Work Header

Evening Shadows

Chapter Text

You bit into your sandwich with a satisfied hum. You loved your job dearly (at least most days), but you still enjoyed your lunch breaks. Now that the weather was getting warmer once again, you had taken to going to the park and sit in the sun while eating. Just those few minutes away from the busy streets and bustling precinct really helped you get through the rest of the day slightly more relaxed.

The bench you were usually sitting on was in a relatively quiet spot, hidden between blooming bushes and old trees. You could still watch all kinds of people pass by from where you were sitting, but at the same time you were hidden well enough so that most people didn’t notice. It was fun to watch the other humans and androids at the park. You liked to use your investigative skills to try and figure out what kind of person someone was, or what job they worked. Like that, your lunch breaks often ended way too quickly for your liking, but it relaxed you too, so you kept doing it. Today was no different.

Well, actually, today was very different, because today you weren’t alone.

An android with piercing grey eyes sat on the bench next to you staring straight ahead and not paying you any mind. RK900, or Conan as you had taken to calling him, had been with the Detroit Police Department for a few months now and he was still just as stoic as when he first joined you. It wasn’t like he was unfriendly, but he also wasn’t exactly… approachable. He was always pretty straight to the point in whatever he said and never missed an opportunity to show off his superior android skills. Most people at the precinct hadn’t taken kindly to his presence, especially since everyone tended to compare him to Connor, who was soft and friendly, where Conan was all edges and sharp corners.

So, ever since you had started working with him, you had tried your best to be nice to him and to treat him with respect. You always greeted him the same way you greeted everyone else and inquired after his well-being. Now and then you tried to get some small talk going as well, but your attempts were usually in vain, since he had never learned how to carry a conversation, nor did he want to. He liked to make it abundantly clear that he had no desire to become more human or engage in any activity that didn’t relate to whatever case you were currently working on.

Which was a shame, since you had developed a gigantic crush on him.

At this point you were getting tired of feeling this way towards a person, who clearly had no interest in you. Or anyone else for that matter. You just wanted it to stop. You wanted your heart to stop speeding up every time you saw him. You wanted your hands to stop growing clammy whenever he was near. And you wanted your brain to stop going crazy with thoughts of him when you laid awake at night. But sadly it wasn’t that easy, so you had to live with the constant pain of liking someone, who probably hated you for always attempting to distract him from his missions.

Nevertheless, your dumb little crush didn’t change the fact that you wanted to be kind to him and treat him like the equal he was. Which was why you had talked him into going to the park with you to get some fresh air and take a small break. Conan had agreed reluctantly, but only after you had been nagging him for a few minutes. He had also told you he’d keep working in that big android brain of his, which you couldn’t stop him from doing anyway, so you had agreed.

So now here you were, sitting in the sun next to your crush, biting into a tasty sandwich. It sounded sweet, maybe romantic even, but the reality was anything but.

You could practically feel the bad energy coming from the android and you were almost certain it was entirely your fault he looked about ready to shoot someone. He probably wanted nothing more but to get back to work and close the case as soon as possible and despised you for dragging him away from the precinct.

You took another bite of your sandwich and turned to him as you chewed thoughtfully. His LED was flickering softly, so he was most likely doing research or filing reports or something else no other person would be doing on their break. You shook your head to yourself.

“Do you ever stop working?” You asked, watching closely as he stilled, before turning to you. His eyes were cold as always, but at this point you had gotten used to it.

“No. Not unless my systems reach critical levels and I need to divert my energy elsewhere.” He explained, making you scoff. “Do you have a problem with that, detective?”

With a shrug you bit into your sandwich, chewing slowly while you tried to come up with a way to phrase your reply that would convince him to take a break for just a few minutes.

“Not really, but maybe you could use the opportunity to work on your observational skills.” You gestured vaguely to the people on the path not too far away and his gaze followed your movement. He stared at the passing figures for a few seconds.

“I admit, it’s not a bad idea.” He finally said and you hid your triumphant smirk behind your sandwich.

“See, sometimes I have good ideas. That guy, tell me about him.” You pointed at a tall man in a baggy sweater. You personally couldn’t get a lot from him. He looked pretty normal and uninteresting to you, but maybe Conan would be able to analyze him more thoroughly with his sensors.

“Charles Cook, 34, unemployed. No criminal record. His heart rate is elevated, he is slightly distressed, but by what exactly, I cannot discern. Judging by the stain on his chest, he just ate lunch, presumably fast food.” Conan looked at you with his typical vacant stare, but he looked just a tiny bit proud. You snorted.

“Pretty good. But I think you misinterpreted the elevated heart rate. He isn't distressed, well not really.” You gestured to the man again, who was now talking to a shorter person. “He was waiting for his date, so he was nervous.”

Conan’s LED flashed as he filed away the new insight, still staring at the two people, who were now talking animatedly with large smiles on their faces. Finally, Conan turned back to you when they walked away. By now you had finished your sandwich and sipped on your iced tea instead.

“Thank you for the correction. A lot of human emotions manifest similarly, so it can be hard for me to discern them properly.” His grey eyes bored into yours and you felt a small blush creep into your cheeks. He'd most definitely not have any problems reading that human emotion. Thankfully, he didn't seem to be too interested in you.

Just as always. You thought unhappily. You wished he'd care at least a bit about you.

“What about that couple? Leave out the names and stuff, I don't really care about that. Just tell me what you can deduce about them.” You told him with an encouraging smile, pointing at two older ladies. Conan immediately scanned them with his usual unreadable expression.

“They wear matching rings, so it's safe to assume they are married. The one on the right has dirt stains on her hands, so she most likely enjoys gardening. The one on the left is a business woman, her posture and attire give that much away. They own a white cat, judging by the cat hair on both of their clothes.” He concluded and you smiled. It felt weird to gain insight into complete strangers’ lives this way, but in this case it made you happy. It sounded like they lived the perfect life and you couldn't help but feel a pang of envy.

“Detective.” Conan drew your attention away from the retreating couple, so you turned to him. “You should try it as well. It might be beneficial to building your skills too.”

You nodded in agreement, waiting for him to point out who he wanted you to analyse. Your results would definitely be less impressive, but you'd try your best anyway.

“The man with the baseball hat and the woman next to him.” He finally said and you almost groaned at the fact that it was another happy couple. It was like the world was taunting you.

“Uhm, well, she enjoys his company, her smile is genuine. He feels the same way, but he's nervous.” You looked more closely, eyes widening when you noticed his fingers move closer to hers, before he retracted them quickly. You smiled to yourself. “He wants to hold her hand, but he's afraid she will reject him.”

You suddenly imagined being in his position. Just you and Conan strolling through the park, talking happily, as you struggled with your feelings. There were a lot of things you had considered doing with Conan before, but holding hands hadn't been one of them… until now. It sounded surprisingly appealing to you. It wasn't like he'd ever let you hold his hand though, not when he was looking at you like that again. He looked almost angry now.

“Why would he want to hold her hand? What is the practical benefit of it?” Conan asked and you made a face. This wouldn't be easy to explain to the emotionless android.

“Hm… Well, it's a way to show affection, but it's also for comfort. You know by now that we humans usually enjoy all kinds of physical contact, and with all of our confusing emotions it can be nice to have someone to hold onto. Just a casual touch to feel more at home.” You felt like you didn't do a very good job of explaining when his LED flickered yellow for a second, before turning back to blue. Nevertheless, Conan seemed to be satisfied with your answer.

“I see.” He only said, turning his attention back to the passing people. Your eyes rested on him for a few seconds, appreciating his profile, before you turned back to continue people watching as well. A silence settled between you and you felt your stomach twist in knots, a sudden anxiety overcoming you. The unhappy aura coming off of Conan increased once again and you began to feel guilty. He didn't want to be here, did he? He wanted to be working and not sitting here with you on a bench. You had only dragged him here out of selfish reasons and you suddenly felt awful for it.

“I'm sorry.” You mumbled, making Conan turn to you. “I know you don't want to be here, I shouldn't have forced you to come with me. You can go back to the precinct if you want to, I don't mind.”

Conan’s LED spun and flickered as he processed your words, before he seemed to frown ever so slightly. It was probably the most expressive you had ever seen him.

“I apologize, detective. You must be misinterpreting my actions and demeanour. If I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't be.” He explained and you just stared at him wide-eyed. He actually didn't despise any second spent with you here at the park? That was… it was unexpected.

“Oh.” You said, feeling your cheeks heat up. “I figured since I always try to distract you from work, you wouldn't really like spending time with me all that much. I know I can be pretty annoying.”

A light chuckle died in your throat, when his frown deepened even more and his LED spun even faster. His eyes darted across your face, but what he was looking for eluded you.

“I don't find you unpleasant to spend time with. I prefer your company over that of most other people, if not all.” There was a flicker of uncertainty in his eyes, that completely threw you for a loop. “Do you believe that I don't like you, detective?”

Your throat closed up, as you felt your heart go crazy in your chest. It was true that you thought he hated you, but being confronted with it like this, you realized you might've been wrong. The heat that rushed to your cheeks made you fumble for words under his intense gaze, and you tried to get your emotions under control.

“Well, uhm, you always seem annoyed when I try to talk to you. And I know you just want to solve cases and stuff, but I still distract you, so I don't see why you wouldn't dislike me.”

His LED turned red and you stared.

“I…” He blinked slowly, deliberately. You swallowed, unable to take your eyes off of him for even a second. “You are always treating me kindly, even though I am just a machine. There's no reason for me to dislike you.”

You didn't know what to say. Of all the things you had expected to come out of this little trip to the park, this wasn't something you had anticipated at all. For months you had lived under the assumption that he found your company less than favorable, so hearing him assure you of the opposite, made you question yourself. Were you really that dense, that you didn't realize, or was he just really awful at expressing himself?

You knew for a fact that the latter was the case, considering he never seemed to have any feelings at all, but you suspected your little crush had also made it harder for you to look at things objectively. It was probably a combination of both, that lead you to believe that he disliked you. Now you just felt silly.

“That’s a relief.” You said finally, trying to give him a smile, that probably ended up looking pretty wobbly. Conan still looked down at you with his usual expression, but at least his LED had returned to its calm blue color once again.

“I'm glad I was able to clear up your confusion.” He inclined his head towards you and you smiled a bit brighter. “By my calculations we should be departing soon, if we want to be able to return to the precinct in time.”

With a happy little sigh, you got up and slung your bag over your shoulder, before turning to Conan.

“Thank you for spending the break with me.” You told him as the two of you began to walk back towards the station. Your heart was still beating wildly in your chest and you had a hard time calming it down.

“You're welcome. Maybe we could repeat this some time.” He said and you couldn't help but get excited at the prospect of this becoming a more regular thing.

“I’d like that.” You smiled, looking over at him just to find him fixing you with an interested look. You raised an eyebrow in question. “What's up?”

“Can I hold your hand?”

Your brain stuttered to a sudden halt, and so did your feet. A overwhelming heat spread across your cheeks, as you gaped at him in shock. So much for him not letting you hold his hand. You unsuccessfully tried to swallow the lump in your throat and when you spoke your voice sounded coarse to your own ears.

“Y-yes, but why?” You asked, barely holding in a gasp, when you felt his fingers close around yours a second later. His hand was much warmer than you had anticipated and he was gentle in his movements as he intertwined your fingers.

“You mentioned that humans hold hands as a gesture of comfort. I want you to feel safe.” He admitted, his piercing eyes resting on yours as he tugged lightly on your hand to make you start walking once again. You did as he had silently asked and let him lead you through the park. The blush on your face wouldn't let up, no matter how hard you tried to calm down. There was no way he didn't notice the effect he had on you, but you wondered if he was able to interpret your reaction correctly.

“I do feel safe with you, Conan.” You mumbled and when you looked up, you saw the tiniest of smiles tugging at the corners of his lips.

“As you should.” He said confidently and your heart hammered loudly.

You were absolutely screwed.

Chapter Text

Another day, another suspect who decided he'd rather run away than let you question him. You groaned in frustration as he suddenly broke into a sprint, leaving you and Conan to stare after him. A second passed, and the two of you started pursuing him. Conan was obviously faster and way more agile than you, making you feel like a klutz as you ungracefully climbed over the chain link fence after him and the suspect.

You knew Conan would be able to catch the guy no matter what and you almost wanted to just give up and stay put, but you didn't want to leave all of the work for him. And the glory, of course.

The suspect fled through a small alley and across a busy street, before sprinting up a flight of stairs that led up to the roof of an old warehouse. Conan was catching up to him slowly, but you only fell back more and more with every second. You might've been a well trained detective, but running wasn't exactly your strong suit. A few unhappy curses left your mouth as you finally reached the roof, just to see Conan and the suspect jumping across a gap to the next roof. This was ridiculous.

You gathered all of your energy and followed them. Your muscles were beginning to burn with every step and the jump to the second roof didn't exactly make you feel much better either. This roof was littered with vents and antennas, so you had to carefully side-step them as not to trip. At the same time, you had to keep an eye on Conan, so you didn't lose track of him. He had almost caught up to the suspect now, who was undoubtedly also running out of steam. You watched them jump to another roof and grumbled under your breath. If Conan didn't catch this guy soon, you'd have to give up pursuit and just catch your breath for five minutes… or thirty.

You approached the edge of the roof, refusing to look down and jumped across the gap. And of course that was when you had to land on a pebble with your right foot, causing your ankle to snap to the side as you stumbled to the ground with an agonizing scream. Hot tears welled up in your eyes immediately as your ankle began to sting and throb. Slowly, you moved to sit back on your butt, trying to move the ankle as little as possible. You took a deep breath as soon as you were sitting down properly and reached down to lift the hem of your jeans. It was already beginning to swell. You whimpered as you moved the joint ever so slightly and bit your bottom lip in pain.

You realized suddenly that you should probably try and get help as soon as possible, so you pulled out your radio and asked for medical assistance at your position. You got confirmation that a medic was on the way, so you just sat back to wait. Surveying your area, you briefly wondered if it would be a problem to get you off the roof, but you hoped that wouldn't be the case.

You also hoped that Conan had been able to catch the suspect on his own, but you had faith that he had in fact detained him by now. If only you weren't so clumsy and fragile, maybe you would've actually been helpful in the pursuit. You sighed, just when your phone beeped. It was Conan, so you quickly picked up.

“Detective, where are you? I have taken the suspect into custody and handed him over to Officer Miller.” He told you in his usual cold tone of voice.

“Ah, well, I…” You hissed as a wave of pain shot through you. “I think I broke my ankle, or, sprained it at least. I already requested a medic.”

There was a small silence at the other end of the line and you were about to ask if he had heard you, when he spoke again.

“Understood. I'm on my way.” You were about to tell him that it was fine, but he had already ended the call and you sighed.

Not even a minute later, you heard footsteps approach and Conan rounded the corner with a scowl on his face. He immediately crouched down next to you, analysing your ankle.

“How did you even find me this quickly?” You asked as he reached out and moved your jeans aside just like you had done a few minutes ago. Another piercing pain ran up your leg and you gasped, tears now running down your cheeks.

“I triangulated the location of your phone.” He placed a hand on your shin and you almost screamed in pain. “It’s not broken, but you require immediate medical assistance.”

He removed his hand from your leg and you sighed in relief. His gaze snapped away from your injury and up at your face, eyes locking with yours.

“I calculate a 96.7% chance that the injury will have no lasting effects on you if you receive treatment in the next ten minutes.” He told you and you smiled crookedly at his awkward way of reassuring you.

“That's good to hear. I'm not sure how hard it'll be for me to get off this roof though, that might be an issue.” You looked around the roof as you talked and didn't notice him move closer to you, until you felt a hand on your back.

“C-Conan, what-” You choked out in shock, before his other hand found its place in the crook of your knees and he lifted you up like you weighed nothing at all. You groaned at the pain, but at the same time you felt your cheeks redden at the sudden intimacy. On instinct, you wrapped your arms around his neck to hold yourself upright. His eyes flickered across your face, expression unreadable as always.

“This is the most economic course of action.” He told you and you could've sworn there was a tiny smirk on his lips, but maybe the pain was just making you hallucinate. Before you could question him further, he began to make his way over to the rusty old stairs that led down to the street. The fire escape was narrow and uncomfortable to navigate, but Conan still managed it with a surprising amount of grace. As soon as his feet touched the ground, you sighed in relief. It wasn't like you hadn't felt safe in his arms, but it still felt better to not look down three storeys while you had no control over your own movements. He gently sat you down on the bottom steps of the fire escape, making sure not to disturb your ankle.

You felt yourself begin to shake, as the shock set in and you were surprised to see him take off his jacket and drape it over your shoulders. Almost like it was part of his programming, he smoothed it out and then tugged a strand of your hair back into place. If you hadn't been shaking and hurting so badly, you probably would have blushed as brightly as a tomato. As it was though, you wondered if you were having some sort of strange pain-induced dream right now.

You were distracted from your line of thought, when you heard more footsteps approach and spotted two medics walking towards you. You threw Conan a confused look.

“I informed them of our location.” He clarified and you nodded in understanding.

The medics confirmed that your ankle was just sprained, not broken and handed you a packet of ice to cool it. They told you to keep your weight off your right foot as much as possible and rest it for at least a week. And lastly, they gave you some painkillers that were supposed to dull the pain for the time being. You thanked them with as much of a smile as you could muster. One of them asked if you needed a lift home and you were about to tell them that, yes, that would be lovely, when Conan interrupted you.

“That’s not necessary, thank you.” He said and you gave him a confused look. As soon as the medics were gone, he reached down and picked you up once again.

“Conan, what are you planning?” You asked teasingly, but he didn’t even spare you a glance.

“I will take you home, of course.” He said matter of factly and you huffed.

“Oh, of course. Why though? You could’ve just let the medics take me home. And while we’re at it, there’s no need to carry me either.” You watched him closely for any reaction, but he didn't even blink.

“I prefer to make sure you get home safely myself, especially since you wouldn't even be in this position if it weren't for my inability of predicting the suspect’s intent of fleeing. I feel responsible for what happened.” He told you, just as a taxi came to a halt in front of you. You couldn't help but blush when he gently sat you down in the backseat and sat down across from you. You shook your head.

“Come on, now. I know you mean well, but it's really not your fault, Conan.” You gave him a weak smile, but he just kept staring at you blankly. He obviously didn't agree with you, but he didn't argue. A genuine smile crept onto your face. “Thanks for taking care of me.”

Something about his expression seemed to shift, but you couldn't say what exactly, as he gave you a curt nod. You counted that as a success.

He insisted on carrying you up to your apartment and you just didn't have the strength to argue. Besides, you kind of enjoyed having his arms around you, even if it was embarrassing to admit to yourself. With how cold and stoic Conan always was, it was strange to suddenly see him treat you with so much gentleness. He almost coddled you, even. The way he sat you down on your couch, taking his jacket from your shoulders and replacing it with a blanket, before arranging some cushions around you, made you smirk at him. Watching him like this, it almost seemed like he wasn’t an emotionless robot. He turned around to start making his way towards the kitchen and you watched him with a fond expression.

“Drink this.” He handed you a glass of water a few minutes later. “Do you require anything else? I could buy groceries for you, if you w-”

“Conan.” You smiled up at him and his cold eyes locked with yours. “It’s fine. I appreciate that you worry about me, but there’s no need. I already told you, it’s not your fault.”

His eyes darted across your face in uncertainty, so you put on your best genuine smile in an effort to assuage his worries. It seemed to work, as his LED flickered for a moment, then he finally nodded. You reached out to take his hand, squeezing it gently.

“Thank you, Conan.” His eyes flicked down to his hand and a slight furrow of his brow made you let go of him with a bright flush. You should’ve known by now that he didn’t take kindly to physical affection without a purpose, but you had a hard time containing yourself, what with his constant frown. His expressions always made your instincts kick him, trying to comfort him before you knew what you were doing.

To your surprise, he lightly shook his head as you retracted your hand and reached out to catch your wrist. You gave him a confused look.

“There's no need to thank me.” He squeezed your wrist, before dropping it. He shifted his gaze away from you, and you thought that he almost looked embarrassed. Frankly, it was adorable. “I will be on my way. Don't hesitate to call me, if you require any further assistance.”

You felt your cheeks grow hot, but you still smiled brightly at him.

“I will. See you soon, Conan.” He gave you a firm nod and turned on his heel to make his way towards the door. With a grin, you called a last thank you after him and you could've sworn he was smiling ever so slightly when he turned back to you.

“You're very welcome.” He told you and a moment later he was gone. Despite your negative predicament, you found yourself smiling at the closed door, until you eventually fell asleep.

Chapter Text

“Detective, take the robot with you.” Fowler called after you, as you began to walk out of his office. You turned to him with a raised eyebrow.

“Which one, sir?” You asked, although you already knew the answer.

“Your partner, of course. Now get out of here.” He made a dismissive gesture and you nodded.

You had just presented some new evidence to the Captain and proposed you go on a stake-out. Thankfully, he had been satisfied with your work, and agreed to your proposition. Now, you'd only have to grab your partner, some food, and a coffee, and jump into one of the DPD’s civilian cars and make your way to the suspect's home. You had been working on this case for a few weeks now and it felt good to finally have a solid lead. The suspect was a middle-aged white man, who supposedly ran an illegal market for android parts and thirium. You had reason to suspect that he used an old warehouse by the docks for storage. But in order to have enough evidence to lock him up, you'd need to catch him red-handed.

“Conan!” You called out as you stepped back into the bullpen. The android in question looked up from where he was sitting by your desk and you made your way over. “Fowler approved the stake-out, so we're leaving in ten.”

“Excellent. I shall get you another cup of coffee for the road.” He told you and you sighed.

“What would I do without you?” You grinned, collecting your jacket and bag from your desk. Conan turned to you with his usual cold expression.

“You are a perfectly capable detective without my assistance, my presence merely makes you more efficient.” He told you coolly and before you could reply, he had turned around and left you a blushing mess in the middle of the precinct.

Stupid, handsome android and his unintentional compliments.

The sound of a snort from behind you, made your attention snap back to the presence and you turned to glare at lieutenant Anderson. He chuckled at your - undoubtedly, still red - face, before pretending to be busy with work.

“What?” You snapped at him, but he just shrugged. “Hank. What?

He sighed and finally looked back up at you with a teasing smile.

“It’s just funny, how obvious you are.” He shook his head and gestured at Connor, who was sitting across from him. “Even Connor has noticed by now.”

The man in question turned to you with a smile that was about a hundred times more genuine than the lieutenant’s. Connor could've probably straight up insulted you, you could've never gotten angry while he was wearing that sweet expression. He truly was the opposite of Conan.

“Your heart rate increases rapidly whenever you're near my brother, so it didn't take long for me to conclude that you have feelings for him.” He said matter of factly, his warm eyes crinkling at the corners.

You groaned, turning away in an attempt to hide your red cheeks, which only made Hank laugh again.

“Not really sure what you’re seeing in him, but maybe you should tell him, kid.” He told you and you grimaced. He raised his hands in from of him with an apologetic smile. “Hey, I'm just saying. You can do whatever you want.”

“He has no feelings, remember? Telling him will just make me regret it.” You sighed. Out of the corner of your eyes you saw your two friends exchange a look, but before they could say anything else, Conan returned with a cup of coffee for you.

“Here you go, detective. I hope it's to your satisfaction.” His grey eyes rested on you as you took a sip.

“Perfect, as always.” You smiled, reaching for his arm to give it a light squeeze. The action made his LED turn a soft yellow for just a second and you hid your grin behind the coffee cup.

“We should depart, detective.” Conan said after a moment and you nodded. You turned to pick up your things and wave at Connor and Hank. The latter gave you a knowing smile, which you firmly ignored and made your way towards the door. Conan followed closely on your heels.

It felt both comforting and strange to have him follow you like this. You felt his eyes resting on you and you wondered what exactly he was looking for. Would he be able to pick up on the tiny hiccup of your heart when held the door open for you?

Considering his brother was able to monitor your heart rate, he probably was too, but did he care enough to even check yours? Probably not. You thought bitterly.

You tried not to let it get to you most days, but sometimes it was hard not to feel negatively about your little crush on the android. It hurt to think that he didn't even care about you, but you knew that it was probably the truth.

As if he had read your mind, Conan stopped you with a hand on your wrist as soon as you stepped out of the precinct.

“Detective, are you alright? My sensors indicate that you're distressed.” There was a small flicker of concern in his eyes, that made your heart beat even faster. You swallowed.

“Uhm, yeah, I'm… I'm fine.” You chuckled awkwardly, but Conan obviously didn't believe you, if the little crease between his brows was anything to go by.

“There's no need to lie to me, detective. If you are feeling unwell, we can execute the stake-out at another date, so you can rest.” You almost laughed out loud at how concerned he was. How had you ever thought this man had no emotions? You smiled to yourself and shook your head.

“No, I promise, I'm fine. Thank you for making sure though.” Before you could change your mind, you leaned in and pressed a soft kiss against his cheek. When you pulled back his LED was had turned an aggressive red and you immediately regretted your action, until it suddenly returned to blue. Conan still frowned slightly, but he tilted his head to the side when he spoke again.

“I have never seen you express gratitude this way, detective. It is quite surprising.” You couldn't help but chuckle at his response. With your newfound energy, you looped your arm around his and started dragging him towards the parking lot.

“What can I say?! You deserve it!”

Chapter Text

“Conan?” You sat up in bed, trying to wipe the sleep from your eyes. A look at the clock on your bedside table told you it was 3am. A sudden wave of worry overcame you and you had to will your heart to calm down, your grip on the phone tightening.

“Detective, I'm sorry to disturb you this late.” There was a certain edge to his voice, that only made you more anxious. You tried your best to sound calm and friendly when you replied.

“It's alright… What's up?” A small yawn escaped you and Conan began to apologize, obviously regretting he had called at all, but you interrupted him. “I'm already awake now, so just spit it out.”

“I have found myself in a predicament.” He finally said. You shifted to sit at the edge of your bed, feet sliding into your plushy slippers. This sounded like it could take a while, so you might as well grab a glass of water. Distant sounds of the bustling city came from the other end of the line and you frowned.

“Are you outside?”

“To put it simply: that's the predicament. I had a fight with lieutenant Anderson and he asked me to leave his home in anger, so I am now… outside.” There was a short pause, during which you didn't know what to say. “I considered simply entering standby mode in a quiet corner, but I'm afraid I might get damaged by certain individuals.”

You blinked slowly, trying to take in all of the information he had just given you. The fact that Hank had kicked him out struck you as odd, but you always knew they had a strained relationship. Hank had trouble getting along with the android who looked exactly like Connor, but wasn't capable of the same warmth and humanity. But you had never expected Hank to actually kick Conan out.

“Okay, you can stay with me.” You told him with a little sigh.

“I don't mean to be a burden to you, detective. I merely called you because I did not know what to do and I felt like you might be able to give me advice. You have no obligation to take me i-” You cut him off with another sigh.

“Conan, I know. Just come to my place, okay?” You grabbed a glass from the shelf and filled it with water, taking a few sips. You might not have expected a houseguest, but that didn't mean you were just going to let Conan stay outside all night. Looking over at the window, you grimaced. It was raining.

“Affirmative. Thank you, detective.” He confirmed and ended the call a second later.

With another yawn, you made your way over to the coffee table and picked up an empty mug and a plate, carrying them over to the kitchen. You were almost certain Conan wouldn’t mind that your apartment wasn’t perfectly clean, especially considering you hadn’t expected him, but it still couldn’t hurt to get rid of the dirty dishes. You quickly rinsed them in the sink, so you could wash them properly in the morning. Back in the living room, you picked up your jacket that was lying on the couch and folded the blanket you usually snuggled into while you watched TV. Lastly, you put the various magazines and books on the coffee table into a neat stack. That would have to do, you thought.

Looking down at yourself, you realized you weren’t exactly dressed to welcome anyone into your home, so you grabbed your bathrobe from the bedroom and threw it on. It would still be kind of awkward to let Conan see you like this, but considering the circumstances you couldn’t really get yourself to care all that much. It was 3am after all. You dropped down onto the couch, taking out your phone to pass the time while you waited, hoping to keep sleep at bay until he arrived.

Your doorbell rang barely five minutes later, and you jogged over to open the door.

“Hello, detective.” Conan gave you a stern nod and you sighed loudly. He was soaked, his clothes sticking to his skin and his usually well-styled hair dripping.

“Come on in, you wet puppy.” You stepped aside to let him in. As soon as you had closed the door behind him, you took his wrist and led him to the bathroom. Surprisingly, he neither protested, nor questioned you, for which you were grateful.

“Let me go find some dry clothes for you…” You mumbled, leaving him in the bathroom, water dripping on the tiles. He nodded and you gave him a small smile. It took you a few minutes, but eventually you found a large sweater and some baggy sweatpants at the back of your closet. Quickly, you made your way back to the bathroom to hand them to Conan so he could change. To your horror, he had already undressed when you entered. He was wearing his underwear, but you still averted your eyes hastily, cheeks red.

“Uh, here you go. I'll be outside.” You stammered. You gave him no opportunity to reply, as you fled to the living room immediately. You knew Conan probably didn't care that you saw him (mostly) naked, but it still made you feel awkward. He might’ve been an android, but he was also your friend and, even more importantly in this context, your crush. As much as you liked the idea of him being naked in your apartment in theory , having it actually happen, was only making you feel embarrassed. Well, if only the circumstances were different...

But there was no way they ever would be the way you wished they were. Not when it came to Conan, he’d never be interested in you that way. You were distracted from that line of thought when the man in question left the bathroom.

“Thank you for lending me your clothes, detective.” He said, the tiniest of smiles tugging at the corner of his mouth for just a second. He sat down on the couch next to you, stiff as always. It was strange to see him out of the CyberLife uniform he still wore, even though he could've worn whatever he wanted. You had to admit though, that while the baggy clothes he was currently wearing, might not have suited him all that well, he did look pretty cute in them. Suddenly sitting here with Conan in your clothes at 3am felt strangely intimate and you didn't know if you liked that feeling.

“Sure thing, Conan.” You waved him off, before turning to him completely, folding your legs underneath yourself. “So, in exchange for my hospitality, you owe me a more detailed explanation. Why exactly did Hank kick you out?”

“We had a disagreement and he decided he didn't want me in his home anymore.” Conan’s LED turned yellow as he spoke. As much as he liked to insist that he didn't have emotions, it was pretty obvious this whole thing was bothering him.

“What did you disagree on?” You asked with a frown and his grey eyes darted around the room for a second. You narrowed your eyes. “Don’t even think about lying, Conan.”

“I wasn't-” He cut himself off as he looked at you once more. “It's not important what exactly we fought over. I made a mistake and in the heat of the moment I mentioned his son, which angered him even more and he subsequently asked me to leave. Which I did.”

You shook your head to yourself, not quite satisfied with his vague answer, but you didn't feel like prying anymore. Conan should've known better not to mention Cole, but you didn't need to tell him that. You looked up at him with a sigh. His hair was still wet and awkwardly flattened against his head. The sight made you smile and you reached up to move a few strands back into place. Conan watched you closely while you leaned closer, and you caught the flicker of his LED from the corner of your eye. Your cheeks suddenly warmed and you stammered out an excuse, before almost sprinting to the bathroom.

Cheeks red, heart pounding loudly, you grabbed a towel. Why on earth did you keep having such strong reactions to him? Just because you had a small crush, you couldn't even treat him nicely without getting butterflies in your stomach. This sucked. All you wanted to do, was help your friend, but your dumb feelings always had to go and make things awkward as hell for you. You groaned in frustration.

Enough was enough. You would go out there, help him dry his hair, wish him a good night and finally go back to sleep. It would be just fine and not awkward at all.


It was awkward.

Conan’s cold eyes weren’t shifting away from you for even a second while you stood in front of him, running the towel over his head. It didn't help that he had parted his legs slightly and you were standing between his knees as you dried his hair. A little voice at the back of your mind called out how lovely it would be for him to pull you into his lap now, but you firmly ignored that voice.

You looked down at Conan with a wobbly smile as you moved the towel away from him. He was still looking up at you, posture stiff, hands resting uncomfortably on his thighs. He looked absolutely adorable. His hair was sticking up into all directions now and you couldn't help it, you reached up and brushed your fingertips across his cheek. His LED turned bright yellow instantly.

“S-sorry.” You mumbled, retracting your hand hurriedly. He shook his head ever so slightly, a crease forming between his brows. Before you could do something even more stupid, you cleared your throat and folded the towel, throwing it onto the couch. You were about to step back from him, when his hand caught your wrist, stopping you.

“Conan, what…?” You started, but he just shook his head again.

“Thank you for helping me.” His grip on your wrist tightened, squeezing gently. “I know this might come as a surprise, but I value your friendship greatly, detective.”

You just stared down at him for a few seconds, taking in his emotionless expression. His face never betrayed any of his feelings, you had learned that much about him quickly. It was his LED, his posture, sometimes even his gestures that indicated what he was feeling. Currently, his LED was flickering wildly, and his other hand, which was still resting on his thigh, was balled into a fist, knuckles white. He was… nervous.

“I-That’s… I’m glad.” You stumbled over your words, unsure how to reply to his confession. For months he had left you wondering if he even considered you a friend at all. Having him confirm it, made you unnecessarily happy. With a big smile, you placed your other hand on his shoulder. “I value your friendship as well.”

He hummed and a small crooked smile appeared on his face. Your breath hitched at the rare sight, and you committed this moment to memory, so you would never forget the way he smiled at you. Finally, he let go of your wrist with a last squeeze and you reluctantly stepped back from him. In the low light of your living room, he almost looked a bit flushed, but you were sure it was just your imagination.

“You should go back to sleep if you want to be properly rested tomorrow.” Conan said and you nodded. It was almost four by now, and you’d definitely feel the lost hour in the morning. If only it was your day off.

“Feel free to… uh,” You gestured around the living room vaguely. “do whatever.”

“Thank you.” Conan said again. You were starting to get used to being thanked all the time, you liked hearing those words from him. To be fair though, you liked hearing any word from Conan, he had a very nice voice after all. You could’ve listened to it for hours. “Goodnight, detective.”

“Goodnight.” You gave him one last smile, before turning around and making your way over to your room. You were almost certain you wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep with the android sitting just outside your room, but you would give it your best shot. Maybe the fact that it was the middle of the night would help. A loud yawn escaped you and you shed the bathrobe, before climbing into bed. With a little sigh, you turned off the lamp on your nightstand and nestled into the sheets. Just in case, you hadn’t closed your door completely, so a small strip of light ran along the ground.

As expected, Conan didn’t make a single sound. You assumed he was sitting on your couch, just as stoically as always, staring straight ahead. It wasn’t like you really wanted to change him, but sometimes you did hope he’d eventually loosen up a bit. You were used to his behavior by now and didn’t mind it anymore, but other people tended to be more confused. Even after all of those months, some of your coworkers still gave him weird looks and avoided him. It kind of hurt to watch, if you were being honest. Conan might’ve been bad at showing emotions and he liked to pretend that he didn’t care about anyone else, but you felt like he deserved some more friends than just Hank, Connor, and you. And even Hank was angry with him now, so really, he didn’t have much left.

Suddenly, you felt awful for leaving him to sit alone in the living room. If you had just been kicked out by someone you considered a friend, you would've felt awful, and no matter if Conan felt the same way or not, he probably wasn't exactly happy in that moment.

Fueled by your sudden spike of empathy, you got out of bed once again and left your room. Just as you had imagined, Conan was sitting on your couch exactly where you had left him. When he heard you approach he turned around with a quizzical expression. You didn’t know how to explain your weird desire to comfort him all of a sudden, so you just walked over and reached down to take his hand. His LED spun and flickered, going back and forth between yellow and blue.

Despite his apparent confusion, he stood up and let you lead him back into your room. You felt his eyes on the back of your head, but you didn’t have the guts to actually look at him. Embarrassment was burning hot in your cheeks and even though you were sure he could see it, you tried to hide it by looking away from him.

Your room was only sparsely illuminated by the city lights outside your window, but it was enough to find your way back to the bed. Unsure of what exactly your plan was, you just sat down at the edge, not letting go of Conan. In the darkness you could still see his LED flickering as his brows were drawn together in a small scowl.

“I, uhm…” You averted your eyes, feeling intimidated by his piercing gaze all of a sudden. “I j-just felt bad for, uhm, for leaving you all alone out there. I'm… I'm sorry that Hank kicked you out.”

He let go of your hand and suddenly you regretted everything. You should've never walked back into the living room. You should've just gone to sleep and everything would've been fine. But no, you had to go and be weird and make him uncomfortable and he probably thought you were weird now and-

The bed dipped down and you looked over to find Conan sitting next to you.

“It was my fault. I overstepped a boundary when I mentioned Hank’s son, so he had every right to be upset. I will go and apologize to him tomorrow.” He mumbled and he almost sounded regretful, sad even. He turned to you and you could barely make out a smile on his lips. “I appreciate your attempt at comforting me, detective.”

You nodded, more to yourself than in reply. As you sat there, glancing at him, you had the intense desire to reach out and wrap your arms around him. To run your fingers through his hair and push your face into the crook of his neck. You wanted to be closer to him, to feel his arms around your body. It was hard to resist the urge on a normal day, but while having a heart-to-heart on your bed at 4am, it was almost impossible.

Your fingers twitched and you frowned. The movement drew Conan’s attention. He was watching your face closely and you had no doubt that his optical sensors picked up on your hot cheeks even in the darkness.

“You wish to initiate physical contact.” He said after a moment and you weren't sure if you wanted to thank or curse whoever had given him the skills to read humans this easily. It was no use denying it, so you just nodded. “Why do you hesitate?”

“I-I wasn't sure if y-you were okay with it…” You stammered, unable to meet his eyes. Well, at least not until he reached up to cup your cheek and turn your head towards him and you almost had a heart attack. A gasp escaped you as you stared at him wide-eyed.

“I will share a secret with you. Please do not tell anyone else.” He shifted even closer and you were certain he was able to hear the sound of your thundering heart without even trying. “I had trouble admitting this even to myself for a long time, but I would like to let you know. I like when you touch me. When you casually lay a hand on my arm, or playfully hit me. When you take my hand to lead me somewhere. When you try to tame the stand of my hair that's always out of place. When you lay your head on my shoulder when you're tired. When you kiss my cheek in thanks.”

He paused for a moment, leaving you to blink at him in shock a few times.

“But most of all, I like when you wrap your arms around me and pull me into a hug.”

You didn't hesitate. It took you less than a second to turn to him fully and throw your arms around his neck. His hands found their place on your back and he let his head rest on your shoulder. A happy sigh escaped your lips when you felt how warm he was. Your head was still spinning a bit from everything that had just happened, but you didn't want to think about it too much and just enjoy the moment. You'd have time to contemplate the implications of his confession later on.

“I'm still not entirely convinced I'm not encountering a malfunction that makes me enjoy this.” He mumbled after a moment and you chuckled.

“You’re a deviant, Conan. Things aren’t going to go the way you expect, because emotions are weird like that. I know it can be confusing, but you’ll get used to it.” You pulled back to look at his face and were surprised by how soft his expression was.

“As I've told you before, detective, I can't feel-” You cut him off with a finger against his lips.

“Oh, hush. We both know very well that that's a lie.” You dropped your hand to his shoulder, watching his LED flicker as he processed your words. A frown passed over your face. “I know this whole thing with Hank is stressing you out. If he doesn't accept your apology tomorrow, you're welcome to stay with me for as long as you like.”

Conan just looked at you for a minute and you were about to wonder if your had somehow broken him, when his eyes suddenly grew more gentle.

“I think I would like to hug you again.” He said and his emotionless tone made you laugh, as you pulled him closer once more. You melted into the hug, enjoying the feeling of being close to Conan. A not-so-small part of you wished you could stay like this forever, but you knew that wasn't exactly an option.

After a while the stiffness in his shoulders dispersed and he seemed to relax a bit more. His hands settled against your back more naturally and you even felt him softly run his fingertips along your spine. You sighed happily at the feeling, making him huff, but he didn't seem to mind. You turned your head to the side where it was resting on his shoulder, pressing your face against his neck. His grip on your tightened and you were seconds away from just climbing into his lap, when he spoke again.

“You should get some sleep.” He mumbled, pulling back. You immediately felt colder at the loss of contact, but you ignored the feeling and just smiled at him.

“Yeah, you're right.” You nodded, before gesturing towards the armchair in the corner of your room. “You can stay here if you'd like.”

“I'd like that.” He stood up, your hands sliding off his shoulders. He seemed to hesitate for a moment, just standing in front of you and looking down at you in contemplation. You raised a brow at him, wondering what he was doing. You were about to call his name, when he placed a hand on your cheek and leaned closer. His soft lips met your forehead without a sound. A burning hot sensation seemed to spread across your face from the point of contact and you barely suppressed a whimper. He pulled back to look at you, and a satisfied little smirk pulled at the corners of his mouth as he took in your flushed cheeks.

“Goodnight, detective.” He mumbled gently. You stared at him in shock, but he just turned around and made his way over to the armchair. He sat down and even in the darkness of the room, you could still make out the way his lips curved upwards.

If you hadn't been so shaken, you would've walked over there and kissed that smirk right off his face.

Chapter Text

Someone at the DPD had had the great idea to combine a handful of joyful occasions and celebrate all of them by renting out a bar for one night. There would be drinks and chatting with friends, and most importantly, karaoke. You were far from skilled when if came to singing, but belting out a few fun songs while slightly tipsy sounded like a great time. Besides, after working hard on cracking a case for the past weeks, you really needed a break.

So when you got to the bar that night, dressed up and ready to have a good time, you were surprised to find literally the entirety of the precinct already drinking. You had expected most of them to show up, sure, but what you hadn't expected was a certain stoic android sitting in a booth across from Hank and Connor. As soon as you met his eyes across the room, he scooted over and gave you a look that said, “This is the only seat you want to sit in, detective.” So, you made your way over with a grin on your lips, nodding at your coworkers and friends along the way. As soon as you sat down, Conan slid a glass of iced tea in front of you.

“I took the liberty of ordering this for you.” He told you with his usual emotionless expression and you gave him a thankful smile.

“Hey, kid.” Hank stuffed some fries into his mouth as he watched you take a sip of your drink. “You ready to sing some karaoke?”

“Am I? Please, Hank! I'm always ready for karaoke.” You said, making him snicker. Out of the corner of your eye you saw Conan eyeing you curiously, but before you could ask him what was wrong, Connor drew your attention.

“I'm looking forward to hearing you sing.” He smiled amicably and you chuckled.

“Don't expect it to be good though, I'm pretty awful. Although I guess I'm… passionate.” You told him and reached over to steal one of Hank’s fries, who just snorted and shook his head.

“That's one word for it.” He mumbled under his breath, but you ignored him. Just when you were about to tell them what songs you were planning to sing tonight, Conan placed a hand on your arm. You looked over at him with a questioning expression.

“I know that it's customary to consume alcohol on these kinds of occasions, that's why I wanted to let you know that I will monitor your blood alcohol levels to make sure you don't drink too much. I will also take you home at the end of the night.” He told you coldly and you grinned. The fact that he seemed to care enough about you to make sure you didn't overdo it and got home safely, made your insides feel fuzzy. You knew your cheeks were red when you leaned over and threw an arm over his shoulders in a side-hug.

“Awww, thank you, Conan.” You cooed, letting your body slump against his side for a moment. Hank rolled his eyes and just when he was about to complain, the sound of someone picking up the mic on the stage interrupted him. You looked over to find Chris Miller tapping the mic, before lifting it to his lips with a smile.

“Hello, everyone! Welcome to tonight's celebration, thanks for coming out! Uhm, I hope everyone will have a good time and don't drink too much. That's right, Reed, I'm talking about you.” The bar erupted in laughter as Gavin gave Chris the finger. “Alright, so, anyone who wants to sing karaoke, can just come over here and pick a song from the book.” He gestured over to an employee of the bar, who held up a large ledger that was presumably filled with names of songs. “So, yeah, that's all for now. Have fun, everyone!”

Everyone clapped and laughed as Chris made his way back to the booth he had previously been sitting in. A few people immediately got up and flipped through the pages of the book, looking for a song to sing. You watched them with a wistful smile.

“Don't you want to go take a look as well, detective?” Conan asked from beside you and you shook your head.

“I need a drink first. And I'm pretty sure everyone else needs a drink as well, it'll make my singing more bearable.” You smiled, before raising your hand to call over a waiter. Under Conan’s intense scrutiny, you ordered a fruity cocktail you could sip on for half an hour.

“I would like to sing.” Connor announced and you watched him make his way over to the stage a moment later. Hank shook his head, before pushing the rest of his fries over to you. You thanked him quietly with a nod.

“I wonder what he's gonna sing.” You said, looking over to where Connor was staring intently at the book. In the meantime one of your colleagues had begun to cheerily sing Eye of the Tiger, much to the entertainment of everyone else in the bar.

“God knows. I can't figure out what he likes no matter how hard I try. He doesn't like metal, I can tell you that.” Hank grumbled, making you laugh. You had hitched a ride with Hank enough times to know the kind of music the lieutenant liked, so you couldn't exactly blame Connor for not enjoying it. Hell, even if he did like metal, with how often Connor and Hank drove somewhere together, the constant loud tunes were bound to get on Connor’s nerves.

“Connor enjoys pop music.” Conan suddenly said from beside you, making you look over at him with a raised eyebrow.

“Of course he does.” You took a sip of your drink, while you contemplated him. “But how do you know that?”

Conan tilted his head to the side, seemingly surprised at your confusion.

“I'm his brother.” He told you and you could've sworn there was just the hint of a smirk on his lips. “Contrary to popular belief, he does occasionally tell me things, and I, in turn, share things with him.”

“Hmm.” You nodded slowly and continued sipping your cocktail. The mental image of the two of them having a heart-to-heart was kind of hard to digest. Suddenly, Conan reached over and grabbed your glass, pulling the straw from your lips.

“You're drinking too quickly, detective. At this rate you will be too drunk to sing karaoke.” He told you, but you just snatched the glass back and continued sipping.

“Relax, I'll slow down. Also, I'm eating fries, so it's fine.” To demonstrate, you shoved a few fries into your mouth and chewed with a smile. Conan’s eyes never left you, his expression the same slightly grumpy mask as it always seemed to be. Just when you were about to tease him about it, Connor stepped up onto the stage.

Hank and you cheered and whooped, until the android’s cheeks turned slightly blue. Finally, the song began to play and you immediately had to stop yourself from jumping up and running over to yell the lyrics into the mic alongside Connor. You didn't want to ruin his first karaoke experience though, so you just let out a ‘Hell yeah!’, before swaying along to the beat. The song was an old pop song from before you were born, but it was a classic everyone knew.

“You have got to be kidding me! Toxic ? Of all songs?!?” Hank groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. You laughed at his annoyance, but the sound died in your throat when Connor began to sing. As expected from an android, he hit every note perfectly and never stumbled over the lyrics. His demeanor on stage was impeccably balanced between confidence and the endearing dorkiness Connor always seemed to possess. His voice worked well for the song, even though it wasn't as high-pitched and squeaky as that of Britney Spears.

“Well, damn…” Hank stared at Connor in shock and you nodded in agreement. “Maybe if the whole detective thing doesn't work out, he can be a singer instead.”

You chuckled at that. While he obviously had the necessary skills, you couldn't imagine Connor as a celebrity who put on a show for a crowd of screaming fans.

With the initial surprise passed, you turned back to your drink and fries. From the corner of your eye you saw Conan watching his brother with an indifferent look on his face. You suddenly wondered if Conan was just as good at singing and what kind of song your stoic partner would choose if he had to. You pushed away your empty cocktail glass, before raising your hand and asking the waiter to bring you another one. As soon as a full glass was placed in front of you, you rested your head on your palm and stared at Conan while you sipped. After a few seconds, his eyes met yours and he raised an eyebrow.

“Are you alright, detective?” He asked, making you smile.

“Yeah, just wondering how I'll get you to sing.” You grinned even wider, when his expression soured, but you stopped him before he could speak. “I know you can sing, so don't deny it. And I'm sure you wouldn’t let me, your esteemed friend and partner down and refuse my plea, would you?”

You put on your best pout, batting your eyelashes at him, until Hank snorted. Conan’s expression remained unimpressed, but after a few moments he sighed.

“Fine. I will sing… later.” You were about to protest, but he held up his hand to stop you. “I promise, detective. But for now, weren't you the one who wanted to show off your musical skills? I suggest you do so sooner rather than later, considering the line.” He pointed at the queue that was forming by the stage and you groaned.

“Nooo… oh well, I guess I better go then.” You took a few more sips of your cocktail, before reluctantly getting up. Connor returned in that moment, a huge smile on his face and you clapped him on the shoulder with a grin.

“That was great, Connor! You should sing more often.” You told him and he thanked you shyly as he took a seat. “Now it's my turn.”

“Good luck!” Hank called after you and you threw a thumbs up over your shoulder in thanks. The alcohol had already loosed you up considerably and the prospect of going up on stage was more exciting than anything else. You couldn't wait to finally sing!

Unfortunately, by the time you actually got on stage, the buzz from the alcohol was gone and a sudden wave of anxiety overcame you as you let your gaze wander across all of your coworkers. Most of them were busy drinking, but some were watching you, waiting for you to start singing. You swallowed the lump in your throat and suddenly the music started playing and all of your nervousness dispersed. With a tiny smile on your lips you began singing the lyrics to one of your favourite songs. You knew this song so well, it was easy to hit all the right notes and you didn't have to look at the screen that showed the lyrics at all.

As you got to the first chorus, your eyes landed on the booth you had been sitting in just a few minutes ago. You were surprised to find Conan looking at you with an intensity in his gaze that made you wonder what he was thinking. Was he enjoying your performance? Nah, he probably thought it was silly and that you weren't a very good singer. Or maybe he didn't even care and was just worried about how drunk you were.

It was sweet, really, that he was taking care of you like this, but you couldn't help but question his motives. It was hard to believe that he genuinely cared, maybe he just wanted to make sure you didn't embarrass yourself, and by extension him.

You found yourself still staring back at Conan when the song came to an end. You bowed with a laugh and some people clapped and cheered as you walked off stage. Even while you made your way back to the booth, you felt Conan’s eyes on you. You didn’t look back at him until you reached your seat and even then you merely glanced at him with a tiny embarrassed smile.

“You really looked like you enjoyed yourself, kid.” Hank chimed and you couldn’t help but chuckle.

“I agree.” Connor looked like an excited puppy. “Your voice is very nice, detective!”

“Thanks.” You replied shyly, hiding your awkward smile behind your cocktail glass. “I did have fun, even though it’s kind of embarrassing to sing in front of everyone.”

“Let’s sing together next time!” Connor beamed, making you laugh. You felt Conan shift next to you, but you ignored him and took another sip of your drink instead. You had noticed that he seemed to become grumpy whenever you and Connor were friendly with each other, and it made you wonder if he was jealous. Not like there was anything to be jealous of, to be honest, considering you and Connor were just friends. And you also had a gigantic crush on Conan. You turned to the man in question with a sweet smile, leaning a bit closer.

“So, about that promise you made…” You started and he gave you a look. With a roll of your eyes you turned back to your drink. “Alright, alright.”

Light conversation flowed between the four of you after that - or, well, more like the three of you, since Conan didn’t talk much - and before you knew it, it was late in the evening and only a few people were still at the bar. By the time Hank and Connor said their goodbyes around midnight, your eyelids were beginning to feel heavy as well. You leaned back in the booth and turned to Conan with a lazy, half-drunk smile.

“You still need to sing.” You told him and he sighed. “I mean, if you don’t want to, it’s fine, but I’d kinda really like to hear you sing.”

His grey eyes bored into yours and you felt your cheeks burn. After what felt like forever, he finally shifted in his seat and cocked his head to the side.

“Fine. You’ll have to let me through though.” He told you and you immediately sprang to your feet with a huge smile to let him out of the booth. Your head spun as soon as you stood and if it hadn’t been for Conan’s hands on your shoulder and hip, you surely would’ve fallen. When the initial shock had passed and you felt more steady again, you grinned at Conan’s exasperated expression.

“And that’s precisely why I’ll take you home right after this.” He told you, before letting you go reluctantly. You sank back down into your seat with a grin.

“Alright, sweetheart. But first you gotta siiiing~” You winked at him and to your surprise the corners of his mouth twitched up into a little smile. The sight was so rare, you couldn’t help but grin even wider. A moment later, he had crossed the room and began flipping through the ledger to pick a song.

As hard as it had been to imagine what kind of song Connor was going to pick, it was much, much harder to guess what Conan was going to sing. Considering he seemed to have no taste or interest in anything, ever , you couldn’t even exclude any genres for sure. Would he go for a ballad or something more up-beat? Mainstream or obscure? Pop or rock? Maybe even (god forbid) country ? You seriously couldn’t possibly guess, so you just fished your phone out of your pocket while you waited and opened the camera. There was no way you’d pass up the opportunity to record this historic event.

Seconds later you were distracted from your plan, when music began to play and your breath hitched. You recognized the song, but even though you had only heard it once a very long time ago, the lyrics still stuck with you. Just the thought of those words leaving Conan’s mouth, made your heartbeat quicken. You stared as he stepped on stage, mic in hand and when he finally began to sing, his eyes immediately found you across the room.

Even though Connor and Conan had essentially the same voice, Conan’s had always had more of an edge to it. The way he accentuated words was often different, and you could hear it while he was singing as well. Where Connor’s voice had been smooth and almost bubbly, Conan’s was rough and sharp. It was an overwhelmingly pleasant sound combined with the soft music, and if you hadn’t been so distracted by the words and the way his eyes never flitted away from you for even one second, you might’ve been able to enjoy it more. You found yourself in a state of pure trance, unable to care about anything but Conan and the words falling from his lips.

Secrets I have held in my heart
Are harder to hide than I thought

Your mind raced, struggling to come up with a reason why he was looking at you like he meant what he was singing. Like he wasn’t just repeating words that were supposed to go with the melody, but like he was the one wanting to express himself with them.

Maybe I just wanna be yours
I wanna be yours, I wanna be yours

Even as you registered the meaning of the lyrics, you couldn’t comprehend that just maybe there was a possibility that Conan really felt this way. That there was a chance, however slim it might’ve been, that he was as madly in love with you as you were with him. And that he had been hiding it from you the same way you had been doing your best to hide it from him, even though it hurt and all you wanted to do everyday when you saw him, was to tell him the truth. You just wanted to let it all out, tell him how much he meant to you and how much you craved to touch him and share everything you possessed and everything you didn’t possess with him, always and forever.

The mere thought that it wasn’t impossible that he shared this sentiment and felt the same way, made you question your entire relationship up to that point.

You blinked away the sudden heat in your eyes, and when you opened them again and looked at Conan, you saw something different than before. You didn’t just see your partner, your friend, and your crush, you saw a man who was lost just as much as you were. Maybe even more so. Some of the tension suddenly fell away from you, so you relaxed into your seat and let his voice wash over you with a soft smile that you hoped was comforting to him.

Wanna be yours, wanna be yours, wanna be yours

Conan walked back to the booth after the song ended, and you just stood up wordlessly and grabbed your bag. With a smile, you took his hand into yours.

“Take me home, Conan.” You told him and he nodded, squeezing your hand gently. There was a trace of uncertainty in his eyes, that made you cock your head to the side with a chuckle. “Maybe you would like to stay at my place tonight?”

“I would.” He answered immediately and you laughed again. Even Conan had to smile this time, his eyes never once leaving you, even now. You started leading him towards the bar, where he insisted on paying for your drinks, before you made your way outside. The air outside was cold, small clouds forming in front of your mouth whenever you breathed out. There were no clouds coming out of Conan’s mouth, a reminder of how different he was from you despite everything. And still, even though he was so very different from you, you still couldn't look at him and feel anything but overwhelming fondness. Conan caught you staring and raised an eyebrow in question, making you shake your head to yourself.

“Did you like it?” He suddenly asked and it took you a moment to understand what he meant.

“Yeah, your voice is very nice. I really enjoyed listening to it… and the song you chose was lovely as well.” You felt a blush creep into your cheeks, but you couldn't get yourself to care.

“Thank you.” He looked almost bashful at your praise. “I have to admit that I chose it because the lyrics spoke to me.”

You felt your heartbeat kick into overdrive. Did he like you? Oh god, there was a chance. Or maybe he liked someone else? But who would he like? He didn't exactly know a lot of people. For a moment you struggled with what to reply to his sudden, if not completely unexpected confession, until you finally answered the same way you usually did whenever a problem arose: you used bad humor.

“Oh? So, you wanna be a vacuum cleaner?” You cited the lyrics with a grin. What you didn't expect was for Conan to break into a small laugh. In all of those months you had known him, you had never heard him laugh. The sound was soft and genuine, and it made your stomach do a strange flip. You stopped walking, turning to look at him and watch the way his artificial muscles moved into this atypical expression of his. He looked absolutely beautiful like this.

“No.” He finally said after a few moments and at that point you had given in and began laughing as well. His next words however, almost made your heart stutter to a halt when you processed them. “But I wanna be yours.”

You stared.

His eyes held so much warmth and he was still smiling at you gently, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and he wasn't usually constantly frowning. The way he looked at you made your heart ache pleasantly, so you just gave in and let the feeling guide you.

“Only if I can be yours too.” You told him and a second later he had taken a step towards you and his hands cupped your face. Instinctively, you reached out to hold onto him as well. “If that's something you want…?”

“Yes. Very much.” He almost whispered. He leaned in, but instead of kissing you like you had expected, he rested his forehead against yours softly. “I have been confused about my feelings for a while, but I know now that I have fallen in love with you and it has been increasingly hard to ignore.” He shifted ever so slightly and his nose bumped into yours. “So the logical course of action is to stop ignoring it.”

One of his hands moved from your cheek down to your shoulder, his touch leaving a hot trail on your skin, that made you shudder pleasantly. His eyes sparkled in amusement at your reaction, but before you could retaliate, he spoke again.

“If you would have me, I-I would be more than happy to, to… to- I-” He took a deep breath, which he surely didn't need and you smiled at how even he had a hard time with this.

“I love you, Conan.” You finally interrupted him. Up close like this, you saw his cheeks turn blue even in the low light of the street lamps. “So, yeah, uhm, my heart is already yours, I guess it's only fair I get yours in exchange.”

“I don't have a heart, only a thirium pump.” He deadpanned, making you laugh. For a moment, you just looked at each other, enjoying the feeling of being close and finally being honest about the way you felt. After a while, Conan ran his thumb over your cheek and looked at you with a thoughtful expression. “I think I would like to kiss you now, but I still detect traces of alcohol in your blood and I'm not sure if you're able to properly consent in this state.”

You chuckled, oddly touched by how much he seemed to care about not overstepping any boundaries.

“Then I suppose I'll just have to kiss you .” You said and reached up to bury a hand in his hair, pulling him closer.

His lips met yours without any heat, unsure of how to proceed. He simply let you guide him as you angled your head and pressed your lips harder against his. He reciprocated gently and slightly awkwardly, but you could feel how much he wanted this. After a moment, you pulled back and looked at him with a smile. You couldn’t remember ever sharing a kiss as sweet and innocent as this one with anyone else, but it felt fitting and you wouldn’t have had it any other way. Conan leaned in again after a few seconds, taking the lead this time as he cupped your face and nipped on your bottom lip. You sighed against his mouth, letting yourself relax into his embrace, until he pulled back and rested his forehead against yours once again.

“As much as I'm enjoying this, by my calculations you will begin to freeze within the next two minutes if we stay outside.” He leaned in to press a chaste kiss to your cheek, before taking your hand and leading you towards your car.

“Hmm, yeah, you're probably right.” You smiled at him happily. His face had returned to its usual cold expression, apart from the tiniest twitch of the corners of his lips. If you hadn't been so familiar with his face, you probably wouldn't have noticed it at all. “Well, to be honest, I probably wouldn't even mind freezing to death, if it meant I got to kiss you some more.”

Conan turned to you and gave you a look, but you could tell he found your comment at least a little funny.

“As expected…” He squeezed your hand, making you smile. “But please contain yourself for a few more minutes until we reach your apartment, then we can enjoy each other’s company for as long as we want to. Without running risk of you dying.”

You sighed overdramatically, as if you had been ready to sacrifice everything for another kiss. Once you finally reached the car, Conan stopped you from opening the door with a hand on the handle and stepped closer.

“How about one for the road?” He asked and you just barely caught the smirk on his lips, before he softly kissed you again. Your hands found their way around his neck within seconds, but just when you were about to deepen the kiss, he pulled back. An unhappy whimper escaped you and you immediately flushed bright red. When you averted your gaze, Conan reached up to tilt your face towards him, eyes sparkling in amusement.

“Your body temperature just spiked, are you sure you didn’t have too much alcohol?” He asked innocently, making you roll your eyes with a smile.

“Just shut up and take me home.”