Disclaimer: I don't own the DCMK characters.
Pairing: KaiShin [KaitoxShinichi]
Summary: Having officially driven his entire school up the wall one too many times, Kaito is sent to take classes at a human world university as all the Makai ones would rather shoot themselves than endure him, noble clan or not. This is just the kind of chance he's been waiting for.
Note: For this story, "Makai" should be translated along the lines of "magic world"
Moon Over Eventide
1: Humans and Demons
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with humans was that they were soft, fragile creatures with no inherent magic of their own. However, they made up for their lack of natural prowess by creating ingenious devices to help them. Kaito had read all the books he could find about human inventions and science and he couldn't wait to see it all in person.
That, of course, led to rule number two. Unless demanded by the situation, magic was not to be used in front of human eyes. Other than a small group of exceptions, humans, as a whole, no longer believed in the supernatural and often reacted badly to discovering hints of its existence (it was, after all, how his people had come to be called demons in the first place). But Kaito wasn't too concerned about that. Humans were, after all, also well known for their ability to delude themselves.
A slow grin spread across Kuroba Kaito's face as he stepped over the threshold of the portal onto the paved street of a human city under the watchful eye of the moon.
This was going to be fun!
When he'd first been called into his father's study and informed that he'd been expelled from Makai Royal Academy for the last series of, ah, minor jokes he had played on the headmaster, he had been more surprised than anything else. He hadn't thought the academy would dare expel an heir to one of the five Great Houses, but now that he thought about it the headmaster might have been a member of one too. Oh well, no biggie. It wasn't like he'd been learning all that much from the place anyway. A change of school was rather unlikely to make much difference.
What surprised him even more however was his father's declaration that he would not, in fact, be attending a different school in the Makai.
"Why not?" he'd asked, curious.
"Well," his father had replied, quirking a rather telling eyebrow, "they all came here begging me to send you elsewhere, actually. It seems your reputation precedes you."
As it should, the younger Kuroba had thought a touch smugly. But of course that left the problem of where he was supposed to finish his schooling. Personally, he firmly believed he would do just fine studying on his own, but he also knew it was expected of members of the demon nobility to have good, official academic records and degrees. It was the matter of setting an example and all that.
When he'd seen his father's solution, his first thought was that if he'd known this was going to happen he would have frozen the headmaster in the academy lake sooner. He'd always wanted to go to the human world again, and now the opportunity was being handed to him on a silver platter. He knew better than to say this out loud however, though he thought his father probably knew from the twinkle of amusement in his eyes.
"You're going to be responsible for keeping up with your studies in magic however. I will be conducting your sorcery exams periodically. When you get back, I expect you to have completed the advanced course. Now go say goodbye to your mother and get your stuff together."
And now, here he was.
This was going to be awesome!
Kudo Shinichi, renowned high school detective—or rather former high school detective—gasped for breath as he ran as fast as his legs would carry him, all the while praying that time would be kind just this once and wait for him. Late was not how he had intended to begin his college years. It wasn't, of course, that the housing administration would refuse to give him his key if he was late, but that would require a great deal more fuss than he really wanted to deal with.
And that was why he hadn't even bothered to go back for his luggage when Megure-keibu had finished arresting the culprit from the case that morning and asked him when he was supposed to move into the dorms. That was when Shinichi had looked at his watch and realized that it was almost five. He hadn't realized the case had taken that long.
Taking a sharp turn, he bounded up the steps to an overpass that should sheer a considerable chunk off of the distance he had to travel. Dashing past the other pedestrians making use of the overpass, he chanced a quick look at his watch to check his progress. Because of that momentary lapse of attention, he didn't see the other teen until it was far too late to stop. Even so, he yelped out a warning instinctively as his eyes shut of their own accord and he braced himself for impact. Then he was crashing into the stranger.
Having expected to then go tumbling down the stairs with said unfortunate stranger, Shinichi was more than a little surprised when he didn't feel the rush of air past his face. Instead, an arm had closed quickly around him and the stranger was using Shinichi's momentum to spin them both around. The young man had both a very strong grip and a great sense of balance as he did all this on the very lip of the top step without so much as a waver. Then he set Shinichi down and let him go.
"You should be more careful there," he said cheerfully, stepping back. "You could have really hurt someone."
"I'm really sorry," Shinichi apologized earnestly, wincing at the mental image of the stranger and himself with broken necks at the bottom of the steps. "I should have been looking where I was going. I didn't mean to run into you."
"I didn't think you did," the stranger laughed, remarkably unperturbed by the near-accident. "Why were you running at the stairs anyway? It's kind of inviting trouble, you know."
"Ah, I almost forgot again! I'm going to be late!" Smacking himself in the forehead, he gave the stranger a quick bow. "Sorry again, but I really have to go. Thank you for your help. Bye!" That said, he dove for the stairs and resumed his mad dash for the university housing offices.
Kaito watched the blue-eyed boy go with an amused quirk to his lips. Humans always seemed to be in a hurry. According to his father, their society had changed more in the past century than the Makai had in the last millennia.
Shaking his head, he resumed his stroll along the overpass, whistling a tune he'd heard playing in a music store he'd visited earlier. He still had a whole city to explore!
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he filed the image of the boy who'd run into him away in case they ever met again. The boy had had a familiar scent.
"Yo! Shinichi! Over here!"
Shinichi turned at the sound of his name to see two teens making their way towards him. The one who had called out was wearing a baseball hat and waving wildly, white teeth flashing in a dark face. His blond companion followed at a more sedate pace.
"Oh, hey Heiji, Saguru," he greeted the two with a smile. "I take it you've already checked in?"
"Two hours ago," the blond Hakuba Saguru replied. "We were wondering where you were."
"Except that we had a pretty good guess," Hattori Heiji snickered. "So did you make it in time?"
Shinichi sighed, running a tired hand through his hair. "Just barely."
"Met your roommate yet?"
"No. I haven't even seen the room yet. What about you guys?"
For some reason, the question elicited a grimace from both his friends.
"I've been cursed with this," Hattori jerked a thumb at Hakuba, "for company for this whole damned year!"
"My words exactly," the blond sniffed. "I do hope you've tidied up your habits since the last time we saw your room. I refuse to live in such a sty."
"My room is not a sty! And you're the one who needs ta loosen up."
"There is no sense in lowering one's standards to match the standards of others. It is much better to work the other way around."
"Oh, so now I have low standards, do I?"
Shinichi tuned them out, heading instead for the dormitory building he had been assigned. His room was on the fourth floor. Hattori and Hakuba, who, for whatever reason, were following him, continued to bicker the entire way up so that, by the time they reached the correct door, Shinichi was seriously beginning to worry if the two would be able to make it through the year without killing each other. Their poor neighbors. It was going to be a terribly noisy year for them. Glad he wasn't one of them.
Pausing outside his dormitory door, he looked at the two names written on paper nameplates and taped to the outside. His own name was taped up next to a "Kuroba Kaito".
He said the name aloud then blinked. It sounded…strangely familiar. But he couldn't quite place it.
Still trying to remember where he'd heard that name before, he unlocked the door and walked in.
The room was more spacious than he had expected. The bed on the left had already been fitted with sheets, blankets, and pillows, and a suitcase sat at its foot. So his roommate had already been and gone. Shinichi turned to the right hand bed which currently consisted only of the frame and mattress. It was time to get his own things set up.
Humans were, Kaito decided, truly amazing. All around him, the city glittered and glowed, rumbled and roared—colors and textures and sounds all roiling together in a mass of sheer, vivacious life! Everywhere he turned, there was something new to see. From the people to the buildings to the shops and machines, all of it showcased the ingenuity that had helped humans shape their history and their world. It may have taken centuries, but for one species to create all this with nothing but their brains and bare hands was incredible!
Yet another of the colorful, metallic carriages rumbled by. Cars, if he remembered correctly. It was followed by a much smaller machine running on only two wheels. It had a human riding atop it like it was a horse. It blew down the street, all shiny red and silver. Kaito stopped and turned to watch it go, intrigued. Now that looked fun. He definitely had to get himself one of those.
Driving was one of the experiences he hadn't gotten around to last time because he'd been under-aged that time.
He had only ever been to the human world once before. Most of his people didn't bother much with humans, but his father had always insisted on a broad education.
That time, he and his father had stayed in the human world for about four years. The older demon had taken up the role of a human stage magician, and they had traveled to many places all over the world. Mostly, however, they had stayed in France then Japan, where Kaito had briefly attended a human school in order to better understand their lifestyle. Those had been fun days indeed, he reminisced.
He'd even made a good friend.
He had first approached the boy because his father had told him that a good lord knew how to build good relationships with all kinds of people and should never ignore someone who looked like they might need help. While the quiet boy didn't exactly look like he needed any kind of help, he did look a bit lonely to Kaito, sitting to the side of things all the time with his books.
The boy had been small for his age with black hair and large, startlingly blue eyes that Kaito had heard he'd inherited from his mother. Apparently she had been a famous actress before she'd gone into early retirement. His father too had been said to be a famous writer, although Kaito himself had never seen any of the man's books, so he couldn't say if the guy's writing was actually any good. What he did know was that being a quiet, studious, and rather blunt child (who was perhaps a little too smart for his own good) with famous parents had led the rest of the children in school to view the boy as stuck-up. And so they'd ignored him, and he'd returned the favor, choosing instead to bury himself in books.
It had taken Kaito a whole half year to get the boy to open up to him, but he'd always liked challenges. And he'd gotten a rather interesting friend for his troubles.
The day he had to leave, he'd dragged the boy to the park with him and showed him one more piece of magic. This time, however, it wasn't a trick. He knew he shouldn't have, but he'd wanted to. He never forgot that adorably confused expression as the other thought and thought and couldn't figure out how he'd conjured the glass medallion and made it float between his hands, unsupported from any direction.
Kaito didn't have many regrets in life, but one of those regrets was that he hadn't been able to bring that boy back to his world with him that time (his father had rather sternly told him that that would be kidnapping).
He had friends in his own world, naturally. He'd always made friends easily. But none of them were quite like the blue-eyed human boy.
Pausing outside the window of a rather large bookstore, Kaito glanced at the display beyond the glass. He could clearly picture a small figure all but plastered to the glass, trying to read the tiny text printed on the books being shown off. Nothing could make the boy happier than when he got his hands on a new book. He would read just about anything, but he'd had a special love for mysteries. The way his eyes actually sparkled whenever he got a new mystery novel had been quite breathtaking.
Kaito's brows furrowed slightly at the memory. Those eyes… That hair with its strange but cute little cowlick that refused to be combed away…
Why did he have the nagging feeling that he'd just seen—
He pivoted sharply and stared back up the street in the direction of the overpass. That human who'd nearly fallen down the stairs! That was why the boy's scent had been so familiar! How had he not made the connection sooner? Or, well, maybe that was natural. It had been many years after all. They'd both grown up a lot. Ah damnit, he'd missed a golden opportunity! He hated missing opportunities.
On the other hand, he now knew that his old friend must live somewhere around this area. And if he did then Kaito was confident that he would be able to find him.
Now, what had his name been again? He'd called the boy Shin-chan. But considering the language of this country, he knew that that was probably a nickname.
Shinichi stood back and surveyed his half of the dormitory room. It had taken longer than he had anticipated to get everything put away (partly because he had had to go all the way back home to get his luggage first). It got easier once Hattori and Hakuba took their verbal jousting elsewhere. Organizing all the books he'd brought had taken the longest. He'd been sorting everything in alphabetical order by author then grouping them by series and publication dates. He'd almost finished when he discovered that he couldn't fit everything onto his shelf. The next hour and a half had been spent agonizing over which books should be shelved and which ones should be stowed away again and possibly taken home. The choice had been horribly difficult. But he was now finally done. His back was aching from being bent over his luggage all afternoon, and he was in desperate need of a cup of coffee. Oh yeah, and he supposed he should get dinner too (but coffee first!).
Throwing on a light jacket, he headed for the door. However, it opened before he could reach it.
And there, standing on the other side of the door, was the same young man who had saved him that morning from a tumble down the overpass stairs.
The stranger's eyes widened.
Two voices chorused, "It's you!"
A.N: This is a story I actually started a long time ago for my sister that I'm picking up again because I feel like I need something more light-hearted to work on. I guess I'm trying to lift my own bad mood, hehe. ^.^ Er, anyway! I hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!