation… those girls are psychos, though…. Hey, if you don’t like that amount of blood, you will hatehateHATE Battle Royale. Which is too bad because psychologically at least, it’s a fascinating movie… XD
Fingers crossed, KageNoNeko… after all, what could possibly go wrong? *starts making list* XDXD
He’s his mother’s son in acting talent at least, Desperatembrace… because I am ever so slightly evil… XDXD
Pretty much, FHP2208. None of them had reached the age of complete physical maturity yet… from the positive last chapter to this… XD
Akako’s pretty much come to a decision, Marie Ravenclaw, which means things are probably only going to get harder…
Go insane, Mimzsilver, slowly MAD! XD I love Akako and Hakuba, mainly because I absolutely adored Magic Kaito… I always want to see more of them, and Kaito and Aoko too of course. Since they don’t turn up anywhere NEAR enough in the manga, I decided early on to give them a big part here… XD
They do, Kayla Edogawa. It’s immensely depressing. -_- You seem to be the only one in this chapter… that was a course in the Scottish school of “quit yer whinging ya pansy it winnae last and it could be worse” psychology XD doesn’t always work, but works wonders when it does ^_^ XDXD chibis of pretty much anybody are cute. CHIBIIIIII! XD I don’t have a lot of work right now, but I just know it’s gonna grow exponentially…. And I really, really, really, REALLY hate AH English Textual Analysis… DX
Glad you think so, HikariPachi ^_-
I have all of my subjects every day, PlayingThePiano… but then I only have four subjects now… XD But you are so much better at English than I am at any other language… T_T *fail* XD I’ll keep posting daily, since I’ve long finished the story and I’m occasionally working on the next one at the moment… the next one won’t be posted daily initially, of course XD Vampire puppy? “soo cute… ahhh…. ARRRGGGHHHH!” XDXDXD I think I’d still cuddle it, even if it sucked my blood… I’m helpless against the power of puppies… XDXD
You made it, Girl Wonder 2005! 😀 Hakuba’s back and forth… a bit of a departure from his old composed manner, but that’s just a sign of how he’s changing and growing closer to people… I don’t think you read it wrong… ^_- Yeah, Yuusaku’s a secretive man but he does talk to Yukiko… but I don’t think he’d tell her something like this, since she’d probably never let Shinichi out of her sight again… XDXD I did once get teased about choosing the name “sake” (was it by you or someone else?), since apparently it’s too generalized a term and too unlike the other codenames… in my defence, I didn’t know that, and it sounded reasonably like “snake” XD that was about it for the rationale. Wow, that IS an ancient topic… XD SHE IS COMING FOR YOOOOOOOOUUUU! XDXDXD
I do not claim to own any of the characters in Meitantei Conan. They are the intellectual property of Aoyama Gosho. All characters, couples and locations, if Canon, will be faithful to the manga, so if you’re into fics with weird pairings like Shinichi and Heiji, the back button is at the top there. The fic may not make sense if you have not read up to chapter 698, which you can do at a site called (read between the lines) O/n/e/ma/n/g/a, but I advise you to buy the official Tankoban novels (up to volume 30 are out in English at the time of writing) so that Aoyama-sensei can afford to continue gracing us with his imagination. Now, I hope you enjoy the fic! (If you don’t, please see my previous comments re the back button).
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