Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan, Magic Kaito, Nancy Drew, or the Hardy Boys, as much as I wish it.
Hi! So recently, I'm not even sure quite how this happened, I was reinterested in Nancy Drew *is a nerd*. Not in the "read the books" way, more in the "OMG MUST BE CROSSOVERED!" way. Hence this. Yeah. Also, so that I can have new characters to mentally scar, as you will soon find out. Have fun!
There were people with black hair everywhere. Nancy Drew, with her strawberry blond locks, felt more than a little out of place. She searched for several minutes before she finally saw the man who had come to meet her at the Tokyo Airport, Fenton Hardy. Dark hair with hints of grey poked out from underneath the tan hat the shadows from which caused the heavy bags under his eyes to stand out. He was pale, and the long brown coat didn't quite manage to hide the fact that he was thinner than he was the last time Nancy had seen him.
It hadn't quite seemed real up until then, the news. It seemed like something far off that didn't really affect her. Now though, with Fenton Hardy standing in front of her and looking like the rug, along with the floor, had been yanked quite rudely out from under his feet, she got the rude awakening that yes, this was really happening.
"I'm sorry," she stammered out at him after they had exchanged the usual, now forced, pleasantries.
"We all are. Every single one of us." And Nancy realized that she had never seen a man put so much effort into holding back tears before.
"I'll do my absolute best to help out in any way possible. They're my friends, and I'm going to see this through."
Fenton Hardy nodded tersely, and they left the airport. Once in the taxi cab, he started to fill her in on what had been left out from that first phone call. "They had come here to chase that damned thief, whatever his name is. The flashy one. They had been planning it for nearly a year now, to come here during break and spend the summer playing tag. I thought it would just be a bit of good natured fun, much safer than what they usually get up to when left to their own devices. After all, nothing," he choked slightly, "Almost never does something serious actually happen at those affairs. Then one day..." Fenton nearly lost control. Nancy put a comforting hand on his shoulder. Fenton closed his eyes, took a few deep breaths, and continued.
"One day Joe called me. They'd been calling pretty regularly just to chat and catch up, but this was different. He sounded excited, but a little wary. He tried asking about the normal things, but I knew something was up. I tried asking him what he and Frank had gotten into, but he wouldn't tell me. Just that it was big, and he'd be able to tell me more in a couple of days maybe. I think... I think it was big. Bigger than he and Frank could have imagined, bigger than anything they'd dealt with before. Frank also got on the line and said something about that thief being mixed up in something, but that was it."
"Any news on Frank yet?" Nancy prodded gently.
Fenton shook his head. "None. Not a whisper." He suddenly turned his eyes on Nancy. "Nancy, I want you to promise me something. I know you want to bring whoever did this to justice as much as I do, but you can't take any unnecessary risks. I want you to promise me that you'll tell someone before you ever run off on your own, you understand me? I don't think I could face your father and tell him that I dragged you into this mess and the same thing happened to you as happened to my boy. You promise?"
Nancy nodded. "I promise. I understand the risks involved, and I will be as safe and cautious as I know how to be." She paused. "If I may ask, what exactly did happen? You were very vague on the phone."
Fenton Hardy smiled. A very, very sad smile. "We're heading to the precinct now. It's a doozy, just you wait and see."
They were met at the precinct by a short haired woman who introduced herself as Detective Sato and ushered them in. As soon as they were inside, she turned to Fenton. "Mr. Hardy, Inspector Megure would like to go over a few points with you. He's in his office, if you would like to go talk with him while I escort Miss Drew to the morgue."
Fenton Hardy nodded slowly. "Yes. Yes, that is a good idea. I'll go see what he's still unclear on." He ambled off, clearly knowing where he was going.
Nancy looked pointedly at Detective Sato. "I see what you did there. That was a good thing."
Detective Sato smiled softly. "I've been around him for the past week. He's the walking example of what happens when emotional policemen are connected to a case. He barely eats, and his hotel room could stand a bit more use. Come on, the morgue's this way."
As they walked, Detective Sato handed Nancy a file she was carrying. "This contains all the reports related to the case. There's not much evidence. The body was found abandoned and alone. The only trace of the other brother was his watch nearby. The watchband, strangely enough, was latched. Very little blood on the scene."
"What was the cause of death?" Nancy asked, trying not to gag.
"There was none."
Nancy stopped dead in her tracks. "What do you mean, there was none?"
"There was no cause of death." Detective Sato took a few more steps, then held open a door. "Joe Hardy is a healthy seventeen year old boy. Other than the fact that he's physically dead."
"But... that's impossible."
Detective Sato nodded. "I know. Which is why finding his brother is one of our top priorities. If he's still alive, he may be able to shed some light on this impossibility. Come on, the morgue's in here."
Nancy had been in morgues before, but this time was different. This time, the dead person she had come to see was not just a victim; it was a victim she knew, one that she counted as a friend. Detective Sato exchanged a few words with the mortician, then turned back to Nancy. "You look like you have a question."
Nancy nodded. "Why are you trusting me with all this? I'm just some teenage girl you've never met. Surely there's something at work here other than Fenton Hardy's good word."
Detective Sato smiled. "Oh, you'll do just fine. The truth is, we've got our own teenage detective whiz kid running around here somewhere, so we're used to the phenomenon."
"Really?" Nancy was intrigued. "Then why not them? Mr. Hardy said the case called for a teenager to go undercover. Wouldn't it be better to use someone who would stick out less?"
This time Detective Sato chuckled. "It would be, but in Kudo-kun's case he sticks out like a sore thumb. Always got to be the center of attention. No, he'd never be able to do undercover work. And besides, we don't actually know where he is."
"You mean he's missing too? Maybe the cases are related!"
Sato shook her head. "No, no. He's not missing, just on some sort of world tour I think. He still shows up occasionally and calls his girlfriend often. No, he's not missing, he's just not here."
And Nancy thought that maybe she had just been stalling with that question, because suddenly they're standing in front of a slab and the mortician is pulling back a white sheet. And suddenly she's staring at a dead face with blond hair and closed eyes and oh god it's Joe, it's her friend Joe, he's really dead and this is not happening...
Nancy awakens on the floor of the morgue, Detective Sato's worried visage hovering above. "How long...?" Nancy manages to get out, that overworn question always used when someone wakes up on the floor.
"Just a few seconds," Detective Sato answers, and helps her sit up.
Nancy puts a hand to her head. "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me."
Detective Sato smiles. "Don't worry. Just the shock. Happens to the best of us."
Nancy, with Detective Sato hovering close, stood up and looked again at Joe's body. There was a patch of broken skin on his right temple where someone had struck him with something, and some dried blood that had not been cleaned off clung to the skin around it. But other than that there were no marks on the too-pale skin. "No cause of death?"
Sato shook her head. "No cause of death. That head injury is the only indication that anything even happened. If it weren't for the head injury, one could even go so far as to assume that he was walking down the street when he suddenly dropped dead for no apparent reason."
"That is so weird," Nancy breathed. She suddenly looked at Detective Sato. "Can we leave please?"
Detective Sato nodded. "Come on, let's go meet the others."
'The others' turned out to be an almost motley assortment of suits. Other than Fenton Hardy, there was also a wide man in a hat who was introduced as Inspector Megure, three underlings (a fat one, a proud one, and one who seemed to have some sort of close relationship with Detective Sato), and a frowning man in a green suit who looked as if he didn't really want to be there. They all introduced themselves, except for the green suit, and Inspector Megure set down to the business of briefing Nancy on what had happened so far and what they needed her to do.
"You know what's happened," he started. He then gestured at the file Nancy was carrying that Detective Sato had given her. "That file contains all the information we have, and will fill in any holes you may have that we can fill."
"One thing I'm not sure on is why precisely you need me to go undercover, a teenager."
Inspector Megure cleared his throat. Fenton Hardy, who up until then had been looking very lost, spoke up. "We're not sure, but there might be a high school mixed up in this. One of the things my sons mentioned when they were not telling me what they were working on was Ekoda High School. They were vague enough that we're not sure how it's connected, or even if it is at all, but regardless we want someone to go in there and do some snooping around. The case may involve the school in some way, or perhaps Frank and Joe had gone over there themselves and someone had seen them and may know something, we don't know."
Inspector Megure gestured to the man in the green suit. "This is Inspector Nakamori, he heads the Kaito Kid Task Force, the task force dedicated to catching the thief that Frank and Joe Hardy were in Japan to chase. He worked with the boys while they were here, and has a daughter who attends Ekoda High School. You'll be staying with him as an exchange student and be in the same class as his daughter Aoko. She'll be able to help you around while at the school."
"Frank and Joe were good kids," Inspector Nakamori finally spoke up. "A little underfoot at times, but good kids. I'll do my part to help catch their killer. But I still think you're barking up the wrong tree," he argued. Nancy couldn't help but notice that he was already referring to Frank in the past tense. He then turned to Nancy. "Aoko doesn't know about all this. She just thinks an exchange student's going to come live with us, and it's going to stay that way. You are not going to drag her into this. She's no detective, and I don't want her in any danger. Got that?"
Ah. So that's what he was so angry about. "Understood sir. I can keep a secret."
"I still say her classmates-to-be will rip the whole thing wide open," Nakamori grumbled.
Nancy decided that she was going to have to do something very nice for Nakamori Ginzo before she left Japan. Nakamori Aoko had been more than pleased to meet her, but Inspector Nakamori informed her in due course that Nancy was tired from her flight and would probably appreciate going to bed early. This Nancy appreciated wholeheartedly. She did feel a little tired, but that was completely overruled by the emotions tumbling through her body. She knew that she would never be able to get to sleep, so she turned to what she did best in such situations: work.
She changed into her pajamas and curled up in bed with the file. She went over each page of reports with a fine-toothed comb, looking for anything that could be the slightest clue. But Detective Sato and the others had been right, there was very little in terms of evidence. One Joe Hardy, dead, no apparent reason, and one Frank Hardy, missing, only trace of his being with his brother the watch, with the niggling fact of the band being closed. The watch could very well be a message from Frank. The fact that the band was closed meant that it hadn't fallen off, so perhaps Frank had taken it off deliberately and left it there to indicate he was still alive somewhere. But if so, then where?
Nancy bit her lip. Frank had been there. He had known that neither he nor Joe would be able to get to the police, so he had left the watch with the closed band as a message. There was no other reason the watch with the closed band would be lying there so innocently. He'd known that Joe wasn't going to be able to get away. That they were going to kill Joe. Perhaps he had been forced to watch while they did... whatever it was they'd done to Joe.
Nancy swiftly closed the file and put in the drawer of the end table. She'd read all of it anyway. Then she rolled over and, burying her face in her pillow just in case Aoko could otherwise hear, she started to cry. And she knew that Frank, wherever he was, felt ten times worse.
Nancy woke up bright and early the next day to get in the right mindset. New student, happy and excited to be there, hello my name's Nancy Drew, wow this is an adventure, I'm not a detective what are you talking about, no secrets here nuh-uh, I don't suppose you're heard about that recent murder, the American boy, I wonder if I should be worried about myself, after all if there's going to be a murder here what are the odds it'll be an American, not fishing for information whatever gave you that idea? And so on.
Then she turned to the folded navy uniform on the chair. Here goes nothing.
As they walked to school Aoko chattered about their classmates, and gave Nancy a quick overview of most of them. Momoi Keiko, who had pigtails and glasses, was a good friend of Aoko's. Koizumi Akako was a very pretty witch (Nancy filed this under "To Disregard At Leisure"). Hakuba Saguru's father was in the police force and his mother was British. He spent a lot of time in London, was a teenage detective, and chased Kid whenever he could. At this point Nancy was treated to a rather long rant on "that stupid thief", and had to marvel at Aoko's passion on the subject. Since Nancy was a little curious and it was vaguely tied into her case, she took advantage of the topic to ask Aoko a few questions.
The profile she started to build in her head was definitely one of the more eccentric ones. No wonder Frank and Joe had been attracted to the challenge. First appears in Paris, runs around stealing things and then giving them back, so seemingly just for the fun challenge, for about ten years, then vanishes, then all of a sudden eight years later he's back. Nancy filed the profile, and the eight year disappearance, under "Maybe Important", with the disappearance as an unanswered question which may be related to her case.
Nancy was about to ask Aoko what she thought was the reason behind Kid's disappearance, when she suddenly felt a breeze.
"Good morning Aoko! Good morning Aoko's friend!" an entirely too cheerful voice greeted.
Nancy realized belatedly that the newcomer, a boy who apparently went by the name of Kaito and knew Aoko well, had just flipped both hers and Aoko's skirts, and that Aoko was now on a roaring rampage of revenge for this. Nancy stood there, hands on her hips, and waited for Aoko to cool down a little. "Well, aren't you going to introduce me to your lovely friend?" Nancy asked once she had, all acidic sweetness.
"Nancy-san, this is Kuroba Kaito, a friend of mine. Kaito, this is Nancy Drew. She's an exchange student from America who'll be staying with me and my dad for a while."
Nancy held out her hand. "It's nice to meet you Kuroba-kun."
Kaito took the hand. Nancy, having him right where she wanted him, threw him into the ground. Aoko was awed. "Can you teach me how to do that?"
"Oww! That's it, I'm never letting you catch hold of me! Vicious!" Kaito picked himself up off the ground and made a rose appear from out of nowhere in his hand. He held it out to Nancy. "Peace offering?"
"I wouldn't take it," Aoko advised. "It might explode, or something. With Kaito, it's the 'or something's that you want to watch out for."
"Honest! Just a peace offering! Even Hakuba hasn't thrown me yet!" Nancy continued to just stare at him. "Damn, tough crowd." Kaito then threw the rose up into the air, where it exploded into confetti. He then offered both arms for the taking. "Well ladies, shall we?"
Aoko ignored him, brushing past. "You think you're so smooth. Come on Nancy-san, ignore him. He just wants attention."
The trio continued on to Ekoda High School, Nancy and Aoko talking and Kaito vying for attention. Nancy got the feeling that he wasn't used to having to share Aoko. Once they got to school and changed their shoes, Kaito and Aoko showed Nancy where the classroom was. There she met the other classmates who had already arrived, and they asked all sorts of questions.
Then suddenly another blond student appeared, almost out of nowhere. "Hmmm. And who might you be?"
Aoko smiled widely. "Good morning Hakuba-kun! This is Nancy Drew, she's an exchange student staying at my house!"
So this was Hakuba Saguru, the teenage detective with the father in the police force and the mother in London. "How do you do? It's very nice to meet you."
"And you too," Hakuba Saguru said in his sugary yet obnoxious tone of voice. "Nancy Drew, hmm? I do believe I've heard that name before."
"Oh?" Nancy asked weakly. She was starting to understand what Inspector Nakamori had meant when he's said that her new classmates would know why she was there in a jiffy.
"Yes, in conjunction with a few American cases I've read up on. Nothing serious, there's a murder or two, but mostly missing wills, secret staircases, haunted mansions, that kind of thing."
Nancy shrugged and smiled innocently. "I'm a bit of an amateur detective. But I hear you're much better than all that."
Unfortunately it turned out that Hakuba was not egotistical enough for the attempt to swing the conversation towards him to work. "I've merely had access. I'm sure you could handle your fair share of murders if you were given the same access."
"You never said you were a detective," Kaito said, sounding almost whiny.
"I'm not, not really. You heard Hakuba-kun, amateur things. Put me in a room with a secret passageway and I can find it guaranteed, but don't expect me to be able to point at a murderer."
"Being a teenage amateur American sleuth, have you heard of Frank and Joe Hardy?"
Hakuba's eyebrow cocked and his eyes told her that he definitely thought something was up with her sudden appearance. He wanted in. Well tough, Nancy wasn't going to let him in. What she noticed that surprised her though was the way that Kaito's eyes hardened at the mention of Frank and Joe, like he knew something. Definitely something for Nancy to ask about later. Away from Hakuba. "Well yes. I've worked with them on one or two occasions. I'd heard that they were here in Japan for the summer chasing after that Kaito Kid. I hear from Aoko-san that you also chase Kid. I suppose you've met them?"
"Yes. They have that innate ability to work together that only comes from years of practice. Well, I should say had. I suppose you've heard what happened?"
"I've heard rumors that something's happened. Other than that, nothing."
Almost unsurprisingly, it was Kaito who spoke. "It happened a couple weeks ago. Joe was found dead, and Frank's still missing. We're all really sorry."
And now Nancy had to act like she'd just heard, and that she wasn't as close to them as she really was. She just hoped that Frank and Joe hadn't actually talked that much about her with Hakuba. "I... see. That's... Well I hope Frank turns up. I really do, though I'm sure when he does he'll be absolutely torn apart."
Just then the teacher entered the classroom and called for everyone to sit down. As he did so, Hakuba's eyes remained on Nancy. She knew that he wasn't going to give up, and that for some reason he was going to do everything in his power to learn why she was suddenly there and how it was connected to Joe's murder.
Nancy fixed her own eyes on Kuroba Kaito. He knew something about the Hardys and what had happened to them, something that he was hiding. From the way his eyes had hardened, he wanted justice as much as she did, so why wasn't he telling someone what he knew? She put him down on her "To Question Later" list, and kept her eyes on him throughout the rest of the morning.
Okay, so it's probably pretty obvious what vaguely happened to Frank. Or maybe that's just because I'm the person writing it, who knows. But either way, since this is from Nancy's POV and she doesn't know everything we know, it'll still be a mystery to her. When Frank finally does show up (he will, don't worry), I hope I don't write him too OOC. I've never actually read the Hardy Boys books, just Wikipedia, fanfiction, and watched playthroughs of the two Nancy Drew games they were in. Anyway, reviews please!
(And yes, Nancy can throw Kaito. She was already hanging on to him, and Nancy's a complete Mary Sue, remember? ;D)