Kaitou KID snickered to himself as his skipped up the street back to his house. He’d managed to outsmart the foureyed brat and Hakuba. Foureyes hadn’t even appeared at his escape route. Had he left partway through? Meh, it didn’t matter. He’d made a flawless escape, and managed to not get beaten up by crazed martial arts girls, a soccer ball lodged in his back, or fall from any great heights. Humming a cheerful tune, he threw open the front door and tossed his black baseball cap onto the hat wrack, knowing it had hit its mark without needing to see it. He flicked off his shoes and reached for his slippers, and heard the lock on the door clicking into place. That didn’t make sense, that lock wasn’t automatic. Something struck him in the back. It made his legs go limp for a moment and knocked him to the floor. He twisted around to see what it was. A strong pair of hands grabbed his wrist and shoulder and slammed him back to the floor, hard. Flickering lights swam before his eyes.
He tried to release a streamer into his attacker’s face with his spare hand, but a knee came down on his back, and his other wrist was grabbed. He was caught. It was physically impossible to get free without doing some major damage to a few joints. “Get rid of his coat, he may have more tricks stuffed inside!” a high pitched voice commanded. It was like a child’s. No way… it couldn’t be… The strong hands stripped off his coat and pinned his arms behind him.
“He’s really flexible,” a woman’s voice said from above. “See how far I can twist before there’s resistance?”
“Come on, Ran, don’t break him. He’ll be no use to us then.”
No doubt about it. This was the foureyed demon and his older sister, Ran Mouri. He stopped struggling. “What…” it was difficult to breathe with his arms like this. “…the hell... are you doing… in my house?”
The lights flicked on. “Catching Kaitou KID. You shouldn’t struggle… Kaitou KID recently stripped her girlfriend naked and locked her in the bathroom. She’s still a little mad, if you haven’t noticed.”
Conan’s bespeckled face with a hideous grin came into view. He dangled Kaitou’s latest sparkling score in front of his eyes. “Don’t waste our time denying it. I’m going to offer you a trade. You are going to save a bunch of peoples’ lives. In exchange, we’re not going to report you tonight, and you won’t be Kaitou KID anymore.”
It did sound like a good deal. If you didn’t take into account the last deal he’d entered into with the little demon, which ended with him nearly getting blown up. “Let go… of me… and maybe.” To his surprise, the weight lifted from his back, and his arms were released. He sat up, shaking off the pain in his arms and taking a few welcome, deep breaths. “You’re a little sadist, you know that?” he hissed at the demon.
“I have control issues. So, Kaito Kuroba, will you help us out?” That kid couldn’t stop grinning. Smug little imp.
“I have some conditions of my own.” He dusted of his knees and started to head farther into the house, but Ran Mouri caught his arm. “Please come in. You know my identity; so I can’t exactly run from you.”
A few minutes later they were sitting around the kitchen table, sipping tea, as though they were normal guests.
“So, what’s your counter offer?” the foureyed demon sadist asked. He was sitting on top of a few books so he could see over the table and reach his tea cup. It’d be funny if the kid wasn’t so terrifying.
“I’m clearly getting involved into something that’s absurdly dangerous, based on what I went through last time I helped you out. I, also, am involved in something absurdly dangerous, and I can’t stop being Kaitou KID until it’s done. So, I help you solve your dangerous problem; you help me solve my dangerous problem. That’s a far more even trade than letting me go on a few heists.”
“If you survive, yes. And we won’t turn you in. Deal?”
“Wait – one more thing. I need to be read in. I’m not going into this blind.”
The two frowned at him. “I don’t know,” Ran said. “Knowing puts you in a lot more danger. I wasn’t read in until last week, and we’ve been living together for the past two years. These people we’re going against won’t hesitate to kill you, your family, and your friends if they get an inkling that you know.”
“Would that change anything if I get killed or captured by them anyway?”
“You cannot tell anyone, anyone. This is a secret that you must take to your grave,” Conan added, his demonic smile sliding into a stiff line of pain and fear.
He looked directly into Conan’s little blue eyes, matching the seriousness. “I have experience with those. When I read you into my dangerous problem, you’ll have to do the same for me. I won’t tell anyone, unless you direct me to. Agreed?”
Ran and Conan nodded.
“So,” he sat back in his chair. “Whose life am I saving this time?”
Ran set her tea cup down delicately. “My parents.”
Both? That didn’t make sense. Mr. Mouri was a buffoon, and Eri Kisaki wasn’t the type to be involved in something dangerous. “How’d they get mixed up with those men on the train?”
“They didn’t.” Conan looked down, staring forlornly into his tea. “They got mixed up with me. Remember what Ran said about family and friends getting killed?”
He glanced back and forth between the two. “How immediate is the danger?”
“Not now. Pretty soon though, in three weeks. At that time,” Conan gulped, “I’m going to be declared officially dead, and a death certificate will be issued.”
That really didn’t make sense. Conan looked very much alive.
“It’s on purpose. They know that someone’s been working against them, and I’m going to give them a target to take out, and draw them out. Then we can take down the militant wing of the organization, and hopefully get enough information from the survivors to end it for good.”
“How do I figure into this?”
“You’re going to help disguise the agents so they can get close enough to surprise the assassins. My mom is helping the Oosaka team, and can’t be in two places at once.”
His disguise abilities, again. “Please tell me I’m not going to be dressing up as someone they want to kill this time…”
The kid laughed. “Not if I can help it. You’re more useful alive.”
“Gee thanks. That’s a great comfort.”
They sat a moment in uncomfortable silence, broken by the kid standing on the pile of books and bowing. “It’s time that I introduced myself. Hello, my name is Shinichi Kudou. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Shinichi Kudou? Wasn’t he that highschool detective that vanished a few years back? There was no way that this little kid could be him.
The kid must have noticed his confusion, so he continued. “Two years ago, when on a date with Ran at the theme park, I saw some suspicious men pulling a blackmail transaction. I was ambushed, and force fed a new poison that was supposed to kill me without leaving a trace. Instead, I became this. I’ve been hiding my identity ever since, and I finally have the information and connections necessary to bring them down.” He slammed his fist on the table, rattling their cups. He was clenching his teeth. “In three weeks, Shinichi Kudou will be dead, and they will know that he’s been working against them. Then they will try to plug all leaks, and walk straight into our trap.”
Kaito knew that pain, and that anger. He’d been tasting it for years now, every time he put on his father’s uniform. “My father was murdered,” he said suddenly. “It wasn’t an accident, it was murder. He was killed by people who wanted him to find and steal a very special gem for them. He refused, and tried to find the gem before them. So, they killed him. I only learned he was Kaitou KID the night of the comeback. For now, they think my father escaped and went into hiding, leaving his family behind. They don’t know it’s me. I’ve been drawing them out at heists, hoping that the police manage to catch them while chasing me, but they’ve only caught a few low-level mooks. Snake, their leader, is still free and still trying to kill me every time I wear my father’s cape. He’s even hired outside help, some nasty assassins that almost got me a few times. If you can use your connections to take down an entire organization like you say you can, I’ll bet you could orchestrate their takedown, with me as the bait.”
Mini-Shinichi Kudou nodded. “What you said matches the research I’ve done on you. If you were doing it for the fun of it, I wouldn’t let you go free after this.”
Kaito shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not as though there isn’t an element of fun to it. I love being a performer, and when this is all over, I’m going to be one of the most sensational magicians in Japan.” He spotted a glint of anger in Kudou’s eyes. “But not as Kaitou KID, I swear! I don’t want to ride on my father’s fame.”
“Anyways,” Kudou said, clearing his tiny throat, and pulling out a little notebook. “Here is a list of all of the people you need to make unrecognizable.” He ripped out a few pages. “Here are all of the people you need to make look like other people, and the people they need to look like. Will that be enough?”
“For their faces, sure. What about clothing?”
“Mourning clothes. The trap is the funeral. The rest should be in street clothing.”
The kid’s tense expression masked a lot of pain. What a dismal, depressing notion – throwing away one’s life, one’s identity. And being forced to live through childhood again, for someone as smart as him, must be hell. He scanned over the list, and noticed some names missing.
“What about you two? Don’t you need to be out of sight for the takedown?”
Ran shook her head. “We can take care of ourselves. Do you want another demonstration?”
“No, no, that’s fine!” an idea that probably shouldn’t have found its way onto his lips, but did anyways, popped into his head. “By the way, which one is your girlfriend? Sera or Sonoko?”
A fist in his gut was her response. “Sonoko,” she said sweetly.
Kaito whimpered. “She does seem to like karate-freaks.”
When Mrs. Kuroba came home, a little drunk but very happy, she found her son and two people she’d never met deep in sketches and papers, planning something. It was 3AM. She made the strange kids go to bed in the guest room, and chased Kaito up to his room.
“Mom,” he said, with the first truly happy smile she’d seen since he’d learned of his father’s murder. “I think we’re finally going to be able to catch Dad’s killers. It’s going to be all over by the time I graduate highschool.”
“Good job dear,” she said, a drunken smile over her face. “Be sure to tell me that again in the morning. Mommy had a little too much fun with her coworkers tonight.” She closed the door to his bedroom, and wandered back to her own. She closed the door, and soaked her pillow with tears.