TVD Omake 1
Disclaimer: I own the story, not the characters.
AN: This takes part during chapters one and two of The Vampire Detective. It is the other side of the telephone call, and what happened before that. I never expected it to go up to the length of an actual chapter, but I bet all of you will be dead chuffed. I didn't plan on it being first person, but it's a result of reading (re-reading) Kosagi no Legion's Psychic Detective Heiji series. Plus a late night where I was writing into a notebook, and suddenly it was all first person. I hope you enjoy.
But yu must come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind
An I will tell yu
de other half
Of my story -
from Half-Caste, by John Agard.
Hattori Heiji's Very Bad Day
I woke up, my eyes flying wide and in a cold sweat. My breath came to me in starts and fits, remembering what it had been like in the dream – or rather nightmare – that I had just woken up from.
Oh, man. That was the third time this week. . . I shook my head, a vain attempt to make it sort itself out. Get a grip. It's not as if the damn thing's gonna come true or anything. I mean, I thought, more to reassure myself than anything else, sure. I've had the same dream . . . how many times? And it was so realistic. . . but it's stupid. It's not as if that's ever gonna happen. I mean, come on. . .
Shaking my head again, I blearily went through the motions of running a shower and getting dressed. Picking up the omamori, I paused for a moment. Better safe than sorry, I thought as I put it around my neck rather than stuffing it into a back jeans pocket or something. Then I grabbed my school bag, headed down the stairs, found something that I could eat on the way to school and went out of the door.
I met up with Kazuha not long after, falling easily into the old routine of snipes and insults with her, if with a little less enthusiasm. I hoped she didn't notice, but I wouldn't put money on it. She always does whenever I don't want her to.
Things continued as per normal for the most part of the morning classes, with boring English – I'm already fluent, so I don't need to learn how to speak it – and irritating maths. Maths was irritating because, well, apart from the fact that it was maths, it was ridiculously easy to someone who used their head for deductions. A weird sort of feeling kept overcoming me as though something real bad was going to happen, but nothing had yet, we were in school (it was hardly likely that some kind of murder was gonna happen in school) and it was still morning. A bright, clear morning that wasn't too cold and didn't have too many clouds in the sky.
Somewhere in me, there was still the naive idea that bad – really bad – things didn't happen on good mornings. Well, that little bit of naiveté would soon be knocked right out of my head. Real soon.
The next class was double phys. Ed, which while some might find this something to be loathed, I've always been one of those who looks forward to the class due to my skills at both kendo and baseball, not to mention a passing interest in other sports as well. Today was a free-for-all sort of session in the gym, with everyone splitting off into groups and practicing at what they did best. Kazuha I saw going off in one direction with a bunch of people who did aikido. I was going over to grab a shinai before they were all taken and find someone to spar with. Looking around, I saw that all of the best had already paired off with other people. With a chagrined and long-suffering sigh, I settled himself down into practicing the kata, moving through one form to another.
Maybe, I thought, taking a side step to dodge an invisible blow, it's better this way. At least now I don't haveta worry about how good I'm bein' on some poor soul who's just starting, or gettin' bopped one on the head for not payin' attention. And, despite all of my reassurances to both the teacher and Kazuha, I was distracted. Had been all day. Ever since I'd woken up from that nightmare. The prickling feeling at the back of my neck had only grown worse, making me more and more edgy and irritable as the morning wore on.
Dammit, what the hell's Kudo gone and gotten himself into this time? The first time I'd had a dream like that that had involved Kudo, the kid had gone and got himself almost stabbed if it hadn't been for my omamori around his neck. Damn trouble magnet. Knowing him it's probably something real dangerous and he's got anyone else who's around him up to their necks in it, too. I shivered at my own wording, remembering the nightmare. Dammit, how many times do I have to remind myself that it ain't gonna happen?
It was maybe halfway through the first part of the lesson when it happened. It was like a bolt of electricity had just zapped me, leaving no part untouched and everywhere feeling static.
I froze, hands gripping the shinai tightly in front of me, trying to get my breathing under control. By this time, Kazuha had noticed that something was wrong and was hurrying over, a few of her friends with her. I wanted to scowl at her and tell her that everything was fine even when it wasn't, tell her that she was a damn idiot for bringing all her friends with her, but I couldn't.
Because just then, when I started to open my mouth to say something – anything, really – the proverbial other shoe dropped, and so did the shinai. So did I, for that matter, like a ton of bricks and feeling as though an elephant had just sat on my chest.
I was faintly aware of a deep gratefulness that I wasn't in full kendo body armour and the fact that amid the panic, Kazuha was demanding a doctor, Now.
The next thing I was aware of was, again, Kazuha. Only this time she was shouting in my ear and shaking my shoulders, as if she thought I was dead or something.
Not going there. Not. Going. There. Everything I'd felt before passing out was reminding me of that damn nightmare. A nightmare where, for once, I wasn't in the picture, but was instead a backseat passenger. A very unwilling backseat passenger, might I add.
"Heiji? Heiji! Can you hear me? Wake up, you idiot!"
I winced. Twitched. Tried to sit up, which caused more shouting in the now-sensitive ear, higher pitched than even before.
"Heiji you idiot! Don't do that to me!"
"Eh? Do what? I'm fine. So you can stop deafening me now, yeah?"
"You're what?! I don't believe you! Saying you're fine after all that! How can you be?"
But I was. Ok, minor vestiges of weird sick feeling that were ebbing away quickly and I was still feeling kinda prickly with static, but other than that, I was fine. Almost as if nothing had happened. I sat up carefully – all due to a headache coming on more due to Kazuha's shouting than anything else – and blinked. Half the class seemed to be gathered around me, and everyone was talking.
"Okay," I said warily. "What the hell's goin' on here?"
"Why don't you tell me that, idiot! You just suddenly fell as if – as if something really bad was wrong with you and ten minutes later you wake up saying you're fine?"
Well of course she wouldn't know. For all her talk of omamori and luck and bonds and all that kind of stuff, it's never actually happened to her, not that I'd want it to. Idiot she may be, but I wouldn't wish it on her. So how could she know that I feel just –
Wait. Did she say ten minutes?
I look at my watch. Groan and feel like hitting my head against a brick wall or door or something when I realize that she's telling the truth. How could I have known how long I'd been out? I'd never been out before. Come to think about it, none of my dreams or anything have ever been quite as weird or wacky as they have been recently. Or as detailed.
As I've been thinking about all this, the teacher has shooed away most of the others who were crowding around me, so as to give me a bit of breathing and moving space. Kazuha and some of my other classmates are still there, but they just mill around, trying to be nice and ask me how I am.
I mostly don't know how to answer – even Kazuha would think I was crazy if I told them the truth – so I bluff my way out, or at least try to. The teacher insists that I sit the rest of the class out, and for once I'm only too happy. I have the weird feeling that I'd zap anything that had metal, and whether that's true or not I'd rather not find out.
So instead, I just sat there on a bench, out of the way yet able to watch and brood over recent events. I don't usually count myself as a brooder, but sometimes special times call for special measures. Now was one of those times.
I didn't remember much from the dream-slash-nightmare thing. Mostly vague memories that were, weirdly enough, slowly getting vaguer and less specific. Of the few things I could pick out, there was the idea of a place – weird western-style place that looked like someone'd done it up to look almost Japanese. People. Foreigners, possibly, all with a sense of age, though I wouldn't know where to start on why I felt that. Pain – which had been mirrored by my fall in class earlier and my weird blackout – which had been what had woken me up most times. A sense of panic, and above all that, a sense of time running out. Very fast, and with lives hanging on the line sort of countdown. Oh, and panic. Did I say panic? Yup, plenty of that.
Especially when I thought – not as if I was thinking about now – about those times when I had woken up after the pain.
Kazuha started to look at me as though she knows something's going on that I'm not telling her about, so I go on the offensive. Asking her why exactly she's still sitting by me like she's my nurse maid or something, 'cause it's not as though I'm an invalid. Ok, not anymore.
This, of course, had the intended result of steering the subject away from me. Which was good. At that moment, me wasn't a good subject, and I really didn't want her to find out why.
When at long last class ended, the wave of people who came up to me to try and ask me what had happened back there were fended off by glares from me and Kazuha. Some of them still tried, but it didn't take them very far.
After that, lessons and breaks went on as per usual. There were no more odd bouts of pain, no visions or anything, not even any falling asleep in class. Admittedly, my detective's sense that something totally creepy was still gonna happen or was happening was still on the blink, but I put that down to normal weirdness levels of the day.
It was only during my last lesson of the day when I found out that I'd been wrong.
Oddly enough, it was my phone that told me.
The name of the guy ringing me during class time? Kudo.
Kuso. Whatever had that guy calling would be important.
So saying, I made my excuses to the teacher, who resignedly let me out, and angrily told Kazuha that no, she couldn't go where I was going, with a Very Pointed Look.
I escaped to an empty classroom I knew wasn't being used to take the call.
"This'd better be good, Kudo, because if it isn't –"
Kudo cut across me, not waiting to hear anything more. Kami, if all this'd happened just because of some stupid case or prank, I don't know what I'd have done.
"Look, just for once, would you listen, Hattori? I think – no, make that I am in trouble. Big trouble."
There was something in his voice that made me pause. Something I recognized and made my stomach drop back into my shoes. Panic. A kind I knew.
". . . What kind of trouble are we talkin' about here, Kudo?"
I almost didn't want to know. Even though I was sure a part of me already knew. There was a hesitant pause, and I trawled a hand through my hair.
"I was knocked out." Yeah, well so had I been. Though I doubted somehow that he'd had the same experience. "When is it?"
Okay, so that wasn't something I'd expected him to ask. I growled in frustration.
"First you're tellin' me you're in trouble, then you're askin' me what the time is? Mind telling me what's going on here?"
"I – that's what I'm trying to figure out!" There was another pause; this time full of tension. I winced at the snappy, panicky tones Kudo was using, all to aware of the idea that I'd be using them if I wasn't supposed to be the sane one. A breath of wind signalled a sigh from the other line. "Someone sent an invitation to the old man to com out here – a weird old place. Town. It's old, but odd – half western, in a way. Someone got killed –" I snorted. Murders and dead bodies literally fell out of the sky when Kudo was around. "- and I investigated. I know who the murderer is, I just didn't have enough evidence to credibly nail them. When I figured there might be link between them and someone else –" Kudo growled in frustration, a feeling I understood only too well from my own cases. When he started to speak again, I knew he was missing bits out. "I woke up maybe ten minutes ago. I can't tell."
Can't tell? How couldn't he tell?
More importantly than even that, why was it something was telling him that what Kudo had been through and the events in his rapidly more and more vague nightmare-vision were linked. Which meant. . .
"When was it you got knocked out?"
"Morning," Kudo said dryly. My world tipped slightly as the detective of the east continued. "Around quarter past ten when the murder took place."
Shit. Shimatta. The same – exactly the same – time I got knocked out by forces unknown. I tried to sound as though nothing was wrong, starting with a long, low whistle. I gotta sound like I normally would, as if I didn't know nothin' about anything he'd been through.
"That must've been one hell of a blow to the head, Kudo."
"Hattori, tell me."
Ouch. Panic. Odd echoes rattled in my head of the feelings I'd gotten in the nightmare. "It's afternoon," I said shortly, trying to lessen the blow at least a little. Don't think about it, just act and react. Like in a kendo match. Remember what had come after the pain and panic in the nightmare. Don't think about it too much, but if the rest was real, then that has to be, too. It wasn't as though he hadn't seen weird things before. Onimaru had looked weirder – ok, maybe not weirder, but weird – more than once. He could deal. "Still a few hours 'till sunset, though." There. He'd said it. He breathed once, twice. Remembered that other feeling – the one that meant that lives were hanging on the line and time was running out. "Oi, Kudo?" My voice hesitated slightly. Would he realize I knew more than I should? Hopefully not. "'Neechan. Is she-?"
"She's still alive." Good. That meant that Kudo was at least sane. I don't know what I'd do if Kazuha was in real danger. Let alone anything worse. Not that I'd tell her, of course. "So are the others." Even better.
Not asking how he knows. Need not to know.
I started to pace slightly, thoughts running in a more recognizable track of what to do with the case than what to do with my friend and my own head.
"Good. Then the bastard's probably got some sort of agenda; he woulda taken care of things while you were out of the picture otherwise. Which gives you enough time to explain things to me."
If Kudo explained things to me, I wouldn't have as much to explain to him if he figured out I knew. Plus, I didn't know the entire picture. Detectives never work too well with less than the full amount of info.
Meanwhile, there was still no answer from Kudo. No explanation. I could hear heavy breathing, but nothing much more than that.
Lucky me, I could guess what was going on in his mind.
"Ok, Kudo. Just calm down." Panic was probably overtaking him as it wanted to overtake me. Unfortunately, I couldn't because he had more reason to panic than I did. "You can explain when you're a bit calmer."
Kudo laughed, and I froze, almost scared at the hysteric notes. If I didn't do somethin', Kudo would lose his grip on reality.
"Calm? That's a good one. I haven't been trying to stay calm, Hattori. I've been trying to stay sane. When I woke up, I was Shinichi again. Not Edogawa Conan, Hattori. Kudo Shinichi. And before you say anything, no, I wasn't drugged, I didn't take a cure and I didn't even have any alcohol."
Well, I guessed that much. Your voice, for one. Wouldn't have been a good thing tellin' him that, though. At least he was still using some of his deductive reasoning. I, however, still had a part to play.
"Mind tellin' me what you did take?"
Like I wanted to know.
"B- nothing!" I almost snorted, stopped myself – he'd hear me – and instead raised my eyebrows as a more invisible sign of his disbelief. Nothing my ass, I thought darkly. Whether I liked it or not I had a bad feeling what that 'b' had stood for, and the slight slip was all but enough to confirm it.
"Look, Kudo. You know the drill. Either you tell me, or I figure things out on my own. Either way, we're gonna find out what happened to you. The important thing now is-"
"I already know what happened to me, Hattori." Thank the kami, he sounded calmer. Though admittedly he'd seen people in shock sound just like that. Distant, cold and only half aware. Going through the motions. "I'm not stupid. I know what I am." I flinched slightly at the use of 'what' rather than 'who' or anything else. Not a good sign. People, no matter what, are not 'what'. There was a pause. Then, the question I'd been half waiting for ever since he'd asked when it was. "Oi, Hattori. How dark is it out?"
"It's getting darker. Dunno how things are at your end, but the sun's just-"
I cut myself off, swearing silently. Shit. Dammit. Absolute idiot. Now he knows I know and he's gonna panic. I just know he's gonna panic. Kudo always panics whenever he thinks someone's figured him out.
And dammit, he hasn't said anything for ages.
"Oi, Kudo – you still with me?"
"OI! Kudo – you still alive over there – ah, bad analogy." Oops. "You know what I mean." I sighed. "Eh. . ."
Yep, things were definitely going SNAFU. Situation normal; all fouled up. Normal for our lives, anyway. I was about to say something else – try to get my foot out of my mouth, for a start – when the school bell rung. I groaned. Great timing, as per usual.
"Hang on," Kudo started to ask, sounding thoroughly confused and with a grain of suspicion. I snorted derisively. Idiot. "At school, you baka. Where else would I be? Some of us didn't get a day pass. You rang me in the middle of a lesson and I had to escape both class and Kazuha."
And Kazuha only barely. I was half afraid that she'd just appear out of nowhere any minute.
The pregnant pause ended with only two words.
Ack. I knew he was gonna get back to that at some point. . .
"Yeah." Not like I like it or anything. Not like I wanted my world tipped on its axis. But yeah. I knew.
"And you're not freaking out or telling me that I'm crazy?"
That I should have seen coming. Luckily, I have a backup plan. Two, in fact.
"I grew up with Kazuha, you idiot. She's the one who insists I keep an omamori, remember?" An omamori that saved your life once if I remember correctly, I failed to add. Instead, I walked back over to the window and glanced out of it again. "Apart from other things, Mister Only One Truth panicking over stuff he doesn't believe in is about on par with the world ending. So yeah, I believe you. If there's one thing an impersonator can't copy, it's Kudo in a panic."
Not to mention that I'd felt that panic a few times. No; best not to mention that.
"Thanks. I think." I snorted, half a laugh. "But I still don't understand how you're just-"
"Later, Kudo," I growled out. "And when I say later, I mean later this time." Any explanations now would only waste time, and I really didn't want Kudo to find out the real reasons behind all of this. I huffed slightly under my breath. For one, I didn't know whether he'd believe me, and for two I didn't know whether I'd believe me when I sat down and thought about the whole fiasco.
"So." Better to get the conversation matter away from the danger zones. "What're you gonna do about that case of yours?"
For a moment there was blank. Which almost worried me. It was almost as if the case had passed his mind, but a case never passed Kudo's mind. Of course, this was a special occasion.
"How am I supposed to deal with that? All they know is that – damn. That Conan's gone missing."
That would be a minor problem. He could deal with that much, however, and I told him so. No big deal. "You're not a half-bad bluffer. What's got me is that the way you've said things, the bastard who killed that other guy was just like you. Only he's been around a bit longer and has homicidal tendencies. Am I right or am I right?"
And hopefully Kudo was too out of it to think if maybe I was using unspoken evidence.
"You're right," he admitted with a hint of reluctance. Dammit, I hated being right this once. I took a breath before saying what I had to say next.
"Then I don't know how you're gonna like this, but you're probably gonna have to get you're story straight to be able to get the guy in 'cuffs, Kudo."
Yikes. He recognized that sound – Kudo was going back into deep panic, and every so often he'd wheeze slightly. With a squeak.
"Oi, Kudo, you ok? You not freakin' out on me?"
"No." Kudo's voice croaked as though he wasn't used to using it anymore. "Not much."
Like hell not much, I thought. Somethin's got you freaked. Dunno whether it was somethin' I said or not, but it sure was something.
" 'Catch the killer and cover the crime', huh?"
Okaay. That sounded like he was quoting something, so bets were on that as the thing to freak. No idea why, though.
"Er, right." Not important. I walked back over to the window again, opened the blinds slightly. "Looks like you aughta be safe now. Sun's going down. You should probably remember to breath before you try anything, though."
Just how he'd managed to go without breathing while talking and all, I don't wanna know. The sound of coughing and spluttering was, however, reassuringly normal. I laughed with relief at the fact that something was normal, and that Kudo was still himself. By the time he'd sorted himself out, I was able to be serious again.
"You be careful, you hear me? Don't panic. It'll help if you don't go falling face-forward onto any wooden stakes, too, but you don't me to tell you that. You survive long enough and I'll be right down as soon as I can, Kudo."
Kami knew that the guy would need some kinda friendly face who knew the secret, but the reaction was like always. Instant denial, and no river in Egypt.
"I don't need-"
"Humour me, will you? And get back to that case."
I didn't have any time for his denials, and I doubted the case did either. Not to mention that I was sure I'd just heard something – or rather someone – hiding just around the corner, close enough to over hear. Great. Just great. Like I needed someone else thinking I was crazy.
I stalked out, ready and willing to give whoever it was a big reaming out for listening in on people's private conversations, when the last person I wanted to see stepped out in front of me, fists at hips.
I was in deep trouble.
Especially as her chin was jutting out just so – a thing that usually I find kinda cute – and her eyes looked all flinty.
"Hattori Heiji, you are going to tell me what that was all about right now."
I started to protest, but she cut across me with the ease of practice.
"Either that," she said, "Or I'm going to ring Ran-chan and tell her you were just on the phone to Kudo-kun."
Ouch. I winced. Low blow.
"Start talking. Now."
And that was how Kazuha found out, filling in a number of little plotholes in the process.