Disclaimer- Gosho owns them, I do not. I am sad. This short is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for language. It's Nakamori, this is actually CLEAN for him... This fic is a companion of sorts to Psychopompos, but you don't have to read that one to understand this.

No Such Thing

Nakamori Ginzou didn't believe in ghosts. He was a police officer; he dealt in facts, in evidence, in witnesses and testimony. Questions of philosophy and metaphysics, he left to those interested in such things; if there was an afterlife, it didn't affect him here and now. And for damn sure, nobody who crossed that threshold ever came back. One way or another.

So if he was up on top of a building tonight, staring at the moon and talking to a dead man, it wasn't because he thought his friend could hear him. He knew better than that. It was only that he needed to talk, before he exploded... and it was Toichi on his mind.

For a long moment, he simply stared at the sky, at the full moon shining gently through a sea of silver clouds. Fists clenching and unclenching, he closed his eyes, before sinking down to sit with his back against the stairwell wall.

"Well, that's the end of it," he said quietly, resting his head against the cinderblocks behind him. "The paperwork went through today. As of now, the Kaitou Kid Task Force is officially history."

Reassigned. The words tasted bitter in his mouth. It had only been six weeks since the last heist. A month since Kuroba Toichi's accident on the stage. Everything had happened so fast-- too damn fast, if you asked him. The investigation had been closed after little more than a week. "Improperly maintained equipment," the report had said, almost mockingly. Anyone who knew Toichi knew that the man had been almost obsessive about checking his gear. He'd never have been lax enough to slip up that badly. But that's what the report had concluded, and the investigation had been pushed closed with unseemly speed.

As for Kid... yes, it was true there'd been nothing heard from him in six weeks. And yes, it was unusual for the thief to go so long without contact. But it wasn't impossible, he'd been delayed or ill before... but someone up there was certain the Kid was not going to show his face again. Because they knew he was dead... because they'd killed him.

"Damn it, Toichi," Ginzou growled, fists clenching again. "What happened? What did you get yourself into that they killed you over? And damn it, why didn't you come to me?" That might be what hurt the worst. If Toichi'd landed himself in something dangerous, something worse than the simple moonlight dance of the Phantom Thief... Hadn't he trusted his friend? Kid's crimes were minor-- he never kept what he stole, after all. Even with his international status, the worst he'd be looking at was a couple years... and they could probably plea bargain it to nothing. Hell, if he'd found something big enough, the police might have been willing to look the other way entirely for the chance to take down bigger fish. But instead...

"Was it worth it? To leave your wife a widow and your son without a father? Toichi, damn you, do you have any idea what this has done to your boy? It's been a month, and he hasn't cried once... I'm not even sure he can." He'd never thought of himself as particularly sensitive, but the empty, almost dead look in Kaito's eyes had been unsettling, to say the least.

Relaxing, he sighed, opening his eyes to stare once again at the moon. "The good news is, not all the Task Force is split up. I managed to keep the heart of it together, though I had to fight tooth and nail. Convinced the higher-ups to make us a 'Major Case Squad,' kind of like they have in the States. It's a good use of the... um, varied talents the Task Force has developed over the years."

Talents like picking locks, defusing smoke bombs that worked like the real thing, spotting forgeries, and the occasional safe-cracker. Ginzou wasn't sure where Nakashima had learned his trade, and he wasn't asking. The less he knew, the less he could be called on the carpet for if somebody got stuffy.

He was fairly sure none of his men had made the connection between the death of Kuroba Toichi, famous magician, and the disappearance of the magician-inspired Kaitou Kid. Even so, they were more than happy to help him investigate, very discreetly, both cases. They were none of them stupid, after all, and they'd all drawn the same conclusions he had from the Task Force's rapid shutdown. Toichi had been on good terms with a number of the men, as open-hearted as he was. And Kid... Kid had been a friend to them all, in his own insane fashion. No... he wouldn't lack for help in investigating, even unofficially.

With a bit of a grunt, (he was getting too old for this,) he got to his feet. It was getting cold up here, and Himeko was going to start to worry if he didn't get home soon. Working late was one thing, but this was no doubt pushing it. He turned for the stairwell, and didn't look back, not at the patches of white moonlight that almost seemed to take on a human shape. Not at the whisper of wind that seemed to have words borne on it just past hearing. There was nothing up there. Not tonight.

And eight years later, when the Kid made his appearance on the scene once more, he convinced himself that he'd been wrong. The Kid was alive, and Toichi was not. And at any evidence that this Kid might not be the one he'd chased years ago, he turned his face away.

Because Nakamori Ginzou didn't believe in ghosts. Not even living ones.

Owari