Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ The Basket ( Chapter 77 )

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

Chapter Seventy-Seven
The Basket
“Just stupid kids,” Chianti muttered irritably, staring at the computer screen. “Visiting a friend of theirs or something, I guess… no sign of anything or anyone going in or out, though.”
“The Mori family are there now, though,” Kir commented. “They’re putting all their eggs in one basket, we could just bomb the place….”
“Anokata has discarded that option,” Gin said coldly. “If the Kaitou Kid is there, he may well have the jewel there somewhere… and we cannot risk destroying it.”
Kir so dearly wanted to ask why, what this jewel was, but she didn’t dare. In the Syndicate, if you needed to know something, you were told it. Asking stupid questions only made you suspicious.
And despite the fact that they’d lost another sniper last night- and Bourbon to boot, which was a blow- Gin still would not hesitate to blow away anyone he regarded as untrustworthy.
She sighed and returned to monitoring the three children’s conversation as they left.
… cousin’s really tan, though, isn’t he? They don’t look alike at all…
My cousin and me don’t look alike…
My cousin and I, Genta-kun…
Gin just watched the transcripts unreadably.
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“I thought as much,” Ai said, unwrapping the pullover in the bag to find the large diamond nestled in it. “You were trying to get the jewel in without the Organization knowing?”
“Yes,” Yuusaku said, taking the diamond and turning it, examining it. “Although they’ll probably assume that it’s in here anyway. We’ll check it tonight.”
“So when are… oneechan and her parents getting here?” Ai asked. She was still tentative about calling Ran “oneechan”, but it was oddly comforting at the same time. She’d nearly had a heart attack when she’d heard that the Mori Detective Agency had been blown up.
“In a short while,” Yuusaku said. “I’ll be going out to meet them… I’ll take this next door in the process. In fact…” He glanced out of the window, to where a police car was pulling up in front of the Kudo home. “They’ll be staying here for a couple of days… they’re planning to move us all out to a safer locale in America, you see. You too, Ai-kun. I don’t know about you, Hakase…”
“I think I’d prefer to go with Ai-kun,” Agasa said, standing to follow them out to greet the car. Ai pulled on a baseball cap, tucking her hair into it and pulling it low over her face as they went out.
“Glad to see you’re all safe,” Yuusaku called. “Close one, eh?”
“We need to tell you something,” Ran said, very pale. “Quickly!” She hurried into the Kudo house. Yuusaku and Kogoro exchanged looks, Yuusaku’s of confusion, Kogoro simply stern.
“Oneechan?” Ai asked, following her in.
“Ai-chan…” Ran suddenly knelt down and hugged her. “To think… there’s been one of Them so near you…”
“What do you mean?” Agasa asked.
“We’ll tell you inside,” Ran insisted.
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Kaito was tapping the headrest of the bed impatiently. He was not a boy who took well to boredom at the best of times, and being bedridden for days was not helping. Kudo would no longer walk past his room unless absolutely necessary for fear of having his hair dyed strange colours- or worse.
“So what’s the freak-out about?” he asked as Kudo, Hattori and Ai all popped up onto the foot of his bed. Agasa, Kazuha, Yukiko and Yuusaku were all gathered in the room, along with the Mori family, on the basis that Kaito couldn’t move yet and whatever it was probably concerned him.
“First things first- is this the real one? Please say yes,” Yuusaku said, drawing the diamond from a paper bag and tossing it to Kaito. He examined it closely.
“Yep, that’s the one,” he confirmed. “We’ll check it out tonight.” He promptly vanished the jewel, a move he was particularly proud of pulling off without sleeves. “So what’s item B?”
“I’m not certain,” he said. “Ran-kun…”
“It’s about the snipers who tried to take us out when we got out of the agency alive,” she said, “The police removed two bodies…”
“Somebody killed them?” Kudo said in surprise.
“Yeah,” Kogoro said, “but the thing is, when I first went up there, when the bullets stopped, there was only one body. But the police found two up there when they went a few minutes later.”
“Are ya sure ya didn’t overlook one?” Hattori said suspiciously.
“I wondered if I did, but an autopsy confirmed that the second one’s actually been dead a couple of months,” Kogoro said. “His body was preserved somehow- it was absolutely freezing, so they think it was stolen from a morgue or something- and then dumped there to look like a sniper.”
“Odd lengths to go to,” Yuusaku mused.
“The thing is, the older body…” Ran said with a gulp, “was Okiya-san.”
Agasa, Ai and Yukiko all suddenly paled. Hattori and Kazuha stared blankly, waiting for some clarification of who “Okiya” was, and Kaito and Kudo exchanged identical looks before going “Who?”
“Okiya Subaru,” Agasa explained. “A student who was living nearby until his flat burned down… you’d let him stay here, Shinichi-kun, until it was rebuilt… he left to see relatives at New Year and hasn’t been back since…”
“That’s the thing though,” Ran said. “The autopsy suggested that he’d been dead about three months…”
“So just who has been living here for two months?” Ai said faintly.
“From the sounds of it, whoever killed and replaced the real Okiya-san,” Eri mused. “Probably a Syndicate member… they had no more need to pretend to be Okiya-san, for whatever reason, so they dumped his body with the sniper, so we’d think he was the second sniper…”
“But there was no second sniper,” Kogoro snapped. “So why would they…?”
“Unless the second sniper was the one that killed the first,” Yuusaku said quietly. “If the Syndicate had dispatched two snipers, if the second killed the first and fled, if they left the body so that it would seem that two snipers were killed…”
“We’re still without reason or motive for any of this,” Kogoro sighed.
“We’ll find out when we arrest the bastards,” Kaito said. “The FBI and police are preparing to strike, right?”
“Within the week, I believe,” Yuusaku confirmed. “Although we’re all supposed to be well out of here by then…”
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Jodie examined the body curiously. It showed definite signs of being kept in a proper morgue, but why…?
She touched one of the blond locks. It was darker at the end. “Black hair dye…?
Her mobile rang. “Moshi moshi?”
Jodie! It’s Andre. Listen, the department’s decided that we’ll move them commercially, in disguise, since it’s just too risky to move them all on the one private plane, it’ll make them easier to track and if they can damage the one plane…
“Good plan,” Jodie said. “Nice to hear from you again, by the way. I was starting to wonder if you’d crashed or something…”
Huh?
“Well, you never reported in after driving Gin and Vodka away the other day…”
…what are you talking about?”
“Gin and Vodka, Andre,” Jodie said, starting to get irritated. “In Beika, three days ago. Remember?”
Jodie, I haven’t been in Japan since last year. I’ve been running traces in America. I wasn’t in Japan three days ago, let alone in Beika…
“But…” Jodie felt her blood run cold. “But… how…? I saw you… how…”
I don’t know. But it wasn’t me.
Jodie hung up numbly. Whoever it was had nodded when she’d called Andre’s name; they weren’t just some passing driver who happened to look like Andre, and they had his driving skills too. Of the only living people with those disguise skills, she knew, one was bedridden and had been hidden inside throughout the whole encounter, and the other had come running out of the Kudo house just as the 4×4 was turning the corner. It wasn’t them.
Who else could have those disguise skills?” she thought. “It couldn’t be her… why would she help us? Anyway, she’s dead… Kir saw it… she’s…
She tried not to think about the fact that no body was ever found.
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“Nothing…” Akako dropped the book with a sigh. She must have borrowed the entire libraries of every witch she knew, but… nothing.
“It really does seem to be a pure oral tradition…” Hakuba muttered. He’d been joining her in her library searches these days, intent on finding something on the Pandora or Amnesial.
“Do you ever plan to go home?” Akako said, glancing at the clock.
“I probably should,” Hakuba sighed. “Forgive me for imposing.”
“You don’t seem too comfortable with going home,” Akako said perceptively.
“It’s nothing,” Hakuba said. He caught her searching glare and sighed again. “It’s just… Haha-ue’s taken over the house, and with Chichi-ue dead she’s deeply convinced that I need to start thinking about finding a good wife, since I’ll be graduating soon…”
“By “good wife” she means…” Akako said, with unusual rancour.
“The daughter of some police chief, probably,” Hakuba sighed. “She’s even threatened me with an O-miai, Kami help me… When I was living with her in England, she was forever dragging me to her high-society do’s… all very stiff and formal… pleasant enough, I suppose, but just so cold. I guess that was one of the reasons I came back here… intent to catch Kuroba aside, there’s just so much less pressure, since Chichi-ue hardly ever noticed whether I was in the country or not. And I’m not sure I’m really interested in those doll-daughters that my mother’s friends like to dress up and parade at parties anyway.” He glanced over at Akako with a weak chuckle. “I mean, you’re more real than most of those girls, and Kami only knows what you are…”
“Kami doesn’t want to know,” Akako joked lightly. “Well, if you intend to camp out in the library instead of returning to your mother’s grasp, at least try to sleep at some point. There are plenty of spare rooms.”
“That’s very gracious of you,” Hakuba said softly. “I’m just… I can’t handle Haha-ue right now.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Akako said. She turned to another book, catching her reflection in its mirrored cover.
You don’t know, Hakuba-kun,” she thought, staring at herself, at her perfect, beautiful, frozen face. “I am not real. My magic… perhaps it is not so different from Kuroba-kun’s. I, too, am deceiving the world… including myself. And I enjoy it. Except…
She glanced over at Hakuba, who was poring over an original copy of the Malleus Maleficarum. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, struggling through the old German. He was working so hard for his friends, to make the world safe for them…
But she could save him all that labour, all that worry. All it took was a single tear.
That’s all…” she thought, crossing her arms over her chest, as if holding the thought in. “All… it could destroy me… If I explained that to him, what it would do, would he understand? To forget that pain…
But Kudo Shinichi did not want to forget. Though much of what he had to remember frightened, confused and hurt him, he remembered. He was still fighting to remember, so he could return to those who loved him.
Perhaps that was why she hadn’t told anyone of what she could know, what she could remember. Because the second she said it aloud, she would know her answer. Making the decision real would decide it.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said softly, staring down unseeingly at the book.
“Koizumi-san?” Hakuba asked.
“I…” Akako shook her head. “It’s nothing. It’s my problem, I’ll deal with it somehow, I just… don’t know what to do about it…”
“Then perhaps you shouldn’t do anything,” Hakuba said. “If you don’t have to do anything yet… don’t. Perhaps a time will come when you must, but hopefully, by then… you’ll know what you have to do.”
“Yes…” Akako said distantly. “What I have to do… for the people who won’t let go… to become real…
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“How are you feeling, Wataru?” Miwako asked.
“I feel fine, really,” Wataru insisted. He still blushed cutely whenever she used his name. “It was only one clean shot and some scrapes, not too much blood loss, no serious damage… I’m doing fine, Sato- ah, Miwako.”
“Good,” she sighed. “I’m sorry, I can’t stay long, I’m staking out the Kudo’s for a few nights, starting the day after tomorrow…”
“Watching out in case the Syndicate comes for them?” Wataru asked. “I gather there’s a lot of people that They want dead in there…”
“And out here,” Miwako said softly, squeezing his hand. Despite his insistences, he wouldn’t be leaving the hospital for a while, and she had been visiting him often, mostly discussing what was happening and how close they’d both come to getting killed in the past month. Forget being on Death’s door, they’d been playing ding-dong-dash with the bastard. “We’re guarding the Kudo’s the night of the strikes, but…”
“I know,” Wataru said with a wince, remembering Nakamori-keibu’s descriptions of the massacre at the Kid heist. “They’re not going to bother with subtlety any more. The only time they show their faces is when they know you won’t live to describe them…”
“They haven’t got us yet,” Miwako said, leaning over to kiss him. He kissed her back, the fear from when the bullets had started to fly returning; the fear that by the time the fat lady’s solo started, there’d be blood all over the stage.
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I think the next chapter’s out tomorrow, Marie Ravenclaw. Can’t wait! 🙂
They’re safe for now, KageNoNeko…
I kill them off one by one, MimzSilver. Just like the characters XD Akai or Vermouth, hmm? Both dead people, I note XD
Yeah, it’s Shiratori Ninzaburo and Kobayashi Sumiko, Pretztailfan95. The Syndicate strike again! You too with the dead people XD Lucky Takagi’s already in hospital, his heart’s liable to jump when Sato tells him… XD Some people have strange, strange brains XD (I’m even using it as punctuation now :P) That is awesome too, but the one who’s REALLY better than Chuck Norris is, of course, Morgan Freeman! He’s God and Lucius Fox, after all. He’s the only one who could contain so much awesomeness XD It’s sweet how Shiratori’s getting wound so fast around Kobayashi’s little finger XD Kaito cannot be categorized. He defies all laws of normality XDXD Poor Akemi… never has one person’s death caused so much trouble since Archduke Franz Ferdinand XD You can hear him crying in the anime, but I don’t think he does in the manga…
Congratulations, SunniNiko XD I’m glad you like it and took the time to read it! I think I mentioned this in past ANs, but for the purposes of plot I went with the manga canon over the anime canon on the issue of how much Kaito knows about Conan. In the manga, Aoyama-sensei stated, Kid doesn’t know how Shinichi and Conan are related. It was only a slightly overused movie gimmick. Arigato Gozaimasu! There’s plenty more to come ^_-
Kaito’s already had a go at me, HikariPachi… noooo, keep Gin off of my computer! DX If HE appeared onscreen, I think I’d load up my long-unused Sims2 game just so I could boolprop his ass… XD (death by flies or death by cold? Which is more embarrassing? Although burning him would be so poignant XD) The convenience of narrative imperative… well, there was Okiya, sort of… XD
Wh-what? But I replied to you, HaibaraDaiFan! It was near the end, but it’s there! T_T I’d never really planned for a hugely dramatic meeting, not in this fic. There’s plenty of other drama going down, as you can see XD
Don’t, FHP2208! I kill too many characters to start killing reviewers too! XD I’ve sucked everyone in here… Kogoro can live without his alcohol… I think it’s easier for him now that Eri’s back. No need for depression behaviours ^_^
Dou Itashimashite, Fireline ^_- The government could make a fortune out of Yukiko’s traffic fines XDXD I, erm… actually did no research whatsoever XD I once read an article about how movie explosions are impossible in real life, and that’s about it. Japanese buildings are very flexible to withstand earthquakes, but I figured it would probably crumble if the ground-floor walls were blown out. Did it sound realistic? ^_^; Whoops! Typo alert! XD I’m not sure whether to be flattered that it took you so long to find an error or nervous that you were looking at all… XD I’ve still not gotten any of the Lupin books, I have to buy them off of Amazon to read them and I have no moneeee DX I really want to read more… I wonder. Kaito supposedly travelled a lot as a child and could well have been born abroad, which might be why he doesn’t display so much nationalism… But then, OTT nationalism isn’t valued so much these days either, so Aoyama-sensei may have consciously avoided that trait.
It’s there, TwilTye! (was there a glitch in the uploading of the chapter?) Yeah, I think I have just about everybody in… even Eisuke’s going to pop up at one point, although he’s about the only one I haven’t figured into the main storyline… I forgot entirely about him! How could I? DX
Endless drama, Kayla Edogawa! XD Akai’s name hasn’t come up because he’s notionally dead… If you have both Shinichi and Kaito as your enemies, I guarantee that it is all over XD Would you really be sad if Gin died? XD I think Shinichi’s tantei-senses would kick in telling him to RUN… XDXD Aoko would own all with a sword in hand XD Tell your grandparents happy birthday and happy anniversary from me ^_-
I’d say something more sinister, DiGi…
Hilarious wasn’t quite the intended reaction, Desperatembrace, but good for you XDXD II’m back to school as well and it SUCKS! DX
No it is not, StargateNerd…
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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