Title: Brighter

Rating: G

By: MagicBulletGirl

Pairing: Shinichi and Ran

Genre: Angst and Romance

Disclaimer: They belong to Gosho, but he makes me wonder sometimes if he's going to do anything with them.


"Telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight
Telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight"

Electric Light Orchestra "Telephone Line"

--

Shinichi grinned in the rain, despite the cold. If he focused hard enough he could forget the pain for the task at hand. He was looking at his oldest friend. That blue telephone box. Sure, it was a rarity now in a Japan where almost everyone had a cell phone, but sometimes a battery was dead, or someone didn't have one when they had to make an important call. They were convenient.

He shook his head, clearing his mind. He was thinking about this too much, or maybe distracting himself. Closing the booth behind him, he picked up the phone and dialed that familiar number.

--

She hid under the sheets. Her father had been going on about her getting out of the house, doing something, but he didn't understand. Just thinking about going outside was enough to make her sick.

He had called her mother, and even Eri was growing concerned, sure that this would not go away by itself. It had already been two weeks.

Two weeks of school skipped. Two weeks of not answering Sonoko's mails or calls. Two weeks of refusing to see anyone. Two weeks of trying to forget.

Three weeks ago, she never would have believed that she could be like this. Three weeks ago she was smiling as Shinichi held her hand as they ran from the people he was after, him telling her he would explain where he had been after they were safe.

The moment they were safe came too quickly, and then the dream began to melt away. The little lies seeped in and began to break them apart.

They had both been over-reacting but neither could calm down enough, fast enough, to fix the damage before it was done permanently.

Ran cried under the sheets into her pillow.

And then the phone rang.

--

Shinichi leaned against the cold glass, waiting to see if this time she would answer. He had been calling religiously now, several times a day. Sometime a digit would slip and the line would ring in the detective office. Sometimes Kogoro would tell him that Ran was unavailable. Sometimes Eri would ask him to come see her himself. Sometimes Sonoko would tell him to go to hell, she was privy to all that had happened.

He wasn't the most popular person.

At school, rumors were flying and Shinichi had never felt more alone. He couldn't even call Hattori because Hattori wasn't allowed to talk to him. Kazuha shared Sonoko's opinion of him. Even Haibara had left him. She, well she was Shiho now, had left with Jodie to America to find some of her mother's relatives. As for his parents, they could only support him and ask him every time he called if he wanted them to come home. Shinichi prided on himself being a man and would decline.

--

Ran stared at the phone. She knew who it was although the caller ID said unknown number. Shakily she put her hand on the receiver.

She wanted to break it to make the ringing stop. Her heart was dropping with every ring.

Could it do that much harm?

--

Shinichi gritted his teeth. "Come on, come on! Come on!!"

He slammed his hand onto the glass. She had said she never wanted anything to do with him again but had she really meant it?

Did she really hate him?

"Shin-"

--

Ran picked up the phone. "Shinichi?" The line went dead half way through.

She lay back on her bed, unable to cry.

Down the block, the receiver hung by its cord, calling out deadline into the twilight.

--

Did she really? Could she really?

Was it possible that after all the silence, the darkness, there was still that bit of light?

Shinichi raced up the stairs to the apartment above the detective agency. He let himself in, the darkness of the apartment shocking him. It was unkempt, almost untouched.

"Ran!? Ran!?"

He raced over to Ran's room and opened the door. She was sitting on her bed, dressed in her pajamas, staring at him, her face turning red.

--

"Don't barge in here without knocking!! This isn't your house!!"

That's what she was saying, but the fact that she was covering herself with the sheets, smoothing her hair with her hands, meant she was embarrassed because Shinichi was seeing her in her current state.

But the light wasn't on, and even in the increasing darkness, he knew she was still the same Ran. That same beautiful Ran who had told him terrible things; who he had told terrible things to.

He was at her side in a moment, grabbing her hand.

"Well I did because I love you. Now how about you get out of bed and go out with me. I'm not taking no for an answer. You can't go on ignoring the world. It only hurts more the more you hide away."

Ran looked up at him, her anger fading. His voice had been rough but was that because he was trying his hardest too?

"Now come on, I want to see you smiling."

She looked away, and then up at him, "I already am."

And suddenly the world felt a whole lot brighter.


AN: I was going to make this totally angsty, but I couldn't do it. On my lj, a song fic version is posted with the lyrics of the song at the top. Um, I think the fic was fairly straight forward so I'll leave it at this. I hope you liked it.