Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Detective Conan/Case Closed and Magic Kaito.
A/N: Hi, everyone! If you just stumbled upon this fanfic, it means that you're a new reader. If you did not, it means that you most likely knew about this fanfic way before I posted this rewritten first chapter. In that case, I thank you for your support for this fanfic in the past and your patience for this rewritten version.
Before you dive into reading the rewritten version of The Light of the Vampire, I want to clarify some things first.
In the original version, the fanfic was rated as T because things were much more innocent. However, I will be boosting the rating to M as a result of what I have in mind for future chapters. If you feel intimidated by this rating, you are free to flee right now.
I'd also like to mention that this fanfic has and always will be AU, which stands for Alternate Universe, so please keep that in mind as you read it. I don't want to give too much away about what I've changed from canon because they will be revealed as the fanfic progresses, but I will say that the biggest change would be that ShinRan, HeiKazu, and KaiAo are not childhood friends.
Now, I'd like to talk about the history of this fanfic and why I decided to rewrite it.
The Light of the Vampire was inspired off of a ShinRan picture that my friend, chocolafied, showed to me and another friend of mine, who went by the alias/nickname, Elika. In that picture, Shinichi was depicted as a vampire while Ran was depicted as a human. Not long afterward, both knew how inspired I was to write a fanfic based off of the idea of Shinichi as a vampire, so when I was trying to come up with a good title for this fanfic, Elika told me to call it, The Light of the Vampire. Since I liked the title she came up with, I went with it.
While chocolafied created pictures of vampire Shinichi on her old deviantART account and Elika ran the ShinRanF-C on deviantART with chocolafied, I worked on the original version of this fanfic. The original version was posted on 5/23/2010, and the last time I updated it was 1/31/2012. I stopped updating The Light of the Vampire back then because I realized that the plot line moved too slow, the chapters were too short, and my writing was terrible. I was close to deleting this fanfic, but after the amount of support I had gotten, even after I stopped updating it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt determined to do something about it, but I couldn't see myself picking it back up again, so some time in between 2013 to 2014, I decided to rewrite it.
The day I have posted this rewritten first chapter is 3/27/2016. As you can tell, rewriting this fanfic took a long time for me because I wanted to plan it out carefully and accordingly. Since I decided to rewrite this fanfic, I have also changed some things around. For instance, the original fanfic was going to focus mostly on ShinRan, but I have decided to make this fanfic center around ShinRan, HeiKazu, and KaiAo equally. I also decided that chapters will be at least 9,000 words, where about 3,000 words would focus on each main pairing. However, there is a chance that future chapters will vary in length.
If you read my entire author's note, then I thank you. I hope all of you will enjoy this rewritten version of The Light of the Vampire. I will do my best to make this fanfic a fantastic journey not just for you, but for me as well.
With that said, enjoy.
The Light of the Vampire
Chapter 1: The Transfer Students
"You've got to be kidding me."
"Hey, I heard this guy was hot, okay?"
Ran groaned. "I already know where this is heading…"
"Oh, well, then, that makes everything easier—"
"No means no, Sonoko."
Loud squealing came from the doorway as a girl burst into the classroom. "HE'S HERE, HE'S HERE, AND OH, MY GOD, HE'S HEEEEEEEEERE!"
Almost immediately, every girl in the classroom, except for Ran and Sonoko, started heading to the doorway, and their squealing and giggling filled the entire room.
Ran couldn't help but wince at their loud squealing. She glanced around to see that even the guys were cringing. Some of them were haughty enough to already start badmouthing whoever the girls were squealing about; the rest of them shrugged it off nonchalantly since this sort of reaction was expected. Apparently, she and Sonoko were the only girls who weren't screaming like banshees.
Yeah, Mouri Ran didn't care. For the past week, she heard the various whispers about the new transfer student because he was apparently some amazing detective, even though he was only a high schooler. Compared to most of the girls at her school, she didn't care that much about this new transfer student. She had seen him on the news and newspapers, but since she didn't know the guy at all, she didn't really care that much about him. She was more preoccupied with other things in her life than to think about becoming some fan of a high school detective. His fan base seemed fairly large at her school, so she was aware that most of the girls had a thing for him, but this was just over the line.
Ran then glanced at Sonoko, who snickered at the girls' squealing.
"You got competition," Sonoko mouthed.
Ran sighed as she shook her head. Sometimes, she never understood what went on in her mischievous, conniving best friend's mind.
"All right, all right, all right!"
Ran snapped her head towards the front to find that her teacher had just entered the room.
He started shooing the girls to their desks. When they finally dispersed after whining, the teacher cleared his throat.
"He's so gonna introduce the new kid," Sonoko whispered.
Ran shushed her.
Sonoko snickered in response.
When the giggling and soft squealing finally came to a halt, the teacher cleared his throat again. "Class, we have a new student." He motioned to the doorway. "You may come in now."
Ran could've sworn that all of her female classmates' breathing hitched as the doorway so painfully and slowly opened. She was just about to look away when in walked the talk of the school: the transfer student.
Even Ran couldn't help but stare. The news and newspapers definitely showed how handsome he was, but those paled in comparison to seeing him in person. His dark brown hair, olive complexion, and royal blue eyes were enough to send the entire room into silence.
He had that nonchalant expression, and his hands were shoved into the pockets of his blazer. The way he stood practically showed his silent, commanding personality. His eyes were the definite dead ringer, though; they were enough to say that he just didn't give a damn.
And Ran knew well enough that good-looking guys who didn't care about anything were ranked very high on the doable guys list at their high school, which she heard from Sonoko against her will.
"That guy's totally your type," Sonoko mouthed.
Ran sent her a small glare of disapproval.
"Introduce yourself, please," the teacher said.
The transfer student stared at everyone before nodding his head and turning around to face the board. After writing his name, he turned back around and looked at everyone with a composed gaze.
At this point, it was very obvious to anyone that almost every girl wanted to hear his voice.
"It's nice to meet all of you," the transfer student said. "My name is Kudo Shinichi, and I'll be joining your class from here on out. I hope we'll get along well during my time here."
"Thank you, Kudo-san," the teacher said. "Your seat's behind Mouri-san's. Mouri-san, raise your hand, please."
Ran was tempted to hide her head behind the student in front of her, but when she glanced out of the corner of her eye to see Sonoko grin, she sighed in defeat and raised her hand. She knew how persistent her friend was about setting her up with someone, and it definitely looked like Sonoko wasn't going to give up the possibility of setting her up with the transfer student.
Before Ran could think any more about it, she sensed the dirty, envious looks she received from almost every girl in the room, but she paid them no heed. If anything, she was looking forward to talking to Sonoko once class was over, especially now that she had to convince Sonoko to give up that silly idea of her and Shinichi getting together. It was at that moment that she finally took notice of Shinichi walking towards her.
Shinichi's posture was straight. His hands were still tucked inside his pockets, and his eyes matched the frown on his face, which led to one expression: complete, utter boredom. The expression on his face made it seem like no one was worth his time, and yet, the majority of the girls thought otherwise. Despite all of these features, Ran still couldn't help but admit that he was really handsome. In fact, those eyes of his were just so…mesmerizing that a part of her couldn't help but feel a bit hypnotized into staring at him.
When he finally passed her, Ran was relieved that he didn't even look at her. She realized just then that she had stared at him as he walked to his desk, and it'd be embarrassing if he actually stared back at her. However, a large part of her was curious about Kudo Shinichi the student, not Kudo Shinichi the detective. The year just started, and it was spring, which was warm as always. However, it was really early in the year for him to transfer to her school.
Of course, her observation of him went unnoticed because Ran sensed the glares from almost every girl in the room. She then glanced at Sonoko, who grinned mischievously at her.
Ran let out a small sigh.
Was it too much to want this day over with already?
"Hey, did you hear about that second year transfer student?"
"Oh, my God, yes. He's so—"
Ran raised an eyebrow at this. The transfer student? Dreamy? Sure, he was handsome, but nothing about him was "dreamy." The guy was practically silent for the entire day, and every girl who was smitten with him kept babbling on about his looks. For crying out loud, even the third years were swooning over him, and none of them would even bother to give underclassmen a chance.
"Someone sounds jealous," Sonoko sang.
Ran rolled her eyes at Sonoko as she drank from her iced tea. The two were at a café after school ended, and unfortunately for Ran, she had to deal with the girls at her high school who came to this café as well.
"He's so mysterious, too!"
"Oh, I know. It just adds to his dreaminess."
Ran shook her head in exasperation at those comments about Shinichi.
"Oh, someone's totally jealous," Sonoko muttered.
"Sonoko," Ran warned.
Sonoko grinned. "Oh, come on, you're not the least bit interested in the guy?"
"No, I'm not."
"But he's Hottie McHotster!"
Ran shot her a puzzled look until she let out a laugh when she realized that Sonoko gave Shinichi a nickname. "What about you? You keep talking about him, too."
Sonoko snorted. "Ran, please. My taste in men is very high."
"You swoon easily over any older hot guy you see," Ran deadpanned.
"Because they're older, hot, and single. Duh!"
Ran rolled her eyes as she smiled.
"Okay, look, point is, you got to get in the game. Seriously. Sixteen, and you have no love life."
Ran sighed. "Sonoko—"
"No excuses out of this one, Ran. I saw the way you were checking him out this morning."
Ran blinked. "What?"
Sonoko hummed softly as she wiggled her eyebrows and sang, "I saw you, Ran. You were totally checking him out."
"I was looking at him."
"No, you mean checking him out."
Ran groaned before she laughed and smiled. "I'm not having this conversation with you."
"Oh, come on, I can set the two of you up!"
Ran sent her a small playful glare. "I said no this morning, didn't I? Remember all those times you tried to set me up on those blind dates?"
"Hey, they were all great guys—"
Ran gave her a skeptical look. "Oh, yeah, until they tried grabbing me in certain places."
"Hey, hey, I didn't think they'd do that, okay?" Sonoko replied with an apologetic look.
"I know, I know. It's not your fault, okay?"
Sonoko frowned. "No, it is—"
"Hey, you didn't know, so don't blame yourself," Ran interrupted as she sent her a stern gaze before she smiled. "Besides, I took care of them when they tried to pull something on me, anyway."
"I'm sorry, Ran…"
"Sonoko, I said it was okay—"
"Great!" Sonoko interrupted with a grin on her face. "So, you'll let me set you up with him?"
Ran sighed in exasperation. "Okay, just how long are you going to bother me about this?"
"Until the day you get a boyfriend." Sonoko paused. "Or girlfriend."
Ran let out a laugh. "Sonoko, you know I'm straight."
"Like a line."
Ran snickered. "You're being ridiculous, you know that?"
"And yet, you love me, anyway," Sonoko sang. She paused before asking, "So, how's it going at home?"
Ran blinked a few times. "It's the same as always."
Sonoko frowned. "Again?"
Ran nodded slowly before shrugging. "Can't help it."
"It can't be helped, Sonoko," Ran replied, and she paused before she said quietly, "I'm used to it, anyway."
Sonoko continued to frown. "You can come over to my place and sleep over, if you want."
"Knowing you, you'd keep me up all night about God knows what."
Ran snickered. "No thanks."
"Aw, it'd be fun, though!"
"Sonoko, I can't stay over on a school night."
"Sure, you can! I have spare toothbrushes, spare beds, and spare rooms—"
"And, you know, we can stay up late and talk about anything, or we can help each other on homework—"
Sonoko sighed in defeat. "Okay, okay, fine."
Ran rolled her eyes as she smiled.
"But I still think the two of you totally make a good match."
"Why are you so keen on that?"
"Because I want to see the look on every girl's face when they find out that Hottie McHotster Transfer Student, Kudo Shinichi, has fallen for none other than Miss Karate Captain, Mouri Ran!"
"Former karate captain," Ran corrected.
"Same difference! You know karate either way!" Sonoko paused and added softly, "Don't you miss being in the karate club, though?"
Ran stared at Sonoko before muttering, "You know very well what my answer is."
"I guess. But, still—"
"Okay, okay, fine, but…are you okay?" Sonoko paused and said in a softer tone, "About what happened, I mean."
"Yeah, I've already gotten over it."
Sonoko frowned before asking softly, "Really?"
Ran stared at her iced tea for a while before she looked at Sonoko. "Yeah. Really."
"I'm home," Ran sang as she entered her house. The minute she closed the door behind her, she waited for a response.
Ran sighed as she went up the stairs and into her room. She threw her backpack towards some corner of the room, and just as soon as she was about to plop down on her bed, she heard the door to the house open.
Her eyes widened. Before she knew it, she was already rushing out of the room and towards the door. The moment she arrived, she saw his shoes. A grin slowly made its way to her face, and she couldn't help but jump for joy. Just as soon as she ran into the kitchen, she found him at the fridge.
Kogoro turned his head and grinned. "Ran."
Ran couldn't help but giggle softly as she came over. "Are you hungry? I'll make you something to eat."
Kogoro shook his head as he took out a can of beer.
Ran frowned, and she snatched the can from his hands.
"Dad, the doctor told you multiple times that you need to lighten up on your drinking!"
"Oh, come on, Ran! It's just one can—"
"Have you even eaten?" Ran interrupted.
She frowned even more as she raised an eyebrow. "Oh? How long ago?"
Kogoro contemplated for a bit, and he cast a sheepish glance in the other direction.
He hummed softly as he grinned sheepishly. "Maybe an hour ago?"
"Okay, okay, I think it may have been two or three hours ago."
Kogoro shrugged in response.
"Well, I can make you something right now!" Ran exclaimed with a smile.
Just as Kogoro was going to respond, he yawned instead and headed to his room. "No, actually, I'll head off to bed."
Ran frowned. "But…"
Kogoro stopped in his tracks, and he turned around to look at his daughter. "But what?"
Ran stared at him as she took in his appearance: disheveled clothes and dark eye bags. It was clear that he pulled continuous all-nighters again.
"What is it?" Kogoro asked.
Ran shook her head. "No. Nothing. Never mind."
Kogoro raised an eyebrow, but he shrugged it off and headed to his room.
As soon as Ran heard the door to his room shut, she sighed and put the can of beer back in the fridge. She subconsciously glanced at the large kitchen table that was just meters away from the counter. Her eyes lingered on its sleek top for a while as she imagined her younger self and her father sitting there, just chatting and eating her food away. Right next to her side, she could even see the outline of…
She turned around to face the stove, and she couldn't help but sigh. "May as well make myself something to eat, I guess."
Shinichi stared at the night sky from his bedroom window. When he heard his phone vibrate continuously on the bedside table, he let out a sigh. He snatched his phone and looked at the caller ID. Afterward, he frowned and picked up the call.
"Shinichi, my awesome cousin, how did your first day of school go?"
"Amazing," Shinichi replied in a sarcastic tone.
"Great! You get any leads so far?"
"Kaito, it's only been a day. Do you really think I'd be able to solve this in just a day?"
"Says the guy who's solved the most difficult cases within a couple of hours."
"This isn't a homicide case, Kaito," Shinichi deadpanned.
"Considering how people have died already, Kudo, I'd say this is a homicide case," Shinichi heard someone else say.
Shinichi blinked as he processed the voice in his head for a few seconds. "Hattori, is that you?"
"Hattori Heiji, at your service!" Heiji replied.
"I figured it'd be easier with all of us communicating this way, since Hattori's all the way in Osaka," Kaito said.
Shinichi let out a small sigh. "Well, it does make things easier on my end. I was just about to tell the two of you some news."
"News?" Kaito and Heiji responded in unison.
"Yeah," Shinichi replied as he looked out the window again. "The two of you will each be transferring to a new school tomorrow."
Shinichi rolled his eyes. "You heard me."
"Hey, hey, hey, Kudo, you can't just do that!" Heiji exclaimed.
"Yeah, what's this deal about transferring schools, anyway?" Kaito whined. "I mean, think of what I have to leave behind!"
"The least you could've done is tell us this sooner! Why now?!"
Ignoring their outbursts, Shinichi said, "The two of you should've gotten a package earlier today. Inside the package will be your school uniform. Heiji will be going to Kaihou Academy, and Kaito will be going to Ekoda High School."
"What?! Ekoda?! Oh, come on, man! Why?!" Kaito exclaimed.
"Hold on," Heiji stated as Kaito continued to complain in the background. "Kudo, are you trying to get us to cover more ground?"
At once, Kaito stopped whining. "Wait. 'Ground?' What?"
Heiji sighed in annoyance. "You really don't get it, Kuroba?"
Before the two of them could speak, Shinichi said, "The homicides, Kaito. We need to figure out who's targeting the victims as soon as possible. So far, we've only found one common thing between all of them." He paused as he stared at the street lights. "And we all know that it can't be just a coincidence."
"But we'll be risking our lives," Kaito whined.
"Says the guy who performs all of those stealing heists."
"Hey, hey, hey, you know that I have a very good reason for that!"
Shinichi sighed. "Yes, yes, we know. But the fact of the matter is that what we're dealing with something that's a lot more dangerous than your stealing heists, Kaito."
"Oh, yeah, and this is coming from someone who deals with murderers," Kaito retorted.
Shinichi rolled his eyes. "Anyway, unless the two of you transfer, then there's no way that we'll be able to cover enough ground. I managed to narrow down the possible areas to these three schools, but I can't cover all of them at once. I mean, one of them's in Osaka, for crying out loud. I can't go back and forth between Tokyo and Osaka."
Heiji let out a sigh. "You know, I already had my suspicions about Kaihou, but next time, at least warn me before doing something like, oh, I don't know, transferring me to another school and not telling me about it until now!"
"Waaaaaaait, wait, wait, wait, why do I have to go to Ekoda?" Kaito exclaimed as Heiji started grumbling curses in the background.
Shinichi frowned. "Kaito, I just said that I can't cover all three schools—"
"Yeah, but Ekoda's near Teitan, isn't it?" Kaito whined. "Come on, cut me some slack! Think of all of the ladies I'm leaving behind here at our school!"
"Forget about them, will you?"
"You don't have a chance with any of them."
Kaito feigned a gasp.
"You never had, and you never will."
"Kudo has a point," Heiji said. "It's not like you were going out with any of them, anyway."
"Again, ow! What is this? Gang Up on Kaito Day?"
Shinichi rolled his eyes.
"Besides, the girls at our school are gorgeous—"
"Kaito, I'm sure you'll find gorgeous women at Ekoda," Shinichi interrupted.
Kaito snorted and grumbled, "Yeah, right."
Shinichi raised an eyebrow. "Anyway, let me know how things go tomorrow."
"Whoa, wait, Shinichi—"
"If anything comes up, let me know immediately. Later."
At once, Shinichi hung up, and he sighed. "This plan better work."
"Hey, you don't think that's…?"
"No… No, it couldn't be him!"
"B-But, he looks just like him!"
"Will you two shush already? He might hear us!"
Heiji said nothing as the whispers continued. He knew that people were definitely staring at him—not to mention the fact that he could hear every single bit they said—but he decided not to make a fuss out of it for now. He did wish that he had something to hide his face from the crowd, though. A part of him couldn't help but wonder how on Earth he was going to investigate the homicides because people started to recognize him the second he stepped onto the school grounds. No one had confronted him yet if he was indeed Hattori Heiji, but he supposed it was due to his height. Judging by the majority of the students' heights, he towered over nearly everyone.
He walked into the school as casually as possible, but when he did, he saw that people who had entered the school beforehand paused at what they were doing, whether it was chatting with their friends or putting on their indoor shoes. After he slipped on his own pair, which he brought to school, he did his best to pay no heed as he walked past the shoe lockers, but he felt rather uncomfortable knowing that everyone in the room stopped to stare at him. It wasn't long before he heard even more whispers about him in the hallway, and yet, no one still bothered to say anything to his face.
If he wasn't in a rush to find the faculty office, he probably would've snapped at them already with a rude remark. He didn't really know what class he was going to be in or what subjects he was going to take, but he figured that the sooner he arrived, the better. Thankfully, it didn't take long for him to find the office. When he approached the door, he heard voices.
"I'm sorry, Toyama-san, but unless I see concrete evidence—"
"But that was concrete evidence!"
"Toyama-san, I understand you're upset, but it can't be done."
Heiji hadn't realized that he was so close to the door when he heard footsteps approaching the doorway. However, before he could back away from the door, someone else slid it open from the other side.
That person was none other than a brunette. She looked rather frustrated, but she was so caught up in her emotions that she actually bumped into him.
Heiji hadn't budged from the mild collision, but the girl looked like she was going to fall backwards. He was going to catch her, but she managed to steady herself.
"Hey, you all right?" Heiji asked as he raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she replied as she shook her head. When she finally looked up at his face, her eyes widened.
He wasn't surprised at her reaction, since he guessed that she must've recognized him as the rest of the school did. However, at that very moment, he felt something from this girl, and he took this amount of time to study her as he narrowed his eyes.
She looked at the floor and cleared her throat. "Sorry about that. I'll, um, be going now."
Heiji opened his mouth to say something—anything, in fact—to get her to stay for a bit, so he could figure out that nagging feeling he had about her, but she already dashed to the stairs. His eyes followed and lingered on her—this mysterious girl that he didn't know—as she ran up the stairs.
Heiji frowned, but he decided to shrug it off as he headed into the faculty office.
"All right, please introduce yourself," the teacher said.
Heiji nodded. "Hello, everyone. I'm Hattori Heiji, and—"
"Oh, my God, no way! You're that high school detective!" a girl shouted.
"No wonder you looked so familiar!" a guy exclaimed. "Aw, man, I knew I recognized you from somewhere!"
At once, the entire classroom was in complete chaos over Heiji's arrival. Heiji expected this, of course, but he still felt a certain amount of pride in him soar as his classmates began to chatter about his arrival. When the teacher began yelling at the students to calm down, Heiji noticed a person who wasn't in a complete uproar.
His eyes widened in realization when he saw that it was the same girl from this morning. For some reason, her eyes were kept glued to her desk. Was she purposely ignoring his gaze? He continued to stare at her, and it wasn't long until she finally lifted her head and noticed that he was looking at her.
The next thing he knew, her cheeks grew pink.
"All right, Hattori-san, you will sit in that empty seat," the teacher said.
Apparently, that empty seat was next to that girl from this morning.
Heiji nodded, and as he walked to his seat, the teacher began to lecture. When he sat down, he glanced to his right.
The girl seemed to pay no heed to him and was immersed in the lecture.
Once again, that nagging familiar feeling began to bother him.
Just who was this girl?
Kaito glared at the building in front of him.
Ekoda High School.
He was actually standing in front of Ekoda High School.
Then, he let out a sigh.
Why did Shinichi have to involve him in this? Sure, Kaito said he'd help out, but he meant that he would help through his heists, not something like this. This was just completely over the line.
"Oh, my God, no!"
"You're totally lying to me, aren't you?"
"I'm not! I swear!"
Kaito turned his head to see two teenage girls giggling as they walked inside the building, and he let out a sigh of frustration. He walked into the school, and he looked around to see that everyone was taking off their regular shoes and putting on their indoor shoes at their shoe lockers. He brought his old pair from his previous school, so he quickly slipped into those. He was going to put his regular shoes into a shoe locker, but now that he thought about it, all of the shoe lockers were designed to a certain student, so he shouldn't have one… Not yet, at least.
He sighed as he realized that he'd have to find the faculty office first before doing anything else. He walked past the shoe lockers, still carrying his regular shoes, and he looked around again, but to no avail. He still couldn't spot the faculty office. He then turned around, and he saw that all of the students were gone.
He took out his phone and checked the time.
There were about five minutes left before classes would start.
Kaito frowned. "Great. Just great."
Just then, a girl ran inside the building and headed to her shoe locker.
Kaito noticed her, and he walked to the girl as she rushed to put on her indoor shoes. "Uh, excuse me—"
"Sorry, can't talk! Class is going to start in less than five minutes!"
"Yeah, I know, but I need to get to the faculty office—"
"Then, go!" she interrupted again as she slammed her shoe locker shut.
Kaito frowned. "But, I don't know where it is."
"Down the hallway at your left!" she exclaimed before running off.
Kaito scowled. "This is going to be a long day…"
He was about to go to the faculty office until he finally noticed on the name plaque on that girl's shoe locker: Nakamori Aoko.
Kaito wrote his name on the board, and he resisted the urge to sigh. He knew he had to grin and bear with it, so he turned around and smiled at his classmates. "Hello, everyone. I'm Kuroba Kaito, and I'll be your classmate from now on. I hope we'll get along."
As he expected, all of the girls, except for one of them, in his class blushed. The girl who didn't blush was none other than the girl he encountered at the shoe lockers.
Kaito resisted the urge to frown.
"Now, Nakamori-san, raise your hand please," the teacher said.
Aoko then raised her hand.
"Kuroba-san, please take your seat behind Nakamori-san."
Kaito nodded, and he walked to his seat as Aoko put her arm down. He sat down, and the teacher went back to the lecture.
Kaito tried to pay attention to the lesson, but he couldn't. It was too difficult for him to focus. Nakamori Aoko sat in front of him, and whenever he would try to avert his gaze toward the teacher, his gaze would always go to the back of her head. Eventually, he gave up on paying attention and stared at her. It wasn't long before he began to wonder if she was related to that guy. Their surname sounded the same, so he wouldn't be surprised if they were, but if she was related to him, then, well…
Kaito scowled, and he let out a bitter sigh.
When the class finally ended, Kaito took out his phone and began to text Shinichi.
"Hey, are you that boy from this morning?"
Kaito looked up to find that Aoko turned around in her seat to face him, and he stopped texting Shinichi. "Yeah." He paused, and immediately, he had an idea. He erased his text to Shinichi and put his phone away. "And you're Nakamori…?"
Aoko smiled. "Nakamori Aoko! Nice to meet you!"
Kaito smiled back, but flirtatiously. "It's nice to meet you, too."
Kaito expected her to blush, just like the rest of the girls in his class, but instead, she didn't. She still smiled back at him neutrally, which puzzled him. Of course, his smile didn't falter.
Aoko then gave him a sheepish smile. "Sorry about this morning."
Kaito raised an eyebrow at her. "What do you mean?"
"Oh, well, you know, brushing you off."
"You didn't brush me off."
"Okay, well, kind of brushing you off—"
Kaito waved his hand a few times to interrupt her before he smiled again. "It's fine."
Aoko still seemed to look apologetic.
Kaito was inwardly surprised because once again, she seemed to ignore his flirtation. Nonetheless, he continued to smile at her. "No, really, it's fine. I mean, you at least told me where the faculty office was."
Aoko laughed sheepishly. "Yeah, um, anyway, I just wanted to apologize to you for this morning. Oh, and greet you properly, of course."
He chuckled, and his smile grew. "Like I said, don't worry about it."
"Okay, if you say so," Aoko replied before she turned around in her seat to face the board.
Kaito stared at the back of her head. Even if he had only put in a bit of his charm, she should've reacted by now, but she didn't. He just didn't understand. Most girls like her would fall for his charm; he knew this much because the girls in his class blushed and felt flustered the instant he smiled at them. Yet, why was it that Nakamori Aoko didn't react like the rest of the girls?
His eyes widened before he looked down at his desk.
Could it be?
He thought about it for a moment, and he shook his head. That possibility was out of the question, anyway. Plus, he would've known Nakamori Aoko by now, but he met her for the first time today. After he thought about it some more, he concluded that the possibility of that was definitely out of the question.
He looked at his phone. He wanted to text Shinichi, but maybe that could be put off for now. Besides, it wasn't like Shinichi told them to text him every single thing that was happening, anyway.
He glanced at Aoko.
Besides, he wanted to find out more about this Nakamori Aoko on his own to see if she was indeed related to that guy.
The class was currently learning English, but because Shinichi transferred Heiji to this school without letting Heiji know until yesterday, Heiji didn't have any of the textbooks. Fortunately, he was given leeway, but only for today. His homeroom teacher had told him to go buy the textbooks after school ended when he visited the faculty office. Thus, Heiji ended up having to share textbooks with the guy sitting next to him. He found it to be a shame, to be honest. In truth, he was hoping that the teacher would make that girl share textbooks with him instead.
Heiji continued to listen to the teacher's lecture, and he knew it wouldn't be long before the teacher would call out to someone to read a passage from the textbook. He hoped that the teacher would call out for that girl to read it. He wanted to hear her voice again.
Maybe then, he would be able to shake off this nagging, familiar feeling.
"Would anyone like to volunteer to read the next passage?" the teacher asked. "Anyone?"
Heiji glanced around, and he saw that no one raised their hand, not even that girl.
The teacher sighed in defeat. "So be it." He paused as his eyes scanned the room until his gaze finally fell on a single student. "Toyama-san."
At once, that girl stood up, and Heiji's gaze went toward her immediately. He noticed how nervous she was and how tense she looked. He expected her to start stuttering, but as soon as she cleared her throat and began to read the passage out loud to the class, any ounce of anxiety in her disappeared.
That nagging, familiar feeling grew within Heiji even more as he continued to listen to her voice.
After she was done, she sat down and let out a small sigh of relief.
Heiji couldn't bring himself to tear his gaze away from her, even when their eyes suddenly met. He figured she must've felt like someone was looking at her.
Within an instant, her cheeks turned pink, and she immediately looked away and went back to paying attention to the teacher.
Heiji continued to stare at her. There was something about her that was familiar, but he couldn't exactly figure out what it was.
Then, he blinked.
Did Shinichi plan this?
Kudo, did you plan this? Heiji texted.
It was now lunch, and Heiji didn't bring food to eat. He wasn't particularly hungry, anyway, so he was wandering the school grounds to try to find any hints about what could possibly be wrong at the school. So far, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Plan what? Shinichi replied.
There's this girl in my class, and she's giving me this déjà vu feeling.
Hattori, I don't know what you're talking about.
Are you serious?
When am I not?
Heiji sighed. Okay, fine, just making sure.
Well, have you found out anything yet?
Nah. And Kuroba?
Knowing that guy, he probably won't even report to me until this evening.
Ah, good point.
Let me know if anything else comes up.
Got it. Later.
"You're not going to eat?"
Heiji blinked, and he turned around to find that it was that Toyama girl from his class. "Nah. I'm not hungry."
"How's your first day so far?"
Heiji shrugged as he put his phone away. "It's all right, I guess."
Heiji stared at her, noticing that she kept looking at the floor, and he could've sworn that her cheeks were tinted pink. He sensed her hesitation, so he asked, "Is something the matter?"
The Toyama girl cleared her throat before she looked at him. "Sorry about this morning, by the way."
Heiji blinked in confusion. "Huh?"
"I nearly gave you a fright, didn't I?"
Heiji frowned before he realized that she was talking about this morning when she collided into him. "Oh, that. No, it's fine. Don't worry about it."
Her head immediately shot up to look at him with wide eyes. "No, really, I am sorry! I didn't know you were there at all, and—"
Heiji blinked at her in surprise.
She became flustered immediately, and she looked at the floor.
There was a long pause between the two of them.
Heiji didn't know what to think of it, so he scratched his head. "Uh, look, I need to get going—"
"Wait!" she exclaimed before she looked up at him again.
Heiji frowned, but this time in irritation. "What is it?"
She hesitated before she pulled the collar of her shirt away. Slowly, she pulled at the strings of her necklace to reveal some charm.
Heiji blinked at the charm in confusion.
The Toyama girl hesitated again before she opened the charm, and she pulled out a small piece of metal. "Does…this look familiar to you?"
Heiji blinked again before he narrowed his eyes at the piece of metal, which was tiny and slightly rusted in some areas. He frowned before he shook his head at her. "Nope. Sorry. It doesn't ring a bell."
"Oh," she whispered in disappointment. Her shoulders slumped as her head drooped, and she averted her gaze from Heiji. "I see."
There was a long pause as she put away the piece of metal into the little charm bag.
"Is that it?" Heiji asked as he raised an eyebrow at her.
As she hid the charm from behind the collar of her shirt, she sighed without looking at him. "Yeah. Sorry for disturbing you."
Heiji frowned as he watched her walk away with her head still down. Just as she was about to go around the corner, he yelled, "Wait!"
She stopped in her tracks, and she turned her head to look at him. Her eyes held this hopeful gaze as her cheeks became pink. "Yes?"
Heiji blinked a few times as he stared at her before he finally asked, "What's your name?"
She blinked. Within that instant, her cheeks were no longer pink, and that hopeful gaze he saw disappeared. Immediately, she gave him a small regretful smile.
Heiji couldn't help but wonder if he was imagining things. He suddenly wondered if he did something wrong, but he snapped out of it when he heard her sigh.
This time, she gave him a genuine smile. "My name is Toyama Kazuha."
It wasn't long until school ended. As soon as the teacher ended the lesson, students began to get up from their seats and get ready to leave.
Like the rest, Aoko stood up from her seat after gathering her belongings, and she walked to where Keiko and Akako were sitting. "Hey, you two. Ready to head home?"
"You feeling okay, Aoko?" Keiko asked in concern. "I mean, I know you said that you stayed up late last night—"
"Which isn't healthy," Akako interrupted with a glare.
Aoko grinned sheepishly. "I can't help it, though. I just can't…sleep."
"A woman needs her beauty sleep to maintain her looks, you know."
"Says the girl who has almost every guy in this school chasing after her," Keiko muttered.
Akako narrowed her eyes. "And just what is that supposed to mean?"
Before Keiko could retort, Aoko said, "Hey, guys, come on, please don't fight. It's the end of the day, and I'm feeling tired…"
"That's because you didn't sleep properly!" Akako exclaimed.
Aoko glanced away sheepishly.
Akako narrowed her eyes.
"Uh, um, anyway…" Aoko tried to think of something, so these two could get off of her back. She glanced out of the corner of her eye to see that Kaito had just left the room, and immediately, she blurted out, "So, what do you guys think about Kuroba-san?"
She had expected them to say neutral responses, but when she saw that both had pondering looks on their faces, her eyes widened in surprise.
"He's kind of cute," Keiko replied. "Not my type, but he's cute."
Akako shrugged. "I have a high standard for men."
Keiko gave her a deadpanned look.
Akako scoffed. "Okay, fine, yes, I do think he's cute. But even though he's cute, he still doesn't reach that standard."
Keiko rolled her eyes. "Anyway, he has that vibe around him that makes him seem like a dork."
Aoko blinked. "Oh. Wow. I…wasn't expecting you two to think that much about him."
"Oh, honey, we're not. Or at least, I'm not."
"I'm definitely not," Keiko added.
All of a sudden, Keiko and Akako looked at each other with widened eyes.
Aoko immediately got confused. "Um, guys?"
Before Aoko knew it, Akako was already pulling Aoko out of the room, and Keiko followed the two.
"A-Akako, what is it? What's wrong?" Aoko exclaimed. "Why are you pulling me?!"
Akako made no response, and it wasn't until they were on school grounds that Akako stopped pulling her.
Once Akako let go of her, Aoko continued to send puzzled looks at the two of them.
Akako and Aoko looked at each other, and when Akako nodded at Keiko, Keiko nodded back.
Keiko looked at Aoko, and she hesitated before asking, "Aoko, you're not…interested in Kuroba-san, are you?"
Aoko's eyes widened, and she immediately put her hands up and started waving them everywhere. "What?! No! No, no, no! I'm not!"
"Really?" Akako asked as she narrowed her eyes in skepticism. "I saw the way you two interacted today. Are you sure you're not into him?"
Keiko pondered for a moment before she slowly nodded. "Now that you mention it, they do look like a good match."
Aoko's jaw dropped in embarrassment. "I'm not into him!"
The two continued to stare at her in doubt.
Aoko began to wave her arms around frantically. "I'm not! Really! I just—I was sort of rude to him this morning, okay?! He was asking for directions to the faculty office, but I didn't want to be late, so, um, I sort of brushed him off, but you know, I didn't mean it! So, I just—I felt bad, okay? And he happened to be transferring to our class, so I figured I should apologize to him about it!"
"Well, you were almost late this morning…" Keiko said.
Aoko glanced away in shame.
Akako sighed as she shook her head in disapproval before she sent Aoko an apologetic look. "Well, anyway, I'm sorry if I pulled you a bit too roughly back there."
Aoko shook her head. "No, no, it's okay. I'm fine, anyway."
"So, what exactly do you think of Kuroba-san, then?"
Aoko blinked. "Huh?"
Akako frowned. "Well, you asked for a reason, right?"
Keiko nodded. "Yeah, so what do you think about him?"
Aoko pursed her lips before she tilted her head. "Uh, well, not much, honestly?"
"You don't even think he's at least remotely cute?"
"He's, uh, 'okay,' I guess?"
"Is that really it, though?" Akako asked as she narrowed her eyes in skepticism.
Aoko blinked in confusion. "What do you mean?"
Akako frowned. "It just looked like he was trying to flirt with you after our first class ended. That's all."
Aoko continued to blink in confusion. "But, we were just talking."
Akako sighed in frustration before she looked at Keiko. "You saw it, too, didn't you?"
Keiko shook her head as she grinned sheepishly. "Sorry, I was on my phone at the time."
"Of course…" Akako muttered as she rolled her eyes before she sighed and gave Aoko a disappointed look. "At this rate, I'm never going to see you get a boyfriend."
Aoko pouted. "Hey!"
Akako laughed as Aoko continued to pout.
When Aoko pouted some more, Keiko giggled. "Come on, let's head home already."
Akako and Aoko agreed, and so, the trio headed home.
Kazuha let out a long sigh as she stared at the door in front of her. Then, she heard shouts and sparing through the door, which only made her heart sink even more. She hung her head before she walked away from the door as she did her best to not look back. Before she knew it, she was on the school grounds. As she was approaching the gates, she heard her phone vibrate in her bag.
Kazuha stopped in her tracks, reached into her bag, and took out her phone. There, on her phone, was a message that made her smile.
Hey, Kazuha-chan. How are you doing?
She headed to the nearest tree and leaned against it as she replied, Hey, Kunisue-senpai. Truthfully, not that great.
Why? What's wrong?
Kazuha sighed. I…got suspended from aikido.
Yeah, I don't know…
Within seconds after her reply, Kazuha got a video call notification. She blinked in surprise before she accepted it.
There, on the screen of her phone, was none other than Kunisue Teruaki.
Kazuha blinked once more.
Teruaki frowned. "What happened?"
Kazuha opened her mouth to try to reply, but she was still on school grounds. She didn't exactly want to explain everything that happened in public, so she let out a sigh. "Now's not a good time, Kunisue-senpai."
Teruaki's frown grew. "Kazuha-chan—"
"I'll tell you when I get home," Kazuha interrupted, and when she saw his hesitance, she added, "I promise."
Teruaki sighed in defeat. "All right. Just let me know when you get home as soon as possible, okay?"
Kazuha rolled her eyes. "Yes, yes, I know."
Teruaki narrowed his eyes. "I mean it, Kazuha-chan."
Kazuha giggled before she hung up on him and sighed.
It had been a while since they last video called, and Kazuha was happy to see him, but at the same time, she couldn't help but still feel down, especially after seeing how Heiji didn't even remember the piece of metal from her charm or even her, for that matter. Sure, they met over a decade ago, but she expected him to at least remember her. After all, she remembered him.
Then again, how could she not? Heiji was everywhere on the news in Osaka whenever it came to police investigations and cases. He became so famous that everyone knew about the Great Detective of the West. Everyone saw Heiji as the great high school detective, whereas Kazuha saw him…differently.
Kazuha sighed again as she stared at her phone. At that moment, Heiji's confused face at the piece of metal popped into her head.
Maybe it was stupid for her to not only hope that he would remember her, but also that there'd be any chance for her feelings to be reciprocated.
By the time Kazuha had gotten home, the house was silent, and she wasn't surprised that it was. She assumed that her mother most likely went grocery shopping and that her father was still working at the police department.
Nonetheless, she still said that she was home out of habit as she entered her house. She closed and locked the door behind her before she took off her shoes. After she headed up the stairs and entered her room, she closed the door behind her and sighed. Just as she began to change out of her uniform, she heard her phone vibrate in her bag again. Once she was dressed, she took out her phone from her bag and looked at its screen. She smiled when she saw that Teruaki texted her again.
Hey, practice won't start for another 30 minutes, so if you're free right now, just video call me.
Kazuha went to do just that, and Teruaki immediately accepted.
"I wasn't expecting you to respond so quickly," Teruaki said as he grinned.
Kazuha smiled sheepishly as she went to sit on her bed. "Yeah, well, I just got home. How's it like at Teitan University?"
"Pretty hectic so far," Teruaki replied. "I mean, you know, since I have tennis practice and all."
Kazuha nodded. "Makes sense."
"But seriously, are you going to tell me what happened?"
Kazuha let out a long sigh.
"You're one of the best aikido members there. It doesn't make sense for you to be suspended."
"I got framed," Kazuha muttered, hoping that maybe he didn't hear.
However, Teruaki did, and he scowled. "For what?"
"For…stealing and selling supplies from the aikido club…"
"What?! But you'd never do that! They can't just suspend you without any proof—"
"According to eyewitnesses, I was the last person to enter the storage," Kazuha interrupted softly before she sighed. "I just—I don't know, okay, Kunisue-senpai? I—I tried to get some evidence, you know? And I did!"
Kazuha hung her head as she muttered, "I'm still suspended…"
"What?! But, that doesn't make any sense! You said you found evidence!"
"Well, I talked to the advisor of the club, and she just told me that it wasn't concrete evidence…"
"What do you mean?"
"It was a photo, but…it was blurry and extremely dark…"
Teruaki sighed. "How did you even get the photo, anyway?"
"I thought I could catch the culprit in action again," Kazuha muttered.
"And what if you got hurt?"
Kazuha gave him a deadpanned look.
"Oh, right, you're a 2-dan in aikido."
"Duh," Kazuha replied as she rolled her eyes.
"So, you're telling me that you, a 2-dan in aikido, managed to get a photo of the culprit, but you screwed up taking the photo itself."
"I was in a panic!" Kazuha retorted.
"Okay, but did you even see the culprit's face?"
Kazuha glanced away in shame.
Teruaki sighed in exasperation. "You really should've planned this better."
Kazuha sent him a small glare.
Ignoring her glare, Teruaki asked, "Wait, how long are you suspended from the team?"
"I…don't know." Kazuha paused as she hesitated to continue, but when she saw the stern look on Teruaki's face, she sighed in defeat. "The advisor told me that until there's proof that I'm not the culprit, I'm suspended from all club activities."
Teruaki's jaw dropped in disbelief. "Are you serious?"
"Well, other than that, has anything else happened?"
Kazuha hesitated. Normally, she would've told him right off the bat that the Hattori Heiji transferred to her school, but considering how Heiji didn't remember her at all, she wasn't in the mood to mention him to Teruaki. Thankfully, before she could reply, she heard Teruaki click his tongue.
"Sorry, Kazuha-chan, I got to go," Teruaki reluctantly said. "Practice is about to start, and Coach is yelling at me to get on the court already."
"It's fine," Kazuha replied as she smiled. "Have fun at practice. It was nice talking to you again."
Teruaki blinked before he gave her a soft smile. "Same here. Later, Kazuha-chan."
"Later," Kazuha replied before she hung up and sighed. What was she going to do about her suspension? Without aikido, she didn't really have much to do…
Just then, her eyes widened in realization.
She could consult Heiji about this. She could use this as not just a way to help her out of her suspension, but maybe she could even get him to remember her!
Kazuha was about to jump up and down in excitement, but then, she realized that talking to him would be…difficult. After all, she knew she couldn't look at him straight in the eye without feeling flustered. Besides, what if Heiji said he wouldn't help her out? What could she do, then?
Kazuha shook her head. "No, I have to do it."
Aikido was everything to her, and if Heiji rejected her, she'd just have to do her best to convince him to take her case.
Kaito let out a long sigh as he sat on one of the chairs at the dining table.
Kaito looked up to see Konosuke. "Oh, hey, Jii-chan."
"Is everything all right, Young Master?" Konosuke asked in concern.
Kaito smiled. "I'm fine, Jii-chan. Today was just…" Kaito sighed.
Konosuke stared at Kaito before he said softly, "Young Master, I will always be here to listen."
Kaito hesitated, but when he saw that the worried look etched on Konosuke's face growing as every second passed, he sighed in defeat. "You know that one inspector that keeps trying to interrupt my heists?"
"Yes, but what about him?"
"It's not him exactly…"
Konosuke had a puzzled expression on his face.
"It's, uh, his daughter? Well, I can't actually say she's his daughter because I haven't really confirmed it yet, but they have the same surname…"
"Young Master, it is highly probable that they are not related."
"I know, Jii-chan, but, I mean, Shinichi sent me to this school for a reason, you know? Like, maybe he knew about this beforehand?"
"I would not put it past him, if that is the case. However, if she is indeed his daughter, then this is rather concerning…"
"I know… I was hoping to maybe hear something in school that would drop that definite bomb on me, but instead, I got nothing." Kaito sighed in irritation before he muttered bitterly, "Absolutely nothing."
A short silence ensued.
Eventually, Konosuke asked, "Why not avoid her for now? Is that not the safest route?"
"I was going to do that, but I can't, Jii-chan," Kaito replied. "If I do, Shinichi might get on my ass about it since I'll be 'missing possible valuable information.'" Kaito rolled his eyes. "And, I mean, in that case, he has a point, so I'd have to get to know her." It wasn't long before Kaito frowned.
"What is it, Young Master?"
"Well, I find her kind of…weird."
"And why is that?"
"When I greeted the entire class, I let some of my charm through, but…she didn't blush like the rest of the girls."
"Perhaps it is because there is someone in her life. That bond must be very strong for her to not be affected by your charm, Young Master."
"She doesn't have a boyfriend, though."
"Yeah, if she did, I would've caught some scent from her, but I didn't."
"Well then, I suppose that is rather strange." Konosuke paused as he watched Kaito continue to ponder about this girl. "Young Master, forgive me for asking, but are you perhaps…interested in this girl?"
At once, Kaito slammed his hand down onto the counter, but Konosuke didn't flinch. Kaito's hand was clenched into a tight fist, and Konosuke watched it shake in anger.
"You of all people should know better than to ask that," Kaito muttered grimly.
Konosuke sighed before he bowed. "My apologies, Young Master Kaito."
Kaito let out a long sigh as his hands unclenched before he muttered, "I'm going to my room."
"And please leave me alone for the rest of the night."
Konosuke stared at Kaito in sadness. "Young Master…"
Without another word, Kaito got up from his seat and left the room. After he went to his room, he slammed the door shut and stared at the door in anger. Just then, he heard his phone vibrate in his pants, but he did his best to ignore it.
However, when it continued to vibrate, he growled, and he took his phone out from his pocket. He narrowed his eyes when he looked at the caller ID.
It was Shinichi.
Kaito stared at his phone as it continued to vibrate in the grip of his hand.
He knew he was supposed to pick it up.
He knew that he was supposed to report to Shinichi right now.
Kaito stared at his phone as it continued to vibrate. Eventually, he let out a long sigh and tossed his phone onto his bed.
He just wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone.
Aoko had just placed dishes in the sink when she heard her phone go off. Immediately, she answered her phone. "Hello?"
"Oh, hey, Keiko!" Aoko greeted with a smile. "Can you hold on a second?"
Aoko placed her phone onto the counter, and she put Keiko on speakerphone. "Okay, there!"
Keiko laughed. "What are you doing right now?"
Aoko rolled her eyes as she smiled. "Washing the dishes. I just finished eating dinner."
"Oh… Your father's not home yet?"
"No, not yet. He called me ahead of time to tell me that he'd be late, so I should eat dinner ahead of time."
"Oh, I see."
There was a long pause as Aoko turned on the faucet. Aoko tested the water as she adjusted the temperature. It wasn't long before she began to wash the dishes with a sponge.
"Hey, Aoko, can I ask you something?" Keiko asked.
Aoko blinked in confusion, and she paused in washing the dishes. "Sure, what is it?"
"Well, are you really not interested in Kaito?"
Aoko sighed. "Keiko, how many times do I have to say that I'm not?"
"I just feel like you're hiding something from me and Akako!"
"I'm not!" Aoko exclaimed before she huffed as she finished washing the dishes. She turned off the faucet, and she began to dry off the plates.
"Why would I hide anything from you guys?" Aoko replied as she began to put the plates away and dried the counter from any water spillage. When she was finished, she dried her hands and turned the speakerphone off before placing her phone against her ear.
"You just…feel a bit different from usual."
"And just what is that supposed to mean?" Aoko asked in confusion before she headed up to her room. When she arrived, she sat on her bed.
"I-I just… It feels like you're hiding something from us."
"I'm not hiding anything," Aoko replied rather hastily. She paused, and she licked her lips before she sighed.
"Trust me, I'm okay! Really!"
"If you're not, you better tell us immediately," Akako said.
Aoko's eyes widened. "Akako?!"
"Sorry, she's been here," Keiko replied sheepishly.
"When did you go three way?!"
"When you were washing dishes," Akako replied.
"Are you really not hiding anything from us?"
"I'm not!" Aoko exclaimed before she sighed in exasperation. "Look, I need to go."
Aoko hung up, and she let out a long sigh as she placed her phone on her bedside table.
They were becoming suspicious…again.
Aoko couldn't blame them, but she had no choice except to lie to them, even if it's straight to their faces. She just couldn't dare to involve them in something like this.
Aoko let out a shaky breath.
Ever since that incident…
Aoko fell back onto her bed, and she shut her eyes, trying to forget everything from a few months ago, but she couldn't. The scene was so vivid in her mind, and it had happened so quickly. She tried to open her eyes again, but her eyes refused to open. She then tried to make the scene change, but her efforts were in vain. It felt as though she was reliving the entire scene again.
Aoko turned to her side and curled into a ball. She hoped that she could just somehow fall asleep, so she could finally go into dreamland to escape this reality.
Unfortunately, she couldn't.