After nearly two years of struggling against the "Black Organization", Kudo Shinichi, along with many allies including the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, Professor Agasa, Osaka detective and friend Hattori Heiji, Hattori Heizo and the Osaka Prefecture Police Department, the Beika Prefecture Police Department, the recently resurfaced Akai Shuichi, former Black Organization members Sherry, or Ai Haibera and Okiya Subaru or Bourbon. With all of there combined efforts and resources the crime syndicate that had plagued Japan and other countries was finally brought down. Despite this incredible victory, this was only the beginning of the struggles Kudo Shinichi would face in the near future.

~ The Agasa Residence ~

"Shinichi, you should really go back to the detective agency. Ran has been calling for the past six hours asking me to bring you home. She's worried about you, you should at least drop by to let her know you're alive. After all, your picture was taken at the scene of the Black Organization boss' arrest as Conan and now its all over the news."

It had been four days since the battle with the Black Organization had come to an end. Since then Shinichi had been staying with Professor Agasa to monitor the progress of Haibara's alleged "permanent" cure to the Apotoxin poison. He had resolved to not see Ran again until he could see her as himself and explain everything.

"You know I can't go back there, not like this. Its not right for me to keep lying to her now that the Organization is gone."

"Then tell her." A small but mature voice whispered lightly to his left. It was Haibara who, despite working for days on end to manufacture the desired cure for her poison, had taken few breaks and had almost not slept at all. Her face look worn and dark, and yet she still maintained her vigor.

"Stupid, how can I tell the truth like this! I can't just waltz and announce 'Hey, I'm actually Shinichi, the man you've been crying over for months; the one that has watched you be miserable and yet never said anything.' Besides, I still have something I want to give her that I can't very give her as a nine-year old" He then reached into the bag he had with him and pulled out a small, velvet box with a gold trim around the opening.

"Wait, you mean that night at the restaurant…."

"Yes, I had planned to propose. It was the same place my father proposed to my mother."

"Kudo-kun…." Haibara said to her self in a low enough volume that only she could hear. This hurt her deeply, to see him like this, especially with the news she had to give him. Despite having worked around the clock for days on end, she still had made no progress on the drug. In fact, she had actually made a few discoveries about the drug's affects that may suggest that…. 'No' she thought to herself 'there has to be something I can do. I can't let it end like this.'

Meanwhile, Agasa continued to press the still-shrunken detective to go home.

"You really should relieve her worries. You know the last thing she needs right now is more stress, especially after what happened to Kogoro-san"

During the final standoff between Gin and Shinichi, Heiji, Kogoro and a few F.B.I agents, Gin had taken Kogoro hostage and attempted to use him as a means of escape. Of course, no one even considered that an option, and so one of the agents present fired two rounds into Kogoro's shoulder in order to break him lose from Gin's hold. This strategy worked, however, an artery was nicked in Kogoro's shoulder, causing significant blood loss. He was stabilized at the hospital, but Ran was nonetheless terrified.

"I know I know but I really can't handle seeing her right now, like this. I need to get that cure and I need to talk to as the real me and NEED to do it now!"

He stormed down into the laboratory where Haibara was still working diligently.

"Where is it? It has to be done by now it HAS to be!"

"I'm sorry Kudo-kun, I just need more time. This is more difficult than I had originally planned on it being."

He slumped down into a lab chair near the table she was working at. The look on his face emitted pure despair. Every moment he let Ran sit alone and in agony was another thorn in his side. It hurt him to even think about her, about himself and about them. Haibara, noticing this anguish walked over to him with a grim face

"There's….something you need to know…."

He looked up in anticipation until he noticed her face, and then sank into his despair one again

"What?"

"I…I mean there might…." She was having an immense amount of trouble communicating her thoughts, something very unusual for Haibara

"What? What is it? Tell me!" He screamed in what seemed more like desperation than anything else

"There might not be a cure!"

The room fell silent. Not even Agasa had heard mention this before, which left him as dumbfounded as Conan. He tried to formulate a thought but could do no such thing. He looked down at Conan with wide, sympathetic eyes as he continued to stare at the floor. After a few minutes of this silence she continued

"After thoroughly studying the poison's effect on human DNA, I've found evidence that says beyond a reasonable doubt that the DNA's restructuring has reached a stage where it can no longer be reversed."

Shinichi, with eyes so dark now it seemed almost as though he had been completely enclosed in his own misery, looked up at her and said

"Does that mean even the temporary cures are of no use?"

"No" she said with a little bit of bravado "There is still a window of time you have left to use the temporary cure. However, that window, if I've calculated correctly, is only another 36 hours"

"So I can be myself for a day and a half, and then I become Edogawa Conan permanently?"

"Gomen Kudo-kun"

Once again, silence filled the room. Despite the small ray of hope just presented, the overlying hopelessness of the situation was far too great to overcome. He had just been given the news that everything he had been striving, everything he had worked so hard to attain, was now impossible. He knew right then what had to be done.

"Give it to me"

"What?"

"Give me the damn antidote. I want to spend every second I have left with her."

"Of course. I already prepared it. This one is a higher dosage so it should last the whole 36 hours"

He swallowed the pill and within a few minutes he was himself again. He went over to his house; changed into something more age appropriate and sped off to the place he dreaded the most: the Mouri Detecive Agency.