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29 April 2007 @ 01:34 pm
Afterglow (30 Hugs: Heiji/Kazuha)  
Title: Afterglow
Fandom: Detective Conan
Theme: #7—tangled up
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: She did look beautiful, tangled in white…



Heiji didn’t know how it had happened. He really didn’t.

One minute, he and Kazuha were arguing—an especially vicious one this time. He remembered saying something particularly insulting about her weight, and he remembered her screaming in fury and swinging a hand up to slap him right across the face. He remembered catching her wrist to stop the blow…

And then they were here.

…how cliché. How hilariously, horrendously cliché.

But that didn’t change the fact that something had…well, changed. And it had changed quickly.

‘Stunned’ didn’t quite begin to cover it. In fact, Heiji wasn’t even sure that there was a word to adequately describe the look on Kazuha’s face when she realized exactly what had happened; he was sure that his own expression was a match for hers: a mix of shock, disbelief, panic…fear…

What had they done?

For a moment, he had been honestly terrified that she would start to cry—if she had…he might have harmed himself. He already felt…he didn’t even know how he felt—he felt guilty. Overjoyed. He was scum. He was elated. He was…dammit, this wasn’t supposed to have happened…

But she’d simply stared at him. Her green eyes were wide and shining, almost luminous in the darkness; even in the dark, he could see that her face had gone as white as the moonlight itself. One hand clutched at the sheet, holding it protectively around herself. The silence was unbearably tense, punctuated only by nervous breathing and the faint rustle of the bedclothes.

It definitely wasn’t the romantic afterglow of the movies or those novels she was so fond of…

Finally, he said something, the only thing he could think of, just something to dispel the awkward quiet that dangled between them. Her name might not have been the most amorous thing to say, but it was the only word he could manage to eke out.

Still, something broke, and she finally broke the commune of their gazes to turn away. One hand pressed to her mouth in disbelief, muffling her mantra of Oh my God…oh my God…

He just stared at her back—absently noticing the way her hair, freed from the confines of its usual ponytail, tumbled across the bare skin of her back trying to decide what to do. Should he try to help? Comfort? Maintain his distance? Apologize? Leave? If he did the wrong thing now…not that he hadn’t already done the wrong thing a thousand times over tonight…it could break that which might already be damaged beyond repair.

In the end, he took the risk and reached out with a shaky hand to touch her shoulder.

She stiffened beneath that careful touch…and then leaned back against him, giving him silent permission to put his arms around her and hold her. His chest pressed against her back; his cheek rested against her shoulder. It wasn’t so much of regret anymore, but more the shock that in one wild, free, irresponsible moment…they’d lost control to this extent.

Eventually, she’d turned around to face him again, still clutching at the protective covering of the bedsheets. There hadn’t been much talk—neither really knew what to say. Finally, it was Kazuha who sighed…and suggested that they try to sleep. They could talk about it in the morning. When he’d seemed surprised, she said that she couldn’t face it right now.

For a moment, Heiji had wondered if it was some kind of test. But she had waited expectantly until he’d hesitantly returned his head to the pillow, and then followed suit. Still, she lay an arm’s length away from him—a small space that might well have been an ocean that neither dared to cross. They lay for a long time like that, on their sides, simply staring at each other.

It was Kazuha who lost the battle for consciousness first. Her eyes fluttered for a few minutes before finally falling shut. Her breathing slowed and evened into a faint, steady rhythm, proving that she was out. Heiji assumed this was a good sign—she apparently still trusted him enough to not only stay in his bed, but fall asleep with him there.

Besides, it gave him the chance to just look at her for a long, long moment.

…she really did look beautiful—sound asleep and tangled in white sheets…

What would happen tomorrow? Heiji had never really had to consider the possibility that he might someday lose her. It just wasn’t something he’d thought about. Kazuha had always been there—he’d never had to question that she was there.

But if she was angry—if she blamed him for what had happened…

The idea was more horrifying than any near-death experience he’d ever survived. The only one that came even close was a memory of hanging off a cliff and an arrow plunging into his hand in an attempt to make him let go…and a promise…

Perhaps Kazuha felt his mild scrutiny or somehow sensed his conflict, even lost to slumber as she was, and she murmured softly in her sleep as she moved closer. Her hands groped blindly as she reached towards him, seeking and finding and curling up against him and his warmth. She crossed the gap between them first…even if she didn’t necessarily know that she was doing so.

Heiji continued to watch her for a while longer until finally he felt his own eyelids beginning to grow heavy; sleep was threatening to drag him down, away from the peaceful moment. He struggled against it for a few minutes, but inevitably gave in. He took one more look before sliding an arm around her slender shoulders and letting himself join her in sleep.

Still, even as he drifted off to dreamland, he couldn’t help but think that tomorrow morning was going to be very, very interesting.




PS. Happy Lurker Day, everyone! Hope you enjoyed the new Hug, short and smexy (and somewhat clichéd) as it was—my goal is to post the last fic for this challenge on my traditional Christmas Eve fic-dump. So we’re gonna keep trucking right along. Thanks for reading, everyone. Much love!