It's been a while since I've read and seen Death Note. It's good to revisit it. Regardless of what I'm writing about, I have a habit of getting into the lives of canonically minor or unimportant characters. So here I am writing about Naomi and Raye.
In case you're wondering: yes, the title of this fic refers to the song of the same name in The Goofy Movie. The lyrics fit the situation, strangely enough.
Eye To Eye
It wasn't like Naomi feared her father the way Raye did. She was scared that he was right. Chilled tension stifled the air in their car. Dinner with her parents was awkward, to say the least. Raye tried his best, and her mother had been very hospitable, but her father never relaxed his scrupulous eye on his potential son in-law. Naomi couldn't bear the silence any longer.
"We need to talk," she said, and could have sworn she saw him cringe.
"Naomi, not now-"
The force of her reply took him aback, almost enough to make him stop the car. A gusty sigh slipped out.
"I must've messed up back there, didn't I?"
"Honestly, you could say anything you want, but my father's the kind of man who would see right through you regardless." She got that from him, she was certain.
"He doesn't like me." An uncomfortable pause. Raye took that as a yes, and his heart sunk in dismay. "Did he say anything to you? I want to know. Please be honest, darling."
Suddenly it occurred to her that every time he called her "darling," it sounded more patronizing than endearing. She partly blamed her father for opening her eyes to another perspective. With some hesitation, she obliged. "He doesn't think that you're a good match for me. That I deserve someone more...understanding."
Raye frowned. Not a good match? He and Naomi were perfect together. They had met at work, pursued the same profession, understood the art, perks, and pains of enforcing the law and catching criminals.
Distracted by his trail of thought, Raye nearly ran a red light, and cursed to himself. "Do you agree with him?"
Naomi erred on the side of caution. "I...I could see why he would say the things he said about you." Then, as if veering off subject, she went on, "I want to talk about the Kira case."
Raye tensed. "There's nothing to say, Naomi."
"I have plenty to say, but you won't let me go on."
"How many times have I told you not to get involved? It's too dangerous. I just want to protect you."
"And I just want to help."
There it was, that force in her tone again. He rarely heard it from her, if at all. Naomi was not a confrontational person. Usually she would comply with him and say nothing more in objection, but not this time.
"I want to help," she said again. "even if only a little, like a consultant. But all you do is shut me down every time." That took a great weight from her chest. She had been wanting to say it for quite some time now. Ever since the promise she made to him, she struggled to keep it. Criminal justice was her life, what she trained for. She couldn't bear keeping her nose out of it just because she was engaged.
Raye never took his fiancee to be a fool. Quite the contrary. She had come from Japan to study and work in America, graduating from Harvard with degrees in law and linguistics, achieving fluency in three languages beyond her native Japanese, and blazed through the ranks of the FBI with flying colors. Of course Naomi was smart. Too smart for her own good, sometimes. Under her calm and serious demeanor, she can be a daredevil. She loved motorcycles and roller coasters and sky diving. Most of all she liked a good challenge, and that often came with danger. Here he was thinking he had been doing a favor protecting her from all of that.
She was a great agent. One of the best. That was why Raye felt so proud, so happy, to think of marrying an amazing woman like her. He could not settle for anyone less. But could that same pride compel him to shelter her from the world? Deep down, was he jealous? She was ambitious and successful, and maybe part of him couldn't live that down. Raye could not forget the burning humiliation every time she'd bring him down with years trained in capoeira and with little effort. That was her specialty, her fighting style of choice. She didn't need protection. Claiming that she did was just an excuse.
Guilt and shame overwhelmed him, and he couldn't meet her eyes. Instead he fixed his eyes on the road, his hands tight over the steering wheel.
"Maybe your father is right," he muttered. "I don't deserve you." Raye parked the car, and as he fumbled for the keys to the apartment door, a hand on his shoulder stopped him.
He turned to look down at her, whose eyes softened. "I'm sure you mean well, Raye, but if we're going to get married, we need to be in this together. Marriage is a partnership, you know. It takes two to get the job done."
She closed her eyes and swayed on her feet a little. She hardly brought up personal issues, and on top of a long and tiring day, it took her a lot to do it.
"I'm meant for more than cooking in the kitchen, cleaning the house, and raising a family. I'd be happy to do all those things with you, Raye, but I need to be on the field, too." She lowered her gaze and shook her head. "You can't keep me from doing what I love most, no matter what you do or say. Being your wife, and being an agent for the FBI...those two don't have to be kept apart. We can make it work. I only ask that you respect and regard me as your equal."
Raye took all this to heart. She was more than his equal, with all her devotion to him and her work. He was wrong to treat her otherwise. "I...I'm sorry, Naomi, I really am." He mustered a meek grin. "Could you ever forgive me for being a sexist scumbag?"
"You're not a scumbag." She kissed his cheek. "I catch them, not marry them."
"Well, you're called 'Misora massacre' for a reason." Then he pulled her into a tight hug, returning her kiss with a peck on the forehead. "Come on, we'll freeze if we stand here any longer." Actually, the cold didn't bother him anymore. A warm wave of relief, relief that all was forgiven, filled him to the brim. "I'll go fix tea for a change and let you in on everything we know about Kira." For once, he would not stop her from telling him what she'd think.
Naomi smiled at the prospect. Once they stepped inside, she tugged at his sleeve, a coy and playful gesture that surprised him. "Oh, about bed tonight..."
She flashed a rare devilish smirk. "This time, I'll be on top."
He did not object.
Hopefully I made Raye more tolerable here. Like most people, I'm not a fan of canon Raye for his treatment towards Naomi. She had the brains. She just needed more luck and support to solve the Kira case, which would make Desth Note much shorter. Then again the story wouldn't be as interesting, so her unfair and early death had to move the plot along. I love the manga and anime as it is, but Naomi deserved so much better.
I might do Naomi x L or Naomi x Beyond when I have the time and ideas. Please let me know if you'd want that or not.