Kittenn: This came to my head when I was thinking about how being Kid would've changed Kaito. Don't get me wrong, I think that Aoko and Kaito really should be together, but this idea was just eating away at me. I hope you enjoy!
And the Lack Red Roses
This wasn't how Aoko imagined her wedding; there wasn't a single rose in sight, red or otherwise. But most of all, it wasn't Kaito standing beside her. Kaito was nowhere to be seen. Just a sensation of broken vows and empty promises.
"Kaito," the young Aoko asked her best friend in a shrill voice, "will you still be my friend when we're boring grownups?"
"Of course, silly! We'll always be together!"
Aoko had dated many men since graduating, but she wasn't going to date again. No, this was her wedding. Well, it was her reception. She was married to the man standing before her. He loved her. He'd take care of her. He'd shower her in gifts.
But he wasn't Kaito. He could never be Kaito.
Aoko loved her new husband, but it wasn't that unconditional love that she felt for Kaito. She cared for him deeply, she loved him, but she was in love with another.
Of course, she loved Kaito enough that she'd respect his wishes to part from her. She kept tabs on his apartment, she knew if he was in the city or abroad, but she would never dare go up and knock on the door. She'd done it a couple of times, but that was when her boyfriend had just broken up with her. Kaito could never turn away her crying face from his doorstep.
But Aoko had all but moved on with her life. She'd go to his magic shows sometimes and his Kid heists when she could, but Kaito, on the other hand, made no move to acknowledge her existence when he saw her. She knew he saw her. He couldn't have just not noticed her. They were best friends for so long. She could pick him out in a crowd of a hundred. He couldn't have missed her.
He just couldn't.
Aoko just sighed. When she was in high-school she wouldn't have imagined her wedding like this. For one, the man dancing with her would have been Kaito. There would have been mop-chases and crazy pranks that the two of them couldn't go an evening together without. The entire place would have been decorated with red roses.
There wasn't a single red rose in sight.
Of course, this had been Aoko's doing. She specifically asked everybody to make sure there was nothing even remotely similar to a red rose. There was nothing red, and there were no roses.
Aoko sighed once more. There were no roses.
Of course, she never let anybody give her red roses. All of her boyfriends had tried before, but she would throw them out. The flowers, not the boys. But she would make sure that they saw the flowers in the trash can. They never bought her flowers after that.
This one had been insistent. He bought her red roses the first time and saw them in the trash. He tried again and the result was the same. So next time he decided on a bouquet of assorted flowers, making sure that there wasn't a single rose. Aoko didn't have any problem with that, and she put it into a vase with water.
And he was the first one that ever asked, "Why?"
Aoko could remember her eyes getting glossy, watering up, and looking away from his gaze, "Because," she had mumbled, "he always gave me red roses."
"My best friend," she had replied in a broken tone, and fell to the ground in tears. "He was my very best friend," she'd repeated, barely in a whisper. He was her best friend.
Her now-husband never bought her red roses again.
He never asked her about her fixation on the up-and-coming magician Kuroba Kaito though. He just stayed with her when she stopped in front of a poster advertising his next show, make sure that the TV was recording whenever he was on it, and buy tickets for her to go to the show. Aoko didn't know if her husband suspected the truth behind what Kaito was to her, but she did find it strange that her husband could allow her to obsess over another man.
At every one of Kaito's performances she would watch carefully. Looking for tricks she recognized. Looking for one that she had deciphered long ago.
The Kuroba Kaito that would stand on that stage was not the Kuroba Kaito that she knew. It was a shadow of him. The magic was amazing, but it wasn't Kaito's magic. It was new, foreign to Aoko. She'd never seen a single one of the tricks before. While it was good magic, and Kaito had to learn new tricks to make it in the trade, this magic wasn't as amazing as Kaito's was. It wasn't just that. It was the mannerisms, the way he walked, the way he talked. It wasn't her Kaito.
The worst part of the show though, and the biggest proof that her friend was really not there, was the lack of bright red roses and doves. Kaito never went a day without red roses and doves. That's how she knew he was really gone.
It wasn't her Kaito that would stand before the huge audience. He was a phantom, stealing Kaito's name and shape.
But Aoko still went to every show she could. She was chasing after a ghost of somebody who was seemingly long dead.
The ghost of her Kaito.
But still, she was getting married. The logical part of her knew that she'd never get her Kaito back. They'd never have a routine mop chase again. He'd never flip her skirt again or pull an elaborate prank during an assembly that left the entire school buzzing for weeks.
Her Kaito was gone. In his place was a magician without any emotions. His fraud smiles really burned into her memory. He didn't love what he was doing. It made other people happy, but it didn't make him happy, truly happy. Kaito wasn't giving real smiles like the ones he did in high-school when showing her his latest tricks, or even the real smiles like the ones that Kid would give to her father, teasing and mischievous.
Kaito was gone.
Kaito was gone, and here she was on her wedding day thinking of somebody who was long dead.
"Aoko?" he husband looked at her, concerned. "What's wrong, darling?"
Aoko furrowed her eyebrows and let out a deep breath. "Nothing," she said, but the tone of her voice was so unconvincing. Her husband let up though, as Aoko walked out the door for a breather. The smoking area was completely empty, save one figure at the far side.
Aoko ran towards him. "Kaito?" she breathed, wondering if she was dreaming.
"The one and only," Kaito gave her a grin, but it was one like he gave onstage. Empty. "May I have this dance?" he held out his hand and Aoko took hold of it. He began to spin her around to the beat of the background music from inside the building.
They didn't say anything to one another until the song ended and Kaito held out a bright red rose, summoned from nothing. "Please, Aoko, stop coming to my shows," he chocked out. "Just forget about me."
Aoko suddenly felt helpless, a world away from him and his troubles. The troubles hid behind his poker face. "No," she defied. "No!"
"Yes," she said through her tears, which had begun to fall steadily from her eyes.
He didn't reply, just flashed a look of regret and turned to walk away. She yelled, "Wait!" in desperation, but he did not turn back. He just continued to walk until he was swallowed in the blackness of the night.
"Wait," she mumbled again, falling to her knees and looking to the ground. "Wait!" she breathed, her hair cascaded down to cover her face and her hand fell limp and she placed them palm-down onto the cement. "Please wait," was barely audible as she finally broke.
She finally broke.
"I'll be a famous magician! I'll use lots of roses and doves!" the voice of a young Kuroba Kaito echoed. "You'll be a cool police woman! We'll be married of course! It'll be a big wedding with lots of pretty flowers."
"Really?" Aoko's shrill voice asked excitedly. "Promise?"
"Cross my heart!" the boy laughed. "I promise!"
And now they had arrived, broken vows and empty promises.