Disclaimer: I don't own DCMK
Pairing: KaiShin [Kuroba Kaito x Kudo Shinichi]
Summary: Some days are just lousy, but that doesn't mean they can't turn out to be good days in the end.
A.N: I was originally planning to update one of my long stories, but I've been so swamped lately I haven't had time to even think about them… Anyhow, I ended up jotting this down during a brief break because I needed something funny. Enjoy!
A Spoonful of Sunshine
It started out as one of the worst days of Shinichi's life.
Everything began with the coffee. Or rather, the lack thereof. How he could have allowed his storage of coffee beans to run out, he had no idea. It was a tragedy! A horrible mistake! It was almost as great a miscalculation as when he'd gone running after Gin and Vodka!
So there he stood in front of his kitchen counter, staring imploringly at the empty coffeemaker as though he could make it start brewing coffee from thin air if he just willed it to hard enough. It didn't work.
Okay, fine. He could always buy coffee on his way to the police station.
He rallied. Making sure he had his keys, his wallet, and his cell phone, he headed out the door.
The second stroke of bad luck had struck as he stood in line at the corner coffee shop near the police station that he frequented.
"Ah! She's dead!"
He almost groaned out loud. Was it too much to ask that people wise up and actually solve their problems like intelligent beings instead of resorting to violence and murder?
Personal irritation with the idiots in the world aside, the case didn't take long to solve. It was pretty straight forward. The victim was a regular at the coffee shop. The killer was one of the baristas. The two had been dating before the victim, not happy with some of the culprit's bad habits, broke things off. Poison in the coffee. Enough said.
Unfortunately, the fact that the poison had been in the coffee meant that no one was getting any coffee from that particular coffee shop that morning. Shinichi remembered, back when he was still running around with the Shounan Tantei, how he'd never been able to understand why Genta would even ask if he could eat the food left at a crime scene. Today, however, he found that he understood perfectly. After all, it wasn't like the rest of the coffee was poisoned. Would it really hurt to have a cup? Just one little sip?
But he knew better than to ask. That didn't stop him from crying on the inside as the police who'd showed up to cart the culprit away pulled him along with them, reminding him that he had to get to the big case Megure's team was working on that day.
To sum it up, his morning had been terrible.
And now this. This was the icing on the cake.
Here he stood.
In a white, wedding dress.
No, he wasn't getting married. Or at least he hoped not.
The real bride was currently being held in a separate room under guard. The woman had been receiving threats from a jealous rival who didn't know when to quit. The last letter that she had received had made it quite clear that the sender did not intend to let her survive her wedding day. Her fiancé had wanted to reschedule the wedding in the hopes of avoiding the madwoman, but in the end it had been decided that that would most likely only postpone the confrontation. Therefore, the police had turned out in force to catch her today. Of course this meant that, unless the woman was caught quickly, the real wedding was most likely going to be rescheduled anyway, but the guests weren't to be allowed to know.
As for why Shinichi was here playing the decoy… The original decoy had come down with the flu just the previous night. And it was just Shinichi's bad luck that the bride's dress fit him best (with a bit of padding). They'd even had the same shoe size. It didn't hurt that they both had blue eyes either. It meant they didn't have to find color contacts for him. Although he rather thought the veil rendered the whole eye color issue pretty moot. Which was good because, blue eyes or not, he didn't actually look like the bride. They were just the same size.
To be honest, it wasn't the dressing up that was souring Shinichi's mood. Not that he was happy about it. But, if it would help keep someone alive, it was worth it. He'd done the same for Haibara before after all. No, the real problem was the heels.
How could anyone walk in these things?! Hell, even standing in them for long stretches of time was uncomfortable. If he was attacked, the officers had better be ready to act fast because there was no way he was going to be able to fight back while wearing these awful excuses for footwear. He wouldn't be able to brace himself well enough to kick with any kind of force, although, on second thought, he could probably do a lot of damage just by stepping on someone's foot with these rather spiky, stiletto heels.
Yeah, that would work great—if an assailant would stop and stand obligingly next to him. And possibly let him hold onto their shoulders for support so he wouldn't end up just toppling over.
And to top it off, he still hadn't gotten any coffee. He'd had high hopes for the wedding hall having some, but both the bride and groom couldn't have caffeine. So, in honor of them, there were no beverages containing caffeine being served.
There were days, like these, when Shinichi seriously thought that someone up there must hate him.
He looked at his reflection in the dressing room mirror again. He was mildly disturbed by how…normal the image in the mirror looked. Damn, the dress really was a perfect fit. Of course that had been the whole point, but still… And Satou had done a damned good job with the necessary padding even with the bullet proof vest to work around.
Then again, he should be happy that he didn't look out of place. If the culprit wasn't fooled then he would have had to wear these damned heels for nothing, and that would be even worse than the heels themselves.
"Think positive," he muttered to his own reflection.
The threatening letters the bride had received had told her that "you will never get to say your vows!", so they had a pretty good idea about the time frame in which the culprit would be making her move. Luckily, the couple hadn't planned much of a pre-ceremony reception anyway, deciding to save the meet and greet for afterward. Gifts too were to be opened after the ceremony. When all was said and done, the attack was most likely to occur during said ceremony.
The police were surreptitiously scouring the venue for explosives now.
The door to the dressing room opened and Satou-keiji poked her head in. "You ready? It's time to go."
"I guess no one's found anything then?"
"Unfortunately, no. And all the guests have checked out so far. But this place isn't exactly secure. Don't worry though," she added. "We've got everything under control."
Satou gave him a knowing look, not at all bothered by his lack of enthusiasm. "Come on. It'll be over before you know it."
Ironically, Satou-Keiji turned out to be right about that.
This was about when Shinichi's day got weird (and the fact that everything before this had been normal for him said a lot about his life, little of it good).
It started when one of the groom's cousins (whom he'd met once when he was three) leaped out of her chair with a shriek because three mice had run up her leg. She did a mad jig around the room in an attempt to shake them off, hands flailing. In one of her hands, everyone couldn't help but notice, was a small pistol. The police immediately swarmed in—or tried to, but their task was made more difficult because a screaming, tap dancing mad woman with a gun tends to inspire panic in the confused and unsuspecting masses. Normally, this would have led to one or more people getting hurt and, more likely than not, the greatly delayed arrest of the perpetrator.
However, as fortune (or carefully crafted plans) would have it, the woman tripped and hit her head on a chair on the way down, conveniently knocking herself unconscious. That made things much easier for everyone. The guests were herded out of the hall, the gun was confiscated, and the woman was arrested. Or she would be as soon as she woke up.
What puzzled the officers was the note pinned to the woman's dress that directed them to a hotel room a few blocks away where they found the aunt (the real one) tied up and fast asleep. When they managed to wake her, she told them about how she had been knocked out upon leaving her hotel room to head to the wedding. She was apparently from out of town and rather out of touch with the rest of her family. It was only when they had everything sorted out that they realized they were short one detective.
"He called and left a message on my phone. He said he had to be somewhere in a hurry," Takagi-keiji reported. It never occurred to him to check when said message had been left. After all, he knew Kudo-kun's voice well. If he had checked, he might have wondered how the message had been left at the exact time that the mice had started the commotion.
Elsewhere, Shinichi blinked.
He was standing outside the hall where the ceremony had been taking place with no idea how he had gotten there. This lasted only until he turned around and saw who was standing behind him.
One Kuroba Kaito's existence in his life was often the explanation for a wide range of strange and inexplicable occurrences.
"Don't laugh," he blurted out, remembering suddenly what he was still wearing.
If the stupid magician laughed, he was going to be stabbed with a high-heeled shoe!
"I really should have worn my suit," the magician mused as though he hadn't heard Shinichi speak. "We'd be a perfect match. Ah well, maybe next time."
Shinichi glared. He opened his mouth to say that there wasn't going to be a next time, but he never got the chance because his vision filled with smoke and the gleam of a wicked grin.
When Shinichi next opened his eyes, it was to an unfamiliar ceiling.
He sat up and looked around.
He was sitting on a bed in a room that looked as though it had been furnished by someone who didn't actually live in the room. In other words, though the nightstand, little writing desk, chair, and bed were ordinary enough, it all looked pristine. There was none of the clutter that inevitably accumulated over the course of living in a place even when the owner of said place was a neat person. There was, however, a suitcase in the corner next to the closet door and a bouquet of red roses in a glass vase on the desk. Fresh, he noted. He had a feeling he knew who had put those there.
Slowly, his gaze traveled to the window. The view outside was just as unfamiliar as the room. There was a garden. It had a lot of flowers in it and bushes that had been carefully sculpted into beautiful, abstract shapes. A swing hung from one of the trees. Through the trees, he thought he might even see the distant gleam of a lake. What he did not see were skyscrapers.
So he was no longer in the city.
"What are you up to now?" he muttered under his breath as he climbed off the bed. He realized then that he was no longer dressed in the, well, dress. Instead, he was wearing jeans and a button-up shirt that he knew for a fact had come from his own closet. He wasn't sure whether he should be relieved that he wasn't wearing the dress anymore or embarrassed that Kaito had changed his clothes for him (again) while he'd been unconscious. He settled for a feeling somewhere in between.
The carpet was thick and soft beneath his bare feet.
He sighed. The view was beautiful and the room was nice—as he would expect from Kaito, but he really wasn't in the mood for the magician's games. He wasn't in the mood for anything except a cup of hot, black coffee. He still felt groggy from getting gassed, and he really wasn't looking forward to explaining why he had disappeared in the middle of a case to the police. Besides, he was pretty sure he had asked Kaito not to kidnap him on weekday nights anymore not all that long ago.
Make that a pot of coffee. Maybe two.
With his mind full of aromatic, caffeinated brews, Shinichi made a beeline for the little cottage's kitchen. When he got there, however, he was dismayed to find the place empty. The cupboards were all bare, and the refrigerator only blew cold air at him when he peered inside in the hopes that Kaito had stocked it with cold coffee. At this point, he'd even settle for one of this abominably sweet, bottled concoctions that barely deserved to be called coffee. No such luck.
Letting out a frustrated huff, he slammed the fridge door. Honestly, what did Kaito expect them to eat around here? Air sandwiches?
It was only then that he noticed the slip of paper on the dining table—which was puzzling because it was a stark white against the dark brown of the wood. He really should have spotted it right away. Either he'd just been so distracted by his desperate yearning for coffee that he hadn't noticed it or this was one of Kaito's tricks. He'd put his bets on the latter.
Heaving another sigh, he trudged to the table and picked up the folded paper.
"People look to me when they wish to see worlds beyond their own," he read out loud. "Sadly, I can't do the same. I see the same thing day to day. Just once, I'd like to see something new. Can you help me?"
Shinichi felt the corners of his lips twitch upward a little despite himself. Leave it to Kaito not to just write him an explanation or a letter. It had to be a riddle, even if it was a simple one.
The first thought that had jumped into his mind when he'd read the line about worlds had been books, but a book could easily be taken from place to place to see new things as its reader sought out the best reading spots or took it to places where time needed to be wiled away. The same went for devices such as phones and, though to a lesser extent, computers. A desktop computer might qualify, but Shinichi doubted a vacation rental would have such a thing sitting around for visitors to use.
That meant the answer had to be the one piece of entertainment technology that almost every rental place was guaranteed to offer in these modern days.
Leaving the kitchen, he walked into the living room where he immediately spotted the massive, widescreen television sitting on a low shelf across from a plushy couch. He studied the television for a moment before reaching out and tugging on its corner. It had been placed on a stand that could swivel, so swivel it did. And there, as he'd expected, was another folded paper taped to the back of the TV.
"I teach children how to fly, though many forget me as the years go by. Still, I enjoy the work I do. So do let me teach you too."
Well that was an easy one. He headed for the door before remembering that he was barefoot. So he set about searching and eventually found a pair of brand new sneakers that just so happened to be his size sitting on the shoe wrack by the front door. On top of it perched a pair of white socks. Shaking his head at them, he nevertheless slipped his feet into them. Then he was out in the garden.
There were no papers stuck anywhere on the swing. He puzzled over this briefly before he recalled that he had had to turn the TV. And this riddle had asked him to learn to fly.
Chuckling softly, he sat down on the swing and pushed off with his feet.
He felt a little silly, sitting there and kicking his feet forward and back to build up momentum. With each swing, he rose a little higher in the air. After a while though, the repetitive motion became almost hypnotic. The whoosh as he rose into the air, then that moment of weightlessness when he reached the apex of his flight before he was pulled back down to earth only to rise up again… It was peaceful.
There was nothing but silence around him. Only the rustle of the leaves and the faint creaking of the branches overhead interrupted the otherwise pure tranquility. And he found the frustrations and irritations that had been nagging at him all through the day slowly slipping away one by one as though, with each swing up into the sky, he was leaving another ill feeling behind.
He had almost forgotten his purpose for being on the swing when he arrived again at the highest point of his flight and saw it. There was a white arrow drawn in flower petals on the lawn behind the hedges. They had been placed exactly where he couldn't have seen them unless he had been swung up above them by the swing.
Laughing, Shinichi stopped kicking his feet and let the swing slow to a stop. Then he hopped off it and walked down the front path and past the flower petal arrow. Down and down he walked across soft, springy grass until, finally,. He reached the edge of the lake he had glimpsed earlier through the trees. And there on the lake was a single boat docked at a small, wooden pier. There was no one on either, but Shinichi knew he was being watched.
So he stood for a while on the pier and thought. Eventually, he decided that the path of least embarrassment probably lay in complying with whatever Kaito had arranged. And so he carefully walked out onto the boat and sat down at his appointed seat. He knew it was his seat because it had a dove perched on the back of it carrying a tiny plush soccer ball dangling from a string in its beak.
The moment he sat down, the dove took off, taking the soccer ball plush with it. Its departure must have triggered some sort of mechanism because the boat began to move. It glided slowly but smoothly away from the pier and out onto the lake.
Shinichi spent a moment looking over the side of the boat for rudders or other possible means of propulsion, but the waters were eerily still down there, and he couldn't see anything unusual.
Deciding he didn't care to jump overboard just to find out how the boat was being guided forth, Shinichi settled more comfortably into his seat.
"Done checking out our ride already? I'm surprised."
Shinichi managed not to jump, but only because he had been expecting Kaito to pop up behind him without warning ever since he'd awoken in the cottage. He was honestly surprised it hadn't happened sooner.
Turning his gaze from the mirrored surface of the lake, he found Kaito seated comfortably across from him like he had been there all along despite the fact that the boat had been devoid of other passengers when it had taken Shinichi away from the shore.
A flight of white birds soared past overhead, drawing the detective's gaze skyward. When he looked down again, he found that there was now a small table between himself and Kaito. And on the table was a porcelain teapot and two dainty teacups on equally delicate saucers. Kaito was already picking up the pot. When he tilted it, dark brown liquid streamed into the first cup, and the wonderful, heavenly aroma of coffee filled the air, a perfect compliment to the crisp, cold scent of the lake.
Shinichi accepted the cup almost reverently. When the first drops touched his tongue, he decided that this truly was the most delicious cup of coffee he had ever had in his entire life.
He drained the entire cup in seconds and held it out again, looking expectantly at Kaito.
The magician laughed and obligingly refilled it. Shinichi drank three more cups before he finally felt ready to speak (hey, they were pretty tiny cups, and this was the first coffee he'd had all day).
"So what brought all this on?" he asked, watching Kaito pour half a cup of cream into his coffee.
"Oh nothing," the magician replied airily, though the spark in his indigo eyes belied his careless tone. "It's a nice day."
"It is," Shinichi was forced to agree because, well, it was. Even if it hadn't started out that way. "Did you have to cause such a big scene at the wedding? If you already knew who we were looking for, you could have been more subtle."
"What fun would that be?"
"…Right. Silly me for asking."
"Very much so. Besides, if you're going to be anyone's bride you should be mine."
Shinichi blushed. Coughing lightly, he hastened to change the subject.
"When were you planning to tell me that you'd started training mice? I think I deserve to know if I might start finding rodents in my pantry."
"Nah, it was just the few for today. I wouldn't want to cause you any infestation problems. And Mom told me she'd stop baking chocolate cakes for the rest of my life if she saw even one mouse in her kitchen."
They lapsed into a comfortable silence. Kaito refilled Shinichi's cup again, and the detective began to wonder if there was something odd about the teapot. After all, it seemed to be producing more coffee than logic dictated it could contain. Not that he was complaining, mind you. He decided not to point the matter out just in case doing so put an end to the miracle. He would figure it out later when there was no risk of dreadful repercussions (like coffee deficiency).
Blue eyes drifted over the peaceful waters and the gradually darkening sky. Then they traced the lake's lush, green shores and the gentle ripples spreading in the wake of their boat.
"This place is beautiful," he murmured.
Kaito smiled. "I'm glad you like it."
"I don't suppose you're going to tell me where we are?"
"Maybe later. For now, dinner's about ready."
There was a puff of white smoke. When it cleared, the small table between them had been set, and the mouthwatering aroma of barbequed steak filled the air. When Shinichi looked down, he was unsurprised to find two plates set out, one for each of them, bearing a freshly barbequed steak, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and fresh bread. It was all arranged beautifully, and it was all piping hot despite being served out on a lake in the middle of nowhere far away from any kitchen or grill.
Unless, of course, there was something going on under the table or the seats that Shinichi wasn't going to examine because, just for today, he didn't want to be a detective. All he wanted to be right now was a normal human being having dinner with his admittedly extremely abnormal boyfriend.
That in mind, Shinichi asked Kaito about his last show—the one he had just returned from in Vegas which people all over the internet had been raving about for the last week. Kaito, in turn, asked after the various police officers and their other friends, though he tactfully kept the conversation focused on the people as opposed to the murders they had inevitably had to deal with.
Above them, the sky slowly shifted from soft blues and purples into the rich reds and golds of sunset. The lake's surface blazed. But gradually the fiery hues of the setting sun gave way to the much softer haze of late evening. As though it had been perfectly timed, their little boat finished its slow lap of the lake just as the detective and the magician finished their last cups of after-dinner coffee and the final rays of sunlight vanished from the sky.
"I suppose you were setting this up yesterday when you said you were visiting your mother?" Shinichi asked as the boat bumped lightly against the pier.
"I did visit her," Kaito said cheerfully. "She actually helped me with setting up. She was the one who made the food work."
Shinichi chuckled. "Of course. I knew that part couldn't have been you."
"Oi, I can barbeque steaks just fine."
"Maybe," Shinichi conceded, hiding a smile. "But not nearly well enough to be creating tricks with it."
"True enough." Chuckling, Kaito stood and leapt gracefully out of the boat. Shinichi clung to the side a moment as the little craft rocked from the sudden loss of weight. When it finally stilled, he stood and found Kaito's hand in front of his face.
He took it without hesitation, letting the magician pull him up out of the boat and onto the pier.
Kaito did so with a little more force than was strictly necessary, and Shinichi found himself stumbling forward as Kaito leaned down and their lips met in a brief but sweet kiss.
"I missed you."
"I do wish I'd been able to see the show," Shinichi admitted.
"Next time. I'll make sure we can all go."
"Just don't do anything drastic."
Kaito laughed. "No promises there." He ducked in to steal another kiss. "Happy birthday."
Shinichi blinked. "Oh. Thank you."
"You don't sound surprised. Did you remember this year?"
"No," the detective admitted. "But there's only so many times the same thing can be surprising."
"Good point. So shall we get back to the cottage? The cake is waiting."
"I don't think I could eat a single bite of anything right now."
"Then we'll take the scenic route."
And they did.
Much later, they sat side by side on the back patio, enjoying cups of hot chocolate complete with little marshmallows as they gazed at a sky full of stars.
"So did you enjoy your birthday?" the magician asked, sliding his free arm around Shinichi's waist to pull him a little closer.
Smiling, Shinichi leaned his head on Kaito's shoulder. "I did. Thanks to you."
A.N: Have a happy New Year!