Author's Notes: As always lllll is for organization. Words in bold italics are in English (though this is written in English). Enjoy.
The Hotel in Tottori
By Magic Bullet Girl
It was becoming cold quite quickly despite the half-working heater in the vintage red Mustang he was driving. The desert night air was freezing but thankfully there was no one else on the road he was driving on, so he sped up, in an attempt to gather warmth from the exhilaration of driving. Funny how the area around the Tottori sand dunes looked like the deserts of California.
He figured that somewhere around here, it would be there. But there was no sign of anything out of the ordinary and now it was so late he could feel the night air whispering in his ear to get him to fall asleep behind the wheel.
He looked up as a car on the side of the road came into view; the hazard lights fading… it looked very familiar. The red Toyota looked as if it was on its final miles, and that was saying something considering Toyotas had a reputation for durability. Two of its tires were also deflated. There was no one there; though, the magazines and scattered possessions in the car made it clear just who it belonged to. After all, what other person had a photo of him that read "Thinking of you" on the back?
He got back into his car. She had to be nearby…
He drove a little slower now, keeping an eye out for her but that didn't exactly help how sleepy he was feeling. Then up ahead he saw a bright light. A wayside hotel… good thing too, he wasn't in the mood to possibly freeze in his car.
On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
One smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
He parked and got out and looked at the sign. The name of the hotel was chipped and faded, not even legible. The building didn't even seem like it was occupied… that is until the front door opened up.
The figure speaking wore a cotton white dress that fell into the curves of her body perfectly, playing at her knees just so, and only low-cut enough to give you a hint of what was hidden under the fabric.
Her dark hair was pulled up in a messy bun, stray hairs falling to tickle her neck, some shimmering auburn in the moonlight.
Surprisingly, she was barefoot. Not that Shinichi cared at any rate. He was smiling so broadly at how beautiful and adorable she could look at the same time.
It was in less than a second that Shinichi felt her arms wrap around him, and he was vaguely aware that his arms were around her as well, pulling her in close to him.
"Shinichi! Where were you? I couldn't get a hold of you… and I thought…"
"Shush… I'm right here. It's okay," he kissed the top of her head.
In fact the last couple days had been hectic. A shoot out against the Black Organization just after he turned back into Kudo Shinichi - literally. He had been so tired but had been able to concentrate and keep only a small portion of them from escaping, among them Vermouth and Gin. Vodka was captured and even though he revealed that the main base was somewhere in Tottori, it was concluded that he did not know where it was as only the higher ranking members had access to such knowledge. Kudo Shinichi wasn't free yet but the Organization had been left very exposed.
"Shinichi, are you back for good now? Will you be able to," she paused mustering up her courage to say what she wanted, "Will you stay… with me?"
Shinichi nodded, "That's all I've ever wanted to do, cause Ran… I love you… every bit of you," and he cupped her cheek with his hand, tilting her face up, and kissed her.
How perfect it was all becoming… how perfect even when they were still caught in this crazy situation Shinichi had plunged them into.
It lasted for a few minutes, the new lovers reacquainting themselves to each other, remembering each other.
And then they went into the hotel, taking shelter from the freezing desert air.
It was dark at the front desk.
"The power is out," explained Ran and she lit a candle. Shinichi had to stop himself from gasping at how the flame's light touched her face. The doorman looked at Ran with a smirk on his face, "So this is him?"
Ran smiled softly, "Yes."
"How long have you been here?" asked Shinichi. He knew Ran, but she didn't tell complete strangers about him in a few hours.
"Umm, my car broke down this morning and my phone ran out of power too but luckily the doorman's brother picked me up and brought me here. I've been stuck here. I was trying to call everyone but the phones were busy and when the power went out so did the phones."
Shinichi frowned, "That doesn't usually happen, but you are out in the middle of nowhere."
"Well," began the doorman, "Now that that exchange has ended I have news-"
"There are no more rooms," finished a voice behind them.
There she stood in the door way
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be heaven and this could be hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down that corridor
I thought I heard them say
The new speaker was a young woman in her late 20's. She wasn't beautiful but her striking features were pretty enough, of course Shinichi's view of these things was always slightly biased. She wore a tunic and a pair of capris and had her strawberry blond hair tied back in a low ponytail. In her hand was her own candle.
"What?" asked Ran.
"You took the last room, but it's a suite after all, so you have room. And heck, we won't charge you for him being there." She threw Ran a knowing glance and suppressed a laugh at Ran's expression, "I'll go get the spare sheets."
Shinichi watched her walk off scrutinizing how she walked - looking for a flaw of some kind. He could feel it in his bones there something was off about her. The feeling went away as Ran grabbed his hand and gave it a quick squeeze.
"Come on, I'll show you where we're staying."
"Oh! Wait Miss Ran," called out the doorman. Ran turned and was handed a candle, "He'll need his own now."
"Thank you…" said Ran, but something about the last part felt odd to her.
Down the hall and up the stairs they went, ignoring the whirls of activity going on in the rooms they passed.
"What exactly is this place, Ran?"
"Don't ask me. I've been trying to figure that out all day… Just keep on walking."
Shinichi swallowed his words about what he thought of the hotel as he heard some odd sounds. He decided it was best to drop the subject.
"Hey, who was that girl that went to get the sheets?"
"That's Boire, she's the favorite here."
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Ready a room at the Hotel California
Any time of year
You can find it here
They reached the room to find the sheets placed on the chair. Shinichi looked at Ran, trying his hardest not to overreact or think too much about the situation. But it was kind of hard not to with the bed right there in the middle of the room, and it wasn't like it was just any kind of bed, no, it was… well a big bed.
Ran looked away from Shinichi and closed door, trying to keep her breathing steady.
"Help me change the sheets. God only knows how long they've been there."
Shinichi moved to the opposite side of the bed and began undoing the bed. It was busy work if anything. Something for them to do to prolong getting to the awkward moment they were heading to.
Just as they were finished placing the last pillow there was a knock on the door. Ran opened the door; Shinichi took a seat on the bed.
"I brought your change of clothes," Shinichi heard Boire say. Ran took them, said thank you and closed the door with a sigh.
"Now what?" she asked Shinichi as she noticed him smiling.
"Well I was thinking we have two options here."
"And they are?"
"Well, I can take that uncomfortable chair right there and let you get that monster of a king size bed…"
Ran's eyebrow raised, "Or what? I have a feeling it won't be that much of a surprise."
"Or we can try sharing it."
Ran looked at him and threw him the pajama bottoms and t-shirt that Boire had given her for Shinichi, "Fine, we'll see who chickens out first."
Shinichi grabbed his candle and lit it from the flame burning on Ran's. Then into the bathroom he went, closing the door behind him.
He stopped as the light from his candle reached the corners of the bathroom. The entire bathroom was shiny and chrome and clean. But it was so large! In fact the tub looked like it could fit two people….
Best not to follow that train of thought… just stop right there… well it's kinda hard what with all the… decorating in here…
Shinichi went through his business and changed, preparing for sleep. Something he hadn't done properly in the past few days what with everything that went on.
He opened the door and closed it upon hearing Ran scream, it took a few seconds for him to remember what had happened in the seconds before Ran screamed. He then made a metal note to ask Ran if she was ready before opening the door again while trying to get the blush on his cheeks to fade. However, it wasn't long until a knock came on the bathroom door.
"You done yet?"
Shinichi opened the door, "You have to be so slow changing? Honestly, you gave me an eyeful!" Mind you it's nothing I haven't seen before Shinichi thought to himself.
"Have some manners and think about what's going on on the other side of the door before you open it!"
"I thought that a normal person would have been able to change in that amount of time."
Ran grabbed his hand, tugged him out of the bathroom and slammed the door behind her.
Shinichi frowned at the door and then made his way to the bed, too tired to think.
His eye's cracked open as he heard the door of the bathroom finally open, signaling that Ran was done. He heard her footsteps step over to the bed, and then the squeaking as she lay down.
Ran nearly suffered a heart-attack as she realized the ceiling was a mirror. Next to her, Shinichi grinned at her through the mirror.
"You know what Ran, when you get freaked out, you just have the funniest face!"
"Funny? You baka!"
Shinichi stuck his tongue out at her.
Ran crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue.
And the battle of who could make the worst face began and reached the point to where they were actually turned to each other, Ran pulling Shinichi's cheeks and Shinichi tugging on Ran's ear.
They stopped as they realized they were very close to each other, just after Ran's leg had brushed against Shinichi's. Their game stopped and Ran's hands cupped Shinichi's face and his hand relaxed to lie softly just under her jaw.
"I didn't tell you I love you earlier did I?" her eyes averted, the blush growing on her cheeks.
Shinichi shook his head, "No but I thought the kiss said that…"
Ran laughed softly as she looked up at Shinichi who was smiling at her, "Well I need to make sure you do know… so…"
It only took a quick movement on Ran's part to move just the slightest bit closer to him, whisper "I love you," and then press her lips to his.
It took a quick reboot of Shinichi's senses to remind him that he should probably kiss her back, and so he took the order and embellished it.
Rather quickly, the pent up feelings that hadn't released themselves were out and dancing around the kiss in celebration, like members of a tribal ritual, chanting to make themselves known, adding fuel to the fire that they danced around. The fire began to moan and begged for more as it rolled over.
Shinichi's lips moved away from Ran's as they set out to explore every bit of Ran's face and memorize it, so that they would be the only ones who knew it so well. Ran let out a shaky moan as she could feel him kissing and nipping at her neck, her eyes fluttering. Shinichi caught the second moan in his mouth and worked on it, spreading it. His hands moved through her hair and then down her neck. Ran's were in his hair and playing up and down his back at once.
The fire between them was steady but watered down as they remembered their surroundings and situations. Shinichi and Ran held the kiss, whispering promises, and then pulled away. Ran, however, would not allow him to get away too quickly and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissed his cheek and proceeded to snuggle under his chin – leaving Shinichi blushing, despite how close they had been only a moment before. He smiled at her and wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes, stifling a yawn.
"Goodnight Ran, I love you…"
"Goodnight Shinichi… love you too…"
Her mind is Tiffany twisted
She got the Mercedes-Benz
She got a lot of pretty pretty boys
That she call friends
How they dance in the courtyard
Sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget
Shinichi awoke the next morning rather late. It was already hot and it felt like it would feel even worse if he got up. Nonetheless, it was Ran's voice in his ear and her hand shaking his shoulder that told him he should get up before the heat increased. He sat up, pushed away the sheets and ran a hand through his hair in an effort to shake off the sleepiness. He stretched and then made his way to the bathroom. The window was open let in light. He brushed his teeth, showered – the usual morning routine.
He came out to find Ran already out of the room. He ran his hand through his hair and dressed. Putting on his shoes, he went out to look for her. He went downstairs; all the windows were open to let in light.
He stopped by the phone in the hall, looked like the phones were still out.
"Ran?" he called out as he got to what looked like the living room.
"Outside!" came her call from the back.
He walked past the dining room, turning on a light switch as he went past. Yep the power was still most definitely out. He went into another drawing room that had a screen door at the end leading to the backyard. The drawing room itself was as large as a dance hall with a high ceiling and three columns on each side of the room. It was mostly empty.
He heard music and laughter as well as conversation. He cautiously slid the door open and stepped out.
"Ah, our final guest has finally come out!" called out a deep voice as Shinichi stepped outside. The conversation quieted as did the music. It was a bit bright but he could make Ran out coming up to him to hand him some sunglasses. He slipped them on and smiled at Ran. She was wearing the dress she had been in yesterday and was now wearing some beaded sandals.
However, her expression had changed from the smile she had greeted him with to one of surprise and recognition. He leaned over to whisper in her ear, "I'll tell you later... and then you can also tell me why you left Tokyo so quickly."
She looked at him dazed as he pulled back, trying to grasp the situation, but nodded nonetheless after a few moments.
However, she clamped her hand on his arm, determined not to let him out of her sight.
She pulled him forward in the lush grass-filled yard to the older man who had made the final guest comment.
Shinichi scanned the area quickly. Besides the grass growing in bright green tufts, there were fruit trees bordering the yard and beyond that lay what looked like a winery. Along the shaded areas were lawn chairs. All the other guests of the hotel were seated in them. There were twenty-six of them, including Boire. They all were wearing white and each had some kind of pin on their chests, a few more men than women. Only Boire however wore extra jewelry… something that belonged in Tiffany with an expensive price tag next to it. Something was off about all of this.
"This is Kudo Shinichi," said Ran, "My boyfriend."
"Well! This is a surprise," he began as he gave Shinichi a once over, "No one here has ever had a boyfriend, isn't that right?" he asked Boire who sat on his right side.
"Well, I wouldn't say that…" she said as she looked around. Some of the younger men smiled, others looked away for a moment.
"Well son, I'm the proprietor of this fine hotel. Everyone calls me the Captain. If you need anything, you just ask me for it. 'Kay?"
Shinichi looked at him, "Uh sure."
"Now I understand you're a detective – if this lovely lady's story yesterday was the truth," he said as he glanced at Ran, who blushed some.
"What exactly did you tell them all Ran?" asked Shinichi as he looked around.
"Oh, not too much Kudo-kun," he laughed a bit at how uncomfortable Shinichi looked, "Just how great of a detective you are, and how you've been gone on and off in the past year."
"Oh, well… I've just been solving cases."
"'Cause you already solved all the ones in Tokyo, ne?"
"Haha… Just looking for a challenge."
"That girlfriend of yours must have given you quite a mystery to solve, what with leaving no clues as to where she was going..."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that. What with the car abandoned up the road of this hotel… what is the name of this hotel by the way? The sign isn't exactly clear."
"Well, in English, you could even say there is a song for it… Hotel California is the name of this establishment. No worries though! None of that going on here!"
Shinichi raised an eyebrow, "The idea hadn't crossed my mind sir. Of course the song can be put into many other contexts. Would you like to continue in English?"
"No, most of them here don't understand it very well and I make it priority never to be rude to my guests. Anyway, why don't the two of you take your seats and drink? We have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks here for tasting, and a lot of food."
On his words the door of the hotel opened and people began to bring out food as well as jugs, barrels and bottles of drinks.
The Captain then turned to Boire, "I think it's time enough for the entertainment yes?"
She smiled and looked at some of the people seated. Five of the men stood up as well as two other women. Shinichi sat with Ran next to the Captain.
A waiter walked by with some glasses on a tray.
"Ah, Kudo-kun. Here! I think you'll like this drink," said the Captain as he handed him and Ran a margarita.
The men took their places as did Boire and the other two. A new song began and they moved gracefully among each other. Splitting and pairing in succession. Circling and twirling, faster and faster. The movements becoming more intimate and smoother. Recreating and mocking, picking up pace with the song. Even though the shade was cool, it was evident however beads of sweat were forming… And tears…
But why would someone cry as others smiled?
The song ended and everyone clapped. Shinichi a little hesitantly… he was still wary of the strangers here.
So I called up the captain
Please bring me my wine
He said we haven't had that spirit here since 1969
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say
It wasn't until sunset that the festivities died down and they went inside. Each of them slowly lit their candles. Shinichi took Ran's hand and led her back to their room. He closed the door and locked it behind him figuring it would be best to get it over with. Especially after noticing how Ran's mood during the party had shifted. He put a hand through his hair as he looked at Ran's face, studying her current expression. Her eyes were set, her jaw was locked and it seemed as if she was bursting with questions.
"All right. Yes… it's like you thought… I was Conan," he whispered to her as he pulled her over to sit with him on the bed.
"Keep it low, I'll tell you… you've been out of Tokyo since the day before last right? You didn't hear about that organization that was exposed did you?"
He explained in hushed, quick tones. He knew very well how walls could have ears… and even though he had checked the room as he dressed earlier for listening devices he still knew he might not have found one.
"Now Ran, tell me. I, Conan, left you three days ago. Night before last you left Tokyo, after the shoot out. Why Ran? Why out here? I told you to go with your parents on that trip to Hokkaido. Why didn't you go?"
"I… I was told to… by the FBI agent, Akai Shuichi. That I shouldn't run… I have some stake in this too… he wouldn't tell me what. He said I had to figure it out."
Shinichi's eyes widened… his theory just proven correct.
"Oh God Ran," he wrapped his arms around her tight, "Don't… Don't do that again. Don't leave… call me. Find me. Ask me. I'm sorry I kept this a secret from you. I didn't know everything it seems." He kissed her cheek and pressed his forehead to hers.
Ran held on to him. She was a bit angry at him for the secrets but… he did it to keep her safe. It was all for her, even if it had hurt a lot some times, wasn't it better that she was alive? And he had saved her so many times… So even if she was angry for the lies, all he had done – the embarrassing moments and the nicer ones- they weighed each other out now – knowing it had been him the whole time.
A knock on the door interrupted them. Shinichi let go of Ran and went to the door.
"Who is it?" he called through the door.
"Room service," said the Captain's cherry tones.
Shinichi opened the door.
"Hey Kudo-kun. Dinner will be ready soon. Do you two want any drinks before then?"
"Umm… a red wine would be all right."
"I'm sorry; we haven't had any of that for a while now. But could I interest you in some pink champagne?"
Shinichi looked over at Ran, "Sure, why not. We'll be down for dinner in time. It's at 7:30 right?"
"Yes. That's right. Someone will bring up your bottle in a minute..." he partly turned away but then turned back, "Oh and we'll have some guests after dinner."
The Captain bowed himself out and Shinichi closed the door.
"I really don't like this place…" said Shinichi quietly.
"I know what you mean. Boire…"
Shinichi looked at Ran.
"Stay here. I'll be back in a few minutes."
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They living it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise
For your alibis
Shinichi stopped in his tracks on his way back to his room.
He could hear voices in excited but hushed conversation.
His eyes narrowed but continued walking silently.
He couldn't risk them noticing that he had just been to the garage to get something out of his car...
Mirrors on the ceiling
The pink champagne on ice
And she said we are all just prisoners here
Of our own device
In the masters chambers
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast
At dinner Ran and Shinichi sat on the right side of the Captain who sat at the head of the table. It felt, at first stuffy and funeral-like with everyone morose and dressed in black.
But then the food was brought out and the hotel staff took their seats.
A roasted pig was at the middle of the table, surrounded by some steaks, chicken pieces, as well as some fish dishes. Steamed vegetables and trays of fruit mixes lined those as well as other appetizers.
With the passing of the platters the deathly sick feeling slipped away.
Now everyone was in bright conversation, eating and drinking. More and more bottles of every kind of alcohol were being opened and everyone becoming drunker and drunker.
It was becoming crazy and Shinichi's eyes were shifting from the Captain, to making sure Ran wasn't being hit on and that nothing was happening yet.
His ears were strained for the cars that the guests would be arriving in. Thus far it was a silent night outside. His skin was tingling. The atmosphere from everyone's candles being lit as they feasted together was terrifying. Danger was approaching and it wouldn't be long now…
In fact another hour passed before the table quieted some and the effects of the alcohol had moved to a quieter stage. One in which everyone else was feeling particularly attractive and switching off.
It was then that Shinichi pulled his eyes away from the scene of two that sat at the end of the table becoming particularly intimate, when the Captain rang for everyone's attention by hitting his fork on his glass.
"My good sirs and gentle ladies, as well as our honored guests," he began, nodding at Ran and Shinichi at the last part, "It seems as if our feast is now over. I suggest that we now move to the drawing room where we will meet our newest guests. Please take your candles with you."
The ones at the other end of the table exited first, Shinichi and Ran ended up being some of the last to leave.
As each entered the drawing room they were to set down their candles on the small table that had been set up by the door. Shinichi put his down hesitantly after Ran and walked on behind her, a hand clutching her shoulder. His nerves shot up as he could hear murmuring toward the back of the room.
Shinichi and Ran pushed their way forward and stopped in horror. Shinichi automatically stepped forward to shield Ran.
"It's too perfect isn't it? Here in this grayer part of the world, where there's no good, there's no evil and it's just us... all in black."
He stopped and lit a cigarette.
"Right, tantei-san?" said Gin, sitting next to the last Miyano who was unconscious, lying on the remainder of the couch and bleeding from the side of her head.
"Now, I'll tell you this here and now. She," he motioned toward Shiho, "She's dead. It won't be another thirty minutes until that wound on the left side of her brain bleeds her to death. It's almost pitiful that she's dying like this. It's so ugly. Hardly beautiful. But I thought, how fun it would be to watch you stand there and try to think of a way to save her," Gin cracked a devil's grin, "Mouri-san, who really is a beautiful creature, and yourself."
"Now Gin, contain yourself. That's no way to talk about Angel."
Shinichi looked over his shoulder for a quick glance at Boire. His breath caught in his throat as he realized who she was.
"You!" cried out Ran in recognition as the mask slipped off of Boire's features, revealing the famous American actress, known within the Black Organization as Vermouth.
"Kudo-kun here is fully aware that he can't escape here now. Not being surrounded by the highest members of the Black Organization."
Gin laughed, "Now you underestimate your Silver Bullet. You really are something Vermouth."
"You both still squabble like children."
Everyone became silent as the Captain stepped forward.
"Quiet Vermouth. Your plans have accomplished little. You're lucky that I don't believe that you have anything to do with our recent exposure. However, this young man…" he trailed off as he looked at Shinichi with eyes that lacked the warmth that had been there earlier, "He has destroyed, in one blow, decades of work, of placement, of secrecy higher than any other society ever known on the planet.
"So he will know more pain than any other man on the planet ever has."
And it was in one fast movement that his gun was pulled out, and a bullet was aimed for Shiho's skull.
All it would take for Shinichi to take the bullet would be one side step.
And he took it.
Ran moved to shield Shinichi as he bent over from the pain injected into his leg. Ripping through muscle and tissue, cutting open the blood filled passages in the flesh.
"We have plenty of time however," continued the Boss, "We're in no hurry. Unless you are Tantei."
Shinichi shot him a look a pure vehemence and defiance. He would not die there in that moment. He would not die at their hands. He would not die and leave Ran or Shiho to be their playthings. No… he would defeat them.
A voice in the back called out to the front, "Captain! The candles! They're changing!"
"How so?" he called back amused.
"The Tantei's and Mouri-san's… their brighter."
Vermouth scoffed, "Honestly Bourbon, you and your candles."
"You shouldn't talk Vermouth; your candle doesn't go out anymore. It says more than you think."
The Boss looked over at Vermouth, "We all know why that is…" he trailed off as he saw Ran tying a scrap of her skirt around Shinichi's leg. "Get away from him girl."
Ran looked up at him and stood up, blocking Shinichi from their view.
"Stop baiting us! It's clear you killers aren't set on letting us leave."
Gin took the last drag of his cigarette and put it out.
"Mouri-san, your role in all of this isn't exactly innocent either. However, given the circumstances, had you not shown up here on the advice of the FBI agent, we would probably have only kept you under observation."
"Actually, I believe that decision had been made last week," input Vermouth.
"Oh yes, I remember the meeting. Shirley Temple Black brought that wonderful blackberry pie," said the Boss.
Shinichi was looking at them in disbelief now. Of course, he could use it to his advantage. Given Ran could act on the plan he had whispered to her through clenched teeth as she had tightened the bandage quickly.
Last thing I remember
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
Relax said the night man
We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave
Ran swung her leg out in a round-house kick, effectively disarming Gin and pulling out the gun that Shinichi had given her earlier for precaution. Her eyes dared him to move.
Shinichi pulled out two handguns from the shoulder holsters hidden under his blazer and aimed them at the surrounding members.
Their backs were pressed up against each other and they turned 90 degrees so that each could see both those surrounding them as well as Gin and Shiho.
"As ready as I'll ever be."
For a moment a rushing sound went past their ears but they quickly snapped out of it as twenty-five members rushed forward. Some with weapons, others with their bare hands. Each of them one of the best assassins in the world.
Shinichi ran forward as they came toward him. He shot out several shots, aiming for the lesser vital organs.
He tumbled towards a column and hid behind it as several operatives fired together in Shinichi's direction. He reloaded his gun and slid out to fire at those who came at him.
Ran had also rushed forward firing several shots but threw the semi-automatic weapon to the ground when it became empty.
One op came at her and she effectively pushed forward; the heel of her hand slammed into his nose and she then kicked him to the floor.
She swung back her leg and another fell down after being hit squarely in the chest.
She then shot it forward and kicked a gun out of one ops hand and then forced her leg back the way it came, this time hitting the man across the face.
She thrust back her elbow and hit one operative behind her in the stomach.
She turned however too late as one came toward her with his fists ready.
However, Shinichi's bullet cut off that attempt quickly as he came running towards her.
Ran's eyes widened for a quarter of a moment but then necessity took control and she launched herself forward and pushed herself over Shinichi's shoulders to use the force of the landing to knock out one who was aiming for Shinichi's back.
She rolled over twice and then swung her leg out in a circle to knock over those after her from all directions.
Shinichi got down as a charge of bullets flew past where his upper body had been only half a moment before.
He fired several shots at their ankles; their cries of pain as they fell to the floor assured him his bullets had hit their mark.
He rolled back to the pillars and tried locating Ran as he fought off several other members who came at him by kicking the guns that lay littered on the floor as if they were soccer balls.
Shinichi panicked as he saw that she was edging farther from him but to run across the hail of bullets being showered was stupid.
Using the pillars as shields, he ran between them while reloading his gun. As he came running out at Ran's side an op came out in front of him.
Shinichi didn't stop and it only took pushing an elbow forward into the man's stomach for him to become limp. Shinichi only twisted a bit and the left handed assassin's shotgun suddenly was in his hands. "Pump – fire – pump – fire," four times took out eight of the men across the room.
Ran by this time, however had begun to notice the number of those in black around and kicking were becoming fewer and fewer.
She fought her way across the room, picking up guns and firing at those coming at her as well as using her mixture of acrobatics and karate. She jumped aside as two ops on either side of her aimed and they ended up shooting each other.
She pushed the heel of her hand into the center of a woman's chest as she landed and then kicked her leg straight up and hit someone coming behind her as she glanced around for Shinichi.
Ran turned and suddenly felt the butt of a hand gun come into contact with her skull. Blinking away dizziness, Ran could vaguely make out Gin taking pleasure in her pain. She sloppily took two jumps back and leaned against a pillar so that she could attempt to assess the situation in front of her.
Shinichi was fighting across the room, trying to get to her. Shooting and making use of the self-defense moves he knew either in practice or based on instinct.
She took a quick breath to steady herself despite the growing pounding in her head. She ran forward and began to battle Gin. She aimed a kick at the side of his head but he blocked it quickly by moving up his arm. She jumped back again. The pounding was growing louder now… did she have a concussion?
Shinichi punched the last one in front of him in the jaw and began running across the room. He slowed as he felt a bullet pierce his right shoulder. Damn it hurt but there was Ran against the pillar and damn she was tough but about 18 a piece wasn't exactly easy.
Shinichi turned to where the bullet came from and saw Vermouth standing there with a shotgun in her hands, smiling like a maniac.
"Cool guy… I can't just let you get away!"
She fired. Shinichi dodge it. She fired again, this time grazing his other shoulder.
Shinichi dodged his way forward while reloading his gun and fired at her. His aim was true and the gun was knocked away from her hands. He threw down his gun and pulled his left arm back. He put all of his force into that one punch and hit her squarely on the jaw while using his right hand to pull his old wrist watch tranquilizer and fire one into her neck.
With Vermouth knocked out, Shinichi looked over at Ran horrified.
Her reaction time was slightly slower now, fatigue and concussion taking over her body, begging her to shut down.
In a surge of fresh adrenaline fueled by fear and hate, Shinichi rushed forward, picked up his gun and he launched himself in the air. His right foot planted itself into Gin's neck. In one fast movement the gun made contact to Gin's skull. His finger ready to pull the trigger.
He held there for a moment ignoring whatever Gin was mumbling about.
He stiffened, realizing what he had been ready to do, what he had been about to commit.
In anger, partly at himself, he hit the butt of the gun hard against Gin's skull. To be safe however, he used his last tranquilizer on Gin.
Shaky with fatigue, Shinichi got up from his spot and walked the two steps over to where Ran had fallen to her knees. He slowly pulled her up and surveyed the room.
"Let's get Shiho… then we'll go," he grunted, "And don't let yourself fall asleep Mouri Ran cause I'll be damned if you just put me through all of that trouble!"
"Just remind me who's idea was it for us to do this?" asked Ran sarcastically through shaky breaths.
They made it over to the couch and found her there undisturbed by the outbreak. Her breathing was even but her pulse was low. Shinichi was able to maneuver her into a piggy-back position with Ran's help and soon they were walking past the dining room and living room.
They stopped as they came to the entrance hall. There sat the Captain.
Ran stepped forward.
"Are you not going to let us leave?"
"No, no my dear your candles melted away. Nothing ties you here now. That and that you've both ruined everything. I'm just going to sit here and wait for your police to arrive."
"So it's over then?"
"Oh yes. No, you beat us unfair and fairly. Anyone involved internationally has already confessed and turned themselves in. It wouldn't do them well to continue on their own. No there are penalties in place for the guilty like that."
"Good. Then you can help tie everyone up."
They turned. There stood their three favorite FBI agents- James Black, Akai Shuichi and Jodie Starling.
"Are you kids okay?" asked Jodie as she came forward and looked at Shiho.
"She's in bad shape," motioned Shinichi, "And Ran here has a concussion."
"No, I don't," argued Ran.
"Either way, all of you need medical attention," said Shu in his calm manner.
Jodie turned and spoke into her cell phone and in a minute FBI medics arrived with stretchers.
"I don't need a stretcher!" argued Ran.
"Ran just get on it…" said Shinichi as he lay back on one as well. He looked at Jodie, "Hey, there should be thirty-seven back there. Thirty-eight including the Boss right here."
Within minutes the hotel's perimeter was secured and everyone was handcuffed and receiving medical attention if needed. It wasn't until morning until the Tokyo PD arrived, but by then Ran, Shinichi and Shiho had been admitted into the Tottori General Hospital and in stable condition.
They were released later that week. All were advised to take it easy, especially Shinichi who had taken several bullets that he hadn't felt during the heat of the battle. Ran was fine and Shiho was already on her way to full recovery. However, it wasn't until the day of their release that their family members arrived in Tottori. Within minutes, Shinichi had heard Kogoro yelling about his irresponsibility, Heiji complaints about being left out, and Eri who was evaluating any legal action she could take. His own parents were very upset and Yukiko hadn't stopped bawling for several hours, mainly because Shinichi wasn't Conan anymore and that made her feel as if she was suddenly a lot older.
The one amusing thing about the whole situation was a wedding present dropped off by the Kaitou Kid, which had subsequently given Kogoro a look of horror that should only have been there had he been suffering a heart attack or been told that alcohol was illegal. It was a pretty funny thing to look at – not that Shinichi dared to laugh in front of the man.
The circumstances surrounding the wedding present weren't very positive because immediately Sonoko and Kazuha were starting to make wedding plans for Ran, who was continually informing them that Shinichi hadn't even proposed. Especially when they were on the train back to Tokyo, and Sonoko asked if Shinichi had given her a ring yet.
Shinichi did his best to stay out of Kogoro's way after that comment.
Another week went by until it was determined that Shinichi could enter the Detective Agency without fear of death, at least from Ran's immediate family. Peace with Sonoko and Kazuha depended on how long it had been since they had last asked Ran if Shinichi had proposed yet.
"Honestly, Kudo," began Shiho after Shinichi was done asking her how she was, "I don't know why you're waiting so long. It's a bit disappointing after all of this. Fighting tooth and nail to get out of the organization's last strong hold so that you can get back to her and it's her parents you're afraid of. Even after seeing that you two are such a team. Perfectly in time with the other."
"Just go back to sleep, Shiho."
"Not until you leave and come back engaged to Ran."
"Fine, mind you in your state you might not be able to stay up."
"Just walk away before I slip APTX in your drink…"
"Like you would try it."
"How well do you think you know me…Kudo?"
"Fine… I'm going."
Ran looked at Shinichi as he pulled her forward and out of the Mouri Detective Agency. Maybe she was still dazed because Shinichi looked nervous.
And Shinichi was never nervous.
Not even when it looked like they could have died at the hotel.
But it was hard to deny because his hand was a little moist and he kept on clearing his throat.
"Shinichi? Where are we going?"
"Umm just someplace Ran. Thought it would be nice if we went out for a bit."
They walked on together for a bit more and Ran followed Shinichi onto a bus, which stopped at Tropical Land.
Ran looked at Shinichi.
"What are we doing here Shinichi?"
"We're here for the fireworks show."
At that moment his cell phone rang. He glanced at the number.
"Let me just take this and then we'll go inside."
Ran nodded and strained her ears as Shinichi talked to the speaker.
"You're sure about this?...All right. Yeah that's what I got too. Okay. Talk to you after."
Ran narrowed her eyes in suspicion but smiled when Shinichi turned around and smiled at her.
"Ready to go in?"
Suddenly Ran was amazed to discover just how much of Conan wasn't an act as Shinichi was pulling her to every ride, amusement and show in Tropical Land. The mystery and dragon coasters as well as the Matrix in 3-D. They were laughing and smiling and Ran began to forget the mysterious call Shinichi had received. That he was hiding something important from her again.
That is until they got to the fireworks show.
"Come on, I know you love fireworks!"
"But Shinichi - I'm getting tired! And we're not just here for the fireworks show are we? Something's going on…"
Whistle Bang went the first firework that immediately had many followers in the night sky.
"Ran, I have no idea what you're talking about," shrugged Shinichi as he leaned against the bar that separated the crowd from the lake that surrounded the Tropical Castle.
"Kudo Shinichi you tell me why you brought me here or…"
She trailed off as the display in the sky became clear.
Oh my god…
Ran felt herself becoming dizzy as she suddenly felt a sudden range of emotions run through her.
Shinichi made a quick glance behind him as his cheeks turned red.
"Umm… so Ran, we've been friends for a really long time now… and umm well even though we just recently became – ahem – an item, I'd loved you for a really long time before that. And even though I'm not too clear on your plans for the future, I know one certainty in mine.
"And that is that I want to be with you. And I'll wait! I'll wait until you finish college, have your career, do everything you want to do because I love you… and I-"
Shinichi looked behind him, "And I want to marry you. So Ran..." he bent down on one knee.
"Will you please marry me?"
Ran looked at the words forming behind Shinichi.
Say yes! – Sonoko, Kazuha, Heiji, Mom, Dad, FBI and Kid.
P.S. It's one hell of a ring – Yukiko and Yusaku
Her mouth opened and closed; her voice cracking and gasping all at once.
She didn't know what to say! He had just told her all of that and yes seemed so… so…
"They added something didn't they?" asked Shinichi as he saw Ran just looking up, dazed. "Ignore it and look down here."
Ran looked at Shinichi and her eyes fell upon the most beautiful vintage ring in the world in a black box… in Shinichi's hands… that were in the same line of vision of his eyes… that were looking at her so lovingly.
"Yes…" whispered Ran.
"What?" asked Shinichi as he stood up, bended knee hurt, tradition or not.
"Yes! Yes, they wrote something extra! And yes I want to marry you!"
Shinichi looked at her, "Really?"
"Really! Now quit being so amazed and put that ring on me!"
Shinichi took it out of its box and put it on her left ring finger.
And then turned around and looked somewhat disturbed.
"You didn't say yes because of the ring did you?"
"Shinichi… honestly I thought you knew me better than that."
"You're right, come here you!"
He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him and kissed her there in the middle of Tropical Land with everyone they knew watching from the towers of the Tropical Castle, binoculars focused on the newly engaged couple.
"I think that went rather well," commented Kaito as he looked at Ran and Shinichi through his personal set of binoculars.
"Oh, I already have so many wedding ideas!"
"Me too!" exclaimed Kazuha.
"Oh God… what have you done to me, Kudo?" muttered Heiji.
Jodie and Akai smirked at each other as James started handing out glasses of champagne to the legal drinkers.
"Yusaku! This means we'll have grandchildren to spoil soon!"
"Grandchildren!" choked Kogoro on his champagne.
"I don't think they'll be rushing into anything too soon," commented Eri.
"Well, they're already heading out of the park…" commented Kaito, "And Kudo didn't say anything about that to me…"
"That boy! Let me at him!"
"Kogoro no!" yelled Eri as she went after him.
However he was stopped by the couple of the Metropolitan PD and handcuffed to a pole to prevent any interruption of Ran and Shinichi.
"Nice job Detective Takagi," said Kaito.
"You're just lucky we're not inquiring as to why the name Kid was added to that last message," said Sato.
"Er - right. Anyway… I should be on my way… things to do, people to see, torment, and all that jazz. So good night everybody!"
And there went Kaito in a puff of smoke.
"I'm going home too. I have some paperwork to take care of and I need to wake up early," said Eri.
"I think Heiji and I should be going too…"
And soon everyone was gone.
That is everyone except Kogoro who had been accidentally forgotten.
"Never be able to leave is right…" grumbled Kogoro.
AN: A few notes… first of all, thank you to Sapphire Stars who was such a sweetie and was my beta-reader for this one. She admitted that it was the best thing I've ever written which really amazed me . Did anyone else feel that the sequence of feelings went: creepy, fluffy and funny? The next note is that I absolutely had too much fun writing this and it was really hard to end it. I have discovered that Kogoro one-liners end chapters and stories like this perfectly and am using it to its fullest potential. The last person I have to thank is my friend Red who, when I told him I was writing this said "there is no way you can do it right." Who feels that I've done a pretty damn good job? Thanks for reading and as always – please review!