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16 August 2007 @ 09:28 pm
Nocturne (30 Ways: Shinichi/Ran)  
Title: Nocturne
Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Theme: #27—forgive without forgetting
Rating: PG
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: I can help you forget all about her…

Deep music fills the night
Deep in the heart of Harlem
And though the stars are bright
The darkness is taunting me

As far as bars went, this was a relatively nice one—clean, well-decorated, and void of the kind of patrons that might make messes or start drunken brawls. It was a classy place where someone not interested in fights or anything like that could go and meet friends or sit and contemplate the mysteries of the universe in a smoky atmosphere.

It was into this dimly-lit place that a young man walked. He seemed to be in his early twenties, and bore the sort of handsome, well-chiseled features that instantly drew the attention of every single female in the room. He was well-dressed and cut a fine figure in a dark navy suit and white shirt, the collar open.

A few who glanced his way as he came in thought he looked familiar somehow, and fewer were able to actually put a name with the face. But no one bothered him as he moved to a seat at the bar and ordered a drink, speaking to no one but the bartender.

He had been sitting there long enough to nearly finish his first drink before someone approached him. “Kudo, right?” He turned to look at the person who had addressed him: a young woman, also seemingly in her early twenties. She was quite pretty, and dressed similarly well. “Kudo Shinichi, isn’t it?

“Yes, miss,” he said quietly.

She smiled. “I thought so. I’ve seen you on the news—you’re the great detective. They say you can solve even the most impossible case.” She cocked her head to one side. “Are you alone?”

“Yes, I am.”

She didn’t bother with any further inquiries; she took a seat on the vacant stool beside him. “I find that hard to believe. Do you have a girlfriend?” When he shook his head, she looked surprised. “Unbelievable. A smart, handsome, famous guy like you? Here all alone, no girlfriend…nothing?”

“It’s not so bad,” he shrugged.

“…was there someone?” she asked.

He chuckled lightly. “You’re a shrewd one. But yes, there was.”

“Oh?” she arched a perfectly-shaped eyebrow. “What happened?”

It felt like this woman was prying a bit more than was her place, but he decided that he really didn’t mind. “I made a mistake, and we had a fight…and that was the end of it.” He remembered when she had learned the truth, and the emotional battle that had followed, culminating in an ultimatum: she never wanted to see him again.

“Just like that? One little mistake and it was over?” the woman seemed surprised. “She would just give up a prize like you? Bet you must hate her.”

“Actually…I don’t,” he said. “I forgive her. I don’t blame her for her decision.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Three years.”

“And you’ve been alone all this time?”

“Yes. Again, it’s not so bad.”

“Well…” she stood up and gave him a predatory look, tempered by unmistakable lust. “Why don’t you come with me? Go somewhere where we can be alone? Trust me—I can help you forget all about her.” There was no doubt as to her intentions, should she actually get him somewhere alone.

He looked down at the last swallow of amber-colored liquid in the bottom of his glass before looking back up at her with a small smile. “Thank you, but I’ll have to pass.”

To say she looked stunned was an understatement; it was obvious that she couldn’t believe that he had just rejected her offer of a tryst. He wondered briefly if she was unaccustomed to men refusing her—she certainly was lovely, and she had the air of one who was no stranger to such encounters.

It really wasn’t any of her business, but she looked so stricken that he felt he should elaborate. “You see, the problem is…” He looked back down at his glass; his smile turned sad. “…I don’t want to forget.”

She stared at him for a moment, and he wondered if she was going to get angry. But instead she just turned and briskly walked away—her gait was tense, and she was clearly angry. But to her credit, she hadn’t pushed the issue, and she had left him alone.

Shinichi was still for a moment, then tilted back and downed the last dregs from his glass. He set it down on the bar. For a moment, he looked thoughtful. Then he signaled the bartender. “One more, please.”

It was just one of those nights.

Through with the dawn it’s gone
The melody lives ever
For lonely hearts to learn
Of love in a Harlem nocturne

PS. This was inspired (at least partially) by the classic jazz song “Harlem Nocturne.” That’s also where the title came from. It’s one of my favorite instrumental jazz pieces—FANTASTIC on saxophone. But the lyrics (written separately from the song) are what got me writing this.

This is totally different from most of my Shin/Ran stuff, ne? It was almost tempting to go further with it and have Ran actually be in the fic (like…she’s in the bar and sees his exchange with the woman or something like that, and it goes from there), but I decided that this was really the way to go.

Thanks for reading, all! Much love!

magic_truth: Eternal Flamemagic_truth on August 17th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. And I want to cry. Really, no joke. In that way when the tears won't come and somehow it feels worse. There's just something about it...I don't know.

Well the characterization is brilliant and I can't even hate that girl for putting the moves on him. She's sympathetic in her own way.

If Ran had been the fic, her having seen the exchange would have been nice but no more. I think her walking out discreetly where he did not see her would have added intrigue but honestly I agree with you. This is just perfect.

And I downloaded the song. Also very nice.

*sigh* I think this is one of my favorite things you've ever written.
Candyland: DC23 [Shin/Ran: Bittersweet symphony]candyfics on August 18th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
Aww... *hugs* Thanks, hon~!

I was afraid people would nail me because ZOMG SHINICHI AND RAN DIDN'T END UP TOGETHER NOOOOOEZ!! But...now that we've been talking, I'm wondering if I could do a follow-up. It would be nerve-wracking, because I'd have to match the style >_>;;

Thank you so much--that means the world to me ~♥♥♥
halfling_rogue on December 6th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC)
I'd like to see a follow-up to that, if only because I've seen a very similar story done by another writer and I'm curious as to how you would handle it. I'm sure it would be lovely. ♥
Fylifyliwionvilyaer on August 18th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
WAAAH Luv ^^ Much darker than usual shin/ran and I do enjoy ^_^ neat! *luffs*
Candyland: DC21 [Shin/Ran: Memories]candyfics on August 18th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie! :D
Kihana Dulaysyv_on_air on August 18th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
it may not have ended with shinichi & ran, but i agree that the way you wrote it is perfect as it is. the style and plot are impeccable. it's truly a wonderful piece of work. keep it up! ^_^

Candyland: DC24 [Shinichi]candyfics on August 19th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!! *snuggles*