Yeah about that "expect One-Shots before continuations" thing... This one wouldn't leave me alone! I remembered a weeee little bit of the plot and it just took off with me holding on for dear life. That being said this is mostly staging. I'll get to some action at some point, promise!. Anyway, enjoy the new chapter! ~Silver
Takagi, in the end, had to say it had been a pretty good day. Sure his dignity had been stolen from him again and Shiratori got to work a case with Satou... again. Those things, however, seemed like nothing after hearing about Satou's skillful deductions at the restaurant. He raced down to the carport to make sure he was the first to congratulate her as she returned.
Shiratori's sullen expression as he exited his car helped as well. Oh yes that had helped Takagi's mood greatly.
They watched as Satou's unique police car pulled into the underground garage and wormed its way to her reserved space. Meguire stumbled out of the passenger seat first; the rush from solving the case must have made her driving all the more 'spirited'.
At least Takagi thought so until she exited out of the car, "Satou-san! I heard all about your deduction! Cong... Are... Are you alright?"
Shaken, that was the only word he could use to describe her expression right then. She was trying to hide it behind a mask of pride, but Takagi had known her too long to be fooled. He could see something was bothering her right through the mask's cracks.
"She's... been like this ever since... the close of the case... whew what a ride." Meguire replied slowly catching his breath. "She's not talking bout whatever... got to her either."
"Inspector I'm fine... r-really." Satou did her best to put up a brave front, Meguire's eyebrow raised.
"Fine, the offer is still on the table if you change your mind." He turned and returned to the building recovered from the return trip to the station and braced for the paperwork he knew was to come.
"Offer? Satou-san what's he talking about?" Takagi inched closer, feeling his concern building.
"He's offered me time off and sessions with the psychologist."
Satou nodded, "Yeah, he said sometimes this job just gets to you and if I needed to decompress for a while he understood."
Takagi nodded a bit, "Well, that does make sense. You know if this case has gotten to you that badly we'd all understand if-"
"It's not the case... that's if I really was... well..." piece by piece the mask slowly fell away from her features, "Takagi-kun, I could really use a wa-"
"Excuse me." Shiratori had stuck around to listen in, "I believe we all still have work to complete."
"Excuse me!" Takagi fumed turning to face him, "Give us a minute here, and if not me at least Satou-san!"
"N-No no it's ok Takagi-kun he's right." She came up behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder, "Can we still take that walk later? After our shift ends maybe?"
Fumes gave way to a slight blush, "Y-Yeah of course."
Shiratori merely turned and walked into the building, 'What a jerk.'Takagi thought before following in by Satou's side.
Oh yes the day went had gone well for Takagi, and with any luck the night would as well. He waited patiently outside the station's exit for his partner to meet him for their walk. Worried as he was he couldn't help but feel slightly giddy as well as nervous while he looked at the dim stars in the night sky.
'Does this count as a date? Wait am I going on a DATE with Satou!' had become the chorus of his thoughts for the remainder of the day filing away evidence reports. Sure they had been out together during undercover stings but those never seemed to count. Thanks again to Shiratori for ensuring this.
'Of course this is only an after work walk. No no this couldn't count as a date... or could it? Geeeh brain it'd be great to have a finalize decision here!'
"Hea, somehow just that face is enough to calm me down."
"S-Satou-san!" Takagi turned on his heels to face her fighting a massive blush.
She did look calmer, but that shaken state was still showing around her eyes. At least she was really smiling again, "Come on, I know just the place for a good walk."
Takagi nodded as Satou took the lead. He asked her again if she was ok only to be told again that she was fine. Takagi admitted defeat and allowed her to take her time in opening up. Pleasant conversation filled the void before making it to their destination.
"Wow, I forgot there was a park this close to the precinct." Takagi looked around the quaint little place. Most of it was a single looping path that hugged the wooded edges leaving an open space in the center for children to play.
"Yeah I thought a bit of nature would unwind my nerves." Satou made a quick sweep of the place with her eyes. 'Yes, yes nature makes sense. Nature always has a reason. Nature. Nothing about this makes sense in nature...'
"Satou-san... I can tell something is bothering you."
She sighed, "Yeah, but I wanted to be out of earshot of anyone else."
Takagi felt his eyebrows shoot up, "Oh really? Why?"
"Because they may have attempted to put me in an institution."
She gave him a little smile, "Nothing like you're thinking Takagi-kun. Just that... some of the things I'm about to say are going to sound nuts."
He laughed a little, "I'll be the judge of that. Now come on what's on your mind."
They both started on their walk as Satou took her time coming up with a way to say what she was thinking, "Takagi-kun, what did you hear about the case today?"
"Well, I heard that you solved the whole thing after Kogoro-san royally screwed up. That and you can put on one hell of a deduction show yourself." Satou nodded as he told her this.
"That's a decent enough summary. Really this all started with Kogoro-san's actions."
"You know he's a womanizer, and can take a swat if need be."
"Ha ha! Oh I wish it were that simple..." Satou took a deep breath, "How... closely have you watched him as he investigates?"
"Uhh well," Takagi looked to the sky in thought, "The first few times I was at a scene with him I watched fairly close. He reeeeeally didn't investigate all that well. He liked to speed through a lot of things that would have yielded better deductions if he had taken his time. That aside he always came to the right conclusions in the end so I stopped."
"Right... Takagi I've only seen him once before on the job. That time he did things as he always did."
"Blundering through you mean."
"Yes, well..." she smiled a little, "That part he did correctly this time."
He chuckled a little at that, "How bad was it?"
"He refused to look under a table where three shooting suspects sat today."
"Okay yeah that's worse than his normal screw ups."
"After that," her smile vanished, "He managed to accuse the correct shooter, a woman that had sat away from the main suspect's table, for a ridiculous reason."
"Oh, what was the reason?"
"She had the gun."
"That uh... huh?"
"She was a tricky one Takagi-kun. She got up and shot the victim from behind the suspect table while something on the one television in the place would distract most if not all of the people in the dining room. Then she slid it under their table by the one man she wanted to frame."
"But, if she did that how did they find the gun in HER possession?"
Satou's tone hushed, "The man was a snake Takagi-san... a cold blooded heartless snake..." The memory of that horrible feeling came rushing back. Icy chills ran down her spine freezing her legs in place while the rest of her shook. Goose bumps joined a cold sweat on her skin.
"S-Sorry it's colder out here than I thought it would be." She wrapped her arms around herself to steady the shaking. No, nothing was right about that black clad man at all.
Takagi's eyes soften as he slipped out of his blazer, "Here, it can at least take the chill off.
"Oh Takagi-san thank you but-" before she could contest he had draped the jacket across her shoulders. Her pounding heart served to warm her up quickly. "Thank you, it's doing more than enough."
He smiled and in the dim light Satou swore she saw a flush on his cheeks, "Now then, how did she get the weapon back?"
She nodded and continued "After the victim dropped the other two at the table of three jumped up to help her. The shooter stayed close but acted shocked and distracted. When the third suspect found the gun under his seat he slipped it in into the closest bag he could find, hers."
"Wow you're right, he is cold blooded."
'You have no idea Takagi... none...'She felt another shiver, making her pull the blazer tighter.
"Well then," he continued hoping to distract her, "How did you know one of the three didn't make the shot?"
"That was the one correct aspect of Kogoro-san's deduction, the shot could have only been made above the table clothes because it would have left bullet holes."
"Well if he was correct about that and had most of the same evidence as you..."
"Right... how come he didn't solve it himself."
"You're faster?" He chuckled out.
She couldn't help but laugh as well before abruptly stopping. Her head fell darkening her face, "No... but there was one thing not there. One thing. One crazy thing..."
"Satou-san..." He put a hand on her shoulder and felt as it tensed, "Say it... just say it..."
" …... Conan-kun. The one thing missing from this scene opposed from every other report about him I have read was Conan-kun." She felt her stomach flip and turn. She had said it, and it sounded just as crazy coming from her mouth as it did in her head.
So why wasn't Takagi laughing at her?
He looked back with a mixed face of surprise and recognition, "I knew he was an odd kid, but I had never thought..."
"Wait you believe me? I can't even believe me!"
"Satou-san," Takagi looked back up at the sky, "You remember the Tokyo Tower bombing case right?"
"Of course, it's a case I'll never forget."
"I think... I think it's about time I told you something about that case I left out of the reports."
And so in the back of the park, furthest from the street lamp's light, the pair stood together as Takagi wove a tale starring a bizarre young boy defusing a bomb with unneeded help and the even odder promise that was made under the weight of their impending death.
"T-Takagi-kun, why did you leave THAT out of your report?"
"Oh I don't know, fear of mental institutions I guess."
Satou smiled as more of her shaken state sloughed away, "I guess we're just a couple of nutcases huh?"
"Looks like it. So what are we going to do about it?"
Satou's lips curled up into a smirk, "What we do best of course, investigate."
Takagi joined her in smirking, "Seems like that's the best option here doesn't it?"
Under the light of the waxing moon, they made a silent pact to see their madness to the end.
Until Satou yawned, "It's getting pretty late, we should probably head home."
"I'll walk you, are you still staying at your friend's place?"
"Indefinitely it seems, but it works out. She needed someone to watch the house while she's out of town on all her business trips and I needed to get away from my mother's constant barrage of marriage profiles."
Takagi imagined her in a wedding dress. Blushing, there was no hiding the blushing. "Y-Yeah I probably would be too."
Unseen in the night, Satou blushed along with him.
"So this is the place huh?" Takagi looked up at the complex, a modest apartment building mere blocks away from the park and the station.
"Yeah, it's not much but it beats home right now." Satou walked up the stairs heading for a door near the end of the walkway. She looked behind her to see Takagi had followed her up. "You didn't have to follow me all the way up you know."
"Yeah, but I wanted to." He laughed a bit, looking off to side in his innocent way.
"Well thanks... and about what we discussed..." She leaned over putting her hand on the doorknob. Her face drained of color.
"I-It... It's open." she couldn't help to feel an ice cold wind blow across the back of her neck.
Takagi fell back against the wall; a hand automatically reaching for his gun. Full cop mode. He nodded to Satou.
She nodded back and opened the door slowly allowing him to enter gun first. A quick scan of the room yielded nothing but a simply decorated sitting room and kitchen. A check of the lone bedroom and the two closets end the same. The apartment was empty. "All clear... is anything missing Satou-san?"
"N-No no... nothing out of place..." she took a deep breath, calming away the chills, "I'm sure it was just my friend making a quick stop before her next business trip, she's left the door open before."
"Are you sure? I'm sure Chiba-kun would understand if I stayed to make sure you were ok."
"Now Takagi-kun! Are you trying to spend the night with me here alone?"
His reaction, Satou can tell you, was the best cure possible for the nervous chill that had been frozen down her spine. "N-NO NO NO! I M-Mean... I mean n-nothing like that I wouldn't, I mean not that you're not not that I'm not I..."
Takagi's rambling was ended by Satou's belly busting laugh, "O-Ohhh you should see the look on your face!"
He could feel the heat radiating off his face, "Offer still stands..."
"Takagi-kun, I'm ok. I'll sleep with the door locked and a pistol by my side. I'm not exactly a pushover you know." a quick playful jab to the shoulder reminded him of that.
"Haha alright you win... I'll see you next shift alright?"
"Sounds like a plan, get back home safe."
"I will, sleep tight Satou-san." with a wave and a gentle smile he turned and walked out; leaving Satou to think in the main room.
Yes, yes the door was just her friend. Forget that she only had done it once before and swore never to do it again. Forget that nothing in the house had been disturbed right down to the slippers by the door which made no sense with a hurried visit home. Forget all that. It was just her friend picking something up quickly before she had to catch another flight.
The shaking returned making Satou grip her sides. It was then she realized she had forgotten to give Takagi back his jacket. She pulled it tight letting part of it brush against her cheek. She could still smell him.
With his jacket around her it felt like he was still there; still calming her down. Looking around at just how empty the apartment was it was a good thing he had left it with her. Had he meant to leave it? Questions later. She hurried and locked the door before retreating to the bedroom steeling herself for a long night. She knew sleep would be elusive.
"The Offer still stands."
Satou stifled a yawn. That was quickly becoming her most hated sentence, "Inspector I am fine. Thank you for the concern but really I am fine."
Anyone with eyes could tell Satou hadn't slept well last night, her pale skin was clammy and the bags under her eyes had grown. She denied it each time she was confronted however in the name of saving face.
"Alright but if this keeps up it won't be an option. I am going keep you off any major cases today though; you're in no shape to investigate anything."
"Deal; there haven't been any cases for me to investigate anyway."
To this Meguire smiled a bit, "Ha yeah the scum out there is making my job a little easier. At least we can catch up on our paperwork now."
"Haha yeah, it's been awhile since I could say I've been caught up." She finished the last of the unfinished forms before letting out another yawn.
"Satou-san, go on and take a rest in the break room. Just don't let the boss see you slacking off." Meguire added a wink to the end of his words.
"Ha ha alright alright. I'll be extra careful so the inspector doesn't find out. Thank you." she smiled before getting up and walking towards the break room.
"GEAAAHH! SHIRATORI!" Yeah, she thought, that break was too good to be true. Satou turned on her heels to red faced Takagi standing at his workstation.
'What did that ass Shiratori do now?'
Said ass was sitting at his own desk, a cocky smile didn't help his case, "It's not my fault if you have a little "accident" Takagi-kun."
Accident? Satou looked a little closer to confirm that indeed the back of Takagi's pants were in fact wet. Most likely a result of the wet chair he had just sat down in. She found her patience fading fast.
"Takagi-kun?" Satou asked. He turned to face her; his embarrassment was hard to hide, "Come on, there are some towels in the break room. That's at least a little damage control you can do while your seat dries."
"Yeah that sounds good." Takagi's face cooled before turning back to his tormentor, "I will get you back for this one."
"Now Takagi-kun where is your evidence I did this?" his smug grin grew with every word, "You're so quick to convict me without any. That's not being a very good cop now is it."
There went any patience she had left, "Shiratori-kun, would you just shut up."
The room fell silent. Satou didn't care. She grabbed her partner's hand and led him out of the work area and towards the break room. Takagi swallowed hard watching the bemused giggles of his co-workers harden to stares. He swore could feel the target slowly growing on his back.
The pair made it to the room in record time. Thankfully it was empty so simply shutting the door would supply them with a least some limited privacy. "So tell me again how you ended up on the top of his shit list?"
"I wish I could tell you." he gave her a weak smile to go with the weak answer 'I really really wish I could.'
It was enough for now. With a flick of a wrist she flung a clean towel over his head and plopped down on one of the two sofas. "Oh well, try and keep clear of him while I take a nap alright? I don't wanna have to wake up to save your butt from him."
Takagi laughed softly, trying to find the least humiliating way to dry his pants in front of her. "Couldn't get any sleep after the door thing I'm guessing?"
Her response was light and playful, "Hey you were the one who wanted to play knight in shining armor and got me all worked up. Turns out a lot of things creek late at night."
"Heahea sorry about that." With his 'problem' taken care of as much as possible Takagi joined her on the couch, "By the way, you happen to still have that jacket?"
"Oh that?" she giggled, "Yeah it's still at my place. I'll be sure to bring it back eventually."
"Oh now who's trying to get me to their room huh?" that made the pair laugh hysterically.
After a half a minute of that Satou leaned back onto the cushion, "You always could get me to laugh..."
"N-Nothing nothing." Satou looked away; hiding her face before speaking again in hushed tones, "And... about the walk..."
Takagi nodded a bit before leaning back on the sofa, allowing for whispering, "You decide how we should start this?"
"Ha, when did I become the leader?"
"Just thought having something to control may help you calm down."
Huh, she hadn't thought that, "Hmm alright. First thing is to see what we've already got. Think you could come up with a 'requires investigation' list by tomorrow?"
"Ha, yeah no problem. Now with that out of the way, you definitely need some sleep."
Another quick jab to the shoulder, "Yeah yeah I'm on it. Oh, and Takagi-kun."
"Thanks for not sending me to the nut house."
He smiled and gave her a thumbs up before getting up and heading towards the door. Looking back he saw how she had sprawled out across the couch; her eyes already shut and ready for a rest. He took that scene in for a second before returning to the workroom and the co-workers ready to tear deeper into his wounded pride.
Thanks again to my not so good friend out there who gave me the idea for Shiratori's prank by pulling it on me. You know who you are! On a different note, for the first time ever, I have already begun writing of chapter 3 BEFORE publishing chapter 2! Yes yes shocking I know. I foresee that being completed between one and three weeks. Until then remember... what were they suppose to remember again? Oh well. Cya ya'll around! ~Silver