Title: If You Never Left Me

Author: MagicBulletGirl

Pairing: ShinichiRan

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Characters are property of Gosho Aoyama. He just rents them out in his sleep to people like me... No I'm not lying, there really is an 800 number.

Summary: Ran has a night out ending with a visit from a very special person.

lll

Ran lay back down on the bed. The tears subsided after a few moments and she got up. There was a tightness in her chest that made it hard to breathe. What had she been dreaming of? She didn't remember.

She grabbed a hair tie from her nightstand and tied up her hair. It was hot and sticky.

She looked at her clock. The radio was blaring...

"Another body was found this morning, the victim was raped, beaten and stabbed..."

She shut it off and stared closer at it.

"Seriously!? It's only seven in the morning!"

"Ran-neechan?"

She looked at her door.

"Oh. Conan-kun. What is it?"

"I'm going to go over to Dr. Agasa's house okay?"

"What about school...?" she groaned.

He stared at her for a moment.

"It's Saturday Ran-neechan."

"Oh."

"Are you all right Ran-neechan?"

"Yes. I just have to wash my face..."

Slowly Conan backed out of the room as Ran made her way out her door and into the bathroom. He looked at his cell phone, pressed a few buttons and after staring at it for a few minutes, shut his phone slowly and made his way out of the detective agency.

Ran was faced with a difficult problem however. How to make someone feel better when that person was in the pits was hard enough, but when that person was yourself, was it even worth the effort?

She stared at her face in the mirror. She hadn't been sleeping well. Cramming for exams had left its mark under her eyes. She continued looking down at her body. Her boobs were okay, she guessed, but having no time for karate was leaving her feeling pudgy, even if her hard rock abs were saying otherwise. She, like many other women, was seeing what she wanted to see.

"I'm a mess," she murmured as she bent over to wash her face and brush.

"Shinichi would laugh... seeing this."

She hit her problem on the head.

Shinichi was her problem. After all, it had been over a month since she last bothered trying to call, it always went to voice mail, and two months since he had even left her a text message.

What about him was so worth going through this humiliating wait?

She went down to the kitchen and poured a bowl of cereal. It didn't look appetizing at all.

Shinichi was the only guy she'd ever liked and probably would ever. After having the brilliant detective at her side, even if just a friend, it was hard to find something that would top that.

She gave up trying to finish her cereal and got dressed to go out. The only thing that would make her feel better was a good dose of fun with her best friend.

lll

Sonoko buzzed Ran in and went down the stairs to meet her; she might get lost looking for Sonoko's room. Not that Ran had never been there before but that the house was so huge. Even Sonoko was amazed to never lose her way.

"Hi Ran!"

"Hey!"

"So what's up? You usually don't visit."

"I'm not feeling very well. Dad was out, Conan went over to Agasa's and I didn't want to be there by myself."

Ran suddenly became aware that she and Sonoko were surrounded by the staff, an army of maids and butlers.

"Ojou-sama? Do you need us to prepare a room for her?"

Sonoko rolled her eyes and grabbed Ran's arm leading her away, "I think her sickness is more emotional than physical. But stay on guard."

They disappeared, or so they made it appear.

Sonoko locked the door to her room and told Ran to make herself at home. Ran was never unsurprised by Sonoko's room.

"Didn't you have different colors when I came here last time?"

"Yeah but Mama redid the whole house, or so she said... I only noticed my room changed..."

Ran laughed at Sonoko's grumbling and then noticed something.

"Did you fill up your movie closet?" pointing to the stack of DVDs in front of the TV that was blaring.

"...for your morning news, and now more information on the serial murders. Each of the victims had disappeared from their companions for several hours until the time of death occurred. For each it was another 4-5 hours until they were found. It is suspected that each of these women were drugged and then smuggled out of the last locations they were seen. How is unknown..."

"Almost, I just haven't put those away. I've been on a Jennifer Lopez kick. You never think about watching these movies until they're on TV and then you find it very easy to go through Monster-in-Law and Maid in Manhattan."

"I haven't seen Monster-in-Law..."

"Then let's watch," Sonoko grinned, turning on the TV as Ran settled herself on the bed.

"Oh wait" Sonoko went over to the door and opened it, "Hayate! Bring me two of the movie specials!!"

"Yes Ojou-sama!!" came the reply.

Ran giggled to herself as Sonoko made herself comfortable.

"You never act like a rich girl outside."

"I wouldn't even here, but the staff insists on it, most have been here since I was little. Outside though they do follow me before school, mainly to keep the paparazzi away; you've just never noticed. And after school you're with me so the staff doesn't worry at all." Sonoko grinned. Ran couldn't help but laugh.

"Well Ojou-sama, let's press play!"

They settled into the movie and then into the mountain of sweets delivered to the room.

After watching Jennifer Lopez leave Jane Fonda asleep, face in the food, Sonoko nudged Ran.

"So what's bothering you exactly? Is it Shinichi again?"

"No... it's different than that. I think I'm losing my resolve."

"Your resolve? You mean to stick around and wait?"

She nodded, "It's hard because while I know there is no one else out there for me, I think Shinichi might already be gone already."

"Gone? Ran he's not dead."

"It feels that way sometimes."

"Have you tried calling him?"

"It just goes to voice mail," she replied while poking at her melted sundae.

"And what do you think he feels for you?"

"I don't know. He took me to dinner that last time he was back but he left after he solved a murder at the restaurant."

"If you want a real measure of how much he likes you, leave a voice mail saying you're going to a party with me."

"A party? How's that going to give me a measure?"

"If Shinichi is like most guys he will think a party with me equals you going out to find cute guys to make out with after having several drinks though we're underage."

"We're not really going to do that are we!?"

"Well only if he doesn't call you back Ran," she replied like it was the most obvious thing in the world, "Now let's go shopping!!"

lll

The afternoon was one of the best that Ran had had in the longest time. They caught a movie, one of the many pirate films in theatres. Then they went to all the stores in Shibuya, or at least that's what it felt like. They tried on many dresses and Ran tried to find something within what she could afford but Sonoko shot down that idea quickly.

"No arguing with me. Try this on and don't faint at the price tag anymore!" Sonoko said as they were trying things on in the last store, a mountain of bags already trailing Sonoko.

Oddly enough, there were no butlers. Sonoko believed in a "be able to carry it or you're not worth it" policy. Sonoko was always worth it, and she was nice enough to make sure Ran was too.

It was a red slinky dress. Low-back and with a mini-skirt, Ran looked hot. At least that's what Sonoko said for lack of words.

"You have to get that one!"

"Well, only because I have heels for it at home."

"Nuh-uh. You get that dress, you're get the matching stilettos Ran."

One of the ladies at the store got them in Ran's size shoe and all together it looked fabulous. Sonoko also found a similar dress, but in black and strapless, and some diamond-studded black stilettos.

The ladies wrapped it up and Sonoko couldn't be stopped by Ran from pulling out that shiny platinum card.

"Didn't your Dad tell you to stop making superfluous purchases?"

"This is for a good cause," she winked, "Now go call Shinichi, and tell him you're going to Club XXX with me."

"Club-?"

"Yep!" Sonoko preened.

Club XXX was one of the most exclusive clubs in the city, often the place to be for Hollywood celebrities in Tokyo. Ran wondered if Shinichi even knew about the club the recluse.

Ran stepped outside and dialed the carefully memorized number.

It rang several times, Ran's heart building in pressure with each ring.

What the hell am I doing?

Trying to get Shinichi jealous? Seriously, that won't work.

You know he doesn't get jealous over anything, the rational zealot.

But it's worth a shot right? He's only human.

He'll see right through it.

It went to voice mail.

"Hi this is Kudo, leave a message after the beep."

Ran deflated. She found her voice shaky and building up in speed.

"Uh, hi, uh, Shinichi. I'm going out tonight with Sonoko to Club XXX so, uh, don't expect me to be waiting by the phone tonight! And, uh, I'm going to wear a really short dress but, uh, you won't ever see it if you don't come home!"

She hung up; sure that she was the biggest idiot in the world.

Sonoko came out, bags in hand, "Come on. Let's go to your place to get ready. I have my make-up box in the car."

Sonoko's driver took them to the Mouri residence and the girls picked out certain bags along with the ones that held their shoes and dresses, giggling to themselves.

"You know Shinichi would want to see that."

"Sonoko!!" Ran yelled, hushing her impish friend.

Ran looked into the office on the way up. Her father was engrossed with the latest Yoko Okino drama. No sign of Conan.

"Dad, where's Conan?"

"Ah, he should be staying overnight at Agasa's," her father said paying no attention at all to Ran.

"Okay, I'm going out with Sonoko, okay?"

"Yeah... Have fun," replied her father, eyes glued to the screen.

Ran closed the door and motioned Sonoko up the stairs.

Once showered, their hair blow dried and styled, sexy undergarments put on underneath sexy dresses, stilettos strapped, eyelashes curled, eyes shadowed, lips glossy and deep, just a hint of blush, they had their clutches in hand ready for a night out.

"Ran-neechan?" echoed a call from the front door.

Sonoko looked at Ran puzzled, "Wasn't the brat over at Agasa's?"

Ran shrugged and stepped out of her room with Sonoko in tote.

"Conan are you sick?" she asked as Conan stood speechless in the living room.

She moved closer, hand out to feel his forehead but he shook himself and said, "No, no just getting an overnight bag."

He darted out of the room to her father's room and stayed there until they left.

"Weird kid," commented Sonoko, "Ready to go?"

"Yeah. Conan, we're going okay?"

"Have fun Ran-neechan!" came his shout from the other room.

Ran looked worried over at Conan's direction but Sonoko snapped.

"None of that tonight. Can't put your concern of Shinichi on the kid." Sonoko grabbed her wrist and pulled her out.

lll

Conan touched the mouse on Agasa's computer. The screen shone to life.

Don't tell me there's a chance...

He scrolled through the news section for Tokyo.

"Serial murders..."

Conan read the articles carefully.

Nine victims disappeared going into different clubs throughout Tokyo over the past five weeks. They were never seen going out. The bartenders had all been questioned after three of the five women tested positive for date rape drugs. With so many people going in and out of the clubs it was impossible to narrow down the suspects.

Conan quickly hacked into the police file archive to see photo's of the victims.

They were all wearing dresses... and...

There was so much he didn't know but if there was a chance...

He rushed down the stairs to Haibara's lab.

"I figured you'd be coming..."

lll

An hour later they were finally stepping into the club. The valet line was long, but Sonoko insisted that they had to go in from the celebrity entrance.

Sonoko rarely used her heiress status for favors but tonight she was willing to put that no-use principle aside for a stellar night for her best friend.

Ran stared as their car door was opened for them and a doorman asked who they were.

"I'm Suzuki Sonoko of Suzuki Zaibatsu. This is Mouri Ran, All-Japan high school female karate champion."

The doorman raised an eyebrow at Ran but after a look over said the magic work.

"Pass."

"Thank you good sir," said Sonoko, passing the man a tip. How much, Ran didn't see.

At the entrance to the club, their hands were marked by a red stamp.

"Under-age, no alcohol."

Ran nodded but after a few steps inside Sonoko whispered, "Don't worry, that's why the guys will be buying us drinks. It's not even all that visible in here, formality really."

They found a group of girls that Sonoko was already acquainted with and left their clutches at that table as the group went to dance.

She whispered quickly to Ran as they walked to the dance floor, "The blond one is an American heiress, not the brightest bulb but she has her moments, enough to keep her in the news. The two girls on the left are from Mexico, big anime fans but you'd never know it unless you saw their cell phones. The other three are American, British and Italian, the Italian one is already set to be disowned if she can't design a successful purse."

Through a combination of broken English and Japanese the lot of them laughed and danced, attracting men from all over the dance floor.

Ran had to push down her instinct to attack when she felt an arm wrap around her waist and a smooth voice say, "Dance with me."

She turned and saw a pair of deep blue eyes. For a moment that was all she saw, and when she blinked she thought she saw Shinichi. Blinking again, not believing it, she saw instead a messy-blond haired boy.

"Dance," he said, letting her go to make a robotic joke move, laughing all the while.

She was pulled in, and she moved to the music with him. He wasn't impolite either like one of the guys who had grabbed Sonoko earlier and immediately ground against her. Sonoko had of course pushed him off. Ran had helped her out and punched him.

The dance songs went by quickly and when they were both red in the face they headed over to the bar.

"What do you want?"

"A water bottle."

"You know those things are expensive in clubs."

"Well if there weren't a lot of sneaky guys, the demand wouldn't be there," she laughed.

"Aww you don't think I'd actually try that?"

"No but better safe than sorry," she winked as she opened the water bottle's seal.

"Smart girl aren't you?"

Ran couldn't help but blush.

"So what brings you out? You don't seem like the party girl."

"Oh? What makes you say that?"

"Well you're having water at the bar when I could have bought you any drink you liked. It's the reason most girls hook up with a guy at the club, free drinks."

"My friend said that too."

"So really, why is a beautiful thing like you without a boyfriend on a Saturday night?"

Ran felt herself going red, "Well I have one, but not really... it's a bit complicated."

"Well, tell me about it."

Before Ran knew what she was doing she was barreling through her whole history with Shinichi and that she just couldn't handle the fact that he was gone without a proper explanation or details on his damned case.

When she finished he motioned to the bartender, "Can you make the strawberry banana daiquiri right in front of her?"

He nodded and started making it.

"You'll like this," said the blond boy.

The bartender put the curved glass filled with its pink goodness in front of Ran.

"See, fresh, completely safe and completely free."

Ran took a sip.

"It's delicious!"

"Well that is the point. Now on this Shinichi guy of yours, if you called him before you left he might have been trying to call you back already."

"It's so loud in here, I can't check."

"There are quiet booths upstairs for phone calls. Maybe one is open?"

Ran looked up to where the stairs led. It seemed safe enough.

"Is it all right?"

"Well of course. I'll be right here."

She got off the stool and began walking away when he grabbed her by the elbow.

"You don't want to forget your drink," he said handing it to her.

"Oh! Thanks."

She went off, stopping by where Sonoko was to tell her, more like motion to here, where she was going. Sonoko nodded and pointed to her eye.

Reassured her friend had her back; Ran went up the stairs with her drink and cell phone in hand.

The booths had curtains and Ran had a strong suspicion that quiet rooms were soundproof for another reason entirely.

One at the end was open and she turned on the light and shut herself in.

Inside the sealing blocked out the music completely.

Ran finished her drink as she flipped open her phone and saw several missed calls from Shinichi's number. She called him back.

It was ringing.

A second time.

A third time.

A fourth time.

"Hello, Ran! Ran!"

"Shinichi? Are you out of breath?"

"Ran, are you really down at that club!?"

"Yep. Sonoko, she took me for a night out."

"GET OUT OF THERE!"

"What? Why?" Ran stood up.

Shinichi's ears perked as he heard Ran say "Whoa!" in the background.

"Ran! What happened?"

"I- I stood up for a second and I couldn't stay..."

"Ran, Ran speak up, are you drinking anything?"

"...Banana daiquiri..."

"Ran!"

"Shin...ichi...?"

"Ran! RAN! RAN WAKE UP!!"

The call ended. Hell he believed that she could have pressed end call.

DAMN IT!!

lll

"You're not like the rest of them. You're like me... and for that, I'll be gentle..."

lll

Shinichi hung up. The transformation back to his real body was complete. Haibara had been reluctant but if Ran was in danger and there was no way little Conan would get into the locations necessary to solve the case, it was the only way.

"There's a chance Kudo that this might be it."

He sprinted down the street. The feeling of his limbs was exhilarating. He had pulled on a pair of jeans and a collared shirt. Normal sized clothes had never felt better. Not to mention his own shoes.

He knew where Club XXX was. He'd been there to clear the name of some American celebrity before.

He went to the back entrance and pulled out a card just as the doorman's mouth opened.

"Kudo Shinichi, detective, I have reason to believe that a murder will take place here tonight."

The doorman pulled the door open for him and let him in.

"Now where the hell is Sonoko?" he murmured to himself.

He made his way to through the crowd looking around.

There!

"SONOKO!! SONOKO!!"

The girl whipped around, her eyes bugging out of her eyes.

"Kudo-kun!!"

They met in the middle of the crowd.

"Where's Ran!? I was talking to her and then she stopped talking!"

"What!?"

Sonoko began to make her way toward the stairs, "She's up there at the end!"

Shinichi darted ahead of her.

"RAN!"

He pounded on the door.

"Ran! Ran! Open up!!"

The door opened.

The boy with blond hair poked his head out.

"There's no Ran here. Now go away."

The door slammed shut.

"Sonoko check the bathrooms. Ask at the bar and at the door. If you don't find her call Inspector Megure. Tell them I'm here and that Ran went missing inside the club just under 30 minutes ago and that I've narrowed down a suspect for the serial murders."

"What!?"

"GO!"

Half an hour later, the music was stopped and the club was in lock down.

Everyone in the quiet booths had not been allowed out.

"It's the man at the end of the row, Inspector. The barman already confirmed that he was talking with Ran and bought her a banana daiquiri, the same drink Ran mentioned over the phone. Sonoko said she took the glass up with her. I bet you he'll have the glass and Ran in there."

"Okay Kudo, calm down."

"No, you don't get it Inspector, she was wearing a red dress!"

"How do you-!? Never mind," the Inspector turned away from Kudo and knocked on the quiet room's door. "This is the police, open up."

The door opened. The blond boy stepped out.

The tiny bulb gave all the light it could.

No glass... no Ran...

"Kudo!? What is this!?"

"Hold him Inspector."

Shinichi stepped into the small booth that was about the size of one tatami mat. He stood on the bench that went against the wall and poked up at the ceiling. The paneling came loose revealing the small space above.

"I knew it! Inspector! Arrest him!!"

His words came too late. He'd broken their grips and was running toward the stairs.

And Sonoko was right in his way.

"Sonoko!"

What happened next happened eerily slow. Sonoko's leg came up and her heeled foot slammed in time into the blond boy's face, the point gashing his face deeply.

"Bitch!"

"You think my best friend never taught me anything!?"

He was slowed, and it was enough. The policemen tackled him and made the arrest.

In the small space above had been the glass, tainted with the drug, and Ran, perfectly unharmed.

He confessed to the previous murders after DNA evidence matched that found at the scene. His first victim had jilted him midway through the first date. She was wearing a red dress and over the following weeks he had approached women in clubs wearing red dresses as well. He admitted to having doubts about killing Ran after he had had such a long conversation with her. Her kindness and sincerity had caught him off guard.

The police got Shinichi's and Sonoko's statements and decided that Ran's were unnecessary. She woke up two hours later at the hospital after being injected with a counter for the date rape drug.

"Ran? Ran, are you awake yet?"

"Shinichi?"

She rushed to sit up but she fell back feeling dizzy. She could feel where he was sitting on the bed.

"Slowly, slowly. You've had a rough night. Good thing you didn't party too hard otherwise I would never see such a knock-out outfit again."

The nurses had left Ran's clothes alone at Sonoko's insistence. In fact, before letting Shinichi in, Sonoko made sure that not a smidge of make-up was ruined nor a strand of hair out of place.

Kogoro and Eri were at the hospital too but Sonoko had insisted to them that Ran see Shinichi first when she woke up.

Notice that when Sonoko insisted, she got her way.

"What are you doing here Shinichi?"

"I got worried about you. Conan, heh, he sent me this picture of you in this red dress." He pulled out his phone and showed her the picture. She was on her way out and so she was facing away.

"Don't you hear the news? The serial killer targeting women in clubs? Well that's what the police let out at first. Truth was he was going after women wearing red dresses. Either way, the club scene isn't your thing."

"B-but... who?"

"He was the guy in the blond hair you were talking to at the bar. And Sonoko let slip that you danced with him too."

Ran stared at Shinichi... was he jealous?

"Shinichi..."

"Anything could have happened to you! It was a good thing I figured it out and got there in time! Any longer and he might have had his way with you!"

"Shinichi!"

It was his turn to stare at Ran now.

"You can't just do this! Care when you have the time or you do want to show your feelings! I just- I need someone all the time and if it's not you, I'm- I'm not all right!"

"I know," he took Ran's hand in his, "I haven't done the best to be here. I'm trying to make it so I can get back to you for good.

"I need you just as much Ran..."

"But, I can't let you leave again," she gripped his sleeve and then his shoulder, trying to pull herself up to him, "Please don't."

"You need to see your Mom and Dad, and tell Sonoko thank you from me. She'll lord it over me forever if I tell her. I wouldn't have found you so quickly if she hadn't known where you'd gone."

"Don't change the subject Shinichi. Don't leave, not for weeks or months on end with no word. Having to hear that same damn voice mail message over and over again."

He readjusted the grip on her hand, "I'll stay here until you fall asleep and I'll be back here tomorrow night if I can. But don't give up on me Ran," he put his hand behind her neck, "Please don't."

And he leaned in to kiss her.

It was the most wonderful thing in the whole world. Better than getting his body back. Better than what he thought it would be like to capture the Organization. Better than he ever imagined anything in the world could be.

It was even better when she kissed him back.

"I'll be here tomorrow. I promise."

Outside, Sonoko giggled to herself. It had worked out better than she had ever imagined.

lll

Ran had tried to stay awake all night. Shinichi was there the whole time, listening to her every murmur and random thought that she said aloud as she drifted off to sleep.

She was awaken by a nurse.

"Suzuki-san brought you a change of clothes. There's the bathroom right over there and when you're ready we'll bring you breakfast."

It hadn't even registered to Ran that she was in a private room the night before. The only thing she knew was Shinichi and then her parents and Sonoko visiting for a little while after she and Shinichi were done kissing.

She was in a haze as Sonoko chatted about the previous night's events. Sonoko must have noticed because she kept Ran occupied, smuggling movies and ice cream in.

But at around three, even Sonoko knew that it wouldn't work.

Ran's mind was only on Shinichi, hoping that he would come back that evening.

lll

Haibara sighed.

"I made no promises Kudo!"

"But I need to be there!"

"Then just give me a blood sample!"

"It hurts!"

"Baby!"

"Look can't we just wait and see if I turn back this evening?"

"This is meant to be a cure Kudo because I actually recreated the poison, or as close to it as I could get, and then created a cure to that. So yes I need a blood sample you baby!"

"Fine! Take it!"

He winced as she drew blood.

"The tests will take five hours."

"But I might turn back in four... I can't wait that extra hour. I have to get to Ran!"

"The preliminary should be done in two hours. If there is a positive result based on that, you can go see Ran in time. But I'm warning you that there's a 60 chance that the final test will reveal otherwise. If you turn back and let that girl know everything, the Organization will be the least of your problems."

Shinichi wasn't about to be scared by the tiny girl in the lab coat.

"Just hurry Haibara."

The time went by irritatingly slow. He kept looking at his watch waiting for Haibara to say it was ready.

Haibara in the meantime put the process in motion and every once in awhile just stopped and surfed the internet. Not that Shinichi would notice, he was just counting the minutes and seconds.

Agasa tried to distract Shinichi with food, tv, movies and video games. But even the new Shinmei Kaori novel did nothing to distract him.

Finally Haibara had the results of the preliminary test in hand and Kudo wiped the dejected look from his face. It was replaced by one expectant of good news.

She dropped the papers onto the table.

"It's a failure. You have less than an hour."

Shinichi turned pale and turned away from Agasa and Haibara.

"If you're thinking of going, you're just going to disappoint her when you leave again."

"Shinichi, calm down. Why don't you just call her instead?"

"Shut up both of you! Sure this might be our secret and we're supposed to keep our heads down but what good is that if there's nothing to return to!? She's just about ready to give up on me and I can't let her. I can't do it Haibara. I can't keep this secret anymore and if it means we have to hide you better or something well we'll do that.

"But I'm not going to leave Ran again."

The cool anger behind Haibara's gaze was evident but Shinichi stood firm.

"If we get killed, it'll be your fault. You better be prepared for that guilt."

"No one is going to die. Not while I'm around."

Haibara turned away, getting something out of a drawer, "Then go but take this.

"In case you get second doubts."

lll

Ran was staring at the clock.

Soon? It had to be soon. She would begin losing hope if he didn't come soon. It was already half past seven.

He had to come. She'd never forgive him if he didn't.

There was a shout from the hall.

"Visiting hours were over hours ago! Go home!"

"But family can come by at all hours and I'm her fiancée, now let me through!"

Shinichi appeared at her door.

He was out of breath and gripping his chest.

"Shinichi are you all right?"

"Yeah," he replied as he shut the door behind him and then sat on the chair next to her bed.

"Did you run here?"

He nodded, still catching his breath.

"Couldn't you get a ride?"

He shook his head.

"Are you staying?"

He shook his head, stopped, started nodding, and went back and forth between the two until Ran shouted at him to answer.

"I don't know Ran but it's about time I told you, I've been here the whole time."

"You what?" Ran cleared her head, "And did you say you were my fiancée out there!?"

"Well you heard. They wouldn't let me in otherwise. And to the first question, yes I have been here in Beika the whole time."

Ran fell back on her pillow, "Where in Beika Shinichi? Where were you hiding that you couldn't come to school? Couldn't call me. Couldn't see me. Where Shinichi?"

His blue eyes fell firmly in her gaze, "I've been living at the Mouri Detective Agency."

Ran sat up immediately, "At my house? Shinichi... don't tell me..."

"No. Heh, no I'm only joking Ran. That's impossible," he said leaning back into his chair.

"You're not joking Shinichi. You were telling the truth there. The first time in months... but how Shinichi?"

Shinichi's expression turned grim and stood over her, "Long story short I was poisoned but instead of dying I got shrunk and there have only been temporary cures.

"This one might be one of them. There's only a ten percent chance that I'll stay this way and there might be some nasty side effects. Who knows, I might turn hairy or ugly or- no, I'm just kidding about that Ran," he said seeing her expression turn more and more worried.

"But how is that possible Shinichi?" tears finally bursting.

"That's a longer story still but I'm not giving up on you Ran.

"I love you too much."

He kissed her.

He kissed her as if it would be the last thing he would ever do.

And it was.

lll

Ran woke up. It was morning and the TV in her room was on.

"...for your news and now our top story. High school detective Kudo Shinichi was declared dead at New Beika Hospital last night. He was visiting his fiancée when he collapsed. Doctors tried to revive him to no avail. He is survived by his father and mother, Kudo Yusaku, author of the Night Baron series, and Kudo Yukiko, the 80's teen star. In other news..."

She felt the tears in her eyes welling up. She couldn't remember anything from last night about what they were saying. Only that Shinichi had come and kissed her the night before after saying those precious desperate words.

"Ran-neechan? Ran?"

Ran turned and finally saw Conan sitting in the chair next to her.

"Conan-kun?" There was something important she felt she had to remember about him.

"Don't listen to the news Ran-neechan. Shinichi had to fake his death because he had stayed too long and we could be in danger if he stayed any longer. They had already traced him to us."

"They?"

Conan raised a finger to his lips, "The people that he is after, the people who are after him."

"B-But he promised..."

"He left you a letter with me," Conan produced said letter from his pocket and gave it to her, "I'll leave you to read it."

Ran watched Conan leave the room, still unable to finger what was different. She stared at the letter in her hand and opened it.

My dearest Ran,

I'm sorry if that makes you turn a little red but it's true. I'm sorry I wasn't able to stay. I wanted so but time wouldn't allow it. The journey I am on takes me so far and so close to you without being there. Chances are I might not make it back, but I have always defied the odds. Can you keep faith in that even if I might give up on myself?

I need you more than ever now that I know what awaits me. If you can endure just a little longer, please let me know. If not, I understand. But that will not change my feeling. I will definitely come back to you Ran.

Even if it costs me my life, literally.

-Forever hurrying toward you my love,

Kudo Shinichi

lll

Outside, Conan leaned against the fence on the roof.

He felt guiltier than ever now. He had slipped in a short-term memory erasing pill to Ran when he kissed her. It had been necessary to have her neck extended or she would have resisted.

Lie after lie was piling up on his conscious.

His phone was ringing. It was Ran. He answered.

"Hello, Ran?"

"Shinichi? Is it really you? I was so worried."

"I know. I'm sorry."

"Couldn't you come?"

"No... I'm sorry..."

"It's all right. But please Shinichi, be fast. It feels like this is costing me a bit of my life as well."

"I will."

He could hear her tears over the phone.

"I love you Kudo Shinichi."

Good God, he was crying.

"Ran I-"

There was a beep in his ear.

"Ah Ran, my phone is dying. Let me switch the battery."

He hung up and felt inside his pocket.

Conan's phone wasn't there.

He felt through all his pockets even though he had immediately remembered that he had left it on Ran's nightstand downstairs.

He called her back.

"Hi Ran. I couldn't find the battery. Must have left it somewhere else, but listen I-"

"Hold it Shinichi! What's this about you having Conan sending you pictures of me? And candid! You're evil Shinichi, using a child like that! There are a lot here on Conan's phone! Oh my God! Even the one Sonoko took!"

"Whoa, hold it!"

"If you wanted me to see pictures of me you could have just asked!"

"Ran- I'm running out-"

"And I expect you to as soon as you can call me back!"

She hung up.

Shinichi was flabbergasted but then burst out laughing.

Downstairs Ran laid back on her bed feeling more than content.

Tearful good-byes couldn't come, so long as they were both sure he would come back.

lll

The End

lll

Author's Note: I seriously don't know where half of this came from. In fact I had another twist going about how no, he really did stay Shinichi but he had to leave because the Organization was already watching his house. It was becoming to "Take Down the BO" and went with this instead. I hope whoever did get through all of this thing liked it, and thank you for reading.