Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ The Grim Shadow ( Chapter 63 )

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

Chapter Sixty-Three
The Grim Shadow
“There’s something wrong with all of this,” Hakuba said, slamming his hand down on the desk, the bullet in the bag rattling against the wood, “And I know just what it is.”
Five of them were gathered in the little study; Hakuba, Nakamori, Megure, Jodie and Yuusaku. Each of them wasn’t quite sure why at least one of the others was present, aside from that the Syndicate had to be stopped and they had a running chance at it.
“What is that?” Jodie asked in surprise.
“The bullet that killed my father,” Hakuba said. His voice was a little rougher than usual, and there was an unusual fire in his eyes, an anger unseen in the usually composed kokosei-tantei.
“This doesn’t look like a sniper bullet…” Nakamori said, picking up the bag and examining the bullet.
“How did you get that?” Megure said in surprise. “Deceased’s son or not, I don’t imagine that they’d let you wander in and start taking away evidence…”
“I can guess who did,” Yuusaku said at the odd, pinched look on Hakuba’s face, “and if we’re going to work each other, that means trusting each other- and that means occasionally not asking how each other gets things.”
“I can live with that,” Nakamori said understandingly, handing the bag to Megure.
“Nakamori-kun’s right, it’s not a sniper bullet,” Megure said in surprise.
“It’s not,” Hakuba said sternly. “I talked to a prime witness. Only one of the three sniper bullets went into Chichi-ue’s office- here’s the other two.” He dropped another bag onto the desk. “That bullet smashed the glass, Chichi-ue and Yamashiro returned fire… then this bullet found its way into Chichi-ue’s head.”
“Then you’re saying that someone else shot your father- not the sniper,” Yuusaku summarised.
“Another one of Them…” Jodie said.
“But forensics said that it was a sniper bullet,” Nakamori said.
“Then the forensics guy who examined the bullet is one of Them,” Jodie snapped.
“Hold on a minute…” Megure said, pulling out his gun and ejecting the bullets. “Look…” He held up his bullet and the one in the bag. “This is a standard-issue bullet… a cop fired this.”
“And the only other cop in that room,” Hakuba said, almost snarling, “Was Yamashiro Yuuta. The new Superintendant General of the Tokyo Met.”
“He’s-?!” Nakamori said in surprise.
“I warned you that this went high,” Yuusaku said quietly. “Lucky this is as high as it goes…”
“What do you mean?” Megure said. “How do you know that they aren’t even higher? Kami, what if the Commissioner-?!”
“He’s not,” Yuusaku said. “Think about it. They had people higher to repeatedly warn you to stop investigating, Nakamori-kun, and Sato-kun and Takagi-kun too. They only went after Sato-kun and Takagi-kun because they openly ignored those warnings. If they had anyone higher up to demand that your father pull out of his investigations, then they would have done that first. But no such warning was received, was it?”
“No,” Hakuba said. “Chichi-ue had the Commissioner’s backing.”
“Exactly,” Yuusaku said. “They have no-one higher. That was why, for their aims to succeed… your father had to die.”
“But now They have control of the Tokyo Met!” Megure said.
“They don’t have control of the entire Japanese police force,” Yuusaku said. “And like Hakuba-kun said, they don’t have the Commissioner. We take this evidence to the Commissioner and we can strike against Yamashiro. They don’t know that anyone thinks that anyone other than the sniper killed the Superintendant. This gives us an advantage. We get the Commissioner’s blessing to strike against Yamashiro, then we search and seize his house. That’ll allow us to find out who else is in the Tokyo Met, possibly even more. Because someone that they’d trust with this much power won’t be low-ranking scum like the rest.”
“Are those brains a family talent?” Jodie muttered, but she was smiling. “I’ll call James, we’ll get FBI information in as well. This one guy might have some valuable information…”
“We need to do it tomorrow or the day after, though,” Yuusaku said. “Before the heist on the 25th. They’ll have plans… They want Kid dead too. And I have little doubt that they’ll use the heist as an excuse not only to get Kid… but anyone else there who’s a problem for them. Nakamori-kun, Hakuba-kun…”
“They’re not getting us without a fight,” Nakamori growled. “We strike them first, then… Kid can fly for all I care. He’ll always be back, he can’t resist the limelight… and he won’t kill anyone to do it.”
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“Akako-sama?” the youkai asked, stepping aside to let the witch sweep past.
“Dammit!” she seethed. “Nothing! Hakuba-kun must be right- it’s a pure oral tradition, kept up by an eyewitness…” she lay down on her bed, lighting a sickly black candle. “Then I need to get into that eyewitness’ head to find out what and where it is- and how to destroy it.” She ignored the youkai servant’s questions, closing her eyes as the candle lit.
She had been shocked to feel death so near- in Hakuba Saguru’s household, of all places. And Death hadn’t left yet. He still had jobs lined up locally.
But these thoughts faded as she fell asleep…
Akako floated in the void. She didn’t know quite where she was, floating around a small red sun. There were shadows around her, but every so often they would flit off- or be pulled off- into the shadows beyond the little orb of light around the sun. But nothing pulled Akako, and it was warm and comfortable near the sun, so she couldn’t be bothered leaving.
After a time, though, she was alone, and it grew a little too warm. She shifted backwards, away from the heat, but it only grew hotter, brighter, burning and blinding her. Suddenly, the darkness was cool and inviting, but when she tried to reach it, she was blocked by a crystal cage. Akako floated all over, battering at the cage with her fists, but it was all around, unbreakable, keeping her near the sun. Then she looked up.
Far above, slowly falling down, was a silver coin. It turned over and over as it fell, heads on both sides. As it fell, it span faster and faster, until the heads merged into one, and it just kept turning faster, warping and changing as it fell. The faces faded as the coin warped into the shape of a bullet, shooting towards the cage.
It crashed through the crystal cage, curiously soundless- not so much as a tinkle as it silently smashed the cage apart. It fell past the sun and warped back into a coin, shining bright, illuminating the darkness. pushed the burning red sun away, willing it to be consumed by darkness, feeling herself being consumed by the coolness. But the coin would be consumed too! Darkness was pressing in around the light…
Then there was another light.
A figure flew past, formed of whiteness, of light, like an angel. She reached out, taking the shining coin in her hands, and held it close, smiling so beautifully. She and the coin shone, and lights shone everywhere, little lights, lonely lights, but as they pulled together, orbiting around the angel and the coin, their lights were enough to obliterate the darkness entirely, and ravens screamed and cawed as they died…
Then the dream changed. A voice said “and they all lived happily ever after,” as if reading a story, and it was a familiar voice, Akako knew…
Akako awoke.
She gasped, breathing heavily for a moment as the dream ran through her head. The black candle, half-burned, had split in two. She ran her hand through her hair, combing out some of the long purple strands, staring at the candle.
“That dream,” she said. “The full dream. The prophecy… but how?”
“Akako-sama, are you all right?” the youkai said worriedly. “It was several minutes after the candle snapped before you woke up…”
“What?” Akako said in surprise. The candle allowed her to tap into others’ dreams. When the candle snapped… that must have been when the dream changed. Then the last part, the voice…
“That was my own dream?” she said, bewildered. But it had been no prophecy. It had been more like… a memory…
“But I have no memories,” she whispered. “I abandoned them…”
“You know the price to regain your memories, Akako-sama,” the youkai said warningly. “You made your choice.”
Yes…” Akako thought, staring at the scars on her wrist. “When even suicide failed… Lucifer gave me a way out and I chose it. But that a memory tried to return through a dream… do I know something about the blood jewel? Did I? Whatever it was, it is gone, and to regain it… would cost me everything… but…
She remembered Kuroba Kaito’s face, staring down at his father’s grave, and Hakuba Saguru’s pale face as he told them that his father was dead, and Aoko sitting at home all alone, and the faces on the angel and on the coin…
For… them… Even if it cost me everything… If it would save them…
She tipped her head back, staring at the ceiling, resisting the tears which fought to come. It was not time for that decision.
Not yet.
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“I wonder about taking a temporary antidote,” Ai said, showing Shinichi some strains that he’d taken before. “Being back in your own body might be conducive to regaining your memories… but we’ll need to watch our timing, there’s too much going on right now for daytripping.”
“Right…” Shinichi said, reading some of her APTX notes. Yuusaku and Ai had spent most of the day telling him about the Syndicate, or as much as they knew; he now knew most of what had known before about the Syndicate, but it was knowledge, not memories. And he still didn’t know everything that he’d known before. He felt that there were some things that he had probably kept secret, things that he had hidden even from those closest to him.
After all,” he thought, staring at his reflection on Ai’s dark computer screen, “I even hid this.
“What do you plan to do until then?” Ai asked.
“I might go to Saguru-niichan… to Hakuba’s father’s funeral. I want to go to the Kid heist, too… I want to talk to this guy.”
“Throwing yourself straight back into it, huh?” Ai said, with the tiniest of smiles. “How like you.”
“Hey, I am still me, even if I’m not always certain who that is,” Shinichi responded. “How can I let these guys get away?”
“You can’t,” Ai sighed. “That’s who you are… whatever you call yourself. That’s what’s so special about you, you know… it inspires people.”
“What?” Shinichi said, looking up at her.
“Haven’t you noticed?” Ai said. “The people fighting the Organization… or capable of fighting it- seem to draw to you. And in your absence… they joined together. They came together because of you… they have the Organization on the run because of you.”
“I haven’t really done anything except get myself in a ton of trouble,” Shinichi grumbled.
“You’ve done more for the fight against the Organization than anyone really knows… most of all you, at the moment,” Ai said. “On top of that… you’re like a catalyst for the fall of the Organization. The balance was going to tip one way or another, by the time the comet comes this year… and with a few strikes, you managed to tip it from being in the Organization’s favour to being against.”
“Comet?” Shinichi said.
“The Pandora,” Ai said. “The jewel that Kid is after. If They don’t get the jewel by the time the comet comes… it’s all over. I’m not sure why, but… you see? The greatest blow we can strike against them, the worst we can hurt them… may not even require us to do anything at all.” She looked him in the eye, smiling a little. “Changing the world doesn’t necessarily mean one person doing a huge thing, Kudo-kun. It can be lots of people doing little things. It adds up, like drops of water… until you have a river cutting through a mountain, or a tidal wave washing away a town. The Organization will rise or fall within the next few months, and either trend will be irreversible… all it will take to turn the tide is those drops going against the flow. And all because of you.”
“Haibara…” Shinichi said, staring at her. “You know… that’s a beautiful sentiment for someone who claims to only be an agent of darkness.”
Ai blushed. “You’ve been telling me that for two years, Kudo. I can’t change what I am…”
“It’s all little drops, Haibara,” Shinichi said with a smile. “Like you said… it can wear even you down.”
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Heiji stared at the two sketches, trying to make sense of them. He knew he should probably sleep, but the sketches wouldn’t get off of his mind, and anyway they’d be driving for several hours tomorrow; plenty of time to nap then. So instead he stared at the sketches, almost willing their meaning to come to him.
Eta meant little more to him than Veta had. “Seventh letter a’ the Greek alphabet, also the Greek number eight… does that mean anythin’? Lead ta the Latin H… Egyptian Tourist Authority, Electronic Travel Authority, Estimated Time a’Arrival, Eric the Actor… it was all in uppercase, but that don’t mean it’s an acronym, it coulda just been easier ta carve… it probably ain’t calculus or particle physics either, and Kudo ain’t the type ta slag the Burakumin… doubt it’s a german glider… Eta Carinae, maybe?” It was possible. Just after he’d been found, Kudo had gotten absorbed in a news item on morning TV about some comet that was going to pass earth for the first time in a good few millennia; he hadn’t been able to explain why, other than that “it seems really interesting, and kind of familiar…” Ran had said that he must have seen it on TV at some point (Heiji had seen him use the “it was on TV” excuse more than once), but he’d ignored articles about the comet before. Had some clue to do with astronomy come up while he was kidnapped? Eta Carinae was a highly luminous hypergiant double star. V was a luminous hypergiant…
Prob’ly a metaphor fer somethin’,” Heiji snorted. “It’s a code, after all, it ain’t gonna be straightforward… is V Vermouth? Seems kinda straightforward fer him, especially considerin’ how confusin’ the other halfa it is… ya could say that `e was just panicked over whatever th’ hell was happenin’ that made him lose `is memories, but a, that just ain’t Kudo, an’ b, both halves woulda still been consistent… so either Eta means somethin’ really simple, maybe somethin’ about Greek, or V means somethin’ way more complicated… either way, I’m missin’ bits a’ the puzzle.
He looked at the photo of the other sketch that Kudo had made. It was sloppy, and seemed to have been wiped over in places, like Kudo’s hand was unsteady when he’d drawn it. If not injured, then…? But Heiji pushed those thoughts and images aside, forcing himself to focus on the image.
A monocle surroundin’ a doublet…” he thought, frowning as he stared at the image. “Does it mean Kid? Kid’s after this doublet? But the jewel’s drawn funny… those lines… are they facet lines, or cracks?
He rubbed his forehead, trying not to stare at his tiny hands. “Damn, Kudo… ya got a twisted mind, great fer solvin’ codes, but when it comes down ta makin’ the damn things, ya just don’t take us mere mortals inta account, do ya? Ya better get yer memory back soon, so I can find out what the hell is goin’ on…
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Heiji, Conan and… no Kaito yet. Well, two out of three, FHP2208 ^_-
Hmm, who WILL I kill in the final battle, HikariPachi…? *muahahahaha* anyways, yeah… swings and roundabouts. Of course, if Yamashiro knew that anyone suspected him… the reactions are for next time ^_-
You’re welcome, Sunny Lighter XD
Umm…. No I didn’t, Pretztailfan95. That pill was a cyanide capsule that the shooter took to avoid getting caught… Takagi’s alive, calm down! XD Yeah, I can see LinkG07 suing me. “and your legal right to these characters is….?” XD reactions are next time…
Conan is here, Kolidescope! Yes, epicness is happening… and shall increase…
Slowly but surely, FaithlessGirl…
*Joins topaz-tantei’s happy fan dance* I’m happy to be finishing this behemoth… and after reading through Dragon-sama’s “Chatty Plunnies”. Mostly KaiShin, which isn’t normally my thing, but they’re just too funny to miss… </shamless plug> XD anyways… XD small world, eh? Small world with good music… XD When Conan gets his memory back, the BO are SO in for it…
I nearly died without my fanfic, KageNoNeko… without Dragon-sama and Koorii emailing me plunnies I would have gone into withdrawal… XD the joys of thick padding, eh? XD
You spelled it right, Marie Ravenclaw, and yeah, Nakamori-keibu’s dub name really is the worst… who knows what Vermouth wants? A sequel? Frankly, I think this one’s too long to necessitate one… but it ends with kids, so you never know… I might do a few oneshots of them a few years down the line…
I originally heard of it there, JapaneseAnimeFreak16, then looked it up on Wikipedia to find out more… I’ll share my cookies if it’ll KEEP `EM AWAY FROM ME… XDXD I think Kazuha wants the monopoly on the chibi Heiji… XD Kaito is ALIVE! Wait… WHAT?! You ARE evil! :O XD as evil as you? XD I had to give them a little kawaiiness in exchange for nearly killing him… 😛
Yeah, everything crashed, DiGi T_T glad it all works now… they haven’t died… yet…
Probably, HaibaraDaiFan XD tragedy happens, quite a lot at this point… take it as an inspiration to WRITE! XD I’m glad they left ya alone. Stupid attackers! DIE! XD… so many reasons to be glad ^_^ DAILY AWESOME! XD
Like I said, Mel72000, fluff and death…
I think Hakuba deserves a laugh now, don’t you, Desperatembrace? 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 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).
The Darkest Hour