The Detective's Princess

A Detective Conan Fanfic

By Jaelle

Gosho Aoyama owns all. I merely parody. The Princess Bride movie is based on the book by William Goldman, and directed by Rob Reiner. I own nothing, except a warped sense of humour.

["Comments made by the audience."]


"Professor Agasa," Mitsuhiko moaned. "Tell us a story."

"Yes, a story!" Genta seconded.

"A love story," Ayumi added.

"A love story?" Professor Agasa looked in surprise at the miserable children. All three of them had come down with the nasty cold that was going around at the moment, and he had offered to watch them together for their parents. The three children were happier being together, and their parents were happier knowing that they were under the eye of a trusted adult. Both Conan and Ai had managed to fend off the cold so far, and so Ai had moved over to the Mouri's for the duration, while the Detective Children moved in.

"I want an adventure story," Mitsuhiko added to the specifications.

"With sword fights," Genta decided to put in his desires as well.

"And a Princess," said Ayumi.

"And a Detective!" Mitsuhiko quickly put in.

"Okay, okay!" Professor Agasa thought quickly. "In fact, there is such a story with love and adventure and sword fights and a Princess..."

"_And_ a Detective," Genta added, and the other two children nodded.

Agasa gulped, "_And_ a Detective, of course. In fact, it's named after the Detective."

"It is?"

"Of course it is," Agasa stalled. "It's uh, it's called... The Detective's Princess. A grand story of love, adventure, swordplay, and detectives." He looked at the three transfixed children and smiled, thinking quickly. "Now, imagine a huge castle in a beautiful realm. Now can you see a young woman entering the great hall of the castle? She's beautiful, isn't she? She's where this story begins..."


{A long long time ago, in a faraway land where there was still magic, lived a beautiful girl. In fact, she was the Princess. The Princess... Buttercup.}


The Princess glared at the herald. "It's the Princess _Ran_," she emphasised. "Don't call me Buttercup again, or else..." She karate-chopped a marble column, leaving a fist-sized hole smashed through the middle of it.

The herald sweat-dropped. "Yes Princess Ran."

{Er, but everyone called her Princess Ran.}

["Did she look like Ran-neechan?"]

["Yes she did, now back to the story."]

{The Princess was the daughter of King Mouri, the greatest detective in the land.}

["Why is the King a detective?"]

{Because in the land of... Yume... there was a rule that only the greatest detective could be the King.}


{Anyway, Ran was very VERY beautiful, and graceful, and elegant. Everyone loved her. Especially the handsome Detective Shinichi.}

"Hey Ran," Shinichi popped up behind Ran and inspected the hole in the column. "Heralds calling you Buttercup again?"

"Stupid heralds," Ran grumbled. "And where have you been? The ball starts in an hour and I've been looking for you EVERYWHERE."

"Uh... well you see..."

"ANOTHER mystery?" Ran looked at him disapprovingly and Shinichi blushed.

"They do seem to pop up around me," he said hesitantly. "I don't know, it's like everyone's waiting for me to come around before they commit crimes. I don't know why they can't just go ahead without me."

"Hmph," Ran said. "Well, at least you're tidy this time," she fiddled with his hair. "Are you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

{Now Shinichi was the greatest detective in the land.}

["I thought King Mouri was the greatest detective in the land."]

{Shinichi was the _equally_ greatest detective in the land, and he and Princess Ran had been in love since they were small children. On this night, at the ball in honour of her 16th birthday, Shinichi formally asked King Mouri for his permission to wed his daughter.}



Ducking flung crockery, Shinichi sprinted out of the ballroom as armed guards converged on him.

{But King Mouri was opposed to the wedding, and he had poor Shinichi driven out of the Kingdom.}

["That's _terrible_! He's mean!"]

{However, Princess Ran was adamant that Shinichi was the one she loved.}

"How could you DO that?" Ran shrieked. "In front of EVERYONE!"

With one kick, she reduced the throne to kindling as her father cowered behind a table.

"I _love_ him," she raged. "And now he's out there in who-knows-what kind of danger... you send your men out to find him RIGHT NOW or I will NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN!"

"But Ran..."


"Yes Ran."

{But alas, it was too late. For word came the Dread Black Pirates who never left any survivors, had taken that Shinichi. And Princess Ran cried, because her True Love was gone...}

"NOOOOO!!!" Ran clutched a red sweater to her chest, as tears poured down her face. "No, he _can't_ be gone. SHINICHIIIIII!!! You dummy!!!"

{Some months later, a new Lord came to the castle. His name was, uh, Lord Gin, and he greatly desired the Princess Ran.}

Ran and Gin stared at each other, equally unimpressed.

{I said _he greatly desired the Princess Ran_!}

Ran and Gin continued to stare at each other in distaste.


Gin sighed. "Are you _sure_ I have to marry this... girl?"

"Remember the plan," said Tequila.

"I'm going to kill that bitch for this," Gin grumbled. "Princess Buttercup..."

"Princess RAN!"

"Whatever. You look... healthy."

"You look _scary_," Ran said flatly. "And if you think I'm going to marry you, you're out of your tree."

"Fine with me," Gin snarled. "I'm only doing this so that the bitch will leave me alone."

"That's Queen Bitch, thank you very much Gin," Queen Vermouth swept into the hall. "And I'm sure the two of you will find you have many things in common."

"Name one," Ran challenged.

"... You both like to break things," Vermouth managed.

"This _man_ looks like an assassin!" Ran snarled. "He doesn't break things, he probably kills people!"

"People, things, no difference," Gin replied.

Tequila tried to help. "Look, we just want to take over your country," he said to Ran. "You don't have to worry about the whole relationship thing. We don't really care about you, you're just part of the package."

"I absolutely, positively refuse!" Ran stated. "You will get this country over my cold, dead body!"

"Oh good, that makes it easier," Gin said, reaching for his sword.

"Not in public!" Vermouth reminded him. "Ran," she said gently. "Don't be so hasty. Think about it for a day or two. You might change your mind. Gin's pretty to look at, he's very clean and he's a tiger in bed."

Ran snorted.

{The next day, Princess Ran went out on her daily horse ride. Along the way, she encountered a group of three people.}

"Excuse me, most beautiful lady," said the middle one, a tall boy in a white tuxedo. "But please observe, nothing up my sleeves, and yet... PRESTO!"

A flower appeared in his hand. Ran took it with a smile and raised it to her face to smell it. A puff of sleeping gas squirted out of it, and the taller man caught her as she fell.

Vodka grinned. "So much for the Karate Princess," he said. "And they told me she was such a hard case. Inconceivable!"

Kaitou Kid snorted at him, "You wouldn't have had a chance without me," he reminded the other man.

"Whatever, let's just go," said the third member of their team.

{These kidnappers took the Princess to the beach and loaded her into a boat. Once they were at sea, the effects of the sleeping gas began to wear off, and Princess Ran made an escape attempt.}


"She's escaping!" Vodka yelled.

Ran grinned to herself as she swam away from the boat with strong, powerful strokes.

"Oh well," said the third member of the team, in a low female voice. "I guess we'll just let the Shrieking Eels finish her off then. Turn this thing around, let's go home."

Ran froze.

"Shrieking eels?" Kaitou asked nervously.

There was a loud shriek in the distance.

"Meat-eaters," came the disinterested reply. "They'll strip her flesh to the bones in seconds. You can hear them coming, their screams only get louder as they approach."

Kaitou was appalled. "You can't be serious!" He yelled.

"What did you think was going to happen to her? We were going to kidnap her away for milk and cookies?" Vodka asked derisively. "Inconceivable!"

"Uh, well... but still, eels are a bit... _mean_ don't you think?"

Vodka and their leader stared at him.

"Oh. Okay then."

["Wait a minute!"]

["What's the matter Ayumi?"]

["How come Kaitou Kid is a bad guy? He's good!"]

["Well, he _is_ a thief..."]

["But he's good inside, and he'd _never_ hurt anyone. You can't make him a bad guy. Make him good."]

["Yes Ayumi."]

Kaitou shook his head. "What am I saying? We can't leave her out here to die a terrible death! Hang on Princess, I'm coming to save you!" He turned on his heel ready to dive overboard, and nearly fell over a dripping Ran who had pulled herself back into the boat some minutes earlier, not being stupid enough to risk trying to outswim a Shrieking Eel.

"Your sentiments are appreciated," she told him dryly. "Got a towel?"

Vodka groaned, and the third member of the team smiled slightly.

["Professor, why aren't you telling us who the third person is?"]

["It's called fore-shadowing. It's important."]

["I think the Professor just can't think of another name."]

["Oh look at the time, maybe I should call Genta's parents to come and pick him up."]

["Ah! I'm sorry Professor! Please keep telling the story."]

{As Princess Ran was drying herself off, Kaitou Kid turned to see a hovership beginning to come into range.}

"Could it be a rescue mission?" Kaitou wondered aloud.

"Doubt it," Vodka snorted. "Maybe it's just some passer-bys."

"I don't think so," said Kaitou.

"Why not?"

"It's been chasing us for the last five hours."

"And you're only just getting around to mentioning this _now_?!"

"Shut up," their leader ordered. "It's no big deal. We'll just climb up this cliff and escape."

They regarded the sheer cliff, and the jagged rocks below it.

"Or," Kaitou said, "we could land at that beach over there and walk up the hill path."

"I guess that works too."

{The trio tied their captive up, and raced up the hill path. Looking back, they saw the hovercraft land on the beach, and a single figure disembark.}

"Persistent," said their leader. "Hmm..." She regarded Kaitou thoughtfully. "You stay here and defeat them, then catch us up."

Kaitou looked at the hovercraft. "They must be quite interesting," he said consideringly. "Maybe they'll be a match for me. If so, I must duel with them using my left hand!"

"But aren't you left-handed?"

"I'm ambidextrous."

His leader sighed and left, Vodka and Ran following.

Kaitou hummed to himself as he prepared to do battle, his sword cane flashing through the air.

{A young boy soon crested the top of the hill. He was short, but determined, and wearing a deerstalker hat on his head.}

"I believe that's far enough," Kaitou said to him. "I am charged with allowing you to go no further. To pass by, you must first defeat me in combat."

The considerably-shorter-than-Kaitou lad stared up at him somewhat disbelievingly, chest heaving slightly after his sprint up the hill. "Alright if I catch my breath first?" He enquired at last. "It's these damn short legs of mine. I hate being small."

"Oh sure. Take all the time you need, I'm not in any hurry," Kid said, instantly sitting down. "Nice day isn't it?"

"Er, yes," the boy looked at him searchingly. "My name is Conan Edogawa, by the way. I'm a detective."


["How come HE gets to be the hero?"]

["Because I said so."]

"Forgive me for asking this, but you don't exactly seem to be the type who would normally get involved in kidnapping," Conan probed gently.

Kid made a face. "Believe me, it's not by choice."

["Told you he was good!"]

"But I have to do this so that I can find out who had my father killed," Kid explained. "All I know is that it was a woman with blonde hair and a nifty catchphrase."

"Ah," Conan nodded. "That explains a lot. Sorry about your dad."

Kid shrugged. "It was a long time ago," he said. "I'm trying to follow on in his footsteps by becoming a great magician and a phantom thief, I think it's what he would have wanted."

Conan bit back a comment about the relative morality of thieving and nodded. "So, how are we going to fight, by the way?" He enquired. "I'm not really much for hand to hand combat."

"No problem!" Kaitou said happily. "What with the way you've kept up with us and everything, I'm sure you can manage a duel of magic!"

"Magic?" Conan echoed weakly. "You want a magic duel? Like, fireballs and dragon slaves and heavenly mountain avalanches and stuff?"

"You watch too much anime," Kid informed him. "I was thinking more along the lines of... well, blasts of flame and mystical bolts and, um... earth-moving magic."

Conan glared at him narrowly. "Those are all just less silly names for the things _I_ just described. And can you really DO those things?

Kid sweatdropped. "Time to battle!" He cried. "Ladies and Gentlemen, let's begin!"

Kid began to twirl his wizard's staff around, creating a strange whirring noise. "For my first trick, flame strike!"

A blast of flame exploded in front of Conan, who dodged to one side.

"Flame strike!"

And another.

"Flame strike!"

Conan rolled to avoid this one, sputtering as he was showered with dirt.

"Flower petal distraction!"

Rose petals filled the air like a huge red cloud.

"Smoke of illusion!"

The petals were joined by streams of smoke in shades of blue, green and red.

"Now SLEEP!" Kid bellowed, and then stood back. With a satisfied grin on his face, he waited for the smoke to clear. It never failed - whirl the staff and set off the miniature fans to blow wind the way you want it to, disorient your opponent with large fireworks, then add smoke to the wind so that they're coughing and confused, and then sleeping gas.

Behind them there was a *snick*. Something stung the back of his neck, and he dropped to his knees in surprise and sudden weakness.

As darkness overtook him, he heard the following words from behind: "Not yelling out the damn name of what I'm doing before I do it so my opponent can take steps to avoid it and instead creeping around behind them to hit them with a sleep dart sneak attack!"

As a magical phrase, it lacked panache. Efficiency-wise however...


{Meanwhile, two kidnappers and one kidnappee had managed to cover considerable ground over the last half hour, and were now several hills away from the battlefield.}


Vodka obediently stopped. "What is it?"

His leader turned to regard him calmly. "I want you to wait here just in case Kaitou fails."

"What?" Vodka stared at his leader grimly. "Why do _I_ have to stay?"

"Because you can fight and I can't," came the reasonable response. "Give me the girl, and you stay here. Our enemy is clearly resourceful, and might get past Kaitou. If that happens, you'll be lying in wait, ready to take him out."

A suspicious expression crawled onto Vodka's face. "Are you sure you're not just trying to get rid of me?"

"Now why would I do that? Don't be ridiculous. Or are you afraid to fight this guy?"

"Ha! Me? Afraid? The mere thought is inconceivable."

"If it's a thought, then it's not inconceivable," his leader said suddenly. "And why do you feel the need to drop that word into the conversation every ten minutes?"

Vodka shifted awkwardly. "It's a good word," he mumbled. "Aniki used it the other day, and it made him sound really intelligent."

His leader sighed. "And if your Aniki jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?"

Vodka blinked. "Of course!" He responded. "I'd do anything for Aniki!"

Both Ran and the other girl sweatdropped. "Let's not even go there," she muttered. "Anyway, you wait here, and then catch us up. Untie her feet so that she can run, and then hide."


While Ran walked around on the end of a line, trying to get some feeling back into her feet, the leader turned back to Vodka. "Now, are you sure you remember the plan?"

"Wait here, kill the guy if he gets past Kaitou, meet you both," Vodka repeated obediently.

"Can you manage that?"

"Oh yes," he assured her. "Trust me, no one's going to get by. It's absolutely..."

Ran and the other girl held their breaths.

"... not going to happen!"

And let them out as sighs.

"Come on you," the girl tugged on the rope and led Ran away.

Behind them, Vodka settled down to wait behind a handy rock.

After a while, he heard footsteps heading towards him quickly. Grinning, he prepared to spring out.

"GOTCHA!" He screamed, jumping out onto the path and preparing to attack the person who'd come down the hill. "Huh? But I heard footsteps?"

Unseen, Conan ducked down and ran between Vodka's legs. As the tall man bent down to see what had just gone past, Conan smirked and touched his magical boots.

"BOOT TO THE HEAD!" Conan yelled gleefully, and kicked Vodka's confused expression clean off his face, along with consciousness.

Chuckling slightly, the boy raced off.

The young detective continued his chase after the remaining kidnapper and the captured Princess, and soon found them together on another hill. The Princess was bound hand and foot, with a knife held to her throat. Before her were two goblets, filled with orange juice.

"Well, I see you have defeated both Vodka, with his incredible strength, and Kaitou, with his magic," the remaining kidnapper said. "But how are you at thinking?"

Conan regarded the kidnapper, who in addition to being female was also seen in the late morning light to be quite small, and blonde. "I'm pretty good at it," Conan said at last. "Do you have a suggestion? Something involving these drinks perhaps?"

"No, I was just thirsty."

"Oh," a sweatdrop trickled down Conan's head. "Well may I suggest a challenge?"

"Okay," the girl said indifferently.

"I have here a poison called Apotoxin. It is odourless, colourless, and one of the most deadliest poisons around," Conan said, showing her a vial. "I'll pour it into one of these glasses, you guess which one, and then we both drink. How's that?"

"Sounds fine," she said, a hint of a smile playing around her face. "Go ahead."

Conan made a great show of putting the poison in the cup behind his back, then switching it and the other one around and around before placing one in front of each of them. "Okay, guess!"

"Whatever," the girl grabbed her glass and drank it down. Conan's eyes bulged slightly, but then he hastily drained his.

"Don't you want to know which one of us got the poison?" He asked her after they'd finished.

"If you like," she said carelessly.

Conan's eyes gleamed. "I put the poison into both cups!" He announced proudly. "Because I'm already affected by the poison, so it can't get me again!"

The girl's eyes widened. "Really? Me too!"

They stared at each other.

"So this was all a bit pointless then," Conan finally said.

Ran rolled her eyes and jerked her hands apart, snapping the chains that bound them. "ARGH!"

She grabbed both children by an ear each and yanked on them. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?" She yelled. "Playing around with poison is DANGEROUS!!! You could get killed!"

"Owwww... sorry!" Conan managed.

"It doesn't matter anyway," the girl said quietly.

"Doesn't matter? DOESN'T MATTER?! It matters a lot!" Ran enfolded the girl in a hug. "It does matter honey, it does."

The girl glared at Conan. "I blame you for this."

Conan just rubbed his ear.

["It was Ai wasn't it?"]

["Yes Mitsuhiko, it was Ai."]

["I knew it was."]

["How did you know that?]

["It sounded like her. Like when she's sad. She's sad a lot."]

["Hmm, that's true.]

["Yes. We'll have to cheer her up more, because we're her friends!"]


{Ai's story was similar to Kaitou Kid's. She had been forced into agreeing to mastermind the kidnapping in return for information on the location of her sister, who had been missing for some time. Her sister and Ai had both been members of the Dread Black Pirates, but wanted to leave and live normal lives. However, when they attempted to escape, Ai's sister was captured, and Ai was forced to take a drug to make people think she was dead. Now, disguised as a young child, she secretly searched for her sister.}

"What terrible people!" Ran said. "You poor girl. And having to take some terrible drug to get away? What was it?"

"Apotoxin of course," Conan said. "The Dread Black Pirate's poison-of-choice. Swift, painful, and always fatal... except for the very few people who have an unusual reaction to it: they shrink down to become children instead. So they have your sister huh? Hmmm..." Putting one hand in his chin, he gave himself over to contemplation. "There has to be an answer to this, a way through it all. There is only one truth!"

Ran stared at him. "Shinichi?"

"Yeah, what?" Conan responded to Ran's query without thinking. "D'oh!"

"SHINICHI!!!" Ran screeched, and grabbed Conan and hugged him hard. "Where have you BEEN? What have you been DOING? WHY ARE YOU TEN YEARS OLD AGAIN?!"

["Conan was Shinichi?"]

["The Professor has some weird ideas."]

{Indeed Conan _was_ Shinichi, a victim of the same poison as Ai. He had searched long and hard to try and find a cure for his condition, while still keeping an eye on Ran as best he could and watching over her.}


{Their long-awaited reunion was tender and loving.}


{In its own, special way.}

{Eventually, the trio agreed to join forces and go back to Yume, and there try to find a solution to their problems together. But first, there was another great danger to overcome...}

"The Dark Forests of Death," Ran whispered nervously. "Rumoured to be the most dangerous place on the face of the earth."

Staring at the huge, still, and silent forest, she and Conan drew closer together.

"There are supposed to be strange natural events in there," Conan muttered. "Quicksand, treacherous rock falls, sudden bursts of flame."

"Ghosts," Ran breathed out. "Monsters."

A twig snapped just behind them.

"Hi there!"


Ai looked at Conan and Ran clutching each other in mortal terror and turned to face the new arrivals. "Too much caffeine," she explained.

The boy and girl standing behind her raised their eyebrows.

"Oookay," said the boy. "How're you doing? My name is Heiji, and this is Kazuha."

"Uh, uh... I'm Ran, this is Conan and Ai," Ran stuttered. "Um, are you... human?"

"Last time we checked," Heiji said cheerfully. "What's up? You look terrified."

Conan and Ran exchanged a glance. "Well..." Conan hedged. "It's just that these _are_ the Dark Forests of Death you know, and there are supposed to be all kinds of phenomena and monsters and..."

Heiji and Kazuha groaned.

"Don't talk to me about it," Kazuha moaned. "It's hopeless."

"It is?" Ran asked in fear.

Heiji nodded. "Completely and utterly hopeless."

"No hope at _all_?" Conan asked.

"None whatsoever," Heiji replied.

"Damn stupid promoters," Kazuha added.


Heiji shook his head. "We'll rename it the Dark Forest of Death, they said. It'll promote tourism, they said. It'll draw thrillseekers and the young, adventurous crowd, they said. It'll sound exotic and mysterious, they said. Worst decision the tourism board ever made."

"Now NOONE ever comes here, and we have some of the most beautiful countryside in the _world_," Kazuha complained. "Plus everyone thinks the place is haunted."

Conan and Ran looked at each other.

"So there's nothing wrong with this forest at all?" Conan checked.

"Are you kidding? We've been going on picnics here since we were kids!" Heiji snorted. "It's all a load of crap the tourism board made up."

"So, we can just walk through it?" Ran double-checked.

"Sure," Kazuha shrugged. "If you want to."

Conan blinked. "Thank you! You've been very helpful."

He, Ran and Ai set off.

"Wait! Don't go that way!" Heiji yelled.

"Huh?" Conan turned.

"Never go _that_ way," Heiji said, shaking his head.

"Oh." Conan paused and thought about it for a minute. "Why not?"

"If you go that way, you'll wind up right on the doorstep of the Yume Royal Castle," Heiji informed him.

There was a pause.

"But that's where we _want_ to go!" Ran yelled.

"Oh." Heiji blinked. "Well in that case, go that way."

"But come back and visit sometime!" Kazuha yelled. "We'll give you a tour!"

The two waved as Conan, Ran and Ai headed into the forest.

"Weird," said Kazuha. "Why would anyone want to go to the Yume Royal Castle when the Dread Black Pirates have taken it over?"

"Search me," Heiji said.


{After a pleasant walk through the not-particularly Dark Forests of Death, the trio found themselves standing outside the Yume Royal Castle.}

"Home at last!" Ran said. "I can hardly wait. Once I get to my father and tell him what's been happening he'll call off my wedding to Lord Gin, then we can find a cure for Shinichi and get married and..."

"Married!" Conan sighed. "Wait a minute, Lord _Gin_?!"

"Yes," Ran shuddered. "He's a creep and I _know_ he's an assassin."

"He's the head assassin of the Dread Black Pirates!" Conan cried.

"See, I _told_ Dad he was no good, but that terrible blonde woman would just shake her assets at him and he'd go all gooey," Ran rattled on, still not able to believe her good fortune in finding Shinichi again.

"Blonde woman?" Ai was horrified. "You don't mean Vermouth?"

"Oh," Ran looked surprised. "Did I forget to tell you two about all the trouble we've been having?"

The two children stared at her in horror, and Ran's thoughts suddenly caught up with her mouth.


"Welcome home, Princess," Gin's voice oozed out of the shadows.

"And hi hi again, cool guy," Vermouth's voice smirked behind his.

Suddenly, black-clad pirates surrounded the trio. Vermouth and Gin slowly emerged from the shadows to smile in triumph.

"Well, well, well," Vermouth said slowly. "Three holes in the ground. One for each body."

Ran gulped, Conan paled and Ai turned white. Gin smirked.

"Only joking!" Vermouth laughed. "I'm not going to kill you."

They all breathed a sigh of relief.


"What do you plan to do with us?" Ran demanded.

"I don't want to know," Conan muttered.

Vermouth looked thoughtful. "Well... I don't have any use for the little girl, so we'll either use her or kill her. We'll have to torture the boy of course, and probably kill him too. And as for you Princess Ran, a fate worse than death!"

"_Worse_ than death?" Conan repeated.

Ran paled. "No, not that!"

"Yes! That!" Vermouth said happily. "Congratulations! You get married tomorrow!"

"NO!" Screamed Ran, Conan and Gin.

"I won't marry him!" Ran yelled.

"You can't do that to her!" Conan shouted.

"We're still going ahead with _this_ plan?" Gin complained.

"You will, I can, and yes," Vermouth replied.

"_Why_?" They all asked.

"I'm sorry, I can't tell you," Vermouth said, putting her finger to her lips. "It's a big secret. And a secret makes a woman, woman."

Conan stared at her for a moment and then smirked.

"What's so funny?" Vermouth asked in surprise.

"You have blonde hair and a nifty catchphrase," Conan said. "I know somebody who is looking for you."

Vermouth smiled at him benevolently. "Lots of people are looking for me," she said cheerfully. "But I know who they are, and what they've found out. It makes things more amusing that way. Bye bye, cool guy. Take him away!"

One of the pirates grabbed Conan, while some others advanced on Ran. Another approached Ai.

"Wait!" Ran yelled. "You said you didn't need the little girl, so let her go!"

"Why should we do that?" Vermouth asked. "We _are_ evil you know."

"I'll... I won't give you any trouble if you let her go," Ran said.

"What kind of deal is that?" Gin demanded.

Ran's eyes narrowed dangerously.

"The kind of deal that doesn't see large numbers of your henchmen being hauled off in body bags!" She retorted. Glancing around, she darted down and picked up a large rock, which she proceeded to crush between her hands. "Get it?"

Vermouth smiled. "Still such an Angel. But I think Gin would be angry with me if I let Sherry here get away again."

"WHAT?" Gin glared at Ai, who shrank away. "Sherry..." he hissed. "I've been looking for you everywhere."

"Get away from her, you creep!" Ran shouted. "Haaaiiiiii YAH!"

She tried to punch Gin, but he dodged the blow and shoved her back into two other pirates, who grabbed her. There was an almost-inaudible pair of snicks, and they both collapsed to the ground, revealing Conan holding his sleep dart watch up. Taking advantage of the moment, Ran turned her attention to some of the other pirates.

"Get out of here," Conan gave Ai a shove. "Run! We'll hold them off!"

"But what about..."


Conan fiddled with his shoes. "Take THIS!" He shouted, kicking a nearby rock at a pirate. The pirate collapsed as it impacted into his head. "GOAL!"


{Shinichi and Ran fought with all their might, but the pirates were too many and they were soon subdued, however they succeeded in covering Ai's escape. After the battle, the pirates carted off their wounded, Ran was dragged off to her room to prepare for her wedding to Lord Gin, whilst Conan/Shinichi was taken to the Pit of Despair.}

["What's the pit of despair?"]

"I don't want to know," said Conan, looking at the strange machines he was strapped to. "I really don't want to know."

"Welcome to the Pit of Despair!" Boomed a familiar voice.

Conan winced. "Not you _again_," he complained.

Vodka grinned at him. "Yes! Me again!" He beamed. "Hello, my name is Vodka and I will be your torturer this afternoon."

"What's the special of the day?" Conan asked weakly.

"I'm so glad you asked! Today's special is the life-sucking machine, wherein we will suck one year off your life at a time. Do you have any questions before I begin?"

"Just one: when you say it's going to suck years off my life, that doesn't mean it's going to make me even _younger_ does it? Because if you're sucking years away..."

Vodka paused. "Hmmm... I thought it took years off the total. Umm... I don't know. I'll have to check the manual. Now where did I put that thing...?"

Conan heaved a sigh of relief as Vodka began to wander around, poking in corners.

A dark shadow loomed over him and he looked up into Gin's face.

"Where did she go?" Gin hissed. "Where is Sherry?"

"Why do you want her so badly?" Conan countered. "Because she wants to escape?"

"Because she _did_ escape," Gin replied. "_Twice_. I'll never forgive her for that. Now where is she?"

"Where is who?"

"Grrr..." Gin's eyes went cold. "If that's the way you want it."

Reaching out, he quickly shoved the lever on the side all the way to the top. Then he flipped a switch.


Conan screamed and jerked as his body convulsed.



Huddled under a tree, Ai shuddered at the inhuman scream that echoed through the forest. "Nonononononononononono," she repeated over and over again.

She let out a small scream as larger figure sat down next to her, and draped a corner of his white cloak around her.


"Tell me what's happened," he said.

The scream suddenly cut off.


"Found the manual! Um... I don't think you were supposed to do that, Aniki."


Kid had gone white. "Then that scream..."

"Was probably Conan, or Shinichi if you like, dying." Ai dropped her head onto her knees and huddled into a tight ball. "And we'll probably be next."

"Don't give up," Kid held her in a quick embrace. "We can't let those creeps win."

"What should we do?" Ai asked mournfully.

"Well, first we should probably find his body."

["HOLD IT!"]

["What's the matter."]

["Professor Agasa, you CANNOT kill Conan. _Or_ Shinichi. They are the _good guys_. They ALWAYS win!"]

["But children..."]

["They _always win_!!!" *sounds of sniffling*]

["Perhaps I should tell you a different story."]

["No, finish _this_ story, but tell it _properly_."]

[*gulps* "When did you kids get so scary?"]


{Kaitou Kid and Ai searched the forest until they found the spot where Conan's body had been dumped.}

"He's definitely dead," Ai said, checking the body.

"Can't you do something?" Kaitou asked.

"Dammit Kaitou, I'm a doctor and a scientist, not a magician. Why don't YOU take a turn - can't your magic do something?"

Kaitou frowned at her. "I'm strictly magic tricks, not a miracle worker. Hey..." His face turned thoughtful. "Miracles..."

"What about miracles?" Ai asked.

"There's supposed to be a legendary miracle worker living in this town. Maybe he can help."


*Knock knock*


"Are you Miracle Agasa, the King's personal miracle-worker?"

Agasa scowled at Kid. "Well I _was_ before the King fired me. He said my inventions were crackpot! I tell you, they're a gold mine! A real gold mine! One day they'll take off and I'll be rich and who'll be sorry then! HA! What can I do for you?"

"We need a miracle," Kid said, pushing past the man. "For this kid."

Miracle Agasa looked at the body. "I think you need a morgue, not a miracle."

"This kid is important, and he's not really a kid," Ai spoke up. "He's really Shinichi Kudo, but he's been transformed into a child."

"Oh I know _that_," Miracle Agasa said. "Who do you think designed his magic shoes and sleep darts? I mean there's nothing I can do for him now he's dead."

"Why not?" Kid demanded.

"Well, because he's dead, there's not much I can do for someone after that."

"But you're a miracle worker!"

"Sorry, can't help you."

"Yes you can!"

Miracle Agasa gulped and turned to face the person who had yelled at him. "Now Ayumi..." he said. "It's the truth, I can't help them."

Ayumi stomped her foot. "Liar!" She yelled. "You can too. You're just being a great big meanie."

"Yeah! Shinichi's our friend, and now you're turning your back on him!" Two other children ran into the room.

"I thought you were a nice person Miracle Agasa!" Mitsuhiko said. "How could you just leave him like this?"

"After everything he's been through you'd abandoned him? How cruel!" Genta yelled.

"Who are all these kids?" Kaitou asked.

"These are my great-nephews and my great-niece," Miracle Agasa replied. "Their parents have all gone away to work and left them with me." He turned back to the accusing looks. "Now children, it's really true. If it were Shinichi who was dead, it would be no problem. But I can't do anything when he's being Conan - it's not his true form, so I can't bring it back to life."

"What if he were Shinichi again?" Ai asked.

"Oh, then it would be no problem."

"Okay then, feed him this first," Ai produced a small vial from a pocket.

"What is it?"

"The antidote."

There was a long pause.

"Why didn't you give it to him earlier?" Kid asked finally.

Ai shot him a withering look. "Because it's not a perfect antidote."

"How not perfect?"

"It's still got a few flaws."

"What flaws?"

Ai sighed. "Death."

"That's a pretty big flaw," Kid said slowly.

"Yeah, but since he's already dead, we can give him the antidote and then Miracle Agasa can bring him back to life," Ai pointed out.

Miracle Agasa continued it for a moment. "Works for me! Kids, go clear the table and get out the good test tubes, Great-Uncle Agasa is gonna perform a miracle."





The heralds played a royal flourish as Vermouth and King Mouri waved at the crowds.

"And now, I present my one great treasure," Mouri began. "The one person who I can always rely on, whose kindness and skill are matchless in this realm... the one, the _only_... Miss Yoko Okino, who will be singing tonight at my daughter Ran's wedding. Take it away Miss Yoko!"

Yoko Okino began to sing "Do You Remember Love?" to the appreciative audience. Vermouth nudged Mouri slightly in the ribs.

"Oh yes... and of course, my little baby, my daughter Ran."

A herald step forward. "I present to you... the Princess..."

There was the sound of a large crash in the background. The herald paled.


Ran stepped past him and smiled at him sweetly. Then she lost her smile and her sparkle as she turned her pale face towards the crowd, which cheered for her loudly.

"And the man who's taking my baby girl away from me, and who better not hurt her, because if he does I'll..."

Vermouth nudged Mouri again.

"Lord Gin!"

Gin stepped out before the herald could announce him and glared at the crowd, which shut up immediately.


Except for one person.


Ran went even paler and began to tremble.


"It's not my fault!" Ran shouted suddenly, desperately. "They'll kill him if I don't!"

"What? I wasn't booing you dear!" A good-looking woman stepped forward. "I was talking about your father."

Ran stared at her. "Mother?!"

King Mouri choked. "Oh no..." he muttered.

"That's right!" Eri shouted. "I can see you up there Kogorou! How DARE you marry off your only daughter to some man out of nowhere? For that matter how dare you marry her off at all! BOO!"

"How dare you boo me!" King Mouri yelled back. "You left me, remember! I'll do what I want!"

"I don't care HOW many floozies you take up with!" Eri shouted back. "But you keep our daughter out of this! And I'll boo you if I want! BOOOOOOOOO!!!! YOU SUCK! YOU'RE A BAD KING, A TERRIBLE HUSBAND, AND A WORSE FATHER! BOOOOOO!!!!"

King Mouri spluttered.

"Entertaining though this is," Vermouth interrupted. "Perhaps we should just cut ahead to the wedding."

"Oh joy," said Gin, grabbing Ran's arm. "Fine, the sooner we have the wedding, the sooner I can get on with the widow making."

"What did you say?" Eri demanded. "And who'll be killed if you don't?"

"Definitely past time to be moving on," Vermouth raised a hand and black-clad figures appeared all around the crowd. Two of them grabbed Eri.

"Shall we go?" Vermouth smiled.

The group all met up in the central hallway on the way to the Cathedral.

"Just remember," Vermouth murmured to Ran. "The life of your dear Shinichi depends on this. Behave yourself."

Ran stared back at her defiantly. "Just you wait," she promised. "Just you wait. Shinichi will come and rescue me, I just know it. He'll be there for me."


Shinichi breathed in slowly and opened his eyes.

"Good evening Shinichi, how are you feeling?"

Shinichi thought about it. "Like death warmed up."

"Not a bad analogy," Ai said from beside him. "We just brought you back to life."

Shinichi tried to sit up. "And this would explain the lack of strength?" He asked.

"Bingo," Agasa said. "It'll take a while for you to recover."

Kid helped him sit up.

"Hey, I'm back to me!" Shinichi exclaimed.

"Ai gave you the cure," Kid explained. "And because you were already dead, it didn't kill you."

Shinichi processed this. "Oookay... Ran! Where's Ran?!"

"Calm down, she's at the palace. The wedding is scheduled for tomorrow morning, so you've got time enough to rest and plan..."

"EMERGENCY! It's a big emergency!" Mitsuhiko burst in. "They've started the wedding right now!"



In the Cathedral:

"Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us here togeva, today."

For the first time ever, Ran and Gin were united in their thoughts.

*You have GOT to be kidding me!*


"We have to get over there!" Shinichi struggled to sit up. "I've gotta save Ran!"

"How?" Kid demanded.

"Easy: you're going to help me!" Shinichi replied.

"And just why would I want to do that?"

Shinichi paused, "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't tell you that, because a secret makes a woman, woman."

Kid blinked. "To the castle!"


Back in the Cathedral:

*God I'm bored.*

"Say man and wife."


"Man and wife! Say man and wife!"

"Man an' wife."

"Close enough, let's get the hell out of here."

Gin dragged a stunned Ran out of the cathedral. "He didn't come," she said numbly. "He didn't come."

Gin glanced at her. "Who?"

"Shinichi," Ran's eyes filled with tears. "I thought he'd come and save me. I _knew_ he'd come. But he didn't."

"Oh him. Didn't I kill someone by that name earlier today?" Gin wondered out loud.

Ran froze. "What did you say?"

"I killed some brat earlier today, but I never bother remembering their names after they're dead," Gin shrugged. "Some kid, Keanu? Kenny?"



Ran stared at him in shock, then horror, soon followed by grief, and at last blessed numbness.

The insane homicidal rage showed up about twenty minutes after that, but by then it was too late.


Shinichi stared at the guards around the castle. Ai had been left at Miracle Agasa's with the other children, but Kaitou Kid had indeed come along in the hopes of getting revenge for his father's death.

"Right, well it's heavily guarded, but I think if we..." Shinichi began.

*Click, click.*

Shinichi turned his head to see Kaitou swing a side door open, pocketing a set of lockpicks as he did so.

"Phantom Thief, remember?"

"Smart ass," Shinichi muttered. "Fine, carry me in."

Kid grumbled as he heaved Shinichi's still-unresponsive body onto his shoulder. "I wish we'd left you as a kid, you were lighter that way."

"Shut up and go right."


Vermouth returned from seeing the former "King" of Yume locked into the palace dungeons. It had been rather amusing watching his reaction as she did so, and she idly wondered if it might not be interesting to keep him around as the court jester.

Then again, that was dependent on his wife not killing him first. Such a pity that they only had the one cell.

She laughed softly as she walked down the corridor, but stopped in surprise when she beheld a familiar white-clad figure.

"Hello Kaitou," she said. "How peculiar. I could have sworn you died some years ago."

The masked figure bowed to her. "My name is Kaitou Kid. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"Ah, I see. But, dear boy, I know something you don't know..." Vermouth smiled at him.

Kaitou Kid stared stonily back. "And what would that be?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't tell you. You see," she put her finger to her lips, "A secret makes a woman, woman."

Kaitou removed the top hat from his head, reached in, and drew out a fencing foil. "En garde!"

Vermouth smiled at pulled one of the swords decorating the walls down. "How delightful," she purred.


Gin cocked his head and frowned as he heard the sounds of swords clashing. He roughly shoved Ran into her room. "Stay here," he said curtly. "I'll be back to deal with you later."

Locking the door, he left.

Ran stared mutely at the door, her fists slowly clenching as his words began to come back to her.

"Shinichi..." She whispered.


Ran swivelled to gaze at the man lying on her bed.

"Shinichi?" Ran whispered. "Is it really you?"

"Yup, it's me," Shinichi said. He essayed a small smile. "Don't cry Ran, it's going to be alright."

Ran burst into tears. "I was so afraid, and Gin said he'd killed you, and they were going to take over the country... so I came up with a plan to poison him when he comes back here tonight. I was going to put poison on my hands and let him kiss them, and then wash the poison off and lead a rebellion from inside to take back our land."

Shinichi sighed. "Oh Ran..."

She sniffled. "What?"

"That would have been so easily spotted," Shinichi said, rolling his eyes. "You'd never have gotten all of out from under your fingernails, not to mention probably leaving some on the taps, soap, basin or your outfit. They'd have worked out what you did in an hour tops!"

"Shinichi! It really IS you!" Ran threw herself at him, embracing him and covering his face with kisses.

"Yes, it really is," Shinichi mumbled back eventually. "You weren't _really_ going to poison that guy were you?"

Ran pulled back and gave him a beatific smile. "Of course not silly," she said lightly. "I was going to wait for him to walk into the room, and then snap his neck with a back kick. Then I was going to go after the rest of them until they were ALL DEAD."

Shinichi shuddered. "Well," he said weakly. "Fortunately, you won't have to do that now."

"Not that she would have succeeded anyway," Gin's voice mocked them. "Especially not with that loud voice of hers. I could hear her cry your name clear down the corridor. How... touching."

Ran and Shinichi looked at the man standing at the foot of the bed and looking down at them.

"You know," Gin said conversationally. "I believe I'm getting into this married thing now. The whole jealous husband routine appeals to me immensely. It's certainly a better reason for killing the Princess than the one Vermouth came up with."

"You fiend!" Ran snarled.

"You got married already?" Shinichi asked in dismay. His eyes narrowed. "That was _awfully_ fast."

"I didn't want to," Ran said, looking at Shinichi imploringly. "They told me that if I didn't go through with it they'd kill you."

"So you said yes then?"

Ran blinked. "What?"

"When they asked you if you agreed to the marriage, did you say yes?"

Ran and Gin both paused to think about it.

"I think we may have skipped that part," Ran said finally. "I certainly didn't say anything at any point."

Shinichi smiled in relief. "Then you're not really married!" He said joyfully. "It doesn't count if you don't agree!"

"Really?" Ran asked desperately. "I'm not married?"

"You most certainly are not," Shinichi said. "So you're free to marry me! That is, if you still want to."

"Of COURSE I want to!"

"How touching," Gin said. "But I think you're both forgetting something, neither of you are going to make it out of here alive."

Shinichi raised an eyebrow at Gin. "Really? Are you saying that because you think I am helpless? Because I cannot stand? But perhaps I can." Slowly, he got to his feet.

"I don't care if you can stand or not," Gin said. "You're no match for me."

Shinichi sighed. "Unfortunately, you're completely right. Get him Ran."

Gin turned just in time to catch a kick under his chin that knocked him backwards against the wall. Ran advanced on him with an evil look in her eye.

Shinichi smirked, "Did you know that her nickname is the Karate Queen?"


And so, in two separate areas of the palace, battle commenced.

Gin and Ran battled furiously, neither holding anything back as they punched and kicked and fought. Ran caught him a painful kick under his knee and smashed her fist into his face when he stumbled.

Kaitou Kid fended off a parry by Vermouth and responded with a lightning fast response. Vermouth swayed to avoid being skewered and threw the sword at him, snatching another down off the wall and continuing the fight.

And so the battle waged, until...

Ran snarled, hands gripping Gin's throat as she slammed his head again and again and again into the wall. "And THAT'S for me, and THAT'S for Shinichi, and THAT'S for Ai and THAT'S for my kingdom and..."

"Ran, I think he's unconscious now."

"... THAT'S for my father and THAT'S for my mother and..."

"Ran, put the assassin down!"

Vermouth gasped as one of Kaitou's lunges got past her guard, and his sword sank into her shoulder. The nerves in her arms twitched and screamed and she dropped her sword, sinking to the ground. Kaitou pulled the sword out and prepared a death stroke.

"Any last words?"

Vermouth smiled at him mockingly. "Congratulations."

Kaitou's face twisted and he raised his sword.

Five minutes later, Ran, supporting the still-weak Shinichi, came down the corridor to find him leaning against a wall, staring at Vermouth's body. He looked up at them.

"I couldn't do it," he said despairingly. "I just couldn't." He straightened up and shouted at the top of his lungs. "A Phantom Thief does not kill!"

"Good," said Ran. "Because if he did, he wouldn't be worthy of the name Phantom Thief."

Shinichi muttered something about that but they both pretended not to hear him.

"Now, that just leaves the problem of what to DO with them," Ran said. "I can't just let them go running around my kingdom, but I can't unleash them on anyone else either."

Shinichi smirked suddenly. "Then let the punishment fit the crime!"

They both stared at him as he started to laugh.


Later that evening, everyone met together in the throne room. King Mouri was once more seated in his rightful place, with Queen Eri at his side. Shinichi and Ran stood beside them and smiled down at their assembled friends.

Miracle Agasa preened, reinstated as the official miracle worker of the realm. By his side was his new apprentice, Ai, and his new housekeeper, her older sister Akemi. The other children clustered around Ai, chattering happily at her while she smiled shyly back at them.

Kaitou Kid was talking to one of the maids, whose dedication to her job appeared to be so great that she would not relinquish her mop, even when she was supposed to be serving.

Heiji and Kazuha were also in attendance, having talked the people of their land into coming to the rescue of Yume. The two of them had been instrumental in preventing most of the Pirates escaping, and were now happily laying waste to the snacks on hand, smug in the knowledge that Ran had promised to officially promote their country as her holiday destination of choice.

And, miraculously enough, Shinichi's parents had also shown up and were beaming at their son and new daughter-to-be.

"I'm just saying it seems like a shame to waste all this food and preparations that we've made," King Mouri grumbled.

"Father," Ran said sweetly. "I am absolutely NOT going to let you rush me into marrying Shinichi right here and now just so you don't have to throw another wedding."

"Besides," her friend Sonoko put in. "It's supposed to be Ran's day, so she gets to pick the style. And a new dress! And bridesmaids! And new dresses for the bridesmaids!"

"But we've booked the priest and everything!"

"Oh yes, about that priest..." Ran started.

Shinichi intervened. "You know, there's still one thing that confuses me."

Everyone looked at him.


"Well, if Kid and Ai were both searching for the answers to what happened to their family members, and the Dread Black Pirates were looking for both of them, why did they get hired to help the Dread Black Pirates?" Shinichi asked.

"Oh, that was me," said one of the guards. She took off her helmet and shook out her long blonde hair. "My name is Jodie Saintemillion. I've been trying to destroy the Dread Black Pirates for years because they killed my father, so I disguised myself as Vermouth because I knew that she knew that I was on to her, but she didn't know that I had located Sherry, and I thought that if I could get Sherry to get close to the Pirates she would take the opportunity to strike at them. I included Kid for the same reason. But unfortunately I didn't know that Vermouth had disguised herself as me in order to go through my files and she let my plan go ahead because now she knew that I knew but I didn't know that she knew that I knew. Does that help clear up your confusion?"

Everyone looked at each other.

"Sure," said Shinichi, "Makes perfect sense."

They waited until Jodie had left the room before turning on him.

"Are you crazy?" Ran demanded. "That made no sense at all!"

"Yes, but I was afraid she'd keep talking if we admitted ignorance," Shinichi said. "Let's just say it was all a deep dark plan and move on."

"Works for me," Kid said.

"So," Heiji Hattori hastily swallowed the cracker he'd just put into his mouth. "Spill already, what did you do with the Dread Black Pirates?"

Ran and Shinichi shared a smirk.


Vermouth sighed as Gin glared at her. "This was not what I had in mind," she complained.

"You and your damned plans," Gin snarled. "Hey! Don't move so much," He growled at Vodka. "You're rocking the boat."

"I think I'm getting seasick," Vodka said weakly. "How long are we stuck out here?"

"Forever," Vermouth said flatly.


Tethered to the mast in their oars-less boat, the three former Pirates listened glumly to the screaming eels circle them.

"That's quite a long time, isn't it. Ummm... I know! I have a plan! 'I spy with my little eye'..."

"Help me tip him overboard."



"And so," Agasa concluded, "six months later, Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mouri were married. Eventually they became the greatest rulers in Yume's history, had children, lots of loyal and true friends, many wonderful adventures, and lived happily ever after. The End."

The kids sighed happily.

"That was a wonderful story!" Ayumi said dreamily. "And Conan was so heroic."

"I thought Ai was great, even though she was sad," Mitsuhiko said.

"And the fighting! Ran and Kaitou were fantastic!" Genta said.

"That was the best story ever!" Ayumi summed up. "Professor Agasa is a genius!"

Agasa smiled at them, just as a knock was heard at the door. "Goodness! Your parents are here! Quick, quick, grab your things."

Cheerfully, he ushered the children downstairs and into the waiting arms of their parents, who whisked them home to hot lemon drinks and a warm bed.

The next morning, his doorbell rang and he threw it open cheerfully.

"Good morning Professor Agasa," Ran Mouri looked a bit haggard. "I'm so sorry to bother you, but I'm afraid the quarantine doesn't seem to have worked."

Agasa looked down at the sniffling Conan and Ai and sighed. "Oh dear," he said. "This is going to be quite a crowd."

"No id's nob," Conan said. "Ayumi and de obers are bedder today. AAACHOOO!"

Agasa stepped back and quickly waved them in. "Of course I'll watch them Ran," he said hurriedly. "You better get to school now stay warm!"

"I will, thank you! You two be good for Agasa now!"

The Professor set the two not-quite-children up in the main room and supplied them with some hot drinks and tissues. After a loud nose-blowing, they could once more speak normally.

"Well, what would you two like to do while you're sick?" He asked genially. "Play some computer games? Discuss strategy? Watch the science channel?"

"Do you know what I would really like Professor?" Conan asked.

"No, what?"

"I would like you to... tell us a story."

Agasa sweatdropped as two sets of eyes bored in to him like lasers.

"Yes," Ai agreed. "A story with love and adventure and sword fights and a Princess."

"And a Detective," Conan added. "Ayumi called us this morning and told us ALLLLL about it."

"Oh, that story," Agasa said weakly. "Well, you know, you probably won't like it, it's just for kids..."

"Start talking Professor."

Agasa gulped nervously.

"As you wish..."

The End

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