A/N: A short father-son twoshot….
Summary: For so long, Shinichi has tried to be strong for those around him. But when Yusaku stops in after another failed antidote, Shinichi finally breaks.
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan: Case Closed. That honor belongs to Gosho Aoyama.
as reason clouds my eyes, with splendor fading,
illusions of the sunlight,
and the reflection of a lie will keep me waiting
love gone for so long.
Yusaku stepped into Agasa's basement, glancing around at the dozens of small labs scattered across the desks and tables. A metallic scent drifted up from vials filled with unidentifiable liquids. A few multicolored pills speckled a table. Computers hummed softly.
On the other side of the basement, Haibara Ai sat typing on a laptop. A microscope and two syringes of blood sat next to the computer on the desk. Shinichi sat on the edge of her desk, swinging his legs gently.
Yusaku's breath caught slightly. Shinichi was… a teenager. Yusaku's mind swarmed with sudden questions and hopes. Had Haibara finally created the antidote for the poison? Had Shinichi finally found the Black Organization? Yusaku hadn't heard about any major arrests but….
Yusaku forced his mind to calm and focused on his son.
Shinichi stared blankly at the ground, quietly responding to Haibara's murmured queries. His shoulders slumped suddenly at something Haibara said. Neither Shinichi or Haibara noticed Yusaku's entrance.
Drawing a breath, Yusaku walked toward them with an easy smile. "Well, this is a surprise, Shinichi. Did Haibara find a cure for the Apotoxin?"
Shinichi's head snapped up, the surprise in his blue eyes not hiding the despair staring out at Yusaku from his son's gaze.
Yusaku froze, his smile faltered. "Shinichi…?"
Turning her chair around, Haibara jumped down, grabbing Yusuke's attention. "No, I did not find a cure, Kudo-san. Kudo-kun is merely using a prototype antidote. An ineffective one, I might add." Ripping the plastic from another syringe, Haibara took Shinichi's arm and swabbed on some alcohol.
Yusaku glanced back up at his son's face to meet a bright smile.
Shinichi didn't watch or flinch as Haibara slid the needle into his arm. He waved lazily with his free hand. "Hey, Tousan! Why are you here? Where's Kaasan?"
Studying his son's face, Yusaku forced a return smile, wondering if he had only imagined the look of despair. When did Shinichi get so good at wearing a mask?
Yusaku waved a negligent hand in reply. "Oh, you know. We thought it might throw the editors for a loop, so we decided to stop in and see how you were doing. Your mother met up with an old friend and went out to dinner with her."
Something like relief flashed briefly across Shinichi's face. "Ah. How's your newest book coming?"
Haibara cleared her throat loudly before Yusaku could answer.
Yusaku and Shinichi both glanced at her.
Haibara gazed back at them both, one hand holding a syringe full of blood and the other hand holding a cotton ball on Shinichi's arm. "If you're done chatting, I would like to get finished here. Kudo-kun, hold this."
Shinichi obediently pressed his fingers against the cotton ball.
Haibara set the syringe gently beside the microscope. "I have the final blood sample-"
Shinichi grimaced. "Good riddance… how much blood do you really need anyway, Haibara?"
Haibara folded her arms across the front of her white lab coat. She tilted her head up to meet Shinichi's gaze. "Do you want a cure or not, Kudo?"
Shinichi rolled his eyes with a small huff.
Haibara raised an eyebrow. "For a seventeen year old, you are certainly acting like a seven-year-old." Her voice held a certain bite. "Get off the table, Kudo. It's not safe to be sitting up there. The spasms might start soon."
"Says the seven-year-old," Shinichi grumbled softly. He slid off the table to stand beside the scientist. "I feel fine."
Yusaku couldn't help a genuine smile at their bickering, though the bit about spasms worried him.
Haibara narrowed her eyes, and Shinichi ungracefully held out his wrist. Haibara took his wrist and pulled back her sleeve to reveal her watch.
Yusaku shifted as the next minute passed in silence, not daring to speak and break Haibara's concentration. He felt curious, however. He had never witnessed the poison's work and seen Shinichi revert to his seven-year-old form. Before, his curiosity had never been enough to risk remaining long enough to risk getting caught by his bloodthirsty hounds of editors.
Haibara released Shinichi's wrist. "Your pulse is fast and irregular. You are also beginning to feel a bit feverish. It's almost time."
A strange look passed over Shinichi's face. He winced slightly, nodding. "I understand."
Haibara's face softened. She spun quickly away, head bowed and shoulders hunched. "…I'm sorry."
Shinichi laid a hand on her shoulder. He crouched down, turning her to face him. "Nah, it's fine. Besides, I think you're must be getting tired of being the only short person around all us giants."
Haibara's lips twitched slightly. She brushed off his hand. "Get out of here, Kudo."
Shinichi smiled. Standing, he waved at Yusaku. "Be back in about a half hour." Walking across the basement, he stepped into a spare room and shut the door behind him.
Yusaku stepped after him, but Haibara stepped between him and the door. "Let him be alone, Kudo-san." Her voice was carefully controlled - controlled to the point of cracking.
Frowning, Yusaku turned uneasy eyes on the diminutive scientist. "Why are you so concerned, Haibara-san?"
Haibara turned away from him and climbed back up into her chair. "When Kudo-kun took this antidote, he had a fifteen percent chance of surviving it. Since he managed to survive the first change, his chances of surviving the second change increased by fifty percent. He now has a sixty five percent of surviving the change back to a child."
Yusaku's breath snagged, cold fear seizing him. Shinichi… Shinichi had took such a risk…?"What? If it's so dangerous, shouldn't you be observing him so you could step in and - "
Haibara's cold eyes pierced Yusaku from her young face. "I could do nothing, regardless if I was present or not." She turned and faced the screen, small fingers typing rapidly. "Forgive me if I sound forward, Kudo-san, but you really do not understand the severity of Kudo-kun's situation. I cannot count how many times your son has almost died since this whole mess began." Her voice was emotionless, frigid. "And you and Yukiko-san were never there for him."
Yusaku flinched slightly at a stab of guilt, staring blankly at the wall. He really hadn't thought the situation was that serious. Actually, Yukiko found the whole situation delightful and amusing. She adored having Shinichi young again and really didn't focus much on the darker aspects of the ten year loss of age. Yes, they both knew that the Black Organization was dangerous, that the poison lurking in Shinichi's system was deadly, but Shinichi was cautious….
Haibara's fingers hit the keys with hard, punching motions, jerking Yusaku from his thoughts. "Kudo-kun suffers so much, yet always hides it. The fool thinks he has to be strong for his friends, for Ran…" she paused "…for me. The only one Kudo-kun could consider talking to is Hattori - that teenage detective from Osaka." She snorted softly. "But they're teenage boys… rivals though friends. He won't admit weakness to Hattori."
Yusaku noticed her shoulders were trembling. Concerned, he made to step toward her. "Haibara-san…?"
Haibara stopped typing. Her hands slammed down on the keyboard. "Be silent!" She spun to face Yusaku, eyes misted with tears. "Shinichi needs you desperately! Can't you see it? He needs his father! Yet you push him away… go on with your petty life while he suffers and bleeds because of my mistakes. Why…?" She trailed off, staring at him with wordlessly accusing, wide, angry eyes.
Yusaku stood in frozen silence, anger, accusations, guilt, and shame swirling through his mind. Why was it all his fault? Shinichi should have mentioned things that things had gotten this bad! If Shinichi wanted to talk, he should have called or emailed! He should know that Yusaku was always willing to talk. He should have….
Shinichi's empty, despairing eyes flashed through Yusaku's mind.
And all other emotions other than guilt and determination fled from Yusaku's heart. Fists clenched tightly, he turned and strode toward the door Shinichi had entered.
Haibara called after him. "Kudo-san?!"
Yusaku paused before the door and glanced back at Haibara's pale face. "You're right. Shinichi needs me. I've not been here for him like I should have been. And Shinichi's going to get me now, whether he wants me here or not."
Grabbing the door handle, Yusaku twisted it sharply and stepped into the room.
- - - - -
Kaasan - mother
Tousan - father
A/N: Well, this was my first foray into the anime/manga fanfiction realm…. Please review and let me know what you think. I'll be posting the second half of this soon. Thanks!