Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan/Case Closed
Summary: Aspiring journalist Kudou Shinichi has just received his strangest assignment yet—to report on the doings of mysteriously popular magician thief Kaitou KID. When he set out to make a career for himself, this was definitely not what he'd bargained for. A collection of stories from his not so everyday life.
Pairing(s): Kaito x Shinichi
WARNINGS: Shounan ai (boy/boy pairing), you have been warned
Front Page News
By V. Shalyr
3. Incriminating Evidence
Suzuki Sonoko's screech resounded through the offices of Moon Watch magazine, shrill and grating with a mixture of anger and indignation.
Shinichi cowered in his chair across the table from her. He hadn't really thought his boss was intimidating before, but the dark vibes suddenly radiating off of her were quickly revising that earlier opinion. He gulped. What had he done? Had his last article been that bad? He knew she loved his KID articles, especially since the thief actually took the time to talk to him during or after heists. She'd raved about them often enough. But she'd never really said anything in regards to the other pieces he wrote, mostly on local crimes. Maybe the subject annoyed her, and she'd just never said before?
Slamming both hands down upon her desk from where she stood behind it, Sonoko glowered across at him, managing to look imposing despite her slight figure. "What happened!?"
"Uh..." Shinichi swept his gaze around the room in a frantic search for any clues as to what she was talking about.
"This!" His boss jabbed one finger at the thing lying upon her desk.
Reluctantly, Shinichi leaned forward as little as possible in order to see what it was. He swore he could feel the color draining from his face when it finally hit him just what she was so mad about. He'd been... sort of hoping she'd never find out. Of course, now that he thought about it, he supposed that had always been too optimistic. But still, it would have been nice if she could have waited until after he'd come to terms with the entire business himself.
"I..." he started, not sure what he was supposed to say. 'It wasn't my fault' didn't seem appropriate even though it hadn't been, because technically, no one had done anything wrong. In the end, he finally settled for a weak, "I didn't know it was going to happen."
That was true too, although KID was usually very good at that game.
The young woman before him fumed in contemplative silence for a full minute, then finally dropped back into her chair with a huff. Crossing her arms, she leaned back and scrutinized him through narrowed eyes. "Fine."
Shinichi blinked, unsure if this was a good thing or a bad one. "Fine?"
For a long moment, Sonoko didn't say anything more and just stared at him, her expression teetering between envy and determined curiosity. At last, she raised her hand and pointed a finger at him. "I'll forgive you since it appears that KID-sama likes you, but you're going to tell me all the details."
Shinichi really wanted to just die right there. He wished that the ground would just open up and swallow him whole, or some emergency would occur that would force everyone to evacuate the building. Anything to avoid what was bound to be a very, very embarrassing conversation.
It had all started because of that month's issue, which had come out just that morning—or rather, it had come about because of the photograph on the front page of that issue. A photograph that depicted a very shocked Kudou Shinichi being kissed on the lips by the infamous and much beloved Kaitou KID.
Hattori whistled as he put down the magazine. "Now that's definitely something you don't see everyday. Makes you wonder if that's why we've cycled through so many journalists. Do you think it's possible that KID's been using Miss Suzuki's magazine as an unofficial dating service?"
"Don't be stupid," Hakuba snorted. "He's an internationally wanted criminal. If he did want a date, I'm sure he'd go about it with his civilian identity rather than his criminal one."
"I suppose, but the female journalists did tend to last longer than the male ones..." The dark-skinned reporter grinned. "I bet poor Kudou's really getting raked over the coals in there. Everyone knows our dear boss is head over heels for that thief."
The photographer made a noncommittal sound in his throat. Quite honestly, his mind was still reeling in shock from the entire fiasco.
A few minutes later, Shinichi all but fled from Sonoko's office to the amused glances of almost everyone on staff that day. He sank into the chair at his desk, now situated next to Hakuba's in the section of the production room dedicated to one Moonlight Magician, and glowered at his blond coworker.
"You took a picture," he said accusingly. That blasted photograph was the reason Sonoko had been hounding him nonstop from the moment he'd arrived at work!
Hakuba shrugged. "Yes, well, that's my job."
There was no way he was going to admit that he'd hit the camera button on accident out of stunned surprise at what he was witnessing on that rooftop. Besides, women all through the city were squealing over the picture and it had definitely led to the sale of a phenomenal number of copies of their magazine, so technically, the staff should be thanking him.
Obviously, Shinichi didn't see things that way, but what was done was done and there was pretty much nothing anyone could do about it. So Hakuba wasn't going to spend too much time feeling guilty.
"Why do you think he did that?"
Hakuba and Hattori stared at the black-haired journalist who had dropped his face into his folded arms at his desk. He sounded so lost and confused when he asked the question that they felt a little sorry for him.
"I thought that was obvious," Hattori answered. "The guy likes you."
Shinichi went still and quiet at this. With his face hidden in his sleeve, neither of his coworkers could see the expression on his face. In truth, Shinichi was still having a hard time wrapping his mind around the entire incident.
It had been several months since he'd started working at Moon Watch, and in that time, he had attended more than a dozen heists—some of them in Ekoda and some of them in other parts of Japan. The magician thief seemed to have taken a shine to him, and would actively seek him out sometimes once that night's target was in hand and he'd stirred the police up into a distracted, frustrated frenzy. He didn't always answer Shinichi's questions—and almost never directly. But nonetheless, he always had something interesting to say, and his many fans didn't particularly care what the exact words were as long as they were his words.
In fact, if Shinichi thought back, he'd probably told the thief more about himself than the thief had told him. KID was good at coaxing him into conversation, which was some feat all in itself, at least if Shinichi were to believe his friends. Really, the journalist had started to think of the thief as something of a friend as well, if one that he only saw on moonlit nights and whose real name he didn't know. Sure, he went to the heists largely because it was an important part of his job, but he'd also started looking forward to them, and it was always exciting when he received a new heist notice.
Maybe that last bit should have clued him in. After all, no one else received personal heist invitations from the Moonlight Magician. And the red roses that he occasionally received from the man, that should probably have been a hint too.
"Hey man, you okay?" Hattori was starting to sound concerned.
The other journalist's reply came halting and still muffled by his arm. "Do you think... he's really... interested in me—that way?"
Hakuba and Hattori exchanged another look. Their coworker was really taking this rather hard, wasn't he? Could he actually...? That wasn't possible, was it? He couldn't actually like the thief back, could he?
Not that it was their place to judge. It was his life, after all, and his sanity.
"I suppose it's hard to say," Hakuba said finally, shrugging. "However, seeing as he did kiss you, I would venture to assume that that is, in fact, the case."
There was another long moment of silence from Shinichi. What he really needed, he decided, was someone to talk to that wouldn't just laugh at him, try to murder him, or look at him with incredulous disbelief.
And so he went home and called Ran.
"Oh, hey, Shinichi. It's good to hear from you. I was afraid Sonoko would have killed you or something."
"That might have been preferable," Shinichi muttered, wincing at recollections of that particular encounter. It seemed like he spent most of his time at home at his kitchen table these days. Newspapers and magazines lay splayed all over it, though none of them as eye-catching as the all-incriminating current issue.
"That bad?" Ran asked sympathetically.
"She asked me if KID was a good kisser."
"And was he?"
"What? It's a fair question. It's why you called me, isn't it? To sort all this out? I can't imagine who else you would talk to about this. Your parents would probably die laughing."
"I don't even want to think about what my parents are probably thinking," Shinichi sighed. Gods, could this get more embarrassing?
"Well, do you like him?"
Shinichi stared into his coffee mug. He probably should have expected her to ask him that. It was the logical question, except he'd been afraid to give it much thought until that moment. "I... I don't know. I mean, it's not like I actually know anything about him."
Except that he very obviously loved magic, took a wicked delight in deceiving and playing tricks on people, and had a strict, personal code against violence. He also kept tabs on all the people around him, including the police officers who pursued him at his heists, and went out of his way to look after them in his own, odd ways.
"I suppose not, but you don't sound as disturbed by the idea as I thought you'd be if you really didn't like the attention."
Shinichi could tell his face was turning red, and he was grateful that she couldn't see him blush from the other end of the phone. Ran knew him too well for his own good sometimes. "He's... well, I guess I do sort of enjoy his company."
"And it doesn't bother you that he's a thief?"
Being a rather righteous person by nature, Shinichi would have thought this fact should bother him. But somehow, "Not really. He doesn't actually cause any harm with what he does. I have a feeling he's got good reasons, even though he hasn't explained them to me. And he's really a very good person."
"A real gentleman," Ran sighed. "Sonoko's said before. In that case, I'm not sure why you're confused. It sounds like you're already halfway in love with the man. If he's serious, which it sounds like he is, I'm guessing you'll find out who he really is soon enough, and you can figure out if you're good for each other. At least I can be sure he'll treat you well and take good care of you."
"Hey! I don't need someone to take care of me."
"You just keep telling yourself that."
"You're welcome." There was a pause then Ran giggled. "It was a really cute photograph."
A few weeks later, Shinichi stood on a deserted rooftop a little ways from the site of the heist, feeling slightly apprehensive. Not that it stayed deserted for very long.
"Ah, Shin-chan! I'm so glad you chose to join me. I was afraid you might try to run."
"You know," Shinichi sighed, turning to face the thief, "it sounds really sinister when you say things like that."
"Oh?" KID closed the distance between them with deliberate steps, reaching out to catch one of the journalist's hands. The grin he gave him from beneath the shadow of his top hat sent a shiver down Shinichi's spine. "My apologies then, my dear writer. It was not my intention to frighten you."
"That's not much better." Shinichi shook his head. "Never mind. I just thought I should... should let you know that I don't mind."
He mumbled the last few words and KID stood stock still for a moment, his expression not changing as he processed exactly what Shinichi meant. Then he smiled and Shinichi felt his heart flutter at the fact that it was a genuine smile and not one of the thief's usual smirks.
"Thank you. That's good to know. I was expecting to have to work a lot harder to get a favorable answer out of you."
"There you go again," Shinichi muttered. "Talking like you had so many unspeakable plans lined up."
"But I did. Still do, actually, and probably always will."
"I know, but it'd be nice if you'd at least pretend that you didn't."
KID laughed. He tugged sharply on the hand he still held, making Shinichi stumble forward with a squeak. White-clad arms wrapped around his waist and Shinichi cautiously moved to rest his own hands on the thief's shoulder, glancing up at him with just a hint of excitement tainted with trepidation.
"So what happens now?"
"Now," KID murmured the words against his ear, "life gets a whole lot more interesting. And it's going to start with a meeting that you're going to go to tomorrow afternoon."
AN: For those of you who were curious, this is the story (or chapter) that Alaena F.D.'s picture "Stolen Moments".