"Please set up chairs in groups of two and place the partitions between each set. Thank you, that's perfect."
"The killer can only be him, there is no other…"
"I know, but the experiment will give us the proof we need. I agree with you about who did it, but unless you can give a precise time for their whereabouts, it can't be used as the basis for accusing someone."
'I doubt this will be enough, it is not as if The Silencer will be foolish enough to fall for this. Really, I know your dad's a police officer too, but that doesn't mean that you can solve murders this easily.'
"OK, now will the four of you take a seat as though you are about to drive the car the victim was in."
The two men and two women glance at the separated sets of chairs and back at the brown-haired girl giving the orders. The blond boy beside her seems to simply be waiting for something that he knows won't happen. The four suspects step up and take a seat in their own little area. Unsure of what to do next, one of the women finally calls out.
"Are you just playing around because I would like to know who killed my husband and I don't see how THIS is helping?"
"Please be patient. I want you to now reach over and imagine you are adjusting the AC, and please refrain from saying anything else for the time being."
The two teenagers shift their gaze to each individual, one at a time. The boy barely managing to suppress his surprise at the fact that only one person is in the left seat, while the other three are all in the right seat. As the girl had predicted, it was, in fact, the one that they believed was the culprit.
"Eric, would you tell me why you are using your right hand instead of your left?"
"Well that's simple. It's closer. Don't want to reach across with my left just to flip a switch in the…"
"What are you talking about Eric," the same woman calls out from her own seat, "it should be easier if you are adjusting it with your left hand."
"But…" The man looks up at the two teens. "…you said to sit like we were driving the victim's car…" And suddenly, the looks on their faces tell him they know he made a mistake.
"I believe," the blond boy begins, "that the victim's car was a domestic, while the one he died in was an import… from America."
"That means," the girl continues, "that, although all of you claim to not have seen the victim leave today as well as not having been to the scene of the accident, you, Eric, knew that the car had the driver's side on the left."
"In addition, the 'switch' you mentioned was unique to the import, whereas the victim's own car had a knob for the AC."
The man, Eric, suddenly smiles back at the two and raises his hands, palm side up.
"Ha, you have no proof. I can deny all this and it will be your words against mine."
"And the video camera in the corner of the room that caught this whole thing," the girl puts in, giving a small smile of her own.
The man's face goes ashen as he whips around and sees the red light flashing on a video camera that he had failed to notice when he first entered the room.
"That camera is currently sending a live feed straight to my own laptop, which I sent with a note to Scotland Yard. I'm sure they will be here soon for you."
"Plus," the boy puts in, "the single white rose found at the crime scene, as well as in the bouquet delivered to the victim, links you to numerous other murders."
The man turns slowly back to the two teens and starts laughing. He seems to have lost all sense and suddenly dashes toward them, pulling out a knife as he does so.
"YOU SHALL BOTH BE SILENCED! A WHITE ROSE SHALL LIE ACROSS YOUR LIPS AND SEAL THEM FOREVER!"
Both teens brace themselves, the girl dodging swiftly to the outside of the arm wielding the blade before grabbing it and twisting while the boy drops to the ground, sweeping the man's legs out and assisting the girl in taking the man down. While the girl locks the man's arm in a painful hold, the boy takes the knife from him and wraps it in a cloth. The bobbies dash in at that moment and relieve the two teens of the man.
"Thank you for your help."
"Thank you for your help."
Both teens look up at each other and shake their heads.
"Well, I wish we could have stopped Mr. Burley from leaving, we might have prevented his death."
"Perhaps, but I do not believe we could have proved who was behind it if not for the fact that he fell victim to the man."
"That doesn't mean I can't wish it could have turned out differently," the girl says with a small shake of her head.
The boy sees one officer look over at the two teens before shaking his head as well. He walks over and they begin to give him their personal information. They tell him that they are both 'cop's kids'. The girl's father was an officer in America, while the boy's was with the Japanese police force. He seems so taken aback by their forthrightness that he confides to them that it was one thing for him to believe they might pursue law enforcement when they grew up but he couldn't believe they were doing it already. He and his fellow officers had been all but glued to the computer screen for the first few minutes while the two of them had explained what they planned on doing as well as requesting they come to the address as soon as possible. He just couldn't believe that they had cracked a case that had had police officers in 5 countries stumped. He mumbles something about hoping they had found a way to record the live feed so he could watch the actual experiment himself, considering it seemed to have worked, but when asked to repeat it, he quickly walks away, saying if they needed more they would be in touch.
"One thing still bothers me," the girl says, turning to walk to the entryway. The boy watches her for a second before following.
"Why use a white rose instead of black, and why send one in a bouquet that has others instead of just the single flower on its own?"
"Most likely, the killer simply included a single white rose in with the flowers that were being delivered normally. Perhaps it was to be subtle, as a black rose is the standard symbol of death. I recognize the hydrangea and the yellow roses," he points to the vase sitting nearby, "but I don't believe those or the other type mean anything to this case. The culprit is in cuffs, so there is nothing more to worry about."
"True… so, do you think we'll have to deal with any more cases this summer?"
"Hey, Sagu- oh, wait… should I use 'Hakuba-kun' or 'Saguru-kun'?"
"No, please don't worry about it. Saguru is fine."
"Thanks, I mean arigato for teaching me Japanese. I promise I'll continue to practice until it is second nature."
"You are welcome. I believe everything is taken care of for the party, right?"
"I told your mom you would figure out she was throwing a party for you," the girl gives a small sigh but smiles.
"That doesn't answer my question…. Is anything wrong?"
"Well, one thing," the girl says, sighing once again. "My parents want me back in America. I'm leaving in two days."
"What… but… you… I thought you were going to stay for…?"
"I wish I could stay, but even though I can't be here for your birthday, I do have something for you." She passes him a sealed envelope, then adds, smiling, "You just have to prove you are worthy of it."
"She got this for me? All I gave her was that little ring; she goes and gives me these. Mom, this has to be…"
"I guess she felt that if you could find it you deserved it… and she did make you earn it, testing both your knowledge of the books and some unique clues as well."
"I guess now I can look the part."
"So you are going to Japan to chase that thief?"
"Yes, and I intend not only to chase him, I shall catch him."
A/N: A belated Happy Birthday for Hakuba Saguru.
I had this for awhile but while LostInTheDreams was here, yes here, visiting, she got me thinking I should post this for his birthday. I'm only getting to it now because she headed home this morning and took my sister with her. Well, I hope you liked it. Forshadowing is fun but parts of this story and 'The Stranger' give away things about the other… I had typed this as a bit of groundwork/background for 'The Stranger', so it's sort of a prequel… maybe more of a prologue but since I don't want to go through and move the chapters I've posted just to make room, I'm leaving this as a one-shot. This takes place two years prior to 'The Stranger', in England, and there is a reason that only Saguru's name is mentioned besides the victim and killer… but I won't say why. Read 'The Stranger' and you will get your answers, with a few already.
Here's a question for you: what was the gift that he received from the girl? Answers can be put in the review or a PM, just curious about who can figure it out (I really based it on a single clip from Detective Conan and certain statements in other fics). It will eventually be mentioned in 'The Stranger', but I want to know how much of a giveaway I made it.