Title: As Time Goes By
Fandom: Detective Conan
Friends: Kudo Shinichi/Edogawa Conan and Hattori Heiji
Theme: #30—friends forever!
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan—all the characters belong to Gosho Aoyama. I just kidnapped them and hid them in my closet to keep them safe from…I dunno, something awful, I'm sure. Don't worry, I feed them. Sometimes.
Summary: We really have come a long way, haven't we?
There are some memories that tend to be commonplace between people who have been friends since childhood. There are the memories of games played, of movies and cartoons watched, of cookies eaten, of toys argued over, of silly bickering moments that were forgotten mere minutes later.
There are memories of playgrounds, of sandbox adventures, of teasing about the opposite sex having those mysterious cooties, of pushing each other headfirst down the slide, of contests to see who could jump the furthest from a moving swing, of standing up to the playground bully and getting a handful of sand in your hair for your troubles.
There are the memories of growing up together in every interpretation of the phrase.
Kudo Shinichi and Hattori Heiji shared none of these, save for the very last. They met when they were in high school (so to speak), and so were already nearing adulthood when they met. At the time, Kudo was trapped in the body of his seven-year-old self, hiding from those who wished to kill him.
In a strange, roundabout way, it was that situation that allowed them to become friends in the first place. Hattori discovered his secret, and Kudo had no choice but to trust him as a result of that. And from that uneasy beginning grew a partnership that continued along long after Kudo had returned to his rightful body.
So they both continued to grow up as things changed and life moved on…
After trying to sneak one too many bites, Heiji and Shinichi found themselves banned from the kitchen by their mildly-irate wives. Ran and Kazha were not amused at the childish antics of their husbands, and so ordered them to go elsewhere until dinner was ready.
They obligingly went outside onto the wooden walkways that lined the outside of the Hattori residence, a traditional-style house. They took a seat, choosing a spot that allowed them a perfect view of four children (of varying ages) kicking a soccer ball around in the yard.
"Your kid's in good form," Heiji commented after watching fourteen-year-old Conan juggle the ball like a pro before kicking it towards Yukari, Heiji's oldest at thirteen years of age.
"He's damn good on the field," Shinichi nodded, a definite note of pride in his voice. "Got that much from me, at least. More his mother's common sense, though." He paused, then chuckled. "Your brood just keeps growing, doesn't it?"
"Oh, shut up," Heiji retorted. He looked back over towards the kids…and frowned. "Take a look at that…"
He was referring to the fact that Yukari was laughing and ruffling Conan's hair for some unknown reason. And Conan did not seem to mind this gesture in the slightest—though there were probably precious few boys that age who would be much bothered by such a display of affection from a cute girl. In fact, it had only been a couple of months earlier that Conan had hesitantly confided to his mother that he had woken up one morning and realized that girls were really, really nice. Meanwhile, the two younger Hattori chidren were protesting and demanding that the game continue.
"…well, that's interesting," Shinichi commented dryly.
Heiji turned a mock-glare on his fellow detective and wagged a finger at him, growling, "You keep your son away from my daughter, you hear me?"
Now Shinichi laughed outright. "Keep your daughter away from my son! How about that?"
It was Heiji's turn to chuckle. He looked back out to the kids, who had finally resumed their game—Tomoe was chasing after an errant kick. "What do you think about that? Really? If Conan-kun and Yukari actually started something?"
"I think they're a little young to be worrying about it. They're thirteen and fourteen—even if something did happen, it probably wouldn't get serious for another few years," Shinichi said. "And at the end of the day, it's really up to them."
"But would you be okay with it?" Heiji repeated. "I'm asking what you think."
"…well, if they decided to get married someday, you and I would be related. And I won't stand for that," Shinichi replied with a completely straight face.
"This is why I don't like playing poker with you."
"Hattori, you know perfectly well that I have no sense of humor whatsoever."
The conversation came to a halt when the soccer ball bounced against Shinichi leg. He was about to kick it back towards them (he hadn't really played soccer in ages, but kicking a ball around the yard with Conan had kept his skills in fairly high form) when he saw Hattori's youngest daughter toddling after it; her sisters were cheering for her to go get it.
Deciding against actually kicking it back at the two year old—that could cause serious injury if aimed wrong—he picked it up and held it out to her. "Here you go, Midori-chan." She reached out and wrapped both her little arms around the ball, giving Shinichi and her father a big smile (no doubt inherited from her father) before turning and running back to the others as fast as her tiny legs would carry her.
Shinichi threw a glance at Hattori and noticed his expression, and so asked, "She has you wrapped around her little finger, doesn't she?" Not that he blamed the man for it—the little girl was absolutely precious.
"I admit to nothing."
"That's why I told Ran that she and I were never having a daughter."
Silence lapsed again, punctuated by the shouts and laughter of their children. Smells wafting from the open kitchen window indicated that a delicious dinner was on its way.
"Hey, Kudo?" Heiji said after a moment.
"Did you ever think we'd end up like this?" he asked. "I mean…got off to a rocky start, but now we've been friends for years and we're sitting around, watching our kids."
"Honestly? No," Shinichi said bluntly. "But granted, I was still sort of upset that you caught me, and at first I had to trust you because of the circumstances. And I don't like not having any control over my own situation. That's not a secret. And while I did warm up to you, I must say that something about this scene right now just doesn't feel right."
Heiji looked genuinely started at that. "Why?"
"…I feel like I should have a beer in my hand."
The laugh that answered that comment was both amused and relieved. "There's some in the fridge. Good luck getting past Kazuha to get to it. Woman's half watch dog, I swear."
"And yet you fell for her."
"And married her."
"And had three kids."
"All right, point made."
"…we really are best friends, aren't we?" Shinichi pondered. "Have been since day one." The first part wasn't so much a revelation as the second. For all his brilliance as a detective, he still sometimes struggled with people, and it was at moments like this that it showed the most.
"Well…yeah," Heiji replied. He was silent a moment, then chuckled. "Is your head still hard as a rock?"
"I don't know," Shinichi said dryly. "Let me ram my head into your nose, and we can find out."
"Hey, not in front of the kids," Shinichi said in mock warning. "Or I'll have to tell Kazuha-san."
"Tell me what?"
Both menlooked up to see her standing in the doorway with a smile. "Are we all behaving ourselves?"
"Yes, ma'am!" Heiji said with a feigned salute.
"Only if Ran's within earshot," Shinichi joked, earning a laugh from Kazuha. They had gotten off to a very tedious start, what with the Conan fiasco and everything. But Heiji insistences had helped, and the two had eventually become friends.
"Well, dinner's almost ready," she said cheerily. "Can you gather up the kids and get them to the table?"
"No problem. Watch this," Shinichi cupped one hand around his mouth. "Conan! Dinner!"
There was a sound like a sonic boom, and their hair rustled in a breeze that followed a full second later. And the boy in question was nowhere in sight. Kazuha blinked. "What…was that?"
Shinichi grinned. "My son. Mention food around teenage boys, and you will probably instigate a stampede. The state of their stomachs influences their entire well-being or lack thereof. At present, Conan is a black hole on legs—always hungry."
"Girls!" Heiji called. They'd already heard Shinichi's 'hog call' to his own son; Yukari was gathering up Midori and following Tomoe back to the house. As the children made their way into the house with their mother, the two men stayed where they were for a moment longer.
"We really have come a long way, haven't we?" Shinichi remarked.
"You more than me," Heiji pointed out. "You were still stuck as a shrimp. But you're right. We grew up…"
"Finally got you to admit that you had feelings for Kazuha-san…"
"You finally made a move on Neechan…"
"Successful careers as detectives…"
"And we haven't strangled each other yet."
Shinichi stood up. "And you still can't kick a soccer ball."
"And you can't mimic a decent Osakan accent to save your life," Heiji replied, also rising to his feet.
They had come through a lot from that first rather unorthodox beginning, braving both the trials of professional and everyday life, and the less-than-ordinary, like busting the Black Organization. And yet here they were.
"Okay, enough of this sentimental crap," Heiji said in his usual manner. "I'm starved."
No further encouragement was needed. And the two detectives went inside to join their families for dinner.
PS. And so it ends. Wow…this challenge took a while, didn't I? Not that I, ya know, forgot about it for six months or anything, sparkly halo goes here. But this has been a fun challenge, really. There never seem to be enough platonic fics out there, and I do enjoy them so—particularly Shinichi and Heiji, as they have such an interesting dynamic between their personalities. Viva la friendship!
Thank you to those who have been with me from the beginning, and those who are tuning in for the first time. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the stories, strange and silly as some of them were. Thanks a bunch! Much love, all!