Feb 20, 2011

Chapter Two

Chapter 2

Bad News

Ran's POV

I sat fidgeting on the light blue couch in my father's detective office. Shinichi's words were still echoing through my head. “Go ahead of me, Ran,” he'd said with a wink and a smile. “I'll catch up with you soon!” He'd sounded sure, so why, why had he not?

I had waited patiently for a couple of minutes where he had left me, until I realized it was time that I should be getting home. Maybe he had gone ahead? I reached for the phone that was sitting on the table beside the sofa; I'd call Shinichi just to make sure he was home.

Dialing his number, I pushed call and heard nothing but what seemed like a thousand rings, but no answer. "Hello, this is Kudo Shinichi. I'm not home at the moment, but if you have a case for me, leave your phone number after the beep." Not home yet? Then where was he?

"I'm going to go to Shinichi's house," I informed my father who was still lying drunk in his chair behind the desk.

"Wait, Ran!" He clumsily tried to get up, and fell out of his chair. Simultaneously, the phone started ringing. Could it be Shinichi?

Walking over anxiously, I picked up the phone. "Hello, this is Mouri Detective Agency."

"Ah, Ran-kun," the gravelly tones of a man answered. "Is your father there? This is Inspector Megure; I have to tell him something."

"Yeah." I glanced over at my father who had still not bothered to pick himself off of the floor, face flushed, muttering absolute nonsense. "But he's dead drunk at the moment. If you need him, I'll tell him you called later."

"If that's the case…" the inspector stopped, and his voice seemed to have been quavering a little bit.”Then I'll have to tell you now. Just please deal with this in a mature manner. First, calm yourself."

"I'm calm enough." Somehow, I was already filled with fear without hearing his words. It was hard to breathe, but I needed to know, good news or bad. An aching feeling in my gut told me that it was Shinichi, but I hoped it was wrong-

"Your friend Kudo-kun has been found dead right outside of Tropical Land. He was hit on the back of the head, but we don't know the exact cause of death yet. I'm sorry that I had to tell you this." His words stole my breath away.

I couldn't process what he was saying. Shinichi couldn't be dead, he couldn't be. He had been so full of life today, jumping around excitedly and enjoying himself. No, no, no! I screamed in my mind. Inspector Megure's lying, there's absolutely no way Shinichi is dead!

"Ran-kun," the inspector continued gently. "Could you come over right now? You seemed to be with him today, you could help us with this case. I can send a patrol car right now."

"Okay…" my voice cracked, and all of the sudden, I was gushing tears. My shield had broken down, and everything came falling out. I had never gotten a chance to tell him that I loved him; I'd never had the courage. And now, I'd never be able to. But something inside of me told me that I shouldn't be grieving yet. That Shinichi wouldn't want that, what he'd want, is justice.

I sat back down on the couch, silently crying until a knock came from the door. "Dad, I'm going back to Tropical Land." I didn't look back. He didn't seem to care either, after all, he was dead drunk.

I opened up the door to see a police officer I had met in my dad's last case. Officer Satou. She gave me a quick hug before leading me down the stairs to the patrol car. "You don't have to do this." Her voice was thick with sympathy. "You'll see him, and you won't like it."

I'd see his dead body. That's what she meant. It would finish all doubts I had left, and leave me with the cold truth. I bet I'd break down again, in front of everyone who must be there. But I had to; I still couldn’t believe it. I had to see the proof with my own eyes. "Take me to the park." I said, in a confident voice.

Her eyes sparked with surprise, then it died down and she nodded. "Step in."

The ride to Tropical Land wasn't very long, I stared out the window and up at the sky, where the stars and moon shone brightly. "Are you in heaven, Shinichi?" I whispered so softly, that even I could hardly hear. I didn't expect an answer, and I didn't get one. The stars just kept on shining.

A huge gathering of people and police cars was in front of us now, and Satou-san stopped the car. "Right this way." She weaved the crowd, pushing and fighting to get through. "I'm a police officer, let me through!"

Then, I saw it. Shinichi was lying on his stomach, head tiled slightly to the side. His expression was soft, and he could have been sleeping. Except for the fact that blood was running down his face, turning the grass under him dark scarlet, and that he was perfectly still. He'd never stay still if he was alive.

"Shinichi!" I started running towards him, I couldn't help it. Strong arms stopped me from touching him. "Stay back, area is still under investigation!"

"But," I protested. Inspector Megure whispered words in the other man, a medic by the looks of it. Then he released me. "Just don't touch him."

I walked forward until I was just in front of him then kneeled down so I was closer to where he was. "Shinichi," I started crying again, and the tears spilled onto his thick green jacket. "Why did you die?"

No response, no comfort. I think of earlier when he had been smiling, telling me to calm down, and I wish he was right now.

“Calm down, Ran, I’m okay? Can’t you see?” I can imagine him saying, laughing when- if- I woke up from this living nightmare.

A gentle hand patted my shoulder, Inspector Megure. "Some things can't be prevented. And unfortunately, murder is one of them. But we'll catch the culprit, I'm sure that's exactly what Kudo-kun would have wanted."

Shinichi would have definitely wanted justice. It was why he wanted to be a detective. Just yesterday he had told me how much he enjoyed the sensation of trapping the criminal, and bringing him to justice. Once you start, you can't stop! That's what it's like to be a detective! It was then that I made up my mind.

I'll try to become a detective in your place, Shinichi. At the very least, I will solve your murder! I swore on my life that I would, because, I'd never be able to live with myself otherwise. My investigation starts tonight.

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