Whoa… posting again so soon? What the heck is going on here? Well… I have some down time, and some musings, and I decided to just go with it.
I'd like to thank "A Bibliophile" for the suggestion to include Hakuba. It hadn't occurred to me, because I didn't know much about him… but having now read volume 3 of "Magic Kaito", I think he'll provide an interesting wrench in the plans.
I still don't own any of this besides the plot. All characters and locations belong to their respective creators.
Chapter 13: Secrets Revealed
Conan and Heiji went straight to the detective agency from the train station. Ran was in school, and Kogoro was off on a relatively unimportant case. Since the meeting place was near his home, Conan didn't feel that watching the street from the comfort of the office could necessarily be considered cheating.
"Couldn't figure it out, could ya?"
Conan glared at his friend. "I have a guess, but I feel like I'm missing something."
Heiji considered this. "He told you he showed you his real face twice, right?"
"Yeah… but the only times I can remember him duplicating an impression was when he showed up looking like me - in my normal body. The first time was after I almost got my eye shot out of its socket, and he showed up to cover for me when I was about to tell Ran the truth. The second time was when an actress asked us to protect a ring for her. He sent a 'heist note' that time."
"So… you think he looks like you."
"As much as I don't like to admit it, it does make sense. There was also that time Ran said she thought she saw someone that looked like me in Shibuya, so it's not like it's impossible."
They were rewarded a couple minutes later, when a familiar blond walked down the street accompanied by another student who bore an uncanny resemblance to Shinichi. The pair made friendly conversation as they walked, and the darker-haired boy glanced up at the windows of the agency when they passed through the door into the cafe. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary, though, because Conan and Heiji were already making their way down the stairs.
"What's Hakuba doing here," Conan demanded of Heiji.
"Dunno… but he obviously knows the other guy, who happens to look enough like you that he could be the person we're meeting."
"I find it hard to believe that KID would willingly share his secret identity with anyone. Hakuba must have his own suspicions, and decided to tag along when he saw his classmate leaving the school grounds."
"Only one way to find out, then."
They reached the street level, and entered the cafe. Rather than waiting to be seated, they made a beeline for the table where the other two teens were already placing drink orders.
The seated pair shifted their attention to the two who approached them. "Hattori-san, what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing, Hakuba-han. But I wont, 'cause Conan-kun and I talked about our theories on the way downstairs. If you must know, the kid invited me."
"And so we come to the one who called this meeting," remarked the one who had yet to be introduced, looking pointedly at the child-sized detective. "My name is Kuroba Kaito," he announced. He didn't ask for either of their names in return, since he knew of them already. "Why have you suddenly taken a stronger interest in me?"
Conan watched the doorway. He was glad that Heiji had had the foresight not to call him 'Kudo' and reveal his secret when explaining his attendance, but it wouldn't matter in a few more minutes anyway. Three pairs of eyes followed his, not sure what they were supposed to be looking for. When nothing happened, he turned back around and slid into the booth beside Hakuba. Heiji could fend for himself next to KID.
"I shouldn't be as surprised as I am, that you haven't already figured it out. You know who I am, and you probably also know what I'm trying to do… but you don't know who that other guy was." He glanced toward the door again, hoping that Ed would miraculously come walking through it. "He's the key."
Hakuba cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, Edogawa-kun, I'm not sure I follow."
"Before we continue, you must promise that nothing you hear today leaves this table. The information being shared is of the utmost sensitivity, and in the wrong hands could prove fatal for every one of us and our loved ones."
Hakuba was surprised at the difference in demeanor and vocabulary in the boy sitting next to him, as compared to when they were in the presence of others besides the two across the table. After a second, he realized that they were all waiting for his reply, noting that they must have already been in on whatever the big secret was. "I promise," he said quietly with a nod.
"Okay. The only way this is gonna work, is if all the information is out in the open between us. Since I'm the one who called this meeting, I'll go first. I am known as Edogawa Conan, but that's not my name." He took off his glasses and set them on the table. "My name is Kudo Shinichi." The words were barely out of his mouth, when Heiji started making motions at him. Conan turned around to see the waitress bringing their drinks. He put his glasses back on, falling back into his child-like persona until she was out of earshot again.
Hakuba sat dumbfounded for the full minute that the waitress was at the table. He found his voice again after she walked away. "If I didn't know better, I'd think this was all a big joke. However, since none of you are laughing… I knew there was something a little off about you, Edogawa-k… oh, I'm sorry, Kudo-kun,"
"No, please keep calling me by my pseudonym. You'll understand why soon."
"Oh, okay… Edogawa-kun. Well, I knew there was something wrong, but I didn't think it was as big as this. Uh… no pun intended."
"That's fine, I'm used to it now." He would have continued, but the door to the cafe opened again, and in came a small blond boy who was dressed all in black, except for a pair of white gloves.
"Ah, speaking of people with complexes about being vertically challenged," Heiji quipped. Conan and Hakuba slid over to make space at the table.
"I thought you said you weren't coming."
"Yeah, well, I changed my mind. Before you ask, Haibara is making up an excuse for us, and keeping the other kids from coming after us."
Conan shrugged. He figured Ai should have been at the meeting too, but it was just as well that she stayed at the school. "Well, you know Hattori. This is Hakuba Saguru and Kuroba Kaito." Each nodded as their name was mentioned.
"Pleased to meet you, I'm Edward Elric."
"I take it he's like you, Edogawa-kun," Hakuba said. "How is he the key to the mystery?"
"Because he knows about the Pandora stone that Kaitou KID is searching for," Kaito said, sitting back with his arms crossed.
Hakuba and Heiji looked back and forth between Kaito and Edward.
Conan smirked. "There's only one way you could have drawn that conclusion from such limited information. Only a small number of people knew we were at the heist last night."
Hakuba's eyes widened to the size of ping-pong balls. "I knew it! You're…"
Kaito cut him off with the wave of a hand before his friend revealed his secret to the rest of the cafe. "Yes, yes, full disclosure and all. But please don't say it out loud."
Conan cleared his throat. "Now that everyone's here and introduced, I suggest we move to a more private location to discuss things further."
There was an audible poof of pink smoke, and a large conical piece of plexiglass gently lowered itself around the table. They watched it for a few seconds before Conan glared at Kaito. "That wasn't what I had in mind." Kaito grinned, but when he noticed that the others didn't appreciate the joke, it was gone with another 'poof'.
Heiji slid off the bench and stood up. "Let's go. You're attractin' attention we don't need or want."
"Where to?" the magician asked.
"Well, if you promise to behave yourself, we can go to my house."
"No… I don't want us all crowded in Mouri-san's office when he or Ran gets home. I mean my parents' house. Edward, do you still have the disc viewer I lent you?"
"Yeah, it's right here in my bag."
"Good. Please lend it to Hakuba-san so he can get caught up while we're walking." The device was passed to Hakuba, and the group left the cafe.
End Chapter 13
A/N: Yes, I totally geeked out near the end, there. It was very much a "Get Smart" reference. On the original show, the "Cone of Silence" was an actual physical cone. Funny stuff… the movie was way more serious than the show ever was. Gotta love Don Adams /grin/.