Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Fleeting Happiness ( Chapter 16 )

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

Chapter Sixteen
Fleeting Happiness
“Ran! I didn’t think you’d be out toda- oh-ho…”
Oh, no…” Shinichi thought with a sigh as Sonoko’s voice rang out through the cinema lobby. Ran turned with a broad grin and a hint of a blush, and Shinichi also managed to set his face into a smile as he set eyes on the bubbly girl. He was surprised to see Kyogoku Makoto was trailing behind her. He must have returned for Christmas as well.
Now, you’ve not even met the guy,” he reminded himself as the two drew nearer. “For that matter, has Ran ever mentioned him to you…?
“Well, it looks like I’m not the only one whose vanishing boyfriend appeared for Christmas!” Sonoko said, laughing as they both blushed. “How long are you back for, Kudo-kun?”
“Well, hopefully I don’t have to leave until tomorrow evening, but you never know,” Shinichi said with a shrug. “So you actually have a steady boyfriend? You?”
“Shinichi!” Ran said reprimandingly. “Sonoko and Kyogoku-kun have been keeping up a very effective long-distance relationship… oh, wait, you’ve not met Kyogoku-kun yet, have you?”
“I think you mentioned him once,” Shinichi gambled, looking the karate champ over. “Kyogoku Makoto, right? Geez, I thought only Hattori got that dark… nice to meet you.”
“I know who you are. The Meitantei Kudo Shinichi,” Makoto said, holding out his hand, which Shinichi shook. “Nice to meet you, too. Sonoko-san talks about you a lot. I get the impression that she doesn’t like you much.”
Just as disarmingly blunt and honest,” Shinichi thought with a shrug.
“No way! We’re seeing the same movie?” Ran squealed as she and Sonoko compared tickets. “Brilliant! Come on, let’s go get seats before the theatre fills!” The girls were already moving away, chattering like they hadn’t seen each other in years, without looking to see if the guys that they actually hadn’t seen in months were following them. Makoto and Shinichi exchanged a look universal to all men, whether they prided themselves on their brawn or their brains: “Women.”
“So, seriously,” Shinichi asked once he was certain that the girls weren’t paying any attention, “Sonoko? I have to ask- why?”
“I’m not sure what you mean,” Makoto replied. “She’s a very sweet person. She cares about her friends a lot, especially Ran-san. Besides, she’s so beautiful…” he went a little darker brown. “I know she can be a little flaky, but she’s fairly sharp when she wants to be.”
“Each to their own,” Shinichi sighed. “I just know she’s going to spend the entire movie playing matchmaker between Ran and I. She always does that, ever since we were little…”
“Huh?” Makoto seemed confused. “I thought she said you two were already married.”
“What?!” Shinichi yelped, loud enough for the girls to turn and stare at him. Red-faced, he glared at Sonoko and said, “Will you please stop telling people that Ran and I are married? Some people might take you seriously!”
Sonoko…” Ran said warningly, also going bright red. Sonoko broke down in giggles.
“Gomen, gomen,” she giggled, waving a hand at the guys. “Okay, okay… Makoto-san, they’re not married…”
“Don’t you dare end that sentence with yet, Sonoko,” Ran growled, which only engendered more mirth in the other girl.
“Oh, come on,” she giggled. “Everyone knows it’s only a matter of time…”
“By the way, there’s four seats up at the back, there,” Makoto pointed out, defusing Ran and Shinichi’s glares at Sonoko. “We’d better get them quickly…” He dashed up and slipped into the farthest chair just ahead of a couple who had been making for the seats. Sonoko sat next to him, still deep in discussion with Ran, which left Shinichi in the aisle seat. He then realized that the cinema was filled entirely with couples. He caught Makoto’s eye over the girls’ heads, and they shared the same thought.
It’s a Christmas romance movie. Crap. Chick-flick alert.
“Oh, it’s starting!” Ran said, instantly quieting down. The lights faded and the screen slowly brightened up to reveal a man in Sengoku-era garb trudging through a blizzard. Suddenly he stopped, staring at surprise at something ahead of him- a pale woman in a beautiful silver robe sitting by the road, seemingly impervious to the cold.
The Yukionna legend?” Shinichi thought in surprise as he watched the familiar story play out; the woman handing over her robe, the man opening his pack to ask what she wanted, and she caressing him and demanding his warm, warm…
…Heart.
Urgh… that’s way too much fake blood,” Shinichi thought as the man screamed horribly and the white screen turned almost entirely red. Ran and Sonoko were also screaming, and Ran gripped his arm and turned away from the screen, into his shoulder, unable to watch the disgusting special effects. Sonoko was also cowering behind Makoto.
On second thought,” Shinichi thought, patting Ran’s hand reassuringly, “This might not be so bad.
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“That was so beautiful!”
“I know! The love of a human man melted her heart and made saved her soul…”
“The ending was so sad, though, wasn’t it? Like Romeo and Juliet…”
“He died to be with her so they could be reborn together! I thought it was lovely! He’ll never leave her behind…” Both girls turned to glare daggers at Shinichi and Makoto.
“Well, as long as you two enjoyed it…” Makoto said politely. Shinichi rolled his neck, getting rid of the crick in it from sitting in the uncomfortable cinema chairs for two hours. Makoto then turned to Shinichi.
“I think she was mostly glaring at you there,” Makoto said, a little jealously. “She wishes you were here with Mori-san more often.”
“So do I,” Shinichi muttered.
“Well, whenever she starts complaining about you, I generally feel guilty and come back,” the karate master admitted, “so she could just have been needling me…” he trailed off as Ran’s cellphone rang.
“Moshi moshi?” she said. Shinichi raised his eyebrows as her expression changed to one of absolute shock. “Oh no… I completely forgot! Oh, I’m so sorry… no… Cafe Poirot, right? No, we’ll be there soon, we’re not that far away… I’ll see you!” She hung up her phone and looked at Shinichi in panic.
“I completely spaced and forgot I was meant to meet Okaa-san and Otou-san for lunch!” she moaned. “Oh, I should have been there ten minutes ago… I can’t believe I forgot about that… well, maybe I can,” she corrected herself, blushing a little.
“Do you mind if I come?” Shinichi asked. “I haven’t seen Occhan in ages, and I can’t remember the last time I saw Obasan…” “Lie,” he thought guiltily. “I’m going to have to be really careful around Eri-san…
“No, that’d be great!” Ran said. “We’d better run… I’ll see you later, Sonoko, Kyogoku-kun! Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas, you two!” Sonoko yelled after them as they started running. “Kudo-kun… don’t you dare run from her again!”
Run… from Ran?” Shinichi thought, grabbing her hand and pulling her forwards as he ran for the crossing lights, he leading her instead of the other way around, as it so often was when he was Conan. “No… It’s not like that, Sonoko… I’d never run from Ran… I do want to be here… I want to… but…
But…
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“And she warned me not to forget,” Kogoro grumbled, hanging up and putting his cell phone away.
“Is she coming?” Eri asked.
“Yeah, she said they’ll be here in a couple of minutes…” Kogoro trailed off, looking suddenly confused. “Wait a minute. What did she mean, “We’ll be there”?”
“Maybe she went out with her friends,” Eri suggested. “Didn’t you notice her leaving this morning?”
“Actually…” Kogoro admitted a little sheepishly, “She was gone when I woke up… just a note saying “I’m going out but I’ll be back for lunch. Yes, I was the one who set your alarm for eleven so you’d wake up in time. Dress nice and don’t forget to go!” Damn alarm really did wake me up at eleven…”
“You were still asleep then?” Eri said testily. “All-night Mahjongg again, was it? Kami, you can’t even control yourself long enough to be with your daughter on Christmas morning… no wonder she took off with her friends…”
“Says the one who left her behind,” Kogoro growled as a new argument incited. “I suppose running away is a good enough excuse to not be with your daughter on Christmas morning…”
Running away?” Eri screeched. “How dare you…” she trailed off, staring in some shock out of the window. “Kami above… is that Kudo-kun?”
Kogoro jerked around to stare out of the window. Sure enough, just stopping at the crossing lights across the road was Ran, hand-in-hand with…
“That damn detective brat,” he growled. “So that’s who she was with?”
“Kami, but he’s grown,” Eri said. “I’d forgotten how long it was since I last saw him. I thought he was Yuusaku-kun for a second…”
The lights changed and Ran and Kudo started crossing the road. Kogoro couldn’t help feeling a little sad at the broad, happy smile on Ran’s face as she chatted to “that damn detective brat”.
“Hey, ojisan.”
Kogoro glanced over at the door through the haze of his hangover. Kami, how much had he drunk since Eri left…
That Kudo kid was standing there, with Ran sleeping on his back, looking angry.
“Since obasan left, shouldn’t you be taking care of Ran, ojisan?” he said insolently.
“When’d Ran leave?” he slurred. He’d thought she was in her room…
“You were too busy arguing to pay any attention to her?” the kid yelled angrily. “What kinda Otou-san are you?”
“Shut up, brat!” he yelled, standing up.
“Neither of you paid any attention, did you?” Kudo yelled. “Too busy fighting to pay any attention to how sad and lonely Ran’s been? That’s it, until you sober up, Ran’s sleeping over at my house…”
“Hold it, brat!” Kogoro yelled, running over and snatching Ran from the kid’s back. “You ain’t kidnapping my daughter!”
“Then look after her!” Kudo yelled. “Or is that still up to me?”
“That brat’s bringing her home again, huh?” Kogoro said sadly.
“What?” Eri said, glancing over at him.
“Nothing.”
The doorbell tinkled as Shinichi pushed it open, holding it for Ran to get through.
“Okaa-san!” she cried, waving as she ran over to them. “Otou-san! I’m so sorry I forgot, but Shinichi’s back for the day…”
“Long time no see, Occhan,” Kudo said, following her over. “It’s been forever, obasan.”
“Goodness, but you did shoot up, didn’t you?” Eri said, looking up at him. “I can’t believe how long it’s been… have a seat, have lunch with us.”
“Arigato,” he said, sitting across from Ran, next to Kogoro. “How’ve you two been?”
“They’ve been fighting less recently… I think…” Ran said, a little worriedly.
“Well, we haven’t really fought yet today,” Eri lied, smiling at their daughter. Kogoro sighed and waved at the waitress.
Amazingly, they did manage to avoid fighting all through lunch- probably because they were mainly talking to Kudo, catching up, as it were. The brat was annoyingly vague about what kind of case, precisely, he was on, and kept steering the conversation away from that particular topic. They ended up talking together until two.
“Good grief, the time!” Eri said, looking at her watch. “I have to meet a client in a while… I’d better head for the station, I didn’t bring my car…”
“I’m going to the tracks, I’ll go with you,” Kogoro said, standing up with her to the shock of all, including him. He then turned to glare at Kudo.
“And you, brat-” he growled, but Kudo cut him off.
“Yeah, yeah, not staying out all night, not to try anything funny with her, overprotective father rant, blah blah blah,” he said. Ran blushed but laughed. “Don’t worry, Occhan- I’m gonna look after her.”
Kogoro snorted but didn’t say any more. He got the distinct feeling that Kudo was remembering the same thing that he was.
“Thanks for coming and not killing each other!” Ran said as she waved them off, her and Kudo leaving in the opposite direction. “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas!” Eri said. “Nice to see you, Kudo-kun!”
“Later, Occhan! Sayonara, obasan!” Kudo called, then grabbed Ran’s hand and ran to the crossing before the lights changed.
“What’s with you today?” Eri said. “I can’t really remember you ever being this unargumentative…”
“You want to fight?” Kogoro said grumpily. “No… I was thinking about when you left, you know…”
Eri instantly bristled. “Listen, Anata-”
“I’m not gonna get at you about it!” Kogoro said defensively. “Because… well, I was just as bad as you in that fight…”
“You’re admitting it?” Eri said with some shock.
“About Ran!” Kogoro said. “Did we ever really think about Ran in that fight? By the time I’d sobered up from my post-breakup drinking spree, do you know where she was?”
“I…” Eri suddenly froze, looking horrified. “Do you know, I can’t remember where Ran was at all the day I left… or during the fighting before it…”
“I had to drag her away from that brat,” Kogoro said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder, indicating Kudo. “He said that she was gonna play with him until we stopped making her sad…”
Eri herself was looking sad now. “You get the feeling that he’s looked after her better than we have,” she said sadly. “Even now… I can’t remember the last time she smiled like that.”
“I know,” Kogoro said. “Hey, baka… weren’t you getting a train?” they’d walked straight past the station.
“Don’t you call me a baka!” Eri growled. Then she sighed, winding down, suddenly no longer feeling like an argument.
“Well… whatever,” Kogoro said. “Look after yourself, Eri.”
“You too, Anata,” she said tentatively, before turning and hurrying into the station. Kogoro watched her go with a dejected sigh.
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I’m doing three chapters a week again because I’m on five weeks of study leave right now with not much to do except put off studying. ^_^; Still, I’d kind of like to get through the backlog of twenty-odd chapters between what I’ve published and what I’ve written, if only because I’m so stuck for how to fill time between two major plot moments and self-imposed deadline panic makes me creative… 😛
Don’t worry, Mel7200, I have more heists planned, although Kaito’s planned to turn up again a little sooner than that…
You want something to go wrong, Sable Katze? Meanie! XD Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying the date so far. I’m glad my fluff’s coming off well. It’s really not something I’ve done a lot of, so I’m not sure if I’m any good at it or not…
Here’s your next chapter, Eyeinthesky! Twinner couple? You mean Kaito and Aoko? Hmmm…
Yeah, I think it is from Prince Of Egypt, Silver Shadowbreeze. And I think kanpai basically means “cheers” based on the fact that I’ve only ever heard it said in that context. (do I keep mistyping it with an “m”?) Freedict says that it’s a toast that literally means “dry glass”. I quite like that little prank myself… through I tend to do it with a polo mint and a bit of string… >;)
Pretztailfan95, sit down before you hurt yourself. XD awww, but Kaito’s my favourite! 🙁 Unfortunately, the only birthdays that have been stated are Shinichi’s (and that was only in a movie) and Kaito’s (that was in an interview years ago, when Aoyama-sensei said that Kaito’s birthday is the same as his.) Aoko had her 17th birthday in Magic Kaito (chapter 19, Blue Birthday, which was also Snake’s debut), but no date was given, although it looks like late autumn or early winter. I guess the other characters have birthdays, obviously, but as precise dates have never been given the best you can probably do is say that their birthday’s the release date of the chapter they first appeared in. ^_^; There WILL be deaths, but as I said, I like happy endings for central characters, so take comfort in that. And yes, Romaji is how you refer to Japanese words written in the Latin alphabet, which is why changing it is called “Romanization”. Like “Kaitou” is the Romaji for “Phantom Thief”. And to be honest, I’m not too fussed about Mario or Luigi… Link is so much cooler (Twilight Princess Link was hot 😛 This is getting increasingly unrelated and geeky… >_>) I like to answer my reviews, since it’s my way of thanking people for actually reviewing. Nice reviews me feel like I can do something right, and you can’t imagine how difficult it is for me to believe that. So for helping me with my crippling self-esteem issues, I love everyone who reviews or favourites me! Thank you, and you will always get a mention! <3
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 689, 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).
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