Ring

Kaito was pouting. Originally, he'd been thrilled with the increase in quality Shinichi time outside his heists. He didn't realize how hard getting it on a regular basis would be. Between suspicious officers, overprotective friends, an ever-increasing caseload, and the detective's exhaustion they'd barely had any private time together.

When Shinichi did make time just for him, he usually took one look at the tired teen and promptly began to mother him instead. The one exception was when he took him home to introduce to his mother. Nyoko took one look at her son's adorable new friend and almost twin and happily joined the ranks of mother hens. He was starting to think she was going to try trading him out for new model.

The tendency to smother the detective was starting to win Shinichi's friends over to his presence, but assistant sleuth-sitter wasn't the claim he wanted over him. They both were hesitant to put a name to their relationship but…

Darn it! If I didn't think it would decrease my Shin-chan time, I'd super glue a flashing neon "Property of Kuroba Kaito" light on his forehead and lace the Beika water supply with antidepressants. Maybe then I could get him to concentrate on me for five minutes without some sociopath or sycophant sending him running off.

At least the heists were still fun. If anything the private closeness had increased the entertainment value. The personal knowledge they'd both gained made their little dances keep them miles ahead of the other competitors instead of minutes. Still not far enough to mute the disgusted rants Nakamori was beginning to indulge on their obvious mutual enjoyment of the game. He'd nearly fell off a trick wire laughing the first time the accusation "crime scene not a nookie spot" was directed at the blushing detective.

None of this made him an official anything. Well, except for a pain in the ass. Shinichi had informed him of that several times.

Kaito had always had trouble reading his only real rival. There definitely seemed to be a mutual interest though. He hoped the hints he was able to pick up were right, but even so he'd have to risk it. He didn't think the other teen would harshly refuse or reject him even if he was misreading the other, but he wanted some acknowledgement he was… special to the other. He nervously fingered the white gold promise ring he'd purchased weeks ago. A simple diamond was placed in the center. Inside the band he had kept a poker theme and engraved a clover modeled from his own charm, a heart, and a spade. He figured the detective would get the message.

Every time he thought he'd worked up the nerve to bring up the subject of their non-relationship, something seemed to pop up that Shinichi just had to deal with right then. He'd double checked Shinichi's plans and threatened the Tokyo PD with imminent mayhem if they were interrupted again. As it was he'd asked Shinichi for his favorite restaurant and made dinner reservations for tonight. He needed to finally do something or he was going to snap in a truly spectacular fashion.

He slipped his hand out of his pocket and held the door open for his date—who cared if they'd never officially called it that? He had some territory in need of marking and a ring had a lot more class than a neon sign on the face. He glared as some of the detective's fans stopped to eye him.

The irritation faded as soon as they were seated at the window table in the back and away from any prying eyes or other disturbances. He'd finally gotten Shinichi alone, but his nerves were back to trying to convince him he'd better off jumping into an aquarium than making any declarations of intent. He'd spent the most of the meal ignoring his entrée in favor of picking his napkin into an origami three headed duck billed platypus. As he heard his companion decline any dessert and the server move away, he knew it was do or die time. He forced himself to face… an empty chair?

Where'd Shinichi go?

He jumped in his seat as the vanishing detective cleared his throat next to him. He snapped his head back only to freeze.

B-b-b-but I'm

His mind protested even as the rest of him wanted to cheer. Shinichi had slipped around the table and dropped into the traditional kneel next to his chair. A suspiciously similar ring was being brandished at his stunned escort.

Far from worried, the detective looked completely self-satisfied at the effect he was having on Kaito. "Kaito, would you do me the honor?"

Instead of answering, Kaito's mind began to connect the various dots he'd collected over the week. Tension washed away and he threw back his head and laughed.

"You knew!" Kaito accused between snickers once most of his relieved hilarity had faded. "The matching ring, the abrupt endings to our meetings, the constant surveillance from your friends and interruptions, the smirk the jeweler gave me when I picked up the order. It was all you! You wanted to see me squirm, didn't you?"

"Ring?" Shinichi's innocent tone failed completely against the smug expression that had yet to waver. He dropped any attempt at it. "Detective, remember? You weren't exactly being subtle. Actually, once I found the shop you'd gone to I had to stall until my own order was done. I wanted them to complement each other."

Kaito remained silent and picked up the ring to examine it better. Four sapphires –the stone of destiny his mind quipped—the same color as his eyes made up another clover. He looked inside and laughed.

To my Joker.

He thrust it back at the detective and demanded Shinichi put it on him. Then with a small explosion of smoke he switched their places.

Holding up the other ring he informed the still smug Shinichi even as he slipped the band on the detective's hand, "You're just lucky I'm too happy to properly avenge myself right now."

"Don't be a sore loser," he retorted. "You're still getting away with the jewel." Shinichi's face had softened though and the arms that came around his shoulders and lips pressing against his implied he shared the sentiment.

Shortly afterwards, the rest of the establishment watched the pair in confusion. They were still trying to find the source of the music that had spontaneously stated playing despite no visible sound systems. Kaito was leading Shinichi through a highly complicated and flamboyant improvised dance routine. The detective followed every haphazard move he made without missing a beat.

Kaito was determined to keep the detective in his arms for as long as he could. The pleased flush on the other's face, the subtle preening he was still caught up in, and determination not to get left behind by Kaito's rapid changes even as he leaned trustingly into his arm kept pushing Kaito to greater lengths to hold him close. He didn't think this could ever get old.

I suppose I can handle being upstaged every once in awhile. Besides, I bet he doesn't know about plan B. He really should know to always look out for plan B with me.

After all Kaito wasn't the type to wallow in uncertainty. He may have worried about the partner's willingness to commit, but he was hardly going to let that little detail keep him from what he wanted. Shinichi shot him a suspicious look as the grin on Kaito's face took a wicked edge.

Plan B had involved a late night jaunt through to pick up their respective family registers. What was a little forgery between friends? Some excessively droll forms and a few carefully copied signatures later, and he was a taken man. Kuroba Shinichi had a nice ring to it. He was sure his somewhat illicit spouse would understand as soon as he saw how nicely the Kuroba name sprawled across the headlines. In the meantime, Kaito should probably hold on to the files until his partner stopped trying to make himself a widower.

The honeymoon is going to be interesting.

A/N: Shinichi's card is the ace of spades. The four-leaf clover is supposed to represent Kuroba, but Kaito's just a wildcard all over.

Thanks to Jaaku-san, Sama, Renkin-chan, Bleak Decemberangel, Eyeinthesky, lady firefox, L1feGo3s0n, jesica69, RAGA, Katty008, arykXkyra, just anie6142, Redmage2, and Alias for the kind reviews. I hope you all enjoyed the trip.