I do not own Detective Conan or Sherlock Holmes.
Chapter 1: The Trouble With Kaitou Kid
Chasing Kaitou Kid was both a mental and physical rush. As Shinichi ran down the dimly lit hallways of the Beika Chou Shopping Mall, locale of tonight's Kaitou Kid heist, the lights suddenly flickered off. Shinichi's footsteps faltered at the unexpected darkness. His eyes had little time to adjust, darting every which way, looking for movements and traps while he picked up his pace and continued to run after his target. Adrenaline pulsed through Kudou Shinichi's body as it always did whenever the game was afoot. Shinichi found himself becoming even more invigorated as the Holmes' reference popped in his head, his mind whirring over the slight sounds alerting him which way to go. Reorienting himself based on the minor clunk, clunk, clunk of Kid's dress shoes slapping the floor, he continued the chase.
The thought occurred to Shinichi that it was strange that he could hear the thief's shoes, and his pace began to slow. Pondering the facts, Shinichi came to the conclusion that Kid was either a) being careless as he tried to outrun him or b) the thief wanted him to follow which meant something unpleasant for Shinichi. Bouncing lights blared to life behind him from the task force members who were finally catching up, their flashlights in hand.
Just as Shinichi was about to click his watch flashlight on to check for traps, a sudden blinding flash blossomed over head as the overhead lights flared on again. The lights shone brighter than normal for an instant before returning to their usual luminance. In that brief moment, Shinichi had stopped: a lucky break as it gave him a slight chance to react to the puddle of slime that had appeared out of seemingly nowhere.
Even so, he didn't manage to completely stop himself from stepping into the slick mess.
Shinichi let out a stream of curses as he slipped at the sudden loss of traction between his feet and the ground. While chasing one rather exasperating Phantom Thief, things like that weren't uncommon; but they sure were annoying. Cursing a bit more as his feet slid across the rather slickened vitrified tiled floor, he managed to right himself by grabbing onto the wall. Behind him, he heard a few of the task force members yelling and cursing as they fell heavily to the ground.
It took Shinichi a few moments, but he carefully righted his balance and began to cautiously slide along the floor. Shinichi watched as the Phantom Thief he'd been chasing appeared momentarily before him, waving merrily at his plight all while standing out of reach.
His first reaction was to jump out to try and catch the thief, but he also knew that if he did that he would lose his footing (just like the two task force members next to him did as they lunged after the thief only to fall hard to the ground). Instead, Shinichi continued to carefully slide across the floor.
As Shinichi was about ready to step onto a non slickened part of the floor, someone slammed into him from behind. He nearly tumbled headfirst into the wall but was thankfully saved when the task force member who had accidentally knocked into him managed to pull him away from bashing his head against the wall. Despite that, he and the task force member landed hard on the floor in a tangle of limbs. When Shinichi looked up again, the thief had disappeared.
Shinichi ignored the sincere apologies of the task force member as he began to make his way further along the corridor.
It took Shinichi longer than he would have liked to wipe the bottom of his shoes against his pants to clear them of the slime, but he was grateful he had done so. While more members of the Kaitou Kid task force arrived, braving the slippery floor, some still sliding as they hadn't bothered to wipe the slime from their shoes, some still slipping on the trail of others' slick footprints, Shinichi noticed the thief's lure. Most of the shops within the mall where the heist was taking place had their metal gates down. Three stores down there was a gate not latched properly; a gap showed the opening a few inches from the ground. However, Shinichi also noticed that one of the ceiling tiles to his left randomly released a small puff of dust. In other words, even if the thief had been in that store, he'd somehow managed to get into the ceiling panels above them and was moving rather rapidly if he was moving heavily enough to have disturbed the dust.
With how the night had been going, Shinichi decided not to chase after the more obvious route lest another slew of booby-traps lay behind the thief's trail.
Not bothering to explain this to the task force members who ran (or rather slid) for the suspiciously opened gate, Shinichi, instead, ran past the store to the stairwell, jumping down multiple steps at a time as he headed for three floors below them. If his deductions were correct, Kid was currently making his way to a window where he would use his grappling hook to head to the roof. The buildings next to the mall would make it nearly impossible for him to open his hang glider until he reached the roof. Since Shinichi had mentioned this to the police before hand, there should still be people ready to catch him on the roof…who was he kidding? None of the task force would catch Kid, but they should at least be able to slow Kid down.
If Shinichi went to the roof via the lift from the garage, then he should make it to the roof just before Kid flew off.
Pushing through the stairwell door, Shinichi ran at full tilt down to the garage level which housed the only current working elevator with access to the roof. As soon as he entered the garage, a stringent smell permeated the air: one he was sure hadn't been there before. He quickly went back the way he came, took a deep breath, held it in, and ran into the garage again.
For a moment he paused, noticing the policemen who had been stationed there were all slumped to the ground, fast asleep. Deciding to keep going, Shinichi's feet flew across the pavement, darting through the haphazardly parked police cars and unconscious policemen. Since Kid had taken a different route to the roof, he must have released a timed sleeping gas sometime before the heist had officially started. Judging by how there was a huddle of officers who Shinichi had seen stationed outside now all passed out on the garage floor, the gas must still be potent. The police officers closest to the exits must have come to check on the people in the garage when all they received was radio silence. Shinichi dodged them all like darting through players on the soccer field until he reached the cargo elevator, jabbing at the up button to take him to the roof. Upon entering, Shinichi punched the close door button repeatedly with his finger, hoping only a little of the gas would sneak into the elevator with him.
As the elevator ascended ten floors in rapid succession, Shinichi finally took a deep breath. The gas still clung around him, making his throat burn as he coughed. While he took a second, third, and then fourth lungful of air, Shinichi reflected on the oddities of this heist and the two other heists that had happened earlier in the week.
The first oddity was the fact that earlier in the week had been Kaitou Kid's first heist in nearly two months. In the past year, Kaitou Kid had been holding an average of about five heists a month. Kaitou Kid suddenly stopping his thieving for two months had seemed extremely suspicious to Shinichi. Before the first heist earlier in the week, Shinichi had almost wondered if Kaitou Kid had given up searching for whatever jewel he was after – or if he had managed to find the jewel that he was looking for.
Kaitou Kid had finally sent out a notice at the beginning of the week and then planned two other heists as though to make up for not holding heists in some time.
At the first heist, Shinichi had noticed a less effective approach to the entire operation. The tricks were easier to see through and his moves were more predictable to the point that it was almost throwing Shinichi off because the thief had been taking the more obvious escape routes. The first thought that Shinichi had was that it was an imposter. Yet something about the tricks, even if they were not quite up to par, seemed to speak of the same techniques. It had been another factor that had almost thrown him off. Almost.
After the first heist of the week, Shinichi had been fairly certain that the Kaitou Kid he'd been chasing that night was actually the assistant. If the assistant was doing all the legwork, it meant the real Kid was out of commission. And Shinichi wanted to know why Kaitou Kid was unable to carry out heists.
Many elements of the past week's heists spoke of similarities between real Kaitou Kid heists. The only way for someone to know these likenesses and be able to carry them out would mean he was from Kaitou Kid's inner circle. Despite this, it was clear that the real Kaitou Kid was not actually involved in planning the heists. First of all, the heist notices had been very – well, bland. Shinichi liked when they were riddles, and while he knew that wasn't always the case, it had been some time since they were so straight forward. All of the challenges to the police had been that week. But despite the blandness of the notices, the doodles were definitely very Kid-like.
In the past three heists, Kaitou Kid had only disguised himself once as a non-descript police force member. He had not done anything with changing his voice, and, in fact, rarely spoke. The phrases and words he used were things Kaitou Kid said on occasion, meaning they were very likely recordings. When Shinichi had met the assistant during the Bell Tree Express Train case, he had learned that the assistant did not have Kaitou Kid's ability to mimic voices.
There had been a lot less taunting and a lot more chasing, as though the assistant needed the extra time in order to escape from the police. He was clearly very intelligent, though not quite as much so as the original. He knew what he was doing in terms of having lights turn on and off at the precise moment, making Shinichi suspect that the reason the police had such a hard time figuring out how to stop Kid from doing certain tricks was due to the help of the assistant.
No, the assistant seemed more than capable of working magic tricks and laying traps. Even though his own intelligence may not be the kind to produce riddles or think of complicated routes to mislead the police, he was nonetheless intelligent enough to plan and hold a rather intriguing heist.
It was the physical prowess that the assistant lacked to truly make the heist last. Shinichi suspected that the assistant was older – a good bit older – and not as able to keep up to the same type of physical demands as the original Kaitou Kid. For starters, Kaitou Kid wouldn't have gassed an entire garage full of police officers just to prevent them from coming up after him. Tonight's Kaitou Kid had led part of the police force one way, tied Nakamori-keibu up and left him in the store where he'd stolen the jewel, trapped another portion in a different part of the building, and then, for good measure, gassed those waiting in the garage using a timed gas release. Usually when Kid used sleeping gas, he at least had the decency to wait until people were close to catching him. It all spoke of being afraid of having too many people after him.
From what Shinichi had seen, the assistant was working solo and unable to use the real Kaitou Kid's help. It left the question, where was the real Kaitou Kid? Why wasn't he coming to heists? Had something happened to him?
Shinichi hoped to be able to question the assistant and ask him. However, while Shinichi had been able to catch up to the thief's assistant and had prevented him from taking the jewel from the first heist, he hadn't been able to corner him.
The second heist of the week, Shinichi had not been able to attend. Having gotten caught up in a murder case which had taken precedent, he'd only gathered information after the fact. Even so, Hakuba Saguru had been to that heist, and Shinichi had heard the other detective had come extremely close – closer than anyone else had (other than himself) – to catching the thief. Apparently the other detective had gotten Kid in handcuffs, but it had been the task force members who had messed up and let the thief go before anyone had unmasked him. Shinichi was fairly certain the real Kaitou Kid would not have been captured as easily as the reports from the heist had implied.
Additionally, the assistant seemed particularly wary of Shinichi, something the original Kaitou Kid was not. It was obvious after the misstep with Hakuba-kun that the assistant would be extremely jittery. The assistant was wary of Shinichi particularly, and Shinichi had found himself victim to more pranks in the past two heists than all the others combined. When he did capture the assistant, he would bill the man for a new tie, a pair of shoes, and a dress shirt. Looking down at the slime covering half of his lower body he added a new pair of slacks and another set of shoes to the mental list.
Moving on from such inconsequential thoughts, he focused on tonight's heist, analyzing the situation so far.
This heist had taken place with an interesting layout; a jewelry store located within a mall. The mall took up multiple floors of a high-rise building with inner escalators and elevators networked in various locations. The fourth floor family run jewelry store had been having an exhibit as the jewelry store owner was showing off the family's heirloom gem: a sapphire that had supposedly been a good luck charm.
After reviewing the layout of the building, Shinichi had been fairly certain that at some time during the heist, Kid would try and direct everyone's attention away from the ground floor. The ground floor had the only access to the garage. Due to its layout, the garage's cargo elevator was the only elevator with quick access to the roof where – obviously – Kaitou Kid would make his escape.
Guards had been posted at the roof and at various windows to thwart Kid from using his grappling hook and to prevent Kid from escaping, but Shinichi had a feeling that Kid would have left the police stationed on the roof alone until the last minute in case someone radioed up to check on their status.
As the elevator slowed to a stop, he heard several muffled sounds as though Kaitou Kid's assistant was dealing with the guards then, meaning one) Kid's assistant would have just unleashed some sort of trick to take care of the guards and two) the assistant would have something ready to take out anyone coming off the elevator.
The elevator dinged open, and Shinichi crouched, rightfully anticipating the concentrated dose of sleeping gas that flowed into the opening elevator. Shinichi covered his mouth and rolled out of the gas, almost knocking into Kaitou Kid. Shinichi noticed that the man wore a mask instead of a monocle, suggesting that it was difficult for him to maintain a disguise similar to that of the real Kaitou Kid's.
Despite the fact that it was the assistant, Shinichi was pretty certain that the man would recognize Shinichi's anesthetic watch gun and wasted no time aiming it at the would-be thief. The thief hesitated as his attention focused on the watch. With the obvious threat of what would happen to him if he moved, Shinichi began his questioning.
"What happened to the real Kid, Assistant-san?" Shinichi asked without preamble. He didn't receive a verbal reply. Instead he had to jump to the side as the assistant pulled out a smoke capsule. His hand movements were fast as they had to be for a magician. Sleight of hand meant doing things quickly to avoid detections.
But the assistant's bodily reactions were slow. Shinichi took advantage of the man's lack of timing, coming up to his side, and delivering a sound roundhouse kick, knocking the capsule from the man's hand. A puff of grayish blue fumes erupted as the capsule connected with the ground several paces away from them, the night air around them slowly blowing the smoke in the opposite direction.
The assistant let out a garbled cry of surprise. His voice was older, as Shinichi had expected. Frantic, the older man turned to flee, but fell as Shinichi approached, making Shinichi stop his advance, even as he made sure to keep his watch trained on the man.
It made Shinichi slightly nervous having the man with his hands on the ground. As Ran had pointed out multiple times, the only move Shinichi had truly mastered from his early karate days was his roundhouse kick. His soccer skills had honed his other kicking abilities. It was therefore quite obvious that Shinichi's strength lay in his legs and feet. Having the man at the angle on the ground left Shinichi with the apparent advantage if he tried to kick anything out of the man's hand. Yet if the assistant seemed so wary of Shinichi, wouldn't he know this? Wouldn't he avoid giving Shinichi the advantage? Had the man fallen on purpose or by accident? What was he planning?
The one advantage the man would have would be to kick Shinichi's legs out from under him, but again, the angle was wrong for it. The man's hands were supporting his weight in such a way that if he were to try and make a grab at Shinichi's feet to block him, it would be ineffective, meaning Shinichi was definitely in the more advantageous position.
"Don't move!" Shinichi said. "If you move, I will dart you. Smoke or not, it will still hit you at this range," Shinichi reasoned. "If you give me the jewel now, I will let you go: as long as you also tell me what happened to the real Kid."
Kaitou Kid's assistant didn't say a word.
"Is he still alive?" Shinichi asked, hoping the thief hadn't gotten caught up in anything that was too dangerous, even for the moonlight magician.
The only sound from the thief was his labored breathing. For a moment, Shinichi was actually a bit concerned about the older man. He hesitated.
"Oi, are you okay?" Shinichi asked, moving closer.
It was the wrong thing to do. Despite the man's labored breathing, he had been waiting for Shinichi to move. A well placed kick from the man beneath him redirected Shinichi's line of fire. Kaitou Kid's assistant rolled, further distancing himself from Shinichi and his anesthetic dart. Shinichi, for his part, had been half expecting it and stepped on the assistant's cape, tugging the man back just as he tried to get up. The thief landed hard, with a pained sounding oomph.
Shinichi stepped forward, pulling both the mask and hat off of the assistant. The man was older – wearing bifocals even – and looked terrified. As Shinichi reached a hand out toward him, he flinched, but Shinichi merely grabbed the jewel from the thief's suit jacket pocket. He held it up to the moonlight to check to make sure that it hadn't been switched with a fake before putting it in his pants' pocket. The assistant had watched him apprehensively as he held the jewel up. For a moment, Shinichi thought that man was going to protest, but at the last moment seemed disheartened. Frowning, Shinichi wondered why the fight seemed to have left the assistant. He'd been de-masked, but it wasn't until Shinichi had looked at the jewel that the man's eyes had truly lost hope.
Once again, Shinichi looked at the resigned yet frightened face of the man before him. The scene reminded him of the ending of the Sherlock Holmes' short story, "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle."
The thief's statement from the Holmes' story flittered through Shinichi's mind, "I am myself a branded thief, without ever having touched the wealth for which I sold my character!"
Sherlock Holmes' action to let the man go, followed by his explanation to Watson quickly ran through Shinichi's mind.
"After all, Watson...I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies…I suppose that I am committing a felony, but it is just possible that I am saving a soul. This fellow will not go wrong again; he is too terribly frightened. Send him to jail now, and you make him a jail-bird for life."
Kaitou Kid may be a thief, but he didn't do it for the wealth. Whatever the reason may be for why he stole, Shinichi very likely wouldn't find out if he put the assistant in jail, especially if the original Kaitou Kid wasn't even able to come to the heists.
Without saying a word, Shinichi shook his head. He wouldn't push the assistant any further. If the police came, they came. If not, Shinichi wouldn't stop the man from leaving.
Shinichi turned around and began walking back toward the elevator. He hadn't had time to notice before, but as he expected, the two guards had been knocked out and were slumped against each other. Since the officers stationed at the roof had been knocked out, Shinichi was sure their radio silence would have alerted the rest of the task force to Kid's assistant's current location. They should arrive in less than a minute.
"He's...he's run into some trouble," the assistant spoke. Shinichi turned back around to face the would-be-thief, slightly surprised that he'd spoken. "Perhaps if you were to take Bocchama's case –"
"Kid!" Nakamori-keibu bellowed as the elevator doors opened up again. Shinichi whirled around, barely in time to block his eyes as the assistant released a smoke bomb. Coughing heavily, Shinichi ran to the edge of the building, watching as Kid's assistant opened the hang glider and flew away.
"Kiiiiiiiiiiiid!" Nakamori-keibu yelled again. Apparently any remnants of the sleeping gas had not stayed in the elevator as Nakamori-keibu's lungs were as strong and full of hot air as ever.
"Keibu!" Shinichi said, getting Nakamori-keibu's attention, even as the man barked out orders for his men to follow in a ground pursuit.
"What is it?" Nakamor-keibu asked impatiently. Shinichi handed over the sapphire wordlessly. Nakamori-keibu grunted a rather ungrateful sounding thanks before running after his men to follow who they thought was Kid.
Knowing it was pointless to follow, Shinichi attempted to leave the mall quietly while he reflected on what the assistant had told him, only to be hounded by a swarm of newscasters who wanted details on how he had managed to get the jewel back from Kid. Putting on his own show for the crowd, Shinichi couldn't help but indulge them.
Later that night, Shinichi sat in his library, fingertips propped together while pondering over the assistant's words.
Run into some trouble? Take his case?
It sounded like some sort of run in with the law. It either meant that Kaitou Kid was being watched by the police to the point where he couldn't escape their notice (which Shinichi found very unlikely with his skills) or that he had been arrested and didn't want to risk breaking out of jail in fear or incriminating himself even further. Whatever had happened had landed Kaitou Kid in trouble that even his lawyer (assuming he was in the position to need one) was having trouble sorting it out. No official statement had been made about Kaitou Kid's arrest, meaning that if he had been arrested, it had been while in his civilian persona. Had he been caught thieving without his usual tricks and disguises?
Somehow, Shinichi couldn't see that. Kaitou Kid went out of his way to tell his task force that he would be stealing something. It was quite possible that he had been wrongly accused if he had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even then Shinichi had trouble believing Kaitou Kid would allow his civilian self to be captured. There was something else likely going on. Either way, the assistant had made it sound like Kid needed a detective to find the truth to help him out of a sticky situation.
Shinichi couldn't help but smile at the irony.
Continued in Chapter 2: Introspection…
In most versions, part of one of the Sherlock Holmes' quote I used from "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" is read as, "…I suppose that I am commuting [sic] a felony…" Since committing had a different feel to it than commuting, I used the more "modern" version. Even so, please note that I believe the original says commuting and not committing since it's likely that what Holmes' meant is that he was lessening the sentence for the crime by letting the guy go (commuting) and not actually committing a felony by letting the guy go since there was "no harm no foul" so to speak. Since Conan/Shinichi lets Kid go if he doesn't actually get away with the jewel (which seems to be always against Conan/Shinichi), I feel his mind set comes from this Sherlock Holmes quote/philosophy. Have you ever noticed he lets people get away with things as long as nobody dies? I would love to know if Gosho has Shinichi/Conan act this way due to that short story. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the first chapter! :)