AN: This is the first part of a two pater involving late-night discussions between Kogoro and Ran. Today's topic Conan. The next one will be Shinichi

Ran was surprised to find the light in her father's office still on. Normally by this hour he'd be passed out already, unless of course he was out drinking with his friends.

As she opened the door, she got another surprise. Mouri Kogoro was not, as was his wont, drinking or watching Yoko Okino on the TV. Instead he was buried in paperwork. Which was odd considering the only paperwork he ever did were the finances and taxes.

"I thought we already filed?" asked Ran as she picked up a sheet of paper.

"We did" said her father grumpily. "But the brat's check came in today, and I want it out of the way"

Ran nodded. Ever since her one meeting with Mrs. Edogawa, the woman had sent monthly checks to pay for her son's up keeping. And while they were nowhere near as extravagant as the first, they were always for a substantial sum, much more than was actually needed. "So whatcha doing with it?"

"At the moment? Trying to figure out how much to put in his college fund."

It took Ran a second to digest this. "His what?"

Kogoro sighed and leaned back in his chair. "Haven't you figured it out Ran? They're not coming back." He shook his head in disbelief at the shock on her face.

You know, Conan's always been a weird little kid. He's so serious, he knows things he shouldn't, and have you ever seen him balk at a dead body. Even those runts he runs around with balked at first. But you know what scared me the worst? Once you asked him if he missed his parents, do you remember what he said? 'Not really' Not really. And he wasn't even sad or anything. I couldn't figure it out. At least not until his Mom brought him back less than 24 hours after picking him up. And gave us that huge check for future upkeep. It's been what? Almost three years? Not another visit, no phones calls, not even a Christmas or birthday card! It was like, I dunno, she was selling Conan to up. A part of me want to tell her to keep her damn money, and make her raise her own son. But, there's no way to make sure she would. There are a lot of people out there who would more than happily take that kind of money. They would spend it all on themselves and just lock the kid in the basement or something. I'm not gonna let something like that happen to Conan." Kogoro clenched his fists, a look of determination in his eyes.

Ran felt a pain well up in her heart. She hadn't realized…Conan seemed so much like her little brother, that most of the time she forgot that he wasn't really part of the family, that he had a mother and father, at least in theory. "You really care about him don't you Dad? I always thought you hated him."

The sleeping sleuth shook his head. "I don't hate him. But I have been trying to build a wall between us. I...don't want him think of me as someone he can come to when he has a problem. He may not think of it as anything now, but one day he going to wonder why his parents aren't seeing him off on his first date, taking his picture. Why they won't be there when he graduates high school, or gets accepted to college. Why the only family to attend his wedding will probably be you me and Agasa. And I don't want to be the one he comes to" He shook his head "Look Ran, I really need to get back to work.. It's late, why don't you go to bed?"

The younger Mori nodded. She understood the hidden I want to be alone in his voice.

She walked down the hallway and almost tripped over a small figure on his way to the bathroom.

"Ran-neechan are you okay? You look like you've been crying? Is it Shinichi again?"

Ran looked into the wide eyes of this innocent, selfless boy and, in an instant, threw her arms around him and began sobbing. Tenitively he put his arms around her (at least as small as his small limbs could) and did his best to comfort her.

In his office, Kogoro Mori, the Sleeping Detective, finally gave up on his paperwork in favor of looking out the window at the stars.

"Don't worry kid, it may not seem like it, but you'll always have us."

AN: Oh dear GODS what have I just written! Kogoro being insightful? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (the fact that he's completely wrong is beside the point)

Actually this started with me wondering what happens to all the money Kogoro makes(and the check 'Fumiyo Edogawa' gave him for what? A billion yen?). I mean, he's obviously not spending it on the apartment, himself, food, or Ran and Conan, and not even the Great Defective can consume that much beer. So where's it going. Muses said something about him putting two kids through college, and that's where it all came from