Mikau: Hey everyone! Welcome back, and heartfelt thanks to Syrus07, Cyanide Flowers, AyameRose, dontfindafuckingname, athieisademon, kakashikrazy256, Aniki-xvi, and Canadian. The rest of you should thank them too because their enthusiastic reviews are the only reason that this chapter happened. Unfortunately, I've been struck down with a crippling case of writer's block for CTM. I keep rereading the chapter I'm working on, trying to finish it, but I keep coming to this one line and stopping. I can't finish the scene no matter how hard I try. Once I finish the scene, it'll be fine. I know exactly where I'm heading, but I need to write a page or so more to wrap up this stupid scene and feed into the next. I'll keep working at it, but things aren't looking so good. All we can do at this point is pray to whatever deity(s) we believe in (atheists, agnostics, and those belonging to a faith without a deity are exempt from prayer but encouraged to cross their fingers and hope really hard). Encouraging feedback would also be lovely. On a side note, there's a poll up on my profile about which story idea you'd like to see from me next. Please take a look and vote, if you'd like. Enjoy this chapter because I don't know when the next one's coming.
Disclaimer: If I owned it, the canon couples would be different. My friend once asked me why I never wrote fics with "canon" couples, and I told her: "Because canon sucks. It's all childhood friend romances that just happen. They don't develop! There's no reason for them to be together—they just are. Aoyama-sensei, great as he may be, is no romance writer." How many people really find their soulmate when they're five? Not many, and yet all of the canon couples are childhood friends. Aoko and Kaito are really the only ones I support since there's actual conflict and plot and love rivals there. That's an acceptable childhood friend romance. Ran and Shinichi? No. Heiji and Kazuha is so-so. The only canon romance that truly works for me is Makoto and Sonoko, oddly enough. They're a little quirky, but they're a legitimate couple. The older generation romances are fine, though. The Kudos are solid, the Kurobas were good, and Mouri's marriage is…they're made for each other. I don't understand why the romance in the younger generation is so…lacking. Am I right?
"It's just the influenza that's been going around," Baaya lied through her teeth to the Kuroba boy for what felt like the dozen-th time. "With some rest, Bocchama will be feeling better in no time, so don't you worry. I'm taking excellent care of him."
"But…he's been absent for almost two whole weeks now," the distressed brunette shifted uneasily from one foot to the other as he stood out on the porch in the crisp November air. He snuck furtive looks around her into the entry hall, as if hoping to catch a glimpse of his supposedly ill friend. "Couldn't I come in and visit—just for, like, fifteen minutes?"
The matronly woman sighed and opened her mouth to deny her charge's little friend.
"—Ten! Just ten minutes," the brunette bargained.
She frowned. It was difficult to send him away when he looked so desperate.
"Okay, five. Five minutes. Or…maybe just one? Please? Just one minute?" Kaito bit his lip and looked at her with those pleading purple eyes.
It was easy to see how her young master had fallen for the magician; he was very attractive.
"I'm sorry, Kuroba-kun. He's really in no position to have visitors at the moment. His immune system is very weak, and…"
The pitiful creature nodded, his gaze dropping to his shoes. He shivered as the cold wind sliced through his thin jacket. "I understand. I'm sorry…I just…he doesn't answer his phone when I call or text. I can't get ahold of him, and, like I said, it's been nearly two weeks."
(Not to mention the sliding door on the balcony had been securely locked, no one answered when he knocked, and the curtains were always closed. Not that that was really an obstacle. He could get in if he truly wanted to. No, it was more the implication that he was not welcome that stopped him from letting himself in to check on his detective.)
"I'm just really worried." The boy fell silent, staring at the wooden floorboards like they had the answers.
The nanny nodded and tried not to grumble as she recited the practiced lies. "He doesn't have much of a voice for phone conversations, and he's too weak to pick up a spoon, let alone a cell phone for texting, but I'll have him contact you as soon as he's able."
"Okay," Kaito sighed, nodding again. "But…could you give this to him for me?" The lanky teen pulled a greeting card out of his satchel.
"Of course, Dear. I'll let him know that you stopped by."
"Thank you, Baaya." The boy gave a polite bow before sighing and starting down the walk.
"Be careful not to catch a cold yourself!" she called after him.
Once she'd lost sight of the brunette, she slammed the front door and stormed up the steps to her charge's room.
"Saguru I-wish-you-had-a-middle-name-so-that-I-could-scold -you-by-it Hakuba," she harped in English.
"Yes?" the teen in question responded, not even bothering to look up from his case file—one of hundreds left scattered about the room, mixed in with dirty laundry and half-eaten junk.
"You'll never guess who stopped by to visit just a few minutes ago," she growled, tossing the new Get Well Soon card onto the growing pile with a flick of her wrist.
"Was it Kaito?" the blonde sighed.
"Who else?" the elderly woman harrumphed heavily in frustration. "That poor boy is worried sick about you. He comes nearly every day asking about you and begging to be let in to visit. It's cold out there, Saguru, and our house isn't exactly on his way home from school, you know. And you don't even have the decency to read the cards he brings you."
"He's not exactly the victim here, Baaya," Saguru muttered, making some notes in the margins.
"No, but he's not the villain, either, Saguru," the sage countered. "Listen here, young man. Look at me when I'm talking to you."
With a sigh, the boy set down his pen and looked up at the woman who had raised him.
"Now, I know that he broke your heart, and I understand your pain, since I've known my own share of heartbreak, but let me tell you something. That boy cares deeply for you. Normal people don't bring soup and cards and flowers and little puzzles and games for their sick friends. They may visit once or twice out of obligation, but Kuroba-kun goes out of his way two out of every three days to come and see you. It may not be the kind you want, Saguru, but that boy loves you.
"So what do you say you stop moping around the house feeling sorry for yourself and go spend time with your friend? You're only hurting the both of you acting like this."
The teenage detective looked down at the floor in shame.
After Baaya left, he sighed and got up from his desk to retrieve the seven or eight cards that had been busy forming into a small hill while he ignored them.
There were various types—all colors and designs featuring cartoons, pictures, and animals, among others. The sweet, child-like ones were signed K1; the comical ones came from K2, and the sincere, more serious cards bore the signature of KK.
Hakuba sighed and retrieved his phone from under the bed. When he turned it on, he was surprised to find an average of three calls and from three to seven texts per day from the Kaitos. The first expressed slight concern over Saguru's absence, and the urgency and panic escalated from there with every few messages.
He felt rotten as he listened to his beloved's frantic voicemails and anxious texts.
Baaya was right.
He was being a jerk.
The blonde sighed again as he glanced at the sad state of his room. He stood and began to clean as he called down to his caretaker. "Baaya! Go ahead and let him in tomorrow!"
Meanwhile, across town in Beika, Kudo Shinichi's date was not going well.
It was obvious that his intended had other things on his mind besides the devilishly handsome detective across the table
Kaito kept sighing and playing with his food. He didn't seem to have much of an appetite, and conversation was limited to one-word responses to the older teen's prompts.
Shinichi got a sentence out of Kaito, if he was truly lucky.
The once-again-normal-sized teen sighed. "So…how are things going with those girls that you're making out with to get over Aoko-san?"
The formerly spacing out magician gave a start and looked up at his date with a nervous chuckle. "Uh…not so great, actually."
"Oh? Why not?" the super sleuth prodded, desperately trying to keep the conversation going.
"Well, it's kind of different than I thought it would be." Kaito scratched the back of his neck, looking down at his soup in embarrassment.
"I always thought that I'd be okay with fooling around as long as both people involved were clear on the terms of the relationship, but while I still think that that's fine for other people, I kind of found out that that's not what I want for myself. I really can't just make out with girls I have no feelings for." The smaller brunette snickered softly at himself. "Saguru was right."
Shinichi nodded to show he was listening, and, surprisingly, Kaito continued of his own accord.
"I never thought I was…I guess…sentimental about it, but…I always thought that my first time would be with Aoko. Now that that's not happening…don't laugh, but…I kind of want to save myself for you," he whispered, blushing and shifting uncomfortably. He peeked up at the detective through his eyelashes.
Shinichi could have died happy at that moment. "When you say things like that, it makes me want to push you down and take you on the table."
"Wow. In front of such a big audience?" the instigator chuckled, squirming in his seat.
"I don't think I'd even care at this point." Shinichi looked at his love with hunger in his eyes.
"Down, Boy. We're not even dating yet," Kaito laughed, feeling his stomach tighten. "But…from here on out, you can consider these little get-togethers official dates."
"I'm glad," the Detective of the East replied, grinning like an idiot. He took his beloved's hand in his own and gave it a squeeze. "But if these are dates, doesn't that mean that we are dating?"
The violet-eyed boy snorted. "You know what I meant. I meant that we're not boyfriend/girlfriend or anything…yet."
"I like that 'yet,'" the taller teen purred, massaging the palm of Kaito's hand with his thumb.
"I bet you do, you perv. Stop looking at me like you want to eat me alive." The imp smirked, winking flirtatiously.
"Kaito, you may feel safe teasing me while we're out in public," Shinichi whispered as his pupils dilated. "but may I remind you that you'll soon be all alone in the dark with me as I escort you home?"
"Oooh, scary." The flirt grinned. "What are you going to do to me?" he asked breathily, letting his foot trail up the inside of his admirer's leg under the table. "In minute detail, please."
"Kaito," Shinichi whimpered, sounding as if he were in pain. He looked to his love with pleading eyes. "Don't be a tease. Don't get me riled up like this unless you're serious, please. It's not fair."
"Sorry," the magician mumbled, casting his eyes down as he removed his foot. "Flirting is fun, and I really like the way you look at me when you want me." He sighed. "I'm sorry. It's wrong to play around with your feelings like that."
"'S okay. You're going to be a hurricane in bed when we finally get there. I'm willing to hold out until then…. Just make sure that you're certain when you tease me like that; I may not be able to stop myself one of these days." Shinichi gave Kaito's hand one last reassuring squeeze before letting go.
"Un," the magician grunted, going back to messing over his meal.
The great detective sighed. "Kaito, is something wrong? With the exception of the past four minutes, you've been down in the dumps all night. Is this about us or Aoko-san or Kid-related or…is this about Hakuba?"
"The last one," the smaller brunette reluctantly admitted.
"He's been sick lately, right? Is he not doing any better?" As much as he didn't want to talk about his rival, if it was bothering Kaito enough to interrupt their date…
"I think he's probably getting better," the other teen sighed. "but he's having his caretaker make it out to be worse than it is so that he can avoid me."
That made no sense. If Shinichi were ill, he'd be milking it for all that it was worth, letting Kaito play nurse. Come to think of it, the thief probably even had a costume. Hmmm.
"Why would he want to avoid you? You two are really close now, right?"
"He's mad at me," Kaito sighed, ladling soup into his spoon only to dump it back into the bowl once more. "Last time I saw him, we were talking about this gu—person that he likes and how they were going out with someone else now. Saguru was down because he felt like he didn't stand a chance anymore, so I told him that he should just give up and move on, since nothing's going to happen anyway. Maybe I didn't phrase it right, or maybe he took it the wrong way, but he hasn't been answering my calls or texts or anything since then. Baaya says that he's just too sick to respond, but…"
Shinichi blinked. "You told him to just give up?"
He could understand the European sleuth's pain. If Kaito had flat out told him to abandon all hope, he would have barricaded himself in his room as well.
"Yeah?" The magician winced at the scolding tone to his not-quite-boyfriend's voice. "I mean, I figured it was nothing serious anyway. It's just a crush; he'll get over it in no time."
"How can you be so sure of that?" the blue-eyed brunette inquired.
"Because I know the guy," Kaito insisted. "I'm his best friend. He only mentions his crush from time to time, and it's not like he ever does anything with them. They never hang out, and I'm not even sure that they've spoken before. How can he really be in love with someone he's hardly had any interaction with? It's probably just someone that looks cool from afar—that type of deal."
Shinichi could only shake his head, lamenting having fallen in love with a total moron. "You didn't tell him that, did you?"
"Sort of?" The little idiot bit his lip. "Was that bad? Do you think he's mad at me?"
"Yes, Kaito, that was very bad. You should never belittle someone's feelings like that. You probably hurt him a lot." The brunette detective suddenly found himself feeling extremely sorry for his blonde adversary.
"Oh," the oblivious clown gulped, trying to force down the lump in his throat. "W-what should I do? Do you think he doesn't want to be my friend anymore?"
"Calm down," Shinichi ordered, grasping his beloved's hand once more. "Just…say sorry. Walk on eggshells around him for a while, and be very careful what you say. Be sensitive and compassionate. You can do that, right?"
"Right," the magician replied with a smile of certainty. He squeezed the detective's hand back. "Thank you, Shin-chan. You always know just what to say."
The rest of the date went extremely well in both Shinichi and Kaito's opinions.
The magician-thief had allowed his detective to hold his hand on the way home and had even stolen a quick kiss on the porch.
"You didn't send a heist note for that," Shinichi joked, secretly (or maybe not so secretly) pleased that Kaito had been the one to initiate the kiss.
"My apologies, my dearest detective," Kid chuckled, enjoying the intimacy very much. "Please allow me to return what I have stolen." And then he kissed the star-struck teen again—this time with more tongue.
After they broke away, Shinichi managed to mumble, "Ya know, that's not really giving it back so much as stealing another."
"Oh?" Kid grinned like a certain fictitious feline. "Then, by all means, please retrieve your property, Meitantei."
Kaito nearly swooned at the feeling of their tongues twisting together, of teeth and lips.
Kid eagerly stuck his tongue down Shinichi's throat, and Chikage thought that she would have to come out and toss a bucket of cold water on the two teens until the alarm on Conan's watch began to sound.
The Heisei Holmes reluctantly separated himself from his darling. "I have to go. Only thirty minutes left as Shinichi."
"Stay. Please," Kaito begged, pulling his almost-boyfriend close to nuzzle his throat. "If you go now, it'll be another week or two before we can do anything like this again. I'm not very good at delaying gratification," he whispered seductively.
"I can't," Shinichi sighed, oh so tempted to give in. "I have to leave now to make it back in time."
"You could always just stay here," the imp began threading his fingers through the taller teen's hair. "Mom wouldn't have a problem with little Shin-chan sharing my bed for the night, and we could always just roll around in it for a bit until you change back. Sound good?"
"I don't want you to see me change back," the detective stated firmly, pulling away from those clever hands.
"Why not?" Kaito whined, reaching out to tug Shinichi closer. "I mean, you just shrink, right? Oh, I bet your clothes fall off. Are you embarrassed for me to see little Shin-chan naked or something?" The sly fox grinned, slowly letting his eyes roam up and down the other brunette's body.
"Yeah." Shinichi put on his best fake smile. "That's it."
If he told Kaito about the blinding pain he went through every time he transformed for the sake of four hours in his original body with Kaito, chances were that the magician would feel horribly guilty and demand that the detective stop.
"I love you, Kaito." He gently pressed his lips to his beloved's cheek. "See you in a few weeks."
"A few weeks?" the little spitfire questioned.
"Haibara says that I've been pushing it lately. I mean, I did change back twice just last week, and now tonight too… It may be a month or so before we can do this again. Even though the temporary antidote poses less of a threat, I don't want to risk complete immunity."
"M-month?" Kaito's eyes went wide like teacups. "Wa-wa-wait. You mean I don't get any for a month?"
"Afraid no—" Shinichi didn't even get the 't' out before he found a tongue down his throat.
"Stay," Kaito panted between aggressive, sloppy kisses. "Stay."
"Can't," Shinichi got out as he nearly choked on that wonderful tongue.
"Please." Kaito's hands began to snake under Shinichi's clothes like amorous vines, touching every bit of flesh they could reach—accidentally hitting ticklish spots along with sensitive places that they had no right being at this point in the relationship.
"Kai—" Shinichi took his love's face in his hands and forced their lips apart. "—to. Stop," he demanded, glaring at the handsy thief. "Do you love me? Is that why you're trying to get me into bed with you?"
"N-no," the shorter boy mumbled, reluctantly retracting his hands. "I'm trying to get you in bed with me because I'm a hormonal teenage male."
"Didn't you say that you didn't want to give me your body if you couldn't give me your heart too?" the detective lectured, wishing that things could be simple.
"Yeah, but I wasn't horny when I said all that," Kaito pouted under his breath. "Sorry."
"Don't be," the great sleuth sighed. "I'm glad that I can get you all fired up like that. It means that we're making progress, but…maybe it's a good thing that I'll be stuck as Conan for a little while. It'll give us a chance to work on the romance part of our relationship instead of just the lust side of it."
"Un," the magician grunted, seeing his suitor's point, but still not liking it.
"I love you, Kaito," Shinichi whispered, pressing a soft kiss to his intended's cheek.
"What do you want me to say? It's not like I can say it back," the messy-haired brunette sighed. "'I love your body, Shin-chan?'"
"How about, 'I'll love you someday'?"
"I'll love you someday, Shin-chan," Kaito tried it on for size and gave a little half-smile. "Someday." He gave Shinichi's left cheek a little peck.
"Go take a cold shower, Casanova," the detective chuckled.
"Way ahead of you," the younger teen laughed in response.
Mikau: Okay, so maybe you've already seen this somewhere before, since it's not mine, but it's a thumbs up sign! Someone put this in a review or private message to me, and I just looked at it a little like this: (OoO) thinking "It's a thumbs up sign!" So, thank you to whomever that was. Ahem. Anyway, wanna here a secret? It's about how I came up with the title Come to Taunt Me. I was sitting in the school library in Japan, procrastinating on my Tea and Sake paper (who wants to write about the chemical formulas and brewing process of tea and sake in Japanese? I didn't!) by writing out little snippets from this fic. I absentmindedly hit the save button, thinking that I had already titled and saved the document before. I hadn't, so it prompted me to title the thing. When it does that, it always has the first line of the document as the temporary title, and the first line of CTM just happened to be "Come to taunt me, have you?" And I thought that that was quite an appropriate name for the piece. And that's how CTM was christened. I spend a lot more time thinking up the titles of my other stories, but that one just happened like that. Thanks for reading, guys. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. Have a great day!