A/N: Hi, everyone. I haven't written anything in a while, so I decided to try my hand at a DC fic. It's a slightly AU story that will involve the Magic Kaitou characters as well. (grins) I hope you enjoy it.
QuickEdit won't let me break between scenes, so you'll have to use your imagination.
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan or Magic Kaitou.
Ch. 1—Prelude in A minor
All in all, thought Ran as she finished tucking in her sheets, it hadn't been as hard as she had thought it would be. It had been sad, leaving her father by himself at home and saying goodbye to Sonoko, who would be attending a different school, but her father would be all right—he might even start talking to her mother again if he got lonely enough—and besides—she almost couldn't believe it—she would be going to college with Shinichi. Finally, after months of his absence, she would be able to see his eyes, his smile, almost whenever she wanted. This one fact was enough to make her smile again if she became homesick.
Leaving Conan had been especially hard. She was glad that Conan's parents had finally come to take him home, and knew that he wouldn't have been able to live with her anymore anyway. But she had come to think of Conan as a real family member, as close as any little brother she could have had, and it had especially hurt that he'd had to leave without saying goodbye. Shinichi had been apologetic about that, but had said that Mr. and Mrs. Edogawa had insisted on taking him right away—which, Ran supposed, was a good sign. She worried about Conan's care in the hands of his parents.
Rachel turned. A petite girl with curly brown hair stood in the doorway of her dorm room. She wore a red crew-neck sweater and black jeans, and her face was sprayed with freckles. "Hi. I'm Kohana Miyagi...your roommate?"
"Oh! Yes!" Ran said quickly, and walked across the room to shake her hand. "I hope you don't mind; I chose the bottom bunk."
Kohana smiled at her with bright blue eyes. "No problem. I never got the top as a kid."
She began to put her clothes into one of the closets, and Ran happily returned to daydreaming about Shinichi. It was unlikely that they would have many classes together—even though they were freshmen, most of their classes would be specific to their majors rather than the general introduction classes. Shinichi, of course, already knew what he wanted to do with his life, and Ran had decided to look into majoring in music education. Thanks largely to her time with Conan, she had found that the idea of teaching young children appealed to her, and music seemed like something she would enjoy.
"Good," Shinichi had said when she'd told him this over the phone. "You can give me violin lessons. Sherloc—"At which point she had cut him off with an irritated "I don't want to hear it, Shinichi!" and had almost hung up on him before she'd heard him laughing on the other end.
Ran rolled her eyes. He was so exasperating, really. He left for months at a time without a word, letting her wonder and worry. She'd given up on him a couple of times, thinking that he'd surely found someone else by now, that he wasn't interested anymore...that he'd been shot or stabbed or poisoned by the criminals he chased...that he was...
And then he would call her, out of nowhere, as if he'd never left, sometimes not even asking how she'd been, acting almost as if he was simply calling to let her know he was still alive...He'd meet her in person, if one could call it that, talking from around corners or behind doors or in dark rooms, never letting her see him or touch him or—and he expected her to just act like everything was normal, like he was always there!
But then again...what did he owe her, really? She hated to admit this to herself, but he'd never asked her out, not officially. She had no real right to demand that he tell her where he was and what he was doing all the time. Maybe it was pointless to worry herself sick over him like this.
Ran started. Kohana was standing in front of her with an armful of spiral notebooks, looking at her with concern. "I just wanted to know which desk you wanted."
Ran tried to pull herself back into reality. "Oh—it doesn't matter—I'll take the one beside the window."
"Right." Kohana dropped her notebooks onto the desk on the opposite wall, then glanced back over at Ran. "Are you all right?"
Ran, who was sitting at her new desk and staring glumly out the window, shrugged slightly. "Why?"
"Well..." Kohana hesitated. "You look like you're about to slip into a coma or something. Are you homesick?"
Ran turned and blinked, startled. Kohana looked exactly like Sonoko looked when she was trying to cheer Ran up about boys. Stop tearing yourself apart! she told herself. Shinichi's here now. Everything will be a lot easier to sort out. She laughed suddenly, turning around in her chair. "I'm fine," she said to Kohana, "really. I just tend to space out sometimes. It's no big deal."
Kohana grinned back. "I'm going to go get something to eat. Want to come?"
Ran shook her head. "Thanks, but I need to finish unpacking."
Kohana nodded. "See you later," she said, and left the room with a wave.
Ran carefully placed her stuffed Dalmatian—a birthday present from Shinichi who knew how many years ago—onto her pillow and stepped back, admiring the effect as the clock chimed the half-hour in the distance. On an impulse, she let herself fall facedown onto her new bed, burying her face in the in the dog's fur. Maybe I'll see him tomorrow, she couldn't help thinking, and a quiet sigh managed to escape her before she drifted into sleep.
The boy lay on his back, eyes closed, arms spread behind him, fingers curling around his pillow. He breathed slowly and deeply, not really trying to sleep as much as trying to not be awake. If that made any sense, which, he reflected, nothing did anymore. He wondered briefly if he would have been more comfortable on the top bunk. His roommate still hadn't shown up, so he figured the guy could take what he got in terms of dividing up the room. Rebuking himself for starting to think, the boy once again cleared his mind and focused on not focusing on anything.
After a few more fruitless minutes of this, he exhaled in defeat and opened his eyes. Sitting up and trying to smooth his hair down, he gazed blankly out the window toward the girls' dorms. He wondered if she had moved in yet. Maybe he should go see her—she'd said something about dinner together before he'd left home. His legs swung automatically over the side of the bed, and he stood up, looking around in a slightly disoriented way before moving toward the door.
He paused as he passed the mirror above his sink, making eye contact with his reflection. His dark brown hair was still tangled from his almost-nap, and his normally sharp blue eyes looked glazed and numb. Yeah, he decided, "numb" was a good word. That pretty much described his mental state for the past few weeks. Although there were other good words, too: perplexed, bewildered, mystified, what the hell is going on here...
The boy raised a hand unconsciously to his face, fingers barely brushing the skin, as if unsure whether or not he was real. He thought of her, and what he was going to say to her if things stayed like this.
If things stayed...
The door opened suddenly, and the boy gasped, startled. He turned, irritated, to find the source of the disturbance and met a pair of blue eyes a shade darker than his own. They possessed the same keenness and intelligence, but instead of the seriousness and determination that everyone saw in his own eyes, his visitor's seemed to glitter with mischief and laughter. The boy was just beginning to be struck with how much the newcomer actually resembled him when the other boy's face split into a sheepish grin.
"Sorry," he said lightly, "I'm not good with names...Shinichi, right?"
The boy blinked. "Yeah," he said after a short pause. "Shinichi Kudo."
The new boy blinked, apparently taken by surprise. "Like, the one in the papers? Guy who never loses a case?"
Shinichi tried not to preen. "Sure, I guess."
For some reason this seemed to amuse the boy. "Gotta pay more attention to the e-mails this place sends me," he mused, then smiled at Shinichi, a slightly saucy grin that Shinichi would have found annoying had he not been so distracted. "Kaito Kuroba," he said with a small bow. "I guess we'll get to know each other soon enough." His eyes sparkled.
Shinichi nodded vaguely. I can't say anything to her, he thought. At least, not until I have a clue as to how this happened.
He refused to think about dried roses and black silk.
Kaito, having completed his cursory exam of the room, placed a hand on his chin thoughtfully. "No place for a hat," he remarked to himself. He pointed to the hook on the door and looked toward Shinichi. "Must the umbrella go here?" He blinked when he saw Shinichi's blank, far-off expression, then shrugged. Maybe this was how detectives solved cases, although it didn't seem worth it to Kaito if they had to go around looking like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.
Kaito leaned back in his desk chair as the clock tower struck three thirty. He pulled a playing card out of his pocket, rubbing it between his fingers thoughtfully as he watched Shinichi watch the wall. He found himself measuring the taller boy, wondering how fast, how observant, how sharp he was, really.
Screw classes, this was gonna be fun.
A/N: If you're thinking, "But they live in Japan; this isn't how their universities work!" then you can take comfort in the fact that I'm sure you're right. Honestly, I can only draw from my own experiences as an American college student and hope the differences won't affect your enjoyment of the story. Strangely enough, if they did go to college in America and spelled their names in English, Shinichi and Kaito might actually be roommates, since "Kudo" and "Kuroba" are so close alphabetically. (shrugs) I'll take that as a sign from above that it's OK to create coincidences. Ran is a Music ed major because I am. I'll be able to follow her progress that way. I have no idea what classes Shinichi and Kaito need to take—I'm assuming law and business classes for Shinichi and performing arts classes for Kaito? I'd appreciate help on that subject. Anyway, review if you don't mind. I hope you liked it; I'll try to update soon.