Theme: Day Ten: Parties
Series: Detective Conan
Pairing: Hattori Heiji/Toyama Kazuha
Rating: PG-13 (for minimal swearing)
Warnings: This one was promised to fireblazie. Rejoice, for there is snogging.
Disclaimer of Evil: I don’t own Detective Conan. All characters and concepts are the sole property of Gosho Aoyama. I merely borrow them and make them my love slaves…ahem.
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown…
Today…well, it certainly wasn’t the best day ever, but it definitely wasn’t the worst.
Wondering what I mean? Let me explain.
Every year, they have a big party down at the station to celebrate Christmas. All the officers and detectives on the Force are invited along with their families. Kazuha and I have been going to these parties yearly since we were babies. Every year we go along, and every year I get heckled about how I managed to pull the punch-bowl on top of myself and went swimming in the resulting mess.
In my defense, I was two years old, thank you very much. But I’m still trying to figure out an appropriate vengeance on the moron who not only videotaped it, but shows it over again every year.
Mature, guys. Real mature.
But anyway, so we’re at the Christmas party, and everyone’s having a grand old time, goofing off and heckling and making jokes about spiking the punch—not that anyone really needed it, everyone was acting drunk enough as it was, without the aid of alcohol. Spirit of the season and all that fun stuff.
Of course, Kazuha was there. I saw some of the guys standing off to the side, pointing at her and at me and whispering and snickering like a group of teenagers gossiping at their high school prom. Again, real mature, guys. Glad to know we’re all adults here.
Moving along, the party was in full swing. I think we were all having a good enough time, hanging out, enjoying the miles and miles of munchies—whoever made that noodle dish should be nominated for sainthood, in my humble opinion—and listening to the music.
All of a sudden, I glanced over and saw Kazuha standing in a doorway, leaning against the doorframe. By herself. Now, I’ll admit (to myself, and no one else!) that she actually looked kinda pretty—for her, I mean. Black pants and a red turtleneck. A pretty gold necklace that I think belonged to her mother once upon a time. Hair back in a red ribbon. Honestly, why does she still wear those things? She’s been wearing the same freakin’ hairdo since we were five. Hell, I steal the things sometimes, from right off her head. Got a couple of them in this little box in my room at home.
…stop looking at me like that.
And no, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that her hair looks really good when she wears it down, and I thought I told you to stop looking at me like that! I’m shutting up and moving on now.
Anyway, she was all by herself, and I figured I had a duty to do as the Official Best Friend, so I meandered over, making sure I didn’t look too concerned (got to keep up my image and all). She kinda smiled at me as I came to lean against the other side of the doorframe.
We were just watching a couple of the officers downing glass after glass of punch, and discussing what we thought they had added to it and wondering how long it would be before someone started dancing to the muzak version of “Sleigh Ride” playing over our heads…and then someone started laughing.
At us. And pointing. Pretty soon, the entire force was staring at us. Some were snickering, some were high-fiving, some were just looking. But they were all watching Kazuha and I with shark-like stares.
I glanced over at her to see if she knew what was going on. And I saw her point upwards with one finger. And I didn’t even have to look.; somehow, I already knew. There was really only one thing that it could have been. I didn’t have to look, but I obliged and let my head tip backwards to confirm.
Hanging there in all its innocent, red and green glory. Evil glory.
Dammit, sometimes I hate being right…
So there I was, me and Kazuha the Ahou. Standing in the doorway, with that damned sprig of mistletoe hanging over our heads (eeeeeevil…), while the entire Osakan police force looked on with grins that bordered on the maniacal. Seriously, those guys can be downright scary sometimes.
But if rumors are to be believed, they’ve had a betting pool going about Kazuha and I since we were about twelve years old. I’m pretty sure that most of them are psychotic. Good people, but utterly mad.
“Well?” someone sneered from the back. We had the attention of the entire freakin’ party.
Fortunately, my fellow victim stepped up to the plate in the first attempt to drive them back. “I don’t think so!” Kazuha hmphed, crossing her arms and glaring, a silent dare to push her.
“Trust me, it’s mutual,” I agreed, rolling my eyes. Then, taken by a sudden curiosity, I leaned over and whispered, “Any particular reason you’re so against this?”
“It’s my first kiss, ahou,” she muttered, obviously not wanting anyone else to hear.
“Yeah, mine too,” I admitted in an equally quiet whisper.
“I guess I wanted my first kiss to be special,” she murmured. “Same probably goes for you.”
I thought about it for a minute, decided she was right, and grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her. I kissed her good. When I pulled back, she stared at me. And I said, “That was special enough.”
…okay, just kidding. Come on, you know us better than that! Let’s pick it up right before the part about the kiss, and I’ll tell you the real story. Stay with me, folks, it gets better. Promise.
“I don’t think so!” Kazuha hmphed, crossing her arms and glaring, a silent dare to push her.
“Me neither!” I said, imitating her defensive posture. I was whining, and I knew, but dammit, this whole night was embarrassing enough with the stupid home movie of the punch bowl (I really need to figure out a way to get that guy…).
“Aww, come on!” someone cajoled nearby.
“You totally want to!” another voice cheered.
I started a mental hit list, and it just kept growing.
And I swear to God I even saw my father standing at the back of the room, smirking. And Kazuha’s dad was right next to him, beaming. What the hell? Weren’t most fathers supposed to flip shiz when someone gets anywhere near their precious little girl? Not that there’s anything, ahem, precious or little about Kazuha, but you know what I mean—the point is that he’s actually encouraging this?
I studiously tried to ignore that disturbing little thought, and tried to refocus on my Mental List o’ People to Strangle in Their Sleep. At the rate everyone was going, it would take me until well after New Year’s to get everyone.
And out of the corner of my eye, I glanced at Kazuha. Not because I was particularly interested or anything. Just wanted to see if she was getting mad, because she’s hilarious when she’s pissed off.
But no. She’s staring at the wall. Every few seconds her eyes drifted up towards the cursed plant hanging from the ceiling, and she got this weird look on her face (well, weirder than normal, I guess) before looking away again. And the strangest thing was that her face was sort of pink.
Errr…why was she blushing, exactly?
Mayday, mayday. Abandon mission. Run for your life.
I tried to walk away…but some nimrod in front had other plans, and wouldn’t let me walk away. He blocked me, the ass. Note to self: find this man after the party—preferably in a darkened corner of the parking lot—and show him all the really fascinating things I can do with a katana.
“Get out of my way,” I demanded, ignoring someone cheering that I totally wanted to kiss her. “I do not want to—who in their right mind would—why would I want to kiss her, and would you move already?” Now I was getting angry. I glanced back at Kazuha, and saw that her facial expression had completely changed. She was now staring at me with wide eyes.
Apparently, Kazuha’s dad saw his daughter’s embarrassment and finally took pity on her (and maybe me as well…) and stepped in to rescue us from the ever-encroaching crowd, saying that everyone had teased the children enough. He then ushered us away from the offending plant. Everyone moaned and groaned, but they let us through.
That same guy that hadn’t let me back away from the mistletoe was now following me, thumping me on the shoulder, crowing something about how I’d missed a perfect opportunity, and that I’d really done it this time. And I suddenly felt that it was now a prime time to pull out the good ol’ philosophy of A.R.I.
Abort. Retry. Influence with Large Hammer.
Fortunately, I was pulled away from the irritating idiot before I could do any real damage. We made it to the back of the crowd without serious injury to ourselves or anyone else. My father was laughing. I studiously ignored him—I’ve gotten very good at that as of late.
Having escaped from the crowd, I ducked out of the main room into a nearby hallway, where there was no one else around, so I could let my temper cool down and let my urge to kill recede a bit.
Imagine my surprise when I heard footsteps behind me, and turned to see a certain ponytailed ahou following me. But the instant she realized I had noticed her, she turned around and wouldn’t look at me. Stubborn ahou…
“Oi, Kazuha,” I said, poking her arm, “what’s the matter?”
She shook her head and jerked away, refusing to even look at me. That damned ponytail managed to drape over her face in just the right way to block an easy view. “Nothing…” Her voice sounded funny.
Wait…was she crying? Her breathing was all hoarse. It sounded like it. I tiptoed around her to get a better look at her face. Bright red and tear-streaked. Yup. Definitely crying. Crying a lot.
And I reacted in the way any guy seeing his best female friend bawling like that would react.
I froze. Brain shut down entirely.
Pretty sure Kaitou Kid could’ve shown up at that moment and starting tap dancing on my head, and I wouldn’t have noticed—until the weight knocked me over. Then I would have started yelling and chasing him with whatever swingable object was at hand. Annoying bastard.
“Umm…hey,” I managed, ever my intelligent and articulate self, “what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she sniffled. “Go away.”
Oooooookay…she was being difficult. He sighed. “Come on, talk to me.”
“No. Leave me alone.”
“Why are you crying?”
“I said leave me alone.” She was wiping at her eyes with the edge of her sleeve now. From my vantage point, I could see that it was an exercise in futility more than anything.
“Does this have something to do with the mistletoe?” I guessed.
She hiccupped, but nodded. “That was so humiliating…”
I suddenly found myself wondering if it was the mistletoe, or what I’d said. She’d looked so shocked after I’d started stammering various disclaimers to the effect that I’d rather kiss a tarantula. Okay, maybe not, but I guess I hadn’t exactly been very tactful in my attempts to get away from a potentially embarrassing situation.
Taking a deep breath, I put a hand on her shoulder, and was strangely relieved when she didn’t jerk away from me. “Hey…” That seemed to be my Word of the Evening. “Is it what I said?”
She took a shaky breath. “You jerk…you’re such a jerk…” She was holding her arm up in front of her face on the pretense of crying into her sleeve, but I got the feeling it was also a convenient excuse to not have to look at me. “You’re such a jerk…” Hiccup. “Why can’t you…ever be nice…about anything?”
I opened my mouth to respond…and closed it with a snap.
Why that one question got to me so much, I’ll never know. But I just stared at her back, watching the way her shoulders shook as she tried desperately not to sob out loud. I did that. I caused that with a few too-callous words. It’s one thing to argue like we do, but it’s another thing entirely to be downright mean.
“Kazuha,” I began slowly, not quite sure what was going to come out of my mouth, “I—I’m sorry.” I saw her straighten perceptibly at that; I’m not usually so quick to apologize. But dammit, it was a Christmas party, and it was Christmas and she deserved to be cheerful and have a good time right now and I messed that up…and I felt bad. “I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. I just…”
I sighed and let my arms drop to my sides. I really felt like crap, and I could feel a migraine coming on. Some party. “Look, it isn’t you, okay? I mean, everyone was watching and that guy was being a real ass and I think I’m going to have to hurt him later, but anyway—it was embarrassing.” I finished lamely. Great, Hattori. That was the poster child for Pathetic Apologies.
To my amazement, she turned and looked at me questioningly. Her eyes were all red and puffy, and her face was bright red. And again, I felt like crap. “Heiji…” she said. And suddenly, her eyes fixated on a point directly above my head. “Heiji?” This time when she spoke my name, it wasn’t so much of an ‘oh my’ thing as an ‘OH MY!’
And again, with my keen detective’s sense, I knew exactly what she was staring at.
Of course, I had to check first. Oh, fork me…
Yup. Uber-Evil Forced-Kissing Plant of Evil. Naturally.
Fate—you’re a bitch. Just thought I’d make that clear.
Honestly, who the hell would hang mistletoe there?
I swallowed. Hard. And I dragged my eyes down to Kazuha. Strange how she could still look so nice, even when she was a little bit of a mess from crying like that. She really did look good in red…
…and she was stepping towards me. She didn’t look angry, either. I was seriously expecting a beating, but instead I was getting this weird look. What was the word for that expression? It was on the tip of my tongue, right there…
She was looking at me…wistfully?
…oh. Oh. OH!
I get it. I get it now. Of course, I didn’t understand it until it was sidling towards me in red and black—good colors, I reflected. I was also slowly realizing that thinking was a baaaaaaad idea.
Okay, now she was really close. The mistletoe was still over my head. And she was looking at me all quizzical and hopeful and—dare I say it—cute. “Heiji?” she whispered. Apparently, that was her Word of the Day, whereas mine was still ‘hey.’
Come on, body, I thought, willing myself to move, catch up with the good ol’ thinky organ.
She stared at me for a minute; she looked like she was waiting. Unfortunately, my body was not responding to the commands of my brain—I was trying to reach out, but my arms were stuck. Invisible duct-tape was holding them to my sides or something.
Finally, she frowned and huffed, “Oh, to hell with it!”
And the next thing I know, her arms are around my neck and…
It was one of those things that I really hadn’t known I wanted until I had it. It just fell into my lap, and I latched onto it and wouldn’t let go. Kissing Kazuha…oh man. And in case anyone’s interested, my arms started working again, so I could at least participate.
Ya know, mistletoe is kind of nice.
When the entire Osakan police force isn’t standing around jeering at you, that is.
What happened after that, you may ask? Well, let’s just say we were there for quite a while…until Kazuha’s dad came looking for us. He came flying around the corner, and we jumped a mile, and my nose crashed into her forehead hard enough that I saw lots and lots of pretty stars. I was amazed yet again when he laughed at us while Kazuha clasped both hands to her forehead and I checked to make sure my nose wasn’t smashed beyond repair.
I was pretty sure for a minute there that one of the Toyamas—father or daughter—was going to kill me, but I’m still in one piece, and here to tell my little story, of the first time Kazuha and I kissed, spurred on by that god-forsaken plant, which I secretly saved—it’s sitting in a little box, right there with a couple of colorful hair ribbons. That’s actually the mistletoe from the hallway.
The one from the doorway in the party? Yeah, I personally sent that on a one-way trip to the Great Garden in the Sky, courtesy of a lit match in the parking lot after the party. Never did catch up to that one guy who was heckling me, though.
So that’s what happened. So as you can see…it was all my fault, really. And I guess I’ve never been so glad to have messed up before. But looking back at the events…did I say that today wasn’t the best day ever? Let me rephrase that.
HELL YES, IT WAS!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.