Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kazuha, Ran, Heiji (General series)
Word Count: 2207 words
Author's Notes: I do not own Detective Conan. It all belongs to Gosho Aoyama. I simply borrow the characters, tie them up, and dance them around like life-sized puppets. I do wish they’d stop complaining.
Summary: Now that they’re settled in, Kazuha has something to take care of…
One thing Kazuha had done when she came back to Japan was to let a few of her closets friends know that she was back. At the top of her list was Ran-chan—who she somewhat guiltily realized that she hadn’t spoken to in months. She sat on her bed for a good fifteen minutes, staring at the familiar number stored on her fine. But finally, with some trepidation, she picked up the phone and hit the button to dial the Tokyo number.
After a few rings, a familiar female voice came on the line. “Hello?”
She swallowed hard and said, “Ran-chan?” She wondered briefly if Ran would even recognize her voice.
But that dark notion was squashed quite soundly when Ran cheered, “Kazuha-chan!”
Relief flooded her at that—Ran certainly sounded happy to hear from her. And she said as much. “I’m sorry I haven’t called in a long time…it’s all been really screwed up…I was kind of worried that you would be angry at me.” She felt silly saying it out loud.
“Why would I be angry?” Ran sounded startled. Then her tone changed. “Kazuha-chan…what happened?”
Kazuha sighed. “A lot.” She hesitated…and then started talking. “You know I went to America, right?”
“Well…long story extremely short…I met a guy. We dated for a while, and then…something happened, and I came back,” she was really glossing over the important details, figuring Ran would guess. “I’m back in Osaka—Heiji and I just got an apartment.”
Ran was silent on the other end of the line for a long moment. “I…wow. Kazuha-chan…wow.” She hesitated, and then asked quietly, “Would you tell me what happened?” She seemed a bit nervous, like she didn’t know if she should be asking such things. That was Ran, though.
Kazuha thought it over for a split second before deciding she could trust Ran. “I slept with him. And then he dumped me.” She heard Ran gasp on the other end of the line, but went on. If she stopped now, she might not finish. “And I freaked out…I barely even remember buying the airplane ticket. The plane right is a blur. Next thing I really knew, I was on his doorstep and crying. And…it was raining. I remember it was raining when I came back.”
“I know, I know…” Kazuha sighed. “Heiji knows. I told him everything. I’m sure you can imagine how shocked he was…” The look on his face when he realized what she was saying would haunt her for a long time to come.
“…so you’re back with Hattori-kun now?” Ran said slowly, like she wasn’t quite sure what to say.
“Yeah. We just got an apartment—two bedrooms,” Kazuha explained. “It’s a good arrangement, really. It’ll be nice to have a friend nearby while I’m trying to get myself re-situated here. I think it’s going to work out pretty well.”
“It sounds nice!” Ran said, then asked, “Are you and Hattori-kun…what’s going on with you two?”
She was more honest with Ran than she was with her father. “We’re pretty much together. We…had a little talk about things, and it looks like we’re going to give it a go. Trust me—it was kind of a trick.” She remembered all too clearly her humiliating behavior upon her return, up to and including the night she had gotten drunk and tried to throw herself at Heiji. She chuckled dryly in spite of herself. “I wasn’t thinking too clearly, and I did some really stupid stuff. But it all worked out.”
“Are you okay?” Ran asked; she sounded alarmed.
“I’m fine now,” she said. “But…I was a mess, Ran-chan.” She decided that if she was going to be honest, she might as well just spill it all. “This all happened over three nights. I got there in the middle of the night, soaked and in tears and totally lost. I was a complete wreck. Heiji basically put me to bed. He had to leave the next day for a case, and I got so worked up waiting for him to come back…I found a bottle of scotch in the fridge, and decided that it would help me calm down.”
“Oh yes. Straight scotch,” Kazuha winced at the memory. “Burned like hell, but I was pretty damn desperate. By the time Heiji got home…I could barely see straight. And…I basically threw myself at him. I kissed him. God, I was so drunk. But he sent me to bed. Next morning I woke up feeling even worse. And Heiji had gone out to get some groceries. I guess he figured I would be out cold for a while longer, so he didn’t leave a note. But I woke up and he was gone…and I thought the worst.”
“What did you do?”
“…I grabbed my stuff and left,” she said flatly. “Left a note on the counter, grabbed a cab and went to the airport. I was going to grab a flight back to the States. And he got there right as I got up to the ticket counter and dragged me out of there—and I mean that literally, he grabbed my arm and pulled me out to the parking lot. Later that night…we talked. And yelled. It was pretty bad…really bad. A lot worse than our usual arguments. But…it worked out.” She sat back in her chair. “We talked. And that’s when we decided to stick together.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t call you when things started getting so bad,” Kazuha said softly. “But…you know what? I think it’s okay now. I actually feel like I’m home now. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that…so long as Heiji can stop being an ahou, we’ll be great!” They both laughed before Kazuha went on,” Okay—he really hasn’t been an ahou at all lately. It’s…almost unnerving. He’s been great.” Her voice faltered slightly. “…really great.”
Ran’s tone was concerned. “Kazuha-chan? What’s wrong?”
She sighed and flopped over onto her back with her head pointing towards the foot of her bed. “…he’s been great. And he really has no reason to be. I treated him like crap, I avoided him, I barely talked to him for over a year…but then when I came crawling back, he barely batted an eyelash. He just welcomed me in and took care of me.” She felt the first faint hints of burning at the corners of her eyes. “I didn’t deserve it.”
“…why not?” Ran said reasonably. “You really do beat yourself up too much. He did it because he wanted to.”
“I don’t totally understand why he’d want to…I was kind of a bitch,” she mumbled, not noticing a shadow moving just outside her slightly-ajar bedroom door. “Don’t get me wrong—I’m so happy that we’re back together and that something’s finally happening.” She decided to just come clean with it all. “…that was really the reason I left in the first place. Nothing was happening—if he had a clue, he wasn’t sharing. I was frustrated, and I acted like a spoiled child—just ran away.”
“But you came back,” Ran pointed out. “And you worked things out. That’s not childish. That’s hard to do!” She sighed. “Trust me…it can be hard from both sides to have someone come back after a long absence. Speaking from the other end of that argument, there’s a certain amount of doubt and a lot of worry—what if they go running off again? How have things changed between us? How have they changed? How have I changed? But…if you don’t let yourself be scared off by all those possibilities…” She trailed off, her tone fond at the end.
Kazuha smiled. “How is Kudo-kun?”
“Shinichi is great,” Ran replied. “I didn’t get to tell you about all the things that happened while you were away—I think I put the bare bones in my letters, but…god, so much has happened. He’s a different person than he was before. I mean, don’t get me wrong—he’s still cocky and way too smart for his own good and he can and will still babble about Holmes for hours, but…there’s something that’s changed about him.”
“So you two are together?”
“Yes. And it’s been wonderful. He’s definitely a lot more…affectionate than I’d expected him to be. It took him a while before he could even hold my hand without blushing like crazy. And don’t get me started on what it took to get a kiss out of that boy…” she giggled, then sighed. “It wasn’t easy at the beginning, though. I kept worrying he was going to take off again or disappear. But thus far, nothing like that has happened.” She paused, then said, “I think you two are going to be fine. I really do.”
“I really hope so…well, it’s almost dinnertime,” Kazuha sighed, glancing at the clock on her nightstand and realizing just how late it was. “Heiji should be home soon, so I should probably scrape something together. God knows the man can barely boil water.” She laughed—that wasn’t entirely true, but it was still always good for a laugh. “But listen—you need to come down to Osaka sometime soon so you can see our new place. And bring Kudo-kun with you. You and I can talk about normal things, and he and Heiji will have a field day nerding out over…whatever it is they want to nerd out over.”
“Definitely!” Ran laughed, then her tone softened. “You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah…I actually feel better now,” she said, and she meant it. “A few of those things I haven’t even told Heiji. It’s nice to get them off my chest. Thanks for listening—talk to you again soon, okay?”
Kazuha hung up the phone and swung her legs off the bed and bounded towards the door. She was in a much better mood now—calling Ran had definitely been a good idea. And now to fix dinner for herself and the bottomless pit on legs, otherwise known as her roommate—she sometimes wondered if Heiji had an extra stomach or something…
As she walked out of her bedroom, a hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder.
She let out a yelp as she was pulled backwards against a warm, solid form; two arms snaked around her waist. But she settled quickly and crossed her arms. “God, Heiji! Don’t scare me like that!”
He chuckled. “The opportunity was just too good to pass up.”
Kazuha was about to retort when something occurred to her, and she felt something inside her go cold at the idea of it. “Heiji…how long have you been standing there?”
Heiji was silent for a few seconds before he said. “…long enough.”
She tensed, then sighed. “Really, Heiji. Eavesdropping is really tacky.”
“I won’t argue with you on that,” he said glibly. “But I did learn something important. So…no regrets.” When she didn’t say anything, he sighed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t really mean to overhear, but I got home and heard you talking in here and I figured you were on the phone. So I was trying to be quiet, and I heard my name…” He gave her a little shake, not letting go of her. “Kazuha, if you wanted to know…why didn’t you just ask?”
When she leaned forward, he was almost startled into letting go of her. But instead she simply turned around in his arms and leaned her head against his shoulder. “Because I really don’t want any major drama like we had when I first came back. I’m just being stupid.”
“Well, you know what? I’m going to tell you exactly what you don’t know,” he said. “When you first showed up at my door, you looked miserable. Of course I wanted to know what was going on and what happened, but…it just didn’t seem like the time to be asking those questions. As to why I didn’t just slam the door in your face…why would I have wanted to do that? I stopped you from taking off because I didn’t want you to go running away again. Geez…what I’m trying to say…you wondered why I didn’t turn you away?”
“…because I missed you, and I wanted you to stay,” he said simply. “Before that, I was about ninety-five percent sure that I loved you. Took one look at you standing there that night, and knew for sure. So of course I was going to do whatever I could to keep you here. And,” he leaned back and took her face in his hands, “even if I didn’t love you in the romantic sense, we’ve been best friends our entire lives. That’s gotta count for something—including the forgiving of stupid mistakes on both sides. Lord knows I’ve done my fair share of dumb things over the years. Let’s just call that one of yours and file it away.”
Kazuha chuckled. “You’ve done MORE than your fair share of idiotic things.”
“Oh, shut up,” Heiji rolled his eyes and planted a quick peck of a kiss on her forehead before he let her go. “So. What’s up with Neechan? I haven’t talked to her in a while…”
PS. What we have here is what could affectionately be called a recap. This is essentially the whole set-up for this little mini-universe of mine, as based on the final fic for 30_hugs on these two. Plus, I thought it would be nice to bring Ran (and indirectly, Shinichi) into this.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, illeistic!!!
Thanks for reading, all! Much love!