A/N: Here's the second part! Hope you enjoy.


Chapter Two

all is lost but hope remains and this war's not over.

there's a light, there's a sun,

taking all these shattered onesto the place we belong,

and his love will conquer all.

~trading yesterday

Yusaku stepped into the room and froze, blanching.

Shinichi knelt on the carpet, one hand braced on the floor, the other hand entwined in his shirt above his heart. His breath came in ragged, rasping gasps, brow decorated with sweat. He trembled violently, a soft moan escaping him.

Yusaku stepped cautiously forward and knelt down beside his son. "Shinichi?"

Shinichi raised his head, glassy eyes wandering a bit before they fixed on Yusaku. "T…tou…san?"

Yusaku pulled his son into his arms. "I'm here, Shinichi - I'm here." He held Shinichi close, wrapping his arms around his son's shaking frame. He was afraid - so afraid - that Shinichi would pull away, too proud, too bitter, to allow Yusaku back into his life.

Shinichi collapsed in his father's arms, fingers burrowing deeply into Yusaku's shirt and clenching around the fabric tightly. "Tousan… it… it hurts."

Yusaku held his son tighter. Shinichi's skin was so hot, it burned to touch him. "I know…." Tears clogged his voice - tears of anger at himself - tears of shame.

Shinichi relaxed slightly, uneven breathing slowing. "I'm sorry, Tousan," he whispered. "I didn't want you to see this."

Yusaku shook his head. "Baka… baka." His voice broke, and he struggled to regain control of his emotions. He drew a shaky breath. "How are you feeling?"

Shinichi gave a shuddering sigh. "Like crap. But the pain's not terrible… for now. It comes and goes for about twenty-five to thirty minutes."

Yusaku's grip tightened even further around his son, his mind reeling from the information. "Thirty minutes…?"

Shinichi nodded, face still buried in Yusaku's white dress shirt. "At the max."

Yusaku dropped a hand on his son's hair. Shinichi's unruly, sweat-dampened hair was free of the usual hair-gel. "Did…." he paused, uncertain. "Did you get to see Ran?"

Shinichi stiffened slightly. "…No." Twisting in Yusaku's arms, he leaned on his father's chest and drew a breath. His eyes, sparkling with fever, gazed blankly at the far, barren wall.

"Talk to me, Shinichi," Yusaku said quietly. "Please."

There was a long, wordless quiet broken only by Shinichi's heavy breathing.

Voice shaking with suppressed pain, Shinichi finally continued. "This antidote only lasts three hours. I didn't want to stop in and see Ran only to have to leave so soon. I… I've hurt her so much, tousan. I didn't want to hurt her again."

Yusaku squeezed Shinichi's shoulder gently, mutely, regretting bringing up the tender subject.

"I'm so tired, Tousan," Shinichi murmured, voice so soft Yusaku could barely hear. "I'm tired of lies, tired of hiding. Tired of waiting for them to kill me. Tired of being a victim in their cursed quest for immortality…." His voice quavered. "Sometimes… I wonder… is it really worth it…?" Shinichi bowed his head, shoulders trembling. His voice rose slightly. "Is it worth it? Is all this really worth it, Tousan? I can't… I can't…." He quieted, voice dropping to a whisper. "Sometimes… I… I just want to end it all…."

Yusaku wrapped his son in his arms, silent tears dripping down his face. "Don't say things like that, Shinichi. Ran, Haibara, your mother and I… we need you."

"Don't lie to me," Shinichi whispered. He pulled away from Yusaku. "You left me alone three years ago. You don't need me. You never needed me. "

The anguish, the loneliness, in his son's voice broke Yusaku's heart. He stared down at the floor. "I know…. And I'm sorry, so sorry. I've been such a fool." He looked up, face set. "Your mother and I… we'll move back home. We won't leave you again… I promise."

"You're still a fool," Shinichi muttered. He refused to look Yusaku in the eye, his hand tightening on the front of his shirt. "You can't come home - they'll get suspicious. They'll find out. They'll kill you, kill everyone."

"Then come with us!" Yusaku urged, knowing the fruitlessness of the argument but trying anyway. "Come to America. We'll start over there, away from the Black Organization."

Shinichi shook his head. "I told you before. I can't leave Haibara or Ran. I can't leave this case unsolved. I won't. I promised Haibara. I promised myself." Shinichi's fists clenched tightly. "I'll find them. And I'll bring them all down."

Yusaku smile softly, sadly. "I know…."

Shinichi suddenly doubled over with a gasp of pain. Quickly, Yusaku caught him before he collapsed to the floor. Groaning, Shinichi curled up in his father's arms, breath coming in ragged pants.

"Shinichi!" Yusaku exclaimed, fear stabbing through him once more. "Are you okay? Answer me!"

Shinichi didn't seem to hear. His eyes were squeezed tightly shut, face twisted in a grimace of pain. His whole frame shook. He bit his lip and drew blood, crying out softly before he choked it off viciously.

Yusaku held his son wordlessly, choking on his own helplessness. He shut his eyes in a useless attempt to stop the tears. Helpless, useless…. He hated this. What had he done? What have I done? I've done nothing. This was all his fault….

Shinichi cried out again, the agony in the cry cruelly shattering another piece of Yusaku's heart. Yusaku tightened his grip around his son's feverish frame, tears dripping steadily. This wasn't fair… wasn't fair. Shinichi didn't deserve this….

Suddenly, Shinichi's body seemed to shrink in Yusaku's arms. Yusaku didn't open his eyes, merely tightened his grip even further. I'm sorry…. So sorry…. I've been the biggest fool in the world.

Small hands pushed against Yusaku's chest, waking him from his daze.

"Tousan…" a young, familiar voice complained. "Let go already."

Yusaku blinked, looking down to find a seven-year-old face frowning up at him. "Ah… sorry." He reluctantly dropped his arms. "Are you all right?"

Shinichi shrugged, the too large shirt swallowing most of the movement. "Eh, I'll be fine. I just need a shower." He shot a sideways look at Yusaku. "What are you still crying for? I'm fine."

Yusaku wiped his eyes silently, unashamedly.

Shinichi looked down and away. "I… I'm sorry for unloading on you like that…." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I didn't mean half of it, you know. Fever and all."

Yusaku met his gaze with a tired sigh. "Don't lie to me, Shinichi."

Shinichi flinched, face closing off as a slamming metal door. He stared at the floor for a long moment, pushing up the too-long shirt sleeves. At length, he looked up, expression softening. "Don't tell kaasan."

Yusaku smiled slightly. "I won't."

Shinichi nodded decisively. "Good. Now get out so I can get changed."

Yusaku's smile turned sly. "You know Shin-chan-"

"Don't call me that! Kaasan's bad enough," Shinichi interrupted with exasperation. He gestured at the door. "Now shoo."

Pushing himself to his feet, Yusaku stepped to the door. Opening it, he glanced back at Shinichi. "I meant what I said too."

Shinichi smiled sadly, the expression aging his childish face. "I know, Tousan. Welcome home."

Welcome home….


- - - -

Kaasan - mother

Tousan - father

A/N: Well, that's the end. It was rather difficult writing from Yusaku's POV, so I hope I didn't make him too OOC. Thanks so much for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Happy New Years, everyone!!