A stolenshipping (Kaito, Yuma, Shark) collection, because, as a friend put it, "They stole his pendant and he stole their hearts." Pairings or gen of the three, in any way, shape, or form. You'll notice the chapter names have who's in what fic in parenthesis, with "slash" denoting a fic's romantic intention.
It's marked complete, but only because every fic is complete on its own. Expect updates!
(You'll notice the numbers under the header don't necessarily match their chapter. That'd be because I deleted some ficlets).
thieves of joy
Kaito is eighteen.
He's eighteen, almost nineteen, and this is something that he knows and is only ever vaguely aware of, but Yuma decides to inform him of it as fact one day anyway. It's when he's walking out of the candy store that Yuma spots him, when he's ready to launch into the sky with Oribtal on his back. He's tucking the little paper bag of caramels into his jacket when the loud, signature shout resounds, a blustering, "Oy, Kaito!", and Kaito stops and turns around, chewing absently on the piece he just popped into his mouth (mostly they're for Haruto, but, okay, so maybe he's been getting a serious addiction to the things himself).
"Yuma," he says in place of a hello, though Yuma isn't alone—he's flanked on either side by Shark or Kotori, and though Astral isn't anywhere to be seen, Kaito can feel the unearthly presence emanating from the key around Yuma's neck as it swings against the boy running toward Kaito. Kotori is at a jog just behind him, telling him to slow down, honestly, but Shark is apparently too cool for the annoying activity that is running, so he walks at a leisurely pace behind them, one palm up and a smirk at the corner of his mouth in form of greeting.
Yuma reaches him quickly, but he's out of breath and bent over, his hands on his knees as recollects himself and the others catch up. "Hey, Kaito," he says then, and he straightens up and fixes him with his big, bright eyes and his baby face, and that's when Yuma says, as though this is new, as though this changes everything, as though this is something that Kaito knows nothing about it, "You—you're eighteen."
Kaito blinks, nonplussed. Shark closes his eyes and sucks in his lips. Kotori sighs loudly and slaps a hand to her forehead, muttering a decisive, "Yuma...", and this is obviously a conversation they've had before.
"…Yes," Kaito says, because that he is, and he doesn't really know if there's anything more to be added.
"That's why you don't come to school!" Yuma goes on to explain excitedly, and his eyes are bright, like everything's coming together to him for the first time, and Kaito looks at him blankly, wonders how it is he could explain that he's never gone to school in his life, been taught everything he knows from various tutors and some things from Chris, and that whatever Yuma thinks he knows about him is apparently drastically different from the truth. He opens his mouth to say something, but what comes out is a clear, pronounced, and articulate, "Uh," so he looks to Orbital, who look to him and beeps a few and shrugs.
"Yuma," Kaito says warily, "How old did you think I was?"
Yuma makes his thinking face, comical and so very him, energetic and obvious that Yuma's never actually thought about this before, just decided that Kaito is Yuma's age because Yuma is Yuma's age—and Kaito has to bite back a soft smile that tries to make its way onto his face. See, Kaito knows how old Yuma is—he read his stats and found any information that he could about him way back when Kaito first found out about Astral—so he knows his name knows his birthday knows his blood type, and he's totally unsurprised that Yuma didn't do the same for him, but there's still something refreshing in Yuma being totally and completely himself.
Finally, Yuma rubs his hands through his hair and decides, "H-Hey! I don't know! I just didn't think you were that old, because—well, because—"
And he doesn't have a because, and at that Kotori puts her hands on her hips and cries out a disgruntled, "Yuma!", and Kaito just kind of watches the exchange before he turns to Shark, who raises an eyebrow in question.
"You knew, didn't you?" Kaito asks, because, honestly, he's kind of curious if any of these kids even bothered reading up about their competition for dueling, for Numbers, for the championship.
Shark shrugs his assurance that he did, says, "Does it matter?"
And, well, no, he supposes it doesn't—he never really thought about it before Yuma brought it up, anyway.