Fandom: Detective Conan
Publish Date: 2/14/2005 through 4/8/2005 (in Quest for the Question)
Disclaimer: I don't own Detective Conan. But I do have homemade hand-puppets for each character...that's normal, right?
A soft click, and the world was shut away on the other side of the door.
Kuroba Kaito sighed and dropped into the chair in the room. This was, potentially, the stupidest thing he had ever done in his life. Still, there was no backing out. Phantom thieves did not get cold feet.
Union rules or some such thing…
Swallowing hard, he reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out the small blue bottle. He stared at it in awe for several minutes, as though it was the Pandora Gem itself. Slowly, his fingers tightened around the narrow plastic bottle.
Let’s do it, he decided, flipping the lid open and going to work.
Twenty minutes later…
Kaito regarded the mirror thoughtfully. After a long moment, an enormous grin split his face.
Damn, he did good work!
Now if only a certain someone thought so as well…he nodded grimly at the mirror. This would work. And, if all went according to plan (which he would, if he had anything to say about it), this would be something that a certain someone would remember for the rest of her life.
A few minutes later, he was outside on the sidewalk. The summer air was warm, and the sun was glowing brightly in the sky. It was a lovely day. Grinning to himself, Kaito’s hand slid into his pocket and closed around his cellphone. A press of a button, and his call was sent.
“Aoko, it’s me,” he grinned when she answered. “Oh—I’m good, thanks. You? Awesome. Listen, what’re you doing tomorrow?” A pause, and his smile grew even a little wider. “The weather’s been great lately…you wanna go to the beach?”
There seemed to be people everywhere—children and adults, clad in swimwear and flip-flops. It was a beautiful day, sunny and hot, and the water looked absolutely divine.
“Kaito, when you have a good idea,” Aoko commented, turning a big smile on her companion, “you have a good idea. This looks great!” They quickly claimed a vacant spot near the water (recently vacated by two harried-looking parents and their two damp, overly-energetic children). They laid their towels out, and Aoko promptly sprawled out to sunbathe for a while.
Kaito kicked back as well, looking appropriately garish in shorts, shades, flip-flops, and the loudest Hawaiian-print shirt Aoko had ever seen; she wasn’t quite sure where he had found such a thing, but she knew such colors and patterns were not found in nature.
Giving a mental shrug, she closed her eyes against the sunlight and let the warmth wash over her. They would most likely dive in later, but for right now, it seemed far more appealing to just relax. They chatted inanely back and forth a little, not really needing the conversation, but simply enjoying each other’s company and the beautiful weather.
“This was a great idea…” she murmured again after about twenty minutes. She heard the ding of her mental timer going off then, and rolled over to allow the other side to get its turn.
“Yeah, it was…” he mumbled back, and she had the distinct impression that he might be dozing.
Another short period of time went by, without speaking. Then Aoko decided that it was time to move. “I’m gonna swim. You coming?” she asked, getting up and standing over him.
“…sure, just a sec,” he mumbled, slowly sitting up. She nodded and scampered towards the water.
The sand, however, proved extremely hot. And Aoko had left her sandals at her towel. She made it about three feet before doing a hot-foot dance back to the towel. Kaito watched with amusement. “That’s a lovely dance, Aoko. What do you call it?”
Aoko automatically took a swing at him, then plopped back down on her towel. “Why does something always have to go wrong? Argh…” He patted her shoulder sympathetically; he then appeared to hesitate, then seemed to make up his mind about something.
“Hey, Aoko,” he leaned over and whispered into her ear. “I want to show you something.”
“What?” she asked, the tiniest hint of suspicion in her eyes. If this was a prank…
“It’s a surprise, but I think you’ll really like it,” he said, snatching her hand and pulling her along behind him. “Come on, let’s go!” He dragged her across the sand. “You’ll love this!”
The waves splashed against the rocks, covering them both with a spray that was enough to leave them a bit damp, but not quite enough to soak them. It was the only sound; none of the other tourists were around, it was only the two of them and the ocean.
Aoko curled her legs under her and sat down on the wet rock, watching the waves in awe. “Kaito…this is beautiful! How did you know this was here?”
He raised one finger to his lips and grinned. “Secret.”
She made a face at him before turning her gaze back to the water, and silence again fell over them. Aoko watched the waves, and Kaito watched Aoko, though he managed to be fairly discreet in doing so. But discretion—and Poker Face—pretty much went out the window when a particularly high wave hit; Aoko responded by closing her eyes and tilting her head back as the spray washed over them.
Kaito didn’t have a spare thought to fight his ever-deepening blush, as he was busily trying to order his mind away from subject matters that were not entirely printable. Giving himself a shake, he decided to break the comfortable silence, knowing that she wouldn’t mind.
“It’s getting awfully warm out here,” he commented offhandedly, almost giving the statement double meaning. Having earlier shed his loud Hawaiian print shirt, he was wearing only a white T-shirt and khaki-colored shorts. The persistent splash of the water was proving to have an interesting effect on his shirt—not that anyone really minded.
“Well, take off your shirt, baka!” Aoko admonished gently, habitually rolling her eyes while something deep down did backflips and victory dances. ‘Kaito shirtless’ equaled nice. Not that his ego needed to know that…
“…sure…” he mumbled. It was crazy, really—in his life he had jumped off skyscrapers, flown from insane heights, jumped around on balconies and turrets, impersonated almost every kind of person there was, danced in circles around the police, and still managed to escape with his prizes in hand and intact. Yet his palms started sweating at the idea of taking off his shirt.
Or rather, what that could potentially bring about…
Taking a deep breath, he obliged, pulling the white T-shirt off over his head (drool…) and dropping it to the damp rock beside him, caring little if it got any wetter. He leaned back, bracing his weight against his hands in the same posture he’d had earlier. And he waited…
“We should probably head back, it’s starting to get late…Kaito?” Aoko cut herself off as she clambored back up beside him, ignoring the spray of the ocean behind her. “Kaito, you have something on your stomach.” She paused, taking in the most unusual sight. “What in the world…?”
He couldn’t keep the ridiculous smile from his face—ridiculously nervous smile, that is.
She leaned over him, looking in open-mouthed amazement at his bronzed stomach. There, written out in what looked like tan-lines, were the words Will you marry me? Once it clicked, her eyes widened to approximately the size of car tires.
Aoko really wasn’t sure which was more stunning—that he had actually asked her to marry him, or that he had gone so far as to temporarily tattoo his proposal on his own body via a nice tan.
When she lifted her eyes back to meet his, she was amused to see he was blushing. “I wrote it out in suntan lotion!” he explained somewhat sheepishly, though there was a definite glimmer of pride behind it. “And then I went tanning.” A pause. “The ring’s actually back in my bag. I didn’t want it to get wet.” Another pause; he started to look incredibly nervous as she didn’t say anything. “Umm…surprise?”
Something broke. Aoko could not help herself. She started to laugh. Uncontrollably.
Kaito managed to keep himself still and schooled his expression to be relatively neutral, though he had the look of one who wanted nothing more than to run screaming into the sea, never to return. “Uhh…” Yup, his normal bravado was completely gone.
“…are you nuts?” Aoko finally managed to stammer out.
“I really hope not, but I think that depends on you—“ he started to reply as another spray of sea-foam washed over them. He was about ready to just run, and to hell with good showmanship. But before he could finish that thought, he was cut off.
By Aoko’s boisteruous squeal. “OHMIGOD!” she lunged, grabbing him around the waist, knocking him over, flat onto his back on the wet rock. “Yes, yes, yes, YES!” Her feet were kicking wildly in the air behind her with each word, and she was laughing her head off. “WHOO-HOOOOOO!”
Kaito felt a very slooooooooooow blush begin to work its way from the roots of his hair aaaaaaaall the way down to his toes. He also felt a very slooooooooooow, very very dopey, very very very LARGE grin spreading across his own face.
“Okay…if you wanna think about it…” he murmured; only the slightest lilt of a teasing tone colored the otherwise-unadulterated happiness in his voice. Of course, any further jests were cut off when Aoko proceeded to take the initiative and lay one on him, full on, right on the lips.
Neither moved for a long moment, as the white-green foam of the waves continued to wash up over them. When they finally drew apart, Aoko smiled. “How long have you been waiting to ask that?”
“A while,” he admitted, then grinned rakishly. “I can remember the first time you swung a mop at my head…that was when I knew. I thought to myself, ‘Kaito, you’re going to marry that girl someday.’ See, I’m always right!”
He half-expected a reprimand, but instead got a laugh. “Sadist…I can’t believe you tanned that onto yourself…” She glanced down at the pale lines, slowly tracing out the words that had changed her life with one finger.
“But it is true—I want to marry you more than anything,” he said, his usual jocular tone tempered by an unnatural seriousness. That lasted for all of that one sentence as the familiar smirk broke again. “Glad I did something as subtle as take my clothes off.”
“Baka!” Aoko retorted automatically—but kissed him again.
“I can’t wait to tell Dad! I bet he’ll be thrilled—he really likes you, you know that?” Aoko was babbling happily, pausing every few seconds to look at the new adornment to her left hand. Her new fiance was strolling about a foot behind her. “God, I didn’t think you were ever going to—“ It was then that she glanced over her shoulder and noticed that Kaito was giving her an extremely odd look, and she paused; she hadn’t seen that expression in quite some time. He used to get that look to him all the time when they were back in high school, right before he’d…
She realized what he was going to do a split second before he did it, but by then it was too late for her to do anything. His hand shot forward—
And UP went the wrap-around she was wearing over her swimming suit. The perpetrator of this heinous act cackled loudly and scampered ahead, holding his beach towel over his head so it streamed behind him like an earthbound kite.
Aoko stared after him for a moment. Then, wishing desperately for a mop, she raised her own beach towel, brandishing it like a whip, and began the chase. “KAITO!”
The bathroom door opened slowly, and Ran peeked around the corner; the soft light fell across her eyes, sparkling over them. She smiled gently at the sight before her, managing not to giggle.
Shinichi—her husband now, she reminded herself—was sitting in the still-made bed with his head leaning against the wall. His eyes were closed, and from her vantage point she could see that his breathing was even and steady. He looked, to all appearances, to be sound asleep.
It was incredibly adorable, really.
Still smiling to herself, Ran knelt down beside her suitcase; she was taking every precaution to be quiet, and the only sound that came from her was the slightest rustling of her long nightgown. And a moment later, a certain item was clutched possessively in her hand. Gingerly, she crept across the room, towards her unwitting prey; her eyes were still glimmering in the faint light, but it was slightly more maniacal now…she brandished her prize, raising it over his head…
Shinichi’s eyes flew open as she brought it down on top of his head. He blinked owlishly at her (and she realized that yes, he had been dozing off after all the stress and excitement of The Big Day); his eyebrows slowly arched towards his hairline as he realized what she had done.
“Ran…” he regarded his new bride with a dubious Look.
“Yes, sweetie?” she replied innocently, somehow managing to keep her giggles behind her teeth.
“What is it with you and the damn bunny ears?” he asked in slight exasperation as he jutted a finger at the bright pink abomination now gracing the top of his head, adorning his hair in all its fuzzy, eye-burning glory.
“…well, whatever turns your screw, dear.”