Good Luck or The Way to a Tantei's Heart Is an Escher Painting
Shinichi had to give Kaito some credit. Even though he could feel the magician's heart racing through the fabric of their shirts and he had to be worrying himself into a fit over his earlier concerns on whether or not Shinichi would forgive and forget his more incriminating secrets, the only thing Kaito did was hold Shinichi tighter. The detective felt a bit of fondness creep through at the confirmation of Kaito's professed commitment and discreetly leaned back a bit more in a silent request for the thief's trust.
"What happened?" Nakamori stopped any attempt at defensive waffling and zeroed in on the blood soaking the card. Evidence of KID's pranks and traps were plentiful once you gained his attention, but evidence of violence on the thief's watch was anything but expected.
"It looks like I had a guardian stalker in the park earlier. We found this in the man that attacked me," Shinichi explained. He ignored the smug look Satou felt the need to throw at Nakamori. "It's one thing for the thief to keep an eye out for me, but care to explain why he felt the need to shadow my date?"
"I'm sure there was a reasonable explanation for KID's actions…" Nakamori tried to bluff, but stopped and snorted in disbelief at his own words and the unfazed expression on Shinichi's face. He sighed and stopped the pretense. "Damn it Kudou. It's true. We're sorry, okay? No one really knew what to say, and we figured you'd be more than capable of handling yourself and that idiot thief. Can we just forget it already?"
"And it's not like we just left you to twist in the wind," Satou offered. "We've been trying to handle the situation on our end. And… it is KID. How bad could it be?"
"You know what really pisses me off the most?" Shinichi mused calmly though both officers flinched at the uncharacteristic cursing. "It's how both of you only conveniently remember I'm a civilian when it suits you. Not that it stops you from turning around and throwing me to the wolves later. It doesn't matter if KID is an admirer, a nuisance, or a threat. It doesn't matter if I am an asset you trust or a liability that needs to be protected." His voice bit it their consciences awake at the flat frustration contained in it. "You owed me more than this, if not as a coworker than as a friend. Look me in the eye and tell me you couldn't have handled this in a better way."
Taking a deep breath to regain his calm Shinichi cut them off before they could respond, "But unless you want your superiors—the superiors who all happen to borderline worship and frequently attempt to recruit me—to learn all the details of this fiasco then you're going to make it up to me right now." The smile that stretched across his face did nothing for their peace of mind.
"What did you have in mind Kudou?" Nakamori sighed in defeat. He just wanted to get away from Shinichi and let the detective take out the rest of his temper on his regular police contacts and friends. Maybe introducing him to Kaito-kun wasn't the best idea?
"Nothing I think you'll object to Nakamori-keibu," Shinichi assured. "After all, as detectives we all have a duty to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to get away with what they want. Especially when what they want is me." Shinichi summarized the last bit in more of a mutter to himself.
"Go on," Nakamori said in reluctant encouragement. Whatever it was, it sounded bad for KID. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't a little interested.
"To that effect, I propose that Kaito-kun and I conduct our next date at the same time as the next KID heist," Shinichi concluded.
He nonchalantly ignored the group cry of "What!" echoing in the lobby. Though his hanger on's tone was better described as more petulant than shocked.
Shinichi went on regardless of the response his request had generated, "I trust that won't be too much trouble Nakamori-keibu?" Nakamori pointed at his own chest with a look of 'what does that have to do with me?' but kept his own annoyance in check to keep from reigniting Shinichi's own annoyance and escalating the situation again. "After all, we can't keep track of KID and account for his whereabouts at any other time. The only way to keep his interference in our little experiment to a minimum is to keep him occupied at the one time we can rely on him to be somewhere. As long as we correctly interpret where and when that somewhere is, Kaito and I can enjoy ourselves freely elsewhere."
"I suppose that makes sense," Nakamori admitted. "Heh, and wouldn't it really burn the damn thief if I told him what you were doing during the heist." Nakamori grinned in evil glee. The idea of letting the loser down easy had no place in the wounded ego of the Kaitou KID task force leader. He turned a look of grudging pride to his surrogate son. "So you two?"
"Eh?" Kaito engaged in round two of kicked stupid puppy as Shinichi watched in completely justified satisfaction. Teleportation magic isn't quite as effective as you like to advertise, ne Kaito? Ah well, in this instance that's for you to figure out and for me to laugh and watch the trick play out. Shinichi briefly considered the trouble this would cause KID's accomplices, who would likely have to bear the brunt of providing him with an alibi. He decided it was easily justified as karma, considering that they had no doubt helped Kaito set up quite a few of his more embarrassing attempts at flirting during the heists.
That was the second time today Nakamori had seen Kaito rendered speechless and the first time he could remember seeing anyone put the boy this amusingly off balance since Toichi had died. Make that two reasons he had to continue supporting Kaito and Shinichi's relationship.
"He's actually surprisingly good company," Shinichi magnanimously intervened. He took a long side glance at Kaito along with Nakamori. "When he talks at least. Of course, I'm not sure if Kaito-kun's willing…"
"Oh course he is!" Nakamori interjected. "He's been talking nonstop about this date all week. He's just, uh, happy to hear about a second one. And that one will go off without a hitch. I guarantee it!"
"Can we really justify devoting police resources to this?" Satou tried to argue despite the dirty looks that both Nakamori and Shinichi shot her. "I'm just saying this is an odd interpretation of serve and protect…"
"Now someone has an attack of professional integrity?" Shinichi snorted. "We're way passed the point where that was a legitimate question."
"Yeah," Nakamori supported. "It's KID and Kudou. Who are you going to find in the police force that will volunteer to sort out a mess with not one but both of them involved? Not me." He made a shooing motion. "You're more than welcome to try. Don't forget the aspirin."
"Besides, Satou-keiji," Shinichi angelically interrupted before she could continue an already lost argument. "I'm sure your division will be far too busy to worry about little details like that. After all, Nakamori-keibu is willing to handle KID, but someone has to take care of the rest of the crazies that I attract."
Shinichi watched in thinly veiled amusement as Satou paled far quicker than could be considered healthy. Everyone paused to consider the sheer amount of insanity that was attracted to the detective. KID was just the most harmless tip of the monumental iceberg of Shinichi's daily dose of lunatics.
"Now Kudou-kun," Satou's falsely reassuring but shaky voice gave away the continuing mental images plaguing her, dredged up by continuous exposure to the fallout around the teen. "Surely that's an overreaction. I'm sure everything would be fine even if…" She drew a hand to her face as the words caught in her throat and muttered. "Forgive me Megure-keibu, everyone. I don't think I can finish that sentence."
Shinichi twitched at the unintended dramatics and defended, "Maybe it wouldn't be that bad, but I'd still feel better if the officers of division one were considerate enough to…"
The elevator dinged and began sliding open behind them releasing an obnoxiously loud confused babble of voices along with its passengers. The same voice that had earlier awkwardly offered to wait for the next elevator and give him his privacy now growled, "That's him. Call the police!" Shinichi yelped as he was halfway wrenched out of Kaito's grip by a heavyset man.
"What do you think you're doing?" Kaito bristled and pulled Shinichi back in a tug of war.
"This man may be a murderer!" the man snapped back and nearly jerked Shinichi's arm out of his shoulder blade.
"Now wait a second," Nakamori put in his own two cents. "What makes you think Kudou-kun is a murderer?" He cut off the man's retort before he could get any more defensive at the derogatory drawl Nakamori had added to the term murderer when used in description of Kudou Shinichi. "And don't even start with me. I'm Inspector Nakamori Ginzou of the Tokyo PD. And this is my associate, Officer Satou. Drop the boy's arm and kindly explain the grounds for your accusation… Now!"
Shinichi sighed in relief as his arm was returned to his possession only to have it promptly stolen and examined by the worried Kaito next to him.
The man sputtered at the sudden demand and interjection of authority from the other man and replied, "This man was seen acting very suspiciously just a few minutes ago and this lady saw a body falling from the upper levels around the same time. You tell me what we're supposed to believe."
"That's him," a woman standing next to him whimpered and pointed at Kaito. Frantically she shouted, "He's the one that fell down the stairs." Everyone blinked at her.
Nakamori twitched and turned on Kaito, "Kaito! Did you bungee jump down the stairwell?" The onlooker unfamiliar with the magician switched their stares from the confused, hysterical woman to the angry police officer at the odd accusation.
"Don't be ridiculous," Kaito scoffed and huddled behind Shinichi defensively, hugging the detective again. "Bungee jump down a stairwell." He grumbled for lowly enough that the complaint was only heard by Shinichi, "I rappelled. Huge difference. Bungee jump down that narrow a space from that height. Totally inappropriate. Some people…"
Shinichi briefly debated the benefits in resuming his earlier self pity fest versus joining the increasingly chaotic fray as everyone else erupted into a loud debate on what exactly happened. The only other party involved in the debated events was preoccupied with his own rant and occasionally laughing quietly in his ear at the spectacle he'd helped to incite.
Sighing in exasperation, Shinichi lightly elbowed the distracted, mumbling magician and jerked his head briefly in indication at the exit before dragging the loose arms from his shoulders and effecting his own escape from the mob. Once clear of the glass doors, he ducked out of sight to linger against the wall near the police and sports cars obviously belonging to their respective rides. Kaito appeared a minute after, apparently deciding a discrete—for a change—exit of his own was in order.
"So, how long do you think they'll take?" Shinichi offered a neutral topic. He didn't think their previous private discussion had gone too well. However, now he had a few answers, or at least ammunition, of his own.
"Incompetent!" Nakamori roared at whichever poor civilian had tried and failed to criticize him. The ensuing rant trailed off in volume if not vitriol.
"When he's in this mood? Take it from a professional in annoying him. This could go on for hours," Kaito accepted the figurative olive branch and slouched next to Shinichi.
"If you want us to arrest someone that badly, why don't you volunteer?" the dulcet siren of Satou's threats drifted through the glass of the windows.
"That's looking more and more likely," Shinichi humorlessly chuckled. "As long as we have plenty of time to kill, what are your plans for our next date?" He deliberately kept his eyes on the sky as he popped 'the question' to the thief. Kaito was hiding it well, but the last several turns their evening had taken obviously had him completely off balance. Shinichi would just have to enjoy it for the brief period it was likely to last.
"Mou~. You're a meanie tantei-kun," Kaito declared. "I may, just maybe mind you, have crossed a few more barriers than I should have, but that's no excuse to get Nakamori's crew involved and abandon me." Shinichi just knew if he looked over at the thief now there would be a pout of monumental proportions on his face.
"Meanie, am I? Consider it a punishment game," Shinichi mercilessly countered. "I was going to let you decide the place since I picked the time, but if it's so much trouble, why don't we call the whole thing off?"
"You were serious about that?" Kaito half shouted. Shinichi chanced a glance only to stumble a half step away as Kaito invaded his personal space with a shocked expression and hopeful, wide eyes.
"Baaaro!" Shinichi drew out the insult, rolled his eyes, and glared in the opposite direction. "I was the one that suggested it in the first place."
"Yeah," Kaito stuttered still confused. "But the bet…"
Shinichi's glare returned to Kaito as he interrupted, "Do you really expect me to count a gamble that the player doesn't even try to win?" Kaito shifted guiltily at the accusation. "I don't appreciate being underestimated. Or did you think I wouldn't catch that you've just been playing with me all along? From the start you never intended to win anything, just lay the groundwork for future advances and maneuver me into a more agreeable mindset. All this because you didn't think I could handle even the concept of a relationship with you."
Some of Kaito's own irritation must have been prodded back to life since he reminded Shinichi, "Like you handled our little rooftop… interlude?"
Shinichi held Kaito's hurt gaze, "I'm not saying I don't have my own problems or some reluctance on how to proceed, but I'm willing to work on them. Whatever you think my issues are, you can't trick me into a relationship with you in spite of them. I can't keep running off, and you can't manipulate me if either of us expects to develop into any kind of relationship. We are actually going to have to, heaven forbid, honestly talk to each other. I'm not saying we won't have many, many more problems along the way, but if you can't wait for me to get there with you instead of trying to drag me along by any means possible, then maybe we shouldn't be thinking about where to go from here at all."
Kaito looked uncharacteristically serious as he returned Shinichi's own challenging stare. As the silence grew increasingly uncomfortable, Shinichi began watching the stars instead of his companion again. Idly he commented to break the silence, "Besides, the only reason I lost the damn bet was because you caught me off guard." The odd admission did the trick as Kaito was startled into laughter.
With a hesitant, but increasingly warm smile, Kaito boldly asked, "So where do you want to go from here, Shinichi?"
"Well," Shinichi pondered aloud. "First, I'm going to go home and try to figure out what grave, masochistic mental deficiency I'm harboring that makes an irritating, narcissistic moron whose main hobbies are criminal activities and defying reality attractive to me." Kaito smugly polished his nails on his t-shirt at the extremely backwards compliment. "I shouldn't have to look too far in my family tree to find the source of that. Then I'm going to hide until the massive sense of embarrassment fades enough that I can be aggressively defensive about it and make my friends suffer the fires of my humiliated wrath. This can never be allowed to happen again."
Shinichi grinned predatorily at the thought. They will feel my pain! Never piss off someone with my resources and mean streak. Just because I prefer to use them for the greater good doesn't mean I can't turn those same qualities to vengeance when the need arises. And there is clearly a need.
"Yooooo!" Kaito snapped his fingers in front of Shinichi's face as he began to feel slightly freaked out. "Just checking, but am I on that list? Pleeeeease say no."
"No," Shinichi quickly and blithely assured. "After all, you did apologize and clarify the… situation for me. Besides, I think you're going to have enough trouble dealing with my little bit of revenge. That is, if you're still interested in that second date?"
"Certainly!" Kaito chirped. He shifted from foot to foot a few times before blurting, "Permission to glomp?" Shinichi stared. "Hug? Snuggle? Engage in a manly embrace?"
Shinichi sighed and held up a hand to halt the flow of words, "How about we just see how it goes on the physical affection side and you promise to not push any further if I tell you I'm not comfortable? That would probably be easier than constantly having to watch out for sneak attacks of inappropriate behavior when you start having self control issues."
"You have my solemn vow," Kaito swore, then proceeded to return to his new favorite hobby of holding the detective. "Comfortable?"
"It is kind of cold out," Shinichi avoided a direct answer and hoped the frequent exposure to Kaito's clinginess would eventually wear down his own reflexive blushing at the first sign of it. He grabbed Kaito's left hand as it started to drift lower. "Not comfortable."
Laughing, he hugged the detective closer, nuzzling his hair, and approved, "I can work with this plan. Hey, Shinichi? I'm really, really happy right now. So I guess you're not as bad at relationships as you thought."
Shinichi gave in to the recurrent blush and mumbled, "You really are a moron. You know that right?" He ducked his head down so Kaito couldn't see his face. "Let's just hope my learning curve can handle you." He hesitated and added, "What about your plans? I'm not going to be much help on the, um, planned activities side of things for awhile."
"Well, if you don't mind me taking the lead for now?" he paused as Shinichi shrugged in approval. "Then, I think this sounds like so much fun." He squeezed Shinichi in excitement, which was probably the only thing that kept him from bouncing at the proclamation. "I get to spend time with Shinichi and mess with Nakamori the same night. The rest is just details. As a magician, I'm all about the details."
"Technically, that's a detective's job," Shinichi argued lazily. Kaito really was warm and it wasn't like they had anything better to do. This is nice.
"Of course it is," Kaito patronizingly conceded. "Magicians just do it better. Or at least I do." He blazed on before Shinichi could dispute him. "But that's okay, I'm pretty sure detectives aren't supposed to be stunningly pretty and amazing enough to derail poor, unsuspecting thieves from their objectives. But you do."
"Nice save," Shinichi applauded. "It kind of loses some effect since I'm pretty sure you practice your compliments on yourself in the mirror every day."
"Maybe I do. Maybe I don't," Kaito huffed in mock offense. "But I can still see your blush spreading to all kinds of interesting places right now, so I'll consider it a compliment well paid." He snickered as Shinichi landed a good swat on his head but didn't bother moving. "So do you mind if I just surprise you on our next date?" Kaito was satisfied with successfully flustering the detective to a point where he was actually at a loss for words and wanted to take his victories when and while he could.
"Do what you want," Shinichi said while trying not to sulk at having lost the chance to retort and their little repartee by default, "on the date! I mean on planning the date." He was quick to clarify as Kaito's face lit up and a devious grin took center stage and stayed there.
"Speaking of surprises, how would you like a little creative input and assistance from a professional prankster when you discuss your issues with your friends?" Kaito slyly offered. "For some small reward of course."
"Of course," Shinichi dryly quipped. "Reward aside, I'm assuming you took the opportunity to program your phone number on my cell when you confiscated it? I wouldn't mind discussing that or other topics with you until we get a chance to meet up again." Shinichi scratched a cheek as he made the admission. He was sure he would think of more than enough questions for Kaito before they met again, and he wouldn't mind the occasional phone call regardless.
"Naturally," Kaito grinned. It wasn't a comforting smile. "But I was already thinking of having that particular discussion a bit sooner. A ride home would be a good down payment on future services rendered." He dangled a set of keys before Shinichi's nose. Shinichi had a sudden, sinking suspicion on why the light-fingered thief had slightly delayed his own exit when Shinichi left.
"Are those Satou-keiji's keys?" Shinichi fearfully—no-reverently asked. Satou's defensiveness of her 'babies' was legendary in the force. Even Takagi was only reluctantly ever allowed to take the steering wheel of her cars. A fact Shinichi often mourned. It was a shame—no, a crime—that she refused to share them at all. Unconsciously, Shinichi tongue darted out to lick his lips in anticipation. He forced himself to think this through and ask the hard questions, no matter how little he wanted to. "And did Satou-keiji say we could… borrow her car?" Kaito's answering eyebrow said it all. Borrow is such a strong word.
"She didn't say no," Kaito justified.
Car lust soundly crushed Shinichi's remaining ethical concerns. He snatched the keys and pulled out of Kaito's arms, nonchalantly stretching his arms in a exaggerated show of how very not excited he was at the prospect. "Good enough for me," he concluded. Sliding into the driver's seat, Shinichi ran his hands over the steering wheel in appreciation and reveled in the smooth slide of the key into the ignition as the car silently, powerfully came to life under his hands. Shinichi laid his head on the steering wheel in appreciation and barely kept from purring in time with the engine.
"Shinichi," Kaito drawled and poked his head into the driver's window. "If you fondle the car any more explicitly, I'm going to get jealous."
"Cheh," Shinichi scoffed. "My mother raised me well. You just have no appreciation. Does he baby?" Kaito looked on in amusement as Shinichi proceeded to coo compliments at the car.
"If I'd known you found engines this attractive, I would have found a way to install them on all my hang glider years ago," Kaito teased and considered Shinichi's obvious pleasure. His voice took on a more persuasive quality. "Though you know, the ride home is only in return for my input. Securing our ride home is a different matter entirely. I think a good night kiss, minus any interruptions, would be a nice trade." Kaito slid down into a crouch so only his hands and head would hang in the window, looking a bit too much like a starving animal begging for treats.
That's really not fair play.
"Would you just get in the car before they stop fighting amongst themselves and realize we left?" Shinichi fought against his hurt child and/or animal weakness. He yelped as Kaito surged up and tumbled through the window and over him into the passenger seat instead of going around the car like any sane person.
"You realize that you never told me no?" Kaito laughed. Shinichi still blushed, but this time he laughed with him.
A/N: For the record, Shinichi is an established sports car otaku in the anime original episodes. Conan once ran all over a car museum drooling over the exhibits in pure, testosterone driven love. I have no doubt that the second he's legally able (18 is driving age in Japan) he plans to abuse his parents fortune to get his hands on one of his own.
Well, this is it for Good Intentions. I might get the urge to post a prequel or sequel one shot at some point, but no promises. I'd like to thank the people who reviewed anonymously or just had PM features disabled. I appreciated every bit of support and I'm glad you stayed with me and took the time to write me. Also, thanks again to my beta nataeiy1, who hung in there to the not so bitter end and wasn't afraid to point out where I needed to improve or add on. :P Hope you all enjoyed it.