Heya people! Sorry it took a while for this chapter… Reason; a novel. Yups, I've been reading… lots of drama novels… And I sorta got frustrated because of all that useless drama, but I ended up reading it all anyway…:P Oh well, here's the next chapter~
He couldn't help but just watch… and watch and watch as the little detective slowly died. He didn't like being useless, helpless… but what could he do? Getting bound fairly tightly was something he'd hate for a lifetime.
Suddenly, Haibara was in front of him, her stature small but imposing. He hated children like her. They were too… mature for his liking.
"… Tequila," she said with some sort of familiarity he couldn't place in a child like her. He locked eyes with her, her teal eyes which seemed to burn right through his skull, analyzing his whole body. Mind. Soul.
"Hmm, you sound like you know me very well," he said. Haibara stayed passive, her expression betraying nothing. 'Of course,' she thought, near-mused, 'you're the talk of the Organization before I quit. Every tid bit of your peculiar interest in children… is very hard to miss.'
But that wasn't the point she wanted to benefit by from the man. "Where is it?"
Charlie cocked his head innocently, saying, "Where's what?"
Haibara kept a level head. "Cyanide's counter poison. I know you have it."
"How?" Now, he was genuinely surprised. Haibara rolled her eyes. "I found this," she said, handing out a small, round pill with words carved on it; 'Cyanide'.
"Knowing Conan, he must've threatened to take it in case you wanted to do something, which means that you might… no, must have the counter for it."
Charlie said nothing, but hell, that gaze was penetrating him all too well. Eventually, he shrugged and cocked his head to one side to indicate a small bag with something in it. Glancing at the bag, she gave the man a small smile of gratitude and took the bag, returning to Kaito's side.
For a sliver of second, he wondered about the small scientist, not that he knew her to that extent, but he had a nagging feeling that he's seen her somewhere, and not the blown-up lab. He shook his head. He'll get down to it when he had more time…
That is if he can get time… He knew from experience that he might be unable to get it at all, though...
"Help me get him drink these," Haibara said nonchalantly, as if drinking cyanide is the norm for an already-dying person.
"You can't be—"
One glare, and Kaito shut his mouth. She was serious, and he should be too.
Two pills. One deadly, the other its' counterpart, its' neutralizer. He wondered what good it'd do if he actually made his little detective drink both at the same time. Taking the offered glass Haibara shoved at him, he took the two pills and took some water in his mouth before he leaned down and gave it to Conan.
A mouth-to-mouth was what he needed right now—no way in hell can Conan drink something in his current condition. With a finger, he massaged the detective's throat, encouraging him to swallow, and he did.
Haibara sat in a chair near the bed and waited, seemingly cool, but he could see that façade cracking because of the perspiration forming on her forehead.
"Are you sure we should give him a deadly poison?" he asked her, brows met in concern. She raised an eyebrow in an attempt to show amusement, but failed, so she returned to her neutral expression.
"Did you really think that the organization would make a deadly cyanide pill, consisting of only cyanide?" she asked, but her tone was in the borderline of stating it. "The poison number 20893, that particular pill you made Conan drink, is one of the deadliest pills in the Organization."
"You can't be—"
"But," she held up a hand to stop whatever protests Kaito might let out, "it's deadly because the contents could become a catalyst to the cyanide. Incidentally, other than the cyanide, the rest of the composition—or at least some of them—are the ingredients I used for his temporary antidotes."
"Then… you're not sure that he might recover?!" he asked, surprised that she could be so… so…
"The chances aren't high," she admitted, her eyes narrowing as she tried to hold back the tears which sprung from the admission, "but it's the best we have."
Kaito looked downwards, feeling somewhat guilty for accusing her—was that even considered as accusing? He thought not—and muttered a somewhat inaudible "I'm sorry."
Conan's eyes flew open that moment, and he let out a pained scream. Kaito squeezed his hand and brushed his bangs away from his face, glancing at Haibara in worry. She had a serious expression, but she stayed in her seat, watching.
His eyes looked everywhere, but not actually seeing. He tossed and turned in an attempt to dampen the pain, but to no avail. Kaito watched as the small hand in his elongated, enlarging, fitting his hand like the perfect fit for a missing puzzle piece.
The small chest, which still heaved, broadened, and his legs returning to its' previous length. With a last scream, the detective passed out, leaving a thief and a scientist gaping as they saw the miracle right in front of them.
De-aging was one thing. But returning to his previous age was another one entirely, and Haibara knew best how tiny the possibilities of him surviving everything despite it being their best choice.
The blood which seeped into the mattress startled them out of their stupor.
"The wound reopened," Haibara said matter-of-factly, going away in search of usable, clean bandages. Kaito could only nod. His mind was elsewhere, namely the detective in front of him. He was back, Shinichi was back.
The gentle rise and fall of his chest, the knowledge that he's still breathing, alive, calmed him down. With Haibara's help, they re-stitched the wound close, and re-bandaged it.
"Mou… They left without us!" Aoko said, pouting. Ran had the same expression on her face, only laced with even deeper worry than the other teen. Then, there was the scream, and Ran immediately stood in attention.
"Wh-what?" Aoko said, a bit startled and scared because the scream sounded… very pained. They went out and saw some other occupants getting out, curious. But when the scream died down, they waited for a few moments, and then shrugged, uncaring.
But Ran knew better. She ran to the elevator and took it to get one floor up, Aoko close behind.
They arrived at an open room. A fleeting thought came to Ran; 'Why aren't there anyone on this floor?' but she dismissed it immediately when she saw Charlie, bound by a rope.
"Y-you…!" she said after a while of shocked silence, clearly remembering the blown-up lab. Charlie gave them a sneer but didn't say anything. The two entered cautiously, eyes narrowed and taking in their surroundings everywhere at once.
"So, why did you take him here?" someone asked, startling the two when they saw no one. "You know how dangerous they are, Tequila," she said again, nonchalant.
"What do you know, kid?" he asked, clearly irritated.
Haibara came into view, and she glanced at the two before nodding and returning her gaze on Charlie. "Oh, I know a lot, Charlie," she corrected herself, not wanting to hint on anything to the two teens. "For one, you seem to be infatuated by children."
Ran gasped, followed by Aoko who placed a hand on her chest, different types of scenarios flashing through their mind which included Conan and Charlie… doing stuff.
"I'd normally trust you to not touch him, knowing who he really is," she whispered quietly, nearly inaudible. "But judging by… the bathroom… I suspect that that's what you did," she said, his time loud enough for Ran to hear it clearly.
"Ai-kun… what do you mean by that?" Ran asked, a slight tremble in her voice indicated how much she's holding back from harming the defenseless man. Haibara was silent for a while, calculating.
"Aoko-nee-chan," she said without looking at the said person.
"W-what is it?"
"… Who was it that answered Kai-nii-san's ex's phone when you called?" she asked, as if that was a widely known fact.
"E-eh…?! W-well… Conan-kun… why is that?" she asked, knowing exactly what the answer is. A smirk thrown her way made her collapse in disbelief. She'd been hoping very adamantly for that assumption to be wrong… But for some reason unknown to her, the scientist's words were like solid ice dumped on her, and she felt… bewildered.
Something like that shouldn't even be possible… right?
"It is possible. It's just… difficult to create," Haibara said. She must've said her thoughts aloud, then.
"What's impossible?" Ran asked, this time very confused.
"Ran-nee-chan… please don't be surprised if the one you find isn't Conan," she said, taking out her vibrating phone. With narrowed eyes, she walked out of the flat.
"…Ran," Aoko said, shakily getting up with the help of the other teen. "Let me… tell you something…"
Kaito's fingers interlaced with Shinichi's, neither wanting to let go of each other. "Bakaito," Aoko said from the doorway. He only hummed in response, intent on watching the detective's sleeping face. It's been so long since the last time he's seen him, after all.
"So… You knew," she said again after a while of silence.
"… It's obvious… The hints were everywhere. Kinda hard to miss, really," he said nonchalantly.
"I… see," she said quietly. Wait, Aoko was never, never quiet. He turned to see both Ran and Aoko. The one who said the 'I see' was Ran, apparently.
It was quiet, quieter than before. It was suffocating. Kaito looked away. Moments later, Agasa came with what Haibara asked for.
His throat felt dry, just like his lips and tongue. He felt as if he'd slept for a very long time with an open mouth, which was a really big probability. He moved his lips in an attempt to re-salivate his mouth again.
His eyes couldn't open, as if shut for good, and he felt a sense of panic rise in his chest for a moment, before he regained his composure. If he couldn't see, then he shouldn't worsen everything by panicking. He tested his fingers and toes, curling them and uncurling them.
He could feel it, and a sense of relief flooded him. With a sigh, he kept curling and curling his fingers, until something warm touched one of them.
He wanted to jerk it away, but only managed to tense up a little. He heard someone gasp, before a sigh was heard.
"Geez, if you're awake, you should've told me," a gentle voice said, and he had this extreme urge of want to open his eyes. But still, he couldn't do it. He opened his mouth and tried to call his name. But his tongue was way too stubborn, and his throat was demanding water.
He only managed a small, scratchy sound before he heard a chuckle. A strong arm slithered under him and put him in a sitting position, or something like that, because he felt his head thunk onto a softly beating chest as something touched his lips.
Remembering what had happened with Gin, he jerked involuntarily, wanting to reject whatever it was.
"Don't worry, it's just water," he said softly, calming him down. Little by little, he could feel said water enter his mouth and sliding down his parched throat. Far too soon, though, the water was withdrawn, and he whimpered a little at the loss of oasis.
"… Are you okay?"
He nodded, eyes still fighting to open. There was silence as he kept on trying, but to no avail.
"How long…?" he asked, voice still scratchy.
"Around a few hours," he replied almost immediately. "We're now in your house."
"… I… see," he said with a sigh, relieved.
"Does it still hurt?" he asked after a while. 'Where?' he asked himself as he shook his head a little.
Then, a warm hand clasped one of his own, and took it up in a kiss on the knuckles. "Welcome back, Shinichi," he said warmly, and in turn, he felt himself smile tenderly. "Thanks, Kai."
This time, he didn't mind being unable to see, because he was content with Kaito right beside him.
"Eeeh?! Conan-kun's not coming back anymore?!" Ayumi asked, tears in her eyes.
"You make it sound like he died, Ayumi," Haibara said, not looking in her eyes. They were in Agasa's residence, just chilling out after a tiring day at school. "As I said, Edogawa-kun's parents came and picked him up. Said he's gonna go and continue studying in America."
"But… But he didn't tell us anything!" Genta said with a childish pout-ish expression.
"He didn't know of it until they actually came. It was quite sudden, you see," Agasa said, placing a whole plate of melons on the table. The children dug in to the snack despite their pouty faces, and continued on thinking about Conan.
"Hey, don't get so down," Agasa said gently.
"He may have left, but he's still your friend. He'll call once in a while, now won't he?" he said with a genuine smile.
"It'd be a whole different story if he's dead, you see," Haibara said nonchalantly, earning herself a small scold from the professor. "In any case, he'll call you. Of that I'm sure of."
"But… isn't it strange that his parents came when he was kidnapped?" Mitsuhiko said.
"It's because they found out that he's been kidnapped that they came and took him away. It's unsafe for him, they say," the small scientist said with a regretful tone. "But at least, he'll be safe with his parents," Mitsuhiko said after a while, trying to lighten up the mood.
"Well then," Agasa said, a happy face on full force. The children knew what was about to come, and gave him unimpressed laughs and looks. "It's time for what you all have been waiting for… A quiz!"
Hmm… I don't know guys. I was just a bit ecstatic that I found out what I've been searching for this whole time; checkered tea cookies. And oh, just a question; What do you guys think about Shinichi being Silver Bullet? Like, I mean, Shinichi being a Black Org member? Just askin'~
- To be continued -