Fandom: Detective Conan
Friends: Kudo Shinichi/Edogawa Conan and Hattori Heiji
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan—all the characters belong to Gosho Aoyama. I just kidnapped them and hid them in my closet to keep them safe from…I dunno, something awful, I’m sure. Don’t worry, I feed them. Sometimes.
Summary: No matter what he did or what he chose, someone was going to die.
It was a scene right out of Heiji’s worst nightmares.
When he and Kudo had chased the murderer to this abandoned warehouse, he hadn’t noticed that Kazuha was trailing after them, even though he had told the ahou to wait for them to come back. It was an oversight that was haunting them now.
He felt like he was in the middle—Kudo was standing next to him, and the killer and Kazuha were in front of him. The madman was holding her in front of him with a knife pressed to her throat, and there was no doubt at all in any of their minds that he would kill her given even the smallest reason to do so.
“Let her go,” he growled angrily; his hands clenched into fists at his sides.
The killer smirked over Kazuha’s shoulder. “You want to save her?” The knife pressed closer, and Kazuha winced and let out a whimper. She didn’t even dare try aikido—given their positioning and his attitude, he would kill her before she could do anything effective.
“Let. Her. Go,” Heiji repeated. He felt Kudo tense next to him.
“You want to save her? You want to be a hero, little boy?” he sneered. There was a clattering sound, like something metal hitting the cement floor; the killer had dropped something. “Take that.”
Apprehensive but without many options, Heiji obediently knelt down to pick up the item, and shuddered when he realized what it was. The metal of the gun was icy cold against his palm.
The killer spoke again. “Now kill your friend over there.”
Heiji’s head snapped back to look at the man in horror. He heard Kudo let out a strangled gasp, but kept his attention on their enemy. “What did you say?”
“Kill him, or I kill your little girlfriend here,” he sneered.
For once, a “she’s not my girlfriend” retort was the farthest thing from Heiji’s mind. “But—but—“
“Shoot him in the head, or she dies.” The tone suggested that this was an absolute order. No further arguments, and no further questions.
Frozen, Heiji tried desperately to think. No matter what he did right now—no matter what he chose…someone was going to die. One of them wasn’t going to walk out of this room alive. The question was who it would be, and by whose hand they would die.
There was no way he could kill anyone. Never. Especially not Kudo—Kudo was one of his best friends, his brother in every respect save for blood. They were partners. They had gone through so much together, chasing murderers, criminals, and of course, the Syndicate. He couldn’t kill Kudo.
Kazuha was special to him. They’d shared a playpen. They had been together their entire lives—she knew him inside and out. And he was starting to wonder if maybe there was something more there. He couldn’t envision his life without her. He had the power to save her—if he didn’t, it would be the same as if he’d cut her throat himself.
…but even if he shot Kudo, there was no guarantee that this guy would let her go. This guy was a sadist, a cold-hearted killer. This could all be one big mind trick. It was all too possible that if he shot Kudo, the murderer would simply kill Kazuha anyway for sheer entertainment, or because she no longer served a purpose to him.
Heiji looked down at the gun in his hand. He didn’t know what to do.
He turned to look at Kudo, who was watching him somberly. “What?”
Kudo swallowed hard, and then said, “…do it.”
If someone had walked up and blown on Heiji, he probably would have toppled right over. “What!?”
“Do what he says,” Kudo repeated quietly. “It’s okay. Just…do it. Get her out of here.”
“Just do it,” Kudo said again.
Heiji looked back and forth between Kazuha and Kudo. Back and forth, back and forth…finally, he closed his eyes…and with a grace that betrayed some practice at such an action, he raised the gun and leveled it at Kudo’s head, aiming it right between his eyes.
Shinichi stood perfectly still, barely even breathing.
Heiji’s hand was surprisingly steady. He looked Kudo straight in the eye. “I’m sorry…” He cocked the hammer.
Kudo’s eyes widened only slightly to betray his own nerves, but otherwise his expression remained level.
“I’m sorry…” Heiji said again. “Because after this moment, I’m no better than they are.” Having said that…he whipped around, took his aim, and fired a single shot.
Kazuha let out a small, muffled scream as the madman behind her jerked back, releasing his hold on her. The knife dropped away from her throat as the killer ran into the wall and slid down it to a heap on the floor. Blood ran down his face from the single gunshot wound to the forehead.
For a long moment, none of them moved. Outside, the scream of police sirens came closer. They were almost here, and what a sight they were in for.
It was Heiji who moved first. He lowered his arm to his side, and slid down to his knees. He kept his eyes on the floor, not looking at either of his friends. He did, however, speak in a flat mumble. “The way he was standing…that was the only target. If he wasn’t behind her…would’ve gone for a shoulder or something…”
Kazuha imitated his motion, dropping to the ground and putting her face in her hands before beginning to weep. She stayed there for only a second before crawling across the floor towards him.
Shinichi moved slowly, walking forward and kneeling down beside Heiji. “Hattori?” No response. He looked down, and saw the gun in Heiji’s hands. He knew better than most that Hattori didn’t always think things through; he tended to act on impulse, and given what had just happened…
Shinichi reached down and took hold of the gun. “Give it to me.” He was only mildly surprised when he met some resistance. Hattori wasn’t letting go of it, which confirmed Shinichi’s dark thoughts. “Hattori. Give me the gun.” He pulled again, very carefully, and this time it came out of his hands with no difficulty. Heiji’s hands clenched and unclenched, as though they were regretting the decision to let go of the weapon.
Still, as Shinichi sat back and drew the firearm out of reach, Hattori chuckled sadly but did not look at him, instead keeping his eyes firmly on the floor. “Thank you.”
PS. This was not easy to write. I did some major second guessing on my ending, but ultimately decided to go with the original one for the purpose of Shinichi recognizing that letting Heiji hold that gun was a danger to Heiji himself, and so remove the temptation. So I really hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks for reading, all! Much love!