Inquisition: The Progress

She was stuck, rooted at her spot, unfeeling the gun and the hands and the way she was being pushed and punched and roped, all along staring at the spectacle that shook her insides and made her mouth sour and blood boil. She never had imagined this, not even in the worst of nightmares. Was this Shinichi? Her mind couldn't comprehend but her heart was beating hard, erasing all doubts, even though the person that hung twenty meters apart was barely recognizable, barely Shinichi. And yet, her eyes had locked unto him, unto his eyes. Proving that he was Shinichi.

She could see him broken. So broken that it killed her. It pierced her heart to see him like this. Shinichi wasn't supposed to be like this. He was 'the savior'. Her hero, everyone`s hero. He never broke. He never cried. He had always been an anchor, a constant support that she could rely on. He was someone whom everyone trusted and depended on because he would always make out, always find a way. He was SHINICHI, special and number one. He never lost, right!

She knew it, knew now about Edogawa Conan and everyone involved. Everyone had depended on him, thrusting upon him the burden of bringing 'them' down. And now, when he was in a pinch- no pinch wasn't a right word, this was a disaster! It freaking took them so long, took her so long to finally find him. Fallen pieces that lay scattered- that was him right now. She could only gaze into his eyes- giving him all the hope and solace that everything would be fine, that she was here, he was here- they will make out. They will HEAL. That help was coming. That he had been successful, that everyone was safe. And finally, that he was the true silver bullet, he had brought them down, single-mindedly.

He was the 'silver bullet'. The term made her cry, how everyone had believed it, that he was the ultimate solution, ultimate destruction of 'them'. Nobody had bothered about him, only used him for their own purposes. Does nothing happen to a bullet when it shoots out to kill. Does it not shatter, come out of its shell. Does the impact not affect both sides? How come everyone overlooked that, everyone including her- up until now, until she looked into his eyes, and saw what all was chipped out of Kudo Shinichi, until she saw that lone tear gliding down his eyes and saw him so broken, so not Shinichi.

Some part of her was ashamed of herself, that she had held her grief at such a high-stand that she had overlooked what he was going through. Cause somewhere deep in her heart, she knew from the beginning that Conan and Shinichi were one and same. And yet, every time the lies had so clogged up her heart that she wanted him to apologize to her on his knees, on his hands, on his face, to repent at her feet, to ask forgiveness for every single tear, every single heartache. But, right now- she had witnessed his side of story, got the bearings of how difficult it would have been, it actually had been. Maybe, if their roles were to be reversed, she would have had taken the same decision as him. She had realized finally; that her tears and his blood could not be equated. They were far ahead to play the blame game, far ahead to account each other for decisions they had taken and choices that either had made.

It was time to heal, time to support each other and bring back what was lost of Kudo Shinichi and Mouri Ran.

Because they were inseparable, and the red-thread did connect them. Because she was the light and he the lamp post and there was no world where they wouldn't be halves of the whole.

For now, she waited with bated breaths and determination that could move a mountain, for help to arrive. After all, she had volunteered to play the hostage.

And even if the winds weren't with Shinichi, then they all were with him. They all would built an impenetrable wall, a fortress, a shelter, a sail. They would force the winds to be at their side. The story wasn't over just yet!

.0.

Everything was so stupid. She knew that Shinichi was alive. She was alive and breathing! If something had happened to him, she would feel it. She was sure of it. Then how? Why? What was so dangerous that everyone had to pretend this death drama? What went down-hill for things to end up like this!

She had her suspicions ever since Conan went home, and they all were somehow taken out of country- on the excuse of this 'trip'. But everyone expected her to be oblivious, to not know anything and be the gentle, caring, bull-headed Ran-neechan that couldn't figure things out, expected her to be the naïve girl that only waited for her Shinichi to come home and pretended to not notice what she had in front of her, who she had in front of her. So she did what they expected of her, but nobody knew- that deep inside, hers and Shinichi`s heartstrings were so intertwined, that every single time- before even he could realize what was going to happen, she would sense it, just as if it were a premonition- bewaring her, mocking her to go save him before what was fated could occur.

And this feeling was back again. Second time that it was so strong- after that night in Tropical Land. This time no broken shoe-laces would stop her, no one would mock at her failure in stopping Shinichi, in saving him.

She was finally out for answers, to seek the truth that everyone was so desperate at hiding from her.

.0.

She stared at Haibara Ai. She somehow knew that she was the closest person available to wringle some secrets out. If not hook, then by crook! If neither, then Haibara still owed her for saving her life.

She cornered her, giving no place to hide, no path to escape. Unexpected and sudden, so that no one could plan a counter-lie and throw it in her face.

She told her, first by hook- what it was to know everything but pretend, what it was to feel everything but hide. Then by crook, because it seemed that Shinichi had taken a promise from everyone that Ran should be kept away. So she had blocked her, locked her, confiscated every single means of communication, played the same game that Shinichi did that made criminals accept their wrong-doings. Because when determination is strong, and it`s do-or-die, then she doesn't have to pretend to be naïve. She was strong, strong-willed. She would show it to everyone. Lastly, she broke the remaining shell by guilt-tripping her, how she had saved Haibara- jumping in front of showering bullets, protecting her- because deep down, she did known that Haibara was Conan`s hope, Shinichi`s future. Then, was it still so necessary to keep her out of loop, keep the oneaway that was closest to Shinichi. Was that promise still needed, required, unbendable in such a situation?

And so, Mouri Ran finally stepped into the other half of the story, knowing everything, few of them knowing that she knew. But she still stayed apart, because that`s what Shinichi wanted.

But not until fifteen days ago, when the world had come crashing down on all of them.

-To be continued-