Chapter 5: Embrace

Finally, we're back!

I am so sorry for the wait! Very busy time right now...have to worry about my *gulp* thesis! Anyway, I wrote most of this a while back, but just wasn't feeling inspired enough to get it how I wanted it. I really don't like publishing chapters until I'm at least moderately satisfied with them, after all. Oh, but I did start some new stories...more KaiShin-ness, of course. I'm stuck, it seems... but go read my newest, Recovering the Self, if you have time~! Thanks so much!

I do not own Meitantei Conan...

Please R&R! It means so much to me! Thanks so much for your wonderful reviews up until now! *hugs*


oOo

He couldn't believe it. Those were the eyes…the eyes which had led him on through darkness, guiding him. To think he was being given the chance to see them again, not as mirages, or as parts of half-forgotten memories, but really, truly, solidly. It terrified him as it filled him with a rush of a feeling he'd almost given up on…hope

Reluctantly, he released his grip Kaito's shoulders, but couldn't move otherwise. He couldn't say anything. He had been content to simply watch him, felt himself lucky to simply be able to glimpse him again from afar…but now that he was close, things were irreversibly changed. Part of him knew he couldn't go back…that he could never look away again, and yet…

Slowly, yet without hesitation, Kaito reached up to him, ignoring how the cold cheek tensed under his touch as heat flooded Shinichi's senses.

'I'm not dreaming, am I?" Kaito asked softly before adding, breaking the gaze momentarily, "No, on second thought, don't answer that…I don't know what I'd do if it were…" Kaito looked back up to meet Shinichi's eyes again, which were watching him intently, unwaveringly.

The familiar blue had darkened significantly since he'd seen him last, but they alighted with some secret fire as he spoke, voice quiet yet nevertheless reverberating throughout the dark room.

"If only it were a dream, then I would be happy to never wake again. But I'm afraid that isn't the case."

"What…do you mean?" Kaito's heart, clenching at hearing the voice of this person he had been dreaming, hoping against all odds, to meet again, began to race at the cryptic tone and words. Shinichi looked just as he remembered him…well, no, there were differences. Mostly it was a feeling, though, some aura which seemed to surround him now, powerful and old, hinting at some indescribable dark seriousness. It was a feeling Kaito was familiar with…he felt something similar whenever he faced his own demons, after all…

Shinichi shook his head slowly, backing away, yet kept his eyes fixed on Kaito's as pain broke through his porcelain façade. He said in a low growl, "I…let them hurt you…those weak humans…"

Kaito blinked, struggling momentarily to comprehend what the former detective was referring to, before his hand unconsciously moved to grip his chest where the bullet wound had been. He noticed in slight surprise and amusement that he was wearing a different shirt, one he'd never seen before, but which comforted him, somehow.

Giving it a pointed look before raising his eyebrows at Shinichi, the vampire shrugged his shoulders, letting an eye stray to his old chest of drawers. Kaito realized tardily that he was sitting in Shinichi's bed in the Kudou mansion.

Keeping his eyes fixed on the piece of furniture, Kaito smiled hesitantly, part of him still unable to believe this was real, that Shinichi…Shinichi…was here…with him. After all this time…

"You were…alive," Kaito's voice had nothing of the humor, the teasing Shinichi remembered. And those eyes, though still bright and beautiful, had additional qualities now mixed in. They hinted at pain, loneliness, isolation.

They captivated Shinichi all the more and yet drove through him, suddenly, just how arrogant he had been to think Kaito's life would be fine if he were to vanish…As he continued to stare at those still-so-familiar eyes, pain jabbed at his heart as he recognized in them too many of the emotions which he knew littered his own.

"If you can call this living," Shinichi finally answered, his voice low. The old anger rushed back to him, anger at the unfairness of life, for doing this to Kaito. The one person he had sworn never to hurt, he could see, now…he had done just that in his rash, selfish decisions. And yet, would it have been any better if he'd stayed? He couldn't see how it could have been, no matter how much…part of him wanted to...maybe more than part of him, he had to admit.

Those indigo eyes were still fixed on him. Kaito's presence, so unbelievably enticing, had Shinichi's conscience and desires battling fiercely for dominance...and as they were preoccupied, his emotions took over.

Crossing the room in an instant, he reached down and grabbed the magician, pulling him into him. Clutching him to his breast, he wound his hands and arms around him possessively, savoring his presence as he'd never savored anything before. Drinking in that wonderful old smell which enslaved him, he collapsed onto the bed and around Kaito's shoulders, feeling as if he were falling back through time as he stroked his hand through soft, wild hair.

And Kaito was hugging him as he'd never hugged anyone. He couldn't believe it. After such a long, horrible, wrenching separation, here they were, together at last.

"Kaito," Shinichi whispered, and simply the way his name sounded coming from those lips sent a tingling chill down the magician's whole being.

"Hi, Shin-chan," Kaito smiled as he pressed his lips to Shinichi's cold neck, delivering a soft gentle kiss on it.

Smiling, Shinichi leaned in to return the gesture...

With a sharp intake of breath, he pulled back suddenly as if he'd been shocked, but a wrenching pain hit him as he saw the confused, hurt expression on Kaito's face.

"Kaito, I…"

"Don't tell me you're going to use the old vampire excuse on me, Shin-chan," Kaito smiled at him, shocking Shinichi so much his resolve flickered momentarily. How can he joke so easily about it?

Shinichi's face tensed. Scowling a little, he muttered "You don't understand."

"Oh? And how is that?"

"You think you know what I am, Kaito…you don't know what I've done…what I've become."

Kaito stared at him fixedly, impatience and affection mixing in his gaze. "Then why don't you tell me? If I don't understand, then help me to."

It took several seconds before these words registered with the vampire. He was too distracted by the degree of feeling that laced them, soaked them. The intensity, the passion, the utter lack of humor. He looked back up at Kaito and saw his eyes were set, determined.

Shaking his head, Shinichi let out a hollow laugh, and an odd glimmer flashed through his eyes. "I'm not who I used to be. I can promise you that. I'm not human, Kaito, and no matter how much you want to pretend that it doesn't matter, I can promise you… I can promise you it does."

"And I can promise you that I couldn't care less. I don't care what kind of monster you want to paint yourself as, you'll always be you, Shinichi. To me, you're all the beautiful…"

Suddenly pausing as the earlier events of the evening came back to him, Kaito looked up and said, "Oh crap, that girl…I left her with those men and…"

Shinichi laughed a cold, brusque laugh, his expression morphing instantly into a cold, self-satisfied smirk. "Oh, you don't have to worry about that scum anymore…and the girl's fine. Albeit a little traumatized."

Kaito's heart began to race a little as he heard these words come from the man before him. They didn't fit him, and yet, as let his eyes track further over his appearance, the subtle changes time and experience had had on him registering more clearly…he felt they kind of did. And as he continued to watch him, a restless, tingling sensation ran down his spine. Looking up to meet his eyes, Shinichi's expression faltered, cracked a little, looking slightly ashamed. "Sorry. I'm not trying to scare you," he muttered softly.

Kaito shook his head and looked at him, his heart rate speeding even further. "It's not that," he said quietly.

Shinichi rolled his eyes. "You think I can't feel your heart beat? I don't blame you. It's self-preservation, which I wasn't aware you had any of. I must say, I'm quite relieved to find I was mistaken."

Kaito scowled slightly before smirking at him, suddenly grabbing the collar of his black suit and roughly drawing him closer. "Oh, is that what you think, my angel of darkness? You think your new behavior scares me? Look deeper, tantei-kun."

Shinichi faltered at these words, and had to suppress a smile at the old nickname. "Then what is it?"

Smirking at the eternal obliviousness of this person before him, Kaito pushed himself up to stare straight into those beautiful eyes before planting a deep, passionate kiss on his lips.

As warm, soft lips hungrily tore at his, Shinichi felt his restraint dropping out from under him. The sensation...it was indescribable. So many times had he had physical contact with humans, several times practically every night of his undead life...and yet never had he felt this. Desire directed at him. He could smell it, could feel it pouring into him like a drug...the sweet blood was calling to him, singing him a private song, comforting him, welcoming him home...

He kissed him back, and suddenly, it occurred to him that his own desire felt different, stronger, and there was an unfamiliar desire pouring from him with almost equal fervor. A desire which enveloped him as he threw himself over Kaito, crouching over him, kissing him deeply, pushing him into the soft bed as his hands wandered, tracing and memorizing Kaito's form, learning the soft touch of his shoulders, his arms. Then, ripping the shirt clean-off with his fangs, he traced him again, savoring the incredible soft touch of his bare skin...

Capturing Kaito's mouth again as he pressed his clothed chest against Kaito's bare one, savoring every last bit of contact, running his arms around to settle on his bare back before moving up, gently learning the contours of his neck before one hand tangled itself in his hair...Shinichi began to choke with desire as he felt something wet touch his lips, a question which needed no words. Parting his lips naturally, Shincihi gasped as a warm, wet tongue explored his mouth. Letting out a low moan, Shinichi bit down lightly, keeping the tongue in place. Running his own tongue over it gently, sensually, he tasted that very sweetest flavor...the flavor he had dreamed about, and yet in reality...it was so much better. Crawling up, straddling Kaito's chest on the bed, Shinichi deepened the kiss before pulling out from his tongue, sucking on it as it slipped away, capturing the delicious blood which spilled from it before gently licking the magician's rosy lips, now coated with lovely little bits of coppery-red liquid.

Warmth...wonderful, incredible warmth... Shinichi traced the contours of Kaito's chin with his tongue, moving down before pausing with with his mouth open, fangs touching down, on Kaito's neck. Kaito's strong heart was beating so quickly, seducing him, enticing him. Ever so gently, he broke through...and it was pure bliss.

His senses were overwhelmed, over-shadowed, all-consumed as the beloved drink flowed through him. Suddenly, everything was right with the world. Never before had he wanted to live for eternity, but with one taste of this, he could no longer see any reason to object to the concept. His...for all eternity, his...Kaito...

The warmth increased to red-hot heat and then...he was back in the desert, that day...that day he had heard Kaito, that Kaito had saved him...and then the desert faded, but the heat only worsened. His skin was melting off, but then it would heal, just quick enough to keep him conscious, yet slow enough so he could feel every...instant...of the horrible, horrible pain. Flames were everywhere, engulfing him. He opened his eyes. He was...no, he wasn't in the flames, he was watching...Kaito?

"Kaito!" Shinichi shot up from his trance, his mind and body aching in painful remembrance. But he was back in his room, and Kaito was here, unburned, whole, fine...but his eyes were closed. And then, in horror, Shinichi saw the thick line of blood running from a sizable spot on his neck. His eyes widened in horror, but he couldn't move. He couldn't jump back...rather, his eyes glazed as he moved to lean down onto Kaito, very gently, softly cleaning the trail of blood from his chest. Instantly, that feeling of comforting, loving warmth returned and embraced him, not so fiercely as earlier, but lovingly, innocently. Hands tangled in Kaito's hair, he gently licked the wound, cleaning it completely until only two little dark red holes remained as evidence of what he'd done...

That and the fact that Kaito's eyes still weren't open. Part of him wanted to jump from the window and never get close enough to hurt him again, part of him wanted to dive right back into that spot in his neck, tasting the beloved drink once again, but rather, he broke through both lust and pragmaticism and collapsed, screaming out for him, stroking his cheeks, kissing his lips, his eyes, demanding that he wake...wake up, dammit!

This was it. His nature had finally run away and done something truly, unspeakably, unjustifiably evil. He was a monster in the worst sense of the word...what was it all for? Why couldn't he have killed himself that day all those years ago? Why had he kept going? Because he'd wanted to see Kaito. Selfish beast he was, he'd needed to see Kaito again. Needed to soak in his presence, to have him. He knew his body desired him, and the thought sickened him, and yet... as he looked at the peaceful face...was he actually smiling?

And Shinichi knew it wasn't just his horrific evil self which desired Kaito. He had been yearning for him, with every fiber of his being, from the day he'd left him. No, before...long before...he wasn't sure when he'd started to love him...and yet, it was hopelessly the truth. And yet, because he couldn't separate his desires, human and vampire, he'd taken him without a thought but to satisfy his thirst for him...

His reason for being good, his reason for attempting to be anything...Kudou Shinichi died with Kuroba Kaito. There was no alternative.

Stroking his face, he felt as if everything were bubbling up and spilling over...spilling out. He began to cry; heart-wrenching, raw, pain-filled blood-tears...he felt them leave his eyes, waited for them to drip down his cheek...but they stopped.

A warm, soft hand was running up his cheek, catching them. Breath catching, too afraid to open his eyes, Shinichi battled insistently against the stubborn hope which was trying to work its way back into his chest.

"Shin-chan? Why are you crying?"

His eyes snapped open, and they met concerned, wide indigo. Kaito's eyes were bright, his cheeks were slightly flushed, and a slight smile was playing around his red lips. "K-Kai?" Shinichi gasped out.

Kaito cocked his head to the side, eying him questioningly, stroking his cheek with his hand. "What's wrong, Shin-chan? I doze off for a second and you think I'm a goner?"

"I-I...thought I'd...I mean, I could have..."

"You didn't drain me even, Shin-chan. If you want to know what knocked me out, I...think I saw your memories..."

"You wh-oh..." Comprehension and relief dawning, Shinichi then shook his head fiercely. "But Kaito, I hurt you and if you'd..."

To his astonishment, Kaito was laughing. "Hurt me? Are you kidding?" Shinichi just stared.

"That was incredible," he said, eyes flashing with mischief. Before Shinichi knew what was happening, Kaito had crushed his lips over his, and had Shinichi, back-down, under him. Pulling back, he smiled down at the hopelessly confused vampire.

"It didn't hurt, and you forget, Shin-chan. You can't kill me. Not the way I am now..."

"But I didn't know that, Kai, and what if...?" Shinichi's eyes were dark again.

"Then you would have been an angel of mercy. You think I like being immortal, Shinichi?" The humor in Kaito's voice had washed away once again, leaving biting, cold seriousness in its wake. "You saw it, didn't you? I believe I saw one of the memories I sent you before you experienced it."

Shinichi nodded slowly, and said softly, barely above a whisper: "The flames..."

"That's right. That was one of my failed attempts to break this damn curse...as you can see, it didn't work so well."

"Kaito..."

Kaito held up his hand to stop him, placing fingers over Shinichi's mouth. "Listen to me. I learned a lot from what I saw in those visions. I know how you see yourself," Kaito's eyes darkened, glaring at Shinichi with an intensity that almost made him shiver. "What a laugh. You think you're a monster? You're too good for your own sake, Shinichi..."

Shinichi almost choked at this. "W-what? Kaito, I...I kill people. Every day, several times a day...I kill people. I know how much you abhor killing, and so we got along back when I used to catch murderers but how...?"

Kaito shook his head sadly, smiling slightly, as if trying to think of how to explain somehting to a stubborn 4-year old.

"Let me ask you something, Shinichi. Do your instincts make any particular...distinctions? Do you ever feel a pull towards one victim or another?"

Shinichi stared at him, considering the question seriously, still clutched to Kaito's chest, wrapped in his warm embrace. Shinichi was too confused and shocked to consider moving...and Kaito's touch was so incredibly comforting...

"Well, not really...but..." He grimaced, but forced himself on. "I...do have...preferences."

"Oh?" Kaito looked slightly amused at the thought. "Like different tastes to suit your palette? Well, how about me? Am I your type?" He winked, but then his eyes widened at Shinichi's hopelessly open shock.

"You mean...you do find me, um...how would you say it in Vampire-ese? Delectable?" Kaito grinned.

With a sudden possessive growl, Shinichi lunged forward, burying his face in Kaito's (still quite bare) chest, running his tongue up him all the way until he'd reached his mouth. Closing his eyes, he paused over the enticing lips, and then opened them again to look at Kaito's staring, but not unhappy, eyes seriously. "If you must know, I find your blood to be more enticing than any other substance I've found. Desire is as good a way as any to describe it. My body desires you. It's extremely difficult to keep in check, but I'm usually good at rationalizing my way to another victim...But I didn't realize how mixed vampire and human desire are..." He continued as if talking to himself, as if he'd forgotten Kaito were even there. "I see now. I can't feel human desire without my instincts taking over...That's why."

"Shin-chan, do you mean...?" Kaito was looking at him strangely, smiling wide.

"Wh-what? What's the look for?" Shinichi asked stiffly.

"You desire me, meitantei? Is that what you're saying? It wouldn't be...more, would it?" Kaito had leaned closer, his breath teasing Shinichi to the point of it being painful, his eyes dancing in amusement, lighting up as they soaked him in further and further.

"I..." Shinichi gulped. "I...I can't be with you, Kaito. You heard what I said...I'll just continue to hurt you, so it doesn't matter...no matter how much I love you, the vampire crap will warp it beyond recognition, and I can't take tha-"

"You mean it?"

"What?"

"You just said," Kaito was looking at him fixedly again, the unfamiliar seriousness mixing with the old lively excitement in his gaze. As if his eyes had come back to life in the short time since they'd reunited. "You really...love me?"

Shinichi froze, and a little blush (possible only due to the blood he'd so recently ingested) rose to his cheeks. Staring at an old stain on his bedspread, he softly said. "I do..."

And Kaito's lips were over his once again. This time, just a long, passionate, yet perfectly chaste kiss. When Kaito pulled back, his eyes were sparkling with all of the excitement and mischief of the old days, and he cupped his hands around Shinichi's cheeks. "Well I have news for you, tantei-kun. I love you, too, and a respectable thief doesn't let go of what he loves...Would never pass up the world's most precious treasure..."

Shinichi blushed fullly this time. He couldn't believe this was happening. As if it were a scene from someone else's life-or his life, but his mortal one. A dream about his mortal life and what could have been...but it was too incredible. That life had ended so long ago... He'd thought his human emotions had died not long after, and yet suddenly, he felt strangely as if he were an innocent 19-year old once again...

But those illusions stopped abrupdtly as he remembered what had just passed minutes before.

Kaito, obviously noticing Shinichi's switch back to moody and dark, just sighed and said. "I didn't get to finish my questions, Shinichi. Okay, so I'm the most attractive to you," he visibly preened at the statement, "But are there others? Others you feel pulled to take, and yet...choose not to?"

"Well, yeah, of course..." Shinichi frowned. "As sick as it is, I believe vampires are more attracted to the blood of souls they could connect with more easily...I don't know for sure, but you're so..." he blushed again. "But really, whenever there is a moderately decent human being, they...it's like they call out to me."

"And yet you only kill the worst criminals you can find." Kaito was smiling at him knowingly, a twinkle in his eyes.

"Well, of course, that's..."

"You call yourself a monster," Kaito said slowly, softly, "And yet you've been fighting it the whole way, fighting to maintain your soul, your person...I saw it, you know...when I saw your memories. I saw how every night you drag yourself away from thousands of voices calling to you, drag yourself to tail criminals, to make sure they're bad enough..."

Shinichi was a little annoyed by the smug smile on Kaito's face. He obviosuly still didn't get it. "Kaito. It doesn't matter who I kill, I'm still a murderer! And I'm obviously capable of doing worse!"

"And what about humans? They don't have the same innate desires, the same uncontrollable thirst, yet you meet enough murderers each day to more than quench your own. What reason do they have? The way you treat them...I saw it all. The remorse in your eyes, the apologies, how gently you handle them, how sweetly, lovingly you deliver them to death's sweet embrace. You show mercy, and you don't kill without reason. You do it to survive and because it is absolutely necessary for vampires to do so. It isn't for revenge, or extortion or anything...not like the real monsters. Don't you see, Shin-chan? The real monsters are out there. Everywhere. But you aren't one of them. No matter how guilty you feel, your guilt only proves my point more and more..."

Shinichi was speechless. He'd relied on-gotten on day by day by facing the reality that he was evil, was a monster, and that he would continue to kill because he was something evil, and there was nothing he could do about it...but Kaito...

"You aren't a monster, Shinichi. Instinct and necessity are different from humans who murder for the fun of it. Those who kill without remorse. Kill children, rape, ENJOY the act and the thought of it. So tell me again, Shin-chan, why we can't be together?"

"Be-because..."

"The only thing monstrous, or cruel...the only way you could hurt me, Shinichi," Kaito said softly, seriously, "the only true murder would be to plunge me back into loneliness now that we've found each other."

"Kaito..."

"Just let me stay by your side, Shinichi." Kaito's eyes were flashing, almost glowing in the moonlight as they kept on him. "You can't hurt me. And even if you could, I would have no regrets. What use is there in continuing to watch the world spin by without us? Because I'll tell you. I've had just about enough of it. I need you, Shinichi. There's nothing you can do about it. If you insist on running from me again, I'll just chase you until If find you again. Please. Don't push me away."

And finally, very slowly, Shinichi nodded. "I...don't know how this is going to work, Kaito, but...I'll try. It's selfish, but I've...missed you too. So much, and..."

And he was silenced, once again, by warm lips crushing over his. A full-body conversation, joined lips, clasped hands, where their gazes met...informed them both of what they were still hesitant to really admit, to believe...that yes, they felt the same way, and that maybe, somehow, things would be better now. Maybe, just maybe, they would never have to face that loneliness again... never again would they be truly alone. As Kaito pulled back from the kiss, Shinichi carefully adjusted him in his arms and, without letting go, arranged the covers over both of them. Foreheads together, sharing a pillow, Kaito inched his body ever closer to Shinichi, taking his legs hostage in his own before giving him a last goodnight kiss.

"See, Shinichi? You're not such a scary monster after all, are you?" He joked, stroking Shinichi's cheek with his fingertips, drinking in the sight he would get to fall asleep to now. "You better not make this a one-night stand," he added, chuckling.

Rolling his eyes, Shinichi pulled Kaito into his chest, wrapping his arms more tightly around him and said, very softly, "Don't worry. I promise I"ll be here when you wake up."

And with that, Kaito felt himself drifting into the first comfortable sleep he could remember having in decades.


So...FLUFF...ish...chapter. Entirely KaiShin interaction...hope it worked out! Please let me know~! I really wanted to do this right, so I definitely had some trouble putting it together. Whether you think I did or not, please let me know!

Thanks so much! Hope you enjoyed it!

Please review~

tess4aria