Written as a bribe for Hell's Hauntress. She requested a Hakuba/Akako fic, with Christmas some where in there if I could fit it in. #^^# Enjoy!

The Benefits of Mistletoe
By Icka! M. Chif

"Jingle bells, Sensei smells, Hakuba laid an egg!" Kuroba warbled as he wandered around the class Christmas party. Everything that could be decorated in the room had already been decorated, so the phantom thief had moved on to decorating people, something that involved lots and lots of shiny tinsel. "The cop mobile lost a wheel and the Phantom thief got a waaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!"

It was also, Hakuba noted, a good thing that he was the only one in the room who knew enough English to understand what Kuroba was singing or the magician would be in trouble. As it was, everyone else just passed it off as one of those crazy things that Kuroba did, missing the joke completely.

Of course, after 9 months of sharing the same classroom with the magic thief, most of the students had gotten to the point that Kuroba could stand up on a desk top, announce that he wasn't wearing any underwear and no one would blink twice. Once, maybe. But not twice.

Hakuba glanced around to see where Aoko was. In addition to cover everyone he could with tinsel, Kuroba also seemed to have an un-ending supply of mistletoe that he appeared to be taking great delight in sticking above everyone's head but his own. Much to Aoko's wrath and Akako's disappointment.

The dark sorceress was standing next to him watching Kuroba as well. She wasn't watching him quite as intently as a hawk watches it's prey, but more of the wistful nature of a woman with a decadent piece of chocolate being waved in front of her. She'd already jumped him under the mistletoe once, but the thief had escaped with a quick peck on the back of her hand.

Aoko had finally found where Kuroba had hidden the mops and had dragged one out and was now on the prowl for Kuroba. Kuroba hadn't noticed his mop-wielding friend yet. Hakuba smirked. The two of them were so obvious that even people who weren't trained detectives noticed how nuts they were about each other.

That is, everyone except for Kuroba and Aoko themselves. And Akako. Although the dark red haired witch had been hanging around him a lot more lately. He wasn't sure that was a good thing or not. She was pretty, and interesting hang out with, even if she did have a habit of occasionally changing him into strange creatures and calling him 'Sharlene'.

He didn't mind getting turned into animals most of the time, but other people had started calling him 'Sharlene' behind his back too, and it was getting annoying.

At least Aoko and Kuroba were interesting to watch.

Speaking of which, Kuroba had just spotted Aoko and was preparing to run. For some reason, the blue-eyed girl paused instead of charging, looking up above Kuroba's head. The thief looked up as well and froze.

Mistletoe.

Hakuba struggled for a straight face as Kuroba looked absolutely confused and distantly commented on how it wasn't one of his. The thief had been caught in the same trap he'd been laying for everyone else.

Occasionally, irony was your friend.

Before Aoko had a chance to protest overly much, or swing her weapon, the thief darted down to kiss the Inspector's daughter on the cheek.

Hakuba knew what was going to happen before he saw Aoko's head start to turn and quickly covered Akako's eyes with his hands. She really didn't need to see this.

Akako froze. "Hakuba-kun?"

"Yes?"

"Kindly remove your hands from my eyes." Her voice was just this side of sub-zero.

"I don't think that's a good idea."

The chill in her voice dropped a few more degrees. "-Or I will remove them for you."

He got the feeling that her idea of removing his hands involved a large dagger or axe and quickly did as he was bid.

Akako stared at couple, who this point had left the stunned and surprised 'He/she is KISSING me?!' stage in the past and were quickly exiting the shocked 'He/she is kissing ME?!' stage in favour of going into the 'Hey, this isn't so bad...' phase.

"Hakuba-kun?"

"Yeah?"

"I changed my mind." She said in a slightly strangled voice. "Could you please cover my eyes again?"

"Of course." He did so, and being a gentleman, he also bit back the 'I told you so' that stuck in his throat. If for nothing else than the fact that he didn't feel like getting turned into an iguana tonight. Or a fluffy bunny. It was hard to tell sort of mood she was in.

Akako relaxed, leaning against him so that the back of her head rested on his shoulder. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Several of their classmates had noticed the deviation from the normal floor show and took the opportunity to cheer. Akako put her hands over his. "They still-?"

"Yes."

The cheers brought a dash of reality back to Kuroba and Aoko, who broke apart to stare at each other with wide, not quite certain eyes. If he had been in a different mood, it might have been amusing.

"Should be safe now." He informed Akako. She moved his hands off of her face and peeked, just in time for Aoko's mind to fall back to what she had been doing before the accidentally meeting of lips. Namely attempting to hit Kuroba with the mop. Kuroba looked grateful for the return to normality and took off running.

Akako smiled, wrapping both of their arms around her waist as K-ko began wander around collecting and paying off bets. "They are an interesting couple, aren't they?" Akako commented, looking amused.

"Very." He agreed. Kuroba was even more energetic before, literally bouncing off the walls and the ceiling a broad grin that Armageddon probably couldn't erase stuck on his face. Aoko wasn't far behind him.

"Oi!!!" Kuroba stopped in front of them, doing a handstand on a desk. "Hakuba! Koizumi!! Look up!"

He did so.

Mistletoe.

It hadn't been there before. Hakuba was going to kill the thief. Slowly. With a slotted spoon, if possible.

"Well..." Akako drawled, turning around to drape her wrists over his shoulders. "There's only one thing to do then."

And with that scant warning, she pulled him down for a kiss.

His mental processes shut down right about there and he had just enough time to note that she tasted like cinnamon before she released him, a smug cat with the canary grin on her face, her burgundy eyes twinkling.

A kitsune-like snickering caused him to look up to see a smirk on Kuroba's face. He knew that smirk, he wore it quite often around Kuroba and Aoko.

"We're just friends." He informed the thief, hoping that he wasn't blushing.

"Good friends." Akako merrily agreed, still entwined around him. "-With benefits."

"Benefits?"

Akako grinned at him, a low sultry grin full of possibilities. "Benefits."

Hakuba quickly debated the merits of running away, but decided not to repeat the magician's mistake. After all, Kuroba had tried running and ran so fast that he got caught by Aoko.

And in all honesty, there were worse people to get 'caught' by. After all, Akako was fun to be around, intelligent enough to have interesting conversations and VERY attractive. Even if she did call him 'Sharlene'.

"Benefits." He agreed, looping an arm around her waist as she reclined against him again.

And with that, she pulled him back down to explore some more of those 'benefits'.

-fin-.

Um... no clue where Akako calling him 'Sharlene' came from, but it pops up in 'Ask the Conan Cast' as well... Although we do know a Sharlene. *waves!*

3 Oct 02 - 10 Oct 02