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he means the world to me

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Aoko thought she was finally doing something worth it. She felt like she was doing productive. She wanted to help her dad, so she was investigating the drug case on her own. She had snuck a look at her dad's notes and wanted to help. She did some investigating on her own, calculated some stuff, took some files from the police station, tailed some very dangerous people. And that led her to here, hiding behind a tree, spying on a cottage in the woods, at 1.23 am. 

She could clearly see them, those bulky men with scars. They were talking and talking, but she couldn't understand what they were saying. She just jotted it down in her notebook, biting her lower lip as she strained to hear them. They had left the window open - those amateurs, she thought - and the words they were saying were so clear. But she lacked context. 

"We're going to kill him this time." 

Aoko carefully turned another page and wrote the words down. The question kill who? was on the tip of her tongue but she swallowed the urge to ask. She was undercover, she told herself. She was hidden. 

"We're going to kill Kaitou Kid. He's been a nuisance long enough." 

Aoko wrote that down and paused. Kaitou Kid. She was pretty sure he had been involved with this organization with people dressed in black. I guess not, she nodded to herself as she wrote it down, word by word. She didn't know how he was a nuisance to them and how he was involved with them, but that wasn't important. She wanted to find a solid evidence to arrest every single one of them and make her dad proud. 

"And Nakamori. He's been a nuisance too." 

And the mention of her dad, Aoko blinked. She wrote it down hastily and checked her phone. So far her dad hadn't texted her about her whereabouts, so it was safe to assume that he was still at the police station, working on some paper work and hadn't come home yet. A wave of relief washed over her. That would mean her dad would be safe and sound, in the midst of people. 

She took a step back and a twig snapped. Aoko snapped her head up and watched the people in the cottage. To her distress, they stopped talking and stared out the window in unison and started taking out their guns. Biting her lower lip, Aoko quickly turned off her phone and started slowly moving into the darkness. 

"I saw someone!" 

Damn it, Aoko pursed her lips as she started sprinting into the darkness of the forest. She heard rapid footsteps behind her. If she got as far as into the city, she probably could run away. With people bustling around, they wouldn't dare make a move. But the problem was that she was very, very deep into the forest and she was terrible with directions. Was she running the right way? She didn't have time to think. 

"Just shoot him!" 

Oh god, Aoko ducked her head and continued running. She was running out of breath and her legs were starting to become weak. She couldn't outrun these adult men, she couldn't. Aoko looked around for a place to hide, a bush or something she could duck into. Or even a stream of river she can dive into. 

She was met with no luck. Cussing under her breath, Aoko stopped, panting furiously. She looked back, seeing the dark figures lunging in her directions. She looked around, her legs becoming wobbly. She ducked behind a tree and hugged her knees, one hand clapped over her mouth to prevent breathing. She squeezed her eyes shut as she felt people around her. 

"I saw him, he's gotta be around here somewhere." 

"Damn it, who do you think it is?" 

"Probably Kid." 

"No, if it was Kid, he wouldn't run away. He would fly away." 

Aoko took a mental note to remember their conversation so she can write it down later. It could be helpful. She could feel her heart vigorously pumping, pumping and pumping. She thought it was going to explode. She thought she was going to die. She could see her future, being dragged into the cottage and being used as some sort of hostage. Maybe her dad would be forced to send millions of dollars. 

She felt someone get close and Aoko felt her eyes water. It was stupid, this was all very stupid. She opened one eyes and looked up to find someone standing directly in front of her, looking down at her. Fear flooded her heart and she wanted to scream, but she couldn't. She closed her eyes. 

"Hey, look at this." 

Aoko felt her body being lifted. There was this moment where she felt like she was flying and then it was over. She could hear sharp, stifled exhales and felt someone's arms around her shoulder and her legs. She opened her eyes once again. 

"It's a Kid card." 

"So you think it's actually him?" 

White. Everything was white for a moment. The moonlight reflected off and it took Aoko three seconds to realize that she was on top of a tree branch, tears were trickling down her cheeks, and Kaitou Kid was holding her in his lap. 

The last revelation almost made her scream but she couldn't because a) she was too scared and b) she couldn't find her voice. Maybe Kid was going to hold her ransom. Or ask her for police information. 

"Shhh," Kid said, looking away. She couldn't see his face and she had the sudden urge to take off his hat and make him look at her. But she knew that if she did that, he might drop her or kill her. So she obliged to his instruction and sat on his lap, his arms around her shoulders, just waiting for everything to be over. For some reason she was relieved. Relieved that those men in black haven't found her and that it was Kid. 

"Damn it, whatever. We'll kill him." 

The men walked away, much to her relief. She could hear their foot steps fading away. 

"Nakamori-san," Kid started. He held her close, one hand behind her head and one hand on her arm. And he faced the other direction. his voice was low and harsh, like he was mad and desperate. Aoko wondered what made him so nervous, as she saw sweat beads forming on his neck. "What are you doing here? You could easily get killed here." He sounded like he was scolding her. 

Aoko wiped the tears off her cheeks as she mumbled, "I just wanted to help my dad." 

Kid's voice softened. "Your father is a very capable man, Nakamori-san. You don't need to help him, he's fine on his own." He loosened his grip but didn't let her go. Aoko found it weird how she wasn't uncomfortable with the whole situation. Maybe because she almost died. 

"Thank you," Aoko mumbled. "For saving my life." 

"If you do know, then please do not ever do something like this again," Kid said, his voice firm and terse. 

And when Aoko stopped crying and sniffing she finally managed to say. "You sound a lot like someone I know," she blurted. She felt Kid tense up. She looked at the arm wrapped around her and wondered if he was ever going to let her go. She reached out and touched his shoulder and Kid visibly flinched. "But you can't be him, of course. But you sound like him. He talks just like you." 

"What's his name?" 

"I'm not going to tell you his name." Her face turned a little pink as she talked. "He's really nice." Then her voice hardened. "Don't you dare do anything to him, he means the world to me." She pushed him a little but miscalculated things and almost fell. Kid groaned and carefully picked Aoko up and jumped off the tree. There was a thud and Kid grunted again before letting her go. Aoko staggered for a moment.

"Go home, Nakamori-san," Kid advised. "And tell your friend that he should take better care of his friend." 

He tried to walk away and Aoko grabbed his arm. He paused. "They're, uh, trying to kill you," she said, her voice raspy and hoarse. Tears welled in her eyes again. "A-And they're trying to kill my dad too." She didn't know why she was telling him this, maybe it was the feeling that told her she owed him one. 

Kid said nothing for a while. "I know," he said. "And about your father, don't worry about it." 

He shrugged her off and walked away, his silky white cape glistening in the moonlight momentarily before disappearing into the darkness. Aoko watched the phantom thief disappear and then slowly slumped to the ground and started crying. It had been so scary, so scary. Her legs became weak and her stifled tears and become unmuted.  

***

Aoko knocked on the front door twice, shivering. The door opened. 

"Aoko?" 

She gave a soft smile as she looked at Kaito. It was really late, past two o'clock in the morning, and this was the first place she thought of coming. Her dad texted her and said he would be spending the night at the police station and told her not to worry. She didn't check the message, because then her dad would be worried and wonder why she was up so late. She didn't want to sleep in an empty apartment, after what happened tonight. 

"Hi, Kaito," Aoko smiled. "Can I sleep with you tonight?" 

Kaito's face turned bright pink before he said, "Sure, uh, why?" 

"Nothing," Aoko muttered as she slumped on his bed. "It's just that the apartment is empty and I'm scared, alright? I think it's going to rain too." She snuggled under his sheets and hugged his pillow. Then she opened her half-closed eyes and sat up, staring at Kaito. "Why are you up at this time?" Her eyes narrowed down on him.

Kaito blinked and shrugged. "I wasn't, you woke me up." He looked away. Then he frowned and crossed his arms. "What are you, a baby? You're scared of the apartment?" He sighed and rubbed his temples. "You do realize, this is really dangerous, right? Aoko, you don't just ask random guys if you can sleep with them." His face turned a little pink as he talked. "It could be dangerous." His voice trailed away. 

"I only ask you," Aoko crossed her arms. "And plus, do you have any idea what happened tonight?" 

"What?" Kaito raised an eye brow. 

Aoko was tempted to tell him everything, tell him how she had almost died and how Kid saved her life. But she could already picture Kaito's dubious and skeptical reaction. He wouldn't believe her. And if he did, he would only get mad at her for being so reckless. So Aoko swallowed and shrugged. "Whatever, it's nothing," she mumbled as she looked away. Kaito was dumb anyways. 

"Aoko, give me your phone," Kaito suddenly asked. 

"My phone? Why?" Aoko asked as she obliged. 

Kaito turned her phone on and started tapping into the screen before starting, "I was thinking, you're always running into places that you shouldn't right?" He raised an eye brow at her. Aoko rolled her eyes and hugged her knees. "So I thought it would be smart for me to keep track of where you are at all times, smart right?" He smirked a little before handing her phone back. "And this way, I will always find you." 

Aoko stared at her phone. "You downloaded a couple's tracking app?" 

"It works," Kaito defended. "And of course, of course, it's for couples, but in special cases where you are a baby, I need to know where you are too, alright? We'll delete it when you get a boyfriend." He laughed. "Which will never happen because, right, who would ever want to date you?" Aoko glared at him angrily and threw his pillow in his face. Kaito laughed and fell down. 

"I don't need this!" Aoko protested. 

"Precaution," Kaito argued back with a smile. Then he stood up and turned off the light in his room. "You should go to sleep, Aoko. I'm going to crash at the couch, so yell if you need me." He yawned and headed out the door. He looked back. "Also - " Then he paused. "Nothing." 

Aoko frowned. "You're so bland." 

Kaito closed the door behind him. Then he fell on his couch, his arm resting on his eyes. So many thoughts were running in his head but not one was first place in the race. He looked down his couch and pulled out his Kaitou Kid suit, something he shoved last minute under the couch when he realized Aoko was knocking on the door. He sighed and buried his face in the palm of his hand. 

He means the world to me. That echoed in his head again and again. The way her eyes sparkled when she talked about her friend made his heart wrench. The way she trembled in fear made his heart break into a million pieces. He wished he could do something else. He wished he was something else. But he couldn't. He already knew the day was coming, the day he would give her the satisfaction of figuring out who Kid really was. But that day would be the same day she would be losing someone who means the world to her. 

If only, if only they were born differently. 

Kaito sighed into his hands, clutching the white silk tightly and a silent tear trickled down his cheeks. 

If only.