Fandom: Detective Conan
Publish Date: 12/24/2005
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan. But I do have homemade hand-puppets for each character...that's normal, right?
Mouri Ran hated hospitals.
They were so sterile. They had that smell to them, of disinfectant and medicine and sickness.
Yet here she was, sitting on an extremely uncomfortable bench, waiting for news. And that was the hardest part, the waiting. Waiting for the word, be it good or bad, whether or not her most important person was going to survive.
And all that she had learned that evening didn’t help matters any. Her best friend, her beloved Shinichi had lied to her. And now he was somewhere else in this hospital, fighting for his life. So much had happened, so much had changed in one night. In one fell swoop, her world had been shaken to the very core. And in a single gunshot, her heart had come dangerously close to falling apart.
But probably the thing that had Ran most on edge was the fact that her two good friends—Hattori-kun and Kazuha-chan—were standing nearby in the waiting room, doing what they did best: arguing.
Normally, Ran didn’t let it get to her. She would usually just watch them with a certain degree of amusement. But right now, there was something she had been mulling over; she was exhausted, and her nerves were already stretched to their breaking point. If they kept this up…
She didn’t even know what they were arguing over. Probably something utterly pointless. It was always over something stupid, even they had admitted it. Finally, Ran’s calm, even temper snapped. She stood up, fists clenched at her sides, and stalked over to her two friends.
“Do you listen to yourself, ahou?” Kazuha snarled.
“Don’t you even—“
The bickering Osakan pair fell absolutely silent at the two hissed words; slowly they turned their heads to look at the speaker with wide, startled eyes. This was not something they had been expecting from Mouri Ran, of all people.
“R-Ran-chan…” Kazuha began, but she was cut off when Ran barreled on.
“Do you two realize how lucky you are?” she snapped. “Do you ever listen to yourselves? All you do is stand there and yell at each other and argue and then go off and complain about the other. Do you know how lucky you really are?”
Ran took a step towards them; she was shaking with anger and sorrow and grief and whatever other emotions were surging through her at that moment. She had been through a lot that day, after all. “Do you know how much I envy you both? No matter how much you complain about each other, you’ve never been alone. The other one has always been right there. You’ve always been there for each other, through hell and high water.”
“Neechan—“ Heiji started to interject, but she wasn’t listening. The weight of the evening’s events, coupled with her own doubts and grief, had left Ran at a point where she needed to vent, to explode, and her two dear friends had unfortunately been the ones to light the proverbial powder keg.
“And there are no secrets between the two of you, are there?” she continued. “No secrets. No lies. I don’t think there’s a wall in existence that could stand between the two of you. And no matter how much you fight, you can walk away knowing that they’ll be there the next morning.”
A tear—the first of many, they soon realized—escaped and ran unnoticed down her cheek. “I don’t know why you two are so against the idea of letting anything change between you. For God’s sake…” she gestured helplessly towards them, “you love each other. Anyone can see it. Everyone can see it, except you two. You’re too afraid to face it, so you pretend it isn’t there and just keep fighting.”
“Ran—“ Heiji tried again.
“I would love to have what you two have. Shinichi and I used to have that, and we lost it, thanks to their magic little pill,” Ran went on; was she still talking to them, or was she talking to herself now? “You just take it all for granted. Because you’re afraid, aren’t you? You’re scared.”
Kazuha wanted to say something—anything—to placate her friend…and found no words. There was nothing she could say…because Ran was right, right on every count. She’d hit the nail on the head, and it had taken her beating them over the head with it to make Kazuha actually realize it. Heiji was tense beside her, and uncharacteristically silent.
Ran finally let out a sob, and her chin dropped. “I love Shinichi. He hid from me, he lied to me, but dammit, I still love him. And I’m going to tell him so. I screwed up before by not saying anything. He screwed up. We both made a royal mess of things because we were too damn scared to admit that anything had changed…” She hiccupped.
“Ran—“ Heiji used her given name in another attempt to placate her, but she still wasn’t listening. This was obviously something she’d been musing over for quite some time, and now it was all coming spilling out at once.
“There are no walls between you two,” Ran repeated, “Just love that you’re too blind or too scared to see and admit to. You take it for granted, just like I did. You just don’t know how lucky you are…”
“Ran!” Kogoro flew around the corner. “The nurse just said he’s waking up.”
With one last heartbroken look at them, Ran sprinted down the hallway towards the room where Shinichi, trapped in the prison of his child’s body, was struggling back to consciousness. She left her two Osakan friends to stare at her retreating back, her hair streaming behind her in her desperate flight.
Ran would undoubtedly seek them out later and apologize profusely and sincerely. She would feel horrendously guilty later for blowing up at them and sticking her nose in their business, and would probably apologize just short of groveling. That was just the person she was.
Kazuha slowly turned to look up at Heiji.
She wasn’t really surprised to see him watching her right back, just as nervously.
“How…” Heiji began slowly. “How much of what she said was right?” He looked lost.
“…a lot, I think,” Kazuha replied softly.
She didn’t realize she was crying until Heiji leaned over and tapped her cheek with one finger. Then and only then did she notice the hot tears running down her cheeks. “Are we really that stupid?” she hiccupped, scrubbing at her eyes with the back of her hand.
“Yeah, I think we really are.”
Kazuha needed no further encouragement at that point. She half-walked, half-fell into him, still crying as all the realizations of that evening finally hit her full force.
Conan was Kudo.
He and Ran were in love.
He had lied to her to protect her.
And all this time, she had been too blind to see what was right in front of her the whole time.
Heiji’s arms circled her tightly, if somewhat awkwardly, and he let her cry for a while.
“Heiji?” she asked after a few minutes.
“We…are lucky, aren’t we?”
She could almost feel him smile as he replied, “Yeah. We are.”
“Will you ever leave me?” she whispered against his neck.
“Nope.” Typical Heiji response…but she trusted in that.
And they stayed like that, in that comforting embrace, for quite some time. They didn’t visibly communicate—not speaking, not moving, simply letting things pass between them silently, and quietly wondering where they would go from here. But they had plenty of time to figure that out, didn’t they?
Because there was really nothing keep them apart except for them.
Meanwhile, at the precinct downtown, one very startled Inspector set about organizing his top officers to log and order the newly-found wealth of data and evidence against one Black Organization. Evidence that Kudo Shinichi (who up until recently had been hiding under the alias of seven-year-old Edogawa Conan, “child” genius) had been shot to retrieve.
In a hospital bed, one very unique not-child finally opened his eyes, and found his most precious person leaning over him, crying as she waited. She smiled, promising forgiveness with a sound thrashing to follow when he was well again. Not that he minded any.
And in that same hospital, one very shy couple finally realized just how lucky they truly were.