A/N: Hi there! I'm back and again and it's a story based on the happenings in 'Scars'. Haven't read it yet? Go - read!
Just kidding, you can read this one without any knowledge about the prequels 'Scars', 'Guns and Gems' and 'Predicament'. Maybe there will be one or two confusing details then, but you should be fine - or just ask me, or even better - read the previous stories ;)
This will probably be a three- or four-shot and it is almost done. I think it will be around 10k words in the end. So, have fun!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Detective Conan or any of its characters and concepts! They all belong to Gosho Aoyama.
A detective went into a bank...
This morning clearly could have gone better. Shinichi looked around him with a defeated sigh and finally resigned himself to a long time of waiting in front of the bank counter.
Left and right from him were also long queues with people, stretching through the hall with its thin pillars. Some of them seemed to be perfectly content with wasting their time here, while some others kept shuffling their feet and glancing at their watches every other minute.
If he had it his way, he would turn around on his heel right now and come back another day when it was less crowded, but Ran had sent him here and there was no way that he would go back to her without the documents they needed to buy their own home. He had failed to get them yesterday. And the day before. Though it hadn't exactly been his fault (he certainly hadn't asked for encountering a pick-pocket along the way to the bank, or for Megure to call him in because an important lead for a case he was counseling for had popped up) she still would skin him alive if he came back empty handed again.
After their wedding they had continued to live in the small apartment near the campus, but after graduation they had decided it was time to move. Ran was now employed at Beika General Hospital and Shinichi himself ran his own private investigations agency at the tender age of twenty-four. Though he still often worked as a consultant for division one and Megure had offered him a place in his team, Shinichi had declined. He too often walked on a narrow path between legality and uhm… legal grey areas to work on the police force. As a consultant, he had a tiny bit more freedom to work his way and if it was what it took to find a culprit of even save a life, he would always act first and endure Megure's shouting later.
Hattori would be so proud of him.
His friend and rival had finally found the guts to propose to Kazuha, and the wedding was planned for August this year. Ran was Kazuha's maid of honor of course, and the two women where engrossed in the details for the big day whenever they talked with each other. Shinichi was thankful that he and Ran had opted for a very small, intimate ceremony with just the two of them. Well, and Kazuha and Hattori, who had taken care of any case along the way, what included a man who had fallen to his death from the balcony of his hotel room on the 21st floor. They should have known better. Hattori plus Kudo equals an almost hundred percent chance of falling bodies.
Aside from that, everything had gone surprisingly without a hitch. Maybe – and that was a very big maybe – it was thanks to the lucky charm, Kazuha had gifted them to cancel out Shinichi's bad luck.
Yukiko had been very disappointed to find out that there would be no grand wedding for her to plan. The pouting had been too much for anyone to stand, and so they had given her free rein to plan an after-wedding party with all their friends and family. Needless to say, it had been the event of the year in Beika.
And now they were about to buy their own home.
It wasn't that far from his parent's house that was located in a quiet neighborhood and one of the few places in Beika where you could buy one-family houses. Also, it was just the right distance from their childhood-homes that they didn't have to expect their parents visiting unannounced all the time, but still close enough for Ran to drop by her father's agency to lend a hand when Eri didn't find the time to cook and clean between her cases. Not that Ran was less busy with her job, but still she found the time to help out.
They had been excited when they found the small but decent house with a garden and enough rooms for one or two future kids. Shinichi had no idea when or how they would find the time for children with their unsteady time schedules, but every now and then the idea of small feet running towards him crossed his mind, and someday he really wanted to have a son or a daughter with Ran. Maybe not right now, but they still had time. No need to rush it.
For now, he had to pick up some documents to prove that they had the financial needs to stem the purchase. Even though the name 'Kudou' alone was kind of an assurance, it was no official credit status, and they had to follow the procedure like everyone else.
Leaning a bit to the side to count how many people were standing before him, Shinichi frowned, a bit annoyed with himself. Eleven. He really should have made an appointment. At least he didn't have any clients for the morning, so he was in no hurry. All he had planned was to meet up with Ran for lunch. A quick glance on his cellphone and he knew that he was here for twenty minutes already. Taking into account that some people would probably need more than five minutes to take care of their business, he would have to wait for more than one hour before it was his turn.
Maybe he should send her a quick text, just in case. That way she hopefully wouldn't be too angry if he was late or even had to cancel their lunch date altogether.
He reached for his phone again, beginning to type the message and when the line of waiting people was moving, he took a step forward without looking up - and promptly bumped into the man in front of him who turned around with an irritated expression.
"Ah, I'm sorry!" Shinichi excused himself with a quick bow, and hastily took a step back to give the man some room. "I wasn't paying attention."
"I can see that," the man growled with a look at the phone Shinichi was still holding. Without another word he turned back again.
Shinichi eyed him from behind. He was tall for a Japanese man, well-built and maybe in his late thirties. All in all, he didn't seem to be a very pleasant person with that scowl on his face and a pair of very sharp eyes that had drilled into Shinichi's head.
But what unsettled Shinichi most was that he was almost sure he had felt a gun underneath the man's jacket when he had collided with him.
He was no police officer Shinichi was acquainted with – and he knew every Detective, Inspector or higher positioned officer in the department at least by sight. All officers lower ranked than a Detective were not allowed to carry their weapon out of uniform.
It was possible that he was from another department, but even then, Shinichi knew many of them from his time as Conan. He had really gotten about in these days.
So, what now?
He felt uneasy doing nothing, but calling the man out on it could mean trouble as well. If he really was up to something, Shinichi could make it worse if he exposed him. He decided to send a message to Megure as a precaution. Maybe he even could find out who the man was.
As discreet as possible, he shot a photo of the man's profile when he was looking to the side. As a private investigator, the shutter of his phone camera was always on silent mode. It wouldn't do him any good if he was shadowing a suspect and gave himself away with the sound of him taking a picture.
'Unidentified male person in the Second National Bank. Most probably armed with a gun. Couldn't verify. Many people around. Identification possible? Backup?'
He attached the photo and pressed 'send'. With any luck, Megure was able to answer him right away and maybe even give an all-clear.
Shinichi's eyes scanned the room more thoroughly for possible accomplices. He went with the worst-case scenario just to be prepared. It would be just typical for him to stumble into an ongoing bank robbery.
Unfortunately, robbers didn't always tend to look like criminals on the outside, and the weather today was a bit chilly and windy, so almost every person in the bank was wearing a jacket or a coat, under wich a weapon easily could be hidden. It was still early march after all. With not much to go by, he eagerly waited for Megure's response and observed if any kind of non-verbal communication was going on. Eye-contact. Hand signs. Much could be used to coordinate a group without standing out too much.
After a few minutes his phone vibrated in his hand.
'Identity confirmed. Sugihara Kenta. Wanted for several violent armed robberies in other prefectures. Works with accomplices. Stay low! ! ! ! ! Backup is on the way!'
Shinichi suppressed a groan. Just great. Violent armed robberies. That indicated that there had been casualties at least once.
'Five exclamation marks, Inspector? I'm not that bad!'
Well, all he could to do was to keep an eye on Sugihara, and hope that the backup team would be here before the robbers decided to take action. He had nothing on his person to be of much help anyway. He didn't wear his power-enhanced shoes today, as the Professor still had to make some that weren't sneakers. The old design didn't go well with the black suit and light-blue dress shirt he was wearing, and Shinichi didn't want to look like a hipster. The tranquilizer-gun was in repair. All he had was a pair of handcuffs. A habit he had taken on after he had chased down a culprit and had been in desperate need for something to tie him down with.
"Mommy, can we go home now?"
Shinichi's eyes were drawn to a little girl standing right in front of Sugihara with her mother. He smiled a bit. She looked like a small Ran with her brown hair and the big blue eyes. He was just wondering what the kid was doing here when it was a school day and she seemed to be in pre-school at least. Though her face was a bit pale, so maybe she had been sick and was still recuperating. Right now, she was tugging impatiently at her mother's jacket, eager to leave already.
"Sorry, Meiko, just a bit longer," the mother answered her with a look to the bank counter. Her shoulders slumped, and Shinichi could relate. Keeping children entertained in such a boring environment was tiring. He remembered several occasions where he had the pleasure when he still had been with the detective boys. And sure enough, Meiko didn't look pleased as she pouted.
"But I want to go home! You said we would be back in time for the Kamen Yaiba rerun!" Her bottom-lip trembled, and Shinichi tensed. A child throwing a tantrum was the last thing he needed right now. Especially, as she was standing much too close to Sugihara.
"Look Meiko," the mother said, crouching to get on eye-level with her daughter. "I know I promised, but I can't help it – we really have to cash this check, so we can go grocery shopping on our way home. Remember? We wanted to get your favorite ice-cream."
It was an admirable attempt, but the kid's patience had run out.
"I want ice-cream! Now!" Meiko screeched with a now bright red face, her little fists drummed against her mother's shoulders, who tried to calm her down in vain. She was clearly embarrassed by Meiko's break down in public.
Shinichi swallowed, and frantically tried to think of something to defuse the situation - when it was already too late.
Meiko gave a very strong push, and her mother stumbled backwards against Sugihara, who in turn bumped hard against Shinichi, making both of them tumble to the floor.
Half buried underneath Sugihara with the wind knocked out of him, the man's gun was now pressed against Shinichi's stomach, but he couldn't get it, because the jacket was in the way.
Sugihara cursed and pushed his hands against the floor to get up. "Damn brat!" When his gaze fell on Shinichi, his eyes narrowed dangerously. Something must have shown on Shinichi's face, because the robber tsk-ed and drew the gun, pointing it at Shinichi, who was still on the floor a bit winded.
"To hell with it! Nobody moves!" Sugihara shouted, and simultaneously one man in every queue pulled out a gun, aiming around them. So, three robbers in total. The people next to them scrambled as far back from the weapon-wielding men as they could, tripping over others in the process. In no time panic had taken over.
Meiko had ceased her crying, and was staring wide-eyed at the gun, holding tightly onto her mother.
When the turmoil went on, Sugihara lifted the muzzle of his gun to the ceiling and shot.
Screams followed the deafening 'bang', then silence, interrupted by some sobbing hiccups.
Shinichi would have tackled Sugihara the moment the gun was no longer on him, but he couldn't risk the life of the other people. With two more armed robbers it was just out of the question.
He gritted his teeth in frustration and slowly stood up.
Immediately, Sugihara focused on him again. "Who the fuck said you could get up?!"
Before Shinichi could brace himself, he was struck hard with the gun's butt across the face and pain pierced through his skull, closely followed by complete blackness.