Feb 21, 2011

Chapter 37

Chapter 37
10 Minutes to Detonation
*Hola everybody! I want you all to know that I can't write as much because of several upcoming academic competitions. Oh the joys of being Chinese. My writing time's restricted to weekends (schedule change, probably can't write on weekends either, I'm so sorry! I'll try my hardest! So, don't expect more than one chapter every two weeks, maybe not even. (mathcounts will be over 3/21) Sorry about that part. This is the longest chapter I've written by nearly 500 words. What used to be three chapters is now squeezed into one because I think it's better that way. I put in more Ryuu, because I love(not literally, but you get my point.) the little ten year old boy I see in my head, he's just so cute. I'd love feedback on him! Reviews would also be fantastic! So, um, yeah! I guess that's it, other than the stupid disclaimer I forgot to write for the first thirty chapters. And on that line, FUNimation is planning to remove all Detective Conan videos from YouTube, dubs and subs. Join the petition on http:/ www. gopetition .com/ petition/ (sorry about all the spaces! if i don't do that, it might kill the link!) to stop it. I depend on YouTube for DC, so I need it to stay there. Join me!*
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan. If I did, I probably wouldn't know what to do with it. I mean, seriously, I can't do a chapter a week, it'd kill me. Especially if I had to draw it. I don't get the point in writing this, why would Gosho Aoyama be writing fanfics in his free time? It's clear that nobody on fanfiction owns Detective Conan. This is a fun place to rant about how stupid disclaimers are.
"Camel-ojisan, please let me do it," pleaded Ai, tugging on his jeans. "I don't think Ryuu-kun can, he's already hurt. I'm smaller too, so it'll
be easier for me!" The said 'Ryuu-kun' was balanced precariously on Camel's shoulders, trying to smash the window of the other cabin with a hammer that they had found.
"I'll be fine, Ai-kun," he said, wielding the hammer. His forehead was covered in sweat from effort; the glass had actually been very hard to smash. His spiky, unruly black hair was even messier than before, sticking out in all directions.
He missed the window, and fell forward off his perch, pushing off the building, so that he wouldn't collide with it. It was an almost comical sight that reminded Ai of a TV show she had seen not so long ago. He landed on his stomach, arms stretched out, as he tried to keep himself from getting injured. "Ow, that hurt," he moaned, trying to get back up. His right arm caved under him, and he fell back down. Not so funny.
"See? That's exactly what I'm talking about," pointed out Ai. Ryuu stuck his tongue out at her, and she laughed. She almost felt like slipping into his immaturity, and his happy careless attitude. She envied him, his strength, his courage, and his way of living life to the fullest every day. She wished that she could be like him.
"Miyazaki-kun, are you okay?" Camel leaned down to inspect the boy's arm, then shook his head when he looked at the spreading purple bruise. "I think you sprained it. You'll have to let it rest because we don't have ice right now." He took out a long piece of cloth from his pocket, and made a sling for Ryuu. "That should do for the time being." Ryuu looked he was about to throw a temper tantrum, eyebrows furrowed and mouth in a pouty frown.
"Then I have to do it, right, Camel-ojisan?" Ai was tugging on Camel's arm now. She didn't want Ryuu to try breaking in again. She knew how impulsive and determined he was, so it would be no surprise if he hurt his other arm. She didn't want to see him injured again. "I can get in!"
"There's probably a bomb in there, Ai-kun!" protested Ryuu, fire flickering in his emerald eyes. "You can't take apart a bomb! Let me do it!" Even though Ryuu had successfully disabled the bomb in the other cabin, Ai knew that she could have taken care of the job just as easily. You don't grow up in the Black Organization without learning some useful skills. Ai was actually quite surprised that Ryuu was as good as he was. Most ten year old boys didn't know how to disassemble bombs. But of course, his father was probably able to get him some training with the bomb squad since the boy already seemed to have decided his future.
"I'll just ask you for instructions, okay, Ryuu-kun?" She had taken his place on Camel's shoulders, and swung the hammer at the window, causing it to shatter into thousands of glittering pieces of glass. She instinctively leaned back, not wanting to be hit by the flying shards. Hopefully the kids inside had listened to their instructions when they had warned them about the plan.
"But, Ai-kun-"he protested, as she clambered into the cabin, leaving him with his troubled thoughts. Ai was so much more mature and knowledgeable than a first grader should be, and he was fully aware of that. He had known that she had been holding a lot back about her family during their conversation. He was determined to find out what it was.
"Ai-chan!" cried Ayumi, who was tied to Mitsuhiko and Genta with long, thick cords of rope. It was hard to see their faces in the dark, but Ai could tell they hadn't been beaten like her and Ryuu. A cut above her eye still stung from her fight with the woman, Viura. Those cold, red eyes had scared her to the very core. Red wasn't a natural eye color, and it couldn't just be for fashion. A nagging suspicion in the back of her head told her that Viura wasn't a normal person. Maybe not even human. Don't be ridiculous, Ai! she told herself, relishing in her new name. Of course she's human, just different. But it's not that far a step from making people immortal to making them into something else… The little voice in her head nagged. Never doubt the Black Organization.
She shook her head to clear it set to work on releasing Ayumi to distract herself from thoughts of the menacing woman. However, the job was over much too quickly, so she started on Genta and Mitsuhiko as well.
"Thanks, Ai-chan!" said Mitsuhiko, stretching. "We'll do everybody else; you came to take care of the bomb, right?" Mitsuhiko's words reminded her of her job. She'd been distracted when she should have been getting to work. She could smell the acrid scent of gasoline. Turning to the door, she saw a small flashing light. The bomb.
As she approached, she saw that it was attached to a timer. There was ten minutes left. She instinctively covered the numbers with her hand, not wanting anybody else to see. It would cause panic for sure. But wait, Viura had said that they had hours, and the bomb in her and Ryuu's cabin had had plenty of time left. Why was this one so much shorter? Because this would cause greater panic, she thought. Because this is the one that people would try to save the kids from first.
No, Ai! Concentrate! She forced herself to open up the bomb, and inside was a huge mass of wires that she couldn't even begin to comprehend. She only had very basic knowledge, so this was way beyond her. There wasn't a way she could evacuate all of these kids in time either, since there were over twenty, and Camel could only get one kid out with the rope at a time. Argh, stupid thoughts, shut up!
She took out the small blade in her pocket, fortunately she had convinced Ran to buy it for the camping trip, and looked hesitantly at the bomb. Where should she cut first? She had enough experience to know that one wrong wire was enough to detonate it. She would need help. She would need Ryuu.
She ran back to the window, and shouted. "Ryuu-kun, I need your help!" She heard his reply from outside, but it was faint enough to be lost to the outside winds. In less than half a minute, he had jumped into the room.
"What is it, Ai-kun?" he asked, even though he knew the only reason she'd ask for his help would be the bomb.
"This way," she whispered to him, and then in a louder voice, "Camel, toss in the rope! Kids, he'll pull you out." A rope flew in through the window, and the children started fighting for it.
"One at a time!" scolded Ryuu, and the younger children flinched under his cold stare. "There's enough time for everybody to get out."
"About that, Ryuu-kun," she whispered. She showed him the timer, and his eyes lit up in shock. "Do you think you can take this bomb apart in that amount of time?"
He looked over it, inspecting it with a small flashlight he held in his left hand. "I've seen something like this before when I was searching on the internet, but I'm not sure if I can manage this." He knew that if he let it explode by waiting for the time to run out, at least some people would be saved. If he failed in taking it apart correctly, everybody would die. But the only way that he could have a chance at keeping everybody alive would be to disassemble it. "Hand me the knife." His voice quavered, but there was no doubting the determination in his tone.
He clenched the flashlight in his teeth as he set to work. What had that page said again? Look for the wire that connects to the device that will trigger the explosion. Cut that one first, and then find the part of the bomb that explodes. Cut the wire connecting to that. It was all he could remember. He carefully sliced through a thin yellow wire that was attached to the timer, waiting to die in what had to be a fiery death. When he didn't, he cut the next wire, a thick blue one, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He had gotten the first two steps right at least.
Ai stood tense beside him, trying to keep from shaking with fear. She looked towards the other kids, who were getting out one by one, to safety. Good thing Ryuu-kun's left-handed, she thought gratefully. Otherwise, we'd be dead. He paused, unsure of what to do next.
"What's wrong, Ryuu-kun?" she asked him.
"I don't know what to do now," he whispered, eyes blank, body shaking. "I don't know how to take this apart. I can't remember!" He screamed the last words, causing everybody to turn around and look at him. He pointed his gaze to the ground, not wanting to see anybody's face covered in surprise and doubt.
"Nothing's happening over here," Ai said. "You guys should just continue getting out of here." They listened to her instructions, and shifted their gazes to the window, where freedom awaited them. "Ryuu-kun, are you okay?" Was he crying?
"I don't know what to do, Ai-kun. I don't want anybody to die, but I don't know how to save them. I can't believe that I can't even do this." His springtime-colored eyes were now darker, a forest of night, and filled with desperate pleas. His voice was cracking, and he sounded vulnerable, more like a child than the hero he tried to be. She laid her hand on his shoulder.
"Ryuu-kun, nobody expected you to be able to do this, but you have to do what you have to do." She spoke the words without hesitation. "If you don't take it apart, we'll die, and if you mess up, then at least you tried. So please, Ryuu-kun. Please try your hardest." He wiped his tears, and whispered something she barely caught.
"Thank you, Ai-kun."
It had been several minutes since the bullet had pierced the window, and the whole school was in a panic at the mystery shooter. Hakuba still stood protectively over Aoko, who was unconscious, most likely from shock. He heard someone shout, "I can see people fighting! I think it's Kuroba!"
Impossible! thought Hakuba, as he ran towards the window. However, he could clearly see two figures brawling a couple hundred feet away, and one of them had an uncanny resemblance to Kuroba Kaito. If it was Kuroba Kaito, then he was definitely in more immediate danger than Aoko.
He headed for the door, despite the teacher's protests. They passed over his unhearing ears as he raced through the hallways, trying to get to the school entrance. He started panting. He'd skipped breakfast this morning out of depression, and he was extremely tired. He leaned against the wall, trying to keep from sliding down.
Get moving, Saguru, he commanded himself, starting to run again. Kuroba might be in danger! Besides, I have to ask him why!
His legs refused to cooperate however, and the hallways seemed ten times longer than usual. Why did he have to skip breakfast this morning? His sleepless nights since he had betrayed Kaito made doing something as trivial as eating breakfast in the morning unbearable. It just couldn't distract him from the pain.
When he caught his breath again, he started running, but then he'd have to stop again. This cycle repeated over and over until it felt like eternity. When he finally broke through the doors of the school, the scuffle was over.
There was a tall man, with a black cap over his head leaning over another figure. This figure did not move, and Hakuba knew the worst must have happened. That he was dead.
It wasn't until he got closer until he realized the dead man was not Kuroba, but a tall muscular man. He could see the hole in his chest, obviously caused by a bullet. The black-capped man faced him.
"Who are you?" he asked, with an accusing tone to his voice. His eyes chilled Hakuba, but he answered quickly.
"My name is Hakuba Saguru, I'm a detective." There was a hint of pride in his voice as he said this, hiding his surprise and the sadness inside of him.
"You go to this school?" he questioned, not really paying attention to his introduction. This irritated Hakuba.
"Yeah, I do. What about it?" he answered snidely.
"This man shot at a girl, do you know what happened?" It was an endless rally of questions, and Hakuba felt tired of it already.
"She's fine, the bullet hardly grazed her. Who are you?" he challenged.
The man chuckled, and answered in English. "Need not to know." As Hakuba was from Britain, he easily understood the line. It was a commonly used police term when they didn't want to give out information. But the knowledge only made him angry.
"There's a man dead at your feet, and you won't even tell me who you are!" he screamed. "Answer me, dammit!" His temper now took over, making his blue eyes flare like fire. The other man didn't even flinch.
"You came over to help the boy who was here, didn't you?" Hakuba wondered how he knew that. "That boy's critically wounded, we're not sure if he'll survive. He has several bullet wounds, and was losing blood quickly."
"Kuroba-kun, he's-" Hakuba hadn't been prepared to hear it. Kuroba might die. He's losing blood. He got shot. He might die. He could see it in his head, Kuroba's face, pale and lifeless, his arrogant Kaitou Kid smile turned into a nothing but a thin line. His shirt stained with red, his body unmoving.
"His name's Kuroba? As in the Phantom Thief, Kuroba Kaito?" Interesting, so this man hadn't known who Kaito was. "So that's why Jodie wanted James to keep him secret." He seemed to be talking to himself. "What's your connection to him, Hakuba-kun?"
"I'm his friend- no, I mean rival," he corrected himself. A friend didn't betray a friend. And what had he done? Exactly that.
"You said you were a detective, didn't you? I wouldn't mind some help in my investigation, considering that all of my coworkers just left. You also seem to know the girl that this man had been trying to kill, Nakamori Aoko, and we have no idea why, so maybe you can help clear that up with her. Can I trust you to work with me on this, tantei-san?" His eyes glowed with challenge, so Hakuba was forced to accept.
"I'll do it." Anything to make up for he had done for Kaito. Just make sure you don't die, Kuroba.
The three teenagers sat tensely in the waiting room, their eyes on the bright red light that read 'In Surgery'. They knew that in that room, Kaito was laying on a cold steel table, balancing on the line between life and death. Ran squeezed her fist tight. That guy had better make it, she thought, feeling the circulation to her fingers cut off as she squeezed even tighter, tears starting to go down her face. Otherwise, what did I kill that man for?
Kazuha was hugging Heiji tightly, the fear of their new friend causing her to cry too. Heiji's face was set in stone, hard and emotionless. He didn't want to acknowledge the truth that Kaito was most likely going to die. The doctors had given him blood, but his wounds were still terrible. He would need surgery; the operation was supposedly risky and could easily fail.
The doctors looked shocked at the sight of their patient, who was bleeding to death in front of their eyes. One of them snapped to their senses in time to order in blood and take Kaito to the surgery wing to perform an essential operation. They said that it was probably too late.
"He's lost an extreme amount of blood and some of these bullets are near his vital organs," the nurse informed them as the surgeons started working, they could almost hear the tiny noise of the blade slicing through flesh, working to save a life whose time was about to run out. "I can't guarantee anything." She looked queasy; it was obvious that she didn't want to talk about his chances.
"What was hit?" asked Heiji in a monotone voice, as if he really didn't care. His blue eyes, usually filled with excitement, were as cold and expressionless as Haibara's, giving nothing away.
"One bullet hit his liver, and a couple are lodged in his chest, fortunately none of those hit his heart, but some of them are awfully close to his lungs. He's very lucky they aren't pierced." Ran could remember the woman who was that unfortunate. Miyano Akemi, who died of a punctured lung. The second death that had actually hit her hard- the first murder she had seen after Shinichi's. Even if she wasn't a doctor, she knew that a bullet to the liver was deadly. Death seemed to stalk her.
No more lives lost. The words echoed in Ran's head once more, filling her thought. Nobody else will die. No more death. So what would happen if the doctor came out and announced Kaito had died? Would she fall to pieces, just like she had when Inspector Megure had called her that night, telling her Shinichi had been murdered?
She wondered how Shinichi ever got used to the death around him. The taking of a life for revenge, for anger, for selfish intentions. How could he stand it? She couldn't even handle the thought. She had never really felt sympathetic for others when murders were announced on the news, but now she knew how it felt to have somebody important taken from you like that. One bullet, one thrust of a blade, one dose of poison, and they were gone.
I've never gotten used to it, Ran. He answered her quiet thoughts. It's terrible and it hurts me every time, but I want to have people know the truth. Everybody has the right to know who took away their precious person. I believe in that. It's why I became a detective.
When he was alive, he had never shown the emotion he was speaking of now. His face had always been fearless, proud and arrogant when he let out the answer to his deductions, seemingly treating the murder as a game. He would point at the criminal, and make them confess. He had never seemed depressed by the crime in front of him.
When I started, I wasn't really affected by it. I really did almost think of it as a game, a puzzle I could solve. But as I got older, I started to see more than just the weapon and the method; I saw the feelings behind it. It turned my game into real life, and that's when I realized what being a detective really meant.
She remembered that day before he died, where he had been blabbing on and on about how great being a detective was.
"Once you start, you can't stop!" he said, winking at her. "That's the feeling of being a detective!"
What was the feeling he was talking about? Ran couldn't tell which aspect of being a detective that he had been trying to convey to her that day. The thrill of adrenaline and the pride of knowing he was correct? Or was it that he could bring justice to the deceased? Shinichi was still a mystery to her, a locked box with no key. She imagined that he felt the same way about her from time to time.
You wouldn't even be able to imagine, he chuckled, giving her a moment of respite from her worries. You're like Pandora's Box.
Are you saying it would be a bad thing for me to spill out all of my secrets? Ran asked curiously.
Maybe, maybe not. I just know that I probably shouldn't pry, even if you can't attack me with karate anymore. It was amazing how he could choose the words he knew could comfort her, could almost make her smile in a situation like this. She was so glad that Shinichi was still with her, still her's.
Good point.
The slamming of a door broke into their conversation, and Ran saw a calm-faced surgeon heading towards them. A mask covered his expression, hiding the answer they were all waiting for. She could hardly breathe; hardly hold herself still through the pressure. It was an endless moment, until he finally opened his mouth.
"The operation succeeded," he announced, and they all cheered. However, his face didn't seem happy, and instantly Ran began to worry. "However, his life might still be at risk."
"What?" asked Kazuha, shocked. "But, if the surgery went well, then how is his life still at risk?" Ran was confused as well; she didn't really pay attention at all to the medical explanations Shinichi often gave of cases and Health class didn't cover these types of situations. Shinichi was saying something, but she couldn't hear it over the roar of blood in her head. The need to protect something. Heiji pulled his hat forward, hiding his face. He knew why.
"He was hit in several vital spots. It's a miracle that he survived your drive to the hospital. He's currently on a respirator because his breathing pattern was extremely irregular. We did everything we could, but only luck can help him now." He didn't look them in the eye, didn't want to see the despair in there, didn't want to see the pain.
"Bu-But," started Ran, who was starting to break out into tears. She had killed Calvados to save Kaito, ended his life to save another. How could it be justified if Kaito didn't survive?
Kazuha was wrapped up in Heiji's arms again, trying to find comfort from the news. He held her tight and whispered words of optimism, but she could tell they were forced. Heiji didn't believe that Kaito would live.
"If he's still alive tomorrow morning, you can visit him." His unspoken words could be heard as well. So you can see your friend one last time before he dies.
I'm so sorry, Ran, apologized Shinichi, as if it was his fault.
You shouldn't be sorry. I didn't save him fast enough. If he dies, then I'll have murdered two people. Ran still clung to the last thread of hope, still wishing in her heart, that Kaito would make it.
She felt invisible arms squeeze her tight, giving her warmth and strength, and then the weight vanished much too quickly. Sometimes, all we can do is hope for the best.
*What did you think? Was it a good chapter? Did I miss something? Review, review, review please! I really love them, and they'd only take up five seconds max of your time. Thanks for reading! Hopefully, I can get the chapter up next week, if not, then please wait patiently. Some cool fanfics to read while you're waiting (my absolute favs) are 'I'm Already There' by Becky Tailweaver, which has me cry every time I read it, and I've read it over ten times. 'Relative Truth' by Becky Tailweaver, which is beyond amazing. And last but not least, 'What You're Lost, What Can You Lose?' by LostintheDreams, who happens to be my betareader now. Huge applause for her, and see you hopefully next Sunday!*

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