A/N: Dear Chitanda Eru… Being curious doesn't necessarily make one a detective.
Her left wrist aches slightly, but Detective Chitanda Eru ignores it in favor of the criminal she has cuffed herself to. "Mr. Oreki, you are under arrest for numerous offenses against the Crown including but not limited to larceny and burglary," she informs him. Then murmurs quietly, "This was almost too easy."
The criminal—Oreki—hears her. "If you release me we can try this again," he suggests.
"Why were you sleeping on this bench?" Chitanda asks, peering down at the handsome face she has seen plastered on wanted posters. He is impeccably dressed, though his monocle is nowhere to be seen and his top hat is resting in his lap. Moonlight bathes him silver and she fights down the sudden urge to blush. He could pass as a member of the Ton if he weren't a criminal.
"I was tired," Oreki yawns.
"You knew we were patrolling this area tonight," she insists.
"I was conserving energy. Miss…?"
"Chitanda," she gives without thinking.
"Miss Chitanda." Oreki tugs their cuffed wrists gently. "You're not expecting me to follow you to the station." It is a statement of fact. Chitanda bristles.
"Of course I am! Despite appearances I'm stronger than I look. I will resort to force if need—" He abruptly rises from the bench and she swallows, nearly taking a step back at the look in his shadowed olive green eyes. It occurs to her again that this had been all too easy.
"Miss Chitanda," he repeats. "What is your weight?"
She blinks. "A lady never tells."
He nods as though in confirmation. "Do you know where Detective Ibara is currently?"
"She's—how do you know her?"
"Ibara's been on our case longer than you have. She didn't tell you? Of course she didn't." Oreki jingles the metal handcuff and says, "Miss Chitanda, allow me to tell you exactly what is going to happen next."
Chitanda hopes Mayaka is more successful in capturing Fukube. She has a vague feeling the opposite has occurred. It is time for her to move. "No need to tell me, Mr. Oreki. I already know what's going to happen."
"Good. I won't waste any time then."
Oreki grasps the hand cuffed to his and yanks her toward him. Her gasp turns into an outraged squeak when he scoops her up into his arms.
"You're heavier than you look," Oreki observes over her stammers. He doesn't seem bothered by her weight as he walks swiftly down the empty street.
"What do you think you're doing where are you going—put me down Sir!"
"I thought you knew? Very well. Listen carefully. I am going to meet up with my partner at a designated location. He will subdue Ibara in similar fashion. He will also unlock these cuffs. Then we will handcuff you and Ibara together and deposit you at the church, after which Fukube and I will escape. The end."
That is not going to happen because Mayaka would probably accidentally kill her in her rage. Chitanda babbles, "Or I can release you right now if you will put me down!"
He does. Quite gently, but she is fuming. She had been so close!
Oreki rubs his free wrist and looks at her. "Pleasure doing business with you, Miss Chitanda."
Chitanda pouts because she is terrible at business and Mayaka is probably waiting at the church already and this had all seemed too easy. "Next time will be different," she promises, too kind to make it a threat.
"Next time I'll make an effort to hide from you." Oreki turns to leave because they know she won't do anything and almost inaudibly mutters, "Why a detective?"
Chitanda has very good hearing. "Because I'm curious!"
The smile Oreki throws over his shoulder is frustrated and resigned.
"I thought so."