As a result of his late night escapade, Shinichi was practically dead on his feet at school that day. Haibara had it easier by having the Professor call in sick for her. She did a lot of that anyway, after pulling all-nighters on her research. (Though, Shinichi suspected it might not all have been ‘research’ she was doing, but he really wasn’t about to ask).
His teachers and the other members of the Shounen Tantei-dan were of course worried about him. But at his stage of sleep deprivation he just didn’t care anymore; and elementary school work could go hang itself. Repeatedly. With piano wire.
After school was finally over, he managed to flee the other kids with the excuse of really needed a nap. He was just about to call Ran to tell her he was staying over at the Professor’s place when the girl in question suddenly showed up, looking distraught.
“Ran-neechan! What happened?”
“Oh, it’s horrible, Conan-kun! It’s Hattori-kun…”
The rest of her words faded into a white haze as nightmare images assaulted his imagination. Did they find Hattori? What about the professor and Haibara? Were they going to be next—
“…even though Kazuha-chan was crying on the phone saying she couldn’t believe it was him—”
“Kazuha-chan said she knew he had is omomori with him that day. And the body was almost impossible to identify. So there has to be a chance it wasn’t him, right?”
Oh. Osaka. The fire. Right. That would teach his brain to run without all cylinders firing. “Uh, yeah. I think there’s a chance it’s not Heiji-niichan too.”
“…I think I should call Shinichi and ask him to investigate. I know he can be busy, but Hattori-kun is his friend too, and if there’s a chance…”
Yep, Shinichi would be able to tell them it wasn’t Hattori who’d died… Waitamin.
Somehow, he was able to escape Ran before she dialed the other cell phone he was carrying, get somewhere remote where he wouldn’t be overheard, reassure Ran again that no the body probably wasn’t Hattori even if the police thought it was and yes he’ll look into it, and then somehow dragged himself off to the professor’s house before anything else accosted him (like a murder case).
Shortly thereafter, the door to 22 Beika Street slammed open and a small form burst through.
“Hattori! You’re dead!”
Heiji yelped in surprise and nearly spilled coffee across his lap. “Oi, Kudo, yer still holding a grudge about not getting sleep last night?” the equally sleep deprived teen growled in irritation.
“No,” Shinichi leaned against the closed door and smiled dryly as the humor of the situation hit him. “I mean you’re officially considered missing, presumed dead.”
It took three seconds for the words to penetrate Heiji’s foggy mind.
Haibara groaned and rubbed her throbbing (and also sleep deprived) temples as the Osakan teen lunged for the phone. At this rate she was going to kill those two idiots first.
Yeah, I know they shouldn't be this bad off after only one all-nighter. For Heiji let's just chalk it up to the physical exertion of escaping certain DOOM and running for his life before getting to Tokyo. And Shinichi... I dunno... little kids need more sleep?
Communication Kills 500 words
“What do you mean I can’t let them know I’m alive?!” Heiji roared at the diminutive form in front of him.
Haibara slowly lifted her finger from the disconnect button of the phone and raised a sardonic eyebrow at the raging boy before her. “My, it seems like you can be as slow as Kudo-kun is at times too, oh Great Detective of the West.”
“Oi, oi,” Shinichi’s pained protests were ignored by the two participants of the glaring match, and he wondered if the professor had time to restock the first aid kit yet.
“They are still out there, Hattori-kun,” Haibara said pointedly. “Even if they may not be looking for you, they’d still looking for that,” she inclined her head toward the desk where the two detectives had spent the night decoding files. “If they find out you’re alive, they will track you down and kill all of us here. Then, they will kill your family and anyone they suspect you to have spoken to.”
“So I’m just supposed to let them keep thinking I’m dead?!”
“Their grief should be believable then.”
“Grief?! Screw that—”
“Oi!” Shinichi finally interjected himself into the middle of the confrontation, verbally and physically. He addressed Haibara first, since he could see Heiji was one short fuse away from completely blowing up.
“Look, Haibara, I’m supposed to be dead to the Organization too, but I haven’t had to play dead to Ran or my parents, and that hasn’t gotten anyone killed.”
“You weren’t publicly declared dead,” the girl scoffed.
“Even if I had been, I still wouldn’t have kept it from them,” he insisted. Okay, from his parents… maybe; but that was different. “They might be watching now, but I know them. They can’t keep a continuous watch on everyone Hattori could contact, and he’s on a first name basis with the entire Osaka police force.” From the information he’d gleamed from the FBI, the Organization had a limited amount of good agents at free disposal. And by good, it would have to be someone of Gin or Vermouth’s caliber to pull one over Hattori Heizo.
Haibara frowned and thinned her lips in disapproval, but Shinichi didn’t give her a chance to continue her protests.
“And Hattori,” he continued, turning around to face his western counterpart, “you know it would be dangerous to contact your family and Kazuha-san directly…” He grinned evilly, inviting the other teen to follow his logic to the correct conclusion.
“…So we’ll have to go about it in a roundabout way,” Heiji finished for him, anger morphing into the same, familiar smirk. He turned toward the cluttered desk, then paused to throw an affected look of boredom over his shoulder. “Well, I guess I can probably trust that oyaji of mine to figure it out somehow.”
“Uh-huh.” Shinichi deadpanned. I have to wonder if he doesn’t already suspect something. That ‘presumed dead’ was declared suspiciously fast for someone as important as the son of the Chief of Police.