Authors note: I'm so sorry for taking this long! I'm still preparing for college and stuff so... Anyway, also sorry for my stories for not being so good. I'm still a bit unsure on how to write a mystery themed story. It's pretty hard for me so I'm spending my time now reading up on mystery based stories. I've got a long way to go...
"Hello, it's me again!" a brown haired child ecstatically smiled, running over to a lone boy lying under the comfort of a Japanese sago palm's shade who remained where he was despite the child's loud, booming voice, not even batting and eye to greet him.
"Hey! Heeellloo~! Don't ignore me!" the child pouted with a puff of his red cheeks and began poking the boy on his head. "Come on, Tsuuurrrugiiii~!"
"Tsuuu! Ruu! Giii!" the child said over again before sighing with an annoyed huff. Tsurugi, the boy the child was talking to, knew far better this time. Everything he was seeing, hearing, and feeling at this very moment were nothing but a crude sham his mind made up. This was all just another dream again. It wasn't even that accurate.
The brunette yelling at him for attention obviously wasn't real. This sandy beach he was currently lying on was definitely not real and certainly were the sounds of the tides splashing against the shore some yards away not real and he wasn't planning giving his hopes up again and make a fool out of himself. So he continued ignoring the boy.
Tsurugi was busy hearing his dream shout at him until suddenly everything became quiet. "Finally," Tsurugi sighed victoriously to himself. "he's finally-"
At the moment, Tsurugi felt something heavy crash on top of his stomach, leaving him breathless with a gasp as his eyes shot up.
Dream Tenma, having had enough of being so rudely ignored, finally sat on top of him in anger for his rudeness and he wouldn't be satisfied unless he got retribution and began jumping up and down and Tsurugi like the boy was a trampoline.
Tsurugi screamed and yelped up in pain before angrily getting up and shoving the sadistic illusion off of him
"Okay, okay! Geez!" he grumbled breathlessly with a clear expression of pain making Dream Tenma smile.
"Why do you keep doing that? It's not nice to ignore people when they're talking to you." Dream Tenma scolded softly and eerily gaily with a wide grin on his face, making Tsurugi grumble in anger when a realization came to him. Considering that dreams were supposed to be one's window to their deeper thoughts-thoughts that even they themselves could never even imagine-could this clearly wrong recreation of his friend be a sign of some sort that some part of him was actually frightened of Tenma?
No, that was absolutely ridiculous….ridiculous…
"Why, yes. It's really entertaining. You should have seen the look on you face!" madly giggled Dream Tenma with sincerity. Tsurugi now wanted to wake up. Dream or not, he wasn't going to take staying another second with this demented, mental delusion.
"That's really harsh!" Tenma pouted, either somehow managing to hear his thoughts this time or he finally decided to not to take his poisonous, cutthroat remarks any longer. "You shouldn't think hurtful things about people!"
"Yeah? Well, you aren't a person. You're just a figment of my mind." Tsurugi snapped. "And I can make you disappear anytime I want so shut up."
That statement actually managed to quiet the rambunctious child who looked down, close to tears. Tsurugi almost felt sorry for his actions until he remembered what this thing did to him just a few seconds ago.
"…so you don't remember then?" he asked in tiny voice like a mouse.
Tsurugi didn't even look back at him. He had no clue what it was this thing wanted from him. Telling him to remember something with Tenma's face and voice, it was creepy and he could only tolerate so much of it.
"I don't know." He finally answered. "Whatever it is you want from me, I'm sorry but I can't help you. Now leave me in peace."
"Help...me?" Tenma asked in surprise before shaking his head. "No. I just thought you wanted to help keep your promise. Don't you remember it?"
"What are you-?" Tsurugi asked as he turned back but the fabrication had vanished.
Then out of nowhere, he heard something.
"…Tsurugi." He heard a voice calland for some reason, not only did Tsurugi feel that he recognized that voice, even though it didn't sound like Tenma's, he felt a strong sense of forlorn, guilt, and misery, as though a million chains had suddenly dropped on him and dragged him down to a deep pit so horrible, not even he could imagine. He began to shake and stood up and glanced around to find who was calling him but there nothing but an endless dark space around him.
"…please…" the voice cried weakly.
And suddenly, a thin flash of light appeared, making Tsurugi turn and there underneath it was Tenma, lying down lifelessly on the ground. Tsurugi was about to run and help him when another thin light appeared but this time a black figure stood underneath it and the very moment Tsurugi saw him, it felt like his soul had suddenly been ripped out off him.
The figure then took notice of Tsurugi and stared at him for a while before turning and began walking towards him. And then, like a fool-he froze there. His body turned numb and he began shaking. For the first time in a long time, he felt scared. His mind had turned a blank and he couldn't understand why this was happening. He didn't know what to do. He took a step back but something caught his leg and fell back with a scream.
He took a look up and there the figure was.
This…Tsurugi wanted to run. He had to get away from here!
He didn't even think of trying to help Tenma who was still lying only some feet away. Every fiber in his body began screaming at him abandon him or they would both die.
Just leave him there! The figure would surely leave you alone if you ran away and left him…!
His began heart pounding fast and he opened his eyes, pupils now dilated, silently screaming, scanning the area to make sure the figure was gone. No longer was there the figure or Tenma or the voice crying out. No longer was there the void or the comforting shade of the tree. Just some people staring at him from their tables, whispering something either to their companions or to themselves, most likely about him.
He grumbled and sat back down on his seat, staring at his coffee on the quaint table, still shaking terribly from his nightmare as his mind began racing to answer himself as to what had just happened and why was he so frightened?
He only slumped down, hiding his head by burying it in his arms on the table.
"Not again." He thought. He had come to this cafe to relax but he ended up making a fool of himself again. A thought back to that figure and he felt like crying and screaming and his body began shake even more but not from fear. From shame.
Even though it was a dream, he actually chose to let Tenma die to save himself.
He used every ounce of strength left to stop his screaming and cursing and self-berating from being blown out in a huge explosion.
When had he become so scared…? When had he turned into a coward…?
When...h-he had to go visit Tenma now!
He set the money down and left running in such hurry, he bumped into a woman visiting without so much as an apologize nor even a glance.
He didn't care for her. He didn't care about anything. For some reason, he just wanted to run away. To anywhere but here.
"Kids these days. They just go around running like they own the place!" the woman huffed, looking back at Tsurugi before looking up at the tiny establishment's sign.
"This looks like the place." She identified with a happy nod like a pat to herself in the back. She stepped in with a ring of the bell as pushed the door and looked around before spotting a familiar face.
"Good afternoon, Noroma." she greeted, smacking him in the back casually which the officer took fairly well.
"Oh, *omgh,* Emmy! Nice to, chomp, see you. *Munch, munch,* so watcha doing here?" he asked with a few chomps of his thick shepherd's pie. That was the establishment's specialty. Instead of local Japanese food, they served English cuisine. It seemed a bit foreign but the delicious scent of stew cooking and lamb roasting with herbs was nostalgic for Emmy(and very tantalizing).
"Just came to visit." Emmy answered. "How's the grumpy detective doing? Not driving you too hard I hope."
"Ooh. I don't want to even think." The peculiar policeman answered, gulping down the cuts of roasted lamb, beef and vegetables and of course, mashed potatoes. "He's all ready as upset as it is that we weren't getting anywhere with the case. And then at the last minute, we were assigned to new one."
"Huh? What will happen to Ten-I mean the child's case." Emmy asked worriedly since he was her only link to the inside happenings of the attempted murder and if he had really been reassigned, well- let's just say the other officers weren't as easy to squeeze important information out of.
"Sorry but yes, it's true." Noroma finally answered properly, having finally finished down his fifth helping. "We're currently working on a murder case of an unknown woman! You should have seen how angry the detective was!"
"I can understand. Anyway, I'll be seeing you around then." Emmy answered in a more grave tone, not knowing how to deal with her main source of information as to the case's progression being cut off so suddenly.
"See you." He answered, putting back on his police hat. "And would you, erm, keep quiet about my little work break?"
"But of course! You're secret's safe with me." Emmy winked with a nod. "Good luck with your new case."
The stout policeman saluted gratefully and left, leaving Emmy to laugh a little. "He resembles Constable Barton so much. It's a wonder they aren't related." She told herself.
As Emmy laughed, a woman with a small glass in one hand came out from the kitchen laughing and the moment she entered, the patrons quickly stopped their casual talks and began to quiet down to a whisper. Her attire was semi-formal and flashy; a simple but showy white sleeveless cocktail dress and black high heels with her long, pitch black hair flowing out-not exactly what one would wear in a kitchen but no man in the building questioned. It was something the woman had taught her regulars well-and that was to never snoop into her business, less they wanted to pay very dearly for their meals.
Her mere presence alone in the room made a difference and Emmy noticed it. The atmosphere from easy-going and chatty quickly became tense and stuffy. The woman herself radiated an aura that gave herself a sense of both high refinement and high authority but at the same time, she had a sort of magnetism to herself that made it feel so easy to approach her yet so dangerous. Emmy had found herself once again in a very peculiar situation.
"I don't think I've seen you hear before." The woman greeted Emmy in a very polite, classy fashion.
"What can I do to help you? We've got some freshly roasted lamb in the back, it's still nice and tender or maybe I can interest you with some mouth watering peach melba? It's a nice even of sweet and sour and it'll definitely drive away all that ails you." She offered with a warm smile and the brightness in her eyes as she talked about food only served to back up her proud statements.
Emmy was drooling now. She almost ordered those two(and half the menu) until she remembered her priorities. Her heart sank on missing a of the succulent, juicy lamb and the cold, refreshing, fruity peach melba…..
*growl~!* went her stomach but she pushed her hunger down as deep as she could and wiped away the drool trickling down her mouth.
"I'm here lamb, I mean ma'am," Emmy corrected herself hungrily. She was starting to sound like that boy now. "to ask you about something really important."
"Ooh. What sort of something?" the woman inquired curiously. "Do you run restaurant too? Hmm, I have been thinking about opening another place but something more accessible to the public so they'll come to try my dishes."
"Um, not that sort importance." Emmy corrected. "I came here to ask you about October seventeenth-"
*SMASH!* went the glass crystal in her hand to pieces, silencing the room for a brief second before all normal conversations continued amongst the patrons, albeit ever more quietly this time.
"…I'm sorry." The woman's voice cracked as she attempted to recover her composure, oblivious to the trinkling blood slithering down her wrist. "But I think you've over stayed you're welcome. Please leave."
"What? No, at le-"Emmy said but the woman shook her head before opening her eyes. No longer were they welcoming. Instead, they were cold and murderous.
"OUT. NOW." She insisted with a powerful, frightening tone. Emmy wasn't a bit scared. In fact, she was now itching for fight, through with being nice but there two many people about. Emmy sucked up her pride and strode out as calmly and ladylike as she could.
"I hope Mark has better luck than me."
Endou walked as fast as he could to Tenma's room. He wasn't usually intimidated so much of being found out but this time the person involved this time was different-he was very much capable of finding him out, which was also by all means all right with Endou.(by only a bit) What he wasn't okay with was having the best evidence he had so far being taken away before he could do anymore with it.
He would leave the hospital directly but he still had Tenma as his responsibility-one he couldn't even think of compromising even the slightest.
Endou finally reached Tenma's room and knocked the door three times quickly and opened the door without even bothering for a reply.
"Coo, I'm going now. Please make…oh."
Coo didn't reply and Endou could see clearly why. His pet was busy.
Tsurugi, who had just arrived after having ran all the way from the shop to the hospital, wasn't very surprised to see his coach standing there. Rather, he just wasn't in the mood. Right now, his emotions were all too messed up together in a giant mesh even he couldn't understand. Anything could happen-an old man walking by could have a heart attack, a nurse could run in screaming about some huge traffic accident where everyone was dead or even some lunatic could just run up to him right now and punch him in the face and proceed to beat him-so long as none of it involved Tenma, none of it would faze him. in fact, the last example was a very welcoming idea for Tsurugi. It was justly punishment for him.
Even when Coach Endou seemed surprised and began to retreat from the room, Tsurugi didn't wonder at all. He simply went towards the door, rudely pushing himself between his coach and the large, sliding plank, without even uttering a word when he something that managed to finally faze him from sudden depressed state.
Coo still said no word to greet the two visitors though. The bird was still too busy entertaining Tenma who was giggling and clapping but softly as he was still weak from his wounds and had to take care for them as he watched the parrot balance a plate on his tiny green head amidst a still flight.
"Oh, hi Coach! Hi, Tsurugi! Isn't this bird wonderful? He can even mimic my voice!"
Shephard's Pie: Better known as cottage pie. It is an English dish containing either roasted lamb and/or beef, with vegetables placed in a pan with mashed potatoes as its crust.
Peach Melba: A nice dessert. It is a combination of peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream. *drool*
Also, if you play Professor Layton and the Specter's Flute, you may recognize several lines said by Emmy. They're an allusion to her previous adventures with her old company.
I'm also aware of Dream Tenma's a contradicting character. Maybe part of Tsurugi is a frightened of Tenma but that notion is ridiculous, isn't it?