Disclaimers: I do not nor ever will own Conan or Shinichi and co. It's a cruel sad world, isn't it?
I'm rewriting all the chapters to put in the new sub names. There maybe so errors in the way of layouts, or even motives of the black organization. I realize this- but please remember I'm not Gosho Aoyama. I wrote this story when I was still favorly new to the series. Please ignore any errors I have and just know I am trying my best to keep things in character.
I apologize for this chapter since the layout of the mouri house is very off. Just work with me. I don't have time to rewrite it so that it will work properly.
Chapter One: Happy Birthday, Conan
adj: freed from any question of guilt; "is absolved from all blame"
The curtains couldn't hold back all the sunlight this day. It spilled into Kogoro's office like a overturned milk carton- heating and bleaching the occupancy inside.
Conan didn't mind the sunlight. It had been far too cold a winter. This spring sunlight seemed to warm his bones and even a bit of his hope.
He stared down at the streets below as people made their way to wherever they felt set to go. Occasionally a couple would walk by, hand in hand, and cause the young detective to flinch. Valentine's Day was over and done… and it had not gone as nicely as he planned it would. Ran was probably still mad at him… or Shinichi rather. Conan was an absolute angel that day. He made her a paper valentine that she cherished. Shinichi didn't show up.
He called though. She only hung up on him.
One of these days, Shinichi will show up. One of these days, Conan will disappear… for good.
The small boy frowned. He competed with himself for Ran's affection everyday. As Conan and as Shinichi. Conan nearly always won- and that made the small detective sort of sick. What happened when Conan went away? Which would she want more, Shinichi or Conan?
He told himself, everyday after these bouts, that Ran wanted Shinichi- not Conan. But that wasn't true. She wanted both… Ran didn't know she had to make a choice.
And she won't know- cause I won't let her…
Conan whirled around exactly on cue. That was his name nowadays, wasn't it? That and Conan.
As fast as he turned- Kogoro was still faster. Conan was hoisted up by his collar again and tossed to the side. Kogoro had given a reason for the action but Conan hadn't been paying attention.
He assumed that Kogoro just wanted something to throw.
He usually did when the agency got slow like it had been for the last few weeks.
Luckily, the carpet broke his fall on his face. Groaning and marking yet another check on his metal hit list, Conan rose to his knees. He rubbed his sores pathetically.
Too bad Ran was still out with Sonoko or she might have broken my fall.
"Kid… It's a good thing you're good luck or else you'd be out of here." Kogoro huffed leaning back in his desk's recliner chair.
That and that my parents are rich…
Kogoro gave his chair a good rock or two before turning it bout to face the large paned windows.
Conan rolled his eyes in his usual response. One of things he definitely wouldn't miss would be Kogoro's naggings…
He talked less when I was seventeen anyhow.
The eight year old bounded over to Kogoro's side, his eyes rimming just over the window's ledge. Nothing had changed since the last time he was looking outside. For once Conan felt the urge to be out with the rest of the Detective Boys. At least then he wouldn't be stuck with Kogoro.
I wonder why they haven't come over today. It's a Sunday… isn't it?
Even Habara Ai's company was compelling today. And she had sometimes proven to be more unpleasant then Kogoro. She certainly held a cold chill about herself. Cynical and serious. That just wasn't Shinichi. Even if he could be himself around her.
The silence was slightly unnerving. Just like it always was. Conan awaited the moment Kogoro would find the need to pound on his head some more. Maybe he'd be prepared to duck this time around.
The detective looked up- startled at Kogoro's strange acceptance of his name. Conan expected to receive sign of an incoming beating of some sort but Kogoro's face was clear. Instead the elder detective gave the boy a forced smile. He kind of looked like a vampire that way, Conan mused.
Well, that certainly was not what he expected.
Conan's mouth opened unconsciously as he gawked up at Kogoro. His glasses got caught in the sunlight. Kogoro squinted at the glare.
"Sorry?" The boy repeated.
Kogoro quickly regained his usual trademark scowl as his eyes diverted to the ceiling, "Damn. Don't make such a big deal out of it, brat. I just felt- nevermind. It was stupid. Forget I said it."
That's weird. Since when did Kogoro grow a conscious about hitting me?
Taking Kogoro's advice on the matter, Conan set his attention back out the window. He'd figure out later why Kogoro had a sudden change of heart. Right now he was awaiting Ran's return.
"There she is," Conan breathed just as the certain brunette rounded the corner.
Kogoro leaned forward in his chair. As soon as he made sure Conan was right, he rose and took up the boy by the waist. Conan yelped in surprised and was greeted by a knot on the head.
"Shut up. I'm in a hurry. The sooner I get rid of you, the better."
Least he's back to normal, Conan glowered from his awkward perch.
They made it down the stairs just as Ran and Sonoko started up them. Kogoro's salutation was a toss of Conan into Ran's arms and a quick salute. After that, he headed straight back up the stairs.
"Dad! Could you try to be a little gentler with Conan?! He's not your soccer ball!" Ran shouted up the stairs.
"He didn't accept my apology- I'm not offering anymore," came the reply.
Conan wormed out of Ran's grip, glaring at Kogoro's fleeing back.
If you'd make them more often…
The stairs groaned as the group made their way back down. Conan jumped the last step in spite of himself. He had to get rid of this extra energy somehow.
"Geez Ran. You're dad doesn't look too well today," Sonoko piped. "You sure he's alright?"
Ran made a thoughtful stroke to her cheek before replying, "Yeah. I noticed that too. Maybe he's caught something."
Conan looked up at the two much taller women, "It's boredom."
Ran snapped her fingers.
"I betcha he's right. It's been at least two weeks since Dad's last case. We should get my dad a hobby of some kind. Maybe a new computer?"
"Doesn't he hate those things?"
"You're right," Ran sighed. "He doesn't even use the one he has now."
"How about a palm-pilot. I heard those are all the range."
"A mini computer? I don't think making it portable will make it any more enjoyable for my dad…"
"That is unless he get a game where he can role-play drinking."
Ran was far from amused, "Very funny, Sonoko."
"Yeah. That would just take the joy out of it for him."
Conan covered his smirking mouth with a hand. Sonoko was lucky that Ran was used to her jokes. Had Shinichi made a comment like that, his teeth might suddenly go missing.
"Where are we going, anyway?" Conan interrupted, eyeing the unfamiliar surroundings. "Sonoko's house?"
"No. Although I am going to head that way," Sonoko cast Ran a suspicious look. It was as if she had been wondering the same thing too.
"Me and Conan are going someplace special," commented Ran, unable to cover her smile. "My treat."
Someplace special? That's weird. What's the occasion? Conan frowned somewhat. Why is everyone acting so weird today?
Their goodbyes to Sonoko were quick. Conan couldn't help but notice that Ran was practically dragging him along- more so then usual. He thought to comment on it but noticed the expression on the teenager's face. She was positively beaming.
What's got her so excited? Conan pondered.
"Come on, Ran. Where are we going?"
He could have kicked himself for calling her just Ran. Shinichi called her that. Surely she would notice.
Her excitement seemed to have ignored it, "I can't tell you. It's a surprise."
They came upon a strange building. Conan squinted at the sign- fighting the sun's glare. Ran didn't give him a chance to read it.
She came up behind him- her hands removing his glasses. Conan's heart froze. He made a motion to cover his face but Ran was already ahead of him.
A blindfold fell over his eyes… it smelled of Ran's perfume.
"Hush. We'll be there in a sec."
Conan smiled softly allowing the girl to lead him- his heart pounding painfully in his chest. If Ran saw him without his disguise, he wouldn't be the only one receiving a surprise this afternoon.
I should probably look away from her when she removes the blindfold. Maybe if I keep her talking I can tell which way to turn…
"Come on, Ran-neesan. You're gonna run me into a wall or something."
"I would not," She sounded somewhat offended. "I'll pick you up on the stairs- how's that?"
Good. Long as you stay behind me…
Conan's toes tapped the bottom step. Seconds later, Ran's hands came beneath each armpit and hoisted him into the air. The painful stress on his neck and shoulder's lasted only a few seconds. Soon he was settled comfortably in her arms while she ascended the steps.
I will never get over being carried by Ran, Conan blushed. I guess this is one of the few blessings of this body.
They stopped. Conan's insides squirmed as Ran lowered him to the floor. He made a grab for her leg but missed. A door creaked open somewhere in front of him. Ran urged him forward with the flat of her hand pressing into his back. At least he assumed it was Ran's hand. He couldn't make much out through his involuntary binding.
Conan stumbled awkwardly into the room. Through the blindfold he could tell it was dark.
Geez. Where am I? thought Conan.
Conan's heart did a somersault when lights suddenly flared through his blindfold. He'd find out soon.
That smell. It's like cake or some- Oh no.
The blindfold was yanked off. Conan cringed at the sudden light. The cheers came shortly afterwards-
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONAN!"
Showered by confetti and silly string, Conan no longer worried about Ran finding out who he was. She was lucky if she could find Conan through all the stuff piled on him.
"Sorry, Conan," Ran smiled at Conan's grim expression. "I guess we got a bit carried away."
She held his glasses out to him. He wasted no time putting them on. Wiping away the hunks of silly string from his face and hair, Conan stared bewildered around the room.
It was fashioned with the regular balloons and streamers. And judging by the green boards on either wall, it had once been a class room. But what struck him for a loop were the outfits of his party members.
Head to toe in Sherlock fashioned trench coats and magnifying glasses were Doctor Agasa, Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, Genta, and even Haibara Ai. She, perhaps, was the only one who didn't don a smile with the costume.
"Conan!" Ayumi squealed, throwing her arms about the small boy. "Do you like it?"
"Yeah…" Conan smiled, rather impressed. "But how?"
"You like being a detective, right Conan?" Doctor Agasa chuckled placing a detective hat on the own boy's head. "I figured you'd like a party like this better then anything else."
"You're parents told me your birthday was May the 4th," Ran grinned slipping on her own trench coat. "I thought we might do something special."
Geez. My parents actually gave them my real birthday, Conan frowned his eyes lighting up at the sudden
realization. Hey! That's why everyone was acting so weird!
"So…" Conan smiled, figuring to get into the act as well, "What are we doing in these outfits?"
"We're gonna solve your very own birthday mystery!" Mitsuhiko cheered from the sidelines.
Conan couldn't help from chuckling. They really went to all ends for this one. No sense letting it go to waste though.
"Alright!" Conan cheered, "Bring on the mystery!"
Most of the mysteries had been immature ones, like a missing birthday cake. Or the scavenger hunt. But they hadn't been un-enjoyable. Doctor Agasa made sure they had been hard enough to give the teenage detective a good run around.
And he got to solve the cases with Ran. She was actually getting into it with him, cheering him on. She would have never done so for Shinichi.
That was because you gloated about it all the time, Conan thought. As Conan you spend so much time trying to hide the fact…
"Ah ha!" Conan announced cheerfully, pulling the medallion out of the vase, "I found the missing medallion!"
He paled when the pendant broke apart in his hand. Feverishly trying to put it back together, Conan didn't realize Ran was laughing at him.
"Conan, you nut," She chuckled taking a piece away from him, "It's a friendship medallion. One for you, one for me. It's a good birthday present, don't you think?"
"Uh…" Conan thumbed the object, still trying to recover from having thought broken it. "Yeah. It's an awesome present, Ran-neesan."
"I thought so." Ran smiled giving Conan a kind hug. "Happy birthday, Conan."
Out of the corner of his eye, Conan could see Ayumi's disappointed frown. He didn't mean to- but he found himself squeezing Ran tighter.
I'll cherish it, Ran.
"Done partying?" Kogoro yawned as the two returned home.
"Yep." Conan replied straitening his detective hat, "It was awesome!"
"You should really take Conan on as an apprentice, Dad. He solved every mystery with ease." Ran smiled, making her way to the kitchen, "He might help you out on a case or two."
"That would be the day." Both detectives grunted to themselves.
They cast each other surprised glances at the sound of the other's voice. They looked away again, somewhat repulsed.
"You two are such clowns." Ran chuckled.
She quickly frowned at the contents on the shelves, "Looks like peanut butter and jelly again."
Heh. Everything's back to normal. Conan grinned.
He sniggered to himself while tucking his arms behind his head. His elbows poked out making him appear like a misshapen bow.
"What you smirking at, kid?" Kogoro snapped to the boy as he crossed the way to the kitchen. "There's only enough bread for two."
Conan's happiness slumped right out of him. Funny how Kogoro could so easily do that to him.
Yep… Exactly back to normal.
To Be Continued
A cute sort of beginning. ::insert smile:: There was no real point to it but rather just to start us of in the right direction. That medallion will prove to have a point later, I promise. ::insert wink::
I was going to make it longer- but I figured that would just drawl it out too long. It was better to just end it here and give you guys something to look forward to next chapter.
I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. I know it's much happier then my Going Down story, but that's only for the moment. I find this story much more depressing to write then the other one. But I guess that's just because I know what's coming.
THIS IS NOT AN INTERACTIVE FICTION! AND I DON'T WANT IT TO BE ACCUSED OF BEING ONE!
Alright. Since that's out there I guess I'll end this author note now.
With a keen eye for detail, only one truth prevails!
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