Singles’ Awareness DayAuthor:
Kudo Shinichi/Mouri RanFandom:
All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I claim none, I merely borrow them and dress them up in frilly smocks and make them dance to my ever-changing will like the puppets they are.Summary:
It’s Valentine’s Day, and Ran has a present for a special someone…
February fourteenth. Valentine’s Day.
It was circled in bright red on the calendar.
Ran sighed. She was willing to bet her bottom dollar that Shinichi had forgotten.
It hadn’t been very long since he’d just appeared again. Gone for ages and ages…then one day, he just appeared on her doorstep with a smile (the same one that made her go weak at the knees without fail), and a “Hey, what’s up?” She had been far too stunned to even think of questioning him, she was just so happy to have him back. The explanation had come later, and not even from him.
Having personal contacts in the police force had its perks, and she had gotten quite a story before the tale broke in the papers. Shinichi had meant it when he said he was on a big case—one that now had all of Japan in an uproar, and all the major police units around the country mobilizing and bouncing information back and forth to bring down an enormous crime syndicate.
And in the midst of all this chaos, Shinichi had wandered back into her life, plopped down on the couch, kicked his feet up, and fallen asleep. She, meanwhile, was still standing at the door, holding it wide open, in full-blown shock.
She had beaten him later, of course. That was just how she did things.
And now here they were, merely weeks later, and it was Valentine’s Day. A day for lovers, for hopeful girls to express their feelings for the important men in their lives. She had giri chocolate made for her father, for Conan’s friends (who had been quite brokenhearted when the bespectacled boy had returned to his parents in America, but still visited their beloved Ran-neechan), for a few other random adults, and one for Hattori-kun, to be delivered the next time she saw him.
She had talked with Kazuha earlier in the week about the big event. Her Osakan friend had been extremely vague about her intentions, but Ran had planned to call Kazuha later in the evening and demand details. Hopefully, juicy ones.
Then again, Ran would probably be expected to spill her own details because there was one more person she had chocolate for—Shinichi. But his was different from the others, though. His was honmei
chocolate. The real deal.
After disappointments the last couple of years, she was finally going to be able to give him the chocolate. And maybe she could finally get her answer. Although he was back (and she still hadn’t gotten a real explanation!), she hadn’t really seen him much. The police were in constant contact with him over the details of the Organization.
He was extremely apologetic about the whole thing. And she was understanding, continually patient. There was not much else she could do, really. He was here—that was all she had really wanted. Given the nature of the Big Case, she was willing to put things off for a while longer.
Like this morning, for instance. It was like a good many mornings—the police needed something, blah blah, blah, could he come down and help them out before classes, etc. She had ended up walking with Sonoko, wishing desperately he was there so she could give him her gift. It was Valentine’s Day, after all, and she couldn’t resist, the opportunity was just too perfect to come clean and tell him the goddamn truth.
So here she was, standing by the doorway of their classroom clutching a carefully wrapped box containing honmei
chocolate—lover’s chocolate, she’d heard it called—with Shinichi’s name written on the front. And he was sitting in his desk…
…surrounded by ninety percent of the class’ female population.
Many of whom were offering him the small boxes that traditionally contained chocolate.
He looked absolutely bewildered, just this side of terrified.
It was almost funny, if she hadn’t felt her heart drop juuuuuuuust a bit.
He really was so popular with the ladies, and since starting his public detective work he’d had an actual fan club. Hadn’t she teased him about that once? But now, since the story of the Black Ops had broken, he was officially a hero. And with that came the requisite hero-worship.
But Shinichi really did look panicked. Shouldn’t he be thrilled at all the attention?
“All right, everyone quiet down!” Sensei entered the room, and the girls scattered with varying groans of protest and resignation. A few of them simply left the gift boxes on his desk, but most of them carried their candy-coating offerings back to their own seats, possibly to implore him with later.
She hurried to her own desk, carefully hiding her own box behind her back. Later, she supposed. But she kept an eye on Shinichi. He looked quite embarrassed as he slipped those few boxes off the desk and squirreled them away.
But she did catch his eye as she sank into her own seat, and he grinned. “Yo, Ran! What’s up?”
She hesitated for just a moment, then shook her head and sat down, nonchalantly slipping the box from behind her back into her satchel. “Nothing. Nothing at all.”
He frowned suspiciously, but turned his attention back to the teacher at the front of the room.*****
Okay, take two.
Fast forward to lunchtime.
And the fan girls were once again on the prowl.
A note had mysteriously appeared on her desk during a moment when she had looked away. She recognized the handwriting instantly, and smiled lightly at its message of Rooftop. Lunch. Girls are scaring me!
Years of dealing with Shinichi and his little quirks had given her the ability to see the little message for what it truly was: an invitation.
Shinichi had bolted the second class was dismissed, fast enough to break the sound barrier. Ran made her exit with a bit more decorum, and followed the trail he’d left up towards the roof. It wasn’t hard to track, he had apparently been moving fast enough to leave burn marks on the tile floor.
Okay, not really.
But either way, up to the roof she went, lunch in one hand and chocolate in the other.
Sure enough, he was already there. “Hey!” he greeted her cheerily as he moved over to let her sit beside him. “Sorry about this morning. I didn’t know I was going to get mobbed.”
“You and your fan club,” she said airily, taking the proffered seat, hiding the gift box behind her. “For a minute there, I thought they were going to eat you or something.” He shuddered, and she laughed.
Lunch was a quiet, enjoyable affair, with simple conversation. It was like stepping back in time, back to a time when they had always been together, before two men in black coats had threatened to tear them apart for good. And best of all, no fan girls saw fit to burst in on them.
As the last grain of rice was merrily devoured and the last chopstick stowed away, Shinichi leaned back and grinned. “So, you’re hiding something behind your back. Whatcha got?”
Ran smiled and sighed. She should have known he’d noticed. Not much got by him, did it? But he obviously hadn’t put two and two together in any sense. Soooooo… “Oh, something,” she said lightly.
“For me?” he cheered; she could actually see him perking up. Really, he could be such a child!
“Maaaaaaaybe…” she replied with feigned caution.
She really wasn’t expecting him to come at her. But to her open amazement, he set his now-empty Bento box down beside him…and lunged at her. Her quicker-than-average reflexes held, though, and she managed to jump up and dive out of the way, keeping the box carefully behind her.
Shinichi landed on his hands and knees, but was back on his feet in an instant, sidling towards her with an almost predatory gleam in his eyes. “Come on, tell me! What is it?”
She knew he had to have guessed. But it was just the simple pleasure of the chase, of laughing together and playing a little, no matter how silly it all seemed…they were together. She knew she couldn’t avoid him forever—he was as fast on his feet as she was. But for the moment, it was just a fun game.
He finally got within arm’s reach, and started trying to reach behind her to grab it, continually pushing her backwards as he grappled for the prize clutched in both hands behind her. “Come on, would you just give it to me already!” he half-whined, almost stepping on her foot.
She merely laughed and continued twisting to always juuuuuuuust keep it out of his reach. Teasing was just another facet of a relationship that was already incredibly complicated.
And then suddenly she felt the chill of chain-link fence against her back. The trouble was that Shinichi was reaching behind her, and his hands were effectively trapped between her and the fence that ran around the whole perimeter of the school’s roof.
This also meant that she was trapped between the fence and Shinichi…oh dear.
He didn’t seem to be thinking too much about that, though. He simply grinned at what he perceived to be his victory. “Gotcha! Now…what do we have here?”
She felt his hand fumbling around behind her, and she fidgeted. “Hey, watch it!”
“Well, give it to me!” he whined.
Ran mock-sighed. “All right, if you insist.” She tried to ignore the fluttering in her chest as she wiggled a bit and managed to get one hand free to hold the box, wrapped in red paper (his favorite color), up between their faces, at eye level; she hoped it might help hide the fact that she was blushing wildly. “Here, this is for you.” The butterflies in her stomach morphed into baby chicks, pecking at her. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Shinichi.”
He was still a moment, just looking at it. “That’s…” Then he wriggled one of his hands out from behind her to take it. And his triumphant smirk softened to more of a real smile.
She smiled in return. Meanwhile, the baby chicks grew into chickens and continued to peck at her insides. It was a good thing she was walled in, because she was pretty sure she couldn’t have stayed steadily standing on her own. Her free hand was shaking.
He straightened up, so he was standing back a bit and looking at the box. Ran couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed at the increased distance…
…until he leaned back in and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek.
The chickens mutated into full-grown turkey vultures, flopped over, and died.
Shinichi pulled back, and now she could see that he was blushing. “Thank you.”
“…anytime…” she managed, feeling a royal idiot. She knew her face was probably glowing brightly enough to light up the entire school; such a color should not be found in Nature’s palette.
He stayed like that for a moment, and she wondered if he was going to kiss her For Real…
…and the bell rang, signaling the end of the lunch period.
Ran let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding. Shinichi looked faintly embarrassed and stepped back entirely, chuckling nervously. “So…we should probably get back to class?” he said lamely, and she could clearly see him mentally smacking himself in the head.
After pondering for a second, Ran moved as though to walk past him, but paused and rose up on her tiptoes to press a kiss of her own to his cheek. Rocking back onto her heels, she smiled. “Yes, we should.” And she continued merrily on her way, trying very hard not to sing and dance…or spontaneously combust, for that matter.
Scooping up the remains of their lunches, she turned and gave him a Look. He hadn’t moved an inch. “Shinichi?” she called, waving to him. “Come on, we have to go!”
He stared for a second longer before he seemed to shake himself out of his stupor and followed. And Ran might not have been a great detective like he was, but there was no way she could miss the enormous grin on his face.
Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.PS. For those of you who don’t know, I am a Valentine Grinch. I am insanely cynical about the holiday, which I usually refer to as Happy Make Single People Feel Like Shit Day. Why, yes, I am incredibly bitter! However did you guess? Either way, hope you liked the story. Figured somebody might as well have a good National Sex—I mean, Valentine’s Day. Later, all!
Also, with this story I am officially two-thirds done with the challenge. Whoo for me!! *does happy dances of Evil*
Quick cultural note:
Giri: chocolate given to male friends and acquaintances on Valentine’s Day; cheaper, lesser quality
Honmei: finer, more expensive chocolate given to express more serious feelings; given to crushes, boyfriends, and/or husbands. There is a distinct difference between the two qualities of chocolate, so no guy can really mistake giri for honmei.