Taking Over

BY : sailtheplains
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1006
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

This piece is a spoiler for a doujin game called 'Poisoned' (http://www.cursedmoons.com/fan/game/poisoned/main-main.html) by Akane. It begins after the ‘Forever Ending’.

The PC game is Mello/Near oriented with several different endings (and one Mello/Matt ending) and a bonus ending if you get certain ones. It is a fun game! Check it out!

Some endings are funny, some are sad, some are hot (!!) and some are chilling. The Forever ending is a chilling one.


It didn’t seem natural, really.

L came out, confident, reassuring them that he would take care of Kira.

Still, it didn’t stop Matt from dreaming. Kira killing them all or Mello or even Near, the brat.

Well, maybe not brat. He shrugged to himself. He didn’t really care about Near. He was too laid back for that kind of rivalry.

He hadn’t expected to wake up and find a nightmare of a different kind. He knew Mello was cracking. Whenever he was with him, he could feel his tension. He had offered himself up in a vain attempt to try to help alleviate Mello’s frustration….

But Roger came to his room and told him to come to his office and when Matt arrived, all he said was, “You have become first in line for L’s succession.”

And everything froze.

“…what?”

Roger looked away. “Near and Mello…are dead.”

A vain attempt at breathing. “Wh-what?! B-but how?! When?! Where are they!?”

Roger stood. “L has been informed and is on his way as we speak…as you have become the next candidate…it is only fair…”

So Roger had taken the fourteen-year-old boy to the common room. Horror curled around him, suffocating. Near, his throat cut and Mello…

…fell on the glass…

“From the looks of it, Mello killed Near and then himself.”

“…unable to handle to pressure anymore…” A faint whisper.

Roger gave him a sharp look. “Do you know something about this?”

“Ever since the project about poisons they did…Mello….was getting more and more…paranoid…out of himself…his hatred and frustration at never being good enough…b-but…” He looked at the two bodies, soaked in blood, slashed and ground with glass…he swallowed hard, breathing off…

That was when Roger had pulled him away.

A private funeral. Only a few adults from Wammy’s House, Watari and L attend, of course. Matt was also now included. He was permitted. He stood, as he would in a few months time; in a strange, pressed black suit and a black cap pulled down over his face.

It was strange seeing Near in a little black suit, high-collared and stiff necked to hide his mangled throat. Mello…although used to his customary black…looked even stranger. He would never have expected in any way, shape, or form for Mello to ever dress formally. It seemed strange. Morbidly, horribly odd.

Watari, of course, was dressed in his suit.

L stood next to Matt, gazing at the first and second of the class, his prized heirs, with a strange look on his face. He had not changed clothes at all; his bare feet damp from morning dew.

Matt clenched his fists and stared at the ground when the last words were spoken, the caskets closed.

He whispered their names. Their real names and bit his lip. He would not cry. He would not. Then there came a hand, warm on his shoulder and he looked over. L was staring at him. Matt swallowed and looked away, unable to meet that unfathomable gaze.

“Matt.”

Just the way he said his name made him shake a bit. “Let me come with you.”

There was a pause. “I can’t do that.”

“Why not? I’m not cut out to take over for you. I’m not cut out for any of this. I need to learn…do something. They were supposed to take your place. Not me. I—“

“This is the most challenging and dangerous case I have ever taken on. I cannot allow it. I’m sorry.”

“But—“

“I’m sorry.”

“L…”

He looked at the boy.

“I’m not fit to take over for you…”

“It will come in time. Come on.”

So the tiny group had gone back. At first, Matt went to the common room but, of course, it had already been cleaned up, the windows repaired. He went to his room, sat on the bed with his elbows on his knees and sudden felt a huge weight on his shoulders.

Unbearable.

He went to Near’s room. The tidy room…almost too tidy…even for Near…Too clean…

He hurried to Mello’s room. Too clean. The bed made, books, clothes…gone.

They cleared out their rooms already?!

He whipped around, flying down the stairs and stormed into Roger’s office, tearing off his cap. L was there, sitting in an armchair. He only looked up when Matt entered.

“Where’s their stuff?!”

Roger stood. “Matt, calm down—“

“Where’s their stuff?! They’re dead for hardly a week and you already cleaned out their rooms?! Where’s their stuff!?"

“Matt we—“

“WHERE IS THEIR STUFF?!”

L was watching him.

Roger looked at him, than at L, who looked back and nodded at the older man. “Show him.”


Matt returned to his room that night…in some state he could not quite pin down. Everything had changed in one night. Now, all of a sudden, he was L’s direct successor. His best friend had killed himself and Near…when he closed his eyes he could still see the bodies.

Nightmares. Every night.

He put his games aside. He changed. Roger saw it. They all did. He reported Matt’s conditions to L. But the detective had known Matt. He had studied Matt, and this reaction from the boy did not surprise him.

“Do not let him drop his grades on purpose.”

“What?”

“The pressure on him right now is very heavy. I don’t want him to become overwhelmed and drop his grades to try and get out of this.”

“But if he really doesn’t want it….”

“When the time comes…he’ll do it. And he’ll do it because of them.”

“When the time comes—surely L you don’t mean…”

“I cannot say. Normally, had this been a regular case, I would not have hesitated to take Matt with me. While he is independent, smart, and spent most of his time away from others—right now he is full of self-doubt. Lost. However, this case is, by far, the most dangerous I have ever taken and I believe Kira to be in Japan and very, very close. I do not want Matt to accidentally come in contact with him.”

These conversations took place over private lines and computers, Matt unaware of any of it.

His games and portable were lying on his dresser. He looked at them sometimes but felt no urge to play them. He really felt little urge to do anything. He had considered, and for quite some time, of just dropping all his work entirely—especially right after their deaths—but when he sat in his room, skipping class, all he thought about was them and the heavy burden and responsibility and how the hell he was going to measure up to Near and Mello, let alone L. So he went back to class, with urging from Roger, and quickly rose ahead of the rest, focused entirely on forgetting everything else around him. He didn’t really talk to anyone—but then, he hadn’t been much sociable to anyone but Mello in the first place. When classes were over he went to his room, he did his homework. He studied. And, every once in awhile, he would go to the graves to remind himself, not only of them, but of the awful pressures he was abruptly wearing. Maybe it was self-pity, maybe it was a way of apology...that he might never measure up to them. His insecurity could be laid out before the dead.

In a sense he had been prepared for this. Of course he had been. If something happened to Near or Mello he was to step up to bat and replace them. But…in reality, he had not been prepared at all. This was Near and Mello. They were…well, them. How could they die?

Mello destroyed them both.

So, in his spare time, when he could force himself not to study, when he was too tired or stressed or pale or sick…he would look into the Kira case. He knew about L’s open challenge to Kira…but little else. He’d looked at his computer screen long and hard, over forums and online communities debating over Kira’s methods. He’d watched that stand in for L die of a heart attack without being touched. While, technically, it had only been aired in Tokyo, there were people with video and cell phone cameras. Recordings of the event had gone to the internet almost immediately after.

There’s no way Kira could have known who he was, like L said, he used a classified criminal no one had known about—he’d just put the guy’s name on one of those little name plates there. He had blinked at the screen.

But then the murders of hundreds of criminals. …yet…only certain ones…ones with names that were not released in the media…did not die…

A name...? Those without their pictures shown didn't die either...does he need a name and a face then? That's...insane... But it made perfect sense with L's move in Tokyo.

Of course, he knew nothing about the Death Note at the time. The information was classified. L would not tell him what was going on or how the investigation was proceeding. L was playing the high wire. Every day, he raised the stakes, played his cards and then one day…

He lost his hand.

Roger had called him in. He stood in front of his desk, solemn as he was now and heard the words he had, at the same time, dreaded and half-expected.

“L is dead.”

Something inside him tightened. He nodded anyway. “Kira?”

“Likely.”

“And Watari?”

“He is also dead.”

“Where do I go from here?”

Roger had given him a long look, not because of the answer, but because he was trying to read him. Yet, ever since Near and Mello’s deaths—two who Matt thought would be practically untouchable—L’s death did not shock him as much as he’d thought…hoped…it would. Did that mean he had doubted L’s ability? No…it just meant he was probably next to die. So he had accepted that and deadened himself to that fate when he would have to take over for L--especially if he were killed by Kira. He prepared himself for it sometimes, mostly at night, when he could rehearse his reaction.

So the once energetic, smiling, laid-back young man now wore a mask. One that Roger could not see through. It reminded him, in a creepy sort of way, of L. Especially when he’d been younger, when Watari at first brought the boy.

“There is one claiming to be L acting in Japan, no doubt because if news that L was dead were to spread, it would cause a panic. You will be heading to the United States. To New York.”

“After the funeral?” New York should be Near’s place…

“Yes. If you wish to attend.”

Matt nodded and, once again, donned that black, pressed suit—it was bigger then he remembered. He’d lost weight over the past year. He put on his black cap and went.

L…L. Lawliett—haha, ironic that his first name was still unknown, likely to anyone but L himself. He was not put in a suit but in a clean white shirt and jeans. His feet bare. He would be one to have never worn a suit in his life and…it would almost seem an insult to put him in one.

Watari was in his suit of black.

A drink please; make it a double.

A double burial, just like Mello and Near.

He had stared at L for a very long time. Only he, Roger, and a few others attended. The Japanese police were not permitted.

And when final words were said and the casket was closed. He had stayed when they put them both in the ground and saved the next morning’s newspaper about Watari.

Then he was off. He took hardly any clothes, his computer and…at Roger’s urging, strangely enough, his video games and portable. He took a briefcase over notes he’d been taking the last few months and went to America.

That was in the December of 2004. The next May, the fake L told the media to put a censure on criminal information. In response, information flooded the internet.

Matt had poked the screen, taking a drag on a cigarette, tapped his glasses, poked again. Pictures and names. A name and a face to kill.

And over the next four years he did Near’s work, or maybe Mello's work, now having full access to classified information—a notebook. That Higuchi guy—a strange notebook had been recovered from the scene, him claiming it had had the power to kill. One of those guys from Yotsuba. They’d all died shortly after L’s death. Wedy and Aiber died not long after.

You’ve got to be kidding. You write down the name of someone and they die. A perfect murder weapon. No hard evidence. Easy to hide.

Wedy and Aiber…so either Kira knew who they were from a leak…or he is in the Japanese taskforce. There’s no way those deaths could be coincidental. They were working directly with L.

It all should have been Near or Mello. He’d taken longer then he would have liked to gather his information. There were loopholes he didn’t catch sometimes. He’d had to prove himself to the people he worked with. They’d seen a nineteen-year-old in a black and white striped shirt and jeans with something like disbelief. (Black and white..., he'd thought. Just like them.) And he didn’t have Mello’s fire or Near’s calm.

But once he had swallowed his nerves and self-doubt, used to working alone by now, and had taken command, they’d listened.

That’s when he realized his problem. He’d been too focused, become too rigid. He had to relax. He had to be like L. The real L.

Wow. Okay. Talk about a tough number.

He began to understand why L had eaten sweets and cakes and candies (and sometimes fruit) all the time. The majority of the time, they were all light foods. The constant paranoia, inability to sleep (and he had, indeed, become accustomed to that, he preferred that over bad dreams, so he worked all through the night), pressures—taking over where the greatest had failed. Failed...no, not failed...something...anything but failed. That's too harsh. It was enough to make you feel vaguely sick every day. L’s choices in foods were light, not exactly ‘filling’ but it kept him from being hungry. Even though he ate those kinds of foods, trying some of the things that L had, some of his techniques, he barely managed to maintain his weight. Now he understood why L had seemed so slim.

He took up smoking permanently instead. Coffee too.

When the moment came and the fake L finally contacted him—as Matt had suspected he would eventually—it had made him angry. More angry then had possibly imagined. Even though he'd expected it. How dare this fake call him and pretend—no. No. It was better that he had. It was better this way. He needed to calm down. He masked his face and held out his hand. The dead cold silence for a split second on the other side when he said hello to the imposter was all he needed.

Mello would have blown up or been really cocky, traced the line to get the exact location…or something. Mello was unpredictable. Who knew. Near would have… He looked down. He probably would have done what I did. Only better. Strange. Those two—Mello and Near—really were two halves that could have made a whole. That could have surpassed L. He stared at the floor a moment. So how the hell am I gonna measure up? He smoked half a pack of cigarettes for the next hour, ruminating.

After one particularly stressful morning, he sat back in his chair, rubbed the bridge of his nose and stood up, going to his room. His team followed him with their eyes, but said nothing. He sat down, once again, on a bed—this one hardly slept in (although sometimes when he actually would fall asleep at his desk, someone would carry him in here, although he never knew who and never asked)—putting his elbows on his knees. After a moment, he reached down, opening a briefcase.

The last photograph of Mello that ever existed. There were none of Near. He’d taken the photograph from Wammy’s house and a little Lego man from Near’s things. Otherwise, he had nothing else from them. I should get ahold of Linda and have her draw something up. She always had a strange sort of attachment to Near. Strange how he’d come to look at them both. Especially Near, who he’d mostly ignored.

He felt sick. He took a deep breath. I have to try. I can’t…lose.

And for the first time in a long time, he looked over at his video games and the portable, lying, a bit dusty, on his empty dresser. He got up, went to it.

He stared at it a long time before he picked it up again. Sitting down. Pressing the power button.

He fell asleep a few hours later and dreamed no dreams.


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