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call me loser call me thief (tell me i'm special when you look at me)

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Saguru knows Kuroba is KID. He knows it with as much certainty as he knows the sky is blue and the blood that flows through his veins is red. He’s known it for a very long time, despite Kuroba’s vehement denials and attempts at steering his attention elsewhere - and yet, having it confirmed before his very eyes still manages to knock the breath out of him, leaving him grasping at formless words in his mind and unable to utter a single one. Though maybe that has more to do with the pain he’s in rather than the shock of having his long-term suspicions proven right.

“Don’t speak,” Kuroba is saying from above him. His monocle and top hat are strewn somewhere across the room, and his breathing is fast, face tight with concern and an edge of panic as his hands press against the side of Saguru’s stomach. Through the haze clouding his thoughts, the adrenaline fueled racing of his heart and the slight shaking of his hands, Saguru realizes Kuroba must think the bullet hit somewhere vital, which isn’t the case at all. It grazed his side, he knows, and he can feel the blood sloshing slowly out from the open wound, but it’s not cause for as much concern as Kuroba is making it out to be. Saguru has been wounded plenty of times before, and a bullet passing at close range to his stomach, but not close enough to do any real damage, is not the worst injury he’s had to deal with. 

It still hurts like a bitch, though.

“I’m fine, Kuroba-kun,” he says, pushing Kuroba’s hands away and sitting up. His side burns, a harsh sting that makes him want to cut off that part of his skin so he doesn’t have to deal with the pain any longer. When he looks down, there’s a considerably large blood stain on his white shirt that will be hard to wash off later, and he frowns, more than a little annoyed at having his clothing ruined just because some asshole decided to crash the heist. “Do you know that man?” He asks, looking at the unconscious man lying on the floor a ways from them. 

Kuroba shakes his head distractedly, his hands still hovering over Saguru’s stomach. “We need to get you to a hospital.”

“It was just a graze,” Saguru tells him, trying to quell his worrying, and presses his hand to the cut. He thinks the bleeding is slowing, but he does need to go to the hospital, if only to get it stitched and disinfected. “And I can hardly show up there with you dressed like that.”

Kuroba looks down at himself, eyes widening as he seems to remember why they were here in the first place. He quickly takes off his gloves and tucks them inside his pants pocket, grimacing at the blood stains that cover the soft fabric. He follows that by taking off his white suit jacket and red tie, leaving him only in his blue undershirt and his white suit pants and shoes.

“Is this supposed to make you less recognizable?” Saguru asks with a skeptical frown.

Kuroba scowls and leaves his side just quick enough to grab his top hat and monocle. “Shut up, we don’t have time to grab the spares I hid, so this will have to do.” He walks back to him, stashing the items somewhere on his body, and carefully grabs Saguru’s hand, helping him to his feet and throwing an arm around his shoulders to ease the pressure on his aching side.

“I already told you it just grazed me, I’m really not that seriously hurt.”

Kuroba glares at him and starts walking, only slowing down at Saguru’s sharp intake of breath. “You’re still losing blood, and you’re clearly in pain.” His eyes roam over Saguru’s face. “Don’t fight me on this, for once in your life.”

Saguru raises an eyebrow. “Between the two of us, the one with the stubborn streak is you, Kuroba-kun.”

Kuroba ignores him, grunting in effort as he pushes open the door to the hallway. The floor they’re on is deserted, not a single soul in sight to witness their slow departure, and Saguru ponders on that for a moment, confused, before turning to Kuroba and asking, “Where is everyone?”

“Probably following my decoy right about now,” Kuroba says, pulling his phone out of his pocket and dialing a number Saguru doesn’t recognize. He brings the phone up to his ear, and after a moment’s wait, he says, “Meet me at the hotel’s parking lot,” and then he’s slipping the phone back inside his pocket, newly free hand coming up to hit the call button for the elevator.

Saguru doesn’t ask who he’s just called, doubts he would get a truthful answer if he did, and instead says, “Surely they must have noticed it’s a decoy by now.”

Kuroba shrugs. “They’re halfway across town, though, so it’s plenty of time for us to get the hell out of here before they come back.”

The elevator arrives with a ding and Kuroba helps him inside, pushing him against the wall to steady him as he hits the floor number for the parking lot. The ride down is mostly silent, and when the doors open, Kuroba slips under his arm again and helps him out and towards one of the concrete columns on the edge of the park, so Saguru can recline against it and catch his breath. He’s not so badly hurt that he couldn’t properly walk without a helping hand, but Kuroba holding him up lessens the pain on his side by quite a lot, so he doesn’t voice his complaints about being treated like an invalid and focuses on the sound of Kuroba’s breathing to distract himself from the sharp prickling at his side, which feels like acid being poured ever so slowly over exposed skin.

“You shouldn’t have pushed me away,” Kuroba says, after a long moment in which they both stare at the floor in silence - and he looks like he’s been holding that particular comment back for a while, if the way his angry gaze settles on Saguru’s injury is anything to go by. “I would’ve been fine.”

“No, you wouldn’t,” Saguru says, ignoring the way his heart clenches in his chest as his mind flashes with the memory of the stranger’s gun glinting under the lights as he pointed it directly at KID. “You would’ve been shot straight in the chest and died.” 

Kuroba sighs, pushing his bangs out of his face. “Well, you wouldn’t have been shot.”

Saguru looks at him incredulously. “You can’t be serious.” He pushes a finger against Kuroba’s chest, a surge of hot red fury rising in place of his delayed fear. “I was grazed by a bullet, Kuroba. And even if it’d hit me square in the chest, I’d still push you away. It’s my job to protect civilians, not yours.”

Kuroba’s eyebrows furrow, his face twisting up in anger. “No, you don’t get to do that. I’m not a civilian, I don’t need your protection and I certainly don’t need you taking bullets for me.”

“You would’ve died!” Saguru shouts and hits Kuroba on the chest, fist clenched. He bites his lip when the movement pulls at his wound, but doesn’t back down. “You would’ve died, do you get that, you idiot?!”

Kuroba lets out a breath, face still set in that stubborn scowl of his that Saguru both loves and hates. “I know!” He yells. “But he was aiming for me, not you!” He raises both hands to grab at the fabric of Saguru’s shirt. “This is my business, I don’t want-” he grimaces, closes his eyes as if in pain, “I don’t need you getting involved.”

“I’m already involved,” Saguru says, running a hand through his hair. “If you die-” he looks away, stomach roiling at the thought. “If you have people after you, you should be more careful.”

“I am careful,” Kuroba argues.

“Not enough, clearly,” Saguru grumbles in return, leaning back against the wall and letting out a heavy breath. “Please, I don’t want to have to attend your funeral.”

“You’re not invited, anyway,” Kuroba says, childishly. He loosens his grip on Saguru’s shirt, but doesn’t let go completely. 

“Aoko-san would invite me,” Saguru says, just for the pleasure of watching Kuroba’s angry sputtering. “But that isn’t the point. I pushed you away because I didn’t want to see you get hurt, and I’m fine , so I don’t get why you feel the need to argue over it after the fact.”

Kuroba pushes him against the column at his back, not hard enough to hurt him but hard enough that it’d be painful if he tried to force his way out of his tight grip. “I hate you,” he says, eyes blazing as his gaze meets Saguru’s. “Why can’t you ever do what I tell you to?”

“You’re not the boss of me,” Saguru replies, frowning. The words stab at his chest like a sharp shard of glass, even though, rationally, he knows that if they were true Kuroba wouldn’t be kicking up such a fuss over him getting hurt. He thought he’d outgrown his teenage insecurities, but clearly they’ve come back to pay him a visit at a less than opportune time.

He snaps to attention when fingers dig into the bony ends of his shoulders. “What’s so hard to understand about me not wanting you to get fucking shot?” Kuroba asks.

Saguru lets out a quiet laugh, head tilting to the side. “No, I do understand that. I just don’t think you realize I don’t want you to get fucking shot either,” he shoots back, echoing Kuroba’s words, a mocking edge to his tone.

“Don’t joke about this,” Kuroba says, eyes narrowing. His fingers release Saguru’s shoulders and he steps back, rubbing a hand down the side of his face. “Whatever, it’s obvious we’ll never see eye to eye on this.”

Saguru snorts. “That’s an understatement.” He grabs Kuroba’s wrist and pulls him closer, relishing in the look of surprise that falls over his face. “Just- I don’t want you to get hurt and you don’t want me to get hurt. Can’t we compromise and promise each other to try and avoid any other situations where we’re on the wrong side of a barrel?”

Kuroba hesitates, glancing down at the small space between their bodies, and then nods. He doesn’t move closer, clearly aware of Saguru’s injury and afraid to aggravate it, but he lifts a hand to the side of Saguru’s neck, fingers gentle - a direct opposite to the harsh way he’d been holding his shoulders just a moment ago. “I-” he chokes out, pausing to look in Saguru’s eyes, “I care about your continued survival.” He winces, looking away. “Ah- I mean-uh...”

Saguru frowns, confused. He doesn’t know what Kuroba’s so awkwardly trying to tell him, but the tingling at the point where his fingers meet Saguru’s neck tells him it must be something important - Kuroba isn’t exactly the most tactile person, at least not with Saguru, and yet, he’s touched him more times in the last few minutes than he ever did in all the years they’ve known each other. It’s strange, and begs more looking into, but it’s definitely not unwelcome.

“I care about your continued survival too?” Saguru tries, wondering if Kuroba is expecting him to reciprocate the strange sentiment.

Kuroba makes a frustrated noise in the back of his throat, dropping his hand from Saguru’s neck. “That’s not what I-” the sound of a car approaching cuts him off, and they both turn to look at what, by Kuroba’s half annoyed half relieved reaction, must be their ride out of here. “Okay, let’s go,” Kuroba says, pulling him by the wrist.

As they move closer, Saguru is surprised to realize he knows the driver. He refrains mentioning that small discovery as he fills into the backseat, Kuroba right behind him.

“You’re going in the back too?” he asks, looking at the empty seat beside the driver.

Kuroba ignores his question, closing the door behind him and gesturing for the driver, the owner of Blue Parrot - and all the time Kuroba spends there suddenly makes a lot more sense - to start driving again. He waits until they’re out of the parking lot and at least a block away from the hotel before he turns to Saguru and says, “Show me your wound.”

Saguru grimaces but reluctantly complies, lifting the edge of his soaked shirt and wincing as it slowly unsticks from his skin. Kuroba grabs his phone and shines a light on it, letting out a curse when he sees the state of Saguru’s stomach. 

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” Saguru says, looking down as well. “All the blood makes it look much worse than it actually is.”

Kuroba turns off the light and puts his phone away. The street lights allow Saguru to see him even through the darkness in the car, and his face is lined with worry and guilt, which is ridiculous, really, because he doesn’t have anything to feel guilty about. Saguru did what he wanted, as he always does, and Kuroba certainly didn’t have any choice in the matter, so he can’t be blamed for anything but his inability to stay out of trouble for longer than a day, and Saguru thinks that has more to do with his abysmal luck than anything else, even if Kuroba likes to claim he’s got the best kind of luck out of everyone he knows.

“Young master, where am I taking you?” the driver asks, and he’s looking at them through the rearview mirror, a curious but unvoiced question in his eyes.

“The hospital, Jii-chan.”

Mr.Blue Parrot - Jii? - nods and his eyes turn back to the road, giving them back the illusion of privacy.

Kuroba rests back on his seat, letting out a tired sigh. His shoulder presses against Saguru’s, warm through the fabric of their dress shirts, and it’s all Saguru can do not to lean into the casual touch. 

“When you hit the floor,” Kuroba whispers, looking out the window, face eerily blank, “I thought you were dead.” He looks at Saguru out the corner of his eye. “Don’t do that to me again.”

Saguru wants to reassure him that he won’t, that it was a one time thing that resulted from very bad timing on both their sides - but he can’t. He knows his job, he goes out of his way to be in dangerous situations almost every day - he literally makes a living out of catching criminals - so of course he can’t promise that he’ll always be safe, to do so would be lying.

“I’ll try,” he says, because it’s all he can give right now. Kuroba must understand that, because the tension in his shoulders slowly disappears and he turns to fully look at him.

“I’m in love with you,” he whispers. It comes out in a rush, like he’d been keeping it under his tongue this whole time and couldn’t hold it back any longer. 

Saguru stares at him, wide eyed, mouth suddenly dry. It’s sudden - and his side still hurts, and his brain is still playing the image of Kuroba lying face down on a pool of his own blood on repeat, and he’s still reeling from the fact that Kuroba apparently cares enough about his well-being to lose his temper over it and-

-and he’s so in love with Kuroba it almost hurts to breathe sometimes, the hint of a smile from him enough to send Saguru’s heart into overdrive and his blood up to his cheeks. He’d thought nothing would ever come of it, had been perfectly content watching him from the sidelines, knowing he had a place in his life as a rival and sort-of-friend. But this- this is unexpected, and he never considered what he’d do on the other end of a confession, not from Kuroba, not this way. 

He lifts a slightly shaky hand and holds onto Kuroba’s for dear life, his breath coming out in shallow puffs, heart racing so hard against his ribcage he’s surprised Mr.Blue Parrot can’t hear it all the way from the front seat. “You mean it?”

Kuroba looks at him like a deer-in-the-headlights, and it becomes clear he hadn’t meant to confess like that, must have done it in the spur of the moment, all the stress of their situation pushing back his already almost non-existent impulse-control. 

Saguru goes to pull his hand back, ignoring the bitter disappointment growing in his belly, but Kuroba’s grip tightens like a life-line, and despite his obvious shock at his own loose lips, he says, “Yes, I meant it.”

“Oh,” Saguru says, face flaming, and that seems to be enough of an answer for Kuroba, who grabs the back of his neck with such force Saguru is sure the imprints of his fingers will still be there in the morning, and pulls Saguru forward, his lips clumsily meeting the side of his mouth. “Oh,” Saguru says again, barely a breath against Kuroba’s cheek, and tilts his head so their mouths properly connect, feeling a shiver go down his spine when Kuroba’s tongue peeks out to swipe at his bottom lip. Any moment now and he’ll wake up, he thinks, as Kuroba’s other hand releases his and comes to tenderly rest on his cheek. He tastes like candy - Saguru remembers seeing him with one of the strawberry lollipops they were handing out at the reception desk before the heist began - and for someone who doesn’t particularly care for sweets, Saguru finds he suddenly can’t get enough of it. 

“You like me back, yeah?” Kuroba asks, a whisper against Saguru’s mouth when they part for breath. When Saguru nods, he pulls him back into another long kiss, his mouth hot and bruising, his kiss like a tattoo on the inside of Saguru’s lips. 

They stay like that for a while, trading kisses and small confessions no louder than a murmur. Saguru almost completely forgets about the driver, and he’s sure Kuroba does too, because he also jumps when the car suddenly comes to a stop and the man clears his throat, an amused expression on his face as he turns back in his seat to look at them.

“We’re here, Young master.”

Kuroba doesn’t take his hands off of him, despite the fact that Saguru immediately lets go as if burned, face warm from the kisses and the embarrassment of being caught.

“Thanks, Jii-chan,” Kuroba says, a grin on his face. His cheeks are red as well, but the man is shameless to a fault, so it must be from the kissing rather than any sort of embarrassment on his part. He lets go of Saguru’s cheek and opens the car door. “Let’s go, we needed that looked at yesterday.” He moves his other hand from Saguru’s neck to lace their fingers together and pulls him out of the car. 

Saguru follows after him as they enter the hospital, mind in a daze, barely aware of the throbbing on his side over the heat climbing up his arm from the fingers tangled with his. 

Kuroba glances back at him, a soft smile on his face. “Hey,” he squeezes his fingers. “Don’t look so out of it or they might think you’re going into shock.”

Saguru shakes his head, frowning at him. “It’s your fault,” he says.

Kuroba’s smile turns sly. “I know.” He pulls Saguru closer and presses their lips together, there one moment and gone the next, so fast Saguru barely has time to blink. “Once you’re all fixed up, we have a lot to talk about.”

Saguru licks his lips, enjoying the way Kuroba’s eyes widen at the action and his cheeks redden. “Yes,” he says, and runs his thumb over the back of Kuroba’s hand. “Maybe tomorrow, though. I think we’ve had enough excitement for one night, don’t you?”

Kuroba snorts, gently bumping their shoulders together, still careful of Saguru’s wound. “Yeah, okay, I guess I can do that. You’ll crash at my place, though. I don’t like the idea of you going home alone like that.”

Saguru would protest on any other day, but apparently his feelings are returned and he doesn’t have to hold back his affections like he’s done all these years, so he just says, “That’s fine with me,” and pointedly ignores the voice in the back of his head that whispers, That’s more than fine. He already has one Kuroba to tease him in real life, he doesn’t need one in his head as well.