Title: End of the Road
Fandom: Detective Conan/Magic Kaitou
Theme: #22—love you 'till the very end
Pairing: Kuroba Kaito/Nakamori Aoko
Disclaimer: 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.
Summary: Kaitou Kid was gone. There was only Kaito.
This wasn't happening.
There was no way that this could happen.
No, no, dammit, NO!
…but no matter how many times he pinched himself, slapped himself in the face, or any number of other things designed to cause one a minor amount of pain and assure that one was actually awake, Kaitou Kid just couldn't make the scene disappear.
And it wasn't until after he'd realized that he was locked in that he'd found her there.
It should have been just another heist night.
Instead…he found himself here, trapped like this…with his dream beside him, and one of his worst fears playing out in front of him. It was like a scene torn straight from his nightmares.
He tried to focus on finding a way out, but it was hard. Aoko was frightened and upset and angry and crying at him. She'd even taken a swing at him, a blow that he just didn't have the heart to block or dodge. It had landed on his arm; physically, the hit it wasn't really painful, but the mental and emotional ramifications were agonizing.
He tried to hold on. He truly did. But in the end, he couldn't take it anymore. He needed her to stop. Desperate, he turned to face her fully. When he saw her, standing behind him with red-rimmed eyes and tear-streaks on her face and that tragic, hopeless fury…
His masks, his walls, his façade…they all shattered on that look. He hadn't intended to say it, but before he realized what he was doing, he just spat it out. "Dammit, Aoko, it's me!"
The look on her face broke his heart more than any words ever could have. The sudden dawning of comprehension, the shock of realization, and the horror of understanding…he deflated at that look. His arms fell limply at his sides, and he whispered again, "…it's me."
She whispered his name—his true name this time—and he felt something at his very core shatter into a thousand pieces. But he wasn't prepared for the bubble of nervous laughter that threatened to break loose and erupt from his throat. He swallowed it and instead found himself starting to babble. "Aoko…I'm so sor—" his rush of words were cut off by her fingertips, placed over his lips.
She was smiling shakily as tears slid down her face. "Kaito…" The same hand that had silenced him moved up his face to brush away the hat and the infamous monocle; the former floated away, while the latter hit the floor and shattered on impact.
Kaitou Kid was gone.
There was only Kaito, left without the cherished protection of either of his masks—the one made of glass and metal, or the one made of smiles and jokes. There was only alarm, sorrow, and terror that tore through what remained of her anger and left it in tattered shreds.
She thought she told him she loved him—his eyes certainly widened in shock—as she let herself fall forward against him, wrapping her arms around him in an awkward hug. And she just let herself cry.
Kaito, meanwhile, was initially too stunned to move. Everything that was happening had sent him into overload. They'd really reached the end of the road this time, and it was all his fault. But she'd only gone with him in his worst nightmares, and never like this. And yet…here she was, clinging to him as fiercely as possible, seeking comfort in their darkest moment. She knew, and she wasn't pushing him away…she loved him even though he was breaking her heart. She had told him so.
Kaito sighed and wrapped his arms around her as tightly as he could. "Aoko…Aoko…" He could feel her shoulders shake, hear her hoarse breathing as she wept into his shoulder. He couldn't help but wonder what—or who—she was crying for.
"We'll still be together, right?" she whispered.
"I won't let you go," he promised.
And locked in the room with them, the timer on the bomb counted down the final seconds.
PS. Yah, yah, more angst…I loves it so. Nice and short, this one—I think it's the shortest one I've written on this challenge thus far. Twenty-five down, fifteen to go. We're getting there, we're getting there! I've had this idea for a while, so it's sort of a relief to just get it down on paper and out of my head. Joy! Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, everyone! Much love!