I pour over every detail, every outcome, and every single little thing that could go wrong. I work tirelessly in order to identify the singular plan that could have nothing go wrong. After several hours, I finally discover it. A large smile breaks across my face, and I let out a quiet, evil laugh.
After a short night’s rest, and a few hours of preparation for the sudden funeral, the entire Task Force goes to attend. Dressed in a black kimono, I take a separate car from the others.
“I’d… like to have some time alone with them, and I’d rather not inconvenience anyone by making them wait for me.” I give by way of explanation. While Light raises an eyebrow at my mannerisms, no one questions me on them.
I drive by myself to the Western styled funeral home, as we had agreed that Ryuzaki, having been from England, would have preferred the style over the traditional Buddhist funerals we usually have here in Japan. On the way, I call up an acquaintance of mine.
“Is everything ready?” I ask the assistant over the phone.
“Yes ma’am. The dummy’s been delivered to the location you requested.” He responds.
“Thank you, that will be everything for today. Goodbye!” I hang up after the short conversation, and run through the rest of the plan in my mind. ‘That should be everything. I hope to dearest god that I missed nothing.’
I arrive at the funeral home, and meet the others inside. Quickly enough, we move to the small chapel for a short ceremony. Each of us got up to speak words of parting towards the dead, with myself going last. Throughout the entire ceremony, however, it appeared as if I was in a daze. I was, in a way, though it wasn’t because I was saying my final goodbyes to one of my only friends. Rather, it was because my mind was racing at a billion miles an hour to ensure that my plan went perfectly. As such, I don’t know what I said.
With the ceremony complete, we move the bodies to a separate room to say our final goodbyes. Again, I go last, this time to ensure that my plan goes smoothly. Once my turn comes along, I solemnly go into the room alone, and close the door behind me. At this point, I drop my façade, and smile like a maniac. I turn to Ryuzaki, and mutter, “Well, Ryuzaki, though our parting was short, I do hope you enjoyed your respite. However, I fear that it has just about come to an end.”
I make my way over to the closet, open the door, and pull out the creepily accurate dummy of Ryuzaki. I drag it over to his coffin, and lay it on the floor. I then turn to Ryuzaki’s body, and carefully pull him out. Once he’s lying on the floor, I carefully place the dummy in the same position that Ryuzaki had been in just a few moments prior. With that arduous task complete, I drag Ryuzaki’s real body over to the closet and hide him inside. As I prop him up I apologise. “Sorry, Ryuzaki. You’re gonna have to wait a little while longer before I can help you.” I close the door, and make myself again appear every bit the mourning friend.
I exit the room, and a few employees go in to close the coffins and take the bodies to the gravesite. We leave the funeral home and follow the hearse to the graveyard. The coffins are removed from the hearse, and taken to the empty graves. As they’re lowered into the holes, I allow myself to cry for Watari, knowing how he was like a father to Ryuzaki.
The funeral workers begin to fill in the graves, and we watch in solemn silence. When they finish, they leave, leaving the Task Force to mourn.
After some time, the other members disperse, eventually leaving me by myself with the graves. I kneel down before Watari’s headstone, and with tears in my eyes, I apologize. “I’m sorry, Watari-san. You didn’t deserve to get caught up in this mess. You were a good man. Quillsh Wammy was your real name, huh? A good man indeed. I’m sorry that you had to be killed, but you wouldn’t understand. Peace can only truly be brought about when everyone understands the punishment of their sins.”
Now, before the funeral, I had gone over the kimono, and everything else I was wearing to ensure that no bugs or cameras had been placed. After all, what I’m about to do would easily get me arrested on suspicion of being Kira.
After lingering a few more minutes to ensure that no one was watching me, I go to my car, and proceed to drive randomly around Tokyo to throw off anyone who would dare be tailing me. No one can say that I’m not careful. When I get back to the funeral home, I again go over the car to ensure that no bugs, cameras, or trackers had been placed while I was away. With that ensured, I sneak around to the back of the home, and in through the window into the room where I had been only an hour and a half prior. Luckily, it’s no longer in use, so I can get in and out quickly. I go to the closet, and drag Ryuzaki’s body out, before arranging everything to look normal. I take his body out through the window, and back to my car, strapping him into the passenger’s seat. Making sure again that no one was following me, I drive off towards a certain apartment complex that I’d just rented from.
Once I find a parking spot, I jump into the backseat and quickly change into some street clothes that I’d brought along with me, before doing the same for Ryuzaki.
“Oh gods, your face is priceless right now!” Kiyohime roars with laughter as I try not to make this any more embarrassing than it already is.
‘It’s necessary. You already know how it is.’
“I know, but still! It’s hilarious!”
Rolling my eyes, I only swap his shirt and jacket with one of his many white sweatshirts, before reaching into the back and pulling out a small bottle of sake. I pour a miniscule amount onto a handkerchief, and wipe it around his mouth to give off the scent of the alcohol.
I drag his body from the car, before wrapping his arms around my shoulders as if he’s drunk. I walk into the apartment main area with a tired and mildly annoyed look on my face, and any who glanced my way quickly resumed whatever they were doing before, buying the façade. I manage to get an elevator to myself, and hit the seventh floor button. As the elevator dings, signally my arrival, I continue to drag him to the one bedroom flat I’d rented specifically for this purpose. Once inside, I lock the door behind me and drag Ryuzaki towards the bedroom, before carefully laying him on the bed and cleaning the sake from around his mouth.
With that complete, I sit in an armchair I’d dragged in, before taking out the singular page of the Death Note I’d taken from Rem, which proudly displays Ryuzaki’s real name.
I pull out the Death Eraser, and with one last glance at Ryuzaki’s peaceful state in death, I erase his name. Back and forth, I wipe the eraser, only taking four swipes to remove it completely. I fold the page and hide it in a hidden pocket in my jacket alongside the eraser, and glance back to Ryuzaki expectantly.
It doesn’t take long for the reversal to kick in, as he begins to shift and groan. Quickly, I stand to go grab a glass of water for him, along with a generous slice of a cake I’d baked quickly last night. When I return to the bedroom, I see his eyes open, and he struggles to sit up.
“So, you’re finally awake.” I slump in relief, half having believed Kiyohime was messing with me, that the eraser was fake and I’d have to destroy his body for fear of being questioned. “Took you long enough. We only planned for you to be out a day, and you took this long to wake up.” I hand him the water as he struggles to talk, but he eyes it uncertainly. “Relax, it’s tap water. Not poisoned or anything.” When he still refuses to drink it, I roll my eyes, place the cake on the bedside table, pour a small amount of the water onto my hand, and drink it, before handing him the glass.
After he takes a few gulps, he clears his throat, before asking me, “Who are you? How did I get here?”
My eyes widen in response. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I… was getting onto a jet with… a friend… to go to Japan to investigate… No, first of all, I’d like to know your name. I won’t answer your questions until you answer mine.”
I raise an eyebrow. “I don’t recall you ever being this bold, L.” His eyes widen as I call him by both his real name and alias. “Very out of character. Well, if the last thing you remember is getting onto a jet to come here and investigate the Kira case, then you likely don’t remember me. My name is Mirai Tsukino, and I was working alongside you for the majority of the case.”
“Mirai…” He tries out my name. “It sounds familiar, almost comforting. It’s…” He trails off, and his eyes widen marginally in realization. “I know you. You were… my first friend.”
“That’s right.” I sit down on the bed next to him.
“Why don’t I remember?”
“It’s… a very, very long story.” I start. “Are you sure you want to know it?”
“I have a right to know it.”
In the depths of my mind, I laugh maniacally, alongside Kiyohime.
“You’ve got him right where you want him. Brilliant, brilliant fool.” She sings my praises, and momentarily, I worry for her sanity.
“You and Wammy-san, though his alias was later changed to Watari, landed in Tokyo, and you began your investigation alongside the Japanese Police Force. Along the way, you infiltrated To-Oh University on a haunch that Kira was attending there. On the day of the opening ceremonies, you met me, and a friend of mine, Light, and decided that we would be… helpful in the investigation. We worked together, and finally deduced where Kira was. We tracked him down, and caught him, only for him to suffer a heart attack, like the rest of Kira’s victims. After that…” I make my voice hitch, but continue. “The Task Force, they… they started getting really suspicious of you. Kept asking themselves who you really were. I… a few weeks ago, I overheard them talking about how they thought that…” Intentionally, I trail off, leaving him to prompt me to continue.
“They thought what?” He falls into my trap, and Kiyohime laughs at how well this is going.
“They… thought that you were Kira yourself.” I admit, and his eyes widen. I continue before he can interrupt and cross-examine me. “They… planned to kill you, along with Watari-san, because they thought they had proof. They didn’t know that I’d overheard them, though. You, Light, and I planned to save you both by faking your deaths, but something went wrong. As evident now, you lost your memory of the last few months, and by the time we were supposed to fake Watari-san’s death, they had figured out what we were doing and they…” I hiccup to add to the effect, “they got to him first. At this point, they think you’re dead as well.”
He looks at me in horror, before becoming very suspicious. “And how do I know that you aren’t lying? That you weren’t a kidnapper who had killed Watari in order to get to me?”
“I’m no fool, Ryuzaki. That was your alias, too.” I add in, thinking quickly. I stare into his eyes to add to my truthfulness. “I’m not stupid enough to think that I could fool you. I’m telling you the truth. The proof of that is the fact that I know your true name, L Lawliet.” He stares in shock at me. “You told me your name in case this exact thing happened.”
He analyzes me for a while, before looking into his lap. “Why would I do this?”
I’ve never seen him so dejected, and I look at him sadly. “So you could live, and so we could finish what we started. Now eat your cake, you haven’t eaten much of anything in the last few days.”
As he hurriedly consumes the Angel food cake covered in whipped cream and strawberries, I ponder. ‘What’s our next move? What’s the next step we need to take?’
He breaks me from my line of thought by asking, “What was my relationship with you?”
Yeah, that snapped me back into the real world pretty quickly. “I’m… not sure what you mean.”
“I understand that you were my first friend, but was there something more between us?”
“E-Eh?!” I’m red by now. And stuttering. Damn it. “N-no! We were g-good friends, n-nothing more!”
“Hmm.” He looks away from me. “I see.” If I didn’t know how to read his slight facial expressions by now, I’d have thought he was indifferent, but no, I see how pleased he is at this development. “Then I suppose this Light is more than just a friend to you?”
Our little banter went on for quite some time, and we got to know each other again. Eventually, I glance at the clock, and pale at the time.
“Oh god, they’ll be frantic.” I mumble to myself, having promised to be back at Headquarters almost a half hour ago. I gather my stuff, explaining to Ryuzaki all the while. “Today was your funeral, and they expected me back a while ago. Who knows what they’ll do if I don’t show up soon…” I slip on my shoes, and make to leave, though before I do, I stop at the bedroom doorway, and remark almost off-handedly, “You know, I can almost understand why they thought you were Kira.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“You said so yourself. Kira is childish and hates to lose. You’re also childish and hate losing. You’re also intelligent enough to have gotten away with it, too.” I turn, and make ready to leave again. I call out to him one more time, “You need your rest. Stay in bed and regain your strength, I’ll be back tomorrow!”
Before I close the door, I hear him call back, “Good night, Mirai.”
I quickly race back to Headquarters, and upon my entering the main doors, I’m attacked by a weeping Matsuda.
“Oh Mirai-chan! We were so worried!” He yells as he practically tackles me, though by some feat of strength, I manage to shove him away from me.
With eyes dead inside, I turn to everyone else, and bow to apologise. “I’m sorry for worrying you all.” I turn and silently walk towards my flat.
For the next ten days, I follow a general pattern. Get up, get ready for the day, act dead around the Task Force, check the car for bugs, wiretaps, cameras, or trackers, drive over to see Ryuzaki, talk with him, slowly suggest reasons as to why the Task Force could have thought he was Kira, answer any of his questions with one consistent story, go back to Headquarters, and go to bed. I managed to get through all ten days of that near silently, before I managed to interrupt the Task Force in a conversation.
“It’s been ten days since Ryuzaki’s funeral. Guess we’re not gonna die, after all.” I hear Matsuda sigh in relief, and quickly come to a conclusion to hang back a few minutes.
“We know Watari’s true identity now, but we never found out anything about who Ryuzaki really was.” Aizawa adds, and I hear the slight crinkling of a newspaper, indicating a page being turned.
“Yeah, that’s true. Who would’ve guessed that Watari was actually a famous inventor?”
“The paper says he founded orphanages around the world using the fortune he inherited from his patents.” Another crinkling of paper.
“He was a fine man. A hero.”
“But it doesn’t help us now. We can’t continue investigating using this place as our base with L and Watari gone. This is tough…”
After a moment, Mr. Yagami asks, “Light, how’s it going?”
“I should be able to transfer the system and most of the information out of here by tonight.” Light responds, and I hear him typing on one of the computers. “It’s weird though, I almost feel as if I’m stealing.”
“That’s understandable.” I say, my voice monotone, as I walk down the stairs towards them. “You’re taking the files from this server without the direct permission of the owners. In many cases, it would be considered theft; however, I believe a reprieve may be allowed in this case.”
“Oh, Mirai-san.” Aizawa looks over to me, before cautiously asking, “How… are you feeling?”
I stare him in the eye before answering. “I still feel half-dead, but…” I close my eyes and take a deep breath. “I can’t dwell on this forever. I can’t be of any use if I’m always brooding and wallowing in self-pity. Though I’m likely to be sensitive to the topic, I refuse to be held back by it anymore.” My eyes open with a small flash of rage. “In order for me to move past this entirely, I’m going to have to make sure the bastard that killed Ryuzaki is behind bars.”
I see them all smile in relief at my confession, thinking I’d finally moved past the incident.
“Good to have you back, Mirai.” Light waves me over, and I take the chair next to him at one of the computers, my eyes no longer dead. “I’ve created a voice filter identical to the one Ryuzaki used. We can use it to make the police think he’s still alive, and give them orders like we’ve been doing so far, but…” He asks the inevitable question. “Who’s going to take the place of L? Where will he work from? And what do we do with the notebook?”
“Come on, what’re you talking about, Light?” Matsuda asks, strangely enough the voice of reason again. “You and Mirai-chan are the only ones who can take on the role of L.”
“I-I don’t know. Ryuzaki was killed because he challenged Kira. That’s not something I’m eager to do.”
I cut in with my thoughts. “You’re better suited to this than me. It took my ten days to find my resolve; you’re more of Ryuzaki’s mindset already.”
“Besides, I’d be fooling the people of the world.”
“I can understand how you feel, but Mirai-san’s right. You’re really the only one of us who can do this.” Aizawa agrees with me.
Matsuda jumps in. “That’s right, even Ryuzaki said so, himself! You would be capable of succeeding L.”
I glance over at Light’s face, which is hidden from everyone else. He’s smirking. After a minute of silence, he decides. “I understand. Alright, I’ll do it.” Everyone exhales in relief. “But I won’t be like Ryuzaki. I won’t take big risks like challenging Kira directly to gather clues. It’s just not me.”
Mr. Yagami nods in agreement. “Yeah, it’s probably better if we play it safe. Ryuzaki may have been a little too confrontational.”
“In that case,” Light continues, “I’ll be able to do the same sort of work using both this computer and my own. In fact, it’ll be possible for me to act as L in the comfort of my own room. I can be Watari as well. But, it’ll be difficult to pull off with mom and Sayu around.” He turns to his father. “Things would be easier if I could rent a one-bedroom apartment.”
“Well, considering your age, it wouldn’t look odd to anyone if I let you move out on your own.” Mr. Yagami supports.
“Hey, yeah! And then we’ll be able to use Light’s new apartment as our new Task Force Headquarters! That’s a great idea!” Matsuda encourages.
“All that’s left to figure out now is what to do with the notebook.” Aizawa states.
“It’s really not that difficult.” Light responds, shrugging his shoulders. “There’s six of us here, and we know none of us will ever use the notebook, so we’ll just have one of us take the notebook somewhere and hide it where no one else will ever get to it.”
Matsuda slowly raises his hand, as if volunteering, before Aizawa says, “Please Chief. It’s gotta be you.”
“Uh yeah, Chief! We can count on you!” Matsuda laughs nervously. “You’re a pillar of justice, after all!”
“You want me to?” Mr. Yagami asks, almost hesitantly. “Alright.”
“We’ll avenge Ryuzaki together!” Matsuda declares, looking pumped.
“Yeah. Kira is still out there, somewhere. We’ll catch him, that’s a promise.” They all nod in agreement.
“Well then, why don’t we have a little party to celebrate Light becoming L number two?”
“Quit fooling around! Now’s not the time for stuff like that.” Aizawa scolds.
I shake my head at their antics, and focus in on my thoughts. ‘Let’s see, now. I’d say that everything’s on schedule, and that almost every preparation is complete. There’s just one thing though. Ryuzaki did tell me, before his “death”, that he had successors. He also grew up at Wammy’s House. If I recall correctly, he also said months ago that he grew up in England. Therefore, it’s likely that his successors will be there. It’s unlikely that there will be more than one Wammy’s House in the UK, so that’ll make it easier for me to find them and quickly get their identities in case they decide to take action against us.’
Later that night, via a little letter I’d found on my bed, I meet Light up on the rooftop.
“I suppose you burned the letter, as I instructed?” He asks only when I come into his view.
“Who do you take me for? Misa?” I force a laugh. “Ryuk, good to see you again.” I nod in the Shinigami’s direction.
“Mirai! Good to see you’re still alive.” He responds, almost honestly. “Hey, now that L’s dead, does that mean you’ve finally settled the score with him?”
“Yeah.” Light admits, a slight hint of sadness in his tone.
“So, in that case, I guess things are going to get pretty boring from now on.”
“Not quite.” I respond. “This is only the beginning. Everything is out of our way.”
“From this moment on, we’ll show you the creation of the new world.” Light continues for me, before pulling out Rem’s Death Note. He also reveals a pen, and hurriedly begins to write down lists of criminals’ names.
Over the next few weeks, we write down the name of every criminal we can, including the real names of Wedy and Aiber. Though I should feel bad for their deaths, I don’t. It’s like another part of my humanity died when Ryuzaki did. We even write down the names of all the Yotsuba group leaders, and I make sure to write down Namikawa’s, if only to ensure that I wouldn’t spare a criminal simply for knowing them.
“If we’re not keeping secrets anymore,” Light brings up one day, “I may as well tell you that Misa’s moved in with me.”
That grabs my attention. “Why? What purpose do you have for keeping her around?”
“She still has the eyes, and for all we know, we might need them again sometime. Besides, she might have taken a piece of the Death Note to make sure I wouldn’t dump her.”
“You honestly think she’d be intelligent enough to think ahead like that?”
“You certainly don’t, but I’d much rather overestimate her than underestimate.”
“Speaking of secrets, L told me something the day he died.”
“You wait until now to tell me?”
“Hush. I could say the same to you. Anyways, he said that he had to choose his successor soon, but didn’t know which one would’ve been a better fit. That tells me that there’s more than one candidate, and that there’s more than one person who could take his place. Now they could be fooled by your acting, but we should be prepared for retaliation from them.”
In early December, I inform Ryuzaki and Light, separately, of course, that I had some traveling to do. Over the four weeks that Ryuzaki had supposedly been dead, I’d managed to extract some information from him, including the nicknames of his two successors. Near, and Mello.
On December fifth, I walk up the steps to Wammy’s House, grateful that I’d been practicing my English with Ryuzaki in my spare time, having gotten over the worst of my accent.
“Oh, hello!” A woman greets me in English from the front desk. “What can I do for you today?”
“I would like to see Roger Ruvie, please?” I say, forgetting to use contractions while busy translating mentally.
“Roger? Is he expecting you?”
“Alright, I’m just going to need your name first.”
“Of course, Miss Tsukino. Just sit over there, I’ll be right back.”
She leaves, and I sit on one of the couches. While sitting there, I glance out the window to watch the children play.
“Miss Tsukino?” She comes back, and I turn my attention back to her. “Roger can see you now, just follow me.”
We walk quietly through the halls of the orphanage, and the woman leads me to an office, opening the door for me.
“Thank you.” I say, nodding to her, before my attention is called over to the old man sitting behind a large desk.
“Miss Mirai Tsukino, is it?” He asks me, and I nod. He extends his hand for a handshake, something I’d luckily picked up on, and I greet him properly. “I’m Roger Ruvie.” We sit down across from each other. “Now, what is the reason for your visit today? Are you hoping to adopt?”
“No sir.” I take a deep breath, and look down at the desk before responding. “As I believe you know, L is dead.”
He straightens up. “Yes, I’ve been made aware.”
“Before his death, we worked on the Kira case together.”
“Miss, I find that hard to believe. L never worked with anyone.”
“His pride was not so large that he refused to have help.”
“Unless you can show me some form of proof that you two worked together, I will have to disbelieve you.”
After a moment of thinking, I come to a conclusion, and lift my feet onto the chair, before mimicking Ryuzaki’s usual stance. “If he ever sat in any other pose than this, his deductive reasoning would drop by forty percent. He was also an insomniac, and ate about three times his weight in sugar on a daily basis. Will that suffice?”
He stares at me a moment, before nodding slowly, suspiciously. Breathing a sigh of relief, I shift to sit normally. “So, what is the reason of your visit, Miss Tsukino?”
“L wanted me to see his successors, Near and Mello, and tell them a few things. Would it be alright if you could call them here?”
“…Very well.” He admits, before getting up and paging them, but by their codenames. I almost sigh at the lost chance.
A few minutes later, two boys come into the room. One of them all dressed in white, even with white hair. The other has chin-length dirty blonde hair, and is dressed in casual street clothes.
“What is it, Roger?” The blonde boy asks the older man, patiently waiting, though still curious.
“It’s L. He’s dead.”
“What was that?!” The boy exclaims, his voice rising in agitation. “Roger, what’d you just say?!”
“I’m afraid L is dead.” He repeats, a sad look etched onto his face.
“He’s dead?! But-but how?!” When Roger doesn’t respond, he leans across the desk. “Was it Kira? Did Kira kill him?! C’mon Roger, you’ve got to tell me!”
“But he promised me he’d find Kira and execute him! And now, you’re telling me… that he’s been killed?!” The boy grabs Roger by the collar.
“I’m afraid so.” I cut in, a depressed look back on my face.
He turns his wrath towards me. “And who the hell are you?”
“Mello! Language!” Roger scolds.
“My name is Mirai Tsukino. I worked with L while he was in Japan.”
“And how do we know that for sure? How do we know that you’re not Kira yourself?!” Mello accuses, stalking towards me.
My face betrays no emotion other than sadness. “Because L trusted me enough to tell me that you were his successors. Were I Kira, not only would L not have trusted me enough to give me said information, but there was no way that I could have obtained it without his express permission. If you’d like more proof, then ask me any questions about L.”
“What was his birthday?”
“October thirty first. When we tried to throw him a birthday party, he refused, calling them, ‘pointless, I haven’t had something so childish in years’. Didn’t stop me from baking him a three layered cake, didn’t stop him from eating the entire thing in one sitting.”
He stares at me a moment, mildly alarmed, before continuing. “How’d he sit?”
“Like this.” I get into the position. “He told us that if he ever sat normally, his deductive reasoning would drop by about forty percent.”
“What was the most notable thing about his face?”
“The bags under his eyes; they made him look like a panda. He didn’t take so kindly to that nickname, so we stuck with his alias.”
“What about-” He’s interrupted by the sound of falling pieces. I peer around him at the other boy, who holds a puzzle board over his head, pieces falling every few seconds.
“It’s obvious that she knew him. She had us summoned here by request. Doesn’t look like she was able to solve the case, either. If you can’t win the game, if you can’t solve the puzzle, then you’re just a loser.”
Though I bristle at such an insult, not only towards me, but towards Ryuzaki as well, I hold my tongue in check. “It isn’t wise to speak badly of the dead, Near.” ‘Especially when not only their killer, but their best friend, is within hearing distance.’
After a moment, Mello spins around to face Roger again. “So, which one of us did L pick? Me or Near?”
“He hadn’t chosen yet.” Roger admits, looking down. “And now that he’s gone, I’m afraid he won’t be able to.”
‘If only you knew…’
“Mello, listen. You too, Near. Can’t the two of you work together?”
“Alright, sounds good.” Near agrees immediately.
After a moment, Mello objects. “It’ll never work, Roger! We can’t do this together. You know I don’t get along with Near. We’ve always competed against each other. Always.” After a few minutes where no one says anything, he continues. “You know what? It’s fine.” That gets Roger’s attention. “Near should be the one to succeed L. He’s not like me. He never gets emotional. He just uses his head, like it’s a game or a puzzle.” At that moment, Near completes his puzzle. “And as for me, I’m leaving this institution.” He turns to leave, and walks away.
Roger stands up, “Wait, Mello!”
“Don’t waste your breath. I’m almost fifteen years old. It’s time I started living my own life.”
He slams the door, and I sigh. “I’m sorry, had I not come here, it’s likely that confrontation would not have happened.”
“No.” Near states, pulling my attention towards him. “It was likely to happen sooner or later. You only brought the inevitable.”
“Of course.” I nod half-heartedly.
“If that was everything you needed me for, I’ll be going.” Near packs up his puzzle, and leaves.
“Was there anything else, Miss Tsukino?” Roger asks, turning to me again.
Something occurs to me, as I begin to continue planning ahead. “Actually, would it be alright if I got to meet some of the other children?”
“Some of L’s other successors?”
“Not necessarily, just any of the other children. Though adoption wasn’t on my mind when I first came here…” I look out the window, letting my sentence hang.
“Of course, Miss. They’re all outside playing right now, feel free to go outside and join them.”
I stand. “Thank you, Mr. Ruvie.”
I leave his office, and continue on through the hallways back the way I’d came. I talk momentarily with the woman at the desk, before simply sitting outside on the patio, watching as the kids played with a serene smile on my face.
I get onto a plane back to Japan later that night, continuing to plan out my next few steps. Once home after the twelve hour flight, rather than immediately going back to either headquarters or Ryuzaki’s apartment, I start making phone calls.
Another few days later, I suddenly show up to the apartment, a suitcase in tow. Upon closing the door behind me, I proceed to talk and pack the few belongings I’d brought for him. “C’mon, we’re leaving.”
Having regained most of his strength, Ryuzaki peeks his head from around the doorway. “Where to?”
“Another apartment complex, somewhere nicer.”
“Cause I can’t live at the Task Force Headquarters anymore, little too risky, and cause I refuse to sleep in the same room as a guy I’m not either related or married to.”
“You know a marriage license is cheaper, right?”
“I’m not marrying you to save money. Besides, legally, at this point, you’re still dead. Can’t marry a dead person.”
“Unless you’re in France, and were engaged to them before they died.”
I stop packing, and turn to him slowly. “Seriously?” He nods. “That- that’s just messed up.” I shake my head to get back on track. “No, I’ve already made preparations. We’ll have more options and opportunities in this other complex.” I grab the suitcase, and say, “There’s really no point in staying here, anyway. I needed an apartment quickly, and this was the best place I could get on one-night short notice. It’s an upgrade, Ryuzaki.”
“You keep calling me that. You know my real name now, so why call me by my alias?”
“I’m used to it, and calling you a letter seems a bit too unfamiliar and formal for you. Come on, they’ll be expecting us soon.”
We drive across the city, and arrive at a much cleaner and modern apartment complex. After checking in and getting to the seventh floor, I open the door to the expansive flat and walk in, inviting Ryuzaki in after me.
After exploring the two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining, family and general rooms, Ryuzaki says out of the blue, “Mirai, there’s something that’s been bothering me.”
“Oh? And what’s that?” As I walk around the kitchen, ensuring that there are enough ingredients for any of my outrages, Ryuzaki sits at the island.
“You tell me that I came to a conclusion about Kira’s identity rather early on. If that’s the case, then why wasn’t the entire case solved at that point?”
Here it is. He’s bought everything I’ve given him. What I say now will determine everything. I take a deep breath, and let the prepared explanation come smoothly. “You figured it out after only a few weeks. From what I’ve heard, you confronted Kira and somehow managed to get away with your life by telling him that you were L. At that point, had he killed you, he would have been revealed. His hands were tied by that simple sentence. However…” I take another deep breath and tried to calm my nerves, “he started talking to you. What he said just seemed to make sense. Soon enough, you started seeing things from Kira’s perspective.”
“That doesn’t sound like me.”
“It doesn’t. That’s how good Kira was at getting inside your head.”
“But who was Kira?”
“That guy I’ve told you about, Light Yagami.”
“Then how wasn’t the investigation completed at that point? Surely I had enough evidence to arrest him on even a suspicion of being Kira.”
“As did the others, and so they did. However, even when he was deprived of any outside information and under twenty-four hour watch, Kira kept killing criminals whose names were just broadcast. He was released and declared innocent.”
“But why? If he was Kira, wouldn’t he have messed up?”
“Oh, believe me, he did. That’s how you managed to track him down so quickly. However,” I look down, and let a smile take over my face as I turned my back to him, “there were only a few simple facts that kept the investigation from arresting Light on the spot and having him executed.”
“And what would those have been?”
‘Oh, you fool, your mind is so easily manipulated. And here I thought that the great L couldn’t be defeated. Oh well. This was certainly more entertaining.’
“Agreed. Too bad though, the rising action was fun while it lasted.” Kiyohime laughs evilly from the back of my mind.
“The first being that Kira was never working alone.” I can feel him stare at me in shock. “The others working with him were of such a similar mindset that you could hardly tell them apart. Their killing patterns were distinguishable, though, if you knew what to look for. Light killed criminals who didn’t serve enough time, or hadn’t repented of their crimes. The second member of the First Kira killed criminals who got away with their crimes due to their social standing, wealth, and power. The third person of the first Kira killed those who had done their time, only to repeat any crime they’d done before.”
“You know more of this than any of the others. How?” I hear the curiosity in his voice, alongside a slow realization, and I turn to face him, smile in place.
“Because I am the second part of the First Kira.” His look is one of pure horror, though my smile turns sad to keep up appearances. “And you were the third.”