Author's Note: OHMYGOD. I WAS REREADING THIS AND IT'S LIKE…(excuse my language) CRAP. TERRIBLE. HOW THE HECK WILL I EVER LIVE THIS DOWN?! By the way this is an edit . So sorry guys, I have to fix these first few chapters before I can upload. What can I say? Chapter 10 has a wicked cliffie, and maybe I wanna play it out a bit longer…
How did it end up being me…?
A silvery arc sang through the darkness. The last thing Conan saw was the craggy grin dully gleaming from the shadows and the cold, cold eyes under a worn navy cap. And then there was a sickening crunch, and his vision gave way to multicolored stars, and then blackness. He crumpled to the ground, his shattered watch face softly reflecting moonlit shards, his sneakers weakly flickering off to his right, and his belt slashed beyond use. Blacking out was almost a relief from the shattering pain in his temples, and the terribly cold feeling in his gut. Will I die…? Conan didn't know. And as he sank into darkness, he desperately found himself not caring anymore. An eerie, disembodied chuckle murmured through the air. There was a brief whistling sound as the unnamed attacker tossed a perfect ace of spades onto the dust, next to Conan's unmoving body. It gleamed a pearly white, the dark black spade prominent and striking, beautifully glossy. Ace of spades. The card of death. And the attacker's signature card. His heavy steps faded from the scene, as he walked away from yet another victim.
At the Mouri's
"Ah Ran, you worry too much." Kogoro's voice was starting to slur, as he was well on his sixth beer.
"Get away from that alcohol," Ran furiously swiped away the coppery can, setting it high up on a shelf, "and listen to me! Conan is missing, and all you care about right now is-"
"Yoko-chan!" Kogoro cheered, completely ignoring Ran.
"Exactly!" Ran threw her hands up with frustration. Her eyes were filled with worry. "Agasa-hakase has no idea where he is, Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta haven't seem him since he left the soccer park, and…" her fists clenched and unclenched. "Where could he be?"
"Oh, no need'ta worry," Kogoro flapped his hand loosely, his voice slurred with alcohol. "Doesn' dat brat love to play socc'r? Mebbe he's out in de fields som'were…Yoko-chan! Y'u nail 'em wit dat solo!" Kogoro fistpumped, returning his attention the small TV set and dismissing Conan's disappearance. He cracked open another beer. It hissed, white gold foam bubbling up around the tips.
"What do you mean soccer? You think he would stay out this late to play soccer and leave everyone worried?!" Ran was furious, worry etching every line of her face. In the pit of her stomach, she felt knots begin to form. Something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
"St'p both'rin me wit dat stup'd kid," Kogoro's eyes were unfocused, his tone annoyed. "Trust 'im to be de reas'n I can't watch Yoko-chan n' peace. He's pro'lly out wit his old man or s'mthin stup'd like dat."
"Will you…!" Ran's eyes blazed in fury. "His name is Conan and you know his parents are overseas!" Ran gave up, settling on smashing her fist into his desk and spraying beer cans everywhere. She stormed off, snatching an old flashlight on the way. The door slammed.
"Wha-?" Kogoro looked around, disoriented. He shrugged half-heartedly, and was about to return to his show when a thought struck him. "Wai' a min'te!" He stood, swaying. Gripping the edge of the desk, he swept his gaze wildly around the room. "Where'd ma odder beer go?" He spotted a corner of gold. "Oo… no need'ta worry, I got it." Kogoro lurched unsteadily toward the medicine cabinet, where his precious beer perched precariously. Standing underneath it, he pouted. "I's too hi' fo' me to reach…" He narrowed his eyes craftily, then jumped once and snagged it, knocking several things over and spilling a good deal of beer on his clothing. "O' well," he staggered back to his seat, feeling very discombobulated. As he refocused himself onto Yoko, he absently thought about his daughter's outburst and sudden departure.
"Yanno, I've got de weird'st sens'a déjà vu righ' now…" he slurred, and promptly fainted, missing the rest of his precious show and drooling all over himself.
Outside the Mouri Detective Agency
The moon was rising and the old lampposts were flickering to life. A crushed feeling clamped over Ran like a vise. It was almost eight.
Conan! She thought desperately, sprinting, flashlight in hand. At least her father had one good idea. She was headed toward the field, and if Conan wasn't there, then the park. And if he wasn't in the park, Ran was determined to search through all of Beika. She could not push away the feeling of dread building inside of her. Her fingers were white as they clamped the dusty light.
Her footsteps pounded, matching her heartbeat. Only a few blocks had passed and Ran's breath was coming uncomfortably short, a stitch beginning to materialize at her side. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to run faster. Only one more block, she thought desperately. Please hold on Conan!
Much to her frustration, she found stray tears streaming down her face, chafing her skin and dripping salt into her mouth. She angrily wiped them away with her spare hand. Conan will be fine, she told herself firmly, her eyes stinging. Absolutely fine. But she couldn't seem to convince herself.
Conan had stopped by the agency earlier, after school had ended. Ram had seen him through the glass window of her father's office, and waved to him cheerfully. He'd waved back, grinning. Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhiko had waved as well. Conan then mouthed through the glass that he was going to the park to play with Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhiko. Jumping onto his skateboard, he sent Ran a backwards wave, and he left his friends in dust as they chased after him. His head had been thrown back in a laugh she couldn't hear. His last words to her. They were horrifyingly familiar.
"Don't worry Ran-neechan! I'll be back later!"
Don't worry Ran, you go on ahead. I'll catch up with you later…! The words echoed through her mind; the exact words Shinichi had said before he ran off towards those men clad in black. That same phrase. That desolately familiar backwards wave. And those beautiful, blue eyes. Hauntingly familiar. Ran's heart contorted painfully as tears welled up in her eyes again. Sprinting even harder than before, she made herself a single promise.
I will not lose him the same way I lost Shinichi.
The freshly cut grass waved gently in the breeze. Two grand, silver goals stood majestically at opposite ends of the field. The bleachers's reflection was soft under the moonlight. Stark, neatly sprayed lines marked boundaries Ran didn't understand. She had never gotten soccer. The dark sky was pierced with a few pearls of stars. The field was deserted. A shiver ran up Ran's spine as a chilly breeze curled around her. After a quick sweep and a minute to regain her breath, she determined what her instincts had already told her.
Conan was not here.
Which meant there was only one thing to do- keep searching.
Ran panted hard, swiveling her head back in forth in search of those glasses and Shinichi-blue eyes. The park Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhiko visited wasn't far from the field, but she'd lost her breath already. She was half-angry at herself, and half weary. The night had gotten darker, and she could barely see the silhouette of the playground equipment. A few seconds ago she'd nearly tripped over a low-lying balance beam. Ran switched on the flashlight, slicing a rusty beam through the dark night. The park was empty as well, the moonshine dimly outlining equipment. Her searching golden beam swept the entire area, searching for something, anything. Monkey bars, slides, swings: all still and silent.
"C-co-conan?" Her voice quavered, splitting the silence. "Conan?" She strengthened her voice, disgusted at her weakness. "Conan? Conan! Where are you?" Her cries met nothing but silence. Dead silence. Her hands were trembling.
"Conan, this isn't funny!" Her voice was plaintive. She didn't know why she thought Conan was here. The park was clearly empty… but some instinct deep inside her wouldn't let her leave. It wouldn't let her move on with her search. "Conan-kun! Come out right this instant!" Ran's warning words were filled with worry. She called out one last time.
"Conan…" He wasn't here. She knew he wasn't here. Disgusted with herself for thinking such trivial thoughts, that Conan would be here of all places because her gut feeling told her to stay, she spun around, her flashlight beam angled around the park, sweeping with her. She had taken one step when something frightening registered in her mind. She could've sworn that out of the corner of her eye…
Her searching light swept around the park ground. And then suddenly, there was a flash of light that dazzled and blinded her for a second, and she knew she'd found what she was looking for.
A pair of glasses. Conan's glasses.
Ran whimpered, her entire body wracked with shivers. "No, no, no…!"
The glasses, clean at a glance, were splattered with dark scarlet. Bloody scarlet. The flashlight clattered onto the ground, snapping off as a stray rock pressed the off button. An ominous breeze swept Ran's dark hair aside as she shakily knelt, wrapping her quaking fingers tentatively around the slender frames. They were undoubtedly Conan's. Her fingers brushed the smooth stony path that was faintly familiar to her. She tucked the glasses into her jacket pocket, so gently that one would think the glasses could crumble into dust any second. On her knees, Ran searched for her flashlight. Finding it, she flicked it on again. The warm, faint circle of light reappeared. It traced the winding path up to a squat storage house. Once a snug, friendly building she and Shinichi hid in, it now loomed in front of her.
Really, Conan could've been kidnapped. Taken away. Which is why his glasses were left here, while he wasn't uttering a single sound. Kidnapped. Ran repeated the word inside her brain. It was better than the alternative. The gray, unforgiving building taunted her. It dared Ran to think the impossible.
Her fingers shaking uncontrollably now, she grasped the curved steel handle to the storage house. Only one way to find out. She steeled herself, then pulled.
Ran glared at the crossed doors, gathered a few scraps of strength, and lashed out a fierce roundhouse kick. The door never stood a chance. It gave in quietly, landing with a resounding thud on the concrete, dusty floor. A cloud of dust rose, and then settled. Ran stepped gingerly over it, narrowly missing a large, adult footprint clearly imprinted on the floor, which she failed to notice. Her eyes were straining to see what her flashlight could not illuminate. Her light flashed over every corner of the room at least three times. Nothing.
Ran let out a long sigh, her shoulders sagging. He wasn't here. He was still alive somewhere. Just because he isn't here doesn't mean that he's alive, a nagging voice pushed through her consciousness. Shut up, she told herself fiercely. He's definitely alive. He- he has to be alive.
She couldn't imagine the boy, so full of life, crumpled on the ground, his spark extinguished forever.
Ran turned to go, and in that single moment, her foot crushed something. It made a clear, glass cracking sound. Crisp and sharp. She flashed her light down, and her breath caught. Oh no. Gods, no!
Under her foot lay an intricate watch, the glass face shattered through.
Ran stifled a scream.
Wildly, she shone her light around the room, behind the boxes, anywhere. She couldn't bear to look at the watch.
It was soaked with blood.
And then her light caught something. A dark shadow in the corner she'd failed to notice. A shudder ran through her, and her feet carried her toward it, to her horror. At a closer glance, she found it seemed like a broken form. A child's form. Ran's breath caught. No, she thought, this is not happening. This is some demented nightmare, and I'll wake any second now…! Horror was building inside of her, and in a terrible flash, she knew she wasn't dreaming. The dim circle illuminated a young child's body. A seven or eight year old's body. Her hand shook so hard the flashlight dropped, bouncing and then swerving, the beam flashing wildly. Ran took a second to calm herself and steel her nerves. If the boy was Conan, Ran closed her eyes tightly, then he was almost guaranteed to be dead.
She picked up the flashlight, and shone it down on the boy's face.
A frighteningly familiar face.
Ran didn't hold back her scream this time, splitting the thick silence cleanly. Her legs collapsed beneath her, but she couldn't tear her eyes away from the broken figure. That childish face, sharp features, and raven black hair… Her scream petered out, and she panted, tears streaming freely down her face. Those eyes, those electric blue eyes… she'd never see them again. His eyes were shut. Blood smeared his clothing and splattered his face. He wouldn't move. Ran shook him hysterically, sobbing. He won't move…! Ran cradled his still form, a scream tearing from her throat once more, white-hot flashing behind her eyelids. And then silence fell.
Ran hunched there, crying silently, holding the pieces of the boy once known as Edogawa Conan, as her flashlight died.
Everything faded into darkness.
Wheewww… much better… /wipes forehead
OMG. MUST. RUSH. AND DO. NEXT. CHAPTER. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T READ IT UNTIL THE TOP SAYS EDIT NEXT TO THE A/N
T^T I'm begging you here. Seriously. /completely ignoring cliffhanger
Weeeell… I guess Conan might be dead. I MAY TURN THIS INTO A DEATHFIC YET :DDDD