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“There’s no way that is actually edible.”

Near stared at the bubbling monjayaki on the griddle like it might rear up and bite him, knee tugged up close to his chest. Light shot him an unamused look and scraped off a piece for himself, browning the top side slightly on the grill before eating it. He’d never call himself a master chef, but his cooking was more than passable—and there was something uniquely pleasing about finally being trusted enough in the vicinity of sharp knives and hot burners to be able to have home-cooked meals that hail from his own country for the first time since his imprisonment.

It was nice sharing old favorites with his jailer-turned-friend-turned-whatever Near was to him now (he’s always had a fascination for untranslatable words, concepts that only know true expression in one language, and wonders if they might be forced to create their own just to put a name to the mystery that is Light Yagami and Nate River) too, or it was meant to be—Near had been against eating anything outside his personal set of maybe half a dozen meals from the outset, but Light had worked on him slowly for weeks and started to get him to come around. Okonomiyaki had been an unexpected hit and Light had found himself making it again for the former SPK to teach them how it was done, and even things Near had been less enthusiastic about were at least tolerable enough for him to try a bite or two.

Except this, apparently.

“You could at least try it before you give it the evil eye,” Light said blandly, holding out the second small spatula to Near. He didn’t take it. “You saw what I put in it.”

“And all that looked fine until you poured whatever was in there,” Near pointed at the empty bowl the ingredients had been in, severe, “onto it all and made it look like that.

“It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing—”

“I’m not eating something that looks like you scooped it out of someone else’s stomach first.”

Light rolled his eyes, scraping a piece onto the spatula and holding that out to Near instead. “Try it.”


“One bite.”

“It looks vile.”

“It doesn’t taste vile. Try it.”


“Say ahh.”

“I’m not a child.”

You’re acting like one.

Nate, you agreed you’d try it before I made it. It’s already cooked, you might as well at least have one bite.” Light tilted his head, the corners of his mouth turning upwards just slightly. “You’re just judging by appearances. You might love it once you try it.”

“I highly doubt that, Light.”

“You’d have said the same thing about me three years ago.”

Near blinked, momentarily confused before the gears seemed to click into place. Light thought he saw a hint of color tint the young detective’s pale cheeks.

“Fine,” Near said, and opened his mouth for Light to feed him the spatula’s contents. He chewed and swallowed slowly, looking thoughtful.


“You won’t be getting any Michelin stars any time soon.” Near smiled, tight lipped, and rose to get himself a glass of water. “That tasted horrible.”