Fandom: Detective Conan
Theme: #10—just a memory
Pairing: Hattori Heiji/Toyama Kazuha
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 had found something that made him remember…
With slow, careful steps, she moved into the bedroom. She didn’t come in here very often, but today she had decided that since it was somewhere she hadn’t checked out yet, it was a perfect place to explore. She stood and looked around for a minute in search of a good place to start.
Her eyes fell on the closet door and lit up. Perfect! Closets were fun places to explore—even at her young age, she knew that people always hid good things in closets if one really looked. She toddled over and found the door just slightly ajar. She opened it just a bit farther and slipped inside.
Pushing by the clothes and shoes, she found some boxes at the back. Yay! Fun things to explore!
One box was full of boring-looking papers, though—the papers didn’t even have any pictures! So she ignored it and another box like it. But the third box seemed to be a bit more interesting. In fact, the thing on top was something she had seen before—they had those things all over the house. They had pictures in them! Some of the pictures were even of her.
She looked down at the picture inside the frame—and her confusion turned to a smile of delight.
It was a picture of a pretty lady! Midori had seen that pretty lady before.
That was the lady who she had seen in her dreams—the one who was a beautiful angel.
Heiji was getting concerned—he’d asked both his older daughters if they knew where their younger sister was, and neither Yukari nor Tomoe had seen her in a while. So he was doing what any good father would do, and was searching for the his two-year-old daughter.
He was running out of places to look when his detective sense pinged, and he noticed that the door to the master bedroom was open a bit farther than earlier. Which probably meant that he’d find Midori in there somewhere—it was rather strange, though. She usually didn’t go in there.
Still, he followed his senses and his instincts and went into the room. Sure enough, the closet door was open a crack, and he could hear rustling noises inside. Heiji crossed the room in three long strides, stepping around the bed to get to the door in question. “Midori-chan?” he pushed the closet door open the rest of the way. In the light that flooded the small space, a small figure was revealed. His youngest daughter was sitting the floor, digging through a box that he knew he’d shoved near the back…and she was holding a brown picture frame…
Suddenly, Heiji couldn’t breathe.
Gentle hands touched his face, neck, hair.
“I love you…”
He looked down at Midori, who was still sitting on the floor with that picture frame in her tiny hands. He couldn’t see the photo in the frame, but he didn’t need to see it to know what the picture held. Eyes identical to the ones shining up at him right at that moment.
“Daddy?” she chirped again, holding the frame up to him.
Heiji reached down to take it with stilted movements and pulled it up to look at it. He knew that photo all too well. In the days following Midori’s birth, after…she’d gone, how long had he sat and looked at it, lost in the fog and of memories of moments that he’d taken for granted. He knew every line, every curve, every color of that photograph.
Now Midori was tugging on the hem of his sweater and pointing at the picture in his hands and making little whiny noises. “Daddy! Who?” she asked. “Pretty!” Her limited vocabulary hampered her, but she was still able to get her point across.
She wanted to know who the pretty lady in the picture was.
He stared at the picture for a moment longer before he sighed. It wasn’t something that he’d thought he could keep from his youngest daughter forever—he hadn’t even planned on keeping it from her. But he wasn’t prepared for it to happen quite so soon.
Even after two years, it still hurt.
Midori stomped her foot and screamed at him and glared at him with those viridian eyes. “Daddy! Pretty angel!” She didn’t like being ignored. So much like…
He closed his eyes.
“There’s no time!” the doctor’s voice had risen in pitch—unmistakable panic. The entire room had exploded with noise and movement. Something was wrong. He heard something about a complication, but no one could stop to tell him what exactly was happening.
All he could think about was her…what was happening to her?
And through the chaos came one voice. Soft, tearful…yet somehow able to quiet the ruckus and be heard over it all.
“Please,” Kazuha whispered. “Please…please save my baby.”
Heiji was at her side in a heartbeat. “Kazuha…”
“I know,” she said softly, reaching up to touch his face. “I know…”
Her head fell back and she cried out in pain. “Heiji…”
He didn’t know what to do or say…there was so much to say, but there were no words. Nothing would come out. But somehow, he knew…this was it. This was his last chance.
The roar of the doctors faded away to nothing around them as he held her hand and touched her face and tried to make his voice cooperate at all. And she just smiled up at him with that same knowing smile that always used to make it seem like everything would be just fine with the world.
Except now it wasn’t true, not true at all.
And then a baby’s cry filled the air, surrounding them.
“I want to see her,” Kazuha whispered—she was already so pale… “Let me see her…” He held their daughter out to her and watched through blurred eyes as she reached out and touched the baby’s cheek with a shaky finger. “Hello…Midori. Midori-chan…”
That was her name.
The doctor was taking the baby away now, and his hands were back around hers, holding on as though he could somehow keep her there just by grasping tightly enough. And still he couldn’t find his voice—why was this happening now…
Kazuha reached up to him again, caressing his face, touching his neck, combing through his hair with gentle fingers. “I love you…”
He swallowed hard and finally managed to whisper back, “I love you too.”
A moment later, a lifetime together was over.
But he clung to her long after she’d let go of him.
Two more voices joined together to create a small chorus of young female voices calling to him. Yukari…Tomoe…they’d probably heard Midori making a fuss and come to see what was up. He shook himself out of the awful memory—the worst moment of his life. He just felt like he was reeling.
And the girls were still calling to him.
Heiji took a deep breath and sat down on the floor. Turning his head, he addressed his older two. “Come in—sit down. It’s okay,” he said. They obeyed. As Yukari passed, she glanced down and saw the picture; her eyes widened. That was…and then she met her father’s gaze and he nodded.
It was a little bit of a squeeze to fit all of them in there, but soon they were all sitting on the floor: Heiji sat facing his two older daughters. He gestured to his youngest. “C’mere, Midori-chan.” She toddled right into his arms and let herself be swept up into his lap. And he picked up the picture frame; by now, Tomoe had seen it and was waiting nervously for what was coming.
“You see her, Midori-chan?” he asked softly.
“Pretty!” the two-year-old said happily. “Pretty lady!”
“Yes, she was,” Heiji whispered.
“Who?” Midori asked, pointing again. “Pretty angel lady!”
Yukari put one hand over her mouth as a tear escaped and slid down her cheek. Tomoe put a hand on her sister’s shoulder for support, though her reaction was the same. They hadn’t talked about her in so long—at least not where their father could hear them. It just hurt too much.
Heiji took a deep breath and gave Midori a squeeze—the little girl his beloved had died to bring into the world. The little girl whose arrival had sent him walking on the clouds as it shattered his heart. The little girl who had Kazuha’s beautiful green eyes.
“Midori-chan…this is your mother.”
PS. Whoo, angst. This came to me while I was listening to the song “Lily’s Eyes” from The Secret Garden. Go look the lyrics up—it’s a beautiful, sad song. That last part—in the closet—was inspired by a Rugrats episode of all things. Oh, and just so y’all know? The name Midori means “green.” How fitting is that? I AM PROUD OF ME!
Also, this marks the second time I’ve openly wept while writing a fic. It happened twice—once when I was writing the very end, and the other during Heiji’s flashback when Kazuha said for them to save her baby—I bawled straight through that whole part. I’d like to thank jeva_chan for reading large parts of this for me and assuring me that it did not suck :D
L’anyhoodle, hope you liked it. Five more, yays! Thanks for reading, everyone. Much love!