Summary: [AU] What if Gin had decided to do more than just poison Kudou Shinichi? And, what if, months later, Akiba Conan joins Kuroba Kaito's class with no memory of his past…and Kaitou KID finds a rival in the seven-year-old boy?
My muse seems to enjoy torturing me with major fanfiction ideas. Especially when I'm not supposed to be writing anything outside of scientific reports. Huh. And at the same time too, if you'd notice that I posted another DC fic aside from this. Gah. Muse-chan doesn't like giving me breaks. She's demanding that I continue all the other fics I had planned for PoT and FMA…or else she'll force more plots on me. I already feel another PoT plot coming…-shudders-
Anywho, I shouldn't keep you for long here. I'll just inform you now that I may not be able to update as much as I want to, as I'll be busy with studying despite that it is summer. And I really can't be online as much as I used to. I'll try to update at least once a week though. The next chapter is already in progress n.n
Before I forget, this fic is dedicated to Cheshire XIII and Tsubome. For giving such nice feedback after hearing the main plot. Hope I don't disappoint too much :D
Disclaimer: All intellectual rights for the characters go to Gosho Aoyama. Except for a random character somewhere…but he hardly counts. Yes, I mean even the woman who plays a big role here. Anyone who can recall who she is? :3
Opus 1: Amazing Grace
Chapter One: Prelude
By Milky Étoile
"Aniki, what do we do with him?"
"We can use that new poison on him. But I think this boy needs to be taught a lesson before we send him over to the other side…"
The morning was as peaceful as always for her on the days before performances. The weather was perfect too for her ritual of walking around a nearby forest.
She didn't hurry as she walked along the trail. There was much to see, no matter that she had already gone the same path before and had seen those same trees. There were new branches with new nests perched upon them, birds fluttering around them, and a bundle of clothes lying just beneath a cypress tree.
She blinked and backtracked, curious. She approached the tree and saw that, indeed, there was a bundle of clothes huddled at the base. Who could have left those in this kind of place? The idea that some person may have done something inappropriate in the otherwise tranquil forest made her blush and recoil from the articles of clothing.
But weird dark patches on what seemed to be a jacket caught her attention enough to make her come closer once more. It didn't seem like dirt… Her maroon eyes widened as she realized with a terrifying jolt what it was. Blood.
She didn't even think of what she was doing. She abruptly took the jacket and was astonished when there seemed to be something preventing her from pulling it. When she suddenly heard a pain-filled moan, she froze. The sound came from the bundle of clothes. As she stared at it, it moved. With her hand still clutched on one sleeve of the jacket, she drew closer carefully. The bundle moved again—it turned.
She let out a gasp. There was a child, a boy, entangled in the bloody and soiled clothes. One glance told her that all the blood probably came from him. Blood was running down his face from somewhere on his scalp. Dark brown hair stuck together in clumps and a few strands were dripping with the red liquid. She couldn't tell what other injuries were on his face except for the straight gash that ran from his left eyebrow down to his cheek. She had to bite the inside of her cheek to stop herself from exclaiming in horror. She just knew that there were probably more dangerous injuries beneath all the far-too-large clothing.
She took a deep breath to calm herself before letting go of the sleeve she was still holding. Making up her mind, she reached for her mobile phone. Before she could dial though, the child let out a strangled noise. Frozen once more, she watched as his right eye opened very slowly, showing her a dulled blue iris. It seemed to focus on her after a moment. The boy's lips moved, but only a weak whisper came out.
She let out the breath she didn't realize she had been holding when the boy's eye closed once more. His form was limp once more, telling her that he had probably fallen unconscious again. She turned her attention to her phone and tried to keep her voice steady when she was answered.
"Hello? This is Akiba Reiko. There's a very injured boy here in the Shinma Forest… Yes, in the forest, close to the eastern entrance, please, hurry!"
Reiko wasn't sure why she even stuck around. The police had already questioned her about her findings. Not to mention, she looked and felt filthy with dirt and blood from her attempt at stemming the flow of blood from the boy's wounds. Her usually immaculate long reddish brown hair was messily tied in a ponytail. She had used her white jacket to clean the child as much as she could. It was now beside her, looking as if it were crimson in color all along due to the amount of blood on it. She shuddered when she thought of how much of the red liquid that the boy lost.
She wiped her hands with the towel she had been provided with, unsuccessfully removing the grime stuck on them. She sighed. She probably should have at least accepted the change of clothes that a kind nurse had offered when the injured boy had been wheeled into the operating room.
But she felt glued in the plastic chair facing the doors of the operating room with the red light on above it. She kept on trying to talk herself into leaving, even if only for a bit, but she just couldn't. Not when a poor boy was fighting so vainly for his life.
Her shoulders visibly shook. She wasn't sure why she was so affected by the thought that he might not make it with all of his grave injuries. She didn't have any idea what his name was.
Her chest heaved as she took deep breaths, trying hard not to cry. But her tears seemed to ignore her attempts as they fell down her pale cheeks.
That kid had better make it through alive or he'd regret making her weep like this.
"Are you the boy's mother, madam?"
Reiko looked up sharply at the question. Blinking, she realized that the light above the door was now off and that the middle-aged man in front of her was the doctor in charge of the operation. Remembering the question, she shook her head.
"No. I was the one who found him in the forest like that."
The spectacled surgeon nodded. "I see. Well, Miss, it was good that you managed to find him at that time. If he had gotten here ten minutes later, I doubt he would have had a chance without a miracle."
She let out a sigh of relief. Before she could ask for other details, the doctor fixed her with a stare.
"As it is, it was already a miracle that he lived through his injuries. We managed to stabilize him. He had numerous lacerations and quite a few broken bones. We also had to close what seemed to be a bullet wound—" He paused when she gasped. "—But luckily, the bullet didn't hit any vital organs. However, it had passed through his torso and we had to close both sides. We've had to replace a lot of blood too. And that head injury is problematic and may cause other effects that we cannot assure until he regains consciousness. Also, his left eye had been slashed with some sharp object and it needed sutures. I'm afraid he probably wouldn't be able to see with that eye anymore, damaged as it was by the gash and the other injuries inflicted on his face."
Reiko vividly remembered that gash. It was a long one and to have that stitched…
"We've done all we could. He has gone into a coma and we cannot do anything else for him. It's all up to him now." The doctor put a hand on her shoulder. "I am aware that you probably do not even know who that boy is, but right now, he needs support. I hope you can at least visit him and provide that until we find his guardians."
Her eyes traveled past his shoulder when the very subject of their conversation was brought out of the operating room carefully. Almost all of the parts of the boy that were not under the blanket were covered in bandages. He wore a gas mask that was linked to a tank that was being wheeled along the bed. Both of his hands had needles with tubes stuck in them, one leading to a bag of clear liquid and the other to one with red liquid.
"What's your name, ma'am?"
The doctor's voice brought her out of her stupor. After taking a deep breath, she answered, "Akiba Reiko."
He nodded and noted something on the clipboard that he was holding. "Akiba-san, we'll be placing him in the intensive care unit. You can see him again later if you wish. However, I would advise that you take care of yourself first. The nurse has informed me that you haven't left to eat or clean up since the operation started."
She nodded. "Thank you, sensei."
He gave her a smile. "I'm only doing my job, Akiba-san."
Days later, Reiko found herself inside the boy's room, her clothes and hair covered with a protective attire. He looked to be in the same condition that she left him in the previous day, except the IV wasn't attached at the moment. The nurse monitoring the child told her that he was still in a coma but his vitals were improving.
She sat down the plastic chair provided for the room, trying to ignore the heavy smell of antiseptic in the air. She really disliked hospitals. They brought back such painful memories.
She shook her head. They weren't as painful as before, especially in the face of a more pressing situation.
She clenched her hands into fists. She already admitted to herself that she had somehow come to care for the child that she didn't even know the name of. She had already taken responsibility for his expenses, since the police still couldn't find who or where his guardians might be.
They had mentioned the possibility that he was an abused child, considering his injuries and the fact that no one seemed to be searching for him. The idea made her blood boil. Who could be so vile as to harm an innocent kid like him?
"I don't know how some parents can hurt their own children when they're supposed to be caring for them."
She remembered him saying that to her when he had brought her along to the shelter that he did his volunteer work in. He taught there whenever he could and played his flute for the children when they asked for him to. Her late fiancé, Souma Hikaru, always had a soft spot for kids and had dreamed of having them someday.
"How many of them do you want to have?" he asked her as they watched the children play with one another in the yard of the shelter.
"Eh?" She had never really thought of having kids yet.
"I don't know about you but I want at least ten of 'em!"
Her eyes widened as she stared at his huge grin with an incredulous expression. She scowled at him and hit him lightly on his shoulder when she spotted that mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Okay, okay, just five then!" he proposed with a laugh.
"Easy for you to say!" she exclaimed with a glare. "You won't be the one giving birth!"
"Ah, but you'll be breaking my hand when I hold yours during your delivery, right?"
"That won't be as painful, you idiot!"
Unfortunately, due to the accident he had gotten into, his dreams that had become hers too had died with him.
Then, she recalled that the police officer she had spoken to the other day had told her that if they didn't find the unknown boy's guardians soon, he would be placed in a shelter for children or a foster program when he recovers.
She didn't want to leave the poor boy in that situation. But she wasn't sure what she could do aside from shouldering his expenses for the moment.
Absently, she started humming Hikaru's favorite song.
"…Non cercar più rose e gigli."
Reiko relaxed in her seat after finishing the song. She set her maroon eyes on the boy's barely-moving form. "Well? Was that better than the song I sang yesterday? It was one of the songs that my sensei recommended for my graduation recital. It's by Vincenzo Bellini too."
Of course, the boy couldn't answer her. She continued speaking though.
"I've been singing Italian songs for the past week. Maybe you'd prefer hearing English ones?"
In her deep thought, she didn't notice one of the boy's fingers twitch slightly.
"He's not in critical condition anymore, right?" Reiko asked the nurse that came in the room.
The young woman addressed nodded, not sure why the lady was asking as she had been told of that news the previous day.
"And he's also out of his coma, right?"
The nurse nodded once more, a bit nervous. The other woman's voice now had a demanding edge to it.
"Then you can move him to another room." Reiko crossed her over her chest and stared intently at the window, or rather, what was outside it. "This room has a horrible view of the busy road. That's not something anyone should have to stare at upon waking. I want you to move him to the other wing where the park and the sunset can be seen."
The younger woman was about to protest, but she wasn't allowed to.
"I'm still paying for his bill," the singer reminded her. "I want to have a better view to look at. So you will move him or I will withdraw my generosity."
The nurse highly doubted that Reiko would stop paying for the nameless boy unless she ran out of funds, but she decided not to argue and promptly went to inform her superior of the request.
"The pianist that was assigned to me was aggravating," Reiko announced as she arranged the curtains by the window. "He didn't even review the pieces before coming to the practice." She let out a sigh in annoyance. "Honestly, you'd think some of those considered professional musicians were actually novices. Standards are so low nowadays. How do they expect their music to flourish with little skills and even less motivation?"
The steady beeping of a machine slightly calmed her. It was almost like a metronome.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, facing the prone figure on the bed as she did. "It's just been so stressful for me lately. There are too many performances to prepare for this year and I just can't turn down the invitations for them—for the sake of my career." She shook her head with a weak smile. "Not that my career isn't good. I already have too much money to spend waiting in my bank accounts."
Taking her usual seat by the boy's bedside, she let her gaze settle on him.
"I could care less about money though. My only concern is music." She shrugged and leaned back with another sigh. "Anyway, I don't think I've let you listen to Hikaru's favorite song yet, have I? Perhaps you'd want to hear it?"
She positioned herself on the edge of her seat with her back straightened. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and started singing,
And when she finished and opened her eyes, Reiko caught sight of an azure eye looking straight at her. Her own maroon ones widened.
"Ohayou," Reiko greeted as she entered the hospital room. She saw the young patient turn to her from reading a rather thick volume. His condition seemed to be better than the previous day already. His left arm was free of bandages though there were scars visible there. Both the oxygen mask and IV were already removed and only the dextrose remained. He was probably still in pain, as evidenced by his stiff torso supported by the pillow behind his back. His neck was still bandaged though, along with his forehead and left eye. She nodded her head, satisfied with her perusal. "You seem to be doing better."
The boy nodded at her with a bit of hesitation. He shut the book he was reading and set it on his lap. His one-eyed stare told her that he was giving her his complete attention. It made her smile.
"That's good then. Being cooped up in a hospital isn't something a child like you should be doing during summer vacation."
She received a slightly confused gaze from the boy in response. She cleared her throat to fill the awkward silence that followed. She should really remember that he couldn't speak yet with the bruising in his throat. And that he had no memories of what summer vacation is. Well, he didn't remember anything at all so it was moot.
"Anyway, did you remember anything today?" she questioned as she sat in her usual seat and set the bag of oranges that she brought on the bedside table. She sighed when he shook his head slowly. Instead of saying anything further about the issue though, she turned her attention to the book he was reading. She had heard from his nurse that it was the book he picked from the hospital's library. Focusing on it, Reiko read the title.
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes?" She was a bit boggled. The writings on the cover were in English. When she looked through it, she found that even the contents were in the foreign language. And some of the words seemed complicated for her, despite that she was rather fluent in English. "Do you understand what you're reading?"
He blinked his azure eye and tilted his head sideways. After a moment of giving her a puzzled expression, he nodded.
"All of it?"
He gave another nod.
Reiko tried not to let her astonishment appear evident. It was rather difficult for her, considering that she just found out that the amnesiac boy who seemed to be only five or six years old could read a book in a foreign language and understand it completely. She couldn't contain her bafflement though since he also understood her when she spoke in Japanese. Meaning that he was probably fluent in both English and Japanese and excessively intelligent for his age (the book he read was certainly not for children).
She decided to push that amazement to the back of her head for the moment and fixed him a smile.
"Anyway, we probably should come up with a name for you, even temporarily," she said and returned the book on his covered lap. "I don't think I should keep on calling you 'boy' after all."
He seemed to consider the idea. His concentrated expression was somewhat out of place on his young features. In the end, he nodded.
Pleased, she asked, "So, do you have any preferences? Anything you may suggest might just be your real name." She was prepared to list names if he had none in mind.
It wasn't needed though. He pointed a finger towards a name on the book cover. It made her smile.
"'Conan', huh? I guess I should start calling you that, Conan-kun."
He mirrored her expression. It was a good name after all.
Three months later…
"Conan! Are you all right?" Reiko asked in great worry. She had just heard from his homeroom teacher about what had happened. "I heard from Kobayashi-sa—"
"Can I still transfer?" the boy questioned in a whisper. He turned his blue eyes upwards, straight into her maroon ones. "Can you let me go to… whatever level the tests said I should be in?"
The musician kneeled down in front of him. She pushed back the dark stray bangs on his forehead in a slow, calming manner. "But, Conan, you'll be with people much older than you. Are you sure you want that? You have other options too, you know."
He didn't avert his gaze from her frown. "I know, 'Kaa-san. But I want to try first. Maybe it'll be different."
Reiko was somewhat doubtful but she didn't want to deny him. He rarely asked for anything after all, even after she had adopted him. So, after a moment, she sighed in defeat.
"Very well," she agreed. "But you will tell me if anyone bullies you like that stuck-up, know-it-all classmate of yours. Am I clear?"
Conan giggled at her description of the mean student. Nevertheless, he nodded eagerly with a bright smile.
"Settle down, please!"
As usual, the homeroom teacher was ignored in favor of a certain duo's mop-chase-and-dodge routine. However, unlike the previous times that this occurred, their math teacher had no patience for it at the moment.
"I SAID SETTLE DOWN NOW!"
Immediately, everyone turned to her. They always took her as the timid teacher who never got angry.
She cleared her throat and fixed the class with a stern glare. "No one is to interrupt until I am finished speaking, is that clear?" When the students answered with silence and flabbergasted stares, she nodded and turned to the two who were the cause of the commotion. "Kuroba-san, Nakamori-san, please be seated. I have an important announcement to make."
Now she had everyone's attention. Satisfied, she continued, "We will be having a new student in our class today." She held up a hand to maintain the silence that some were ready to break. "It may be more than a bit unusual for this particular person to join here and now, but I assure you that he is meant to be here. You are not to press him for details he does not wish to divulge. And you will all help him adjust. All right, class?"
Before they could reply, one of the students asked, "Is he a foreigner or something, sensei?"
She shook her head. "No, he's not. Even if he were from another country though, I expect you would treat him with as much respect that you'd expect him to give you." She let that sink in their minds before speaking again. "You may come in now, Akiba-san."
The whole class turned to the sliding door simultaneously in anticipation. They all had their own ideas as to what sort of person the new student would be for their teacher to have to say that much before introducing him.
Nobody expected a short—a very short—individual to come through the door. They all stared as the boy, only about three feet tall, walked towards their now-smiling teacher. They watched as he gave her a low bow. Their teacher nodded in approval and had him face the class with a gentle push.
"Go on, introduce and tell us a bit about you," she said with an encouraging smile before she turned to the board to write his name on it.
The students watched the boy glance back at the teacher anxiously. After a moment, he cleared his throat and spoke in such a low volume that they all strained to hear what he was saying.
"Um… Good morning," he greeted with another bow, towards them this time, showing them his short and neat dark hair. When he straightened, they saw that he had vivid blue eyes…except his left one seemed dull and a white line ran from his eyebrow to his cheek, passing that eye. "I'm Akiba Conan, seven years old. I, um, I like music, soccer, and mystery novels. Um…"
Seemingly at a loss for words, he settled for bowing again and saying, "Please take care of me!"
Silence reigned as they all stared in wonder. Since when did seven-year-olds join high school classes?
"Ano, sensei, is he really supposed to be here?" one of the students queried uncertainly. "He's too young for high school."
Some caught sight of their new classmate flushing, perhaps in embarrassment, before he bowed his head. Their teacher had apparently taken that as a sign that he was upset. So she turned to the one who asked and gave him the fiercest glare she had ever given.
"I said that he is meant to be here, didn't I? Akiba-san scored enough in his placement test that he should be placed in your level." She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "If any of you have problems with this, you are free to bring it up with the principal after attending a week of detention."
The implication was clear to them. They were still uncertain of the new student but they couldn't really do anything about it…
Suddenly, there was a poof. Then, it started raining confetti. Clapping reverberated across the room. The class turned towards the one who clearly made that all happen.
"This is great!" the messy-haired brunette exclaimed with a gleeful expression on his features. "We got a prodigious student now!" He abruptly disappeared behind a puff of smoke and reappeared with another bout of smoke in front of Akiba. He appeared in a squatting position, bringing himself to the same level as the boy. He grinned at his startled expression and brought up his hand to a two-fingered salute. "Kuroba Kaito, magician, at your service! Nice to meet you!"
Kaito almost didn't hear the boy when he breathed out, "Fast movement…" Before he could ask, Akiba gave him his own tentative smile. "Nice to meet you too." It made the older male's grin widen.
Their teacher shook her head in slight exasperation. "Anyway, Akiba-san, you'll be sitting beside Kuroba-san, to his left. If you have any problems or queries, I'm sure he can assist you. Just pay attention to class for now, all right? Kuroba-san, please lead him to his new seat. Thank you. Now, you can all thank your new classmate for the postponing of today's quiz. For now, we'll have a recap before moving onto our next lesson. Please turn to page forty-two of your textbook. The other day, we started on the trigonometric functions…"
To be continued…
It wasn't as long as I wanted it to be. But I didn't want to reveal everything yet so…yeah XD That and I tried to cut down the wordiness…NaNoWriMo makes you used to keeping things long o.O And I have no idea what high school students in Japan study. I only based it on what we studied here.
I already have much planned out but I'm interested in hearing any ideas you might have. You can suggest cases or heist notes (goodness knows I need those XD). If you simply want to comment if the chapter was good or bad, I'll be very pleased to receive reviews. Constructive criticism always helps 83
Hope you enjoyed reading! See you soon (I hope) :3
Posted on April 15, 2010
Edited chapter posted on May 21, 2010, beta by nataeiy1.