When Jodie met Shuichi for the first time, she thought him a bit stand-offish. He was serious and while he was well-liked by his colleagues, no one really knew anything about him.
The first time they were put on a case together, they sat silently in a cold car for five hours. After that, Jodie was determined to avoid him at all costs. Shuichi, however, had other plans. When she came in the next day, sniffling and still feeling cold all over, he brought her a steaming hot cup of tea. That was the beginning of their friendship.
They spend long hours in the office, complaining over paperwork, distracting each other from work, actually working, making up theories about their colleagues, sneaking snacks (and the occasional drink) in right under James’ nose, and working some more. They don’t notice how much time they spend together until a colleague finally asks them how long they’d been dating.
Shuichi and Jodie laugh it off, explaining the meaning of the word friendship to the poor clueless agent. They stick to their regular routine of catching criminals together, filling in the necessary paperwork, and then bitching about having to do said paperwork over a beer after work.
However, the thought sticks. What if? They are young, and neither has trouble admitting they find each other attractive. Still, they are colleagues and so dating is off the table. Besides, they have plans. Important plans that include making the world a bit safer and avenging their respective families. They rely on each other to get it done.
But the thing is working for the FBI is no easy job. There are long hours, which do not always leave them time for an active social life, and sometimes that leaves them feeling lonely. And sometimes their line of work is dangerous. When a colleague gets shot by a rogue bullet one day, all they can think of is what if it had been one of them? For the first time since they started working for the FBI, they feel vulnerable. They don’t voice their concerns, oblivious of the fact that they’re not alone with these feelings.
There’s nothing they’re willing to say out loud, but everyone can see just how much they care. Jodie somehow always manages to have coffee ready whenever Shuichi turns up at work, with dark circles underneath his eyes and a grim expression on his face. Shuichi makes sure he’s the one to get her home safely after a long day. (He’s also the one to pick her up the next morning since her car’s still parked in the garage at the Bureau.)
Maybe it would have gone on like that forever, or maybe they would have realised their feelings sooner than that. But sometimes fate or chance or pure luck intervenes. That is how they end up together on the floor after Jodie attempts to get him out of the unexpected line of fire they’ve somehow gotten themselves into during yet another case. Neither of them can look away.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Only not quite, since Shuichi breaks things off in order to infiltrate the organisation and Jodie is sure she won’t ever forgive him for dumping her for that woman, and then his mission fails and he’s back and Jodie realises she’s just not over him. And some part of Shuichi is broken because he feels responsible for the botched mission, and Jodie’s broken heart, and Akemi’s death.
They spend an awkward period in Japan, surrounded by their colleagues who tiptoe around them even more awkwardly and a detective wunderkind who manages to attract murder cases wherever he treads. And if Jodie is worried about the increasing amount of coffee Shuichi ingests, and if Shuichi is concerned about the ridiculously low-cut clothes Jodie is wearing for her undercover role - well, they keep their opinion to themselves. Most of the time.
Of course, it gets worse before it gets better. It always does. But Jodie can’t see herself recover from this. Because Shuichi is dead. Killed in the line of duty. And her battered heart breaks all over again. She refuses to let this bring her down, she hasn’t let her parents’ murder destroy her and neither would Shuichi’s death. If everybody can see she’s hurting meanwhile, who cared.
Shuichi cared. His death is but a carefully planned ruse after all. He tries to stay away from Jodie because seeing her so broken makes his heart ache in ways he had never imagined possible.
But staying away isn’t an option, because Jodie is getting herself in all sorts of danger as the organisation tries to verify his death. It gets worse as his siblings turn up as well, but at least they’re not blinded by grief like Jodie. And so he keeps an eye on Jodie, and Masumi, and hopes the organisation doesn’t notice.
The organisation does notice, of course, but they’re lucky for once, because it’s Bourbon and he’s working for the PSB and therefore - however grudgingly - on their side. They’re fortunate indeed, because the confrontation with Bourbon gives Shuichi the opportunity to reveal himself to his colleagues.
Jodie is too relieved and too happy about him not being dead that she almost forgets to be angry with him. She is, though, and she clearly tells him so, later, after she makes him tell her every little detail of his (or rather Conan’s) awful and ingenious plan. They end up having reconciliatory sex right then and there. It would take them some time to go back to how they were before, but finally, finally, Jodie and Shuichi are certain they are back on track for their own happy ending.