“How long are you planning to stay in England with your parents? Ran-san is getting worried-”
“I’m not coming back.”
“Edogawa-kun, what are you talking about?”
“I...I found a lead here. In England. I need to stay.”
“Think about this rationally. You can’t just pack up and leave with Ran-san and the- them at large. And what about Okiya-san? You can’t possibly leave a stranger in your own home unwatched.”
“Sorry Haibara, but I can’t. Not now.”
“Then when are you coming home?”
“Edogawa-kun. When are you coming home?’
“I’m not sure. Next July at the latest, probably.”
“What?! Why can’t you leave this lead to the FBI or your parents?! We already have issues here! Are you just going to let the FBI and me deal with it?!”
“It’s not like I want to!”
Haibara went quiet. Conan held his breath.
“Then what’s stopping you?”
The silence lasted for what felt like hours. Haibara could hear Conan moving around on the other line, as if he were packing.
He cut himself off. A shaky breath in and-
“Do you believe in magic?”
There was a beat of momentary shock.
“Is this some kind of joke?”
Came Haibara’s reply. Whispered and low, trembling with every word.
“Fine. Do what you want, but just know that it won’t be my fault if you get too ahead of yourself.”
“Conan-kun! How are you? The Shounen Tantei-Dan miss you a lot!”
“Um, I’m doing ok. Ran-neechan, I don’t think I’ll be able to come back until around July. I have to catch up with my studies here in America after all!”
“I thought your parents took you to London to catch up?”
“W-we went back after a few days.”
“Ah, I understand. Well, we’ll still have your futon ready whenever you need to come back.”
Conan didn’t answer.
“Conan-kun, are you still there?”
“Uh, yeah! Thanks Ran-neechan!”
Bringing his phone away from his ear, Conan could only stare at it silently. The conversations weren’t...pleasant, but they needed to be made sooner or later. Preferably later but Haibara would kill him if he left without a word and Ran would most likely fly to England for him. In any other situation it would be endearing, but it would be a pain to explain the whole “magic is real and you were right” thing. At least ghosts weren’t real.
Yukiko’s voice snapped him out of his daze. Conan sighed, only dropping his phone onto the couch. Tomorrow was when they-- he had to leave for “Hogwarts”. His books were still pretty unpacked and his father still hadn’t come back with the platform boots. Maybe he should pack his power-enhancing shoes. Just in case.
He wondered what the Shounen Tantei-dan would do without him. Well, they’d probably end up trying to look for some kind of crime scene or inevitably run into trouble. At least Haibara and Agasa would keep them in line. Although Haibara may or may not just go with their antics. It’s really a 50-50 at this point. She’s gotten so attached to the children she ends up going soft on them.
Conan chuckled to himself, plopping his phone down on the mattress. Yukiko was quiet during his thinking, only watching as her son sorted out his thoughts. She watched as his knees gave out on him, as if his bones just disappeared. Conan slid down the side of the bed, hand grasping and tugging at his hair, face hidden in his knees. Yukiko sunk down beside him, an arm around his shoulders in a gentle embrace.
“You haven’t called Ran-san yet.”
He opened his mouth.
“As you. As Shinichi.”
His lips pressed together in a tight line. He didn’t respond.
“Shin-chan, are you absolutely sure you want to--?”
Conan took in a shaky breath but didn’t look up at his mother. He didn’t want to see her pity.
“Even if this has nothing to do with Black Org.-- I need this advantage.” he whispered, fists squeezed together and nails digging into his palm. “But I don’t want-- I don’t want to leave Ran.”
Yukiko frowned, brushing a lock of hair out Conan’s face. She didn’t want to admit those were tears in her son’s eyes. Her Shin-chan was strong, he never cried.
“But you can’t leave and not tell her.” Yukiko said.
The silence dragged on. Yukiko stayed patient, ignoring the soft shaking coming from his small form, ignoring the quiet sniffles from him, ignoring the tiny hand clutching her shirt.
“And I’m sure Haibara-san will underst--”
“No she won’t.” Conan bit out, standing up and out of Yukiko’s grip.
It wasn’t like this was the first time he’s kept a secret, but it frustrated him that Haibara didn’t believe him. He trusted his parents, he did, but Haibara was-- well, Haibara. It shouldn’t have hurt him as much as it did.
“Shin-chan. You may be Conan now, but you’ll always be Shinichi--”
“But I’m not!”
Yukiko stared, mouth agape at Conan’s seething figure, head bowed and muscles tight.
“If this, this magic can’t help me and Haibara can’t find a cure,” his nails clawed into his coat’s sleeves as his voice stuttered, “Ran can’t wait forever. I don’t want her to suffer because of me. How much longer until I’m her Shinichi again? How much longer are we both going to wait?”
He heard his mother stand up and pad over to him, heels clicking against the wooden floor. Her arms wrapped around him from behind, clutching onto him like he was going to disappear. Conan didn’t want to admit that it helped calm his rapidly beating heart.
“Honey, you’ll get through this. You’re a strong young man and I am so, so proud of you. You can get through this. Even if Ran-san doesn’t know about your Conan situation, she’ll always support you, no matter what. And you still have Agasa and us, your parents. You know we’ll support you no matter what.” Yukiko buried her face in the crook of his neck, “You may be Edogawa Conan now, but you’ll always be our Kudo Shinichi: snarky, over-confident, insensitive--”
“Okaa-san is this going anywhere?”
Conan chuckled, slowly taking off his glasses and wiping away the wetness at his eyes with his sleeves. Yukiko let go and let him compose himself.
“Thanks, okaa-san.” Conan said, a small smile on his chubby face.
The sound of the hotel door opening snapped the two out of their emotional stupor. Yuusaku appeared from behind the corridor, holding up a shoe box. Conan didn’t like that sheepish smile on his face.
“I'm back and I’ve got the platform boots!” he called out, a cheery tone that would full most people. Except Conan was his son and Yukiko was…Yukiko.
“And the problem?” Conan raised an eyebrow.
Yuusaku laughed nervously, only handing over the box before resorting to scratching the back of his head. Conan was now rightfully worried. And also annoyed that his mother was the same.
He couldn’t help the loud groan that left him upon looking inside at the shoes. The boots were a decent height, acceptably five inches tall. It was the design that scared him. There were thin, leather straps acting like ribbons made to weave around the wearer’s legs, reaching just below the knee. They were closed-toe shoes but revealed the top of his foot. There were tiny spikes aligning the ribbon-like straps and a decorative, silver buckle near the heels.
Conan looked up at Yuusaku.
Yuusaku stared back.
Yukiko looked like she was about to burst.
Conan pointedly stuffed his sneakers into his suitcase.