Disclaimer: I don't own the DCMK characters.


Moon Over Eventide

2: Of Coincidence and Fate

Kaito was delighted. It was Fate. That's what it was.

Standing before him was the very human he'd been thinking about. Not only that, but they were going to be roommates! He couldn't have asked for a better setup. The nametag on the door said "Kudo Shinichi". He might not have remembered it before, but he knew it was the right name. This was his Shin-chan alright, and he was all grown up.

Indigo eyes swept from the neat black hair with its rebellious little cowlick down to the sock-clad feet and back up again. He remembered that Shinichi used to look a lot like him. They still bore more resemblance to one another than most, and he suspected that they were going to spend the next year getting mistaken for brothers, but time had brought out quite a few differences as well. Aside from the obvious—their hair and their eyes—there was a subtle difference in the lines of their faces. It was in the arch of his eyebrows and the curve of his lips. Shinichi's features were a little finer and his skin a little paler (though that may have been a testament to a difference in lifestyles rather than genetics). He had a light build and long legs, Kaito observed, and he stood just a little shorter than the demon himself.

His little Shin-chan had grown up well. Kaito approved.

"Um, excuse me."

Kaito's attention snapped from his reverie to Shinichi's slightly befuddled stare. He grinned and swept into a bow. "Oh I'm sorry. I should introduce myself, shouldn't I? My name is Kuroba Kaito, though I would be most grateful if you would just call me Kaito."

"Kudo Shinichi," the detective introduced himself with a short bow. "Thank you again for helping me this morning."

Kaito laughed, waving a hand airily. "Don't mention it. To think we'd end up being roommates!"

"It certainly is a strange coincidence," Shinichi mused, retreating back to sit on the edge of his bed.

Kaito strode over to his own bed and snapped his fingers. There was a puff of smoke and a large bag of books with the university bookstore's logo printed on the side appeared on top of the covers. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Shinichi's eyebrows rise before the boy's brilliant, blue eyes narrowed in thought. He grinned to himself. He knew that look. It was the same one Shinichi used to wear every time Kaito showed him a new magic trick. Deciding that shelving his textbooks could wait, he turned back to Shinichi.

"So have you had dinner yet?"

Shinichi blinked at him. "Uh, no…?"

"Have dinner with me then. We can get to know each other better."

Shinichi couldn't help but notice that his new roommate hadn't so much asked as decided. But somehow, before he knew it, he was being towed out of the room and down the stairs. Another ten minutes and he was seated at a table inside the dining common closest to his dormitory building with Kaito seated across from him. The other was telling him about how he planned to be a magician and travel the world one day. The whole scene felt oddly…familiar, but he couldn't quite place his finger on why.

Unbeknownst to him, Kaito was watching him intently, reading the tiny flickers of emotion that danced across Shinichi's features. He could tell that the boy didn't remember him. It was a little upsetting, but he supposed that it had been quite a long time ago by human standards that they had last seen each other. Still, he had hoped that he'd left just as deep an impression on Shinichi as the young human had for him.

"So what about you?" he asked, switching tactics. "Any future plans?"

"I'm trying to decide between joining the police or becoming a private investigator," Shinichi replied automatically. He'd been asked the same question multiple times already (mostly by hopeful police officers).

"Ah, so you're going to be a detective then." Kaito smiled to himself. Shinichi had always said he'd be one someday.

"Well, actually, I already do a lot of detective work…"

The magician looked intrigued. "Really?"

Shinichi nodded, a little surprised. His name was in the news quite often, so he had grown accustomed to total strangers already knowing that he was a detective. Sure, quite a lot of them didn't believe he was any good, chalking his fame up either to the fact that he had famous parents or to the fact that he was still so young. Kaito, however, seemed really not to have known that he was already a detective.

"That's pretty cool," Kaito remarked, taking a large bite out of his roast turkey. "Tell me about some of your cases then. Have you run into any particularly interesting ones?"

And there was that casual commanding again. The guy had a way of making requests that not only sounded like he was giving orders but like he was giving orders he knew would be obeyed.

Well, maybe it was the way he'd been brought up, Shinichi mused. He'd said earlier that he used to travel a lot with his father, who had apparently been a famous magician. That meant his family was likely well to do. Perhaps he had servants back home or something.

Deciding it wouldn't hurt, and not wanting to sour the cheerful atmosphere by pointing out that it might be considered callous to ask a homicide detective for interesting cases, Shinichi began to describe the case he'd run into that morning that had led to his tardiness. It had been one of the few cases he'd been a part of where the victim, though badly injured, had not actually died. He always felt happier after those cases, and he didn't mind sharing their details so much. Not that he disliked talking about his cases exactly. It was just that, once a case was over and done with, he didn't see the point in dragging it out to air over and over again to people who just wanted to hear a 'good story' or whatnot. Treating other people's misfortunes like a form of entertainment just didn't sit well with him. Current cases on the other hand, he liked discussing because discussion always had the chance of bringing to light new clues that could lead to the solving of the case. But he was getting sidetracked, wasn't he? He'd almost finished his tale when a familiar voice with a Kansai accent called out across the dining common.

"Kudo!"

Many heads turned at the shout, and Shinichi almost smacked himself in the forehead and groaned. Honestly, some people had no common sense.

Oblivious to the attention his shout had caused, Hattori Heiji came weaving his way between the tables and chairs with a tray in his hands. He was followed shortly by Hakuba. Shinichi wondered if they had been arguing this entire time and decided to have dinner together so they could go on arguing all the way until bed time. It wasn't impossible. He often got the impression that the two enjoyed trading verbal barbs, though last time he'd suggested it they'd spluttered (Hakuba) and roared (Hattori) at the preposterousness of the idea.

On the other side of the table, indigo eyes narrowed as a sudden flash of something dark that hadn't been there before flickered across his roommate's face. "Who are they?"

Caught off guard by Kaito's strange and sudden shift in mood, Shinichi backed away a little in his seat. "Them? The one who shouted is Hattori Heiji. He's from Osaka. His father's a police chief there, and he'll be joining the force once he graduates. The blond one is Hakuba Saguru. His father's like Heiji's, and I'm pretty sure he's also going to be joining the force when he graduates."

"They know you."

"Well, we do work together quite often," Shinichi agreed, feeling strangely like he was being interrogated. What was up with this?

"How long have you known them?"

"Uh, well, I met Heiji during a case at the beginning of high school. And Hakuba transferred to my school in second year after moving back to Japan from London. His Japanese wasn't very good at the time, but I could speak English, so the teachers asked me to show him around school and help him settle in. Then we found out that we both love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work, and…yeah."

"Then they stuck like glue and wouldn't stop yammering about Holmes this and Holmes that for five whole freaking hours at a time!" Hattori declared, dropping uninvited into one of the empty seats at their table. Hakuba took the opposite chair, so now their square table had a young man occupying each of its four sides.

"Shinichi," the blond said, completely ignoring Hattori's earlier outburst. "Am I right in assuming that this is your roommate?"

"You would be assuming correctly," Kaito cut in before Shinichi could speak. "Kuroba Kaito, magician extraordinaire." He sketched a half bow from his seat, keeping a Poker Face grin on his face as the newcomers introduced themselves as well. Behind his grin, however, he was scowling. These two humans had just barged in on his time with Shinichi without so much as a by your leave. The nerve! If they'd been demons, they would have sensed his power as a member of a Great House. Then they would have known to either steer clear or approach with cautious respect. The 'do not disturb' aura he'd been projecting would have made even other high ranked demons think twice before interrupting. Human instincts sure were dull.

Ah well, he supposed he might as well get to know these two. They did appear to be Shinichi's friends.

For the most part, conversation over dinner was light and none too personal. They talked about the classes they were signed up for and what they planned to major in. Hattori was worried because the professor for his sociology class was reputed to be impossible to please. It wasn't helping his mood that Hakuba, who was taking the same class, had a different professor due to being in a different section. Kaito was pleased to learn that he and Shinichi were taking the same chemistry class.

They were nearly done eating when Shinichi seemed to remember something. He turned to Hattori.

"How's Kazuha-san? I thought she would have been with you two."

The Osakan and the blonde traded looks over the table. "Guess we forgot to tell ya. It's weird. She was supposed ta be meeting up with her roommate, but the other girl never showed. They'd talked just this mornin' over the phone, so she tried calling the girl again. No one picked up. But according to the housing people, she did pick up her key, and her stuff is already in their room. It's like she vanished into thin air between checking in and meeting Kazuha. Kazuha's worried, so she went down ta the police station to file a report about it. Course you know you can't say someone's missing just 'cause they're a few hours late, but…" He shrugged. "She insisted on going anyway. Says she's sure something's wrong."

"You must admit it is a little strange," Hakuba pointed out. "Although, seeing as she is from out of town, it is highly possible that she has simply gotten lost."

"That's what I said ta Kazuha, but she said that didn't explain the girl not answering her phone. So I said maybe her phone ran out o' battery. So Kazuha goes 'fine, if you don't care, be that way. I'll go myself!' and hangs up on me."

Shinichi sighed. "So, in other words, you two had a fight."

Hattori spluttered. "I didn't say that."

"You didn't have to," Hakuba replied dryly. "You do have an unfortunate inclination towards engaging in senseless arguments."

"I do not!"

Kaito met Shinichi's gaze over the table. "Are they always like this?"

Shinichi heaved another sigh. "Unfortunately."

"I'm going to get dessert." Rising from his seat, Kaito made a beeline for the display of baked goods beside the salad bar. He returned with a slice of chocolate cake for himself and a miniature lemon pie for Shinichi.

The blue-eyed detective blinked in surprise at the plate being set down in front of him—partly because he hadn't asked for dessert and partly because Kaito had just gotten him his favorite dessert without once asking him what he liked.

"Is there a problem?" the magician inquired, already halfway through his cake.

Shinichi blinked at him them blushed, realizing that he'd just been staring at the pie. "N—no, nothing's wrong. I was just surprised… Thank you."

X

It was harder to see the stars in the human world.

Standing by the window of their dorm room, Kaito looked out and up at the night sky. Shinichi was already fast asleep, and all the lights were off. Kaito himself wasn't feeling the least bit tired though. He was still far too excited about being here in the human world again.

About meeting Shinichi again.

Turning from the window, he gazed across to where Shinichi lay still and peaceful upon his bed. Soft folds of starlight lay like a second blanket over the boy, parting the shadows and highlighting the peaceful lines of his face.

Beautiful, Kaito thought.

Padding across the room on silent feet, he came to a stop beside Shinichi's bed, looking down into the boy's sleeping face. A tiny glimmer in the shadows made him pause. Leaning down, he peered closer.

There was a thin, silver chain around Shinichi's neck. A necklace? Strange. Curious, he reached out and carefully hooked a finger under the chain to give it a light tug.

Something small and round slid out from where it had been hidden under Shinichi's pajama shirt. It was a pendant about the size of a coin. Round and flat, it appeared to be made of frosted glass. Etched into its surface was an intricate design centered around a four-leaf clover.

"You still have it," he murmured. Warmth flooded through him, and he smiled, indigo eyes bright.

Shinichi might not remember exactly who he was, but he had kept the gift Kaito had given him that day they'd said goodbye. He carried it with him even now.

That had to mean something.


TBC