A/N: I'm terrible, I know, I'm sorry. I got caught up in drawing another doujinshi again and so stayed silent since the last update- which was right after I finished my other doujinshi. xD;;; So I swear this will be my last doujinshi for this time of year. I'm not gonna make another one...NOPE, NOT EVEN FOR THEIR BIRTHDAYS. Omigod, I can't handle the deadlines lol. |D;;

(Ooh and check out my April Fool's Doujin~ Pre-orders are up awyea~ fav.(delete this space)me/d600xog)

So back to the topic of Slow Time, it's certainly taking a rather slow time writing this... I'm not really sure what I've been trying to write or what style I want to write in anymore. But then I figured that hey, I'm writing it for funsies so oh wells.

But thanks so much to nightpounce for being awesome support in my writing and my art stuff~ I can't be any more grateful to you because heck, no one really buys anything from me anyways. (And I just end up drawing things for myself;; ) akjshka but yea, I just love youuu~

And I changed the picture of the story if anyone cares. xD

Note; and this is best read in tiny font. * u * or maybe it's just me...h ah haha,, idk. enjoy guys~

Live the lie, live the mask–

A mantra he chanted in the back of his mind whenever he touched the cardboard box of books– (he kept telling himself to throw them away on weekends– but he just forgets.) or flipped open his black phone.

It was an old model. Two years ago, it was sparkling new. Now, it's left with a dull shine since salt bit the lacquer off the cover.

The mattress creaked under his weight as he shifted. The small opened boxes caved, siding toward him, jabbing into his skin with sharp corners.

He brushed them away, satisfied with a sound of them falling against the floor. He sat back into the pillows crowding the headboard.

With a snap of a wrist– exactly like how he always opened it– the screen flickered to life. A grayscale, newspaper clipping of a white thief grinning behind a monocle served as his background–

He laughed quietly– such a dork.

A small blue box blocked off the thief's face though– "New Voicemail," it read with thin black letters.

It wasn't new.

It was just never opened.

Beep.

He drew in a breath and left the phone on his stomach as he twisted around and fell backwards, landing a top series of grooves and bumps on the spring-loaded mattress. He breathed deeply through his nose, eyes tracing the torn maps and papers on the wall, illuminated by the warm glow of a stolen police searchlight.

"You have one new message: Novemeber 18 XX."

His eyes followed the shadows stretching along the walls–

Beep.

"Hey. It's me."

What a liar.

His chest tightened.

Live the mask, live the lie– even to himself.

"Your friends are doing well, moving on actually. Aoko is cheerful, but she really misses you. I guess that's what…things do to you, huh. Tantei-san knows I'm Kid, but he has no evidence as usual– doesn't even care to chase Kid anymore. That makes things a lot easier… But you know, it's not so bad. People have already forgotten you. That was your intention, wasn't it, Kaito? To be forgotten–?"

Beep.

The phone crashed against the ground and the screen blackened.

Maybe it was nothing more than a little whim when he bought two phones instead of one.

Paperwork was always a hassle since he would sometimes sign with the wrong name– he'd accidentally write the strokes for Kuro before he remembered and asked for another piece of paper.

It took a while, but after an hour or so picking through the models and going through two copies of agreement papers, he was milling about the streets of Tokyo with two flat flip phones sitting heavy in his pocket.

Kid pocketed his hands, feeling the smooth surface of the phones rub against his skin. His shoulders scrunched as the lingering wetness in the air chilled his arms.

It was a quiet evening, though he could hear the wail of the sirens and the notorious inspector booming off in the distance.

Won't be quiet for long…

With a twist of his shoulder, his backpack flung to his front, where he unzipped the top and dropped the two white cellphones in.

He'd keep these here with him until he was done with his heist. Another boring challenge from the old man obsessed with catching him.

It wouldn't even take him an hour to slip through security, dismantle the cage in which the jewel sat. Within thirty minutes, he'd be standing on the museum's roof, jewel snug between his fingers and facing the sky–

"Still nothing."

He popped the jewel into the air with a flick of a thumb, catching it and wrapping it with a small handkerchief. Kid hummed as he gingerly placed the stone on the concrete ledge.

No chase, no thrill.

Tantei-kun wasn't here. Not that Kid was really expecting him to show up today… it would have added a bit more excitement to the heist but–

He stood up with a flourish of his cape. Usually Jirokichi was a flashy old man, abusing his wealth to have helicopters float around the museum's perimeters and broadcast "Kaitou Kid's Defeat" on national television. But today there were no such thing.

It was probably the rumble in the sky and occasional blinding flashes that prompted Jirokichi to agree that helicopters weren't a great idea tonight.

Soon, the taskforce would be bumbling their way up the stairs.

Kid had little time.

– a phrase he hardly ever used because he usually gives himself hours to finish the heist, to prolong the chase, to watch Nakamori's little men dance into his traps and walk out in humiliation.

Not enough time–

Kid glanced down at the pearly white phone before shutting it with a snap.

11:23 pm.

Judging by the humidity lingering in the air and the soft rumble of thunder, it'd storm soon. It would be kind of dumb to fly in the skies right now– but it was only a five minute flight away.

Kid tugged his hat firmly onto his head before stepping off the ledge.

While the wind ruffled his hair and rain pelted his face, he thought about it.

What was he doing?

Why bother?

Maybe it was that he shared the same tiredness in those blue eyes, felt the same heaviness whenever he breathed, forced into living a lie–

Perhaps, he felt that after living without anything, he wanted something

Kid smiled, muscle pulling the corner of his lips as rain slid around the curve of his monocle.

Or maybe he was just bored.

If so, wasn't this going beyond anything that would quench boredom?

He didn't want to think too hard about it– about what he was doing, what he was risking, what boundaries he was crossing–

But –

Kid swallowed as he twisted and turned within the darkened sky.

For a man that had lost everything with a gunshot– he had nothing to lose, so why not?

He'll try and it'll take time.

Kid landed on the metal staircase above the Mouri Detective Agency, cape fluttered heavily as he folded his glider. He was drenched with no extra change of clothes.

Maybe he should have hidden his bag somewhere closer.

Kid tsked himself as he picked a corner of his cape with a soggy glove. It was a miracle he was able to get here without being struck by lightning–

But still, the rain was a bit…

Great way to ruin his first impression.

A soft beep caught his attention and his eyes were drawn to the open window and dim light inside. He breathed heavily as there was a weight on his shoulders– but it wasn't the rain-soaked cape.

Another beep.

His insides quivered and it wasn't from the cold rain and wind. Kid ghosted forward, shoe clanging against the metal a bit too loud–

Kid paused and waited–

Another soft beep.

His hands clenched and unclenched, water seeped down from his knuckles.

What was he doing here?

He pressed his back to the wall near the window, eyes staring straight at the grey buildings across from the agency. The smell of coffee and heavy rain wafted in the air and shortly after, he heard a bell jingle below him.

The cafe– he thought absently, turning his head toward the stretched streaks of lights on the sidewalk– would be a nice place for a hot chocolate after this.

Kid shivered, feeling a tremble settle in his shoulders.

It was cold, he was wet, and somewhat lost.

Hot chocolate would really be nice after this.

Raising a hand, back still pressed against the wall, he held a breath and knocked against the glass.

The bed creaked. One creak and nothing more– Kid counted the seconds–

"Kid…?"

Kid ducked his head at the mention of his name. Water spilled off his silk hat and splattered on the floor. It must have been the shadow of his hat that gave him away or maybe the cape that stuck to his window.

Crap, he really was in no condition to be here.

What would Tantei-kun say if he saw how pathetic he was– soaked to the bone with May's showers?

Soft footsteps thudded across the wooden floor boards at stretched intervals. The thuds faded when Kid's shoulder dropped.

"What are you doing here?"

He had been wondering that himself.

Kid breathed out slowly. Tantei-kun's voice was soft, curious, hesitant– and certainly not hostile. He pulled off his top hat, holding it by the rim. The blue ribbon was near black, white silk stained grey.

A soft rumble growling in the distance, the harsh rhythm of rain falling, a rustle of the curtains behind him, and the sound of metal sliding–

Kid turned, smiling at the wide-eyed detective.

"Mind if I come in?"

The window was opened before he even asked.

–-

He didn't expect such hospitality.

"Dry yourself."

A towel was thrown at his face and he coughed. His skin prickled at the cold blowing in from the window behind him.

Mother Nature wasn't kind tonight, but at least she pitied him enough to wait until he landed before she unleashed her full wrath. The drumming of heavy rain echoed against the metal pipes framing the building, and Kid was glad he didn't arrive a few minutes later.

Kid pulled off the towel and watched the boy rummage in a cardboard box.

Funny that Tantei-kun didn't reach for the phone to dial the police. Funnier that Tantei-kun didn't clasp handcuffs over his wrist once he stepped a soggy shoe into his bedroom.

He leisurely leaned back against the floor, eyes mapping the room. To say that he wasn't here before would be a lie. Though, he was under the guise of that police inspector but it was only for a few moments before he was dragged downstairs.

Now that he sat in front of a small low table in the middle of Conan's room, he could sit back and appreciate the soccer posters on the detective's wall and a cheap paper replica of a Sherlock Holmes painting.

A simple bed sat in the corner, sheets flat and smooth. What a neat detective–

Kid brought his eyes back to the stack of manila folders messily pushed aside on the little table–

He smiled–

Maybe, he wasn't so neat.

These fat folders…weren't they the ones that Tantei-kun carried around during school? Kid lifted the cover and shuddered when he saw a detailed shot of bullet-broken skin.

Yup, definitely the same ones.

Seriously, what kind of morbid pleasure does Tantei-kun get from staring at blood and dead bodies? Curiously tilting his head, Kid continued to rummage, gloved fingers pushing past papers until a familiar face and sharp grin stopped him–

"What would possess you to fly in the rain–?"

Kid drew back his hand, watching the folder and papers flutter back to the disorganized mess they had been before. He'll just leave that there.

"It wasn't raining when I first flew–"

He held back a quiet sneeze. It was really cold despite it being spring.

Kid began to dry his hair with the soft towel in his hand. He left it hanging on his head, the edges tickled his bare shoulders as he peeled off his shirt. He shivered when the cold nipped his damp skin –

"Ran probably packed a spare shirt somewhere else–"

Conan paused.

Kid folded his blue shirt and plopped it next to the outstretched cape and suit. He glanced up from underneath the white of the towel.

"Hm? You were saying–"?

Oh, Tantei-kun stopped because he was staring at him.

They shared a blink.

Staring at him?

Somehow Kid wasn't surprised–? Maybe he was a bit charmed because that wide-eyed stare and parted mouth was kind of cute–

Kid smirked and Tantei-kun's face flushed red.

"S-Stupid, don't start stripping–!" he sputtered, tilting his head down until the gleam of his glasses shielded his eyes. The small detective snagged the corner of a shirt and slugged it at him.

The red cloth hit Kid's face and then tumbled down into his lap. Kid flinched–

"I already started a few moments back," Kid easily replied, eyes wandering to the outstretched pile of wet clothes on the floor. The fact that his cape was making dark puddles on the ground– he must have soaked up a lot of rain.

"And besides, Tantei-kun…" With two fingers, he daintily picked up the red apparel, pinkies up, a playful smile on his lips. "You can't expect me to wear this…?"

Conan-sized with a large orange-stripe running across the chest.

The boy flushed a shade darker and gave a nasty scowl. "Just– Just cover up, will you? Good god–" And he whisked around again.

Kid watched him; Tantei-kun's shoulders were rigid, movements jerky as he dug through the box. Every so often, he'd try to peek over his shoulder but would immediately give up and look down at the box of old clothes.

The dust of red on his cheeks was really cute, Kid mused with a lopsided grin. It was the same splash of red whenever Tantei-kun reached him at the end of his heists–

"Stupid thief." Conan seethed, back straight, shoulders bunched, hands stacking the folded shirts.

This was entertaining, oh so very entertaining.

He leaned back against the floor, towel haphazardly hanging off the damp spikes of his hair. "Tantei-kun, do you like it?"

At this, Conan froze, fingers clamped around one of his polo shirts. Kid was given an irritated and confused glance.

"Like what?" he fired back; the red had receded from his face and replaced with a cute grimace. Tantei-kun was literally burning holes at Kid's face– was he really trying that hard not to let his eyes drift down?

Cute.

"My body–"

Tantei-kun choked.

"Lean muscles and toned abs– I've trained as an acrobat for a while if you didn't know–" Kid smiled, hand brushing over the ridges of his abdomen. It was rather cute how blue eyes attached to his hand like a magnet and followed his fingers down

Maybe Conan's fascination with his body (though the detective would stubbornly deny it) had something to do with a curiosity of what he would look like if he had his original body back.

Or maybe, he just liked it.

Or maybe, he just liked him.

Kid smiled bigger at the thought– "You can touch me if you like~"– before a blue sweater slammed into his face and wrapped around his head.

"God damn it–" Conan snarled at him before tearing his eyes away. "Stop treating me like one of your brainless fangirls."

Kid pulled aside the other Conan-sized shirt and piled it next to his clothes. He watched the boy blow open another cardboard box with a rough kick of his foot. "I'm not. But in all honesty, you might as well be one, Tantei-kun~"

And he stretched leisurely on top of the wooden table, spreading himself out quite nicely that if Suzuki-san had been in the room, she might have die from blood loss.

Conan head shifted a fraction before snapping back towards the box. "Idiot, I only solve codes. That's all I do."

Isn't that all he's been doing the past few heists–?

"And you take the time to come to every heist I've had since we met, you wouldn't tip off the police because you want to see me by yourself, you would also go to the lengths of proving my innocence when people pin murders on me. So what does that mean? You can't resist me at all, neh, my dear critic?"

There was a silence and an audible tsk.

"Shut up."

And the bickering stopped there.

His ears were red now, Kid noticed, and Conan was practically half-buried in the cardboard box, furiously shoveling out clothes that he would later have to put back.

Although he loved his sharp mind and witty tongue, Kid wasn't surprised that he was quieter today.

His eyes wandered over to an old phone that was resting on his bed; it wasn't Tantei-kun's usual smart phone that he toted along with him to solve crimes.

Rather, it was old, a bit clunky around the sides with an old soccer ball strap hanging from the bottom.

"…How many messages did you get this year?"

Conan's back straightened.

A beat passed.

"None."

And Tantei-kun pulled a wrinkled white dress shirt from the old box. The rain competed against his voice, quiet and clipped. Kid vaguely wondered if he said too much–

"I was…"

A breath broke his voice and Conan's head snapped upwards– a sigh and it was heavy. "I was thinking of getting rid of that thing actually."

Kid tilted his head, watching the boy smooth out the wrinkles in the shirt. He brought it closer to him; maybe he was looking for loose threads. But judging by the hollow gaze, he wasn't really. Tantei-kun just needed something to do–

"Dumb thing doesn't…work anymore. The alarm doesn't get me up for school."

Kid said nothing, only watched Conan turn toward him, the white shirt dangling from his hands, the buttons picked at with trembling fingers.

"But I guess…after a while, I don't really care anymore." He gave a weak shrug, his eyes tracing the lines in the wooden floorboards. Kid eyed the stack of manila folders–

"You carry them around."

Conan's eyes quickly flickered to the folders. "I can't do anything else." A thin smile and another shrug. His bangs tickled his eyelids. "The police are still investigating it. They can't let go."

Kid watched Tantei-kun's fingers crinkle the collar of the shirt. "They thought it was too sudden. The FBI must be covering something up. The FBI must have made a mistake. Megure-keibu was pushing for an investigation."

Kid sifted through the folder again, lifting the cover just enough to see an almost identical face grinning at him confidently– an old picture, three years old–

"It's a cold case I was given to solve." There was a light tap in front of him, and Kid raised his eyes to see the boy kicking at the floor. "But I can't help them with this."

With a sad sigh, Conan had moved forward. He scoffed softly, "It'd just be better if everyone forgot about him, yeah?"

The boy looked up and caught Kid's eyes, and for a while in the silence, Kid swore the blue started to gloss. He looked lost. An expression Kid knew so well since he'd often seen the same look in the mirror many times before.

The patter of the rain continued on, and Conan blinked, suddenly startled–

"Here, I found one of Ojisan's old shirts, cover up–" And he threw it at Kid's head. The long-sleeved shirt wrapped around his head– what a way to kill a mood– and with a struggle, Kid picked it off.

Conan, by now, had thrown himself onto his little bed, mattress creaking when he reached for the old phone. With a small sigh, Kid pulled on the shirt, crinkling his nose at the cardboard smell from the fabric.

There was an extended silence as he buttoned his shirt, and then Conan spoke up from his pillows: "Do you miss him?"

Kid looked at the detective curiously. "Miss who?"

"The person you were before you became Kaitou Kid?"

Kid studied Conan's still figure. He wasn't looking at him, but scrolling through old messages. His eyes slid back down to the last button on his shirt, catching the light glimmer of red below his glove.

"Sure, I do. But after a while, I don't mind it." He leaned backwards, gloved hand swiping the towel off his damp hair.

He paused, eyes settling into a daze on Conan's phone– "I don't mind it…"

Heavy silence hung, before he smirked and threw a playful look at Tantei-kun. "It suits me now that I think about it."

"Being a womanizer?" Conan deadpanned as he turned the phone over in his hand. Kid smiled.

And like that, with careful and planned phrases, Tantei-kun automatically fired back a biting remark. That's more like him, but not quite.

Kid peered at Conan, the charm of his monocle swaying after him.

"You don't like it? The gentlemanly charm?"

Conan threw an unimpressed stare at Kid's bright, winning smile.

"What are you doing here anyways?" he sighed. Kid perked up from his seat on the floor.

"Just here for a light chat." Kid took his time breathing his words, ever so mindful of the ticking clock and the letting up of the storm outside.

He heard a tsk. Tantei-kun was impatient, maybe tired since he pulled off his glasses and set them next to his pillow.

"You came here to do something stupid since today's my birthday, didn't you?"

And Conan turned his face away, perhaps from embarrassment at even admitting the thought. Kid simpered– too bad, he couldn't surprise Tantei-kun about his birthday anymore.

"It hurts when you say that."

Kid stood up, and with a few light thuds on the hardwood floor, he plopped himself right next to Conan. Conan's shoulders jumped at the sudden dip on his bed and he nearly fell on him.

Kid would have liked that, but Tantei-kun decided to catch himself before he did.

"Magic tricks aren't stupid."

"It'd be a lot useful if you used them to disappear from here–" A gasp caught in his throat. Conan looked away, shifting farther to the front of his bed. A slight red edged under his eyes–

"Sorry–"

"It's fine." Kid closed the distance, reaching behind Conan and reeling him to his side. The small body tensed when Kid cradled the tiny hand. Conan's fingers curled tighter around his old cellphone. "It'll be fast. I promise. Just this and I'll leave."

Kid could feel the detective exhale quietly, shoulders dropping and weight pressing into Kid's chest. Kid gingerly placed a white cloth on top of his hand.

"What are you doing–?"

Kid hesitated.

"I'm not so sure myself."

The shoulders tensed again when Kid brushed his chin over the top of his head. He stared at the blank wall ahead of him. "I don't know what I'm doing."

He wrapped another arm around the slim torso, reeling him closer. Conan was near boneless, having given up fighting against him.

What on earth was he doing here–?

Tantei-kun smelled nice and was warm, warming the cold skin behind the thin white shirt.

"Kid–?"

He smiled into the back of Conan's head. "Three…two and–"

Kid hummed.

The handkerchief exploded with a light blue smoke, and Conan's hand would have flown backwards in shock had Kid not gripped his wrists in place.

"Kid–" he started to hiss before the smoke cleared from his hand. Conan fell silent when a pearl white cellphone glimmered under his fingers. "How–?"

"A magic trick for the birthday boy," Kid huffed proudly as he tucked the cloth up into a pocket in his glove.

Kid bounced off his bed, whirling around to smirk at Conan. The detective was a bit livelier. Granted his lips were still twisted in a frown, but his eyes were set in a concrete gaze while his mind churned out possibilities of how–

"Well, now that my business is done here–"

"I already have one."

Kid let out an exaggerated sigh as he picked up the bundle of clothes from the floor.

"Yes, I'm aware of that," Kid drawled. Conan ducked his head to stare at his reflection in the black screen, Kid flicked his cape and changed quickly within a puff of smoke.

He backpedaled to gaze out the window. The smell of rain lingered heavily in the air but there was no storm, which was good, his life wouldn't be so threatened now.

With a graceful leap, Kid was perched on the metal frame of Conan's open window.

"It's a birthday present, Tantei-kun."

"That's obvious, but what for?" Kid tugged down on his top hat, hiding a fond smile behind his gloved hand. Tantei-kun was always so straightforward.

How charming.

Conan's innocent, child-like face implored him for an answer. Kid clicked his tongue and smirked, lips curling up–

"A new alarm clock."

Conan stared at him, mouth hanging open, as Kid stepped onto the metal staircase outside, glider springing open as he took a quick step forward.

"For a change of pace, if you will."

-–

So... me and my ridiculously long chapters again. Goodness god, this has been like six thousand some words maybe.;; Anyways, I hope your eyeballs didn't fall off when reading.

And if you can spare the time and bit of trouble, please leave behind reviews~? :'D I love reviews~~