It was a terrifying feeling, having the thief fall back against him. He reached out and caught the figure before it could fall, gently lowering it to the floor.

A quick glance showed the assailant laying several feet away, the gas bomb having done it's job just a few seconds too late.

He knew at this moment he could have undeniable proof of the thief's identity, but the price for this chance was too high. It was one he wouldn't consent to paying. A pocketknife found it's way to his palm and he proceeded to murder his jacket for the better good.

A pained gasp met his ears when he applied pressure to the wound.

"Hakuba? A slightly glazed gaze met his in confusion.

"Yes?" He asked in return as he ripped a new strip from his abused article of clothing.

"Why...?"

The question was not unexpected, and the figure on the floor was surprised at how little time it took for him to answer.

"Because, in a strange way... you're the closest thing I have to a friend. Someone who's always playing with me, laughing at my mistakes, gleefully praising my successes, goading me into doing better..." He raised his gaze to meet the other's head on "And protecting me when I need it." There was a small smile on his face.

There was a moment of silence as the injured party mused on this, before smiling as well. "I'd say we need some normal friends, but where's the fun in that?"

A slightly amused chuckle escaped him before he turned serious again. "You need a doctor."

"I have somewhere I can go." Was the shifty reply.

"But can you make it on your own?" He eyed the other critically.

"I'll have to." Said simply.

Another moment of silence, before it was rudely swatted aside.

"Why'd you have to go and get your fool self shot anyway?" A tone of frustration.

"Better me than you." No hesitation at all.

It was something they'd never agree on.

Ah well, he'd have plenty of opportunities in the future to knock some sense into the crazy thief.