This is based on a collection of Tumblr prompts I found, listed below:

{First Line: 'She used to be so hopeful.' ; "Why did you lie to me?" ; "What will it take for you to stop loving me?" ; "I didn't want to disappoint you." ; 'She would never let go. Not even for a moment.' ; "No one can know that I was here." ; "Please don't go." ; "Why do you always do this to me?" ; 'Curiosity always gets the better of him sooner or later.'}

My first ever Detective Conan fanfic! Let's get this straight: I am and only am a ShinRan, HeiZuha follower. And so we find ourselves in a SR angst session, because there isn't enough SR in the actual manga for us to deal with. In fact, there's only angst and cute little baby Shinichi stories. I want more. I want to see more phone calls (when was the last time that was given an actual frame?), more BO angst and action with Shinichi involved, and, oh my goodness, I want Shinichi to find an antidote already. Now, that doesn't mean the manga ends (though I feel we are getting pretty close, but who knows with Gosho?), but I just want to see high school Shinichi more, you know?

Anyway, here it is.


what will it take?

or

the other end of the line

She used to be so hopeful. That was hope, she supposed: it was teasing but light, like his grin; it was biting, like his character; it was painful, like his absence.

She used to be. But now?

It had been a year since the last call. One year-how could he leave her in the dark? She knows him well. She knows, just knows, (call it detective's instinct, like that baka would have said), that there's something terribly, terribly wrong.


"Ran," he greeted. His voice seemed devoid of hope, of life.

"Shinichi?" she said, sitting down. "What's wrong?" Her eyebrows furrowed as she held the phone to her ear. "Another case?"

She gulped down her worries, but they rose again like bile. "Are you coming home?"

She paused, then finished the thought. "Are you coming home soon?"

But that was always the question, as if she was the wife (No, Sonoko's words are coming to my mind, now! I am not Shinichi's wife!) of a secret agent who was assigned to dangerous tasks daily for the sake of justice and righteousness.

But that was what baka Shinichi was, wasn't he? Curiosity always gets the better of him, sooner or later. Maybe this time…

"Ran? Are you there?" Shinichi said, breaking into her reverie.

"Hai?"

"Were you listening?"

"Er…"

"Baka, I only asked how you were doing."

"Who's the baka here, you barou? I'm not the one missing from school, from your house, from Tokyo, from the- Shinichi? What's wrong?"

The silence was enough to unsettle her. Shinichi would have regularly fought back and bickered at her, but he was unusually quiet.

She heard him inhale, and sigh on the other end of the line. "Nothing."

"Shinichi...when will you be back?"

"I don't know, Ran…"

The silence was unnerving as Ran ignored the small crack in his voice.


Remembering the conversation tonight, marking the one-year anniversary of confirming her fears, she feels the sharp taste of tears in her mouth. Angrily, she wipes them away with her arm, gritting her teeth.

No! I promised him...I promised Shinichi…


"Why do you always do this to me, Shinichi? I don't understand...don't you want to come home? Why do you want to play this game, this detective game?"

She was crying into telephone, truly sobbing until her throat felt sore. Thank God Otou-san wasn't home, or he'd have took the telephone and yelled into it for making her cry.

They'd confessed to each other in their last meeting, with a kiss as he disappeared once again, leaving her with Kazuha-chan and Heiji-kun, with whom he shared a private look. Since then, it's been easier to yell at him like this, but harder to miss him.

"Ran, please don't cry, please…"

She had never heard him beg before. Never heard him so...broken. She swallowed her tears, letting them slip down into the rabbit hole of her heart, the one they've both fallen into.

"Why?"

"Because...I don't like to...I don't want to disappoint you."

She heard a sniff on the other end of the line, surprised at the sound. Her heart seemed to break at the sound of her childhood friend, invincible, genius, idiotic, arrogant Kudo Shinichi breaking. "Shinichi, can't you just tell me-"

"No. I can't. You...can you do something for me?"

She found herself nodding. "Anything, baka."

She could hear his smirk on the other end of the line, disappearing as quickly as it appeared. "Ran...please don't cry for me anymore."


A knock on the door of the detective agency wakes her from the couch. She wipes her tears away, blinking out of her memories.

Who? There is no one to come home: Otou-san was on a case, Conan-kun went home to America two weeks ago...leaving her lonely at home. It's been two weeks since Heiji-kun and Kazuha-chan had come over as well, right when Conan had announced his parents wanted him at home once again. Maybe...Okaa-san?

"Coming!" she yells, shuffling to the door after glancing at the clock: 1 AM. Puzzled, she unlatches the lock.

"Sh!"

A hand covers her mouth, the other closes the lights. She knows who it is. The one second glance she had before darkness came was enough. Shinichi.

"What are you doing? Are you home? I don't…" His hand covers the whispers, but she knows he could hear it-he knows her better than anyone. She doesn't need to utter her questions for him to know what her eyes were asking the moment she opened the door.

She feels his body against hers, pushing her inside the apartment and against the wall behind the door.

"No one can know that I was here. Understand?" His voice is low and dangerous, and she fears for his life as much as he fears for hers. She nods underneath the pressure of his hand, not too harsh, but strong enough to convince her this is important, and that she knows, she knows, once again, due to that detective's instinct, that he only has a short time with her.

"Shinichi...what's wrong?"

The moon behind him shines into the large windows of the detective agency, illuminating half of his face, yet leaving the other half in darkness. His eyes are still the clear blue she loves, but they are sunken in and there is only darkness beneath them. His cheekbones are sharp with fatigue and starvation; his face pale and his lips cracked.

He purses his lips at the question, eyebrows contemplating how to answer her. "This case...it is the most troublesome I have ever had. I...I've had to hide and evade them."

What troubles her most is the fact that his breathing is unsteady and ragged. He is in pain. "Instead of the detective hunting down the criminals, the criminals have hunted down this detective," he says with a chuckle.

"Is it over?" she whispers with fear, then shakes her head. "Are you hurt?" This is more important.

He coughs out a "No" unconvincingly. She grabs his arm firmly in response. "Shinichi, if you're hurt, we have to-"

"What will it take for you to stop loving me?"


"How can I? How can I not cry over you hunting dangerous criminals and running around like that, when you're supposed to finishing school and walking with me everyday? Can I not miss you? Shinichi, Shinichi-no matter what, I...I want you to come home!"

It all comes out that day. He'd been away for two years...Yes, Tropical Land was two years ago...when he left her to go into the darkness, running as if he'd caught something wonderful.

"Ran...what will it take?"

His tone is neutral and cold, but Ran sees right through him: he yells pity and love and regret, like she yells love and longing.

"What will it take for you to stop loving me?"


"I told you, Shinichi." She holds his face in her hands, delicately tracing his lips (his cocky grin, his arrogance, drawing her in, never ceasing to amaze her at his ability to observe and to analyze), his eyes (that unwavering clear blue, handsome and intelligent), his nose (he once told her that Holmes could identify things based on smell; she believed him when he himself solved a case this way). "Nothing."

"Even if I lied to you? Even if I betrayed you? Your trust?" He sounds so desperate and lost, and his voice still screams he is in deep, physical pain.

"I won't answer that question until you tell me where you're hurt," she commands, nose up in stubbornness.

He shakes his head, bringing his thumb up to brush a few strands of hair behind her ear. "You are so beautiful...you care about me too much."

He turns away from her, grunting, jerking his hand back as if he was poison to her skin. "It's too dangerous for me to be here."

He takes only three steps before she jerks up and grabs his arm, holding him back from the same darkness that took him.

"Please don't-"

"You don't have to wait for me. You should move on. It's what you deserve."

Again, she ignores the crack in his voice from one year ago. But she cannot ignore his eyes.

No-he turns back, and his eyes are cold and hard; but she sees right through him, and those orbs are milky with regret.

"Please. Don't. Go." She enunciates the words clearly and slowly, shaking her head. "If it's too dangerous, then don't go. I don't care about your conscious anymore. If the danger present is too much, then don't go. I...I won't let you."

She can see his brilliant smile flash in the darkness, the darkness about to take him away from her once again. "Wrong. You love me too much that you'll let me go."

There is a moment of silence as the truth sinks in, and the room is heavy with it.


"Why would you-"

"Because. You should let me go. I don't know when I…"

"Shinchi-"

"No." She heard him gulp nervously on the other end of the line, and she realized she has done the same. "Ran, it's too dangerous for me to stay in contact with you. The people after me…"

"No. I won't. Not this time."

"You...Can you do this for me?"

"I promise you, Shinichi, I won't cry for you anymore. But that doesn't mean I won't love you."


"Why did you lie to me?" she asks before he turns away. "In the scenario you described, why would you lie to me?"

He stares at her, and she knows he cannot lie. He is not the kind of person to, not unless he had a valid reason. "To protect you."

She smiles as her tears fall down, relieved. "Then, of course, I would never stop loving you."

He turns away from her, her purity illuminated by the moon. "Ran…"

He doesn't see her run to him and embrace him from behind, her slender arms wrapping his slim, malnourished body in hers, but he feels the tears in his back, feels her heart beating in his back along with his. "I am sorry."

She shakes her head between his broad shoulders, then into his chest as he turns around and kisses the top of her head. No. They both know. She would never let go. Not even more a moment.

He hesitates before whispering, "After I leave, call Toyama-san and ask her if Hattori and her wants to visit for some to-die-for ramen. Do not mention my name. When Hattori comes, ask him if he's done his physics project yet."

She imagines she's shaking with fear from the final instructions, though he comforts her with "You're so strong," blowing her hair with his breath.

"Shinichi, promise me...you'll come back home. Someday."

"Someday."

Their lips touch in a most gentle way, a secret shared in the moonlight; and he runs away with a lingering look, into the darkness, always, always into the same darkness that takes him away from her every time.


"I love you."

"Ran, I...Goodbye," he whispered, and the click was inevitable and louder than anything she had ever heard. The silence that ensues, however, is louder than even that.