AHHH.

AHHHHHH.

I am rewatching Case Closed and rekindling my anger towards stupid Shin'ichi. EVERYONE ELSE KNEW, SHIN'ICHI. WHY NOT RAN?

Urgh.

It's a little choppy, but I'm happy with it. Sort of. Enjoy.


There.

He confessed.

He confessed to everything. All the lies he'd told her as Conan Edogawa-the actual lie of being Conan Edogawa-, everything. His guilt, his fears, motivations, suspicions... He'd told her it all.

She'd been wearing a huge smile when she caught sight of him. 'Like waking up on Christmas morning,' he thought, stomach dropping to his feet. She greeted him joyously, going so far even to wrap her arms around his middle and squeeze. The words tasted sour in his mouth when he told her they needed to talk.

Slowly, her smile dropped. He expected her anger, feared her silence, tried to shield himself from her tears. Instead, her smile, so radiant and huge and beautiful, slid off her face the more he said. It nearly broke him.

She didn't speak, didn't react, didn't even move when he stopped talking. She just sat there, staring at him. He didn't dare break the silence.

Quietly, after long moments, she stood up... And just left.

And he let her.


Love, Ran had once told him, was stupid and pointless and one big fat mistake for people who didn't know any better.

This was just before her parents' split and she had cried for days.

Ran was... Very open with her emotions. The safer ones, at least. Anger, disappointment, happiness-she wore them all on her sleeve. Shin'ichi had always been an observant person(what? Understatement of the Year Award? You shouldn't have...), but when it came to Ran, it was ridiculous how well he could read her. He knew when she was sad(eyes refusing to meet others', specifically avoiding loved ones), when she was so furious that she didn't dare unleash it, fearing of hurting those around her(mouth set in a grim line, never touching anything and instead keeping her hands tightly fisted at her sides), and more. She was an open book to him, and it thrilled him that he could read her like no one else could.

But now, nothing.

She had, somehow, closed herself off.

No smiles, no frowns, nothing. She didn't show any emotion whatsoever, and it terrified him. The few times that he had tried to approach her were miserable failures; each conversation he had tried to start was met with the perfect distantly polite responses.

He had gotten absolutely no where quickly in the last four months concerning Ran and his relationship.

And it was starting to piss him off.

Did he deserve her apathy? Probably. Was his ire justified? Probably not. Did that stop him? No.

But he couldn't help it, damn it. She confessed her love to him! And okay, maybe he could have handled it differently... Probably not, but maybe. He did exactly what he thought was best, dammit. He was trying to protect her! Yes, he violated her privacy... Possibly damaged her trust in him so badly that she'd never believe another word he said again... He couldn't bring himself to regret any of it. But it was worth it, wasn't it?

He protected her.

She was alright.

And he was absolutely miserable.

Countless times he found himself picking up the phone in his too-big, too-empty house to call her. To apologize, to beg her forgiveness, to rage at her silence, he didn't know. And each time like the coward he is, he put the phone back down before he even finished dialing her number.

Give her time, a voice in his head murmured wisely. Let her heal. You lied to her for a while. She deserves time to herself.

But each time his phone rang, each time Professor Agasa knocked on his door, his mind immediately jumped to Ran, and he was completely helpless to stop it.

He was guilty. He was furious. He was lost without her, damn it.

He could handle her temper, had been on the receiving end of it for years. He could've soothed her tears, taken her abuse, laughed away her insults, shot down her accusations.

But she had just gone so quiet, and it was driving him insane.

Each night, laying in bed, all he could see was her smile. The way it lit up her entire face, how tension that he knew she probably wasn't even aware of was let go and her entire frame had relaxed. The way it just... Slipped off her face like water. Or tears.

Dark circles steadily became noticeable under his eyes, sleepless nights taking their toll and showing in sagging shoulders and slow reactions. His school work was suffering horrendously, but when he slipped on a case...

It was so straightforward. A man, found dead in his and his wife's bed, stabbed viciously in the heart. All the evidence pointed to the victims wife, who had known the man was having an affair.

He'd overlooked evidence.

He hadn't let all the pieces fall into place before he'd acted.

They'd been about to arrest the wife, when, in a moment of such sudden clarity it nearly knocked him on his ass, everything had finally clicked into place. The surprised, outraged look on the mans face. The smug mistresses son. It took such an embarrassingly long amount of time for him to realize it, even Inspector Megure had noticed.

The son had been furious at his mothers lover, as the victim had refused to divorce his wife to marry the pregnant mistress.

And suddenly, Shin'ichi was the furious one. This was Ran's fault. He had almost let a murderer go free, had almost had an innocent woman get arrested because he'd let his personal life get dragged to into his profession.

If Ran could stop caring, why couldn't he?

So he stopped agonizing over if he should call her. Stopped sending her blatant looks at school and adopted her carefree, apathetic air. Kept the cool, calm and no-bullshit attitude he used on cases up all the time.

If Professor Agasa noticed something amiss, he kept to himself about it. Shin'ichi was sure the older gentleman was uncomfortable with personal situations not his own, and didn't want to put him out. Not that their was anything going on. Shin'ichi was fine. Ran was, apparently, fine. Everything was fine.

Then Ran had to go and ruin all of his carefully laid plans.

He was going to ignore her, god damn it. He was going to get over her and stop letting her stupid silence affect him as deeply as it was. Ran who?

But she just had to not show up for school one day, and he felt her absence acutely.

It was ridiculous. They hadn't spoken for months, how was her not being there worse than her silence? So he couldn't look at her from the corners of his eyes, or pass by her during lunch, or...

...No!

Damn it, no. He was not going to let her affect him like this anymore. It was juvenile. So what if she confessed she was in love with him; obviously she wasn't anymore, so what was the big deal? She was a big girl. She broke concrete with her bare hands. She could handle herself.

Shin'ichi caught himself chewing on his pencil, a nervous habit he thought he had long since gotten rid of.

Damn it all.

The teacher announced the next day that Miss Mori was down with a bad case of the flu, and everyone should wish her well. If someone wanted to take Miss Mori yesterdays and today's homework over to her though, that should be alright...?

His hand was already in the air before he realized that he had moved. Surreptitiously, he glared at the offending limb. Traitor.

The longer he thought about it, though, the more it began to sound like a good idea. Maybe he and Ran could finally talk. She'd have to say something, right? Maybe he could even get her into inviting him in. He knows, if he could just get her to sit down with him for a few minutes, that they could get through this-really through it.

There's a tiny voice in the back of his head that asks him why she would care to see him at all, especially with his newly acquired attitude... Which he promptly ignores.

By the time school ends, his legs are itching to walk already. And while he doesn't necessarily walk to her house so much as jog(or even possibly run but no one is paying attention, really), he still doesn't get there as fast as he'd like. He suddenly finds his palms damp, blames it on the run(jog, jog) over even as he hesitantly raises his hand, firms his resolve, and knocks.

Her father answers, looking more pissed off than he has ever seen the man. One hand has jerked open the door, the other going for a white-knuckled grip on the doorframe as his expression twists into a slightly terrifying snarl.

Shin'ichi definitely does not jolt. And he certainly does not take a step back in alarm.

"M-Mr. Mori. Hello." That is definitely not a stutter in his voice.

He's about to get hell, he knows. This is the father of the girl whose trust and feelings he had betrayed. He feels sorry for Ran for a moment; despite how many murder cases the older detective has been on, he will definitely not be able to pull off innocence when Inspector Megure comes to investigate Shin'ichi's disappearance and possibly very real murder. The last thing she needs is for her father to wind up in prison, even if he is a boozehound.

To his astonishment, the fury that twists Kogoro's face soon falls into a confused look, and then a familiar scowl.

"What're you doin' here, kid?" He asks gruffly.

Shin'ichi, quite simply, cannot find his voice.

He's going to live?

Catching sight of the darkening expression on the older mans face, though, he quickly recovers. "I, uh, heard Ran has the flu. I came to give her her homework." He lifted up the books and papers for emphasis.

A strange look passes Kogoro's face then. Shin'ich's gaze sharpens.

"Yeah, thanks." Quicker than he had ever seen the man move before, the homework is snatched from his grip and the door is slammed shut in his face.

His mind is already whirling.

What is going on?

Two days later, Ran was back in school, just as distant as ever. For all appearances sake, everything had returned to normal. In fact, if her fathers strange attitude the days before hadn't tipped him off to something being wrong than just a simple case of the flu, then he would have still been staring at the chalkboard or out the window when she came in. He would have purposefully have not let his eyes wander to her, and been none the wiser.

Because he was watching her, Shin'ichi watched Ran walk into class... With a limp, hidden meticulously with a careless gait. His eyes narrowed now, he kept track of every move she made as she made her careful way to her desk and sat down gingerly.

And, as if unwillingly, witnessed the way her eyes lifted from the back of some students head in front of her to lock with his. They're anything but far away and cold; they're heated and intense and staring directly at him, sending a jolt through his system he nearly forgot he had whenever she looked at him with those bright lively eyes.

He jumps when the teacher walks in, already talking about equations and tests. The rest of the glass groans as he turns back to search for her gaze, but it's already on the chalkboard. He keeps an eye on her for the rest of the class but she doesn't look at him again.

And that's when Shin'ichi made up his mind.

He's tired of this tiptoeing around. He's tired of the pretending, of lying to himself. He misses her voice, her threats and overreactions. He misses Ran and Shin'ichi instead of just Ran and Shin'ichi. He knows he betrayed her trust. Knows he hurt her, maybe more than he can comprehend, but she's had her time, and now it's his turn.

He doesn't care if Ran Mori hates him. He explained the What, When, Where and How. Now it was time for the Why.

He knew she had practice after school, knew she'd be coming home late and that her father would probably already be passed out at his desk by the time she got back. So he was going to wait for her, and damn them both if she wouldn't listen to what he had to say.

The day passed slowly, almost infuriatingly so. Nerves danced in his stomach, taking away his appetite and ability to concentrate as daydreamed scenarios began to play in his head about tonight. What was he going to say? 'Hey there Ran, I know we haven't talked in months but, let me buy you a coffee so I can tell you why I went so far to deceive you as I did.'

Brilliant, Kudo. Really brilliant.

But, no. He could make up however many touching and suave speeches he'd like, but knew instinctively, in the end, she'd appreciate honesty most. Especially now.

He went to her house after school, not trusting himself to make it on time later on when she was on her way home. Still in uniform, pack slung over one shoulder, he let himself lean against a fence and relax.

An hour passed.

Then two.

It was starting to get chilly, wind picking up and biting him through his uniform. He should've brought a coat.

At the half-hour mark of three hours, Shin'ichi was getting worried... And a little frustrated. Had she seen him? Was this her avoiding him? ...Had something else happened?

It wasn't unusual for Ran to stay late after practice. There could be tons of reasons why he didn't see her as he waited in front of her house for her, right? She was staying late at the dojo. She was grabbing a late night snack. She was on a date with a boy, being ogled by said boy and all the boys around her-

No. No, wait. Those are bad thoughts. Think of something else, Kudo! Uhhh... Uhh... Sonoko! She was hanging out with Sonoko.

...Ugh. That was just as bad.

Twenty minutes later, chest clenched uncomfortably, freezing, Shin'ichi starts to make his way home. He's nearly there, only half a street away when he notices a hunched figure crouching in front of his gate, barely illuminated by the streetlight. Small and shivering.

As he got closer, he blinked.

Was that...?

The figure wavers a little when they hear him approach, glancing up through dark bangs, and Shin'ichi's heart stopped in his chest. Long brown hair covered half of her face, but he would know her anywhere.

"Ran?"

Ice went down his spine when the head raised further, revealing dark and mottled colors-

He doesn't remember crossing the space separating them, only knows that as soon as he gets close enough to make out the bruises on the left side of her face and her split lip, utter rage fills him and makes his blood boil.

"Ran."

She blinked sluggishly, looking at him with glazed eyes as if she couldn't quite recognize who he was.

She flinches back, and it takes him a minute to realize it's because his lip is curled and he's cursing, using harder language than he'd ever used in her presence before.

With willpower that he honestly had no idea he had, he forces the rage down, swallows it and schools his expression into something calm and soothing. He kneels beside her and presses his palm to her uninjured cheek.

"Ran? Can you hear me?"

It takes her a few moments, but she comes to blinking up into his face. "Shin...?"

His thumb swipes under her eye gently. "Yeah Ran, it's me. Listen, can you get up?"

She blinks down at her legs. "I don't... I don't think so. M'cold."

He bites the inside of his cheek hard to stamp down on the desire to hurt something. "Okay," He says soothingly. "I'm going to pick you up and get you inside and arm, 'kay? Do you think you can get the door?"

She nods, wary.

He scoops her up, infinitely gentle as he cradles her shivering form to his chest, and she tucks her head under his chin; he ignores the way his heart stutters at the instinctive move. She still has a copy of his key on her ring when he kicks the gate in and makes it to the front door, he notes, ridiculously happy at the little detail. After a little fumbling, she gets the key into the lock and then they're in.

He takes her to the living room and lays her gently on the couch. "I'll be right back, okay? Don't go anywhere." Please, please Ran, don't go anywhere.

She only nods a little.

Shin'ichi moves fast, gathering up blankets and pillows from the closet and tucking the first aid kit under his arm on his way back. He hates that he needs to use it, hates that it's Ran he needs to use it on at all. He doesn't care if they're technically not talking or that she may very well hate his ever living guts; he is going to find out who hurt her and make sure they never get the chance to again.

When he returns, she's curled herself back up and is shivering more than ever. Good lord, he can hear her teeth chattering from the entryway.

"Ran," He says gently. "Ran, here. Sit up, lean forward." She obeys, and he wraps a thick comforter around her, placing the pillows around her in a makeshift nest.

And now the hard part.

"Let me see your face."

She stiffens immediately. "No."

He is not doing this with her. Not now. "Ran."

"No, Shin-"

"Now."

After a few tense moments, she grits her teeth and pushes her hair from her face.

The damage isn't as bad as he figured initially. There's an especially unpleasant bruise forming around a scrape near her eyebrow, another blooming across her cheekbone. Only the one near her temple looks as if it's going to be particularly nasty.

Her bottom lip is split and a little swollen, and it looks as if she's licked it clean.

She's watching him with dark eyes, studying his face for any sign of a crack in his expression. Purposefully he keeps it smooth and unaffected, opting instead to avoid her gaze and turning to open the first aid kit and take out the necessary tools.

"Are you injured anywhere else?" He asks carefully.

"I... No. No."

He meets her eyes. "Are you injured anywhere else?" He repeats.

"No. No, it's just my face." Ran winces, runs trembling fingers across her cheek. "It's not as bad as it looks.

He checks her pupils, relieved to find them as they should be. "What's your name?"

"What?"

"Your name. What is it?" He repeats again.

"...Ran Mori. Shin'ichi, what are you-"

"What's the date?"

She blinks, understanding dawning across her face. Her forming scowl is interrupted by her split lip, and she grimaces. "March 8th. Shin'ichi, I don't have a concussion."

"Who's the president?"

"Professor Agasa."

That cracks a smirk out of him before he raises three fingers. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

"Eleventy."

Holy god, he wants to kiss that smart-alec mouth of hers. "Good news, it appears you don't have a concussion."

"I told you," She muttered.

He missed this. He missed this so bad it literally ached. Her presence was like a balm, her voice erasing the months she'd spent treating him as if he were a stranger. They were talking like they were friends again, and something in him soared.

But he couldn't ignore it.

He couldn't ignore the circumstances. His bestfriend was sitting on his couch, in pain, injured, hurt.

"Ran..." His tone sobered her expression, and she flinched away from him when he nonchalantly pulled out a gauze and bottle of disinfectant. "This is going to sting."

She shrugged, but still hisses out a vicious breath when the disinfectant soaked gauze touches the scrape at her temple.

"I'm sorry," She whispers, head lowering a little so he can't catch her eyes. "I didn't... I don't mean to intrude... I just..." Helplessly, she shrugs. "...I didn't know where else to go."

"...Tell me what happened." He asks quietly.

Her face immediately shuts down, turning into the Ran he has known for the past four months.

"No," He warns when she turns her head slightly to stare past his shoulder. "No, Ran, we're not going back to that. You're not blocking me out again, not until you tell me why the hell you're beat up."

Maybe it was because she was in pain, maybe she was as tired and as wary as he was from all the months apart, but he saw a flicker of fire escape her defenses. Encouraged, he ploughed on. "In fact, if I'm not mistaken, this might be why you were gone those few days. The flu, huh, Ran? I never pegged you for a liar."

He knew he crossed a line.

"Funny," Ran replied, tone syrupy-sweet. "I could've said the same about you."

"I couldn't tell you, Ran." He murmured, gently putting a bandage over her eye. "I couldn't. They'd kill you if word got out."

This was, apparently, the wrong thing to say.

"Screw you, Kudo!" She burst out, swatting his hands away with enough force to make his wrist pop. Ow. "You know what that tells me? It tells me you didn't trust me enough to keep my mouth shut. How would word get out? Huh, Shin'ichi? How would your precious secret get out if it wasn't me who opened my big god damn mouth? Did you honestly think I'd be stupid enough to let it slip?"

She had a point, sort of, he conceded. It had been easier to keep it a secret from as many people as possible. He'd known Professor Agasa nearly his whole life, trusted the man inexplicably, knew he wouldn't let the secret get out...

But hadn't it been the same for Ran? Wasn't it the same for Ran?

"The less people knew," He replied quietly. "The safer everyone would be."

"Oh? Was it really safe for Professor Agasa then? I know he knew. I mean, how else would you have performed that nifty little trick with the voice change when you were right in front of me?" She laughed, and he flinched a little from the bitterness he caught in it. "Laughing at stupid old Ran, crying over a phone call when it wasn't even the same person..."

Something in him snapped.

"Never say that again," He snarled, her startled face cradled in his hands. "You're many things, Ran. Hardheaded, temperamental, but you are not stupid."

"Then why did you act like I was?" She cried out suddenly, hands reaching up to grip his almost painfully. "I thought I was your bestfriend, Shin'ichi Kudo! I thought I meant something to you. God damn it. I thought you knew you could come to me about anything." Her eyes were glistening. Damn him, she was crying. He hated it when she cried.

He loathed it when she cried because of him.

"Not about that, Ran. I couldn't come to you about that. I refused to put you in that kind of danger. It wasn't about trust. If you knew how badly I wanted to tell you, every single time I saw you crying..."

She let out a hollow laugh. "All of Ran Mori's thoughts, laid out bare! God, I told you everything." The laugh turned into a sob, and Shin'ichi's heart broke a little. The last murmur was the final straw. "You don't even care..."

Words didn't seem to be working, Shin'ichi noted. How will she feel about a demonstration, then?

With that thought, he tilted his head slanted his mouth across hers.

It wasn't perfect. It was no where near the few daydreams he'd allowed himself, where they'd be standing outside in a garden or having lunch in a romantic outside restaurant. He was awkward, kneeling in front of her and twisting his neck that way was starting to give him a cramp. In fact, at first, she whimpers a little, and for a heart stopping second he thinks he's hurt her further-was he pressing too hard? Did he split her lip again? Was his hands cupping her face too firmly?- but she leans in more, presses her lips against his in a way that makes his head swim a little.

He tries to lean back and give her a little space, this so new to both of them after all but her hand has moved and nails are digging slightly into the back of his neck well, alright, there goes that plan. Not that he has any objections.

It's minutes later when they pull apart, gasping for air. Her face is flushed and he thinks that she's never looked more beautiful.

"Um..." She says breathlessly.

"Eloquent as always," He teases. That earns him a deserving smack. "Ow!"

After a contemplative silence, she hits him again. Harder. "Ow! Jeez... What was that for?"

Her eyes narrowed to slits, Ran hissed at him, "For trying to distract me. You asshole. I'm still mad at you!"

Well. At least she felt something towards him.

She grumbles something, but he can see she can't quite keep her lips from turning up at the corners or the way her face pinks.

"Ran." She glances up at his tone, blinking. "I don't... I never wanted to hurt you." Automatically, Ran stiffens, tries to reflexively move away but he won't have any of that. He needs to tell her, damn it. Whether she wants to listen or not.

"I swear. Hurting you was the last thing on my mind. I just..." How to say this? "...I knew you'd be angry," He went on carefully. "And... And I knew you might hate me... I was alright with that."

Her tone is equal amounts incredulous and appalled. "You didn't care if I ended up hating you?"

"Of course I cared!" Shin'ichi struggles to lower his voice. "Of course. But... If it was that or your safety..." He shrugged, as if it should be obvious.

She looks like she can't quite decide whether to hit him or kiss him again. He hopes it's the latter.

Instead, something vulnerable comes into her eyes, and his chest clenches. "You weren't..." After a few moments, she ducks her head and shakes it. "Nevermind."

"Ran," He said gently. "Ran, you can tell me."

"...You weren't laughing at me?" So quiet he almost missed it, but when the words click he almost wishes he did. Laughing at her? He'd seen her cry herself to sleep! Why would he... Silly girl. Silly, beautiful girl.

He takes a deep breath. "No. No, Ran, no. Never. I never laughed at you."

"I wish you'd told me," She says, voice cracking. Uncaring of her injuries, she buries her face into her hands. "I wish you'd just told me..."

Feeling sick, he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, both of their foreheads resting against each others shoulders. She was crying. "I didn't have to," He joked weakly, hating himself. "You figured it out for yourself. Multiple times."

The noise she makes is somewhere between a laugh and a hiccup.

"...Ran, I..." I love you. I'm sorry, for everything. Let me make it up to you. Of all the things he could have said... "...Who hurt you?"

She sighed deeply, breath hitching, and moved away.

"Look, you can't freak out." She sighed again, and Shin'ichi's eyes narrowed. "It's not her fault."

...Her?

"Sonoko... Well, she's sort of boy happy, y'know?" A warning glance had him swallowing his sarcastic reply with a wry grin. "...Well, she's... Not exactly a great judge of character."

The situation was beginning to become clear.

Dangerously, dangerously clear.

"Ran," He interrupts smoothly. "Is this..." He brushes a hand against her face, feather-light. "...Why you were 'sick' those few days?"

"...Yes."

Shin'ichi see's red.

"But don't freak out!" She says frantically, waving her hands when she catches the look on his face. "Really, he's just a pathetic coward."

"What happened?" He asks, voice low.

Taking a deep breath, Ran went on. "Well... She broke up with him awhile ago. But he just kept calling her, and, finally, when we were out, he came up to her and... Grabbed her arm. So I... Er, said some words, he said some back, and then I might have sprained his wrist."

That's his girl.

"I wanted to go to the police! But Sonoko said her parents would kill her for dating an older guy, and somehow managed to talk me into just leaving it be." She sighed deeply. "He didn't like that a girl managed to beat him up. So he sent a friend to, er... Teach me a lesson, I guess."

"...What did he do?"

"Oh, y'know, just the big old caveman routine. 'Know your place' and 'I'll teach you a lesson' and all that." Ran shrugs. "Bruised my ribs up a bit before I realized what was happening. So I broke his nose."

Shin'ichi makes a mental note to keep that in mind when he finally finds the bastard.

"Anyway. Sonoko was out with friends tonight, and... He showed up again." Her face darkens with rage. "He tried to get her to go with him, so she called me. Took me by surprise. I might be feeling this for a couple days," A positively evil smirk crosses her face. "But he'll be feeling it for a couple weeks."

"I love you," He blurted. Her face went slack with shock.

"...What?"

Oh shit. Oh shit. Well, what was he suppose to say? She was just sitting there, looking so beautiful and viciously pleased and his stomach had done a weird flip when she smirked-that smirk, holy god-and everything had just... Everything he'd felt in the past few months had just caught up to him.

So Shin'ichi Kudo did something he'd never thought he'd do.

He babbled.

"I-I... I'm sorry," He began, eyes growing wider to mimic hers, starting to panic at her stunned silence. "No, wait, no, I'm not sorry. I mean, about loving you. Because I do. Um, a lot. For a while now? I wanted to tell you, but I was a coward and then- then the Organization- I couldn't... You probably hate me now but I'm tired of not saying it and... And..." Panting, he scrubbed his hands over his face. Shit. "...I love you. It's kind of hard not to. You've put up with so much of my bullshit and you've listened to me even when I annoy you with my mysteries and cases. You're the only one who waited for me, who worried for me. You're the only one who's cried over me... I just... If you don't feel the same, if you've decided you never wanted to hear those words from me, that's too damn bad. I'm tired of not saying it. I'm tired of it. I love you, Ran. I love you."

Well, that was singularly pathetic.

He'd just confessed his love to the girl who possibly hated him. And if she didn't, most likely had thrown away any romantic feelings she had had for him. What's more, he couldn't even blame her; she was right to do so. He hadn't lied when he said that he would be alright if she hated him. He wouldn't exactly jump for joy, but as long as she stayed safe...

...But she hadn't.

Jesus, he could protect her from a major secret organization, but not from a wayward abusive ex boyfriend?

He really was pathetic.

Ugh, and he'd just... Just confessed! Burdened her with his feelings and-

...And wasn't she suppose to be yelling? Or hitting him? Or kicking him out of his own house?

Yes, possibly all three simultaneously. Instead she was... Leaning closer...?

...Oh.

Oh.

More relieved than he'd ever admit to being, Shin'ichi moved his mouth against hers. This was much better than the first one, he decided. For starters, Ran kissed him. His stomach dropped.

In a very good way.

They break away quicker than they did before, but are breathing much more heavily than Shin'ichi thought possible in a non-life threatening situation.

"Oh." He said wisely. "Um."

"You're so eloquent," She teased, throwing his earlier words back at him breathlessly.

Something warm settled in his chest, and Shin'ichi sighed trying to place it. Solving a good case? Or... He leaned forward, catching her by surprise and pressing a soft kiss to her uninjured blushing cheek. Or like coming home.

A terrifying thought occurs, and he pulls back only a little. "Are we..." He actually has to swallow, his throat has gone so dry. "...Are we okay?"

She stays so quiet, studies him silently, he feels real fear stab him in the gut.

"...Yeah." She said, smiling when he could only stare dumbly at her. "Yeah, I think we're okay. I'm still mad at you," Ran clarified, but he didn't care. "...But we're okay."

Tension, hurt, guilt, worry; everything melted away as relief nearly toppled him over.

His smile is huge and ecstatic as he leans in for another kiss.


"Kogoro Mori Detective Agency."

"M-Miss Mori?"

"...Who is this?"

"I, uh, this is, that is, I'm the guy... Sonoko's ex boyfriend."

"Wh-? Agh! Listen to me, you creep, if you're calling to harass me, I swear to-"

"N-no no no! I just called to... Uh, apologize for my earlier... Well, everything. I am extremely sorry to have caused you or Sonoko any harm, bodily or otherwise. I beg your forgiveness."

"...You do, huh?"

"Y-yes!"

"I see. Apology not accepted. ...On an unrelated note, you can tell Shin'ichi, whom I'm sure is there, that I'm making his favorite tonight."

A slight scuffle, as if a chair is being pulled back and someone has dropped a phone.

Silence.

"...I love you?" Shin'ichi's voice says sheepishly, as if from far away.

"Yeah, yeah. Just hurry up and get over here."