Title: Alternative Theory
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Characters: Rachel and Serena.
Summary: Rachel is made to wonder if Conan isn't Jimmy after all… but something else.
Disclaimer: They belong to Gosho Aoyama. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: I was originally thinking of using this as part of a "Five Things" story set. However, I'm not ready to commit to the other installments, and I don't feel that this one quite fits with their theme well enough. So here it is on its own. The ending suggests some interesting fallout, but as I don't have any specific ideas about where it would lead, I'll leave it at this for now.
"Geeze, that movie was laaame," Serena groaned. "I'm so glad we didn't pay to see it."
Following her best friend out of the theater, Rachel murmured an agreement. Although Serena won their tickets to the science-fiction romance movie Heart of a Clone in a contest, it was still a total waste of two hours. The girls had gone into the film hoping the love story would redeem it, but the clichéd and badly-written scifi trappings just made it laughable.
"Such a miscasting of a good actress," Rachel observed, with a shake of her head.
"Eh, she was okay. Her costar's acting was really bad… but even so, with a face and a body like that, I'd be first in line to mail-order a clone of him." Serena laughed a little too loudly, stretching her arms above her head. "If only it was that easy to snag a hottie!"
"You're hopeless, Serena."
"Oh, come on. It'd be awesome. Just think about it! If science could make clones like that, then you could get Jimmy to clone himself, so there'd always be one of him to pay attention to you while the other one is off with his stupid mysteries."
The remark stopped Rachel in her tracks. She blushed from her neck to the roots of her hair, fumbling with the straw in her soda cup, even as a part of her was chiding herself. Why did she always turn instantly dumb whenever someone talked about Jimmy as if he and she…?
"You know cloning doesn't actually work the way they depicted it in that movie, don't you?" she half-laughed nervously, grasping at a change of subject. "Scientists can't just generate a full-grown copy of someone. Real cloned animals are still born and grow up, just like normal."
"That's so much more boring." With a casual smirk, Serena resumed walking toward the exit of the megaplex. "Maybe that could explain the brat you have living with you, though."
For reasons she couldn't name, a cold wind suddenly blew through Rachel. She stared at Serena's retreating back, without moving a muscle.
Serena turned, her wry expression deepening to a grin of pure, teasing mischief. "Well, Doctor Agasa is the one who first introduced Conan to you as a 'relative' of his, right? And you're always talking about how much that kid's brains remind you of Jimmy. Wouldn't it be funny if that crazy old coot had cloned your boyfriend?"
Rachel's mind imploded. The suggestion stunned her so overwhelmingly, she didn't even notice what Serena had labeled Jimmy as.
No… It couldn't be that…!
Her stalled thoughts abruptly began to race. Doctor Agasa had known Jimmy all his life, as a neighbor and friend. But what if the scientist had used his acquaintance with the young prodigy for something more devious? What if he noticed the exceptional I.Q. Jimmy had exhibited even as a boy—and decided to see if that brilliance could be passed on to a clone that carried Jimmy's DNA?
As insane as it sounded on the surface, the idea made so many things make sense. Conan's unsettlingly intelligent and intuitive mind. Agasa's interest in having him live with a detective, exposing him to mysteries that would test his intellect. His uncanny physical resemblance to Jimmy as a child, which Jimmy's own mother had brushed off by saying the boy was related to them too.
Related… but what if it wasn't exactly by birth?
Closing her eyes, Rachel breathed deeply, and tried to concentrate on not crushing the soda cup in her suddenly trembling hands.
With the inspiration of a ridiculous movie, could Serena's absurd and facetious imagination really have stumbled upon a truth so unthinkable? Could Conan Edogawa actually be… Jimmy's clone?
"Hey, Earth to Rachel." Serena's voice finally penetrated her shock, and she looked up to see the other girl regarding her with concern. "Are you okay? You don't need to freak out on me here, you know. I was only joking."
"…Yeah." Rachel forced a pale smile, but her eyes still held a shadow of the sick feeling inside her. "Don't be silly, Serena. No matter how smart he is—Conan is just Conan."
Yet in her heart, Rachel knew she hadn't believed that for a long time, if ever… and now she wondered if those thoughts were so crazy after all.
© 2015 Jordanna Morgan