Fandom: Detective Conan
Publish Date: 8/23/2005 through 5/21/2006 (incomplete)
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan. But I do have homemade hand-puppets for each character...that's normal, right?
Hattori Heiji stepped onto the train platform and looked around. The trip from Osaka to Tokyo had felt very short this time—almost unbelievably so, almost as though some greater power was at work to hasten his journey to help his friends. It was almost like he had become some sort of convenient plot device in some crazy author’s ludicrous fanfiction or something…
As Heiji pondered the station’s fourth wall (and noticed that it seemed to be breaking—how odd), he heard a tired female voice say, “Oi, Hattori! Over here!”
He followed the voice, and found two very somber people waiting for him. One was a small boy, approximately seven years old, wearing glasses and an irate expression. The other was a girl around his own age. She had long hair and the look of one who would rather eat live sea anemones than be standing there. They made an odd pair, standing together and looking everywhere EXCEPT at each other.
Heiji walked up to them. He looked back and forth for a moment before he said, “Well…I feel the love.”
The little boy looked at him with the full force of a very teenaged glare. “I think one of us has already ‘felt’ the love, thank you very much.”
Before Heiji could ask, the “girl” threw her hands in the air in obvious frustration. “I said was I sorry! You try arguing with Sonoko!”
“Whoa, time out!” Heiji cut them off, putting his hands together to form a T in the universal time-out signal, something that no athlete could EVER ignore. In a rare flash of insight, he realized that he needed to take control of the situation. Something was obviously amiss here, and it wasn’t just that Heiji was going to have to act as the voice of reason. “Okay. Back up.” He looked at the child. “Neechan?” He got a curt nod in response, and so turned to the young woman. “Ku—err, Conan?”
“Call me Kudo,” ‘she’ said flatly. “Everyone else is today.”
It didn’t escape Heiji’s eye that Neechan (in Conan’s body) blushed at those words. But given what he (and half the planet) knew of Mouri Ran, she had probably been dreaming about being a Kudo since SHE was seven. It seemed that dream was coming true in the most unexpected, indirect way possible.
Poor Neechan. First he shrank and disappeared, and she had to find out he was lying to her by getting stuck in his miniaturized body. The girl was having a bit of a rough time. Heiji briefly considered she get Kudo on a leash, but if Kazuha got wind of that idea, the results had the potential to be disastrous in more ways than one. Abandon ship!
“Okay…Kudo and Neechan,” he repeated.
“Can you remember that?” Kudo asked.
“You seem to have trouble with names, that’s all.”
“Shove it,” he snapped. “Okay, so…how much does everyone know about…what’s going on?” He gestured towards chibi-Neechan, trying to get his point across. He was very proud of himself, really—he was making a rare demonstration of tact!
“I’ve got the full story on Conan,” Ran piped up. “We went over all of that at Agasa-hakase’s house. But we don’t know how…this happened.” As she said the word ‘this’ she made a motion towards herself and…herself, really.
“We haven’t had much time to talk since then,” Kudo added. “She went to the playground, and I went shopping. With Sonoko.” At that last, there was a definite flinch.
“And I’m hungry,” Ran added. At the looks they gave her, she shrugged her small shoulders. “What? I am.”
“And Hattori’s stomach is a black hole—“
“—so should we find lunch?” Kudo finished, ignoring the outburst.
This was very much an agreeable plan to all parties involved, and they decided on a place and started walking. After they’d gone about a block, Heiji spoke up again. “So…what the hell happened, exactly?”
After a few beats of silence, Ran spoke up. “I woke up in my dad’s room. He was snoring. It was scary. Then I realized how short I was. That was even scarier. Went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, had a heart attack, and went to find myself.”
“That sounds like a T-shirt slogan,” Kudo commented.
“Sure, why not?” Ran shrugged again. “I already feel like a walking punchline.”
“…you’re talking like Kudo,” Heiji said dryly.
“I can’t help it if I default to sarcasm,” Kudo said. “Anyway, I woke up in Ran’s room, didn’t realize I was suddenly a lot taller, and so introduced myself to the floor. Got a nice surprise when I looked in the mirror.”
“Neechan, how did you figure out he was—“
“First I noticed that the glasses were fake, which was strange,” Ran replied. “And then I figured out that this,” she pulled the bowtie out of her pocket, “could do something really interesting. It was Shinichi’s voice coming out of the other side, and Shinichi had called me earlier in the day. It all just added up.” She grinned. “And then I yelled. A lot.”
“Hush, you deserved it.”
It was like watching a comedy duo. How did he wind up being the voice of reason here? That was not normal, and seemed to fly in the face of some law of nature! “So the question now is how this happened, right? Or why?”
Kudo shrugged and pushed his long hair back with one hand. “I will admit to having no clue on the matter. This is like something out of a fairy tale, or a shoujo manga…”
“Yeah,” Heiji nodded in agreement. “And we live in a shounen manga, so—“
Across the street, a big chunk of the fourth wall crashed down onto the sidewalk.
Kudo gave him a Look. “Stop that.”
While this exchange was going on, Ran was thinking things over very carefully. She even adopted Shinichi/Conan’s patented hand-to-chin thinking pose—and she was perfectly content to blame it solely on muscle memory. Why else would she be acting like a detective geek?
And then it hit her like a ton of bricks—only less painful and without crushing any vital organs.
She stopped dead in her tracks. “Oh my God…”
A hand grabbed hers—a much larger hand—and pulled her along. “No epiphanies in the middle of the street,” Shinichi said as they reached the sidewalk; they ignored the honking car horns and continued on their way. Then he asked, “Did you think of something?”
“Maybe,” she murmured, a reddish tinge rising in her cheeks.
Well, that was interesting… “What?” Heiji jumped in.
Neechan was silent.
“C’mon, Ran,” Shinichi cajoled. “It can’t be that bad.”
“…last night,” she finally admitted, “I made a wish. On a shooting star.”
Heiji blinked. “You wished that the two of you would switch places?”
“Well…” she hesitated and visibly wavered before her shoulders slumped forward in defeat. “I wished that I could be…closer to Shinichi.”
Ran was blushing.
Shinichi was blushing.
Heiji was howling.
Ran was embarrassed.
Shinichi was growling.
Heiji was nursing a nice bruise on his shin, courtesy of Shinichi’s temper.
The two swapped-teenagers were both very red-faced at this point, looking everywhere but at each other. Neechan actually looked fairly miserable, Heiji noticed. Poor kid—literally.
“Okay,” the Osakan teen took pity on them both and spoke up to try and relieve some of the tension, “so let’s assume that’s the reason for this switch—even though it seems really far-fetched…”
“So does a seventeen-year-old shrinking to a seven-year-old by means of a magic poison,” Kudo cut in.
“Or people switching bodies, period,” Neechan added.
“So how do we switch back?” Neechan asked, still not daring to look up at herself—or the person currently inhabiting herself. When she’d made the wish, it had been a very spur of the moment thing, a throwback to fanciful stories she’d heard as a child growing up. Now she not only had to admit to quietly believing in such things, but she had to ‘fess it up to Shinichi, of all people…
Ran wanted to get on a plane. And she wanted to fly off to some unnamed tropical island and hide there. She could survive on coconuts, no problem! They made lovely bathing suit tops!
…but now she was having some very…err, vivid mental images of her and Shinichi on the beach. That meant that it was time for her to stop thinking. Thinking was the enemy.
“Neechan,” Heiji was speaking to her, and she refocused, “how exactly did you word this wish?”
Her face went crimson. “I wished I could be closer to Shinichi…even if it was just for one day.”
“So maybe that’s how long this will last?” Shinichi suggested. “One day?”
“That would make sense,” Heiji agreed. “So tomorrow, you’ll be back to your normal selves? Err…in a manner of speaking, at least?” He added that last as a result of a mild glare from Kudo. After all, Kudo wasn’t his normal self. Kudo was stuck as Conan. Although…given how long Kudo had been trapped as Conan, it could almost be argued that now it was normal for him to be Conan, couldn’t it?
Actually…how long had he been Conan, anyway? Sometimes it felt like it had been at least thirteen years! Conan was normal now!
…and now Heiji’s head hurt. He really wasn’t used to thinking outside of murder cases. It hurt his brain.
“What happens if we don’t switch back?” Ran asked softly. She sounded so nervous.
“If you don’t?” Heiji replied, smirking. “Kudo will die the first time he has to take a shower.” It was cruel, but it was so much fun to watch them blush!
Kudo sighed. “Let’s just eat…”
Putting a hungry Hattori anywhere in the vicinity of food was officially on the top of Shinichi’s DO NOT WANT list. Especially when the food in question was takoyaki. The man became a rampaging black hole on legs, and it was rather frightening.
Still, they managed to wrangle him into a chair and place their orders with relatively little fuss.
With the revelation of Ran’s wish and the resulting mortification, there was no way in hell that Heiji was going back to Osaka anytime soon. Kudo was already insanely fun to tease on a normal day. Add this twist to the mix, and it was like the heavens opened and holy light rained down as the angels descended amidst the Hallelujah Chorus to bless him with opportunity. He would be a fool to pass it up.
But before he begin in earnest, his cell phone rang, and the Hallelujah Chorus was replaced the ominous perfect fourth of Beethoven’s Fifth. He knew before he even glanced at the screen—it was HER. The last thing he wanted to do was pick up the phone. But if he didn’t answer, things would be even worse for him in the long run. Especially considering that he’d sort of broken plans with her to go running off to Tokyo. Might as well face the music now and get it over with.
While his friends watched curiously, he pressed the button to answer the call and put the phone to his ear. He took a deep breath to steady himself before he said, “Hello?”
“HEIJI, WHERE ARE YOU???”
The earth shook, windows shattered, fire hydrants exploded, several adorably fluffy puppies keeled over and died, and people emerged from their homes in panic and terror, certain that War of the Worlds had just landed on their doorsteps. Heiji, meanwhile, had gone all Phineas Gage with a giant exclamation point right through his head.
Ran and Shinichi crawled out from under the cracked table, where they had dove for cover at the first sign of the shockwave. They took off their World War I-style German helmets, removed the cotton balls from their ears, and took their seats back at the table.
From behind Ran’s eyes, Shinichi was quite amused. “I don’t think she’s very happy with you.” Ran poked him under the table and gave him a Look. It was fairly obvious that she didn’t think he had any room to talk, all things considered.
Shinichi shut up.
For the next several minutes they were treated to half of the conversation. Hattori recovered quickly (after all, he’d had far worse injuries than busted eardrums), and tried to rationally explain the situation without actually explaining the situation. Needless to say, the conversation was not going well, and quickly descended into a contest of who could use the word “ahou” in a single sentence.
There was something to be said for a man who could utter the sentence, “You are the biggest, most ahou-ing-est ahou to ever ahou something ahou-ly!” The jury was still out on whether or not the ‘something to be said’ was complementary or not.
When he finally hung up the phone, he shoved it back into his pocket and assumed the full-blown pout. “Ahou…” When he noticed the strange looks his two companions were giving him and each other, he rolled his eyes. “Kazuha wanted me to go shopping with her today. But I came here instead.”
“…when you two finally figure out how you feel about each other, I imagine that you’re going to have to have someone come in and soundproof your walls,” Shinichi deadpanned.
“Hope I’m invited to the wedding. Bet it’ll be one hell of a party…”
“Oh? So what about you and Neechan?” Heiji asked, a particularly predatory look taking root in his eyes. “That’ll be the wedding of the century, won’t it?”
“Idiot,” Shinichi snapped back.
“Oh?” Heiji’s grin was downright feral. “So you’re saying you don’t want to marry her?”
Shinichi looked over at Ran. She looked back with wide, bespectacled eyes. There was no way he could answer that question either way without it backfiring. If he said he wouldn’t mind marrying Ran (the truth), Hattori would hound him about it forever. Bt if he lied, he was going to break Ran’s heart for the sake of his own pride. And if he couldn’t admit his feelings in front of Hattori, how was he supposed to say it to the world? Although the world at large didn’t like to directly tease him so much…
He glared at the Osakan teen. “You son of a—”
“Boys!” Ran jumped in with a hissed whisper. “Calm down!”
“I want him to answer,” Heiji said. “Or maybe you already have the ring picked out and everything, hmm?”
Shinichi felt his (her?) face flush a brilliant crimson. He definitely wasn’t about to admit that Hattori was right on that count. Unless…
He fixed Heiji with a fearless glare and said, “So what if I do?”
He was going to pay for this later. He would pay for it ten times over in heckling and teasing. But at this precise moment, it was worth it to see the goggled look on Hattori’s face. The man looked like he’d just been told that there was a new law banning takoyaki.
A glance at Ran proved that she too looked completely gobsmacked. But before Shinichi could say anything to her, Hattori recovered and spoke up. “You’re full of it!”
“How do you know that?”
“Isn’t that your pet name for your girlfriend?”
“Not your girlfriend. We’ve all heard this song before. Maybe you should learn a new one? Do a little dance while you’re at it?”
“You two fight like you’re married!” the waitress bubbled; the young woman had magically appeared beside them, bearing their food. She set their plates down in front of them and tucked her tray under her arm. “It’s so nice to see a young couple with such good communication!” She patted ‘Conan’ on the head. “I bet you’re having fun spending time with your big sister and her boyfriend, aren’t you, sweetie?”
The faux little boy nodded, to dumbstruck to do anything else.
“Well, enjoy your meal!” the waitress cheered before taking her leave.
The two male teenagers stared at the young woman’s retreating back for a long moment before they slowly turned to look at each other with identical expressions of horror. She thought…they were…oh god…
Meanwhile, Ran watched the scene with interest and snickered behind her hand at their matched looks. She was feeling rather mischievous, and given her current physical state, she felt she could probably get away with it. “You two never told me you were—“
She laughed at their panicked disclaimers, took a bite of her takoyaki (and goodness, it tasted good!), and made a mental note to ask Shinichi about the ring issue later, when they were alone.
PS. So Heiji makes the scene…and attacks the fourth wall. Huzzah! The “he’s been Conan for thirteen years” thing is a reference to how long the series has been going—sort of like how Dennis the Menace has been five years old for almost sixty years. And the scene at the end…shounen ai fans rejoice? :D?
One quick note: Phineas Gage is a man many hear about in their psychology classes. He was using an iron rod to tap down some dirt or sand around some explosives, and he accidentally caused a spark, which set off the explosives. The resulting explosion blew the iron rod right through his head. He survived, but his personality completely changed. Look it up if you have a chance. The reference there was the idea of Heiji with an exclamation point through his head.
As always, if you have thoughts for this story, feel free to share. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!