Anecdotes from the Story of the Century

Independence

About thirty-four days into Light's confinement—thirty-seven into Misa's—he asks Matsuda upon his return with her from the To-Oh campus why they are almost two hours late.

Assuming that they've done nothing wrong, she replies with a satisfied grin, "Wow, you were keeping track? Relax, Ryuzaki, we were just out fooling with fireworks." Matsuda tugs on his shirt collar, his grin more sheepish.

He resists the reflex to glance back at either of them. After all, he can't afford to take his off of Light or Misa for even a second. If he recalled correctly, fireworks were dangerous. "Mr. Matsuda, why would you allow Miss Crocker to play with fireworks? Either of you could've been seriously injured."

"What are you, our mother? I wasn't by myself. Matsui was with me, the whole time. He could give you a complete play-by-play, if you wanted."

Neither of them is terribly good at lying. "W-well, Ryuzaki, since it's July fourth and everything, and Elin said that July fourth is Independence Day over in America, and she wanted to see fireworks, I thought it would be okay if we celebrated. A-a little." He hastily adds, "W-we didn't do anything big, I promise! Just firecrackers and sparklers and stuff."

She had been feeling particularly homesick today, lamenting to Matsuda about how she would be spending the holiday cooped up in a "crummy" suite instead of watching the annual fireworks spectacular with her family in New York.

"Have you brought any back?"

"No. Why, did you want some?"

"No, thank you. I'd better have Watari check you and the vehicle, in case you have brought fireworks here without my knowledge."

"What? I thought you were all-knowing," she snorts.

He'd had a feeling that assigning Matsuda as her chaperone wouldn't be the best idea. No good chaperone would let a witness toy with fireworks for any reason. But he can't worry about coming up with an adequate punishment for either, not when he has suspects to watch. Even though the killings have resumed some two weeks before…

Besides, out of everyone on the team, Matsuda fits in the best in the college setting. And he has to utilize him somehow. Not to mention, he keeps her preoccupied. The pros currently outweigh the cons.

Scanning Light's lurched form in his cell, he says, "From now on, I expect you two to return straight to headquarters after school. If you do this again, I will have to reassign another member of the task force as Miss Crocker's chaperone. If you truly wanted to watch fireworks, I'm sure you can watch them on TV."

He hears her groan. He knows of her frequent complaints of having to be here. She wouldn't have to be here at all if it weren't for that reckless, nosy attitude of hers.

She chokes, "Yeah, but it's not the same! Geez, Ryuzaki, your eyes must be so fried up from watching monitors all day, you wouldn't know fun if it came up to you wearing a rainbow wig and a big tye-dye T-shirt that said, 'Hi, my name is Fun. How's it going?'"

She doesn't see him pout. Personally, he would find such an individual rather suspicious. "Perhaps, but at least watching it on TV would be safer. Other than that, I see no difference between the two."

Seeing that he can't be reasoned with, she has no rebuttal; since Matsuda is clueless (and not really the argumentative type anyhow), neither does he.

For an ultra-genius, he knows disturbingly little about life beyond the monitor.

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