|The Smart Thing to Do
Author: fireblazie PM
The smart thing to do would be to stay away. [ShinichiRan]Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,743 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-13-04 - id: 1909123
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer:I own not Detective Conan.
The Smart Thing to Do
The smart thing to do would be to stay away, and he knew this. He knew this very clearly. God, he knew this. It had been engraved onto his mind for as long as he could remember. Even back when they were kids, he knew this, but...
She kept calling to him.
And no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't stay away.
"Conan-kun?" She called, stepping out of the kitchen. "I just made dinner..."
Her birthday was in three days, and he did not have a present ready. He figured that, if he was lucky, he might be able to find her something, but then there was another problem: He had to give her a present as Conan, and also give her a present as Shinichi. And six-year-olds did not have enough money to buy one, let alone two presents.
And then there presented the problem that even if he did manage to get her both presents, how would he give her the one from Shinichi? Professor Agasa would be happy to do it, he was sure, but Ran was growing more suspicious every day. Surely she would ask questions like how had he gotten the present in the first place and if Shinichi had dropped it off at his place, why hadn't he come to visit?
It was much too confusing.
"I cooked fish today," Ran said cheerfully. "You like fish, don't you, Conan-kun?"
"Hai, Ran-neechan!" Conan chirped. Inwardly, he was getting a little tired of playing the ever-chipper six-year-old. One could only stay happy for so long -- especially when one was stuck in a six-year-old's body.
"Ohhh, you like Shinichi-niisan, don't you?" He had only been teasing, but he never realized what his teasing would achieve.
And she had smiled, that slow, sweet smile. "That's right! I mean, he's always been full of himself, ever since we were little. And he's a little too absorbed in mysteries... but, well.. he's always been there whenever I needed him. And... oh, I guess I love him."
His face was turning red.
That was not good.
"Are you sick?" Ran asked, peering at him worriedly. Mouri had gone out, supposedly on some big case, but Conan had deducted quickly that the glazed look in his eyes and the lack of wearing his usual suit and replacing it with wrinkled khakis and an orange shirt meant that he had gone out drinking, and let it pass.
"No!" Conan replied, a little too quickly.
Ran furrowed her brow and looked like she might want to press the matter, but to Conan's relief thought better of it. He relaxed visibly.
Then she pounced, like a tiger.
With her speedy reflexes -- Conan blamed it on the karate -- her arm shot out of nowhere, and her warm palm rested on his clammy forehead. He immediately turned bright red and backed away, knocking down a plastic ornament.
"Conan-kun!" Ran placed her hands on her hips. "Your forehead's pretty hot! I think you might have a fever!"
"I feel fine!" Conan insisted, but he already knew he had failed. This morning he had noticed that he wasn't feeling that well, and Ran was never one to let him off the hook, no matter what the situation.
He doubted she would suddenly change her mind now.
"Conan..." She had dropped the suffix, indicating that he was in big trouble. "Stop trying to run from me. I'm getting the thermometer. If I come back and you aren't here, you will pay."
Conan gulped. She meant it.
She dashed off to her room. He heard rustling sounds, undoubtedly Ran searching for the thermometer. He wanted to run, but where? Out? No, she would hear the door and would come out. Plus, he really wasn't feeling well, and Ran would easily catch up to him. Damn his short legs..
"Co --" She raised her eyebrows. "Oh. You stayed."
Too late now.
Conan nodded numbly. Well, best to just let her take his temperature and force him to go to bed early, meaning that he wouldn't get to stay up late.
"Okay. Open up."
Conan obeyed, opening his mouth. She stuck the thermometer under his tongue, and he clamped his mouth shut with a sour look.
"Oh, don't give me that look," Ran said severely, plopping back on the couch. "It's for your own good. If you go to school with a high fever and end up passing out in the middle of school --"
She fell silent.
Conan looked down.
Then he remembered -- he wasn't supposed to know.
"What's wrong, Ran-neechan?" Except it came out more muffled and harder to understand.
She shook her head. "The same thing happened to Shinichi. We were in fifth grade. That idiot. I told him he wasn't looking well. But he wouldn't listen. And he just collapsed while playing soccer during lunch. He's such an idiot..."
Her tone was sad and frustrated. It made him angry, knowing that she was going through all of this because of his carelessness.
"Do you miss him, Ran-neechan?" The thermometer fell to the floor, but Ran didn't notice.
"Yeah," she answered after a long silence. "I do. I mean, I know it's stupid. He's just out solving a really hard case, right? It's not like... It's not like he'll never come back."
Conan bit his lip.
It was during moments like these that he wanted to run. He couldn't stand the disappointed look on her face. But more than anything, more than being sad or angry, Ran was..
And he had hurt her.
"Oh! Conan-kun!" Ran bent down to pick up the fallen thermometer. "See?" She showed him the reading on the thermometer, and sure enough, he had a fever. "Come on. Get to bed. You'll probably feel better in the morning, if you get a good night's rest."
"Okay." Conan went to his room without any complaints. Just as he was climbing into bed, a knock sounded at the door.
"Come in," he called.
Ran came in, an obviously fake smile on her face. "Just wanted to see if you needed anything. Oh, and I brought you some medicine." She held out a pill and a glass of water.
"Oh." Conan pulled a face. "Medicine."
Ran laughed. "Come on. Just drink it."
Conan threw the pill in his mouth and drank the whole glass of water in one gulp. Ran took back the cup and watched him. "Okay. Get in bed." She bit her lip, and then, almost teasingly, "are you too old to be tucked in?"
He would have said no. He would have. But seeing the longing look in her eyes caused something deep inside of him to reply, "Maybe just this once."
A slow smile spread over her face and she strode to the bed, placing the blankets over his small body. She stroked his hair.
"Am I being too weird for you, Conan-kun?"
"No," he answered. "Sometimes people need to be weird."
She laughed. "Goodnight, Conan-kun."
" 'Night, Ran-neechan."
She opened the door, and was about to walk out when something caused Conan to call out:
"What do you want for your birthday?"
She stopped, apparently surprised by the sudden question. She turned to him, wearing that same smile.
She said, "Anything you get me is fine," but he'd read everything in her face.
"Okay!" He smiled. "Goodnight!"
Three days later, on Ran's birthday, Conan went to the mailbox, wrenched it open, and retrieved all the letters. He slipped one in, the only one without a return address. She might ask questions later, but "he" would have to deal with that when the time came.
It wasn't much. It really wasn't. As Conan, he'd only been able to scrape up enough money to get her two beaded bracelets. She seemed to like the accessories, and he prayed that she would like this one, as well.
He'd spent nearly four hours at his house, digging through every single backpack and box. He'd found it, in the end, and he knew he had been saved.
It was a picture of the two of them when they were just kids. Probably eight or nine years old, judging from the condition of the photo and the way they looked. They were on the swings -- Ran was sitting, Shinichi was pushing.
It wasn't the best.
But it would have to do for now.
He gave the stack of letters to Ran, who thanked him and sat down on a stool and leafed through them.
"Bills, bills... a birthday card from my aunt and uncle... and... there's no return address on this one..." He heard the curiosity in her voice.
He heard her cutting open the envelope, and her gasp of surprise.
Her eyes were shining, and for a brief moment, she was truly happy. Conan smiled to himself and turned on he television.
Yes. The smart thing to do would be to stay away, at least for now. What would happen if he were discovered and they realized that she was the most important person to him?
The smart thing, the responsible, detective thing to do would be to stay away.
But she kept on calling to him.
And no matter how hard he tried, he found that he just couldn't stay away.
And so he came.
-- owari: the end --
A/NWoooow. My first Detective Conan story. I hope it didn't suck.
-- okay, just a little insert flashback I just had to stick in there. Obviously, it's from the dub. The English dub. By FUNimation. Except I've changed the names, of course. I live in the US, that's the only source of Detective Conan I have here. Until August, when Viz releases the manga. YAAY!