By Icka! M. Chif

Scene #1: Aoko finds out

"It won't be the same after this, you know." There was no track of mockery in Akako's quiet tone as she approached the sitting thief. They were on the roof of a skyscraper, both magic users showing an oblivious distain for the drop below.

The Kid didn't move from his perch, his feet dangling off the edge of the roof. "Aa." He commented non-commentally.

She daintily sat down next to him, setting her scythe down behind her. "Aoko?"

He motioned in the vague direction of the park in front of them. "Thinking."

"Bad habit."


"How'd she take it?"

The thief shrugged. "Better than I expected."

"That bad..." She murmured to herself, slightly awed.

"Definitely her father's daughter." He shifted, tucking one knee up so he could rest his arm on it. "Learned a few new words today that I didn't think she knew."

An eyebrow arched elegantly. "You may refrain yourself from teaching them to me."

"Of course, Miss Witch." He said, almost, but not quite mockingly. "Some things you do not repeat in front of a lady anyway."

She crossed her legs, propping her chin up on an arm, her elbow resting on a leg. "I still don't understand -why- you pursue such a silly little mundane girl." Akako sulked.

"Ahhh..." He smiled, once again walking the fine edge of mockery and mirth. "But to me, she's not just some 'silly little mundane girl'. She's Aoko. My best friend."

"Are you?" Real interest now, not just stifled amusement. "Even now? After she's discovered who you really are?"

"Hmm..." He made a thoughtful sound, his eyes steady on the patch of green where Aoko was, still keeping a protective eye on her. "I am, anyway. Even if she decides to turn me over to her father, she's still my best friend."

The eyebrow rose again. "I still don't get it."

"Most people don't. When they look at her, they just see this wild haired girl with a bit of a temper and a mop. But when I see her..." He half smiled, an involuntary fond expression spreading across his face.

"I see Aoko, the person who helped me get thru my father's death, even as it brought back memories of her mother's... " He paused for a second, then continued "I see the person who never stops caring, or chasing, or fails to bring a smile to my face. I see Aoko. -My- Aoko."

He said the last part with such determination it seemed to startle even himself.

Akako raised an eyebrow, and he chuckled a bit self-consciously. "I don't know what it is." He admitted, a bit of Kaito peeking out of the Kid. "She just lights me up, y'know? Like a fire that if you touch it, you'll burn."

"Hmm..." The dark sorceress made a soft sound, more of a hum than her usual purr. "Yes." She finally nodded. "But if she does share her fire with you, doesn't the light of 2 flames combined shine brighter than each flame separately?"

The thief shot her a startled look, before relaxing into a smile that spoke volumes. "Yeah."

She smiled, leaning slightly to rest her head against his shoulder. They were silently for a minute, then Akako whispered, almost sadly: "She may still betray you, farther down the road."

"I know." His voice was equally soft.

"You always have been a gambler, haven't you?"

"Hmmm." He smiled affectionately.

They fell silent after that, watching the moon set together as they kept a watchful eye on their troubled friend below.

Because that's what friends did.