Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Kaito/Aoko (General series)
Word Count: 2252 words
Author's Notes: I do not own Detective Conan. It all belongs to Gosho Aoyama. I simply borrow the characters, tie them up, and dance them around like life-sized puppets. I do wish they’d stop complaining.
Summary: Aoko wasn’t listening…so he cornered her in the best place he could think of. Kaito/Aoko
She told him she never wanted to see or hear from him again.
The former was a bit tricky—they were classmates at school, after all. So there was really nothing Kaito could do to keep her from seeing him every single day. But being in the classroom together didn’t necessarily mean that she had to speak to him…or that he could get close enough to even try to speak to her. Aoko was taking this seriously.
He had known that if she ever found him out—and somehow, he realized he had always known that sooner or later she would discover the truth—it would hurt her, and she would probably hate him for it. But he wasn’t quite as prepared as he thought he was for how much her rejection hurt him.
It wasn’t her fault. He had really set both of them up for this by his own actions, and he accepted total responsibility for the current state of affairs. Aoko had done nothing wrong, and was doing nothing wrong. Her reactions were all completely appropriate. But he couldn’t help but want her to know the whole story.
But Aoko was proving a tough nut to crack and a tough prey to corner. And Kaito was growing desperate—he just wanted to talk to her one more time, to get it all out in the open and put all his cards on the table. Still, she avoided him at every turn. How did she do that, anyway?
Finally, he decided that if he was going to have his say, he was going to have to catch her off-guard…
Aoko was quite enjoying her shower when she thought she heard something. She froze, listened, but heard nothing save the sound of running water. Shrugging to herself, she went back to her scrub-down and humming…until she heard it again. This time, it was unmistakable—footsteps moving on the tile floor.
With a slightly shaky hand, she carefully pulled the shower curtain back, just enough to let her peer out, and—“Kaito!” she yelped, snapping the curtain back into place and drawing back into the safety of the shower. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Sure enough, Kaito was sitting on the toilet—or more specifically, sitting on her towel and clothes on the toilet. “I know this is extreme, but I wanted to talk to you, and I was running out of ideas,” he said quietly, with none of his usual humor. “So…here I am.”
Aoko wrapped her arms protectively around herself. “I swear, Kaito…if you try to—“
“I’m not going to do anything,” he said far more sharply than she could ever remember him speaking to her; she heard movement. “I won’t even look. My back is to the shower.” He sighed. “I guess I thought you would know enough of me to know that I would never hurt you like that.” Now he sounded…hurt?
And truthfully, she knew he was right. They had been friends since they were five years old; they were now eighteen. Thirteen years together—nearly their whole loves—and Kaito had never laid a hand on her. He flipped her skirt sometimes to sneak a peek where he shouldn’t, and he love to tease her, but he had never done anything to physically harm her. Not once.
Emotionally…that was another story, especially recently. But he was right.
“…I know,” she said softly. “That was wrong of me. You just…caught me off-guard.” She couldn’t bring herself to apologize outright—he didn’t deserve that, she told herself. But she would admit to stepping over the line. “Why are you here?” He had already told her that, but she just needed to change the subject.
If he noticed, he said nothing about it. “I want to talk to you. You’re really hard to corner when you’re angry, you know that?” The comment seemed rather sad. “I know this is over the line. But I want you to hear me out. And then I’ll leave you alone. But…I thought you deserved to know why this is all happening.”
Huddled in the bathtub, Aoko tried to weigh her options. She was naked and completely vulnerable, with Kaito sitting just outside the shower curtain, holding her clothes and towel hostage. She knew she was physically safe, but still—she had told him she didn’t want to speak to him again. Yet here he was.
“What if I say no?” she ventured; her voice came out surprisingly timid. “What if I tell you to leave?”
“Then I’ll leave,” he said flatly. “But I really want you to know why. I’m asking for ten minutes. That’s all.”
Aoko was about to tell him to get the hell out…but now she was curious. She had just realized exactly how many questions she had as opposed to precious few answers. And she was hard-pressed to come up with a good reason why her best friend (former best friend, she reminded herself) would do something like that. And ten minutes against a lifetime…
Sighing quietly in defeat, Aoko whispered, “Tell me.”
There was a moment of silence before he began. She stood quietly and listened as he told her of his father’s secret and how he had discovered it. He spoke of going to the site of Kid’s latest appearance to see if maybe, somehow, it was his father there. There, he met an ally and fell into his destiny. There were murderers out there looking for him and his target—the jewel they had murdered his father for. He wanted to bring them down, and find Pandora first.
True to his word, it took about ten minutes for him to tell the story. “…I don’t regret what I’ve done. I don’t regret becoming Kid,” he said softly as the last words of his tale faded into silence. “But I regret that I had to lie to you. But I didn’t want you to have to choose.”
The bathroom went quiet.
Aoko belatedly realized that she was cold, and shivered slightly. She was going over his story, thinking things over. Was it enough to justify what he had done? She hated Kid and everything he did…but she didn’t hate Kaito. And that left her conflicted and hurt and angry.
After a long, tense minute, Aoko made her decision. “Kaito…will you please get out of my bathroom?”
She heard movement, footsteps…and then the door opened and closed. She waited a moment longer before she reached out and retrieved her towel. It didn’t take her long to make herself presentable, and she walked out into her house, finding it empty.
The front door was locked. And Kaito was gone.
The clock tower was always so lovely at night when it was lit up against the dark sky.
Kaito had left Aoko’s house without fight or protest. He’d said what he needed to say. She had been a quiet, if captive, audience…but she had listened. And when he was done, she had told him to leave. So he had complied quietly, leaving her to escape from her damp prison.
His intention was to go home and honor his promise to never bother her again. But somehow, he found himself drawn to this place. This was where their story began. He had stolen this tower that once because of it…
What he’d said to Aoko was true—he didn’t regret becoming Kid, and he didn’t regret doing the things he had done. But lying to her…he hated that. Even with the mask of Poker Face, he had always been more himself around her than anyone else, save his own mother.
He stood there for what felt like a very long time, looking up at the tower and letting himself drift back through his own memories. And goodness, there were a lot of memories…Kaito was so lost in the moment and the place that he didn’t notice someone standing next to him.
That is, until she spoke. “It really has been a long time, hasn’t it?
Kaito didn’t jump, but he was surprised to turn and see Aoko standing beside him. She was wearing her jacket over her pajamas, and her hair was still wet. And she was looking up at the clock tower as well. He smiled and returned his gaze to the sky. “It has.” There was a pause. “How did you know I’d be here?”
“I don’t know,” she said simply. “But I came out to look for you, and something just told me to come here.”
“…why were you looking for me, anyway?” he asked.
Aoko turned a wry look on him. “I told you to get out of my bathroom, and you disappeared. You’re really not very good at following directions, are you?” She looked back up at the tower and unknowingly spoke in an echo of his earlier thoughts. “It’s beautiful at night, isn’t it?”
“I was so angry when Kaitou Kid said he was going to steal the clock tower,” she said softly. “Because this place is special. I didn’t want him to have it.”
He smiled. “I’ll let you in on a little secret—remember that code left behind at the heist that night?”
“I will not give this tower to anyone,” he said. “That’s what it meant.”
Aoko was silent for a moment. “So that’s why…”
“You thought I’d forget that?” he chuckled. Somehow, this conversation felt more like they were back in the old days, before Kaitou Kid had created an invisible wall between them. And it was definitely a great deal more comfortable than anything had been over the last couple of days. It seemed fitting, though, that they should have this moment here—outside the clock tower, where they met.
To his amazement, Aoko also allowed herself a small, dry laugh. “I was thinking about what you said.”
He dropped his gaze to look at her again.
“I remember when Mom died,” she went on, still gazing up towards the sky. “She’d been sick for so long…I’m sure you remember that, too.” He nodded, though she didn’t see it. “When she died, I didn’t really understand—I was too young. But when I did understand…I wanted to have someone to blame for it. I wanted someone I could hate for taking my mother away.”
Kaito took a slow step towards her.
“I tried to hate the doctors who took care of her…but there was one doctor. I was drawn to her because most of the other doctors were men, but she was a beautiful lady. And I liked her,” Aoko kept talking; it was more like she was speaking to herself now. “And she was always nice to me. I remember when she tried to explain to me what cancer was and that it had killed my mom…and I know now that doctors in that area really have to harden themselves against a lot. But I remembered how sad she looked…and I couldn’t hate her for not being able to save Mom. So there was no one left to blame.”
She sighed and finally dropped her eyes to the sidewalk at her feet. “But I got to thinking…what if there had been someone? What if someone had taken Mom away—a person, and not an illness? And what would I do if I knew about it? Or what if something happened to Dad? And…I realized I didn’t know.”
Kaito inched a bit closer.
“I imagine finding out about your father was a big shock—I know it was for me,” she said. “And then finding out who his murderer was and knowing you had the power to at least try to do something about it…”
“Aoko—“ he started to speak, but he was cut off when she turned to look at him. And something in her crystal-clear blue eyes stopped him cold. He realized that he was completely bewitched by those eyes…and he liked it.
“I hate Kaitou Kid. Nothing will ever change that,” she said firmly. “I hate what he does, and I hate the fact that he keeps making my dad look like an idiot and so Dad has to stay out all the time trying to catch a friggin’ ghost. So make no mistakes—I. Hate. Kaitou. Kid.”
He was about to make a comment about how he would be worried if she didn’t…but she cut him off again. “But…I don’t hate you.” Her expression softened. “I don’t hate you, Kaito. I don’t like what you’re doing, and I hate the fact that both you and Dad are in danger because of it. But…all things considered…” She trailed off, averted her gaze for a moment, then met his eyes squarely.
It took Kaito a moment to process all the implications of that statement. Aoko didn’t like what he was doing, but she didn’t hate him…she was accepting him. She was accepting him for who he truly was—for what he truly was.
For a split second, he was completely overcome by the realization. And in that second, he moved forward and wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug. He heard her gasp slightly before she relaxed into it. They stayed like that for several seconds before he (reluctantly) loosened his hold. He didn’t let go of her entirely, though; she leaned back in his arms enough to look up at him. “Kaito…?” she said softly, questioningly.
He smiled—one of his rare, truly genuine smiles. “Thank you.”
PS. …okay, what the heck happened? This was supposed to be a HUMOROUS FIC in which Kaito corners Aoko in the shower and it is full of LULZ. Where did all this drama come from? …I am going to blame it on my shampoo, because most of the second half hit me while I was in the shower. I SHAKE MY FIST AT YOU, HERBAL ESSENCES!! …ahem. I’m okay now.
Also, in honor of Lurker Day, I thought it would be nice to point out that today is the one-year anniversary of this challenge. It has been one year to the day since I posted the first fic for this--also posted for Lurker Day. So after one year, I am thirty-five themes into the challenge. Not too shabby, ne?
L’anyhoodle, thanks for reading, all! Much love!