Justice Lives Chapter 5
Heeey, remember this thing? Yeaaah. Next chapter will be up soon.
V :: Revelations
“I can't believe the nerve of that little maggot!”
Matsuda bites thoughtfully into an apple as Light rants and raves around the room. Ryuk is sitting next to him and chuckling every so often while they watch the young man talking to himself as he paces across the room, occasionally stopping to wave his arms in dramatic gestures before pacing again. It’s like watching an exaggerated drama. Light has been at it for close to fifteen minutes this morning since Matsuda reminded him of Near’s treachery and he has successfully blocked out everyone else in the room. Matsuda swallows his bite of apple and slowly turns his head towards Ryuk without moving his eyes from the younger man. “Does he do this a lot?”
“Only when he's pissed off.”
“I knew something was wrong!” Light spits out acidly, clapping his hands against his face and dragging his fingers down his cheeks in a pained motion. “I planned for him switching the notebook pages because I knew he would figure out Mikami.” He starts pacing again and almost knocks a lamp over. “But I never thought he'd use the pages he took, let alone that those pages would be real! Even L didn't actually stoop to using the Death Note! Not that he had the chance, but still—this is even more proof that this little albino rat was never fit to share the same air as L...”
“How long does this usually last?” Matsuda licks a bit of apple juice as it starts to run down his hand. Light's stamina is impressive, but then again, he is a younger man. “He's already been at it for almost half an hour.”
Ryuk almost didn’t hear him for watching the apple juice intently as it ran down the human's wrist, but he’s amazed at how calm Matsuda is all the same. He seems barely phased at being in the same room as a shinigami and a mass murderer. But then again, he is also eating apples in front of the shinigami who is known for obsessing over the fruit. “Depends, really.”
“Oh...I ask because I should probably go home sometime soon.” Matsuda tosses the apple core and falls back on the bed, tucking his hands behind his neck. “Come to think of it, I said I was going to see the guys at the station yesterday but never got to because of Near. Wonder if they're mad.”
Light suddenly makes fists and slams them down on the desk. The sound rattles through the room and makes Matsuda jump back up in a sitting position. “...going to kill him! That little white haired freak of nature...”
Although it’s a little scary, it’s also a bit fun seeing Light lose that perfect, calm, school-boy facade. Those brown eyes fire up and there’s an energy in them that’s inspiring. Matsuda is starting to see just how Light got as far as he did as Kira, and why L was captivated by him. He has passion.
The officer ventures a question as Light takes a breath between sentences. “But what are you going to do now, Light? You're still listed as dead in all the records.”
“I'm going to...what? Yes, of course.” Light shakes his head out of the rant and looks back at Matsuda who has yet another one of those apples in his face. It’s bad enough having one apple glutton hanging around. “It’s better off that I’ve disappeared. I’ll take care of that when I get to it. Right now I need to deal with Mikami.”
“Yes, once he’s executed the ownership of the Death Note will be up for grabs. I need to get it before he goes out like a light.” The young man almost grimaces at his own slipped pun. Matsuda doesn’t seem to notice.
“But, Teru hasn't even had a trial yet. If he was written down in the Death Note, he's going to die way before he's executed, don’t you think? Or do you think his execution’s been written down? Gee, that wouldn’t be very fair...” Matsuda points this out and watches Light’s nose wrinkle slightly in a frown. None of it seems very fair at all. “I mean, you'd have to get the note before he dies either way, right?”
The ex-killer is starting to feel glad that he has an outside source. He doesn’t know much about Mikami’s situation, or anything that happened or didn’t happen since his...hiatus. Maybe he can use Matsuda for some more information until he can get his own resources. “Yes, it doesn't change the fact that I need that book no matter how Mikami’s going to die.”
“But Near's got it.”
“I know that!”
“Sorry.” Matsuda flinches. He looks at the clock again and winces again. It’s almost ten o'clock. Not only did he miss meeting the others, he’s also late for work. “Well, I'm sure you'll think of something, but I really need to leave.”
“Right, fine.” Light shakes his head and sighs. The sooner Matsuda leaves the sooner he can think clearly. The younger man rubs his eyes and lets out a quiet groan. He’s too young to have to deal with this. He’s 23 now and it seems as if the only thing he has going for him is that his own death is the least of his worries, as it should be for someone his age. “I'm tired.”
“I better leave you alone, then. But, oh!” Matsuda stops mid-walk on his way to the door. He pats his pockets for a pen and walks back to the desk next to Light, pulling over the complimentary stationary pad and quickly scrawling down his phone number. “In case you want to call me, or something.”
Light takes the piece of paper and glances at the number. He memorizes it immediately, but makes a show of folding it neatly and tucking it in his pocket. The brunette wants Matsuda out of here so he can finally get some proper rest. Light’s exhausted. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Matsuda smiles; he half expected Light to throw the number away. “See you later.”
Light waves as Matsuda leaves and then looks at the bed. The covers are slightly wrinkled where Matsuda was sitting as he walks over to it and unbuttons his shirt.
“What are you doing?” Ryuk asked.
“Sleeping.” Light yawns and collapses on the bed as soon as he folds his shirt neatly. The gunshot scars that mar his once perfectly smooth chest and back are clearly seen in the morning sun’s rays. “I'll figure everything out after I've had some rest from this nightmare.”
Ryuk chuckles and closes the curtains over the windows. Light is going to need all the rest he can get.
Near watches Mikami on the monitor and curls his hair around a long finger. Colorful wooden blocks are stacked in front of him, momentarily forgotten. The lawyer is starting to show signs of cabin fever and has reduced himself to yelling at any sound he hears for some attention and mental stimulation. Soon he'll break down completely and, out of desperation, apply himself to finding a way to quicken his demise. It’s a logical progression, which is why Near wrote it out on those deceptively innocent-looking pages before the warehouse meeting.
In just a few more days, Mikami will be dead and all ties with that godforsaken notebook to this world will be through. Either the shinigami will come reclaim it or Near will burn it. Either way, the wretched thing will be gone once and for all. That’s at least one thing he doesn't have to worry about. The disappearance of Light's body, on the other hand, is still plaguing the young detective.
It's not that the case is particularly important on the grand scale of things, but it feels like a personal attack on Near and his abilities. He only believes this because the few people who know that Light was Kira are those who were directly involved with him at some point in time. It must be either a member of the task force, or his own SPK unit. Neither is acceptable and Near will find that body and burn it himself to keep it from happening again if it’s the last thing he does.
“Sir,” Lidner interrupts his train of thought while brushing some hair behind her ear. The boy has been sulking since the lack of information coming in concerning the missing body. It’s times like these that Linder is reminded just how young Near really is. “These cases just came in for you.”
Near watches thoughtfully as the papers are set on the floor next to him. He'll deal with those cases soon enough and with little problem. They’re hardly anything to be concerned about compared to his current affairs. “And the Yagami case?”
“No new information has been gathered.” Linder pauses thoughtfully. “But we have located Matsuda this afternoon. He's back at home and will be reporting back to work within the week.”
“Very good.” Near is glad for at least one bit of positive feedback. It was an unpleasant surprise to find that Matsuda disappeared after his interrogation. Near had expected him to go straight home with nothing left to do that day; certainly he missed work because of the questioning and so Near hadn’t bothered putting anyone on the task of following him. Has he become more lenient since the Kira case is coming to a close? Nonetheless, the irregular disappearance is extremely suspicious...what could have kept Matsuda? It’s possible he went out to a bar, but Near has a nagging feeling that the man wasn’t out having drinks all night. With Matsuda back, now he can more easily keep an eye on the entire task force. After all, even with this recent vanishing act, Matsuda couldn't have pulled off the body’s disappearance alone. “I’d like you to have Gevanni keep an eye on Matsuda from now on. Find out where he was after the questioning. And keep me informed,” he says in a rather harsh monotone. He’s not going to have a repeat of the situation.
“Yes, sir. Oh and there’s one more thing. The Wammy house made contact today.” Near knows that there is only one reason that they would contact him. He turns his attention back to the blocks in front of him and continues stacking them into a wall from where he left off. “They want to get started on your list of possible successors.” It actually bothers the white haired boy to be thinking of this sort of thing so early on in his career, although he’ll never show it. It’s been just a few years since he, himself, had been a potential successor and only a few short days since he’s claimed the official title of L, but it’s protocol to make these choices. ‘One never knows,’ they tell him. It’s as if they forget who they’re talking to.
“You can tell them I’m interested in the top three.” Obviously.
“Alright.” Lidner jots down a note. “Anything else I should tell them...?” It’s her first time dealing with the orphanage, and it’s a bit strange. Lidner finds the alphabet system highly impersonal and though it’s not supposed to bother her, it does. These are orphans and they have names, albeit fake ones. Near doesn’t seem the least bit bothered, but not much seems to move him anyway.
Near tilts his head and pauses in thought for a moment before simply answering, “No.”
“Very well. They’ve requested that you book a trip to observe them personally.”
“Is that all?”
“Then have a jet ready for tomorrow.” He wants to get this over with as soon as possible, missing bodies or not. It will be a short trip and this sort of decision-making can be drawn out as long as he likes. Near knows this all too well. With the delicate placing of one last red block, the wall surrounding the NPA finger puppets is complete.
Mello would have relished knocking all the pieces in on them.
“Are you alright, Ide? You don't look so good,” Misa asks as she pours him a cup of tea. The man is sulking and clearly under the weather, but he came to visit since Mogi had to leave early. He either really enjoys his visits or feels obligated to make sure Misa doesn’t do anything rash. Misa isn't sure whether to be upset or flattered by that realization. “Misa is fine if you want to go home. Really.”
“I'm alright, I’m just worried about Matsuda.”
“You still haven’t found him?”
“Not that I've heard of. Oh,” Ide’s cell phone suddenly goes off and he answers as soon as he sees who it is. “Excuse me a sec, Misa. Aizawa? Hey. You found him? Where?”
Misa smiles as relief spreads across the detective’s face. Matsuda is rather close friends with Ide compared to the others in the small group, aside from Misa. She offers cheerfully, “If everyone would like, they can come over.”
Ide nods and talks into the phone, “Misa says everyone can meet at her place, and we can talk to him altogether.” He gives Misa a grin. It’s nice that she’s trying to be more involved. “Okay, see you in an hour.”
“So they’re coming?”
“Yeah, Aizawa's dragging Matsuda here and he called Mogi. Thanks, Misa.”
“No problem.” Misa beams for the first time in what seems to be ages and heads to the kitchen. If she’s going to have company she will be ready to serve them tea and cakes. That’s what a good wife would do. Misa bites her lip as she opens a cabinet. She never did get to be a wife officially, but as far as she’s concerned she is Light's one and only. Fiance is close enough and Light's fiance is no slob or bad hostess! “Do you like chocolate cake or vanilla, Ide?”
“Vanilla would be nice,” Ide responds with a smile and watches as Misa puts on an apron and bustles about the kitchen. She seems to be in a good mood, so he turns on the television to watch the news while she keeps herself busy. He finds himself quickly changing the channel, though, to some sort of documentary on whales.
There’s still nothing but Kira in the news lately, he thinks bitterly to himself.
“...I mean, how can there still be supporters after the guy’s in jail? Kira’s in the wrong, here, people, and he’s definitely getting a death sentence, I’ll tell you that much. What kind of a leader are you going to follow if he’s dead and gone?” The energetic dj pipes through the car radio. “I’m not taking sides, but we’ve got plenty of listeners on the line from both sides ready to try and convince me. But first, let’s have some tunes to set the mood. You’re listening to 103WKGB, your connection to the latest news and music. Discussing the best and the worst, you heard it here first.”
“Tch.” She looks sourly at the car radio and repeats herself in a louder whisper this time over the opening guitar chords, “Pass the smokes, will you?” The older boy doesn’t appreciate being elbowed by the girl, but he says nothing and takes a pack of cigarettes out of his breast pocket, handing it over silently. He doesn’t know why she’s been speaking in a hushed voice. They’re sitting in a mustang, parked on the side of the road and pretty much just waiting for sundown. She’s probably nervous about tonight. They’re ahead of schedule, with nothing to do but wait, and it seems to be getting to the passenger. She bounces her knee as soon as she lights up and throws the box back at the young man in the driver’s seat. The pink lighter twirls between her slender fingers. You know she’s nervous if she’s taking a smoke. Veena quit two years ago, with only the occasional puff here and there. Or so she says.
“Chill, we’ve got all the time in the world,” he says with an even tempo, attempting to calm her a bit.
“Don’t tell me to chill,” she snaps at him, finally using a louder voice. She waves the cigarette in his face, agitated. “We can’t mess this up, Chris.”
“I know, but there’s no way we can mess up. He’s the one that made this plan, it’s going to work. All we have to do is pick him up.” He adds, “And he’s not going to appreciate the smell of smoke on us when we do.” Veena’s response is a big puff of smoke in his face. He gives a small cough and waves a hand at the smoke, sighing heavily once it clears a bit. “Let’s have some lunch. You must be hungry by now.”
“You know I lose my appetite when I’m nervous.”
“Suit yourself.” The boy steps out of the car to stretch his legs, standing just short of six feet tall. The truth is, he isn’t hungry either. Nerves seem to be getting to the both of them.
It’s going to be a long rest of the afternoon.
The white, neatly frosted cake is still warm when Matsuda arrives with the rest of the group.
It isn’t long before they are all sitting in the living room with refreshments and tea. They start with an awkward silence before bombarding Matsuda with questions of his whereabouts that range from concerns about his well-being to shouts condemning him for worrying them all. Matsuda can’t help but notice how much easier it is answering Ide's questions than Aizawa's. His fellow detective always seems to be on the job and can be extremely serious and thorough about things. Eventually, Matsuda explains his side of the story (conveniently leaving out the bit about his zombie encounter) and finally waits for the others to respond. He tries desperately not to look as nervous as he feels and explains himself in a rush.
“See, Nea—I mean—L grabbed me off the street. His agents, actually, but I was taken in to see him. Anyway, he held me for this interrogation almost all day about having something to do with Light’s missing body and—”
“What?” Misa suddenly perks up and starts listening more attentively at the mention of Light. Up until now, she’s been daydreaming and simply watching the groups’ lips move.
“Yeah, he actually accused me of stealing it.” Matsuda laughs nervously. “Isn’t that crazy?” Misa nods with a determined pout on her face.
“Definitely crazy. Light isn’t missing, he’s...” her voice trails off to avoid the inevitable, but a quick look at the guilty faces around her tells her that something’s not right and her eyes go wide. Matsuda looks horrified at what he just let slip. “He isn’t missing, is he? Tell Misa now!” Her small hands grip tightly the frilly lace of her black skirt, desperately looking around and waiting for an answer.
It’s Mogi that finally puts a hand on her shoulder, saying gently, “We weren’t sure how to tell you, and he’s going to be found eventually so we didn’t want to worry you.” With that, Misa sinks into the cushion and goes quiet. Her eyes stare blankly into the distance. Mogi looks worried and is about to say something more to console her, but Aizawa cuts in, determined to get the rest of Matsuda’s story. Misa had to find out one way or another.
“Now let me see if I have this straight.” He stares at Matsuda. The younger man’s eyes are looking down at his feet and his fingers are interlocked in an almost prayerful manner; Aizawa can’t tell if he looks guilty or just plain embarrassed. “L took you in for questioning and accused you of stealing Light Yagami's body. What else? He didn’t keep you the entire day, and we didn’t find you at home last night.” Matsuda shifts and squirms a bit in his seat, but finishes his explanation.
“He also accused me of being a Kira supporter,” he mumbles quietly before going on, “By the end of the interrogation, he said that I’m a suspect and finally let me leave. I was so frazzled and anxious that I walked around to calm down, but I wandered aimlessly for a while and...and I got lost.” He bows his head, seemingly ashamed. “It was already late, so I stayed the night at a hotel.”
“That's about it.” Matsuda gulps and hopes his story is believable. There’s no way he’s telling them he ran into Ryuk and zombie Light. Not only would they not believe him, but then Light would be in trouble! “Sorry for worrying you.”
“No, no.” Aizawa sighs and smiles. Matsuda hasn’t been acting himself lately, so he decides it would be best to try and be supportive of his co-worker. “I'm just glad you're okay. When L called us asking about you, we all got really worried. It’s strange that he let you go, though...” Aizawa looks down pensively and frowns at where his train of thought is taking him. “I bet he’s keeping an eye on you. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s had you followed ever since he’s decided on you as a suspect.” Near is probably suspicious of us all. The detective shakes his head. He can’t blame Matsuda. It’s obvious that Near doesn’t put too much trust in any of them with the way he’s handling the final stages of wrapping up this case. He has barely made contact with the team and doesn’t bother to spare any details the few times he decides to grace them with his garbled, transmitted voice.
If Aizawa was still looking at Matsuda, he would have noticed the sudden tension in his clasped hands. Matsuda has his head bowed down even more, unable to keep himself from betraying his wide-eyed shock. Why didn’t he think of that? He’ll have to call Light and warn him later. Sooner than later would be best. What a fool he had been!
“Misa was worried, too!” The blond nods from her spot on the couch, suddenly glad to have Matsuda join them all for once. She might also be attempting to push some of her dark thoughts to the back of her mind. Besides, with everyone here, it’s almost like old times. Amost. “Ide and Mogi were totally depressed the week you stayed in your apartment. And this disappearing thing only made it worse!”
“I won't do it again.” Matsuda looks up and manages to grin. He wonders if he should tell her the truth about Light. She always supported him faithfully. “In fact, I think I'm up for coming back to work tomorrow.”
“How about the day after?” Aizawa pats Matsuda on the shoulder. “Go home and take a break.”
“Oh...I guess that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Alright,” Matsuda nods with appreciation. “I'll do that.”
“Still, I can't believe they stole Light's body.” Ide mumbles. “What poor taste.”
Mogi nods solemnly. “I agree.”
Misa says nothing and stirs her tea. An awkward silence settles over the group.
“Well, at least that's all that happened. It's not like he's up and walking around, right?” Matsuda laughs forcefully at his attempt to lighten the mood. He looks around nervously. “Right? That would be ridiculous!”
“Are you okay?” Ide asks and raises an eyebrow. Mogi focuses his gaze on Misa, who seems to have become significantly gloomier than when they first arrived.
“I'm great, I'm just fine, I...oh!” Matsuda suddenly notices Misa’s reaction and hastily changes the subject. “Misa made cake and I haven't tried it yet!” Matsuda stabs at his slice and shoves a forkful in his mouth. “Dees ah so gweat, Misa-Misa!” He says thickly as he munches on the treat.
Misa smiles sadly at him and responds quietly, “Misa’s glad you like them.”
Aizawa simply stares at Matsuda the entire time. The man is a nervous wreck. Is this because of Near’s sudden interrogation? Sure, it may have unnerved Matsuda, but is that all?
The older detective brings a hand to his chin as he ponders further. This strange behavior started after the body’s disappearance was brought up. Matsuda couldn't have possibly been involved...could he? Aizawa almost slaps his palm to his forehead.
He hopes for Matsuda's sake that he really has nothing to do with it.
Down by the boardwalk a flock of seagulls scatter, frightened by a thrown apple core. It bounces off the edge of the garbage receptacle and the birds soon return to surround the scrap of food. It’s an unusually chilly day for California, even if it’s January, and the beach is almost deserted. Things are boring when Light sleeps, but at least he left the shinigami a few apples, the last of which is now crowded by the white birds. It’s nice being in a new environment, too. These humans give off a different vibe than the ones in Japan. They’re more relaxed and loose, yet tightly wrapped up in themselves and their own little lives. Ryuk enjoys his short trips around the human world. It gives some variety to his people-watching hobby.
He spots one in a light windbreaker and white shorts. The jacket is hard to miss, since it’s a violent shade of fuchsia, and the human’s long, brown ponytail, just a shade darker than Light’s hair, waves from side to side as she bounces along on the sand. He can hear her labored breathing as she gets closer and can see that her cheeks are flushed despite her deceivingly effortless movement.
“Well, hello Katelyn Spencer,” Ryuk grins with a glance over her head. He follows her for lack of anything else to do and swats at her curly ponytail for fun as it catches the sunlight to reveal subtle blond highlights.
“Kukukuku,” he chuckles as her chocolate brown eyes shoot a strange look over her shoulder without so much as skipping a beat in her jog. This human seems to have a lot of stamina and a no-nonsense attitude as she seems to dismiss Ryuk’s invisible being as nothing to bother with. She continues on her way across the beach to the sidewalk, crosses the road, and doesn’t slow her pace until she reaches a street corner. There she pauses in a static jog to fix her headband and tuck in loose strands of her hair. There are more people bustling about here, and a red trolley dings as it passes by. It catches Ryuk’s attention and he almost loses his bouncy target as he stares at the few people on it, wondering how they would react if the strange vehicle inexplicably derailed itself. When he gets back to the jogger, he finds that she’s gone off onto a road away from the main street and is standing by a parked car, leaning over and talking to the people inside it as she stretches her legs.
“—have it ready, of course. Hopefully we won’t have too much trouble.” Ryuk hovers by and listens in as he takes a seat, cross-legged, on the hood of the muscle car. He sticks his head through the windshield to take a better look at the humans in there. The one in the driver’s seat is male with wavy jet black hair. It’s combed back with a few loose strands resting over his forehead against the olive skin of his face. He’s tall, even as he’s just sitting there, and has the lean build of an athlete. Next to the pale girl and in his plain white t-shirt he looks a little tan. He sits leisurely with one arm resting on the steering wheel and his green eyes look slightly bored as he gazes past the passenger and out the window at the jogger. Christian Dela-Cruz. What sort of name is that?
“Of course we won’t have any trouble. It’s her you need to convince, here.” The young man tilts his head toward the passenger. Her hair is jet black, too, but sleek and parted down the middle so that it frames her oval face and covers her shoulders. Ryuk is reminded of the porcelain dolls he’s seen in Chinatown, only she’s dressed in skinny jeans and a stylishly low cut shirt that could pass as a mini dress. The velvet choker around her neck makes a striking contrast against her white neck. Ryuk suddenly recalls that they also have butchered ducks and other animals hanging on display in the store windows in Chinatown, some of them with fresh slits across their necks. Ryuk chuckles to himself and makes a mental note to swoop by that area again before returning to Japan.
“There’s nothing wrong with worrying a little. I care, you know? You could show a little emotion sometimes, too, other than just sitting and brooding there. He’s your best friend, after all.” The girl’s smooth face breaks into a childish pout as she fiddles nervously with a lighter with both of her hands. Her large, gray eyes focus on it now and the smell of smoke still hangs in the air of the car. Ryuk wonders if she’s a pyro like Light. She looks a bit like the humans in Japan, but there’s something about her that isn’t quite the same. He isn’t very good at categorizing humans according to their origins, and he wonders what the driver might be. He’s certainly not Asian, and with the colorful crowd around here, he could be just about anything. Katelyn smiles reassuringly at the girl—Veronica Choi, Ryuk notes the seemingly common last name he’s seen around here a few times before—and Chris once again tells her not to worry too much. “Relax, we have all the time in the world.”
“He's right, and it’ll all be over soon enough, anyway. And once we’re reunited,” Kate gives a small smile and lowers her voice even though no one is around, “we’ll figure out what we’re doing about Kira.” The passenger doesn’t look convinced, but she nods at the lighter twirling between her fingers.
“Hyuk hyuk hyuk!” Ryuk just found a more interesting group of people than he initially realized. The driver pipes up, “Maybe we should go over how this is all going down again.”
Ryuk hangs around to eavesdrop long enough for the couple in the car falls silent and the jogger to go off on her way as if nothing happened.
What a small, interesting world this is. Ryuk laughs all the way to Chinatown.
Manage Your Items