No, I don't know what the Voices are smoking. -_-;; Whatever it is, they're not sharing.
Special thanks to Hell's Hauntress for beta-ing the first part!

Let Go
By Icka! M. Chif

should i let go or hold tight?
should i let go or hold tight?
is destiny calling?
is destiny calling?

(jan johnson -silent words)

Not many people get a chance at a second childhood.

Not many of those few people who do try to give it back.

Edogawa Conan was one of those people.

He had been happy in his life as Kudo Shin'ichi. Rising High School Detective, champion soccer player if he had chose and happily not quite dating his childhood friend Mouri Ran. He didn't want to go back to being a child. He quite liked his life the way it was, thank you very much.

And then enter his second childhood, thanks his insatiable curiosity, some hoodlums in black and a little white pill.

That wasn't to say that his new life was bad, per say. He still had all his memories and skills from when he was Shin'ichi, but not only was he not supposed to have them, he had to hide them. The people who had shrunk him were still out there to kill him.

Not that he gave much thought to it. He hid his secrets, told no one and basically got on with his life, keeping an eye and an ear open at all times for danger and/or a chance to return to his 'normal' life.

Then came the fateful day when it all was taken away.

An anniversary. The day that everything changed, that his life was turned on it's ear. He had needed to see Ran again, as himself instead of as a little boy who obviously adored his 'Ran-neechan'. Ran was missing Shin'ichi worse than normal. After bugging Hiabara about it for several weeks, the tiny scientist had relented, warning him to be extra careful. She had a bad feeling creeping up the back of her spine.

He smiled and innocently inquired as to what could go wrong.

He should have known better than to give fate an open invitation.

It has been a wonderful day, just the two of them. Wandering around, talking, just enjoying each others company like they had never had before. Shin'ichi, drunk and giddy over the chance of being normal for a little while had been so bold as to take her hand as they watched the sunset from a bridge in the park.

Ran smiled, her shy yet joyful smile matching his own as she clasped his hand.

Then a shot shattered the peacefulness.

Shin'ichi was just turning toward Ran to ask her something when something slammed into his chest with enough force to knock him over the railing of the bridge.

The last thing he saw before hitting the water was Ran looking over the edge of the railing screaming his name.

It was several hours later before he woke up, as Conan. Hiabara looked less than pleased with him. All she did was mutter a sarcastic 'Congratulations' before turning on the TV where he could see it.

The television was airing the Death of Kudo Shin'ichi, shot by an un-known assailant while on a date with his long time girlfriend, Mouri Ran.

In a clipped professional voice, Hiabara explain how she had followed him and found his shrinking body several minutes later. The shock of being shot and falling into the cold water had triggered the transformation back into Conan.

He shouldn't have started to shrink at all. It was a miracle, one that had saved his life.

The process of changing back into Conan from the much larger Shin'ichi had saved his life. She had explained, looking rather disgruntled. The bullet had grazed his heart, he would have died if his body hadn't fixed it during the shrinking process.

However, the miracle that saved his life came with a rather high price.

The process of changing forms was extremely hard on his heart. Because the wound, healed or not, was so close to his heart, the next time he changed into Shin'ichi, he Would Be Dead before the transformation was complete.

And that was that.

He had gone home, back to the Mouri Detective Agency, feeling rather numb. It wasn't until he had seen the tears streaming down Ran's face that everything sunk in and he began to cry too. Without a word, Ran set him in her lap and the two of them mourned together, wrapped around each other for what little comfort they could find.

They both lost something profound that day. They had both lost Kudo Shin'ichi. Ran grieved for her lost friend, maybe something more. Conan grieved for his lost dreams and hopes.

Hattori showed up with in hours of hearing the news, trying in his own way to cheer the Detective of the East up.

That was the last time anyone ever referred to Conan as 'Kudo'. He just looked at Heiji with dull blue eyes and informed him flatly that Kudo was Dead. And that was the end of that.

But, time passed as all time must. And with time their wounds scabbed over, if not healed. Things changed between the Detective's daughter and the little pipsqueak they watched. Conan was no longer introduced as 'that kid who lived with them', but as 'Ran's little brother'.

And he was, if not in blood then by truth.

It took 2 months for his parents before his parents contacted him by showing up at the door to the Mouri residence, in their disguises as Conan's parents. Whether it was because they hadn't heard about the incident for 2 months, or had been busy until then was unknown. Not much was said. Not much was needed to be said.

By then he had reached a choice. He was never going to be, or be seen as Kudo Shin'ichi again. But he had his whole life ahead of him as Edogawa Conan. And it was time to see what kind of person Edogawa Conan could be.

His parents were no longer his parents, their son was dead. But Kudo Yusaku and Yukiko were Conan's favourite 'Uncle' and 'Aunt' and remained close to them. It was a bitter-sweet agreement on both sides, but mutually agreed to be the most beneficial, and safest, to all parties involved.

And with that, he began to use the blank slate that was his life as Conan to the fullest extent he could. They could take the man out of the boy, but they couldn't take the detective out of him.

Instead of learning soccer again like he had as Kudo, he expressed interest in and began to learn Karate and Kenpo, much to Ran and Heiji's respective delights. That wasn't to say that he gave up soccer entirely, he still continued to use it for meditative and defensive purposes as well as the occasional fun game, but Ran was in High School, and wouldn't be around to protect him forever.

That was probably the hardest part about leaving Shin'ichi behind, was helping Ran get over him. He had promised her that he would come back, even if it killed him. And he had. For one single, too brief day, he had upheld his promise. And Shin'ichi had died. There was no hope that he was ever coming back.

It would have been so easy, especially the first several months, to pick up the phone and use the voice changer to talk to her. But it would have been a false hope. And he couldn't do that to her. Not again. So he never did.

That didn't mean he didn't keep an eye on anyone interested in dating Ran. Anyone who wanted to go out with the Detective's daughter not only had to get passed her father, who seemed to take great pleasure in polishing his weapons around any potential suitors, but her small little brother who cheerfully greeted them with the piercing eyes that saw everything and asked questions that were just a tad too knowledgeable.

Many dates didn't make it past the front door.

Not that Ran minded. She didn't feel up to dating so the majority of the time she silently cheered them on, much to Sonoko's chagrin. She believed that Ran had spent too much time moping over that silly boy and urged Ran to get over Shin'ichi and start dating. Ran would smile gently at her friend and inquire to how Matako was doing, then watch with amusement as Sonoko would then blush and loose track of the conversation.

Ran was one of the few things that Conan and Mouri continued to see eye to eye. The rest of the time they worked hard on ignoring each other, especially during cases. Sleeping Mouri continued to amaze everyone with his detections and Conan continued to work miracles behind the scenes.

This continued until he reached middle school again, and Ran moved out to finish college in another part of Japan. She had taught him out to cook by then, expanding on the little basics he had known when he had lived on his own. Mouri-san couldn't cook to save his own life, and neither Ran nor Conan were going to risk food poisoning.

By that time his small form had grown enough that it was increasingly hard to hide behind the slumbering man's form and so Conan slowly took a more active role in solving cases. First as Mouri's assistant, and then mostly due to Inspector Tagaki and Sato's influence, he began to help the police department, much like he had done before as Kudo Shin'ichi.

Only this time, he refused to be anywhere close to the lime light, avoiding cameras and the press at all costs. Instead of being 'The Saviour of the Police Department', he became 'The Police Department's Secret Weapon', a kid trained by the late great Kudo and ex-Inspector Mouri.

He never found any clues or hint of the Black Organization again. Jodie-sensei disappeared as quickly as she had come, leaving no trace behind. Hiabara didn't seem to find this strange. With Kudo Shin'ichi gone, they seemed to no longer consider him a threat. And by this time, she rather hoped that they considered her dead. Moliarty had no more use for his Holmes.

Life stabilised, and he reached High School once again with no major mishaps. Due to the years of martial arts instead of Soccer, his body filled out differently than it had the first time, but he was still a bit on the skinny geeky side, with eyes that remained too wise for their years no matter how his face filled out around them.

Genta, Mitsuhiko, Ayumi, and he remained close friends, solving the occasional minor mystery together. Ayumi was also interning at the Police station, following in the footsteps of her mentor, Sato. (Sato and Takagi had long since gotten married and Inspector Megure was quite happily playing the role of doting grandfather to their children.)

Then word came back that nearly stopped his heart from beating.

Ran was getting married.

He had always known, deep down, that this would happen some day. But mentally preparing for a remote possibility and having it actually happen are two entirely different things.

His first instinct was to run. She hadn't seen him in some time, and while there were some differences, such as how he moved and spoke, he knew he looked pretty much as he had over a decade years ago, a Shin'ichi clone. Where as other people's memories of Shin'ichi had faded, hers wouldn't. Ran had a good memory for faces, even if she forgot locations and names.

And it hurt. It hurt more than he thought it would, the thought of Ran marrying someone, moving away from him for good.

But logic overruled instinct. He stayed, and greeted her with warm smiles at the door. Her husband to be was a nice man, nothing spectacular, but clearly adored Ran. Conan couldn't find fault with him, except for the fact that, well, he wasn't -him-. It was a bitter-sweet taste in the back of his mouth.

Mouri eventually dragged his son-in-law to be out to the bars to get better aquatinted with him, leaving Ran and Conan alone in the apartment. There was a moment of awkward silence, then Ran walked over to him and slid the glasses off his face, smiling shyly at him.

"Hello, Shin'ichi." She said quietly, no trace of doubt in her clear voice.

He paused a moment, then smiled back. "Hello Ran."

And with that, they began to talk. Major things, minor things, things he had been doing lately as Conan, what happened to him as Shin'ichi, her up coming wedding. Hopes of the past, dreams for the future. They talked for hours, as comfortable and relaxed with each other as they had been 10 years ago.

They talked until it there was nothing more to talk about and was time for Ran to go. She paused, looking at her long time friend, and her little brother, and paused. "Shin'ichi..."

He gently cupped her face and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Be happy." He whispered. She nodded and smiled at him, tears forming in the corners of her eyes.

And he let her go.


Um... sometimes APTX-4869 is shown as a white pill, sometimes is red and white. *shrugs* Whatever.

Second Conan fic where Jan Johnson lyrics have managed to slide in... Huh. Seem to end up doing a lot of writing to Techno/Dance/Trance music lately, especially Conan fics. Just waiting for 'Odyssey' by Delerium to make an appearance.
Moby's '18' cd is our Kid writing music, which is why you'll see a lot of lyrics from it.
What is it with songs helping to write fics anyway? Is there some unspoken rule out there about creativity inspiring creativity?

Anyway. Enough rambling.
Anyone else tired of the angst? *raises hand* Ye-ah. Me too.

Current projects are Akako and Hakuba character exploration fics (ever notice how your perception of characters shift over time?) and what appears to be a continuation of the Game/Trick trilogies, this one called 'Pranks'. (yesh! Back to comedy!)
Poor poor Saguru... Hattori, Conan and Kuroba are gonna clean his clock... *snickers*