Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Revelations ( Chapter 12 )

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

Chapter Twelve
Revelations
“Welcome back, Shinichi!” Agasa said brightly as Shinichi entered the lab. “How did it go?”
“Well, Kid didn’t get away with the jewel, so I suppose it counts as a success,” Yuusaku said, following his son in. “It’s been a long time, Hakase.”
“Yuusaku-kun!” Agasa said in surprise. “Well, it has been a long time. How are you? Are you staying in Japan for long? What about Yukiko-kun?”
“She’s here too, just settling in,” Yuusaku said, reading upside-down some of the blueprints on the professor’s desk. “Since we are planning to stay for a while to… look into a few things. Oh, that reminds me…”
“Oh, yeah!” Shinichi suddenly said, smacking himself on the forehead. “Hakase, have you seen Haibara and Okiya? Separate enquiries.”
“Ai-kun’s down in her lab,” Agasa said. “I think Okiya-san’s around here somewhere, he wanted to borrow a couple of books for his thesis…”
“I found them,” Okiya said, coming through the door on the opposite side of the room with two very thick books under his arm and his nose buried in a third. “Arigato, Hakase. Hmm?” He seemed to first notice Conan and Yuusaku. “Ah, it’s Conan-kun. I saw the Kid heist on the news. They didn’t seem to have realized that the one that exploded was a dummy. He must have escaped into the museum.”
“Yeah, and he escaped right back out again,” Shinichi replied. “Okiya-san, this is Kudo Yuusaku-ojisan. He’s Shinichi-niichan’s Otou-san.”
“Kudo Yuusaku?” Okiya said, arching an eyebrow. “The creator of the Night Baron? I’m honoured.”
“Ojisan, this is Okiya Subaru-san,” Shinichi explained. “He’s a friend of Shinichi-niichan’s, and since his apartment block burned down, Shinichi-niichan was letting him stay at his house until it’s rebuilt… I forgot to tell you, gomen.”
“Ah, I see,” Yuusaku said. “I think he mentioned something about that… I was wondering why the house wasn’t drowning in dust.” He nodded to Okiya. “Nice to meet you, Okiya-san. Yukiko and I will be staying in Japan for a while, but you’re welcome to stay.”
“That would be wonderful,” Okiya said, bowing his head slightly. “Arigato Gozaimasu.”
“Hey, I’m gonna go talk to Haibara-san, all right?” Shinichi said, heading for the lab.
“Don’t take too long,” Yuusaku called after him. “Ran-kun wants you back home before it gets dark, remember.”
“I’m going back to my parents’ over Christmas and New Years’, so I’m sure I won’t be troubling you for long,” Okiya was saying.
“Oh, it’s not trouble,” Yuusaku replied. “We’re returning to America shortly after Sanga-Nichi anyway…”
Their voices faded as Shinichi descended to Ai’s private lab, dedicated solely to APTX 4869 research. Recently, she’d taken to attempting to recreate the drug, and this made her so reluctant to leave her lab that the professor had installed a minifridge and a microwave down there, in addition to the coffee machine and couchbed that Ai used whenever intensive research led to her basically living in the lab. He leaned up for the knob- feeling annoyed that it was a good thing that he only had to lean in comparison to jumping- and went in.
“Welcome back, Kudo-kun,” she said, not looking away from her computer monitor. There were two Baigar bottles under the desk, as well as a number of similar liquors.
In normal people that would look like a drinking problem,” he carefully refrained from saying. Instead, he said, “how’s the research going? Any progress?”
“I’m not sure,” she replied. “Depending on whether my calculations are right or not, I’m either onto something important or something completely irrelevant. Speaking of which…” she hopped down from her computer chair and went over to a drawer, rummaging in it. “There’s only really one way to find out, I guess. We need to find a time to test-run this.”
“You’ve come up with a new antidote!” Shinichi said, perking up. “So what’s this “something important”?”
“Well, if my calculations are right, it should last longer,” Ai said, pulling out a capsule, scrutinizing it, then putting it back and rummaging again. “Anywhere from thirty-six to seventy-two hours. If I’m wrong, it’ll only be about twelve. If we’re going to test-run it, we need a flawless cover plan for “Conan-kun” while we’re at it. After all, you’ll be wanting to spend the whole time with her, won’t you?”
“Well… yeah, of course,” Shinichi said. “If it’s anywhere up to three days, the normal “sleeping over at Agasa-hakase’s” probably won’t work…” he grew quiet, contemplative. The faint murmur of his father and Okiya’s voices drifted down to them, now joined by his mother’s, who had evidently come over to say hello to the professor and was now being introduced to Okiya. He snapped his fingers.
“Kaa-san and Tou-san are going to be here until after New Year’s,” he explained. “And Okiya’s away until after Sanga-Nichi… so maybe…” he realized that, in his excitement, his voice had shot up, and the voices upstairs had stopped, probably listening to him. He lowered his voice to quickly whisper the plan to Ai. She nodded slowly.
“That could work, unless you find some way to screw it up as usual,” Ai said boredly, still trying to locate the correct canister. She had evidently been busy. “Damn… Listen, come back tomorrow with them for a strategy meeting, all right? Let’s have just one trial that goes off without a problem. I may have found the stupid thing by then.”
“All right,” Shinichi said, but he didn’t get up to leave. “One more thing, Haibara. Have you heard of someone called Sake?”
Ai stiffened. The reaction wasn’t as violent as her reaction to Vermouth’s name, but it was unmistakeable.
“So who is he?” Shinichi asked. “More importantly, why’s he set on Kid’s life? I mean, the guy is annoying, but I never imagined that he’d cross paths with the Black Organization…”
“I don’t really… know Sake,” Ai said guardedly. “He was assigned to the same project as me, but a different division. That’s all.”
“So you don’t know what the Pandora is?” Shinichi asked.
The reaction was even more violent than when he’d first brought up Vermouth’s name. She whipped around to stare at him, eyes wide, jaw bouncing off the floor. She didn’t appear to be breathing.
“We saw Sake in Osaka, going after Kid,” Shinichi said. “He said something like “it’s not the Pandora”. I’m not sure what’s not “The Pandora”, although at a running guess I’ll say the ruby. But from the strength of your reaction, I’d say whatever it is is important. So what is Pandora, aside from an excessively nosy mythical woman?”
He didn’t think she was going to answer him. She was silent for the longest time. Finally, with fearful glances at the closed door and ceiling, she whispered, “The project. The one where I was making APTX 4869 in one division and Kid was getting in the way of another- well, sounds like he still is. It’s Project Pandora.”
“One half looking for a drug, another a jewel…” Shinichi said. “I’m afraid I don’t see much of a connection. What’s the aim of the project? I’m taking it that unleashing all of the evils of the world would be taking it too literally, especially since they’re pretty engaged in that anyway.”
“That’s the ultimate Pandora’s Box, Kudo,” Ai said quietly. “I can’t tell you. I can’t…”
For some reason, Shinichi’s temper suddenly spiked. His frustration hadn’t quite released yet, and while he normally didn’t blame Ai for his predicament- after Miyano Akemi’s sad death, he figured they were more or less square in inadvertently screwing up each others’ lives- but suddenly he was furious at her, for landing him in this mess, for keeping him from Ran, for using him as a guinea pig but never, never telling him the truth
“Why not?” he said acidly. “What, is it going to put me in more danger than I’m in right now? I mean, so far, I’m still alive when Gin tried to kill me, and he seems to be the kind of guy who’d hold a grudge about that. I’m hiding probably the only person he wants dead more than me, in addition to being real pally with the FBI. If they found out about me now, I doubt I’d live long enough for them to find out exactly what I know about the Organization, so I suppose that’s really the least of my problems, isn’t it? So is it too much to ask that you tell me the truth, just for once? Or are mere lab rats not allowed to know the purpose of the experiments?”
Ai flinched. Shinichi paused, taking a deep breath. “Please, Haibara. Just level with me. I’m trying to save both our hides here. Please.”
“It’s…” she glanced at the closed door again. Shinichi’s outburst had been pretty loud, and the voices from upstairs had stopped again, but there was no sound of anyone coming down the stairs. She sat down on the couchbed and Shinichi sat next to her, so she didn’t have to speak loudly.
“The Pandora is a jewel, yes,” she almost whispered. “It’s semi-mythical, really… it’s a doublet. You know what that is, yes?”
“A jewel inside a larger jewel,” Shinichi replied. “Of course. Hmmm… That explains a lot about Kid’s heists. Large jewels… but you’d think he wouldn’t go for clear ones… they’re pretty easy to tell when they’re a doublet…”
“Pandora is a special doublet,” Ai explained.”It’s…. this is going to start bizarre and just get worse, I have to warn you…”
“Haibara,” Shinichi said patiently-more patiently than he felt- “ever since that day at Tropical Land, my threshold for bizarre has been very, very high. Out with it.”
“It’s the inner jewel that’s the real Pandora- the outer one’s just sort of… a protective shell,” she explained rapidly. “You can only see Pandora by holding the jewel up to the moonlight. It’ll glow blood red, they say.”
“Are you sure you’re not just feeding me Sailor Moon storylines or something?” Shinichi said. Ai glared at him. “All right, I was warned. So what’s so special about this jewel beyond its strange nocturnal habits?”
“There’s a comet called Pandora as well,” Ai said. “You might have heard about it.”
“Pandora? Oh, yeah!” He said. “I read about it in the paper. Astronomers have predicted that it’s going to pass by the earth sometime next year, and they’re really excited about that because it only passes about every ten thousand years or so…”
“Exactly,” Ai said, “and supposedly, the jewel has an odd reaction to the comet. It… Cries, sort of.”
“Cries?” Shinichi said. “What does it “cry”?”
“I told you that the Prototype Detective wasn’t supposed to be a poison, right?” Ai said, lowering her voice even more. Shinichi had to lean over to hear. He nodded.
“But you never told me what it was meant to be,” he pointed out.
“Well, I’m telling you know,” she said. “It was meant to be an artificial reproduction of “Pandora’s Tears”, and it got closer than any of them expected.”
“You mean the shrinking?” Shinichi said. “Pandora cries midget tears?”
“Technically, Kudo, we didn’t shrink,” Ai said. “We got younger.”
Shinichi’s eyes widened. “Haibara… are you saying… that “Pandora’s Tears”… what Shiyaroku was meant to be… is…”
“The elixir of youth, Kudo,” Ai replied, “immortality.”
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“-can you predict exactly when it’ll pass?
I’m afraid we have nothing specific yet, but we’re sure it’ll happen within the first half of the year. As you can see from our projected path, you’ll want to keep your eyes glued to the skies from about-
Click
So, really, that’s my deadline, isn’t it?” Kaito thought, leaving the blank TV screen behind as he wandered through to the study. “Once that’s out of the way… once they’ve lost their one-in-ten-thousand-year chance… I might just be able to finish them for good…
He paused once in the study, staring up at the gently smiling face of Kuroba Toichi. “Well, they know I’m not you,” he thought, smiling bitterly, “but I don’t know if they know I’m me yet… I’m not giving up on them, but… if it’s going to put Kaa-san and Jii and everyone else I care about in danger… what would you do, Tou-san?
He leaned up and pressed the hidden pressure panel, carefully walking to revolving door all the way around so that, now he was in the room, he was facing the proud smirk of the Kaitou Kid.
Heads and tails… opposite sides of the coin…” he thought. “But in the end, it’s still the same coin, isn’t it?” He dropped the bag that he’d just picked up from Jii on the desk and unzipped it, unpacking his outfit. “I’m not giving up… no matter what. Not now, not ever. I promise.
As he was hanging up the suit, his eye caught the rows of his father’s old heist folders. He’d never really gotten around to reading all of them, especially not the later ones- although, really, he should have read those first, as they were the ones that dealt most with the Syndicate.
Well, don’t suppose I have anything better to do with today,” he thought with a shrug, pulling out one dated from when he was about five. The heists were growing sparser by this point- Toichi had been about to give it up, having apparently decided that, with a wife and small son to support, it was really about time he stopped indulging his inner showboater. As he flicked through the folder, though, there was a sudden sharp increase in heists, practically monthly- mainly around the full moon.
Here we go,” he thought, trying to flick backwards to the point where the pattern changed, but there were no Syndicate notes in this folder- only plans and notes pertaining to the heists. He put it back, running his fingers over the folders as he looked for one likely to contain his father’s Syndicate notes. He paused on one labelled only with a familiar name.
Kudo Yuusaku?” he thought, remembering the ex-sort-of-not-really-Meitantei. “Tou-san was stalking him? Know your enemy, I suppose…
There was a family picture just inside the front of the folder, showing Kudo Yuusaku and Yukiko- he looking visibly younger, her not actually looking that different- holding a small boy who was probably about six in the picture, presumably their son Shinichi. Kaito was looking over his father’s notes when something drew his eye back to the picture. Something about the picture was tugging at the back of his brain. After a long moment, he shook his head and returned to the notes.
They’re cousins, right?” he figured. “Probably just a genetic coincidence… Hell, apparently even we look alike, and we’re not even related
Still, it was going to remain at the back of his mind; the startling physical similarities between the Meitantei Kudo Shinichi and the almost frighteningly keen-minded Edogawa Conan.
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The crystal. The red sun. The falling coin.
The light.
The dream again.
That same dream, every time she closed her eyes for- how long? That was an easy question. Too long, far, far too long. Yet she could feel it coming, pulling ever closer; one chance, one chance that, of missed, would not return for ten thousand long years. But if it wasn’t missed…
Then it would come, it would finally come, after so long. The peaceful sleep. The sleep of eternity…
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And thanks for the kanji, Bobbyneko! (Don’t worry, I’m obsessive about anything even remotely related to Japan 😀 ) I know that one of the gimmicks for Magic Kaito was having colours in the names of all of the characters: “Kuro” as black in “Kuroba”, “Aka” as red in “Akako”, “Ao” as blue in “Aoko”, “Momo” as peach-pink in the surname of Aoko’s friend Momoi Keiko, “Haku” as white in Hakuba Saguru, and “Gin” as silver in Nakamori Ginzo. It is interesting that “Kuroba” means “black feather” when that’s an image that might be better associated with the Syndicate, as they’ve been associated with crows or ravens more than once. And then there’s Konosuke Jii, who I don’t think has a colour in his name but is in a pun anyway, simply because his name is actually “Jii” 😛
It makes me really happy to hear that my story’s in character with the manga. I love the manga, and I wanted to make this fic an appropriate tribute. I decided early on that there was no way I was making Shinichi and Kaito related- Like I said, I’m keeping faithful to the manga, and it’s been established therein that the only relationship between Yukiko and Toichi was teacher and pupil and friends, not in-laws or blood relatives. I have other reasons for them looking so alike. And you’re right, look-alikes aren’t uncommon (the most prime recent example being the Conan vs Lupin III special, where Ran and the princess look identical), so it would be a little strange to expect that they’re related just because they look similar. Becky Tailweaver pulled it off alright, but her fic was written a few years ago and it’s since been rendered pretty much impossible by the manga. I’m sure mine will be as well, of course, in due time. If it turns out I’m right, I’m demanding royalties. >_>
And yeah, I’ll never do “Murray the explainer,” mainly because long blocks of information bore me, and it gives me a chance to play characters off of each other. I liked getting to use Hakuba and Hattori together, since they’re so often total opposites. But I think they could be friends. I’ll see how they develop. (I have a good outline for the fic’s story, but the development of character relationships is something I want to let grow on its own.)
No, I’ve not seen movie 13, but I’m dying too. I may have to wait until someone subs it on YouTube, though. I’m currently downloading unsubbed clips from the Conan vs Lupin III special to see if I can understand what’s going on, but I’m still not fluent so I’m going to need to get myself subbed clips at some point. Don’t you DARE tell me what happens, or you’re the next murder victim! 😛
I’ll keep up the great writing if you keep up the great reviewing! <3
Thanks also to Mel7200 and Pretztailfan. I think Kaito’s going to be surprised by the detectives in time…
I see your grin, Silver Shadowbreeze, but it’s a long way off…
And I think you may be surprised on what Ran decides, Twilightserius. But just remember that my fics have a tendency to have a lot more angst than fluff, so if I write any fluff (which I will- I have to practice, since it’s not one of my strong suits) then you can be rest assured that a truckload of angst is on its way…
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).
Ambiguity
Plan A