Well, with all the cast introduced and together I feel like I should answer a question that I'm sure some of you are asking; Why didn't I include Okiya Subaru in this? I considered it, I really did... but I decided that 7 was probably enough characters for me to juggle with the story I had planned. There are some characters that are more important to this story than others but everyone has a part to play.


Chapter Three: Close and Open

Saguru

Kudo Shinichi and Kaitou Kid? Don't make me laugh, Kuroba.

I don't know what kind of desperate ploy this was to obfuscate the truth but there are people here that know Kudo-kun personally, they'll of course be able to tell that your body isn't his and I'll be able to unmask you as my classmate Kuroba Kaito.

That was what I had been thinking at least, but there were several sticking points I couldn't help but notice.

No one that had met Kudo-kun was speaking up to say this couldn't be him. I've never met Kudo-kun so perhaps Kudo-kun and Kuroba-kun just happen to look similar, but even in that case we're all detectives here there should be enough of a difference that they can notice. There's no way two unrelated people could be completely identical.

What's more, Conan-kun seemed to be backing him up. Conan has been chasing Kid relentlessly to the point that the media had taken to considering him his foil, the Kid Killer who can prevent Kid from getting away with his targets. Adding to that Conan seems to have a close relationship with Kudo-kun so why is he playing along with Kuroba's plot instead of calling him out? Could he have been fooled? He's quite sharp, but I suppose he's still a child in the end.

There was also the matter of him letting slip that he was the second Kaitou Kid. It was in line with something that I had already suspected- That Kaitou Kid before had been someone else and Kuroba-kun took up the mantle after the eight year gap that Kid had ceased activity in therefor making Kuroba-kun the second Kaitou Kid. But the phrasing was vague enough that there could be more meaning to the statement than that, magicians have assistants, Kid was known to have at least one accomplice, Kaitou Kid has always been a two person act, so is he claiming that Kudo-kun is the accomplice? That much could be possible… is that why Conan-kun is playing along?

A full minute has passed before the Sleeping Kogoro breaks the lull that had formed in the conversation, "What's this nonsense you're spewing? That brat Shinichi may be no good but he's definitely not Kid."

Hattori nods a little. Back at the detective koshien I'd gotten the impression that Hattori was well acquainted with Kudo, so it strikes me as particularly odd that the usually boisterous detective is being so quiet whilst a thief is trying to barrow his friend's identity.

"Look I know it may be hard to believe, but it started as an investigation into the people that killed the original Kaitou Kid," Kuroba explained, seeming almost genuine for once, "I'm sure several of you have noticed that there are people besides the cops that shoot at Kid on some heists. They're part of a large criminal organization that's after a certain dangerous gem, so I've taken it upon myself to search for and protect that gem while looking into the members of this organization in order to bring them to justice."

The killer of the original Kid, a dangerous organization, a gem that's been hidden. These details all fit with the data I'd collected about Kid so far and explain why he steals things only to later return them.

Could that possibly be the real reason he's acting as Kid? Is it really okay for him to just admit it this easily…?

"A lovely story, but please stop with this balderdash," I say, resolving to bring up the elephant in the room myself since it seems none of the others are inclined to do so, "I can tell just by looking you're not Kudo Shinichi, you're Kuroba Kaito."

"Ah-re-re? He looks just like Shinichi-niichan though, who's this Kuroba-san you're talking about?" Conan-kun once again seems to be chiming in to defend Kuroba.

Begrudgingly I explain, "Kuroba-kun is one of my classmates at Ekoda high, I've already been able to confirm he's Kaitou Kid I just haven't been able to get adequate proof to arrest him."

"Huh… well I don't know 'bout this Kuroba guy but…" Hattori gestures to Sera-san in Kuroba's body, "This one here is tha spittin' image of Kudo."

Hattori's actively backing him up now?

"Yeah, there's no mistaking that's the detective brat, looks just like him" Mouri-san agreed, giving a vague gesture at Kuroba's body.

Sera-san nodded as well, "I was definitely in Ekoda when I woke up, and there was a lot of damning evidence, but… if someone besides Shinichi-kun looks like this they'd have to be twins, right? They're identical."

No way. They can't possibly look that similar, what's going on here?

..

Rei

This conversation's just going in circles.

Certainly, while I'd never personally met Kudo Shinichi I'd investigated him enough to see that Kid's body did bear a strong resemblance to the appearance to the teen who had appeared on television and in newspapers as a great detective until fairly recently... however Kudo was supposed to be dead and Hakuba-kun's certainty of Kid being this Kuroba Kaito left room for a reasonable doubt.

Two options had been presented, and as long as no one could offer up any proof eliminating or proving one of the options then it would be impossible to ascertain Kid's real identity. He could be Kuroba Kaito and the two just happen to look similar, or he could be Kudo Shinichi and since managing to survive the organization's attempt to poison him he has been hiding out under an assumed identity. I'll have to look into it.

Given Conan's reactions it's likely there's more at play here than meets the eye.

I clear my throat and speak up, "We can come back to this topic later if we must, for now we can call the one in Conan-kun's body 'Kid'."

"Fine with me," Kid replies. I hate that this was probably exactly what he was hoping for, but we have bigger fish to fry right now.

"To begin… it's fairly safe to assume that the cause of this mysterious phenomena affecting our bodies probably has to do with the events of the heist last night. So what do the seven of us have in common that isn't shared by others who were there?"

"We're all detectives?" Sera-san posited.

"Kudo-kun is but Kuroba-kun is only a magician and a prankster, we can't assume Kid is also a detective," Hakuba counters.

Though honestly, even if he isn't Kudo Shinichi, if that story before about how he's investigating the killing of the first Kid is true then we can assume that Kid may also be able to be considered a detective depending on how you want to define the term. However if such vaguely defined investigative professions were the only common point then Inspector Nakamori would likely have also been drawn into this- but he wasn't, so what separates him from us?

"Could it have been tha' light?"

"Light, come to think of it there was a strange light, wasn't there…"

"It didn't show up in the security cameras at all, but I saw it too." I add, "I had assumed it was part of Kid's magic act for the night but then I didn't hear any of the task force members talking about it afterwards."

"Oh yeah, that light hit me right as someone was walking by and they didn't react at all. I thought it was strange but no one brought up anything like it so I figured it was just a trick of the eye."

We seem to have found a link, the commonality between us is that we saw and were touched by the light. It's a fine starting place but that doesn't actually tell us anything, we still don't know why we were targets for that light though judging by the look on Kid's face he may have some idea.

"Do you have something to add…?" I lean a bit to look past Conan-kun and send Kid a pointed glance.

The chatter about the light dies down a little as we all turn to him.

He pauses a moment, "The gem I stole, Maiden's heart, is part of a two piece set with a legend behind it."

"Ah yes," Hakuba-san nodded, "The Princess's Confidant and the Maiden's Heart. I was surprised to see you sending out a notice when you couldn't get both pieces in one fell swoop."

"Right… well according to the story; the princess had fallen in love with a commoner, she confided in her maidservant and they came up with a plan to switch places with one another so the princess could meet with her beloved, whilst taking the place of the princess the maid fell in love with the princess' fiance- a prince from the neighboring kingdom." Kid spoke with the tone of a showman as he told the story, "When I looked into it further, supposedly the two gems themselves were both cut from a stone that had been given to them by a witch, then inlaid in twin necklaces that both the maid and princess wore at all times…"

"What a stupid story… you're not really suggesting that we're like this thanks to some magic gemstone made by a witch?" Kogoro said loudly.

"If you have a better explanation I'm all ears." Kid retorted, seeming to be dead serious about this being the work of real magic.

For once I felt inclined to agree with Kogoro, as an explanation Kid's story left a lot to be desired. However it was also true that we didn't have any other leads. As much as I disliked the sudden jump to witchcraft there was no way science was going to be able to explain 7 people swapping bodies with one another while they slept.

After a suitable dramatic pause, Kid continues, "So the next course of action for us should be to get ahold of the other jewel and see if it can reverse the situation."

If that works then it would be a relief but it'll be easier said than done.

I speak up again, "How exactly are you suggesting that we 'get ahold of' the Princess' Confidant? You're not exactly in top condition for your usual methods even if we would agree to them, and it's not as if any of us have the capital to buy it before Suzuki Jirokichi once it's been located."

"I'll have to contact them later but between me and my assistant we should be able to manage a heist, especially if you detectives aren't around complicating things."

Ah, so he's asking us to just let him do it for our own sakes. If he's that confident then it may actually be doable considering that Conan's body doesn't seem to be much of a handicap aside from stature. I think that will likely the best solution and even if it fails I can have Conan use my NPA influence to get us an opportunity to inspect it under the excuse that Kid may have replaced it with a fake. But I can't exactly say any of that as 'Amuro Tohru'.

"I don't like the idea of just letting you get away with something on purpose but… we can cross that bridge when the gem is in a position to be stolen to begin with." Hakuba-san suggested, "Let's not forget that currently Advisor Suzuki has being throwing exorbitant amounts of money at locating that gem and hasn't found it yet. It may well be a wild goose chase, but for the time being why don't we try to get to it first so that it doesn't need to be stolen?"

As good as we may be as detectives, Suzuki Jirokichi has the head start and has a wider net of influence to cast when it comes to locating things that Kid might want to steal, but if having this as a plan A helps some of the others accept that in the eventuality that we don't track it down first that we may need Kid to steal it then it would be good to play along.

"It's worth a shot at least… We can all go about that through our own methods, but assuming that will fix this we still have to live each other's lives until we manage to return to our own bodies." I say calmly, "I'm sure several of us have some secrets we don't want everyone here to know, so why don't we split off so we can tell those in our bodies whatever they may need to know to be us."

... .... --- ..- .-.. -..

Masumi

I had already talked to Mom and Hakuba-kun on the phone earlier, so I wasn't too concerned with telling him anything about how to like me, he could get most of that info from Mom at the hotel.

It wasn't any kind of surprise that Kid had some things to tell me so I follow along when he drags me off to a corner.

"So… Kuroba Kaito, is it?" I ask.

He chuckles a little, "Would you believe me if I said that Kuroba Kaito is currently out of town with his mother, and that I, Kudo Shinichi, am secretly taking his place as part of an investigation?"

"Not at all. Is that the story you're going with?"

I don't know enough about this Kuroba guy yet to make any serious claims as to what is or isn't a reasonable thing for him to do. All I can be sure of is that he looks enough like Shinichi that his classmate recognized him as Kuroba but the rest of us saw Shinichi.

I'll just have to hope he slips up at some point.

"Yeah, that's the story we're going with." He says after brief consideration, "Anyway, I'll text you the information you'll need for school. Class number, seat number, the name and seat of all my other classmates and some extra information on the ones I'm close with. I'm the outgoing type at school so you'll need to memorize as much of it as you can before the next school day, it'll look weird if you go in and don't know where your seat is or anyone's names."

Eh? All that?

Do I need to be that through when briefing Hakuba…? Probably not, I'm pretty sure that the only people I'm close enough to for them to notice anything are Ran and Sonoko, but even then I'm pretty sure he'll be able to get out of any suspicion just by saying something like 'oh I'm just feeling a bit off today'.

Is Kid paranoid or what?

"Isn't that a bit much…?" I ask.

"I'd say it's barely enough, aren't you detectives supposed to be good at remembering things?"

"Can't I claim to not be feeling well and just be quiet?"

"Sure… if you want all my classmates to think I'm plotting a prank so grand it'll become a legend in the school talked about for generations," He says with a bit of a playful grin, "When I'm low energy my classmates get worried."

"... You sound insufferable."

"A lot of the teachers would be inclined to agree with you."

Is this the kind of personality internationally wanted criminals are supposed to have? He's weirdly relaxed about some things but super paranoid about others. Then again, Shinichi seems to be kinda the same way, it's hard to tell what will send him on guard sometimes… maybe it's just a thing for boys this age to be a bit on edge?

"Anyway… if you don't think you can memorize things then just try to learn a magic trick or two before school tomorrow and do your best to play at being an energetic highschool boy, hopefully that old man detective will be acting so strange as Hakuba that no one realizes how strange I'm acting…. Also don't bring up Kaitou Kid, the girl that sits next to me is Inspector Nakamori's daughter; Kid's a bit of a sore subject."

He sits next to his nemesis' daughter…?

.-- .-.. .. - .

Shinichi

"It can't be helped if one of them calls you, but absolutely do not call any of them looking for information while you're me. And don't try contacting any of my NPA subordinates either, I'll be getting in touch with Kazami myself to let him know that I won't be able to make any appearances in person for a while." Amuro-san lectures.

As he speaks I find myself passively focusing on how strange it feels to be able to see the top of Hattori's head this easily. But I try to push aside such trivial observations and pay attention to what he's saying.

I fully intend to take all precautions while in his body, of course I'm listening to every bit of advice he'll give.

After all, I can understand why he's being so careful, he still thinks I'm a child after all. No matter how smart they were, if I thought a literal 6 year old was going to have to take my place for an unknown span of time then I'd be troubled to say the least, although in my case a normal 6 year old playing Conan for a bit might be a good thing.

"So, what do you want me to do if one of them does call me?"

"Do what they say, even if you don't like it. Play along. If there's a glaring flaw in their plan, correct it. Be their ally, be Bourbon." He says with a serious look, "Ah, also, Rum asked me to investigate Kudo Shinichi, so if you're asked for a report just tell them what you can."

Hm? Is it okay for him to tell me that?

"Alright, but how much have you found out about Shinichi-niichan in your investigations?" Maybe I can take advantage of this to find out how much he knows.

He glances over to where Kid and Sera-san are talking with each other before giving his reply, "Enough to know you don't believe the story that Kid just fed us, even though you were playing along."

Damn, I was playing along for you mostly. Maybe I hammed it up too much.

If I could have gotten Amuro to believe that Kid was Shinichi then it ensures that he can't suspect that I'm Shinichi… but I suppose it's fine. He doesn't seem to suspect Conan yet and I'll just have to do my best to keep it that way.

"... If you ever have any questions you can contact me, but do be careful contacting your 'Shinichi-niichan' from my phone, understand?"

I nod, taking the warning to heart. The organization must have their eyes on his phone. Certainly not a wiretap, otherwise he wouldn't have been so direct when he asked who was in his body, but possibly the call history or even tracking information.

"I'll keep that in mind," I say with a nod.

Amuro nods back and walks away right in time for the real Hattori to come over.

"What tha hell are you playin' at Kudo? Why'd ya play along when tha thief used your name?"

I hadn't had time to tell him beforehand so I'd sort of expected this, but I guess I should be glad it hadn't been said earlier in front of everyone.

"Quiet down… sure it's better if people think I'm dead but the next best thing is if they think someone besides Conan is the real Kudo Shinichi. So, Kid and I made a deal."

"A deal? What kind 'a-"

Hattori's interrupted when the currently small thief who'd also come over once done with his talk with Sera-san decided to speak up, "I'll protect his identity and he'll protect mine, we'll help each other with our respective problems, and share information."

Plus, even if I don't like him, with Kid officially working with me then if we figure out how this body swap worked and can reproduce the effect I might be able to be a teenager more often without needing the antidote.

"Ah right, ya mentioned somethin' about people that killed tha first kid… was all that true?"

"Yes, they killed my father, the original Kaitou Kid, in order to keep him from getting in their way, and ever since I took up the mantle they've been gunning for me thinking that they failed to kill him." Kid keeps going, "The gem they're after, the one I'm trying to get before they can, is called Pandora. Supposedly when held up to the light of a full moon it'll glow red, and if held up when the volly comet passes overhead it'll shed tears that grant immortality."

"So that's why you hold them up like that…" I find myself muttering, as the wheels of my brain turn, "But if their goal is immortality then… you and I may have the same enemies. Do they have any codenames?"

"I've only heard a few… Snake, Spider, and Rose."

Inconsistent codenames and none of them are alcohols like the group I've been up against, but it's hard to imagine there being two large criminal organizations in the same city that both have immortality as a goal without some kind of notable conflicts between them, so perhaps the ones Kid has been dealing with are a different branch of the same organization. But whether they're related or not there's no way I can just leave this alone now that I'm aware of it.

"Mine have alcohols as their code names, but that doesn't prove that they couldn't be connected somehow."

"Right… I haven't seen much of yours but there's Sherry, Vermouth, and the guy you're taking the place of- Bourbon. Right?"

"Wait what?! That cafe guy is?" Hattori sputters a bit. Barely quiet enough to not attract the attention of everyone else still in the room.

Right… I never got a good chance to tell him so I just kind of forgot he didn't know yet.

"Yes… but he's a double agent in deep cover, it's still dangerous to give him any information because his priority is not being discovered, but I can at least trust he wants to see them taken down every bit as much as I do."

Hattori's frowning, is he that upset that Kid knew but he didn't? It couldn't be helped, things happened pretty quickly… there's probably a few other things I've forgotten to tell him too. I should probably do something about that.

"Anyway once everyone else is gone let's share our information, I'll tell you everything I know about them, so you better tell me everything you can about yours. Let's work together and bring them both down."

"Oh Meitantei-kun, I thought you'd never ask~"
-. . .-.. - -..-.