Disclaimer: As usual, I'm just borrowing Gosho Aoyama's genius and taking the characters out to play. I don't own any of this, so don't sue me; you wouldn't get much more than a basket of laundry anyways. ^_^ Enjoy this weird bit of reading!

In Vino Veritas
by Becky Tailweaver

Part 1

The great and mysterious Kaitou Kid would never admit to being drunk.

Nope, he wasn't drunk. No way, nuh-uh, nothing doing. So...maybe he was a little fuzzy around the edges, but he was walking a straight line without a problem--hell, he'd tightrope-walked the balcony railing with no difficulty whatsoever. And...maybe he felt a bit of a buzz, just a bit cloudy, his somewhat-muffled rational side telling him that his reactions were a shade off tonight...but not one cop had laid a hand on him and he'd not screwed up one single step of this heist. At least not 'til now.

No, Kaitou Kid was not drunk. He would grudgingly allow himself to be described as "slightly tipsy," and nothing more than that.

He normally would never have partaken in anything alcoholic, especially not on a job, but Shirota-san, the man he was impersonating was...well...a rather heavy drinker, and when Inspector Nakamori himself had offered to buy him something he couldn't turn it down and stay in character. So...gritting his teeth and hoping his eyes didn't tear up, he accepted the drink--awful-tasting stuff. Just one drink--whatever the hell that stuff was--and no more. He didn't even finish all of it before the heist got moving and he could finally put the damned thing down. But...three-quarters was enough.

Damn Shirota-san. Just had to be drinking buddies with Nakamori. Now why the hell didn't I know that?

Damn. And because he was--not drunk, blast it, just a bit off!--he'd screwed up his escape time and missed the window of opportunity to take the stairwell to the roof and book it. And now they were chasing him downwards, toward the basement, where he was going to end up cornered.

That fuzzy feeling was getting stronger, too. Shit.

What the hell was that drink, anyway? I can just see the headlines: "Kaitou Kid Caught By Police Inspector Who Got Him Plastered." Whoopee.

He was back on the floor the party had been going on--the one in which the jewel he sought was worn by Shirota-san's wife and it would have been prime opportunity to snatch it if Nakamori hadn't dragged him off to the bar. Set his timetable back a good twenty minutes, too. The party hall was back that way and he didn't want to chance a sloppy disguise among that many already-panicked people, so maybe he could go down the other way and find a window that wasn't solid plexiglass to make his escape.

Dammit! There were more cops coming in from the third corridor! He ducked back and headed left instead of right, taking off at a full run rather than his usual smooth jog. So the drink made him overreact a bit--so what? All he had to do was find an open door and hide for a while, maybe get his head on straight and get out of this place.

Why can't I remember how to get to the stairs?

Oh great. Navigational system was apparently overloaded by that one itty bitty drink of alcoholic beverage. Stupid sissy internal compass anyway. Well, he could get by without it. He was Kaitou Kid, after all.

The next few doors he tried were all locked. He didn't have time to try anything with them, not with the squad of pissed-off policemen heading in his direction.

However, when he grabbed at the handle of the fifth door and threw his weight against it, he was surprised when it gave way smoothly and dumped him inside. He barely kept his feet, stumbling against the wall.

The wall felt like cool tile. The only illumination came from under the door, and from the faint silvery moonlight falling in from the high, narrow windows along the wall near the ceiling. He let his eyes adjust to the lack of lighting in this room, not daring to reach for a switch...

And found himself in a restroom.

Great. Not so bad--he could splash some cold water on his face, take a breather, and be out of here before anyone--

In the dimness, a toilet in one of the stalls flushed noisily, making him jump a foot in the air. He stood there in shock for a second as the person emerged, staring rather stupidly; the footsteps emerging from the stall didn't sound like a man's...

This had better not be the women's restroom.

Had he not been...slightly tipsy, he might've reacted more quickly--exiting the restroom, or at the very least getting himself out of sight. As it was, the person who stepped out of the stall saw him and started badly, almost falling over themselves at the sight of him standing in the shadows by the door.

His brain registered a dress--a short one too--and long hair, and dimly, pale features and wide eyes. A female. Just great.

Oh please don't--!

She opened her mouth and took a deep breath--and this time his reaction was a lot faster. He was across the room in one leap with his hand clamped over her mouth and her back pressed to the wall near the sinks before she could make a sound.


He was breathing rather hard--maybe it was because of all this blasted fuzziness, making what was left of his rational side panicky because he knew he could screw up badly right now. And to be blunt, he just had--grabbing a tiger by the tail and trapping himself as effectively as he had her.

"I'm not going to hurt you," was the first thing he whispered, keeping his voice as low and steady as he possibly could.

The muffled noise from his captive didn't quite sound like the whimper he'd been expecting. He couldn't quite make out her face, even this close; he could see the contrast of her hair against her skin, the shadow of her eyes, but not much more.

"I can take my hand off your mouth, but you've got to promise not to scream," he spoke again. His rational side told him that was a rather stupid thing to say, but he couldn't quite hear it. He could feel the woman/girl/female nod. Slowly, he brought his hand down--and almost to his surprise, she remained silent.

For a few moments, that is.

"Kaitou Kid...what are you doing in the bathroom?"

The voice was sort of sluggish, slightly slurred, but the tones were angry and inquiring and he couldn't help recognizing them--with a sinking feeling of utter shock and horror.

Oh...shit. Aoko?

Kaito barely kept from blurting her name. "Wha...what are you doing here?" was the best he managed.

"Usin' the toilet, what else?" Aoko replied, sounding indignant and annoyed.

To be continued...