A.N: So I mentioned this idea to V. Shalyr (she's the one who wrote "Countdown to Forever" and "To Wish Upon a Star") and she thought it sounded fun so she's helping me plan this and will be co-writing (or just plain writing) some of these. I wasn't going to put this up yet, but since it's Shin-chan's birthday I thought I might as well. ^_^
Disclaimer: We don't own DCMK
Pairings: KaitoxShinichi, ToichixChikage, and YuusakuxYukiko
Caught on Camera
Introduction: The Album
"Oh my little Shin-chan's all grown up now," Kudo Yukiko squealed as she threw her arms around her son and squeezed for all she was worth. The young man in question turned a deep shade of red from a combination of embarrassment and rapidly depleting oxygen supplies.
"Mom," he said with a longsuffering sigh, prying her arms away enough to gasp for breath. "I've been grown up for years…"
"But you'll always be my baby boy," she replied without missing a beat, earning herself another groan.
"I was afraid of that…"
Ignoring the comment, she finally loosened her death grip on her son just enough to back up half a step and look him over, eyes bright. "And now you're moving out! It seems like just yesterday that you were still in diapers!"
Laughing heartily, the woman finally released her beet red son completely. Around them, the rest of the occupants of the apartment's spacious living room laughed.
"So when are the rest of the guests arriving?" Kuroba Chikage inquired, turning to her own son.
"I'd say in about an hour, probably," he replied.
"A whole hour, huh?" his father mused. "In that case, we have something for you two." The world famous magician, Kuroba Toichi, snapped his fingers and pulled a well wrapped package out of thin air. Smiling broadly, he proffered it to his son.
Kaito took the package a bit warily (his father wasn't above some friendly family pranks—a trait which, admittedly, they shared, but that was just all the more reason to be careful). "What is it?"
"Something the four of us put together," Kudo Yuusaku replied, wandering over to join the three as his wife resumed her attempt to suffocate their son with affection. "Call it a housewarming present."
"From the four of you?" the younger magician repeated, one eyebrow rising. "Shin-chan's not going to want to kill you all when he sees it, is he? Because if he is, you should probably tell me now. You know, in case I can't stop him."
His father gave him an innocently puzzled look he didn't buy for a minute (he'd worn it himself often enough to know it meant nothing). "Whatever do you mean?"
His wife elbowed him, giving him a disapproving look. "Don't give them ideas. We put too much effort into that just to have them burn it before they even take a look."
"Who's burning what?" Shinichi, having finally escaped his mother's clutches, came up beside Kaito with a puzzled look at their assorted parents. All of whom were smiling. Past experience made him want to duck for cover or turn and run really fast in the other direction, but past experience also said that such an endeavor would be futile so it was better just to bear with it.
"Actually, they were just explaining to me why we should not burn this," Kaito explained, waving the package in question for emphasis.
Shinichi eyed the package suspiciously. "What is it?"
"They haven't gotten to that part yet."
"Just open it!" Yukiko exclaimed, eyes bright with eagerness.
"It would certainly help pass the time before the other guests arrive," her husband agreed. Then all four parents turned expectant eyes on their sons who traded dubious looks.
Finally Shinichi let out a resigned sigh and slumped onto one of the living room sofas. "Might as well get it over with…"
Kaito offered him a sardonic grin before sitting down beside him and beginning to unwrap the package. Their parents gathered around them, taking seats around the living room table. As the paper came away they all leaned forward and Shinichi leaned away like someone expecting an explosion. Instead his anxious eyes were greeted by the sight of a black, leather-bound photo album. Embossed in gold upon the cover was a single rose, beautifully rendered and stark against its midnight backdrop. Printed beneath the rose in elegant, slanting letters was a single line of text which read "For the Journey".
Shinichi relaxed slightly and leaned back towards Kaito for a better look at the album. It really was rather beautiful.
"Well? Aren't you going to open it?" Yukiko demanded, practically bouncing in her seat.
Shrugging, Kaito flipped open the album and blinked in surprise.
There, occupying the entire first page, was a photograph of himself and Shinichi sitting on the edge of a fountain surrounded by a flock of doves (most of whom he recognized as his). However the aspect of the photo that was probably responsible for the color rising in Shinichi's face was that the photo showed them kissing.
"How—you—when—" Shinichi spluttered. Then he spotted the short inscription beneath the photo and temporarily blanked. "First Kiss" it read, followed by a date…
. . . . . . . . .
"Rise and shine~!"
Shinichi woke with a start at the extremely chipper voice singing out right into his ear loud enough to make him feel like he was going to go deaf. Jerking away from the source of the sound, he sat up and stared around through sleep blurred eyes. There was a dark colored blob on the edge of the bed but he didn't need to see the details to know who it was.
"Kaito? What are you doing in my room?" he asked, blinking to clear his vision before he took a quick look around to make sure that this was indeed his room. It was entirely possible that he'd been moved elsewhere some time during the night. It wouldn't be the first time it'd happened. But no, this was definitely his room, and the clock by the bed told him it was six in the morning. He groaned and flopped back down on the bed, pulling the warm covers up over his head. "Can you come back later?"
"Don't be like that," the intruder chided, pulling the nice, warm blankets out of Shinichi's determined grasp and proceeding to dig the boy out of his comfortable cocoon. "We've got a long way to go so we'd better hurry."
"Hey," Shinichi protested, trying to burrow back under the covers only to be bodily dragged out of bed entirely. He stumbled as he fought to keep from tripping. "What do you think you're doing? And what do you mean we have a long way to go?"
"Well, my class is going to the aquarium today," the magician explained, pulling open Shinichi's wardrobe and beginning to rummage through it. "Since there's no way I'm going with them, I thought we might as well go do something fun."
Shinichi blinked, still trying to clear the sleep from his mind. "But I have to go to school…"
"Don't worry, you called in sick."
"…You mean you called in sick for me. You know, I'm sure there're laws against that kind of thing."
"It's for a good cause," Kaito replied without a hint of remorse. Not that Shinichi had expected one. Sighing, he sank back onto the edge of his bed and was just wondering if he could get away with another five minutes or so when his vision was obscured by a cloud of lavender smoke. Coughing, he waved the stuff away.
"Can you not do that in my room? It—" He cut himself off as he realized what the smoke had been meant to distract him from. Then he flushed and threw a pillow at the grinning magician. "Kaito! How many times do I have to tell you not to change my clothes for me?"
"But it's faster than waiting for you to change yourself," the magician laughed. "Now come on, time's a wasting~."
Thirty minutes later they were on the train going who knew where. Shinichi couldn't remember all that much of the morning through his usual morning, pre-coffee haze. On the other hand, he'd been introduced to a cup of black coffee twice the size of a usual large to-go cup so he was fairly content to focus on that and let Kaito carry on with whatever schemes he had in mind. He'd be better able to deal with them after he was more awake anyway. Part of him thought he should probably be figuring out how to escape and get back to school, but considering the chances of actually getting away it was probably better just to stay put. Besides, he reasoned, he hadn't seen all that much of Kaito lately (the last two weeks) and he'd been starting to miss his company. Not that he was going to admit that to anyone (he didn't trust anyone he could tell with the information, who knew what could happen?).
"Let's go Shin-chan, here's our stop!" Kaito announced, pulling him up out of his seat again.
Clutching his coffee, Shinichi glanced around as they exited the train. "So where are we going exactly?"
"Just follow me," Kaito non-answered, striding out of the station in the manner of someone who knew exactly where he was going. Another fifteen minutes of walking and they were heading into what appeared to be a rather large park. A banner had been stretched out above the park entrance.
"The Bird Lovers' Appreciation Festival?" Shinichi read aloud, disbelief coloring every word. "What is this?"
"A million times better than any aquarium."
Shinichi had his doubts about that (fanatics were creepy no matter what kind they were), but as they made their way through the festival he had to admit that maybe there was some truth to the claim. Other than the usual music, food, and merchandise, there seemed to be a show going on at every corner. The two of them spent a good half hour listening to two vividly colorful parrots arguing. The debate was rather philosophical and the reasoning astoundingly sound and Shinichi found himself agreeing and disagreeing with the respective sides and their logic before he remembered that these were birds he was thinking about. Surely it was rehearsed, but still… It felt just like listening to two old professors going at a debated topic over coffee.
There were singing bird choirs and miniature air shows that gave aerial acrobatics a whole new level of meaning. They even saw a few magicians performing with their doves. At the sight of the growing grin on Kaito's face, Shinichi had hurriedly ushered the magician away before he could interrupt the amateur magic show.
"Hey, I was just going to help them," he complained, though he let himself be pulled away.
"I don't think they want your help," Shinichi replied. Glancing around for a distraction, his gaze landed on what looked like an obstacle course. Bird sized. Perfect, he thought. Kaito never could pass up a chance to show off. "Why don't you enroll one of your doves for the next round of that?"
Kaito followed the direction of his gaze and grinned. "That does look fun. You should try it too."
"Uh, you kind of need a bird to participate."
"You could borrow one of mine," the magician offered.
Shinichi shook his head vehemently. "I'll just watch."
"Well, if you're sure. Just sit tight and watch the master work!"
Shinichi snorted then smiled. "Were you born with that overwhelming self confidence or do you work at it?"
"Hey, nothing wrong with knowing when you're good at something."
By late afternoon Shinichi was exhausted and even Kaito had lost some of the bounce in his step. So they bought two ice cream cones and a couple bags of birdfeed from a stand being operated by a young woman and five crows (Shinichi noted with some amusement that they had mixes for dozens of types of birds but only three flavors of ice cream) and found a relatively peaceful spot by one of the park's fountains. Kaito summoned two dozen doves or so out of nowhere and they happily set to work on the birdfeed while the humans ate their ice cream.
"So did you have something else planned or are we going home now?" Shinichi inquired, finishing off his cone.
"Well~, there was something else."
Confused by the odd tone that had suffused his companion's voice, Shinichi turned to look at him only to find that Kaito had scooted closer to him at some point and they were practically nose to nose. He blinked in surprise but didn't have time to react as the magician leaned in the last few centimeters and kissed him.
For a moment, time seemed to stop. Then Kaito had leaned in a little too much, Shinichi lost his balance, and they both fell into the fountain with a splash. Shinichi had come up spluttering to see Kaito sitting on the basin's edge with his legs in the water and laughing fit to burst a lung.
Cold, soaking wet, and feeling torn between annoyance, confusion, and maybe a little hurt too, Shinichi sloshed his way to the side of the fountain a good few feet away from the laughing magician. It was funny really, he thought, how a day could go from being kind of fun to miserable in the span of a heartbeat.
"Now that you've had your fun for the day, can we go home?" he asked dryly, refusing to look at his companion.
"N—no, it's not what you're thinking," Kaito insisted, struggling to get his laughter under control. "Honestly. It's just—that wasn't what I had in mind."
"Really?" he asked sarcastically. "So what exactly did you have in mind?"
Since he wasn't looking he didn't see Kaito coming closer (again). What he did notice was the warm hand that caught his chin and turned his head so that he had to meet his companion's gaze. He was surprised to find that, despite his smile, there was nothing but seriousness in Kaito's indigo eyes.
"I was kind of hoping to convince you to go out with me. You know, officially—without the peanut gallery hanging over our shoulders."
Shinichi could feel the heat rising in his face as he looked away. "Oh." If he hadn't seen the look in the magician's eyes he might have wondered if he was joking, but he had and he knew it wasn't a joke.
There was a moment of silence before Kaito spoke again. "So?"
The magician laughed, inching closer. "Is that a yes or a no or should I try again?"
"I…guess I wouldn't mind. Just—be more careful next time."
Kaito broke out into a broad grin and Shinichi let out a yelp of surprise as he was yanked into an enthusiastic embrace and a second kiss, this time without falling into the fountain.
He certainly hadn't expected this when he'd woken up that morning, but, well… They had been dancing around the issue for a while (not helped by their parents despite said parents' belief otherwise), but it wasn't until that moment that everything had clicked into place.
. . . . . . . . .
…And now they had pictures.
"So that was why you guys weren't upset that we skipped school," Kaito remarked. He'd always thought that was odd.
"It was about time," Yukiko replied, giggling. "We had some pictures of you two all wet too but we thought this one was more fitting."
Shinichi blanched, his already prominent blush darkening by several shades. "How did you even get pictures? I know you and Dad were both in Osaka that day!"
On the other couch, Toichi coughed lightly, his eyes twinkling with mirth. "I took those."
This time it was Kaito's turn to give his father an irritated look which didn't phase the elder magician one bit. Like father like son, Shinichi thought. Though when he thought about it he wasn't sure why either of them was surprised to discover they'd been tailed that day. It was the hazard of having nosy parents with freaky skills. But seriously, the fact that their parents knew it had been the first time they'd kissed just went to show that the whole lot of them really needed to get new hobbies.
Important Notes: Okay, so the idea of this is a collection based on the photographs in the album. We're open to suggestions, just describe an image [where, when, what]. Ages for Kaito and Shinicih should be somewhere between toddlers and 25. I was debating writing some things on their parents when they were teenagers too, so that is an option. Other characters may be included, but it must have one of the six characters from this chapter involved. I think this chapter gives a pretty good impression of what this universe is like, but we'll tell you more about it as we go. Just remember, Toichi is alive [clearly], and Shinichi's parents live in Japan.
A.N: Whew, that made sense, right? ^^ Feel free to ask questions. Anyhow, updates for this will probably be very erratic as it will depend entirely on when inspiration strikes.