Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Homecoming ( Chapter 25 )

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

Chapter Twenty-Five
Homecoming
Kaito slowly blinked awake. He’d kept himself awake until sunrise, almost, afraid to sleep, but then he’d finally passed out and he’d been so tired that, thankfully, he hadn’t dreamed. The dimming light coming through his closed eyelids indicated that it was the afternoon. He could hear two nurses adjusting his mother’s equipment and gossiping. One of them sounded new.
“Well, this is the first time I’ve really dealt with any of the high-risk patients… I thought she’d have had two nurses from the start, though.”
“Oh, she did, dear. You’re replacing Yuriko-chan.”
“Yuriko? Wasn’t she the one that collapsed?”
“Actually, dear, she was arrested.”
“What?! Never! What for?”
“Well, you see, at first they thought she must have collapsed for whatever reason when checking up on Kuroba-san, but then they found out that she was holding a syringe, and, well, when they tested it…”
“What was it?”
“Potassium Chloride.”
“No!”
“Oh, yes. They’re suspecting her of being a “mercy killer”, you know. There’s really no other reason to carry a needleful of that into a room with a badly maimed, comatose patient. We’re lucky she just collapsed like that. I wonder why, though. She was always so healthy…”
“Maybe someone knocked her out! The person who found her?”
“Couldn’t be, dear. It was a little boy.”
“A child?”
“Yes, that sweet little thing in the glasses who wanted in to see his niichan, remember? Apparently he snuck in when none of the doctors was looking and found her there…”
“Poor thing. Well, at least the patients are safe…”
Kaito was barely breathing as the nurses passed his bed, still chattering, and left the room, closing the door behind them. When he was alone, he opened his eyes and looked over at his still-sleeping mother, feeling sick to his stomach.
They had already come back, and he knew that that They would have killed him too, although probably not by the injection- two patients in the same room in the same day would have been too suspicious. A “badly maimed, comatose patient” having a sudden heart attack, however… that wasn’t outside the realms of the possible… then They would have let him sweat it out until They came for him, too. The bastards.
The idiots.
Not killing him at the same time would be the biggest mistake they’d ever make. Did They really think that, injuries or no injuries, he’d just sit and wait for Them? No, he’d be doing everything in his power to make Them pay. He’d become the Kaitou Kid completely, spend every second fighting Them, do whatever it took to bring Them to justice. Whatever it took.
That was what frightened him, really. His father’s death had left him with a deep hatred for anyone who would try to take someone’s life from them, and while the Kid was famous for his most violent act being stealing from quite literally under Nakamori’s nose (the Inspector had looked pretty funny for a week until his moustache grew back), Kaito knew how easily he could step over that fine line that he had drawn for himself, how hard he had to fight not to give into the temptation to get his hands on a real gun and blow that bastard’s brains out. He knew it would make him no better than Them, but…
It would be so, so, easy. That scared him. How easy it would be to be a “mercy killer”, to tell himself that it was all right because they were murdering bastards anyway, that nobody would miss them, that it was what they deserved. How easily he could become a murderer, when the fury took over, of they hurt his mother or Aoko or Jii… even the thought of losing Akako or Hakuba or Tantei-kun…
That sweet little thing with the glasses…
Tantei-kun. Tantei-kun with the tranquilizer gun. He “found” the nurse that would have killed his mother. He was looking out for Them. Did he know…?
If he knew, how long had he been involved with Them? Could it be that they’d had the same enemy all along? And if he didn’t, did he have any idea what he was getting himself into?
Kaito prayed they’d let visitors in soon. He really, really had to talk to that kid and find out just what the hell was going on.
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“Coming, coming!” Jodie muttered, wrapping a towel around herself as she ran from the bathroom to the ringing phone in the living room. She turned on the speakerphone, unwilling to hold the handset up to her soaking hair. “Moshi moshi?”
Jodie-sensei? It’s me.
“Oh, Cool Kid!” Jodie said, wandering back to the bathroom for her dressing gown and glasses. “Just a moment… all right,” she called as she returned, rewrapping the towel around her head. “Merry late Christmas, Cool Kid. What’s up?”
Them.”
Jodie froze. There was only one group that could be simply referred to as Them, one group that didn’t have to be named…
“Where?” she asked, sitting down on the couch and picking up the handset.
A nurse at Haido City Hospital. She attempted to kill a comatose patient with Potassium Chloride. That patient, as it happens, is comatose because she was hit by an unidentified black car in something that has all of the subtle markers of an attempted murder very well disguised as an accident. The nurse is currently in police custody. You may want to get to her before she’s released.
“You’re certain this is Them?” Jodie asked.
I am. When I caught her in the room of the comatose woman, I used the voice modulator to use her son’s voice- who was also injured, by the way, and was sleeping at the time- to ask her “Did Sake send you?” She freaked for a moment and turned to a tranquilizer dart in the forehead. She didn’t see me. I’m sure she thinks the son did it.
“Sake?” Jodie asked, flipping her laptop open. “I haven’t heard of him.”
See what you can get on him from Kir. I only recently heard of him.
“Someday, Cool Kid, you have got to put me in touch with your sources.”
Someday might be soon, Jodie-sensei. For now, you might want to… subtly… keep a guard out on him.
“Do you know why this guy’s a target?” Jodie asked, tapping a couple of notes into her computer for the next time Kir called. Due to how deeply into the Organization Kir had penetrated, she couldn’t be called at any time- only she knew when it was safe. All Jodie could do was wait for the calls.
I do, but… I can’t really tell you yet. You trust me, right?
“Of course,” Jodie said in surprise. “That brilliant little mind of yours has been an invaluable asset, Cool Kid, even if I don’t know jack about who you are or where you get your information… I do trust you.”
Well, he doesn’t. Not yet. When I get to properly talk to him, however, he might have some important information. Until then, you guys have to keep him alive, all right? And please remember to be very subtle. He’s good at spotting fakes and spies, and the presence of the police freaks him out- he may well make a break for it if he realizes that the FBI are watching him.
“He’s a criminal himself?” Jodie asked, arching an eyebrow. “Listen, if he’s going to put us on a good track against the Black Organization, I’m sure we can quietly wipe his slate, so long as he’s not a mass murderer or anything.”
Far from it. Listen, I’ve gotta go, but… One more thing. I need your help getting at some official files. They put the pressure on to have the case closed, so They’ll be watching whoever opens the files. And I figure, since they know the FBI are on their trail anyway…
“As long as we get a nosy at the files first,” Jodie said. “Oh, and I need the name of the guy we’re watching.”
Kuroba Kaito, and for his sake it’s just as high a priority to keep his mother alive as him. The case I want to reinvestigate is the death of his father, the magician Kuroba Toichi. It was quickly ruled a stage accident- too quickly, if you know what I mean.
“Got it,” Jodie said, sending a quick email to James. “I wish I could have asked Kir when she called yesterday… apparently They’ve had to pull some of their operatives out of Osaka and into Tokyo.”
What? Why?
“Part of it is They’re preparing for something, although she’s not sure what, but also some operation on the 21st went wrong and someone with the police has been digging through too many files and details connected to them ever since. They haven’t nailed down who yet, but there’s an automatic hit to be carried out on anyone they suspect.”
Shit. All right. See you.” The kid hung up, leaving Jodie staring at the phone.
Shit?” she thought. “Aside from the automatic shock that such a little kid knows such words, what did he mean by that? Does he know who’s investigating?” She opened her browser and went searching for one of the news websites, hoping to find out what exactly had happened on the 21st. The first thing that came up was, predictably, endless articles on the Kaitou Kid.
Oh, yes. That. But aside from that…” she started scrolling through the other articles and paused.
The magician Kuroba Toichi…
Wait a minute,” she thought, sitting back and staring at the screen. “A Black Org Op goes wrong the same night as a Kid heist… and then Cool Kid’s looking into the death of a magician at the same time that They go after said dead magician’s son? Join the dots, girl… and it looks like a top hat with a target on it…
Her phone rang, presumably James wanting more details. As she reached for the handset with her left hand, she added another line to her notes with her right.
Cool Kid always plays his cards so close to his chest,” she mused, “But at least he always comes up aces…
“Moshi moshi?” she said into the phone.
Jodie-kun? I’d just like to confirm why this boy needs to be guarded… or more specifically, why he’s a target.
“I don’t know for certain,” Jodie replied, pulling the towel off of head and rubbing at any still-damp patches. “I do know that we’ll have to be careful when we do it, because the boy is apparently very good at spotting people watching him.”
… What’s your source anyway?
Cool Kid.”
I see…
“Don’t you trust the kid, James?” she said sweetly, standing and wandering back to the bathroom.
Oh, I do. I mean, no reason not to, with all he’s done for us, but…
“As a matter of fact, I agree,” Jodie said, dropping the towel in the dirty clothes bin and pulling out her makeup. “The kid’s been a huge help, and I don’t doubt for a second that he wants to see the end of the Organization, but I think it’s clear that he’s just not a normal kid, and I think it’s about time we knew a little more that squat about him.”
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“Well, at least we know that Kuroba’s going to be protected,” Shinichi sighed as he hung up. “I had no idea They’d come so soon…”
“We’re just lucky you decided to sneak in, eh?” Yuusaku said. “Come to that, why did you? They should be letting visitors in soon.”
“I just had a bad feeling,” Shinichi said. “That witch friend of Hakuba’s is in my head. Anyway, it was right. On the other hand, I think Jodie-sensei’s getting suspicious of me. Not that I blame her. I mean, I have majorly helped the FBI, but…”
“But that’s exactly it,” Yuusaku pointed out, picking up Shinichi’s suitcase as they headed for the front door. It was nearly time for “Conan” to be going home. “Seven-year-old boys do not, as a rule, crash FBI operations with ingenious plans or deliver vital information from unnamed sources. Who are you, that you know so much about the Shadow Syndicate and are so bent on their destruction? They don’t know for certain who you are or where you get your information, which if you were an adult would make you instantly both untrustworthy and suspicious.”
“Yeah, Jodie-sensei seems to be taking it on trust that the Organization wouldn’t trust an important mission like infiltrating the FBI to a kid,” Shinichi commented, “but frankly, I know I’m suspicious as hell, and I know I’m playing chicken with the limits of what they’re willing to take on trust. Still… I’m hoping not to have to tell them anything I don’t need to for as long as possible.”
“Well, since the FBI’s already in something of a state of war with Them, it’s not like knowing about Project Pandora will put them in more danger, is it?” Shinichi shrugged as he sat down on the step to tie his shoes. “That and the likelihood of being betrayed are the main criteria for keeping it secret, are they not?”
“Well, yeah,” Shinichi said, pulling his second shoe on and tugging at the laces. “That, and how long I want to be in the hospital once this is all finished. I know Ran’s gonna make sure I know just how pissed she is that I’ve been lying to her the whole time, and if I’ve told everyone and their cat but not her, she is going to be furious.”
““Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”,” Yuusaku chuckled. “So is all of that what the swearing was about? You realize that’s even more out of character than usual.”
“No, it’s that baka Hattori,” Shinichi groaned, sitting back and idly kicking his feet against the stoop as he waited for his mother to get ready. “Apparently, the Organization had to pull a few people out of Osaka, half of the reason being the screw-up at the heist and the other half being that someone in the Osaka police has apparently been poking around far too close for comfort. They haven’t identified precisely who– probably because Hattori isn’t, strictly speaking, in the police, but there’s still an automatic death sentence out for when they find out who it is. I’ve gotta warn him to keep his head down…”
“I’m ready!” Yukiko trilled in Edogawa Fumiyo’s voice as she ran down the stairs towards them, setting her glasses into place. “All right… Shin-chan, you have our gift for Ran-chan, right?” Shinichi patted his suitcase.
“It’s all good, Kaa-san,” he reassured her as she stepped into her black loafers. “We’d better hurry, Ran’s gonna worry if we’re even a minute late…” He turned to his father as he pulled his backpack on. “Haibara’s warned me that I’m getting a surprise “welcome back” party tomorrow, but the day after- and most days after that, really- I’m gonna be checking in to see if I can meet Kuroba yet. I’ll need to check in with the FBI, as well…”
“I’ll have a look tomorrow,” Yuusaku promised. “I wonder if I can meet James again, it’s been a good decade and a half… I’m sure I can put him off of your scent.”
“Thanks,” Shinichi said as “Fumiyo” picked up his suitcase and opened the door. Then, as abruptly as donning a mask- which, in a sense, he was– the seriousness vanished from his eyes and he grew a sleepy look appropriate to a child who had just had to switch backwards thirteen hours and thought it was six in the morning. He gave Yuusaku a last little wave before following his mother out to the sidewalk, where they set out to walk back to the Mori Detective Agency.
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Wish me luck on my History exam! (important points to remember: the Liberal Party were scared of Labour, the NHS rocks compared to what we used to have- ie bugger-all- Hitler was a jackass…)
Conan freaks out everybody that’s not used to him, FaithlessGirl, especially those who can sense that he’s not quite what he seems…
You’re welcome, Mel72000! Here’s your update!
Hakuba’s never met Kudo Shinichi, Pretztailfan95, so it’ll be difficult if not nearly impossible for him to see parallels. And Akako isn’t that dim- why do you think she warned Edogawa Conan about the shadows when Lucifer had told her that only Kuroba Kaito and Kudo Shinichi were their targets? Akako, more than anyone else, will easily buy the “Kudo Shinichi is a kid” explanation, even if she doesn’t know how. Or care, probably. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! DON’T KILL KAITO! I beg of you! Look, this is a long response! PLEASE DON’T KILL HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM! T_T
*Sings “Better Than Drugs”* Gotcha, HaibaraDaiFan! XD I like the realistic fics best as well (of course I do, I’m WRITING one) because you can really link it to the manga. Sorry to bring on more screams, but that meeting ain’t happening yet… *puts in earplugs* try not to kill your throat. Awwww, but I can’t wait for more of your fic! I keep thinking about Kabuki! WHO IS THAT MASKED MAN? Um, it’s a little boy in his real face (presumably)… *shut up brain!* Here’s your chapter… once you wake up and your mom leaves you alone. CAN’T YOU SEE IT’S CULTURE, WOMAN? Well, I think any fic this epic should count…
Um… clicking all four boxes on fics I like is force of habit, AngelRoy. ^_^; So I do sometimes do Story Alert on Oneshots, unless I’m REALLY paying attention, which I never am because I’m a perpetually dozy person ^_^; Hakuba and Heiji? This oughta be good… XD
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 693, 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 29 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).
Confrontations
The Line Of Enquiry