CHAPTER THREE: Taxi Ride Home (Shinichi's POV)

With that said, Shinichi began to descend the stairs.

If Ran wouldn't crack, I don't know what I'd do next. he thought.

"Wait Shinichi! I'll, I'll sleepover with you ok? Just don't leave me alone out here." Ran said while reaching out for her friend's arm.

Haha, works every time!

"You really think I'd leave you here? And you always said that detectives are bad actors!" he snickered. Ran was about to react violently again, but his next words stopped her. "I'll always be here with you, no matter what happens. I'll NEVER leave you behind. Remember that."

"Shinichi-kun…" Ran's face has yet again been engulfed by redness.

"Well, let's go already before the rains get stronger." He then held the still blushing Ran by her hand and led her down the stairs.

Once again, they were standing on the cold pavement. Because of the worsening weather, Shinichi decided to hail a cab instead of walking. As they were boarding the cab, Ran couldn't help but ask, "Is this really necessary? Your house is only a good 30-minute walk."

"I don't want to risk your health. Besides, it's not a big deal." He replied with a smile.

What's up with him being so sweet all of a sudden? The kiss, the concern, the kiss…

Thanks to Shinichi's great observation skills, he was able to notice that Ran was again deep in thought. He knew exactly what was going on in her mind. "Genki nan desu ka?"

"Me? Haha, I'm fine." Lies.

"You're still thinking about the incident we had aren't you?"

"What made you think so?"

"I'm a detective of course. Shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu!"

"I can't believe that fact slipped by me just now." she said while faking a laugh.

He held her cheek and moved it gently, in such a way that their eyes would directly meet. "Listen to me Ran. Just forget about whatever happened today. Well, at least, let's just try to." He paused to catch his breath, and then continued,"Don't let it bother you too much ok? Be strong for me."

Ran had felt the seriousness, the concern in every word he had spoken. She waited for what he had to say next.

"Pinky swear?" Shinichi asked as he lifted his hand and held out his pinky finger.

It her some time to process what he had just said..."Pinky swear! Domo Arigatou, Shinichi-kun" Tears began to flow from her ocean blue eyes.

"Stop it with the drama Ran-chan. You have much more better things to waste your tears on." He then motioned her to rest her head on his shoulder while he hugged her tightly.

They remained in this position for the rest of the ride home. What is up with Shin-kun today? He seems so different, like a gentleman, as if all his pride had been washed away temporarily. She thought hard and looked up at his face, making her cheeks hot." Perhaps the rain has this kind of effect with detective nerds." She concluded while giggling silently and snuggling her head on Shin-chan's shoulders.

Meanwhile, the teenage detective had his own inner ramblings. What is up with me today?

He then began recalling the events that took place that day, particularly those that had to do with Ran.

Be strong for me..I'll never leave you it wrong to be concerned about your health? These words kept echoing in his mind. It seemed as though it were a whole different person who uttered such words; it was definitely not from the arrogant and over-confident Kudo Shinichi that he had always known.

Another thought popped into his mind: Where the hell did I get my sudden burst of courage from?

Everyone who have met Shinichi had always commented about how unusually calm and collected he was, even under the most intense situations, otherwise known as grace under pressure. He would often just laugh this off, his ears tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. When it comes to his real feelings, however, Kudo was as shy as a turtle lacking its protective shell. He had the tendency to mask how he really felt about something, especially if it had something to do with relationships. Speaking of relationships, there is this certain special someone in his life that he wanted to say those three sweet words to…

…and oh, if only she knew that all that he said was pure truth…

"Shinichi-kun! Shinichi-kun! Wake up already sleepy-head!"

Yet despite Ran's efforts, he still remained in his ever-famous thinking stance.

"Is everything all right back there?" The cab driver couldn't help but ask after hearing all those noises at the backseat of his car.

"Hai, just waking up my companion here. He seemed to have fallen asleep during the trip." She replied as she tried to fake a laugh. Companion? Nice choice of words genius…

Then he turned back to the sleeping detective. Running out of choices, she decided to give in to her last resort. "For damn's sake, WAKE UP SHINICHI!" she shouted together with a matching punch aimed at his face. This, obviously, did the trick, as he finally snapped back to reality. The pain from the blow came shortly afterwards.

"Ow Ran, lay down on the karate a bit. That hurts!" he retorted while rubbing his swelling cheek. "And I MEAN really hurts," he frowned.

"Baka, it's your fault! If you responded quickly in my first attempts to wake you up, then I wouldn't have done that."

"And now it's my fault?"

She ignored what Shinichi had just said and continued, "Anyways, do you happen to have any plans on leaving that cab?"

"Demo, I haven't even paid the fare yet…"

"Don't worry Shinichi-kun. It's all been taken care of!" she happily declared while patting her wallet inside her pocket. That smile, it was so pure…

"You didn't have to. I'm the one who suggested taking a cab so I should also be the one to pay it."

"Just consider this as an early thank you present…for helping find a place to stay in for the night! Now are you coming out of there or not?"

"Fine, you win." he said while grinning. Good. He grabbed their umbrella and opened it as they stepped outside the cab. They said their thanks and apologies to the cab driver as they walked towards the gate of the Kudou mansion.

The wind blew past the twosome, making them shudder from the coldness it brought with it. While Shinichi fiddled in his bag as he looked for his keys, Ran began to observe the house that she would be spending the night in. The most noticeable thing was its size, it was colossal compared to most houses in the neighborhood. It wasn't a surprise though, Shinichi coming from a well-off family and all.

Then she noticed another thing: all the lights were turned off! Oh yeah, Shinichi-kun's parents have been overseas for quite some time already. I can't believe I forgot about that! One realization came after the other until eventually, the most shocking one hit her in the face.

He's living alone…living alone since his parents are overseas…so that means that tonight, me and that deduction maniac…were all alone in this big mansion…on a stormy night…alone? OH CRAP!

First of all, HONTOU NI GOMEN NASAI! It's been months since I last updated. My laziness is starting to manifest itself again. x.x

-evil laugh- At last I have succeeded in writing a longer(at least for me & compared to previous chapters) and fluffier chapter! Victory is mine!! Hahaha, –watches readers slowly back away- Whoops, I think I overdid it. XD

With all these unexpected events, could Ran have forgotten about their English assignment? Find out on next update! Ja ne!