This started out as the stray thought that Conan was actually a chibi version of Shin'ichi. The next thing I knew, here this was. ^^;;

A Detective Conan Alternate Universe One Shot.

Chibi
By Icka! M. Chif

The doorbell rang, breaking the calm of the Mouri household. "I got it!" Ran sang, wrapping the towel she was drying her hair with around her neck. Her father snorted, not looking up from his newspaper.

Out side the door was Inspector Megure, looking distinctly un-comfortable. Ran's face paled, instinctively knowing something bad had happened to Shin'ichi. "C-can I help you?" She stammered.

"Can you identify this person for us please?" Inspector Megure stepped aside, revealing the figure of a small boy, about 7 or 8 years old. He was practically swimming in the too-large clothes, dark blue eyes glaring at her from under a white bandage that wrapped around his head.

"You're not Ran-chan." The boy protested.

Ran felt the blood drain from her face. "Shin'ichi-kun?!"

***

"I'm sorry, Mouri-san, but I didn't know what else to do." Inspector Megure sighed, as the small boy sitting next to him looked intently around the room. "He claims he is Kudo Shin'ichi, age 8 and a half. We can't find Kudo, and there's nothing that we can find to prove that -he- isn't."

"Fingerprints?" Mouri suggested.

Inspector Megure nodded. "Match Kudo's perfectly."

"Those are the same clothes Shin'ichi was when he ran off at the park." Ran spoke up softly. "He was following those men in black, from the roller coaster. He said... he said he'd see me later..."

The boy looked at her, a stubborn set to his jaw. He still didn't believe that she was 'his Ran'.

"What about his parents?" Mouri interjected. "What did they say?"

"We haven't been able to contact them yet." Inspector Megure looked uncomfortable. "They're somewhere in the states. Dr. Agasa is attempting to contact them as we speak, but you know how they are. They're probably off somewhere hiding from his publishers."

Mouri nodded. "Right."

Shin'ichi yawned, despite his attempts to cover it. Ran noticed anyway. "I have an idea." She walked over and knelt down next to the boy, who looked at her suspiciously. She grinned at him. "Why don't you stay here for a bit? At least for tonight."

He continued to look at her suspiciously, as if pondering her motivations.

Ran grinned disarmingly, playing her trump card. "And in the morning, I'll make french toast!"

Shin' chi's face split into a wide grin, showing some animation for the first time since arriving. "I love french toast!"

"Me too! C'mon, I'll show you were you can sleep and we can find out other things we like!" She held her hand out for him to take. He reached out for it, then paused, his suspicious mask sliding down again before he touched it.

"Something wrong?" Ran asked, concerned.

"And after that? What if you can't find my parents or Ran?" He asked.

She looked up at the 2 men for help. Her father nodded. "Well, you could always stay here, with us. It wouldn't be so bad, would it? Dad's a detective, and you like mysteries, right?"

Shin'ichi paused, then nodded thoughtfully.

"And I'm a pretty good cook too. So you won't have to worry about that. It's just me and Dad here." She reached out, gently brushing his bangs out of his face. "Maybe, until you find your parents, I could be your older sister? That wouldn't be so bad, would it?"

His face scrunched up, like it usually did when he was thinking hard. "No... That would be okay... I guess." He finally ventured. "But you'll have to be careful, I get into a lot of trouble."

Ran giggled. "That's okay. I'm used to it." She held a hand out, and this time he didn't hesitate to take it.

Behind them, Inspector Megure and Mouri let out twin sighs of relief. Shin'ichi ignored them, sliding off the couch to follow her toward the back rooms.

"What's your name?" Shin'ichi finally ventured.

"Ran." She said. "But you can call me 'Neechan', okay?"

He rolled it over in his head, before nodding. "Okay, Neechan."

Ran grinned. "So what did you do this afternoon?" She asked, opening the spare room. The bed needed new sheets, but she could take care of that easily. He'd also need something to sleep in.

"I can't tell you that." Shin'ichi said gravely as she opened the closet to fetch the linens.

"Why not?"

"Because it's a secret. I promised not to tell."

She grinned, remembering something that the 2 of them had done when they were 8 and swore not to tell. "I bet... you took apart your father's chair and forgot a screw when you put it back together again." She teased, tossing the sheets over the bed to be tucked in. "And when he sat down, the chair fell apart. He thought it was mice."

There was no answer.

"Shin'ichi-kun?" Ran looked around. He was distracted by something he had pulled of the dresser.

It was the calendar.

"Shin'ichi-kun?" She ventured again. He didn't respond, just stood shock still, staring at the small printed paper object in his hands. She knelt down next to him, silently offering his support.

"There is only one truth." He whispered, reaching out to brush the year with his fingertips. "You-you really are Ran-chan, aren't you? All grown up."

She nodded sadly. "Um-hmm."

"And me?" He looked up at her, looking like his world was crumbling in his young eyes. "I... you... Why can't I remember what happened?"

Ran reached out, scooping him up in a hug. "It's okay, It's okay Shin'ichi-kun..." She soothed as he buried his head against her shoulder, his hands clutching her shirt like a lifeline. "We'll figure it out, we'll find out what happened."

He didn't say anything, but the shuddering breaths informed her that he was attempting not to cry. 10 years... It was like he had suddenly jumped 10 years into the future, with no explanation of how or why. Everything his 8 year old self knew had changed, altered forever. And she didn't know how to make it better.

She missed her Shin'ichi. The one that she had seen a scant few hours ago at the Park.

"You and me, we've always made a pretty good team, right?" She whispered, running a hand thru his soft hair. "That's still the same, that hasn't changed. We'll find these men in black and find what they did to you. And we'll do it together, okay?"

He sniffed, and nodded, his face still buried against her shoulder. "Together." He whispered, still holding to her.

She nodded back, giving him a squeeze. They weren't alone in this either, she knew. Her Father, Inspector Megure, the police department and even Dr. Agasa were already doing everything they could to help. His parents, once they showed up, would help as well. They would beat these men in black, and bring back the other Shin'ichi she knew and loved, the older one.

And they would do it together.

And that, Ran thought, was far better than trying to do it alone.

Fin.