Pandora's Box

Epilogue - Bonded by the Soul

“Heiji!”

Heiji froze, nearly losing his grip on the bowl he was tipping over the potted plant in order to dump the contents onto the already wilting plant. He slowly turned around and brought his bowl back to the table, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.

“Yes, dear?” Heiji asked, grinning awkwardly as he put his spoon back in the bowl. “Is there something wrong?”

“How many times do I have to tell you to finish your food?” Shinku asked as she placed her hands on her hips. “You’re such a kid sometimes.”

“I just don’t want to suffer the same fate as this lovely plant here,” Heiji mumbled as he glanced at the sorry-looking plant.

“Nothing a teardrop crystal can’t fix,” Shinku said off-handedly, waving her hand in dismissal. “Now, I thought I told you to go grocery shopping yesterday. You didn’t do it, did you?”

“Oh, right, was that yesterday? I thought you wanted me to go today,” Heiji said, taking the bowl to the sink and putting it there. “You still need me to go?”

“Of course! What are we going to eat tonight, chairs?” Shinku asked as she huffed.

“You know, ever since you regain the ability to feel hunger you never seem to get full,” Heiji commented as he shook his head.

“Hey! That’s a rude thing to say to a lady!” Shinku pouted.

“You think I haven’t noticed you sneaking into the kitchen late at night?” Heiji asked teasingly. “You either have a very fast metabolism, or there might be some fat stores where I can’t see them.”

“I hate you,” Shinku sulked. “Fine then, I’ll just ask Kaito-san to go.”

“He’s still searching for the keys?” Heiji asked.

“Yeah. He’s down to the last key though,” Shinku said as she looked over at the statue of Shinichi tucked away safely at the corner of their house. He had his eyes closed and looked so calm and peaceful. At the spot where his core was, there were three small holes.

“I never thought I’ll ever see him as a statue again,” Heiji said as he joined Shinku in staring. “You don’t become a statue though.”

“I don’t want to,” Shinku said as she shook her head. “Even if it will never be official, I don’t wish to become a statue.”

“Don’t you trust me?” Heiji asked as he frowned.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” Shinku said as she shook her head. “I just don’t want to. Remember that you took three months to find all the keys to his heart?”

“Well,” Heiji said as he shrugged, “I’m never lucky with this sort of things. Kuroba has found two, then? That’s fast, considering he’s only turned to stone last week.”

“You seem to forget Kaito-san used to be a thief,” Shinku said, her lips tugging to form a smile. “He has a knack for finding things, you see.”

“And they’re going off again after this?” Heiji asked.

“Yeah,” Shinku said as she sighed. “I don’t agree to them going, though, because it might cause the Jumi clan to not be able to cry again, after so long. But if they think it’s for the best, I can’t say anything.”

“I think it’s for the best too,” Heiji said. “The legendary Jumi Staff, an object capable of producing endless amount of teardrop crystals. What a treasure indeed.”

“I want to go on an adventure like theirs too,” Shinku said. “But there’s no more treasures to find,” she added jokingly.

“Well then why don’t we stay here and make a treasure for ourselves?” Heiji asked, ruffling Shinku’s hair.

“Jumis can’t have a baby,” Shinku deadpanned.

“You stayed with Miyano for too long then,” Heiji said as he sighed. “She’s back in Gato with Hakuba now, huh? You should really learn to not be cynical like her.”

“Yes she is,” Shinku said. “Maybe we can go visit them sometimes. Or visit the Clovers in Geo.”

“Maybe we should, just so you don’t go insane from boredom,” Heiji said.

“I’ve been locked up all my life. I don’t think I’m capable of going insane just from that.”

“Did I miss something?” Kaito asked as he stood at the doorsill, staring at the two in question. “You two seem to be discussing something interesting.”

“You think everything about mental disorders are interesting,” Heiji pointed out as he rolled his eyes.

Kaito laughed. “Well, I have a good news. I’ve found all the pieces now,” he said, showing them the three crystal pieces in his hand. “What luck, huh?”

“Indeed,” Shinku agreed. “Well, go and restore your boyfriend then.”

Kaito nodded and walked towards Shinichi’s statue. He inserted the three crystal pieces to the holes, and a bright light enveloped the entire house before it dimmed down, and in front of him stood the human Shinichi.

He blinked and looked at the three of them. “How long have I been asleep?”

“Only a week,” Shinku said with a smile.

“Oh. That’s a record,” Shinichi remarked. “Heiji took four months to wake me up.”

“At least you didn’t sleep for a hundred years, Sleeping Beauty,” Heiji said as he laughed. “So when are you guys going?”

“Soon,” Kaito said. “We’re going to Geo to get a couple of things and then we’re off to look for the staff.”

“Ah, alright,” Shinku said. “Best of luck both of you. Don’t forget to visit here.”

“Of course we won’t,” Shinichi said. “Don’t forget to learn how to cook though. I don’t want to see the plant wilting every time Hattori doesn’t want to finish his dinner.”

“I can cook just fine,” Shinku protested.

“I’m sure you can,” Shinichi said. “Just... do it.”

“Fine,” Shinku pouted. She then walked over to Shinichi and hugged him tightly. “Really, don’t forget to come home every once in a while.”

“Of course, Shinku,” Shinichi said as he patted Shinku’s head. “I came back to Pandora’s Box a lot of times, didn’t I?”

“Yeah,” Shinku agreed. “Alright then, off you two go. If you go now you could make it to Geo before nightfall.”

“Yes,” Kaito agreed. “We’ll see you two around.”

Heiji and Shinku waved at Kaito and Shinichi who walked out of Etansel and into the distance, watching until they were no longer in their line of sight.

Heiji looked to the side and noted that Shinku looked sadder than usual. He wondered if she looked that way when he first brought Shinichi out of Etansel under her request.

“Hey,” he started, and Shinku looked up at him. “Want to go inside and make some more soup to water the plant with?”

Shinku snorted, but then grinned at him. “Let’s.”


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