Pairing: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Fandom: Detective Conan
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I claim none, I merely borrow them and dress them up in frilly smocks and make them dance to my ever-changing will like the puppets they are.
Ran actually pulled back and stared at the phone receiver in her hand, startled. She’d answered in the normal fashion (“Mouri Detective Agency”), but been cut off by what sounded like someone snapping their fingers on the other end of the line.
She slowly moved the receiver back to her ear and said, “Hello?”
“You should be writing this down,” Shinichi’s voice teased over the line.
She sighed, bewilderment giving way to irritation. “You nerd. What’re you doing?”
“Oh, just delivering a message,” he replied; she could almost hear him grinning.
“Why should I play along?” she demanded.
“Because. Please?” Great. He was doing a sad puppy-dog voice. She just couldn’t win…
“Fine,” Ran took the bait as her curiosity got the better of her. “What am I doing?”
“Just write it down,” he said cheerily.
“Write what down?”
“That’s a tall order.”
“You suck at life.”
“I what?” Shinichi half-squeaked.
“You heard me. So let’s get on with it, shall we?” she huffed. He was so irritating sometimes, but she treasured these phone calls—not that she’d tell him that, though. As she spoke, she fished around in the desk and located a piece of paper and a pen. Poised and ready, she instructed him to begin.
He began, pausing every few clicks.
Snap snap snap.
Snap snap snap.
CLAP snap CLAP CLAP.
CLAP CLAP CLAP.
Snap snap CLAP.
Silence on the other end of the line. Finally, Ran huffed, “What was that?”
“A message. But you have to crack the code,” he snickered. “It’s easy, don’t worry!”
“Maybe for you!” she snapped, and regretted it instantly.
He was quiet for a second before he sighed, “I’m sorry. I…I’m just happy to hear your voice.” He suddenly sounded very tired, and she felt worse. “But I hope you figure it out. It’s just a little message from me to you…but you’re a smart girl!” He seemed to buck up a bit, though she knew him well enough to know he was completely faking it. “I know you’ll figure it out.”
She decided not to call him on his little façade of happiness, but instead said, “I know I will.”
The phone call then descended into the usual small talk marked by awkward pauses that said plenty on their own. When she hung up, she was left with the same unanswered questions as always. But at least this time, she had the mysterious puzzle to occupy a little time.
If only she had any idea what the hell he was talking about.
“Easy, my foot,” she sighed, plopping down on the end of the couch and staring at the paper in her hand. She’d written down the sounds exactly as he had made them. But what did it mean, exactly?
Sometimes Shinichi just had to make things so complicated. Instead of just saying what was on his mind, he played stupid games and made things far more difficult than they had to be. But all right, fine. He’d presented the challenge, and her pride wouldn’t let her ignore it. She would play his game.
Or whatever his bizarre little puzzle or code was.
Ran was a detective’s daughter. Her long-absent best friend and love interest (though she had yet to actually admit it to him) was a detective. She had been hanging around police officers and cases her whole life. One doesn’t go through that type of upbringing without acquiring some basic critical thinking skills. She might not have been on Shinichi’s level, but she wasn’t stupid.
And the word “code” had started her mind running a mile a minute.
She bent over the paper again, pen in hand, renewed determination on her face. After studying it for a minute, she started to write, wondering if perhaps her hunch was correct. Replace the claps with dashes, the snaps with dots. And the result was…
Dot dot dot.
Dot dot dot.
DASH dot DASH DASH.
DASH DASH DASH.
Dot dot DASH.
She sighed. Her best friend was a hopeless nerd.
But anyway, now she had something to go on. She’d win this round.
Ran had learned Morse code for a school project a few years back. Now staring at this, she struggled to remember the various letters and their dot-dash counterparts. Let’s see…dot-dash is A…
It took her a few minutes to work her way through the alphabet. But finally, she sat back and read down the letters, Shinichi’s enigmatic little message. And she stared at it. Was this…?
After a moment, the faintest of blushes kissed her cheeks as a soft smile tugged at her lips.
He never could say what he meant, could he? For all his brilliance, he was so shy sometimes. But sometimes she wondered what would happen if…when he came back. Could it be…?
She set the pen down as the door opened and small footsteps padded towards her.
“Ran-neechan?” Conan piped quizzically.
She stood up and scooped her young charge up into a big hug, dancing him around the room. He let out a full-blown squawk at her suddenly attentions. “Shinichi just called!” she laughed, swinging the small boy in a circle. “I’m so happy!”
In the cradle of her arms, Conan squirmed uncomfortably and blushed.
Behind Conan’s eyes, Shinichi smiled fondly. She’d figured it out—she had to have gotten the message for her to be this happy. And even if he couldn’t be there himself, at least he could still make her smile like this once in a while.
Meanwhile, the simple code lay on the table. The paper was forgotten, but the message was not.
PS. In case you haven't noticed, I'm all about sap. *purrs happily*