For the last time in the name of 2005: Happy birthday Manu! This is how your story ends. It makes me happy that over 4000 people read this story and confuses me at the same time considering the kind of low amount of reviews to this since I still find the idea of poor Conan's amnesia and everything around it absolutely... great and funny. An even greater thank you to all the sweets among you who bothered...you know. Well, if you share my opinion and if not, let me know please. It was a great deal of work, this story was. And I gave my best for you to enjoy this last chapter to the limits. Especially the waff-fans among you will be VERY satisfied with me, this I can promise you. Jesus, it is so sweet I had to hide from the bears around here (just in case some decided to show up of course which is not that likely but one never knows) for there was practically dripping honey out of my laptop!

A sequel is not planned, yet, but what's not planned at the moment that can still happen, eventually, right? Well, it depends on you. And now, please enjoy this cuddly chapter.

OH, and if possible download the song to the story. It's called: "The safest place" by Leann Rimes. Listen to it for it is sooo nice. It was my partner in this one and provided me with a fitting title (who would have guessed). For those who want to look at the pictures thatwere made for this story, drop by my homepage! Hope to hear from you and to see you again in other stories!

Love you all, your Jojo


Chapter ten- The safest place


It was quiet. Very quiet. The house was never this quiet, except when the "men" in the household were out. And, thank god, this was the case for the day.

Ran sat down on the couch, panting slightly and cleaning her nose for the uptenth time.

Her father had insisted to go to a friend of his. They wanted to go and play Mah- jong, maybe go to the horse- race and then around evening go out for a few drinks.

Ran sighed. She knew her fathers "few" drinks only too well but unfortunately she was in no condition to fight him and he knew it. He had, after all, abused her current state shamelessly. 'oh, wait till I am all right again. I swear, you will pay for that one!'

She coughed and groaned a little. It was almost a good thing that Conan- kun had decided to go to the Professors and stay there one or two days. He really was so crazy about that games he invented! It was good that he was there because Ran wouldn't want to make him sick. He had to be long enough tied to a bed and in hospitals. 'Poor sweetheart!'

Why did she have to be sick just yet? Why at all? It was unfair!

Ran was laying in her bed, coughing and wishing for some sleep. She had tried the last hours to fall asleep, had tried warm milk and other things but it was all in vain. She felt really pissed off. Not only did her head hurt, her throat, her stomach and every bone in her body, she could not even sleep it out. What did she ever do to deserve that? And suddenly there was this wish to have somebody near her. She did not want to be alone anymore.

'Yeah, I do not want to be alone anymore…' she thought, knowing she had said these words all too often the last few months, but each time refering to a certain somebody. Why wasn't Shinichi ever there when she needed him most? Okay, maybe she did not really want him to see her in this condition but still! Plus, her thoughts did not have to make sense. She was sick and allowed to curse everybody she wanted. And Shinichi was top of the list.

'This stupid, arrogant, macho- jerk detective! How dare he leave me alone for so long and expect me to wait for him? Who does he think I am anyway? Oh, I swear if I get my hands on him he will regret ever being born! What is he thinking?'

Her thoughts trailed off and she rolled to her left side, now looking at her desk. Her gaze fell upon the picture of Shinichi and her. Being sick lowered the boarder to tears immensely and soon she was sobbing in the earnest. She wanted him back, that mystery jerk that she had given her heart to. Where was he? Didn't he know how much she needed him?

His letter came into her mind and Ran calmed down. He was not a bad guy, she knew it very well. It was unfair to think things like that, but she could not help being sad. It was probably because she was sick. She sighed. No, she would show patience. She had promised it and she knew it will be worth it, although it was very hard for her at the moment. Everything that had happened the past week had gotten to her, and she knew it. It was no wonder that she was sick.

Ran desperately wished for some sleep to shut all these thoughts out for some time.

Shinichi…

What was he doing at the moment? She hoped he was all right. But she stubbornly believed it because she knew and trusted and loved Shinichi.

Sometimes she wished she could forget him, find a nice guy who was around for longer than a day or a few minutes. A guy to have a normal relationship with but then… wouldn't that be boring? Not only that but also… she could not do it for her heart was already unreversably lost to a meitantei. Easy was not always good. She did not know if a normal guy could ever be enough for her and…

' 'The curse of true love never did run smooth.' Hadn't Jodie- sensei said.. no, William Shakespear said that? And he knew what he was talking about. It was a curse to love, truly love somebody. Just look at me, I am the best example. Even he said it is not easy and it is not, this I know for sure but why easy? I am stubborn and don't care about hard or easy. As long as he returns to me in the end.. that's all I want and need.

Of course it does not 'run smooth', but that's okay.'

Ran smiled at the picture and closed her eyes, sighing out. Somehow, she suddenly felt a lot better. Only emotionally that is but still.

She cleaned her nose, caughed and wished for some tea and a bucket of ice- water. She felt so hot and vulnerable and she hated that. Closing her eyes again, she hoped despairingly for some sleep. And indeed, she felt sleepier. Must have come from the crying. She doozed off lightly, trying to shut her brain down and simply enjoy the warmth of the bed and the peace and silence of the house in this deserted condition.

Suddenly she had the feeling that there was something touching her cheek. 'Must be my imagination!' she told herself and doozed on.

It only started irritating her even more as this cheek seemed to be heating on and on and she started to feel a nice sensation against it. Reluctantely she opened her eyes slowly and looked around to search for the source of this and her heart skipped a beat as she looked right into two blue orbs. Two big blue eyes she knew even better than her own.

"Hey!" Shinichi greeted her warmly with quiet voice and a small smile.

Ran stared at him, her eyes only opening slowly the full way. She looked thoroughly at him , from head to shoes in silence and raised eventually an eyebrow. Her mind had counted the possibilities of this being the real Shinichi and not another fake one. She was sick after all, and it had come to the conclusion: fake! Too good to be true.

Ran turned away from him, showing him her back and murmured really pissed off: "Yeah, right!"

Secretly she did give her imagination credit for this one. He had looked really gorgeous in this shirt with the two top- buttons open and the black pants and the trousled, usual hair and the sexy grin on his face. She had to admit he had looked a great deal more real. But wouldn't the original be so much better? Ran sighed.

"Ran?" a voice from behind her asked.

Her eyes snapped open and although everything was telling her to not be so foolish and believe in miracles, she slowly turned around and faced the young man sitting behind her on the bed.

"S- Shinichi?" she hesitantely asked. His grin widened.

"In person. Hey, who did you expect?"

Ran slowly sat up, all the while staring at him. She could not believe her eyes and unconsciously reached a hand forward to touch him. As her fingers made contact with his solid chest she drew it back as if bitten by something. She stared at him in open wonder and surprise.

"N- not you… I thought I was imaging you again…"

He grinned. "No, I am afraid I am real!" he chuckled and three seconds later had a sick, brown haired girl glomping him tightly around the chest. He looked down at the top of the head that he saw first when looking down on himself and had to smile.

He embraced Ran tenderly, wrapping her in the protective circle of his arms.

"Ran, I.." he tried to talk to her and pulled a little away but Ran was having none of that.

"No, don't!" she stopped him with a finger on his lips and once again wound her arms around him, this time around his neck. One hand sneaked to the back of his head and in his hair, stroking it gently while the other pressed flatly against his shoulder. He had no choice, not that he ever wanted any, but to return her gesture and renew his hold on her, one hand against her back as he held her closely and the other stroking over the back of her head and through her hair.

Ran felt her body heaten up even more through her fever and she snuggled deeper in his embrace. Suddenly she remembered something and pushed him away, baking a few steps back.

"W-what?" Shinichi wondered, half hurt and half disappointed.

"I am sick and I don't want you to get sick as well!" Ran told him sternly and her eyes suddenly opened wider. "Oh no! Don't look at me!" she covered his eyes with a hand and turned away from him.

"R-Ran?" he slowly said. She pulled her hand away from his face and took it to cover the other half of her face, still turned away from him. Shinichi soon understood her problem and smiled. She is such a sweet girl. Honestly, what DID he ever do to deserve her?

He slided closer to her until her back was touching his front and wound his arms around her form from behind. He felt her body stiffen and her trying to struggle free but only held her closer.

"You fool. It's not like I have never seen you being sick before. I don't care! I still think you're pretty!" he tightened his grip on her and rubbed her arms.

Ran did not move. She thought about his words and quickly brushed a tear away. She leaned back against him and hugged his arms that were on her front to her stomach. He had no idea just how much his words meant to her. They did not move and breathed very quietly to not disturb the tender moment between them. She had by now leaned completely against him and was resting comfortably. She could smell the scent that she had missed so much over the past months, the past year. It smelled… she could not discribe it but it smelled like him and it surrounded her so deliciously at the moment. She loved it.

Shinichi was happy simply holding her in his arms once again, with him in the right body. And right it did feel. It felt more than right. It felt perfect. He buried his nose in her hair and breathed her scent in deeply.

"Shinichi?" a quiet voice hardly reached his ears.

"Hm?"

"How come you are here?"

"Well…" he started and had to think at Haibara, how she had held the pill in front of her face and had asked him if he was willing to try it. Because this was no ordinary pill. She had said that she had come a stp further to the permanent solution for their current states, and this pill was prepared with another mixture. It would either kill him, make him Shinichi for 24 hours what meant that the new mixture and everything that she had newly discovered has been in vain. In short, it meant that nothing had changed and they were at the beginning again. But there was another opportunity, a very small one. That was that the pill and the new solution really did work. In that case, and if Haibara was right, then th pill would make him Shinichi but for 36 hours.

"You chances of surviving are over 60. Do you want to try it?" she had asked him. He knew that she needed the results for her further work what was her reason for asking him but not his reason for accepting.

She had made clear that his chances for it to last 36 hours were not the greatest. It was most probably another one day effect but it was still enough for him. And for Ran. That's why he had tried it.

"Well… long story, doesn't matter." He tried to convince Ran to not ask further. She looked at him with tilted head, maybe still believing that she was dreaming.

"Are you real? I mean… really real?"

He had to smirk at the question.

"What does that feel like?" he tightened his embrace on her so much that he was not hurting her but keeping her pressed very firm against him.

'Great!' she thought and closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling as much as she could. But she did not want to satisfy him this easily.

"I don't know…" she trailed off, saying the words in a half unsure half passed away tone of voice.

Shinichi seemed to know what she was playing at and he was willing to play along. He hugged her tighter, leaned down and rubbed his cheek against hers lovingly. He then turned his head and pressed a long kiss on her cheek, making sure to provide full contact. Ran closed her eyes, enjoying his caress more than she liked to admit and blushed. Her lips opened against her will and she drew a sharp breath in. His warmth seemed to surround her, sweeping over to her body, taking her breath away.

Suddenly she screamed out, jumping away from Shinichi. She turned her head and looked bewildered at him.

"Ow! What did you pinch me for?"

Shinichi grinned. "Well, didn't you need confirmation that I am real? See, now I have proven you that you are not dreaming!"

As he looked at her firm expression he felt sorry for his actions. Ran, who was still holding her arm, turned away from him, sulking. Shinichi crawled after her and took her hand gently away from her arm, then bend to kiss it tenderly. "Sorry…" he murmured against her arm and looked up at her. Ran had her eyes closed, a look of pain in her face and she was holding her head with her free hand.

"Ran?" he asked, suddenly quite alarmed.

"It.. it's okay… I was just feeling dizzy for a moment…" she cracked him a smile, half opening her eyes.

But Shinichi was already alerted. He took Ran's hands from her face and then gripped her shoulders, pushing her back down with gentle nudges. He smoothed her hair in order, held her pony out of the way then leaned down himself and pressed his forehead against her. Ran was too weak to protest and content herself with simply enjoying the closeness.

"You have fever. How does your head feel?"

She smiled. "What? Can't you see that it has the size of the venus?"

Shinichi could not help but grin and shake his head. "Sick and still joking around." He tugged her in, pulling the blanket to her chin. "But don't fear, nurse Shinichi is here!"

She was about to protest but his hands held her down. "I am serious, don't move too much!" and he stood up, disappearing out of her room. Ran slightly panicked. She was afraid that Shinichi had already disappeared again, and she had hardly seen anything of him. But he soon came back with a bucket filled with cold water. He sat next to her on the bed and produced a cloth from the depths of said bucket. He gently lay it on her forehead after brushing her hair out of the way. Ran almost groaned out. It felt too good, so good that she could not suppress the sound. Soon she opened her eyes and looked at him. He was looking at her intensely, trying to figure out what to do further.

"Are you hungry? Should I make you something? A warm soup or maybe something else?"

She smiled and shook her head.

"Do you need something else?" he asked on concerned. Ran shook her head again.

"No, thank you. I am fine. You just returned, you shouldn't have to nurse me…"

"Oh, I see you have nothing to drink!" he stated, ignoring her words. "Ran! You should know how important it is to drink a lot when you are sick! Wait, I'll bring you something!"

"B-but.." she tried but he was already out of the door. Ran looked after him, one eyebrow raised. Shinichi was really… inpredictable! But her head wouldn't allow her to think too much about it right now.

Shinichi returned fife minutes later with a small tray in his arms. He placed it on Ran's night- stand, next to her and sat down on the edge of the bed again.

"I made you some tea. Come, sit up and drink a little, it'll make you feel better. I bet your throat is already as dried up as a desert!" he was pressing a hand against her back and helping her to sit up.

Ran was too confused as to do anything but obey the gentle pressure of his hands. She sat up, Shinichi took the cloth from her forehead and lay it in the water again, and started sipping on her tea. Secretly Ran was wondering where he had learned all these things but she was too busy drinking because he gently forced her to drink some more and some more... As she was allowed to stop, she coughed and he was handling her a handkerchief. Ran took it gratefully and cleaned her nose, then she lay back down. Shinichi covered her again. He placed the tea back on the tray, then took the cloth again out of the water and lay it back on Ran's forehead.

She closed her eyes, enjoying the cold feeling that seeped into her head and spread, soothing the aching there somewhat. Shinichi sat there and looked at her, trying to figure out what else he could do. As he temporary knew nothing better, he could not help his hand that wandered to her face and gently caressed her cheeks. He saw Ran smile although she did not open her eyes and soon she even leaned into the caress. He smiled and relaxed a little.

Deep inside, Shinichi was very happy that for once he could do something to make Ran feel better. It has always been her who looked after him and taken care of him and he almost never could really return the gesture. So this was a more than welcome opportunity for him to return the favor. Of course this was only a pleasant side- effect. What was driving Shinichi on didn't even feel like it needed a lot of thinking. He loved Ran and cared deeply for her so his brain needn't tell him what to do. He did it all automatically. And right now, he was very content with sitting there on the edge of her bed, looking at her and stroking her cheeks lovingly, and that all in his original body.

"Shinichi?" he heard Ran talk quietly. She had her eyes still closed.

"Yes?"

"When… when do you have to…?" she did not dare finish her sentence, feeling like he would disappear more quickly if she did.

"Don't think about such things. I still have till tonight. Rest." He bend down, holding her head in both his hands, and kissed her temple, right underneath the edge of the cloth. She smiled warmly and took one of his hands in hers, interwining her fingers through his. He watched as her breath slowly evened, her grip on his hand loosened but did not let go and her body relaxed and lost it's rigidness. Soon she was asleep and Shinichi looked at her, figuring that he could forever stay here like this, holding her cheek and her hand and looking at her. She was so beautiful, even when she was sick with a slighter red nose and hot cheeks. To him she never looked prettier and he thought about telling her as suddenly a certain letter came back to his mind. He knew that she now knew that he found her beautiful but that was certainly not the most embarrassing thing that was written in there. They will probably have to talk about it after Ran woke up and Shinichi was not entirely sure that that was a good thing. But he was willing to find out.

He had a sudden flashback, at the time right after he was hit by that car. He knew that he was in the hospital and had felt deserted and totally alone. And suddenly there was a new picture in his mind. A picture of Ran, sleeping on the chair next to his bed with her upperbody on his bed. She was sleeping just like she had the time where he had been shot a few months ago, before he had taken the temporary pill the first time. And in this new picture in his mind, he saw that he had taken her hand in order for the support he had felt that she was able to offer him. And it had been like that. He had been able to sleep in peace after his hand was tenderly envelopped by hers. With a close- up of their hands on the hospitalbed, the flashback ended and he looked around her room for some orientation.

---

As Ran awoke, she immediately felt the change. She felt her head was not aching that much anymore and her fever must have gone down as well. Not entirely but a little and that she was grateful of. Her body still did protest as she tried to move and that's why she lay back down. As her brain slowly started working again, she remembered Shinichi and was suddenly not so sure if he really had been here at all. It had most probably been another dream of hers. Ran cursed under her breath and tried to sit up as she felt something wet fall to her chest. She took it and realized it was a wet cloth.

Her eyes opened wide and she turned to her night- stand, looking at the little bucket with water on the ground and her tea on it. Only the tray was gone. So he really has been here. She remembered falling asleep with his scent and warmth around her, holding his hand and his warm touch on her cheek. But he was nowhere to be seen.

A cold arrow tore through her heart as she thought that he must have left again. Why did he always do such things to her? She let her body fall back down on the pillows and clutched the blanket to her chest and felt sorrow overtaking her. Tears seemed to form in her eyes as she suddenly heard a voice out of the kitchen, talking to somebody. Strangely enough she could not make out another. But the first one she realized without second thought. Her heart leapt.

"S-Shinichi?" she called out hesistantely.

No response.

The voice had stopped talking now. Ran clutched the blanket tighter and sat up a little, trying again.

"Shinichi?"

"Coming! Just a second!" his voice screamed back, knocking the air out of Ran and she fell back on the bed.

A huge smile spread on her face as she closed her eyes for a few seconds. He was here. He was really here! She could not think further for she heard steps approach and soon after her door open fullway. Shinichi entered with a tray in his hands.

"Hello sleepy- head!" he greeted her and put the tray down.

"Hi." she looked at him thoroughly, feeling it a miracle that he was even there.

"I made you some soup!" he announced and gestured at the tray with a steaming bowl on it.

"You.. made soup?" she rose on her elbows and looked at Shinichi with raised eyebrows.

"Yes!" he replied proudly.

"A-alone?" to this he did respond and she looked at him with questioning eyes.

"Fine, I admit I've had some help… but I did DO it alone.."

"How does that make sense?" she giggled.

"Well, since I have.. never done.. something like that.."

"…thought so!" Ran interrupted amused but he ignored her.

"…I called somebody who told me what to do. So it does make sense."

"Who?" she wanted to know, smiling. Shinichi murmured and she repeated her question because she could not understand what he was saying.

"My mom!"

Ran chuckled, covering her mouth with a hand. Shinichi blushed. He was so sweet. And calling his mother for help… Shinichi never asked for help except when he could really not help it and to ask his mother of all persons really was extraordinary. He must have been really desperate.

'Desperate to make your soup.' A voice in her mind told her. Ran blushed and slowly sat up.

"How is she?"

"Oh, she is fine. Funny as always…" he trailed off and looked out of the window.

Ran did, of course, notice the sarcasm in his voice. She only looked at him and said nothing.

"Oka- san? It's me. I need your help." Was what he had told his mother about an hour ago. He had, of course, to explain to her the whole situation, with the pill and his accident and in return listened to why his parents couldn't make it this week. His father had an important matter with the FBI and that's why they had to stay. And, as if he had known.. no, actually he HAD known that this was to happen, in the end his mother started squeaking around, totally excited.

"Oh you are sooo sweet Shin- chan! You just returned and now you take care of Ran, oh you are soo sweet!" he had, after turning red, had to tell his mother another fife times to quit it and to tell him how to do that chicken soup she always had made for him when he was sick. Yukiko had eventually given him the receipe and helped him over the phone. In the end, he had tasted it as final step and had to say that it was satisfactory enough.

"Thanks a lot, oka- san! Don't know what I would've done without you!"

"Don't mention it. After all, you are looking after our future daughter in law for us!" She giggled very girl-like, as if she could see Shinichi's red cheeks and how he rolled his eyes.

"I am going to hang up now!" he informed her.

"All right, all right. Take good care of yourself, Shin- chan, okay? And be careful with that pill. I pray that everything will turn our for the best."

"Thanks oka- san."

"Try and not get yourself in too grave danger, okay? Your fathers and mine thoughts are with you!"

Shinichi smiled a little. "Thank you. Say hi to the old man as well!" he grinned and could almost see his mother grin. She knew that he was joking and as long as he did not call her old his jokes were always welcomed by her.

"I will. Oh, and Shin- chan?"

"Yes?"

"Take good care of Ran- san, okay? She is.. special." To his surprise, his mother suddenly had sounded so very serious that he was totally taken by surprise. "And greet her from us."

"All right…" was his perplex answer.

They said their good- byes and hung up. Shinichi had only time to admire his blush because his mothers words as he heard Ran scream. He told her he was coming and suddenly saw his mother in front of his eyes, how she hugged his father and said something like:

"You know, our son is soo manly! Just imagine, he is back to his normal body for a day only and he stays with Ran because she is sick and looks after her. Isn't that sooo sweet? Oh he is so manly. Such a good boy, he had got that from me of course." Then she could kiss Yusako on the cheek and sing on. "Right honey? Oh he is such a good boy! My son is soo manly!" and she probably would go on like that for about the next days.

Honestly, his mother sometimes really was… he could not quite find a word at the moment but honestly, she was that! Why is she so…

'right?' his mind asked him. 'Oh shut up!' he murmured to himself.

"Shinichi?" Ran waved with a hand in front of his face. "Are you okay?"

"Sure… my parents said hi to you and to get well soon!"

"Oh! Thank you! How are they?"

"Amused!" he replied a tad too quickly for his brain to think of what he was saying first. "I mean fine.. Now here, try your soup. I went through hell for it!" he thought back on his mother.

"You… you did this? For me?"

"No, for your father cause he is so close to me and laying here sick at the moment!" he looked a little sick at the thought at her. "Of course for you, dummy! You are sick and you have to get well again. So now, eat it all up and don't forget to drink!"

He helped Ran sit up, took the cloth away and in the bucket and placed the tray with the soup and the tea on her lap, sitting down next to her. But Ran was not concentrating on the loaded tray. She rather gave her attention to the young man looking at her full of expectation.

"Shinichi.. I.. I…"

"What? Don't you like it? You haven't even tried it and…" he looked desperately at his soup.

Ran gently shook her head. She placed a hand on his cheek.

"No silly, of course I like it. I love it. I am simply… touched. You didn't have to do that! After all, I am sure you can not stay so long, right? Shouldn't you… attend to more important businesses?" a tad of sadness underlined her voice and Shinichi did not miss it.

"I am doing what I want to do. What's important to me… as long as I can…It's always you who takes care of everybody, now it's only right that it's your turn…" he blushed and looked past Ran's surprised gaze. "…and now eat already before it gets cold!"

She smiled warmly at Shinichi and turned her attention finally to the meal. She did as she as told, eating the whole shoup and drinking her tea. It actually tasted rather nice, she had not expected it, since it was his first try. It was not perfect but made with great care and love and one could taste that and that was more important to Ran.

As she was done, she looked at Shinichi who was looking at her with tense anticipation. She smiled.

"It was really great Shinichi, thank you!"

Shinichi's face lit up like a little child's face would. He took the empty dishes and carried them to the kitchen, obviously very pleased with himself. As he returned, Ran had sat back in the bed, leaning against its head and waiting for him. She smiled as she saw him enter again and he smiled back automatically. She raised her arms towards him and motioned for him to come closer.

Smiling like a fool, he gladly followed her invitation and kneeled on the bed before crawling closer to her. He almost sighed out as he lowered himself in her arms that enveloped him immediately. He hugged her back the best he could without forcing her to move. She took him by surprise and kissed his own temple, murmuring a honest "Thank you!" before resting her head on top of his. One reason was only that she hoped this way he would not notice her burning cheeks.

He rested his head under her chin and against her shoulder comfortably, sighed inaudibly and murmured a quiet "youre welcome." back. They did not move nor even breathe too hard or loud. They simply held the other the way they had wanted to for so long, enjoying the contact more than they could put in words. Shinichi suddenly remembered her state of health and pulled away a little, pressing his forehead against hers. Ran smiled and closed her eyes.

"Better but still hot." He soon stated and took a hand from her back. He stretched and reached over to the bucket, took the cloth and placed it back on Ran's forehead. Then he turned and lifted the blanket on the end of the bed. Ran started screaming but before she even had the chance to do more than open her mouth he had taken her feet and was rubbing them between his hands, obviously having taken no notice from Ran's soon- to- become protest and having nothing perverted in mind at all.

"Oh my, just look at your feet. They are ice- cold! No wonder you are sick! Didn't you know that you need to keep them warm?" he climbed off the bed with a thud and crawled over to her drawer. He opened the one at the ground and took a pair of really warm socks out. He crawled back to the bed and put them on Ran's feet. Ran was all the while watching him especially as he, after he had his task completed, kept her feet between his hands for a little longer to warm them.

He grinned up at her and she gifted him with a warm smile. "Thank you!"

"Whatfor?"

"For everything. For being so sweet and taking so good care of me for example even though you don't have to…and I am sure you have so much more things to attent to.."

He smiled. He covered her feet again, wrapping them in the blanket so that they were warm and slided up the bed and closer to her. He looked into her eyes and gave her an expression…

An expression! The expression that send shudders up and down her body, that caused her heartbeat to increase in speed, that made her feel dizzy and remember why she was so madly in love with him.

And armed with that weapon, he looked at her, thoroughly and yet so tenderly she found her voice gone. And he answered with the words she had never expected but seriously reached on his expression.

"I would like to be nowhere else more than here!" he answered and she was suddenly very sure that he was completely serious. That's why she could do nothing but believe him. As much as she could not help the words that followed.

"Seems like you were not lying in your letter…" maybe it was because she was sick that she had found the courage to talk to him about it, maybe she only liked to see him flushed. And blush he did, indeed.

"T-thanks for cleaning the house, by the way…" he replied lamely, his cheeks flaming but he thought that if she wanted to play that game, he could too.

"Welcome. Are you mad at me? For finding it?" Ran's cheeks started painting in the same color as his.

He grinned. "Oh I was… but..well, since you have left an exchange one…"

She smiled too and felt her head starting to hurt again. She hated being sick. Ran closed her eyes for a moment in pain and immediately felt him take her hand in his.

"Are you all right? Is your head hurting?"

"A little… I feel dizzy. I am so sorry!"

"Don't be!"

"Shinichi… about that letter… don't think I could ever hate you because I do not! I couldn't no matter how big a stupid you are!" she said with a half corner grin that he mirrored. "It IS hard to wait, of course, but moments like this makes it all worth it. It is exactly like I have written to you in the letter."

"So, how do you feel now that I am here again?" he teased her. She only smiled and laced her arms around his neck, pulling him on top of her and hugging him again, very tightly so that even if he wanted to he could not get away.

"Complete." She quietly answered against his neck and did not look up, too embarrassed.

"Good!" he murmured against her hair. "Me too!" he confessed and was also glad that she could not see his bad blush. But he felt her tighten her grip for a few delicious moments before her powers left her again.

He felt Ran's chest rumble, knowing she was giggling to herself. Pulling away he looked at her.

"What's so funny?"

"I just thought… we definitely should have done that before!" she hugged him closer. Shinichi smiled at her and hugged her closer, too. "Yeah! How did you call it? Perfection?"

"Perfection…" Ran murmured against him with a content smile.

After a little eternity in pleasant silence and warmth- sharing, Ran's hesistant whisper reached his ears.

"Do you really think I am.. be..beau… pretty?" as soon as the words had left her lips she regretted them. She felt so stupid asking him such a thing when there were so many things to ask him and to tell him and to talk with him about.

"I think beautiful is the word!" he knew there was no way denying it. For one thing, he had written it down, for another… she simply was the most beautiful thing he had ever lay eyes on and that was a fact. Fullstop. Plus wasn't he always saying there is only one truth?

He shifted, not wanting to crash her body underneath his. Laying down next to her, he put the cloth that had fallen to the pillows back on her forehead and stroked with the back of his hand over her cheeks. Ran smiled at him so beautifully, he for one second wondered if the drug had not really killed him and he was in heaven right now, meeting an angel.

As their looks met, bore deeply into the others, they forgot everything around them simply because nothing else mattered. It was only him and her and after such a long time they were united again and could let their feelings out.

Both knew exactly that there was still so very much to talk about, to be said between them, things to sort out, to discuss, to tell each other. But as their looks met, it was… almost magical. It was as if they knew exactly what the other held in their heart, exactly what the other was thinking. It lay open in their eyes and their souls agreed without the slightest trace of doubt left that there was no need for words right now. Because they knew.

"You are tired. You have to sleep to get well!" Shinichi soon told her, brushing her hair absentmindedly.

"Don't want to…" she replied stubbornly, thinking he will go when she closed her eyes.

As if reading her thoughts, he grinned at her. "I'll stay untill tonight, I promise."

"But Shinichi…" she felt like something just has to be said. "There is…"

"..still so much to talk about? I know.. but…" he trailed off, not knowing how to put it in words. Ran, who was surprised that he somehow knew what she wanted to say, tried to help.

"..but there appears no need because… we know?"

Shinichi looked seriously at her, then relieved. "Exactly. We know." Both smiled at each other, more than happy. Even after all this time, they still seemed to understand each other perfectly, even without a lot of words and that was worth everything.

"Okay. Can you make music?"

"You mean sing?" he pulled back and looked horrified at her.

"No silly. Put a CD in the player."

"Sure." He answered and stood up, walking over to her CD s and looked around them. "Any special wish?" he grinned at her over his shoulder and wondered silently if she would chose "their" song, the one they had danced to the last time he had been in his own body.

"You'll really stay until I fall asleep, right?" she asked him, fear swinging in her already sore voice.

"Uh.. Yes." he replied and looked at her in mild wonder.

"Promise me that you will wake me when it's time. I want to say goodbye. Please!" she suddenly asked him, absolutely serious.

"O-okay!" he answered, not sure if he had the strengh to wake a sleeping angel. But she smiled contently and nodded, trusting him without question.

"Good. Then I want to listen to my new Leann Rimes CD, please." She said and lay her head back down on the pillow.

He did not wonder any longer, simply complied and pushed the on button. Then he walked back to the bed and sat on the end of it. He fumbled a little uncomfortable with his fingers and after some time looked up to meet her gaze. With a delight she realized that his cheeks were rose.

Gathering her last powers, she sat up and patted the spot behind her. "Don't sit so far away. I want you near me for as long as possible." If Ran hadn't been so sleepy and groggy because of her cold, she would have blushed at her own words. But right now she simply did not care. All she wanted was cuddle against the man she loved and fall asleep with him, no matter if he was gone the next morning. Tomorrow was still far away.

But Shinichi did blush at her words although he tried to not show anything. He complied to her wish whatsoever and was soon on the bed again, sitting there rather stiff and unsure. She had to smile at her usually so great detective and slided closer. She was glad that he had already taken his shoes off by now and pushed his jacket down his arm, throwing it on a chair. Then she made him stand up for a second, lifted the blankets and gently pulled on his arm to make him lay down in her bed.

He obendiently followed her unspoken order and lay down fully on her bed with a helpless expression. She smiled to herself, seeing how stiff he lay there with his legs hanging down the bed. She reached over and pulled at his pants until he had both his legs on the bed. She smiled at him and he replied to it hesitantely. Ran was enjoying his embarrassment very much, liking how he could look so helpless and cute with his red cheeks.

With her boldness he got more sure himself and reached for the cloth that had fallen next to his leg on the bed. He grinned up at her and she grinned back, reaching over to take it from him.

"I guess, as useful as it is, we won't be needing this anymore…" and she let it drop inside its bucket.

Shinichi only raised an eyebrow, sat up and leaned his forehead against hers. Ran closed her eyes in bliss at the contact.

"Still hot. You will need it!" he stated and pulled back. She opened her eyes and smiled at him. Placing her hands on his chest, she gently pushed him back on the bed so that he was laying and grinned seducingly down at him, liking being dominant for once.

"I'll only lose it when you hold me!"

Thank God that you were by my side..

Daytime I'm fine
Everything is back to normal
Last night I thought that I would die
I had nightmares, I was so scared
Thank god that you were by my side
To hold me when I cried

He looked startled and surprised at her as she crawled up to him, over his body until she was almost face to face with him. Then she lay down on him, having her head comfortably against his chest and a leg twined between his. He was way to startled to react and she only snuggled tighter against him, getting comfortable and held to him.

"Shinichi…" she whispered almost desperately, sounding as if she were near tears. "Hold me! Please…" She pleaded and snuggled her face deeper in his chest. 'And never let go again!'

Shinichi reacted in a flash, knowing what she must be feeling. He wrapped his arms tightly around her, envelopping her almost completely in his protective embrace and pulling the blanket over her body, covering both of them in the same time. He heard her sigh out, a deep sigh and all of a sudden, everything was clear to him. He could not describe it, not properly. But it was simply like that. He felt like he would melt from the heat that she emited and that was sweeping over to his body, envelopping them in a cocoon of warmth that was mixed with their feelings for each other.

He knew that holding her at this moment was not a simple act of bodies pressed against one another, it was way more. It ran so deep he was afraid of its extents. It was as close to perfect happiness as he had ever come and he was sure she knew it as well. And suddenly, as he listened to the lyrics in the background, he even understood why she had chosen this song. Because it simply fit perfectly to them.

I wanna be strong
But I dont' wanna be alone tonight
I wanna believe that I can save the world
And make it right, but I'm only human
And you've got a hero's face
Right here in your arms is the safest place
The safest place

He heard her sing quietly along and could in the same time feel his heart doing the most crazy things. He had long ago discovered that it was beating only for her in the first place, and now that she was so close, resting so perfectly on top of him, in his arm where she belonged in, it almost seemed like it was beating with the music that was telling the truth about them.

"Right here in your arms is the safest place…" Ran whispered against his chest along with the song and rubbed her cheek against it delicately. Her voice was so soft and quiet it was very easy to miss, as if she was murmuring in her sleep. He had to smile as he heard her and only tightened his hold on her, stroking lovingly over her hair after kissing her forehead tenderly.

"Sleep tight, my angel. May sleep heal you. Don't worry, I'll protect you over the night!" he whispered against the crown of her head without noticing it and held her closer. She smiled only against him.

It feels real, so real
You showed me I could trust you
With emotions I had locked away
It was your touch, your words
They heal the deepest part of me
That only you can see

It felt so perfect, so unique and unbelievable that she wondered for a moment if it was another of her dreams. Only her trust in him and in their love let her believe in this perfection. She felt like in this place, in his arms, nothing evil can harm her. As long as he held her like this, she could let her guard completely down, had to be nobody but herself. This was the place she belonged to. And she felt, deep down, that he was thinking the same at the moment. That he knew it. That he felt the same.

A few tears that she had locked away for so long, suppressed under her brave surface broke loose and ran freely down her face and onto his shirt. She had to be so strong all this time, had to lie to the world with a fake smile, and now she could let that all drop.

And as he stroked her back with reassuring motions, it was almost as if he tried to heal her cold, her wounds, make everything that hurt her disappear. This soothing but stong power of his reached down to the depths of her soul and send a deep shudder through her body. It was scary, the things he could make her feel, could do to her simply with his closeness and the most simple touches that meant the world to them. She loved it.

I wanna be strong
But I don't wanna be alone tonight
I wanna believe that I can save the world
And make it right, but I'm only human
And you've got a hero's face
Right here in your arms is the safest place

Ran could not put in words how he made her feel, how unending happy she was that he was here right now, to simply hold her. No matter that he had to leave soon. She had to seize the moment and that's what they have been doing. Plus, the song pretty much said what she was feeling and he knew it, this Ran was certain of. Her tears ceased slowly and she realized how tired they had made her. Maybe it was his solidness, his warmth and love that were sweeping over to her own body that lulled her to sleep slowly. She was not sure. All she knew and needed to know was that she had never felt so cared for and save in her whole life.

As long as I'm with you
As long as I can feel you
That's all I need to keep me going
On and on and on and on...
I wanna believe that I can save the world
And make it right, but I'm only human
And you've got a hero's face
Right here in your arms is the safest place
The safest place

"Right here in your arms, Shinichi…" she murmured and slowly drifted off to dreamland. He smiled at her words, kissed her head again and enclosed her tighter.

"Right here, my love!" and he lay his head on top of hers, detemined to protect her from any harm for as long as he shall live, with whatever it may take him, for her life was the most precious thing on the planet to him.

He yarned to tell her how much she meant to him, how much he loved her but he could not do so. If he was lucky he still had a few hours in his real body, not being foolish enough to dare believe that the antidote would grant him twelve more hours. Shinichi wanted to seize them as much as he could and could only happily say that what he was doing at the moment was his definitin of seizing a day. He would love to tell her about his feelings, but could not do so because he had to go soon, one way or another. It would only hurt her when he was gone and make her miss him even more. He did not want that. But, a part in his heart that was right now very loud, was certain that she already knew.

No matter how much time he had left, three or fifeteen hours, thinking about it would spoil the perfect moment between them. He would deal with it when the time came and hopefully she will be sleeping by then. All he wanted right now, was keep holding on to her like this. Like there was no tomorrow and let her sleep on him, the way it was supposed to be for them.

Shinichi kissed her forehead and her cheek with as much affection as he was feeling for the angelic being in his arms, and lay back on the pillows, smiling to himself as he held her head gently. Ran was already asleep and cuddled closer to him. She can't remember having ever felt so… great, so in peace while falling asleep. And he, already tired himself because he had gotten no sleep last night, watched her with ever closing eyelids and listened to the last lines of the enchanting song. It all felt too good to be real.

Real or not, he would never let anything happen to her, just like he would not let go of his angel until absolutely necessary. Absentmindely, he thought for a second about a time after his return. After he had dared asking her THE question, where he would he allowed to hold her as long as he pleased and go to sleep with her in his arms and wake up the same way, every day. He hugged her closer, snuggeling deeper in the bed with her.

A blissful smile crossed his lips even as his eyes had already drifted close. Perfect happiness. That's what it was. And one day… one day for sure…

Right here in your arms is the safest place...

The safest place...

The safest place...


Right here in your arms is the safest place... the safest place... oh the safest place...