Disclaimer: Detective Conan belongs to you-know-who, and obviously not me. :D
*** Blind Man's Bluff ***
# There are some things you can only see when you close your eyes.#
"Ai-chan, come on, join us." Ayumi insisted, pulling her hands persistently. "It has been so long since the last time we hung out with each other."
"So long? We just played games at Agase's house like, three days ago." Ai looked up, her eyebrows lifting in amusement.
"But you didn't play with us at all. You just sat there and read your magazine." Ayumi pointed out.
"You should try having fun sometimes, Haibara. Otherwise, you will be an old woman soon." Conan said casually, whistling while ignoring her darkening face. In fact, he didn't want to play it either but Agasa had asked him to cheer Ai up. Lately, she often locked herself in her room and that really worried the professor.
"Yeah, Conan is right. My dad usually tells my mom that if she's always grumpy gloomy, she will become an old woman in no time." Genta added on, oblivious to the murderous aura eliminating from Ai.
"Haibara-san, the more the merrier." Mitsuhiko smiled timidly at her.
"Are you chickened out, Haibara? You surely don't want to lose your cool if you can't win this game, do you?" Conan snickered.
Ai didn't say anything. She just moved gracefully towards Conan, and when he didn't pay attention, she landed him a very good elbow in the stomach. Then, turning to the three children, she shrugged innocently. "Fine. Count me in."
"You…baka, Haibara!" Conan grumbled angrily, almost crawling on the ground. 'Hakase, you're gonna get me killed!'
"Next time, you should check my temper before saying anything, Edogawa-kun." Smirking mischievously, Ai walked back to her place.
"Alright." Mitsuhiko cleared his throat, speaking as though he was reading a guidebook. "Blind man's bluff is a simple traditional game. One of us will be blindfolded and gropes around attempting to touch the other players without being able to see them. The rest will run and try to avoid that person…And then…"
"Stop, just stop. We already know those rules." Genta cut him off impatiently.
"This is where it's different from the other times. You should listen first, Genta." Mitsuhiko snapped, offended. "Moreover, Haibara-san and Conan-kun have never played this game with us before."
"Ok." Genta grumbled unwillingly.
"Let's call the blindfolded one X. If X catches one of the other players, X must identify that person correctly. Otherwise, the person will not become X. One more condition, the person who gets caught cannot speak, or let out any distinct sound so that X can know his or her identity. It will be very difficult." Mitsuhiko continued.
"That doesn't make any difference." Genta complained, annoyed.
"Does anyone else have anything to ask before we play?" Mitsuhiko turned to the other three, like he had never heard what Genta said.
"Nope." Conan replied for both Ai and him. Ayumi just shook her head excitedly.
"Alright. Now we…" Mitsuhiko began.
"I will be the blind man." Raising his hand enthusiastically, Genta cut in again.
Mitsushiko threw him a weary look.
"Are you sure, Genta?" Ayumi asked incredibly.
He nodded eagerly, grinning.
Ayumi got out a blindfold from her bag and helped him wear it carefully.
"Conan, you should put your glasses away." Mitsuhiko reminded him.
Sighing, Conan took his glasses off and dropped it into his pocket.
Without any argument, the other four scattered from Genta, looking for a good place to hide. Ai just walked over to a tree, leaning against its trunk and watching them. How could they possibly think that she would play this childish game? No way.
Genta spun in his place three times and began to search for the others around him. For a while, he couldn't tag anyone. He clumsily missed Mitsuhiko once though. Ai yawned tiredly, closing her eyes, wondering how long she had to stand here.
'Maybe forever.' She thought sarcastically.
Somehow, when her eyes opened, she was stunned to see Genta running toward her. No, just five more steps and he would definitely tag her.
Ai immediately turned away, trying to escape, but she tripped over a small rock and almost fell down if Genta didn't grasp her arm in time.
"Haibara." Genta announced loudly with victory, his grin widening.
"Bingo." She replied humorlessly. This was impossible, unscientific, and incredulous. She had never lost in any game before but now she was the first one who got caught.
Conan, Ayumi, and Mitsuhiko went out of their hiding places and jogged towards them.
"How did you find me?" Haibara asked finally, unable to resist her curiosity.
"Because every time we play any game outside, you always go to a tree and stand there immovably. It's easy to notice." Conan answered instead of Genta, laughing softly. "That's why I told you that you couldn't win this game, Haibara. You should change your habit."
She looked at him, murmuring. "Yeah, that's right. How observant you are."
Ayumi untied the blindfold for Genta and gave it to Ai.
"Don't cheat, Haibara." Conan reminded her with a playful smile.
She shot him a glare, walking to where Genta had stood before, and put on the blindfold.
She couldn't see anything. And she didn't like it at all.
She hated this kind of feeling; everything in front of you was dark, so dark. You could not know if there was any danger waiting for your mistakes. You had eyes but you couldn't use them. You had to depend solely on your other senses to track down your opponents.
She shouldn't play this game in the first place. It just made her remember of them. At least now she wasn't the prey.
Ai didn't spin like Genta had done even if it could be one of the rules for all she knew. She stood still in her place, trying to listen to the sounds that vibrated through the air, the sound of the wind as it rustled through the fall leaves. She had seen where Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Conan hid before, but where they were now, she wasn't so sure.
Who would ever hide in one place twice?
"Mitsuhiko, you cheater, Haibara will not like it if you try to lose." Genta shouted out and she could hear the sound of footsteps reluctantly run away.
Sighing heavily, Ai started to walk on her instinct. She stepped forwards cautiously, always fearing she would trip over something like just now. But her caution was unnecessary because this area of the park was clear and spacious.
Ai didn't know how much time had passed by. When you couldn't see, time seemed to stretch on forever, making you gradually grow anxious and fearful. Her hands felt around, fumbling hopelessly in the air.
Then, Ai sensed someone trying to pass by her from some distance. Even though he or she tried to make no sound, the winds betrayed them. Fast like lightning, Ai spun around and grasped that person's hand, keeping them dead still in one place. She could tell how astonished he was right now because his breaths sounded so uneven.
Who is this?
Hesitantly and nervously, Ai reached her hands out, touching his face.
Her fingers traced his long and thick brows carefully, feeling his eyelashes lightly brushed against her fingertips when his eyes fluttered shut. She trailed slowly down from his lids to his tall nose, gently stroking his heated cheeks with her thumbs.
As her fingertips hovered over his lips like a wind, she felt his breath hitched. Delicately, Ai caressed the curves of his flawless lips, and her face inched closer that their noses almost grazed each other very slightly.
A faintest blush appeared on her cheeks.
For a few seconds, time seemed to stop moving.
Suddenly, Ai pulled quickly away. Breathing out, she pinched his cheeks, smirking in a strange way. "I caught you, Tsuburaya-san."
Ai could hear him gasp audibly.
Untying her blindfold, she opened her eyes to see…Conan staring at her with his mouth hanging open. His face was redder than the sun itself and he could barely say anything.
Ai blinked her eyes.
"Your guess is wrong, Haibara-san." Exclaiming in surprise, Mitsuhiko jumped out from behind a bush very far from them, having no idea what had just happened.
Genta and Ayumi ran toward them, panting slightly.
"Ai-chan, did you identify incorrectly?" Ayumi inquired, disbelieving.
"Yeah, I'm never good at guessing." Ai replied, shrugging nonchalantly. "Anyway, you guys just continue your little game. I have other things to do. Gomen."
Without waiting for their response, Ai waltzed off, leaving the three children bewildered and Conan speechless.
The blush on his face hadn't faded away…
# Love has its own voice to tell you its existence. #
It's kind of weird. Gomenasai. :[
By the way, do you think Ai really guessed wrong? :P