Unmei Kyoudoutai (To share a Common Destiny)

Immortality comes in different forms. A long-sought-after stone, and a dark curse. In the darkest loneliness, isolation, the only cure is the other. KaiShin Immortality/Vamp Fic! Rating may change!

Chapter 1: The Setting Sun

Hi everyone! Let me first say, this is a KaiShin (or ShinKai) fic, so if you are not a fan of male/male relationships, please don't read it!

Also, I have stolen SOME inspiration from Anne Rice, I admit (who I know HATES people writing fanfiction about her books...but I'm not. Again, taking inspiration isn't illegal, right?)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this!

Warning: ANGST, contemplations of suicide, Vampire stuff/violence/blood, hot magicianthief/detective interactions, character death (natural, supernatural)

Phew, done with warnings...that makes the story look like it's full of this stuff...I wouldn't say it is TOO much. Anyway, PLEASE, PLEASE review! You have no idea how much it means to me! Whether you love it or hate it, I want to know! :D Thanks sooo much~!

I do not own meitantei Conan

R&R~! Thanks!

An easy smirk played on his lips as he clutched the evening's prize in his fist. The wind messing up his already wild hair, he slowly lifted it up to the full moon, brilliantly shining down on him.

It was always this way. He'd gotten so used to the fruitless search for the gem, to watching the moonlight shine through the unchanged stones, that he'd practically stopped thinking about the gem as his target. He continued to perform this test out of habit, but in truth, he had new motivations for continuing the heists…

Hurry up, Tantei-kun. It isn't like you to keep me waiting. Hurried footsteps behind the door made him smile before he let his mind wander back to the gem. Was it just him, or was it actually radiating heat? The amusement in his eyes as he considered the soon-to-begin battle with his rival stopped on a dime, his expression changing to pure and utter shock. The gem was glowing. The previously blue gem was now pale red, a second, smaller gem glowing brilliant blood-red within it.

His heart began to convulse as if unsure whether to leap or clench. Pandora. Finally, I've found you. It was as if the gem had him possessed-he couldn't look away. As he stared, it began to cloud his vision, as the red of the inner gem seemed to move out, move towards him, two lines of red light pouring into his eyes…

The gem dulled, returning to its previous pale blue, shining innocently. KID was vaguely aware of someone calling out to him…someone familiar.

"-ID…KID! Oi, what's wrong?"

The odd tingling numbness that had overridden his other senses, as if he'd been in a trance, gently lifted, and he lowered his gaze to meet wide, worried cerulean.

"KID?" He sounded somewhat relieved at the thief's half-acknowledgement of him…that comatose look he was giving was really freaking him out.

"Ta-Tantei...kun?" Blinking, KID cocked his head, wondering why those beautiful eyes looked so sad… so worried.

"What's wrong with you? You scared me for a second, Barou!" The apparent nine-year-old punched him in the gut before giving him a slight smile.

For some reason, seeing that smile, a rush of goofy exhilaration filled up the thief's chest. He crouched down and grinned at Edogawa Conan, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"You have your soccer-ball-from-hell on you?"

Smirking slightly, Conan drawled "Naturally. Would you like an exhibit?"

"As crazy as it may sound, I'll say sure. This may be our last time meeting this way, after all…"

The little detective's eyes widened in shock, and then eying the large gem still gripped firmly in KID's hand, shot a look of dawning understanding, and fierce curiosity. "Is that it? What you've been looking for?"

Slowly, KID nodded, but he didn't smile. For some reason, he didn't feel like smiling and he had trouble downright lying to that penetrating gaze. So he'd found his target. He should be relieved, thrilled...but all he could think of as he looked at the boy in front of him was...what reason would they have to continue their game after this? That thought-the thought that his favorite activity was no longer…needed…how could things ever be the same between them?

Plastering his poker-face KID-grin on his face, he slowly lifted the gem up to show the detective. "Now all that's left is to get rid of it," he said.

"This is what the organization was after? It doesn't look special." Conan's eyes narrowed slightly as he took the gem from Kaito's grip.

"You didn't see it before?" Kaito asked quietly.

Eyes widening, he said "I didn't see the gem, but I did notice that odd red light…KID, this gem, what is it supposed to do?"

"Oh, well it's..." Kaito stopped, a feeling of dread washing over him…some ominous presence…


He saw the not-child's eyes widen and his body freeze. Without a thought, Kaito leapt forward and pushed the detective out of the way.

His senses were flooded with incredible pain as he could feel the bullet drive through his tissue, ripping through his chest, his nerve endings screaming at his brain to pass out, give up, But his body-or was it his body? -began to fight back, even as blood was washing over him, over the detective he was curled on top of, absolute terror written in his eyes.

"K-KID? KID, no...oh my god, please, KID!"

Odd. Despite the initial blinding pain, he was now more aware of a hot tingling spreading throughout his body, but concentrating on his chest, where the bullet had gone through. Those worried, blue eyes again flashed through his mind. He's worried about me? I'm fine, but what about him?

Panic suddenly overtaking him, Kaito gripped the boy on both shoulders and demanded roughly, forcefully, "Are you hurt? Did he get you? ANSWER ME TANTEI-KUN!"

The boy was too shocked to do more than shake his head, his eyes focusing on the impossible thing that was happening before him.

Where there had been a brutal, ugly, gaping hole in the thief's chest, there was a new layer of unblemished, unwounded skin. Slowly, carefully, eyes wide and breath catching, Conan inched closer, bringing a hand up to touch what should have been the cause of his rival's instant death. Looking up, two pairs of confused, bemused eyes met.

"See, I told you I'm fine," Kaito said softly, moving his arm around to catch the detective who looked quite shaky on his feet. Suddenly remembering, Kaito spun around frantically, eyes scanning for the culprit. His breath finally eased up once he'd confirmed that the sniper seemed to have left them for the time being. Apparently, he figured a bullet wound through the chest counted as a successful hit, the night's mission accomplished.

Kaito's head was spinning with confusion, yet he felt anchored by the warm body he had pressed against him, shaking.

"Is it some kind of healing gem?"

"Oh, well, it's actually... supposed to be…" He trailed off. It sounded so insane, but what had just happened? Certainly nothing normal. Nothing explainable by anything other than the unexplainable.

"I'm going to destroy it…do you want to-"

Before he had finished, bright blue eyes stared determinedly up in his and nodded firmly.

"Let's go, then," Kaito said, gently lifting the smaller body in his arms, cradling him in one as he switched his cape to hang-glider mode. Pressing Conan's body closer to his chest as a chilly breeze made him shiver, he wrapped both arms around him and dove.

In the freedom of flight, Kaito was momentarily able to almost forget his worries, but the events were still so fresh...That sniper had almost hit Tantei-kun, and had hit him…but he wasn't dead. Did that mean the legend was…true? What then? He had never seriously considered what that would really mean-immortality. He had always planned on finding the gem-if it existed-to destroy it, not for some magic power it supposedly possessed. The suggestion that he'd accidentally tapped into its power…the chill which rushed over him with these thoughts was banished just as quickly by the warm breath of the detective clutching his shirt in his fists, his mouth less than an inch from his throat.

Automatically, Kaito raised his right hand and ran it through the shrunken Kudou Shinichi's hair, pressing him still closer and letting his face rest in the hair which was always so much neater than his own…

He was surprised by the lack of objection coming from the smaller form, but then again, they were flying quite high, and there wasn't much the detective could do but clutch to him. Kaito smirked slightly at the thought. But his smirk vanished as he remembered the look of fear in Conan's eyes when he'd been staring at the wound he…should have had.

Another chill washed over him, but he just wound his arms more securely around his rival/adversary (and occasional ally) and let himself enjoy the ride as the Tokyo lights sparkled below them like an incredible sea of stars, feeling as if he were blanketed by the night sky both above and below.

They landed on a little cliff by the ocean. Slowly, gently, he let down his passenger, who quickly disguised the wobbly-ness of his legs when they first touched solid ground.

"So you're throwing it into the ocean?"

Smiling, Kaito nodded.

"Will that be enough?" Conan cocked an eyebrow up at him.

"It should be. And besides… I'm not sure if it's functional anymore after…"

The detective's eyes widened. "KID. What is it? The supposed effect?"

Not meeting his eyes, Kaito paused before letting out a short, cold laugh, quite unlike his usual fun-loving or mirthful KID laughs. "Immortality...sounds crazy, huh?"

Conan's eyes widened, but then he just stepped forward, smiling gently. "Well, whatever it does, I'm not going to complain..." His expression darkened once again. "That was really dangerous, barou, you almost..."

His voice caught, and Kaito shook his head. "I'm fine. Don't worry about me. What's important is that you're..."



"Why do you care if I'm safe?"

"What do you mean?" Flustered (which NEVER happened to Kaito), he quickly sputtered "Well, it's my rule! No one gets hurt at my heists!"

It was faint, but he noticed the slightest hint of disappointment flash over the detective's face. Automatically, he grabbed Conan's wrist and pulled him into his chest, winding an arm around his back, his other hand playing with his hair. "You know that's not it. You're special to me. You know that...that's why..." He gulped and released Conan who was staring at him with wide, curious eyes.

The blush coloring his cheeks made Kaito's heart skip a beat.

"That's why even if I'm not Kaitou Kid anymore...I..."

A smile breaking onto his face, Conan said "What should I call you?"

Looking up to meet the direct, piercing stare, he didn't hesitate any further. "Kuroba Kaito."

Conan smiled at him, and then a slight frown of uncertaintly settled on his face. "So I'll definitely see you again?"

"You'll see me, and soon," Kaiito assured. "I can promise you, I'll be around."

"Kuroba-kun, I.."



"Call me Kaito. Please, Shinichi."

Much to the detective's chagrin, another slight blush crept up into his cheeks at the informal mode of address, but for some reason it just felt…right, somehow.

His relationship with the thief had almost always been somewhat unorthodox. They had always been rivals before enemies. And earlier this year, KID had helped him take down the organization that had been haunting his life for so long. After that day, though, his life had taken quite a monotonous turn. Besides waiting for Haibara to figure out the antidote, heists with KID had become by far his most interesting diversion. The idea that he'd lose that standard, that equalizing weight in his life…it made his stomach turn.

He looked up at the thief who somehow still wanted to continue their game...and in so doing, suggesting it meant as much much to him as it did to Conan. An overwhelming and comforting warmth spread over him at the thought.

"Let's get rid of that gem, then...Kaito."

The next day, Kaito had shown up at the Kudou mansion after tailing Conan there, finally revealing himself in full. It was almost odd, how well they got along when all pretense of thief-detective (which had only been hanging on by a thread by the end anyway) was dropped. Conan had apparently begun coming to the Kudou mansion more often after the fall of the organization, using it as something of a sanctuary. He would spend most of his time in the library reading.

Kaito, for his part, was happily surprised by how much fun it was to just be around his favorite detective, no matter what the activity. After discovering the Kudou library housed a good number of Arsene Lupin books, he'd even resigned to share the detective's reading time…for a while. You can't expect a hyper magician-thief to sit still for that long.

And so they began something of a ritual. After reading together on one of the big couches in the Kudou library (Kaito would often try to read with Conan in his lap which usually ended with the thief pouting while holding his solar plexus) Kaito would hop up and dart around the house to arm it with a variety of booby tracks Conan would then systematically discover and disarm.

Afterwards, they would play 'ball,' which translated to a combination of juggling and soccer Kaito had invented in his attempts at negotiation. He was so proud the first time Tantei-kun managed to juggle for a straight minute while kicking the soccer ball from foot to foot.

Then one day, things changed.

To respect his detective's wish to avoid awkward situations, Kaito was surprisingly careful about phoning before he made his visits. Though honestly, he'd taken to making trips almost every other day, sometimes more-whenever he had the time, really…and he would phone the detective about practically anything. To tell him how Aoko had switched to wearing fish underwear, which had practically given him a heart-attack... or that his mom was trying to get him to start dating... or to discuss what prank he should pull on Hakuba next… but one day, Conan stopped picking up, and stopped calling.

Kaito tried not to worry, thinking that the detective-nerd was probably getting dragged along by Occhan and Ran on any of the multitude of murder cases he seemed to attract. Of course, not like this comforted the magician. If it were up to him, his innocent little Shin-chan should drop his blood-filled violent profession and join him as his assistant magician. He'd actually mastered a good many tricks in a short amount of time, after all…if he were to put a fraction of the passion he put into deduction into magic, who knows what he could do?

Friday, around 5pm, was the one day they always met unless something special had come up. Being after school for both of them had ended, it was a time that just worked well for them. Kaito was definitely looking forward to getting some questions answered…smirking mischievously, he thought about the different creative ways he might get the detective to blush…that'll get him back for being so unresponsive this week! Haha!

It was still moderately sunny outside, so Kaito was thinking of dragging his quarry to the park for a change.

But when he got to the Kudou mansion, every curtain was drawn tightly closed…and the curtains were black, which he found unusual…weren't they white before?

When no one answered the doorbell, he decided to let himself in through a side-window as was opt to do when his favorite detective/friend was being grumpy or slow.

Why is it so dark in here? Geez, Shin-chan, this place is creepy in the dark.

Flipping on a few lights as he went, Kaito couldn't help but feel that something wasn't right… but flinging open the doors to the library flamboyantly, he sang out sweetly, "I'm home, Shin-chan~"

He frowned when he was greeted with silence. Hmph, where is he?

Noticing the door to his bedroom was closed, Kaito smiled and slowly, gently, creaked it open. It was really dark, but he looked over where he knew the bed to be.

And his heart leapt, his eyes widening.

Lying on the bed... was Kudou Shinichi. As in no longer Edogawa Conan. He was back! That little scary scientist girl must have finally come through for him!

Kaito's joy was growing by bounds as he found himself transfixed, simply staring at the man in front of him.

The nineteen-year old Shinichi looked a good deal like he himself, he had to admit, but looking at him this way, his awareness of the resemblance was instantly washed away. With a slight jolt, he noticed that despite the darkness of the room, Shinichi's sleeping face appeared to be glowing. He looked ethereal, unreal. Absolutely, painfully beautiful.

Like a man possessed, Kaito found himself drawn over to the sleeping figure, smiling down at his newest close friend.

Gently, he reached a hand up and ran it through the detective's soft hair, surprised at just how soft it was… as if it were made of dark brown feathers… before running his hand down his cheek.

Cold. Why is he so cold? Taking his other hand, he proceeded to check his hands, his neck, his wrist… before his own blood ran cold. Where's his pulse? Oh you're just being silly, Kaito. He's sleeping soundly, see? His chest is moving up and down…and he doesn't look hurt…

Smiling again and brushing up the detective's bangs from his face, he slowly leaned his own forehead against Shinichi's. Again, so cold…but it wasn't a bad cold, really. It was just different…It made him want to warm him, somehow.

Noting Shinichi still seemed fast asleep, Kaito smiled devilishly as he eyed his face, his eyes darting to one spot in particular. Have his lips always been this red?

Smiling some more, Kaito quickly bent down and placed his lips over Shinichi's deathly-cold (but still soft) ones.

Suddenly, blue eyes flipped open, and a wave of pain shot through Kaito.

He wasn't sure what had happened, even, but suddenly, he was being pressed against the opposite wall, Shinichi standing in front of him, glaring at him in a way he'd never seen. Anger, fierce anger, and fear but motivated by…what? Hate? No. Behind the red-hot terrifying expression, there was a desperate plea, and could he hope? Some affection? But before he could process anything else, a hand was around his neck, choking him.

"Get out of here. Now," he growled in a low, threatening tone Kaito had never heard before.

"Shinichi, what wrong?" He managed to say as he used practically all of his strength loosening the detective's iron grip around his neck by a fraction of an inch.

"You are never to come back here."

His eyes widened. "What? That's bullshit! Why would I stop coming? You're my friend, Shinichi!"

A cold, hard laugh erupted from the figure before him. It made him shiver, it was so unlike him.

"Friend? Don't fuck with me, thief. You're not my friend. Just get out of here."

Kaito felt as if shards of glass were penetrating every inch of his heart, cutting into it, crushing it. He knew he was lying, but just what was wrong? What had happened to lead his detective to act this way?

"Shinichi," Kaito croaked and, boldly, he reached a hand up, running it through the detective's hair again. Apparently shocked at the thief's daring, Shinichi didn't stop him for a few seconds, but then roughly grabbed the hand and threw it back to its owner.

"Please tell me. You know you can trust me," Kaito tried to smile.

"I don't have anything to tell you, Kaito. I just want to be alone. And don't break in without permission again!"

His voice was so cold that Kaito felt his remaining defenses weakening. It wasn't Shinichi's hard words which were killing him, but the pain in his eyes. The obvious pain of some secret…some secret he felt he had to face alone. Why? What was it that he couldn't trust him? He thought they were telling each other everything now…

"Tell me, Shinichi! I'll figure it out anyway, so just tell me, for fuck's sakes!" He was getting slightly hysterical, desperate for anything that would just get that empty, terrified, angry look out of Shinichi's eyes.

Suddenly, it was gone. No, on second glance, it was still there, but it was fainter. Was Shinichi covering it up?

"Listen Kaito," he said softly, calmly, his normal voice back. "I'm sorry, but this is something I can't tell you now. You need to trust me on this, okay?" He looked into Kaito's eyes pleadingly, and softly, Kaito responded.

"Will you tell me someday? You can't keep a secret from me forever, Shinichi. So please…I want to know…"

"Someday. If the right time comes, I'll tell you."

The finality in his tone made Kaito nod once, keeping his eyes on Shinichi's brilliant cerulean ones. They seemed to be literally glowing, boring into him, and that skin…so pale, translucent… what was wrong with his Shinichi? He looked beautiful, but…

With a soft push on his back, Shinichi whisked him down the stairs. When he got to the door, Kaito turned around. "When can I see you?"

Shinichi just shook his head, and Kaito's heart plummeted even further.

"Don't come back, Kaito," his soft voice shook slightly as he said it, sending a shockwave of conflicting emotions through Kaito.

"I'm not giving up on you, you know."

"I mean what I'm saying, Kaito. I don't want to be disturbed. Please..."

Gulping, Kaito nodded almost imperceptibly at the pleading tone and look in Shinichi's eyes.

The slightest ghost of an affectionate smile graced the corners of Shinichi's lips, and he pushed Kaito towards the door.

He turned around to say something else, but Shinichi was gone. But there hadn't been a sound! Heart heavy, and mangled in confusion, Kaito pushed his way through the door, looking back every few steps…

It didn't get any better from then on. Kaito continued to keep an eye on Shinichi as much as he could, which turned out to be more difficult than he imagined it would.

Though he DID, in fact, leave his house (which relieved Kaito some-at least he's not holing up in there!), he would wait until late, until there were very few people around, and it was quite dark outside. So people won't recognize him, Kaito figured based on the detective's apparent newfound distaste for company…

So Kaito could determine when Shinichi left the house, but not where he went. He seemed to have developed an astonishing knack for escaping from his magician/thief-stalker recently, and so Kaito's only chance was to catch him when he first exited the house. Not much luck, though. Shinichi seemed to have developed superhuman speed.

He would say that was crazy, but he knew from experience…stranger things had happened. For the time being, he would content himself with simply being able to get a glimpse of Shinichi, to see with his own eyes that he was still here, that he was fine…hopefully, at least.

It seemed it wasn't only Kaito he had blocked out. There was one very upset and hurt Mouri Ran, for one thing… and an indignant Kansai detective… at least Shinichi left the house when it was just him (Kaito) holding up fort outside…when the others came to check on him, there would be no answer from inside, no matter how they screamed. On one occasion, Hattori had actually broken in, but Shinichi was miraculously nowhere to be found.

He tried not to let it get his hopes up that at least to him, at least he would show himself to him…if that were the case, then maybe someday…someday he would share this burden…

On his way to his usual stake-out one night, Kaito decided to cross through a little park as a shortcut. Trying to distract himself from his now habitual worried thoughts about the troubled detective, he began to concentrate on the crunching of Fall leaves beneath his feet. Crunch, crunch. He stopped suddenly, but the crunch noise continued…though more faintly. Then it, too, stopped.

His heart beginning to beat frantically, Kaito began to walk again, willing himself to hurry but not to look as if he'd noticed anything…something incredibly difficult to do when your blood is pounding so loudly you feel clouded, unable to think a straight thought.

The crunching again, from…wasn't it behind me?

With a horrible jolt, he recognized the man blocking his way.

"Snake," he growled. The man who killed his father…who had started everything.

"Look what we have here. How's your father been, Kuroba-kun?" he said in a horrible, icy, mocking voice.

"You bastard…don't you dare mention him!"

"Oh? Little bird get his feathers ruffled? Let me ask you another one, then. What did you do with Pandora? And how did you survive that night?" There was a dangerous glint in his eyes which was getting worse.

Smirking at him, Kaito said, confidence in his voice this time, "Pandora is gone. I disposed of it, so you might as well give up. Your days of controlling and messing with our lives are over!"

At this, the sniper scowled and brought the gun up, aiming directly at Kaito's head.

Steeling his expression, Kaito faced the gun barrel confidently as he said, "Oh, and as for how I survived that night, maybe you should consider the stone I was holding." He grinned at the slight flinch obvious on the Sniper's face.

"We'll see about that." And he shot. This time, through his mouth. The pain was unimaginable. Death would have been a mercy, but rather the pain dragged on this time…in fact, it increased, as if the original impact was too intense for him to process it fully, but as his cells worked to heal themselves, the debilitating pain swallowed him, and he collapsed, barely conscious.

He was barely aware of a rush of movement before a scream and a horrible snap…and what was that sound? An odd gurgling, a sucking…more snaps. Willing his eyes to open, they widened the rest of the way at the scene before him.

Snake…or what HAD been snake, was now a bloody mess of broken limbs, his neck off to the side, obviously snapped. His arms, too…and he looked…too pale, as if he were absent of…blood. Crouching beside him, and staring at him with an odd look…was his detective. His detective with a bit of blood on his lower lip. His tongue quickly lapped it up.

"Shi-Shinichi?" Kaito was vaguely shocked that he could talk, the wound already almost completely healed.

His eyes met cerulean tinged with other colors-red, silver, gold-swimming around, dancing as they regarded him. "Shinichi?" But the eyes weren't looking into his, they were staring. Staring at his mouth…at the pool of blood, some drying, some still pouring from him.

Kaito felt his heart speed up. The way Shinichi-his Shinichi-was looking at him...it was as if he were a predator eying a cut of meat. Gently, powerful hands gripped Kaito from behind, and Shinichi's mouth, now exuding heat, approached him and captured his lips.

Kaito's eyes widened at the contact. The lips were moving hungrily, possessively, and then he felt a warm tongue enter him, moving around, and he noticed that his mouth was fast emptying of the strange copper taste, as if the blood were being suctioned out… and of course. He was sucking it from him.

Once his mouth had been taken care of for the most part, Shinichi slowly trailed his tongue from Kaito's chin to his cheek, sending tingles up and down the former thief's body.

He didn't stop to look him in the eye, or to say anything. He was like a cat grooming another…he simply continued his ministrations until Kaito was totally cleaned of blood.

Moving a little lower, Shinichi approached Kaito's neck, and Kaito wrapped his arms around him, understanding what had happened…though it seemed too incredible, too impossible.

Suddenly, the detective froze, and backed away, looking horrified. Looking at him straight on this way, Kaito noticed for the first time the pair of long, sharp-looking fangs. Shinichi continued to watch him, eyes wide open, as Kaito slowly approached him, slowly reaching a hand out to him. Shinichi growled warningly, but Kaito only slowed ever-so-slightly, brushing his hand near his mouth, curious to see, to feel if those incisors were as sharp as they looked…or sharper.

Shinichi caught Kaito's hand in a firm grip before he could reach his mouth, and shook his head firmly. Then, a look of shocked rememberance and utter horror flashing onto his face, Shinichi turned to face the pile of drained flesh and broken bones which had once been the murderer of Kuroba Touichi.

"At least he won't bother us anymore, right?" Kaito put in, trying to lighten the situation, but Shinichi seemed to have gone catatonic.

"Shin-Shin-chan? It's okay, Shin-chan! You were just protecting me! Don't worry about it!"

But there was no response. Suddenly, Kaito felt himself lifted, and then a rush of air. He'd never moved so quickly…on the ground that is…they must have been going around Shinkansen-speed, if he had to make a guess. All he was aware of was the warmth of the strong body which held him, protecting him. Suddenly, he was let down, gently, and realized where he'd been deposited. Shinichi had brought him home, to his house.

"Thanks, Shin-chan. Mom's probably getting worried."

An odd look was going through Shinichi's eyes as he regarded the thief.

Cocking his head questioningly, Kaito was surprised when Shinichi quickly stroked his face with one hand.

What was going on? Was Shinichi…crying? Could vampires cry? Because that was what he was, he was certain. Dark, red tears streaked down the beautiful, pale face in front of him, and Shinichi smiled faintly. "Thank you, Kaito," he said softly.

"For what, Shin-chan?"

Shaking his head, Shinichi just held his gaze with his own, willing him to understand. He needn't have worried. Kaito could practically feel Shinichi's emotions, could understand him without him uttering a word. He smiled back. Again, Shinichi ran his hand gently done Kaito's cheek, stroking his chin, before suddenly, too unnaturally quickly, spinning on the spot and taking off.

Kaito felt his heart leap as he tried to commit to memory the feeling of Shinichi's hand on his face…the feeling, earlier, of his lips, his tongue…Suddenly, he shivered as other images fought for entry into his psyche. The mutilated body of Snake…it really had been grotesque, but he had to be strong for Shin-chan. He couldn't let him know it had terrified him.

A rush of wind, and he knew the detective had gone. What if he…He couldn't have heard me, right?

His dreams that night were fitful, full of blood-red rubies and scowling murderers…and of Shinichi shrinking from him. Shrinking away.

When he woke up the next day, he visited Shinichi, intending to just check he'd made it back alright. It made sense, now, why he never went out in the bright sunlight anymore.

Climbing to Shinichi's window, he peered through the curtain. The bed was empty.

His heart thumping, Kaito leapt through into the room. Frantically, he began to search the house. The library, attic, basement, kitchen, sunroom, music room, dining room…but he knew as he was searching it was useless.

Shinichi wasn't there. Shinichi had left. He had left him.

Collapsing back against the wall of Shinichi's bedroom, Kaito began to shake. What had been the final straw? Was it his fault? Had Shinichi heard his weak thoughts?

Or was he already planning on leaving? The haunted look as Shinichi had glimpsed what he'd done to Snake kept playing through Kaito's mind. But he wasn't there anymore for him to comfort…or at least to TRY to comfort him!

It was useless…Letting his poker-face drop entirely, Kaito began to cry. Raw tears of pain, of longing, of loneliness. No, Shinichi. I didn't even get to tell you yet…

Crying, he fell asleep wrapped around Shinichi's pillow in his twin bed.

Shinichi didn't come back after that. Years passed, and he was presumed dead. Ran moved on, got to be a lawyer like her mom and got married when she was 26 to a man she'd gone to law school with. Everyone was told Edogawa Conan had gone back to the states to live with his mom. After Shinichi's disappearance, Haibara Ai had stopped her research on the Apo toxin antidote. She wasn't planning on returning to Miyano Shiho, after all…

Kaito's friends grew up, and were all living pretty normal, happy lives. Aoko and Hakuba started dating (much to Kaito's disgust)...for our thief, however, things weren't so simple.

It became clear to him pretty early on that his body hadn't changed. Not in height, weight, hair length, nail length…from the night he had found Pandora.

This wasn't problematic for the first few years, but then…it become increasingly noticeable that while his friends grew more completely into their adult physiques, Kaito was still trapped at the tail-end of being a teenager. When he turned 25 (though, physically, was still 19), he began to increase modifications to his appearance, trying to maintain the illusion that he was, in fact, changing…

When it reached the ten year mark, though…

It became increasingly clear to him that he could NOT keep this up. In his secrecy already, he'd found himself growing further and further from his friends.

They all had their lives, their normal lives they could live out as best they could…growing old normally, getting jobs, getting married, kids if they wanted to…but basically just having the companionship of being in the same boat, of being affected by time at the same rate as everyone else.

This could not be said for Kaito, who every day began to feel more and more that by staying, by trying to maintain the masquerade of normalcy, that he was just delaying the inevitable separation from his past life that he had to make…and the longer he waited, the more painful it would become. Thirteen years. He should have been 32... but he was still 19.

He had long been avoiding his old friends, acquaintances. Seeing Aoko and Hakuba was particularly painful, not only because they represented to him what he should have had, but they both knew him well enough to see that something wasn't right. It wasn't just Hakuba-kun who was sharp enough to see through the disguises to see that Kaito was still sporting a definitely-not-over-thirty physique.

So one day, he finally left. It had just become too painful to watch those around him change. He realized that he really couldn't maintain his masquerade around them forever. He felt extremely guilty about his mom, but he knew part of her realized what was going on. She knew about Pandora, about what had led to her husband's death, and though she never said anything, the way her pained but loving eyes regarded him recently gave her away.

So when he told her, she understood, and he promised he would visit her. He would write to her. He would keep in touch.

To everyone else, he was going abroad to live for an indeterminate time. It was like that that he left and began a new life of starting off somewhere, managing to stay in one place for between 10-15 years, most of the time. If he really liked the place, he would use his talent as a master of disguise to stretch the time a little longer.

Eighty years passed, and yet Kuroba Kaito was completely unchanged. Woot, next year will be my 112th birthday, he thought to himself with fake cheer.

The whole starting over a new life every 10 years or so had been interesting for a while, but to create relationships only to know that after a few more years, you could never again show your face to them (unless heavily disguised) worked on his psyche, and wore away at him.

Kaito's loneliness was astounding. To be lonely while constantly surrounded by people. His was utter, unchangeable isolation. There was one thing that pushed him on, however...that pushed him to each night, no matter how painful he knew said night would be.

For it was then that he would let his thoughts turn to Kudou Shinichi.

What had happened to him? He couldn't be alive still, right? After all, vampires are supernatural beings but they aren't…immortal, right? There were too many conflicting myths for him to convince himself one way or the other.

Nevertheless, even the faintest glimmer of hope that he, at least, that his detective…would still be alive…it kept him going. He knew unfounded hope could be dangerous, but he couldn't help it. It was what dragged him back from his darkest days, when he would have practically taken anything in exchange for death…finally, death... That sweet embrace…to be with his mother, his father, with his friends… to be around people who knew him, remembered him, people he had a history with, who knew the real Kuroba Kaito (he had a few names he would rotate through to make things somewhat more interesting-the current being Edogawa Conan)…

On several occasions, he had tried… tried to die. But it never worked. He would go underwater, breathe in, choke on the water and lack of air, but the choking wouldn't stop. Until he left the water, the horrible, constricting feeling of drowning would continue to press in on him. He wouldn't die, though. He'd just have to suffer until he pushed himself out. So much for just being able to breathe underwater. At least I could have used that…

It was the same with fire. If he stood in a raging flame, he would feel the pain of his skin burning, melting off and reforming...constant, incredible, horrible burning pain...but it did nothing. Cliffs? No. Pills? No. He was already aware enough of snipers...

All in all, life was miserable.

It was on his 115th birthday that he decided to return to Japan.

Thanks for reading! I hope you're liking it so far! Again, if possible, PLEASE take the time to review! I SO appreciate it!

Anyway, until next time!

mata ne~