Started January 6th
Completed January 10th
Sorry for being a bit late with the post, guys. I was asked to stay longer at work and then had to help my niece with her homework. And then I had to do some quick editing… Anyways. Enjoy!
Epiphany: (Noun) Any moment of great or sudden revelation. An instant in which one comes to realize or understand something.
I admittedly started thinking about the elusive Kaitou KID a bit more than one would consider normal. And just a few days following the heist, a student arrived out of the blue with this… exuberant personality—the same one that I had met at the café a few weeks back.
While I was with this man, Kaito, I found myself feeling slightly nostalgic. Why did I feel like that around him? Like I knew him more than that hour long I had spent in his company a while back..?
And then I knew.
Hakuba's gaze was burning a hole in the back of his head.
Kaito sunk slightly in his seat, muffling the groan bubbling at the back of his throat. Why? Why was that annoying detective always staring? Granted, yes, he knew about his second identity and was looking to capture some evidence of such, but still!
When he had walked in the classroom that Monday, Hakuba had immediately been in his personal bubble, hands smoothing across his arms and eyes visually taking in his appearance. He stepped back for a moment, gauging the mischievous magician for any signs of discomfort or pain before a calculating frown slipped onto his face.
Ahhh, thought Kaito. That's right. He was at the heist on Saturday.
It was times like these that Kaito truly realized exactly how good of a detective Hakuba was. He tended to take it for granted (seeing as he continually bested him as KID), but there was no doubting or denying that he was indeed one of the famous high-school detectives of Japan. It wasn't too far of a stretch to assume that the half-British young man had noticed something had been amiss at the heist.
Kaito's poker face took over the precarious situation, an uncomfortable grin working its way onto his face. "Uhh… Hakuba? Is there something you wanted to tell me..?" He subtly stepped back, wrapping his arms around his torso as if he had just been sexually harassed. Of course, Kaito and Hakuba both knew better, but the dirty-blond detective couldn't help but flush at the implications. "I'm just checking to make sure you're not injured..!"
Kaito snickered, uncaring that he would get a death glare in return. Either his ears had deceived him or Hakuba's voice had been strangely pitchy…
True to custom, a glare took root upon Hakuba's face as he stepped back, visibly bristling. No matter how much he dealt with this egotistical magician, he couldn't help but get agitated with the young man's retorts. He shook his head to clear himself of his wayward thoughts. "You know why." He pointed a finger, prodding it into Kaito's chest. "I checked around on Saturday. It seems there were marks left upon the entertainment building diagonally from the museum at KID's heist. Marks from KID's card gun."
The brunette pushed away the (slightly painful) finger, raising his eyebrows in innocence. "I don't know why you feel like you need to tell me this stuff. Are you still going on about me being Kaitou KID?" He gave an incredulous look (rather convincing, too, if you asked him) before shaking his head in mock pity. "One day you're going to realize that a high-school student doesn't have the time to plan out and execute international heists."
"Save it," Hakuba muttered, eyes darting to the surrounding students. Checking to make sure nobody heard, Kaito realized. Now this was an odd change. Since when did he care whether or not the other classmates heard his boisterous accusations? He had always been the preening type, so to deliberately avoid attention…
"I know there was a gunman there—probably a sniper," Hakuba murmured, eyes glued upon the magician's face, watching for the most minute reaction. Kaito carefully controlled his face, trying his best to keep the traitorous flinch clawing at his muscles from seeping onto his features. Hakuba continued, "And he was probably aiming for KID's life." He gave his classmate a pointed look, his message coming across loud and clear.
Hakuba Saguru wasn't fooled, wouldn't be in the future, and would be looking into matters.
Great. Just what he needed. To give the half-Brit even more incentive to butt into his business.
The moment the bell had rung signaling the end of classes for the day, Kaito had bolted out the door.
…Or more appropriately, the window.
He ignored the surprised yells of fellow classmates and school-goers, standing from where he had landed upon the grass below. He took but a minute to brush the dirt from his trousers and collect his belongings before aiming a sly grin at the third-floor classroom that he had just jumped from. Some of his friends laughed and cheered, waving their arms frantically. Aoko's expression shifted from fear to relief while Akako's had that typical unreadable look.
Hakuba, however, was glaring daggers down at him. He knew exactly why the magician had chosen that method of escape. Well, the noteworthy detective thought darkly to himself, thoughts clearly expressed upon his face. You won't be getting away. I will get to the bottom of this.
Kaito swallowed the lump in his throat, sweat gathering at his temples. Hakuba had always been rather good at letting people know what he wanted them to know without even opening his mouth.
It was unnerving, to say the least.
Kaito shook it off, not bothering to take his time making his way off campus. He knew that there was little to no chance of Hakuba chasing after him to get the answers that he wanted, but he wasn't going to tempt him. Lady Luck may love him but she had to have her mischievous moments.
Forgoing the idea of returning home, Kaito decided to board the train, figuring that a little exploring for the rest of the day wouldn't hurt. He spent his time upon the metal contraption lost in thought. By the time he had decided to get off the train, his stomach had began grumbling, demanding its next sustenance. As he exited the train, he took in his surroundings, wincing slightly when he realized where he was.
"Jeez, you can tell where my subconscious has been for the past month…" he muttered to himself. He shook the thought away. I'm just hungry, he thought determinedly. That's it. Kaito was his happy-go-lucky self once more, clearly steering away from admitting the fact that he was simply trying to convince himself that it was all coincidental.
He wandered through the nearby streets, taking in every restaurant or eating establishment that he passed by. One by one the eateries were turned down.
"That one looks like it would be too expensive… and that one looks like a place for couples…" His features twisted into a look of concentration as he moved further into the city, hands absently stuffed into his pants pockets. "Hmm…"
The sound of laughter filtered to his ears and he cocked his head, just realizing that he had been passing by a park. He swerved around, energized by the idea of putting on a little magic show for some of the local children. Kaito grinned as he turned the corner, eyes latching onto the various kids roaming around the playground. He made his way over to the swing set and stood in front of one of the swings, grinning. A few kids looked over, wondering what the exuberant teenager was up to.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!" He winked at a little girl nearby, her face flushing red at the attention. He chuckled slightly before continuing.
"I hope you all had a good day at school today!" He grinned once more (an expression that was, more often than not, on his face) before snapping his fingers, producing a bouquet of flowers. By this time, the children that had been interspersed over the playground gathered around, clapping and cheering gleefully. He took a dramatic sniff at the flowers, pulling away as if he'd smelled something rotten.
"Hmm…" he looked at the children and then back at the flowers with a look of faux confusion. "That's not normal…" He leaned forward and sniffed once more, blinking rapidly and then sneezing, a cloud of sparkles exploding around him and engulfing the kids. Laughter echoed around them, a few children gathering up small piles of the wispy stuff.
"Ahh, I just had my nose clogged up!" He chuckled loudly with the echoing rumble of laughter, and then sniffed the flowers yet again, this time delicately. "Much better! They smell lovely! You guys should smell them, too!" With that, Kaito tossed the bouquet into the air, the individual flowers separating from their cloister before they multiplied. A shower of daisies, zinnia and baby's breath rained around them, coating the ground with a multitude of lively colors. The various piles of sparkles, left forgotten by the children disappeared with a poof, leaving behind in their places a single dove. Exclamations of surprise rang out at their new guests as each dove collected a small bouquet of flowers between their beaks and flew them over to the giggling children.
Kaito watched the display, eyes warm. His father had always said that children's laughter was one of the most precious things in the world…
The rest of the magic show was much the same—Kaito said a few jokes, made a few things disappear and reappear (of course accompanied by sparkles and sequins), and generally put on an enjoyable act.
Before long, the children had dispersed one by one, following a parent while twisting around and waving at the high-school magician, giggling and calling out their thanks. As the last child disappeared around the corner, he smiled, snapping his fingers to clear the remaining flowers away. Kaito whistled, his doves gathering around and giving him affectionate pecks on the cheek before they took to the air, disappearing over the trees.
He turned around intending to return to the street once more, halting as he was met with another child. The girl was likely under the age of ten if not exactly, light brown hair cut sharply at the chin and her eyes a piercing brown. She looked up at him with a calculating look upon her face, twirling one of the mini-bouquets from his performance between her fingers.
"Magicians usually tend to have their magic acts hidden away on their person. Does that mean that you habitually carry around sparkles and flowers in your pockets?" She glanced at the sky where the last of the doves disappeared. "…And doves," she added dubiously, hitching an eyebrow at him.
Kaito stared, barely keeping his mouth sealed shut. Why did he feel like he's seen her before…?
About that time, a group of three ran up and crowded around the outspoken young girl, laughing and giggling amongst themselves, eyes straying to the friendly magician every now and again. Suddenly it clicked.
The Shounen Tantei-dan.
"Hey, nii-chan! That was pretty cool! Where did you learn how to do all of that?" the thin young boy piped up, eyes shining in admiration. The larger boy shoved lightly at his shoulder, eyes narrowed in a look of disdain. "Geez, Mitsuhiko! He learned at clown college, duh!"
The newly arrived girl batted her eyelashes in confusion, finger pressed to her lip as she thought aloud. "Clown college? But he's not a clown! He's a magician!" She gave Kaito a shy smile, face slightly flushed. "But Ayumi-chan! Where else would he learn tricks like that?" Genta snipped, hands stubbornly planted on his wide hips. With that, Mitsuhiko and the larger child got into an argument that didn't quite seem to connect (seeing as how one was angry at the snip to Ayumi and the other was concerned over whether the magician truly learned magic at clown college or not).
Footsteps were heard from behind him and Kaito whirled around to see their new addition. His heart nearly stopped in his chest when he met the gaze of the bespectacled child that had been on his mind off and on for the past month.
Lady Luck, I swear…
"Oh, hey!" He piped up, snapping a finger at the tiny detective. "I remember you! Conan, right?" Conan, on the other hand, stopped in his tracks for a second, no doubt immediately thinking of Kudo Shinichi before his memory went into overdrive.
Ahh, Kuroba Kaito, from the café. That's right…
"Hello," he called politely, turning his attention to the Shounen Tantei-dan when they immediately crowded around him. "Hey, hey, Conan-kun!" Ayumi cooed brightly. "This nii-chan just did an awesome magic show for us!" She brandished her bouquet proudly, regaling him with the tale of how it came into existence, complete with delivery by dove. Before long, Genta and Mitsuhiko had joined in, starting him in on their argument, eager to hear what he had to say.
"Clown college?" He blinked slightly, eyes trailing up to the familiar young man. "No, he wouldn't have learned how to do that at a clown college. There's actually a bunch of ways to learn that kind of stuff…" He trailed off, eyes looking to Kaito expectantly.
"Oh, I learned from my dad…" He said absently, still slightly in shock that he had run into Conan yet again. It truly was a small world.
Conan nodded, waving a dismissing hand to the boys of the group. "See? He just learned from a professional." Though it hadn't been said, taking a look at his skills, it was easy to tell that the man had learned from a pro. Mitsuhiko and Genta digested the information, taking the rebuff in stride. In their minds, Conan was always right—so there was no need to contest what he said. He was, after all, the leader of their group.
All of a sudden, Ayumi squealed, eyes glued to the time on her phone. "Oh, no! I need to get back home! Mom wanted to go shopping…" She aimed an apologetic look at the group as she put the device away. "I'll see you guys later!" And then to Kaito: "Bye! Thank you for the magic show! It was amazing!" And then she disappeared.
They watched after her and before long, Genta, too, was saying that he had to leave to go record the latest Kamen Yaiba episode. "Ahh! Me too!" Mitsuhiko called, trailing after the larger boy and calling out their goodbyes.
Conan, Kaito and Haibara were the only ones left in the park's playground. The seconds ticked by before Haibara turned to Conan. "So, do you have anything to do at home?" She watched him vacantly (it was her look of interest, he had learned a while back), waiting for his answer.
Conan shook his head. "No, not really. Ran…" He glanced up at the magician before hurriedly tacking on, "—neechan… went out with Sonoko-neechan. And Oji-san probably went out drinking and won't be out until later."
Haibara nodded, already having expected the answer. "Well, the professor and I are doing a little bit of renovation to the living room and kitchen. Painting and the like. You can come if you want." She knew how Shinichi was when he was alone—constantly overworking himself. She also knew that he would probably be trying to avoid a certain dark-skinned detective.
Conan gave her a grateful look, intending to answer in the affirmative before Kaito's voice cut him off. "No, he's coming with me!" He grinned, hands on his hips. As he'd said before, he wasn't one to turn away the fortune that Lady Luck provided for him. And this time, it was even better. No Aoko to lead the conversation and Mouri-san wasn't accompanying them to block most of the words coming from Conan's mouth.
Not that he minded the two girls, but they did take up a lot of the talking when they were together.
Haibara gave him a curious look, reminding him oddly of an adult. Strange. Wasn't curiosity usually associated with children? But that look had the same feeling as that of a scientist analyzing its subject…
He pushed the thought aside, instead concentrating on the bewildered look that Conan was giving him. "What?" he asked. "You and I didn't get much of a chance to talk last time we met. I'm hungry, you have nothing to do…" he trailed off, noticing the suspicious look he was getting from the child. "I'll pay?" he offered, grin widening when the suspicious look disappeared.
Free food tended to appeal to anyone.
The two children shared a look before shrugging simultaneously.
Shinichi was a little confused.
Most people (especially so young) didn't really tend to take an interest in children unless they were pedophiles or looking to create a witness for an impending murder (which, sadly, happened quite often to him). Kaito, however, he could tell was different.
Kaito didn't really have any suspicious qualities about him—even if he was ever so slightly evasive when it came to his life. But then again, weren't most people? Everyone had their secrets, and though he got the feeling that Kuroba Kaito's secrets were bigger than most, they weren't necessarily bad.
So, all of this senseless thinking brought about the winning question: Why did Kaito want to hang out with Edogawa Conan? As Kaito had said before, they hadn't had the chance to talk and therefore form a bond in order to create the desire to accompany one another. They had simply sat at the same table, shared a few sentences and that was it.
And then Shinichi realized that he was really over-thinking things. Damn his over-analytical mind.
He blew out a quiet sigh, kicking his short legs absently as they dangled from the stool. They were currently sitting at the bar of a slightly run down ramen restaurant. Beside him, Kaito slurped indulgently at his noodles, the contents of his bowl disappearing at rather alarming rate. Shinichi shook his head at the sight, absently noting the way Kaito seemed to have no cares for what the people around him thought.
A regular class clown. Fitting for a magician, I suppose, Shinichi thought to himself before returning to his own meal.
"So what have you been up to?" Kaito asked, cuffing at the broth at the corners of his mouth. Shinichi blinked, wondering what exactly he should say. 'Researching a dangerous crime organization and trying to predict when and where they would strike next, avoiding my over-protective friend who wants to get involved with said organization in order to help me out… and wondering about a certain thief's sniper situation.'
Instead he said: "Oh, I went to Kaitou KID's heist the other day!" His voice came out with that irritating, honey-dripping childishness. He blinked at the way his companion's eyes widened ever so slightly before they were back to normal. It had happened so fast… Trick of the light..?
"Really?" Kaito leaned back in his chair, folding his arms with a smile. "He's an awesome magician, isn't he?" he gushed. Though in Shinichi's ears, it sounded almost… forced. Shinichi ignored the oddity, opting only to nod.
Kaito's head bobbed. "But sometimes, you know, I still end up hearing too much about him."
Well, that was an odd statement. From what he could tell, Kaito was an avid fan of KID—at least for his magic acts during the heists. KID only showed up in the newspapers each time he had a heist set up—which was usually about once a month (though for some reason the number had spiked to almost weekly recently…). Most fans would be frothing at the mouth for extra information added in. Why..?
He got his answer when the messy-haired man continued. "I mean, Aoko's always going on and on about him," Ah, Inspector Ginzo's daughter, he remembered, "and then Hakuba is always throwing insults about him around…"
The name struck a chord in Shinichi's mind, and he pondered hard. Why did he feel like there was something he was miss—
The epiphany was like getting hit by a train. Shinichi felt the breath leave his lungs, leaving him winded. Are you seri—
He turned back to his bowl of ramen broth and stared into its depths, trying his best not to give away the signs of surprise. He kept his hands firmly upon the smooth wood of the bar, forcing himself to breath normally as his mind whirled.
Kaitou KID. Kuroba Kaito is Kaitou KID.
The young man was roughly the same size and build as the enigmatic thief. His voice was almost spot on and he had a really showy personality. He was a magician, seemed to be pretty lithe if the way he moved was any indication… Kaito had wanted to spend time with Conan as if he had known him—as if they had been old friends or something. The subtle interest in the topic of the elusive thief… To top it all off, Kaito had mentioned knowing Hakuba—the same detective who he had deduced had a prime suspect in mind for who was beneath Kaitou KID's disguise.
To be honest, he might have seen the signs a bit earlier had he let himself continue to analyze the situation. Nevertheless, he knew now, and now he had to figure out what to do with the information. What to do, what to do?
Kaito continued, oblivious to the gears working in overdrive behind his companions eyes. Shinichi made periodic noises to indicate he was listening to Kaito's ongoing rant, showing no indication of suspicion.
Did he want to turn Kaitou KID—no, Kuroba Kaito –in?
He looked over at the brunette, a smile pulling at his lips as he watched the man make exaggerated movements to further animate his story.
For some reason, he didn't need much time to think on that question. Honestly, not really. He wasn't really interested in putting thieves behind bars, especially not one that returned everything that he stole in the first place. It was an odd quirk, yes. Stealing, yes. But… he couldn't really put much heart into the idea of putting someone like that (with the personal moral of not letting anyone get hurt, mind you) in jail.
And he wouldn't feel right doing it this way. If he was to put the thief behind bars, he wanted to do it on a fair playing ground—through a battle of wits during one of KID's heists. Perhaps this was how Hakuba felt…?
Another thought occurred to him as he mechanically brought his chopsticks to his mouth to slurp some ramen.
What about the sniper?
He still had to find out what was going on with that. Granted, he didn't have to know… but he was a detective. Shinichi liked to know these things… and he got the feeling that he would really want to know the meaning behind that assassin and the way KID—Kaito—had reacted. In all truth, the questions about KID had been running through his head ever since the heist.
He aimed a calculating glance at the young man from the corner of his eye. Shinichi wanted to learn more about the situation.
So he would stay quiet. He wouldn't tell the cops and he wouldn't let Kaito know that he knew.
Shinichi would keep Kaito's secret.
So he knows about Kaito. Things are starting to pick up, but next chapter is when things really start to get intense.
Any thoughts or comments? I enjoy hearing what you guys are thinking so far!