Kiss of Death Chapter 2
Note: Detective Conan belongs to Gosho, not me.
Warning: This is an AiCon fanfiction dedicated to AiCon fans. People prefer different pairings. So if you don't ship this pairing, you may not enjoy reading this fanfic and I suggest that you read something else.
Previously: To have put a closure to Shinichi's sudden disappearance, Conan decided to kill off his original identity. 5 years down the road, they met someone who resembled Gin, much to Ai's nightmare. Meanwhile, Conan tried to comfort her. However, their fragile trust between one another gets threatened. Will they be able to resolve their issues and be safe from the clutches of the Organization at the same time?
The former syndicate member faced the mirror, his cold eyes staring at him. He observed the scar on his eyelid, still remembering the incident from 5 years ago. He gritted his teeth, knowing that somewhere the traitor, Sherry, was still alive. He continued to cut his silvery long hair, knowing that the police and FBI would be hunting high and low for him. He made sure he trimmed it well, till it was short like Vodka's hair, though it took him quite a while to cut the strands of it because he was rotten in that damned jail for 5 years.
All because of Kudo Shinichi.
He frowned at the thought of that young man, his grip on his scissors becoming tighter. "I will hunt you down!" he yelled, stabbing the scissors in the mirror. Vodka, who was sipping his coffee, fumbled with the cup. He turned to his partner, surprised that Gin was at this state. Gin rarely had bursts of anger, so Vodka knew that for someone to touch his nerve definitely pissed off Gin badly.
"Aniki, that arrogant detective died 5 years back," he reassured Gin, but his remained unresponsive.
Gin shook his head, as he applied the black dye on his hair. "But that woman still lives. Once we meet up with Vermouth and our Boss, I'll make sure I'll torture her and make her beg me herself to kill her," he muttered under his breath. The fact that his identity had to be concealed and change his appearance was already infuriating him.
After about an hour or so, Gin washed his hair vaguely and grabbed a towel to dry it. He stared at the shattered mirror, seeing that his newly-dyed short hair made him unrecognizable. Except for the scar on his eyelid, that is. Vodka rose from his armchair, turning to Gin and spoke, "ready to go?"
They approached their new crimson car, which the Boss had provided them. However Gin only half-heartedly appreciated it, as his original Porsche 356A was his favourite. They arrived at a highly-guarded prison, its fences were as high as a tower. Yet, the pair did not feel overwhelmed, as they gave a cue signal to a fellow comrade. An officer arrived, with the keys in his hand. Of course, the syndicate had their ways, and this was the very reason why they had always been a step ahead.
One of their tactics was they always have help from the inside.
While it was true that they had rats infiltrating and betraying the syndicate, they had their own moles among the police and courts of justice as well. It made their missions easier to be carried out. Getting into the prison was like getting inside of their own apartment. They didn't have to worry about the security cameras as the other member of the Black Organization who was wearing the jail warren suit already took care of that. With a touch of technological manipulation, the security cameras were displaying an empty view of the walkways and gates, as if no one had infiltrated the site. They had also carefully planned to ensure that this day, only the warrens on duty would be the members of the syndicate in disguise. Gin was surprised how their Boss had reformed and recruited many members quickly within 5 years. Their Boss was indeed cunning, knowing that hiring surviving members of another fallen criminal syndicate would be much easier than to surge the whole globe.
They arrived at a particular cell, knowing that a particular woman was sitting there. Her sobs were echoing through the metallic door, much to their chagrin. Gin knocked on it and sure enough, the woman slid the small opening, the opening that allowed the prisoners and warrens to communicate. The woman audibly gasped, fear rippling through her skin as she met her eyes with Gin. He gave a devilish smile and pointed a gun that consists a silencer. She stood stoning in her spot, unable to move.
He chuckled at her response, muttering coldly, "you may look like her. But how I wished I would see her as weak as this. Oh well, say hello to Marsala for me." With one pull of the trigger, the woman was lying on the ground, dead. Blood trickled from the hole that was punctured on her skull, an instant death. Gin's eyes tore away from the sight when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He grumbled in annoyance, but answered it anyway.
"Did you kill off the pretty lady in the cell?" the feminine voice through the other end of the line question. The voice sounded malicious and deadly.
"Is this a roundabout way of complimenting your own appearance?" he refused to answer directly. The feminine voice responded with an evil laugh.
"You sicken my stomach," he hissed.
"Such a tragedy. She died before she even could prove that she was innocent."
"Damn it! Damn it!" Conan cursed badly, throwing his phone on his bed. He just received a call from Jodie, informing him that Gin and Vodka had escaped before receiving their death sentence. This confirmed that what he and Ai saw was indeed Gin and Vodka. Jodie had also informed that Vermouth was shot in the head in her very own cell, just a day before her trial that she had persistently requested. The deed was probably done by either a cell inmate or a jail officer, as the shot was done by a gun with the silencer through the door. It is likely that Vermouth had peeped through the small opening of her cell door, before meeting someone and getting shot. Her facial expression was wide-eyed and mouth agaped, a sign that she was taken in by surprise. The former actress Chris Vineyard lied dead on the cold floor, her blood splattered all over the cell and trickling down her orange jail attire. Her sudden change of behaviour from being a malicious deadly woman to a vulnerable girl remained a mystery.
If they escaped then Haibara's in trouble! I had to do something, but what? Think, Shinichi, think!
"Why do you even try? She's the creator of that damned poison that ruined your life," the voice rang again in his mind. Conan was getting annoyed with this. He tried to fight with this pessimistic thought because he knew that was a lie.
Damn, why am I so affected?
The bespectacled boy shook his head roughly in bewilderment. He respected that she needed space, though he is aware that she's not fine at all. But why does she have to be a challenge.
Shit, I can't read her intentions.
"Whatever," he muttered to himself. He stood up, but he remembered something. Therefore, he headed to Ai's room to check on her. He knocked on the closed door gently, but heard no response. He opened it slowly. Just as Conan expected, she was asleep. Her gentle sleeping look resembles an angel. Not a sweet and perfect angel from heaven, but a fallen one. The one who fell without her wings and fell hard on the ground. But there was hope, though without wings, she regained consciousness.
As Conan watched her asleep, he smiled softly at Ai, how she look vulnerable and innocent when she's asleep, compared to the wide eyed yawny girl with a gregarious attitude and an unbeatable sassiness.
"Good night Ai," he whispered to the sleeping figure, and closed the door softly then left.
"Heiji, I don't think I would want to be in Hakase's house for now. And I want to tell you something about those guys that shrunk me," Conan said coolly.
Hattori sniggered at hearing Conan's troubles, "Heh, what a bummer."
"Anyway, why are you here? You had an argument with Kazuha, didn't you?" Conan interrogated.
Heji could only sigh, hating to accept the truth.
"We fought, again..." he began, his brows knitting into a frown, "It was partially my fault. Kazuha favoured those fermented grapes over our marriage. She's been using it as a form of remedy to cure the ache of losing our kid, she blamed me for being too concentrated on a hot case for not being present at home when the miscarriage occurred. Her addiction caused her to get fired, so I had to take on whatever cases that arrived for the two of us to survive, so I'm not always by her side. But she misunderstood it for just using work as an excuse to avoid her cry for salvation."
Conan nodded, "Heh...Where is she now?"
"Kazuha is currently with her dad. Hopefully he'd find a way to rehabilitate her. He advised me to give her some space for a moment and since I had a case in Tokyo," Heiji trailed off, "...which is why I'm here."
"Women are hard to understand, which is why, I've retired from the game," Conan commented.
"Aho!" his Osaka friend yelled while smacking the back of Conan's head, "you had the choice to go back to Ran, but you just gave up."
"I did have a choice," Conan answered, lowering his head. There was a slight dim of glitter in his sapphire eyes, "the right one."
Conan looked out of the starry pitch black sky, recalling the memorable event 5 years ago. The sky was blank of stars, almost as if to insinuate that there are no wishing stars to salvage him...
The rusty church organ played in a joyous tone, welcoming Ran as she walked down the aisle wrapped in scarlet carpet that touches the altar.
Ran's smile was as lovely as the decorations of pink and white ribbons that adorned the walls of the cathedral, where every invited guests sat. They rose to their feet at the announcement of her arrival, looking marvelous at their formal outfits in shades of blue to match the colour motif of her exchange facial gestures with Kogoro, before he plastered his victorious grin from the blatant pride that he had raised a beautiful daughter.
Indeed, the bride he was walking with was absolutely stunning.
Ran's eyes concentrated on the destination of her mini catwalk, ignoring the guests in her peripheral vision, of which the lacy white veil of hers aided in blurring the caught sight of Conan and gave him a small smile, before regaining her focus directly.
She's absolutely gorgeous.
He thought. This moment would have been perfect.
Only if he was the that she was marrying.
Her ivory mermaid gown had detailed silvery designs that seemed like it was sewed from an embroidery of a traditional Perenakan shoe. It caused her to glow even more. It hugged her curves perfectly down to the mid-thigh, causing her to walk in small steps, dragging the duration of the whole process. Each step was gradually ripping his heart as he knew that she was a little bit closer to be lawfully wedded to another man.
The wedding ceremony was like a blissful announcement to the guests, except for a specific boy.
The modern Sherlock Holmes thought otherwise. He fought hard holding back his tears as he watched the entire aching process.
"... and sickness and in health, till death do us part..."
No, Ran, please-
"I do-" she followed.
Conan narrowed his eyes at the silvery ring that was placed around her finger. She's now finger-marked.
Game over, Shinichi.
"If anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever hold you peace," the priest announced.
There was silence. Everyone glanced around, knowing that no one could possibly object. Only those that knows Conan's true identity stared at him, waiting. Partially giving him a pitiful look, while the other part of them were just holding their breaths. None of them wanted a complicated scene to transpire within the cathedral walls.
He screamed internally, he seemed to have become magically mute at that instant. His stomach lurched painfully, attempting to swallow every single moment that he had witnessed.
For the first time in his life, Shinichi Kudo was helpless.
"Now I may pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride," the priest continued and the crowd roared with applause.
His left eye twitched.
The groom held up Ran's veil, revealing her beautiful face. She had matured gracefully, smiling at her now-husband. He lifted her chin to tilt her head up and she tip-toed a little to elevate herself. In that moment, his lips touched hers. The world seemed to stop for Ran.
And so was Conan's.
From that moment onwards, he knew that it was unforgettable. The beating of his heart stopped. His breath halted. Seeing his first love getting kissed by someone else seemed was a blow to his face. How he wished that he was blind.
But hold on-
Conan's torture wasn't over yet. The groom lifted her up and carried her bridal style across the red carpet, enjoying the shower of rose petals on them as they exit the church.
He watched Ran being taken away by a white Porsche that carried a sign "Just Married".
He had a slim chance. To stop all of this. But why didn't he?
"I've completed a temporary antidote that lasts for 3 months, that means that you can go back to her, tell her how you feel and convince her not to marry him." she stated pragmatically.
I just wouldn't bare to act everyday, acting as if that he loves another woman is just neutral for me. But deep down, it just hurts so much. Farewell, Kudo-kun.
She turned her back on him to hide the poker-face that was about to deteriorate and shed a tear when someone from behind hugged her. It was Conan. The warmth of his embrace had stopped her shivering, she just stood there still, letting him embrace her. "Thanks Haibara," he whispered to her ear, "I don't know what to do without you. But I need you to keep the antidote in a safe place. I don't want it anymore." She was shocked by his words, she never expected to hear those words coming from him. Soon, she regained from her shocked state, but her eyes showed hatred, fear, jealousy and hurt.
"Have you gone bonkers? Just go back to her already! You were the one that requested the antidote from me! You said that you needed to the antidote as soon as possible, that you needed to go back to her, before she gets married in two weeks!" she yelled at him, her face facing the front, not daring to face him. She thought that it will risk the chances of seeing her sad expression.
"Just go, you got the antidote. Go back to her. I had so many sleepless nights to just complete it... " she whispered. Despite all her yelling, Conan was still calm and kept embracing her.
"No, I won't. She already has made her choice" he replied, "I don't want to get in the way of her happiness." She was confused by his words.
"But she's getting married in two weeks time and it's not you whom she's marrying with," she repeated. Conan just shook his head, whether or not
He held her tighter, afraid that Ai would go. "I asked her about Shinichi once as Conan. You know what her answer was?" Ai shook her head in response to Conan.
"She went like 'If he really loves me, then he'd let me marry. I waited so long, until I couldn't feel anything. I want to marry my fiance. As much as I admired Shinichi's detective work, I don't understand it. Being a teacher made me help people and I fell in love with a surgeon that saves patients, not decipher a message from the deceased' or something like that." Conan muttered, then his voice faltered. He silently teared.
"You're too tough of a great detective to cry," she replied coolly, she didn't want to reveal the depressed soul that lies beneath her cold mask to him.
She refused to admit that his pain was affecting her too. "Kudo-kun, for the first time, after all the struggles, I guess she was your kryptonite, eh?" she stated pragmatically. Underneath all the rationalities, she was glad that he was showing her a weakness that no one would have the privilege to know.
"Haibara, you're the only person that is in the same state as I am. I appreciate your efforts for making the antidote. But really, all I need is for you to be by my side. We're partners, remember?"
"I might be your partner. But I'm not your Watson. I'm a sorceress that cursed you to this sadness. How can I be the destructor and the healer to your wound?" she said with a disappointment. She just wasn't satisfied enough.
"But that's the irony isn't it? We share the same fate. I'll be your shield, if you'll lend me the sword to fight."
"My, my. Isn't Holmes here a little too linguistic?" she commented sarcastically, when really she was just trying to lighten the mood by humour, in hopes that it won't stir into another of his promises that'll give her false hopes.
Tilting her head to face his cerulean blue eyes by grabbing her chin gingerly, "If I'm Holmes, you're Watson. If you're my sorceress, then I'll be your warlock."
Ai was rendered speechless.
Nevertheless, she tried her hardest to conceal it underneath a cold smirk.
"What about your parents, friends and Ran?"
"If I become Shinichi, it won't be too good either," he closed his eyes gradually, "I've already asked the FBI to fabricate Shinichi's death in 2 month's time. My parents can still accept me whatever age I'm in. Shinichi doesn't have much friends, Haibara. He is popular, but only Ran is his genuine friend. Ever since I disappeared, the only person in my school that cared is Ran. I've been gone for 3 years, all my classmates graduated from high school so my education as Shinichi don't matter anymore. Ran will only be confused and I'll hurt her boyfriend. Why would I sacrifice the lives of many just for my own happy ending?"
She couldn't believe her ears. This was unexpected. She thought that as a typical human aspect, he would selfishly hoard this opportunity. Not that she wasn't alright with it.
"That's noble of you, Kudo-kun."
"That's why, Haibara. I don't want to lose anyone anymore. Ran left because she didn't think she was appreciated. I don't want to lose anyone for the same reason. Not Hakase, not the 3 kids and certainly, not you." Conan lamented, with a weakening voice.
Ai had her mouth gaping open, appalled. It was music to her ears. Not because he loves her. No, he never did. But because he feared of losing her.
As skeptical as she was, she questioned, "Do you mean that?", covering her eyes with her bangs.
"Every word, Haibara."
How could I forget that fateful night?
"Oi! Kudo!" Heiji hovered his hand over his face, yelling at the shrunken detective.
He narrowed his eyes at Conan and suspected something, "What? Thinking about your ex?" he interrogated him.
"Ran was never my girlfriend." Conan answered tersely, a hint of aggression, a hint of repulsiveness towards the matter.
"Then what?" Heiji teased, "You happen to fancy that cold half-Japanese woman?"
"Yeah," Heiji continued, "she ain't so bad. Maybe she'll grow up to be pretty. Quite intellectual although very intimidating."
"No way," Conan flushed in deep crimson, shaking his head, "besides, her heart's already been calloused."
"Well, the best women are the ones that aren't easy to get," his Osaka friend commented.
Conan gave a mere bored laugh, "Haibara? I'm here because we fought. The evil-eyed yawny girl just went too harsh. I know sometimes she always throws sarcastic insults at me, but she's like a forbidden flame. When I get too close, I get burnt out. Can't be blamed, her distorted childhood hardened her."
"But you care about her, a lot, right?" Heiji continued to inquire.
"Do you love her?"
"I don't think so."
Now frustrated, "She won't feel for me that way," Conan answered in an increasing volume.
Why am I affected by that fact?
"Is it still Ran?"
"I don't love her that way any longer, I can't figure out why."
"Why don't you found out?"
"I don't want to."
A/N: Readers, if you can read between the lines, then it would be obvious the mystery behind Vermouth's odd behavior. I swear, it was heartbreaking for me to write out Ran's wedding. Even though I don't ship them, Ran was still Shinichi's first love. Attending the wedding of someone you love is excruciatingly painful. And the "Sorceress and Warlock" anecdote is an allusion to Lelouch & C.C.'s relationship from Code Geass. I find that the two pairings have similar relationships where the female placed the male protagonists to this whole mess, yet their partnership and chemistry is absolutely unbeatable. Readers, if you haven't watched Code Geass, I suggest you do because it's action-packed and the main character is very clever.