Hi everybody! Yes, it's me, I'm alive. I probably have a lot of explaining to do. I just kind of lost the will to write for a while, and everyday I always thought "Man, you should really go write something." But, I just couldn't get any juices flowing and my stories kind of just fell to the waste side. Everytime I would get an email saying that somebody added one of my stories to their favorites list or their alert list or would add me to one of their lists, it always made me feel like an ass. I'm sorry everyone, but all my previous fics are on indefinite hiatus. I don't want to say they're discontinued. I refuse to say any of them are discontinued until some force in my life prevents me from being able to write. So for those waiting for updates on my old stories, I'd stop holding my breath if I were you.

But, I'm trying to slip back into writing and I'm hoping to get a couple of oneshots up during the summer. This one being the first. I would like to thank FortunesRevolver for allowing me to use the original draft of her story and for BETAing for me. This story is essentially a collaboration between me and Fortune. She wrote the majority of the fic while I kind of just put the last few paragraphs onto it. I basically just pinned the tail on the donkey.

Okay, so everyone please enjoy this fic. Reviews would be wonderful as they would motivate me into writing more. Enjoy!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rain poured down over the town of Inaba in heavy sheets, soaking anything and everything in its wake. Students huddled together under umbrellas, pressing close together to avoid the icy water that descended the sky, putting up futile efforts to remain dry in the poor weather conditions. Puddles sloshed and splashed one after the other as young teens quickly scurried down the roads towards their homes, seeking the promise of warmth and dryness that they provided.

"You sure you don't wanna borrow my umbrella? I live a lot closer to the school then you do, Partner. You're gonna get soaked."

"I'll be fine," a voice muttered softly, silver eyes rising up to scan the sky. "Just worry about getting yourself home. It's just a little water, I'll manage."

"You sure?"

A nod and silence was the only reply.

"...Well...if you're positive... I'll see you tomorrow, Souji. Don't get sick!"

Souji waved silently as he watched Yosuke dart out from under the roof's ledge that they'd been taking refuge under, opening his umbrella quickly against the wave of water that descended upon him. At the gate, Yosuke turned around. Lips moved and something else was called out, but the noise was lost in the rain and Souji simply nodded his head, waving once more as if he'd heard the other, not wanting to cause his friend to return, only to run out into the rain once more.

"...I guess I don't have a choice," he sighed, "Nanako is going to be worried if I come home looking like I was thrown in a river."

The silverette's gaze flickered downward, eying the short-sleeve dress shirt that was the top of his summer uniform. I should have grabbed my jacket today... I knew it was supposed to rain this afternoon...but I didn't think it would come this quickly. Sighing, the teen cursed silently for having not grabbed his umbrella for safety precautions. With one last look at the sky, he
raised a hand over his eyes, clutching his schoolbag close to his chest, before darting out into the downpour, wincing as the icy water fell against his skin. I'd better hurry... he thought silently, turning sharply as he moved past the school's gate.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Nanako-chan, would you like some hot chocolate?" Naoto asked.

"Huh? Would you really make me some?!" The young brunette smiled, nodding happily as her short pigtails bounced around her shoulders. "Yeah! You're the best, big sis!"

"Big...sis?"
"Yeah! You're big sis! Just like big brother is big bro!"

"O-oh. I see. Nanako-chan, I don't think you should--"

"Nanako! I'm home! Sorry I'm late." The new voice in the house shook slightly, holding a tremble to it as shoes could be heard being discarded by the door, followed by the quick-paced breath of someone shivering and trying to regain warmth. "Nanako? Are you–Naoto-kun?"

"You're finally home, Senpai. Nanako-chan and I were beginning to worry about...you..." The young detective's voice trailed off as she turned around, her cheeks immediately turning a light shade of pink as she noticed the condition of her the upper classman's attire.

"Naoto-kun? Are you all right?" Souji stepped further into the house, frowning as he made his way toward her. "You look flushed, are you I-"

"Big bro, you're all wet!" Nanako cried, running around the table, trying to push her cousin back toward the door. "You're getting water all over the carpet! Go back to the mat!"

"A-ah... Nanako, I'm sorry. I forgot my umbrella today and--" As if a small alarm had been set off in Souji's mind, his eyes immediately darted downward, a dark blush covering his face as he realized Naoto's red face had nothing to do with being ill. Due to the rain, the thin material of his summer uniform was clinging to his chest, leaving very little to the imagination. The fabric was
completely transparent, making his well toned muscles- acquired from hours of training and fighting in the TV world easily visible. A strangled yelp escaped Souji's lips as he took a step backward, turning sharply on his heel and darted up the stairs toward his room.

"I-I'll be back in a minute!"

Naoto stood completely frozen, staring with wide-eyes at the spot where Souji had been standing moments before, fighting the blush that was slowly darkening in color.

"Big sis?" Nanako frowned, tugging lightly at Naoto's sleeve, "Are you okay? Are you…sick?"
Naoto blinked, pulling herself quickly from her thoughts as she looked down at Nanako, forcing a small smile.

"I'm fine, Nanako-chan," she muttered, "Would you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate?"

"Huh? Can I?" Nanako's eyes sparkled, an excited look falling on her face. "Yeah! Yay!!!" Nanako followed Naoto towards the kitchen, stopping by the table as the detective opened the cabinet, looking at the contents inside, her eyes falling on two bags of marshmallows on the upper-most shelf.

Of course... Of all the places…it had to be the highest one. There's no way I'll be able to reach that. Unless…

Placing both her hands on the counter, she pushed down and with a swift jump and weight change; she was able to get herself up on the counter. As she carefully raised herself to her feet, she examined the two bags of marshmallows, blinking slowly when she realized there were two kinds, both unopened.

"Nanako-chan? Which ones would you like? The fluffy white ones or these small pink ones?"

"The pink ones! The pink ones!" Nanako clapped happily, before thoughtful look falling on her face, "Oh, but big bro likes the white ones. He says the colored ones taste funny… Can big bro have some hot chocolate too?"

"Of course he can, Nanako-chan. As soon as he comes back downstairs." I must agree with him though… the colored ones do have a…bizarre flavor to them. Taking both bags in her hands, the young detective took a small step back, making room to shut the door of the cabinet, but her calculations were wrong and she ended up taking another step back when the door swung forward, nearly hitting her, then…

"Big sis! Look out!"

Naoto immediately cringed and shut her eyes, crying out in surprise as she waited for an impact that didn't come. When she felt no sign of pain, and she was quite sure she was still conscious she slowly opened one of her eyes, frowning as it dawned on her that the only impact she had felt…was something that was firm, yet soft and warm.

"Wha…?"

"If you couldn't reach it, you should have used a chair or waited for me to come back down, Naoto-kun. You gave me quite a scare just now, I'm just thankful I was able to catch you in time."

"S-Senpai?" Naoto winced, her voice had come out high-pitched and her face felt hot. She was sure she must have not only looked but sounded foolish as well.

"Are you alright, Naoto-kun?"

"I'm fine…" she muttered, trying -and failing- miserably to avoid Souji's gaze. Several moments passed silently between the two, almost no movement being made but the slight shift of the arms or a blink.

"Senpai?" Naoto finally spoke up as the kettle on the stove began to
whistle loudly.
"Hm?"

"Can you please set me down now?"Souji jumped, the request making him blush as he quickly but gently set the detective down, clearing his throat loudly as he looked away as Naoto walked to the stove and retrieved the screaming water-heater.

"Naoto-kun?"

"Hm? Yes? What is it, Senpai?" Naoto called from the living room, kneeling down beside the table as she set a mug in front of Nanako, filling it with the warm water from the kettle, quickly mixing the contents inside with a small spoon.

"Would you like to stay a little while longer?"

"I—what?" Naoto turned, her eyes widening slightly in surprise as Souji flashed her a smile.

"It's still raining pretty hard and I'd feel bad sending you home alone in the storm, not to mention how cold it is…and the rain isn't helping that. Besides," he gestured to the hot cocoa mix still on the table.

"There's plenty to go around, won't you stay for at least one cup? I'm sure Nanako would enjoy that very much, it's not often she gets to see her older friends. And…"

"And…?"

"…I would like to take the chance to spend some time with you as well. We don't get to talk as often as I'd like, we're also so busy with the case, so I thought…I might take the chance while I had it."

"Senpai, I—"

"Oh! Will you?" Nanako piped in, her face lighting up, "Big bro and I almost never get to drink hot cocoa with anyone anymore. Dad is always working…so we have to eat dinner alone too. Will you really stay?"

"I…" Naoto trailed off, looking between the two siblings. Between Nanako's bright grin and the dazzling (for it was the only word she could think of that did it justice) smile Souji was giving her, the urge to say no and leave quickly as she had planned died almost instantly. "I…suppose a little longer could not hurt. If you'll excuse me for a moment, I need to call my grandpa and let him know of the situation." An excuse, but a reasonable one…I've never had a curfew before, but at the very least I should call home and leave a message. I don't know how late I'll be tonight.

"Of course," Souji nodded, "I'll prepare the drinks. Take as much time as you need." Naoto nodded, pulling out her phone as she stepped into the hallway, leaning against the wall near the door as she began to quickly punch in a phone number, placing the receiver to her ear.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"Finished?"

Naoto nodded as she walked back into the room, taking a place at the table, slipping under the kotatsu.

"Yay! Let's all enjoy the hot chocolate together! Open the marshmallows
big bro! I want the pink ones! The pink ones!"

"Alright, alright. Calm down Nanako… You haven't even had any sugar yet and you're already bouncing off the walls..." Long elegant fingers opened the bag filled with the fluffy pink delights. A smile was offered as the bag was held out to the youngest of the three, followed by a squeal of delight as Nanako happily dug her hand into the bag and began plopping the treats into her drink three at a time.

"Nanako-chan, don't you think that's enough?" Naoto asked in a soft tone as she eyed the nearly over-flowing mug in front of the young girl. Marshmallows threatened to pour over its edges, making a small mountain that rose above the rim, quickly melting and turning into an oddly
colored pink-brown slop.

"Oops…" Nanako's facial expression dropped as she looked at Souji with doe-eyes. "Did I…take too many? Am I in trouble?" Souji winced, turning his gaze to meet Naoto's as he silently asked for help. If Dojima saw the amount of sugar he was allowing his younger cousin to take in before
bed, he would have surely been scolded, but the innocent expression on the young girl's face was hard to reprimand.

"It's alright, Nanako…" Souji muttered softly, "Just don't tell your father, alright? I don't think he'd be very pleased if he knew we were giving you all this before you went to sleep." Naoto nodded in agreement, smiling slightly.

"It will be a secret, Nanako-chan."

"Oh… A secret? Okay! I won't tell!" she cried happily, before scooping a large blob of the sticky mess onto her finger, sucking at it happily, the soft notes of the 'Junes theme' audible through the sweet
foam. Souji chuckled and shook his head, raising an eyebrow at the small mess that was forming around Nanako's mug and lips. Making a mental note to get the girl a wet towel, he turned and reached for the bag of white marshmallows, opening it before holding it out towards the young sleuth, making her yelp in shock when a plastic bag suddenly filled her vision.

"Ladies first." The amusement was easy to hear in the silverette's tone.

"I—w-what?"

"Marshmallows, Naoto-kun," Souji nodded toward the bag, "I'm offering you marshmallows before I take my own. Ladies first… it's a gesture known to be polite."

"I know what-! Never mind…thank you, Senpai." A nod was her reply as she carefully pulled a small handful of the white objects into her hand, dropping them into her drink one by one.

"Are you sure you don't want anymore?" He asked, looking at the small amount of marshmallows in the sleuth's drink. He hadn't expected her to take nearly as many as Nanako, but it was easy to count the eight marshmallows that had been placed in the drink.

"I'm fine. I mustn't take in too many sweets. The fat content would cause--"

"—Cause you to gain weight?" Souji cut her off with a small smile, "You sound like Yukiko-chan when you say that… I don't think you should worry, Naoto-kun. With all the training we do, I'd be more worried about losing too much weight. You're beautiful as it is."

"W-what?" A blush quickly spread across the detective's cheeks as her gaze flickered downward, staring intently at the almost completely melted white goo now coating the top of her mug. "T-that-!" How can he say something like that so casually? Things like that… they aren't meant to be
said between normal friends. It…it makes almost no…

"Are big bro and big sis getting married?"

"W-what?!" Two voiced cried at once, four eyes falling on Nanako's
curious face.

"M-married, Nanako-chan?" Souji choked, trying to force down the marshmallows that had lodged themselves in his throat. "What—where did you get the idea that--?"

"You and big sis act like my teachers at school. She said they were engaged and that they were getting married soon. But they had rings…"

Nanako frowned as she looked carefully at Souji's and Naoto's hands. "You two don't have rings… Did big bro not get you one? You should get her a ring!"

"Nanako-chan, the idea that Senpai and I would—it's impossible. We…we're not old enough to get married… and you can't just get engaged to someone without reason. There…there is something called 'dating' first that must be done and we-"

"Are you big bro's girlfriend then?" Nanako asked, a genuinely curious look on her face. "When you're dating each other, you say nice things about the other, right? Big bro is always talking about you when he comes home from school and he's always smiling lots when he comes back after spending time with—"

"N-Nanako!" Souji swooped over the table, covering his cousin's mouth with a gentle hand. "T-that…D-don't say things like that so carelessly… It's not—I don't just talk about—I-I talk about things
with Yosuke too!"

"But it's not the same!" Nanako protested, pulling the offending hand away. "Even dad says you sound like a…" she trailed off, her brow furrowing as she tried to remember exactly what it was her father called it. "He said…you looked liked you were um… twed….tweeder…twiderpated!"

"Twider…what?" Naoto frowned, raising an eyebrow. "Nanako-chan, you must be mistaken. That isn't a word..."

Nanako huffed, crossing her arms, giving Naoto the sort of childish look one
as young as she makes when upset.

"Duh, it's a word! Haven't you ever seen Bambi?"

"Seen... what?"

"It's an American cartoon. A girl from school brought it in a while ago on parents day! Her dad helps translate the movies when they come here! In the movie the little deer whose name was Bambi was twiderpated with the other girl deer."

"I'm afraid I don't understand. I've never heard of the word 'twiderpated' before. What does it mean?"

"It means that you and big bro are—"

"—going to clean up while you get ready for bed, Nanako-chan." Souji cleared his throat loudly cutting his cousin off, a dark blush spreading across his face. "I'll take care of your mug, you go brush your teeth. If your father came home and found us all sitting here drinking hot
chocolate…we'd all be-

"But big brooooo!"

"Senpai, surely you can let her finish her drink…"

"Is that the car door I hear?"

"W-what?! B-but… w-wait! Don't let dad see me!" Nanako cried, jumping to her feet, racing across the room and darting down the hallway, throwing herself into the bathroom in a frenzy.

"…Senpai?" Naoto asked.

"Yes, Naoto-kun?"

"You knew very well that that was the neighbors car."

"I did."

"Then why did you-?"

"…It's nothing, some things are better left unknown, Naoto-kun."

Naoto watched in silence as Souji stood up, grabbing his own empty mug and Nanako's half-empty one, leaving her still practically full one for her to drink. Dark eyes followed his back as the silverette made his way into the kitchen and silently set to work cleaning the dirtied mugs as well as the other small pile of dishes still remaining in the sink from that morning. The sleuth sipped absently at her warm drink, taking not that she'd waited too long to drink it and that it was, at best, room temperature flavored water. Sighing as she lowered the mug from her lips, she stood up and walked into the kitchen, giving Souji an apologetic look as she dumped its contents down
the drain.

"It's of no trouble, Naoto-kun. You were distracted…it isn't nearly as good cold. Would you like another mug?"

"…No. I'm fine, thank you."

Souji began to wash the mugs, keeping his eyes down at the sink. The running water over his hands and the pouring rain outside were the only sounds that could be heard in the entire house. Naoto leaned herself against the counter while she watched Souji as he worked on the dishes. Souji, meanwhile, never looking up from the task at hand. Many minutes were passed by in this manner. Neither of them shattering the silence which they were both surrounded by. Thoughts and attempts to finally speak up and talk about what they both felt needed to be discussed. A question and an answer hung in the air between them and all that needed to be done to hear them was to speak up.

The low rumble of the rain atop the roof and the running water of the faucet mingled together into a gentle ode of water. Seconds passed by the pair. The normally small, cozy, little house all of a sudden felt much to large and a strange chill could be felt in the air.

By now Naoto had already observed that Souji had been thoroughly cleaning the same mug for the past few of minutes. At this thought she figured it was about time to break the silence. "Senpai?" she asked.

"Yes, Naoto-kun? What is it?" he replied, still never taking his eyes from the sink.

"Senpai, please look at me." she demanded softly.

Souji at last stopped washing the dishes and shut off the water. Grabbing a cloth off the counter he dried off his pruned hands and finally turned to Naoto. Silver orbs coming in visual contact with sky-gray ones. Naoto looked deep into the abyss of those plated eyes; searching. She was on the precipice of his gaze, searching far and wide for an answer to the question she so desperately wanted an answer for but was far too fearful to ask aloud.

Without even knowing them for a prolonged period of time, Naoto could usually always figure a person out. A great deal about them she could deduce from just watching the way they moved their body, the way they talked and especially when looking into their eyes. The windows to the soul rarely could hide the truth and Naoto scarcely ever missed it. But in the prolonged period of time in which she had known Souji Seta, she could not truthfully say that she understood him.

It had scared her at first. To not be able to crack this man open, pick around and observe all that there was to him. She felt as though she were in a wet cave with no candle. It frightened her and yet it strangely drew her in. He was someone she could not read at all. She would think she had something about him figured out and then he would turn around with a whole new batch of questions for her that needed answers. He was a mystery. That was it. He was a mystery to her, the biggest and most curious mystery she had ever come across in her entire life. He continues to draw her in with a pull that she can't seem to fight nor does she seem to want to.

"Senpai....was...was what Nanako said true?" she asked. She asked, it seemed that that is the only way she'd ever be able to figure anything out about him. He was too wrapped up in some strange haze of unknown that she both feared and felt attracted to. And while she awaited her answer with halted breath she continued to stare into his silver gaze.

His eyes looked into hers. Slightly jerking back and forth, upwards and downwards. Observing her, seeming to be able to see everything about her. She felt so incredibly naked under his crushing stare. He seemed to be able to see everything within her whilst she could not figure him out at all. All that she was was sprawled out spread eagle before him to see and see he did. No matter how she tries to hide herself from others, to keep what she is and who she is at bay from others prying eyes, he could see. He could always see. That was one of the many things he had come to love about her. He found it incredibly cute how she would try so hard to fool all those around her, succeed and yet fail so miserably with him. To hear her stumble over her words, to see her face light up with a blush whenever he said something that she had never expected to hear, it was incredibly endearing.

From the very beginning he had known there was something different about her. Something that set her apart from anyone else he had ever met in his life. It wasn't simply that she had tried to pass herself off as a boy or that she was a teenaged detective. She seemed to be so much more than she had ever shown to anybody and he was the only one to have ever seen it. It was like finding the most precious and gorgeous of diamonds in the deepest, darkest caverns. When the light is shined upon it, it glows and radiates an aura so dazzling that all other spectacles one has seen in their life seems insignificant. And from this single white diamond comes all the colors of the rainbow, like once you find this gem there is no need to search anymore. For you have found the one thing in your life that can satisfy every want, every need, every desire you could ever have in your entire existence.

"Senpai?" Naoto asked, breaking Souji from his reservoir of thoughts. He looked into her sky-gray eyes and felt himself drifting through them, as if he were floating through the clouded skies themselves. His body moved automatically, he barely registered the fact that he was moving closer and closer to her. He placed his hand on her back and placed the other to the back of her head. He pushed her closer to him as he himself moved closer to her.

"Senpai." It was the only thing she could think to say as their lips met and they became one. She was surprised for only a moment before she closed her eyes and simply let herself melt into the warmth of his embrace and the sanctity of his kiss. She moved her hands up to his back and pulled him further to herself, deepening the kiss. Soon, she moved her hand up to his head and pushed his lips further into her own. Souji began to slowly run his hand through her silky cerulean tresses. They were gone from the world, completely enraptured in one another. The rain, the house, the case, the Phantom Thief; none of them existed in that moment in time.

Finally, the broke apart, both panting for breath. Once again they locked gazes. An unspoken oath, pledge and promise was made between them. Neither had words for the other that needed to be spoken and slowly, a smile soon adorned both their faces as they stood there within each others embrace in the middle of the kitchen. Outside, the rain continued to fall.

"Ahem."

Both of their heads darted in the direction of the voice, eyes bugging out yet still in each others arms. Nanako stood at the threshold of the entrance leading to the stairwell with her arms crossed over her chest, her toe tapping the floor and an irritated look upon her face.

"Dad didn't really come home, did he?"