For Kaitou Ann.

This is actually part of a scene from a much MUCH larger fic in progress called 'The Price You Pay'. Ann commented that it was a good Hakuba background story, so we re-wrote the scenario and volia! here you go. ^^;;

Gaining Watson

By Icka! M. Chif

"Attack of the Kaitou Kid!" The joyous call behind him was all the warning he had before something soft hit his head with a squeak. He blinked, automatically reaching out to catch it as it rolled off.

It was a chibi Kaitou Kid plushie, small enough to easily rest in the palm of his hand. It was well done, despite the fact that it was clearly handmade.

"Congratulations!" Kuroba slapped him on the shoulder, a move that would have sent him stumbling forward if he hadn't been expecting it. "You caught the Kid!"

"Cute." He deadpanned, squeezing the doll and causing it to squeak. "I think Watson has a new chew toy now."

The magician laughed at his reply, violet eyes sparkling in amusement. "See, this is why you're fun to play with lately."

An eyebrow rose. "Lately?"

"Yeah, ever since you came back from summer vacation with that bird of yours." Kuroba's posture was casual as he fell instep, the two of them heading outside as if they were good friends, instead of a detective and a thief pretending the thief wasn't. "You're calmer now. Last semester you would have blown your top and started lecturing me about not making fun about catching the Kid."

"Hmm." He paused, as they stepped into the light, allowing his sight to adjust. "I suppose I am."

"Speaking of which..." Kuroba smirked and pointed towards a tree, where Watson was resting on, keeping an eye on him. The Sparrowhawk had a habit of breaking out of her pen and following him around. He wasn't sure if he should discourage the habit or not, but since no one seemed to notice, and Kuroba kept doves on him, he was resigned to let it go.

"Do you know how I got Watson?" He asked, moving for a tree not far from Watson's perch.

"Nope." Kuroba shrugged. "But you can tell me during lunch! I love a good story. And I don't really feel like getting dragged along with Aoko and the girls today."

"It's your own fault for showing off how good you are with make-up." He chided, the slightest amount of a smirk curving his the corner of his lips.

Kuroba made a face, but didn't refute it. He chuckled.

They walked in near-companionable silence as they sat down and unwrapped their lunches. Stories were stories, but lunches were FOOD and after all, they were still growing teens.

"As you probably know, I went back to England during the last summer vacation." He began after a few bites had taken the edge off his hunger. Kuroba raised his head, slowing down from a human vacuum to a more sedate pace as he listened. "While I was there, I went to visit the man who got me into mysteries and Sherlock Holmes in the first place. I'm still not sure if he was an old friend of the family or actually my uncle, but he was my favourite uncle growing up."

Kuroba took the opportunity to pull a miniature chair from -somewhere- and sat the Kid Plushie on it. "He was the one that gave you that stupid coat, didn't he?" He commented, grinning slightly as he attempted to keep the doll from falling over.

Lunch with Kuroba and the Kaitou Kid. The irony was not lost on Hakuba.

"The tweed Inverness coat and deerstalker hat, yes." He agreed, deciding to ignore 'stupid' part. After all, it was no more ridiculous then running around at night in a white tuxedo and cape. "He was an expert on Sherlock Holmes, the mysteries, the characters, the era, everything. They even enlisted his help on an interactive game set in London at that era..."

He trailed off, lost in the memories for a moment. He took a bite of rice to cover it up. Kuroba waited patiently, something that seemed out of sorts for someone who was usually bouncing around like a rubber superball.

"I called, then went to his house for a visit. He was fond of stories about the Kid, you know. Thought you were a right scoundrel. Arséné Lupin incarnate he'd call you."

"I'm not the-"

"Not you." He pointed to the doll. "Him."

Kuroba blinked. "Oh."

It was hard not to snicker at his expression, but he bit his tongue in favour of saving that one to make fun of the magician with later.

"-It was perhaps a half hour after I called, but when I arrived, the front door was open and a side window was broken. His house had been broken into, right after I called. I went inside to find him on the ground, dead. Watson was in the room as well, keening wildly because of an injured wing. They had knocked him over the head with a vase and stolen some of the first edition books. Watson, who had been hand raised by him since she was out of the egg, had somehow gotten into the room and attacked the culprit."

"I had been wondering about that, since your hawk's a girl."

Hakuba blinked. "How'd you know Watson was a girl?"

"I do raise my own birds." Kuroba pointed out, only slightly smug. "It helps to be able to tell the guys from the girls without flipping their skirts."

That was a lovely mental picture he did not need. "Yes... moving on... I threw a fallen curtain over her, which quieted her for a bit, then called the police and looked for what clues I could without disrupting anything. It was just a smash and grab job nothing of real note left behind. And Watson was the only witness."

"A bird as the only witness?" Kuroba looked interested in the story. "What did you do?"

"The only thing I could do. Track them down." He shrugged, looking up to where the Sparrowhawk was watching them. "Watson was injured, but wouldn't let me leave her sight. So I took her with me and together we found him. She's been with me ever since. That was how I found out the hard way that couldn't loose my temper and do things on impulse, like I did when we first met."

"Huh?"

"Animals, especially birds, pick up on emotions very well. As you probably know with your doves." Watson gave herself a shake, then closed her eyes, settling down for a nap. "If I get angry, or irritable, she picks up on it. And unlike your doves, she's got that beak and talons almost as long as your pinkie finger. So if I'm being stupid, she's going to let me know. So I had to learn patience and to control my temper very quickly. She won't always do what I'd like her to do. Sort of like someone else I know..."

Kuroba grinned back, unrepentant as the Kid Plushie slouched a bit, appearing to silently laugh at him as well. Hakuba snorted in amusement.

"It turns out the thief was just some stupid git, down on his luck." He gave a half shrug, finishing the story. "He didn't know the blow had killed Uncle, he'd only meant to stun him. Unfortunately Uncle was old, and had landed at a bad angle. The strain on his heart is what killed him, really. Bloke was in tears as the cops took him away. But I guess you could say that was my trial by fire."

It certainly hadn't been easy. Between the loss of his uncle and dealing with a large grieving injured bird of prey, he'd been at wits end just trying to hold himself together, never mind solve the mystery. But he had, and he liked to think of himself as stronger for it.

"Good story. I'm sorry for your loss too." Kuroba commented, and he knew that the magician honestly was. The wild haired boy he leaned back, his eyes distant as he looked up at Watson with a thoughtful air. "Y'know... I'm beginning to think I shouldn't hang around you any more. Might be dangerous to my health."

"Oh, really?" He raised an eyebrow. "And why is that?"

The magician -grinned- at him, much like a wolf before it jumped on an unsuspecting rabbit.

"Hawks eat Doves."

-fin-

Hauntress asked late one night, and after about an hour worth of searching and research, we discovered that Watson was most likely an English Sparrowhawk. And if the anime colouring is correct, a Female English Sparrowhawk. *Laughs*

An Inverness coat is also called 'The Sherlock Holmes Coat'. Finally looked it up. ^_^;; It's what Hakuba wears when chasing the Kid.

Yes, the interactive game comment is a reference to the 6th movie.

We've been waiting to play with the Hawk/Dove thing for a while now, sorry bout that...

The Chibi Kaitou Kid Plushie idea was blatantly stolen from a doujinshi we have involving a Hakuba, a Kid Plushie and Kuroba with a remote control. 'Nuff said.

^__^