Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Plan A ( Chapter 13 )

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

Chapter Thirteen
Plan A
“Honestly, Otou-san!” Ran chided as she ran for the phone. “It’s already eleven in the morning! Wake up!
Kogoro just lifted his head muzzily off of his desk and stared at the ringing phone. Ran sighed in annoyance as she picked it up.
“Mori Detective Agency, how can I help you?”
Ah, Ran-san? This is Edogawa Fumiyo. Nice to speak to you again.
“Edogawa-san?” Ran said in surprise. “It has been a while since you called! How are you?”
Fine, fine. How is Conan-chan doing? He’s so susceptible to winter colds, poor thing…
“No, he’s perfectly healthy!” Ran laughed. She turned as the rapid patter of small feet sounded on the stairs.
“Ran-neechan!” Conan called. “I’m going to play at Agasa-Hakase’s! He’s got a new game he wants to show everyone!”
“Oh, hold on a minute, Conan-kun!” Ran called. “He’s just here, do you want to talk to him?” she asked into the phone.
Oh, that would be good. I’ll need to talk to you again afterwards, though.
“Um, okay,” Ran said. “Conan-kun, it’s your Okaa-san! She wants to talk to you.”
“Okay,” Conan said, running over and reaching up for the phone. She reached down to hand it to him, before backing away to watch him talk.”
“Okaa-san!” Conan said happily. “Yeah, I’m fine…”
Ran smiled gently as she watched him chatter to his mother. It really had been a while since she’d heard from Conan’s parents. To be honest, she often forgot entirely about them, as Conan seemed to. He said that they often called on his cellphone to check in, so this call to the office was awfully unusual, but maybe it was just because she had to talk to Ran.
I wonder why…?” she thought. “Did something happen?
“Yay!” Conan yelped cheerfully, drawing Ran out of her reverie. “Okay, I’ll give the phone to Ran-neechan.” He turned, holding up the phone. “Ran-neechan-”
“I’ve got it,” she said. “Yes?”
Okay, Ran-san. What I was asking Conan-chan was if he wanted to spend Christmas in America with us. It’s short notice, I know, but plane flights are so hard to get this time of year and I only just got tickets to come get him…
“Oh, really?” Ran asked. “Wow, that’d be wonderful! After all, he hasn’t really been back to America for the longest time…”
I know, and he’s all for it, so I just wanted to check with you… Just for a few days, though. He says he wants to be back in Japan for New Year’s, since the celebrations in Japan are so much bigger than they are here.
“No, that would be wonderful… when were you thinking of getting him?” Ran asked.
Well, with the time difference… about 7 PM tomorrow, I suppose. Can he be ready to go by then?
“I’ll make sure of it,” Ran said with a smile. “I looked forward to seeing you again, Edogawa-san!”
You too, Ran-san. Oh, it’ll be wonderful to have Conan-chan home for Christmas! Ah, I have to go… I’ll see you tomorrow!
“See you, Edogawa-san!” Ran said. A second later, the phone clicked off. She turned to face Conan, who was hopping nervously on the spot by the door, a little bundle of excited energy. “Now, your mother will be here by 7 PM tomorrow,” she said. “So if you want to play with your friends tomorrow, be back by 6:30 at the very latest, understand?”
“Arigato, Ran-neechan!” he said, speeding off down the stairs. “I promise I’ll be back!”
“Have fun,” she called after his retreating form. That boy… sometimes, he was so composed and mature, but when it came down to it, he could be such a hyperactive little boy…
Kogoro snored loudly from the desk. Ran sighed in exasperation. “Otou-san,” she said loudly, “if you don’t wake up I’m dumping cold water on your head. Go on, get up.”
“Fine, fine…” Kogoro grumbled. Ran pulled out one of the trash bags she kept next to his crime files and handed it to him.
“Do me a favour and clean up in here,” she ordered. “I doubt you were listening, but Conan-kun is going back to his parents’ for Christmas, so Edogawa-san is coming to pick him up tomorrow, and I want the office to be clean by then, understand?” She went over to the door, reaching for her coat and slipping on her shoes.
“Hey, where are you going?” Kogoro asked.
“I promised I’d meet Sonoko today,” she said. “I’ll be back around four. There’s no dinner until this room is spotless.” With that, she skipped down, the stairs, stifling a little chuckle as she heard her father calling desperately after her.
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“Okay, that worked,” Shinichi said, stepping into the foyer of Agasa’s lab. “So what’s the plan?”
“Took you long enough,” Ai complained as he entered the living room. “Genta-kun, Mitsuhiko-kun and Ayumi-chan will actually be here by about twelve, and we need to have a plan by then.”
“So what do you suggest, Ai-chan?” Yukiko asked. She and Yuusaku were already there, Yuusaku reading- and apparently actually comprehending- a few of Ai’s research notes.
“I want to be able to run a proper drug test, for once,” Ai said. “Which means that I want blood samples imminently before and after the change, and at occasional intervals in between. I intend to find out if the antidote shows up any differences in your blood, and anything that can be monitored to predict how long the change is likely to last. We don’t really want any of the disaster scenarios that have happened before due to the antidote’s wonderful sense of timing, do we? East Okuho was disastrous, and the Bird’s Eye View restaurant could so easily have been worse…”
“The Bird’s Eye View Restaurant? In the Beika Centre?” Yukiko asked with interest and an evil little giggle. “Shin-chan, did you take Ran-chan there? Well, well…”
“That’s not really the issue,” Shinichi muttered, going bright red, “and as far as I’m concerned, the timing for that change was a disaster. She was in tears when Conan had to tell her that “baka-tantei-san” had left her again…”
“Which we don’t want here,” Ai said smoothly. “Due to the very volatile nature of the new test drug, I’m afraid you’re going to have to stay here for the first six hours. If you make it through that, the critical points that we need to be wary of are twelve, twenty-four and thirty-six hours after the change, and at those times I’d rather you were here again. After thirty-six hours will be fairly touch-and-go, but I think you should feel the change coming on with enough advance warning to leave without too much trouble.”
“So if I take it tomorrow evening,” Shinichi thought aloud, mentally timelineing, “I stay here all night for the danger period, and then if I leave right after the twelve-hour mark, I should be certain of being all right throughout Christmas Day. Then I should turn back late Boxing Day or the day after. That about right?”
“In theory,” Ai said. “But in practice… given the highly erratic and mysterious nature of this stuff, the only thing I’m certain of is that it won’t turn you into a pink elephant. “
“Um… I guess that’s a good certainty to have…” Shinichi said nervously as Yukiko broke down in giggles and Yuusaku restricted himself to a smile.
“As such, I think if you want to meet Ran-kun on Boxing Day,” Yuusaku said, “I think Yukiko and I may have to stalk you.”
“So get what you really need to get done done on Christmas,” Yukiko said, winking at her now glowing red son. “No beating around the bush this time, Shin-chan. She needs to know how you feel about her, you know. She’s been very worried about you.”
“I know that,” Shinichi grumbled. “I watch her worry every day…”
“Any anticipated side-effects that we should be aware of?” Yuusaku asked, returning to flipping through the notes and cutting through the uncomfortable silence that had fallen.
“Just the usual worries, really,” Ai said. “You’re going to be ravenous, since your larger body needs more food- same for water, you’ll be really thirsty- but if you eat and drink too much just before you return to a child, you’ll be in trouble, since your kiddy stomach and bladder are both smaller than their adult equivalents. Also, you’ll probably have more energy and need to sleep less, but try not to overdo it on the physical exertion, because if you do “Conan” is going to sleep for days. You could probably pass that off as time difference, but better not to have to. I thought you were going to sleep forever when you got back from East Okuho… lucky she thought you were just getting over a cold. And do try not to seriously injure yourself- you got quite a bit scratched up there as well and the scratches and bruises didn’t change size when you grew and shrank, so I have really no idea what any serious injury would do to you…”
“Hey, I’m not going to step in front of a car or anything,” Shinichi pointed out. “So if this goes well… what next?”
“Well, to spare you the “scientific gibberish” as you so often ask me to,” Ai replied, “it’ll mean that I’ve isolated how to extend the lifespan of the cure. If I can expand on that… I may not be able to make it permanent, but I think a cure lasting a century or so would be sufficient, don’t you? Thirty years would do it, even… by that point, switching back ten years wouldn’t be that noticeable… might even be welcome.”
“What happens after that?” Yuusaku said. Shinichi looked at him in surprise. “I know this is good news and I don’t mean to burst your bubble, Shinichi, but if you return to yourself even pseudo-permanently then They’ll probably find out very quickly that you’re still alive. They’ll find you.”
“And I’ll be ready for them this time,” Shinichi replied. “I can work with Kir and the FBI to draw them out and deal with Them. Well, I’ve already been working with the FBI, but I haven’t been able to input anything more than brains for now. That’s the problem, really; Edogawa Conan’s starting to draw a little too much notice from the Organization. Sooner or later, They are going to find me, no matter what, and I’d rather be big enough to handle Them when they do.”
“I suppose so. But what about…?”
“Yeah, the problem is it won’t only be me They’re after,” Shinichi said. “Which is why I need to deal with Them fast, as soon as I’m back to normal. Unfortunately, all of the places Haibara knew about were destroyed when she left, but with any luck I can get the information I need off of Kir… wait a minute, that’s no good.” He leaned his forehead into his hands and proper his arms up on his knees. “If she knew enough to bring the Organization down, she’d have leaked it to the FBI or her superiors at the CIA already… damn! Am I gonna have to remain a kid even after we find the cure?”
“I don’t think so,” Ai said, surprisingly reassuringly. “I think things are going to come to a head soon… one way or another. Your life’ll be at risk either way when they do, so you might as well take your better chances as Kudo Shinichi than as Edogawa Conan.” Shinichi realized that she was making a very tiny motion with her head towards the clear sky outside of the Professor’s huge lab windows. After a long moment, he realized what it meant.
The comet. It’s due soon. Pandora…
You really buy this?” he asked her in shock. It had taken him a long time to swallow the “immortality” part- no it didn’t, it took you all of two minutes back in Tropical land, some evil part of his mind reminded him- and finally, his brain had first sought the out route of it’s a joke. “You wanted a mermaid’s arrow from Bikunijima because you were genuinely looking for…?”
I look in the mirror every day, Kudo,” She said, having spent the time he spent spluttering redonning her stoic mask.”I figure this is pretty even on the strange scale.”
“But… the Organization buys it-?”
“I don’t know why, but Anokata is very set on the acquisition of Pandora,” Ai replied smoothly, “and no-one- no-one– goes against Anokata.”
Shinichi’s brain instantly latched onto the distraction. “By the way… who is Anokata?”
“I can’t say,” Ai said. He glared at her. “No, don’t start again, I genuinely can’t. I don’t know. I’ve never met him… or her… never spoken with them, only read the occasional email from them about my research. Even Gin and Vermouth speak about Anokata with… well, it’s almost religious reverence. I don’t know who they are or where they live. I don’t know their age, even their gender… nothing.”
“Great,” Shinichi muttered. “Not only am I up against an evil organization searching for semi-mythical jewels and creating weird chemicals in order to obtain immortality, they’re led by a faceless supervillain. Brilliant.”
The Organization works on an ignorance hierarchy,” Ai said, “Each member knows a little about their equals, everything about their inferiors and nothing about their superiors. All I know is that Anokata is merciless. No second chances. Not ever.”
“It’s too much to hope that you’d be willing to come back to America until it all “comes to a head”, isn’t it?” Yukiko sighed.
“I’m in too deep, Kaa-san,” Shinichi said. “There’s no way I can drop this case. Not now. Besides…”
“Yes, we all know why you don’t want to leave Japan,” she giggled. Shinichi blushed again as he avoided the teasing looks of his parents and Haibara. The distinctive sound of an old car’s engine revved up outside.
“That’ll be Hakase with the others,” Ai said, standing up and holding out her hand to Yuusaku for her research papers. “I’d better put these away. You go greet them…”
“Yuu-chan, you’ve not met “Conan-kun’s” friends yet, have you?” Yukiko squealed. “Oh, they’re all so sweet…”
“And actually kids,” Shinichi said, heading for the door, which opened before he reached it. He instantly transformed into Edogawa Conan.
“Guess what, guess what!” he yelled excitedly. “I’m going back to America for Christmas!”
Yuusaku raised an eyebrow as Shinichi was engulfed in his friend’s chatter and complaints. “He’s almost as good as you,” he whispered to Yukiko. “You almost can’t tell that he’s still bottling up the stress.”
Yukiko nodded in agreement. “I think a day out with Ran-chan will be very therapeutic for him.”
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“I’ll be there a little after seven,” Yukiko said. “Goodness, it’ll take me all day to set that mask, I’d better make the base layer tonight… See you, Shin-chan!”
“I’d better walk you home,” Yuusaku said as his wife bounded out of the door. “I’m sure Ran-kun won’t be happy about you coming home alone at this time of night…”
“Yeah, yeah,” Shinichi muttered. “Just give me a minute. I need to apologize to Haibara. I kind of exploded at her the other day…”
He headed down to the lab again as his father disappeared into the foyer. Ai was, worryingly, cleaning a syringe
“See you later, then,” Shinichi said. “By the way, um… gomen. For exploding at you yesterday. I mean, you’re making the antidote and all, and…”
“It’s all right,” she said calmly. “I guess it is about time that I told you the truth, just for once. I guess I owe you it. After all…” she put the needle down, her stoic mask melting slightly into sad. “You… are trying to save my hide. Even though I got you into this mess.”
“Well… I feel like I owe it to your sister, I guess,” Shinichi said, caught a little off-balance. “Anyway… I couldn’t just abandon someone to those bastards.”
“You could have, though,” Ai said, stepping around the desk. “But you hid me and protected me. You didn’t have to, but you did. Kudo-kun… Arigato.” She walked past him, leaving the lab for now, but suddenly, as she passed, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. She kept going without breaking her stride as Shinichi stared after her, red-faced.
“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, not turning back. “I like Ran-san too much. Just… Arigato.”
“Um… okay,” Shinichi said, staring after her, still a little shellshocked.
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Glad that line got a laugh, Sable Katze! ^_-
Ah, I thought you said you HAD seen it, Pretztailfan95. I’m dying to myself, but I don’t want to read spoilers. Somebody sub it in English already! And actually, I personally think they’re kind of square in screwing each others’ lives up. I mean, yeah, the drug has caused Shinichi a lot of pain and suffering, no denying that; but Ai didn’t intend for that, she wasn’t making a poison, and Akemi’s death has caused her an immense amount of pain as well. And while Shinichi can expose and arrest the Syndicate, get an antidote and get his life back, nothing Ai can do can bring Akemi back, ever. Not even Ai can bring back the dead.
Yeah, makes life more fun, doesn’t it, Twilightserius? 😛
Glad I made your homework more fun, Mel7200! Sometimes I really wish I could just see a new chapter of some of my favourite fics turn up… *evil eyes at Urd-chan and Becky Tailweaver*
Yeah, I noticed the monocle, Silver Shadowbreeze. Although I thought it wasn’t a translation, but simply a pun on the fact that “Kuroba” is the Japanese pronunciation of the English word “clover”. I used to think it was an ace of spades, for some reason, until I bought the Tankoban and got a proper look at it. And yeah, I don’t really know for myself how the relationships will develop, but we’ll just see how that goes. Particularly in regards to relationships with Toichi, there’s going to be a lot of flashbacks, and not just from Yuusaku. But I know what’s going to happen between Shinichi and Kaito, and while I haven’t read every fic out there I’m pretty sure it’s a new idea… (I hope it is. Even if I came up with an idea before I read another fic that has it in, I still feel like a plagiarist if I publish that scene or idea in my fic. I was writing a “Kaito Kid vs Lupin III” minific when the special was announced, and I haven’t written on it since. Maybe I should go back and finish that…) There will be no shonen-ai, by the way. Canon pairings only.
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 689, 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 28 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).