Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Shizuka (General series)
Word Count: 2143 words
Author's Notes: I do not own Detective Conan. It all belongs to Gosho Aoyama. I simply borrow the characters, tie them up, and dance them around like life-sized puppets. I do wish they’d stop complaining.
Summary: She is strong enough to take anything that life might send her. A Shizuka fic.
It is to be an arranged marriage.
She has really been expecting this news for some time now. It has been the topic of conversations that hushed the moment she entered the room, though she doesn’t quite know why her parents are trying to hide it from her. It isn’t that much of a surprise. Even if she hadn’t managed to overhear a few of those discussions, she knows that she is nearing the appropriate age to think of such things.
When she hears of it officially from her mother, she accepts it without complaint. She comes from a traditional background, and this is a traditional way. Furthermore, she trusts in her parents, and she does not believe that they would simply hand her over to someone cruel or inappropriate. So she asks only one question of her mother to make certain.
Is he a good man?
She almost expects to be scolded for the question—her parents have been so secretive about the entire thing, she isn’t sure if she should question anything about it—but her mother simply takes her hand and smiles. He is a good man, her mother says. Perhaps not the most affectionate person ever placed in this world, she concedes, but you will be safe and cared for as his wife.
And, her mother says with a knowing smile, you are strong, Shizuka. You are far stronger than anyone knows, even your father. That is your greatest weapon and your greatest gift, for no one will ever be able to take that from you. You are my daughter, and I am proud to see that strength in you.
And she nods and smiles. With that knowledge in hand and her mother’s words kept close to her heart, she is certain that she will be all right with this arrangement. She knows her own strength.
To say she is not nervous about meeting her future husband for the first time would be entirely untrue. Any woman in her situation would be nervous. While she is not afraid of her future, and she does trust in her mother’s assurances that he is a good man, she cannot entirely shake off the apprehensive feeling that coils like a serpent in her stomach.
They are going to the Hattori home to join their soon-to-be in-laws for dinner both as a chance to further acquaintances and familial connections, and as a chance for the affianced pair to meet.
Hence, she found herself dressed in her best and standing alongside her family as they are eagerly welcomed into the home. This is a family of wealth and influence. She is not unfamiliar with settings such as these, but under the circumstances, she suddenly feels very small as she bows to their hosts.
But her strength supports her, as it always has, and when her future mother-in-law smiles and takes her hand and welcomes her to their home and to the family, she is relieved to feel that her return smile and words of thanks are genuine.
Then she meets her intended.
She has learned more of him since her mother’s announcement. He is employed in the police department, and is rapidly making his way up the ranks. He is young, but there are already rumors that he could very well find himself the chief someday. He is known to be a very strong, stern man.
Their first conversation is, to say the least, extremely awkward. She notices very quickly that his left hand keeps clenching and unclenching, and she takes it to be a nervous motion. That calms her, somehow. At least the anxiety is mutual. They do not say much. Still, by the end of the evening she feels a good deal more confident, having seen things for herself. And when the bride-gift is offered, she accepts the obi without hesitation.
It will be all right.
She has seen pictures of brides, dressed for their wedding day. And she has always known that someday it would be her turn. But that does not mean she is not stunned when the Uchikake gown is produced. A wedding kimono, white and ornately decorated, and one of the most beautiful garments she has ever seen. And she cannot quite believe that she will wear it today.
Her mother attends her and helps her to dress in the gown. She has to smile at the sight of her mother, a woman unruffled by most things, run about in a panic to make certain that everything is in place and secure as it should be. It is made all the more amusing by the fact that she herself is wearing a formal black tomesode kimono, patterned in yellow and red.
Though she does not say it, she does not care for the hood. Though she knows that it is a part of her ensemble, she also thinks of what it signifies: obedience to her new husband. But she says nothing. After all, she has spent her life watching her own mother. She was always obedient…and yet if she wanted something done, it was done without ever stepping outside the bounds of her role.
That is the example she has chosen to follow. And she holds her head high, proud as ever. For she knows that she is strong enough to handle whatever life might send her. With that thought, it is time. She must go and meet her husband and her future.
The ceremony is traditional. Their families toast each other with sake, and the miko perform a dance. The offerings are made, and the prayers are offered to the gods. One modern trend is added: they exchange wedding rings. And in far too short a time, it seems, she has changed her name and her role and place in life.
Oddly enough, though she is happy…overall, she does not feel a great deal different.
Things are more or less as she expects them. They were able to get to know each other somewhat before they were married, but there are still various things that both of them have to learn as they go about it. And she finds herself noticing many seemingly inconsequential details simply because they are there in front of her. For example, his toothbrush is always on the left side of the sink. Always.
There are a few bumps in the road as she adapts to things, but she was taught well by her mother in preparation for when it came time for her to step into this role. She quickly falls into her place as his wife. But she does not surrender her pride or her strength, and instead remembers another of her mother’s teachings: it is possible to be a dutiful, obedient wife while still, for lack of a better phrase, getting things done her own way.
Their relationship is interesting. They are both extremely intelligent, strong people, and very independent. As she already knew, both from what she had been told and from what she herself had seen, he is not an overtly affectionate man, though she knows he cares.
There are small moments, though. She mentions once (a simple offhanded comment) that she wishes she had a certain pan to make one of her favorite dishes. He says nothing, but the next day he returns home from work a bit late. When she goes into the kitchen a short time later, a new pan of the type in question is sitting there on the counter, innocent as can be.
At first, she wonders if she is sick. There have been some things going around, and she has gone out enough over the past week or so that it’s entirely possible that she could have caught a strain of some cold or illness. It isn’t bad enough to keep her from going about her life as she normally does, but even Heizo comments that she looks a bit…off was the word he used.
She manages a weak smile and says that she is sure she just has a cold or something.
The night after they have that brief talk about her health, she wakes up in the earliest hours of the morning and has to tear to the bathroom, where she is violently ill. Her husband is alarmed, but it passes, and she does her best to assure him that she is fine. Still, he pauses as he leaves for work and tells her to rest today. She promises she will, though she is beginning to wonder if there is something else at work here.
But two days later, she is preparing dinner when the room spins around her. She grips the counter in a panic, but it is a foregone conclusion. She hears the crash of the pan dropping to the floor and feels herself falling, and knows no more until she awakens in the hospital. Her husband brought her here, but she is found to be in good health. She managed to avoid hitting her head.
It is then that the suspicion she has quietly been harboring becomes fact as the doctor tells her that she is pregnant. That is the reason for her sickness. She is in no immediate danger, though the fainting spell worries the doctor. He warns her to eat properly, even when she feels sick. And she is released to go home with a warning to be cautious and lay down if the dizziness returns.
Heizo takes the news of his impending fatherhood quietly, as she expected. But she notices over the following months that his attentions are a bit different than before. He hovers on occasion, and takes on tasks that had previously been in her domain. The months pass, and her belly swells. She will be a mother soon, and there are plans to make.
Delivery is a nightmare. There are few other ways to put it. But it is definitely worth it in the end, she decides without reservation. She is a mother now. They have a son, who is already wailing loudly. The baby is dark-skinned, a hereditary trait from her husband’s family, but one of the nurses comments that she thinks the boy will have his mother’s green eyes. The idea pleases her.
They name their son Heiji.
Now she has yet another role. Watching her son grow is an entirely different adventure, a far cry from anything she has ever experienced before. She guides, teaches, helps, and scolds when the situation calls for it. It seems that a fair number of the situations that call for it involve Kazuha-chan, the daughter of one of Heizo’s co-workers, and a close friend of the family.
Still, she can’t help but smile at how they interact. Heiji pokes and prods at Kazuha. Kazuha yells back.
She tries to impart a few of her own philosophies and beliefs to her son as well. Given who his parents are, she has no doubt at all that he will grow into a very smart, strong young man. As he grows up, she realizes that she should add ‘perpetually hungry’ and ‘insatiably curious’ to that list of traits.
He is his father’s son in so many ways, but she sees much of herself in him. Heiji has her expressiveness, her face, her slight build…and his father’s stubbornness and drive. But it makes her smile to hear Heiji boast to his kendo teammates that he inherited his boldness from her. She takes that as a compliment.
When he begins to express an interest in mysteries and starts taking cases, she worries but does not make a move to stop him, save for when it interferes with school. He can have a bit of a one-track mind when it comes to tracking down a murderer, and she has no qualms about denying him permission to go places when it does not align with his priorities. He mutters and pouts, but obeys.
And one day, she sits him down and takes his hand and tells him a secret, the very same secret her mother told her when she was young and about to begin a grand new adventure, the one that has come to define her life, and the one that gave her a family and a son, of whom she could not be prouder. That secret has been her greatest gift, and now she passes it down to him.
You are strong, Heiji, she tells him with a knowing smile, as though it is a private joke between the two of them. You are far stronger than anyone knows, even your father. That is your greatest weapon and your greatest gift, for no one will ever be able to take that from you. You are my son, and I am proud to see that strength in you.
Heiji smiles back.
PS. Whew…okay, does anybody else write about these two? Because I rather like Shizuka. She kicks ass and drinks tea. Not necessarily in that order, and both without messing up her hair. Just got to play around a bit with a couple of characters that we don’t get enough of
I also did do a little bit of research on traditional Japanese weddings for this story. It’s actually a pretty interesting topic, should you care to look it up. I’m sure I still messed up a few details here and there, but I did try to make it at least marginally correct. And so with this, only twenty themes remain for my fanfic100 challenge. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!