Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan or any of the characters within. They belong to Aoyama Gosho. This work was created sorely for entertainment and not to generate profit of any kind. This disclaimer probably has no legal force, but it seems polite to acknowledge the person who made this story possible.
Source Material: strictly the Anime version. I have watched Conan movies 1-11 and all the available fansubbed episodes on AnimeA (dot) net up into the 400s.
THE MYSTERY OF CONAN EDOGAWA
A Detective Conan Fanfiction by funvince
-Chapter 1: Ran Mouri, Tantei-san?-
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
It was stupid. It was absurd. It was ridiculous. It was downright impossible.
But Ran simply could not stop thinking about it. She pressed her pillow over her face in frustration. She wanted to scream. It was so unfair. Weeks could go by without her spiraling into the insanity that was probably the result of reading too many fantasy mangas, but then something strange would happen or be said that would once again make her think that…
Conan Edogawa, her cute, little 7-year old adopted brother was really…
Shinichi Kudou, high school teen detective. Her childhood friend that she had never been apart from for more than a short period of time.
Ran had told herself so many times that what she was thinking stemmed from heartache. Despite what she told others, she knew that she missed that idiot more than she ever thought possible. It wasn't too surprising that she saw Shinichi everywhere, especially in a little kid who just happened to resemble him so much.
Yeah, it's just a coincidence, her inner voice said snidely. Conan just happens to look like Shinichi, act like Shinichi, have the same blood type, birthday, lack of singing ability, and love of soccer and Sherlock Holmes as Shinichi…
Ran gave a huge sigh of aggravation then she swung her legs to get out of bed. She obviously wasn't going to get any sleep tonight.
Fifteen minutes later, she sat in her dad's desk chair with a cup of tea in her hand, staring up at the night sky. She thought back to yesterday afternoon and the event that caused her current aggravation. It had been a perfect day for an outing, so Ran had agreed to take Conan and his friends ice-skating.
While she was still lacing her shoes, the children had already gone out on the ice. Ran had just tied the last knot when she heard Ayumi comment to Conan about what a good skater he was.
Conan rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment and replied, "It's no big deal. My dad taught me how to skate in Hawa- Houston back in America. We went to Texas on vacation once!"
"Wow!" Ayumi exclaimed.
Conan had blithely gone on to skate around the rink, leaving Ran once again feeling like the world had slipped out from under her.
Ran was certain that Conan had been about to say 'Hawaii.' That in itself was not a problem. The problem was that Conan had apparently felt a need to lie. But why did he? Conan would have no reason to hide that he had a connection to Hawaii… but Shinichi would. That may have seemed like a tenuous connection to others, but to Ran it was another oddity to add to the mystery that was Conan Edogawa.
Part of her wanted to storm into Conan's room, shake him awake, and force him to confess. Another part reminded her that strategy had never, ever worked. How many times had her 'reasoning' fallen apart leaving her feeling like a fool and probably traumatizing poor Conan?
Ran's s shoulders drooped. She hated feeling like this. She had always thought of herself as a sensible person, but here she was being so silly! Well, maybe she was a silly person. After all, sensible people weren't afraid of ghosts or believed in supernatural stuff, right?
But maybe it was her open-mindedness (Shinichi would probably call it empty-headedness, Ran thought scowling) that enabled her to entertain these notions. Ran was momentarily cheered, but then she sank her head into her arms with a groan.
Who was she kidding? What was that Sherlock Holmes quote that Shinichi loved to say? She could imagine him standing with his hands in his pockets, smirking at her with his arrogant grin, and saying, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!"
And sadly, it was all too probable that she was simply a moron.
All the evidence and a lifetime of experience in the real world said that she was wrong. Turning into a child was impossible, wasn't it? Continuing to even seriously consider the idea showed how mentally unstable she was. The simplest explanation tends to be the best one, and the simplest explanation was that she had an overactive imagination.
By refusing to accept common sense, she was trading Occam's Razor in for Occam's Kaleidoscope! She was pushing logic and reason out the door just so she could accept the most fantastic, convoluted explanation. Shinichi would probably be disappointed in her for fighting the evidence so strongly.
Ran knew all this. She knew all the explanations and the arguments, but despite that, she couldn't help feeling that something didn't fit. Maybe it was stupid of her to put so much stock in such a subjective, irrational process, but Ran believed very strongly in the power of instincts. Her lifetime of training in karate has taught her that instincts existed for a reason. Even Shinichi, master of logic and rationality, had once confided to her that there were many times that he would keep investigating what seemed to be open-and-shut cases based on nothing more than a hunch that there was something that everyone was missing.
But feelings and hunches didn't get criminals arrested or convicted at trial. Hard evidence did.
Ran's eyes suddenly widened in realization. She lifted her head so quickly that she almost knocked her tea over. Why had this never occurred to her? She had been going about this all wrong this entire time!
With this new insight, her mind raced down a well-treaded path of old memories and noting where she had gone wrong.
The first time she had suspected Conan of being Shinichi was during the case in which a father who had lost his son during a surgery attempted to get revenge by going after the son of that surgeon.
She could remember her thoughts at the time.
His actions are plain too weird for a plain old elementary school kid…
It's almost as if Shinichi was talking…
That day that Shinichi disappeared… Conan-kun appeared as if they had switched places…
Maybe… maybe this kid is really Shinichi?
Her suspicions had been sparked when Conan had deduced that her dad's client was a surgeon based on nothing more than the marks on his index fingers, and when she had noticed him directing her dad toward his conclusions with his pointed questions and comments. He was practically pulling strings! She had started watching him closely after that, and it became harder and harder to brush off his similarities to Shinichi as mere coincidence.
"Did you discover something again, Conan?" Ran asked sweetly when she discovered the little boy poring over the hospital's medical records.
Not seeming to suspect anything, Conan launched into an explanation of what he found. His voice had deepened and he was no longer acting like a mere child. He began pacing back and forth and appeared to have forgotten that Ran was still in the room.
Ran listened carefully then when he had finished, she knelt down to match his height and said with a smile, "If you can deduce it that far, then that's very good. That's clever… that's clever, Shinichi!"
Conan looked embarrassed and tried to laugh off the praise. He replied, "Yeah, well, it's nothing…"
Ran watched Conan's eyes widen in horror when he realized that he had responded to the wrong name.
Even then, Ran couldn't help but doubt herself. The real world wasn't a science fiction movie, after all. She needed more, so she decided to set up a trap.
As Ran was cleaning up the office after the case, she idly commented, "Oh yeah. Kishida-sensei, the gym teacher, is getting married."
"Really? That gorilla?" Conan asked in a bored tone as he read his book.
Ran stared at him. Her mind was frozen with shock.
"How do you know about my high school teacher?" Ran asked with an edge in her voice.
Conan stammered, "Oh, umm, you were saying it all the time! Gorilla this, gorilla that…"
Ran glared down at the boy, her face red with anger. "Don't lie! I thought it was weird. You're Shinichi, aren't you?"
Conan was sweating heavily. "Uh, you see…"
Ran was fed up with the stalling tactics. "Admit it! Shinichi!"
Then the phone rang, and Shinichi had been on the line. Her certainty shattered, and her suspicions vanished like alcohol around her father.
That should have been the end of it. But then, one day, she took the glasses off a sleeping Conan and had her breath taken away by the sight of a face that she hadn't seen in ten years. She mulled over that until later that evening when she couldn't keep silent any longer.
"You're Shinichi, aren't you?"
Conan backed away from her in shock. "What are you saying? How can I be Shinichi-niichan?"
Ran was not going to back down this time. "No! There's no mistaking it! That deductive reasoning, the decisive action, and even the poor knowledge of music are exactly the same!"
"But look carefully! I'm just a kid!" Conan cried, sounding like he feared for her sanity.
This tone naturally infuriated her. She put her hands on her hips and spat, "I bet you just drank some strange medicine Doctor Agasa made! Don't play dumb with me now. There's so much I want to tell you. So much!"
Conan's eyes darted left and right, "Do you have any proof? Don't say weird things without any proof!"
Ran smirked. "Right here. The proof is right here." She snatched the glasses off his face and tossed them behind her. "I've never seen anyone that looks so much alike!"
"Like I said…"
"You'd better confess, Shinichi!"
Somehow, Conan managed to convince her that she was talking nonsense. And that was the heart of the problem. If it had been Shinichi in her place (she ignored the paradox of Shinichi trying to prove Conan was himself), he wouldn't give up just because of a few roadblocks. In fact, he'd have solid evidence backing his every deduction to confidently wave away any objections. He wouldn't hesitate simply because what he was proposing seemed bizarre.
Confronting a genius without anything better than circumstantial proof was pure folly. Wasn't one definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Instead of trying to badger the truth out of Conan like an officer interrogating a suspect, she should have been trying to do this like a detective.
She had been going straight to the accusation and skipping the denouement and the presenting of evidence. What incentive was there for a confession? Clearly their status as childhood friends wasn't enough to get Conan to spill the beans, so it was time to try something different.
Ran told herself that she had to be careful not to go overboard. She had to be objective about this. She would investigate and find out the truth whatever that may be. It could very well turn out that Conan was just what he appeared to be, a sweet, brave, precocious and utterly reckless child.
She had no idea whether or not she wanted that to be true.
Most fanfictions have Conan or someone else telling Ran the truth. I enjoy these, but I think Ran should get the satisfaction of figuring out the truth definitively for herself at least once. She's solved a few mysteries in the series so she's clearly capable, and if it hadn't been for Conan's ingenuity and good luck, she would have solved the Mystery of Conan Edogawa a long time ago.
When I assert a DC fact such as, for example, Ran's favorite color is red (Movie 1: The Timed Skyscraper), I like to go check and make sure that it actually exists in anime canon. That doesn't mean I won't make stuff up at times, but I will try to make sure it doesn't contradict anything that Aoyama Gosho or the people involved with the Detective Conan anime have written.
I'm only human though and I haven't seen every episode (mostly due to the fact that not all episodes have been translated), so if you believe that I have erred somewhere, feel free to tell me. I'm also interested in hearing how the anime is different from the manga, which I haven't read yet because I don't have time, so tell me about that too if you like. I always like learning new things.
--Shinichi, Conan, and Ran have the same blood type (Episode 189)
--Shinichi and Conan share the same birthday, May 4th (Movie 3: Last Wizard of the Century)
--Ran first suspects Conan of being Shinichi (Episode 7)
--Ran takes off Conan's glasses and sees his similarity to a childhood picture of Shinichi (Episode 96)