Ok, last chapter! Awww..
Thank you for everyone who's reviewed! It means a lot!
Please continue to tell me how you like the end of the story!
And, as a warning, dying is not plesent. It may be slighly graphic and this chapter
Is why the story is rated "T"
Chapter 5: One Last Goodbye
Shinichi had picked today because he knew that Kogoro was playing Mahjong for a few hours. Just the space of time he needed, leaving the man opportunity to comfort his daughter when she needed him.
Walking up the agency steps felt different now. He'd almost never done it as himself since they played as his house most of the time when they were young and house visits after that were more unwelcome than not with puberty and all.
"Ran?" He asked tentatively when he knocked on her door. The sound of something falling to the floor was accompanied by rushed footsteps and the door knob turning.
"Shinichi?" she asked in disbelief. Shinichi couldn't help it when his smile faded at her reaction. He shouldn't have kept her waiting for so long. "Shinichi what are you doing here?"
"I came by to say hello. I know you get mad at me when I don't call so I've been kind of putting it off but… some things have come up." Shinichi could feel himself blush and tried to hide his anxiety underneath it. "I wanted to spend some time with you."
Ran blushed in return and Shinichi stopped himself when he scuffed his foot on the carpet out of nervousness.
"Ok, what do you want to do?"
Shinichi looked up to her smile and tried to force one of his own. "We can do anything you want."
Ran thought about it for a second as she took in her best friend's appearance. She hadn't seen him in so long that he almost felt like a dream.
"How about you give me that dinner we never finished."
"Ok, that sounds wonderful." Shinichi took her hand and led her down the stairs.
"Wait, I have to change!"
"No you don't," Shinichi laughed. "It doesn't matter what clothes you're wearing. Let's just get out of here."
Shinichi hailed down a cab shortly after that and they were on their way to a restaurant he used to love when he was growing up. He wasn't about to take her to the one his parents purposed to each other at again because it would only make him regret all the more the little time he had and he wanted Ran to be happy while he could make her.
"Here you go." Shinichi opened the door for her and took her hand. She tried to take it back but he held on tighter.
"Shinichi what are you doing? You're embarrassing me." She looked around nervously at the people inside the restaurant when he refused to let her go as they made their way inside.
"A little embarrassment never killed anyone. Besides," Shinichi looked down, wondering how much he was going to admit to her. "We're frie –… I like you. I like you a lot. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to hold your hand."
Ran put up no further complaints after that but Shinichi could see how red her face was.
When they were seated Shinichi just stared at her. He loved her so much and yet he could only tell her a part of his feelings. Though he wished that she didn't, he knew she returned his feelings.
"So Ran, how have you been?" He interlocked his fingers so his chin could rest on them while he watched her.
"I'm fine," she said, still looking at her lap but there was a smile on her face. "How have you been Shinichi?"
He blinked when didn't realize his own question could be used against him.
"I'm fine." Right now. "So is there anything new in your life? Anything you want to talk about?"
She shook her head. "Nothing new since your last phone call. Oh wait, I set up another date for my parents. This time I did a really good job masking it." Her smile widened and she held a finger up in the air. "There's a convention of all the most famous criminal cases over the years next month and I can get my mom and dad both to go to it. I just wish they'd make up."
"I know. You're parents are on the weird side but they both love you." Shinichi put his hand across the table to take hers back. He liked the contact when he'd established it outside and wanted to keep holding her hand. "I'm a detective and so, I know things. They don't hate each other. I can't really imagine them living together though," he laughed.
"Shinichi that's mean. They lived together for ten years before."
"And I'm shocked they lasted that long. I'm just saying that even if they love each other, some people like their space. I think if they did get back together they would only bother one another. You shouldn't push things."
"Maybe." Ran still looked unsure and Shinichi leaned back, letting go of her hand as the waitress came by.
"Then again, what do I know? Don't listen to me Ran, do whatever feels right to you."
She smiled. "Thanks."
They ordered their food and Shinichi stuck to a salad. He didn't want Ran to feel like she was a pig or anything when he didn't order a meal but his stomach had started acting up and he didn't want to risk what could happen if he ate when he body was falling apart.
"Shinichi aren't you hungry?"
"No I ate before I came. You can eat though, don't feel bad about it. Everything's on me."
Ran got a burger and fries which surprised him because he knew that it wasn't her favorite.
"You know you could have gotten whatever you liked." He told her when she started picking at her fries and seemed to be ignoring the meat altogether.
"I was tempted to order the most expensive things on the menu to get back at you for leaving me the last few times I've gotten to see you but -" Ran looked up to meet Shinichi's eyes. "You're acting strange today. I don't want you to disappear on me again."
"This will be the last time, I promise." Shinichi smiled.
"Last time for what?" Ran thought about what he'd said to try and understand him better. "The last time you leave?" Her eyes lidded and she looked disappointed. "You're going to leave again?"
"Yeah," Shinichi went back to putting his chin on his fingers once his salad was taken away. "But I won't be doing it anymore. I'm sorry Ran, but I'm not coming back."
It was dead silent and Shinichi couldn't even see Ran breathing.
"Not coming back?"
"No," he said with determination and a smile. "I'm sorry but I won't be seeing you again."
A few more moments of silence passed.
"Why?" She whispered and Shinichi saw that she was crying. "What's so important that you have to keep leaving me? I thought you said – I thought you said you liked me?"
"I do, very much so." Shinichi kept the same tone and facial expression throughout their conversation so that he wouldn't show how much it was hurting him to speak.
"Then why?" The tears were flowing freely now and she wasn't hiding them. "Why do you keep putting me through this? You're not coming back now? Well I shouldn't have waited for you!"
"I'm sorry that you had to. I never meant for things to turn out like this."
"But you didn't care enough to stop it!"
Shinichi sighed, thinking about all the times he could have told her the truth. If she had accepted him, maybe then he wouldn't have been tempted to defy fate with the drug. It was too late for that now.
"No, I didn't stop it."
Ran got up from her seat and Shinichi watched her in numb fascination. He deserved whatever pain he felt for hurting her like he was.
"How can you smile at me like you're ok with everything? I hate you Shinichi!"
Ran left the restaurant as he watched, unable to answer her. His time was running out anyway, he could feel it. Better that Ran left before any of his symptoms started appearing.
Good to his word he paid the check and ignored the people around him that had noticed their argument. What did it matter when he wouldn't be alive to ever see them again?
A cab took him home and Shinichi could taste blood start to well up in the back of this throat and pain course through his body. He clutched his stomach but didn't let out any noise to alert the driver to his condition.
It would be soon now.
His house came into view and Shinichi stumbled up the front steps as his vision blurred. Everything hurt. Even if he wasn't moving his fingers they felt like needles were being stuck into them. His stomach was the worst but he refused to curl up into a ball and die on his front lawn.
The house was dark as night had started to fall and he didn't have energy to turn the lights on. He closed the door behind him and let out a hissed in breath as he tried to get enough air into his lungs to take him further into his house.
Into his bedroom. That's where he wanted to be. There were pictures there and pictures can't yell at you for being stupid. They smiled no matter how hard it was. They would make him feel better. At least in picture, he had made Ran happy.
He passed the library where he'd first called himself Conan. A figure in the darkness moved and Shinichi had to look back when he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.
They weren't. Ran was there.
"I want to know why."
"No Ran, get o -" Shinichi couldn't hold in a racking cough when he'd started talking and the blood that he'd merely tasted was all in his mouth now. He collapsed onto one knee on the floor, trying to hide the mess.
"Shinichi what's wrong?" It hurt hearing her voice sound so desperate. The room was dark so she wouldn't be able to see but he was choking on the liquid. It would be hard for her not to be able to tell what was happening.
"Ran," Shinichi could feel his body shaking but couldn't stop it any more than the blood coming from his mouth. He would have a few minutes of pure torture before he died and he didn't want her to see it. "Ran get out."
"Shinichi, what's wrong! You're really sick! I'll – I'll get a doctor!" She started out of the room but turned back, unable to leave him. Shinichi wished she would.
He let out a small scream but bit down on it as a wave of pure pain ran down his whole body. Shinichi tried to take in a breath again but it was like a knife was stabbing him in the lung.
I really hope I don't die of suffocation first, he thought cynically.
"Ran you have to leave." He tried again.
The girl stood frozen in the doorway between getting a doctor and caring for her best friend since childhood.
"Shinichi, when you said you had to leave, you didn't mean your house did you?"
Shinichi couldn't see her from the angle he was at and moving was out of the question. He shook his head roughly to the side. "No, I didn't mean here."
He felt Ran's arms wrap around him and he leaned his head back with clenched teeth and closed eyes. If the physically pain weren't bad enough, the emotional pain of hurting Ran was equal to it.
"There's nothing-" Shinichi took in a few shallow breaths. "That you can do. Leave."
"I can't." He could feel her warm tears on his clothes with how cold he was.
A sudden jolt of pain made him scream again and he covered his mouth with his hand to block the noise while his other arm wrapped around his body. It hurt so much. His vision swayed all the more and he wasn't able to see Ran any longer.
"I'm sorry," Shinichi got out before more coughs over took him and he was vomiting blood. How much horror was he going to force on her? His hazy thoughts wondered.
"I'm sorry," her voice echoed back. He had no way of responding to her. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" she repeated in cut off whispers. Shinichi shook his head.
"Ran-" There wasn't enough breath in his lungs to continue. The world around him was almost gone and he wasn't going to leave her like that. "R – Ran, don't…" He took the hand he was covering his mouth with to search hers out. He wiped blood down her arm to get to it and shuddered at the thought. He held tightly once he had her. He didn't ever want to let go. "Don't – apologize – to – me – EVER!" Shinichi tried to shout the word.
"But I lied to you Shinichi." Ran hiccupped on her sobs. "I told you that I hated you. I'm sorry. I lied. Shinichi I could never hate you."
She held him tighter and Shinichi knew that he was crying too but there was so much blood and so much coughing that she wouldn't be able to tell.
"I've – lied – more – Don't – apologize." He had no choice in the matter now. His heart was refusing to die both figuratively and in reality. "Ran – I – love – you."
He felt her nod into his shirt. "I love you too Shinichi."
He shook in her hands but it was because he was laughing. What terrible timing to tell Ran that he cared for her. A bunch of 'if only…'s popped into his head. If only he'd had his body long enough to propose to her. If only he hadn't followed the men in black that day, if only he had another hour… but there wasn't time to waste on that. Not when he had so little of it left.
Shinichi squeezed her hand harder, not caring that there was blood on it. He may not have been able to talk but he hoped he could get his last sentiments across.
He was surprised when he suddenly felt something warmth on his chest.
Ran pushed her way in front of him and Shinichi tried desperately not to cough any more blood on her.
"Be quiet Shinichi." He hugged him and Shinichi could do nothing but hold her back, covering the girl in his blood. "You don't know when to shut up."
He smiled at her. "Yeah," Shinichi breathed out, ignoring the sharp pains that made his body tense up. Ran had to feel as he held her tighter each time.
"You never explain anything to me either. I –" she sobbed again but they were fading. "I wish you could have talk to me."
"Me too." The words made him cough and this time he couldn't take in enough air to satisfy his lungs. He drew in on himself and fell to the ground, Ran trying to move so that neither of them would hurt each other.
Shinichi tried to apologize to her one last time. He didn't even tell her about Conan. His parents would decide what to do about that, it was no longer his choice.
With no oxygen to get out his words, Shinichi took his hand and ran it down her face, smearing it with blood. He frowned at the ugly streaks it left behind.
Ran brushed her fingers against Shinichi's cheek as well and he could feel her trembling, warm touch. He smiled.
Finding enough energy, he took his hand off the floor and gave her a little goodbye wave. Ran laughed at that before waving meekly in response.
That was the last thing Shinichi saw and, if someone were to have taken a picture at that moment, they could have kept on smiling forever.