A/N: Hey there everyone, sorry I took so long for this, I've just been taking some time off to think about what direction I'd want to take this in as a series, not just a story. Plus my family recently got a really high-end 88-key electronic piano keyboard, so I've been starting to try to learn a few songs on it (mostly anime tracks).

I had a bit of a PlotJackalope attack recently too, but now that I have it under control, I'll let you in on something: I'm eventually going to turn this into a series with lots of crossovers to various shows. the Fairy Tail one will be a big one, but it won't happen for a while.

also, WARNING: brief mention of blood/gore that may be disturbing

Chapter 4: 1st-grade romance problems


It was lunch time for class 2-C, and as the last of the students filtered into the cafeteria, Mari stood off to the side, as she had been for the past few minutes, barely suppressing small bouts of laughter brought on by the scene playing out just across the room.

Arthur and Hikari had been on a tour of the school alright, but it seemed to her that Hikari had barely managed to keep her cool during the tour, only speaking when she had to and blushing to some degree throughout the entire thing, which had lasted until just before lunch.

Currently, a furiously blushing Hikari and a rather uncomfortable looking Arthur sat across from each other at a table near the window.

Since she felt a little sorry for her friend, Mari finally managed to suppress her laughter completely so she could walk up to the two of them.

"So Arthur where'd you transfer from, and why during the middle of the school year?" Mari said as she sat down between Arthur and Hikari.

"I transferred from America. I only lived there for a year though. I was born in Beika. And as for the reason I transferred halfway through the school-year, I'd rather not say." Arthur replied, feigning the best "I'd rather not talk about it" uncomfortable look he could muster, though apparently his fabricated backstory just fell flat on its face, he could see a hint of disbelief in Mari's eyes. His acting skills were nowhere near as good as Kaito's.

Glancing over at Hikari with a slight smile, Arthur continued.

"Hikari-chan, I thought I was supposed to be the nervous one, I'm the new student here, not you."

Apparently, most of what they'd been talking about had fallen on deaf ears in Hikari's case, she'd been staring down at her food nervously for the past minute.

"O-oh sorry, it's just… are you related to Conan Edogawa?" she blurted, somewhat embarrassed.

"Yeah, distantly though. Why?" he said in surprise

When Hikari just looked up at him momentarily and went back to staring at her food while her cheeks went beet-red, Mari cut in to answer for her.

"Since she's too embarrassed to tell you, I will. Edogawa-kun is kind of her celebrity crush."

"Oh… now I understand why you've been so nervous around me Hikari-chan… I look a ton like him, don't I?" Arthur said glancing around uncomfortably.

'Oh god no, she's starting to remind me of Ayumi.' was the thought that passed through his mind as he remembered an incident from the very end of his time as Conan that still pained him to think about, even though he knew it was no one's fault.

"Hey Arthur, why the long face?" Mari said, bringing him out of his thoughts.

"It's nothing." Arthur Said with a forced smile that was meant to be reassuring, though sadness still shone in his eyes, so it didn't really work.

Suddenly Arthur felt the all-too-familiar sensation of someone watching him, and when he whipped around, sea-green glaring eyes met his own from behind mahogany bangs.

Mari and Hikari followed Arthur's gaze.

"Come on over Hir-" Hikari began.

"Hiro stood up, picked up his tray, and walked away. Making a point of ignoring the three of them."

"What's with him today?" Hikari said, rather annoyed and a bit confused by her friend's behavior.

"I think I know." Mari said in a worried whisper meant to only be heard by herself. Though, with senses as sharp as his, Arthur didn't fail to hear her.

"Who was that? I noticed him glaring at me right after I introduced myself this morning too."

"He's a friend of ours, Hiro Suzuki, though he's not usually like that." Hikari replied.

"Is he related to Sonoko Suzuki?"

"Yep, she's his aunt."

'That explains why I recognized that glare, I saw it on her face most of the time for nineteen years.' Arthur thought to himself while trying, and failing, to suppress a bout of laughter.

Mari Looked at him like he just grew a second head.

"Sorry, sorry, I've just met her a few times, she's friends with my dad." Arthur said with a small chuckle.

It was Actually close to true, Sonoko and Kaito did know each other from having met at Shinichi's "funeral", and contrary to what Arthur, or mostly anyone expected, they'd hit it off pretty well, plus She had met him, twice, as Arthur.

luckily she hadn't attended Arrthur's debut heist as Doyle The Specter.

He'd accidentally sent a trigger-happy rookie task-force member to psychotherapy for a month, so KID and Doyle decided to give the task force a rest to avoid causing any mental breakdowns next time.

FLASHBACK: 6 weeks ago, Tokyo University campus, outside the Arts' Center

As news of KID and his mysterious new partner Doyle's successful escape blared out of Inspector Ginzo Nakamori's police radio, he sat next to a rookie officer, whose name he remembered to be something vaguely like Thompson. For the past ten minutes, he'd been trying to get the rookie to tell him exactly what happened between his screams and his quick, shaking breaths.

"A-a-all that blood... he should have been dead!"

"B-b-but It just... crawled back."

"Calm down son, it's over." Ginzo responded. He could tell that the poor man was in shock, but he still couldn't understand what caused it.

After a minute or so of silence, except for the distant sound of police sirens, the inspector tried again.

"Can you tell me what exactly happened? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

"I-I Shot one of Doyle's hands off at the wrist!"

The inspector gave a puzzled and scared look before motioning for him to continue.

"He c-collapsed, but when I started to walk up to check him, something j-j-jumped out of a vent a-at me!"

"What was it?"

"It..."

"O-oh god, I-it was h-his...his freaking hand!"

In a nearby alley, two shadowed figures stood watching the exchange, one the size of a young child, the other an adult wearing a black ball cap that hid their face from view.

"And this is why i hate having to do that, first it was the emergency medical team, and now this. I can never use that trick without driving someone halfway to the loony bin." the child sized figure said in a rather depressed tone.

"To put it bluntly Conan, It's not your fault, and the whole mess you're in never was." The figure in the black hat responded, turning to face their companion.

The child sized figure grimaced, either from leftover bits of pain in their fully healed wrist, or from discomfort caused by their thoughts.

"And hey, look on the bright side, if word gets out about what happened tonight, it might even scare Snake and his goons enough to keep them away for a while."

"We both know just how unlikely that is, Kuroba."

*END FLASHBACK*


It was 2:30 in the afternoon, finally the school day was over.

Most students of class 2-C were milling about in the classroom, gathering up their belongings before heading home.

Arthur looked up as Hikari spoke.

"Arthur-kun do you... do you want to walk home with us? Hiro-kun already left, so..."

"Sure, I'd be happy to but, uh, we should probably wake up Mari-chan."

"What?"

Hikari turned around to face her friend, only to find that she'd passed out at her desk and was resting her cheek in a puddle of drool.

"Oh."

When the three of them each arrived at their respective lockers on the floor below, Arthur found an unusual surprise, A blood-red envelope with golden snake trim fell out of his locker. He discreetly opened it, only to find a note written in, from what he could tell from the ink dots here and there on some of the characters, burgundy fine-tip sharpie. The only truly strange thing about the note was the gold cobra caricature that had begun to slither back and forth along the bottom edge of the note.

Arthur's eyes widened slightly and the corner of his mouth twitched before his features formed a subtle scowl.

'Akako? Well, this is... unusual'

I need to talk with you two

in regards to the show tonight.

it's urgent.

'At least her subtlety's improved. Somewhat.'

Akako Koizumi was the last person he knew that he'd expect to be mysteriously leaving him notes. Sure she's got the "mysterious" part of it down just fine, but she'd generally completely avoided any non-obligatory contact with the Kurobas after Kaito and Aoko got married, and it didn't take a detective, or even a Kogoro Mouri, to figure out why.

She had a longstanding crush on Kaito throughout the entirety of high-school, and she probably still had feelings for him, though she heavily repressed them. Most conversations between those two would've sounded like a stiffened version of a pair of mildly acquainted coworkers kicking back at a cafe, if not for her usual odd mannerisms and occasional sadistic comments.

Akako hadn't tried to provide any sort of warnings for more than a year. By now, the snipers were just more of the usual by their standards, and knowing her she probably already knew that, meaning that whatever this was about was probably big. Really big.

His concentration was suddenly shattered by Mari's slightly raised voice.

"Hey Arthur-kun, how did you get someone to send you a love letter so quickly?"

the cobra flared its hood as Arthur quickly stuffed the note in his pocket.

"It wasn't a love letter, just someone's idea of an elaborate prank."

"Oh really? That's a pretty fancy envelope for a prank." Mari replied

"If it was a love letter, I would've taken better care of it instead of crumpling it up." Arthur countered

"Fair point." Mari said, though her voice still held a hint of doubt.

"that's the sort of thing you'd notice on your own if you think like a detective." Hikari cut in cheerily, if a bit over-enthusiastically, startling them both.

'Oi oi, seriously?' Arthur thought as he rolled his eyes.

a slightly awkward silence followed for the next few seconds.

"A-anyway lets get going." Mari said, eager to break the awkward tension that had settled around them.

after a nod from Arthur and a "Yeah lets go!" from Hikari that was, once again, a little too enthusiastic, they made their way out of the building.


A/N: Hope you enjoyed, and sorry for the wait! I may take longer between chapters depending on whether or not I've already got scenes planned out semi-thoroughly for them. As always, reviews are greatly appreciated and beware of PlotJackalopes.
See ya' round

-Arlen