Disclaimer: I do not own Numb3rs, Detective Conan, or Magic Kaitou.

1412

Chapter 7

Megan Reeves frowned as she negotiated LA traffic to reach the Kudo's home. Though Don had made some good arguments for why she was going to pick up and watch Conan, she was still irked, and felt like grumbling that this was because she was a woman. She was fairly certain Don wasn't being sexist—his points were good ones: she was the psychologist, she could read Conan's…relatives better than him, to figure out was going on there; she could watch out for Conan and protect him at the scene, as he seemed to have been most comfortable, or at least the most honest, around her and Don.

None of that changed her sour mood, though she tried to hide it as she finally made it to her destination and rang the doorbell. A cheery-faced woman opened the door. "Ah, are you one of the FBI agents?"

"Yes, I am; I'm Agent Megan Reeves, ma'am," she replied, flashing her badge as proof; she noted quietly that the woman had shown no sign of getting out of the way until the badge was out.

"My name is Yukiko Kudo; Conan-kun is ready to go. Don't worry—he can stay up as late as he needs to, he'll make up the sleep later."

Megan nodded as she was lead into the sitting room, where Conan was sitting with a middle-aged gentleman, presumably Yuusaku Kudo, and that the two of them were looking at…a map of the museum, from what looked to be the museum's brochure. She wanted to shake her head. Even without FBI support, Conan had been trying to figure out everything he could about the heist tonight.

"So, are you ready to go, Conan?" she asked.

He glanced up from the map and nodded, sliding off the couch and grabbing a backpack that had been sitting beside him. Yuusaku Kudo stood as well, efficiently folding up the map before handing it to Conan, and then offering Megan a hand to shake. "I'm Yuusaku Kudo…if I heard correctly, you're Agent Reeves?"

She nodded, surprised that he had been paying enough attention to hear her name earlier; he had seemed deep in thought over the map. "Yes, sir. We'll take good care of your…nephew."

Yuusaku smiled. "I'm sure you will."

Yukiko bent down to Conan and pulled him into a hug before he could protest. "Be careful, alright, Conan-kun? I know that Kaitou Kid won't hurt you, but…"

Conan grinned ruefully at her as he pulled away. "I'll be fine."

She nodded, and seemed to rally herself as she showed Megan and Conan to the door. "Do your best to catch that thief, Conan-kun!"

The door closed behind them, and Megan watched Conan for any signs of discomfort. He seemed to trust her; at least Don had been right about that part. "So, have a good birthday, Conan?"

He glanced up at her and smiled slowly. "Yes. I suppose I should thank Kid for that as well."

She blinked at him before starting up the car. "I would have thought that a heist on your birthday would be…annoying."

Conan shrugged. "Kid calls our duels 'games.' Cat and mouse, detective and thief…critic and artist."

"And you? What do you consider this, Conan?"

"A puzzle. A much better one than most, considering Kid's 'No one gets hurt' policy. I seem to have the most abysmal luck; at least this way, my birthday shouldn't have any incidents…not like last year."

"Don told me there was some sort of threat on your guardian, Ran, last year, right?" Megan asked. She was prying, and he might clam up…but she wanted to know exactly what had happened.

He nodded. "Ran was…going to go on a date with Shinichi-nii-san. There was a bomb that hurt a lot of the building, blocking exits and entrances…and then there was a bomb in the room Ran was at. Shinichi told me that it was set to blow three minutes after my birthday, his birthday. I was in the building too. It was…hard."

Megan let the silence stretch. Last year, a building was bombed on his birthday. He'd been at murder scenes for long enough that deaths were…commonplace to him. The way he talked about it was similar to a veteran FBI agent; a low, burning anger, a sense of justice violated…and he felt that Kid was helping protect his birthday by having a heist on it, so no murders would occur. The last bit was a little superstitious, but then, he was just a kid.

"Don told me I'm to stick with you during the heist, but that you could choose our location. Where do you want to be?" she queried finally.

He frowned thoughtfully. "The roof. If he doesn't arrive there, he's likely to leave from there."

She nodded.


7:40. Sunset. A figure in white neatly snuck into the shadows. First things first.


"When do you think he's going to come, Conan?" Megan asked quietly. She and Conan stood alone in the shadows pooled on the building's rooftop.

"7:40. He's already here, somewhere."

Megan checked her watch; 7:45. If Conan was right about the time—and she wasn't sure where he'd gotten that number from— then he must have been wrong about how Kaitou was entering, because he sure wasn't here; she and Conan were alone in guarding the roof, as Kaitou often lost himself in crowds. The cops were grouped in twos and threes, with code words; it was the best they'd been able to manage.

"Ah, I see you got my note, Tantei-kun!" A cheerful voice broke the silence of the night, and she spun around; Kaitou Kid was perched on the edge of the handrail. She brought her gun up in one hand, but he was faster; a gun was in his hand, and for a moment she asked herself what had happened to his "No one gets hurt" policy; the next, a card hit her hand with great force, and the shock made her let go of her gun.

His angle was good; the gun flew in the air, landing a few feet away from her; she'd either have to abandon the door of the building, or the gun.

Kaitou grinned at her. "You know, 'No one gets hurt' is supposed to apply to me, too."

Conan was smirking darkly beside her, his hand reaching towards…his belt? Megan frowned, but had barely a second to think about it before the belt buckle, which she had thought to be a decorative soccer ball, suddenly started expanding, creating a real soccer ball, which Conan kicked at Kid's head with a force that surprised her— the ball was flying fast—but Kid didn't seem surprised; he leaned backwards until he was hanging like a bat from the handrail, and then, with a cheeky grin, righted himself.

"What about your watch, Tantei-kun? I rather expected you to try and hit me while I was dodging."

Conan let out a very un-childlike snort. "Please. I know you know its range."

Kaitou grinned. "Yes, I suppose I do…as long as I stay over here, you can't reach, can you? And I'm sure you know that you're not fast enough to get over here without me jumping…Pity you're so short, right, Tantei-kun? We could have had a much more…fair game."

Megan flinched at the seeming suicide threat, but Conan waved a hand negligently. "He's got a hang-glider. The winds are good tonight. And I can't do anything about my height for now. So what are you going to do? Jump, and choose another entrance? Or are you going to try and get in here?"

"Hmmm…" Kaitou tapped a finger to his chin thoughtfully. "If I jump, you're going to follow me, aren't you? I recognize that backpack—though I still don't know how you got a paraglider. But then again, it is your birthday…"

Megan surreptitiously reached for the radio to contact her team…but all she heard was static.

Kid grinned, sticking a hand in a pocket and removing a small device. "Hakuba Labs radio. My signal's stronger than yours. Tantei-san does have some good tricks."

"Kid, turn yourself in; you're not getting in this time. The building's full of cops."

Kid laughed. "That's the fun of it, isn't it?" His hand moved slightly, and Conan shouted, "Close your eyes!"

It was too late though; the flash grenade was blinding her, and all she could do was hear.

"Birthday boy or not, you're up a little late."

A sickly sweet smell; Megan tried to hold her breath, but her eyes were already growing heavy, and as she began to collapse, she felt strong arms catch her before she faded into darkness.


7:50. One down, two to go.


Hakuba prowled the west side of the Natural History Museum's collection of gems and minerals, Colby and David within shouting distance.

"Tell me again why you're certain he's here, Hakuba?" Colby requested.

"The note said when day turns to night. Sunset started at 7:40. It'll be night at about 8:07. He's already here."

A cackling laugh. "Ah, Tantei-san. You know me so well…I'm sorry to have been a little less punctual then you might prefer—Tantei-kun had just a few questions to ask me."

"You've already seen Conan," Hakuba said. It wasn't a question.

"Why of course! It is his birthday after all." By now, David and Colby were closing in on the voice; it seemed to be coming from the corner, a full length display preventing them from seeing Kaitou Kid. Hakuba stood still, talking to draw the Kid's attention.

"And what exactly is his birthday present, if I may ask?"

Kaitou sighed. "You know, he's so difficult to buy for…I'll know it when I see it, though."

"Don, can you read me?" David whispered into the radio. There was no reply.

Colby motioned David to the right as he went left; something white was leaning against the wall, in the shadows.

David and Colby exchanged glances, now that they were in position; Hakuba was still speaking, but they didn't pay much mind to what he was saying. David raised three fingers.

3

2

1

"FBI! PUT YOUR HANDS UP!"

They burst around the last of the displays they had been hiding behind, surrounding the figure in white.

"Ah, man," Colby said. A full size Kaitou Kid dummy leaned against the wall, staring at them; he was holding a speaker.

David was looking at the ground. The speaker was connected to a cord, which led along the wall and back over to…

Kaitou Kid grinned at the two of them.

"Goodnight, Agent-san!"

A face-full of pink smoke sent the two of them coughing, then snoozing. Hakuba had already run over, a handkerchief over his mouth and nose.

"Sorry, Tantei-san! I'm on a rather tight schedule!"

Hakuba had no more time to think before he took another step forward and found himself hoisted up in a net that was secured to the high ceiling.

Kaitou stared up at him for a second. "Well, what do you know. It worked just like it does in the movies. See you, Tantei-kun."

Hakuba growled after him, but gave up and tried to figure out a way out of his prison.


7:58. It was time.


Don glanced around the darkened room as he patrolled the east side of the Natural History Museum's collection of gems and minerals. It was quiet here…no one had reported anything over the radio since 7:45, so no one had seen Kaitou Kid yet. The check in time was 8:00. He glanced at his watch. 8:01. Why wasn't anyone saying anything?

Something caught at his foot, and Don started, overbalancing and finding that he was about to meet the floor. He barely had time to let out a quick gasp of pain from the impact when he felt weight on his back; someone was sitting on him, hands grabbing his own arms and twisting them back behind him efficiently, and a deep voice was talking; Colby? It took Don a moment to process the words. He was under arrest?

He twisted his head back, his mouth already forming protests; what was Colby doing, Don was clearly himself, he was an FBI agent, but they fell dead on his lips as he spotted the grinning visage.

"Kaitou Kid!" he growled.

The thief smiled. "Sorry. It looks like I win this round of 'cops and robbers.'"

Don twisted further as the thief stood, trying to get a better view of the thief's face. Not old, but the shadows were making it hard to make out any distinguishing facial features…but his eyes looked blue. The white garbed man strode from exhibit to exhibit, opening security systems with ease and not a few gadgets that Don had never seen before.

Locked in handcuffs—real ones too, Don realized—Don had no way to fight physically. But he could still talk. If he was loud enough, someone might even hear him and come.

"What are you doing this for, Kaitou Kid?"

The thief gave him a tolerant glance. "It's not my job to give you the answers."

Don frowned back. "Then how about I tell you why you're doing this? You want us to know about the previous Kaitou Kid, don't you? How he was…murdered. It'd be a lot easier to find out if you'd turn yourself in…especially if you're a witness."

Kaitou Kid hesitated for a split second before continuing, but it was enough for Don. Charlie had been right. It wasn't about the gems, and it wasn't the same Kaitou Kid.

"You seem very confident, Agent-san. But it's not true. Not really. I'm not that simple."

"So, it's one of the reasons." It was a statement, not a question; Don might not be a psychologist, but he could read people pretty well.

"Perhaps," the thief demurred politely, and Don couldn't help but wonder. No violence, not even any damage to the museum as he looked at each of the jewels…and oddly enough, he didn't even seem to be stealing anything. Each time, he reached in, plucked the jewel between white-gloved fingers, and turned toward the window, holding it up to the light almost questioningly. Don couldn't understand why; it was just the fading sunlight.

All of the jewel cases had been opened now—and closed again, locked efficiently, Don was surprised to see. Furthermore, he noted that no one had come, though his voice should have drawn at least some attention.

"Wondering where your team is, Agent-san?"

"Yes, actually," Don stated. It had been a rhetorical question; the thief wasn't an idiot, and had to have figured out that someone should have been here by now.

"Sorry; you're the last one. I had to take Tantei-kun out first; he's the only one who can beat me. Tantei-san can make this a draw…and so you were last, as you're the rookie."

Don took a moment to be affronted, then he noted something odd. Kaitou Kid was from Japan—this…kid? Man? He didn't sound or look that old, but he was a master of disguise. But there was almost no accent; only a slight blurring of certain letters, a slight lilt. There was no question; this thief was a genius; both in crime, and in language, and probably more than that.

"Kaitou Kid…if you really aren't trying to get rich from the heists…then what's the point of not getting caught? What's your goal?"

Kaitou Kid had stopped looking at the jewels; now he sat on top of one of the displays, conversing with Don (who was still trapped in handcuffs and lying helplessly on the floor) as if this was the most natural thing in the world. Don was hoping if he kept him here long enough, then someone would come and manage to catch Kaitou Kid. He couldn't really have taken them all out, not silently.

"I once told Tantei-san that it was his job to provide the answers." Kaitou Kid for once looked serious, despite his relaxed pose. "But you're not a detective. Your job isn't to find answers. Your job…is to bring justice."

The seriousness disappeared in an instant as Kaitou Kid bounced to his feet. "Well, I'm afraid nothing here really fits Tantei-kun for a birthday gift after all, so I'll just go with what I left him already. I put it on the roof; if you could pick it up for him, he'd be most grateful. But you might want to be careful- it's a little dangerous."

There was a slight movement of Kaitou's hand, and then Don was coughing; smoke bomb; no scent, so probably no drugs.

A minute later, once the smoke had cleared, he heard footsteps, and Saguru Hakuba came into view.

"I suppose Kaitou already left? It is 8:10 after all."

Don nodded, and Hakuba bent down to examine the cuffs. Don heard a muffled laugh, and turned his head to glare. "What's so funny? And where were you?"

Hakuba made a small noise of irritation. "I was hanging from the ceiling in a net; luckily I had a pocket knife on me. But I was laughing, because if I'm not mistaken, he swiped these handcuffs from the police back in Japan; probably from some of his own pursuers. Luckily, of course, this means that I actually have the key…which he probably realized."

Don rubbed his wrists as he stood up, free at last from the handcuffs. Hakuba was looking thoughtful. "He didn't gas you or me…he wanted us free. But why? What did he tell you?"

Don paused. "He said…" he thought back through the conversation; was there any reason that Kaitou Kid had chosen not to knock him out? Had conversing with him been the thief's plan all along?

"He said that my job was to bring justice. And that he had left Conan's birthday present on the roof." Don took off at a run midsentence, Hakuba following without hesitation. Don didn't stop upon seeing Colby and David snoozing on the floor; he kept running until he hit the roof.

He opened the door to the roof slowly, and warned Hakuba in a murmur that Kaitou had said the gift was dangerous. The detective raised an eyebrow, but nodded back.

Nothing was in sight, Don mused upon his first glance. There, in the shadows; Megan and Conan had been propped up against the wall, asleep.

And there…opposite them, bound with metal handcuffs (with a Kaitou Kid caricature attached on a card with a small red bow), and also asleep, was a man dressed in black. Beside him, but just out of reach, was a sniper rifle.

Hakuba was open-mouthed, as was Don. Kaitou Kid's gift to Conan was a sniper? And what did that have to do with Conan anyway?

A low noise came from the shadows; Don motioned Hakuba over to where Megan and Conan were waking up.

"Agent Reeves, Conan-kun, if you're able, you should come over here," Hakuba said quietly.

Conan was the first to come to his feet. He stared, open-mouthed, at the man in front of him.

"Do you know him, Conan?" Don asked. He kept his voice quiet, but the question was urgent.

"No; but he's probably a sniper. And if you aren't careful, he'll probably commit suicide, somehow; that's what Jodie-sensei said that Calvados did when they managed to trap him."

Don nodded, calling on the radio for backup, and doing a quick but thorough search of the man for more weapons; he found a small knife, but no more guns.

He sat back with a sigh as some police officers took their unconscious sniper. It was only 8:30…but it had already been a long night.


A/N: So there's the heist! I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations. All that's left is the conclusion now... I'm a little sad that this story will be all posted. I need to try and write something else...