Disclaimer: It's the just the story that belongs to me...

The Way It Goes

By: t0ky0-chan

Chapter 2: Reunion

Conan fidgeted in his seat on the train. He hadn't seen Ran in 3 years and he wasn't really sure what to say to her. Sure, she'd be real sad about Shinichi dying, but this was different than just comforting her when he was there. This time, he really wasn't there and he wasn't coming back. Conan wrapped his arms around his shoulders and shivered in the coldness. The air conditioning was on pretty high in the train and all Conan wore was a short sleeved t-shirt and a light vest.

Conan sighed. He leaned back in his chair and pulled up his backpack from where it sat on the cold hard metal of the train's floor. Reaching into the backpack with his left hand, Conan pulled out a book. He set the backpack on the ground and opens the book to the first page. Etched on the front cover of the book are the words 'Once Upon A Time...' Smiling at the harsh memories, the young boy let himself fall deep into the world of his memories and stories...

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(1)September 20

Today was a really weird day...I went on a, well you could kind of call it a date, but anyways, I went with Ran to Tropical Land and we met the weirdest guys on the roller coaster...Technically I would never have gotten involved with them if that murder hadn't happened...but after solving the case with my brilliant detective skills, I'm just kidding, okay? This is journal on all that's happened to me and I can't even get to the point...Okay, so I follow them, and find that guy in black doing some illegal trading and selling. So I was taking a picture, I mean, it's what a detective has to do! And then the other blonde guy, Gin, hits me on the head and knocks me out.

I'm not sure what really happens next, but they shove some pill down my throat and leave me to die. My last feeling was as if I was on fire and that my bones were melting...which, in reality, is just about what was happening...So, I think it's a few hours later, I wake up and some cops keeps calling me kid. And I kind of let them take me to the police station, and they bandage my head...Then I happen to glance at myself in the mirror(2), and I'm a little kid!

So I freak. I run and go home...to find that I can't reach the stupid doorknob. And then Hagase blows something up and so he's outside. You know, he lives right next door, and so I run over to him and try to tell him what's going on with me and then he thinks I'm a messed up kid so he's about to drag me to the police station...and then I tell his secret. It's the one about some hair on his butt or something...And so Hagase finally believes me and lets me into his house...

I kind of forgot how he wound out with my kiddy clothes, but he gets them and they fit perfectly. So I'm trying on Dad's glasses, when Ran suddenly comes in. As I'm hiding behind the table, Hagase tries to get Ran away from...me and my problem...but Ran finds me...Interesting thing is, she picks me up, hugs me and says 'Kawaiii!' And I'm like, stunned...Ran's never hugged ME like that...and if she knew who I was, she'd probably freak. For some reason, Ran doesn't notice and so she asks me my name...I can't say I'm Kudo Shinichi, so I stutter and make up Edogawa Conan, from those two mystery story authors that I like...That's only because their books were on the shelf behind me...

After THAT, Hagase makes some story about my parents being away, actually they are, but anyways, and says Ran should take care of me...And well, I wind up at her house...but you know, while we were walking to Ran's house, she told me, I think it's because I was like a little 'brother' and cute, that she liked 'Shinichi', meaning ME. So I turned all different shades of red and was just about to tell her who I was, because I mean, it's rude listening like this and not letting her know...But then her idiotic dad comes storming downstairs...so we get hauled somewhere to solve a case (3), which by the way, I solved...heh...but it saved my ass anyways...

December 24

So it's almost Christmas and I hate being stuck in this body...hell it's taking forever...I feel so guilty...with so much going with cases and all...I feel so guilty every time I see Ran's face...I am so stupid...I should stop calling her, let her give up hope, then she wouldn't have to suffer...I have to find a way to get a Christmas present to Ran while I'm Conan and make it seem like I gave it to her...

January 15

I really want to go back to Ran now...I can hear the tears in her voice and when I get back into bed, sneak into the agency downstairs, she's always crying...I'm so sorry Ran...I really wish I could tell you the truth...But if I do, it would burden you more...

Conan smiled sadly, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. He may have been a detective and he may be a boy, but he was still crying. Conan flipped more pages, bringing all the sad and happy things that happened between Conan and Ran, up until that day when he left her.

June 18

It's a hard decision, but I'm going to have to do it. I'm so sorry, Ran...I cannot stay by your side anymore. I have to leave you. Perhaps I'll never return, as Conan or Shinichi, but because of the growing danger around you, I cannot stay anymore. I hope that you'll understand someday, but...that was the day Conan left. Without much of a goodbye or hug or smile, I had just walked out at 3 in the morning, leaving a note saying, "Sayonara, Ran-neechan. Thank you for everything.' I didn't want her to grieve for me and I didn't want her to cling to hope of my return. So I decided not to say goodbye personally. And I know that she was hurt and I'm really sorry but I had to leave and I couldn't have her thinking that it was a joke and hoping that her little 'brother' would come back anytime soon.

And that day, I went over to Hagase's house, where he drove me to Osaka, where I stayed with Hattori for a while. He was surprised to see, but because of my face, he didn't ask and didn't push it. So I knew I could stay a bit longer. I knew that I had to disappear from Japan entirely, so I called up mom and dad, and I left with them.

During that day, Ran called many times but I turned my cell phone off, hoping to make her give up...but she did everything she could to try to contact me. She called my house, my parents cell phones, text messaged me about 50 times until finally after 11 this night, she gave up. I didn't receive anything from her after that...

Conan blinked as he realized the train was just pulling into the station. Closing the book gently, Conan put the book back into the backpack and then hoisted the backpack onto his shoulders. Sliding off the seat, Conan walked slowly and softly out of the open train doors and into the bustling noise of the train station. Then he disappeared in the crowd.

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Ran sat silently on the sofa. With red eyes and a broken heart, Ran clutched the wet tissues she held in her hand. Her mother and father watched her worriedly.

"You think Conan's going to come?" Eri asked her husband softly.

Kogoro nodded. "That boy and Ran were really attached. Perhaps he wanted her to forget him, so that's why he left so abruptly, but he could never turn down a request or plea from Ran. He's going to come."

As if on cue, a soft knock came from the door. Ran jumped up and ran to the door. Throwing open the door to find her 'little brother' standing there in his oversized glasses, Ran just threw herself at him, bringing the surprised boy into her arms. Dropping to her knees and clutching the boy, Ran began sobbing. Eri and Kogoro rushed out from the kitchen and stood next to her, not knowing what to do to comfort their daughter.

Conan put a hand on her head and kept it there, allowing Ran to sob herself out of sorrow and pain. There's really nothing else I can do, besides being here for her...

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Conan blinked and then opened his eyes to the bright morning. Turning to his left, he found Ran sleeping next to him, her hand clutched tightly onto his. Conan smiled slightly and then turned his head back. His lips parted and he spoke the words, "Kudo Shinichi". He sighed. It's time to really give it up, Kudo. Just as Conan was pulling his hand slightly from Ran's grasp, he heard the 'ping' of a rock against the window. Jerking his head in that direction, he caught sight of a white dove. Conan smiled. Gently, he pulled his hand clear from Ran's grasp, tiptoed out of bed, put on a jacket and left the room. Silently, he made his way downstairs, until he saw the person waiting for him downstairs.

"Hey."

The man turned. "Hey, yourself."

"What brings you here?"

"Seems that your girl is heart-broken."

"How did you know I'd be here?"

Grinning, the man patted his white dove. "Now, I've known you for quite a while now. Plus, I'm sure you were her last resort to call on."

"Hmm." Conan leaned against the wall.

"So, did everything turn out right?"

"Yeah, thanks for your part in this."

"Ahh, no worries. That man was about to die anyways..."

"Well, I never thought we'd end up doing this...kind of thing...That drunk dude was just walking down the street, and we kind of trashed him after he got drunk so he'd look like me...and well...all evidence erased. Unless they do DNA testing, but I believe you'd get notice of that and somehow alter the results or sneak in my DNA beforehand, right?" Conan glanced at the genius next to him.

Kaito smiled. "Hey, it was the only way."

"I still don't like this business. Killing an innocent man."

"He wasn't innocent, Kudo."

Conan glanced at Kaito. His voice has suddenly taken on a serious tone. "What do you mean?"

"That guy was part of the group. I disguised myself as someone else and he just talked and talked and got himself drunk. I merely gave him a better ending than the one he would have had if the organization found out."

"I see."

"Kudo, it's the way things go. Sometimes fate takes on a painful road, but there's always something that need to be done for justice."

"I know, Kuroba, I know."

"Well, I just want to let you know. We've tied up your part of the loose end. Now, the only thing we can do is wait and watch, hoping for another chance."

"Kuroba, thanks for everything."

"Don't thank me yet. We're not even close to being done yet. Not even surface deep." Kaito nodded and turned to walk away. "Just a tip of advice, don't let your emotions get a hold of you, at least not in this situation. Watch your back."

Conan just stared after the retreating figure of the phantom thief. I get myself involved with a phantom thief...I'm the detective and now he's giving me advice...what am I doing? Sighing, Conan trudged up the stairs. Finding no one awake, he went to the restroom and got himself cleaned up.

With nothing to do and not wanting to go back to sleep, the young detective took a seat on the cold sofa and sighed. Crossing his arms, he thought about all that had been going on in the past years.

Long years of waiting ended with nothing. There was no cure, so Kudo Shinichi could never come back. Haibara was still living with Hagase, but after turning 11 as kids, the two gave up hope of a cure, so Haibara stopped her research on the apotoxin. She just became a normal kid. Conan couldn't stand seeing Ran everyday, the guilt overwhelmed him, and so he decided to leave, perhaps leaving forever. Yet now he was back. He was back to where he had started, and the guilt came pouring back in.

"Hey, tantei-san," a voice whispered behind him.

Startled, the small boy whipped his head around and accidentally smacked a dark skinned man in the face.

"OWw, Kudo, you know you don't gotta hit me to know who I am!" the man cried out, straining to keep his voice low so no one upstairs would hear them.

"Don't come sneaking on me, Hattori!"

"Hey, you're touchy today..." Hattori replied, rubbing the red spot on his face.

"I-"

"Look, I know. I'm sorry. I never seem to crack jokes at the right moment, do I?"

"No, no I mean, I was just...thinking you know?"

"Yeah okay. Anyways," Hattori took a seat across from Conan, "Kaito called me up early this morning. Thought I should come talk to you."

Conan raised an eyebrow. "He already came."

"I know. He just wants to make sure you're okay, man. Things are tough. Especially for you. I really can't say I understand how you're feeling, because that would be...you know, kind of an insult, because I don't. I've never been shrunk to a kid..." Hattori took off his 'SAX' hat and scratched his head. Balancing his cap on his knee, he looked Conan in the eye. "Kuroba's coming up with a plan."

Conan nodded. "I know. It's gonna be soon."

"Right. Do you know the outline of the plan?"

"No, Jii-san hasn't notified me yet."

"He told me."

"What?"

"Kudo-kun, the only reason he didn't tell you was because...because he was still not sure of your...ummm, emotional status..."

"Hah...so now I'm emotional?"

"No no! I mean..." Hattori looked very uncomfortable to be under Conan's piercing stare, but the young boy looked away.

"Forget it. They'll tell me if they wanted me to be involved. Assuming it's probably..."

"Probably what?"

"You already know, so don't ask me." Conan looked out the window.

"Kudo-kun."

Conan shifted his eyes back to his Osaka friend. "Yeah?"

"This may be the last time we ever talk like this."

Conan eyebrows raised and he slowly turned his head to look at Heiji. "It's really the final thing?"

Heiji nodded. He stuck his cap back on his head. "The plan is just about the risky-est thing Kuroba's ever come up with. And Jii-san even told me...I quote, 'Hattori-kun, I do need to remind you that if the plan were to fail, or just even attempting to pull this off, we may all be dead before we even begin...you understand me, don't you?'"

"So we're making a final attempt," Conan said. He smiled a bit, and pushed up his oversized glasses. "And what's like likelihood we'll make it back?"

Heiji shook his head. "About 5."

"Hmm. Guess it'll work out then. It's just way things go..." Conan got up. "So, you might want to leave before Ojisan or Ran gets up, they don't know you've been here...and I'll call you after I get things, well, tidied up here."

"Is...is it your final goodbye?" Heiji asked, turning his cap around, covering his face in the shadow of the cap's bill.

"Just about. And you?"

"No other way around it, right? So we gotta go through it. I'll see you around. Call me?" Heiji asked, his hand on the doorknob of the door.

"I will." Conan smiled, as sad one, wavering, but a smile.

Heiji smiled back, and silently slipped out the door of the agency.

And thus, a reunion would be ended by a departing 'sayonara', a heart broken once again by two men, both of the same heart, but different bodies, and an ending yet to be determined.

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(1) Dates are all made up. I am not sure when he was turned into a little kid, but it was sometime in the school year.

(2) Depending on whether you saw the anime or the manga/comic (or both) version, Shinichi either finds out he's a kid in the police station's mirror or in a shop's window's reflection later on.

(3) I will not be explaining any of the cases, unless they are important to what I'm trying to get across. Sorry, but you can always ask. I know most of them.

-to be continued-

It's not over yet, even if the last sentence makes it seem like it...I want to make it end, sad but happy. Like a satisfaction of something? Anyways, I'm not very satisfied with this chapter, but I hope you like it. I'm awfully sorry about the delay, but I just couldn't make this chapter say what I wanted it to...even now it's not the way I want it...but I just wanted done, you know? So please review!