The villagers of Kaisen Mura were awake. Ghastly sounds from the forest had invaded their dreams and they were gathered in the street, bewildered and afraid.
“Look there!” Akasa said as two shadows limped over the brow of the hill.
When the two boys hobbled into the lamplight, they were so bedraggled and covered with blood and wounds, they could scarcely be recognized. But Kogoro Mouri exclaimed, “Why, it’s Shinichi and Heiji. You brave boys! You have brought us Choir Kids!”
“You didn’t…kill them, did you?” Megure asked tentatively. Shinichi and Heiji shook their heads weakly before their knees gave way. A few other villagers caught them just in time before their faces hit the ground.
The blacksmith and the carpenter took the two little children—almost like dolls in their arms—and placed them in the arms of the sleeping Ran and Kazuha, while Shounen Kid gathered the boys into his arms and to his home up the hills. But even after he had rubbed ointment into their wounds and fed them nourishments, they would not rest.
“Oi, oi,” Shounen Kid said as he pushed them all back on their beds. “Where do you think you two bakasaru-s are going?”
“We must keep watch,” Shinichi said. “There’s no telling when those warlocks are coming back to life.”
“Hello! I heard you guys practically like bombarded those warlocks with dozens of utensils from your workshop. They sure are useful as well as lethal. I bet they’re already mush by now!”
“Ie, we’re not taking any chances.” Heiji agreed as he got off the bed. “We have to stand guard. We must…”
“Hold you horses, lover boys. You’re not going anywhere until your wounds are cured. Now be good boys and lie down.”
Shounen Kid’s stern voice forced them to oblige, but as soon as Shounen Kid fell asleep, they sneaked out of their beds and out of his home back down the hill towards Kaisen Mura. They went to sit on the rooftop of their resting hut under the stars, keeping watch and a lookout for any signs of the warlocks’ return. There is no telling what mighty powers they might possess, and who knows, they might even have the power to rejuvenate themselves. They fear not only for their little misses, but also for the village.
“That was really bad fight we’ve just been through,” Shinichi commented. “I never thought I would’ve lived through this if it weren’t for you.”
“Well, I can’t take all the credit,” Heiji said. “I gotta admit, Conan, that thing with the iron mallet, really packs a punch. That was a real killer.”
“What can I say? Kogoro-sama always insisted on the best materials and the best equipment. You were pretty good with the chisel and all though. I never knew that even nails could kill.”
“It’s enough to even drill a hole through your palm, what else do you think it can do?”
“Ouch!” Shinichi winced, imagining the nails going through his hands.
As they continued to stare into the horizon and keep watch for any false moves, it was Heiji’s turn to stare at Shinichi. He blushed slightly as he watched him staring solemnly out there with his inquisitive, wary eyes, always on the lookout for the wellbeing of everyone. Shinichi has always been this way. He was always serious about taking care of other people’s benefits and safety and his loyalty towards the blacksmith’s family was incredible. There were times when Ran got mad at him and did a karate-chop on him or even used him as a punching bag whenever she’s in a bad mood. There were other times when Kogoro yelled and complained about his help, questioning about his ability in the art of blacksmith, and often on the lookout to see if he were harassing or close to his daughter in any way, but still Shinichi remained with them. Any other normal guys would’ve just split. Not Shinichi.
“Conan,” Heiji said as he inched his hand closer towards Shinichi’s unaware one. “I was thinking…what did Shounen Kid meant by calling us ‘lover boys’?”
Shinichi was knocked out of his solemn trance for a moment, blushing slightly before replying, “I dunno. Doushite?”
“I think you know. I think we all know what he meant, and I, for one, am not going to pretend about that.”
With that, he reached out and grasped Shinichi’s hand tight. Shinichi stared at Heiji’s sun-kissed skin on his hand and blushed even redder. He knew from the beginning what Shounen Kid meant about what Heiji just said. His crush for Ran never existed. Come to think of it, it’s all about loyalty. There’s nothing to do with his true feelings for Ran. Ran was just his little miss he had to serve. That’s all there is to it. Nothing else. His true crush is just right there, right in front of his eyes, and there’s no way anything else could compare that.
Needless to say, their lips met, engulfing themselves in a deep, passionate kiss. They did not part until they heard the cries of joy in the houses beneath them as Kazuha and Ran woke up.
“They are safe!” Shinichi sighed.
“Sugoi!” Heiji said. “Let’s go check them out.”
What a fuss the girls made of their two wounded heroes. There was so much cuddling and kissing, hugging and thanking, Shinichi and Heiji practically felt suffocated with all the attention. Kogoro and Akasa were so grateful that they were willing to let their daughters marry Shinichi and Heiji, but they declined their nice offer. For them, it’s enough to be just together.
“It’s a strange thing,” Kogoro remarked, “but the children we put in Ran’s embrace had disappeared by this morning.”
“So had ours,” Akasa replied.
Shinichi and Heiji looked toward the hill and thought of the dark forest beyond. The Choir Kids would be welcoming their King and Queen. For surely in dying for a child those two good children had regained their lives. And they hoped that Genta the Guardian would also regain life for sacrificing for his royal master and mistress.
The three warlocks were never seen again, and whenever the people of Kaisen Mura mentioned them, a little anxiously, at dusk or at the onset of a storm, Shounen Kid would say, “You’re quite safe, you know, with Shinichi and Heiji here.”
And Shinichi and Heiji would grin at each other playfully and lift their proud heads high, and parade together down the street hand in hand, with their loving eyes locked into each other. And no one who saw them ever doubted that they were the bravest shounen-s in all Hokkaido.