Case 10: Shut In

Hatori sat in the office reading a book he borrowed from the library. He peeked from behind his book and saw Kurosagi sitting at her computer eating a plate of Macadamia Nut cookies. On the computer screen was a cooking channel. Hatori sighed as he placed his book down.

“Instead of waiting for clients, shouldn’t you go look for some?”

Kurosagi placed her cookie down and stated, “It’s too troublesome and my services are only for the desperate.” Hatori was about to say something, but the door to the office suddenly opened. Standing at the door was a woman around her thirties with a sadden face. Her blonde hair was tied in a bun and she wore what looked like an office lady uniform. Kurosagi smirked.

“Looks like we finally have a client.”

The woman looked toward Hatori and asked, “Are you related to Kurosagi?” Hatori smiled and said, “I’m Kurosagi’s assistant, Hatori Ogami.” Hatori held his hand toward Kurosagi, who was eating her cookie again and said, “She’s Kurosagi.” The woman looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes.

“This child is Kurosagi?” asked the woman in disbelief. Kurosagi smirked and said, “I’m actually a lot older than I look.” The woman clenched her hands.

“So you were the one who solved all those cases in the papers?”

Kurosagi nodded eating the last of her cookie. The woman seemed unsure, so Hatori walked up to her and said, “Kurosagi is really intelligent, so please tell her your case.” The woman nodded still unsure.

“My name is Nabiki Kuonji. I’m here because of my son, Ikuto.”

“Ikuto?”

Nabiki nodded and pulled out a picture from her skirt pocket. She handed it to Kurosagi. Kurosagi looked at the picture. In the picture was a sixteen-year-old boy in a dark green school uniform. He had a bright smile on as he held a Yorkshire terrier puppy in his arms.

“My son Ikuto is a good boy. He had many friends in school and decent grades, but he suddenly stopped coming to school two months ago and refuses to leave his room.”

Kurosagi looked at Nabiki and asked, “So he’s a shut in now?” Nabiki nodded.

“I tried to take him to a doctor to see what was wrong with him, but he won’t open the door”

“How does he eat then?” asked Hatori. Nabiki clenched her hand and stated, “I leave food for him at night and he drags the food in so fast that I can’t even react.” Tears escaped from Nabiki’s eyes.

“I’m afraid he might die in there, so please help me figure out what is wrong with him,” begged Nabiki. Kurosagi stared at the picture and then back at Nabiki.

“Did he act strange before he went into his room as a shut in?”

“Not that I know of. The day he started this behavior was the day I had a meeting with my boss.”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “Sounds interesting, but I am expensive.” Nabiki bit her lip as she reached into her pocket. Nabiki pulled out a purple hearts badge. She held it to Kurosagi and said, “I don’t have much money, but this heirloom passed down through my family should be worth something.” Kurosagi took the badge and examined it.

“War badges are worth a lot in this age,” stated Kurosagi. She placed the badge on her desk and said, “The deal is done; now take me to your son.” Nabiki nodded. Kurosagi slipped her bag on and followed Nabiki out of the office with Hatori behind them. Kurosagi pulled out her bike from under the stairway making Nabiki look at her filled with confusion.

“We can take my car.”

“I can’t stand cars.”

Hatori chuckled and said, “Kuonji-San, you can take your car. Kurosagi and I will bike behind. Nabiki nodded and then stepped into her car. Hatori and Kurosagi biked behind her car as she drove down the road.

Around an hour later, they arrived at a one story house. At the front yard, a small Yorkshire terrier was barking at them. Kurosagi approached the dog and held her small finger to her lips. The dog fell silent and sat on the grass. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Are you good with dogs?” Kurosagi shrugged and walked pass him. Nabiki opened the front door and showed them inside.

When they were inside the house, Kurosagi looked at Nabiki and asked, “Where is your son’s room?” Nabiki showed Kurosagi the way to Ikuto’s room. Before the room of Ikuto was an empty tray with empty dishes. Nabiki picked up the dishes with saddened eyes. Kurosagi looked at Nabiki and asked, “Can you please tell him that I am here?” Nabiki nodded. She knocked on the door lightly.

“Ikuto, I have someone that needs to see you.”

There was no answer. Nabiki knocked again and said, “Come on honey. You really need to see this person. Her name is Kurosagi and she wants to help.” Still no answer. Kurosagi sighed and looked at Hatori.

“Can you please knock down the door?”

“What?” asked Hatori in shock. Kurosagi repeated her words more sternly. Hatori looked at Nabiki, who showed a sad smile and nodded. Hatori sighed and kicked the door down with all his might. The door swung open revealing the darken room and Ikuto in his school uniform lying on his bed like a rag doll.

“Ikuto.”

Nabiki tried to run to him, but Kurosagi stopped her and said, “I will take care of this.” Nabiki bit her lip and nodded.

Kurosagi closed the door on Nabiki and Hatori leaving only Ikuto and her in the room. Kurosagi approached Ikuto and poked his side. He groaned, so he was alive. Kurosagi crawled onto the bed and looked over him to his face. His eyes looked lifeless, his lips were cracked, and zits covered his face. His skin, in the dark, also looked pale like a ghost.

“You’re Ikuto Kuonji, correct?”

Ikuto looked at Kurosagi with his blank like eyes. He looked at his hand and then back at Kurosagi.

“Who are you?”

“Kurosagi.”

“Do you know who I am?”

Kurosagi shook her head as she sat on his bed.

“You’ve been in this room for so long that your memories are beginning to fade. You need to get out of here.”

Ikuto clenched his hand as he shook.

“I can’t or they will kill me.”

Kurosagi’s eyes narrowed and asked, “What do you mean?”

“I…I…don’t…”

Ikuto clenched his teeth as he clenched the covers tightly in his hands. Kurosagi sighed and placed a hand on top of his head.

“You can’t say because the memory isn’t clear and I doubt I can see anything if I eat a strand of your hair.”

Kurosagi leaned toward his face resting her forehead against his.

“My job is to figure out why you don’t want to leave and if those people you vaguely mentioned are the reason, then how about I take care of them for you.”

“You would do that?”

Kurosagi nodded and said, “All I need is your blood and then I can go to your school.” Ikuto gulped and nodded. Ikuto grabbed a razor knife from his side drawer and held it at his arm. He cut his arm cringing, drawing blood. He held it to Kurosagi and said, “I want to know.”

Kurosagi nodded and took his arm. She looked at him seriously and said, “Don’t tell anyone of what you see today and promise to go back to a happy life.” Ikuto nodded a tear falling from his eyes.

Kurosagi placed her mouth on his bleeding arm. Kurosagi drank the blood making Ikuto cringe. When she removed her mouth Kurosagi hugged her body shaking. Her short hair grew even shorter and turned blonde. Her body grew, growing muscular. Her small hands became thick as did her feet and an anatomy of the male body grew on her as well. When the transformation was complete, Kurosagi looked exactly like Ikuto, but in a cleaner image. Ikuto stared at her in shock. Kurosagi smirked and said, in a manly voice, “This is only temporary, Ikuto-Kun.” Ikuto nodded in amazement. Kurosagi held her hand to Ikuto and asked, “Can I have that uniform?” Ikuto nodded as he began to remove the uniform. Kurosagi smirked and also asked for an extra helping of his blood.

Kurosagi walked out of the room in Ikuto’s form. She was wearing his uniform and holding her bag and white dress. She walked down the hall and entered the kitchen, where Nabiki and Hatori were waiting. Nabiki burst into tears when she saw Kurosagi in Ikuto’s form. She hugged her and said, “You finally came out.” Kurosagi sighed and pulled Nabiki away.

“Sorry, but Ikuto-Kun is still in his room.”

“What?”

Hatori saw Kurosagi’s bag and dress in her arms and laughed uneasily.

“Kurosagi, is that you?”

Kurosagi smirked and nodded. Nabiki gasped with both hands against her mouth. Kurosagi looked at Nabiki and said, “This form is only temporary, but Ikuto agreed to come out when I figure out what is ailing him. The source is most likely in his school.”

“His school?”

Kurosagi nodded and added, “Now tell me which school he goes too.” Before Nabiki could say anything, Hatori stood up and said, “That boy goes to Tomoeda High School. I can tell by the uniform.” Kurosagi chuckled and thanked Hatori. Hatori nodded. Kurosagi looked back at Nabiki and said, “I’ll get your son out.” Nabiki nodded.

With the agreement made, Kurosagi and Hatori stayed at Nabiki’s house. Kurosagi sat on the bed provided to them with a smirk. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Are you really going to his school?” Kurosagi nodded and said, “His memory is hazy, so the strand of hair won’t work. Going to his school is the only way.”

“Won’t his classmates be suspicious?”

“I’ll just tell them that I was in an accident and was forced to stay home to recuperate. I’ll also tell them that I have some memory loss.”

“I guess that would work, but how will I stick with you in this case?”

Kurosagi sighed and said, “Just claim to be my doctor for the mean time and visit the room once in a while. Just try not to stick too close.” Hatori nodded.

The next day, after drinking Ikuto’s blood again, Kurosagi grabbed his school supplies mixing it with her own bag and left the house with Hatori. Nabiki wished them farewell with a sad look.

They biked to the school, which was filled with teenage boys. Kurosagi smirked and muttered, “So it’s a boy school.” Kurosagi stepped off her bike and walked ahead of Hatori. Hatori parked their bikes and followed Kurosagi. The minute Kurosagi walked through the gate, she heard someone calling for Ikuto.

Kurosagi looked up and saw a boy, Ikuto’s age, running toward her. He hugged Kurosagi and said, “You finally came back to school.” Kurosagi blinked in confusion and asked, “Who are you?” The boy gasped and did a fake whimper.

“How could you forget your old friend, your best friend to boot?”

Kurosagi chuckled and said, “Sorry, but I am having some memory problem after my accident.”

“Accident?”

“On my way home, I was apparently in an accident that I don’t remember. I was forced to stay home for the time being and now I have an empty bowl for a head.”

The boy seemed to believe Kurosagi’s lie, so he sighed and said, “Well my name is Kouryou Jiro, your best friend. Got it memorized?” Kurosagi nodded with a smile.

“Ku…Ikuto-Kun.”

Kurosagi looked back at Hatori who was running to her. He placed a hand on her shoulder and asked, “Who are you talking too?”

“My best friend apparently.”

Kouryou looked at Hatori and asked, “Who are you?”

Hatori smiled and said, “My name is Hatori Ogami, I’m Ikuto-Kun’s doctor for the time being.” Kouryou eyed Hatori suspiciously and then looked back at Kurosagi.

“If the accident was so serious, you should have called me.”

“I already told you that I had amnesia,” muttered Kurosagi with annoyance behind her voice. Kouryou sighed and grabbed Kurosagi’s hand.

“Well we have to get to class before the bell rings. Your doctor can explain the situation to the teachers.”

Kurosagi nodded and looked back at Hatori.

“Tell the teachers of my situation, Ogami-San.”

Hatori nodded and ran behind them only changing the direction in the hallway.

Kurosagi walked into an unfamiliar room that was filled with bickering boys. All the boys wore the same uniform talking about their lives or a movie they have seen or heard of. Only a few were actually reading their books and some were eating their lunches early. There was also a smell that Kurosagi could not describe. Kouryou touched her shoulder making her look at him.

“Before the teacher comes, let’s tell them the situation.”

Kurosagi nodded. Kouryou stood behind Kurosagi in front of the class.

“Hey guys, look whose back!” announced Kouryou. The boys stopped what they were doing as they looked at Kurosagi and Kouryou. The boys burst into smiles as they all greeted Kurosagi. Kurosagi looked at them blankly.

“Is something wrong with Ikuto?” asked one of the boys. Kouryou nodded as he clasped his hands on top of her head.

“He seems to have lost his memory. That’s why he was absent from school for so long. The doctors seemed to have decided to let him into school to get his memory back,” explained Kouryou. The boys nodded in understanding.

“So he has no idea who we are?” asked one of the boys. Kouryou nodded and did a fake cry as he said, “He didn’t even remember me.” Kurosagi gave out a sigh and then looked at the boys.

“I just need to hear your names and I will eventually remember you.”

They all nodded and introduced themselves one by one. Some said fake names that Kurosagi caught fast and forced them to correct it. In the end, she had memorized all their names. Kurosagi bowed to them and said, “I hope to continue to learn with all of you.”  The boys all smiled.

One of the boys, who introduced himself as Hideki Takahashi before, laughed and said, “It seems like Ikuto learned some manners losing his memory.”

“What do you mean?” asked Kurosagi. Hideki smirked at Kurosagi and said, “When you came to class you were pretty cocky when it came to our studies and once hit me behind the head when you caught me eating a bag of chips during class.”

“But it was pretty funny,” stated the boy, Shiro Takamura. Kurosagi scratched the back of her head and said, “Then I guess I should apologize.”

“No kidding, I mean your grades were just average, I made higher grades than you.”

Kurosagi could sense the huge ego behind Hideki’s voice. Kurosagi made note that he must have been a jerk around Ikuto. She looked at Shiro, who looked back at her.

“Something wrong?” asked Shiro. Kurosagi shook her head and then asked, “I was just wondering if you knew where my seat is?” Shiro chuckled and pointed at the seat next to him.

“It’s here, buddy.”

Kurosagi nodded and was about to sit on it, until Kouryou grabbed her arm and said, “Don’t believe him. Your seat is near the window, where he is sitting.” Shiro shrugged and said, “You got me.” Shiro got up and transferred to his real seat in the back. Kurosagi sat on the now vacant seat. Kouryou sat next to her and said, “I’ll show you my notes later, Ikuto.” Kurosagi nodded.

The door to the room suddenly opened revealing the teacher with Hatori by his side. Kurosagi looked at Kouryou and asked, “Is that our teacher with my doctor?” Kouryou nodded and whispered, “His name is Professor Sarugawa. We all call him monkey.” Kurosagi nodded.

Sarugawa cleared his throat and then looked at the class with a smile.

“I think you all notice that Ikuto Kuonji has returned to school, but according to his doctor, Ogami-San, he has lost his memory, so he will still be in class but it is just to regain his memory.”

“Does that mean he won’t do any work?” asked Hideki in annoyance.

“He’ll do some work, but not too much,” answered Sarugawa. Hideki pouted. Kurosagi saw this and decided the best course of action. Kurosagi raised her hand getting Sarugawa’s attention.

“Yes, Ikuto?”

Kurosagi stood up from her seat and said, “I think I should do the same amount of work as everyone in this room.” The boys looked at her in disbelief.

“Are you sure? You are behind.”

“I’ll manage.”

Sarugawa sighed and then agreed. Kurosagi looked toward Hatori and said, “I’ll see you later, Ogami-San.” Hatori nodded and walked out of the room still looking back at Kurosagi.

Kurosagi sat back down. Kouryou nudged Kurosagi’s side making her look at him.

“I’m glad you want to do the same work as us, but I hate to tell you this: we have the rank test today.”

“What?”

Sarugawa passed out a packet filled with different subject problems and said, “You have three hours to take the test.” Kurosagi looked at the packet with a blank look. Kouryou chuckled and whispered, “Guess and you have a fifty-fifty chance of passing.” Kouryou then leaned into his packet as he answered the questions. Kurosagi stared at the sheet.

“I can excuse you from the test,” offered Sarugawa. Kurosagi shook her head and said, “I can do it.” Kurosagi pulled out a mechanical pencil and began to fill in her answers. Kurosagi frowned as she answered the questions.

When three hours had passed, Kouryou fell against his chair groaning.

“That was a lot harder than I thought,” complained Kouryou. Kouryou looked at Kurosagi, who had her hand entwined on top of the desk.

“At least I did better than you,” teased Kouryou. Kurosagi sighed wondering if Ikuto would be shocked to see his rank when he comes back to school.

Sarugawa called to them all making them look at him. Sarugawa wrote on the board and said, “The results will be posted next week, so for today because of the random selection of the student council, the student council will be coming here to discuss the upcoming cultural festival.”

“Cultural festival?” asked Kurosagi. Sarugawa nodded and said, “Our Cultural festival is going to happen in two months, but we plan ahead of time.”

Kouryou nodded and added, “Every year, the student council chooses a class randomly to organize the event. The class chosen only has to take the rank test and then the other grades will be covered during the preparation of the festival. This year is our class.”

“Interesting,” stated Kurosagi. Kouryou nodded. There was soft knock on the door of the classroom. Sarugawa opened the door welcoming a group of five students. One had long black hair in a ponytail. Another had short brown hair and glasses resting on the bridge of his nose. Two of them had medium length black hair and the last one had short black hair with a small red highlight on the bang. Kurosagi concluded that they were the student council.

The one with the long black hair bowed to them in greeting. He spotted Kurosagi next to Kouryou and smiled.

“So Ikuto-Kun finally decided to come back to school?”

Kouryou nodded and added, “But he doesn’t remember anything, so he is here to recover his memories.”

“I see, so he doesn’t remember the student council members, correct?”

Kouryou nodded. The one with the long black hair chuckled and said, “Well, then let me reintroduce myself. My name is Tasuki Shu, a senior in this school and the student council president.”

“My name is Iaru Siam, the vice-president,” declared the boy with the glasses.

“My name is Kim Geo, the treasurer,” said one of the boys with the medium length hair.

“Momiji Raidon, the secretary,” said the other boy with the medium length hair.

“My name is Naraku Higurashi, the historian,” stated the boy with the highlights.

Tasuki looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Do our names ring any bells?” Kurosagi shook her head and said, “I should remember in time.” Tasuki nodded with a smile. Kurosagi’s eyebrow raised when she noticed that his smile was almost forced.

Tasuki stood before the class and began to write on the board.

“Our budget for the festival is a decent amount, so do we have any suggestions on how the classes should choose their stand activities?”

“How about a raffle?” asked Kouryou excitedly.

“I agree. It would be a whole lot more fun, if the classes have no idea what they are going to do for the festival until we do the drawing.”

Tasuki smiled and said, “That does sound interesting. We can do the drawing three weeks from now.” The boys smiled wondering what activities they should put in the raffle.

“What about the symbol for the festival?”

“A symbol?” asked Kurosagi. Tasuki nodded and added, “The festival needs a symbol stand to attract customers.”

“Any ideas on the symbol, Ikuto?” asked Hideki trying to place the attention on her. Kurosagi thought a short while and then pulled out a blank piece of paper. All the boys looked at her wondering what she was doing. Kurosagi looked at them and asked, “Can you please tell me the theme of the festival?”

“I believe that the theme was supposed to be related to the wind.”

Kurosagi then began to draw on the paper at a fast pace making them all confused. With one last single stroke of the pencil, she held it up revealing a stunning drawing of a wolf with wings upon its back. The wolf looked so real that it seemed that it would leap off the paper at any moment.

“Does this work?” asked Kurosagi. Tasuki took the paper with a smile.

“This is actually pretty good.”

Tasuki showed the picture to the class and asked, “Do you guys want this as the symbol?” The boys nodded and began to compliment Kurosagi for her artistic work. Kurosagi just sighed and rested her head on her hand.

How am I going to figure out why Ikuto refuses to come to school?

During lunch time, almost all her classmates wanted to eat lunch with her. Kurosagi refused them and tried to walk out of the room, but Kouryou grabbed her arm pulling her back into the room.

“At least eat with me,” complained Kouryou. Kurosagi sighed and nodded. Kouryou and Kurosagi sat near the window. Kouryou pulled out a large bento filled with tempura and began to eat it happily. He looked at Kurosagi and noticed that all her bento had was a salad and five chocolate chip cookies.

“What’s with your bento?” asked Kouryou as he watched her eat a cookie. Kurosagi swallowed and stated, “Is there a certain way I have to eat my bento?”

“Not really, but you usually have hamburger with curry sauce in there.”

Kurosagi smirked and stated, “I guess my sense of taste changed.” Kouryou stared at her and then asked, “Now that I think about it: did you have art lessons during your absence?”

“Why do you ask?” asked Kurosagi as she placed a piece of lettuce in her mouth.

“You don’t remember, but in art class, you really sucked. I swear all your drawings were curses or monsters. I remember a girl cried seeing one of your pictures.”

Kurosagi chuckled and said, “I was that bad? I guess it is good that I lost my memory then.” Kouryou frowned.

“Don’t say that. I really want you to remember.”

Kurosagi nodded as she reached out to her cookie. She paused and then looked at Kouryou seriously.

“Did I act strange when I left school for two months?” asked Kurosagi. Kouryou thought awhile and said, “Actually yes, the day before you stopped coming, you ran out of the school yard as if you had seen a ghost. Maybe that’s the reason you got into that accident.” Kurosagi placed her index finger under her chin in thought.

Something must be in the school yard then.

Kurosagi stood up from her chair and said, “I need to see my doctor.” Kouryou nodded and watched Kurosagi walk out.

“He seems like a different guy,” said Hideki. Shiro nodded in agreement. Kouryou nodded as well and said, “But he is still my best friend.”

Kurosagi walked to the teacher’s office, where Hatori was sitting quietly reading a book. Kurosagi called to him making him look at her. Hatori was about to call her name, but paused when he saw that the teachers were looking at him. He got up from his seat, closing the book. He went to Kurosagi and asked, “Did you find something?”

“Well it seems like he ran out of the school yard like he saw a ghost before he became a shut in.”

“So there might be something in the school yard?”

Kurosagi nodded and said, “I need you to tell the teachers and ‘my’ classmates that I needed to take a walk to help with my memory. I’ll be in the school yard in that time.” Hatori nodded and watched her leave the room. Hatori sighed worrying continuously about Kurosagi being with a group of boys.

Kurosagi entered the school yard making sure not to run into any of the school boys. She looked around the entire area, but found nothing. She then decided to put on her new glasses wondering if Ikuto really did see a ghost. There was no sign of a spirit, so she removed her glasses and placed them back in her bag that she kept with her.

Kurosagi sighed and sat on the ground under a tree. The shadow of the branches covered her body as she stared up. She suddenly felt something crawl onto her hand and gasped. She swung her hand up throwing a maggot up in the air. The maggot landed on the ground before her. Kurosagi stared at it with seriousness in her eyes. She looked at where her hand once was and saw a few maggots crawling under a bush against the tree. She pushed the bush aside and saw a cavity in the trunk of the tree. The cavity was filled with a pile of dirt that could resemble a termite mound or an overgrown ant hill, but there were no termites or ants, just maggots. Kurosagi dug her fingers in the dirt ignoring the maggots that crawled on her hand. Kurosagi cringed when she felt something rough and somewhat slimy. She pulled her hand out and sniffed it. It smelled like rotting flesh. She stood up and lifted up her hands. She raised her hands above her head like she was conducting an orchestra and the dirt exploded. The cloud of dust surrounded her and slowly cleared revealing a rotting body with maggots crawling out of the eyes and mouth. The body had short brown hair and wore the school uniform of the school. The arms were above its head. Kurosagi lowered her arms and the body did the same. Kurosagi frowned at the sight.

“So Ikuto ran off because he saw this body, but why would he say that people wanted to kill him?” she asked herself. An idea dawned on her making her frown deepen.

“It wasn’t that he found the body, he saw this person die and the murderer.”

Kurosagi looked toward the school wondering who Ikuto saw.

Kurosagi recovered the body with the bush and ran back to the school ground. Unbeknownst to her, a person hidden in the shadows of the trees was watching her run off with anger in his eyes.

Kurosagi entered the school completely covered by dirt. All the students stared at her in confusion. Kouryou, who had exited the room, saw Kurosagi and gasped. He ran to her and asked, “What happened to you Ikuto?” Kurosagi smirked and said, “I just fell, I just need to go to my doctor and then I will clean up.” Kouryou looked at Kurosagi in concern.

“Are you really OK? I can ask Professor Sarugawa to let you go home early.”

Kurosagi shook her head.

“I’ll be fine, so wait in the room for me.”

Kouryou nodded with sadness clear in his eyes.

Kurosagi entered the teacher’s office only to see Hatori at the doorway. Hatori gasped when he saw Kurosagi covered in dirt and asked, “What happened to you?”

“I’m fine,” stated Kurosagi. Hatori dusted off her hair and clothes. Kurosagi sighed and said, “I’ll clean up later, but right now I need you to contact Orchie.” Hatori paused and looked at Kurosagi in confusion.

“Why?”

Kurosagi looked at the teachers looking at them and sighed. Kurosagi leaned toward Hatori and whispered an apology making him confused. Kurosagi stabbed her finger in his arm making him cringe in pain. Kurosagi covered his mouth to prevent him from screaming.

Listen Ogami-San, this is another one of my secrets. When I insert my finger in a living person’s flesh, I can communicate my thoughts into them. Yes it does hurt, but right now it is necessary because the teachers might hear this. Understand?

Hatori nodded beginning to sweat.

I need you to call Orchie and tell him that there is a body in the school yard.

Hatori’s eyes widen.

Tell him not to get the body yet. He needs to speak with Ikuto at his house and see if he can remember who the murderer is.

“Why can’t you…?”

I can also read your thoughts, so please think it.

“All right. Why can’t you just eat his hair to get the memory?”

Because he doesn’t remember, he mentally blocked the incident from his mind and is unstable. He needs to remember it even if it is just a little before I could do that secret. I’ll return to class while you do this.

“I understand, so can you please remove your finger now?”

Kurosagi nodded pulling out her finger from Hatori’s arm. Hatori cringed gripping his bleeding arm making sure that the teachers didn’t see. Kurosagi placed a bandage on his arm and said, “I’ll fix it up later.” Hatori nodded and watched Kurosagi leave the room.

Hatori pulled out his own cell phone that Kurosagi gave him and dialed Orchie’s number putting Kurosagi’s plan in action.

Kurosagi headed into the lockers where the showers were located. She removed her clothes and stepped into the empty showers. She started the water and washed the dirt out of her short hair and flesh. Kurosagi suddenly heard a ripple in the water under her feet and was about to turn around, but a metal bat went into contact with her head. Kurosagi fell to the ground with a bleeding gash on her forehead. The fallen blood drained into the drain of the shower. Kurosagi got up slowly as her attacker ran out of the bathroom covered with a hat and scarf. Kurosagi smirked as the wound on her head healed, the water washing away the blood on her.

Kurosagi dried herself off and changed back into the uniform. She walked out of the lockers looking at both directions. She walked down the hall toward her room not noticing that someone was looking at her with wide eyes.

Kurosagi entered the classroom and sat in her seat. Kouryou chuckled at her and asked, “So you took a bath, Ikuto?” Kurosagi nodded. Kurosagi touched her forehead where the gash was before and asked, “Does someone in this school hate me, Kouryou?”

“I don’t think so, why do you ask?” asked Kouryou with a raised eyebrow.

“No reason.”

Iaru suddenly walked into the room and said, with an uneasy voice, “I know we have to discuss the plans for the festival during this time, but Tasuki suddenly felt ill and needed to return home early. As a result, you guys shall return home too.” The boys cheered not for the president’s misfortune, but for going home early. Kurosagi picked up her bag and walked out of the room.

Kouryou grabbed her arm forcing her to stop and asked, “Do you want to go Karaoke? We haven’t done it for so long.” Kurosagi shook her head and said, “I really need to get home.” Kouryou pouted and watched Kurosagi walk off.

The minute Kurosagi stepped onto the sidewalk to get her bike, a car drove onto the sidewalk. Kouryou, who was behind her, pulled her into his chest and fell backwards avoiding the car. The car crashed into the gate of the school sending glass and metal flying. Kurosagi pushed Kouryou’s head down to prevent any glass from flying into him. The boys gathered around the destroyed car wondering what had happened. The car was empty, but the car was on neutral, so it would explain how it was moving. Kurosagi looked at the car with seriousness in her eyes.

Someone really is trying to kill Ikuto.

“Are you OK?” asked Kouryou. Kurosagi looked at Kouryou and nodded.

“Thank you, Kouryou.”

Kouryou smiled and hugged her gently. Kurosagi felt the warmth from his arms and smirked. She pulled away from Kouryou and said, “I still need to head home.”

“But shouldn’t you contact the police about the car coming at you?” asked Kouryou as he got up. Kurosagi smirked and said, “Then please tell the teachers, Kouryou.” With that, Kurosagi ran off taking her bike with her.

Kurosagi ran down the road and then leapt onto her bike. Her phone rang in her pocket as she rode her bike. She flipped her phone open and held it to her ear.

“Kurosagi speaking.”

“Where are you and what’s with the car in the gate?” asked Hatori through the receiver of the phone.

“I’m on my way to Ikuto’s home and as for the car, it seems like someone was trying to kill me again.”

“What do you mean again?”

“When I was washing up in the showers, someone hit my head with a metal bat.”

“Are you serious? You should have told me sooner.”

“Well I needed to head back to the class. Anyway, did you do as I told you?”

“I did, even though Orchie hung up on me like three times before I could talk to him.”

Kurosagi chuckled and said, “So Orchie should be at Ikuto’s house by now.”

“That’s right, but can you wait for me until I catch up with you. It would look suspicious that you don’t have your doctor with you.”

“Fine, I’ll be at the top of the hill.”

“See you there.”

Hatori hung up the phone. Kurosagi closed her phone and parked her bike in a corner. She leaned against a mailbox with crossed arms. Kurosagi suddenly heard footsteps from behind and turned around. A metal bat nearly slammed into her head, but this time she caught it. Her hand bruised as she looked at her attacker. Her attacker’s face was covered by a wool mask and wore a hat and scarf. With the coverage, she couldn’t tell who it was. Her attacker pulled the bat away from her glaring at her. Kurosagi smirked at him and asked, “Are you trying to kill me because of what I saw?” Her attacker remained silent.

“Are you mute or do you have another way to kill me?”

Her attacker pulled out a gun with a silencer from his belt and shot her in the head. Kurosagi fell on her back, blood flowing from her wound. The attacker ran off with the bat still in hand.

Hatori reached the scene and saw Kurosagi lying on her back with blood around her head. Hatori gasped and ran to her abandoning his bike. He placed a hand on Kurosagi, close to tears.

“Kurosagi are you OK?”

Kurosagi opened her eyes and smirked as the bullet slipped out of her head. She got up allowing the bullet to fall to the ground and her wound to heal instantly. She wiped the blood on her forehead showing that the bruise upon her hand had healed too. Hatori sighed in relief.

“Thank goodness you are all right, but who attacked you?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi chuckled and said, “I don’t know because his face was covered, but I bet he would be surprised when he sees Ikuto alive and well tomorrow.” Hatori sighed and helped Kurosagi to her feet.

“So you are going to shock him to reveal who he is?”

“I am, but I still need Ikuto to solve this case.”

Kurosagi looked at Hatori and said, “We need to get to the house.” Hatori nodded and boarded his bike. Kurosagi did the same and biked ahead of him.

When they reached the house, they saw Orchie’s police car at the front. Orchie rolled his window down and peeked out.

“Ogami-San, where is Kurosagi?”

Kurosagi stepped off her bike and said, “It’s me, Orchie.” Orchie looked at Kurosagi in Ikuto’s form and sighed.

“So you transformed into a guy this time, how boring.”

“I need you to pay attention, Orchie. Ogami-San told you everything right?”

Orchie nodded and added, “I told my units to retrieve the body tomorrow, but you need to tell us exactly where the body is.”

“I will, but we need to get Ikuto’s memory of the murder he saw back first.”

Orchie nodded. He stepped out of his car and walked to the door ignoring Hatori’s presence. Kurosagi opened the door and peeked inside. Nabiki ran to them and asked, “Did you find anything?” Kurosagi nodded.

“Ikuto may have seen a murder and the murderer may have seen him too. I was nearly killed three times already.”

Nabiki gasped with her hands over her mouth.

“The murderer will try to kill Ikuto if he returns to school, so I have to capture him. In order to do that, I need Ikuto to remember the murder.”

Nabiki nodded and led Kurosagi to Ikuto’s room. Kurosagi opened the door and saw Ikuto in his bed with his blankets wrapped around his body. He looked even more drained than usual. Kurosagi urged Orchie and Hatori into the room ordering Nabiki to stay outside. Kurosagi closed the door and approached Ikuto.

“Ikuto?”

Ikuto looked at Kurosagi with bags under his eyes. He noticed Hatori and Orchie and asked, “Who are they?”

“My friends, Orchie and Ogami-San: they are going to help you remember something.”

“Remember what?”

“The murder you saw.”

Ikuto’s eyes widen. He gripped his head and said, “Please don’t make me remember something like that.” Kurosagi sighed.

“You have to remember or your life will forever be in danger. I have been almost assassinated three times pretending to be you. Do you want to be forever in fear for your life?”

Ikuto bit his lip and shook his head. Kurosagi placed her hand on his shoulder and said, “Your classmates would want to see the true you.”

Ikuto looked at Kurosagi with fire burning in his eyes.

“Please help me remember.”

Kurosagi nodded and looked at Orchie.

“I need your talent Orchie.”

Orchie nodded and stood in front of Ikuto. Orchie ordered Ikuto to follow his finger as he spoke. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “What is he doing?”

“Hypnotism: one of Orchie’s talents as a detective. He uses this to unlock memories that were hidden in a person’s subconscious. I only have him do this once in a while when it is needed because it is considered unprofessional.”

“So he is useful,” muttered Hatori.

Orchie moved his finger back and forth making sure that Ikuto’s eyes were following.

“Now Ikuto, I need you to tell me what you saw in the school yard before you ran home two months ago.”

Ikuto’s eyes seemed to be in a daze as he spoke.

“I saw Narumi-Senpai waiting in the courtyard with a smirk on his face. He was waiting for someone.”

“Do you know who he was waiting for?”

Ikuto nodded.

“I heard him mutter Shu-Senpai’s name.”

Kurosagi smirked and whispered, “So the student council president was involved.”

“Did Shu-Senpai come?”

Ikuto shook his head. Ikuto began to shake gripping his head.

“What’s wrong?”

“Someone else came, he was wearing a mask. He ran at Narumi-Senpai and stabbed him in the stomach repeatedly. He wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t even scream as Narumi-Senpai fell to the ground. He was looking at me with blood on his lips. The one stabbing him saw me and ran at me. I ran as fast as I could and made it home, but then I got a call saying that if I told anyone what I saw, I would be killed.”

Orchie frowned and asked, “Do you recognize the voice?”

Ikuto shook his head and said, “It was a voice changer, so I don’t know.” Ikuto’s eyes dilated as he hid under his covers shaking.

Orchie looked at Kurosagi and said, “Ikuto should be back to his senses, but witnessing a murder would be traumatizing for him.” Kurosagi and Hatori nodded in agreement. Kurosagi lifted the blankets allowing her to see Ikuto’s shaking form.

“You did well, I will capture this guy.”

Ikuto burst into tears.

Kurosagi looked at Hatori and Orchie and said, “I know how to capture that murderer, so you guys ready to follow me into the darkness once again.” They both nodded with a smile.

The very next day, Kurosagi drank Ikuto’s blood again and went to class like normal. It wasn’t exactly a class because they were discussing how the festival would be done. Kurosagi wrote down the notes Ikuto missed from Kouryou’s notebook as the others talked about the festival preparations. Kouryou looked at Kurosagi and said, “You can copy those later, Ikuto.”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “It would feel strange not to copy these notes right now, Kouryou.” Kouryou was filled with confusion as Kurosagi wrote down the notes. The room door suddenly opened revealing the student council members.

“Morning class,” greeted Tasuki. Tasuki chuckled and added, “Sorry about disappearing on you guys yesterday.” Tasuki saw Kurosagi and his eyes widen. He shook his head and averted his eyes away from Kurosagi. Kurosagi smirked as she looked at Tasuki.

“We will continue to discuss about the preparations of the festival and I hope you guys came up with some activities.”

Kurosagi wrote on a piece of paper as the others began to give suggestions for the festival. Kurosagi folded the piece of paper into a paper football and tossed it to Tasuki silently. The paper landed near Tasuki’s feet. Tasuki noticed the paper football and picked it up. He opened it under the desk. Tasuki’s eyes widened.

President,

Meet me at the school yard in the trees. I want to show you something.

Ky Narumi

Tasuki folded the paper and searched through the students. He shook his head crumpling the paper in his hand. Momiji noticed the crumpled paper in Tasuki’s hand and wondered if something was wrong.

During lunch period, Tasuki ran to the school yard and into the trees. He looked around frantically in the empty area.

“Ky, are you here?” called out Tasuki.

“He’s not.”

Tasuki flinched and looked behind him. Kurosagi in Ikuto’s form stood before him leaning against a tree.

“Ikuto?”

Tasuki pulled out the crumpled paper from his pocket and asked, “Did you write this?” Kurosagi nodded.

“I had a feeling you would come, if I wrote the letter like that, Shu-San.”

Tasuki clenched the paper and said, “That was a cruel trick, Ikuto.” Kurosagi pushed the bush next to the tree aside revealing the body of Ky. Tasuki cringed at the sight.

“You know that Narumi-San is dead and yet you still came. Why is that?”

Tasuki reached out to the body and said, “I really thought that maybe he came back.” Kurosagi sighed and went up to Tasuki. She placed a hand on his shoulder with seriousness in her eyes.

“The day before I stopped coming to school, Narumi-San called you into the school yard. Before you got there, Narumi-San was murdered. You found his body and hid it in a tree with someone’s help, am I right?”

Tasuki clenched his fist and whispered, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

“You know who the murderer is and tried to protect him, so tell me who it is.”

“I can’t, he’s my friend.”

Tasuki’s eyes widen making Kurosagi groan. It was right then that she felt something impale her in the back. She fell forward gripping Tasuki’s shirt. She peeked behind her and saw Momiji gritting his teeth. Momiji released the handle of the knife in her back and allowed her to fall to the ground. Tasuki was frozen as he stared down at her body.

“Again?”

Momiji looked at Tasuki panting.

“I had to do it or he would have reported that you killed Narumi to the police.”

Momiji glanced at Narumi’s body and added, “He even managed to find the body.” Tasuki was still in shock. Momiji gripped the front of Tasuki’s shirt and whispered, “I killed Narumi and Ikuto to protect you, president.”

“So it was you.”

Momiji and Tasuki flinched. They looked down at Kurosagi and saw her getting up with the knife still in her back. Momiji gasped, while Tasuki stared at Kurosagi with wide eyes.

Kurosagi smirked and said, “It will take a whole lot more to kill me, Raidon-San.”

Momiji shook his head and screamed, “Why won’t you die? I hit you in the head with a bat and even shot you in the head, so why aren’t you dead?”

Kurosagi stood up and stated, “Because that isn’t enough to kill me. You can even behead me and I would still live.” Momiji called her a monster, but Kurosagi didn’t even flinch.

“You are the one who killed Narumi-San. You discovered that Narumi-San called Shu-San to the school yard. I’m not sure what was said, but I think you believed that it was a threat against Shu-San, so you decided to kill him. I saw you and then you threatened to kill me if I ever revealed the truth. Why did you do this?”

Momiji gritted his teeth.

“This was all for Tasuki. Narumi was angry that he lost the election against Tasuki and was going to say that Tasuki fixed the votes. He was also planning to black mail Tasuki to get the president’s seat. That’s why he called him to the school yard. I came early and killed that bastard, but you saw everything, so I had to make sure that your mouth was shut.”

Kurosagi sighed.

“You’re an idiot. Is that why you also changed the records that Narumi-San transferred out? You do have access to the student records as part of the student council.”

Momiji nodded and said, “You really sound like a detective, but even though I confessed, you don’t have any solid proof against me.” Kurosagi smirked.

“Actually with you being here and seeing the body is good enough proof. Also…”

Kurosagi showed the dagger in her back.

“If we analyze the fingerprints on this dagger with the fingerprints that would be found on the bat that attacked me, they can also connect it with the murder. I’m sure your fingerprints are still on the body when you hid it with Tasuki.”

“But Tasuki’s prints would be on it too,” said Momiji with his voice shaking.

“True, but Shu-San’s prints would not be on the weapon and on the clothes you wore when you attacked me and Narumi-San.”

Kurosagi smirked and added, “The clothes that are in a locker.” Momiji’s eyes widened.

“I thought about it. When I was attacked in the showers, someone would have noticed a man with a hat and scarf running out, but no one saw anything, so you must have left the clothes in a gym locker. You did take them out later on hiding them in a bag and tried to kill me with a car you managed to pick lock and change to neutral. That failed when Kouryou pulled me out of the way.  You then changed into the clothes again and tried to shoot me dead. You then went back to the school via another root and placed the clothes in a locker again, so no evidence would be found at your house if the murder ever led to you.”

Momiji was shaking in anger and asked, “So you found the clothes?”

“Thanks to Orchie and Ogami-San.”

Momiji laughed like a maniac and smirked at Kurosagi.

“So you think you have me? Well I’m not the only one trying to protect Tasuki.”

Kurosagi gritted her teeth when she heard a cock of a gun and turned around. Behind her stood Iaru with a gun in hand pointed at her head.

“So you too?”

Iaru nodded and said, “Momiji didn’t make the call, it was me. I called you not to go back to school. Why did you have to come back and remember everything?”

Kurosagi smirked and muttered, “Things can never remain forgotten.” Iaru narrowed his eyes and whispered an apology. Before he could pull the trigger, he was suddenly knocked down by Kouryou, who burst from behind a tree. Kouryou held Iaru down kicking the gun away. He looked at Kurosagi telling her to run.

Kurosagi smiled at Kouryou and then looked at Momiji, who was holding Tasuki’s arm protectively.

“Tell me Raidon-San, do you think this is what Tasuki wanted.”

“What do you mean?”

Kurosagi pointed at Tasuki and added, “I heard that Tasuki left school for a while and then returned. He always smiled, but I believe that it was to hide the pain. He wanted Narumi-San, his friend, to come back even though he knew it was impossible.”

Tasuki burst into tears and muttered that it was all his fault. Momiji looked at Tasuki with wide eyes.

“You didn’t want Narumi-San to be dead, but I thought you hated him.”

Tasuki shook his head and stated, “He was my best friend. That day, we were supposed to make amends about the election.” Momiji gritted his teeth saying that it wasn’t true. Iaru stared at them in shock as did Kouryou. Momiji shook his head and screamed, “It’s not true!” He glared at Kurosagi.

“Why did you have to come back, you monster?” screamed Momiji as he pulled out a second knife from his bag. He ran at Kurosagi with Kouryou screaming for him to stop.

Hatori suddenly jumped from a tree and grabbed Momiji’s hand. He twisted Momiji’s hand forcing him to drop the knife. Hatori held Momiji firmly with Momiji cringing in pain.

“I won’t allow you to hurt her any more than this,” whispered Hatori, anger clearly in his voice. Momiji’s eyes widen when he heard Hatori refer to Kurosagi as a girl. He looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Are you really Ikuto?”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “I guess I should tell you the truth.” Kurosagi pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

“My name is Kurosagi, the great detective.”

“Kurosagi?”

Kurosagi nodded and held her hand at Momiji making him flinch. Kurosagi removed her contact lenses revealing her red eyes with a smirk.

“Ikuto’s words and Tasuki’s actions revealed the truth now fall into the darkness, Momiji Raidon.”

Momiji gave out a scream that echoed throughout the school as the sirens approached the school.

That same day, Kurosagi walked to Ikuto’s home with Hatori and Kouryou. Kurosagi looked at Kouryou and asked, “Why are you coming?”

“I just want to know where you put the real Ikuto.”

Kurosagi sighed and said, “He’s in his room still shaking in fear.” Kouryou frowned and said, “As a friend I should have known that you weren’t the real Ikuto.” Kurosagi chuckled.

“Well I am an actress.”

Kouryou suddenly touched her chest making Kurosagi blink in confusion and Hatori cringe. Hatori pulled Kouryou’s hand away and screamed, “What are you doing to her?”

“I just wanted to see if she had any boobs. I mean she pretended to be a guy so well.”

Kouryou eyed Kurosagi and added, “But they’re really flat.”

“I would think so because I am a guy right now, but I should change back tomorrow.”

Kouryou sighed and walked ahead of them eager to see the real Ikuto. When they reached the house, Kurosagi opened the door. Nabiki approached her and asked, “Did you catch him?” Kurosagi nodded.

“Orchie is taking in the two perpetrators. Ikuto can go back to school no problem.”

Nabiki sobbed full of relief. Kouryou looked at Nabiki and asked, “Can I see Ikuto?” Nabiki nodded at him. Kouryou ran to Ikuto’s room. He knocked softly and then opened it. He saw Ikuto sitting on the bed still looking depressed.

“Ikuto?”

Ikuto looked at Kouryou and smiled.

“Long time no see.”

Kouryou nodded with a small tear at the corner of his eye. He sat next to Ikuto telling him what happened. Ikuto cried with a smile on his lips. Kurosagi saw this from the crack on the door and smirked.

“It’s good to have a friend.”

Kurosagi walked away from the door to Hatori. Hatori looked toward Ikuto’s room and asked, “Do you think his classmates will question him about the incident later?”

“He’ll be fine as long as Kouryou is there for him.”

Hatori nodded and walked out of the house with Kurosagi.

A week later, Ikuto returned to school with Kouryou by his side. Kouryou chuckled and asked, “So what does Kurosagi really look like?”

“I promised not to tell.”

“That’s no fun. I bet she was a babe that you would like to ogle.”

Ikuto blushed and screamed, “I’m not a pedophile!”

“Oh, so she looks like a kid. Now I really want to see her.”

“Kouryou!”

Kouryou laughed as Ikuto and him entered the school. Ikuto looked around the school and asked, “Is Shu-Senpai back yet?” Kouryou shook his head and said, “He’s still with the psychiatrist, but he should be back soon enough. We still need to discuss the festival and all.”

Ikuto nodded. He suddenly felt some of the boys patting his back saying congratulations to him. Ikuto looked at them and asked, “What was that about?” He looked at Kouryou, who was looking at the rank postings on the wall with an uneasy look. Ikuto looked at the ranks and cringed. At the very top was his name with a perfect rank score.

She took my test for me?

Kurosagi in the meantime sat in her office eating chocolate sprinkled cookies. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “How did you do on Ikuto’s test?” Kurosagi chuckled and muttered, “Too easy.” Hatori grew confused as he sat on the sofa with a mystery book in his hand.

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