Stories by Kiel

Downfall of the Syndicate
Chapter 1
After much planning with the FBI, it was finally time for the organization to be taken down. All the branches in different countries had already been removed and only the main branch in Japan was left. A month since the initial start of the war had passed and the headquarters had been located.

In the professor’s house a small crowd of leading FBI members were stuck in the living room with the professor, detective of the west, Hattori Heiji, Conan, and Ai.
While the preparations were going on, Ai pulled Conan aside and to the basement.
“What is it Haibara?” asked Conan, completely oblivious of the way Ai was feeling at the moment.
Ai was barely trembling, with a nauseating feeling in her stomach. She swallowed inaudibly. She was having a conflict inside herself, and in truth, it had been going on for about a week, since the time she finished the full antidote. She wasn’t sure whether to give it to Conan. She had realized since long before how much she liked the little detective, yet he was always talking about returning to Ran once he changed back. It hurt her deeply.
With trembling fingers and a calm voice, she rustled through her desk and pulled out a pill.
She placed it into Conan’s hands, wrapping both of hers around his. “This is it Kudo-kun, the antidote. I finished it and thought that it’d be good to give it to you before the raid. You’ll need your body back to be of real use.” She smirked at his astonished expression, hiding her heartbrokenness underneath a cool and composed mask.
He beamed a smile at her and took the pill happily.
“Some spare clothes are on the couch, I’ll leave the room so that you can change back.” With that Ai left the room and leaned against the door.
She heard Conan move around, preparing to take the pill. A lone tear rolled down her cheek and she leaned against the door and slid to the ground into a sitting position.
Conan hurriedly consumed the pill with a smile on his face. As he felt it start to take effect, a sudden question popped into his mind, What about Haibara?
That was the last thought he had before the pill rendered him unconscious.
Ten minutes later he groaned and sat up. Sweating profusely, and skin still glistening from his perspiration during the change, he sluggishly fixed his clothes and hair. Then as if on cue, Ai walked in with her usual calm and composed mask, no trace of tears left.
“Come, Kudo-kun, everyone will be excited to see you back to normal.”
As she turned to head up the steps, Shinichi grabbed her wrist.
She turned and quizzically looked at his hand. Her heart picked up the beat slightly but she kept her mask on.
“What is it?” she asked with a sigh.
“What about you? Aren’t you going to change back?” he asked with a confused expression.
She swallowed slightly, preparing herself. “Sorry Kudo-kun, I think I’ll stay like this. My friends are here.”
“But,” he trailed off.
Ai looked straight into his eyes and he lost the ability to speak.
With a sigh she continued, “I haven’t decided whether I’ll change back. For the raid I’ll take the 24 hour pill. Then when everything is over I’ll consider it.”
Shinichi knew he couldn’t fight back, so he bit his tongue and held back his urges to continue talking to change her mind. He realized though that there was a good chance that if he did that, she would refuse to change back. It was her life. He hat to butt out. He no longer needed her by his side to create the antidote. As that thought struck him, he felt a bit hollow. She no longer had a reason to stay near him. She was no longer bound to him by guilt. If she felt like it, she could just up and leave, no longer with a guilty conscience.
The thought scared him, yet he didn’t understand why.
Slowly, as he was coming to these conclusions, he followed Ai back up the stairs and into the swarm of shocked people.
With a smile he said to them, pushing his thoughts of Ai aside, “Hey, I’m back, for good.”
People cheered and pat him on the back, and others congratulated Ai on her accomplishment. Everyone there knew who Conan and Ai really were, so it wasn’t a shock to see him in that form. At least, it wasn’t a huge shock.
That’s when it finally dawned on everyone. They turned to Ai. “What about you?” they seemed to ask with their stares.
She sighed and said, “Look, I don’t know if I even want to change back. I may stay a child to be with my friends. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better for me to change back, but nobody’s waiting for me in that form. My friends are ones I’ve made as Haibara Ai, not Miyano Shiho or Sherry.”
Nobody said anything.
After a while they went back to their plan. They had decided that the next day would be when they began the raid.
The headquarters was in a heavily forested area, across from a beach with only a road to separate them.
After planning for a few hours, everyone settled down for an unrestful sleep.
When the morning rolled around, Ai was surprised to see that she was first to wake up. Every agent was fast asleep. She let a small smile play on her lips when she looked at Shinichi, and her eyes showed traces of sadness.
“You love him,” whispered a voice.
Ai spun around after pulling on her mask.
“Akai,” she muttered.
“Don’t try to deny it. Although nobody else knows, including Shinichi, you can’t hide it from me.”
Ai sighed. “Just don’t tell anyone ok? I’m quite sure he is in love with Mouri still. I doubt I’ll ever change that. It’d be easiest for me and him if I just pushed theses feelings aside and stayed as I am. Besides, as soon as this is over, if I were Shiho nobody would want me. If my past was known my life would be over, but as Haibara Ai, my life is just beginning.”
Akai nodded his head in understanding, and after that they stood there in silence.
A bit later, Ai headed to the kitchen and began to cook the biggest breakfast she ever has.
Akai joined her in silence, helping her prepare. They had finally come to be on neutral terms after meeting again. At first Ai highly protested against him, but now, now she wasn’t against him anymore and actually slightly trusted him.
When they had finished making breakfast Akai and Ai started to wake everyone up. Akai started with the FBI and Ai started with Shinichi.
Gently, Ai shook Shinichi’s shoulder. He mumbled something incomprehensible and slowly opened his eyes. When they had finally opened, the first thing he saw was Ai. He blushed at the closeness and pulled back a bit.
Ai raised an eyebrow and said, “Breakfast is ready.”
Shinichi blinked twice and finally nodded his head in understanding. He slowly got up, stretching, and headed to the kitchen for breakfast.
Ai then continued to wake everyone else up, including Hattori and the professor, and a few FBI agents.
After 5 minutes, everyone was up and eating in silence, going over the plan in their heads.
Around 10 in the morning, everyone filed into the cars parked out front.
Ran was coming to check on the professor’s house because he, Ai, and Conan, had supposedly gone camping, and she wanted to check on the house just in case.
She was surprised to see lots of vans parked out front and people leaving the house.
Right before she called the police she saw the professor leave the house. Behind him came Shinichi, Hattori, and Ai.
Her eyes widened at the sight of them, and watched as they stepped towards one van. When she saw Akai and Jodie step out of the house as the last people and join them in the car she realized that they were all FBI agents.
Confusion hit her. She understood why Hattori and Shinichi would go, but why Ai and the professor. She was surprised to see Shinichi, but everything else had overwhelmed her more.
She wanted to follow them, but she knew there was no possible way to do so.
Instead she mustered up the courage and walked towards them.
Hattori poked Shinichi in the ribs and whispered, “Kudo-kun, you’ve got company.”
Shinichi swiveled his head around to look where the other detective was looking.
His eyes widened as they landed on Ran.
Chapter 2
He broke away from the group of FBI agents and hurried over to her.
“Ran, what are you doing here?” he asked incredulously.
She was surprised by his attitude and replied, slightly stammering, “I should be asking you that.”
“Just answer mine,” he said seriously.
“W-well, the professor said he was taking Ai and Conan camping so I came to check on the house. Why are you here? I mean, why with the FBI, Hattori, the professor and Ai?” She was confused for quite a while, trying to figure it out in her head.
Before he could come up with an excuse Ran remembered something else.
With a worried look she asked, “Where’s Conan-kun?”
Shinichi gulped. He didn’t want to have to answer that.
Ai saw the awkward exchange and read Ran’s lips. Then she noticed that Shinichi completely flustered.
She called out, completely serious and no longer acting like a child, “Kudo-kun, it’s time to go.”
Shinichi breathed an inner sigh of relief and said to Ran as he hurried off, “Sorry Ran, I’ll explain later.”
As he turned to rush off, Ran grabbed his shoulder.
With firm eyes and an unwavering voice she said, “I’m coming.”
Ai’s stomach lurched. This had to end.
Akai watched as the little girl clenched her fists. Glancing at her face she still had a mask on. He sighed heavily.
Ai walked over to them and grabbed Shinichi’s hand. Her cold eyes connected with Ran’s and she said, “Come if you want, but there’s a chance you may die or be injured. Either way, there’s no more time to waste.” She pulled Shinichi, who followed.
Ran at first couldn’t decide and let her hand slip off Shinichi’s shoulder.
Then with a hardened expression, she followed.
The three climbed into the same van as Hattori, the professor, Akai, and Jodie.
Shinichi sat between the two girls.
Then when the van pulled away, Akai kneeled on the floor and opened a compartment on the floor.
Ran raised an eyebrow, but everyone else didn’t flinch. They were expecting this.
Akai pulled out a few bags and tossed one to everybody except Ran, even Ai got one.
Everyone unzipped the bags and began to pull out an assortment of weapons and holsters.
Ran’s eyes widened. She looked around as weapons were pulled out of the bags. Her eyes fell on Ai, wondering if she received the same, but the little girl only pulled out a set of folded clothes, but they seemed to large for her.
Then Jodie and Ai stood up and everyone squeezed to the front of the van.
Jodie pulled a curtain across the back.
Ai rummaged through her pocket and fingered the antidote. Then after a few more moments of hesitation she swallowed it.
Ran was staring at the back until she heard Ai scream.
Nobody had made a move to check on her except Ran. She stood up to check on Ai, but the others held her back.
“Hey, let me go! She’s in pain! We should check on her!” Ran said unhappily.
Everyone shook their head.
Ran looked at Shinichi for support.
“No,” he whispered sternly.
Ran sat down dejectedly.
A few minutes later, the curtain was pulled back, and a slightly sweating strawberry blonde teenager joined them. She had her hair tied up in a ponytail and was wearing camouflage cargo pants, boots, and a black tank-top with a black jacket over-top.
“You ok?” asked Shinichi.
She huffed. In her new melodic voice she replied, “Just fine.”
Ran’s eyes were wide open.
All of a sudden there was an explosion. The whole van shook and threw everyone around.
Akai kept the professor and Jodie from falling to the ground. Hattori was the first to hit the floor and was soon crushed by Ran who fell on top of his back. Shiho slid across the seat and hit the front of the van. Shinichi was thrown towards Shiho and last second pushed himself away so that he landed beside Shiho.
Everyone cursed as they sat up and went on alert.
Dirt kicked up all over the road from the explosion.
Shiho quickly found her bag and tossed her child clothes in them, then pulled out her gear.
Everyone pulled on a headset with a microphone.
“What’s going on over there?” asked Jodie.
A shaky reply was heard, “Grenade-launcher.”
People’s eyes narrowed.
“It’s begun,” whispered Hattori.
The back doors were swung open and they burst out in formation.
Shiho glanced at Ran who was confused. She removed her bullet-proof vest and tossed it to Ran.
“Put it on, we don’t have time to protect you. Stay close.”
Ran pulled it on quickly and hurried after Shiho.
Shinichi noticed the two girls. His eyes widened since Shiho didn’t have a vest on.
He quickly pulled off his and handed it to her.
“Kudo-kun, I don’t need it.”
“Take it,” he ordered. “I promised to protect you. Take it.”
She sighed, taking the vest. “Just don’t get shot.”
He grinned with his reassuring trademark smile, “I’ll be fine.”
Ran’s heart was already beating like crazy from everything that was happening, but at this exchange it became erratic.
All of a sudden guns were going off all over.
Their group hid behind the van and peered into the trees, placing their backs to the beach.
Ran was looking at the beach when she saw the barrel of a gun coming out of the sand, aiming at Shinichi.
Before she could yell, it fired. She shut her eyes, and when she opened them, she saw what happened. Shiho was in front of Shinichi, and fired her gun twice.
The sand turned bright red as it absorbed the blood of the murdered.
She fell to the ground and gripped her side.
Shinichi immediately moved towards her to check her condition. The bullet had been stopped, but the force had knocked the wind out of her.
She staggered to her feet, eyes sweeping the beach for anymore.
“I’m fine, just a bit off balance.”
Shinichi let a smile slip through, “I’m glad. Please be careful though.”
“I will.”
During this whole ordeal, the others were firing into the forest.
Soon Shiho and Shinichi joined the fire-fight, having thoroughly scanned the beach and saw no more shooters.
When the enemy ceased fire, all the FBI reloaded completely.
A bit of talk was heard over the headsets.
Akai said into the headsets, “Phase B, already 5 deaths, 2 injuries. 2 more phases to go. Be careful. We only have 35 members left, including the injured. Stay alert. We’re moving in.”
Akai led their group into the woods, and soon other groups followed.
Shinichi whipped out Conan’s glasses and scanned the forest with zoom mode.
Ran’s eyes widened at the glasses. “Conan-kun,” she whispered inaudibly.
“20 snipers in the trees, be alert and stay behind tree trunks,” Shinichi ordered into the headset.
They slowly moved throughout the forest until Shinichi ordered them to stop.
“Halt. Stay hidden, I’m taking some out.”
He holstered his pistol and pulled out a rifle and attached a scope. Aiming carefully with zoom mode of his glasses on as well, he fired 3 rounds.
Screams from 3 different people were heard, and simultaneous thuds as well.
Ran was shocked. Shinichi never wanted to kill. He despised it. Yet now he had just killed 3 people without hesitation. To Ran, he was like a whole new person.
Shinichi allowed himself a small grin. Then he wiped it off his face and scouted for more targets.
Light rustling in the trees when no wind was blowing gave away the hiding spot of 2 more, must be, amateur snipers.
He shot through the mass of leaves and two more dead bodies littered the forest floor.
“5 down,” he whispered, “15 more, stay alert.”
Slowly they proceeded. Then all of a sudden bullets rained around them and everyone scattered for cover.
Bullets whizzed by from all directions. They had been cornered in the woods.
As hell broke loose, Shinichi spotted a large hollow in an old tree. He shoved Shiho and Ran into the hole and soon followed.
Both Shiho and Shinichi put silencers on their guns and faced out the hole.
As the syndicate operatives ran in front of the hollow, Shinichi and Shiho dropped them in an instant.
4 bodies lay outside their hiding spot.
With little hesitation, Shinichi climbed out and grabbed their ammunition and weapons.
He threw them into the hollow and scanned his surroundings.
Nobody else was near them, including their own team.
“Damn,” he whispered. He called into the headset multiple times with no response.
As he was crawling back into the hole, he was hit from behind.
As he collapsed, Shiho fired a few rounds at his attacker, downing the man in and instant.
She grabbed Shinichi’s arm and pulled him into the hole.
He was unconscious.
She checked him for severe injuries. Other than a small bump on his head, he was ok. And from examination there probably wouldn’t be any brain damage.
She sighed in relief.
She pushed him into the back of the hole, making Ran watch over him.
Tapping on her headset she said, “Hey, is anybody there? Respond. Hello?” she could hear faint breathing.
Then a chill went up her spine as a deep and cold voice spoke.
Chapter 3
“Hello, Sherry.”
Ran saw Shiho tense up and took Shinichi’s headset to listen.
“Gin,” she growled. “What the hell did you do?”
“Oh, just took out a few of your FBI friends.”
She could hear his could laugh.
“You killed them didn’t you?” she seethed.
“Now what would make you think that?” asked the sarcastic voice.
“Damn it Gin! You knew about this raid didn’t you?” she snarled.
“And what if I did?”
“What is it you want?”
“You, Sherry. We want you back.”
“Why? So you can kill me? Or do you want to force me to continue making that damn drug?”
“Now, now, my sweet, don’t talk bad about your creation. We all love it and only wish for it to be completed.”
“And when it is, death awaits me,” she returned.
“Sherry,” he started, changing his tone, “I miss you.”
“Yeah?” she asked sarcastically. Then she retorted, “I could never miss you. If I recall correctly, you shot me upon sight at the hotel.”
“Hey, those were orders. That was when the organization wanted you dead, but when we couldn’t find anyone to take your place we realized that we needed you. They were orders at the time.”
“Ones you would gladly have carried out without a moment’s hesitation.”
“Don’t think of the bad times. Remember all the fun filled nights we spent together in my room?”
When Ran heard this she stared at Shiho with wide eyes. The girl couldn’t be 20 years old, yet this man sounded much older. She couldn’t help but wonder what really happened. Lucky for her, she was about to find out.
“Feh, all we did was drink. And I’m quite sure that every time you ended up pissing me off and I threw a bottle at your head.”
“Haha, good times indeed, yet you wouldn’t even let me kiss you.”
“Like hell would I let someone I hate kiss me.”
“Does that mean there is someone you like? Is that why you speak like that?” he asked, obviously agitated.
“I wouldn’t even let the one I love kiss me… he… has another on his mind,” she finished in a whisper and a slight glance back towards Ran and Shinichi.
Gin chuckled, “My, my, how noble of you.”
“Shut up Gin.”
There was silence for a bit and Shiho said sarcastically, “My, my, finally listening to me are you?”
“Sherry, I want to make an offer.”
Shiho slightly tensed.
“What would that be?”
“Come willingly and I won’t kill the boy and girl you are hiding with.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked, slightly uneasily.
“I see you in the tree’s hollow. Come out unarmed and we will draw back and let the rest of you live.”
Shiho tensed again. Stiffening even more.
“How do I know you won’t betray that?”
“Sherry, I took my pills. That’s why I’m calm. You know I can’t lie once I’ve taken my pills.”
“Yeah.”
“You have 5 minutes to decide.”
Shiho removed her headset and turned to look at the other two.
She noticed that Ran had the headset on.
Ran quickly removed it and turned it off.
“You heard?” asked Shiho.
Ran forced out a nod.
Shiho let out a sad smile that showed in all of her facial features.
She took one last look at Shinichi and said, “Tell him what happened. Take care ok? Also, tell him it’s been fun, oh and sorry I’m making him break his promise. I don’t want to ruin your lives anymore.”
That was when Ran noticed that she loved Shinichi.
“Good luck Mouri. Take care of him. Truthfully, I won’t be joining them. He’s going to kill me as soon as I come out of here, but he will leave alone long enough for you to flee. He, at least, won’t kill you yet. He has some pride.”
She removed all of her weapons and only left on her bullet proof vest.
As she was walking out, Shinichi grabbed her ankle. She was a bit surprised and it showed on her face.
“Haibara,” he wheezed, “Don’t go…”
She removed his hand from her ankle and said with a sad smile, “Kudo-kun, I should’ve died long ago. You gave me a chance to live normally and I’m thankful, but it’s my time. Goodbye.” She placed her headset back on.
She climbed out and walked a few feet before a shot rang high and clear and she was thrown to the ground.
Shinichi’s and Ran’s eyes widened.
Shiho’s hands moved to her side. Blood slid down her chin from her lips as her face twisted in agony.
Gin whispered into the headset and to Shiho’s ears, “Say hello to Akemi for me. I killed you the same way I killed her.”
Shiho whispered with a smile into the headset, “Goodbye, Seichirou.”
Gin shivered at the sound of his name being whispered out of the mouth of his one and only true love.
Then a piercing pain shot through him and blood dribbled down his chin in the same fashion as Shiho.
He looked down at his side and saw the gunshot wound.
He brought the scope up shakily to his eyes to see who had shot him.
The detective brat who he had failed to kill had a rifle in his hands. Gin didn’t have the power to pull the trigger.
“Heh, Sherry, it looks like we’ll be dying together,” chuckled Gin.
A firm voice retorted, “No.”
His eyes widened as he watched Shiho sit up.
She wiped the fake blood from her mouth.
That’s when he noticed the shimmer from a bullet stuck in the vest.
Shiho said into the headset, “My dearest Seichirou, it barely touched my stomach. Did you like my acting? I learned from the best.”
Gin let a smirk play on his lips, “Yes, I never expected to be fooled. “
“Say hey to my sister for me.”
“Goodbye Shiho,” he smiled.
“Goodbye Seichirou.”
With that Gin grew silent and cold, air no longer coming in or out of his lungs.
“I told you the vest would come in handy, but really, that acting even had me fooled,” said Shinichi, slightly aggravated. “Why didn’t you tell me it was fake?” he demanded to know.
“Because, I had left on the headset so Gin could hear our conversation. What? Did you think I would die that easily?” She smirked at his red face and said, “Oh my, the great detective of the east Kudo Shinichi is blushing. Can this really be?”
“Oi! Haibara!” he said angrily and embarrassed.
Shiho chuckled.
It grew silent for a while and then a group of people surrounded them.
Chapter 4
A man who looked quite old and had quite the large belly came to the front and said merrily, “Shinichi-kun, Ai-kun, Ran-kun! You’re all alright!”
“Kudo, you’re still alive,” smiled a dark-skinned boy around his age.
“What happened to you guys?” asked a blonde woman with glasses.
“Professor, Hattori, Jodie,” said Shinichi. He was happy to see them, so much that he was actually at a loss for words.
Then Jodie repeated her question.
Shinichi looked at Shiho with a, ‘What did just happen?’ look.
Shiho sighed and explained there encounter with Gin.
“What about you all? Why weren’t you responding?” Shiho then asked in return.
“Er, since about 10 of our men were wiped out we had no idea if the syndicate was listening in. So we decided not to respond to anything. And during the time we weren’t talking, we were in a heated hand to hand fight. I’m not even sure how that happened. I remember that one moment we were shooting them, the next, we were punching and kicking,” admitted Jodie.
“Any casualties during that fight?” asked Shiho.
“Only those of the enemy, but we do have a few injuries. We were looking for our nurse. Looks like we finally found her.”
The wounded were brought out the front.
Shiho nodded in understanding and began to care for them.
“Anyways,” interrupted Akai, “One more phase to go. During the battle I planted bombs in the confusion. It’ll blow in 2 more hours. Then we just have to get rid of the strays who survive the explosion.”
“Understood,” everyone said. They knew that they would storm the whole place at the explosion. Also that they had 5 minutes before the police would arrive. A phone had been set to call the police and play a recorded message at the same time the bomb went off.
Shiho looked at her watch, which was on timer mode, after taking care of the injured.
“I have about 1 hour left. It took too long for the bomb to be planted. I have no more temporary antidotes either.”
People were silent. They needed her in that form. It would be trouble if she turned back into a child.
As the silence dragged on, she then said, “I do have a full antidote…” she trailed off.
They all knew that she wasn’t sure whether to stay as a child or not.
Ran, still not completely comprehending said, “Take it then. I mean, what’s the point of taking a temporary antidote if there is a full antidote available?”
Shiho’s eyes hardened as she turned to Ran. She then said coldly,” I don’t want to hear this from you. I figure that you should have processed the fact that I’m Haibara Ai, and Sherry, a former member of those we are disposing of right now.”
Ran, then remembered both of the facts, but that didn’t explain much.
“Also, you women’s intuition should be screaming for me to stay a child.”
Everyone but Akai and Ran didn’t understand, including Shinichi who was as clueless as ever in this aspect.
Ran swallowed hard. “Y-you mean…” she started to say, but ended in a loss of words.
“That’s right. Yet I don’t want to be in the way, so I was going to stay as a child.”
Ran started to feel guilty. Shiho was giving up so much and she was feeling like she no longer wanted to persuade her to turn back. It was written all over her face.
Shiho sighed in understanding. “I can understand that you know that Edogawa Conan was Kudo Shinichi. So, now you can understand why it would take me a whole week before I would tell him that the antidote was finished.
Before anymore could be said, Shinichi grabbed her wrist and made her look him in the eyes.
“You had it for a week and you didn’t tell me?” he seethed. “Why would you do that? You know I’ve been dying to take it!”
She scoffed, “You’ve been waiting months. What’s another week in comparison? Besides,” she continued pulling out of his grip, “everything I do has a meaning. If you can’t figure it out then you’re just a stupid detective. Just like when we were practicing for the Kamen Yaiba play in that abandoned building, you really can’t understand a woman’s heart. Don’t you remember my next lines?”
He thought back to that time. It eluded him and she shook his head in exasperation. “I just don’t understand!”
Shiho sighed. Everyone else could understand, except the other  person completely hopeless in love, Hattori Heiji.
Shiho then said softly, “Don’t try to remember Kudo-kun, there’s a reason why you don’t remember. You truthfully don’t want to. Things you would remember consist of the school play that you did with Ran. That should be one of the clearest memories of yours.”
Shinichi didn’t look for the hidden meanings in her words and said obliviously, “Yeah, I remember perfectly, but I don’t understand why that matters. I mean, I don’t think I could forget it even if it was an act.”
“Exactly, yet you forgot the one act we did together. I don’t expect you to understand. So please, stop trying to persuade me in different ways, or ask me questions or to do something. I’m not worth the effort.”
He didn’t fully understand but he still said softly, “Haibara…”
“It’s not Haibara,” she pulled back on an evil smile and her cold stare, “Sherry.”
People actually shivered. It almost seemed like she was distancing herself while using a more formal way of introducing herself.
Shinichi was slightly taken aback, recalling the first time he heard those words.
During the awkward silence Shiho gripped her chest and struggled to breathe.
Shinichi snapped out of his memories and hurriedly found her spare change of clothes.
People looked away as she shrunk, giving privacy, while Ran kept staring in slight horror.
Jodie tossed a blanket completely over Shiho.
Shiho pulled off her jacket and bit into it to muffle her screams.
When she was a child again, she sluggishly pulled on her clothes under the blanket, panting slightly.
“You ok Haibara?” asked Shinichi as Ai stood up.
“I’m fine.”
After this exchange it was mostly quiet. Some were thinking about the exchange that had just happened, while others were thinking about what had to be done next to rid the world of the syndicate forever.
Time moved by slowly. The whole time left before the bomb, people were preparing for the final battle.
When there was only 30 minutes left before the explosion, Ai made up her mind.
With eyes showing pain and sorrow, but face calm and composed, Ai said, “I’ll take the pill.”
Chapter 5
Akai studied her expression. He could tell that it was a painful thing for her to do.
Her and Jodie went behind a clump of trees and everyone turned away.
After wrapping herself in a blanket and pulling on Shiho’s clothes, she swallowed the pill.
She bit into her jacket once again, her muffled screams filling her comrades’ ears.
They hated that she had to go through this multiple times, so much pain, physically and emotionally.
When she stumbled back over, she was leaning against Jodie for support and her face was pale.
Shinichi was about to offer her something to drink, when Akai handed her some tea silently.
It was a brotherly gesture, but a sharp stabbing pain that lasted for a second seemed to pierce Shinichi’s heart, and vanish. He had a confused look on his face, not understanding what the pain was.
Color started to return to her cheeks as she finished the tea, and just in time to gear up quickly before the explosion. She was already wearing her camouflage cargo pants, boots, and black tank-top, but she decided to go without her black jacket. Then she pulled on a bullet-proof vest and all her gear.
As soon as she finished, the last phase began.
They stealthily moved through the forest in groups of 4.
Shinichi, Hattori, Shiho, and Jodie were one group, but Ran tagged along with them.
All of a sudden the headquarters came into view, just as the bomb went off.
People were being shoved by the blast, some dying and some being heavily injured.
As the dust began to settle the FBI moved in, just to raise the dust again.
A large fire fight began as the two forces clashed.
Ran stayed hidden in a tree, having given Shinichi her bullet proof vest and also since she was unarmed.
The air was filled with the stench of burning hair and flesh, along with that of freshly spilled blood.
The air was humid and the putrid smell mingled with it, allowing one to taste the foul air.
As the dust settled and the five minutes came to a close, police sirens wailed and guns continued to fire.
Not only were there gun fights, but hand to hand combat also was going on in some cases.
It was as if hell had broken loose. Blood smeared all the trees and fighters, and corpses were trampled as the battle raged on.
Finally the police had come and the FBI had come out victorious.
As Jodie and Akai explained the situation, the others were fixing up the war scene and tending to the injured.
Shinichi looked at Ran with a smile on his face. He was about to take a step towards her when both his step and smile faltered.
He swiveled his head around in search for the strawberry blonde. Finally his eyes rested on a lone figure, covered in blood and dirt, mixed together. She stood on a hill and gazed at the stars that speckled the night sky.
Most of the people there had already wiped off the blood and changed, but Shiho had refused.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the murky air, practically suffocating her lungs. Yet she had no bitter feelings towards the air for stinging her eyes, nose, and lungs, but she was glad for it. Like most people there, her eyes were watering. Although the others’ eyes were watering due to the air, her eyes were watering for another reason, but nobody needed to know that.
Shinichi couldn’t help but stare. He hadn’t had time to study what she really looked like in her true form.
Her short strawberry blonde hair rustled in the wind as she removed the ponytail, and it flowed freely around her beautiful face, filled with sorrow.
No matter how much blood, dirt, and clothes she wore, her figure was still visible.
She was even more developed than Ran, with a much more seductive aura. Yet she seemed to have an air of loneliness surrounding her, which kept people away.
This teen, only a year older than Shinichi, had no place to go. Now that the organization was gone and the antidote was complete, she no longer had a use.
Shinichi blushed lightly as he studied her, but soon grew to be sad. He finally realized what Shiho had come to a conclusion about long before. She didn’t have a place anymore. As Haibara Ai she had friends and a foster father. As Miyano Shiho, she had no one and nowhere to go.
Ran began to call out to Shinichi but stopped when she saw him walking towards Shiho. She only watched with sad eyes, not sure of what to do.
Shinichi pulled out a handkerchief and surprised Shiho by wiping away some of the blood and dirt from her face.
“What’s up Kudo-kun?” she asked calmly.
“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.”
“In a bit. I’m busy right now.”
“With what?”
She smiled mischievously. “For me to know, and you to never find out.”
Her grin sent a wave of heat through Shinichi and he could feel the color rising in his cheeks. He was thankful for the darkness which surrounded them.
He took her hand and pulled her down the hill.
“Come on, let’s go.”
She looked at him quizzically as if asking ‘Where?’ She knew she didn’t have a place to go, and the way he had said ‘let’s go’ seemed like there was something behind those words, other than, ‘Let’s go get you cleaned up.’
He looked away from her gaze, turning redder. Then he whispered, “Home.”
Chapter 6
Her eyes widened slightly in surprise. She hadn’t been expecting that answer.
She followed him down the hill and towards the crowd of celebrating FBI agents. They welcomed the two teens gladly.
For the first time since Megure arrived, he noticed Shinichi.
“Kudo-kun?!” the overweight inspector called out in surprise.
Shinichi heard his name and whipped around. “Ah! Megure-keibu! Good to see you!” he called back with a smile. He wormed his way through the crowd, pulling Shiho along with him, having forgotten she was there.
“Kudo-kun, what are you doing here?” he asked in a stunned voice. Then he noticed the girl his hand had latched onto. Slightly blushing he asked, “And… who is this?” he gestured to Shiho; both his eyes though, were on Shinichi’s hand and Shiho’s arm.
“Ah!” Shinichi said in surprise as he pulled his hand away from Shiho, blushing. “Th-this is Miyano Shiho, my er…” he trailed off.
“Girlfriend?” asked Megure.
Shiho cut in, “Associate or partner. Either one will do.”
“Oh, I see,” he said in surprise. He wasn’t expecting such a cutting tone from such a beautiful face.
Shiho seemed to read his mind. A small smirk played on her lips.
Before Megure could recompose himself, Ran walked over to them.
“Ran-kun, what are you doing here?” asked Megure incredulously.
“Er, I saw them leaving the professor’s house. Before I knew what I was doing or what was happening, I had followed them,” she blushed slightly.
“W-well, can you all go over the events of this past day?”
Shinichi and Shiho looked at each other.
“Megure-keibu, it might be best if we start from a few months back,” suggested Shinichi.
Megure raised an eyebrow in question.
They took that as a sign to spill everything, so they did.
Everything about the syndicate, Conan, Ai, and that day, was covered. It took over an hour to explain everything, but the police were understanding. Kudo Shinichi was not known to lie.
Megure though, id have a question.
“Why didn’t you trust me?”
“I did trust you, and I still do, but you would have been in danger. Besides, there might have been a mole in the police force. Anyways, Ran didn’t even know until today, and I tell her everything. Now I’ve told you as well.”
Megure sighed. “Well don’t worry; I’ve already talked to the higher ups. They told us not too long ago that the FBI was allowed to carry out their operation. They just didn’t tell us for a week until it had already occurred.”
“I see,” Shinichi said, relief layered in his voice.
“But about Miyano-san…” he trailed off.
Both Shinichi and Shiho slightly tensed.
“What about me?” she asked calmly, not showing her discomfort.
“The higher ups want you under supervision at all times. Also you will be attending school. We already know that you already graduated, but the teachers have already been notified to watch your movements. Once we know where you will live, we can watch you all the time.”
Without hesitation Shinichi said, “My place.”
Everyone looked at him in surprise.
“I mean, she can’t stay at the professor’s house anymore. It might be found out that she’s Haibara. And she probably doesn’t have money for a place. This way it’ll be fine. I can supervise her for the police. Also if she is placed in my class I can also watch over her at school.”
Megure was thoughtful. “That might work.”
“Also, it’s not any different from before,” added Shiho. “You practically lived at the professor’s house and most of the time you were staring at me, no doubt wondering when the antidote would be finished. At school we talked since we knew everything. Now the only thing that’s changed other than our bodies, is the fact that you have a whole new reason to stare at me.”
Shinichi turned bright red.
Shiho chuckled, her melodic voice ringing clear.
People turned to look at the one who laughed.
Her laugh drew in everyone since it sounded so sweet and innocent.
Everyone became surprised when they saw who was laughing. They didn’t expect anything of the sort to have come from her.
“I’m fine with this, but is Ran?” asked Shiho as she turned to the other girl.
Ran grew nervous as everyone turned to look at her. Shinichi and Hattori didn’t understand why it mattered what Ran thought, but everyone else did.
Chapter 7
Ran gulped and said, “I-I th-think it’s fine, but… don’t try anything ok?”
She wasn’t talking to Shinichi but he took it the wrong way.
“Idiot, why would I try something?” Shinichi asked as if it was absurd.
Shiho was hurt by his words and looked away as a tear rolled down her cheek.
Before turning back, she quickly wiped the tear away. Then she said to Ran, acting strong, “Don’t worry. If he tries anything I’ll knock him out. Even if he has some fighting training, he wasn’t a trained assassin by a crime syndicate. Well, I’m only half trained. Usually scientists didn’t learn anything since they were constantly guarded.”
It grew silent. They knew the threat was real, and that it was possible and she was serious.
When things had settled down, the teenagers and the professor were sent home.
Only the professor, who was driving, and the two girls were awake. Both of the boys were fast asleep.
“Hey, Shiho-san, why don’t you want to come between me and Shinichi? I mean, I’m not telling you too, and I’d prefer you didn’t, but most girls would keep trying to get the guy to like them,” Ran blurted out.
Shiho explained calmly, “I can’t do that. I have no right. Besides you remind me slightly of my sister, who is older, though you’re younger, and I couldn’t do that to my sister.”
“But why do you think you have no right?”
Shiho sighed and said with a sad smile, “I’m the one who made the pill that shrunk him. I’m the one who took him away from you, and took you away from him. He’s obviously loved you for a long time. He would always ask me about the antidote so that he could visit you. When he wasn’t talking about the antidote it was about you, soccer, or Sherlock Holmes, but mainly you, oh, and cases whenever they occurred. And also…” she trailed off before starting a new topic and grew silent.
“Go on,” urged Ran, although she was no longer in the conversation completely.
“Even as a scientist I believe in fate, not normal I must say. And since long ago, I’ve known that fate was against me. My parents were killed when I was young. I was forced to make a drug so that they wouldn’t kill my sister. When they did kill her, Kudo-kun was the one to see her die. So I blamed him. When I stopped working on the drug after that, I was placed in a gas chamber awaiting my death sentence. I took the pill I created to suicide, yet instead I’m shrunk and forced to live. When I told Kudo-kun who I was, he yelled, ‘How could I understand a person who created poison to kill people?! You don’t understand, do you?! Because of your damn drug, only god knows how many people were…’ he probably was going to say murdered after that. To him, I’m truthfully the most detestable person in the world. I took him away from you and made him lie to the world and guess what? Fate made me fall in love with the one guy I could never have. I always tried to help him so that he might fall for me or even just look at me as a friend, and not just the person who shrunk him and the person who could change him back. Yet it never worked. So I gave up.”
The whole car grew silent except for the light breathing of Shinichi and Hattori.
The professor was thinking about what Shiho had just said. Ran was only thinking about the part where Shiho said that Shinichi loves her. And Shiho was thinking about her sister.
It was like that for the rest of the ride.
When they returned, Shinichi decided to walk Ran home.
Hattori would stay the night at the Kudo residence and then be sent home to Osaka the next morning.
Shiho chose a room and changed. She kept the door locked and stared out the window at the glittering stars. She was thinking about Shinichi.
Hattori just collapsed in the first room he walked into. He immediately fell asleep in the bed, the car ride obviously not being enough of a nap for him to stay awake any second longer.
Shinichi was walking Ran home in silence. His mind was drifting back to the conversation in the car. He had faked being asleep. He just couldn’t believe that Shiho loved him, and he felt guilty that she thought he saw her as a burden and criminal, not as a friend. Especially since that was no longer true. He did admit that he was like that in the beginning, but he had warmed up to her as time went on. Though he did realize that it was his fault she thought this way since he was always talking about Ran in front of her, and she loved him. He never seemed thankful to her and always tried to hurry her into finishing the antidote so he could be with Ran.
“Shinichi,” said Ran as they stopped in front of the detective agency, cutting off his train of thought.
“Hm?” he asked, looking at her.
She leaned towards him and brushed her lips against his. “Good night,” she whispered, blushing and hurrying into the agency.
Shinichi was at a loss for words. He had always wanted to kiss her, but now, something just didn’t feel right.
After a while he decided to think about it later, figuring it wasn’t very important.
His mind drifted back to Shiho as he looked at the stars upon entering the gate at the front of his property. He grinned at the thought of the kiss, although for some reason, he felt guilty about it as well. He pushed the guilt to the back of his mind and only thought about the feel of Ran’s lips lightly touching his, and also the fact that she had kissed him, not him kissing her.
Chapter 8
The next morning when Shinichi woke up, Hattori had already left. He walked down to the kitchen in his boxers, only to walk in on Shiho who was cooking.
He blushed at her attire. She was only wearing a long shirt.
When Shiho noticed him she said, “Mornin’ Kudo-kun. Aren’t you cold?”
Shinichi looked at what he was wearing and blushed.
Shiho chuckled as he ran up to his room to change.
When Shinichi came back down, Shiho was sitting at the table eating. One leg was crossed over the other and her legs were extremely exposed.
Shinichi diverted his eyes as he sat down and ate.
Immediately he forgot his discomfort and said, “Wow, this is great! If I’d known  you cooked so well I would’ve eaten over more often.”
She chuckled.
As he hastily drank his juice she asked bluntly, “So, did you like the kiss?”
Shinichi almost spewed his juice all over. “How’d you know about that?” he asked incredulously.
“You sleep-talk. I went in to wake you up but you seemed to be having a good dream about what happened last night, so I left you alone.
“That was not a dream, but a nightmare,” he mumbled. And in my dream…” he trailed off and only finished his sentence in his thoughts, I was kissing you not Ran. He blushed as he finished this thought.
Shiho raised an eyebrow but didn’t press on.
After eating she finished getting ready and the two walked to school.
On the way they bumped into Ran.
The three walked together in awkward silence. Shiho was sure to place herself beside Ran and away from Shinichi so that the two could walk together.
When they arrived at school, Shiho went to the teacher’s office with Shinichi, and Ran headed to class.
They were going to be reintroduced by the teacher.
The whole class was in an uproar before Shinichi and Shiho were brought to class.
Immediately it went silent when the two walked into the classroom. Guys stared at Shiho, practically drooling, and girls stared at Shinichi.
The teacher cleared her throat and spoke up, “This is Kudo Shinichi and Miyano Shiho, please treat them kindly.”
The two walked to the very back and sat together and away from everyone else.
Sonoko was angry, not knowing the complete truth, although she knew plenty.
When lunch rolled around, everyone crowded Shinichi and Shiho.
“You sly dog!” yelled the guys.
“You kiss Ran and get to sit with the new student, who, I might add, is an absolutely stunning beauty,” said one guy, although the second half was meant for Shiho to hear.
Shinichi and Ran were blushing.
Shinichi shot a murderous glance at Sonoko. He couldn’t believe she blabbed like that.
Ran all of a sudden asked Shinichi with a red face, “Will you go see a movie with me?”
Blushing and nervous he said, “Sure,” then he turned to Shiho and asked, “You want to come?”
Sonoko shot Shiho death glares but she ignored them. She saw Ran’s face of utter despair. Then she replied to Shinichi with a sigh, “Pass. I have an idea for dinner tonight but I’ll need to do some shopping.”
“Oh, ok,” he replied.
Then she said with a smirk, “Have fun on your DATE, mei-tantei-san.”
Shinichi turned bright red.
Ripples went through the class. Shiho and Shinichi were... living together?
When class ended Shinichi and Ran went off arm in arm and Shiho began to head home.
Shinichi was feeling guilty but he didn’t know why. Pain was constantly stabbing at his heart every step he took away from Shiho.
Shiho on the other hand was being followed, and had no time to think about her feelings.
Sonoko was leading the whole class on a stalker mission to find out the truth.
They followed her as she walked to the store and bought some stuff.
Afterwards she began to walk home.
When she made it home she changed into sweatpants and a tank-top and walked outside through the back door.
She then appeared behind the whole class and said, “If you’re going to stalk someone, you need to learn how to do a better job like that of a trained assassin.”
They all jumped at her voice.
She sighed. “Anyways, Kudo-kun isn’t here so I can’t let you in.”
“Who are you anyways?” asked Sonoko haughtily.
“Miyano Shiho,” she replied smoothly.
“I meant who are you to Kudo.”
“Well, I don’t think he sees me as a friend…” she trailed off for a few seconds to let their imaginations run wild before continuing, “Probably more like the person he despises and hates the most in the entire world, oh, and also his work partner.”
That description caught them off guard.
“He only hates criminals,” said Sonoko.
Shiho chuckled, “And now you know who I am.”
“But you’re also his partner, he would never work with a criminal,” piped up another girl.
“Many things have happened between us. Let’s just say it’s not an ordinary relationship.”
Sonoko then blurted out, “Do you like Kudo?”
With no hesitation she replied, “Yes. It’s quite obvious. Well it’s not obvious to him. He is so dense in that department. Unless I tell him straight out and tell him that it’s not a joke, no matter how many times he asks whether it is or not, will he believe me. Even if you were to tell him he wouldn’t believe it unless he already knew.”
“So you’re Ran’s competition?” asked Sonoko.
“No. I don’t intend to enter the running for his love. I don’t want to waste my time on something pointless. I already know that he loves Ran. He talked about her practically everyday to me. Besides, she resembles my sister. I could never do that to my sister.”
“Sister?” they all asked.
“Would you like to meet her?”
Chapter 9
The guys badly wanted to see this beautiful girl’s sister. They expected her to look just as great or even better. The girls didn’t really care but agreed.
Shiho bought some red roses from a shop as they walked along the streets. People murmured and pointed at them, wondering what was going on.
As they reached a graveyard her classmates began to whisper and mutter amongst themselves.
They went down a few rows and walked along it for a while.
All of a sudden Shiho stopped in front of a large stone, and this one had a picture frame embedded in it.
The words on the stone read, RIP Miyano Atsushi, Miyano Elena, Miyano Akemi, Miyano Shiho.
People’s eyes widened, seeing her name on the list.
“Don’t be surprised. I was thought to be dead for months, the whole time I was with Kudo-kun though.”
She laid down the roses on the tombstone and said, “Neechan, Tou-san, Kaa-san, sorry it’s been so long since I last visited. I’m finally free of ‘them’ though. Now I can visit as often as I want. Anyways, Neechan, these are my new classmates. Sorry that Kudo-kun isn’t here, he’s on a date right now. I know it wasn’t his fault you died so I’ve finally stopped blaming him. Oh yeah, Seichirou is dead. He can no longer bother me. Please make sure he’s sent to the depths of hell, oh and slap him once for me. It’s payback for shooting me. Anyways, I’ll visit soon Neechan.”
Everyone was silent.
Shiho smiled at the picture. There were four people in it, two adults, one man and one woman, and two children. One was a little brown-haired girl, and the other was a strawberry blonde baby.
As she stood up she heard a familiar voice call, “Miyano!”
She turned slowly and saw Shinichi and Ran coming towards her.
“Kudo-kun, what are you doing here?”
“On our way home we heard some people talking about a huge class going to the graveyard with a strawberry blonde leading. I figured you were visiting our sister.”
“I was.”
Shinichi walked over to the grave and said, “Miyano-san, sorry that I couldn’t save you. I promise to take care of your little sister. Oh and Gin is dead. Finally you can rest in peace.”
Everyone was silent.
Shinichi then turned to Shiho and said, “Anyways, didn’t you say you have to make dinner?”
“I was lying so you could be alone with Ran.”
“You shouldn’t have left the house though, you know I’m responsible for you.”
“Kudo-kun,” she said agitated, walking up to him, “don’t treat me like a child. I’m a year older than you. Don’t even think of talking down to me.”
“Miyano, you’re under my care, thus I am in charge of you, no matter how annoyed I get. I mean, we’re in this situation because of you. These past few months were your entire fault.”
Immediately after the words left his mouth he regretted what he had said. He could see how hurt she was.
Shiho then snapped, “You know what Kudo-kun? I’m through with you! I wasn’t going to tell you since I hadn’t really considered the option, but I was told that if I go back to America then as long as I’m gone for a year with no problems, I can come back anytime. Right now though, I’m sick of you. I’d have a better chance in America. At least I wouldn’t have to see you! I wouldn’t even have to come back here!” She turned around angrily and stormed off. Then she turned around one last time and yelled, “Maybe I was too quick to say you didn’t kill my sister. At the moment, I feel as if you were the cause. You could’ve saved her, but you didn’t.”
Shinichi flinched at her words and was at a loss for his own.
Everyone just stood there with wide eyes, and mouths hanging.
“Damn it,” muttered Shinichi. He sunk to the ground and whispered to the grave, “Sorry Miyano-san, looks like I’ve done it again. Do you think I went too far? Is she really going to go through with it?”
A cold shiver ran down his back, though there was no wind. It sent Shinichi an ominous premonition. Something bad was going to happen.
Chapter 10
Shiho kept walking and didn’t turn back. She was angry, she admits, and also regretful. She didn’t mean to snap, but he had taken it one step too far as well.
She was walking around aimlessly for hours. Her eyes were glued to the stars as she walked silently through the sleeping park, allowing the wind to ruffle her hair.
Then, before she knew what was happening, she was caught by surprise, due to how deep in thought she was, and was hit on the back of the head.
She collapsed, no sound escaping her lips, no time to react.
She phased in and out as she was carried to the back of a large truck, her vision blurry.
As they neared the track, and the doors swung open, she lost consciousness, blood dripping down her neck at a slow rate.

Shinichi finally worked up the courage to go home and face Shiho. He was prepared to apologize, taking hours to mentally prepare himself and figure what to say.
When he openedd the door, something didn’t feel right. Her shoes were missing, and there was no sign of her having been there. Could she really have left?
He hurriedly rushed to her room, throwing open the door in haste, allowing it to hit the wall. The crash echoed around the empty house.
Everything was still in her room. Mind you it was quite bare, only a few things neatly placed around the room.
A computer sat upon her desk, a printer alongside. He shook the mouse, hoping to see what was on the screen.
The whole computer was locked. He quickly clicked a few buttons and found that no data had been erased, but he still couldn’t open her files.
She hadn’t run away, she was missing.
He didn’t know whether something had happened to her, or if she was doing it to get him in trouble, but he sure as hell would find out, one way or another.
He shut her room door and rushed off. His feet pounded down the steps, then slipped into his shoes.
Then with no hesitation, he opened the door and left.
He had a bad feeling in his gut. Something was not right.

As her eyes slowly opened, it took time for them to adjust to the dimly lit, large, metal box she was in.
Her hands and feet were tied, and her body ached.
As she tried to sit upright, she flinched in pain, her head injury throbbing endlessly.
From behind her she heard something spoken, and it took her a while to process what had been said.
“Miyano-san, are you alright?”
The voice sounded familiar, so rolling over, she turned to the voice’s owner.
Her eyes widened in surprise. In a group of about 10 girls, two looked familiar.
“Aya-san, Mizuki-san, what happened?”
Aya replied bitterly, though she was trembling from fear, “On our way home, we were shoved into the back of this truck, bound and gagged after being knocked out by some drug.”
Mizuki then spoke up with a trembling voice, “you seem to have gotten the worst. Most girls here passed out due to the drug. Only you were hit over the head.”
“No wonder the back of my neck felt sticky and warm,” she smiled ruefully, “My blood has stopped flowing though, thankfully.” Then with a thoughtful expression she continued, a bitter smile playing on her lips, “Yet again, death has evaded me. Someone up there must really hate me.”
“Wh-what are you talking about?” asked Mizuki worriedly.
Gently shaking her head she replied, “Never mind. Anyways, where are we going? Do you guys know?”
“The man came a while ago. As he placed you in here he mentioned something about a drop off point,” muttered a girl in the back.
Another girl spoke up and said, “I wonder what that means.”
Shiho noticed that all the girls were around her age, and most were still wearing their uniforms.
“We’re being sold,” she replied simply.
All of the girls started to grow even more scared. Even if they had all been guessing that, hearing their fears voiced only heightened the effect.
While they were all whispering and muttering their fears, Shiho curled into a sort of ball, and brought her hands to the front of her body.
“What are you doing?” asked one girl.
“Escaping.”
She reached under her shirt, and her hands gripped a small piece of metal that had been ‘surgically’ placed in the hem of her bra.
Everyone was looking at her strangely, wondering what the hell she was doing.
When her hands came out of the bottom of her shirt, a small knife appeared in her hands.
Their eyes widened in shock and surprise.
She brought the knife to her mouth, and clasped the handle in her teeth. Then she began to saw away at the ropes that bound her hands together. Afterwards she quickly broke the bonds on her feet.
Before she could release the others, the truck jerked to a stop. Quickly she placed her knife away, and hid behind two girls.
They looked at her strangely. She didn’t seem to be hiding, but she wasn’t exactly pronouncing the fact that she had a plan.
She noticed how they were looking at her and said with a confident smile, “Don’t worry, I’m getting us out of here.”
Chapter 11
Shinichi, after searching for two hours, decided to enlist the help of the police.
As he burst through the doors, Megure had a dark look on his face, and was listening to a message.
Before Shinichi could say anything, Megure stated, almost pleading for himself to be wrong, “Miyano-san was kidnapped. Not only that, but girls around her age have been disappearing all over today. Seems Miyano-san is one of them. We have someone who spotted a strawberry blonde teen being taken away.”
Shinichi’s eyes hardened. “It’s all my fault,” he muttered to himself.
Megure raised an eyebrow.
Shinichi just shook off the look and said, determined, “I’m helping.”
Search parties were sent off, and Shinichi hurried off to help and gather clues and search around for any more eye witnesses to the events which had occurred to the scientist not too long before.

Shiho closed her eyes and said, “Sorry everyone, even though I promised to never turn back to Sherry, it looks like you’re about to meet her.”
They looked at her in confusion.
When her eyes opened, they were no longer blue, but black, coal black.
They shivered.
When the doors opened, she saw two men with guns and four men in suits. One of the men in suits, wearing a white suit, was opening the truck doors.
After a quick survey of her surroundings, she jumped at the man in white.
He screeched as he hit the floor and all the guns swung towards Shiho.
“If you move, I’ll rip his throat out and stain his white suit,” she said coldly.
The guy underneath her was screaming at the top of his lungs, and in a high-pitched voice, “Don’t move, don’t move!”
The two men with guns froze. They had to do as their boss said, but if they didn’t, they could sell the girls for a price and make off with more profit than what they were being paid. It was a hard decision for them.
A cold smirk crossed her lips.
Her captive began to sweat profusely, seeing the question on his men’s faces, just like Shiho had seen.
She un-holstered his gun and slipped it into the back of her sweat-pants.
While she was doing this, the two armed men thought they saw an opening to take her out.
They raised their guns, only a little bit, before a shot rang out, and a blood curling scream echoed around the empty warehouse’s closed in space.
She stood up and placed her foot on his chest. “Nobody move.” Her foot, grinding into his chest, left a dirt mark on its pure whiteness.
She surveyed her work. One of the gunmen had a knife sticking out of his heart, and the other had a bullet hole between the eyes.
Looking around the warehouse, she confirmed that there was no one else.
She shoved the man underneath her towards the other three businessmen in black suits with her foot.  Then with a chilling voice she said, “Don’t try anything while I’m calling the police, or else you’ll be joining those two corpses.”
Shiho pulled out a cell phone from one of the corpses, and dialed 110.
“I’d like to speak with 1st division Megure-keibu. It’s about the kidnappings. We’re at…”
She stopped talking and spun around to face the man who had come up behind her. It was one of the men in a black suit. Without a moment of hesitation, she slashed the nails of her left hand through his throat. Another shriek echoed and bounced off the walls, deafening everyone momentarily.
“Hello? Dispatch is sending help your way,” said the voice on the phone, obviously shaken by the scream.
Shiho brought the phone and said, “Make sure to bring a coroner with that dispatch team, we have 3 dead bodies, and there may be more depending…” she let the sentence hang in the air.
She left the phone on so their position could be traced and set it down on the ground.
She turned and glared at the three remaining men.
With an ecstatic smile, but cold eyes, she said, “Don’t test me; I’m having a bitchy day already.”
She slid her tongue gently over the blood which caked her fingers.
“While we wait, how about I tell you about my day?” she asked with a smile.
Of course no one responded so she continued.
“So, I wake up in the house of the one I love, and I go to his room to wake him for breakfast. Then I hear him muttering something about a kiss, and then says a girl’s name. Mind you, we’ve never been together, and he sees me as someone he despises, so it obviously wasn’t me. Let’s just call his feelings towards me part of ‘special circumstances.’ Then I have to start school again, even though I’ve already graduated from college in America. I get hounded by all the guys, and I have to convince the guy I like to go out with the girl he has kissed. After school I get stalked home, and am reminded again that the two of us will never be together. Then I let my class meet my family since they were the ones stalking me and seemed to want answers. Surprise, surprise, we visited a graveyard, where not only my parents and sister are pronounced dead, but I am as well. Then at the graveyard I run into ‘him’ again. We argue, I blame him for my sister’s death. While walking around I’m kidnapped. Now I’ve had to kill three men, and revert back into Sherry, a trained killer.”
She paused to let that all sink in. Then she continued once again.
“Or at least I’m partially trained. I learned escape maneuvers, fighting skills, and how to kill, but I was never truly taught to assassinate. As a scientist I only needed to basics, but I insisted on learning more. I’m quite glad that I learned some stuff now. Hmm, depending on the situation, I may get in trouble. Well, it was self-defense anyways. Those three were trying to kill me. I was just protecting myself with my skills. Anyways, that’s only today’s troubles. I haven’t mentioned the past few years of my life, being threatened to make a poison, being sent to America to study so that I can take over what my parent’s started, have a maniac fall in love with me and try to kill me even though he loves me. My life is a real mess.”
The girls in the truck were surprised by her words and how empty of emotions they were, no matter what she was talking about.
When she finished her story she took a jacket off a corpse and ripped it. With the ripped pieces she tied up the remaining men.
Then she walked over to the truck. The girls inside flinched away from her.
She sighed. With blood all over her, she looked like a devil.
Her eyes softened and the color finally came back to them. A calm blue slowly resurfaced.
With a warm smile she said, “Don’t worry; I’ll get you guys out. I’m just going to untie you.”
Aya allowed herself to be picked up with no resistance, although she was against the blood on Shiho’s hands, she was still glad to be set free.
As Shiho set her down outside the truck, she began to untie the bonds.
All of a sudden police were inside. At the sight of the corpses and a bloody figure, standing over a girl, they fired into the figure’s back.
Immediately a teenager yelled for the two to stop, his voice commanding and panicking at the same time. Shiho collapsed to the ground, two rounds lodging into her back, and one into her right leg, and one in her left arm.
Aya then screeched, “Miyano-san!”
Shinichi rushed over to her.
“Oi, Miyano, hang on, we’ll keep you alive!” shouted Shinichi. Tears were actually starting to form in his eyes.
A small smile played across her lips and a coarse chuckle slipped out. “I was just talking about you Kudo-kun.”
Then her eyes slowly closed.
The officers who had fired just realized their mistake. They could no longer face the others.
Shinichi hastily felt for her pulse as a stretcher was rushed to them.
He couldn’t feel anything. His heart leapt into his throat and he pressed his lips to her forehead. To himself he thought bitterly, What a way to realize your love for someone.
Chapter 12
Then he felt it. A faint pulse.
She was still alive.
She was rushed off to the hospital, and Shinichi followed behind.
Megure stayed to gather statements and get the other girls home.
Aya and Mizuki were allowed on the ambulance, and promptly agreed to come.
The officers who had fired were scolded severely and put to work, temporarily relieved that they hadn’t killed her, at least, not yet.
When they arrived at the hospital, Shiho’s life was slowly slipping away.
Immediately they rushed her off to the emergency room for operation.
Shinichi and the two girls could only wait outside for the news.
Seconds turned into minutes, and minutes turned into hours, yet she was still in the operation room.
The professor had joined them in the waiting room, and an hour after, the whole class came.
Much to Shinichi’s surprise, the police and FBI attended as well.
It was a mass of bodies in the waiting room, yet dead silence was all there was.
As soon as Shiho was out, everyone crowded into her room to visit.
She was just waking up and her eyes were fluttering open.
“Miyano, you ok?” asked Shinichi worriedly.
“Kudo-kun?” she asked, trying to focus her eyes. Finally when she recognized him, she let a small smile pass through her lips.
Everyone smiled in relief. “SO, what’s the damage?” Shinichi asked the doctor.
Shiho replied instead, “I need to go to America for surgery. I heard it earlier after surgery. The equipment here isn’t enough, and I also need to go for rehabilitation.”
They all stood dumbfounded.
She had turned away from their stares and said, “Can everyone but the FBI and police leave?”
Before anyone could protest, they were kicked out, including Shinichi.
Shinichi, the professor, and the rest of the class grumbled as they were ushered to the waiting room.
Hours passed, and slowly people started to leave, until only Shinichi, Ran, the professor, and Sonoko were left.
Finally the FBI and police left her room, muttering amongst themselves, keeping their voices low.
Shinichi walked up to them and asked, “So what’s going on?”
They all stopped talking and turned to the questioning boy.
“We were discussing her going to America. We decided that she will be staying in America after her treatment is finished until the rest of her one year is up.”
“What? Why? She can come back and stay under my supervision for a year.”
Megure cleared his throat and said, “Er, Kudo-kun, you’re the reason she wants to go to America.”
It went quiet.
“B-but,” he started in protest.
Akai placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder and shook his head. “Don’t. She’s not changing her mind.”
Shinichi grit his teeth and looked down at the ground.
He was filled with too many conflicting emotions. He didn’t know what to do.
Finally he asked dejectedly, “Can I at least see her?”
They nodded their heads and Shinichi hurried past them.
Sonoko, Ran, and the professor all peeked through the crack of her room door, unsure whether they should enter.
Shinichi moved over to her side and sat down on a seat alongside the bed.
“Welcome back, Meitantei-san.” She grinned.
“Looks like you’ll recover fine,” he grinned back.
Her smile faltered. “We hope.”
“Oi, don’t say that! You’ll be back in a year. You can move back into my place then.”
“Hah, yes, I’m going to move into the place where you will try to restrain me,” she said sarcastically. “That’s not happening.”
Shinichi chuckled, “Fine, no rules.”
“I’ll have to think about it.”
The two talked for a while and had a sort of atmosphere that was getting closer to a romantic feel, more than partner or friend feel.
Sonoko noticed this and had to end it.
“So Miyano-san, how you doing?” asked Sonoko with a smile, the corner of her lips twitching.
Shiho immediately lost her smile.
“Don’t worry Sonoko-san, I’m not trying anything. Shinichi is all Ran’s.”
Sonoko couldn’t retort. Shiho had taken the words right out of her mouth.
Shinichi and Ran both tensed at her words, both for separate reasons.
Shiho turned and looked out the window.
“I leave tomorrow,” she whispered.
Their eyes widened.
“What?!” the professor practically yelled.
She smiled sadly at him. “Don’t forget your diet. Also, there’s no need to worry. I’m mainly going there for rehabilitation. They say there’s very little chance of anything going wrong.”
“Ok, I’ll take care so long as you get better,” he said firmly.
Shiho sighed with a smile and turned to Shinichi saying, “Even if something happens to me, make sure he eats well. Promise me, k?”
“Nothing will happen, right?” he asked sternly.
“Kudo-kun,” she sighed, “just promise. Nothing should go wrong.”
He smiled in return, but something didn’t feel right to him. It was the same feeling that he had at the graveyard.
“Anyways, I’m going to sleep. See you in the morning. 10 o’clock sharp. I leave at 10:30.”
They nodded their heads.
“See you in the morning,” they said as they left.
Shiho sunk down on the bed with a sigh. The next few days would be hell.
Slowly she drifted off into a fitful sleep.

She jerked awake as someone gently shook her.
Blinking away her sleepiness, she saw Jodie.
“Oh, Agent Jodie, is it time?”
“Yes, let’s get going. It’s going to be tough.”
“I know. Let’s get this over with.”
She got into a wheelchair and Jodie pushed her towards the waiting room where her classmates for a day, and the professor, were all waiting to say goodbye.
Little did they know, it would be they’re last.
Chapter 13
“See you in a year right?” asked Shinichi with a smile.
Shiho hesitated to respond and said with a sad smile, “Yeah.”
After her last goodbyes, she was placed in an ambulance and brought to the airport.
When she boarded the plane, she looked out the window at the falling snow. Sighing deeply she whispered, “Goodbye Japan, and goodbye, Miyano Shiho.”

A month after arriving in America, there was a problem. Her health slowly declined until her death.
Apparently, she had received too much blood of the wrong caliber, and her body couldn’t handle it. Since the blood she received had not been acclimated to the APTX 4869 that had taken over her blood cells and filled her bloodstream, her body couldn’t take it.
Her heart had been pumping the infected blood since it first received it.
When too much clean blood entered her body, it offset the balance, making her condition worse and worse as the two types of bloods fought against each other.
If she had received blood little by little, she would have lived, but the sudden large transfusion is what ultimately killed her.
At least, this was what Shinichi and the professor were told.
Her old class was told she had heart failure during one of the surgeries.

3 years later.

By now, Shinichi was finally dating Ran.
His brief moments of realization towards his true love, Miyano Shiho, never faded. He had told no one his true feelings, but even when standing at her grave, he couldn’t bring himself to say it.
Also, he graduated college in two years and began to work for the Japanese police force.

Miyano Shiho was no more, and in her place came Shizuma Keiko. Shiho, having let her strawberry blonde hair grow out, dyed it black.
Nowadays she became a well-known actress. Not only was she the most popular and beautiful actress, but no one knew why she only chose bullying roles, or those of criminals. She was nice enough to be herself in so many movies and TV shows that it was ridiculous.
Yet she always, always chose the part of a cold-blooded killer first, and she always got the part, playing it beautifully and with a killer’s aura.

“Ok, that’s great,” smiled the director. “You can have the part.”
Keiko smiled in thanks.
Another girl came up to complain, her name, Leah Cornwall.
“I’m better than she is! The movies she is in always need to fix her acting to make it seem more menacing! She only said the words correctly without acting for real!”
Keiko looked at the girl and said with a smile, “I don’t mind acting. We can even have a competition if you so desire. Both of us can go at each other at the same time.”
The girl let an evil grin slip through, “Can we fight for real as well?”
The director tried to break it up when Keiko said with her still cheery smile, but a cold and heartless voice, “Of course.”
A few staff members on set shivered, but Leah was not going to stand down, not now.
The director sighed in defeat, and brought the two girls to the set to fight it out in front of everyone.
“Ok you two, here’s the scenario for the two of you to use. For now you’ll be using your real parts in the movie. So Keiko is a traitor of a large organization, and Leah, you’re a member of the organization.  You’ve come to kill her.” He pulled out two realistic looking dart guns and handed them to the two girls. “Good luck you two.”
Keiko and Leah moved on set and both demeanors of the two girls changed.
Leah brought the gun up to the unmoving Keiko.
With a sneer she said, “Your time is finally over.” She pulled the trigger, but Keiko was no longer where her bullet was flying.
Before Leah knew what was happening, Keiko had the gun to her head.
“You have a long way to go. I’m guessing you’re a lower member of the organization. I’m not even fully trained but I’m better than you. Any last words?”
Leah gulped.
“Bang,” said Keiko as she pulled the trigger.
The director clamped.
Leah grumbled, “Ok, I’ll settle for this part. I guess I don’t need the main role.”
At that conclusion, the director called out, “Ok then! Everyone, pack your bags and be here on time next week. We’re going to Hawaii!”
The whole staff cheered, and after a while they died down and dispersed in eager anticipation.
Keiko tapped Leah’s shoulder. “Let’s go out to eat to celebrate.”
“Sure,” Leah smiled, finally accepting Keiko.
After they packed up they headed towards a new sushi bar.
“So why did you want to be the main character who’s a traitor?” asked Keiko, picking out some sushi. “I mean, she dies in the end.”
“I could ask the same of you.”
“Personal reasons.”
“Well, I’m looking for any lead acting roles. I’ll take what I can get. You’re lucky though, you get any kind of part you want and you can be picky as well,” said Leah as she popped some sushi into her mouth.
“I don’t think I can do anything other than criminal roles,” she mumbled.
“What are you talking about? You’re an amazing actress. You can portray any character,” she said in protest.
“I can portray any character I want, but, as of right now, I don’t have the right to do those sort of happy roles, not to mention they don’t fit me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t think those happy go lucky roles suit me, my personality is hard enough to pull off.”
“I wasn’t talking about that but the part where you said you had no right… and you’re faking your personality?”
Keiko chuckled. “You have to fake everything in the business world.”
“Be real with me then.”
“Ok. About the part where I said I had no right, I lied to some good friends. I don’t deserve to be happy when I made them sad. I’m only running away from fate.” At her own words, Keiko smiled ironically, remembering the bus-jacking case.
“But can’t you and your friends get past that lie? Then you can move on and be happy again.”
“I’m a gloomy person. Besides, could you move on?”
“Of course.”
“Even if the lie was faking your own death so that the guy you love will be with the correct girl and not the one that ruined his life? No matter what?”
Leah thought over the whole baffling situation. “I guess not,” she sighed, “But you have one hell of a past. Is that why nobody can dig up information on you?”
“Yeah.”
“You sure you should be telling a rival this?”
“No, I trust you.”
“Why?”
“Because, you’re not filled with malice, hatred, or jealousy anymore. As of right now you see me as a friend and only that.”
Leah laughed, “So you can read emotions too?”
“No,” she smiled, “body language.”
“You never cease to amaze me.”
“Believe me, I could be a lot more amazing if you knew my past. But that’s just it. It’s my past, and I really don’t want it to come back.”
“Then let’s drink and screw the whole conversation.”
“Yeah.”
The two clinked glasses in toast, right before they were surrounded by their fans who had been dying to talk to them for a while.
Chapter 14
The plane to Hawaii was finally landing after its long flight, and Keiko didn’t get a wink of sleep.
As soon as they landed, everyone stretched before leaving the plane, not wanting to leave a bad impression on their fans who awaited them.
Immediately as the first actor stepped off the plane, they were greeting by a wave of cheers from fans.
Finally, when they had made it past the crowds, they stepped outside to wait for a cab to take them to the hotel whey were to stay at.
Keiko and Leah were away from the others, chatting away, when Keiko heard something that made her heart flutter, but her face flush at the same time.
“Shinichi,” called out a feminine voice. “Come on, your parents are waiting for us!:
“Geez Ran, I’m coming already, cool off,” yelled a guy in return.
Both Leah and Keiko were glancing at them.
“What language are they speaking?” wondered Leah aloud.
“Japanese,” muttered Keiko.
Leah blinked in surprise. “How’d you know?”
“I’m from Japan.”
“Really? So, what’d they say?”
Keiko’s mouth as dry. “The girl was telling him to hurry up since his parents are waiting. And he was saying that he was coming.”
“Wow. He looks so familiar, I wonder who he is. I feel like maybe I’ve seen him in the papers or something.”
“Shinichi Kudo. Yuusaku and Yukiko Kudo’s one and only son. Previously a famous high school detective in Japan, now on the  police force and dating his childhood friend Ran.”
Leah looked at her in surprise. “You sure know a lot.”
She smiled bitterly. “I would, considering he’s the guy I told you about.”
Leah’s mouth hung agape.
Keiko sighed and pushed Leah’s mouth shut.
“Go talk to them,” urged Leah.
Keiko’s eyes hardened.
“Didn’t I tell you that they think I’m dead? There’s a reason I don’t want to meet them. Also, they shouldn’t recognize me, so as long as you say nothing, they never will. Understand?” she asked coldly.
Leah nodded her head.
Then Keiko said with her false cheeriness and trademark fake smile, “Good, now let’s get going, the cab is here.”

When they had settled down, they went to the hotel’s restaurant to eat with the rest of the crew and actors/actresses.
The director called over to them as soon as they entered the room. “Keiko, Leah, come here. There are some people I would like you to meet.”
The two girls changed their course and walked over to him, and Keiko’s heart leapt to her throat and she struggled to put on a smile.
“This is Yuusaku Kudo, Yukiko Kudo, their son, Shinichi Kudo, and his girlfriend, Ran Mouri,” introduced the director.
“Nice to meet you,” the two girls smiled.
Shinichi was staring intently at Keiko, making her want to throw out a sarcastic comment, asking if he liked what he was looking at. She was saved when Ran subtly stepped on his foot to divert his attention.
He winced ever so slightly and it was hard for Keiko not to smile.
“Anyways,” the director continued, “they’re going to be on and off set at will sp please welcome them warmly.”
The two girls nodded their heads and sat down at the table.
Now that Shinichi had stopped staring at Keiko, Leah took over his position and stared at her for him.
At some point, Shinichi and Ran were talking in Japanese. Ran was having a hard time understanding the quickly spoken English.
“Sorry about this,” said Shinichi in English.
“It’s fine,” the director replied with a smile.
All of a sudden Ran wasn’t talking about the movie anymore. It was easy to tell since her whole body language changed. She was asking why Shinichi was always staring at Keiko, and she was getting angry.
Shinichi was trying to tell her that she looked familiar to someone else he knew, but Ran didn’t believe him.
Then Keiko spoke up in Japanese with a slightly deeper voice, “Don’t worry Mouri-san, I have no interest in your boyfriend.” She smiled with her fake happy smile, trying to reassure the girl that she wouldn’t try anything.
Everyone stared at her in shock.
“What? Am I not allowed to speak my native language?” she asked, pretending to be confused.
“N-no, we just didn’t know that you knew Japanese,” admitted Shinichi.
“Ah, well it’s not a well-known fact,” she replied.
“Oh,” was all he muttered in reply.
Keiko quickly finished her food and excused herself, Leah, hurrying after her.
“Sheesh, just tell them who you are,” she sighed exasperated.
“No, you don’t know about my past. I can’t do that.”
“Then tell me of your past!”
“Can I really trust you though?”
“Of course!” she said, obviously hurt.
“Ok, let me tell you a little, though I can’t disclose all of it.”
“Ok, I’m listening.”
“I’m not an actual actress. It’s my career here in America, but it’s not my first choice. My first 18 years of life were devoted to something else.”
“And that is..?”
Keiko took a deep breath. “The creation of a poison.”
Her eyes widened, knowing her friend was completely serious and wasn’t lying. “Poison?”
“And he was a test subject. Let’s just say things didn’t go well from then on.”
Leah was silent. Before she could say anything else, a scream emanated from across the room and towards the restrooms.
All heads whipped around.
Both Keiko, Shinichi, and Yuusaku hurried to the origin.
“Leah!” Keiko called back, “Don’t let anyone leave! Also, call the police!”
Leah nodded her head and she did exactly as she was told, unable to think for herself in the stressful moment.
Keiko, Shinichi, and Yuusaku arrived on scene to find a dead body sprawled across the bathroom floor, its guts strewn across the floor in a bloody manner.
Ran saw it for only a brief second and screamed, fainting and falling into Yukiko’s arms.
“Keiko, you shouldn’t see this,” Shinichi said as he turned to her. He was surprised to see no shock or fear in her eyes. She wasn’t all smiles like before anymore.
“I’ll be fine. I’ve seen worse in horror films.”
“You might contaminate the crime scene.”
“I’m not the one about to put my foot in some stray blood drops.”
Shinichi looked down and quickly stepped away from the blood.
Keiko smirked.
Shinichi stared at her.
“You really do seem familiar.”
She smiled again. “Sorry, this really is my first time meeting you.”
“Well, I need to work, so please leave.”
With a sigh and the wave of her hand she turned towards the door and said, “Yes, yes, I’ll go check up on your girlfriend, just don’t miss that piece of sharp metal that has lodged itself into the well beside your left elbow. You don’t want to cut yourself and contaminate the crime scene and possibly part of the murder weapon.”
Keiko walked over to Yukiko and Ran, Ran who hadn’t yet woken up.
“How is she?” asked Keiko.
“She’s just fine,” replied Yukiko. She seemed to have something on her mind.
They were in a quiet area away from the others for Ran, and it was perfect for Yukiko to ask the question she had been dying to ask.
“You’re Haibara-san aren’t you?”
Keiko swallowed.
Yukiko continued.
“You can’t fool me. Even if you can fool my detective husband and son, you can’t trick me. I’m a make-up artist. In truth you aren’t wearing much make-up, and your whole face is the same. The only difference is your hair, the make-up, and your personality, but any great actress like yourself can change that. I used to be one, I know what it takes.”
Keiko sighed and sat down beside Yukiko.
“Ok, yes, I’m her. Please though, say nothing. I’ve been trying to leave my past behind, and having someone find out who I am does not help.”
“I understand, but… now that I know…” Yukiko trailed off.
Keiko raised an eyebrow.
“Go shopping with me.”
She was slightly taken aback, not expecting such an answer.
“I guess, but can you please keep everything a secret from those two detectives. I would like to stay dead.”
“I know.”
“Also, I’ll probably be avoiding your son.”
“All to be expected.”
“You know why don’t you?”
“You love him. You want him to be with Ran.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I should be allowed to try to take him away from her again. Just being here will distract him since he thinks I look familiar. Just imagine what would happen if he actually knew who I was.”
“I know. Don’t worry. I can keep your secret.”
Keiko sighed in relief. “Thank you.”
Yukiko nodded her head slightly.
Then Keiko left Yukiko to tend to Ran and went back on set to talk to people as they waited for the murder to be solved.
After a long period of waiting, the murderer was finally caught. They were all glad it was over and wished that they could just go to bed and get some sleep.
Keiko slipped out to avoid having to talk to Shinichi, and Leah hurried after her, running to catch up.
Panting she gasped, “Slow… down… Keiko!”
“Oh, Leah, sorry, but I don’t want to see him. If I did wish to see him, I would’ve gone back to Japan.” Keiko stopped walking and gave Leah time to catch her breath.
“I really can’t believe that you didn’t want to see him, but I’ll let it slide this time. Anyways, don’t run away all the time, just avoid him inconspicuously.”
“Ok, ok, I won’t run off, but don’t make me talk to him. My personality will change.”
“Back to the way it normally was?”
“Yes.”
“But he can’t get it from just that can he?”
“For one thing he’s a detective, another, my personality isn’t exactly normal or common, so guessing who I am and the time I became famous in America, it all fits into the plot of who I really am.”
“O-oh,” she stammered, not having thought that her friend was that much different. Yet when she heard the words come from Keiko’s lips, she could feel sadness, unhappiness, and truth all in her words. Of course there was more laden into her words than those three emotions, but those were the main ones. Grief attached itself to it as well, but was less dominant and so less noticed.
They stood in silence for a bit before Keiko asked, “Want to walk along the beach? Filming doesn’t start till later tonight, we still have time.”
Leah smiled, “Sure.”
Silently they walked along the empty beach, thankful for the silence.
Keiko was deep in thought, the past kept popping up in her head, and she tried to push it back into the recesses of her mind but to no avail. Eventually she gave in trying to fight it.
All of a sudden she noticed that Leah was shaking her.
“Keiko, hey, Keiko, come on, we should head back.”
Quickly she came back to reality and said, “Sure, let’s get going.”
As they neared the set, the staff came running towards them.
“Where were you guys?” everyone one asked unhappily.
“What’s going on? Filming doesn’t start for another hour,” replied Leah.
“You can’t just disappear! You guys are actresses! We thought you were kidnapped!”
“I sent a text message to me manager.”
Leah turned to her manager who pulled out her phone and said, “Oh, you did.” She was extremely embarrassed.
Everyone finally let a sigh of relief slip through.
“Oh yeah,” said one staff member, “that Shinichi Kudo guy, his parents and girlfriend left. He’s waiting in Ms. Keiko’s dressing room.”
Keiko tensed. “Please inform him that I don’t have time to see him.”
“Oh, ok,” the staff member muttered as he hurried off to relay the message.
She turned and headed on set and the staff member she sent off came running back.
“He says it’s important.”
“Ask him what it’s about please. If it’s important enough then I’ll talk to him myself.”
“Ok,” she said, hurrying off once again.
When the man returned he said, “He said something about clearing up something.”
She sighed. “Anyways, I’ll go talk to him. Thanks for the help.”
Turning on her heel, she headed towards her dressing room where he awaited.
The door was open a crack. Through it she could see and hear Shinichi on the phone.
“Dad, I’m sorry. I know, I was going to propose to Ran today.”
Shiho’s heart froze and she couldn’t open the door.
Chapter 15
Even though she wanted to hear more, her heart couldn’t take it, and her brain, listening to her heart, forced her feet to turn and walk away.
“I’m sorry, I know you were waiting for me to propose to Ran the whole time, but…” Shinichi trailed off. “I don’t know… I need to figure something out first, then I will continue from there.”
Shinichi’s face showed relief as he said, “Thanks for understanding dad.”
He hung up and sighed.
“I wonder what’s taking her so long,” he mumbled to the empty room.
When he went on set, he saw her getting ready to go on stage.
She saw him out of the corner of her eye, and made sure to pay no attention to him.
Leah became a distraction. She talked away to Shinichi to keep him from approaching her friend.
Keiko thought ironically as she was getting into her role and reading the script one last time, Somehow the director chose the perfect scene for this situation didn’t he?
“And Action!” the director called out.
The main male lead said, “Wait! Mary!” He grabbed Keiko’s wrist as she tried to walk away.
She yanked herself free of him and said coldly, “No, I’m done waiting. After you promised to protect me, you were the one to hurt me most.”
“Cut! Let’s do a retake. Keiko, show a bit more emotion!”
Shinichi was standing off set behind Keiko and he didn’t find anything wrong with the scene.
“Can we switch positions?” called out Keiko.
Baffled, but willing, the director agreed.
They got into position and Keiko was facing both her acting partner and Shinichi.
“And, Action!”
Again the male lead role said, “Wait! Mary!” He grabbed her wrist once again as she tried to walk away.
She had tears streaming down her face, but a cold expression as she said icily, “No, I’m done waiting.” She yanked herself free and wiped away a few tears. Facing her partner, yet directing her words directly to Shinichi she said, “After you promised to protect me, you were the one to hurt me most.”
Everyone was stunned by the sudden change, and this time the director let the scene continue.
Shinichi’s mouth went dry.
Keiko’s face twisted in agony. “I… I believed your words. In the end, I’m only hurt again and again.”
Then in the silence she wiped away the rest of her tears and hardened her face.
“Mary, please, wait,” he pleaded.
“Derek, we’re through. You betrayed me.”
With that she turned and walked off, leaving the actor alone on stage with a deeply hurt expression.
A few awkward seconds passed when the director finally realized the scene was over and shouted, “Cut! That was amazing! Great work Keiko! You too Mark!”
The two actors walked over to the TVs to watch a replay.
Shinichi was standing stock still. Emotions and memories invaded his mind.
“Was it really the position change that helped you?” asked the director in wonder.
“Yes.”
“How?” he asked incredulously.
“Let’s just say that this was a special case. With that position change I was able to do the scene the way I wanted too.”
They looked at her in question.
She only grinned at their confused expressions.
Leah pulled her aside. “You changed positions so you could say it to Shinichi as well, didn’t you?”
Keiko nodded her head and sighed. “I finally got to say the words I had bottled up inside of me for so long to him.”
“There’s definitely a lot to your past I still don’t know isn’t there?”
Keiko sighed, “You have no idea.”
“Anyways, you should go to your dressing room to prepare for the next scene.”
“Yeah, see you in a bit Leah,” she smiled. Then she hurried off, not noticing that a certain detective was gone.
As soon as she opened the door to her dressing room, stepped in, and closed it, somebody grabbed her and pushed her against the wall.
Her eyes widened when she noticed that it was Shinichi.
“Wh-what are you doing?” she stammered in her Keiko manner.
“Drop the act. When you were saying your lines… you wanted to change positions so that you could direct your lines towards me.”
She stopped acting and said, “Child, you’re annoying. You’re younger than me yet you harass me. Do you even know how much older than you I am?”
“A year older,” he said confidently.
“I’m 7 years older than you. This face is made using a thing called make-up. We middle-aged women use it to hide our flaws.” She lied of course, but it sounded so truthful to his ears.
“Why did you direct those lines to me?” he asked nervously. He was beginning to doubt his own deduction skills.
“Actually, I faced your direction because there was less light. When I turned away in that scene, I looked into the bright lights to help my eyes begin to water.”
He released her in surprise.
“Please do not do this again. You’re quite bothersome. Also, don’t you have something else to do? Like propose to your girlfriend?”
He was shocked. “How did you know about that?”
“I came to talk to you but you were on the phone. I didn’t want to interrupt so I left.”
“Oh,” he mumbled as he shuffled his feet.
Sighing she said, pulling back her cheery manner, “Now then, if you will excuse yourself, I need to get ready for the next scene.”
As he walked to the door he mumbled, “Sorry, I mistook you for a friend. I just can’t accept that she’s dead.” His voice was laden with grief.
Shiho was having a hard time keeping herself together.
When he left the room, she fell to her knees shaking. It was hard to lie to him. She hated having to do it, but her peace of mind depended on him being with Ran and disappearing, once again, from her life. She couldn’t let him worm his way back in and turn it into a huge mess.
When she came to that conclusion her face hardened and she muttered, “A few more days and I’m free of him and these damn emotions. That’s it. I can keep this up for a few more days. I will keep this façade up. I won’t give in.”
Chapter 16
She stood up with a determined look on her face.
Once she was stable again, she quickly finished getting ready and headed back on set to film the next scene.
Shinichi had left in a depressed mood.
Nothing else of great proportion happened the rest of the day, but in truth, it was only the beginning of their troubles on the trip.

The next morning they were to be filming on the beach. Her looks had not yet be chosen. Since in this scene she was supposed to have changed her looks since she was undercover, both her wardrobe and her hairstyle had to change.
At the beach they were doing last minute changes.
“Have we decided on a hairstyle yet?” Keiko asked the director.
“Yeah, Yukiko gave us a great idea,” he replied as he flipped through the script, a small grin on his lips. “Do you mind if we cut and dye your hair?”
Keiko had a sickening feeling in her gut. Yukiko had definitely planned something.
“What hairstyle and what color?” she asked with a sigh, realizing what it was.
“Strawberry blonde with a short perm.”
“You may not dye it.”
“Your contract states that we are allowed to. We were giving you a sort of option, but this is not one of them. We don’t have any wigs like that.”
“Just wash the temporary dye out of my hair and let me use my natural hair color. I don’t mind the haircut.”
“Black isn’t your natural hair color?” he asked, looking up from the script.
She shook her head.
“Then what is it?”
“Strawberry blonde.”
The director was a bit taken aback. He hadn’t been expecting that. “Wait, did Yukiko know this?” he asked, slowly comprehending the other woman’s persistency in him choosing that specific hairstyle.
“Yes. I used to know her. She just loves to play with people. I wanted to forget my past, but she seems to have some ulterior motive going on,” she grumbled.
“W-well then, I’ll tell your hairstylists. Go change into the clothes for the scene.”
“Ok, I got it.”
She walked off grumbling to herself. It surprised everyone that she was in a bad mood; she was never in a bad mood.

After her hairstyle had been changed back, she walked on set in full costume.
She was bare foot, wearing a one-piece backless red swimsuit, and a thin black shirt draped around her shoulders. On her face she wore a pair of small oval glasses which looked somewhat like reading glasses, red rimmed on top, with no rims on the bottom.
Jaws dropped all over as she walked back into the staff crowded area. Both genders were staring at her intently, unable to take their eyes off her curves. This was the first time appearing in a movie where she wasn’t wearing loose clothes.
She stood beside Leah and crossed her arms across her chest.
“There’s a reason I hate bathing suits and water,” she muttered.
“K-Keiko,” Leah stammered, wide-eyed.
“Oh god, please tell me you’re not staring at my body too!”
“No, your hair… what happened to your hair?”
“I put it back to normal.”
“N-normal?” she asked, confused.
“Before I changed my appearance, this was my hairstyle, and this is my natural hair color. Yukiko really has it out for me. She even got the director to choose this hairstyle.” She kept mumbling to herself and had stopped making her words understandable.
Leah just stood there staring. It was as if she had met Keiko for the first time. No, she wasn’t meeting Keiko for the first time; she was meeting a glimpse of the real person underneath the façade of Keiko Shizuma.
“K-Keiko… with all these changes and since Shinichi Kudo didn’t know you even after he heard your name… Keiko isn’t really you’re name is it?” asked Leah in awe and wonder.
The strawberry blonde had been walking away when she suddenly stopped at her friend’s question.  She turned and said, “No, it’s Shiho Miyano.”
Then she turned away and continued towards her position on set.
Before she even reached her spot, there was a sudden shout. She turned to the huge commotion happening in the parking lot. Apparently someone had fainted.
Upon closer inspection, she found out that it was Ran.
The brown haired Japanese girl was mumbling in her shocked state about ghosts. Apparently she saw Shiho.
Leah whispered into Shiho’s ear, “Wow, they really do think you’re dead. You weren’t kidding.”
Shiho remained silent.
Then Shinichi came pushing through the crowd, trying to get to his fainted girlfriend. He had been talking on the phone to his parents so he wasn’t there to see Shiho.
As a detective, as soon as he made it to the center of the circle, he didn’t fail to notice Shiho. He froze on spot when their eyes connected.
Then, in Japanese, so that nobody else could understand, she said, “Looks like you found out. I was really trying to keep it from you.” She had a smirk on her face and her eyes were cold.
It seemed as if that expression was the most natural for her, but it sent shivers down the spine of all her colleagues.
“Shiho,” he whispered. Even though Ran was on the ground, his mind was elsewhere and he couldn’t think straight.
She sighed and said, “I knew you couldn’t take your eyes off me. That’s another reason I wasn’t going to stay in your house anymore,” she grinned wickedly.
His mouth and eyes were still wide open, unchanging, unblinking.
It was awkwardly silent for a few moments, all eyes and ears trying to understand the conversation, but none could understand.
Finally Shiho continued, “Kudo-kun, I’m not a billboard.”
He shut his mouth and turned his attention to Ran while blushing.
Forgetting he was in America he began to only speak in Japanese like Shiho was.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“From what I know, she fainted because she saw me. According to her ramblings in her sleep, she thinks I’m a ghost. She doesn’t seem to have hit her head either.”
“Ok then, can you show me where I can lay her down? Preferably in the shade.”
“Yeah, follow me.”
Shinichi picked up Ran and followed Shiho on set where she pointed to a towel under an umbrella.
“Just set her down here.”
Gently Shinichi set her down. Once that was done he turned to Shiho.
“Now, I’d like an explanation,” he said firmly.
Chapter 17
She smirked. “Explanation? Isn’t it obvious? I’m not dead. I’m an actress. That’s that.”
“That’s just it! Why aren’t you dead?” he screamed, exasperated and angry.
Immediately he realized he had chosen the wrong words and regretted it.
The smile left her face and her features hardened into an emotionless mask.
“Sorry that I’m not dead. If you would prefer, you can pretend we never met. I’m doing that already.”
He had a sorry expression on his face as he said, “Miyano, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way.”
She sighed. “I know Kudo-kun, but it might have been better if you did. We could put this behind us.”
“But I can’t forget you.”
Shiho gritted her teeth. She decided. It was now or never, he had provided her with the perfect line to confess. She clenched her fists and opened her mouth to speak.
Immediately she was cut off.
Ran groaned and sat up. First she saw Shinichi and smiled, then her eyes landed on Shiho and widened.
Seeing her shocked expression, Shiho said in a light-hearted manner, “Ah, Mouri-san, glad to have you back.”
“M-Miyano-san? Is it really you?”
“In the flesh.”
“B-but we all attended your funeral!”
“The casket was empty. Nobody looked inside right? You had a funeral for a casket.”
She nodded her head.
“Then why did you fake your death?”
Shiho’s face softened, the way it did whenever she was talking about her feelings to another girl. “You know the reason. The same reason I didn’t go with the two of you on your first date.”
“Y-you mean… even after all this time?”
“Hah, when you’ve fallen as hard as I have it’s hard to pull out.” A bitter smile crept onto her face as she said those words. “Don’t worry,” she continued, “I have no interest in taking away your most prized possession.”
Ran blushed.
Shiho smirked and said, “Oh yes, I’m quite sure Shinichi had wanted to ask you something.”
Shinichi tensed as Ran’s expecting gaze turned back to him. He gulped and stammered, “I was w-wondering what you wanted for dinner.”
Ran’s smile faltered, her expectations having been shot down.
To make it worse, Shinichi grabbed Shiho’s wrist and pulled her away before waiting for Ran’s response.
“What?” Shiho asked, annoyed at his rude behavior towards her and Ran.
“What are you saying?” he seethed.
“I thought you were going to propose.”
He opened his mouth to protest, immediately shutting it since her words were true.
“It’s best if we don’t talk until you’re engaged to Ran. She’s having a hard time because of your actions.”
“But what about you?” As soon as the words escaped, he covered his mouth.
Her eyes narrowed.
“What about me?” she asked slowly, with a poisonous tone, dripping off every syllable.
He licked his dry lips and swallowed, glancing around for a way out. Everyone was staring at them.
“I-I mean…” he trailed off.
“Why does it matter what I think? This has nothing to do with me.”
“Yes it does,” he whispered.
“Oh really? Do explain.”
“Because,” he blushed slightly as he paused, “you like me.”
She snorted at that comment, as if it was absurd.
It hurt Shinichi’s feelings and slightly angered him.
“What makes you think I like you?” she asked mockingly, as if he was crazy.
Now, slightly louder, he said, “I know you like me!”
“So what? Even if I did like you, why should that matter?”
Now, fully angry he shouted, “Why does it matter? Because I love you, damn it! Is it that hard to figure out?!”
His eyes, Shiho’s eyes, and Ran’s eyes all widened at the sudden confession.
It was dead silent.
All had immediately ceased talking at the outburst.
Ran’s heart practically shattered in two, and Shinichi sunk to the ground, emotionally drained.
His hands gripped at the sand, as if he was trying to find a thread of hope, or a distraction, to remove his words that hung in the air, to help the two girls forget his words, even if only temporarily.
Then the thread magically appeared in his fingers as a red charger pulled into the parking lot.
Yukiko and Yuusaku stepped out of the car and into the dramatic scene, abruptly changing the mood.
“Sorry we’re late Shin-chan! We had a few errands to run,” Yukiko called out loudly.
Finally noticing the tense atmosphere, her smile fell. Apparently something in her plan had gone wrong.
She hoped Shiho and Shinichi would become best friends again and stay in touch. Shinichi had been so down about her death so she hoped to make him happy. She didn’t realize that Shinichi’s feelings had shifted to the strawberry blonde, and that a simple relationship was impossible for them.
Big miscalculation on her part, and the tense atmosphere conveyed that to her.
Chapter 18
Yukiko, now realizing that something had gone terribly wrong, relied on her acting skills to control the situation, although that didn’t seem to work well either.
“That was amazing you two! I didn’t think you guys were going to start working on practice script I gave you so soon!”
Yukiko was trying to cover up the misunderstanding, and she could tell it had something to do with them talking separate from the whole cast, but she just wasn’t exactly sure what happened so she needed to be as indirect as possible.
“Anyways you three continue practice later at home ok?” she asked with a smile.
Shiho, noticing Yukiko and how she was trying to change everything around, went along with it quickly.
“Thank you Kudo-kun, Mouri-san. You both were a great help in my practice. I can’t wait to finish up practice later. We can all go to Yukiko-san’s hotel room to finish alright?” she had a light smile on, as if nothing had happened.
Ran and Shinichi hesitantly went along with it. They wanted the whole thing to be over with so as not to have to fret until they finished talking it out, but they knew that then and there was not the right place to discuss all of this.
When things had cooled down, and the shooting was over, as they had decided earlier, they gathered in Yukiko and Yuusaku’s hotel room.
“Now then, please, please, talk it out amongst yourselves, and if you need us, we’ll be outside the room ok?” asked Yukiko worriedly.
“We understand,” said Shiho curtly, “and thank you for the help.”
The two adults left the three young adults to set everything straight.
“Now then, Kudo-kun, it’s time we sorted this all out,” said Shiho.
He nodded his head slowly, and Ran prepared herself. She felt that something would go horribly wrong for her.
“Shinichi, let’s start with your feelings towards Ran.”
He nodded again but didn’t speak.
“You said you were going to propose to her soon, but that was before you knew who I was. After you found out who I was, you faltered. You say you love me, but I’m not sure that is your true feelings.”
He jolted slightly. He was hoping that maybe she was right, and that she would have an explanation for this mayhem.
“You might only have these feelings because I disappeared on you. Now that you’ve seen me again, after believing I was dead for such a long time… you mistook those feelings of joy and relief, for feelings of love,” she explained. “That is possibility one.”
Ran’s stomach lurched when Shiho said it was only a possibility, and that the way she said it seemed like there was more.
Shinichi only sat silently, soaking in the words.
“Possibility number two, is that you really do love me, but also love Ran. You have feelings for both of us and are torn between the two. You don’t know who you love more. Since you were able to talk more freely with me when we were… children, you were able to say your feelings to me easier than saying them to Ran.”
When no one said anything, she continued with the third possibility. “And lastly, you might not love Ran like you thought you did, and have truly fallen for me. You might love Ran as your childhood friend, or like a sister or something, but you couldn’t fallen for me for real. Now, I don’t know which is true, but it is one of these options. You need to think hard and sort out your own feelings. During this time, Ran and I will wait in a separate room. You must think it over and come to us when you have sorted yourself out. Understand?”
He nodded his head. He was still wrapping his mind around the three possibilities, and it seemed like it would take him a long while to figure everything out.
Shiho headed towards the door with Ran. “We’ll be in Ran’s hotel room.”
He nodded his head.
When the door clicked shut, Shinichi fell back onto the bed.
Everything was mind boggling, and he had no clue what to do about it. It was driving him insane. He had thought he had a grasp on his emotions, but this whole thing was just driving him insane. He didn’t know black from white, love from hate. He couldn’t do it. His mind was turning completely blank just trying to figure it out.
Inside Ran’s room, Shiho, Ran, Yukiko, and Yuusaku sat in silence.
After two hours passed, the door suddenly clicked open as Shinichi walked in.

Everyone stood up, and waited for him to speak.
Slowly, Shinichi walked over to Ran and hugged her.
As they hugged, her eyes widened, and slowly Shinichi released her.
Shiho had a smile on her face. “I’m glad you chose Ran. You two should be together.”
Ran turned to Shiho with a sad and heartbroken smile on her face as a few tears streamed down her cheeks. “You’re wrong. He chose you after whispering in my ear, ‘I’m Sorry.’”
Shiho’s eyes widened.
Shinichi then turned to her and said, “It took me a long time. I… I wasn’t sure exactly what my feelings were. I thought back to a long time ago, before you faked your death. I thought about how I felt then  when different events occurred. I noticed how the way I acted towards Ran had changed, and how the way I acted towards you changed as well. Possibility three. That’s what my feelings are. I love you, Shiho. To me, Ran is only my friend, but you’ve become a much bigger part of my life than I would ever have expected. You’re the one I want beside me.”
Ran nodded with a sad smile. She seemed to have known it from long before, and had always hoped it wasn’t true. She had already come to terms with herself. She had prepared for the time when Shinichi would truly leave her.
Shinichi wasn’t hers, and she didn’t want him to be her possession. She wanted his love, but knew it was hers to have. He was Shiho’s.
Hesitantly, Shinichi walked towards her, and tilted her chin up to look her in the eyes.
“Shiho,” he started slowly, “I love you.”
“I love you too, Shinichi,” she whispered.
A warm feeling shot through both of them as they brought their lips together gently, the soft electricity becoming an unforgettable memory.