Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN Detective Conan. This story is written purely for entertainment purposes. The plot and characters of Detective Conan, aside from some characters of my own design, are the sole property of its creator, Gosho Aoyama as well as TMS Entertainment and licensed by Funimation (North America).

Chapter 1: Another Day, Another Case

It was a brisk Friday morning in Beika as the teen-turned-child Kudou Shinichi, now known as Edogawa Conan, stirred from his slumber due to the angelic voice of his best friend/temporary guardian Mouri Ran.

"Conan-kun, time for breakfast." The boy sat up from his futon* and stretched while letting out a loud yawn. He felt beside his makeshift bed for his glasses that were far too big for his currently shrunken eight-year-old face before slipping them on. Still not fully awake, he slowly staggered to his feet after climbing out from under the covers of his futon that lay next to Mouri Kogoro's bed, who was surprisingly still not snoring away or even still in his bed. Yawning once more he stumbled into the bathroom to handle his daily needs before heading down to the living room for breakfast. He approached the small table where Ran, wearing her high school uniform, and a disheveled Kogoro, who reeked of alcohol and cigarette smoke, sat eating their meals before taking his own seat.

'Good morning Conan-kun," Ran said sweetly as she handed him a bowl of rice.

"Morning," Conan mumbled sleepily before giving thanks (Itadakimasu*)

"Did you sleep well?"

"Un," Conan only grunted with a nod before placing his now empty rice bowl down and taking a sip of his miso soup.

"Well you slept pretty late Conan-kun. If I hadn't called you down you would have slept in and been late for school."

"Hmph, probably was reading some dumb mystery novel. That's what happens when the brat stays up practically all night doing something stupid," Kogoro commented after swallowing a bite of his breakfast. Conan rolled his eyes in a "you're one to talk" manner as Ran shot him a glare.

"At least he wasn't out drinking all night and ended up coming home so drunk he couldn't even make it through the front door!" Ran said sharply in obvious agitation as she narrowed her eyes at her still slightly hung-over father. Kogoro shrunk back from his daughter's scolding and remained silent as he picked at his food.

"Guess that explains why the old man wasn't in his bed when I woke up," Conan noted mentally before finishing the rest of his soup and moving to his broiled fish and tamagoyaki*. The rest of the meal was rather quiet aside from the television that showed the news, which was free of any murders or potential cases, much to Conan's surprise as they haven't had a lot of work in the past couple days.

"Thank you for the food" (Gouchisousama*) Conan chanted before getting up from the table and heading to his room to get dressed for school.

Fifteen minutes later, both Conan and Ran left the agency and started walking together down the road until they went their separate ways to walk to their respective schools, as per every morning. Conan longed to join Ran in attending his true school with people on the same intellectual level as him (or as close as you can get being a high school detective) instead of the ridiculously simple and tedious life style of elementary school, but he knew it couldn't be helped given the circumstances.

"Conan-kun!" A voice called out bringing him out of his funk.

"Speaking of those who are tedious and simple," Conan deadpanned mentally as he turned to be greeted by his "friends" the Detective Boys consisting of Genta, Mitsuhiko and Ayumi.

"Oi Conan, how come you were late?" the stout Genta asked folding his arms in dissatisfaction.

"We were supposed to meet twenty minutes ago in front of the professor's house to check on Haibara-san, remember?" Mitsuhiko reminded.

"Oh that's right, she was out with a cold yesterday," Conan thought mentally slapping himself for just now remembering. "Sorry you guys, I kind of slept in," Conan admitted sheepishly.

"You hardly ever sleep in Conan-kun. Are you catching Ai-chan's cold too?" Ayumi commented before feeling his forehead for a fever. Conan couldn't help a slight blush as Ayumi drew a little too close to him. She drew back as Genta and Mitsuhiko seethed in jealousy at their bespectacled friend, which Conan noticed. "You don't seem to have a fever."

"I-I never said I did," Conan stuttered desperately trying to cover his blush. "I just didn't get a lot of sleep last night, that's all." The others all uttered an "oh" and they all resumed their walk to school.

"So how is Haibara?" Conan asked changing the subject.

"She still has a fever so she's taking today off from school as well," Mitsuhiko responded.

"We're all planning to visit her after school so we can check on her and bring her the work she missed in class," Ayumi added.

"And you'd better show up this time," Genta concluded. Seeing as how Conan didn't have much of a choice, he simply nodded in understanding as they approached the school and entered through the gate.

After school had ended, Conan waited by the lockers for the rest of the Detective Boys. He gave an impatient sigh as he tapped his foot in irritation.

"Geeze, and they say I shouldn't be the one who's late. What's taking them?" Suddenly, the phone in his pocket began to vibrate. He pulled it out and flipped it open to find a text from Ran indicating not to stay out too late.

"At least it wasn't anything about Shinichi," Conan mused. "I might as well stop by the agency to drop off my bag and let Ran know where I'll be so she doesn't worry over nothing." With that he pocketed his phone and looked up to see the trio of kids quickly approach. Conan gave them a look of indignation.

"Sorry about that Conan-kun," Ayumi apologized catching the annoyed expression on his face. "We were picking up Ai-chan's school work when Genta-kun was having problems finding his Kamen Yaiba notebook. We were helping him look for it in the classroom."

"It took him 10 minutes to realize it was in his bag the whole time," Mitsuhiko added casting a second annoyed glance to the larger boy beside him, who chuckled sheepishly at his error. Conan let out a sigh.

"Whatever, " Conan replied dismissing the subject all together. "Let's go," he said exiting through the door with the other kids behind him. For a majority of the way the kids simply talked about miniscule things such as the newest Kamen Yaiba episodes, the weekend's homework assignments, and such other things that Conan simply ignored. As they approached the intersection that divided the way from the Professor's house and the Mouri Detective Agency, Conan stopped and turned to the kids.

"I need to stop by the agency for a second," Conan informed.

"What for?" Genta asked.

"I need to drop off my schoolbag and I need to let Ran-neechan know where I'm going," Conan explained.

"We'll come too," Ayumi chipped up.

"Maybe Detective Mouri has a new case the Detective Boys can help him with," Mitsuhiko pointed out with enthusiasm. The other kids got worked up over hearing this causing Conan to roll his eyes.

"I doubt it. It's been pretty easy going lately," Conan mentally remarked but kept the comment to himself as the group proceeded down the sidewalk.

A few moments later, they arrived outside the agency and climbed the stairs leading to the second floor where voices could be heard from inside. Conan recognized Kogoro's and Ran's immediately but the third voice was one he didn't recognize.

"I guess a client showed up after all," Conan said aloud turning to the others.

"I wonder what they want," Mitsuhiko pondered. Conan faced back to the door and turned the knob.

"I'm back," Conan said as politely as possible upon entering. Kogoro sitting on the couch shot him a glare for the interruption as Ran, clutching an empty serving tray, looked to the young boy.

"Welcome home Conan-kun," Ran said giving a small smile. "How was your day?" she asked. Conan opened his mouth to speak but was cut off when a sharp cry was heard followed by a figure that moved from the corner of his eye at surprising speed had scooped him into their arms. As the stranger held the surprised and confused boy tightly, struggling to be released, it was then that the figure, much to everyone's surprise, began to sob.

"Ryota, my baby boy! My god I've been so worried about you!" The stranger wept as Conan stiffened uncomfortably.

"E-Eh?" Conan uttered. "W-Wait I don't…" he tried to explain attempting to push the strange person off him. Fortunately, Ran found it fit to intervene at that moment. She approached the duo and placed a hand on the odd client's shoulder.

"Um, Madoka-san, I'm afraid there's been a misunderstanding." The client looked up revealing the face of a young woman that everyone could now fully see. She was wearing a pink long sleeved shirt and white dress. She was a relatively young woman (probably around her mid-twenties or very early thirties, Conan noted) and quite beautiful despite the darkened circles under her tearful eyes, slightly sunken in cheeks, and frayed, long brown hair that hung down her back and in her face.

"What do you mean?" The client (apparently named Madoka) asked, eyes wide and still full of leftover tears. She stood upright, still clutching Conan around his middle rather uncomfortably, much like a child would hold an overstuffed teddy bear. "This is the one whom I was asking you to find. My son, Madoka Ryota."


Author's Notes: My first Detective Conan fanfic. The wonder, the suspense, the...TRANSLATION CONTROVERSY! UGH! I hate throwing in Japanese words or phrases into an English story because it just confuses the reader, throws them off the actual story or just plain bugs the hell out of some people but because it takes place WITHIN Japan but written in English...it's just a big mess and my mind imploded. So apologies on that to anybody who also feels the same way I do and will try to do my best to keep that from happening any further. In addition, I will be trying a new style of writing so feedback is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and updates for this story will be much slower than my other stories, but I DO intend to finish. In any event, PLEASE tell me what you think and provide some constructive criticism

Translator's Notes: Futon*= quilted Japanese style mattress laid out on the floor, Itadakimasu*= an expression of gratitude before meals, Tamagoyaki*= rolled omelet, Gouchisousama*= an expression to thank those who have provided the food