Chapter 15: Run
"It's the ace of spades that represents Shinichi. I've been holding onto it this entire time, since I believe he'll be my side to protect me."
- Mouri Ran ~The Fourteenth Target~

"The doctors said that Ran will probably be out of the hospital by the end of the week!" Shinichi said happily to Haibara as she sipped a newly brewed cup of coffee. It had been almost a week since Ran had been admitted and her doctor had stated that day before that she would probably be released early since her wrist was healing well and she hadn't shown any signs of depression or mental trauma.

Even after Eri and Kogoro had left that day, Shinichi had stayed with Ran for a while until a nurse had come and told him that he should allow her rest and he had left, promising to come back the next day. They hadn't really talked about anything important; just made small talk, enjoying each other's company. Neither brought up the subject again of why Shinichi had disappeared nor did they mention what had happened before Ran's parents had burst in. The former was because of a silent agreement between the two that they'd rather try to forget about that for a time, the latter because neither of them seemed to know how to bring up the subject without it being awkward.

Once he'd left, Shinichi had gone to Agasa's house where he'd had to ask the aging scientist call the detective agency to tell Kogoro that Conan would be spending the night there, not a complete lie considering that really was where Shinichi had slept. Of course, Haibara had had a word or two with him that night about using the prototype antidote without her permission…

The following day, he returned to the hospital as promised. After only a few hours however, he's had to fake getting a text message about a new break in his case when he'd felt the first signs of the antidote's affects wearing off.

Since then, he'd been returning for a few hours a day as Conan, wanting to spend more time with her but unable to due to school hours. He talked to her about happenings in his class and she in return told him about Shinichi's visit among other things. Nothing much that he didn't already know, but he was glad to see her more upbeat again.

"Ah!" he gasped, snapping out of his recollections as he noticed the time on a clock behind Haibara. "Shoot! I'm gonna be late!"

"Off to see Ran-san again?" Haibara asked as he hurried to the door.

"Yeah, she finished the books I'd brought her, so I thought I'd bring a few more from home today."

"Just like an old married couple."

"Hey, cut that out!" he protested, blushing slightly as she smiled knowingly.

"Enjoy your date!" she joked as he disappeared behind the door. "Who knows how many more you'll have..."

Cider watched as the boy ran out of the large, white house, smiling broadly as he parted. What captivated her interest though wasn't the boy at all, but rather the small strawberry blond girl who was watching him leave soberly through one of the windows.

Taking out her phone and dialing a now familiar number, she waited a moment for the other person to pick up before stating firmly, "She's here. Begin the operation."

I wonder how close Shinichi is to bringing down that crime group… Ran pondered as she waited for Conan and her father to arrive, He can't be too close if they don't even know he's still alive… Her thoughts, however, were interrupted suddenly by a sharp knock on the door. Oh! They're here! "Coming!" she called, slipping out of the hospital bed and walking quickly to the entrance. "Hey Otou-sa-" Her greeting went unfinished as she saw two unfamiliar men clad all in black standing in front of the doorway. "Who are you?" she questioned, having a vague feeling that she'd seen them somewhere before.

"Get back inside the room," the closer one with long blond hair growled just loud enough for her to hear. She was about to try a karate kick on the suspicious man when she felt something press against her stomach. Looking down slowly she noticed the barrel of a gun with a silencer attached and, terrified, began to follow his command.

Once the three of them were fully in the room, the second, heavier built man lightly closed the door. "How much do you know about Us?" the first man questioned.

Know them? she wondered, I've never seen them before. "Nothing!" she managed to reply.

"How much do you know!" he repeated, not taking the question at all lightly as he shoved the gun more firmly into her stomach.

"I really don't know!" she squeaked.

"Fine then… What are your relations to Kudou Shinichi?"

Shinichi…? Why would they…? As she pondered his question, she suddenly realized why she thought she'd seen them before. Darting her eyes back and forth between the two several times to make sure she wasn't mistaken, she whispered lightly under her breath, "You're the guys from the roller coaster…"

"What are you talking about? I don't need to knock to enter my own daughter's room!"

The two men whipped their heads around to look at the door, which was sliding open to reveal two all too familiar faces.

"Otou-san, Conan-kun, run!"

As he heard Ran's cry, Shinichi jolted his head away from where he was staring, deadpan, at Kogoro to look towards her and what he saw there made his heart lurch in his chest. Gin! "Oji-san, get out of here!" he yelled, looking back at the old man.

Just as the words left his lips though, a quick hissing sound resounded and Kogoro fell to his knees as blood splattered from his shoulder, Ran screaming. Looking back towards the others, Shinichi saw smoke rising from the end of Vodka's silenced gun.

"What are you-! Dammit…!" Kogoro his, clutching his shoulder as he tried to get up to attack the assassins.

"Sorry, Oji-san!" Shincihi said under his breath as he used his watch to knock him out, knowing that Kogoro would have been killed if he'd been allowed to act on his intent.

"Otou-san! Conan-kun, what did you do!" Ran screamed, looking both terrified and baffled by this point.

"Don't worry, he's fine," he replied, turning back towards the three to noticing Gin smiling eerily. "Dammit…" he swore quietly as he noticed Gin's gun and began kneeling down to turn the dial on the side of his shoe.

"Don't even think about it." He froze as he saw Gin raise the gun to Ran's temple, causing her to wince.

"Let her go, Gin! She has nothing to do with this!" he yelled, Ran looking more panicked as she realized that he knew these people.

"Wrong. She became involved when you didn't die that day." Shinichi flinched at the familiarity of the words, his mouth going dry as he realized how similar this was to the dream he'd had in what seemed like a year ago. He also flinched for another reason though, and that was the fact that Gin seemed to know with a disturbing certainty just who he was really talking to.

Before anymore could be said though, Gin nodded his head briskly at Vodka who proceeded to shoot out the window behind Gin, Ran letting out a short cry as one of the bullets hit barely inches away from her head. Once about a half dozen shots had sounded, Gin hit out some of the shattered glass with his elbow before turning back towards the inside of the room and saying the words that Shinichi could remember hearing him say once before: "So long, detective." As soon as the words had escaped his lips, he quickly raised the gun from Ran's temple before bringing it down sharply on the back of her head, knocking her out. The two men quickly jumped out the second storey window, dragging her off before Shinichi had more than a fraction of a second to react.

As fast as he could, Shinichi ran to the window where he saw the two men already getting into a black Porsche. Just as he was considering chancing whether or not he could make the jump down to try to stop them, he felt his phone vibrate from his pocket and, after checking the caller ID, answered it. "What is it, Haibara?"

"Kudou-kun! They've got Hakase!"

A/N: Yay! Another chapter! Even though I could've gotten this out easily two weeks ago if I wasn't lazy...! Still, YAY! Just five more chapters and the prologue, then this'll finally be done! (Honestly though, the only reason this wasn't out two weeks ago was because I was too lazy to write in the Cider scene. Which ended up being two paragraphs long. I'm ashamed of myself.)

I should tell you though that due to the fact that Haibara refuses to let me write her properly in the next chapter, so chapter 16 could take a while to get out... I'll keep trying though and I'll try to upload it as soon as I can!

All characters from the Detective Conan series, also known as Case Closed, which is owned and created by Gosho Aoyama. I own nothing but my imagination.