Author: Liebestraum PM
"Any sacrifice, Ryuuzaki? Any sacrifice at all?" Before Lind L. Taylor, Light discusses his moral obligations to become Kira with a strange dark-haired genius.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Angst - Light Y. & L - Words: 1,620 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 9 - Updated: 04-15-11 - Published: 01-08-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5650982
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He slumps against the railing, clutching the cool, unforgiving metal. The bustle of rainy Tokyo clamors alongside him on the bridge.
He shudders. Jump. He could, right now—plummet into the ocean and black waters. Right? He imagines it: an auburn-haired youth, slim body flailing in mid-air, onlookers' horrified gasps. Poor kid (lost soul), maybe wrote a few bad checks, lost a girlfriend or so…and the black devil book would drown with him in the depths.
He fumbles with his wallet, feeling along the seams. Tries not to breathe too hard. Tries to forget the Death Note in his back pocket.
Light Yagami, wasn't he? Such a good-looking, brilliant young man. What a shame! They'd forget soon enough, though, and they'd never realize the power he'd had—power enough to solve every crisis of the world, to bring every criminal to his knees. So why didn't he?
…Kurou Otoharada…Takuo Shibiumaru…the panicked madness in their eyes when their own hearts rebelled against their will.
The knowledge that he had dictated that rebellion.
Light falls onto the pavement. Nearly hurls into Tokyo Bay.
At some point, he picks himself up off the concrete, and his fingers slip past a false seam along his wallet. Out of it, he pulls a pseudo-business card: Ryuuzaki, 010-6820-366-3855.
"Ryuuzaki, hey, it's me, Light Yagami. I—I want to talk to you. Somewhere…yeah, in person."
He checks himself twice in the restroom mirror—makes sure the Death Note is inconspicuous but easily accessible, makes sure he doesn't look a total emotional wreck.
His raven-haired, messy-headed companion is already crouched at the private table when he returns. They exchange pleasantries over the chess board:
"I see you've already made the first move."
"Strange one, isn't it? I never move my knight first."
"Then perhaps today isn't the ordinary day?"
"Chess isn't the ordinary game."
The waitress arrives with coffee. He takes a cup, plain black. His foreign friend requests eleven tablespoons of sugar with hot chocolate. Light quirks his lips, almost. That was how they met, actually, some two and a half years ago—over coffee and hot chocolate, when Light was waiting for an unusual stranger in a t-shirt to finish adding sugar in a café.
That isn't healthy for you.
On the contrary, I find sugar a necessary component of my well-being.
Why, quite simply: it helps me think.
Forgive me for being skeptical, but-
Play chess with me, and you decide.
"You know, Ryuuzaki-kun, you beat me in our first game. That was such a long time ago."
Reflection-less eyes peer at his over the steaming, hot chocolate mug. Light smiles, face molded like plastic. Forced, yes, but then Ryuuzaki can likely see through it all anyways.
"Reminding me of that fact won't result in over-confidence on my part, Raito-kun. Stop trying to distract me, and perhaps you'll win fair and square this time."
"Why, Ryuuzaki, I'm hurt. You know I had no such intentions." He slides the black pond forward. Three more moves until checkmate…"What did you mean to say?"
"That you look like you've been to Hell and back. When's the last time you slept?"
Light freezes. Does he—could he possible-know?...About the Death Note? The bishop nearly slips from his fingers. There's no way. He lives in…Guam, did he say? No, New Zealand.
He musters a dry and mirthless chuckle, reassuring himself of his inculpability. "You're silly, Ryuuzaki. I'm fine, but you're getting careless—" the black knight moves across the board—"Checkmate."
"I'm insulted, Raito, that you think I'm not observant enough to realize something is on your mind. You called me, for the first time in two years, and made me fly four hours to see you on a dreary, Tokyo Tuesday. Something must be wrong."
"I wanted some company. There aren't many geniuses here, despite the 39 million residents, and—"
"You sounded like you were going to jump off a bridge when you called me."
"How would you know what that sounds like? Besides, maybe I just wanted to play a game of chess."
"You haven't even truly looked at the board all afternoon. When you moved your knight, you opened the path for my rook. Both of us are check-mated right now."
Light glanced down at the board quickly. Ryuuzaki's right.
"So. What's wrong, Raito?"
Rain pounds against window. Cars pass by, and they all look gray. It's quiet at the table, and Light knows he won't get away with anything now. The way he sounded on the phone, his mindless chess ploys, and now this uncomfortable, too-long silence—he really has been too obvious, hasn't he? He envisions the possible scenarios.
So I've killed a few people, a few criminals, recently, by supernatural means…I don't remember the last time I looked at a notebook normally...and I threw up for the first time in six years...and I just can't-cannot-
The waitress arrives with the check. Thank God. As always, Ryuuzaki foots the bill.
"Raito-kun, I have my own hypotheses about—"
"I just don't know what to do." The voice is stiff and flat, nothing like his usually polite, clipped speech. Uttered from his mouth, the monotone is tantamount to a whimper and a sob, but then again, what has he got to lose? He's a perfect little boy in a perfect little world. It's all cotton candy with prancing unicorns. Nothing ever hurts, no one ever dies, and if anything happens, he certainly won't be held responsible, right?
The black-haired man interrupts his reverie. "Don't know, or can't?"
Won't. Shouldn't. Want to.
"Both…either…I don't know."
Seemingly honest wonder colors Ryuuzaki's response. "What makes you think I can help you?"
I don't. Light stalls and takes a sip of coffee. But you're the only one I'd trust to answer this honestly.
"It's just a chess question. You said earlier that chess isn't an ordinary game. Why not?"
Ryuuzaki raises a single, thick black eyebrow. "It was merely a casual remark, Raito. It didn't bear any greater significance."
More gray cars pass, splattering the sidewalk with mud.
"But if it'll ease your mind…chess is unusual because there is only one, excruciatingly clear goal."
Light frowns, stares into his empty coffee mug. Cryptic, aren't you, Ryuuzaki? He realizes he's half-slumped against the coffee table, but Ryuuzaki's already seen him at his weakest, and the Death Note is settled like a rock in his coat pocket, so does his image even matter?
For the first time since he was six, he feels the sick, unforgettable prickling at the back of his eyes. He averts his eyes from Ryuuzaki's permanently dilated pupils when his vision starts to blur.
"And what's that goal?"
"Isn't that the goal in real life?"
"In the real world, we often take into consideration emotions, relationships, personal likes and dislikes, and so on. All these trivial details obscure what the true end in life is."
"You're avoiding the question."
"Be patient, Raito-kun. You're right; the goal in life is also to win. It's for justice to win in this world of grays. No matter the personal cost, no matter the sacrifice, no matter how many queens you lose and how many enemy ponds you take—everything and everyone in the real world is second to the ultimate greater good: victory over evil."
"This triumph, Ryuuzaki-any and all sacrifices? The end will justify the means?"
The pale foreigner shuffles his feet a little, glancing out the window. He isn't nervous, Light can tell; it's all a show to appear nervous.
It dawns on Light, suddenly: Ryuuzaki has asked himself these questions before.
"You're like me, Raito…" Veiled eyes gaze at Light, cool but guarded. "…Whatever you think, is likely what I think as well. Forget the good, the evil, the grays, and what you have left is a world where history is written by philosophies and psychologies. There seems to be no right or wrong; it's all one big battlefield—who is strongest? Smartest? Toughest? But is that it? That there's no inherently better or worse, objectively moral or immoral, option? Perhaps."
The dark-haired man lifts the cup, shuts his eyes, takes a sip.
"But I would sooner hope my own views are objectively better, and I would sooner watch my own ponds, knights, and bishops fall...than stand by as the enemy king triumphs. It's a...personal choice."
Make of it what you will.
Light shuts his eyes.
Another game of chess later, the rain lifted. Ryuuzaki was gone, whisked away by the Rolls Royce, and Light sat at the table, alone.
"Raito-kun, I'm afraid I'll be busy for a while, but if you need to talk, don't hesitate to call. This is my new number."
A business card slides across the table. Another fake, Light knows.
"And…think about what I said today. No sacrifice is too great."
He stepped out onto the newly rain-washed pavement, illuminated by the bright sun.
"I understand, Ryuuzaki," he murmured.
The door of the coffee shop shut, and the chess board remained on the table, both kings still check-mated.