I don't own Magic Kaito. I thought I could get it on eBay (which I also don't own) but apparently I can't.

The Great Escape

"There's no need to be upset," said the man.

Hakuba Saguru looked up at him and said nothing. He was inclined to think that, if there was not precisely a need to be upset, there were certainly a lot of jolly good excuses for being so, if one was. This was considering a number of facts: first, that he was, at the moment, bound so firmly and thouroughly to a chair that it was only with an almost super-human effort that he could manage to wriggle his ears; second, that the room in which the chair stood was made of concrete, lit with only one one dim yellow bulb at the opposite end over a long workbench, and remarkably devoid of windows, air-conditioning vents, and other possible routes of escape; third, that the muscular build and sheer bulk of the man who stood before him explaining the situation in-between sips of foul-smelling coffee was vastly superior to his own; fourth, that the workbench at the other end of the room was spread with a number of extremely odd instruments that he remembered from fourth grade, when he had studied the Spanish Inquisition for an essay; and fifth, that his companion, bound as tightly as he, appeared still to be sleeping off the effects of a broken bottle to the back of the head - "appeared" because one never could tell with Kuroba.

"It's real simple," said the man genially. "I want some information from you. You happen to be the only one who has it. I want you to tell me who the Kaitou Kid really is."

Now how the devil does he know I know that? wondered Hakuba, fixing his eyes firmly on the man's nose to avoid any injudicious glances at his companion. It was an ugly nose; it seemed to have been taken to pieces and put back all wrong not once, but several times.

"I know you know. I know you're not saying anything because you can't prove it. I," said the man, with a slurp, "don't care about proof. You're a world-famous detective, after all."

Flattery will get you nowhere, said Hakuba silently.

"All you do is tell me who he is, and I let you and your friend here go. And then in a week, maybe, or a month, the police stop getting notes and there's no more bother. A bit of an embarrassment for the police over and done with, and no harm done. Real simple, like I said."

Uh huh, thought Hakuba, in a very un-English non-display of low-class sarcasm. "What if I don't want to tell?" he asked aloud.

The man grinned unpleasantly. "If you don't, then in a few minutes, when your friend wakes up, I come in and have a little - talk with him, and then maybe you tell me what I want to know. Or if you don't, I might just have to talk with you, too."

The little pause before and the emphasis on the word "talk" was unmistakable; villains learned it on their mothers' knees, these days. It left Hakuba in absolutely no doubt that several interpretive measures would be taken in order to drill the meaning of the question into his (or rather Kuroba's) head. Or some other body part. He fancied that the man would use the little drill with spikes - the one on the far corner of the workbench.

"I see," he said.

"Good," said the man, grin widening hideously. "I'll let you think about that, then." He turned on one massive heel and left the room. The door slammed shut before him, and Hakuba heard the click of a lock and a dull thud - probably a bar - before the sound of feet ascending stairs. Then there was silence.

Beside him, Kuroba opened one brilliant blue eye, drew in a long, slow breath, and began to laugh.

"Stop that," said Hakuba irritably, glaring at him out of the corner of one eye. "You blasted fool, were you even listening?"

"Yes," choked Kuroba mirthfully. "Oh, I was!"

"Then what the devil are you laughing about?"

Kuroba sobered instantly. "I have no idea," he said meekly; but there was still a spark of amusement in his half-lidded eye, and the corner of his mouth was turned down firmly to contain a smile.

"This is no time to be having hysterics," said Hakuba crossly. "It turns out badly for you either way, doesn't it?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," said Kuroba flippantly. "Did you hear something?"

"No I didn't," said Hakuba. "This is all your fault, you know."

"It is?"

"If you hadn't had me tied up for that magic trick, then this would never have happened!" snapped Hakuba. "And what possessed you to go after them when you saw they'd got me?"

"Well you were the one who volunteered," argued Kuroba, "and what was I supposed to do? 'Oh dear, someone seems to be kidnapping Hakuba. Guess I'll just go home and hope he gets out of it on his own', is that it?"

"Well, no, but now you're stuck too! Couldn't you have followed from a safe distance or called the police or something?"

"What for?"

Conceited idiot, thought Hakuba; and then: "What if I tell?"

"You won't."

"Why not?"

"You're too chivalrous and -- what's that English word? -- too sporting to hand over your enemy to his enemies like that. Also," said Kuroba, "there's really no need to. That man was not a sailor."

He shrugged his shoulders, and the ropes slid down to lie in untidy coils on the conrete floor. "Too much rope and too few knots," said Kuroba sadly, "and what knots there were were too loose."

"How did you do that?" demanded Hakuba.

"Me?" said Kuroba, getting to his feet and raising quizzical eyebrows at the detective. "I didn't do anything; they came undone all by themselves."

"They did, did they?"

"Yes," said Kuroba agreeably, "but it seems yours aren't going to do the same."

Hakuba took the hint and shut up.

The door gave them no trouble, even though the hinges were on the other side. They simply selected a vaguely mallet-shaped intrument from the workbench, and another with a long, tapered projection, and used them like a hammer and nail, driving the spike into the crack between door and doorframe where the hinges would be. The snap and clatter of metal on the other side told them they had succeeded, and they did the same to the lower hinge. Then Kuroba found two thin sturdy saw-edged rods on the workbench and proposed to lift the bar on the other side of the door with them; Hakuba wisely refrained from mentioning the lock which was now unaccountably unlocked, and their joint effort was rewarded with a clatter and a boom as first the bar and then the door fell to the concrete floor in the other room.

Hakuba winced. "He must have heard that."

"I don't see why he should have," said Kuroba, stepping onto the door lightly and crossing the floor to peer up a steep stairway, the only other exit from the room.

"Because it was loud!" snapped Hakuba. "And he's not deaf!"

"No," said Kuroba, and began to ascend the stairs. His voice floated back down, cheerful and slightly smug. "He's not deaf, he's out cold."

And when Hakuba had clattered up to where the boy was crouching over the inert form of their jailer, he was forced to agree. The man was, indeed, out cold. He was even snoring softly, oblivious to the fact that he had cut his hand on one of the shards of his empty coffee cup; the rest were scattered around him and halfway down the concrete steps.

"He must have accidentally dropped some of that sedative he gave me into his coffee," said Kuroba, with appropriate commisseration. "How unfortunate. Well, I'll clean up the pottery while you call the police. This man is obviously unbalanced."

Hakuba gave a sigh and did not even bother to glare. "Fine. I don't even want to know how you did it."

Kuroba only grinned.


A/N: This idea came to me a few weeks (months?) ago, and it amused me. I hope you like it. Thanks for the reviews!