Nobody Cares About the Receptionist

BY : sashocirrione
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 987
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and I do not make any money from these writings.


CHAPTER 12



Matsuda was panting in frustration as he dug. Digging in the cold ground in January! What had he been thinking? He should have at least grabbed a flat rock or something but, no, now there probably wasn't enough time to get one. Every second counted. The dirt kept falling back into the hole and his fingers were numb. This was bad. With numb fingers, it might be very hard to shoot, if it came to that. But, L had said Light must be taken alive, so maybe there wouldn't be any shooting.



Then, Matsuda heard L's voice over his earpiece, saying, "You don't have enough time to switch the real notebook with the dummy notebook and push all the dirt back into the hole. Light should be coming into view in a few seconds."



Matsuda stopped digging and L's voice said, "Pretend you are trying to fill in the hole. Once Light appears, say exactly what I tell you. Please make sure your hair covers your ears so he doesn't see the earpiece."



Matsuda checked his hair and then started pushing the dirt back into the hole, scraping with the sides of his palms in an odd motion since it was difficult to do any normal movements.



Wait! I should tell L my hands are numb!



Matsuda opened his mouth, but just then Light became visible between two trees at a little distance. Light might hear. Matsuda said nothing but used the pretend-burying motions to continue pushing dirt back into the hole.



L said, "Keep your head down, as if you're watching the ground, and pretend you don't see him until he speaks or I say to notice him."



Matsuda kept making the scraping motions, lowering his head but trying to keep Light's direction in view. Light kept becoming briefly visible between trees, and then after a time Matsuda became aware Light was not approaching directly any more, but was circling around.



L said, "He's seen you. I think he'll try to sneak up from behind."



Matsuda whispered, trying not to move his lips much, saying, "My hands are numb. I don't know if I can shoot."



L replied, "Mogi and Watari will be there as back-up soon. Both are excellent shots. Please don't talk to me again. Light is fairly close."



Matsuda concentrated on his task, but it seemed forever, so long to wait, with everything slowed down, and each additional moment of contact between his hands and the ice-cold dirt increased the numbness.



Then, L said, "Spin around and yell!"



Matsuda turned around fast and screamed, "Ah!," seeing Light Yagami running toward him with a rock held in one hand and that thing, that horrid creature, floating behind Light on black feathery wings. This was so awkward, it was beyond awkward, and it was horrible and disgusting in every possible way. The chief's son just happened to turn out to be the most famous mass-murderer of all time.



L said, "Scream louder. React to the monster as if you've never seen it."



Matsuda pointed at the shinigami, that thing, that creature who had introduced himself as Ryuk on the roof of that office building, and he said, "What the hell is that!" in the most shocked voice he could manage.



Light came closer, silently, but did not drop the rock. Light looked very thoughtful, an evil kind of thoughtful. Light glanced around as well as he could without really taking his eyes off Matsuda. Matsuda glanced around as well. If Mogi and Watari were here, they were well-hidden.



L said, "Tell Light you know his name and you'll write it if he doesn't back away."



Matsuda said, "The notebook is tucked into my jacket. I'll write your name, Light Yagami, unless you back up."



Light stopped advancing and said, "Well, who sent you? Not the police. They'd never let you write my name, and they wouldn't send you alone."



Repeating what L's voice in his ear said, Matsuda said, "A friend needs the notebook for a purpose I'm sure you'll agree with."



Light's eyes narrowed and he said, "The helicopter pilot. Listen, he lied to you. He wants the death note for power, not for justice. Kira will use it to punish those who deserve it, to create a world free of crime, a paradise. Isn't that what you want? Your friend is pretty smart and manipulative, isn't he? You can't trust people like that."



Parroting L, Matsuda said, "Can Kira be trusted?"



Light said, "Kira's record stands for itself. Kira has only killed criminals and those who directly act against him. Those who merely criticize are allowed to live because Kira is a benevolent god."



Matsuda's face twitched a bit at the mention of a god. Kira thought he was a god? This was really, really awful. How was the chief going to take this?



At L's prompting, Matsuda pointed at Ryuk and said, "That thing follows you. What is it? That must mean you're Kira. It can't just follow all of Kira's victims, there are too many of them and they're too far apart."



Light hesitated and looked very suspicious, then said, "Give the notebook to me. I don't know your name, so you're safe. The notebook will go to Kira, and the judgments will continue."



L said, "Give the dummy notebook to him."



This was stupid! Light would have to be an idiot to leave without getting at least a good look at the notebook, and there was no way the dummy notebook Watari had prepared looked exactly like the real thing. Even if the outside were the same, the inside wouldn't have what Light himself must have written it in. And, if Light tried to test it...



L said, "Do it."



Matsuda reached inside his jacket, trying to trust that L knew what he was doing, and brought out the plastic bag with the dummy notebook inside, barely being able to grip it in his numb hands. Light cautiously stepped forward and took it from him, then paced backwards a little distance and slipped the notebook from the bag. Immediately, Light's eyes widened and he looked shocked.



Light took a few steps back and looked around hastily, then said, "This is a fake. Tell me where you hid the real one."



L said, "Refuse to tell him. Argue and stall."



Matsuda said, "No."



In a shaky voice, Light said, "Wait, the only reason... Ryuk, look for cameras."



Ryuk replied, "I already see five of them."



Light pulled out his wallet and in a few deft motions had L's forged paper and a pen. Light said, "Tell your superiors to back off right now, or the prime minister of Japan dies."



At L's prompting, Matsuda said, "Only Kira would know if the notebook was real or a fake. If you were a controlled victim, you'd have no idea if you'd been given the right notebook or the wrong one, you'd just deliver it to Kira regardless. You are Kira, Light Yagami."



Light said, "Yes, I'm Kira, and I can still kill a number of important hostages with just this paper."



Matsuda finally saw Mogi and Watari moving in from different sides at once, both with guns aimed right at Light. A second later, Light noticed them as well. Light was really starting to look insane, and sweat was running down his face as he gritted his teeth and his eyes became frantic.



Light shouted, "Stay back, or I'll kill."



Mogi and Watari just kept advancing. Then, a flash of insight passed across Light's face and he rushed to the hole and started digging with his hands. He was really good, flinging dirt behind him in great sweeping moves, like a dog digging. But, it was no use. Within a few moments, Mogi and Watari had closed the rest of the distance and both had their guns pressed almost right against Light from each side. They were yelling at him to surrender. Light still refused to stop, and suddenly he was dragging a plastic bag from deep below the chunks of dirt.



Watari raised his gun and whipped Light across the knuckles very hard, leaving a smear of blood, but Light didn't let go of the bag but was rather trying to open it. Then, Mogi kicked Light and Light's body actually spun a couple of times before Light's chin smacked into the ground and a dazed look came into his eyes. Matsuda saw the bag lying unattended and rushed to retrieve it. Mogi had pinned Light securely and Light was laughing.



Matsuda pulled out the real killing notebook, just to see it. It was black, like the dummy they had made, but the English lettering on the cover looked different. Matsuda backed up, getting further away from Light just in case he happened to break free.



Light screamed, "Do you want the game to be over this soon? I'm sure you haven't had enough entertainment. Kill them all!"



Mogi put his hand over Light's mouth.



Just then, Matsuda saw what nobody else was seeing. The shinigami had taken out its own notebook and was writing. Did that mean...



Matsuda screamed, "The monster is killing us!"



Watari and Mogi spun around at the same time and began shooting at Ryuk, but the bullets were having no effect. In the confusion, Light had wriggled out from under them and was running straight at Matsuda.



L said, "I think it may be killing Light instead. Tell it to stop."



Matsuda said, "Stop killing Light, Mr. Shinigami."



Light's eyes widened and he looked back at the monster. It said, "Nice try," and continued writing.



Light said, "No, Ryuk! There will be many apples if you stop, or these men will get you something too."



At L's prompting, Matsuda said, "Ryuk, we wish to make a deal with you. Light's life belongs to the police now."



Ryuk held out its notebook, showing Light's name written in neat, precise kanji.



Light collapsed into a babbling heap at Ryuk's feet, screaming, begging, pleading for a cause of death to be written, for his life to be extended to 23 days, and L was prompting Matsuda to ask Ryuk to let Light live longer, as Light had asked, but the monster simply grinned and then, and then, Light was spasming in the throes of a heart attack, all the life fading out of his eyes.



Matsuda didn't know what to do. He just kept thinking of the chief's face, of how unfair this all was, of how many people had died or were dying. Could they indeed be saved?



And then, the monster was standing over him and it said, "I'm your shinigami now. You were touching this death note when the last owner died."



Matsuda said, "What! I don't want a shinigami."



L said, "Matsuda, we need to talk with this thing. Don't send it away. Ask if it will come with you."



Matsuda took a deep breath, tried to get used to the idea of having a normal conversation with a creature like that, a creature who killed on a whim, for fun, and said, "Will you follow me?"



Ryuk said, "I'll follow you until you die or let me erase your memories."



Matsuda swallowed. That sounded very, very unpleasant. He wandered away from Light's corpse, toward the surveillance van. Some people had been drawn by the sound of gunshots and a very minor crowd was starting to gather just outside the wooded area. Matsuda began pushing through them.



Ryuk said, "You'd better shove the death note inside your jacket. Anyone who touches it will see me."



Matsuda did so clumsily, with his still-numb hands, and found his way at last into the back of the surveillance van. He couldn't meet the chief's eyes, he just sat, stunned, clutching the instrument of death that had been used to kill... how many? Thousands? All the while, Ryuk stood nearby and tried to make casual conversation, as if it expected to be Matsuda's new best friend, and various tasks were seen to by the others, and then the van was heading back to the temporary headquarters.



What does it mean, it will follow me until I die or it erases my memories? Do I have to choose between having this thing always hovering over me and being an amnesiac?



Matsuda finally worked up the courage to ask the most important question, saying, "Ryuk, will you force me to kill people?"



Ryuk said, "No, but I think you should try it. I'm told it's a lot of fun."



Soichiro went white at that statement, and Matsuda didn't have the courage to ask any more questions until they were all back in the hotel suite that was the temporary headquarters, and then he only asked Ryuk questions at L's prompting.





 




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