This chapter took me a surprisingly long while to write… Still having trouble thinking what memories Shinichi should remember when being with Ran… will show some in the next chapter. Feel free to suggest any ones that seem important (a little rusty with the Shin-Ran moments).

Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan as much as I'd like to.----

Chapter NineSeeing Ran

Heiji seethed as he sat on the couch in the Kuroba home. They'd just been about to leave when Hakuba had pointed out that Heiji, himself, would threaten Shinichi's safety as he was someone recognized as Shinichi's ally. Thus, Heiji was left behind with Hakuba to watch over him to make sure he didn't do anything reckless and exacerbate his healing injury.

"Ya live to make my life miserable, don't ya?" Heiji griped angrily, a vicious scowl on his face.

"As much as you would like to believe that, Hattori-kun, it's not the case." Hakuba said coolly, sitting a small distance away.

"This entire ordeal isn't even any of your concern. You and Kuroba have no ties to the Black Organization! Why are you butting your nose in?" Heiji interrogated. Hakuba gave Heiji a sharp look.

"Kuroba-kun is hell bent on protecting your friend. It's in his nature to protect people." Hakuba stated, thinking of how possessive Kaito was of his detectives.

"And you'll do anything for him, won't you?" Heiji asked scathingly. "You're practically in love with him!"

Hakuba grabbed Heiji by the shoulder and pinned the dark-skinned detective underneath him on the couch. "I could say the same thing about you and Kudo-kun."

"I don't know what you're talkin' about!" Heiji retorted, struggling against the hold Hakuba had on him.

"Are you completely ignorant of how you act around him? You're like a little puppy following his Master with blind loyalty." Hakuba sneered. "You're so in love with him it's almost pathetic!"

Heiji's green eyes sparked with anger and hurt. "Ya don't know anythin'!" Heiji said hatefully, glaring up at Hakuba.

"I know enough to see Kudo-kun's affections lie elsewhere." Hakuba said. He regretted the words as he saw the pain and helplessness in Heiji's eyes.

"I know that…" Heiji said, looking away. "Kudo will never see me the way I want him to. Why would he? I'm just a hot-blooded idiot."

Hakuba couldn't help but feel guilty. He'd never seen Heiji look so… defeated. "You're not an idiot…" he said, trying to amend for his harsh words. Heiji let out a bitter laugh.

"First ya taunt me and now you're tryin' to comfort me? That's rich, Hakuba. Save your pity for someone who'll take it." Heiji said, before wrapping his legs around Hakuba's waist and flipping them over so he was on top. Rolling off Hakuba, Heiji made for the door, only to get his foot grabbed.

He fell to the floor heavily, gasping in pain as his injury reopened. Hakuba flipped him over gently and gazed down at the red stain that was appearing through Heiji's white shirt. "Why won't you ever listen to me? Your constant struggles have kept reopening your wounds. You'll never heal at this rate." He scolded. Heiji just glared with his once vivid green eyes clouded with pain.

"Yer manhandlin' isn't helping me much either." He spat. Hakuba scowled. Heiji's constant arguing with him was really beginning to get to him.

"I wouldn't have had to do that if you would just listen to me for once in your damned life!" Hakuba growled.

"You're not worth listening to!" Heiji called back, angering Hakuba further. Now he wanted to shut Heiji up even more. "You're just a stuck up… Mmph!"

Hakuba kissed him.

"Stop worrying, Shinko-chan." Kaito said cheerily, an arm around Shinichi's waist. To everyone around them, it looked like he and the feminized Shinichi were just another happy couple out for a stroll.

"But what if something goes wrong?" Shinichi asked uncertainly.

"Nothing will go wrong, and if something does, I'll take care of it. I promise." the magician promised with a bright smile. "You need this, whether you're aware of it or not. Mouri-san is essential to you getting your memory back."

"She's that important to me?" Shinichi asked curiously. Kaito nodded.

"You love her." He said, trying to ignore the twinge of jealousy that went through him with that statement.

"A-ah." Shinichi said, frowning. It sounded so weird when someone told him what he'd felt for someone he'd barely seen for more than ten minutes when he'd first woken up with no memory. He remembered a feeling of nostalgia and deep fondness for the girl, but he didn't know if it was love he felt for her. He wasn't certain how that feeling felt, although he wondered if it felt anything like the strange emotion bubbling up in his stomach around Kaito…

"Don't be so nervous, Ran-chan," Kazuha said. "It's been a couple of days, perhaps he's begun to remember you."

"I hope so…" Ran said, feeling a little despondent.

Kazuha flashed a sympathetic look at Ran. She really did go through too much because of Shinichi… the Osakan girl wondered if Shinichi knew that whatever case he was on wasn't worth the loss of the girl who was everything to him. Even if he was technically here, he had no memories and thus continued to hurt Ran… it made Kazuha grateful that Heiji was still within her sights…

As she broke from her thoughts, she caught sight of Kaito and "Shinko" approaching them.

"Look, Ran-chan," she said, pointing them out.

Ran's eyes fell on Kaito, who smirked. "I know what you're thinking and before you jump to conclusions, I'd like to say… I'm not the one you're looking for. The name's Kuroba Kaito, the one you talked to on the phone."

"Oh… then where is Shinichi?" a puzzled Ran inquired. Kaito grinned before pushing Shinko towards Ran.

"Right here," Kaito said and Shinko flushed furiously as she underwent heavy scrutiny.

"Shinichi?" Ran gaped quietly, looking at the embarrassed teenager in front of her.

"For now, it's Shinko," Kaito asserted. "It's too dangerous for him to go as he was… so with his mom's help, we disguised him…"

Ran didn't know what to think as she stared at the feminized Shinichi in front of her. The confident, arrogant detective she loved didn't seem present at all in this unsure individual in front of her.

"You don't remember anything, do you?" she asked, her voice distraught.

Shinko shook her head, looking at her hands, unable to take looking at the heartbroken look in Ran's eyes. "No… I'm sorry," she apologized.

Ran wiped at the tears forming in her eyes. "N-no, it's alright. It's not like it was your fault that you lost your memories," she said.

"They'll come back," Kaito said. "There's no doubt in my mind that they will."

Ran stared at Kaito in confusion. "I don't mean to sound rude… but how are you so sure? Why do you care so much about Shinichi?"

Kaito smiled at her, letting his Poker Face crack the slightest bit to show her some of his real emotions. Ran was taken aback by what she saw… in Kaito's eyes, she saw exactly what she felt towards Shinichi. She stared at him in awe.

"I may not have known Shinichi as long as you have, Mouri-san…" Kaito began. "But he is my friend and I have full faith in him. He'll get his memories back and he'll come back to you, be it in the near future or the distant…"

Shinko turned to Kaito, a puzzled frown on his face. Why did Kaito sound so… resigned? And why did it make her want to comfort him? She held back on the impulse. The thought seemed too intimate to act out in public.

So she just remained silent.

Hakuba grunted as Heiji punched him hard in the face, forcefully breaking the kiss.

Cradling his bruised cheek, he saw Heiji staring at him with disbelieving green eyes that looked dilated in his high-strung state.

"Hattori –" Hakuba began, trying to calm the boy.

"Shut up!" Heiji screamed, scrambling to his feet. "Shut up!"

This time, Hakuba didn't stop him as Heiji ran out of the house.

"I'm an idiot…" Hakuba muttered to himself before he stood up and chased after the upset Osakan. He had to explain his actions and make sure that Heiji didn't get himself killed by his own recklessness. He wasn't very stable at the moment.

Heiji hadn't got too far away from the house and he settled for leaning against an alley wall as he tried to gather his emotions.

The last thing he'd expected was Hakuba kissing him… he unconsciously rubbed at his lips. What was worse was… he'd actually enjoyed it.

How could he be attracted to that arrogant son-of-a-bitch? Hakuba had caused him nothing but trouble since he'd met him…

"I'm seriously screwed up…" he muttered to himself.

"You've got that right…" a sly female voice declared from behind him. Heiji was about to turn around when his head exploded in pain as he was struck down. He slumped to the ground, unconscious.

Vermouth smirked maliciously at his unconscious form.

"Looks like I've found my opening to get to you… Cool Guy…" she whispered.