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02 April 2007 @ 09:54 pm
12 Days of Ficmas, Day 7: Breath of Heaven  
Title: Breath of Heaven
Author: Candyland
Theme: Day Seven: Beauty, grace, inner beauty, ice skating
Series: Detective Conan
Pairing: Hattori Heiji/Toyama Kazuha
Rating: PG
Warnings: This one is fluffy. And stream-of-consciousness. Sort of.
Disclaimer of Evil: I don’t own Detective Conan. All characters and concepts are the sole property of Gosho Aoyama. I merely borrow them and make them my love slaves…ahem.



Breath of heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, breath of heaven...


Sometimes, Heiji realized, it was fun to just watch.

He was a detective. He had found he could learn a lot about people simply by observing them—their facial expressions, their movements, or what have you; everything was a potential clue to someone’s thoughts and motives. And he was good at it. Hey, he had found Kudo out, hadn’t he? Simply by watching and recognizing that something seemed horrendously out of place with the small boy in front of him, he’d called his rival out…and gotten a good friend and a lot of excitement out of the deal.

Anyway, the point was that though he was oft clueless, Heiji could be observant and perceptive when he wanted to be. The problem was that he was more and more often finding his eyes straying towards one particular person. And it baffled him.

*****

She had caught him once. He hadn’t even realized he was looking until she’d turned to look at him, that damned ponytail swinging around her like some deranged pendulum, and her green eyes had flared with suspicion as she snapped, “What are you looking at?”

He had jumped a mile and waved his hands frantically, like he was trying to beat away the notion that he had been—God forbid—looking at her. “I can explain, I can totally explain!”

She had waited, tapping her foot expectantly. A cricket chirped. Nearby, someone coughed.

Finally, he sighed. “Okay, I can’t…”


*****

Since then, he had been, especially careful not to let her see him watching. He had found that he could usually sneak peeks in class without anyone overtly noticing. But every once in a while, a prime opportunity presented itself, and he could watch unhindered.

Now was one such opportunity.

She was ice skating. Heiji wasn’t a huge fan of the sport, but she had pleaded, and he had relented; he would have given in sooner, but she was always so pretty when she got angry, and it was funny when she yelled at him. Not so funny when his ears started bleeding—man, that girl had lungs on her!

So he’d gone along, and did as the algae did: he clung to the side. There weren’t many people there at the time, so by sitting on the edge of the rink, he had a fairly-unobstructed view of her while she skated. She was actually quite good—she could skate backwards, and do some little spins and jumps—nothing fancy, but it was pretty.

Observing her quietly from the edge of the ice skating rink was one of those moments when he could just watch her. She was so absorbed in her skating that she didn’t even seem to notice his none-too-discrete scrutiny.

And Heiji watched. There was something almost hypnotic about the way she skated along, gliding over the ice like a bird skimming over the still surface of a pond. Her ponytail streamed out behind her, a banner of brown silk carried by the simple breeze of her movement. Her face was flushed a vibrant pink from exertion.

She was beautiful—he’d keep it behind his teeth even under torture, but he begrudgingly admitted it to himself. He’d never really noticed it before, but she was actually quite graceful. This shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, given her extensive aikido training—she’d been taught to control her movements, and it was evident. She moved on the ice like a swan on water.

And much as he teased her, even he had to admit that she cut quite an impressive figure out there on the ice. The white turtleneck looked good. It looked fluffy or fuzzy or whatever it was that girls liked their sweaters to feel like. Gloves, black pants. She looked good.

She stumbled, and he nearly jumped from the wall, but restrained himself when she steadied herself and resumed skating. She was zipping along, occasionally flipping around to skate backwards for a bit, and then forwards again.

And smiling. Kazuha really needed to be more careful about the things she said to Neechan and the setting in which she said those things to Ran. Heiji had just happened to overhear the two girls gossiping, and Kazuha had said something odd—he hadn’t caught the whole thing, but it was something about how she liked seeing him smile.

Not that he would ever admit it to anyone (he could only imagine the hell he would catch from Kudo if the mini-tantei ever got wind of this), but for some reason he liked seeing her smile. It meant she was either happy…or she knew something he didn’t, which inevitably resulted in embarrassment for Heiji. Or it could mean that she had bested him in argument. But if that was the case, then he wouldn’t have been staring at her, he would have been sulking—loudly—in a corner somewhere.

So she was smiling because she was happy. Good. That was the best kind of smile. He liked seeing her happy—she was a little breath of heaven, a constant in a life that was far too chaotic.

…and she was waving at him. He wondered if he was blushing. But he smiled and waved back. Removing his hand from the wall around the rink, though, caused him to lean too far and nearly topple over. Fortunately, he caught himself before he hit the ice.

Great. Now she was laughing at him. He was blushing for sure now.

But he shrugged it off and went on with his observations. Kazuha was still laughing.

She was pretty when she laughed, even when it was at his expense.

Sometimes, Heiji reflected, it was fun to just watch.

Especially when another skater, some idiot boy speeding along backwards, ran right into Kazuha, who had been distracted by the project of laughing at Heiji, and she ended up flat on her back on the ice, screaming her head off.

Then it was just hilarious.