Prologue: The Festival of the Stars

Children ran wildly under the soft lantern lights of the sky, as fireworks cracked above. Many sang, as they wrote small messages on ornament sized slips of paper. Two children specifically stood at a stand with bamboo stalks and paper in front of the plants, one in a blue dragon decorated yukata, and the other a silvery white with tigers.

'Sasa no ha sara-sara...'

Scowling slightly as he stood by Kiyoiri, Koji scratched the side of his head. The same.. Damn... Yukata as last year... He'd hoped he'd have grown out of it by this point, but it seemed he hadn't. A full year since he'd come to Tokyo, and yet it seemed scarcely anything had changed. Ran would come by in the summer when she had no university classes, and Conan had, by the start of last summer, finally let go of her fully. (That didn't mean he wouldn't end up embarrassed when Ran did something that women were fine with doing in front of children, but not in front of young men though.) Still, at least things had calmed down... No assasination attempts in anycase...

'Nokiba ni yureru...'

"Neh neh, Koji-kun...?" Kiyoiri looked over at her friend, the boy instantly loosing the scowl. "Koji-kun, how are you doing in Kudo-ojiisan's house?" Koji simply blinked at this, before shrugging. A few days before, the small elderly man that had hired Shindou part time at his game shop passed away, leaving his only employee the very building he owned. It was rare for such an inheritance to come into play (Especially since the old man had a grandson who was equally interested in games at the time), but Shindou had accepted the offer.

'Ohoshi-sama, kira-kira...'

There was, however, a drawback to the new apartment/store that Shindou now owned and ran completely. There was no room for Koji to move in- So, after a very long conversation with Conan (And without Koji), Shindou had convinced his cousin to allow the boy to remain in said house. Conan instantly opted to check in more often however. Kiyoiri had now turned back to the note she was writing, humming the same small song being sung by those around her.

'Kin gin sunago.'

"Nice yukata Hisoka."

Tch! Koji tensed, turning around to glare at a certain spectacled boy wearing a flaming red one. Great.. Just great. He'd been trying to avoid this... Spotting the phoenix on Conan's own clothes however, this quickly turned into a smirk. "At least mine isn't decorated with peacocks."

As expected.. His friend instantly bristled at the comment. "Oi! I'm not the one who picked it!"

"Then we can relate." He watched as Conan chose to ignore that, and walk over to Kiyoiri, attempting to see over her shoulder.

"Hn... You're writing a wish Kiyoiri-chan?" The two boys received a simple nod, before Conan continued. "Oi oi... This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with that thing Shindou-ojii is working on... Would it?"

Kiyoiri covered the note up quickly, shaking her head. "Uh-uh! No way! If I tell you the wish it won't come true!" Ignoring Koji's light smirk and Conan's deadpan, she turned to fold it over and hang it on one of the bamboo stalks in front of her, before turning to look at her friends with a frown. "And if either of you even try unfolding it...."

Koji laughed nervously, Conan simply stepping back with slightly wide eyes. "Eh...."

Leaning over to Conan, Koji whispered, "She's been like this since school ended... Just go with it..." Simply nodding, they watched as Kiyoiri's cheery disposition returned.

"Koji-kun! Conan-kun!! Over here, there's some carving..."

The pair sighed. Urrgh... However, with Kiyoiri temporarily distracted, Conan turned to Koji to ask what he had planned to any first place. "So.. Speaking of 'Cocoon Beta'.." Really, who in their right mind donated two 'Cocoon' pods to the game shop?

"He was looking for beta-testers the other day... I just barely convinced Kiyoiri that it was a bad idea..." He rubbed his temples, while Conan simply deadpanned. "What! I don't trust that thing! ....You're the one who said it almost put you in a coma..."

The boy snorted, shaking his head. "That was because it was overrun by a rogue computer program. The cocoon's that are sitting in Shindou-ojii's shop are completely harmless! At least for the moment..." Now that he thought about it... Who knew what Shindou's tinkering had done to those things! ....What was he doing again? "Oi, Hisoka... What exactly is he trying to do anyways?"

"Hn?" The boy looked up from where he had been staring off, watching Kiyoiri speak with a pair of kids that had apparently come from over in Ekoda to the festival. "Ah... He's trying to make it possible to play games from other systems on it... He tried convincing Kiyoiri and I to test it, but when I told him about how Ran-neechan was taking us to Osaka..." He drew off while Conan blinked at how used to 'being 8' it seemed Koji was, watching as Kiyoiri beat the boy across from her at gold-fish catching before she walked back.

Holding a small bag of fish, she grinned. "Heee! I met some really nice people...." She stopped when she saw Koji giving Conan an odd look however, staring in confusion. "Ehhh... Did I miss something?"

Koji shook his head. "Nah... Just wondering what you were doing..."

"Ah! Well, you see....." He instantly regretted asking...

Walking off in the opposite direction, the two children didn't know just how much meeting that girl would affect them- For after Kiyoiri told them about the beta test needed... And just where it was...

That would be about where things started going downhill, at least from Conan's perspective.


A dream...

In a completely black room, two figures stand. On one side, a small boy in glasses, his back turned to the other with a face of ice. On the other side, a young man, his school uniform slightly torn, his breathing ragged as he clutches his knees. He has run far, and run hard, to catch up to this boy. He has been attacked... Wounded, as the blood that seeps through his sleeve shows. And he has many questions... Most of which will likely go unanswered.

"Why," the man says, his voice rough and cracked from lack of use. "Why do you run from me?"

The boy does not turn back to him, simply speaking to the man with an appearance identical to his own. "Because you don't exist anymore. You died over a month ago."

"Why did you kill me?" His voice is strained, faded, as though forced across miles of ice and snow. "Why couldn't you wait, or even tell her?"

Still, he does not turn. The darkness shifts slightly, a pair of eyes gleaming unnoticed to the man. "Because I could not. I would not. And I will not." Would he say this in reality, if it was conceivably possible? He does not know, nor does he wish to know.

"Then why do you abandon me even then? Why do you throw me away completely?" Would his other half speak this way, even during a case? He does not care. A set of brown eyes gleam in the darkness, a shadowy form rising from behind the man as an unknown source of light gleams across a razor sharp and toothed beak.

The boy hesitates. Chokes on his words. And then continues. "Because I..."

The bird rises, and the man turns around to scream in terror as an enormous beak crashes down on his form, snapping him clean in two. The man dissipates into smoke....

"...Don't need you anymore."

A piercing screech fills the air, and the boy's vision fades...

A dream.

This time, he is the one who is running. His breathing is hard and labored, and he has no idea what is causing him to run at this pace.

"REVERSE!" He winces as this single word is repeated around him so many times, not once looking back to see who it is that says this. "REVERSE! REVERSE!" Two figures seem to impede his escape, and he shakes his head with shock as he finds himself cornered.

Both figures have a cable running from the base of their necks down. "Reverse...." A blinding pain fills his head as the back of his neck begins to bleed... He falls forwards, blood pooling around his head, around his mouth and eyes....


"Koji-kun!" Ran turned from her seat on the train they sat on for the trip to Osaka, glaring at the boy as he shoved a sleeping Conan off his shoulder. "What did I say about speaking that way!" Koji did not answer, still busy with the oddly heavy Conan... Who had been drooling on his shoulder, fast asleep.

He continued to push at the boy, eventually just poking his shoulder with a razor sharp claw instead.

"HITAI!" Conan jerked awake, clutching his already healed shoulder. "What the hell was that for!"

"Conan-kun!" The boy turned as Ran sent him a glare, now mimicked by Kiyoiri who sat beside her.

Blinking as he wiped the drool from his face, Conan's eyes suddenly widened as he looked down at the hand he had used to do so. ".....Eh...." Looking over at Koji while he took a napkin from the box beside him, he sweat dropped. "I didn't.... Drool on you did I?"

Koji's shoulder looked rather wet, even after the furious scrubbing that he was giving it. "Stay away from me next time we take a train."

'Oi oi... As if it's my fault...' A loud 'ping' noise sounded above, alerting them that they had arrived in Osaka. "Hn... We're here already?"

"Yea." Koji stood up and stretched, before putting his hands in his pockets and waiting for Conan to leave and make room for him to get into the aisle. "So... This friend of yours, what am I to him?"

To him? Ah, that's right. Conan walked out into the aisle as Kiyoiri and Ran called them over to the door, looking behind him as he whispered the answer. "Eh... You're my second cousin. Be interesting to see his reaction in any case."

There was an odd look from Koji, his eyes half-closed in a typical 'huh?' look as he ignored the second part of the statement. "Second cousin? How the hell does that work? I thought this you wasn't related to me..."

Conan shook his head, getting off the train before Koji and walking over to wait in one of the benches. "Iye. 'Edogawa Conan' is a distant relative of the Kudos. You, in the mean time, are posing as Shindou-ojii's nephew. Technically, keeping that disguise in mind, that makes you a second cousin... And since it's possible for me to be 'related' to another cousin of Shindou's, this means that the phrase still holds true." The boy nodded to himself, as if to solidify this explanation before realizing that Koji had already stopped paying attention. Come to think of it... Ran and Kiyoiri were following the boy's gaze, a confused look on their face. "Eh..."

"Conan-kun!!~ Your loving Yukiko-neesan is here!~" Neesan... She was already 40!

He probably shouldn't have turned.... But in doing so, he came face to face with his mother. And also a new 'deal'. "Conan-kun, recently yo-" She coughed, catching herself before continuing, "Yuusaku and I were thinking it would be a good idea to let you have a vacation outside of Japan! What do you think?"

"Iye." Koji, Kiyoiri, and Ran looked at Conan with an interesting look at the instant response, Yukiko simply pouting.

"Mou... Conan-kun, there's no need to be so quick to decide... Besides, a certain friend of yours from Osaka is going to be there as well~"

Conan frowned, blinking a few times. "...What."

"Isn't it great? We asked if he wanted to spend a few weeks with you and your friends this summer in D.C., and once we gave him the ticket he was more than willing!~" The group sweat dropped, with Koji and Kiyoiri looking at Yukiko oddly before Ran accepted the plan to travel with them to the states.

Looking over at Conan, Koji's eye twitched slightly. "Oi oi... Is your mom all there...?"

The response was a sigh. "It's her character.... There's no preventing it..."

"Kinda like you and dead people eh?" Koji chuckled as a glare was sent up at him. Hehehe...

Conan could almost hear Koji say 'With your luck, bodies will flock to you two like flies!', even with the silencing look he'd received from Ran before he could. Another sigh, as the ticket Ran handed him revealed that he would be leaving in a few hours from Osaka with the others. Maybe if he was lucky his parents wouldn't just leave them at a hotel...

Please let this trip be at least a bit more calming than the last time he was in the states...


AN - Why helloooo there! Welcome to the prologue of the sequel to 'Section F', which didn't really focus on Section F at all now did it? Someone told me I came off as a bit harsh in the note I left there... Sorry about that. If you have something to say, just say it! It could be anything. Why, it could be about how Koji should have a hair cut. (Which he won't ever get by the way. Gin/Koji with short hair would bring about the apocalypse.) In anycase, this fic is much MUCH shorter than Section F... But it will be just as good if not better in my opinion! (Especially if you help... *points to review button* Hinthintnudgenudge!) Unlike with Section F, I'll post a few other notes at the bottom of chapters when I need to give you all a notice of something- Exams are coming, and I'll be moving soon, so I don't want to leave you hanging!

One more thing before I go- I will be posting not one... Not two.. But THREE fanfics stimoutaniously as I do this. At the moment, it is only two of course- The third fanfic doesn't have a prologue (Mainly because it was odd-doodle and conversation induced), so you won't see a bit of it until I post the first chapter of 'VR' and 'Oceans of Red'. In anycase... See if you can guess the crossover before I announce it! Because I won't list it as one until the crossover is revealed. (Which is next chapter. :D)