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To Save Your Life

By Mikari

Humor / Romance

Chapter 1

When a shinigami falls in love with you, though you only agree to be friends, one things leads to another and you meet L. But your shinigami has broken a few rules and that will bring trouble. (LxReader)

To Save Your Life: Note I

Page 01: A Tragic Memory

Once upon a time there were two shinigami brothers and two human sisters. The shinigami watched the two girls everyday for they had fallen in love with them. The oldest shinigami Trado, was the first to fall in love. Most of the other shinigami did not approve of his love for a human and gave him a hard time. His brother, Traizo was the only one who was supportive. Traizo often sat next to his older brother watching the human world and keeping him company while offering his support. That is how Traizo first saw you; the younger sister of the human Trado had fallen in love with.

Traizo always kept his brother company and while his brother watched the older sister, he watched the younger one. You and your sister were always very close and very similar, so when even Trado would point out what he admired in your sister, Traizo couldn't help it but to notice a similar feature in you. But Trado's love would not have a happy ending.

That evening it was raining harshly and the skies were so dark that it almost looked like night even if it wasn't past six. You had stayed after school helping with the preparations for a Halloween party. The gymnasium looked great with orange and black details all over, pumpkins, ghosts, witches and all sorts of Halloween themed things.

Your sister, who would graduate from high school that year, had gone out with the other seniors and was coming back to pick you up. This would be your last year of high school with your sister, but in another year you would join her in college. You never could have guessed what would happen that evening.

When your sister came, everything appeared to be alright. Shielded from the rain by an umbrella that hardly helped keep her dry, your sister appeared at the door and you went with her back to the car. "Want me to drive?" You knew your sister hated driving in bad weather, besides you were sixteen and had a license, so there wasn't anything wrong with you taking the wheel.

Reluctantly your sister agreed. "Yeah thanks." That was a mistake. It was something you would continue to blame yourself for a long time until you blocked it out of your mind.

The rain was hard, the road was slippery and taking a shortcut was not a good idea. You knew that shortcut like the back of your hand but you've never driven a car through there in rain this heavy. The wind picked up, throwing stray leaves at the windshield and the wipers got stuck which made it more difficult to see.

The storm was strong and had broken off a few small branches but you were in deep concentration and you knew your sister was nervous. The crackle of the branches breaking under the tires seemed so much louder to you and you instinctively hit the breaks while taking a turn.

The car slid to the side and out of the road into the grassy area below. It had to be at least ten inches lower than the road itself, obviously not enough to cause a serious accident, but enough to startle both of you and create a bump underneath the car. At least it wouldn't be an obvious dent since you avoided hitting a nearby tree.

The car stopped at an odd angle and only one tire was out of the road. If you held the gas pedal down you were certain the car could pull itself out since the other three tires were still on the road. "No problem I got it under control," you assured your sister with a smile.

"Be careful, the car will get some impulse after you get it back on the road, don't miss the next turn," your sister warned.

"Gotcha," you focused on your driving. At first you weren't good at it, but you eventually learned to drive well enough to get your license. Driving with your sister was certainly better than driving with an instructor or your parents during the learning process, because she saw things from a student's point of view having, been one not too long ago, so you could learn faster with minimum frustration.

It seemed that things were going well but that bump below the car and the water that flowed under it couldn't do any good. Still, the car looked fine, just wet and a bit dirty from the leaves sticking to it; you didn't expect it to suddenly stop.

Your parents didn't want the two of you to stay out that evening because of the weather report. Normally, they would have no inconveniences if the two of you assured them that you would stick together, even if on occasions you each did your own thing as it was part of a well balanced sibling relationship. But today they wanted you home, claiming that if you stayed out, you would get caught in the rain and catch a cold. You didn't like being treated like a kid and besides, avoiding the rain was what umbrellas were all about.

"Do we call home and ask for help or do we wait it out?" Your sister asked though the answer was obvious.

"We wait it out," you both agreed at the same time.

"I think something's wet inside the car," you theorized.

Your sister nodded in agreement. "Yeah and it is pretty old." Old but cheap and it took you where you needed to be, so no complaints there. "We should let the car's insides dry off and cool a little, the rain should stop soon and it's not like we're in anyone's way in this lonely shortcut."

"Agreed," so it was done, but your parents had warned you not to take lonely shortcuts. You knew there would be no problem if you just kept moving, but you weren't moving and rumors were that there were some criminals on the loose hiding in that area. You didn't believe it because nothing exciting ever happened in your life. For you, there was no drama with criminals and detectives, nothing out of the ordinary at all.

Then there was some rustling in the bushes and two men stepped out. "Sis..." You knew what you sister was trying to say. She got a bad feeling from those men and you did too.

"Right," you tried to start the car again, it looked as if all it needed was to dry off and cool since the rain had already stopped while you waited. But the men were desperate for transportation and perhaps hostages. One of them stepped in front of the car before it could gain too much speed. You slammed on the breaks and you were certain you did not hit him yet he appeared to fall back and panic betrayed you and your sister.

Taking advantage of the confusion the other man aimed a gun right at you. You soon realized it was all just an act to throw you off guard, as the man whom you supposedly hit got up obviously unharmed.

xoxox xox xoxox

In the shinigami world... "They're in trouble," Traizo observed.

Trado nodded nervously. "They won't be killed, I don't think so."

"They might be but not yet. I think they'll be taken hostage, who knows what those two will do to them," Traizo was worried but he hid it well. His brother had warned him not to fall in love with a human because then he would inevitably suffer.

Trado's eyes went wide. "I won't let them." In anger he began to write in his Death Note the name of the man holding the gun.

"No!" Traizo tried to stop him but he was pushed away. "Don't do it! Don't sacrifice yourself!" In sorrow and frustration Traizo tried to take his brother's Death Note, but it was too late, the man's name had already been written. The tug of war between the shinigami brothers still continued until seconds later, the man with the gun died of a heart attack before his partner’s name could be written by the shinigami who now turned to dust.

In the mist of the confusion the man who had jumped in front of your car unarmed, rushed to check on his partner and retrieve their only weapon. You took the chance and drove away full speed, leaving Lind L. Tailor behind, perplexed by the other man's sudden death.

You didn't exactly have nerves of steal, but you were capable of staying relatively calm in hard situations with a few exceptions. Luckily you acted fast and got away. Your heart was pounding but your heart was strong unlike your sister’s. It was a condition she inherited from your grandfather, the condition that killed him, one you didn't have. The shock was too much and even if no shinigami was involved in causing it, your sister died from heart failure that evening.

Page 02: Coming Back to Haunt You

Two years had passed since your sister's death and you are now a college student. You miss her very much and life is more boring than it used to be. But today would bring a new beginning, today something out of this world would happen.

When you first saw the black notebook on the ground you thought nothing of it. It was probably something someone had dropped, though you could have sworn it wasn't there a second ago. You looked around and even if there seemed to be a few people walking by, none of them looked like they had dropped a notebook or were searching for it. You considered leaving it there for the owner to find, but curiosity took over and you at least had to check for a name. If it belonged to someone you knew, you would return it yourself. When you opened the notebook you nearly jumped out of your skin, a strange being stood before you.

"Don't be scared, I have no intentions of hurting you," Traizo assured.

You forced a smile and felt silly. "Nice costume."

"I knew you wouldn't believe me if I told you I'm a shinigami. Go on, try to take off this costume and you'll see every piece is attached to me." The being's appearance wasn't exactly pleasant. His eyes bugged out of his face and his flesh was excessively pale, almost gray. His black pants seemed to merge into his body at the waist and even if he wasn't really thin, his bones somehow managed to stick out as if they were pointy. "Are you familiar with the Kira case?"

Though you never told you parents about your encounter with the two men, you blamed them for your sister's death. Telling your parents would only make them more overprotective and paranoid and it would certainly not bring your sister back. Besides, the man who survived, whom you had seen in the news that your father watched every day, already had enough crimes on his account to deserve the death penalty. If he was caught he would be killed, even if you didn't accuse him, then Kira killed him even if he would have been killed anyway. "Everyone knows about that."

"This is how he kills, with a Death Note." Before he could explain anything else, a third voice joined the conversation.

"What are you doing standing there? C'mon we'll be late." You blinked and looked back and forth between your best friend and the guy in the zombie costume did she not see him? "What are you looking at over there?" She stepped forward and to your surprise walked right through the zombie-like creature. You stared wide eyed and open mouthed as your friend waved a hand in front of you. "Hello? You look like you saw a ghost; we'll be late for class, let's go." You nodded slowly and followed her all too aware that the creature was following you.

A class that would usually be interesting turned quite long because you only wanted to find out more about the being that stood behind you with the desk of your best friend's sit apparently cutting his legs. You kept turning back to see if he was still there which caused your friend to give you confused looks wondering what you were trying to say. Of course, you didn't see her expression, you only saw the creature.

After the class was over, you rushed to the girl's bathroom which thankfully was empty so no one would ask what your paranoid looks were about. You opened the sink and collected some water in your hands. Even after splashing it against your face you still saw him. You then rushed out of the bathroom and towards the vending machines.

"I'm not an illusion you know. Washing your face to wake yourself up and filling your stomach won't make me disappear." In your haste after your friend came to get you for class and you realized there was something very strange about that zombie guy, you had stuffed the Death Note in your bag where it still was.

You looked straight at the monster feeling ridiculous since to any passerby, you would look like you were looking at thin air. Then you walked out without even trying to get anything from the vending machine, you doubted that you would be capable of digesting anything at the moment anyway.

You walked to the parking lot which held many cars and no people at this time of the day. Once inside your car, you looked at the strange being who sat in the passenger seat even if you did not open or even unlock the passenger door for him. At least he didn't go literally through you to get there, that would be creepy. For mercy, if this monster ever made himself visible to your best friend, you wouldn't tell her she once walked through him; that would surely give her nightmares.

"Okay, what's your story?" You nervously asked, getting into the driver's seat. Who wouldn't be nervous at a time like this?

"My name is Traizo and I'm a shinigami. Right now, only you can see me and hear me. The notebook I gave you has the power to kill if you write a person's name while picturing their face in your mind so people with the same name won't be affected. Also, incomplete names and aliases don't work. You can decide the cause of death and so on, just don't take too long to write it. If it's something impossible it'll be a heart attack in forty seconds. That's just about it." He wasn't too specific and he left several details out, but he thought that was enough.

You took a moment to calm down and take in all the information. "This is really what Kira uses? I mean, if it were real?"

"Yes, I think it is. If you don't believe it's real, try it out." The way he said it was so care free it couldn't be true.

"I don't believe you," of course seeing the physical impossibilities he accomplished and all the information about the Kira case on the media it was hard not to believe him.

"Want me to give you a demonstration with my own Death Note?" Traizo asked.

You quickly shook your head. "No thanks, maybe I'll give you the benefit of the doubt." So a shinigami had come into your life. That was certainly interesting and left you with many questions. "I'm not going to become like Kira."

"You don't have to."

"Why did you choose me?"

"Because..." he paused, was that a hint of pink on that creepy gray skin of his.

"What is it?" You urged him to reply.

"Because I like you," Traizo finished.

You blinked. "I'm not, I mean, I can't... " you were at a loss for words.

"You only like humans?" Traizo asked, coming closer, a bit too close for comfort.

Your eyes traveled around the shinigami’s anatomy. You didn't want to be shallow but he was creepy, very creepy and very gray with pointy bones beneath his skin that threatened to tare it any second, and you noted that some bones had in fact already torn the gray flesh at the shoulders.

"What's wrong?" Traizo reached to touch your hair and you yelped and slapped his seven fingered clawed hand away. "So you do only like humans."

You nodded quickly. "Yes, I only like humans that way, human males to be specific." You told yourself that having a liking for a certain species wasn't shallow and grabbed your bag, getting out of the car. It was your lunch hour now, but you had no appetite what so ever.

"We'll be friends then?" Traizo asked.

"Alright," that much you could handle, or so you made it seem, because deep down you were wishing that the weirdness would just disappear and your predictable life would continue. When you wished for excitement this was not what you had in mind.

xoxox xox xoxox

At the end of the day you went straight home. You were not in the mood to go anywhere with all that had happened. Once at home you greeted your mother and without making any conversation, you went to your room and tossed your bag on your bed then sat down beside it.

"I understand this can be a shock for humans if they’re not expecting a shinigami to show up," Traizo explained.

"You don't know the half of it," you could really use something relaxing right about now, but dared not take a shower with a zombie like creature that could go through walls stalking you.

"What will you do with the Death Note?" Traizo asked.

"I already said I won't become another Kira, I won't use it at all." While Kira had been the one to finally punish the survivor of the two criminals whom you blamed for your sister's death, you weren't completely a Kira fan either. But he was just punishing criminals, so he wasn't so bad, right? "Give it to Kira."

"It'll take a while to figure out who Kira is but I’m pretty sure he must already be using a Death Note. Why would you want to give away such power?" Traizo tempted.

"I thought you could find him easily or even knew him and don't try to temp me, it won't work. I'm not willing to take on this role, it’s not me. I know it sounds selfish but the only criminal I wanted to punish has already been killed by Kira. I didn't get to see it live, but I saw a rerun on the news. The others are not my responsibility. I'm not that heroic vigilante who sacrifices everything and constantly puts up with being chased by the police. I'm not like that I'm not..." you trailed off.

"Brave enough?" Traizo offered.

"Shut up," you let yourself fall back into your bed and pondered your options on how to deal with the Death Note.

"I'm going out for a while," the shinigami informed. "I might be out for a long time but I'll be back. Don't lose the Death Note."

"Where are you off to?" You curiously inquired.

"You'll see," was Traizo's only reply before flying away through a wall.

Page 03: Flying Far Away

"I found him!"

"Ah!" To see a zombie-like creature first thing in the morning when you woke up is not the awakening you expected.

"Are you okay?" Your mother called concerned.

"I'm fine!" You called back and tried to get rid of the shock. It had been a little over two weeks since Traizo had left, and though you still kept your Death Note well hidden in your room, you had started to think that the shinigami had been an illusion, a product of your imagination. Yet here he was, he had returned. "Don't scare me like that and who did you find?"

"I found Kira; I thought you wanted to know who he is. Want me to kill him for you?" Traizo asked.

"For the millionth time," because even if it might not be the millionth time you said it, to you it felt like it was. "I do not wish to kill anyone."

"Want me to kill Lawliet instead?" Killing to please a human was different from killing to save a human, so Traizo wouldn't die if he did this. Killing for you was his strange way of flirting with you, he was a shinigami after all.

"No and who in the world is Lawliet anyway?" You stumbled out of bed and started to brush your hair. Good thing it was Saturday and you didn’t have much to do all day.

"Kira's enemy some kind of weird detective, so should I kill him?" At this point Traizo's insistence was getting a bit annoying.

"What did I tell you about killing people?" You paused but he did not reply "I don't want you to do it."

"But I must, I am a shinigami after all. If I don't kill I die," Traizo explained.

You blinked and became curious. "How so?"

"I can see a humans life span and name just by looking at them. The human's life is added to my own after I kill them, but that doesn't work for humans writing in a Death Note so your life won't be extended," the shinigami explained.

"It's for survival," that gave new light to the situation. "It's troublesome since you won't get much out of it, but try to kill only those who deserve it or actually want to die. If it's a thing of survival I know I can't ask you not to do it, but choose carefully okay?"

"You want me to do Kira's job? That's not very shinigami like," Traizo then looked thoughtful. "Alright, I'll kill criminals for you."

"Not for me, for yourself. You said it was for survival, right? I guess that when one's life is threatened, all a living creature can think of is their own survival. I don't like this but it's only natural I suppose." You finished brushing your hair and walked over to the bathroom reluctantly. "Don’t come in while I'm in there, okay?"

"Why not?"

The look in your eyes seemed to say "isn't it obvious?"

"Humans need privacy? Okay, I got it, I won't spy on you, or at least I won't let you know," Traizo replied.

You shook your head. This was annoying. Then you got an idea concerning Kira, the Death Note and a way to obtain some privacy by keeping your shinigami busy checking up on Kira. "You can fly, right?"

"Yes, want me to carry you?" Traizo offered, he had heard that humans liked to fly.

"Yes, but first let me get changed and no peeking." The shinigami nodded at your words.

"I'll behave if you let me carry you," Traizo promised.

"You have a deal," with that said, you went into the bathroom and took the fastest shower you had ever taken. After the morning activities were done, you emerged from the bathroom and spoke, "we can't take off from here, follow me."

You didn't have to tell him twice as he would follow you anyway. Before leaving, you took the Death Note from its hiding place, put it in a small backpack with a few other things and headed to the front door. "I'm going to meet with some friends to study together, see you later." You told your parents on your way out.

After walking for a while, you came to a lonely park. It looked like the children who usually played there were sleeping in or watching their Saturday morning cartoons at home. Hidden among the trees, you once again spoke to the shinigami that only you could see. "Where is Kira?"

"In Japan," Traizo replied.

"Japan? I thought he would be closer than that!" It was a well known fact among the investigators and some of the public, but you didn't exactly keep up with the news except for glimpsing at the living room TV every now and then while your dad was watching it. As for the TV in your room, not once had it shown the news.

"Want me to fly you there? It won't take too long but if you have a thing for that Kira guy the answer is no," Traizo spoke with a hint of jealousy.

"It would take too long to go all the way to Japan." It was simple logic but then again, with a shinigami, you never know.

"We'll take a shortcut." Needless to say he really wanted to give you a ride. Traizo failed to mention that his shortcut was against the rules of the shinigami.

"How would that work?" You asked.

"We’ll take a detour to the shinigami world. Let's go but I won't tell you who Kira is if you have a thing for him." Again there was that jealousy.

"I don't have a thing for Kira, I don't even know him. I'm thankful he punished that criminal from years ago, but that's just about it. I'm just going to say thank you and give him the Death Note, maybe talk for a while then leave," you explained.

"I don't like it." Traizo had given that Death Note to you and he didn't want you to give it to anyone else, even if it was someone who would actually use it, but he still wanted to carry you. "I'll still carry you to Japan though."

"How long does it take from the shortcut?" You asked.

"A few hours," You somehow knew Traizo was hiding something, maybe it could take less then that.

"I changed my mind." Even if you had not known him for long, he was a terribly obvious liar.

"Fine, twenty minutes." It's obvious he was planning to take longer on purpose.

"Right, Then let’s start the trip." Flying in the arms of death was not something you ever thought you would be doing, yet today it would happen.

"Okay, let's go," You held on to his neck making sure you wouldn’t fall as you would probably be flying very high up. A pair of wings suddenly appeared on his back and he took off full speed.

Some kind of dark portal opened in the sky in front of you and the shinigami flew in. Though the time spend in the shinigami world before another portal sent you back to earth was short, it was just enough to get a glimpse of that world. Everything looked dead, even the land itself. The shinigami varied in shapes and sizes but they all looked like they came right out of a horror movie.

About a half an hour later, because although flying turned out to be more fun than you expected, you had an important delivery to make, Traizo finally landed. Since Japan was basically at the other side of the planet it was no surprise that while it was daytime back home it was late evening there. "Where's Kira?"

"He's over there. I've been watching them and getting information. You'll have fun thinking up ways to kill them," Traizo replied.

"I'm not going to kill them," you knew it was pointless to repeat things to the shinigami but you had to try anyway. Not too far away there were two young men. You noticed that you had landed in a college near a tennis court. It looked as if they were almost done with their game.

You approached the tennis court standing behind the fence and watched. "Which one?" You whispered the question to make sure they wouldn't hear. You were pretty sure they saw you but they were focused in the game so they didn't see how you got there, which to them would have looked like you were flying.

"The one on the left is Kira and the one on the right is Lawliet," Traizo answered.

"I can't make the delivery with him around." You would wait, and when Lawliet was gone, you would give the Death Note to Kira and let him do his vigilante work. Yet something made you curious about Lawliet. There was something different about him, the interesting kind of different. You smiled; you never thought that both Kira and his rival L Lawliet were around your age, but of course, you had no complaints about that.

The tennis game concluded with Lawliet aka L as the winner. It seemed that Light was a little distracted. He had seen Ryuk looking towards your shinigami and wondered what interested his shinigami so much about that human girl, since Light couldn't see Traizo.

Ryuk had met Traizo long ago, most of the shinigami had seen each other at least once even if they didn't speak, he was just surprised to see another shinigami in the human world, but he wasn't really friends with Traizo so he didn't approach. Besides, he had decided not to alert Light if he saw another shinigami.

But Light had seen Ryuk's curiosity and he was already analyzing the possibilities. At the same time L noticed Light's distraction and wondered if he knew that girl, anyone connected to Light was worth investigating as she might hold some clues to expose Light as Kira and prove L's suspicions.

Page 04: To a Distant Land

Light was annoyed but he tried not to show it. Ryuk noticed and gave him a mock grin, which Light ignored since there was not much else he could do about it in front of L. Clearly, Ryuk was amused by how hard Light tried to hide his annoyance.

"I'll give you a rematch tomorrow if you want," L offered.

"Leaving already?" Light found at least a little hint of victory in L being the one to walk away first.

"It's late, we can play again tomorrow," L looked towards you. "Besides, your friend is waiting."

"I don’t know her," Light didn't even look at you, as if he made it a point not to.

L only became more suspicious. Was that girl just someone who was passing by and stopped to see the game? She was already standing there when they noticed her. "Oh, alright, anyway it's still late. See you tomorrow."

"Right, see you tomorrow then," Light agreed.

You waited for L to leave and when he wasn't looking whispered to your shinigami. "Can he see you? Since he has a Death Note and all."

"No, he would have to touch your Death Note just as you would have to touch his, to see his shinigami," Traizo replied.

"So he does have a shinigami. Can you see the shinigami?" You asked.

"Yes, us shinigami can see and hear each other," Traizo replied.

You looked towards Kira, he and Lawliet were both leaving and walking in the same direction. You had to get them away from each other without being obvious. "Tell his shinigami to tell him to wait up."

"No, because I don't want you giving up the ownership of the Death Note. I'll kill him to take his ownership of it away and back to you if I must," Traizo replied.

You guessed this wouldn't be easy. "Can't I let him borrow it and use it even if technically it's still mine?"

"Yes, that's possible." Traizo seemed satisfied with that option; since you would still be the owner he would still follow you.

"Alright let's do that. Please get Kira away from Lawliet," you instructed.

Traizo nodded and went to talk to Ryuk. "Hello," Ryuk seemed to half ignore him making a signal towards Light. "You don't want to tell him I'm here? Alright I'll let him know myself." It wasn't too hard, a tab on the shoulder should do it.

Light looked towards Ryuk who shrugged silently claiming innocence then continued walking quietly. He felt another poke on the shoulder and looked at Ryuk again. "Wasn't me," Ryuk finally said.

Light's look seemed to say 'if not you then who?' but voicing the question would be too suspicious.

"Oh alright, I'll tell him or he'll blame me for bothering him and won't give me apples. It's annoying being poked on the shoulder like that." Light was surprised to find that Ryuk appeared to be talking to someone else, but who else could see him?

"There's another shinigami here." At Ryuk's words Light stopped walking. L looked back at him but Light tried to act natural and continued at a slower pace obviously wanting to put distance between them.

L played along and quickened his pace taking the first turn that came along the way and disappearing from Light line of view. He found it too easy but he wouldn't miss that chance. "Where?"

"Right behind you, he's with that girl," Ryuk replied.

That's all Light needed to hear to rush back to you. "Hello, can you understand English? It looks like the shinigami can understand both Japanese and English so they can translate if not."

"I can speak English," Light replied, he was pretty good at it too. "Who are you?"

"I'm," just as you were about to say your name you noticed Traizo frantically shaking his head. Of course, he must be worried that Kira would kill you. He had no reason to do so, but you decided not to take any chances. "Call me Hikari." It was the name of a song, you decided you didn't really need to hide that it was a nickname, after all, you had a shinigami bodyguard, it's not like he could force you to give him your real name, and he had no reason to try. "I'm guessing it's best if I don't call you," you whispered the last part "Kira."

"His name is Light Yagami," Traizo revealed.

"Light, huh? What a coincidence." A coincidence indeed that you had picked the nickname Hikari which also meant Light.

Light paused then realized your shinigami must have told you his name unless you had the eyes of a shinigami. "We shouldn't talk here. Let's go somewhere else." You nodded and followed him, it's not like you knew of any place you could go to talk since it was your first time in Japan, thus you had no inconveniences in letting Light pick the place.

After walking a short distance, you entered a café with Light. From the corner of your eyes, you thought you saw a shadow following you.

"It's L," Traizo explained.

"You sure like to keep your human well informed," Ryuk commented.

"I have my reasons," Traizo replied.

Light wasn't sure if Ryuk was only referring to this name or if your shinigami had said anything else. He didn't like not knowing what was going on. Light led you to a secluded table where no one could eavesdrop without being caught, just in case L came.

"How did you get your note?" Light asked.

"From Traizo, the shinigami. He's also the one that flew me to Japan," you answered truthfully.

Light looked exceptionally annoyed. It looked like you had your shinigami well trained and he could hardly get any information from his in exchange for apples. But then again he didn't mind too much, he liked the challenge. Light's annoyance lessened as he tried to look collected though he viewed you as a potentially dangerous enemy. "Do you have the eyes?"

His question confused you. Of course you had eyes, but what did he mean by 'the' eyes. "What?" Was it just a mistake in his English? No, he sounded like he was sure of what he was asking.

Traizo took this as his cue to explain. "By trading half your life span you can obtain the eyes of a shinigami, which allow you to see a person's name and lifespan by looking at their face. But that's not necessary or worth it for you. If you want to know someone's name or life span just ask me and I’ll tell you." That wasn’t exactly following the rules, but Traizo didn’t really care about the rules.

"No I don't." Light had no intentions of explaining about the eyes if you didn't have them, but it became obvious after your pause in which you looked at what appeared to him as empty space, that your shinigami was explaining.

"I see..." Light tried to think of what to say next, how to charm you into helping him, but you spoke first.

"Look I'm only here on a delivery. The notebook should still be of my ownership but I'm letting you borrow it. You can use it if you want and since this ownership is just a deal between my shinigami and me, I won't really be linked to the notebook in any way," you explained.

"In others words you're basically giving it to me but keeping ownership as a mere technicality to keep your shinigami," Light elaborated.

"Yeah, because he'll write your name on his notebook otherwise. Traizo kind of likes me." It was obvious Traizo felt a bit uncomfortable by Ryuk's surprised look upon your explanation. "I don't really have anything against you. I mean I don't think doing this is completely right, but at the same time you're helping and protecting people. It's complicated; I haven't decided what I think about this yet. As things stand now I'll let you continue, go on take it."

You were about to reach for your bag when Light shook his head and whispered, "not here." He had noticed L sitting a few tables away eating cheese cake. He sat pretty far so as to make it seem coincidental. Light was sure he couldn't hear the conversation from there since you both spoke in quiet voices, but he could certainly see what was going on and if he saw you give him anything, it would be suspicious. "My house."

It was just a quick stop at his house, finishing the delivery and going home, so you decided it was alright. "Okay," although as you passed L on the way out, you started to think that maybe you should stay in Japan for a little longer, after all, with Traizo's shinigami world shortcut, you could make it back home pretty quickly.

L certainly had a peculiar way to sit and eat. He was eccentric but adorable, that was the first description that popped into your head at that second when you walked past him. Even if he hadn't really done much except sit there eating his cheese cake in a peculiar way, he had somehow managed to make you smile.

Page 05: Finding Sweet Things

After a short walk you arrived at Light's house. "Do they know?"

"No, so don't tell," Light replied understanding that you meant if his family knew about his little secret.

"His dad is the police chief who's investigating Kira," Traizo revealed.

"A fun irony indeed," Light didn't like it when Ryuk commented on something and he had no idea what it was about. But it was obvious to him that the irony he was referring to must have been something your shinigami said. His guess would be that he told you about his father.

"Relax, I won't blow your cover," you assured. You didn't really like the feeling you got from Light. He was somewhat arrogant, but he was trying to help humanity, right? You decided to just stick with your plan and if anything happened and you changed your mind, you would send Traizo to fetch your Death Note.

"Right..." There was that over confident look again. Light figured that since you weren't fluent in Japanese, you couldn't tell anyone anything even if you wanted to.

Of course he failed to consider the possibility of having Traizo translate so you could repeat. You could do it if you really wanted to get a message across in Japanese. You would say it in English and hint that you needed those words in Japanese. Then Traizo could slowly repeat it in Japanese for you to say along with him. It was easy to make up an excuse, saying that you first needed to organize your thoughts in your first language before thinking of the translation.

You heard a young girl say something to Light in Japanese. It was a greeting along the lines of welcome home or something like that.

Light said something to her in Japanese, probably explaining about why there was a girl visiting. A woman soon came and said something to you; possibly she was his mother welcoming her son's visitor.

"Konichiwa," it was a word that everyone knew, so you could at least say that. You weren't sure what to say in this situation, the part about using Traizo as a translator was only if you really needed to communicate a message, but for now it was best not to do anything unusual.

Light said something else and you thought you heard him call you Hillary, a less Japanese sounding name based on the Hikari nickname you gave him.

"He says you're an exchange student at college named Hillary and that you don't really speak a lot of Japanese, but you're really smart so you were chosen to come to Japan anyway. Also you are very shy, I guess he's trying to tell you to be quiet and not blow your cover," Traizo explained.

You nodded your quiet thanks at Traizo for the translation and followed Light when he spoke to you in English. "Let's talk in my room."

Once upstairs, sitting in Light's room, he gave you what was in his opinion a charming smile, but to you it looked like he was way too overconfident. "I suppose it's safe to make the delivery here."

"Yes, but are you sure you want to? We could be partners and build the perfect world together." Light reached to take your hand but suddenly pulled it back with an expression of pain and a few scratches. You saw clearly what had happened.

"My shinigami is kind of protective of me." You pulled the notebook from your bag and looked at it. So Kira was an overconfident guy who thought all the girls would automatically fall in love with him. He was certainly not what you expected but he was still punishing criminals.

Though Light had thought about ways to use you to take suspicion away from him, with a protective shinigami by your side, it was dangerous. "I'll accept the notebook then."

"Wait, what if he's thinking about killing you?" Traizo asked. "I'll avenge you but that won't bring you back to life."

Light was starting to look impatient. Not having his plans turn out as expected was one thing, having a few set backs was something that he could handle, but not being able to easily charm a girl bothered him. "Later."

He looked at you with a mix of puzzlement and frustration but quickly hid it. "Didn't you want to give it to me?"

Your instinct told you not to give him the Death Note, true that he already had one, but maybe he shouldn’t have two. "I changed my mind; I might give it to you later. It's not like you're out of room to write in yours, right?"

"Have you decided to use it?" Light asked.

"No, I just want to keep it for a while." He didn't like your reply, but there was little he could do under Traizo’s threatening invisible presence. Ryuk looked entertained.

"It's dangerous to keep something like this without hiding it. If it's found and tested you can blow both our cover. We'll both end up in jail. I can protect you from that if you give the Death Note to me. Let me help you," Light insisted and you saw right through his charm.

"You know, not all girls will easily fall for you. You're too overconfident." With that said, you got up and started to leave.

Light followed making, sure not to get too close or surely he would get more than just a scratch from Traizo. "I'm trying to help you."

"You think you're the only one smart enough to hide a Death Note well? Traizo I want you to hold my Death Note for me. I'm not giving it up, I just want you to hold it," you requested.

"No problem." Traizo took your notebook and rolled it up then threw it in a gap between the stitches on his chest. It was strange from a human’s perspective that he kept things inside his ribcage, but it was certainly better than losing the Death Note or having it be found by the wrong person.

"Now no one will see it, let alone try to take it if it's literally inside a shinigami," you assured.

"Why all this? Why come this far just to do that?" Light was angry.

"I need to think about this," was your reply, though the real answer was more something along the lines of getting a bad feeling from him. "I'm leaving now."

Light walked you to the door and after you were gone it was easy to guess he must have started plotting against you, although you were safe because he didn't know your name and you weren't really planning to see him again anyway. Yet your opinion about Light was still torn, on one hand he was the classic guy that appeared handsome at first, but too overconfident once you got to know him, yet on the other hand he was also Kira, a hero, kind of. For now, you decided you didn't like him; his attitude was just too annoying.

"Lawliet is following us," Traizo warned as you walked down the street, thinking about the recent happenings. "I think he will reveal himself."

You kept walking normally and waited for the detective to come out. You were curious about him and besides, Traizo was invisible and you had nothing that looked incriminating, so it would be a bit suspicious if you tried to avoid him. You had a feeling that if you ran away to find a hidden place to take flight, L would chase you and then it would take longer to get rid of him.

Your footsteps took you back to the café and Lawliet was still following you. He made his presence known when he entered the café as naturally as any customer would. You might as well talk to him and clear suspicion, because even if you weren't planning to see Light again any time soon, in your short time in Japan you decided that you wanted to visit the country again, and a shinigami was a very convenient mode of transportation.

The young woman standing behind the counter said something to you in Japanese, possibly asking if you wanted to order anything since you had started looking at the various desserts displayed behind the glass while you waited for Lawliet to make his move. If your calculations were correct, back home it would be nearly lunch time and you didn't have anything for breakfast so it would be nice to put something in your stomach right about now. After all, part of visiting a distant land was trying the local cuisine.

"Do you speak English?" You asked and the woman looked a bit confused.

She replied in Japanese which meant she didn't understand you.

"Maybe I can help you out," L saw the opportunity and took it. "Is this your first time in Japan?"

"Yes it is, I just recently arrived so I haven't had a lot of time to look around yet," you replied.

"I thought I saw you with Light some time ago, he's my classmate," L said.

"We're..." 'What? Cousins? No that won't work and it would be weird if he tried to flirt again.' "Internet friends."

"I see, but you must want to place your order soon, so I won't make you wait," L was clearly suspicious of you.

You could guess where this was going and had no inconveniences with it. "Do you have any recommendations?"

"Cheese cake," L replied with a smile inevitably forming on his lips.

You laughed. "Maybe something more classic Japanese?"

"How about sushi then and cheese cake for dessert?" L asked. It was clear he loved cheese cake.

"That sounds good, you really like sweets don't you?" You continued the casual conversation and for a second you let yourself forget that this was detective Lawliet, Kira's rival.

"Yes, they're delicious; you must like them too right?" L was adorable.

"Of course, who doesn't like sweets?" You smiled.

To be Continued

To Save Your Life: Note II

Page 06: Running Away

Just as you guessed, you ended up in the same table as Lawliet. While you had your sushi lunch, though it was night in Japan, L was surrounded by cakes of different types; most of them slices of cheese cake with a few slices of chocolate and vanilla here and there, many of them with strawberries or cherries on top. "I'll be honest," he spoke while cutting a peace of cheese cake with his fork which he held on the tip of his fingers while sitting in that unsual yet cute way. He ate the piece savoring it then continued. "The percent of you working for Kira is quite high, I would say 5%, it's not 7% because your personality somehow doesn't fit with what I imagine Kira's minion to be like, but I don't know you very well yet so those percents may change." That was supposed to be high? If five or seven were high probabilities, then the amount of legally useful evidence available must be quite low, logic told you that much.

You rolled your eyes. Kira's minion? Yeah right, "I'll be honest with you, I'm not Kira's minion."

"So you do know who I am." You realized with his words that it had been a trick. If you weren't connected to Kira then you might have looked confused and ask what he's talking about. L looked at you as if waiting for you to comment further.

"Yes you're... L." You didn't say Lawliet, you wouldn't be able to explain how you knew that without giving out too much information or lying, neither of which you wanted to do. If he saw you with Light then that might explain why you knew he was L, Light could have mentioned it, but Light didn’t know about the name Lawliet.

Though his expression remained unchanged, you could almost see relief in L's eyes and the motivation to investigate further. "May I ask your name?"

"Hikari," Might as well give him the same nickname you told Light..

"Just Hikari?" L asked leaning over a cake and poking at the strawberry, but then decided to leave it for last. He had finished quite a few of those cakes already and you weren't even half done with your sushi.

"It's not nice to ask for my name before giving me yours." You didn't really sound annoyed, more like curious to see what he would do, though he would most likely give you a fake name.

"Hideki Ryuuga," he replied knowing full well you knew it wasn't really his name.

When hearing that name an image instantly came to your mind and with that image, there came a song. "The same name as the J-pop artist. My name is Hikari Uchiha." It was obviously just as fake as his name. You understood then that when he asked your name he was in fact fully expecting you to give him a fake one; he just wanted something to call you.

"Fair enough miss Uchiha," L ate the last of his cakes.

"Just Hikari will do," you voiced.

"I know your name is fake but it seems you don't mind that I know. You even picked a Japanese nickname even though you’re not quite fluent in the language," L went over the facts.

"Just because I don't feel like giving my name to a total stranger doesn't mean I've done anything wrong," you countered.

"True, with how Kira kills, sometimes it's best to keep your name to yourself, but if you know I'm L then I'm not a total stranger to you." His reasoning made sense, yet you easily found a hole in it.

"Let's just say I don't know you well enough and like you said, I’m not from Japan. I'm not from around here, so logically I'll be more careful in a land I'm not too familiar with." He looked thoughtful at your reasoning.

"Do you blame me for it?" It was a curiosity rather than an interrogation. You could tell his last question wasn't related to the investigation in the same way as the others.

"What?" Yet it still made little sense.

"Many people say that I brought Kira to Japan by saying he was hiding in Japan," L explained.

"If he's here then he's here, you were just stating facts," you reasoned.

"I'm glad you think so and I'm glad that you still decided to visit Japan even with Kira being here," L said.

"I'm innocent so I have nothing to fear." It was true, though the real reason you had nothing to fear from Kira was because you had a shinigami guarding you.

"Have you had the chance to visit any interesting places yet?" L asked.

'What's he doing? Where does he hope to take this conversation? Is he trying to make me drop my guard or maybe contradict myself?' You wondered. "No, I told you I just arrived."

There was a pause. You wondered why Traizo had been so quiet and was yet to complain about you talking to L for too long. The shinigami appeared to be the over protective type. Then you noticed that although L's face was essentially expressionless, his eyes revealed surprise as he stared at something behind you.

"What is it?" You cautiously looked back for just a second but saw only your shinigami blocking whatever L was looking at over there. You moved your head as if indicating for Traizo to get out of the way so you could see what had captured L's attention and made him fall silent. The shinigami moved but there was nothing unusual behind him, unless Traizo was what caught L's attention. Did Traizo become visible to L? But when, if L had not touched the Death Note?

"I'm sorry I was distracted for a minute there." L seemed unsure as if he did see something, but refused to tell you assuming, you didn't see it or didn't want him to notice it, but what was that something?

L's face might have been mostly uninterested, but you could still see a hint of some form of emotion in his eyes, curiosity maybe? Something was definitely going on. Was it Traizo? Well if it wasn't him, he would probably know. You searched for a way out and spotted it in the shape of a door with a pink square on it. On the square there was a stick figure with a skirt. "Can you excuse me for a moment?" By now the meal was finished, so it wouldn't be too strange if you suddenly left towards the restroom.

He noticed you were looking towards the restrooms and nodded, but of course he didn't want you to leave, he had too many questions that needed answers.

You headed towards the empty restroom and called your shinigami. "Traizo come over here." You couldn't call him too loudly or L would hear. "Traizo?" He was following you a second ago, why didn’t he come? You opened the door slightly and peeked out. L's unblinking gaze was glued to the door. "Traizo get in here." Sure enough your shinigami was outside. After calling him in an annoyed whisper you closed the door certain that L must have found that suspicious, but there was no other way to get Traizo's attention fast. "Didn’t you hear me calling you?"

"I thought you were doing one of those things when you say something and mean something else, because I thought you didn't want me to follow you to the bathroom," Traizo sounded confused.

"You mean sarcasm? You shouldn't follow me to the bathroom but I'm not here to use the bathroom. I'm here to ask you something without L hearing us," you kept your voice to a whisper.

"A private chat away from that guy? So you do like me." Sometimes Traizo jumped to conclusions a little too quickly.

"I said I would be your friend. I want to know what happened. L looked surprised for a second there. Did you have anything to do with it?" You eyed the guilty yet not regretful looking shinigami suspiciously.

"While you were talking I sunk into the floor and moved in the basement. I came up under the table and touched his foot with the Death Note. He took off his shoes to put his feet in the seat, it was convenient that he wasn't wearing socks," Traizo revealed.

“No!" You raised your voice a little more than you wanted to. "Now I won't be able to visit Japan anymore because I'll risk being arrested because you made me look very suspicious. What if he's calling the police for backup right now?"

"I thought that if he knew you had a shinigami watching you, he wouldn't dare," Traizo tried to justify his actions.

"This is bad, let's go home quick." Even if L's presence intrigued you, it was best not to get into trouble with the police and be put in a position similar to Kira's, maybe even judged as him.

"Right let's leave," Traizo couldn't agree more and you had a feeling that it was all done on purpose because he didn't like it when you talked to guys.

"We'll sneak out the window." You pointed to a small window quite high up. It was uncomfortable but L would probably follow if you didn't take that way out. "Help me get up there." Traizo did as he was told but the window was so small no one could possibly fit through there easily.

"Isn't it easier if you use the door?" You didn’t reply to Traizo’s question because you were already half way out the window but there was more to it than that. Standing outside was L, the great detective who caught you in your attempt to escape.

"You... how?" You couldn't find the words.

"I would have been a gentleman and paid the bill, you didn't have to sneak out, oh and you forgot your bag" L said holding it up.

Luckily, you left your IDs at home since you didn't take the car. "Just help me get down from here." This trip had turned out quite differently from what you imagined.

Page 07: Followed by Misery

L reached to try to pull you out of the window, but the second his hands touched yours, Traizo appeared through the wall and picked him up. The shinigami held the young man several feet above the ground by the back of his shirt. "Don't touch her!"

"She asked for my help," L replied seemingly indifferent to the fact that he was being held above the ground by a strange and large creature. But his brain was going a hundred miles per second, searching for an explanation with something that at least vaguely resembled logic, even if it was supernatural logic.

"Shut up human don't you dare talk back to me. I can kill you in no time or better yet force, you to inflict tremendous pain on yourself before committing suicide, a slow painful death." Traizo shook L, still holding him by his now ripped shirt, which had seven holes in the back for Traizo's seven claws, but luckily L himself was still unharmed.

"Traizo don't hurt him! Put him down," you knew this would bring trouble.

"He'll be troublesome for you. It's best if I kill him now," Traizo insisted.

"No! You will get me in a lot of trouble if you do, understand? Besides he's not really a bad person, he's just doing his job. Put him down," you persisted.

With a deadly glare directed at L, Traizo put him down below the window where you were still stuck. "L Lawliet, if you lay a finger on her, I will give you a painful death."

At the worse time possible you managed to get through the small window and fell towards L. He was quick to react despite his surprise at learning that his full name was not a secret. He caught you, which made Traizo growl in anger and retrieve his own Death Note from his ribcage and a bony pen. "Don't kill him!" You insisted once again as you got to your feet.

"Fine I'll let the human live, but he'll accuse you with the law, I'm sure of it. You'll ask me to kill him soon enough, unless you do it yourself," Traizo pouted.

"He has nothing to accuse me of, because I have not committed any crimes." You argued, then looked at L. "Please understand that I can't help you. I know you must suspect who Kira is and with all you've seen you probably know all about how Kira's power works, but I cannot testify or anything like that. I don't wish to get involved in this." Giving your Death Note to Kira had been a bad idea all along. You just didn't like the way he was so arrogant.

"I understand," L had a certain determination in his eyes. "Now I that I know how it works I should be able to find evidence against Light."

"What are you planning to do?" Traizo asked.

If L really was the greatest detective, if he really was a legend, then he would capture Kira with no problems. But then again, to present supernatural evidence in court, even if it was real evidence, would not be easy. He would need something more.

Traizo's gaze suddenly became focused on the skies above and then he took flight. "I'm not going!" He flew around as if avoiding something else that was flying, except you and L couldn't see it. "Leave me be or else!" Traizo yelled.

The battle in mid air continued until it looked as if Traizo was out numbered as he kept looking in every direction and tried to fight back desperately. "Could it be that more shinigami came for him?" If that was so, then it would explain why you couldn't see them since you had not touched their Death Notes, but why were they after Traizo? Was it because of something he did in the shinigami world?

The invisible shinigami took Traizo away, disappearing into the night sky. "Since that must be Kira's secret, a shinigami, you do realize I can't just let you go now." Without your shinigami guarding you, there was nothing to stop L from detaining you.

"I thought you would say that." But of course it wasn't your only worry because now you were stuck in Japan and no one would believe you when you told them how you got there. Further more, it looked like your shinigami was in danger and you didn't know what to do. "Just so you know, I didn't kill anyone, I'm not like Kira." At least you could clarify that much.

L developed a theory, one that was not quite complete but at least he was making progress. He still didn't know about humans using a Death Note but he knew about shinigami. "Kira must have a shinigami on his side, one that he can control. The notebook, there's something about that notebook too, because I saw him when it touched my foot, or maybe any shinigami item can cause them to become visible. I know it must have something to do with how they kill. If those were other shinigami that took your shinigami, then maybe the item touched by the human who gains the ability to see them has to belong to that specific shinigami." L voiced those thoughts on purpose to see your reactions to what he said and gain clues from your expression.

You blinked, he was good. "I'm guessing now you have questions for me, but again, I remind you that I'm innocent."

"If you're innocent then you have nothing to worry about and you should have no inconveniences in answering my questions truthfully. Running away is very incriminating," L had a better understanding of what was going on, but he still needed to figure out the missing pieces and how to present the entire puzzle as legal proof.

"He would have killed you," you pointed out.

At this L placed his thumb on his lower lip and looked thoughtful. "No, he seemed angry, but if you asked him not to kill me he would listen. My theory is he is attracted to you, the probability of that is at least 95% judging by the way he is protective of you and wanted to kill me only because I caught you."

"But there are no laws against being friends with a shinigami," you pointed out.

"If you're innocent and cooperate I'll grant you the protection of the police if the shinigami who took him away come after you," L explained.

"I doubt humans can protect me from shinigami but after I answer your questions and prove my innocence, what I really want is a ride back home." If Traizo was taken to the shinigami world, which was the most likely explanation, then there was no point in searching for him in Japan.

"Where do you live?" L asked. When you replied to his question, he asked another one. "There is no ID in your bag, can I see an ID card or your passport?"

"I don't have either. I didn't come to Japan on an airplane, I came because Traizo brought me," you replied.

Again L had that thoughtful look, he wanted to know more about what shinigami were capable of doing. "Let's continue this conversation somewhere more official." You knew his real name and that made him uncomfortable, but he tried not to show it.

"Am I being arrested?" You asked tempted to make a run for it, except you knew that would do more bad than good, especially since you didn't know when and if Traizo would return.

"Only detained, an arrest will not happen if you answer all my questions honestly and prove your innocence, right now you're only a suspect of being Kira's ally. You must above all answer with the truth, or it can and will be used against you," L replied.

"Understood," this day was not turning out how you imagined it would. Now you just hoped that Lawliet would believe that you're innocent and that Traizo would somehow come back unharmed.

Page 08: Sticking Like Glue

The interrogation was long and amazingly exhausting. You never thought you could feel so tired just by sitting at a hotel room talking to a handsome young man and eating cheese cake. Well that was one way to look at the situation, but although it could be seen that way, that's not exactly how it was, because this was not a regular conversation or situation. Of course, you were full long before he was, and during the last part of the interrogation he was the only one eating. Besides, you didn't feel like eating much when your mind kept wondering off to the shinigami world and what kind of fate awaited Traizo.

Needless to say the interrogation wasn't as formal as the ones in those police movies with the dark room and the dim light hanging in the middle of the room over a small table, where the suspect sat facing the detective. However it was rather frustrating. L had an ability to read between the lines and catch people off guard. In the end he managed to push you to a corner, so to speak, and you had no choice but to reveal the entire truth from the beginning.

"The fact that you changed your mind about giving Kira the Death Note doesn't change that you were going to give it to him," L pointed out.

To that you replied in your defense. "It certainly does change it as he would have two Death Notes instead of one and I think that does make a big difference."

"You didn't let me finish," L looked adorable with his thumb in his mouth again.

You weren't sure if you wanted to hug L and hope he would comfort your worries, or throw his cake on his face for being so persistent. Yet you realized you simply couldn't stay mad at him for trying to do what he thought was right. It caught your attention how smart L was, how he could analyze every detail and read you like a book? It was annoying in a way, but still impressive. Maybe he could even be capable of figuring out a way to save Traizo if he could investigate a little more. The shinigami had come into your life by surprise and his presence had ultimately led to this series of events. Things were not currently looking very good, but you couldn't just abandon him. You would save Traizo one way or another.

"You could still be thought of as an accomplice but you didn't actually commit a crime, other than traveling to Japan with no passport or ID. However the law only covers land, sea and air travel, not travel through other worlds, so you won't be accused for that. To clear your name of being an accomplice of Kira you'll be required to cooperate in the Kira investigation. If your shinigami returns his help will be very useful." It wasn't a matter of catching Kira anymore, but rather presenting sufficient proof so that the judge and jury wouldn't think L is crazy to say shinigami exist. He needed to find a way to reveal Light's shinigami.

"What do I need to do?" You asked.

"Pretend to be Kira's ally. If you can obtain his shinigami’s Death Note or a piece of a page, then that will be enough. Make him trust you so that he reveals his shinigami to you, then the shinigami will be the proof," L explained his plan.

"I don't think he'll let me see his shinigami, very much less touch the Death Note, but I'll try. Since he thinks Traizo is protecting me and he can’t really see him, Light shouldn't try anything. But I really don’t know what happened to Traizo and I’m worried," you voiced.

"If Traizo comes back notify me immediately, I'll give you a device so you can do it without Light noticing if he’s around at that time. He doesn't know your real name so he won't be able to kill you," L reminded.

"What about getting me back home? I can’t just simply disappear."

L would play his cards carefully. "I'll arrange the trip and all the paper work for you to come to Japan as an exchange student. That will be your cover at home."

"What about Traizo?"

"I'll try to find some information about what happened to him too, but there's not a lot available. We might have to wait for him to return on his own."

So it was settled. You would now be working undercover to catch a supernatural serial killer. Leading that investigation was L Lawliet, who obviously wasn't too happy about someone knowing his name, a secret that you were required to keep. Soon after the interrogation was over, morning approached over the horizon in Japan and back home it must have been night. Things were off to a complicated start and about to get more complicated. Settling things with the entire, exchange student cover might take a few days and those days would bring surprises.

With Traizo still missing and many questions hanging in the air, with plenty of tension to go with them, you were sent back home on a private jet but didn’t get home until morning. You were allowed to call and say you were staying over at your best friend’s house so that wasn’t really a problem to add to the growing list.

Even if you were a college student, you tried not to worry your parents by disappearing for too long knowing all too well that your mother could suffer the same fate as your sister if she got a bad scare. After that day, which you always pushed to the back of your mind, you vowed to take care of your family.

Looking out the glass window of the jet you thought that maybe this wasn't so bad. If you cooperated with L, you could earn his trust and your name would be cleared of all suspicions. In the end, if it was Kira or you, it had to be Kira who got caught and after meeting him and thinking back on the short time you spend with him, catching Kira felt more right by the second.

You should have guessed that L would investigate you further before letting you become part of the Kira case crew. You found it odd that he would allow time to pass before putting your connection with Light to good use, but figured he was probably searching for ways to find sufficient proof that wasn't considered too unrealistic to be legal.

Then surprisingly, L showed up at college and started walking along side you and your friend as if he did it every day. Your best friend looked over to him and whispered to you. "Do you know him?"

"Hideki Ryuuga," you replied.

L smiled, glad that you had remembered to call him by that alias. "Pleased to meet you," he said to your friend who also introduced herself.

"Can I talk to you for a moment Hideki? We'll be right back." Before your friend had the chance to reply, you pulled L away. Once at a hidden corner, you asked. "What are you doing here? Did something happen? Did you catch Kira without me? Did you hear from Traizo?"

"Just investigating to see if you're trust worthy," L, now going by the name of Hideki Ryuuga at your college, did not give you a good reply. "Sorry, I don't have any news from Traizo. I understand you're worried about him, but there's practically no information to work with that would help in finding him at the moment. I suspect Kira's shinigami could be involved."

You had a feeling that wasn't the case, but you wouldn't discard the possibility. "A bit straight forward aren't you?" You referred to his comment of investigating you.

L looked at you without blinking. "Would you believe me if I said I only came to visit?"

"No." That was the first answer that came into your mind, yet it somehow felt wrong. True that you would not believe it if he suddenly showed up to visit given the circumstances in which you met, but you truly wished that this was just a visit from a friend who lived far away, yet you knew you couldn't just wish this mess away.

"I thought so. It should be time to go to class now." Without another word spoken between you two, you followed him. It was easy to guess L had all the same classes as you.

The day seemed to progress slowly, but more or less normally, except for L constantly watching you. In every class you could almost feel his stare burning the back of your head. Then during your break your best friend insisted on having a word with you alone. So it turns out that the only way to lose your newly acquired second shadow was to go to the girl's bathroom. L did not protest to that, which gave you the sinking feeling that there was a microphone somewhere in there or maybe on you. You dug around your bag wondering if he had placed an electronic device there while you were distracted.

Your best friend gave you an odd look; you were certainly behaving strangely that day. "So about Hideki," she gave a small pause, but instead of continuing you merely finished the search and concluded that if there was a spying device somewhere, it wouldn't be in such an obvious place, or maybe it was more well hidden. Your friend continued. "He seems to follow you around a lot and even if he's new here you knew his name. Is he an old friend? You seem to know him well since he’s been sticking to you like glue and all."

It would seem strange that you're spending all your time with him if he wasn't an old friend. "Yes, we studied together in middle school, but then he moved far away." It was convenient that you had met your friend in high school, so she wouldn’t be suspicious about not having met Hideki.

"I think he likes you," she gave you a teasing smile.

Somehow you saw that coming from a mile away. "He's just new here and doesn't know anyone else."

"Trust me there's more to it than that, he was totally staring at you in class while sitting in that weird way," she insisted.

This would not be easy to explain. "I think that's only because we haven't seen each other in a long time. You know how it is, people are always surprised at how much other people change over the years."

Page 09: Until a Friend Saves the Day

Needless to say, your friend did not give up until you considered the possibility that Hideki did in fact like you. At least she didn't give you a hard time about your decision not to take any action about that right away.

When you came out of the girls' restroom and looked at L, somehow you knew right away that he had been listening. Your friend made up an excuse to leave, which made it obvious she was giving you alone time with Hideki. Then L confirmed your theory, "good cover."

"Mind telling me where the bug is?" You asked.

"That information is classified," L replied just as you thought he would.

The day continued to go by slowly, especially the rest of the lunch break during which people kept staring at L and his massive appetite for cake and peculiar way to sit. You wanted to go home early, but that might have looked suspicious as if you were avoiding him. Finally, at the end of the day, when you arrived at home, L was already at your house by the time you parked your car.

"You've got to be kidding me." There he was, standing in front of your house waiting. "For how long will the investigation last?" You asked.

"Until I am at least 90% sure that you will not betray me, or not betray me without getting caught, I won't stay for too long." L answered. It wasn’t that you didn’t want him to stay, just not to investigate you. Plus you still haven't heard from Traizo and you were not looking forward to seeing Light again.

In the end, L did stay for quite a long time even if he said he wouldn't. It was all thanks to your mother's insistence in giving your guests food. He was all too happy to eat the sweets she kept bringing to your room as a 'study snack'. Eventually, L did leave and it seemed that you managed to earn a good amount of his trust.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Your friend Hideki seems really nice," your mother commented. Of course she was just happy he actually ate all the sweet snacks since it made her effort feel appreciated.

"Yeah..." The truth was that, though he was investigating you, it all came to a point where you told yourself to relax and just stop worrying because that would make you look suspicious. In an effort to make you lower your guard, L had started bringing up casual topics as a way to get to know each other, since you would be working together. But you were sure that in the end he enjoyed talking to you just as much as you did. It turned out you had quite a lot of things in common. It was a refreshing moment even with all the worries and pressure that continued to build up.

"He seems to be a gentleman, very polite and well educated. I won't say no," you blinked at your father's words.

"You won't say no to what?" A warm feeling crept over your face.

"If you're dating him I mean. Why else would he put so much effort into giving a good impression, other than that strange way of sitting? But maybe that was just to show he has a sense of humor." Your father mused. Oh great, now your parents thought you were dating L, whom they knew as Hideki. Not that the idea was unpleasant, but it wasn’t true.

You were very tempted to reply to that with something along the lines of 'the reason he wants you to trust him is to make it easier to investigate me and interrogate you without even noticing you're being interrogated.' Yet your mind somehow strayed away from the topic of the investigation and into the image of the detective's smiling face. You weren't sure if you wanted to admit it, but his confidence brought you hope that the Kira case would be over soon, as if all that was holding him back were technicalities; because laws to punish supernatural crimes didn't really exist and Light could use a number of theories that didn't defy logic to defend himself.

Light could make it look like one big plot from an organization led by L. He could turn things around saying that L just wanted someone to blame because Kira couldn't possibly be a single person. That's why L needed a vast amount of proof and most likely a confession or several witnesses to support the existence of shinigami and leave no room for it being considered a trick and used against him.

xoxox xox xoxox

The next day was when you first heard about the second Kira, one that apparently could kill just by looking at a person's face. That one had the eyes of a shinigami. That was when L contacted you and took you off the investigation before you even got the chance to do anything due to the risk.

'I can't believe he took me off the investigation team, but I guess he doesn't want any innocent people getting hurt.' The day had been slow and boring, you just didn't feel like doing anything or going anywhere. Then a familiar shinigami came through a wall. "Traizo!" You were certainly surprised to see him.

"I came back for you." Traizo was badly injured, even if you had thought it wasn't possible to injure a shinigami. Maybe it was impossible by human means, but it was pretty clear that the fight that took place before he disappeared was against other shinigami. There was strange sand coming from his wounds instead of blood.

"What happened? What's going on?" You had a bad feeling about this.

"I broke a few rules and the last one I broke was the last drop. I've never cared too much about shinigami rules, I'm taking you to our world anyway," Traizo explained.

Then you came to a realization. "This was about the shortcut! But you didn't say it was against the rules."

"That doesn't matter anymore." He picked you up easily even if you struggled to get free. If breaking the rules did this to him then you wouldn’t let him do it again.

"Let me go! You can’t break the rules again if it’s this dangerous!"

"Are you alright?" Your father called. You could hear his footsteps heading towards your room.

"I'm fine!" You didn't want to get your parents involved in this. Surely the shinigami who came after Traizo before would hurt them or even kill them without a second thought if they got in the way.

Your father could sense the fright in your voice and wasn't quite convinced that you were alright. Then you heard your mother's voice calling your name as well. They were coming, this was not good.

"Traizo please, let me show them I'm alright. I promise I'll meet you outside. Mom is... her heart is. She will..." You couldn't find a way to explain it because you were reminded of your sister and it was painful.

"I understand," Traizo put you down and waited.

You opened the door and forced yourself to smile. "I just got a call from a classmate who realized that our test was this week and not next week. The teacher wasn't clear enough on it. We need to study right away so I'll be meeting a few classmates in the library now."

Your parents looked at each other then at you. They believed it regardless of how odd it sounded, but they didn’t think you would have a reason to lie about such a thing. Thus you were able to get outside of the house without giving them a scare.

You walked down the street with your shinigami following impatiently. "We're leaving, let’s go somewhere else. Somewhere you want to visit."

You purposely led him to a lonely area of a nearby park so you could talk without getting weird stares. "Wait, where are we going and why? You can't just offer to take me somewhere if it’ll hurt you. Those wounds, how can they be healed? What do you need?"

"You took my brother's life but I couldn't take yours," Traizo's words were unexpected and confusing.

"Your brother's life? I haven't written any names in the Death Note and if your brother is also a shinigami then how could that work?" You asked.

"It was years ago..." Traizo began his explanation and then you learned about what happened in the shinigami world the day when your sister died.

You felt a pain you had pushed away for years and in that moment missed your sister more than ever. "If I hadn't taken that shortcut... No, it wasn't my fault, it was those two criminals, they killed her, maybe they didn't lay a finger on her, but it was them who took her life. It was them who caused her heart to stop beating. " You held back tears or at least tried. For so long you blamed yourself until one day you realized that your sister wouldn't blame you, so you shouldn't either.

"That's what I thought. I blamed you and I blamed them. I was so angry I didn't even go after the criminal who survived. I just sat in the shinigami world rotting away without writing a single name. Then I decided to come see you, I don't blame you anymore. The Death Note I gave you was my brother's." Traizo explained.

"Thank you, to give me something from your brother; it must be special to you. I'm not going to write in it, but I'll accept ownership of it. It's just a bit dangerous for me to keep it so please take care of it for me." At least you knew no one was eavesdropping on the conversation since you had finally found the listening device that L put inside one of your books before, when and how, you did not know. "But right now what worries me is that sand."

"Because it'll look suspicious?" Traizo asked.

"Because it looks like you're bleeding and that can't be a good sign. Maybe bandages will make it stop. I don't know much about shinigami first aid, will that work?" You examined one of the sand bleeding cuts on his arms. Then suddenly the flow of sand seemed to stop and the cut closed itself leaving only a mark where it used to be.

"When a human cares for a shinigami, even if it's just as a friend, if a human truly cares, their touch can heal."

You gave him a hug, which took him by surprise. "This time we'll be real friends, but what in the world happened to you? Those were wounds just now, they're healed but I thought shinigami couldn't be injured."

Page 10: When in Judgment we Stand

Traizo sat down in a park bench beside you and looked thoughtful. "I was attacked by other shinigami that is all."

You knew there was more to it than that. "I know but can you tell me more?" Somehow you had a feeling that this went beyond a few broken rules.

"I broke a few shinigami rules but that's not important now. I'm alright." Clearly he was avoiding the subject.

You wanted to know exactly what happened but you didn't want to be pushy if Traizo didn't feel ready to tell you. "Stay safe from now on, alright?"

"Right, how have you been during this time?" Traizo changed the subject.

"Well, I'm off the Kira case because from what I've heard there's a second Kira with the eyes of a shinigami so Lawliet thought it would be too dangerous. I think he might come back though. Maybe I could give him a page then and hopefully that will be enough evidence even if it's supernatural," you explained.

"Then you don’t want to go to Japan? Let’s go somewhere else then. A tall place because humans like tall places," the shinigami suggested.

"I thought you said you would stay safe. No more breaking the rules and what makes you think we like tall places?" You were curious to know more about how humans appeared to be from a shinigami's perspective.

"I've heard a lot of humans say they like places like the Eiffel Tower, the Niagara Falls, the Tower of Pizza, the Statue of Liberty and high places like that."

You laughed, "it's Pisa not Pizza, I guess we do like building tall places but that doesn't mean we like being high up all the time. Speaking of pizza, do they have any in the shinigami world? Do shinigami even eat?"

"We don't need food but we can eat. I've seen humans eat pizza, they seem to like it, but I've never had any." You stared at Traizo as if you were seeing him for the first time; never tasting pizza was a cruel fate that you would not allow.

"I'm getting you some pizza," you rose from the bench in determination. "I'm pretty sure you'll like it."

Of course your shinigami had no inconveniences in that, he was very happy to see you again and that he got to spend some time with you. He followed you to a pizza restaurant while you explained the possible toppings on the way. You had to take the pizza to go because it would scare people if it just disappeared since they couldn’t see Traizo eating it. It was still a bit early to head home so you returned to the same lonely area of the park. While most people stayed on the other side where the fountain was, that side of the park seemed to be a bit forgotten.

"Okay, here you go. Extra cheese and pepperoni, it's a classic." You thought that maybe it was best to start with something simple and classic when introducing your shinigami to pizza for the first time.

Traizo picked up a slice and looked at it. Cheese was a strange substance and very stretchy. He took a bite visibly satisfied with the taste but couldn't bite the cheese off. It just kept stretching so instead he opened his mouth to inhumanly large proportions, since he wasn't human anyway, then swallowed the slice whole and looked like he enjoyed it. "This stuff is really good! There's nothing like this in the shinigami world." He suddenly paused and looked around.

"What's wrong?"

"They're back for me," with no time for more, he took flight and another battle started between Traizo and other shinigami you couldn't see.

"Traizo!" You were worried about him. Last time he got hurt and this time it could be worse, it had to stop. But what could you possibly do? Before you were able to come up with any ideas, you felt like you were being lifted into the air. "Let me go!" They didn't let you go and they captured Traizo as well.

xoxox xox xoxox

"I have to go for a little while," Ryuk announced. Just when things were getting interesting after Light met Misa.

"Why? Where are you going?" Light asked.

"To the shinigami world; the king is calling us to witness a trial. This hasn't happened in thousands of years. I'll be back when it's over," Ryuk left towards the shinigami world.

If all the shinigami were gathering there, that must mean Rem was going as well. Light considered taking the opportunity to get rid of Misa and take her Death Note, but then Rem would just avenge her by taking his life so that wouldn't work.

xoxox xox xoxox

When you arrived at the shinigami world, all the shinigami became visible to you at least while you remained there. Being there for more than just a few minutes brought several things to your attention such as how hard it was to breathe and the rotten scent that lingered in the air which seemed to come from the land itself. You were put into a cage made of bones along with Traizo, a special cage made so shinigami couldn't break out of it. "Traizo, what's happening?"

"I told you I broke some rules right? Well I got caught. I didn't mean for you to get involved. I thought I could keep getting away with it."

"What will happen now?" You couldn’t wait any longer to get complete answers.

"I broke a few rules, but it seemed I'm being judged mostly because I was in the human world for a long time without having a true purpose of being there. I was not watching over a Death Note or searching for one, so I had no reason to be there according to the rules. I was with you then, but you couldn't see me. Then taking the shortcut through this world, that must have been the last drop for the king. We're not supposed to bring humans here, especially live humans," Traizo explained.

Shortcuts brought you bad luck it would seem. "It's because of me. You broke the rules for me and this is the result."

"I didn't tell you I was breaking the rules. It's not your fault. Don't worry I don't think they'll hurt you. I have a pretty clear idea why they brought you here. When it's over you'll be returned to the human world. That will be my last wish."

"Last wish?" You certainly didn't like the sound of that.

"You'll be alright so don't worry," Traizo insisted, but it wasn't working and you just worried more.

"I'm not worrying about myself. You just said that you would have your last wish. Are they going to kill you?" You knew you wouldn't like the answer.

"In the human world a shinigami cannot be injured. Here in our world it is possible if attacked by another shinigami. Still, a shinigami won't die even then, unless the life span of that shinigami runs out. There's only one way to kill a shinigami. When I save you, I would be technically extending your life since you would have been killed otherwise. A shinigami exists to take lives not extend them. I'll die then unless we can escape from here, but it's not very likely. Besides you'll be in danger if I don't go along with their plan."

"I don't want you to die." You've only known Traizo for a relatively short time and just when you were truly becoming good friends, he was going to die to save you.

"It's alright, it's better this way. Relationships between shinigami and humans rarely work out. I've been in pain for a long time. I get to rest now," Traizo sounded sad yet determined, as if he had fully accepted his tragic fate.

It broke your heart to hear it. Traizo was willing to die for you and was okay with it just so that he wouldn't have to be heartbroken. You couldn't change this, you couldn't stop him, you felt so helpless.

After about half an hour had passed, several large shinigami came. Two of them, apparently twins, were covered in red fur that looked like it was burning. A few patches were missing revealing bones and one arm was almost completely in the skeleton. It was the left arm for one of them and the right for the other. Their golden eyes were such bright lights it was hard to look directly at them. The third shinigami was more insect-like and didn't look quite as confident as the first two. He seemed to be muttering to himself about needing to find something and not having time for this, but being obligated to follow orders.

The first two forced Traizo to go with them. He opposed no resistance; he knew they would hurt you if he did. The insect-like shinigami then spoke to you. "Human, I am Shidou, I was assigned to take you to the place of the trial so please don't make it difficult, alright?" It was almost as if he was a little frightened by humans.

You looked towards Traizo and began to walk. While you waited, you insisted over and over that the two of you should escape. He refused, it seems that all he wanted after all was for you to meet him then he would die in peace.

You were taken to the ruins of a large building made of white stone. Most of the ceiling was gone and only parts of the damaged old walls were left standing. Many shinigami were gathered there watching you closely. The ruins were filled with the murmurs of the shinigami talking about what was about to happen. Then suddenly, the entire place fell silent as another shinigami arrived.

You couldn't see his appearance completely because he was covered by a long black cloak. He carried a scythe, which he set aside beside the throne when he sat down. Another shinigami brought him a document in yellowed paper torn at the sides. You could see his hands were made of only bones when he held the paper. Though his face was covered in the shadows of the cloak you could faintly see a skull.

To be Continued

To Save Your Life: Note III

Page 11: Allies are Closer than we Think

The skeleton shinigami, apparently their king, spoke in a language you did not understand. He occasionally paused and Traizo replied in the same language. You tried to say something but were ignored completely, which was very frustrating. The trial progressed and you could tell even if you didn't understand their language, that things were not going well for Traizo.

It came to a point when you were left in a cage tied up. You had tried to resist but you were outnumbered and overpowered by the shinigami. A man was placed in the cage as well, held by a shinigami guard. He didn't look like a very nice person. In fact not just his appearance, but the way he acted and spoke were clear hints that he was a criminal.

"Hear me human," the shinigami king addressed the man. "If you kill this girl I will return you to your world. If you fail to do so you will die."

"Then let me go so I can kill the little brat, reaper creature!" It didn't take you too long to figure out what this was about.

"Shinigami guards, you will release him after a minute has passed. That should be more than enough as it should only take forty seconds. Make your choice shinigami Traizo, yourself or the girl. You could come out of this alive. If you choose to sacrifice her then your punishment will be considered over." The shinigami king knew what Traizo's choice would be. He knew that Traizo would die to save you.

"Traizo don't write it, you'll die if you do!" You called out to him.

Traizo shook his head sadly. "I have to; if I don't you'll be the one to die."

Suddenly something hit you on the head. "Ow! A Death Note?”

"Oops, looks like I dropped it.” There was a shinigami girl outside the cage, she was the one who had dropped her Death Note. "Since she has my Death Note I guess I’ll have to take her with me.” Using a bony key she opened the cage, untied you and you were out before the shinigami guards could release the killer. Everyone was very shocked.

"How dare you interfere? It is not your place!” The shinigami king was obviously furious.

The shinigami girl wasn’t frightened at all; she merely stuck her tongue out at him in response. "Well too bad daddy, what are you going to do? Sentence me to death?”

"You’re the princess?” You looked at the shinigami girl, then her Death Note, it was golden rather then black. But why would the shinigami princess go against her father to help you?

The princess was wearing a black cloak similar to that of the king, but what caught your attention was that the right side of her face was a skeleton while the left looked human. Judging by her hands her entire body must be like that, half human looking and half skeleton. On her left half she had golden hair and a human looking dark eye. Her right eye was nothing but the emptiness of the skull. "(Name) let’s make a deal. If you help me with something, I’ll set your shinigami free.”

The princess had helped you and she could save Traizo. For that she wanted something in exchange. "What do I have to do?”

"I will not allow this!” The king was very angry about his daughter’s actions. He held what appeared to be a Death Note ready to use it. It was black just like the other Death Notes, then why was the princess’ Death Note different?

"You can’t kill Traizo, not while I’m protecting this girl. If you try to kill her or any of the people who will help me, then I’ll die as well. I may not be in love with a human, but I’m different and that will be enough!” What did the princess mean?

"You’re being foolish Persephone,” the king had given up. "Do as you please, but nothing useful will come out of it. It is already too late. Guards you may return that human man to his world or dispose of him how you see fit, and free the shinigami Traizo. Traizo, I will let you live freely in this world but you may not go to the human world with my daughter and the human girl. After Persephone returns, then you will be exiled to the human world.” You didn't understand what that was about. It was one of those things that you simply couldn't figure out unless you knew the full story behind the king's words.

The princess, Persephone, looked towards Traizo with a sad expression. "I’ll take good care of your friend so don’t worry. Stay safe until then.”

"Thank you,” Traizo was truly grateful.

That was how you left with the shinigami princess and returned to the human world. You realized that you had landed in Japan. "Princess Persephone, please tell me more about what I need to do to help Traizo.”

"You don’t need to be so formal. I may be known as princess Persephone the second but you can call me Persy.” Her wings were also different like the two halves of her body. One of them was a ragged bat wing on the right and on the left an angelic wing with white feathers. "About our deal, I’ll also need some help from the detective Lawliet. I need to locate a certain human. I’m not in love with a human as in couple love, but that person is someone I care about in a family sort of way. I’ll give you both the details when we can sit down to discuss this. Right now, there are a few things that need to be arranged such as you coming to Japan, it’ll be easier if you’re here. Don't worry about Traizo, he'll be fine, daddy never goes back on his word.”

That was a relief. "L had the papers ready so that I could come to Japan as an exchange student, but he cancelled that plan because of the risk of the second Kira,” you explained.

"No problem, I’ll arrange everything. I’m no ordinary shinigami and it’s not just because I’m a princess,” Persy was very confident in that she could arrange things. It made you wonder about what plans she had in mind and just how different she was from a normal shinigami. "First of all let's go find Law-er Detective L. This person I need to find, I've been searching for a long time but found nothing. At least my time looking at the Earth wasn't completely wasted. I know all about L and Kira. This is a great opportunity," and it was, in more ways than one.

You could tell by the look in her face and her tone, that Persy had a secret agenda. This was about more than finding someone, but somehow you knew that her secret plans were not something that you should worry about. She may have her own intentions, but you had a feeling that whatever Persy had in mind would not have a negative effect on you. "I assume you'll want to make yourself visible to L when we find him?"

"Yes, you can give him the note later for safekeeping if you wish, but keep the ownership. Only some rules apply to me and others don't. You'll still need to own that Death Note so I can follow you. For this to work out I need to make sure you're safe, L too of course. The two of you are vital for this plan so it would be easier if you were in the same place. It's also good to keep this between the three of us," Persy explained. "We arrived."

"This is a hotel." It was an obvious fact but given the situation, one that was worth stating in search of a better explanation. You were expecting a detective agency, police station or something like that.

"It is also L's secret headquarters at the moment. Give me a page, I'll go get L. Wait here and keep your guard up, I'll be right back." You gave Persy a page from the golden Death Note making sure no one was looking at the time. She hid it and flew off passing through the ceiling.

A few minutes passed and Persy was back but L wasn't with her. "Where is L?"

"He’s waiting, we needs to discuss this away from the crew so I had him leave. They found it odd but that doesn't matter." Obviously Persy had a plan for that too.

You were led to what appeared to be a normal room. That one had no cameras or microphones installed, since this had to be a complete secret. "Hi," you paused, all that had happened and all you did was greet L just like that.

"Hello," L seemed unexpectedly calm.

"Okay, I'm sure you both want the details so I won't keep you waiting any longer," Persy spoke. "L, I want you to help me find a certain human, in exchange for your detective services I will give you Light and Misa's Death Notes. Once you obtain them, the Kira case will be solved. If the notes are not proof enough, since the law can be pretty stubborn when it comes to things that defy their precious logic, then you won't have to worry about the Death Notes while you figure out what to do. For the moment being, I will take their Death Notes and keep them in the Shinigami World, since mine is here, I'll be able to return."

"You can actually do that?" You asked in surprise.

"Normally, a shinigami cannot steal a Death Note but that's okay for me," it still made no sense to you; there was still a hidden secret about Persy. "What I mean to say is that because I'm not entirely a shinigami some rules don't apply to me. You see I'm half human."

Page 12: Helping Us Find the Way

"How interesting," L commented with his thumb in his mouth.

You looked at L, he had presented a reaction to what Persy just said about being half human, but remained so calm. "How is that even possible?"

"I'll let you know when and if I find out. I'll be honest since we're all on the same side here. I can extend my life like a shinigami but like a human I can be relatively easily injured, though I'm still a lot stronger than humans, but a bad injury could kill me, unlike a shinigami. I need to follow half of the shinigami rules, I can't explain how I know which ones apply, but I somehow know. Like other shinigami, I need to keep an eye on my Death Note, but while other shinigami are not able to steal back their Death Notes or other's Death Notes, I can do it, but I can also chose not to. Other shinigami are not allowed to come to Earth without a reason but they can break the rules, like Traizo did coming to see you even before he gave you a Death Note. For me it is not only impossible to come to Earth without following my Death Note and specifically mine, but also, it is impossible for me to throw anything down to Earth. It's like there's magic preventing it. It all balances out in the end, a half-shinigami has strengths and weaknesses. Right now my ability to steal Death Notes will be of good use. Of course, I have no interest in stealing back my own Death Note because then I would have to go back to the shinigami world." Persy paused and allowed the two of you to take in all the information.

You still couldn't understand how the entire half shinigami, half human thing worked, but it seemed that not even Persephone herself knew, maybe she intended to figure it out during her stay on Earth.

"Well then L, is it a deal? The Death Notes for your services as a detective. I'll order Ryuk and Rem, Light and Misa's shinigami to return to the shinigami world and keep out of this for the moment being. After I give you the Death Notes when your mission is complete, if they drop more notes into the human world or even kill you, that's none of my business. I can only protect you while you're working on the case," Persy explained.

"You have a deal," L accepted without a second's hesitation. That's all he needed. He had solved the case but he needed to recover the proof. Besides, there was really no point in saying no to the shinigami princess; that could only end up badly. Plus L was curious about the mystery she wanted him to solve.

"Good, and for you (Name), I want you to help L solve this case. I want you to stay by his side at all times. I need to keep an eye on you both so don't go too far from each other. Go back home and arrange your trip to Japan as soon as possible; after that, stay together at all times. But don't worry; even if I will be near by all the time, I'll let you have some breathing space and privacy. In exchange I will return to the shinigami world after this is over and father will let Traizo go. Of course this means I’ll take my Death Note back. It’s important that you don’t give it up or you may lose your memories of the shinigami. Instead keep ownership of it, even if it’s hidden in a safe place and after this is over, I’ll take it myself. Refuse and I will arrange Traizo’s death and you already know how that would work." Persy didn't give you much of a choice but you had already agreed.

"Ill do it, I have no experience as a detective but I’ll do my best." One thing was solving video game puzzles and playing Clue with your friends when you were little, but solving a real case was something you had never done before.

"That's not a problem, just give L a hand. Even if all you do is bring him sweets to eat that's fine." Persy was certainly insistent on you being with L. Not that you minded being around him, but you wondered if that was really just to protect the two of you. She had said she wanted the two of you together but didn't say you couldn't go back home until the trip to Japan as an exchange student was arranged, which shouldn't take too long anyway, but still. Also, Persy promised to give you some space, which contradicted constantly wanting to keep an eye on you and L constantly. There was definitely something going on and you had a feeling that you would soon find out what Persy's real plans were, yet you didn't feel like her intentions were bad. There was definitely an important piece to the puzzle missing. Something that would make everything else fall into place and make sense.

"Can you give me more details about the case?" L asked.

"There's not much to tell really. I'm looking for my mother, she's a human and I can guess that she looks like my human half but that's just about all I know. I never actually met her," Persy revealed.

"How old are you?" You realized where L was going with that question. Even if Persy looked young, she could be old, maybe older than a human lifetime.

"I don't keep track of that. I just make sure to extend my life often enough," Persy replied.

"That makes it more challenging if I don't know your birth date or an approximate date," L mused.

"You're the world's greatest detective, figure it out," Persy replied.

"I said it would be challenging, not that I couldn’t do it," L clarified.

xoxox xox xoxox

Naturally your parents were protective of you since they had already lost a daughter, but after much reassurance, you finally got them to believe that you would be alright and that this opportunity was too good to miss out on. A couple of days later, you were in Japan, supposedly as an exchange student, but in reality you would be working with the world's greatest detective and a half human half shinigami princess. Your life had certainly turned exciting.

The following morning Persy flew around as if pacing in mid air, while discussing the mission with you and L. She had insisted that only the three of you work on the case, so the investigation team was dissolved, at least for the moment being. Chief Yagami and the others returned to headquarters, trusting in L's words when he assured them that Kira would not make a move. True that Light wasn't happy about this and he didn't want to accept it, but he could do nothing more than wait, wait and plan his next move. He still kept hopes of picking up where he left off. It didn't look like that unusual shinigami girl was truly on L's side, but rather she wanted something from him. As soon as his mission was accomplished, Light expected things to go back to the way they were.

The princess stopped in mid air and cheered. "Let the investigation begin!" It looked like she had a plan all worked out in her head and she was happy to get it started.

"I've been doing some research," L started, but the shinigami didn't let him finish.

"That's great but the customer's always right so let's follow my lead instead," Persy insisted.

"What is your lead?" L asked. He had asked her to give him all the information she had to help the investigation, but she didn't mention anything about having a possible lead on the case.

"Disney World!" Both you and L stared at Persephone.

"Disney World?" You asked. "Do you really think your mother is there?"

"Maybe she is, or maybe it's a relative of hers, or maybe just a clue, but my instinct tells me to go to Disney World," Persephone explained.

"Maybe you just want to visit it. Is this truly related to the investigation?" L asked. He just couldn't figure out the connection between Persy and Disney World and was 85% sure that there was none.

"We'll have to go and find out. Taking the shinigami world shortcut is out of the question, but that's no problem since you have a private jet, right?" Persy smiled mischievously, she was plotting something.

"If you want to go, then I won't try to stop you, but I prefer to continue working on the case and finish it as soon as possible," L replied.

"Why? It's not like Kira can do anything right now," Persy whined, she really wanted to go to Disney World and it seemed that it was important to her that L went as well.

"He can come up with a plan and analyze every detail. We can't let him do that," L insisted. He then turned his attention away from the frustrated shinigami and to you. "Do you want to go with her?"

A trip to Disney World did sound rather pleasant, but you didn't want to 'abandon' L, plus even if Traizo was free within the shinigami world, he was trapped in that world, so he wasn't truly free. "I'll stay and help you."

Persephone shook her head. The atmosphere at the 'base' was not the best to put her true plans into action. She had to get the two of you to go to a more cheerful place. "We're going to Disney World and you're both coming."

"Why?" L asked. They had a small staring contest that ended with L realizing he wasn't going to get a straight answer from Persy. He was starting to wonder if she really was looking for her mother and if she even was truly half human. Maybe getting away with breaking the rules was simply because of her status as a princess. That was a mystery he was curious to solve. "Very well, let's go."

Page 13: Chasing A New Mystery

If L was going to solve this whole mystery, he had to figure out what Persy was trying to do. If he knew what her motivation, was then figuring out her actions would be a lot easier. What did she want? To distract him? To get him away from Japan? For what purpose? Was this about Kira after all? L needed to figure it out, though his instinct and experience told him Persy wasn't on Kira's side.

"I would like a moment to speak with Watari in private." When L said this, he glanced at you at the end as if asking you to keep Persy busy until he returned. "Persy, why don't you help (Name) pack?" To the outside world both of you had fake names, but in private there was no use in hiding your true identities, since Persy could see them anyway.

"Didn't I help her unpack when she arrived here at Japan? Fine I'll help as long as you're both going on the trip," Persy agreed.

After L had gone to speak to Watari, you and Persy returned to your room to pack. "Persy, why is it that you want to go to Disney World so much? It's not really part of the investigation is it? Do you just want to go for fun?"

"Why do you say such things? Don't tell me you don't want to go." Persy had expected a little resistance from L but not from you.

"I want to go, but this isn't the best time. We have a case to solve and Traizo is waiting. I just want to know why you want to go," you explained.

"Because..." Persy paused trying to come up with a logical sounding answer, for a second you could almost see pain reflected in her human looking eye. "Because I hear that humans work better if they are well rested. Lawliet hardly sleeps so this will be good for him and since you're not used to doing detective work in your everyday life, a little vacation before getting started will be good for you too."

"Then there really are no clues in Disney World." Just as you thought, maybe you wouldn't make such a bad detective after all.

"Don't worry about that, just try to help Lawliet relax and I'll take care of the rest," Persy assured.

"It's not that simple." You insisted.

"Go on this vacation and the case will be solved in two weeks. Fourteen days is all I ask for. If L can't solve it by then I'll have daddy let Traizo go somehow, I'll make a deal with him. Right now it's not that Traizo lacks the ability to leave, but rather he knows there's a death sentence waiting for him if he tries. I can make a deal with my father, then it'll be over faster even if L doesn't find mother." Persy spoke in an almost desperate tone.

Was Persy really that desperate to go on vacation? Something as simple as a vacation couldn't be her purpose. There had to be more to it. There had to be a reason why she was so desperate to take you and L on a vacation. It was odd that she changed her mind so quickly, contradicted herself sometimes and acted suspicious, yet didn't feel malicious. What in the world was going on?

"Why?" You asked.

"Just trust me. This will end in a good way for you, L and Traizo. In the end everyone will be happy."

"It's a deal, two weeks." You still couldn't figure her out. Persy helped you finish packing and both of you returned to the main room of the 'investigation base' where L was waiting.

"Ready to go?" He asked.

"Yes, I'm ready!" Life certainly was full of surprises. A little earlier you thought you would be solving a mystery and now it turns out you were going on vacation.

"I'll carry that for you. Let's go then, the taxi is waiting."

"Thanks," you followed L outside; he put your luggage in the trunk and opened the taxi door for you.

"Persy?" He looked towards the shinigami. "Will you come with us or do you prefer to fly?"

"I'm riding with you two on the taxi and the jet, but you go in first." L wondered why Persy insisted on that but he had a feeling that it wasn't anything too bad.

Still he was curious. "Ladies first."

"I want to be next to the window." The excuse worked excellently for Persy, since it was pretty logical.

L still thought there was more to it than that, but nothing really important so he got in and sat next to you. No use in catching anyone's attention in a limousine. L would be extra careful now that he had to make sure you were safe too.

"Can you give me some room here?" Persy asked. L scooted close to you and the shinigami princess sat down with her wings out pushing L against you and you against the door.

"Can you make your wings disappear? We'll fit better if you do." As L spoke you looked at the driver. You wondered why he hasn't said anything about L talking to someone he shouldn't be able to see. Maybe he assumed he was crazy and ignored him.

"Sorry, I don't feel like it. If you need more room we can always change the way we sit," What was up with Persy? It's not like she needed to use her wings if she was sitting in the taxi. Besides, you were pretty sure that even though being visible also meant appearing solid, she could still make it so her wings could pass through and no one else would notice. Although having a shinigami wing stabbed through him even if he couldn't actually feel it, would look uncomfortable for L and that might be enough to make it somehow feel uncomfortable, if only by a trick of the mind. "(Name) why don't you sit on L's lap so there's more room. L you'll have to sit normally to make this work."

"Can't you just go sit in front with Watari?" L asked. You should have guessed this couldn't be a regular taxi.

"I would like to see you too if that's alright," Watari added.

"Oh sure, I saved a page just in case," Persy agreed.

You had given your Death Note to L, though you still kept the ownership of it. He had said he put it in a safe. You weren't sure where the safe was located but it didn't really matter as long as it wasn't stolen. You were pretty sure Persy knew, since she stayed with L who had the Death Note while you went home to arrange everything. Yet the princess followed the two of you instead of making sure her Death Note wasn't moved. It looked as if she cared more about her hidden purpose than even her one and only Death Note, without which she could not extend her life. Maybe she prepared herself for this by extending her life before. She did say she had been watching the Earth and appeared to know a lot of things, so she could have known you and Traizo were being taken to the shinigami world. Her rescue that time was not a coincidence.

Persy touched Watari's ear with the page and her reflection appeared visible to him in the taxi's rearview mirror. "Just as L said..."

"Scary?" Persy asked.

"Not really," Watari replied.

"I guess the great L's assistant and father figure wouldn't be easily frightened." The shinigami princess had certainly done her research while watching Earth before.

"Watari is your father?" Maybe L had been adopted by Watari or something similar since Persy did say 'father figure'. You didn't know much else about L except for that and his name.

"For how long have you been watching?" L asked.

"Long enough, I started a few years ago. You were already working by then, but you went to visit your home in the past. You also have other identities as a detective. I'm pretty well informed and that's why I know you're a good choice for this. You're very special." You had a feeling that Persy was making a reference to whatever secret plans she might have, rather then the case L was supposed to solve.

"You're in love with L!" You blurted out before you could stop yourself. Maybe being squished between L and the door was affecting you.

L's eyes widened and Watari slammed on the breaks. There was a red light ahead, which he almost missed it due to the surprise. The taxi was in complete silence. L sat there sandwiched between Persy's feathery left wing and you, his eyes open wide, completely speechless. The light changed to green and Watari continued driving quietly.

An uncomfortable silence had taken over the taxi until without warning Persy burst out laughing, which caused you and L to stare at her. It took the shinigami princess a moment to calm down and regain the ability to speak between laughs. "Are you jealous?"

"I'm not jealous!" You immediately denied it. You didn't like being made fun of, but somehow her laughter didn't sound mocking, it sounded happy, almost relieved.

"I'm not in love with L, I'm didn't come to Earth because I'm in love with a human. The only human I care for is my mother. I assure you, I'm not in love with Lawliet." Persy made that point clear and sounded truthful. "Although I do happen to think he's a nice guy. Wouldn't you agree?"

Now she was putting you in an awkward position. "Yes, I guess he's nice"

"He's also handsome, smart and talented, right?" Persy asked.

You decided that it was time to change the subject, L was sitting right there for crying out loud. If little miss shinigami princess wanted girl talk, she would have to wait. "Why are you asking me all of this?"

Persy was direct as ever. "Because I think you and L make a very cute couple." The blood rushed to your face at the comment. It didn't help that L was sitting very close to you.

"Please don't say that," L calmly requested, while staring at his feet, his empty shoes were on the floor as he sat in his peculiar way even in the taxi. "You're making (Name) feel uncomfortable, so please don't say things like that."

"Aw did I embarrass you?" Persy sounded amused. "You know what I think? I think you two like each other but are too shy to admit it."

You wondered if Persy was planning to spend the entire trip teasing you and L. You thought about what she hoped to accomplish with that or if she was just trying to lighten the mood and entertain herself. Meanwhile, L placed his thumb on his mouth which indicated that he was analyzing things.

Page 14: With a Frightening View

"I have a theory," L announced. Both you and Persy looked at him expecting him to say what his theory was. "I still need to think about it but I'm 70% sure."

"Enlighten us oh great detective, where do you think mom is?" Persy incorrectly assumed that his theory was related to the original case she had asked him to solve.

"I don't know, but I think I know why you want us to go on vacation," L replied.

"You could have just asked if you wanted to know. It's because you need a break to be refreshed and ready for the case. You can also get to know (Name) so that it will be easier for you two to work together," Persy explained though L knew that wasn't the reason.

You decided that this was as good a time as any to inform L of your two week deal with the princess. "It sounds odd that you would want us to take time to get ready like this if we only have two weeks to finish the job." This new piece of information caught L's attention. "I made a deal with her. She said that the job would be over in two weeks even if the case wasn't solved. Even then she would do her part of the deal."

"Why would such terms be accepted?" L looked at Persy who appeared a bit uncomfortable with where the conversation was going. "Now I'm 97% sure about my theory."

Persy sighted. "Then confirm it, tell me what you think is going on?"

L paused, he looked at you then at Persy. "I'll tell you when I'm 100% sure."

Persy regained a little confidence. "You really are shy," what did she mean by that? What was going on?

Suddenly you felt like the only one who didn't know what was going on. Persy was the one plotting so she knew. It appeared that L had it all figured out and Watari's knowing look reflected in the car's mirror made you think that he knew as well. Yet the answer still eluded you, but you would find out soon.

After making it to the airport and taking off on a private jet, Persy once again tried to lighten the mood. "Let's play some party games!" She was holding an empty plastic Pepsi bottle. "This stuff is good! We don't have anything like this in the shinigami world. Anyway, I've seen humans play this game and it looks fun. It will be a mix between spin the bottle and truth or dare!"

L saw this as an opportunity to get a few truths out of Persy, if she picked true and if not, he would dare her to speak. "Alright, I'll play."

Since L accepted, you decided to play too. "I'm in."

"Alright!" The three of you sat in a circle and Persy spun the bottle. It stopped, pointing at L. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth." It's not like she didn't already have all the information she needed about L. Persy knew his name and she knew his life story from watching the Earth. There probably wasn't a significant truth she didn't already know.

"Aw, you're no fun! Okay truth, is it true that you think (Name) is cute?" Persy smiled mischievously. Was she playing matchmaker for some reason? But why? Was it all just for her own amusement?

L remained calm. If he was going to confirm his theory he had to observe Persy's reaction to his answer. "Yes," Persy looked happy. He was now 99% sure about his theory and he stayed truthful. His answer made you smile, even if he wasn't looking at you when he said it.

"Okay it's your turn L," Persy announced.

L spun the bottle. It looked like it would stop on Persy but instead pointed at the empty space in your incomplete circle. A few feet away past the empty space Watari sat, typing on a laptop. "Should I spin again?"

"Nah, Watari can play," Persy replied.

"I thought I was too old for those games," Watari said.

L shrugged. "Truth or dare, Watari?"

"Dare," Watari had a pretty good idea about what L's dare would be.

"I dare you to bring us lots of cheese cake," just as expected.

"Consider it done." After Watari returned with the cheese cake, it was his turn to spin. The bottle stopped on Persy. "Truth or dare?"

"Dare," Persy replied.

"I dare you to tell us what your real plan is." It looked like Watari had come up with the same idea as L concerning Persy's dare.

"The same thing I do every night, try to take over the world!" The three humans stared and blinked then you laughed. "Honestly Watari, if I intended to tell the truth I would have picked truth."

"It seems that didn't work," Watari commented.

"Nope but everyone will be happy in the end, so you don't need to worry about what my plan is. Okay, I answered the last dare so it's my turn again, here goes." She spun the bottle and it stopped on L. "Wow I must be really lucky. Too bad (Name), it seems the bottle doesn't like you today, but I wouldn't want you to feel left out," you weren't sure about the mischievous look in Persy's eyes. "L, truth or dare and don't be a coward."

"Is that your way of saying you want me to pick dare?" L asked.

Persy replied with another question. "Does that mean you are choosing dare?"

After a moment of thought, L decided that there was really not much that could possibly go wrong. "Dare."

"I dare you to kiss (Name)!" After Persy announced her dare, L became 100% sure that his theory was correct, but he wouldn't reveal it yet. His only problem was that he didn't know what to do about that dare, except stare at his feet and give occasional glances to Watari with a look that seemed to say 'help me'.

You switched from looking between Persy and L as your face became redder. What did she hope to accomplish with this? L looked like he was about to say something, but before he could produce any sounds, the jet started shaking violently.

"Everyone back to your seats, and put on your seatbelts!" Watari urged. "It looks like we hit some pretty bad turbulence." He rushed to the pilot's cabin to assist the pilot.

Out of all of you, it looked like Persy was the most frightened, or maybe that was annoyance she felt. It didn't make sense because she could fly. She could simply go through the jet and fly outside safely. "Persy what's going on?"

"He's here, he came for me," Persy spoke bitterly.

"L come over here," L rushed to the pilot's cabin, you didn't like the worried tone in Watari's voice.

"Who is here? Your father?" If the shinigami king came that would mean trouble.

Persy shook her head. "No, not my father. Forel, another shinigami. He must have figured out why I'm here and he's not happy about it. He's my fiancé but I don't love him. It was arranged by my father and I absolutely refuse to marry him."

"Is he out to kill us?" You asked.

"Maybe; I'll try to get him to leave. Your life span is there, Forel must have sabotaged the jet but not with his Death Note so you can still survive this." Persy flew and went through the jet's ceiling.

"Wait!" It was too late, Persy was gone. You certainly hoped Watari and L managed to stabilize the jet, but if the damage Forel caused was too serious that might not be possible. "L! Watari!" You rushed to the pilot's cabin, stumbling and holding on to whatever you could get your hands on for support, as he jet shook violently.

L and Watari were pointlessly trying to get the controls to respond. Another man was in a corner not moving. "The pilot? Is he..."

"He had a heart attack. We'll have to jump," L and Watari rushed to get the parachutes ready.

"Jump? But aren't we above the ocean? I can't swim; actually, no one can swim such a big distance until we reach land." For a moment you started to think that it was hopeless, that even if it wasn't written in a Death Note, you would still die. Your life flashed before your eyes in a split second before L brought you back to reality.

L placed his hands on your shoulder shaking you gently to get you out of your daze. "(Name) look at me, listen, we're going to make it out alive, understand?" You nodded. "Put on your parachute and don't worry. I'll stay close, I won't let you get hurt."

"We have to jump now!" Watari opened the door. The wind was overwhelming, but you knew that jumping was your only chance for survival.

"Go ahead Watari we're right behind you," L helped you put on the parachute. Watari nodded and jumped out of the jet. L took your hand and led you to the door. He quickly explained how to open the parachute, there was no time to lose.

Before you could jump, a shinigami flew through the opposite side of the jet and out the door with you. You screamed at the top of your lungs as the invisible shinigami held you by the parachute. "Keep quiet girl, you can't die yet, not until you've made yourself useful." He spoke, though at this point you couldn't hear him.

You accidentally activated the parachute in your panic and it opened, getting tangled up on the shinigami. He went through the parachute which was now too tangled to work properly. You heard Persy calling your name, she was flying right below. You felt Forel grab the parachute again and start gaining altitude. You struggled until you managed to get the parachute off and Persy caught you.

"Are you okay?" L came floating down with his parachute.

"Just peachy," Persy replied.

"We are not peachy!" You had to disagree.

"Relax and hold on to this. I stole a page of his Death Note," Persy gave you the page and Forel appeared visible. This shinigami was different from the ones you had seen before. He appeared to be made of metallic bones with feathers and spikes covering his entire body.

"Persephone, why do you protect them? You'll die!" Forel yelled in a ghostly voice.

"Shut up, I'm not in love with them. You should know that all too well. My heart still belongs to the same one I've been in love with for years and it's not you. You can't change that, especially not by force." Persy yelled.

Page 15: From the Goal Don't Stray

As you flew with Persy, you looked down, regardless of how often you had heard people say you shouldn't look down from a high place. There was something in the ocean. A ship? Watari was landing on the ship at that moment.

Forel narrowed his red eyes. "You will do what is expected of you Persephone."

"I will do as I please. If you hurt Traizo, (Name), Lawliet, Watari and their friends in any way, I'll arrange my death and you will be blamed."

"Princess you can't be serious!" The twin shinigami from the trial were back, but even if they, and the other shinigami, appeared visible while in the shinigami world, now that they were on Earth they were invisible to you since you had not touched their Death Notes.

Persy appeared to be looking at something, yet there was nothing there, so your guess was that an invisible shinigami was there. "There's more?"

"Yes, but they're leaving now." Persy glared at them. "Let it be known that I will keep my word. If I take my life Forel is to be blamed."

"We can't take this risk," one of the twins spoke.

The other agreed. "Sir Forel, we must leave!"

"Alright Persephone, I'll go and I won't lay a finger on Traizo or the humans you want to protect. Don't do anything foolish. I really don't understand where you're going with this. I know what your true purpose is, but that won't change anything so it's useless." Forel returned to the shinigami world with the twins and once again everything was silent.

You could see the jet sinking into the ocean after making a huge splash. "You have some explaining to do."

"I know," Persy flew down to the ship where L had landed as well.

"Flying is useful." L really wished he could have done more, but there was nothing else that he could have possibly done given the situation. "I'm sorry."

"Why?" You had safely landed on the ship also.

"I said I would help you, but I couldn't do much," L looked disappointed, as if he thought he failed you.

"It's okay, there wasn't anything that could have been done. We're alright now." You said it more to reassure your self then anyone else. L, although disappointed, seemed somewhat calm. "Persy, are you going to tell us the full story this time?"

"Yeah, just give me a moment. I need a moment to myself, I'll be below deck." Persy went through the floor of the ship.

"Persy gave me this page, it's from Forel's Death Note," you gave the page to L..

"I'll keep this in a safe place. I'm going to talk to Persy now," L went below deck via the stairs.

You took a deep breath and looked at the place where the jet had fallen into the ocean not too far from there. The deck's floor was wet from the splash caused by the jet. You carefully made your way to the captain's area. The door was open, you just wondered if the crew of the ship knew about the shinigami. "Watari? you're driving?"

"Yes, the ship was set to move automatically following the jet before, but of course it wasn't empty. There are two others here whom L contacted regarding the Kira case and if for whatever reason he couldn't finish solving the case, either one of them would take over. Because of Persephone, everything changed. He needed extra help investigating because of the lack of clues and it had to be done fast, so as to not give Kira too much time to plan. The Kira case has not truly ended yet even if it was solved." Watari explained.

"Where are they? Below deck?" You asked curious about those others who L trusted.

"Yes, L's wishes were that they were not seen by the shinigami. They will stay hidden, don't tell Persy about them," Watari said.

"Got it, no problem, I won't even mention anything. What a day..." To be in a plane crash and survive, it was something you never thought you would experience. "Whatever this mystery is, I think L has it figured out, about Persy's plans I mean."

"Yes and you must have also noticed you're a key part of it," Watari agreed.

"That's true, even if I'm not completely sure about what my role is. I should go talk to Persy too."

Watari nodded. "Maybe that would be best. I'm sure L would agree that, since you are so involved in this, you have a right to know. He has never failed to solve a case..."

"I know, I can count on him, right? Thanks, I'll go then." After heading below the deck of the small ship, as you approached the room where Persy and L were talking, you heard their conversation. You stopped in front of the door wondering if you should go in or just listen.

"You're in love with Traizo," you heard L say. Is that what this was about? "If you kill (Name) you wouldn't be able to keep it secret from him. You're afraid he will find out and hate you for it. To solve this, you're trying to get her to like someone else. Then Traizo would have no choice but to accept that he can't be with her. You intend to make him change his mind about wanting to come to Earth and somehow change his sentence to be exiled so that you both can stay in the shinigami world." The three of you had talked about the trial before so L was informed about the events that happened while you were in the shinigami world and how you met Persy.

"I said that everyone would be happy in the end," Persy reminded. You stayed quietly listening at the door. "Traizo will be happy if (Name) is happy. He would be heartbroken at first, but if she's happy with you, I know that after a while he'll be happy for her. I'll do my best to make him feel better until he gives me a chance and realizes that she is better off with another human. It works well for everyone, you and (Name) will be together and Traizo and me will be together too, everyone's happy."

"There was no case to solve? You just wanted to play matchmaker? Are you even half human?" L asked.

"Yes, I am and there was a case to be solved. I really do want to know more about my mother, but over the years of watching the Earth and not being able to find her, I lost hope. I have no real clues and there are too many people in this world. Now you know, all you have to do is win her heart," Persy would not give up simply because her plan had been discovered.

"It doesn't work that way. I can't just make her like me. It's wrong to play with people's emotions like that and besides..." There was a certain sadness to L's words.

"I know and I'm not asking you to do that. I really do think the two of you would be good together. Just give her a chance and you might get to like her. If you don't like her, that's fine, I'll find another guy. I'm sure I can find her prince charming if I just keep searching. I want her to be truly happy, because it's the only way that Traizo can be happy." Tears started flowing from Persy's human eye. She was really hurting; all of this must have been heartbreaking for her. A forced engagement, her beloved being in love with someone else and on top of that, family problems. "Why won't you try? She's a nice girl and if you just get to know her, you'll like her."

"You didn't let me finish. What makes you think I stand a chance?" L's words surprised both you and Persy. "What makes you think that she will like me? Relationships don't work out for me. They just don't work."

Persy was surprised. "You need to give your self some credit. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in love with Traizo, but I think you're great and I'm sure she thinks so too."

L shook his head. "We're going back, Forel wants to use her to force Traizo to save her and die by doing so. Even after those threats you made to protect us, she'll have to come along. It's too dangerous to let her go back home and this is not a situation to be taking vacations."

"Alright I understand, it's dangerous," Persy didn't argue any further. "I really didn't think he would go this far. Forel never breaks the rules; father must have given him special permission to come to Earth. However, I do believe that this will all have a happy ending somehow. My hope is all I have and I intend to hold on to it. When this is over, let's all go on vacation together."

To be Continued

To Save Your Life: Note IV

Page 16: Continue Holding Hands

You were still listening to L and Persy's conversation. "I need to think of something, a way for her to be out of danger," L voiced his thoughts.

You were an innocent civilian tangled up in a shinigami drama. Traizo loved you, Persy loved Traizo and Forel wanted to marry Persy, not out of love but for power. Persy wanted you and L to fall in love so that you would be out of her way with Traizo. Persy couldn't wait until your life was over, even if you would live a lot less then her, since you were a human and she still had plenty of room left to write in the Death Note. She couldn't bear to wait; she needed to win Traizo's heart while you still lived. She needed to know she won, not because you were no longer there, but because she had been chosen. She didn't want to feel like the second choice.

"Hey, are you listening? She's safe, Forel needs me alive. Daddy must have thought he would be able to convince me to go back peacefully so he sent him here. Of course that didn't work. I can protect you two," Persy emphasized.

"But what happens after the two weeks are over? Forel and the king would go against Traizo if they wanted to kill us." L didn't like that feeling of being exposed and defenseless. He always kept his name and face a secret until the Kira case, when for the first time he showed his face. His name was meant to stay unknown, but after being seen by a shinigami, that was impossible. There was no escaping the shinigami; there was no defense except a good strategy, to be in a position where the shinigami would need something. The fact that L had seen them, thus knew of their existence, could be reason enough to be eliminated, unless he was in a position where he was useful, and the same could apply to you.

"I told you, (Name) needs to stay alive for Traizo to be happy. As for you, well if you don't win her heart then I guess there's no reason for me to protect you, but I don't have a reason to kill you either. If you want my protection, make her like you," Persy held quite a few cards in this game.

"I'm not going to try to trick her just so I can survive," L remained firm in his decision. "I'm not going to use someone innocent that way, besides it won't work."

"So you do have a liking for her. You're only starting to like her but you do. Poor L, so confident in his skills as a detective, but with zero confidence in love. Tell you what; keep on analyzing your strategies and searching for mom. She might be able to talk some sense into daddy and make him break off my engagement with Forel. That is if she is still alive. I don't keep track of time, I know I have enough of a lifespan left to last for at least another five hundred years or more, but mom was a human, I've never really met her, not that I remember, and I don't know how long it has been since I was born. For a shinigami there's no practical use in keeping time backwards, I only keep track of the years I have left to live, and even then I'm not very detailed." Persy explained.

The legend of Persephone, the stories of the lady and death have been told for many years. This Persephone wasn't a mythological character but a human. Maybe her name wasn't even Persephone, but a name she was given because of her relationship with the shinigami king. "I'm 50% sure that she is no longer alive, but this situation and the existence of the shinigami defy human logic, so maybe her existence defies it too. That is why it's only 50%." Most likely the lady's life wouldn't be taken by a shinigami but no one could assure that it wouldn't end by a natural cause. Even so, L decided to try to find her, or at least to try to identify her if she could no longer be found. It was the only thing he could think of doing to earn more of Persy's cooperation. So the new mission had been established, to find Persephone the first.

"Fine, do whatever you want. As long as you spend time with (Name) I'm okay with it, but if she decides she doesn't like you, then I'm leaving and she's coming with me until we find her prince charming. What girl would say no to having their own shinigami matchmaker?" Focusing on her plan and looking to the future, Persy left without opening the door but rather went through it. She didn't expect for you to be at the other side, thus went through the door but bumped into you. "(Name)!" The princess suddenly realized that you had been listening to the entire conversation.

"Coming!" You replied as if Persy was calling you rather than saying your name in surprise. "What is it, Persy?" You asked after walking on the same spot to make foot step sounds.

Persy was about to ask what was going on, then realized what you were trying to do. "Girl talk, we need to have girl talk, let's go back up where there's fresh air!" She went straight up and made it to the deck and you followed taking the stairs. You had a feeling this would be a long trip.

Because of the possible danger, the vacation had been cancelled, though Persy insisted that it was only postponed and you should all go on vacation together when everything was solved. She was still hopeful that somehow Forel would leave her alone, her father would accept that, you would fall in love with L or some other guy, and Traizo would fall in love with her.

L, Watari, Persy and you returned to the secret headquarters for the investigation in Japan. Everything seemed to be proceeding quietly with L doing research and Persy pestering Watari. She had been following him around asking for advice on how to play matchmaker for you and L.

Things took an unexpected turn when Persy decided to take a break and snoop around. "I found them!" She kicked the doors to the main investigation room open and flew in. She was carrying two boys, one in each arm. Mello was struggling to get free while Near stayed perfectly still.

This was certainly not a part of L's plans. Mello and Near were supposed to help with the research from the safety of secrecy. "I thought you were with Watari." L referred to Persy.

"And Watari thought I was with you, isn't that funny?" Persy set the two boys down. The blonde stood while the white haired boy let himself slide to the floor in a sitting position.

"It's better this way, I was tired of hiding," the blond said, while the one with white hair simply shook his head.

It was easy to guess those two were the ones helping all along, probably the same who were on the boat before. "I present Mihael and Nate," Persy revealed their real names.

"It's Mello," Mihael corrected.

"And I'm Near," Nate added.

"Mello and Near, nice to meet you." You greeted them then looked towards L. He knew there was a possibility of this happening; still he remained with a calm expression.

"Isn't it great that we all get to work together now?" Persy smiled cheerfully.

"She wants us to help her play matchmaker," Mello admitted.

"Hush! Let's go get the ingredients. "See ya later everyone!" Before L had the chance to say anything, Persy took Mello's hand and hurried out the door.

"L," Near started. His tone was like that of a child accusing another child of misbehaving. "When Persy asked us about how to make a human fall in love with another human, Mello told her that a lot of chocolate was needed. She got all excited because she had seen Valentine's Day, but didn't know that chocolate worked all year long."

"I see, then we can expect them to return with a large supply of chocolate," L concluded. "I hope they also bring cheese cake."

Both you and Near blinked in confusion. "You're not upset?" You asked.

"I knew Mello couldn't take hiding for too long. Either way, the shinigami in their world can see all of us; it just took a while for Persy to notice because she was here instead of watching from a different perspective as if this was all a movie. Finding someone when there are no clues as to what happened to them, not even a missing person report which should help to identify at least a possible date of disappearance, is not an easy task. Mello, Near and I will be working together. If the first Persephone can be found, she will play an important role, and if not, we would have at least identified who she was," L concluded.

"Have you decided?" Near asked.

"Yes, our next move will be in Transylvania," L announced. "(Name) I'll have to ask you to come. It's best if we all stick together. We need to leave tomorrow."

"You don't even need to ask, I'm in this all the way." You assured him. So you would be going to Transylvania. You haven't heard much about it, except when people mentioned Dracula, but that was just a story.

Later, you were helping L organize some data and find connections between several stories and rumors, when Persy and Mello returned with a large supply of chocolates. "You didn't let her steal those chocolates, did you?" Near asked.

"Of course not, I'm perfectly capable of watching the shinigami by myself." Mello replied as if Persy was a mischievous child who needed to be constantly watched.

"L, (Name), eat these chocolates together and fall in love. The rest of us are eating them too, but only as friends." Persy gave you and L some chocolates. She was far from giving up on her mission as a matchmaker.

You tried to explain things. "Persy, eating chocolates doesn't really make people fall in love. Sure it's a part of the Valentine's Day tradition, but that doesn't mean-"

"I'm in love!" You stopped and looked at L who was eating some of the chocolate Persy just gave him. The princess appeared to be very pleased. "With these cheese cake filling chocolates," L finished.

"Aw, not fair to trick me like that." It seemed that the pouty face was the look of the day for Persy. Her skull half didn't change much, but her human looking half was rather expressive.

Page 17: Don't Keep Secrets, Spill the Beans

Persy suddenly gasped and stared at something behind you. "What's wrong?" You turned slowly, wondering what could be standing behind you that surprised them so much. "Traizo!"

You could have hugged Traizo at that moment, but Persy beat you to it and pounced on him like a rabid fan girl. "Trai-kun!" The 'kun' was something she had heard humans say and she thought it was cute.

"Princess Persephone..." Traizo knew the last thing he wanted was an angry Persy. He had been one of the few shinigami in their world who had witnessed one of her temper tantrums and come out of it in one piece.

"I saved your human pal so you owe me big time!" Persy was too busy glomping Traizo to notice that he wasn't supposed to be there. Luckily, being a shinigami, Traizo didn't actually require oxygen.

"Traizo, how in the world did you get back without getting caught? Is it alright for you to be here? What happened? Spill the beans!" You were happy to see him, but you certainly hoped his escape, if he had escaped, didn't bring trouble. Somehow being forgiven without a catch didn't sound likely.

"Beans?" Traizo blinked in confusion.

Persy didn't quite understand the part about beans but the other questions were important. "Did you come for me? Did you? Did you? Did you?"

"Well yes but that's because-" Traizo was interrupted.

Persy squealed. "I knew it! You do love me, but of course how could you resist the perfect combination of power and beauty?"

Traizo shook his head quickly. "I didn't mean it like that. Your father gave me the mission of bringing you back. He thought I could talk you into it."

"I'll go back if you come with me," Persy winked with her human-looking eye.

"I'm not going to try to accomplish my mission. I had no choice but to accept it and besides, I wanted to come back to Earth. I'll just stay here and pretend to be trying to 'talk some sense' into you, as the king said," Traizo explained.

Persy sighed. "Fine, fine, you can stay with our happy little group, but only if you promise not to interfere with the power of love. (Name) and L are very much in love."

"I'll kill him!" It didn't take long for L to be picked up, chair and all. Even if the chair was now being held in the air by a shinigami who was visible to him, but still invisible to Mello and Near, he kept his balance and didn't fall off.

"Put him down," you rushed in L's defense. You were happy to see that Traizo was safe but you didn't want him to harm L, even if you knew he wouldn't dare to kill the detective against your wishes.

"Don't be such a meanie head and just be happy for them." Persy picked up L and set him down gently on the floor. "There you go." She patted his head and clung to Traizo's arm. "So, where's our happy little group heading out to next?"

"Transylvania," L replied.

"Okay, my conclusion is that there's another shinigami here. Do I get to see this one?" Mello didn't like having something invisible so close by.

"Oh right, Traizo spare them a page. Mello and Near are part of our team, and runner ups to win (Name)'s heart, should L fail to fulfill his duties." Persy explained things in her own way.

"Them too?" Traizo glared at the two boys.

"Calm down, Persy likes to exaggerate and make up stories." You tried to calm Traizo's rush of jealousy. "But she's right about one thing, it will be easier if Mello, Near and Watari can see you."

"Alright, if that's what you want," Traizo agreed. "Mello and Near? If you mean those two that's not their names."

"It's what they like to be called," Persy nodded in understanding, she used a nickname too.

There had been an unexpected twist with Traizo's return. He had a knack for coming back when you least expected it . Still, you wondered about the details of his mission. He said he was sent to take Persy back to the shinigami world. If he agreed to be with her, then she would return, but what about Forel? There were still things that remained unknown about Traizo's mission and what happened to Forel. The rest of the day was spent preparing for the trip and getting Traizo acquainted with the team. With Traizo feeling jealous and Persy in fan girl mode, the trip would be very interesting.

xoxox xox xoxox

The next day, you woke up with an odd feeling. A bit sleepy, you got out of bed but realized your feet didn't touch the floor, you had stepped on beans. You stared at your room wide eyed. There were beans everywhere. "What's going on?"

"Good morning!" Traizo half came through the closed door, flying above the three feet of beans that flooded the room. He realized that an item he held was stuck in the other side of the door. He opened the door, got it inside then closed it again. "Look, I cooked some of the beans for you!" He was holding a plate full of little black pebbles, which you assumed where the burnt beans.

You stared at Traizo, at the charred beans, then at the state the room was in. "Why in the world did you bring so many beans?"

"Isn't this what you wanted?" Traizo asked.

Persy peeked into the room with her head inside and the rest of her at the other side of the door. "Traizo! I told you to wait for me!" She came in completely and flew above the beans next to him.

"You tricked me!" Traizo pointed an accusing finger at Persy.

The princess looked offended. "I did no such thing! How could you say that after I helped you?"

"She's upset, she didn't like the beans!" Traizo argued.

"That's not my fault! I told you I would help you as long as the gift didn't involve chocolates, flowers or jewelry. Either way, the idea to get her beans was yours." Persy argued.

"You had your own motives to help!" This time Traizo's accusation was received without surprise.

"So what if I did?" Persy asked. "I'll even tell you about it. Have you ever heard about bean babies? Beans are linked to babies, so when humans think 'bean' they also think 'baby'. I thought the beans would awaken some sort of instinctive reaction in (Name) and she would want to have a baby with another human. I do believe L could serve that purpose."

"That's not fair! You didn't tell me beans were part of a human baby making ritual!" Traizo complained and shook the plate of beans so much he spilled them everywhere.

You twitched. "Beans have nothing to do with babies!" You would never look at beans the same way.

"Then how come I've seen people make such a fuzz about bean babies? I once saw humans that wanted to get lots and lots of them!" Persy insisted.

"Bean babies are a type of doll, it has nothing to do with actual babies. I mean they're toys, so it is related to children, but not that way. What I mean is..." You paused and took a deep breath. Explaining things to shinigami was not an easy task. "Where's L?" Traizo looked horrified. "I'm only asking because I thought he could help me explain things to the two of you, there is no other reason." After those words Traizo looked a bit relieved.

"He wanted to ruin the bean ritual so we tied him up, same for the others," Persy calmly explained.

Without a second to spare, you hurried out of the room swimming in beans, in search of L. When you arrived at the main investigation room, L was calmly reading some information from a laptop computer. That room was also full of beans, less than your room, but it still had plenty. "L?"

"How did he get away?" Persy had followed you along with Traizo.

"Watari," L answered.

Persy pouted. "I knew that putting a chair against the door wouldn't be enough to keep him locked up. I should have tied him up too."

"Where did all these beans come from?" You asked.

"From a ship that was transporting lots of them," Traizo replied. "Are those not the kind you like?"

"I didn't ask you to bring me all these beans!" At least that's what you thought.

"You said you wanted me to spill the beans so I did. How come you're not happy about it? Is it because we didn't spill enough beans?" Traizo asked.

Face, meet hand. "I appreciate the thought, but I honestly didn't think that you would take that literally."

"Literally? Is that a type of bean?" For all the time Traizo spent stalking you, he was far from fully understanding humans. "Spill the beans means 'tell me' I wanted you to tell me about how you came back."

"That's what it means? But then why didn't you just say it that way?" Traizo asked.

"It's a figure of speech," you tried to explain.

That only confused him further. "A figure of speech? I thought figures were squares, triangles, circles, that kind of stuff. Wait, I get it, figures of speech are letters. You wanted me to write something? Lawliet's name in my Death Note? Is that what you wanted me to write?"

A chorus of "No!" echoed in the room as Mello, Near, L himself and even Persy joined you.

"Obviously the beans were stolen. Maybe they can be returned, but they were all over the floor, that's not good. Anyway we can't just leave them here." You reasoned.

"We're already working on getting rid of them, or rather I'm working." Mello was clearly not pleased with his assigned task.

"I'll help clean the beans." You didn't like the idea of spending the next few hours cleaning out beans, but there was no choice.

Page 18: Sincerity is Great

While you were still cleaning the beans, Mello started arguing with Near. "Stop playing with the beans and help me clean them!"

"I'm not just playing, I'm thinking. Beans are fun, they help me concentrate." Near was making little bean mountains and knocking them down.

Mello was at the end of his patience. He tossed the sack of beans he was filling aside and threw a hand full of beans at Near. The white haired boy frowned when the bean projectiles hit him. "That was very immature. You let your emotions control you too easily." Regardless of what he said, Near still returned fire with more beans.

Mello ducked just in time and the beans Near threw collided with the back of L's head. L turned around and Mello pointed at Near. "He did it!"

"I was trying to get back at Mello, he was the one who started it," Near defended.

There was a moment of silence, until suddenly Persy yelled. "Bean fight!"

Traizo took the opportunity and threw some beans at L. The detective hid behind his chair using it as a shield and returned fire. Mello and Near exchanged bean projectiles and you stood there wondering when the elite team of detectives had turned into hyper little kids. It was like a snow ball fight only with beans. You might as well join in.

xoxox xox xoxox

After the bean fight was over, with a victory on your part, Watari arrived, peeking into the room cautiously. "Is it safe to step into the battle field now?" Obviously he knew about what had been going on, but for some reason decided not to interrupt the great war of beans.

"Watari... I..." L shrugged, the time that was used playing with the beans was gone. But that was alright, he had relaxed and his mind was working even faster than before. A bean fight was a good way to jump start a genius and it reminded him of the snowball fights back at the Wammy House when he was younger. "That was fun, but we should all get ready to leave soon." Everyone went off to make the final preparations. The team was feeling refreshed and ready to go.

xoxox xox xoxox

You were feeling uneasy about taking another trip on a jet. Not too long ago, the last one you were on crashed. "Are you worried?" L asked.

You nodded; there was no use in denying it. "What if Forel comes back and makes the jet crash?"

"Persy and Traizo are watching out for him, we won't be caught by surprise again," L assured.

After the jet took off, L and Watari were taking care of piloting this time. Near was playing with his toys and Mello was reading over some data about your destination in Transylvania. "L asked me earlier to tell you about where we're going." The blond sat down next to you and handed you a paper. You looked at the pictures. "A forest?"

"A forest rumored to be haunted. They say there's a castle in the middle, but most of it is underground. If it's true, the shinigami might be able to get in and let the rest of us in." Mello explained.

"Do you think queen Persephone the first is there?" You asked.

"Yes, I'm sure of it," Mello replied.

"I'm only 85% sure," Near added. "L wouldn't' say how sure he is."

"90%, that is either for Persephone being there, or her tomb." The three of you looked at L who had just joined in, while Watari stayed at the captain's cabin. "Everything is fine so far, nothing suspicious."

"What did I miss?" Persy came back inside the jet, she and Traizo occasionally flew around outside to make sure no one was following.

"Keep your distance," Traizo warned L.

"There's really no reason to make such assumptions." L tried to explain but Traizo's piercing glare didn't stop.

"Oh, let him make assumptions, they're true anyway." Persy pushed L and made him land on your lap. Well at least he wasn't too heavy, but it was a bit awkward.

L quickly got up. "Sorry about that, she caught me off guard." Not that it would matter, since shinigami were stronger than humans anyway.

You were about to say it was okay but Traizo spoke first. "That's just an excuse. If you try something like that again, you won't live long enough to be sorry."

"Will you both please stop picking on L?" You finally spoke.

"Do you prefer blonds? Is that it? Do you like this one better?" Persy picked up Mello and presented him to you as if asking about an object.

"Hey, put me down I'm not a thing. Besides, even if she's cute there seems to be too much competition already and I don't want to step into my dear brother's territory," Mello tried to get free.

L remained calm and Near stopped playing for a moment. "Don't tell me you're on Persy's side?" The white haired boy asked Mello.

"L needs to lighten up and having a girlfriend might do him some good," Mello explained. L simply stared at him without blinking, while Near blinked in surprised from Mello's direct answer. The look on Near's face made it appear as if he thought girls had cooties and Mello had to ask. "Don't tell me you still haven't gotten over the fact that girls don't have cooties?"

"I know that they don't. Such a thing as cooties does not exist, it's illogical," Near pouted cutely.

"Then why not consider the possibility of L being with a girl?" Mello asked.

"Mello," L started to say something, but wasn't quite sure how to word it.

"You're making them feel uncomfortable," Near knew that L wouldn't mind some company, but relationships were hard for him because of his job. He thought he would never find anyone who was able to understand him and like him for who he was, despite his unusual way of sitting, his eternal love for cheese cake, the fact that he avoided sleep like the plague and that he was always busy solving one mystery after another.

"I'm just being truthful, a little direct but truthful," Mello admitted.

"You tell him teammate!" Persy cheered.

"Are you on her team?" Near asked.

"I thought we were all on the same team, even if I can't say I like that." The rivalry between Mello and Near was starting to surface.

"You don't mean me, right? How could you not want to be on a team with me?" Persy half asked, half whined.

"I wasn't talking about you," Mello clarified.

Persy clapped her human and skeleton hands together. "I thought so. You and me will be elite matchmakers, friend!"

"Is that so?" Near raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

"That's not my style but if she tries to play matchmaker I won't stop her," Mello replied.

"Do you realize that L and I are right here and we can hear everything you're plotting?" You asked. Usually when someone tried to play matchmaker, they did it in secret, but Persy was loud and talkative and Mello wasn't one to keep things bottled up either. Near was rather quiet, like L.

"Yet I haven't heard you complain," Mello gave you a victorious grin.

"Nice one," Persy commended.

You blinked. "But I just told you that-"

"One moment," Traizo finally spoke.

"What is it?" You asked.

"I just wanted to clarify that my death threat is still in effect. Just a reminder," Traizo glared daggers at L.

"Trai-kun!" Persy spoke in the whiniest voice. "How could you go against true love? Our love and theirs too? That's two loves that you're going against. Don't you know you shouldn't do that?"

"Love only brings trouble. I still love (Name) but that brought trouble for her." Traizo sounded sad.

"Don't say that, Traizo. I appreciate you very much and I care about you as a dear friend. Even with all that happened, I'm glad I met you and I'm not going to change my mind about that," you tried to console him.

"Then I'll definitely stay. I'll stay with you for as long as I can," Traizo's mood improved, he would enjoy his time with you as much as he could.

"To say, 'I'll stay with you forever' would sound more romantic. Say it L!" Persy began to poke L, alternating between one hand and the other.

"Please stop poking me," L calmly requested.

"Wrong line! Say something sweet for (Name)! I'll stop poking you if you do," Persy insisted.

"Do you promise?" L asked.

Persy nodded eagerly. "Yup, I promise! Now say something sweet."

L looked at you and with a smile on his face he said, "cheese cake". There was a moment of silence then both you and Mello started laughing. Near seemed to be holding back his laughter at first, but couldn't hold it in for long.

Persy blinked. "What's so funny? I thought it was cute, short and to the point, but sweet and romantic."

"I think I'm going to kill him, I think so. What's cheese cake?" Traizo asked.

"Cheese cake is food," you said between laughs.

"Is Lawliet planning to eat you? I won't allow it!" Traizo seemed to be as protective as ever and he still didn't quite understand the human world.

"Cheese cake is sweet and I'm not going to eat her. Do shinigami eat each other?" L asked.

"Of course not, do humans?" Traizo asked.

"No," L replied.

"Well, you better not try it." Traizo warned.

"Do we have a TV in here?" Persy asked. "Humans love TV; I spent a lot of time watching human TVs from the shinigami world."

"I thought you were watching humans and searching for your mother." L inquired.

Persy shrugged. "I got distracted. So is there a TV here?"

"Yes, a satellite TV to keep up with the news," L replied.

Not a second passed and Persy was gone. She returned a few seconds later. "Where is it? Where is it? You forgot to tell me where it is!" It seemed that the princess loved watching TV as much as most humans did, although her taste in shows was not all that great, she loved to watch cheesy soap operas.

Page 19: To Find a Hidden History

After the jet landed, the group headed to the hotel, and soon after to explore. Enough time had been used with the bean incident, even if it was fun, and that time had to be made up for. The drive to the forest consisted of L, Mello, Near, Watari and you discussing theories. Persy seemed to be in the blank about it all, even if she would be expected to have the most information. Traizo glared at L every now and then, when ever Persy gave him the chance to pay attention to something other than her. She turned out to be quite the chatterbox to Traizo, but it was amusing.

Then you were divided into two teams with you, L, Mello and the two shinigami heading deep into the forest. The trees were thick, which made the place dark even if there was still day light. Walking around wasn't so bad, since the shinigami carried all the equipment.

"Are you sure carrying all this equipment is vital to the entire human world experience?" Persy had asked.

L smiled. "Of course!"

Traizo was carrying equipment too, because according to him, "L is too wimpy and will drop it."

Persy was carrying equipment because L told her it was an experience she couldn't miss out on while in the human world. Quite frankly she didn't get it but she gave it a try anyway.

"Something feels strange about this place," Traizo spoke.

"Isn't it romantic?" Even with the mountain of equipment Persy still had the energy to be a fan girl.

"You mean for me and (Name) or for you and L?" Traizo asked.

"I mean for me and you and for L and (Name)!" Persy yelled. The echo of your name returned in a ghostly way.

"What was that?" You asked.

"Logically it was an echo," Near's voice came from the communication device, similar to a cell phone in appearance, that you, L, Mello and the shinigami used to stay in touch with Watari and Near, who stayed at the bus analyzing all the data sent to them. It was more like a radio than a cell phone really, though it looked like a cell phone. Near was not very good at walking long distances, so he stayed behind to help Watari.

"Look, what a pretty flower," you heard Persy say. But the main concern wasn't the rare flora that surrounded you; it was the creepy ghostly echo and the bad feeling that the forest gave you, as if it was full of dark energy.

"Normal echoes don't come back in different voices," you pointed out. L, who was now wearing shoes, but not socks, simply placed his thumb on his mouth in thought, as he walked alongside you and Mello.

"This is supposed to be a haunted forest," Mello reminded you.

"That is highly illogical," Near replied via the radio. You noticed that the amount of static had increased.

You thought you heard Traizo making a comment about something Persy said but for some reason it was barely audible. There was the faint sound of Persy's voice replying, then Traizo's voice becoming even quieter then before.

"The existence of shinigami is also highly illogical," Mello retorted. The communication device only produced static in return. "Near? Watari?"

"I have a bad feeling about this, Traizo, Persy don't... stay behind? Where did they go?" You had looked back and they were gone.

Mello also stopped. "They couldn't have gone too far." He searched for the shinigami as well, but couldn't find them, plus the forest was thick and dark so that didn't help. "L, what do you think happened? "

"Yes, that's a good point." L nodded but you had a feeling he wasn't replying to what Mello said, the answer made no sense.

"L, snap out of it!" Mello shook him by the shoulders until L seemed to wake up from his trance.

"What's wrong?" L gave Mello a puzzled look.

"You looked like you were talking by yourself." At least Mello decided to carry his own supply of chocolates, which was good because if he had given it to the shinigami, he wouldn't have them right now, and he really needed to get some chocolate in his system.

"I was talking to the two of you. We were discussing theories about Persephone the first and the cause of the interference with the electronics in this forest." L then noticed that the shinigami were no longer following. "Where did Persy and Traizo go?"

"They have been gone for a few minutes, or at least a few minutes since we noticed, but you just kept walking and talking to yourself." You said.

"I was talking to myself?" L once again assumed his thinking position while, Mello finished his chocolate bar and made the wrapping into a ball. The blonde then let it fall on the ground. "Mello, you shouldn't throw the wrapper on the ground like that."

"If we walk by it again, we'll know we're going in circles," Mello explained.

It wouldn't sound logical if it were a normal situation, because you were walking in a straight line, but this wasn't a normal situation. "Isn't there a nicer way to mark our path?" L wondered, his thumb still on his lower lip.

"I'm all up for keeping the forest clean, but honestly, I'm more concerned about you being in a hypnotic trance," you reminded L.

"I believe that whatever is here, is trying to separate us by tricking us into believing that we are still with our companions." After a pause L added his characteristic percentage calculation. "I'm 92% sure."

"Then how would we know if we get separated?" You brought up a valid point.

"Hold hands," L replied. He would have used handcuffs, but they were packed up with the equipment Persy was carrying. That is how you ended up walking through the creepy, and possibly haunted, forest holding hands with L and Mello. It would have been so much nicer if the setting was different and you didn't have two missing shinigami to worry about.

"I'm sure they'll be alright," L sounded disappointed to have fallen for whatever hypnotism was at work, but it was obvious that resisting it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. In fact, the only reason why you and Mello weren't hypnotized, was only because you had not been targeted yet. After separating the humans from the shinigami, the most logical strategy would be to get rid of their leader next, so L was the target. You looked at him and he nodded as if he could guess what was on your mind. "I don't think this forest or rather the beings in it, are trying to hurt us as much as trying to make us lose our way."

"How will we find the underground castle without the shinigami?" You wondered.

"We'll have to rely on ourselves. If we-" L paused and stopped. He stared at the ground with a curious expression then jumped. "Sounds odd..."

"It's like a board covered with grass to hide it," Mello inspected the area.

"Could this be the entrance to the underground castle?" You inquired.

"We're about to find out," L lifted the board you realized that it was in fact covering a tunnel, but it was quite dark inside.

Mello retrieved a flashlight from his bag of chocolate bars. "Good thing I brought this." Mello turned on the flashlight. It looked like the tunnel wasn't too deep, so it wouldn't be hard to jump in. There were rocks sticking out of the sides that would make it easy to climb out as well.

L took the flashlight, he didn't want you or Mello to go first and be the first to face danger if it came to that. "If I say run, run back out the tunnel and climb out, don't stop to ask why, just do it." L sounded serious about that, which gave you an even more uneasy feeling. L jumped in and soon you and Mello followed him. "I'll go a few steps ahead just in case. Talk to me, I think that if we keep a real conversation, it might help us focus on reality even if we are technically announcing our presence, I don't think we can hide it anyway. I'm 17% sure of this."

"Only 17%?" You didn't like the sound of that.

"There is a chance the hypnotism could be too powerful to avoid," L sounded surprisingly calm.

"Shouldn't we come better prepared then, Mr. Distracted? Or maybe hurry?" Mello's suggestions were opposites but both to the extremes. Charge in or retreat. In the middle was the option to proceed carefully.

"We'll proceed carefully," L decided.

You and Mello continued walking down the dark tunnel behind L. "Why did you call L Mr. Distracted?" You asked as if to get a conversation going.

"He's been a bit distracted lately. I'm sure he's thinking about the case, but there's also something, or should I say someone, else on his mind," Mello grinned.

You looked towards L trying to read his movements in the dark. "Is that what you think?" True that Persy had been sneaking around at night to whisper in his ear 'fall in love with (Name)' when she thought he was sleeping while sitting with his feet on the chair. Then she would sink into the floor or go through the ceiling when he opened his eyes to reveal that he had been thinking, not sleeping. That was beyond the point, it had just been a while since he was around a girl, possibly the only women he had seen after leaving the Wammy house were clients or criminals, none of them were people whom he had the chance to talk to as a friend.

"Am I right?" Mello asked.

"I have been thinking about (Name)'s safety." It was true, yet L himself wondered if that was all there was to it.

"I appreciate it," you smiled though it was hard to see in the darkness. "Don't worry about me, I'll be okay."

Page 20: Trying to Start Anew

Everything was quiet for a while as the group proceeded through the dark tunnel. It seemed that L was in deep thought. "There are stairs up ahead."

After going up the stairs and out from under a rock, Mello stopped for a moment to stare at the ground. "Either there's someone else here who likes the same kind of chocolates I like, or we're back where we started. He picked up the wrapper and examined it closely. "I'm pretty sure it's mine."

"That made no sense; we were walking in a straight line but somehow ended up in the same place." L had his familiar thumb in mouth expression.

"Maybe the wrapper was moved?" You theorized.

"I don't know about the wrapper, but the passage was moved." Mello sounded alarmed as he pointed at the rock that had marked the exit of the underground tunnel.

"There was a tunnel there not too long ago. Maybe we are already trapped in an illusion," L had a strong feeling that was the case.

"If we are in an illusion how do we get out?" You asked.

The problem with being trapped in a fantasy world was not being able to tell for certain what was real and what wasn't. Even if it looked as if the illusion had been broken maybe it was simply changed. "We have to break it. If we focus and-"

The scenery suddenly began to change before your eyes. "That was fast..."

"It wasn't me," L said.

"Another illusion?" Mello asked.

"Finally!" Persy's voice echoed. Slowly the scenery began to settle from blurry gray to normal. You were inside a castle. "I thought you would never wake up," Persy complained.

"What happened? How did we get here?" You asked.

"I found the three of you unconscious at the tunnel that leads to the entrance of this castle. You were talking in your sleep too." Persy explained.

L, Mello and you looked at each other and at Persy. "Is she real?" Mello asked.

"Stay away from (name!)" Traizo rushed into the dark gray stone room and landed between you and L, he then proceeded to glomp you like a rabid fan boy.

"Hey! Put her down!" Persy complained. "You should be hugging me! She has L to hug her!"

As the shinigami argued, you suddenly screamed at the top of your lungs cutting off L who was about to say something. You squirmed until Traizo let you go. "You're not the real Traizo!"

"As I thought," L agreed. "I was about to say that this is the real illusion. They wanted to trick us into thinking we were waking up but it was the opposite."

"Then we're still in the forest?" You asked.

"Most likely," L replied.

"Who are they?" Mello asked.

"I don't know but that hug felt like fur and Traizo doesn't have fur," you said.

The fake Persy and Traizo laughed revealing themselves to be the shinigami twins. "It doesn't matter if you've discovered us."

"The mission was accomplished." They quickly retreated.

Things went back to normal and once again, you, L and Mello were in the forest. "Can you hear me?" Near's voice was heard from the radio once again. The static slowly lessened until he could be heard clearly.

"We hear you," Mello replied.

"Why didn't you answer? Watari and I were worried. Persy and Traizo returned by themselves. They were very confused because somehow no matter how hard they tried to go deeper into the forest they became disoriented and ended up where they started," Near explained.

"I see..." L quietly said.

"What are you planning?" Mello knew that when L got that look in his eyes, he was planning to make a move, most likely alone.

"Let's return. Going any further is impossible right now." You and Mello followed L back. It seemed that who ever was controlling the illusions in the forest had no problem with letting you leave.

That night at the hotel, Persy spent the entire time whining because the forest wouldn't let her see if her mother was there. Being so close to finding her, the princess became more interested in the search. Traizo sat by you, quietly pressing buttons on a little handheld videogame which Near rarely played with but still took along.

Mello tried to act as if he didn't suspect L was planning to run off on his own, which didn't quite work because L noticed anyway. Mello knew and so did Near and Watari, they knew L so well they could tell when he was planning something. When the entire group was gathered, L decided to share his theories. "I am 98% sure that queen Persephone the first is alive."

L already had everyone's attention, but that theory captured it even more, especially for Persy. "Really? Mom is alive? But I don't even know how old I am. I think I'm older than a human life time."

"You probably are. I suspect that she is trapped in that castle. She probably isn't conscious and is being kept alive in a way that isn't natural for a human. The king wants us to stay out of it. He must have a reason why he doesn't want us to find her. My conclusion is that she wishes to live and die as a human, but her husband cannot let her go. As a result she is forced to stay alive. He might be worried that you will find her and free her, that you may put your mother's wishes before your father's and let her live and die," L explained.

After a moment of staring at L's genius, Near and Mello quietly analyzed his words. "I agree," Near spoke.

"Me too," Mello added.

"I don't," Persy voiced. "I don't want mom to die. If I have a mother I want to meet her, not let her die."

"You hold no anger towards her, do you?" L asked.

"No," Persy replied. "If it is the way you say, then she didn't intend to leave. It's not like I grew up without her because she wanted it to be that way. She had no choice, I can't hold it against her."

"If that is so and she was in pain, would you let her meet her inevitable human fate then, if being kept alive artificially only brought her pain?" L asked.

"I don't want her to be in pain, but I don't want her to leave me. No one understands me in the shinigami world, not even daddy. Maybe she will..." Persy's human eye watered and somehow tears flowed from the empty skull as well. "I always wished I could meet her. I gave up; I told myself it was hopeless. I tried to move on, but I never stopped wishing..."

"Then you wouldn't want to see her in pain." L said.

Persy shook her head. "I guess I might, as you say, free her, if she asked for it, but why would she? Why would a human want to live and die? I always thought humans feared death more than anything."

"There are a number of reasons, but only she can say for sure," L replied.

After a moment of silence, Persy once again spoke. "What if it's not that? What if it's just daddy trying to take me back to the shinigami world?"

"No, the king was more flexible than I had initially thought. That is why he gave Traizo his mission." L explained. "After Forel failed to make Persy return to the shinigami world, the king decided to try a different strategy. He decided to grant his daughter's wish and allow her to be with Traizo. His mission was to take her back to the shinigami world. He expected it to work since he could threaten to kill (Name) if Traizo refused."

"Then my engagement with Forel is off, but then if that is so, why hasn't daddy done anything?" Persy wondered.

"That is because Traizo saw a flaw in the king's plans." L had it all figured out. "Obviously he doesn't want us to find queen Persephone. King..."

"Hades," Persy filled in.

"King Hades, thought he had the upper hand since he could control Traizo by threatening to kill (Name), but he was wrong. Although he could take (Name)'s life, she has to stay alive, otherwise Traizo would not listen if he has no hopes of saving her. Plus if Hades took (Name) prisoner, Persy would interfere if Traizo asked her to, correct?"

Persy nodded. "Yes, I don't think I could deny such a request."

"Taking Traizo prisoner is also out of the question for the same reason, Persy would also interfere. That means that hurting either (Name) or Traizo will not be of benefit to Hades' plans. He did try to get rid of Traizo before, but when Persy saved (Name), he realized just how far she was willing to go and knew that she would not give up no matter what. That is why the king won't try that again, he didn't want to agree to letting you go, but he realized he had no choice. How far would you go?" L paused and looked at the princess.

Persy had a determined look. "As far as giving up my own life if it comes that."

"Waiting for (Name)'s life to end or for Persy to stop loving Traizo are no longer options for Hades, because we were too close to finding queen Persephone. She will be the key to all of this." L finished.

You looked at Traizo. "The truth?"

"Yes," he didn't sound happy about admitting it, but he couldn't deny it, not to you. "What he said about the mission was true. I accepted it because I knew that once I came here I wouldn't have to actually go through with my mission. If I came and either of us disappeared, Persy would suspect that there was something going on and probably investigate. That's why I knew that you would be safe. King Hades doesn't hold all the cards as he thought; Persy has the upper hand when it comes down to it."

"I guess you're still a genius even if you're experiencing a crush. That's quite the story." The first part of Mello's statement seemed to momentarily lighten the solemn mood, while at the same time embarrassing you and L, if only for a few seconds.

"I agree as well," Near voiced. "On both conclusions."

L decided not to comment on that. He didn't have a crush, he was incapable of having feelings other than friendship and appreciation for someone, because that's as far as things worked out. It was as far as it could ever possibly get. He would only be heartbroken other wise, he was sure of it.

To be Continued

Credits to Nattie, who inspired the bean scene on Page 17.

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