Chapter 86: Lions, and Tiger, and Fish

Nakamori woke up sooner than he would. He was used to early mornings and late nights if need be, so it didn't really bother him. It was around five and he had talked to Kudo-kun. They could go fishing but only in certain areas and some types of fish they were banned from catching. That was all right. He was good with the small ones. He got dressed in shorts and a shirt again, trying not to wake the doc. Kudo-kun had most of what he needed - funny thing, he even had a boat - and he'd gotten the keys to it yesterday. Once he was ready, the car pretty much packed, he went and woke Saguru-kun, trying not to bother Chikage, as the sun was starting to rise. "Hey kid, wake up." He shook him a little, trying not to move the bed.

Saguru opened his eyes and looked over, recognizing the voice and starting to sit up, noticing the early hour. "What is it?"

"Time to get up and go fishing." Nakamori smiled when the boy opened his eyes, messing up his hair. He got up. "Don't wake your mother." After he went to stand by the door while the kid got himself dressed.

Saguru climbed carefully out of the bed and went to dress. He brushed a hand through his hair, more or less straightening it but still not quite getting it all. He grabbed one of the spare pieces of paper and left a quick note on the end table before going over to the door.

Nakamori smiled to the kid, going downstairs with him and grabbing the loaf of bread. There was another and hell, Kudo-kun said whatever he needed. He took too pieces out, setting the coffee machine while he made the toast. "No time for eggs, but you don't like coffee, do you? You like strange foreign tea." He'd seen the kid enough to know that and got a cup down with his own. He put it under the machine, waiting for his to be done before he could get some hot water for the kid.

Saguru shook his head. He had drunk coffee on occasion though tea was indeed his preferred drink. "I could say the same in reverse." He grabbed the box of tea he had used the previous day.

Nakamori let out a quiet, rough laugh. "So you can. You couldn't pay me to drink that." He took his cup and a piece of toast as he sat down. "The other's yours. I think there's stuff in the fridge if you want butter or something on it."

Saguru opened the refrigerator and passed up the butter for the strawberry jam he had seen last night, coating the toast with it before returning the jar and sitting at the table.

Nakamori ate in silence. He didn't know what to say to the boy. They also had to be fast. He'd wanted to leave earlier but getting up and getting ready had taken longer than he thought it would. He hadn't gotten out to do this in a few months. "When's the last time you've been fishing?" He wanted to know how much the kid could do on his own. Aoko had that problem that Kaito-kun actually had about killing the worms. He hadn't taken them both out since they were seven though, so he wasn't sure if either still did. After that one time they hadn't asked him to take them again. He wanted to know if the kid did too.

Saguru took a sip of his tea and set it down, still looking at the cup. "Just over a year now. I am still looking forward to it though."

Nakamori nodded. The kid would have been old enough to know how to fish then. He had what he needed and drank what was left of his coffee. He'd gotten his first though and waited for the kid to finish.

Saguru finished the quick breakfast and rose to rinse his cup in the sink, knowing it would be awhile until anyone else was awake.

Nakamori saw the kid get up and got up himself, washing off his cup. "Well be out for a while. I guess they don't let you fish off the shore. We'll be going closer to the other side of the island. He says we'll have better luck there." Not that he really cared. He stopped by and raided the pantry of some snacks before handing the kid one of the bags. He could help. "Come on then." He had a free hand to open the door after that and went out with the kid, heading to the dock Kudo-kun said that boat was at. It had better not be something so big he couldn't drive it.

It was not too hard to pick out Kudo-san's boat. The name on it was rather fitting too. As they climbed aboard, he looked around before stowing the gear on the starboard side of the deck. "She looks good."

Nakamori put the food down by the back of the boat, throwing the tarp that was on the floor on top of the bags before looking at it. He'd driven a few boats but none like this. He fidgeted around behind the console. "If you say so kid." He had to take his word for it. Putting the key in and starting it, Nakamori at least smiled. It ran, that was all he needed. He looked at the kid. "Can you untie it?"

Saguru returned to the dock and untied the mooring line, tossing it onto the deck and jumping on after it. "Line away."

Nakamori couldn't help the laugh. The kid sounded like he knew what he was doing better than he did. He put his hand on the lever that would shift it into gear, nearly falling back when the boat lurched way too damn fast for him to be ready for. "Kuso!" He held tight to the wheel, turning it to the side while he pulled the lever back and stopped them a good few feet out. "Kid, you okay?"

Saguru had grasped the pole just before and was grateful for that. "I am just fine." He smiled a bit. "I take it you are less use to more powerful engines?"

"Tsh. I never usually drive. And yeah." Nakamori knew a few people who went out on their boats but not many of the people he knew fished in something like this. Hell, he'd rent one of those little ones with the small engine where you just pulled the string and aim. He looked at the kid with a smile. "Com'er a second."

Saguru moved, already getting his sea legs, to stand beside him.

Nakamori took the kid's arm. It had been a year. Odds were the kid had the knows-how but hadn't done this before either. He put his hand on the shifter and the other on the wheel. "Don't know if you're old enough to drive something with this much horsepower but I'll be driving with you." He took the kid's other hand and put it on the wheel, pushing the shifter forward a lot slower this time, even if the boat didn't move for a second while it picked up.

Saguru kept his face forward but nodded. He eased the wheel over a bit as they started moving. Once they were clear of the other boats he moved his hand to get them to half throttle and pointed the bow to head them around to the north of the island. "Did you have an area in mind or were you intending to see for yourself?"

Nakamori backed off, sitting in the seat behind the steering. "I have no idea. He just said north and that there'll probably be other boats." The kid was good, even if he hadn't been finishing in years. He could tell the kid had been taught to drive a boat before now.

Saguru nodded, edging a bit more from the engine until they neared the northern point of the island and saw a few boats scattered around. Dropping the throttle back, he eased them to a stop before cutting the engine. A small half laugh at the nostalgia of it escaped him.

"So," Nakamori spoke up. They had a while before they'd be able to fish because the engine would have scared any of those near away. "Where'd you learn to drive a speedboat?"

Saguru shifted a bit. "I would attend regattas during the summer. The captain of the one we sponsored taught me."

"Regattas?" Nakamori shook his head. "Never heard of it." But he got the idea. "You're pretty good. You can drive back then if you want." He took out a cigarette before stopping and looking at the kid. "You mind?"

"Not at all. Shall we secure or allow her to drift with the current."

Nakamori smiled and shook his head. Saguru-kun calling the boat a female was something he never heard before. "Let it drift. We're not that close to the others." He lit the cigarette and leaned back. He yawned. Getting up in the morning was still tiring.

Saguru nodded and went over to the gear he had brought aboard. May as well check the lines so they could set the bait once the water stilled. The sooner the bait was in the water to entice the fish, the better. He looked over at Nakamori-ojisan. "I am actually not too surprised you never heard of it. Regattas are, to put it in a base form, boat races. Rather large events and very popular among those back in England."

"Boat races?" Nakamori laughed a little. "I never thought you'd be interested in something like that. If you can, you were taught and everything, you can have at it on the way back with the boat. Just don't tip us." He put the cigarette out even though he wasn't done, getting up and getting a pole for himself. "Been a while since I've been able to do this."

"It would be nice to open her up and she handles well." Saguru set the hook and moved further toward the stern before casting out the line.

Nakamori set up a pole for himself. He wasn't too sure how these lures worked with what fish but Kudo-kun had them for here so they must be to catch the fish from this part. He went on the other side of the kid, casting out on the opposite side of the boat and sitting in the seats that were there, still not sure what he wanted to talk to the kid about.

Saguru sat as well, settling in to await a possible bite.

Nakamori sat and waited for a bite. He waited for what felt like ages, not letting himself smoke just because he wanted something to do with his hands. After a while he dug into the snacks, throwing the kid some pastry in plastic with custard in it. "We can catch lunch on the way back." Kudo-kun hadn't let him go without giving him some cash. He wasn't familiar with foreign currency though, so he had no idea how much he had. He figured it was more than enough for lunch. He sat back down, reclaiming his pole from where he had set it trapped against the railing and went back to waiting. "Damn it. Should have brought a hat or something." It was really freaking hot out in the sun."

Saguru looked over toward him as he swallowed. "There is a chance there is a hat in the hold."

"Hold?" Nakamori was no expert around boats but he had to guess that was the place to stow things and whatever. "If you know where it is kid, put it on your own head. Lucky you got your sight back but don't stain your eyes too soon." He wished he had a fan or something down there.

Saguru wedged the pole beside the seat and rose, heading to the small door and opening it. There were a few life preservers as well as a few hats, although a couple of them were clearly chosen by Kudo-san's wife rather than him. It seemed she felt any hat associate with boating belonged on the boat. A white sea captain hat, a brown floppy hat that had lures stuck in it and a hat that was unmistakable as being from Gilligan's Island were among them. "There are actually a few here." He gathered the top three and turned, holding them up.

Nakamori laughed when he turned to the kid. "If that's it I'm taking that one that's gonna stick my head open. Damn. Kudo-kun's crazy, both of them." He couldn't see that stuck up 'journalist' wearing any of those.

"I do believe it was Kudo's mother as these all appear to be connected to movies or TV shows." Saguru returned the 'Gilligan' hat and went over to pass off the hat, holding the other in his hand.

Nakamori took the hat and put it on. It didn't kill him so it was good enough. He smiled to the kid. He looked way too young in the hat, though his height was enough to make it not look that out of place. "You're definitely one of those 'grow up too fast because you wanna' kids, aren't you?"

Saguru paused and looked at him. He had decided to try and be more open with them on anything they asked about. "I suppose that is close to the truth." He went to sit, picking up the container. "I did want to be a detective, as far back as I can remember. Actually putting it into practice when I was 15, I decided if I could do it. Why wait?"

"Yeah, I get you kid. I know I'd run around when I was little. Only thing was I didn't know what I wanted to be until I got out of high school. Before that I just sat around. Most I could have said at your age was as I didn't want to be sitting behind a desk. Don't you if you can tell," Nakamori said with a laugh, "But I'm not the 'sit still' type. It's good to go after what you want to be. Hell, you're already there." He laughed a little more. "Back then I remember wanting a motor bike too, or just a fast car. If I wanted anything back then, it was to drag race." He had been a kid and stupid before. That hadn't been much of a dream at all, though through his work as a cop, he'd kind of become one anyway.

"I believe you have reached fairly high speeds as it is." Saguru shook his head. "I will say that Sato-keiji and Kudo-san's wife would give you a run for your money."

Nakamori didn't know what the kid was talking about but, with the way he was talking about boat racing, he figured he knew speed. The reference still meant nothing to him. "I'm not the betting kind of man." He'd raced other cops through just trying to keep up with Kid, and he figured she had some steel even if it wasn't spoken. Nakamori put the pole down again, his leg holding it, and ate some chips. "You're a little race horse yourself, aren't you?" He patted the side of the boat. "I have no speed limit and either does the ocean."

Saguru could not resist the small smile. It was certainly different than the tight turns and close quarters such that he had experienced in the car the previous day, and there were not that many boats out. "Depending on the circumstances."

Nakamori went back to fishing, brushing off his hands and holding the pole while he looked out at the water. "You know kid, being frank, you're what I'd called one of those 'emotionally abused' kids. I don't want you fighting me on it either. Just wanted to tell you that no matter what the hell happened, from the time I've known you, you're a good kid."

Saguru was not sure how to react to that. While he was aware that he and his birth father had been far from having any sort of close relationship, he had not really considered that. Then again, a few of those that he had seen that had dealt with that had also denied it. Even if he could recognize it in others, they couldn't recognize it in themselves. He held the pole in his right hand as he brought his left to where the bullet had passed through his right arm. The pain, the weakness and the injury itself were gone, but the thought of who had done it was still just as real. In that day, it had stopped being simply emotional, and possibly physiological abuse, and had gone to physical. The outward signs had been erased but that did not stop the occasional strong memory from convincing him he could still feel the shots and the hands on his throat.

Nakamori looked at the kid. It wasn't like they were catching anything anyway and it was so freaking hot out. The kid looked like any other victim he'd come across and as long as the kid counted himself as a victim, that was all he'd ever be. Even now he was treated him that way. There was no other way to treat him though. The kid seemed to wallow in it, and under any other circumstances, he would have let him. Instead he put the poll down as he stood up, supposedly going to reach in his coat for his lighter and instead moved and pushed the kid hard towards the side of the boat, holding his shirt so he wouldn't slam into the edge, and threw him over the side of the boat. "There was go. Hell, it wasn't like we were catching anything."

Saguru hit the water a split second after he realized what had happened. That was two separate occasions that he had been sent into the water just by Nakamori-ojisan. He held tight to the fishing pole and reached up with his other hand as he kicked for the surface. Coming up, he coughed and actually had to spit out some of the salt water before looking up. "Do you all do this to each other or just me?"

"Each other? As if you could get me in there kid." Nakamori leaned on the railing and looked down at him. "Cool off."

Saguru huffed and noticed the hat he had been wearing floating just off to his side. He reached out and snagged it with his free hand before holding the fishing pole up first. "Would you at least take these back? I would not want to loose them."

Sure." Nakamori reached down for the fishing pole and hat, never low enough for the kid to grab. He put the pole on the deck before reaching his hand down for the hat, snatching his hand back when the kid tried to grab him at the same time. He folded his hands and looked down at him. Saguru-kun could throw it on board if he really wanted to. "Nice try kid, but I've been around faster."

Saguru knew, he had too. He let his eyes drift to the side before tossing the sodden hat upward. If anything, it would cool him off a little.

Nakamori paid little attention to the hat and the water that hit him. It wasn't that much and he didn't touch the droplets that were on his face. "Weak play." It was, plain and simple and, if anything, childish.

"If you recall, you were the one to toss me overboard." Saguru continued to tread water for a moment, considering if he could pull himself up the side.

"So I was. I think you've had enough people helping you. You needed some time out of the sun away because it's been frying your brain." Nakamori like that cigarette now, watching the kid. "You just going to stay down there?"

"No." Saguru lowered himself before kicking hard and grabbing for the edge of the boat.

Nakamori saw the kid clinging to the side of the boat. "You know you can't get up with wet shoes." Unless the kid was strong enough to rely on arm strength alone, he wasn't going to be able to lift himself up. "You have a brain, use it."

Saguru did not bother to say he had already evaluated that point. Instead, he started swinging like a pendulum, using his body's momentum to finally hook his foot to the edge of the boat and that combination allowed him to haul himself back on.

Nakamori stood back, letting the kid figure out how to get back up. "Careful. You're shoes are wet. Mess up and you'll end up back in the water." Which would be funny. He crossed his arms and watched the kid try and get back up off other metal bar and sleek surface off the boat that was meant to repel water while he was wet.

Saguru hooked his elbow and knee as he pulled himself back over the railing. He gave a small smile as he landed back on the deck. "Knowing how to move about a- boat or other vessels when wet is useful, especially when working in rain or heavy mists such as London is famous for."

"Not bad kid. Not the way I would have done it but not bad." Nakamori sat down once the kid was up and in the boat again. "At least you've cooled off now. So, you wanna go back in the water?" He asked it half seriously. "How many times do you think I could push you in and you'd still have the energy to do that?"

"Though I will pass, I would say once, possibly twice more." Saguru turned to allow the sun to start drying him off a little before he would sit in the seat.

"It would take you three times to learn how to avoid me? Kid, you didn't listen. I said how many times could I do that and you still get out. You should have said something like none because I wouldn't be getting you back in again. Odds are though I probably could, I just expected some snarky remark like that." Nakamori went back to a snack less salty than he had before. It would be a while again until the fish came, if they were ever there to begin with.

"Just say that experience has shown I can be disproved. Saying none, I believe, would have resulted in yet another splash." 'Likely both of us going in.'

"You're wrong kid. You saying it like that made me what to see just how far your physical tolerance really went. If you had said none I wouldn't want to do it again as badly as I do now. Of course, I'm no kid anymore. I'm not really in the mood for games. Let me set you straight then. You think you can do something, even if you know you can't, you have a hell of a better chance of it coming out better than it would that if you had lower standards. Remember that."

Saguru thought on that. 'Perhaps that is what the others have done. They do not stop when something may not be achievable, they just try anyway.'

Nakamori put the snacks down and went back to the fishing pole. Nothing was biting either because there was nothing there or he'd scared them all away. He was patient though and the kid didn't seem to want to give up.

Saguru had baited his line again and cast it out over the water. He settled into the chair once more, having dried out a bit in the sun. With his back to Nakamori-ojisan, he slipped the wet shoes and socks off so they could dry as well. It would likely still take some time for the fish to venture out once more following his trip into the water, though the current moving them should provide a change in location without the engine. That could work to their favor. He allowed his mind to drift between the pole and everything that he had come across over the past week, especially that which was contradicting what he had been told, and considering who had told him that, he was fighting to leave the rooted ideas with the man that had imparted them.

Nakamori looked at his watch a few times. People came by in other boats but they stayed far enough away that it shouldn't have bothered the fish. He did end up screaming at a couple of kids that didn't respect that barrier though. Finally he put his hand down, the time showing it was getting late in the afternoon. "Come on kid. Let's go get some lunch."

Saguru looked over and nodded, reeling in one last time. While he had not felt a bit he still determined the trip had been worthwhile. He returned the pole to where he had placed it for the trip there and stood, moving the helm to head them back to the dock once Nakamori-ojisan was set.

Nakamori packed his stuff away and waved his hand once he was sitting where he had been fishing. "Okay kid. Show your stuff." He was mildly looking forward to this. If the kid could drive half as well as he could detect, this was going to be at least entertaining. They could get lunch on the way back once they hit shore.

Saguru gave a sharp nod and began to throttle up, turning the wheel at the same time so they would be at the proper heading at the same time he opened her up to full. As long as it had been since he had done this, he still felt the thrill when the powerful engine set them up on a plane, skimming the water.

"Kami kid!" Nakamori shouted with something like a gruff laughed that the wind took. He held on tight to the side, not daring to move. Oh well. If they wrecked that boat at least it would have been fun. It wasn't like they weren't made to do stuff like this in the first place and, hell, who would want to stop?

Saguru set the course for the docks, slicing through the water and he did jump a few waves along the way before heading to the sheltered area and throttling back.

Nakamori stayed where he was, only getting up when the kid had pulled them in. He went over to him, patting him hard on the back with a smile. "Damn kid, that was better than I thought."

Saguru smiled at him, the difference between Nakamori-ojisan and him despite the similar gesture. "It was exhilarating."

"Yeah it was. Worked up the appetite now away. Lets go get lunch. Damn fish must have sensed how hungry we were and ran off." Nakamori laughed, letting the kid go and getting the rope to pull the boat closer and tie it off.

Saguru smiled to himself at the misspoken words of fish 'running'. He gathered the fishing gear after returning the white hat to the hold and made his way to disembark.

Nakamori saw the kid and paused to throw the hat to him as well when he put it away. Better he wasn't walking around with that. "Come on then. We're not here to clean up." He took the snacks back with him though, tossing the garbage in a nearby can before heading to the car and paused. "I know Kaito-kun is under the age but can you drive a car too?" The kid could drive a boat and he didn't know if he'd ever been taught, illegally or not, to drive a car.

Saguru paused before giving a slight nod. "Although seventeen in England is no longer underage. I simply had not had the time to take the actual test."

Nakamori took the keys out of his pocket and threw it to him. "Well, we're in America now and you're not underage and I'm a licensed driver."

Saguru caught the keys and looked at him a moment before nodding. Unlocking the car, he placed the fishing gear in the back first before sliding behind the wheel to start the car. Aside from when it was just him and his mother, or when he was learning to drive, he would customarily ride in the back.

Nakamori got in, putting on his seatbelt. "Now don't go bragging. You were taught and Kaito-kun wasn't, not to mention we were in Japan and in my territory and he was not driving legally."

Saguru shook his head. "You are the first to know I can anyway. I do not believe even he knew I am able to." He looked over after buckling in. "Did you have a place in mind, or shall I just drive until we see something?"

"I'll eat anything. If something looks good to you go ahead and stop. I can't read a thing here."

Saguru nodded and, after adjusting everything, pulled out and headed to the area he and Kaito had landed at and bought supper two nights earlier. The variety would provide options and perhaps he could see if Kiri was nearby and give her something.

Nakamori got out of the car after the kid parked it. "You really do like to grow up, don't you. Stop it. You're mom's legally got you for at least a year." Maybe. He had no idea. Something like that. "Be a kid. I'm driving back. For the record though, you're not bad kid."

Saguru held out the keys but shook his head slightly. "August 29th."

"Doesn't matter." Nakamori walked around the car and pointed towards his face while he walked. "You're a kid. You're a kid that can drive but you're a kid. That's not a bad thing. Kid's can do a lot- you've done a lot. It's not something you want to outgrow, it's something you want to savor while you can."

"And that I have a reason to." Saguru gave a whistle, wondering briefly if Kiri had been sleeping and was still at the house or if she had been awake to follow.

Nakamori put his hand up as a bird came fluttering down, seemingly out of nowhere and right towards the kid. "Kami. The hell." He brushed off the feeling of the sudden 'bird attack'. "Guess you got more from him in such a short time. Don't go sticking any of those winged pooping machines on me."

Saguru nodded. "Kaito has set Kiri up as a guardian. She has… taken the place of the one I had when I went to the station last week." Saguru guided Kiri to his fingers and stroked her feathers. "It is only right that I ensure she is fed as well."

"As long as they let birds in there. I don't know about pets in this place." Nakamori walked with him and shrugged. He could fight for the kid to have it but he couldn't really speak the language here. "I don't think the bird eats what we do." Then again, Nakamori didn't really know what birds ate but something coming out of a place that sold animals multiple times its size didn't seem the right kind of place.

"I believe sesame seeds such as what they use or a small bit of bread will suffice. It is not as though I would feed her pieces of meat like Watson."

"Kay kid. Just don't make the thing sick. I don't want to see what comes out the other end." Nakamori walked up and saw the menu, no idea what any of it said. "And order for me. I don't wanna look stupid."

Saguru shook his head and walked up beside him, speaking the menu out loud as though he were indecisive and voicing the options.

Nakamori listened. He knew most of what the kid was saying and a select few that he didn't. He still wasn't going to trust his English, not in front of someone who fluently spoke it. "Here." He took the money and handed it to the kid. "I want a burger with everything and fries. Get what you want. It's Kudo-kun's money. Spend as much as you can."

Saguru went forward with nodded, taking the money. "One burger with everything, one fish and chips, extra chips. A large ice water with lemon." He looked back while she was placing the order. "What would you like to drink?"

"I don't know. Soda I guess." It was still freaking hot even if they weren't out on the water. He wasn't one for water itself though. He'd never really liked just drinking it. "Unless they have some cold juice drink. Nah, just the soda."

Saguru turned back and added one to the order before paying and getting the change, which he in turn held out to Nakamori-ojisan.

Nakamori took the change and put it in his pocket. He waited with the kid, looking in while they cooked their food. "What'd you get anyway?"

"Fish and chips." Saguru replied.

"Ech. Here I thought Kaito-kun was bad. You shouldn't get more snacks." Then again, the kid hadn't touched many of them. Who was he to argue about what he ate. "Wish we could have actually caught some. The only thing that came out of that water was you."

"More snacks? It is fish and chips. Also, I came out of the water after you shoved me in."

"I know that kid," Nakamori said, leveling his eyes at him. "That was the problem. And what do you mean what do I mean?"

Saguru shook his head and was about to reply when they called out their order so he turned.

Nakamori looked at the food, taking his, and saw the kid got fries with some, what must have been, fried fish. "I thought you said you got chips, not fries." His drink was a bit of a struggled to hold onto but he had big arms. He walked with him, trying to find shade. The food would be hot enough

"This is fish and chips. That is what they are called. With anything else they may be called 'fries' but as it came from England, the proper name stuck with the dish."

Huh. Fries came from England. Nakamori shook his head. That was new but it didn't really interest him. He sat down with the food under a table with and umbrella. "Fine kid. They knew what you were talking about and I'm not arguing."

Saguru settled in and Kiri seemed happy to peck at the seeds the woman had put in a small cup. He added some lemon to the fish, which had the lighter coating of batter so it was easy enough to add before taking a bite.

Nakamori never had whatever kind of burger he was eating. He'd had burgers before but nothing like this one and he had to admit, it was way better than anything he had touched back home. He would never be able to look at burgers the same way again. That, or he had to stop going out to eat fast food so often. The fries were pretty much the same bas back home except they had a ton more salt on them that he had to knock off before he ate them. "Geez kid. I hope all the food around here is this good."

Saguru looked up from his nearly finished lunch. "In a place like this, the competition to get tourists to choose them over the other places is strong. Even smaller places like this need to make sure it is to a certain standard. I agree this business did very well with their food."

Nakamori finished before the kid, taking a napkin and wiping his mouth and hands. "Whatever the hell Kudo-kun brought in didn't taste like this." He didn't know what the difference was but this stuff tasted good. "Next best thing I had next to what you made." Then again, the kid's was the first home-cooked meal he had besides breakfast, and that had been nothing impressive yesterday. It was still the truth though.

"At the very least, the mood was lighter than last time and Hattori had not convinced himself he was dreaming."

Nakamori was through with the kid referencing things he had no idea of. It was frankly annoying and done with intent but Nakamori let it be. The food was good and he didn't really care about raising his confidence anymore or anything. The kid had to do that himself. He drank the rest of his soda and waited for the kid to be finished to before standing up. "Come on then. May as well head back before they all think we fell in and couldn't get out."

Saguru nodded and rose, gathering the remains to toss them. He was glad he had at least put his now dry socks and mostly dry shoes back on.

Nakamori headed back to the car with him, holding his hand out for the keys. He had been serious about driving back. After getting in and, admittedly, having to ask the kid for directions because he had no idea where they were, he drove back to the house.

Ran waited until well after breakfast to go over to Shinichi. "Hey." She said as she leaned over the couch with her elbows on the back of it. "I would like to see more of the island. The house is nice and, despite the added company, shopping was fun but do you think you could show some of 'the sights'?"

Shinichi looked up at her from the book, the angle odd. "Sure, my mom would be better but," he paused, his eyes narrowed. "Let's not." He put the book down and got off the couch. "You should really wait until they have some of the celebrations they have around here but they're usually at night. Do you just want to go out and see the scenery or were you looking to see something more particular?"

"Anything. Both. I thought you could show me around." Ran smiled.

Shinichi smiled back at her. "Why not? We're going to have to walk though." Unfortunately. That sucked. If he didn't hear about Nakamori-keibu taking the boat he probably could have gotten away driving it and bailing it off on Ran if anyone noticed. She wouldn't get in trouble, though she'd probably get a warning if someone did get close enough to wonder if she was allowed to drive. Maybe later. The ocean wasn't all that different from Japan's. He looked down at his clothes. Well, that would be fine. He did look like a kid. "Do you want to go now?"

Ran nodded once and straightened.

Shinichi rubbed his eyes, his focus shifting from close to far, too used to feeling glasses that normally got in his way. Of everything, before he'd even told them about himself, he had to wonder why no one noticed he hadn't been wearing them. They were still handy, so they were close, but until he got back they wouldn't be on his face. There weren't many places within walking distance that would be anything too exciting, and he had to see his dad about getting some money first. "Don't talk to anyone before I get back," he stressed to Ran. He did not want his mom coming along, even if they weren't going far.

"OK." Ran was a bit confused but too happy to care. It had been so hard so far to find a balance. Knowing how to act- wanting to stay close to 'Conan-kun' but feeling like he wasn't comfortable with her anymore now that she knew he was Shinichi. And that, with how he knew she felt about him, even from the very first time she'd talked to 'Conan-kun'-... She nodded to him at the same time she mentally shook her head. She was not going to let it bother her. She would just let things happen and stay close to him no matter what.

Shinichi got more than enough cash from his dad. He had to purposely taken out a lot since there were so many here, and it wasn't like he could give out his card to everyone. He went back to Ran, payment for anything they could want in his pocket. "Hurry up before my mom grabs you. One person isn't enough to cook for everyone and I don't want to know what comes out when your mom helps instead."

Ran didn't bother commenting on that as they headed out the door. As long as his dad knew they were going out... she hoped that Kuroba-san helped with any cooking instead so her parents wouldn't end up in another fight. "Where to?"

"Unfortunately I have some complications at the moment." That barred Shinichi from quite a few of the things he wanted to do. Haibara was sick, or at least she had been yesterday, so it wasn't her that was holding them back. Being the nice guy that he was he shouldn't take advantage of her vulnerability. That hadn't stopped him from seeing if she brought any of her work with her. He hadn't found anything. She'd never let up knowing one of them was in the area. "Let's just go."

Ran shook her head a bit. No matter what was going on, he'd always go off and do whatever, no matter what anyone told him, even her. "When has that ever stopped you?"

Shinichi turned to her and smiled as he walked. He raised his eyebrow to Ran. "It hasn't stopped me yet but sometimes it's hard to fight the law when it comes to things with height and age. You don't see me driving us around now, do you?"

Ran opened her mouth and closed it. He had. Not that she wanted to remember those times. "I was thinking of you just going off places... not driving there." She smiled back. "You usually took off running."

Shinichi looked from her to ahead of him. It had been a while but most of the bruises had stopped hurting. The other pains were tolerable and he was more or less a kid right now. He was tempted to go to the car, unlock it and hotwire it from wherever they had dropped it off, but he didn't want to walk all the way to the docks either so he did what she suggested and took off. "I can understand before, but you better be able to keep up with me as a kid."

"He-ey." Ran took off after him, having to smile at the antics.

Shinichi kept going. Ran was more than in shape and if anyone was going to stop it was going to be him. He had a direction, somewhere Ran would like and somewhere his height wouldn't hinder them. It was hot and he did end up having to give up. He really had to exercise more. Ever since he stopped soccer practice he'd been able to go less and less distance. Maybe he had to take it up again. He panted, smiling up at her after straightening and walking at a much slower pace. "That doesn't count. I'm still hurt." He wasn't really but it was an excuse to losing to Ran on stamina.

Ran raised an eyebrow at that. He hated admitting he was hurt, usually insisting he was fine even when he wasn't. "Maybe I should carry you for a bit then, if you need a rest already." She smiled as sweetly as she could, waiting for his answer.

Shinichi took a few quicker steps so he was out of her reach. "I didn't say I needed to rest. You just have the advantage right now." He shrugged and turned away, eyeing her from behind him. Maybe they were going to change this race into more of a chase. He wasn't going to let himself be carried.

Ran giggled quietly. That was more like him. She couldn't help liking the still defiant tone, especially since she knew who was really saying it. If he needed it, it would make it easier to get him back then it had been.

Shinichi let his strides slow down as he made sure Ran wasn't going to grab him. It was too hot out to run anyway, even if he was ready to try and beat her with such disadvantages. He wished he had a hat more than the glasses, but there was no way he was paying for something like that in the overpriced gift shop. He shaded his eyes as he kept walking, crossing a few fields instead of taking the sidewalk because it was out of the way. The large white letters above the entrance, even if Ran couldn't read the other signs they had passed, were something he figured even she'd be able to pick up on.

Ran looked up at the large sign before looking down. "So help me, if you find a case here..." She wasn't sure how to continue, torn between a smile and something else. It wasn't like she'd stop him but she didn't want another trip interrupted by some scream.

Shinichi closed one of his eyes and looked at her. "It's not like I plan it and this isn't an amusement park." Not that he'd be allowed on any of the rides if it were. "Besides, it's better if I'm here and something happens than if I'm not. People tend to overlook the obvious."

Ran sighed and shook her head but ended up smiling slightly. "Well, let's go. Just let me know before you take off." 'If you need to.'

Shinichi walked in the entrance without another word, though he had to hand her the money for admission. He was too short to reach the counter. He hadn't said anything because he wasn't going to make any promises to her he couldn't keep anymore, and he wasn't sure what he'd be thinking about something trivial like that if something did happen. It wouldn't, but who knew. "Don't worry about it Ran." He'd given her a twenty and that's how much admission was, so he just waited for them to walk through. He smiled. The Zoo. Maybe he'd find some fun here himself.

Ran looked around when they entered and stayed right next to him. Being the middle of the week, it wasn't crowded but she couldn't make out the signs enough to trust herself getting separated, not that she'd admit it out loud.

Shinichi didn't remember ever going to the zoo with Ran before. It wasn't his favorite place and he didn't think her dad had ever taken her. He wasn't sure about her mom. His own mom was crazy about certain animals so half the time when they went themselves they were skipping the majority of the exhibits. Conan slowed down near the pond where the flamingos were, wondering if Ran had ever gone with Sonoko or someone else and seen them before. Pink birds weren't exactly his favorite creatures but they were strange enough and interesting in their own way.

Ran looked at the birds. The pink color was amazing in person. "I've only seen these in books. The color is so different from the cranes we saw before. Oh...Fla ma...what was it?" She tried to remember what they were called but couldn't put her finger on it.

"Flamingos. They're American birds but odds are the ones here came from close to the coast of either another Island or somewhere in America. The climate that certain types come from needs to be the same. There are different, lighter colored ones here too. Odds are they're from somewhere else." Shinichi took a few steps closer to take a look at the birds. "The red chemicals already in them are helped along by the food they eat are what give them their color. Those lighter colored ones are likely from Asia or Africa. They don't tend to be as bright as the other type."

Ran gazed at the birds, only then noticing the differences since they were pointed out. She smiled down at him briefly before looking back at the birds. He just couldn't resist going on like that. If it wasn't Holmes, it was something else.

"There are a lot more birds around here." Shinichi could see the cages from here though he'd never been to this zoo before. "Do you want to go see them? I have to guess most of the other birds from here won't actually be from the islands."

"Sure." Ran turned and smiled down. "Especially since I have my own walking guidebook."

Shinichi huffed. "I'm not a guidebook. If you look close you can see the differences. It doesn't take a genius to know that birds from a certain area will be a different color if they just tried to look." He walked towards the cages he had spotted on the left. He did know about birds but there were quite a few he'd never come across in real life and it was interesting.

"But how else could I learn the rest of that stuff you said?" Ran asked, half teasing as they looked at the next group of birds.

Shinichi shrugged. He learned it off of books or the computer. It wasn't as if it were that hard. He walked up to the cages, looking in and seeing mostly common birds, though the zoo had gone for the most eye-catching species they could get. There were more than enough ducks, parrots, and other easily spotted birds. There were a few though that did catch his eye. "You see those in the back, in the water?" Shinichi looked up at her and then when here was pointed to help her see through the cage. "I don't think you've ever seen those before, the black ones swimming. Those are actually swans. The white ones are a lot more popular but there are Hundreds of thousands. They originally came from the Island of Australia."

"Black swans?" Ran looked at them. They did look like swans, or the white ones... well, they were swans, so they should. She shook her head slightly. "I didn't know they came in other colors. They're actually quite pretty too."

"They come in colors of black and white. The white ones are the ones found in Europe and Asia. They're the ones that most zoos carry. There are other ones that that are both black and white that are a different species altogether." Shinichi started walking as he spoke, seeing the peacocks in the cage next to the one they were looking at. That wasn't too shocking since those birds tended to attack other birds. "There's also ones that call out differently instead of their color being different. One bred even went extinct."

Ran followed him. She wasn't sure what to say about that. She knew a lot of species had died out from one thing or another- from homes being destroyed or just being killed off by hunters or predators being introduced that wiped them out.

"Odds are there aren't a lot of zoos that keep them in captivity. This is probably one of the only places we'll be close enough to that you can see them." Shinichi stopped and looked in at the peacocks that were wandering around. "These aren't so rare though they do tend to be the birds that people want to see." The blue colored head and breasted birds weren't' really hard to miss but he didn't see what girls really saw in them.

Ran looked at the bright feathers- plumage, that was the word. "Now, I think I remember. The bright colored ones are the males and the other ones are the females right?"

"Right. The males are the ones that have to win over the females so they have to rely on their colors. To be specific, the males are the ones called peacocks. Females are called peahens." Shinichi looked in but it was clear the zoo kept more males than females even though the males took on several partners. "They may not look it but the males can actually fly with those extensions on their tail feathers, though they don't need them for flight."

Ran watched as one seemed to be flipping its tail around for a few of the 'peahens' and couldn't help think it seemed like Kid. She shook her head a bit at that. "Showing off, really." She turned away as they headed to the next one.

"Hm?" Shinichi turned and looked at Ran as they moved to the next pen, then looked back at the birds. Was she talking about him or them? Head a little down, he followed after her, having to stop and grab the fence to look at the all-too-plain birds that were in the next enclosure, though unlike the others there was no fencing. The wings were probably clipped. "Cool. They have Nene here." Shinichi looked them over for a while. He'd never seen one. He'd come here a few times but the zoo was never a stop and he never saw them in the wild. "Now these come from the islands." They didn't look like much more then geese and he wanted to get a closer look. "They're the state bird but they're endangered. They almost went extinct at one time but, since being protected, there are more than a thousand now."

Ran smiled at his enthusiasm. 'And it isn't Holmes or a case.'

The trees looked native as well as the birds, but it was hard to see them at a distance. There were too many people and he figured getting them thrown out this early wouldn't be the best thing. Shinichi tried to get a better look but they were too far so he walked away, looking back. He'd like to see one closer or one in the wild but right now there were more in captivity than not. The Komodo Dragon next to it wasn't too interesting and he walked slow without stopping, telling Ran it's name and a little about it.

The tigers were a bit more interesting until he really looked at the nameplate in front of it and then went for a closer look. "Huh. It says they're Sumatran tigers. There are almost none of these anywhere. They're endangered too but there are less than a thousand both in captivity and in the wild. A lot of people kill them, and not because they're dangerous, so they're a lot closer to becoming extinct." Shinichi couldn't see many differences between these tigers and the ones he normally saw, though he did notice of the three he was seeing, one was obviously younger than the other two. "They must be a breading pair here." Shinichi looked around before sliding under the post and kneeling down in front of the cage, still a good foot from it so he couldn't be yelled at that he was in any danger as he looked at one of the younger tigers that was near the metal webbing in front of him, prowling around.

Ran looked at the small tiger he was watching then down at him as she leaned on the railing. The two had a lot in common- sleek, powerful, well, when he needed to be, she thought with a smile, could be dangerous but she couldn't help but think how it and Shinichi were both so...

Shinichi looked at the features, trying to identify the differences. The stripes might have been slightly off. He hadn't been up close and personal with any other types of tigers. He could recognize them through description but it wasn't much when the comparisons were so similar. This one was a male, he could tell that. There was a larger, much older male in the back too, growling at something or another that he couldn't see other than the fact that it was tussling with another and the older female was laying in the corner. Shinichi got up, putting his hands in his pocket to resist seeing what the texture of the fur felt like before crawling back through the barricade and dusting the dirt and grass off his knees. He turned his head up to Ran and then over at the sign. "You want to see other big animals or do you want to look at the reptiles?" He didn't know if they had any interesting lizard-family creatures and, if Ran didn't want to look at those kind of things, he was fine skipping them.

Ran shifted a bit. She didn't really want to go to look at snakes or anything and she did like the larger animals but... "We can stop by the reptiles if you want." 'Even if the building's usually dark and creepy.'

Shinichi smiled. He didn't think the creatures were going to creep her out but he had seen bats in zoos before and things like that might scare her. He just needed to see her face before he started walking the other way. "Might as well go this way then. I'm getting hungry and the food stand is over here."

Ran caught up to him and walked beside him. She wanted to take his hand but would he feel awkward? As Shinichi it may have been before- as Conan-kun it hadn't been for her, but had it been for him? "So you have the place memorized?" She said with a smile.

"Of course not," Shinichi said as he turned towards her, walking towards the food as more or less an excuse to avoid the reptile exhibit, even if he wasn't all that hungry. "There are signs. It's not like I know what's across the park or anything."

Ran looked around. "So... that one there?" The sign had an arrow in the direction they were heading but she couldn't figure out what was written on it.

"Yeah. I have no idea what they have though. It's some Hawaiian name." Shinichi could smell the food from here and he had to wonder why they'd put it so close to the more carnivorous animals. He walked up to it with Ran. There wasn't much and he couldn't discern the smell of one thing over the other, which made it kind of off-putting. The menu didn't have anything he really wanted and he counted out thirty and handed it to Ran. "Just say 'Pizza' for me." That was enough for the lady to understand. "My as well get and ice drink too. Order it for yourself but I want the cola one. What do you want?" Shinichi listed off the other items, explaining a few things, like the shaved ice.

A few things sounded interesting but she ended up just taking the easy way and saying 'two' of each before handing over the money he'd passed her.

When she was given the change Shinichi just shook his head. He didn't need it and if Ran wanted to buy something he was sure his dad would be more than happy to pay for it. Just because of that he ended up handing over the rest of the money to her. "Here. Hold on to it. I don't think we'll need it for anything else." He reached his hand up for the shaved ice with his other hand, hating that he had to stand on his tiptoes but he didn't need her to do everything for him.

Ran pocketed the money and took the other...'I-C' as well as the tray with their pizza, nodding and doing her best 'thank you' before turning and walking over to sit in the shade.

Shinichi drank some of the cola shaved ice. He doubted Ran had ever had them often and they weren't really his favorite but it was hot out and he needed something cold. He sat with her under the umbrella, stealing his pizza from her before picking up a piece and biting into it. He put it down and drank some more of his drink. Hot.

Ran laughed to herself as best she could. Two weeks ago, she may have worried or reminded him to be careful. Now it was just funny since it was one of those things that, as they say, he should know better.

Shinichi didn't miss her laugh and he glared back over at herm though he still didn't want to touch the pizza again for a few minutes. "So." He put the drink down instead, poking at the crust before looking up at Ran. "I know it's not perfect but do you like it here? And I mean the island in general, not the zoo." Ran didn't travel a lot. He'd expected her to act more like she had in London.

"It's more laid back but it's more different. And so far, it's been better because-" She stopped and shook her head. "Nope. I'm not jinxing it." She took another bite but kept an eye on him anyway.

Shinichi tilted his gaze, not sure what he was talking about before he decided the food was cool enough and he could eat it. He still looked at her over the table as he ate, wondering when she started believing in jinxes. They were as fake as ghosts and he didn't think he'd ever get her to really stop her believing in those.

Ran finished up, glad they hadn't been interrupted by any yells aside from the girl nearby when the boy tugged her hair and the woman got between them. Nothing life threatening- no murders or attacks. It was definitely better than the previous trips they'd taken, even with the circumstances. After getting the trash together and tossing it, she followed him toward the next animal exhibit.

Shinichi ignored going backwards. He was sure that the only thing over there was the reptiles and, if they missed something, they could head that way on the way out. He completely ignored what was obviously 'kiddy land' and went on, seeing the wild dogs instead. "I know a few zoos have had these. They're endangered as well. I'm sure you've seen hyenas, and they kind look like them, but they're not the same at all. They're sometimes called painted wolves but mostly just wild dogs." Shinichi looked in on the calico'd beasts but they weren't anything new to him.

"I've seen cats with those colors but never dogs." Ran looked at them and smiled. "I guess if you raised one yourself it'd be a tame dog instead of wild?"

"Not anymore than a lion or tiger would." Shinichi looked up at her. "People have tried and been somewhat successful but there isn't any outright way to tame a wild animal. It took many, many years and breeding of docile offspring to domesticate dogs and horses. These wild dogs, even if they could be a candidate and weren't endangered, have a strong bite force more powerful than any dog, and it would be very dangerous to try and keep one as a pet." Shinichi smiled. "Though some people can legally keep tigers as pets in America. It's a very dangerous and often stupid idea."

"Tigers as pets?" Ran was surprised by that. "That's crazy, but what about birds of prey? Aren't they the same?"

Shinichi raised an eyebrow. "The same in what way? You mean like the hawk?" He shrugged. "They're not dangerous and they've been used as what I won't call pets for years. He got lucky with either how tame the one he got happened to be or some strange luck of his own. You have to remember, all wild animals will be wild." He let out a breath and his smile didn't change. "Though America does seem to have quite a few loopholes. I know some people there keep foxes and skunks and the like as pets as well."

"OK, skunks?" Ran shook her head. The thought of what would happen to the house... Her dad's drinking binges made it smell bad enough but a skunk, she'd heard, would be way worse. "That would stink if they sprayed."

"They have them de-scented so they can't spray." Shinichi walked past the wild dogs and onto the lions. He could smell the rhinos from here and it was better to go to the animal that didn't stink, considering he could see both enclosures, each in opposite directions. He could see a lot of backtracking.

Ran shook her head, still thinking it'd be crazy but at least it wouldn't smell. The lions were lazing in the sun and looked content... like large house cats. "The big one looks like Mufasa."

Shinichi scoffed. "Kinda. You get those beige and black colors that real lions have. They did a decent enough job giving the limitations." He noticed her expression though and decided it was better to shut up. All the animals were sleeping anyway so he walked on, having to pass a lot of grass and trees, taking another turn to get to the cheetah's. They'd backtrack a little but it was better than standing still and having Ran glare at him.

Ran hid a smile when he stopped talking and started off again. 'Still hasn't leaned.' She paused at the spotted cats, the patterns on them looked like a leopard. "Leopards right?"

Shinichi looked at her funny. "Usually everyone thinks the spotted ones are cheetahs, even when they're leopards. But no, these are cheetahs. Leopards have spots there are more zeros instead of spots, though they're not in perfect o shapes." He looked at the sleeping, lazy cats. "Most of them are night creatures anyway and I'm sure being in captivity has made the placid, so don't be surprised if a lot of them are sleeping."

"I don't. A day like this, I bet Goro acts the same way in a patch of sunlight."

"He's a domesticated cat. Not to mention being your mom's I'm sure he's used to just prowling around the place. Domesticated cats sleep about eighteen hours a day." It had been a while since he saw that cat, not that he was too anxious to. Ran's mom wasn't any better than his own, for completely different reasons. He went across the other animals, going as far as he could on both ends of the area they were at, ignoring another reptile exhibit, before going back the other way and finding monkey's around the first reptile house. He wasn't above making a comment that one of them reminded him of Hattori.

Ran couldn't keep a small laugh at that in. She was glad they were back to where they could tease each other openly. They were on more equal footing then she'd ever admitted. She bought a few small things in the gift shop before they left. A secondary reason was the bag let her be carrying something so her hands were occupied and she didn't embarrass him by reaching for his hand. "That was fun, and no case this time." That had to be a first.

"I wouldn't mind if there was one." Shinichi put his hands behind his head as they walked back near the oceanfront and he thought of any other places that he knew. "The mind needs stimulus and all that's really happened was that people I know have been in danger- and myself," he added as an afterthought. "There's been no need to really think on anything and the books back at the house haven't been updated in a while so I've read most of them."

"Then we can go to a bookstore and get you a new one... maybe a Sudoku or Karuko."

Shinichi closed one of his eyes. "Too easy and that's not thinking in the way I want to think. The actual reasoning behind those games isn't any more entertaining than if you wanted to train for karate and instead I told you to watch a TV show of someone else doing it." He sighed. "Maybe I can get my dad to show me what he's been writing."

"We could head back then."

"We've only been out for a few hours. Besides, I'm timing something." Shinichi looked around. There really wasn't much on this side of the island besides businesses, the occasional shop or food stand, and the water. Before he could do more than think about seeing if they could find any sea beds and mess with the crabs and whatever there, he was forced to stop, his shoe skidding slightly on the pavement with the suddenness of it, as a call for help by a woman and someone clearly frantic reached his ears. Something stopped him for all of a second and he paused but he didn't even have time to look at Ran before he went off in the direction he'd heard the call come from.

Ran looked down and over, barely catching sight of him as he took off through the crowd. "Shinichi." She'd said it. Just after they left the zoo, she'd said it. 'So much for not jinxing it,' she thought as she took off, trying to keep her eyes on him and make her way around everyone.

Waikiki beach was no small beach. There were a lot of people he had to push passed, trying not to step on anything and having to run around towels and families. He knew where the sound had come from though and would have to thank Kuroba for his quick action that helped with that. The woman he found when he finally reached the noise was being surrounded by a few other worried passers-by but she was on her knees and no longer screaming. Instead it had turned into crying. He went in front of her and touched her arm, shaking her a little. "What happened? What's wrong?"

She was crying. She couldn't help it. She couldn't see or speak and several people had already asked her what was wrong. If she could breath in enough air to get the words out she would. She could feel her chest not able to get it in enough and she was so scared of the water that she was shaking, while at the same time wanting to go in it. With her hand she pointed toward it, not able to see more than fuzz around her and hoping she could get someone to notice- to help. "My- My- da- it- ter." She repeated it a few times, sensing movement around her and someone touching her back, trying to get her to calm down, but the more they tried, the more she didn't want to, and the harder it was to talk.

Shinichi had no idea what had happened but he got the gist of it. He just wished he knew what exactly he was looking for. A girl in the water, likely in trouble, was enough. "Quick! Go get a lifeguard and tell them that this lady's daughter is in trouble somewhere in the water! See if she can give them a description!" Shinichi looked at the older teens next to him and order it at them in English, not caring what they'd think of his accent before he went into the water, realizing quickly that fighting the waves here was going to be hard with his smaller body but it wasn't like he knew where to look. The most he was able to do was take off his shoes before he got too deep so he wouldn't be hindered down any more than he was.

Ran was really confused when she reached the group of people and Shinichi said something fast in English before taking off for the water. Ran couldn't see anything but one of the other teens knelt beside the woman and started talking in English so she had to guess that she was alright. She raced after Shinichi, kicking her sandals off before reaching the water. "What's happening?" She tried calling to him.

Shinichi barely heard Ran and stopped for all of a second. She was close enough. "They're a girl in the water somewhere and I think she's in trouble!" He dove under, knowing it was a better way to fight the current. The clearer water made seeing easier but it was only for a foot or two. He came up only for air, trying to get further out and asking those around to help look for a missing girl. He had no description to give them and less time to explain anything if she was somewhere under the water.

Ran flashed to Ayumi-chan for a second before heading into a wave and diving into it. The clear water helped a bit and she looked around, fighting the current for a moment before letting it take her. If a girl was hurt, she'd be moving with it too. She came up for air and scanned before diving again, praying they'd find her.

Shinichi wasn't the one who found her and he had no idea where Ran was when some guy with his girlfriend, in wetsuits, started shouting and waving over to the shore. He could see he was holding a girl and the girl was unconscious. That was all he needed before he swam over to them, instructing the two to hurry up and take her back while looking her over. She was breathing but she was having difficulty with it and he didn't see any clear signs of why while they were in the water so he didn't know what to do but swim back with them and look for Ran.

Ran came up again and saw people pointing toward shore. Seeing Shinichi heading out of the water near a couple of divers she headed back herself. He wouldn't have left if the girl wasn't found but it'd be awhile since she had to go away from them, along the shore, and use the waves to get back to shore.

Once she was out of the water it didn't take long for Shinichi to notice what was wrong and have the guy put her down that instant, sitting her up and holding her under the arms instead. After commandeering someone's towel he had him lay her down, someone getting one of the lifeguards. They'd be able to treat her but she had ugly wounds that were a deep red across her stomach and likely on her back where they traveled, almost in the shape of messy hair. There were still tentacles of the jellyfish that got her and Shinichi told the girlfriend or whatever she was to go find the guy and tell them it was a jellyfish sting. It took her a few seconds to get up and leave while Conan stayed, making sure the girl didn't stop breathing until help arrived.

The lifeguard followed the teen and reached the circle of people around the two children. Dropping the bag beside her, he knelt down. The visible damage and harsh breathing were enough and he opened the bag, going into the pocket for the EpiPen and pulling it out.

Shinichi saw the lifeguard attend to the breathing difficulties so he went into his bag while the man couldn't do anything about it, taking out small bottle of vinegar that was in there to treat these stings. He also grabbed a pair of gloves, opening the bottle and pouring it over the girl's side. She didn't look much more than a few years older than he did and this was going to scar. Hopefully he could at least stop further pain while the lifeguard saved her life.

He looked down and was surprised when the boy started using the vinegar on the stings but her breathing came first and he couldn't stop him. 'Lucky he grabbed the right one.' Her breathing eased at the same time an ambulance pulled up and the EMTs ran toward him.

Shinichi was careful, making sure to not re-sting the girl as he removed some of the clear tentacles and poured more vinegar over the area. He closed the bottle and took of the gloves, throwing them in the bag and, not sure what to do with the three he'd gotten off of her, leaving the tentacles on the edge of the towel where they could be seen.

As soon as she was being taken away, he looked at the boy. "Aren't you going with her?"

Shinichi raised and eyebrow and pointed to himself. "Me?" He didn't think her obviously American features mixed with his Japanese ones but maybe he thought he was her brother or something. "No, I'm here with my sister. That's not her." And where the heck was Ran? She had to at least be close by, though he had no idea how to explain away the fact that he'd be the one talking for her if this resulted in a conversation.

"You should learn not to go messing in medical bags. You were lucky you grabbed the right thing or you could have hurt her-"


Shinichi smiled and looked at Ran, pointing to her. "That's my sister. Our dad told us that vinegar is good for when jelly fish sting and to be careful." He touched the bottle. "And this stuff smells like that icky stuff in the kitchen dad said to use."

He glanced at the 'sister', more like 'knock out'. The girl had to be 10 years older than the boy as she came over and dropped to her knee beside him, touching his shoulder but trying to catch her breath. "Hey, you OK, miss?" He reached out to touch her arm and smiled at her. "You little brother's pretty smart."

Shinichi turned and smiled at Ran. "Hey sis. Want me to translate?"

Ran looked over at the lifeguard and back at Shinichi. He looked more than OK and that meant the girl had to be safe too, considering the crowd dispersing had let her see him. She nodded.

"He's asking if you're okay." Shinichi laughed. "And he's calling me your smart little brother. I'm sure you know how to say your fine. I can translate if you want to tell him anything else." And it has to go through me first. Shinichi saw how the man was looking at her.

Ran smiled and looked back at him. "I'm OK. Thank you." She paused a moment, hoping it was right before looking sideways at Shinichi. "He es."

He grinned. 'Cute accent.' "Here. I'll help you up."

Shinichi stood in front of her and him. "It's fine. We have to go home. Dad's waiting for us." Shinichi turned and grabbed her hand. "Let's go. Ignore him."

Ran stood, breathing normally and squeezing his hand a bit. "We need our shoes."

"Hey, when you come back, look me up. Tony's my name and I'm at post seven." He stuck a thumb over his shoulder as he reached out for her free hand.

Shinichi smiled and reached up to take his hand instead, shaking it. "It's nice meeting a lifeguard. I never have before." He turned to Ran, the smile still there before turning back to 'Tony'. "My sis is always looking for a sparing partner. Maybe we'll come here. I'm sure a nice lifeguard like you would help her. She can't really hold back but a 'black belt' isn't that hard to get, is it? I'm sure you can stand up to her."

"Black belt?" Tony looked at the sister again. "Le Femine Nikita huh?" She looked at him and down at the boy again. 'So, kid's got her ear...' He crouched down again, still holding the boy's hand. "Hey, she doesn't have any teenage guy friends right?"

Shinichi nodded. "Three." Technically that wasn't a lie. He wasn't including himself. He lowered his voice, his eyes dark. "She has a boyfriend. Don't try anything again, Tony at station seven"

He huffed and let go but saw her eyes on him. If she had a boyfriend, why was she looking at him? He brushed his fingers through his hair so the boy couldn't see when he winked at her. "Maybe without the bro next time."

"Ran, warn him." Shinichi was mad now and insulted that the guy thought he couldn't hear him when already made the situation clear. "Warn him but don't actually hurt him."

"Warn?" Ran asked in a confused tone before it went flat. "What'd he say to you?"

Shinichi turned his glare to her. In the end he just walked away then. Fine, you know what, have her. He turned back to 'Tony'. "She's never been to this beach before. Maybe you should show her around." Ran didn't trust him and if she wanted to just stand there she may as well get that look around she walked. He walked off, letting him have that 'without the little brother' situation he wanted.