#1 Posted by Tim_Drake4444 (1097 posts) - - Show Bio

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The Detective Prince

Chapter 59

The Unexpected Target

The next morning was a later start. He made his way down the stairs after having something to eat, stepping into the office on the way down. He could see him sitting back in the chair with eyes glued to the ceiling. It didn't take long for him to sense his presence, looking his way with the narrow of his eyes.

"What are you doing over there," Kogoro asked. "Shouldn't you be on your way to school?"

"But look at it out there," Conan pointed. "It's so dark and gloomy, I bet we get some rain."

"Not until this evening some time," Kogoro informed. "That's according to what I saw on the news, so don't take my word for it."

"Can I ask you something?"

"Well it depends," Kogoro said. "What is it you wanted to ask?"

"I saw you talking with a man across the street yesterday," Conan said. "What were the two of you talking about?"

"He was a client," Kogoro replied. "And what was said between he and I is confidential."

"I guess there's no use in asking why they didn't meet here in the office."

"You better get going," Kogoro said checking the time on the clock. "You have under thirty minutes before school begins."

Conan did as he said, making his way out the room.

"At least I gave it a shot," Conan thought. "What if he truly was just another client, maybe I'm just thinking too much into this."

It was a quiet walk there. It was dark, yet comforting in a strange way. Not many of the students were seen in front of the school upon his arrival.

"I guess I'm not the only one who thinks we'll get some rain," Conan thought. "That would explain why most everyone is inside."

He scoured the school yard for a last time, still no sign of his friends. With that he made his way to the door.

"We took the exam yesterday, makes me wonder what we'll be doing today."

The hallway was nearly as empty as the playground had been, only coming across two other students on his way to class. He arrived to surprisingly find two separate lines facing up to the front of the room.

"You're just in time," Sumiko said looking his way. "Why don't you take off your bag and join us."

He did as she said before heading back to the end of the first line where Ai happened to be standing.

"Class doesn't start for another three minutes," Conan said looking at his watch. "Any idea what this is all about?"

"Isn't it obvious," Ai said turning to face him. "We're setting up for the activity."

"An activity?"

"Didn't you listen to what she said at the end of yesterdays class," Ai asked. "We're having a game day."

"Didn't quite catch that," Conan admitted. "My attention must have been elsewhere."

She turned back to the front of the room with Conan doing the same as they waited for the rest of their classmates to make it to class. His phone vibrated within a minute of the bell ringing which caused him to look down.

"What now?"

He took a step to the side to see who had left a message, making sure not to be seen.

"It's from Tim, must be important?"

He opened the message to see a picture of a woman. He was a little confused at first, quickly remembering what they had discussed.

"So, this must be Katina Sugo," Conan thought. "And now that I have a visual it shouldn't be to hard to locate her tonight."

He slid his phone back into his pocket before rejoining the line, hearing the sound of the bell go off in the passing minute.

Class was just minutes away, checking the time on his watch before closing his locker to see her standing a few feet away.

"Using your phone in school again I see."

"Oh hey Ran," Tim said. "Can't say I was expecting to see you before class started."

"I'm telling you, if you're not careful your phone will get taken," Ran warned. "And seeing just how slick you're not that might be sooner rather than later."

"What are you doing down here anyway," Tim asked. "Isn't your class clear across the way?"

"I came to give this to you," Ran said handing him a paper bag. "It's for Sonoko."

He looked down at it, then back to her.

"Why not give it to her yourself?"

"She won't be showing up for the first period," Ran replied. "And since you two have gym together I thought I'd give it to you."

"All covered," Tim said. "I'll give it to her for you."

"Thanks, I knew I could count on you," Ran said turning to walk. "Make sure you dress into something warm when we go out later, I heard it's supposed to cool down this evening."

He stood in place, watching her disappear around the corner.

"Wait a minute," Tim thought to himself. "We're going somewhere later?"

This left him a tad confused. Most of the period was spent with everyone doing individual work, with small conversations ensuing from time to time. She looked over at him as the class period neared its end, leaning over to tap him on the shoulder.

"Tim, are you ok," Airi asked. "You haven't said a word since coming in today."

"I'm fine," Tim said assuringly. "Just trying to get everything done."

"Not interested in homework I see."

"Pretty much," Tim said as the sound of the bell could be heard. "Great, and I only had two questions left."

"Don't get so down on yourself," Airi said packing up. "Those two last questions shouldn't take you past five minutes to complete."

He dropped his note book and sheet of elements into the bag before zipping it up, making his way out of the room along with everyone else. He carefully walked through the hall, doing his best not to get in the way of those heading in the opposite direction. It didn't take long for him to make it to the gym, taking a look inside to see she was the only one inside.

"Just the person I was looking for."

She turned at the sound of his voice, heading over to meet him by the door.

"You're already dressed and ready to go," Tim commented. "How long have you been in here?"

"I arrived at school fifteen minutes ago, but have only been in here for about five," Sonoko replied. "What did I miss in chemistry today?"

"Only two assignments," Tim replied. "With one of them being a small packet."

"That's all," Sonoko said surprised. "Friday's usually the day she stacks us up with work."

"You caught a break," Tim said. "Lucky for you, Mrs. V spent most of the class with a lecture."

"What did she say?"

"Can't recall."

"How typical of you."

"Anyway," Tim said holding out the brown bag. "Ran asked me to give this to you."

"Thanks, but you can keep it in your locker until after class," Sonoko asked. "I'd rather not have to carry it around all period."

"As you wish."

He turned to head for the locker room, stopping after only taking two steps forward.

"What's wrong?"

"One last thing," Tim said turning back to face her. "Did you have something planned for later?"

"As a matter a fact I do," Sonoko replied. "Now that you mention it, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come along."

"Is Ran going with you?"

"Of course," Sonoko confirmed. "How did you know?"

"That would explain."

"Explain what?" Sonoko asked.

"You already told Ran I would be coming, didn't you?"

"Well, I might have," Sonoko smilingly admitted. "Come on it's not like you have anything better to do, it'll be fun."

"It depends, where are we going?"

"Don't want to spoil the surprise too soon," Sonoko replied. "I'll let you know as soon as class gets out."

"You're too much you know that?"

"Better hurry," Sonoko stated. "Only four minutes left until class begins."

He turned with the shake of his head, walking straight for the locker room.

The last few minutes of class they were given the opportunity to pick what they wanted to do. Most chose to either draw or talk with those around. He made his way over to her desk after packing up.

"Do you know what time we're going to go to Space Inc?" Conan asked.

She lowered the book from her eyes, looking to see him standing at her right side.

"Some time around six," Ai replied setting the book mark into place. "But I'd recommend coming over a little sooner."

"Understood," Conan said. "I've never been one to push the deadline."

"I'm curious," Ai said with the close of the book. "What changed your mind about coming?"

"I guess the thought of the unknown interests me a bit," Conan replied. "And like you said, I might learn something."

She smiled before sliding down from the chair. The two of them joined the rest of the students who stood by the door, listening to the sound of the bell ring in the next minute.

"I hope you all have a good weekend," Sumiko said on their way out. "And come back ready to learn Monday, we have a lot to cover."

The five of them stayed together as they walked, making their way all the way out to the front of the school before coming to a stop.

"So what's the plan," Mitsuhiko asked. "Are we all going to follow Haibara to the house?"

"That's what I was thinking." Genta said.

"I'll come along as well," Ayumi said. "I already told my mom where I would be this morning."

"What about you Conan," Mitsuhiko asked. "Are you coming with us?"

"I need to check in first," Conan replied. "I haven't exactly told either of them about going yet."

"Do you think they'll let you come?" Ayumi asked.

"Don't see why not," Conan answered. "It shouldn't take me any longer than an hour or two, if anything comes up I'll call and let you know."

"We'll see you you soon." Mitsuhiko said as the four of them watched as he walked away

It had been along day of school in his mind, following at her side as they made their way through the hallway.

"Please tell me you're kidding," Tim said as they came to a stop in front of her locker. "You want me to go with you to some fashion show?"

"That's only one of four segments," Sonoko said. "I'm sure you'll find one of the others to your liking."

"And how long is this thing supposed to last?"

"Don't know, but I'll tell you what," Sonoko said after opening the locker. "If things don't turn out as expected, we can always leave."

"What time."

"Four O'clock."

"That's not too late," Tim thought. "Maybe there's a chance I can make it to Space Inc before the six O'clock deadline."

She closed the locker door after placing a few things inside, turning to see him holding out the small brown bag.

"I take it you want this now," Tim said as she took it from his hand. "What's inside the bag anyway?"

"Nothing special," Sonoko replied. "Just some gardening supplies."

"Is that so," Tim said. "Never knew that was one of your hobbies."

"The tools aren't for me, they're for someone else," Sonoko informed. "I'm just delivering them."

"Gotcha."

"I have something I need to do at home," Sonoko said heading for the exit toward the left. "I'll see you later."

"But I don't even know where this place is." Tim stated.

"Just wait for Ran," Sonoko suggested. "She knows where the event will be held."

With that she left, walking around several other students who filled the hall to make her way out.

"Instead of focusing on the task at hand, I get to go see some show," Tim thought. "Lucky me."

There was no one to be seen upon his arrival. He headed straight for the room, removing the bag from his shoulders before walking up to the dresser.

"I wonder if this place has dress code of some kind," Conan said opening the top drawer. "Now, what to wear."

He took the next few minutes to decide on something, putting on a new set of clothes after coming to a decision.

With an extended workout planned for Monday, they had a shortened session which lasted for only thirty minutes. She could see him standing at the end of the hall after walking out of the locker room.

"Waiting for someone?" Ran asked heading his way.

"That didn't take very long," Tim said stepping forward. "Are you ready to go to that show?"

"Not just yet, I want to swing by the house to change into something else first," Ran replied. "Did you give that bag to Sonoko like I asked?"

"Sure did," Tim confirmed. "She left afterward, said she had something to attend to at home."

"No worries," Ran said turning for the door. "She can meet us there."

"How far is this place?" Tim asked following from behind.

"In walking distance," Ran replied. "Don't worry, we have plenty of time before the show begins."

"Any idea how long it's scheduled to last?"

"Good question," Ran said giving it a moments thought. "I'm not quite sure, but we could probably ask someone when we get there."

"I see."

"Why do you want to know," Ran asked. "Is there somewhere you need to be later?"

"No, I was just wondering."

They made their way out the door, arriving outside to find the sky had darkened from what it had been earlier in the day.

"I'm going to head back to the apartment to go change into something else, I'll meet you at your place no longer than an hour."

"I'm going to change my clothes as well, it would make more sense if you came with me," Ran said. "The event is taking place up your way, so it wouldn't make sense for you to back track."

"Good point."

"Come on," Ran said walking forward. "We only have about two hours before the show begins."

He followed at her side as they made their way to the agency. Once there they opened the door to find Conan who was adjusting the tie upon his neck.

"And where exactly are you going?" Ran asked.

"The Space Inc opening," Conan replied "It's a little something Dr. Agasa was invited to."

"How come I haven't heard about it?"

"You wouldn't be the first," Conan replied. "None of us heard about it until he told us."

"That's too bad, and here I was about to ask you if you wanted to come with us," Ran said turning for her room. "I'll be just a minute."

The two of them watched as she headed into her room with the close of the door. He then looked to Conan who did the same.

"Where are you guys going?"

"Let's just say you won't be missing out," Tim replied. "Now onto business."

He reached into his side pocket to pull out a piece of paper, handing it to Conan.

"What's this?" Conan asked unfolding it.

"Blue prints to the Space Inc," Tim replied. "The facility has a total of four floors, the spectator area being on the second floor."

"What are these circled areas you have marked?"

"All the exits," Tim answered. "Two at the east end, and another being at the south/west side of the room."

"What about these two 'x' marks you jotted in?"

"Those are the only two vents in that room," Tim replied. "We need to have every escape route accounted for."

"You're really on top of this," Conan commented. "Do you really think she'll try to escape."

"It's not about her escaping," Tim said. "I'm more concerned about any uninvited guests entering, with her name being on someones hit list you can never be too careful."

"I'll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for any ongoing activity," Conan said. "On another note, how did things turn out in regards to you hacking that computer?"

"It took awhile, but I was finally able to get it to work."

"And?"

"The user name that appeared on the screen was White Tiger," Tim informed. "I wasn't able to gain much more, being the fact the computer crashed not even a minute later taking out mine as well."

"Did you lose all your files."

"Yes, but lucky for me I keep backups."

"So do you think White Tiger is behind all of this," Conan asked. "Not to mention all the officers that were killed."

"If he is indeed the one responsible, than he must be controlling everything from a distance."

"What do you mean?"

"Before the whole network spiraled out of control I was able to get an idea of where the signal came from."

"Where, was it close?"

"Not at all," Tim informed. "From what I was able to pick up, I'd say he's not even in Tokyo, or Japan for that matter."

"But isn't this where his Black Yangs operate from," Conan questioned. "If he's not in Japan, then where is he?"

"That's the unfortunate part," Tim said. "I don't know where he is."

Silence ensued in the following moments. He took this time to place the blueprints into his pocket before walking over to put on his shoes.

"How long do you think it will take before you can make it to Space Inc?"

"Depends on how long this fashion show lasts," Tim replied. "I'll have my phone on, so don't hesitate to call if something important comes up."

"Loud and clear."

The two of them turned at the sound of her coming out of the room seconds later.

"I see you've got your jacket," Tim said. "Smart move, who knows what we'll get with this weather in the next few hours."

"Conan what time do you plan to be back?" Ran asked.

"No later than eight."

"I should already be here when you get back."

"Do you think we'll make it in time," Tim asked looking at his watch. "It's already almost three after ten."

"That just means we need to hurry," Ran said opening the door. "I'll see you tonight Conan, and have fun."

"I will."

With that the two of them made their way out. He stood in the silence for nearly a minute before reaching into his pocket to grab his phone.

"Might as well call and let them know I'm on the way."

He brought the phone to his ear after dialing the number, listening to the ring as he waited.

"So, are you free to come along?" Hiroshi asked picking up from the other end of the line.

"Sure am," Conan replied. "Hold tight, I'll be there shortly."

"I have an even better idea," Hiroshi said. "How about I come pick you up instead, it will be much quicker that way."

"That works for me." Conan said in agreement.

"See you soon."

"I'll be waiting."

He put the phone back into his pocket after hanging up. Another minutes past before he decided to leave the room, tightly closing the door on his way out. He made his way down to the street side, not having to wait long to see the car heading his way.

"Perfect timing."

He took a step forward as the car neared, opening the door to the passenger side after it came to a stop.

"We still have plenty of time before they're to start the presentation." Hiroshi informed.

"Which is at six right?" Conan asked strapping in.

"That is correct," Hiroshi confirmed with the nod of his head. "Is there anything you would all like to do before then?"

No one responded. This caused Conan to look back at them.

"Wow, that's one of the first times you guys haven't come up with something right on the spot," Conan said before turning back to face Agasa. "When do you think they will allow us in."

"What do you mean?"

"At Space Inc," Conan said. "How soon do you think they will let us in?"

"Anytime after four thirty," Hiroshi replied. "That's what I was told anyway."

He looked down at his watch to check the time, sitting back after doing so.

"We have a little over an hour until then," Conan said. "Which means we have time to spare."

"I have an idea what we can do," Genta said. "How about bowling?"

"Wouldn't that take up too much time?" Ayumi questioned

"I guess you're right." Genta said after giving it a seconds thought.

"I know just the thing." Hiroshi said starting up the engine.

"Where are we going?" Mitsuhiko asked.

"Why spoil the surprise, you'll see when we get there."

They off from there, coming to a stop after encountering a red light.

"Another surprise, I think I've had enough of those to last me an entire year."

The time continued to tick with four O'clock fast approaching. She sat in wait at one of the chairs in the lobby, continuously looking toward the elevator doors. She stood up from the chair after seeing him walk out the first door.

"Did I take too long?"

"It only took you five minutes," Ran said. "That's not long at all."

"We have roughly thirty minutes until the show begins," Tim said after checking the time on his watch. "Think we'll make it in time?"

"Don't need to."

"What do you mean," Tim questioned. "Has it been delayed to a later time."

"I got a call from Sonoko while you were up in your room."

"What did she say?"

"She's busy with something that came up and won't be able to make it," Ran informed. "And since this was her idea, I was thinking maybe we could do something else."

"Like what?"

"Something fun."

She took a few moments to give it some thought. It didn't take long for an idea to pop into her head.

"Ice skating," Ran said with snap of her finger. "How does that sound?"

"Ice skating," Tim said rubbing the top of his head. "Skating isn't exactly my thing, but if that's what you want to do I'll gladly tag along."

"Then it's settled," Ran said turning for the door. "We're going skating."

He followed her out, looking directly to the sky as they walked.

"Are you sure about this," Tim questioned. "It looks like we might get some rain, and I'm not talking about one of those wispy drizzles we've been experiencing."

"The skating rink is in doors silly," Ran said smilingly. "I just love the way you have an excuse for everything."

"What excuse," Tim asked. "I wasn't making any excuse, just pointing out we're looking to get some good rain."

"Oh forget it," Ran said continuing to walk. "The last thing I want to do is argue with a delusionist."

"What did I do or say to earn the delusionist label?"

She didn't reply, simply ignoring him as they made their way across the road.

"I see how it is."

Four thirty had already passed by the time they made their way to Space Inc, driving into the parking lot to find most of the spots were taken.

"I must say," Conan thought to himself. "That bird identifying activity at the park came as a surprise, defiantly not what I was expecting."

After searching for awhile longer he found a spot six rows away from the front of the building. They all got out from there, looking to see there wasn't another building in the near distance.

"I wonder why so many cars are parked in this lot," Ayumi questioned. "There was only about twenty names on the guest list."

"I'm betting most of the cars here belong to those working on the construction, look." Mitsuhiko pointed.

They all turned to the right to see a construction sight not too far from where they stood.

"What do you think they're building?" Genta asked.

"From the looks of it, I'd say it's an extention of the main structure." Conan said.

"I was thinking the same thing myself." Hiroshi said in agreement.

He pulled the blueprint sheet from within his pocket as they began walking, pinpointing where they were in relation to everything else around them. It wasn't long after that he felt someone tap his left shoulder.

"What are you looking at?" Ayumi asked.

"Floor plans for this whole facility," Conan replied. "That is for the parts that have been completed."

"And how did you get ahold of something like that?" Ai asked walking up to the other side of him.

"It wasn't all that difficult," Conan replied. "All it took was a little asking around."

"And here I thought you weren't interested in coming along."

"What can I say," Conan said sticking the sheet of paper back into his pocket. "The more I hear, the more I want to know."

They made it to the entrance soon after, walking into a surprisingly dark room. Hiroshi walked over to the man sitting at a desk in the center of the room. The conversation was brief between the two. He waved back to the five of them, signaling for them to follow.

"Right this way." Hiroshi instructed.

They stepped around the right side of the desk before heading down the dark hall. The dim lights from above flickered from time to time as they continued on.

"This place has a creepy science lab vibe to it, don't you think?" Conan asked looking to Ai who walked at his side.

"Getting a little scared I see."

"Of course not," Conan said. "I actually think it's kind of cool, this place has a unique feel to it."

"If you like it so much, why don't you ask for a tour." Ai suggested.

"Only if you come along."

After nearly a minute of walking they made their way into a large room, looking around to see others sitting at the many tables that occupied the middle of the room.

"This must be the place."

He then directed his attention to the left to see a piano sitting up on a large stage. It wasn't long after that someone amongst the crowd made their way into their direction. The tall man in a suit of black stopped once reaching them, holding his hand out with a smile.

"I'm glad you were able to make it Agasa."

"It's good to see you as well Mr. Loyd," Hiroshi greeted with the shake of his hand. "Will the presentation be at six?"

"It's scheduled for ten after," Mr. Loyd informed. "There are always those who show up late."

"That's a very true statement indeed."

He took this time to pull the blueprints from out of his pocket, walking forward as he looked down to examine the sheet.

"Conan, where are you going?" Mitsuhiko asked.

"Just showing myself around."

He made his way past a few tables in front of him, coming to a stop after reaching the far corner of the right side of the room. He took to a knee as he examined the lower part of the wall.

"There's one of the vents, exactly where he marked it," Conan said leaning in closer. "Looks way too narrow for someone to enter or exit through here, guess that means I can keep my attention elsewhere."

He stood back to his feet, looking to those that filled the room.

"Now to see if I can find the guest of the hour, Katina Sugo."

He gave the rest of the room a look, confirming where all the other exits were before deciding to rejoin the others.

"Enjoy your little stroll?" Ai asked.

"Couldn't have been any better." Conan replied sticking the sheet of paper into his pocket once again.

"How about we go over and find ourselves a seat," Hiroshi suggested. "There's no telling how many people will be here."

"Wasn't there only twenty people on the guest list besides us?" Genta asked.

"That's true, but the guest list didn't include those coming in from a technologies lab across the city," Hiroshi informed. "They've had a huge involvement in this project."

They made their way over to a table in the center of the room, taking a seat once there. It didn't take long for him to start scouring the room once more, catching sight of Officer Takagi who stood near doorway leading into the room.

"I almost forgot he was on the guest list, they must have brought him in for security purposes," Conan thought as he turned to the other side of the room. "Still no sign of Katina."

He checked the time on his watch to see it was forty eight after five, resting his hands atop the table with a deep breath.

"Conan, are you ok," Mitsuhiko whispered. "You seem a little uneasy."

"I'm fine," Conan whispered back. "I'm more anxious than anything else."

Minutes passed as he continued to watch more people fill the room, disappointed to see none of them were who he was hoping to see. He spun around from where he sat, his eyes slightly widening at who he saw sitting back a few tables.

"That man… where have I seen him before," Conan thought with a long pause. "That's right, he's the same guy I saw talking with Kogoro across the street."

There was no one seated next to him, giving Conan the feeling he had come alone. He watched as the mystery man removed a pair of black gloves he was wearing.

"This is the second time I've seen him," Conan thought. "Who is this man, and what's he doing here?"

There was plenty of free space up ahead, doing his best to maneuver around those in front of him before gliding with the ice beneath him. He could hear her gaining, turning as she slid up next to him.

"I thought you said skating wasn't your thing."

"It's not."

"You sure could have fooled me," Ran said. "What's with you anyway, you've been ignoring me ever since we stepped on the ice."

"That's not true; you just haven't been able to keep up."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Ran asked giving him a striking look.

"Relax, I was only kidding."

"I've known you for a little over a month now, but I really don't know anything about you," Ran said. "What do you like to do?"

"Read, operate computers."

"What about a birthday," Ran asked. "When were you born?"

"Mid summer."

"Any other brothers or sisters back home?"

"The feather has unexpectedly fallen from the tree more than anticipated."

She skidded in front of him which caused him to stop in his path.

"What was that for?"

"Why are are you being so passive with me, all I'm trying to do is have a normal discussion with you," Ran said. "Does this have something to do with me calling you a delusionist earlier?"

"It's not that, it's just... "

He couldn't think of what to say, turning away only to feel her hand touch down upon his left shoulder.

"It's ok," Ran softly spoke . "I'm here to listen to anything you have to say."

This left him frozen, leaving him unresponsive. He looked down at her, seeing that room warming smile across her face. The sound of her phone ringing in the next second released the tension from within him, watching as she pulled it from out of her pocket.

"It's my father, I really have to take this call," Ran said skating toward the other side. "I'll be right back."

He breathed out in relief, watching as she slid over to the wall.

"That's what you call being saved by the ring."

The clock ticked past six as he continued to keep his eyes fixated to him, occasionally taking the time to glimpse over at the door to see if anyone else entered.

"He hasn't said a word to anyone since arriving, that only raises my suspicion about this guy."

After a seemingly long time of sitting the long haired man finally made a move, reaching into his jacket to pull out a phone.

"Now we're getting somewhere," Conan thought. "Need to get in close to hear what he is saying, this might be my only way to learn who this man is."

He slid down from where he sat, stopping at the sound of his name being called.

"Conan, where are you going," Hiroshi asked. "The presentation will begin anytime now."

"I just need to stretch my legs a tad," Conan replied. "I promise I won't be long."

With that he walked off, slowly making his way to the table where the long haired man sat. A few of the other guests looked down at him as he past by. He could hear the deepness of his voice as he got closer, becoming more careful with each new step taken.

"Almost there."

There was no one sitting at the back table but him, making it easier for Conan to slowly make his way to him. The closer the got the, the easier it became for him to pick up what was said. He slid under the table, using the table spread as a means of hiding himself. It wasn't until he was directly under him that he came to a stop.

"This will do, I should be able to hear what I need to from here."

The sound of others laughing at a table nearby could be heard, keeping his ears focused to the task at hand. He could hear the sound of his voice moments later, slightly pushing up to move in closer.

"The presentation has not yet started, but it should anytime now," He spoke with a deep voice. "How are things at the lab?"

He did his best to try and hear what was said from the other line, having no luck.

"Guess I'll have to try and put one and two together."

After a brief moment of silence he could hear the sound of his voice for a second time.

"Yes, she could prove most useful to this operation," He said. "If we're not able to get those neurons to function properly, we may have no choice but to enlist her along with the others."

"Enlist her," Conan thought. "Who's he talking about?"

He could hear him grunt from above, not sure what was said to cause this.

"Of course Valden, I'm watching her as we speak," He confirmed. "She's sitting directly in front of me two tables up."

"Now we're getting somewhere."

He continued to listen on, only to hear him click the end button a few seconds later which ended their conversation.

"That wasn't much, but at least I can find out what brought him here in the first place."

Still on his knees, he slowly made his way to the other side of the table. Once there he slightly lifted up the table cloth, looking straight forward.

"Now to see who this guy has his sights set on."

His eyes widened, feeling an increase in his heart rate after spotting her. He felt his grip on the cloth fade, letting it fall back into place.

"That's Haibara he's watching, could he possibly know who she really is" Conan thought. "But how, and what does he want with her?"

He quietly made his way back to the other end of the table, stepping out from under the table cloth before heading back over to the others.

"Was that walk good enough for you?" Ai asked turning to face him as he approached.

"Most certainly." Conan replied sitting up next to her.

He was on the fence on whether or not to tell her about what he had just heard. There were still several questions left unanswered, choosing not to say anything at the given time.

"I'll have to talk with her later, but right now I have to keep my eye on this mystery man," Conan thought glimpsing back at him. "Not to mention Katina, she has yet to show up."

He directed his attention back to the stage, patiently waiting as someone finally made their way onto the stage.

"Looks like things are finally getting underway."

The sound of the rain trailing along the window side could be heard before even turning the corner. He made his way to the door, stepping out to have the rain dash past the side of his face. There were no sudden movements, closing his eyes as he welcomed the heavy shower from above. It wasn't long after that he felt it all come to an end in one quick second, reopening his eyes to find an umbrella over him.

"Sorry to ruin your fun," Ran said coming to his side. "But the last thing I'd want is for you to get sick."

"I see you came prepared."

"Well it was a no brainer we would be getting some kind of rain," Ran stated. "That's why I brought the umbrella along."

"Good thinking, there's no telling when this will clear up."

"Says the guy who was standing in the midst of it all," Ran said as they began walking. "Do you always do that when it rains."

"It really depends."

"What do you mean by that?"

"The temperature, time of day, and most importantly my mood," Tim replied. "It's something that helps me forget it all, fall free from everything on my mind."

"What's wrong, have you been dealing with a lot of stress?"

"Something like that."

"Hopefully today helped some," Ran said with a smile. "Did you enjoy your time?"

"Of course, I'm glad that's what we decided to do," Tim replied. "But to be completely honest with you, that was only about my fifth time ever ice skating."

"Well you surprised me, I wouldn't have known the difference," Ran said. "If you want we could go again sometime."

"As long as you don't pull off any more of those fancy spins," Tim stated. "You made me feel like a complete rookie."

"I'm sorry about that, did I happen to taunt your ego?" Ran teasingly asked.

He smiled with the shake of his head, the two of them coming to a stop after reaching the end of the street.

"How about tomorrow, we could do something else fun," Ran said thinking up something. "Sonoko should be free, so her and Conan can come along as well."

A flash of lighting in the distance grabbed their attention for a brief moment before quickly fading away.

"Thanks for an interesting evening, I really enjoyed hanging with you," Tim said reaching into his jacket. "Before I forget, I have a little something for you."

She looked on, watching as he pulled a plastic bag from within his side pocket.

"What's in the bag?"

"It's a surprise, so don't open it until you get home," Tim said turning to walk. "I have a lot to get done, so I better get going."

He didn't get far, turning back to face her after feeling her grab ahold of his left wrist.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't want you to get all wet," Ran replied. "Come on, I'll be the one to walk you home this time."

"That's not where I'm headed," Tim informed. "I'd hate to drag you along all the way up town."

She took a few moments to give it some thought, holding the umbrella out to him.

"Take it," Ran said. "At least this way you'll stay dry."

"But what about you?"

"I'll take a cab home from here." Ran replied.

She turned toward the street, holding out her hand to signal for a cab. It took over a minute before one arrived. He pulled the back door open once it arrived, allowing for her to step in.

"Anything planned for the rest of the night?" Tim asked.

"Nothing special in mind," Ran replied after easing into the seat. "Are you sure you'll be ok walking alone, some neighborhoods can be dangerous at night."

"Don't worry about it, I'll be just fine." Tim assuringly said.

"I'll take your word for," Ran said reaching for the handle. "Hope to see you tomorrow."

With that she closed the door, looking back at him after driving off to see him give her a wave.

"Something doesn't feel right," Ran thought to herself. "Why am I getting the feeling that something might happen to him, that I may never see him again?"

He stood to the same spot from where she had left, looking to the sky after the cab had driven out of sight.

"Now it's time for the real night to begin."

Everyone was quiet throughout the audience, listening to the captivating tune which came from the piano on stage. It was obvious that something concerned him, which didn't take long for her to take notice of. She gave him a soft nudge to gain his attention.

"What's wrong?" Conan whispered.

"I was going to ask you the same thing," Ai replied. "From what I can tell something is bothering you, care to share what?"

He didn't respond at first, looking down at the table before coming to a decision.

"Behind you."

She did as he said to see the long haired man sitting two tables away.

"Do you recognize him?"

"No, I don't," Ai replied turning back to face him. "Should I?"

"I overheard a conversation he was having over the phone," Conan began. "Believe it or not, he's here for you."

"For me," Ai questioned. "Why?"

"Not sure," Conan replied. "But based from his clothing I'd say he's not part of the Black Organization."

"You're right," Ai said giving him another quick look. "He's not dressed in any black at all."

"What I want to know is how any body outside of the organization would know who you are," Conan said. "If my allegation holds true of course."

"What made you spy on him," Ai asked out of curiosity. "Have you seen him before?"

He nodded in confirmation.

"I saw him talking with Kogoro across from the agency," Conan informed. "What they were discussing is still a mystery at this point."

"I see," Ai said looking back to the stage. "So what do you plan to do?"

"Still contemplating on the matter," Conan replied. "No need to worry, I'll take care of everything."

"I have no doubt you will."

It continued to pour down, showing no signs of letting up. He was almost there, leaping from the edge of a building to touch down to the next.

"There's no building within one hundred yards of Space Inc, but that doesn't mean he can't still get the job done."

Using the capabilities of the cowl, he zoomed in on the east side of the building to pin point the only window on the second floor.

"I can see everyone in the room from here," Red Robin thought scouring the area around him. "Now to locate all other positions that room can viewed from, which should all be in this general vicinity."

If he was indeed hiding it out, he knew he had to be somewhere close. He checked several of the neighboring buildings above from where he stood, having no luck in sighting anyone. He then looked to the roof directly below, feeling a sense of success after spotting him.

"Just as I thought."

He dropped down, landing a few feet away from where he stood. Neither said a word to the other for the first couple seconds.

"Been wondering when I'd see you again, Deadshot."

He held the rifle firmly over his right shoulder, glimpsing over at him with a grin.

"You're late."

"Sorry to keep you waiting."

"I've already got my target locked in, make any sudden moves and I pull the trigger," Deadshot said. "You've done a great job up until this point I must say, but that all comes to an end now."

"Why are you going after Katina Sugo?"

"Who says she's the target?"

"What?"

"So I see you have yet to figure it out," Deadshot said slowly bringing a finger to the trigger. "Tonights special is not Sugo, but rather your little friend with the glasses."

He felt his entire body fall numb, feeling everything inside loosen up.

"What's wrong, you look surprised?"

He chose not to respond, keeping his stance from where he stood.

"Poor kid has no idea what you just dragged him into."

"Why him," Red Robin asked. "The Sugo's are what brought you here in the first place."

"Your state of thinking is what has ultimately thrown you off," Deadshot said. "Having Sugo's name on the guest list is what they used to lure you in."

"So you were hired by someone after all, figures."

"I'm sure you're anxious to know more, but unfortunately I have a hit to complete at this time," Deadshot said taking aim. "I'll give you exactly ten seconds to make a move, better make it a good one, for the boys life weighs in the balance."

He accepted the challenge, simply pressing down to the center of his utility belt. Within that instant several lights throughout the city blacked out, including those at Space Inc.

"Can't hit what you can't see."

"Not bad," Deadshot said lowering the rifle. "You must have hacked part of the cities electrical feeds."

"I know how you like to do things from a distance, and when I saw Katina's name on the guest list I knew you would be lurking from afar," Red Robin said. "What I wasn't anticipating was who your target was."

"There's more you still have yet to uncover." Deadshot said tossing him the rifle.

It landed right into his arms. He knew right away, feeling the weight of the sniper rifle before looking back at him.

"It's unloaded, you never planned to take a shot did you?"

"This whole scenario was to test you, and I'd say you passed," Deadshot informed. "And before you ask, I have no idea what they hope to achieve out of all of this."

"Then let's start from the ground up," Red Robin said tossing the rifle aside. "Who hired you?"

"The master mind herself, Ms. Sugo," Deadshot informed. "I'm surprised you weren't able to deduce that on your own."

"That can't be," Red Robin said in disbelief. "Why would she want members of her family dead, let alone hire someone to target herself?"

"You still don't get it," Deadshot said with the shake of his head. "I don't think your mentor would be too impressed."

"Then enlighten me."

"I've said enough, you'll have to figure out the rest for yourself," Deadshot said in response. "But before I go, there's something I have for you."

He reached into his pocket, handing him a photo before taking a step back. He could see the expression on his face, choosing not to say anything.

"Why did you give this to me?"

"It's a message from Katina," Deadshot answered. "Her next move should be clear, I think you what what you must do."

With that he dropped a blinding smoke bomb to the ground, letting it circulate across the rooftop. Once it cleared Deadshot was nowhere to be found, leaving him the lone man standing.

"He's right... I know what I have to do."

Most everyone stayed to where they were seated after the electricity went out. It wasn't until several minutes later that the lights flickered back on.

"I wonder what that was about?" Conan thought.

Not wasting anytime, he turned around to see that the long haired man was no longer sitting where he had been prior to the black out.

"Great, just what I needed."

He dropped down from where he sat, which caused the others to look his way.

"Conan where are you going?" Ayumi asked.

"Be right back." Conan replied before taking off.

He raced across, coming to a stop after reaching the entryway to the room. Wataru immediately looked down more than surprised to see him.

"I had no idea you would be here," Wataru said looking toward the rest of the guests. "That must mean detective Mouri is here as well."

"No, it's just me this time," Conan said. "Is it ok if I ask you something?"

"Go right on ahead." Wataru replied giving him his full attention.

"When the lights went out did you to hear anything," Conan asked. "Did anyone happen run past you?"

"I don't believe so, I was on alert the whole time," Wataru replied. "I would have heard if someone went by."

"Thanks for letting me know." Conan said turning to walk the other way.

He gave the other possible exits a look as he made his way across the room, looking to find that they were securely shut.

"If he didn't leave through the door leading into this room, then how did he get out?"

He turned at the sound of her coming to his side.

"This is the third time you've run off since we got here." Ai said.

"Sorry, but I'm trying to figure out what happened to our long haired friend," Conan said. "When the lights came back on he was gone."

"That must mean he left."

"Not the way we came in," Conan stated. "According to Takagi when the lights went out no one left the room, that must mean he found another way to leave."

"Have you checked all other possibilities?"

The sound of his phone ringing grabbed his attention, reaching into his pocket to see who it was.

"One second, I have to take this."

He took a step to the side, answering the call after making his way to the near wall.

"I had an idea you would call," Conan said. "Sorry to say, but Katina never showed."

"I know, and she never planned on being there."

"Then why was her name on the guest list?"

"It was a set up."

"A set up, what do you mean?"

"I don't really have the time to explain, nor do I wish to at this time," Tim replied. "That's not why I've called you."

"It isn't?"

"I wanted to thank you, for all that you've done," Tim commented. "There's no telling what would have happened if I didn't have your help."

"I don't understand where any of this is coming from."

"I've given it some thought, believe me," Tim said. "But this is the way it has to be."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I... we'll discuss this later."

A long pause ensued, listening to the click of the other line shutting off. He dropped the phone from his ear, standing there for seconds to come. She looked on from a few feet away, becoming concerned from the look on his face.

"I wonder what that was all about?"

"Is everything ok?" Ai asked.

"I'm fine," Conan replied with the lift of his head. "I think it's about time we rejoined the others."

"If not through the door, then how do you think he was able to leave without anyone noticing?" Ai asked

"I don't know Haibara," Conan replied. "But that doesn't mean we cant find out."

Time continued to pass as they waited, watching as the clock closed in on thirty minutes before midnight. Nearly an hour had passed from the time they arrived. He checked his watch once more after five more minutes went by.

"She should have been here by now."

"Relax Vodka, we still have ten minutes until forty five after."

"Let's hope she's here by then, I don't know how much more of this waiting I can take."

"Why don't you order another drink," Gin suggested. "That should keep you occupied until then."

"I might just consider that."

He turned in his seat to try locate the waiter, looking to see her heading there way.

"What was the hold up Vermouth," Vodka asked. "You're usually always at the meeting site before us."

"Do you really want me to explain?"

"I'd rather you tell us why you asked us here," Gin said. "So let's cut right to the chase."

She took a seat at the third chair around the table before placing a folder to the center of the table.

"What's this?"

"Two weeks ago you claimed to have completed a successful hit, file number Z118," Vermouth said sliding him the folder. "Why don't you take a look inside."

He watched from across the table, seeing the expression on his face drastically change.

"Gin, what is it?"

"Why don't you have a look yourself," Gin replied sliding it his way. "It seems our feathered friend has deceived us yet again."

He to gave the pictures inside the folder a look, shaking his head from side to side in disgust.

"How can we be sure this is him?" Vodka asked.

"Those shots were taken five days ago by one of our outside contacts." Vermouth informed.

"What brought him back under our radar?" Gin asked.

"I'll explain that soon enough," Vermouth replied. "But first I'd like to go over what you two know about him from your encounters."

"That's strange," Vodka said flipping through each photo. "I don't recognize any of these structures."

"And you shouldn't, those shots weren't taken here in Japan," Vermouth said. "They were taken in a place known as Gotham."

"That leaves us with the element of surprise," Gin said. "Red Robin won't know what hit."

"You're right," Vodka said in agreement. "He has no idea we're on to him."

"I will be assisting the two of you for this task, along with a few other chosen operatives," Vermouth informed. "We'll make sure the job is a success this time around."

"I'll assure it." Gin stated.

"And if that isn't enough, we have ourselves an additional target."

She reached into her upper pocket, pulling out yet another photo before placing it onto the table. The two of them gave it a look, surprised at what they saw.

"That's Red Robin," Vodka pointed out. "But who's the guy gliding next to him?"

"They say he's the cities finest, a legend even," Vermouth stated. "Code named, Batman."

To Be Continued

#2 Posted by Tim_Drake4444 (1097 posts) - - Show Bio

The Detective Prince

Chapter 60

Trip to the Dark Deco

The sun shined bright throughout most of the morning. Cars zipping by into the opposite direction could be seen as he made his way along the roadside. After minutes of walking he finally arrived. He gave the door a knock before taking a step back.

"You're early."

"Have any of the others arrived yet?"

"No, you're the first," Hiroshi replied. "Come on in, they should be here anytime now."

He moved to the side which allowed for him to walk in.

"Where's Haibara?"

"She left roughly ten minutes ago," Hiroshi replied. "If I'm not mistaken she went to go meet with the others."

He continued walking, having a seat at the couch after reaching it. A loud beep could be heard as he rested his head back, causing him to look into that direction.

"What is that?" Conan asked sitting up.

"Nothing to worry about," Hiroshi assured. "I was just running a scan on the computer."

The beeping stopped moments later, leaving the room silent for a second time. He found himself becoming concerned, looking over to see him staring up at the ceiling. It wasn't until another minute passed that he decided to make his way over.

"Shinichi, is everything ok," Hiroshi asked. "You're unusually quiet today."

He slowly lifted his head, turning to face him.

"It's been over five months now since I've heard from him, I've tried calling several time," Conan said. "And I've yet to hear back from him."

"Maybe he's extremely busy."

"Could be, but that doesn't mean he can't answer his phone once in awhile," Conan stated. "And the sad part is, he didn't even say goodbye... to anyone for that matter."

"Have you tried reaching Grayson?"

"Only to receive the same results."

"I'm sure there's a good reason why they've neglected to call," Hiroshi said. "Maybe it would be better if you just forgot about it all."

"Can't say that's something that hasn't come to mind."

The sound of the door cracking open in the following second grabbed their attention, watching as the four of them walked in.

"I told you he'd get here before us." Mitsuhiko said being the last to make his way in.

"How long have you been waiting?" Ayumi asked.

"Not long," Conan replied dropping down from the couch. "What were you guys doing?"

"Nothing yet," Genta replied. "We came here to meet with you first."

"We're going to go to the park to play some ball," Mitsuhiko said. "Would you like to come along?"

"I thought we were going to go see a movie."

"We decided to hold on off on that until tomorrow night."

"So do you want to come with us?" Ayumi asked.

"Of course," Conan replied. "It's not like I have anything else to do at the moment."

"Then let's get going, I have to be home by three thirty," Genta informed. "My dad is taking me to the store to pick out a new pair of shoes."

"We'll stop by my house on the way there," Mitsuhiko said. "That way we can pick up all the equipment."

"Would you all like a ride there?" Hiroshi offered.

"I think we'll be ok walking," Mitsuhiko replied turning for the door. "Besides, it's nice out."

"Suit yourselves."

Conan was the last of his friends to make it out, closing the door behind before catching up with the others.

"I heard there's a fifteen percent chance we'll get some rain later." Ayumi said as they made their way past the gate.

"Which would be after eight if it does occur," Ai added. "By that time we should all be inside."

"How do you guys know that?" Genta asked.

"The weather channel of course."

"Can't say I'm against it," Conan said. "We haven't had any rain for the past two weeks."

They kept conversation as they casually paced along. After minutes of walking they finally came to a stop after reaching the front of his house.

"Stay right here, I'll only be a minute."

The four looked on as he made his way in. The sound of many sirens coming from around the street could clearly be heard from where they stood, causing them all to look into that direction.

"That sure is a lot of sirens," Ayumi said. "I wonder what's going on."

"Whatever it is it must be serious." Genta said.

Conan kept his sights set into the distance, wondering where exactly it was they were driving off to. He felt a slight tug a moment later, turning to find her standing at his side.

"I wouldn't worry about it too much," Ai said. "Whatever it is, I'm sure they'll have it under control in no time."

"I'm not worried about that, just a little curious is all."

"Before I forget, there's something you and I need discuss."

"And what might that be?" Conan asked.

"It's about those names you had me run a search on yesterday," Ai answered. "I haven't gotten all the information on each of them, but I should by tomorrow morning."

"Sounds good."

"I have something else I've been working on for the past couple days," Ai informed. "So calling to remind me might be a good idea."

"Is that so," Conan said. "If you don't mind me asking, what is it you've been spending extra time on?"

"It's a simple project, I'm more in the early stages."

"Is that all you're going to give me?"

"It's a secret." Ai said turning away.

"So it's one of those things."

He came out after about a minute passed, rejoining them at the sidewalk.

"What's in the bag?" Genta asked.

"Two balls, four gloves, and a bat," Mitsuhiko replied. "We should be all set to go."

"It's almost twelve thirty," Genta said looking down at his watch. "That leaves us with a little over three hours before I have to go."

"Then let's hurry," Mitsuhiko said marching forward. "It's only a ten minute walk from here to the park."

They followed from close behind, arriving at the park around the time he had said. He scoured the empty field with a hand above his eyes, looking back at Mitsuhiko after doing so.

"What about bases," Genta questioned. "What are we going to use as bases?"

"Good question," Mitsuhiko said giving it some thought. "I completely forgot all about that."

"Well let's spread out and look around," Genta said. "There's got to be something here we can use."

"Great," Conan thought with the shake of his head. "And this is why we should have gone to see a movie instead."

The sky remained clear throughout mid day, not darkening like they had been anticipating it would do. Three hours had come and gone, leaving the park after an extended game. He walked alone on his way back to the agency, taking a deep breath as he made his way across the street.

"Now, what to do for the rest of the day."

He dropped his hands into the depths of his pocket, coming to a stop after reaching the bottom of the stairwell. He stood there, contemplating on whether to go up or not. After a moments thought he decided to walk forward. He could see him at the left side of his eye as he passed by, only able to take two more steps before hearing his name called.

"Now what," Conan thought turning back for the office. "I wonder what he could possibly want."

He walked in to find Kogoro was on the phone talking with someone. He crossed his arms as he waited for him to finish, becoming more impatient by the minute.

"Why call me in here if he's busy?" Conan thought with the roll of his eyes.

He waited for awhile longer, watching as Kogoro dropped the phone back onto the hook. He smiled as he stood up from the chair, stepping around the desk before walking toward him.

"I just got an unexpected call."

"From who?"

"A friend from out of state," Kogoro replied. "He says he met you when he was down here visiting a couple months back."

"What did he say?" Conan asked lowering his hands from across his chest.

"You have three weeks before you're due back in school, correct?"

"That's right," Conan confirmed with a nod. "Why, is something going on?"

"There's an athletic youth program he said you might be interested in," Kogoro said. "Would you like to give it a try?"

"Hold on a minute," Conan said with the wave of his hands. "Where is this program located, and who is this friend of yours that claims to have met me?"

"Former police officer, Grayson."

"Dick Grayson?"

"So you do remember him," Kogoro said. "So what do you say, would you like to give the program a try?"

He took a few moments to think about it.

"How long would I be there for?"

"For only about a week or so." Kogoro replied.

He gave it a seconds thought, looking back up at him after coming to a decision.

"Sure, why not," Conan said. "When is this program supposed to start?"

"In two days," Kogoro replied. "But since you've decided to go, you better head up stairs and get packing."

"Why so soon," Conan asked. "I thought you said the athletic program doesn't begin for another two days."

"That's true, but the flight he listed you on leaves at five thirty this evening."

"That's less than two hours from now." Conan said looking down at his watch.

"Then you better hurry and get ready."

"I'll be back soon."

With that he turned for the door, hurrying up the stairs toward the door.

"This was completely unexpected," Conan thought. "Maybe now I'll get some answers as to why I haven't heard from either of them."

He arrived into his room shortly after, packing anything of importance into the bag before zipping it shut. He then walked into the bathroom, stashing his toothbrush into the side pocket of the bag before walking out.

"Haven't traveled out of state in quite some time, I wonder what it's going to be like when I get there."

He made his way back into the office only to find that there was no one in there.

"He must have headed down already."

Conan left the complex from there, heading down the set of stairs. He arrived to the sidewalk to see Kogoro standing next to a taxi a couple feet away.

"Hey Conan, over here." Kogoro said with a wave. "We better hurry, there's no telling how backed up security might be today."

The two of them hopped in, with Conan being the only one out of the two to have a seat in the back. Not much was said on the way there, all their attention focused on what was being played on the radio. They arrived in front of the airport after a twenty minute drive. He reached for the door knob only to see him look his way.

"Do you think you can find your way, or do you need me to walk you through the terminal?" Kogoro asked.

"I'll be just fine," Conan assured. "There's plenty of monitors that can help guide my way."

"Once you board, there's going to be someone who's going to watch you the whole way there," Kogoro informed. "I don't know who it is, so keep on the look out."

"Gotcha."

"And one last thing," Kogoro said. "Make sure you behave yourself, the last thing I want is to get a bad report."

"No need to worry, I'll be on my best behavior."

"Good, that's all I needed to hear."

He gave him one last wave, turning for the doors after doing so. Once inside he used the screen monitors throughout the airport to help guide his way all the way to the correct gate. He took a seat after arriving, waiting for a little over an hour before they started boarding several of the passengers. It didn't take long for his seating area to be called, getting up from where he sat to head to the back of the line.

"Good thing I packed the headphones," Conan thought. "This is going to be one long flight."

After a minute of straggling behind those in front of him he finally made it to his seat, buckling in once there. Soon after a man in a black suit and a pair of shades took a seat next to him. He took the time to look up at him, seeing his slick brushed back hair with a grim expression across his face.

"You must be Conan." He said with an imposing yet calming voice.

"That would be me," Conan confirmed. "That must make you the guide that I was told about."

"Call me Sal," He said buckling in as well. "Do you have everything you'll need for when we arrive?"

"Do you mean like my passport?"

"That's exactly what I mean."

"Of course," Conan said with a nod. "Never leave home without it."

"Good," Sal said easing back in his seat. "I'll leave you alone for the rest of the flight, but if you need anything don't be afraid to ask?"

Conan shook his head in response, laying back as well. There was much circulating throughout his mind as he sat there, reaching for his earphones as he turned to look out the window.

"Why am I getting so worried all of a sudden, maybe it's due to the fact I've never been there," Conan thought to himself. "I guess I'm just over thinking things, besides it's only for a week, what could possibly go wrong?"

He kept quiet throughout most of the flight, occasionally talking with any of the flight attendants who walked by. After countless of hours flying through the sky he found himself struggling to keep his eyes open, looking out the window to view the night sky. He slowly drifted off, falling into a deep sleep with his head rested at the corner of the seat.

Many hours passed as he remained asleep, feeling himself yanked at many times over before awaking. He slowly lifted his head, turning to see him looking directly at him.

"Time to get up kid," Sal stated. "We'll be landing in the next forty five."

"That quick," Conan asked in surprise. "How long was I out for?"

"Didn't keep track, I dose off a couple times myself," Sal said. "When I woke up you were still asleep, very unexpected I must say."

"Have to agree," Conan said. "I don't usually get much sleep on plane rides, mostly due to the rocky conditions."

"Well sit tight, we'll be there shortly."

He could feel a stiffness to the back of his neck, simply pivoting his head from one side to the other to help stretch it out. They got closer with each passing minute. He looked out the window after they descended past the clouds, gazing down at the marvelous sight from above.

"I wonder if the view of the city is as eye catching below as it is from up here."

It wasn't until forty minutes later that they finally landed. He made sure he had everything before exiting the plane, staying close behind Sal who walked in front of him.

"I'll walk you through the terminal, once we get to the waiting area I'll release you to whoever is here to pick you up."

"Sounds easy enough."

He followed him step for step, the two of them coming to a stop after reaching customs. The process took a little over four minutes to complete, from there they pushed on. They took a left after reaching the end of a hall they walked down. Conan pulled out his phone after they came upon an elevator, turning on his phone to check his messages.

"Haibara called several hours ago, I'll defiantly have to get back to her."

Sal reached forward, clicking the lower button to alert the elevator.

"Where is the waiting area from here?" Conan asked sliding his phone into his pocket.

"Three floors down," Sal replied. "We'll be there in no time."

The elevator arrived to their floor in a matter of seconds, allowing for the two of them to walk in. They made their way down, stepping out once the elevator came to a stop at the second floor.

"Right this way," Sal instructed. "We're almost there."

He found himself becoming more anxious with every passing second, looking forward as they turned the corner to be greeted by a large crowd of waiting people. He felt a light tap at his right shoulder, looking up to see Sal.

"Do you see who it is who's supposed to be picking you up?"

He focused his attention to those that surrounded, taking the time to scour the large crowd. Regardless of all the commotion that was taking place he was able to spot him, looking toward the right to see him waving over at him.

"There he is." Conan pointed.

"Are you sure?" Sal asked.

"Positive," Conan said walking over. "Thanks for tagging along, the company was most appreciated."

"Anytime kid." Sal nodded.

He pushed his way forward, stepping past those who stood in his way before coming to a stop once reaching him. He looked down at him with Conan looking up in return.

"Welcome to Gotham," Dick greeted. "How was the flight?"

"Couldn't have been any better," Conan replied. "Unless of course I was in first class, but other than that no complaints."

"I'm sure you have some questions you wish to have answered," Dick said turning to walk. "But first, what do you say we get on out of here?"

"Either way works for me."

He followed at his side as the two made their way past the exit. It took a little over three minutes for them to reach the parking lot, stopping once reaching his car. He unlocked the doors which allowed for the two of them to get in.

"Not bad," Conan commented after having a seat. "How long have you had this car?"

"Next month makes two years," Dick replied strapping the seat belt across his chest. "I've kept it in good shape as you can probably already tell."

"That's an understatement."

He stuck the keys into the ignition, starting up the engine as he pulled out.

"I think I've held out long enough," Dick said driving forward. "You have questions, and I'm ready to answer them."

"Ok," Conan said sitting up in his seat. "We'll start with the simple one, why haven't I heard from the two of you for the past few months?"

"It wasn't my call."

"Not your call?"

"It was Tim who wanted to cut bridge with you," Dick informed. "I respected his wishes, doing the same in compliance."

"So what happened," Conan asked. "Did he have a change in heart?"

"To tell you the truth, he doesn't even know you're here," Dick replied. "I respected his decision, but that doesn't mean I agreed with it."

"Do you think he'll be angry?"

"Can't say for sure," Dick replied. "Things have been a little shaky for him as of late, that's one of the reasons why I asked for you to come here."

"So tell me," Conan said looking out the window. "Why did he make the decision that he did?"

He didn't respond for the first few moments, coming to a stop after reaching a red light.

"I think it would be better if you talked to him about it yourself." Dick said.

"I see."

"By the way, where did Ran head off to," Dick asked. "I was going to ask if she wanted to come along as well, but Kogoro said she went off to some camp."

"It's a three week karate thing they're hosting in Sendai," Conan informed. "She left about four days ago."

"Must be pretty boring for you back at the house huh," Dick remarked. "Has she called you any?"

"Not much, from what she told me they stay pretty busy."

"Tried getting ahold of Heiji as well," Dick said. "Haven't heard back from him as of yet."

"That's because he's taking part in a Kendo tournament," Conan informed. "They've had it planned for months now."

"Jeez, everyone's busy these days."

"Pretty much," Conan said turning back to face him. "You said talking with Tim is one of the reasons you brought me here, what was the other?"

"It involves a series of unsolved deaths," Dick replied. "A certain trend that started in Japan three months ago."

"What kind of trend?"

"Heart attacks," Dick replied. "Well, at least that appears to be the cause of death."

"But you think differently, right?"

"Pretty much," Dick said. "So I take it you didn't hear about it back home?"

He shook his head in response.

"This is my first time hearing about it."

"Then we'll start from the ground up," Dick said. "I'll give you the full scoop a little later."

"Starting my trip with a case, couldn't have asked for anything better."

He turned on the radio as they drove on, looking over to get his input.

"What would you like to listen to?"

"Not familiar with any of the stations here, so anything will do."

"Works for me."

He laid back in the seat as he turned to look out the window once again, observing the many structures throughout the city. It had a different feel then what he was accustomed to, taking notice of the construction site in the distance.

"That's a lot of empty land, I wonder what they plan on building there."

He faced forward after gazing out of the window for a period of time, looking to see they were heading up a narrow road.

"Where are we going?"

"To where you'll be staying," Dick replied. "Sit tight, we're almost there."

He could no longer see the city from where they drove, everything from behind cut off from the many tree's that surrounded the area. It remained that way as they continued up the road, nothing but trees and forest could be seen for miles out. It wasn't until after another ten minutes passed that a large structure slowly came into view as they made their way up a large hill.

"We're here."

"Wow, this is where you live," Conan said more than surprised. "This place is like a mansion."

"Used to," Dick corrected. "This is where I used to live, I'm sure you'll fine your stay most enjoyable."

The both of them stepped out of the car after rolling up the windows, making their way over to the large gate that surrounded the premises. He pulled a mini remote from out of his pocket, pressing the center button which caused the gate to slide open.

"If you ever need anything or just want to talk, feel free to call me," Dick said as they made their way across the large front lawn. "I promise I'll answer."

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

They reached the front door after making their way up a long set of stairs. Dick reached into his pocket for his keys once more, fiddling with it before finding the correct one. He twisted the key with a quick turn, unlocking the door in the process.

"Welcome to Wayne Manor."

He opened the door from there, stepping aside which allowed for him to walk in. Everything was spaced out from where he stood, taking notice of the many decoratives and pictures along the upper walls. He then looked toward the large fleet of stairs directly in front of him which lead to the upper levels of the house.

"So what do you think?" Dick asked closing the door from behind.

"Where to begin."

"I guess we'll hold off on that until you've had a look at the whole place."

The two of them turned at the sudden sound of one of the doors opening from upstairs, watching as someone stepped out.

"I see our guest has arrived."

"Conan, meet Alfred," Dick introduced. "If there's anything you need while staying here he's defiantly the guy to go to."

"It's good to finally meet you," Conan said stepping forward. "Tim mentioned you to me awhile back."

"Well I'm glad to get the chance to meet you as well," Alfred said in response. "Believe it or not, I've heard a little about you as well."

"Why don't you show him around," Dick suggested. "That way he knows where everything is."

"What about you?" Conan asked looking his way.

"I have a few things I need to take care of, but I'll be back tonight some time," Dick replied. "And when I do we'll go over what we discussed in the car."

"Tonight it is."

"Alrighty then," Dick said looking back toward Alfred. "I'll let you take over from here."

"Try and be back no later than seven," Alfred stated. "I think you'll find what I have planned for dinner to your liking."

"I won't be late," Dick said heading for the door. "Don't start without me."

"We'll hold off as long as we can."

The room fell silent for the first few moments after his departure, looking to check the time on his watch.

"No use in standing there all day," Alfred said. "Why don't you come up, I'll show you to the room you'll be staying in."

"One question," Conan said making his way up. "What time is it?"

"Five after nine," Alfred replied after checking his watch as well. "Why do you ask?"

"Just switching the time on my watch to match yours," Conan answered. "The time differential between here and Tokyo is actually quite substantial."

"Very true," Alfred said turning for the door nearest to him. "Right this way."

He followed from close behind, entering a long dark hall after walking past the door. There were a few noticeable paintings across both sides of the wall as they continued on, coming to a stop after reaching the first door to the left side.

"If you have something you need and I'm not around, you can come here."

"Who's room is this?" Conan asked out of curiosity.

"This is Damian's room, but I'd advice not to disturb him any time between eight to nine in the morning," Alfred informed. "He's really picky when it comes to the early hours."

"Damian... who's Damian?"

"The room you'll be staying in is right over here." Alfred directed.

He turned to the right to see another door directly across from where he stood, walking over to open it. He stepped into the room to find a large bed at the right side of the room, looking to see window looming over it a few feet above. He then brought his attention to the left side of the room to see an empty closet along with yet another door. He walked over to check it out, pulling the door aside to find it was a bathroom.

"So what do you think?"

"I might not ever leave this room," Conan replied. "Couldn't have asked for anything better."

"Would you like a tour of the rest of the house," Alfred asked, "Or would you prefer to lay it low for an hour or so?"

"A full round tour sounds good to me."

The sound of someone entering the room caused the two of them to look back to the door, looking just in time to see him come to a stop.

"I thought I heard voices."

"I was just about to take him on a tour of the house." Alfred informed.

"Don't mind yourself," He said taking a step toward the two. "If you don't mind, I'd like to cover that myself."

"That's fine by me," Alfred said heading for the door. "I'll leave it to you then."

He left from there, leaving the two of them. Things became silent for the next few moments, both waiting for the other to make the first move.

"I'm honored to finally get the chance to meet you, I've heard all about your talents detective," He said holding out his hand. "Bruce Wayne."

To Be Continued