Why sit around, resigned?
Trouble is, son, the farther you run,
The more you'll be wandering blind.
For what you have left undone, and more,
What you've left behind.
-No More, Into the Woods,
AN: I know it's been a while, but I haven't been idle. TIM and TIA took/is taking a lot of time. Not to mention I've been revamping the entire story (extending scenes, fixing grammer, etc), so give it a reread before reading this chapter. It's much better I promise!
Chapter 8. The Last Midnight
"Are you serious Conan," Mistuhiko asked excitedly.
"You better not joke about something as important as this!" Genta warned.
Ai said nothing.
"It's no joke." Conan pulled out five tickets. "These are all day passes at Tropical Land. With these we can get in and ride all the rides all day long without having to pay for them individually."
"This is so awesome!" squealed Ayumi.
"What should we ride first?"
Conan smiled sadly as he and the other kids walked to the bus.
"Don't forget the Kamen Yaiba show." Conan reminded them.
Ai said nothing.
"I can't believe they have an all you can eat pizza shop next to Tropical Lands," cheered Genta as he dug into a macaroni and cheese pizza.
"I can't believe macaroni and cheese pizza actually exists," said Mitsuhiko in an awed voice.
"Conan...are you crying?" asked Ayumi, shocked.
Conan blinked and wiped his cheek, surprised at the tears he rubbed away. "I..."
"OH GOD HE'S DEAD!"
The Shonen Tantei sprang into action, Conan's mysterious tears forgotten by all but Ai, who as always, kept her silence.
"We rule!" declared Mitsuhiko as the children walked home.
"I can't wait for our next case, right Conan?"
Conan stopped. His jaw worked as if he wanted to say something but no sound came out.
By now it was obvious to all the children that something was very wrong with their friend. "Conan, what's wrong?"
"My-my Mom's coming tonight."
The children's eyes lit up. "Conan that's great! I've never even seen your mother." Ayumi gushed.
"You don't look very happy about it?" Mitsuhiko inquired.
"She's taking me back to America. Today was my goodbye to you guys."
The announcement hit the kids like a bolt of lightning. None of them said anything for a long time, trying to wrap their minds around the concept. Ayumi leaned against a nearby fence, her face visibly paler.
"She can't do that!" Genta broke the silence with a roar. "She can't break up the team."
"She's my mother. She's worried about me," Conan explained, "especially since the Monster attacked our home. I'm going to try to talk her into letting me stay, but..."
But what mother in her right mind would let her only son stay in a home that had already been attacked?
"I don't want you to go!" Ayumi cried, grabbing him in a big hug.
"I...I don't want to go either." By now Conan was crying too. The kids were someone the best friends he ever had and the thought of never seeing them again was painful.
Ai bowed her head and whispered softly enough that only Conan could hear "Are you really so certain you're going to die tonight?"
Conan, still trying to comfort Ayumi, merely nodded.
"Everything ready?" Conan asked as he and Ai entered Agasa's house.
Agasa nodded. "We've collected everything silver that we could possibly use as a weapon from our houses. If the Monster shows up, he'll be in for a world of pain."
"Good." Conan answered with no emotion in his voice. "Is Ran here?"
"She's in the kitchen, making tea. Are you alright?" Dr. Agasa asked, concerned.
"I'm...fine. Just a little scared about tonight. The werewolf confessed.
The scientist grinned. "Well, don't be. We're all behind you in this. He'll have to go through us to get to you."
"I know." said Conan in the same voice. "I'm going to help Ran with the tea."
"You do realize that was perhaps the worst way to try to cheer him up." Ai commented dryly. What with his martyr syndrome and all...
A few minutes later, Conan came back carrying some tea cups while Ran brought out a kettle. She poured them each a cup and handed it out.
"I'm going to go upstairs and change. You now, for when I change."
Ran nodded at him and he left.
"He's still blaming himself." Agasa observed, taking a long sip of the tea.
"I know," said Ran, sipping her own quietly. "I hope being able to stop that by catching the real source of the problem. The Monster is the one responsible for...for..." Ran suddenly found it hard to string words together.A few minutes later Conan came downstairs, dressed in loose fitting sweats. He shared a look with Ai, then swiftly ran out the door.
The darkened streets had never looked so menacing. To actually be in the detective agency would have left him cornered. He may be dying tonight but he wasn't going going to make it easy on the Monster.
At least there wasn't anyone else loitering around. If someone had been there at the wrong time and gotten caught up in the fight, he'd never forgive himself.
It was funny. He was expecting to be in a panic by now, but all he felt was calm. I guess there something to be said for going quietly into the night after all.
It was then that two things hit him at once. One was a trio of footsteps fast approaching from downwind and a familiar scent approaching approaching from upwind.
Oh you have got to be kidding me!
"What the hell are you doing here?!" Conan hissed at this friends, barely able to keep his fangs from forming.
The kids looked startled. "We came to talk to your Mom." Genta explained. "Geeze have a little gratitude."
Conan shook his head. "You have to get out of here NOW!"
"Conan, what's wrong.?" Ayumi asked tentatively. "You can tell us."
"I can't. You don't understand, he's coming!"
The voice was cold and gravely. It took all of Conan's willpower to turn around and look him in the eyes. As he took in his would be killer's face he felt his heart stop. It can't be...
"RUN!" he shouted at the Shonen Tantei, whirling around "You have to get out of here, RUN!" The shot of adrenaline running through his system was the final straw. Horror etched the faces of the three as they watched their friend quickly change into something else. They looked up at the man who had scared him and saw his face already beginning to contort to an inhuman form.
Overcome with fright they ran.
S$"CONAN'S A WEREWOLF!!!" The kids screamed as they ran into Dr. Agasa's house. Their proclamation, though, garnered neither the desired shock and horror, nor the expected 'What vivid imaginations!'. There was only silence. As one the three children peered into the living room. At the same time their faces paled as they saw the collapsed forms of Ran and Dr. Agasa, shattered teacups at their feet, the tea having had long since become a stain on the carpet.
"They're dead!" Ayumi shrieked.
"They're not dead, just asleep." Ai's hushed voice startled the other three. "Conan put a sleeping drug in their tea." The young scientist's face was blotchy and her eyes red, as though she had been crying.
"I HATE HIM!" Ai suddenly screamed. "He didn't even try to drug me, like he thought I was so much of a coward I would let him go to his death without trying to stop him and...and," she began to sob, "and he was right."
"'Go to his death?' What's going on?" Ayumi's voice was small, as though she didn't really want to hear the answer.
Ai swallowed. "The werewolf that bit him came back to kill him. We've been working on a plan all month to stop him, but it looks like Conan had other ideas. He's going to let the Monster kill him so none of us will be hurt or killed."
Of all the luck. I should have known better. All he had wanted was that no one else die tonight. Now his killer knew his friends faces and scents. Of course with what he knew now there was a greater chance that the werewolf would leave them alone. But it was far from a certainty, and one he wasn't willing to risk. All he could do was the lead the monster further away.
The boost to his speed he had gained since acquiring lycanthropy meant nothing now. The full grown werewolf after his tail was way faster and stronger. The only advantage Conan had at the moment was his size, being able to duck into tiny spots enough times that the monster couldn't get him, but not enough to make him decide it would be easier to hunt down the children.
Distracted by his worry for the Shonen Tantei, Conan slowed down enough that the larger wolf was finally able to nick him. He screamed into the night as he collapsed and prepared for the end.
The end was delayed, however, when something whacked the huge beast across the face, causing it to rear back.
"Leave our friend alone!" Genta yelled at the beast.
Conan's momentary relief at not quite dying yet extinguished at the prospect of his friends once again being in danger. "Get out of here, it's dangerous!" he yelled.
"Take your own advice!" Mistuhiko threw back as he loaded another silver coin into a slingshot.
Conan's fear was realized as the other werewolf jumped over him and landed in front of the children. They tried to scatter, but the werewolf grabbed Ayumi.
The poor girl was terrified as she was lifted up to his face, her eye's level with those horrible white teeth.
"Ayumi!" Genta, Mitsuhiko, and Conan cried out. The monster seemed to react to the name.
"Came back to me." Unlike Conan, the larger werewolf seemed to have trouble speaking. "I kill and you come back. If I kill more, more come back?"
Suddenly he roared and dropped her, thrashing around. He grabbed the small figure that had climbed onto his head and slammed it down with enough force to break some bones.
Despite this, Conan managed to prop himself up slightly. His lips were pulled back in a growl, his teeth stained with blood from where he'd bitten the monster's ear. "You want to kill me FINE! But don't you dare touch her or any member of my pack again!"
Any semblance of human intelligence faded from the attackers eyes as he moved to finish the young cub. A sudden bang filled the air and it reared back, blood pouring from the gunshot wound in his shoulder as well as a hissing smoke.
A few yards away Dr. Agasa was reloading his shotgun.
With a final snarl the monster fled, knowing he was outmatched. As soon as he retreated, Conan collapsed. His friends were safe, that was all he needed.
Ai ran out of Agasa's car, dragging a large medical kit behind. When she reached the unconscious werewolf she quickly felt his ribs and limbs. "This is bad. He's got several broken bones and just because he'll heal fast doesn't mean he'll heal correctly. We need to set the bones quickly."
"First we need to get out of here, people will react to the gunshot." Asasa pointed out.
Delicately Ran lifted Conan in the car. It was a tight fit, but they managed., Conan lying across their laps in the backseat.
"Ai?" Ayumi whispered. "Why didn't he tell us? Didn't he trust us?"
Ai bit the lie that was forming on her tongue. This was a case where the truth would serve well enough. "He saw himself as a monster. He couldn't bear for you to see him that way too. I guess he wanted to be remembered as what he was instead of what he became."
Her bowed head did little to hide Ayumi's tears. Tonight a memory was very close to being all that was left of Conan. "We wouldn't-"
"You know that, I know that, Ran knows that. Everyone but Conan knows that. He was getting better, but after Mouri was attacked, he couldn't imagine himself being seen as anything else." Ai sighed. She knew her answers would be insufficient to the hurt and confused children. There was a lot that needed explaining and only one person who could do it.
Conan may have avoided certain death tonight, but the hardest part was just beginning.
Random AN: Macaroni and cheese pizza does exist. It also rocks.
Psycho King: Closer to the calm before the storm, I think.
Flava Sava: To kill, of course.
YumeTakato: And you thought I took forever last time...
DiamondSapphire: YAY (you're still reading this right?)
The Halfa Wannabe: I had a keyboard like that. I hope it got fixed
Tabbytha: That mostly depends on what he's wearing. Nothing like the Hulk clothes ripping effect would occur. Something as exact fitting as his usual suit would rip a bit at the seams since the body isn't the right shape anymore. A loose nightshirt or sweats would be fine (although sweatpants are a bit uncomfortable with the tail)
Inumaru12: Unfortunately, Conan got more depressed than angry. He has however reached the point where he could change during the day if he wanted to. He just has yet to want to.
Snickerer: Go ahead and laugh at Conan's misfortune, that's why it's there. And yeah, no bites so as not to create any more werewolves.
Engelina: Glad to entertain.
anomaly: I try
Colormyworld: I never seem to manage 'soon'. I try though.
Taylor Boylen: Wolves Rock. I seem to come up with unusual ideas for fanfic, and I'm glad others like them.
meta kirby: Yes sir!
candidus-lupus-full Moon: -blushes- Thank you
Aaron the Fox: A cold? Oh man he'd hate that: A wolf with his nose all stuffed up, that's worse than a giraffe woith a sore throat.
wolfgirl: I'm evil with cliffhangers. Sorry.
KaidaHikari: More chapters coming right up.
vgcatsfan: My main focus is TIA, but I will try to work more on this.