Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
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: The lies had to stop sometime, and he decided that this was it.
Of all the things that could have happened when he and his allies confronted the Syndicate, this was the thing he had most feared could happen…and it had. She had come there after he had told her not to. And it had just taken one bullet, ricocheting in the wrong direction, for them to wind up here.
She was lucky, the doctor said. Given the scenario and all the factors involved, she was extremely fortunate. No vital organs had been hit. The bullet had gone clean through. She would recover, given time and rest. All the rest of them could really do at this point was wait.
Her room had a window for easy observation—she was probably out of the worst of it now, but it didn’t hurt them to be careful. Her friends and family could not go into the room just yet, but they were permitted to stand outside and watch through the window.
At his estranged wife’s insistence, Mouri Kogoro finally allowed himself to be dragged away by well-meaning Takagi to go find something to eat. But try as she might, Eri couldn’t get Shinichi to budge. He was glued to the window, and said point-blank that he wouldn’t leave until she woke up.
Eri studied the young man for a moment. He looked worn—he had to be exhausted from everything that had already happened. He was white as a sheet, and this was quite possibly the quietest she could ever remember him being. And he seemed sort of unaware of much of the activity going on around him; instead, he kept his attention focused squarely on the still figure in the bed beyond the glass.
“Shinichi-kun,” she said softly. “You can’t stand there all night.”
“Yes, I can.”
She sighed. By all accounts, Eri had plenty of reason to be upset with the young man standing in front of her. What she lacked was the energy. Ran had nearly died tonight, Shinichi had nearly died tonight…in light of everything else, it just didn’t seem as important as it otherwise might have been.
Eri walked to the window and stood beside him, looking at her daughter. “It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it?” She had already cried when she learned of what had happened. Now, she simply let herself feel numb.
He nodded grimly. “I’m sorry…this is my fault…”
That thought had actually crossed Eri’s mind. Ran was her daughter, and she wanted someone to blame for what had happened. Shinichi was the easiest target for that by simple reason of proximity, but as she looked at his face then, she knew that she couldn’t blame him. “You’re not the one who shot her.”
“But I’m the reason she was there,” he replied flatly.
“You told her to stay away,” Eri said. “She followed anyway. Everyone made mistakes tonight, Shinichi-kun. But in the end, he’s the one who pulled the trigger.” She realized that she truly meant it.
Shinichi nodded, though she had the impression that he didn’t actually believe her. He stared through the window for another few seconds. “She’s beautiful…” he murmured under his breath, leaving her to wonder if he had actually meant to say that out loud.
Still, those two words confirmed something she had long suspected. And so she decided to go ahead and ask, since he had given her a perfect opening to do so. “Shinichi-kun,” Eri said firmly, “I want to know exactly what you intend to do when she wakes up. What are you going to say to her?” She turned away from the window to look at him straight on, fixing him with a potent look. “I don’t think I’m out of line in asking.”
He kept his eyes on Ran, but replied in a quiet voice. “I’ve been asking myself that since it happened. And I think I know what I want to say to her.” He sighed. “I know I shouldn’t—I don’t really have any right to say it, but…it seems like all I’ve been doing lately is lying. There’s been a damn good reason for it, but it’s still lying. The lies have to stop somewhere, and I think now is as good a time as any, isn’t it?”
Her expression didn’t change a whit as he turned his head to look at her. And he met her eyes squarely. There was a moment of silence before he spoke again in that same soft, clear voice.
“I’m in love with your daughter.”
Eri held his gaze. “And you intend to tell her that?”
After several intense seconds, Eri let her stern expression melt into a very sad smile. “I knew this would happen. Sooner or later…I knew you would take my daughter away.” She startled him then by reaching out and giving him a quick hug. “Tell her. But what she says or does in response is entirely up to her.”
He stepped back and managed a weak smile of his own. “Thank you.”
Eri nodded. “Now go sit down before you fall over.”
Shinichi shook his head. “I’d rather stay here.”
PS. Wow…a Shinichi/Ran fic in which Ran barely makes an appearance! YAY! The original idea for this actually was Ran talking to Yukiko, but I sort of did a fic like that in 30 Friends (except it was Heiji, not Ran, and it wasn’t a romantic confession), so I decided to reverse things a little bit. And so we get Eri, who is so awesome that I can’t even make lawyer jokes at her expense! Hope you enjoyed it!
Also, I'd like to send this out to ammchan, who is turning NINETEEN TODAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE!!
Thanks for reading, all! Much love!