Thursday, January 30, 2014

Death Note: Chapter Zer0: Chapter Seventeen: Cookie.

                                          Chapter Seventeen: Cookie

  L sat in his chair, waiting for the rest of the task-force to arrive. A coffee pot was set on the table, and a large plate of extra large cookies, chocolate chip, sat on a silver platter. He was going to inform Light of Taro's involvement, that he knew about the existence of Shinigami and the Death Note. He hoped it would garner some kind of reaction.
  The others soon arrived, Light included, and L began the meeting. "Before we begin, I would like to ask if any of you know why I called you here."
  "It's because of Taro, isn't it?" Light asked. "You think his heart attack has something to do with Kira."
  "Taro had a heart attack?" Matsuda asked. "Is he okay?"
  "Yes, he is fine," L told him. He looked at Light. "Light, you know about The Boy, the one I've been looking for; do you think Taro Kagami is him?"
  Light seemed to give this some thought. L figured he would yes, seeing as the probability of it not being him seemed low. "Yes, I do," Light told him. "If Kira somehow found him, then he would have without a doubt been killed. The strange thing is that he survived, so I can't say for sure."
  "I came to the same conclusion, Ryuzaki," The Chief added.
  "Are we sure this is Kira's work?" Matsuda asked. "I mean, Kira hasn't failed to kill anyone yet; maybe Taro wasn't targeted by Kira?"
  "I doubt it," L said. "Earlier today, I visited Taro Kagami, meeting him after his school day ended." L made sure to focus on Light, hoping to see something incriminating. "I confronted him about Kira, and he told me everything." He saw Light's eyes widen. He seemed surprised.
  "You mean he's The Boy?!?" Aizawa asked loudly. "He actually told you?!?"
  "Yes, he did," L told him, picking at his ear with his pinky. "He told me that he had acquired Kira's ability a few months before Kira himself did."
  "Did he say how he kills?!?" Light asked. His surprised look was gone, and had been replaced with one of conviction. "Are you sure he was telling the truth?"
  "I'm certain of it." L removed the lanyard around his neck, the one Taro Kagami had given him., and held it up for the others to see. "He gave this to me. He gathered what information he could and stored it all on here."
  Matsuda grabbed the flash-drive carefully, as if it were made of glass. "What's on it?" he asked, inspecting it.
  "Taro Kagami was very good at his job," L said. "He typed down every single confirmed Kira victim, as well as ones that were suspected. He wrote of his encounter with Naomi Misora, and her sudden disappearance. He wrote about the death of Raye Penber, the F.B.I. agent whom he had followed."
  "But what about the way he kills?" Aizawa asked. "Did he tell you? Is it on the flash-drive?"
  "Yes, he told me. And it is on the flash-drive," L told him. "You may not believe this, but he told me that they way Kira kills is through a tool called a 'Death Note'."
  L saw Light's reaction; it was strained, as if he had hit a nerve, as if he was holding back his true reaction. "According to Taro, as well as everything he put into the flash-drive, it seems that this notebook of death, this Death Note, is used by Shinigami, as a way for them extend their life-spans and stay alive."
  "Shinigami?" Mori asked. " Are you sure?"
  "Ryuzaki," Light said, "do you really think that Shinigami exist?"
  "Yes, I do. After the talk I had with Taro, as well as looking through his information, I firmly believe that Shinigami exist, and that one came to our world, to give one away."
  "What exactly is a Death Note?" The Chief asked. "You said it was 'notebook of death'."
  "Apparently, a Death Note is an ordinary looking book, one that can kill any human whose name is written inside it, given they are spelled correctly, and the writer knows the person's face."
  "That would fit the profile," Matsuda said, putting his hand on his chin. "If all you have to is write down the person's name, then maybe you can write down the cause of death as well."
  "That's right, Matsuda." L took a sip of his coffee. "That little detail is also in the drive."
  "But why would a Shinigami drop a Death Note?" Light asked. "Didn't you say it needed it? To stay alive?"
  "Yes, I did say that. However, Taro noted in the drive that the Shinigami who he had met, a dark looking one, had a second one. This Shinigami, whom Taro said was named Ryuk, might have simply gotten another one."
  "But why drop it in the first place?" Matsuda asked.
  "Probably to have something to do," Light said. "I mean, if these things survive by killing humans, then all Shinigami must be extremely old."
  "And having seen the exact same thing for centuries would get pretty boring," Aizawa added. "So it makes sense; this Ryuk probably just wanted something to do."
  "I guess immortality isn't that great, huh?" Matsuda laughed. "But seriously, what about Taro? Ryuzaki, do you think this was really Kira?"
  "I do," L told him. "However, I visited him an hour ago, to check on him, and he seems to have lost all of his memories regarding the existence of Shinigami, as well as the Death Note."
  "What?" The Chief asked. "How is that possible?"
  "I read it in his flash-drive; apparently, if you lose ownership of the Death Note, your memories of it are erased, and you cease to see or hear Shinigami."
  "Really?" Matsuda asked.
  "That doesn't make any sense," Mogi said. "If this Death Note was given to Kira, then it wouldn't be Taro's anymore."
  "I thought the same thing," L told him. "However, Taro told me that the Shinigami, Ryuk, simply took the book. I suppose that would classify it as being stolen, and therefore still his. I assume he lost his memories because he had been dead for a short while, and thus he couldn't actually own anything, so it went to Kira, who now has the book."
  "That's quite a loophole," Light commented.
  "But what about the seeing and hearing them thing?" Matsuda asked. "You said they would stop seeing them?"
  "Yes, apparently you can only see and hear a Shinigami if you touch a Death Note. I assume that you would stop seeing and hearing them when you lose ownership, seeing as it erases your memories as well."
  The others absorbed the information, trying to understand everything. It was Matsuda who spoke up first. "Wait, wouldn't that clear Light of suspicion?"
  The others looked at him. "No, it wouldn't," Light told him, beating L to the punch. "The Shinigami may have seen Taro, and flown away to avoid being seen."
  "Oh." Matsuda sat back down.
  "Ryuzaki," The Chief said, "did Taro Kagami admit to the earlier deaths? The ones involving the children and the detectives?"
  "Yes, he did. He told me that he had killed them by mistake, as I had originally assumed. Except for the detectives, actually; he said another other boy, Miura Asahi, killed them and the other boys after he resurrected them."
  "Oh, yeah," Mogi said, "did you ask him about that? Did he put it in the flash-drive?"
  L stopped for a moment. Did Light know about the Death Eraser? Should he tell him? "No, he didn't tell me that." L reached for a cookie, grabbing it and taking a large bite out of it. "He said he didn't know what happened. I'm not sure if I actually believe him on that, but I didn't want to press him for information, seeing as he had provided us with this beauty." He picked up the flash-drive, which Matsuda had put on the table, next to the platter of cookies.
  "Are you going to talk to him again?" Light asked. "You should do so quickly."
  "My son's right, Ryuzaki," The Chief added. "And we should also put him and his mother into protective custody, just to be safe. Maybe Kira doesn't know he survived."
  "I have already talked with Watari about that, Mister Yagami. And I do plan to talk to him again, tomorrow in fact."
  "Are we gonna go with you?" Matsuda asked. "I think we should all go."
  "Yes, that would be rather helpful, actually. Having actual police officers with me might help him in becoming more talkative. Assuming he remembers anything."
  They sat in silence for a few moments, until Chief Yagami spoke up. "Ryuzaki, it's late, and I think we could all use some sleep."
  "Yes, it is rather late." L looked at the clock, seeing it was close to four in the morning. "Well, I suppose I will see you later in the day then."
  The task force soon left, leaving Ryuzaki alone with the platter of cookies. He began to eat the large cookies, taking sips of his coffee with every few bites. He had decided against informing the others about the Death Eraser, and felt he did the smart thing.
  L had gone through many scenarios in his head, and finally found one that made sense. He had guessed that The Second Kira was the one who killed Taro, and brought him back. He knew the original Kira would never do such a thing, but The Second Kira might. After all, it was a child, not a grown man or woman he or she was killing. The Second Kira wasn't as maddened, wasn't as corrupted, by the power of the Death Note.
  If Light Yagami knew about the Death Eraser, he would simply kill Taro himself. L didn't think he knew of it's existence, otherwise he would have dealt with it already. He probably wanted Taro alive for now, seeing as his dying would only increase his suspicion. As a plan formed in his head, L picked up the last of the oversized cookies and took a bite.

  Light woke up from his troubled sleep. Taro Kagami was alive and well, but had no memory of the Death Note, or anything related to it. It was good for Light that he didn't remember anything; he couldn't see Ryuk, he couldn't implicate him, he couldn't do anything. But he was still bothered. Something told him Taro was still a threat, and that he would continue to be one until he was dead, and until he would stay that way.
  "So, what're you gonna do?" Ryuk asked. "I mean, what if Taro remembers something?"
  "I've already got an idea," Light told. "I doubt he'll be able to remember anything, seeing as he would have to come into contact with a Death Note."
  "And you're not gonna let that happen?"
  "Not yet. I want to get some information out of him first. I'll have him hold the Death Note, or maybe just a piece of it, and question him."
  "And then what're you gonna do?"
  "Then I'll kill him, of course. I can't have someone like him roaming around."
  "Hm. I suppose that makes sense."
  Light got dressed and left for school.
  Sitting in his math class, Light quickly answered all of the questions with immense ease. After finishing the test, Light stood and handed the test to the teacher.
  "Done already, Mr. Yagami?" The teacher looked at the test, reading over his answers. "No doubt another perfect score."
  "Thank you, professor." Light left the class room, and decided to find something to eat.
  Walking to his usual cafe, Light wondered if L was telling the truth, that Taro didn't know how the resurrections happened. Light entered the cafe, and bought a pack of chocolate chip cookies; it seemed that being around L afftected his eating habits.
  Light walked out of the cafe and went to a nearby bench, sitting on it. He was about to open his snack when he heard someone say his name. "Light Yagami?" He looked up to find a beautiful young woman, his age, in front of him.
  'Dear God, not again,' Light thought. 'It's a good thing Misa's not here right now, or she'd be dead by now.'
  "You're Light Yagami, right?"
  "Yes, I am," Light told her. "Is there something I can help you with?"
  "Yeah, there is. My name is Akiko, Akiko Yasada, and I wanted to know if you've seen Hideki Ryuuga around?"
  "Ryuuga?!?" Light asked, surprised at the girls request. "You mean the guy I played tennis with? I haven't seen him in a while. He doesn't come to school much, you know."
  "Yeah, I know. But I figured since you're both geniuses, then you two would be in touch."
  "I know how to contact him, though," Light told her. He wondered why this pretty little girl wanted to see L, but he didn't care. He wondered if he could use this to his advantage. "May I ask why? I mean, he's pretty private person. Not very social."
  "Yeah, I could tell that from the way he looked and spoke." Akiko reached into her pocketbook and took out a cigarette. "Do you mind if I smoke?"
  "No, go ahead." Light actually liked the smell of a burning cigarette. He would never smoke himself, but he wouldn't stop others from doing so.
  "Thanks." Akiko reached once again into her pocketbook, this time producing a lighter. She lit her cigarette, and put the light back in her bag. "Anyways, the reason I want to know is because my friend likes him." She took a puff of the little white stick, and blew some smoke out of her mouth.
  "Your friend likes him?" Light asked, honestly surprised. He wondered what kind of person would like someone like L. "Are you sure about that?"
  "Positive. She said so during his speech." She took another drag of her cigarette. "I caught him at an ice-cream shop by chance, and had them talk to each other."
  "He was there alone?"
  "At first. Then some old guy took him away. Looked like a butler."
  "Yeah, he doesn't leave his side. Ryuuga's kind of awkward when it comes to social situations."
  "Yeah, I noticed," Akiko laughed. "Anyways, I told him to come to my birthday party next week, and I gave him my friends number, but he hasn't called her yet. I'm not surprised really; it's only been a day, but still, I just don't want her to ger her feelings hurt. So, I wanted to ask you if you could make him."
  "Make him?" Light repeated.
  "Yeah, you know. Make him call her. I think they would be a good match."
  "I can try," Light told her. "But don't get your hopes up. Or your friends; he's kind of a workaholic, so I doubt he'll go."
  "Well, if you could try, that'd be great." She threw her cigarette on the ground and stomped on it, twisting her foot for good measure. She then produced a piece of paper from her bag. "Here's my number. If you manage to convince him, just call. Or, you know, just call." She winked at him with a large smile. "Bye!" She walked away, leaving Light by himself.
  Light knew L would never go to a stupid birthday party, but perhaps he could distract him somehow with it. Even if he couldn't, he found it amusing that he could use something like this on him. He wondered how the others would react, then thought of a way for him to use this information. Light opened his pack of cookies, and put one in his mouth.

  Taro ate the plate of hospital food the nurse had given him, forcing down the food with a little effort. Hospital food was horrible. At least this hospital's food was. He wanted to go home, but the doctors wanted to keep him for the week, just in case. 'A child having a sudden and fatal heart attack isn't normal or good', the doctors told him. He said he was fine, but they wouldn't have any of it.
  His mother had gone home to speak with someone from the scholarship committee, the people from Wammy's House. Taro wondered why they didn't talk there, with him; after all, he was the student. "Must have something to do with that weird guy," Taro said himself. "He said he was L. Was he telling the truth?"
  Taro had wondered what he could possibly know about Kira. Did he really perform his own investigation? He did notice that he was a lot more observant; he would notice tiny things, like the way people talked, spots on their clothes, the way they walked. He knew something was different about him. He was never this observant.
  He thought of the panda eyed man's words. He talked of Shinigami. Did Shinigami exist? No, that was stupid. Shinigami are just fairytales. He thought of anything that would imply the existence of Shinigami, and remebered The Second Kira's messages.
  "That's right. The Second Kira said something about Shinigami, didn't she?" Taro thought of the diary entries, and the maniac's actual usage of the word, then realized what he'd said. "She? Why did I say that?"
  As he continued to think of L's words, assuming it was really L, a voice brought him out of his thought. "Mr. Kagami." Taro looked at the entrance to his room and saw his doctor. "Your mother is here to see you."The doctor looked to his right. "She's hurrying down the hall as we speak." The doctor backed away in time for Taro's mother to run passed him.
  "Oh, my baby boy!" His mother ran into the room, bypassing the doctor, and hugged him. "How are you? Feeling better?"
  "Yeah, I feel great," Taro told her. "I'd feel better you loosened your grip, though."
  "Oh, I'm sorry." She loosened her grip, and Taro felt himself able to breath once again. "I haven't seen you in hours, and I wanted to make sure you were okay."
  "I'm fine mom, really."
  Taro and his mother talked for a while, and Taro wondered if she knew anything about the panda-eyed man. He didn't think she did, considering her attitude.
  Taro's mother's clothes were all dishevelled and dirty. She hadn't cleaned up since his heart attack. He felt bad for worrying his mother, and couldn't wait to get out of the hospital, so she could calm down.
  Taro could tell just from looking at her that his mother hadn't slept at all. Her face was worn and red, most likely from crying. Seeing this just made him feel worse.
  A knock at the door made the mother and son stop talking. In the doorway stood Sayu, his girlfriend, with her mother, Sachiko. In Sayu's hands was a big plate covered with saran wrap. "I told you I'd be back."
  "Hey Sayu," Taro said with a smile. Seeing her seemed to always make him feel better. "Did you bring me those cookies?"
  "Yep!" Sayu walked up to his bed, pushing the plate of hospital food to the side and setting down the plate. She removed the saran wrap from the plate, revealed to Taro over a dozen malformed cookies. "Dig in!"
  Taro looked at the cookies with a raised eyebrow and an awkward smile. He grabbed one of the deformed cookies, which he noticed were burnt around the edges, and took a bite.
  Taro chewed the cookie with a smile, hearing the crunch of breaking cookie in his mouth. He forgot that Sayu couldn't bake. Or cook. Or do anything that involved food. He remembered when she brought in a cake for a party in his class; the cake was bitter and burnt.
  "They're good," Taro said, swallowing the bits he had chewed. "Crunchy. Just the way I like it."
  "Ms. Kagami, why don't we get some coffee?" Mrs. Yagami asked. "Give these two some time alone."
  "Yes, that sounds nice." Taro's mother followed Sayu's out of the room, leaving the two of them alone. Taro took another bite of the cookie; it was a little burnt, but still good.
  "So, how are you feeling?" Sayu asked. She grabbed a cookie and bit it.
  "I'm feeling better," he told her. "I'm gonna be here for the whole week. Doctors are really paranoid." Taro put the rest of the cookie in his mouth, chewing it into pieces and swallowing it.
  "You were dead for a few minutes," Sayu told him with a serious tone. "I don't wanna lose my first boyfriend, especially to some stupid heart attack. I only just got you."
  "That's ... nice?"
  Sayu laughed, as did Taro. The two talked about random things; friends in school, teachers, television shows. It was when Sayu told him of a rumor at school did Taro remember his earlier thought.
  "You know, some of the kids at school were saying that Kira tried to get you."
  Taro looked at her. "Really?" he asked. "Why would Kira try to kill me?"
  "I don't know," Sayu told him, taking another bite of a cookie. "You did have a heart attack, so it sounds plausible."
  "Yeah, I guess it does." Taro thought of the panda-eyed man's words. Having a heart attack at his age was rare. Having one so strong was even rarer. Did he really know something about Kira? Did Kira really try, and fail, to kill him? "I guess it does."
  Taro took the last cookie off the plate, and bit into it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Death Note: Chapter Zero. Chapter Sixteen: Confusing.

Chapter 17: Confusing

I apologize for the late update. Schools been a pain in the ass, plus it was kind of hard writing this chapter. But I think it came out pretty good. Short, but good. Remember to leave a goddamn review. Seriously. Leave a review.

Chapter Sixteen: Confusing
Light sat on his bed, thinking of what had occurred with Taro Kagami. Misa had written his name in the Death Note, and yet he did not die. Rem told him that people with strong enough willpower can actually negate the effects of a Death Note, though only in the way it influenced them; it would still kill them, only in the default way, a heart attack.
"Could it be a different Taro Kagami?" Light asked himself. "No, that's just stupid! Taro just so happens to go to a hospital soon after Misa writes his name down in the Death Note? No way that's a coincidence."
"Maybe it wasn't him?" Ryuk asked.
"It was him," Light told Ryuk. "
"Still," Light said, "it has to be him. I don't know!" Light clutched his head in hisn hands. "Could Misa have been right? Could the Death Note have actually malfunctioned?"
"I doubt it," Ryuk said. "I've never heard of a Death Note malfunctioning. Then again, you've done a lot of things with that book that I never thought were possible, so I guess it could just not work."
Light considered Ryuk's words, and factored them into his theories. It was true that the Death Note was an amazing tool, but that didn't mean that it couldn't be defective. Who's to say that all of them were made equally? The more he thought about it, the less likely he thought it to be true. Misa's Death Note would have malfunctioned before, when she performed her televised killings, not just now. He wondered if Misa and Rem had lied to him.
"Ryuk," Light said, "is there anything else I don't know about the Death Note? Maybe a loophole about owners killing each other with it?"
"You mean like you killing Misa?"
"Yes. It's the only thing I can come up with that would explain Taro's survival. He's still the technical owner of my Death Note, Misa confirmed it, as did Rem. I'm wondering if there's some rule about owners killing each other, just like the rule of not being able to their life-span."
"I don't know," Ryuk said, shrugging his shoulders. "Like I said, I didn't know much about until I met you. I only knew the basics; most of the Shinigami I know don't even know much about it. You can ask Rem when you see her, she seems to know a lot about it."
"I'll do that." Light laid on his bed, trying to think of something that could explain this. His thoughts went to the doctors, and wondered if they could have somehow saved him. Light stood up and went to his computer, sitting down in front of it and turning it on.
"What're you doing?" Ryuk asked with interest.
"I'm looking up a criminal for an experiment," Light explained. "I know the Death Note can kill someone, but I want to know if someone can be saved from it's effects."
"How do you mean?"
Light tried to think of a way to explain this to Ryuk. "Think of it like this; if I write down a person's name, and they die of a heart attack, as usual, can they be saved by a human?"
"You mean like that CPR thing?"
"Yes, exactly like that." He found a criminal and wrote his name down in the Death Note, as well as a simple, but detailed, death. "I'm wondering if after they die, can someone bring them back. After all, the Death Note would have already taken effect, so why not the possibility of them being brought back?"
"The Death Note gives the person whose name is written in it a massive heart attack, so it's unlikely they would live."
"Still, there's the possibility that the person could be saved. I mean, the Death Note only kills the person, it never explicitly says that they have to stay dead."
"I guess it's possible," Ryuk said. He bent down to look at Light. "This is really getting to you, huh?"
"Of course it's getting to me!" Light told the Shinigami loudly. "I thought I had a good grasp on the Death Note and it's powers. But now it's just getting more complicated." Light sighed angrily. "I swear, sometimes I wish I never found this stupid book; it's all so confusing!"
Ryuk laughed at Light's frustration.
"And then there's the whole business with the hospital," Light calmly. "You were in the hospital room with us when we went in to see Taro, so he should have seen you!"
"Well, he was dead for a little while," Ryuk reminded him. "And if someone who owns a Death Note is killed by someone, then ownership is transferred to them."
"So he wouldn't have been able to see you," Light finished. Light thought of this, and wondered if this could work to his advantage in any way; nothing came to mind. Light let out a calming breath. A thought then occurred to him. "Wait, since he can't see you anymore," Light said, getting off his computer chair, and sitting to his bed, "then he's lost all of his memories. Which means he can't say anything to L about you."
"Yeah," Ryuk confirmed, taking a bite out of an apple. "So?"
"When L finds Taro, then he wouldn't be able to say anything about the Death Note or the Shinigami. He's already using a lot of his resources on finding him, distracting him from Misa and me."
"What if he wrote something down?"
Light groaned in annoyance. He then thought of something. He smiled evilly. "I think I have an idea." He grabbed the Death Note, holding his pen above the book. Just as he was about to start writing, a knock came at his door.
"Light." It was his father. What could he want? "Please, let me in."
"Be right there," Light told him. He put his pen down, and put the Death Note in his desk. He then got up, walking to the door and opening it up to see his father. "What is Dad?"
His father entered his room and closed the door. "Ryuzaki has called for a meeting."
"A meeting?" Light asked, not surprised that L already knew about the incident involving Taro. "Is that about what happened to Taro?"
"Probably," his father told him. "I was thinking the same thing myself. He has asked that you come as well."
"Yeah, sure. No problem. Just give me a few minutes to get ready."
"Alright. I'll be waiting downstairs."
After his father finally left his room, Light paused to think of what to do. L had probably already sent someone to Taro's home, to search for anything related to Kira. Light needed to ensure that any evidence was destroyed. He wanted to kill Taro as well, but was worried about Misa's reaction. She was clearly distraught at the thought of killing a child, and he didn't want to anger her; she could kill him with ease, and he could do nothing about it.
Light took his Death Note out of his desk, and resumed writing what he had originally intended. He wrote so fast, he swore he could see smoke rising from the paper.

L plugged in the flash-drive Taro Kagami had given him, and was looking through the contents. He was impressed by how meticulous the boy had been in organizing everything. He read about what had happened with the other children, and how he had accidentally killed them. He couldn't wait to actually see this Death Note.
The door behind L slammed open, shocking the pale detective. He looked back to see Watari. "L, Taro Kagami's had a heart attack!"
L bolted up at the news Watari had just given him, his back uncharacteristically unslouched. "What do you mean Taro Kagami had a heart attack?!"
"The boy is fine," Watari told him, trying to calm him down. "He was admitted to the hospital, and he has since been stable."
L paced around his room. Taro had a heart attack? "How did he survive?"
"I'm afraid they don't know," Watari told, walking up to the detective and setting him down on the couch. "They said he just came back. I'm afraid that's all I know."
L thought of this new event, and wondered if it was Kira's doing. He knew Kira wouldn't be afraid of killing a child, but why bring him back? Did he have a Death Eraser? 'No, Taro has the Death Eraser,' L thought. 'Unless the Shinigami had another one and gave it to Light.'
Watari held a chocolate bar to L. "What are you going to do, Ryuzaki?"
L absentmindedly took the candy bar. He didn't know what to do. If Light knew Taro was the boy, then he would have just killed him, right? Unless Taro had something Light needed... He would have to speak to Taro as soon as possible. "Watari, I need you to drive me to the hospital where Taro Kagami is. I have to make sure he is okay!"
"Of course." L stood from the couch, dropping the candy bar on the floor.
Driving up to the hospital, Watari stopped the limo and exited the car. L looked through the window; the entrance had been cleared beforehand by some associates, as per the norm. "Thank you, Watari," L told him as he stepped out of the limo. "The way to Taro Kagami's room is clear?"
"Yes, Ryuzaki. Our doctors are keeping an eye on him now."
"And his mother?"
"We had our doctor insist she go home and get some clothes for her son. She was hard to convince, but she eventually agreed."
"That's good." L walked into the hospital, his bare-feet cold against the ground. The security cameras had been disabled as well, preventing him from being recorded. He quickly made his way up to Taro's room, wondering what had happened.
L walked into Taro's room, finding the boy laying in his bed, watching television. "Hello, Taro," L said.
Taro looked at him, then shut off the television. "I remember you; you're that guy from school."
L was shocked at his words. How could he forget him? "Yes," L said slowly, "we met after your last class ended. Tell me, do you remember what we had talked about?"
Taro's eyes squinted a little in confusion. He looked as if he was about to speak, raising his hand up, then stopping. "I-I know it was something important," Taro told him. "What was it? Why can't I remember?"
"Taro, I am L, the detective working on The Kira Case," L informed. "You do not remember this?"
"Kira Investigation?" Taro repeated. "You're joking, right? What would I know about-" Taro suddenly grabbed his head, as if in pain. "What would I know about Kira?"
"Are you in pain?"
"Just a headache. But seriously, what did we talk about?" Taro closed his eyes in pain again.
"You really don't remember," L said, mostly to himself. "This is certainly interesting."
"What are you talking about?"
"Taro, you had a heart attack, you're aware of this, correct?"
"Yeah. The doctors said it was a freak accident."
"I don't think it was a 'freak accident'," L told him. "I believe that Kira just attempted to take your life, and that you somehow survived."
"Why would Kira want me dead?" Taro asked, confusion and seriousness in his voice. "I'm just a kid."
"No, you're not. You have been following The Kira Case ever since it started. You sent me messages, to tell me that you existed."
"I'm sorry, I don't remember any of this," Taro told him. He still held his head in his hands. "Please go, I need to get some sleep."
"What about Shinigami?" L asked. "Do you remember anything about them?"
"Shinigami?" Taro looked at him as if he were crazy. "Shinigami don't exist mister."
L went to remove the lanyard Taro had given him, the one with the flash-drive on it, to try and jog his memory, but found it gone. He had forgotten to take it out of his computer when they left for the hospital.
L was about to ask him more questions, when he saw Taro's face; he was clearly a little afraid. Deciding it would be best to back off, L stopped himself. "Alright, I am going to go. However, I will return tomorrow. Oh, and please don't tell anyone I visited you."
"Why?" Taro asked suspiciously.
"Because, if you do, I will retract my offer to let you join Wammy's House." L hoped he at least remembered his offer.
"What? But-"
"I know you could use the money for your mother, but my identity must be protected at all costs. So please, refrain from telling anyone of our meeting."
Taro growled a little. "Fine," Taro told him. "I won't tell anyone."
"Good. Goodnight, Taro Kagami."
"Goodnight, L."
L walked back to his limo, trying to figure out what had happened to Taro Kagami. Could Light have killed him, then resurrected him with a Death Eraser? Taro had told him about it, and how it could revive people, so it seemed plausible. But why take the risk?
He then thought of Taro's sudden amnesia. Was it genuine? Was he faking it? Light could have easily acquired a Death Eraser, and temporarily killed Taro as a threat. But he seriously doubted he would let him live; he'd be too much of a threat.
L's thoughts went back to the amnesia; how did he forget everything? He seemed to remember them meeting, but nothing about Kira. Nothing about Shinigami. Nothing about the Death Note. Nothing involving The Kira Investigation. But how? This was all so very confusing.
He needed help, and he needed it now. "Watari," L spoke loudly, "please contact Chief Yagami and the others; we need to meet tonight."
"Right away, Ryuzaki."
L pondered about bringing Light as well. He obviously knew that Taro was The Boy, but did he know that they had met? Either way, he could use this to his advantage. "And please have Light Yagami come as well."
"Of course."

Taro watched as the pale, hollow eyed, man left, backing out of his room with caution. He didn't like being threatened. He wondered who the man was, and why he presented himself as L.
Taro thought about the man's words, and wondered if there was some truth to them. He didn't want to admit it, but it felt to him as if the man were being honest. Did he forget something? Was it possible? The young boy groaned in pained, grabbing his head once again. Whenever he thought of the man, the supposed L, his head began to hurt.
"He's right," Taro said aloud. "I think I know something. But what?"
"Mr. Kagami?" Taro lifted his head to see one of his doctors. "How are you feeling? You're instruments showed you were in distress."
"The instruments?" Taro looked at the machines he was hooked up to. "Oh, those. Yeah, I guess I was little freaked out."
"Yes, being alone in a hospital can do that."
"No, I meant-" Taro stopped. He wasn't meant to tell anyone of the man's visit. Did that include the doctors?
"What did you mean, Taro?" the doctor asked with concern. "Is something wrong?"
"No," Taro said quickly, "I just meant that I'm freaked out over this whole thing. I mean, having a heart attack is pretty scary. And even being dead? That's pretty difficult to deal with."
"Yes, I can see your point." The doctor looked at him with focused eyes. "You're grabbing your head; does it hurt?"
"Just a headache," Taro answered. "Nothing I can't handle."
"Hmm. I'll order some bloodtests, just to be sure it's only a headache. After your ordeal, I don't want to take any chances."
"Thanks doc." Taro lied back down, resting his head on the pillow. "I'm gonna go to sleep now, if you don't mind."
"Well, you should've been asleep an hour ago, so I guess that's a good idea. Goodnight, Mr. Kagami."
"Goodnight." The doctor shut the lights off and walked out of the room, leaving Taro alone in the darkened room, the only light coming from the moon and the television. Taro felt his eyes grow heavy, and as he drifted to sleep, he contemplated L's, if that's who he was, words. Something told him he did know something about Kira. But what could he possibly know?
As he fell asleep, thinking about the confusing day he had, he felt another headache surfacing. This was all so very confusing.

And that ends this chapter. Leave a review. I demand it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Death Note: Chapter Zero. Chapter Fifteen: Blush.

Sorry it took longer than I said it would. I had writer's laziness, and didn't do anything for weeks. I went to Atlantic City on Sunday, maybe that got me writing. I don't know. Anyways, 4,504 words, not including this and the ending this thing. Author's Note I think. Anyways, enjoy chapter fifteen. I think you'll like it. Please leave a review; it's easier to write when I know someone is reading my work.

Chapter Fifteen: Blush
Light laughed an evil laugh, amazed at the name entry in the Death Note. Taro Kagami, The Boy who owned the Death Note before him, the child who had plagued him for months, was now dead. He couldn't believe that one of his enemies was so close to him. Light considered himself to be a very lucky person; killing the FBI agents, finding and killing Naomi Misora, another Death Note being given to another with his beliefs. It was almost too good to be true. And now, for Taro Kagami to not even realize who he was, to have never seen Ryuk ... it amazed him, it truly did.
"Are you sure?" Misa asked. "Maybe it's another boy I saw? I mean, maybe it's another Taro Kagami?" Misa hoped it was, but she didn't really believe it.
"No, I doubt it," Light told her smugly. He looked at Ryuk, who had been laughing the entire time. "Ryuk?"
"Yeah, it's him," Ryuk said. "I remember the first time I saw him, and he had killed those other kids; he thought the Death Note was just an ordinary diary! It was hilarious!"
"And I take it that's why you took it back?" Light asked. "Because you knew he wouldn't have the heart to use it?"
"Yeah. Oh well. I think I might actually miss him." Ryuk laughed again.
Light then thought of Taro and his connection to L; he wondered if he had ever come into contact with. He thought of his message to him, posing as Kira, and wondered what he could have sick. He knew it wasn't his true identity; he would have been too afraid of the real Kira intercepting it. 'He most likely said that he was the one killed Naomi Misora,' Light thought. 'That would have gotten his attention more than anything; not only that, but Kira would never reveal that to L, so it would tell him that someone else was after me.'
He was positive that L didn't know about Taro; if he did, he certainly would have been caught by now. He could suggest to Sayu a date on the beach, and he would die then. His sister would be upset for a while, but she'd get over it. Everything was perfect. "You did very good, Misa," Light praised. "And I think I know how to thank you."
Light leaned in closer to Misa, kissing her. He figured he should reward her somehow, and giving her himself seemed appropriate. Misa was frozen at first, until she relaxed, enjoying the kiss. Light felt Misa's tongue push on his lips, asking for entrance. He allowed her access, and he felt her tongue exploring his mouth. He enjoyed the pleasure it brought to him; just because he was close to becoming a god, didn't mean he didn't like sexual contact.
"Aw, looks like they love each other!" Light heard Ryuk say, amused at the sight of the two teenagers. "Maybe we should leave them alone."
"Yes, I think that would be appropriate," Rem said. Light couldn't hear them phasing through the walls, but knew that they left. He resumed his activities with Misa, becoming more into it as the seconds and minutes passed.
Light and Misa were on his bed, their shirts off when he heard a banging on the door. He quickly stopped what he was doing with Misa and went to the door. He could hear his sister yelling from behind the door. "LIGHT! LIGHT!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. "OPEN UP!"
Light opened the door quickly, expecting the worst, and Sayu ran in. She looked at her brother with a scared face. "Taro's in the hospital!" she breathed out. "We have to leave, NOW!"
"Your boyfriend?" Misa asked. Sayu looked at her, noticing she was missing her shirt, wearing only a black bra. Misa looked at herself, and quickly grabbed her shirt, putting it back on. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know!" Sayu said. "His mom heard his cell phone when I called, and she went in, and she found him on the ground!"
"Sayu, I've got the keys, let's go!" Light heard his mother say.
"Alright!" Sayu yelled back. She looked back to Light. "Come on! Get dressed so we can go!"
"Alright, alright," Light said, trying to calm his sister. "Go downstairs, I'll be down in thirty seconds."
Sayu ran out of Light's room, and hurried down the stairs, Light hearing her quickened steps as she went down. Light hurried getting dressed, mentally asking why Taro had died already. Why didn't the Death Note work? Did Misa screw things up? Having no time to berate his partner, Light hurried down the stairs and out the house, with Misa close behind.
Light hopped in the car, his mother and sister already inside. "What happened?" Light heard Ryuk ask. He sounded confused and excited, not sure what had happened. He ignored the Shinigami, focusing on his sister as she cried about Taro, hoping he would be okay.

Misa entered the hospital behind The Yagami family; she had completely forgotten amidst her and Light's 'activities' that Light's family knew Taro Kagami. She had hoped it was just a boy with the same name, but it seemed she was wrong. She waited in the waiting room with Light, while Sayu and her mother went to speak to someone. The two of them sat in an isolated corner, where no one would hear them.
"What the hell is going on!?" Light asked furiously. "You wrote down that he would drown; why is he dying now?"
"I don't know!" Misa lied. "Maybe it broke or something?"
"That's stupid Misa!" Light yelled a little loudly. Some of the other people in the room looked them, but Light ignored them. "The Death Note doesn't just break! It's impossible!"
"Not necessarily," Rem said. Misa hoped Rem could come up with something to explain the death. "It is extremely rare, but there are some humans who possess an immense amount of willpower, and are actually able to defy the effects of the Death Note. They will still die of course, but not due to the causes written down by the user."
"Is that possible?" Light asked. "He's just a little kid; how could he have that much power!"
"Yes, it is possible. But like I said, it is extremely rare. I never thought a child would have such conviction, however. It is most interesting."
"Interesting indeed," Light said. Misa was afraid what this meant; was Light gonna be caught? Would she? She then remembered the plan from the beginning; that Rem would erase his name once they were out of Light's house, and bring Taro Kagami back to life. She would have to do it soon, or he might be dead forever!
Sayu and Mrs. Yagami came up to Light and Misa, alongside another woman, who looked like she had been crying heavily. "Light," Mrs. Yagami said, gesturing towards the woman, "Misa, this Kiyode Kagami, Taro's mother. Kiyode, this is my son and his girlfriend."
"Nice to meet you," Kiyode said in a raspy voice.
"I'm sorry to have to meet you under these circumstances," Light said sympathetically. He stood and offered the woman his seat. She took it graciously, sitting down slowly. "How is he? Did the doctors say anything?"
"They're not sure," Taro's mother said. "They think he had a heart attack, but they're not sure."
"Don't worry," Misa comforted, "I'm sure he'll be fine." 'I know he'll be,' Misa thought.
"I'm gonna go to the restroom," Sayu said sullenly. "I'll be back soon."
Sayu walked off slowly, leaving the others sight. Misa then thought of her and Rem's plan, and decided do it now. "I'll go with her," Misa said. "I think she could use somebody to talk to."
"Thank you, Misa," Light's mother said. "Light and I will stay with Mrs. Kagami."
"Alright." Misa followed Sayu's path, as did Rem. She found the women's restroom and entered it, finding Sayu slowly washing her hands. Misa wondered if she had even gone to the bathroom. "Need to talk?"
Sayu turned around, surprised to see Misa. "No, I'm fine," she said. "I just need a little time alone."
"Look, I know how you feel," Misa told her.
"No you don't!" Sayu told her, quickly turning around to look at Misa. "You have no idea how it feels to lose someone you love!"
"I do know," Misa said harshly. She couldn't help but get angry at the young girl; she didn't know what she had gone through, she had no right to say that. "Last year, I lost my parents. They were killed by an intruder, a dope-fiend who was looking to steal something to get his next fix. So don't yell at me, that I don't know how you feel!"
Sayu had a look of regret on her face, and looked at the ground in shame. "I'm sorry," she said. "It's just, I don't know what to do. I really do love him; I know I'm only a kid, but I know with all my heart that I love him. I just don't know what I would do if anything happened to him."
"It's okay," Misa said, walking up to Sayu and hugging her. She could feel Sayu's muffled cries on her shoulder. "I'm sure he'll be fine. Nothing bad ever happens to good people." Misa looked at the bathroom mirror, at Rem's reflection. She blinked her eyes, hoping Rem would understand the signal. Rem nodded her head, and took out her Death Note and Death Eraser. She proceeded to erase Taro's name, and Misa sighed in contentment.
"It is done," Rem said. "Taro Kagami should now be alive and well."
"That's good," Misa said.
"What?" Sayu asked. Misa mentally slapped herself for speaking out loud.
"I said, 'that's good. Let it all out'." She hoped she would accept the excuse.
"Thanks, Misa." Sayu let go of Misa and wiped her eyes with her sleeves. "Come on, let's get out of the bathroom."
"Yeah, let's go." Misa grabbed a hold of Sayu's, and walked her out of the restroom. "Let's go to the vending machines; you should probably eat something."
"Yeah, sure." Misa lead Sayu to the vending machines, happy to see that no one there. Misa put some money in the machines, getting two bags of chips and two bottles of sodas. She relished the taste of the food and drink; it was a rarity for her to get to eat junk foods, considering her career, and she wanted to savor the taste for as long as she could.
"Misa, I'm sorry about before," Sayu said suddenly. Misa looked at her with a confused look.
"What for?" she asked.
"About interrupting you and Light," Sayu said with a blush. Misa blushed at the mention of their being caught. "I didn't realize you were doing ... that."
"Oh, no, it's fine. It was an emergency after all. And besides, it's not like you actually caught us doing anything pervy."
"Still, I didn't mean to see you guys topless." They stood in silence for while, until Sayu asked Misa something very personal. "Was that your first time?"
"What?!" Misa asked in embarrassment. "Why would you ask that? Why would you want to know that?"
"I'm just wondering. I mean, it's interesting to know, you know?"
Misa blushed heavily, but understood the girls curiosity; she herself would ask her friends if they had been with any guys, and try to squeeze them for any juicy details. "Yes, that would have been my first time," Misa said shyly, the blush on her face getting deeper. "But I can wait a little longer. I can wait forever if Light wants me to."
They stood in silence a little longer, when Misa spoke up. "We should head back; they might think we fell in the toilets or something!"
"Yeah, good idea." The two of the threw away the empty bags and bottles, and walked off. When the two of them found the others, they saw a doctor standing next to them. Taro's mother smiled and hugged the doctor.
"Please, take me to him!" she said loudly. "I have to see him!"
"Of course," the doctor told her. "Come, I'll take you to him." Taro's mother followed the doctor, and disappeared behind an electronically locked door.
"What happened?" Sayu asked with hope in her voice. "Is Taro okay?"
"The doctor said he just woke-up when they were prepping him for surgery," Light said in disbelief. "It's a miracle!"
"Oh, thank god!" Sayu sighed. "I was afraid he would die."
"The doctor said they're going to keep him over night," Mrs. Yagami told her. "They want to be sure whatever happened doesn't happen again."
"What did happen?" Sayu asked.
"They're not sure," Light said. "They didn't want to make any assumptions." Misa was glad that Taro Kagami was alive and well, but was still worried about what would happen with Light; he would know that something was wrong, and would probably find out what had happened. She hoped that he didn't know anything about the Death Eraser.

L sat in his limousine, anticipating his meeting with Taro Kagami. He wondered if Light would be exposed, if he was truly Kira. He was positive he was, but he truly hoped he was wrong; he didn't want someone so talented, so brilliant, to be a crazy serial killer with a god-complex.
His thoughts ventured to Taro Kagami, the young boy who so selflessly put his life on the line to stop a murderer, who did such a good job at getting L to find him. It truly amazed him at how brilliant the young boy had been. He wondered if he would accept his offer to join Wammy's House Institute; he had sent Roger, one of Watari's most trusted friends, to the Kagami household in order to offer Taro a place in the school/orphanage. He hoped he would accept; Taro was exceptionally bright, and clearly had good morals. He could easily become one of the candidates to become his successor.
"Watari," L said to the old man, who was driving to their current headquarters, "I would like to stop for some ice-cream. Please stop somewhere."
"Of course, Ryuzaki." The old man played with the GPS, and put in the coordinates for an ice-cream shop. L waited in silence until they arrived. "What would you like, Ryuzaki?"
"I would like-" L stopped mid-sentence. He thought of Taro, and how independent he had been throughout The Kira Investigation, doing things himself. It occurred to L that he had never actually gotten his own ice-cream, nor his own cake, candy, or anything that he had wanted. Watari always went for him.
"Actually, I think I'll go myself."
"Are you sure?" Watari asked. "What if someone sees you? Takes a picture?"
"I will take the risk," L said, opening the door beside. "Besides, I think I should start doing things for myself."
"If that is what you want, Ryuzaki." L exited the limousine and walked into the ice-cream. He waited in line, which wasn't too long, having only two people in front of him. He looked around and noticed that most of the customers were college students. He didn't recognize any of them, as he had hardly ever gone to school. He hoped no one would recognize him.
L walked up to the man behind the counter after the people in front of him went to their tables. The man was old and bald, his skin wrinkled with age. L wondered if the man was simply an employee, or if he was in fact the jolly owner. "Hello, what would you like?"
"I would like a double sundae, please. With extra strawberries," L told the man. The old man sighed and walked off. L watched him make the sundae, and he was positive that the man wasn't the jolly old owner, but rather a simple, grumpy old man. The old man placed the sundae on the counter, stabbed a spoon in it, and pushed a few buttons on the cash register.
"That's $10.50," the man said. L reached into his pocket and realized that he didn't have any money; Watari always bought everything for him, so he didn't think to carry it on him. "I said that's $10.50."
"I seem to have no money on me," L said plainly. "If you would wait just a minute-"
"I've got it," L heard someone, a woman, from behind say. He looked behind him to see a young woman holding a purse. The woman took out her wallet and gave the man $11.00. When she received her change, she put it in the tip jar. "There you go."
L looked at the woman, then the sundae, then back at the woman. "Um, thank you," L said. "But I have money in my car."
"It's no problem." The woman picked up the sundae and grabbed L's hand, dragging him to a table where a bespectacled girl sat, reading a book that L noticed as being 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'.
'What's happening?' L thought.
"Sit," the woman told him. He did as she told, a little scared at what was happening. What was happening? "Hey, Kiyoko, looked who I found!"
The glasses wearing girl looked up from behind her book, and blushed, her face in shock. She lost her grip on her book and it dropped on the table. She looked from L to the woman, the blush on her face getting redder and larger with each passing second.
L looked at his sundae in the other girl's hands, and quickly took it from her. "I don't know what's going on," L said, taking the spoon from the ice-cream, and eating a spoonful. "She just paid for my ice-cream and dragged me here."
The glasses wearing girl, Kyoko, picked up her book and opened it, holding it up to her face, blocking it from view. "Put the book down!" her friend said fiercely, grabbing the book and putting it in her purse. "You're talking to him whether you like it or not!" The girl sat down, looking expectantly at Kyoko.
Kyoko looked from left to right until she finally spoke. "You're Hideki Ryuuga," she said nervously. "From To-Oh Academy."
"Yes. Yes, I am," L said, using a phrase from one of his favorite shows. "And you're Kyoko, from To-Oh Academy."
She looked at him with a smile. "You know my name?"
"Yes. Your friend just said it." L was still trying to figure out what was happening, but nothing came to mind. "And I got To-Oh Academy from your saying I go there."
"Oh, yeah." She seemed even more embarrassed now. "So, how come you're not at school? I never see you around."
"I have work to do," L told her. "I go when I can."
"You hang around Light Yagami, right?" Kyoko asked. "The other freshman representative?"
"Yes, I have spoken to him on occasion. How did you know?"
"I saw you talking to him. I also saw your tennis game. You were really good!"
"Thank you. Although you should know that I lost."
"You still did incredible! And besides, you were playing Light Yagami; he was a junior champion, so it's not very surprising." Kyoko brought her hand to her mouth, thinking she had insulted him. "I'm sorry!"
"For what?" L asked, not understanding why she was apologizing. "It's the truth. I have nothing to be ashamed of."
"Sorry," she said again. "I mean .. sorry!"
"I'm just gonna say that it's alright." L took another spoonful of ice-cream into his mouth. They sat in silence, L not sure of what to do, and Kyoko too shy to speak. Kyoko's friend, whose name L didn't know yet, spoke up.
"So anyway, you should totally come to my party next week!" the girl said.
"Akiko!" Kyoko whined. "What are you doing?"
"Quiet!" her friend, Akiko, told her. She looked back at L. "Anyways, you should totally come. It's next week, nine days to be exact. Just be there by six p.m.; you'll have fun."
"A party," L repeated. He still didn't fully understand what was happening; he got that they, or at the very least, Akiko, were trying to befriend him, but it seemed different. More personal. "I've never been to a party."
"That's good!" Akiko told him. "Neither has Kyoko! You can go together!"
"AKIKO!" Kyoko whined loudly. "Stop!"
It was then that L caught on as to what Akiko was doing. He felt himself blush a little as he said, "You mean a date?"
"Yes, I mean a date," Akiko told him. "It'll be nice. You can have a few drinks, dance; it'll be fun!"
L looked at his ice-cream; nothing like this had ever happened to him before, so he didn't know how to proceed. Just then, a voice spoke out to him. "Ryuuga."L turned around to see Watari standing behind him. "I believe it's time we leave."
"Oh. Of course." L stood, leaving the ice-cream on the table. Watari went to pick it up, but L stopped him. "No need, leave it." Watari was shocked at L's words, and left the sundae on the table.
As the two began to leave, Akiko ran up them. "Hold on!" she said, blocking the door. She took a pen and paper out of her purse and wrote something on it. She handed it to L. "This is Kyoko's number. Just call her if you decide on coming or not."
L reached out and took the piece of paper. He looked at the number with a little fear, then nodded his head. He kept his head down as Akiko got out of their way, walking back to Kyoko and their table. L looked back and saw Kyoko with her head on her arms, her face on the table. He then left the shop, and went to the limousine.
As they started to drive, L stared at the piece of paper. It read, 'Kyoko', and then her number. He wasn't sure what was happening.
"What will you do, Ryuzaki?" Watari asked.
"I don't know," L told him. "I've never had this happen to me before."
"Well, if you want my advice, I'd say call her after you catch Kira." L had forgotten about The Kira Investigation, he was so focused on Kyoko and his situation. "If I do say so myself, that young lady seemed quite smitten with you."
L blushed.

Taro woke up in a hospital bed, jerking up from his revival, all of sudden full of life once again. It felt like a sudden pull of life, painful, but an immense relief. He remembered the Darkness he had seen during his death, and hoped to god that it was just his imagination.
He immediately saw a bright light upon waking up, and saw several doctors over him in white smocks. He could hear the beating of a heart monitor, telling him he was alive. The doctors were obviously shocked; some cursed in surprise, some thanked god, and one even fainted. Taro struggled to get up, but was forced down by the doctors. "Calm down, Taro!" one of them yelled. "It's alright, we're not gonna hurt you!"
Taro stopped struggling, and looked around him. He tried to ask, but found that he couldn't speak; he had a tube shoved down his throat, which Taro guessed was used to keep him breathing. He brought his hands to his mouth, trying to pull it out, but was stopped by the doctors. They proceeded to remove it for him, allowing him to breath normally. "What happened?" Taro asked. "Where's my mom?" His voice was raspy, his throat dry, and it hurt to speak, but did so anyway.
"Your mother's fine," the doctor said slowly. Taro figured he was the head physician. "She's in the waiting room. We'll bring her in shortly. For now, you have to rest."
Taro lied down on the bed, which he found was in fact a gurney, and rested his head on the pillow.
Taro was brought to a personal room, where the doctors asked him questions. What happened? Did he eat anything funny? Did he use any drugs? Did he have a preexisting medical condition? He answered them all with the same word. No. He didn't know what happened, and he didn't really care; he just wanted to go home.
He was left alone in the room with a nurse, just in case he crashed. His mother eventually came in, crying and running to him the moment she saw him, hugging him tightly. The nurse told her not to hug him so tightly, as they didn't know what had happened yet.
"Oh, my baby boy, I was so scared!" his mother cried. "Thank God you're alright."
"I'm fine, Mom, really."
"You nearly died!" she told him. Your phone was ringing, and you didn't answer it, so I went to your room, and there you were! On the floor, not breathing!"
"I'm sorry I worried you so much," Taro apologized.
"Don't apologize honey! I'm just glad you're okay."
Taro and his mother talked for a while, until the doctor asked her leave, so he could do some tests and ask more questions.
After the questions, Taro was visited by his mother and the Yagami family, everyone except for Sayu's father. Light looked at Taro with questioning eyes.
"I'm so glad you're okay!" Sayu said, hugging him gently. "I thought we lost you!"
"Yeah, well, I'm hard to get rid of." He looked at Light, who had a look of confusion on him. "What's the matter Light? You seem confused." Light perked up at Taro's words, and Taro noticed that his ears perked up as well, as if he heard something.
"I'm fine," Light said with a smile. "I'm just surprised at what happened, is all."
"Yeah, you and me both." Taro smiled, and let out a little laugh. He felt an odd sensation, as if someone was watching him, trying to speak to him. But he disregarded it; it was probably just his imagination.
"I'll come visit you everyday," Sayu told him. "I'll bake you some get-well cookies, too! Chocolate-Chip!"
Taro blushed. "That'd be nice," he said. As they talked, the doctor came back in.
"I'm sorry," the doctor told them, "but I don't want my patient getting too excited, so I'll have to ask you all to leave."
Taro's mother was about to speak when the doctor held up his hand to stop her. "Don't worry, you can stay, Mrs. Kagami. I think it would be for the better."
"Thanks, doc," Taro said. He looked at Sayu. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Sayu."
"Yeah." Sayu kissed him on the cheek. "See you tomorrow." Taro smiled.
After the Yagami family left, Taro's mother pinched her son's cheek. "Oh, you and your girlfriend are so cute!"
"MOM!" Taro whined. He blushed.

And that's the end of chapter fifteen. How'd you like it? I always wanted to add Kyoko, the girl who has a crush on L. I don't know why. Anyways, what's wrong with Taro? He seems to be acting strange. Did anyone else notice that? I did. Maybe because I'm the one who wrote it? Nah, that can't be it. Anyways, please remember to leave a review. It helps with the creative process.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"The Secret Rule" Chapter 18: The Secret is Out

I'm guessing you are all probably tired of hearing this, but once again, I apologize for taking so long to update. I've not been in the mood to write fanfiction in months, and will soon retire from actively posting on so as to move on to other writing projects. However, I am not going to leave this story unfinished. I know this story has been going for about a year now, but the final chapter will be published before the end of the summer. I promise.

When we last saw our heroes, L was engaged with Kira in a public debate, but it's actually a ruse to draw him away from Taro, who is making a separate broadcast bent on exposing Kira's secrets. Meanwhile, Kira's proxy, Yuu Sabanto, prepares to make her move.

"Kira is just a man. He attended high school and university right here in Japan, and is now a mere 27 years old. No matter how much power he may have, he is not a god."

"You seem to know a lot about him," the newswoman said, sitting behind her own frosted glass panel across from Taro. "How did you come to know all of this?"

"Some of it involved my own research, and I also ran into a couple of his old friends. However, I've known a lot about Kira's operation from the very beginning, but I'll get to that in a moment."

"I see," she said. "And what did you plan to do with this information?"

Taro smiled sheepishly, even though he knew the audience couldn't see it. "Well, at first I was really scared. Even though he's an ordinary man, he has a considerable amount of power and influence. And I was much younger when Kira first appeared, so there was that."

The newswoman nodded understanding. "So why did you come forward now, at a time when Kira is very strict about dealing with people who oppose his methods?"

"Because people deserve to know the truth," Taro said. The newswoman opened her mouth to speak again, but Taro went on. "Not necessarily in every aspect. Certainly, sometimes people are entitled to keep their secrets. However, most of the people who follow Kira do so because they believe Kira to be a god, and that's simply not true."

"Who's to say that having as much power as he possesses doesn't make Kira some kind of god?" the newswoman asked.

She sounds like she supports Kira, Taro thought. Either that, or she's playing a good devil's advocate. Let's hope good journalism is as objective as it claims to be.

Then again, it's not like I don't have an agenda here either.

"Because it's not really a power, it's a tool," Taro explained. "And while it is rare, it is not unique to Kira, and anyone in possession of it can use it easily."

"And could you tell us about this...tool?" she asked.

"Actually," Taro said, pulling out a piece of paper, "I'm prepared to show you."

That was the signal. Matsuda wrote down the name.

Xavier Anderson

And now, we wait, he thought.

On the screen, Taro's silhouette passed the paper to the show's host, and instructed the announcer to switch to the Skype feed they had provided. A man appeared on the screen, sitting in front of his webcam. A mask covered the upper half of his face.

Just enough that people can see his expressions, but not enough for someone with the shinigami eyes to see his name. He had already checked.

The man waved to his audience. Behind the glass, Taro explained that this man had volunteered for the experiment. Then, as the second hand on the clock reached the top, the man on the screen suddenly clutched his chest, and his face contorted with agony. Then he collapsed.

Matsuda pulled out the eraser. Now came the tricky part.

The newswoman's face became pale. That, combined with the phones in the studio going berserk, told Taro there was a good chance the viewers wouldn't think there was a fraud.

And there wasn't, of course. But they hadn't passed the biggest hurdle yet.

"It's called a Death Note," he explained. "Any person whose name is written in it dies of a heart attack, so all Kira needs to know in order to kill his victims is their name and what they look like. What he does isn't exactly divine or even difficult."

"So, you've set up this demonstration to show the public that you also have this tool?" the newswoman asked.

"Yes," Taro said. "Several other people have also come to possess items like this one since the rise of Kira. Most notably, there was the so-called 'Second Kira,' who appeared in 2004, but then mysteriously vanished. Unlike them, however, I've never worked under Kira himself."

"And they did?"

"Yes, they were all his pawns, whom he used to conduct his killings for him, while he worked behind the scenes."

"And it was all done by this paper?" she asked.

"Yes, but there's more," Taro assured her. "What Kira doesn't know, or rather, didn't know until recently, is that there's a way to undo this."

A skeptical eyebrow went up. "Oh?"

"Yes. Just like there is a killing paper called a Death Note, there is something called the Death Eraser." Taro pulled an eraser from his jacket pocket. "If I erase a name from the Death Note with this, that person will come back to life." he said. "Kira may have told you that he brought back those who were killed by the latest Kira imitator last summer, but that was a lie. I brought them back."

Then Taro erased the name from the paper. The studio cut again to the Skype feed, and the whole world watched as Taro's volunteer sat up and waved.

The incoming calls were roaring through the studio. The host took the signal from her boss, and said, "Well, with that astounding claim, we're cutting to a quick commercial break. We'll be taking calls when we come back. Stay tuned."

"And cut!" the boss said. Both Taro and the host relaxed. She pulled out a cigarette and lit it. She looked even more nervous than Taro was.

"I'll give you this, you sure are brave," she said. "I'd bet there's a lot of people who aren't taking what you said very well. If not for our top security, there's a good chance they would come to shut you up."

Taro smiled weakly. "That's what I'm counting on."

In reality, though, Taro was getting more and more anxious. Each passing moment made it more likely that Kira's proxy would make his move, and this plan was far from perfect. A single slip could spell disaster. If the proxy was prepared enough to defeat them, or clever enough to not come at all, it would all be for nothing.

In the grand scheme of things, the L/Kira debate meant nothing. While it was true that Kira keeping most of the people on his side would make things even more difficult for Taro and the others, it would be alright as long as the proxy was captured. All the dominoes would fall once that happened. The only purpose of the debate was to tie Light down, leaving only his proxy to deal with the impromptu broadcast.

Of course, given that broadcast had been announced that day through graffiti on the street, it was possible that the proxy might not even know about it. A lot of local viewers were more obsessed with the debate, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the proxy could be among them. Not to mention that this would all be for naught if the proxy wasn't in Japan as Ryuzaki had speculated.

So many things that could go wrong. It'll be a miracle if we can pull this off. We have to lure the proxy into action.

"And we have our first caller of the program," the host said. "Go ahead, please."

"Yes, I think your guest owes us an explanation as to how he knows all of this. So far, all we've been given is a very implausible theory as to how Kira kills, with 'proof' that could very easily have been faked. Kira's given us better arguments."

"True," Taro replied, reaching into his bag and pulling out a folder of papers. Thanks to Ryuzaki's efforts, they were ready for this.

"This is an official police report, filed on November 6th, 2002, about one year before Kira first appeared. The specific names and places have been censored, but it tells of five junior high students who abruptly dropped dead of heart attacks, and bizarrely, came back to life only days later. This was crossed-referenced with some other cases, unsolved, from even earlier, where a particular group of people mysteriously died of heart attacks in a way that benefited others. In this case, it was determined by the leading detectives that a student who had been bullied by these five kids had come to possess this object, which is called a Death Note, and the eraser that can undo its actions. The case was believed by the detectives to be closed, but..."

Taro gulped. No matter how many times he recounted this story, it never got any easier.

"...the notebook was not destroyed. Instead, it was accidentally passed on to the individual known as Kira, while the student kept the eraser. I am that student, and I've had the eraser for the past 11 years."

The host's eyes widened with curiosity, as the police file was put on the screen for the viewers to inspect.

"For those of you who are still not convinced," Taro went on, "there's another source you can try. A few years ago, in an attempt to lure Kira in without causing suspicion, I submitted a manuscript for a one-shot manga to Shounen Jump, titled "The Death Note." It was published on November 25, 2009, and it detailed all of the events contained in that police report, but also with the names of people and places changed. In addition to setting bait for Kira, it was also meant to act as a means of testing people's opinions on Kira. Mainly, what if Kira was one of us?"

Shit, it really is the guy with the eraser that Kira told me about, Sabanto thought. He's an even bigger threat than I realized. I have to kill him.

There was a knock, and Matsuda jumped a meter into the air.

Relax, he thought. It's just Kei.

He went to open the door, and sure enough, there was Kei Sanami, back from her book club. She peered around Matsuda and sniffed the air. "Dear, did you fix dinner like I asked you to?"

Crap. "Sorry, I forgot. I"

Kei shook her head and put her hands on her hips. "Touta, Touta, what am I going to do with you?"

Matsuda grinned sheepishly. "I don't know. You were the one who married me."

Kei laughed. Oh, how Matsuda loved the way she laughed. Like most people, she laughed at him, but it always felt so much more kind-hearted than when, say, Aizawa used to.

"Well, perhaps we'll just go out to eat, instead," she suggested.

Matsuda bit his lip. "Unfortunately, I'm still in the middle of something, but I promise I'll take you out as soon as I'm finished."

Kei sighed. "More top-secret Kira business? Oh, alright. You know I can't stay mad at you."

Matsuda chuckled weakly and turned back to the broadcast. The commercial break was over, and one of the callers was angrily telling Taro that he shouldn't be opposing Kira. And when Taro reminded them that his main concern was informing the public of the truth, the host interrupted, pointing out that the timing of the broadcast was definitely intended to undermine Kira.

"NHN's got someone to talk about Kira?" Kei asked.

"Yeah," Matsuda said. Only this time, it's someone that actually knows what he's talking about. He noticed Kei frowning. "What is it?"

"It's just...don't you think it's weird that Koheina isn't hosting this?" Kei asked.


"Yeah. Ever since NHN stopped pandering to Kira, Koheina's the one that always does the stories about Kira, because he's the only one that isn't biased."

That's true, Matsuda thought. How did I not notice that? Unlike Taro, the host's voice wasn't filtered, and it definitely wasn't Koheina. It wasn't even a guy.

"That sounds more like Sabanto," Kei said.

"Sabanto?" Matsuda said. "She's the most biased of them all."

"Exactly. So why is NHN having her host something like this?" Kei asked.

Good question, Matsuda thought. Come to think of it, Koheina was supposed to host this show. But there's no doubt that Sabanto is the one who's hosting it instead. Something's fishy about this. I guess that if Koheina couldn't be there, they would have to get a replacement. But that...that...

Matsuda ran to the phone. "Director Kishimoto? This is Sanami. Have there been any Kira-related deaths reported in the past few hours?"

As they went to another commercial break, Taro turned to his host. "Excuse me, Ms..."

The woman smiled. "Just call me Yuu."

"Yuu, what do you think about all this? I know that you're trying to remain unbiased in this, but I can tell that you happen to support Kira. Does any of this strike as being a little unsettling, that we've basically entrusted our justice system to a single, unknown person, just because he has this notebook?"

Yuu smiled. "Not necessarily. Crime rates have been reduced because of him, and you can't argue with those kinds of results. If he is just a man, I'd say that just makes the impact he has had even more impressive."

"Really? That's a whole lot of power for one person to have."

"Well then, what about you?" Yuu asked. "By your own admission, you've killed people with this notebook, regardless of the fact that you brought them back later. Yet you've waited until now to come forward with this information. You're trying to mitigate your own crimes in order to bring Kira down: in effect, using the Death Note for your own ends. If the police arrest Kira for what he's done, then don't you deserve whatever fate he receives? Especially if you're partially responsible for Kira receiving this power in the first place?"

Taro gritted his teeth. "Maybe. But I'll worry about that when the time comes."

Just then, a sharp ringing sound split the air. But it wasn't any of the studio phones: it was Taro's cell phone.

What now? thought Taro, hoping it wasn't who he suspected it was. No such luck. Matsuda's number flashed on the screen. He had promised to only call if there was an emergency. Which, at this stage of the game, was very bad news.

"What is it?" he asked.

"The host is the proxy!"

Taro gulped. His whole life flashed before his eyes. After so many years of chasing Kira, the goal was so close he could practically taste it. But the best chance of victory also invited the best chance of fatal defeat.

"I understand, but I'm a little busy at the moment," Taro said, trying to keep a stoic expression for Sabanto's sake. Twenty seconds before the end of the commercial break. "We'll talk later." Then he hung up.

"Who was that?" Sabanto asked.

"Oh, just-" For some reason, no one came to mind as an immediate excuse. Oh right, it's because I don't have any friends. "-my wife," he finally blurted out. Why was that so hard? "I just need to let her know what's going on. She worries about me."

Sabanto smiled. "I'm sure she does."

Hoping she might buy the "I'm texting my wife" line, Taro messaged Matsuda.

Are you sure?

As the show resumed, Taro tried to pay attention to the caller's question, but he was getting anxious. He had to know what Matsuda had found out. Finally, the response came.

We had arranged for Kenichi Koheina to host the interview, but Yuu Sabanto replaced him at the last minute. Also, Koheina has just found dead in his house. Heart attack.

That was certainly suspicious.

Taro: What do we do? We can't just grab her now. If Light doesn't hear back from her, he'll know something's wrong.

Matsuda: X and I have worked out a plan. Listen carefully...

"Tell me something, Yuu," Taro asked, during the next commercial break. "Were you in the news business a few years ago, when Kira was speaking directly through the media?"

"Yes," Sabanto said. "I had just started at the time, but I remember when Kira killed the Sakura TV newscasters over their monument campaign."

"Did you ever want to be Kira's mouthpiece yourself?"

Yuu smiled. "Well, I couldn't have been even if I wanted to. Even though he came to our network, Kiyomi Takada was a veteran, so there's no way I would have gotten picked over her. Besides, she had the face for it."

She chuckled. Taro squirmed, not sure whether it was polite to laugh or not.

"But the truth is that I didn't want to be his voice on the news," she continued. "It's like...I always got the feeling Takada did it for the attention. You didn't work with her, so you probably had no idea how much of a snob she was in real life. I thought that following Kira's directions to be famous was being faithful for the wrong reasons."

"So," Taro concluded, "it would be better to just follow Kira's lead in one's everyday life. Without being noticed."


"Like in those underground cells."

Sabanto's mouth twitched. "What?"

"I mean, it's obvious that Kira's set up his own neighborhood watch, especially with what happened to the orphanage in England."

Sabanto's smile began to fade.

"You mean that attack? What about it"

"I heard it had something to do with L. That his successors were being trained at that orphanage or something."

Taro tried not to grin. He could see the cogs in Sabanto's mind turning. Did he hear that from L himself? Does that mean they're working together? For a threat like him to be working directly with L would be a major problem for Kira and Sabanto. She couldn't let that slide.

And yet, Sabanto seemed surprisingly calm.

"So...about those 'neighborhood watches'?" she asked.

"I was just wondering if that was the sort of thing you'd say was the 'right way' to support Kira."

Sabanto leaned back in her seat, with her hands firmly in her pockets. "Well, obviously, they shouldn't be disobeying the law. That would defeat the purpose of a perfect society."

Nice answer.

"So then you don't approve?"

Sabanto smiled. "Whether I do or not seems like a rather personal thing to ask, doesn't it?"

It might be, but now that Taro thought about it, he was sure she had been in the crowd when L was killed. Should I bring that up? Matsuda did say to try and goad her. No, it's almost time to get back on the air. But it doesn't look like I've gotten to her yet.

"Oh yes, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be impertinent."

"It's no trouble," Sabanto assured him. Then she noticed the director signaling. "Well, shall we continue, Taro?"

"Of course," Taro said. Then he realized that she had just dropped her voice down almost to a whisper, and called him by his name. Her lips curled ever so slightly into a smile.

She's already written my name down. God, I hope you've got a plan, Matsuda. If this doesn't work, I'll be dead. Again. Kira will have finally beaten me. I'll have nothing to show for 10 years of work and staying alive.

Then he realized that, again, he hadn't thought about Sayu. On the eve of confrontation with Kira, his thoughts had been totally concerned with the victory or defeat that was imminent, but not with his wife. Or, for that matter, any of his family. Or his old classmates. Or his old coworkers.

His life had become consumed by Kira.

And yet, unlike before, he had no ill feelings towards Kira because of this. All he could feel was guilt over going through life without really living it, either for others or himself. Kira or no Kira, life went on. Other people had managed to live their lives regardless of the world Light was creating. When was the last time I even spoke to my parents? he thought. It must have been years. He could think of no intentions he had in life other than seeing this matter resolved. He had even tried to bring back thousands from the dead: undoing Kira's work without giving a thought to the disastrous consequences. He had wondered what Ryuzaki would do with his life once Kira was finally caught. What would I do?

Not that any of that mattered now.

But Sayu...

She had put up with his secrets, and with his obsessions. And there were still more; he hadn't even told her the most important step in the plan to bring Kira down. And somehow, she had managed to forgive him for his dishonesty. That was more than he could have expected or asked for. But now he found himself thinking about why he had decided to marry her in the first place.

He knew the answer. He had always known it. And that was the greatest crime of all.

"Excuse me."

Taro snapped back to reality. "What?"

Sabanto looked at him. "The caller was asking about why we should care about all of this, as long as Kira keeps us safe?"

Taro's mind was a blank. For all his preparation, he was unable to think clearly about how to answer this, the most important question. But his mouth continued to speak, as if his body realized he had only seconds left.

"Because if Kira is human, he is fallible. And if I cannot sit before you and speak against him, then who can?"

Taro saw Sabanto's smile falter ever so slightly as it occurred to her exactly what was going to happen.

Then Taro felt it.

The sudden pain in his chest.

He was grateful that, as a 14-year-old kid at the police station, he had asked for a painless death.

Because a heart attack, especially one that could kill you in seconds, was even more painful than he had imagined.

He fell out his chair, clutching his chest, trying to claw the pain away. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sabanto leap down next to him. "Oh, no! Someone grab the defibrillator!" Very clever, Sabanto, to cover your tracks. While the whole studio was in a panic, Sabanto leaned down close to his body. "It's okay, we're going to get the medics in here," but even as she said that, Taro felt her reaching into his jacket pocket and seizing the piece of paper and the eraser.

Then she smiled. "Sweet dreams," she whispered.

Taro didn't hear any more of her lies. He blacked out before the medics could reach him.

Then he awoke. He sat up and looked around.

The studio was dark, and very nearly deserted. There was a man standing a few feet away. He turned and saw Taro.

"Good, you made it back," Matsuda said. "Good thing you came back here, and not the morgue. That would have been awkward." He chuckled nervously.

Taro breathed a sigh of relief. The mere fact that he was alive meant the plan had worked.

"Where's Sabanto?" he asked.

"In her dressing room," Matsuda said. "X is with her."

"Just X?" Taro asked.

"Yeah," Matsuda replied. "Sayu and Ryuzaki are still at their posts. They're waiting to hear from us."

Good. This next part would have been a lot harder if Sayu was here. "Well, let's not keep them waiting too much longer."

"So, you were working with them, Xavier Anderson," Sabanto sneered. She would have happily strangled the man in front of her, or least written his name down, if her hands weren't tied to her chair.

"Just call me X," he grunted. "And they did say I was a volunteer. Unlike you and Kira, we don't lie."

"X? So you're one of the letters, then."

"The last one," X confirmed, glaring at her.

"So, how did you know it was me?" she asked.

"Koheina's body. If you need to commit murder in order to reach your target, you shouldn't leave him where it can be found."

Sabanto frowned, and when she saw Taro and Matsuda walk into the room, the frown deepened.

"I guess you got me," Sabanto spat. "But you were all pretty lucky. Especially you." She nodded her head at Taro. "I was on my way to destroy the evidence when you guys caught up with me. Then the eraser would have been useless."

"Actually," Matsuda explained, "it wasn't luck at all." He reached into his pocket and held up a piece of paper for Sabanto to read.

Yuu Sabanto, heart attack.

She carries out her plan to kill the person trying to expose Kira's secrets. She confirms her mission's success to Kira, then waits quietly until the commotion at the studio dies down. Then she walks to her dressing room with the intention to dispose of the evidence.

"And that's where we found you," X reminded her. "We knew you would have brought some of the Death Note with you, just in case you had to kill Taro. And we specified that you wouldn't dispose of that paper until you came here, so there was no chance it could be destroyed."

"From there, it was simply a matter of finding the Death Note piece in your pocket, and erasing Taro's name," said Matsuda.

"But instead of giving Taro the Death Note paper and the eraser, we had it, so we could use it without being observed, and so you wouldn't get ahold of it," X finished. "We staged my little death scene for the public and for you, and made it look like Taro did it."

Sabanto scowled, apparently unfazed at the prospect that she was about to die. "Kind of hypocritical to say all that stuff about Kira being evil, and then use a Death Note yourself."

Matsuda and X were at a loss for words at that remark, but Taro responded through clenched teeth.

"We never claimed to be the good guys. But we are going to restore the balance so that things can go back to normal."

Sabanto laughed. "That's rich. All you've managed to do is kill me, and Kira is still out there. You haven't exactly accomplished much."

"But we will," X said. "Once you tell us where Kira is."

Sabanto laughed again. "What makes you think I know where he is?"

"L told us that Kira's plan would most likely be to set a system in place so judgment could be carried on after he died," Matsuda said. "In theory, you would replace him, and so you would have to have some way of getting to whatever supplies he hasn't given you. So, you know where he is."

"And even if that were true," Sabanto continued, ignoring him, "why would I tell you?"

"Because Kira will betray you," Taro said. "You mentioned Kiyomi Takada earlier. She worked directly with Kira, and he killed her as soon as she ended up in a compromising position."

"And she was his former girlfriend, too," Matsuda piped in.

"Kira doesn't deserve your loyalty," Taro continued. "If your positions were reversed, he would give you away in a heartbeat."

Sabanto laughed again. "Kira has nothing to fear from me. You're all wasting your time."

"That's what you think," Taro said, "but that's because you don't the whole story. Show her, Matsuda."

Matsuda shifted his grip on the paper, revealing an additional line of Sabanto fate that was hidden behind his finger.

When she arrives at her dressing room, she is captured by members of the Task Force. She discloses the location of Kira to her captors. Afterwards, she dies.

Sabanto's smug smile vanished instantly. She understood the implications of this. If a situation described in the Death Note was impossible, the victim would simply die of a heart attack after 40 seconds. Sabanto, however, was still alive, even with these described conditions. That meant that not only did she have the information they were looking for, but she would give it up if pressed hard enough. And her captors knew it, too, so now they had the advantage. The Death Note never lied. Confession was possible, and thus, inevitable.

Of course, sometimes the specific circumstances can help, thought Taro. I doubt she would give up Kira if she didn't have proof that she will. Fate can be circular that way, I guess.

"I brought equipment to torture the information out of you," X said, opening a bag at his feet. "I would prefer not to resort to that, however. Since you're going to tell us anyway, you might as well do it now, and save yourself some pain."

The broken Sabanto didn't need that much convincing. Ten minutes later, she named an address in Texas where she said they would be able to find Kira. Then, just as the paper promised, she let out a strangled cry, and slumped over, lifeless.

"Now we know where Light is, and he doesn't know we're coming," X said. "You two dispose of her body; I'll go take Kira down."

"That's actually not the plan," Taro said evenly.

X raised his eyebrow, but before he could ask Taro what he meant, he suddenly staggered. "What" was all he managed to get out before he collapsed.

"Did we really need to kill him?" Matsuda asked. "I know we can bring him back to life, but still...And L told us he was trained at undercover operations. Are you sure we can't let him do it?"

"We both know what you saw," Taro reminded him, reaching for X's bag. "X isn't the one who is supposed to kill Kira. I am." Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a sealed envelope. "Please give this to Sayu. Hopefully, it will help her understand."

Matsuda's eyes teared up, but he kept a stiff upper lip. "Goodbye, Taro."

In a flash, Taro envisioned a future in which he became good friends with Matsuda. In which he could be a proper husband to Sayu. He shrugged it away.

He smiled. "Goodbye, Touta."

Then he left the room. It was finally time to end this.

To be concluded...