This is going to be my first story that isn't a one-shot. I have a plan for it and I'll try to update it every week. Anyone interested can expect the next chapter to come out next Saturday. Sorry about this chapter, it has a lot of big blocks of text. I hope you enjoy my story and I'll try really hard to update often. Disclaimer: I don't own detective Conan, but someday I will own a book, then I'll wright fanfic for it just so that I can say, yes I do own this.

Takagi looked down at the bespectacled boy beside him, not that the child noticed. No, he was completely absorbed in the mystery at hand. His chin was in his hand, his face serious and contemplative. It was an expression completely alien to the childish face it adorned. The cop knew that if he should say anything, the face would immediately disappear and be replaced with an innocent, childish facade. Knowing this, he remained silent, opting instead to use this rare moment of the boy's mental detachment to openly study him. Conan was no longer the curious, sweet, fairly smart but otherwise normal seven year old boy he seemed with Ran. Nor was he the very intelligent, observing, and protecting boy he was with the detective boy's and Kogoro. No, now he was the confident and deadly serious genius youth calmly going over facts and evidence. The one who surveyed crime scenes when he though no one was looked. He was the boy in the elevator, dismantling a bomb like a pro, no fear for his own life but for the life of someone else.

A slight chill racked the police detective's body as he remembered that night. The boy's calm answer to his nearly joking question "Who are you?" No, perhaps joking was a bad word. The situation was deadly serious, literally. Just as the boy's answer had been. A glare on his glasses, hiding his eyes and expression as he calmly answered "I'll tell you in the afterlife." It was the boy who said those words who was walking beside him now. Not cute Conan-kun, not the leader of the detective boys, not Mouri's apprentice. This child was something more. He was Holmes, the master Sleuth in the body of a child. He was a mind to rival Kudo Shinichi and Hattori Heiji, two youth's already considered geniuses because of their deductive skills that outmatched any adult. He was a detective, in the truest sense of the word.

Stepping up to the gate of the desired house, Takagi pressed the bell to alert the house's owner of his arrival. He hoped the far-off ringing would not rouse the boy from his pondering, but couldn't risk stalling in fear of alerting the boy of his study. The quiet buzzing of an electronic lock sounded as the gate opened slightly. Takagi held it open for Conan then entered himself. Momentarily pausing in his study of the child to hope he wasn't interrupting anything. Though he supposed the man Itoumo Kasai should have been expecting them. The two had come earlier to question him as a witness, but as usual he had to retrace his steps to check some things and ask for additional information. Still, he couldn't help his small twinge of unease. The whole situation reminded him of an eerily similar one, one in which he nearly lost his life. If it hadn't been for the mahjong tile he'd kept as evidence he wouldn't be there now.

On the day that the time limit for arresting a murderer was to expire, it seemed as if the culprit struck again, killing another man. He went to a witness's house to review information from the original murders. When he went to ask the man, not even a suspect, about the first murder he found himself kidnapped. The man confessed to be the killer of the recent case, killing the original murderer using his own signature. Things had quickly gotten out of hand and Takagi had come out of it pretty badly beaten, yet gratefully still alive. Sure he hadn't gotten to go to the hot springs with Satou, but it could have been much worse. Especially considering the kiss. Yes, the kiss... sigh, happiness.

Bringing his mind quickly back to the case, Takagi glanced down at the boy, glad to see his happy sigh hadn't broken his concentration. Even if he was no longer studying the tiny tantei, the boy's brainpower could possibly be the only difference between an open and closed case. The child presence was one of the very few differences between the other case and the present one. Still the feeling of Deja-vu lingered. He forced himself to shake it off, or at least ignore it. There was no way something like that could happen to him twice. He couldn't be that unlucky. He quickly shot that argument out of his mind, knowing that with his record, he definitely could be.

Reaching the door to the house, he knock softly. "Imouto-san? It's me the detective who talked to you earlier." His voice finally broke Conan out of his revery. Immediately a childish mask fitted itself over his face. The older detective repressed a shiver. At least he knew he wouldn't have any trouble questioning the witness, not with Conan with him. If the man tried to avoid the question or lie, Conan would some how make him answer. Asking seemingly irrelevant questions in an innocent way until the man talked himself into a trap. The moment the trap snapped, with its squirming victim inside finally telling the truth, for the briefest moment a smug, all knowing smirk would appear on the child's face. Gone in the instant someone noticed him again. Anyone other than Takagi that is.

The man had been studying Conan for a long time, far before even the elevator case, and seemed the perfect one to do it. He was considered the pushover, the one you can tease or make play the victim. He was Megure's sidekick, always nearby taking notes. For a long time he'd simply been part of the background. It was hardly a rewarding role, but one he was good at and stuck in. That had been changing lately, he was getting a bigger role in cases, and more well known because of his successes with Satou. His crime solving successes and his, cough, romantic ones. He was seeing the kids more than the other cops too, even on his off-duty days they seemed to find him. He was sure Conan showed himself more as a detective with him than with any other cop. Probably more than everyone barring perhaps Hattori and Agasa. Takagi noticed he was asking for more favors during cases, and he'd practically completely stopped with the "Oji-san wants..." excuse that everyone else so foolishly bought.

Conan showed himself more freely to Takagi than many of the others. There were many things he still attempted to hide, but Takagi was still very good at hiding in the background. It was subtle, a hidden grin here, a slip of the tongue there, a picture of the boy's true self was showing itself, but the colors were deluded and splayed randomly across the canvas. It was quickly becoming a picture of chaos rather than the orderly one he wished. With every new insight and revelation, a once asked question still played on his lips. "Who are you?" Yet he knew he would get no more than what was already said. "I'll tell you in the afterlife." In other words, "I'll protect my secret with my life, and I'll only tell when I'm dead."

He heared movement beside him as the subject of his thoughts squirmed in impatience. Where was Imouto-san? He must know they were there, he buzzed them in after all. Still Takagi knocked on the door, once again calling out to the man. His mind was brought back to how similar this was to the case long age. The feeling only intensified as a dark shadow loomed over him and a splitting pain shot up from the back of his head. He crumpled, hearing from Conan a shocked squawk as a large hand grabbed him by the scruff. That was the last thing he saw before the world faded to black.