Another Note: Crime Scenes

BY : Resting-Madness
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 2181
Disclaimer: I don't make money from this work of fiction. I don't own the realm of death note's creation like characters and plot, and world. None of it is mine.

When you look into the mirror, what do you see? The opposite of you.

I am that being which you aren't. I am that strange and wretched thing that can't be explained. Alien. That freak occurrence happening once in a while. A stark red moon. I am a freak of nature. Imagine being out in a forest and you look up and see a tree attached, whole limb, to another fully grown tree. ...You would cock your head, furrow your brow, take a step back then walk away feeling your skin crawling from your muscle and bone. You'd never want to see that sort of thing again.

That strange thing is Me. I'm out there, and you're out there. I see you, and I'll make you see me.

I'm not a ghost. I am not a ghoul. But there's something about me, surely different from she, him, or you. I'll furrow your brow, steal your smile and leave you infected with grief. I'll make you take notice. I'll give you no choice. So, go on.. go look into the mirror.

Byran Holmes raised his head to one of his co-workers who just walked onto the elevator. "Hold the door!" He hoisted the heavy boxes in his arms up to a better hold then sighed in frustration. 'Didn't he bloody see me?' Wondered the stressed worker becoming more so with each passing minute. He has to get his things to the editor before 1 o'clock and he's only got fifteen minutes to get to the print house! Every second counts.

Calm blue eyes met with a dark brown desperation, and leaning forward the border pressed the button to head to the lobby. He didn't wave or give an apologetic expression, he simply carried on as if he hadn't noticed or heard a thing.

'Didn't he bloody see me?' Wondered the stressed worker becoming more so with each passing minute.

Byran was afixed to staring at his watch. He's too crunched for time. But all because some meat head couldn't hold the elevator... He has to wait for it to go down then come back up. Guy Swartz, who's probably in his car and gone off to home by now, must have a really cheap hearing-aid because he'd shouted loudly enough, that was for certain.

"Alright, set back, but nothing major." He muttered to himself. Walking over to the elevator, he pushed the button waiting for the ancient heap to ascend to his floor.

Stepping into the box he pressed the button and stood in wait through the ride, exiting once he's in the garage. He checked his watch when stepping out of the elevator, he's got time. Good! But when he arrived at his car he saw that someone had smashed into it, the assault caused it to skied diagonally in the space that he'd parked in perfectly when arriving at work.

'Seriously? Who would do something like this?' Spinning a circle, he looked around the garage as if the culprit lay in wait to watch the hilarity of his annoyance and confusion, but there was no one. Not even a feeling. 'Minor setback. I've got to get to the printers.'

But the building was closed when he arrived. It was as if the entire planet was against him right now. His boss was going to kill him for this. Or so he'd thought. Because the next day at work Byran Holmes found out that his work had been turned in earlier by someone else.

He sat in his cubical very confused as to why someone would turn in his assignment. He wonders, even more, how said-person had gotten his assignment to have done it. It was a real mystery. A mystery until Wanda Simpson walked out of the bosses office shaking her head as she tells him that she's just received a raise for the amazing work she's done on his assignment!

It left him feeling empty. Byran was sure he had been given the assignment to write about the situation at Collision park, but it would seem he'd been overlooked. Didn't his boss have faith in him that he would get it done? This wasn't the first time in which he'd been slighted like this and many other ways. Was it something he'd said or done? Is he being punished? He can't figure out what he'd done to deserve such treatment.

'What's wrong with me?'

He's at home looking at his reflection in the mirror, trying desperately to find a flaw in the system. But all he sees is himself. Brown hair. Brown eyes. A friendly face, but virtually a boring human being. But he's no more boring than anyone else. So then why is he being... ignored? That didn't seem to fit. He felt more like he was being cast aside. A nothing that's not there.

'Am I a nothing? But how? Why? I'm friendly, I'm a hard worker. I've never done anything wrong that I can think of... So then what?'

He smiled at his reflection but it didn't quite reach even his lips, it was just a dry elevation of the corners of his mouth.

Quimby nodded when his friend lowered her eyes from the sheaf of paper. "Well?"

Dana looked confused then looked over the words again believing she must have missed what was making her co-worker so excited, but she remained at a loss. "I don't get it, really. What's it supposed to be?" Setting the paper down on the kitchen table like it was dirty, the woman shrugged her bony shoulder.

"I'm um... I'm writing something; all this grief has got me swimming in worry and my worry has sort of found an outlet." He picked off a chunk from one of the scones Dana brought over and popped it into his mouth.

"Ohh, so you mean you're writing about the freak who keeps abducting you, for the paper?"

"Yes! Exactly!" He lied. He wasn't sure what all he could tell her, so he figured if she thought it was a column piece for the newspaper she wouldn't get him in trouble with those foreign inspectors or the police. "I thought it would make for a great piece- sort of an 'inside edition."

"Speaking of," she decided to get down to the point of her visit. "When are you coming back to work at a normal pace? We're all wondering if you maybe done staged this for attention from Mr. Hanley,"

"Why would I...? How could I even do something like this?" Quimby was starting to think maybe his friend's list needed to be shortened because Dana was surely not seeing him as someone to care about or to be concerned about. 'Why is she even here? To bother me or see if I'm faking my PTS? Probably the latter... Mr. Hanley no doubt thought I'd spill my guts to her about how this is all an image stunt.'

His gaze squinted at her and she looked back at him doe-eyed but not all that concerned.

At the manor.

Near's dark charcoal gaze watched as the World's Greatest detective stepped into his rooms with a chessboard built-in to a table, but the thing that made the young detective's brow raise was the long black suit slung over L's forearm. The lanky detective moved with a purpose and set the game table down beside him on the sofa, then he proceeded to grab a single chair from the corner of the small living room area.

"Stand up, please," Asked the visitor in a tone as flat as glass, considering how strange the situation was, it would have been less concerning if the detective used a comical clowns voice instead.

Near dropped his elevated foot to the floor then stood before L, his shorter frame wasn't even noticed because of how slumped over the older detective is, and before he could ask what this was about the suit was pressed to his chest and examined visually by L's immense gaze. His head cocked back and forth as he seemed to be wondering something about what he's seeing.

It was too much, especially when L muttered that the hair was the same. Near then had to ask. "Is this Mr. Watari's?"

"Hmm?" L made it seem as though he were interrupted from something more likely for him to be doing than sizing suits against the younger detective. "Yes, he has all of these custom made suits, I was getting the game table when I thought about what a shame it would be if they went to waste just sitting hung up in the closet of his room."

Near felt like he was being put on, but he left it alone and refused the suit by pushing it aside. "I don't think Mr. Watari's five foot eleven frame would fit me, and the shoulders are off as well. Perhaps Light could get better use out of them?"

"Mm. You could be right." Setting the suit aside over the back of his chair, he takes a seat then gestures to the table. "Care for a game?"

Near eyed the man for a moment, wondering if he was alright. But he supposed there was no real harm in L's behavior so he joined him for a game of chess. Sitting down on the sofa he'd just vacated, choosing to participate in the awkward situation.

"This was the first game I'd ever played with Quillish," L began as the game came to a pause while they pontificated their next few moves. "I lost to him because I'd gotten distracted by Backup talking about me. I was so humiliated by that loss. The win had been mine, but there I was listening in on a conversation pointedly going on."

"Oh?" Near moved his white rook on the board.

"They were wondering about my relationship or, at least, B had been. I don't think A ever paid him any real attention, he was always so busy with studying."

They move the pieces about the board.

"He was more than a mentor; Quillish was a challenge, an obstacle to beat. He was the original." L moved the bishop taking Near's knight. "It had started out that way, but as time progressed he became a close friend. I believed that, and believed he'd felt the same way about me. Neither of us ever said the words."

"Most of the time friendship isn't declared. It's not a relationship, it's more of a happenstance."

L looked at the bright young man before him and wondered if he thought of them as a 'happenstance'?

They play in silence pausing for ten minutes or four to think over a move or to simply sit in silence with their own thoughts. Now and then Near would steal glances at the detective then return his gaze to the board. It wasn't until their silence was broken by L commenting on a particularly good move that Near made when the younger detective decided to speak.

"L, is the position still open to become the next L?"

L lowered the pawn to the board then looked across the table at his companion. He'd even go as far as to say his competition. Which, yes, he, Near, and Mello- the others at the gifted school, still are.

Deciding to keep going with his question Near stated boldly. "Kira replaced you miserably during the Kira case, before you could declare Mello or me, or maybe even some other candidate, in your place..." He left the statement open.

"Do you believe this case is a test for the two of you, or others?" L added the more because they never knew, he could pick another person from the school. It hasn't broken up over the death of its founder, and he's gone over the records since his seclusion. He could very well pick someone else from Mello or Near. "Near, based on what I've seen between you and Mello, I can say there's no clear-cut choice." He moved another piece. "Mmm," his thumb played against his bottom lip as he thought. "I'm wondering if there's ever been a need to choose? You and Mello have many attributes to gain the position, but you also lack. Together you complete each other where the other is afraid to venture."

Near was silent hearing that. It wasn't entirely something he disagreed with, he'd once told Mello he thought that they should work as a duo. But it was the lost look on L's face that was upsetting him. Then L began to speak again.

"When I was twelve-years-old I found myself with the toughest case to crack, it was a man and his partner, they were making living Frank-..."

Near looked like he'd been struck on the head, and when his pinched expression left him it took action by his slamming his hand down on the tabletop with a force that knocked the pieces to the floor. "Enough!" It wasn't so much a shout as he'd raised his voice well enough, that had his volume been a physical thing it would thump against the back wall of the room.

L didn't look put out, just concerned at the sudden outburst from a person so unlikely to do it.

"This isn't tit-for-tat, this is about there being no place for an L." His words ground from his mouth like grit made from glass, and though his feelings have never needed to be voiced before he felt they needed to be now. Especially now. "You've gone away- locked away in a cell by Watari's death. You're just existing through bars now, and you don't even seem to care... We can't inherit what's gone away and been poorly replaced," By which he meant Light. "There's no victory, no gain; we'd be bullying a baby at this point. I'm not going out for a title that no longer has a meaning. ...Either you get it back... or go away."

L could only blink at the teen's words. Hard to hear, and even harder to acknowledge. Stepping down from the chair he began to gather up the chess pieces from the floor and set them down inside of the hidden compartment in the table. "I'm sorry you've come to feel this way." He said softly, closing the lid on the game.

"I'm sorry that it's true..." Replied the young detective.

"I'm afraid a tree tends to be nothing without its taproot." L walked out of the room without another word. Carrying the suit and the game, unfinished, along with him.

0 0 0

Matt felt the need to take notes, or at least appear like he was. Anything was better than having his full attention on the blather drabbles of Sie Moriuchi. The interview had started out rather normal. He asked her how she was doing since the death of Misa Amane? It was not all that long ago; she said she was fairly sad, after all, she's known Misa since they were six. But managing a kitchen helps to distract her whenever she misses the plucky, almost childish woman.

But then things took a turn as she began spewing her Neopaganism non-sense his way about death and rebirth, reincarnation and soul stealing. That was when he'd zoned out when she spoke about energy and how it could stick to anything, even another person. To the marrow. How she's sure that Misa is still out there somewhere, that a death as tragic as hers would have left some pretty powerful energy behind. She and the others in her group practice nature-related spirituality, and how she might come across a flower that could actually be Misa.

He was just about to lock-and-load into his skull when he remembered the specifics he wanted to ask her. "Miss Moriuchi, can we stay on topic?"

"Of course," Moriuchi smoothed a hand through her hair then adjusted her glasses, hardly ruffled by another non-believer not in the mood to listen to the divine teachings of the enlightened. "What do you want to know?"

"Do you remember about a year or so ago when you and Misa Amane were sending those occult tapes around Tokyo?"

"Yeah, pretty funny gag, right? Don't tell me," she took on a smart-assed expression. "Don't tell me this about that? Are you planning to arrest me? Are you a cop?" She scoffed. "I have my rights, you know. And those videotapes were harmless."

"Those 'harmless' video tapes fueled the fire for 320 deaths within two months."

"Because of Kira getting upset because he thought he had competition, it had nothing to do with Misa or I," she smiled then and with a sheepish look on her face she added. "Isn't it interesting how lovely the hydrangeas bloomed that time of year considering the filth killed in order to make them. I know I slept easier with the deaths of those criminals."

"I would have figured they'd be turned into astral fertilizer, and continue killing anything they touched."

"Hn. Death can be very humbling, Mr. M," she didn't know what else to call him since his name was left out of the conversation along with his face, so all she sees is the large letter M on the screen. "Even the worst of people can't flee from a kinder fate."

"I'm sure," he didn't bother hiding his boredom as he spoke. "Didn't you find it odd that Misa wanted to make those tapes at all?"

"No. I happen to have a web series about occult topics with my friend Brienna Trang, we do things like that all the time."

"But you don't go sending them around to television stations looking to scare people, now do you?"

"It was a jooooke, ugh," her frustration was getting the better of her now. "Why is this important? If you're planning to arrest me you have no grounds or proof to do it. So this conversation is just a waste of both or our time and energy. I'm innocent. If you want the real culprit find an ouija board." She may as well lie, what would they know about a private moment that she and Misa had?

Misa made the tapes, and she took care of the rest. It was her idea to send them around to the television and radio stations, she thought it would be funny what with all the Kira theories floating around. And it was funny, at first, but then with the whole Kira investigation going on and the cops being hypersensitive to the matter, the laughs got old quick. Thankfully, Misa also didn't want to keep it up. After they'd stopped sending them out, she really didn't see much of Misa anymore. She'd gotten some new boyfriend who was nothing but trouble for her. She was even accused of being the second Kira! That's how out of their minds the police force had become over it.

"We're tying up loose ends on the Kira investigation," Matt explained.

"Loose ends? That was some years ago, plus it must have been a success because when was the last time anyone saw any activity from Kira second or otherwise?"

"Misa Amane is dead. We were wondering if she maybe had any instructions for you or anyone else she may have known? Something said discreetly at the time, and you maybe thought it had been nothing..." He didn't want to lead her, but he was running out of patients with this conversation.

"Had she had any instructions for me, what makes you think I'd tell it to you?"

"Because I'm the law, and it's your civic duty to help law enforcements with investigations."

She was quiet.

"Or maybe you'd prefer I arrest you for something a little closer to home? A certain activity that took place a few months back in Osaka. I'm sure the animal activist would-"

Moruichi paled then cleared her voice. "I wasn't given any instructions," sang the canary, "and as far as I know Misa didn't really get close with many other people- life of an entertainer, I suppose. She knew me from childhood and we never drifted apart in spite of her career. But, eventually, she had ditched me for some guy. I'm sure if you look him up, you'll find an answer to your many questions, because I'm clueless."

"Thank you. Good day, Miss Moriuchi."

"Yes, good day." She was cut from the feed.

Leaning back in a bowed slouch, Matt sighed. "Well, that was a dead end, granted she's not lying... So, Misa's dead. But that doesn't rule out a Death Note."

Matt figured that the boyfriend Moriuchi was talking about must have been Light Yagami. Who else? And Light wouldn't tell them about another strain of the Death Note existence, amnesia or otherwise. Their only solace is to just get lucky and that not be it in this case.

0 0 0

It was a small root growing from the soles of his feet. It's not the usual kind of tree root that grows down into the earth, this root grows upward and outward, but the bloom is anything but beautiful. It's ugly and clawing, it decays all around it like a Black Walnut tree without the time it takes to poison the Earth in which it lives. And in Byran Holmes it spread like wildfire. Every hiccup or slight fed the fire better than wind or wood ever could.

Byran walked away from the counter with a medium popcorn, a small soda, and a candy bar weighing down his front left pocket. He's been dying to see No Shelter since the trailers began airing. The room was really filling up, some people were even asking others for their seat so they could sit with the person or persons that they'd gone to the theater with.

Byran watched a couple giggling and tilting into one another as they worked their way through the seated movie-goers until they could find someone to offer a pair of seats to them. He noticed the chair beside him had remained empty, and waited patiently to kindly offer his seat to the pair. He didn't mind, there had to be a seat left for him once he got up. But rather than being asked for his seat, the girl cheered and made her way through the rows of occupied chairs until she was beside him to take a seat, her boyfriend's ass was close enough to kiss had Byran formed the letter 'P' with his lips.

"Hey! Hey!" he protested, his popcorn and soda were raised up from his lap and held out to prevent them from being squashed into his lap that was about to be sat on. "I'm sitting here!"

The man turned around and eyed Byran like he'd been the one trying to beat him to the seat, and his gaze never left the man until eventually Byran just scooted away. He heard the man's girlfriend, or perhaps even a wife, ask "What was that?"

"I don't know." Replied the coupled man.

Byron looked around the room that's still lit up before the film started, but finding no empty seats, he left the screening room figuring he could wait until the next showing. The only problem is he hated standing around for two hours doing nothing, so it seemed time to complain.

"Excuse me," he said to one of the ushers standing beside the room he'd just exited. "I lost my seat to this guy; I was wondering if I could go in and see the next showing?"

The usher cocked his brow as if the man had just spoken to him in Mandarin. "Umm, I don't think you're allowed to do that,"

"But I paid for a ticket, you can't tell me not to see the movie."

Again the man's brows furrowed. "Would you like to see something else instead? There are still seats left for Roulette."

"Roulette?"

The usher gestured to the room he's standing beside.

"Well... I guess I... I could," Opening the door he looked around the room for an empty seat.

There, three rows from the front he spotted one. He had to move a bucket of popcorn laced with cinnamon Mike & Ike, belonging either to the man on his right or the man on his left, but the owner of the customized snack didn't even notice or care that it had been replaced to the shared arm of the chairs, he just stuffed his hand into the bucket and pulled out a palmful to eat.

The movie was more violent than Byran had expected, it was unusual, though, because he's a squeamish man and has a tendency to cover his eyes during things like this. He'd never actively seek to see a movie of this genre, he wanted to watch the romance film he'd paid for but that didn't happen. So here he is watching with wide, but interested eyes each time the killer knifed or bashed in his victim's skull. It was incredible! The killer had no mask over his face, no shield from his wrong doings, and yet he was there doing it. How could he be so brave? So bold-faced?

Byran could never do something like that. Someone would see him, scream their throat hoarse and he'd be sent to jail fast. But, then again... His mind flashed back to the man who'd taken his seat in the viewing room he should have been in. He didn't seem to notice him, not where it mattered. And his girlfriend considered him a ′that'! That's not right.He wondered if he'd be looked at funny if he told the man next to him that he wished the killer would get that couple who stole his seat by ignoring him?

Byran felt something in those thoughts. He realized that if he was willing to think about it that much, hurting someone who didn't notice him even that much, then what harm could it do to exact some revenge? He wouldn't kill them, he would just scare them a little. Fear tends to help ease a battered mind. If only kids at these schools would realize such a thing, then they wouldn't actually shoot or bomb the place, they'd just allow the others, the disrespecting brats, to know that they meant business if things didn't change. So he followed the pair after they left the theater...

He waited for the couple to pass by him as he hid in the darkness between two buildings. They were whispering sweet something's to each other, laughing about the idea of such lavished care, and when they were a good few feet away from him Byran darted from his hiding place. He raised the lid of a trashcan up and bashed the man with it right against the back of his neck.

He staggered forward then came to a slumped stop; his hand was up at his neck trying to ease the pain. His girlfriend gasped and spun around to see who could have done such a nasty thing, but when her gaze settled on Byran she then turned to her boyfriend and asked if he was alright.

"Yeah, I'm fine. What the hell is going on tonight?" He asked. The man smiled when his girlfriend kissed the back of his neck in cute little peppered-pecks.

Byran had had enough...

The metal of the lid bent in before the man's face had, and with a new strength of the scrunched in metal Byran became a killer. The man's significant other stood there with her mouth covered and her eyes wide from the shock of what she was witnessing. But she didn't scream. It only acted as fertilizer to the new thing growing inside the invisible man. Byran's got up from the dead man and stalked over to the girlfriend.

"Wh... wh..." She tried to form words as his small hands clamped down around her throat. "Why are you doing this?" She managed to whimper that when her back hit the street lamp pole.

"Because you asked me too," his grip tightened. "Can you see me now? Can you see me!?"

Quimby stretched his arms over his head; his laptop posture was really uncomfortable whether he be seated on the sofa or at the computer desk. Rubbing his lower back he stood up from the couch then walked to the window. It's dark out. His stomach began to knot up. Because of this lunatic, nights made him very uncomfortable. Maybe things would take a better turn once the killer- if the killer- reads his new material. Leaving the living room he fixed himself a couple sandwiches and grabbed a hard cider from the fridge then he took it to his bedroom.

0 0 0

Mello swore into the night of busy sounds, sights, and various smells. It was just like this case in a way. Some of it's good and some of it's bad. And most notably, it's an entire melting pot of nothing in particular. He got up the last rung of the borrowed ladder and helped himself onto a branch. Even as a child, he can't recall ever having or wanting to climb trees. Some of Wammy's hid up there whenever they played hide-n-seek, but he was never one of them. It wasn't that he was afraid to climb, it just served no purpose to him sitting around in a tree most of the day.

F, in particular, liked to climb trees, and would often throw down pine cones at some of the soccer players. Fish was such an annoying little fucker, that he'd spent a moment wondering what happened to him after he'd left the school. Mello could guess the tree hugger never got far, how could he? He was a fine enough investigator, but he wasn't serious about it. And despite how relaxed your style could be when hunting criminals, Fish didn't have any drive for it at all. No. A guy like him would be better suited for the evidence rooms.

Mello smirked at the thought of the most laid back guy in the school sitting around amongst collected items. Amazing at a job he seemed more born for, sitting and doing nothing for hours. Lifting his binoculars, Mello looked out into the glow of the city. It was different from the states or even Japan. It wasn't as luminous, it was more like a bulb with a dimmer, and the dim was at medium. Looking up, the agent could see the stars in the sky. Definitely not something possible in a larger city.

He'd gone back to the manor to refuel with a milk chocolate magnum in the kitchen while he got the details of Matt's interview with Sei Moriuchi, and was more than happy that nothing came of it. Afterwards, he checked in with L who, for some reason, slapped one of Watari's suits against his chest, cocked his head contemplatively then told him that he was fine, before moving away to his work desk. Something was up, though, that much was obvious with how strangely Near was acting as well. And he gladly didn't stick around for an awkward dinner.

'This investigation has been one late move after another... We must be missing some big hin;, this guy obviously wants us to know what he's doing and when he's going to do it. He wants to be caught. He wants to be noticed. He wants the story tacked onto him about how he garnered attention from the police, baffled and confused them while he was able to kill. The Baron wants to have his name known, alias or otherwise.' His thoughts go to Jason Llyod's corpse sitting in this tree, in this very spot. A body already dead. His eyes burned out.

Mello removed a chocolate bar from the pocket of his vest, opening the gold foil he snapped into it bite after bite while he contemplated the case.

Back at the manor, he isn't the only one having trouble sleeping. Light is in bed tossing and turning. L looked over his shoulder from his place at the computer desk where his laptops and desktop computer are set up. It looked to him as though Light was convulsing rather than tossing around in a nightmare. Though curious, Light wasn't exactly in any danger so L resumed his work.

Light Yagami may not have been in physical danger, but his emotions were running on high as he dreamt of a bust gone wrong; and how Matsuda unloaded several rounds into him. The shots, he could feel them all over again as they hit their mark almost like it was a sick game of Dispatch the Criminal. A piece-by-piece puzzle that needed to be taken apart rather than put together. How could that fool accidently shoot him so many times? Was anyone really that dumb? But reliving being shot wasn't what "shot" Light out of his sleep, it was Matsuda's words ringing in his ears.

"You led your own father to his death," Matsuda had tears in his eyes and in his voice as he spat angrily at him. "And now that he's gone, you call him a fool!"

When did he ever call his father a fool? He respected his father, had even wanted to follow in the man's footsteps. And, more importantly, how had he led his father to his death? The man died on the job. It was a risk all officers and agents agree to undertake when joining the force. So why? It wasn't the first time he's had the dream. Back when he was bed-bound in the hospital, he used to dream of the shooting that put him there, but he never understood what it was. He thought he was dead. In limbo. No longer in control of what he sees or knows. He actually had expected to see nothing, but there were images and voices like he was dreaming. And having woken up in the care of L, he knows now that he had been. Alive and dreaming. But he could make no sense of it, until L told him what had happened and how he got shot.

"Are you alright?" L's words were meant for Light but they were aimed at the glowing computer screen before him.

"I'm fine," he swallowed around a dryness in his throat; rubbing his burning left shoulder, he got out of bed and after slipping his feet into the bed-slippers he walked into the bathroom then out with his bottle of painkillers in his hand. "I'll be back in ten minutes."

He didn't want to be fussed over. And he doesn't want to talk about it. So he chose to leave and find something to do in regards to the case and its progress. Something was nagging at him about it that he just couldn't put his finger on. Wandering into the kitchen, he left the lights off, he can see enough of the spacious room from the light pooling in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The blue moonlight mingled with the bright yellow glow from the refrigerator where Light was grabbing for the carton of milk.

He hooked his finger onto the rim of the glass when he poured to ensure the liquid doesn't spill over, and he stopped pouring when a bubble popped against his fingertip. Light sucked away the splash as he returned the drink to the fridge, then he grabbed the glass from the counter and walked it over to the table and sat down to mull over the case. He gasped when an acrid scent wafted through the air, accompanied by a little orange dot hovering in the dark spaces of the kitchen.

"Can't sleep either, huh?" Matt drawled around the cigarette dangling from his lips. He blew out the smoke fogging the space of his mouth, and he raised the screen to his laptop; he'd only just walked into the kitchen, sat at the table, and got himself a cigarette when Light Yagami walked in for some milk. "It seems to be going around, I saw Gevanni in the study down the hall before I came in." He took another drag then blew it out.

"I've been thinking," Light had nothing more to say on the matter.

Not buying it in the least, Matt replied, "Me too. May as well 'think' together. It might help," ashes are tapped into an ashtray off to the right of the laptop. "I've been looking for inconsistencies with the vics- and similarities, but there's nothing too spectacular."

"I figured as much, but maybe that's part of the killer's MO. Maybe they're not supposed to have anything alike, it sticks with his need for misdirection."

"Yeah, this case has a lot of misdirection. But which murder are we supposed to be looking away from?"

They sat in silence, Matt on his laptop looking through the photos of the murder scenes, and Light deep in thought while he nursed his glass of milk. Remembering the ache in his side, he shook a little white pill loose from the bottle into his palm, tossing it to the back of his mouth he then got it down with a few gulps. He didn't stop drinking until the trembling of his right hand ceased.

Matt watched Light with interest and a mix of envy.

"Would you like one? You've been shot too, I understand; we're probably on the same prescription." He leaned the bottle over to the techie.

Matt licked his lips then lowered his eyes to the screen. "No thanks. I'm not allowed anything stronger than Advil or Tylenol. I used to have a drug problem, and that's the most I'm gonna tell you about it."

Light narrowed his eyes. "You know, at some point, you're going to have to drop whatever your issue is with me. I've done nothing, yet you all treat me like I robbed you of something or murdered a family member... I'm not out to people-please, but what's it gonna take for you to trust me?"

'Gee, I don't know, being anyone but yourself,' thought the gamer. "You're right. Eventually, we'll get over it. Just wait for the day." He shrugged his shoulder.

"This is so ridiculous," getting up from the table he walked over to the sink and washed out the glass setting it on a drying rack.

He exited the kitchen without another word. Light doesn't have time or patience for adolescent nonsense.

Matt snubbed out his cigarette then lowered the screen of his laptop. He's been doing that since the hacking, there was no sense in leaving it open when he wasn't really using it. The crime scene photos are tattooed to his memory. He wasn't about to yield his ill feelings towards Kira, but he couldn't help thinking that maybe they were being a bit crude for treating an amnesiac, Light Yagami, like the devil Kira was.

Light paused on his way upstairs when seeing Near walking across the hall to his and L's rooms. He wasn't sure if he should give them privacy or interrupt because the conversation could be personal or about the case. In his opinion, if it's case related, he should be in on it. He's not going to take their crap anymore, he's part of this non-traditional team too. And he no longer cares if he has to bulldoze his way into it to be there.

Walking the rest of the way up the stairs, he stopped outside of the door and stood off to the side eavesdropping on the conversation through the crack left in the doorway.

"If you came to apologize..." L began but Near stopped him by interrupting.

"I didn't come to apologize; I didn't even come to explain my reasons for why I said what I'd said," Near stood stalk-still behind the detective watching a slew of languages flashing around the screen in pop-up private message boxes. "I meant every word, but, I did want to apologize for not being more understanding of your pain. It took a lot for me to remain focused when we were told about your death. I was angry, I was ready to lash out. Had Mello not covered the bases in that aspect it wouldn't have kept me on course... We didn't know Mr. Wammy as you had, you've known him for most of your life... But it's not an excuse. For that, I'm sorry."

"Apology accepted. Now," L looked over his shoulder as he spoke. "about your situation with Mr. Loud... I'm sending you to see Thomas Maddow,"

Near cocked a brow. "Matt's psychiatrist? Why?"

"Where I don't have a problem with your relationship with him, I am however concerned that- like Matt- you are bringing your work home with you. It's not healthy, and it doesn't create good investigators. It creates addicts."

Near was speechless. Of all the things he'd expected L to say to him, if anything, that was not it. He'd never thought about his main work as a detective. For years he's been the head of many Serious Crimes Units in relation to human trafficking and murders in alleged sex crimes. It's what he does. But to accuse him of being mentally affected by it because he's sleeping with Gevanni seems a bit farfetched. It never struck Near that L could be petty, and was maybe using this as a means of getting back at him for almost pointedly calling him washed up.

"If that's what you see as fit, then I'll see him." There was no fighting it. Why should he? If he believes there's nothing wrong, he'll be accessed and all will be as normal.

"Good. You can start on Wednesday, next month."

"Alright." Heading for the door, he said politely. "Good night."

"Good night."

Near wasn't surprised to find Light standing just outside of the door, he doesn't acknowledge him with rudeness or false politeness. He just visibly noted his presence then walked to his bedroom, closing the door on the events that just took place.

0 0 0

"His eyes were burned out," Mello mumbled to himself; looking out into the city via binoculars.

He can see a ton of things a lot closer with those than the naked eye, but he lowered his extended vision in order to look at the GPS on his phone. He wasn't surprised to see that the nightclub he and Matt had visited was in direct eye line with the victim's location.

"Does that mean I should be looking in the opposite direction?" He wondered; tossing his right leg over the thick branch, he swung the left leg over after turning his hips to follow. 'What in this area would be important to our murderer?'

His gaze traced the streets of the city until he came to a building that screamed with bells and whistles. A funeral home. Baron Samedi is known as an undertaker who picks and chooses who dies. Could this false Baron be someone who works at the funeral home? It was certainly worth a look.

Mello took the ladder down the tree. Hoisting it up under his arm he walked it back to the home he borrowed it from, leaving it against the brick panel beside the garage. Using his phone he dialed Quimby. It's pretty late, and if the killer was planning on contacting Quimby or even at his home right now with intentions of moving him to another victim's location, he may as well interrupt it any way he can.

"Hello?" The man's accent was nearly gone in his drowsy state.

"This is Mello, I wanted to ask how you're doing? Has the killer tried to contact you again?"

"Not that I know of, I've been in bed for the past three hours, and it's still my home,"

To Mello, it sounded like the reporter was looking around his room to make sure he was actually there.

"I'll look downstairs if you want me to,"

"Would you?"

"Just a moment,"

Quimby was quiet for the time it took Mello to get in his car and start it. Then he came back over the line telling him that he didn't see anything different about his house. And that the cops were still sitting in the car right outside his home.

"I'm thinking I should invite them in actually,"

"Do whatever you have to do." Replied Mello. "I'll let you get back to sleep."

"Thanks. I need the rest too, I'm going back to work tomorrow, my boss has been asking for me." He sounded pretty proud of that.

"Good luck,"

It wasn't exactly rude to say, from what Mello understood, no one really thought much about Quimby. If he never worked there, it wouldn't matter at all. But take a look at him now. Suddenly the boss is wondering after him. What that must do to a person.

'Or to them...' Mello wondered over a bite of chocolate about being seen as something when you were once a nothing, as he drove back to the manor.

x x x

Commentary: Sorry it's been ages, I've been draaaaaagged down by this whole can I can't I have sugar thing, and so far the "can't I" is winning and it's killing me. But, I won't bring down the room. Thanks for reading, and reviewing if you choose too. I want to say "Hey" to the new readers, and "thank you" to the favorites and alerts, those mean a lot to me too. Reading Death Note isn't easy when there's a sea of things to choose from, so I'm glad you're reading this. I'm gonna go have lunch, spaghetti could you drool? ahaha, see ya.



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