It's been a while, I know, but like last time I didn't update in a long time I've posted the entire chapter instead of posting it in parts. I hope you enjoy it! And don't forget to review! I like to know all my work hasn't been in vain.
REMINDER NOTE: italics are thoughts, bold is English (and we have quite a bit of that in this chapter), and normal text is Japanese.
Chapter 5: Misunderstandings
Saguru sighed with relief when he finally shut his bedroom door behind him and leaned heavily against it. Today had been a long day and none of it's events had helped him straighten out his suddenly muddled feelings. Patricia Reece was a nice girl and he surprisingly liked her more than he thought he would (once he'd given her a chance), but… his confusing feelings for Kaito were getting in the way. He hadn't been able to focus much at all… and when Kaito had held his hand both this morning and at the café…
With a groan he banged his head gently against the door. It was so confusing. He knew that he could easily fall for a girl like Patricia (and wasn't that what his parents were hoping for anyway?). She was sweet, kind, thoughtful, sensible, witty, and had been an engaging conversationalist once she'd gotten over her nerves about meeting him. …So why did his thoughts keep drifting back to Kaito Kuroba? He didn't want to admit it, but there was only one explanation. He was in love with Kaito and he'd fallen for the other prince. Hard.
With a huff he pushed himself away from the wall and headed towards his bed. He quickly undressed and crawled between the covers with a groan. His shoulder was no longer bruised but it was still sore.
"What is it Watson?" he asked with a sigh as his attendant appeared in the doorway. She had an uncanny ability to appear when he needed her. It was inconvenient (like now) when he didn't want her, but in the end he had always needed to hear whatever she was going to say to him.
"…I thought that you could use some company," she said before taking a seat at the foot of his bed.
"I think I've had enough company for today Watson," Saguru sighed.
"How did your afternoon with Miss Reece go?" Watson asked anyway.
"…Alright I guess," he shrugged. "She's nice."
"You like her?"
"…I'm not sure yet," he admitted, knowing what his attendant was hinting at with her question. "I think I could if given time, but…"
"But you like Kuroba," she said knowingly. It was a statement of fact.
"…Yeah," he sighed. "I'm not sure how to proceed Watson. I like Kaito but…"
"...Perhaps Saguru – if I may be so bold," Watson said slowly. "You should choose whomever you want to be with and not who you think you should be with. Now I'm not saying that you should stop relations between you and Miss Reece. Having a good relationship between the two of you would be good for diplomatic reasons, but don't let that sway you in who you choose for a mate. A life partner should be someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Especially for someone in your position. I wouldn't over think it for now though. These things take time. Time which you have I might add. You know how you feel now so I suggest taking a step back and observe to see how the other feels. Take things slow and at a pace you feel comfortable with. There's no need to rush things, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. And you can trust me on that! I am a woman after all."
Saguru stared at her for a moment as she smirked at him before nodding. Watson was right. He knew now that he was in love with Kaito. But how did Kaito feel about him? His actions today showed Saguru that the other boy wasn't indifferent to him… but could Kaito ever be romantically interested in him?
'Well that's a depressing thought,' he mused.
Saguru still wasn't sure what he was going to do next about his feelings, but Watson's words had soothed him somewhat and helped lull him to a dreamless sleep. In the morning he wasn't sure how he was going to act around Kaito after their moment in the café, but apparently he didn't have to. Kaito had made the decision for him by avoiding Saguru at every opportunity and even during the next KID heist that had taken place at the playhouse during the Mars and Rosa musical performance. There had been very little for him to do though except to sit back and watch the show and make sure that Aoko was left unaware of Kaito's temporary disappearance during the heist part of the show.
Saguru didn't want to admit it, but Kaito's behavior hurt him especially since he didn't know the cause of it. He wasn't sure if it was something he'd said that afternoon when Kaito helped him show Patricia around Ekoda or if it was because of something that had happened to Kaito after they'd parted ways. With no upcoming KID heists and because criminal activity was lacking as of late (apparently most crimes seemed to be happening in Beika for one reason or another) Saguru had a lot of free time on his hands. Free time that left Saguru with no excuse to avoid visiting with Patricia in the afternoons after school. He was really starting to like her too, but his thoughts always seemed to circle around to Kaito and his strange behavior. He didn't really think that things could get worse between him and Kaito, but on an outing with Patricia he had run into Aoko and Kaito. After that Kaito had started to avoid him more than he had before. After a third week of this, however, Aoko seemed to have finally picked up on Kaito's strange behavior and stepped in. Although, her intervention didn't come in a way that Saguru had been expecting.
"Hey Kaito," she spoke up Saturday morning before class. "Are you free this evening and for all of tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Kaito nodded. "Kaa-san's out of town for the weekend on business, so I have no real plans. Why?"
"Tou-san and his unit are going to be escorting someone to Osaka tonight aboard the Royal Express! He's letting me tag along and I was wondering if you'd like to join me."
"The Royal Express?" Kaito blinked.
"It's a luxury train," Saguru stated. "Supposedly Japan's finest shinkansen (bullet train). The tickets are pretty expensive."
"Yeah, but since we'll be going with Tou-san while he's on business it's a free ride!" Aoko grinned. "And we'll get to spend all day tomorrow in Osaka!"
"Sounds like fun!" Kaito smiled.
"So you'll come?!" she asked.
"Sure," Kaito smiled.
"What about you Saguru-kun?" Aoko asked innocently – the sly girl. "Can you join us or do you already have something planned this weekend with Patricia-chan?"
She actually looked a little worried about his answer.
Saguru blinked, not having expected the invitation. And was it just his imagination, or did Kaito flinch at the mention of Patricia?
"Ah no," Saguru shook his head. "Patricia-san wanted to attend the festival taking place in Kyoto this weekend so she left this morning with our fathers since they were going to be there on business anyway."
"So you can come?" she asked excitedly.
"…I suppose I could," he allowed. "If it's not a bother."
"Of course not!" Aoko beamed. "We haven't hung out together since that play KID crashed. It'll be a blast with the three of us! Right Kaito?"
"Ah… yeah," Kaito smiled, but Saguru could tell that it was strained.
"Who is your father escorting?" Saguru asked.
"Oh!" Aoko gasped. "You won't believe it! You know that the Queen of Ingram is visiting Japan right?"
"I saw mention of it in the paper a few days ago," Saguru nodded.
"Well she arrived in Tokyo a couple days ago and the last stop in her tour around Japan is Osaka! KID sent out a heist notice to the Ingram embassy last night saying that he's going to steal the Queen's treasure," Aoko stated eagerly.
"I see," Saguru nodded. He was very tempted to glare at Kaito for not telling him about this. They were supposed to keep each other in the loop when it came to KID's activities even if Kaito was avoiding him. At least Kaito looked sheepish about it, but this meant that Kaito would have found a way to ride that train one way or another. It wasn't as if he couldn't afford a ticket himself.
"When should I meet you at the station?" Saguru asked.
"Well actually I was thinking that the three of us could make a quick stop by your place after school so that you could pack your things for the trip," Aoko stated shyly. "After that we could just hang out at my house. Kaito lives next door so he can grab his stuff when we get there. Would that be ok?"
"I don't see why not," Saguru smiled. "My house is a bit out of the way though."
"That's ok," Aoko smiled. "The train doesn't leave until seven so there will be plenty of time."
"Alright then," Saguru nodded.
After school got out Aoko made sure that Kaito didn't run off and Watson picked up the three of them a couple blocks away from the gate. Aoko was impressed with the nice car, but what really got her was the house.
"You live here, Saguru-kun?" she gaped.
"Yeah," Saguru nodded blushing a bit. "It is rather ostentatious isn't it?"
"I'll say," Kaito snorted, but Aoko elbowed him.
"Don't be rude," she hissed.
Saguru ignored them as he led the way inside and up to his room. Watson went off to call his father and to inform the staff that he'd be gone on a trip.
"This is your room?" Aoko asked with awe looking around the library section of his room while he packed. Kaito looked a little curious as well and was busy admiring the balcony and the view of the garden below.
"It is," Saguru nodded as he packed, making sure to grab his pajamas, some casual clothes for tomorrow, toiletries, his wallet, and a book or three for the train rides. He was pleased that everything fit rather nicely in his duffle bag. While he was home he also changed out of his school uniform into a pair of tan slacks, a navy blue long-sleeved v-necked shirt and loafers.
"I think that's all I'll need," he smiled as he led the two back out to the car.
While walking down the hall Saguru had been explaining some of the house's western features and paintings to Aoko so he hadn't noticed Kaito staring at him. Watson then drove them to the address Aoko gave her. When they arrived, Saguru realized that this was where Kaito lived and that he now had the other boy's address. Aoko dragged them all into Kaito's house first – a really nice townhouse – and ordered the messy haired boy to hurry upstairs and pack his things. While Kaito was doing that Aoko took it upon herself to show Saguru around the downstairs. It really was a lovely home. It wasn't a mansion like the ones he had lived in, in both Japan and England, but it was much homier and had a wonderfully warm and lived in feel. It felt like a home. He and Aoko ended up in the living room where there was a family portrait of the late Kuroba Toichi himself with his wife sitting beside him and a young and happy Kaito in his lap.
"That's Kaito's father, Kuroba Toichi," Aoko said softly. "He was a great magician and an even greater man and father."
"So I've heard," Saguru whispered. "It was a tragic accident that claimed his life."
"Did Kaito tell you that?" she asked, looking surprised.
"No," Saguru shook his head. "…I was there the night it happened."
Aoko stared and looked as if she was about to ask a question when Kaito came rushing down the stairs with a large backpack.
"'Kay!" he grinned. "I'm all packed!"
"Did you bring enough?" Saguru chuckled as he eyed the bulging bag, but was also purposefully ending his conversation with Aoko.
"Hey! I like to be prepared," Kaito scowled, but the corners of his lips were twitching upwards. Saguru noted that Kaito seemed to be happier all of a sudden in comparison to that morning. For one, Kaito was actually talking to him again directly. …It was nice. He'd really missed actually talking to Kaito, but he didn't delude himself for a second into believing that things between them were back to being something relatively normal.
"We're only going to be gone a day and a half, not a week," Aoko sighed. "Well, we'd better head over to my house so that I can pack."
After that the three of them headed next door to Aoko's house.
While Kaito was packing up his things in his room he couldn't help but feel nervous. He'd been avoiding Hakuba for three weeks now and things were sure to be awkward on this trip even with Aoko there. He hadn't meant to avoid Hakuba at first. He'd just been keeping his distance to help clear his thoughts, but after a few days he hadn't been able to find the courage to speak to the half-Brit again. Before he knew it, a whole week had passed by. And then he'd seen Hakuba with Patricia one afternoon while out shopping with Aoko. The sight of the American girl with her arm latched around one of Hakuba's had been painful. It was as if something broke inside him when he saw the American girl laugh and Hakuba smile back at her with the same smile he had given Kaito that night underneath the fireworks. The two looked so perfect together like something out of a movie or romance novel.
Kaito just hadn't been able to face Hakuba after that. He was afraid that he'd give his feelings away and do something incredibly stupid or say something completely horrible to Hakuba that he'd regret later. But he couldn't deny that when he'd heard that Patricia was in Kyoto and that Hakuba would be spending the weekend with him and Aoko it made him feel a little better. Maybe for this one weekend he could pretend that the Patricia girl didn't exist and that things between him and Hakuba were as they had been for that (very) brief time before the American had arrived.
After packing his stuff he hurried downstairs so that they could start their weekend trip. He was determined to pretend that the last three weeks hadn't happened. He wasn't about to let this opportunity slide by. Maybe it could even make things right between him and Hakuba. It wasn't until they were all at the Nakamori house next door seated at the table laughing and eating a snack that Aoko had prepared that Kaito realized just how much he had missed talking to Hakuba. The other boy's dry subtle humor and wit never ceased to make him smile anymore. Before, it had annoyed him how closed off the other had appeared, but now that he knew Hakuba a little bit better and had gotten him to open up, he found the other teen to be engaging and couldn't help but be drawn to him.
He hated to admit it but he had fallen pretty hard for Hakuba. He couldn't deny it anymore (to himself at least). But he knew that his feelings would mean nothing. Hakuba was seeing Patricia officially now (or so he thought) and as selfish as it was of Kaito, he didn't want to be without Hakuba anymore. The last three weeks had been killing him inside, especially every time he caught Hakuba's hurt expression whenever he bolted to avoid running into him. But right now… things were perfect. He really owed Aoko for this.
"I'll be right back you two," Aoko smiled suddenly. "I really should pack my things before Tou-san comes home to pick us up. I won't have time otherwise once I start cooking tonight's dinner."
"Alright," Hakuba and Kaito ended up saying in unison.
Aoko grinned at the two before racing up the stairs to her own room. Unfortunately things got awkwardly quiet between the two of them the moment she left and Kaito found himself struggling for words to start a conversation. Thankfully Hakuba wasn't at such a loss.
"…Aoko showed me around the downstairs of your house while you were packing," the blond stated.
"She did?" Kaito blinked. "Sorry that the place was such a mess. It's not as big or as nice as yours, but it's home."
"No. It was nice," Hakuba shook his head. "It was a really nice house. It felt lived in like a real home. …Not like the museums that I've lived in."
Was it just Kaito's imagination or did Hakuba sound a bit bitter while saying that last comment? He wasn't sure what to say about that. Saguru had the same lonely and sad look in his eyes that he'd had back in the café three weeks ago. Kaito hated that he couldn't seem to find the right words. He was never at a loss for words! …At least around other people. Why did Hakuba have to affect him so much?
"…I saw that family portrait in the living room," Hakuba smiled. "I never got to meet your father in person, Kuroba-kun, but I can tell that he was a great man."
Ah… now he really couldn't find anything to say. His father was a touchy subject still. But he somehow found the words.
"…He was," Kaito nodded. "He was the best."
He was a little surprised when he felt a hand clasp around one of his.
"I'm sorry, Kuroba-kun," Hakuba sighed. "I didn't mean…"
"No, it's fine," Kaito shook his head and smiled. "Tou-san was the best! The greatest magician ever and I'm going to be just like him one day. I've still got a long way to go before I can be as great as he was, but… I will be. I wish you could have met him."
"I would have," Hakuba sighed looking down at their still joined hands. "I was going to that night…"
Kaito frowned and cocked his head to the side.
"…What night?" he found himself asking even though he had a feeling what night Hakuba was referring to.
"…The night he died," Hakuba stated, a haunted look appearing in his eyes. "I was in the audience with my parents. Front row. It happened a month or two before my mother and I left Japan to live in London. My father had wanted to introduce me to him. Our families were going to have a dinner together that weekend after your father was done performing for the week... but we attended a funeral instead."
Kaito felt his heart clench and his throat constrict. He remembered the night his father died with perfect clarity. He and his mother had been at home cleaning up the house and getting ready to welcome Toichi home after a successful world tour. That night had been his last performance for the tour. But instead of a phone call from him to let them know that he was on his way home, they got a call from Inspector Nakamori (who'd been a mere officer at the time) about the accident. It hadn't sunk in for Kaito that his father was really dead until he had been standing next to Toichi's casket. Kaito desperately wanted to ask Hakuba about the night his father died, but the haunted look in the half-Brit's eyes told him enough. It hadn't been a pretty end.
Neither of them knew what to say now and could only hold on to each other's hands tightly, almost as if they were afraid to let go. This wasn't how Kaito had wanted their first real conversation since he'd started ignoring Hakuba to go (how had they even gotten on this subject anyway?). But for the life of him Kaito couldn't bring himself to change the subject or conjure up a new one and for once Hakuba looked like he was at a loss as well. And then Aoko, who could be heard racing down the stairs now, saved them.
"Sorry I took so long!" she huffed as she set her bag of things beside Kaito's and Hakuba's.
"No worries!" Kaito chirped as he regretfully pulled his hand out of Hakuba's, and watched Hakuba pull back.
Kaito was surprised to realize that they'd been leaning towards each other again like back in the café
"So what should I make for dinner?" Aoko asked as she entered the kitchen. "Tou-san'll be home soon so it should be something quick."
"Okonomiyaki?" Kaito suggested.
"I am NOT making that," Aoko scowled as she pulled out the rice cooker. "I can only cook one at a time and that'll take too long."
"…Yakitori maybe?" Hakuba mused.
"Oh! Yeah!" Kaito grinned. "Yakitori and gyoza!"
Aoko nodded as she opened the fridge.
"I've got enough chicken for yakitori… there's an unopened package of gyoza that I can make up… and some edamame!"
Kaito made a face.
"Yes Kaito," Aoko huffed. "Edamame. You have to eat some vegetables."
Kaito pouted, knowing he was purposefully being childish, but when he heard Hakuba chuckle softly it made him smile inside. He loved that he could make Hakuba laugh when the other was usually so serious and straight faced. He also loved the fact that this was the first time he was seeing Hakuba wearing something other than a school uniform or a suit. The blond really should wear real clothes more often.
"Oww!" Kaito cried clutching his head. "What was that for Aoko?"
His best friend was standing beside him with her arms crossed and the rice ladle in her hand.
"I was asking you how you wanted your Yakitori," she rolled her eyes.
"Ah… same as yours?" Kaito blinked. "I thought you were cooking chicken – that's what Yakitori is after all. Not stake."
"I was being sarcastic," Aoko glared. "Now if you'll pay attention to the conversation at hand instead of staring at Saguru-kun, I was wondering where we should go while we're in Osaka. Saguru thinks we should see Osaka Castle."
Kaito fought a blush at her comment and ignored Hakuba's surprised and questioning glance.
"Well we could go to the Umeda Sky Building," Kaito shrugged, trying to sound bored. "Kaa-san went there with a friend and said that it had the best view of Osaka's cityscape."
"Ooh! I like the sound of that!" Aoko squealed.
The three of them continued to chat about what they could do in Osaka while Aoko cooked. By the time she had dinner prepared and started to serve it Nakamori Ginzo walked through the door.
"I'm home Aoko!" the Inspector called out.
"We're in the kitchen Tou-san!" she called back. "You're just in time for dinner!"
A moment later the Inspector entered the kitchen and saw his two guests.
"Good evening sir," Hakuba stood up and bowed in greeting.
"Hey Nakamori-jii-san!" Kaito grinned cheekily.
"Hey Kaito-kun," the Inspector nodded back in greeting, used to Kaito's antics. "Hakuba-kun."
After everyone was seated the four of them began to dig into the food that Aoko had prepared for them. Afterwards, Ginzo headed upstairs to pack his own things for the trip. A half hour later and they were all boarding the Royal Express. Hakuba and Kaito both took care of stowing away their luggage while the Inspector walked off to the Salon car to join the security detail. Aoko was strangely insistent that Kaito sit next to Hakuba while she sat in the row in front of them. Kaito wasn't going to complain though as he made sure he got the isle seat.
About a half hour after their departure, Kaito had excused himself to use the restroom. Saguru really doubted that that was the case, but he decided that if Kaito started to take too long he could distract Aoko if it became necessary. It was quiet for a few minutes so he decided to pull out one of his books.
Saguru looked up to see Aoko twisted in her seat to face him.
"Have you and Kaito made up yet?"
"Sorry?" Saguru blinked, unprepared for the question.
"You two had a fight or something right?" Aoko asked. "That's why he's been avoiding you isn't it?"
"No, we didn't have an argument or anything like that. …I honestly don't know what happened," Saguru admitted. "Things were fine between us three weeks ago but then Kaito suddenly started avoiding me."
"He just stopped talking to you?" Aoko asked bewildered.
"Huh. He must have finally realized it," she mused.
"Realized what?" he asked.
"That he's in love with you," Aoko blurted before clapping a hand over her mouth, eyes as big as tea saucers.
Saguru paused as he was turning a page in his book, heart hammering in his chest. Kaito was…
"Shit!" Aoko swore making Saguru stare at her even more. Aoko? Swearing?
"I so did not just tell you that!" she gasped. "Stupid Aoko! Stupid!"
"Not that I'm disagreeing, but what are you stupid for this time?"
Aoko nearly jumped clear out of her seat and Saguru almost dropped his book. Kaito was back.
"Nothing!" Aoko cried, blushing deeply. "Nothing! I just forgot… to return Keiko's magazine! That's all! No biggy though! I can give it back to her on Monday!"
With that said she shot Saguru a panicked glance, whipped around in her seat and returned to the magazine she'd been reading. Kaito looked at her curiously for a moment while Saguru tried to ease the heavy beating in his chest and return to his book. A second later Kaito was seated next to him again, only this time he noticed that Kaito had a listening device in his ear.
"Paid a visit to her majesty I see," Hakuba murmured quietly, trying to distract Kaito from Aoko's behavior. Was Kaito seriously in love with him? Aoko seemed to think so. It would explain why Kaito had started to avoid him even more after running into him and Patricia. Did that mean Kaito had been jealous of Patricia? No, Saguru knew better than to assume that. For all he knew, Aoko had misinterpreted her friend's reactions… but he had to admit that the possibility of Kaito being in love with him made him feel warm inside. It made him hopeful.
"Yeah," Kaito grinned in response to his question. "Want to listen?"
Saguru pursed his lips and was about to decline when Kaito leaned in close and shoved an earphone bud into his ear and pretended that the two of them were sharing headphones and listening to some music on an iPod. Saguru had to give Kaito creative points on the device.
"…Please her Majesty the Queen?" someone was asking.
Saguru immediately settled in to listen, ignoring Kaito's smirk.
"Yes, I'm very pleased with it," a woman's accented voice answered in perfect Japanese, "the pride of Japan, this luxury train, the Royal Express."
"Actually, we could have reserved it specifically for your Majesty, but-!"
"No," the Queen cut the man off. "That I would be able to come into contact with the Japanese people at least a little is what I requested."
"Our Japanese Government is very pleased to hear you say that," the man said sounding relieved.
"And I was even able to meet that famous character," the Queen mused.
"Hmm?" puzzled the man "You speak of Nakamori-keibu, who is in charge of your majesty's escort?"
Kaito snorted softly.
"No," the Queen stated firmly. "The one who a little while ago entered my private room. The thief known as Kaitou KID."
Kaito smirked at Saguru, but the blond only rolled his eyes. Honestly.
"Eh?!" the man the Queen had been talking to gasped, earning their attention again. "Your majesty came into contact with KID?!"
"Wha?!" sounded Nakamori-keibu's voice. "I-is that true your Majesty?!"
"Na-Nakamori-kun," the unnamed man stammered.
There was a clamor of some sort and an unnerving amount of clicks that Saguru recognized as the sound of guns being cocked.
"Stand Down!" the Queen's voice demanded in English. "He is with the Japanese Police."
"Sounds like Keibu did something to alarm the Queen's guard," Saguru murmured.
"Ah… Um… That is… KID was…" the Inspector stammered, obviously unnerved.
"Yes," the Queen answered. "He came to steal Ingram's treasure, the largest topaz in Europe, This Crystal Mother."
"How… how can this be!" the man that was not the Inspector cried. "Then the advanced notice that was sent to the embassy was genuine."
"H-however," Ginzo Nakamori cut off the other man's hysterics, "why didn't he leave with the jewel?"
The Queen laughed.
"He must have taken one look and known that this was a replica," she explained.
"A-a replica?" Nakamori stuttered.
"Yes," the Queen confirmed. "The real thing is hidden in a separate location."
"Obviously," Kaito huffed. "As if I'd fall for a replica."
"Wh-where?" Nakamori demanded.
"That, I can't tell you, Inspector," the Queen stated firmly. "KID may be listening from somewhere on this train, after all."
Kaito pouted making Saguru chuckle.
"You seriously weren't expecting it to be that easy were you?" he snickered.
"No," Kaito sighed, "but one can hope."
"Alright! KID is on this train! Check every passenger from head to toe and determine if there's anyone suspicious!" Nakamori ordered getting a chorus of "Yes, sir!" from his men.
"Hold it!" the Queen called out. "Ingram will not allow others to be inconvenienced for the sake of our country!"
"H-however, your Majesty," Nakamori stammered.
"This is a competition between him and me," the Queen stated. "Two and a half hours remain until this train arrives at Osaka. Until then, it's a one-on-one duel with the honor of the country at stake whether he can steal the jewel away as he stated in his notice, or whether or not I can protect it from him!"
"Y-your Majesty," Nakamori began to protest but he was cut off by what was obviously a child's voice speaking in surprisingly excellent (if not heavily accented) Japanese.
"Say Mother, isn't that necklace a little strange?"
"Phi-Philip?! Child!" the Queen exclaimed. "Didn't I forbid you to leave the room for any reason? Furthermore, haven't I taught you many times to call me your Majesty the Queen in front of others?"
"She sounds strict," Kaito muttered.
"…I've met stricter," Saguru frowned.
Kaito glanced at him, but he didn't meet the other's gaze.
"This child is…" Nakamori said slowly.
"Prince Philip," answered someone. "He is the honored son of his Highness Henry, who died two years ago due to sickness, and Queen Elizabeth. He is the next King of Ingram."
"I remember," Saguru frowned. "I was at his funeral."
"You know the royal family of Ingram?" Kaito gaped.
"Shh!" Saguru hushed him as Philip started talking again.
"But this replica's shape is different from when I saw it earlier."
"Damn he spotted the mic," Kaito hissed. "Smart kid."
" Yes, but being a Shifter with developing enhanced eyesight helps," Saguru muttered. "The Ingram royal family is a family of Shifters. Queen Elizabeth is human, but her late husband Henry was the younger brother of the King of the Swallows in Europe."
Kaito looked like he was about to comment when both of them were overcome by a loud shout from their ear buds.
"ARE YOU LISTENING, KAITOU KID?! AS LONG AS I'M HERE YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO LAY A FINGER ON THE JEWEL! TAKE THAT!"
Both of them flinched but neither one of them removed their ear bud even when there was a screech indicating that the Inspector had smashed Kaito's planted microphone.
"What's wrong you two? You're making strange faces."
Looking up they caught sight of Aoko who was looking at them curiously.
"Nothing's wrong," Kaito scoffed.
"Music was just a little loud," Saguru muttered, pulling out his ear bud and handing it to Kaito.
Aoko shrugged and went back to reading her magazine.
"…So what were you saying about the Ingram royal family being Shifters?" Kaito whispered once he was sure that Aoko wasn't listening.
"The royal family of Ingram wasn't always part of the Shifter Race. A couple generations back the King of the Swallows married the King of Ingram's eldest Daughter. Those two became the next King and Queen of Ingram and gave birth to King Henry and his older twin brother Edgar. Instead of making Edgar the heir to both the Swallows and Ingram, the King split the duties between the two. Edgar is now the King of Swallows and Henry became King of Ingram."
"But after Henry died of illness, wouldn't Edgar become the King of Ingram in his stead until Prince Philip is old enough?"
"Yes," Hakuba nodded. "He is technically the current King of Ingram now, but he leaves most duties to Queen Elizabeth since he's often gone handling his Shifter duties as the Swallow King."
"I see," Kaito nodded, but by his expression Saguru knew that he had lost interest and didn't really care anymore.
"Hey you two," Aoko called as she turned around in her seat again. "Why don't we go to the Salon car?"
"Why?" Kaito asked.
"Oh no reason," Aoko blushed.
"You want to see the Queen," Kaito snickered.
"N-no!" she huffed. "I'm just a little thirsty."
"Well then why don't we all go," Saguru smiled. "I'm sure they're serving something sort of snack that we can have too while we're there and we can check in with Nakamori-keibu."
"Whatever," Kaito shrugged but he got out of his seat and led the way to the Salon car. Just as they opened the door to the car they heard Inspector Nakamori let out a boisterous laugh.
"European wine is the best, isn't it, your Majesty?!" the man cried drunkenly.
"T-Tou-san?!" Aoko gasped.
"Whoa! He's toasted," Kaito whispered. Saguru couldn't agree more as he shut the compartment door behind them.
"Oh! Aoko, and Kaito-kun!" the Inspector cried out jovially. "Your Majesty this is my daughter Aoko, and her classmate Kaito-kun."
"Well, well," the Queen smiled at them.
"It's a pleasure to meet her Majesty the Queen!" Kaito and Aoko stammered as they bowed.
"Oh! And that boy is Hakuba Saguru," Nakamori nodded having spotted Saguru as he came to stand next to Kaito. "He's in my daughter's class as well."
"Saguru!" the Queen exclaimed. "It's been a while. I hardly recognize you! You're all grown up!"
"It has been a while Queen Elizabeth," Saguru bowed, ignoring the stares he was receiving from around the room, especially from Kaito and Aoko. "Since that dinner in Geneva five years back I believe. I trust you are well?"
"Oh I'm quite well thank you," the Queen smiled. "And your mother? She is well I hope?"
"She is fine and attending to business in London last I heard," Saguru answered. "I'm afraid that I haven't seen her as of late. I recently moved to Tokyo to live with my father."
"Hakuba-keishi-cho is my superior," the drunken Inspector added. "Why are you three here anyway?"
"K-Kaito said he really wanted to meet your Majesty," Aoko giggled. "Right?"
Kaito gave her a deadpanned stare, but Saguru decided to move things along.
"It was a pleasure to see you again, your Majesty," Saguru bowed before moving his two companions over towards an empty table. "If you'll please excuse us."
"Don't be loitering around and bothering the guards, alright?!" Inspector Nakamori called after them.
Kaito rolled his eyes at Saguru to show him just how much he thought of the Inspector's statement, but Saguru didn't miss the flash of eagerness in Kaito's gaze. The other boy was going to use this opportunity to find the real Crystal Mother topaz. The three of them sat at a booth, Kaito and Aoko on one side with Saguru on the other so that he could sit across from them. Aoko picked up a menu and began to scan the items listed. Saguru did the same, but he noticed Kaito looking back towards the Queen.
"Hmm?" Saguru blinked and looked up at Aoko.
"You never told us that you knew the Queen," Aoko spoke softly in awe.
"I don't really know her," Saguru shrugged. "I spoke to her only once briefly when my mother and I were in Geneva for a dinner party that the Queen's brother-in-law was hosting. I spoke more with her son, Prince Philip who was only three at the time. I guess you could say I got stuck babysitting during the party."
"But still!" Aoko squealed. "You know the Queen! Who Kaito has been gazing at for quite a while~!"
"Idiot," Kaito scoffed, turning back around in his seat. "What I was looking at was the cat, her Majesty's cat-!"
Saguru looked next to him and came face to face with Philip Ingram.
"Isn't he cute? He'll turn two years old this year!" the young prince smiled.
"Who are you?" Kaito asked.
"You can't tell by the accent?" Saguru chuckled. "This, Aoko-san, Kuroba-kun, is Philip Maximilian Ingram."
"H-he's not!" Kaito gasped.
"The Prince?!" Aoko cried.
"Yup," the little boy smiled before whistling. A minute later the cat that had been perched on Queen Elizabeth's shoulder came prancing over.
"Come, come here Caesar. Here!" Philip beamed after picking up the cat and held him up to Kaito. "This is Caesar! You wanted to see him right?"
"Y-yeah," Kaito blinked.
"Wow! Let me hold him!" Aoko cried.
Philip turned and offered Aoko the cat but afterwards he turned and stared at Saguru.
"…Have we met before mister?" the prince asked switching to English.
"We have actually," Saguru smiled. "It was back at your Uncle Edgar's mansion in Geneva during one of his dinner parties. We played hide and seek in the east wing with all the suits of armor."
"Oh…" Philip stared before he shook his head. "I think I saw you somewhere else… Oh! I remember now! You were on the Telly! You solved that mystery last year with the missing Senator who was being held hostage by those bad men!"
"I remember," Saguru nodded. "Senator Bradley had witnessed a smuggling operation taking place and had been taken against his will until the loot he'd witness being stolen was sold."
Saguru noticed that poor Aoko looked confused and realized that she wasn't as fluent in her English as Kaito was.
Before he could apologize to her though the cat she'd been holding jumped out of her arms.
"Ah!" she gasped in shock. "He went under the table!"
"Geez Aoko!" Kaito sighed before getting on his hands and knees to follow the cat. "I guess there's no helping it."
A few seconds later Kaito cried out in alarm and the cat screeched and flew out from under the table and back in the direction of the Queen and Inspector Nakamori.
"Are you alright Kaito?" Aoko asked as Kaito came out with a scratch on his left cheek.
"Yeah," Kaito huffed before glancing at Philip and noticed the stuffed animal the boy had been toting around. "That's a cute doll you have there."
"Ah, this?" Philip grinned. "It was a present from my father."
"Oh? It's eye is coming off. Let me borrow it for a second," Kaito frowned, but as far as Saguru could see the bear was fine which meant that Kaito was still looking for the Crystal Mother.
"Hey Onii-san!" Philip exclaimed tugging on the hem of Kaito's shirt.
"Hmm?" Kaito paused in his examination of the doll.
"Could Onii-san be, perhaps, Kaitou KID?" Philip whispered in Kaito's ear, but Saguru had heard with his sharp hearing. He coughed, to cover his laugh at Kaito's shocked expression.
"St-Stop joking, Prince," Kaito laughed nervously.
Aoko looked at Kaito in confusion and raised her eyebrow at Saguru's amused expression.
"Oh? You're not?" Philip asked. "Aw, and I know the jewel's hiding place too."
"Eh?" Kaito blinked, shocked.
"But I won't tell you," Philip laughed.
Kaito looked annoyed and Saguru couldn't hold back a chuckle.
"Prince Philip," a man wearing glasses called out as he approached.
"Eh?" the young boy blinked.
"It is dangerous here…" the man said softly. "If you would please return to the room quickly. Her Majesty has been angry for a while now."
"Mother has?" the boy blinked and sure enough when Saguru glanced back, Queen Elizabeth was giving her son a heated stare.
"Hey, you'd better go back quickly," Kaito smiled nervously.
"I won't go back!" Philip announced. "I'm staying here and protecting Mother and the Jewel from KID!"
"You care very much for your mother don't you?" Aoko asked.
"…I hate Mother," Philip said quietly.
"Eh?" Aoko blinked, shocked.
"Mother… since Father died, she's completely changed," Philip confessed holding his bear tightly. "Even though she was so kind before… Now as soon as she sees me, she shouts and gets angry, saying I don't listen to what she says… She must not like me anymore. But… I promised Father… that I'd protect Mother and the country… That's why… That's why…"
While Philip had been talking his mother had risen from her seat and stalked over to her son. She grabbed him by the back of his collar. Kaito and Aoko were shocked, but Saguru moved to intervene.
"It seems that no matter what, you won't listen even if you are told," the Queen huffed angrily.
"M-Mother!" Philip squeaked.
"Not Mother. It's Your Majesty the Queen when we're in public," Queen Elizabeth snapped. "You're not allowed to come back here again!"
"Your Majesty," Saguru quickly stepped forth as the Queen practically threw her son out of the Salon car. "You don't need to go that far-!"
"Leave it be!" the Queen snapped. "This child won't listen unless I do go this far!"
Saguru held strong and allowed the angry Queen to storm past him and back to her table to rejoin Inspector Nakamori.
"I'm going to check on Prince Philip and make sure he makes it back to his room alright," Saguru sighed looking back at Kaito and Aoko. "I'll be back soon."
"Kay," the two nodded.
When Saguru exited the car he found Prince Philip crouched outside the Salon doors practically in tears.
"…Mother," the poor boy whimpered.
"It's alright Philip," Saguru smiled sadly, kneeling in front of the boy. "Everything will be alright. Now lets get you back to your room."
Philip nodded and reluctantly grabbed hold of Saguru's hand and followed him down the hall. When they were about halfway to the next car Saguru looked up and almost froze. Peering at Philip from out of one of the doors down at the end of the corridor was a familiar looking man in black wearing a fedora.
"Snake," Saguru muttered under his breath with growing apprehension.
He didn't want to go anywhere near the man, but there was nowhere else to go without going back into the Salon where he'd get Philip in even more trouble with this mother. Saguru could only hope that as he took Philip back to his room, Snake wouldn't try anything with him present. As he was weighing his options though Snake made his move. He stalked out of the doorway he'd been standing in and advanced towards Saguru and Philip. Saguru didn't like the cold and determined look in the killer's eyes.
"Philip when I say run, run," Saguru whispered.
Philip blinked up at him, confused, but nodded.
Snake was upon them then and took a swing at Saguru. Saguru managed to duck in time, but with Philip to protect he was limited in his movements.
"RUN!" Saguru shouted at the boy as he blocked a fist aimed at his face.
Philip – alarmed – gasped and bolted down the remainder of the corridor.
"Oh no you don't," Snake sneered and pulled out a gun with a silencer attached.
"NO!" Saguru gasped and forced himself in front of the boy and took a bullet in the shoulder.
"Saguru!" Philip cried.
"Don't stop! Keep running!" Saguru shouted.
Philip looked at him with wide eyes, but nodded and pulled open the door to the next compartment leaving Saguru alone with Snake.
"Fool," Snake sneered and kicked Saguru's feet out from under him and onto his back where the killer grinded his heel painfully into the bullet wound in Saguru's shoulder. "I don't have the time or the bullets to waste on you. KID will be appearing any minute and I need that brat."
Saguru cried out in pain and was about to attempt something to disengage from Snake when he felt the hard crack of the butt of Snake's gun ramming against the side of his head. Darkness began to creep up on him disorienting him during those next few moments while he was being moved. The last thing Saguru saw was Snake's feet as the man opened the door to the compartment he'd been left in and went after Philip.
"Ten minutes until we arrive in Osaka," Kaito heard Inspector Nakamori report.
"It appears that I have won, Inspector," the Queen smiled.
"And? Where was it? The jewel's hiding place?" Nakamori asked.
The Queen chuckled.
"I'll let you know after we arrive in Osaka. But I bet you will be surprised Keibu."
'Where is it?!' Kaito wondered frantically. 'Shit. I've got to hurry or else time will run out…'
Kaito paused as he watched the Queen pour the Inspector another glass of wine.
'Hmm… That's strange. It hasn't changed one bit for a while now. Normally the shape would…?! That's it! I understand! I know where the jewel is hidden!' he thought excitedly.
"I wonder where Saguru-kun is," Aoko sighed. "He's been gone a while now."
Kaito frowned. Hakuba had been missing for half an hour and that worried him, but right now he had a topaz to steal.
"Where are you going, Kaito?" Aoko asked him as he rose from his seat.
"To the toilet," Kaito answered her while slipping a fast acting sleeping pill into her drink.
"Alright," she sighed. "Come back soon! And see if you can find Saguru-kun."
"Right," he muttered under his breath. "As soon as I get the topaz. Sorry about this Aoko, but without Hakuba here I need you to go to sleep for just a short while."
He was grateful to see her take a sip of her drink just as he slipped out of the Salon. The moment he was clear of the closed door and was sure that no one else was around he bolted for the breaker where he could black out the salon car. After flipping the switch he quickly changed into his KID gear and hurried back into the salon car wearing night vision goggles. This allowed him to pass by the shocked and blinded people in the car and steal a few ice filled glasses from the bar that he placed on the table that the Queen and Inspector were seated at.
"That KID! Finally showed up didn't he?!" Nakamori was raging as KID placed the last armful of glasses on the table.
Then the lights flickered back on and KID was in position, hidden from everyone's distracted view. Someone on the train's staff must have flipped the breaker switch back on. The Inspector was holding the Queen down in her seat. Her guards had Nakamori at gunpoint in an instant.
"D-Don't get the wrong idea!" Nakamori gasped. "I was only trying to protect her Majesty!"
"R-rather than that Keibu, where is your glass?!" the Queen cried.
"Glass?" Nakamori asked drunkenly. "If you want my glass it's over… WHAT THE?!"
Nakamori's drinking glass was hidden somewhere within all of the other glasses that KID had placed there during the blackout.
"W-which one is your glass?" the Queen asked.
"D-dunno," Nakamori admitted looking bewildered.
"All personnel! Split up and search for it!" the Queen cried frantically as she and the men in her guard began to examine the ice crystals in each glass.
"C-could it be that inside of the glass I was drinking from… along with the ice, the jewel was," Nakamori gaped, finally catching on to what KID had discovered a short while ago. "What a daring character…"
"Ah! Got it!" the Queen gasped as she pulled her jewel out of the glass she had in her hand and held it up. "The Crystal Mother is safe!"
KID saw his chance and with careful aim he shot one of his signature metal cards precisely enough to knock the jewel out of the Queen's hands and have it ricochet off of the ceiling so that it came spinning towards him where he was now crouched on the ledge of an opened window.
"Ka-Kaito KID!" the Queen and everyone gasped.
"It's an honor to be able to meet with your Majesty the Queen once again," KID grinned.
"Of all the stupid… This is the inside of a train! There's nowhere for you to flee!" the Queen boasted.
"Your Majesty please keep this in mind. I, the Kaitou KID am a phantom that appears and disappears at will. And you are – before being a Queen – first and foremost…" KID drew out the Queen of Hearts card before saying, "…a mother with a heart. Don't forget that. Well then…"
KID then activated a smoke pellet and disappeared from the widow. He quickly, but carefully climbed up onto the roof of the train where he let loose one of his KID blow up dummies.
"Wait KID!" Nakamori cried after him before turning his attention back into the car. "Alright, call to have a cordon set up around this area! We can't let him get away!"
KID chuckled as he held the topaz up to the moonlight to examine it.
"Naïve as ever, Keibu. Being led astray by a dummy each time."
No red glow came from the jewel… this wasn't Pandora.
"The naïve one is you KID."
KID froze and felt his blood go cold. He knew that voice. Sure enough, when he turned around there was the man that had killed his father… Snake. And he had Prince Philip pinned to the roof of the train with his foot.
"We meet again Kaitou KID," Snake grinned devilishly.
Kaito reached to pull out his card gun but before he could fully draw it Snake had his own gun out and shot the card gun to pieces. Snake took aim and fired again, but KID was ready this time and was able to dodge Snake's shots.
"It's a shame, but I don't have time to play around with the likes of you since we'll reach Osaka soon," Snake said and moved his gun to aim it at Philip's head. "Place the jewel down and turn around if you don't want the brat to die."
"N-no Nii-chan! You can't!" Philip cried.
"Shut up!" Snake snapped. "Don't try anything KID."
Gritting his teeth grimly KID set the jewel down carefully on the roof of the train. As he was crouched down he looked back and caught saw something that could save both him and Philip.
"This isn't the Pandora that you all are searching for," KID informed Snake trying to distract him.
"What?! Snake growled.
"It's true," KID smirked. "I held it up to the moon and inspected it a short while ago."
"Shut up! That's for me to determine! Now turn around!" Snake bellowed pointing his gun at KID as the thief did as he was told. "Even the immortal Kaitou KID meets his end thus…"
"Well, what if I do this?" KID smirked as he unclasped his cape and allowed it and his hat to fly back over to Snake, blinding him. He heard the gunshots and managed to duck down just in time to avoid getting hit. KID grinned. He'd timed it perfectly.
Just as Snake managed to untangle himself from KID's cape and yell, "Don't underestimate me!" the train was entering a tunnel and the man in black didn't have time to duck down and avoid getting knocked off the train like a villain in an American Saturday morning cartoon.
"No, it's me you shouldn't underestimate," Kaito snickered.
After the train cleared the tunnel he hurried over to Philip who looked quite shaken.
"Hey are you ok?" Kaito asked.
"Oww," moaned the poor prince but then he broke down into tears. "Saguru…"
Kaito felt a wave of fear crash over him.
"What happened? Do you know where Hakuba is?!" he demanded.
"H-he tried to protect me from the bad man," Philip sobbed. "The bad man shot at me, but Saguru-nii-san got hit instead. He told me to run but I didn't get away. The bad man caught me and brought me to the roof where he thought you'd run with the jewel. I don't know what he did with Saguru-nii-chan after I ran. What if he's dead? It's all my fault!"
Kaito felt his heart jump into his throat, but he tried to remain calm as he held the sobbing boy.
"Ok Prince Philip here's what we're going to do," Kaito said softly. "We're going to go down back to the Salon car and inform your mother and the officers with her that there was another thief on board. You're going to tell them exactly what happened ok? We need to find Saguru and they can help. Can you do that?"
"Y-yeah," Philip nodded determinedly.
Kaito quickly changed back into his normal attire and the two of them reentered the train and hurried to the Salon car.
"Ah… what a mess," the Queen was sighing when they entered. "It's my fault the country's precious treasure has been lost. Oh what will I tell the citizens?"
"Your Majesty calm down," a man said trying to sooth her.
"Mother!" Philip cried as he rushed over to her.
"Phi-Philip?!" the Queen gasped when she caught sight of him and saw how roughed up he looked.
"Mother there was a bad man after the jewel too!" Philip sobbed "He came after me when Saguru was taking me back to my room. He… he shot Saguru, Mother! Saguru told me to run but I couldn't get away! He took me up to the roof to get the jewel from KID but KID stopped him and saved me."
The Queen looked absolutely pale as she crouched down in front of her son and held him close.
"Are you alright Philip?" She demanded.
"I'm fine Mother but Saguru…" Philip sobbed, clinging to her.
"Shh… Philip. It's fine. You're safe now," she shushed as she gathered her son up in her arms – her personality now taking a total 180 – before facing the guards and police. "Hakuba Saguru has been shot in an attempt to protect my son and is now missing. Find him!"
"MA'AM!" came the coursed salute as the police and half of the Queen's guard hurried out of the Salon car and began an extensive search for Hakuba.
Kaito joined in the search and was part of the group that finally found the injured half-Brit. It turned out that Snake had shoved Hakuba under a bed in one of the empty rooms. It appeared as if the bullet Snake had fired had only grazed Hakuba's shoulder, but Kaito had enough experience by now to know that the shot had actually been a through and though. The wound only looked like a graze because most of the wound had already healed externally thanks to Hakuba's shifter genes. There was also a good-sized lump with traces of blood on the back of Hakuba's head that indicated that he'd been knocked out forcefully. Kaito could only be thankful that Snake hadn't felt inclined to kill the other teen.
Hakuba finally woke just as the train was pulling into the station where more police and an ambulance were waiting. Hakuba was checked over to have his gunshot wound treated and to make sure that he didn't have a concussion from that blow to the head. Once Hakuba was OK-ed by the medic, Kaito helped him into a cab that took them and Aoko and Inspector Nakamori to their hotel – that was now being paid for by the Queen herself out of gratitude for Hakuba's selfless actions. They arrived sometime after eleven o'clock and had two rooms reserved. Aoko and her father took one room and Kaito and Hakuba took the other.
"Some night," Hakuba sighed as he sank onto the edge of the large single bed they had in the room.
Kaito blushed at the though of having to share a bed with Hakuba, but his mind was too preoccupied with other things to let it bother him right now.
"Yeah… are you alright?" Kaito asked crouching down in front of the other to look him in the eye.
"Yes," Hakuba nodded, but flinched. Apparently his head still hurt. "I'm well enough at least."
Kaito clenched his teeth together worriedly. Hakuba looked a little out of it. He brushed back blond bangs to feel the warm forehead underneath. Hakuba jerked back a bit, grimacing at the quick instinctive movement. He reached up and pulled Kaito's hand down and away from his face.
"I'm fine Kuroba-kun," Hakuba said firmly. "All I need is a little rest."
"Are you sure?" Kaito couldn't help but ask.
Hakuba glared at him.
"I'll say it one more time. I'm FINE. It's just a scratch. Besides, I'm not the one constantly putting a target on my back at heists and doing death defying stunts while dodging the men in black with guns!"
"Funny, considering that you're the one that's always getting hurt!" Kaito shot back. "You could have died Hakuba! Snake could have killed you!"
"Well apparently I wasn't worth a second bullet," Hakuba scoffed. "Besides, I've received worse injures than this. A little gunshot wound isn't going to upset me much."
Kaito's heart clinched. He didn't want to hear that. He didn't want to hear that Saguru had been though worse. It was bad enough that he'd been shot.
"Don't you realize how worried I was?" he cried.
"No more worried than I was when I watched you get shot off a roof and dived after you," Hakuba replied coolly with a straight face, but he didn't succeed in hiding his shiver at the memory.
Kaito still felt a little guilty about that incident especially when he realized that Hakuba had been shot in the same shoulder that had been injured when rescuing him that night. He sighed heavily. He didn't want to argue with Hakuba, but…
"…When Philip first told me you'd been shot I didn't think I'd find you alive since it was Snake," Kaito whispered, trembling slightly as his hands clutched the bed sheets on either side of Hakuba. "I was afraid of what condition I'd find you in. No one is supposed to get hurt at KID heists, but you always seem to break that rule… It scares me Hakuba. What if you really die next time?!"
"Kuroba-kun," Hakuba sighed. "Listen, we both know the risks-!"
"No!" Kaito shook his head angrily. "You listen! I'm sick of seeing you hurt!"
"I don't exactly enjoy pain Kuroba," Hakuba snorted.
"Could have fooled me!" Kaito snapped. "You always throw yourself into harm's way!"
"Like you're any different when it comes to those you care about!" Hakuba snapped back. "Are you saying that I shouldn't have taken that bullet for Philip? That I should have let Snake shoot a little kid?!"
"No!" Kaito growled, shaking his head. "That's not it. I just…"
"Just what?" Hakuba frowned.
"…I just can't stand to see you hurt!" Kaito snapped. "It scares me to think of what might happen to you whenever I'm not there!"
"As if I don't feel the same?!" Hakuba cried exasperatedly. "Kuroba, we both knew – or at least had an idea of what we were getting into when we decided to do this. I knew that there would be risks. This is no different from any of the missions I was assigned while going through training. The dangers are the same and the risks are just as high… though maybe they're a little higher now that I might be more directly involved. Snake saw my face and won't have a problem finding out who I am. I'll have to lie low for a while but that's not going to stop me. I'm standing by you no matter what."
Kaito ground his teeth together in frustration.
"Why?" he hissed. "Why put yourself through this? You should back out now while you're not a target."
Hakuba looked him straight in the eye and pinned him with his stare. He seemed to be thinking over his response before answering.
"…Because you're someone who has become very important to me."
Kaito froze but his heartbeat quickened. …What? It was silent for a moment and neither boy moved. Kaito just stared at Hakuba wondering if he'd heard right. Was it possible…? Could Hakuba…? Something inside him seemed to give and before he could stop them, tears began to fall unbidden. He was about to brush them away when he felt a cool hand cup the left side of his face, it's thumb wiping away the tears there.
"…Hakuba?" Kaito breathed, wondering if this was really happening.
"…Kaito," Hakuba sighed before bringing their faces close together, noses almost touching. "I love you. That's why I'm not backing out, so you'd better realize that you're not going to get rid of me that easily."
Before Kaito could even comment Hakuba's lips pressed roughly against his. He gasped in surprise at first but eagerly returned the kiss. Hakuba loved him! And had used his first name! Hearing those words made his heart beat wildly in his chest. He was still afraid about what could happen to Hakuba, but right now all that mattered was that for now both of them were safe and that the blond was in his arms and not that American girl's! …Speaking of Patricia…
Kaito didn't want to break the kiss, but both of them were in need of air now and he really needed to get something straight.
"Wait," Kaito gasped before another kiss could be initiated. "Please… Not that I'm not thrilled about this, but… what about Patricia-san?"
"Patricia?" Hakuba blinked pulling back. "What about her?"
"Aren't you two dating, courting or whatever it is you call it?" Kaito huffed.
"No," Hakuba frowned. "Who told you that?"
"Well you two have been spending so much time together and I saw how you two were in the shopping district… So you two aren't…?" Kaito asked nervously.
"Ok first of all," Hakuba huffed. "Never assume. "When you assume it makes an ass out of you and me*" (quote from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris)."
Kaito had to take a moment to make sense out of the English phrasing but couldn't help shaking his head at the play on words. Hakuba really had an interesting sense of humor.
"Second," Hakuba glared, "I only spent all that time with Patricia because a certain someone was ignoring me so much that I couldn't make plans with said someone to have an excuse to avoid visiting with her."
Now Kaito felt stupid. He'd been sabotaging himself unconsciously and had gone through all that grief for nothing.
"And third," Hakuba said softly, "Patricia already has a boy she's been seeing on and off for a year now and is going to be heading back to America next week. As promising as a union between our families would have been, Patricia, myself, and our fathers have decided instead to maintain a strong friendship. Something for which I am really grateful for because I would have really hated turning her down and hurt her feelings all because I had to go and fall for one of the biggest idiots in Japan."
Kaito blinked and was about to protest that he wasn't an idiot when Hakuba shut him up with another kiss. This irritated Kaito, but not enough to stop the kiss. He snaked his hand up into Hakuba's golden locks and ran his fingers through the silken strands. He vaguely noted that Hakuba had one hand on the small of his back while the other was wrapped around his waist drawing him close. Kaito was soon situated in the Half-Brit's lap practically moaning into every kiss as Hakuba ran a hand up and down his back and sides. Some part of him couldn't believe that this was real and another part was irked that he was obviously in a more feminine position, but overall he couldn't bring himself to really care. He was with Hakuba and was kissing him. Hakuba was his…
After what felt like a blissful eternity – but was probably only a couple minutes – the two of them pulled back a bit for air both panting. Hakuba's smell was more of that rich earthy musk this time with only a hint of his human cologne. It was even on his breath and it was driving Kaito crazy. He didn't think that anyone could smell so good. He instinctively pressed his face into the side of Hakuba's neck and inhaled deeply, savoring the blond's scent. It was a spicy mixture of natural nature smells. He found himself nuzzling into Hakuba's neck pressing small biting kisses into the flesh.
"Mmm! Kaito," Hakuba murmured, holding him even closer and Kaito couldn't help but smile. He loved it when Hakuba called him by his given name and not his family name.
When he surfaced he stared into Hakuba's eyes and found himself shivering at the hungry and possessive dark look in those amber hazel eyes.
"Kaito," Hakuba whispered as he drew him in for another kiss. Kaito shivered in delight and eagerly dived in, pushing Hakuba onto his back on the bed practically straddling the other boy's waist. Well now a part of him could relax a bit because he was on top and dominating in their new position. Hakuba let out a surprised grunt and winced a bit. Kaito drew back instantly afraid that he'd hurt Hakuba in his eagerness.
"Sorry," he gasped. "Are you alright? Saguru?"
Hakuba glared at him for a moment, but when Kaito finished speaking a flash of surprised crossed his face.
"I'm fine," Hakuba sighed, bringing a hand up to cup Kaito's face. "…Say it again."
Kaito was puzzled for a moment and mentally ran through what he'd just said. The apology and inquiry into his heath had irritated Hakuba so what…? Then it hit him. He'd just called Hakuba by his first name! Kaito found himself blushing at the realization. It had just come out…
"Saguru," he murmured tasting the way the name rolled off his tongue. When he looked down at Hakuba he saw the blond smiling at him.
"Saguru," Kaito said again grinning before Hakuba pulled him down for another kiss.
"Kaito," Saguru murmured.
He could call the half-Brit by his first name now and the knowledge made Kaito extremely happy. After a few more long kisses the two of them finally stopped and settled into bed. Kaito couldn't be happier as he snuggled up next to Saguru with his head nestled into the crook of Saguru's neck and uninjured shoulder. He was so happy in fact that he couldn't believe that he'd spent the last three weeks so miserably without the blond. Things were going to be different between them now, he knew that, but then again their relationship had always been changing – evolving – as it led up to this point. So why should it stop now?
I wanted a reason for Saguru to get on the train and this was the best way I found to do it. I LOVED writing Aoko in this chapter. She's smarter than Kaito gives her credit. And Saguru was there the night Toichi died! Gasp! Yeah I went there. I thought that it was a nice touch of drama.
And speaking of drama, I shot Saguru! :O I was originally going to cut this part off after the part, but I figure after making you all wait for so long, that'd be mean of me to leave you hanging for who knows how long since I seem to forget to update this fic! So yeah, I also made it so that Saguru knows the Royal Family of Ingram and made Prince Philip half-Shifter. I figure that Ingram would be in Europe so Saguru would have at least met the Royal Swallows. You'll find in future chapters that I do that a lot (the Saguru knowing people part at least). Saguru gets around. ;)
Yay! finally! Some HakuKai loving! I hope that the ending wasn't too cheesy. This is my first Yaoi chapter fic so all of this is new new material for me. I hope those of you reading this enjoyed it. ...Drop me a review? It would be much appreciated. :)