With that, Matsuda watched as a pair of slim, pale legs strutted away from the dark car and towards the pretty, glass building they had arrived at. He hurriedly jumped out of said car, scurrying after the angry blonde. Matsuda was well aware that she would much rather be with her light-haired boyfriend, but for the sake of the Kira investigation, she was stuck with him. A small sigh escaped his lips as he fell into step beside her, but his disapproval of her annoyed attitude remained unnoticed.
“You didn’t have to come with me,” she snapped for the umpteenth time, “it would have been better for Light to come.”
Matsuda held open the heavy, glass door for the shorter female, mumbling, “Light didn’t seem too interested in photo shoots.”
“And you are?”
“N-No.” Matsuda had been taken by surprise yet again; his cheeks were dusted with their usual cherry colour as he attempted to redeem his compromised masculinity. “I’m here for your safety. That’s all.”
Misa’s wide eyes immediately lit up. “Was it Light’s idea?”
No, Matsuda wanted to say. It had actually been his idea; since Ryuzaki suspected Misa of working alongside Kira, he immediately wanted to confine her. But Matsuda strongly believed that, even if she was working with Kira, it was not because she was a bad person. So, Matsuda had suggested that she continue living as normal, with him watching over her.
Of course, Ryuzaki had been very hesitant. Hence why Matsuda had prepared extra reasoning: “If a popular model were to suddenly disappear, it would cause unnecessary chaos. That could potentially draw attention to the investigation.”
Ryuzaki had agreed to Matsuda’s proposition, but not before calling him stupid. Again. And so, Matsuda had landed himself a job as a security guard (though Misa was adamant on calling him a stalker).
This was the fifth photo shoot that Matsuda had been made to attend and he was convinced that it wouldn’t get more interesting than watching Misa elegantly perform pose after pose. Occasionally, other models would show up to the shoot but, while they were all friendly and pleasant to talk to, Matsuda didn’t think that they quite matched Misa’s charm. Something about Misa's confidence was enough to make her skills shine even brighter.
“Matsu, this way.” A small, slender hand clicked its fingers in front of his face. He blinked and silently followed Misa’s directions. They entered a large room, full of professional people bustling about, trying to sort out the set. Matsuda seated himself in a corner of the main room, while Misa was ushered off into her dressing room.
His narrowed eyes examined the set; the lighting was rather dim and the bed in front of the cameras was adorned with black and red lace. There was something strange about that set, but Matsuda couldn’t figure out what. Even as various objects were strewn across the bed, most of which Matsuda had never seen before, he couldn’t quite put two and two together. An oddly shaped, purple object was flung on to the bed and Matsuda merely blinked in response, confused as to why it had such a phallic shape.
It was only as Misa emerged from her dressing room wearing nothing but lingerie, that Matsuda began choking on his coffee. He coughed and spluttered, spilling the hot liquid all over his white shirt. Frantically wiping at the liquid, he fought to keep his eyes away from the blonde-haired female.
“How clumsy can you be?” A petite frame approached him, holding out a tissue, which she used to dab at his clothing. Matsuda felt his cheeks burning as he fought to look somewhere – anywhere else – other than in front of him. Misa giggled, “Or is this because you saw me?”
Matsuda began to stammer several excuses: I was startled by my phone, the cup was a little slippery, I’ve already had four cups of coffee this morning, so my hands are shaking. Misa quirked a brow, before shrugging and sauntering towards the main set. After carefully picking up his coffee once more, Matsuda seated himself again, awkwardly staring at the ground with wide eyes.
Curiosity suddenly got the best of him and he found himself shyly looking towards the set, where Misa was sprawling herself out on the bed rather sexually. Matching the theme of the set, Misa wore lacy, red and black lingerie. The lower half was made up more of straps and strings, barely covering what it needed to cover. The top half seemed to be mostly red, with pretty, black lace to cover and nullify the brightness, making it more appealing to the eye.
Matsuda spent most of his time trying to avoid looking at the main photo shoot, instead taking coffee runs whenever he possibly could and insisting that he had a very weak bladder, hence his frequent trips to the toilet. He was coming back from his third - potentially fourth, Matsuda had lost count - trip to the toilet when he found Misa sitting in his chair. Her cheek rested in her palm as she stared towards the main set, her expression bored.
“Misa?” Matsuda’s voice was hesitant as he approached her.
The blonde-haired female immediately sat up, the corners of her lips turning up in a smile. Though she hadn’t yet changed her outfit, Matsuda believed that he would be fine as long as his eyes remained above her neck. She outstretched her hand, reaching for the drink that Matsuda had been sent to fetch.
“Here,” he passed it to her.
“Thank you, Matsu.” As she drank, she flicked some silky hair over her shoulder, exposing her collarbone. Even off of set, Matsuda saw Misa doing things that every model knew how to do, and yet she made it look so perfect and effortless. “Seeing you get all flustered was kind of cute. Light always manages to stay so calm that I sometimes forget what it’s like to get a reaction from someone.”
Matsuda raised his eyebrows.
Misa’s eyes widened as she immediately began to try and retract her statement, “Not that there’s anything wrong with Light! He’s perfect, even if he doesn’t always react to my efforts to impress him. It-It just reminds me that sometimes I like to surprise people.”
There was a hint of pink within Misa’s cheeks as she turned away from Matsuda. There was suddenly something between the two of them that Matsuda didn’t quite understand, but he didn’t hate it. He didn’t hate it at all. With a small smile tugging at his lips, he reached out his hand, patting Misa’s head ever so gently.
She turned again, narrowing her eyes at him. “What are you doing?”
“People should always react to you, Misa. In a good way, of course.” Matsuda told her reassuringly, somehow managing to keep his voice steady and confident. Misa’s eyes seemed to widen, though she tried her hardest to keep her expression indifferent. “You’re really beautiful, Misa. No wonder you have so many fans.”
“Th-Thank you.” Misa stammered, before she was called back to the main set.
Matsuda sat back in his chair with a contented smile on his face. He stared down at his hands, unable to believe that he had just complimented Misa. A part of him worried that Light would kill him if he found out; it might seem like Matsuda was just trying to flirt with his girlfriend. But another part of him didn’t really care; from the way Misa always spoke, it didn’t seem as if Light treated her well, and Matsuda wanted to make her happy – happier, at the very least.
So, Matsuda continued to lounge around for the rest of Misa’s photo shoot, trying his best to keep his eyes everywhere other than on her petite frame, though he couldn’t ignore the pull of his mind. There were several occasions when their eyes would meet, causing Matsuda’s cheeks to immediately burn up, though Misa always responded with a sweet, charming smile that made Matsuda’s heart stop for a moment.
When the photo shoot finally came to an end, Matsuda stood about, mingling with some of the other staff as he waited for Misa to change again. She emerged from the dressing room, conversing with her makeup artist in a cheerful tone. The blonde female approached Matsuda with a slight bounce in her step, instinctively grabbing his arm as she tore him away from a rather boring conversation with the cameraman.
“Thanks for saving me.” Matsuda told her, before becoming painfully aware of how her smaller body was pressed against his side. His entire body froze, which seemed to alarm Misa. She seemed to be struck with the same realisation, pulling herself away from Matsuda with an awkward laugh. Matsuda forced himself to break the awkwardness, “You did really well.”
“You really think so?” Misa frowned as she seemed to think for a moment, tapping her chin as the two of them made their way towards the dark car that awaited them. As she climbed in, she mused, “it’s not the type of photo shoot I’m really used to. When they said it would be lingerie, I thought about turning them down because I’ve never liked doing lingerie shoots.”
Matsuda asked her, “What changed your mind?”
“I guess I hoped that Light would come with me. I thought if he saw me in something provoking, I might get a reaction from him.” Misa’s voice seemed to fade into sadness as she spoke, hanging her head slightly. Matsuda’s concerned eyes turned to address her, where he could see the female forcing a smile on to her face again. “Perhaps he’ll be surprised when he sees the pictures in the magazines!”
The older male suddenly felt sympathetic towards the younger girl. It was clear to him that she cared deeply about Light, and she always went out of her way to attend to Light’s every need. And yet it never seemed that Light reciprocated her loving gestures. Matsuda never saw the two of them going on normal dates, unless Misa had been pushing Light for weeks and he seemingly grew agitated at her constant nagging.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She was suddenly becoming defensive again, crossing her arms over her chest as she turned away from Matsuda. Her large, blue eyes stared out of the window, watching as the sun slowly set. Though she tried her hardest to uphold her cheerful façade, Misa knew that Matsuda was seeing the cracks that she had so desperately tried to hide. “I hope you’re not trying to be sympathetic! Sympathy is such an ugly look.”
“You deserve better, Misa.” The words left Matsuda’s mouth before he could convince himself otherwise. The way that the blonde-haired girl snapped her head around, blue eyes blazing, told him that he had overstepped the line.
Misa opened her mouth to protest, but found that no words emerged. She sighed, the anger draining from her body hesitantly. As much as she wanted to defend Light, she found that she couldn’t. Her mind wanted to convince Matsuda that Light was as dreamy as she'd always imagined him to be, but her heart knew otherwise. Though Misa often suppressed her true feelings, something about the way Matsuda stared back at her with so much empathy made her want to be a little bit honest with him. It couldn't hurt.
Matsuda took it as his cue to continue. “Forgive me for saying this, Misa, but Light really doesn’t treat you as well as he should. You’re always going out of your way to please him, but he never reciprocates those actions. Most guys would die to date someone as beautiful as yourself, yet Light always takes you for granted.”
“Don’t let Mr. Yagami hear you saying such things.” Misa tried to lace her voice with some emotion to make a joke, but the words came out flat. She wanted to brush off everything that Matsuda was saying and yet it pierced her heart like a knife. The knife lodged itself deep within her chest, twisting as the realisation fought to surface.
“I’d tell this to Light himself, given the chance.” Matsuda’s voice suddenly became stronger as he felt a sudden protectiveness. Perhaps Misa had just been growing on him, considering how many photo shoots he had been to and how much time he had spent with her, but Matsuda was suddenly seeing Misa in a new light. “You deserve someone to love you properly, Misa. I hope you know that.”
Misa fell silent at that, avoiding all eye contact with Matsuda as their car journey continued. Matsuda felt his heart pounding against his chest, his mind racing with a million and one thoughts: why had he just said all of that, what would Light say if he found out, what was Misa thinking?
As the car pulled up outside the task force building, Matsuda found that he didn’t regret his words at all; in fact, he was proud of himself for finally saying something. He climbed out of the car, suppressing a shiver as the cool air enveloped him. When he made his way around to Misa’s side of the car, ready to open her door for her, he found that she was already stood outside, staring up at the building with a distant look in her eyes.
The blonde lowered her head, meeting Matsuda’s gaze with a small smile. For a brief moment, they merely looked back at one another, listening as the sound of the car grew distant. Then Misa moved towards Matsuda, placing her hand on his shoulder. Her hair brushed against his cheek as she leaned towards his face.
Matsuda felt the ghost of a kiss on his cheek, then Misa had pulled away from him again. Another moment passed in which Matsuda merely stared back at the model, unsure of how he should respond to her sudden actions. Millions of thoughts swarmed his mind like an angry swarm of bees, but all he could focus on in that moment was how the sunset illuminated Misa’s body.
“Thank you, Matsu.” Misa whispered, before she turned towards the task force building. She didn’t even wait for him as she began to head inside, her arms wrapped tightly around her torso as the sound of her heels clicking against the pavement echoed through the now still air.
Matsuda smiled to himself as she made her way through the glass doors. There was something strangely beautiful about Misa. And Matsuda couldn’t suppress the joy that he felt inside, knowing he had seen a side of Misa tonight that she probably hadn’t shown to many other people. Not even Light.