Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ The Line Of Enquiry ( Chapter 26 )

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

Chapter Twenty-Six
The Line of Enquiry
Still nothing,” Miwako sighed, flopping down in a chair at the same desk where Yumi, who was in the 1st division office out of solidarity, was going over traffic reports. “Where’s Takagi-kun?”
“He went to get coffee,” Yumi said. “Mizuhashi Riko’s appeals finally ended, so apparently you guys are going to have to redraft the final report…”
Great,” Miwako sighed, thumping her head down on the desk. To her surprise, a cup of coffee was set down half an inch in front of her eyes a minute later.
“No luck, Sato-san?” Takagi asked, sitting down at a computer nearby. Miwako just shook her head as she sipped her coffee. She sighed happily. “One part water to two parts sugar and ninety-seven parts caffeine… the perfect copper’s coffee.” She was drawn out of her happy reawakening when Takagi groaned loudly. “Takagi-kun?”
“Heather-san’s trial needs a copy of the report…” he sighed. “We haven’t even finished the departmental copy…”
“And the legal copy needs to be a little different from the departmental report,” Miwako groaned. “How about you do that while I redo the Mizuhashi Riko report? I’ll need to reread the old notes on that, I can’t believe it dragged on for so long…”
“Good plan,” Takagi agreed, clicking away at the keyboard. Miwako sighed and set to her own keyboard. Her thoughts drifted off midway through the report, however- around about the time that the names Hattori Heiji and Kudo Shinichi appeared on-screen.
Weird kids,” she thought. “Never heard such fast, minute reasoning… and it worked, that’s the annoying thing. Two amateurs… teenagers… massively upstaged the police! It was like they only needed us there to provide handcuffs! Who were they, anyway? Normal teenagers, if they found a dead body, they’d freak. Normal anyone, come to that. But straight away, they closed off the highway and located the suspects. Who are they? And who is it that they remind me of..?
“Ah, Sato-san?” Takagi said. Miwako jumped. Her hands had kept typing while her mind drifted off, and her report was finished- and so, from the looks of it, was Takagi’s.
“Y-yeah?” she said, a little disoriented by the jerk back to reality. “I’ll be done in a moment…”
“Um, I think there’s one thing you need to change,” he said nervously. “Kudo-kun’s been asking us to keep his name out of the reports lately… if you could just put everything down to Hattori-kun…”
“Sure, I guess,” Miwako said in surprise, going back through the document to erase any mention of Kudo. “But why?”
Takagi shrugged. “I don’t know. Neither does Megure-keibu. Ever since that rollercoaster satsujin jiken, though, he’s begged us to keep quiet whenever he’s involved. He doesn’t seem to mind that the newspapers are trading rumours of his death. He occasionally calls in with odd instructions or requests, as well. I think he’s on some kind of case, but what exactly it is no-one seems to know.”
“Really?” Miwako said in surprise. “Ah… there’s the report. Finally! Want to go grab some ramen?”
“Sure,” Takagi said with a grin. “Yumi-san left while you were dozing off, by the way.”
“Oh, right.” Miwako yawned and grabbed her coat. “I have to admit, seeing Kudo-kun and Hattori-kun at work was… interesting. Have you worked with then a lot? You took his word pretty fast.”
“Well, I’ve not seen a lot of Hattori-kun,” Takagi admitted, “but he’s a lot like Kudo-kun, and I’ve worked with Kudo-kun a lot. Megure-keibu knows him pretty well. His father is that famous mystery novelist, Kudo Yuusaku?”
“Oh, I’ve heard of him!” Miwako said, waving at the officers on the night shift as they left HQ. “The creator of the Night Baron. I heard he’s a pretty shrewd detective in real life, and that’s why he writes such good mysteries.”
“He’s brilliant,” Takagi agreed. “And he’s an old friend of Megure-keibu’s- Megure-keibu used to call on his help for really difficult cases, ones that had stumped everyone else. Megure-keibu told me that when Kudo-kun was in grade school, he used to follow his father to cases a lot, so he’s been around crime scenes and mysteries all his life, and I guess he picked up a lot. I think it’s similar for Hattori-kun- his father’s the chief of the Osaka Police.”
“Oh, I thought the name Hattori sounded familiar,” Miwako said thoughtfully. She was growing increasingly curious about Kudo Shinichi. “So were you at Kudo-kun’s first case?”
“Yeah,” Takagi said, leading her across a crossing. “That place I mentioned with the really good ramen is this way. Anyway, Kudo-kun’s first case… he was fifteen, I think. Megure-keibu and I were flying to America to pick up a Japanese criminal from the LAPD when a man was found dead in a toilet at the back of the plane. Kudo-kun got to the scene before we did, though. He and Ran-kun were flying to America to visit Kudo-kun’s parents. When we got there, Kudo-kun had already performed a perfect post-mortem, carefully searched the scene, located evidence and taken photos. It was amazing. He then identified the suspects- he actually remembered everyone who had gone to the toilet at the crucial time, he’s got a photographic memory even when he’s not paying attention- oversaw the interrogation and baggage searches, and translated for an American suspect. In the end, he perfectly deduced the murderer, method and alibi trick. He only really needed us for authority over the passengers, who didn’t like being bossed around by a teenager like the scared stewardesses did, and handcuffs for when the murderer confessed.”
“Who did it?” Miwako said curiously. “And how did they get the weapon past airport security?”
“The victim’s girlfriend,” Takagi replied. “She sharpened the metal underwire in her bra and stabbed him in the neck with it.”
“Her bra wire?” Miwako spluttered in surprise. “I’m almost afraid to ask, but how did Kudo-kun figure that out?”
“That’s the funny thing,” Takagi said. “It was two tiny things. The strange scratch near the fatal wound- caused by the other end of the wire scratching his neck- and at one point, she reached up to the luggage rack, paused to say something, then reached up to get the bag with her other arm. That was all. None of us noticed that she used her other arm, but Kudo-kun did and reasoned that it had to be because something had forced her to switch arms- like, say, a pointed piece of metal underwire poking her. That’s what’s so incredible about Kudo-kun. He notices the tiniest things, things that almost no-one else does, and spins everything else out from there.”
“Like Conan-kun,” Miwako suddenly said. It had suddenly clicked into place- the nagging similarity, the person that Kudo Shinichi reminded her of. Takagi looked surprised for a moment, and then nodded.
“Yeah,” he said, “Conan-kun does that too, doesn’t he? He spots the tiny little oddities that no-one else does like they’re obvious. Maybe they are too him. He’s young, so he sees what’s there rather than having any preconceived ideas.”
“Yeah…” Miwako said. “I bet he’ll be a Meitantei by the time he’s in high school, as well.”
“Probably,” Takagi agreed. “I think they’re cousins of some sort, so it must run in the Kudo blood… Here we are! Do you want to grab a table or just sit at the counter?”
“Counter,” Miwako yawned. “I can just about eat and sleep at this point…”
Still, I wonder,” she thought, as the conversation turned the choice of ramen or soba, “What kind of case Kudo’s on… and what’s the deal with a disturbingly sharp little boy who doesn’t mind the sight of dead bodies…
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“Ohayou! Didn’t Ran-chan come?” Tashiro asked. Sonoko shook her head, adjusting her hairband.
“Conan-kun’s getting back from America,” she explained, “and she wanted to be at home to meet him.”
“She fusses over that kid like he’s her son,” Hidaka commented, before giggling. “I mean, given how much he looks like Kudo-kun, if it wasn’t for the fact that she would have been about ten when he was born…”
“You’re awful!” Tashiro gasped, giggling herself.
“Well, you know how she is,” Sonoko said. “She said she wanted to give him and his mother dinner, since they’ll have spent over twelve hours in a plane or an airport, and Edogawa-san has to fly straight back…”
“Do you think Ran-chan sees Conan-kun as, y’know, a sort of substitute Kudo-kun?” Hidaka theorized. “I mean, I know they weren’t, you know, together, but they were so close, and then he vanishes, and she’s never dated anyone…”
“Well…” Sonoko said, glancing around, unable to resist a chance to gossip. “He came back for Christmas, you know. Kudo-kun. I saw them together on Christmas Day. They went to the same movie Makoto-san and I did. Ran-chan looked so happy, and she certainly sounded in a good mood when I called to invite her out…”
“Hey! Sorry I’m late!”
“Kazumi-chan!” Sonoko greeted the older girl happily. “It’s been a while, I’m glad you could make it! How’s college?”
“Oh, you know, study, study, study… but the Christmas parties are killer!” she laughed. “But I was totally glad when Sonoko-chan invited me to join the post-Christmas sales excursion… no Ran-chan?”
“Nah, she’s fussing over that kid she looks after,” Tashiro said. “But did you hear? She and Kudo-kun might have been on a date on Christmas…”
“Oh, they were,” Hidaka said. “I was going to say, I heard from Aizawa-kun… the football club was having a Christmas kickabout in Beika Park, you know, and they saw Kudo-kun and Ran-chan… they saw them kissing!”
“No way!” Sonoko shrieked, drawing irritated looks from the clerks of the shop that they were entering. “She could have said… I’ve been waiting for that to happen for twelve years!!”
“So is Kudo-kun back yet?” Kazumi asked. “I have a friend who’s in the Mystery Club who was totally excited when she heard that I went to the same school he does… she keeps asking me if it’s true that he’s dead.”
“I don’t think so, unless Ran-chan’s a necromancer and a necrophiliac,” Tashiro giggled. “But he’s not back yet. Must be a helluva case he’s on. Oh, this is cute!” She pulled out a light green sweater. “My colour, d’you think?”
“You might suit something a little darker,” Hidaka said, digging into the same rack. “Anyway, do you have any idea, Sonoko-chan? If he’s told anyone what’s going on, it’ll be Ran-chan, and she tells you everything…”
“Except that her and Kudo-kun’s lifelong “will-they-won’t-they” dance is finally over,” Sonoko grumbled, holding a pink sweater-dress up against herself and looking in the mirror at the end of the rack. “And I have no idea. I don’t think she does either. She just seems to prefer to keep quiet about the whole thing and pray he comes back safe.”
“He’d better,” Kazumi said. “Ran-chan’s great at Karate- I heard she’s the school captain now, I’m not surprised- but I remember her performance always suffered a little when she was worried, and she sucked the first week after he went missing. She worries so much. He needs to stop giving her something to worry about.”
“Tell me about it,” Sonoko said, turning slightly. “Hmm. I kind of like it, but it’s a little plain…”
“Get a couple of good necklaces and some matching boots and it’ll look great,” Tashiro reassured her, triumphantly holding up a pine-green sweater.
“Now that is your colour,” Hidaka said approvingly.
“Hey, there’s a sale on formal stuff,” Sonoko said.
“What are we going to need formal clothes for?” Kazumi asked, following her over.
“Oh, please,” Sonoko said. “If Kudo-kun and Ran-chan are finally together, there’s only one place it’s going to end up!”
“I lose five thousand yen if they don’t get married before the end of high school,” Tashiro grumbled, “so if he doesn’t get back soon, there’s gonna be hell to pay…”
“People are betting on that?” Kazumi said in surprise. Hidaka laughed.
“Are you kidding?” she said. “There are teachers betting on it.”
“And guess who’s running the book?” Tashiro said. Sonoko whistled innocently.
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“Can you at least tell me when we are going to be allowed to visit?” Aoko growled frustratedly. Saguru didn’t really blame the poor doctor for shrinking away from the feared Nakamori Wrath.
“We just need to do the last CAT scans,” he said, “and we’ll be doing them tomorrow, so if they look good you can see him the day after. If he’s got no brain damage, of course, we’ll probably release him on New Years’ Eve. The wrist fracture’s not too bad, if he keeps the cast on it should heal in about a month or two. Now please, I have patients to take care of, so come back the day after tomorrow, all right?”
“Fine,” Aoko said, whirling around and stalking off, Saguru and Akako in her wake.
“Really, they’re so stubborn!” Akako complained.
“It’s a stupid policy anyway,” Aoko grumbled. “Toichi-ojisan and Minami-obasan were only children and lost their parents a long time ago, so now Toichi-ojisan’s dead the only family either of them has is each other. Kaito’s gotta be lonely. I’m glad they at least passed on his laptop for me…”
“I wonder why the police are still around?” Akako said. “I should think they have all the information on the accident that they’re getting until Minami-san wakes up.”
“What do you mean?” Aoko said, confused. She glanced back at the hospital. “I didn’t see any officers anywhere.”
“I saw someone,” Akako said. “They were in plainclothes, but they had the watchful air of an officer about them…”
“You mean the man by the coffee machine?” Saguru said. “The one who was surreptitiously watching us ever since we asked to see Kuroba?”
“But why would the police still be there?” Aoko said. “It was an accident, so it’s not like they need guarded or anything…”
“Indeed,” Saguru said. “I’m sure we’re overthinking things. Another officer was probably injured. Their friend may simply have been watching us because he heard about the case and recognized the name. No need to worry, Nakamori-san.”
“Yeah,” Aoko said, brightening up. “At least he’ll be out by New Year’s. Maybe I’ll ask Otou-san if I can invite him over to ours, Minami-obasan won’t be released yet and it’s just too sad to think of him meeting the New Year all alone…”
“Overthinking, indeed,” Akako muttered as Aoko chattered on, not really looking to see if they were listening or not. “Still, I cannot help but feel that he will seek solitude soon.”
“If that “accident” really wasn’t, something that I am increasingly sure of,” Saguru replied quietly, “he must realize that it would be foolish and dangerous to be on his own.”
“On the contrary,” Akako replied, “now that the shadows have found him, he must realize that they will spread like a cancer, eating into his life and increasingly dominating it. He will not want that cancer to spread to anyone else, not now that it has claimed his father and almost his mother.”
“Do you know something about Kuroba and what he’s facing?” Saguru hissed. “Because if you do, I’d rather you dispensed with the riddles.”
“Riddles and dreams are all I have, Hakuba-kun,” she said sweetly, “as they are all that Lucifer is willing to give. All I have are the images of the white doves circled by the black ravens, and the White Thief and the Black Knight, so similar yet so different, like the sky reflected in the sea…”
“The sea doesn’t reflect the sky, you know,” Saguru pointed out. “It’s a commonly believed fallacy.”
Meitantei,” Akako muttered angrily under her breath.
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And now I have a Computing exam. Two weeks with no exams and then two within two days of each other?! At least I don’t really have to revise for computing… 😛
Jodie’s going to buy the usual blinds for now, FaithlessGirl, like everyone does at first… but soon there’s going to be some odd signs, and she won’t be the only one to start drawing some conclusions…
I hope you passed your English test, Mel72000. More suspense! MUAHAHA!
Welcome to the fic, Kairi922! 🙂 Glad you like it, and the video too. I want to make this fic “realistic”, so I’m pretty much always logged onto Onemanga for references while I’m writing. By the time I’ve finished this, though, it’s probably going to be rendered completely redundant by subsequent manga chapters… who cares, I love writing it!
I LOVE THE VIDEO, HaibaraDaiFan! It gave me the warm fuzzies. *feels luvved* I scream when I read cool fic though. I’m likely to summon bats when I finally get to find out who Kabuki is XD People who call others “obsessed” are just jealous because THEY don’t have anything so awesome in their lives. FANFIC FOREVER!
Shinichi got his mother’s acting skills, Sable Katze, so it’s too bad he can’t sing like her as well… XD I hope I passed my history exam. I had to rush the last question. IF THEY WANT US TO ANSWER SUCH LONG QUESTIONS THEY OUGHTA GIVE US MORE TIME! <terminate rant early>
Thanks, Twilightserius. I try not to stress about exams, since I know that just causes more problems. Freak-outs do no good, unless it’s enough to make you pass out and concuss yourself on the table, in which case apparently you get an automatic “pity A”. I should’ve tried that in my maths exam, because there’s no other way that I’m ever passing that thing. 😛
Akako would buy the story, Pretztailfan95, since weirder things can and generally do happen in her world. Since it was achieved through science rather than magic, though, I doubt she could do anything about it, if she were inclined to, which I don’t really see her doing at this point. Heiji eventually got it because he really is a good detective who was faced with the “incredibly improbable but not impossible” answer… and he caught Shinichi using the voice modulator to solve the case. XD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOO! DON’T KILL KID! Ah, I have an idea! *gets Laura to perform rebirthing rites* he is RESTORED! Wow, that never worked before… *speaking of reality against a manga character XP* Must you tempt me to kill Heiji in VENGEANCE? *No, and eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, Ghandi said… who cares? I’m blind already! I’ll stop talking now.*
So close, and yet so far, Eyeinthesky…
Poor you, A Midsummer Night’s Dream! I would actually go insane without the internet XP Glad you’re back- here’s your update!
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).
The Dark Before Dawn