*Ahem* Before you start reading I'd like to state a few things:
I wrote this originally before I wanted a story were Shinichi was the one hopelessly in love with Heiji rather than the other way round like pretty much all other HeiShin fanfics. Even if it is rather unlikely. Shinichi deserves the heartbreak anyway.
Yeah, it's full of heartbreak. I almost started crying while writing it a couple times (because I'm such a sappy wimp)
Also, if anything doesn't make sense it's either because: 1. This is so long I'm not bothering to go through it and look for grammar errors (of which are mostly my inability to type "n't" for some reason… and I'd probably miss half of them anyway…) or 2. I know nothing about the real world. I only know what I see on the TV about the big cities. I live in a very small town and rarely go to the city… so yeah. I'm lucky I even have high-speed Internet.
I started writing this in October, I wrote most of it then and I'm just finishing it now. So if the mood or something drastically changes, it's because of that. (Also, when I started writing it I was upset about something so I started it to make myself feel better)
Most of this probably will seems dreadfully OOC and stupid; but I tried to make most of the OCCness as inner thoughts so the outer portions are in character... Also, the ending probably feels rushed because I got seriously bored of this and just wanted to end it.
Lastly, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone reading this~ This is your present I guess x3
Another murder. Another unmoving mass of blood and skin and hair and everything else that a body has. Shinichi sighed, staring at the blood that was still pooling at his feet. He couldn't be fazed by murders anymore, they happened around him too much. He really was cursed, wasn't he? He was beginning to wonder how he hadn't cracked yet; he could feel the toll all the murders that happened around him were taking. Then he looked to his side.
Hattori. Hattori was the reason. He was always there for him when Shinichi needed him most. If it weren't for Hattori he probably wouldn't have made it this far. He would have cracked and done something… Shinichi wasn't sure what that 'something' would have been, but he was positive it wouldn't have been good.
It made him smile. Thinking of Hattori. Er, well, not exactly thinking of Hattori, but the times he'd been there for Shinichi. Or maybe it was just thinking of Hattori in general that made him smile, Shinichi wasn't sure. He always felt strange when he was around the Osakan detective these days, something he hadn't felt in a long time. Not since he'd shrunk, that's for sure. It was a familiar feeling, yet he couldn't quite place when and why he'd last felt it besides recently.
Although it was a nice feeling to be back to normal, everything felt strange. He and Ran hadn't become romantically involved like Shinichi thought they would after he'd turned back. He should have figured it would be difficult to get her to forgive him. But when she told him she thought it'd be better if they just stayed friends, he couldn't help but agree. Sometime after that he'd realised he'd been seeing Hattori a lot more often than before and not only that: he'd been wanting to see him. Sometime he'd just start thinking about him; about a case they'd worked on together or some such thing. Then he'd feel he wanted to hear his voice… see his face with his wide grin… and all without a murder getting in the way of they 'bonding time'.
He knew that couldn't happen though. The murders were the reason he'd kept Hattori around, right? What other reason could there possibly be? Yeah, sure, they were 'friends', but in hindsight Hattori was the person that had kept Shinichi sane while he was Conan. He was the only one who'd listen to him and take his opinion into consideration. Not just pass him off as 'some child who doesn't know what he'd talking about'. Hattori knew his secret even back then. But really, that was the only reason they even became friends. Because Hattori had figured out Conan was really Shinichi.
Sometimes Shinichi wished that wasn't the case. Sometimes he wished they could just be normal friends… Not that they weren't 'normal friends' in some sense, but it never felt like a normal friendship. It seemed to consist of solving murders or some other mystery and then not seeing each other for a while until they both got roped into another case. Which is why Shinichi had asked him to come stay with him for the weekend. So they could stay indoors and not run into any murders all weekend, despite the lie he'd made up over the phone about wanting some company for a little while. Shinichi stared at the body in front of him again and quickly determined that plan had already failed. Hattori had only been there, what, five minutes? And there was already some poor woman lying in her own blood, not breathing or moving or anything. Of course it was a murder, with some sort of complex plan and motive. No, it could never be a random killing or a suicide. Always premeditated murder.
Shinichi sighed again. Why did this stuff always happen to him? He really just wanted to start trying to live a normal life now that he could. But he couldn't. He looked up at the building the woman's body had fallen from. It was pretty high up… Maybe he could go up there and jump, or, even better, find the culprit and be pushed as well. He looked to his side again. Hattori wasn't there; he was examining the body already. He had that smile on his face that he only had when he'd figured something out before Shinichi had. Then again, Shinichi wasn't exactly focused on the murder right now. Maybe he'd just let Hattori solve it. It was nice just watching someone else work. Especially Hattori. Shinichi loved that smile he had so little of the time. Sometimes, Shinichi would let him figure something out before him, just to see that smile. It wasn't like the smile he normally had. The one that was wide and warm and welcoming. It was subtle, you wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking for it. Shinichi was always looking for it. He wanted to see if there was any other time Hattori showed it. Unfortunately it was only in these special cases…
"Kudo." Shinichi almost didn't comprehend the voice talking to him until it said it again. "Hey, Kudo!"
Shinichi quickly looked up to find Hattori standing much too close to him for comfort. "You okay?" Hattori asked, "Ya've been awful quiet. Ya've jus' been starin' at the body." Shinichi didn't say anything, just nodded. Hattori put his hand on his forehead, "Ya look real pale, are ya sure you're feelin' okay?"
"Y-yeah… I'm okay." Shinichi said quietly, "L-let's wrap this up quick so we can go." With Hattori's agreeing nod and smile, Shinichi tried to concentrate on the murder. It was useless though. He'd rather be home already, sitting on his couch, drinking tea… Hattori next to him, speaking with his stupid accent… Yes, it was stupid, and yet somehow cute. The way Hattori spoke drove Shinichi insane some days and made him smile others. He'd once told him he was going to teach him how to speak without it. He couldn't even remember how long ago that was.
Shinichi shook his head, trying to clear it of anything that had to do with Hattori. He'd thinking about him later… when there was a murder that needed to be solving right in front of him.
Once he'd started to actually focus, it didn't take long to solve the murder. It was also surprisingly simple. Not that that mattered anymore. It was done and over with and Shinichi could spend some time with his best friend now. He watched said best friend drink his tea. Somehow, it made Shinichi smile. He guessed it wasn't because Hattori wasn't complaining about the tea in any way, but that he was finally at home with Hattori… The more he thought about it, the more he couldn't believe how much he just wanted to be with Hattori. He couldn't really figure out why before, but now he realised what the truth was: he was in love.
Kudo Shinichi was in love with Hattori Heiji.
It was almost hard for Shinichi to believe his own thoughts, but he couldn't deny it anymore. He felt his cheeks start to burn and took a sip of his own tea. It was bitter, much too bitter. He set it down, noting not to take another sip. He lifted his gaze back to his friend. Their eyes met, but Shinichi quickly looked away, "S-so…" he began, trying to think of something to talk about.
"Are ya really that lonely ya needed me ta come keep ya company?" Hattori laughed a bit. It made Shinichi blush again.
"Wh-who else am I going to get to come keep me company?" Shinichi said sincerely. Honestly, he thought Hattori was the only one who could keep him from getting lonely. Even if that was just an excuse, he still felt that way.
"Well," Hattori began, "ya could call your parents, ya could go visit Ran, an' there's prolly someone else ya could go see." He took another gulp of the tea and set down the empty cup, "I'm jus' wonderin' why it had ta be me."
Shinichi sighed internally. 'Because I love you, that's why, stupid.' "C-come on, we haven't seen each other in a while and… well, I don't really know why it had to be you. I guess it didn't. But it's not like you had something important going on at home, right?" Although over the phone Hattori hadn't sounded that pleased to go to Tokyo, he had been willing to come. It's not like anyone was forcing him.
"Not really," Hattori replied, looking at the roof, seemingly in though. "'S jus' I'd rather be with Kazuha right now." Shinichi felt his heart sink at the words. "O-oh… w-why?" he stuttered as a reply, although he could've guessed what the answer was.
Hattori looked at him with a confused stare, "Ran hasn't told ya?" he asked with a genuine questioning tone in his voice.
"I-I haven't talked to Ran in a while…" Shinichi said, a questioning look on his own face, "W-why?"
Hattori smiled, "Oh well, in that case: Kazuha and I started datin' a little while ago. She actually jus' got back from bein' on a trip, so we were gonna spend some time together."
"O-oh," Shinichi tried to smile, tried to be happy for his best friend, but it hurt too much. "W-well, congratulations… I guess?" He felt tear prick at his eyes, but he held them back. He had to. He couldn't cry in front of Hattori right now. Not after he'd seemed so happy that he was dating his childhood friend. Now that he thought about it, it should have been obvious. Hattori and Kazuha obviously liked each other. They were like how Shinichi and Ran used to be… Except, the key words there are 'used to be'. It wasn't like that for them anymore. They didn't even talk much these days. Hattori sighed, then, at Shinichi's response. "Wh-what?" Shinichi said.
"I dunno…" Hattori stared at the roof again, "I thought, I dunno… that you'd be happier for me."
Shinichi felt his heart sink even lower, "I-it's not that I'm not happy for you!" he said defensively, but let a bit of angry slip into the words. He calmed himself and spoke again, "I… it's just I haven't had the best luck with love recently…" 'Or ever, now that I think about it.' "I'm sorry Hattori. I really am happy for you. And I'm sorry I called… but you should have said something, I would've understood."
Hattori laugh, despite how obvious Shinichi was trying to make his sadness look. "Well, Kazuha told me ta come keep ya company for a few days. I mean, she'll still be there when I get back." Shinichi merely nodded, he couldn't even make eye contact with the other detective.
"Yeah…" he finally brought himself to say, "yeah she will." 'And I'll still be here when you leave… but maybe not for long.' It was hard being in love with someone so dense. Someone who would only ever know you're in love with him if you told them… Even then, would he understand? Shinichi had to wonder. He'd probably have to yell it at him to get it through his thick head. But that was something about Hattori that Shinichi loved, his obliviousness. It made him cute, even if it was frustrating sometimes. That's how all of Hattori was though, cute and frustrating at the same time. Even if 'cute' didn't seem like a proper word to describe him most of the time, it still seemed to fit.
"Well," Hattori yawned, "'S getting kinda late, I think I'm gonna turn in." He then got up and stood there, waiting for Shinichi to show him where he could sleep.
"Y-yeah…" Shinichi stood up as well, sulking off to the stairs. "I'll show you where your bedroom is…" He opened the door to the first room has he got up the stairs, "Here." His voice cracked as he said it. He prayed Hattori hadn't heard it, but he had.
He placed a hand on Shinichi's shoulder, "Hey, is something wrong, Kudo?" Shinichi tried even harder to hold back his tears and turned toward Hattori, "N-no, I'm okay. I'm… just tired."
"Are ya sure? Was there somethin' ya wanted ta talk about?"
'Persistent as always.' Shinichi thought. He then shook his head no. "W-well… kind of… but it can wait. It's not important." He pushed Hattori's hand away and walked down the hall to his own room without looking back. He opened his door and closed it behind him. Then leaned against it and sobbed. Why? Why now of all times? He'd wished Hattori hadn't told him. Then maybe he could have had a chance of telling that stupid detective how he felt. But now, it wasn't going to happen. He'd just make a fool out of himself. Too bad that was the exact reason he was crying now. He wanted to tell Hattori he loved him, but he couldn't.
Shinichi walked to his bed, falling face first into his pillow, sobbing into it instead so Hattori wouldn't hear him and want to know what's wrong. What would he tell him if that happened? 'I'm in love with an idiot who hasn't even noticed and I can't tell them now. Yeah, right.' Shinichi found himself crying a lot lately. He couldn't figure out why at first, but now he wondered if it was because he secretly knew Hattori would never like him back… even though he himself only recently realised he loved the guy. He really just wanted to stop thinking about him, to be able to think like he used to, but it wasn't happening, was it? He needed to find a way to make it happen. The only thing he could think of at that moment was stupid, but he didn't care. It might not have been getting Hattori out of his mind - quite the opposite in fact - but at least he might stop crying.
Grabbing his cell-phone from his nightstand, Shinichi flipped through the pictures on it. He only had one picture of Hattori. He always thought it was weird that he had any at all, but what did that matter now? He stared at the picture for a moment, taking in every detail. He was in a park somewhere, showing that huge grin that he always seemed to have when he wasn't trying to be serious. Shinichi couldn't even remember when he'd taken the picture, or why for that matter. He didn't care right then though, just staring at the picture made him feel better. Despite that, he sighed with discontent. Until today, Shinichi always had a feeling Hattori had a crush on him. The way he acted around him, how he always used to call… he missed that blissful ignorance - even if he hadn't known how blissful it was then. Now he could only wish Hattori was in love with him, the way he was with Hattori. Staring at the picture for a few more moments, Shinichi unbuckled his belt, undid the button and zipper, and slid his hand into his underwear.
Sometimes Shinichi wondered if he wanted to screw Hattori or he wanted Hattori to screw him. Well, if he was able to get in bed with him, he didn't much care which it was. Okay, so really he wondered what he wanted more. Oh, what did any of it matter anyway? Shinichi would never have Hattori. No matter how much he wanted Hattori to hold him, to stroke his hair and whisper into his ear that he loved him and wanted him the way Shinichi wanted him. Every time he imagined being with Hattori that night, he felt strange; guilty; almost…
Selfish, that's what Shinichi was. He never thought about how happy Hattori seemed now that he was finally with the girl of his dreams. He couldn't imagine why Hattori had been so disappointed by Shinichi's reaction. Hattori was proud of himself for that accomplishment, but Shinichi wasn't. However, it made Shinichi wonder why Hattori cared what he thought about his love life. It's not like Shinichi had anything to do with it. Okay, maybe he could have been a little happier for his friend, and maybe he shouldn't have acted like Hattori should have known not to tell him. How could he have known? He was an idiot, there's no way he could've noticed how Shinichi felt.
Yes, Hattori was an idiot. But Shinichi was worse; he was selfish. In so many ways, but right now was the worst. Thinking of Hattori while jacking himself off, that was just terrible. The worst part was how good it felt. "Hattori…nnnhh." The tears came back as he came into his hand, "Damn it… Hattori…" He buried his face into his pillow, wishing it were the flat, hard chest of his friend. He thought the tears would have been held back longer, he should have figured he'd start crying again as soon as he was finished. He turned his head to stare at the wall, letting his tears run sideways. "Stupid Hattori, why can't you see I love you?" he whispered to himself. Yes, he was selfish, but he would never admit it, not to himself or anyone else. Why should he be happy for the person who was crushing his heart without even realising it?
Shinichi fell asleep upset and angry. The latter emotion a new one that was building up inside him… it made him want to punch something.
"Mornin', Kudo." Hattori grinned at Shinichi as he sleepily wondered toward the kitchen table. He was too tired to even comprehend what was being said to him for a few moments. Once he finally did understand, he simply groaned and rested his head on his arms. He could've fallen asleep right there if he felt like it, which he did. He just didn't want to in front of Hattori. He felt kind of silly for not wanting to fall asleep in front of his best friend, and he couldn't quite figure out why he didn't want to. He just didn't.
Hattori laughed at him and ruffled his hair, "Ya coulda slept longer if ya wanted to." He set down a bowl of cereal next to where Shinichi was sitting and sat down in front of it, "No one forced ya ta get up."
"Shut. Up." Shinichi commanded, not lifting up his head to look at Hattori. He felt he let a little too much of his anger slip out with those words, but Hattori just laughed again. He thought Shinichi was just tired, he didn't know what else was bottled up in Shinichi's heart. Shinichi sighed and lifted his head up and glanced over at Hattori. He was supposed to be the person who kept Shinichi sane, but now he was the one breaking him inside. Maybe if Shinichi just told him what he thought, Hattori would understand and just keep him company without talking about his own life at all like Shinichi wanted. "H-Hattori…?"
"Yeah?" he quickly replied, smiling like always. The smile made Shinichi blush a bit; then he looked around himself. It would be nice to wake up like this every morning. To have Hattori there, laughing at his tiredness. It was actually kind of nice, if not slightly annoying. But Hattori was normally like that, and somehow Shinichi liked it.
Shinichi shook his head clear, "Hattori, I…" he wasn't sure how to say it, but it could be subtle. It probably would have been best if he just spit it out, but he couldn't bring himself to do so. "I… was just wondering what we could do today…" A lie. He'd been doing that a lot lately. Lying to Hattori… he really should've just stopped. The only person his small lies were hurting was himself. He was the only one they would ever hurt.
"Hmm…" Hattori thought a bit. Shinichi laughed a bit at the face he made, he could tell it wasn't serious thought but Hattori still pouted - albeit jokingly - at Shinichi's laugh. After a moment, though, he laughed also, "I dunno, maybe we could go out?" The last two words made Shinichi's ears perk up. He knew he didn't mean it like that, but he also know what he wished it meant.
"G-go out?" Shinichi said, trying to make it sound as if he were asking a question more like 'where', but he failed and end up sounding hopeful. Alas, Hattori didn't seem to notice the connotation of Shinichi's voice and answered the question Shinichi had slightly hoped he would here. Although he hoped Hattori would have heard what he really meant more.
"Yeah…" he ate a few spoonfuls of his cereal, "I dunno where, maybe there's something interesting to do around here right now?" Now his voice sounded hopeful, although it was more of an I-hope-we-don't-have-to-sit-around-being-bored-all-day kind of hope. Shinichi's head sank back down onto his arms. "I don't know of anything interesting going on right now. We could go look around, maybe?" he replied, slightly muffled by the fabric of his housecoat.
Hattori ate a few more bites of his cereal, "Yeah, I guess we could."
Shinichi immediately sat up, "I'll go get dressed then!" he said sounding far too happy and he knew it. Hattori also seemed to notice this time, but he merely laughed. Shinichi quickly walked to the stairs, then stopped and sighed. Hattori probably just thought he didn't want to be at home all day. When in reality, Hattori's last sentence to Shinichi sounded more like 'okay, I'll go on a date with you' than what it had actually been. It exciting him, he hadn't felt that happy for a long time. He just wished he hadn't shown it so much. He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment as he thought about what he'd just done. He sigh again and walked up the stair to his bedroom, getting dressed as quick as he could.
When he got back down the stairs Hattori was waiting for him, "Aren't ya gonna eat somethin' b'fore we go?"
"Nah, I'll get something to eat later." He wasn't that hungry anyway. He practically ran to the door and put his shoes on. Hattori following soon after, but not nearly as quick as Shinichi had been.
"Ya must really be bored, huh, Kudo?" Hattori said as they walked down the street together. Shinichi almost hadn't noticed the words; he was too busy in his own mind thinking of how he could maybe later say this was a date. He looked at Hattori, whom was smiling at him, making Shinichi blush slightly.
"Uh… y-yeah, I haven't done much the last few months… What with Ran still being mad at me and all." It was another small lie. Yes, he hadn't talked to Ran for a while, but she wasn't really mad at him. Their friendship was just a little awkward right now with everything that had happened in the year or so he'd been Conan. Hattori seemed to know he was lying too, or at least he knew Ran wasn't angry with Shinichi. "I'm sure if ya jus' called 'er, ya could straighten ever'thin' out. Maybe ya could even start datin' like ya wanted ta b'fore."
'What if I don't want to date her anymore?' Shinichi pouted a bit. Not just internally, but externally as well. Hattori was an idiot who didn't understand anything even if it was practically laid out right in front of him to see. Okay, maybe that was a little harsh, but still. Shinichi was trying to show him he didn't like Ran anymore, but he just wasn't getting it. "I-I'm not really interested anymore." He looked to the side, away from Hattori's eyes.
"Really?" by the sound of it, Hattori honestly couldn't believe it. When Shinichi had been Conan, all he could think about was turning back to tell Ran how he felt about her. Now that he was actually back to normal, he didn't want to anymore. So Shinichi understood why Hattori would be a little stunned, but it should've been obvious since before he's turned back for good. Every time Shinichi had gotten a temporary antidote, he couldn't bring himself to tell Ran how he felt. He thought it was because he didn't want to hurt her when he eventually turned back to Conan, but now he wondered if he'd been in love with Hattori back then as well. It made sense: he didn't want to tell Ran he loved her because somewhere deep inside him he knew it was a lie. Not that he hadn't lied to her… a lot, but he seemed to lie to everyone just as much. Right now more to Hattori than anyone else. He would never lie about his feeling, though. If Hattori asked him 'Do you love me?' he would answer 'yes' right away. Even though Hattori would never ask that, Shinichi knew he wouldn't, sometimes it was nice to pretend though.
"Is it really that surprising?" Shinichi said, even though he already knew the answer. "Okay, so maybe I was kind of obsessive when I was Conan, but I'm really not interested anymore. After everything that happened, we decided it'd be better if we were just friends… even if our friendship has been kind of shaky since. B-besides," Shinichi looked at his feet taking steps forward, one after the other, as his face became slightly pink, "I… like someone else now." He said it fairly quietly, but he still got Hattori's attention with it.
"Oh, really?" Hattori leaned closer to him, "Who is it?" Shinichi's eyes widened and he looked straight ahead. Even though he'd told himself he'd tell Hattori he loved him if he ever asked, he hadn't specifically asked. He couldn't very well lie to him though, so he decided to try evading the question.
"S-someone." His face turned redder by the minute, and he was determined not to tell Hattori unless he asked about Shinichi liking a specific person. "Oh, come on!" Hattori said back, laughing and teasing Shinichi a bit, "You can tell me, I'm your best friend. I won' tell 'em. Promise!" Shinichi just turned away again, so Hattori tried a different tactic, "Can ya at least give me a hint?"
Sighing a bit, Shinichi gave it, "… What kind of hint?" he asked and Hattori thought about it for a few moments. "Do I know 'em?" he asked, staring at Shinichi for an answer.
'Better than anyone else.' "Er… yeah. You do." Shinichi knew Hattori would press for more than that, but he wasn't giving him anything else. "And remember, you said a hint. So that's all you're getting. One hint."
"Aw, c'mon, Kudo! Tell me!" Hattori pressed and pestered for a few minutes with no success until he finally gave up. "Fine, fine. But ya're gonna hafta tell me eventually."
"Eventually being the key word there. I'll tell you when I feel like it." Shinichi look around himself, trying to see if there was anything 'interesting' around.
"Well, if ya start datin' some girl, I'll know."
"No, trust me, I'll be telling you who I like before you see me dating them." 'It'd be kind of impossible otherwise… even if I'm kind of, sort of pretending we're on a date right now.'
"Why, ya already datin' 'em?" Hattori laughed, he already knew the answer to that. Or, at least, he thought he did.
"Maybe, sort of, in a way but not really." Shinichi stuck his tongue out when Hattori pouted at his riddle-like sentence. "The hell's that s'posed ta mean?" Shinichi heard him mumble. Shinichi laughed. How could someone like Hattori be so… cute at times like this?
"So… anything specific you want to do?" Shinichi continued to look around, somehow they'd wondered to a place with shops and such while they were talking. He really should have been paying attention now that he thought about it.
"We could go see a movie." Hattori suggested, not realising just how much he was making Shinichi feel like he was on a date. Shinichi didn't mind though, even if Hattori didn't notice, it was nice to pretend. "Sure." Shinichi agreed, "Even though I have no idea what's playing or when. Sure." He spoke with a bit of a laugh in his voice.
"Well, we jus' hafta go ta the movie theatre an' see what's on." Hattori shrugged and began to walk ahead.
"H-hey, do you even know where you're going?" Shinichi ran for a bit to catch up, and got there just as Hattori shrugged again, "I've been 'ere enough, I think I should know." Shinichi sighed, giving him a slanted smile and continued to follow. Sure enough, Hattori found the closest theatre (but not without a little help from Shinichi). They both scanned the list of movies and times. "Looks like only chickflicks're playin' anytime soon." Hattori sighed, "Anythin' we can do 'til somethin' interestin's playin'?"
"We could watch one of these movies now and a more 'interesting' one later." Shinichi glanced at Hattori, whom was giving him a bit of a glare. Just as he opened his mouth to protest, Shinichi interrupted, "I'll pay for both movies. It's not like we have anything better to do." Although what he was saying he knew to be true, there was a different reason he as to why he really wanted to see a chickflick: they were 'date' movies. At least, if a guy and a girl were going to see one it was usually classified as a date. The same could probably be assumed if two guys were going to see one.
Hattori sighed, showing he gave in as Shinichi stared at him with slight-too-hopeful eyes, "Okay, fine." Shinichi smiled as Hattori gave in, but he was a little worried that he would notice the crush Shinichi had on him. Shinichi shook his head clear, telling himself not to worry about it and that it would be a good thing for Hattori to figure it out. That way he wouldn't have to tell him.
Grabbing his wrist, Shinichi pulled Hattori to the ticket booth. The person standing at it raised her eyebrows as Shinichi asked for two tickets to the movie he'd chosen. She then shrugged and gave him the tickets. As they walked away toward the screening rooms, Hattori looked back worriedly, "I think she thinks we're on a date…"
"So?" Shinichi asked, still pulling Hattori along. However, Hattori then got even more worried, "Wh-wha'da'ya mean 'so'! If she thinks that, then she would think we're…" he lowered his voice to a whisper, "Y'know… gay."
Freezing in his tracks, Shinichi slowly turned his head, "Why does it matter what other people think? We know the truth, she doesn't, and that's all." He turned back to facing forward and began to walk again, letting go of Hattori's wrist now. "Yeah, okay…" Hattori replied, still speaking rather quietly. 'Stupid! If you didn't get how I feel from that, you never will, will you?' It was frustrating. He just wanted Hattori to see without him telling him straight out that he was gay. Gay for the one who was apparently worried about strangers thinking he was. Shinichi sighed internally as he pushed open the door to the screening room the movie he'd paid for was being shown in. It was still another ten minutes or so until the movie actually start, but the place already seemed to be full of girls. He couldn't see one guy there who wasn't with a female partner. He and Hattori sat at the back. Hattori insisting they did so 'not as many people would see them'. Shinichi had to wonder why he cared so damn much about being seen with his so-called 'best friend'. Maybe it was because Hattori was straight, or, at least, was trying his best to seem that way.
The movie was rather boring until about half an hour in. Shinichi felt he could kind of relate to the poor girl, who was in love with someone who didn't seem to notice her. Not that Hattori didn't notice him, he was just completely oblivious to the fact he was in love with him. It ended with the girl telling the guy she didn't really want someone like him, even thought the audience knew she did, and that she really just wanted him to be happy with the girl he was already dating. Shinichi could here some of the women crying. He had to agree it was kind of sad. He looked at Hattori, who was trying his best to keep a bored looking face, but Shinichi could tell he was trying hard not to show the real emotion he was feel. Shinichi giggled a bit at him, receiving an annoyed frown.
Although, what made him laugh even more was when the lights turned on he saw the oddest couple ever. The man was holding a tissue, sniffing and holding back tears, while the woman was fast asleep - and snoring - next to him. The man ended up shaking her awake, and when she denied she slept through the whole thing he pressed her for details of the movie. To which she replied with, "That one guy cut off that other guy's head… in my dream. In the movie… okay, yeah, I didn't really watch any of it." The man just shook his head.
After Hattori and Shinichi got out of the theatre, Hattori suggested they get something to eat - claiming he was starving. Shinichi agreed, he hadn't eaten breakfast after all, and they still had a couple hours to kill before the move Hattori said he wanted to see was going to start. They ended up going to a fast food restaurant because Hattori claimed he didn't want to wait a long time for his food like they would have to in a normal restaurant. Sighing, Shinichi complied and led him to the nearest place.
"That movie was borin'." Hattori said, stealing some of Shinichi fries that he hadn't touched. Shinichi rested his cheek on his hand and stared at the other detective, smiling skeptically, "Uhuh, right, I could tell you were sad at the end."
"I di'n't say it wasn't sad, but it was still borin'." Hattori sighed, staring back at Shinichi, "Y'know you've been actin' weird lately. I never woulda thought you'd wanna see a movie like that… at least, with me." He pointed at him with one of his stolen fries, "I woulda figured ya'd wanna see it with that girl ya like."
Frowning, Shinichi sat up straight, "Then maybe you should stop assuming it's a girl I like in the first place." He tried to say it quietly, but he knew Hattori would hear him anyway.
Hattori stared at him, wide-eyed, for a few seconds before saying, "O-oh… oh. K-Kudo… I'm sorry, I di'n't know…" Shinichi blushed 'Finally, he figured it out. Although I pretty much had to tell him still.' He rested his chin on his hand again and stared out the window they were next to, he wanted to say something but wasn't sure exactly what.
"So…" Hattori rested his chin on both his hands, "You like a guy I know… hmm…" Now it was Shinichi turn to stare. He still didn't get that it was him Shinichi was in love with. "Tha's two hints now… but I still dunno who it is. C'mon Kudo, jus' tell me. I won' tell 'im, promise."
Shinichi sighed, "I said maybe you should stop assuming it's a girl. I didn't exactly say it wasn't." Although it hurt more to say it, he figured he might as well throw Hattori completely off track since he still didn't get it.
"Oh," Hattori smiled, annoyed, "so ya were jus' jokin', huh? Very funny." He then looked at his watch, "Well, we still got an hour to kill, wha'da'ya wanna do 'til then?"
Looking away again, Shinichi couldn't bring himself to look at the man he just lied to. Although it wasn't exactly a lie, more like a riddle, he still felt sick to his stomach. He was fairly sure it was from Hattori being so close to figuring it out, but still being an idiot rather than from his lie. "I… don't really feel so good… I think I'd rather go home…"
"Oh, c'mon! I had ta go to that stupid chickflick with you. Ya can't chicken out jus' cuz it's a horror movie." Hattori protested.
"That's not the reason!" Shinichi glared at the man in front of him, who was giving him one of those 'yeah, right' smiles. He pouted, he didn't scare easily and wasn't afraid to see any horror flick, but he really felt like he was going to throw up. Despite it though, he gave in and said he'd go see 'the stupid movie' Hattori wanted to see. To kill some time he suggested they just go for a walk, saying that it might make his stomach feel better. Unfortunately, Hattori bugged him the entire time. Either about being scared to see the movie or about the girl he 'liked'. Shinichi simply scowled whenever Hattori brought up either of the topics. The hour went by quicker than Shinichi would have expected it to. The same girl was at the ticket booth as the last time. She gave them an even more perplexed face than before as she handed them their tickets.
Despite telling Hattori the whole time before the movie that it wouldn't scare him, Shinichi had securely attached himself to Hattori's arm by the end of it and wasn't letting go any time soon. Sighing, Hattori coaxed him to at least get up and walk out of the theater. The sun was setting when they got out, which made Shinichi wonder how late he had gotten up that day… or maybe movies these days were just getting longer than they used to be. They sure felt longer.
By the time they got back to Shinichi's house, the sun had set. Making the house seem dark and eerie to Shinichi. He still refused to allow Hattori to take even two steps away from him without grabbing onto him again. "Relax, Kudo," he said when Shinichi latched his arms around his waist after taking of his shoes - Shinichi in the process of taking off his own, "I'm jus' gonna turn a light on." Shinichi whined that he wasn't going to come back after he did, but Hattori somehow convinced him he would.
After turning on the light on the stairs, in the living room, and one by the front door, Shinichi seemed to relax a bit and settled for just holding Hattori's hand as they walked into the living room together. "Here," Hattori said, turning on the TV, "we'll watch something to take your mind off the movie." They sat next to each other on the couch, Shinichi still firmly holding onto Hattori's hand. After watching a few children's shows, he relaxed and finally let go. However, he stayed curled up against Hattori, claiming it made him feel better. By this point his was going to try anything he could to make Hattori notice he loved him. Anything.
Deciding to go to bed earlier that night, the two headed up the stairs, but Hattori hadn't turned on any light in the hallway. So Shinichi grabbed his hand again. Hattori sighed, "Are ya even gonna be able ta sleep in your own bed alone?" he sounded slightly annoyed, but when Shinichi shook his head offered to sleep with him. Shinichi blushed at the offer. He knew he meant sleep-sleep, but just hearing him say 'do you want me to sleep with you' caused Shinichi to become embarrassed. He nodded, despite knowing what sleeping in the same bed as Hattori would cause him to start thinking. He led Shinichi to his room to find some pajamas after bringing him downstairs to turn off the lights. "D'ya wanna sleep here or d'ya wanna sleep in my bed?" he asked as he stood in the doorway, watching Shinichi rummage through his drawers.
"It doesn't matter." Shinichi answered in a calm voice, just having Hattori standing watch made him feel better.
"Then we'll stay here."
"O-Okay…" Shinichi blushed, "B-but aren't we going to have to go back to your room anyway to get your pajamas?"
"Naw, I can jus' sleep in my underwear." Shinichi's blush intensified as Hattori said that. "O-Okay…" was all he could manage to say. He then started changing into his pajamas, trying to take his mind off the fact he was going to be sleeping in the same bed as a mostly-naked Hattori and-
Alright, stopping there. Thinking about it wouldn't make the situation any better. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Hattori, whom had already taken his clothing off, watching him change. He turned back around, cheeks burning and mind running through over and over again the things he wished he would be doing with Hattori that night. "You know… it's been pretty hot in my room lately… m-maybe I'll just sleep in my underwear too… u-unless you don't want me to, th-that is." Shinichi turn around to face his friend, not expecting Hattori to allow him to.
"Yeah, sure." Hattori smiled, "'S easier that way, huh?" Shinichi couldn't believe he agreed.
"Y-yeah…" Shinichi looked down, his fringe covering his embarrassed eyes. He pulled off his already unbuttoned shirt and his pants and put everything back in its respective place. Hattori turn out the light as Shinichi crawled into bed, sliding in under the blanket right next to him. Shinichi could feel the heat radiated off the other boy. Hattori's closeness caused Shinichi's face to redden again, "U-uhh, I-I think I'll actually b-be okay sleeping by myself, y-you can go back to your own b…bed…" Hattori then shift closer to Shinichi, "Naw," he replied, "I don' need ya wakin' me in the middle of the night 'cause ya're scared."
Shinichi leant his head against Hattori's chest. "F-fine," he said, moving the rest of his body closer, "b-but no complaining if my arms end up around you by morning."
Hattori laughed, "Whatever. Besides, you're already scared, just listen to yourself stutter!" Shinichi pouted at the words, not saying any more. The room was silent for a while. Shinichi wondered if Hattori had already fallen asleep and was about to say something when Hattori beat him to it, "Hey, Kudo?"
"Yeah?" Shinichi answered, backing away from Hattori a bit to look at him, although it wasn't much use since it was dark.
"D-did you…" Hattori began, but though for a minute to think of how to say what was on his mind, "Were ya seriously when ya said I shouldn't assume you're in love with a girl? 'Cause ya said ya were jokin', but I can't think o' a reason that ya would even say that otherwise."
Shinichi smiled to himself, leaning back toward the other detective, "That's for me to know and for you to find out… if I ever tell you." He heard Hattori huff a sigh and say no more. There was another spell of silence, causing Shinichi to ask Hattori if he was asleep. When he received no reply, he assumed he was. Shinichi ran his fingers down Hattori's chest, smiling as he did so. "I'll never tell you," he whispered, his lips pressed again Hattori's skin. "You'll have to figure it out for yourself… too bad you're an idiot." He looked up then, "But I guess that's what made me love you in the first place." He closed his eyes to try and fall asleep.
But he couldn't. Not with Hattori right there, so close to him, their skin touching. Shinichi brought his hand down to the Osakan's underwear. He teased the elastic, dipping the tips of his fingers under and tracing them along it for a moment. He quickly brought his hand away when the other man stirred, but he had only shifted a bit in his sleep. 'O-okay, nothing to worry about, i-it's not like he'll be that mad at me. B-besides, he's a heavy sleeper. I probably won't wake him up… Probably.' He brought his hand back to the thin fabric, feeling, then, that Hattori was hard. Just like Shinichi was. Although, Shinichi knew, it was for a very different reason. The realisation still surprised him, however, and he quickly brought his hand away again. Shinichi frowned, more at himself than at Hattori. But he wouldn't cry tonight, no, not with Hattori in his bed. He began to back away, planning on trying to get a good night's rest for the first time in probably months when Hattori suddenly wrapped his arms around him tightly and pulled him back.
Shinichi let out a squeak of surprise, "H-Hattori!" he'd said quite loudly. However Hattori was still sound asleep. Shinichi sighed, smiling a bit, "You're the strangest sleeper ever you know that?" He nuzzled his head against Hattori's bare chest. It felt good, and the best part was if Hattori woke up he could blame it on him. After all, he was the one who hugged Shinichi. He couldn't resist wiggling up a bit in Hattori's embrace and brushing his lips against the other's. He heard him sigh quietly, making Shinichi then fully press his lips to his. He backed away quickly when the other kissed him back, however.
His faced turned a deep red. "H-Hattori…?" he said shyly, almost sure the other detective had woken up during the kiss. As he listened though, he could tell he was still asleep. "Damn it," he said quieter than his last few words had been, "stupid Hattori."
Hattori continued to sigh in his sleep, and Shinichi thought it was rather nice to listen to (considering all the reason he could pretend those sighs were for) until Hattori finally actually said a word: "Kazuha…" It had been every quiet, but Shinichi was sure he heard it. His eyes widened for a moment, but soon narrowed into a sad expression.
"Stupid Hattori. It's not Kazuha, it's Shinichi." He said, "Shin-i-chi." He emphasized each syllable hoping to be able to get Hattori to say his name instead. He knew it wouldn't happen though. Hattori loved Kazuha, not him. Nothing could change that. Not right now at least. "Please, Hattori… please just say my name," he pleaded even though he knew it was useless. Hattori did, however, press his lips to Shinichi's forehead. "Hattori… do you like me?" Shinichi asked sincerely.
The response was a nearly inaudible, "No… I love you." Shinichi blushed at the words, but he knew they weren't meant for him, they never would be. He squirmed his way out of Hattori's arms, turning away from him and letter tears fall to his pillow. He told himself he wasn't going to cry, but he couldn't help it now. He wanted to hear those words from Hattori so badly now. He wanted to really hear them, and for them to be for him, not for Kazuha.
Shinichi started to wonder how many nights he'd cried himself to sleep now. It felt like so many. At least now he knew why he was crying, but it really didn't make it any better. He sobbed to himself quietly, occasionally let out a louder one then covering his mouth. His attempts to not wake Hattori didn't succeed, as after a few minutes a very tired sounding voice said, "Kudo…? You okay?" making Shinichi freeze.
"I-I'm fine," he squeaked. Hattori knew right away he was lying and wrapped his arms around him. "Tell me what's wrong," he said.
"You'd never understand." Shinichi answered, determined not to say anything else.
"You'd be surprising at how understandin' I am." Shinichi could practically hear the grin on Hattori's face, "It ain't nothin' new ta the world, I'm sure." Hattori then pulled him closer, "But if ya really don' wanna tell me, ya don' hafta. It'd just prolly be better if ya did." He closed his eyes to go back to sleep, not expecting to get an answer from Shinichi in any shape or form.
He was wrong though. "Hattori…?"
"Yeah?" he slurred, getting sleepier by the minute.
"You're an idiot."
Hattori, however, laughed at the words. "Nothin' I hav'n't heard b'fore, nothin' I hav'n't heard b'fore…" he drifted off before he heard Shinichi say anything else.
Thus not hearing Shinichi's last words of the night, "You're an idiot… because you still haven't noticed how much I love you… Stupid, stupid, stupid Hattori." He was decidedly not going to sleep much that night. At least, not unless Hattori woke up and told him he did know and he was just being a big jerk or something. Shinichi sighed but smiled, and tried to fall sleep with Hattori's arms still around him. Forget what he thought that morning (or was it morning? Shinichi didn't even know), he'd much rather wake up every morning in Hattori's arms in a loving embrace, sometimes after a night of fun.
Shinichi laughed to himself. 'A night of fun, yeah right, I wish. Maybe if he was innocent enough I could trick him like that Russian faerie tale… No, that would just be horrible.'
At some point in the night Shinichi actually had fallen asleep, but he could be sure when it was. It was sometime after he had wondered what Hattori looked like naked, but other than that he couldn't remember. Hattori woke him up in the morning when he shifted out from under Shinichi, whom had placed himself on top of Hattori sometime during the night.
Shinichi groaned and rolled over, covering his head with a pillow after Hattori had apologized for waking him up. "How the hell do you wake up so early?" he whined back, causing Hattori to laugh.
"'S hardly early," he replied. "'S almost noon. I hafta wonder how ya can sleep so much." He took the pillow away from Shinichi and showed him a toothy grin, "I know 's the summer, but if ya keep sleepin' in so much ya won't be able ta get up for school when 's over."
Groaning again, Shinichi sighed, "I have trouble falling asleep, okay? It doesn't seem to matter how early I go to bed either."
Hattori suddenly became very serious, "Is somethin' wrong?" It sounded as though he was more demanding an answer than asking for one.
"No," Shinichi said, knowing full well Hattori could probably tell he was lying, "nothing's wrong. It's just a case of insomnia, it'll fix itself soon."
"That why ya wanted me ta come stay with ya for a bit?" Hattori asked, frowning, "Ya coulda jus' said so, I woulda planned ta stay longer."
Shinichi smiled up at him, "N-no, it's okay. I don't think being lonely has anything to do with it."
"… Okay…" Hattori said, "If you're sure."
"I-I mean…" Shinichi sighed, "If you want to stay longer, you can. I won't complain, I just wanted someone to talk to for a bit, that's all." Although he knew Hattori wanted to be in Osaka more than he wanted to be with Shinichi, he tried to will Hattori into staying with his thoughts. Almost as if he were trying to perform a spell, even though he knew magic was just absurd.
"Sorry Kudo, but I'd really rather be with Kazuha. I'll come an' visit ya again sometime soon though, promise." He then walked to the door, "I gotta get dressed 'n' eat now, I'll be leavin' soon."
"Y-yeah…" Shinichi replied, watching the Osakan leave. He frowned and sat up. If Hattori was going to leave that day, Shinichi would at least walk him to the train station. He actually beat Hattori downstairs after he'd gotten dressed. Telling him he planned on waling him to the station was harder than it should have been, but once he finally got it out Hattori smiled and agreed. On the way to the station they mostly talked about cases they'd recently worked on. It felt nice to just be able to talk like they used to. Shinichi waved good-bye to Hattori and walked home. He sighed as he shut his door, wondering if Hattori would even keep his promise.
Over the years afterward they very rarely saw each other. They remained friends, sure, but the extent of their conversations was texting and the rare short phone call. Shinichi actually texted Hattori often, but rarely got a reply. It wasn't that they were growing apart either, but they were going to two different universities in two different cities and lived very different lives.
They were both twenty-years-old the next time they saw each other. Shinichi still hadn't been able to get rid of the crush he had on Hattori. If anything, it intensified over the years, making him want to throw his arms around the other man when he saw him as he arrived in Osaka. He settled for a handshake and a "'S been a long time, huh?" from his old friend.
"Yeah," Shinichi replied, "it sure has." He swallowed the other words he'd wanted to say, the ones he'd written so many times in his texts but always ended up erasing or just closing his phone. They walked together to Hattori's car that he'd mentioned more than once about during their short communication.
"Nice, ain't it?" Hattori grinned, proud of it like any guy would be with their first car.
"Looks exactly like the photo, and as I said with that: It's not that nice." Shinichi sighed when Hattori gave him an annoyed look, however he ignored him and opened the door. Just as he put a foot in he glanced at Hattori saying, "Shall we go?" since he was just standing there still.
Hattori merely nodded, climbing in the driver's side. They drove for a while in silence before Shinichi tried to break it, "So…" he said, elongating the 'o' while trying to think of something to say. "University been good to you?" he settled on. There wasn't much they hadn't texted each other about before, but neither had really spoke of their post-secondary schools.
Hattori answer with a simple, "I guess so," causing Shinichi to sigh when he didn't elaborate.
"Anything else?" Shinichi asked then, a bit annoyed. When Hattori just shook his head Shinichi sighed again. "Any particular reason you called me here?"
"I'll get ta that." Hattori smiled, "But you're prolly hungry, right? I figured I'd tell ya over lunch."
Shinichi smiled and nodded, "Proud as ever about Osakan cuisine, huh?" he laughed. Another not date, like the last time they'd spent time together. He could remember it so clearly, it didn't seem like it'd been two years. Unfortunately, it had, and that meant things had probably changed a lot. Shinichi had to wonder how Hattori had changed. He still seemed the same, but maybe there was something he hadn't been told about in those texts. Maybe Hattori was hiding something from him. He was kind of excited to see. Maybe the reason Hattori had called him to Osaka was to tell him he broke up with Kazuha and that he was in love with Shinichi. He laughed to himself, 'Yeah, right. Like Hattori would do anything like that. If he broke up with Kazuha it'd probably be because she broke up with him and he would have called me, angry and he probably would say something like 'I don'no why, Kudo! I thought she loved me!' like the idiot he is. He wouldn't know why even if she told him specifically and explained every bit of it. Stupid Hattori.'
Although he sighed and was still rather heartbroken over Hattori not even noticing he loved him, Shinichi had been in better spirits lately. Maybe it was because he'd finally got the courage to tell someone that he was in love with his best friend. Although, because it was Ran he told, she - of course - had to spill it to Shinichi's mother. They both pressured him to tell Hattori before something happened that would make Shinichi regret not telling him earlier. They didn't seem to get that he wanted Hattori to figure out for himself, like he'd figured out Shinichi was Conan. He wanted this because he thought he wouldn't feel so bad. There'd been so many nights where he'd touch himself - and occasionally screw himself with a vibrator - thinking of Hattori and then realise how selfish he was. He didn't care if Hattori was happy with Kazuha; he only cared about his own broken heart. He hadn't even tried to find someone else. It was Hattori or no one.
They arrived at a restaurant that actually looked half-decent for once. The inside was nicer than the outside even. Shinichi couldn't get rid of the smile on his face, even as they'd been shown to their table and Hattori was staring directly at him. "What are ya so damn happy 'bout?" Hattori said, smiling back regardless.
"I…" Shinichi blushed and looked down, "I'm just happy to see you again. Is there something wrong with that?"
"No." Hattori said, "'S just… the last time I saw ya ya weren't nearly as smiley." He continued to smile at Shinichi. "Least I have I reason ta be happy."
"Oh, I have a reason, I'm just not telling you." Shinichi teased, laughing as Hattori groaned and gave him an annoyed stare. "You have to figure it out on your own. But, since you haven't figured it out at this point, I doubt you ever will."
"Ya find yourself a girlfriend?" Hattori guessed, scratching his head in confusion, "Did ya finally ask that girl ya like out?"
"Hmm?" Shinichi leaned forward, "You're not going to bug me about liking a guy like you normally do?" He stared into Hattori's eyes, hoping he'd get the subtle hint he'd laid out for him.
"I get it, okay." Hattori stated seriously. Shinichi blushed, "S-so you finally understand? H-how I feel I mean?"
"Yeah." Hattori leaned closer. 'D-did he really get it? Does he actually understand now?' Shinichi thought hopefully. "I get that ya don' like a guy, an' that ya jus' said that 'cause ya wanted ta throw me off. An' I get that ya don' like it when I bug ya 'bout it," Hattori finished. Shinichi slunk down in his seat, making Hattori give him a confused look, "Wh-what? Isn't that what I was s'posed ta get?"
"N-not exactly…" Shinichi sighed, he smiling completely gone from his face. "I don't care if you bug me, it makes no difference."
"S-sorry…" Hattori's smile also disappeared. They stayed quiet for bit before the waitress came to take their orders. Shinichi completely forgot about his menu and hadn't bothered to look at it. Luckily, Hattori had already decided for him what he was going to have. "Trust me," he said, "you'll love it." Shinichi simply nodded. "So I take it you haven't told her yet, whoever this girl is."
"I told you," Shinichi sighed again, "once I do tell them, you will know right away. In fact, you'll be the first person to know." He knew Hattori would never get the hints he kept giving him, but he had to try. At least once Hattori did figure it out Shinichi could truly call him the world's stupidest detective for not being able to figure it out through half the things Shinichi said to him.
Leaning his head on his hand, Hattori looked as though he was deep in thought with his eyes closed like that. Or maybe he was just falling asleep, Shinichi could never really tell. Suddenly Hattori's eyes opened, wide and stunned looking. "Y-you don'…" he began, "Y-you don' like Kazuha, do ya?"
Shinichi stared at the other detective with his mouth half open, "Wh-what!" he yelled, then quieted himself when people began to stare. "N-no! I don't like Kazuha, stupid!"
Hattori seemed to sigh with relief, which Shinichi hadn't expected. He'd more expected Hattori to yell at him saying Kazuha was a great girl and that Shinichi should've liked her. However, he couldn't like the person standing between him and the person he did love. "Good." Hattori sighed with relief again.
"W-why?" Shinichi queried, I little scared to know the answer.
"Well," Hattori grinned, "tha's actually the reason I wanted ya ta come 'ere. I di'n't wanna tell ya over the phone: I asked Kazuha ta marry me!"
Shinichi's mouth dropped open. He had no idea what to say. "O-oh…" was all he could seem to manage. He felt his heart shatter, but there was a little hope with what Hattori had said. He said he'd only asked her, not that she'd said 'yes'. "S-so, what did she say?"
"She said she needed ta think about it, but I really think she's gonna say yes. I could see it in her eyes." Hattori continued to grin. He was so happy about this Shinichi couldn't even bring himself to try and change his mind about it.
"C-congratulation…" he said, his voice wavering a bit, "B-but don't you think it's a little soon to ask her? I-I mean you still have a couple years of university left, right?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah. We wouldn't get married right away. I just wanna make sure she's mine." Hattori leant back in his chair as their food was brought to them. He smiled and began to eat right away, but Shinichi just stared at his plate with his hands firmly gripping his pants. "Something wrong, Kudo?"
Shinichi looked up, trying to stop the tears that wanted to flow, "I-I'm fine… I'm just not really hungry anymore." He lowered his eyes again mid-sentence.
"Jus' try it, you'll be hungry after ya take a few bites." Hattori assured him. Complying, Shinichi had to admit it was actually quite good. He still wasn't hungry, but he continued to eat - for Hattori, if for anything. "So, wha'da'ya think?" Hattori asked after Shinichi ate a bit of it.
"I love you." Shinichi mumbled without thinking, then bit his lip once he realised what he's said. He looked up at Hattori, whom didn't seem to have heard him. He actually leaned in and said, "Hmm? Wha'd'ya say?"
"Oh, um, I love it. It's really good." Shinichi changed his sentence, trying his best to hide his embarrassment.
"See? I knew ya'd like it!" Hattori gave him a toothy smile, causing Shinichi to giggle.
"Yeah, you did say that." Shinichi leant his chin on his hand and smiled softly. "You're so lucky."
"Huh? Why's that?" Hattori said with his mouth half full of food. Shinichi shifted to his other hand, stilling smiling, "You just are, trust me."
Swallowing, Hattori gave him a confused look, "Okay…?" he looked as if he was going to say more but his cell phone rang. He picked it up and it turned out to be Kazuha. "Huh? Oh, well, is it all right if Kudo come too, then? … Yeah, okay. …Sure. See you soon." He snapped his phone closed, "Guess we have to go see Kazuha for a bit." He smiled widely, "Maybe she's got her answer for me." Shinichi looked down at his unfinished food. "Don't worry," Hattori said, "I can wait until you finish."
"N-no, it's okay." Shinichi replied, "I'm not hungry anymore, really." He put his hand up as Hattori tried to protest. Hattori then called to their waitress for their bill, he paid for the both of them and off they went. Shinichi stared out the window as they drove down the street. He really didn't want Hattori to get married, not to anyone. Not right now at least, not until he figured it out. "You know… Hattori…"
"We've been best friends for a while now… why do we still call each other by our family names?" Shinichi wondered sounding like an innocent question, but he actually really wanted to call Hattori by his given name. He knew Hattori would protest to it, but there was no harm in just mentioning it.
"I dunno…" Hattori replied, much to Shinichi's surprise, "Why, d'ya wan'ta call me by my given name?" he glanced over for a second before returning his eyes to the road.
Shinichi opened him mouth a bit, not sure what to say, "I… don't know. Sometimes I feel like I do, but other times I feel like I'd never get used to it." He continued to stare out the window, "I was just wondering, really."
"Okay," Hattori smiled giving him another quick glance, "Shinichi." Shinichi blushed and stared wide-eyed at the other man.
"Wha-n-no I didn't mean you had to-"
"'S okay," Hattori pulled into a parking spot near a park, "I've considered it a couple time too. Ya can call me 'Heiji' if ya wanna."
"Y-yeah… okay…" Shinichi stuttered. He could see Kazuha sitting on a bench fiddling with the clasp on her purse. "You shouldn't keep her waiting… Heiji. I'll just stay here." He smiled as he watch him walk around the car, but then frowned as he walked up to Kazuha. Shinichi could see the uncertainty in her face, even from the distance he was at. He stared at her intensely, hoping she would say no, yet also hoping she would say yes so he could see Heiji smile. Heiji… it was nice to be able to call him that now.
Kazuha glanced over at Shinichi, he tried to avoid making eye contact, but in the moment they had he could tell: she knew. She knew he was in love with Heiji. That's why she'd been so uncertain, she knew how much it would hurt Shinichi. He laughed bitter, "Stupid, why do you care what I feel like? I don't care if I'd hurt you by taking Ha-er, Heiji away from you. Stupid girl, you don't know how damn lucky you are." He felt tears sting his eyes. He rubbed them to make it go away, "Damn it, Shinichi, stop being such a baby. He'll never love you, so stop crying!"
He watched Heiji drag his feet back to the car, a disappointed - possibly even sad - look on his face. Shinichi couldn't tell whether he should be happy or sad. He was a mixture of both at the moment. Heiji opened the door, roughly setting himself down in the driver seat, closing the door, and leaning back, sighing.
"She said no?" Shinichi said more like a statement than a question.
"Well…" Shinichi thought for a minute of what he should say, "You'll just have to try again sometime. I'm sure she'll say yes sometime." However, Heiji shook his head, "No… she broke up with me…"
Eyes widening, Shinichi didn't even ask why. He knew the answer already. He flung the door open, slammed it shut and ran after Kazuha whom was walking down the sidewalk. "Kazuha!" He yelled with anger as he caught up to her, "You idiot! Why would you do that?"
She looked at him with a stunned face, "Wh-but I thought ya lo-"
Groaning with frustration, Shinichi yelled at her again, "Yes, okay! I love him, but that doesn't mean he had to break up with him! He loves you. You're the one who makes him smile, I mean nothing to him!"
"But Ran said it was killin' ya." She said with worry distinctly present in her voice.
"Damn it, why do you care if it hurts me? If you love him, be with him! Don't break his heart for such a stupid reason!" he grabbed her arm and tried to pull her back to Heiji, but she was stronger than she looked and resisted.
"Why wouldn't I care!" she suddenly yelled at Shinichi, "How can I be happy knowin' that just datin' Heiji is killin' ya on the inside?"
"Hah," Shinichi scoffed, looking at her with tears in his eyes, "do you really think I'll feel any better watching the same thing happen to him!" Kazuha stared at him, shocked again, "What? B-but-"
"He loves you. Why the hell do you think he asked you to marry him, stupid?" he said in a calmer voice. "Please, just… take it back. I couldn't stand to even look at him knowing this is my fault. I really don't like him that much, I was just exaggerating." She shook her head though.
"No, I know ya really do love him. Ya love him more than I do 'cause ya want him ta be happy more than ya want yourself ta be happy."
Shinichi scoffed again, "Ha, if I were in your position I wouldn't give a damn if I was hurting someone else." He let go of her, "But if you want him to feel the same way I feel, fine. I can't guarantee I'll be able to make him feel any better though. He doesn't even like me." He began walking away, but Kazuha called out to him.
"Tha's not true!" she yelled, "He always talks so fondly of ya! I mean, the first time I heard him talk 'bout ya I was sure you were a girl he'd fallen for!"
Looking over his shoulder, Shinichi smiled, "Yeah, I know. I thought about that too, but I know now that it meant nothing. So, please, reconsider this. Please. For him." He then turned slowly back and began to walk forward, he heard Kazuha do the same thing in the opposite direction.
When he got back to the car, Heiji was just short of a mess. He had his face covered with one hand, tears falling down his chin. He was taking deep breaths to try and stop the tears "Kudo…" he said quietly, "…Shinichi," he then corrected himself, "was this what it was like when Ran said she didn't like ya anymore?" Shinichi could only shake him head, though, "No, with her and I it was mutual. With you and Kazuha, I can tell neither of you wanted it. You really are perfect for each other, you're both stupid." Heiji gave him a sharp, warning look.
"What did you say!" he said, making obvious Shinichi wasn't making the situation any better.
"You heard me, damn it." His voice caught in his throat, causing it to squeak. "She's an idiot, just like you." Tear flowed down his cheeks, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. "Neither of you can see that there's someone who loves you more than anything. Someone who wants you more than anyone else does. The only difference is she knows it in her heart, but wants to make someone else happy while sacrificing her own."
"Sh-Shinichi…?" Heiji stared at him. He finally understood once it was practically spelled out for him.
"Yeah…" he replied without questioning what Heiji wanted to say, he already knew.
"You… but… why di'n't ya tell me?"
Shinichi swallowed, his tears trying to make him choke. "I wanted you to figure it out by yourself… I figured if you're supposed to be a great detective you should be able to figure it out no problem… I… I know I was wrong though. Because you're an idiot…"
"… I'm so sorry." Heiji whispered, "I guess tha's what she meant by 'you're killin' him'"
"It's okay Heiji." Shinichi tried to smile, but he knew he was failing, "It's not really your fault…"
"It explains a lot, though." Heiji also tried to smile, and he also failed miserably. Shinichi moved as close to him as he could, leaning against him a bit, "Heiji… I know you don't love me… but… can I ask for a kiss?" he looked up at him with his tear-streaked face, pleading, "Please?"
Heiji nodded, "'Course, I owe ya after all the pain I put ya through." He closed his eyes, waiting for Shinichi to be the one to instigate the kiss. Shifting a bit, Shinichi moved himself up a bit and gently pressed his lips to Heiji's. He didn't expect Heiji to suddenly make the kiss go so deep though. "Mpf? M…mmmhh…" his eyes widened, then he closed them to enjoy the kiss, unlike the first time. Heiji had surprisingly soft lips, and his mouth tasted like the food they'd just eaten, which wasn't much of a surprise. Shinichi moved his hands up Heiji's chest, up to and behind his neck, wrapping his arms around it. Heiji did the same, except he put his arms around Shinichi's shoulders.
When they broke the kiss, Shinichi pressed his cheek against Heiji's chest. His tears started to fall down his face again, so he buried his whole face into Heiji's chest. "I love you," he sobbed against him. "I love you so much it hurts. Please Heiji," he begged, "please. Even if for just one night: love me."
"Shinichi…" Heiji said breathlessly. "I… I'm sorry, but I can't pretend to love ya for one night an' never look at ya like that again."
"Then you'll never have to see me again." Shinichi looked up at him, "Be my lover for one night, and then I'll leave and never come here again. I'll never text you again. I'll never call again. I'll just try to forget about you."
"Shinichi…" as much as he wanted to, he couldn't say 'no'. Not with Shinichi staring at him with such pleading eyes. He couldn't hurt Shinichi, not right now. And right now, saying 'no' would've hurt him more than anything. So he told Shinichi to sit in his own seat and drove to the apartment he'd be renting ever since a year ago when his father told him he needed to 'move out already'.
He showed Shinichi were everything was and told him to make himself comfortable while he took a shower. Shinichi sat in silence alone in Heiji's living room. He was beginning to think this was a mistake. He didn't even know what they were going to do, although he had a pretty good idea. He took a deep breath and let it out. 'This… isn't right! I can't sleep with him! He…he must not be thinking right or something. He could have said 'no' damn it! He didn't have to bring me here…'
He heard the door to the bathroom open, and a moment later Heiji walked in wearing nothing but a towel. "Do ya wanna take a shower too? Or… do ya just wanna do this?" he said, sounding like he'd prefer that Shinichi choose the former so Shinichi did just that. He figured he needed a little more time to think this over. 'Stupid, I never thought you'd say yes!' he yelled in his mind as the warm water ran over him. 'You didn't have to… th-that's it, I'll tell him he didn't have to, then maybe he'll change his mind.'
Walking out of the bathroom - also only wearing a towel - Shinichi bellowed the other man's name, determined to make him say what he really wanted to. Or at least give a good reason as to why he would want to sleep with Shinichi.
"Wh-what?" Heiji said, he sounded tired, like he didn't want to talk much.
"… You…" Shinichi felt a little guilty that he'd yelled so loud, "You didn't have to agree to this, you know. You could've said 'no'." Heiji shook his head though, and pulled Shinichi to his chest.
"I couldn't." He said quietly, "I couldn't say 'no' after I saw how hurt ya've been. I would never wan'ta hurt ya, Shinichi. Never." He tightened his hug a bit, "You're my best friend. And, well, in a way, I love ya." Shinichi blushed, resting his forehead against his shoulder. He watched water from his hair fall across the skin of Heiji's chest, "I don't want to sleep with you." He said suddenly, gritting his teeth, "I just want you to hold me, damn it." In his heart he knew he was lying, he really wanted to have it with Heiji, but he couldn't bring himself to admit it.
Heiji rubbed his back gently, "Okay." He unexpectedly lifted Shinichi up, carrying him bride-style to his bed. "We'll cuddle under the covers," he whispered into Shinichi's ear, lifting the blanket over the both of them and wrapping his arms around him again, pulling him to his chest. They stayed quiet for a while, neither of them had much to say to the other. Deciding he didn't want to lay there in silence any longer, Shinichi decided to take the plunge and say something, "Hattori?"
"Heiji." The said man corrected.
"Heiji." Shinichi pouted a bit, then continued knowing he had the other man's attention, "… Thank you."
"Mhm." Heiji mumbled, he didn't need to ask what Shinichi was thanking him for, he knew if he didn't know Shinichi would tell him no matter what he said back. Shinichi smiled a bit. He pulled his towel off, threw it to the floor, and moved closer to his lover-for-the-night.
"Is it all right if I change my mind… and ask for sex?" he looked at Heiji, whom stared back.
"I… I don-"
"Please? I-I mean," Shinichi didn't want to force him to say 'yes', but being in Heiji's bed naked really turned him on. That and it made him feels less afraid to ask, since it was Heiji who had brought him to the bed, "I don't want you just to say yes because I'm pathetic, okay? Don't do this out of pity."
"I…" Heiji had a deep blush on his face, "'S okay. Don' worry 'bout why I'm doin' this - it isn't out o' pity, I swear." He bent down a bit and pressed his lips to Shinichi's, taking his own towel off and throwing it the opposite direction Shinichi had thrown his. He rolled on top of Shinichi. "Oh, uhh…" he laughed nervously, "D-do you wan t-ta be on top? 'C-cause we can switch i-if ya want…"
"No, you can be on top." Shinichi smiled, and pressed his lips to Heiji's again. "You'll probably be more comfortable up there," he laughed, receiving a glare. "Wha's that s'posed ta mean?"
"Nothing, nothing at all." He licked his lips as he glanced down Heiji's naked body, "It's even better than in my fantasies," Shinichi said to himself.
"W-what?" Heiji blushed, "Y-ya what?"
"I… fantasized about you…" Shinichi replied shyly, "W-well, about having sex with you, to be more specific."
"Yeah, great." Heiji sighed sarcastically, "Because I needed ta know 'bout that."
"It's only fair." Shinichi smiled again, "So are you going to do anything, or are you just going to stay on top of me like that all day?" He giggled as Heiji glared at him. Heiji then got up. "H-hey, come on, I was just kidding!" Shinichi called after him and sitting up, but Heiji merely looked at him over his shoulder and said, "Lube's in the bathroom."
"O-oh…" Shinichi blushed and looked toward to sheets. "Here," Heiji said after a minute and tossed the lubricant toward Shinichi. "You prolly know what ya're doin'. I know I sure don't."
"I… I guess…" Shinichi stuttered back, looking at the tube in his hand. He took the top off and squeezed it into his hand. He rubbed it on his fingers and put in his ass. He blushed when he felt the weight of the bed shift as Heiji sat on the edge and saw he was watching him. Shinichi had only ever done this when he was alone before (although his mother had walked in on him once, it's a long story, but really, he'd just forgotten to lock the door), and it was strange having someone watch.
"Du'n't that feel weird?" Heiji asked, giving him a rather perplexed look as to how Shinichi could possibly want to do this, especially to himself.
"It d-did the first time." Shinichi moaned as he plunged his fingers in deeper, "B-but ah… after that it just felt good."
"S-so…" Heiji stuttered. He didn't want to stare but he was able to look away, "Uhh… wh-what exactly are ya doin'…?"
Pulling his hand away from himself, he smiled, "Stretching myself out so you won't hurt me. Although I'm still pretty stretched out from this morning…" he covered his mouth as Hattori moved back a bit, "Th-this mornin'?" he said, sounding more surprised than Shinichi would've thought after what he'd just told him.
"Y-yeah…" he blushed, turning his face down a bit in embarrassment. "O-one of my… fantasies… eheh…" They both stayed quiet for a while. Both of them blushed, but for quite different reasons. Heiji because he couldn't believe what his best friend had been doing all this time and Shinichi because he couldn't believe he was actually telling Heiji about it. "I… I'm done now…" Shinichi said without looking up, "W-we can get to the… good part… I-If you still want to that is. You can still change your mind."
"Naw." Heiji crawled over to Shinichi, pushing him with one hand to the bed (not that he resisted much), "I don' mind doin' this for ya… 'S long as ya promise not ta tell anyone." Shinichi nodded and he kissed him deeply and passionately; if this was going to be the last time they saw each other he wanted to make it the best day of Shinichi's life. Shinichi sighed into the kiss and suddenly gasped as Heiji tried to enter him. "Wait, wait, wait!" he sat up again. "You can't just do that! You gotta put some lube on yourself too, there isn't nearly enough from…" he suddenly stopped and blushed, "From… when I… h-had my…"
"Y-yeah." Heiji interrupted him, "I-I get what you're sayin'" he looked around himself for a bit before looking to the floor to find the tube of lubricant had fallen. Picking it up he heard Shinichi mumble, "Aren't you going to do something else…?" and sigh.
"Like what?" Heiji replied as he lifted himself back securely onto the bed. Judging by Shinichi's face, he wasn't supposed to have heard what he'd said only moments before. Not receiving an answer, Heiji repeated, "Like what?"
"Ah… w-well…" Shinichi blushed, "W-whatever you want."
Huffing, Heiji said, annoyed, "I'm not exactly doin' this 'cause I wanna, I'm doin' this for you." He moved back to being on top of Shinichi, "So if ya want somethin', jus' ask."
Avoiding eye contact, Shinichi pouted a bit with disappointment, "I-it doesn't matter. Just do whatever you want." Heiji moved back to being on top of Shinichi.
"Maybe we shoul'n't do this… 'Cause I have no idea what I'm doin', and ya won' enjoy it." He fell over onto his side, wrapping his arms around Shinichi, "'Sides, it'll jus' hurt ya more."
Shinichi didn't say anything back right away. Just stared at nothing. He knew Heiji was right, it would hurt him more, but he didn't care. Not right then at least, later he probably would, though. "I don't care." He mumbled to himself, "I just want you."
"Ya say that now, but ya know ya'll beat yourself up for it later."
"I know…" Shinichi looked up briefly, "But if we don't I'll hate myself just as much… for letting the chance pass by."
Heiji opened his mouth, seemingly going to say something, but he just closed it and remained silent. He didn't know what to do either, Shinichi could tell. Heiji was such a good friend to him. He was willing to spend the night with him like this even though he didn't like Shinichi back. Shinichi wouldn't have been able to do the same thing for Heiji if it were the other way around, he was sure of this.
"Okay." Heiji finally said, "I… I know this is jus' goin' ta hurt ya more in the long run, but if ya want it that bad… then I wanna make ya happy at least for now." Shinichi smiled in reply. He knew it too, but the situation was too tempting to pass up.
Heiji and Shinichi stared at each other in silence for a long time. "So… I guess this is it…" Heiji said after what felt like hours of neither of them saying anything.
"Y-yeah…" Shinichi squeaked, he felt like crying but had to hold it back for the sake of his dignity. He shifted his bag to a more comfortable position on his shoulder, avoiding eye contact with Heiji, "I… heard you talking to Kazuha this morning…" Heiji seemed shocked that Shinichi had heard the conversation.
"I-I thought ya were asleep still…" Heiji said apologetically, "B-but yeah… she told me she still wanted ta date… an' that her decision yesterday was too rash or somethin'." Shinichi nodded, still not looking up.
"I'm glad… I… guess I have to go now…" He began to turn, the tears couldn't be held back anymore, "Bye." He tried to run to the train quickly, but Heiji stopped him, "It ain't here yet." He caught Shinichi by the arm and pulled him into a hug, "Ya could at least say a proper g'bye."
Tears continuing to fall, Shinichi tried to hide them with his bangs. "I… I'd rather just go… please." He tried to wiggle free from Heiji's grasp, but he couldn't. Heiji just pulled him closer, forcing Shinichi to lean his head against Heiji's chest. He tried desperately to make the tears stop, wiping them away constantly, but it was no use. "I love you." He sobbed against Heiji's shoulder, "I love you."
Heiji nodded, "Mhm, I know." He stroked Shinichi's hair, "I know. Shhh," he tried to comfort him, even though he knew it wouldn't work. Shinichi eventually pushed Heiji away so he could get to the newly arrived train. He adjusted the shoulder strap again and kissed Heiji on the cheek quickly before turn and running as fast as he could to the train so Heiji wouldn't stop him again.
Holding out his hand and not moving, Heiji stared at Shinichi as he ran away, saying one final thing to Shinichi that he would never hear, "Is this… really it…?" he clenched his teeth, "No," he then smiled, "we'll see each other again… you can't avoid me forever… Shinichi." He turned to walk away, then glanced back as the train began to leave, "'Cause I love you too."
Straightening his tie, Shinichi stared at himself in the dusty mirror, noting to himself to clean it when he got home. He hadn't been paying much attention to the state of his apartment lately. He's been too depressed to care. Every once in a while the pain would come back - the heartache. When it did, Shinichi didn't care about anything around him, only about making it stop. Usually his mother - or occasionally Ran - would help, but since he'd moved he hadn't spoken to them much. His mother was the one who kicked him out for 'being an idiot' and told him not to come back unless he had Heiji with him. He promptly told her it was never going to happen, but she just retorted with 'then I guess you'll never come back here'. It wasn't that his mother didn't care about him; it was that she cared too much and wanted him to be happy. She wanted him to be with Heiji, or at least be friends with him again.
It'd been eight years since the last time he'd seen Heiji. He desperately wanted to see him again though, that's why he'd moved to Osaka in the first place. Though he made up some excuse when he told his mother he was moving there that he could've even remember, she knew the real reason. He was hoping to accidentally bump into him someday. Shinichi had even taken up residence in the apartment Heiji had lived in, but by the time he had Heiji had already moved.
Often Shinichi would write a text to Heiji saying he wanted to see him again. He never sent it though, he couldn't even be sure Heiji had the same phone number anymore. He would just stare at the screen until it went dark and he was snapped away from his fantasies about seeing Heiji again.
He continued to stare at himself in the dusty mirror. He was going for a job interview not-so-coincidentally at the detective agency Heiji had start a couple years ago and was doing fairly well. Shinichi figured it was safe though; his chanced of seeing Heiji were slim. At least in the beginning they were. Even if he'd been a successful detective when he was younger, they wouldn't know anything about his current state and he'd probably start out small. Even if he got to work on larger cases his chances of seeing Heiji were minimal. After all, Heiji was the boss of everyone who worked there; it was unlikely everyone saw him on any kind of basis.
Tearing himself away from his own pathetic reflection, Shinichi turned to the window instead. The first few snowflakes for the winter were beginning to fall. He liked to watch the snow flutter to the ground. It helped him take his mind off of… other matters.
Checking his watch quickly he grabbed his jacket. Half an hour until his interview, he needed to get going. The agency wasn't particularly far, but he had to walk so it would take about twenty minutes. He didn't want to be late so he had to leave early. He never got a car like Heiji had. He found no point in it, it was much more efficient most of the time to just walk. If he had to go anywhere further than walking distance he could take the train.
The wind was cold against the bare skin on his face and neck. Deciding quickly he should have grabbed a scarf too, he continued to walk along the sidewalk. It was too late to go get one, if he went back he could be late for his interview. He needed this job. His mother had cut off the fund his father had been giving him since she'd kicked Shinichi out when she'd found out about them a few months before, and the little he'd saved up was dwindling quickly. Although he was sure if he was that desperate his mother would give in, but he thought it'd be better if he just tried to get a job. He needed to start supported himself anyway.
Standing in front of the doors to the agency, Shinichi took a deep breath, let it out and watched it as he did so before he entered the building. If was warm inside, there was a faint smell of perfume mixed with the usual smell of a new building. It had only been finished a couple months before. That was the main reason Shinichi had sent an application to them. He figured they'd need some more people after moving into a new building, although he hadn't heard or read anything that proved his theory. Which was strange, he would've thought they'd advertise for it somewhere.
Shinichi walked up to the front desk, sighing a bit. He was nervous; he'd never actually gone for a job interview before. Come to think of it, he'd never had a real job before. He'd only even done detective work as a hobby and he'd never tried anything else. "E-excuse me?" he said rather quietly. There was a beautiful woman standing behind the desk, whom smiled at him kindly.
"Yes?" she asked with a sweet voice, "May I help you?"
"I-I'm here for a j-job interview…" Shinichi started, hoping the woman could figure out the rest of what he was supposed to say, because he had no idea.
"Oh, yes, you must be Mr. Kudo." She motioned toward an elevator as Shinichi nodded in confirmation, "Mr. Hattori's been expecting you. His office is on the highest floor."
Surprised at what he heard, Shinichi stuttered, "H-he's the one i-interv-viewing me? I-I didn't know h-he d-did that kind of stuff."
Thinking for a moment, the woman replied, "He doesn't normally. I'm usually the one to do interviews. Mr. Hattori said he wanted to talk to you personally. It's strange you were even called, though. I was under the impression we weren't hiring right now…" she then shooed Shinichi away, "But you don't want to keep him waiting, he must have a reason for wanting to see you."
Shinichi nodded, walking toward the elevator and pressing the 'up' button. He didn't wait long before the doors opened and he stepped inside, pressing the 'five' button at the top - the highest floor. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He thought he'd be lucky to see Heiji at all while working there, and yet he was going to see him for just his interview. Although he was ecstatic about it, he was also scared. What was he going to say? And why had the secretary at the front said she though they weren't hiring right now? Shinichi felt a sinking feeling in his stomach, like Heiji had only called him there for the purpose of them seeing each other again. Yes, Shinichi wanted to see him again, but he also needed a job. It wasn't really helpful; that is, if his hunch was correct.
After the short elevator ride, Shinichi stepped into a large room. It had an empty desk in front of two rather intimidating doors. Not sure what to do since the desk was obviously for a secretary whom obviously wasn't there. After a bit he'd turned to leave, but he heard one of the doors open and turned back around to see who was there.
It was a woman, a rather pretty one at that. Long blond hair - she was probably a foreigner. "Mr. Hattori will see you now." She said in a rather emotionless voice, except at the end, there was a bit of emotion, like she was about to cry. Something had happened. Something that caused her to give off a rather gloomy air as she walked passed Shinichi.
Wanting to cheer her up, he thought of the first thing he could, "Bastard, isn't he?" he said, smiling slightly.
"E-excuse me?" the woman said back, turning toward Shinichi. He could see her tears now; they'd streaked her make-up.
Motioning toward the doors, Shinichi sighed, "Mr. Hattori, I mean. He can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, huh?" The woman didn't seem to know how to respond and merely nodded. "Don't let it get to you, he doesn't mean it. He's just…" Shinichi tried to think of the right word.
"Difficult." The woman finished his sentence for him and smiled, "Yes, he most certainly is." She then looked toward the doors, "Well, I won't have to deal with him anymore I guess. You'd better not keep him waiting long, he's a little impatient these days."
Shinichi nodded and stuck out his hand, "Kudo Shinichi." He introduced himself.
Shaking his hand, the woman smiled and introduced herself as well, "Erito Ataria, you can called me Ria." She then dug into her purse and pulled out a pen and paper, quickly scribbling something on it, and handing it to Shinichi, "Call me sometime."
Nodding slightly, Shinichi took the paper from her hand and turned toward the door, "Well, hopefully this trip won't have been a total waste." He waved good-bye to Ria and walking to the doors. Shoving the paper into his pocket he turned the handle of one of them and pushed it open. Poking his head inside first, he saw Heiji leaning against his desk. He looked very dashing in a suit, but there was something… off about it. He didn't look how Shinichi would've imagined he should've - even though he was the head of a prospering business. Wanting to turn and run as he saw he former best friend, he forced himself completely inside and closed to door behind him.
Before Heiji even said anything, he walked straight over to Shinichi and hugged him. "'S been a long time," he said, pulling Shinichi closer.
"Y-yeah…" Shinichi said quietly, almost inaudibly.
"I missed you."
"I… missed you too… I guess."
Heiji suddenly straightened. Continuing to hold Shinichi's shoulders, he looked at him, confused. "Ya guess? I thought ya'd be jus' as happy ta see me as I am ta see you!"
'I am, stupid. I'm just not as open about it.' "Uh, well, I-I am happy to see you again after so long… I guess I'm just not as happy as you thought I would be…?" Finally letting go of Shinichi's arms with a sigh, Heiji turned around to return to his desk. He motioned for Shinichi to take a seat as he took his own.
Leaning on the arm of his arm, Shinichi stared at Heiji with a bit of annoyance, "Your secretary downstairs told me some interesting things."
"'S that so?" Heiji leant forward, resting his chin on his hand, "And those things would be…?"
"That she normally does interviews and you're not actually hiring right now." Sitting up straight again, Shinichi sighed, "Listen, if you wanted to see me, you didn't have to pretend I was coming for a job interview. In case you could inference from the fact that I'm even here, I actually need a job. I would appreciate you not wasting my time just because you feel you needed to see me again. There's better way of doing that."
"Don't listen ta ever'thin' she says, she du'n't know ever'thin'. But…" Heiji shifted to leaning on his other hand, "the one job I have for ya, I don' think you'll wanna take."
"Then why did you bother?" annoyed again, Shinichi sighed, "Try me, what is it?"
"I want ya ta be a co-owner of my business." He pulled out a few papers that were stapled together, "Jus' sign there an' that's all. Course, I'll still own 51%, but 49% isn't all that bad, is it?"
Wide-eyed, Shinichi stared from the papers to Heiji and back again. "Y-you're not serious, right? I mean, come on! We haven't seen each other in years, you can't possibly know if I'll make a good business partner or not!"
"Yes, I'm takin' a risk, I know. But I don' think ya've changed that much; ya still look the same."
"That doesn't mean-"
"That and…" Heiji interrupted, "ya wouldn't'a said that if I really coul'n't trust ya."
Sighing in defeat, Shinichi said, "I… I'll have to think about it." It was too overwhelming to decide right that instant.
"In that case," pushing the papers more toward Shinichi, Heiji smiled, "Read 'em over 'fore ya decide, but I hope you'll have an answer this Saturday, 'cause I'd like ta take ya out for dinner. It'd be more convenient if ya had your answer by then."
"T-take me out…? L-Like…" Shinichi blushed at the mere thought, "on… a date?"
Smiling again, Heiji nodded, "Yeah."
Heiji frowned then, his face turning into that of thought soon after, "W-well… 's 'cause… I love ya." Seeing Shinichi's face turn redder and eyes widen in surprise, Heiji decided to explain himself. "I… I've loved ya for a while… since… then. I jus'… coul'n't bring myself ta tell ya. I felt… like ya'd hate me or somethin' fer not tellin' ya sooner… I dunno, it sounds stupid now… but tha's jus' how it was."
"I… I can't." Shinichi said quickly. His brain told him he should just forget about Heiji - ignore him and the feelings would go away, but his heart screamed in protest so loud it hurt. Always one to listen to his brain rather than his heart no matter how loud it objected, Shinichi had to say he couldn't go. Even though he wanted to go more than anything.
"Oh… why?" Heiji asked. Not planning this out well in advance like he wished he could have, Shinichi hadn't anticipated Heiji to question it. 'Why does it matter, damn it!' Knowing he was staying quiet for far too long thinking of an answer he blurted out the first thing he could think of, "I-I have a girlfriend! Sh-she'd kill me if I went on a date with someone else; especially another man!"
"I… see." Obviously disappointed, Heiji slouched his shoulders and looked down. "I… guess thinkin' ya were still in love with me was too wishful, huh?"
"N-no…" Shinichi looked down as well. He couldn't quite figure out why he constantly did things that only hurt him, even though he could've fixed everything with a simple nod, "I… understand why you'd think that. I can't exactly say I don't still love you; the feelings are still there, I'm sure… But… I can't say I do either…"
"Y…yeah." Heiji then looked up again, "B-but that doesn't change anything! I still want ya ta be my partner."
"I… don't think that's a good idea. If… you love me it'll just make it harder for you to work with me." Standing up, Shinichi bowed slightly, "Thank you for the offer though, it was nice to see you again after so long."
"I'm sorry." He turned and left then, leaving Heiji to stared at the now empty chair. "This must be how you felt… all those years ago…" he said to no one as tears welled up in his eyes. "Damn it, I ain't gonna cry, I ain't-" he stopped when he felt a tear fall down his cheek. "Damn it." He said quietly, "Damn it, Shinichi, why'd ya hafta lie?"
Lying quietly on his bed, Shinichi stared at the paper Ria had given him. Abruptly sitting up he walked toward the phone. "Maybe I should just try to move on… and get a girl friend." Picking up the phone and dialling the number on the paper it cheered him up a bit to hear her voice. They talked for a while - longer than Shinichi thought he would ever spend on the phone in his life. The call ended with Shinichi asking her out to lunch on Saturday. It wasn't really a date; not in his mind at least. But maybe Heiji would see them and it'd help strengthen his lie. It would definitely look like a date.
It wasn't long before the two became good friends. They went on several 'not-dates', and there was a mutual understanding that that was how it was, no matter what anyone else thought. It was easier for Shinichi to have a friend that didn't know him when he was a teenager. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off his chest telling her everything, even though there were three other people who knew everything besides them already.
"You really should just tell him." Ria said suddenly one day she was over at Shinichi's apartment for lunch. She crossed her arms and chastised him, "If you just tell him the truth you'll both feel a lot better. I mean, he's been an even bigger pain in the ass ever since that day, and it just got worse when he saw us walking together. Mr. Hattori thinks we're together and that I'm the one in the way. Honestly, he hates me so much I'm surprised he doesn't just fire me!"
Putting down his teacup, Shinichi shrugged, "Maybe you should just quit."
"Maybe you should just tell him!" she argued. Sighing soon after in defeat even though no other words were exchanged, she slouched in her chair, "Maybe I should just quit. Except I need the job so I can't quit…" She knew she could never win an argument with Shinichi, but that didn't mean she couldn't make excuses.
"Be glad you have a decent job." Shinichi sighed, thinking of his own job. Desperate with nowhere else to go he ended up with a job at an office supplies store. He regretted the decision everyday. "I wish my boss hated me, then maybe she'd leave me the hell alone."
Ria laughed, she'd heard the story a hundred times before, but it never ceased to amuse her. "Well, if you'd taken the job Mr. Hattori had offered you it wouldn't have been any different."
"Except I would've liked it."
Resting his chin on his hand, Shinichi stared out the window, "Maybe we actually should start dating, then I wouldn't have to feel so bad about lying to Heiji…" he'd brought up the concept many times before in the year he'd known Ria, he was never serious about it though.
She just laughed again, "Yeah, and maybe you should start dating Mr. Hattori."
"Maybe I should…" he said watching the snow fall from the sky to the ground, he couldn't believe it was December already, "I mean, I love him, he loves me, there's really no reason we can't date… and yet every reason we should." Sitting up straight again and staring straight as Ria he then said, "Remind me why I'm not having lunch with him right now. Damn it, if I'd said yes we'd probably be married by now."
"Well," Ria began to explain his second last sentence, "you're not with him right now because you're scared of something; something that even you can't explain. If we figured out what it is you're scared of, maybe I can help you get over it and you'll be able to face Mr. Hattori." Taking a quick sip of her tea, she continued, "We just need to figure it out…"
"And how do you propose we do that?" Shinichi sighed, burying his face into his hands. The situation had decidedly become hopeless to him.
However, Ria wasn't one to give up and she sat thinking for a few minutes. "Try explaining it in words."
"Huh?" Shinichi looked up, "How am I supposed to do that?"
"Just try, even if you can't think of anything sometimes trying to put it into words helps you realise what it really is."
"Okay…?" taking a deep breath, Shinichi didn't even know where to start. "W-well… uhh… I… have absolutely no idea."
Sighing, Ria scolded him, "No, no, no! You can't just give up! Try… telling me about it from the start, but not in as much detail. Maybe you'll find the problem somewhere along the way."
Mulling over his memories from the past ten years or so, Shinichi also sigh as he began. "I fell in love with my best friend; I have no idea when. It seemed like he was in love with me too, so I didn't feel absolutely terrible about it until he got a girlfriend. Some things happened and I told him I wouldn't bother him anymore if he… well, you know. Then years later he tells me he loves me and that he loved me back then, too. That's what I don't understand! Why didn't he just tell me? Damn it, that's why I'm scared! I'm scared he's just playing with me and he'll beak my heart again. I don't want to take that chance." Hitting his head against the table in defeat, Shinichi felt tears prick at his eyes. "I just want to know I can trust him before I let him into my life again…"
"Well, I guess that's just a chance you're going to have to take." Ria patted his head, "Or maybe you can test him somehow…?"
Looking up with his chin still on the table, Shinichi gave her an annoyed look, "And how am I-" suddenly stopping, he thought of something. Sitting up he started spouting only partial sentences, "I… if he asked me again… then I'd know he was serious… I wonder why he hasn't tried again… Oh, I guess it's because he thinks I'm dating you… but still- oh, he probably thinks that if I'm happy with you he shouldn't try to interfere… like I didn't…"
Figuring he was talking to himself, Ria didn't say anything even though she had no idea what he was trying to say. She continued to stare at him as he kept spout nonsense about his situation. At least it seemed like he was figuring this out. Taking a sip of her tea she just stared until he addressed her.
"Ria, we have to break up!" he said suddenly, causing her to nearly choke on her tea. She coughed for a good minute before managing to say something, "Wh-what!"
"I mean," blushing a bit at his mistake he corrected it, "we have to pretend to break up, and it has to be around Heiji… so he thinks he could have another chance with me."
"Won't he just think he's the rebound guy and thus not ask you out again?" leaning on her palm, Ria sighed.
"No, he wouldn't think of it like that… at least, he probably wouldn't." Sighing in frustration, Shinichi buried his face in his hands, "I have no idea, but it's all I can think of! If he does think that he'll ask me out eventually, right? Or maybe I could ask him out…?"
"You're not helping."
"Well," Ria stared at him, "you have to figure this out by yourself. I can't help you." Sliding her chair back a bit, she stood up. "Anyway, I have to get back to work. Call me when you decide on something." At Shinichi's affirmative nod she grabbed her jacket and left.
"Too bad I'll never figure this out…" Shinichi mumbled to himself after the door shut, "But maybe I'll think of something that's good enough, rather than perfect like I seem to always want everything to be."
Lying on his couch and staring at the ceiling for an hour seemed to help him think these days. He often found himself doing it while thinking about Heiji, and thinking about what to do. It hurt to keep himself away from what he wanted, but he felt like he didn't have a choice anymore. Especially after the things he'd said.
He had nearly fallen asleep when the phone rang. Jolting his from his half-asleep daze, he scrambled for the phone. Answering in a much more tired sounding voice than he'd meant to he cleared his throat before saying anything else. "H-hey Ria." He'd answered the other's greeting.
"I think I found a way." Ria said on the other side of the line.
"Wha…? A way for what?"
"Pff, don't tell me you honestly forgot already." Her voice sounded annoyed and disbelieving in an almost sarcastic way that had become typical of her in recent days.
"So what if I-oh! Right, I remember now. So what'd you think of?" Recalling what he'd been contemplating just before he'd started falling asleep he was genuinely curious as to what she came up with.
"We're having a Christmas party here for all the employees. We're also allowed to bring a guest." Shinichi could tell she was smiling; a big, wide grin no doubt.
"What do you mean 'and'! All you have to do is show up and leave the rest to me, alright?"
"Okay…" becoming a little worried, Shinichi was sceptical but figured he could trust she had something up her sleeve that would benefit him (and her too, in the long run at least). "So when is it?"
"December 14th, and don't make any excuses about not being able to come." Before he could she hung up, leaving Shinichi to stare at the receiver with a scowl on his face. She was always like this, and that's what made it so annoying.
Looking over at his calendar, he walked over to it and circled the fourteenth. It was only the third that day, so there was still a lot of time before Ria's plan would be set in motion, whatever it was. 'I… just hope it works…' he couldn't help but think. He did, really. If it didn't work he had no idea what he was going to do. He then began to think he should probably start trying to think of a backup plan.
Thinking about it for a while and coming up with nothing Shinichi had decided to go for a walk. He continued to think about it as he walked and before he knew it the sun had set and he was in an unknown neighbourhood. Looking around cautiously as he walked he was trying to find something that looked familiar. Knowing it was useless, he drooped his shoulders and walked with disappointment, "Where the hell am I!"
"Shinichi?" he heard a familiar voice. Turning as he realised whom it was his heart started racing.
"H… Heiji…?" he stuttered when he saw the man standing outside the door of a house, a cigarette in his hand. 'Since when has he smoked…?'
Dropping said cigarette, he ran to Shinichi and threw his arms around him. "Damn, 's good ta see you."
"It hasn't been that long." Shinichi tried to argue while hiding the happiness in his voice.
"Feels like 's been forever."
Shinichi laughed a bit, "Yeah, I guess." He figured there was no point in hiding it; he was failing at it anyway. "A-anyway, I'm… lost. Any way you could give me directions back to my apartment?" Heiji shook his head though, and made Shinichi come into his house. "I want ya ta stay here. At least for t'night."
"Uh… b-but-" his objections were silenced with a kiss. Giving up, Shinichi kissed Heiji back. He suddenly found himself pressed against a wall, Heiji forcing a deeper kiss. Not that Shinichi resisted much.
Finally breaking apart, the two men stared into each other's eyes for a long time in silence. Shinichi smiled, mouthing 'I love you' and kissing Heiji again, but lightly.
"I love you too." Heiji hugged him tightly and nuzzled his face into Shinichi's neck.
"I'm… sorry I lied…"
"'S okay. I knew ya were lyin', but I didn't do anythin' ta stop ya so 's not all your fault."
After agreeing to at least stay the night, the two just found themselves lying on the couch together for the longest time. They just wanted to enjoy each other's company, but one of them had to say something eventually.
"So…" Heiji started, "Ria said she invited ya ta the Christmas party?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah, she did." Shinichi sighed, "B-but… there's nothing between her and I, we're just friends, okay?"
"Yeah, I know. She told me that a million times… though I never really listened…" Heiji then said he needed to apologise to her for acting like a jealous ex. Shinichi laughed at him, he had to admit he was acting that way, but he wouldn't anymore. Shinichi made him promise that, even if they broke up in the future.
"So, we're datin' now?" Heiji grinned.
"Sure." Shinichi smiled a bit.
Annoyed, Heiji frowned, "Wha'da'ya mean 'sure'?" Shinichi just laughed at him again, kissing his cheek, "I mean 'sure, I'll date you as long as you promise not to be a jealous bastard.'"
"Are ya expectin' me ta be?"
"Maybe… just a little." And he kissed his lover on the lips.
DUN DUN DUN. Yeah, it sucked, I know. But it's the best I got… review please~!
... This is probably the longest story I've ever written in my life...