Feb 21, 2011

Chapter 40

Chapter 40
Why Didn’t You Stay?
*After a long wait, here it is! Chapter 40! *drumroll please!* I had a hard time with the detail here, so my beta-reader had to step in and add some paragraphs. (thank you lostinthedreams!) As always, read and review! Anybody curious on what word I spelled wrong at the school spelling bee? it was 'tariff'. Sad, isn't it? I spelled it t-a-r-i-f. Fail on my part. Anyways, onwards with Chapter 40*

"Shuu, have you been able to find anything out? Shuu?" Jodie spoke urgently into the transceiver, keeping her voice at a whisper. "Shuu, can you hear me?" The other end was dead silent, and she feared the worst. She should never have let him go off and investigate on his own.
"Shut up you pesky woman!" he all but hissed into the phone. "I'm trying to concentrate here!"
She recoiled, but gave back as good as she got. "You idiot! I thought you were dead for a couple of seconds there! You have to reply to me!" There went the secrecy of calling during study hall. All of her students turned around to face her, and she chuckled weakly. "Nothing, just get back to whatever you were doing, please."
She walked out of the classroom where the teenagers' gazes continued to follow her, and leaned against the hard cement wall. A bright streak of sunlight streamed in through the wide open window, making her think of the shooting incident at Ekoda High School just one day before.
"You worry too much for your own good, Jodie." She heard his laughter, and knew he probably wasn't in any kind of dangerous place if he was laughing that hard. She could imagine his cat-eyes twinkling, and his cold, devious smile that held warmth only the people close to him could find. The smile that that had broken her heart so long ago.
"Where are you, Shuu?" she asked, knowing that he probably wasn't investigating the shooting that he was told to. "Nobody's heard from you since yesterday afternoon."
"I'm investigating a murder, one I feel is related." It was almost like she could feel his anger through the phone, feel his need for vengeance. It was obvious which murder he was trying to solve.
"You're at the parking garage where Miyano Akemi was killed, aren't you?" she pried gently, not wanting to infuriate him. A couple of weeks ago when she first mentioned her death, he had thrown an absolute fit and refused to see anybody for the next couple of days, leading his own investigation. He was better now, but it didn't change the way he had felt about Akemi.
"I think I know the man who killed her." His voice was strained as if he were trying hard to maintain his self-control. "I worked under him when I was undercover. His codename is Gin; I never learned his real name, but I would bet ten to one that he doesn't actually use it. He was probably born into the Organization like many others." Jodie remembered the times when Shuuichi had joined the syndicate to help get information to the F.B.I. under the codename 'Rye'. It was then that he fell in love with Akemi, and when her own dreams of being with him were smashed.
"I think I remember Hattori-kun mentioning that name to me. He told me that Gin was the one who fed the famous high school detective, Kudo Shinichi, poison, but how he knows that is beyond me." She remembered how Heiji had confronted her while she was talking with Shuuichi on the phone about Akemi's murder, and the boy knew there was something wrong. He had made her confess everything, with the promise that he would keep it secret. In exchange, he had told her some very useful things about the Organization, including his unusually large knowledge of their members, especially Gin. There were a few that had never completely trusted Shuu, Gin being one of them, so his knowledge was valuable.
"I thought that boy was killed by them. The crime was too clean," he snickered, his voice level again. "They've taken too many lives for my liking. I would go and attack them now, but HQ says to wait."
"It would be a stupid move, Shuu," said Jodie defensively, nearly screaming into the phone. "We hardly have an army of more than twenty people and you want to take on a huge, wealthy syndicate with trained snipers and murderers? It would be suicide!"
"What would be suicide, Jodie-sensei?" Sonoko poked her head out of the door, looking nervous as she saw Jodie's stern, cold expression.
"Nothing, Suzuki-san." She ended the call, hearing a small protest from Shuuichi before she closed her cell phone. "Is study hall over already?"
"Yeah, you're supposed to be starting English right now." Sonoko stared warily at Jodie, who still looked like she was going explode at any moment.
"I'm coming."
Hakuba walked in, dressed in a thin leather jacket despite the biting cold. He had come in a taxi, and for some reason, he had felt somebody had followed him, but he shook it off. Who would possibly do that?
"Hakuba-kun!" cried Aoko, as she intercepted him at the entrance of the hospital. Aoko 's voice sounded with excitable energy. Hakuba recognized it as desperation brought to an unbearable level. "Hakuba-kun, you're here!"
He didn't know how to respond to her greeting; the last time she had talked to him in person she was just about spitting poison at him. It made him feel so guilty to have caused all of this pain; how should he look? He settled on an embarrassed frown, a blush spreading through his cheeks even though he shunned those emotions. "Hello, Aoko-kun."
She grabbed his arm without responding and started pulling him through the hallways, causing him to fight and protest. "Kaito's over here. Run faster you baka!" He looked into her angry, blue orbs, and decided not to rebel, in case she found a mop. She had never taken one to him before, but Hakuba was sure that he'd made her angry enough that it wouldn't be unusual for her to try.
They didn't notice the tall, skinny, almost model-like young woman leaning against the wall, smiling as her eyes flickered a deep, crimson red. As red as blood.
This mission had been too easy for her. Snake treated it like it was so difficult, saying that even he, the 'legendary' tracker, couldn't even do it. While in truth, locating Kuroba Kaito hadn't even taken half a day. After being lightly scolded by the boss, she was given a mission by Snake to find Kaitou Kid after Calvados's failure. It was a simple job; all she had needed was information, found using her amazing intellect and basic interrogation skills.
Taking a computer, she had searched up all the news about Kuroba Kaito, zooming through them and picking out the details she was looking for. Childhood friends, school, records, anything that might be important. She had an incredible memory, and she didn't forget a single thing.
She had gone to the Nakamori household disguised as a classmate of Nakamori Aoko, who she had discovered was Kaito's closest friend. Inspector Nakamori had told her that Aoko was with her friends, but from the reportsViura had found, there was proof that the Kaitou Kid had been shot several times by Calvados, which meant the girl was probably visiting him at the hospital.
Finding the hospital seemed much too difficult, as there were several scattered in just the local area. Even she couldn't hack through their systems, not to mention his name might not even be in their databases. Instead, she tracked down his rival, Hakuba Saguru and waited until he decided to make a move. A rival of Kid, he might be, but that didn't mean that there wasn't a good chance he would be notified that the other boy was in the hospital and told of Kaito's location.
She was correct, and she had followed the taxi, running to keep perfect pace with the vehicle. Even the swift pace of the car didn't tire her out. How were jobs like this hard at all? Snake was either a complete idiot, or he just wasn't trying hard enough, or both. This was child's play.
Getting back on the boss's good side was easy as well. Her punishment for failing to get rid of Miyazaki Ryuu was to work under Snake and fulfill his orders until he commanded otherwise. Snake's orders were to find the Kaitou Kid, and bring him back to him so he could kill the teen that had eluded him for so long. Viura had a different plan in mind, however. All thoughts were forced into standstill as she remembered her own childhood.
Why don't I keep this little thing hidden for a bit? After all, it's not like it's urgent, she thought. She recalled Vermouth's famous words, the one that had she had shared with her when she was a little girl, "A secret makes a woman woman! Remember that Viura."
It was a long time ago that Vermouth actually treated her with kindness rather than forced respect. It was that time when she was considered almost a daughter to the famous actress. The third one, but she got all the attention because the other two weren't even aware of Vermouth being their mother. That was until she had accidently killed somebody when she bit a member when she got mad. It wasn't her fault that Tequila had hit her after she missed the bull's-eye with her gun! Everything had happened so quickly after that.
She lost her mother figure, and she was locked up for the majority of her childhood. She could hear the talk outside her cell, 'Monster', 'Dangerous', 'Nightmare'. The words made her shiver with fright. Her only comfort was the Boss, who referred to himself as 'Cognac'. He would take her out occasionally and play with her, talk to her, train with her. He was like her father, but even then she had still missed Vermouth.
"Daddy, why won't Mommy come and see me? Why Daddy? Why?" cried the little girl, tears streaming down her face. "I'm trying to be a good girl, so why won't she come?"
"Mommy is busy, my sweet Viura. I'll try to convince her to come, but I can't make promises." He hugged her gently, and wiped away her tears. "But Daddy's here for you. Try to smile for me."
She sniffled and smiled; but nothing could prevent her from thinking about Vermouth. Mommy…
What was she getting so caught up in her past for? There was nothing worth mentioning there. All that mattered was the present and the future, where she had been promised great things. She shook off the thoughts of her wretched childhood, not wanting to remember. She had been so stupid when she was a little girl, but she had grown up and matured quickly too. It only took eight years for her to develop into an adult. When she was one year old, she had been the size of a first grader. In the same year, she killed Tequila. She had murdered so many people since then. Recalling the screams of pain and desperate pleading, she laughed, being raised on the pleasure of being a hunter.
Chuckling, she treaded silently towards the exit, a huge smile on her face. Most people would probably think she was overjoyed after hearing good news about whatever family member or friend that had been hospitalized, but they didn't see what was under that human mask. A monster. A nightmare. She had become just what the Organization had called her all those years ago.
She would wait until the time was right to turn in the Kaitou Kid. Until then, Snake would just have to deal with his impatience.
"Kuroba-kun, what happened to you?" Hakuba had known that Kaito had been injured badly, but the sight of so many bandages, red or not, still surprised him. He stared into those blank blue eyes, and was even more frightened of them than the wounds.
"They said I was shot." He pointed to Aoko, waving a hand across the room at Heiji, Kazuha, Ai, and Ran who were huddled into one corner so they could give the two past rivals some space. "I don't remember really. All I recall is red, and loud bangs. And pain. Pain most of all."
Hakuba cringed at the nothingness in Kaito's tone. There was always something in that voice! Arrogance, playfulness, happiness, anger, mischief, jealousy, something, anything! Not this emptiness; not this emotionless, monotone voice and still, blue eyes. Just another thing he had only himself to blame for.
This is your fault, Saguru. It's all your fault. If you didn't turn him in, none of this would have happened. We'd all be doing homework or hanging out or just leading regular teenage lives. Dammit, dammit, dammit! His face changed to fury as his silent loathing of himself took over, causing a look of concern to come over Kaito.
"Are you okay?" He didn't notice Kaito hop off the cot and lay a hand on his shoulder, his other arm unable to move, and those blue eyes actually showing some form of emotion. "Are you mad at me?" That innocence, it was just not Kaito! That childish look, the sound of fear in his voice as he asked his question just made Hakuba even angrier.
"I'm not angry at you, Kuroba-kun. I'm just mad at myself, that's all. If it wasn't for me, you'd still be you, and everything would be better." He brushed off Kaito's tight grip and headed for the door. "Give me a little bit of alone time to process this. It's quite a shock."
"Hakuba-kun…" Aoko's tone sounded reprimanding, except instead of anger, there was regret on her face. She probably shouldn't have accused him so much. He was a wreck, kept together by hardly anything more than grief and a need to redeem himself.
He slammed the door behind him, leaving the confused and startled Kaito to Aoko. "What did I do?" asked Kaito, looking in the direction of Hakuba.
"Nothing, he's just upset with himself. He thinks it's his fault you lost your memory, but that's not true."
Kaito let Aoko hug him. He was still confused as to what it was that went so wrong that the boy he'd only just met had to storm out of the room. Kaito was aware that, as he was introduced to new people, and their stories, that it distracted him from what he'd been thinking about earlier. Faster than any previous occurrences though, Kaito was surprised at how wonderfully distracting this girl's hold on him was. The warmth and strength of her embrace made him feel something he couldn't explain in words, as unfamiliar as old sensations were to him. It brought a spark with it.
He remembered feeling these same arms around him, the same warm arms that made him feel so protected. He could remember her blue eye, the shade of a clear midnight sky, shining in the light of a full moon. Her quiet breathing, traces of tears in her eyes. A need to kiss her, to make her his…
For a heartbreaking moment, Kaito felt as if his memories were unimportant. There was a world of things out there that he couldn't remember, but in that instant, it wasn't necessary. This girl was here, this sweet girl that reminded him of quiet laughter and sunshine coexisting in a world of fear and moonlight.
Without warning, he leaned forward until she lifted her head to meet his eyes. He felt his body moving to motions his mind couldn't comprehend, quickly sealing his lips to hers, causing Aoko to back away and gasp in shock. When Aoko stared wide-eyed at him, Kaito looked almost as confused as she felt, and she instantly regretted backing up so quickly. The onlookers said nothing, but it was obvious they were surprised.
For a second, Aoko could see the old Kaito, the same arrogant smile, the same knowing, cool blue eyes, and just his aura made him seem- seem like Kaito. Her Kaito. His lips had been soft, and she wanted to feel them again, stare into the depths of those eyes, and be satisfied with having at least this part of him love her the way she wasn't able to return without fearing he'd withdraw from her.
"K-Kaito," she stuttered, face and ears entirely crimson. "D-did you remember something?" His eyes said yes, and he smiled.
"Not really. I just remembered hugging you, and you standing in the moonlight. I remembered wanting to kiss you, so, my body just moved on its own." He sounded so proud, that Aoko had to smile. "Other than that, I can't recall anything. Do you know when that was?" He sounded like he had nearly forgotten that he had just kissed her in favor of his curiosity, but she had to forgive him. He was just trying to regain his memory. The magical moment was gone almost as swiftly as it had come, leaving her a little brother figure instead of a –Aoko didn't even want to think the word, blush returning. Boyfriend.
"It was yesterday night, when I snuck out to try to meet you at your heist. You said you were stealing a gem called Pandora because your dad hid it in his room. And, the thing you remember..." She stopped, as if she did not want to continue. "The thing you remember is when you promised that you'd try to be there for me no matter what, and I swore that I would be at every Kid heist to see you."
Kaito was lost again. He couldn't remember any words; it was like he was watching a silent movie in his head, two people trying to convey their deepest feelings. In a way, he had hit his first major milestone in remembering something so important. On the other hand, the kiss made Aoko miss her old idiot magician, Kaito, more than ever. She watched as he turned crestfallen, as he'd done for what felt like the one hundredth time. It hurt so much.
"Aoko-chan, are you alright?" Ran laid a hand on her shoulder, and Aoko remembered that there were other people in the room. The doctor only checked up on Kaito twice a day, not wanting to intrude on such a private matter. She felt hot tears running down her face, and she wiped them away.
"I'm fine, Ran-chan." As the fog faded, she noticed a new face she had not seen before. "Who's that little girl?"
Haibara Ai straightened herself, and answered Aoko's question. "My name is Haibara Ai. Nice to meet you, Nakamori Aoko-neesan."
"You can call me nee-chan if you want, you know." Then it struck her that nobody was supposed to know about Kaito's memory loss, and a little kid might let it out by accident. "Ran-chan! Why is this girl here?"
"She's in on this as well, Aoko-chan. I think it's time you know the truth too. Is that fine with you, Ai-chan?"
Ai stared coldly for a moment, and then nodded her head. "You should call in that British teenager; it'd be a pain to recite it twice."
"You want to tell Hakuba-kun? Do you trust him that much already?" asked Heiji, startled. Ai was the most secretive of them all; she never wanted to spill anything except in the most dire circumstances or when they forced her.
"I think we've already included him. Just get him already, please!" she hissed at Heiji, causing him to recoil. Kazuha laughed at Heiji's expression, a mix of fear and surprise.
Heiji opened the door and found Hakuba looking out the hospital window, eyes blank and a tear running down his face. He knew that the boy probably wouldn't want him mentioning it, so he just pulled on his arm and started dragging him to the room.
"W-what are you doing?" protested Hakuba as he tried to free himself from Heiji's harsh grip.
"We decided it was time you hear the truth too. Haibara's idea." He pushed Hakuba into the room and closed the door, not noticing Ryuu hiding against the wall in the hallway.
Ryuu had stayed behind when the other kids had left, his instinct telling him that he might learn something special about Ai. He had been standing beside the door the entire time, eavesdropping on every word that was passed. When Hakuba had left the room, he'd been scared of being caught, but the teen didn't detect him, and neither did Heiji. Heiji had mentioned something about 'truth' and 'Haibara's idea'. Ryuu was determined to find out what it was.
He pressed his ear to the door and started listening.
*If you want something to read while you're waiting, I started a two shot called 'The Leap' (I know, bad Aeyra for starting yet another story while I'm in the middle of writing this one! I couldn't help it! It was eating my brain!) Please read and review, because otherwise I might not post part two of that. I also started a new story as a favor to AkemiXchan who asked if I could write her story for her, and so I did. (you can hit me, i know i shouldn't be starting all these new stories.) I'm kind of shaky on the topic though, so I'd appreciate help on that one. Please review as always, and chapter 41 will come much, much quicker. Thank you!*

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