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meimi in concentrictime

Detective Conan - Idle Threats

"I'm back."

"Welcome home."

Shinichi looked up as the familiar greetings wafted their way into the library from the hallway. Surely he wasn't back already. But no, a cursory glance at the shadows stretching out from the windows confirmed the late hour. Hmm, he'd spent the entire afternoon reading again; not that he really regretted the lost hours. It was nice to have a quiet, peaceful day to spend on something as simple as reading a good book. Before everything that had happened, there hadn't been enough time for something as intangible as peace. And even after all the chaos it had been hard to find the time to even catch his breath, much less do anything he considered relaxing. These sort of days were starting to become more common of late though; and he couldn't say he disliked that change in present circumstances.

Still, he did have a few things left to take care of today. Best to get to it. Nodding slightly at his own thoughts, Shinichi fished a bookmark out of the desk, marked his place and set his book off to the side. He'd get back to it later, for now he had a very important phone call to make. The Japanese police force, the FBI, the CIA, and various other branches of international law enforcement: they were all very attentive to him these days. Of course, they were. They had been late, far too late, and they knew it. They'd been late at catching on to the Black Organization's final plans. They'd been late in trying to minimize the damage. And once again, he and the others had been left to their own devices in trying to keep themselves alive and their city from getting blown sky high. He was just a bit bitter about it. The bitterness was well earned though, both on his part and theirs. They'd been ever so horrified and shocked and dismayed when the whole truth had finally been laid out on the table. It was their feelings of guilt, however, that he found the most useful.

His stint as Conan had left him quite adept at manipulating adults to get what he wanted. How else was he supposed to get them to cooperate in his investigations? They sure as hell hadn't liked it when some little pipsqueak of a brat had started explaining what should've be blindingly obvious to them. Oh no, children should be seen and not heard. Well okay, he wasn't being completely fair. The vast majority of Inspector Megure's division had quickly learned to just go with the flow and ignore just how jarringly weird it was to have a child crawling all over their crime scenes. After all, when he was there they always captured the right suspect. Whether they'd viewed him as a good luck charm or Mouri's precocious little detective in training, it hadn't really mattered to him in the long run. He'd been able to work around them without having to constantly watch over his shoulder for well-meaning idiocy, and that had been more than enough for him to give them a pass.

Everyone else, on the other hand, was fair game.

Grinning sharply to himself, Shinichi hopped off the chair and padded his way across the room to shut the door. He didn't really keep secrets from his "houseguests", but he didn't want to get interrupted during this particular phone call. Of course, that wouldn't stop him from coming in if he felt like it, but the closed door would at least indicate that something of importance was going on. They were all good at reading signs like that.

She'd already be at work - he'd waited a little bit too long to catch her beforehand -, but Jodie Starling always answered calls from him. Even before finding out about his true circumstances, she'd always paid close attention to what he had to say. It had been nice to be respected by someone who mattered who didn't know. That respect had grown into something a bit more comfortable after... everything, and he'd say they were almost friends by this point. Almost. He still had too much trouble with trust to quite place her in the same category as the people who had known, but it was something. There was one issue, however, that was a bit of a sticking point with them. And it was time for him to raise it again.

"Hi there, Cool Kid!"

Did she have to keep calling him that? Shinichi sighed inaudibly. "Good morning, Jodie-san."

"How are you doing? Everything okay?"

"Everything's going just fine. There hasn't been much work lately, but I think I prefer it that way, if you catch my drift." Shinichi smirked sardonically as he hopped back up into the chair he'd vacated a short while ago. He'd be perfectly happy if he never had to investigate another murder case. Unfortunately, he knew better. Human nature being what it was, some things just never changed. "The doctors will be taking off the second cast in a few days. It'll be nice to have my arm back."

"Wow, I bet you're really happy about that. You've had it on for so long."

"Couldn't be helped. The bones were almost crushed. Lucky I didn't have to wear it longer," Shinichi groused as he glared down at the offending object. He didn't even deign to acknowledge all the crap scrawled all over it. The first one had remained blissfully clean for the entire time it had been on. Not that he'd really been able to appreciate it at the time. The second one, unfortunately, had only lasted two weeks - two weeks! -, and then one day that idiot had decided he wasn't breakable anymore and had gone seriously overboard with the markers. After that, everyone had to have a go at it.

"I suppose so."

Ah, excellent. She didn't sound as cheerful now. To be honest, he didn't really want to ruin her mood by talking about stuff like that, but he needed her to be a bit more receptive to his upcoming demands. Besides, it was easier to keep her from changing the subject when she was feeling that blessed guilt. "How are the hearings and trials going?"

"It's going pretty good actually. We're not taking any chances with this. Those people are all going down. Permanently. In fact, the last batch ended a few days ago."

"That's great. It's good to hear that all of our hard work is paying off." He knew all of this already, of course. There was no chance in hell that he'd let any of it pass by without his knowledge. The Black Organization had nearly ruined his life and had ruined the lives of many others. Even if it was from afar, he'd bear witness to the rightfully doled out justice those people deserved.

"So when's Haibara coming home? I'm sure she could use a break," Shinichi said sweetly as he got to the reason for his call. He hadn't seen her since that second night at the hospital, and barely even then. The painkillers had cut their time short, but she'd been okay. Well, certain degrees of okay, but she'd been in one piece and that had been what was most important at the time. Agasa hadn't faired as well, but he'd recovered quickly enough. And then she'd been whisked away into protective custody, and he hadn't seen hide nor hair of her since. This did not sit well with him.

"Ah, well... I'm not sure. There's just been so much to do... but don't worry! You'll be the first to know when she completes the antidote."

This was almost too easy. She was already starting to sound a little desperate for a change of subject. Too bad he wasn't going to give her one. "That's all well and good, Jodie-san, but I really don't care about that right now. She is my friend and this is her home. I'm sure she's missing it by now." It was the truth. Sort of. He'd be lying if he said he didn't want to be cured of his little problem as soon as humanly possible; but that was pretty much the norm, and wanting hadn't changed anything. Haibara was his friend - as much as she could be friends with anyone, he supposed. And Agasa's house, in its repaired state, was probably the only place she'd ever really identified as a home. He didn't want to see that taken away from her.

"Of course! But she really is one of the most valuable witnesses we have. It's a bit of a difficult situation, you understand?"

And there was the crux of the problem. As a former member of the Black Organization they'd give Haibara just about anything to get relevant information out of her; but at the same time they didn't want to let her out of their sight either. Miyano Shiho. Sherry. The genius behind APTX 4869, a rare poison that could - on the rare chance - turn teenagers into children. The chance that it could be turned into a veritable fountain of youth was a bit too much temptation for certain people to pass up. That was a problem. He knew it. And Jodie knew it. But that didn't mean he couldn't win if he played his cards right. Haibara was never going to let them know the formula for APTX 4869 and it was high time they started to realize that.

"I don't really want things to get unpleasant, Jodie-san," Shinichi said carefully as he leaned back in the chair and studied the ceiling with a calculating stare, "But I'd appreciate your cooperation in letting the right people know that I am deeply unhappy about the state of affairs in regards to Haibara Ai's location and would really like for her to be returned home as soon as possible. Do you think you could do that for me?"

"Cool Kid... I'm not sure-"

"You understand, Jodie." Shinichi smiled humorlessly as he dug the claws in. She'd suffered enough losses to get the message loud and clear. "I know you do. See what you can do, all right? I'd hate to have to personally get involved in the matter." He didn't particularly care for being a manipulative bastard, but if the situation warranted it then he would do what he had to.

"I..." There was a very heavy sigh over the line, which told him that his point had hit home. It didn't make him happy to hear it, but it was what it was. He'd just have to apologize sometime later for putting her in this sort of position. "Yeah, I know. I'll see what I can do, Cool Kid. Try not to do anything reckless in the meantime, okay?"

"I'll be fine. I have too many people watching out for me now for it to be otherwise," he stated blandly. Didn't he know it. It had been easier to get used to the Tokyo police shadowing him every now and then than it had to get over the shock of Sonoko showing up to take him out somewhere every other day. That was just bizarre. At least Hattori popping up at random was typical behavior on his part. His "houseguests" on the other hand... Well, they were... something. Yes, something. He wasn't quite sure what, but it was something.

Speaking of which. Paying only half a mind as he said his goodbyes to Jodie before hanging up, Shinichi narrowed his eyes at the unusual silence. Dinner would be ready soon, so one of them had to at least be doing something strange by now. They always did. Frowning, he cautiously peeked out into the hallway and was thoroughly unnerved at nothing being there. It was quiet and empty and so very, very wrong. Oh god, what were they planning now?

Sighing to himself as he realized that he might as well just get it over with, Shinichi slowly trudged towards the kitchen. He'd tried fleeing early on in their, ah, presence in his household. He hadn't gotten far. That lunatic just knew and never let him escape. Not ever. Bastard. Another peek into the kitchen showed them both to be present. She was still cooking their dinner and he was munching on something or other. It looked perfectly normal and sent a shiver of unease up his spine. These two didn't even know the definition of normal.

"How'd your phone call go, Shin-chan?" Chikage chirped cheerfully as she stirred something on the stove. He couldn't see what it was, but it smelled delicious. She was an awesome cook. Now if she'd just stop calling him that. Not that she ever would, the woman was as bad as his mother.

"Well enough," Shinichi answered carefully as he stepped into the room. He hadn't made a move yet, but that didn't mean anything. There would be glitter or confetti or something equally absurd soon enough. It never failed. But now that he thought about it, there might be a nice distraction to be made here. Eyeing the other speculatively for a moment, Shinichi smirked dangerously. "By the way, how good are you at stealing little girls?"

Kaito blinked, then grinned just as dangerously as his meaning fell into place. "I don't know, it depends on whether you want me to steal her heart as well."

Shinichi snorted at that, then laughed outright at the thought of Haibara's response to Kaitou Kid attempting to romance her. "You should try that." The fallout would be glorious.