Hey, Kiril? I don't see that you've submitted your fic. Do you have a work in progress you could post? Do I need to cover for you? If you could post what you have or give me a status update, that would be great.
Event Details: Each participant needs to write a short story to be posted by midnight according to the Cafe clock in the Contest Entries section of the Fanfic Library: poirotcafe.com/board/31/poirot-cafe-contest-entries . That's midnight Sunday going into Monday; you have the entirety of Sunday to work. At the end of the writing period, any member can vote for their favorite story.
Make sure that when you post your stories on FF.net that you mention that the story was written for Poirot Cafe's competition to our readers! Let's have fun and advertise at the same time!
Prize: A Custom Badge.
Guidelines: 1. 500-1,000 words only (with 100 word margin to "wrap it up"), and please include word count at the top. 2. K-T ratings only. 3. No crossovers or spoilers. 4. Must be new material written within the contest's writing period. No re-posted stories. 5. Please be fair and courteous when voting and reviewing!
I'm not sure how well this theme will go over, but we've gotten much out of more off the wall themes in the past, and the generator came up with "flowerpot" twice in a row, so I just took it as a sign. Happy writing!
Writing: Sunday, September 24 - Sunday, November 12 Voting: Sunday, November 12 - Saturday, November 25
Theme selector: The Poirot Community
Themed Writing Competition Guidelines
Event Details: Each participant needs to write a story to be posted by midnight according to the Cafe clock in the Contest Entries section of the Fanfic Library: poirotcafe.com/board/31/poirot-cafe-contest-entries . That's midnight Sunday going into Monday; you have the entirety of Sunday to work. At the end of the writing period, any member can vote for their favorite story. The winner will get a prize and get to choose the theme for the next competition.
Make sure that when you post your stories on FF.net that you mention that the story was written for Poirot Cafe's competition to our readers! Let's have fun and advertise at the same time!
Prize: Custom designed award badge that you can use in your signature or elsewhere.
Guidelines: 1. Entries should be 6,000-8,000 words long (with 500 words TOPS to "wrap it up"), and please include word count at the top. 2. K-T ratings only. (Think suitable for about 14 years old.) 3. No crossovers or spoilers. 4. Must be new material written within the contest's writing period. No re-posted stories. 5. Please be fair and courteous when voting and reviewing!
Mikau: So, if you'll look down at the prompt...off the top of my head, that rules out Conan/Shinichi, Kaito, Heiji, Hakuba, Sera, the Shounen Tanteidan, possibly Haibara, the police, Kaito's family, Akako, Jii-chan, Chat Noir, Corbeau, Nightmare, Shinichi's dad, Sonoko, the FBI, the CIA, Amuro, and Old Man Mouri. I made a joke when I heard this prompt about Kaitou Azusa versus Detective Agasa, but then I got this prompt myself and had to put some thought into it. ^.^; Technically, I'm cheating using Amuro as my thief since he's a detective in canon, but this is what the prompt inspired, so it's all good. Besides, it was either this or Kaitou Ran versus Detective Aoko, and I had no interesting in writing that. GL just isn't my strong suit. "It wouldn't have to end up as a pairing," I hear you protest. My brother said the same thing. My response was, "You know me. Everything ends up a pairing." Now, without further ado—
—Wait. There is one more thing. The idea of the heroine getting handcuffed in her shower was inspired by a scene in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novel One for the Money. It's a fun book series. Silly and a little crude at times, but fun light reading. Now on with the show.
Word Count: 2,806
Summary: Officer Azusa has finally captured Kaitou Bourbon, the phantom thief she’s been chasing for the past six months. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stay caught and comes back for revenge on his rival. When Bourbon’s prank goes too far, Azusa calls Amuro for help, and Amuro decides he needs to get his act together and tell her the truth before he loses her forever.
Kiril: AU where there's a phantom thief and a detective, but neither of them are actually a thief or detective in canon (so no Kaito being a detective/the other Goaho Boys or Sera being thieves either)! Preferably female characters, but I'm not that picky.
Kaitou Bourbon and Azusa-Keiji
Azusa-keiji beamed at her reflection as she tugged her hair out of its ponytail and let it cascade down over her shoulders. She giggled to herself as she turned on the tap and prepared to take a well-deserved shower.
She hummed cheerily as she worked the shampoo into her hair, luxuriating in the fact that as soon as she scrubbed off all of the green gloop she’d been doused with at that night’s heist, she’d be heading down to the station to finally unmask and interrogate Kaitou Bourbon, the phantom thief she’d been trying to chase down for six straight months now.
Normally, the thief made off into the night with a coy, “Catch me next time, Sweetheart.” and a patronizing wink in her direction, leaving Azusa utterly humiliated and usually covered from head to foot in some uncomfortably sticky substance.
Tonight had been different.
She’d still ended up covered in gook, but she’d taken the thief down in his own trap with her. She’d cuffed him and managed to hold him down in an admittedly awkward struggle long enough for some of the other officers to catch up and assist her in the capture. They’d taken Kaitou Bourbon into custody, and as they were loading him into the back of the police car, Azusa had smirked and declared triumphantly, “Looks like I caught you this time…Sweetheart.”
The look on Bourbon’s face had been priceless.
Azusa chuckled to herself as she rinsed her hair. At last she could wash away six wretched months of feeling like an idiot and a failure. Kaitou Bourbon had been an all-time low point in her career, but now she would be able to put the nightmare behind her and walk with her head held high once more.
She sighed in relief, feeling giddy as she turned off the faucet and rung out her hair. Azusa pulled back the shower curtain, reached for her towel, and screamed.
Kaitou Bourbon was in her bathroom, twirling her handcuffs around his finger and leering at her, wearing a crooked grin.
She screamed again in indignation, covering herself with the shower curtain as she made a second grab at her bath towel.
Bourbon was faster, snapping the handcuffs in place and securing her to the towel rack. “Let’s see how you like being tied up,” he snickered. “Though, I didn’t really mind our little tussle in the goo together, if you ever feel like a repeat performance.”
“Pig!” Azusa screeched, letting go of the curtain long enough to lob her shampoo bottle at the thief in a futile rage. “How did you escape from custody?!”
Bourbon sidestepped the projectile, smiling amusedly at it as it sailed past. “Azusa-chan-keiji, your handcuffs aren’t that hard to get out of. Give it a try and see what I mean.”
He took a step closer, admiring her outline through the opaque shower curtain. “Or I could let you out, if you ask nicely.”
Azusa’s eyes widened as a shot of panic flew through her. “Stay back!” she snapped, straining desperately against the cuffs until they cut into her flesh. She yanked and yanked to no avail.
“Stop,” Kaitou Bourbon chided, advancing on her. “You’re going to break your wrist.”
He reached for her, and she grabbed the powder blue razor she used to shave her legs, brandishing it at him.
“G-Get away from me!” she yelped, her voice breaking, losing its usual in-control and commanding tone. Even to her own ears she sounded plaintive and frightened.
She was frightened. Very, very frightened because she was chained up, naked, and a wanted criminal who had it out for her had her at his mercy.
Bourbon stopped in his tacks and blinked at the razor with its pink flower pattern. The self-assured smirk dropped from his face as he realized, “You’re really scared of me, aren’t you? Like, actually afraid of me.”
“N-No,” Azusa lied, beginning to tremble both from cold and from fear.
He took another step forward, and she slashed wildly with the razor, nearly slipping and dislocating her shoulder in the process.
“Easy,” he coaxed, putting his hands up in a placating gesture. “I’m sorry. This was obviously in bad taste. I wasn’t thinking. I just meant to rile you up a bit, but it’s apparent I went too far.” He held her gaze as he slowly removed the handcuff key from his breast pocket. “I’m putting the key on the sink where you can reach it, okay? I’m sorry. I never meant to scare you.”
And with that, he put the key down and turned to leave.
If Azusa had been paying attention, she would have noticed a hurt look in his eyes and on his face, but she was too caught up in her own feelings at the moment.
As soon as she was sure he was gone, she scrambled out from behind the shower curtain and made a grab at the key, bruising her shin on the lip of the bathtub and tripping in the process. She caught herself on the sink and paused a minute to catch her breath and try to slow her racing heartbeat.
“You have to calm down, Azusa. You’re a cop. You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got this, Azusa.”
She took a deep breath to compose herself and then straightened up, but when she looked down at the sink, she discovered that she’d knocked the handcuff key off the side and down the drain.
Azusa burst into tears, her nerves and the adrenaline winning out over her police training and discipline. She wrapped the towel around her and sat down on the side of the tub to let it all out. She let herself carry on for fifteen minutes or so, and then she pulled it together once more and tried to be proactive.
She grabbed a hair pin from the medicine cabinet above the sink and started working at the lock on the cuffs. Thirty minutes later, she was still no closer to freedom and was beginning to feel the fatigue and the defeatist attitude of the past six months coming back at her in full force.
Her phone dinged.
Azusa blinked, looking up in amazement.
She’d forgotten about her phone, buried in the pile of gooey clothes lying in a heap by the door. She leaned over and stretched out her leg as far as it could reach, trying to catch hold of the garments with her toe.
Nearly a quarter of an hour went by, but she ultimately succeeded. Once she had the phone, though, she was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with it. Right away Kaito-kun, Conan-kun, and The Professor came to mind as the natural choices to help her get out of a pair of handcuffs, but she was currently wearing a bath towel at three o’clock in the morning. She could call one of her coworkers, but the last thing she needed was one of the guys seeing her naked and then telling the rest of the team. She’d be teased for months about how Kaitou Bourbon had handcuffed her to a towel rack. There would be dozens of inappropriate jokes and comments, and it would only make her job harder as a woman in a male-dominated field. She couldn’t ask her coworkers for a rescue.
In the end, there was really only one option.
“Amuro-san? I’m so sorry. Did I wake you?” she whimpered into the receiver. The emotional strain of the evening was beginning to get to her, and she had to bite her lip to keep from crying.
“No, I was still up,” he assured, but the groggy tone of his voice hinted otherwise. “Azusa-san, what’s wrong?”
That was it. His voice was the tipping point pushing her over the edge, and she broke down, sobbing, “I finally captured Kaitou Bourbon, and just when I was starting to think I could stop mentally beating up on myself and feeling like a failure, he got away! What’s worse, he broke into my apartment while I was in the shower and handcuffed me to the towel rack with my own cuffs!”
She had to pause there to gasp for breath, but, before Amuro could get a word in edgewise, the words started to flow out of her again and Azusa was sputtering, “He didn’t do anything to me, thank God, and he left, but the key fell down the drain, and I hit my shin really hard on the tub when I tripped, and my wrist hurts, and I’m naked and freezing, and I didn’t get to eat dinner, and I’m tired and utterly humiliated and emotionally worn raw at this point, so it’s taking a lot to hold it together, and I’m not doing a very good job, but…”
She forced herself to breathe, choking as she sucked the air into her lungs. “…I need your help, Amuro-san. You’re the only one I can ask, so—”
“—I’m already on my way,” he assured, mentally berating himself for not staying to make sure she was okay. “I’ll be there in ten minutes, Azusa-san. Just hang on a little longer, okay?”
“Okay,” she hiccupped.
He sped all the way there, flying down the street and making it in half the normal time. Seven minutes later, he was in her apartment, bandaging her wrist as she shivered under three layers of blankets.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered as he rubbed salve on the bright red marks the cuffs had left behind.
Azusa shook her head with a shy smile. “It’s okay. There was nothing you could have done. I’m just so grateful you’re here now. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t picked up. Thank you so much for coming, Amuro-san.”
There was no way for him to make her understand without destroying the relationship at that point, so he nodded and mumbled, “No problem. I’m happy to help…but why did you call me of all people?”
Azusa shrugged, burrowing farther into the covers as she replied simply, “Who else could I call at three o’clock in the morning to help me when I’m handcuffed naked to my towel rack? There aren’t a whole lot of people that I trust that much.”
He stopped and looked up at her, searching her stormy blue eyes. “You trust me? We’ve only known each other for six months.”
She shrugged again and smiled diaphanously. “It feels like so much longer, doesn’t it?”
Amuro looked away. “Yeah.” He couldn’t meet her gaze knowing she’d hate him for all that he’d done.
He finished up as quickly as he could without sacrificing quality of care and then stood to leave. “Well, that should do it, but you should probably see a doctor anyway, just to get checked out. I’ll see you soon, Azusa-san.”
“Wait!” Azusa squeaked, reaching up to catch his pant leg as he moved to go.
They stared at each other, both equally surprised at her action until Azusa cleared her throat, looking down at the floor as she whispered, “Can you stay? I’m sorry. It’s silly, but…I’m scared.”
“Scared?” He frowned in confusion. “Of what, Azusa-san?”
Her voice trembled as she explained. “Bourbon. What if he comes back? He knows where I live, and he got into my apartment once, so… He didn’t do anything to me this time, but he could have, and that terrifies me. I was utterly defenseless against him, and—”
“—Azusa-san,” Amuro called softly, kneeling by her side once more. “Bourbon may be a dirty brute, but I don’t believe he’d ever actually harm you. He was probably just, I don’t know, messing with you as a rival. I doubt he meant to threaten you, and I’m sure he’s really regretting what he did now, so there’s no need to be afraid. He’s not going to hurt you.”
“But you don’t know that,” Azusa protested, tears returning to her eyes. “Sure, he’s never done anything violent before, and maybe tonight was just a prank gone wrong, but…I was terrified, and I don’t trust him one inch, so…” She bit her lip and looked up at him, pleading, “Please, won’t you stay with me? Just for the night, I swear. Just this once, just until morning, and then I’ll be fine, but…right now I need you,” she bashfully confessed, her cheeks flushing a deep cherry red. “Please, Amuro-san?”
He let out a long, tired sigh, mentally cursing himself for his impulsive folly.
“Of course,” he easily agreed, forcing a comforting smile. “It’s no problem, Azusa-san.”
It was the least he could do after scaring her so badly.
But then there was the matter of her having only a twin-sized bed, no couch or extra futon, and it was all he could do not to bolt right then and there.
“This is my punishment, I suppose,” he mentally lamented.
“Oh, dear,” Azusa hummed as she realized the issue. “Well…I’ll just sleep under the duvet, and you sleep on top of it. I mean, I have extra covers, so…” She tried to smile naturally at him, but her discomfort and embarrassment were evident on her face.
“I’ll sleep on the floor,” he declared.
“Don’t be silly,” she argued. “It’s cold and hard and…and there’s a perfectly good bed for us to share. I don’t mind.”
“Are you sure?” he challenged skeptically.
“I don’t m-mind,” she repeated, pulling extra blankets out of the closet and handing them to him.
“Azusa-san, the floor is really fine. I’ve done worse before,” he insisted.
“Just get in bed,” she mumbled, flipping off the light and climbing in herself, pulling the covers up around her to hide her burning cheeks.
Amuro tried to swallow the lump lodged in his throat but did not succeed. “All right,” he managed, slowly making his way over and arranging himself as far away from her as he could without falling off the bed.
“Thank you,” Azusa whispered into the darkness, poking her head out from under the blankets to smile sheepishly at him.
Amuro mentally berated himself as an intense heat coursed through him. She was less than a foot away, and he could feel her breath on his neck, feel her wiggle and readjust beneath the covers. The bedding smelled like her shampoo. He gave himself a mental slap as the image of her in the shower came floating to the forefront of his mind.
“I’m sorry,” he sighed, closing his eyes. He couldn’t face her.
“For what?” she wondered, completely at a loss.
“For everything,” he grumbled vaguely, still in the process of kicking himself.
He opened his eyes once more and fixed her with an imploring look. “You know I would never do anything to hurt you, right?”
“Amuro-san?” Azusa frowned, startled by the desperation in his eyes.
“Right?” he pleaded.
She held his gaze for several seconds longer before leaning in and brushing a chaste kiss to his cheek. “I know, Amuro-san. It’s okay. Whatever it is that’s bothering you is going to be okay, so go to sleep, all right?”
He smiled forlornly, pressing his lips to her forehead and whispering, “All right.”
“Good.” She smiled, looking worlds better in that instant than she had the rest of the evening. She snuggled into her covers and drifted off to sleep in a manner of minutes, feeling secure with him there beside her.
Amuro, on the other hand, couldn’t fall asleep to save his life. It felt like the weight of all of his lies was pressing down on his chest, stifling him.
He had to tell her everything, make a clean breast of it. Except she’d reject him outright. He couldn’t tell her. But he had to. He had to explain. Just because he was a thief, that didn’t mean he was a bad person. The Amuro Toru he’d been with her had been real. It wasn’t all a lie. He’d get her to see that, and maybe then she’d forgive him and they could start over.
The first step was letting her get to know him better as Kaitou Bourbon. Once she came to see that Bourbon wasn’t all bad, he could work on getting her to accept that Amuro and Bourbon were two sides of the same coin.
He knew Azusa, knew that she was a sweet, understanding, kind person. If anyone could come to accept all of him, it was her. It would just take time and finesse.
After an hour of listening to Azusa’s soft breathing and inhaling her clean, cottony scent, Amuro managed to sink into slumber.
Having a plan took some of the strain off. He could do this. He would do this, even if it meant giving up his night gig in the end—because she was worth it.
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2017 1:16:58 GMT by Mikauzoran
Well, I think I'll be taking theme suggestions until next Sunday, September 17, and then we'll vote from then until Saturday, September 23. I seriously doubt we'll get three entries in the next few hours, but I'll check back in later to be sure.
I think this is perfect. The prompter will like it a lot. ^.^ Poor Haku-chan, the little dunce.
sgamer82: I just got home from pencil & paper role playin games (Wednesday & thrusday are my D&D nights)
Sept 21, 2017 4:08:27 GMT
doctorpeggy: And then there's me, probably the only person with access to a computer who still uses notebooks and pencils for almost everything. A lot of times, I even write things out before typing them up.
Sept 21, 2017 10:41:27 GMT
Mikauzoran: My outlines and notes are still on paper, so when I think of "getting something on paper", it's that first stage of writing where I'm brainstorming, and that's still on physical paper.
Sept 21, 2017 11:50:25 GMT
NewUserNamesAreHard: My thinking wasn't that people don't write things on paper anymore. It was the idea that the phrase doesn't always mean that the medium of recording someone's thoughts will actually be paper. Sometimes the phrase is literal and sometimes it isn't.
Sept 21, 2017 12:17:45 GMT
NewUserNamesAreHard: Personally, hearing the president of my company announce that we going paperless made me want to cry. Some jobs are hard (read impossible) to do without paper. Engineering is one of them.
Sept 21, 2017 12:23:03 GMT
sgamer82: Most of my writing is done on a phone app, Jotterpad. I wanted to have something on hand to write whenever but couldn't carry around a pass and pen/cil.
Sept 21, 2017 18:35:37 GMT
sgamer82: In other news, as part of the event going on at Humble Bundle, any horror fans can pick up the first Outlast game and its dlc, Whistleblower, completely free for a couple days.
Sept 21, 2017 18:36:27 GMT
sgamer82: His only tool on this mission, which involves dodging madmen, killers, cannibals and mad doctors, is your video camera (it has a light!) If horror and asylum didn't top you off, this is not for the faint of heart.
Sept 21, 2017 18:38:45 GMT
kkrazy256: Free!? *slightly salty even though i bought and played it like three months ago* It's a really good horror game, i played it twice. So if you want a good scare, definitely try it out ^^
Sept 22, 2017 5:48:32 GMT
kkrazy256: Still trying to get through Outlast 2 though, it...just doesn't hold the same excitement for me
Sept 22, 2017 5:49:22 GMT
Mikauzoran: Is it anything like Fatal Frame?
Sept 22, 2017 12:05:16 GMT
kkrazy256: I don't think so? I've never played Fatal Frame, but Outlast isn't supernatural and you can't deal any damage to the people chasing you. You can only run or hide. I think you can at least damage the ghosts chasing you in Fatal Frame.
Sept 22, 2017 14:54:49 GMT
sgamer82: There is a BIT of a supernatural element to it, but it's mostly more sci-fi-ish than fantasy
Sept 23, 2017 16:05:19 GMT
sgamer82: it seems that the Humble Bundle site is doing this as part of an end of summer sale. Not sure how much longer it's due to go for or if this is event he last one.
Sept 23, 2017 16:29:08 GMT
sgamer82: Either way, as of this post www.humblebundle.com/store/outlast-deluxe Outlast still has 2 1/2 hours left to it. Before that wa Psychonauts and Oddworld. What came before that I dont' know because It hink I was late picking up on it
Sept 23, 2017 16:29:36 GMT