Pairing: Kudo Shinichi/Mouri Ran
Fandom: Detective Conan
Theme: #13-—excessive chain
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.
It was, Ran reflected somewhat angrily as she sat by the bike rack, One of Those Days.
If it could go wrong, then by golly, it would.
It had started that morning. She’d overslept-—a lot. After a massive panic attack, she had managed to yank on her school uniform and raced out the door…where she promptly tripped and fell down the stairs. Righting herself, she made a quick decision and decided to take her bike to school; it was faster. By some miracle, she actually managed to make it just as the bell was ringing.
Shinichi was already in the classroom, and he had complimented her on setting a new record for long-distance running, from the school gate to the classroom door. She expertly ignored him.
And from there, it got worse.
In her haste to make that hundred meter dash to school, she had forgotten a good number of her homework assignments. In class after class, sensei scolded her angrily. By the time she sat down for fourth period (after the chewing out), she was ready to go to the bathroom and cry for the entire rest of the class.
And Shinichi watched quietly, his snide remark from earlier forgotten.
Lunch rolled around…and she had forgotten hers. In what proved to be one of the better moments of the day, Sonoko and Shinichi rallied to help out, and split their lunches with her. They sat out under one of the big trees by the school and enjoyed the lovely spring breeze.
…and then it was back to the crunch.
She was pretty sure she’d failed that math test. She didn’t understand a word of science. She managed to smack her knee on the corner of a table. The day just went on and on and on…
It was the kind of day that would make one believe that Murphy was an optimist.
She’d raced from the classroom the minute the bell had sounded, ignoring the bruise on her knee.
And now, here she was, staring at her bicycle. Actually, not so much the bike as the bike chain. Or even more specifically, the lock on the bike chain, the combination to which she had managed to forget. Thus, it remained stalwartly locked.
She thought about kicking the bike, but that wouldn’t get her anywhere, except having to both walk home and lug a broken bicycle all the way there, when/if she ever got it free. So she settled for kicking the bike rack a couple of times instead before plopping down on the ground next to her bike, nursing an aching foot and putting her face in her hands.
‘Bad Day’ just wasn’t covering it.
‘Bad Day of Evil and DOOM’ was a bit more accurate, she reasoned.
This sucked. It just sucked. Sucked, sucked, sucked…
When she turned around, eyes blurred by tears, Shinichi froze.
He’d seen her struggling, and thought he would stop and say hi, see if she was feeling any better, if she wanted to go home together—-dutifully doing his duty as Ran’s Official Best Friend. And now she was looking at him, crying. Shinichi hated it when she cried.
Especially when he wasn’t quite a hundred percent sure if he was responsible for the tears or not…
But he’d seen it earlier. Ran was having a bad day. A really bad day, if his observations were correct. And they always were, of course. And he’d decided to see if he could remedy it. Fidgeting a little nervously, he inched towards her while she sniffled pathetically.
“Here,” he mumbled, thrusting his handkerchief at her, feeling his face heat up. He absolutely hated seeing her cry, even when it wasn’t directly his fault. “Stop crying, okay?” The instant he said it, he felt like an utter idiot. That wasn’t going to help.
Sure enough, her face just crumpled; she turned away, ignoring the proffered handkerchief, and instead of just being all teary, she started crying for real. Ran was bawling.
And Shinichi felt like a proper moron.
Inching around her, he knelt down and put a hand on her shoulder. His movements were wooden from nerves—he felt like Pinocchio. “Hey, come on. What’s the matter?” As if he didn’t already know. Not really sure what he was doing, he let the hand on his shoulder move around her, while his other hand slipped under her chin and half-forced her to turn her head and look at him.
Her face was scarlet, her eyes red-rimmed and tear-filled. “Go away…” she hiccupped, voice hoarse. “You’re not helping. I’m having a really crappy day, and you’re making fun of me…I don’t need this right now” She tried to turn her head away again. “Go away…”
Trying really hard not to freak out at the fact that she was crying or at their close proximity (they’d been close before, they’d been friends for such a long time, but still…), he didn’t let her look away, but again offered the handkerchief. “I’m not making fun of you. Here.”
This time she took it and set about trying to make herself somewhat presentable. He waited patiently until she straightened. Her eyes were still red and watery, but nothing more was coming out of them. She sniffled again, but the waterworks didn’t start again.
“Feel better?” Shinichi asked quietly, his face absolutely crimson.
She glanced up at him…and realized belatedly that she was leaning somewhat cozily into his shoulder, his arm circled comfortably around her shoulders. She could feel every breath he took, the rising and falling of his chest again her back.
Enter three-alarm blush.
Clearing her throat noisily, she stood up suddenly and started fumbling with the bike chain again, the initial source of her breakdown. “I-—I can’t remember the combination…” she stammered. Her voice trailed off then, as she twisted four numbers into the lock and yanked—and it opened easily in her hands.
Just when she had thought she couldn’t go any redder, her face was about to burst into flames.
“Well, would you look at that?” Shinichi chuckled lightly, pulling the bike from the bike rack and re-shouldering his schoolbag. “Come on, I’ll walk you home.” She tried to protest, but he paid her no mind, wheeling her bike along while she sprinted to catch up. They walked in relative silence.
As her house came into view, she finally spoke. “Shinichi?”
“Anytime,” he grinned. “Do you feel better?”
“Good. Then take your bike and gimme back my handkerchief!” he teased, carefully leaning the bike against the wall as they finally arrived at her home.
She took a half-hearted swing at him, just from force of habit, and was startled when he caught her wrist. Usually, he just ducked or ran like hell. But his fingers closed around her hand, and flipped it over, holding his fingers in his own. Before she could even think to really react to this strange deviation from his normal behavior, he had dipped his head in a courtly bow, and pressed a kiss to the back of her hand.
Ran froze, her brain experienced a fatal error, and shut down entirely. Complete meltdown.
While she tried desperately to reboot, he straightened and smiled at her. “I’ll see you tomorrow. And tomorrow will be a better day, guaranteed or your money back!!” And he was gone, toodling off down the sidewalk towards his own home and whatever business awaited him there.
As reality clocked back in, Ran realized that she was standing on the sidewalk, staring at the spot where Shinichi had last been visible. Slowly, her eyes dropped to look at her hand—-he had…
Slowly, a veeeeeeeeery lovely crimson color spread over Ran’s face. And a veeeeeeeeery goofy grin tugged the corners of her mouth aaaaaaaaaall the way back to her ears. Shinichi…
She turned to go inside…and tripped over the bicycle, ending up in a heap of limbs and metal bars. Cursing loud and creatively (a habit she had inherited from her dad-—truly, her father’s daughter, only smarter), she picked up the fallen transport and wheeled it inside.
Well, Shinichi had said that tomorrow would be a better day…
She just had to survive the rest of today.
And thus ends the story of Ran and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.
PS. As I’m writing this, there’s a little Shinichi-Devil sitting on my shoulder, stabbing me in the head with his pitchfork and whining that it’s been three chapters into the 30 Kisses challenge, and he hasn’t actually gotten to kiss Ran yet. He is demanding that he be allowed to get his mack on. I’m looking for a fly-swatter.
Note to self: Get a life, kthxbye.