Find and Seek
A Birthday fic for Only One Truth ML
By Icka! M. Chif

Forty-two was not the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Forty-two was getting slower, getting heavier, getting older while the faces around him got younger. New recruits into the police force as people transferred out, grew older, retired or died.

And yet he remained, chasing the thrice-cursed Kaitou Kid, may hedgehogs despoil his food. Around twenty years now, almost half his life. And he'd still yet to be able to catch the blasted thief.

He was forty-two today and feeling it. He was tired, he was cranky and he was not looking forward to spending the day filling out paperwork and trying to find reasons for why a certain white-clad menace wasn't behind bars.

And he needed his coffee, dammit. He couldn't entirely blame his foul mood on the fact that he was out of coffee, but the lack of the caffeine boost wasn't helping either. He'd fix that as soon as he got to the station.

A familiar black blur caught his attention as he backed the car out of the driveway. Kaito was waiting for Aoko under a streetlamp in front of their house, checking his watch with an impatient gesture. He paused, rolling down the window and leaning his head out. Kaito glanced up at him, doing a slight double take before greeting him with a grin. "Yo, Nakamori-keibu!"

Kaito was a nice kid, almost like a second child with the amount of time that he constantly spent with Aoko at their house. Little flighty perhaps and definitely way too creative for his own good. The boy was going to either go far or die young. He sincerely hoped it would not be the later. "Aoko's running late." He growled. "You might want to head on ahead without her."

"I'll wait." Kaito assured him confidently, not batting an eye at the surliness. "Thanks for the tip!"

"Welcome." He gave the kid a wave and backed on to the street, resuming the trip to work.

The people at work seemed to have some sort of early warning system in place, people scattered as he approached, quickly ducking into hiding places to avoid him. Which was fine by him, the fewer people around, the less he'd have to growl at them.

Then he realised the reason for it.

There was a Kid Note waiting for him at his desk.

Underneath a frosted cupcake. And a white rose. There was an unlit candle on the cupcake. Which was a shame, because then they might have had some sort of timeframe for when the cupcake and note had arrived, based on how far the candle had melted.

He turned to his second in command, who was hovering with a frightened air. He blanked on the beaked-nosed man's name, again. Although this particular one, despite his nervous habits, had lasted a lot longer than his former second in commands. "I don't suppose we know how this got here?"

Nakamori got a rabid headshake in response. "Didn't think so." He grumbled. It was rare that the police actually got the Kid heist note; usually the thief sent them to the soon-to-be victim, who then passed it on to the police, or it was sent to the newspapers, resulting in a massive media swarm.

He sat down in his chair, carefully setting the cupcake aside as evidence, knowing from experience that there wouldn't be any leads from it, and picked up the note. It simply said 'Nakamori-keibu' on the front, a heart and the usual cartoonish Kid caricature below the name and the rose taped to the paper.

Shrugging, he flipped it over.

It was actually a photograph, a picture of a building on it.

"Sir?" His second in command ventured.

"Ono Bank."


He rose from his desk. "I'll be out for the rest of the day, working on a lead."

"Uh, y-Yes, sir."

Nakamori debated a moment or two on grabbing a few cigars or his pipe, then decided to take his pipe along for nostalgia's sake.

He recognised the building, as the location of one of the first heists the Kaitou Kid had embarked on upon his revival, stealing the 'Eye of the Moon'. It had later been returned, inside of a fish he had been preparing for dinner.

That had also been the last of a brief series of heists by an invisible floating Kaitou Kid, wearing an opera mask. It had marked the rebirth of the Kaitou Kid he had first chased, the laughing monocle-faced thief.

The trip to Ono Bank was brief and he walked in, eyes scanning the place for tricks or surprises. The quiet, hushed business-like atmosphere almost the exact opposite of what he had expected. There was no air of anticipation, no body hustling to get last minute security features into place, nothing. Just another average day at a bank.

Feeling slightly puzzled, he walked to the front desk, where an attractive young woman smiled at him. "How may I help you, sir?"

He cleared his throat. "I'm Nakamori-"

"Ah! Nakamori-keibu!" Her face lit up with delight. "Just a moment, I have something for you."

"You do?" 'Puzzled' was upgraded to 'Confused and Alarmed'.

"Certainly!" There was a pause as she dug through a small pile of papers before pulling out a white envelope with his name on the front. "A nice elderly gentleman asked me to give you this when you stopped by this morning."

It was a normal envelope, on the small side with nothing but his name written on it, the same as the Kid note from his desk this morning. "Ah, thank you."

"Oh, you're very welcome sir! Have a pleasant day!"

"You too." He said absentmindly, wandering off to the side to open the envelope. It was a minor relief when it opened completely without bursting into a cloud of smoke and confetti as he did so.

Inside was another photograph. This was of a tall hotel, a large banner hanging from the side, advertising the Sublina Art and Jewellery Show. Which had been the next heist after the Eye of the Moon, when the Kaitou Kid had stolen the Lights of Paris from Princess Anne of Sublina.

He'd seen through the Kid's disguise, showing up the trigger happy European Detective Delton, resulting in Kid praising his skills and applauding the fact that Nakamori was the head of the Kaitou Kid Task Force. Princess Anne had also given him a grateful kiss on the cheek for recovering Europe's Largest Diamond for her.

All because Kid hadn't realised that Princess Anne was such a cat lover.

On the other side of the photograph was a large 'Ha' written in katakana.

Still confused but in better spirits than when he had arrived, he departed Ono Bank and drove to the building in the photograph. Inside, he introduced himself again and was given a second envelope, this one with a picture of a burnt out husk of a building on top of a hill.

'Pi', in katakana was written on the back of the photograph.

Out of curiosity, he'd asked who had delivered the envelope and discovered that a young woman had done so. Not an old man then, so either Kid had assistants, or was proving his mastery of disguise again.

The location of the third building eluded him for a moment, and then he recognized it as a side note from the heist that followed the Lights of Paris. That had been a strange heist, involving a robot of all things, that looked just like the Kid.

-Except for the extending arms, elevating neck, machine-gun elbows, pistol hand, missiles and enough ammunition to blow up most of a parking garage. Which the robot had done, in a battle with the Kaitou Kid.

... Who had strangely enough returned the jewel and apologized for the trouble.

The remains of the robot had been tracked down to one pile of rubble that had been the building formerly known as Ogami Electronics Laboratory. The laboratory had exploded just a few hours before the robot that spawned it had. The Fire Department had discovered human remains inside the debris, drawing an effective dead end to their questions of why or who had created the Robotic Kid.

The Laboratory had been built on a cliff on the side of a mountain, far on the outskirts of the city. The remains gave Nakamori chills as he approached it. He'd seen pictures of the building before the fire; it had looked like a mad scientist's dream house, all strange bumbling shapes. The ruins did nothing to enhance the imagery.

Taped to a pole just on the outskirts of the rubble was a third white envelope, his name on it. Inside was yet another photograph, this time of the museum that had held the Angel's Crown. Kid had shown his flair for disguise there too, first appearing as Kuroba Kaito, then later as his daughter Aoko. The first time had cast suspicion on Kaito, resulting in Aoko taking him to Tropical Land to prove that Kaito wasn't the Kid. It was much to his relief that it had worked.

Although there had later been a rumour of someone dressed like the Kid, sans hat and monocle, running around Tropical Land that day...

On the back of the photograph was a single horizontal line. Ichi or one, perhaps?

Puzzled and a bit on the hungry side, he put the photograph with the others in his pocket and headed back to town. It was lunchtime and he was hungry.

Lunch was a quick stop at a Odon vendor, large pieces of boiled bamboo root, potatoes, squash and fish cakes filling him up before proceeding.

At the museum, a bored looking security guard gave him a fourth envelope. This time the envelope had been dropped off by a small child, leading back to the assistant theory, because there was no way the Kid could make himself appear like a six-year old.

The photograph was of another museum, a case that Nakamori remembered the strangeness of. He'd attempted to use sleeping gas against the Kid, which had almost worked, up until the point that the thief had inexplicably began coughing up blood and bleeding profusely from his head. There had been a trail of bloodstains on the floor, that had disappeared just outside of the building.

The Kid's blood type was B. In yet another bizarre coincidence, Kaito had the same blood type as the Kid.

The katakana on the back of this photograph was also 'Be'.

Fortunately, this museum wasn't far away.

In the fifth envelope, he half expected a picture of the building that the Kid had kidnapped Prime Minister Uemoto from an International Summit. It made sense, seeing as Kid appeared to be going in order from his revival. Instead, it was a picture of the skyscraper that Kid had stolen Cleopatra's Makeup Box from.

That had been a fun case, chasing the Kid around town, following the mass of Eyebots lead by their granddaddy, RZ-04. He never would have anticipated the thief of being able to cross dress while in freefall. However, he had been amused when Kid had slipped up in that disguise, using a men's toilet while in girl's clothing.

The Eyebots had also resulted in one of the longest Kid chases in Task Force History, lasting almost a full day of constant footwork. Through the maze of streets, the sewers, inside buildings, underwater, until the Kid lost them on top of Ono Department Store.

RZ-04 had made his reappearance at Nakamori's house, in the bathroom while Aoko was bathing. He had not been a pleased father.

The katakana this time was 'Su'

After driving halfway across town, he was given a sixth envelope. No one had seen the person who had dropped it off; it had just been left at the front desk with a note to please give it to him.

He was distantly grateful that this the photograph was not of the Tokyo Tower. He still could not explain how the cursed beaded necklace had ended around his neck, nor could he remember shooting at the fleeing thief and ordering his men to shoot to kill. The thought left an uneasy feeling that coiled in his stomach and was privately grateful to his men for stopping him.

The use of lethal force was not authorized against the Kid. Period. The Kid may be annoying, in his manners, his thievery and his ability to elude them, but nothing that would warrant his death.

And it was awfully hard to arrest a corpse. Much less send it to jail.

The sixth photograph was of the Tokyo Dome, where Kid had stolen a home run ball, hit by Nagashima in a game against the Giants. He still could not explain that one. Jewels, paintings, statues, yes. Baseballs? No.

It said 'De' on the back in katakana this time.

The guard at the gate to the parking lot gave him a seventh envelope, this time a teenage boy on a bicycle had given it to him, early this morning.

Inside was a photograph of Tofu Department store, taken before the Christmas fiasco resulting in the Kid stealing the Giant's Star from the owner of the department store and his witless assistant on top of a giant Christmas tree.

The expensive tree-topping star, worth one billion yen, had later been returned to him, on top of the Christmas tree at his own house.

Of course, there really wasn't much left of the department store, once the Kid crashed the tree into the building. Summoning the Kid by using his name was to invite disaster upon yourself. It seemed the Kid took offense at people using his name to make money. Which seemed like an oxymoron.

Still, it was one of his more fond Christmas memories.

There was another horizontal line on the back of this photograph

There was a new store built in replacement of the Tofu Department store, a friendly sales clerk giving him an envelope.

The eight photograph was of his house. There was a heart on the back.

Nakamori realised with a start that it was now past dark and his stomach was protesting that it was suppertime. Suddenly home sounded very good.

And while the Kid did tend to be non-violent and definitely non-lethal, he wanted to double check on how Aoko was doing. And who knew? With her temper and his luck, perhaps he'd arrive home and find her pinning the Kid in a corner of a ceiling with a broom.

He called in to his office, reporting that the leads hadn't panned out; he'd report tomorrow what had happened. Perhaps it was irresponsible of him, but it was officially his birthday and he was tired from all the driving he had done today. His second in command assured it would be fine and wished him a pleasant evening.

Driving up to his house, he spotted a dark figuring in the same place it had been when he left. Kaito was leaning against the same streetlamp, checking his watch. Nakamori paused before pulling in. "Something wrong?"

Kaito grinned as he saw him, hands going behind his head with a pleased air. "Nope. Everything's fine. Aoko's inside, should just be finishing up the last of dinner preparations. How was your day, sir?"

"Entertaining." He allowed. "What are you doing here, Kaito-kun?"

"Me?" The boy practically radiated innocence. "I'm the diversion. Have a nice night!" With another grin and a wave, Kaito turned and began to head towards his house, hands in his pockets and whistling a light-hearted tune.

Nakamori shook his head as he drove into the driveway. Nice boy, but sometimes definitely lacking in the brains department.

Aoko greeted him in the kitchen with an enthusiastic smile. "Welcome home, Daddy! You're just in time!"

"Time?" He questioned, raising an eyebrow. Aoko bounced, grabbing his arm and escorting him to the table. Dinner was laid out, all of his favourite foods, plus a small bottle of warmed sake and a cake, with a handful of lit candles on it.

"Happy Birthday, Daddy!" Aoko sang, giving him a hug.

The cake, with it's katakana writing on it caught his attention, reminding him of the photographs he still carried in his pocket.

Ha Pi - Be Su De -

Hapi- Besude-.

Happy Birthday.

"Thanks." He growled, hugging her back, which caused her to giggle in delight.

Perhaps forty-two wasn't that old.

He'd catch that Kid yet.


And thus ends a summary of Nakamori's involvement in the MK manga before Hakuba shows up. oO;; Because that's where we blessedly ran outta 'kana. Entire fic written in about 5 hours. Whew.

Many many thanks to Ysabet and Anglb3rt for their assistance and not laughing at the frantic phone call of "Quick! Do you know how to spell 'Happy Birthday' in Katakana?!" because we'd forgotten, even though we had just written it a few weeks ago.

Hapi- Besude- is one romanji spelling for the katakana for 'Happy Birthday'. Would actually write it in 'kana, but most people's browsers prolly couldn't handle it. There's many ways to actually write it.
Many thanks to everyone who pointed out the various spellings.

For the confused, Katakana is one of the Japanese alphabets, used for spelling foreign words phonetically. We've been familiar with 'kana for about a third of our life and since most of my friends know katakana, it doesn't generally register that other people may not know it. My apologies.

And my apologies to Douglas Adams for the opening line.