Wheeeeeee! Just picked up Magic Kaito manga 2 & 3. Y'know, Kid's really not such a bad guy...
By Icka! M. Chif
At least one person was not, however. They were very tired, and on their way home to catch a few hours of sleep before going to school in the morning, too few hours away.
But first, something to drink. The lone figure paused in front of a vending machine, debating over what to get. Coffee sounded good, but not if they were going to get some sleep tonight. Soda had too much caffeine in it, so that left either the juice or the lemonade.
"Allow me." The first figure jumped as a much smaller second one joined it. The small one jumped up, clinging to the side of the machine as it put the coins in.
"Lemonade or Apple juice?"
A button was pressed twice and the machine shook slightly as it deposited it's cargo into the tray below. The second figure quickly hopped down and retrieved the bottles.
The first one paused as the bottles were held out. "I haven't tampered with them." The second informed him seriously, a not so serious mischievous sparkle in their too old eyes. "No tricks. I swear."
The first hesitantly took a bottle. "Thanks... Kudo."
The second smirked. "You're welcome... Kuroba."
"Ah." Kuroba Kaito, also known as the Kaitou Kid, silently saluted the detective and took a sip of juice. "I take it the game is over, then?"
"Maybe." Detective Kudo Shin'ichi, currently stuck in the much smaller form of Edogawa Conan, frowned. It was an expression that was at odds with his youthful appearance. "I haven't decided yet."
The schoolboy blinked, taken back. "What?!"
"It depends." Conan said calmly, walking over to the bench across from the vending machine. The Kid followed.
"Ah." The Kid casually sprawled on to the bench, as if people finding out what did on his off time was an everyday occurrence. "What do you want to know?"
Conan raised an eyebrow, mildly surprised by the thief's relaxed attitude. "What are you looking for?"
"What?" The Kid said expressively, gesturing with his hands. "No questions on how I became the fabulous Kaitou Kid with my vast arsenal of magic tricks and surprises?"
"Your father, the Master Magician Kuroba Toichi was the original Kaitou Kid. He died 8 years ago in what appeared to be an accident." Conan said dryly. "You're actually the second Kaitou Kid, following his legacy."
"It wasn't an accident." The Kid took a sip of his drink. "He was murdered."
Conan began to looked interested for the first time.
"The people doing so are looking for a certain jewel." The thief explained, looking sombre. "If you hold it up to the moonlight, a holy gem inside will glow red. This holy gem can shed tears that contain can make a man immortal."
"That's ridiculous." The detective scoffed. "You can't make someone immortal."
"They're willing to kill both my father and me for it." The Kid retorted. "Ridiculous enough for you?"
Conan nodded. Kid had a valid point. "And no one knows which one it is, right?"
"So what happens when you do find it?" The detective queried.
"That's easy." A dangerous smirk spread across Kid's face. "I'm gonna destroy it into bits."
The smaller kids eyes got large as he stared at the thief. "Oh."
The Kid laughed, putting an arm behind his head. "But so far, no luck." He said jovially, all traces of seriousness gone.
"With the gem or finding the people who killed your father?"
"I found the man who killed Dad, and part of their gang. They're just a small part of an even bigger group."
"Bigger group..." It was easy to see the gears inside the detective's mind suddenly turn. "Do any of them wear all black?"
"I dunno. Haven't seen them."
"Dammit." Conan let out a frustrated sigh.
The thief raised an eyebrow. "Are they the ones who-"
The detective nodded. "Turned me into a child? Yes."
"And here I thought it was just a clever disguise."
"I'd hope so. If they discover that I'm not dead, they'll come back and take care it, along with anyone who knows."
"Fortunately, I don't know you."
"Good thing, huh?"
There was a slight pause in the conversation.
"So... are you going to turn me in?" The Kid finally ventured.
Conan shook his head. "No. Not today anyway."
"Oh?" Kid inclined his head, a inquisitive look on his face.
"Don't get me wrong." Conan smirked. "This changes nothing. I'm still going to make a legend of the Kaitou Kid someday. Just not one of Kuroba Kaito."
"Ah." The Kid silently saluted Conan with his bottle. "A gentleman's game of wits then?"
"A game has a few rules, does it not?" Conan raised an eyebrow.
Kid smirked back. "Depends on the rules."
"Fair enough. What do you suggest?"
"Main rule: In character only. Edogawa vs. The Kaitou Kid. You don't reveal Kuroba, I don't reveal Kudo."
"Agreed." Conan grinned. "The chase begins when you deliver your note to the police and ends if you get away."
"You mean when." Kid smirked. Conan snorted, amused.
"The Phantom Kid shall continue to remain in character, of course." Kid continued, gesturing grandly. "No one gets seriously hurt through fault of the Kid, their own stupidity exempted, and all the spoils are eventually returned. With the exception of the one I'm looking for, of course."
"Agreed. Though if you masquerade as Ran again, I -will- be forced to hurt you." The detective said seriously.
"And she was a good disguise too." Kid mock sulked. "Alright. Third rule: We keep the girls out of it."
Conan nodded. "That covers it, I think."
The Kid thought about it, and then held his hand out. "Agreed."
They shook on it, a minor battle of wills taking place. At an unspoken cue, both of them let go, assured that the other would keep their word.
"Speaking of girls, remind me to thank your girlfriend sometime." Conan remarked casually, taking a sip of his drink.
"Aoko not my girlfriend!" Kid snapped. He paused. "Why?"
Conan reached into a pocket and pulled out a small fish wrapped in paper. "This is why."
The Kid yelped and comically scurried backwards until he was in danger of falling off the bench.
"Most people don't use magic to escape off a telephone pole to escape a screaming girl waving a fish around." Conan deadpanned.
The smaller boy snickered and put the fish away.
"So that's how you found out." The Kid panted, slowly creeping back to his previous seat.
"It wasn't hard, not after having your name imprinted on our eardrums." The detective smirked. "A quick background check was all it took to put the pieces together. Though you really might want to consider not using so much magic in public."
"Can't stop now. I've been doing it for years, long before the Kaitou Kid reappeared." Kid shook his head. "As the son of a famous Magician, it's expected."
"I'm surprised Hakuba never noticed. He goes to your school after all."
"He had suspicions, once or twice." The Kid smirked. "They've been... disproved."
"So why didn't you try to disprove me?" Conan queried. "I was half expecting you to run for it."
"If you were going to arrest me, you wouldn't have stopped me to talk on my way home." Kid grinned. "To Hakuba, I'm an obstacle, the Phantom Kid he's never caught. To you, I'm a -challenge-."
He finished his drink with a satisfied air. The smaller boy smiled as well, finishing his drink with smaller sips as they sat in near-companionable silence.
"Thank you for the drink, and the conversation." Kid finally said, rising. "We shall have to do this again sometime, on friendlier grounds."
"We shall." Conan agreed, sliding off of the bench. "Good night, Kuroba-san."
"Good night, Edogawa-san. And stay out of trouble." The Kid grinned, casually tossing his bottle at the recycling can on the far side of the vending machine. It spun in mid air, caught the lip and flipped in.
Conan snickered, tossing his bottle in as well. It sailed in with less flair, but higher accuracy. "You too."
They nodded to each other, then turned to walk in separate directions.
"Oi!" The Kid called just before disappearing around the corner. "Edogawa! Almost forgot! Catch!"
Conan turned around just in time to catch something sparkling flying at him. He blinked, holding it to the light to inspect it.
It was tonight's theft.
"Do you think you could return that to the Inspector Nakamori Ginzo? He's probably missing it." The Kid called, looking innocent. "I'm afraid I don't have anything to go with it."
With a laugh and a sudden colourful explosion, the thief disappeared from view.
Detective Edogawa Conan grinned, clutching the bright jewel in his hand.
Yes, the Illusive Kid was a wonderful mental challenge, even if he did posses an edge now.
But the game was a learning experience that was going to be worth far more than any of the jewels the thief could steal.
Moral of the story: Never ask a little kid if he's normal or not, he'll eventually prove it to you.