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29 April 2007 @ 03:02 pm
Searching for You (40 Nights: Kaito/Aoko)  
Title: Searching for You
Fandom: Detective Conan/Magic Kaitou
Author: Candyland
Theme: #21—seeking for you
Pairing: Kuroba Kaito/Nakamori Aoko
Rating: PG-13
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 don’t know what’s going on or where you are, but I will find you.



This, Kaito reflected, was probably the poster-child of the Oh shit I’m going to die… moment.

But anyone would think that if they were in his position right now: outside in a secluded area in the middle of the night, staring at your mortal enemy when said enemy had a gun leveled right at you—your normal everyday civilian identity, no less—triumphant smirk right at home on his hideous face. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no tricks up his sleeve, and too stunned to move…

“Goodbye…” Snake growled, “Kaitou Kid.”

There was the explosion of a gunshot, and then…

It felt like he’d been kicked in the stomach by a mule…if that mule had sharp knife-like cleats on the bottom of its hooves. He doubled over, arms instinctively flying to wrap around his injured torso as he tilted sideways. He was falling, falling…and there was the ground.

Strange, he thought as he listened to the footsteps padding away. Strange how soft the grass was. It smelled so nice. It reminded him of…picnics. Picnics in the park, playing Frisbee on the lawn and running around all over the place with…

Aoko.

Her name sprang into his mind, and he focused on it, the only shining beacon of light that was able to penetrate the blackness as he slipped down into the darkness of his mind, rather than the night.

Aoko…

-o-


Aoko…


She straightened and looked around. There was no one there. Strange. She could have sworn she heard someone say her name, and it sounded like Kaito’s voice…how odd. She shook her head and leaned over desk once again to refocus on her homework. Until—

Painfearterrorhelpmepleasecannotbreathefearfearhelppain…

She dropped her pen and doubled over, hands instinctively clenching into fists. She wanted to scream in pain, but she couldn’t gasp in a deep enough breath to actually make it happen. After a moment, Aoko actually tipped over sideways and wound up splayed on her back on her bedroom floor…

As she lay there, a strange image danced in front of her eyes.

She was walking. It seemed like she was just wandering around downtown. She looked up at the buildings around her, taking in the sights and signs and everything. She seemed to be on some sort of a path, though it was one she herself had not picked. Her feet chose the directions they went, twisting and turning…and then she stepped off the sidewalk. She was in a park—secluded and shadowed.

Someone was lying there on the ground, in exactly the same position she was. Arms and legs were bent and splayed at identical angles. There was grass…the shadow of a tree…someone all alone there. A person who looked to be sleeping, and yet somehow…

Can’t…breathe… she realized, panic coloring her thoughts. Aoko fought desperately to force air into lungs that seemed to have frozen, and finally, she managed a few shallow, shuddering breaths.

Slowly, the world seemed to return to normal, and she found she could breathe again. For a while, she didn’t dare to move. But finally, she forced herself to sit up, feeling every limb tremble with weakness and nerves. It took several more deep, shaky breaths before she felt any semblance of normalcy returning.

What…what was that…? she dropped her forehead into one shaky hand and shook her head in a vain attempt to clear it. Her stomach was doing backflips, and she was frightened, so frightened…

“Aoko?” her father opened her bedroom door and stuck his head in, the phone in his hand. “Kaito’s mother was wondering if you knew where he is? She sent him to run a ten-minute errand, and he hasn’t come home yet. He’s not answering his cell phone—Aoko? Are you all right?” He belatedly noticed how pale she was.

Something inside her broke, and she just knew. She knew.

She tore past her father, ignoring his protest; she paused only long enough to jam her feet into shoes and grab her jacket. She was still shoving her arms into the sleeves as she tore out the front door and down the sidewalk into the night. Granted, she didn’t have any idea where she was going, but she knew what she was looking for.

I don’t know what’s going on or where you are, Kaito, she vowed silently. But I will find you.

-o-


…humph…

…where was he?

Kaito tried to open his eyes, but found it an impossible task. So he instead tried to shift…and immediately realized how bad of an idea that was as pain lanced through him, reminding him exactly where he was and what had happened.

But the pain had a practical purpose, aside from telling him that moving was a bad idea. It also let him know that he wasn’t quite dead yet. Heh, wasn’t that a line from a movie or a musical or something? ‘I am not dead yet’ or something like that…

I’m going loopy, he realized, trying to mentally shake himself back to normal. Had he lost that much blood, or was this just one of those things that happened when a person was dying?

No…no…he wasn’t dying, he couldn’t be dying. Not here, not now, not like this…

It wasn’t possible.

But for all his antics and mischievousness, Kaito had a serious side, and it wasn’t lying to him. And no matter which way he tried to slice it, the conclusion was inevitably the same.

I’m going to die… he thought bleakly. …was this how Dad felt?

He let his head lull to the side again thinking about his father and Aoko.

The first raindrop landed on his cheek, as though the sky itself had decided to weep.

-o-


Kaito, where are you?
Aoko thought desperately.

She hadn’t been searching for too long, but at the same time, it felt like it had been eternities. And it was becoming painfully obvious that she didn’t have any idea where he was. She was running in circles. And it was raining now, no less. Wonderful.

Aoko sighed and looked up at the scene around her, trying to get her bearings…and her steps slowed as she took in the sights. She knew this place. The buildings, the sidewalk, the burned-out bulb in the streetlamp above her…

She had never been here before, and yet she knew exactly where she was.

And she knew where to go.

Her steps sped up again, and she sprinted around the corner. It wasn’t far now, just a couple more blocks, and she would be at the spot…she knew she was right, she just had to be right.

Closer, closer…almost there…

Her feet left the sidewalk and skidded onto the street, sliding only slightly on the wet pavement. One hand absently moved to shove her wet bangs out of her eyes; she knew the resulting mess of hair probably rivaled Kaito’s for messiness, but she didn’t care. It was the same. It was exactly the same.

The park she’d seen earlier was just across the street; even with her vision slightly blurred by the weather, there was no mistaking it. An enormous tree cast a shadow over a good portion of the grassy area. No one else was around—completely deserted. Not surprising, really, given the late hour and the rain.

Taking a deep breath to try and calm her nerves, Aoko walked quickly towards the park. The wet grass squished slightly under her shoes as she walked over it, heading towards the tree. The person would be there…he would be there, she knew it…

He was there.

Kaito.

She approached, feeling her heartbeat quicken. And she briefly, idiotically wondered if he’d just decided to lay down there. He loved the rain, and on more than one occasion had been known to crawl out onto his roof and lay there to enjoy a shower. Still, this seemed a bit outlandish, even for him…

And she was proven right when she got closer. Even through the shadow, she could see what appeared to be a spot on his shirt and jacket. A large, dark stain…

“Oh god…KAITO!” Aoko fell to her knees at his side; his name tore from her throat in a scream she hadn’t intended to let out. His head was hanging limply to one side, eyes closed. Her hands grappled at his shoulders, trying to shake him into moving. “Kaito? Kaito!”

He groaned slightly. “Aoko…” Her name trailed off into harsh coughing.

“Oh my god…” Aoko felt tears burning in her eyes, mingling with the rain on her face. Still, she was a police officer’s daughter, and years of being told the same thing over and over again kicked in. She instinctively felt at her pockets in search of a cell phone…that was proving absent. “Kaito…phone.”

He made a sound that she took to be agreement. Without a thought for personal boundaries, she started feeling his pockets for his cell. She located it in his jacket pocket, and quickly made a call for an ambulance before returning her attention to him.

“Kaito, help’s on the way. Just hang on,” she whispered, leaning over him. It sounded so stupid to say that, but she needed to say something to him, if only to know that he was still there, still with her.

Kaito moved slightly; his eyes fluttered open ever so slightly. “Aoko…how did you find me?” Again, it trailed off into hoarse, ragged coughing.

“I…don’t know,” she felt the sob rising, and swallowed it. “What happened to you?”

He didn’t reply, and she let it go. Whatever was going on…she would find out later.

“Aoko…”

“Shh, it’s okay. I’m here…I’m always here…”

“…I know.”

They waited together in the rain, his hand clasped between both of hers…until finally, blessedly, the scream of sirens echoed to them. And true to her word, Aoko never left his side.



PS. Ahh, angst. My beloved. Only eleven themes left before the challenge is finished, how scary is that? And I already know which one is going to be number thirty AND which one I’m saving for last. But anyway, thank you all for reading and reviewing and sticking with me thus far. Much love, all!

Okay, so do you all remember Aya-chan from the twenty-second Night, “Fathers of Fathers?” She’s Kaito and Aoko’s four-year-old daughter? I’ll assume that you’re all nodding. Well, I love her dearly—and I know several of you expressed a delight in her. And I had a couple mini-ideas featuring her. So look for a few omake-type things in the future. Here’s the first for ya, inspired by the lovable web comic Count Your Sheep and the antics of my fellow RAs…


---


“She gets this from you.”

Kaito looked up at his obviously-irate wife, who was standing in the doorway with a very upset little girl beside her. “…I take it someone’s in trouble?”

“She is your daughter, she gets this from you, and I doubt I’ll ever forgive you for it,” Aoko sighed, then looked expectantly at her child. “Aya-chan, tell your father what you did.”

The now-concerned father stooped a bit to be closer to his daughter’s eye-level. “Aya-chan?”

“Well…’member when my fishie died?” Aya-chan said, scuffing the ground with her toe.

“Yes…” Kaito nodded.

He remembered well the tears and panic that had accompanied the sudden demise of Aya’s first pet, her beloved goldfish Fishstick (that particular pet had been Aoko’s doing, thank you very much).

“’Member how we buried Sticky?” she asked.

“Yes…” Kaito nodded again. He had swallowed his terror long enough to help his grief-stricken daughter bury her pet in the traditional manner of a toilet ceremony.

“Well…,” Aya fidgeted, “this mornin’ Mommy said the blender died…”