I've had this one sitting around in my drafts for a while trying to decide if I wanted this to be a one-shot or the first chapter of a full story. I have decided that it's a one shot for now. I also posted it on it's own on my AO3 account.
You can kinda see how long I've left it sitting around based on the times given in the story because I had Hakuba quote realworld time, I could have edited it but figured it was better not to. But regardless, hope you enjoy.
The wind howled, but it was the sound in the street below preventing the night from being a quiet one. Then again Kid's heists never were quiet, the inspector had always made sure of that.
As Kid stepped onto the roof he took a glance around for traps, not especially surprised to find no signs of any. It was strange that given how often he used the roof the task force never seemed to try to stop him from escaping this way. It was almost as if they were allowing him to get away- though it was far more likely that they'd never quite realized how frequently he escaped this way.
The thief walks to the edge of the roof at a leisurely pace, and checks his prize in the moonlight. It was a large polished amethyst inlaid in a silver bracelet... beautiful, but the moonlight revealed it to not be Pandora, he'd have to give it back.
The door to the roof creeks open.
"Ah, Meitantei-kun, you made it," Kid tosses the jeweled bracelet to the young detective, "Give that to Nakamori-keibu, please."
Conan caught the heist target easily, and looked at it a moment before putting it into his pocket, "Not what you were looking for again huh?"
"Clearly your way of looking isn't working out, maybe you should try a less criminal method."
"Hmm? Are you saying you don't want to see me anymore? Have you gotten bored of me, Meitantei-kun?" Kid said feigning offense.
"If I had I wouldn't be showing up here, you know that, Kid," Conan answered honestly.
Kid and Conan both knew that the other enjoyed having them around. Conan was a good audience for Kid's tricks, and Kid was a test of Conan's skills that wouldn't end up killing anyone. Neither of them really wanted to see it end, this relationship that had been forming between them over the past year... Had it already been a year? Had it only been a year?
The two continue to banter a moment and before they suddenly hear the sound of footsteps.
He didn't come from the door, he had apparently hidden himself on the roof itself. As the unexpected guest came into view Kid found himself silently questioning how he'd missed him earlier, "Tantei-san, didn't see you there."
Conan glanced over and seamlessly switched back to the appropriate persona, "Hakuba-niichan? You're here?"
"Yes, a pleasure to see you both. I hope you don't mind if I cut to the chase," The teen detective pulls out his pocket watch and checks the time, "Kuroba Kaito, also known as Kaitou Kid, and Kudo Shinichi, also known as Edogawa Conan... I'm placing the two of you under arrest effective immeadietly, know that any attempts to resist arrest will result in a harsher sentence."
Kid was curious why the half-pint had been included in the arrest but seeing as Saguru seemed inclined to be a bit more aggressive than usual Kid had no intention to stick around long enough to find out. He lept up onto the railing and prepared to loose his hang glider and-
Conan watched as Saguru clicked a button on his pocket watch, the teen's eyes flashed blue and in the time that the thief had jumped to the railing Saguru had already closed the distance between them, grabbed the other teen, and in a fluid motion throwing him onto his back. Then with the same unnatural speed pulled a taser out of his pocket and swiftly jolted Kid.
"That should keep him down for now..." Saguru's eyes returned to their brown colour as he turned his attention to Conan, "As for you..."
The younger boy gulped and raised his arms slowly, "I don't know what you're arresting me for but I'm sure there's been a misunderstanding, I'll cooperate until it's been cleared up."
Whatever was going on Conan knew that at present he wasn't going to be able to do anything against someone who had casually managed to outspeed a phantom thief the cops had been failing to catch up to for years.
"Good choice," Saguru nods as with some effort he lifted Kid to carry him over his shoulder, "Alright Kudo, we'll be walking in the direction I came from. You walk in front of me, no funny business, make sure I can see your hands the whole time."
"We're not going to the door? What are you playing at?" Conan asks, but does as asked.
"You'll see," Saguru responded vaguely as he followed.
Then as the small detective turned the corner everything went white.
When Kaito regained consciousness he found himself bound to a chair wearing only boxers. He kept his eyes closed and tried to keep his breathing regular so as not to alert anyone that he'd awakened, he was still confused by the turn of events that had transpired before he'd fallen unconscious Saguru wasn't normally able to move that fast, and while he may be a cocky prick he wasn't usually that aggressive. Something strange was definitely going on here, and Kaito had every intention to find out what that was.
Conan had been in this room with Saguru and Kaito for some time now. He'd watched as the thief had been striped completely and restrained, and he cooperated as he was relieved of all his own possessions and given a simple set of children's pajamas to change into before being handcuffed to a table. This wasn't exactly a proper treatment of suspects or criminals upon arrest, especially not minors... but then this also clearly wasn't a normal arrest.
There were several details that had stood out to Conan as not being right... first and foremost the very fact that Saguru had identified him as Kudo Shinichi was a cause for concern, Conan had barely spent any time near Saguru and he didn't think that he'd slipped up severely at any points... but it was also unusual that Saguru had been making an arrest, he was a high school detective so it wasn't unusual for him to assist in an arrest but he wouldn't have the authority to make an arrest on his own.
"Hakuba-san, please tell me under what authority you've arrested me, and exactly what crimes I'm being accused of." Conan hoped that by asking nicely he'd be able to get some information.
Saguru looked at the other teens... analyzing them with his eyes, "... I suppose as Kuroba has finally woken up it is about time I tell you-"
Kaito opened his eyes- after all, if Saguru was already aware that he wasn't unconscious then there was little point in pretending. He took a quick glance around the room, it was very smooth and white, clinical... modern even. A security camera in each corner of the room, and no furniture save for the table and chairs that they were currently sitting at.
"Hakuba, couldn't I have at least gotten clothing?"
"You and I both know that in your hands even that much would have given you far too much to work with to make an escape. I apologize for the slightly inhumane treatment but Kaitou Kid will not be underestimated here." Saguru's speech was cold and precise, likely practiced, "I'll list your charges in due time, but first I intend to ask you both a simple question, it's exactly for this purpose that I've kept you together."
Kaito glared at Saguru. He appreciated that his skills were being respected, but it wasn't bringing him any joy in the present circumstance.
Meanwhile Conan's mind was racing- what question might require us both be kept together? Was he being suspected of being Kid's accomplice? Was Saguru affiliated with them and the whole arrest had been a front to get these two alone and squeeze them for information?
The question that came was an unexpected one.
"I want you to answer without hesitation," Saguru prefaced, "Now tell me, what year is it?"
The two both answered quickly. Words overlapping.
"1992," Said Kaito. Conan Said, "2000."
The two quickly looked at each other, eyes wide and began thinking on the matter more seriously... rapid fire shooting confused snippets of information back and forth.
"My phone's model, it wasn't released until 2015..."
"Come to think of it... they started calling me the Reiwa magician... that means..."
"The Reiwa era starts in 2019... So with that being your nickname it's at least the 2019."
"But you're the Heisei Holmes, and I started being Kid around the same time that you started showing up on the news as a detective... the nicknames should be-"
"No that much can still be explained if it's still early in the Reiwa era... but that camping trip on new years... we were excited it was 2000..."
"When Hakuba first came to my school he said it was 1990... it's been a little over a year since then..."
"...It's been February so many times... how did I not notice...?"
"No wait... maybe Hakuba said it 2015... when did he stop mentioning the year? He used to always say the year but he hasn't for..."
"Let me stop you there," Saguru cuts in, "It is currently the year 2022, March 23rd, the time is 8:25 AM, 16 seconds, and 32 milliseconds."
2022? That year was farther ahead than either Kaito or Conan had been estimating as they tried to piece things together, but somehow hearing it said aloud like that made it sound correct and Hakuba seemed so confident in it, so certain...
Saguru continues, "Under my authority as a member of the time police I've arrested you both for the very serious crime of warping time, however unintentionally... both of your other crimes will be listed separately and considered when sentencing you."
"Time police...? Really?" Kuroba asks skeptically.
"Yes, really." Saguru confirms.
"Shouldn't there be a more detailed name or a acronym or something?"
"We aren't an agency belonging to any government, the name was kept simple to prevent the confusion that can be inherent with time based crimes... So we are just Time Police. We police time, it's very easy to understand."
"Wait but if you aren't affiliated with a government then what authority do you have to make arrests and who organizes the time police?" Conan asks, curious and just trying his best to understand the abnormal situation he's found himself in now.
"If you must know... we organize ourselves, and as far as authority goes ours primarily comes from power."
"Power?" Kaito asks.
"It can vary, but generally the ability to see abnormalities in the flow of time for what they are, and manipulate them to some degree. That's all I'll be telling you about that though. Now that you know your primary offence I'll be separating the two of you for further interrogation."
Kaito wasn't sure quite when he'd been taken to another room, but he assumed it had something to do with what Saguru had said about manipulating the flow of time. Now that he was thinking about it, Kaito was pretty sure that might have been how Saguru had caught him on the roof too, he'd known there was no way Saguru would have been able to close that much distance that quickly under normal circumstances.
Kaito glanced around to orient himself to the new location, another very empty white room, no table this time, the only furnishings appeared to be the chair he himself was bound to, and the chair Saguru was sitting across from him in.
"2022, March 28th, 3:40 PM, 54 seconds, 18 milliseconds." Saguru declared.
This somewhat caught the thief off guard, it hadn't felt like any more than an hour had passed since the other had said that it was the morning of March 23rd, but once again upon hearing the time quoted by the supposed time cop Kaito couldn't help but feel that that was indeed the correct time. How had so much time passed so quickly without even being noticed? Kaito hadn't even had a meal yet since getting arrested, if that much time truly had passed shouldn't he be hungry by now?
Saguru continues speaking, not seeming to care if the magician is listening or not, "In addition to the primary charge of your arrest, warping time such that the past 35 years have only felt like 2, you're also being accused of several more minor crimes including theft, grand larceny, identity theft, driving without a license, evading arrest, breaking and entering, trespassing, criminal mischief, illegal entry and exit of several countries, smuggling, child endangerment, property damages, and child trafficking- though that last one may be waived depending on how we choose to define 'child' in this case and what Kudo has to say about the matter of his illegal entry into Singapore by way of your carry-on luggage. I imagine there are other's I'm missing, but that's all we're charging you with."
"How do you even know that much?" Kaito asked, not sure if he should be deeply unsettled or just impressed at the amount of information gathered about his own crimes. He'd thought he had been careful enough to not let there be evidence proof or witnesses, but clearly he'd slipped up somewhere.
"I've been keeping a close eye on you personally ever since I took on this case."
"That... sounds an awful lot like stalking at this point."
"Functionally speaking it's indistinguishable... so yes, I have more or less been very professionally stalking you since I joined this case back February 23rd of 1990."
"So... by your own metric of time... you've been stalking me for 32 years and that's okay because you're a cop...?"
"If I say yes, will you cease this line of questioning?"
"Then yes." Saguru remained unamused as Kaito grinned at him, "Now then... how you choose to plea will make a difference but most likely you'll effectively have two options, you can choose time in incarceration, or you may opt to work with the time police agency as a form of temporal community service. I would recommend the later but I'll tell you everything I can in order to allow you to make a informed decision..."
Conan watched as Saguru entered the room, clipboard in hand as he calmly sits across from Conan.
The small detective had no way of knowing it of course but the room he was in was exactly identical to the one that Kaito had been kept in for his reading of charges- with the notable addition of a booster seat in the chair that he was sitting in. This booster seat was something that Saguru had to remind himself not to call any attention to, if only to preserve the other's dignity.
Saguru checks his watch and reads the time aloud, "2022, April 7th, 8:57 PM, 29 seconds, 78 milliseconds."
Conan frowns, "You said it was March 23rd earlier... perhaps a few hours have passed but... it definitely hasn't been two weeks..."
"That's precisely why the two of you have been arrested." Saguru points out, "Time has been becoming increasingly ridiculous when it comes to the two of you... there's been so much paperwork involved as the lead caseworker..."
"Even if you say we've been warping time, how would we even do that?"
"We're still looking into precisely what happened to warp time in this case... with our current understanding of the facts Kuroba has the means to do it, but you have much stronger motive..."
This came as a surprise to Conan, his brows furrowed, "I have stronger motive? What motive would I have for something like this?"
Saguru stares at him incredulously for a moment before returning to his usual calm demeanor, "... So you haven't realized..."
"In it's current state your body isn't aging." Saguru went on to explain, "If time had gone on at the rate it's supposed to then you'd have either been discovered or had to relocate and make another new identity for yourself. The current state of time has either saved your life, or your lifestyle..."
There was nothing he could say to that. Conan had realized that over this past year his body hadn't grown at all, he'd realized that at some point Ayumi had become just slightly taller than him, and he hadn't been able to measure any growth any time he'd tried since becoming Conan, but he'd never really considered that his growth had been completely halted. It was an unsettling thought for him to say the least, was it just physical aging that had stopped or had he actually become immortal? Only time would tell.
The time cop clears his throat, "In any case, we're not here to discuss motive, I'm here to list the crimes we know for a fact that you have committed so we can discuss how much trouble you're in, and what it'll be in your best interest to plead in this case."
"Fine... I will admit that not everything I've done is legal, I doubt many of them would stick... even so I'd like to speak with a lawyer before I make any blatant more contextualized admissions of guilt."
"Wise, but unfortunately when arrested by the time police you are not entitled to a lawyer, as we are more akin to vigilantes that are serving to protect the flow of time than we are to an actual police force. I'm likely the closest you'll be getting to someone willing to work with you and explain things to you."
"That said... in addition to your main offence, warping time such that a single year has taken well over 28 years -No doubt exacerbating the warping that Kuroba already caused-, you're also accused of..." Saguru looks at a clip board he hadn't been holding what felt like minutes ago, "Identity fraud, aiding and abetting criminals, illegal consumption and possession of unregulated drugs, trespassing, breaking and entering, possession of unregulated explosives, unlawful use of excessive force to assist arrest, unlawful discharge of a gun, several counts of contamination of crime scenes and tampering with evidence, underage drinking, illegal entry and exit of several countries, slander, criminal negligence- You are correct that many of these wouldn't stick, but a good number of those that do are rather serious crimes."
The smaller detective's frown deepens, he hadn't expected the list to be quite so long, but as he'd listened there wasn't really anything he could argue against save perhaps contaminating crime scenes- he always tried his best to be careful.
When it becomes clear that Conan has nothing to say for himself Saguru continues, "Of course, sentencing will vary greatly depending on how you plea, and whether or not we decide you qualify to be treated as a minor- you are an interesting case in that regard as we're having to decide whether you should be treated as your physical age, mental age or the age that you would have been if you hadn't skewed time. That said, I believe it would be in your best interest to take a plea deal to do temporal community service."
"What kind of community service would that be?" The small detective asked curiously.
"It can vary... but generally it would consist of assisting a time agent like myself with the task of fixing the flow of time."
"I couldn't tell it was broken, I doubt that I have the skillset to repair it..."
"That's why you would only be an assistant. There are relatively few of us, competent helping hands are almost always welcome."
Conan blinked a bit at being called competent so readily, he hadn't really spent much time with Saguru before now and even then all of that time had been spent as 'Conan' trying to appear less competent than he truly was even on serious cases, so it was something of a surprise that Saguru seemed to think highly of his abilities. Though it was quite clear from the list of his supposed crimes that Saguru knew a fair bit more about Conan than could have been learned in than their few encounters on cases.