DC || SaguKaiShin || MK || The Dove, the Falcon and the Sparrow || MK || SaguKaiShin || DC
Title: The Dove, the Falcon and the Sparrow – Fighting the Crows
Fandom: Detective Conan; Magic Kaitou
Disclaimer: All rights reserved to Gosho Aoyama for he created the awesomeness that is Kaitou KID. Ah, and Detective Conan, too. The story in itself though is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.
Warnings: shounen-ai, threesome, h/c, shapeshifting, mating, AU
Main Pairing: SaguKaiShin
Side Pairings: MakoSono, HeiKazu, YuuYuki
Detective Conan Characters: Edogawa Conan / Kudou Shinichi, Mouri Ran, Sera Masumi, Suzuki Sonoko, Tooyama Kazuha, Hattori Heiji, Mouri Kogoro, Agasa Hiroshi, Haibara Ai, Kojima Genta, Tsuburaya Mitsuhiko, Yoshida Ayumi, Kudou Yuusaku, Kudou Yukiko, Kisaki Eri
Magic Kaitou Characters: Kuroba Kaito, Hakuba Saguru, Nakamouri Aoko, Koizumi Akako, Kuroba Chikage, Watson
Summary: The Dove Shifters are on the search for the magical gem Pandora. Their prince had teamed up with the prince of the Falcon Shifters and together with a little help from a certain witch they try to defy the Crow Shifters. Just that a very dear friend of them is more deeply involved into this than they ever thought...
The Dove, the Falcon and the Sparrow
Fighting the Crows
Saguru stretched lazily on the couch in his hotel room. It had been a rather eventful day. Hell, it had been a rather eventful month. His hand was curled into the messy, dark hair of his boyfriend.
"You think tantei-kun will be alright?", murmured the magician in his lap sleepily.
"Of course he will, stop worrying about him, just wait for it", hummed the blonde half-Brit.
"Huh, suppose you're right", grinned the thief with a shrug and closed his eyes.
While the brunette slowly drifted off to sleep, the detective's brain still ragged over the happenings of the day.
~*~ Flashback ~*~
The not-child and his white-clad rival were facing each other off after the past heist. His voice was sharp, as was his grin, nearly matching Kaito's. Saguru hid behind one of the pillars in the room, as he did frequently during heists these days. The thief stood proud in front of the chibi detective, holding his composure leisurely.
"Tantei-kun", greeted KID back.
"I... have to thank you", coughed the boy awkwardly, shifting a bit.
"Not the first time I impersonated you to lead your nee-chan on", chuckled the thief.
"No, not just for today. For every time you've helped me out in the past."
"Why, tantei-kun, you're welcome", blinked Kaito confused.
A slight smile crept onto the boy's lips and he relaxed visibly, falling into their usual comfortable banter. Saguru was intrigued by their antics, the way every mask shed from the not-child's face. He still vividly remembered the first time he had spied on their little post-heist-meetings. The first time around he had been shocked beyond belief.
Of course his life was far from normal itself. He was a shapeshifter with the form of a Falcon. But not any shifter; he was a prince. And as such he had participated in the Falcons' alliance with the Doves. Leaving Britain behind and moving to Ekoda, Tokyo, Japan. Just to meet the prince of the Doves, one very annoying Kuroba Kaito, who in the persona of Kaitou KID tried to fight the Crow shifters in their pursuit of the magical gem Pandora. Seeing as his life was so far, it wasn't that hard to believe that the great Kudou Shinichi had somehow – and not even Kaito could tell him how exactly – shrunken to the diminutive form of Edogawa Conan. Faced under that aspect, Saguru saw the boy in a totally different light. Physically seen Shinichi and Conan did share startling many similarities and the boy's mind was extraordinaire, even for a teen it would have been, but a mere seven-years old child? Ever since then he had started treating the not-child with more respect and he saw that this was received with gratitude. From time to time, when no watchful adult was with them, they held intellectual conversations about Holmes and whatnot. To put it lightly, he grew very fond of the new persona of the Heisei Holmes.
"I came to say goodbye, actually", interrupted Conan's voice his musings.
"Why saying goodbye even though you will return?", inquired Kaito, shifting uncomfortable.
"It's... not one hundred percent certain that I will return", answered Conan with a sigh.
"What's that supposed to mean?", asked the thief curiously.
Conan stared at him with a calculating gaze, before guarding his soul with a few masks, masks that Saguru wasn't used to see when the two friendly rivals faced each other off in the end. The half-Brit scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. Whatever was the matter?
"The reason I am the way that I am is a poison. A poison that didn't work the way it ought to do, leaving me alive but stealing ten years from me. To change back I need to take another poison, with one of three different outcomes."
The Heisei Holmes paused for a second, gathering his thoughts. He didn't even notice that his listeners – even though he only knew of one – were holding their breath.
"The one I'm hoping for would be that I'd get my old body back. Another would be that nothing happens at all, but the douse of anti-poison would leave me ultimately resistant to any other version of the cure, thus leaving me trapped in this body forever", continued Conan.
"And the third?", asked KID after a way too long pause.
"The third is that I die. It is, after all, a poison, too", whispered the not-child.
Kaito gulped, his distress obvious even through his different layers of masks that he wore as KID. In his hiding the blonde detective wrung his hands in distress, too. They both didn't like the idea of loosing their little friend.
"And this is actually the reason why I delayed taking the cure until after the heist."
"What exactly?", asked Kaito, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
The diminutive detective stepped up to the thief, only two steps, and extended his hand, presenting his rival the Detective Boy Badge. Raising one eyebrow in wonder, Kaito stared at it.
"I have one final favor to ask of you, KID-san. Take the badge. A friend of mine, a trustworthy friend, is to contact you if I should... not make it. The favor I'm asking you is to tell Ran that I'm sorry, with my face and my voice, so that she can find peace, and then to fake Kudou Shinichi's death."
The white clad figure stared down at the boy for a bit longer, before he snapped his fingers and the badge disappeared in a cloud of pink smoke, just to reappear in Kaito's hand.
"I will take it, but only so you can contact me once you got your body back. I want a fair match against the Heisei Holmes", stated the thief with a simple shrug.
A joyless laugh erupted from the small detective's chest. "As you wish, KID-san."
The next morning, right in the earliest hours, the sun itself had barely started rising when Saguru had started packing their things again. His useless boyfriend was still asleep, though, and the half-Brit couldn't force himself to wake the messy-head up after the long, eventful heist last night. A reluctant knocking on the door disturbed his musings. Hasty, silent steps led him over and he opened the door a bit to see who was bothering at such an early hour.
"Good morning, Saguru-nii-chan!", smiled a brunette boy up at him.
A smile spread over his lips too as he opened the door fully and invited the be-glassed child in.
"A good morning to you, too, Conan-kun, though be silent, Kaito is still asleep."
"Oh... Should I leave again, then?", whispered Conan.
The shrunken teen looked reluctant and a bit sad, so Saguru shook his head no and closed the door. When he turned around again, the little detective sat on the bed next to Kaito. Smiling a bit, the blonde got back to packing clothes into the backpack.
"What got you up so early?", asked the blonde curiously.
"Hattori is annoyingly affectionate when asleep", grunted Conan and rolled his eyes.
"Excuse me?", the half-Brit blinked confused.
"Let's just say; just because I'm small doesn't mean I'm a teddy bear."
Saguru felt a laugh bubble inside his chest, but it died once his mind provided him with pictures of Hattori – of all people! - cuddling the shrunken detective. Oh, how much he despised the hot-headed idiot! Huffing in annoyance her ruffled Shinichi's hair affectionately.
"Oi! Not a teddy-bear!", protested Conan flustered.
Interestingly enough though the boy leaned more into the tough instead of retreating. As their eyes locked, there was a certain amount of sadness passing through the beautiful, blue eyes.
"What's wrong, Conan-kun?", asked the blonde tentatively.
"I... uh... I just wanted to say good-bye, you know?", whispered the brunette, averting his eyes.
"Ah, yes, I already heard that you'll leave", hummed Saguru.
Realization dawned on him. Conan was, most likely, sad that he needed to say good-bye, because they wouldn't see each other again and once he would return as Kudou Shinichi they would need to start their friendship again. And Saguru, too, thought of that with sadness. The two of them had gained a deep friendship based on mutual respect. It was highly doubtful that they would establish a friendship like this again; it would probably be awkward since they both would feel the need to remark on things from their then past friendship just before remembering that Saguru wasn't supposed to know that Conan and Shinichi were one and the same. But that would mean loosing the unique connection he had built to that brilliant mind. Nothing could be worth that prize.
"But it's not like you won't return, Kudou-kun."
The words were spoken casually, as if he was talking about the weather, while Saguru kept folding a shirt and packed it into the bag. The silence was pregnant with unasked questions and a subtle fear and the blonde just waited for the outburst.
"Don't look so shocked, it's really not that hard to make the connection", announced a way too happy Kaito, who had decided that this was the perfect moment to stop faking being asleep.
The messy-haired teen grabbed Conan's midsection and cuddled the small detective close to his chest. Wide cerulean eyes darted from Kaito to Saguru and back again.
"What? On contrary to what Hattori-kun claims, my boyfriend is a very good detective. And you do look like Kudou-kun when he was younger; we saw the pictures at Mouri-chan's."
"And this hot-headed moron wasn't helping the matter any with his constant exclamations of 'Kudou' whenever he saw you", huffed the blonde irritated.
"Uh... Yeah, well...", stuttered Conan, his gaze calculating and confused.
"No need to worry, your secret is safe with us", hummed Kaito.
"Safer than it is with this idiot anyway", grunted Saguru.
"Yeah, he keeps slipping", agreed the shrunken detective angrily, remembering yesterday afternoon.
The Shounen Tantei-dan along with the Mouri's, the professor, Sonoko and Masumi were meeting up with Saguru, Kaito, Akako and Aoko at the station in Osaka, the Ekoda foursome had taken the car instead of the train and would, if anything worked out as planned, arrive at around the same time as them. Finally the well-known car of the blonde detective arrived at the station and Conan couldn't resist the urge to run up to it. Ai shook her head at him, sending a fond smile after him.
"Saguru-nii-chan! Kaito-nii-chan!", grinned the be-glassed boy happily before jumping them.
After a long train ride with Kogoro and the children and girls he was more than relieved to meet up with someone who treated him as an equal (mind you, the kids did that, too, but that wasn't what he meant!). The magician whirled him around in the air and he briefly wondered if Kaito would do that to an equal, too. But seeing how affectionate the messy-haired boy was with his boyfriend and best friend, he didn't doubt the possibility.
"Ah, Conan-chan! I missed you so much!", announced the magician and made blue-dyed roses appear all around the boy.
"Saguru! Your boyfriend is misbehaving again!", complained the flustered not-child.
"If I would be given one Yen whenever someone points that out to me", grunted the blonde.
"Oi, don't talk like I'm not here!", protested the magician defensively and pressed the shrunken teen to his chest like a teddy-bear.
"Oi! Don't act like I'm a teddy-bear or a pet!", was now Conan's turn to protest.
"But you are such a good teddy-bear!", mumbled Kaito and sat the boy down reluctantly.
However, as soon as his feet touched the ground, he was lifted up again. He twitched irritated as he recognized who had the audacity to lift him up.
"Kudou!", grinned the Osakan detective loudly.
"Where?", came the well-known question from Kazuha.
"Uh—I meant Conan-kun!", corrected the dark-skinned teen hastily.
Conan in his arms growled and kicked his leg until he was lowered onto the ground. Once he was standing again, he grabbed the Osakan's hand and led him a bit off, not noticing the nosy blonde and brunette that followed a bit, until they were in earshot, but still off enough to not look suspicious.
"Hattori, you moron!", hissed the boy.
"I'm sorry, okay? I'm just glad to see you again", huffed Heiji defiantly.
"Yeah, well, it's hard enough right now as it is!"
"Huh?", was the highly intelligent reply.
"Ran is extremely suspicious! Just yesterday she asked me, indirectly, if I'm, well, myself. Because she thinks I'm not sad enough, for hell's sake! And it's so suspicious that Shinichi plans to come back just now when I'll go 'back to my family'!", growled Conan annoyed.
"Oh... Uh, say wouldn't it be easier to tell her the truth now that you have the cure? Especially if she suspects it anyway", asked Heiji.
"Hattori", sighed Shinichi and shook his head. "Just because we got the cure doesn't mean that everything is fine. It's still not safe and if she knew she'd be in even more danger. I can't risk that."
"Oh... So, what do you plan on doing? After you've returned, I mean. If you say it's too risky, then wouldn't it be too risky to return home, too? Do you plan on going into hiding?"
"Don't worry, Hattori. I have a plan. I just... don't want to risk anyone else's lives."
"Anyone else's?", grunted Hattori suspiciously.
Not saying anything else, the small boy turned around and got back to the others.
"Wait—Does that mean you two have been eavesdropping?", gasped Conan wide-eyed.
"It couldn't be helped", snickered Kaito nonchalantly.
The shrunken teen wriggled himself free from the grasp and looked at them with a mixture of worry, sadness and concern. Saguru sighed and sat down next to him.
"What Kaito said is true, your secret is safe with us. You don't have to explain anything to us if you don't want to, I just wanted you to know that we know, because I value our friendship", explained the blonde detective.
Conan's eyes softened and he looked relieved. "So do I. But this is... too dangerous. I don't want you involved into this, Saguru-kun."
"We're big boys, Conan-chan, we can watch out for ourselves. It would interest me how you got yourself shrunken in the first place, though!", grinned Kaito curiously.
A question he had wanted to ask for ages now, but never dared since KID and tantei-kun were rivals and even though it was evident that the thief knew Conan's true identity, they never, like, sat down together and had a long, explaining talk about it. The Heisei Holmes sighed exaggerated and nodded in capitulation before he leaned back against the headboard of the bed.
"It all... started two years ago after Ran had won the championships. I had promised her to take her to Tropical Land, but I observed something strange, a money exchange between dark, suspicious people. Retrospectively seen I know that it had been the most stupid thing to do, but I did it anyway. I followed them, they caught me and wanted to get rid of me. They poisoned me. The poison, supposed to kill me, didn't work the way it ought to do, it shrunk me instead. With the help of my neighbor, Agasa-hakase, I created the persona of Edogawa Conan. I thought that since Ran's father is a detective, staying with them could help me find those guys who had tried to kill me. It didn't help any until now...", told the shrunken detective.
"How can you have a cure for that poison, though?", asked the magician.
"The scientist who had created the poison had taken it too so she could escape their grasp. We met and she worked on the cure ever since", explained the brunette boy.
"That blonde ojou-chan, I assume", hummed Saguru with a nod.
The be-glassed boy nodded and sighed slowly. Kaito, who had laid down and was now resting his head on top of his crossed arms, looked at him concerned. Whatever did his tantei-kun get involved there? Horrible! If Kaito wasn't with the boy, this stupid detective pulled one reckless stunt after the other! Saguru leaned next to Conan and looked down at the not-child.
"How does Hattori-kun fit into this equation?", voiced the blonde.
"He... in lack of a better word, he was my biggest fanboy and wanted to compare our detective skills. That was after my shrinking, though. He had been... persistent... and I had been ill. The idiot he was, he gave me sake. The alcohol reacted somehow with the toxin in my body and cured me temporary. He... figured it out quite easily and I couldn't get rid of him ever since."
"So... those guys who had tried to kill you are still on the loose?", murmured the thief worried.
"Yeah", nodded Conan reluctantly.
"Then there is no way you are staying on your own in that big mansion of yours", declared Saguru.
"What?", exclaimed the shrunken detective perplexed.
"You could as easily wear a target on your chest! You can stay with us, that would be way safer for you!", grinned the messy-haired teen satisfied.
"Wha-? Oi, you can't just decide over my life like that! I've had enough of that in the past two years!", protested Shinichi irritated.
"Ah, it was not a decision, more like an offer we hope you'll take", soothed Saguru calmly.
"Look, I don't want you involved in this. But... I'll drop by once I got my body back, okay? I have to go, or else I will have to listen to a never-ending preach from Hattori!"
Conan left the room in a hurry, most likely because it was all a bit too much. The young couple finished packing and left their room in silence, meeting up with Aoko and Akoko on their way down to the lobby, where the other girls and the children were waiting.
"BaKaito! We had to wait for forever! What took you so long?", scolded Aoko.
"Oi, oi, don't scream around like that! Besides, we're not the last ones! Where are Conan-chan and Hattori-kun?", huffed the magician annoyed.
"We're here!", called Conan, running up to them with Heiji on his heels, looking around in confusion. "Sonoko-nee-chan? Where is Ran-nee-chan?"
"Oh? She went outside to call Shinichi. Since he had called yesterday and hung up on her like that, she tried to reach him again", explained the blonde and looked through the glass doors.
Conan bit his lips guiltily, remembering yesterday's dinner...
Ran had watched him all day long like a hawk it's prey. And that made him more than just nervous. He couldn't stop twitching, his fight-or-flight-reflexes kicking in. And since fighting Ran was so out of question, he just wanted to run. Run fast and far. Their rather big group had found their way to a sushi restaurant, Conan was walking between Hakuba and Kuroba, reasoning with himself that he was just holding their hands because he was a little child and they were adults. Jeez, he was a horrible liar, even when he was only lying to himself...
"Oh dear lord, you didn't say we would eat at a sushi bar!", squealed Kaito, hiding behind Saguru.
"Uh... Why? Does it matter?", grunted Hattori irritated.
"Ah, he has a... small problem with fish", chuckled the blonde detective and patted his boyfriend's head in a calming manner.
"Oh! Would you like us going somewhere else, then?", asked Kazuha concerned.
"Na, it's alright. I'm not really hungry anyway. I'll go hit the hotel and sleep a bit, I'm dead tired", grinned Kaito, waving in a nonchalant manner and disappearing around the corner.
The remaining guys went inside and sat down at a table. Conan took a chair between Saguru and Heiji and somehow he felt very uncomfortable, because his two fellow detectives kept glaring at each other over his head. Bless the soul that had called Ran right in that moment.
"Moshi moshi? ...Sh—Shinichi! What... Why do you call...? ...Oh. Yeah, okay... Thank you for calling! ...We will see each other soon, okay... Good bye..."
"Shinichi-nii-san called?", asked Conan cautiously, searching her face in confusion.
"Yes! Oh, Conan-kun, I'm so sorry for what I said! Shinichi said that you called him after our conversation and explained that you're sad to leave, but also happy to get back to your parents... Oh, I'm so, so sorry, Conan-kun!", sighed Ran and shook her head.
"Kudou, how did you do that?", whispered Hattori confused.
"I didn't do anything", hissed Conan back at him before turning to Ran. "That's no problem, Ran-nee-chan, really! I will miss you, all of you, and I'm glad we can spend the weekend together before I have to leave!"
In the back of his mind was an image of a certain white-clad thief that had a cocky grin breaking through his pokerface as he pocketed his cellphone after this call.
"Shinichi-nii-san is coming back soon, right?", voiced Ayumi curiously.
"Ah, yeah, he didn't say when but he said soon", answered Ran with a smile.
"Idiotic Holmes geek, whatever case did he get involved that took two years to solve", huffed Sonoko irritated and turned to Masumi.
"Aren't you being unfair, Sonoko-chan?", chuckled the female detective.
"Why? He claims to be the best and then he leaves for two years?", grunted the blonde girl.
"Shinichi-nii-san is the best!", protested Mitsuhiko wide-eyed.
"Yeah! He helped Conan-kun often! I really want to meet him", grinned Genta.
"Oi, oi, what is all this talk about that detective brat?", grunted Kogoro annoyed.
"Tou-san!", protested Ran angrily.
The man just shrugged and drank more sake. Beside him the professor chuckled in amusement upon seeing the incredulous look on Conan's face.
Two weeks had passed since the Osakan heist. Kaito was fidgeting nervously, pulling more pranks than ever. Aoko was stressed by this annoying behavior and even more so because Saguru didn't say anything. Normally the blonde would help her keeping the idiot in line, but the half-Brit seemed just as out of it as his boyfriend. The messy-haired girl shook her head at them and huffed in annoyance. Bless the others, because without Sonoko and Masumi she would certainly go crazy with these two right now. She was grateful that she had met Sera Masumi in hers and Saguru's law lessons. The female detective had introduced her two friends, Suzuki Sonoko and Mouri Ran, to them, what led to them meeting the Detective Boys, too. The keibu's daughter had found it strange how good Kaito and Saguru seemed to get along with Conan, but then again the boy was adorable. And said boy was right now the reason why she was dragging those two strangely behaving idiots to a little café in Edoka.
"Good morning, mina!", smiled Aoko brightly as she sat down at the table with the three girls.
They thought that meeting up would be a good idea to cheer Ran up, since the girl was very upset because of Conan's departure.
"Say, did you hear something from Kudou-kun already?", asked Aoko curiously.
If possible, the look on Ran's face darkened some more. "He called, two days ago, saying that he was back but he had some urgent stuff to do before he could meet. But he promised he would drop by this week. Idiot."
"He already arrived?", asked Kaito wide-eyed.
Why hadn't Shinichi contacted him with the Detective Boy Badge? The messy-haired shifter murmured some incoherent words and grabbed Saguru's hand. His eyes searched for his mate's and he saw the concern and annoyance in the hazel eyes.
"Yeah, well, he said... he didn't feel good", sighed Ran worried.
"What is that even supposed to mean?", grunted Sonoko irritated.
The Dove shifter and the Falcon shifter exchanged some meaningful glances. Something was wrong there, they needed to check on their precious Heisei Holmes. Before the thought could be fully formed inside their heads, however, the cellphone of Ran ringed.
"Maybe that's him", giggled Aoko.
"No, it's Kazuha-chan", hummed Ran confused. "Moshi moshi, Kazuha-chan! What's the matter? ...What do you mean? ...I... Okay..." The detective's daughter blinked confused and turned to the man behind the counter. "Excuse me sir, but could you please switch to the news?"
"Uh, of course, ojou-san."
The man looked even more confused than Ran did, but he switched the channel from MTV to the next news. A reporter was standing in front of a burning mansion.
"...I'm at the crime scene, the former Kudou Mansion. First reports from the firefighters say that the old electricity system had a short circuit after two years of staying unused. The resident, Kudou Shinichi, only child of the famous actress Kudou Yukiko and writer Kudou Yuusaku, just recently returned, most likely causing the malfunction. Newest reports say that a burned body had been discovered in one of the bedrooms, not able to identify it it is assumed that this is, in fact, Kudou Shinichi, who was surprised by the fire during sleep. The fire is still being extinguished, but since the victim is the famous high school detective, the police already arrived at the scene..."
The cellphone hit the floor hard, soon followed by Ran herself. Tears streamed down her face, her hands were shaking, wide, fearful eyes fixated on the screen, even though it had been switched back to MTV again.
Saguru sighed heavily. It was late night and he felt exhausted, physically and emotionally. His grip around Kaito's waist tightened, the head resting against his shoulder was heavy weight, but it was a welcomed weight. He needed the connection to his mate, the loss of the day was too hard. Twenty hours prior, the news had informed them of Kudou Shinichi's death. After the initial shock had ebbed down, they were on their way to the Kudou mansion. Firefighters and police officers were busy at the scene and on the far end stood the professor and his young charge, the elderly man a mess and even the blonde girl looked unusually hurt, even though she was one to obtain her pokerface at any time. They both had stated that Shinichi in fact was inside the house when it started burning, with horror in his voice had the professor told them how they were able to hear the boy's screams. Saguru's eyes were sharp, he was searching the faces for any sign of a lie, a clever cover-up for something, but the distress and sadness and guilt were genuine. The police force had closed the files after only a few hours, every evidence led to only one conclusion: A horrible accident, not to be prevented by anyone.
"Sagu-chan...", whispered Kaito in a broken voice.
"I know", murmured the blonde soothingly, kissing the messy hairs.
They were grateful to arrive at their door, both needing the alone-time now. Just cuddling in front of the television and most likely watching something completely ridiculous, with the only purpose of providing white noise. But before Saguru could open the door, there was a chirping sound redirecting their attention to a little, hurt bird. The magician sat down and collected the little thing.
"It's a sparrow", stated the thief, looking at it closely. "And it's hurt... Come, little guy, we'll take care of you, don't you worry."
A small, sad smile graced the half-Brit's lips. Grief made his mate turn to something to tend to. A hurt, young sparrow was just about the right thing.
Nearly a week later, the blonde stood in front of their mirror in their bedroom, finishing his tie.
"Kaito? Are you ready? Koizumi-chan will soon arrive so we can take her with us!"
"I don't even know why the witch is tagging along!", grunted the magician from downstairs.
"Remember; Officially we all are attending this for Mouri-chan's and Suzuki-chan's sake."
The messy-haired teen mumbled some incoherent words. Saguru shook his head and left the bedroom to look after his mate. White feathers laid all around the living room and the blonde raised a curious eyebrow.
"What are you doing, my Dove?", asked the detective concerned.
Like a child caught with his hand in the cookie-jar the magician turned around and stared at him. The black suit looked out of place on the thief, only the white wide-spread appendages on his back rescued the picture. The wings flapped a few times.
"I'm just...", sighed Kaito and shrugged in lack of words.
"You're not comfortable. I know. I understand. Believe me, so am I."
The half-Brit stepped up to his mate and flexed his own wings. Big, brown Falcon-wings wrapping around the Dove shifter as Saguru hugged him close. A happy chirping made him look up, right into the eyes of the little sparrow that nestled in the messy hairs.
"You think I can take tantei-kun with us?", asked Kaito with pleading eyes.
Since they had found the little bird, it was practically attached to the magician's head. It nearly never left it's new-found nest and if it did, it was to sit down on Saguru's lap. The blonde nodded slowly, not that he would have been able to deny his mate anyway. Not with all the grief they were dealing with. They knew that their feelings for the shrunken detective had run deeper than they were supposed to do. Even though they had agreed that it was just a crush and that they would keep the boy close as a friend. The loss hurt. Hurt more than anything Saguru had ever experienced in his life. It made him wonder how Kaito had overcome his father's death all those years ago. What made everything just a bit harder was the fact that, officially seen, they had never even met Kudou Shinichi, thus their public grieving would draw unwanted attention.
"The funeral won't be too long", promised the blonde, kissing his mate softly.
The door-bell rung and Saguru turned around to open it, hiding his wings in the mist beforehand. An annoyed looking red-head stood in front of their door. Just as the blonde wanted to turn around to call for the magician, said brunette stood behind him.
"Let's get this over with", sighed Akako, sending a worried glance at the thief.
"Yeah... I just... want to go back into my bed", murmured Kaito.
He winced and poked the little bird on his head as the sparrow had decided to pull on his hair.
"Tantei-kun, behave!", warned the thief.
"You should keep an eye on that one", commented the witch, importance evident in her voice.
Kaito raised an eyebrow. He had long since stopped questioning her strange comments. They drove in silence and met the other girls at the gates of the graveyard. Ran had barely spoken at all since they had seen the news. A brunette boy had his arms wrapped around Sonoko and the blonde, despite all her claims that Shinichi was Ran's friend and only an annoying detective geek, had tears running down her cheeks like waterfalls. Ran's father and mother stood a bit aside from the teenagers, together with another couple of adults. Saguru suspected them to be the Kudous.
"Ran!", called a female voice with Osakan accent out.
Kazuha hugged the girl close to her chest, the dark skinned boy behind her had his face covered by his cap. The professor and Haibara arrived, greeting the teenagers shortly before heading over to the adults. While Kazuha, Ran, Sonoko, Masumi, Aoko and Akako soon headed inside, the couple remained at the gates some longer.
"He told me that ya knew", broke Heiji the silence at last.
"Mh", was Saguru's only reply.
"He... really liked ya. Told me he was glad to know that ya knew."
"He did?", whispered Kaito with a sad smile.
"He had been at my place the week after that heist, said it would be safer to transform away from the mansion since nee-chan would probably drop by during that time to fill the fridge and tidy up that mess", kept the Osakan telling.
"Then why didn't he call us after he got his body back? He promised!", hissed Kaito angrily.
"Na, he promised to drop by. And anyway, he was unconscious the most time. Turning back to his old body permanently was more exhausting and painful than it was with the temporary cures. Wasn't certain if it would work at all until one and a half week ago, his body kept switching from one form to the other again and again. Once it settled, he went back home. The little nee-chan said he was so exhausted that he had slept ever since they arrived back in Tokyo. Not coma or anything, just resting because of what his body had endured. He would have called you once he woke up, if not...", the sentence died on the tip of his tongue.
"We should head to the others", suggested Saguru, sending his fellow detective a grateful glance.
It helped to know the reason, even though it didn't lessen the pain. The adults got moving, too. Eri and Kogoro hurried after their daughter, trying to give her all the comfort they were able to provide. Agasa and Ai went up to Heiji and collected the detective, leaving the young couple alone with the Kudous. Yukiko looked them up and down, her eyes staying frozen on Kaito's head and a small smile tugged on her lips.
"You must be Sagu-chan and Kai-chan, right?", asked the woman.
"Yes, ma'am", answered Saguru, far over the point of caring about the nickname.
"Shin-chan had told us about you", smiled Yuusaku. "He said you are good friends. And he said that you knew. It certainly helped, having someone around who treated him not like a child. I want to thank you for that."
"There is no need for thanks, Kudou-san", objected Saguru politely. "Conan-kun had been a very good and close friend. You don't need to thank us, we are grateful that we had the chance to meet your son. He was very... special."
"Oh, you don't have a clue as to how special our Shin-chan is", chuckled Yukiko.
Her eyes kept going to the little bird on Kaito's head and she hummed in something akin to relief. They both ignored her little slip, knowing that differing between past tense and present tense was hard shortly after a loss.
"Come on, Yuu-chan, we are needed. Excuse us, boys, will you?"
They nodded the couple off and Saguru wrapped his arms once again around his mate. It worried him how calm the magician had been acting for the past week. Not one prank, no loud, obnoxious behavior. Loosing the Heisei Holmes had changed him.
"Oi! Tantei-kun, stop pulling my hair", hissed Kaito annoyed, swatting at the little sparrow.
"I think he is trying to cheer you up", commented Saguru incredulously.
The funeral was good, if one can say that about a funeral. Many police officers had come and bid the boy good bye as if he had been one of them. Families of victims from cases the high school detective had solved, even FBI agents and fans came. It was solemn and sad and Saguru was glad to leave again, he couldn't stand all the grief, not while all he wanted was to be back home and hold his mate until both their tears would have died down.
The following two weeks were even harder. Between mourning in private, they tried to cope with their friends' grief and anger and had barely a minute to themselves during the day. It was hard, for everyone, and Kaito was sure he had never felt such exhaustion in his life before. He didn't remember his father's passing being so stressful, but he had been a child back then and his mother had, like every good mother, shielded her son from the adults' worries. Dealing with Ran and Sonoko was a handful, but it was also kind of relieving. Helping them helped themselves, so to say. Still, they were happy to arrive home in the early morning hours after a whole night with the girls.
"Did you leave the radio on?", asked Kaito confused.
Music, more precisely Aqua's 'Barbie Girl', blared from their kitchen. Saguru shook his head no and they made their way to the room with the loud noises, slowly and cautiously, even though they doubted that it was a burglar. What kind of burglar would turn the radio on?
Upon arriving at the doorstep, they faced the greatest shock of their lives.
Swaying his hips to the beat of the song and humming along, totally out of tune, was no other than Kudou Shinichi himself. Clad in a way too big shirt that kept slipping from one of his shoulders and that the couple distinctly remembered being part of Saguru's wardrobe and boxer shorts with KID's signature smiley over and over again on it. The teen turned around and stared at them wide-eyed before smiling the brightest smile they had ever seen.
"You're back! And here I started worrying if Ran had took you hostage! Good, you're on time, I made breakfast for you! Hush, sit down, the pancakes are getting cold!"
"What... I... What...?", was all the magician could say.
"I agree", grunted Saguru, both eyebrows lifted high.
Shinichi looked them up and down, his eyes sharp as if taking in evidence, before realization dawned on him. Normally at this point he would explain who the murderer was, but now he just scoffed and crossed his arms over his chest.
"You two are morons."
"Morons with very lividly hallucinations, I suppose", whispered the messy-haired teen.
"No. Really, you're morons", repeated Shinichi and stemmed his hands into his hips.
"We've seen the news, we've heard from your neighbor how he had heard your cries in the fire, we've been to your funeral. What, exactly makes us morons in this?", asked the blonde sharply.
"You—! I—! Oh dear lord, you are morons."
"Stop repeating yourself and explain it", demanded the half-Brit unnerved.
He fixed the smaller teen (by a few inches how he remarked irritated) with a glare. Shinichi shook his head in despair and sat down, motioning for the couple to do the same.
"I've stayed with you for the past three weeks and you really hadn't noticed? At all? What's wrong with your noses? Seriously, I didn't think much of the fact that you hadn't shifted once in this time, but that you hadn't been able to smell me? Really?", asked the Heisei Holmes perplex.
Now it was their turn to look at the boy wide-eyed as his words sunk in.
"You're—You're tantei-kun! I mean, you're the sparrow tantei-kun!", gaped Kaito.
"Of course. I thought that was the reason you chose the name...?"
"Look, I... Would you please start at the beginning before I'm getting an aneurism?", asked Saguru.
"It was how Hattori had told you, after I've arrived back in Tokyo I slept for days. Only to be woken by the smell of fire and a manic laugh. One of the guys who had tried to kill me with the apotoxin two years ago must have seen me as I had arrived back home. He wanted to shoot me, leave the scene and let the fire destroy all the evidence. What he didn't expect was for me to fight back and knock him out and certainly not to shift and leave the burning room through the only exit, the window that was just open ajar. I didn't make it out unharmed, that had been the reason I wasn't able to shift back and tell you sooner. Broken bones don't like shifting. But I thought you would have been able to tell by my smell that I wasn't a common sparrow."
"Excuse us for having a bit too much on our minds to care about the smell of little hurt animals we found on the street", grunted the half-Brit annoyed.
"Oh well, it can't be helped now", sighed the Heisei Holmes.
Only a few seconds later he found himself being clomped by the affectionate brunette. Kaito lifted him with barely no effort at all off the chair and whirled him around.
"Ka—Kaito-kun! Stop it, just because I am finally healed enough to shift doesn't mean my ribs don't hurt anymore!", gasped the smaller teen.
The magician sat him back down again, though he didn't let go of the boy. Another pair of strong arms wrapped themselves around Shinichi's waist and sapphire blue eyes locked with hazel.
"You're alive, you're really, really, really alive!", exclaimed Kaito happily. "Oh, I'm so—"
However the sentence was supposed to end, the two detectives would probably never know. The excited brunette went silent, his nose burried into the crook of Shinichi's neck, inhaling deeply. Saguru stared at his mate in confusion, before he lowered his face, too, taking a deep breath from the point where the spine and the skull connected.
"You smell delicious, Shin-chan! Like, like a double-chocolate-fudge-cake with extra whip-cream and fresh strawberries!", purred the magician hungrily. "I could devour you right away. I—I mean, that didn't turn out right, it's just such a delicious smell... Whatever is that smell...?"
With a sideways-glance at the boy in their middle, the blonde detective noted that Shinichi blushed rather deeply at the comment and tried to wriggle free. It didn't take a detective to connect the evidence and draw the conclusion.
"You really can't tell, Kaito?", asked the blonde curiously, at his mate's head-shake he continued. "It ought to make you want to devour him. Just not in the food-kind-of-way."
A wry smile graced his lips as he looked down at Shinichi like the predator he was. The Sparrow's blush deepened and the confusion on Kaito's face thickened.
"You're not just a shifter, aren't you, Shinichi-kun?", wanted Saguru to know.
"Whatever is that supposed to mean?", questioned the magician.
"It's the smell of a submissive. He's a submissive", explained the half-Brit.
"Oh? Oh. Oh! I've never met a submissive male, how in the world am I supposed to recognize the smell?", defended Kaito himself, turning wide eyes at Shinichi. "That true?"
"I fear yes", sighed the smaller teen and averted his eyes.
"The smell in itself is individual, but it's always sweet. Submissives always smell sweet. And you, my dear Sparrow, are smelling extremely sweet", commented the blonde with one raised eye-brow.
"Why, thanks for pointing out the obvious!", huffed Shinichi desperately.
He tried to overlook the fact that Kaito smelled of lavender and musk and Saguru like the earth and trees, with an even stronger hint of musk. He also tried to overlook the fact that he felt very content just standing there, between them, held by them. So he escaped their embrace and hurried out of the kitchen, mumbling something about being tired and needing some sleep.
"Uh... Huh...", hummed Kaito confused, blinking a few times and staring after the boy.
"You don't know what that means, do you, Kaito?", chuckled Saguru and sat back down.
The magician shrugged and sat down, too, starting to devour the pancakes Shinichi had made for them. Kaito was never really interested in studying, while his mate kept so many information inside his head. Certainly the blonde would enlighten him soon enough.
"You ever heard of a trine?", a vague nod from Kaito told him enough to know that the messy-haired shifter had most likely only heard of it. "It's when two mates of the same dominance find one who completes them, like two dominates who find a submissive. It's rather rare, but in such cases they can have more than one mate."
"Are you... trying to say what I think you're trying to say?", asked Kaito with a raised eyebrow.
"We thought he was dead. I do not intent on wasting any more time, wouldn't you agree?"
"I love the idea!", grinned the thief, his eyes glinting for the first time in three weeks with mischief again and he jumped up and down on his chair. "He'll so fall for us! Who could resist our combined charm anyway, Sagu-chan?"
The detective snickered and shook his head in amusement. It was good to have the old Kaito back. No, loosing Shinichi again was not an option. The blue-eyed shifter would be theirs and Saguru would be damned if he ever left the Heisei Holmes anywhere alone again! That boy was prone for nearly getting himself killed! And he thought they led a dangerous life with fighting the Crows, but whatever Shinichi did seemed even more dangerous. The brunette was in serious need of someone protecting him from his own recklessness.
They ate in silence, both deep in their own thoughts.
"Uh, Sagu-chan? What do we do now?", asked Kaito a bit irritated once they were finished eating.
"Bed. Sleeping", stated the blonde with a yawn.
After a long night of cheering Ran up and a good breakfast whatever could be better than sleep? He laid his arm around Kaito's waist and guided the magician upstairs to their bedroom. And even though they remembered Shinichi mumbling something about sleep, they were still astonished upon discovering the boy curled together in the middle of their bed. A razor-sharp KID-grin spread over Kaito's face as he sneaked under the sheets behind the Heisei Holmes and wrapped his arms around the smaller boy's waist, he beckoned his mate to join them and Saguru was happy to comply. The blonde laid down on the other side of the Sparrow and laid one arm around his mate, pulling both brunettes closer to him until Shinichi's head was resting on his chest and Kaito's head laid on his shoulder. The Sparrow sighed contently and snuggled closer to the other detective, his left hand resting on the blonde's stomach while his right hand linked fingers with Kaito. Saguru clasped the pale hand of the brunette and smiled slightly. He had a good guessing about Shinichi's feelings now. The flustered way the boy had left their kitchen, the constant blushing while discussing his obvious submissive genes and now the subconscious behavior of snuggling and seeking protection. The only plausible explanation to that was that the Sparrow's instincts were seeking the dominants out, but his human-wired brain was still protesting against such notions. Locking eyes with his mate he confirmed that Kaito had obviously come to the same conclusion.
Kaito growled in annoyance as something soft tickled his nose. He just had such a nice dream! Whatever it was that woke him, it would face the magician's wrath! Blinking tiredly he looked up, just to stare into the wide-awake eyes of his mate, who seemed fixated on something behind him. Confused the magician turned around, catching the brown feather that had tickled his nose. He gaped at what he saw. Shinichi sat, with his back turned to the couple, at the foot-end of the bed and checked his hurt wing with cautious, slow motions. Bright brown wings spread over him.
"You're beautiful", whispered the Dove prince in awe.
Startled the Heisei Holmes turned around to face them, a deer-in-the-headlights-expression adoring his features. A blush spread over the pale cheeks.
"K—Kaito-kun!", exclaimed the startled shifter. "Did I wake you guys? I'm sorry!"
"You did not, Shinichi-kun. I am an, heh, early bird anyway", smirked Saguru.
"Ha, ha, ha, hilarious pun", grunted Kaito and rolled his eyes.
The brown wings flexed a few times and Shinichi laughed softly at their antics.
"Say, Shin-chan, I understand why we weren't able to smell you in the past three weeks – you know, emotional stress and all that stuff that comes along with such a loss – but what about the year prior? I mean, shouldn't we have been able to smell you then?", questioned the Dove.
"I... The apotoxin that shrunk me must have blocked my shifter genes somehow... I hadn't been able to shift in the past year, it must have changed my smell, too", sighed Shinichi.
"You mean you weren't able to just soar the sky for two years? That would have driven me insane!", gaped the thief shocked.
"Ah, yeah, well, I had other problems during that time", shrugged the Sparrow awkwardly, before turning hopeful eyes on the couple. "Would you fly with me, then?"
"What?", blinked Saguru confused, shaking his head definitely. "No. Just because you've healed enough to shift back doesn't mean you should overdo it. You still need to rest."
"Don't mother-hen me!", protested Shinichi irritated. "It was just a question if you would accompany me. I will take a fly anyway."
The boy turned away from them and in the motion he shifted, a little sparrow floating over their heads. Wide violet eyes fixed Saguru with a worried glare. There was no way in hell they would let their little Sparrow fly alone, not with his disturbing ability of getting into trouble! A few seconds later and Shinichi saw himself opposite two birds. A mighty, brown falcon and a pearly white dove. The two looked at him annoyed.
"After getting yourself nearly killed on a regular base, you really think that we would let you fly alone? There are enough predators out there that would eat a little sparrow like yourself for lunch!"
The falcon flexed his wings angrily and fixed him with a scolding glare. Shinichi chirped cheekily.
"I know. I knew you wouldn't let me fly alone. I know how I get what I want."
He turned and flew through the open window, closely followed by Kaito and Saguru.
"Saguru-sama! Kaito-sama, matta ne!", called an elderly voice after them.
Shinichi looked behind them curiously and recognized Watson. The falcon had been good company for Shinichi in the past three weeks, he and the doves of the magician.
"Watson-san! Do you want to come along?", smiled the Heisei Holmes.
"Ah, Kudou-kun, I see you are feeling better, that's good to know! I do not want to come along, but I can hardly let those two out without some kind of guard."
The older bird sounded and looked very sore. Kaito and Saguru stared at him wide-eyed. This was not how they had planned on telling their little Sparrow that they were royalty! They needed to stop Watson before the falcon could say anything wrong.
"I understand, of course. So you do join us then? Can't have the little princes running wild", chuckled the little brown bird.
"No, we in fact can't have that", agreed Watson a bit angrily.
At the incredulous looks on the couple's faces the sparrow started chirping loudly, his equivalent to a full-blown laugh. "I've had much time to talk with Watson-san and the dozens of doves at your house. You really thought it never slipped them, your Highnesses?"
"Oh, figures", mumbled Saguru and nodded.
"Well, then, where do you want to go, Shin-chan?", asked Kaito brightly, happy that this secret would not be a problem anymore.
"I need to check on something... at home", answered the Sparrow shifter.
They headed over to the former Kudou mansion in a content silence, just enjoying the feeling of the wind in their feathers and the incomparable freedom of flight. The ruins of the mansion were a cruel sight, reminding the couple of the pain it brought them. Once the sparrow toughed the ground, he changed back into his human form. Not comfortable with loosing the means of communication, Kaito and Saguru too shifted. The trio stood in what must have been the living room before everything had burned down.
"I think we need to go shopping with you, Shin-chan. As much as I appreciate the sight, I don't want you walking around like that in public", commented the magician.
Shinichi's cheeks colored as he realized that he was still only wearing Saguru's shirt and the boxer shorts. He shook his head and hurried over to what once had been the wall between living room and library. Kneeling down beside it, he removed some bricks and ashes until a hidden safe was to be seen. Opening the safe, the Sparrow shifter took a small silver box out of it, engraved with a sparrow and some lilies. Relief was evident in the sapphire eyes.
"What's that?", asked Kaito curiously.
"A family heir-loom. I had feared the Crows had taken it", answered Shinichi honestly and opened the jewelry box.
A beautiful, dark sapphire collier was inside, bedded on blue velvet. Reluctantly he touched it and in the end laid it around his neck, before shifting back into his bird form.
"What? Did you say Crows?", gaped Kaito wide-eyed.
The dove and the two falcons followed tail, all three of them staring at Shinichi in wonder.
"A group of shifters, that-", started the Sparrow, just to be interrupted by Saguru.
"We know that. The question is, how are you involved with them?"
"Like I already told you. Two years ago, someone tried to kill me. Just like they tried three weeks ago. The Crows, that is", explained Shinichi confused.
"But how did you get involved with these dark figures, Kudou-kun?"
The elderly falcon looked genuinely worried for the small bird's safety.
"Family business. I have something they want and they had been after me in Tropical Land, had hoped to catch me alone and I fell into their trap."
"This... family heir-loom? This the reason they want you dead?", asked Saguru concerned.
"Yeah, well, it's a pretty powerful magical gem, so... The royal family of the Crows is after it for ages now, hoping to gain the power they need to win a long-running war. My ancestors promised to the high council many years ago to keep it safe and so did we ever since. So my family became the protectors of Pandora", explained the Sparrow shifter matter-of-factly.
"P—Pandora?", exclaimed the other three birds astonished.
"Uh, yeah?", asked Shinichi cautiously. "Why? Is something wrong with that?"
"We—We're searching for that gem for decades over decades and you have it in your family safe? Seriously now?", gaped Kaito wide-eyed.
"Well, the high council had acknowledged the danger it posed to them, so they decided to give it to someone who would keep it hidden. My mother's great-great-great-grandmother's aunt was a high priestess and it was given to her. Since she had no children, she passed it on to her niece. Ever since then it was given from mother to daughter, until, well, me. Sparrows are commonly not seen as threats so no one suspected us to poss something with such great power."
"You know about it's power?", asked Watson suspiciously.
"Of course. I am it's keeper", retorted Shinichi with an irritated look.
"You mean that you are a priest?", whispered the old bird astonished. "But you're still so young..."
"I am and I am not that much younger than our two princes here."
Shinichi looked greatly confused. He knew of his family's honorable burden and had been taught to follow into his mother's steps. It was hard to be on his own, but he knew some day he would find his mate to aid him help and protection, just the way it had been with his parents.
"But what do you mean you've been searching for it?"
His answer was met with silence and he saw the meaningful glances that were exchanged behind his back. Something was fishy here and he felt the need to stay alerted.
The four birds arrived back at the Kuroba-Hakuba-household and Shinichi shifted back into his human form as soon as he hit the carpet. The last three weeks as a sparrow had been enough for now and he relished the feeling of being in his own, rightfully grown body again.
"Does that mean this stone around his neck is what my father had died for...?"
"Your luck is once again surprising me, Kaito-sama", mumbled Watson. "You got the High Priest of Pandora into your house without even intending to."
"You mean you knew?", asked Saguru sharply.
"By no means. I know the age-old tales about a Council of Kings that was called the High Council, the kings from every shifter tribe came and debated what to do with the magical gem that was given to them, by Lucifer himself as the tales say. The Crows wanted to use it for their selfish advantages and the council feared that with it's power the Crows would outmatch them and take over the council to rule alone. Legend has it that a high priestess was chosen, one of pure heart and wise soul, they gave the gem to her to guard it. Because the story reminds of the Greek tale of Pandora and her jar full of evilness, the gem was dubbed Pandora", explained the guardian.
Kaito nodded. The part with Lucifer was nothing new. He had heard it from Akako after meeting her on the grounds of shifter and witch. She told him her acquaintance Lucifer had given a magical gem to the shifters long time ago to see what would happen. That a war would break out like this was not what he had expected and since it went on for far too long by now, he send the witch to help find the gem as means of his apology. At first, and long after, he thought she was bullshitting him. But many legends seemed to cover with her story and really, what logic do you bargain for if faced with magical gems and shape shifters?
"The Crows somehow found out that Shin-chan's family is the gem's keeper and tried to kill him, probably to force his parents to give the gem to them. But since he shrunk, he was safe from their talons, because he hadn't been able to shift and he didn't smell of a shifter anymore. They lost their lead. But now that he had returned, they tried it again...", concluded Kaito.
"Watch it, you're turning in one of us boring detectives if you go on like that", commented Saguru.
"Oh, shut it", grunted the magician annoyed. "What should we do now?"
"You should shift back, because he is looking at us suspiciously and then you should sit down and have a long, explaining talk", suggested Watson, getting into the air again and sitting down on Shinichi's shoulder, who patted him with a small smile.
Kaito and Saguru shifted reluctantly and turned to face the Heisei Holmes. Said detective looked at them with guarded eyes, a calculating, distrusting tint in the bright blue.
"If someone asked for Pandora, it never ended good, is what my family tradition says."
"Well, so does mine", whispered Kaito and sat down.
The blonde forced his fellow detective down on the couch, too, before sitting himself.
"The Doves and the Crows are in a constant war, no one even remembers anymore how it had started. To end the war, my family tried to find Pandora so we could destroy it before the Crows could get their talons on it. The Falcons are our greatest allies. This is how Sagu-chan and I had met. This is how my father had died, at the talons of the Crows."
Silence fell between them, Kaito and Saguru exchanged glances over the Sparrow's head, both not daring to look at the pretty submissive. Shinichi stared at the jewel around his neck, a place where the Dove's and the Falcon's eyes were drawn to soon too. The main-gem fit loosely into Shinichi's fist, round and blue and sparkling in the sunlight, silver vines draped around small rubies, emeralds and sapphires, it certainly was the most beautiful piece of jewelry they had ever seen. Kaito extended his hand to brush his fingers over the gem, but it was hastily removed from his grasp. Raising an eyebrow, he shot an inquiring look at Shinichi. The smaller teen still had a guarded look on his face and stared at him with unusual cold eyes, even though the magician saw the hurt and anguish this was masking.
"Shin-chan?", whispered the thief in a low, rumbling voice.
"Your story is sad and I am sincerely sorry for your loss", began the Sparrow, fidgeting with the magical stone in his hands. "But you need to understand that I can't give it to you."
"What do you mean?", inquired Saguru, crossing his arms over his chest.
"It is my duty to protect the stone from anyone", clarified Shinichi. "That includes you. Whatever my personal feelings towards you may be, I can't break the oath my ancestor made. You have your mission and I have mine. It's just unfortunate that they crossed."
"Very well, let's postpone this matter to a later date", agreed the blonde detective.
"Yeah. Let's talk about these personal feelings towards us instead", grinned Kaito razor-sharp.
"I—I... I don't know what's there to talk about! You—You are very dear friends to... to me, that's... all", stuttered the flustered Heisei Holmes, shifting uncomfortable.
"Are you... sure about that?", hummed the moonlight magician curiously, leaning in on the other brunette, until his lips brushed against a red-tinted ear. "Are you sure you're content with being friends? We would be good mates to you, little Sparrow."
"M—Mates?", gaped Shinichi, trying to escape the proximity between them, just to collide with a broad chest behind him.
He turned wide-eyed and faced the half-Brit behind him, just as strong arms wrapped themselves around his waist, sleek magician-hands played with the buttons of his shirt and he tried to swat them away, not with much effort though.
"Or do you already have an intended mate?", breathed Saguru against his other ear.
"I—No, I don't, but I mean, I...", stammered the submissive desperately.
"That's good, very good", smirked Kaito broadly.
"I don't—You can't—We shouldn't—This isn't..."
"Calm down, Shinichi-kun", soothed the blonde, rubbing Shinichi's stomach in slow motions. "We don't intend on pushing you. It's your decision to chose your mate and we won't take it away from you, be assured that hurting you in any kind of way is the last we would ever want to."
"But you should also know that we are quite persistent and that we won't give up without a fight, Shin-chan", purred Kaito and kissed the smaller brunette's jaw-line.
"Because you are certainly worth fighting for", murmured the blonde and nibbled on the ear.
Shinichi mewled delicately and bucked his hips, his fingers tangled in the brown, messy hair of his favorite magician. The hands of the half-Brit had sneaked underneath his shirt and were caressing his bare skin with tender motions. His shirt was gripped hard and he was pulled into a bruising kiss by Kaito. He moaned into the kiss as teeth bit his neck hard.
"My apologies, I couldn't resist", chuckled the blonde.
The bite however seemed to have pulled the Heisei Holmes out of his arousal induced haze. He stemmed his hands against Kaito's chest and pushed him off, before jumping off the couch himself. The couple looked at him a bit dumbfounded, Saguru blinked confused and Kaito tilted his head in question, both staying on the couch to give Shinichi the benefit of personal space. The Sparrow walked up and down in front of them and shook his head vehemently.
"I—You... This is not good! You are not supposed to feel something for me! I am not supposed to have such inappropriate feelings for you! I'm a priest, you're princes. You're mates. What would you want with me? And if this is just a ploy to get Pandora-"
"You're being hysteric, Shinichi-kun", interrupted Saguru, both eye-brows raised in worry.
"And really, we have known each other long and good enough for you to know that we would never use anybody, especially not you, like that!", scolded Kaito a bit upset.
"Beside that, how would it help us to seduce you?", wondered the blonde confused. "You're not one to be influenced by something like that."
"Pandora is protected by the priests and their mates", answered Shinichi briskly. "But... you're right, it's not like you at all to... I'm sorry... I'm just... very, very confused..."
"No problem, Shin-chan."
"Look, Shinichi-kun", steered Saguru their conversation over again. "How about we take it slow? You don't have to decide right now. We will pledge to the High Council, even though it hadn't come together in a very long time. We will present our case and the kings shall decide what should be done, okay? And it won't be your decision, okay? I love you, we both do, and we would never intentionally get you into any uncomfortable situation."
"L—Love?", squealed Shinichi with wide eyes.
"Uhm, of course", grunted Kaito irritated.
The Sparrow shook his head no. "No. Not of course! Don't you of-course me!"
"Jeez, Shin-chan, calm down", snorted the magician with an eye-roll. "You'll die on a heart-attack if you keep acting like that, love. What? You think we want to make you our dirty little courtesan?"
"Uh... I mean, you're royalty and you are mates and I..."
"And you have, obviously, never heard of a trine either?", chuckled Saguru.
"A what?", asked Shinichi with a blink.
"A trine is when two mates have the same dominance level and find one to complete them. Like, two dominants, who are happily mated and find a submissive, who they fall for. In that case it is possible to have two life-time-mates", explained the half-Brit patiently.
"You mean... you're serious?", voiced the Heisei Holmes astonished.
"Of course we're serious. Really, Shin-chan! You really thought we were going to make you the royal courtesan or something like that? No! We'd love you and care for you and of course also do very, very naughty things to you", clarified the magician with a dirty smirk.
"K—Kaito no hentai!", hissed Shinichi flustered.
"How about you go and lay down, you still need some rest. We'll make some calls and everything will soon be alright, mh?", suggested Saguru.
"Laying down sounds like a very, very good plan", murmured the Sparrow exhausted.
The flight, the shifts in the past hours, seemed to finally take their tolls on him. He yawned widely and stretched himself before turning around to climb the stairs, stopping dead in his tracks as he realized where he was heading. It was their bedroom, not his!
"Go on, we promise we won't disturb you", assured the half-Brit.
Three days had passed since their very interesting conversation. The three shifters danced around each other on egg-shells. The couple had allowed Shinichi to stay in their bedroom and to give him enough personal space, they slept on the couch. It was probably the first time Kaito was grateful for listening to his mother and buying the enormous sleeping-couch. Watson had gone to tell the kings and gather the council so all that was left was waiting. Even though waiting was darn hard, because Saguru and Kaito were still meeting up with Ran and the others and had to pretend that Shinichi was dead. Once they had confronted the Heisei Holmes and all the blue-eyed teen had said was that it would be better if Kudou Shinichi stayed dead for a little longer, at least until they knew of the decision the High Council would make. Nonetheless, Saguru's neck was stiff. The couch was nice to watch TV on, but sleeping on it two nights in a row? Impossible! He groaned in pain and tried to rub his neck. If only Kaito would be home and could give him a massage...
"Are you alright, Saguru-kun?", asked a shy voice from the staircase.
The blonde head snapped up and the half-Brit winced in pain at the sudden motion, cursing silently. The voice had startled him, since Shinichi had done everything possible to stay out of their way in the past three days, let alone talk to them. Seeing the submissive, hearing his voice, was surprising. The good kind of surprising.
"Ah, my neck is a bit stiff, I suppose", admitted the Falcon.
Blue eyes went from the blonde over to the couch and back to the teen who still held his neck. Guilt flashed through his eyes and Shinichi slowly walked up to his fellow detective.
"I told you it wasn't necessary to give up your bed, it is, after all, yours. I could have slept on the couch", murmured the Sparrow with a scowl.
"You're hurt. Your ribs are still not completely healed. There's no way we would have let you sleep on that furniture from hell", grunted the blonde amused.
Shinichi chuckled lightly, starting to open the buttons of Saguru's dress-shirt. A blonde eyebrow shot up inquiringly, though he made no motion to stop the long fingers. Blushing vibrantly, Shinichi stopped dead in his tracks, realizing how it must have looked.
"Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't mean, I mean I...", he breathed deeply to calm himself. "What I meant is that I want to give you a massage, as a sort of apology. If you don't mind, of course!"
"Believe me, I don't mind", chuckled the blonde and removed his shirt completely.
The half-Brit laid down on the couch, crossing his arms under his chin. A light weight sat down on his back and the blonde's eye-brows knitted in worry; Shinichi was too thin! All thoughts fled his head as the long, sneaky fingers started working his tense muscles. He couldn't suppress a pleasureful moan escaping his lips at the tender movements.
"Well, well, I leave the two of you alone for only once and you right away go at it."
The Sparrow fell from the couch in surprise. He whimpered in pain as his back hit the table and the moment the sound left his lips, he found himself lifted back onto the sofa by the blonde, the magician promptly sitting next to him and fussing over him.
"Are you alright, Shin-chan? Does it hurt? Where does it hurt?"
"I'm okay, Kaito-kun, don't worry", reassured the Sparrow with a small smile. "You just surprised me, is all. It doesn't really hurt."
Lifting a brow in disbelief, the Dove poked Shinichi's back, causing the boy to hiss.
"Right. Doesn't really hurt sounds a bit different", snickered the messy-haired teen.
The Heisei Holmes huffed in annoyance and tried to sit up, just to fall back against the other brunette's chest with a gasp. He really was out of luck these days... Blue eyes widened once he found himself lifted into the air. A scolding blonde looked down at him.
"You're impossible. How did you manage to live that long?"
"I really... don't know", sighed Shinichi and closed his eyes.
"You're so cute when you're at your wits end", commented the magician.
"Thank you very much for your useless comment", grumbled the submissive.
"I understand, I understand! Backing off this instant!", said Kaito hastily, raising his hands in surrender, a small, sad smile on his lips.
Arriving at their bedroom and entering it, the blonde made great afford of laying his charge down as gentle as possible. He brushed a strand of soft, brown hair out of the Sparrow's face. The half-Brit made a motion of turning around and leaving again, just to be stopped by a hand around his wrist.
"Wait... I... I'm sorry for the way I acted in the past few days. You were so kind to let me live at your place, tend to my injuries and even exchanging your comfortable bed for the couch. And I've been nothing but a major jerk..."
"No need to apologize", assured the half-Brit soothingly.
"Yes, there is every need to apologize", objected the Sparrow honestly. "Look, I..." He made a pause to collect his thoughts and motioning the couple to sit down on the bed. "You certainly know that... male submissives are rare."
"Seeing as I, as a prince, have never met one; yeah, I kind of figured that myself", nodded the Dove.
"Yeah. Well... Soon as I had turned fourteen, many suitors started to sweet talk my parents into giving me to them. It's... the reason why my parents had left. The rules say that as long as a shifter is underage, they're not allowed to being courted. So the dominants went to my parents, per law. Mom and dad decided to move away so I was out of their reach, so I wouldn't have to meet the men that wanted to get into my pants. Fourteen is the age from where on it's allowed to make arrangements with the shifter's parents. Since I've turned fourteen five years ago, there had been... many who had wanted me; not for my personality, mind you. Only because I'm special. You see, somewhere on the way, you're getting suspicious of anyone who flirts with you if all you've ever seen were dirty, unpure intentions."
"Shinichi-kun", sighed Saguru and shook his head. "I understand your worries."
"No. Don't sweet-talk me with your British charm!", warned the Sparrow.
"He's right, don't use your wicked British charm", snickered Kaito mockingly.
"And you! Don't make fun of me! I'm trying to hold a serious conversation with you, what in itself seems impossible, by the way, so maybe I should try it a way even you would understand!"
"And that would b-", the magician was interrupted by fierce lips upon his own.
Wide, violet eyes stared at Shinichi, who had his eyes closed firmly. Way too soon he lost the sweet, warm contact to those soft lips and heard the labored breathing of the Heisei Holmes. Before he could ask any questions, the submissive's mouth was once again occupied. Though this time with Saguru's lips. One arm trapped over Kaito's shoulder, the other laying around Saguru's neck.
"May I take this as you making a decision?", smirked the magician against Shinichi's shoulder.
"You've developed real detective skills, Kaito-kun", laughed the smaller teen softly.
"You still need to rest", murmured Saguru, pushing the Sparrow down into the mattress.
"Okay, but only if you stay with me", smiled the brunette detective.
Shinichi closed his eyes and snuggled in between the two men he loved.
Two days later found them still tangled in their bedsheets, between heavy kissing, snuggling and making-out they mostly slept. It felt too good just staying there together. A screeching sound woke them up at some point and Saguru saw himself face-to-face with a curious looking falcon.
"Watson-san!", smiled the blonde relieved.
"Mh...?", murmured Kaito sleepily and blinked.
"Does this mean...?", before finishing his sentence, the Sparrow shifted.
The Dove and the Falcon followed their submissive's example and faced Watson.
"I see you have made... progress while I've been busy", commented the falcon.
"You could say that", chuckled Saguru. "Do you bring news with you?"
"I do. I've contacted Chikage-sama and she got into contact with the other kings and queens. Gathering everyone had been complicated, but we managed. If you would come with me?"
The four birds soared the sky, flying for hours to go, mostly in silence, the tension growing with every mile they got. A big tree, surrounded by nothingness, came into their view and they knew they had finally arrived at their destination. Birds, of every breed and race, sat on the different branches and they soon spotted a beautiful female dove.
"Kaa-san!", chirped Kaito happily, greeting his mother.
"Kai-chan! I've heard you found it!", smiled the queen and cooed friendly.
"Kind of... Kaa-chan, meet Shin-chan! The High Priest of Pandora!", introduced the magician.
"Uhm, uh... It's a pleasure meeting you, Kuroba-sama", stammered the Sparrow flustered.
Chikage sniffed him before locking eyes with the Heisei Holmes with a knowing look. "No need for such formalities, Shin-chan. We're family now, after all."
The little Sparrow felt his cheeks heating up. The queen had been able to smell her son on him! How embarrassing was that? He tried to hide his face in Saguru's wings.
"As much as I'd love to hear more about you, you should probably get going. You're the center of attention, after all", smiled Chikage warmly.
Shinichi nodded and moved away from his mates to gain the attention of the council.
"I am Kudou Shinichi, High Priest of Pandora", announced the Sparrow, effectively silencing everyone. "Many years ago the High Council had announced my ancestor the keeper of the magical gem-stone. The war is none of my concerns, only the safety of Pandora is."
Voices started murmuring questions. "What do you plan on doing?" "Do you intend to hand it over?" "Which side will you choose?"
"I won't chose any side. And I don't plan on handing it over to anyone. Since the duty of protecting Pandora lays within my family and is currently mine and my mates' responsibility, we will, if the High Council agrees, do as my mates had suggested."
Kaito and Saguru exchanged surprised looks since they've never talked about it again. The matter was discussed for hours, until the council agreed on their plan. The trine along with their guardian Watson left again, heading back to Tokyo and landing in the living room of a certain witch. If Akako was surprised, she hid it well. No words were spoken for there was no need to. They handed Pandora over to her and she left with it to give it back to Lucifer so it would forever be out of the Crows reach.
The destruction of Pandora was spread all around the shifter society and without the possibility of gaining the magical gem's powers, the Crows were forced to agree to a truce, even if reluctant. Saguru, Kaito and Shinichi spend a week alone in their home to complete their bond before the Heisei Holmes made a re-appearance to the human world. A burglar, who had died in the fire, while he had been able to flee, even though highly injured. According to their story, he had been in a coma and since he had no passport no one was able to get into contact with his family and friends. Their unusual relationship needed some adjustment, but everyone was too happy to have Shinichi back to worry about his taste in men. The Sparrow wondered briefly if this was his payment for all the shit he had been through. True happiness with the men he loved, having his body back, having his friends back and being able to work on his career again, all while being supported by the two princes who had stolen his heart.
Yeah, in the end everything had turned out good.
~*~ The End ~*~