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: There are hazards to dating a celebrity. Kaito/Aoko
Kuroba Kaito could not recall ever being happier.
His career had taken off in ways he had barely dared to dream possible. As a result, he had gotten to see the world, performing in venues all around the globe. He had dazzled audiences on every continent, ranging from large public shows to smaller engagements to charity performances of various sizes and types.
And now he had someone to come home to at the end of it all.
It had been almost two months since he had spotted Aoko outside his show and chased her down. That had been a night of rediscovery, of remembering why he had fallen for her and then falling for her all over again. And then they had kissed, and the world had seemed such a beautiful place. She had forgiven him. When he asked if he could call her, she said yes. And he had taken her at her word on that.
He had heard about whirlwind courtships, but he’d always believed them to be, at best, very silly. But he’d had Aoko back in his life for two months, and he was already wondering what she’d say if he were to mention the subject of marriage. Oh, he wasn’t going to—not for some time yet—but the thought had crossed his mind on more than one occasion, and while out running errands one day, he’d found himself pausing to admire some rings in a shop window and wondering how one of them would look on her finger.
Still, they were very much a couple and very happy for it. After all, it had been years in the making, and he felt like he was making up for lost time; he delighted in taking her out and surprising her whenever he could. This morning, for example, he was heading over to Aoko’s apartment with the intention of kidnapping her for breakfast. He was due at his office later to go over the plans for a new trick, but the morning was all for her.
He was on the sidewalk with the intention of grabbing his usual morning paper and then heading for her place, all while enjoying the sunny weather, when his cell phone rang. A glance at the caller ID screen said it was her, and he answered with a smile. “Hey!”
“Kaito?” she said tentatively.
Immediately he paused. There was something off about her voice. “Aoko, what’s wrong?”
There was a pause before she spoke again. “It’s over.”
His heart dropped into his shoes. “What?”
“It’s over. Don’t call me again,” she said, her voice cracking painfully. She sounded like she had been crying.
“Aoko, what are you—“ That was as far as he got before she hung up the phone, leaving him to stand in the middle of the sidewalk and stare at the phone in his hand as though it had personally wronged him somehow.
At a complete loss for what to do, he continued walking, and wound up at the newspaper stand where he had bought his paper almost every morning since middle school. The elderly man who ran the place, Yamada-san, was there, just as he was every morning. Kaito had befriended the man many years past, and frequently stopped to talk to him as he picked up his news. He was pleasant conversation.
But today, Yamada-san’s oft-calm demeanor turned to one of unusual excitability when he saw Kaito. “Kaito-kun,” he gestured quickly for Kaito to come into the booth itself. “Where is your pretty friend?”
That meant Aoko. “I assume she’s at home,” Kaito sighed. “She just broke up with me over the phone.”
“Did she say why?”
“Then you might want to have a look at this.”
A magazine was thrust into Kaito’s hands, open to a certain page. He recognized the logo of the publication; it was little more than a glorified gossip rag of questionable journalistic integrity. Still, he obediently scanned the page…and paused when he spotted a photo near the bottom of the page.
More specifically, a photo of him and Aoko.
There was nothing terribly special about the picture itself—it just showed them out together. They were each holding a beverage, and Aoko was pointing to something in a shop window. They were smiling. But the caption accompanying the photo was surprising. It addressed the “mystery girl” who had been seen frequently in the company of one of Japan’s most eligible bachelors. And it was not exactly flattering.
Kaito’s temper started to rise…until he thought of Aoko. If she had seen this…
He looked up at the older man. “This is—“
“Go find your pretty friend,” Yamada-san instructed in a tone that left no room for debate. “And get her back.”
“Got it,” Kaito didn’t need to be told twice. He darted out of the booth, got two meters down the sidewalk, and realized he was still holding the magazine. He started to turn with the intention of going back and actually paying for the thing, but was stalled in that venture by Yamada-san, who was waving him on with a shake of the head.
There was something to be said for being a regular customer.
When he got to Aoko’s apartment, the magazine still tucked under his arm, he paused at the door. If he knocked, chances were that she would not let him in. He’d tried calling her again, and received no answer. This really left him with two options: leave, or take an alternate method into her apartment. He had never been a quitter, particularly when it was something this important. Which left him with one choice.
Kaitou Kid may have retired, but that didn’t mean that he had let his skills rust, per se. And there were some things that were so ingrained into him that he would never forget them, no matter how long it had been. And it just so happened that picking locks fell into that category.
A glance up and down the hallway proved that he could do this without being observed. He did so quickly and silently, with barely a soft click to betray that he had gained entrance. Taking a deep breath, he eased the door open and slid inside. He crept inside…and stopped when he saw Aoko.
She was curled up in her big chair, still in her pajamas. And Kaito’s impression of her voice over the phone proved to be correct—she was crying. She looked lost, and she had not yet noticed his presence. A glance around the room proved that there was a certain magazine lying open to a certain page on the table near her.
He stood there, a silent observer, watching as she stood up and slid a hand through her messy hair while she started to walk towards the kitchen. But she stopped in the open doorway that linked the two rooms and paused; her back straightened, and he assumed that she had sensed that something was not as it should be.
Sure enough, she turned around very slowly to face him. Now he could see her face much more clearly, and the red-rimmed eyes seemed even more pronounced from this angle. And she looked…frightened? Of him? “K-Kaito…”
He took one step towards her; she turned and moved quickly into the kitchen. Alarmed, he sprinted after her, not even bothering to remove his shoes. He caught her by the sink, turning her to face him. She pushed his arm off and faced him defiantly. “What are you doing here?” she said angrily. “How did you get—did you break into my apartment?” Her eyes widened. “How dare you! I told you not to—“
“You told me not to call you again,” he replied. “Said nothing about visiting.”
“Get out,” she demanded. “I don’t…I don’t want you here.” Her chin quivered on that last, though.
Kaito took a step towards her, holding her eyes firmly with his own. “I’m not leaving,” he said, and even he was surprised at how icy his voice was, “until you tell me why, Aoko. I want to know why you say we’re through. I think I’m entitled to that much, at the very least.”
Her eyes widened slightly, but she waved a hand and adopted a rather light air. “I just don’t think we’ll work out, that’s all. I mean, we’re very different people and I just think we’ll wind up—“
He cut her off when he held up the magazine, open to the appropriate page. He made sure to hold it right at her eye-level so there was no way for her to miss it. And he watched her reaction very closely to see if he was right.
Aoko stopped in mid-word and stared at the page in horror for a split second. She did not take time to read the page, but instead immediately looked off to the side. It was enough for Kaito to confirm his suspicions. That little article in the gossip column had something to do with it, he was sure.
Dropping the magazine on the table, he folded his arms and regarded her again, a bit more kindly this time. “Now, Aoko,” he said again, with less venom in his voice now, “I’d like you to tell me why you’re breaking up with me.”
She didn’t answer immediately. Instead she looked down and wrapped her arms around herself. “Leave,” she said shortly after a moment, trying to walk past him. If he had to guess, he would have assumed she was trying to make a break for either the bathroom or her bedroom. They had locks on the doors.
But there was no way he was going to just let her walk away, and he suspected that she knew that before she even tried. He put an arm out in front of her to stop her, and then when she walked into that arm, he wrapped it around her shoulders to pull her against him. “I’m right, aren’t I?” he asked.
“C’mon, talk to me,” he said softly, giving her a tiny shake.
“Go away,” she whispered brokenly. “It’s bad for you to be seen with me, isn’t it?”
There it was—exactly what he was looking for. “Is that what you think?”
“That’s what it says, isn’t it?” she pointed haphazardly in the vague direction of the magazine on the table. “That someone like you shouldn’t be with someone like me.” Whoever had written that article seemed to be a fan of Kaito’s, and the tone of it had suggested that the author (presumably female) did not take kindly to anyone moving in on the object of her daydreams.
He was pushing her backwards, gently, until her back touched the fridge. Then he eased back to look at her. She was crying again. “That’s what it says. Doesn’t mean it’s true.” A finger under her chin was all it took to make her look up at him. “Do you really want us to break up, Aoko?”
“It’s for the best, isn’t it?”
“The best for us and what we want? Or the best for what some selfish idiot wants?” Kaito asked. “Now just answer the question. Do you really want us to break up? Over the words of a stranger who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know anything about us or our relationship? If you say yes, I’ll leave. No questions asked.”
“Kaito,” she started to say something, faltered, then tried again. “I just don’t want to hurt you or your career. I know how important that is to you, and if it’s bad for you to be seen with me, then—”
“Baka,” he said. “Given the choice, I’d pick you over my career. No contest.”
“What?” she asked, truly stunned.
“You’re more important to me than performing,” he said simply.
Having her arguments shot down one by one, Aoko looked down and wrapped her arms tightly around her stomach. “I just…” she faltered, then tried again. “I just want you to be happy. That’s all.”
Feeling himself smile, Kaito leaned in until his forehead was brushing hers. “The last two months, Aoko…they’ve been the happiest of my life.” She looked up again; now they were nose to nose as he went on. “You make me happy, and I don’t get why you think I’d be happier without you. Now,” his hands slid to her waist, “do you really want us to break up?”
“We probably should—“ she started, but cut herself off as they both lunged at the same time.
Amidst the meld of kisses, Aoko pulled back enough to breathe a single syllable in answer to the question he had been asking since he’d arrived at her apartment—“No…”—before she was again claimed. When they broke apart, they were both red-faced and out of breath.
Kaito smiled, pressed her for one more kiss, and then took a step back. “Get dressed.”
“What?” she blinked.
“You’ve got,” he paused and looked at his watch, “…exactly nine minutes to get dressed. In nine minutes I’m kidnapping you and taking you out for breakfast. And I’m taking you with me however you are.” He grinned and turned to walk back out to the living room.
“Eight minutes and forty-five seconds,” he sang. Sensing that he probably meant it, Aoko raced for her room in a mad search for actual clothes. Still, she was smiling from ear to ear.
PS. This is a follow-up to the previous fanfic100 story, “After the Show.” Just a random idea that I’ve been nursing for a while and thought fit well as a sequel. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!