I leaned over lightly tracing the dark circles that formed in deep pockets under Dad's eyes as he laid sprawled out on our sofa passed out cold. Another long case last night. Dad probably didn't get home from the station until probably close to three in the morning, something he was starting to make habit lately. Ever since Dad became Senior Investigating Officer of Beika's Metropolitan Police Department, commanding squads of detectives in Tokyo, he has had his work cut out for him. Usually five to six days of the week we would find Dad either stumbling in exhausted from work or just knocked out in the nearest chair. Mom usually would stay up waiting for him when he came home to coax Dad into eating something before helping him into bed. Sometimes she would just cover him up on the couch and switch off the lights, knowing Dad would just be to out of it to do anything else. As much as I was happy for Dad's new position that he rightly deserved ever since coming back from America and quickly going back to the grind working for the police department, I could see it was wearing on him. Especially since he hardly had time to see me or Seiichi lately since advancing into his new position.
I sighed, my fingers lingering on Dad's closed eyes, when I felt light pressure on my right shoulder. I craned my neck around to see Mom standing behind me with her hand on me, smiling softly down at Dad sleeping on the couch. Prickly hairs covered his jaw line in a dark shadow from him not even having the time to shave lately. Mom chuckled lightly at the sight," He always looks so weird to me when he starts growing in his beard. It doesn't suit him."
I laughed to myself too, getting another look at Dad while he slept soundly. Mom was right, facial hair on Dad did look weird on him. Kind of a rough look for him. Using the edge of couch to support myself, I stood up from where I knelt beside Dad and brushed out my iron pressed navy blue skirt with my hands. Mom turned her gaze from Dad to me and let out a hushed sound of awe, gazing at me in my new high school uniform.
"It fits you so well!", Mom gushed as she padded over to me straightening out my green tie buttoned up behind my navy blue blazer. Today was the first day of high school at my mother and father's alma mater school, Teitan High. I couldn't help but be as excited as Mom was as she looked me up and down, fixing this and that with my uniform or my hair. As she did so Mom went on about how much I have grown since entering middle school and just couldn't believe where the years went. I couldn't believe it either since Dad suddenly reappeared seven years ago. I was now about the same height as Mom, maybe slightly taller. My dark hair now fell down past the middle of my back and hung over my shoulders a little past my chest. These days now I was able to manage my hair a little better even though it relentlessly took up the same unruly look as Dad's. I even have a similar athletic build as Mom but just a little more toned with muscle from all the years of basket ball I have been playing. Grandma says I look just like Mom did when she was in high school. Except one thing, Mom would say. My cerulean eyes. My eyes, Mom would say, has taken a sharper look to them over the years that has remarkably made me look like my father when I take on a certain look. Mom would laugh when Dad and I would pour over a case together and in unison we would adopt a look of concentration as we would try to put the puzzle pieces together of a case. Mom wasn't the only one that would mention this but also Dad's partners at work would note the same thing when I would sometimes volunteer my services at my Dad's station or go along on cases with Dad to shadow or work with him. Everyone would admire us together saying like father like daughter and I couldn't help but to admit that they were right. Over the years since Dad has returned, even I have noticed striking similar things and habits between Dad and I that we shared. One would of course be my obsession with criminal law after my childhood was spent reading a majority of Dad's novels. I didn't know how much Mom quite liked that for me, especially, since I have been in middle school, would go on cases with Dad. I don't know how many times Dad has been reprimanded by Mom for allowing that.
I looked down at myself in self appraise, my dark eyebrows raising, " I do look good in it, don't I?" I grinned as my hands traced the sides of my breasts that formed well beneath my form fitting blazer. "Look how great I filled out over the years Mom!" I bragged before striking a pose. Then, giving my best seductive face towards Mom I huskily said " Now I know that among the girls in high school, I shall reign as the most irresistible one with my great body, beautiful face, intelligence, and my witty personality. " Mom looked at me almost in disbelief before her eyes narrowed and playfully swapped at my head.
"Careful there Rei-chan, your head is starting to balloon as large as your father's. Young women should practice being humble and gentle." Mom lightly berated me, her hands finding their rightful spot on her hips. Ultimate mother pose.
"Which are two things I'm not!" I playfully grinned back at Mom who at the moment gave me one of her looks. Guess she didn't find that as funny as I did…
"Kudou Rei…" Mom began, her voice hinting at annoyance.
Mom saying my full name like that was a warning to watch myself so I backed off with an apology and a kiss on her cheek before skittering out of the room. Once again, one of shining similarities between my father and me: our inflamed egotistical cocky personalities. I have no idea when it really kicked in, I'm thinking most likely after puberty. Or when I noticed boys trailing after me like lost puppies. Either way I felt I had a healthy source of confidence and self awareness for a teenage girl. No problem in that, right?
"You better not be late for opening ceremony Rei-chan! " Mom called after me as I ran out of the downstairs office and up to the stairs to our apartment. My thoughts were bouncing off the ideas of what my first day would hold, where I should meet up with my friends, what kind of lunch Mom made for me, what class I would be in, hoping it was the same class Ayumi-neechan taught since becoming a teacher at Teitan High. I was smiling so wide and was so enwrapped in my thoughts that I was caught off guard when a small body came colliding into me almost knocking me down the staircase until the swift grab of a small hand wrapped around my wrist and the sound of a small grunt was made. I was panting, adrenaline rushing through me, for I thought I was a goner about to tumble down the staircase if it wasn't for my small, pint sized brother who was grinning up at me with his tiny hand still wrapped around my wrist.
"You okay, Rei-neechan?"
This kid was unnaturally strong, being able to pull back someone more than double his size towards him from falling to her death. I don't think he realized it himself sometimes but since he was stocky baby I knew he would be trouble when everyone watched in horror/disbelief that his crawling was helped by him pushing a chair around the office which soon transitioned in to him walking and running while pushing the chair around the office. Even before he could walk he would wrestle with our hundred and twenty pound German Shepherd, Holmes. It was no guess where he adopted this un-human like strength. Mom. I always have been slightly wary of him and his strength especially when he also grew a passion for martial arts like Mom. To put it simple, Seiichi could be awfully lethal- just like Mom. Yet, despite his strength, he had such a kind and lovable heart. He hated fighting when it wasn't recreational and still retained childish fears like the being scared of the dark, thunderstorms, and anything and everything that had to do with horror. He was such a momma's boy, but I loved him because of it. For him and Mom, it was like mother like son.
"Just fine, thanks." I panted, my hand placing itself over my heart that thumped wildly. "Almost fell to my death if it wasn't for you rescuing me!"
Seiichi's smile grew even brighter as he handed my brown satchel for school that I gladly received "Just watching out for my big sister!"
I shook my head laughing as I ruffled his tussled golden brown hair "I think you have it opposite there kid. As your big sister I should be watching out for you, my baby brother."
"I'm not a baby, neechan! I'm seven now! Seven! I'm more than capable to keeping you safe!" Seiichi cried in frustration, scrunching his face up to me as I towered over him grinning.
"Yeah, yeah I hear you Sei-chan" I smiled, knowing how much, especially my nickname for him, irritated poor Seiichi to no end as I kneeled down brushing a lock of hair behind my ear to kiss his cheek that he tried reeling back from. Seiichi, since he was a toddler, has always been attached to me, almost hitched to my hip. When we were younger we shared the same room until I turned thirteen and throughout those years we grew a very strong bond. It was weird because as his big sister, of course, I have been very protective of him into recognizing how sensitive he was. Yet, when I started entering my teenage years in middle school and when Seiichi recognized that sometimes boys would walk me home, he became insanely protective of me. He even punched a friend of mine directly in the gut who tried, out of pure innocent intentions, to hug me sending the kid crumpling to the ground. We had to talk about that afterwards, no matter amusing it was to see a five year old send a thirteen year boy to the ground in the fetal position.
I smiled into his deep indigo eyes, Mom's exact color, and brushed my nose against his when he scowled at me as I continued to smile at him. Seiichi was absolutely adorable amidst his hulk like strength. His hair was naturally messy like mine and Dad's, yet worse. It was odd by how much he adopted some looks from Grandma Yukiko, such as her golden brown hair. With his deep purple blue eyes, his golden brown hair, and his stocky little stature I just knew he was going to be a pretty boy like Dad was when he was a teenager. Only, that he will be oblivious to it by how much he is like Mom- humble and gentle. He won't even know like now how he is such a magnet for girls alike. Such a waste of talent….
Seiichi rocked back on his heels in excitement as he tugged the straps on his small leather backpack. "I'm ready to go neechan! I promised I would meet up with Takao-kun at the gates for the first day of second grade!"
Suzuki Takao, Aunt Sonoko and Makoto's seven year old son, who also adopted his father's, who by the way is a world renown martial artist, un-human like strength. The two of them were stars in Mom's dojo, being known as the deadly duo, as well as being the best of friends and rivals.
I flipped open my cell phone to look at the time and then slipped it into my satchel. He was right to be ready to go since I still needed to drop him off at his elementary school while making it in time for opening ceremony.
"Lets go then!" I smiled down at him before turning on my heel and racing down the flight of stairs to the sidewalk with Seiichi behind screaming at me to wait up. He still couldn't catch me without being out of breath. He was so fun to tease.
Finally when Seiichi did catch up with me on the sidewalk, he gripped my free hand tightly as if I was going to run off again. I promised I wouldn't but he still wouldn't let go, visibly upset from all my teasing this morning. To get his attention as he glared into the distance refusing to talk to me, I pulled up his purple hoodie over his tussled golden brown hair to cover is eyes where he stumbled and bumped into my thigh. "Rei-neechan!" he half screamed pulling ripping his hoodie away from his eyes so he could again scowl at me as I squeezed his hand.
"Oh, look! Sei-chan is talking to me again!" I grinned, turning the corner towards his elementary school. Seiichi pursed his lips together and looked the other way and I knew what I had to do.
"I'm sorry Seiichi. I'll stop teasing for today! You know you're my favorite little brother!" I apologized genuinely, leaning over to kiss the back of his hand that I held.
Seiichi looked back at me his eyebrows burrowed together, "That's because I'm your only brother…"
I lifted my eyebrows, "Oh? You sure? Last I heard Mom was talking about choosing new names…" I started drifting off from talking to insinuate at something that wasn't true to look at Seiichi's horrified face.
"What?" He screeched "Mom is going to have another baby!"
The shock and horror on Seiicchi's face was unbearable as I keeled over laughing when Seiichi, within range of me doubled over, took a shot at my arm making me quickly halt my hysterics and grasp my tender bicep in shock.
"Oww!" I whined, my arm throbbing, looking pitiful at Seiichi who huffed and ignored my pain. Okay, so I did earn what was coming to me from getting him again. But his little shots made me bruise like a banana and I couldn't afford going to my first day of high school bruised and tattered by the hands of a seven year old.
"That's for saying you would stop when you didn't!" Seiichi glared, thrusting his hands on his hips. Like Mom. He was such a momma's boy.
Just when I was about to apologize again I felt a small nudge from my side that almost sent me toppling onto Seiichi. I whipped my head around about to rant out the person that rudely bumped into me when my breath hitched in my throat and I heard Seiichi from beside me openly groan.
Kuroba Daichi. The son of the famous legendary magician (who is also secretly the legendary thief KID according to my dad), Kuroba Kaito. Daichi was the most popular boy from my middle school, a witty magician like his father, and secretly my biggest crush I have had since I was eleven when I first met him during after hours when I was still practicing basketball. I still remember that day clearly when I was practicing my drills and lay ups when I accidentally landed wrong on my foot when I was pivoting to take a shot. I remember hearing the pop in my ankle that sent me crumbling down to the ground hissing in pain clutching onto my leg. Then, out of nowhere, enters Daichi-kun, fresh from track practice, to my rescue. As much as I at first stubbornly rejected his offer of help saying that I could make it on my own to the nurses' office, he refused to hear it and proceeded to lift me, bridal style, in his arms to take me to the infirmary. At that time I never knew Daichi except he was the middle school's track and baseball star. He was also insanely popular with girls professing their love for him, of course except for me, which he always brushed aside kindly. I never really saw where all the craziness came from over this one kid, he didn't seem so special to me. Yet, that day when I sprained my ankle, as if it wasn't embarrassing enough when he carried me to the infirmary, he also piggy-back rode me on his, from one of my innocent observations, broad back to my home. He also proceeded for the next seven days to stop by my apartment to check on me.
Mom loved him for that and Dad, without even having to know his name, quickly pinned him as the infamous son of Kuroba Kaito and was wary of him since. He wasn't all giddy as Mom was when Daichi came by after school to check on my condition since I couldn't practice basketball during the week I was home. Instead Dad would linger around in the hall peering into my room as Daichi would talk to me. Mom would sometimes even have to physically drag Dad away because he would even creep me out by the way he glared at poor Daichi. Since then Daichi and I became close friends which both Dad and Seiichi didn't quite like since they knew without me even saying it that I secretly harbored feelings for Daichi. They could just see it when they looked at me when he was around. Sometimes, as Dad would say which I hated to also admit was true, that looks just said it all. To be frank, it was weird finding myself catch feelings for Daichi, when I had no intention for it to happen. I wasn't one of those girls that fought for his feelings, absolutely not. So it did bother me slightly that of all people I had to like Kuroba Daichi when he was also one of my best friends. But like I would ever tell him, I was still to stubborn to admit the fact to myself completely. I made it a personal vow that he shall never even know that I have the slightest romantic feelings for him. But, truly Daichi no matter what would always be my closest friend. He was really nice, honest, intelligent, cunning, athletic, funny, and thoughtful. But it was his love for criminal law that really brought us together. His grandfather was retired Inspector Nakamori, an old man who to this day was still obsessed with catching the infamous KID thief. Daichi acted like he didn't care too much for KID (even though without him knowing I knew who his father really was) but did desire to one day work for with the FBI. Knowing his family, I assumed he was influenced more so by his mother who was all for justice and no nonsense that his father fully provided. Nonsense in bountiful amounts. Daichi's father was indeed, er, how shall I put it…energetic.
"Good morning Kudou-chan!" Daichi grinned, obviously excited for high school too. "Congratulations, by the way, on your father obtaining the new SIO position a couple weeks ago at the station! Big honor!"
My cheeks bloomed red from being caught off guard seeing him this morning before school. He looked really good in his uniform that made him seem older. I pulled together a smile and a weak wave of my hand finding it hard for me to tear my gaze away from looking him up and down. He definitely has gotten taller and more solid. Must be from all the training for the upcoming baseball tournaments this April. His emerald blue eyes glittered unusually so this morning and his naturally spiked deep brown hair was trimmed up slightly. His uniform collared long sleeve white shirt was rolled up over his blazer and pushed up towards the top of his forearm. He was slightly bent, his brown satchel held with one arm hanging over his back, smiling down at me where I leant over towards Seiichi ,who at the moment, was glaring at Daichi.
"Good morning chibi Kudou-kun!"
Seiichi hated when Daichi greeted him with chibi in front of his name. Anything in reference of being small or a baby usually set off Seiichi, especially coming from Daichi. Daichi has always done it to differentiate between him and my Dad even though he did refer to Dad as Kudou-san. He was better off showing Dad the utmost respect when he was around me. I was half scared when Seiichi took a sudden step towards Daichi, afraid he was going to kick him in the shin or something, when Seiichi made a curt nod of his head and responded respectfully with a "Good morning Kuroba-san.", before stepping back, ever so slightly in front of me. No matter how much Seiichi didn't like someone, he always was good at maintaining his manners. Something well practiced from the lessons of Mom. Something I very well failed at maintaining sometimes.
I felt myself inwardly sigh in relief when Seiichi remained polite to Daichi, no matter how much he loathed him. He had no real valid reason for hating Daichi. It was just because Seiichi just knew I liked him. It was the stupid detective intuitiveness that ran through our family blood. I straightened up my back and composed myself so I could face Daichi who now decided to walk with us to school.
"What's with that insanely dumb grin painted on your face Daichi? And Kudou-chan?" I asked suspiciously, my eyes narrowing. Daichi just laughed in response. Seiichi made a low growl.
"Sorry, just excited that we are finally entering high school together! Isn't okay to feel this happy, Rei?" Daichi made sure to address me correctly this time, smirking, knowing, just how much he can piss me off sometimes. Plus, I felt that whole high school crap he babbled about just now was a lie. He was excited about something else. And it was bugging me.
I eyed Daichi suspiciously as we all continued walking, half heartedly listening to him as he continued to ramble on about baseball practice, what new tricks him and his father have been working on together, and how they recently both got in trouble with his Mom when they tried the trick out on her. As we rounded the corner towards Seiichi's school I couldn't take anymore of his poor attempts to hide what he was he really excited about.
"Will you cut the crap and tell me what's really going through your head? You know me well enough that I know its something else that is keeping you so elated this morning!" I finally barked out interrupting whatever spiel he was on about baseball again, fed up with his poor attempts to hide his thoughts from me. Daichi and I usually had fairly good open communication and him hiding something from me was kind of insulting.
Daichi looked relatively shocked from my outburst, his grin slowly fading away when I stopped walking by him waiting for an answer. The next thing that happened I cant really say I anticipated at all and from this day has sent me into a world of confusion.
Daichi slumped his shoulders before running a hand through his spiky hair, as if trying to think of what to say while I stood defiantly before him. "I was waiting till I had Dad help me master this new trick I wanted to show you but I guess this will just have to do…"
I blinked wildly when my vision was soon filled harmless white smoke before I half jerked away when I saw a pearl white rose poking directly between my eyes. Mindlessly I grabbed the rose and held it in front of me where Daichi stood closer before me, his cheeks blooming red.
What's going on?... Something is going on with Daichi and it's not right…
"I have been thinking, for a long time actually, that you and I…" Daichi started bashfully as I stood shell shocked, looking into his emerald blue eyes that bore into mine " Maybe starting today as we enter high school together we should become more than just best friends, Rei. I was hoping that today we could mark this not only a new beginning for school, but for us." My jaw dropped open when I felt the force and shock of Daichi's next words that he announced boldly before me.
"Rei, what I am trying to say is that I don't want to be just your best friend anymore, I want to be your boyfriend!"
Well, I honestly didn't expect that on my first day of high school. I also didn't expect myself to forget how to speak or even to breathe. But thank goodness for Seiichi since he promptly answered for me amidst watching the whole event unfold in front of him.
"No." Seiichi replied audaciously " No. You cannot become Rei-neechan's boyfriend. I will not allow it."
Okay, maybe it wasn't good for Seiichi to take my place in talking. Daichi didn't even bother to look down at Seiichi who rejected his offer for me, but trained his eyes on me, waiting, looking, and reading me carefully. Daichi must have known that I was completely thrown off because next thing I knew he just went back to smiling casually like he didn't just confess at all.
"It's okay, Rei. This was unexpected so I honestly wasn't expecting an answer right off the bat." Daichi took a step back from me, swinging his satchel behind his back again, giving me a wink "Just do me a favor and consider it for me! You're the only girl in my eyes."
And with that Daichi was off running to school leaving me behind pinching my arm in a lame attempt to check if I was still in the realm of reality. Leave it to Seiichi to help me recover when he jerked on my arm, shaking me like a ragdoll.
"Neechan! You're going to reject him right!" asked Seiichi desperately, as if what just happened was one of his worst nightmares. "I don't want him to be my brother in-law! He is the last person I want in our family!"
I was taken aback how Seiichi quickly jumped forward from Daichi possibly becoming a boyfriend to husband. "Who said I was getting married, Sei-chan! Brother in-law? Really, Sei-chan?" I narrowed my eyes, completely irritated by how much Seiichi and Dad never gave Daichi the time of day before writing him off as bad. He was perfectly fine, never did a thing wrong at all to give the excuse for anyone to hate him. "Plus, even if I did say yes for him to be my boyfriend, it would be my decision! Not yours! I just.. " I looked away from the alarm starting to register on Seiichi's face, feeling my ears get hot " I just need some time to decide what to do now."
"You're actually going to consider it, Rei-neechan?" Seiichi asked in disbelief and when I remained silent because I wasn't even sure myself, Seiichi pulled out his guns. I didn't look toward Seiichi until I heard the quick clicks of buttons and then a five second pause before hearing a vibrating buzz. "I know who can help you decide" Seiichi half muttered to himself, preoccupied with his phone.
"What are you doing Sei-chan?" I asked cautiously, watching Seiichi going to work on his cell phone texting. I already had a bad feeling when Seiichi got several vibrating buzzes after he sent out just one text message.
"I just texted Hattori-niichan that you have a boyfriend now. He doesn't seem happy…" Seiichi offhandedly replied, a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth knowing the chaos he just set off.
I gasped in horror of the degree of the personal offense…no...criminal act Seiichi had just committed. If I thought I already problems now, they just got worse. Hattori Hitoshi, Hattori Heiji's eldest son who was my age and since childhood has been infatuated with me. Of course, I never saw Hitoshi like that. I just viewed him somewhat of a brother since we grew up together. But, boy, this guy was the definition of tenacious when it came to claiming my heart. I applaud him for his endurance of the last fifteen years of our lives trying fruitlessly into making us a couple, but if he didn't live in Osaka, three hours away from me, I was sure I would murder him. What's worse is that Seiichi and Hitoshi were the best of friends, a developed kind of brotherly bond since Seiichi knew I couldn't stand the idea of being any sort of romantic with Hitoshi. They were both in it against me being in any sort of contact with any male humans. It didn't help that Dad and Uncle Heiji would joke around that our families would one day become officially one if Hitoshi and I decided to get married. Hitoshi was fired up by that thought. I felt sick to my stomach when I tried to imagine it.
"How could you!" I hissed down at Seiichi, so appalled and angry that I could melt metal with my sight. Seiichi didn't even have the chance to reply when my ringtone went off suddenly and I didn't have to think twice who was calling. I was just afraid Hitoshi was going to skip his own high school opening ceremony to come to Tokyo and start drama. Seiichi's act to keep me away from Daichi was atrocious, yet well formulated, because Hattori Hitoshi would do anything, anything, to knock out any challengers for my love. I dug out my cellphone and quickly jabbed the ignore button, not feeling like having a crazy maniac ruin my morning before school. So much for being excited about high school now…
I jerked down on my newspaper, my head snapping up in alarm to see Mom glaring at me from across the coffee table on the couch. I hadn't even realized I was zoning out until she shouted my name. She must have been trying to get my attention for a while now because she seemed pretty upset.
"Were you not listening to a thing I asked?" Mom huffed, setting down the cookbook she was reading on the table before going back to combing her fingers through Dad's hair. Dad, at the moment, was lounging his head in Mom's lap as he luxuriously read his new mystery novel, absorbed in his own little world. Seiichi on the couch across from them next to me was reading his own some sort of kid's novel. This was our own special family time when everyone was home from school and work and we would all lounge in the downstairs office living room to read or just chat about what happened in each of our days. I was at the moment reading about the case Dad recently solved earlier this week in the newspaper when Mom started to ask me about my first day of school. Of course I didn't hear her because I wasn't even really paying attention to anything except for what happened this morning…
"Uh…school?" I weakly provided, not even sure that was what Mom was talking about before getting annoyed.
"Yes, school. How was your first day?" Mom asked, a third time, while Dad thumbed through another page of his book.
"Erm…" I searched for the best adjective to describe my day and all I could come up with to sum up everything was " Eventful. My day was eventful! Yours?" I asked, very ready to switch topics.
But I should've known it wouldn't be that easy.
"What? That's it?" Mom asked disappointed "There has to be more than just eventful Rei-chan!"
"Oh.." Seiichi began, looking my way with a smile I have never recognized on his face before. It was too smug. "Rei-neechan's day was eventful alright!"
I gasped, mortified by how my once sweet little brother was just now throwing me under the bus. Where did my sweet brother go, because whoever replaced him is some brat I could kill right now. Mom cocked an eyebrow and even Dad set down his book and directed his gaze on me. This wasn't good, this was not good at all. We had a few rules in our household and the one rule that was always to be upheld and respected was 'No Lying. Under any circumstances'. It was mainly put into effect by Mom since Dad returned from his whole fiasco of being shrunk a second time and leaving from our lives for five years in America, lying to protect us from a criminal organization he got involved in. It was the golden rule in the house that was always kept up and I knew now, thanks to Seiichi, I was trapped.
"What's Seiichi-kun talking about, Rei-chan?" Mom asked, wary. I glared at Seiichi who simply shrugged and flipped another page of his book like he did nothing wrong. Just wait, karma is a bitch Sei-chan. Just. You. Wait.
I sighed deeply burying my face in my hands so my parents couldn't see the three shades of red my face changed to. How was I going to say this without them freaking out? Excuse me, let me correct myself. Without Dad freaking out.
"Just something happened between me and Daichi-kun. That's all." I mumbled into my hands, but it caused the right affect. Dad shot out of Mom's lap and was leaning over the coffee table trying to pry away my hands from my face.
"What? What?" Dad started panicking" Kuroba-kun did what to you? Kaito's son? Are you hurt? I swear I'll ki-"
"Dad!" I groaned, cutting him off before he really got hysterical " Nothing like that! I promise. It's just…" I trailed off, thinking it couldn't get worse from here because I didn't want my parents knowing about this. My first confession. This is the last thing a teenage girl wants to chit chat with her parents. Especially her Dad that hated the kid that confessed to her.
"Did you two get into a fight?" Mom provided, grasping my hands in hers with reassurance "If so I'm sure you will work it out! You two are the best of friends!"
"No…" I groaned again, feeling my entire body turn red from how embarrassing this was. This was almost as bad as the puberty talk plus Dad actually being present. "Daichi-kun just…"
" He asked Rei-neechan to be his girlfriend." Seiichi finished, settling the whole matter.
"I don't know who you are but if you could kindly replace my sweet Seiichi instead of super evil Seiichi that would be great." I snapped out in anger, fuming as Seiichi now set down his book casually and crossed his leg over his other and leaned back into the couch.
"I just thought maybe our family should have input on this too , Rei-neechan." Seiichi smiled sweetly, while it took everything in me to not wipe that smile from his face so quick that it w-
"Oh?" Mom gasped, clasping her hands together while Dad looked dumbfounded at me. "Your first love, Rei-chan! How exciting! "Mom cooed, a little too happy for my mood at the moment " Did you respond in a respectful manner?"
Dad narrowed his eyes at Mom, obviously not as thrilled as she was about the situation, and then looked at me "You didn't say 'yes did you?"
Seiichi and I responded quickly in unison, "No!" and I glared at Seiichi again, hoping my looks could at least cause some sort of pain, since he once again lunged to be first to answer for me. "Thank you Seiichi but I can talk for myself." I gritted down on my teeth, repeating our second rule in the household in my head- No hitting, whatsoever, unless it's sparring.
When Dad started relaxing his shoulders satisfied with my answer, I quickly added " But I didn't say 'no 'either, Dad!" that sent Dad right to tensing up again
I blushed when Dad's lips pressed together in a thin line, trying really hard to maintain his cool, waiting for me to continue my reasoning. Dad was the most level headed person I have ever known, especially when it came to stressful situations, but lately since I have gotten older Dad's cool has started to dissolve away. He's become more paranoid when I travel alone, what I wear in public, and even who I hang around with. It's almost become suffocating by how much he has been trying to protect me.
"Look Dad.." I started, avoiding his blue eyes that have significantly darkened since mentioning Daichi " it's not like me and Daichi are dating or anything yet. And even if we did…I mean…" My blush darkened as Dad's eyes didn't stray from mine, his look starting to become intimidating " ..I mean…I would at least till I was sixteen till I started dating like you and Mom did."
"Seventeen." Dad corrected "Your mother and I were seventeen when we started dating. Close to eighteen. You are only merely fifteen. Too young in my eyes to even consider the notion of dating!" Dad finished, crossing his forearms on his chest with an ending nod of his head.
Unfortunately for Dad, where he thought he just won this conversation just like that, I was only getting started.
"Uh, excuse me…"glaring at Dad's smugness as if he had won the conversation right then and there " I believe the reason you and Mom waited till you were seventeen, oh sorry, I mean eighteen to date was because you were too preoccupied being a seven year old again! Plus according to Aunt Sonoko you were kind of a wimp when it came to feelings. At least Daichi was bold enough to tell me straight out. In my mind that's kind of mature."
Take a bite out of that Dad.
Mom snickered as Dad looked truly appalled at my comeback. "She's got a point there, Shinichi." Mom said, giving Dad's hand a squeeze before giving me a wink. I smiled, happy at least someone was rooting for my side.
"Ran. Not helping." Dad grumbled, giving Mom a look before turning his eyes, much hardened than before, on me. "Rei. First of all, I stand by my point. Fifteen is too young to date. Especially of all boys, Kuroba-kun. Right now, all you really need to focus on is school, basketball, and maybe if you want, a new case with me."
Kuroba, Kuroba, Kuroba. This is what it all boiled down to. Something about Kuroba-kun has Dad so twisted that he wont even give him the time of day or even think, maybe just for a moment, that Daichi was a normal, peaceful, human being. It made me so incensed how Dad, who was once purely logical, became so stubborn when it came to Daichi.
"What is wrong with you and Kuroba-kun, Dad!" I snapped, my cheeks fuming red from anger " You have never liked him from the start! He hasn't done anything wrong! You're being ridiculous!"
"I am not being ridiculous, Rei. I have my reasons to not trust that kid." Dad growled, his eyes avoiding mine now.
"Oh, really?" my eyes narrowed suspiciously " Care to enlighten me on those oh so valid reasons, Dad?"
Mom chuckled again as Dad remained silent, his cheeks starting to turn the faintest blush. So instead, Mom interjected for Dad who was at a loss for words, giving him a pat on the knee.
"Rei-chan, your father has always had a very heated rivalry with Kuroba-kun's father, Kaito. Since they were teenagers, they were always playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse between each other. With your father being a legendary teenage sleuth and Kaito being a legendary thief, Shinichi was set on catching KID once and for all. But I think where your father retains the most anger and mistrust is how Kaito, amidst stealing valuable artifacts, would try to steal my heart from your father."
I gawked at Mom, "KID the Thief tried stealing your heart? This is all out of jealously from Dad?" No. Way. Now things have gotten interesting.
Mom smiled, looking at Dad as his cheeks darkened " Yeah, well, Kaito attempted stealing my heart. All out of to make you father wild with jealously and anger for his own amusement. He would go so far and even disguise himself as your father. He would do it so well I was almost caught believing Kaito was truly your father until one way or another I would figure out something fishy was going on."
"You just look too much like Ran!" Dad finally blurted out of nowhere " Way too much. Especially as you get older! I know how boys think and I had to fight so many boys off of Ran without her even knowing it. She was too oblivious to the fact that she was beautiful, like you."
"Shinichi…you didn't actually do anything to those boys back then.. did you?" Mom asked, slightly amused and slightly scared to hear if Dad did actually do anything bad to them.
Dad brushed off Mom's worries with a wave of his hand " No, nothing violent. Always scare tactics. Worked on every one of them." Dad grinned and Mom playfully punched his arm.
" You dork." Mom laughed, leaning into Dad's body. " But Rei knows she's beautiful. She's very confident for her age!"
Dad's eyes sharpened looking at me and then to Mom " I know. Which is all the more reason to be wary, Ran. Look at her. She has your looks and my brains. She knows what's she capable of and that's not good. Not good at all. She is me, but as a woman. She is dangerous Ran, very dangerous."
Mom whipped her head back to me, her eyes widening as she gazed at me in some sort of new perspective. " You're right…" Mom agreed in a horrified whisper, as if this new enlightenment just dawned on her. "She is dangerous."
This was starting to become madness now and I had to stop before who knows what Mom would think of me.
"Hey, hey, hey.!Let's come back to me guys. Snap out of it!" I said, waving my hands in front of their faces as Mom and Dad continued to stare at me like they were in some sort of trance. " You guys are being weird." I grumbled, crossing my arms in front of my chest allowing myself to sink back into the couch when my parents seemed to gather their wits. "I get it. I understand. I wont consider dating until at least when I am sixteen. I'll let a year of a maturity hit me. Wait till I am a second year in high school like you guys were when you both were helplessly head over heels for each other."
Dad relaxed somewhat back into the couch, slinging an arm around Mom, before giving a terse nod of his head. "Agreed. One year and who knows what will happen. Maybe you wont want to date at all!"
I rolled my eyes, letting out a snort, before pushing myself up to stand and walked over behind Dad to drop my head to kiss his forehead. "Whatever you say, old man. When did you become so uncool?"
Dad smiled, his blue eyes suddenly having a glint to them, as he looked up at me standing behind him. "When I had a daughter. That's when I lost my affect of being so cool and turned into some protective maniac. Amazing how kids do that to you. Especially girls."
I shrugged, smiling, how in some odd way Dad and I have somehow come to see eye to eye " You worry too much. I think you forget you'll always be the only man in my eyes, Dad. You wont get replaced that easily."
As I started to walk out the downstairs office to go up to the apartment to rattle my head over homework I caught Mom kiss Dad soothingly and hear her say in a affectionate voice "It's amazing how she has got you wrapped around your finger, Shinichi."
I smiled, shutting the door behind me and taking two steps at time up the stairway. Mom's right, I have always had Dad wrapped around my finger. Since I was born and especially since we reunited when I was eight. He may be a little deranged when it came to boys and me but he was still my Dad and I will still and always be his little girl. And he will always be my Daddy. Like father like daughter.
But I forgot one thing…
"Hey!" I gasped from running back down stairs in a flash, my attention directed towards Seiichi who was packing his things to come up stairs as well. His smile when he looked up at me immediately started to fade away when he caught glimpse of my expression. Evil expression. "By the way, Sei-chan, I'm telling Hattori-chan you have big of crush on her! Didn't think I would know, did you?" and then just like that I left running back upstairs cackling like a madwoman, catching one last glimpse of Seiichi's pale white face. Hattori Ayaka, Uncle Heiji's youngest and only daughter, Seiichi's secret- but -not -so -secret -anymore love interest, and my source of revenge.
And there you have it, friends. My sequel to Interview With A Detective. If you didn't catch it, this was seven years after from my last chapter ended. I had fun writing a teenage Rei and a poor Shinichi at a loss how to deal with his teenage daughter. Hope you enjoyed this because I did! I may do something with this a little later on. We'll see!- Detectivegirl2005