With almost everything set up and in place, I settle myself in front of a microphone and keyboard in Ryuzaki’s room. He himself sits in front of at least three monitors and two extra laptops running certain scattershot and voice modification programs, ready to go.
On the TV we’d brought in here, we can hear Demegawa yelling commands to the mob of people outside a skyscraper in New York.
“Fellow Kira supporters! I urge you do not rush the building all at once! The traitors may attempt to blend in with the crowd to escape! I am Kira’s loyal servant and spokesman! You must listen to me! Oh, I know! Pull them from the building and bring them in front of the cameras! They’ll be a sacrifice to Kira!” Demegawa laughs insanely.
I raise an eyebrow again at the TV. “This guy’s a moron.”
“Compared to people like us, almost everyone is.” Ryuzaki responds, continuing to type in the last few commands. “And… done. Are you ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” I take a deep breath to calm my nerves, before ordering him, “Put me through.”
He types in a few more commands, before turning back to me and nodding.
“Hello, Near. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“Near, you’ve got no choice. You better evacuate.” The Second L advises, a smirk behind his words.
Near calmly responds, twisting his hair around his right index finger. “And what makes you think that I don’t have another option?”
“The fact that there aren’t any underground entrances on any floorplan for your building.”
“Hidden exits aren’t always put onto a floorplan.”
“It’s rather uncommon though, isn’t it?”
The SPK members watch the back and forth between Near and the Second L nervously, desperately trying to find a way to distract the angry mob outside in order to escape.
“Rather convenient timing though, isn’t it?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Out of all the other anti-Kira groups, ours gets targeted as soon as I start to suspect you.”
“I would like to know what evidence you base that on. After all, a suspicion that was long ago disproven can’t send someone to their death.”
Near gives a momentary pause, as if not expecting the answer. But before he can take control of the situation again, a static takes over the screens. He turns to the other SPK members, who begin to frantically rush around. “What’s going on?” He asks, and a heavily distorted voice sounds throughout the room.
“Hello, Near. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” The stylized name of Kira takes over the screens, effectively rendering them all useless as the white background blocks out the angry mob outside.
Nears eyes widen in surprise, before he orders, “Trace this call!”
While the other SPK members quickly get to their stations to track it down, the Second L’s voice cuts in. “Near, what’s going on in there?”
“Oh, hello there. I didn’t expect you two to still be in contact.” Kira’s distorted voice almost purrs, the smirk is so tangible. “Just in case you can’t see who I am, I may as well introduce myself. I am Kira. It’s a pleasure, L.”
There’s dead silence from the other side of the Task Force’s call. Taking this opportunity, Kira continues. “It seems you’re in a bit of a… tight spot, Near.”
“How do you know who I am?” Near replies, trying to remain calm.
“I’ve been listening in on your call with this Second L for a few minutes now. He’s already said your name. But that isn’t what’s important right now. I’ve contacted you for only one reason.”
“Oh? And what might that be?”
“To warn you.” Kira pauses. “You want to catch me, correct?”
“You’re a criminal. Why wouldn’t I want to stop you?”
“True, I’m not a saint, my hands are tainted with the blood of so many criminals. I am the world’s greatest serial killer to have ever existed.”
“So you don’t believe that you are in the right?”
“Oh no, I am in the right. And yes, if you were wondering, I am a god. Then again, there is no religion in the world where their gods are without blood on their hands.”
“You’re not a god. You’re a psychopath with a god-complex.”
“God: a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes. I have the power over human life and death, as such, I am a god. I have sacrificed any hope for an honest and hopeful future in exchange for the peace of the world. I have bloodied my hands as the only one who must do this. I have sacrificed my very sanity for world peace. In cleansing the world of criminals, I bring a peace to last forever. Oh, and I am a psychopath by a dictionary’s definition. You are simply not seeing the bigger picture, Near.”
Turning off his microphone for a moment, Near turns to the other SPK members. “Have you traced it yet?”
“We can’t track it down, Near! It’s like it’s being sent to us from a hundred different places at once!”
“What?” Near pales, before trying to retain his calm outer appearance, turning back on his microphone, and continuing the conversation with Kira. “What do you mean by that?”
“What is your goal in pursuing me?”
“To capture you and have you executed, to bring order back to the world.”
“In killing me, you’ll do the exact opposite.” Near pauses, prompting Kira to continue. “Think back through history, whenever an authority figure vanishes, people think they no longer have anything to fear. The police? Please, they’re nothing compared to Kira, to me, and with the greatest threat to criminals gone, they’ll go insane. By killing me, you’ll have done nothing but give the underworld enough courage to return to their crimes tenfold. In other words, I’m holding the entire world hostage.”
“You’re a monster.”
“You’re a spoiled child who only wants to win the game. Face it Near, you’ve been cornered. When Kira stops killing, criminals will figure out that I am dead, and the world will be worse off than it was before I used my power. Did you honestly think that after killing me, the world would return to the way it was? No, the entire planet’s come way too far to ever have a hope of going back. If you still think that having me executed is the best option, then by all means, continue to pursue me. Just know that killing me is equivalent to killing humanity’s first, fastest, and greatest chance at peace, and sending it into a downward spiral to worldwide war and destruction.”
A loud shattering sounds throughout the building, followed by a triumphant yell.
“Near, we have to get out of here!” One of the SPK members warns, looking anxiously towards the doorway.
“We’ll use L’s legacy and the anti-Kira protesters we hired. While the mob is distracted, we’ll make our escape.”
“There’s a slight problem with that plan, Near,” one of the other SPK members calls, “All of L’s accounts are dry!”
“That’s not possible.” Near calls back, “Look again!”
“They’re all empty! There is no mistake!”
“Damn it!” Near curses quietly, trying not to let the others know he’d lost his edge.
“Oh? What’s that, your plan not gonna work?” Kira taunts, the smirk obvious in his tone. “Don’t you have any other ideas?”
“Only thing he was good for, and he leaves me nothing.” Near grumbles, somehow forgetting his mic was on. “Damn L, never doing anything right…”
“I-I’m sorry?” Kira stutters, clearly taken aback.
“I-I’m sorry?” I stutter, shocked at what Near just uttered. I glance over to Ryuzaki, who stares at the screen with just as much shock as me.
“You heard that, then.” Near continues after sighing, irritation in his tone. “Like I just said, L was useless.”
“Useless?” I continue, trying to regain any ground I’d just lost. “He came closer to catching me than you ever could.”
“But he still failed. He played this game against you and lost. L was just a loser.”
Slowly, Ryuzaki and I turn to one another, speechless. ‘Near said those things to me years ago, but… he still believes them? And repeats them?!’
I take a quick breath, before trying to throw Near off again. “If L was such a loser and you aren’t, then why was he so much more feared than you? I never heard your name until today.”
“Because I am his true successor. This Second L just stole his title.” I raise my eyebrows in mild shock. ‘Didn’t expect him to reveal that little tidbit. And to Kira, no less.’
“I’ll keep that in mind. But what do you believe, that a carbon copy of L can surpass him? That isn’t something that is simply done.”
“It’s always been my goal. When you’ve been compared to one being all your life and told to become them, it feeds a seed of resentment. So yes, I do want to surpass L. Step over him. Step on him, if you so prefer.”
“So you don’t care at all that he’s dead…?”
“Why would I? It only means that the bar he set stopped climbing. I didn’t need him.”
“So, you think that if you catch me, you’ll have surpassed L.”
“Exactly.” A commotion breaks out on Near’s side, followed by some shouting that I can’t make out. “It seems we’ll have to postpone our conversation, Kira. We’ll talk again when we have you in custody.”
“Yes, we’ll speak just before you die and I rule the world. Goodbye, Near.” I turn to Ryuzaki, and motion for him to cut the connection. He does so quickly, but numbly. For a few moments, we stare at each other. “Ryuzaki, I-”
“Excuse me, I need some time to think.” He stands, and quickly walks out of his room. I stare after him for a moment, contemplating chasing after him, but decide against it for now. With a sigh, I turn to the equipment, and begin unplugging everything to put away.
Near was running.
The mob outside had broken in, and after searching most of the building, they reached the main control room where Near and the others had been. By that point, the SPK members had run, trying to get around the mob and outside.
Along their way, though, they met a few of the Kira-fanatics. Bearing weapons, the civilians rushed the group.
“I’ll hold them off, keep going!” Anthony Rester shouts, drawing his gun and aiming it at the fanatics.
Near silently nodded, before he and the only other two SPK members continued to flee. The five Kira followers brandished their makeshift weapons before running at the lone guns man.
“He is against Kira!” One of them shouts. “He doesn’t deserve to live!”
Anthony fires a few rounds, taking down three of the men, but the other two reach him before he has the chance to kill them.
“For Kira!” One of the two shouts, bringing his pipe down on Anthony’s head and bashing it in.
Anthony Rester was dead.
But Near kept running.
There were two repeats of the previous scene. Near lost both Stephen Gevanni and Hal Lidner to their need to keep him alive in order to capture Kira.
Now Stephen Gevanni was dead, his jugular cut.
Hal Lidner was dead as well, a gunshot to the head.
Finally, Near burst out of the building and into a back alleyway. Fearing for his life, he kept to the back roads.
His entire team was dead. He was alone. He was helpless.
But Near kept running.
Having quickly texted Light to arrange a quick meet up several hours ago after the whole SPK Kira raid, I grabbed my purse and other necessities for the next couple hours. Glancing over my shoulder at Ryuzaki, I call out, “I’m heading out for a bit to talk business with Light. When I get back, I’m not letting you stay silent over this.” He doesn’t respond verbally, and only nods his head once. With a slightly irritated sigh, I head out.
We had arranged to meet in a nearby park, but Light had never specified where exactly to meet up. As such, I spent a good twenty minutes wandering around, looking for him. By the time I’d found him on a decorative bridge in a tucked away corner of the park, the sun had long ago set, leaving the park to be lit by the lamps placed sporadically throughout. The lighting, stars, and setting gave off a very romantic atmosphere, making Kiyohime scoff.
“Try hard. I’ll bet he knows you’re pissed and was trying to set the mood to get some action.”
While I roll my eyes, I agree with her. Light was trying too hard to set a mood here. All this picture needs is some candles and a picnic basket with red wine, cheese, and bread for it to be a picture.
Without a word, I walk up beside him, and stare off over the railing. Light glances towards me, before doing the same. “That was you today, wasn’t it?” He asks, eyes not on me.
“I knew there was a possibility that you might’ve let your true emotions slip whilst talking to Near. I was attempting to redirect Near’s attention and stall for time while the mob broke in and hopefully killed them all.”
“You don’t trust me anymore.”
“We’ve barely talked true business at all these past five years. The most we’ve accomplished is occasional small talk and rare conversations on various topics.”
“Do you want Misa to know you’re a part of Kira?”
“I just don’t see a point in keeping her around. She’s useless, and a liability. So no, I don’t want her to know about me. All the more reason to get rid of her.”
“She’s the only one who has the eyes, and we’ll need them to kill Mello and Near.”
“I have the eyes, and Mello is dead! There’s no point in keeping her around!” Light’s head snaps towards me, and a look of fearful fury crosses his face as he grabs me by my shoulders.
“You made the deal?!” His voice rises in volume, and I realize my mistake. “Mirai, how could you?!”
“I was being held hostage for a month! Excuse me for wanting revenge on a criminal who wronged me!”
“Your lifespan was halved!”
“That doesn’t matter!” I lie to try and backtrack, to regain ground I’d just lost. “Mello is dead. That’s what’s more important here.”
“Your life is more important than his death!”
“There’s nothing we can do about it now, so fighting each other over this won’t solve anything!” With nothing else I want to reveal powering my argument on that topic, I switch to the offensive. “Then again, what about you? Earlier today, with the way you were talking, anyone who wasn’t blind could see that you were smug over Near’s HQ being broken into.”
“What?” He seems taken aback by my sudden topic change.
“You were practically screaming at Near that you’re Kira. What were you thinking, letting your emotions slip like that? If I hadn’t come in at that point, he’d have probably turned the rest of the Task Force against you.”
“I’m not as incompetent as you think, Tsukino-san.” He bites out the formal honorific like an insult. And it works, making me take a step back in shock. “I’ve done just fine as Kira on my own. I bet I didn’t even need your help in the first place.”
“Okay dude, now that was low.” Kiyohime states, both insulted and impressed.
Not wanting to hear any more, and with tears in my eyes, I take a few steps back. “Very well, Yagami-kun.” I say, my voice trembling. Light’s eyes widen as he realizes the effect his words had. “If you no longer require me, I’ll be leaving now.” I bow to a very respectful, formal, and distant thirty degrees. “Goodnight.” Without letting him say another word, I turn on a dime and sprint away.
On my way home, I try desperately to wipe the stray tears from my face and eyes, to make myself presentable. While only a couple blocks from my flat, I try taking several deep breaths to compose myself.
‘I need to talk to Ryuzaki. I should focus on him. Focusing on someone else’s problems will distract me from my own.’ With that decided, I walk home at a much more leisurely pace, arriving at my front door mostly calmed down.
I enter my flat, before closing the door, greeting Genzai, who nips affectionately at my heels, and calling out in a steady voice, “Ryuzaki, I’m back.” I walk into the living room, where Ryuzaki is seated. Without a second thought, I dump my jacket across the couch arm, and sit across from him, before ordering, “Okay, now talk.”
It takes him a minute, his hands gripping his knees more forcefully today than usual. “Lovely weather we’re having.”
He sighs. “I… I knew that my successors didn’t have a choice in following in my footsteps. They were orphans. They were bright. And I was likely going to die at some point or another, so the world would require a replacement. I knew that they would resent having little to no choice in the matter, but… I had at least thought that they’d respect me.”
Genzai’s head shoots up, and he quickly jumps down from his spot next to me on the couch and trots towards the door. Our eyes follow him, before meeting. I pull out my phone, and slowly get up. I text Ryuzaki, “sm1 list” translating to, ‘Someone’s listening’.
He texts back, “Check out?” ‘You want the honours?
“I’ll, kp tlkn” ‘I’ll get them, you stay here. Keep talking.’
“I had honestly thought that. It seems I was wrong.” Ryuzaki keeps talking, and I stalk my way silently over to the front door. Once I reach it, I move Genzai back with my foot, slowly turn the knob, and throw open the door.
Genzai attacks the eavesdropper, pinning them down with his natural strength.
“Genzai, heel.” I order, and the hundred pound Dobermann growls once more at the person on the ground, before slowly getting off of them. The moment Genzai is out of the way, I lash out to grab the person’s arm, and forcibly drag them inside before locking the door behind us. I only manage to glance at their face once I throw them against a wall.
“L-Light?!” I exclaim aloud, taken aback for a few moments, giving him enough time to get out of my grasp, though he had placed me between him and the door, blocking his one and only escape route. “Why are you here?”
“I-I…” Light stutters in confusion, before trailing off.
“Light, you say?” Ryuzaki’s voice floats over to us from the living room, and he walks into full view of us both. “I was wondering when I’d see you again.”
Understandably, Light pales like he’d seen a ghost. “But- that’s not possible. You’re dead.”
“Wait, he didn’t know I was alive?” Ryuzaki turns to me, and I shrug.
“Never got around to telling him.”
“That seems like too large a topic to avoid. So what now? Tie him up?”
“What?!” Light exclaims, losing his composure by the second.
“Shut up Light, the grownups are talking.” I scold, before turning back to Ryuzaki. “It’d be a good idea.”
Five minutes later, having been no match for two people equal in size and strength to him and a fully grown Dobermann, Light sits on one of the couches, tied with various ropes we had around the house. It was enough to make him snap.
“What the fucking hell is going on?!”
“Language!” I chastise, smacking him upside the head gently. “All will be explained in due time. Or, well, it was, I planned to tell you that Ryuzaki survived his death five years ago once Near had been dealt with, but nooooo, you had to play super spy and listen in on our conversation through my door.”
“But he was dead!”
“Yeah, you have no idea how hard it is to convince people to try and resuscitate someone who has already been declared dead. Then keep it off the record. Then smuggle out their unconscious body.”
“Sure, this excuse always sounded shady.” Kiyohime scoffs.
“But…” Light stumbles for words. “Why?”
“Why? Why would I save him, you mean?” Light nods, and Ryuzaki almost looks offended. “Because Ryuzaki is my friend, he’s smart and cunning, and an integral part of Kira.” Light looks ready to have a heart attack himself. “Has it been so long that you forgot? Ryuzaki’s been a part of Kira for years now. It was only a few months in that he joined us, don’t you remember?” I send Light a sweet, calming, and utterly threatening smile, praying that he played along.
Luckily for me and my plans, he catches on. A look of realization slowly dawns on his face, and he leans his head down, unable to hold it in his hands due to them behind tied behind his back. “I can’t believe I forgot that. L, our greatest threat, became a part of Kira. How could I have forgotten something that monumental?”
“Glad I refreshed your memory.” I smirk, before standing, and walking towards the kitchen. “Since I’m feeling more civilized now, I’ll make us some tea.”
Twenty minutes later, I walk back into the living room to see Light and Ryuzaki talking like old friends. For a moment, the scene was startling. Two of the world’s worst enemies were actually on the same side now. Because of me. With a self-satisfied smirk, I set the tray down on the table and distribute the tea and cakes.
Light, still bound, glances at the dessert in front of him, before glancing up at me, unimpressed. With an unashamed grin, I get up and quickly untie him, before settling back down next to Ryuzaki.
“Now, onto business.” I announce, gaining the surprised expressions of both of the males.
“Business?” Ryuzaki cocks his head slightly in confusion, a strawberry speared on his fork.
“Kira.” I smile. “Well, we’re all together again; free to speak as we so wish. I don’t see why we shouldn’t. There are some matters I’d like to discuss with both of you, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like doing it twice. Three of the world’s greatest minds working together as one? I doubt anything would be able to stop us.”
“Then what do you want to discuss?”
“How we work, who we kill, and what our next few steps will be. We need to be smart, we need to be humble, and we need to be smarter than the enemy.”
“Then what do you propose?” Light asks.
“Truth be told, I think Kira’s gotten too big. How many people know about the notebook or have used it? There’s us, the Task Force, the SPK, Misa, and a few others that are already dead.”
“And we return to this.” Light rubs his face in irritation. “You want us to get rid of Misa.”
“Not kill, if that’s what you’re thinking I mean.” I explain, trying to defend myself. “She hasn’t committed any crimes. We just need to take away her Death Note, and we’ll take away her memories.”
“Memories?” Ryuzaki glances towards me, a very mild concern in his eyes.
“They’d return the moment she touched any Death Note, so it isn’t that inhumane.”
“And why do you think we should do that?” Light asks, a challenge written on his face.
“The larger Kira is, the more people that know how to use the Death Note, the less secure we are. Besides, Misa knows that you, Light, are Kira. And she isn’t exactly that bright. She’s a liability, and could get us all killed.”
“You want me to get her to send her notebook to you after having given it up?”
“Not quite. Have it sent to criminals around the world and handed off several times, before being sent back to me.”
“Don’t we still require Misa, though?” Ryuzaki pipes up. “She is the only one who has the eyes.”
“False.” Light glares at me, and I look away from them both.
“I… traded for the eyes a few weeks ago.” I tense, ready for Ryuzaki’s verbal scolding.
“Mirai!” There it is. “I could understand if it was for nothing, but half your life? Why?”
“To… to see Mello’s real name. I… I wanted him to be brought to justice.” I sigh, before turning back to meet their disappointed gazes. “It only means that Misa is completely useless to us from this point on. There is no point in keeping her around.”
“Then what do you propose I do with her after I’ve taken away her Death Note?” Light asks.
“Dump her. Pretty obvious that you don’t like her that much, the way you hardly respond to her obvious advances.”
“There will be repercussions. She’s the jealous type.”
“So I noticed. Then don’t make moves on anyone else for a while, at least until she’s moved on.”
Our conversation carried on like that for several hours, before Light glanced at the clock and realized how late we’d been planning. We said our goodbyes and Ryuzaki went back to his room, before Light pulled me out into the hallway for a quick, private conversation.
“Mirai, I… I can’t believe you did this.” He keeps his face out of my view.
“Did what?” Genuinely confused, I ask.
“You… brought our greatest enemy back from the dead, and stuck him on our side. How?”
“A clever trick I learned with the notebook, and a simple case of very minor… serious retrograde amnesia. Ryuzaki didn’t remember anything of the Kira investigation. Naturally, I used this to our advantage.”
He laughs under his breath. “You’re more cunning than I ever gave you credit for.”
“What else am I good for?” I lean up against the wall. “So, why did you really come here?”
“I…” He looks away, sheepish. “I came to apologise. What I said in the park was highly uncalled for. And for that, I’m truly sorry.”
I smile sweetly at him, no underlying threat this time. “Forgiven, Light.” I kiss him quickly, before stepping back inside my flat. “Goodnight.”
I close the door, and lean my head against it. ‘Well, that went better than expected. Light didn’t immediately try to kill Ryuzaki, and Ryuzaki didn’t lose much of his faith in me. Two of the world’s worst enemies, now working together… how interesting.’