Feb 21, 2011

Chapter 36

Chapter 36
Killing isn’t Easy
*Okay, longest chapter out. I seem to be writing longer and longer chapters each time. I just sit down at the computer for forty five minutes, then realize there's already six pages. It takes me so long to post chapters because I have to study for mathcounts. As for a disclaimer, I am going to point out that it should be quite obvious that nobody on this site owns DC, but I do own Ryuu and Viura and whatever OCs I think of next. If you want to borrow them though, just ask me and tell me what you want them for. I'm going to draw a picture of Ryuu and post it on deviantart soon, but unfortunately, my best drawings of him all seem to be on my tests, which means I can't post them and color them in. *sigh* I really want to show everybody the adorable ten year old I see in my head. Please review after reading! And huge thanks to my beta reader, LostintheDreams, who corrects all of my grammar, plot, and spelling mistakes! Huge thanks to all reviewers, favoriters, alerters, etc. Anyways, onto Chapter 36!*
"Shit!" cried Jodie-sensei as the car reached a traffic jam. There had been an accident on the road they were on, and a detour would cost them at least five minutes, even traveling ninety miles per hour. She, Shuuichi, and James would have to stay on the car, as they would look suspicious if they were seen running away from the accident, so she had to resort to putting the teenager's lives in danger. "Kids, I know this is dangerous, but please run to Ekoda High School from here, we won't be able to make it in time driving. Hattori-kun, I trust you know how to use this?"
She handed him a semi-automatic handgun; a small, black weapon that Heiji took, examining it with his eyes. "How many shots can I take?" He looked professional and composed as he tested the safety and pretended to aim the gun at the seat in front of him, feeling the weight. His eyes seemed to have a strange cold glint as he stared at the barrel.
"The magazine holds six," she answered, taking an extra clip of bullets out of her pocket. "Use these just in case. You have to hurry, I'm not sure about how many lives are in danger."
All three of them nodded, and exited the car. "Ekoda's over this way!" directed Heiji, sprinting forward, with Ran and Kazuha following. Good thing he had been looking at the map in the car.
Ran, are you sure about this? asked Shinichi. This could be very dangerous. Kuroba seems as impulsive as Hattori, it'll be no wonder if he's dead by now!
I'm prepared. It would be sad if I took karate since I was in elementary and couldn't fight, wouldn't it? She clenched her fists, proving her point. And Hattori-kun has a gun, so we'll be protected. She didn't mention how queasy the gun made her feel.
I don't want anybody else joining me. One life lost to this cause is bad enough. Shinichi spent a lot of his time sulking inside her head when he thought she wasn't paying attention or he wanted to make sure she knew exactly how dangerous something was.
One life is enough… thought Ran, tears forming in her eyes, thinking the thought she'd never want Shinichi to hear. That she would never let him hear if she could help it.
You okay?
Just something in my eye, she explained, lying through her teeth.
Kaito lay on the ground, panting heavily as blood streamed out of his wounds. His opponent now held the gun in his hands, and Kaito no longer had the strength to fight. He knew that he would probably die, even without a bullet through his head; the world was already spinning around him and black was closing in around the edges of his vision.
The man smiled, his face blurred, and then aimed the gun at his head. "Say your prayers, boy." He heard the sound of a gun being cocked, and a small chuckle.
Kaito closed his eyes, unwilling to see the last moment of his life.
Ran charged Calvados with fury, as Shinichi's words fueled her with fighting spirit. Nobody else was going to die if she could help it. She managed to knock the gun out his hands; a surprised look appeared on his face as he turned to his sudden attacker.
He dodged her powerful kick, and ducked down to the ground. It took him less than a second to process what was happening. He pulled a knife out of a hidden sheath on the back of his right leg, and then crouched down to lift up Kaito and pressed the blade to the boy's neck. Kaito didn't seem aware of what was going on, he just stayed limp in the man's arms.
"If you don't want me to slit his throat, I suggest stop fighting. And the boy behind her, put down that gun," he noted. Hattori had been aiming Calvados, but he knew it was too risky to shoot now. Even if he did, there was a high chance he would hit Kaito. Calvados took this to his advantage, and pressed the knife threateningly into Kaito's throat, showing that he wasn't going to hesitate if he had to kill him. Tiny beads of blood were forming around the blade.
"You'll have to let me escape. Back away, and don't you dare follow me. Make any sudden moves, and I'll send him to the devil," he commanded. Ran could hardly take in this sudden turning of the tables. Kaito's pale face deeply contrasted with the dark stains of red spread out all over his body. The boy was like a doll, only staying up because of Calvados's strong hold around his waist. It was clear that his assailant could do nothing without causing the death of her friend. She lowered her fists. As far as Heiji, Ran, and Kazuha could see, there was no possible way to win this battle. Heiji bowed his head in defeat. What else could be done?
"Let him go please," begged Ran, tears forming in her eyes. No more death, she thought. "We won't attack you, we promise." She knew if the man didn't release Kaito now, he would kill him later as he made his getaway. Kaito would die before that if he didn't get immediate medical attention. Please let him go! Please!
"I'm not that stupid, girl." He chuckled to himself, overfilled with the sense of superiority- the knowledge that he was the victor. "I'm not going to let my hostage go when you can shoot me once I have my back turned. I've done this enough times before to know all the tricks. Tears and begging won't work."
Shinichi, what do I do? Kazuha was shaking beside her, obviously as filled with fear as Ran was. Ran was staring at the ground, not wanting to see Kaito's beat-up face, and Calvados's smirk. She knew if she looked back up, the horror would be confirmed.
You have no choice but to knock that knife out of his hands. He sounded scared and uncertain, but Ran had known that it was the only thing she could do, she just tried to convince herself it wasn't true. Shinichi's thoughts made it an absolute reality. She looked up again.
Shinichi, I'm not sure if I can do it… she stuttered, hesitating as she saw Kaito, bleeding out, blood staining Calvados's hands. The grass beneath him was painted red, and it shook her even more.
He's going to die if we don't get him help immediately! He came knowing he might get killed. It's your only shot Ran. If you're going to do it, do it now! His words gave Ran the determination she needed. She nodded, and let her instincts take over.
Ran let out a roar, and ran towards Calvados.
"Just a little bit more, Ai-kun!" encouraged Ryuu, as Ai attempted to unlock his handcuffs with a bit of wire she had found on the ground.
"I think I've got it!" She twisted the wire further into the pinprick lock, and they both breathed a sigh of relief as the heard the rewarding clank when they fell to the ground. Ryuu smiled broadly, happy to be free of the restraints.
"You can't believe how good this feels!" he exclaimed, stretching out his sore wrists, then took the wire from her hands. "Now it's my turn." He stood on his knees precariously, seeing as his legs were still tied, and set to work releasing Ai from her shackles in mere minutes, having learned how to pick handcuffs from his father. He hoped he would get to see his father again.
They both untied the ropes on their feet, and silently stretched out their cramped limbs. Now they had a chance of surviving. "The only way to escape is that window." Ai pointed to the small window in the top corner of the room. It was too far out of their reach, and there was no furniture in the small cabin.
Ryuu hopped up and tried to get a hold on the window sill, but he slid down instantly, missing it by a good foot and a half. "I can't get up, and I'm six inches taller than you. Do you think if I lifted you then you could get out the window?"
"But then you wouldn't be able to get out, Ryuu-kun," said Ai, not liking what he was suggesting.
"Policemen sacrifice themselves in the line of duty when they have to." He shrugged his shoulders casually, but Ai could see the fear in his ten year old eyes. If she took his offer, then that would be another life she had taken away, besides he was not old enough to die yet. He was not a policeman.
When did I start to feel sorry for others? she asked herself, remembering her dark past. I've always lived emotionlessly, apathetically, like a rock. But now, everything's changed. Why? Everything had been a little easier before her sister had died. She hadn't had to deal with a whirlwind of different emotions. She had felt anger, sorrow, guilt, jealousy, and happiness back then- but only for herself. Now she found herself being angry, feeling sad, feeling hatred, and feeling happiness for others, something she had never even done for Akemi. As much as she loved her sister, she had treated her more like a prized possession she wanted to keep than a family member. Being Haibara Ai taught her how to care for people, and she knew she was going to protect this boy.
"I'm not going to let you commit suicide. We're both staying. Somebody will come to get us and the other kids." She said this with determination, trying to convince herself as well, knowing it was highly unlikely that anybody would come. "We just need to think of something to take up time. There's still over twelve hours before the cabin blows up."
"I never really got to hear about the things you like to do, Ai-kun. And I don't know a thing about your family either. Can you tell me about them?" he asked curiously, starting what would be a very long conversation.
Over the next couple of hours, they started talking about the details of their daily lives. Ai learned that Ryuu loved dragons, his favorite color was a vivid green, just like his eyes, he liked eating salmon sashimi, and that he wanted to become part of the bomb squad when he became a police officer. She told him about things she didn't even realize until that moment. That she liked the color blue, not an icy one, but a warm, ocean blue, that she loved the feel of the cool mountain air around her, and that when she grew up, she wanted to help people with her knowledge. Not like last time, she almost said. Without her conscious knowledge, she almost told him about everything, about her sister, and the Organization, but she just managed to hold back.
"You go to Teitan Elementary School?" she remarked, surprised. She had never seen him before, it was strange that they went to the same school.
"Yeah, I'm in class 4-A, Kiyomizu-sensei's class. She's really strict though, it's not much fun being in her class. You better hope you don't get her once you're in the fourth grade." He smiled at her, and she felt safe, even though they were in a cabin rigged with bombs and smelling of gasoline.
"Do you live close to the school?" Ai asked him. They were both leaning on the wall as they talked, staring into each other's eyes. His green irises were light and happy again, and it made her think of springtime.
"I can walk there in ten minutes, but my dad always insists on driving me. It's kind of embarrassing to be driven to school in a cruiser every day." Now that she thought about it, she had seen a police car around the school a couple of times. She had always assumed there was trouble or that it was part of the patrol car's daily route.
"Is there anybody there?" asked a voice from outside, breaking into their conversation. Ai was annoyed for a second until she realized that it was probably help. Ryuu stood up immediately, and started yelling.
"We're in here!" called Ryuu and Ai, not daring to bang on the door in case it set off the explosion. They heard loud footsteps approaching them quickly.
"Tsk, the door is locked." They heard the voice say as the door shook a little, and the deep baritones told them it was a man. "I'm going to knock it down, okay kids?" They realized that that would be a fatal mistake. They could hear his footsteps getting faster and harder as he charged towards the door. Ai could already see the flames and smell the smoke, and she could hear Ryuu's tortured screams in her mind.
Calvados lifted the knife off of Kaito's throat in self-defense as Ran aimed a fierce kick towards his head. Kaito fell to the ground, not moving a muscle.
Get him away from Kuroba! Give Hattori and Tooyama space so they can help him! commanded Shinichi. Ran felt like a soldier taking orders from a higher-up, he knew exactly what to do when she didn't. It was a such a relief that she had him.
You got it! She had to fight for every inch, and Calvados was violently thrusting his knife, trying to stab her. He was moving fast; she couldn't hit the knife out of his hand, but years of experience and training made it easy to avoid any attack he tried. It was almost like she was teasing him.
Duck, whirl, kick, punch! called Shinichi. Ran followed his instructions, and Calvados was finally far enough from Kaito for Heiji and Kazuha to help him.
"Mouri!" yelled Heiji. "Catch this!" He threw the gun, and she skillfully caught it in the middle of a revolution. She put her hand on the trigger, and then realized she had never held a gun before.
Shinichi! How do I use this thing? She had absolutely no idea how to fire the gun. Calvados was now charging her with his knife, seeing her moment of weakness. She was not prepared to use any karate, the only thing she'd have time for was to fire the gun.
First use a proper stance, said Shinichi in a dead set planted her feet on the ground quickly and bent her knees as if she was about to launch a kick. Next, aim the gun. She closed her right eye and looked at the quickly approaching Calvados with her left eye, feeling unusually calm. Everything moved in slow motion around her, and she didn't even need to hear Shinichi's next instruction to know what to do. Release the safety and shoot! There was a flash of light and smoke. Calvados collapsed onto the ground, blood spilling out from a hole in his chest.
He was dead. The serenity that had taken over only moments before disappeared, and she could feel the adrenaline and the blood pumping through her veins. She stared emotionlessly at the body, until her mind pieced together the fact that she had killed him. Her face became a mask of fear. She was a murderer. Her hands clenched tighter around the gun, in an attempt to keep herself together. She felt disgusted holding the weapon, but she couldn't let go.
Heiji and Kazuha were frozen, kneeling next to Kaito, shocked at the sudden death. Kazuha wore the same face as Ran, and her mouth gaped open. Heiji was a little bit more calm, but even though he had handed her the gun and partially expected this, he couldn't hide the surprise on his face. He got up and walked over to Ran, knowing that she needed the comfort. "Good job, Mouri. If you didn't shoot him, he would have killed you."
Ran couldn't answer, staring petrified at Calvados's unmoving body. She had just killed somebody. She had just ended somebody's life. Wasn't that what she was trying to prevent? She finally dropped the gun, and it clattered onto the ground. She slumped onto her knees, eyes unseeing. Because of me, because of me, because of me! Her mind cried, and it was the only thing she could hear.
Ran, Ran! Are you okay? yelled Shinichi. Ran, answer me please! He broke through her shield, and she felt her mind face towards him.
Shinichi… she whimpered pitifully. I killed him. I murdered him. How could I have? I shot him! She shouted the last sentence out loud. She was breathing heavily, and she could hardly hold herself up. I killed him. He's dead because of me!
I can't say I know how you feel right now, but think of it this way. He was about to kill Kuroba, he was probably the shooter that was after Nakamori, and he just tried to stab you. You killed him to save lives. In that sense, this is justified. Even Shinichi's comforting words couldn't ease her guilt. They heard the squealing of car tires, and a thump.
"We're here," said Jodie-sensei, slamming the van door shut. Ran did not see her, as she refused to look up, but she heard her gasp. "What happened?"
Heiji quickly explained the situation to her, and they agreed on something that Ran didn't hear. "Shuu, get the first aid kit quickly! James, please call a hospital, and make sure they understand that nobody can know who this boy is." They did not protest, even though her orders to James were strange.
"Camel's found where the kids are," Shuuichi announced, bringing the First Aid box and binding Kaito's wounds. "But it's trickier than he thought it would be. All of the doors are rigged with bombs."
"Can he get them out?" she asked him, as she picked up Kaito with the help of Heiji.
"Luckily, he got to Miyazaki-kun and another hostage, a young girl named Haibara Ai, who were separated from the other kids first and they told him about the bombs. He can't get in through the window, but he managed to break it and toss them a rope. I think they're out." A small sigh of relief was heard all around. If Ai had gotten out, she would definitely know how to help the other kids.
"I called the closest hospital, and my friend is making arrangements. We have to drive him there now." James closed his cell phone. Kaito was placed gently into the car and the rising and falling movement of his chest was hardly visible, but his mouth was moving, forming the name 'Aoko'. "Are you guys coming?" He looked at Ran and Kazuha as he spoke.
"Ran-chan, please get up." Kazuha pulled on her arm. Ran stood up, but she moved like a ragdoll, only making because Kazuha was helping her.
Do you think Kaito-kun will live? she asked Shinichi, hoping fervently that he would. She had killed that man for him, if he died…
"I'm staying here." Akai hopped off of the car. "Somebody has to explain what just happened." Ran caught a glimpse of him running towards the school entrance.
With his voice filled with uncertainty, and a strange seriousness, Shinichi replied. I don't know Ran, I don't know.
*This didn't really fit into the story, but if you're curious about Ryuu's B-day, it's March 21st in honor of his eyes looking like springtime. So, how did you like the chapter? Was it good? Was it too long? (I'm not making them shorter.) Please review, it only takes two seconds! My traffic counter broke again, it says I got zero hits over the past three days, which isn't true because somebody favorited one of my stories. Anybody else have that problem? Chapter 37 is already in stage 'two' which is I've already edited it once after my beta-reader sent it back. I usually go through two or three cycles before I post. Thanks for reading! ~Aeyra*

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