“Come on in.” I open the door wider and step aside, and he moves in quickly. Closing the door behind him, I manage to keep my composure. “Have a seat in the living room. Would you like some tea?”
“Yes, thank you.” He sits down in the spot I had recently vacated, pulling his knees up to his chest, just like L does.
I walk normally to the kitchen, and while the water is boiling, I take out my phone and text Ryuzaki, “near here, hide”.
After turning off my phone, I take the tray of tea to our unexpected guest. I set it down on the coffee table, and sit across from Near. He takes his teacup, and holds it for a minute.
After a few awkward moments of silence, I ask, “Near, what the hell possessed you to come here, of all places, alone?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You had a decent set up, from what I’ve heard. Why leave it and come all the way to Tokyo without any backup?”
“What makes you think I don’t have backup?” He sets down the teacup, and twirls a lock of his hair around his forefinger.
“There was no one in the hallway with you. The floorboards are really loud around all the corners to let someone know if others were there. There aren’t any places in your clothes that can hide bugs, and nobody’s broken in recently. Well, without getting caught by the Dobermann… so there aren’t any bugs placed around my flat. Therefore, you’re without backup.”
“Perceptive. I can see why L liked you.”
“I just need to know, Near, why did you come here?”
“This is quite possibly the only safe place for me in Japan. L determined that Kira was in the Kanto region, and you happen to live in the area.”
Kiyohime bursts out laughing again. “He- he thinks this is SAFE?! He’s just signed his effing DEATH WARRANT!”
I raise an eyebrow at him. “What makes you think this place is safe?”
“Well, for one, you used to work with the Task Force, so I’ll be able to get close to them, and Kira isn’t likely to suspect that a former member who dropped out is aiding me. Besides, you didn’t kill me when we first met, and I’m still alive even now, so the chance of you being Kira is currently zero percent.”
‘And that idea will get you killed.’ “So now you want my help to catch Kira?”
“If you are willing to help me, yes.”
“What do you need me to do-” The doorbell rings, interrupting me. “Please, excuse me.” I stand, and while walking to the door, I grumble to myself. “Wasn’t expecting anyone today, now there’s a party at my place.” I open the door, and see Light. “Ah, Light-kun. What brings you here?” I give him a strained and fake smile, trying to tell him that something was wrong.
“There was…” as he talks, he notices my strained expression, and changes his words, “something I wanted to talk to you about. May I come in?”
“Yes, please do.” I step back, and while he takes off his shoes, I continue in a whisper, “Watch what you say. It’s Near.”
Light completely freezes, before turning his head to me slowly. “You’re… certain?”
I nod, before gesturing towards the living room. “Come on in,” I say in a normal voice, “I made tea.” I lead him over to said living room, and Light pauses in the doorway. “Light, this is,” I glance to Near before introducing him, as if asking for permission to call him by name. Near shakes his head slightly, so I make a name up on the spot, “Nathan Pond. He’s a friend of mine. Nathan-san, this is Light Yagami, we used to work together.”
“Nathan Pond, huh?” Kiyohime laughs. “Close enough to freak him out, though far away and general enough to be a coincidence. Clever girl!”
“Light Yagami. Son of the late Soichiro Yagami, and current leader of the Japanese Taskforce against Kira.” Near states, his poker face on. “I’ve heard a lot about you. Tell me, what do you think of Kira?”
I blink twice as Light sits down across from Near. ‘Well, that was straight to the point.’ I pour Light a cup of tea, before sitting next to him.
“Kira?” Light responds naturally, falling back into his old acting habits. “He’s proud, for one. Clever. Calculating. Has a god complex, and power to match. What he’s doing isn’t normal, and needs to be stopped.”
Near nods. “I see. And to what ends would you go to catch Kira?”
“Any ends necessary.” Light contemplates something for a moment, before asking, “You sound quite interested in the Kira investigation, Pond-san. Is it personal?”
“Yes, it is.”
“And why is that?”
“Five and a half years ago, Kira killed one of my friends. She’d been falsely accused of murder, so while she was in police custody, Kira killed her without even looking at the evidence. The real murderer was caught a week later. Kira is a self-righteous fool who believes himself to be perfect.”
I stare thoughtfully at Near. ‘Five and a half years ago? That would have been around the time that we were using Yotsuba. Great, now this vendetta is personal, and I can’t blame him. Higuchi was an idiot.’
Only a couple moments later, there’s another knock on the door. I stand, “Excuse me.” On my way over to the door, I mutter, “Who’s it gonna be now? Mello?”
I open the door, and am immediately pushed aside by the emotional wreck that runs into my flat. “Light, how could you?!” An irritating voice screeches as she runs inside, directly at Light. Misa, her appearance a complete and utter mess, throws herself against him just after he stands up. “We were going to get married! We were in love! And then you dump me for this-this harpy!” Misa was pointing at me, now.
“Excuse me?” I reply in indignation and disbelief, but Misa ignores me.
“I should have known that she would steal you from me!” I enter into the living room, and she turns on me. “You bitch!” She grabs me by the collar, and throws me against the wall, knocking a picture frame off the shelf. “We used to be friends, and then you stole my boyfriend, my fiancé! How dare you, you whore!” She slaps me across the face.
Light grabs her from behind, and pulls her off me. “I think you should leave, Misa.” He states coldly, glaring daggers at her.
She turns into a blubbering mess. “B-but Light, w-we were gonna g-get mar-”
“I said, get out.” Light hisses the words menacingly, and she yelps, before running out, sobbing.
I sigh, rubbing my forehead. “I’m sorry about that, Nathan-san. I didn’t think she’d show up… here…” Near was gone from the living room, and I start looking around. “Nathan-san?”
“Tsukino-san.” Near’s voice calls out from the doorway, and I turn to see him holding several pieces of notepaper, each covered in writing. “I’ll see you at the trial, Kira.” He bolts out the door, and I pale.
Near stole the pieces of the Death Note.
He knew I was Kira.
“And he’s getting away, move you moron!”
I bolt out the door after him, and look around the deserted hallway. I sprint towards the elevator and stairs, hoping that he’d gone this way to escape, rather than hide. I press the elevator button, but nothing happens. Glancing at the numbers, they were descending.
‘He’s getting away.’
I throw open the door to the emergency stairs, and leap down them, five at a time. I’m down the seven flights of stairs within minutes, and in the lobby, I see the front doors swinging closed, and a boy all in white sprinting because his life depended on it. I give chase, but as I make it out the door, Near had vanished into a crowd.
“No…” I murmur, slowing in defeat. I’d lost. We were done for. Near would go to the police, and we were going to be arrested.
They would try to kill us.
Ryuzaki would die again.
When I wouldn’t, they’d experiment on me.
I’d be kept hidden from the world.
Light would be killed in front of everyone.
“No…” Tears fall from my eyes as I suffer a mental breakdown. “That’s it. We lost.”
“For fuck’s sake, you moron! Look up!” Kiyohime screams at me, prompting me to look at the sky.
A glorious, beautiful, black notebook was falling towards me, and landed at my feet. The cover was decorated quite simply with four white katakana. デスノト
“Kiyohime… is this yours?”
“Yes, now write down his fucking name!”
Without asking why, or what the catch would be, I lunged to grab it from the ground, and bolted inside. I practically flew up the flights of stairs, and burst into my flat again. Light and Ryuzaki were pacing and sitting nervously, respectively. Upon my slamming open the door, they both jumped to look at me. Without a word to either of them, I ran to grab a pen, and on the very first page of the Death Note, I scrawled, painfully slowly, Near’s name.
“Nate Rivers,” I say aloud, breathing heavily, “you thought you won. But you didn’t account for my trump card.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Light and Ryuzaki staring at the notebook in front of me, as I stare at my watch while the seconds tick away. “Forty. Thirty. Twenty. Fifteen. Ten. Five, four, three, two, one, zero!”
Near was running again, but this time, he smiled.
He had all the proof he needed to convict Kira, who was Mirai Tsukino and Light Yagami, together. He’d done what L couldn’t; he’d avenged Melody, his friend from Wammy’s House who had been wrongly killed by Kira.
Near had beaten Kira, and he had done it by himself.
He dodged the other pedestrians in the crowd, and ran towards the nearest police station, which was only a fifteen minute sprint away from Mirai Tsukino’s home.
Near cursed her. She had been Kira ll this time, but because Light had been so much more obvious than her, L had assumed that Kira was working alone. Near had made the same mistake, and it cost him the entire SPK.
But now, he had her. Near had them both. Justice was within his grasp. The station was within his sight. A smile spread across his face, before his heart convulsed. Near froze, a terrified expression on his face, as his heart ceased to beat. He fell to his knees and grasped for the papers he’s taken from Mirai’s flat, but his fingers failed him.
He fell onto the ground, his arms splayed out. People shouted, an ambulance was called, and lights were flashing.
But Near didn’t care anymore.
He hadn’t won.
I smiled, knowing what had been done. In relief, I began to laugh. My laugh escalated until I sounded insane, and I quickly composed myself for appearances’ sake. Turning to the boys, both Light and Ryuzaki looked at me, frozen in either fear or worry.
“Well?” Light broke the silence. “Did you do it? Is Near dead?”
“Yeah.” I nod, smiling insanely. “He’s dead.”
“Those papers in his hands…”
“The pieces of the Death Note I’ve been saving. They were full, anyway. No one can use them.”
Ryuzaki pipes in. “Is that Misa’s Death Note?”
“No.” Light responds, “The lettering on the front is different. Misa’s was like a scrawl, this is Katakana.”
“Then whose Death Note is it?”
“It’s mine.” Kiyohime’s voice says aloud, and both Ryuzaki and Light look to me.
“Where’d you get it, though?” Light asks, “And when?”
“I picked it up outside, on the steps, just after I chased Near out of the lobby.” I respond, before reaching up to my face to brush a single lock of hair out of my eyes, but the hand I raised wasn’t my own. I froze, staring at the claw that moved on my command.
“Mirai?” Light asks cautiously. “Are you alright? You got really pale suddenly-”
I jumped up, grabbed the notebook, and ran to my room. I threw the notebook on top of my desk, and stared at the floor-length mirror. Red lights surrounded by black met my eyes, and the skin on the girl in the mirror was deathly gray. Though with my general appearance, the colours were all distorted horribly, with added features. Her hair looked just like mine, down with a single braid over her left shoulder, but all done in a brilliant blood red. Two ribbon like horns emerged from the mirror girl’s head. White, bony spines ran down her arms and back, and folded bat wings added to the horrifying effect. Where I expected to see a red dragon-scale dress ending in tatters, the mirror-girl still wore my clothes.
When I moved, she moved. She mirrored everything I did perfectly. When I looked down at myself, I saw what was in the mirror, but I could hardly believe it.
“Kiyohime… is this you…?” I ask the air, hesitantly.
“Took you long enough, brat.”
“When I dropped my notebook, I entered the human world entirely. Since I am you, and when you pick up a notebook you are able to see the owner, you see me as you now. Within a few months, we’ll have completely merged together. Soon, there won’t be a Mirai, or a Kiyohime. Our minds will have melded together into a single being.”
“So this is it? The price I pay for peace is my mind?”
“Are you not willing to pay it?”
“If not, then too bad, sucker. We’re melding into one being, whether you like it or not.”
“Mirai, are you alright?” Ryuzaki calls, prompting me to turn around to look at the doorway. Both he and Light stand there, looking at me, worriedly.
After a moment, I respond, “Can’t you see it?”
“See what?” Light retorts. “I can’t see anything different. Did something happen?”
“They haven’t touched the notebook. Keep it that way, and they’ll never see you as the monster you are now.”
I smirk, grab the notebook, and throw it in a drawer, before proceeding to sit on my bed. “Sit down, kiddies, it’s story time.”
Ryuzaki looks worried. “Mirai, what’ve you been hiding from us?”
My smirk grows. “My Shinigami, Kiyohime. And a few mysterious powers she gave me.”
Off in the distance, Ryuk laughs.
“Well, Kiyohime, welcome to the human world. Doesn’t look like you’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.”
“I hope my human’s been entertaining.”
“Oh, she has. Her and Light both. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do next. These plans of theirs are all so… interesting.”