Disclaimer: As usual, I'm just borrowing Gosho Aoyama's genius and taking the characters out to play. I don't own any of this, so don't sue me; you wouldn't get much more than a basket of laundry anyways. ^_^ Enjoy this weird bit of reading!

In Vino Veritas
by Becky Tailweaver

Part 4

Aoko Nakamori felt awful.

Worse than awful--downright sick. And it wasn't just the symptoms of hangover; even though she'd been two periods late for school and was doped up on aspirin, she still felt like utter crap. A hundred times worse than the nausea and headache that morning--which she could still feel beneath the thick coating of drugs--was the knowledge of what she had done last night.

What would her father think of her? He was already upset that she'd been drunk--even though she hadn't known what she'd been drinking. If he ever found out she'd been playing serious tonsil hockey--even inebriated--with his worst nemesis, he'd never forgive her. He'd be beyond disappointed.

God, she felt like a tramp.

She could hardly look at anyone--not any of her friends, nor her teachers, feeling sure that her guilt was written all over her face. It was still fresh, the memories and sensations running again and again through her mind until she couldn't bear it any longer.

She especially couldn't meet Kaito's eyes. Not even when he spoke to her. Whenever she looked at him, his blue gaze seemed to pierce into her--and what she had done last night felt somehow like a betrayal, though she couldn't understand why.

No one else had seen what she'd done, thank goodness...and she would never, ever tell a soul. She could only pray that Kaitou Kid didn't see fit to mention it to her father during any of his next heists, even in jest. But it shouldn't matter to him--he was at least twice her age and could probably have any woman he wanted if the screaming fangirls were any indication. He hadn't cared--just said "Sorry for the inconvenience," and left. She felt so stupid.

Why had she brainlessly taken those idiotic fruity drinks? Why had the Kid decided to hide in that particular bathroom? And why, oh why had she decided to kiss him?

Him. Kaitou Kid. The person her father had been trying to catch since before she was born--the man she hated for getting away with so much wrong, for taking her father away from her so much, for being so completely unbeatable for so long that it was just impossible. The one who had somehow been at the center of her life and the lives of her friends and family ever since he'd returned from obscurity. Everything about him spoke to something deep inside her--something familiar and precious and yearning to be recognized--and suddenly, with him in her grasp, all her emotions had a focus.

She couldn't remember exactly why she'd done it. It had started with realizing that she had caught the Kid--her arms were around him, holding him. It was the excitement of doing the impossible, combined with the boldness she felt from the alcohol. Her kiss had been a spur-of-the-moment thing--a fluke, a strange, fiery impulse. It was supposed to be short, perhaps just to startle him.

But she had been the one taken by surprise when he responded, and with such fervor that it had shocked her--to think he was actively participating, not pushing her away...

What had begun as a little joke became a hot, open-mouthed kiss filled with more depth and ardor than she'd ever thought humanly possible. She'd caught the scent of the stars and the wind, his sweat, something sweet--caught the taste of something minty, the freshness of the night sky, and something almost like what she'd been drinking. She became wrapped up in him--So this is what magic feels like--and she hadn't been able to stop what she'd started, borne onward into the flood of it, an inexhorable feeling with all the force of an avalanche. She could remember the exhilaration she felt as her thoughts turned from shock to excitement, realizing that she had not only caught hold of him, but could incite his ardor as well--a realization of female power that only made her pull him closer.

She had captured the Kid. She had done what no one else had ever done--she had snared the mystical thief and actually managed to hold on to him. And she wasn't stupid enough to think it was all her doing; he wouldn't have kissed her if he hadn't wanted to--not like that, not pulling her into him and drinking her up like a dying man in a desert. He had wanted her, and she had known that somehow; he was caught because he did not run from her--held because he wished to be held, kissing her like there was no tomorrow because that was what he desired.

She had lost herself in it--in the heat and the strength of him, in the passion that drew her deeper like an ocean's undertow, in the sheer feminine thrill of holding the attention of so enigmatic and dangerous a man.

For those blurred, drunken moments, she forgot that she hated him--forgot it so completely that she even began to think of how incredible it was that this amazing, impossible, untouchable phantom had allowed himself to be trapped by a silly, nameless young woman like her. A wild white tiger consenting to be led by a little girl.

And even though she knew all about him--his whole reputation, the fact that the cops could never catch him, how powerful he had to be to do what he did--she wasn't afraid. He felt safe in a way she couldn't explain, and she didn't fear him at all. She forgot that she hated him--so much that in her drunken mind, that hate had begun to twist into a strange admiration. For an instant, almost an inexplicable, passion-induced adoration of what he was and what he could do.

It wasn't until he had pulled away--restoring a small measure of reality as they both heard what was going on outside the bathroom--that she had begun to realize what she'd been doing. She remembered who and where she was--remembered who he was--and her emotions crashed into a tangle. Her hate returned, but it was painful this time--what right had she to hate him when she'd so willingly given herself to him? But she could only hate him more for being what he was, for making her feel that way.

Aoko felt miserable. And she knew it was going to be a long while before she stopped feeling so guilty and loathesome. Perhaps, with time, she could eventually forgive herself, remembering that she'd been very drunk at the time and not in control--but right now she couldn't stop thinking about it, every memory as fresh as if it had happened moments ago.

God, she hated Kaitou Kid. She never wanted to go near another one of his heists, not for any reason. She couldn't risk such a thing.

Because she didn't know what could happen if she caught him again.

To be continued...