Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Theme: #25—shut up and listen
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: It was a case Shinichi just could not refuse.
Ran was an extremely unhappy camper. And it was Shinichi’s fault entirely. She thought they’d gotten past that one little bad habit of his—the one where he would run off at the drop of a hat to solve a mystery and grab the glory and never mind about her.
When Shinichi was late getting home, Ran tried not to let herself worry too much. Sometimes he would get caught up in a conversation with someone at the police station or something to that effect, or he would make a stop somewhere on the way home. Nothing out of the ordinary. So she busied herself as best she could and waited, hoping that was all there was.
But when the phone rang twenty minutes after he was supposed to be home, she got a very bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. She answered it quickly. “Hello?”
“Ran? It’s me.”
She felt partially relieved…yet still so anxious. “Shinichi, where are you? Is everything okay?”
“I’m fine,” he said in a rush; it sounded like he was out of breath, and there was something else in his voice that he couldn’t place. “Listen, Ran—I’m going to be late tonight.”
“…why?” she asked quietly, already ninety-nine percent sure she knew exactly what his next words would be. And sure enough, he proved that she did know him too well.
“Well…there’s a case, and the vic—“
Between disappointment and hormones…Ran snapped. “Shut up! It’s always a case, isn’t it? Never mind about me!” She was overreacting and she knew it—because truth be told, he had gotten a LOT better about things. But at that moment, it was just the wrong thing at the wrong moment.
“No thank you,” she cut him off and hung up the phone without letting him finish.
She regretted it before her hand left the receiver.
Now she was moping. No reason to sugar-coat it—moping was exactly what she was doing. And it was just as much because of her anger with herself than it was anything to do with Shinichi…maybe even more so.
She thought briefly that Shinichi had been trying to explain himself when she hung up on him. And she couldn’t help but wonder exactly what sort of explanation he had. He had sounded rather harried…
She also wondered why she was flipping out like this. He mood swings seemed to be getting more and more violent as of late, and she had almost no control over it.
All in all, she felt really crappy.
Deciding against just sitting down by the phone and sulking, she headed up the stairs to their bedroom. She crawled into bed without bothering to change out of her day clothes and into pajamas. She felt tired and upset and guilty and angry and god, she couldn’t wait until certain things were over and her moods returned to normal. She turned off the lights and pulled the blankets up around her…and stared into the darkness.
She wasn’t sure what to think. On the one hand, she understood why he did what he did. He saved lives and helped find justice for lives already lost. In simplest terms, he caught the bad guys. Her husband was a hero, and precious few others could do what he did, and sometimes she just had to respect that.
And he had been getting better, truth be told.
Damn mood swings…
Sighing, she closed her eyes and tried to sleep. Shinichi would come home eventually, and she would apologize, and everything would be just fine. In the meantime, she just felt awful.
Hopefully Shinichi wouldn’t be too upset with her overreaction…
When she opened her eyes again, it was daylight…and she was still alone in bed.
Ran sat up and looked around in alarm. It didn’t look like anyone else had been in the room on the initial glance, and the bedding didn’t show evidence of anyone else having joined her. Had Shinichi not come home? Had something happened to him? Was he—
…there was a rose on the pillow beside her.
A single red rose.
She picked it up carefully and just looked at it. Then she rolled out of bed and headed for the hall; she went down the stairs in search of her husband.
She found him at the dining room table. He was sound asleep with his head pillowed on his arms and a wealth of papers scattered around his head. Ran inched in for a closer look, and recognized the mess as the contents of an average police case-file. Probably the case from the night before.
Shinichi, like her, was still in his clothes from the previous day. He’ shed his blazer, though, and rolled his shirtsleeves up to his elbows. It he’d had to bring the case home with him, it must have been a tough one.
Ran was about to sneak away and let him sleep a little longer when something on the table caught her eye—namely, a photograph. She carefully reached over him and took the picture for a closer look. The person in the photo proved to be a child: a little girl with long hair in pigtails and eyes that spoke volumes of mischief and life. She was absolutely adorable…but why was a child’s picture inside the case-file?
She didn’t notice that Shinichi had shifted as she studied the photo. It wasn’t until he spoke that she realized he’d opened his eyes. “What’re you looking at?” he asked. He sounded exhausted, far more tired than he usually was after a case.
“This picture,” she replied. “Cute little girl.”
There was a long pause before Shinichi spoke again. “Her name is Yuki. She’s five years old,” he closed his eyes again. “…and she was the victim of the case I was working. She and her mother were both murdered last night.”
Ran’s heart sank as the photo fell from her hand to the tabletop. “Oh no…”
He finally sat up and sighed, letting her see exactly how weary he looked. “That’s what I was trying to tell you when I called last night. I was leaving police headquarters when Megure caught me and asked me to go on this case. I tried to turn him down, but when he told me the one of the victims was supposedly a kid…I just couldn’t say no.”
Suddenly she felt even worse about her outburst the night before—he did have a damned good reason. Murder was always tragic, but there was something even more heartbreaking about it when the victim was an innocent child. One hand slid to her stomach in an unconscious protective gesture. “Did you solve it?”
“Yes,” he said. “Wasn’t actually too hard. Yuki’s dad apparently came home from work yesterday and killed his wife and daughter, and then ran for it. That much wasn’t really too tough to piece together in terms of evidence…” He didn’t elaborate on that, but she suspected that while the evidence was easy enough, the emotional ramifications were straining. “The tough part was really figuring out where the guy was going. Did some really fast calling around, got a lead, and got it nailed down. They picked him up late last night at the train station.”
“Do you know why he did it?” Ran asked softly. She put her hand on his shoulder.
Shinichi massaged the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. “No. I told Megure everything he needed to know, said he could call if he needed me, and then I came home. I didn’t go along for the interrogation. All of this,” he gestured vaguely towards the papers, “were notes. I was looking back over them…and I guess I fell asleep.”
Ran stood motionless for a moment. Then she lifted her hand to touch the side of his face, and that was all the encouragement he needed. He leaned his head against her stomach and closed his eyes while she ran her fingers through his hair. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” he murmured. “But on the way home I just started thinking about us and you and the baby and…I can’t figure it out. What would make a guy do that to his family?” He sighed. “I’d rather shoot myself than hurt you or the baby…”
“But you made sure he’ll pay for what he did to that poor little girl and her mom,” Ran pointed out, trying to think of some way to ease things for him. “Nothing’s going to reverse what he did, but he’s not getting away with it. That’s really all you can do.”
Ran pressed gently on the top of his head so he had to tilt back and look up at her. “I’m sorry I got so mad last night. And,” she pressed a kiss to his forehead, “you’re going to be a great dad.”
“You and your mood swings,” he managed a weak chuckle, and she knew that the apology was probably not needed, but accepted nonetheless. “I think I might be lost without you.” That last was punctuated by a deep yawn. “And I think I need to sleep, but if Megure calls—”
Ran shook her head. “Go to bed. Get some rest. If the phone rings, I’ll wake you up. And we’ll just reschedule last night’s plans. We could go out tonight instead, maybe? Get your mind off things?”
He stood up and leaned in to give her a quick kiss. “You’ve got a deal.”
PS. This is another one of those ideas that started out completely different in my head, then morphed in my head, and then morphed again almost as soon as it hit the page. So it turned out waaaaay different than the original plunnie. L’anyhoodle, hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading, all. Much love!