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Your Move

Chapter Text

May 28 th

'Sorry, something came up. Let’s study tomorrow, okay?’  

This is the second damn time. 

'Yeah. It’s fine. See you then.’ 

I scowled as I pressed send, then packed my notes and textbooks. 

My study partner has stood me up twice now. I asked Yagami to help me study and do homework. And to my surprise he agreed to help. I pegged him as the type that liked to stay ahead of everyone, like me. So I didn’t really think he’d slow down to help. 

I wanted to study with him to see where he is so that I could surpass him and be on top of the class. I got a good sample of his intellect. He’s a bona fide a genius. There’s so few of us. We’ve only met up once and that was three days ago. 

I made my way to the campus cafeteria. The entire commons area was empty; usually it’s loaded with students hanging out. It was almost too quiet. I fumbled with my cell phone to check the time, but it slid out of my hand and fell in a pile of tree blossoms.  

I groaned as I knelt down and felt around for it, then heard footsteps coming down the main path. I briefly looked up and saw a small blonde girl and a business woman. Out of nowhere, a group of black clad officers wearing masks stomped towards the two women. I quickly stepped behind the tree as the officers blindfolded the blonde and cuffed both women. They didn’t shout, as most police officers making an arrest would. Instead they spoke in harsh whispers in their native language.  

A few words reached my ears, and I heard two completely different things that had no relation to each other. “Possession of drugs” was the first thing I managed to hear. The other was the infamous killer gone viral. Kira. Or more specifically, Second Kira

By the time they were gone I was still standing with my back to the tree trying to make sense of what I’d just witnessed. I started walking away from campus. 

Why would there be a seemingly secret arrest in such a public place? Only if the police were positive that they were arresting the right person. If that girl was arrested for such an accusation, then she must be Second Kira. 

I thought back to the live broadcasts featuring Kira. The first thing I thought was that the actual Kira wouldn’t kill innocents and that he never even broadcasted on live television. But for this, he killed people who only spoke against Kira’s view of justice. So of course it wasn’t the same person. A copycat who can kill like the original with an entirely different M.O was the one to broadcast against the police. Someone who completely worshipped Kira. 

So if they’ve managed to catch Second Kira, it’s only a matter of time before they find the actual Kira. It’s about time. The world can live without a supernatural serial-killer.  

“Excuse me, I believe this is yours.” Someone said to me in perfect English. 

I turned to the low voice and blinked at the man holding out my cell phone. He had the darkest of circles rimmed his equally dark eyes. His black hair was a complete mess. This dude is by far the most alien looking person I’ve ever seen. 

I took the phone and thanked him. 

“You’ve figured it out already.” He said matter-of-factly.  

I looked at him quizzically. What does he mean by that? 

“All you needed was to witness the secret arrest of Misa Amane to deduct that she is the Second Kira.” 

The Kira case. 

My eyes narrowed, “Who are you exactly?” I asked slowly.  

“You tell me.” His eyes bore into mine. 

I observed him once again, closer. Despite his ultra-disheveled appearance, his clothes were oddly crisp and clean. A white long-sleeve and baggy blue jeans, simplistic. His sneakers didn’t match. They were old, dirty, and looked as if they could fall apart at any second. The laces were barely tied. He was hunched over, as if he had a huge weight on his shoulders that he’s had for a long time. 

Overall, his entire being screamed crazy hermit-man. But his expression was an entirely different story. Or lack thereof. His face was blank, but his eyes were calculating, critical, and challenging. 

Besides all that, I thought about the fact that a complete stranger came up to me and talked about this case. A top-secret case I was certain was only accessible by the Japanese Police and other national organizations. 

Is he an undercover officer? No, he’d be under strict orders not to disclose information about the case to a civilian. The only reason he would talk to me about the case on his own terms is if he was the one leading the investigation...And that person was made obvious a while ago The one who openly challenged Kira on live television. But Kira didn’t kill him…or he couldn’t. But why? Was this guy really the genius detective going head-to-head with Kira? It’s highly probable...just as it is improbable. With or without evidence. 

“You’re L.” I whispered.  

He reached out a hand to shake, “Yes, I am. What is your name?” 

“Vanessa Chavez.” I said as I shook his hand.  

When we let go, he took a handkerchief from his pocket and thoroughly wiped his hand.  

“Listen," I started, "I won’t tell anybody about what I’ve seen or heard today.” 

Not that I have anyone to tell anyways. 

“You attend To-Oh. So you are familiar with Light Yagami, yes?” He responded, ignoring what I said. 

“Yeah, he’s a freshman in my criminology class.” I answered curtly. 

How does he know Light? Holy crow, how else? 

“He’s a suspect?” My voice lowered even more. 

“There is a ten percent chance that Light is Kira.” 

Ten percent? 

I looked around to make sure no one was near. “Why are you even telling me this? Why would you let me figure out who you are?” 

“There is a two percent chance that you are working with Light and Miss Amane.” 

I burst out laughing, and tried to keep it down. All the while, L looked at me as if I’d spat in his face.  

“Oh my god. That is just – that was funny.” I managed to say after a moment. 

“I need to take you to headquarters and question you.” 

I sobered up at that. “What the hell are you talking about? No. I don’t even know Light besides being classmates. And I’ve never seen Misa Amane until today.” 

“Nevertheless, we need a statement about your involvement in all this.” 

Involvement?” I scoffed. “No, man! I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care who you are, I’m not getting into this mess.” I turned and walked away. 

“I’m afraid it’s much too late for that.” L said as he grabbed my arm in a vice-like grip. 

“Hey!” I called out in slight alarm. I resisted the urge to take him down, I didn’t need to give him a reason to arrest me. He pulled me down the sidewalk towards the parking lots. There was a limo parked close to the exit. 

“Let me go.” I growled as I stubbornly pulled away.  

“You’ll be able to leave after I question you.” He stopped in front of an old man. “Besides, if you really aren’t working with Kira then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.” 

I looked at him irritably. 

As much as I don’t want to be interrogated, the sooner I get this over with the better. 

So I climbed in and sit all the way on the other side of the seat. The only thing on my mind was answering their questions as honestly and quickly as I could. 

 

[][][] 

 

It had been three hours since I was brought into the interrogation room. I haven’t heard from L or anyone else. Exhausted, my arms and head lay on the cold metal table. I was somewhere in between sleeping and zoned out. I sighed and lifted my head.   

“Can we please just get this done? You can’t keep me here forever!” I called out to the camera attached to the ceiling ahead of me. 

No answer. 

This is ridiculous. I’ve been kidnappedand he’s analyzing me behind a screen. What is he looking for? 

“When did you first come into contact with Light Yagami?” L’s voice rang out from hidden speakers above my head. It gave the illusion that he was in the room. 

“Finally.” I let out an exasperated sigh, “Look, I only actually talked to him last Friday. I wanted his help to study.” That was a lie, but I needed a sane excuse. 

He hummed shortly and asked, “On what days did you two study?” 

“We were supposed to meet yesterday and today before lunch but he’s had other things to do.” 

“And why did you choose to seek his help? He is a freshman, after all.” 

“I’ve been losing focus for the past year and I needed someone who’s as driven in academics as he is.” 

There was a long pause. I looked at the lens with fake impatience and real apprehension. 

Does he know I’m lying? 

“I’d like to test your skills of deduction.” He said randomly. 

“…Okay.” I answered, although it wasn’t a question. 

What the hell for? 

The door opened and in came L’s assistant. He held clear folder pockets with photos inside. He placed them on the table in a neat pile and moved to stand in front of the door. 

“Watari has given you evidence from Kira, a message he left for me. I’d like you to analyze the messages and tell me your conclusion based on the information that you’ve gathered.” L explained. “You may begin.” 

I send a little glare at the camera lens. Then I took the pile and set them in a row on the table before me. There were four weird messages written in Japanese but with different handwriting. On the backs were numbers 1-3 for each message. 

L said that this was sent by Kira. There must be a code in each message.  

In the order by numbers, I set the pictures chronologically and looked for any patterns. Almost instantly I saw the message. It read: L do you know love apples Shinigami. Compulsively, I rearranged the messages so that it was grammatically correct: L do you know Shinigami love apples. 

L would not mislabel evidence by mistake. Maybe I’ll use this obvious trap and taunt him with it. I wonder if he’ll react at all. 

“I found the hidden messages in each picture. Chronologically, it would say: L do you know love apples Shinigami. But grammatically, that doesn’t make sense. When it’s rearranged the message is: L do you know Shinigami love apples. It seems you didn’t label these right. Kira is obviously taunting you, though I don’t fully understand what the taunt itself is supposed to mean.” 

“Incorrect.” He shot me down and told his assistant to pulled out another picture. “The evidence is in fact labeled correctly. There is also a fourth hidden message I didn’t tell you about.” 

Watari handed me the fourth message. I added it to the others in the order. I read the message aloud, “L do you know love apples Shinigami have red hands.”  

Does he seriously think I would fall for this? He’s obviously lying. Two can play this game, detective. 

I looked up at the camera lens, “Okay, I was never great with Japanese grammar.” I mumbled. “I take it you already know what Kira meant by this message. Am I supposed to figure that out too?” 

“No, but your deduction was actually quite brilliant, considering that you answered within fifty-two seconds of analyzing the evidence.” He answered. “I tested Light with this evidence a few days ago. He answered with a brilliant response as well, although incorrectly, saying that he hadn’t considered a fourth message. You both gave the answer that ‘L do you know Shinigami love apples’ could be a probable conclusion. This rose my suspicion of Light being Kira on that day from one to three percent. Then, later in the conversation it would raise to seven percent. And just today, it’s up to ten percent.” 

“So what’s your take on me?” I asked a little apprehensively. 

“You are obviously an intelligent woman. You take every possibility into consideration. At the moment, my suspicions of you being involved with Light Yagami and Miss Amane are at two percent.” 

I nodded pensively. “That’s fantastic. Can I go now?” 

“It would be beneficial for you to join the Kira Task Force.” 

…What the damn hell? Why would he say that? I mean, it’s not like the world’s greatest detective actually needs my help. Although, he wouldn’t have proposed the situation if that was the case. But he’s proven to be a liar. He knows how to play people. But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There’s also the chance that Kira can find and kill mealthough, there is a greater chance of him getting caught. It’d be great to share that victory, at least a little bit…it would look incredible on my resume. Maybe I'll even get paid. I should put up a bit of a fight though... 

“So you want me to join an investigation where I am a questionable person of interest?” I asked. 

“You will work with the rest of the Task Force in the investigation. Observe and analyze just as any detective would. We will bring Kira to justice.” 

“And I’m qualified based on one test any kid could figure out? The message was barely hidden…” 

Oh, of course.  

“No…you just want to keep an eye on me." I scoffed, "You know what? Fine. I’ll join the hunt. I’ll show you I’m not involved with Kira or his lackey.” 

“It’d be a shame if you were, Miss Chavez."

Chapter Text

May 30  

 Two days later, I was introduced to the task force and given a full explanation of everything leading up to today. 

 Soichiro Yagami, Light’s father, was the one initially leading the Kira investigation and later joined L. And although he tried to hide it, I could see that he was distressed at the thought of Light being Kira. He really didn’t want to believe it. Mogi was the silent, reserved type. He’s very observant and clear-headed. Matsuda was the youngest of the task force before I came. I can tell he’s pretty naïve but smart in his own ways. Aizawa...a headstrong man and he obviously didn’t really like L. Considering he’s been questioning L why he would suddenly bring someone new into the investigation without giving them a heads up.  

 “Miss Chavez is highly intelligent, her deductive and analytical skills are impeccable. We need as many people like that as we can get. We’ve stumbled upon a vital addition to the investigation.” L mumbles monotonously.  

 Aizawa didn’t argue anymore and joined in on the surveillance. I was already at one of the computers reading details from the case files and occasionally glancing up at Misa Amane in the screen.

 I believe that Light is Kira and Misa is the Second. The evidence is overwhelming. It’s actually enough that Amane could be officially arrested right now. But L wants to know the method of killing and still needs actual proof or a confession from Light. 

 L was crouching in his chair, observing Amane while eating ice cream. She was cruelly strapped to a metal chair, she hadn’t said anything since the arrest.

 “We need to get information out of her. Watari.” L announces with a mouthful of ice cream. He is going to have Amane tortured for information. 

 As messed up as that was, I understood. The girl wasn’t talking. Obviously, she’s hiding important information. And considering who she is, she’ll be on death row anyway.  

 I decided it would be best not to think about that. Instead, I think about L’s reasons for his recent decisions. 

 L has Light in the investigation too. He knows Light will slip up somewhere. And that’s why I’m here too. He thinks I’ll do or say something that might prove I've been working Light and Amane. Even if there is no proof of another person working with the two Kira’s, maybe he thinks Light would do that to throw him off. In that case, L might think that I could be gathering information about the case and plan to use it to against the Task Force. He’ll be willing to keep an eye on both Kiras for as long he needs, he knows someone is going to mess up soon enough.  

 Misa’s muffled screams from the screen broke into my thoughts. 

 “Ryuzaki, what has Light been doing since Amane’s arrest?” I asked. 

 Without turning to look at me he answered, “He’s been keeping to his schedule of going to the University and studying in his room.” 

 I nodded, “Good. I’m going to text him and ask if we’re still going to study today. If he says no, then he’s most likely plotting something. Since he doesn’t know I’ve joined the investigation, he won’t give me a second thought.” I pause, a sudden thought crashing in my mind. “Hold on, if you tell him that I did join, he’ll want to act like it doesn’t bother him. He’ll say yes. He’ll want more information on me, to figure out why you let me in on the investigation and what I know so far.” 

 He cuts in, “Yes, I see where you are going with this. If you die in the next week or two, Light is Kira.”  

 The room went quiet. L turned to look at everyone a little quizzically. 

 “Okay, I’ll send him the text now.”

 “What kind of messed up people would so willingly risk a life without a second thought!?” Aizawa shouted. 

 Mr. Yagami stood as well, “Are you saying you truly believe that my son is Kira!?” 

 “Th-that’s not what I meant, sir!” Aizawa faltered.  

 I cut in before things got worse. “I won’t get killed. Light is extremely intelligent. He’ll know what we’re trying to do. So he won’t kill me anytime soon. That would only disprove our suspicion.” I met L’s eyes, he already thought that far ahead and possibly beyond that. “So what do you want to do?” 

 He turned back to the screen. He watched Amane and Watari for a bit as he thought. “We won’t tell Light about your involvement. He would most likely answer yes, he knows we’ve got a close eye on him. It would seem normal to help a classmate with their work.” He ate a scoop of ice cream and continued. “You’ll wear a wire. Watch him closely but not too intently. Report back whether you've gained any important information or not.” 

 

May 31st  

 “Light! Over here!” I called out. His eyes met mine through the crowd. He came over with a gentle grin.

 “Are you ready to go?” He asked politely. 

 “Yeah, thanks for coming to pick me up, by the way.” 

 “It’s no problem.” He gave me a charming smile. 

 I’d texted him that I was on campus and that the library was closed for the day. He insisted on picking me up to study at his house. I already found that suspicious in itself. Misa Amane was supposedly his girlfriend, most guys wouldn’t invite another girl into their home while in a relationship. But I have to play along if I want to get any useful information out of him. 

 Once inside his home, I discreetly looked around while he talked. 

 “My father is working. My mother and my younger sister, Sayu, are at the store at the moment. So we’ll have some peace and quiet before they get back.” 

 “Okay. So, I’m willing to bet that you’ve already done the homework.” I said a little teasingly as I followed him upstairs.

 “Yes, I have. And I’m guessing you haven’t.” He retorted in the same manner. 

 “Well…I started it.” I walked into his room. It was perfectly tidy. As expected from someone like him. “I don’t usually slack off, I just…I lose motivation. Which is why I’ve asked for your help. You are quite ambitious, aren’t you?” I turned around, meeting his gaze. He hesitated for a moment, as if analyzing what I said, then smiled and nodded. 

 “I can help with that.” He pulled out his desk chair for me. “Just what makes you lose motivation?” He asked as I took a seat. 

 “Well, you know, I’m an exchange student. So everyone expects a lot from me. I practically work my sanity away to keep my grades on top. I just feel like I need a break from all of it sometimes.” I let out a soft chuckle. “Sometimes I get so bored and overwhelmed I feel like I might go on a murderous rampage.” 

 Again his reaction slightly delayed as if thinking about how to react to such a comment (even if it was “meant” as a joke). 

 “Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that point.” Light joked along. 

 The rest of the morning was spent studying as planned. Then I heard the first words come from the earpiece I’ve been wearing. 

 “Invite him for lunch.” L practically ordered. 

 “Light,” I called, “If I get these last two questions right you owe me lunch, if I get them wrong I owe you.” 

 “All right.” He laughed. 

 

[][][] 

 

 “How does it feel to lose?” I taunted.

 “…I’ve done my job.” 

 “You taught me well, Light.” I smiled, “Now, buy me some ice cream.” I said packing up my stuff.

 As we left his house my phone started vibrating. I was getting an unknown call. I didn’t recognize the number at all…I never get calls.  

 “Sorry, Light, I should probably take this.”  

 “Okay, I’ll go lock up.” 

 After he walked away I answered the call and put the phone up to my ear, “Hello?” 

 There was static for a couple of seconds. I held my breath and kept my face set like stone. I could practically feel the hostility on the other line. 

 “We found you, chiquita.” The familiar voice sang. Then the voice turned serious. “You thought you could get rid of us, did you? Thought you could get rid of me? You can’t –” 

 I threw my phone to the ground and stomped on it twice. I looked up and scanned the neighboring houses looking for any sign of him. Everything looked in place, there was nothing strange here. 

 How did they find me? Why did I let L hear that? Now he’s going try to dig into my past. I can’t have this. Shit! We have to get to the train, now! I take a deep breath. I cannot panic right now. I just have to take things one at a time. 

 Light came to my side and I immediately started walking, forcing my face to look more relaxed. I thought about how sloppy I was about the phone crushing. It’s right in front of Light’s house… 

 “Hey, what’s the rush?” Light asked, trying to keep up with my quick pace.  

 “I want to get home after lunch to finish some more work. I don’t want to get behind on anything.” 

 “Congratulations! You’ve found your motivation.” 

 I laughed, “Thanks to you.” 

 When we got to the ice cream shop, I ordered a chocolate sundae pie and fries. Light just ordered a milkshake. I tried not to think about the call, but it still lingered at the back of my mind. And L figured that would happen. 

 “Ms. Chavez, you need to stay focused. Ask him about Misa Amane.” 

 I looked up at Light, “Listen, I don’t mean to pry or anything. It’s just, I heard you were dating the supermodel, Misa Misa. And people say she’s really jealous, so I just want to make sure it’s cool that we hang out.” 

 “That was not a question.” 

 Light nodded, “Yes, of course. She’s not around much anyways.” 

  “Well, that sucks. But you’re lucky to have her. Back in America, any guy would kill to get a girl as beautiful as she is.” I chuckled, “So, how’d you guys meet anyways?” 

 He paused for a moment, then answered, “We met at the University. She was doing a photoshoot for the school website. She was on lunch break and walked into the cafeteria. I saw her and said hi. The rest is history.” He finished with a smile. 

 “That’s so adorable.” I laughed. 

 “He’s lying.” 

 “I know.”  

 “You know what?” Light asked. 

 I can’t believe I slipped. 

 I smiled lightly, “I know what it’s like to meet someone you click with.” 

 “So, what’s his name?” 

 I stuffed some fries into my mouth, then looked outside. And there he was. All six foot two and hundred-seventy pounds of him. He smiled wickedly, turned around, and disappeared into the crowd. So he’s been following me.

 Today of all days, they decided to show up. Why now?

 “His name was Adrian.”  

 “Was? What happened?” 

 “He’s buried back home, in the U.S.” I took another bite from my sundae, my eyes cast down on it.  If I tell something personal to Light he’ll think I trust him, and he won’t suspect a thing. “He was shot down in New York, where I met him. He was a good person, but he got in with the wrong people. I left America to heal from that and build a new future here. I’m fine now, but…you never forget your first love. I just wish I didn’t have to call him that.” 

 Light gently placed a hand over mine. I looked up at him with slight apprehension. 

 “I’m sorry you had to go through that.” 

 “Don’t be. Shit gets dumped on you in life.” 

 He shook his head, and his eyes were steely and cold. Something I haven’t seen in him. It was almost like he was a different person in that moment. And then he said, “It was people. You and Adrian deserve justice.” 

 Something Kira would say, don’t you think, Light? 

 “Who were the people that killed him?” He asked.  

 He seems eager to go on a little hunt. But I have to lie. I have to. 

 “Just some dirtbags in a gang. They’ve probably gotten themselves killed.” I pulled my hand from Light’s and tucked my hair behind my ear. “They were a Latino group, trying to go international. I couldn’t understand why Adrian was involved with them. When I asked him to get out of it, he refused. So we broke up, and then he was murdered.” 

 I shook my head and rolled my eyes at myself, “Jesus, sorry. I ruined our lunch.”  

 “No, it’s fine. It’s good to talk about things. It helps to heal.” 

 We shared a light laugh, then I asked, “So what about you, Mr. Yagami? Any secrets I should know about?” 

 “A couple, here and there. I don’t really talk about my personal life that much. Not even to Misa.” 

 “So how will you heal?” He gave me a questioning look. “When people bottle up too much, well, you break and lose it. Shards fly everywhere and people you love get hurt. So tell me a secret.” 

 There was a long silence. He stared off for a while. Then he focuses his eyes on me and took a deep breath. 

 “I’m going to turn myself in.” 

 I furrow my brows. “What are you talking about? For what?” 

 “I think I might be Kira.” 

Chapter Text

June 1 st   

 When I got back yesterday evening, the task force discussed Light’s “confession”. Soichiro was slowly losing it, he kept denying that Light could be Kira. L, of course, was suspicious about Light’s intentions but let the task force prepare a cell for Light anyway. I asked him what he thought about Light confessing to me. There seemed to be no reason behind his decision. It came out nowhere. Kira wouldn't just give up his identity to a random citizen. Unless he already suspected me of working with L and the police. That was really the only reason we could think of. I probably hadn't convinced him enough to believe that I was oblivious to everything. 

I was still mulling over both the recent “break” in the case, as well as a certain chat I had with L last night. 

 

 Everyone worked late yesterday. The other guys were fast asleep on all the couches. I stayed up finishing some class work while L watched Misa. It was so quiet, I jumped when L called me over.  

 “Wake up Matsuda and Mogi, tell them to take over surveillance for a while. Meet me in the next room.” He stood from his crouch and walked off. 

I did as he asked and followed him quietly. The room was dimly lit and there was a floor-to-ceiling window for an entire wall L stood slouched as he stared at the city . 

 “What’s up?” I asked hesitantly. 

 “Vanessa Chavez.” He turned around slowly. 

 I squinted my eyes at him, “Yeah.” 

 “If you weren’t standing in front of me, I would say you didn’t exist.” 

 “Why wouldn’t I exist?” 

 He moved to a desk and pulled out a thin file from a drawer. He opened it and spread the sheets across his desk. There were pictures of my I.D and driver’s license, medical files, and about seven other papers . 

 “All of these are forged. I’m not surprised no one has caught you. They are very well made. Additionally, I took a DNA sample from you a while back, there were no matches for other identities at all.” 

 I remained silent and stared back at him. 

 “I thought you were intelligent before but now I see that you are a genius as well as Light and I. I have deduced that you made these false records on your own. You left America and came to Japan without paying any expenses, you don't even pay rent. I looked through everything I could find about you. And I could not find a single document that held the truth about who you really are.” 

 “Ryuzaki, you don’t need to dig into my life.” I whispered . “You w on't  find anything useful.” 

 “Who are you, really? I just want the truth.” 

 I slowly walked around the desk and stood close to him . Although he was slouching, he was still a lot taller than me. He sent a dangerous glare, but I stood my ground. My expression stony and locked, “I’m nobody. The truth doesn’t matter when it concerns me.  

 He ignored me and said, “That man who called you yesterday was obviously someone from your past. He called you out on trying to get away from him and his men. Which, I can assume, were the Latino men you told Light about. A bit of research brought me to this. " 

He pulled a newspaper clipping from the drawer. I recognized the print. "Adrian Torres was found dead with a gunshot to the head in Brooklyn, New York four years ago."  

"It doesn't matter." I muttered. 

"The gang you spoke of is international, they’ve spread through many large cities across the world since .” 

 “It doesn’t matter.”  I said louder. 

 “Of course it does. One of them directly contacted  and threatened you . Anyone working on my case is already in danger but this is obviously different. They seem to be coming after you.” 

 I shook my head. “ Your case is the priority at the moment. That won’t change until it's solved. Don’t waste your time on those guys. You won’t get very far anyway.” 

 “Is that a challenge?” 

“No, it isn’t. My past is not important . Even if it comes back and kills me. It’s  not worth it.” I turned around and walked away. I opened the door and looked at him, “I’ll be here shortly after Light is arrested. Unless I’m fired, of course. Just leave a message.” 

 

 Instead of being here after Light’s incarceration, L called me in early to discuss the plan with everyone excluding Soichiro. That and Misa’s recent behavior. It was like she completely forgot the reason she was here. She started acting like a stalker kidnapped her. L asked her a couple questions and refused to let her use the bathroom. Then she freaked out and called him a pervert. But when he asked about Light, she admitted to being his girlfriend. Before she passed out she barely said a word, and now she was talking about Light openly? 

 L’s phone rang. 

“Is that Light?” I asked. 

“Yes, it is. Turn the video and audio off.” 

After I cut it off, L answered the phone. 

"Yes, yes...I understand. We'll be expecting you in the room K2801.” 

 I stood and went to the next room. L and I decided that it would be best if Light didn't know about my involvement here. I sat in an armchair and mulled everything over. My knee bobbed up and down nervously. 

This isn’t right. It doesn’t make any fucking sense. There has to be something else. Something we missed... 

I heard Soichiro coming into the hotel suite. Light would be here in the next thirty minutes. No one was going to tell him about Light coming in today. L practically ordered it. Which was the right call. Soichiro would oppose our plan and try to stop us. 

My new phone started ringing. I pulled it from my back pocket, and saw a familiar number. It was Light. 

"Hey." 

"Hi, Vanessa. I was just calling to apologize for leaving so suddenly yesterday." 

"It's alright." I said. "But, I need to ask...what makes you believe that you're Kira? And why did you tell me? I just...don't understand." 

He paused before saying, "I called to tell you that I won't be around anymore." 

"What? Why?" 

"I need you to remember what I'm about to tell you. Whenever I see you again I'll ask: Do you have red hands?

I froze in my seat, "Nothing you're saying is making sense, Light. You're not making sense." 

"I have to go now. Goodbye." He hung up. Seconds later I heard a knock at the door. 

I couldn’t hear what was going on, not that I was paying too much attention anyway. I was thinking about red hands. The message L swore Kira sent him. Why would Light say those words to me? If he believes me to be an ordinary student, it would mean nothing. Only L, Watari, Light, and I know about the fake message. It's just too specific to tell a girl you barely know. He must suspect something. 

 

[][][] 

 

I kept Light's call to myself.  The message is a key to something I have to figure out for myself. After my discussion with L, he would only slow me down. Already, I noticed a difference in the way he spoke to me. Like he was trying to get something out of me. I wouldn't be surprised if he had Watari set up surveillance of my apartment and phone soon. He did leave to "run errands" right after Light and his father got situated in their cells. 

While L was watching Light with everyone else I excused myself to the restroom. Out of sight, I headed to L's room instead. I picked the lock and went for the desk. I managed to open every drawer until I found the file I was looking for. 

The crime scenes and the deciphered message from Kira to L. 

I took pictures of everything on a cheap phone I bought this morning. L doesn't need to know about it. I won't be able to use it much, but it'll be useful. 

I put everything back in its place and wipe my prints from everything. I leave the room, making sure the door was locked behind me, and wiped the doorknob. 

The boys were exactly how I left them. Huddled around the computers, watching Light in his cell. 

"That didn't take long." L said. 

I kept myself from rolling my eyes. "Did I miss anything important?" 

"Nothing in particular." He glanced up at everyone. "We should take a lunchbreak. Watari will prepare a meal for us shortly." 

"Great! I'm starving." Matsuda exclaimed. He seemed eager to leave his seat. No doubt tired of sitting for hours on end. 

"Me too." I sighed, "Do you think Watari knows how to make spicy foods?" 

"Yes." L replied, "Though he rarely does." 

"That makes sense. As far as I've seen, you only eat candy and desert." 

"Sugar increases my deductive abilities by – " 

"A significant percentage, I assume." 

Matsuda laughed, "I wouldn't mind eating something besides sweets today." 

"Same here." Aizawa agreed. 

"Yeah, me too." Mogi nodded. 

L stared at us silently for a moment. He turned back to the screen, "That's fine. More for me." 

He pushed a button to his left and told Watari to make something spicy for us. 

 

[][][] 

  

Three days passed. No criminals whose names and faces were released have died. It seems Kira was caught.  L and the team were discussing this while I tuned them out. 

My research of the red hands came to a quick stop. All I could find were medical articles, a few songs, a children's game, and Irish mythology. Not a single connection to Shinigami or apples. It didn't mean anything important. So why did Light tell me to remember? Why would he ask if I had red hands? If I murdered? 

"Doesn't make sense." I whispered to myself. 

"What doesn't make sense?" Matsuda asked me. 

I looked up at him. "I can't figure out why Kira would make this easy for us." I half-lied. "All this time, he hid from us. And Light just turns himself in, admitting who he is. Claiming "subconsciousness". Claiming he believes L, and that he doubts himself. And no criminals have been killed either. It's just too easy. Something is obviously going on." 

"Yes." L agreed. "But we won't know for sure until something happens." 

"Like what?" Aizawa asked. 

"It's impossible to say." 

I stared at L. He and I were thinking the same thing. Light/Kira wouldn't give up like this. He was too proud to let himself get caught. What is he planning? 

 

 [][][] 

 

It's been eight days since Light's confinement.  

"Mr. Yagami looks pretty bad. I think he's taking this harder than Light or Misa." L said. 

"What do you expect?" Matsuda asked him. "It's been 5 days since Light was put in prison. And look, not a single criminal whose name has been broadcast was killed. In these situations, I think that parents must suffer a lot more than the accused." 

"No kidding, especially now that we're seeing proof that Light is Kira." Aizawa agreed. 

"Mr. Yagami." L called through the intercom. 

"What is it? Is it good news? Is it bad news?" 

"No. I wanted to tell you not to worry so much. It doesn't matter how much time you devote worrying about this, the outcome will be the same. This can go on for quite some time. Perhaps you should rest in a more comfortable place." 

"Impossible! What makes you think I care where I am? It won't change anything. With the state I'm in now, this is the best place for me. And no matter what the result, when I leave here, it's going to be with my son." Soichirio proclaimed. 

"I understand..." 

 

[][][] 

 

On the ninth day, the waiting got to everyone. Nothing changed. Criminals still lived. And Light still sat in his cell. 

L switched on Light's cell intercom. "Light, you've only been here for one week, and I'm sure it can't be easy. Are you feeling all right?" 

"Yeah. I know I must look pretty bad in here, but this useless pride, I suppose I'll have to get rid of it." 

I rolled my eyes. "He starting get dramatic." 

"Ryuzaki, I realize that I was the one pushing for confinement and I asked you to put me in here. But I just realized something important; this whole thing is completely pointless." 

"What the hell?" 

"Because I'm not Kira. You have to get me out of here!" 

L didn't even blink, "I can't do that. I promised you that no matter what you said, I wouldn't let you out until I was convinced that you were not Kira." 

"Please, L, I wasn't thinking clearly. Do you really think a serial killer like Kira could commit those crimes without being aware of them? If I have no memory of these crimes, I'm not him!" 

"I've never been able to accept this idea that Kira has been acting without self-awareness all this time. But that doesn't change the fact that all the evidence points to you being Kira. Since we imprisoned you, Kira hasn't committed a single murder." 

"Listen. Just hear me out. I swear to you I'm not wrong. You have to believe me. I'm not Kira! I must've been framed. That's the only explanation for this!"

Light's entire demeanor changed so suddenly.

"You have to let me out! We're wasting time!" 

"No. I can't let you out yet." L replied. 

"What the hell is going on? This isn't like Light at all. He's contradicting himself. It doesn't make any sense to me." Aizawa muttered. 

"Well, we can't release him now that the murders have stopped. It doesn't matter what he says. I mean, even I know that much." Matsuda said. 

"We have all the proof we need." I added. "Nothing – not even Light's word can deny the facts. Light Yagami is Kira." 

I watched L look lift his thumb to his mouth. He hummed, lost in thought. He believed Light. 

 

 [][][] 

 

The shinigami pulled the Death Note from the ground, dusting it off. It chuckled darkly before taking a bite from the apple in its other hand. 

"Well, if this goes according to Light's plan...things are about to get really intersting."

 

[][][] 

 

June 15 

"What the fuck is happening?" I muttered to myself. I had multiple tabs opened on my laptop. All news articles. Hundreds of criminals have died. "Ryuzaki." 

"I assume you've found out the killings have continued." 

"We have to tell the guys." 

"No. Not yet." 

I stare at him, "Why not?" 

He didn't answer. He was lost in thought again. A thumb in his mouth, strawberry cake forgotten. 

Typical. Something important finally happens. Something that proves Light's "innocence" and he's thinking about god knows what. It's been two weeks of quietly sitting, watching other people quietly sit. I'm sick of this shit. Is this what it really is to be a detective? Or is it just the Kira case? 

I got up and went to the kitchen. I grabbed a small bag of hot Cheetos from the cupboard and started in on it. I've barely left this stupid hotel since the end of May. The only good thing that's come out of this is the free food. And the fact that those fuckers haven't tried to come after me since the day Light confessed. But I doubt they've given up. 

Just as I finished the Cheetos I heard something drop behind me. I figured it was Matsuda being clumsy, but when I turned around nobody was there. There was black notebook on the floor. I leaned down to grab it with my clean hand. The words Death Note were printed on the cover.

"Your hands are really red. What'd you do?" 

I jumped at the raspy voice. I looked to my left and saw a giant, flying monster. It hovered, grinning horribly. I couldn't make sound. I couldn't even move. It looked at the empty bag of chips on the counter. The monster picked it up and tilted it, swallowing the crumbs. It recoiled and coughed. 

"That's disgusting. You like that stuff?" It looked at me. "Hello?" 

I dropped the notebook and backpedaled into the wall. 

"Careful with that. Don't want it in the wrong hands. It's yours now, kid." 

Chapter Text

June 15 

The faucet ran loudly as I stared at the mirror. Water dripped down my face, and the front of my shirt clung to me. I could still see it. Behind me. It stared back with its hideous grin. I swallowed and turned to it. 

"What the fuck are you?" 

"Geez. Aren't you nice." 

"Answer the question." I hissed. 

"I'm a shinigami." 

"A god of death. And this book," I grabbed it, my hands still wet. "it's used to killed people." 

"You guessed it."

"It was Light's." I flipped through the most recently filled out pages. I recognized the names. "This is Kira's power. A fucking death book." 

"Death note." 

"And he needs a name and a face to kill. Does the same go for you?"

"Shinigami have eyes that can see a person's name and lifespan."

I blinked, "So, you know my name..."

"Yep."

"Keep it to yourself."

"There's no one to tell anyway." It replied.

I turned away and started racking my brain, thinking of every encounter Light and I had. But nothing told me why he would let the book get in my hands. 

"You're probably wondering why Light wanted you to have it." 

My eyes shot up to it. "Tell me what his plan is." 

The shinigami chuckled. "All I know is that he told me to bring it to you when he forfeited ownership of the death note." 

"Bullshit." I growled. "Kira wouldn't do something so stupid. This is solid evidence against Light. Every single victims' names in this book is in his handwriting. He's caught." 

It laughed its irritating raspy laugh again. 

"When someone forfeits ownership of a death note, they lose any memory of it. Light doesn't know he is, or was Kira." 

My eyes widened. "Amane...she started acting weird. She had one too." I glared at the shinigami. "Where's the other book?" 

"I don't know." It chuckled. 

"Tell me the truth." I stepped closer to it. "I assume there's another reaper bastard with it. Where did it take Amane's death note?" 

Its smile inexplicably widened. "Flip to the most recent page." 

I hesitated but opened the book, easily finding the last entry. It was a message from Light. 

 

V, 

I'm sure you know there is more than one of these notebooks. I won't tell you what I've planned to do with it, and neither will Ryuk . 

I have decided to share this power with you because I believe you will carry out my work until I am cleared of suspicion. With this notebook, you can have justice for Adrian. Wipe out those criminals and kill more like them. I can promise you no better act of justice. 

But I'm warning you...if you try to show this death note to the police, the other shinigami will kill you. There is nothing I can do to stop it. I hope it doesn't come to that. You would definitely make a better right hand than the Second Kira. 

 

I snapped the book shut and tossed it on the counter. The reaper laughed darkly at my reaction.

I still don't understand  why he would forfeit the note just to clear his name. It's too much of a risk on his part. Misa Amane's death note is fuck-knows-where...and I could die trying to expose Light. 

My eyes met Ryuk's red ones. "Do you care if Light is convicted?" 

"No. Though I would be disappointed that this all ended so soon." 

"So why would Amane's shinigami care if Light gets convicted?" 

It laughed again, "It's not Light Rem cares about." 

So, Misa Amane's monster cares about her...interesting. All I need to do is find the thing and put an end to this. The killings started again. That means someone else owns  Amane's death note or there's more than two of them. But the timing is too perfect for there to be a third notebook in play. This was Light's plan. For someone else to use a note, either me or some other person in the city, to prove he wasn't Kira. 

"He really is a genius." I whispered. 

A knock at the door startled me. 

"Who is it?" 

"You've been in there for quite a while." L remarked, "Are you on your menstrual cycle or have difficult bowel–" 

"Dude!" I stopped him, turning the faucet off. "I was just washing the chip powder stuff off my hands." I rolled my eyes at the socially inept detective. 

"Yes, you seem to do that quite often. Have you considered eating snacks that don't leave residue?" 

I stuck the notebook in my waistband, zipped up my jacket, and dried my face before opening the door. L stood in the middle of the hallway, looking the same as ever. "I'm not a fan of candy." 

"Well, you're missing out." 

"I do like ice cream, though. Especially the kind Watari gets." 

"Yes, I enjoy it as well." 

Silence came over us as we stared at each other. 

"You are aware that this was awkward, right?" I asked him. 

"Not in the slightest." 

"Alright. Well." I turned the bathroom light off and stepped around L. "I have to go back to my place. I'll be back tomorrow as soon as I can." 

I made a beeline for the door and took the stairs down to the lobby. I sped down the blocks thinking about Light Yagami. And how I was going to fuck him over. 

A raspy voice followed close behind me, "So, where ya goin'?" 

"Get lost." I replied quietly. 

"Are you gonna go after those guys that killed your boyfriend?" 

I stopped and turned sharply. "How the hell do you know about that?" 

"I was with Light the day you two had your date." Ryuk chuckled. "I guess I should tell you that whoever is in possession of a death note, the shinigami has to follow them around." 

"You're telling me...that a god is stuck with whoever touches their death note? Why don't you just take it and go back to hell?" 

"Actually, I'm from the Shinigami Realm." 

I scoffed, "Do you have a death library, where you keep all of your magic books?" 

"No." It scowled as much as it could. I think. Then it said, "Anyway, shinigami are tethered to their death notes. If we drop it in the human world, we can't leave without it." 

I blinked at the reaper. "You had it in your uh..." I peered at its talon-like claws for a second, "...hands. Why didn't you leave?" 

"Because I want to see what you're going to do with its power." 

My brows furrowed. This thing had an opportunity to go back to its realm. But it decided to stay to watch how I would react to Light's plan. It seems to enjoy all of this. Everything that's happened is because of this shinigami. But why? 

"So, are you just gonna stand there or are you gonna kill some bad guys?" 

It's trying to coax me into using the notebook. 

"Come on." It groaned, "I'm bored. Hey...you wouldn't happen to have apples at your place, would you?" 

I turned around and started walking again. This thing seemed to just be here for the show. It didn't care about the fact innocent people have died. Japan has an insanely high conviction rate. And in America, most people in jail are only in there because of plea bargains. At least 4% of Lights victims were innocent. 

What if I use it? Will I become what Light became? Would I just be someone who stopped a dangerous group of criminals? 

"Hm, déjà vu..." Ryuk commented behind me. 

"What are you talking about?" 

"Someone's tailing you." 

"You've got to be fucking kidding me." I muttered to myself. "If it's not one thing, it's another. Are they close?" 

"No, he's pretty far off." 

"What's he look like?" 

"Black hair, beard. He's a lot taller than you." 

I slowed down. Knowing who it was. "So, shinigami can see peoples' names, right?" 

"Right." 

"Then correct me if I'm wrong; the man following me is Enrique Serrano." 

"Who is this guy?" 

"He's none of your business." I snapped. 

I kept my pace as I made my way to a hole-in-the-wall up ahead. I ordered spiced popcorn chicken. I stood aside, waiting for my order. I watched Serrano walk up and order something in broken Japanese. He shifted toward me with a smirk. I stood still as he came closer. 

"¿Como estaschiquita?" He asked, giving me a once-over. 

"Stop following me." 

"What?" He chuckled, "You forgot how to speak Spanish or something?" His thick accent dripped in sarcasm. 

"Fuck you." I growled. "I'm warning you, I will not hold back if you try anything." 

"Cálmate. I've been told not to hurt you...yet." He grinned. "You get any more calls from Hernando?" 

I rolled my eyes. "Tell him I'm not alone out here. He can't do anything to me that won't go unnoticed." 

He ignored me, "So you and your new boyfriend finally settled on a hotel?" 

They've been tailing me all this time? How did I miss them? 

"You moved on real fast, huh?" He laughed, "So what's this guy like?" 

My food was finally ready. I paid for it then grabbed the bag. Before I left, I sent Serrano a dark glare. "Stay away from me." 

 

[][][] 

 

June 16 

Matsuda barged into the room. "I just heard two weeks' worth of criminals were killed! It happened yesterday!" 

"Yeah," Aizawa confirmed. "Kira's back." 

"Did you guys already tell the chief?" 

"No, not yet." 

I snuck a quick glance at L. He seemed lost in thought. He didn't even try to stop Matsuda from telling the chief about the news. 

"Chief! Kira started killing again!" 

"What?" 

"It looks like Kira was only resting. But now he started punishing criminals again!" 

"Is that true, Matsuda? Then, that means my son...I shouldn't be happy that people have been killed, but at least Light's name will finally, be cleared. But knowing Ryuzaki, this won't be enough to clear him." 

"Well, he's in the gray." L muttered. 

Matsuda turned back to the mic, "Did you hear what he just said, chief?" 

"Yeah. It's a hell of a lot better than being completely guilty. Thank God." 

"I'm sure as grays go, he's a shade closer to being cleared. Let's tell Light!" He reached for the other mic. 

L harshly swatted his hand away, "Matsuda! I mean please don't Mr. Matsuda. We shouldn't tell him about this." 

"Bu...but why not?" 

L switched on Light's intercom. "Light." 

"What is it, Ryuzaki?" 

"It's been over two weeks. There haven't been any more killings. Why make this harder than it has to be? Are you ready to confess?" 

"Don't be ridiculous." Light answered defiantly, "You're wrong. I understand why you deduced from the investigation that I'm Kira, but it's a trap! I am not Kira!"  

He really did lose all memory of the death note...he'll never confess

L switched to Misa's intercom, "Amane. Are you ready to tell me who Kira is or not?" 

"Huh, that again? That's what I want to know! Kira is a hero of justice who punished the burglar who killed my parents." 

I looked at L. His brows were furrowed in confusion. He was absolutely thrown off. 

He has no idea what he's dealing with. And I can't do anything to help. At least, not until I find a way to bring the other shinigami to my side. 

I bent over L's shoulder and said, "Ryuzaki, the evidence did point to these two, but now it's useless. If neither of them are killing criminals then we need to find out who is. We need a plan." 

"Yes, it seems we do need to change our focus." 

"You need to focus, period." 

He looked over at me, clearly irritated. "I know what I'm doing." 

"You'd better hope that's true." I sighed, glancing at Aizawa and Matsuda, "We're back to square one, boys." 

Ryuk laughed, "This'll be fun." 

All I could do was glare at the monitors.