With this we'll have the whole main cast for this story together to give you the rundown on who is who.
Chapter Two: Meet And Greet
The three of us who had been at the Mouri detective agency were the first to arrive at the professor's place, but thankfully Meitantei-kun had already called ahead and given the minimum level of explanation, so we wouldn't have to all stay in character as we tried to talk our way in.
Once inside I sit on the windowsill looking out so I can watch the others arrive as I wrack my brain to figure out what my next move is going to be.
Given how the cast is shaping up so far, most of the others that were included in this body shuffle were detectives that were after me just last night, so when the discussion turns to who is in who's bodies, what do I do?
That tomboy detective is in my body and it'll be pretty hard to deny that I'm Kaitou Kid when she'll have woken up in my hideout with the Maiden's heart in front of her and half of my thief costume still on; but with this involving people who were there last night there's a chance Hakuba is also going to be here. So I'm walking a pretty fine line right now.
I find myself strangely tempted to simply tell them the truth in its entirety. That I'm Kuroba Kaito, a high-schooler at Ekoda high, a magician, and that I took up the mantle of Kaitou Kid after I found out that it had originally belonged to my father. Maybe these detectives would understand and they could help…
No, I'm in shark infested waters right now, bleeding myself is exactly the last thing that I should be doing right now.
So what options do I have?
I can claim to be Kaitou Kid out the gate to prevent accusations, after all it's not like they can arrest me right now. However Hakuba would be able to identify me as Kuroba Kaito, and depending on how long we're stuck like this the girl in my body is going to have to live as me so it's going to be hard to keep my civilian identity out of this.
I could say I'm Kaito and when they inevitably say I must be kid just claim that I'm just a fan of Kid and I was in a homemade costume and playing with a model of the target jewel on the night of the heist. It's not exactly convincing and Meitantei-kun has enough anecdotal evidence to know that Kid has a face that happens to look like Kudo Shinichi. So I can't play that card without being ready to take some risks.
The only other thing I can think of is hedging my bets and claiming to be Kudo Shinichi and hope the real one doesn't call my bluff. That other high school detective will know it's a lie too, but he's in the same situation as Meitantei-kun, he can't just expose his little buddy's identity like that.
Yeah that last one's probably the safest option, though it's definitely going to piss off that pint-sized detective.
Out of the corner of my eyes I see movement at the gate. We have our next arrival, in the body of the undercover PSB agent that's also working as a cafe employee. I already know from the phone calls at the detective agency that this one's Meitantei-kun, but If I hadn't known I'd have assumed that he hadn't been body-swapped at all, he's walking with the same humble-yet-confident gait as the real thing.
Once inside he almost immediately goes over to talk with the professor and the little girl who's spent most of the time since we got here hiding behind him. I suppose he wants to make sure they know it's really him, and explain as much of the situation as he can.
He comes over to me after he's finished speaking with them.
"So, you're in my body?" He asks.
"That's right… not even going to ask who I am?"
"No… I figure that'll come up soon even if I'm not the one to bring it up. There are more important things for me to ask, like..." He hesitates a moment before continuing, "Just how much do you already know about my... little situation?"
Ah, he just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to give anything away to the ones that don't know by just casually bringing up the truth.
"Not much… I know who you are, and I know you've gone back a few times. I also know you've got some dangerous people after you, and that the body you're in right now is the one that was pointing a gun my way when I was doing a favor for you on the train."
I know he's Kudo Shinichi, but I don't know how his body ended up like this. I know he's turned back a few times, but I'm not sure how he does that. I know he's keeping his identity as a closely guarded secret and that whenever he does have to use his real name he covers it up as soon as possible. I know the little girl living with this professor is likely in a similar boat, and that she's got some dangerous people after her including the person Conan-kun's currently in the body of. But that's about all I know.
He blinks a little, "How did you find out that I go back?"
"Oh… after I found out, I looked into you a bit, and found out that you've been spotted a few times since Conan appeared. But it's all stuff no one would find unless they were specifically looking for it. Cases solved and covered up by the police, kept off the records... sightings that have been explained away as if a look-a-like was on location instead. It wasn't much of a leap from there to assume that you were going back," I glance over to the little girl who's still mostly keeping out of sight, "Plus the woman you had me disguise as is…"
He follows my gaze and gives a slight nod, "In another life you might have been a decent detective."
"Nah, I'm a magician through and through, I know how to hide stuff so I know where to look for hidden things… Anyway, I'm not going to out your identity, so don't worry. But I've got a favor to ask…"
"What kind of favor?"
"When it comes to introductions, I'd like to borrow your name."
.- .... .- -
"What?!" Comes a loud shout as Conan-kun has a chat with the person that's currently residing in his body, but they quickly resume conversing in hushed tones.
I want to know what they're talking about but they're both clearly on guard right now. If I got close enough to eavesdrop then they'd probably notice and start talking about something innocent before I could hear anything useful. Conan-kun has proven himself to be good at that sort of thing, sensing when eyes are on him and immediately spouting out some childish excuse.
He's far too clever, he's already a threatening presence despite his stature but he still has room to grow both physically and as a tactician. He's terrifying. I'd even tried running a background check on him but it lead only to dead ends, this boy just came out of nowhere one day and quickly established himself in the local area.
I'm glad he and I are mostly on the same side.
There's a knock on the door and the professor goes over to let in Masumi Sera, or at least someone that looks like her, there's no telling who's actually on the inside. If it's Kogoro that would be good because that would mean that there are only six of us caught up in this, but if that's the case I'd feel sorry for that poor girl having that letcherous fool in her body.
After coming in they cautiously glance around and check their phone, whoever they are this is likely an unfamiliar location for them. Mouri Kogoro has been here several times to pick up or drop off Conan, so that rules out the possibility of them being Kogoro, I guess that means we're waiting on two more then before we can start introducing ourselves and sharing information..
I walk over to them, "Have you called the person in your body yet?"
"I tried, but whoever it is they didn't pick up… no response to any attempts at texting them either." They sigh.
It's probably quite stressful having no idea what the person inhabiting your body could be up to at this very moment. If mine weren't already accounted for I'd be worried that I wouldn't have a body to go back to anymore.
"Then he's likely still sleeping, we may have to just go in person and pick him up, the one in your body is likely Mouri Kogoro-san."
Their brow furrowed slightly, "If he is asleep in my body it'd be in my home in Ekoda, it'd take a while to get there by train…."
"It'll be a fairly short trip by car," I answer, "I'd be happy to drive you."
"Regardless of whom you may be, do mind that you're currently in Hattori-san's body, you're underaged to drive a car."
A fair point, but it's not as if normal police would be able to catch up to me. Still it's best to follow the law when possible.
That means the only ones that can drive right now are… Hattori and Conan. If I recall Hattori has a bike license, but the handling for a bike is completely different than that of a car.
Both underaged on the inside, I suppose we could ask the professor for a ride but he's Conan's acquaintance not mine.
"Conan-kun, may we borrow you for a moment?" I wave the young man over, "Are you comfortable driving?"
He doesn't seem the least bit surprised by the question, "Of course I am, I drove myself here."
"Wha- Conan? But he's six, how would he know how to drive? Sure he's a clever child but surely there are limits," sputtered the one in the female detective's body. Must be Hakuba Saguru, at the heist he gave the impression of not being as accustomed to working with the young genius boy as the rest of us.
Without missing a beat Conan smiled, "My dad taught me how to drive in a parking lot in America."
So he's been out of the country before, strange considering there's no record of him having a passport. Could Conan be a fake name? I suppose it's possible, there was no record of him or his family anywhere prior to this year… if he started going by an assumed name in order to investigate the organization….
"Look even if your dad let you drive once it doesn't mean it's legal to just…"
"Technically I have a license right now… besides, Amuro-san's body has plenty of muscle memory for driving, so as long as I'm following traffic laws everything should be fine."
Muscle memory… it makes sense that it would stay with the body, I suppose I'll have to do some training with this body if we end up stuck like this for a while.
I can only hope this is settled soon though. Conan-kun may be the best person to have ended up in my body as he already knows that I'm working both as Bourbon and as an agent of the NPA and with how clever he is I can trust that he won't take any sudden actions that would place me in jeopardy; but even so if this situation is prolonged then the odds of him slipping up and getting himself and my body killed without me giving him information to aid him in performing as Bourbon. But giving him such information will only make him that much more dangerous when I next find myself facing him as an enemy.
In this situation I've determined to deal with situations as they come, if he asks for the information I'll give it to him, and if he finds himself in danger I'll try to help, but if I can avoid interfering with his actions then that would be the best outcome.
It seems that while I was thinking, Hakuba-san and Conan-kun came to an agreement. Conan-kun would drive, but if Hakuba-san felt unsafe I would switch into the driver seat, then Conan and I would switch again discreetly if we were pulled over by any cops. It all seems unnecessary to me, but if this is what it takes for Hakuba to cooperate...
I woke up in a comfortable bed. Not that my usual bed is uncomfortable, but this one just gave the impression of being soft, and the sheets smelled freshly washed. It was the kind of bed I'd only experienced in hotels.
What's more, from what I can see of the decor, this is probably an expensive hotel. Do I even have the money for this?
I stretch as I sit up in bed, surprised to find that I don't have a hangover after how much I drank last night before Ran stopped me. It's weird, but I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
How did I end up at a hotel though? Did I go out to a bar even though it was already late? Maybe I went to play mahjong? … I didn't end up hooking up with a girl did I?
It doesn't look like there's anyone else's stuff in the room aside from a nice pocket watch sitting on the bedside table… wait there isn't any of my stuff in the room either! Have I been abducted?
I seem to be wearing a pair of nice silken pajamas… They changed my clothes for me too?
I force myself out of the bed and look around a bit.
The door seems to be unlocked, but I shouldn't try to sneak out yet when I don't know what's going on. There's also a balcony window and it seems to be able to open but I don't think I need to look at it too closely.
And on further inspection though the room has been kept tidy there are a fair number of someone's belongings in the drawers, this isn't just a spontaneously rented room someone's been living here. Did I really end up going home with a girl after all? A rich girl?
I can feel warmth spreading on my cheeks as I blush. For a moment I'm unsure how to feel- happy that this has happened, or disappointed that I remember none of it. In my heart I whisper a silent apology to Eri.
"Young master," A voice comes from outside the door, "some friends of yours have come to visit."
Young master? Now, I may not be some decrepit geezer, but I'm no spring chicken either. There's no one out there that would be calling me young master.
I… I didn't go home with a guy last night did I? No matter how rich they are I wouldn't just… Well I had been drinking…
No. No, this must be one of those weird roleplay clubs where they let you play out some kind of scenario. I'm the young master and the friend coming to visit is going to be some beautiful lady in a school uniform. That must be it.
"Let them in," I say. My voice sounds a little different than usual, but I did just wake up after all, maybe I'm just groggy.
Led by someone dressed like some kind of maid, in walked that boyish detective girl, the detective brat from Osaka, and my apprentice Amuro-san. The maid gives a small bow and walks away, leaving me alone with the young detectives.
Not what I was expecting, did they track me down to find me here?
The detective girl's jaw dropped, dumbfounded, "You're not even dressed yet? At this time of day?"
Something about hearing her mention the time makes me feel uneasy, I steal a quick glance at the pocket watch on the end table as I give my reply, "I only just got up."
"But it's already 11:56, how did you just-"
"Look, I'm sure you've noticed that there's something mysterious going on, there are a few more of us affected too, so we're meeting up to discuss what we'll do going forward." The Osaka brat says calmly, I guess he's decided to start trying to learn how to speak Tokyo Japanese. He's doing pretty good.
What is he even talking about though? What mystery? Me waking up here without a hangover is certainly mysterious but that's not going to affect other people, "What are you going on about?"
The two teen detectives looked a bit perplexed, then Amuro-san stepped forward and did a sort of 'leave this to me' gesture. Makes sense even if Amuro is only my apprentice, you should leave explaining things to adults who know what they're talking about.
"Kogoro-sensei, it's a case, a big one. The client has hired several different detectives to get to the bottom of it, we'll be hearing the details together at Professor Agasa's house once we've all arrived, so if you would please hurry and put on some clothes in the closet here, I'll drive us there and we can explain what we already know on the way."
-.-- --- ..-
When I made it to the professor's place there weren't many people around, but I was surprised to see that whoever was in Conan's body was one of them.
I guess this person isn't Shinichi after all...
It's pretty weird that they look so similar, relatives maybe? Twins even? … a clone?
I'll have to mention this to Mom later, sometime when I can be alone. Maybe she'll have a better idea of what's really going on here. Though this is so strange, maybe she'll be just as in the dark as I am…
Asking around a little I found out that apparently some others had gotten here first but they had to leave to go pick up someone they had failed to contact by phone. Supposedly they're thinking that once those guys get back with that person we should have everyone we need here to start the discussion on this body shuffle nonsense.
I could try chatting with the ones that are already here but I guess with the others on the way the information would just get repeated anyway so I may as well wait. While I'm waiting I'll see if I can get that tight lipped little girl to slip me any information while I've got a new face…
Yeah no luck there, I locked eyes with her and she quickly made some excuse to go to another room. Is my looking like Shinichi putting her even more on guard than usual? I guess even though they seem close, those two don't trust each other completely. I wonder what's up with that…
It takes a bit, but it's just a little past noon when the others arrive. Looking at the bodies… it's all people that were at the heist last night, there's obviously some correlation.
"Alright, now that we're all here, let's get started." Says the person in Hattori-san's body.
We all start moving over to a table at the side of the room that has couches on either side, but before anyone sits down the person in Conan's body speaks up, "How can we be sure this is all of us?"
"An excellent question." The one in Amuro-san's body chimes in with an almost playful tone, "Let's try sitting in a circle, if everyone would sit to the left of their original body. If there's anyone unaccounted for this should make it clear. I'll start."
He then scoops Conan's body up into his arms and after some mild protest sits down on the couch with the smaller boy on his right. So Conan-kun, or rather Shinichi, is the one in Amuro-san's body.
Slowly everyone follows suit, some begrudgingly going along with it, others seeming more curious to see the results. And as I take my seat to the left of my body and to the right of Conan's we find ourselves in a complete circle with no missing pieces.
"I know most of us introduce ourselves last night, but just in case let's all do introductions now…" Conan starts, taking charge of the situation, "Edogawa Conan, primary school detective, the 'Kid Killer'."
If I were him I'd have probably used the chance to use the name Shinichi, and just claim Conan was in Shinichi's body somewhere else… but I guess he has his reasons.
"I guess we'll go clockwise… I'm Amuro Tohru, private detective and café employee at Poirot."
"Hattori Heiji, High school detective of tha west."
"Mouri Kogoro, the famous detective Sleeping Kogoro."
"Hakuba Saguru, High school detective. No extraneous nicknames."
Finally my turn, "Sera Masumi, beautiful high school detective."
All detectives so far, but the last one has to be Kaitou Kid, what's he going to say? He's not going to be able to get away from us here while he's in that tiny body.
"Kudo Shinichi, high school detective of the east, and also the second Kaitou Kid."
Surely Conan's going to object, I mean he's the real Shinichi after all! He's not going to just let this thief get away with stealing his name!
But when I look over at Conan-kun he's letting out a childish laugh that doesn't suit his current face at all.
"Shinichi-niichan, is it really okay for you to just give away your secret identity like that?"
- .... .. -. -.-
Current status: Kaito ► Shinichi ►Rei ► Heiji ► Kogoro ► Saguru ► Masumi ► Kaito