A/N: And I managed to write this one too! So many things were spur of a moment decisions but I hope you like this anyways. Sorry for my absence. I needed to find my inspiration again.
The fifth file: The middle year
Sub-file six: Red Tear
An arrow whistled through the air and hit the center of the target.
"Sha!" Was heard from the background. Shugo lowered his bow and went to collect his arrow.
"You are really good, Midorikawa-kun." The boy's fellow archery club member, Seiichi Yamada, praised the boy once he returned.
"Thank you, Yamada-kun." Shugo smiled back. "You aren't that bad yourself either."
"And next March we'll be going to Miyakonojo Archery Festival. I can't wait!" Imai Susume gushed next to them.
"I can't either. I get to meet with my friends from Osaka there."
"That's right, you ranked the best in Kansai area when you were in junior high." Yamada remembered. "I wonder how well you'll do in high school division."
"I hope I'll do well. I know I've practiced archery for a long time, possibly longer than some of my competitors but it's entirely possible that I'm inferior in skill to someone who practices more intensively." Shugo shrugged. "So it's up in the air how I'll fare. And we have Kanto area high school tournament in February."
"True that." Imai nodded and tightened her ponytail. It was her turn on the range next. "I wish I was twenty already though. Participating Sanjusangendo would be like a dream come true."
"Two years then." Shugo smirked.
"Two years…" The girl sighed, shoulders slumping to the mirth of the other teens.
"How was the heist?" Shugo asked Kaito when they settled down on a couch after school day. Yamato was working so there was no one to disturb them.
"…Lost my cloak, got my card gun destroyed, Nakamori-keibu fell for the dummy trick, met Snake, saved the Prince." The magician muttered, exhausted.
"No other problems though? Even if you were without a back-up?"
"Well… It was weird to be on my own without you or Jii there but… we had done our research and it would've been harder to hide in the train if all three of us had been there even if the Queen forbid the police from disturbing the other passengers." Kaito mused. "And Aoko was an alright company."
"You didn't drug her, did you?"
"No, she went chasing the Queen's cat."
"Good." Shugo stretched. "Did you do any sight-seeing in Osaka then?"
"I let Aoko drag me around. She was pissed at her father getting drunk during workhours." The magician shrugged. "I have the next target picked up by the way."
Kaito produced a leaflet out of thin air and gave it to Shugo.
"A week from now on. A ruby which is in possession of one Jody Hopper."
"Of the Hopper Magic Troupe?" Shugo asked, accepting the leaflet which coincidentally advertised the Magic Troupe's final show. The swan song so to say. "Minato Hotel, huh? Don't they have the revolving restaurant in the top floor?"
"Yes. It's specifically with the restaurant that I need your expertise. Considering that this is the world's largest ruby, it is practically guaranteed that Snake and his compatriots will appear."
"And they won't care about hostages or causalities… And if I interpret your description of the previous heist correctly, you saved the Prince from Snake."
"Impressionable children shouldn't be exposed to hardened criminals."
"…I'll start looking into the revolving restaurant, you take care of the rest." Shugo flipped the leaflet on top of his laptop which was on the nearby coffee table. "Now, tell me where all did you and Aoko-chan go to in Osaka and then I'll rate if they were good targets at all."
"Kaitou Kid has issued another declaration of war!" Aoko read over Kaito's shoulder from the phone he had in hand. They were in the middle of cleaning the classroom after the day. It was Friday which meant that on the next night the heist would be. "This time, his target is the world's largest ruby, owned by the Hopper Magic Troupe. Sheesh. That sneak thief will never learn, no matter how many times he's foiled."
"He's not foiled Aoko-chan…" Shugo stated. "I don't know where you get your information from but Kid returns the targets on his own." He then proceeded to drape himself over Kaito's back and plucked the phone from his hand, scrolling through the article displayed there. "The media is exaggerating again… Declaration of war… Who's written this? Hanajima Masayoshi? Of course…"
"Shugo…" Kaito growled.
"Stop squishing me!" The magician dislodged the taller boy from his shoulders and snatched his phone back. "And what have I told you two about reading over my shoulder?"
"Not to…" Aoko huffed.
"That's correct. Now…" Kaito turned back to his phone to read the rest of article himself when…
"You shouldn't do it." Familiar and aggravating voice spoke up. Shugo tensed involuntarily. Despite their truce regarding Kaito, something about the witch still made his hackles rise. Maybe it was due the disastrous first meeting since Akako herself had mellowed out a lot in her actions towards boys but the fact remained that she was a Koizumi and he was a Kagemiya.
Maybe he should go to Kyoto at some point to learn more about his family and abilities. But that would mean meeting Hoshi who was not… was not Tsukiko.
"A-Akako?" Kaito blinked.
"Shouldn't do what?" Aoko asked.
"I'm talking about Kaitou Kid." The witch declared, stopping in front of the trio. "That ruby is called demon stone because misfortune comes to anyone who tries to get it. But if Kid insists, then it can't be helped." She giggled and turned to leave, with an accompanying hair flip. Shugo frowned at her back and glanced at Kaito's face.
"Red Tear… That's…" The magician boy seemed reluctant to continue with Aoko present.
"I see. Let's go to your place then."
"Okay Kaito, spill!" Shugo crossed his arms once they were in the Kid Lair. The other boy was slumped in the armchair. "What's the deal with Red Tear?"
"Akako was right. It is a gem of misfortune. My father… he was collaborating with the Hoppers eight years ago. And he did go after the gem as Kaitou Kid too even if he didn't steal it in the end." Kaito replied with a weary voice. "But less than a month later, in the last collaboration show. That's when he was killed."
Shugo sucked a sharp breath. That incident would've certainly contributed to Jody Hopper's hatred towards magic and then gem considering that her parents had perished too due the gem and she had known Kuroba Toichi when she was younger.
"And what are you going to do now?"
"I'll send in a cancellation note but… I'll keep an eye on the situation. It's possible that Snake will be going after Red Tear anyways."
Next evening Shugo met with Kaito again.
"Let's do it." There was a determined glint in the indigo eyes. "I met Jody Hopper today and… Snake's goons were shadowing her. Moreover, she had completely lost her faith in magic and what it brings to the audience and magician alike."
"I'll be right behind you then, Kai-chan."
Everything went as expected. Kaito took the guise of Paul O'Connolly while Shugo infiltrated the staff of the hotel and seized control of the surveillance and the revolving mechanism of the rooftop restaurant. And when the finale of the show, Human Cannon was announced a smoke filled the audience. The slithery thugs made their move.
"How about letting me take care of the show's finale?" And fake-Kid said.
"Kaitou Kid!" Nakamori, who'd arrived with Aoko, exclaimed. The disguised police officers stood ready too. "Don't let him get away! After him!"
The fake-Kid escaped the restaurant with the stage, pulling the officers after him. The Troupe members went to protect Jody and the jewel but when Kid-as-Paul and Jody reached the backstage, they found all the Troupe members there wounded and held at gun point. When a shot was fired at Jody, Kid went to protect her.
Shugo let out a hiss as he watched it all happen. It was never easy for him to see his friend getting shot at. Even when he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
He turned his attention on another corridor where the chase was on. The impostor pulled out a gun and shot at Nakamori but thankfully only hit the floor.
"Hmm…" Shugo let his fingers fly on the keyboard and a minute later fire alarm was ringing, with sprinklers distracting everyone… except on the upper levels where the standoff was still going on. But at least it speeded up the evacuation.
"Fine, you can get it… This jewel!" Jody removed Red Tear from her chest and prepared to throw it at Snake. Kid stopped her.
"You mustn't, my lady. Don't give them the jewel."
"P-Paul! Are you alright?!"
Kid stood up.
"Yes, I'm wearing a bulletproof vest."
"B-Bulletproof vest?! Why would you have that?"
"That's because…" And Kid pulled a cloth out of his breast pocket and shed his disguise. "I'm really Kaitou Kid!"
"You!" Snake growled.
"But Kid was out there…" Jody said in confusion.
"That was probably one of their accomplices. A decoy to lure Nakamori-keibu and the other officers out of the venue."
"What about Paul?"
"He's been on the toilet since before the show."
"No wonder. I didn't think Paul was up to that level of magic. This Red Tear is your target, too. But I didn't think you were coming after you cancelled the advance notice."
Shugo sighed and pressed his earpiece. "Chit-chat over now Kai-chan. Time to move."
Kaito hummed back an affirmative before replying Jody.
"I didn't some here to steal that. I came here to protect both you and the jewel." And within the protection of a smoke screen, they made their escape.
"Just keep on going those stairs. Don't stop." Shugo instructed Kaito. But of course he stopped when he saw the impostor flying outside with the help of a propeller in the hang glider. Snake caught up with them but thankfully Jody was sharp and rummaged Kid's pockets for supplies and breathed fire at the criminal. Reason why Shugo didn't make the sprinkles go out in the upper floors.
"That's what you get!" Jody shouted at Snake who'd caught fire.
"Not the time to gloat or admire, Kai-chan. Move it!" Shugo commanded and Kaito pulled the woman along just in time to avoid bullets. They continued their escape to upstairs.
The pair of magicians made their way in the middle of the restaurant. Shugo had beforehand carefully and discreetly marked the correct spot on the wall to wall carpet that the restaurant had. More center the better since then the rotation was minimal compared to the window seats.
"You've got nowhere to run." Snake said. "Now, give me that jewel."
"His demands are getting quite old. Like a broken record old…" Shugo quipped.
"Her jewel isn't Pandora. Besides, you're the one who has nowhere to run."
And Shugo turned the rotation speed up to eleven. The highest level that could be used safely without overloading and overheating the system. The tables and Snake flew at the walls. And Kid and Jody hung from the ceiling.
"I-It's spinning!" Jody exclaimed.
"Did a little tinkering with this restaurant's revolving mechanism."
"Centrifugal force is such a nice thing, isn't it?" Shugo mused. "Though my sister's physics teacher said there is no such thing as centrifugal force, only continuation of movement straight forwardly… Or something."
"Not now, Shuu-chan. I need to concentrate." Kaito said and fired a dozen or so cards at Snake who was glued to the window. Was it bullet proof glass or something? "And right as out guest is arriving!" Kaito laughed and shot the last card which fully shattered the glass behind Snake. The man crashed into the fake Kid.
Shugo stopped the rotation and Kid got down. Jody began talking about the Red Tear living up to its nickname… Such superstitious bullshit.
"I know how you feel. But magic doesn't kill people. The jewel will tell you that." Kaito began explaining to Jody. "Don't you think it's strange? Normally, rubies are red, but that jewel is blue. And its name is 'Red Tear'."
"N-Now that you mention it… Red, a key word used to describe fire." The thief flicked a lighter open. Jody gave the jewel to Kaito who aimed the flame of the lighter against the head of the goat depicted in the frame the jewel was embedded in. Shugo was of the opinion that the gem sorely need a new frame. Maybe then it wouldn't be called cursed…
"Observe." And the gem began glowing red. "Your grandfather, James Hopper, left this to your world. His final magic trick."
Shugo was recording it all. The sight was magnificent. And he was sure Kaito wanted someday see it all again. The photos practically floating in the air, creating an image of a happy girl full of magic and love.
"O-Ojii-sama… Papa… Mama… And me, when I was little…" Jody gasped and noticed the letter on top of it all then, addressed to her. She read it, in tears… "Both of my parents were so proud of my magic… I'd completely forgotten…"
"So you used to look like that when performing magic, huh?"
"I'm going to give it one more shot. Magic and the magic troupe, too."
Shugo packed his equipment away and made his way outside where he caught up with Jody.
"Miss Hopper?" He asked in English, stopping the woman before she reached the other troupe members that had been already treated by paramedics at the scene.
"Yes?" The woman asked, turning towards him whilst cradling the Red Tear in her hands.
"Could I… Could I have your autograph?" Shugo extended an autograph card towards her with a pen. It was completely white card but the edges had been gently pressed to have stars decorating them, only to be seen when the light hit in the right angle.
"Sure." The woman smiled. "May I ask whom to?"
"…Call me Shuu-chan." Shugo chuckled at the astonished face she made.
"Not now, Shuu-chan. I need to concentrate." Kid had said.
"I suppose I owe you thanks then, too." Jody quirked a smile.
"Even the best magicians need their assistants." Shugo agreed.
It was crisp October morning when an email from Ran came.
Did you see the news?
Which of them? There
are several headlines
About Sharon Vineyard.
She died two days ago.
It was a car crash.
Oh no… She was such
a big star. Lady of her
Shugo looked at his phone. "I wonder when they show the funerals on television too…" If he remembered correctly it was during news, or something. Maybe he should record it too. For future reference.
"Shuu-chan…" Kaito spoke up from other side of kotatsu.
"Yes?" Shugo looked up with a question in his eyes. Usually Kaito wasn't the one to initiate the 'cutesy' names. Usually it was Shugo first calling him 'Kai-chan'. "What is it?"
"Okaa-san got invitation to Sharon-san's funerals. She asked me to be her plus one."
"Ho? Are you going then?"
"I think I should. Sharon-san was oyaji's student after all. And she did come to his funerals. I owe her that much."
Shugo wasn't sure what to think or say. On one hand, she had been Sharon Vineyard, famous actress and Kuroba Toichi's student. On other hand she was still Vermouth, disguiser and assassin for the Black Organization. But… the Organization wasn't necessarily linked to Snake's movements. Thus…
"Go on then." Shugo smiled encouragingly. "You did know her to a degree, right?"
Shugo's computer chimed, indicating that someone was trying to get him through videocall. It was from… California? There wasn't many people that he knew from there or US in general. He moved his computer in front of him and checked there was nothing incriminating or inappropriate on the background before accepting the call.
Yukiko's teary face appeared. Well, not teary but eye were definitely red.
"Shuu-chan…" The actress sniffed. "Can you please come with me to Sharon's funerals? Yu-chan's mean editors have meetings with him and he can't come."
A/N: I was researching information about Sharon's funerals and then got the random idea of making Shugo meet Chris yet somehow stay under her radar... Hm... This will be tricky...
One chapter before Conan Arc begins! The Clock Tower Heist is almost there! Dun dun duu...
Replies to Reviews:
You are welcome. I hope you liked this chapter. In the next one the clock tower heist will indeed happen but before that is the funerals. *le gasp*
And no worries, I have no intentions of discontinuing. My inspiration just comes and goes in waves.
No, I meant that I had two chapter to write, this and next one, before the events of Episode ONE(the special) and Conan Arc in general. It is also the start of a new File, like I've named these chapters before. I'm trying to write this into a one full fic all the way to the point where Dream or Not ended and the sequel picked up. But I have quite the job with it since with the current count, this would become 94 chapters long fic. I'm trying to compress but it's hard... so many plot events...