"We're lost." Edogawa Conan, formerly Kudo Shinichi, looked up at his companion with a longsuffering sigh.

"Don't be so boring Tantei-kun," The dark-haired teenager smirked as he fiddled with the car radio, "We're just taking the scenic route."

"How have you not been arrested yet? If your sense of direction is this faulty, even Nakamori-keibu should have caught you by now." Light reflected off of the pseudo-boy's glasses as he looked down at the map in his hands. "Take a left at the corner and then the parking lot should be the second entrance on the right."

"The jetlag is killing me and I'm driving on the wrong side of the road. Don't worry, I'll be back on my feet tomorrow. Besides," the teen said with a Cheshire grin, "breaking out of prison would be child's play for an escape artist of my caliber."

Conan's eyes narrowed and his voice deepened, "If They catch you, prison won't be an issue." His tiny hands clenched the paper map, "They'll put you in the ground." The detective took a shaky breath and looked out into the California lunchtime traffic. The rest of the ride was silent.

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Kaito parked the car and turned off the engine before looking over at his longtime rival and new ally. Ever since the Bell Tree Express, the relationship between detective and phantom thief, Holmes and Lupin, had changed as they discovered that they were brothers-in-arms fighting against the Black Organization.

After almost being blown apart by a man in black with a codename, Kaito had begun to put the pieces together. He eventually came to the conclusion that his favorite detective was in trouble, and that it might be the same brand of trouble that lead to his father's 'accident'. Speculation could only go so far, so he arranged for a conversation. Giving his identity as a peace offering, the two played a game of quid pro quo until everything was in the open. Kuroba Kaito and Kudo Shinichi, touched by fate and haunted by ravens.

Although he wasn't happy with Kaito drawing Them out by painting a bull's eye on his back; Conan went along with the game, chasing Kid at heists and looking for assassins in black. Everything was going fine until bullets fired by Them at a heist nearly put bystanders in the hospital, and Conan decided a break was in order. While Kuroba Kaito visited his mother in Sacramento, Edogawa Conan would visit his parents in America, and Kaitou Kid would be on vacation. While the phantom thief laid low, the shrunken detective and the magician would be far away from their watchers, free to relax and get used to each other's secrets.

"This," Kaito mumbled as he locked the doors of the rental car, "is going to be an interesting vacation."

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Conan examined the hotel lobby with his usual paranoia, looking for exits and people with a tendency to wear black. There were two emergency exits connected to the lobby and a small coffee shop stationed right next to the elevators. The only other people in the lobby were the receptionist and barista. Kaito walked over to the receptionist and came back with two keycards. "We have Room 221, my ever twitchy Tantei-kun, and the janitor isn't an assassin sent to kill us." He handed Conan a room key, "Have some fun, enjoy the sun, and take a break from being such a downer."

Conan scowled, "My paranoia is completely justified. One wrong move and we're both dead, along with everyone we care about."

"You need to be more optimistic; the good guys will win, the bad guys will lose," Kaito leaned down towards his companion and smirked, "And you and Ran-chan will get married and have a horde of creepily brilliant brats." He then sidestepped a kick from Conan and tutted, "So violent, children nowadays have no respect for their elders."

"Please," A hint of a smile appeared on Conan's face, "Like you and Aoko-san are any better."

Kaito's infamous Poker Face flickered for a fraction of a second before he spoke. "How about a snack? I think I saw brownies." He turned and began walking over to the coffee shop. Conan grinned and followed.

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"I thought we were going to see your mother." Conan drawled, "We didn't fly over five thousand miles for you to play on the swings. I deal with my kids enough back home." The two had been walking along a trail in a park by the hotel when Kaito had seen a playground and immediately dashed to the swing set. Conan bemusedly watched as the phantom thief swung himself up before launching into a perfect somersault. He landed on his feet, like always.

As Kaito turned to reply, a young girl in a white dress tripped on the sidewalk and started crying. The magician knelt in front of her, and with a twist of his wrist he presented a pink rose from thin air. "For you, little lady." The girl sniffled as she reached out to take the flower, her tiny fingers slowly closing around the thornless stem. She stopped crying and began to smile.

"Sophie, where are you sweetie?" An elderly woman shouted in a shaky voice, leaning heavily on her walker. The little girl's head shot up, sending a mass of blonde curls flying. She lifted her hands and started waving at the woman, who raised a shriveled hand in response. "Come over here darling, its time to go." Sophie stood up, wrapped her arms around Kaito's neck, and kissed him on the check. She then turned and started walking towards her companion. A tall man wearing a baseball cap turned the corner in front of them, bypassing the old woman and almost running down the path.

"Freeze, CBI!" A dark haired woman in a bulletproof vest came sprinting after the man, followed by a blonde man in a three piece suit. The man ran for Sophie, pulling her to him and pointing a gun at her head.

"Stand back!" The man shouted. The CBI agents froze. "Put down your weapons." Slowly, the woman bent over, placing her gun on the ground before righting herself.

"I don't carry a weapon, I'm just a consultant." The blonde man shrugged, holding his hands in the air.

Sophie was shaking violently in the man's arms, every few seconds she would sob loudly. "Shut up!" The man shouted, pressing his gun hard against her forehead. "Stop crying!" Sophie just cried harder.

Conan met Kaito's gaze as he slipped something into the teenager's pocket. Kaito nodded with a grim expression on his face. The shrunken detective raised his hands and stepped forward, "I can make her stop crying, Mister."

"Kid…" The female CBI agent started before her consultant laid a hand on her arm and shook his head.

"Get over here." The man motioned with the gun and Conan walked over to Sophie.

"Everything is going to be okay." Conan looked Sophie in the eye, and whispered, "I can get you out of here; you just need to calm down. Breathe with me, in and out…" He held her gaze, breathing in time with Sophie until she calmed down.

"These two," the man shouted as he gestured at the children, "are coming with me. If you try to follow me, there will be consequences." He then began to back away before picking up the kids and running back the way he came. Moments later, there was a sound of tires tearing across pavement. A half dozen armored SWAT team members burst out from the forest.

Kaito sighed, "You're late."