Characters: Ran Mouri, Ai Haibara, Conan Edogawa Shinichi Kudou, Professor Agasa
Disclaimer: Detective Conan belongs to no one but Gosho Aoyama Sensei.
Summary: Ai is sick; Ran comes to look after her. Ai finally opens up to Ran; Ran asks Ai if she likes Conan... As much as Ai wants Ran to be her Nee-Chan, Ai wants Conan to be... No, Ai would never allow herself to have that kind of selfish thought.
"Yes, you should. Do something before I lose control and act beyond morality..."
"However, some people just exist, exist as individuals who made up of lies, can show anything but true feelings. They can only immediately pick up the pieces, when their heat is shattered into millions of broken pieces."
"Those feelings are like Pandora's Box, like the apple Eve gave to Adam... I don't dare to open the Pandora's Box... I don't want to eat that Adam's apple..."
-By Ai Haibara-
Detective Conan: One Shot: Ran Nee-Chan
"Thanks for coming." Professor Agasa is relieved when he sees it's Ran who comes. "It's not an easy job for me to take care of the child," he smiles apologetically to Ran.
In fact, it's always Haibara Ai who takes care of Professor Agasa. She supervises his diet and makes sure he gets enough exercise, like a mother. So, it's pretty troublesome for Professor Agasa when she falls sick, the semi-old man has problem taking care of himself, not to mention taking care of a sick child.
"It's okay," Ran nods and smile politely, "I'm free tough."
"Ai-Kun is sleeping in her room," Professor Agasa says as he leads Ran to her room.
"I see," Ran replies simply.
Haibara is lying in her bed, half asleep. She is never a heavy sleeper; the difficulty to breathe and her head burning in fever make her sleeping even worse. She wonders why she catches a cold so easily.
Conan is sitting on a chair next to Haibara's bed, wondering the same thing as her. The evil-eyed yawn girl looks tired every day at school. Perhaps that has something to do with her sleeping late at night in order to invent the antidote of APTX 4869. Getting so little sleep can affect her immune system, especially now she's just merely a kid.
The ends of his lips curl up thinking of that, looking at the girl who looks more like fainting due to dizziness rather than sleeping. She's doing her best to help me out, to redeem the mistake she made because of being compelled by the Black Organization. Perhaps I should stop being so mean to her?
Ha, then she should stop being so sarcastic and cold. Conan smirks of the thought. He turns around as he hears the footstep from behind.
"Ran Nee-Chan!" Conan exclaims, acting childish as if he's excited seeing Ran coming over. Part of Shinichi is really looking forward to see her, though.
"Conan-Kun," Ran smiles, glad to see Conan, especially seeing him not running around but staying obediently at Professor Agasa's house. "Had you all had lunch?" she asks.
"Not yet," Professor Agasa and Conan answer, almost at the same time.
"Then I'll cook," Ran says, "Is porridge okay? Then Ai-Kun can get some after she wakes up too."
"Sure," Professor Agasa and Conan agree.
A faint grin appears on Haibara's face, though no one seems to notice it, maybe not even herself.
"The porridge is ready~" Ran says cheerfully as she brings a small pot of porridge into Haibara's room. "Help yourselves and be careful, it's very hot."
"Thanks, Ran Nee-Chan," Conan nods and smiles, then walks to the door.
"Thank you, Ran-Kun," Professor Agasa says, "don't you want to have your porridge with us?"
"I'm not hungry yet," Ran says as she puts the pot of porridge on the side table. "Someone has to look after Ai-Kun, after all."
"She's doing just fine by herself," Conan turns his head looking at Ran, while actually his words are meant for Haibara to hear, just to tease her.
"I'll make sure Ai-Kun eats when she wakes up," Ran replies, "Just leave the dishes after you have lunch, I'll do the cleaning.
"Thanks," Professor Agasa smiles embarrassingly, "Please make sure she has her medicine after having the porridge, as well."
"Sure," Ran nods with a smile. Ah, when will she stop being so nice to others and start being nice to herself? Conan thinks to himself, worries Ran in his Shinichi's mind.
Not long after the young boy and the old boy left, Haibara helps herself to sit on the bed.
"Ai-Kun, sorry to wake you up," Ran says, thinking that they're probably talking too loud and woke Haibara.
"It's okay," Haibara says coldly with her hoarse voice. Then she regrets it. It's not really necessary to keep the safe distance; after all, the BO won't go after Ran, at least for now. And if they do, distant myself from Ran won't be a practical effort to keep Ran safe.
"Are you hungry?" she asks, with a concern smile. She can't help wonder why this girl is so reserved in front of her; she's always a kids' magnet. Perhaps it's because she's not feeling well, or it's real that she hates her.
"Not really," Haibara answers, then she notices the pot on her side table. She feels warm, thinking that'll be what Akemi would do for her, if she's still alive. She tries her best to smile sweetly, pointing at the pot, "but I guess I want to try some of that."
"Please wait a little while," Ran smiles more brightly, happy to see the girl's genuine smile. She then fills a bowl with porridge, and picks up the spoon on the side table, "would you prefer eating yourself or let me feed you?"
"I," Haibara is about to answer she wants to have it herself, but quickly changes her mind. I should at least show her some reliance after Ran saved her when she's about to die under Vermouth's gun, "would you mind to feed me, Ran Nee-Chan?"
Ran blushes a little, listening to the unexpected request. It's the first time Haibara call her by name, adding a cute 'Nee-Chan' despite her sounding weak due to the cold. "Not at all," Ran replies as she sits on the chair beside her bed, holding the hot bowl of porridge with a forever-so-pleasant smile.
Ran blows the spoonful of porridge gently, as it's too hot to be edible. Haibara observes her little movements and her tiniest expressions that resemble her gone sister's. Thinking that staring like that is too rude, Haibara acts innocence, looking at the spoon filled with porridge, so that Ran would only think that she's just a kid in hunger.
"Ai-Kun, here," as Ran place the spoon in front of her, Haibara opens her mouth and let Ran put it in her mouth. Haibara blushes a little thinking of her naive act, hoping that Ran wouldn't notice. "Tell me if it's too hot," Haibara hears Ran says as she gulps. Actually the temperature is just perfect.
"It's fine," Haibara answers, "Nee-Chan, the porridge is delicious!" She isn't lying, although her hyper-child-like intonation is just a guise.
"Glad you like my vege porridge!" Ran replies, too happy to see the little girl's changed attitude towards her. Perhaps it has something to do with the kidnap case? Ran wonders to herself. "I'm actually surprised to find so many vegetables stock up in Professor Agasa's fridge."
"That's because he's on diet," Haibara respond to Ran's astonishment with a small laugh. How weird it is, a first grade girl supervising a 52-year-old man's diet.
"Wow, I tried to persuade him to eat healthier before, but he never listened!" Ran exclaims as she feed another spoonful of porridge to Haibara.
"Mm, when men get older they'll be more concerned about their health, I guess," Haibara smirks. She carefully avoids telling the truth that it's her who stocks the fridge up with vegetables. Ran has a sharp intuition and would be suspicious if she learns about it.
"Maybe," Ran doesn't seem to doubt her explanation at all, feeding Haibara with another spoonful of porridge. "By the way," she goes on to another topic, but hanging the conversation with a mysterious smile.
"Just say it, Ran Nee-Chan," Haibara pleads like a child. Deep inside she is really enjoying this moment and eager to know what she's going to say.
Perhaps this is how it feels like to have sisterly talk?
She never had so-called heart-to-heart talk with anyone before she was shrunk. Of course, at times, she tells her true feelings to Kudou and the Detective Boys, but it's never the same. The feeling talking to a girl who's actually a peer, and the feeling talking to a guy or talking to brats, they can't be compared.
Back then, she had to keep herself away from others in school, not only to protect her identity as a BO member, but also to avoid dragging others into dangers.
While she was sitting alone in the canteen, acting cold and always on guard, part of her is really envious of the normal brats around her school. She had to be mean to anyone who tried to befriend with her and turn down every guy who tried to be her boyfriend.
Maybe I'm longing for the stupidity to chat about nonsense with someone without any guard up?
"Ai-Kun, do you like Conan-Kun?" Ran asks, while looking at Haibara seriously.
"E... E... Eh?" Haibara is indeed stunned by the question. She blushes hard, feeling her body temperature which is already feverish hot rises 1 or 2 degree Celsius.
"Oh! You're so adorable when you blush!" Ran exclaims full of excitement.
"A... Ah?!" Haibara is once again speechless, staring blankly to Ran's mischievous grin.
In her mind, thousands of emotions are swirling, like a whirlpool. Why am I feeling so shy about that question? Last time when Mitsuhiko inquired about that, I could simply answer there's nothing romantic between Conan and I. But why when facing Ran, I'm loss of word?
Perhaps she knows she can't fool a girl when it comes to matters about feelings, or perhaps, just perhaps... She's feeling guilty that her answer may be a 'yes'?
Ran, who had long ago abandoned the deduction that Conan is Shinichi, giggles, "I'll take that as a 'yes'!"
"Noooo... Ran Nee-Chan!" Haibara protests helplessly. If only you know you're pairing up your love with another girl... A girl who doesn't deserve him, a girl who doesn't deserve you, a girl who should be blame for ruining his life, ruining your relationship with him...
Haibara hides her guilty feelings under her feign; a feign that she wears too well; too well that even Ran would never figure out; figure out who she really is despite her acted childlike-innocence.
"Come on, Ai-Kun~ Admit it!" Ran is so enthusiastic about the topic, that she even puts the bowl of porridge she's holding on the side table, forgets the reason why she's sitting beside Haibara. She finally understands how Sonoko feels when she teases her about her ambiguous relationship with Shinichi.
"I do like him, as a friend, like how I like Ran Nee-Chan!" Haibara explains, still blushing out of embarrassment. I'm telling the truth... I'm telling the truth... So why is my heart still pounding fast?
"Ah... I know it's not just that. Don't worry~ I'll keep it secret from Conan-Kun, promise," before Haibara realizes the interrogation carried out by the infamous Detective Mouri's daughter has ended shortly, Ran winks to Haibara while making the promise. Ran's ignorance makes Haibara feeling even guiltier.
"Ran Nee-Chan, please don't misunderstand," Haibara pleads. Haibara's weak begging voice makes Ran feels uneasy out of the blue.
"Whatever you say..." Ran gives up making fun of her, but looks her in the eyes sincerely. "Ai-Kun, can I entrust you with a favour?"
"Ah... Please voice it," Haibara is relieved that she stops teasing her, but at the same time carefully observe the sudden change in attitude of Ran.
"As I know, you're more mature than any other in Detective Boys. So, please look after Conan-Kun for me," Ran requests, with a faint grin. "He always seems like he's messing around, worrying me, but I think there's something important that he's hiding from me."
Haibara listens obediently, nodding, agreeing with Ran's words silently.
"You and Conan-Kun get along very well, and it looks like you understand him the best. So, please be there for Conan-Kun when I'm not able to, because you know how to take care of others very well," Ran places her hand on Haibara's shoulder as she speaks. It seems like there's no boundary of age, as if Ran doesn't take Haibara merely as a kid, but a person who can be entrusted with responsibilities.
"I can't promise that I'll take care of Edogawa-Kun, but as long as he needs it, I'll lend a hand," Haibara agrees, sounding mature. There's no point acting childish when Ran thinks she has a grown up's mind. "But, Ran Nee-Chan, the one Edogawa-Kun really need is Nee-Chan."
"Huh?" Ran is surprised by Haibara's statement, actually more surprised by her adult-like way of speaking. The atmosphere becomes a little awkward due to the solemn that was lacked between them for a while appears.
"Yeah!" Haibara who notices it quickly conceal her solemnness with her innocence act, "Edogawa-Kun used to say that the person he likes the most is Ran Nee-Chan besides his parents!" The fact that she voices in her hoarse yet naive voice, stabs into her heart, causing a piercing pain. But why should it? Why should I let it? She silently forbids herself from finding the answer.
"For real?" Ran asks jokingly, blabbing, "Maybe I should take him to the new restaurant tonight."
"Aww, too bad I can't come along..." Haibara says flighty. Yes, you should. Do something before I lose control and act beyond morality... Haibara quietly begs Ran in her heart.
"Don't worry 'bout that. Once you get well, I'll take you there too, and also the Detective Boys," Ran promise genuinely.
"Yay! Ran Nee-Chan is sooooo nice!" Haibara exclaims, though her voice is hoarse, and embraces Ran. The truth is she doesn't want Ran to see her bitter smile, the bitter smile that even her needs a few seconds to erase it.
Ran is shocked of her reaction, but still hugs back with a smile. To her, she's happy to have another kid calling her 'Ran Nee-Chan', and the fear that she hates her is gone. Maybe she's just doesn't open up to strangers easily? Ran thinks of the only explanation that sounds logical and happily accepts it.
Haibara sees a shadow moving itself from her door with the corner of her eyes, but chooses to ignore what she sees and goes back talking to Ran about piles of nonsense. Perhaps happiness can cure illness, that's why Ai-Kun is looking so cheerful and outgoing right now, Ran thinks to herself with relief.
She doesn't know, Haibara is more tired than she was, too tired of her own acting. And when Haibara catches the sight of Conan behind the door, she thought she's going to die of heartache.
However, some people just exist, exist as individuals who made up of lies, can show anything but true feelings. They can only immediately pick up the pieces, when their heat is shattered into millions of broken pieces.
Ran... Please be my Nee-Chan, just my Nee-Chan. I want to protect you, like how you did to me. I don't want to steal anything away from you...
Sorry... I'm Sorry, Shinichi... I've made you the same kind of individuals I am. And now I have feelings for you. Those feelings are like Pandora's Box, like the apple Eve gave to Adam... I don't dare to open the Pandora's Box... I don't want to eat that Adam's apple...
"Ran Nee-Chan," Haibara says weakly to Ran, "I'm tired."
"Ah, Ai-Kun, I thought you're feeling better," Ran exclaims in concern. "Anyway, let's take the medicine before you sleep."
"Okay," Haibara agrees feebly. She has her med and covers herself in blanket, pretends to fall asleep.
That night, Conan sneaks into Haibara's room after saying goodbye to Ran and tells her that he wants to stay in Agasa's house to look after Haibara.
Touching Haibara's pillow that is soaking in tears, looking at the traces that tears left on her face; Conan can't help but giving out a sigh. He isn't worry that Haibara would hear him, because he knows that she sucks at faking asleep, and she's already soundly asleep.
Finally, you're getting good sleep, Conan grin faintly; don't push yourself too hard, Ai...
He recalls himself standing outside Haibara's room, listening to every single detail they said. While what Ran heard was a naive little girl, Conan was listening to the most sorrowful, suffering woman.
I know, Ai, don't admit it, even though I already know... Please, don't do it, because I'm afraid to choose, although we both know who I would choose eventually...
Shinichi Kudou is the first guy who appears in my fantasy... It's long ago, when I was still in elementary school, when I had no idea what a fantasy is.
Lately I'm stuck in this amazing manga again, and I'm writing a one shot about it because I just can't get the manga out of my mind!
To be honest, Shinichi Kudou is my favorite male character in DC, while Ai Haibara is my favorite female character. But, in the end, Ran Mouri is still the best for Shinichi, right? :')
Thanks for reading! Please leave your reviews :)