It was Harada Soichiro's first time supervising the annual refiling at Beika Police Station as chief of police, and he was mulling over a certain case file of one Kuroba Toichi.

He had been to three of Kuroba's shows back when he was dating his now wife, he remembered how they were highly entertained and charmed by the magician and his magical feats.

Harada was on a vacation when the magician met his tragic death. And has felt guilty ever since for two reasons;

A personal one: the involuntarily relief he felt realizing he and his loved one were spared from witnessing the death of someone they knew and were getting quite attached to.

What a horrible selfish thought to have first thing after hearing the bad news; to not think of the victim or his family, but to think 'thank God we didn't see it happen'.

And a professional one: despite being only a policeman back then, maybe if he were there he would've noticed something that could save the magician's life, or at least would've been able to form his own opinion on whether it was really an accident -as the investigation concluded- or a plotted murder.

The chief might not known the magician very well, but of what he saw of him, he knew the man was not the reckless type. The meticulous planning put behind his shows was evident in their quality and the constant safety of the performer, the assistants and the audience.

Harada thought back to the adorable messy haired child that assisted his father sometimes. The child was around the age of his own son whose ninth birthday was just the other week.

He couldn't imagine a boy so cheerful going through the loss of a father he clearly idolized at such a young age.

That boy must be a teenager by now, when pain turns to rage.

Admittedly, he did not want to risk his job by breaking the law. The case is well past the astute of limitation, but what if there is justice to be served behind this?

If some truth were to come to light on its own, what kind of a law enforcer would he be to turn a blind eye to it?

Wait, wasn't there this Kudo Yusaku man who would share his invaluable opinion with the police every now and then?

It turned out Kudo-san is out of the country, but his son isn't and would be more than happy to lend a hand as a 'private' investigator.

Kudo Shinichi received a print of the accident report, which contained contact info of the victim's family. He set an appointment with the son this coming weekend.

Yusaku definitely sounded like he was withholding something he knew about the late magician from Shinichi when he told him about the issue, but it's not like he can't find out on his own, right? He hoped.

At the moment, high school detective Kudo Shinichi was on his way to Ekoda park, already regretting his stupid decision to go visit Ran first. He thought it was a good chance to do it since he was finally himself and it wasn't easy begging Haibara for the pill.

Ran's company was always a joy to him, but it cost a precious hour of his already short borrowed time.

"Kuroba Kaito," The boy introduced himself with a smile and an offered hand as Shinichi approached him, "nice to meet you."

"Like wise", replied the detective shaking his hand "Kudo Shinichi."

This face is familiar, and not only because I recently saw it in the mirror.

Someone who looks just like me to the point of disguising himself as me by wearing his own face.

Nice to meet you indeed, Kaitou Kid.

Moreover, such a young boy couldn't have always been Kid.

The father's death coincides with the hiatus in the phantom thief's activities.

They sat down on the bench as Kaito handed Shinichi a drink, which he accepted nodding his thanks.

"Sorry for opening up old wounds. I was just hoping I might offer some insight."

"It's alright, it happened a long time ago. I actually appreciate the fact that someone doubts it was accidental, I myself have only recently discovered my father was murdered."

So, someone wanted the Kaitou Kid dead. But why?

"Are you sure of it? Do you have any evidence?" The detective was shocked this was an established fact at such early point of the conversation.

"Yes, I'm sure. Let's say by means of testimony from someone who knew him closely."

"And I don't suppose I can meet this someone?"

"Nope." Kaito said looking at his feet, he then turned his look to Shinichi with a smirk "you're the detective, deduce."

"So Kuroba-san.."

"Just Kuroba is fine, or preferably Kaito."

"Right. Kuroba, since it's way past time for clue collecting and you're withholding the sole witness from me.. may I ask why do you think he told you after all this time?"

"Simple. I was too young before and I deserve to know?"

"Sure, but what I meant was does this person want you to avenge your father? Or maybe letting you know they will?"

"Would I tell a detective if that was the intention?"

"I guess not. Well, did your father have any enemies? Like peer jealousy, or maybe he angered some big shots by refusing to perform private shows for them or any thing of that sort?"

".. he angered some big shots alright. Hey kudo, what will you do if you find the murderer?"

"Arrest him?"

Kaito smiled sadly, "If only it was that easy."

Suddenly, they heard a commotion from the street across. Shinichi darted there just in time to save a little girl from the speeding car that was heading right toward her.

He realized a little belatedly that the adrenaline rush and the physical exertion were not the only reasons behind his quickened heart beat, actually the little action has triggered the antidote which was now wearing off earlier than expected.

He excused himself from the appreciative crowd, calculating in his head the distance to Agasa's house. He figured he couldn't make it if the rate at which his condition was worsening is anything to go by.

He made his way to Kaito who applauded him theatrically conjuring a white rose "For our hero!"

Shinichi looked at the rose intently trying to figure out where it appeared from while hiding the pain.

"Fine. Break my heart, will you?"

Kaito pouted as the rose vanished swiftly with Shinichi still failing to follow its movement.

"Hey, is your house close by?"

"Yes, why?"

"Can I come over?"

"Umm, sure. Are you alright?" He noticed the detective clutching his chest with a pained expression.

Kaito led the way to his house and when Shinichi couldn't walk on his own he steadied him with an arm around his back.

Oh great! Thought Kaito running at Aoko who was heading home from a grocery errand.

"Kaito!" She waved at him cheerfully before noticing the other boy draped over him.

"Is he drunk?" she whispered without getting any closer, "What if he's trouble? Why help him? Are you stupid?"

"None of your business, Ahoko. Maybe I'm feeling charitable." He tried not to sound hurtful but he needed her out of the way quickly.

"I hope he pukes on you!" Aoko eloquently replied, stomping off and sticking her tongue out.

"Charming!" Commented Shinichi panting.

"You have no idea." He glanced at him worriedly, "Should I call an ambulance?"

"No!" He said intensely "I'm alright, It'll be over soon."

"Sure. If you're planning on dying at my house I won't deny you the hospitality."

As soon as they passed the entrance, Shinichi collapsed at the foyer clutching at his chest and sweating profusely.

"Are you really sure about the ambulance, Kudo?"

"Yes. Prepare to watch a hell of a magic trick, Kaitou Kid"

Kaito's mind was still processing the fact that he's busted, when he noticed the detective has started evaporating!

Seconds later, a death scream emerged from the smoke and Shinichi has once more become Conan.

So this how it happens? He has figured out Conan's true identity a while ago, but accepting the implication of human shrinking and watching it with your own eyes are two completely different things.

Kaito carried the bundle of cloth containing the passed out child and put him to bed, then placed a change of his childhood clothes and a cup of water on the night stand.

"Wow! Sign me impressed by that trick." Kaito remarked when 'Conan' woke up and came looking for him. "Looked so painful though, are you ok?"

"Yeah, and thanks" he gestured to the clothes and the room.

"No problem. So, remember what you said before you chibified? what gave it away?"

"Let's see, thefact that both Kuroba Kaito and Kaitou Kid just so happen to look exactly like me?"

"Just from that?!" A sudden realization made him feel betrayed, "Is that why you took the case?"

"Absolutely not! I only recognized you when we met, the report I got had no pictures. My source emphasized this magician's skill and attention to detail didn't add up to a stage accident. That was my reason. Purely to bring him justice."

Katio looked relieved to know that. "Plus," Shinichi added, "it won't be fair or fun to catch you out of heists"

"Keep dreaming, Tantie-kun"

Shinich rolled his eyes at the remark, then wore a serious expression "If you don't mind me asking.. what kind of a person was your father, in general? Talk to me about him."

"Just a great person all around," Kaito replied with a sad smile, "a loving husband and father.. an extraordinary magician, maybe a little of a show-off but it was a part of his charm. I didn't get to spend my teen years with him, but I'm sure we would've been close friends and talked to each other about everything."

"Sorry, this must be painful for you."

"Don't apologize. It's actually liberating to talk to someone about it. when it happened, I was too young to fully comprehend death but I just couldn't bear my father's absence from my life. I loved him and admired him, he was my hero. Yet, I couldn't break down in front of mom who was the one hurting the most, nor my best friend cause I just had to keep my cheerful image in front of her. Then life went on and I grew up, gotta be the man of the house and such."

"I can only imagine how hard that was to pull through."

"What? Your'e not offering a hug? Heartless."

"You should've asked earlier, too small for that now." Shinichi retorted. "So, who would target the harmless Kaitou Kid? What's the motive? You also mentioned it won't be easy catching the murderer."

"You're the detective, deduce."

"I just wanted to know how honest you're willing to be."

"I'll tell you if you've got it right, that's how much."

"Hmm, that's fair I guess. Well, you also mentioned he angered someone. If it's not peer jealousy, then maybe someone tried to enlist his skills for an actual theft and he refused. But he's no help to them dead so why kill him?"

"Your'e getting close, Meitantei"

"Unless.. it's a race and if he wasn't on their team, they needed him out of the track altogether"

"He was minding his business, being a Kaitou just for the thrill and the showmanship. They're the ones who messed up by revealing their secret to him, then silenced him for it." Kaito clenched his fists angrily.

I'm coming for you, Pandora. That's the one kind of magic that can't be allowed to exist. He silently promised.

"Kuroba, I'm really sorry for making you go through this. It seems you already had the case solved and there was no need for my intervention."

"Don't be. I might still need your help catching the guy."

"You do you realize he needs to be identified and located first, right?"

"Elementary, my dear Sherlock."

"What's your plan?"

"Can't tell. A magician doesn't reveal his tricks."

"Too bad a detective can see through them, though. So more heists it is."

"Well, you need to catch him during an incriminating act, red handed and all."

"As long as it's not your blood on his hands."

"Thanks for your concern, but I bleed stardust"

"I'm sure you do." Said Shinichi dryly "So, I have to work with a thief to catch a killer. Then enable said thief until he achieves his goal. Sounds fantastic."

"Don't worry. I'm a joy to work with."

"I hope you enjoy enhanced kicks to the face. "

"It's such a handsome face, too. Are you jealous I can keep it when you can't?"

Shinichi jokingly glared up at him. "Well," he said picking up his things "until next time, Kuroba"

"Later, Kudo"

When Kudo Shinichi's hands found their way to his pockets by habit on his way home, there was the card for the next heist. His grin was as wide as the hatted Kid's in the signature.