Shinichi grimaced as pain lanced across his arms. Just what he needed. Even more scars for Ran to worry over.
“Kudo-kun?” Megure questioned from the other side of their small police huddle.
“I’m fine Inspector.” Shinichi tried to reassure with a smile. “My soulmate is just… accident prone.”
“More like your soulmate is a stunt double.” Sato added under her breath.
“So, what was it this time?” Takagi asked from his post by Sato’s side. The two had been inseparable ever since he’d taken a bullet for her. They still hadn’t told anyone if they now had matching scars that marked them as soulmates, but the rumor was certainly floating around the police precinct.
“I… I think she fell through a glass window. Anyhow, I think it’s about time we put another murderer behind bars.”
The other three police officers exchanged glances, but allowed Shinichi to change the subject.
It wasn’t that he was uncomfortable talking about soulmates. He just worried. He worried that between him and his soulmate, one of the two of them would end up dead before they ever met. Then all that would be left were the scars they shared.
Kaito frowned down at the fresh slashes across his arms. By now his soulmate probably hated him. But it wasn’t like he’d planned to jump through a window on the 24th floor. And it wasn’t like all of the scars that littered their bodies were Kaito’s fault. There had been more than one occasion that searing pain accompanied the appearance of new white marks on Kaito’s skin instead of the other way around. Including the bullet wounds. Eight of them in total. From six different days. Spread months apart. Because if Kaito was a criminal, why wouldn’t his soulmate be?
“You think she’ll forgive me?”
Jii didn’t even look up from where he was pawing through the first aid kit. “Of course she will Bou-sama. Just as you’ve already forgiven her.” They’d had this conversation often enough that the old man knew exactly what Kaito needed to hear.
“Think nothing of it. Now go get some sleep. You’ve been getting too little of it recently.”
Kaito grinned in return. “I hope to get even less of it once I find her.”
Jii simply rolled his eyes.
“I’ve found your soulmate.” Sonoko announced as she dropped into one of the empty chairs at the café table.
Shinichi cocked an eyebrow, not even bothering to set down his coffee. Sonoko had been like this ever since Ran had found her soulmate and started spending less and less time with her best friends. “Who is it this time?” The sooner he knew who she was talking about, the sooner he could disprove her theory.
“I don’t know his name.”
There were several things wrong with that sentence. “His name?”
Shinichi blinked. “Who?”
“The Magician Under the Moonlight. The greatest phantom thief of all times. He’s stolen from my uncle a number of times.”
“And… you’re happy about that?”
Sonoko waved her hand as if brushing off Shinichi’s comment. “Of course. He always returns what he steals.”
“And you’re convinced that this thief is my soulmate.”
Sonoko nodded, looking devious. “KID jumped through a window to escape from his last heist. Didn’t you say that’s what your new scars are from?”
Shinichi scoffed dismissively. It didn’t mean he wouldn’t look into it though.
Kaito stared wide eyed behind his monocle at the detective that had cornered him. But instead of pulling out hand cuffs, the man was rolling up the cuffs of his sleeves to his elbows. “Do these look familiar?” The detective asked as Kaito gawked internally.
“I’m not sure I know what you’re getting at Meitaintei.”
“My soulmate jumped through a window on the 27th of March.”
Kaito raised an eyebrow. The detective couldn’t be insinuating what Kaito thought he was. “I don’t recommend anyone replicate the stunts they see at my heists.”
The detective shifted his weight to one side, an unimpressed look on his face. “I have nine scars from bullet wounds, but I’ve only been shot eight times.”
If not for years of practice keeping his composure, Kaito’s jaw would have hit the floor. “I’d say that your soulmate needs to be more careful… But you’re the one who’s been shot eight times.”
“I chase murderers for a living. It’s dangerous sometimes.” The detective paused. “What do you think my soulmate’s excuse is?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
The detective shrugged, his eyes flicking down the hallway towards the sound of hurried footsteps. “Maybe he’ll tell me the next time we meet.”
It was official. Shinichi’s soulmate was an internationally wanted criminal. He was also probably curled up in ally somewhere trying not to bleed to death. At least that’s what Shinichi figured from the size of the scar that had just appeared on his hip. The only solace Shinichi had was that the scar was white. If the wound was going to be fatal, the scar would have been an ashy grey, bordering on black.
Kaito desperately wanted to limp. At the same time, there was no way he could. Not with Hakuba walking home from the train station with him and Aoko.
“How is the bullet wound KID?” Hakuba questioned casually.
Kaito glared back. “First off, I’m not KID. Second, I didn’t get shot.”
“But you are favoring your left leg.”
“That’s probably my fault.” Came a voice that had stared prominently in Kaito’s recent dreams. Several of them nightmares. “You shouldn’t have snuck up on me like that.”
Kaito slowed his steps, canting his head to look at the blue eyed man behind him. “How was I supposed to know that? Just because we’re soulmates doesn’t mean I automatically know everything about you.”
Hakuba stopped dead, his jaw working soundlessly for a full 15 seconds before he finally croaked out “Soulmates?”
Kaito pointed to a small scar just below his right eye. His soulmate, Detective of the East and Modern Day Sherlock Holmes, Kudo Shinichi, did the same.
Aoko squealed. “How did you meet?!”
“At a KID heist actually.” Kudo recounted, somehow telling the truth without any of the incriminating details.
Shinichi looked across the kitchen table at Kaitou KID, aka Kuroba Kaito, and wondered how much pain the phantom thief was actually in. Unlike Hakuba, Shinichi knew for a fact that Kuroba had been shot two nights ago. But he never would have guessed based on how the thief was acting. “Have you seen a doctor?”
“Why would I need to see a doctor?”
Shinichi shrugged. It wasn’t like he could throw stones from the glass house he’d super glued together more often than he’d gotten properly stitched up. “The scar’s pretty bad.”
“Why are you here?
“You almost died.” And if it sounded like an accusation. Well, it actually was one.
“Which one of us has been shot eight times?” Kuroba questioned with a glare. “This is only my second time.” Then after a pause. “How did you find me anyways?”
“You’re friends with Hakuba?!” It sounded like just saying the other detective’s name was more painful for Kuroba than his bullet wound.
“No. But he did come to Japan specifically to hunt down KID. It wasn’t too difficult to piece together who his primary suspect was and go from there.”
“So, when will the task force be here?”
“How do you know about that already?”
Kuroba leveled a flat stare at Shinichi as the doorbell rang.
It turned out that Kaito didn’t know about the task force already. At least not the one that showed up. How exactly was he supposed to know about a group of national and international law enforcement agencies working together with Kudo to dismantle a highly organized crime syndicate? He wasn’t. But if you listened to Kudo, KID had been part of the task force since the beginning, acting to draw the organization out and allowing the detective to gather intel.
“Why are you protecting me?” Kuroba asked as Shinichi closed the door behind the last CIA agent.
It was something Shinichi had been wondering himself. “Well, you’re my soulmate.”
“Which doesn’t make me any less of a criminal.”
Shinichi shook his head. KID was a successful criminal in so much as he always seemed to get away with his crimes. But he wasn’t actually good at being a criminal. Otherwise he wouldn’t be barely scraping by as a stage hand at the local theatre. If he were a good criminal, not only would he keep the gems he stole, but he’d contract out his services for more than Shinichi could imagine making.
“Kudo?” Kuroba waved a hand in front of his face. “You still in there?”
“I think you are actually the worst criminal I’ve ever encountered.”
Kuroba flinched backwards. Pain registering on his face for a brief moment before it disappeared back behind his poker face.
“So, retire. Let me find whatever it is you’re looking for though legal channels. And start headlining at the theatre instead.”
Kuroba’s jaw was slack, his brow actually furrowed in confusion. “Just like that? Give up my life of crime and become a stage magician?”
Shinichi nodded. “Like I said, you’re the worst criminal I’ve ever meet. You’re more focused on the showmanship than the prize. Honestly, the only thing you’ve ever stolen that you haven’t returned was time… And it’s hard to steal something that’s freely given.”
Kaito sagged against a stone gargoyle, his usually boundless energy completely spent. “It’s over?” He questioned the empty air around him.
“Looks like it KID. Glad to hear you’re still alive.” Crackled a voice in Kaito’s ear. It wasn’t the voice he needed to hear.
“What’s Kudo’s status?”
Silence on the other end of the radio.
“What is Kudo’s status?” Kaito repeated as calmly as he could. Both he and Kudo had racked up their fair share of new scars during the course of the black org take down, so Kaito didn’t know exactly which parts of his body he should examine for the telltale gray scar that would confirm his fears. He was about half a second from just stripping on the rooftop when the radio crackled again.
“KID, how exactly did you manage to slice open your ear after all the action?” Kudo questioned.
Kaito grinned. “I guess I just used up the last of my luck.” He answered as he reached up to inspect his ear. Everything hurt, the cut hadn’t even registered. But Kudo had noticed. Had been paying attention. And maybe, just maybe, Kaito loved Kudo a little for that.
“Or mine has finally started to affect you.”
“If that’s true, I guess I’ll just have to move in so you can keep eye on me~.” Kaito mused.
A beat of silence. Then, “No. I think you’d better let me move in with you instead.”
Shinichi stared at Kuroba’s front door as the moving truck pulled up behind him. His new front door. His new home. With his soulmate. Somehow it wasn’t as romantic as Shinichi had always pictured it being. Probably because Kuroba didn’t have even an ounce of romantic interest in him.
“Sir?” One of the movers questioned.
“Ah. Its nothing.” Shinichi answered as he moved for the front porch, his foot almost making it to the first step before Kuroba burst out the door.
“Shinichi~!” The magician practically sang. “You aren’t allowed inside yet.”
Shinichi blinked. “Yet?” He’d been in Kuroba’s home plenty of times. He’d even been down in KID’s secret room a few times.
“Exactly.” Kuroba answered before turning to the movers. “You guys can go in though.”
Shinichi felt his eyes narrow. “What are you hiding from me?”
KID’s poker face settled across Kuroba’s features. “Come back at 6 o’clock sharp. And don’t even think about coming home early.”
This was dumb. Incredibly, stupidly, dumb. What if Shinichi didn’t return Kaito’s feelings? What if he really had used up the last of his luck on that rooftop and he was doomed to a forever platonic relationship, haunted by the memory of what he was about to do? This was in fact the scariest thing Kaito had ever done.
“Kuroba?” Shinichi called from the entryway. And it only hurt a lot that the detective didn’t call him by his given name.
“Kitchen!” Kaito called back, doing one final check of the room and dropping to one knee.
Shinichi stopped dead in the doorway. “Kaito?!” He breathed, so quiet it barely reached the magician’s ears.
It took everything Kaito had not to look away. Not to suddenly jump up and explain it was all a joke. “Shinichi, I… I’m in love with you. And I would be honored to…”
“No.” Shinichi said flatly, as Kaito’s heart sank. “I refuse to accept a proposal with you on your knee.”
Kaito shuffled to his feet, silently cursing the fact his hair wasn’t actually long enough to hide behind.
“Now try again.”
Kaito could only gape. “Wha… what?”
“Try again. On equal footing.”
Kaito swallowed audibly. “Shinichi, I am in love with you. And I would be honored to call you my husband if you would have me.”
Shinichi’s smirk with hypnotic. “Husband, spouse, lover, partner, soulmate. I don’t care what you call me, as long as I’m yours.”
Kaito didn’t remember crossing the floor, but the feeling of Shinichi’s lips on his was something he was never going to forget.