A/N: Okay, before you start reading this chapter I have two things to say. First: There is a lot of dialogue and explanations so bear with me. I try to clarify everything but I have a feeling that some things will remain confusing. Of course some things I've decided not to revela for plot reasons but...
Anyways, the second thing: I'm cutting this fic. This is the last chapter for now and wrapping up things with the introduction of Shugo. The next fic will have both siblings in it making it so that I don't need to write the same things to two different fics. It's also because... the chapter count. It's easier for me to control the fic/s with lesser chapter count. I mean... at the rate I was going, Scarlet arc would be in the 90's but in the new fic it'll be in the 20's. Still the same amount of chapters away but now I can restructure things and add some plot points.
There are some questions posed in the reviews, I'll answer to them at the bottom of this chapter. I'll also talk a bit more about stuff in general but right now, enjoy this chapter.
"Shugo? You know Tsukiko-chan?" Ran spoke up then. Tsukiko's shoulders tensed at the familiar way the karate champion addressed her brother. Shugo in the other hand remained relaxed and lazily glanced at the three girls and the two kids.
"Yeah… I think introductions are in order now though. Tsukiko, mind letting me go?"
"Don't even think of slipping away, Daiki." Tsukiko spat.
"I wouldn't dream of it."
With narrowed eyes, Tsukiko loosened her grip and stepped away. Shugo brushed the front of his uniform like getting slammed into walls was an everyday occurrence. Though if he really were from Ekoda… well, if he were in the same class with Nakamori Aoko and Kuroba Kaito, dodging skill were probably needed.
"Konnichiwa, Ran-chan, Sonoko-san, Sumi-chan, Conan-kun, Ai-chan." Shugo greeted. "It seems you already know my little sister, Kagemiya Hoshi. Though she seems to be going by Okiya Tsukiko nowadays."
"And you wouldn't have anything to do with it?" Tsukiko glared.
"I might've called in a favor or two. But Subaru-san didn't object when I asked him to look after you when you were diagnosed with amnesia." Shugo countered.
"I was taken to hospital only few weeks ago."
"Yes, but an associate of mine told me of the name you gave after your coma. It was a name you identified with… Connected to the person you'd feel safest with."
"So when you said you were adopted…" Ran began.
"It was something for Tsukiko to hold onto until she remembered the rest of her life." Shugo answered. "I merely provided her with the tools whilst keeping my distance."
A fist flew and hit the wall when the boy dodged. Tsukiko gritted her teeth against the pain and Shugo danced to her other side.
"What about you then?" Tsukiko asked. "You've been going by Midorikawa Shugo for the past ten years, haven't you? Isn't that why you've stayed away too? Living a lie much longer than I have!?"
"It's true… But I'm quite attached to my name by now." Shugo slipped behind Masumi to take cover against the ire of his sister. "Besides, you stayed safe in Kyoto with Tsubaki-baa. I've been to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagano, Osaka again and only then back to Tokyo."
"But why?! I still don't know why!" It was hard to hold back the tears threatening to fall. Tsukiko had stopped her assault though. She didn't have the energy left. After the day at school, the weird dream and now this confrontation.
"You do look alike." Masumi noted then, sensing a break in to conversation as Shugo seemed reluctant to answer in such a public place.
"Do you have naturally blond hair too then?" Sonoko asked. "Tsukiko-chan had blonde hair when she came to our school."
"Yeah. I've always dyed it though in order to avoid attention and dodge questions. Our father was European." Shugo answered easily. "Do you guys mind if I take Tsukiko with me? We have a lot to catch up and some of it we need to go through with Subaru-san."
"Just be careful. Tsukiko-chan had to go to see the nurse today." Ran said. Shugo shot a worried glance at his sister but remained silent. With quick goodbyes, the siblings headed towards the Kudou house then, Tsukiko leading but Shugo easily keeping up with her quick pace.
"You know… Even with knowing Midorikawa-kun for a long time, it was still a surprise to hear he had a younger sister." Sonoko remarked.
"True, the way he spoke of her, it was like she was older than him." Ran nodded.
"Were you close then?" Masumi asked. The other two girls exchanged a look.
"Sort of." Sonoko shrugged.
"We were together on the first class but then he moved away. We kept occasional contact but it was only last year when he moved back to Tokyo and even then not to Beika." Ran mused. "We used to run into some cases together but then it seemed like he began avoiding this area. Actually it was around the time Tsukiko transferred to Teitan that Shugo basically disappeared again."
"But what was that about coma and amnesia though?"
"Miyoshi-chan did say that Tsukiko-chan was in hospital prior coming to Teitan…"
"It is all very strange…" Masumi frowned too. She remembered her two encounters with Shugo too. He was funny and seemed to remember her too. But something strange was going on with his sister. It was obvious from the way she acted that Tsukiko felt betrayed and deserved answers… but the name Kagemiya Hoshi. Masumi remembered it too. A blonde girl following after Shuichi-niisan and adopting him as her older brother. Apparently Tsukiko had done the same with that Okiya Subaru.
Next to the teens the two faux-children were thinking too. Conan was confused about the turn of events. He thought Tsukiko's reactions were genuine but what Shugo implied of her choosing her name… That had happened before Akai had taken the guise of Okiya Subaru. True, the two had been surprisingly close at the hospital but… Shugo was the unknown factor. He knew more than Conan had anticipated. He could be a dangerous enemy or a valuable ally.
Ai… had seen it coming. Shugo was living with Yamato. Tsukiko was close with Yamato. There was a resemblance between the two teens that she'd seen as a genetic scientist. It was only logical that the two knew each other even if they didn't know of each other. Shugo had once told the shrunken scientist about his ability to see auras and ghosts – a Kagemiya trait usually seen on the eldest child – and helped her when it came to sensing the organization's scent and reacting to it. Maybe Tsukiko had the secondary trait then? Shugo hadn't told her what it was but Ai could wager a guess it relating to the girl's differing personalities. But why did the Okiya siblings have the same 'sharp focus' then? Or was the focus the reason why 'Tsukiko felt the safest' with the man?
Tsukiko went through the front gate and opened the door. After closing it and glaring Shugo until he changed his shoes to slippers, she finally announced her presence.
"I got a guest and we're taking the library! You may join up if you want!" She only said before marching to the aforementioned room. Shugo followed her with a more sedate pace. He glanced at the top of the stairs where Subaru was standing, watching him with a bemused expression. The boy just shrugged and went to the library where Tsukiko was pacing around, her shoulders tense and drawn up to her ears while her hands clenched and unclenched like she wanted to strangle something.
Shugo sat down on one of the chairs and lifted one knee on top of other. Subaru remained in the doorway. Finally the girl stopped and whirled around.
"Explain." She hissed. Shugo kept his face blank and leaned his loosely closed fist to his chin.
"And what exactly do you want me to explain?"
"How about your presence here in general? Or the fact you are obviously older than I currently? Or how about the fact you seem to be very aware of how I've been doing yet you've stayed away from me?!" Tsukiko's voice had gained volume by each question until she was shouting the last words. Shugo remained undeterred. The boy glanced at Subaru who hadn't reacted to the questions just yet.
"You are still sixteen." Shugo then said. "You were sixteen when you changed back home and nineteen when you changed back but were still different. You are supposed to be twenty-one now."
"Huh?" Tsukiko paused at the words and straightened her aggressive posture a bit but kept her eyes trained on the boy sitting in one of the comfy armchairs like he owned the place. Or at least had visited it often.
"I know that something happened at this end when you… she was nineteen to make her change back into what I knew as my sister. But it wasn't enough. I wanted to know what had happened to you, Jade."
"Don't call me that. I'm not her. Not anymore." Tsukiko growled. "It's bad enough that woman knows the name."
"Ah, yes, you got on Vermouth's radar." Shugo remarked offhandedly. Subaru arched an eyebrow at the information. "She wants you to play the game, doesn't she?"
"What would you know about that?"
"I remained uninvolved until Halloween showdown and even after that I managed to stay safe." The boy shrugged. "But I digress. The point is that you disappeared from Jade. The essential memories that formed your core vanished and were transported from our world to this one. From Jade Ahola to Kagemiya Hoshi. And those memories and experiences smothered Hoshi's. You became Okiya Tsukiko. And it was alright. You didn't make much ripples and began creating your own niche in this world. But then you began merging with Hoshi. Those two side-personalities you have? They are product of Hoshi protecting herself and the information load you were. And you began taking her place. You are essentially identical in personality and interests, memories are the only differing part. But this world has accepted you to be Hoshi. And the merge deepens, you have begun assimilating her memories."
"Akako-san said that I was separating not merging."
"Koizumi-san… knows about Kagemiya traits, not about transdimensional traits we have. And Kage and Red Moon don't see the difference between Tsukiko and Hoshi because at the core you are the same. They do separate Jade because she was left behind and out of reach in a different body."
"Ten years ago… You were already here." Tsukiko spoke then, not wanting to dwell into that particular information.
"Yes. There is a reason why I'm here. In this world and why I showed myself now." Shugo sighed, for the first time showing weakness as he hung his head in defeat. "You have to understand, Tsukiko… I was twelve. I was twelve when you essentially disappeared and a husk of yourself was left. Our parents didn't realize anything since they'd been nagging for you to start studying more and so she did. But your friends and I alike noticed. And I wanted to know more. I joined the same communities and forums on the internet that you used to hang out at. I began following this manga series that seemed to be the root of all. And I found a hint. The Moon-files. They were like fanworks but identical in style to Gosho's. The author just laughed them off. But for me they provided a hint as to what had happened to you. They never showed more than what other characters perceived so no one realized your… fore-knowledge.
"Then five years had passed. I was seventeen and found a way to force my way here. I got the necessary codes from this side. Codes that I actually planted yesterday at the Machine. And I made my way from our world to this one. And I merged with Kagemiya Daiki. There was a miscalculation on my part though. I did put in that I'd land ten years prior you… but because of Daiki, I also… shrunk. I was seven again. And instead of just making sure your future would be as smooth as possible, I had to grow up all over again."
"You are seventeen." Tsukiko said with wobbly voice. "My little brother grew up and I didn't have a chance to see it…"
"But why only now? Why didn't you come and see me when I was at the hospital? Surely you knew…"
"I did visit you when you were there, still in coma. But I couldn't change the already-changed story once more. I'd read the Moon-files and I was not in them. But I kept my eyes on you. Ensured that you were safe. Paid your hospital bills under the name Hibiki Boshi. Created all the necessary documents for Okiya Subaru." Shugo nodded his head to Subaru's direction. "Cashed in the favor that he owed me… I asked him to listen to you and help if you asked him to."
"And that's all? Just watching and waiting?"
"I was there to go through satellite photos when you and Ran-chan fell over board of Aegis Destroyer Hotaka. And of course I've been tracking down the targets Kage sends to Yamato-san."
"But why now then?"
"Like I said, yesterday I planted the codes for myself to find. The result of forcing myself to this world but to the past caused the Machine to overload and explode. I'm sure you already know about that little tidbit though."
"Yes, that woman messaged me… Was the explosion the cause of my nausea today then?" Tsukiko frowned, finally sitting down on a sofa and discreetly wiping her eyes clean of the possible tears.
"I'd think so. You've been connected to the machine once after the transition and thus been still slightly linked to our previous world. I, in the other hand, have had ten years to adjusting to life here." Shugo shrugged. "But it should be fine now. You'll have dreams occasionally but they'll actually be helpful I'd say."
"Midorikawa… Could you tell more about the Kagemiya family? I think Tsukiko would benefit of that information too." Subaru stepped closer and made his way to the other armchair in the room. Whatever he thought about the recent revelations, nothing showed on his face. Though the mask could have been part of that too.
"In the end I don't know that much. A lot of it I've only hear recently and even that secondhand from Yamato." Shugo sighed but lifted his school bag to his lap and pulled out a file. "Tsukiko, do you have the file on the death of Kagemiya Michiko?"
"Yeah, I never let it too far." Tsukiko reached for her own bag and pulled out the ridiculously thin investigation file. "What about it? Other than the surname Kagemiya?"
Shugo looked up from the file giving the girl a look that quite clearly asked: 'Are you stupid or something?' And wasn't that a strange look to be aimed with. Especially from a face Tsukiko was used to see four years younger than hers. Had it really been five years since she left? It was strange. Especially considering how she hadn't really worried about getting back. Or about what her family might think about her disappearance. She had concentrated on getting to know people in this world and not to stand out. A feat that she failed at times as she tended to interfere and multitask but…
"There was a reason I put you on the trace of that case." Shugo deadpanned. "Have you looked into mirror lately? Noticed that you don't only have European features but Japanese ones as well?"
Tsukiko's hand froze in mid-motion as a thought occurred to her.
"Amuro-san did say that she resembled me. And in the light of my dream…" She laid the open file on the coffee table between the three of them. The picture of Kagemiya… Tsubasa looked up at them. "Was she the mother of Hoshi and Daiki?"
"Yes. And believe me, eventually you'll start thinking of her as your own mother as well as thinking Hoshi as yourself." Shugo muttered. He cleared his throat then and shifted in the chair. "Anyways, Kagemiya family has, as far as records show, lived in Kyoto. Tsubaki-baa still lives there and that's where Hoshi was until she heard of Tsubasa-kaasan's death."
"When you called one of my phones as Hibiki, you said that this case was the reason Hoshi… I came to Tokyo." Tsukiko pointed out. "But why I would have? From what I see from this and what people would have told Tsubaki-baachan, this was simply a manslaughter not a murder."
"… I don't know." Shugo admitted. "I called Hoshi afterwards but she was already on her way to here. Whomever told her anything else, must have been there. Yamato knows something additional since he removed Tsubasa's calendar from the rental car before the cops were called but he has refused to tell me anything yet and I haven't found where he has hidden the calendar either. Personally I haven't seen Tsubasa for ten years. Maybe you will discover from your memory something more…"
"Okay. I'll need to think about this later. What else about Kagemiya's?" Tsukiko sighed.
"There is two hereditary traits. The first one is sensitivity to all sorts of spiritual stuff and the auras people emit either consciously, unconsciously or even subconsciously. Aura sensitivity is also what Haibara uses to detect members of Organization but she is only tuned on that frequency." Shugo explained. "I probably need to see if she can discern between your 'focus' and their 'scent'…"
"What?" The both 'Okiya siblings' blinked.
"Oh, didn't you know? Haibara has been wary of you both because your occasional 'focus' falls onto her radar. It's not that bad since she most likely has realized you don't constantly emit the dark aura but…" The boy shrugged. "I know her. And I've told her about the auras once or twice."
"What is the secondary trait then?" Tsukiko decided to file that information for later on too.
"It's what I mentioned earlier. Having alternate personalities that protect you and help to store information that might conflict with your own morals. Of course there is a medical term for that but that's exactly what it is. Medical. This is more like… mystical. Magical, improbable… Koizumi-san hates me because I'm a Kagemiya. Apparently there was some sort of strife between our families decades or even centuries ago and thus the Koizumi relocated to Tokyo, the new capital, while the Kagemiya remained in Kyoto, the old capital."
"Who else remain of the Kagemiya's? Can I ask anyone for help with this… condition?" It was strange how quiet both Kage and Red Moon were being. Ever since the assumed explosion of the trans-dimensional machine…
"Tsubasa could see auras while her twin brother Tsukasa had the personality split. I don't know what happened to him though. You can try and find out. Then there is their older sister Tsubame… I don't know if she inherited either trait and if she did, whether she awakened it. Both of them require a trauma to awaken and start protecting the Kagemiya."
"Like Sharingan then."
"Sort of yes. Anyways, Ki'ichi-jii had the auras too but otherwise I don't know. This curse… or gift has a tendency to make people even within own family uncomfortable with each other. Whether it's about the stress of the gift upon the bearer or jealously on the part of one who doesn't possess it, I don't know. Anyways, Tsubame-basan lives at Hokkaido with his husband. Their daughter is here in Tokyo though. Takenaka Saya is her name but she doesn't have either gift to my understanding..."
"What's with the 'Tsu'-beginning names? They are quite prominent at parts." Tsukiko enquired then.
"It's a Midorikawa thing. Tsubaki-baa is a Midorikawa and that's where I took my surname." Shugo shrugged. "Tsubasa broke the pattern when naming us Hoshi and Daiki. But apparently you wanted to follow the pattern, even if subconsciously, when you named yourself Tsukiko."
"If you say so…" The girl ran a hand through her hair and leaning back on the sofa. Silence followed.
"Do you have any questions, Akai-san?" Shugo asked then.
The disguised man contemplated all the information laid out to him. He did have questions and he had some guesses too. For example he suspected the man he'd known to have personality split similar to Tsukiko's could very well have been the uncle the two teens had. Used to have.
"Mostly I'm interested in hearing how you will go on from now on. And how much this will affect me."
"Ran-chan, Sonoko-san, Sumi-chan and the two sort-of kids heard us arguing but they all have the vague idea that I planted Tsukiko with you and you are a family friend of ours." Shugo began.
"That's something I've said to Jodie-san at the beginning too. Of course she has more questions now that I went to hospital again for the amnesia diagnosis but she hasn't asked much of anything yet." Tsukiko added.
"Edogawa is the problem though. Haibara trusts me and she must've noticed the resemblance between us two." The boy frowned.
"I'm going to make you responsible of this all." The girl deadpanned.
"And I think that for now we'll go on like we used to. No need to actively to seek each other out since we haven't seen for…"
"Ten years. That's true. We are practically strangers… But there is no need for us to actively avoid each other either."
"I'm going to start figuring out Hoshi's memories. They are going to come back sooner or later anyways so I better fish for clues…" Tsukiko stated before groaning and hiding her face behind her palms. "Did I seriously adopt you as my big brother, Bakai? Like when I was six or something?"
"Yes, you did." Subaru smiled with a glint in his eyes. He was probably remembering that day too.
"You did?" Shugo laughed. "Man, I wish I hadn't gotten sunstroke! I barely remember that day at all!"
"Shut up you!" Tsukiko tossed a decorative pillow at the boy.
"Oh, I will!"
And the tenseness was gone. The reunited siblings were chasing each other around the library while the only adult in the room watched them go. Even after he got the confirmation from Yamato of the two of them being related by blood, he hadn't really managed to imagine it. True, there was common links like they knowledge but yet they approached the situations so differently. When Subaru had seen Shugo being the guest Tsukiko brought home and hear the ire in her voice when informing him, he'd almost feared how the confrontation would go. Yes, it hadn't been smooth and apparently the sibling roles between Shugo and Tsukiko were reversed now slightly, but they had fallen into a pattern now. They truly were siblings and would have each other's back when needed. Even if they'd still keep their distances.
"Did you mess with my phone when I was in coma?" Tsukiko glared the boy who was trying not to fidget under her glare.
"Yes. I hid all the information Hoshi had on her phone so you wouldn't have access to them. Do you want them back?" Came the unrepentant reply.
"…No. They'd only remind me of how I messed with her life. Maybe later."
"Alright. I need to catch a bus back to Ekoda now. See you later, Tsukiko. Sweet dreams!"
"Shut up and get lost."
Laughing, Shugo waved goodbye and left the Kudou residence. Tsukiko smiled faintly after him before closing the front door and leaning her forehead against it. She took a deep breath and tried not to get overwhelmed by emotions once again.
"Get a grip, Tsukiko. You barely even missed him before, don't start now…" She muttered before sighing and composing herself once more. She made her way back to the library where Subaru was going to through the files left on the table. "Did you know him well? Shugo, I mean."
"…We had crossed paths a couple of times. Passing acquaintances really. The conversation just now was very enlightening though." The man replied. "But there was a lot left unsaid."
"Like why Daiki and Hoshi were left with different trusted parties while the parents apparently disappeared." Tsukiko huffed. "I'd wager that Shugo doesn't know either right now. But as he has been Daiki for the past ten years, he thinks of… Tsubasa and Lucas as his parents despite not seeing them in, like, ever." She sat back on the couch and frowned. "So he wants me to remember as much as I can about Hoshi's life so he can find out more about them…"
"I doubt your brother is that callous in regards of you." Subaru spoke up, lying the file back on the table and looking up at the girl. "He simply has missed you but isn't sure about his role in your life anymore. For the past ten years he has lived without you and done things to ensure your safety and adjusted to the idea of being an older brother. Compared to him, your time here has been just a blink and you are still adjusting. You may have a life in these small circles but not much outside of it yet. Shugo has it. He has made connections and friends during the past years. He left his previous life behind for you and lived the life of another. He apparently had less memories to assimilate because he was Kagemiya Daiki from early on."
"… So it's the time for me to return the favor?" Tsukiko smiled ruefully. "You know, part of that explanation of yours could be applied to yourself and Masumi-san. For the past ten years you've been away in America more or less and hadn't had much contact with her. You've become an FBI agent and later an undercover operative in order to create a better future. And have you ever actually been a big brother to her? Or for Haneda Shuukichi-san either?" The girl tilted her head when she scrutinized the man sitting opposite her. Subaru quirked a small smile back at her.
"Not much." He admitted. "But your brother is more fortunate in this case."
"Despite staying away for months, he didn't need to fake his death."
Shugo rang the doorbell of the Agasa residence. The only female resident came to open the door.
"Midorikawa." Haibara Ai greeted the teen.
"Haibara." Shugo smiled back. "Can I come in or should we go on a walk?"
"Hakase isn't home now. You can come in." Ai let the door open wider and stepped aside.
"Thank you." The boy stepped in and removed his shoes once again. This was a good moment to visit when Subaru was preoccupied with Tsukiko and thus not hooked into the listening devices.
"Do you want some tea?"
"I prefer coffee myself actually but Saya-nee does make excellent tea… Maybe I'll trust your skills to make good tea as well as good but dubious drugs."
"You talk like I run underground pharmacy." Ai scoffed.
"Well… cough medicine, drug to cause effects of flu, the antidote of course… Do I need to go on?" Shugo joked and followed the girl to the kitchen.
"So… Tsukiko-san was your sister then?" It was presented like a question but Shugo knew it to be a statement.
"And Saya-san then?"
"A cousin. But I did refer to her as my older sister occasionally so that must have confused people…" The boy mused and accepted the cup of tea offered to him. "Thank you."
"Why exactly have you come here?" The scientist asked, taking a cup for herself too.
"Just to chat." Shugo smiled but sobered at her glare. "And to ask how your radar is going?"
"I peaked once when Tsukiko confronted you."
"Yes… I saw that too. The dark focus is quite terrifying. And I've been living with Yamato-san for years now…" The boy smirked.
"You have learnt to ignore it then."
"Yes. But I'm not suggesting that to you. I've managed to stay out of Organization's radar. You in the other hand…"
"There is still a chance of Vermouth figuring out I didn't die in the explosion even if Bourbon believes it." Ai concluded. "It's a survival mechanism."
"Yes, just like our favorite detective can sense a murderous glare aimed at his back or is instantly wary when he accidentally calls his mother 'Yukiko-basan'…" Shugo chuckled. "But I still think you should try to learn filter out Tsukiko and Subaru-san both. It might be a matter of self-preservation if nothing else."
"Isn't it also self-preservation to be able to sense all possible threats?" The girl countered. Shugo's hand stopped in mid-way back to the saucer. The boy remained silent before settling his tea cup on the saucer and speaking up.
"You are talking about Numabuchi Ki'ichiro and how you almost didn't sense him. You are afraid that your skill with fade away. But even when your skill was at its peak, didn't you also miss Masuyama Kenzou, Pisco, simply because he was in the same room with Vermouth and thus her 'scent' overwhelmed his, letting him capture you?" The greyish blue eyes pierced the sky blue ones. "False alarms and constant paranoia can be as bad as no alert at all. What you need it fine-tuning so you can discern between the real threat aimed at you and general murderous aura. You are not jumping in Yamato-san's presence either now, are you?"
"No. My sister spoke well of him. And his aura isn't nearly as strong as… his brother's." The shrunken scientist admitted.
"Yet you jump and freeze in terror when you sense Subaru-san or even my sister when they are focusing on something…"
"I also froze when Bourbon was chasing the woman who'd kidnapped Kudou-kun… Their car was behind ours while the kidnappers were somewhere ahead of us."
"That's exactly what I'm talking about. What about during viewing cherry blossoms. Yamato-san told me there was something that attracted Tsukiko's negative attention."
"The couple. Man and woman. They interacted more with Jodie-sensei though."
"Did you ever sense anything out of those two?"
"Bourbon and Vermouth. They were undercover to get more information out of Jodie-san. Discreetly of course. But you were not their target. And just like in general you don't sense anything out of Amuro-san… Hmm, maybe it's only when Organization in on Hunt that you can sense them. When they have a live target." Shugo thought aloud. It warranted some extra attention certainly. "Of course there are probably some like Gin who have the aura clinging onto them constantly since he certainly doesn't regret any of his kills. And then there is Yamato who is always hyper-aware of his surroundings and ready to eliminate any threat presented…"
"Complicated." Ai stated.
"Very. But the point of this conversation is not to make you jump at shadows and discern the real threats." His teacup was empty. Time to wrap up the conversation. "I can help you with it, if you want to. Or you can try to figure it out yourself. Hanging around chibi-tantei might actually help you as he is such a corpse magnet. I hung around Hei-chan when my ability was newly awakened."
"What does that exactly help?"
"Try to see which one of the suspects has dark suffocating shroud around them. Darker the shroud, less guilt in the game. Murder always leaves marks on both the body and its maker. Thank you for the tea, I'll see myself out."
"Your manners are as incomprehensible as always. As is your attitude."
"Why, thank you."
"It wasn't a compliment."
Tsukiko closed her eyes and went back to the dream she had. Some details she remembered from the manga files but some she saw with fresh eyes. Hoshi has heard and seen a lot even if she hadn't paid attention to all of it.
Observation 1: Tsubasa had reacted to the words Shuichi had quoted and the words Mary told him back later. Or possibly also to the ghost Daiki had observed around the Akai family earlier as she also possessed the ability to see the auras.
Conclusion 1: Tsubasa had known the words or recognized the ghost or both.
Conclusion 2: Derived from conclusion 1, one could assume that Kagemiya Tsubasa had known Akai Tsutomu.
Observation 2: Tsubasa spoke with Mary in Japanese despite the other woman clearly having Western features. The hat and sunglasses after all didn't obscure that much. Any other person would've tried English first. Yukiko had used Japanese as she'd heard the woman talking with Masumi just previously. Tsubasa in the other hand… She'd heard Shuichi's words and then Hoshi had drawn attention to them. There was a pause in conversation before Tsubasa initiated the conversation again.
Conclusion 3: Tsubasa at least knew of Mary. If she indeed knew the missing/dead Tsutomu Akai, the it's possible, she'd recognize Mary too.
Tsukiko looked down at the file of Kagemiya 'Michiko' and then looked at the information Shugo had left about Tsubasa. The age was the same. She had been thirty-nine when she'd died some months ago(because the anime time-loop messed with things). So she was twenty-nine during the 'beach flashback'.
"And twenty-two when Daiki was born…" But why had the Kagemiya's been hiding too? Yamato probably knew. And knowing this world it was something connected to everything else.
Observation 3: Tsubasa talked on the phone in English. She spoke of college to a person called 'Tom'. Codewords?
Observation 4: The first thing she said to the phone was: 'I saw them. They were alright'. It was directly after interacting with the Akai family.
Conclusion 4: Was it 'Tom' or 'Tomu'? As in, 'Tsutomu'? The English confused Tsukiko almost as much as it had confused Hoshi. The girl had known English but not enough to decipher it from quick one-sided conversation.
Tsukiko glanced at the man still sitting on the chair but then looked down at the files. Better not speculate much. At least not aloud. And of course there was a possibility that Tsubasa had been talking with Lucas but had been using code when addressing him.
Observation 5: On the phone Tsubasa had said making her decision about leaving both Hoshi and Daiki. That the person at the other end of the call had done the same decision. For the better future.
Conclusion 5: What was the main problem in this world other than murders popping behind every corner? The Black Organization. This world wasn't on the verge of self-destruction or war like some other anime worlds. No, here BO was the big bad. And almost every agency and people introduced that had even a shred of relevancy to the plot, were connected to this all. Tsubasa and Lucas both left their children behind in order to work better with Interpol in order to get rid of the Organization. For the sake of better future for their children.
Tsukiko sighed. There wasn't much else to get out of Tsubasa's – mother's – behavior. Maybe she should wait until the next dream came…
"What are you thinking?" Subaru asked. Tsukiko looked up in surprise.
"You were frowning more than usual. Deep thoughts?"
"Yeah… Just dissecting everything I've learnt today."
Subaru nodded in understanding. Tsukiko got up and went to walk out of the room but stopped then.
"Say, what do you think of me cutting my hair really short? Like pixie-cut?"
A/N: First things first: I have no idea whether or not Tsutomu is alive. The way I wrote Tsukiko's speculations was to make sure the situation can go to either way. Second thing before I start answering the reviews: please from now on put your questions to the forum I made for my fics. /forum/Leaping-into-a-Dream/190714/
It's up there also in General Discussion that I'm going to combine Dream or Not and Leap to Relatively Unknown. And that the name of the new fic will be the same than the forum with the exception of the change of 'a' to 'the'.
Also, I'm trying to catch up with Leap some more before continuing to the next fic. As you probably guessed from the interraction between Shugo and Ai, there is a lot of story between the point that story is now and the point this story is here. Since the only other time you've been Shugo with Ai was during the movie 17 chapter... yeah.
I'm now going to Reply to Reviews and answer the questions there. You are still welcome to review this chapter but I'm not going to answer them because PMs are such a hassle and many of you review as Anon.
Thank you. I'm glad you like this development. There will be occasions that the characters realize Kagemiya Hoshi has been present there but as she has mainly been at Kyoto, there are not much such things. But Movie 7: Crossroads in the Ancient Capital, it will have Hoshi in there. :)
Yes. I probably should do something like that. I'll probably post it at my deviantArt account then. Before that though, there are some new art from me. Hoshi and Daiki as they were at the beach, pictures of Kagemiya Tsubasa and spoiler! My name at dA is Tsukiko75014 if you want to go and check.
As you can see from Tsukiko's speculations Tsubasa merely knew of Mary. It's alright though, I knew everything quite vague there. I blame Hoshi the unreliable narrator for that though.
Apparently. It's alright though.
I'm glad that you like the chapters with manga as background. I'm usually more or less worried that Tsukiko will end up doing too much or then blend to the background.
Well, isn't it good that Shugo is there to explain it all then? :)
Have a good day too!
Shugo explains a lot but I can try to lay it out here too. There is Jade the original in 'our world' and then there is Hoshi the original in 'DC world'. The whatever trandimensional Machine that shady Organization branch used, ripped a tunnel between the two universes and accidentally/on purpose pulled part of Jade to DC world. It never pulled her physical body but the metaphysical part that named herself Tsukiko and latched herself onto Hoshi who was the 'Jade' of DC world. Jade and Hoshi have identical personalities and almost identical appearances, thus Tsukiko didn't see the difference like ever until it was finally pointed out to her by Shugo in this chapter. Thus she didn't at first see 'Michiko' resembling her even if Amuro saw it. It's also because of Hoshi laying a foundation to Tsukiko, she could understand Japanese so well even if reading and writing was still at the level Jade had.
It's very complicated but other than what is explained here and in the chapter, you don't really need to worry about it. Just know that Tsukiko will now have memories and dreams coming up, and you (and other readers) will do just fine.
*nods sagely* ;)
Yes, I've been to Bali but I was so little that I barely even remember it. Our family was living in China because of my father's work and we went to the vacation to Bali from there. We have many sarongs bought from there that we still use(my mother and I mainly) when it's a bit too hot here during summers.
Thank you very much. :)
Basically yes. Yamato knows a lot of stuff and has shared some with Shugo even if it hasn't happened in the Leap just yet. Shugo knows some more and hacks records for more information and speculates rest. Now Tsukiko and Subaru know more than they did before.
Yes, Shugo goes to Ekoda and is still friends with Kaito. He just began actively avoid the magician's house when Tsukiko began visiting him.
Pairings... Some might happen but I'm not experienced in writing romance so nothing major apart form some fluff. Don't worry, I have no intention of making this or the next fic into M-rated one. And because I've never dated myself(I'm in college already) I don't really know much about dating apart fomr reading fanfiction myself. Mai and Kouki are the only official couple from my part currently.
Ah, Dawn and Dusk... The first chapters are going through revision and I've considered of removing that little tidbit. And in general I've written that fic in a way that what is said there, has no relation to this fic. I was simply lazy to create completely OCs and in the other hand there is some stuff that happened in DC world that has changed the dynamic between Shugo and Tsukiko, Clay and Luna in the new world. Most importantly the fact their ages changed again but this time Clay is still older one. Also, I think you should treat them as completely different characters form Shugo and Tsukiko because I've written them in a way that doesn't reguire the knowledge of DoN or Leap. So, yes they are different and they will be mainly because I'm developing as a writer and they are developing as characters.
And yes, Tsukiko will try to take a step back. She realized in this chapter that she doesn't need to be in control of everything especially when she literally can't but she still might have a mindset of trying to something just to make a difference at least in someway. But having Shugo in her life and the thought of other relatives might just calm her down more.
Great to hear you like Shugo. Mai... Maybe a bit. I think she is a bit too curious and smart for her own good but Takuya should be able to reign her in. In future something will happen to make her realize she might've dug too far...
Okay. The Dimensional Sniper should the the second or third chapter in the new fic. We are really close in the other words!
And yes, I'm skipping Sunflowers of Inferno unless they happen in Leap.
But until next time in the pages of Leap to Relatively Unknown or Leaping into the Dream!