Author's note: "lll" are purely for organizational purposes. "lllll" mean a time change or shift. Italics are thoughts or emphasis (the latter will be of course in quotes).Bold italics mean heavy emphasis.
My hopes are just like dreams,
Disappearing when they are there...
Losing them both, I scream-
I want to lay down, and die...
I see you in those dreams
Dancing with no one there
What's it that you're doing,
My slender sweetest friend?
And I may not know-
What is the truth...
Though there is only one –
It might not be for me.
Do you hear what it is I'm saying –
Death, my treacherous friend?
You'll get what you wanted,
And hit that strike you missed.
She lies there in my dreams-
A dream within a dream.
Fire in her eyes –
The end, no more tears...
Cause I'll never see those eyes –
My sole sweetest friend.
Can you believe me when I ask –
Can you picture what we'll be?
And I may not know-
What is, the truth...
Though there is, only one–
It might not be for me.
Do you hear what it is I'm saying–
Death, my treacherous friend?
You'll get what you wanted,
And hit that strike you missed.
If I could try again,
I would see her one more time
Never in my dreams
If even just limply in my arms...
Don't Walk Away – What Is The End?
Shinichi eased away from the main hall into the adjacent salon. It was stupid of him to come; he leaned against the wall and banged his fist against it.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
He knew no one on the other side would hear. They were all too busy drinking and dancing, laughing. It was enough to make him feel ill. And he knew for a fact that she would not want to speak to him. He was surprised though that she hadn't sent someone to kick him out of the party. He hadn't been formally invited. Kazuha had justaccidentally registered as coming in a party of four and given him a call.
That was not to say that the rest of them hadn't been trying to do something either...
Was the last place he was thinking of going.
No, just as in sweeping a crime scene it would be wiser to start from one side and end on the opposite side.
He was on the train to Hokkaido and it wasn't a surprise that he had already solved one murder on that train. Of course, he decided that it would be best to use a different name. Donning sunglasses and borrowing the name "Hachibee" from a shonen magazine left lying around, it had taken just over an hour and so the train was now delayed a bit.
It wasn't his fault that where ever he went he would run into a murder or a murderer would run into him. It was as if he were cursed. However as blessed as he was in the number of ordinary murderers he met, when it came to cases concerning the Black Organization, it had been a long time.
A very long time.
About five years ago, it seemed as if crime had stopped. Or at least the murder cases of the papers were getting solved without the "Sleeping Detective" Kogoro. Even Hattori was feeling it somewhat in Osaka. That year's rates of thefts, smugglings and small crimes were later revealed to be less than half of those of the previous years.
During that year, one day in June, after he accompanied Kogoro on a simple case early one morning, on the way home by route of the Circular line, he spotted a man in black sitting at the other end of the car. He knew better than to suspect that every person in black worked for the organization but something deep in his bones told him the person was dangerous. Aside from the black suit and suitcase the only thing any other person would think as suspicious were the heavily glared sunglasses the man was wearing.
Of course, Conan was not just any other person.
Two stops before they were to get off, the man in black stepped off the train, and pushed his suitcase into the hands of a young man stepping onto the train.
He wore a high school uniform from one of the more prestigious schools in the area the train was passing. He was tall and had a pleasing face. Shame it was really, that one of its last expressions had to be absolutely horrified in response to whatever the man in black had whispered to him when passing the case.
His last expression, however, was brave. Conan recognized it, and realized what was about to happen when the young man looked around the train and then curled himself around the suitcase.
Conan did not waste time and pulled Kogoro and himself through an open window. The explosion engulfed the train car just as they made it out and made them tumble over. But Conan's attention was not to be diverted, though he felt vaguely at fault for the victim, and his eyes fell on the man in black walking quickly, but not conspicuously fast enough, up the stairs to the exit.
"Ojisan! Call the police!"
"Hey! Wait a sec!"
Conan ignored Kogoro's yells and fell into pursuit. Three blocks down and he had avoided being in the man's line of sight despite the man's continual habit to look over his shoulder every minute. But then what sane adult would suspect a 10 year old? Even if said adult, belonged to a gang led by sociopaths.
When the man stopped at a bus stop and sat on the bench, Conan easily placed a tracer on the man's pant leg. Pretending to spill coins and pick them up had been an excellent cover.
At a crosswalk an hour later, the man stood casually with the others waiting for the light to change. He seemed to be heading for the warehouse district on the edge of town. The distance between the man and Conan was closing in his eagerness.
Now I have him... and I'll see who he works f-
What happened in that moment would be something Conan never forgot.
An adult's hand gripped his shoulder tightly and a gravelly voice asked him what he was doing. Just before he answered, Conan heard the loading click of a gun.
20-year-old mind or not he was still in a ten-year-olds body.
"I'm just standing here-" he tried to reply but he was pulled into the side alley.
Only then could Conan look at the man who had pulled him in.
And his eyes turned very wide.
"Leave this to us. We know where he's from or rather who he really is."
Akai was already walking away when Shinichi yelled after him.
"I have a stake in this too!"
Akai ignored him.
Anger bubbling, Conan ran out of the alley the other way and kept tabs as to where his target was. Some minutes later it became clear that the possible Black Organization bomber had reached his destination.
"She should have pulled out of the election as we asked. Her son needn't had suffered," Gin's cold tones came into range.
"That was fun," a stunningly familiar woman's voice rang in Conan's ear, "I felt like a Middle-East terrorist."
"You're wonderful Vermouth. Taking on the mission yourself. Personally, a sniper shot would have done the trick. Remember the 'random' snipers in the states a few years back? Ha-ha, the panic caused was bliss."
"Yes, that maybe true but nothing scares the public more than a bomber. Especially after that theft of semtex we conducted just last week..."
Some more talking, general Black Organization chatter.
In the midst of it, a cell phone rang but it disappeared into the background.
And then Gin came back on.
"Tonight should go as planned. It looks as if all is arranged."
"So what's the assignment?" piped up one of the other female voices.
"[H-2-N-Air B. We'll be on the [Tiger's side of course."
H-2-N-Air B? Tiger?
"Tonight will be the last time he'll shine. Him and the artist," add Vermouth.
"Hmph, that was already established since the assignment was handed to us."
"Aniki, is this target really so important?"
"Not at all, it's just some are as dispensable as we always thought them to be. Though this usually wouldn't be in our jurisdiction, He has seen it fit that we take care of them. Especially considering how many times the artist foils our plans. This time we'll just foil his."
"But wasn't he declared dead before?"
"Obviously that wasn't the case and he's been poking into our world, again."
Who are they talking about?
"Eh? What do you mean?" asked another male voice.
"Heh, I know you're young Rye but brushing up on history would be a more worthwhile time than polishing your gun."
Gin chuckled, "Then since we have time, why don't you share this ill-fated Tiger's past.
"Another time perhaps. Script writing has never been my forte. Let's get going; we need time to prepare after all."
Conan then sat back and watched the vehicles leave the warehouse from his bus stop bench. All six. Three of the lot were vans.
And the race began. Conan began to run from there. He had to figure out who, what or where "H-2-N-Air B" was and who was the "Tiger"...
He slowed as he caught a glimpse of a few FBI cars a block down, recognizable by Jodie-sensei's presence, but caught a break at a bus stop to find the line that went through Beika and Haido.
He knew for sure the men in black would not make their move until the evening but it was already two in the afternoon and he would have to think and act fast.
First I need to know where they're headed... what the heck is [H-2-N-Air B? He said it in English so that must be part of the hint... B is for bridge, but the rest... maybe if I turn it around... [Air–N-2–H... Air-N-two-H, Air-an-two-h... N, does it stand for "and"?... from the beginning then it's H2 and Air... using the 'O' would make it obvious, rather use the N that makes it stand for both and itself... Water AND Air... It's in English so that makes it "mizu" and "tei," in japanese... AH! That's it! The romanji for the Teimizu river – the bridges over the Teimizu River – the three that connect Toriya and Haido cities!
Conan looked out the window and realized that the bus was slowing.
Ah! I need to get the other line now... I'm already at Haido Park.
Hopping off the bus and waiting for another was not his favorite thing to do mainly because he couldn't just sit and think about who their victim would be. But it did sound like victims and that did not ease his anxiousness.
Once settled in a seat again he continued his thoughts...
Okay, so the Tiger, Tiger...
Tyger! Tyger Tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night. Vermouth said that tonight would be the last time he shines. That fits with the poem... And she mentioned something about an artist... how does that fit... "Artist" itself must be a clue, Vermouth knows I put the tracker on her pant leg. ... she wants me to win – God only knows why... Okay, Think Shinichi! Think! The poem Tyger is written by William Blake... but he was never an artist... He probably had a few that were his enemy... Who the heck is this Tiger?! Okay... if he only comes out at night then it's a hunter. And Tigers are solitary creatures so this other person is not their friend. A cat and mouse sort of game...?
No that doesn't make sense... how does the poem go...?
Flipping open his cell phone in front of him it didn't take him more than a minute to find the poem.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies/ Burnt the fire of thine eyes?/ On what wings dare he aspire?/ What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art./ Could twist the sinews of thy heart?/ And when thy heart began to beat,/ What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?/ In what furnace was thy brain?/ What the anvil? what dread grasp/ Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,/ And watered heaven with their tears,/ Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Conan twitched at the poem displayed to him in English. He knew the language well but poetry asked for a bit more on his part.
Okay the poem comes down to God making both the Tiger and the Lamb. And God is both creator and destroyer... So did the Organization create this person, they're ending his life after all... Okay the latter is obvious but let's not assume them creating this person and the artist...There's something more here... Blake's speaker is known as both himself and God. Would the Tiger tell this poem? Could Tiger be God? The whole process is expressed to be something almost like magic...
Conan looked up from his phone and thoughts as he felt the bus slow. His jaw fell to his knees when he realized that he was already over the bridge and took in the sight before him.
The bus was not stopping because they were coming to a bus stop but because of a crowd that was spilling into the street from around the park adjacent to the cultural district in Toriya.
It would be host that evening to a performance-
Courtesy of the Kaitou Kid.
Artists, lambs, kids, eye, wings, burning your hand in the fire – okay so this is complete gibberish but it has to be him!
Or at least it'll have something to do with him...
Conan got off the bus as soon as he could and made a run for it through the crowd. That turned to be fruitless quickly considering his size, and he started to take the alternative route through the denser path of bushes.
Of course, bushes, like alleys, didn't like him.
Shinichi supposed it was "National Pull A Child Out of Public View" day.
"Sorry Cool Kid but I have to ask you to leave. Civilians can't be involved with this one."
"Jodie-sensei! You can't deny me being involved!"
"This one might get really ugly."
"It already was ugly! I saw a guy blown to bits on the train! Someone is going to give up their potential spot as prime minister because their family was targeted! Someone is going to die tonight if we don't do something to sto-"
Jodie looked at him confused as he fell silent.
It clicked when his hand went to his ear. He caught her eye and mouthed "Vermouth."
In his ear the smooth (the most appropriate adjective there is) tones of her voice explained...
"I'm currently out of our makeshift hiding place. I have no doubts that you know where it is. But that is not the issue at the moment. Our target is. It is imperative you do not let him die and you must not be seen. I have a promise to keep and I've kept it well until now. You may safely assume I have my own agendas but what they are matter little to you as you know I have no qualms killing people. It does matter to me however when good people go to waste. Let's not be disposable, ne Kudo-kun? Good luck and good day."
The dot on his glasses disappeared and the listening device fell silent in static, a new feature to know when it had been destroyed.
"What did she say?" asked Jodie.
Conan looked up at her with narrowed eyes, "I thought civilians were not to be involved."
Jodie frowned, "All right but you'll have to be careful."
"Don't worry about it – I'm still short. Not too many people are going to look twice at me."
"So then what did she say?"
"Nothing I didn't already know," Shinichi smirked.
Jodie was not amused.
After a quick run back to Agasa's house for a few supplies and a cover story for his whereabouts, Conan was back before dusk.
Grouping with the FBI for a few minutes to know what they would be doing, it was evident that they were no longer equipped for the full-scale attacks on the Black Organization in Japan. They had been spread thin by defeating the divisions in Africa and the Middle East.
It would cost them dearly.
The heist would begin at seven. Dusk was at 6:43 pm.
Shinichi kept an eye out for suspicious figures, those in black and phantom thieves.
It wasn't too hard getting into the museum for all of Nakamori's preparation. And no one was going to question what he was doing there if he was seen – he'd been up against Kid enough times in the paper.
However, this time he would be short of knowledge. He had not seen the hint Kid sent and he did not know the target that Kid was after.
The exhibit rooms were large with impressive ceilings. The items on display were from all over the world. The same could be said for the jewelry. Every kind you could imagine – sapphires, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, tiger-eyes, jade pieces – everything. Of course, that was just from his hidden point of view.
"Boy!" a sharp whisper came out of nowhere.
Conan looked out from his inconspicuous corner and saw a police officer coming up behind him. A rookie if there ever was one. "Hey! What are you doing in here?"
"Ah! I was looking around."
"It's best if you get out of here. Come, I'll walk you out."
Conan followed him to the fire escape.
"You'll get out fine from here. The alarms are disabled for the night."
Conan raised an eyebrow. "Baka, all the alarms are set, I just saw you cut this one from over there Kid."
"Damn, can't get past you can I?" replied Kid half-lidded as he bent down to be on level with Conan.
"You can't perform your theft tonight."
"Ahh – I see you know about our guests."
"They most likely plan to kill you when you fly over the bridge."
"Umm, how'd ya figure that? But that won't matter, I've got a bulletproof vest."
"And what if they shoot off your head? Gin's got better aim than most."
"I'll deal with it when it happens."
"Don't be stupid!"
"Don't be so paranoid Tantei-kun. If this works, you might be known as the kid who pushed The Kid into retirement."
"What's going on over here?"
Both of them looked up to see Hakuba Saguru.
"Eh? Edogawa-kun? What are you doing here?"
"Well it's a Kid heist, why wouldn't I be here?" replied Conan, slapping on his childish smile.
"From what I saw a second ago, it looked like you might be conspiring with Kid," Hakuba glanced over at the disguised Kaitou.
"Okay, Hakuba-keiji, why don't I let you in on a secret..."
Conan explained, much against Kid's will, as to what he surmised was going to happen that night, who was there and just why they were so intent on killing the thief. Hakuba wasn't unfamiliar with the mysterious organization that had popped up in his case readings every now and then.
"Don't I get a say in this?" he whined.
"Fools don't have common sense. Plus it wouldn't be fair if you died before we caught you," replied Hakuba.
The plan was set. Kid would fly out after the heist but it was essential that he caught the higher winds. It would give him more distance from the ground and all though they would be shakier, it would be unlikely that they would land a shot.
"Now get out there and be the bait!"
"Hey!" Kid exclaimed, but went anyway. It was show time after all.
There was a blinding light and Hakuba went out near Nakamori while Conan stayed on the sidelines.
"Kaitou Kid!" Nakamori yelled, "Where the fuck are you!?"
"Right here Nakamori-Keibu!" Kid waved from the display case of his target.
As Kid grabbed the jewel, all hell broke loose.
Gun shots were fired. The door of the museum was slammed shut.
It was planned that there be no survivors.
Why are they already here?
[We'll just foil his...
Damn! They never planned to shoot him as he flew over the bridge!
He was never supposed to get to it!
Black Org operatives had infiltrated over half of Nakamori's team.
"Shit! Where are my men?!"
"NAKAMORI-SAN GET DOWN!"
Hakuba tackled Nakamori just as a hail of bullets passed. He pulled him underneath a display table for safety.
"Stay out of sight! We'll need our Inspector!"
Hakuba pulled out his gun and left him alone.
From the area near the fire escape, Conan watched horrified and angry. He couldn't be any use out in the melee of 10 officers against 20+ black org agents.
"Conan-kun! Conan-kun! What's going on in there?! We can't get in!"
So much for FBI help on this one...
Conan watched as Kid used a combination of acrobatics and his card gun to subdue the agents. Hakuba was doubling as medic and fighter, trying to keep the loss of life to a minimum.
Unfortunately, Nakamori never was one to stay out of the action.
"Kaitou Kid! Where in hell's name did these people come from?!"
He began shooting them as well, using a nearby knight's armor as a shield.
"Keibu! I thought I told you to stay safe!" Hakuba shouted.
"Like hell I would!"
Nakamori set off at a run to get to the other side of the room, to get to where Kid was.
To get some damn answers as to just why this was happening.
It would cost him more than he bargained for.
For the brief moment as Nakamori fell, the room became eerily silent.
Conan watched wide-eyed in terror. His thoughts piecing themselves together –
Kid created Nakamori. That's the only kind of case Nakamori would get out of bed for in the morning. He LIVES for chasing Kid. Kid is the artist... constantly creating for the tiger to critique. Nakamori's dispensable because he's never caught Kid but knows the most about him...
"We'll be on the [Tiger's side of course..." – Nakamori-keibu...
Using Nakamori to get to Kid, trap them, and...
Kid was already rushing to Nakamori.
Hakuba was at a loss for words.
Nakamori's own expression was indescribable. The pain that coursed through his body was unbearable. Two white-hot suns embedded in his flesh.
I'm gonna die...
Nakamori looked up at Kid as if seeing him for the first time. He was vaguely surprised to see that facade Kid always wore cracked.
Kid turned to the adversaries across the room.
His silence was even more terrifying than if he would have been yelling curses at them.
He continued standing there as the gunshots began again.
A few grazing Kid on his leg, then his arms, one tore through his shoulder.
Then as if he were a vengeful ghost, the cards from his gun shot out at his opponents with precise aim and speed. Bloody slits across their wrists, throats, and kneecaps sprouted out of nowhere. None of the wounds were fatal, but blood loss, and more importantly pain, was inevitable.
The officers behind Kid watched in amazement as he continued standing there over the inspector's body, taking the hailstorm of bullets while fighting back as if he felt no pain.
The bulletproof vest was doing its job but the repetition of bullet after bullet hitting the area where his heart was burned with the friction created by the jacket.
Hakuba stood up and fired his own gun. Several of the other officers followed suit.
The Black Organization agents were soon falling back and heading towards the door...
"Don't let them escape!" ordered Hakuba as the men started fleeing into the courtyard.
Conan and Kid were left inside with Nakamori.
Kid kneeled over the older-man. He made little effort to keep his hat from falling.
"Keibu? Keibu, you alive?"
Conan kept his distance as he edged towards the two. The white of Kid's outfit now stained, a mixture of his and Nakamori's blood.
It was obvious enough that the image of the hot-tempered, lively man lying in a pool of his own blood had killed the infamous Poker face.
"Don't die Keibu, come on, say something. Aoko, she still needs you. You can't leave her. You can't give up."
Conan stood silent, it was clear that Kid knew Nakamori outside of the nightly heists.
The man's eyes slid open; a cough bubble of blood fought its way from his throat.
"Kaito-kun? Whadarya wearing that outfit for?"
Kid looked at him and took off the monocle as he softly said, "Well that's because my Dad used to wear it."
Nakamori eyed him through semi-glazed eyes, "I see."
"No no, don't be. It's not me you have to say sorry to..."
The man's breathing fell steady and peaceful as his eyes closed.
Kaito pulled off the radio from Nakamori's belt and cleared his throat.
"Inspector Nakamori is down! Send immediate medical attention inside the museum!"
"Request already given. Fire-fight is prohibiting any entrance to the museum. Who is speaking?"
"GET AROUND TO THE BACK! There's a fire exit you can use to get him out!"
He turned off the radio.
"Come on Kudo-kun. We need to get out of here. Lucky for you you're still light enough for the hang glider."
They climbed the fire escape up to the roof. From there they could see that the fire-fight had ended and the many of the operatives had been captured. There was no Black Viper or Porsche in sight.
"Looks like Gin never planned to shoot you down."
"I would have rather dealt with that," already his voice was bitter.
Off they flew into the night.
They landed on a roof some miles away.
Silently they traveled down five flights of stairs and stopped.
"I just have to stop here to change. Give me a minute."
Thirty minutes later, the door opened.
"Before you step out, please tell me your real name so I can address you properly."
"Heh, didn't you hear the keibu? It's Kaito. Kuroba Kaito."
"Kuroba?" Conan looked wide-eyed at the messy-haired doppelganger of Kudo Shinichi covered in bandages.
"My father was the late magician Kuroba Toichi."
And so the story unfolded. From there Kaito and Shinichi switched off on telling their circumstances on the way to Hakuba's place of residence.
Hakuba's father was not there but the Butler allowed them inside, informing them that Young Master Hakuba was out and had not yet returned.
They were served tea and they talked more as they waited for Hakuba to return.
"What do you mean I have visitors?!" they heard Hakuba's voice around one in the morning.
"An old classmate of yours – he said you knew he was coming."
"I- yes of course I did. I forgot with the excitement of this evening. Thank you Butler." Both Kaito and Shinichi could imagine Hakuba adjusting his jacket and making himself presentable before he would enter. They didn't expect Hakuba to come into the living room and raise an eyebrow at the two of them.
"I hope you got the bleeding to stop because I'm not cleaning up after you."
"No worries. Most were just grazes. Any tears are repairable. Took more time to clean up than anything."
"I finished several games on my cell phone in that time by the way."
Kaito looked at Conan, "They were probably the easy ones."
"Never said they weren't. I said several. That's a key word there."
"So what are you two doing here?" Hakuba asked as he slumped into his recliner chair.
"The kid forced me here," started Kaito, "Of course kid isn't the right word considering who he really is."
Hakuba stayed slumped, "Umm, I've had enough surprises tonight, and I think that whatever I might not already know can wait until later. Anyway Kuroba, Aoko was at the hospital. You might want to go comfort her."
"I don't know if there'd be anything I can say to her."
"You won't know unless you find out," said Conan.
Kaito raised an eyebrow, "I don't think you're one to talk."
Nonetheless, Kaito left them then.
Conan and Hakuba eventually fell asleep in the living room after discussing what Kaito had told Conan and Conan answered all of Hakuba's questions about not being Kudo Shinichi.
The next day Conan went to the hospital where Nakamori was under care to find Kuroba. Word was that he hadn't gone home last night. Hakuba in the meantime went to the station to see what the prisoner situation was.
Shinichi found him sitting in a waiting room with two cups of coffee.
"Hey," Kaito smiled weakly.
His face was pale and shadows were clinging to his red eyes.
"Who's the second cup of coffee for?"
"Aoko, she just got called away. He might have woken up."
"How long was he in surgery for?"
"About four hours. The first bullet was just under his heart. A second..."
"Kuroba..." Conan looked at him concerned as Kaito's expression was completely cracking.
"A second fractured his lower spinal cord... He probably won't walk again..."
"It's not your fault."
it's so easy to say it... but to believe it?" a wistful smile
came over his features, "He's like my Dad... always praising,
saying how good I am... I really screwed up..."
They sat silent until they head light footsteps coming toward them.
"Aoko, what is it?" Kaito looked up at the pale-faced shaking woman.
"My Dad... he says he'd like to talk to you."
Kaito got up and gave Aoko her cup of coffee.
Aoko showed him the way.
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU!"
"Aoko, calm down damn it!"
"You calm down! I can't believe you would keep that from me! From me Kaito! We've been going out for months now! You didn't honestly believe that I wouldn't find out eventually did you?"
"I was going to tell you eventually-"
"When?!After the wedding! Come on Kaito! How could you do this to us?!" She backed away, in truth she didn't want to know the answer. She didn't want to know any of it.
Kaito gripped her arm, "I tried Aoko. I tried. You heard what I told your Dad in there. He's angry but he can accept what I did. He doesn't blame me. Why can't you?"
She pulled away, "Because I trusted you more!"
Kaito didn't want to give up. He pulled her close to him with both arms around her waist.
"Let me go Kaito! Let me go!" She started pounding his shoulders, tears beginning to stream from the pool blue eyes.
"Aoko I don't care what you think of me."
"I love you, get it."
"No," she choked on her breath, "No!"
"I tried. I tried to keep this whole thing-"
"Stop it Kaito!"
"-from touching you because you are that one thing that makes me forget-"
"Please Kaito! Let me go!"
"-about all of this. Don't give up on me Aoko."
"I hate you Kuroba Kaito! I hate you!"
And he let go of her.
Hakuba stepped into the hospital.
The first thing he heard were the echo of a woman's footsteps running.
They were getting louder.
Then he saw who they belonged to.
She stopped running and looked at Hakuba. There was something in his expression that gave it away, that he wasn't as surprised as another person would be, to see his co-worker in tears, her face red and blotchy, ready to continue on her way uninterrupted.
"D-did you know?" she asked through her tears.
Hakuba gave a slow nod.
"Tell him," she hiccupped, "Tell him he didn't try hard enough."
And then she left.
Concerned, he went in the direction she came from. Around the corner and down the hall, he saw Kaito standing there in shock. Eyes wide, and his breathing shallow.
"Kuroba, what happened?"
Kaito snapped out of his trance and fell back into a chair.
"She said, she said she hated me... man I've been stupid. I knew it wouldn't work... Especially when she joined the MP after graduation. I should have just let go then..."
"I saw her as I was coming in," said Hakuba, "You okay?"
"Yeah," Kaito took a deep breath, composing himself, "Did she say anything?"
"Right," Kaito nodded.
"Well I have some depressing news," started Hakuba.
Conan finally woke up from his thoughts, "Don't tell me..."
"All captured Black Org. agents had cyanide tablets on them. They committed suicide."
"That was a terrible story."
Everyone looked over at Takagi.
"I mean it just wasn't what I was expecting. I already knew he was Kudo-kun, but I could never imagine the involvement of a huge organization."
"Well now you know."
"But Jodie-san, how do you know all this?"
"Well, most of it is based on gathered intelligence and Kudo-kun's brief hints of what happened."
"So," Ran spoke for the first time, "This organization has a poison that kills people without it showing up in the autopsy… but it couldn'tkill him... unlike all these people..." she stared down on the reports on the floor.
Sato looked at her, "Ran-chan..."
"If Kudo Shinichi was not as smart as he is, he would have died a long time ago," a sharp, almost stern voice, announced from the doorway.
Everyone looked at the doorway again. There stood Megure, Shiratori, the parents of Kudo Shinichi and Ran's own parents as well, Eri standing calmly at the front.
"Ran, please sit down. I think it's time you heard Shinichi's side of several more events."
"So you've been stuck like this all this time?"
"Hold on, let me make us some tea. This kind of thing demands it."
Eri walked over to the utility cupboard, behind Conan's back, where the tea packets were kept to also conveniently pull out the small voice recorder she had left there by chance the other day. She turned it on, slipped it into her front pocket and went on making the tea.
She carried over the tea tray, "So go over that again, what are the names of the men who shrank you?"
Even the great detective had to be outsmarted sometimes...
Somehow, she wasn't as surprised as they thought she would be. Each word had seemed to trigger a memory, followed by another in a domino effect that culminated in filling in what she almost certainly knew.
It was like singing along perfectly to a song you hadn't really listened to before.
Tropical land, the hot springs, the school play, one after another they went on and on. She realized how close she had gotten, to knowing Shinichi's secret and the danger he was trying to shield her from. But someone in the body of a child could only do so much and he had failed long before he called to tell her that he would not be coming back.
After all, despite separating them for so long, it really had been the only way to do this. If she had known, the false relationship might have been compromised...
"Ran-chan?" Takagi called out.
"Ah? Oh sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Did you say something?"
"I asked if you were all right. You were kind of spacing out."
"She'll be fine Takagi-keibu. She just needs to realize what she's going to do about all this," commented Yusaku.
Yukiko looked at him, "What are you saying?"
"I know what he's saying," interjected Eri, "But it's up to Ran."
Ran looked to them back and forth. Shiratori, Sato and Takagi looked at each other somewhat confused. Megure-keibu looked determined. Kogoro appeared bothered, unsure what to say.
"All of us here in this room, we know more about these people than anyone out there. So many people," she looked at the pile on the floor, "Have died, disappeared. This can't continue. But is this enough to find them all? The Gin and Vodkas of the world and the Boss at the top. This seems so much worse than the Yakuza problems I studied at school. This is global, these people are wealthy, these are theirkicks, there's a lot to gain and lose…"
Jodie cleared her throat, "Ran-chan, you don't have to do this. They're not a threat to you. You're living just fine by yourself. You're safe."
"For now, but I'm sure Okaasan has had a run in or two, even if she doesn't know it. These people stake out the best of the best they can use. If they can't they get rid of them.
"Shinichi always said there is only one truth. And I think I know what it is now. That justice will prevail. And it takes courage, patience and the will to prevail.
"It's really just like love."
Kuroba Kaito smirked as he listened to Ran.
She really does have it bad.
I guess I'll have to help her along.
He stood up from the floor and put on his coat.
He'd have to hurry, he was late to the impromptu meeting as it was.
Within a number of weeks, the counter-organization took root. With the brains of Mouri Ran at the helm, the FBI, select officers of the Metropolitan PD, and the branch in Osaka; it seemed as if the time was right to begin bringing the black organization down to its knees.
Akai quickly took the role as second in command, revealing to Ran the circumstances in which he had been associated with the organization. Valuable as always, information on the organization was quickly pouring in.
Kazuha took up a position at a newspaper and was the eyes and ears of the group, constantly on the look-out for those special signs.
Eri continued her work at the Kisaki Law Firm, taking on a wider demographic of cases in search of leads.
Kogoro was doing well with the detective agency. Now aware of his almost assassination, he stopped listening to the radio on an earpiece.
Hakuba and Haibara had made it back to Japan every few months for the reporting meeting. It was decided that they travel abroad as much as they could to gather intelligence on the organization's holdings in Europe.
The Osaka and Metropolitan PD's were a strange affair all together. In Osaka, Heiji was quickly rising through the ranks. He was second in command to Otaki, who always indulged the young officer in doing things his own way. His father and Kazuha's of course, now part of the higher ups, were filled in and trusted. Especially after they shared their private file of the "strange goings" they had noticed in the Osaka area. Nothing illegal but definitely not the norm. Some was circumstantial, but after Akai gave it an eye, he commented that some it was work he knew well.
"Eh?" commented Ran.
"Well," he looked off to the side, "I did it."
The group couldn't help but laugh and look uncomfortable at the same time.
The MPD group, though small had its resources. The best three inspectors from Investigation Section 1, the help of the Chief of Police, and the head of Investigation Section 2.
That last one had been a hard to come by ally.
"So I'm a little late to the party aren't I?"
Ran turned and looked, for the third time that early morning, at the doorway. There stood a figure in white. It was rather odd for the occasion.
Sato stared wide-eyed. Takagi raised an eyebrow, not amused (it had to do more with a hurt pride than a bad memory). Shiratori, Megure, Eri and Kogoro choked on their breaths. Yukiko let out a sound, a cross between a scream of delight and amazement. Yusaku gave smiled wryly at the man who stood across from him.
"You!" Ran got out of her mouth which had become paralyzed in shock.
He bowed low, "Good evening, I hope this is not an intrusion. But as this is a bit of a reunion, I thought I would stop by and give my regards to Ran-chan."
Kogoro raised an eyebrow. That's an awfully familiar way to talk to my daughter…
"I believe you would do well to investigate the details of several of my heists back before my eight year disappearance."
Ran distinctly heard Yukiko whisper, "How cute, he's even holding up the act!"
"As well as the death of a certain renowned magician around that time, I believe that may yield some results."
Everyone looked at Yusaku.
"I believe you've just confirmed for us that you are not the first Kaitou Kid."
Kid did not bat an eye, "I have said nothing to that effect."
"No you certainly have, otherwise you could tell us the details of your heists from that time and you would know the details of that magician's death, had he not really died. But as Kuroba Toichi did die, those details died with him.
"Isn't that right, Kuroba-kun?"
Yukiko bounced forward, "He's so much older now!
"Say hi properly to your neechan!"
"I distinctly remember calling you Obasan, and you always made the most demonic face I ever saw in response."
"Well this time," she replied and pulled at his cheek, "I'll teach you to speak to your elders with more respect."
Ran couldn't help but laugh but stopped as she realized something.
"Kuroba. That was the name on the card you gave me this afternoon."
"Card?" perked up Yusaku.
Kogoro got to it first.
"This isn't a card! It's a listening device."
Ran goggled at it, "What?"
"How do you think he knew where and when to come? He must have been listening all day since the afternoon."
Invasion of privacy didn't exactly earn points with Ran.
"Ah, ah just wait okay! Let me explain! I was on the flight back with Kudo-kun from London! I heard how he disappeared after so I thought I might keep an eye on you just to make sure you were doing okay. But then I heard the details of the case this afternoon after I gave you the card. And then all this… well I had to come didn't I?"
Ran lowered her arms in her karate stance, "I guess…"
"I'll come by later again as I've given myself away. I may steal from people material possessions but those people steal lives. And you can't get those back…
"Please do look into what I said. Please?"
"Okay… just don't hide. It's rather annoying."
"I guess that's fair, after all it's what most people do around you huh?"
And he left Ran with that very interesting thought.
A few days later, once the counter-organization had been somewhat formed, Ran finally had time to go down to the MPD and request copies of certain files.
As Kuroba Toichi's death had been classified as an accident and as Section 1 specialized in murders, his files would be in Section 2's records.
Ran's heels clicked along the white tile floors. She had already found the report numbers for the Kaitou Kid ones. There were so many files, Ran knew it would cost a pretty penny. There were two however that would be difficult to acquire.
The one on Kuroba Toichi was older but had been placed under limited release.
The other, of the night of the July Heist, had to be signed off for release by the head Inspector as well.
Therefore, Ran was on her way to the office of Inspector Nakamori.
"Nakamori-keibu is in a meeting. Would you like to wait in the office?" asked the Inspector's secretary.
"Ah, yes. Thank you."
Ran was shown into the glass-paneled office of Inspector Nakamori, very Perry White-esque. She took a seat in the chair across the desk.
"Nakamori-keibu will be with you shortly."
The secretary showed himself out and closed the door.
Ran leaned back and looked around the office. It was clean and the light from the window behind the desk made the room fairly bright.
She quickly noticed a frame on the desk. It was uncommon that people put out pictures on their desks; it was a very American practice.
She reached out slowly and turned it with one finger.
Three happy faces smiled at her.
It was a very candid picture, at a party it seemed. The girl was wearing a faux police badge pinned to her shirt. The boy, in handcuffs, had only one on.
Ran's ears picked up footsteps coming toward the office and quickly turned the picture back.
The door opened and in walked in the youngest Inspector ever in the history of the MPD, beating out her own father's record by just a year, Nakamori Aoko.
"Good afternoon, Mouri-san."
Ran stood and shook her hand, "Good afternoon Nakamori-san. I hope I find you well."
"Yes thank you, and you?"
"Just doing some investigating, a bit of a side project."
"Really, sounds luxurious. You have that kind of time? I heard you graduated from law school recently. No jobs lined up?"
"Well this is what you call one of those "callings" but yes I'll be working at the Kisaki Law Firm."
"A great place to start. I'm sure there were others vying for your spot."
Ran nodded, "Heh, well I was picked fairly. My mother owning the firm had nothing to do with it. Just like you and this job."
Aoko laughed, "Ha, trust me it's more of a burden sometime than a job."
She paused for a moment, "So you wanted the July File huh?"
Ran nodded, "I was told it would help in my investigations."
"May I ask by who?"
"Just a friend."
Aoko resisted raising an eyebrow, "Well this friend is very well informed, it's not someone from my department right? Or the reporters? They're always cornering my men to see if they have some detail we haven't released publicly about that thief."
"No," Ran waved her hands, "Of course not."
"Anyway," Aoko got up and went to a gray file cabinet in the far right corner of the office and pulled out a file from the bottom most drawer.
"That's a photo-copy," she began, "I keep a few of them lying around in case someone like you comes in asking for it." She leaned over her desk and signed a carbon-copy slip of paper. She split them apart and slipped the yellow copy onto the protruding iron paper weight-like pike.
Aoko looked down onto the appointment sheet and stopped.
"Is something wrong Keibu?"
Aoko sat back into her chair and read over the appointment sheet closer.
"You wanted the file on Kuroba Toichi?"
"Ah yes. Is something the matter Keibu?"
"You checked out the other Kaitou Kid files available for the public correct?"
"Yes," Ran nodded and looked at Aoko, "Is-"
She was interrupted by Aoko suddenly standing up.
"Would you be so kind to tell me the particulars of this investigation you are conducting Mouri-san. If you would be so kind?"
Aoko's cold tones shook Ran to the core.
What is the matter with this woman? She is getting awfully defensive.
"I was told that the accidental death of Kuroba Toichi," began Ran as she stood up, "Was connected to the people who have previously targeted people close to the Kaitou Kid," replied Ran in her equally hard voice.
"Who told you that?"
Aoko looked around the office through the glass and lowered her voice.
"Mouri-san. This is a dangerous line of inquiry. I cannot give you that file."
Ran chose her words carefully.
"I know how dangerous my complete investigation is. Are you busy this afternoon?"
Aoko looked surprised and then glanced down at her schedule.
"No appointments of importance. Why?"
"I thought perhaps it would be better to talk in a more private setting."
Kaito looked up at the apartment building Ran lived in. The sun made it shine like a beacon. The glass pristine and new, clearly it had not seen its share of winter storms.
He stepped into the lobby and looked at the name listings. They were on shiny plaques. One number was vacant.
"Geez, the apartment association must be making a fortune here… Ah there it is, Mouri. Floor… number…"
Kaito walked over to the set of elevators and walked into one just emptying out. He pressed the button to close the doors and headed up.
He stretched out a bit as he waited. Sometimes the lack of space just made him itch to move.
The elevator dinged open and he made his way around the hall. He stopped at her apartment and rang the bell. He heard voices inside.
She must have company… I'll make this quick…
The door creaked open.
He froze as he looked at who was answering the door.
"Aoko? What are…"
Ran quickly made her way to the doorway.
"Oh Kaito-kun, come in."
Aoko still stood there dumbfounded, unable to say anything. Her mouth opening and closing, failing to find the words.
Ran glanced quickly over to Kaito, calculating.
"Sorry Ran-chan, seems as if this was a bad time, I'll-"
Ran hulled him inside by the arm, "Nonsense. This is the perfect time."
She slammed the door shut and turned all the locks on it.
"Actually Ran-kun, I have to get going. There was this meeting I completely forgot about. Completely important. I really have to-"
"No one is going anywhere," declared Ran looking back and forth between the two of them.
"Really Ran-chan, this is unnecessary."
"I think otherwise. He," she said pointing at Kaito while addressing Aoko, "Was on that picture on your desk. And now you're trying to get away from him as if he's the ninth plague of Egypt. If I'm going to be working with both of you, I need to know that you can work together."
"You mean she's-"
"You're trusting him!"
She glared at them both, "Details now."
Kaito tried to stand up a little straighter, "Have you told her about…"
"I hadn't gotten to you if that's what you mean."
"I know about that," Aoko spoke up, "Just not about the organization. The report put it as-"
"Yes, a renegade terrorist group that hates Kid. I was flattered Keibu put that in. The paper published letters from Kid fans for the following ten weeks saying they were appalled that someone would try to take away their Kid."
Aoko glared at Kaito, "You have absolutely no shame."
"Whatever," began Ran, gaining their attention again, "I need to be sure that you both can work together on this 'bring down the evil organization business.' Now sit down please both of you."
Aoko and Kaito walked into the living room and sat down on opposite couches while Ran went into the kitchen to save the burning tea.
Kaito smelled the sweet honey tea from his spot.
She must have acquired a taste for more western teas. They're not half bad either…
His eyes wandered over Aoko quickly. Her skirt was just high enough for him to appreciate the work out her legs got every other night from chasing him.
And since she had joined the 1412 taskforce he had gotten very close to being captured several times. More so when she finally became Inspector.
Sitting across from her now he could see that it was only the running that caused that top button on her blouse to become undone, giving him the peek he loved seeing every time he was trying to escape from her.
Again, that was the reason he had almost been caught several times.
Aoko kept looking out the window or over to the kitchen. She wanted to get out. But Ran was blocking the exit.
She could feel his gaze on her. It was taking everything she had to not shiver under it or look back at him.
How? Why? How does he still have this pull over me!? To make me freeze as soon as he looks at me… Is he going to smile still?
CAN HE STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!
I told him I hated him. FIVE YEARS AGO. I think that's enough time to get over it.
Why am I not over it…
Aoko was about ready to burst when Ran came with the tray of tea.
"All right. Now. So let me get this straight. You know," she pointed at Aoko, "That he," she pointed at Kaito, "Is the Kaitou Kid?"
"Yes," they responded in unison.
"And she knows your father was…"
"Yes," they repeated.
"And now she's in charge of the Kaitou Kid task force?"
"Yes," said Aoko by herself.
"It's my fault…" said Kaito.
"That's not it. That was the career path I was already taking in the first place. It has nothing to do with Kaito."
"Wait," started Ran, "You guys were together right?"
Kaito nodded as Aoko took a sip from her tea.
"You hadn't told her yet had you?"
"That's right. It was my fault that Keibu was shot that night. I didn't protect him. I don't blame Aoko for hating me at all…"
Aoko kept her eyes on her tea cup.
"A lot of bad things happened, and I didn't react well. After all… we had been very serious, and…"
"In any case," began Ran realizing it was going further than it needed to at the moment, "I need to know if these feelings can be worked through. So I know I can depend on you two working together."
"You mean not try my hardest-" they both said in unison.
"I'm not asking either of you to change the way you do things now, I'm asking to work together to stop these people."
"Well I'm up for it," replied Kaito quickly.
Ran looked at him though half-lidded eyes, "Of course I know you're fine with it. But I need to know about Aoko…"
Aoko looked back and forth between the two of them.
Ran watched Aoko's face go from soft to hard in a matter of seconds when finally Aoko burst out, "Only because these are the guys that shot my Dad!"
Kaito had to grin, "Well we've got something in common again."
Kudo Shinichi, alias, Edogawa Conan had not been back in Tokyo for almost two years now. And the chilly air did nothing but compound his homesickness for the Mouri's cozy apartment or his seat in front of the old fireplace in the library. The January air also reminded him that it was on this day, ten years ago, that he took Ran on their first and only date.
He was not in the least surprised at himself when he boarded the afternoon train to Tokyo. Getting off, it didn't shock him that things looked more or less the same. Of course, he knew how things had been going in Tokyo. All the hubbub with Mouri Ran, attorney, cracking the biggest cases of all time.
Not to mention her progress at chipping away on the Black Organization.
But his worry now fell not entirely on Ran. His newfound underground fame was causing some trouble. More people seemed to want to know who exactly was this detective calling himself Conan. The next "Kudo Shinichi" he was being called by the papers, who though not having a single picture of him, felt that same aggressive investigative spirit in him.
He liked to laugh, knowing it was exactly the same.
Some who had gone digging through the papers recalling the name Conan belonging to a boy who matched the Kaitou Kid every time, believed it was him, all grown up.
Others did not have to look at the paper to know he was going to create a stir once again.
He stopped at the newspaper stand by the train and picked up a newspaper. The headline read, "Kaitou Kid Escapes Yet Again!" and went on to outline the details of the heist. Conan smirked.
Well that wasn't what brought me to Tokyo, but I could use some fun…
He pulled out his notebook and looked at his schedule.
Ran woke up. It was deathly cold and dark. She sat up and looked around the room as her eyes adjusted to the lack of light in the room.
The window was open. The curtains fluttered in the chilly air as it made its way around the bedroom.
I didn't leave that open…right?
Ran got out of the bed and slipped her robe on over her nightgown. Closing the window, she caught the scent of something vaguely familiar. A clean scent. Where had she smelled that before…?
She looked around the room as she turned on the light on the nightstand. Nothing seemed out of place.
Seeing the time she realized that she would have to wake in a few hours.
She had an important meeting tomorrow.
Heiji held on to Kazuha's hand. He knew she didn't like leaving Akane alone out of her sight even for a couple of hours. And though she was well aware that Ayumi was a very capable babysitter, and a normal teenage girl willing to give up a Friday of school to babysit instead, she was still jumpy.
"Calm down, she'll be all right."
Kazuha tried not to glare at him, but it was hard not to. She was certain that squeezing someone out of you created a very deep bond, especially when that someone was helpless on their own.
Not to mention that the little girl was already starting to walk around on her own and it just had to be that she had her father's streak of getting into trouble, i.e. bumping into the furniture.
Heiji didn't know how Kazuha could worry so much. She was always busy with all that writing she had to do. He'd gotten the growing family an apartment in Tokyo, furnished with a very homely feeling, to help ease the taxing schedule. It was just a perk that it was a few blocks away from Ran's new apartment.
On the 27th floor of the New Beika Apartment Complex, right at the top, Ran had a very roomy apartment. She loved that she had roof access too. Sleeping on the lounge chairs there after hot summer days was the best way to cool off.
It had one bedroom, a large bathroom, an open kitchen, dining and living room. A lot more comfortable than her previous apartment, though she did miss the coziness it had.
But necessity had called for it. There were only so many places in Tokyo where a large group of people could meet and talk without being overheard. Karaoke rooms were too loud and the personal bars were too tiny for fitting in more than 8 people at a time. Phone and internet meetings could be compromised.
They could all get together here.
Well minus the FBI members. Usually either Jodie or Akai appeared as a representative of the allies and to give input.
Today Akai said he would come as Jodie was busy checking on a few leads.
Ran had the house ready for the 2 o'clock meeting and had the dining table set up with snacks and drinks, having something light around helped keep the group from becoming grim. Especially considering the close calls they'd had before.
But they were getting to the home stretch.
Within the hour the group: Akai, Yusaku, Yukiko, Eri, Kogoro, Heiji, Kazuha, Haibara, Hakuba, Aoko and Takagi, was sitting around the table. Kaito liked hanging off to the side.
"All right. It looks as if we'll be able to make an arrest soon guys."
Head turned up from the papers in front of them.
Ran continued, "Earlier this week we finally got the papers linking former Chief Matsumoto to the organization. Kaito was able to sneak in and get the copies he had."
Kaito preened as Ran said his name. Hakuba smirked as he heard someone mumble "Stupid thief."
"And as he's our anonymous source in this whole matter, the court can't just throw out the evidence. It definitely connects him with a member of the organization. The beverage Pisco is mentioned throughout the files-"
"But Pisco's dead," interrupted Haibara.
"Yes, but the papers also mention Pisco's safety deposit box and the passkey. Matsumoto made a side note of "memoirs". If there is a diary of some sort in that safety deposit box we can definitely get-"
"Ran-san where are the copies?"
Ran looked to her right at Akai who had been flipping through the stacks of the papers around Ran's head of the table seat.
"They should be in that stack marked December."
"They're not there. Nothing about Matsumoto or Pisco or anything. It's just the papers we had last week."
Ran flipped through the notes she had made concerning the files.
Heiji jumped in his seat when Ran, wide-eyed, suddenly slammed them down and took off down the hall.
Takagi went after her.
Everyone stayed where they were as they heard Takagi ask, "Where did you see them last?" and Ran apparently pound the desk they knew she had in her room as she yelled, "Right there on top!"
Even Kaito who had been doing ninja moves on the ceiling stopped moving.
After a few minutes of shuffling and continued chaotic racket, Ran and Takagi came back in much quieter than they had left.
"Ran-san, you said you had the papers last night?"
"Yes I was looking at them and making notes for possible actions we could take with this new information. But I didn't write down the passkey for the safety deposit box."
Kazuha was slightly startled as Ran ended that sentence with a nice heavy pound to the table.
"You didn't leave the house Ran-san?" asked Yusaku.
"No I haven't left the house since yesterday and I still had the papers when I got back yesterday."
"You mentioned to me about getting the new information concerning Matsumoto on Wednesday, Kaito got it Tuesday night. Did you tell anyone else about it?"
Ran was trying to stop herself from feeling useless, "I told Jodie-sensei, Otousan and Kaasan, Kudo-san, Heiji-kun and Hakuba."
"Hmm, well I only told Kazuha what you told me over the phone."
"We didn't tell anyone about it," spoke up Eri.
"I of course told Yukiko."
"I told Haibara what you said over the phone."
"Kaito told me," said Aoko, "I assume we all had some knowledge about the files before we came. After all we usually don't all come at once unless it is really important."
"Well the files aren't anywhere in the house so there's only one thing to suspect," began Takagi.
"They were stolen," finished Akai.
"But who?!" began the discussion around the table. Fear of being discovered by the organization when they were this close followed quickly.
"No. That's not it," said Ran to quiet everyone's speculation.
"We have a mole…and it's for Shinichi."
AN: Oh dear, what excuse do I have for not updating for a year and 9 months? None, nothing at all. I had this chapter finished around May, I just hadn't posted because I hadn't given it the proper look over and for that I'm sorry guys. Lots of things came up between May and this month and I feel that this story really did start with emotion so it will end in that same way, with me emotionally drained (I really couldn't hope for more – if I don't feel that way I know I haven't made it good enough). So - Good news, just one long actiony concluding chapter left and I am determined to finish it for Fic Off this January. I hope you liked the chapter and you can see where it's going. As you can see it was never my intention to bog the story down with too many details over how exactly the organization is taken down because this story is really about Shinichi and Ran. It's about them no matter how much I delve into other relationships and that's how it will end.
A quick story note. Most of this was written in 06- before the whole Akai thing in the manga, before A LOT of the latest developments. I don't even have a date for when I first saved this chapter because I changed computers midway (cry).
Anyway thank you for reading and please please review (wave).