or: i recently reread the 3K case and now y'all have to suffer with me


Hattori Heiji doesn't do worry. Even over half-sized Tokyoite detectives who ruined perfectly nice suits by looking like they were diving into the deep end of a massive funk.

Especially not those. No matter how woebegone they looked.

…Hattori Heiji is worried. Dammit.

Right now he's also staring at said sad Kudo, trying – mostly failing – to sift through a list of what even he could recognise as varyingly insensitive lines, from it's just soccer to guess I shoulda just come with Kazuha myself huh and (the possibly literal kicker) I did tell ya to just let me confront him, dumbass.

Did they make cards for I'm sorry your hero turned out to be a heroin addict and murderer? Probably not.

Anyway it's not like Heiji can blame Kudo for moping around, really. If it'd been his idol who turned out to be a murderer he'd have been at it too – no, scratch that, Heiji would've beat the guy over the head already, and not just with a figurative shovel. Hell, he'd almost been tempted to whap the guy round the head on Kudo's behalf earlier and he still is now; only partly because it might actually snap Kudo out of it enough to yell at him for a bit.

Curtis had damn well better be praying to every deity he knew of that Heiji doesn't coincidentally run into him at the police HQ, because Heiji certainly has a piece of his mind to give him.

Few very shouty angry pieces thereof, to be specific, he's amending mentally when his thoughts are interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Ano, Hattori-kun?" And oh crap, along came Kudo's neechan now, still clutching that autographed shirt she'd gotten for him – who even knew what Kudo would do with that after this. Usually Heiji would've guessed that he'd rather donate than keep it, preferably to some deserving person for whom that wouldn't be the literal last thing Ray Curtis had signed right before he'd personally revealed him a murderer, but as Heiji is rapidly learning tonight there are still some ways in which he doesn't know Kudo as well as he thinks he does.

"Yeah?" Heiji answers normally instead of noping in the opposite direction like he maybe definitely wants to, because they need one working detective between them and Kudo is empathically Not It right now.

"You were the one who solved the case, right?" says the neechan all in a rush, which thankfully saves him the question of evasion. "I just – I mean, Shinichi looks up to Curtis-san a lot but I know he'd want to find out the truth anyway, and since he's not here, I just wanted to say: thank you."

…alright, now Heiji wants gone in any direction but hers, since he can't tell her already that Kudo isn't off somewhere being inappropriately grateful but instead pitching a pout fest right three feet away. No maybes about it.

"It's nothin' he wouldn't have done himself," Heiji answers awkwardly, which isn't even a lie. "Kinda wish it hadn't happened at all to start with, though."

"Yeah," Ran agrees with a kind of worried wistfulness that means she's probably thinking about how she's going to even break the news to non-tiny Kudo, and – oh, right, he still had to make sure somehow that Kudo called the neechan in the next couple days, too.

Heiji just wishes that they could have a normal trip around Osaka for once, with only run-of-the-mill crimes at most – is that too much to ask?