For a sequel to a one-shot, this came out pretty long... ¬_¬

Thanks to Ysabet for her encouragement and gleeful cackling.

Coming Back sequel to One Night (aka the "Ghosty-Kaito-at-the-bottom-of-the-cliff-with-
the-fishies" story)
By Icka! M. Chif

I know that I don't understand
The way my feelings roam

"Moshi Moshi?" Saguru answered his cell phone on the second ring "Haku-"

"HE'S COMING!!!." The excited voice of Koizumi Akako cut him off with an exuberant yell. He winced and quickly jerked the phone away from his ear, the noise fairly echoing in his eardrums.

Aoko, curled up on the other side of the couch in Saguru's living room looked up from the movie they were watching with a puzzled glance.

Hearing no more loud screams from the phone, he put it back to his hear. "Akako? Who's coming?"

"-He- is." He could practically see her wiggling in delight. "I just saw it. He's coming back!"

"Akako, either calm down and tell me what's going on, or I'm getting the tranquillizer gun." He deadpanned. Aoko nodded, recognition flashing across her face as she relaxed marginally. They were both well used to the sorceress' mood swings by now.

"I'll be over shortly to explain." The phone went dead in his hand.

"What's going on?" Aoko asked, shifting slightly closer to him, her hair brushing the hand he had resting against the top of the couch.

"Akako's on her way over to explain." He shrugged and stuck the cell phone back on his belt.

The front door burst open and Akako ran into the room, throwing herself on the couch, her feet resting on Saguru's lap as her head pillowed on Aoko's. "He's coming back!" She cheered, a wide grin on her face as she reached up and ran the back of her fingers down Aoko's cheek with a fond air. "Miss me, Darling?"

Aoko smiled shyly at the girl in her lap and hesitantly played with her hair. Out of the three of them, she had fared the worst, the double blow of discovering that her friend was the hated Kaitou Kid and Kaito being dead sending her into a deep shock that had lasted for several months. With the aid of Saguru's solid presence and Akako's friendly teasing she was beginning to emerge from the shell she had retreated into.

"Always." Saguru noted drolly. Things had changed dramatically since the night the Kid had been killed. Saguru and Aoko had begun to spend a lot of time together, and eventually, they had begun sharing stories of their missing friend. She telling stories of Kaito's antics before he had transferred to their school, and he of the Kid's escapades from a perspective she had missed before. And together they gathered the pieces of a missing puzzle that was their friend.

Akako had joined them without invitation, completed their small circle with a welcome fiery presence, filling in small bits of information that they had missed, and taking great delight in flirting outrageously with both of them. According to her, they both blushed very well and she took every opportunity to cause them to do so.

They rarely talked about the last time they had seen the mercurial magician.

People didn't appreciate ghost stories.

Saguru poked at her feet. "Why did you call from the front door?" He queried, watching her toes twitch as fingers found ticklish nerves. "I'm assuming you had your cell phone with you the entire time..."

She laughed, an embarrassed quality to it. "I forgot I had it." She admitted, looking rather shamefaced.

Her human sofa collectively sweatdropped at her.

"Alright..." Saguru rubbed his forehead with hand, as if trying to banish a headache. He really should have known better than to ask. "Back to the topic at hand. What were you calling about anyway?"

Akako's grinning bouncy consonance disappeared as her eyelids drooped over her eyes, giving them a hidden, hooded look. "He's coming back."

"You said that." He pointed out. "Don't make me repeat what I said."

"Bet you don't even have a traq gun." Akako grumbled, shifting around to get comfortable.

Aoko shook her head. "He does too." She informed the dark haired girl softly.

"... Oh." Akako paused, looking the blond boy with something akin to admiration in her eyes. "Kinky. Right then, on with subject, shall we?"

"That would be nice." He agreed.

She smiled, the air of a smug cat in the cream wrapping around her as she playfully fiddled with her hair with one hand. "I saw it. He's coming back. Kaito's coming."

I've got to look outside again
And wonder where I've gone

It was a funny thing, Inspector Nakamori mused to himself as he looked at the small ring in the sealed glass case before him, that such a small thing could cause so many problems.

At the very least, he was pretty sure that this -was- the cause of so many problems. There wasn't any proof of course, but he could feel it deep down in his gut.

The pale stone gleamed at him in the artificial light, as if taunting him. It was an odd stone, found in the belly of a fish in the local harbour. Rumour had it that when the Jeweler's wife that had cut open the belly and received a surprise, she had commented to her husband about his work following him home in the strangest ways.

The Jeweler had laughed, and turned it into a ring for her.

It was currently on display now instead of gracing her finger for two reasons. One was the fact that the stone was the -exact- shade of pure white jade as the one the Kid had been holding in his hand when he'd been shot down, lending credit to the theory that it was a fragment of that stone.

The other was that the stone glowed red as if lit from within when held up to the moonlight.

Red, the same colour as the water glowed when the light of the moon struck where the Kid had fallen. Local legend now had it that the Phantom Thief haunted his watery grave, never mind that they had found the body, cremated and it was currently buried in the local cemetery under his rightful name.

Nakamori swallowed, determined not to think about the boy that had nearly been family.

"Sir!" One of his officers called, catching his attention. "Shall we go? It is-"

The lights went out, plunging the room into darkness except for the beams of light from the street lamps outside the windows. The abrupt silence of electronics fed by electricity shutting down seemed to echo in his ears as he gritted his teeth. Dammit, NOW what?!

People moved around him, stirring restlessly in the shadows. He growled to himself, looking around as his eyes adjusted, aided by the help of the faint red glow of the gem in front of him. A flash of white caught his eye as someone let out a muffled shriek, causing footsteps to rapidly shuffle away from it.

He turned to see a figure causally stroll towards him, glowing white, like the reverse shadow of someone walking down the street in daylight, their hands causally in their pockets as they moved.

The Kaitou Kid.

He disappeared, fading into a beam of light from a window, only to re- appear, stepping out of it as if his visibility wasn't an issue.

The bottom dropped out of Nakamori's stomach, his mouth suddenly dry as he watched the approach. The Kid's body posture was relaxed, a small grin on his face as he walked, mindful but unworried about the people around him. He disappeared into the beams of light several more times, fading in and out like a damn Cheshire Cat.

His approach changed slightly as he reached the velvet rope around the case holding the ring in front of him. Instead of walking through it like he would have expected, the Kid jumped the rope, landing in a crouch on top of the case. Violet eyes sparkled at him with a cheerfulness that even death could not fade.

"Kid..." He whispered, reaching a hand forward, feeling like he was in a dream. It passed through the Kid's shoulders, not even disturbing the ruffles there, causing fingers to tingle slightly, as if from the cold. The thief smiled back in greeting, eyes crinkling happily.

The lights came on and the spectre before him vanished.

People moved around him, stirring and whispering loudly to themselves, a few starting to panic as other fervently denied anything had just happened.

Nakamori just stared, his hand slowly dropping back down to his side as his gaze slowly fell towards where the Phantom Thief had crouched.

The stone was gone from the ring, leaving the setting and the case untouched.

I looked into someone's eyes again
And it's been lost... so long

"You're joking." Saguru stated flatly. He paused for a moment, studying her face. "Okay, no, you're not joking."

The sorceress gave him a cat grin. "Very good, Saguru. You can be taught after all."

Aoko tugged on a strand of crimson highlighted hair. "How?"

"Well..." Akako had the grace to blush guiltily. "It's my fault. I cursed him to remain on this world until he finished what ever mission he was trying to succeeded at as the Kid, then pass on with the morning light."

The blue-eyed girl stiffed slightly at that, her eyes growing blurry.

"Hey, hey, hey." Akako said quickly, reaching up to chase tears away with soothing fingers. "It's not a bad thing, not a bad thing. He got a chance to say goodbye after all, and he didn't seem displeased with that..." She swallowed the lump that was quickly forming in her throat.

"So what ever he was looking for as the Kid, he found, then lost again?" Saguru hazard a guess.

Akako shrugged a shoulder. "I don't know. But we should hear about his re- appearance-"

The cell phone on Saguru's belt rang, making them all jump slightly.

"-any time now." She finished with an amused smirk as Saguru let go of her legs to grab the phone.

"Moshi moshi." He answered. "Haku-"

The familiar roar of Aoko's father was audible to the girls as he quickly jerked the phone away from his ear with a grimace. "-BA!!! THE BLASTED KID'S COME BACK!"

"What?" He strove to keep his expression and voice confused and innocent, much to the girl's amusement. He irritably motioned for them to keep silent as they hid their giggles.

"He just stole a gem right out of ring it was in! And I'm pretty sure it was part of the same damn stone he stole when he was shot!" Nakamori-keibu continued, his voice sounding tinny as he proceeded to rant. "Dammit, He was RIGHT HERE, in my damn face, and my fingers passed right through him like a ghost!"

"Well, he -is- known as the Phantom Thief." The blond detective couldn't resist pointing out.

"That's NOT FUNNY!" Nakamori roared, then proceeded to explain with a great many descriptive words just how not humorous he was being.

Hakuba covered the receiver of the cell phone with his thumb. "Your father is cursing again." He informed Aoko with a small wink.

Her eyes lit up, a small smile forming in the corners of her mouth. Her father, who had once been known for pulling colourful epitaphs out at the drop of the hat had also been rather subdued since the death of the thief, his once-foul language having been curbed dramatically. To hear him cursing again was a positive sign.

"ARE YOU LISTENING?!" Nakamori finally roared.

"Yes sir." He agreed without missing a beat.

Nakamori let out a low growl, but continued. "I've sent men off to make sure his grave is un-touched. I know we made sure that it was his body that was cremated, but he looked -just like- Kaito-kun when I saw him... Damn fool didn't even send a warning notice!"

"It would be rather hard to send a notice if you are dead." He couldn't help but to notice smartly. A year in the grave and Kuroba's influence was still making its mark on him.

"Hakuba-kun..." Nakamori growled dangerously.

"Yes sir?"

"You wouldn't happen to have any information about this, would you?" The voice was now a deceptively soft purr.

"No sir." He said calmly. "But with as much trouble as he caused was when alive, it should come as no surprise that he would continue to do so from beyond the grave."

Nakamori let out a grunt that let him know that he was off the hook for now. "True. While we normally can't accuse the dead of theft, I think we can make an exception in this case. I've also got a few men checking out any possible heists, and locations of previous thefts as well."

"Hmm..." He eyed Akako, who was looking rather smug again as she played with a strand of hair. "Have you considered that this make be the work of a fan or a copy cat?" He suggested.

"Hadn't thought of that, with all these techno gizmos these days I can't rule out that possibility either." Nakamori seemed to sour at that, then changed the subject. "Is Aoko with you?"

"She's with Akako currently." He said pleasantly. The girls wiggled their fingers at him, smiling. He ignored them.

"Good." He could practically see Nakamori shift in discomfort. "Don't tell her about this, She was shook up enough after his death, there's no need to rake her through the coals again."

"You have my word." Of course, it was rather easy to agree not to tell her, considering that Akako had already let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Details, details.

"Good. Consider yourself back on the case, boy. Let me know if you can pass on any useable information." The inspector didn't seem all that pleased about that, but Saguru was secretly pleased. Both he and the Inspector usually viewed each other with trepidation on cases, even though they worked together.

"Of course. I will talk to you later, sir."

Nakamori grumbled again, then hung up the phone. He turned his phone completely off with a minor jab of irritation and stuck it back on his belt.

"Well?" Akako demanded.

"It appears our friend just retrieved a fragment of the jewel that was his last heist." He said slowly, facts falling into place as he mused. "And since your cursed linked him directly to what ever he was obviously searching for, we can safely assume that that jewel was what he was looking for."

"You mean he's haunting the jewel?" Aoko looked alarmed.

He shrugged back. "That is Akako's department. But all the information on his last heist as well as a recording of his..." He paused a moment, scenes flashing through his mind "... Fall... are back at the Lab, if you care to peruse it."

"Quick!" Akako sprang to her feet, posing dramatically. "To the Bat Cave!"

"I don't have any bats." He commented as both he and Aoko followed the bouncy witch at a slightly more subdued pace.

"To the Hawk Cave then!"


I never wanted to talk again
I tried to silence you

Akako leaned over the edge of the bridge and looked down. "That's a long way down." She commented, listening as the waves crashed unseen in the shadows many many metres below them.

"Yes." Saguru agreed, fighting a shiver that wasn't caused by the cold. He was a bit on edge with being back at the scene so to speak, but after having reviewed the data, Akako did have a valid point about this being the most logical place to pick up some more information about Kaito's ghostly re-appearance.

She craned her neck up. "That's a long way up."


"And he fell from waaaay up there too..." She mused.

"You don't remember?" He questioned. He remembered. Too well. "Weren't you on the shore watching?"

"-I-" The Imperial 'I' was clearly defined. "-was busy at the time."

"Ah, yes. Cursing him."

"Exactly. Aoko, you ready darling?"

"Just about." The wild haired girl's voice was muffled behind them.

"I'm glad one of us had scuba gear." Akako commented gratefully, seemingly unaffected by the crisp winds as her cloak flared around her. "Kind of surprised that you don't."

He shrugged. "Deep water and I don't get along. I tend to sink like a stone."

"Really?" Aoko stepped up along side them, checking the last of the buckles holding the oxygen tank to her. "I love water. Would live in it if I had a chance."

"Will have to arrange something some time." Akako grinned.

"Uh, question." He raised a hand, half in jest. "We're here, we have the scuba gear, but how are we going to get -down- there? It really is a long drop."

Akako pulled a broom out from under her cloak and sat on it, both she and the broom floating in mid-air as they stared at her in shock. "Will this do?" She questioned too innocently.

"...." Saguru had no comment. He knew intellectually, of course, that she was a witch, but this was the first time he'd actually SEEN it. Scientific intellect warred with belief for a few moments as Akako patiently waited.

"Will it hold two people?" Aoko asked, shaking off the shock faster than he. But then she had grown up with the Magician Kuroba family for years, magic was almost a matter of course to her, regardless of the form.

Akako flipped her hair over her shoulder with a casual hand. "Not comfortably, but yes. I'm afraid three people is out of the question."

"That's fine." He squeaked.

"Besides," Akako flew closer to him, reaching out to pinch a cheek in a matronly fashion. "We need someone to act as lookout."

"Not a problem." He agreed. Lookout was good. Lookout stayed on the nice solid bridge. "You have your phone?"

She held hers up with a teasing grin, lowering the so that they hovered next to the fin-wearing Aoko so she could get on. "I'll give you a ring if anything goes wrong."

He nodded back. "Good luck."

Aoko shot him an energetic grin, the likes of which he hadn't seen since before Kaito's death. "Same to you! See you soon!"

He gave her a weak grin and waved as the girls took off into the night sky, then disappeared down into the dark depths below.

Saguru shivered in the suddenly achingly freezing cold wind, huddling deeper into the depths of his coat and almost wished for the warmth of his Inverness coat that he hadn't worn since the memorial.

He'd never been able to get the bloodstains out.

You keep coming back again
You keep coming back for more

The water was dark and murky, and Aoko was grateful for the strangely glowing jar that Akako had given her before she had gone in the water. She didn't quite understand the grin Akako had given her when she asked what is was, or the cryptic reply of 'Ever wanted to carry Moonbeams home in a jar?', but it worked well and that's really all that mattered.

Shapes caught the light and startled away as she descended in the chilly water. This wasn't the smartest nor the safest of places to be going scuba diving, not with visibility and the waves against her. But she trusted Akako to know if anything was wrong and hold on to the tether so she could find her way back up again.

The fog seemed to lift as she reached the bottom, where the mussels covered concrete gave way to soft sand, and she was surprised to see something red glowing at her, like a bright ruby. Curious, she picked it up and examined it under the light. If anything, it seemed to glow brighter than before.

Saguru had mentioned a glowing red comet following him down, like blood trail, so she stuck it in a bag on her waist and looked around some more. She knew she was at the right pillar, and if there was one glowing red thingie, there were sure to be others.

The area here seemed cleaner than the surrounding area, less debris and no sea life. Upon closer inspection, not even starfish or mussels clung to the concrete next to where the shard had been. It was as if nothing intruded upon this sacred ground.

Except her.

Her shoulders prickled with gooseflesh and she fought a shiver.

Shards, she had to find more glowing shards. And then she could leave.

Moving the jar around, several more pinpricks of red glinted back at her, like splatters of blood upon a pristine corpse. She shivered and kicked her feet, swimming closer and quickly snatching up the shards and put them in her bag.

She thought of Kaito, falling into the water. Had he been alive when he hit the freezing waves? Saguru said that he had been smiling as he fell, what an odd thing for someone to do.

Little droplets of glowing blood, tying her to her friend, like a morbid red thread...

Aoko spotted a couple more glowing shards and pocketed them as well. There weren't any outside of the clear sandy circle, and she couldn't see anymore.

Dark shadows loomed in the darkness, and the sharp feeling that she had used up her welcome shot through her. She wouldn't find any more shards tonight. Kicking off from the sandy soil, she rose to the surface, stopping every few metres to adjust to the pressure.

Akako greeted her at the surface of the water with a kind smile and a warm waterproof cloak that she quickly bundled her into.

And then you come back and haunt my mind
You try to make me look good

"Feel better?" Saguru didn't even look up from the microscope as he heard Aoko walked into the lab area of his family's laboratory.

"Much." Aoko pulled the towel off of her head and wrapped it around her shoulders to keep her clothes safe from the water still dripping from her damp hair. "The warm shower helped a lot, thank you."

Akako sniffed daintily. "You would have warmed up a lot faster if you had let me take a shower with you."

Aoko laughed softly, nervously tucking a clinging strand of hair behind her ear. "You find anything?" She asked, quickly changing the subject.

"Well..." Saguru straighten, his shoulders back and posture stiff as he easily fell back into 'detective mode'. "It appears to be fragments of the same jade carving he was carrying when he was shot-"

"We put them back together." Akako cut him off with an amused smirk, holding up a small round object with holds in it. "Like a jig-saw puzzle. It's the same carving he stole, minus a few shards."

"Oh." Aoko nodded, plucking the carving from Akako's elegant hands and inspecting it.

Saguru shot her a dirty look for interrupting his analysis. She smiled back. "Isn't he just so cute when he plays detective?" She giggled fondly. He chose to ignore it.

"So this is it?" Aoko asked, looking up.

"Yes," Saguru sighed, running a hand through his hair. "This is it."

"Which means..." Akako grinned happily "That Kaito should be showing up soon."

"Will you be able to tell if he does?" One of Saguru's eyebrows rose sceptically as Aoko straightened and peered off to the side. While he wasn't doubting her abilities, it would be awkward if they did manage to summon a ghost and be unable to tell.

"Possibly." The sorceress mused thoughtfully. "Necromancy and Shamanism aren't my specialities, though I do dabble in them occasionally."

"Really now." He resisted smirking. "That would explain your butler."


Aoko cut Akako's retort off, staring past him, her face white as a sheet. "How do you think he'll be feeling when he arrives?" She asked.

"Annoying?" Saguru offered.

"I don't know." Akako mused. "Happy to see us, perhaps? There is the possibility that he's turned into some sort of vengeful wraith as well. Why?"

She pointed behind him. "Because he's standing right behind Saguru, trying to kick him in the butt. I think he's irritated at you."

They stared at her. Saguru blinked.

"Wait... no..." She trailed off, blinking in surprise, looking off to the side again in obvious confusion. "Now he seems to be doing backflips. No, wait... there he went through the wall... He's back again..."

The blue-eyed girl watched something that only she could see, her finger constantly tracking what she was looking at. Saguru felt the hair at the back of his neck prick up with goosebumps.

"Aoko?" Akako waved a hand in front of her face, her expression worried. "Are you alright, love?"

"I'm fine." She responded, her voice sounding distant.

"Aoko?" Saguru walked up beside her, looking alarmed as well. "Is she alright?"

"I don't know." Akako shrugged, giving him a worried look before snapping her fingers in front of the blank girls face. "Aoko?"

Saguru wrestled with worry. They needed to shock her out of this, this wasn't good. He couldn't slap her, there was no water in the lab...

His face stuck in a deadpan expression he hooked his index fingers in the corners of her mouth and pulled, stretching her mouth out in a comical expression. She made a puzzled sound which turned into a musical 'wee-boo wee-boo' sound as he stretched her cheeks back and forth.

She finally jerked, swatting his hands away. "Saguru!" She snapped as she rubbed her sore face. "What are you doing?!"

"Well... " He stepped away, looking suddenly uncomfortable. "I couldn't -slap- you!" He defended himself, his ears turning slightly pink.

"Pervert!" Akako cheered gleefully.

He glowered back. "Are you feeling better, Aoko?" He asked stiffly, falling back on manners.

She rubbed her sore cheeks where he had pinched her. "Yeah, I'm fine." She grumbled. "But I'm punching you the next time you pull that!"

He nodded back in agreement. "That's fine." That was more than fine, just so long as she didn't do that again.

"Aoko-love." Akako wrapped an arm around her waist, drawing the smaller girl into a half hug. "Don't scare us like that!"

"Sorry." She mumbled, turning shame-faced. "I didn't mean to worry you."

"It's alright, darling." Akako assured her, running a hand thru her wet hair. "You said you saw Kaito?"

"He's right there." She pointed next to Saguru.

Saguru and Akako looked. He didn't see anything other than a flickering shadow that may have been a trick of the light. "Anything?" Saguru questioned.

Akako's eyebrow rose. Obviously she saw something, or was at least able to sense something. "Interesting. He -is- here-" She drawled thoughtfully "- but Aoko seems to be the only one to see him. We can use this."

"We can?" Aoko and he echoed with various degrees of wariness.

The sorceress grinned. "How energetic are you feeling, Aoko?"

"Uh... okay?" Aoko looked hesitant yet eager.

"Great." The grin turned nearly feral. "I need you to stand right here and relax. Hope you don't mind a visitor."

Aoko blinked, but he could practically see muscles relax in her as she looked at something he couldn't see. "Okay."

"Relax?" He on the other hand was nervous. "What are you up to, Akako?"

"KAITO!" Akako ordered, raising her hand, palm stretched into the air as a feeling of -Power- rippled from around her like a steam cloud. "Spirit Ball Mode!"

He could practically hear a muffled yelp as a feeling of 'presence' suddenly disappeared from beside him. A ball of twisted glowing purple fire with familiar eyes gathered into the Sorceress's hand. She swung her hand around, facing Aoko, who was watching the proceedings with wide but trusting eyes.

"Kaito in Aoko!" Akako ordered, pushing the ball of fire into the blue-eyed girl's stomach. Aoko's mouth opened wide as she doubled over, her hands wrapping protectively around her belly.

"... that sounded wrong." Saguru noted with a sickening detached feeling.

"You've been hanging around me too long, you're starting to turn perverted." Akako commented, not taking her eyes off of the other girl. "Kaito? You there?"

Wide purple eyes blinked out under shaggy brown bangs. "Yeah..." The voice lacked the usual soothing tones Aoko's voice normally carried. Instead, it was almost harsher, as if she hadn't been talking in a long time. "I'm... here."

"How do you feel?" Akako asked, leaning forward, watching the boy-in-a- girl's-body reactions carefully.

Kaito/Aoko patted him/herself down. "Odd. Very odd."

He/she suddenly pitched forward as if having been hit on the head from behind. "Dammit, I wasn't trying to grope you, Aoko! I forgot you had those!"

And he/she promptly pitched forward again, rubbing the back of his/her head.

"That..." Akako wisely informed him as Saguru tried not to snicker. "You deserved."

You know I just don't have the time
I never, ever understood

Kaito/Aoko looked sullen. "Did not."

"Did too." Saguru grinned. "Welcome back."

"Good to be back. Temporarily, anyway." Kaito/Aoko grinned back, the mischievous smile somewhat odd on the quiet girls face. "Oi, Hakuba! When did you get a sense of humour?"

"I always had one." He crossed his arms, smirking back. "But with a certain someone gone, there was a sudden need for it to be refined."

"Heh." The happy expression passed quickly, to be replaced by something akin to worry. "Listen, as much as I'd love talking to you, Aoko's doing less well than she let on, so the sooner I'm outta of her, the better."

"Once again, that sounded wrong..." The blond muttered.

"Quick then." Akako said brusquely, her whole attitude radiating business as she held up the round jade carving. "Is this what you were searching for?"


"Care to tell us why?" Saguru asked.

"Quick version:" Kaito/Aoko rocked back on her/his heels talking quickly. "Dad was looking for a jewel inside of another jewel called 'Pandora'. Guys in black shot him, years later, I become the Kid and look for the jewel to keep outta the hands of the guys who killed Dad."

"Nice summary." Akako complimented him absentmindedly. "-So you're bound to this gem, or the fragments there of?"

"As near as I can figure." Kaito/Aoko shrugged. "Until Nakamori-keibu found that one shard that got away, I've been sitting at the bottom of the ocean watching over it since the last time I saw you. Tonight's been the first night I've been up and around."

"So you ARE bound to this and not the location?" Akako clarified.

Another shrug. "Since I'm talking to you, so to speak..."

"Right, stupid question." The red-head muttered, her mind working at a frantic pace, trying to figure everything out before their time ran out.

"Why did you pick tonight to get the shard back, and not when it was first discovered?" Saguru filled in the slight pause.

"The stronger the moonlight, the better the jewel works."

"And tonight is the full moon."


"So that's why people saw you at the museum." Akako verified to herself. "Why couldn't Saguru and I see you, but Aoko could when you first arrived here?"

Kaito/Aoko shrugged. "Probably because she's closer to me than you two, no offense."

"None taken. Her holding the jewel may have helped as well, since you are bound to it." Akako added.

"I checked the reports of the 'robbery'." Saguru mused. "Nakamori, who was the closest to the jewel was the only one who could see you clearly. Everyone else saw just an un-natural white moving shadow that looked roughly humanoid."

"He saw him clearly because he knows Kaito and was close enough to the gem for the effect to work." Akako nodded. "Makes sense. Wouldn't surprise me if their whole family line had a bit of that gift to begin with."

"So all we have to do is be close to it to see him?" Saguru blinked. That was very... unscientific.

"Physical contact probably works the best." Kaito/Aoko shrugged. "I don't know, I'm not used to this sort of magic. I just haunt the damn thing."

"I have an idea then!" Akako grinned, snatching the jade carving from Kaito/Aoko's hands. "Saguru can be the guinea pig!"

Saguru shut his mouth and crossed his arms, glaring at the grinning witch. The last time she had decided he was the guinea pig, he'd come out of it looking like an argyle print and sounding like a lemur in heat.

"You're no fun." Akako sulked as Kaito/Aoko watched with a great deal of curiosity and not a little bit of amusement.

Which changed into a whole lot of amusement and shock as a very hard heel came crashing down on his foot, causing Saguru to hop up and down and yelp in pain. He felt something brush his lips then Akako's hand closed his jaw for him.

He swallowed. A split-second later, he realised that was the wrong thing for him to have done, because he had just swallowed what ever Akako had put in his mouth. "Crap."

Kaito/Aoko raised an eyebrow. "If that comes out the other end, I do NOT want to be haunting a toilet for the rest of eternity."

"Relax, it was only a small amount, so his digestive track should dissolve it." Akako retorted, watching him much like she had been watching Aoko as she had put Kaito in him. "How you feeling, Saguru?"

"My. Foot. Hurts." He growled out.

"Other than that."

"I..." He trailed off, looking at Kaito/Aoko. Only now it really was Kaito- Aoko. Aoko's body was still there, but now he could see Kaito wrapped around her like a double exposure print, one overlaid on top of the other. "...Kaito?"

"Right here." The faces looked puzzled, both the solid and transparent one slightly above the other.

"I know that." He reached a hand out, tentatively touching Spirit Kaito's face, just centimetres above Aoko's. "But... I can see you."

He couldn't -feel- him, but he could see him. The sensation made him almost feel giddy. Either that or sick to his stomach. It was hard to tell.

Kaito grinned at him, and for a moment, it felt like his friendly not-rival was back again.

Then Kaito turned positively green. "I gotta go." It was the joined voice of Kaito and Aoko again that jolted him out of his revere. His/her sounded in pain, like they were being ripped in two. "Nakamori-keibu's found my other missing shard and we -don't- want him looking at it too closely."

"Why not?" Akako asked, prodding the jade with a fingernail.

"Another time." Kaito/Aoko grinned, then threw his/her arms open wide. "Saguru! Gimme a hug!"

"Huh?" He had just enough time to throw his arms open before he found his arms full of slightly chilled Aoko, Kaito's face fractions from his own.

"Later." The spirit breathed, dipping closer before fading from view like vapour from a steaming osen just before touching him. He blinked.

Akako pouted. "No fair. I didn't get a chance to grope him too."

"Wha? Who? WHAT?!" Much to his embarrassment, Saguru could feel his face heat up and he knew that once again, the witch had succeeded in making him turn red. Aoko chose that moment to slide sideways, almost out of his grasp, a faint snore coming from her slack jaw.

A giggle from Akako's mouth saved him further embarrassment. "Why don't we put her to bed? It's been a long night for her." Akako offered as he adjusted his awkward grip on the girl so that he was carrying her more comfortably.

A quick glance at the clock showed that it was in fact, a couple hours before sunrise. A long night for all of them, actually. They'd all been up most of the night, Akako's joyous outburst having happened shortly after darkness had fallen.

The things that happened in just one night...

You keep coming back again
You keep coming back for more

Aoko woke up to the insistent beeping of her cell phone.

Which she decided that she was going to kill as soon as possible. Or conveniently maim. Which every came first.

She settled for answering it, ignoring the ruckus going on in the back ground. "Hi?"

"Aoko, where are you?"

"Dad?" She sat up, looking around. She was on the couch at Saguru's. She recognised it from having passed out there before. "'M at Saguru's." She mumbled, rubbing her eyes. "Fell asleep on the couch. Sorry."

Her father sighed, sounding as tired as she felt. "At least you're safe. Call me next time, sweetheart."

He really did worry about her a lot and she felt a pang of guilt for causing him to panic. "Sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to scare you."

"It's alright. Just another heart attack on top of the next one. Swear I'm heading for an early grave if I'm not there already." He grumbled, muttering unprintable comments under his breath.

"Everything alright?" She yawned, fighting the urge to fall back asleep.

"Eh, just some odd heists." He paused his growling for a moment. "What's that noise in the background?"

"Huh?" She looked up to see Saguru chasing Kaito around, singing loudly at the top of his lungs. Kaito was attempted to escape, his face in a mask of comic horror with his hands firmly planted over his ears, shouting something she couldn't hear at the detective.

Akako was in the background, laughing her head off, tears running down her face.

"Look at the FLOWERS, all BLOODY withered!!!" Saguru warbled in English. Aoko sleepily noted that he had a pretty good singing voice. "Isn't it GRAND boys, to be BLOODY well DEAD?!"

"It's just Saguru." She commented. "I think he's getting his revenge on Kaito for scaring him by singing pub songs. Kaito's got his ears plugged but it doesn't seem to be helping much since he doesn't have a body any more."

"Kaito?" Her father echoed.

"Let's not have a SNIFFLE, let's have a bloody good CRY!!!" Saguru cheered as they passed by her. She idly wondered how long this had been going on.

"Yeah. Akako's here too, she's that hyena sound in the background." A weight shifted around her neck and she looked down to find a small message tube on a cord around her neck. She opened it and found some white jade shards inside. A quick glance revealed similar necklaces around Akako and Saguru's necks, most likely Akako's handiwork. "She's finding the whole thing very amusing."

Kaito had evidently had enough of trying to run, since he had now turned around and was attempting to kick Saguru, which didn't work very well since he just kept passing through the larger boy. Which caused the blond to grin and continue to sing, looking like he was trying very hard not to laugh. "And always remember the longer you live, the sooner you'll BLOODY well DIIEE!!!"

"Aoko? Sweetheart?" Her father sounded very strained.


Kaito had moved on from trying to kick Saguru to simply strangling him, which worked about as well as the kicking. At least they both looked like they were having fun. "Yeah, Dad?"

"For the sake of our continuing mental health, let's pretend this conversation never happened, okay sweetheart?"

Akako fell off the chair she was sitting on, arms wrapped around her ribcage, still laughing her head off. Saguru just sang louder, a huge grin on his face. "Look at the MOURNERS!!!-"

"Uh... right." She nodded. "G'night Daddy. Sleep well."

"It's morning..." He yawned. She squinted at the windows on the far side of the room and realised that there was sunlight peeking in from behind the closed curtains. Huh. Morning. "...And take care of yourself, get some sleep. I'll see you later."

"Right. Bai." She hung up the phone, muffling a yawning as well.

"-BLOODY great HYPOCRITES!! Isn't it GRAND boys-"

Kaito flew by, tossing her a wink and a grin. She smiled back at him, tiredly waving her fingers. He made a shooing motion, telling her to go to bed.

"G'night Kaito." She yawned, lying back down and snuggling into the blanket someone had draped over her earlier. Kaito flickered over, brushing a kiss against her forehead as he had done that night long ago.

Only this time, she knew that he'd be there in the morning. The weight of the white jade around her neck was re-assuring reminder of that.

Saguru's voice cut in her sleepy musings. "-to be BLOODY well DEAD?!"

"G'night, Saguru." She muttered, burrowing her face deeper into the pillow, realising that he'd probably be up to this until his voice went hoarse. Same with Akako, who was still whooping with laughter from the floor. But it was a good feeling, a release of emotion. "G'night, Akako..."

Kaito flickered in front of her one last time as her eyes drifted shut, smiling serenely.

Aoko slept better than she had in a long time.

You keep coming back again
You keep coming back for more


The song 'Coming Back' is by the Crystal Method and is a frikkin' great song. Not just great, frikkin' great. Entire sequel was inspired by it.

The song Saguru's singing is a Celtic one called "Isn't it Grand Boys?" and can be either the most depressing song you've ever heard or one of the most cheerfully morbid one you've ever heard. I first heard it the cheerfully morbid way, which is why Saguru's singing it like that.

I have no clue why Akako's acting like that. Honestly. But her hitting on Aoko amuses the Voices to no end.

Pandora was in a white jade carving because you wear white jade for immortality. ^^;;

"Carry Moonbeams home in a jar" is a line from a Bing Cosby song called "Swinging on a Star" "Spirit Ball Mode" is a reference to Shaman King. "That you deserved." Is from the first Ranma½ episode.

Uh... anything else I'm forgetting?