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: He was somewhere out there in the storm. Heiji had to find him before…
It was insane to be running out in this kind of storm, particularly in the middle of the night. It was dark, pouring rain in sheets and sheets with thunder and lightning. An awful gale—it could even be considered dangerous to be on the streets now, for various reasons.
Heiji pulled his jacket more tightly around himself and darted down the sidewalk. The outer garment really wasn’t doing him any good now, having been soaked through by the rain shortly after he had set out. He was cold and wet, but determined; something told him that there was a great deal riding on him tonight.
He hurt. Right now he hurt a lot—so much had happened, it seemed only fitting that it be raining like this. But he was trying valiantly to push his own feelings aside and do all that he could to help in the search…and to make sure that nothing else was lost tonight…
They made him wait back at the Mouri Detective Agency. He hated it, but grudgingly accepted the situation as it was. Megure wasn’t budging so much as a centimeter or hearing any arguments about it.
Thus began the worst night of Heiji’s life. He had to wait for word, for news of his friends…for anything. And he was not good at waiting; anyone who knew him was well aware of the fact that Heiji had no patience to speak of. So he fidgeted; he drummed on the table, paced around tried to find a distracting show on television, paced some more (there was definitely a stripe in the carpet that was a little more threadbare than the rest of it), drummed again…
When the phone finally rang, he was actually just pulling his jacket on and preparing to venture out into the rain because he just couldn’t stand it anymore. But he vaulted over the couch and fumbled with the receiver for a moment before finally getting it from the cradle and up to his ear. “Hello?” he said, not bothering with the usual pleasantries about this being the Mouri Detective Agency or any such thing. This was the call—he was sure of it.
Sure enough… “Hattori-kun,” Megure said.
Something about his voice was off; he didn’t sound normal. And that told Heiji volumes. “What happened? Did you find them? Are they all right? Who was—“
Megure cut him off sharply. “Hattori-kun, listen!” When the teenager fell silent, the Inspector continued. “Something…happened.”
When Megure told him what had happened tonight, Heiji understood why the Inspector had sounded off. And Heiji felt his heart drop into his shoes and shatter.
And then Megure told him what else had happened. Heiji thanked him and hung up. For a moment, he stood there in shock, just trying to process what he had been told and what had happened. Then reality kicked back in and instinct took over. He jammed his feet into his shoes, grabbed a flashlight, and took off at a dead run. He vaulted down the stairs, gasping when he his the chilly air outside; it was raining and cold.
And he ran…
Heiji had no idea where he was going, but he knew that he had to get there quickly before tonight was stained with even further tragedy. It was hard to see and hard to think. Where should he look? There had to be some place where his quarry would go. Somewhere to hide…somewhere no one would think to look…somewhere important…
And then he knew. How he knew, he couldn’t say. But he knew where to go. It was the only thing that made sense. After all, it was the last place where they had been truly happy.
It was a bit of a trek to get there, especially in this weather—and he had one near-death experience with a car—but soon enough, Tropical Land loomed over him. It was late, and the park was closed; it rose against the sky, dark and ominous, as though it too had been marked by the events that had started unfolding there and continued on to what had happened tonight. It sent a shudder through him
He had asked about this once. And Kudo had somewhat grudgingly brought him here and shown him the spot where…IT had happened. Granted, there wasn’t a ton to look at or see, but Heiji had taken a good look around while Kudo hung back a bit. This wasn’t a place of happy memories for him, after all.
Please, Heiji thought desperately. Please be here…please be okay…
He ducked under the bridge, out of the rain. He stood there for a moment, shivering and trying to catch his breath while he turned on the flashlight and looked around at the space under the bridge.
…and there he was. If Heiji hadn’t been looking for him specifically, he might very well have missed him.
Kudo was sitting with his back to one of the concrete bridge supports; he was curled up into a tiny ball, huddled in the shadows. He had his knees pulled up to his chest and his face buried in his arms. He was so still that for a moment, Heiji didn’t think he was breathing. He turned the flashlight beam to a point just next to his friend, not wanting to blind him when and if he got his attention. “Kudo.”
His head snapped back up to look at the source of the voice. His eyes were wide and shone slightly in the dim light from the flashlight and the flare of lightning from the storm. “Ha…Hattori…” he said softly, almost wondrously, like he was stunned that someone had managed to find him here. “What’re you…”
Heiji crossed the distance between them and knelt down in front of them, setting the flashlight on the ground beside him. He reached out and put his hands on Kudo’s shoulders. “What’re you doing?” Now that he was closer, he could really see how lost Kudo looked. There was no light in his eyes, no feeling or emotion.
“She’s gone,” Kudo said in a whisper. A tragic irony—now, in his seventeen-year-old body…he was more childlike than he had ever been as seven-year-old Conan. “Hattori, he killed her…”
“I know,” Heiji interrupted, finally feeling himself crack. He lowered his head. “I know…”
“Why did he kill her?” Kudo went on in that same thin, child-like tone. “Why didn’t he kill me? Why her?”
“I can’t tell you that because I don’t know.”
It was a moment before Kudo spoke again. “Why are you here? How did you find me?”
“Megure told me,” Heiji said simply. “So I came to look for you. There’s quite a few people out searching for you right now. A lot of people are worried.” That wasn’t the only thing Megure had told him, but all things considered…even Heiji could recognize that now was the worst possible time to push on anything. Best to wait until things revealed themselves. It seemed there was still time for that, at least.
Shinichi turned his head. “Don’t tell them where I am,” he said. “Go away and tell them you couldn’t find me.”
“Not a chance.”
Heiji’s hands tightened on Shinichi’s shoulders, and without meaning to he gave him a shake. “I know it hurts, but—“ He stopped short at the unmistakable flicker or pain that flitted across Kudo’s face; it confirmed the final detail as told to him by Megure. “You’re hurt, aren’t you? Physically hurt.”
With each passing moment, his eyes adjusted further to the darkness, aided by the flashlight still glowing at on the ground beside him. He could see how Kudo looked terrified at the question and shook his head. “No. I’m fine…”
“Kudo.” Heiji’s voice hardened; his tone allowed for no arguments.
Shinichi stared at him for a moment before he uncurled himself enough for Heiji to see dark blotches across his stomach. He also revealed similar stains on his hands. That jived perfectly with what Megure had said—which meant that medical attention was needed.
“Come on,” Heiji said, reaching for his friend’s arms. “Let’s get you to a doctor—“
Shinichi shook his head and pulled his arms and legs back in tightly around himself. He was acting like a child—a lost, frightened child.
Between the chill, Kudo’s attitude, and his own feelings over everything that had happened, Heiji’s temper began to rise. He grabbed Shinichi’s shoulders again and this time gave them a rough shake, ignoring the gasp of pain this drew from the other detective. “What the hell are you doing? Are you just going to sit here and let yourself die? Is that it? Is that your master plan?”
Kudo averted his eyes, which was all the answer Heiji needed.
“No way. Not a chance in hell. We lost her, and we’re not losing you too.” Even Heiji himself was surprised at the fierceness in his own voice.
“But—“ Shinichi tried, but he was cut off.
“No buts!” Heiji snapped. “Do you think this is what Ran would want?” He had never called her by her given name, or even really referred to her as such, always instead opting for the affectionate ‘neechan.’ But right now, he suspected that it was the only thing strong enough to get through to Kudo.
He was right.
At the sound of her name, Kudo looked up sharply; he looked like he’d been slapped. For a minute, Heiji wondered if he had finally managed to get through the shock…but that was dashed when Kudo suddenly surged to his feet, shoving Heiji away in the process. He had one hand on the concrete bridge support for stability, and was in obvious pain, but he was standing tall and giving Heiji a murderous look.
“You don’t know anything,” he said in a voice as cold as ice. “Now leave me alone.” He started walking away. Well, maybe walking was too kind a word. He was staggering and stumbling, leaning heavily on the wall. His injury was obviously severe and getting worse by the moment, but he was trying desperately to hide it.
Heiji grabbed the flashlight from the ground and followed him. “What’re you doing?”
“Go away,” Shinichi stumbled past the bridge and out into the rain. “Leave me alone.” He was making his way towards the hill that led back up to the street, finally staggering onto the sidewalk.
“Would you stop?” Heiji moved in front of him. He wondered if the search party would come this far; he’d left his phone back at the agency, so he couldn’t call for help. “Dammit, Kudo…” He grabbed Kudo’s wrist, trying to stop him from moving away again…and felt the cold metal and plastic of that interesting little watch under his hand. The watch that had been used countless times to knock out old man Mouri and employed in the company of the voice-changing bowtie to solve numerous mysteries.
When Shinichi tried to pull away—and the lack of strength in his struggle proved that he was weakening—Heiji made a very quick decision. He twisted the watchband around on Kudo’s wrist and fumbled around the edge of it in search of the button. He found it, and he pressed it; he was close enough to hear a little whooshing sound…
And Kudo straightened up. He stared at him for his last second of consciousness, as though bewildered as to what had just happened. “Ha…Hattori…” he murmured before his eyes closed and he slumped forward. Heiji caught him and lowered him to the ground, Kudo’s forehead resting on his shoulder.
In many ways it was cruel, and he wondered if Kudo would hate him for this later. But right now, it sort of seemed that unconsciousness was the best gift he could give his friend at that moment. It meant unawareness, unfeeling, not having to know what was going on around him.
Headlights appeared on the street, and a moment later the car they belonged to came to a stop beside them. The car door opened, and a voice called out to him. “Hattori-kun!” So they had been found. From here on out, whatever happened was out of his hands.
As footsteps hurried towards them, he looked back down at the unconscious form leaning against him. “…I’m sorry,” he said, knowing that he wouldn’t be heard.
PS. Whew…angst! YAY! Haven’t had enough angst in this challenge. And yes, I killed Ran off. Please don’t hurt me. Anyway, this marks the fifteenth story in this challenge. I’m officially halfway done with the Friends challenge! YAY! Thanks for reading, all! Much love!