Disclaimer: Gosho Aoyama owns most of the characters and the setting. I do not. Trust me, things would be moving along at a lot faster clip if I did.
Dedication: For Risa. She's the one that asked for it, and she's the one I largely wrote this story for. And the month I wrote it in was rough for her. So, for the poking, the prodding, and the throwing random MCR songs at me that spawned plunnies to chase … she gets a fic.
.: Chapter 1 –The Rebirth of Kudou Shinichi :.
"Necessity is the mother of 'taking chances.'"
He stepped from the shelter of the bus and headed down the rain-washed sidewalk, intent on the doorway beneath the glowing terminal sign. He hunched further into his jacket, pulling the hood down over his eyes and the zipper up near his nose as he walked, sheltering his face from the eyes of those around him as well as the cold drizzle of rain.
The static-crackle of a radio tuning, before it settled on clear voices, pulled at his attention over the slapping footsteps of the other foot traffic as he moved past a kiosk lined with magazines. He heard snatches of the report as he passed about a stolen gem and the reward being offered for its return. A reward offered that probably wouldn't be claimed when the pilfered stone was returned by the very thief that took it.
The sounds were swallowed by the rush of parting glass doors, and the low murmurs of human voices within the train station. A rush of warmth reached out to enfold him as he entered – his timing good enough that the train rattled up moments later.
He slipped between the parting doors and latched onto a pole, sinking against its smooth surface and stuffing his hands in his pockets. He left his hood up, and remained standing, despite that the emptiness of the carriages. The visible edges of his school uniform were dark with the rain, and he shivered occasionally as the lights of the city rushed past. Eventually his posture relaxed and, after several distance-placing stops along the train's route, he finally chose a bench and curled up in it against the outer wall.
The hood fell back, revealing straggly black hair slightly too long and unevenly cut and eyes hidden behind thick glasses perched on a broken nose. He stared moodily out into the rain, watching the city flash by until a pleasant voice announced the next stop and the train slowed as it rumbled into the waiting station.
He pushed himself to his feet and pulled the hood back up around his face before slipping out as silently as he had slipped on, back into the chill embrace of the rain-washed night and the walk ahead. As he stepped from the confines of the train station and back into the open air, he realized that the drizzling rain he'd fought all the way to the train had stopped, giving way to intermittent moonlight creeping through the receding storm.
A bus idled outside the station, waiting for the last few stragglers to board before its doors hissed shut and swayed into the sparse late-night traffic. He again claimed an abandoned space near the back, standing with his hand wrapped around a pole for balance, until slipping out at the end of his ride.
The world around him had changed; shifting from the claustrophobic chaos of Tokyo proper to the stately isolationism of this neighborhood lined with large houses and burnished nameplates. The shadow of a grin flashed in the shadows of his hood, and he tilted his face upward to acknowledge the clearing night. He reached up, and the glasses slid into his hand then vanished, replaced for an instant by a subtle glitter as he hefted two shiny stones in his hand. One flashed in answer – catching at the combined light of the moon and streetlamps of the deserted street – while the smaller one glimmered with opalescent fire.
His movements changed as he walked, shifting from tired slouching to a giddy purposeful stride that sent the two stones bouncing in his palm. He stopped and they disappeared from his hands without fanfare, leaving his hands free to reach out to the nameplate of the house that rose before him, fingers idling tracing the strokes of the kanji before the gate swung open under his other hand.
Swinging the gate closed behind him, he heard it latch as he continued down the front path to the house until a yawn caught him off guard. He made a note to find the spare key as the front door's lock opened with a satisfying click and he let himself into the abandoned home.
His shoes he left to dry beside the front door, and climbed the stairs in slightly dryer socks. Laundry he could do tomorrow, he decided, stripping off the wet jacket and tossing it over the back of the desk's chair followed by damp slacks and a uniform jacket. Another yawn ambushed him, and the numbers on his watch clicked to what he could only describe as o' dark hundred as he finally collapsed on the room's dusty bed.
The insistent beeping of his watch alarm started all too soon; hours later, but still too soon. He forced himself into enough wakefulness to stumble out of the bed he'd burrowed into during the night, and fumbled about for the noisy thing, slapping at it until the infernal alarm stopped. He pried one eye open long enough to check the time glowing at him from its digital readout, and didn't stop a grumble at how early it was. O' dark-hundred had given way into o' get-moving-or-be-late-for-school, and he didn't really know where anything was in this house, or what kind of shape it was in.
He found the bathroom quickly, and turned on the shower in the bathroom, letting the rusty water swirl down the drain as the pipes came back to life. Meanwhile, he pulled the lower half of his new school uniform out of drawers, and took the fastest shower he could when the water heater didn't wake up as well as the pipes. Cool air washed over his exposed skin as he rummaged around in the closet, looking for the rest of his uniform, finally finding the blazer jacket and shirt and snagging a green tie off the back of the door.
He smoothed out the blazer as he pulled it on, and reached back into the closet to grab the book bag stuffed into one corner before lobbing it onto the bed. More searching yielded a wallet, carefully folded into the silk of Kudou Shinichi's summer yukata. He grinned and opened it, rummaging around in the folds, which yielded identification and a bit of money. He pulled the money out, and put it back between the folds of the yukata, but kept the wallet, transferring his own money from the pocket of his old trousers while making another mental note to go grocery shopping after school. There wouldn't be a blessed thing but stale cereal (if that) in the Kudou's kitchen, but he had plenty of time to drop by a convenience store on the way to his first morning rendezvous. He gave the room a quick once over, decided it looked lived in now, and headed back into the bathroom.
The world outside was finally coming awake as Kudou Shinichi finished taming his hair and glanced over a printout of a class schedule waiting on the desk next to his watch. Noticing the time penciled in at the top and the time on his watch almost matched, he scooped up his bag and dashed out the door.
He dashed down the sidewalk, his strides taking him out of his upper-class neighborhood and closer to the heart of Beika until he spotted a lithe girl in a uniform matching his walking with an elementary student at her side. Grinning, he slowed and walked behind them for a full minute before taking a breath and sprinting forward.
"Hey Ran! Conan! Wait up!"
Ran went utterly still, hearing the painfully familiar voice, not filtered by a telephone and calling out to catch her attention. Conan went still for different reasons entirely, eyes widening behind his large glasses as the gangly figure of Kudou Shinichi stumbled up to them.
"Geeze, Ran, I've been calling your name for half a block!" he scolded, still grinning at them and swinging his school bag over one shoulder. "Wait up for a guy, will you? I know I've been gone, but …"
Conan managed a strangled squeak by the time Ran's stammering clumsied its way into coherence. "Shinichi?"
The grin softened to a smile, and he nodded. "Hey Ran."
"You're back?" she asked, clearly hoping, but afraid of the answer. "You solved your big case?
Shinichi rubbed at the back of his head and flinched. "Ah, solved? No, not really. I mean … yeah, I'm here, but the case isn't over. It's not solved. Not by a long shot."
Ran slumped and dropped her eyes to the side. "So you'll have to leave again,"
Shinichi straightened and waved his hands in denial. "I never said that!" Her face jerked up to his and he continued. "Look, there's been a big development in the case, and it's traced back here. So here I am. I'm home. I'll still be working on it, and I might have to take off for a few days at times, but I'm coming back when I do. I swear to you I am. And maybe the twerp here can help me with some of it." He shifted and reached out to ruffle Conan's hair, snapping the little detective out of his daze, and into a dangerous focus narrowed completely on the taller teen. "Now come on, you two, or we're going to be late for school!"
He started off, trusting the other two to follow him, and it only took a moment of stunned blinking before they did.
"Shinichi …" Ran started, grabbing Conan's hand as she lurched after him. "What have you been doing all this time? Can you tell me yet?"
"Not most of it," he answered, looking completely apologetic. "A lot of it's confidential until the whole mess is over, and it's not, but," he brightened, and turned so he was walking backwards, schoolbag slung comfortably over his shoulder, "I can tell you about some of the places I've been! Parts of this mess have had me all over the world. Kind of like a grand tour."
Ran's relaxed and laughed as she nodded, giving him the permission to go ahead. And, as Shinichi launched into a travelogue that had her eyes widening, Conan's eyes narrowed and his fingers twitched.
He listened to them talk, trying to figure out how to pull his hand out of Ran's hold without her noticing, or getting her attention long enough to stop her hauling him along like a half-forgotten doll. Though half-forgotten seemed to be exactly his status at that moment … all her focus was on "Shinichi" as he told her about the work he was doing with the FBI in America. And not just America, but apparently Interpol was involved, and they'd had the high school detective in a dozen countries over the last year.
Ran's grip loosened for an instant as she gestured in response to something the imposter said, and Conan snatched his hand free. There weren't that many people who knew him well enough to impersonate him, and none of them were safe. However, it was the damage control he would go through with Ran when she found her Shinichi was still missing from her life that really had him flicking up the cross-hairs on his watch.
He hesitated just long enough to reach the outer pocket on Ran's bag and filched her cellphone, stuffing it into his own bag. It would sift its way down beneath his books in seconds, and the moment "Shinichi" dropped to the sidewalk, he could send Ran for help since no phone would mean she couldn't call anyone, and he could claim to have forgotten his at home. The tranquilizer would wear off long before she got back with anyone, but not before he had had time to do a bit of interrogating.
Conan squeezed the trigger on his dart watch. The imposter chose that moment to throw up an arm as he demonstrated something, intercepting the needle with his sleeve, and Conan started swearing under his breath. Before he could try anything else, it was too late. Muted arguing from high-pitched voices tugged at his attention, and he mentally groaned.
"Conan-kun!" Ayumi's sing-song broke into his irritated thoughts and in a few moments they were surrounded by the three other children. And all of them were distracted from their de facto leader by the presence of the young man walking next to Ran. They recognized him, or at least Ayumi did, as she was the one who finally offered, "You're Shinichi, aren't you? Ran-nee-chan's Shinichi?"
Shinichi answered with an embarrassed stutter and a nod as he glanced sideways at Ran, who blushed nicely. Shinichi kneeled down so he was closer to their level, smiling as each of them pushed the others out of the way as they introduced themselves. "You three must be Conan-kun's friends," he said, and they nodded cheerfully.
"We're the Detective Boys," Genta announced and Shinichi nodded at each then smiled at Ayumi.
"You don't look like much of a boy," he said, continuing before the dark glower could really take hold on her face. "But I don't doubt you're a detective." Ayumi's eyes shone with happiness, then widened as Shinichi produced a pink rose out of thin air and tucked it in her hair.
"Shinichi? Where did you learn that?" Ran asked, gasping in surprise as he straightened and a white one appeared for her. He handed her the flower and herded the whole group into continuing on, albeit at a slow enough pace the four children could keep up without running.
"The sleight of hand?" he asked, shrugging and looking embarrassed. "There was a magician in France that I worked with on the case. He showed me a couple of things: how to make stuff appear and a bit of juggling. He said to try that on you when I next saw you. And … well … did you like it?"
"You talked to him about me?" she asked, looking at him oddly as the four children jostled around their knees; three of them babbling excitedly, and one glaring a hole in the back of "Shinichi's" head.
"Um … well, yeah." Shinichi looked embarrassed again. "Should I not have, Ran?" Ran shook her head and smiled softly, letting the conversation between them lapse, looking content and touching the softness of the white petals with her fingertips.
A distant bell tolled, and Conan found himself swept off by the other three. Ran called after him to have fun that day, and Shinichi just waved, with a damning grin splitting his face, before the two teenagers continued on their way towards the high school.
This whole story came about as a challenge one night in a chat when I said I could probably end Detective Conan and bring down the Black Organization in 15 chapters. Never, ever tell your similarly obsessed friends you could do something, or that you had this idea but you don't feel like writing it out. They'll make you back your words. And talk you off the ledge when you realize just what you got yourself into.
If you're just starting this, welcome! If you've read it before and are going "hey, Kat! Why are some things different?!" That's just me doing a quick edit before I post up the rest of this. See, I ended up doing another NaNo with this as my project, and finished off most of the story. I decided that, since I had to edit that part heavily anyway, I could do a clean up edit of the rest of the story while I was at it and fix things like Kaito's mom's name. She didn't have a name when I started this, or until I'd written most of it. So I've gone back and fixed it. Also, this site has a strange way of reformatting my chapters and stripping out things it deems unnecessary. Like scene breaks. So I'm fixing that, and making it look all pretty again. Sorry for any trauma the clean up causes!
No, you don't need to reread the story to follow what happens. I may have adjusted wording and added some things, but nothing critical.