Emiko has had only one criteria for picking the man she'll marry.
It's Emiko Niwa's motto, her creed, her first waking thought. It moves her as nothing else quite does, fills her eyes with the shine of treasure almost within reach. She looks men in the eye, walks like a woman who knows what she wants and it's almost sad-funny that the boys find it attractive, this girl with clear eyes and who actually talks to them. Without running away.
Strangely, it's often the boys who run in the end.
Why don't you want me, the boys ask, and Emiko is baffled. She has never turned down any one of them -- each and every one of them has stepped back from her question, and yet each and every one of them seem to think that she's the one who's dumped them. One of the more aggressive ones tells her she's a tease and tries to drag her to some place secluded--
Emiko Niwa, who will be the mother of the best phantom thief ever, slips from his grasp like water, and locks him in the equipment shed. Pantsless. Nice seniors after all, should not be disrobing in front of a girl, particularly when they're not planning marriage.
And because she will be the mother of the best phantom thief ever, with flair, she leaves the school puzzling why the Patron's statue is wearing the school pants-- with his feet still firmly attached to the base. A good half of the student body believe it to be the work of the supernatural. The other half gossip gleefully about the sempai who made the bottomless dash from the equipment shed to the school lockers, nearly giving the sixty year old caretaker a heart attack.
Emiko has no trouble with aggressive boys until she's in university, and then she meets Kosuke, and she will never have to ask that question again.
In the student cafe, surrounded by milkshakes and female friends (who have, unknowingly, been earmarked for bridesmaids), Emiko announces her engagement to Kosuke, and starts recruitment.
This time, though, it's her female friends who confound her, like the boys used to do.
"What did you like about Kosuke?" Her friends demand breathlessly. "Was it his face? Is he romantic? Smart? Has a sense of humour? Such a whirlwind romance!"
Emiko replies, as she always has, and her friends all groan and sag back in their seats. "Eeeeemiko! Come on, that joke's totally stale! You can teeeeell us!"
"Er," says Emiko, groping for an answer that will satisfy them. "He's...he was the first person to ever ask me why I wanted to have a son."
It's the truth, and again, Emiko is baffled when her friends cry foul and threaten to drag the truth out of her with chains and wild horses. In the end she is forced to totally reinvent Kosuke as the Great Casanova Of the Century before they finally stop asking.
When she next sees Kosuke, she laughs till her sides ache, while Kosuke holds her anxiously and checks her forehead for a fever.
It takes marriage to happen, for Kosukue to be inducted into the Niwa family (in every sense of the word, though, to his credit, Kosuke only twitched twice before he donned the black robes) for Emiko to dimly perceive what her friends were getting at. It takes long walks together, planning a future together, holding Kosuke's hand before Emiko begins to realise that maybe, producing a son is not all that she needs to look for in a man.
It takes Daisuke to happen, in a gloriously squalling, red-faced way, for Emiko to understand that the luck of the Niwa thieves must have been with her when she picked Kosuke.
Kosuke is shy and has a tendency to stammer when confronted with strong personalities (like Emiko in a snit of "Marry! Me! Now! Or Else!"), prefers books and research to learning (and preparing to pass on) the physically strenous techniques of a phantom thief, and is horribly, horribly serious until he finally figures out Emiko is just teasing him.
He's also gentle and kind and unexpectedly funny -- and everything, everything, Emiko would want in a man, if she hadn't been looking for one that would give her a son, looking so hard she'd forgotten there was anything else to look for.
She shyly (and she'd thought she'd forgotten what shyness was) mentions it to Kosuke, (like a love confession she never gave) and he smiles at her.
Of course, he says, with a confidence that always makes her heart leap, Emiko is the mother of the greatest Phantom Thief ever. You would never let a treasure like happiness slip away.