Thief in the Night

A Lupin the Third fan fiction by Lywinis

Epilogue

"Uncle Lupin!" Jessica squealed, hopping off the window seat where she held sway in the playroom. She pelted down the stairs just as Cara opened the door and flew into the famous thief's arms, knocking him onto his behind. Cara smiled at her daughter and then chided the three-year-old.

"You know we don't act that way around company, especially when it's a special day like today."

Jessica hung her head. "Sorry, Uncle Lupin." She shuffled her feet and smoothed the ruffles on her green party dress. A mischievous look spread across her face, twinkling in her blue eyes. "Wanna see my toys?"

"I'd love to, Princess," Lupin replied solemnly and was then tugged unceremoniously up the stairs to the playroom by a giggling, raven-headed child.

"It's amazing how much she acts like her mother," Lupin called back as he was tugged around the corner, but not fast enough so that he didn't see the tongue she stuck out at him.

"Lupin's here, then?" Jigen called, stepping to the door and putting his arms around Cara's waist. He bent and kissed the top of her head, and was rewarded with a smile. He was blessed, and he certainly knew it.

"Yep, he was just dragged upstairs by his goddaughter. I swear, he dotes on her more than you do." She nudged him in the ribs and he grinned at her.

"Shall we go and check on them?" Jigen asked, letting her go. She nodded, and they made their way upstairs to a scene that had become more commonplace around the holidays and birthdays.

Goemon was forced into a small plastic toddler chair, armed not with Zantetsuken, but a plastic saucer and cup of pretend tea. Inspector Zenigata and Lupin were glaring at each other in chairs opposite each other. They sat around a small table, where Jessica sat in a queenly little throne that Lupin had had made for her. Zenigata cuffed Lupin in a single fluid motion and was suddenly face-to-face with a very angry toddler.

"No, Uncle Zeni! No 'cuffs!" She waggled her chubby finger in his face, nearly nose to nose with the Interpol Officer. He sighed and let Lupin go, smiling when Jessica beamed and kissed his cheek before resuming her seat in the most unlikely court ever held.

"Looks like we're all here," Lupin said, motioning at the others gathered around. "Although I still won't ever get used to seeing you in that getup, Jigen." He shrugged and indicated the sweater and jeans the gunman was wearing.

"Yeah, but you'll understand when you have birthday cake smeared all over your four hundred dollar silk shirt." Jigen held out the platter he had grabbed from the kitchen. A homemade cake sat on the silver serving plate, iced in chocolate and green lettering, reading Happy Birthday, Princess Jessica.

"Shall we, then?" asked Cara. The others nodded, and she began to sing in a low, husky voice. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, sweet Jessica, happy birthday to you." The others joined in, Goemon and Zenigata having surprisingly good voices to add to the din.

The little girl beamed as she looked around at the gathered circle of parents and godparents. Her face fell as she noted a missing person, though. "Where's Auntie Fujiko?" she asked.

"Right here," came a voice from behind Cara. Fujiko stood at the top of the stairs, a small smile on her face. "I also have a birthday surprise for your mommy."

"Please tell me it's not another kilo of C-4?" Cara asked dryly.

"Nothing like that, but something you'll like nonetheless." She stepped aside and her father stood there, clad in the same starched suit she always remembered. Cara ran to him and hugged him. She pulled back and looked at him, still not quite believing it.

"Daddy, what are you doing here?"

"You thought I would miss my granddaughter's birthday?"

"You didn't even know you had a granddaughter."

"Because someone is ashamed to tell me when they get married after surviving an explosion and a gunshot wound? I'm sorry if I worry too much about you that you feel your life-or-death experiences are something to keep hidden from me."

She grinned at him. "Well, you know, you hate me and everything, so I figured you wouldn't want to know."

Jigen stepped up to her side, placing a protective arm around her waist. Alphonse and Jigen came face-to-face for the first time, bristling as they sized each other up. Cara smiled and nudged her husband. "He's not going to bite you, let it go."

"So you are the man that stole my little girl's heart and made her a thief."

"Actually, sir, that was me," Lupin interjected. "A long time ago."

"Perhaps you'd better introduce me to my granddaughter first, and then explain all of this to me."

Cara squatted down on her haunches. "Jessica, come here. There's someone I want you to meet." Her daughter ran to her, and she lifted the little girl and presented her to her father. "This is your grandpa."

"A pleasure to meet you, little one," her father said, holding out his hand. The little girl shook it solemnly.

"My name's Jessica."

"I see. Mine is Alphonse."

"Want some cake?"

"I would love some, my dear."

The little girl laughed and wriggled to be let down. Her mother obliged her and she seized her grandfather's hand and led him to a place at the already cramped table. He was seated between Zenigata and Goemon, who shared long-suffering smiles and welcomed their new party-mate.


After Jessica was put to bed ("I'm not tired, mommy…"), the adults were seated around the kitchen table having drinks and talking. Alphonse had demanded the story from the beginning, so his daughter told the whole tale as she remembered it, with the others interjecting where appropriate. She began with her first heist with Lupin, working up to the Crown Jewels, then finishing out with the Sutton Hoo caper and the events afterward. According to her side of the story, she had finally realized what she had been missing when she taught Zenigata rudimentary English. She'd been missing Jigen, and the times they had spent together, staking out an area for Lupin, just talking quietly or sitting in a companionable silence.

However, she'd not been able to do anything. He was gone with Lupin, and she figured they wouldn't want her around anymore. She'd gotten on the plane with Zenigata, and was kidnapped at the gates. She was eventually rescued by the combined efforts of the trio and Zenigata, but she'd been hospitalized for her wound. Jigen had been badly burned along his back when he covered her with his body, and was placed next to her in the ICU. While they healed, a certain amount of discussion had gone on. They'd made a full recovery, and were married soon after.

"So, when Daisuke and I were married, Lupin presented us with a check. I boggled at what the amount was, and he told me that Fujiko had donated it."

Lupin sighed at the memory. "She made me pay back every penny, but it was worth it."

Fujiko nodded. "It took a long time for Cara to finally forgive me, but Lupin finally got through to her. I'm not really all that bad."

Cara cocked an eyebrow, and the two women laughed. "We actually went outside when we met the first time and had a discussion."

"I'll say they did," snickered Lupin. "Cara broke Fujicakes' arm, and Cara had a black eye."

"Well, that's certainly a story," remarked Alphonse, running a hand through his thick shock of black hair. His dark blue eyes danced with mirth. "If it were anyone but Cara, I would be inclined to call him or her a liar."

The adults' talk was cut short by the chiming of the clock. It was midnight. The inspector stretched, then looked pointedly at Lupin. The thief took the hint and nodded to Fujiko and Goemon. The three stood up and made their goodbyes to the family, then made their way out to the porch, Zenigata following closely.

Alphonse, Cara, and Jigen followed after, watching the play by play of events. Cara and Jigen both bore smiles, and her father regarded them rather strangely. He was rewarded with the sight of three people being chased by someone who had spent the entire day civilly in the company of the same people.

"Damn it, Lupin, get your ass back here!" Zenigata shouted. Lupin merely laughed and peeled out in his Benz.

"Maybe next time, Pops, catch you later!"

"LUUUUPPPPIIINNN!" The cry echoed through the quiet neighborhood, as Zenigata gave chase in his old jalopy.

"What was that all about?" asked Alphonse.

"We're neutral ground," chimed Jigen and Cara together, laughing.

The End


God, I never thought I would actually finish something that wasn't a one-shot or a single drawing. Thanks to all of you who've reviewed and read my story, it means a lot to me. In no particular order: DJ Clawson, KouichiZenigata, Fox Xanatos, and Joselyn Greenleaf, you guys rock. Especially threatening me with cookies. I think that may have gotten my tail in gear. :)

Till the next Story,

Lywinis