Feb 21, 2011

Chapter 39

Chapter 39
True Aim
*Kaito lost his memory? Well, yeah, and it doesn't look like he'll be getting it back for a while. Aoko's trying to help him; but he doesn't even remember her! How will this possibly turn out? I got a snow day today! I'm so happy! I finally posted my Ryuu Miyazaki drawing on DeviantArt. The Link is Iluvshadowclaw. Deviantart. com without the spaces, fanfiction killed it the first time... Tell me what you think of my drawing(s). (I posted a Kaitou Kid drawing I drew.) Onto chapter 39! Please review!*
"It seems that he can still remember all of the necessities like how to speak and walk. We call this retrograde, traumatic amnesia," said the doctor, explaining Kaito's condition. "He can't remember anything other than those. I've seen this kind of thing before, and the majority of the patients each regained their memories. The only strange thing is that he doesn't seem to have a brain injury which is what usually causes memory loss. I have to assume that there are other problems at work here, such as stress or pain."
"The majority?" echoed Aoko, an accusing tone in her voice. She had stayed by Kaito's side all morning and afternoon, even if he showed no sign of recognition. There was no way she was leaving him.
"Well, you see, sometimes the patients are too afraid to regain their memories, but they are still able to lead normal lives, so there's nothing keeping him from doing that." He smiled at her, trying to cheer her up, but he didn't know that this was Kaitou Kid. That he would never be able to live a normal life with or without his memory. That if he tried to reenter society, he'd be arrested and locked up for being a thief.
"How can we help him get it back?" asked Heiji, who had stayed with Aoko throughout the day when Ran and Kazuha left for school- 'left' being a lenient term, the more accurate description was that he forced them to go to school. He literally had to shove them all the way out of the hospital. Rubbing his left cheek, he remembered how hard Ran had kicked him when he said he was staying, giving them the pathetic excuse that their grades would drop if they didn't go. He just didn't want the two girls involved in breaking everything to Aoko once she stopped worrying about Kaito enough to ask.
"If you think he has any good memories that might be triggered if he were to visit a place or person that means something to him, then you can try those. But you shouldn't force him to remember, it could damage his psyche even more." Kaito was sitting cross-legged on a chair near them, eyes pointing towards the floor. He had rested during the morning, but was still tired. The doctors had said he'd stay that way for the next week or so. His left arm was wrapped in a cast, and his core was covered in bandages which hid a row of stitches from the surgery.
He looked up at the mention of good memories and then closed his eyes as if trying to recall something, something just on the edge of his conscious mind that he reached for. When they opened again, the light faded.
"Kaito, did you think of something?" asked Aoko, staring intensely at him. He blinked a little, surprised by the force behind her gaze, and then gave a small nod, his messy dark-brown bangs bobbing up and down.
"I'm not sure if this counts as a memory, but I think I remember snow, and skiers. I think I remember seeing you there." He cocked his head to one side, making sure that was all there was of that particular moment that stood out to him. "That's it though."
"I think it was the school field trip to the ski resort," said Aoko, excitement in her voice. "The class had a contest for the best costume and skiing pair. You and I were dressed up as Kaitou Kid and a princess and we won. I never thought I'd win a skiing contest because I didn't know how to ski, but you partnered with me even though Akako was originally your partner. It was nice of you because I knew how much Fujie-kun wanted to be partnered with her, so you traded. You did a flip holding me while we were going down the mountain to impress the judges. Can you remember that part?" She thought about Kaito holding her tight as he jumped, the wind blowing her hair, his cool, arrogant smile as he showed off his skill. His flamboyant white suit, her beautiful dress. His Kaitou Kid outfit had been replaced with a hospital gown, helping create the illusion of a completely different person from that time a couple of months before.
He looked confused for a second and closed his bright blue irises behind tightly sealed eyelids. He blinked them open, smiling a little. "I think I can remember some of it. You were in a dress, right? And I was in a white tux, with a white top hat too…" His tone was so funny, so innocent, that she would have laughed if the situation wasn't so tragic.
"That's right Kaito!" Aoko wanted to hug him tight, but she wasn't sure how he'd receive it. She was afraid of the thought of rejection, even if Kaito didn't seem to know her anymore, and it was only natural for him to be nervous around her. "You were dressed as Kaitou Kid, the internationally wanted, infamous thief!"
"Didn't you say I was him last night?" he asked, looking a little frightened. "Does that mean I'm some sort of criminal?" His eyes were open wide like a child's, trying to learn new things. The doctor looked a little surprised when Kaito said he was Kaitou Kid, but then gave a small chuckle. James had warned him his patient was 'special'.
"I don't think you're a bad guy, Kaito, even if you've done some bad things. We all have at one time or another," Aoko whispered, trying to banish the fear from his eyes. "You were doing it for a good reason too. You were trying to avenge your father who was the previous Kaitou Kid."
"My father," he stuttered out, the puzzled look taking over once more. It made Aoko sad to see that face, covered in such candidness; she would do anything to bring back the real Kaito, her thieving, idiot prankster magician. "My father was a criminal too? Who was he? You mentioned him, and some kind of organization. I want to know more about them."
Their roles had truly been reversed, Aoko now the storyteller and Kaito the listener. It had only been last night when he had told her absolutely everything, but at least she had known parts of it beforehand. Kaito had nothing, not even knowledge of himself. How many times will I have to keep myself from crying? thought Aoko. How many times will I have to go through this in a single day? She had been doing the same routine all afternoon; explaining something to Kaito, watching his face either brighten up in excitement, or dim in disappointment. Each time without fail, she would fall victim to misery.
"Your dad was a world famous magician by the name of Kuroba Toichi. He was the one who taught you magic, and you grew up to love the art. He was killed during magic show when one of his tricks went wrong. At least, it seemed that way. You didn't tell me how he was killed, so I don't know either. Your dad was kind, smart, funny, and a lot of other good things too." Kaito smiled, and then closed his eyes, basking in the memories of days long gone that he could only picture as he relived them the way they were described.
"Why was he a thief?" he pried, wanting more details as if Aoko were reading a book to him. "Do you know why?"
"Sorry Kaito, I have no idea why. Maybe he enjoyed being a Phantom Thief because he loved magic so much. Maybe there was another reason. But I don't know." For a moment Aoko thought she saw Kaito's old pouty face, the one he made when she didn't agree with his requests.
"Go on," he said. "I want to hear about that Organization." She looked around and noticed that Heiji had disappeared as well as the doctor, leaving her and Kaito alone in the small, cold room.
"I'll just tell you like you told me…"
"Is Kuroba-kun any better?" asked Kazuha as she ran into Heiji in the lobby. Her face was flushed red from running almost straight from Mouri Detective Agency where she had stopped with Ran.
"Well, he managed to remember part of a ski trip, but I'm not really sure if he's connecting what he hears to reality. He's treating it more like a fairy tale of some sort." It was what Heiji really thought was happening. What he saw was a boy trying to recollect a story that he had read before, but not really treating it as too important. In a sense, it was true, but some part of him knew the teen was struggling for the life he had known.
"Can somebody please tell me what's going on?" asked a voice from below. Heiji leaned down until he was eye level with Ai who was obviously in a bad mood. He managed to keep himself from jumping back. "I was dragged here without warning from the Detective Office, and all they'll do is worry over that Kuroba-kun."
"You see, while you were gone Kaito was shot by a member from the BO." They had decided that Black Organization sounded too conspicuous, so they shortened it to two letters, something that could stand for anything.
Her mouth widened at the mention of the syndicate, but she managed to keep the rest of her fierce expression intact. "So what happened after that? It's pretty obvious he isn't dead."
"He lost his memory once he woke up after surgery, so we got his girlfriend here so we could try to get him to remember."
Now she was pissed, already in a bad mood when she had been dropped off by Camel and left alone with nothing to do in the office.
"You told somebody else the secret?" If she was her original size, she would have seized Heiji by the collar and shook him until he was half dead. Instead, she was stuck with throwing a temper tantrum. "How dare you, without my permission-" Ran picked up the screaming Ai before she could injure the Osakan teenager who had given into his instincts and was backing away quickly.
"We didn't give away anything, Ai-chan. Last night, the doctor's said that Kaito had just about no chance at recovery, so we wanted to let Aoko-chan see him one last time. However, when we got to her house, I think she might have already known about the BO. She didn't ask who had hurt Kaito, something that I probably would have done if somebody told me Shinichi had just been shot. She knew. When we got to the hospital, he had already woken up. So there's no reason to get mad at anybody, Ai-chan." Ran's eyes were gentle; she had started thinking of herself as Ai's older sister. Not a replacement for Akemi, but somebody who might be able to help the suffering girl in her stead.
Ai stopped struggling, but it didn't stop her temper. "But that means somebody told her, doesn't it? And who is that somebody?"She managed to wriggle out of Ran's tight hold on her waist, and started attacking Heiji with more questions.
"Probably Kuroba himself. I'm not sure to what extent he told her about them though; I doubt he said anything about you or Mouri here. He respects our secrets enough for that." Please don't explode on me! Please don't explode on me! he thought pleadingly as he watched Ai's expression slowly change.
The loud, ringing sound of laughter cut through the air. For a second, Heiji couldn't locate it, but then he saw Ai's wide smile. This girl. He mentally smacked his forehead. The way she changes so much is scary.
"You look so funny when you're like that, Heiji-niichan!"she said in her high-pitched kid voice, as she looked slightly behind her and Heiji could see why she had suddenly changed. Her friends were here.
"Ai-chan!" called Ayumi, followed by Mitsuhiko, Genta, and surprisingly, Ryuu. "Mouri-ojisan you were here at the hospital!" She embraced her in a full-out hug, in which Ai returned with true enthusiasm.
"Hello, Ai-chan, Mitsuhiko-kun, Genta-kun," she acknowledged them, then turned to Ryuu. "Ryuu-kun, why are you here?"
"What, you didn't want me?" he joked, pretending to sound hurt. But his bright happy green eyes betrayed him. "I was going to your house as well and ran into these guys." He ruffled their hair; made easy by the fact that he was half a foot taller than them.
"Your parents actually let you leave the house after that?" she asked, imagining who in the world would let go of their child right after they had been held hostage in a bomb-filled cabin.
"Well, I managed to sneak out." When her expression turned to disapproval, he added, "I left a note on the kitchen table. Hopefully my mom and dad won't kill me when I get back home." He let out nervous laughter as Ai glared at him.
"Who's this, Ai-chan?" asked Kazuha curiously, peering at Ryuu. "A new friend of yours?"
"I'm Miyazaki Ryuu," he answered before Ai opened her mouth. "I met Ai-kun during the weekend camp. It turns out we both go to Teitan Elementary, but I'm her senpai by three years; I'm in fourth grade."
"Speaking of the weekend camp, Haibara," said Heiji, cutting into the pleasant introductions. "We didn't get any details about it from the people who helped rescue you." He had almost said F.B.I. "Can you tell us more about it?" A.K.A. Tell us how they were involved.
Ai couldn't say no in front of her friends or else it would look suspicious. Instead she mouthed the words, 'I'll tell you most of it later' and started into a little kid narrative. "There were two bad guys, the camp counselor and the park ranger. They kidnapped us and put us into a big, dark, scary cabin. Me and Ryuu-kun fought them, but they beat us up and put us in a different room. The women said there were bombs, and then left. Camel-ojisan rescued us, and then Ryuu-kun disassembled the bomb. It was really scary!" Ayumi and the other two, Genta and Mitsuhiko, seemed content with Ai's explanation, but Ryuu's expression showed he was convinced that Ai was holding back the gravity of the situation. This was not her; the real Ai managed to stay calm and in control during the incident, and she was fully aware of the kidnapping bomb scheme, perhaps more than him.
That's not what you sound like, Ai-kun, he thought. You never act like a little kid, only when other people are watching you. Why is that? What are you hiding? Nobody noticed his eyebrows furrowing skeptically as he tried to work out the enigma called Haibara Ai. Even if they did, they would never have guessed that he would find the answer.
A knock came from the door, a loud metallic banging sound. Vermouth knew only one person could behind that knock. "Come in, Viura." With a slight creaking noise, the woman slipped in like a shadow with a devious smile on her face. Vermouth wasn't scared of anything, but this woman would make even the devil himself uncomfortable.
"I suppose you've heard the news already. That those kids managed to escape the cabin." The voice was a seducing hiss, and her red eyes flickered like fire, except there was no trace of warmth in that gaze. It was more like ice, cold, piercing ice. "I'm in a bit of a pinch for not implementing a bomb that couldn't be disrupted. Who would have thought that boy could disassemble bombs?" She grinned, showing her two pointed teeth, much longer and sharper than a normal person's. She'd seen the damage those fangs could do. "You'll drop in a good word for me when you see the boss, right?"
"I doubt you need it," answered Vermouth, hiding her fear behind a long practiced and often used Poker Face. It had been several years since the woman in front of her was created, and each and every time she was frightened by that sadistic smile and those chilling crimson eyes. "After all, he likes you just as much as me." She pulled out a cigarette and lighter to hide her stress, and then took a long drag as Viura considered her words.
"But it's better to play it safe, isn't it? I don't want to get locked up for any amount of time; it was bad enough growing up here." Her eyes were hypnotizing, seeming to spin in endless circles like a serpent's, pulling Vermouth in deeper and deeper…
"Fine, I'll do it!" Vermouth carefully peeled her gaze from the other woman's, making sure she didn't keep looking into those alluring red orbs. Viura snickered, a sound full of malice.
"Good thing you agreed, otherwise I wouldn't be able to assure that nothing would happen to you." She heard the sound of Viura licking her lips, and pulling her forked tongue over her long pointed teeth. "I feel a little more venomous today!" She gave a laugh, and then exited the room.
Vermouth recalled what she knew about Viura; the young, seemingly normal woman. But she knew what was behind that smile. A creation, an attempt to develop a super human, the first of an army they were striving for. So far, Viura's health seemed fine, the tests produced stable results, and her abilities in both intellect and fighting were superb. She would be made a soldier when the time came.
I have a new goal for this Organization, my dear Vermouth, rang the voice of the boss, from nine years ago, right after that damned accident that had changed both of them. We have the money, the power, and the resources to take over this world and make it our own. You have already received the gift of immortality along with me, why don't we build a whole new world where we would rule as king and queen? I have already started a project, where we shall create a super race of humans, combining the best traits of both animals and mortals to create the ultimate beings, ones that shall be our sword, and our shield.
In a way, she hadn't taken him seriously, but five years later, when the first results of the project, Viura, was unveiled, she became afraid. It was the first time that Vermouth had ever admitted that she felt fear not only when looking at their creation, but the power that it could hold if it was left unchecked. Afraid of the boss, afraid of Viura, afraid of the Black Organization. She knew that part of her DNA had been taken to create Viura, as her intelligence was superior to the others founding the experiment, not to mention it would be useful for Viura to look attractive. Whenever she saw her, it was like looking into a mirror, except for Viura's shorter hair and her trademark blood-colored irises.
Her other not-so-human traits came from different animals; the poison fangs from a cobra, the incredibly tough bulletproof skin from the armored rhinoceros, and the speed and stamina of a wild cat. Somewhere along the way, the mix had shown strange side effects like those mysterious red eyes and traces of spots along her back, slight lapses in thinking logically, but not many others. Vermouth thought of her as a snake; luring and seducing her prey and then killing them slowly so she could hear every scream of pain.
Viura was a masterpiece as far as the boss was concerned, beautiful, intelligent, powerful, but her recent failure might affect that reputation. The boss had thought Viura was perfect.
He would be disappointed, but Vermouth was sure that soon enough he would test out Viura again to find her true worth. The countless simulations and daily training Viura went through just couldn't match up to what reality had to offer, but Vermouth was sure that it wouldn't be long before she knew how the world worked.
Vermouth often wished she had been brave enough to stop everything. Tell the boss that immortality was the wrong choice, that his dream of world domination was the wrong choice. Why couldn't the boss see they had created a monster; a true werewolf, with no silver bullet to stop it? Maybe if she had swayed him in those critical moments and told him that she didn't want to live anymore. Maybe if she had crashed the car harder, she could have killed him, instead of volunteering to be the first test subjects for the new drug dubbed 'Pandora' that granted immortality while balancing on the thin line between life and death.
She tiled her head fervently towards the ceiling, hoping that maybe one day it would come. A silver bullet.
Hakuba was, to say the least, irritated. Absolutely out-of-his mind frustrated. He had gotten nowhere in his investigation about the mystery sniper. That man, who he was supposed to have been assisting, had disappeared right after he'd interviewed Aoko; and now, Aoko was 'with her friends' as her father put it. He sounded worried, but he said it was just something that might cheer her up during Kaito's period of absence. That couldn't be the case though; she hadn't shown up for school today.
She had to have gone someplace to see Kaito; it was the only thing he could think of. Maybe somebody had told her that he was injured and she'd rushed off to try to find the hospital. She probably would do that.
He walked down the road which would lead him home. Once a safe haven where he could relax, it was now a cave of nightmares and troubles. His parents wouldn't be home today, his mom was spending the day with her friends, and his dad was at an important impromptu business meeting of which the agenda was 'secret'. At least he'd be alone; it was much better to suffer silently than with people bugging him.
He trudged with heavy footsteps to the kitchen where he prepared a light snack. After a small cup of his favorite tea and an English biscuit that his mom had made a few days ago after he became depressed. She knew he missed the flavors of the United Kingdom, so she had thought it might cheer him up. He bit down on the crunchy, sweet cookie, and let the flavors seep through his mouth. He could taste slight traces of vanilla and some chocolate, but it could only distract him for so long.
He had no homework, due to yesterday's 'incident' as the teacher dubbed it. The school was still trying to sort everything out and convince worried parents that there was no longer any danger. He clambered up to his room and took out his favorite book, The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie. It was torn and beaten up from so many years of use, but he couldn't stand to get rid of it, not even when his dad had offered to buy him a new one. He caressed the battered spine, hoping that reading would banish his troubles. He hopped onto his bed, and turned on the light.
The distraction actually succeeded, as long as he kept his head in the story. He tried to pretend he was Poirot, attempting to stop the murders before they happened, but always too late. It reminded him of his hopeless sprint that afternoon; the one where he had been trying to reach Kaito before he got hurt. He was late, just like Poirot. He was too late to get his life back to the way it had been, too late to win over the girl he loved, and too late to not hate himself for being too damn late in figuring all that out.
His cell phone started vibrating, and he curiously picked it up. "Hello, Hakuba-kun?" said the voice on the other end. His breath caught in his throat as he realized who was calling.
"Aoko-kun?" he nearly screamed into the phone, bolting upright. It took him a couple of seconds to realize that he sounded like a complete idiot.
"Hakuba-kun, can you please come over to Beika Hospital?" she asked in a weak voice. "I think you might be able to help us."
"'Us' meaning you and Kuroba-kun, correct?" He had known she was with Kaito. What he didn't know was what had happened to him after the shooting incident.
"You won't try to turn him in, right?" She was frantic again, sounding desperate.
"Promise," he swore. It was hard enough living with the fact that he had barred Kaito from a normal life; he wasn't going to throw him in prison so soon after he had realized what exposing his identity was doing to everyone he cared about.
"Hakuba-kun, Kaito lost his memory. I think you might be able to help him get it back. Please, please, please come! I don't know who else to ask." She sounded like she was crying, and he heard other voices in the background comforting her. He didn't take the 'lost his memory' too seriously, he was more concerned about Aoko at the moment.
"Who's with you?" he accused, wondering if they were doctors or other people.
"Friends of Kaito. They were taking care of him after-… after you-know-what. Never mind that. Can you come now?" He could imagine her expression. Those deep azure eyes burning with sorrow, tears welling up at the sides, spilling down her crimson face as sobs broke from her throat. So different from the Aoko who had had the Kaito by her side before he was forced away. "Please, Hakuba-kun." With that, she hung up with a loud clack, leaving him shocked with the news.
It was his fault entirely. Nobody would be suffering if it wasn't for his stupid actions. Kaito would still be laughing and playing lighthearted jokes that brought no intentional harm to anybody, Aoko would be right next to him, scolding him and attempting to beat him with a mop, and he'd just sit in his desk, quietly hoping that one day, Aoko would be his.
He was already out the door, wearing a thick leather jacket. It was the beginning of winter, and each day was colder and colder. He took out his cell phone and called a cab that arrived just minutes later.
Maybe I'll be able to make it up this way. Just maybe…
*Can Hakuba help Kaito get his memory back? And how will Ryuu discover Ai's secret? Who or what exactly is Viura? Please review! Chapter 40 shall be up soon! (I'm almost finished.)
Plz plz plz take a look at my drawings! iluvshadowclaw. deviantart. com! See you soon!

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