Disclaimer- Gosho Aoyama owns Detective Conan, I don't. Much as I might wish things were otherwise. This short is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association mainly for Kogoro's mouth... Minor spoilers for Movie 2.

Late Night Thoughts

Damn it, this is not working. I guess there's a kind of irony in this-- yes, I know what the word means, whatever that damn woman tells you. I, Mouri Kogoro, the Sleeping Detective... have insomnia. I'm lying here in my bed, staring at the ceiling, and have been for a good hour and a half. I'm tired, pretty much exhausted, but I'm not sleepy. And I haven't got a clue why.

It's not like it was like it was a really weird day, by our standards. Well, okay, we actually went out to dinner and made it home without tripping over a corpse, which isn't exactly normal in our lives anymore. You know, I can't help but wonder why people don't run when they see me coming these days.

I've seen more dead bodies recently than I ever saw with the Tokyo police. And I'm good at putting things together-- it comes with being a detective. I didn't used to run into dead people every time I turned around. That started recently, right about the time I let that damn kid move in with us.

Edogawa Conan. Now there is a mystery. From where I'm lying in the bed, I can see him curled up on that futon. He doesn't even sleep like a normal child, really. It wasn't that long ago Ran was that age-- or at least, not to a father's memory. Kids sprawl in their sleep. They're usually limp rags, sleeping just as hard as they play. But Conan... he's still. Contained. The occasional twitch, nothing more. And I know that if I got out of this bed to go to the bathroom, or maybe grab a beer, he'd wake up. Not all the way, but those blue eyes would crack open just the slightest bit, and he'd watch, warily, until he was certain it was just me and not... not what? A monster? I don't know what kind of monsters he's afraid of, either. And that bugs me.

He's not a normal kid. For one thing, he's almost certainly a genius, though I wouldn't ever tell him that. He doesn't need the swelled head. But the things he remembers, the bits of trivia he serves up and then connects... That kid's mind is working on levels most of us can't even get near.

And speaking of all that knowledge, that's another thing that bothers me. Every time he comes out with a piece of information that no boy his age should know, he always explains it by saying that "Shinichi-niichan" taught him. His friends buy it-- they never met Kudo, after all. Ran buys it-- she was usually the one on the receiving end of his explanations, even if she tuned out more than half. But I remember Kudo Shinichi, and I'm not blinded by warm and fuzzy childhood feelings. I remember a kid who was smarter than a good half the world around him, and knew it, and wanted to make sure you knew it, too. Megure isn't a dummy, by any means-- you don't get as far as he did in the police without having a good brain between your ears. But listening to the condescending tone in Kudo's voice as he explained his deductions for all the people who couldn't keep up with him... I'm amazed the man never throttled the kid. I would have.

And you expect me to believe that Kudo, the "Savior of the Japanese Police," willingly taught all this stuff to a seven-year-old boy? Not a chance. Somehow, Conan decided that it was just easier to say that all his information came from a source everyone would know, and left it at that.

The kid's less arrogant than Kudo, I'll give him that. Some of it's probably age, of course. It's hard to be too full of yourself when you can be picked up in one hand by the majority of the world. I think part of it, too, might be the difference in parents. It was pretty obvious that Kudo Yuusaku and his wife weren't surprised Shinichi was a genius... He was their son, after all. The Edogawas... I've only met the wife, and that twice, neither for more than ten minutes. Still... I'm a detective, I can make some deductions.

Conan's not comfortable around other kids. I don't think he has any real idea how to act with them. The rest of his little band don't let that stop them, and they seem to just take any weirdness in stride. Still, when he's with them, it's pretty obvious he feels like he's communicating with some type of alien life form. Friendly, but hard to understand.

He's a lot surer of himself around adults, but he works hard to keep them from realizing how smart he is. Not so much with me and Ran, but around strangers, or people we don't know so well, he tends to play really dumb. And on the occasions he slips, the look of terror on his face makes me think that there have been some unpleasant consequences of those slips in the past.

If the Edogawas gave a damn about the kid's brains, they could send him to a private school somewhere for about what they're paying me to keep him. Hell, he could probably get a scholarship without much trouble. But instead, they hauled him out of an American school, dumped him on Agasa, and then enrolled him in a Japanese school without so much as a blink for the hiccups that could cause in his grades. And they don't seem to care enough to check back and see if he's even passing.

It's not unheard of. Intelligence might be an inherited trait, but smart kids can be born in very dumb families and vice versa. If the Edogawas weren't ready for a genius child, Conan could have been a real shock. And given how badly some people hate standing out... he could have been taught very fast and very hard that getting noticed for his brains was a bad thing.

I don't think he was abused, physically, at least. He doesn't have the flinch reactions, the physical wariness, or any of the other markers you tend to see. Emotional abuse, probably. Neglect and verbal jabs, more than likely. He's at his most comfortable with the Hattori kid, probably because they're on about the same mental level. Hattori isn't likely to think he's a freak, after all.

But it's not just his brains that make him different. He's seen more death than I have, and it doesn't seem to affect him. Scratch that-- it doesn't scare him. It does make him angry. And when he glares, it's enough to chill your blood. Well, not mine, I'm not scared of a snot-nosed brat-- but I wouldn't want to be the murderer he was hunting, either. Especially not when he gets a few years on him.

I don't get it though. He's seen people shot, stabbed, garroted, poisoned, hung, and pretty much killed in a hundred different ways. Less than a week after he moved in with us, he saw a man who'd been stabbed to death in a woman's apartment. It gave me a nasty turn.

That night, I stayed awake, figuring that the brat's nightmares were going to wake me up anyway, so I might as well stay up. Nope; not a thing. He didn't even whimper during the night. And while he's had a few nightmares since then, they've been triggered more by times that someone he was with was hurt or threatened. What has this kid seen that a slit throat doesn't even register?

Man, there are times I'd like twenty minutes alone with Mr. and Mrs. Edogawa. I might even break my rule on hitting women. Might.

I'd also like to ask her where the heck he learned to shoot a gun. I still remember that day, the nutcase holding Ran as a hostage, and how the kid just picked up Shiratori's gun, cocked it, and fired. Barely creased Ran's leg, a perfect shot. Then he handed it back to Shiratori with a bald-faced lie about not having expected the bullet to come out! I about fell over right there. Nobody, seven or seventy, could see as many gunshot deaths as Conan had and not expect that the gun was loaded and would shoot. The kid was in a Weaver stance, for crying out loud! Feet planted, arms triangular and braced, the works. You don't learn that watching cop movies on TV, not even American ones. Shiratori bought it, though. Guess he didn't have enough experience with guns not to.

He's not a bad kid, really. Most of the time he stays out of my way, and being so close to the ground, he finds a lot of evidence that adults might miss. It's gotten to the point I always know to pay attention when I hear some variant of "This is strange!" Sometimes he can get in the way when I'm trying to solve things, of course, so I give him a whack to get him moving, but even so... he's not a bad kid. I might even say I'm glad he's here. Not that I'd ever admit that.

And it's kind of soothing to listen to that low breathing, in and out. Nice and calm and... zzzzz...