By Icka! M. Chif

This was a bad dream. It had to be.

He was going to wake up any second, panic for a few moments, then laugh it off and go back to sleep.

Any second now.

Any second....


He wasn't waking up.

This was real.

This was a nightmare, and it was real.

He wasn't ever going to wake up from this.

Kaito stared at the bars of the cell he was imprisoned, and for the first time, tasted despair.

Millimetres, thats all he had missed by, mere millimetres. That's all it would have taken, and he would have been home by now, in bed asleep.

But he had missed. His fingers had touched the bar that should have lead to freedom....

And slipped.

Luck was a fickle thing. Sometimes it was the barest of fractions that lead to the greatest of falls.

And fallen he had. Right into the open arms of the police force waiting below.

He supposed it was a mercy that he had hit his head during his fall down the side of the building and hadn't been awake for his arrest and capture.

Capture and dis-masking.

He had woken up in the cell, his head bandaged where he had hit it, firmly wrapped up in a straight jacket and enough cuffs and bindings for a dozen phantom thieves.

And Nakamori standing on the other side of the bars, looking like a beaten dog as he held up the Kid's monocle for him to see.

The words had flown out of his mouth before he could make any effort to restrain the plea. "Please don't tell Aoko."

Nakamori had snorted, grim humour sliding up to cover the cloud of despair. and disappointment that surrounded him, and demanded to know why he should do a thief any favours.

He hadn't been able to find a voice to respond, his eyes sliding shut as his head bowed. It wasn't something he could put into words, especially not to Nakamori, to Aoko's father. Anything he said from here on out would only hurt her, hurt them all more.

Aoko would know now. Nakamori wouldn't even have to say anything, it would be all over the papers in the morning. She would know that he was the illusive shadow that her father had pursued so long, that he was Kid the Phantom Thief And she would hate him. There was no alternative. Even if by the slimmest possibility that she could care for him after hearing who he was, there was nothing either of them could do about it.

The Kid now had a name behind the mask. He had no where to go now, no life to hide behind.

And if he did escape, which he could, if he concentrated hard enough on what to do, Nakamori would hunt him to the ends of the earth for hurting his daughter.

But he couldn't concentrate.

Aoko hated him.

That thought wrapped around his heart like a string of barbed wire, tearing at him with every heart beat and keeping him locked behind bars more efficiently than any chains or bars could..

It was still night now... she probably was sleeping peacefully in bed, sleeping the sleep of the innocent and the just, un-aware of what morning would bring.

Maybe... maybe...

He had a few hours before she started hating him. Maybe there was a way to salvage this. He had done it before, he could do it again...

He could deal with this. He would deal with this. She didn't hate him -yet-. If he could salvage this, he'd meet her on the way to school like always, and she'd smile at him and everything would be alright again.

He just had to get out first-

The doors opened, a shadow falling across the dim lights of the corridor. He glanced up, expecting Nakamori, or maybe a guard that he could impersonate...

.... and met a pair of blue eyes that were as deep as an ocean, and as wild as a hurricane.

Just like that, the fragile shell of hope he'd had shattered and fell, a hundred thousand crystal shards falling to the floor in a musical symphony that filled his ears and made the world spin around him.

Aoko looked at him from the other side of the bars, her expression filled with a mix of emotions that he couldn't even begin to sort out.

And he realized in that second that this was going to hurt more than he ever thought it could...


(Voices say that Nakamori didn't tell Aoko despite his words to Kaito)

Was just after 2am, had just finished talking to Becky Tailweaver for several hours, I could barely see the screen much less keep my head up, and a song started playing on the radio.
What song was it? No clue. But it set off plot bunnies based off of a remix version of Sarah McLaughlin's 'Hold on', and *blorp!* this fell out.
We're gonna blame it on Becky. So, thanks Becky!