Sun filtered through the curtains of the room as a small breeze floated by. The scent of food from the first floor floated through it, so Shindou was likely cooking breakfast again. It had been about three days since the assault on the agents of the Black Org- And in the end, the two agents they had dealt with severed all but one tie with the group in terms of the attack- And that tie was their goal of killing Okiya. Anything else concerning them was unknown to those ranking above Vodka, Bourbon and Chianti... There was no more information to go on in order to continue the task of shutting the organization down, at least not on their end... The FBI had a new ally in any case, thanks to Okiya.
But really, Koji thought as he stared out the window and at the house across from them and into the dark empty room within it, things had just barely worked out for them. Looking back at the bed in the room, he sighed. Three days... And he was still out like a light. Taking a seat in the chair next to his desk, Koji frowned. This was getting a bit worrisome... If Conan was unconscious for much longer, they would have to go into a hospital- But they would instantly notice when none of the drugs or cuts made had any effect on him.
"Ng..." Koji's face shot up from the ground, eyes focused on the once motionless lump in the bed. The boy stirred, blurry vision soon correcting itself as a completely blue surrounding was made clear. Blue... The ceiling in his old house... Conan's eyes shot wide open, the boy jerking up into the sitting position to look around before spotting Koji. "Wh-What... Where..." His breathing slowed down slightly, as the boy calmed down enough to get a solid question out. "What happened?"
Koji simply shrugged, as though trying to hide something. "...You were knocked out... You've been out for a few days now in fact... Had everyone worried."
Everyone? Then... Conan sighed in relief, flopping back onto the bed to look at the ceiling again. That was good... Wait, if Shindou, Kiyoiri, AND Koji had been there, then how- "...Hisoka, how did we get back here without being seen...?"
"Okiya." After that single word, Conan went pale again. Okiya did? But how did he even know where they were at the time? Unless... The boy's thoughts trailed to all those times that Ai had warned him of the man, that she had insisted he check for bugs within his own house...
All those times... And she was likely correct. "Then, Okiya was..."
"Codename 'Bourbon'. After sending information on the reportedly dead 'Amaretto', it had been decided he would be taken out, due to the increasing risk of his position being compromised... Supposedly, no one knew if Shindou had already given up information on him, so, rather than waste their few resources to find out, they chose the easy way out..."
He couldn't believe this... If he'd just listened to Ai then-
"If you're thinking what I think you are, don't... You probably wouldn't have made it here if it wasn't for him anyways. You don't have to talk to him about it either... He's currently working with the FBI on taking out the remaining sections in the org. We won't likely see him for a while..."
Conan nodded stiffly, sitting up again and looking over at Koji. "Ah... ....And.. What happened to Kiyoiri-chan then? She's alright?" Something had happened in there.. Had Koji seen? Or had he been unconscious the entire time?
"Yea... Okiya said he picked her up earlier..." He crossed his arms, frowning. "However... When I spoke to him on the way back about how she was... He said that she seemed to be 'torn', in two places at once. She couldn't remember what happened, and was going on about fish.."
The boy coughed, turning away. "That.. Would be because Kiyoiri found the sample you hid from us. She took the partial form of an oarfish and..." Should he really say this now? Give him the knowledge of something that they couldn't give Kiyoiri anyways?
Koji frowned at the mention of the last poison, his eyes closing partially. "She ate the last one huh..." Damn... He couldn't very well help her much with things if it was a fish... Realizing that Conan was, for once, struggling to say something. "Oi oi Megane... Spit it out already..."
"Kiyoiri-chan has DID." Koji's face went blank at those words, his eyes uncharacteristically wide in a look that would have been humorous in other circumstances. "The moment she fell into the water and the poison activated, he personality switched around completely. I managed to stop her before she got to us, but Chianti... She had the misfortune of being the first to realize her healing abilities..." Conan frowned as he recalled the fuzzy memory, his head still recovering even now from the events of the night before. "She spoke in monotone, like a computer... Saying she was initiating 'operation Alpha 01'. What exactly is-"
Koji's eyes narrowed to slits, the boy gritting his teeth as the clear memory of 'Genesis' files came into his mind.. "'Alpha 01'... That was in one of the files that Tenshi left me when we escaped; Along with Kiyoiri's information, it held a record of 'operation techniques'. The first, 'Alpha' was for drastic situations, a 'kill or be killed' kind of thing. Next was Beta, for combat, with the list going through the Greek alphabet, covering things such as on-water missions and poisonings. But the number was meant to refer to what weapon she used... It was an extremely detailed file, there were hundreds there... But '01' was for a stiletto, a switchblade." As he said this, his eyebrows furrowed in thought. How would a fish transformation be able to do that? Fish, save for those with teeth, couldn't stab, tear.. They couldn't do anything, aside from maybe shocking or poisoning their attackers. And even then, an oarfish? Those were one of the most pathetic of large fish!
As though reading his mind, Conan answered. "So then, by retracting and regrowing the rays of the fin, without creating the skin between it, she mimicked that style of kill..." He stopped there, swallowing. It felt just plain... Disturbing, talking about someone who was normally comparable to Ayumi in this way. The two girls had once tried to fool the rest of the class by tying their hair up into a bun, and keeping other from looking to hard at their eyes- So long as one didn't look to close and notice that one had grey eyes and the other blue, it was rather difficult to tell.
Granted, Koji was able to tell from the start by scent, but nonetheless... "I think.. I think that it was the gunshots and screams that triggered it. After a certain point, she probably couldn't take the stress anymore, calling for a form of herself that was once devoid of emotion, dedicated to ridding herself of danger..."
Koji nodded, his eyes distant. What Conan said next however, snapped his attention back to the glasses wearing boy. "It's not unlike you I think."
"I am not insane."
Conan gave him a look that was not only dead serious, but not at all in the mood for screwing around on the topic. "Really? Then tell me when you lost consciousness, and when you came to."
"......." He opened his mouth as if to say something, but just as quickly felt himself close it. He couldn't remember... That wasn't at all normal, he was normally able to remember those sorts of things with the drop of a hat, it was the main reason he forced himself to forget faces so much- If he didn't he'd end up thinking about it all the time, and he'd become distracted from-
Conan's voice pulled him from his thoughts. "Hn. Because after Chianti began firing at you with that machine gun... You lost it completely. You weren't simply taking the shots to distract them anymore- You looked like you were enjoying it." His look deepened into a mix of anger and sorrow, fists clenching the blanket tightly. "You didn't stop laughing until the bullets stopped, when you fell over from exhaustion!"
"Well then great, Megane! You've proven I'm insane, what a wonderful achievement!" Koji stood up from his chair, clenching his fists as well. "Now what the hell do you think I'm supposed to do about it huh? Go to a hospital? Wonder how they'll react when they find an immortal on their steps?"
He chuckled cynically, shaking his head. "As if... All I'm saying is that you should at least try not to run into things like machine guns- Because while you may be 'immortal' Hisoka, you sure as hell aren't impenetrable. And the last thing I need is you doing something you'll regret for some reason."
"....Too late for that, Megane..." Koji turned away, arms resting on the sill of the window as his eyes became distant yet again. "Too damn late."
Conan frowned, watching his friend turn from him. "...Too late? Hisoka, what.." He'd called him by name again. Whether it was conscious or not though, it didn't really matter right now. Too late? Then, while he was knocked out...
"After you lost consciousness, I came to and smelled blood. I saw you knocked out to the side, with Vodka preparing to suffocate you. I saw Shindou out cold at the other end of the room. I..." The words were hard to choose, hard to form really. Pulling up the memory threatened to make him sick again, even though he hadn't eaten anything yet that day. "I... I snapped. I shifted into the form of a tiger and did what a tiger does when you piss if off."
His eyes widened, frown being replaced with a look of horror. Holy shit... He... He ate-
"I can still see it perfectly, you know? I can hear his screams before his neck snapped, before his bones cracked on the pavement with it... I can taste his blood, his flesh..." Koji went green, nails digging into his arms as he continued. Better to tell the detective before he finds out himself after all. "When I regained myself, I had been throwing him around like some kind of toy!"
What Conan said next, he instantly regretted. ".....That's like you, huh, 'Gin'?" The boy's eyes were narrowed when he said that, but when Koji looked up at him, the glare softened. It wasn't the look that did it... But the body language gave away so many mixed emotions at that time... Sadness? Hatred... For himself? Grief, mourning, sorrow, loyalty, betrayal...
"I suppose.. I suppose it is. I've done some disgusting things in the past... Things that I've regretted only recently... But that alone..." He drew a shaky breath, head laying face down on his arms. "I think that face alone is one that won't be erased from my mind in death..."
Conan turned away, unwilling to be subject to the emotional ski-trip that Koji was currently having. Completely down hill it was... What was the world coming to, really? Him feeling sorry for the one who had tried to kill him multiple times, the one he'd been ruthlessly chasing down for the past two years? You couldn't feel empathy for things like this- Only sympathy. You didn't want to feel empathy about things like this. It was one of those things that you simply shook your head and patted them on the back for. And yet...
"That was uncalled for. Gomen nasai, Hisoka." Through the corner of his eye, he thought he saw Koji nod stiffly, turning away with feelings of thankfulness, but a face that made him appear indifferent to what he said. He had so silently chuckle at that really- Even at a time like this, the idiot was stubbornly trying to care less about what he thought.
Koji however, then turned with a soft smile that seemed out of place on the once assassin. "Hm. Apology accepted, Edogawa." Looks like just this once, he could remember his name. Only this once. "....You had visitors earlier, by the way..." He motioned over to the table next to Conan, a small stack of gifts and cards piled on it, along with a vase of flowers.
"Most of them think you're just sick of course... It's not like we could tell them what really happened eh?" A harsh laugh came after this, but he quieted it quickly. "You have a lot of people looking out for you Megane... You should be grateful."
Conan frowned slightly. Was that a bit of grief coming out again? The feeling was quickly replaced by one of 'plotting', Koji walking over to the pile of cards and carefully snatching up the one with flowers scribbled over it. "But seriously, some of the cards you're getting... Take this one from Ayumi-chan for example!" He coughed, Conan sighing as the obligatory reading-of-the-embarrassing-cards began.
"'To Conan-kun. I hope you get better really soon! It's not fun at school without you! Please get better before the school festival especially! I wanted to go to it with you!' Mah mah.... Looks like your friend has a crush neh?" Watching Conan's expression go slightly green with exasperation, he laughed, tossing him the card. "Ahaha! Geeze you're easy to fool.. She's going with Tsuburaya!"
Eh? So then Ayumi had never had a crush on him? Sheesh, all those glares from Mitsuhiko and Genta...
"She did apparently like you for a while though... At least according to Kiyoiri..." Oh god damn it... "There is someone else you might be interested in though..." He grabbed another card, Conan sending him a look of loathing over when an odd grin went over his face. "Sheesh, I'm not making this one up!"
Unfolding it carefully, he didn't read it. Instead, he handed it to Conan carefully, holding it like he had Kiyoiri's bag when she couldn't carry it, like he had when carrying her around the school yard piggy-back in order to reach something in the tree. Looking inside the cover, the handwriting stood out instantly.
It was neat, and precise, like it was when she wrote notes, be it for school or for her 'work'. Carefully written, and accompanied with a small sketch of a phoenix, her card was somewhat touching really.. And then suddenly it was upsetting.
I heard about the incident from Kiyoiri-chan and Hisoka-kun two days ago- Really, running into a situation like that... You are a fool far too often, for someone once known as the 'Heisei Holmes'.
You had me worried, Conan-kun. Lying in the bed, we couldn't send you to a hospital after all... I did what I could to help however, and hopefully you can read this before I am unable to help anymore.
It is too dangerous for you, if I stay here. It was I who caught the attention of them in the first place after all. I will be leaving with your parents until things die down- Until I can safely say that you, nor those who really would die from those injuries, will be hunted by them.
My plane leaves on the 7th of May, at 10:00 AM. I hope to see you there, Conan-kun.
- Haibara Ai'
He looked up from the note pale, having spotted the 'day by day' calendar when he'd woken up- It was Friday the 7th of May... "Hisoka... What time is it?"
Koji simply grinned. "Time? 9:30. Driving through the streets right now would be murder though, Megane.... But maybe if you skip the details such as buildings and roads, you can still make it neh?"
For once, he had to thank the guy- Because honestly, in the state of mind he was in right now, he probably wouldn't have thought of that.
She waited in the airport, looking at the clock with an cold and distant eye. Tapping her foot, the girl sighed and stood from her chair, looking up at Yukiko with a seemingly emotionless glance. Yukiko however, simply smiled. "Don't worry neh, Ai-chan? If there's one thing I know about my son, it's that he's never late!"
This gained a sigh of annoyance from Ai, as well as a nervous cough from Yuusaku behind them. Obviously, Ran had never told the woman about when he came two hours late for a date...
Still, there was nothing they could do. If he was still sick, then they couldn't really force him to come. When Shindou had told them about that however... Yuusaku frowned slightly as the minutes ticked away, the clock now reading '9:45'. It seemed as though he was lying really- That their son had caught a cold now of all times, and that it was so harsh he was unable to leave his bed for three days in a row.
He had come in to see him of course, when he had been asked if he could take Ai with him to the states, but he had been sleeping. Another boy had sat in the room across, a boy he hadn't recognized. When Yuusaku had asked who he was, the long-haired boy (Who he initially mistook for a girl from behind, sad to say.) simply said he was a friend from school, and Shindou's nephew.
His nephew? He'd known that Shindou had a daughter, from a few calls from the man when he had excitedly told them he'd 'regained custody of his daughter', named Kiyoiri. And in all honesty, the girl seemed rather sweet, in a way that rather reminded him of when his own son was younger. But while she genuinely believed that Conan was sick with the flu, everyone else in the house seemed to be hiding something.
And he knew that Ai knew. Still... He chose not to ask, preferring that his son tell him when he was ready. It wasn't as though it could be as life-changing as the 'Shrinking' incident after all, right? He may have given up on a cure, but aside from that, he was now living out life normally right?
9:50. Ai stood up from her chair, Yukiko and Yuusaku helping her with her bags as they walked towards the entrance to their plane. The plane would take off in ten minutes... They handed the attendant their tickets, and soon, preparing to follow after the two adults, Ai turned around to give one last wistful look at the direction of the airport entrance. He would know where she was right? He knew, after all, from Yuusaku's card, where she would be boarding the plane.
9:55. She turned around sadly, taking a step towards the walkway.
"Ch-Chotto!" Ai turned swiftly, watching with surprise and happiness as a familiar boy in over sized glasses came belting down towards where she stood. He stopped directly in front of her, hands on his knees as he gasped for breath. The girl watched as a few feathers fell from inside his jersey, smiling slightly. So that was how neh?
She shook her head, retaining her look of indifference. "Really, Conan-kun... Any longer, and you would have missed me by a few seconds..." The look could not be held long though, and she soon found herself smiling again.
That odd feeling was there again. Conan laughed slightly though his panting, his pulse slowly steadying itself as he regained a normal breathing rate as he looked at Ai with a slightly annoyed look. "Hahaha... It's not my fault.. Hisoka took a bit long to explain everything... Besides..." What was that feeling, that he'd felt from so many people towards others? From Takagi when he thought of Satou, from Shindou when he mentioned Tenshi... From Ayumi and Mitsuhiko when-
That was... He couldn't hide the look of realization as it dawned on him, Ai frowning slightly as the boy across from her did so.
"Besides what, Conan-kun? ....I have a plane to catch you know..."
Conan nodded. "I know. I just..." He was standing awkwardly close to Ai now that he noticed- In his mad dash, he seemed to have skidded to a stop directly next to her. A deep blush was already across his face, a much lighter one across Ai's. "I... Haibara?"
"Can you... Close your eyes?"
Ai blinked, looking at Conan quizzically, but doing so nonetheless. "Very well, Conan-kun... You better hur-" The girl was cut off, a light, soft feeling brushing across her lips before it left just as quickly. "What..."
When she opened her eyes, Conan was blushing madly. "G-Good luck.. Haibara."
She blinked, before smiling softly and leaning over to leave a light kiss on the boy's cheek. "Same to you, Conan-kun. And please... It's 'Ai'." With that, she left for her plane, leaving a stunned and confused boy in her wake. What was it that he'd done just there? What had he just done...
A few minutes later, Ai watched as a raven flew past her window, before soaring into the sky and away from the airport, lest it be caught in the turbines of the enormous machine. Knowing him, she thought, he probably blamed the bird... But she knew better really...
They would take this one step at a time, this strange thread that was becoming woven between them. Perhaps, when Kira had mentioned 'catching the fire spirit', she had referred to the form of the 'Suzaku'... Flying free through the sky, unhindered by any problems. "I won't hold you back, Conan-kun... Someday, I won't have to be an ocean apart to do so..."
The plane took off...
And with that, a new day started, each person not knowing just what would happen to them next. All they knew was that, no matter what...
They would be prepared.