Mikau: Hello and welcome to newcomers, old friends, and lurkers alike! Thank you so much for taking an interest in my fic. This will be a two chapter (unless anyone requests omakes) HakuKai (with some implied KaiShin and some HeiShin in the second chapter) fic, and, in my opinion, the second chapter is more interesting than the first. However, I hope you enjoy it just the same. Warnings for name calling and cruelty in the first chapter. Please enjoy.

Disclaimer: If I owned it, I wouldn't have had Kaito give that impassioned speech to Aoko in the Ghost Game chapter about how she couldn't come with him because she was a woman and he would never put a woman in danger. "This is man's work!" Yeah, right. I would have hit him with the mop. I hope that gets changed in the English version whenever it happens. Normally I'm all for sticking to the original Japanese, but take that scene out, please. It makes Kaito sound like a sexist chauvinist. Regardless, on with the show.

….

The Locker-Room Incident

Kaito was changing for gym one Thursday afternoon when he felt eyes boring into his back.

His work had given him a kind of sixth sense, and he could now tell when eyes were on him.

This pair he had become accustomed to. This pair in particular belonged to a nosey blonde.

The magician had been ignoring the gaze for several months now, and he was finally fed up.

Without even bothering to don his school slacks and shirt, he turned and made three great strides towards the startled blonde. He forced the taller teen up against the lockers, slamming his fist into the metal door to the side of the Brit's head.

"Will you cut it out already?" Kaito hissed, causing the entire locker-room to freeze. "I've had it up to here with having an audience whenever I change clothes! I'm not the Kaitou Kid, so stop checking my body for suspicious cuts or bruises or whatever the hell it is that you're doing! Are we clear?" He glared the detective down as he huffed, inches from Hakuba's face.

The Brit went as red as a cardinal and began to stutter, looking anywhere but at his rival. "I…I wasn't…I mean…I didn't…I was just…"

"He was checking him out," one of their classmates sniggered sotto voce.

"Just look at his pants; he likes him," another whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.

Kaito blinked, jerking back and looking down. He blinked again and looked back up at the blonde's pained face.

"Figures the half's a fag," one boy hissed.

"Yeah, the foreign blood'll do that," another student agreed.

"Makes 'em messed up in the head," a third laughed.

"Don't turn your back to him, Kuroba; he'll try to jump you!" the jeers started.

"Eww! I don't want a homo watching me change!" a guy from the soccer club screeched.

"Get out, sicko!" a baseball player yelled, pelting the blonde with his shirt.

The cry was quickly taken up by the rest of the locker-room which rapidly evolved into an angry mob, thankfully sans pitchforks and torches.

They began hurtling objects as well as curses and slurs at the half-Japanese boy who hurriedly dressed and dashed out of the locker-room.

A victorious cheer broke out as he left.

All the while Kaito just blinked, unable to comprehend what had happened so suddenly right before him—the look of shame and pain on Hakuba's face at the accusations, the undeniable bulge in the boy's boxers, the taunts and insults of his classmates, the unbelievable cruelty he'd just witnessed.

And he had done nothing. Worse than nothing—he'd started the whole conflict in the first place with his misunderstanding.

000

He'd expected to see Hakuba back in the classroom, but there was no sign of the blonde. He made an excuse about not feeling well to go check the nurse's office.

His classmates cast him looks of pity as he left, reasoning that anyone would feel ill after learning that a homo had his eye on them.

But the nurse said that the superintendent's son hadn't been in.

That left the roof, and that was where the magician found the detective, leaning against the fence, looking out at the Tokyo landscape.

"I'm fine, so just leave me alone," the younger teen hissed like a wounded animal giving a warning. "Or did you come here to mock me as well?" he laughed bitterly. "If you really find me so revolting, just say the word, and I'll jump. You'll be free of my retched existence."

"Hakuba, are you really—" the brunette began, but he was quickly interrupted as the taller boy started to yell.

"—Really what? A fag? NO! I'm a PERSON, goddammit! A person! Like anyone even thinks of me as one," he continued a little softer, words still full of venom. "No one treats me like one. I'm not a person; I'm a freak…abnormal. I'm foreigner. Everywhere I go I'm too Asian, too Western…too big…too little… I don't belong.

"No. I'm not a person," the younger boy whispered ruefully, beginning to cry softly. "I don't even have the right to love. A man falls in love with a woman, and it's wonderful…something you can brag about. It's beautiful. But a man falling for another man? No. It's perverse, disgusting. It's something to be ashamed of and mocked for. Something must be wrong with his head. Even though it's the same feeling, why is it wonderful when you feel it for Aoko-kun but ugly when I feel it for you?

"It's not like I meant to fall for you, you know." The great detective tried his hardest to keep it together, to not sniffle like a child in front of his crush. "And don't even bother rejecting me at this point. I know, okay? You have Aoko-kun, and I freak you out, and I know, so please don't feel the need to rub salt in my wounds…please. Have a heart. I didn't even want to fall for you, but…you're just so bloody perfect.

"You're handsome, smart, funny, kind, athletic…the list goes on. Everyone respects and admires you. Everyone likes you. You don't even have to try to fit in…everyone just conforms to you. You may not think so, but everyone else thinks that you're perfect, and it's hard not to fall in line with everyone else and come to like you as well. I didn't mean to fall in love with you, but…well…

"There you have it. The answer to your question: yes, I'm a dirty fag, so you can go now, if your curiosity's been satisfied. I want to be alone," Hakuba mumbled, resting his forehead against the metal links of the fence.

"Well, you got one thing right," Kaito replied in dazed astonishment. "I've got my answer alright. Unfortunately, you got my question wrong."

The blonde's ears perked up slightly at this revelation.

"I was going to ask: 'Hakuba, are you really okay?' but to ask that now would be redundant, since you're obviously not. Come here," Kaito sighed, taking the taller boy by the arm and pulling him away from the roof's edge. He sat them both down up against the wall of the roof entrance and pulled out his handkerchief. "Don't cry? Okay? You're making me feel like a slimewad."

"Thank you," Saguru mumbled, taking the offered handkerchief and drying his eyes.

"I'm sorry that I didn't do anything in the locker-room. I was kind of floored. I mean, all this time I thought you were staring at me, trying to find some kind of evidence that I was Kid, but…I was just a little shocked is all, but I'll definitely give those guys a talking to, and if anyone gives you trouble, I'll take care of it, so don't worry, okay? I mean, it's not like it's your fault that you're gay. People are just born like that…not that those idiots know that."

"Th-Thank you," the detective stuttered, still trying to get his tears under control.

Kaito shrugged. "Look, I'll be honest with you. I've got nothing against you being gay, but it does kind of freak me out that you like me. I don't think you're weird or anything, though. Well, I mean…I do, but not because you're gay. I think you're weird because you're an obsessive psycho trying to put me in jail for crimes I didn't commit. If you'd cut that out, I wouldn't have a problem with you. I mean, you're not a half-bad guy…this is awkward. Do we understand each other, Hakuba?"

"I think so." Saguru cleared his throat. "You have a problem with me liking you because I'm a weirdo, not because I'm male…and…you wouldn't mind my presence if I stopped trying to get you arrested?"

"You got it." The brunette gave a decisive nod.

"But…you wouldn't be interested in me as a romantic partner, would you? Because you have Aoko-kun." Hakuba held his breath, wanting for Kuroba to give him hope and completely shatter his delusions, both at the same time.

"I don't know." Kaito responded with a shrug. "I've never really thought about guys like that before, so I really can't say one way or the other…. It's true that I do like Aoko, but I don't have her. I don't know if anything is ever going to happen between her and me, but…don't get your hopes up, though."

Saguru nodded, looking away. "Thank you for your honesty…your kindness…" Even though they had only served to make him fall even deeper in love. "I appreciate it."

"Don't worry about it." Kaito shrugged, getting to his feet. "I'm heading back to class. You can stay up here as long as you like."

"I think I'll hide out here the rest of the day, if it's all the same," Saguru sighed, nodding a quick bow to the other teen. "Thank you again."

Kaito gave the blonde a swift, reassuring pat on the shoulder and headed back down the stairs.

000

Hakuba Saguru moved back to England a month later.

Despite Kuroba's efforts to stem the threats, jeers, pranks, and abuse, homophobia was too big a problem for the magician to tackle alone, and the stigma was too great.

Kaito thought about his former rival often during the first year or two—mostly when on a heist. After he retired, thoughts of the blonde became less frequent, but whenever they did surface, they always brought with them feelings of guilt, sympathy, and…a little spark of something else.

Saguru, on the other hand, thought about his unrequited love constantly, mourning his lose anew every time Kaito's face came to mind. He was very good at obsessing, fixating.

However, even though they always remained in each other's thoughts, Kaito and Saguru never spoke—they had no reason to—and they didn't meet again until one fateful night, five years later in a bar in Osaka.

:}i{:

Mikau: It's a butterfly! I always thought that this one was pretty, but some people said that they didn't see the butterfly. Oh, well. Yes, so next chapter takes place five years later in a bar in Osaka. It's a fun chapter full of…well, fun and innuendo. Excitement and romance with less angst. I hope you'll look forward to it. Thanks for reading, and have an awesome day!