Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Theme: #4—all dressed up
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan. All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I simply threaten to make them watch old Barney tapes unless they obey me. Trust me, they listen.
Summary: Shinichi, what are you doing here?
“Why did I let you drag me here?” Ran asked mournfully. “I’m really not in the mood for a party right now.” Still, she obligingly followed Sonoko through the crowd towards the mini-bar, where drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) abounded.
“Because you’ve been moping around for way too long!” Sonoko said brightly, passing her a glass of bright red punch—ironically, the exact same color as Ran’s own dress—and taking a swig of her own. “You need to get out, have some fun, and meet some cute boys!”
So that was it. Ran sighed and lowered the glass from her lips, its contents untouched. “Sonoko…” While she did understand that her friend did these things with nothing but her best interests in mind…well, it was said that the road to hell was paved with good intentions and such. Plus, there was something else…
“Come on, Ran!” Sonoko gestured towards the crowd. “You can’t pout around all the time! Look around at all the cute, eligible guys! One of them has got to be at least as good as Shinichi-kun!”
“Sonoko, I’m going home,” she sighed. She felt awfully stupid. Here she’d gotten all dressed up and ready for a nice night out at a fun party, and instead she’d found herself stuck right in the middle of a bona fide matchmaking scheme. Really, why was she so surprised?
Ignoring Sonoko’s continued protests, she headed back across the crowded dance floor towards the door; halfway there, she accidentally half-crashed into someone else, bumping shoulders hard enough to hurt. Immediately she turned to offer an apology…which died on her tongue in favor of, “You!”
Shinichi jumped a mile when he realized exactly who he’d bumped into. “Uh…hi, Ran.”
“What are you doing here?” Ran asked, incredulous rather than angry. She still wasn’t quite sure if she was ready to see him, or even if she wanted to see him yet. She just wasn’t certain yet.
“I…was invited,” he said slowly. He even pulled out a pale yellow envelope, slightly wrinkled from time spent his jacket pocket and showed it to her before returning it to his dark blue blazer. They looked at each other for a minute before it clicked, and in one voice…
As if on cue, the lights dimmed, and a slow love song started to play. Around them everyone was scrambling for partners and slipping into the mood of the music. Shinichi stared at Ran, and Ran couldn’t help but warily watch him back. Strange, though—he was hanging back. It seemed that he was waiting for her to make the first move…
Inhale, exhale. Deep breath in, let it out slowly, she told herself. Swallowing hard, she took one tentative step towards him. She didn’t dare say anything just yet, but instead held her arms out—one up and in front of her, the other out to the side. It was a silent invitation for him to fill the void there.
He didn’t disappoint, and stepped into place. Her raised arm came to rest perfectly on his shoulder, and his hand found hers; his free hand sat innocently at her waist. If nothing else, he was still a gentleman.
“So we were set up,” Ran sighed after they’d been dancing for a couple of seconds. “I should have known something was up when Sonoko insisted I come to her family’s party—she knows I don’t really like big gatherings like this.”
“I should have guessed when she invited me at all,” he replied. “I even called her to make sure it wasn’t a mistake or a joke or something. She said she wasn’t mad at me, and insisted I come.” He hesitated, then asked, “What about you?”
It took her a second to realize what he was really asking: Are you still angry? She even said as much to make certain she understood. “You want to know if I’m still mad at you, right?”
He nodded mutely. For some reason, his expression brought to mind a whimpering puppy, all big eyes and muffled hopefulness, and it almost made her laugh out loud. She managed to reel in her odd sense of humor, knowing that it would do more harm than good. Things were already shaky enough between them, no point in aggravating the situation.
A thought occurred to her, and she gave him a shy smile—since when was she so bashful around him? Then again, since when was he this timid? They’d both changed a lot through the Conan fiasco, and it was a sign of just how much she’d grown up and grown bolder that she actually heard herself saying, “Tell you what. Buy me dinner, and we’ll call it settled.”
Shinichi’s gaze had been down and off to the side; now his head snapped back. His expression went from ‘scared puppy’ to ‘hooked halibut’ in point-two seconds. “Wait, what?”
“You heard me.”
There was a pause as he processed her request, and then he asked hesitantly, “Is this a date?”
“Do you want it to be?” she replied with a question of her own. She honestly didn’t know what the answer was going to be, but she took the risk and asked anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
“Well, I…umm…” It seemed that the poor boy was unprepared for actual forgiveness, and so was having immense difficulty piecing his thoughts together.
“Yes or no,” she said gently. “That’s all there is to it.”
Shinichi swallowed hard and nodded. “All right. A date. Okay?”
Ran nodded back. “Good.”
In the background, the love song of Sonoko’s choosing was reaching the bridge.
He was fidgeting—not much, but enough that she could tell he was seriously thinking about something. After a few seconds, she tugged on his sleeve. “Hey—what’s up?”
“Well…it’s just…” he bit his lip nervously.
He almost said it, and changed his mind at the last second, shaking his head. “No.”
“I don’t want to push my luck. I mean, I can’t believe you’re not mad at me…not to mention that we actually have a d-date planned,” he shook his head. “Not pushing my luck.”
“Unless you’re going to really insult me or start babbling about Holmes,” Ran said reassuringly, “I think you’ll walk away intact. Now come on—tell me. It’s just what?”
“It’s just…” he sighed as his eyes finally locked with hers, “…if you don’t stop me right now—slap me or push me away or something—I think I might kiss you.” He was dead serious, and his head was already inching towards hers. “Stop me. I mean it.”
Ran was only mildly startled to feel her own head tilting in response. “No.”
“I mean it, Ran…”
“So do I.”
That was all the conversation there was time for. And neither heard the song end.
PS. The fluff…the fluff eats at meeee…and the fluff has really sharp teeth, just so y’all know…anyhoo, yay for random waff, brought to you with love from the heat and non-air-conditioned rooms at NIACC x.x Yay for conferences! Title comes from an awesome Marc Anthony song, which I listened to about forty times through while I was writing this. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks a mil, everyone. Much love!