A Friendly Voice
By Icka! M. Chif

Ran sighed as the phone rang. Great, just great. Just what she needed on top of just a flat out terrible day. She set her pencil down and went to get it. Conan was out friends and her father was asleep, drunk once again.

She normally wouldn't have minded having the house to herself, but today she would have really preferred the company.

It had started out okay, then got side swiped by a sudden downpour, followed by a pop-quiz in her least favourite subject, Sonoko pushing her to date with some 'cute guy', which was really causing her to miss Shin'ichi fiercely.

She picked up the phone, cutting it off mid-ring. "Moshi moshi, Mouri Detective Agency."

"Hey, Ran." The voice on the other end of the phone caused her heart to skip a beat.

"Shin'ichi!" She couldn't help it, she started smiling. Just the familiar sound of his voice was enough to brighten her day. "To what do I owe the honour of this call?"

"I just wanted to hear a friendly voice." There was a strain, almost weary undertone to his voice that she couldn't remember having been there before. He sounded tired. It worried her.

"Then you called the right place." She smiled, leaning against the desk, one hand idly playing with the cord. "How are your the cases going?" She asked, quickly changing the subject. "Are they treating you alright?"

"As well as can be expected." He sighed and she could him rubbing his head with a hand in her mind eye, like he often did when frustrated. "Everybody's polite and kind, but... it's just not the same."

A longing undertone in his voice spoke more eloquently than almost any words he could say.

"I miss you too." Ran grinned over the telephone, blushing faintly. "How long does it take you to solve a mystery anyway, oh great mystery detective?"

"Well, that depends." She could practically hear the smile in his voice as he relaxed into their easy banter. "Most are a matter of minutes, maybe hours. Some are days. Some can take years to solve."

"Years?" She raised an eyebrow. "What mystery could take you years to solve?"

"You."

The silence afterwards nearly echoed, and Ran could swear she could hear a mental 'Oh, Shit' coming from the phone.

"Uh, Talk you later. Bai!" Shin'ichi said quickly, hanging up the phone.

Ran laughed, her foul mood gone like yesterday's rain clouds. She hung up the phone and did a small impromptu dance on her way back to the table to do homework. She'd have to tell Sonoko about their conversation later. She wanted to enjoy it for a little while without her best friend's teasing.

A few minutes later, the door opened and Conan walked in. "I'm home!" He called.

"Welcome back." She called, watching as he walked over to the fridge and pulled out a drink. "Ne, Conan-kun... You see Shin'ichi occasionally, don't you?"

He nodded, walking up to see what she was doing. "Yeah. Why?"

She grinned conspiratorially at him. "The next time you see him, would you tell him that any time he needs to hear a friendly voice to give me a call?"

He gave her a wide-eyed look, then nodded. "Uh... okay."

"Thanks! I knew I could count on you Conan-kun!" She beamed at him before turning back to her schoolwork, happily humming a little tune.

She completely missed Conan's telling blush.

Fin.