Author: fireblazie PM
She was keeping a secret from him. He was pushing her away. All this time, they kept missing each other.. HeijixKazuha.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Kazuha T. & Heiji H. - Words: 8,182 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 44 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-15-05 - id: 2580998
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan. I don't own the songs used, either.
This one simply goes out to Candyland. Her amazing, amazing story "Holding His Gaze" was the catalyst for this entire fic.
It was autumn. The leaves were turning that funny orange color, and it was impossible to walk by a tree without having leaves drop, drop, drop from the branches, and land clumsily on the ground. The wind was growing colder by the day, a chilly breeze that sent goosebumps down Kazuha's spine.
Autumn, she thought, stopping by a maple tree and watching as the broad leaves fluttered away. A season of change.
She adjusted her skirt as she entered the building, ignoring the looks that were thrown her way. She kept her head held up high, tightening her grip on her bag.
It's only been a month, hasn't it?
She strode in, careful not to make eye contact with anybody. Blank expression. Eyes dull. She found her classroom and selected a desk at the back of the room. Her friends flocked over to her, and she made pointed, forced conversation.
It wasn't the same.
It hadn't been, not since last month.
But her heart still skipped a beat when he walked in the door, dark skin, tousled dark hair, those same enchanting green eyes. Her breath still caught in her throat as he brushed past her and she smelled his scent.
He met her eyes briefly and gave her a small, uncertain smile.
Her heart was lodged in her throat.
She couldn't breathe. Everything was spinning.
Breathe. Breathe. Don't - don't - don't let him see...
She forced herself to smile back. Inside, her heart broke into a million pieces.
He knew something was wrong. He was sure he knew what it was, too. But he couldn't do anything about it. It was beyond his control, and all he could do was push himself away from her and build a barrier bigger and greater than the Great Wall itself.
She was smiling.
It wasn't real.
But what could he do?
I won't let you get hurt, he vowed silently, and winced as he took in her lifeless green eyes. God, I don't know - I don't what I would do if you ever - if I ever -
"I can't let you get hurt. I won't."
He was too late.
He paused outside the door after school. He heard her talking with her friends, clipped responses, forced laughs. He exhaled and closed his eyes, struggling to regain his composure.
He took in the shocked expression that crossed her face when she saw him. It shifted quickly into an impassive one, and she stared at him, face devoid of any emotion. He swallowed.
"Hey," he began, stuffing his hands into his pockets. In an attempt to fall back into their old routine, he went on, "What took you so long? I was waiting out here for forever."
"Stuff." She shrugged.
"Ah." She was distant, painfully so. Was this all because of him? It wasn't like he didn't want to, because he did, more than ever, but then that would be selfish - and if she ever got hurt, because of him, he didn't think he would be able to live with himself, and -
"Mm." She ducked her head, staring at her feet. Her hands reached up to clutch at the straps of her backpack, and he realized that never once in the entire span of this conversation had they met each other's eyes. His heart ached. He wanted to see them, gaze into them, her eyes...
"Kazuha." She finally raised her head to look at him, but her eyes didn't meet his - instead, they focused on some point behind his head. A part of him broke inside upon seeing the lost, hollow look in them. He struggled to remain firm. "I just - you okay?"
"Yeah. Sure." Her response was automatic, as if rehearsed. It was unbearable for him, and against his mind's will, he reached out and placed his hand softly on her shoulder. The contact sent a jolt down his spine.
She froze, and winced, as if in pain.
"Don't," she murmured. "Don't.."
He didn't move from his spot, hand on her shoulder, feet spread apart, eyes burning holes into her head. "Don't what?" he urged, almost afraid of the answer.
He saw her take a deep, shuddering breath. "Don't - don't touch me.."
The simple sentence sent a torrent of emotions flooding through him. The words tumbled out of his mouth. "What if I want to?"
She closed her eyes and bit her lip, so hard that he saw a trickle of blood slide down her chin. He clenched his free hand into a fist, and his hand tightened around her shoulder.
"Don't," she repeated, voice broken. "Just - please. Don't."
He gazed at her and allowed his hand to slide away, pulling his arm back to his side and bringing his hand inside his pocket. She turned and walked away. She never looked back.
Everybody said that they would always be together. Around school, around Osaka even, around the police station, around home. It had gotten to the point that even she believed it, too.
Heiji and Kazuha, they all said. Kazuha and Heiji. Always together. Never apart.
So when they started showing up at school separately, it was all everybody talked about for days.
"Do you think they got into a fight?" she overheard a second-year student ask, excitedly. "They're always getting into fights, the two of them, but isn't this the first time they've shown up at school, not with each other? Everybody's talking about it."
"Don't pay any attention to it," the other girl said, waving a hand dismissively. "They'll make up in the end. They always do."
Others said, "Maybe this is it. Their relationship was so strained in the first place, we all knew it'd come crashing down eventually. People who fight as much as they do would never make it."
Her father had even expressed some concern. "He's never around anymore," he'd commented. "Did something happen?"
"No," she'd replied, without batting an eyelash. "Nothing happened."
"Then why don't I ever see you two together? You used to be so inseparable.."
Kazuha stood up and began clearing the dishes from the table. "I moved on."
She was trapped in his arms.
She pushed away. Defiantly. Reluctantly.
He held her closer. Tighter. Stronger.
She gave up. She stopped moving. Leaned her head against his chest. Listened to his heartbeat. Two in one.
"Stop," she murmured, against his shoulder.
He only held her closer.
"Stop." She squirmed slightly, but nothing happened. Nothing changed. She was still in his arms, in a cage, a cage that she didn't want to break out of. God. If she could, she would stay here, forever and ever, locked in his embrace. The most secure place that she knew was with him..
Then reality came crashing down.
"Why are you doing this?" Tears pricked at her eyes, and she was too tired to hide them. She let them fall, sliding down her cheek, splattering onto his shirt. "You were - you were the one who said - who said -"
He tensed. " 'zuha, I -"
"Why?" she repeated, words muffled. "You're making this harder and harder."
"I didn't want for it to be like this." His tone was defeated. He slouched and leaned forward against her, and Kazuha couldn't help but bring her arms around him, as well. "You have to believe me, 'zuha, I didn't.."
Kazuha closed her eyes and inhaled his scent.
Then she pushed him away.
"I have to go," she said.
He walked in on her once, back facing him, hearing her sing a song.
"You don't see me... and, you don't need me..."
He should have left. He should have turned around and left -
"...you don't love me..."
But he didn't. His feet remained glued to the floor. He saw, much too clearly for his own liking, the tears that escaped her eyes, one by one. Down her cheeks. Her neck. Her shirt.
"...the way I wish you would..."
He reached out for her. She didn't notice. He stepped back. No. He - he shouldn't be here.
"...the way I know you could.."
Heiji backed off, taking a few steps at a time until he was out the doorway. Her haunting voice resounded in his mind. He couldn't stop thinking about her -
That night, he was plagued with nightmares. Nightmares of a green-eyed girl, lying in the middle of the floor in a pool of her own blood.
He stood outside her door at precisely seven in the morning. He knew her rituals by heart. He'd known her ever since they were children, after all. He wouldn't let her escape from him today.
Her eyes widened when she saw him.
"Walk to school with me?" he asked, calm and confident expression on his face betraying the turmoil he felt inside.
She reached up to clutch at the collar of her jacket.
"Come on," he urged, gesturing for her to move closer. "We've done it tons of times before."
She bit her lip.
And then followed him.
Slowly, but surely, everything started to go back to normal. He walked her to school, but it was different, somehow. Where once they would meet up in the middle, he now made it a point to wait outside her door so that he could walk the entire way with her.
The entire journey was filled with silence.
Until one day - a day caught in between the seasons.
"You're taking art, right?" He was the one who started the conversation.
"...yeah." Her voice was hoarse from lack of use.
"Who do you have?"
"What have you been doing?"
He was asking too many questions. Kazuha easily recognized this as his way of making conversation. A futile attempt, she thought, vaguely.
"Sculpting," she finally replied, after a beat of silence.
Footsteps, his heavier ones and her lighter ones, intermingled into one busy noise.
"You any good at it?" A mild attempt to provoke her. It didn't work. She cocked her head to the side thoughtfully.
"I'm okay," she replied, after a while. "I sculpted something... odd yesterday, though."
He raised an eyebrow at her, and for a moment, it seemed like everything was all right, everything was perfect again. "Oh yeah?"
"Un." Kazuha tapped her fingers against her arm. "It was a block of ice. Melting in fire. That's what it was supposed to look like, anyway. Some people thought I was crazy. Akira-sensei liked it, though, and that's what matters in the end. I liked it, too."
"Do you think," he began, delicately, and if Kazuha didn't know him so well she would never have noticed, but he'd paused hesitantly before continuing, "that you'd let me see it sometime?"
He did, too. He turned around to look at her. Her gaze rested on the floor.
"Sure," she replied, softly.
And time went on. It never stopped, it never froze. It kept going and going, in an neverending cycle of pain and hurt and love and forgiveness and pain all over again.
He wasn't sure if things would ever be the same between the two of them again.
But he was trying. And she was forgiving.
It was winter, he reflected, watching the snowflakes fall from the sky to the ground. The pure white snow, erasing traces of past mistakes.
Things grew better, less painful, and easier to bear. There was a dance in a week's time, just in time for Christmas. The words were caught in his throat, much like the way peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.
She shivered in the cold. Her skirt was too short, too thin for this weather. She wore leg-warmers, black. Her hair was down today, in an attempt to keep her neck warm.
He wanted to touch it.
Feel it, tangled in his fingers.
He opened his mouth. "You doing anything later on?" he asked.
He noticed her stiffen. "...no," she answered, after an uncomfortable stretch of silence.
"Can I see your sculpture? Did you take it home yet?"
"Yeah. Yeah. Sure."
The snow fell around them, and she drew her scarf tighter around her neck. She was shivering, trembling. Her breath came out in foggy mists. His body reacted on its own.
"Wh - " She bit her lip, an alarmed expression flickering over her face.
His arm encircled her shoulders, bringing her closer to him. She was so thin, he realized with a pang, so painfully thin. She was freezing.
"Bring another jacket next time," he said, voice low.
"Let go," she said, voice hollow.
"Why do you care?"
The remark caught him off-guard. "Why? Kazuha, I -"
"You're never there. Not anymore."
She pulled away. He didn't let go. He wouldn't. "I'm still here," he insisted, a sense of urgency permeating his tone. "I'm still here. I haven't gone anywhere. I'm here. I'm here." He repeated the words, over and over again. "I'm here. I'm here."
"You're not," she said, helplessly. "You're not."
"I am. I am..."
"Don't do this," she pleaded. "Don't - don't break - "
He held her tighter. The snow fell, white crystals against her dark hair. "I won't. I won't let you go."
"You can't promise that."
"Yes." He pulled her closer, as close as possible. "Yes, I can."
Sometimes, she wondered if she should just tell him.
But would he just push her away, again?
She didn't think she could handle it if it had happened again. It had been hard enough, so hard... the first time. But it had happened, and the staggering blow of pain she'd been dealt had almost driven her to the edge.
She moved on. At least, she thought she had. But when he drew closer to her, when he looked at her, when he grinned at her, when he touched her - the barrier she'd struggled to build fell apart, so easily.
But this - she couldn't bear to tell him this.
She peeled off her shirt and examined the scars. It didn't matter. Not anymore.
On the twenty-second, he showed up at her doorstep, dressed in casual clothes, cap perched on his head. He was grinning that grin. The old one, the familiar one that sent her heart fluttering against her chest.
"What are you doing here?" She blinked at him, startled. He did that to her a lot.
"The dance is tonight," he replied, simply. "Figured you'd want to go."
And just like that, he sent the blood rushing to her cheeks, made her knees tremble and made her lean onto the doorway for support. "...I don't want to."
"Really?" It was his turn to blink. "I figured you would. You used to drag me to them all the time."
She didn't want him here. It hurt too much. "I'm tired," she said, and she wasn't lying.
"Then I'll stay with you."
Her heart leaped into her throat, and she could only watch as he pushed past her, took off his shoes, and settled comfortably on her couch. She'd forgotten how well he knew her house. She'd forgotten - she'd forgotten -
He turned and grinned at her.
...she'd forgotten how much she'd loved having him around.
She knew she shouldn't let him stay. It would only hurt her in the end.
"You don't have to be here." Her heart was pounding. He was staring at her. Did he know? "I'm tired, that's all. I won't be able to do anything."
He shrugged. "That's okay."
He wasn't supposed to say that, she thought, he was supposed to leave.
He went on, "It's no big deal, is it? We're always over at each other's houses, anyway."
"Yeah, but -"
He cut her off, and before she had time to blink he was directly in front of her. "You're not sick, are you?" he pressed.
"No." She wasn't exactly telling the truth. "I'm fine.."
He frowned, and dragged her to the couch, sitting her down in front of him. She was too tired, too shocked to argue. He was so much stronger than she was, anyway.. in more ways than one.
He pulled her to him. She started.
"Shush," he said, turning on the television and flipping through the channels. She was leaning against his chest. "This is a good episode."
Christmas was a heartwrenching affair. Upon her father's insistence, she found herself at the Hattori residence, fake smile eternally pasted on her face, cursing herself every single time she met his eyes.
He motioned for her to go out to the living room. She nodded, leaving the adults to their own conversations in the kitchen. This is familiar, and safe - her behind him, following him. Eternally.
He handed her a small, gift-wrapped box. She handed him a larger one, wrapped in a deep green paper. It had reminded her of his eyes.
"Open it," he said. And she did. The smile that appeared on her face, for once, wasn't fake - or was it? She couldn't tell, she wasn't even sure anymore. But she'd looked up at him, really, truly looked up at him for the first time in a while, before putting the soft, cream-colored scarf around her neck.
"Thanks," she said, and he grinned back in reply. He quickly tore off the wrapping on his present, wincing slightly at how heavy it was.
"What is it?" he asked, but he was already opening the box. It was the sculpture, the same one she'd worked on in art. Ice, melting in fire.
Her, melting in him.
"I didn't really know what to do with it." She felt like she had to explain.
"But.." He frowned. "Why me? You said you put all your heart into it, right? You should keep it.."
"No," she said. "You can have it. Really."
She'd already given her heart to him, anyway.
Heiji exhaled, collapsing backwards on his bed. He spoke into the phone, "Because, Kudo. Because."
"Still," came the not-so-childish voice from the other end. "You're only hurting her." He understood.
"I can't let her get hurt," Heiji insisted. "Do you think I like seeing her like this? I hate it. And there's nothing I can do, but I have to let it be like this, because - because if I don't, then she'll -"
"It's the same reason you push Neechan away, isn't it?"
A sigh - one that conveyed all the emotions Heiji was feeling right now. "Yeah. It is."
When the cherry blossom trees started to bloom, Kazuha found herself outside a little bit more, sitting on the grass, staring at the pink petals, swirling in the breeze.
She wished she could be a cherry blossom. To live. To wilt. To die. To live again.
All she wanted to do was forget.
And she couldn't even do that.
It had happened in the middle of summer, a month before the start of their second term. They were walking home, both of them fuming because of another silly, petty argument.
"You're such an idiot," he muttered, chancing a glance at her.
"You're a bigger idiot," she retorted right back, turning away from him, swinging her ponytail and bringing it to whack him in the face.
He caught her by the ponytail, tugging on it hard. She yelped.
"Stupid - "
He pulled at the ribbon, and her hair cascaded down her shoulders. She whirled around, running a hand through her tangled hair. "What do you think you're doing?" she demanded.
There was something odd in his eyes, in his expression when she saw him. A different expression. A different mask.
"You should wear your hair down more often," was all he said. And turned around, tight-lipped, and began walking away.
She panicked. No, she wanted to say, no, don't leave me, don't leave me. Stay. Stay.
And the words fell out.
"I love you."
He remembered, too, even though he didn't want to. Memories, vivid in his head. A clear painting, with sharp brush strokes and striking colors.
He wished he could tell her the truth.
But this was the path he chose, and these were the consequences.
He wouldn't put her in any more danger than he'd already exposed her to. He wouldn't, he wouldn't.
The cherry blossoms fell to the ground, silently dying.
He froze. He heard her shocked gasp pierce the crisp air. He wasn't dreaming. No.
"What?" he said, slowly turning around to face her.
"Nothing," came the hasty reply.
"I heard something." He advanced towards her, and she backed away. He wouldn't relent, and kept drawing nearer and nearer and nearer until her back made a solid thump as it hit against a brick wall.
"It's nothing.." Pain. He heard it in her voice, saw it in her eyes.
"Kazuha.." He trailed off. What could he say?
"I said it was nothing!" she cried, bitterly. She sagged against the wall. "Heiji -"
"I can't." He shook his head, and his eyes were wide and so were hers and he could hear the cars speeding through the road beside them. "I can't."
A hurt expression flashed across her face, but it disappeared as soon as it had come. "It doesn't matter."
"I can't," he repeated. Visions of what would happen to her if the men in black found out flooded his brain. Her lifeless, limp body, bleeding to death. "I can't," he said, again. If they so much as even touched her - no, even looked at her -
"It's okay." She dared to look him in the eye, and he had to close his eyes for a brief second before he could withstand them, those hollow, hollow orbs. "I mean - really. It's okay."
"No, it's not," he said, quietly.
She pushed away from him and began to walk down the sidewalk. He watched her retreating form as she grew farther and farther away. She didn't hear his silent, broken whisper. The distance between them was too great.
He loved her, too.
It was spring. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom, their sweet, slight scent in the air. Sometimes she would stand underneath a tree, staring at the pink petals, trying to lose herself in them...
The bell rang. She awoke and found herself in her hard, wooden desk. Her back ached.
"Get out your homework," their teacher said, and Kazuha automatically did so, lined paper with curved strokes. She passed her papers to the front. She could hear him breathing.
The long-haired man with steely eyes and black clothes.
She hugged herself tightly, willing herself to forget. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force the tears back. No. Don't. Don't think about it. Don't think about anything. Stop. Stop it.
The pain of losing Heiji was too great. Sometimes, just being around him was too overwhelming for her to bear. Knowing that he was so close, and yet so far away at the same time -
That was already too much for her to handle.
This - another memory that she had buried far, far beneath the surface - this, she couldn't take it at the same time.. She would burst. She didn't want to - she wasn't -
Gleaming, white teeth.
She whimpered as the memory hit her, again and again and again.
Around the end of February, he saw her in the art room, face concentrated on a large sketchpad, a piece of charcoal clutched in her right hand.
His feet drove him to her. Even now, what was this magnetic pull she had on him?
He paused behind her, eyes taking in the sketch she'd drawn. She stiffened slightly upon realizing his presence. He was silent and staring.
"What is it?" he finally asked.
There was a long, awkward pause.
"It's something that I haven't been able to get off my mind," she answered, vaguely.
"Ah." He ought to leave now. There was something in the air, a harsh, painful emotion. The sketch was dark. Haunted eyes stared at him from the paper. Lots of lines. Black. Confusion. Turmoil.
"Confused, Mr. Detective?" A shadowy trace of her old smile flickered onto her face.
He shot her a small grin. "Yeah. I don't really get it."
A different expression crossed her face. "Yeah," she said, "well, you wouldn't."
The nightmares started up a week before their graduation.
The nightmares were real, vividly so. They sent her crying in her sleep, soaking her pillow through the pillowcase. When she went to sleep at night, she took in the scent of her salty, salty tears.
Her father asked her once - "I thought I heard someone crying. Was that you?"
She looked at him, directly in the eye, and shook her head. "No. It wasn't."
But the fact was that she was losing sleep. Dark circles appeared under her eyes in the morning, and no matter how much concealer she put on, she could never hide it from him.
"What's wrong?" he asked, piercing green eyes boring holes into her skull.
"You're pale. You're always tired."
"I'm fine." Her tone was firm, and she turned away from him.
He reached out and grabbed her wrist.
Even now - even now -
Even now, his touch still had the same effect on her.
"You're lying to me."
A shiver ran down her spine. "I'm not." She couldn't look into his eyes. "I'm telling you the truth, Heiji."
He tugged on her wrist. "Don't lie." There was something in his voice, a fierce possessiveness. "What's wrong?"
Just - just -
"I'm just tired," she said, quietly. "I - I haven't been sleeping well lately. That's all."
There were times when he could hear a voice crying. It happened suddenly, randomly. He would be walking down the hallways and the voice would call out to him - Help me, help me.
It followed him everywhere he went, even in his dreams. The voice was strongest in his dreams.
"What?" he would ask. "Who are you?"
The voice cried out louder, desperately. Help me! Save me!
Then he would wake up, dripping in cold sweat. The voice was gone.
His eyes haunted her. Steely blue eyes, a harsh, sadistic grin.
She remembered all too clearly the abruptness of his voice. His sharp, sharp nails, digging into her skin. His larger frame, towering over hers.
"No," she whispered, rocking herself to sleep. "No. Go away. Go away."
She was pulled, violently, away from her usual route home. She hadn't walked with Heiji in weeks, and she didn't want to, because the pain was too great. It was too much for her to handle.
"Stop!" But her attacker paid no heed to her. He was dressed in black. She tried to wrench her arm free from his grasp, but it was to no avail. She readied herself in an aikido stance, bracing herself to attack and run -
She grabbed hold of his wrist -
And stopped, dead in her tracks.
A gun, the feel of a cold metal, pressed against her forehead.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." His breath tickled her ear, but it wasn't in a good way. He took advantage of her fear to pin her arms behind her back and dragged her forcefully behind him, down a dark alley. She struggled the entire time, but drew in a sharp gasp as she heard the safety of the gun go off.
"Now tell me." She winced as he pinned her roughly against a wall. "Where is he?"
"Wh - who?" she gasped out, biting her lip in pain.
"Kudo Shinichi," he snarled.
Kazuha only had a split second to blink dumbfoundedly at him, "I - I don't know -"
"Don't lie to me!" He twisted her arm painfully, and she shrieked in pain. His cold eyes glinted in the darkness. "I know you know. You're with Hattori Heiji, are you not?"
Even in such a desperate situation, his name sent a knife through her heart. "I don't know him," she said, hollowly.
"Stop lying! You're always with him, you must know!"
"I - I don't -"
He let out a mad scream.
Everything happened too fast. He was on top of her, holding a gun to her head the entire time. In his other hand he clutched a knife. He was twice her size. She didn't know what to do. It hurt. Everything was spinning. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt -
And she was screaming and screaming -
But nobody came.
He didn't come.
"I love you," she had told him.
"I can't," he had said.
The sensation of a blade, slicing through her flesh.
"Stop it," she gasped, struggling to push him off, "stop it, stop it, stop it -"
She let out an ear-splitting scream.
Then he pushed himself off of her.
He caught a glimpse of a jagged scar that traced her forearm one windy day. He grabbed her by the elbow and traced it with his finger.
"What is this?" he whispered. A long scar. Faded. Made with a knife.
She tensed, and he barely saw the expression of fear that flitted across her face. "Nothing."
"Tell me." His fingers brushed over the scar.
She shook her head. She couldn't completely hide the frightened and lost expression that took hold of her eyes. Not from him, anyway. The sight of it made him want to - made him want to pull her close to him, embrace her, and never let go. What was she hiding from him?
"Why?" he asked, softly. "Dammit, Kazuha, why won't you tell me?"
She hesitated - and then reached out with her other hand and touched his arm. He looked at her.
"It's not a pretty story," she said.
She ran to the hospital. The nurses at the front desk took one look at her condition, hair ragged and dirty, blood dripping from her arm, bruises on her face before ushering her quickly into a vacant office.
She said nothing. She remained silent as the doctor treated her cuts and bruises.
"You have to tell us," the doctor, a middle-aged woman with square glasses, "you have to tell us what happened."
But she couldn't. Her tongue was stuck to the roof of her mouth. The doctor let out a small sigh and continued cleaning the cut, bandaging it with soft, white gauze. She handed her an ice pack to put over the bruises.
"I'll be back to check on you in a little while," she said, before leaving the room.
Kazuha drew her knees up to her chin, closing her eyes as the tears slipped out. She couldn't speak.
"Heiji," she whispered, "Heiji."
Her sobs grew louder.
"Why didn't you come?"
They were backstage, getting ready for graduation. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and took in her appearance, hair neatly tied back in its usual ponytail, uniform pressed.
He'd just received his letter of acceptance from Tokyo University in the mail, and he wanted to ask her - ask her where she was going. They'd still see each other, he knew, but - but it wouldn't be the same. Unless she was going to the same university as him.. God, he hoped. She'd become such an important part of his life, even without him realizing.
"Hey," he called, and she turned to face him.
"Yeah?" she asked.
"I was just wondering.." he trailed off, unsure. "...I mean... where are you going for college?"
A distant look crossed her face, and he waited an eternity for her response.
"I'm going to America," she said.
Their parting scene wasn't the dramatic, romantic ones portrayed on T.V. There were no tears. No sudden, passionate confessions. Not from either of them. In the end, it was simply the two of them, a boy and girl, in front of the gate.
"Now boarding Gate E-12," the intercom blared, "now boarding Gate E-12."
"I'll see you," he said, watching as she picked up her carry-on luggage. Something flickered in her eyes as she looked up at him. He swallowed again, words sticking in his throat.
"Yeah." She closed her mouth. Then opened it. And bit her lip. "I'll - I'll miss you."
He ignored the rapid beating of his heart. "Same. I'll call you."
"Mm." She nodded, and they stood there, staring at each other for the longest time. He yearned to tell her the words - but he couldn't, he couldn't. It wasn't safe.
"Last call for E-12."
"I have to go." She stated the obvious and bowed her head. "Just - thanks. For everything."
"Yeah. No problem. I'll call you." He said it again, for reassurance.
She nodded again, turned, and left.
He stood by the window, watching.
He remained there long after her plane had taken off.
Kazuha stared out the window, taking in the blue skies, the white, wispy clouds that hovered in midair. Her stomach lurched. She was cold. Her fingers accidentally touched the scar. Her scar.
"I'll call you," he had said.
She unfolded the complimentary airline blanket and draped it around her shivering body. She knew that they would never see each other again.
His blood was pounding. He was in Tokyo, with Conan right at his heels. His katana was clutched tightly in his hands as he held it threateningly against the man's throat, hard enough to draw blood.
"You have something we want," Heiji said, voice low and menacing.
"It doesn't matter," the man said, sneering. "They were going to kill me anyway."
"We're going to take you down." The voice that came from Conan's voice wasn't one that belonged to a seven-year-old. "For - for all the crap you've pulled, for - for -"
The man smiled, an insane smile. He wasn't looking at Conan. He was looking at Heiji. "You're going to kill me, aren't you?"
"No," Heiji said, voice even. "I'm going to put you in jail. We are."
"Really now?" A strange, surprised tone seeped into the man's voice. "Considering what I did to your girl, that's all you're going to do? Guess the rumors weren't true after all. You two weren't together."
For a moment, Heiji's heart stopped. "Wh - what?" he ground out, heart leaping into his throat. "Kazu - " He shifted his blade, applying enough pressure to send blood trickling down the man's neck. Conan tensed beside him. Heiji paid no attention. "You bastard, what the hell did you do?"
A sinister and disturbing smile lit up the man's face. His teeth gleamed in the moonlight.
"I raped her."
Heiji's katana fell to the floor.
"Why didn't she tell me?"
Conan sat helplessly on the armchair, staring at the young man on the floor. "Hattori.."
"Is it because of - of when I rejected her? I didn't - I didn't want to, dammit, I didn't want to.."
He buried his face in his hands. "Dammit," he exhaled. "Dammit, dammit - dammit!"
There was only silence, except for the sound of the cars speeding down the highway. "She didn't trust me enough to tell me," he went on, "she didn't trust me enough. She didn't want me to know. And - and I should have known. I'm a goddamned detective, aren't I? How could I - how could I have let this happen? How could -"
"You don't know," Heiji muttered. "I was an idiot. I can't - I can't face her now. What do I say to her? I should've known, I should've done something, anything.."
"You love her, don't you?"
Heiji was stunned by these words. He raised his head weakly to meet Conan's eyes. He'd taken off his glasses, and now he saw Shinichi, not Conan.
"You love her, don't you?" he repeated.
Heiji closed his eyes. "...more than anything in the world."
"Then go to her." A wry grin twisted the boy's lips. "You - you two still have a chance. You can go. You can tell her. You have the chance that I don't. The chance that I would die for."
The green-eyed detective swallowed. "What if she won't accept me?"
"She will," was all the other boy said. "She will."
Late at night, underneath a full moon, Kazuha found herself at the park in front of her apartment. She sat on the grass, listening to the crickets chirping, listening to the wind blowing. It was during times like these that she remembered.
Her hand instinctively went up to her scar. The other bruises had faded, but this scar never would. The doctors had told her that. She remembered wearing long-sleeved shirts for the longest time.
She closed her eyes, trying to drown out the memory.
And another memory flooded her mind -
"I won't let you go."
It was a mistake to leave him, she reflected, drawing her knees up to her chest and burying her chin in them. Leaving Japan would leave behind the painful memories. But it also meant leaving him. And - and despite all - despite all the pain he'd caused her, everything he'd made her go through -
She still loved him anyway.
He saw her, underneath a leafy tree, staring up at the full moon, a forlorn expression on her face. Her hair was down, and it spilled forth down her shoulders in curls. His breath caught in his throat.
She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
From his vantage point, he could see the remants of tears staining her pale cheeks. He could see slight dark circles under her eyes.
She was crying.
It always pained him to see her cry. He took two steps closer, still uncertain - but absolutely firm in the fact that he was not, was not, going to let this entire trip be in vain.
He drew nearer.
He stopped behind her.
"Hey," he said.
She heard footsteps behind her. She tensed, automatically - but as the foosteps drew closer and louder, her heart stopped and a for a moment it seemed as if time itself had frozen..
She knew those footsteps.
She knew that scent.
She knew that presence.
"Hey," he said, and she turned around to reveal wide, startled eyes. She couldn't think, she couldn't speak.
Finally: "You - you shouldn't be here." Frantically turning around. Trying to avoid his eyes.
"I know." An admit of defeat. "But I'm here anyway."
She closed her eyes, refusing to look at him. "You were never one to listen to fate."
"Ah." A rustling movement. "Figures, considering how many times I've cheated death."
She inhaled sharply, memories of all the times he'd managed to get himself hurt flooding her brain.
"You shouldn't be here," she repeated, in a monotone.
"Don't you want me here?"
No, her mind said, but her heart took control of her mouth: "Yes."
He knelt down on the ground, moving ever closer. She could feel his breath against her shoulder. An involuntary shiver ran down her spine. God..
"You need - you need - you need to -" Her voice cracked dangerously. " - to leave..."
He didn't listen. He never did. Before she knew it, she was being enveloped into his arms - his safe, secure arms, and despite the fact that she knew she shouldn't, she was leaning into his touch, allowing herself to be held. By him.
"I'm sorry." His voice was barely more than a whisper. It held pain. Frustration. Sadness.
So he knew. "It's not your fault." She should push away from him now. "I'm fine, I've moved on." He held her tighter, and she didn't have the strength to push him away.
"It is. It is. It is."
She said nothing, then -
"You should leave." A lump had formed itself in her throat. She needed to leave. Get him to leave. Something. She couldn't handle being this close to him.
"I won't. Never."
She sucked in air - she needed to leave, now - "Then I will." She stood up abruptly and had gone no farther than two feet when his arm caught hers and he pulled her close to him, trapping her effectively in a cage that she didn't want to get out of.
"Let go," she whispered, brokenly.
"No," he whispered back.
"You were the one - " She inhaled and exhaled, squeezing her eyes shut, trying to keep the tears from falling. " - you were the one who said - who said that you couldn't -"
"That was a mistake." The words fell from his lips easily, and they warmed her from head to toe, even when she knew that they shouldn't. He shouldn't have this effect on her. He shouldn't, he shouldn't.
But he did.
"I - I didn't want you to get hurt - but - but you did, anyway, and -"
He pulled her closer.
"I won't let it happen again."
She struggled against his grip. He wouldn't let her go. "You can't promise that," she said, familiar words forming themselves on her mouth.
"Yes, I can."
"But you can't!" The tears finally escaped, streaking down her cheeks. She buried her face in his chest and he held her. "You can't promise it, you can't, you can't -"
"I'm not going to lose you," he said, steadily. "I - dammit, I know that I can't promise it - but - but - no matter what - " He paused and took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts. "As long as you're with me, I - I'll never let you get hurt."
"You - " Her resolve was crumbling. "You have to let me go - let go, Heiji -"
He didn't. She didn't expect him to. "Even if I die," he said, "I won't let go."
That was it. Her barrier had fallen, broken into a million tiny fragments.
She was tired. So tired. She let him hold her.
"I don't want you to," she whispered.
"I'm not going to," he vowed.
And in the end, it was the two of them, again. A fresh summer's day, the sun smiling gently down at them from her position in the sky.
He stopped in front of her door. His hands were stuffed inside his pockets, and an uncharacteristically uncertain expression flitted across his face.
He withdrew his hand from his pockets - after a brief second of hesitation, he raised it and knocked.
Rustling sounds from inside. "Coming!" The door opened, and he took in the sight of her, hair tousled from sleep, clad in light blue pajamas and a tank top.
His eyes landed on her scar. She followed his gaze and fingered it absentmindedly, searching his expression all the while. His face remained dispassionate.
He took one step towards her. "Can I come in?" he asked.
She closed her eyes.
She moved aside to let him in. "Yes," she said.
You are a deep, strong wind in me
I feel you -
Come on in
- fin -
Random Notes: Uh. Yeah. So this is basically the product of having millions of angst bunnies mauling me over the past couple of weeks... reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson... talking to my good, good friend Lyn "Jarewo" Wors-chan, and of course, Candyland's Holding His Gaze.
I know it's - different, but I had to get it out of my system. I hope you all liked it, though. I had lots of fun writing it, though it was extremely exhausting and draining..
Songs - in the beginning, the one that Kazuha is singing - that one's called "You Don't See Me" by Josie and the Pussycats. The ending song is called "YOU" and it's from Samurai Champloo.
Again, this one goes out to Candyland. Also, lots and lots of hugs and thanks go out to Lyn "Jarewo" Wors-chan, who basically beta-read this and had to put up with me going, "Is it okay? Is it any good?" constantly. xDD.
Review, won't you?