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29 April 2007 @ 01:24 pm
Walking Away (40 Nights: Kaito/Aoko)  
Title: Walking Away
Fandom: Detective Conan/Magic Kaitou
Author: Candyland
Theme: #1—you are never mine to begin with
Pairing: Kuroba Kaito/Nakamori Aoko
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I do not own them. I merely borrow them, drop them in a blender, hit puree, and watch them dance. Yes, dance, my pretties…ahem.
Summary: I’m so sorry, Kaito…



Aoko ran as fast as her legs would carry her. It was a cold night, but fear, nerves, and exertion all came together to make her feel feverish. Yet she didn’t dare stop. There was too much at stake for her to stop. She had to find Kaito. She had to get there first.

She just had to. Or else…

But he was nowhere to be found—not that she blamed him at all. Why should he seek her out after the events of the past hours? There was no reason. Still, she had to find him before anyone else did. Otherwise, the results could be disastrous.

She was running up and down random streets, turning wherever her instincts told her to go. Finally, in desperation, she began to call his name out loud, hoping against hopes that he’d somehow hear her, wherever he was, and respond. She felt so foolish, though—a young woman, almost an adult, running around in the middle of the night shouting her friend’s name.

She was such an idiot…

“Aoko?”

She started at the sound of her own name, and nearly tripped over her own two feet in the process as she skidded to a very sudden halt. Stumbling, but quickly righting herself, she whipped around to the source of the voice, and her jaw dropped. “Kaito!”

“That’s my name,” he nodded. He seemed to have just appeared behind her—not that she would put any such thing past him, the boy could do almost anything. Had he been following her?

“I’ve been looking for you!” she said in a rush. Still, she was trying to imprint him right into her mind, exactly as he appeared at that moment. If her intuition was right…it might be the last time she got to see him, and she wanted to remember him.

“I know. I heard you,” he said with a ghost of his old smile. But it was gone in an eye blink, and in its place was a tired, worn expression, and she was left wondering how she had missed such a profound change in her best friend. “I guess I wasn’t expecting you to be trying to find me. What’s up?”

Simple. She had been fooled exactly like everyone else. She knew better than anyone that still waters ran deep, that there was far more going on behind the perpetual grin and joking than made it to the surface. She had fallen into that same confounded trap…

“Kaito, I…” she faltered for a moment before hanging her head in shame. “I told my father.”

He was silent before she heard him sigh. “I don’t blame you,” he said in a calm, even tone that held nothing of anger and everything of sadness and sorrow and regret. “I knew that if you had to choose between me and your father, I’d lose. That’s the way it should be, really.”

“But—“ she looked up, and was cut off when he shook his head slowly.

“No,” he said gently. “You did the right thing.”

Thousands of thoughts flitted through Aoko’s mind—words of apology, comfort, even anger. She finally settled on the warning she’d wanted to give him in the first place. “Kaito, you should go. Dad’s looking for you—he’s going to arrest you. He’s really upset…you need to run before he finds you.”

Kaito’s eyes grew dark. “I know,” he said quietly. “I thought you deserved an explanation, but I wasn’t sure if you would want to see me or if you were still angry…but there isn’t much time. So…here.” He pulled one hand from his pocket, holding two envelopes, both slightly wrinkled from time spent in a coat pocket. “One’s for you. The other is for your dad. He deserves to know what’s going on, too.”

As she reached out to take them, she saw her name written on one, and her father’s name on the other. Both were sealed. She briefly wondered how the two confessions differed—what had he written to her father that he hadn’t left to her, and vice versa?

She looked up from them to meet his gaze. “Wherever you go…whenever you get there…let me know you’re all right—somehow. Please? You don’t have to tell me where you are, but…just let me know that you’re still okay.”

He nodded. “I will. I promise.” His hand dropped back to his side. “Well,” he said, giving himself a visible shake and squaring his shoulders, “I guess this is it, then. This is goodbye.” He almost seemed to be trying to convince himself, and for a moment, she almost thought he was going to say something else…

“Kaito…” she started, but the words froze on her tongue as she tried to decide what to say.

I wish this hadn’t happened.

I’m sorry I betrayed you.

I wish I wasn’t such a coward, that I could tell you…

I don’t want you to leave.

I love you.


She tried. God help her, she tried to say the one thing she’d never before had the courage to tell him. But even now, when she was about to say goodbye—possibly forever—she just couldn’t bring herself to utter those words. She barely managed one final, choked “I’m sorry…”

Kaito smiled—that eerily calm smile that convinced her that he really did know everything. That smile that broke her heart. But she wasn’t ready for him to take a step towards her and reach out and pull her close and…and…

The kiss didn’t last long, perhaps a few seconds. Aoko never wanted it to end, though. She knew the gesture for what it really was—this was goodbye. One final, futile grasp at something that might once have been fated, but now could never be.

Not quite a lie, but no longer a truth.

He released her with that same deliberate slowness and took a step back, returning his hands to their place in his coat pockets. “Goodbye, Aoko.” He smiled again…and turned to walk away into the darkness of the night as the first wail of approaching sirens reached her ears. Strange, how their piercing cry seemed to echo what her mind and heart were doing.

She wanted to scream.

Instead, Aoko remained motionless. Silent tears ran down her face as she watched him walk away for what would probably be the last time. She didn’t even move after he’d disappeared from view. Her eyes just traced his path up until that last point before he’d vanished.

The realization had just hit her full force: no matter what she had dreamed, Kaito wasn’t hers. He could have been, he might have been if things had kept on the way they were…but everything had changed in the glimmer of a spotlight off a kaitou’s infamous monocle, and now it could never be, even if he had been hers in the first place. But what almost hurt the most…

Kaito walked away. And he didn’t look back.



PS. Ah, angst. Thanks a million times over to all the loverly people who have taken time to read and/or review my little bedtime stories here. I read and appreciate every single one of your kind words. We’ll just keep on trucking, all. Much love, everybody!!