Sorry I took so long, I'd planned to update much, much sooner.. But… I tend to miss most of my personal goals. -face palm-

-Continuing from my AN last chapter- this story was supposed to have humor (I feel/felt the description rather called for it- which is why I used an Abridged quote, though it may still end up applying). I'm changing it to drama, because the humor just isn't happening (I'm sorry DX -tear- ). Not only that, but this is one of those story's that was only meant to be a one or two shot, but quickly got out of hand due to the plunnies just not having it.

XxBakaAkki- I'm glad you're glad I picked it up. It's a bit of an adventure for me to be writing this honestly. XD But I agree. I wish BJ'd update something soon.

Marie Ravenclaw- …I was on page 4 ( XxX page break 3) when I decided to re-read my reviews and… well… somehow your review applied without my meaning to. Hope you like the result… since I'm not sure of what's going to happen myself.

TwilTye- I hadn't thought much on the reverse affect until I was writing, honestly. XD

Chocoviolin- I'm going to attempt humor somehow, really I am, but angst sometimes is a huge plot driver for me. DX I do still have hope to get humor in there though.

Fyliwion- Here's the second helping. Glad you're enjoying it. X3

Nightrose1- Sky high my friend, sky high.

Final Note: I tend not to pre-read before posting, and I have no BETA so… sooner or later I may or may not correct mistakes. Please let me know if there's some massively huge mistake that would utterly derail the fic in it's continuity though. I've accidentally done that with one sentence on my other account. ._.

Well, I can see you when I close my eyes, it's complicated, but I'll make it that simple.

All the notes in time make the melody
Night into day
Can we move onward from here?
Where we can stay on and on attached to the memory

Mae, (m)orning, A Melody, The Memory

Well, I can see you when I close my eyes, it's complicated, but I'll make it that simple.

Haibara Ai was quickly regretting her choice of form for the newest temporary cure batch- not that she could have in any way, shape, or form known that someone completely unaffected by the Apotoxin 4698 could have such a reaction to it. Currently, she was doing a complete follow-up check-up on Ayumi who, at first had looked at her in absolute terror when she entered the room, but now only sniffled and tried to make conversation with her friend.

"Ai-chan, what's that needle for..?"

Haibara paused before looking at the girl, "I need a few more blood samples."

Ayumi took a moment to process this with a scrunched up look on her face, "But, you already took one…"

The shrunken scientist sighed to herself, "I'm aware."

Ayumi humph'd to herself and leaned back in her chair, swinging her legs as best as she could, "Why's Conan-kun so angry with you, anyway?"

"Well, I should suppose it's because I did something a little… foolish." she smiled wryly to herself. Kudo was by no means finished with wringing her out for this. Of course, Haibara personally was more concerned about what Mouri Ran was thinking about the whole thing.

As soon as the five of them had entered the house, Kudo had stormed over to her and dragged her into a room to yell at her while trying (really, really trying) not to hyperventilate at the same time, Agasa-hakase dragged Ran off to the kitchen with the excuse of making tea to the children. Of course, it could easily be figured that the old professor was simply checking to see just how much Ran suspected Edogawa Conan of being Kudo Shinichi.

She finished Ayumi's check-up and opened the door to let her out, only to stumble on another worst-case-scenario going on in the living room.

"-What do you think you're doing!?!"

Ayumi and Ai ran over to the two boys squabbling on floor, while a shaking Mitsuhiko was collecting himself off the floor supposedly from Genta's shove when he'd tried to stop him. Meanwhile, Conan was struggling somewhat vainly while pinned by the much larger boy to keep his mouth away from Genta's hand.

Genta smirked, "But Conan, we just want to see what you'd look like is all! It's not fair that the machine broke before we could see what you and Ai would look like 10 years from now that one time!"

Conan growled furiously as Ran and Agasa-hakase ran into the room. Mitsuhiko spoke out, "Genta-kun, I really don't think it's really wise to-"

"Shut up Mitsuhiko! You wanna see too don't you!?"


Ayumi ran forward, "GENTA! Stop it! You're gonna hurt him you big lug!" She tried to pull back the arm the was pinning Conan down, "Genta-kun!"

Mitsuhiko attempted to pull back Genta's free-arm again, "Ayumi-chan's right! Stop it!"


The three child-teens looked at her in surprise, as did Ran and Agasa-hakase. Conan simply continued his futile attempt to get Genta off of himself, because good heavens, if the boy hadn't been heavy enough as a child, becoming a teenager just made his weight suffocating to his much smaller frame.

She continued, "Genta, why in the world would you want to do that to someone else!? Didn't you say it hurt!? What if it kills him to change like that!?"

Genta paused and looked at his friend before returning his gaze to the scientist quiltily, "But… we're fine, aren't we? How could it hurt?"

Haibara sighed in extreme agitation as Agasa-hakase stepped in, "It's still not very nice to force him to take it. You may have eaten that candy of your own volition- without asking might I add- but to force it on Conan-kun is… well, as bad as a crime."

Genta froze in terror. He didn't want to be a criminal… was it really so wrong to make Conan-kun eat the candy they ate? "I…"

Conan wheezed, "Genta, get OFF!" He shoved one last time before Genta released him. Conan snatched the candy away from him and scrambled a few feet away as he tried to regain his breath. He grabbed his left arm and winced- Genta had absolutely no idea how much stronger he was right now, though Mitsuhiko had. Suddenly he felt himself get lifted carefully by Ran. The two simply subconsciously shifted into respective comfortable positions as she did so. Ran looked at the three kids with a hard gaze, "You three sit on the couch and wait quietly for Haibara-chan and Agasa-hakase to look over your test results, got it?" The three not-teens nodded solemnly as Ran walked out of the room with Conan.

She stood in front of the stove staring at the almost-ready tea kettle in thought, finding herself finishing the monotonous motions of preparing tea-ware settings. Once finished, she started fixing the tea itself, placing it in the water and watching the water slowly go from it's clear color to a green tint. It was after about five minutes that she glanced at Conan, only to realize the slightly-glassy look he'd had while struggling against Genta hadn't waned, but had only gotten worse. Not only that, but she belatedly realized his temperature was slowly rising and sweat had only just started to collect on his forehead. "C…Conan-kun…?"

Conan gripped her shirt as he stopped trying to keep his breathing a steady calm as he looked at her, "Ran-neechan…"

Ran felt nervous. He had almost never sounded so… desolate, but not only that, but he was somewhat out of breath, which was worrying. She took out a handkerchief and dabbed his brow, "Did… did Genta actually manage to give you one of those candy's…?"

Conan reprimanded himself mentally, and it showed on his face, "When he first grabbed me, he managed to get one in my mouth without realizing it, and I just… swallowed. I guess he thought it fell to the floor or something… and after that I forgot because he was pinning me and I was panicking…"

Ran quickly made a beeline for Agasa-hakase and Haibara's bedroom, quickly plopping Conan down on the bed before quickly rushing off to grab a towel and bowl of cool water. Shinichi sat stunned for a moment, still trying to get his bearings. The world wasn't spinning, but he still felt off. Not only that, but unlike the children, he had only had one piece of the 'candy' cure while they had had a few- which meant that it could take anywhere between a few more minutes to a few excruciating hours before the temporary cure took effect. The final problem with this whole mess was that he usually only had a tendency to take the cure while sick. He was in perfect health at the moment, so the delay time could be even worse. And Ran… poor, wonderful, terrified Ran was the only one right now who knew he was in trouble- they couldn't tell the kids because they would obviously freak out even worse then they were right now.

Conan fell back onto the bed, wiping his brow of sweat while in thought. He mentally made a checklist. He was having a difficult time breathing, yet he wasn't having chest pains. His bones ached, but he hadn't broken into a cold sweat completely just yet. His strength had greatly diminished, but he could still get himself to move if needed.


He jerked up in surprise before falling back limply, "Ran-neechan?"

Ran came over and placed a cold damp towel on his forehead, a concerned look on her face as she took in his sprawled out form on the bed, "Should… we maybe get you over to Shinichi's…?"

It took him a moment to respond, "N…no, it'd be bad to move me anymore.. I think." It would also be suicide in case he or Haibara were being watched if he later came out as Shinichi.

She sat down gingerly, the room dark from the gloom of the day as rain continued to patter. It had only been three hours since they'd discovered the children at his place. She fidgeted for a moment, "Do you think you're going to change…?"

He closed his eyes, sighing, "Probably…"

"Do you want me to get the professor…?"

He shook his head slowly while opening his eyes too look at her sternly, "No, they need to see how this is affecting the kids…"

Ran felt stricken for a moment. He was her favorite little boy, Conan, who may or may not be her childhood best friend Kudo Shinichi, laying in bed in pain, and nothing could be done for him. "What… what should I do?"

"I'm not-"

A pulse.

He gripped his chest and gasped in pain, clenching his eyes and teeth as he hissed. Ran grabbed him in panic, "Cona-"

He grasped her arm and pried an eye open, "Go to Shinichi-niichan's house… and get some of his clothes… please."

Ran looked him in the eye with concern and terror before nodding slowly. She put him down before she stood up and walked to the door where she stopped, pausing for a moment as she placed a hand on the doorframe, "Right now… whether you are or aren't Shinichi doesn't completely matter. For now, you will be Conan-kun and no one else- not for your sake, but for the sake of those children." With that to hopefully comfort him, she rushed out of the room and told the kids she forgot something at Shinichi-niichan's house before he heard the door click.

Conan laid there, stunned for a moment before feeling his body relax.

The tremor was over for now, but the ocean had a tsunami wave headed his way- of that he was sure. He sighed shakily as he weakly pushed himself up onto his elbows. He had to shed off as much of his clothing as he could allow before she came back. From what he could tell, this was probably going to be one of the worst few hours of his and Ran's lives.

Yet, the biggest concern he had was to not allow the children to hear him scream for all of their sakes.

Well, I can see you when I close my eyes, it's complicated, but I'll make it that simple.

It had felt like forever by the time Ran returned to the room to check in on him. She immediately became shaken by his extreme exhaustion and general appearance, but he still had yet to change. It was agonizing to be at the tip of the proverbial iceberg, only to get paused. This was most likely the result of only having eaten one of the candy temporary cures.

Rand wrung her hands, "How are you holding up…?"

Conan sighed in exasperation, "In pain, but nothing's happening."

She gave him a sympathetic look, not really having any sort of idea as of what to do for him, "Should I get another one for you? I-"

"There's nothing more that can be done, don't apologize either, please." He was just far too weary to handle keeping up a mask right now. He had also already tried that, having eaten the candy he had snatched away from Genta.

Ran nodded, and placed a neatly folded bundle of clothes on the bed next to him. "Sorry it took so long… Haibara suggested for me to fix the kids some food, and then a little while later they fell asleep while playing a video game from exhaustion."

He nodded, knowing that she probably took the time to cover them up as well. "Ah." He closed his eyes, clenching the sheets as a wave of pain wracked his body, and for a moment wondered, "Is this the sort of pain that women deal with in labor..?"

Although it was only supposed to be a thought, he had unknowingly spoken it aloud softly. Although it caused concern, it also made her feel just a little better, knowing that he still had enough in him to make a terrible wisecrack joke. She reached a hand towards him, "…Shinichi…?"

He first felt cool fingers before her hand rested gently onto the side of his face, almost in a ghost-like fashion, "Ran…" he opened his eyes blearily, "don't."

She gave him a sad look, concern back in full force, realizing that he wasn't really sweating anymore, but his body temperature was still unnaturally high, "But- I…"

Any strength left in him suddenly bled out, "You-"

"I'm scared for you, Shinichi…"

He took a slow breath before he suddenly choked and started coughing to such an extend that he sat up in slight panic. Ran freaked, "Conan-kun!"

He gasped and looked at her with slight terror as the ache in his bones became white-hot and his heart constricted, "Ran- leave- Now."

She stood in panic, "CO-!"

His skin seemed to glow in the light of the hallway as the change began and he blacked out from the pain.

The first time he had changed back into Shinichi he had been completely unaware of what was happening and it had terrified him, the feeling he had felt as his clothing began to restrict had caused panic. It was hard finding enough strength within himself to pull himself out of the clothing he had been wearing and ended up collapsing just as the change had finished. It had taken him a few minutes to re-orientate himself before he had realized what had just actually happened. He had sat up and looked down at himself, feeling a thrill go through him even though he felt exhausted and miserable from his cold. He had thought quickly to change, and made a beeline around the house to collect his evidence for the case that Hattori at that very moment was botching terribly.

After that, the next times he would change he had learned there were times he would pass out after the change either way, and there were times he didn't.

This was one of those times he had, a multitude of memories swam through his head in sluggish repetition as he slowly felt himself return to consciousness.

"…-rt rate seems normal."

"…maybe…-ttle dehydrate-"

"Ah, thank you profess-"

"-ould wake up soon."

The door clicked, and a moment of silence reigned for before he opened his eyes, only to come face to face with a white-washed Ran watching him. They stared at each other in a moment of wonder, worry, and confusion before Shinichi belatedly realized he was wearing Conan's glasses. He went to touch them in wonder, and realized he was dressed in his- HIS clothes.

Shinichi started and attempted to sit up as Ran quickly pushed him back down with a stern look, "You need to lay still for a while longer, Conan-kun."

He cringed, "Ran…" Oh, it was both a blessing and a curse to hear his real voice reverberate through his head.

She sighed shakily and ran a hand through her hair and glanced away from him for a moment, "I called their parents to let them know the kids would be staying her for a day or two for a science project…"

His eyes widened and he managed to sit up to his elbows as he felt guilt run through him, "Ran, I…"

She stood and bent over him slightly, causing them to be almost face to face as Ran fixed the pillows behind him so he could sit up without straining himself. He realized this belatedly as she pushed him back down while she moved to sit down on the edge of the bed next to him, a blush tainting both of their cheeks, "Shinichi… It's alright. I know you really don't want me involved… and I don't really like lying to their parents, but it can't be helped. To those children, you're Conan, and we have to act like that's simply the truth right now. Their worlds are flipped enough as it is." She opened a bottle of water and handed it over to him and he took it gratefully, quickly chugging it in a practiced motion from his sports days.

He sighed in satisfaction before looking at Ran, taking in her physical appearance which oozed exhaustion. A thrill of guilt swept through him again, "I'm sorry… I just… Ran, god… I'm-"

She lifted a hand to pause him, "Shinichi."

He fidgeted in frustration, "But-"

She smiled degradingly at herself, "Haibara about passed out at the door after she walked in and found me tucking you in after dressing you."

He mentally paused and blinked, feeling his face flush, "You-"

She gave him an aggravated look as a blush tainted her cheeks as well, "You did something similar not too long ago, I figured I'd pay you back. Beside's, you were shivering."

He curled slightly in on himself and face palmed, "Ran…"

She perked up suddenly and smiled in an eerily bright manner that would have made Kaitou KID proud, "Awe, it's ok Shinichi. It isn't any worse then taking you with me for a bath, now is it?"

He stared at her in absolute disbelief and terror and sputtered incoherently as Ran laughed at his reaction, "See?! Not that bad of a package deal at all!"

He flushed further, getting her very slight innuendo, "RAN!"

She laughed hysterically for a moment, and soon wiped a few tears from her eyes as she patted his leg, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have gone there- but it is only fair…"

He glared at her pouting, "No it's not."

She tilted her head, "Oh? And why's that?"

He huffed, "Because this is probably one of the worst possible things that could have happened."

Ran's smile changed from mischievous to sympathetic as she faced him fully on the bed, "It would have been worse for me to continue not knowing at all, though… Agasa-hakase and Haibara told me what they felt they could, since I wouldn't take placating half-truths for an answer…"

Shinichi ran a hand through his hair in aggravation, "Still, I… I really didn't-"

"What's done is done Shinichi."

He looked at her for a moment before nodding in defeat, "You're right."

They sat in silence, simply taking each other in before Shinichi unconsciously placed his hand on her cheek. Ran felt a thrill of surprise and uncertainty go through her. Shinichi under normal circumstances would never let himself be… intimate. Even so, she allowed herself to lean into his hand and close her eyes, knowing he had drawn into himself, knowing that she should enjoy this while she could.

Suddenly she felt his other hand on the other side of her face and opened her eyes, a little startled. Their faces were suddenly inches apart and she realized as she looked him in the eyes, that there was a desperate, lonely wanting. She could see, could feel that he had been just as lonely as Haibara had said he had been, and she realized, every time they had seen each other when he took a temporary cure…

She realized, he had always wanted to tell her something pivotal, that every time he had left- failed to do what he'd meant to, Conan would be in a sink of depression for days before he could finally manage to shake himself out of it.

He had always wanted to tell her 'I love you,' because he had stopped knowing if he would ever wake up the next day, stopped knowing that everything was safe. "Shinichi.."

He closed the gap between them and they both closed their eyes, sharing their first real kiss.

He pulled back a moment later, being sure only to be chaste, "Ran… Will you forgive me for being an idiot? For not being what I really want to be?"

Tears collected and burned her eyes, "Of course, stupid…" She rested her forehead against his and hugged him, the feeling of his glasses pressing against her face, "I'm angry with you of course, but… but it's already been this long, and I've already resigned myself to believing that you were Conan… believing it for a such a long time now that I… I'm angry with you for not being able to tell me, but I can understand Shinichi. I can understand because I've seen how scared you've been. Everything that confused me makes sense now. I'll do my best from now on to continue pretending- I know it's almost impossible but… I'll continue pretending. I can do that for you Shinichi, because you'll still be gone despite being right there next to me. So please… for right now just-"

Shinichi hugged her tightly as he tried to keep himself from crying, his eyes burning from his attempt, "Thanks, Ran."

She sniffled and smiled as she pulled back from their mutual hug, "You're not a failure Shinichi."

He stared at her in slight disbelief, "Do you honestly think that?"

She wiped away her tears, the feeling of his arms around her a new and yet usual comfort. She belatedly realized, that as Conan, he had learned to be far more intimate with her then she had really given thought to. He allowed her to hold him, to hug him, to cry on him, and so much more, even though a normal child would have not reacted in the same way. She smiled, "Yes Shinichi. You're a perfectionist when it comes to doing things 'the right way,' I know- yet, ever since a year ago when you became Conan… nothing has ever really turned out 'perfect' for either of us. Even so- it's in those times that you failed that I know that it was alright- that how things turned out was how it was supposed to be. This, Shinichi, right here and now is perfect. I don't need you to take me out to dinner, I don't need flowers… I don't even need a moonlight walk in the park for you to show me you love me. Action… words… perfection is for the moment, and it's for you and I to decide for ourselves. I've said it before, and I'll tell you again- I'm waiting for you to return home Kudo Shinichi… and I love you despite everything you've done and will do wrong. I-"

His hand slid through her hair, pulling her close to him suddenly as he kissed her in a fit of… something in the moment. He himself couldn't completely figure out what it was exactly that he was feeling just then, but gratitude and the love he had hidden in himself came pouring out as he kissed her passionately. She was startled by his action as much as he was, but responded equally to his feelings before he forced himself to pull back and cup her face in his hands, "Ran, I-"

She lifted a hand suddenly to pause him again and gingerly removed the glasses that had still rested on the bridge of his nose and placed them on the bed. She nodded, "Shinichi."

He suddenly lost some his nerve, but forced himself as a blush reappeared once again, "Ran… I've really wanted to tell you… I love you- and have for so long, I…" He let out a breathless chuckle, "This is ridiculous, you know that?"

Ran smiled, "Absolutely."

He pulled back to rest against his pillow and released her, "Who would have thought things would turn out this way?"

"No one- well, not like this anyway. You getting turned into a child is rather outrageous."

"You're telling me."

They shared an embarrassed grin before Ran stood up and half turned, "I'm sure you're starving- I'll go heat up some of the leftovers from earlier."

Shinichi blinked, "Oh I-" his stomach grumbled loudly, causing him to blush and Ran to laugh at him, "-guess I'm way hungrier then I realized…"

She left, and after a moment of quiet he slumped, 'Just how is this going to work…?'

Well, I can see you when I close my eyes, it's complicated, but I'll make it that simple.

Ok. I take back what I said in the beginning. It went from angst drama to.. Drama and humor mixed, along with some fluff.

I don't know where the fluff came from -sob- I really don't. The plunnies are just dragging me along for the ride, really.

We'll be getting back to the kids next chapter.

Please Review!