Disclaimer: Anything you recognize doesn't belong to me.

A/N: The very last chapter! Enjoy please review after that! Thanks!

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It's Been You All Along

Chapter 4

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Here I am by the window again…

Looking out of the transparent clear glass, staring off in a far-off seemingly non-existent point…

I never did noticed… How stupid of me…

Sometimes, tears find their way into my eyes uncontrollably…

I still remember the time when you asked me "Why? Why are you crying?"

I never answered.

I merely smiled…

And at that very moment, I thought I saw your eyes moistened…

Was it my imagination…or a trick of light?

I never truly considered it, for the tears that blurred it all hindered my vision…

You never did ask me "Why?" again after that…

And why was that so?

Because… you.

You already knew the answer.

It's been you all along…

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"Ran…"

A soft voice called out to her.

"Ran…"

Again it repeated itself but with more urgency this time round.

Her eyes fluttered open and in her bleariness and tears, she saw a tiny figure. His outline and silhouette grew fuzzy as they reformed to line a much taller and leaner figure that so resembled the one she had missed so. Her breath caught in her throat as she gasped and reached out, "Shinichi!"

The little boy merely stood where he was as he took off his glasses carefully before folding them and resting them on the table. In the dim silvery light offered by the sleek crescent above, his eyes glistened with an odd glint as he smiled. Even the shadows, which threw half of his face into darkness, couldn't hide the melancholy that traced his smile.

Midway, Ran withdrew her hand back hesitantly as she suddenly caught herself. "No… you are Conan…"

It was then that all came rushing back to her.

Her bleariness in her eyes gone as the heaviness from a deep troubled sleep that settled in her head faded abruptly. Tears that had been but a thin film of moisture, now welled up in pools, leaking out of the corners of her eyes as they rolled down in pearly drops down her cheeks. Ran sat there speechless, watching him, incapable to search for the correct words to say.

In all his child-like innocence, the boy drew a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped her tears away. "Don't cry Ran… I will tell it all to you… I will tell you the truth…"

Bloodshot eyes gazed intently into the clear blue eyes of the little boy. For a while, silence and stillness filled the atmosphere as neither spoke and remained perfectly still in their positions. The boy, trying to find a way to break it to the girl gently, while the girl trying to decipher the thoughts and intentions that laid behind those cerulean pools.

Then all shattered as she grasped hold of him suddenly and pulled him close to her. "Shinichi…I know it's you!"

She repeated this sentence to herself a few more times over and yet over again.

The young boy reached out his short arms in an effort to encircle her as he patted her back gently yet a little awkwardly.

"Hush Ran… Everything will be fine… Now you just calm down and listen to what I've got to say…"

With that, the boy tried to gently disentangle himself from her arms. Stubbornly though, she clutched on to him. As if afraid that he would leave like he did earlier that morning, and left her alone in the corridor…

Like he did months back in the amusement park…

And as if he had read her thoughts, the boy sighed and spoke again in a low soothing tone, "I'm not going to leave this time… I am going to tell you the truth… Come on, drink this glass of water to calm yourself down and listen to what I have to say…"

Hesitantly and very slowly, Ran withdrew her arms as she turned to clutch the glass of drink instead. The clear contents within sparkled in the pristine light of the moon.

Watching her as she took a sip from the glass, Conan continued, "That day in the amusement park… I chanced upon a case… By a twist of fate, my presence was discovered by the bad guys. They fed me a drug and it reduced me to my present state. These guys belonged an organization known as the Black Organization… They are very devious and ruthless… Their tracks must remain covered what with all their black deeds and crimes… I'm one of their few surviving victims… They are after me… I…"

Unknowingly, his voice had grown ragged as he continued on.

Suddenly struck dumb, as if incapable of continuing, Conan stopped as he buried his face in his hands. The brief silence was pierced by a soft voice, "Is that why you've been with me all this while?"

The boy slowly looked up as he met her gaze. And though he did not reply, she understood it perfectly… For the answer was blatant in his eyes.

The glass in her hand, with half of its contents gone now slipped to the ground and shattered as Ran sank back slowly into the sofa. With every ounce of effort that remained in her, she fought against her drooping eyelids and that numbing sensation that crept across her entire being, as she asked, "So what's going to happen now?"

Picking up a piece of broken glass from the floor, Conan gazed at her across the few centimeters that separated her from him as he replied, "Everything will return to normal now…"

"It… it will?" she asked wondrously.

A tiny smile painted itself upon her lips as her eyes finally shut.

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I'm sorry…

- Flashback -

A clear blue pill fell into a glass half filled with water…

The color of the ice blue ocean that filled the capsule seeped out into the clear water in wavy tendrils as it looped around the fluid in swirls and curls, leaving a soft hue of azure that ceased to exist as the seconds passed.

And with a momentary effervescence, all traces of it was gone…

Just like a person's memory of a special moment…

All… gone.

- End of Flashback -

I seem to be saying that to you all the while…

I guess we both have a very different idea of "normal in our minds"…

But this is all that I can do…

I never answered.

But you understood… you knew it. You knew that I was with you all the time to protect you…

Perhaps you could have asked "Why?"

But you didn't.

That's because you know the answer…

But I'll say it anyway…

A drop of water rolled down Ran's cheek. She wasn't crying though. It came from the little boy standing over her as he watched her sleep with that trusting smile on her face.

I love you…

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The next day, Mouri Kogoro returned home from some client's house in the other end of Japan and was stupefied to find his daughter asleep on the sofa with Conan still in his slumber in the armchair. Shaking them both, he bellowed, "Wake up you two! Why in the world are you sleeping here when you have beds in your bedroom?"

"What is it Dad?" a sleepy Ran questioned. Then eyeing the clock, she suddenly threw the blanket off her as she leapt across the room.

"Ah! Conan! Hurry! We are going to be late in meeting Sonoko!"

Kogoro yelled, "Didn't you just meet her yesterday? What are you doing?"

While the two were engaged in a series of exchange of words, the little boy merely sat in the corner, watching them silently with an odd glint present in his eyes…

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All this while… there's been nothing I want more than to you the truth…

The one and only truth that I always try my best to reveal when solving the murder and crime cases…

But this time round… I was left without a choice…

I can never tell the plain hard truth to you without risking your life…

I…

Perhaps a day will come soon, in the near future, when I can tell you everything…

Perhaps on that day, when the danger has passed and the truth uncovered, you will once again say, "It's been you all along…"

And I won't run away anymore…

Instead,Iwill reply you, "Yes Ran… It's been me all this while…"

I love you...

----------------------------------------------------------The End----------------------------------------------------------

A/N: This is the last chapter of this story and I hope you all have enjoyed it. Please review and tell me any comments you have…

Answers to the Reviewers:

Ooshii Kurai: Hi! Thank you so much for your constant support through the reviews! I didn't focus on the mystery in chapter 1 because I have no idea how to go about this crime solving stuff. I hope the story turned out fine despite my exclusion of it. I like Ai too! She's one of my most favorite characters! Regarding the pill, I got this idea from the drug that shrank Shinichi into a kid. I hope the outcome is all right? I did consider several other endings but eventually decided that I like this best… Your comments have been really encouraging and helpful and I thank you so much!

NightWinter: Hello, thanks for reviewing… I wondered why you thought this was strange… Could you please tell me why? Thanks.

MyImaginaryInuyasha: Thank you! I always wanted to end the fast chapter that way as the words that ended it, which is the title, are kinda important in this story.

Ember Mage: Hi, thanks! I'm crazy over Detective Conan and absolutely love the library of my secondary school for granting me access to the comics of this series!

sonamnarayan: Thank you!

"Her…": I updated… haha… Hope you are still reading it and continuing to enjoy it… Thanks!

StarLightKagome: Thank you! I don't really know the color of the characters' hair and all as I read the comics, which is in black and white. So thanks for that tip about Ran's hair color. I changed it already. Thank you!

Private: Hihi! Thanks!

silent:tears:fall: Thank you! I like the last line too because of the effect it has. Or at least I hoped it had an effect

Geodesic: Thanks…

KagomeChic: Hello! I reviewed certain chapters of your story but haven't been following it recently because I've been kinda busy… I promise to review again when I've got time! Sorry and thank you!

Van Fanel's Soulmate: Yo! Haha… Thank you so much, my faithful and loyal reader… D

Magicbulletgirl: Your review is sweet… Thank you!

Samiechanshinichiluver: Hi! Hope you like the ending… Thank you!

Detective Girl: Thank you!

Silverwind128: Thank you! I really appreciate that comment! Thanks!

YumeTakato: Thank you! Eh… does this ending qualify as a cliffie? I hope not

(This story is dedicated to a dear friend who goes by the online name of Gapz. She has given me endless support and will be celebrating her sweet sixteen tomorrow and I would like to wish her "Happy Birthday!" and say "Thank you" for all that she has done for me… Thanks. )