The Show Must Go OnFandom:
Detective Conan/Magic KaitouAuthor:
#38—alone at nightPairing:
Kuroba Kaito/Nakamori AokoRating:
All characters are the property of Gosho Aoyama. I do not own them. I merely borrow them, drop them in a blender, hit puree, and watch them dance. Yes, dance, my pretties…ahem.Summary:
Honestly, Kaito, stop worrying. I’ll be just fine.
“Are you sure?” Kaito asked, slipping his coat on. “I mean it—I’ll cancel the performance.”
“For the five hundredth time, Kaito,” Aoko sighed back, “I’ll be fine!” To emphasis her point, she pointed a finger at the front door. “Get going, you idiot! You’ve got a show to do.”
“But Aoko, what if something happens?” he stopped and protested again. “It’s just too close. I’m going to cancel the show and stay home so if something does happen—“WHAP!
He was cut off when a feather duster made solid contact with the top of his head.
The wielder—an angry woman, flushed quite prettily and roundly eight and a half months pregnant—glared. “The baby isn’t due for another two weeks. If you don’t go to the show, your fans will get angry. And we do sort of depend on them for your livelihood. The show must go on! Now get out!”
When he still hesitated, Aoko charged at him, brandishing the feather duster as fearsome as any weapon of steel. “Don’t make me get the mop, Kaito! Pregnant or not, you know I’ll do it, even if I have to chase you down!”
Kaito seemed to finally comprehend that he had lost this argument and took off running down the sidewalk towards the car. “Okay!” he called back. “But you’d better not have that baby until I get home!”
Aoko smiled, obviously pleased with herself, and waved him off.-o-
“I love Kaito dearly, and I understand his concern, but he is driving me nuts!” Aoko sighed into the phone. Home alone while Kaito was out performing and bored out of her skull, she had decided to call a friend for a good old-fashioned girl-talk. “When you were pregnant, did you have the same problem with your husband?”
On the other end of the line, Kudo Ran laughed. “Oh, like you wouldn’t believe! He didn’t want me to do anything! But I made him see reason—the day he wouldn’t let me lift a grocery bag when we got home from the store? I started crying. A lot. And then when he asked what was wrong, I started sobbing that he wouldn’t let me do anything and I was pregnant, not helpless…” She chuckled. “I blame the actual tears on my hormones, but not letting me put groceries away was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He backed off until I was about eight months along. But by that time, my back was so sore all the time that I was content to just let him do everything.”
“And he didn’t break everything in the house?”
“You would be surprised,” Ran said knowingly. “Remember—he lived on his own for quite a few years after his parents left and before we got married. He can clean. He can do chores. He can cook. He might not be the greatest chef in the world, but he can put together a meal.” She smiled fondly as she remembered that first day she was bedridden. She had confessed to hunger, and he had vanished; crashing noises had followed shortly thereafter from the vicinity of the kitchen. A short while later, he had reappeared and sheepishly put a bowl of soup in front of her before stepping back and watching nervously as she downed the first spoonful. It had been quite good, if a bit on the salty side, and perfectly edible.
“I didn’t dare turn Kaito loose like that,” Aoko moaned. “He can clean, no problem. But when he decides to cook, he sometimes likes to get creative. Horribly, awfully, wrongly creative.” She winced. “You should ask him about the time he made that, ah, dessert soup. Makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it!” And truth be told, her stomach had clenched at the thought of half a candy store floating in a huge vat of hot fudge, topped with peanuts, caramel, and whipped cream.
Wait…or was that the reason her stomach was suddenly sending up warning signals?
…or was it even her stomach?
Aoko sat up straight and put one hand to her swollen belly. She could faintly hear Ran talking through the receiver in the background, but she couldn’t make out any of the words. She was just waiting to see if it was just a stomach cramp, or was it—
She winced and gasped as she felt another spasm. Oh crap…
“Aoko?” Ran had stopped in mid-sentence on the other end of the line, and was now calling her name; she was obviously concerned. “Aoko, are you all right? What’s wrong?”
“Ran…” Aoko said quietly, not daring to move. “What did it feel like when you went into labor?”
“Well…I’d been feeling kind of sick all day. And then it started like bad stomach cramps that just kept getting worse and worse,” she recalled. “Once that hit, I’d figured out what was going on, and gave Shinichi a heart attack by asking him to drive me to the hospital.”
It was at that moment that Aoko fully realized her current situation. It was dark outside. She was home alone. The baby seemed to think that now was a great time to pop into the world. Her husband was in the middle of his performance by now. Which meant that she really couldn’t call him.
Actually…hadn’t she chased Kaito out of the house with a stick (or a mop, as the case may be) when he’d suggested that he should really just stay home? Hadn’t she declared that she would be fine, the baby wasn’t coming yet, so he’d better get his ass in gear if he knew what was good for him?
“Aoko??” Ran was starting to sound a bit frantic now.
“Ran, I think I need a favor,” Aoko said as another cramp hit. “Can you drive?”
“…oh my God,” Ran breathed as comprehension dawned. “Shinichi just got home—give me two minutes to gather my husband and see if Grandpa wants to baby-sit Conan-kun.” As she spoke, Aoko could hear her moving around. When she spoke next, her voice was muffled, like she was holding the receiver away from her mouth. “Shinichi, we’re taking Aoko to the hospital. Yes, it is. Great.” Then she was back on the phone. “We’ll drop Conan-kun at my dad’s and then be right over. Hang on!”
A goodbye later, Aoko was left to hobble towards the front door and get her shoes on and wait for her ride. And the contractions—for by now she knew that’s what they were—were slowly increasing.
When a pair of headlights pulled into the driveway, she nearly wept for relief.-o-
“Aoko-san,” Shinichi asked calmly, “why won’t you let us call Kuroba?”
“He’s performing right now,” she said, wincing slightly. “I don’t want to bother him when he’s on stage!” A gasp of pain. “I can wait until he’s done with his show…it’ll be okay—“ Another contraction hit and she trailed off into another gasp.
“…but he has tons of shows,” Ran insisted. “This baby’s only going to be born once! Aoko, seriously—I’m going to go outside and give him a call, show or no show—“
“NO!” Aoko yelped. “…he didn’t want to go to the show tonight because he was worried about me and he didn’t want me to be home alone if the baby came. And I chased him out with a stick, saying I would be fine and it wasn’t necessary. And now here I am, on my way to Baby City.” She looked miserable. “I know we should call him, but…”
“Your pride,” Shinichi said knowingly. “Aoko-san, he’s your husband. I think this is one situation where he’s not going to say ‘I told you so.’ And if he does, I’ll punch him for you.” That got a weak smile. “But really, he deserves to be here when the baby’s born. Now I am going to go call him, and I won’t hear anymore protests. And actually…I’ll call your father while I’m at it.” Before Aoko could even fully process, he was out the door with his cell phone in hand.
Ran reached up and smoothed Aoko’s perspiration-damp bangs back from her forehead. “It’ll be all right. He’ll be here, and you’re going to start on the most amazing adventure of your lives.”
Aoko looked up at her with wide eyes. “Is it worth it?”
Ran thought of her son, Conan…her husband, Shinichi…and smiled. “It’s worth everything.”-o-
Jii heard a familiar ring coming from the Little Master’s coat pocket backstage, and upon seeing who the call was from, answered it. “May I take a message—“
“Jii-san, either you need to get Kuroba on the line or you need to flag him down and give him a message as soon as he’s done with whatever trick he’s doing right now,” Kudo Shinichi cut him off in a rush. The detective sounded just a bit frantic. “This really can’t wait.”
“I’ll give him the message,” Jii replied calmly.
Shinichi gave it to him.
Jii’s eyes widened. “Oh…oh!” He nodded, even though he knew the person on the other end of the line couldn’t see it. “I’ll tell him immediately.” A push of a button disconnected the call, and Jii hurried to the wings to watch and wait as Kuroba Kaito finished a particularly dazzling trick. The show was almost over—next would be the finale, most assuredly followed by an encore.
In a flash of smoke and applause the trick was finished, and the audience erupted into applause. Kaito acknowledged the acclaim with his usual aplomb—he was an accomplished showman. His respect and love for his fans was well-known, and they adored him for it.
He grinned and opened his mouth to begin an introduction for what was to come next…but trailed off when he noticed movement out of the corner of his eye. Namely, Jii—frantically waving an arm at him to get his attention. Upon noticing that he had been spotted, he gestured for Kaito to come off-stage.
Kaito wavered. He was in the middle of a performance! But…Jii had been with him for years now. He knew the ropes. And Kaito knew that Jii wouldn’t flag him down like that unless it was something extremely important. Which meant that he should see what was up.
Putting his legendary smile on his face, he bowed to his audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, my capable assistant is waving at me to come backstage for a moment. I apologize for my rudeness, but this must be extremely important.” There was a murmur from the crowd as he strolled to the wings. When he made it off-stage and out of sight, his smile dropped and his expression became a mixture of annoyance and concern. “What’s going on?”
The annoyance left his expression when Jii told him exactly what was going on, and was replaced by more shock and alarm than anything else. “Little Master,” Jii said, using the dreaded old nickname, “from what Kudo-san said…it sounds like you need to hurry.”
“But…” Kaito looked back towards the stage, then shook himself, nodded, squared his shoulders, and turned back to stroll onto the stage. The audience applauded as he walked to center stage and stood in the spotlight, looking out over his adoring fans. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he began in a strong, even voice, “I know that this is the point in the evening where I would usually perform my grand finale, and perhaps an encore. However, I am afraid that I must cancel the remainder of this evening’s performance.”
There was an immediate uproar and grumble. He held out his hands for quiet, and the crowd lapsed into an uneasy silence as they waited for an explanation.
“My assistant would not pull me offstage during a performance unless it was something extremely important. And in this case, it was,” he said. “He wanted to give me a message from a close family friend who had called on behalf of my lovely wife Aoko.” The grin on his face grew wider. “They thought I should know that she is in the hospital…in labor. Our first child.” He smiled as the audience collectively gasped. “So I do apologize for my poor exit, but…I really gotta go! So thank you, and goodnight!” He took one final bow…and then literally sprinted from the stage, out the back door, and into Jii’s waiting car as the audience cheered him on.
It wasn’t quite what they had been expecting for the ending note of the show, but it was definitely one finale that none of them would ever forget.-o-
It was getting worse.
The pain was getting worse and worse, and Aoko realized that she was getting dangerously close to the actual delivery. The doctor was already saying that they needed to get her into the delivery room, but she begged him to wait just a few more minutes.
“Please,” she gasped between contractions. “My husband’s…coming. Kaito—“ That last was lost in a particularly bad spasm. He had to hurry—had Jii not been able to get him offstage to deliver Shinichi’s message? If he hadn’t…there was no way he would make it.
The idea of Kaito not being there for her—for their child’s birth…the idea broke her heart.
“Kuroba-san, we have to go,” the doctor said firmly, in a tone that allowed for no arguments.
Aoko was nearly ready to burst into tears, even though this was supposed to be one of the happiest moments of her life. She wanted this to be over, she wanted the pain to stop…but she wanted Kaito there with her, for the birth of their child…
There was a crashing sound at the door, and suddenly there were hands wrapped around hers. “Sorry I’m late,” Kaito gasped. It was obvious that he’d been running. “Called the show early and got out of there as fast as I could.” He was still in his suit from the performance, sans his tie.
“Kaito…” she murmured happily, reaching up to pull him down for a quick kiss. Then she looked at the doctor and nodded. “We can go now. He’s here—“ Another contraction cut her off, and she winced and gasped against the pain.
While the doctor whisked Aoko off to delivery, a nurse grabbed Kaito’s arm and pulled him to another room to change into scrubs. He did so in record time and sprinted to his wife’s side.
What followed took a fair amount of time, and did no little damage to the bones in Kaito’s fingers as Aoko labored to give birth. She also made a few threats regarding making him feel what he had put her through, and there was little doubt in his mind that everyone in the hospital heard exactly what she was going to do to him with a deck of playing cards, a tube of cinnamon-flavored toothpaste, and her trusty mop. It sounded either very painful…or extremely kinky, depending on which way you looked at it.
But after what felt like eternities, and just when Aoko was certain she couldn’t take anymore, that she was going to tear in two…finally…blessedly…the pain subsided. She clung to Kaito’s hand with the last of her strength; she was sweating and crying and waiting…
And a moment later, a baby’s cry filled the air around them.-o-
The pleasant-looking anchorwoman smiled at the camera as she went into the last news story of the evening. “And finally, a show that no one will ever forget. The old adage might say that ‘The show must go on,’ but for world-famous magician Kuroba Kaito, son of the late Kuroba Toichi, that proved not to be the case at his show last night. The young magician, loved by millions around the world, sped out of the theatre in the middle of his performance after announcing to the audience that his wife Aoko was giving birth to their first child.”
“Konosuke Jii, a close friend and long-time assistant to Kuroba, made the announcement on their behalf this morning that the couple has welcomed a daughter named Aya. He also said that both mother and daughter are healthy, and the new parents are thrilled. And he joked that obviously, the little girl is already her father’s daughter.”PS. This one was fun to write. I actually got hit with this idea when I was driving home from student teaching one day, and it was just too good to pass up. And I really believe it to be true to Kaito’s character. So I hope you enjoyed it as well. Aya certainly is her father’s daughter—can’t do anything without making it into a big show!
Wow…only one left after this. Can you believe it? And I know exactly what it’s going to be, and how it’s all going to end. I hope you will all pop on over for the fortieth and final Night for Kaito and Aoko. Thanks for reading, all. Much love!