Title: In the Beginning
Fandom: Detective Conan/Magic Kaitou
#26—frozen moment at the first sight
Pairing: Kuroba Kaito/Nakamori Aoko
All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I do not own them. I merely borrow them, drop them in a blender, hit puree, and watch them dance. Yes, dance, my pretties…ahem.
In hindsight—even years down the road—he would never really figure out why he stopped.

Kaito really wasn't sure why he was so fond of the clock tower. It was sort of like his strange affinity for heights: he really had no fear of high places, but rather enjoyed them. There were far more interesting monuments around, as well as plenty of places that would be far better suited to a child his age. But it was the tower that he favored. In the end, he supposed, it came down to people.

There were always people wandering around, and he had a certain fascination with people. It was probably crazy in a kid his age, but he liked to watch. Everyone was a different person with a name, a home, a job, a life. Each of them was heading towards a different destination, and each of them would be going somewhere else tomorrow.

He'd said as much to his parents once, that people were interesting. His father had actually looked quite proud, while his mother simply muttered something about his father's son and patted him on the head. And Dad had encouraged him to keep watching people.

His mother called it lurking. He'd had to look the word up—it meant sneaking. Except he wasn't sneaking around, really. He was sitting right out there in plain view, just watching; anybody could have looked at him and seen what he was doing. But he was actually very good at sneaking…except when Dad was around. Dad always seemed to know exactly where he was and what he was doing.

It was really weird.

But it was getting late. That was enough "lurking" for one day, he supposed.

Kaito got up and started down towards the street with every intention of going home when he saw a hint of movement out of the corner of his eye: there was a little girl, about his size, standing off to one side, leaning casually against the wall of the clock tower.

In hindsight—even years down the road, when their unlikely friendship had blossomed and grown into something far, far closer and far, far deeper—he would never really figure out why he stopped. But he did: he froze, dead in his tracks, and just looked at the girl.

She was cute—not that he really truly appreciated such things yet, but he recognized cuteness when he saw it, and she was cute. Her hair was brown and long and sort of messy—a lot like his, really. They hadn't figured out how to tame his hair yet, but his mother had once proclaimed that she was adopting it as a personal mission. He didn't know yet if she was serious or not…

But the real thing that drew his attention was that she was all by herself. And she looked awfully lonely, and sort of sad. And that bothered him, both her apparent unhappiness, and the fact that she was alone. To Kaito's seven-year-old sensibilities, that just didn't seem right.

So he had to stop and ask—it was only polite, after all, and Mom always said manners were important. Feel quite proud of himself for remembering Mom's lessons on politeness (especially where girls were concerned) he tiptoed up to the girl.

She didn't notice him at first, but after a few seconds of him peering at her from around the corner of the wall, she must have felt eyes on her, and turned to look questioningly at the strange boy beside her. She had really big blue eyes.

"What're you doing?" he asked quizzically.

The little girl, who looked like she was around his own age of seven, looked at him in surprise before she looked back out towards the street. "I'm waiting for my father. But he's working…" her voice dropped, "so he might not come for a while."

"I see…" he murmured, also glancing out towards the street. It really was getting late; the sun was setting, and it would be dark soon. He should be getting home before his mother started to worry—she didn't like him being out after nightfall. But he didn't want to leave her here, by herself.

He glanced back at the girl. He may have been only seven years old, but he could still recognize that she looked very sad; it was even more evident to him now that he had gotten up close. And Kaito hated to see other people sad. On a total whim, he reached out a hand.

It was a simple trick, one of the first ones his father had shown him. He could have done it in his sleep, but it always seemed to impress other people. All it took was a simple flick of the wrist to make a red rose appeared in his fingers.

"I'm Kuroba Kaito," he grinned cheekily. "Nice to meet you."

She stared at him for a moment in open amazement, and he was pleased; he liked doing the little tricks his dad had shown him and watching people be amazed. Then, slowly, she reached up and took the flower, pulling it back to her with a blush and a shy smile. "I'm Aoko."

PS. I know, I know, another LJ challenge…but I couldn't help myself. The theme list was awesome, and as I read down them, they just SCREAMED Kaito and Aoko…maybe I should get my ears checked or something, 'cause it was a bit weird. But either way, may I do it justice.

As for the story itself…random thoughts. I just love the story of how Kaito and Aoko met. It's just so cute! Hope y'all liked, feel free to stick around for another thirty-nine chapters, thanks a mil, and much love!

Also, Happy Announcement of Evil: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FYLIWION-CHAN! You asked for Kaito/Aoko, and I'm hopefully going to deliver! So happy eighteenth, hon. And remember: growing up is required, but maturity is totally optional :) Words I live by. Much love!