Okay, I kinda realized it's been about 4 months since I updated…I'm ashamed. So, I'm gonna try to give you a long chapter. No promises, but I'll try. Also – again, no promises – I'm gonna try to update fics more regularly. Try being the key word here.

--

It had been three weeks without a single visit from Hakuba Saguru. Unfortunately, it had been a whole three weeks without a single visit from Kaitou Kid, as well. Even more unfortunately, the ones he kept getting visits from were his parents. He loved them dearly, really he did, but there was only so much he could take of them, especially when Kudo Yukiko took an almost sadistic pleasure in glomping him, seeing just how close to death she could bring him.

Ran wasn't any better, either. She almost never stopped touching him, whether it was a pat on the head or a grasp of the hand or even just and gentle hug, she wouldn't stop. Usually, he wouldn't mind so much, but he'd been extremely on edge lately what with Hakuba's suspicions and his agreement not to see Kid for a while lest they be discovered, and Ran would stubbornly stand with him. That was probably part of the reason Kid hadn't stopped in to see him after three freaking weeks.

Okay, so maybe he was making a big deal out of it, but dammit, he missed Kid. He couldn't help it, he just missed him. It wasn't like the way he'd missed Ran. With Ran, even if he wasn't himself, he was always able to see her, even if just as the cute little boy he was supposed to be. With Kid…he didn't have any way of seeing Kid without putting him in a lot of danger. Besides…what if Kid didn't want to see him? After all, he wasn't exactly…well, anything appealing. He was a little boy now, for god's sake.

"Ku-uh, Conan?" A dark-skinned head poked around the door to his hospital room. "You ready for the check up? Doc says you should be able to leave today. Right, Neechan?" Hattori Heiji grinned at the brunette woman sitting next to Conan's bed, clutching his hand tightly.

"Un." She nodded. "You ready, Conan-kun?"

Heaving a sigh, he nodded. "Hai."

"Well, ain't you enthusiastic?" Heiji laughed lightly. "What's wrong, Shrimp? Shouldn't ya be glad ta get outa here?"

"Sure." Conan muttered. Heiji frowned. What was wrong with him?

Ran frowned as well, squeezing his hand tighter. "Were are Conan-kun's parents? Weren't they just here?"

"Yeah, they went to see the doc already, I think."

"Well, let's go, Conan-kun." Ran smiled gently at him, tugging his arm slightly in the right direction.

Conan allowed himself to be dragged along limply, a gloom expression on his face. He hated being what he was. He hated being Conan. If he weren't Conan, he wouldn't have to act so childish, he wouldn't have to lie to Ran, and most of all, Kid would probably like him better if he weren't a grade school student.

On the other hand, being Conan was how he met Kid in the first place. Before, he was never really interested in thieves, participating only that once when Kid tried to steal the clock tower.

It was strange. At times, he absolutely hated being Conan. And who could blame him? Look at everything Conan had ruined for him. But…he enjoyed being Conan. That was what he really hated. Sure, he couldn't go through life hating everything, but he wasn't supposed to enjoy being like this!

He realized he was probably insecure, but…well, he'd never really had a relationship before and it was hard to believe someone could like him while he was like this.

He glanced up sluggishly when Ran rapped on a hard wood door – presumably the doctor's office – and a blast of cold air hit him. Shivering violently, Conan let out a sort of strangled gasp and jerked his hand away from the imprisoning grip, moving to wrap his arms around his body, conserving heat.

Five different voices shouted his name, but he recognized none of them as he dropped to his knees and whimpered. It was cold, it was dark, that man would be coming back. He didn't want that man to find him! He couldn't breathe. It was cold and it was suffocating. He wanted out, needed to get out – !

A soft hand brushed against his shoulder, gently turning him around slowly and he looked up into worried indigo eyes that held his gaze. Hands ran up and down his arms, warming him, and slowly, he began to come out of his shock.

Blinking, he stared at the nurse who knelt in front of him, mouth opening wordlessly. The nurse's lips quirked up in a smile he knew well and she rose back to her feet, one hand resting on his head.

"I think he's okay now, Doctor, just went into shock." She said in a lilting voice.

A man with a stubble beard nodded. "It's understandable. He's been through an immense psychological trauma recently and that was bound to leave its marks."

"A-are you sure he's alright, Sensei?" Ran asked, worriedly.

"Physically, he's fine. Emotionally…Conan-kun is going to need a lot of support to get through this, but there's nothing more that can be done here. I would like it if you'd bring him in for weekly check-ups and make sure to call if something happens, alright? Perhaps it would be wise to bring him to a counselor."

Ran nodded, a hand reaching out to take Conan's. She was surprised, however, when he jerked back slightly from her grasp. Hurt, she looked down at Conan and he smiled apologetically up at him.

The nurse glanced down at Conan, a surprised look in her eyes. From the other side of the room, Heiji stared at the 'kid' with a look of pure shock. Conan had never rejected Ran before in any way. What had changed?

Hand clenching in the child's hair lightly, the nurse smiled as Conan looked up at her. He unclenched his hand and patted the boy's head lightly before turning and leaving.

Ran frowned. Why was that nurse so close to Conan-kun? She was the one who was supposed to be special to him. Why didn't Conan seem to love her as much anymore?

--

Ditching the maid outfit, Kuroba Kaito sighed deeply as he left the hospital. Gods, Conan's little attack had scared the shit out of him. He cursed himself. If only he'd stayed by Conan more, maybe he wouldn't have felt so…lost. Then again, the attack had more to do with the after-effects of his kidnapping rather than any personal emotions. Still…he had wanted to see Conan so bad lately. It had physically hurt to stay away from him like he had. But he'd had to, he forced himself to in order to ward off Hakuba's suspicions.

It all seemed so pointless. Why did Hakuba have to be such a twit, dammit. Why couldn't he just freely see Shinichi like he wanted to? Why did life have to be so goddamn complicated?

--

Yusaku, in his guise as an older man, gazed anxiously at his son. Something was definitely wrong with Shinichi, and it wasn't just his recent clash with death. It was something much deeper, much more personal.

"Mouri-chan?" Yukiko – or rather, Edogawa Fumio – called. "Could we have a moment with Co-chan?"

Ran blinked at her in surprise. "Um, sure. Just, please, make sure he gets home?"

"Of course." Ran nodded and continued her way home. "Shin-chan?"

He looked up at them. "Yeah?"

"Has something happened, Shinichi?" Yusaku asked. "You seem so different than you were when we last saw you."

Shinichi winced slightly, the image of Kid flitted across his mind. He almost blurted out his entanglement with the thief, before clamping his teeth down on his tongue. Why should he tell them? He wasn't going to put Kid at risk for them. "Gee, I wonder why, considering how long it's been."

Yukiko gasped and Yusaku reeled back as if he'd been burned. "You – Shinichi – "

"Look, I'm fine, Otou-san. I may look like a kid in the single digits, but I'm not, okay? And even then, I have a different life here, one you have no part in." Conan said coldly. He turned sharply and marched off after Ran, determinedly not looking back. He didn't stand up to his parents often – he didn't exactly see his parents often – but…maybe he'd been a little harsh? But why shouldn't he be? They'd up and left him when he was fourteen, only bothering to check in occasionally. Just because he was young again didn't mean that they could come in and suddenly be proper parents. He was used to being without them and he didn't need them.

Behind him, Yukiko dropped onto her knees, tears pouring down her face as she desperately clamped a hand over her mouth, muffling her sobs. Yusaku stood limply, frozen with shock.

--

Marching aimlessly, Conan grumbled to himself. He didn't want to go home, didn't want to face Ran, not now. He didn't want to go to the Kudo Mansion either, not with what had happened there. His…activities…with Kid still made him blush, but it was the events after Kid left that made him shiver. That man, he'd be waiting for him, waiting to take him and lock him in the cold!

He knew that was irrational, of course. That man was in jail, he wouldn't be able to harm Conan anymore. Still, even though he knew that, he was still scared. Fear wasn't rational, after all.

It was kind of strange, the way he'd responded to this ordeal. He'd told Hattori it was because he'd come so close to dying – actually thought he was dead – but he'd had experiences like that before and it hadn't effected him as much. Heck, he'd nearly died of blood loss from a bullet wound! But he'd never been so…traumatized before.

"Edogawa-kun?" A voice asked, pulling him out of his thoughts. Conan looked up into the face of the British detective and fought back a gasp. "Shouldn't you be in the hospital?" Hakuba asked.

"I got out this morning." Conan muttered. "I was just headed home."

"Really? And Mouri-chan didn't bring you home?"

"She left early so I could talk with my parents. They had to leave suddenly, though, so I'm headed home alone." It was kind of sad, actually, how he could lie without a second thought now. What happened to him preaching the truth?

"Why don't I walk you home, then?" Saguru offered. Conan stared. Well, shit, that wasn't really what he wanted. Still, he nodded politely and smiled. "Alright then." Hakuba smiled in return.

They walked in silence for some time while Hakuba kept fidgeting, presumably trying to figure out home to say something.

"Edogawa-kun…how do you…what's your association with Kaitou Kid?" He finally asked.

Conan gave him a flat glare. "I'm a detective trying to catch him. That's all." He deadpanned.

"I see…and his reasons for visiting you?"

Conan shrugged. "You're the expert on Kid. You know that he has a strange sense of concern for his opponents. I guess he was just checking up on me."

Hakuba nodded. That made sense, even if he didn't believe it. Kind of like how it made sense that Kuroba could refute his accusations, but he still didn't believe him. "So, you know nothing about him personally?"

Conan cocked an eyebrow. 'You actually expect me to tell you?' he thought incredulously. He shook his head, "Of course not, Saguru-niichan."

"Right." The look on his face showed anything but agreement. "Well, we're here." Saguru motioned to the apartment they now stood outside of. "Good day."

Conan waved and groaned. He just couldn't get a break, could he? "Tadima, Ran-neechan." He said, unenthusiastically.

"Okari, Conan-kun!" She called happily from the kitchen. "Why don't you wash up. I've got a great dinner prepared for you.

He complied and came back to the living room, sitting down across from Kogoro. "Oi, Ran, what's all this food for?" Kogoro asked.

"To celebrate Conan-kun's return home, of course!" She beamed.

Conan smile weakly and ate quickly. He tried to be happy for Ran, he really did, but…well, he just felt down. There were all the issues with his kidnapping and Kid, and then that deal with his parents…

Once dinner was over, he excused himself to his room with the excuse that he was tired. Flopping onto his 'bed', he sighed deeply. He was tired, tired of putting up with Hakuba's suspicions, tired of hiding from Ran, tired of abusing his body by taking antidotes…

He chuckled humorlessly. Hadn't he been ranting about how tired he was to Kid when this first began? Too bad Kid wasn't here now to take his mind off it. With another deep sigh, he drifted off to sleep.

--

He awoke to cool lips brushing against his forehead. Blinking wearily, he noticed he wasn't wearing the glasses he's forgotten to take off before falling asleep. A boy with messy brown hair and a serene smile sat next to him, gloved hand brushing through Conan's hair. Kid…or rather Kaito as the thief wasn't wearing his trademark suit, but instead a dark colored sweatshirt and slacks.

"You look worn out." Kaito said softly.

"Yeah," Conan mumbled. "I had a fight with my parents…" He sighed. "Oh yeah, ran into Hakuba, too." Kaito's hand tightened in his hair slightly, concern flashing through his eyes. "He questioned me some, but left it at that." He brought his hand up to rest on top of Kaito's arm. "He doesn't know anything. He may suspect, but he doesn't seem the type to believe in shrinking and I doubt he'd accuse you of anything with Conan."

Kaito quirked his lips into a smile. "That's true. But ignoring anything intimate, if he even openly accuses you of actively helping Kid, you're credibility will be shot."

"You did say he's not the type to accuse without proof." Conan pointed out. "At least, not twice, anyway. And anyway, I'm not helping you!" He frowned.

"Right, right," Kaito laughed, "still gonna catch me, huh?"

"Damn straight, baka." Conan grumbled.

"Good." Kaito leaned down and kissed him briefly. "It's always more fun when you're chasing me."

"Thrill junkie," Conan murmured, leaning forward as well to meet Kaito's lips, feeling them curve up in a smile. Flicking out his tongue, he explored the thief's mouth greedily. After a good minute of allowing Conan some measure domination, Kaito retaliated, twisting his tongue with Conan's, smirking when the boy let out a small moan.

A loud scream made them jerk apart, staring at each other in confusion. After the loud shout, it was eerily silent and both thief and detective looked uncomfortable.

"Could you tell where it came from?" Conan asked quietly.

"Was kinda distracted." Kaito muttered, face pink.

Conan's lips quirked up, pink spreading over his cheeks, but he ignored it. "Check outside. I'll go find Ran and Occhan, see if they're okay." He whispered.

"10-4," Kaito saluted, vaulting out the window. Conan smiled exasperatedly and hurried to check on the other residents of the Mouri Detective Agency.

"Ran-neechan?" He called softly, knocking on her door. Unlatched, it creaked open as he tapped it. "Ran-neechan?" Frowning at the lack of reply, he reached up and barely managed to flip on the lights, the switch well over his head.

The bed was empty.

Conan's eyes widened. No way. She couldn't have gotten kidnapped…or worse.

He flew out of the room and pounded on the door to Occhan's room. Fearing the worst at the silence that met him, he jumped up and pulled on the handle, swinging his body to get the door to open. Thankfully, Mouri was inside. Unfortunately, he wouldn't wake up. "No use." Conan groaned. "Stupid drunk."

He left the unconscious 'detective' alone and checked around the house, hoping against hope he'd find Ran somewhere in there.

He turned on the lights in the office, glancing around in despair. 'Ran…'

A tap on the window made him spin around. Another tap, and this time he saw the small stone falling away from the window. He hurried over and unlatched it, pulling it open. Kaito was standing on the streets and waved at him with a solemn gesture.

"Call the police," he said sadly. "There's been a death."

Eyes wide, Conan hurried to the phone as did as asked before practically flying down the stairs and outside, colliding with Kaito when he couldn't stop in time. "Whoa there," Kaito wrapped his arms around him, steadying him. "She's over here." He lead the child to an alley between two buildings near them.

"Ran?" He asked numbly.

Confused, Kaito shook his head. "I don't know her. You might, but…I tried to help her when I found her, but when I found her, it was too late." He said sorrowfully,

Conan nodded, reaching up to grasp Kaito's hand. "It's not your fault." He murmured. Squeezing the hand, he dropped it and moved forward to check the body. "She's still warm. Rigor mortis hasn't even set in yet. She must've died just before you reached her." He inspected the body thoroughly while Kaito stood back. Trying to fight off nausea.

Sirens were wailing in the distance and Conan jerked around to look at the thief. "Kaito…"

"Hmm?" The thief didn't look too good, clothes covered with blood in certain places.

"You…the police…"

Kaito shook his head. "It's illegal to leave the scene of a murder, Tantei-kun, even I know that."

"And it's illegal to break and enter. That doesn't stop you. It's illegal to impersonate a minor. That doesn't stop me." Conan sighed. 'I just don't want you to get implicated."

"I know," Kaito said softly, "I know. But I can't just leave, Tantei-kun. There may have been something I saw that could help." Outside, he was calm. Inside, he was completely shocked. Tantei-kun was trying to convince him to break the law, break very thing he held so highly, all to protect him. Kaito suddenly had difficultly swallowing around the lump in his throat. He…Tantei-kun had set aside his beliefs, for him.

However, Conan shook his head. "And how are you supposed to explain why you're miles from home at 2 o'clock in the morning? And why you're wearing gloves?"

"Er…" Shit, Kaito hadn't thought of that. "But I can't just – "

Conan cut him off. "Leave the scene. And…look for Ran, will you? She wasn't inside. I don't know what might have happened to her." He confessed, biting his lip.

Kaito's eyes softened. "Alright. But you'd better catch the killer, Tantei-kun."

"Of course," Conan smirked as the wailing sirens began to get closer. Kaito grinned and vanished, how, he wasn't sure, because there was no accompanying flash or smoke. Still, he was gone, and the police were pulling up to him a minute later.

Megure sighed as soon as he got out of the squad car. "How do you manage to run into murders so soften, Conan-kun? You're worse than Mouri-kun." Conan sweatdropped. He was usually the reason Occhan was at the scene at all.

"I heard the scream about two minutes before I called the police. When I found the body, she's already died." Conan said professionally.

Megure frowned. Something about that sounded off. He heard the scream before he called. He didn't say he fount the body before he called in a death. "Is there anything more you can say?" He asked as the forensics people attended to the scene.

"I don't think so. Did she die from blood loss or from the wound?"

"It looks to be a knife wound, but we'll have to check with the coroner." A forensics officer said. "Considering the amount of blood in the alley, she could have died from blood loss."

Megure nodded as another squad car showed up and Takagi Wataru stepped out, bags under his eyes. It was quite clear he was not happy to be called in for the night shift. "The victim's name was Hifumi Nanako, 27. According to one of Division Two's people – they're drinking buddies – she just broke it off with her boyfriend. They say he's got quite a temper and has threatened her in the past. No other suspects at this time. Shiratori-san has gone to pick him up."

"Good. Question people in the surrounding buildings, see if they heard or saw anything."

"Yes sir." Takagi saluted unenthusiastically.

Megure glanced down at Conan again. "Where's Ran-kun and Mouri-kun?" He asked. They should know better than to let the kid out alone at a crime scene, especially at this of night.

"Occhan's drunk and won't wake up. I…I'm not sure where Ran-neechan is. She wasn't in the house." Conan worried at his lip.

"She's missing!?" Megure questioned, alarmed. Behind him, EMTs loaded the body into an ambulance.

"Well, I don't know for sure. I went to bed early and something might've happened before I woke up." Conan said unsure.

Megure nodded, a troubled frown gracing his feature. "I'm afraid we can't do anything for 72 hours unless you have some sort of evidence of violence. But don't worry, Ran-kun probably just wandered somewhere and forgot to leave a note. Her father should know."

"Yeah, I know." Conan sighed. He understood why the law was in place, but if something happened to Ran…then again, he had Kid looking for her and if he couldn't find her, the police probably couldn't either. Which was not really a comforting thought.

"Have you tried calling her?"

Conan shook his head. "It was still in her room. She's been keeping her cell phone off because it can interfere with equipment at the hospital."

Megure looked like he was about to say something, but another squad car pulled up at that point. "Megure-keibu," Shiratori Ninzaburou called, exiting the car and helping a man out of the back. "This is Kurumi Kaoru, the victim's boyfriend." Said man looked distraught even with his head bowed and his dark hair falling over his face. Shiratori turned back to the keibu, "The coroner called, said the cause of death was blood loss. The weapon was a knife and it severed a major artery. The victim died quickly."

Nodding, Megure said, "I see. The murderer would have disposed of the knife, possibly near the crime scene. Search the area!" He directed to his men.

"What if the murderer took it with him, though?" Conan asked. He eyed the suspect they'd brought in. The man seemed sincerely sorrowful over the passing of his ex, but it wouldn't be the first time a murderer mourned their victim.

He needed more information. There was motive, yes, but he was no novice at detective work. Many people had motives to kill, hardly any of them acted on them. And you sure needed more than a motive to prove they did in a court room.

"Sir!" Takagi ran up to his boss, a middle aged man trailing after him. "This man, he saw something!"

"Who are you?" Megure questioned.

"I – my name is Zulu Noa. I live in an apartment on the third floor. It was…about two o'clock – I was up because my son was out partying and forgot his key, so I wanted to let him in – when I heard the scream. It sounded like it came from somewhere close, so I looked out the window. It was dark and I couldn't see anything very well, but I could swear I saw the shadow of a person running out of the alley."

"Do you know if it was a male or female?" Conan asked.

The man looked, down, confusion settling on his face, but since the police didn't seem alarmed at a little kid doing the questioning for them, he continued. "No, but the figure was wearing a bright colored shirt. I couldn't tell which color, I'm afraid I'm colorblind, but it stood out in the dark."

Conan frowned. Why would someone wear bright colors to commit a crime? Especially a crime that reeks of premeditation. It looked as if someone had lured her out to the alley, but why would they do such wearing something that would attract attention?

Could it have been unplanned? But that didn't fit. Maybe…no. Conan's frown deepened. Dammit, he was stuck. That was not a position he generally enjoyed.

Okay, maybe if he thought in someone else's mindset. That would at least give him a different perspective.

Alright, the victim broke up with her boyfriend recently, possibly only hours before her demise. Then, only a little before two in the morning, someone lured her to the alley and caught her off guard, stabbing her in the abdominal aorta. The victim died of blood loss only minutes after getting injured. According to the neighbor living in the one of the buildings above, the perp was wearing bright colored clothing, but which color was unclear. The neighbor also couldn't say whether the perp was male or female.

"The best way to hide is in plain sight."

"If you don't want people to remember you, stand out with a fake feature. Once you've left, all they'll remember is that feature."

Conan blinked. Where had he heard those before? Oh well, it didn't matter.

If the perp had intentionally worn something to stand out, than they might've expected to be seen. But who would they anticipate noticing them at two am?

And yet, someone did see them. Someone whose description was vague enough to be unreliable, but clear enough not to be dismissed. Someone who just happened to have an excuse for staying up late enough to 'witness' the murder. Someone the police weren't double checking the story on because he was just a witness.

But what about the boyfriend? He certainly had motive, but did he have means and opportunity? Could he just be an innocent bystander or could he have participated in the crime, either as the murderer or as an accomplice?

Conan wandered over to the mourning man. Was he really sad? "Hey, niichan, were you close to that onee-san?"

The man started, gazing at him in surprise. "I…yes, yes we were. She was my girlfriend. But she broke up with me because of a stupid mistake." A broken sob escaped him. "I never even got the chance to apologize to her. Maybe…maybe if we hadn't broken up, she wouldn't have come out here and wouldn't have…" He broke off, crying.

He didn't sound like a killer. Not that he couldn't just be a good actor, but Conan didn't think so. This man was truly sorrowful that the girl had died.

What was he missing? Where did Zulu come in?

"Megure-keibu!" Takagi ran over to him. Conan sidled over, unnoticed. "I just talked to Hifumi-san's boss. She worked at a bank downtown. As a precaution, her boss was checking all the accounts and noticed that fifty thousand yen was gone. She was embezzling."

Did that add the boss and any colleagues to the list of suspects?

Conan walked away, eyeing Zulu. He didn't trust that man. Conan was sure he was involved somehow, as something more than a witness. But how? He didn't even know the victim…did he?

"Hey, Noa-niichan, where do you work?" Conan asked, once again catching someone off guard.

"Eh? Fuji Finances."

"Fuji Finances? Isn't that a bank?" Conan asked, eyes narrowing.

"What? No, I mean…I used to work there. Years ago. I-I work at a convenience store." Zulu stuttered.

"Really? Which one?"

"Uh…er, isn't it past your bedtime, boy?"

"Hai." Conan cheered. So, he worked in a bank, huh? What were the chances it was the same bank Hifumi-san was embezzling from? "Takagi-keiji!" He called. "What bank did Hifumi-san work at?"

"Eh?" Takagi glanced at Megure. He was always getting yelled at for giving information to Conan-kun, but Conan-kun could usually help them figure things out and it was so early in the morning and he just wanted to go home and sleep… "She worked at Fuji Finances. Why? Are you familiar with the bank?"

"Could you call the boss and ask if Zulu Noa-san works there?"

"Huh?" Takagi blinked. "What makes you think he worked there?"

"He mentioned he used to work there. I wondered if he still did. But why would he lie?" Conan pretended to ponder while Takagi's eyes widened and he dialed the number on his cell.

After a few minutes of talking, Takagi hung up and flagged down Megure-keibu to discuss a new theory. All the while, Conan was wearing a triumphant smirk. All thoughts of Ran had vanished from his mind.

"The boss of Fuji Finances said that Zulu-san and Hifumi-san worked together. Hifumi-san was embezzling, it's possible that Zulu-san participated as well. If Hifumi-san got greedy and refused to split the money with Zulu-san, or if Zulu-san didn't want to share with Hifumi-san…"

"Zulu-san, can you prove you were in your apartment just before two o'clock in the morning?" Megure asked.

"I…I was alone, but…hey, I'm just here to help. I saw the criminal run away. I told you that."

"Yes you did. And yet, you didn't tell us your association with the victim."

"I-I didn't know her. Look, I told you already, the criminal was wearing a bright color and ran away after stabbing the girl in the stomach!" Zulu yelled.

Megure paused. "How did you know she was stabbed in the stomach, Zulu-san?"

The man's eyes widened. "I…she was a selfish bitch! She wouldn't give me the money I deserved. She wanted to save it for her boyfriend, she said. But she'd broken up with the fool and she still wouldn't give me the money. Bitch said they were going to get back together and that she would need to money for them to live happily together." He glared at Kurumi-san. "That stupid, greedy bitch deserved to die. And you deserve it, too. If it weren't for you, I'd have gotten my money, dammit." Silently, Shiratori came forward and cuffed him, leading him to the squad car.

"Conan-kun, if you don't hear from Ran-chan for another day and Mouri-kun doesn't know where she is, make sure you report it, alright? Or if you find evidence of a fight or some sort of violence." Megure said.

"Okay." Conan nodded. He frowned. How could he have forgotten that Ran was missing? He headed back to the apartment, deep in thought. What could have happened to her?

Conan let out a loud gasp when he collided with something much bigger than him. Looking up, he found himself the center of Kaito's confused stare.

"You okay? Not paying very good attention, were you?" He asked. Conan bit his lip. "I found Mouri-chan. She's staying with her friend Suzuki-san for the night. She apparently called after you'd fallen asleep and left without putting out a note because her father had heard the call."

Conan sighed in relief and wrapped his arms around Kaito lightly. Kaito reached down to his knees and picked the boy up. "Your welcome," He whispered in the detective's ear.

Conan buried his head in the thief's neck. "I can't take murders this early in the morning." He yawned, his breath warm against Kaito's neck.

Kaito tangled his hand in the boy's hair, rocking him slightly. "You're exhausted, Tantei-kun. Get some sleep."

Conan's hand fisted in his shirt. "You'll be gone when I wake up," He said faintly.

"I'll come see you soon, love. I can't stay with you always, but I will when I can." Kaito rubbed Conan's back. "I will when I can." He repeated.