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call me friend ( but keep me closer )

Chapter Text

Tore my shirt to stop you bleeding.
But nothing ever stops you leaving.

 

The next time disaster struck, it wasn't during a heist.

Instead, had Saguru not been in the right place at the right time, he would never have had any idea. Investigating the future sight of the upcoming heist independent from authorities, Saguru wasn't sure what he would glean or if he would simply come from it empty-handed, but it never hurt to do a patrol on his own. 

His expectation: a simple patrol that would give him a better idea of possible vantage points Kuroba might use (or mysterious gunmen) and locating some of the more hidden navigation paths. A simple venture in reconnaissance.

Turning down an alleyway that held promise for a potential escape route, Saguru felt a strange tension he couldn't place. A heavy stone in his gut. The back of his neck prickled with something between anticipation and dread. He paused where he stood, though not out of hesitation. His patience was awarded with something that made his stomach drop. Out of sight, the click of a gun's safety.

He hadn't anticipated the cloud of white smoke that came surging toward him moments later. He was nearly frozen. Then, just as the instinct kicked in to run, a hand seized his wrist. 

"Let's move," hissed a familiar voice before he could set to throwing whoever had seized him. Kuroba--KID?--was swiftly tugging him in the direction Saguru had just come from. Saguru couldn't do anything else but go along, matching his sprinting pace.

A gunshot rang out, silenced though it was. Saguru didn't feel anything, Kuroba staggered but didn't fall, they persisted, turning a corner just after the awful noise. His heart pounded in his ears so loud it was a wonder he'd heard the shot at all. They didn't stop running for what felt like hours, but it couldn't have been more than a few minutes. Several weaving turns, and finally, their pace slowed to a walk. Saguru fought the urge to cast his gaze about for more secret shooters. Beside him, he realized, is not someone who looks like Kuroba--until he focuses hard enough that he recognizes the edge of his jaw and he realizes the structure is undeniably his classmate's. 

Their pace brought them further down another alleyway, somewhere a good ways away from where they had been. They stood there, neither of them speaking or questioning, and Saguru realized Kuroba still hadn't let go of him. 

"...Kuroba?" Saguru finally thought to test the waters.

The grip on Saguru's wrist tightened.

Then, something about reality finally seemed to settle in, and Kuroba dropped it, withdrawing his arm. His expression wore a smirk, but Saguru couldn't read whatever was going on under the surface for the life of him.

"Did you follow me?" No confirmation to identity, then. At least not yet. Saguru wondered if he'd get the chance to find out who Kuroba wanted him to think he was talking to. 

"I was just investigating," Saguru began, shifting his weight a little to subtly attempt a better angle. 

In his mind's eye, replaying the past several moments in his mind, he was able to realize that Kuroba had changed his disguise during the run, without ever once releasing Saguru's wrist. He was also able to realize the gun had fired a couple of times before they'd gotten away. And Kuroba had faltered just after, like maybe-- 

Seized anew by panic in the realization, he sharpened his attention on Kuroba's person, trying to find any sign of a problem.

Kuroba's other arm was tucked tight to his side, as if applying pressure to something. Saguru swore just as Kuroba lowered himself to the ground. 

"Are--you're shot. You were shot," Saguru manages, and Kuroba--KID--shuts him down. 

"There's nothing to worry about, Tantei-san," he says, though when he speaks, his tone is labored with pain. "It's a graze."

Saguru couldn't help but fret that adrenaline or shock were downplaying Kuroba's ability to perceive the severity. True enough, he wasn't seeing any blood yet, but a graze was still a graze, and could lead easily to serious nerve and muscle damage.  "I'm calling a hospital," Saguru began, reaching for his phone.

"No," Kuroba all but snarled, and Saguru found himself startled. 

"This isn't--Kuroba, you don't need to file this with the police. This won't go back to..." Trailed off in order to let Kuroba maintain his plausible deniability. Saguru held his phone in his hand, edging closer to Kuroba.

Kuroba gave him another one of those unreadable looks, but Saguru caught something like exasperation. "No hospitals. It's dangerous, I don't need to explain why." A certain eloquence that would normally be there was lacking. Saguru wondered how much of it was fear and how much of it was pain.

Saguru considered lurking shadows, looked at Kuroba's arm, which he was holding onto now, with his other hand. So the wound might not be in the abdomen, at least.

"Fine. No hospitals," Saguru acquiesced.

"Very well, then I will be taking my leave!" Suddenly cheerful, Kuroba began to straighten up.

Saguru stepped closer, "No. I won't get you to a hospital, but let me at least call my driver. We can go somewhere safe where you can clean up. With proper medical supplies."

 Reluctant the other boy may have been, but somehow Saguru still swayed him into it. His baaya had picked them up, and brought them to his home, unoccupied save for them.

That was the day Saguru learned that Kuroba regularly wore kevlar when he could. The day he learned that Kuroba had at least one other scar from a bullet wound. That the shadows lurked not just at heists to spoil an otherwise light-hearted event, but in hospitals and law enforcement.

Saguru invited Kuroba to stay, and he thought Kuroba would. After the wound was patched up, Saguru stepped away only to retrieve some tea and something comforting to eat, hoping it would ease Kuroba's nerves. When he returned to the guest room, Kuroba was nowhere to be found.

 

Don't you know too much already?
I'll only hurt you if you let me
Call me friend but keep me closer
And I'll call you when the party's over