DISCLAIMER: The entire Detective Conan series belong to Gosho Aoyama. This is a non-profit fan work.


Into the silence

He knew it was not the answer. It was surely not.

But what else could?

The click of the light switch still echoed in the room when Gin stumbled upon the cabinet he sought. Although all looked exactly the same, he knew it was that one. The indications had been clear – even if given in a casual manner and long ago. Third one from above. He could still picture Sherry telling him, the waiflike expression on her face, the lock of hair that fell onto her forehead as she spoke.

His heart twisted painfully.

Of the first time he visited his superior's office, what he remembered best was the darkness. He recalled peeping up at the great chandelier and wondering why it gleamed so faintly. A few hours ago, he had caught a glimpse of that very same chandelier when walking into the room.

Out of the corner of the eye, he had focused on its light when trying to stay calm.

Treason, danger, need. The words still resonated in the back of his head. And one above all.

Sherry.

Gin's hands forced the cabinet open. In front of his eyes stood a dozen of flasks of exactly the same size, only identified by blurry scribbles on each of them. His pulse quickened up.

'What's that you keep there, anyway?'

Sherry had shrugged her shoulders. The day was pleasantly warm and a light breeze tickled the top of the trees.

'Many things,' she had answered after a moment. 'The effects vary – hallucinations, uncontrolled laughing, sweating, dissociation.' Sherry averted her eyes. Staring at her, Gin remembered thinking how beautiful she was. 'But most commonly, and in brief, numbing of all common sense.'

He clutched a flask, read its brief description and discarded it.

Treason. Danger. Need.

He grabbed a second flask. A third.

Sherry.

Traitor.

Death.

He was already about to throw the umpteenth flask away when a word on it caught his attention. He kept reading. By the third line, his heart skipped a beat.

'Nothing to be taken for breakfast, that's for sure.'

He had found it.

Gin opened the flask and, with a movement of his wrist, dropped part of its contents on his free hand. He then left the flask next to the cabinet and gazed down at his palm.

Two tablets lay against his pale skin. Two innocent-looking, circular tablets of about the size of his thumbnail.

'Sherry is a traitor now,' his superior had repeated under the dim light. 'She has bitten the very hand that feeds her, refusing to continue working on the APTX. She wants to escape, to leave everything behind – and everyone. Including you.'

Treason, danger, need.

'We won't harm her, only lock her up for an hour or two. That'll give her time to ponder on a couple of things – what she's going to do, what's best for us all, who she wants to be loyal to. And who she's going to be loyal to.'

Sherry. Traitor.

'She'll choose wisely. And if she does not… well, traitors must meet their fate – the only one there's for them.'

Death.

Gin swallowed the two tablets at once.

He had no idea how long had passed, but suddenly he could hear Vodka's voice. Gin shook his head. A murmur flew out of his lips, 'What?'

'Gin!' Vodka exclaimed, kneeling next to him. Gin sat up with effort – at some point, he must have fallen onto the floor.

'Vodka?'

'Yeah, it's me! Are you okay?'

Gin blinked. His head felt dizzier than ever in his entire life. The voice of his friend arrived to him as if coming through a giant echoing tunnel – nevertheless, his worry was still perfectly patent and obvious.

'I… think so…'

'What have you taken, Gin?' inquired Vodka. A serious gesture roughened his features. 'What and how many?'

'I have not…'

'You have!' the man replied, raising his voice. Gin tried to cover his ears, but his wrists were immediately grabbed by his friend's strong hands. 'Now tell me what and how many!'

Rather unconsciously, Gin turned his gaze to the one flask he had used, which still stayed where he had left it. Just a second later, his back hit the tiled floor – Vodka had let go of him and hurried towards the open cabinet. By the time Gin managed to sit up again, his friend already held the feared white flask in his hand.

'How many?'

Gin stood up and leaned against some piece of furniture. His legs shook violently, unable to support his thin figure.

'Two.'

Vodka moved a hand to his temples and under his hat.

'You knew where to find me,' Gin stated, trying to divert his own attention while the room spun quickly around him.

'There were only a handful of places you could be in,' Vodka explained. His foot hit a flask of the many that lay around the cabinet. 'I checked the other laboratory first – she doesn't come here as often.'

Gin's heart twisted for the umpteenth time on that day. Vodka glanced up and took a step closer to him.

'Gin...' he started.

'She's a traitor.'

Vodka froze in place.

'Sherry is a traitor now,' Gin continued. 'And as such shall she be treated.'

'Gin…'

'Nothing of what may have happened in the past between that woman and me matters anymore,' he remarked, raising his face so that he could stare at Vodka in the eye. 'It is to be no reason to show any mercy towards her. Understood?'

Vodka remained perfectly still.

'Understood?' Gin repeated.

Vodka nodded his head.

'Where is she?'

'Sorry?'

'Do you know where Sherry is right now?' Gin asked. 'She's currently under surveillance, right?'

'Yes…' Vodka answered. 'She was in her main laboratory when I went there. It's been about half an hour…'

'Let's go, then.' Gin stood up straight and started walking clumsily towards the door. 'It'll be better if you drive – my head is still not clear enough.'

'Y-yes…'

The silent car ride seemed to Gin as brief as he could have not expected. Once in Sherry's main laboratory, a gesture of his head was all it took for the rest of scientists to leave. Vodka was the one who spoke whilst he stood behind him, the two as if following some sort of unspoken pact. Sherry did not protest – however, her tightened jaw and furious look said more than her words could have. In a matter of minutes, they accompanied her to the basement of the building and handcuffed and locked her up there.

During the whole process, Gin stared directly at Sherry. The dizziness was gradually wearing off, his vision had cleared up and, by the end of it all, his head felt perfectly clear once more.

His chest could not have been in any more pain.

And he knew for sure that the drug had nothing to do with that.

Treason, danger, need.

Sherry.

Traitor.

Death.


A/N:

I wrote this fic for a request I received through a private message on Tumblr. User hermioneemerson wanted a oneshot about Gin 'being brainwashed' and becoming 'emotionless under influence of drugs' and then emotionally conflicted 'when Sherry came.' I seized the chance and decided to write about something I'd wanted for a while – about when Sherry was locked up in her laboratory. In the famous and short flashback that is sometimes shown at the beginning of the movies, we have seen Sherry being pushed forward by Vodka while Gin stands behind him. I have long pondered on the "reasons" behind that scene, both in relation to GinSherry and independently – why Vodka is the one to push her, why Gin stands behind in silence (taking into account he's actually Vodka's superior); why Gin would let his lover be locked up and executed (as that's what they all knew the Organization would do to her), why the three of them sort of ignore the relationship between Gin and Sherry. The request brought back those questions and prompted me to answer them. Thanks, hermioneemerson!

Thanks to all of you for reading. As I always say, do not hesitate to tell me if you find any kind of mistake or if you have some advice to give me. You all can help me become a better writer!

Lots of love and see you next time,

Sherry F.

P.S.: Yes, the cabinets mentioned and depicted in this fic are the same as those in The elephant in the room. Intertwined fics - how I like them.

2nd P.S.: And yes, it is on purpose that I've used the idiom 'to bite the very hand that feeds one' to describe Sherry three times already (even if in one occasion it happened in an alternate universe). Again, intertwined fics. And intertextuality.