Justice Lives Ch.3
Justice Lives Chapter 3
Comments, ploz. I feel as if I'm getting too wordy for my own good and it's going to mess up the pacing. Blaaarg.
III :: Progress
Every city has its underworld; a place festering with those on the lowest rungs of the social and financial ladder. There’s little hope for these people and crime among them is rampant. The good, innocent handful of them is victim to their own vicious kind. It’s the very definition of dog eat dog. In places like this, it isn’t easy finding something good and pure to cling to.
And then Kira was at large. There’s no question about it, there are plenty of people out there that recognized him as a beacon of hope. As Kira gained acceptance the past few years, more and more individuals became open about their support. Groups formed, cults you might call them, to show their appreciation to the seemingly supernatural being. People from all walks of life joined in the wave of change that started to wash over the world. As soon as the news of Kira’s capture spread, however, these groups quickly dissipated within days. The lot of them were from the regular working class, the kind that returned to going about their daily lives just as they normally did before Kira’s popularity.
Only the true followers remain now, the ones who believe that their lives were actually changed because of Kira. They walk the streets and secretly continue gathering; whispering plans of saving the one that they have come to see as their savior...
Near looked up from his action figures when Gevanni and Lidner entered along with Touta Matsuda. After running through the figures, the rest of the task force and Misa were accounted for and had proper alibis during the period of time when Light Yagami's body went missing. Misa was under supervision with Mogi, Ide, and an old friend of hers while Aizawa was at home with his wife and child. That left only one main suspect to clear or convict. If the culprit was going to fake Light Yagami coming back to life by leaving his footprints, then he must have had a strong connection to Kira. It’s time to begin the interrogation. “Do you regret your actions in shooting Kira, Light Yagami, four days ago?”
“Ah,” Matsuda starts, not sure how to respond. He was on his way to visit everyone at the office with donuts, as promised, when Ms. Lidner stopped him. Before he knew it he was shoved into a car by her grumpy partners Rester and Gevanni and standing before the new L. Matsuda frowns at him now. He doesn't even know why he’s here and Near is asking him odd questions straight off the bat. “Well, maybe. I'm not really sure right now.” The young detective clutches the box of donuts that he’s still holding.
Near’s eyes stare intently at him as he pokes a little figurine of Kira that he saved from the past week. It tips over and rolls on the floor. Matsuda's hesitation seems suspicious, but it could also be due to the man's simple-mindedness. “From what I understand, you were always very fond of Light Yagami. Is that correct?”
“Yes.” Matsuda answers with his eyes looking downward, breathing deep as he tries to keep calm. His eyes threaten to start watering, but he keeps it together. There is nothing to be ashamed of at this point. “The whole family.”
“It has also come to my attention,” Near pauses to look up through snowy bangs and cracks a tiny smirk. The man is clearly distraught and has an air of guilt about him. Near just needs to find out what it is that he feels guilty about. “That you were also seen as a border-line Kira supporter. Is that description accurate?”
Matsuda grits his teeth and meets the cold stare. Why is he here? It seems as if he’s being belittled for no reason. And just when he had been feeling better! Matsuda takes a deep breath. “I had expressed my opinion that crime had gone down since Kira appeared, but I did not support him.”
“From my reports, it states that you always got excited when Kira was in the news. Specifically when they chose a spokesman for Kira or when you were designing his name plate for the fake broadcasts.” Near's voice clips through the room like ice. He takes note of a twitch in Matsuda's hand. “Your actions were described as 'excited' and 'cheerful.' Those don't sound like emotions that would be associated with someone who does not support Kira.”
Matsuda swallows thickly and tries not to crush the donut box in his tense hands. “I think the ideal Light wanted was right, but how he did it was wrong. I won't lie about that.” Matsuda looks straight at the young boy on the floor. His voice rises with anger as he continues, “What are these questions about, anyway? Why am I even here?”
“Matsuda, where were you two nights ago around 6pm?”
Matsuda has to pause at the direct question. It seems completely unrelated and throws him off guard. “I was at home.”
“Can you confirm that?”
“No.” Matsuda frowns and looks down at the donuts. “I was alone.”
Near tilts his head. No alibi. The chances of Matsuda being the guilty party has increased by about twenty percent. Though, he still has Matsuda's intelligence to consider. The man doesn't seem capable enough to get away with something like this.
The young detective has had about enough of this game. Matsuda squeezes the box when he takes a few steps forward. Granted, he still swallows nervously as he confronts the successor. “You never answered my question.”
“Two nights ago around 6pm the body of Light Yagami was reported missing from the morgue.” Near studies the shocked face of Touta Matsuda to look for any sign that might give him away. So far only confusion litters the man's features. “The criminal that stole the body used it like a puppet to leave his footprints on the floor. They wanted it to look like he walked away.”
“Huh?” Matsuda almost drops the box. Light's body is missing? But, he’s dead; that doesn't make any sense. Who would want to steal the body?
Near pulls a piece of his hair and wraps it around his finger in a bored fashion. “It's quite the unique case.”
“But...but why am I here?” Matsuda slumps his shoulders. “What does that have to do with me?”
“Isn't it obvious?” Near picks up a small figurine of Matsuda that has been sitting behind his foot. He tilts it toward his head with a smirk. “You're our number one suspect.”
“Excuse me, Ma’am.” Light smiles sweetly while running a hand through his greasy hair. If he flattens it just right, he can get it to look gelled instead of the filthy mess that it is. “I was wondering if you could lend me some change to use a pay phone to call a ride home? I seem to be lost.”
His clothes are filthy and he smells of formaldehyde, but those pretty brown eyes and perfect smile work wonders on this old woman's heart. He reminds her of her grandson the last time he tried to make it on his own and failed. She’s reaching inside of her wallet for a few bills before she can stop herself. “Here you go young man. Why don't you take a taxi?”
“You are truly a saint, I couldn't accept.” Light keeps the smirk off of his face. Women are far, far too easy. “A few quarters is all I need.”
“No.” The woman shoves the bill into the young man's hands. Such a poor, darling man! “I insist that you take it.”
“Well, only if you insist.” Light bows in thanks as the woman waves and walks off before he can give it back. He turns and walks in the opposite direction (towards a popular taxi drop off, no less, to keep up appearances) and lets the smirk fall on his face. This is far easier than stealing purses. He's already made a few thousand yen in the past hour. “Too easy.”
“I'll never know how you manage to do that.” Ryuk chuckles as he floats above Light. He stretches his long arms and scratches aimlessly at his gut. “Though, you might want to think of a plan to get that Death Note back soon.”
Light looks at the shinigami through his peripheral vision before sticking his hands into the side pockets. He makes sure to stick the money as far down the pocket as it will go to secure it. “What's the rush?”
“Let's just say that crazy guy's ownership isn't going to be for much longer.” Ryuk chuckles. He’s pushing the rules as is, but if Mikami dies on him then he has no reason to stick around on earth. As long as that book is in a safe, no one will gain ownership and chances are high that River kid will destroy the notebook the moment Mikami is out of the picture. “He was arrested as Kira after all. I'll let you figure out the rest.”
Light stops walking and nearly slaps himself. Of course! Mikami is going to be executed. And once that happens, then whatever reason Near had for not burning the notebook will be gone. Light hasn’t had a chance to dwell on recent news or the state of things regarding the notebook, what with trying to get by without starving. He’s reminded that he has his own bone to pick with that lawyer. “That’s right.”
“So, any ideas?”
“Find where Near's keeping it. Steal it back. Go smack Mikami upside the head and kill him myself.” Light sums up his marvelous plan and starts to look around for another target. He needs another couple thousand to buy a new outfit that didn't make him look like a homeless bum.
Ryuk chortles and holds his gut. “That sounds a bit simple for one of your plans.”
“Oh shut up.” Light smoothes his hair again and preps his face when he spots another potential target come into view. It’s a middle aged woman with a fat purse and a few rings on her fingers; she has cash to burn. He smiles and bows his head a little to look humble as she gets closer. “Excuse me, Ma'am?”
“You know,” Ryuk starts up as he watches Light saunter next to the housewife and flash his smile. It’s the same trick he used on all women, and it always worked. He just had that much charisma; Ryuk would be jealous if he actually cared. “You'd make more money if you screwed the old ladies instead of just begging.” Ryuk laughs uncontrollably when Light nearly looses his composure at the sudden suggestion of prostituting himself. The brunette practically chokes on his own tongue from the shock. Though, when the lady scowls at him and walks away, muttering 'weirdo,' Ryuk shrinks back from the withering glare.
“You're so not getting any apples today.”
It’s Ryuk's turn to choke in shock.
“Thank you, Mogi-san.” Misa speaks softly (she always speaks softly these days) as she takes the cup from the older man's hand. She still doesn't feel much like herself, though she did notice Mogi-san acting strangely. “Is something wrong?”
Mogi looks up from his own cup off coffee and frowns. To tell or not to tell? That was the question. He shakes his head at the girl and she sips at the coffee. They’ve finally gotten her out of her room; finding out that her love's body was stolen would just send her right back in. They have all agreed not to mention it to her if they could help it. The two of them continue to sit in the apartment’s kitchen in silence. They had the little television on earlier, but Mogi soon turned it off with all the news focusing on the capture of ‘Kira’ and rumors of local Kira cults rising in rebellion.
“Have they had Light's funeral yet?” Misa asks quietly. It has been four days and she is unsure of how soon since his death they are going to have it. At first, the idea of going to his funeral had been almost impossible, but the more she calms down the more she wants to be there. “I'm thinking I might go after all.”
Mogi shakes his head silently. He would lie, but he’s pretty sure that the funeral would take place once they find the body. Besides, if she’s willing to go to the funeral, that means she’s getting better. Misa smiles gently and looks as if she is going to say something else, but the door to her kitchen opens and distracts her. Mogi nods at Aizawa and Ide as they come in.
“Hello, Misa. How are you today?” Aizawa asks stiffly. He still doesn’t feel right about keeping the second Kira around without punishment, but Near told them to just let her be. He has kept polite for the sake of the others that have grown fond of her. “Any troubles?”
“No, I'm feeling much better.” She tilts her head, though, and examines the two of them. Mogi comes to visit her all the time, and sometimes Ide, but Aizawa almost never came over. It’s a little weird; Misa is sure Aizawa doesn't like her. “How come you're here? Not that I mind.”
“We came to talk to Mogi.” Aizawa pulls out a chair and takes a seat. “An intervention might be necessary, my friend.”
“Intervention?” Misa looks between the two of them.
Ide answers the blond. “Matsuda said he'd come by the office today to see everyone. We weren't going to make him work, but he needs to get out of the house.”
Misa nods in understanding. She knows that Matsuda also took Light's death very badly, from what the others have mentioned. Almost worse than she had. In fact, Matsuda has not once come to visit her since it happened and she knows that he likes her. “He didn't show up?”
“No.” Aizawa leans back in his chair and rubs his fingers together anxiously. “He's not answering his phone either.”
“Is he at home?”
Ide sighs and shakes his head sadly. “No. We stopped by already.”
“Maybe he got distracted with something?” Misa pouts and Mogi's face starts to frown next to her. “He is the type to get distracted by things quickly.”
“We hope that's all it is.” Aizawa stretches his legs out under the table. Matsuda told him he'd visit everyone today. Maybe he did get distracted or fell asleep in a donut shop somewhere. He really, really hopes that is all. Matsuda can be an idiot sometimes, but his co-workers and friends are hoping he didn't do anything stupid.
Thanks to Mikami's little stunt informing the guard of his death day, he is now graced with a blindfold. The prosecutor sits in his cell with his head against the wall. While the pale, frightened look on the guard's face might have been worth it, it’s now unbearably quiet and dark in the dingy little cell. He wonders when his trial will be and if they have planned his execution already.
This is all Light Yagami's fault.
Yes, Mikami has finally rid himself of his frequent slips of referring to that boy as 'God.' He was human like the rest. That kid (even if he was in his twenties; Mikami is older than him!) should be the one rotting in this cell. Mikami tries glaring through his blindfold.
Mikami tilts his head forward at his name being spoken by a familiar voice. He decides to humor him. “Yes?”
Gevanni coughs as he stands next to the cell bars. Near sent him down here to question Mikami on any other possible reasons for Kira's body to disappear. After reluctantly letting Matsuda go with only a 10% chance that he might be the culprit, Near was forced to consider supernatural forces. For all they know, those who use the Death Note would disintegrate after death. That doesn't explain the footprints, but they’re grasping at straws. “I have a few questions for you.”
Mikami almost laughs at the sound of this voice. Stephen Loud was it? Yes. That's where he heard it before. “I do not regret what I have done. I only regret putting my faith in a mortal.”
Gevanni sighs. “That's not what I was going to ask.”
“Then what do you want?”
“After a Death Note user dies, was there anything specific the Shinigami may have shared with you that happens to your body?” Gevanni gets straight to the point, though he doesn't expect the mad man in the cell to answer.
Mikami scrunches his face at the odd question. How should he know? He barely acknowledged the monster after it explained all the rules to him. “No.”
Gevanni already figured as much and turns to walk away. “Thank you for your time.”
Gevanni freezes at the announcement of his real name. He debates answering the man and confirming what he apparently already knows. That’s a pretty good memory if he recalls all of the names of the task force and SPK members.
“What was this about?” Mikami asks with a smirk. “Did something happen with--”
“It's none of your concern any longer.”
Mikami just laughs as he listens to the footsteps of the man leaving. Maybe he’ll be blessed with something interesting before he’s sent to the chopping block. He just wishes he could have seen the man's face and been able to tell him his death day. That is becoming such fun these days.
Light feels like a new man as he admires himself in the mirror, wearing a new outfit. His hair is clean, as is his face, though he had to spend the last thirty minutes convincing the store clerks that he did, in fact, have money despite the way he looked just so they'd let him try on clothes. The janitorial uniform is folded neatly on the chair next to him. Light isn't sure why, but he has a feeling that he should hold onto them. Maybe he can use his loose change to clean them in a laundromat.
“We all know you're pretty,” Ryuk snorts from the doorway. Half of his body is in the hall as he’s looking in to check on Light after waiting for what seemed like forever; he doesn't fit in the cramped changing room. “Let's move it already.”
“I'm taking my time. Deal with it.” The young genius mumbles as he tries to comb his hair with his fingers. Light hit the jackpot in the form of a loaded wallet earlier; over 100,000 yen. The young brunette was trying to avoid theft, but that rich b*****d was just asking to get his pockets pinched. That's what he got for warning an old lady about Light's con before he could get her money. Little did that jerk know, a certain apple-crazed shinigami had lifted his wallet while he was lecturing Light. He smiles at his reflection; a v-neck sweater over a white button up shirt and khaki slacks has always looked good on him. “We do make a nice team, though, Ryuk.”
“Yeah, yeah. Hurry up and buy that so we can get my apples!” The shinigami whines. Light promised him a reward for his stunt, but he needs to spend less time in the mirror and more time shopping if you ask Ryuk. He went through all the trouble to get him the money and now the young man is just standing there, captivated by his own vanity. “I still can't believe you washed your hair in the sink of that gas station.”
“Well, it was dirty.” Light huffs and almost puts his hands on his hips. Almost. “What did you expect me to do?”
“I don't know.” Ryuk shrugged. “Can we buy these clothes and go get the important stuff?”
“Fine.” Light picks up the old uniform and transfers the money from the pockets. A quick trip to the counter and he can pay for the items, wear them out and get Ryuk his stupid apples. Light's stomach, as if on cue, growls. “I guess I'm a little hungry, too.”
“Yes! So let's go!” Ryuk starts curling his arms up over his head. Light is being so cruel, making him wait!
“Relax, I'm going, I'm going.” Light chuckles as he makes his way out of the changing room. Old clothes under his arm, he heads for the cash register. Things are finally starting to look up. In fact, much to Ryuk’s dismay, he stops at a café to unwind as soon as they’re out of the store. He deserves as much.
“This doesn’t look like a grocery store. I don’t see apples.” The monstrous specter scratches himself.
“I’m sure you can wait half an hour or so. I need some time to think and a nice, tall coffee sounds good right about now.” It’s true, Light hasn’t had time to take in everything that’s happened so far in order to formulate a better plan. He orders black coffee and a sandwich and takes a seat with his early dinner in a secluded corner, tuning out the rest of Ryuk’s whining so that he can mull over past events.
Right before he died, Light snapped. Yes, he’ll admit that much, if only to himself. But it didn’t feel right. No, nothing about those last moments in the warehouse felt right, but everything should have gone perfectly. He focuses at the origin of his problems: Mikami using the notebook without his orders. He’ll have to show his gratitude, but because of that little mishap Near had the real one switched, which means he had it for days leading up to the final confrontation. What if he used it? It’s true, Mikami’s actions that day and his betrayal were surprising. Light was even surprised with his own actions, saying ‘I won’ so prematurely. No, that wasn’t like him, he would have followed through with his plan to the end. It must have been a setup...and why would Near still have the notebook? That’s it, isn’t it? He’s waiting for Mikami to die as he wrote it in the notebook! Light can’t be a hundred percent sure, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Damn that little b*****d!
“Hey, Light. You might wanna cool it, that clerk’s looking at you funny.” Ryuk brings Light back to reality. He’s clutching his empty, crumpled cup with one hand in a death grip and his nails are digging into the edge of the table with the other. It takes a bit of effort to clear away the ugly glare on his face.
“Right,” he says in a controlled voice. He takes a deep, calming breath. It will be best to get settled somewhere first before making any plans; he certainly doesn’t want to do anything rashly. “Let’s get out of here.”
Matsuda scowls as he starts on his walk home, still clutching his box of donuts. By the time Near finished questioning him, it was way after closing time for the office and getting to be dark outside. Aizawa was going to be angry with him, but at least the young officer had a good excuse. He'll just call the other man when he gets home and explain everything.
“I wonder if these are still any good,” Matsuda mumbles to himself as he peeks in the box at the glazed donuts. Shrugging and throwing caution to the wind, he grabs a cinnamon iced one from the corner and takes a bite. It’s delicious.
The young officer munches on the treat happily, momentarily forgetting his earlier anger with Near. Once the donut is gone and he’s left licking the last bit of icing off his thumb, however, his thoughts quickly drift back to the white haired detective. Matsuda doesn't trust him one bit. There is definitely something fishy about this whole situation. He can't quite put his finger on it, but he knows something is wrong with that detective and his methods.
Or maybe Matsuda still feels guilty and miserable about losing control and shooting Chief Yagami's son.
Whatever the reason, Matsuda doesn't have long to wallow in guilt. As soon as he became lost in thought, he forgot to look in front of him and watch where he was going, until the inevitable happened. He suddenly slams head on into a person walking in the opposite direction. Like the klutz he can sometimes be, Matsuda falls on the sidewalk and drops his box, donuts flying all over the street. Looking down at them, he sees a few apples rolling among his donuts. The person he just ran into must have dropped them.
Matsuda groans slightly and holds his head before looking up to apologize, but he nearly chokes on his tongue when he sees who it is. He'd recognize that face anywhere.