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


Chapter 1

Gin's office was about the size of a regular bedroom. The fact that he had even been assigned one derived merely from his high rank, not from a real need – not for a man who spent quite a notable share of his working hours on a car, driving from one target to the other.

But he did drop by the office now and then. He apparently deemed it more of a comfortable and appropriate place to carefully plan his next missions in than the black Porsche or his oblivious, cozy apartment (the private and professional selves ought not to be mixed up, especially in the case of an assassin). What else he did there, other than the casual meeting with a member or two, remained a mystery to Sherry's otherwise brilliant mind.

Although she knew herself to be his most frequent visitor, there were many things Sherry did not fully understand regarding Gin himself and his office. And as hard as she tried to jokingly lie to herself, she knew when she stopped in the corridor that that wouldn't be the day she would finally lift the veil. It never was.

Indeed, not all her visits had purely professional purposes. Or professional purposes at all. But today's meeting did.

She knocked the door.

A muffled 'Come in' answered.

'You're here,' Gin stated when she walked in, rather matter-of-fact. 'Please take a seat.' His pale left hand pointed at the single chair before his desk.

Sherry sat down in silence, waiting for him to speak. After a moment, the man leaned closer to his visitor and grinned awkwardly at her.

'How are you? Doing alright?'

Sherry couldn't help a shocked frown.

'What?'

'Is everything going fine?' he insisted.

'How bad is it?'

Gin let out a sigh and fell back onto his chair.

'Is it that obvious?' he responded.

'To me, yes, it is,' Sherry clarified. She crossed her arms and relaxed her posture. 'I thought it was work.'

'It is,' Gin confirmed. He glanced at her. 'Mind if I smoke?'

'If you must.'

While the man helped himself to the pack of cigarettes that rested on the desk, Sherry had a good look at him and his office.

She had known Gin for longer than she cared to remember – longer than any other Organization member, at least. She could recognize him by the exact shade of his fair skin, identify him by the way the midday sun shone on his bright green eyes, tell his head apart from a multitude of other ash blondes. And she could read his feelings as reflected on his face and behavior way better than he could start to suspect.

She knew he felt stressed at the moment because of what he had to tell her. According to the text message she had received from their very superior, it was a matter of work, of a mission she had been assigned to. Being a scientist with rather mediocre self-defence skills, she didn't go on missions too often – but when she did, Gin was usually sent along to make sure she'd come back in once single piece.

Their superior obviously knew they were a couple. Why waste the best assassin of the Organization on working as her bodyguard every now and then, if not? Why reward them with the same days off and hotel nights for two in their favorite spots of the country whenever they were notably successful in their respective works? Not that she complained about that last long weekend in Fukuoka.

'It'll be in Beika,' Gin finally started. The first curls of smoke floated up from the cigarette he held in his left hand. Smoking calmed him down, Sherry knew. 'We'll go on my car, I know the way. I can pick you up at your place if you want.'

'What's there to do?' Sherry inquired.

'An exchange, you could call it.' Gin shrugged his shoulders. 'Nothing important. Some money and drugs.'

'Drugs?'

She would certainly call that 'important.'

'The man deals in them under the table, using his firm as a cover,' Gin explained. 'The Organization thinks they might be useful, if they're good enough, and so we need a sample. Nothing important, as I say. The money is to keep our mouths nicely shut on his affairs. Temporarily.'

'And what is my task, then?'

At her question, Gin took a long drag of his cigarette. Sherry raised an eyebrow. He felt uncomfortable.

'So my task is what's been worrying you?' she ventured. He fidgeted on his chair and averted his eyes. 'It is. What is it?'

'I…' he hesitated. 'Sherry, I had no word on the matter. I protested, but that didn't change anything…'

'Don't you come with apologies, not before I know what you're apologizing for.' She leaned closer to the man. 'Tell me, what is it this time? Corpses? Feces?'

'No!' Gin shook his head. He seemed repulsed. 'Nothing of that kind.'

'Blackmailing? Kidnapping?'

'No, it's… it's…' Gin bit his lip. 'It's nothing.'

'You know you say that too often, don't you?' Her elbows pressed against the surface of the desk. 'Come on, tell me, what is it?'

'It's nothing.'

'If it were nothing, you wouldn't be so…'

Gin's eyes met Sherry's and her sentence came to a halt.

'It's nothing,' he repeated calmly. 'Your task is to do simply nothing. You…' he sighed and tapped the desk uncomfortably with his free hand. 'You have been assigned to the mission as… as some sort of… of… trophy wife.'

It took Sherry a few seconds to actually process the information. No sooner than she did, her entire face blushed and her blue eyes opened wide.

'What?' she boomed.

'I know!' Gin turned his body fully to her. 'I protested, I find it as disrespectful as you do…'

'I won't go!' Sherry snapped. She stood up and hit the desk before her, startling Gin. 'A trophy wife!'

'I said you wouldn't agree, that another member be assigned,' Gin claimed, standing up after her, 'but apparently nobody else could, and 'that person' said you were the best choice…'

'The best choice?' she repeated with sarcasm, pacing the room back and forth. 'A cum laude graduate, the head scientist of a revolutionary project nobody else had the brains to manage – the best choice for a trophy wife?'

'I argued the same!' he continued. 'But 'that person' said it had to do not with your skills, but with the chemistry between us, that we know each other, and… well,' he added shyly. His cheeks turned light pink, 'with your good looks…'

'And 'that person' thinks I am nothing but my looks?' she sneered. 'Who does 'that person' think spends day and night working on the APTX and has managed to speed up its development in spite of every odd being against it? My looks?'

'It's awful, I know,' Gin agreed. 'I protested, Sherry, but it was no use…'

'What on earth was 'that person' thinking? I won't go, I will not!'

'I'm afraid you don't have a choice.' Sherry stopped and gazed at Gin. The man had walked up to her and stood at her side. The cigarette still burned between his fingers. 'We don't. I neither want you to go nor want to go myself. I know it's unfair and awful, but there is really no choice. It's a mission, Sherry – and missions cannot be turned down. Especially not when coming from 'that person' directly. It's either we obey or…'

He did not need to finish his sentence out loud. She knew the politics of the Organization way too well.

Gently, the woman took a step closer to Gin and moved her arms around the waist of his black suit. Her face pressed against his chest.

'It's awful,' he whispered after a moment of silence.

'Worse has happened,' she judged. 'I'll go.'

Gazing across the room, Sherry located Gin's black coat hanging from the back of his chair. His hat waited on the desk.

'I'm sorry.'

'It's okay.'

The man laid a hand on her head. Sherry closed her eyes and pictured Gin's long fingers as they ran through her auburn hair.