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29 April 2007 @ 01:21 pm
Cold as Snow (30 Hugs: Heiji/Kazuha)  
Title: Cold as Snow
Fandom: Detective Conan
Theme: #11—ice
Pairing: Hattori Heiji/Toyama Kazuha
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan or any related characters. They belong to Gosho Aoyama. I simply throw fruit at them, take pictures, and call it modern art. Critics love me.
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a boy…



Once upon a time, there was a boy. His name was Heiji.

Heiji had a best friend, a girl named Kazuha. They had been together for as long as either of them could remember, since childhood. No one (save for the two themselves) had any doubts as to their future; they would always be together, people said. It will be official someday. But for right now, they added, we have the entertainment value of watching them argue and ‘ahou’ each other six or seven times a day.

At least.

Heiji and Kazuha ignored the rumors and the teasing and went about their business. Their business generally was arguing with each other, or her trailing along while he went on cases and then yelling at him afterwards for any number of reasons. It was strange to those on the outside looking in, but it was their ritual, and both seemed content with it.

Until one day, after a particularly bad case; the two of them had been out and about, enjoying the nice weather when the body had been found. He’d solved it, as usual, but instead of the criminal confessing and giving up quietly, the murderer went ballistic and charged with knife in hand. Fortunately, the police were on hand and were able to diffuse what could have been a truly heinous situation; he was able to walk away with only a minor injury.

When he’d seen her after that, he had expected the usual chewing out, followed by a nice, relaxing screaming session. Instead, she’d stormed up to him and hugged him and whispered that if he ever got it into his thick head to go and die on her, she would kill him herself. He dared not contradict her.

It was a strange moment…but not necessarily unwelcome.

Time continued to pass, as it does. And before long, it was winter.

Heiji woke up one cold morning with a strange feeling. It wasn’t an emotion so much as an instinct, something primal and uncharted buried deep down in his very core. He sat in bed for several minutes, staring at the window at the falling snow and trying to puzzle out what it was and what it meant. He was a detective, after all, and it was a mystery. But in the end, he could only draw one conclusion.

Whatever it was, it had to do with Kazuha.

And it wasn’t good.

He got up and went downstairs…and found that there were people waiting for him. Grave, solemn-faced people. He knew them from the precinct where his father worked. His father was there as well, and Toyama-keiji, Kazuha’s father.

His father’s hand on his shoulder. His father’s voice, unusually quiet. Son, we need to talk.

Outside, the world was a shimmering white.

-o-


It was a full-fledged blizzard: cold, icy, windy, freezing.

Yet the small group stood together, huddled together against the frigid air. They gathered to pay their respects and mourn over one lost far too soon. A twist of fate, a case of being in the wrong place at just the wrong moment…and she was gone.

The graveside service itself was short; it was too cold to do otherwise. And then everyone else left, one by one, heading for a warmer location; even her own father was finally driven away by the chill and the snow, though he held on longer than most.

But Heiji remained at his best friend’s grave long after everyone else had taken their leave, as still and solemn as any ice sculpture, paying no heed to the cold of winter’s hand. The wind continued to tear at his face, reddening it, numbing him through to the core. He welcomed it, for it just finished what had started the moment he’d gotten the news.

He had always been a warm person, fiery and passionate about all that was important to him. Then someone had taken his best friend from him, leaving him to belatedly realize exactly how important she was to him. That he loved her.

The warmth had been encased in snow, and the fire had frozen within him. It had started with his father’s uncharacteristically solemn words (Son, he said, we need to talk…) and was completed now, aided by winter itself.

Several minutes passed before someone came to get him. In his numb, frozen state, he barely even recognized his father, barely heard him speaking. He allowed himself to be led away into a nearby building. Still, he had to be taken to a chair and directly told to sit down. He didn’t even pause to remove his wet, snow-covered coat or dry his damp shoes. Instead, he simply sat and watched everyone milling around, talking in muted voices.

It was warm in there, but Heiji was still as cold as snow. One would think he would thaw out by now, but if anything he felt like the chill was growing stronger and digging deeper into him. He was sinking into ice…ice was what had killed her, after all, upon its meeting with the wheels of a speeding car. It seemed only fitting that he should drown in it himself, cold and harsh and unfeeling.

His mind kept drifting back to that moment, when she had hugged him and told him that he wasn’t allowed to die. What a hypocrite…what a goddamn tragedy…he tried to relive it, the way her hands had felt, grazing over his shoulders to reach around his neck, her arms pressed against his, her warm weight resting against his as she whispered her impossible threat into his ear…

He remember the sensations, but he couldn’t relive them.

It was gone.

Once upon a time, there was a boy. His name was Heiji. He loved his best friend, a girl named Kazuha. But he didn’t realize it until she was suddenly gone, and had taken so much of him with her. All that remained was an unbreakable shell of ice.



PS. I’m finally fixing this problem I have, where I tend to, umm…well, kill Heiji off and leave Kazuha behind. So time to reverse roles! This is a bit different than my usual style, I think, but I do like writing stories in this kind of style once in a while, just because. *cues a Make Angst, Not War flag* ^__^

Thanks for reading, all—can you believe that the next one will be the halfway point? WHEE! I really like the one I’m working on for the fifteenth Hug, too. So I hope you’ll stick around for it. Thanks again. Much love, everyone!