“Shinichi!” A desperate cry tore through the gunfire. Fuck! Fuck… “They are almost here!”
“I can hear a helicopter…” The conclusion was clear.
They were fucked. Escaping was almost impossible now. High up on a skyscraper, men with guns storming up from below, a helicopter in the air to provide them support.
“The hand glider was hit.” Frantically Shinichi searched for an out, his brain discarding plans rapidly.
He supported Kaito, who had been shot in the leg. He was clutching Pandora desperately in his free hand, not daring to put it in his pocket, he had to keep hold of it, had to make sure not to lose it. They had come too far…had gone through too much. Was this really the end?! Kaito groaned, leaning even more on his lover.
“Don´t…please…”, Shinichi´s voice cracked, he coughed, the smokebomb from earlier still had its effects. “Maybe, if you…”.
“NO!”, panic but also deep determination clear in is voice. A cold wind ruffled their hair, making them look like soldiers in an action movie. “I will not leave you behind…never mind that I would be dead within a day anyway.”
The thief affectionately nuzzled Shinichi´s cheek. Glancing into each others eyes, unspoke words of love travelled between them. They moon shining above them giving them some comfort. A sudden short, but passionate, kiss was all the love declaration they needed.
“Let´s go out guns blazing!”
“We won´t be the only ones dying tonight.” With that Shinichi manoeuvred his love closer to the wall next to the door, until he was leaning on it.
Seconds later both men were positioned left and right from the door, clutching their guns, aiming them with the intent to kill. Playtime was long over. With a bang the door flew open. The next few minutes were hell. Gunfire, explosions, pained cries… Shinichi had long abandoned his post and was right next to Kaito now.
“Everything must come to an end. You never stood a single chance anyway”, Gin´s dark chuckle was accompanied with a shot.
He was seeing the bullet come closer. Unable to do anything as the scene played out before him in slow motion. His heartbeat drowning out all other sounds.
“KAITO!” The bullet pierced his head, he was dead instantly.
Shinichi caught him midfall, only for his legs to give out. The next few minutes were agonizing. Gin had fun tormenting him, not with actions but with his words. While the detective could only stare down at the lifeless from of his lover, his everything. He desperately wished they weren´t wearing Kevlar vests, wished he were dead already.
Silent tears were running down his face, he didn´t care if any of the Black Organization members saw them. He couldn´t do this anymore. This time was supposed to be different. This time he hadn’t been alone. Pandora was still in his grip, drenched with both their blood.
“You are pathetic”, were the last words he heard before the darkness claimed him.
He woke up gasping for air.
His chest was heaving, eyes wide and frantic. Kaito searched his surroundings.
What the fuck was this? Hallucination? Some kind of drug? Dream?
Calm the fuck down!
Forcing himself to slow his breathing, he investigated the room. This was his childhood room, his bedroom. Staggering up, he pulled the phone on the nightstand, his old phone, close. The date…the year, this was elven years ago. Hastily he checked the calendar in his room, the year on his clock, the year on an article in the internet. Fuck…shit, how can this happen?
Think, think logically! Shinichi had rubbed off of him:
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable must be the truth…” One last test.
Checking his clothing, his was in pyjamas, he searched for a weapon. He was too vulnerable without a gun, without any kind of weapon. The instinct to never walk around without his gun had been ingrained deeply, making him twitch. He found an umbrella in the corner, not ideal, but it had to do for now. Instincts made his descent down the stairs almost silently. Someone was in the kitchen. The radio was playing. Peeking around the corner, he let go of all the air in his lungs with a wosh. His mother…his young mother was standing at the stove.
“Mom…”, his voice was meek, small, disbelieving.
“Kaito, what are you doing with the umbrella? Hurry up and change. Aoko will be by any minute now…” When he just stood there, frozen like a rook, a concerned frown appeared on her face. “Kaito?”
He forced the word out. “Aoko?”
“Yes, you two wanted to test out the new cake shop remember?” He nodded stiffly. “Are you alright? Do you feel sick? Should I not leave for my trip today?” Before his mother could touch his forehead, Kaito forcibly ripped himself out of his stupor. Staggering back, he pulled on his poker face.
“I am fine, don´t worry. I just had this strange dream…”, shaking his head, as if to get rid of this strange dream, Kaito winked.
“Are you sure? If you don´t want me to leave you home alone…”, she ended the sentence uncertain.
“No, no. I am fine. I know how much you are looking forward to... Florida.” Clambering up the stairs again, he had to force himself to make some noise, while doing so. He heard his mother chuckle. Closing his bedroom door behind himself, he rested his head on it. Eleven years, 11 fucking years…he was 11 years in the past…
“Shinichi”, he whispered.
He needed his Shinichi. Right the fuck now!
Calm down, gather facts, for now he needed to play his role. Put on his poker face and pretend he didn´t just die, didn´t just kill several people before Gin outed him with a headshot. Shinichi…
Manically he went through the motions of putting on clothes, then went into the bathroom… The face in the mirror…it was…he looked too naive, so childish, so… But his eyes, his eyes spoke a completely different language. Anguish, sorrow, panic, longing, fear…darkness. Poker face!
The doorbell rang. He was Kuroba Kaito , a 17-year-old hobby magician! Repeating this over and over in his head, he made his way down.
“KAITO!”, he suppressed a flinch.
Shit, he was not in danger right now, he was not on the run. The loud shout of his childhood friend, wouldn´t result in death and destruction. The grin he plastered on his face was almost painful.
Running down the stairs, he greeted her: “Aoko, I am coming.”
“Bakakaito! You wanted to meet me at my house ten minutes ago! You told me yesterday, that this time you would be on time and even wait at my house for me and not the other way around like it always is!” Evading a punch, he pulled out a flower and presented it to her. “Sorry, but now I am here.” The next few hours were pure torture. He wanted to find his Shinichi, he needed to find his Shinichi. Needed to know if he was alone, and even if he was…honestly, he just wanted to be close to his Shinichi.
Was is an offence if he captured the high school detective to hug him all day? Probably… He was anxious. Could not suppress the need to look over his shoulder all the time, could not stop the strong urge to scan the area, check for the next best escape route, position himself in places easy defendable.
“You aren´t listening again! Bakakaito, are you planning one of your magic tricks again?!”
“Aoko, I…there is someone I need to meet. You can find your way home on your own, we´ll see each other on Monday”, before she was able to answer him, Kaito had already payed for his cake and run out of the shop, leaving a gaping Aoko behind.
Half an hour later he was ringing the doorbell of Kudo manor, no one answered. He was a thief, so what was the next logical step? Correct. Breaking and entering. Nobody was inside. Though obviously someone lived here, meaning: Shinichi was still in his 17-year-old body. He searched for a calendar.
Date with Ran in Tropical Island
Shit, shit…without thinking further Kaito ran out of the house, if Shinichi didn´t remember then he would at least make sure he didn´t have to go through the pain of being Conan.
He was out of breath, the muscles in his legs burning. Shinichi had explained that fateful day to him, had even shown him the building where he had observed the Black Org deal. There! Shinichi! He had no time to think. Moving out of instinct, Kaito tackled his detective into a bush, pressing him down with his body, keeping a hand above his mouth.
“Shh, please. Quite!” He must look like a hysterical weirdo.
The teenager beneath him stared at him in shock, eyes wide, limbs going limb for a few seconds. Kaito could almost see the deductions spinning in his brain. Then he began to struggle again.
“Stay put. Please, it´s…Shinichi, you need to… Argh, I know I sound crazy and I know you don´t even know me but…please”, somewhere his pleading had turned even more desperate, a tear escaping his eyes.
“Kaito.” The small word changed everything.
The thief froze, brain booting down, he was only able to stare at his only hope. His restraining grip weakened enough for Shinichi to brush one arm free and pull Kaito flush down onto him.
“Kaito”, came the choked off sound again.
“Shinichi”, equally charged with pain.
They stayed hidden in the bush, just holding each other for quite a while.
“Come on, up. We need to get somewhere safe.” Kaito unwilling to even think about stop touching his love, simply pulled him up together with himself, keeping one arm captured. They were silent on the way to Kudo manor. Only when the door shut behind them, did Kaito speak.
Even if the detective weren’t able to see through Kaito like glass, he would have noticed to weight of that question, the total destruction its answer could cause.
“Yes. I remember you, Kuroba Kaito, Kaito Kid, I remember fighting against them, you being…”, his breath hitched, “shot dead…” Shinichi moved into the big library, facing the huge window. Kaito immediately followed suit, his grip not loosening.
“Then why…if you knew, what would happen?” Shinichi shuddered, bowing his head.
He was too far away. Kaito pulled Shinichi even closer, pressing him flush to his body, embracing him as best as possible.
“Kaito…”, then a small cry and another shudder.
Kaito felt his shirt dampen. He felt it like a dagger in his heart, his throat closing. Shinichi almost never cried, he hated showing his emotions, his weakness, too openly. Slowly the duo sank to the floor, Shinichi in Kaito´s lap.
“Shh, I am with you. You are not alone. My love, my beloved detective.” It was heartbreaking to witness, especially because Shinichi didn´t make a single sound as he cried, except the occasional gasp for air.
After a while he only sniffled silently, still clutching Kaito like a lifeline.
“This is not my first time. I…I am stuck in a time loop, I have…this will be my sixth time starting anew.” Kaito felt like the air was sucked out of his lungs.
“Fuck.” Silence. “Were you…that is…”
“I was always alone. I would never have guessed you being sucked into this time loop as well.”
“Why did...”, it was a testament for the nine years they had spent on the run together, four of them only Kaito and him, for Shinichi to be able to answer the half-formed questions.
“I tried staying Shinichi twice, and it always ended in my death sooner, then if I let myself be turned into Conan. The last loop, with you…I even let myself believe this time we would be able to beat the Black Org, this time I would finally be free…finally get a life…”
Kaito pulled his lover into a passionate kiss, full of emotion. Shinichi gasped, pressing closer, giving back as good as he got. A quiet moan spurred Kaito on even more. Letting his hand wander, he started to explore underneath Shinichi´s shirt. He buried his hands one in Kaito´s hair and the other keeping hold of his lover´s neck.
At that moment, the front door opened, the detective wasn´t able to suppress the small flinch. Kaito tightened his embrace.