Chapter 1: Theft
Death lay behind him. It possibly lay ahead as well. Sugoroku Mutou heaved as he lay against the cool stone of the tomb, his lantern gone and both 'aides' now dead elsewhere in the half buried temple. It had all been a wonderful idea at the time- the rumor of a temple none could enter, a temple none had found before... He'd paid great money to get to the country and to get the resources to enter it without drawing attention to himself.
He'd paid still more by simply being here. "Ngh..." The middle-aged man stretched, slowly coming to his feet. He was right outside the final chamber. Right outside the final room of the tomb...
Fumbling at his pockets he managed to find a pack of matches, striking them against the wall in a feeble attempt to gain some light. At his side, on the ground, there was a fallen torch..
Without wasting time he snatched it up, using his remaining matches to light the stick. "Hn... Lucky," he murmured, moving ahead into the room. "Now..." He walked into the chamber... The torch illuminated as much as possible, with eerie shadows cast along the walls and-
"Nn..! Impossble!" Sugoroku rushed to the end of the chamber, eyes widening as they came across a single sheet of paper. A tomb of sorts sat beneath it, and yet even without reading the hieroglyphs of the stele that accompanied it he knew there was no body inside. Instead, he turned his attentions to the note. The japanese written note with handwriting that was all too familiar to him.
'To whoever finds this- it's not what you're looking for, but I think I'll keep it for now regardless. -Kaitou Kid'
...Impossible, he thought as he collapsed, dropping the torch at his side. Impossible..!!
And yet, thinking back he found himself holding his head in his hands. After all the work he'd put into entering this tomb in search of the 'source of the dark games'...
It had been stolen by a Magician with little interest in the 'games' whatsoever.
Chapter 2: The Box
When the 'accident' happened, he was scared. He tried his best not to show it, but the fact was, at eight years old he was utterly terrified. The audience was evacuated and him along with it. The building was collapsing to the ground around them, and in the confusion he could scarcely see, hear, or even think. And by the end of it, he found himself in a daze for the many hours following until finally the 'Poker Face' he'd been trying to hold for his tou-san's sake was shattered. The fire had been calmed.
The ruins had been combed.
There was nothing left.
The next few weeks were a blurr. Family friends extending condolences, funeral plans, an empty urn, a picture on the shelf...
And the will.
When he was presented with the gold box he initially thought there was some sort of tool in it, string, or a deck of cards perhaps. Instead, they were the pieces of some other golden object. He'd asked his mom about it- she didn't know much about it though. Just that it was a puzzle and that his dad had never tried to complete it.
The box sat on the corner of his desk for a number of days after that. And Kaito would stare at it, wondering whether or not he should try solving something his dad had never even touched. Was there a reason why he hadn't? Yes? No?
A few more days of this and he opened the lid again...
And found himself immensely confused before putting it back on the desk with a frown. Kaito was never known for patience really-
And for the next eight years it was magic he would practice, and not 'puzzles'.
Chapter 3: Corner Pieces
It was in his hands when he found 'the room'.
It was in his hands when he found 'the tape'.
And for a few moments while he ran over what this was and what things meant, it was still there, sitting in his hands.
If he felt a few pieces connect however, he didn't notice-
The chance to find out just who his father had been and just what had happened were honestly far more important to him.
Chapter 4: Nightmare
Why was it in his hands again?
This wasn't the time to be playing with puzzles. He'd let a man die tonight. He gripped his hand as tight as possible, and then...
The only thing 'Nightmare' had wanted was to save his son. All he had wanted was to make sure that boy lived. The method wasn't right.
But for him to die...
That wasn't supposed to happen. It was never supposed to happen. It couldn't-
Kaito looked in his hands at that thought, and with a start he was pulled out of them. "Ah... The puzzle..."
The next morning Hakuba would question Kaito as to why he was fiddling with what looked to be the start of some sort of 3D puzzle rather than getting to his usual antics, likely assuming there was an underlying motive. And the rest of the class as well would be on edge for the most part after the jokes and insults had been traded between anyone who bothered to ask, wondering if that was the case themselves.
In the end, it was by far the most uneventful class that his classmates had had since the school year began.
And the puzzle continued to form.
Chapter 5: The Power of Darkness
The Power of Darkness
He was dead.
(The final piece had been missing from the box and while it bugged him he hadn't thought about it at the time)
He was dead. He didn't know him well (and thank god for that, thank god), but the point was that someone had died again.
And this time they hadn't had a thing to do with it.
It wasn't even at the heist. It was during the escape- he'd taken off, one of the 'lucky' officers who had been on his tail chased after and...
The snipers that aimed for white managed to hit blue-black instead.
(Images... Images of the 'accident', of Nightmare's fall, of 'Snake', of the Airship CHAOS that had happened a while before... All of these images were flooding his mind as he held his head and then finally-)
"Kaito?" His mom came in his room, and the teen looked up with a slightly cracking poker face that likely wouldn't have fooled the woman even if it was successful. Still, she did nothing more than place something on the desk. "Your friend Akako dropped by earlier to see you. I told her you were busy," she continued knowingly. "...She asked me to give you this- apparently, you forgot it on your desk." Forgot something? Pah!
Why would he...
(As though it was something in the air, as though the shadows could speak, something called...)
His mom left the room, and as he looked to the desk there it was. Glowing dully under the light of his room, with a single prominent egyptian eye. "The last..."
Briefly, he felt a pang of annoyance- of course she'd have 'found' it. She'd been the one to ask if he knew what the symbols on the side meant, staring at it with 'that look' in her eye. And yet...
('The Games of Darkness'... Ever heard of them, Kuroba-kun..?)
She'd given it back.
(What are you even talking about..!?)
Kaito looked back to the unfinished puzzle on his desk, and at the piece that he now held in his hands. He took one deep breath...
(The shadows were whispering...)
And clicked it into place.
(It's time to play a game...)
Chapter 6: Paranoia
He didn't recall going to bed the night he put that puzzle together.
Actually, he didn't recall putting it around his neck either, but for some reason he reaaaaally didn't want to take it off. That might have been why he was ready to put together an entire set of tricks to center on Akako that day, but given that she was eyeing it with a strange mix of fear and awe in the brief moment he caught her looking at it he decided not to.
Any distractions he was suffering as a result were quickly jossed by a few flipped skirts and obligatory doves-from-nowhere, though a few came from Hakuba's bag when the detective questioned him on his new accessory.
He didn't completely recall going home that evening.
Nor the next one. Or the next. And while he was still able to plan for his next heist, he'd have been lying to say that it wasn't starting to creep him out. Still, for the most part he didn't see much harm in it compared to everything else in his life...
And then he blacked out in the middle of a hostage situation in a restaurant with Aoko.
A situation that ended with an escaped convict going up in flames.
With him as the one speaking to the guy at the time, according to the at-the-time-blindfolded Aoko. So really, the day before his heist he was feeling more or less leery about...
And while the heists were events where the puzzle was safely taken off and kept hidden, with no interruptions outside the usual for the most part, the blackouts continued to occur without any sign of stopping. Until finally, after caving to his 'greater wills' and questioning Akako on what she knew, she asked him one simple question;
'Then why haven't you taken it off yet?'
The answer, he supposed, fixed everything in the end, and made the difference between having a breakdown and simply accepting it with a shrug and a smile. If it was a matter of 'couldn't', his identity of KID would have been discovered easily after all.
So in the end, it seemed he just didn't want to.
Chapter 7: The Other Kuroba
The Other Kuroba
He knew from the start, that this wasn't meant to happen. The piece was placed. The magics released.
And as black-brown hair gave a dull gleam of gold and red, the nameless spirit of the puzzle felt not only the rage of years of imprisonment but also confusion. Imbalance. A 'wrongness'.
So, flexing one of his 'wrong' hands, he sought to rectify this in the only way he deemed possible.
Open the window to avoid 'mom' as his mind called her, and wander. 'Clear' his head, so to speak. The momentary target of his rage was out of reach- find something else.
But for the like of him, he couldn't find that something no matter how many evenings he stole from 'Kuroba Kaito's life. He didn't risk the daytime; his vessel was too well known, too well recognized.
And yet he was also a master of disguise, and in some ways he decided, a fighter of 'justice' as well, stealing for the sake of what the spirit deemed would be the greater good in the end.
He just wished he wasn't being more successful he told himself as he wandered the streets of Japan for the umpteenth time that month. He just wished he had a purpose- a proper target, a reason to-
"Do you have the money, Mutou..?"
As it turned out, 'Yugi Mutou' did have the money, at least thanks to the combination of two 'friends' and his own grandfather pooling their efforts. But in the end, when a stranger from the Ekoda district offered Ushio double that to let the boy go, there was really no arguing.
It was Ushio's own fault that he wound up insane enough to believe a pile of leaves was that money by next morning really, and as it was, he couldn't help but feel quite pleased with himself...
As to what caused Kuroba Kaito's own immense cheer it was anyone's guess, but the fact was, his classmates didn't completely recover from the dozens of doves and scarves that resulted.
Chapter 8: Hakuba
He knew there was a problem when Kuroba came to class and said nothing. Even when he planned something 'big', there was something. 'Hello', or 'Nice morning eh', or 'White!~', followed by the screech of a raging Aoko and a mop chase around the classroom.
But today Hakuba noted, was different.
Even his appearance was off, he realized- his hair seemed messier if it was possible, and when the light hit it just right a mix of red and gold could be made out among the tips of the strands. And his eyes as well...
They seemed... Red. If that were possible.
But before he could question him it was gone- He 'fell asleep', and woke up as normal as ever, evidently refusing to address the fact that he'd been an entirely different person all morning.
And if Kuroba had known what he was talking about when he questioned him on something other than the Kaitou Kid for once, he didn't show any sign of it. But it was interesting to note, at least in his opinion, that he very quickly took out a book on split personalities afterward.
Chapter 9: Message To Myself
Message To Myself
He'd developed a habit of sorts. It got the attention and suspicious eye of Jonouchi despite him eventually becoming more close as a friend, but it was a habit regardless of that fact. Ekoda was a district bordering two of Tokyo's extremes; Beika, the murder capital, and Domino, the game district. Between the two, Ekoda was considered the realm of the middle class and those more likely to get a decent job in life. So one would wonder what he was doing wandering Domino through the evenings, when Domino was also considered one of the more violent areas to live.
To be honest, wandering through Beika and Ekoda both found him nothing but disgust and a few poor games that ended in nothing but the worst for the criminals.
Yet in Domino, he found Yugi and his friends. He would go there after school as often as possible, dodging the tail that was his host's friend, making sure that Aoko wasn't worried about things, and then following his own personal group around wherever they went. It was strange- but the fact was, he only felt comfortable around Yugi, and while the times he spent there were fewer than he liked, it was enough that the few games he played for 'fun', along with the times he was allowed to protect these new friends of him, were enough for him.
So much so that he went out slightly less often when the importance of these friends abruptly struck him- when the strained connections he was causing his host became more apparent.
Which was why tonight, after revising his hosts' schedule multiple times in his head, he was about to sneak out of his bedroom window to meet with those friends after having given the afternoon to Kaito... Not that Kaito realized this.
It was with dull surprise however, that he found something on the window before he could. A note, hastily scrawled it seemed, and neatly taped just as a heist sample would. And it read...
'Who are you?'
For a moment, the spirit of the puzzle was confused.
But in the end, he calmly wrote down one single thing before opening the window and making his leave;
Chapter 10: Shadow Talk
The conversations they had through notes were typically childish at best, but at the very least a bit of an eye-opener into things. For one, the 'other Kuroba/Kaito' as a few of his classmates had decided to call him, was told rather clearly that if he really wanted to 'come out' as they came to call it, he could.
Just please don't eat any fish, and actually bother to pay attention to his classes.
It was through the notes that a 'schedule' was able to be set. Through the notes that it was discovered this 'other Kaito' had his own friends to get to know, and in a way his own 'life'.
The notes were what led Akako to confess that the other Kaito wasn't even 'Kaito' in a sense- it was a spirit tied to the puzzle, something that would be powerless without a host.
And otherwise amazed when that host continued to wear the puzzle despite this.
The notes did many things for the two in the end it seemed, but above all, it meant they could discover things that they didn't even know about themselves. The notes did more than give them a way to communicate.
The notes were what allowed them to become 'friends'.
Chapter 11: Fade To Black
Fade To Black
When he heard about a documentary being filmed in the next district over, he hadn't given it much thought.
When he was told that someone matching his description was the last person seen with the director before he went blind and insane, he found himself slamming his head against his pillow in frustration.
The puzzle merely glinted innocently, pleased to have gotten back at the ones who had harmed its friends in that same district over.
Chapter 12: Sound Check
He really had no clue what the hell this ticket was for.
He woke up with them in his pocket, and had no clue how they got there.
The only thing he could really do about it he supposed was go and see what it as exactly that was going on there though...
...And... He blacked out right before he got inside.
If there was anything worse than constant black outs it was probably constant moments of waking up and finding out he was the last person seen with someone before they lost it.
And of course, the puzzle as usual was simply happy to have been of proper aid.
Though the other Kaito had been more than tempted to simply 'penalty' this Sozoji character for his crappy singing as it was.
Chapter 13: Sparks to the Flame
Sparks to the Flame
Before they even passed notes, there were 'rules' about things. He had realized early on that the interests he and his host had were extremely different things, and memories of heists and white suits told him that a long time ago. They both had 'justice' on their mind- but they both dealt with it differently.
So he left his host to his own activities during the day, and spent a few afternoons or evenings with his own friends.
It was a weekend however, when he first felt something tied to his host rather than those friends.
A date, not that they called it that. A 'quick bite to eat'. His host and his friend 'Aoko' went into a restaurant, had an argument, and then went their separate ways. Kaito remained at the table...
And Aoko moved to leave only to be snatched by a man in an orange prison suit.
Hard to do something with a gun against your temple after all.
Everyone was made to put their hands down. And Yugi, who had thankfully not spotted them despite apparently being there himself, was forced to get some things for the vile man.
...And it was about when his own host's rage and fear began to build that he reacted.
Some would say that allowing a man to set himself on fire was 'over kill'. Really, he was just glad that Aoko was alright and that his 'friends' didn't realize he was two people at once just yet.
Chapter 14: Fear and Ignorance
Fear and Ignorance
Akako for her part, was very good at keeping silent while Keiko talked about this. "Nn. Someone in the other class keeps saying they're clairvoyant. A few of the things they predicted even came true..!"
"Eh- But that... That can't be right, can it..?" Of course not Aoko, but...
Well, Kaito might have been interested but not enough to really pass up on this thing that was doing such a good job of distracting Aoko this morning. "EHHH- Fish?"
The class froze.
That was about when they realized that Kaito's 'not himself' had gotten a bit better at hiding the fact that he 'wasn't himself'.
Least he got that fortune teller in the end though, the creep.
Chapter 15: Steam
He was pissed.
The festival around at Domino High was going up without a problem, but the evening before it created a more than eerie effect. Inogashira did not seem to mind that however.
If anything, he was just confused about what a student from Ekoda wanted with him.
He didn't answer so much as show him. 'Let's play a game, shall we?' he'd said, preparing the playing field in an instant. Inogashira did not refuse.
By the end of it, Kaito didn't get any sleep that evening, and Inogashira was treated for extensive burns to his face, his own mild insanity and fear preventing him from recalling the one who had 'done this'.
But most everyone who attended Domino High agreed that this year's school festival was the greatest.
Chapter 16: Murder and Theft
Murder and Theft
"I know what you're doing, Kuroba."
Kaito stiffened mentally at those words, but otherwise had no reaction to Hakuba's accusation. "Again with the KID searching?" he instead joked. "You need to find a new target~"
A paper was slammed down on the table, and for his part, he still had no clue what he was talking about.
"...Man found dead- cause: scorpion poison?" He blinks. "Wow- All that chasing KID around has finally gotten to your head huh?"
Suddenly, Hakuba's looming was much closer than comfortable, and he was having a bit of trouble with the Poker Face. "Kuroba, the only reason I have not turned you in for this is because I want to know why. I know you were the last person in that store. And I know that the area the store is in is anything but honest. So why were you-"
The poker face was gone. "...I've never been to Domino, Hakuba."
"...Really." He hadn't. At least... He didn't remember-
"Then I think Kuroba, you had better get your head checked very, very s-"
"Oh.. Now what's this..?" Before they could discuss the 'issue' any further the paper was snatched up by the English substitute, her face caked in makeup and a sneering grin on her face. "Boys... Class has already begun... You don't want a detention now do you..?"
It looked like she was going to say something else for a moment there.
Hakuba caught it to- and that was probably why.
Still, as Hakuba gave a stiff 'no ma'am', Kaito found himself leaning forward on his desk to watch the woman return to the front.
Suddenly, he found himself unwilling to go through with his latest magic trick...
A puzzle in Keiko's desk, a blackout, and a puzzle-piece face for the substitute later, and he was heading down to the library.
And Hakuba, for his part, tried very hard not to say 'I told you so.'
Chapter 17: Suspicions
"Oh- Duel monsters?"
Sugoroku had a very hard time convincing himself to not pull his Grandson aside and tell him to avoid Kuroba Kaito like the plague. For the past few weeks, the boy had been absolutely gushing about him. And for a while, he was quite happy about that. After all, to suddenly have someone like Jonouchi and Kuroba for friends in addition to Anzu seemed incredible.
Until he realized that Kuroba wasn't attending the school. He wasn't even attending a school in Domino- in fact, he was at least half an hour away by foot. And it seemed that when he DID appear something would happen to Yugi, followed by the one Yugi mentioned dropping off the map like a fly.
It was all very...
To see him in person only confirmed this, with Sugoroku's eyes snapping toward the puzzle almost immediately. He'd asked where he got it. 'From my father,' he responded. Suspicion levels... Rising. (But his father was dead, and the Kaitou Kid wasn't, so it couldn't be the same right..?)
As it was, it would be better to keep whoever this... Person was from guessing that he was suspicious of anything, and so he showed them his new stock when the topic was brought up. "That's right- they're very popular in the USA right now."
"Grandpa got some new ones recently," Yugi continued proudly. "I've been thinking of making a deck myself."
"Ah- really?" Kuroba looked down from where he'd been flipping through cards myself. "Is it fun then?"
"It sure looks like it," Jonouchi muttered with a grin. "Is it anything like Menko?"
"Er... N.. Not re-"
"Neh- Oji-san, what's that one?" Sugoroku stiffened somewhat as Kuroba pointed at the box in the display- before he could say anything however...
"Oh! That's grandpa's 'special card'."
Sugoroku sighed, pulling the box out and putting on a smile for show. "Very special. What you're about to see is my greatest treasure," he said 'mysteriously'. "The blue eyes white dragon!" The box was lifted, and the card revealed. And with wide eyes the others stared.
"3000 attack... Impressive," Kuroba muttered, grinning.
"Some people have killed for this card," Sugoroku added with a strange grin. "It's too special to even consider putting in a deck..!"
A nod. "It was too powerful compared to the rest of the cards," Yugi explained. "So they stopped production after only four versions were made."
"Hehhhh... Only four..."
"It certainly looks nice in any case," Anzu murmured from the side, her own hands shifting over some of the cards.
"Oh- so this is your store then, Yugi..."
The group turned as another domino student walked in, brown hair partially obscuring his eyes. For some reason, despite the apparent calm he set Sugoroku on edge...
And as the kids talked over duel monsters, he quickly realized why. 'I don't know if you guys are good enough to play me.' he said. 'Let me see your cards...'
One of these kids... And of course, the first thing that caught his eye, before he could put it away..! "Old man... That card..! Let me see it!" Gh...
"...You may look- but do NOT touch it," he warned, swallowing as he pushed the box delicately forward. The others were watching carefully- Jonouchi with hate (understandably), Kuroba with suspicion...
"Old man... I will trade all of my cards for that Blue Eyes White Dragon..!" A briefcase was slammed on the table- the top opened and as the others stared Sugoroku frowned.
"He- He refused..!!"
"This card was a gift from a close friend," Sugoroku explained coldly, watching the calculated gleam in Kaiba's eye. "No value can be pinned to it- this single card is worth more than all the cards in the world to me..." Silence came at that.
And eventually, with a seemingly humored but no less cold smile, Kuroba turned to Kaiba. "I think that means you're out of luck."
Kaiba visibly twitched at Kuroba's sting, but without another word closed his briefcase over and turned to leave. "I understand," he stated lowly. "Good bye." With that the door slammed rather soundly behind him, leaving the room to discuss how 'cool' Grandpa was, and what kind of decks to make. In the end, even Kuroba left with one. But as he sat down to calm himself later that evening, he found himself uneasy regardless of the fact that all which had happened seemingly blew over. There was a storm coming now... He could feel it in the air.
And the chill of Kuroba's voice in the back of his mind only strengthened that.
Chapter 18: Notes
The note came with the maid, hidden under the plate. As to why he'd looked under the plate, he wasn't completely sure. It was just a feeling perhaps.
That there was something there...
Regardless, it was the reason he had a small group of people sitting at his table at the moment. "I trust you understand your task," Kaiba stated coolly, one among the number narrowing his eyes in suspicion. There was a round of nods, and he stood to leave, the note picked up from the table while he was at it. "Good. You're dismissed-"
"If I may, 'Kaiba-san'."
The CEO turned, and Hakuba shuddered, a motion that was nonetheless hidden well. "Yes, 'Detective'?"
"The Kaitou Kid never uses force; his most 'lethal' weapon fires only cards. These other people you have hired are a little-"
"Unnecessary?" Kaiba offered with a false smile. "I'm no fool, 'Detective'- I know that the only thing standing between you and the Kaitou Kid is the incompetence of those you have worked with before. My methods may be 'extreme' in your eyes... But they're quite necessary."
"Necessary? The force you're asking them to use is-"
"Is something that will not result in anything you're 'expecting' unless you want it to," he warned coolly. "Now. I've hired you because I recognize your skill, and because I think you can keep my possessions from being taken by this so-called 'thief'. So... Is there anything else you wish to address?"
Hakuba took one look at Kaiba's eyes and briefly considered saying 'yes'.
Instead, he wisely steadied himself and bowed his head before leaving. "No sir... Nothing at all."
"I thought not..."
It was likely that Kaiba had been thinking of a reason very different from Hakuba's own for the end to the conversation. Kaiba likely assumed it was as it always had been in the face of 'fear'.
In reality, it was Hakuba's cold realization that he could well be the only thing between the Kaitou KID and a bullet now.
Chapter 19: News
"I don't believe it."
The 'domino crowd' was currently gathered around a paper Jonouchi had brought in, which was sitting at Yugi's desk where they typically met up in the morning. Kaiba they noted, was absent again today (and good riddance, said Jonouchi), though they were joined by a few curious others of the class as they read the paper.
"Kaitou Kid to strike again," Yugi read out loud. "Note points to Kaiba ma-" He blinked. "Wait, Kaiba?"
"I know!" Jonouchi exclaimed. "I knew the guy was rich, but just look at this!" He smacked the paper, where a blurred image of the manor of target was in question. "What's a guy like him doing at our school?"
"I don't believe it..." Anzu shook her head again and the boys continued to look over the paper, Hanasaki in particular staring with wide eyes as the conversation pulled at his attention.
"The Kaitou Kid... I heard that he only steals rare jewels now," he murmured. "What could he be after at Kaiba-kun's house..?"
"I don't know," Yugi responded with a frown. He seemed to fidgit a little at the very mention of Kaiba, but as he looked over the note in the paper he bit his lip. "It says that they 'found the location', but that he's refusing the aid of the police..."
"Refus-" Jonouchi snorted. "What's he think is going to stop this guy, his giant ego?"
"I don't BELIEVE IT..!"
The boys turned to Anzu, Hanasaki being the first to nervously cough. "Erm... Mazaki-san, that's the third time you've-"
"Mazaki... I know it's 'unbelievable', but-"
"No not that!" she retorted. "The Kaitou KID!"
"Er... KID," they asked as she nodded.
"If Kaiba refuses police entry how are we supposed to watch..!"
It had never occurred to the group that Anzu might have been a KID fan.
As it was, they were in for an interesting week as a result.
Chapter 20: Magic
"You can WHAT."
It was plain (if not mildy comforting in Yugi's case) to see that having Anzu this close to his face was putting Kuroba just slightly on edge. "Er... A-Anzu..."
"Oiii Mazaki..." Anzu turned as the other two boys frowned, Jonouchi's a little more evident in comparison to Yugi's own. "It's great that yer excited, but do y' think you could give Kuroba some space..?"
The woman scowled, but nonetheless did so. "I wasn't that close," she muttered, ignorant to the fact that Kuroba was now shaking himself in the background. "But- Are you serious? You can get us in range for the KID heist?"
'Kuroba' as the others knew him as merely shrugged, confident smirk in place. "Of course- one of my friends has been hired to protect the target- it'll be easy to slip in with that..!"
"Hnn... But, Kuroba-kun," Yugi began nervously. "Are you sure that's going to work..? You don't think Kaiba-kun will..." He paused, looking down almost sheepishly as the others stared. Odd... Yugi was shy, but not that...
He quickly grinned. "Of course! Trust me- you'll be in before I can you can say abracadabra!"
"Abracada- HAH-!" Just as Jonouchi finished the second to last sylable of the word there was a cloud of smoke, a pile of scarves covering him. "W-Wh-What th' hell!?!"
Kuroba snickered, and the others raised their eyebrows. "Magic, Kuroba?"
The red-eyed teen merely shrugged. "What can I say... I'm practicing."
Chapter 21: To The Audience And The Magician
To the Audience and the Magician
True to his word, Kuroba had gotten them 'in'. It wasn't a very well known way in, but he had gotten them there through two things. One- they were pretending to be on watch for if KID escaped in their direction.
Two- Kaiba didn't know it was actually them, and in fact, Yugi currently had a very strategtically placed hat on right now. "Oh my god...!!"
Anzu didn't seem to mind. "I can't wait..!!" At all.
"Sheesh Mazaki..." Jonouchi scratched his head, crossing his arms to hold his jacket closed. "Yer acting like you're 5 or somethin'..."
The cheer quickly faded from the woman, and she turned with a scowl. "Oh... You just don't get it..! I've never been able to get near a KID heist..! Now we've got the equivalent of front row seats..!"
"Nn... Th-That's true but..." They turned, Yugi biting his lip. "Is the Kaitou Kid really a good thing..?"
"Well he puts things back doesn't he..?"
"Well yea.. But-"
The trio turned with a snap, eyes widening as confetti and smoke filled the air from atop the mansion before them. A few doves scattered through the air with it, and in seconds a figure in white appeared. "AH-"
The figure bowed, and with a sudden drop fell back out of sight. "It is..!! Kaitou KID..!"
Lights went on and off with a start from inside the building, and even from their position they could see dim silhouettes rushing about. And then eventually the silhouettes were gone. And they waited. And waited. And...
"So..." Jonouchi frowned. "What's so great about these heists again..?"
Anzu merely scowled. "Just go home if you want to already."
Chapter 22: First Move- First Draw
First Move, First Draw
He'd admit that having a blackout right before the heist was a little disconcerting- particularly since it meant finding a place to hide the puzzle.
('Now, you will be standing guard outside this room here...')
The 'men' were being briefed already, and the clock was ticking. If Hakuba's cryptic warning had been right, he'd have more to deal with than just the 'usual' tonight...
('And you, Kaiba-san?'
'I'll be in the room with the gem, of course.')
Of course, of course...
The only place he could really store this damn puzzle was in his hat, damn that was heavy...
The clock was ticking down though... And he'd have to make his appearance soon...
Ignore the headache- poker face..! He had an audience even now, however small after all so-
The smoke filled the air and the moon was bright- this evening's target...
The White Dragon's Eye..!
Chapter 23: Complications
As the spirit of the puzzle, it seemed natural that he be privvy to a slight bit more information from Kaito's mind than Kaito himself was of the spirit's own. Perhaps that would change 'someday'. For now however, it was a bit of a matter of 'oh well'.
The heist was going perfectly despite obvious issues with the 'plan'. Snipers were ironically fooled by the same mirrored body trick Jii had once pulled on him, and various top hitmen stumped when their target exploded into a balloon. From behind various walls and masks the Kaitou KID merely laughed, continuing onto his goal without pause.
And then when he got there he found something else sitting in front of the 'Dragon's Eye'. A single card, a 'duel monsters' card, but then, for what reason...
A gun clicked behind the thief, and time suddenly came back into alarming focus. "Not so fast... 'Kaitou KID'."
'KID' didn't move. In fact there seemed to be no reaction whatsoever, as though he were frozen on the spot.
And then suddenly, it wasn't KID anymore. "This isn't yours," he stated lowly, the cape blowing in a non-existent wind.
There was a brief pause of shock from Kaiba with those words- but the gun didn't move. "Hn. Throwing your voice now? If you were smart you'd know I have no connections to 'Kuroba'... As for the card..." He smirked. "Please. There are four in the world, what makes you think I can't own a single copy?"
'KID' turned, and red eyes gleamed with rage. "Because I know who you took it from. And I know how," he spat, recalling Yugi's uncharacteristic silence. "And if you're smart, you'll return it before the night is through."
Kaiba stiffened, eyes narrowing. "Except this is my card," he sneered, smile still falsley playing across his face. "Not Yugi's... Moreover 'Kuroba', if that's who you are... You've just told me exactly who to turn in as the 'Kaitou KID'."
"Have I?" As the young CEO frowned just slightly the poker face cracked, its current owner unable to restrain the growing expression of calm rage. "Perhaps we can deal with this another way then," he decided coolly, walking around to the opposite side of the displayed 'Dragon's Eye'. "...Why don't we play a game..?"
He knew what the answer would be even before Kaiba opened his mouth.
And one gunshot and a pacifistic dragon later and shouts sounded from the room...
But by the time Hakuba opened the door to find his 'employer' out of his mind in the room there was nothing but a dragon's empty eye socket and an open window...
And the thick, unrecognizable, stench of 'magic'.
Chapter 24: Mokuba
He didn't know what to think of 'KID', initially. A thief that returned whatever he stole, and masquaraded and played with magic? It sounded fun really- like the sort of thing his big brother once believed in.
But when the heist note came, he did as he swore he always would, and sided with Seto. 'KID' was a menace and a fool to even consider stealing his brother's jewel- nothing more. And so-
"You..!" Mokuba stiffened as he looked up from his thoughts on the balcony, a lone figure in white meeting his gaze.
The Kaitou KID merely brought a finger to his mouth, appearing to smile. "Shhhh..." The boy stared in silence, and as the thief brought his fingers down he snapped them-
And a gem appeared in his hand. A blue stone, dully shining under the light of the moon and- "AH-! That's niisama's-"
"I've decided I don't want this one," the thief said with the same smile, tossing it toward the shocked boy without warning. "Send him my regards, nm?"
A cloud of smoke- a white 'kite' in the air, and suddenly the Kaitou KID was a dot in the sky. And for a moment, he wondered if things would be better now. For a moment, he wondered if this meant he could prove his brother that he was worth 'something', even if the thief had literally tossed it to him without a fight.
The maids came to get him in a panic right after he thought of these things.
And immediately, the thoughts were replaced with hate.