Turning Points

Hello everyone~!

So, here is my first DC One-shot (though, as I mention at the end, this first, long installment, may end up being a two-shot if you guys like it enough/see further angles to explore) I hope you like it!

I do not own Meitantei Conan~

Parings: KaiCo/CoKai ;D Don't read if you don't like! Shounenai/yaoi...

Warning: The first part contains some angst/suggestive themes. Not M, but T+ at times.

Please R&R~! Thanks so much!


Words: 7565

Rating: T+


oOo

I know she's worried, wondering what happened to her best friend, but I don't have an answer for her. Everything is different, now. Even if I try to pretend, things can never again be as they were.

Who would have thought that he, of all people, would offer me exactly that-a way to forget?

And to think it would tempt me?

When Ran looks at me, these days, all I see is sadness, loss, worry, confusion…

"Shi-Shinichi?" She still has trouble calling me that, it's quite clear. I almost want to tell her to go ahead, call me Conan-kun when we're alone, too…she shouldn't have to push herself to clutch to memories which have become nothing but pain.

But it's different when he looks at me. There is no sadness, no pity, no loss. Instead, I see excitement, mischief, respect…maybe I'm reading too far into it, but I can't help it…it's nice to be seen that way. As someone with a future, not as a walking reminder of what could have been, a shell of an old life, a ruined life.

That night-did he really say that? Was he not just playing around? I can't help but feel he meant it. He was laughing, as always, but those eyes…they looked so sincere, so…hopeful?

Conan was depressed, though that wasn't anything new. Recently, though, things seemed to have reached a breaking point...the events of the past few years had just finally built up too much, and he was tired. In almost everything he did, the old passion was nowhere to be found, and he couldn't see anything which might wrench him from his apathy. Part of him wished he could be like that carefree thief. How nice to be able to laugh in the face of your secrets...these thoughts had been haunting him more and more, but they had come to a point this evening.

Even as he smiled and waved if off, Ran could tell he was having a rough time...rougher than usual, that is, and was honestly somewhat worried about leaving him feeling this way, but being aware of his identity, she knew that insisting on staying behind to babysit was out of the question, and so, full of misgivings, she went on to Sonoko's bacholorette party.

Occhan had drunk himself to oblivion and was out by nine.

So here I am, alone with my thoughts. Fine companions, I must say. He laughed harshly to himself.

A dark tug at his heart, some unidentifiable desire, led him like a man possessed to the liquor cabinet. Cursing his stature (even at his current physical age of 12, he was obnoxiously short), he dragged a chair, first to one cabinet, clambering up to grab a glass before dragging the chair the other way, almost tumbling backwards at the weight of the mostly-full gin bottle he wrenched from its dark home in the far corner of the piece of furniture.

Feeling determined and more than a little self-destructive, he carried his prize downstairs to the empty detective agency, locked the door behind him, and poured himself a shot. Steeling himself, he took it in one gulp, savoring the numbing, burning sensation as it traveled down his throat. Shuddering slightly, he poured another glass, and filling it to the brim this time, moved back to lean against the couch.

How long had it been since he'd let go? Just let oblivion and carelessness be his mind's conductor? Maybe never, if he were to be honest with himself…and that's just what he asked…

"Come with me," he had said, grinning. "A life chasing logic and reason in a world where the illogical so often rules…it can be exhausting, no? Join me, Tantei-kun, if only for a night. Feel the rush of freedom and forget-not what's important-but just once, let yourself forget to always question, always dissect..."

Leaning forward, the moonlight magician had delivered a light kiss on the shrunken detective's cheek before vanishing in a twirl of doves and multi-colored smoke.

Once the shock had worn off enough for him to move, Conan felt behind his ear, finding a rose with a KID-insignia-ed note tied to it, which simply read: I'll be waiting for you

His head was spinning. His small body really couldn't take that much in the first place, and it's not like he was dealing with weak liquor here…he shuddered as he again drained his glass, but then felt overwhelmed by an incredible, mind-numbing heat. Smiling impassively, he calmly observed how his sensations dulled, how the room seemed to spin slowly, savoring the tingling sensation spreading from his head to his fingertips, and down to his toes…and he poured himself another glass.

There was a clatter at the window. Eyes half-lidded, Conan looked up to see a white-clad figure slip in easily before quietly approaching him, crouching down several feet before him. The night visitor grinned at him, though his Cheshire-cat look was betrayed momentarily by a hint of disappointment flashing through his eyes, only to be blinked away just as quickly. For some reason Conan couldn't fathom, and didn't care to, this made his drink-addled body giddy.

"You missed tonight's heist, Tantei-kun," KID pouted.

Those eyes, fixed on him so intently, were shining with their usual amused curiosity, but were clouded, ever so slightly, with concern-something which perhaps would only be apparent to this detective who knew his expressions so well.

Shaking his head to move his gaze from the alluring indigo of his eyes (alluring?), it occurred to him that he hadn't yet responded, and vaguely considered that the thief would expect a snarky reply. "I'as busy," he said, slurring his words ever-so-slightly.

KID's eyes shifted to fix on the partially drained gin bottle and the nearly-full glass beside it. His eyes narrowed in concern to be quickly replaced by his usual unreadable grin, but a hint of worry remained.

"Why, Tantei-kun, I'm hurt! Having a party and not inviting me?"

"I...knew you'd come," he mumbled, not meeting the thief's eyes.

"You what?" KID spluttered as Conan took another sip from his glass. Frowning, KID quickly reached forward and snatched the glass away, setting it where he hoped he could monitor Conan's alcohol intake. He then looked back to gape at the should-be-22-year old.

Conan suddenly pushed himself up, swaying slightly, before stumbling forward into the still-crouching KID. He leaned in to whisper in his ear.

"You're cute when you're flustered."

KID's poker-face was nowhere to be found, and the thief just found himself staring straight ahead, frozen, aware of a very foreign heat creeping up in his cheeks. To say he'd rarely been so shocked would be a great understatement, but then again, the not-preteen was working with some pretty strong liquor, so he really shouldn't take anything the detective said right now seriously, right? But then there was another point of interest itching at his psyche...why…why was his heart beating so quickly all of a sudden?

Conan smirked at the pink tinged cheeks inches from his own. Reaching a hand up, he ran it down KID's cheek, marveling at the interesting mix of temperatures on thief's face, all the time gazing into the shell-shocked eyes. He felt KID's cheek tense under his touch, and leaning forward, kissed him full on the lips.

It took the thief a few seconds to register what was happening. His mind was on vacation. All he could register was the hot moistness invading his mouth. This was-wait. Tantei-kun…kissing him? That just didn't compute! Then again, it wasn't a bad feeling, really, but…KID pulled back, part of him immediately missing the loss of warmth, of that intimate contact, but he shook his head and said softly,

"You're drunk, Tantei-kun. If this were…" He faltered, shaking his head again without finishing his thought. "But as it is, I'm sure you'll regret this later, so…"

"You said it, didn't you?" The strength and assurance in the way he spoke made KID look up to meet his gaze again, noticing as he had so many times before, those beautiful, cerulean eyes. They always struck him as pools of secrets…and part of him wanted to be part of the world they hinted at.

"What…do you mean?" He croaked.

"You told me to relax for one night, didn't you? To stop dissecting everything…" Conan explained softly as he leaned against KID's chest, feeling inexplicably drawn to the thief. Pressing closer, his hot breath only inches from KID's face, he smirked. "Must the student become the teacher?"

KID froze at the words and the feel of that warm breath on his face. His heart was fluttering as he'd never felt it. "You mean you…you want this?"

Bending even closer, Conan began to stroke KID's face again, delivering light kisses on his cheeks, chin, ear, tracing the monocle with his hand yet not removing it. Leaning against his ear, he said in a voice surprisingly husky for his small form, "I know what I want right now."

And as he pulled back, KID felt his resolve to reject this tipsy come-on weakening. Losing himself in those familiar blue orbs, he glimpsed something new, a slight hint of a darker hue in the blue. Feeling dazed, he found himself unable to move his eyes from this mysterious timbre, from the expression in those eyes. He suddenly noticed that his pants felt uncomfortably tight.

And then those smaller lips had captured his again, but this time they were moving hungrily, passionately, over his. He gasped, and suddenly, felt the warmth of a tongue enter his mouth, and hands moving along his face, hard, massaging him, pressing him closer. Kaito moaned into his mouth and, inhibitions going to the wind, gripped Conan from behind and pulled him to his chest, kissing him back.

Conan let out a little mewl of pleasure as KID's gloved hands moved under his shirt, massaging his chest and back, moving his mouth from Conan's lips to nip lightly at his neck. With each touch, he felt himself forgetting…forgetting that the cure was no longer effective now that the original toxin had been in his system for five years, forgetting that Ran had moved on, that Kudou Shinichi, for all intents and purposes, was dead but to the handful of people who knew his identity…but even to them, he wasn't Kudou Shinichi anymore. Not really. He could hardly have been more different from the fame-loving egotistical prodigy he'd been up until that day at Tropical Land…

But now, his head spinning, his body moving and arching into every gentle touch of silk against skin, it didn't matter. None of it mattered. KID was laughing, he was smiling at him, and suddenly Conan knew…it wasn't KID smiling at him. That wasn't how KID smiled, this…this was the person beneath.

As the thief clutched him around the waist, burying his face in his chest, his hat falling to the ground, Conan buried his face in the crux of his neck, sucking it gently, savoring the way KID's body shuddered under him as he did so. Tracing his tongue up his neck to his ear, he bit down lightly, teasingly, before whispering "How's this for a break from the logical?"

And suddenly those arms wrapped more tightly around his back and he was lifted, flung backwards onto the couch, and KID was crouched over him, leaning in, sucking on his neck, gently nipping him, again drawing little mewling moans from the smaller figure.

Suddenly drawing back, crouching to stare into Conan's blue, blue eyes, KID seemed to make up his mind suddenly. "I can do better," he said softly, grinning, before taking Conan's hand in one of his, drawing it up to his face, and placing it over his monocle.

Conan's eyes widened, and his heart began to pound in his ears. "N-no, that…" His cheeks began to stain with traitorous dark red, and KID smiled at him.

"This is my choice," he said softly. "Please, I want…" and he gently tugged at Conan's hand, pulling off the monocle as he did so. For a time, clutching it in his hand and pressing it to his chest as if it were a protective charm, Conan simply stared at the face which looked so much like his-like his should, and one day, once again, no doubt would…

KID smiled down at the detective's bemused expression, noting how delicately he handled the monocle, and cradling Conan's back with one hand, lifted the pre-teen to sit up and face him directly. With a flick of his free hand, the thief presented a red rose to the once-again blushing detective, bowing dramatically and saying "Kuroba Kaito, magician extraordinaire. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Shinichi."

Conan felt his chest clenching almost painfully as he let those smiling, unclouded purple eyes pull him in. He couldn't believe it…he'd told him his name, and he'd called him, with no hesitation, the name he had all but thrown away. Somehow, it felt so good to hear it said this way, coming from his lips.

And Conan reached forward, cupping his hands on Kaito's cheeks, before kissing him once again, this time with so much force that he pushed him backwards onto the arm of the couch. Laughing at the magician's momentary squawk of surprise, he again captured his lips, this time even more passionately than before, and as they tumbled to the ground, Kaito spun them masterfully so he would land first, catching Conan to his chest and laughing, mussing his hair and breathing him in.

After simply lying there for a while, Conan looked up to him and said, head cocked to the side, "Why did you tell me your name? Are you asking for me to put you in jail?"

Kaito smiled down at him enigmatically. "Well, let's just say I'm not one to be outdone in being illogical. I can't lose to a detective, now can I? That would be a travesty! And besides…" He grinned. "Maybe I am turning myself in, in a manner of speaking, but you should realize, meitantei, that there is more than one way to catch someone."

At Conan's momentarily blank expression, Kaito laughed and pulled him in for another kiss.

Conan rolled off the side, and the two just lay there, shoulder to shoulder, on the floor of the detective agency. This sense of freedom was entirely new to Conan. Never, as Conan, or Shinichi, had he felt this way. He'd thought revealing things to Ran would relieve some of the crushing weight of the burden, of the secret he'd kept from her for so long…and for a while, it did seem to, but a deeper tension, a deeper longing remained…could it have been, all that time, a deep, pervading loneliness? A desire for someone who could truly understand him? Someone he didn't have to pretend around, who would understand without being told?

As he looked up at the smiling, peaceful, yet still somewhat serious face of the magician-thief beside him, he wondered that now, sitting beside Kaitou KID, things felt so...right. It couldn't be that he...Kaitou KID was…what he needed…was who he needed…could it?

He'd sobered up significantly, and yet the feeling was still there. Being so close to him like this, he couldn't help but smile. There were so many things in his life he regretted, but that intimate contact with Kaito, which he'd certainly initiated under the influence…he couldn't bring himself to regret. The thought of it made him blush quite impressively, but somehow, rather than pushing him away, he felt the urge to reach out and clutch that hand which was only inches from his.

Kaito turned suddenly, and his eyes met Conan's. "I think I've needed this too," he said seriously, almost as if he'd been reading his mind.

Conan stared at him, feeling absolutely incapable of moving his gaze from Kaito's warm, welcoming one. "Kuroba, I…"

"Call me Kaito, Shinichi," he said, leaning in, and the hot breath against his ear made the detective blush again.

Leaning back, Kaito propped himself up on one elbow and watched Conan expectantly. Blinking several times, Conan shook his head but smiled despite himself. "Fine then…Kaito."

Grinning manically, the magician lunged forward and squealed, pulling Conan into his chest, burying his face in the crook of his neck, delivering torrents of short, soft kisses.

Laughing, Conan eventually managed to push away the insistent thief before rolling his eyes and saying "If you don't shut up, Occhan's going to wake up from his drunken stupor and come looking for his gin bottle…and my face to bash in." He sighed long-sufferingly.

"Oh, well we can't have that, now can we?" Kaito purred, smoothing his still glove-covered hands through Conan's hair. "Then, shall we move onto the next portion of our date?"

"D-Date?"

"Now, now, Tantei-kun, after such…close interaction, you're scared to call this a date?"

"Barou, it's not that it's just...I guess I'm…not into labels…"

"Haha, fair enough. Well, how about thinking about it this way? Relaxing and having a Kaito (or a Kaitou!) night isn't just about relieving some of the…tension of a certain kind (*cough*)…you've been denying for a period of time…"

Conan flinched a little, spluttering incoherently, but Kaito continued as if uninterrupted. "There are plenty of other things we must do. My invitation, after all, wasn't specific. I left it to you to take it as you would, and I must say, I approve of your methods." He winked, bringing yet another blush to Conan's cheeks.

This was too much for Kaito, who squealed and hugged him once again.

"Shhh! Barou! I told you to be quiet!" Conan hissed.

"But Shin-channn, you're so cute when you blush!"

"D-don't….call me that." Conan tried to keep his voice as cold and steady as possible as his face continued to heat up.

"But it fits you so perfectly! Anyway…don't worry about Mouri-tantei! I've got it covered! You just sit here, meitantei!" And plucking Conan from the ground, Kaito set him on the couch, delivering another little peck on his lips before spinning and sealing the gin bottle, and grabbing the glass, eyed Conan strictly as he glanced again at the bottle.

"Did you seriously drink all of this, Shin-chan? That's dangerous! And you were going to have this, too? Tsk, tsk. I must say, though, can't say I minded the…results," he winked and Conan blushed once again.

"I would imbibe, myself, but I'm set to be this evening's designated driver," and with another wink, he headed for the door.

"Designated driver? What are you-Oh, wait, hold on, Kaito. You don't know where that stuff goes, and what if ojisan sees you?"

"Such distrust! You know me, Shin-chan, for goodness sakes!" He said in a mock-hurt voice. "And besides…of course I know where this goes!"

"Do I want to know why?"

"Probably not! Be right back!"

And in about three minutes flat, he was back, grinning like a loon. "We're all set! Dear Mouri-tantei won't be up for a while," he grinned devilishly, revealing something which looked suspiciously like his KID-sleeping gas before continuing, "and the gin bottle has been ever-so-slightly diluted…oh, and there is a letter to Mouri-chan from her dear Co-chan!"

Sighing and shaking his head, Conan just said "What do you have in mind? I can't believe I'm even asking you this…"

Winking and beaming at him, Kaito crouched down and took one of Conan's hands in both of his, gently prying it open to find the monocle, totally secure, where he had been clutching it since he'd first taken it. Smiling down at him, Kaito replaced the monocle and his top hat, straightening his whole outfit in an instant to be good as knew, before swooping down to lift Conan into his arms.

"Oi! I can walk you know! I'm not fucking seven anymore!"

Laughing but not releasing his grip on him, Kaito whisked them up the stairs to the roof, whispering: "It's just faster, Shin-chan. Hold on one second, and I'll show you."

When they passed through the door into the gentle night breeze, Kaito rubbed Conan's back before giggling a little, quickly spinning and obscuring everything with smoke.

"Wh-wha?" Blinking as the smoke cleared and Kaito set him down, Conan looked down at his…new outfit.

"What…is this?"

"What do you think, Tantei-kun? How are you supposed to frolic along with KID, incognito, as yourself? Don't you think this is just a brilliant idea?"

"No, I can't say I do…" Conan kept his voice carefully glacial, but stopped as Kaito, arms on his shoulders, pushed him to look at himself in a reflective steel wall. Even more than he had anticipated, he looked like KID. KID a good two feet shorter, but KID nonetheless.

Entranced despite himself, he moved his hand up to touch his own monocle, a perfect replica, seemingly in quality as well as appearance, of the original. A slight weight in his pocket answered his unvoiced question of where his glasses had been stashed.

He had to admit that no one would recognize him anymore than anyone recognized KID. He suddenly wondered if like this, he might be able to forget the lives he'd been struggling to variously separate and reconcile. If he could just start over, dropping the masks he'd spent years carving, and be someone entirely new.

Grinning at the stunned silence, Kaito dropped to his knees, wrapping his arms around the smaller KID's waist.

"How long have you been planning on dressing me up this way?" Conan asked somewhat dryly, though with obvious amusement in his voice.

"Oh, you know…for a while…I first thought of the idea years ago, actually, after we worked together against those hijackers, remember? Yeah, that was the first time I thought you'd make a really good KID 2, but… it was just an idle dream until recently."

"What happened recently?"

"Oh, that…well, it isn't important, really…" Kaito trailed off, and Conan turned to look at him, scowling a little.

"Oi, come out with it. You can just leave it like that and expect me to wear this crazy get-up!"

"Hey! What are you saying, Shin-chan? You know these outfits are the height of cool! But, oh fine…" and his voice grew serious again. "I guess, recently, so many things have stopped seeming as...important as they used to... And the gem I'm looking for...I don't even know if it exists, but even if it doesn't, I can't stop being Kaitou KID. It's too much of who I am, now, and I've started to feel that, I don't know, like if I stopped being KID, I'm really not sure who I'd be…"

He sighed. "I've felt that way for a while, but recently, even being KID has started to feel…empty. But when I go up against you, it's like the emptiness just washes away…but you haven't been coming to heists as often, recently, and even when you do come, it's been obvious that something's different about you, the way look at things, the way you talk to people... And I can't help but feel, you remind me of…me. How I can imagine I must look."

He grimaced a little, and paused for a time before continuing, softly. "It's…lonely sometimes. People either know me as Kuroba Kaito or Kaitou KID, not as both, and it's honestly pretty damn tiring after a while, being seen by everyone either purely as a bad guy or as a prank-loving never-serious magician. I feel…"

"Like no one really knows who you are. The real you, that is…and after playing a double-life for so long, you're not so sure yourself…am I right?" Conan's gaze was intense as he looked down into Kaito's indigo eyes, the magician still crouched with his arms around the not-boy's hips.

A genuine smile crept onto Kaito's lips as he gazed at him, and Conan returned it. An unspoken, deep understanding was passing between them. It was as if suddenly, unexpectedly, they had found perfectly kindred spirits in each other.

"So what do you say?" Kaito said suddenly, standing up, his clear, confident, slightly haughty KID-voice back in place. "I have a gem to return. Will you come?" Eyes sparkling down, he reached out a hand to Conan.

Smiling hesitantly, he took the profferred hand, and was suddenly spun so his back was pressed firmly against Kaito's chest, warm, strong arms securely wrapped around his stomach. Gently, playfully, Kaito leaned forward and nibbled his ear before kissing his cheek, saying in a low voice, "Just remember, I have you."

"Don't I have my own glider?" Conan asked, looking back at Kaito suspiciously.

"Oh, well…technically speaking, yes, but…this is so much cozier! Please, Shin-chan!"

The pleading tone of voice and puppy-dog eyes were so pitiful that Conan just sighed, shaking his head. "Do what you want. Damn thief."

"Whatever you say," KID said happily, and clutching him more tightly to his chest, ran to the edge of the roof and dove, the hang-glider opening when they were a mere ten feet from the ground before they soared up, taking to the sky, the familiar Beika roads, cars and trees falling quickly away from them.

Conan could only think of what a difference a new perspective made. The familiar neighborhood which had exhausted its interest for him years ago, the familiar scenery which had seemed so banal, so absolutely mundane and meaningless, suddenly took on new meaning, looked so fresh, new, exciting as he saw it this way, from above, with only an un-opened hang-glider and Kaito's arms preventing him from falling down to it.

He felt so free in the night's embrace, in the sensation of flight, and felt so safe in Kaito's arms and in the anonymity of his appearance. He could forget, and yet, the familiar regret and sense of loss which normally accompanied the hiding he was so used to, was missing…because this was no longer his secret alone. He wasn't hiding, not really, because he knew he could be real with Kaito. They'd known each other for years, and though they'd always spoken in riddles and taunts, Conan had always felt a vague sense of camaraderie, of someone else whose life, maybe, wasn't so different from his own…that maybe he wasn't as alone as he thought…and suddenly, with only the tip of their secrets revealed to each other, he felt as if he'd known for years what he'd only suspected…that as long as he was with Kaito, he didn't have to hide, didn't have to be Conan or Shinichi. He could just be. Just live.

He was knocked from his reverie as Kaito swooped down, low, over a small lake, snatching, as they left the shore, a single white tulip to present to Conan before pressing a little closer to the water, laughing at their almost-twin reflections. Wagging the plucked flower at Kaito, Conan rolled his eyes and said, "Is this supposed to be a cheap movie reference?"

Snuggling him closer, Kaito laughed and said, "Yep! Of course you wouldn't miss my references, Shin-chan! You get to be my Princess Jasmine!"

"W-what? You…!" Turning around, Conan whacked him on the head, making them shake dangerously.

"Oh, come on, Shin-channnn, I…" Kaito whined.

"Look out!"

By the time Kaito looked up to see the low tree branch they were heading for, he managed to avoid any damage to their persons…but the same could not be said for the hang-glider. As soon as the branch had made its long slice in the material, the two were plunging straight into the dark water below.

"Shin-chan! Shin-chan! Are you okay?" Once he had dealt with his number one priority of ensuring Conan's safety, quickly pulling him from the cold, murky waters to sit him on his shoulders, it occurred to Kaito just where they had landed...more specifically what they had landed in, and his face blanched.

A little disconcerted at Kaito's sudden, comatose state, Conan craned around to look him in the face. "Kaito? Kaito? Oi, KID!" No response.

Leaping nimbly from his shoulders into the water, he smacked Kaito's face somewhat roughly.

"Owww, Shin-chan!"

"Well, what are you doing? You were going all comatose on me!"

"Well that's because…eep!"

"What? That's because what?'

"We're…we're in…."

And he looked absolutely as if he'd seen a ghost.

"Don't tell me you're afraid of water..." Conan rolled his eyes as he doggie-paddled in place, frowning at the thief.

Kaito's face was incredibly tense, his eyes darting every which way, looking for any sign of…those things

"Hey, if you don't tell me, then how are we going to-"

"Aaaaahhhhh! It-it-slimy…on my leg…uhhh Shin-chan, please…no…" Kaito then began to hyperventilate. Realizing he had to get things under control, Conan looped the thief's arm around his shoulder, and he began to paddle them towards the edge as quickly as possible, something easier said than done...first of all, as Kaito seemed to be be passing in and out of consciousness, with little regard for whether his head was drifting under the water or not... Whatever had scared him (apparently a 'slimy thing,' which, Conan deduced, was most likely an eel, snake or fish) seemed to have rendered Kaito absolutely senseless...there was also the problem of both of their KID-suits (and included gadgets) which seriously impeded their progress...

After a great many sighs and last-second save-Kaitos (that is, a great deal of effort and patience), Conan finally dragged his charge onto the grassy bank, breathing hard and feeling about ready to collapse, not to mention shivering from the cold, but first…frantically, he crawled up to Kaito's face, but his heart plunged as he saw the magician's eyes were shut tight, and in his panic, he couldn't tell whether or not he was breathing.

"Kaito! Oi, Kaito! Wake up!"

Crouching over him, he urgently pressed his mouth to his and began to administer CPR as best as he could remember from when he'd learned it years before. His heart was pounding, fear tearing at him as he continued to alternate breathing into him and performing the right motions on his chest, but the thief had so many gadgets in the way that Conan hurriedly ripped off Kaito's shirt, revealing his bare chest. Pressing down on it a few times with all his might before capturing his lips one more time, Kaito finally began to choke, spitting out water he'd swallowed, and, breathing regulating, slowly opened his eyes.

"S-shin-chan…"

"Kaito! Dammit, Kaito, how could you scare me like that?" Shaky but overwhelmingly relieved, Conan flung his arms around Kaito's neck, burying his face against him, shaking.

Slowly turning, everything coming back to him, Kaito gently took Conan into his arms, pulling him close, wrapping him in his arms and legs, simply breathing in his presence. "Thank you," he whispered.

"You idiot," Conan said, over and over again, not caring that he was half-crying as he said it.

"You're right, I'm an idiot," Kaito said softly. "But I'm one lucky idiot, wouldn't you say?" Stroking his hand on Conan's cheek, he smiled down at him, running his hand through his wet hair.

"You're…really okay?"

"Absolutely. A little shaky is all, but…I can't believe it affected me that badly, I mean…but I guess I normally avoid places where they live, so…"

"Where…what, exactly? If you don't mind my asking," Conan said it hesitantly, worried about what kind of sensitive topic-phobia could have led to such a terrifyingly near-death experience.

"F-finny things…" Kaito said softly, shaking as he said it.

"Finny…things?" Conan cocked an eyebrow despite himself. "Oi, you don't mean, just…fish…do you?"

The way Kaito flinched at the word, and resumed his shaking pretty much answered that question, and Conan, though aware how, in a different context, he would likely take little pity on the thief for such an absurd-sounding phobia, only clutched Kaito again to his chest, moving his hands comfortingly through his messy hair, soothing him with his words, at the same time reassuring himself that he really was okay…that no lasting harm was done, and that that experience was over...as his panic for Kaito wore off, however, his own exhaustion hit him like a steamtrain, and feeling about ready to black out, let himself collapse on Kaito's chest.

As he smiled down at his little savior, stroking his soft, cold cheek and wet hair over and over again, Kaito noticed that he was shivering and that, besides that, he was being very unresponsive.

Eyes widening, Kaito suddenly sat up, cursing himself. "Oh, Shin-chan, I'm such an idiot!" And quickly, he pulled off the wet, burdensome cape, tie and other parts of the KID suit which had to have been less than helpful in the midst of the water-rescue. Cursing himself again as he saw just how entirely cold and soaked-through Conan's shirt and pants were, Kaito mumbled a quick 'sorry' before ripping off his shirt and pants, only leaving his boxers on, before taking the cold little body in his arms, nuzzling him close, trying to breath warm air all over him as he continued to attempt to warm him however possible.

Most of his KID-items rendered useless at being water-logged, Kaito considered whose house they were closest to before quickly fixing himself with wet, but normal, civilian clothes, and wrapping Conan tightly in his arms, took off running in a familiar direction.

"Kaito?" Conan's voice was faint, hoarse.

"Shinichi! Are you okay?" Kaito looked down at him desperately, though he didn't slow his pace.

"I'm...fine. I just…I guess I was really tired from the lake and…"

"Shin-chan, I'm so sorry…but don't worry, I'm just going to get you somewhere where you can warm up, okay?"

Shivering, Conan mumbled a little "mmkay," before drifting off again, unconsciously clutching to Kaito's shirt and snuggling closer in his arms.


oOo

Twenty minutes later, Kaito had flown through the door of his house, Conan in his arms, clutching him tightly as he took them up to his upstairs bathroom. Grabbing several pillows and blankets, he let Conan lie down on them before turning the bathwater to a luke-warm heat setting. Grabbing a towel down, he placed it over Conan's lower regions as he quickly removed his remaining clothing, and began to gently wipe his body with a wet, warm washcloth. Removing his own wet shirt to prevent it from further chilling Conan, he sat behind him, and propping his head on his chest, got him to swallow some water before continuing his ministrations, making sure to warm every inch of his body (even, and blushing as he did so, those parts which he wasn't allowing himself to see).

Conan's breathing was completely regular, and he was no longer clammy, so Kaito gently wrapped him up in a warm towel and carried him to his bedroom. After depositing him carefully on the bed, he raced out, returning a few minutes later with an old set of clothes his mom had saved of his which he thought would fit Conan. Gently, still not looking, he dressed him in an old pair of his boxers (with little Robin-hood heads dotted on them), a cotton T-shirt and flannel pants. Gently drying his hair, he kissed his face lightly, smiling at the smile which found its way onto Conan's face.

After quickly changing his shorts and making sure he was dry enough, Kaito gently crawled over Conan, and settling himself behind him in the bed, tugged the covers up around them. Pulling the little form into him, he clutched him tightly to his chest.

As he stroked Conan lightly, watching the little chest move up and down and listening to the even breathing as if it were the most calming music, it occurred to Kaito that though he'd thought he'd understood his feelings for Tantei-kun…he hadn't understood anything. When he'd seen the little form like that, so vulnerable, it was as if the world had been on the verge of crumbling. The fear of losing him was an astonishing stimulus on his own feelings, and in the absolute dread…the dread of the possibility of someone else…leaving him… he suddenly realized just how important he really was to him.

To quell the pangs in his heart, he reached his arms more tightly around Conan, kissing the top of his head as he wrapped his legs and arms around him. Slowly, gently, eyes still closed, Conan turned to face him, and burrowing into his chest, fell back to sleep. Smiling into his feather-soft hair, Kaito drifted off as well, sleeping better than he could remember having done in years…


oOo

The first thing Conan was aware of when he woke up was amazing, irrepressible warmth. He also felt light...as if the dark burdens which had been plaguing his mind for years had been suddenly lifted. It was like waking to a dream.

A particularly exceptional band of warmth was wrapped around his chest...moving his hands down, he felt...arms? Heart beating quickly, his eyes snapped open to see an unfamiliar room. Looking down, he saw he was sleeping...in an unfamiliar bed, wearing unfamiliar clothes...and someone's arms were around him...

He shot up, twisting in horror, to meet blazing, purple eyes, staring at him in surprise, concern and what was undeniably...affection. His head was swimming, but then, like a half-forgotten dream, images began to swarm back, sensations, feelings coming together...staring down to meet those concerned eyes, he said "Kaito?"

Smiling in relief, Kaito sat up, letting the covers spill off to reveal his well-toned, bare chest. Forcefully ripping his eyes from it, but unable to suppress a blush, Conan focused instead on the eyes, still so full of concern, which kept searching him as Kaito suddenly pulled the little detective to him, gently, stroking his cheek, head, hair... "Are you okay, Shin-chan? You...really scared me last night, you know."

And then it really all came back. The ecstasy, the frantic bid for safety, the horrible, gut-wrenching, mind-blowing fear when Kaito...wasn't responding...no, Kaito was fine, but then...it all got fuzzy. Blushing as he began to figure out what had happened, vague images, sensations of clutching to Kaito as he ran, wind sweeping past them...soft warmth, gentle, incredible warmth melting away the horrible wet cold...and then...strong, loving arms holding him all night...

Shinichi blushed as he noticed the pajamas. They smelled nice somehow... Noticing his gaze, Kaito quickly said "Oh, I didn't see anything, so don't worry! I was really careful about it, because I thought you might not want me to, I mean, of course, it isn't that I don't want to, I mean...well, that is..."

Laughing, Conan placed his index finger over Kaito's lips to shush him. "Thank you," he said, smiling, before leaning in to kiss him, soft and chaste, yet full of meaning.

Smiling goofily as Conan pulled back, Kaito suddenly jumped up. "Oh, right! Here, Shin-chan! I brought this up about ten minutes ago, but it should still be warm," and he passed him a mug of coffee. Conan just stared at him, his chest constricting, his feelings so complicated as he took the nostalgically comforting warmth of the mug that he wasn't sure what to do about them...Suddenly looking down, he grimaced.

"What's wrong, Shin-chan?" Kaito crawled back onto the bed, looking at him fixedly as he gripped his shoulders.

"Kaito...part of me, the logical Kudou Shinichi, feels absurd even suggesting this, but I need to speak honestly...and I have to ask you. Do you think we could, seriously...that is, I-I know it's sudden but...When I pulled you from the lake and you weren't," he gulped. "I knew for sure, then...I...I really like you." Looking up into Kaito's eyes in nervous determination, he said softly, "I mean, I think I might even..."

Hugging him to him tightly, Kaito began to stroke his hair again. "I love you, Shinichi," he said, confidently, unhesitatingly, absolutely. "I have no doubt in my mind, and besides...we've known each other for five years. How is it sudden?"

His heart clenching and releasing over and over, Conan then said, "But Kaito...even if we...love...each other, I'm stuck in this body, and we can't see eachother openly. I'll never be your age again. If only the antidote would work, but it's...too late."

"Shinichi," Kaito said seriously. "How can you possibly think such a little thing as age difference could keep us apart? After everything else? So sure, we'll have to be secretive about it for a few years...well, another five years, and you'll be back where you were when this all started, and we can come out about it. As far as our being different ages physically, how can you think that would matter to me? You are my age, I am completely aware of that, and that's the important point. Besides, age starts to matter less and less the older we get...after a while, we'll barely be able to tell the difference anymore, right? Besides, ten years...it could be worse." He smiled genuinely.

Conan just stared up at him, struck to the core by the simple, yet obvious, truth of Kaito's words. Here he had been, worrying over such things which were, in the long run, such trivialities. His life, wrapped in darkness and dead-ends for years, was suddenly open, and opening, all because of Kaito. Had his perspective really changed this much in one night? It seemed impossible and yet...it was undeniably the truth. Smiling up into Kaito's eyes, Conan leaned into him, smiling as arms instantly wrapped around him...and to think, we could have a lifetime of this...


Thanks for reading! I wrote this in one sitting, so there may be mistakes, but I just want to get it out. I know it sets up a lot, so this may be a two-shot (or three-shot) if people like it enough :D Let me know! I appreciate your reviews so VERY VERY much. You guys are lovely.

Hope you enjoyed it! A little KaiShin (or KaiCo) sweetness is good for the soul ;)

Thanks again!

tess4aria