Feb 20, 2011

Chapter Four

Chapter 4


Ran's POV

It was the day after Shinichi had been found dead at Tropical Land. I had cried myself to sleep last night, but I had to stop soon. Shinichi's parents had been informed, and they were coming today. I felt crushed as I imagined the expression on his mom's face. The beautiful actress Kudo Yukiko wouldn't be acting out a tragedy; now she was truly part of one. His dad, well, he was good at keeping a straight face, but, he would definitely be depressed. But I had a matter of more immediate importance, I was to report back to the scene today in five minutes. Satou-san was going to pick me up again.

I had told my dad everything earlier this morning. He took it calmly, but even his frown couldn't hide the shock in his eyes. He had then tried to comfort me, but failed. In fact, he even swallowed his pride and called over my mom to help me. She had agreed to come later, after my investigation.

"I'm going to go out now," I said to my dad, who was sitting at his desk, reading the morning newspaper, hiding it from my view. I knew why, because the headlines would upset me. But I knew what it said. In big bolded letters Famous High School Detective Kudo Shinichi Found Murdered in Tropical Land. The whole of Japan knew now, and it would probably be the top news over the next few weeks.

I closed the door, and walked outside. The newspaper stand close to the entrance of my house was filled with the same newspaper that dad had been reading. Just don't look Ran, ignore it, I thought. A black and white police car with sirens off pulled up at the curb. "Hello, Ran-chan." Satou-san greeted me kindly. There was a smile on her face, but I knew it was only to help me.

"Good morning, Satou-san." I climbed into the shotgun seat. "Have they found anything out about how-" It was hard to finish my sentence, and his name caught in my throat.

"About the murder method used?" she asked. I nodded in reply. "Strangely enough, they found nothing that could of killed him. The head wound was much to minor to be fatal, and there's no trace of poison, no evidence of strangling, or anything. He's just dead, nothing else."

"How can that be?" I asked. "There has to be something, how can there be nothing?"

"At this point, no one knows." She stared straight ahead at the road, no looking at me. "All we can say is that he was killed. Without a cause of death, we can't even say suicide or homicide."

"Shinichi would never, ever commit suicide," I said jumping to his defense. "How can you even suggest it?"

"There's always a possibility. But I know that view is very, very unlikely." She pulled the car to a complete stop, and stepped out. "You can talk to the doctors who did the autopsy about it. They know much more than I do."

Shinichi's body was no longer at the crime scene, it was at a funeral home, where his mother and father would arrange his funeral. However, there was white tape marking where he had lain as he took his final breaths. Dried blood covered some of the grass, but other than that, there was no evidence that he was ever here.

I spotted Inspector Megure and immediately bombarded him with my questions. He would know, wouldn't he? After all, it looked like he was in charge of this.

"It's true that we haven't found a cause of death. I've never even seen a case like this, and neither have the higher-ups. I knew Kudo-kun, and it doesn't seem like he'd go without a fight, at the very least, a death message, but, there's nothing that explains how he was murdered."

"Are you the one in charge of this case, Inspector?" I asked. "Are there any detectives working on this?" I wondered if Shinichi knew how he was killed, after all, you don't always see your killer's face…

"We have one from Osaka, you might have even heard of him. Hattori Heiji, the famous high school detective."

I'd heard Shinichi mention that name before; he'd talked about having a deduction match with Hattori one day, to see who the better man was. But Hattori Heiji wasn't going to be the only detective on the case, I was going to help the best I could. I started trying to recall the details.

Shinichi ran into the alley that leads to here, but why? I racked my brain, searching for an answer. There was a man standing here, dressed in black… Could he have suspected him of a crime? Wait a second! That was the man I saw during the roller coaster murder! If he isn't the murderer, then he must at least have some information about this.

"He's over there." The inspector pulled me out of my thoughts, and pointed to a tall teenager with dark skin wearing a baseball cap. "You could talk to him, he seems almost as smart as Kudo-kun was."

I approached him, and he turned around to face me. "You're Mouri, right? The police told me about you. I'm Hattori Heiji, nice to meet you. Though, I wish it was under different circumstances." He held his hand out.

I shook it, and smiled at him. "Have you figured anything out?"

"Nope, not at all," he answered. "But as the last person we know to have seen him alive, you gotta know something, right?"

"There is this one thing I just remembered," I confessed. "During the roller coaster case earlier-you what I'm talking about right?- he had his eyes on these two men dressed in black. They scared me, so I didn't pay much attention to them. And when he left to run into this alleyway, I saw one of the men. He was rather tall and sturdy, and other guy was thinner, and had long blonde hair. Does that help?"

"Looks like we have suspects," he chuckled satisfactorily. "That's going to help a lot. This case didn't have many clues at all, in fact, not one."

"Heiji, where are you?" The voice of a girl called. "They won't let me in."

"I'm over here," he yelled back. "This is a crime scene, idiot. Of course they're not letting you in." He peered over at me and explained who the girl was. "That's my childhood friend, Kazuha. Tooyama Kazuha. She came with me from Osaka, though I left the hotel without warning this morning, but it looks like she found me. Let me introduce you."

He walked me over to Kazuha. "This is Mouri Ran, one of the best friends of Kudo Shinichi. Mouri, this is Kazuha."

"Nice to meet you," a smile lit up her features and her emerald eyes shone.

"It's nice to meet you too," I answered, though not quite sharing her enthusiasm. "Are you two good friends?"

It hadn't even been two minutes, but they had started reminding me about how my relationship with Shinichi had been. Good friends, but I had had deeper feelings for him, feelings that I never got a chance to say…

"Hmm?" they both replied, blushing.

"I meant like friends, not a couple." From the look on their faces, they had obviously misunderstood my question. It was quite funny. Hey Ran, looks like your husband's here! Sonoko had said that just days ago when Shinichi had come up to me during the class break.

"Yeah, I met Heiji in primary school." She grabbed his arm, and his face turned red. "We've been friends ever since."

Just like me and Shinichi. Friends since we were tiny children, and then he was ripped apart from me. Never to come back. Shinichi, Shinichi, Shinichi, Shinichi. I was thinking too much about him. I had to stop, before it hurt too much. Red-hot tears began to spill down my face, and then I pulled my head up in shock.

Ran, can you hear me? Shinichi's voice rang in my head, and it wasn't my imagination. Shinichi?

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