The Day Ran Found Out

It took wheedling, whining, and pleading, for months on end, but finally, Conan was able to coax Ai into giving him another 24-hour antidote for his condition (as it were). He then promptly hoarded the item, waiting for Ran's birthday, and made plans accordingly – he made reservations at Ran's favorite restaurant, preordered roses, and called to assure that she'd be available for his plans. Finally, he arranged for Conan to spend the weekend with Professor Agasa, and then his plans were set. This time, everything would come out perfectly, and not a single mystery was going to distract him from—

Until a man fell to his death from a building under construction, and all the evidence pointed towards him being pushed …

So, running half an hour late, it was Shinichi Kudou that arrived on Ran's doorstep and presented her with a bouquet of a dozen roses. Ran blushed (which was satisfying), but still chewed him out for being late. They left with red cheeks and red ears, and walked the three blocks to Kyouru while managing a fairly amiable conversation, a safe one, in which Ran never asked Shinichi about his 'case' and Shinichi didn't ask how she'd fared while he was 'gone'.

She looked beautiful, he decided, as they were led to their seats; not that she wasn't always pretty, but she'd put on some light makeup that made her eyelashes longer and her lips a little bit more red. Shinichi tried not to stare as he sat across from her, but he evidently failed miserably, because she glanced up from her menu and blushed a little. "What are you staring at?" she asked.

"Ah, n-nothing," he stuttered, dropping his gaze to his menu. She sure was gorgeous …

He could hear her smile, and he knew that his ears were burning.

The salads were wonderful, the entrées were sumptuous, and when it came time for dessert, Ran complained that she was too full to finish one alone; would Shinichi help her?

Shinichi most definitely would!

She ordered the double fudge chocolate chip chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and it proved slow going, since they were both already stuffed. Finally Ran pushed away the plate. "I can't take another bite," she moaned. "It's so rich!"

"I'll ask for a box," Shinichi offered, picking at the frosting absently with a fork, but looking at Ran. She really was pretty. What nice pearl earrings! They were probably her mother's taste; maybe a birthday present she had received earlier that day.

The staring didn't go unnoticed. "So," Ran said, evidently to snap Shinichi back to reality, "Thank you for taking me out for my birthday. I really wasn't expecting you to make it."

Shinichi flinched a little; he had disappointed her too many times to protest. "I wouldn't've missed it for the world," he said, and blushed a little when she laughed. "I'm serious! A-Although I guess it's a little cliché …."

"I'm surprised you haven't gotten caught up in some murder case yet," Ran said softly.

Actually, so am I, Shinichi thought, but he just rubbed the back of his head. "Ahaha …"

Ran raised an eyebrow, and then something flickered across her face that Shinichi couldn't identify; confusion? Curiosity? She leaned forward. "Hey, lean closer," she said. "There's something on your face."

"Uh?" Shinichi obeyed, leaning closer, slowly.

"Closer … " Ran leaned over the table. Shinichi mirrored her movements.

She grabbed his nose.

"Wha--!" Shinichi gripped the table to keep from losing his balance as she pulled his face closer to her own.

"I knew it!" she exclaimed, her voice somewhere between enraged and triumphant. "You ARE Conan!"

"I-I'm who?" Panic gripped him. "That squirt? Of course I'm not, how could I—"

"Don't try to lie to me any more, Shinichi Kudou!" Ran said sharply. "I've got all the proof I need right here!"

Shinichi blinked, trying to pull his nose out of her grip. "What're you talking about?" he asked, embarrassed when his voice spiraled into a squeak.

Ran smirked at him, and Shinichi raised his eyebrows. "Tsk tsk tsk, Shinichi-kun," she said sweetly, waving a finger at him, "it's elementary! It's your nose."

"My nose?" Shinichi blinked, trying to follow her finger and going a little cross-eyed.

"Don't think that I can be a detective's daughter and not figure out some things for myself," she said indignantly. She finally let go of his nose, and Shinichi sat back heavily, still in shock. "I can tell you've been wearing glasses all the time, and the secret is your nose!"

Shinichi blinked at her for a moment … then it clicked into place.

He automatically reached up to rub the red imprints that the nosepieces on Conan's glasses had been making in his skin for months on end.

"I win," Ran said in a low voice.

It looked like he would have some explaining to do.

Fin