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Compensation

Title: Compensation
Author: ran_mouri82
Word Count: 542
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Aoyama created Shin’ichi and Shiho. I’m a mere slave to their banter.
Spoilers: File 724
Friends: Kudou Shin’ichi/Edogawa Conan and Miyano Shiho/Haibara Ai
Notes: 30 Friends: #12 – argument; manycases1truth #64 – Bodies

The 30 Friends theme set comes from a defunct LiveJournal community (30_friends). Yet again, Candyland’s fic “30 Friends: Shinichi and Heiji” inspired me to tackle this lovely pair. Enjoy!

Compensation

“Sheesh, Haibara, that was low,” whispered Conan as he squirmed on his inflamed rump. On the way back from the hot springs, the two teens were crammed in the middle of the Beetle’s backseat between Mitsuhiko, who had insisted on sitting beside Ai, and Genta, who had insisted on riding in the back for a change. “If you were mad about that, you could’ve said something.”

Still raw about Conan saying over and over, even in his deduction show, that her nudity did not matter, Ai narrowed her eyes at Conan, making him gulp. Though she had gained vengeful satisfaction by burning—and thereby exposing—his backside with chili powder, his superior attitude was making her threat level rise again. She hissed, “And why should I have to tell you to respect my body?”

“Did Conan-kun disrespect you, Haibara-san?” Mitsuhiko piped up, turning from where he gazed at passing cars on the highway. The kids were playing a travel game, but it was difficult to spy their current target of bright green cars.

Before Ai could give a sarcastic answer, however, Ayumi pointed past Professor Agasa’s driver side window and squealed, “Look at that car! Hurry!”

Though the speeding car was the opposite of bright green, it was a sight to behold. The sleek, iron gray roadster zoomed past in seconds, its wide design catching the sunlight like a razor, making the children ooh and ahh. Even Agasa hummed his admiration and said, “That’s a Lamborghini Murciélago. They’re extremely expensive, but impressive.”

“Hmph, what a waste,” Conan said, as Genta finally yielded him breathing room by twisting toward the window to get a better look. “That model’s gas mileage is terrible. No matter how rich you are, why would anyone flush their money down the toilet for a lemon like that?”

“Overcompensation,” Ai said, turning a blank stare at Conan, who frowned.

“What does that mean, Ai-chan?” Ayumi said, blinking in the rear view mirror’s reflection.

Conan muttered, “Watch it, Haibara.”

“It’s a person’s attempt to cover up the fact that he sees himself as small and inadequate,” Ai said, ignoring Conan even as he glared at her, “or at least as lacking in certain talents.”

All three Detective Boys rubbed their chins in deep thought. Then, Genta clapped a fist on his meaty palm and shouted, “Oh! That’s what Conan does, right?”

As Conan spluttered, Ayumi and Mitsuhiko nodded in vigorous agreement. Mitsuhiko cried, “I was thinking the same thing! He’s always hurrying ahead of us to solve mysteries, so—”

“Hey, hey!” Conan flung his arms in opposite directions, trying to stop each boy.

“So that’s why you always forget I’m the leader and act on your own,” Genta said, looming over Conan and chortling. “I’m bigger than you.”

Conan scowled and leaned his head back against his folded hands. “No, you’re not.”

“At present,” said Ai, a sly smile spreading across her lips, “yes, he is.”

Agasa cringed as, for one of the few times in his young neighbor’s life, Kudou Shin’ichi was rendered speechless. While his face burned crimson and his vocal chords gave out, Miyano Shiho reached for a magazine and hummed a happy tune, satisfied that she had, at last, made her point loud and clear.