Death Note Redux

Logical Love

The realization that she was in imminent danger, running head long into peril, had done strange things to L's heart and mind. He felt he'd hidden his affliction well enough to keep the suspicion of the task force members at bay, but now that she was back he could hardly be expected to contain himself.

Part of him wanted to yell at her, to admonish her for taking such a risk, but she'd done the right thing and he couldn't fault her for it. That broadcast had to be stopped, she'd been within the facility and had taken the initiative to do what needed to be done.

Her lack of response to his confession was attributed to shock, as her eyes were wide and her lips set in a small 'O' shape.

He found it difficult to understand why she hadn't slapped him yet, felt that he didn't deserve to hold her this way. He'd done many wrong things, had turned a temporary blind eye to criminal activities that worked in his favor and as much as he'd never cared before he recognized that he was socially inept. These were all strikes against him, ones he'd never thought mattered because the idea of being with anyone in this way hadn't been considered.

In any event there were words that needed to be spoken, facts he needed to find out.

"What happened?"

That was what she wanted to know. What had happened to make him act this way? Was it her recent brush with death? Being in a building so clearly targeted by a Kira and deciding to take matters into her own hands had probably forced him to reconcile his feelings for her.

Well, she hadn't planned it, but she couldn't say she wasn't glad for it.

Haruka caught him off guard when she kissed him, threw her arms around his neck and made him stumble with the force of her attack, but she'd pulled away only a moment later, talking a mile a minute.

"I went to the bathroom after my interview, thought it was kind of weird that no one was around, but I didn't know what was going on when I saw Ukita dead so I just called you because I recognized the building to make sure no one would leave so they couldn't die like I'd seen and since I was already there I decided to stop it myself and if I had left my phone on you would have given me away by calling it or something so I had to turn it off and I'm not sorry. Also, I'm going to have to tell Light about what I saw because otherwise he'll be suspicious and he doesn't know that you know so don't say anything about it because I don't want to deal with another tantrum that could end with me dead and I don't think Light did this."

Her words were spoken so hastily that he had difficulty comprehending what she told him, but most of what she expressed had already been surmised. She'd seen a death and had the opportunity to prevent it. She was of the opinion, one that he held as well, that this Kira was different than the first.

"You will explain the circumstances to the task force," he directed, opening the door and walking ahead of her, hands in his pockets and back bent.

She almost sighed. His telling her he loved her was a shock; she'd hoped he felt that way, had tired to keep her own feelings from growing in that direction for fear that he never would. To hear it from him, to know that he meant what he said, made her heart melt, but Ryuzaki had returned to his usual state of mind and she wondered if they would ever have a chance to play at being normal, or as normal as L could ever be.

She wanted to reach for the hem of his shirt, wondered what he would think of her for that childish display of affection, but didn't do it. Even though there was time, a moment she could have used, she kept her hands to her sides. What would reaching for him accomplish? He would pause for half-a-second, walk forward and because her grip would be loose the fabric would slip from her fingers; she would blush, embarrassed by her lack of tact, and it would be noticed by task force.

Maybe he would have been happy? Maybe he would have smiled that odd smile of his?

Now she would never know.

The thought lodged itself in her mind. Never knowing. Never knowing if it would have made Ryuzaki happy to have her reach for him. How many other things would she never know?

Just a few steps away now. The end of the hall was right there and they'd be in view of everyone else. Her father. Matsuda. Ukita. Mogi. Aizawa. Light. Even Watari. "Ryuzaki," she spoke suddenly, pivoted and moved back down the hallway before he had the chance to object. "Come here for a minute. There's something else I have to tell you."

She heard him sigh, but he did follow her.

All the way to the other end of the hall she went, passing the door they'd been closed behind only fifteen seconds ago, and when he stood behind her she took a deep breath, closed her eyes and ordered him to, "Turn around!"

He considered this command, thought of questioning the purpose. What was she doing? He wanted to know, but as he examined her he realized that she stood stiffly. Agitated. To question her would bring no satisfactory answer, so he did as she said and turned his back to her.

"Did you do it?"

"I did."

Haruka bit her lip. This felt stupid, but which was worse? A little humiliation or never knowing?

Her face was cherry-red before she took the very edge of his shirt between her finger tips and she couldn't stand to look at him when he glanced back in surprise, but she forced the question from her lips because she had to know. "Does- does this make you- happy?"

He blinked. She'd stopped their return to the task force, delayed telling necessary information, to find out if this strange little act of fondness would cause him to have a favorable reaction? Truly he could not understand her reasoning, thought he might be doomed to never know why Haruka did most of the things she did, but if he was to be honest then, "Yes." In fact it wasn't just this moment that made his heart swell, but that she'd brought shame to herself, and he was sure she did feel ashamed, to find out if something she did would make him happy. "However, I want to know why you felt this experiment couldn't wait."

"It's depressing," she muttered as her light clasp tightened. "It's really depressing, but I thought if I don't do it now, maybe I never will." She hated that her vision blurred, but she looked to him anyway. "I thought of doing it before and didn't. I thought it didn't really matter, but then I realized it might have made you happy and I would never know." She wiped at her eyes furiously with the unoccupied hand. "I'm not even really sad right now. I don't know why I'm crying." An uneven breath. "I just had to know and I had to know now because what if–" she didn't want to say it. "What if I don't get to find out later?"


As it turned out L didn't have a reply to give her after that admission. Instead he looked away and stood still for another moment before heading toward the living room once again. She held onto his shirt the entire time, right to the edge of the room.

Now she was made to sit between her father and Light, while the latter attempted to wipe her eyes with his handkerchief. She swatted his hands away, insisted she was fine, and launched into an abridged retelling of the last few hours.

"I was already at Sakura TV for an interview. My manger went to bring the car around and I went to the bathroom. It seemed a little eerie, I didn't see anyone, but while I was in there I overheard some people talking in the hallway about what was going on and I decided I could stop the broadcast myself." Light didn't believe her, she knew he didn't; his hand flexed on her knee.

"Haruka," he father spoke. "That was foolish."

"No, what would have been foolish is someone else rushing in there. They would have just died right? I was there already. I didn't have to go outside or anything." She argued her case. "I wore that disguise, I'm positive no one recognized me and-" she broke off, her eyes widened and she cringed. Soichiro wasn't going to like this part. "And, I might have knocked out a guard and stolen his gun and maybe it's still in my purse because it has my fingerprints on it so I couldn't leave it behind and maybe the surveillance should be wiped because if anyone goes back to look at it they'll see me go into a dressing room and the person who held the staff at gun point come out, but the point is I stopped the broadcast and got the tapes, right?"

If there was ever a moment for her father to go into cardiac arrest this was it, even Light looked genuinely shocked. L's expression hadn't changed, but his eyes were locked on her and the rest of the task force was in stunned silence.

"So you know, Dad, those self-defense classes were a really good idea. Really."


It was nearly two hours later that she was allowed to leave the presence of the group. The weapon would be appropriately disposed of, the surveillance had already been taken care of and she was made to explain, more than once, exactly what had happened. By the end of it Haruka found herself hoping she would never again find herself in a situation like that, if only to avoid the interrogation that came afterward.

Light's false concern was sickening, so much so that she'd shrugged away from him, to his silent fury, when he tried to put his arm around her. She knew she'd upset him, but she couldn't help feeling that this was all his fault. Those dead newscasters were Kira's fault. Was this not exactly what she'd warned him about? A crazed supporter, obviously after Kira's attention, had gone haywire. This new murderer had somehow acquired the same power and was trying to win approval from the original.

If he thought she was done talking about Kira's numerous missteps he had another thing coming. This would add fuel to her fire and, even though she knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was absurd, she hoped it would cause him to rethink what he'd been doing. Maybe he would stop and find a way to undo the damage.

It was ridiculous and impossible, but that tiny flame refused to flicker even now. Human nature was a powerful, foolish thing and she'd learned that she wasn't as immune to it's effects as she'd thought she was. Never had Haruka thought herself prone to wishful thinking, but it seemed she couldn't help it.

When he followed her into her bedroom she wished he was just concerned. When he closed the door behind them, turned the lock, she berated herself for hoping he wasn't about to try what she knew he was about to try. When he stood behind her, put his hands on her shoulders and leaned forward to kiss her cheek... She didn't even know what she wanted anymore.

There was no point in wanting something that would never be hers.

Light wasn't coming back. Her brother was gone, dead, replaced by Kira and he was the one she'd been engaging in sexual acts with. He was the one her father stubbornly defended, totally oblivious to the truth of the situation. Kira had killed hundreds of criminals, had now spawned a copycat who didn't seem to hold the same ideals and now he was with her.

She wouldn't waste these few minutes.

"I was right, right? Is this your kind of apology, Onii-chan?" She could feel his annoyance. Clearly this wasn't what he'd had in mind. "Well, I don't want it. I've had a long day because of Kira and his lack of forethought and I really just want a bath. Alone." Back off.

He was grinding his teeth, she could hear the scraping, and his voice was tight when he replied. "You haven't missed me at all have you?"

For whatever reason that was the final straw for Haruka. Tears of fury pooled and she whipped around to face him; the angry crimson shine in his eyes was proof enough that he didn't care what she'd been though. She could act tough, but at the end of the day she'd held a gun to the face of a man, never mind that he was a scumbag, and threatened his life.

Kira didn't care.

"You think I don't miss you?" She could hardly say it. He didn't know anything. "I can't even describe how much I miss Light." He didn't understand what she said, of course he didn't and he never would. "But right now, right this very moment, I am fucking tired!" She pushed him and he was too appalled by her language to do anything about it. "I'm fucking tired and I know you don't care. I know you don't care and I know you don't understand because if you did you wouldn't be asking me that question. Now get out!"

He didn't move, just stared at her. It was like he couldn't believe she'd speak to him that way. Just a month ago she would never have thought to, but this was not the past and as she shoved him out the door she hated herself, and him, and even her father and her mother. She hated that she'd been born. She hated that she'd put herself in this position. She hated how blind her parents were.

But, she was done crying. Sinking into despair would do nothing worthwhile.

Instead she did as she'd said she would. A long, hot bath was deserved and she would be damned if she let anyone, even herself, guilt her out of it.


Furious was not a strong enough adjective to describe the emotion that Light felt and for the first time in months it was directed at himself. He'd contemplated ending Haruka's life on his own terms before, but to think that her death could have come at the hands of someone else was unacceptable.

"... because of Kira and his lack of forethought..."

She blamed Kira for this and he found, though he tried to deconstruct her arguments, that she wasn't wrong. It was as she'd said. A supporter run amok, trying to garner his attention, had moved into the realm of objectionable behavior. To top it off this couldn't be just any supporter; this was someone who had access to a Death Note.

Who was this absolute idiot impersonating him? Why would they think this was acceptable behavior? The moment he found out who this other 'Kira' was they would meet their end.

"Amane." That strange blond girl. She bothered him. The things she'd said, certainly she hadn't been speaking to Haruka, hinted at something he couldn't dismiss. It was absurd, but he felt sure she knew. As per usual Ryuk was no help, refusing to give even the slightest of hints though his laughter when Amane was mentioned was clue enough.

If his suspicions were correct she'd gotten hold of a Death Note and had likely made a deal with a Shinigami for the eyes. From the little he knew of her she was a Kira supporter and the quintessential dumb blond. She'd become a model using her looks and cutesy attitude. Whether or not she was actually as stupid as she pretended to be didn't matter, if this was her doing he would have to get rid of her, but it wouldn't be safe to do that with L so focused on him.

The detective had to know that he'd met Amane and for her to suddenly die would only make him suspicious. Even if by all rights it seemed like a freak accident Ryuzaki would undoubtedly try to hold him responsible.

L would realize this wasn't the work of the original Kira. As deeply as Light despised the man he recognized that he held his position for a reason. He would want to find this culprit and if they were as foolish as they seemed it would be no difficult task to call them out.

Either this was a person to be used or discarded. If this was Amane Misa, if she was as devoted to Kira as she seemed to be...

No. That was too dangerous. This whole incident put her on the kill list, if it was her, and she needed to disappear. It didn't matter what the level of allegiance was, this had been a dicey move and he couldn't afford to have people acting on their own this way, but neither could he be the one to rid the world of this nuisance.

He would allow L to create the plan that would call out the impostor Kira. If it worked and that person ended up in a cell he would then orchestrate their death.


"Your brother is going to record a message to the other Kira."

"Whatever."

The moment she returned to the hotel she'd known that she wouldn't be able to play her part. The school day, coupled with a long meeting at the agency to discuss potential steps after she turned eighteen, had taken all her energy. She'd never thought herself weak, but that evening at Sakura TV had done a number on her.

"We'll be moving to a permanent location at the end of the month."

Had she not been so exhausted by life she would have found that interesting, as it was she hardly shrugged before trudging away from the task force and into her room. They were undoubtedly worried about her state of mind, afraid that she was on the precipice of a mental break, but if she could get some real rest she'd be fine.

Fortunately that agency meeting had cleared many hurdles. There were things for her to consider now, like how soon she'd try to transition into more adult modeling, if she did at all, but it was something different to focus on.

Like how her father would definitely meet an early grave if he was ever unfortunate enough to see her in an underwear ad.

She shuddered at the thought. Even a bathing suit collection was toeing the line of impropriety where he was concerned. She didn't think he'd go looking for her ads, but it wasn't impossible that one would come to his attention.

For the moment she'd agreed to do a magazine advertisement and a commercial for a high end perfume. If this went well, if there was a noticeable spike in sales and talk about the product, the company had agreed to put up a billboard.

Misa-Misa hadn't been on a signboard yet.

An unrestrained smirk that rivaled the worst look she'd ever seen on Light's face could not be helped. The idea of beating someone to the top was more satisfying than she'd thought it could be. Haruka hadn't entered the modeling business with any particular goal in mind when it came to winning out over other talents; she wanted influence over the general population and she'd never thought to consider others rivals, but if she had one it was Amane.

They were very different. Misa spoke of herself in third person, was seen as a cute, happy girl without a care in the world. Haruka knew now that wasn't true, Misa had a dark past, but that was the way the public saw her and maybe that was her true nature. Amane could be one of those people who was bubbly all the time.

Haruka had never tried to put on that act. It was one that worked, she knew it did, but it was overplayed and she didn't have the confidence that she could put on that face without ever slipping up. She wasn't that kind of person and to pretend to be would only make her seem fake.

Very different indeed and Misa had been in the spotlight longer. This was something of a test. Who did the public trust more? Amane had done many promotions before, good ones, but nothing that rose to the level of garnering enough attention to put her on a billboard.

To have her face on high, lit up for all of Tokyo to see, before she left high school would be a huge accomplishment.

Still, Essence-Aroma had set the bar higher than she'd ever imagined trying to reach and it would be no easy task to meet their expectations. This would come down to whether or not she was capable of rising beyond 'acceptable' to 'extraordinary'. They wouldn't have chosen her if not for that incident with the drug addict, she knew it; her face was still fresh in the minds of consumers so it would be a boost and she'd gained a lot of positive attention for returning to work immediately after the attack.

The contract made it clear that she would be replaced if she couldn't meet the expectations of the photographers and director.

The fragrance was titled Enchanted. She already had an overview of the advert and a copy of the concept art; she was supposed be something like a fairytale princess lost in a dream. Wandering through a sound stage forest in a half-awake state she would find the crystal bottle and spritz the scented liquid.

The details needed to be finalized as far as filming was concerned.

She felt she had an advantage. Her entire life felt like a dream at the moment, admittedly more of a nightmare most of the time, but she could imagine this.

A girl moving through a hazy imaginary world softly, gracefully. Finding a beautiful bottle full of some curious colored fluid, desiring to find out what it was.

It reminded her of Alice in Wonderland.

This was the type of advertisement, if done well, that she liked. There was more to it than using a popular idol to sell the product, there was a real idea behind the campaign; certainly this wasn't anything like that recent soda commercial Hideki had done. All flashing lights and bright colors. Nothing about the ad had anything to do with the drink, not that it seemed to matter. He was still popular enough that his face alone was enough to sell just about anything, but she'd noted multiple people in his target range pass a poster for something different without looking at it even once.

Overexposure was striking again. If his management was intelligent they would become more discerning about which companies they associated with before they lost too many fans.

Whatever happened to the celebrity of Ryuga, Hideki was no loss to her; she needed to focus on her own career with the hope of avoiding the pitfalls and trappings of fame. It would be very easy to say yes to products just to fill her schedule, but she couldn't afford to loose credibility.

It was better to accept only a few amazing offers than to take on a load of mediocre ones.

With that in mind she poked her head out the door, listened for the voices of the task force. More specifically for Ryuzaki's voice, but she heard nothing. With small, careful steps she peeked into the living room. No one was there.

"Your brother is going to record a message to the other Kira."

Right. They were probably doing that. Kira contacting Kira.

She snorted. Of all the convoluted paths for her life to have taken, why did this have to be the one? She shook the thoughts away before they could cement themselves; that wasn't a productive line of thinking.

Instead of returning to her room Haruka found herself drawn to L's chair, her legs moving on their own accord to stand beside his seat. She wanted to sit there, but who knew when they would finish their work and return? To be found in Ryuzaki's spot would lead to questions she couldn't answer and would probably tip Light off to her newest secret.

He could never know. He would definitely kill her and would damn well try to do the same to L with even more furor than before. This was something Kira would never forgive her for.

A chill shot through her veins as a new thought occurred to her. Perhaps death wasn't the worst he could do. If he was truly obsessed with her, if he really did need to have her, death might be too kind.

A horrendous thought and yet she couldn't dispel the fear that things may have progressed even beyond that point. He'd been surprisingly lenient during school, not pushing for anything, but that didn't mean he wasn't plotting something.

"Plotting," she murmured. "Planning..." her eyes widened. "No way."

Haruka looked quickly about the room, searching for a calendar, and her eyes came to rest on a planner left upon the coffee table. She snatched it from it's resting place, flipped it open to the marked page.

"No way," she repeated. It was the ninth. The ninth of February. Their birthday was only nineteen days away. "How did I forget?"

Plotting? He certainly was. She knew it. What would Light want on this birthday? There was only one thing she could think of and it explained his more amiable attitude. He wasn't trying to pull her closer because he planned to take it all.

Sudden weakness overcame her and she found herself on the edge of L's chair, gripping the arm rest with one hand while the other moved to her forehead.

Light was waiting, exercising patience while expecting that the real prize would soon be his. It made absolute sense. He'd always been one to appreciate symbolism and this could be the ultimate in symbolic moments. Being physically joined on their eighteenth birthday in an act that was supposed to be limited to lovers.

Of course that was what he planned and she wondered why she hadn't realized it sooner.

There would be no escaping this on her own. To be afraid or try and pull back would assure his wrath. He believed in her love, in her blindness to the truth, and there was no reason for love-sick Haruka to turn Light down when there was no possibility of being caught.

She had nineteen days to find a way to avoid having sex with her older brother.


Eighteen days.

She couldn't keep herself from dwelling on it. The school day passed in a blur of words, pencils and false smiles. Her friends didn't see her distraction, they were too caught up trying to prepare for their own futures to worry about hers, and at lunch Light behaved in the way she expected him too. He didn't act as though he wanted anything but kisses, didn't talk about anything of importance.

He was biding his time.

Haruka could only imagine what his full plan might be. A surprise birthday gift most likely. Perhaps taking her out to a fancy hotel restaurant, orchestrating a series of calamities that would lead to them being forced to stay for the night. Pretending to be wholly innocent, acting as though he was shocked by the turn of events and then seducing her while they were 'trapped'.

Really, he could have any number of plans to get them alone. Kira could do anything to anyone. All he needed was a criminal to manipulate and he could engineer the perfect scenario while remaining free of suspicion.

Seventeen days.

She didn't speak to Light at all on Sunday. A few extra hours of sleep were well spent, but the moment her shrill alarm sounded she was on the move. To the shower, to the suitcase, out the door with a purse to meet her manager. She'd hardly said a word to the familiar faces in the living room before exiting, wondered too late if that might be rude, but dismissed the thought. They had enough to be doing. Enough to be worrying about.

No doubt anything she said would come out the wrong way in his presence. The simple act of looking at him was almost too difficult to handle.

Sixteen days.

Another day at school, another day of playing her role and hiding the darkness. They could never know. They wouldn't believe it even if she told them; she didn't think they would be able to accept it, regardless of the declarations they'd made.

It was a strange idea. To think that they'd put enough thought into the matter to form an actual opinion on the subject was a bit frightening. How much effort had that taken? Why had it been something on their minds in the first place? Certainly it wasn't normal to imagine incestuous relations between a friend and her brother, right?

Little did they know.

Fifteen days.

There were other tasks to focus on, other thoughts that called for her attention. She couldn't spend all her time worrying about something that might not even happen.

The planning for the Aroma-Essence commercial was moving forward at a reasonable pace. She'd participated in another meeting that evening and it seemed filming was on track to begin the next week. If she did well it would be done in a day. If she was simply passable it might take two. Three days of filming would be unacceptable.

One shot to leave her mark on the city, one opportunity to get her face on one of the most coveted billboards in Tokyo. If she let this chance slip away she may not have another.

But, before that, there was something else to be taken care of.

Fourteen days.

She gave Light his chocolate during school; in hindsight it may not have been the best idea as he was also obligated to accept all the gifts given by classmates who worked up their courage to present homemade candies to him.

She couldn't be sure what he thought of her offering, the atmosphere wasn't exactly conductive to inappropriate displays of affection, so the kiss he pressed to her cheek could have been done in obligation or actual thanks.

Haruka doubted he was thankful. Surely he expected to be given something by her; Light would have been furious if she'd been bold enough to slight him. His narcissism had reach epic proportions. Though he'd been shocked by L's forwardness he had recovered safely, had given no clues to his true motivations. It was still impossible to incriminate him as Kira.

He did not go to the hotel that day so she was free to give chocolates to the task force and Watari, though Matsuda wasn't there and would receive his later in the night when someone went to relieve him of his position at the police station. Ryuzaki had been presented with his share that morning, before she left for school. There was no telling what Soichiro would have thought had he known, as it was he shook his head at what appeared to be a show of dishonor, but Haruka thought he seemed a little relieved.

Shut away in her bedroom she recalled how embarrassing it had been to give candy to L. He was the last person in the world who needed more sugar, but she'd felt duty-bound to give him something. In the end she made him fruit based lollipops, not chocolate, just to feel better about giving him sweets.

Blushing as hotly as ever she'd pushed a white box decorated with a pink bow into his hands and declared that it was a Valentine's Day present before rushing out the door and leaving for school.

She didn't know what he'd thought of them, hadn't waited to find out. If he didn't like the sweets he was sure to tell her without consideration for her feelings. Now it was a matter of waiting for the others to leave.

Haruka shook her head at herself. She'd never thought she'd be in a position to worry over what someone thought of a gift she'd given them, she didn't think she'd ever worked so hard preparing a present either. Thankfully she wasn't inept in the kitchen and it was easy enough to follow directions so making his lollipops hadn't been a hassle, but it was more work than she was used to putting in. If she'd gone through all that and he didn't like them, well, she wasn't sure what she would do.

"Baka," she muttered. Like it mattered whether he actually ate them or not. It was the thought that counted.

Thirteen days.

It wasn't the thought that counted.

She wanted to kill the Other Kira herself. The murders on live television were bad enough, but all of this new work kept her away from L. She had no idea what he'd thought of her Valentine's Day gift and there was no safe opportunity to ask him about it.

There were at least two members of the Task Force at the hotel at all times, Watari had informed her that the others were on duty at the police station, waiting to see if any tapes would be sent there. It was more likely a reply would go to Sakura TV, but in either case the police would view them first.

What that meant for her was that she had no chance to see L alone.

Twelve days.

She received an invitation to the grand opening of a new club in downtown Tokyo in the morning. She'd gone to an early shoot before school, one that saw her awake before dawn and she'd been hopeful that this would finally give her a chance to speak to L, but even at that hour there were task force members present.

The request came from '47 Sky' and it was set to open on Saturday, March 3, just a few days after her 18th birthday. They were sending out invites to many rising stars with the hopes of earning good press.

A text arrived from Amane asking her if she was going to attend while she in was the middle of break at school.

We can meet b4 we go! Misa knows a g8 salon that does everything, even clothes!

The sparkly, emoticon filled message generated waves of excited chatter, though she'd attempted to keep it to herself, and the gossip spread like wildfire. She had no hope of keeping the plans from Light.

Eleven days.

He was against it, totally and completely as she'd known he would be, but Haruka refused to surrender this battle. If she gave him an inch he would take a mile, she was sure of it. To allow him even an extra ounce of control would be the end of living autonomously.

He played dirty though, told their father about her opportunity in an off-hand tone during the next task force meeting. Watching Soichiro so closely Light failed to see the momentary stillness that overcame L, but Haruka noticed.

She almost felt bad when his eyes flickered to hers, but she turned away to deal with her purple faced father.

"Dad, don't worry! I'm even going with someone—"

That did not help.

"A girl! I'm going with Misa, another model you know? Sayu has a magazine with her on it! Calm down, geeze!"

Ten days.

He wanted to tell her not to go. Of course he had never been to a nightclub, but he knew enough to understand that behaviors that would have otherwise been deemed unacceptable would be encouraged.

Jealousy. That's what this was. Deep, seething envy and he didn't like it, but he was no longer a stranger to this emotion.

Light went to school with her, had the chance to see her everyday and spent time alone with her doing unspeakable things...

And he'd only kissed her twice.

Nine.

Eight.

Seven days.

She'd done it. She could hardly believe it. Even now, several hours later, she still felt as though she was wandering through a dreamworld.

In all honesty Haruka'd not had much confidence in her abilities. She hadn't ever been on camera this way before, home videos taken during her toddler years didn't count, and she'd felt so pressured to do well that she'd been sure she would crack under the strain.

But, her fears proved unnecessary. They'd been nodding their heads off to the side when she finished the first round of takes; she saw them standing and staring with critical expressions as they appraised her every move and when the first final shot came they turned to one another with smiles so tiny that she hadn't dared to hope that she'd actually seen them.

She was going to be on a billboard.

Six.

Five.

Four.

Three days.

They had a party for her at the office, both in celebration of her upcoming birthday and her milestone achievement.

Two.

One.

Zero days.

Time was up.

Wednesday February 28, 2007

She'd been permitted to return home after school, though only for a few hours and then she was to be on her way back to task force headquarters. Her mother and Sayu were in raptures over her return, so much so that she couldn't help making a face at Light as she was welcomed with more enthusiasm than he was.

Their mother had made a veritable feast, and cake was had by all, after Haruka gave her assurances that all was well.

She was on the edge of her seat the entire time. His plan, whatever it was, was about to be set in motion. Something was going to happen that would get them alone and he–

"What?" Deadpanned. His face showed no emotion and that usually meant anger. His cellphone had rung as the dishes were cleared away, but she'd missed whatever expression had come when he first heard the voice on the other end of the line. "Fine." He hung up without a goodbye; that could mean only one thing: L had just ruined his designs.

Death Note Facts

The Shinigami have no ability to fully comprehend or experience the true power of the Death Note.


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