Lost in the Shadows

AN: In some of the reviews, I got the comment that Aoko was OOC. I do not think so. Read on to find out why I say so. Please, do give this a chance before you judge it. Also, I do not know if the drug, Ginalaton, exists. I made it up the name for this story.

Disclaimer: MINE! DETECTIVE CONAN IS MINE! BWAHAHAHA! Author continues laughing as he is hauled off to an insane asylum.

Chapter 4 – Revealing

Aoko laid crumpled on the ground. Around her was a pool of blood several inches wide. To his scared eyes, her skin seemed a bit too pale.

As the inspector looked around for clues to what happened, his gaze fell upon a knife, still held tightly in her hand and lying by her side.

Nakamori Ginzo stared at the cold, bleeding form of his daughter for a few moments, his brain torn between utter confusion and shock. Then, he regained his self quickly when the intelligence he gained from chasing the Kaitou Kid kicked in. Immediately, his hand found the hem of his robe and he ripped it off, tearing it into long strips for bandages. Working harder and faster than he'd ever before, Nakamori wrapped Aoko's stomach as tightly has he could without hurting her too much to stop the blood flow. He was very grateful Aoko was unconscious, for he was sure his actions would be causing her a great deal of pain.

As soon as he finished binding her, he patted his pockets for his cell phone, forgetting he was in his nightclothes. Once he'd realized his mistake, he looked back at Aoko, hesitant to leave her lying on the bathroom floor. After debating for a few seconds, he knelt down and, as gently as he could, lifted his daughter up. As he started to raise her off the floor, something fell out of her pocket, landing on the tile with a bang. He stopped his upward motion to look at the object: Aoko's cell phone. Nakamori quickly brought his leg underneath his daughter to support her as he reached for her phone. Once he had it, he dialed for an ambulance. After hanging up, he took a deep breath. This day just can't get any worse, can it? Nakamori Ginzo wondered.

"Nakamori-san?"

The inspector looked up at the doctor who was standing over him. "How is she?"

"Aoko-san is fine. The blade missed her vitals."

Nakamori let out a sigh of relief at hearing his daughter was going to be alright.

"Nakamori-san, I need to ask you a few questions. Can you please follow me?" The doctor turned and led the police inspector down a hall and into one of the small offices. Gesturing for Nakamori to sit, the doctor went to the other side and sat down in his chair, facing the aging man with a grim look on his face. "Nakamori-san, before now, has your daughter ever shown suicidal tendencies?"

The inspector immediately shook his head. "Never. She was always a bright child, even after her mother died. She was always an active child. She even seemed more outgoing after she meet Kaito-kun."

"Who?"

"Her childhood friend. He's grown into a very nice young man, and quite a magician. Takes after his father."

"Ah." The doctor paused, unsure how to proceed. "Nakamori-san, do you know if your daughter ever did drugs?"

"What? Aoko would never do such things. She even stated it with much force every it was brought up in conversation. She never did anything to show she even might remotely be interesting in such things. Why do you ask?" Nakamori was afraid of getting a response he wouldn't like.

The doctor sighed. "When she came in, we did a regulatory blood test. What surprised us was the concentration of a new type of drug called Ginalaton. Normally, a body has about .001 to .003 percent over all. Your daughter, on the other hand, was at about .05 percent."

"Is that bad?"

"That is very bad. Ginalaton is a synthetic chemical that affects neuron synapses and chemical transmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Imbalances in these neurotransmitters can cause varied affects on a persons thought processes…It seems that your daughter had impaired levels of these chemicals; the drug was stopping their use and degrading them. High concentrations of Ginalaton often affect mental processes and can cause depression. In your daughter's case, where she was already depressed…" the doctor trailed off, the implications of this sentence already known to Nakamori.

"And you're saying this is what made Aoko try to kill herself?"

"Exactly. What bothers me, though, is that a body has many natural built-in inhibitors, regulatory signals to avoid such situations. For this to happen, over 15 of the inhibitors needed to be 'turned off' by a drug. The only drugs that could do this are very hard to find and even harder to buy. They are extremely expensive even on the black market."

"So you're saying someone purposely drugged her in hopes she'd try to commit suicide…or something similar?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying. If it had succeeded, they would not be in danger, for it would like she chose to do it by her own free will. What makes this even more dangerous is the fact that Ginalaton must be replaced every 3 hours. The body decomposes it fairly quickly, so if she'd died, there would be no trace of any drugs in her system, not even the ones that removed the inhibitors. They are broken down in enzymatic reactions to turn off the inhibitors."

"But why would someone go after Aoko?"

"A possible reason, Nakamori-san…To get at you. Destroy your happiness."

"But who would do such a thing?" Nakamori blinked. It was something he sometimes feared, but still…

"That was where I was hoping you could enlighten me. Nakamori-keibu, the ones who did this are powerful enemies. Who ever they are, they want to hurt you. I suggest having Aoko stay somewhere safe for the next while so you can be free to find the ones responsible for this near tragedy."

Nakamori thought about it for a few moments. Did he know of a place Aoko could go where she'd still be safe, but free to live her life? He couldn't put her up in a Police Safehouse, that'd just damage her more. She needed friends right now to help bring her out of her depression over Kaito's disappearance. Where to put Aoko? Where to put Aoko? Where to pu…Nakamori was rambling in his mind when he remembered his daughter mentioning something. What was it? Oh, yeah. She hired some detective to try to find where Kaito went. Maybe she can stay with him. If I remember correctly, he has a daughter about Aoko's age, so she could have a friend. Also, the detective's daughter is a martial artist too, so she could protect her if needs be.

"Sensei, I've got a place for Aoko to stay. It's with an acquaintance, so I'll have to talk with them first. How long until she can leave?"

"Your daughter won't be ready to leave the hospital for another day."

"Alright. Let me make a few phone calls and I'll get back to you about the place for her to stay. Will she need any special treatment?"

"Only for someone to continually watch her for signs of depression. If it gets bad again, we may need to bring her back."

"Alright. Arigato, sensei."

"Come on in. I want to introduce you to everyone else," told her friend as she opened the door.

"You sure? I'm not positive they'll like me barging in like this," Atan replied. Especially the squirt. He never liked you bringing home other boys. Gets too jealous if you ask me.

"Oh, they'll be fine. Come on."

"If you're sure…"

"Konichiwa, Ran-neechan," Conan stated as he climbed down the stairs. "What happened? You were supposed to walk home with me."

"Gomen, Conan-kun. I had to stay after to help with a project."

"Ran-neechan, who's your friend?" Conan asked. It'd better not be another boy trying to get Ran's heart, now that Shinichi has been out of the picture for a while. Especially now that Ran knows who I really am. Conan turned his full attention to the teenager and looked at him carefully, like he would a suspect. Hmm…hair may be blond, but it looks like it was dyed. The colors of his eyes aren't their natural color. Contacts. His posture says he's very agile. Hmm…reminds of someone…wait, it couldn't be, could it? His he hiding out because he was found out? Only one way to make sure. Let's see his reaction to this: "Ran-neechan, has Aoko-oneechan called today?" Conan asked, project pure innocence, something that Ran knew wasn't true.

"Aoko-san? Ran-kun, who's that?" Atan asked.

To the casual eye, Atan's reaction was normal and believable. Unfortunately for him, Conan did not have a casual eye. The Shinichi inside of him could see the slight tense at the mention of Aoko's name.

"Just a friend I've been working with for a little while," Ran asked, puzzled why Conan would bring that up right now. "Well, I'm going to make some snacks. Why don't you two get to know each other while I'm busy?" Ran turned and walked into the kitchen, leaving the two teenagers to look at each other.

Shinichi was sure Kaito didn't know what'd just happened yesterday to Aoko, and decided that he had the right to know what was happening. After looking around to make sure no one was around whom could hear, Shinichi looked at Kaito with no masks, showing him the real Shinichi inside Conan. This was something he did only with people who knew his secret and only when they were alone. "Kaito-kun, we need to talk."

The reaction was what he'd expected. "Kaito-kun? Conan-san, I think you've got be mixed up with someone else," Atan said, his poker face starting to show.

"Drop the act, Kaito-kun. We need to talk, and we need to talk right now. Something happened yesterday that you need to know."

Atan sighed and Conan could see him loosen up, returning to his 'Kaitou Kid' stance: ready for anything, but doing nothing. "What is it, Shinichi-kun?"

"You have to promise not to run off, or expose yourself before I'll tell you. This is very important."

"Alright, you have my word. Now, what's so important you're taking the risk Mouri-kun would find out."

Shinichi smiled. The thief was behind times, something that didn't happen a lot. "Who says I'm taking a risk? It's only a risk when she doesn't know, correct?"

"You're saying she found out?"

"Actually, I told her a few days ago. But that's not what's important. The news I have for you deals with Nakamori-san."

"What about Aoko? What happened?" Kaito looked like he was about ready to take off running to make sure his 'non' girlfriend was okay.

"Yesterday, Nakamori-san was found in her bathroom, bleeding from a knife wound in her stomach. It wasn't deep and missed the vital organs, so she's fine. What makes this unusual is the fact she'd tried to commit suicide."

"Aoko? Suicide? Are you sure?" Kaito couldn't see her becoming that drastic.

"Yes, but not of her own choice. It appears someone has been wanting to hurt Nakamori-keibu and used his daughter to do it. They were drugging her to make her want to kill herself. What makes this worse than any other group is the drugs they used: they're hard to find and extremely expensive."

"Who would do such a thing to Aoko? Nakamori-keibu doesn't have those types of enemies."

"You're right. Nakamori-keibu doesn't, but Kaitou Kid does."

Shinichi watched as realization dawned on Kaito's face. "You're saying they're not after Aoko or her dad, but ME!"

"Yes, isn't that why you disappeared earlier? To protect them?"

"True, but from someone else. I disappeared to protect them from the group that killed my father. Now, I have two big groups after my life and one of them is bringing in innocents."

"You're wrong there. There's not two groups, just one. The same one that killed your father and did this to me."

"So, you're saying because they couldn't find me, they used Aoko to try to flush me out?"

"Exactly. But, with Nakamori-san staying here, they may think a bit more before doing something."

"Wait a minute, what's with Aoko staying here?"

"Yesterday, Nakamori-keibu called and asked if Aoko could stay here for two reasons: One, to protect her; two, to give her someone to talk to about your 'disappearance'. If she's here, the Black Ops will wait for a little bit before doing something. It'll buy us some time."

"I hope you're right, Shinichi-kun. I hope you're right, because where all in more danger now Aoko's staying with you. Keep up your guard."

"You too, Kaito-kun. After all, Nakamori-san won't like it if we bring you back with new lead implants…"

AN: Well, now, does that explain a few things? I hope so. I once again thank my beta reader, Meitantei Mystery, profusely for his help. He's the one that gave me all the information about the medical side. (I'm a medical person. I'm a computer person!) Please, review and let me know what you think of the story so far. Thanks for all of your support! The reviewers:

Meitantei Mystery

Crystal Snowflakes

Silver Sky Magician

Kaito-neechan

Fyliwion

case-closed-lover-1

YumeTakato

Stormyrose

kudo