Over the Years
When you're first born, you claim an identity. Whether it was your true identity or not is a whole different story. You grow up believing what you are told and just happen to have the built-in skills to work around that.
When you're first born, you have this natural instinct that lets you know certain facts, like who your mother is. People forget quickly, however, and will claim another woman as their mother if they live with her long enough. It's not always right, but it's not always wrong, either.
Over time, we all have to accept who and what we are, even if it means letting go of something that used to mean the world to us.
Like our true identity.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
"Tousan, have you seen my backpack?"
"Relax, Ran, it's probably just in your room somewhere."
"I already checked there dozens of times!"
"Calm down…why do you need it anyway? It's not like you're gonna need it to carry books or anything."
Ran stood up quickly from having looked under the couch, facing Sonoko with a scowl, "It just so happens that I have money in my bag! Sonoko, if we keep to our plans on going out after graduation, I need some cash."
"Oh…" was Sonoko's low response, her light eyes wandering down, "I really don't know how you could misplace it, Ran, but there's only so many places to hide it."
"I didn't hide it."
Just then, they heard a small chuckle coming from the kitchen, followed by a young boy's voice, "Ran-nësan, I found it."
Smiling quickly, Ran rushed into the kitchen to find Conan standing on top of one of the kitchen chairs by the stove. He was holding the pans handle with one hand, grasping a spatula in the other to flip the pancakes. He was dressed in his usual school uniform, cladding a small apron around his torso and blue slippers on his feet.
Her eyes wondered over to her backpack that he had sitting on the kitchen table. Feeling relieved, she hugged the bag to her quickly before unzipping one of the bottom pouches, finding a small stack of money rolled up inside.
She let out a breath of relief, "Arigatou, Conan-kun. Where did you find it?" She grabbed her money and stuck it in the pocket of her skirt, walking over beside him to see how he was doing on the pancakes. Ran sniffed in deeply, loving the aroma of breakfast. The pancakes looked golden-brown; perfectly round circles of delicacy.
Conan looked over to her, his eyes a little dull from her oblivious stupidity, "It's been sitting on the table all morning."
"Huh?" Ran questioned, putting her index finger to her chin in thought. Her eyes brightened when she realized, however, blushing at the same time, "Oh yeah! I remember putting it there last night so I wouldn't forget where it was. Heh, silly me…"
A small sweat drop formed on the side of Conan's face as he grabbed a plate and plopped the pancakes onto it, 'Good job, Ran…it worked out real well for you.'
"Ran, come on!" Sonoko complained, throwing her arms out in frustration. She wore her dirty blonde hair down to her shoulders as usual, wearing a dark blue hair band.
"Do you really wanna be late for graduation?"
"Of course not!" Ran contradicted, grabbing one of Conan's pancakes as she made her way to the front door, sliding off her slippers so she could change into her tennis shoes. She stuck the pancake in her mouth and held it steady with her teeth as she jumped around in a hurry, trying to push her foot in her shoe without untying the laces.
She finally succeeded, jogging out the door behind Sonoko. She bit the piece off she had held in her mouth, screaming back inside, "Ja ne, Tousan, thanks for the breakfast, Conan-kun!"
And then the door was shut.
Conan sighed at their rush, feeling a little left out. Well…more than a little. He felt left out completely. It was supposed to be his graduation, too.
He hopped off the chair and took off his apron, hanging it over the back of another chair. He reached up to grab the plate of pancakes he was hoping Ran and Sonoko would have more time to enjoy. Instead, the young detective was stuck with Ran's father, who looked quite grumpy as he sat at the table reading the newspaper. A cup of coffee was in front of him, but it had long been cooled off, steam no longer rising from the mug.
Conan realized that the detective hadn't said a word all morning, eyeing him cautiously as he set the pancakes down in the middle of the table. He took a seat, serving himself a couple pancakes and then layering them with a load of syrup.
His bright blue eyes looked to the man again from behind thick glasses, wincing when the only sound was that of the paper snapping when he turned a page.
"Mou…Mouri-ojisan?" He was answered with another snap of the paper, "Something wrong?"
Kogorou simply grunted.
Conan narrowed his eyes at him from the side, 'What's his problem? I'm the one that should be in a bad mood. I would have graduated high school today! Instead, I'm stuck with going to elementary school for half a day and spending the rest with him. Maybe he'll—'
His thoughts her interrupted when he finally heard Kogorou mumble something; "Can't believe I'm stuck with you now…"
'Oh, so he feels the same way…'
"I might not be around much today," Conan informed him, taking a large bite of his food, "I'm going to hang out with my friends later today, so you don't have to—."
"I'm not just talking about today, runt!" he snapped, slapping his paper down on the table, showing the headlines. Wearily, Conan looked up at him, raising an eyebrow before he soon knew what the detective meant. His heart sank and so did his eyes when he realized the full extent of what his next lecture would be about. It didn't take a genius to figure it out.
"With Ran going away to college soon, I'm stuck with you in my hair all the time! I put up with you over this past year only because my daughter was the one that watched over you! But now…" Kogorou sighed in defeat, picking up his paper again to hide his face, "Now I'm stuck with you until your parents decide to come for you."
Conan's, or rather, Shinichi's heart skipped a beat. He didn't know what he would do without Ran being around all the time. He had a feeling that soon he would be experiencing what Ran had felt for little over a year when she didn't get to see him. He tried to reason with himself, saying that it was two completely different situations, but in the end, he found that they weren't too different after all. She may have been seeing him everyday, but she didn't know it. That's as bad as not seeing at all.
He recalled that day about a month ago when Ran had first told him that she was getting ready for college. She had been accepted into one and at first, Conan was relieved that she would be staying in Japan. But then she broke the news that she would be heading to Miyazaki. It wasn't overseas, but it was practically on the other side of Japan. It had to be about five hundred miles away from Tokyo.
She had said she wanted to study to become a lawyer like her mother, but may change her mind later on.
That was also the day that she told Conan that she hoped and wished more than anything that Shinichi would show up for graduation, but of course, that was quite impossible. Conan had pushed Dr. Agasa and Ai over their limits to try to find a cure as soon as possible. Of course, if they didn't come up with an antidote when they weren't on a time schedule, they weren't going to find one within a month. As depressing as it was, Conan felt himself begin to lose hope.
In a way, he tried to convince himself that Ran would be a lot safer on the other side of Japan and he wouldn't have to worry about her, but then those dreaded ifs came into the picture. What if the Black Organization was following her and actually pursued her all the way over to Miyazaki? He wouldn't have any way of knowing about it then.
Of course, he couldn't just tell Ran not to go to college, though. Colleges were hard to get into and he saw how happy she was when she got accepted easily. But, as she told him, there was also a certain part of her that didn't want to leave Tokyo until Shinichi showed back up. To her, there was nothing more fearful than her not being there when Shinichi was done with his case.
Conan wouldn't take it, however, for he didn't want to have Ran waiting around forever. Most likely, he thought, she could very well go to college for four years and come back and he'd still be Conan. But he did promise to phone her if ever he did hear anything from Shinichi.
She would be his first priority if he returned to normal, anyway.
He got thrown from his flashbacks when Kogorou snapped his paper again, laying it down on the table again so he could light a cigarette. Though he had gotten used to it, Conan still hated the smell.
Jumping off his chair, he walked to the door and grabbed his backpack and shoes, ready to leave for school. He looked back into the house he had begun calling home, his little hand resting on the doorknob. His eyes saddened considerably as reality began to sink in. Pretty soon, this would be how every morning started.
Ran wouldn't be there to make him breakfast like she usually did; she wouldn't be there to walk him halfway to school until he met up with Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhiko. She wouldn't be there to take him out for some fun for no special reason at all; and most of all, she wouldn't be there to just talk to him.
He sighed as he closed the door behind him and started walking to school. When he first got turned into a child, he didn't realize how much he would really be missing out on.
But now that Ran was about to move on to bigger and better things, he realized just how much he was getting left behind.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Unfortunately, a month and half went by quicker than anyone in the Mouri residence ever wanted it to. Kogorou was angered that he would be stuck with only Conan now, Conan was oppressed that Ran would be leaving, and Ran was depressed that she would be leaving without saying goodbye to Shinichi. On top of that, she also felt a little guilty leaving Conan with her father, plus just leaving him in the first place. She had grown really close to the young boy and knew he would be at the top of her list of the people she would miss the most.
It was the night before her initial departure and everyone was having a hard time falling asleep. Kogorou drank himself to sleep to make it easier. Sonoko had stayed the night, having wanted to see Ran off to the airport, also. After talking for some time about all the good memories they had, Sonoko had drifted off.
Feeling lonely, Ran exited her bedroom, surprised to see Conan sitting on the couch in the living room in the dark.
She stepped closer to him, her eyes sympathizing when she saw how melancholy he looked when he gazed up at her through his glasses. She sat beside him slowly, gently resting a hand on his shoulder.
"So you couldn't sleep either, huh?" She questioned softly.
Conan shook his head and looked down at his hands that were in his lap.
"Hai…seems almost impossible, right?" She asked, slouching against the couch, her hand sliding down his back. Ran gave a small, forced laugh, her eyes wandering up to the ceiling; "It seems like just yesterday I started my senior year. I actually thought it would go by slow without…" she trailed off, tears stinging her orbs immediately after she thought about him.
Without turning around to look at her, Conan asked, "Does this mean you're going to try to forget about Shinichi-san?"
The question threw her completely off-guard. And it wasn't so much the question in itself, but rather, the way he asked it. He sounded so downhearted…like the world would end if she ever said that she was letting Shinichi go.
When she didn't answer right away, Conan turned around. From the darkness of the room, the only light available being the moonlight that shined in from outside, his glasses shined, concealing his eyes.
Without noticing, a single tear zigzagged down her cheek. Her lids closed and she rested her head against the back of the couch.
"I…could never forget Shinichi, Conan-kun, rather I tried or not. I prayed with everything I have to make him come back to me…to allow me to see him at least once before I left, but…" she trailed off, a few more tears escaping their imprisonment, "that didn't happen."
She sucked in a few deep breaths, trying to regain herself for she knew that she had cried too many nights over this topic. Ran opened her eyes once more, rimmed with tears, her vision blurred. She managed a small, soft smile when Conan leaned back against her, his head on her chest. Her closest arm encircled him, her other hand running through his soft hair.
"I keep hoping he'll just show up out of nowhere…without announcing it. He'll just surprise me one day and even though he might not have any wrapped boxes or flowers with him, just seeing him will be the greatest gift of all.
"And when I think of that…I think…he'll be the one to be dramatic enough to not show up until I'm at the airport, about to leave Tokyo. We could make last minute plans to somehow be together and…" Ran closed her eyes again, imagining it in her mind, "and then he'll hold me. He'll hold me so close to him that I know he doesn't want to let go of me anymore than I want to let go of him."
With saying this, she wrapped both her arms around Conan, embracing him to her in a tight hold. Conan had also closed his eyes, imagining all that she was speaking. He shook slightly when he realized he was picturing it all to well; wanting it all too much.
"Even if he doesn't show up at the airport tomorrow," Conan began in such a shaky voice, he began to believe he was a scared child, "I'm sure Shinichi-san wants that just as much as you do…"
She smiled through her tears, swinging her legs up on the couch while still holding the young boy close to her, "Just hearing you say that makes me feel a lot better, Conan-kun. And even if he doesn't show up tomorrow, I'll still have you there…
"And that makes it bearable enough to live through."
My first Detective Conan story…would do you think? Sorry if the prologue seemed a little rushed, but it's basically to lead up to the main point. Thanks for reading!