A/N: This fandom is fast consuming me. I feel like I've abandoned poor Danny for Conan.
I still love you!
I'm using the manga ages so you know.
Afterwards no one quite knew how the news reporter got in close enough to witness it, let alone bring along the cameraman with a live feed camera.
Of course, afterwards it didn't really matter how they got there, except to the police who subsequently did a review of the whole thing, but they probably would have done that anyway. What mattered was what they saw, and because of them, what was seen by the whole nation.
The Tokyo Metropolitan police were doing a raid, in conjunction with the FBI if rumors are to be believed, but the people they were dealing with put up a vicious fight. The whole affair dragged out for hours, giving the news crews more than enough time to set up their gear some distance behind the beehive of police activity outside of the warehouse.
Maybe it was that activity that allowed the industrious young reporter and her cameraman to slip in through a back door that wasn't on the building's blueprints, maybe it was something else, no one really knows now because neither the reporter nor the cameraman can recall.
The events of before have been overshadowed by what occurred once they were inside the building.
The reporter does remember sending out a message to her superior through her radio. A simple message consisting of "I'm in, put me through." And with those words the nation was brought inside a warehouse where the workings of the world were being changed.
And also where a much smaller, less important event was taking place.
It's the latter that is our business.
The two walked through abandoned corridors, murky places filled with dust and darkness. The sounds of gunfire echoed constantly from the other side of the building where the police and the organization had met one another.
They were walking through enemy trenches, behind the front line. And the audience - the people of a nation - followed along, a silent entourage of ghosts.
Eventually the hallway spilled out into what could only be a storeroom. But here, for the first time since entering the building, there were people.
Two sets of eyes flick towards the two entering the room. The man in black clutches his hostage tighter and brings his gaze back to the young boy just as the boy directs his own narrow-eyed look at the man.
A chuckle breaks the silence, "It seems we have company, detective."
Neither of them notice that the camera is rolling.
It was an odd tableau if one stopped to think about it. A reporter and her cameraman stood frozen in the back doorway, a man with indistinguishable features in a long black trench-coat, black hat and sunglasses had his back to the wall with a gun pointed at the temple of a teenage girl in what was probably a Teitan High School uniform, and there, facing him, was a boy.
The boy was the most out of place. To look at him, one would say he was at most five or six years old. He wore an outdated uniform, with a red bow-tie and had glasses on his face that were many sizes too big. The boy was keeping himself incredibly still, but it was his eyes that caught you. Big, blue eyes that glared at the man with more intensity than a six year old should be capable of producing. Eyes that were calculating even as they took in what was happening. Eyes that belied the years this boy could possibly have lived.
And the man with the gun watched the boy like a hawk, tense, alert.
Somehow, the child was a threat.
"Ran has nothing to do with this," says the boy, his voice quiet and unwavering. "Let her go. It's me you want."
"Co – Conan-kun," the girl stutters. Sweat dribbles down her face as she struggles for breath and for the strength to hold back the pain, her eyes strain to focus.
Later on at the police station an officer would hand the reporter a cup of coffee and quietly inform her that the girl had been drugged.
His posture spoke volumes of his weariness but his eyes were hard.
There was no such thing as an unbiased policeman when it came to this case.
The man laughs, "Ah. Right, I almost forgot you've been calling yourself Edogawa Conan. How cute. Well, I'm not an entirely heartless man. I'll give you time. Why not tell her the truth before you both die, Kudou Shinichi, meitantei-san."
Much, much later there was a disagreement pertaining to what to do with two police files. One was labeled Kudou Shinichi, the other Edogawa Conan, both files for the two lives of the same person.
No one was quite sure if they should be one file or not, so the argument went on until one female police officer ventured the opinion that at least now they knew where Kudou had been all that time.
Quickly thereafter Edogawa Conan's papers were put into Kudou Shinichi's files. All that was left in Conan's file was a picture of him and a single note: See Kudou Shinichi.
The boy closes his eyes for a moment, and then removes his glasses. Opening his eyes again he meets her gaze. "Ran . . . Ran, I love you. I'm sorry."
And so in love with one another that everyone around them knew it. He loved her. She loved him. Neither realized that the other felt the same, not before things became too complicated.
It was the stuff of dreams for the papers and news shows. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly at all, none of them took advantage of it.
Oh, there were stories. About family, about friends, about his older cases, and about the big events that took place that day. But for the two of them that one live broadcast was enough. It said everything that needed to be said.
She smiles dreamily, "You never left me. I love you . . . Shinichi." Her body slumps in the arms of her captor, and before anyone comprehends what is happening she causes him to be flying across the room and into a wall.
She is a karate champion, but in her current state the maneuver is too much. The boy runs for her, even as she falls over from the exertion.
"Ran! Ran!! RAN!!!" his screams are full of panic and denial, but he knows the truth, and there is only one.
"Ran," he whispers, broken in that moment as he had never been in his life.
Watching the scene in horror, the two spectators fail to notice the man in black picking himself up and grabbing his gun.
The shot rings out clearly.
The police rush into the room through the other entrance, but they too, are too late.
He drops on top of her, a puppet with his strings cut.
And the man in black laughs even as he is taken into custody.
They were both sixteen.
Sixteen is extraordinarily young. At sixteen you've lived barely a fraction of your life, and you aren't really an adult yet.
But sixteen is old enough to save the world.
And it's old enough to love.