I'm alive! It's a miracle. I'm not going to go into detail, considering that it's complicated, but let's leave it at that my computer has apparently bit the bullet a couple of months ago, and I haven't had access to a computer for quite some time. Now that I do have access, I'm going to do the best I can to get a few chapters out to make up for it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan or Magic Kaitou. I'd never be able to think of enough murder scenes anyways...


Chapter 6

Shinichi glared at Conan's pile of homework. He'd wondered why the secretary had looked at him so sympathetically when he was getting his schedule. Since he wasn't coming in at the beginning of the year, he was stuck in the only class that wasn't full. The reason it wasn't full was because everyonewho'd heard ofYakamura-sensi, his new teacher,requestedsomeone else. Yakamura-san received all of the problem students, and with good reason. She ran her classroom like she was running a high security prison. And she really didn't like Conan. When he tried to be polite, she said he was sucking up, that she wasn't some idiot who'd be suckered in, and gave him extra homework as punishment. When he tried to avoid notice, she said he was guilty about something and gave him extra homework for whatever he was guilty about. When he tried to reason with her, she said he was being rude and disrespectful, and...gave him extra homework. It seemed whatever he did, it wasn't right and he was punished. Having almost always been someone almost all teachers liked, it was very annoying, and while the work was simple enough, it still consumed too much time that he'd rather be spending trying to find the Black Organization.

He'd started sorting through the reports of all the different crimes that had been committed, and mapping them out. The ones that he was almost positive that the Black Organization had been behind had a red spot (it was a map on his computer), the ones that he was little less sure about, but still thought there wasa good chance received an orange spot, and the ones that he was the least sure about received a yellow spot. He'd hoped he'd been able to find centers of activities, possible cities in which they might have a base, but it seemed as they must have several, because most major cities in Japan had some level of activity, as well as other major cities around the world.

A couple hours later, Shinichi was getting closed to finished with his work when he noticed that it was past time for Kaito to be done with high school for the day (lucky bastard) and he was curious to see if Kaito had managed to keep his little trick going throughout the day. He closed his books and went down the stairs to wait on the porch.

Kaito was running for his life while cursing Hakuba under his breath. He did appreciate the fact that Hakuba was nice enough to inquire as to Conan's well-being, but did he have to ask about him in front of Aoko? Of course, it was entirely possible that Hakuba was onlybeing nosy, so he really did feel entitled to put the next part of"My Actually Noble Plan to get Hakuba to Relax and Have a Sense of Humor." Other people who were less wise might call it a long list of pranks that Kaito had devised to torture Hakuba, but they didn't appreciate the artistry, the time and effort he'd put into it, solely to re-educate Hakuba in the fine art of having a real personality. It was an act of kindness, truly, and had nothing to do with the fact that Hakuba could be an annoying pain in the ass, because Kaito was noble and could forgive lesser being's mistakes.

Such as the fact that Aoko had just thrown a rock bigger then his fist at his head. After all, she'd been raised by her father, and they both have temper control problems. He dodged to the side and continued to run. Aoko was really mad. She generally calmed down a bit after hitting him in the head with something, but he sensed (being a sensitive person) that not only was that a bit of a sore subject with Aoko at the moment, but that Aoko would need to get several good hits in before she calmed down, and Kaito wasn't really inclined to be hit that many times. If he could get home, maybe he could go into his father's secret room, and then Aoko wouldn't be able to find him. He was pretty sure that she wasn't so mad that she'd start tearing the house literally apart.

As he got closer to his destination, he spotted Conan sitting on the edge of the porch. Shoot. Now he might need to rescue him too. Aoko probably wouldn't hurt him, but she was plenty scary. Conan didn't need to have nightmares about her. Conan looked up as Kaito approached, and his eyes widened. Kaito watched in surprise as he quickly changed his look of surprise to excitement as he jumped up and ran towards him. Conan shouted "Nii-chan!" as he approached and sort of jumped and hugged him. Kaito, who'd barely had a chance to brace himself, landed on his butt and watched, wide-eyed, as Conan started babbling about how'd he'd missed him and had been waiting for HOURS for him to get home. He looked out of the corner of his eye and saw Aoko standing there in shock. He turned his attention back to Conan, who was still going on about something without seeming to need to breathe. When Conan slowed down a bit, he noticed Aoko and smiled. Conan climbed off of him and went over to stand in front of Aoko. At least Conan's overdone greeting had caught Aoko off balance.

"Hello, Aoko-san! It's really nice to meet you as me! Kaito said he was going to tell you on the way home from school about me. Kaito's really cool isn't he? He told me that he always liked to run new tricks by you, since you were such a good audience, but he didn't want to wait too long to tell you about me, since you're best friends and all. Why were you racing home from school? Was it that bad of a day in class?" Conan asked innocently.

Kaitostared at Conan. He hadn't been completely sure if Conan had just had a lot of sugar, and had missed him before, but now...they'd never discussed when Kaito was going to tell Aoko. The sneaky little devil. He was really going to owe Conan after this. He was completely disarming her. And how had he done such a good job? Who was Conan's real mom? No normal kid was quite like him. He shook his head as Aoko eyes flitted to his.

"It's good exercise to run, didn't you know that, Conan?" Kaito said as he stood up, putting a smile that was halfway between friendly and cheerful, and sheepish.

"Um...right," Aoko said, looking at him a little closer, "Kaito didn't have much of a chance to really tell me about you. Why don't you tell me instead?" she asked, turning her attention back to Conan.

Conan looked down at the ground. "My mom died when I was born, so I lived with my aunt. She...died recently, and they found out that Kaito's really my big brother...well, at least my half-brother. He's been really nice, him and Mom."

It was all there, the quiver in the voice, the hint of sadness and hurt, and the attempt to change the subject away from something that was sensitive to something he'd rather talk about. Kaito ruffled Conan's hair a bit before looking at Aoko, who was staring at him.

"I'll tell you later," he said, since if the story'd been real, he wouldn't have wanted to talk about the fact that the kid's mom had drugged his dad who was married to another woman to have him in front of him. He'd only briefly explained it to Hakuba since Conan was out of it, and he'd known Hakuba would try digging up answers on his own. The paperwork was probably in place, but it was better not to invite too close a look. And Conan, of course, knew the story wasn't real, but no one else knew that, and while Kaito wanted to explain, if to anyone, Aoko, he didn't want Conan to be found.

Her eyes widened briefly, but she didn't say anything. Kaito knew some of the things that might be going in her mind, and he really didn't want her to dwell on them too long.

"I see you're doing well, Kuroba," Hakuba's voice came from behind Kaito. Kaito turned slightly and glared at him. Evil person. Apparently Hakuba had followed Aoko and him, though at a slower pace.

"Um...sorry about the other day...you scared me, and my aunt always used to say if a stranger scared me to attract as much attention as possible," Conan had come up beside Kaito and was looking sheepish and embarrassed. Poor kid.

Aoko looked between the two and asked, "Hakuba scared you? What did you do?"

Conan stared at the ground. "I yelled he was a pervert..."

Aoko wasn't able to suppress her laughter, and Kaito, who hadn't been able to really laugh at the situation at the time, did manage a bit of a smile. It had been unnerving seeing Conan like that, but having Conan call him a pervert was funny.

"What on earth did you do, Hakuba?" Aoko asked finally, "Scaring a cute kid like this?" She smiled down fondly at the still embarrassed Conan, whose face turned slightly redder.

Hakuba had also turned a bit red himself. "He looked like he'd been beaten up, he didn't have anyone watching him, and I didn't want to leave him alone."

Aoko's attention turned to Kaito. "Alone?" she asked, a hint of steel in her voice.

Having so recently escaped Aoko's wrath, he was loath to return to it. Fortunately, Conan explained, which did make sense since he knew more about what had happened, if not much more. "It wasn't his fault. I got this used skateboard, and I hadn't ridden it before. It was solar powered, and I must have touched some start thing when I got on, 'cause it went off like a bullet! I couldn't find any brakes and Kaito tried running after me, but it was going really fast, and he couldn't keep up. It slowed down when I went under an over pass, which is why I think it was solar powered, and I jumped off. It was still going, and when it got back into the sun it speed off. I took off my skateboarding things cause they were rubbing against some of my sore spots, and I...well...I was afraid I'd get into trouble if people knew that was my skateboard, even though I didn't know it was some failed science experiment, I swear!" Conan's eyes were pleading as they stared up at Aoko.

"That was your skateboard? My dad was swearing about it all weekend!"Aoko said.

"Your dad?" Conan asked cautiously.

"He's a police officer," Aoko said then hastened to reassure Conan, "Don't worry, he won't get mad at you if you didn't know, and I don't have to tell him, though it might help if we knew where you'd gotten it."

Conan shrugged, slightly embarrassed, "I don't know. It was a present."

"Well, nothing you could have done then," Aoko reassured him.

"How fast do you think you were going when you jumped off? Are you doing all right?" Hakuba asked. Kaito looked at Conan. His mom had been taking care of Conan, and Conan had been wearing a long-sleeve shirt, so he wasn't sure. He'd just tried to make sure they hadn't done anything really physically demanding.

Conan self-consciously rubbed his upper right arm. "It's okay. The bruising is starting to go down some."

"Hm," Hakuba said, letting that go, "So, you look to be of Japanese descent. Why do you have an English name?"

"My mom named me before she died. I don't know why. Why do you have a Japanese name? Are you from America or England or Russia or something?" Conan asked, sounding curious andlooking as innocent as only a child could. Kaito knew it might seem to Aoko and Hakuba that that was the truth, but especially after this afternoon, Kaito knew that Conan was asking an impolite question as revenge for Hakuba's lack of tact. Possibly for his previous rather poor handling of a situation as well. Kaito shook his head slightly. Conan sure was an interesting kid.

Hakuba's face shuttered slightly. "I'm half-Japanese. I have lived in England a bit as well."

"Oh," Conan said, "Well, I need to go finish my homework, but I'll see you later! You're just as nice as Kaito said you were Aoko-san!"

Shinichi was smiling as he went back in the house. It had been a bit awkward at times, but he'd accomplished his goal. Aoko was obviously a lot calmer now, and she wasn't going to start up on Kaito again as soon as he left, especially since he'd probably just unsettled her with his last remark. He only wished his confrontation with Ran, whenever that happened, would be as easily defused, but it was one thing to play a trick like faking a friend into thinking they have the ability to shrink people, it was another to fake one's death. And then pretend to be a kid who needed a home and asked questions as the kid that the teenager couldn't have asked without possibly getting punched.

Shinichi sighed a bit and on the way through the living room he saw that the news had been left on. He watched in surprise as a Pierce Reiko, someone he didn't recognizewas intervieed by a news reporter. Apparently she was a PI hired by his parents to investigate his disappearance and quite possible death (at least to the general public's mind). Why hadn't his parents told him about her? He didn't recognize her either, but on the other hand, he'd never seen Kotori and apparently his and Kaito's parents were such good friends that Kotori agreed to pretend that her husband cheated on her, even accidentally. Apparently she was from America (might explain why he'd never meet her) and that her mother was fromJapan. It was hard to tell her height, but she had short, dark red hair that was layered around her face, and green eyes. She was pretty, in a foreign way, but she dressed pretty...unprofessionally. She was wearing khaki cargo jeans with black boots, a dark green tank top, and fingerless gloves. She wore an armband on her left arm, an interesting choker that seemed like it was made with many thin silver wires in an almost lace-like pattern, post earrings that matched the choker necklace in the upper part of her ear with small hoop earringswhere ears where normally pierced.

He watched for a bit longer, and resolved to ask his parents about it later, AFTER he finished his homework.

Unfortunately, after homework was finished, it was time to eat. After it was time to eat, Kaito decided he wanted Conan to relax, and didn't exactly give him a choice. They were in the living room, and Kaito seemed like he was trying to think of how to phrase his question. Shinichi guessed what he wanted to ask about.

"Aoko's pretty scary," Conan said, though Shinichi thought Ran was more intimidating. This wasn't just personal bias, this was Shinichi having seen Ran destroy things that no normal person should be able to with her bare hands. After that, a teenager wielding a mop or broom didn't quite hack it anymore.

Kaito grinned. "Yup. Speaking of which, how did you manage that? You were great!"

Conan shrugged, trying to act nonchalant. "I told you you needed to tell her yourself. Mom always was annoyed if she found out something I did from someone else. So I figured if I said that you were planning on telling her, and soon, that she wouldn't be so mad."

Kaito shook his head slightly. "Not just that. Everything. You threw her off balance when you pounced on me and acted the hyper little brother, after which you finished everything by telling her I was going to tell her and that I always run my new tricks by her because she's a good judge. The best part was when you asked if school was so bad that we had to run from it. And you're really good about following your cover story."

Shinichi winced. Kaito was pretty smart, he'd better tone it down a bit. "Well, I didn't want you to be hit. And mom was really worried about me, so she made me practice a lot." The practising thing, at least, was true. His mom had always insisted that he work on his acting skills.

"Do you miss her?" Kaito asked.

Shinichi sighed. He'd gotten used to his parents being gone a lot, and then they'd moved to America, so while he did love them, and he had often wished when he was younger that his parents wouldn't always be gone, he'd accepted that that was just how they were. Ran though...when they'd first meet, they'd had no other choice-they were together with the exception of bathroom breaks for months. She and Jennifer had been the only bright points during the entire thing, and then, of course, Jennifer had been killed. After having gone through that, they'd voluntarily spent most of their time together. When they got older, they hadn't been able to spend as much time together, but they saw each other pretty much every day. It hadn't even been a week since he'd left Ran, even if he'd only been Conan to her, and he really, really missed her. So when Conan quietly whispered, "Yeah," it was Ran Shinichi was thinking about.

Shinichi sat there, wishing he could be there, even as Conan, to help her through everything. She had to be really torn up, believing him dead. Kaito apparently sensed the fact that his question made him feel a bit depressed, and suggested a game of chess. That did take his mind off of things for a bit, and Conan was happy to have improved a bit from the last time they'd played.

Shinichi recieved a short email saying that once Pierce had settled down she'd get in contact with him, and that they were going to be unavailable for the next week or so. Shinichi was a bit disappointed that he hadn't been given any more information about the person that was investigating his disappearance/murder, but he'd soon hopefully be able to get in contact with her and discuss her plans of action (as well as making sure that he approved of her abilities). Meanwhile, he continued to put up with his new teacher, do his over abundance of homework (he figured he'd be finished with the material for the year before New Years at this rate), sort through the information he gathered from his informants and continue to work on his map (not only had he added new spots, but he listed a short description of the crime along with the dot in each place a crime had been committed), spent time with the Kurobas, and waited for news from Pierce, without results.

He'd noticed that Kotori had been acting a bit oddly since Friday, but since he'd just gotten a rather sizable amount of information from his informant from New York, he brushed it off. Sunday afternoon, Kotori had to run to the market for some meat, so Kaito and Conan were watching the news, because there wasn't much else on.

"And now for an update on the dissappearance and presumed death of Mouri Ran. A prominent young woman who not only excelled in school but won the National Karate Championship, Mouri-san was also the best friend of Kudo Shinichi who disappeared eleven days ago and is at this point believed to be dead. Early Friday morning, at 2:39 a.m., Takeda Mei called 110 to report that she thought she'd seen a murder happen. When the police arrived, the murderers were gone along with the body, but from the evidence left at the scene and the story Takeda-san gave the police, the police believe that Mouri Ran is dead. Tonight we have Takeda-san to tell us her story. Takeda-san, please tell us what happened."

"Well," Takeda-san, a woman who appeared to be in her late sixties, said, "I was awakened around one by some drunk man who must have misdialed a number. I had trouble going to sleep after that, so I went to the kitchen to fix a cup of tea. After that, I went to sit by the window. Watching the ocean at night always helps me sleep, but when I looked outside, I saw two dark figures arguing. They were hard to see, because they were both dressed in dark clothes, but I was pretty sure one was a woman because she had long hair. Anyways, I thought they were just a couple on a late night walk who'd had an argument, but then the woman started to attack the man when another figure came from behind and smashed her head with something small he had in his hand. The police told me it was probably the butt of a gun. Anyways, I covered my mouth to keep from screaming because I didn't want them to come after me, and ran to call the police. When I came back to the window, everyone was gone, even the dead woman. It was horrible, what happened to that poor girl, and right after her friend died. At least they're together now."

"Thank you Takeda-san. It was indeed lucky that the Takeda-san was awake, because the police believe that the waves would have washed away all of the blood. They were only able to identify the blood after Mouri Kogoro, a private detective and former police officer called in some favors when his daughter never came home, and another police detectve matched Mouri Ran's hospital records with the blood found on site. Mouri Ran's parents are unavialable for comment, but we hope that they, and the Kudos, will be able to recover from loosing their only child. This is Uematsu Akira with the AKH News at 5."

End of Chapter 6

Don't kill me. I really tried to make it not happen, but it did. Sorry! I'll try and update again soon!

Note: I did look the phone number for emergency phone numbers in Japan, and 110 is the emergency number for the police, while 119 is the emergency number if you need firemen or an ambulance. Hopefully you'll never need to know this, but I figured I would mention that those should be the correct numbers.

Note 2: I would like to note that I put the last names first through out this story, as they do in Japan, in case you were confused about why some of the names listed first sounded more like last names. Also, I might have missed a few things, but I wanted to get it out since it was late. And a big thanks to my friend for looking through it!