Gosho Aoyama owns Detective Conan and all characters therein, and furthermore has a thoroughly evil, and twisted mind and is drawing out the ending too damn much. Want... ending...
Heiji Hattori stared at the clock, and willing it to slow down. *He's late.*
Sweat trickled down his face, smearing some of the makeup he'd put on.
*I can't believe that bastard. When I get hold of him, I'm gonna kick his ass.*
It had started with a late-night, or rather, early-morning phone call. Heiji had finally picked it up on the fourth ring, ready to bawl out whoever was disturbing his sleep at 3.13 in the morning.
"Shinichi?" Heiji had made an effort to wake up a little more. "What's up? What's going on?"
"Heiji, I need a really, really big favour."
"I need you to be my decoy again."
Heiji had shrugged. "How's that a big favour? We've done it before."
Shinichi explained the situation.
Heiji reacted instantly.
*I should never have let him talk me into this,* Heiji thought. *How could I have thought we could pull _this_ off?*
They'd argued for an hour; Shinichi persuaded, Heiji resisted.
"I need you," Shinichi had kept repeating.
"Have you gone completely out of your mind?" Heiji had finally demanded. "If we get caught..."
"We won't get caught."
"Isn't that what criminals always say?"
"Heiji! This is _important_!" Shinichi's tone had been firm and Heiji's shoulders had slumped.
"Isn't there any other way..." he'd asked pleadingly.
"There isn't," Shinichi squashed that idea. "It has to be done this way. Please Heiji, there's noone else who can help me. I _need_ you to do this for me. I'm _begging_ you, be my decoy this one time. I swear, I will NEVER ask you to do it again. _Please_. I need you. It's your duty to do this."
Heiji had stared at the ceiling for a while, then sighed. "You'd better not be late."
"I won't be late."
It had been awful. Worse than he'd imagined. He was sure he'd given himself away a dozen times, making wrong comments, laughing too loudly, dropping glasses. Fortunately, everyone seemed to accept it and carried on without making any enquiries, but he kept waiting for the shoe to drop. His nerve had finally broken an hour ago and he'd locked himself in this room, and waited. And waited.
Shinichi was supposed to meet him at 4. It was 20 past.
*Where are you Shinichi?*
"Shinichi?" A voice at the door. "Are you in there?"
Heiji tried not to breathe. *Go away! Nobody here but us decoys,* he thought hysterically.
He heard murmuring for a while, and then it went away.
*He is so dead. He'd better BE dead, and not just making me worry for nothing.*
Finally, at 4.45, there was a knock in the prearranged pattern at the outside door. Heiji ran to it and wrenched it open.
"You're late!" He hissed.
"Shut up and get out of my clothes," Shinichi hissed back. "There's no time!"
Heiji swore continuously under his breath as the two boys stripped, Shinichi reclaiming his outfit from Heiji, Heiji dressing himself in the clothes Shinichi had brought with him. The make up, and disguise that Shinichi had been wearing were stuffed into a rubbish bag for disposal.
There was another knock at the internal door.
"Shinichi? It's nearly 5!"
"Just a minute!" Shinichi yelled. "Where are my cufflinks?" He demanded in a whisper.
Heiji handed them over.
"Now remember," Shinichi said as he put them on. "This never happened, and we never EVER speak of it again."
"You don't have to tell ME that," Heiji said, as he finished tying his shoelaces. "Done."
"Coming!" Shinichi unlocked the door and stepped out, grinning nervously. Heiji was a step behind him.
"Well it's about time!" Yusaku Kudo said. "I was getting worried, especially since... Heiji? I didn't see you arrive."
"I was... running an errand for Shinichi," Heiji said.
"Well thank goodness you're both here," Yusaku said.
Yukiko Kudo came up behind her husband. "Boys! You'll never guess what’s happened!"
"What?" Heiji asked innocently.
"Mori solved the case!" She squealed. "It's going to be all over the news - Mori Solves the Perfect Crime. I'm so happy for him, and for Ran of course. Really, what a stupid thing to do, swearing that you'll solve the crime all by yourself even if it means missing your own daughter's wedding."
"Mmmm," said Shinichi. "So he worked it all out then?"
"Yes!" Yukiko was giddy with delight. "Apparently a young police officer found the vital clue that allowed him to put it all together. But we can't stand here talking - the Bridal party will be arriving at any moment."
She and Yusaku ushered Shinichi and Heiji through to the inner part of the temple.
"We were quite worried about you this morning Shinichi," Yusaku said with a laugh, as he steered his son to the priest. "You were so nervous, we thought you were going to make a run for it."
"And with no Heiji, we didn't know what to do," Yukiko added.
A limousine drew up outside.
"What do I have to do with it?" Heiji demanded. "_He's_ the one getting married."
"But _you're_ the Best Man," Yusaku pointed out. "Didn't you know? It's traditional that if the groom doesn't show up, the best man has to marry the bride instead."
Shinichi smirked as Heiji choked.
"Told you it was your duty," he murmured sotto voce, before all thoughts were driven out of his mind as Ran entered the door on her father's arm and bestowed a radiant smile on him.
"Oh shut up," Heiji muttered. "And congratulations."
Uh, just inspired by the switcheroo that Heiji and Shinichi pulled once again in the latest episode.
Jaelle, 24 April 2003.
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