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Fanfic / Cost of Freedom

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"And how do the defendants plead?"
(Illus. by Bakathief)

Everyone's heard of the Kaitou Kid - magician, ladykiller, prince among thieves. Unflappable. Untraceable. Untouchable.

Until now.

When everything goes wrong on what seems like a routine heist, the Moonlight Magician finds himself exposed, and thrown behind bars without so much as a lockpick to his name. But is that going to stop him from launching the Great Escape of the century? Of course not. Especially when he finds himself cellmates with the country's other most notorious criminal...

... Shinichi Kudo?

Cost of Freedom is a long, twisty fanfiction by MintChocolateLeaves, bringing the worlds of Magic Kaito and Detective Conan together on a Conspiracy Thriller running from Tokyo's lowest gutters to its highest echelons of power. Currently ongoing, it's slated to run for fifty-two chapters divided into four arcs of uneven length:

  1. Hearts - in which thief meets ex-detective, and plans are hatched.
  2. Diamonds - in which fortunes turn, and inquiring minds reopen the ex-detective's case.
  3. Spades - in which relationships are upgraded, and answers begin taking shape.
  4. Clubs - in which, well, we'll just have to wait for publication, won't we?

Cost of Freedom provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra:
    • In Diamonds many characters become of larger importance to the plot. Including Ran, Kazuha, Aoko and Hakuba.
    • The Miyano sisters and Akai also appear with stakes in the plotline, with Akemi appearing at the end of Spades and both Shiho and Akai making an appearance in Spades.
  • Alternate Universe: In many different respects, though the author spells out the big one up-front: here, there was never any Apotoxin poisoning, and thus never any Conan. What this suggests for the overall atmosphere probably isn't a coincidence. Other bits of canon are followed or subverted as necessary. For instance, some iteration of the Sunset Manor case still happened, but Akemi Miyano is alive (for now).
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  • Burner Phones: How the fugitive Shinichi communicates with Heiji and Kazuha. As an extra precaution, they've all agreed that the caller has to speak first.
  • Clear Their Name: The story initially plays coy with whether Shinichi is actually innocent of the murders he's been charged with (this is, after all, an Alternate Universe), but by Chapter 9 confirms he's the victim of a master-class Frame-Up, and every single one of his friends is bent on proving it.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: Downplayed - Kaito's initial cellmate isn't Shinichi (who, in this universe, he's only battled once before, and indirectly at that). Later on, the guards deliberately force him into Shinichi's cell as punishment for an escape attempt, no doubt hoping he'll be dead within a week.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: The Syndicate's canon booze-codenaming system is given an extra twist, as their "legitimate" front in this universe is (wait for it) a chain of liquor stores.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Kaito, best exemplified throughout Diamonds:
    “They only found four of my Tokyo safe houses. I’ve got two more - so where do you want to go, Shinjuku or Nakano?”
  • Cruel to Be Kind: The incredibly twisted logic behind Vermouth's framing of Shinichi went something like this: the Syndicate had already made him and marked him for death. By putting him on death row, she got the Syndicate to back off on an outright assassination; at the same time, she meant to use her independent connections to fake the actual execution and smuggle Shinichi out under a new identity, letting him continue his investigations. Shinichi is less than impressed; apart from what he personally suffered in prison, Vermouth did kill seven people to facilitate all this, thinning nothing of it because they were all Syndicate deserters.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: Comes with the territory when you're investigating the home of a tropical fish-keeper that's being stalked by a Syndicate sniper, as Ran and Hakuba discover.
  • First-Name Basis: Inevitably develops as more and more civilians (such as Kazuha) get pulled into our heroes' orbits.
  • Great Escape: Our heroes' common goal, naturally. As of Chapter 15, they succeed.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: Every chapter after the first begins with a note like this, though some of them are more teasers than summaries.
  • It's All My Fault: Shinichi thinks this regarding the murders that he has been framed with, reasoning that had he stopped looking into the syndicate, Vermouth would not have killed seven people to put hiim on death row.
  • Not So Stoic: Almost everyone cracks at one point or another, the first arguably being Shinichi, when four other cons decide to help him "train" for his upcoming hanging.
  • Outlaw Couple: By Spades, Aoko has deliberately put herself on the lam with Kaito, reasoning that this is safer than going back home because The Syndicate now knows how much she means to him. True to form, of course, she insists they're not a couple until he takes her on a proper date.
  • Prison Changes People: Prison life has made this Shinichi a lot more ruthless (and feared) than his canon self, though he ultimately retains enough conscience and emotional vulnerability to dodge Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Shinichi, knowing that the syndicate that framed him will want him dead, especially following his escape.
    • Heiji during Spades after realising that he is being followed. Luckily, those following him are just a disguised Aoko and Kaito.
  • Race Against the Clock: Our heroes have until May 3 to pull off the escape - because by May 4, Shinichi will hit legal execution age, and the State is in no mood for dawdling.
  • Saying Too Much: How Aoko learns of Heiji's involvement with the breakout.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Akemi Miyano did not die in order for her sister, Shiho to leave behind the Organisation.
  • Taking the Bullet: Kaito for Aoko at the beginning of Spades.
  • Talking to Themself: How Kaito keeps himself from going (completely) insane when he's thrown into Solitary for six days. Being a Master of Disguise, he can imitate his friends pitch-perfectly.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The plot grows into this around the eighth or ninth chapter, the A-thread focusing on Kaito and Shinichi in prison while the B-thread focuses on what Ran and Hakuba (and later, Aoko) are doing on the outside. It progresses to something messier when Shinichi and Kaito finally escape and begin to investigate the Syndicate in earnest.
  • Undying Loyalty: Ran is the single most dogged believer in Shinichi's innocence, perhaps moreso than even the Kudo parents. But she's got stiff competition from Heiji, who doesn't think twice about serving as the Great Escape's outside-man.
    • Spades throws Sonoko onto the pile as well. Granted, she has known Shinichi for as long as Ran has...
  • Where It All Began: Kaito returns to the museum where he was originally arrested to hold another heist and succeed in stealing the gemstone.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: The starting premise. "All" being just two people, but hey - when those two are Kaito Kuroba and Shinichi Kudo...

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