Pairing: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Fandom: Detective Conan
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I claim none, I merely borrow them and dress them up in frilly smocks and make them dance to my ever-changing will like the puppets they are.
Summary: I bet you can’t go three days without talking about mysteries…
He was at it again.
Shinichi had the bit in his teeth, and he was off, on his way down the track at the speed of light.
And Ran had officially had it.
“Shinichi,” she cut him off in mid-rant, her voice as warm as an iceberg, “if you say one more word about mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, or Arthur Conan Doyle, I swear to God I’m going to send you flying into that wall over there.” To emphasize her point, she point to the wall. It was a very nice wall, if a bit plain. That meant there was nothing for him to hit and potentially die from. Which was why she had picked that particular wall, really.
She wanted to shut him up. She didn’t want to kill him.
“But I’m just getting to the good part!” he wheedled.
“I. Don’t. Care!” Ran huffed. She was being a bit harsh, but dammit, she was irritated! “For goodness sake, Shinichi, can’t you talk about anything other than mysteries? You’re like a broken record! I don’t think you can talk about anything other than murders and Holmes!”
Shinichi frowned. “Hey, that’s not true!”
“Prove it!” she snapped without thinking.
There was a moment of silence, punctuated only by a heated glaring contest. Then Shinichi’s lips pulled back into his trademark smirk, the one he always wore as he put murderers in their place with irrefutable evidence. “Why, Ran—do I detect a challenge here?”
She paused and pondered the matter carefully for a second before returning with a smirk of her own. “If you care to take it on, Shinichi, then yes. I challenge you.”
He leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers together in front of his face. “All right, madam. You’re on. Let me hear the terms of your challenge.”
Ran thought for a moment. “Three days, Shinichi. You have to go three days without mentioning, talking about, or discussing mysteries, murders, cases, Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, or anything related to them. Three whole days. If you can make it that long, you win.”
“Do I still get to go work on cases if one pops up?” he asked, concern flitting over his face.
“Of course! I’m not going to stop you from doing that! If I’m with you and something like that happens, I won’t count it against you. I’m irritated, but I’m not cruel,” she said, folding her arms. “But the minute it’s over, new topic please. Does that sound reasonable, meitantei?”
Shinichi nodded, the very picture of calm; he had that special little spark in his look, the one that spoke volumes of confidence. “Perfectly. Anything else?”
“Yes, one more thing,” Ran nodded. “Would you object to a small wager on this?”
“Not at all. I’m listening.”
“Loser has to kiss the person of the winner’s choice,” she deadpanned.
Shinichi’s smirk didn’t waiver, but he did allow himself a raised eyebrow. “Kiss?”
“Yes, kiss,” she repeated. “Unless you’d rather make it something else?”
He mulled over the idea for a few seconds before nodding. “All right,” he acknowledged as he stood up and held out a hand. “You have a deal. Hope you’re ready to lose.”
Ran reached out and clasped it in a firm handshake to seal the deal. “Three days, no mystery talk, starting now.” She glanced over at the clock. It was 8:35 on the nose. Seventy-two hours to go.
The gauntlet had been thrown.
Day One. Walking to school together.
The Challenge had officially begun.
The conversation between them started off relatively normal, just like any other day: the Good Morning, the Nice Day, the Why The Hell Are You So Late All The Time, the Shut Up You Jerk…
Ah, the joy of having a routine.
As they were nearing the school, Ran asked, “Did you study for the history test?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Not too worried about it.”
“I’m not either. It shouldn’t be too Doyle.”
Shinichi skidded to a stop. “What did you say?”
Ran blinked at him, confused. “I said it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
He stared at her for a minute, then shook his head. “Never mind. Forget it.”
Ran gave him a Look, then shrugged and followed him towards the school, humming cheerfully.
The rest of the school day was relatively uneventful, and Shinichi was doing a surprisingly good job of keeping his tongue on a leash and not going off on his usual mystery tangent. They met up after classes for their usual walk home. The immediate topic was the aforementioned history test.
“That could have been a whole lot worse,” Ran sighed. “Could’ve been better, but…”
“Really?” Shinichi chirped. “I thought it was easy!”
“Yeah, but you’re a freak of nature,” Ran pointed out. “I’m Sherlock that you did fine.”
For the second time that day, Shinichi froze. “What did you say?”
Ran blinked in surprise. “I said that I’m sure you did fine.”
Shinichi actually stammered. “But—but I swore I heard…”
For a moment, he was suspicious. That was twice now. Was she—could she possibly be…?
He took a good hard look at her with eyes that had been well-trained in picking out the slightest thing amiss. She was looking right back at him with innocent curiosity, and possibly a slight concern that he was finally losing his marbles. Granted, that could be an act, but…no, Ran just wasn’t that devious.
This challenge had him so worked up that he was hearing things. That had to be it. Damn overactive imagination. He just shook his head and waved it off. “Nothing. Sorry.”
They parted ways at their usual spot.
There was a murder in the middle of Day Two, in the park. And Shinichi and Ran just happened to be on the scene, taking a walk together, when the body hit the floor. It wasn’t an overly complex case—a jilted woman stabbed her treacherous ex-lover. Shinichi pieced it together in no time flat. He cheerfully acknowledged the thanks of the police, the adoration of the crowd that had gathered, and the questions of the reporters who had appeared to cover the story.
But the minute they had left the scene, Shinichi did the unthinkable: he changed the subject.
“I’m impressed. You’re doing well,” Ran said as they headed down the sidewalk after the furor had died down. “But I think we’ve had enough excitement for one day. Come on—let’s go Holmes.”
Shinichi skidded to a halt. “Come again?”
“I said we should go home,” Ran repeated warily. “Shinichi, are you feeling all right?”
“…I’m fine. Totally fine,” he murmured. “Juuuuuust fine…”
Ran raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment further.
That was all the time left in the bet.
Once the clock hands had gone around ninety degrees, it was over.
And Ran was no longer as confident. Hell, she wasn’t confident at all.
She really hadn’t expected Shinichi to be able to make it a full three days without mentioning mysteries, Holmes, Doyle, or any of that fun stuff. But as he often did, he was surprising her with both his resolve, and the fact that he’d kept himself relatively mum for the last seventy-one hours and forty-five minutes, save for solving that murder the previous day…but he’d shut up about that as soon as the police and press were gone.
She stood by the window and watched the rain falling. It was really storming out there. The rain was gathering in puddles against the curbs, overflowing in the gutters. Lovely…maybe she could talk Shinichi into going for a walk in the rain later.
After the bet was settled.
As if the thought had summoned him, he appeared in the doorway. Jean and sweat-shirt clad, with a bounce in his step that was far too perky for Ran’s tastes. “Fifteen minutes. You nervous yet?”
“Not at all!” she rolled her eyes.
“You lie. But that’s okay,” he smiled. “So let’s just hang out and chat until 8:35, hmm?”
“All right, let’s,” she agreed, taking a seat. “You cave, Mystery Kudo. You’ll cave.”
He did a double-take and finally demanded, “What the hell are you doing?”
Ran looked startled. “What?”
“You keep saying things!”
“…it’s called conversation. Unlike some mystery geeks I know, I’m quite good at it.”
“No—the other things!”
“What other things?”
“You keep talking about…things!” he snapped, pointing his infamous Finger of Accusation at her. “You’re trying to trick me—subconscious suggestion or something! But it’s not working!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Ran insisted.
Shinichi sat back, glaring at her. “I’m onto you. You’re not so smart…”
The following minutes passed in relative quiet. And soon, it was the final countdown.
The clock read 8:35. It was over. Seventy-two hours on the dot.
“You win,” Ran said with a sigh. “I can’t believe it. You actually won.”
Shinichi was grinning ear to ear. “I told you I could do it, but you just didn’t believe me. So,” he leaned back in his chair, still smirking like crazy, “the prize is mine, Ran. Even though you were cheating, Little Miss Subtle. Do you want to know who you get to kiss?”
“Give me a few minutes to sulk before you spring that one me,” she sighed.
“Mind if I babble, then?”
Ran stared for a moment before comprehension dawned. “You’re ready to explode, aren’t you?”
“Can I talk about Holmes now?” he whined, flailing his arms a little.
“I can’t believe you won the bet,” Heiji commented, raising an eyebrow.
Shinichi shook his head. “It wasn’t easy, but I did it!”
Heiji chuckled. “So she has to kiss someone you pick?”
“…you didn’t pick yourself, though?”
“Nope,” he grinned. “That would be too easy. I’m dating her—I can kiss her anytime I want.”
“So who’d you pick?”
The door opened, and Ran and Kazuha walked in, chatting animatedly. But when Ran’s eyes landed on her boyfriend, her gaze darkened just a tiny bit, and the conversation died rather quickly.
Shinichi raised an eyebrow as one hand slid to his pocket. “Well?”
Ran sighed. “Shinichi, I know there’s a reason I let you continue breathing. One of these days, you’ll have to remind me exactly what that reason is.”
Shinichi smiled evilly. “It was your idea. Remember that.”
Ran was still for a second, then turned and kissed Kazuha. Full on the lips.
Ran jerked back (while Kazuha continued staring wide-eyed, straight ahead) and turned to glare at Shinichi, who was sitting with a camera poised and a decidedly wicked smirk on his face. “Very nice!” he cheered happily, lowering the device and returning it to the safety of his pocket.
Everything went dangerously still.
Finally, Ran stalked forward to stand menacingly over her boyfriend. “Shinichi. You. That. Camera. Picture.” She stammered incoherently for several seconds, then screamed, whirled around fast enough to create a sonic boom, and stomped out the door, dragging a stunned Kazuha behind her.
For a few seconds after the girls had stormed out of the room, the boys were silent.
Then Heiji leaned forward and whispered, “I will pay you to send me a copy of that picture…”
Shinichi snickered. “I think I can do that.”
PS. Whew, there you have it. Now, there are actually two endings to this little tale. In another universe, Ran would come out victorious, and Shinichi would be the one forced to pay the piper. I actually like this ending better, but when I tried to write it as the One True Ending, it just wouldn’t come out right. Enjoy!
“He almost won?” Kazuha said incredulously. “But he’s at least as bad as Heiji about that crap. You’d think he would have broken a couple hours or so into the bet. Especially with you dropping all your little subliminal hints, you evil girl.”
“I know. He really made me sweat,” Ran admitted with a blush, lifting her teacup. “But I won—a very nice win, I might add—so he has to face the penalty.” One eyebrow quirked in amusement over the rim of her cup as she took a sip of her tea.
“He has to kiss someone?” Kazuha said knowingly. “So who does he have to kiss?” Her eyes narrowed in suspicion, and a sly smirk slid its way across her face. “Are you going to take advantage of this for yourself? I wouldn’t blame you if you did…”
To her surprise, Ran shook her head. “No, no, no. He’s my boyfriend, I can kiss him anytime I want. No, I went for something a little more interesting. He won’t forget this little lesson anytime soon, I guarantee it.” The look on her face at that moment could only be described as vindictive. “Perhaps from now on he’ll remember that there are other topics of conversations, aside from mysteries and Holmes.”
Kazuha stared quizzically at her friend. “If not you, then who—“ She was cut off by a crash from the next room, loud enough to make them both jump a mile. But when she glanced back at Ran, she was startled to see that the smirk there was growing.
And then the yelling started—Heiji’s voice.
“KUDO, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”
“I LOST A BET! NOW SHUT UP AND HOLD STILL!”
PS. I figure he exploded within the last hour of the challenge.. Then we get the fun scene. Whichever you prefer, I hope you chuckled merrily. Only two left—scary, huh? Thanks, all. Much love!
Heiji: Anybody got any mouthwash?