It is irony itself at work, possibly, because mercy is too kind a word for someone like you, but you do not recall the exact moment when you found out about Akemi-oneechan's death. Perhaps it was the bloody glint in Gin's eye; perhaps it was a whisper in the hallway; perhaps it was neither or both of those.
Or perhaps it is the sudden empty chill of your heart between one moment and the next – it has only ever had that sole occupant, after all.
It hardly matters, either way. The reality of things is rarely so clean-cut as those detective stories onee-chan always gushed about at length over your lunches, but in this you find a dichotomy. Someone else might call it a hypothesis, even, though that runs against your scientific sensibilities.
You look at the newspaper photo, look at that face nigh-unrecognisable from the childhood photos you saw in Kudo Shinichi's house, and conclude: either Edogawa Conan is not half the detective he's been made out to be, or Edogawa Conan (and therefore Kudo Shinichi) is as culpable in onee-chan's death as you yourself are.
The newsprint wrinkles and tears in your grip. You do not let go of it anyway.
You watch Edogawa Conan pale at the mere mention of a woman in black, and you think, not a little depreciatingly: fools, all of us.
The denouement of the banknote forgery case is… not unimpressive, you suppose, but only in that Edogawa Conan made those deductions with what must have been only the barest glances into the room proper.
It is nothing you could not have concluded yourself, had you the motivation to do so – and thus of little value, as a data point. Onee-chan was always that much better at disguises than most other operatives, and certainly more adept than you have ever been (it's because you're unique, Shiho– you forcibly do not recall her saying) and so it would also take a significantly above-average detective, to have been able to see through that.
You are (were) a terrible sister, but an excellent scientist. You cannot theorise on unreliable data, and so you do not try.
Sherry, you say, that's my codename – is, not was, and in that moment it feels like truth, still.
(The pale panic in response gives you both more and less satisfaction than you would like, but it is still insufficient data for a conclusion. You have not given him the most obvious of hints, after all, and it was not past even Holmes' eyes, to be turned by a young and pretty face.
So you wait, again. What other choice is there?)
And you wait, after that initial outburst, for the light of realisation in his eyes, of anger ablaze, the question: is this a test?
The answer to that, you would think but not say, is that everything is a test, in the Organisation. A test of loyalty, a test of ruthlessness, a test of cunning. It is the first and last of which, that you and onee-chan failed – but then again that was only ever because of you, wasn't it?
(Back then, in that dim room of a holding cell, you did not leave a last thought for her, did not say wait for me, onee-chan. Not because you do not believe in an afterlife, but because you are the one who sent her there in the first place, and so you do not deserve what little comfort that could give.
How could you?)
But that moment does not come. Instead it is you who breaks, because the answer is this: Edogawa Conan – Kudo Shinichi – is every bit the detective he's been made out to be, and yet –
– yet you cannot find him guilty, only ask whywhywhy as if the look on his face is not answer enough already, as if you do not recognise it from the newspaper long since burnt to ashes, now.
He'd tried, after all. What did you do?
this probably makes literally zero sense bc i'm only half awake at best but i was rereading her intro cases earlier today so hey