A/N: Okay, so I'm excited for this chapter, actually! And, to the anonymous reviewer who posted under the name "reveiwer." Thank you for your insight, but maybe next time a nicer review? I'm trying to improve my writing and revising (my computer automatically filled in "chlorophyll" instead of "chloroform"), so I'm trying to make everything tie together. (Ran's shocked, not mad, and Agasa is always making unbelievable inventions that suddenly come in handy when Conan needs it.) I'm sorry if you think my-work-in-progress story is such crap, so I don't need it thrown in my face. The writers here do have human beings on the other end of the words. We make mistakes, we have feelings. Don't start flaming me just because you feel all safe with your anonymous review (not reveiw) and because there's a computer between us. Anyway, on with the story!

Disclaimer: Seriously! I am clearly not Gosha Aoyama, if I were, I would be better at this and not get flamed.


Conan dropped his head, his glasses flashing, in a serious voice he spoke: "Her too."

"Conan-kun…" Ran's eyes widened. Conan's head snapped up and his eyes closed adorably and his voice jumped up to a higher, happier, tone.

"Ran-neechan, you need to take this pill, 'kay?" Conan-kun…could this really be happening? Can he really be…

Conan held his hand out to Ai. Ran took a half-step back. "Please, what's going on? Who exactly are you?" Conan's broad smile faltered. He's always so independent. He's always giving hints that help otou-san solve his cases. He constantly reminds me of detective freak. Can it really be…no. It's not possible.

"I'm Conan, Ran-neechan, are you okay? You hit your head. You need to take this migraine medicine." Now that he mentioned it, Ran's head was spinning. No. Something strange is going on, but it's not a spontaneous migraine attack. Ran stared Conan down, but his false smile never faltered. Conan sighed and looked Ran in the eyes, his voice dropping its childish lilt. "I guess you've got me pinned, Ran. Heh, I was kind of hoping to keep you out of this…how do I put this?" Conan hung his head and pulled his bowtie out of his back pocket. He spoke into the accessory, but it was Shinichi's voice that came out. "I am Kudo Shinichi, tantei-san." Ran's eyes widened at the directness of his confession. And to think, I thought I was fulfilling a stupid dilusion to ease the pain of Shinichi's absence.

"Are…are you really…?" Ran's voice trailed off, leaving her question lingering in the silence of the warehouse. Ai was the one to finally break the tension.

"Yes, this boy is Kudo Shinichi. He was targeted by the Black Organization after witnessing an illegal transaction. I, Miyano Shiho, invented the drug that was supposed to leave him dead, though my tests have shown that, occasionally, a subject will react differently. Instead of dying, their body will regress into that of a child, though their mind is left completely intact. I had actually intended to commit suicide after the organization killed my sister and focused their attention on me, but, as you can see, I experienced the same end result as Kudo-kun, here. Agasa-san had Kudo-kun stay with you and your father because of his profession; by solving cases and making a name for Mouri Kogoro, he might be able to get leads on the Black Organization. I am staying with Agasa-san for the purpose of making his lab and equipment of use as I attempt to re-create the APTX 4869—that is, the drug that shrunk us. The few times you have actually seen Kudo-kun have been in the times that the drug reverts his body back to its original form." Con—er…that is, Shinichi stood to the side, his mouth gaping as Shiho recounted all that Ran needed to know about the who, how, and why. Ran was really feeling dizzy now, but not in a "stomach churning way." She felt sick as she realized all the small hints she had overlooked and what Shinichi, Shiho, and now she, herself, had gotten into.

"I know this may be a lot to take in, Ran-san, but you don't have to be involved in this. You may be strong, but you can't take on everyone's burdens." Ai, it was so difficult to picture this little girl as a woman named Shiho, stepped forward, holding out another little white pill. "I'd like you to think that you have a choice, but, in all honesty, you're going to have to forget about this one way or another. It would put all of our minds at ease if you would at least pretend you don't want to remember and you take the pill." Ran's hand stretched out hesitantly, shaking slightly as she pinched the pill between her thumb and forefinger.

"And you're sure that my mind will be fine after I take it? And that Shinichi and you will be okay?"

"Perfectly sure. We don't want you in danger, too. We can handle it, and we'd need you as a helpful cover story." With a small smile, Ai watched Ran swallow the pill and collapse onto the floor.

"You—you told her. About everything."

"Don't look at me like that. She might as well hear what she wants to hear before we take away the knowledge she so craved."

Shinichi…or maybe he's Conan gave Ai an exasperated look before sighing and saying, "regardless of the lie itself, I appreciate you telling her that. I actually can't believe how much you told her."

"So you do know that I don't really care either way about her safety? I've told you before, if it would spare Agasa's or my life, I would sacrifice just about anyone else's. If that makes me fickle, then I am fickle. It's just as well that she got to hear a decent excuse before this revelation was ripped away from her."


A/N: So…a cliffhanger! …Sort of. How is this? It's been forever since I posted for this, but I really hope you like it. Please review! I'd like to know how I'm doing. I tried to make this one better. The chapters should start getting better now that the basics are laid out, so please keep reading!