Disclaimer: Not mine.
Note: I'm so so sorry for not updating earlier. XD I was caught up in another genre (naruto: Hinata/anyone but Naruto). Lousy excuse, I know. I also lost inspiration to continue and write this fanfic. Then I thought, it'd be cruel if I didn't explain myself. So, there you go. This is for those of you who're still reading. And those who've reviewed… *glomps* I love you guys! Now… enjoy.
He threw the empty wine glass against the window furiously, shattering the fragile item. They glittered against the moonlight hauntingly, daring him to go and pick them up and put them back together. That was impossible. His life had been shattered the day he lost her and unless he could somehow find her, shattered would he remain.
He hid his face in his hands, trying to connect the little dots that he had gathered in the bar tonight. He knew who Daniel was but he had never heard of Tom before tonight. Though he very much doubt that he is the 'Crawford' he had heard about from Ran. Tom was too young, not yet twenty even, he suspected. Even though he hid in the disguise of an elderly man, there was not much he could do about the eyes that shone with youth.
It took the great detective the night's sleep to realize he had just been overestimated. The man called 'Tom' had assumed that Shinichi had found them not by chance and had deemed it necessary to caution him against following them. He cursed under his breath, climbed out of his bed, and proceeded go through the pockets in his jacket. As his hands met a hard, metallic card at the bottom of his coat - embedded on his jacket through masterfully applied glue and hidden in fabric of roughly the same texture – he swore loud and long.
He stumbled to his laptop, turning it on with slightly shaking hands. Inserting the memory card into the slot, he prayed to the gods that this would help shed some light into the turmoil going through his mind... And a tiny part of him prayed that he would be able to hear her voice again.
The only file in the memory card was a recording labeled, 'Ran Mouri'. He felt himself tense as he double clicked on the icon. He was disappointed, however, when he heard the voice of an old man…
'Mr. Kudo. If you receive this message, then it is already too late. My name is Dr. Crawford. I am Ran Mouri's doctor in charge. I'm sure she mentioned me to you some way or another,' he laughed lightly, 'even though I specifically told her not to. But I doubt she would keep anything secret from you. Though, I cannot say the same for you. I am truly sorry I never had the privilege to meet you,' he guffawed, 'Ran practically worships the ground you walk on and I wanted to see for myself if you are worthy of her love.'
'I have time on my hands, and I hope you have time on yours because this one-sided conversation is going to take a long time…'
Shinichi unconsciously made himself shifted himself into a more comfortable position on the couch and closed his eyes.
'She may not know it herself, but the first time I met her was at a park. She was a little more than fifteen at that time. And I was contemplating suicide. Everyone in the family goes through this phase in some points of our lives. Most of us make it through. Some… don't.'
'It seemed as if she was waiting for someone. Either way, she smiled as she saw me and sat down next to me. She had me talking before I knew it. It comes naturally for her, doesn't it Shinichi? She can just make people confess their deepest darkest secret to her, and still she will not judge them. She will nod, smile, comfort and carry our burden, even if there were not hers to carry. Still she willingly shared it.'
'Shinichi, do you mind if I just call you that? That is-,' he pause here and, as if it hurt to correct himself, he sighed, 'was how she refers to you and I suppose that is how you are known to me. That day, without knowing that she did it, Ran gave me the courage to live on. I went back to my life for a little while before I realized that I needed to see her again…' he took a deep breath, 'I realized I might just be in love with her.' Shinichi felt the muscles in his stomach tightened, 'but then, as I spent more time with her, I realized it was more than that. I was grateful to her, my life is indebted to her and I felt like I owed it to her to keep her safe. Without knowing it, I started to live for her.'
His voice was fraught with anger as he continued, 'Do you realize how much danger you put her in by staying so close to her?! Don't you realize that by leaving her when you found out she was being targeted, you put her in more danger than ever?! It was a blatant proclamation that she knew something and you are not willing to share her in your little 'bring down the Black Organization' scheme anymore. I do not care if your friends and family have been trying to comfort you by telling you otherwise, but Ran being captured was entirely and completely your fault!' he took a deep breath, as if calm himself.
'They had her in their hands for two weeks before Daniel and I managed to track them down. I hope you have gathered enough information about Daniel by now?' he sighed, 'then again, Daniel has always been a master of his own levels in covering his tracks.'
Shinichi clicked the screen once to pause the recording. He walked over to the fridge on slightly unstable feet and took out a bottle of wine. Pouring himself a careful portion of the red liquid, he numbly registered the fact that he had only been listening half-heartedly. He needed sleep. Nonetheless, he helped himself to a few mouthfuls of alcohol –not taking time to enjoy the fine liquid – before resuming the recording…
'Daniel has always been elite in our company. Before I tell you about Daniel, let me enlighten you on the nature of our company. We like to refer to ourselves as' the family' for we were all raised and taught under the same roof. We are all orphans, picked up from the streets at a young age to be taught the family's way. I doubt you've heard of us, we pride ourselves in our inconspicuousness. Above all, we pride ourselves in getting rid of the scum of society –for a price, of course. Thus said, we are a small group of elite out-for-hire assassins,' He laughed again.
'I was in my thirties when Daniel first joined in our family. He was a little more than six, perhaps. We could all see why he was handpicked for our family though, he was a natural killer. He was efficient, heartless and invisible. We stayed away for him out of the basic instinct to survive. Over the years, however, we found that he was perhaps the most loyal of us. He would rather die than betray the family…'
'That proved to be useful, for one day, one of our own turned his back on us and attempted to be rid of us. The guilt of murdering so many people had gone to his head and crazed him, causing him to turn the gun on us. I do not know how Daniel did it, but he managed to lead the man away from us. Daniel may well be the best among us, but he was unarmed and the man he faced was an unrivalled marksman.'
'It was by luck alone that Daniel managed to overcome his opponent. It was by fate that he managed to find his way to your lovely angel. And it was her loving nature that saved his life.'
'He only returned to us once he was fully recovered. But we could all see the difference in him. When we asked him where he was, for the first time since he has been with us, he smiled. We thought that he had gone insane as well but after a little interrogation, he told us about the angel.'
'I soon found out that I was not the only one stalking Ran. We later discovered that her footsteps were being shadowed by people not of our family and we took better care to keep her safe. I brought her on some of my charity works with me while Daniel made sure she was never alone when I was kept busy by my work. We took turns. However, we both still had jobs to do, on top of identities to hide and two pairs of eyes were not enough…'
'Daniel took the liberty of replacing her drunken father with that of a corpse that I had worked on to look like Mr. Mouri. When the police did the autopsy, I was sure to make sure my name was on top of the list. We thought the organization would take a while to strike after that and loosened our guard. Both of us had assignments to do and left Ran's side for a little while.'
'A little while was all they needed to kipnap her. Daniel was compelled to bring down the organization by himself when he first saw the picture in the papers. But a little thinking made him go and check the corpse in the morgue. They faked her death and did the same thing I did about the autopsy so there were two fake corpses in the files instead of one. We finished the responsibilities at hand and proceeded to try and located her without further ado.'
'They had her in their hands for two weeks before Daniel and I managed to track them down. It took us a week to find her. If you managed to run into dead bodies in your pursuit to bring down the organization, you now know who's responsible. I have a short recording on the day we found her. I have a feeling you'd like to hang on to whatever you have of her. She has a beautiful voice, doesn't she?
'I'm afraid her voice doesn't sound too well here, though…
She sounded tired, as if her body had lost the capability to speak but her will insists on it anyway, 'what did you give me?'
His voice was filled with malice, 'not so tough now, are you?' he laughed. 'But I'll humor you. It's a prototype medicine our chemists are working on. In a little while, your world will turn dark and then, lets see how loud you can scream, hmm?'
She drew in breath with difficulty, 'That explains why I can't see anything,' she laughed scornfully, 'you had to go as far as take away my sight just to make me scream?'
A loud smack told him that the man had slapped her across the face, Shinichi felt his hands clench into fists. 'Our boss is not happy with you knowing nothing about your boyfriend. Not happy at all,' a soft gasp of surprise as he pulled her hair, 'we might just consider killing you off. But that wouldn't be fun, would it?'
'Take your hands off me,' she ordered softly.
'What'cha gonna dy? Scream?' he laughed scornfully. A loud bang interrupted his laugher. He fell silent suddenly. The door was forced open with a loud thud, followed by a gasp from the man as he was rammed against the wall.
'Who the hell are you?!' he demanded, his voice sounded quite a distance away from the recorder. Shinichi assumed he was out of the room.
An elderly voice startled both Shinichi and Ran, 'Ran, it's me, Crawford. Are you okay?'
'Dr. Crawford? But you're…' she sounded confused. And she sounded like herself again, not the cold, indifferent tone she used against her captors.
'Dead?' he helped, 'I know. Let's just accept that I'm not. How are you feeling?'
She stifled a sob, 'they took away my eyes…'
Shinichi could almost see the old man fighting to remain calm for her sake. 'Ran, I'm going to put on some music for you, okay? Don't be alarmed, I'll get back to you in a little while.'
'Do-' she never finished her sentence. The music was loud, even through her earphones Shinichi could hear them. The only reason why they would do that, is because they didn't want her to hear what they're about to say… or do.
'Crawford,' Shinichi recognized that voice from tonight, 'what did they do to her?' he wanted to know.
'A few messy slashes here and there, bruises on her face and they took her eyes,' he sounded professionally calm.
'Who the HELL are you two?!' the man demanded again, only to be rammed forcefully against the wall for the umpteenth time.
'Reinforcements. The Organization reckons you have not been doing a good job,' the sound of a knife flipped open, 'and I can see why.'
'They took away her eyes?' Daniel repeated coldly, hiding none of his malice. Shinichi felt his blood run cold, he could see why Crawford called him a natural killer. He was terrifying, even through the recorder.
'She can't hear us.'
And that was all he needed to know before piercing screams filled his ears. Shinichi felt mildly surprised that he found the screams satisfying. He hoped Daniel hurt them well.
The screams went on for a while. Shinichi found himself wondering if he would do the same in Daniels shoes. No, he thought to himself. If he had found Ran in that state, and knew the two of them to be responsible, he would've pulled the trigger then and there.
These two people found the need to keep her unaware of what they're doing, all the while making sure that they paid for what they have done.
'Crawford,' there was a loud thud as he threw the unconscious man to the side, 'make sure they don't die.'
Shinichi felt the odd silence Ran did as he turned off the music, 'Ran.' He was once again surprised by the tenderness in his voice as he called her name.
'What happened to Daniel?' he joked, his deep voice somewhat lighter as he tried to keep her calm.
She giggled, 'Daniel,' she sniffed, 'Daniel, Daniel, Danieldanieldanieldanieldanieldaniel' she sobbed his name over and over again, wailing openly in pain and relieve.
'It's okay. We're here,' he soothed. 'Shh… it's okay…'
'I thought he'd come,' she wailed, 'I thought… I thought… Shini-' her voice cracked as she sobbed. He kept silent. 'He's not coming… is he?' she sounded pleading, asking even though she knew the answer.
'I don't-' he paused. He couldn't lie to her, even though it'd make her feel better, 'No. He's not.'
Shinichi wanted to die. He truly did. He wished the Black Organization had killed him. He wished he could kill himself. How he wished he could die.
Crawford's voice continued, 'I know it's not fair to show this to you now. But it wasn't fair for her to go through that either. Shinichi, she waited for you for years. And during those two weeks, she waited enough to last a lifetime. You may want to know why I'm telling you all this. First of all, she will have wanted me to. Because, in her own words, "you can't stand mysteries you can't solve". Without help, I'm afraid you will never be able to solve this one. You see, the little angel that you fell in love with had died that day. Because to her, the 'Shinichi Kudo' that she has known and waited for all her life is no longer there. So stop looking, Shinichi Kudo. Even if you manage to find her, you will achieve nothing.'
'Secondly, I am no longer alive. I would tell you face to face if you ever found me. But you never did. So you would have to settle for this. I truly wished I had known you. Because then, I might not despise you as much as I do now.'
'And thirdly, I want you to know, Ran Mouri may be dead to you. But she is alive to us. And you can never have her.'
Note: I wrote this in a little more than four hours. Hope it's not too messy but I don't really don't have time to edit it much. I do hope I managed to clear some things up for you guys. If I missed any explanation I shouldn't, ask away! I would also love advices and ideas… because I have no idea how to work on this anymore. Ran and Daniel makes a cute couple, no?
But then, that would be neglecting Shinichi!!
*pulls hair in turmoil*