Forever In Between

Chapter 1 : Getting to know you

He continued to wander the streets of Tokyo aimlessly. The answers to the latest mystery still eluding him. Often, the crisp evening air would put everything in perspective for the young detective but not today. Today he felt like his mind was running slower than usual. This was extremely uncharacteristic of him especially since he had been named a prodigy by almost every one of his teachers. He sighed and leaned against a tree. Must be a bad day.

He shut his eyes and started to breathe rhythmically, hoping to clear his mind. He unrolled the tight knot of muscles in his shoulder and slumped against the bark of the tree, using one foot as leverage so that he would not fall. The sounds and smells of the impending dusk penetrated his senses as he quieted his mind. He could hear a dog barking not too far away, smell the rich odors wafting from a nearby spice shop and ,being carried by the wind, the silvery tinkling of laughter.

His eyes snapped open immediately as he looked at the direction the laughter came from. He knew that voice. Like a predator on the hunt, he left his tree and made his way towards the direction of the voice. This part of town was already devoid of people. A sight uncommon in this busy metropolitan city. But today, he was thankful for that fact.

He saw her. She sat on the park bench facing the lakeside with her back to him. Beside her was a man in a suit. His sleeves were rolled up and one arm was casually draped across the back of her seat. To avoid her form noticing him, he ducked behind a large signboard. As far as he knew, she was involved with some other guy at the moment. Kuro.. or something like that. So, why then was she sitting on a park bench with the junior detective from the police department?

"Oh, Neko-chan, you're always so funny,"

"And then.. the chief was all like.. what drink? When the bottles were practically stacked in front of us,"

"And the two of you got away with it?"

"Ah.. you know us Megu-chan," he was trying to sound impressive "Us being detectives and all.."

She let out a laugh which was meant to be coy but actually she was bordering on the verge of sarcasm.

"Speaking of… that case with the mangled corpse really did make headlines didn't it,"

"Yea.. its all over the news that the killer might strike again. But between you and me, Megu-chan, me and the chief have a pretty good idea who the culprit is,"

Which was police speak for 'We don't have a clue' Ryuu thought dryly.

"Really?" she said in a tone which oozed admiration. Ryuu could just imagine those eyes of hers widening in made-believe awe.

"You know.. I could really use some help with this as well.." she drifted off. He heard a slight shuffling sound. She had probably inched closer to him on the bench.

"Right.. right.. I forgot DDS was on the case too,"

"So.. Neko-chan, do you think you could.. uh.."

Her next words were cut off and Ryuu twisted around in time to see her whispering something into the junior's ear. His eyes widened at this newfound discovery. Suddenly everything clicked into place. She was using him. The poor guy. For the past three years, she had always been able to magically produce crime files, confiscated items and other normally inaccessible items almost too easily. He now knew how.

Half of him swelled in admiration and pride for his best friend. The other half? He spared a moment to pity all the poor men who had fallen for her charms, Sincerely hoping that he, at least, would not be as gullible.

"No way.. The chief would kill me. I just cant do this Megu.. You know I adore you right? But if the chief asks me about another missing file.. I'm dead!"

"Oh.. That's too bad then.. you know.. coz' I jus bought that dress you liked.. and well I thought that we could.. you know.."

What? What? Ryuu himself was itching to know.

"Oh! That file!" the junior detective's voice had suddenly gotten all jumpy and excited.

"Its right here in fact!" he sounded like a kid on Christmas day. There was some shuffling of paper.

"Just , please can you get it back to me by tomorrow?"

"Sure," said Meg brightly. "I'll give the file back to you when we do lunch tomorrow."

"L-Lunch?" said junior

"Yea.. that's what I was going to say. I'm going to wear that new dress I bought to lunch tomorrow"

"But..but.. I thought.."

"You thought?" asked Meg

What had the junior detective been thinking? If it was anything like what Ryuu had presumed, he detective had done a poor job at concealing his excitement. Ryuu almost wanted to laugh at that point. He had to admit. For a moment there, he had actually thought Meg might have been up to.. er.. something improper. He had to had it to that girl. She had made the poor guy fall hook, line and sinker.

The pair on the bench had parted ways. Meg had only just passed the signboard when she stopped and said.

"How long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough,"

The sun had disappeared beyond the horizon and he had to jog slightly to keep up with her brisk pace. The girl could move unnaturally fast on high heels. She didn't look at him when he walked abreast with her. She didn't even speak. He was intrigued by the sudden change of mood. Was she angry at him for eavesdropping on her?

"Since when have you-"

"Promise you wont tell anyone?" she cut him off and looked at him with a serious face. The two of them had come to a halt.

"Come on.. if you're worried that they-"

"Promise?" she insisted

"Alright," he still had no idea what she was so worked up about.

She still gave him a suspicious look. He heaved an exaggerated sigh for her benefit.

"I, Amakusa Ryuu, swear as the best friend if Minami Megumi, swear that I will not blurt out what I have just seen and heard to my other best friends,"

"Or anyone else," she added promptly

"Or anyone else." He finished.

Her face finally relaxed as she linked her hand through his. The contact might have been awkward a few years ago but it was common now. The five of them shared an unbreakable bond that no one could question.

"Are you going to tell me what you're so worked up about?" he asked as they continued their journey.

"I'm scared the rest of you guys will think I'm some sort of scarlet woman,"

"Scarlet woman?" he asked, bewildered.

"I don't even know if it's called that. I guess I'm just scared that you guys wont approve of the way I get my information. I mean I know I'm not smart, or strong or-"

"I don't have a problem with it," he figured he'd try to make her feel better before she got too upset. "In fact, I'm beginning to like your methods,"

She had burst out laughing.

"Methods? What am I? An evil witch?"

"Well, considering the fact that you've got super memory, deceivingly charming looks, and of course four dashing knights in shining armor to protect you.."

"Full of yourself aren't you?" she sniggered again. "I think I'd prefer the quiet you better,"

It was all light banter of course. They had been doing that a lot lately. In between missions, after school hours, and on class outings. He had grown accustomed to her. She was a constant presence to him now. Something -though he didn't admit it vocally- he would feel incomplete without.

The DDS building came into view. They'd have to stop fooling around now. Of course, Kinta would take a jibe at the two of them appearing together. But they were used to it. Kyuu would rush to meet them and ask repeatedly where the two of them had been. Kazuma would just shake his head at his friend's antics and continue to type away at his computer. It had become routine. The modus operandi of Class Q. Constantly supporting each other. Always being there for their friends. And never having a single doubt in each other's abilities.

Ryuu sometimes wished that they could remain as 'class Q' forever. But Dan-sensei's health was deteriorating. He had to choose a successor eventually. And Kinta was going to take over his father's position on his 21st birthday. Even Ryuu had been surprised to find out that Kinta was chosen despite his young age.

Did all good things have to come to an end? Would they really be friends forever?

Author's Note : This story takes place three years after the season finale of DDS. Meaning Kyuu, Megumi, and Ryuu are 17 each. Kinta is 20 and Kazuma is 14. Some bits mentioned above come from the live action drama adaptation of DDS. So, I apologize beforehand if I sound confusing.. heh.. There will be some KyuuXMegXRyuu in the next chapter though. So please be patient!

Reviews and flames excepted.