Disclaimer: I do NOT own Detective Conan/Case Closed.
Comments: Umm... this is my first fanfiction ever. Please tell me of any technical errors or suggestions to improve my writing. Thank you for reading it. Enjoy!
I can never forget the time when the name "Ai Haibara" has been given to me. I remember thinking it was the worst possible day of my life. It was recently after my sister's death, and I just escaped from a near-death experience. I had no family, no place to return to. I remember wishing I rather died that moment I consumed APTX-4869.
However, surprisingly, not only comfort, but that name gave me a sense of belonging as well; just like my real name, Shiho Miyano, which still connects my family and me together.
Conan is yawning in class again today. No wonder why. He was a genius high school detective and he shrunk into just a first grade elementary school student due to the pill I made – APTX-4869.
Suddenly, I felt like teasing him, so I tapped him on the shoulder. I smiled sarcastically.
"Huh… What a good student – sleeping in the class."
"Hey, I'm not sleeping."
He looks at me, raising his eyebrow, and his expression just like mine – sarcastic.
There is something about him and his actions that I can't comprehend. He became a kid because of the pill I made. I always become a burden to him, apart from the fact that I'm useful of making the temporary antidote, which carries a great physical risk anyways. Us staying close to each other will be more easily found by the black organisation. Also, I am in charge of making the proper antidote, but even so, he'd have to risk his life to get the information on the pill himself. Until then, I am… just a burden.
"Ai, welcome back!"
Dr. Agasa speaks to me in his usual old, friendly voice with bright smile. He's too innocent, too nice – just like Conan. I tell him that I brought friends over.
"Wow, Ayumi-chan, Genta-kun, Mitsuhiko-kun and even Conan-kun! It sure is a big gang today!"
He shows us the new video game machine that he invented – probably weird or faulty – but I follow him anyways. It turns out that it's not a fancy, complicated game, but a simple, fun game. I'm quite surprised.
Finally, Dr. Agasa makes something useful. Haha.
Everyone's so into the game. Meanwhile, Conan sneaks out of the room so quickly and soundlessly. I glance at Ayumi-chan, Genta-kun and Mitsuhiko-kun, who are now maniacally playing the game. And what a surprise – even Dr. Agasa's playing the game. I sneak out too, as quietly as possible, and follow Conan.
I can't find him anywhere on this floor. He might be on the next floor? That thought occurred to me, and I fled upstairs. I can hear his voice. He's murmuring something – I can't hear it though – and I followed the sound. I found it. Ha. Toilet. Jeez, he's making his important call in toilet again? It must have become a habit since living with Ran-san for him.
"Yeah sure. How's school though? Your exams are going well?"
He must be talking to Ran-san. I shouldn't be eavesdropping like this, but – I don't know why, but at that moment, I knew I just had to listen to what he was saying to her.
"Yeah. I should go back as soon as I can. But gosh, I'm so busy with everything. All the cases… Yeah, but I'll be there… as soon as possible."
I can predict him smiling from his voice. That smile – that gentle smile that he only shows to Ran-san, not that stupid boastful detective-like smile, nor the friendly smile that when I see him as a friend.
I was… jealous. I wanted to be where she was. I didn't want any protection or any lovey-dovey thing from Conan, I just – I just wanted to be at a place where I can tell him what I truly feel. Well, Ran-san is in that place, though she is not using her opportunities very well.
Then I remembered that time, when I asked Ran-san, about how she feels about Shinichi Kudou.
Ran-san seemed very happy that day. She was humming in the house all along, doing cleaning, homework, housework and you know, everything. I told her.
"Ran-neesan, you seem extraordinarily happy today."
"Ah, do I? Well, I got a call from Shinichi!"
She smiled widely. Conan, in the far corner, blushed. Haha, that's pretty cute of him. He blushed by her just saying that she's happy 'cause she got a call from him. Ayumi-chan suddenly appeared out of nowhere and dragged Conan to the room upstairs – Conan's room – and disappeared. The whole gang was there… That must have been why.
I don't really want to admit it, but I was annoyed at Ran-san that time. What she said and Conan's reaction, somehow, provoked my anger.
"…Are you going to wait for Shinichi-niisan forever? Even if he doesn't come back?"
Ran-san looked surprised. No, she looked… shocked. Yeah, I know – it's too mature thing for a first grader to ask, isn't it. I was also surprised too. I didn't expect myself to actually say it out loud. Ran-san looked pale. Well, I could understand… It is hard even to just wait without saying anything, but someone asks you whether you trust him that much – whether you love him that much. When someone tests you and your feelings, and doubt and fear arises. I could see it clearly, but she pretended she's okay.
"Y, yeah, I believe in Shinichi – that he'll definitely return."
This person is as… stupid as Conan. But that also makes her hard to hurt or betray, because they make me want to protect their innocence.
Then I became angry at myself for being just jealous all the time. Damn it, why did I ask such question to this person? Did I even expect something? Like that she wouldn't be able to wait him her whole life? Then what? Am I going to confess my feelings to him or something?
I muttered it very quietly under my breath.
I snap back to the situation.
It seems like Conan's talking to someone else now.
"…Yeah, but there's no choice," said Conan. "It can't be helped… I know, I know. It's okay. Seriously, don't worry, Heiji."
Ah, that Heiji dude. That's who it was. Hang on… his voice… his tone… Something must be very wrong. It's not the usual voice he calls Heiji, it's almost like –
"It's okay. You knew that one day, this was supposed to happen. And I know that I can't stay as a child forever."
I freeze. I can't move, I can't breathe and I can't even feel anything. My whole body is numb. What was that? What did Conan just say? I know he's joking… That must be it.
"Yeah. Don't worry. I know this might be the only chance for me to destroy them completely. Yeah. See ya, hopefully, then. Bye."
Then he shuts his phone. I can hear him moving closer to the door, but I can't move… Damn, I can't even move my own body.
He is shocked. I can see his face going as white as a sheet of paper. I grabbed his sleeve.
I can hear my voice, too calm that it is unusual. I remember; this is what I do if I panic very seriously. Conan tried to pretend it was a joke though, but it didn't work. He knows that I know. So finally, showed me his last card. Uno! I wanted to shout out. You still need more cards. This is not the final chance. This is not the end.
But I couldn't stop him, and he showed me, his last card – the plain truth and his indifferent detective smile full of certainty.
"Someday, this has to end. Whether it's me, or them. I'm sure you knew this too, a long time ago."
I grabbed his blazer sleeve tighter. I shrieked.
Conan seemed surprised. And me too… I didn't think I'd do something like that, shouting out loud, being out of control. No, but it wasn't the first time. I don't remember when I started doing things that I thought I'd never do, but… I remembered again. My nasty, nasty question: "…Are you going to wait for Shinichi-niisan forever? Even if he doesn't come back?"
"Please don't… go…"
I… think I love Conan. Damn it, I do! I never realised it, because he was always near me, but… He was the only person that protected me. He was the only person that made me stay here and have fun. He was the only person that made me happy. And now… I want to return his kindness; I want to protect him.
Conan still was in his "surprised face", then he smiled at me. And just like always, he smiles his indifferent "detective" smile, however, that looks a little different. A little gentler… a little more like his smile to Ran-san…
He holds my hand. I can feel his warmth.
"Don't worry. I'll definitely come back."
My face feels hot. I can feel tears in my eyes – tears that I never had since I found out that Conan was there at the time of my sister's death. I don't want to show my face like this, so I just stare down at the ground. I don't want to worry him anymore… I could only show my face after I dried my tears, working hard to do so. I also put a little more pressure into my hand, holding Conan's hand.
"You will come back… surely. Okay? Promise me."
"Yeah… I promise…"
My name is Shiho Miyano. My parents gave it to me. But Ai Haibara is also my name; it's as important as my real name to me. Very, very important… So I can't forget the moment that the name "Ai Haibara" was given to me.
Because that name proves that I was with him, though it was only a short time…
Just like how he asked when we met for the first time.