Disclaimer: I do not own Numb3rs, Detective Conan, or Magic Kaitou.

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Chapter 8:

Don leaned back in his chair, rubbing his eyes. It'd been hours since they'd lost the thief; despite attempts to canvas the blocks around the museum, they'd found no trace of Kaitou Kid. They'd managed to smooth the ruffled feathers of the museum's director- to Don's slight and silent amusement, the man appeared as irritated that Kaitou Kid had turned down all that was in their museum as he was that the FBI had failed to catch the thief.

Megan had managed to get him a tentative report on Conan and his relatives; she noticed a definite paranoia in the two (despite the cheery attitude, the wife was definitely astute, and wouldn't allow just anyone near Conan), as well as in Conan himself. Strangely enough, Conan seemed to actually trust the thief.

"Tired?"

The voice was young, but the tone was knowing; Don was glaring at the boy before he thought about it; before he could make any reparations, though, Conan had laughed.

"Stupid question, huh?"

Don nodded warily. The kid didn't seem upset or afraid of the FBI agent's wrath. Though everything had gone topsy-turvy tonight…

"I thought you would've gone home already," Don said cautiously, glancing at a clock. 10:30.

Conan shrugged. "I had to give my statement. And I wanted to talk to you."

Don straightened slightly. "You have some information on your…gift?"

Conan made a noncommittal noise. "It was more…a method of proceeding. I didn't want you to get involved in this mess, but Kid's already made that a moot point; so the least I can do is make sure you can survive the storm."

Don frowned slightly. The way Conan talked, he truly believed these…snipers…would kill even an FBI agent.

"The Organization's ruthless. Potential threats are done away with; known threats, as well as anyone they are known to associate with, are also eliminated. People have accidents; unexplained murders, or just a murder that can be found out, where the criminal claims he was blackmailed, and his family's gonna be killed. But you've got a better chance than most. You're in America; they're not as strong here, not yet, anyway. They have some agents, but they can't do anything as conspicuous as back in Japan. You need to watch out, though. You don't have a girlfriend—but your father and brother are known connections to you. Keep this as far away from you as you can. I've already called Jodie-sensei; a member of her team in America should 'coincidentally' realize that this sniper is related to their case, and come by to check it out. Let them take him. Act like you don't know anything more about it. And don't go any deeper."

Don stared at Conan for a moment. This child who was not a child….It grated against every sense of justice in Don to just let go of this case. But if there was already a team investigating, he wouldn't want to get in their way. No matter how much he wanted to thrash whoever it was who had made an eight-year-old a consultant.

"Conan," Don started, "What happened to you?" He didn't have to elaborate. Somehow, a child knew all this. Something had to have happened.

Conan smiled up at him mirthlessly. "I died."

Don flinched, then glared. "You're not dead."

Conan shrugged. "That's a matter of perspective. Who I really am…he died two years ago." He grinned weakly. "Jodie-sensei told me you saw my files. You know as well as she does that they aren't legitimate."

Don nodded. "But…why? Your parents?" It was the only explanation he could think of; why would anyone want to kill a kid, anyway? It must have been something the parents had done, been involved with.

Conan shook his head. "No. My parents are fine. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." He stood, bowing his head politely. "It was good to work with you, Agent Eppes. I hope that you will be successful."

Don nodded back. "And you."

Conan nodded, face serious. "Even if it takes me the rest of my life."


A/N: And that's the end. I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed and favorited this story. I hope that you enjoyed it!