AN: This is an idea that's bothering me for ages, and I finally just plopped down and wrote it. I have only watched the anime at this point, so my knowledge of manga events (and how they might differ from the anime) is very limited. It's on my to-read list. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story. I don't own Tantei Gakuen Q/Detective Academy Q. Thanks for reading! Much love!
Differences Between Dreams and Reality
As far as weddings went, she had never quite pictured this.
As a child, she had always pictured something a bit more like what they showed on TV or in the movies. Oh, she had the beautiful white dress, and the church was absolutely lovely. But there were no family members around, no friends, no bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was just her and her groom and the elderly man in the Roman collar, who was officiating the ceremony.
It should have been depressing, to be married before an empty room.
Still, there really weren't a lot of options, things being how they were.
She had no family left, and was more or less alone in the world in that regard. He was alone in the world as well, but for different reasons. He was a detective, and the fewer people there were close to him, the fewer people there were for his enemies to hurt, should it ever come to that.
That was the way it had to be. And given that, it was rather a miracle that he had asked her to marry him in the first place. But no man is an island, as the saying goes. People by their very nature need and seek out companionship. And for many people, love is something worth taking any number of risks over.
This was how it had to be, for her own safety. She had known that from the beginning, before thoughts of marriage had even occurred to either of them. They had met at a party, a special dinner party where the main event was a murder mystery. He and his partner were the guests of honor; sadly, the guests had ended up having to do some work when a real murder had taken place.
She had complimented him after the case was solved; he had looked startled and flattered, and the rest had followed relatively quickly. When he asked, she had accepted without a second thought. Even as he told her what it would entail, she smiled and took his hand and again, she accepted.
So they stood side by side and repeated their vows in soft voices. There was no one else to hear them.
He slipped the ring on her finger. A ring with a profile of Sherlock Holmes engraved into it.
They both did enjoy mysteries.
He apologized to her once more, that this was all he could give her right now. A secret marriage, a lonely promise and a love that had to remain in the darkness for the foreseeable future.
And once more, she shook her head and kissed him.
As far as family went, she had never quite pictured this.
Even before her own parents had passed, she had always dreamt of a loving family. A husband, a nice home, a child or two. Everyone living happily together under one roof, waving each other off in the morning and eating dinner together in the evenings. She thought it to be a simple, normal dream.
Well, she had a home, and it was a nice home indeed. And she had a husband. But it was nothing like her dream had initially been. He was a detective, after all, and one of some repute. He didn't dare stay home too long for fear of someone realizing who she was to him. More often than not she found herself waving him off and spending her evenings alone.
It somehow wasn't as lonely as it necessarily could have been, though, and became even less so when she went to the doctor one day for a checkup. She was pleased when he came home a few nights later, and she could surprise him with the good news.
She was pregnant. They were going to have a child.
The next couple of days were spent together, waiting and wondering what the future was going to bring now with a baby. A family. The possibilities were endless. She told him up-front that she had no intention of letting the baby become a detective, just so her darling husband was aware. He laughed and agreed that such a plan was probably for the best.
When he left again, she didn't dare speak up and ask him to stay. The truth was that she didn't want him to go again. But this was his job. It was a necessity, and it was for her protection. So she smiled and waved him off as she always had before.
That was the first time she ever felt truly lonely watching him walk away. As she closed the door, she leaned against it and wrapped one arm protectively around her stomach, as though to somehow shield the precious treasure beginning to grow there.
As far as parenthood went, she had never quite pictured this.
She had pictured her husband working with her to raise their child or children. Simple enough. But again, nothing in her life ever seemed to be simple, nor did it ever want to go according to plan or what was commonly accepted as the rule.
Kyuu was growing into a bright, inquisitive boy with a heart of gold, a mind like a whip, and the common sense of a flea. At least, that was how his mother felt at times. Or perhaps it was just an overdeveloped sense of adventure that caused him to keep putting himself in dangerous situations and looking confused when she scolded him for it.
His father came by as frequently as he could. He would take Kyuu fishing, out to the playground, doing all the things that fathers normally do with their sons, and visibly enjoying it. But there was a little clench in her chest every time he referred to his own father as ojii-san. She was sure that the pound of her heart was no match for what her husband felt whenever his son called him that.
Kyuu seemed happy, though. They talked about things like mysteries and detectives and games and sports and all sorts of odd topics. They did things together. They played together. They had fun.
Yet there was no mistaking the sadness in his eyes when he had to say goodbye.
She understood better than he probably imagined as he smiled and said goodbye. At least she could understand why he had to be away; she had Kyuu to keep her company and to keep her busy. He could only see them when he could sneak away, when it was safe, and even then, his time with his son was terribly limited. It hurt him.
And then Kyuu was kidnapped.
Someone, somewhere, had realized that the great detective was terribly fond of this young child, and took Kyuu from a playground where he had stopped to play for a bit after school. She was concerned when he did not come home, and by the time night fell, she was frantic. When she called the police, she was told that she was lucky; one of the world's best detectives just happened to be there. He would find the missing boy in no time.
What the officer didn't know was that she knew that great detective quite personally and was actually married to him; she feared the lengths he would go to not only find her son, but rescue him from even the slightest appearance of danger.
She waited at home, wringing her hands and worrying. She didn't know what else to do.
It was several hours later that the knock came on the door. She nearly parted the door from its hinges in her frantic rush to get it open, and was rewarded when Kyuu tumbled into her arms from his perch on ojii-san's shoulders. Rather than be afraid, he was now almost excited, babbling about how he had been kidnapped and locked in a room and how ojii-san had fought through every bad guy in the place to save him and wasn't ojii-san cool!
The great detective, known to the boy as ojii-san, smiled and took his leave without fuss. But before he left, Kyuu managed to extract a promise from him that he would come visit again soon. Fortunately, the promise was one that was kept.
It wasn't until the next time the great detective came home that she was able to thank him properly.
As far as widowhood went, she had never quite pictured this.
Dan Morihiko called her himself. He was gravely injured in the fight that took her husband from her, or else he would have come to see her face to face. As it stood, he was lucky to get ahold of a phone long enough to contact her. He promised to come by and visit as soon as he was free of the hospital.
She was told the full story, how her beloved had given his life to protect his partner. Dan was kind, truly sympathetic. He assured her that she would be taken care of, both her and her child. No harm or danger would befall them. She knew, even as she hung up the phone and stared at it through unseeing eyes, that he was a man of his word.
Time passed for a while after that in a sort of numb haze. She would have called it a dream-like state, except that there was nothing about this that even remotely resembled a dream. The hardest part was Kyuu, who watched her curiously and asked repeatedly why she was crying. He looked just like his father, and was already starting to act a good deal like him as well. It was a double-edged sword; she was proud of those facts, even as they broke her heart.
In the end, she decided not to tell Kyuu the truth about his father. It would be too hard for him to understand, too complicated for a child. He would be hurt, confused to know that the 'old man' he had been so fond of had not just been stopping by to play, but to watch over them, to make sure they were safe and well and cared for.
Somewhere, deep down, she knew that he would find out someday. Secrets of that nature had a tendency to come out sooner or later, no matter how hard one tried. When it did…well, she would have to handle it then. Hopefully when that day came, Kyuu would be older and better able to handle it. He would be better able to understand why things had to be the way they were.
She cared for her son as any mother would, working hard to raise him alone. She praised him when he did well, and scolded him when he misbehaved, and encouraged him to do well. And she tried to subtly (or on occasion, not so subtly) discourage him from his talk of mysteries and his dream of becoming a great detective. She had already lost one of her two most important people to detective work. She was not going to lose the other if she could help it, though she was quite sure she couldn't.
During private moments, she would take the Sherlock Holmes ring out and speak softly to it, certain that her love could hear her; silly as it seemed at times, she was certain he was watching over them both and keeping them safe. Just as he had done, or tried to do, in life.
The ring stayed well hidden. Kyuu could not see it just yet. He had asked the ojii-san about his Holmes ring long ago; if he saw hers, he might ask a question she was not yet prepared to answer.
At the end of the day, she was left with heavy responsibilities and sweet memories and vague thoughts of dreams that had turned out to be nothing like the reality of her life. Even at her darkest moments, though, she could not think of a single thing she would do differently if she could go back and do things all over again, knowing what she knew now.
Kyuu continued to grow from a child to a young adult, and became more and more like his father every step of the way. Right up to the day he came barreling through the front door and declared loudly that he was going to apply to DDS and become a detective.
Nothing ever went quite the way she had pictured it.
But after all this time and all this heartache, she had learned to live with that.