It was a fairly comfortable room, as far as jail cells went.
Shinichi reclined back in his chair with his feet on the table, the picture of relaxed arrogance. Internally though, he was a mess, sick with worry. This was his first time being properly “arrested”—the occasional week throughout his childhood where Dad would dump him into Gramps’ custody and steal him back once the threat was gone didn’t count. His occasional stints in the interrogation room were nothing compared to this. Not just that, but Dad had also allowed himself to be captured. For him. His dad had been caught before and at least this time it was of his own violation, but that didn’t stop the guilt from gnawing at his stomach.
At least Papa and the others were still free. Papa had been very adamant against this plan, declaring it “foolish” and unnecessary.” But he had eventually agreed under the combined peer pressure, though Shinichi had no doubt he was lurking in Japan somewhere. Uncle Goemon was probably hiding him; he knew the country best.
A door creaked open, then slammed shut. A lazy smirk crept across Shinichi’s face as Inspector Zenigata and two blond men—one older, the other his age—walked into view. The only thing between them was the cell bars. Zenigata narrowed his eyes. “Arsène,” he growled.
Smirk growing (yet fake), Shinichi inclined his head. “Gramps.” He’d gotten used to his other name years ago. When they forged Shinichi’s birth certificate, Dad had immediately put down Arsène Lupin the IV, much to Shinichi’s annoyance. “Have you finally found a crime to charge me with?”
Gramps scowled. “You shouldn’t say things like that. Do you want someone to think you’re a criminal!?”
“My apologies. I figured that since I am under arrest, you’d have a crime to charge me with.”
They’d always been very careful about Shinichi’s own illegal activities. When he was younger, they managed to play it off as a child being manipulated by his parents—cruel from an outsider’s perspective, but he’d never been forced to do anything he wasn’t comfortable with. And really, the worst things he ever did were being a distraction or pick a lock or two. As he reached his teens, his illegal actions went down… at least, that’s want Zenigata and Interpol thought. While Auntie tried to push him down the path of a thief, Dad, Papa, and Uncle insisted that he not have a criminal record, in case he didn’t “want to continue the family business,” in Dad’s words.
“Don’t be absurd,” Zenigata scoffed, pulling up a chair so he could sit outside the cell bars. “You’re not under arrest, Arsène.”
“Inspector,” the older blond cut in, his heavy mustache twitching with the word. “If… Lupin-kun isn’t under arrest, then why is he in a cell?”
Zenigata was about to answer when Shinichi cut him off. “I’m bait, aren’t I?” They stared at him, shocked. “Interpol might be happy you caught Lupin, but they're upset that the rest of my family escaped. And I’m the only thing you’re certain they’ll all come back for.” Shinichi smiled at his unnamed visitor’s dumb-founded expressions. “Was I close, old man?”
“Y-Yes,” Zenigata said, slightly unnerved. “That’s correct. Arsène, this is Superintendent-General Hakuba and his son, Saguru. You’ll be staying with them for a duration of time until Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, and Fujiko Mine are apprehended. During this period, you shall be heavily monitored not only by Interpol agents, but by the Hakuba’s.”
“And if I… disagree?” Shinichi asked, looking up to the ceiling. This was better than he could ever hope. Sure, he was still going to be monitored, but at least he was staying in Tokyo. And with a police family… that could be good or life-threatening depending on how this goes.
Gramps smirked deviously. Geeze, and people said Dad has a monkey face… “Due to Lupin’s arrest, you’ve become a ward of Interpol until you’re 18. If we want you to go with the Hakuba’s, then you will and you will stay there.”
Shinichi faked a resigned sigh, but inside his smirk was worse than the old man’s. Looks like everything was going according to plan.
At least it was until Zenigata brought out the ankle monitor.