Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ A Peaceful Day ( Chapter 19 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Nineteen
A Peaceful Day
“Oh, but it’s wonderful that Kudo-kun’s back, ain’t it?” Kazuha sighed as she hung up.
“Uh… yeah,” Heiji said, still getting over the shellshock of randomly hearing Kudo’s voice- Kudo’s real voice- calling “Merry Christmas!” into Ran’s phone. “He must be tryin’ out one’ve them short-term cures,” he thought. “Guess it’s good he’s gettin’ ta spend it with Mori… speakin’ of which…
“Oi, what was with the squealin’?” he asked as they stepped aside to let a car past. They’d run into each other in town and were heading back to hang out at his house, and in the residential areas the streets were pretty tight. “I mean, I though ya were gonna summon bats or somethin’.”
“Oh, didn’t you hear?” Kazuha giggled. “Kudo-kun and Ran-chan ain’t just hanging out for the day… they’re on a date. As in, as a couple.”
“Seriously?” Heiji said in surprise. “He finally got the guts up ta tell `er? Well, guess he knows there’s no guarantee that this ain’t gonna be the last time he’s back ta normal…” “So what about the second loada squealin’?”
“Well,” Kazuha said with an evil grin, “I asked her if, if it was a date, had she kissed `im yet, and, well, ya could basically hear the blushin’…”
“Holy cow,” Heiji said, whistling slowly. “Well, ’bout time, I guess.”
“Ain’t it just wonderful, though?” Kazuha sighed. “They’re finally together, after forever…”
“Uh… yeah…” Heiji said, feeling unaccountably nervous. “Spendin’ Christmas with the person he cares about, huh..?
“Ah, here we are!” Kazuha said, opening his front door and striding in. “Obachan! Ojichan! Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas, Kazuha-chan!” Shizuka called. From the sound of it, she was in the kitchen, by the phone.
“Oh, hold on a mo, Heiji!” Kazuha said, stopping to dig into her bag. “I know it’s kinda unnecessary, but I saw this an’ totally thoughta Obachan… good price, too… check it out!” It was a black fan with red butterfly detailing, like a mix between a war fan and a woman’s fan. “Yep,” he thought, as Kazuha scurried down the hall to give the Christmas present, “Kaa-chan all over…
“I got somethin’ for you, too,” Kazuha said as she joined him going up the stairs, “But I couldn’t get it out without gettin’ obachan’s present out… wait a minute… here! Merry Christmas!”
It was a baseball cap, but a proper baseball cap, one that was actually about baseball; specifically, it was a batter’s cap, and on the back, where the player’s name would be, was the kanji for his name. Heiji took off the cap he was already wearing and pulled the new one on, tugging the buckle a little to make it fit, but it was already set at pretty much the right size.
“Brilliant!” He said, tugging the peak before digging through one of his desk drawers. “Hey, thanks a bunch, Kazuha. I got somethin’ for ya as well. It’s `round here somewhere… Might be kinda girly for ya, though…”
“Excuse me?” Kazuha demanded, her tone clearly indicating that she was glaring daggers at him. Heiji ignored her, finally pulling out the little gift bag. “Here ya go. Merry Christmas!”
Kazuha dug into the bag excitedly, like a little kid. Her eyes widened as she pulled out the beautiful classical-style hairpin, painted gold with red and pink sakura detailing.
“Wow, that’s beautiful!” she said, happily, holding it up to the light. “Geez, what’d this cost ya?”
“Ah, it wasn’t too much,” Heiji said dismissively. “Ya like it?”
“Love it!” Kazuha said happily, wrapping it in the bag and carefully stowing it into her bag so it wouldn’t be damaged. “Thanks!” She suddenly looked pensive for a moment. “Hey… Heiji?”
“Whassup?” Heiji said, but before she could answer, his mobile rang. He held up a hand for a moment as he answered it. “Yo?”
Hei-chan. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, Otaki-han. What’s up?”
The… sensitive information that you were asking after just got here. Thought you ought to know so you can pick it up the next time you’re at the station.
“Hey, thanks a ton. I’ll do that tomorrow or th’ day after.”
Hei-chan… there’s been a few… strange… correlations between the information you were asking for…
“I know. That’s why I was askin’ for it. Remember ta keep this on the hush, all right?”
All right, Hei-chan. Look after yourself. Wish Kazuha-chan a Merry Christmas for me.
How’d he know she was here?” Heiji thought with a shrug as he hung up. “Otaki-han says Merry Christmas,” he said to Kazuha.
“Cool,” she replied with a grin.
“So what where ya wantin’ ta ask me about?” he asked. Kazuha suddenly flushed, then shook her head rapidly.
“Nah, it’s all right,” she insisted. “It can wait.”
Heiji narrowed his eyes, but just shrugged.
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Shinichi stared at his ceiling for a long time after waking up. It was his ceiling, much closer to him than it was with his kiddy body, faint dark marks all over it where he’d bounced a football off of it when trying to do keepie-uppies on rainy days. For a few minutes, he could pretend that it had all been a horrible nightmare; he’d had a good time at Tropical Land with Ran yesterday, murders aside, and then he’d come home and had a horrible nightmare, that was all…
But two and a half years ago, that nightmare had been real. He had burned, and then he had run home- well, staggered, eventually, after his kiddy body had so quickly run out of energy- in the cold and the rain, getting soaked and muddy, tearing his palms and knees open as he tripped over his baggy, oversized jeans…
He finally sat up, staring around his room. He’d only really slept here one night since that day at Tropical Land, and thanks to the antidote, he’d just passed out entirely. His mother hadn’t tidied up his room, beyond probably reshelving a few books that he would have left lying around or tidying away some clothes that he hadn’t bothered to. His computer had a thick padding of dust between the keys, untouched for over two years and as such badly outdated. His book bag still lay half-open on his desk, tenth-grade textbooks and notebooks spilling out of it, including a trigonometry sheet that had been due for the next day. Still, it had looked a cinch, so he’d figured that he’d do it once he got home…
The room felt stale; it was the clear image of a life frozen, as if it was waiting for him to return for real. He sat on the sheets, which had set stiff during his long absence and hadn’t entirely softened up yet from a single night’s sleep. On his bedside table was an old photo, from the day he and Ran had started high school; crouching on one of the nearby grassy banks of the Teimizu, wearing their new Teitan uniforms and smiles, still just best friends, still together, with forever ahead of them, no strange drugs, no mysterious jewels, no men in black looming up between them in a sneering dark wall…
My life,” he thought, staring at the picture, at his own oblivious smile. “Those bastards stole my life… and, dammit, I want it back…
He looked at his clock. Unfortunately, there must have been a brief power outage at some point during his absence, because it was flashing 11:38. He dug out his watch and set the digital clock back to the correct time, which happened to be seven thirty AM. Remembering his promise, he reached for his mobile, remembering that Ran was an early riser. She picked up after only a couple of rings.
Moshi moshi,” she greeted, a little sleepily.
“Ohayou, Ran,” he said. “I promised I’d call. Looks like I’m still going to be in all day… until about late afternoon, I guess.”
Oh, that’s brilliant! Do you want to meet up? About half-eight?
“Sounds good,” he agreed. “Do you want to go anywhere in particular?”
Well, there’s a new arcade in Shibuya…”
“I’ll meet you at the station at half-eight, then?” he suggested.
Is there nowhere you really want to go?
“Anywhere with you,” he said with a private grin. She giggled.
Wow, I’m still not used to this,” she admitted. “It’s a little weird to think that we’ll actually be out together, but as a couple… but good weird, you know?
“Yeah,” he agreed. “Can’t wait to get used to it…”
Well, how about we work on that today?” Ran suggested with a giggle.
“Looking forward to it,” Shinichi agreed with a grin. “I’ll see you then!”
As he hung up, he could already feel his spirits lifting. He still had today with Ran- or most of it, probably- and once this was all over, they’d have forever. No matter what happened next.
‘Cause it’s going to happen to the Organization if I have anything to do with it…
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“Wow, this place is packed,” Shinichi said as they picked their way through the crowds filling the arcade.
“They have all of the newest games,” Ran said, “As well as a few classics that no other arcade has anymore.” Shinichi nodded as they passed a long line forming behind a couple of old Mario Kart units. “Um, let’s see… not Virtua Fighter Pro…”
“Why?” Shinichi asked inquisitively. “Of course,” Ran thought, “I don’t think I ever told him about that one, did I…?
Having Shinichi around two days in a row was wonderful; Him finally being her boyfriend- it was so weird to think of like that, though, as if no label really fit him except just “Shinichi”- was downright magical. Ran couldn’t think of the last time she’d ever been this happy. He was grinning broadly as well, not being as distant and generally out of it as he normally was when he returned, and there was no sign of his mysterious but violent illness either. Still, Ran couldn’t help but feel that he was acting a little strangely today; he kept subtly glancing around, as if scanning the area for a danger, and seeming awfully self-conscious about being out in the open, suddenly preferring crowds. It was like he thought something was stalking him, something that would seem like paranoia if it wasn’t Shinichi- after all, it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you, and Shinichi was the one person whom she could envision in that scenario.
Or you’re the one being paranoid,” she chided herself as, aloud, she finished explaining the case. “Just enjoy him being here.
“Hey, look,” Shinichi said, indicating a large wallscreen above two player pods labelled “Mystical Warrior: Double Damage.” The pods were entirely enclosed, but the screen was showing the two characters- a female warrior and a wizard- presumably being controlled by the players within fighting a gigantic youkai-king type figure. They were winning, too, judging by the red health bar on the boss and the green and yellow bars above the respective player’s heads. A crowd of people were watching the battle avidly, since- as Ran judged from their conversations- the two in the pods had been in for a good forty-five minutes and this was the final of ten bosses in the game. With a blast of light, the wizard knocked the king down, and a split second later, before the monster could right itself, the female warrior landed a devastating kick on the glowing red tail that was presumably the youkai’s sole weak point, finishing a devastating one-two whammy.
“It looks like the game is two-player only,” Shinichi observed. “And since the pods are separate, and the players don’t seem to be able to communicate, I guess you’d need a really close team to win this…”
“Yeah, you need to plan out all your strategies beforehand,” an otaku next to them explained. “It’s real tough since you don’t get to confer in between battles, so you’ve gotta plan out all ten in advance or have a real good feel for each other’s playing style… This thing’s only been out a week, you know, so these two’ve gotta be real close players. Whoa! What a combo!” The female warrior had thrown a sword, and the wizard had thrown a magic blast at it, creating, as the otaku loudly proclaimed, “a spear of pure PWNage.” A second later, fireworks burst all over the screen and the player pods lit up, the scoreboard proclaiming the players to have been the first two to have won the game. The massed otaku started cheering.
“Wow,” Ran said softly. “What a team…” she giggled as she linked fingers with him. “I wonder if we could do that?”
“I don’t know about games, but I’m fairly certain we could kick anyone’s ass in real life,” Shinichi laughed as the players entered their names into the scoreboard as Sapphire and Ace. “If they get past your karate, they’re getting a football to the back of the head.”
“Yeah, since you’re terrible at hand-to-hand, except dodging…” Ran teased, and then abruptly stopped, her eyes widening as she saw the two teenagers who’d gotten out of the player pods, the guy trying to pry the girl off of him when she hugged him happily.
“Aoko-chan!” she cried in surprise. “Kuroba-kun! Wow, that was you?”
“Ran-chan?!” Aoko squealed, clearly still very hyped up. She pushed her way through the otaku that were fighting for the pods, dragging Kaito behind her by the arm. “Wow, small world! Nice to see you agai- oh, is this the famous Kudo Shinichi? Geez, you guys are twins…”
Ran giggled as Shinichi and Kaito stared at each other with mirror images of shock on their faces. The startling resemblance between the two was even more noticeable now that the two were face-to-face. Shinichi’s hair was marginally darker in colour, Kaito’s a touch longer and a lot more unruly, but Ran would swear that there wasn’t an inch of difference in their height or weight, and even their eyes were the precise same shade of sapphire blue. Ran wondered if they were distant relatives of some sort and just didn’t know it- after all, Shinichi and Conan were distant cousins, and the resemblance between them was uncanny as well.
“Um… nice to meet you?” Shinichi said, looking more than a little freaked out.
“Oh, that’s right, you guys haven’t met yet, have you?” she said. “All right- Shinichi, this is Nakamori Aoko-chan and Kuroba Kaito-kun. Aoko-chan, Kaito-kun, this is Kudo Shinichi.”
“Nakamori,” Shinichi said thoughtfully. “Are you related to that blowhard-”
Nakamori-keibu is my Otou-san,” Aoko said sharply. Then she too looked thoughtful, and suddenly grinned. “Hold on, were you that high-school tantei that nearly caught the Kaitou Kid at the Clock Tower? Otou-san wasn’t very happy about you butting in- he ranted forever– but I thought it was so cool that you nearly got him! Where’ve you been since? I bet you could’ve thrown him in jail by now!”
“Well, I’ve had a rather larger case than a petty thief to deal with,” Shinichi replied, “but I can assure you, one day I will find him.” His gaze roamed over Kaito for a moment. “Come to that… are you related to Kuroba Toichi? The famous magician? He was a friend of Kaa-san’s, I think…”
“Yeah, I met your Okaa-san in Osaka,” Kaito said, “and your Otou-san. They said we met when we were little, though I sure don’t remember it. Small world, huh?”
“Tell me about it,” Shinichi muttered cryptically.
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There ya go, Mel7200!
Hey, when did I say Heiji wasn’t awesome, Pretztailfan95? I just personally think Kid-sama is awesomer. 😀 (Yeah, I’m passing that English exam… ^_^;) Yes, it is over nine thousand… it’s ONE-NINE-THOUSAND! *joins ya in front of the firing squad* You just gave me a great idea for a crossover crack-fic, by the way. Conan shall have his THUMPING VENGEANCE! *searches Billy Jukes in the meantime* PS, the review thing wasn’t working on the latest chapter of your fic for some reason, so can I just say: AWWWW! Poor Conan! I mean, I can see why people think that, but it’s still mean! Aww, can’t wait to see what happens to him.
The Mystery Person shall reappear in due course, Angelroy… I’ll say this: they’re not quite an OC.
I decided to try the extension because I figured Ai should make SOME progress with the antidote, Silver Shadowbreeze, especially given how many she’s made: so progress, but not a lot. Still, it’s been two years…
Aww, thanks twilightserius! I was wondering what that meant 😛
I do not claim to own any of the characters in Meitantei Conan. They are the intellectual property of Aoyama Gosho. All characters, couples and locations, if Canon, will be faithful to the manga, so if you’re into fics with weird pairings like Shinichi and Heiji, the back button is at the top there. The fic may not make sense if you have not read up to chapter 690, which you can do at a site called (read between the lines) O/n/e/ma/n/g/a, but I advise you to buy the official Tankoban novels (up to volume 28 are out in English at the time of writing) so that Aoyama-sensei can afford to continue gracing us with his imagination. Now, I hope you enjoy the fic! (If you don’t, please see my previous comments re the back button).
Small World