SPOILER Warnings:Contains spoilers for Death Note up to chapter forty, and spoilers for the ENTIRE series of Hikaru no Go. In fact, the timeline warning below contains a spoiler. So if you don't know either of these series, this story probably won't make much sense. Though even if you do ...um, it probably won't make much sense anyway. For DN fans: I wrote this before the official romanization of the names came out. Therefore "Light" is still called "Raito." I hope this isn't too big of a problem.
Timeline: Takes place post-series for Hikaru no Go. As for Death Note, it takes place right after the Sakura Station incident. Raito/Light has discovered that there is a second Kira loose ... but still has yet to figure out who that Kira is.
"I'm not WORTHY!" disclaimer: Much thanks goes to Imbrium and Tarigwaemir, who both read and gave me advice on the fic. Also much love to the FLIST. You all ROCK! This is totally dedicated to Eryne-chan, who received asked to read the fic as a Christmas present. One wonders what naughty things she did over the year to get this in reply. But still ... thanks for letting me post it publicly. :) You're the best.
And to those who replied ITFOTN ... you guys made my year. I'm still writing in this fandom because of y'all, so if you replied, you made all the difference.
A Death Note/Hikaru no Go Crossover
He didn't pay much attention to the group when they first came in. They did receive a cursory glance, the same kind he gave anyone that passed by. He needed less than thirty seconds to deduce that the older two were reporters; he knew enough of their ilk to recognize the way they dressed, the perpetual pens in their suit pockets, and the attitude of eager anticipation, which barely hid the questions simmering underneath.
The two teens that accompanied the reporters were slightly more interesting (but only slightly so) ; they were obviously the source of the story being sought. The fact that the two wore suits registered a low amount of surprise within him; it was rare to see anyone their age dress so smartly. The restaurant setting indicated that the reporters wanted an informal sort of atmosphere; yet there was a certain amount of respect being paid to the two boys, especially the one with the atrocious blonde bangs.
He mentally ran through some of Sayu's recent magazine covers and decided the two weren't idols (especially given the fact that they lacked a screaming horde of fans). Though not entirely out of shape, the lack of musculature along their legs and arms made a sport like tennis or soccer seem unlikely; actually, the way they moved didn't suggest training of any kind.
That left only a few areas in which suit-wearing sixteen year olds could be professionals. A mental game, perhaps -- chess or igo. Igo, if he had to stake a guess on it.
Less than a minute and a half after seeing them, Yagami Raito would have dismissed the four from his consciousness. At least he would have, if it hadn't been for Ryuuku. The shinigami had been spending his time in the restaurant hanging upside down from the drink machine, only moving occasionally when a thirsty human warranted it. ("They have Apple Fanta, Raito!")
A sudden flash of leathery wings and a thump brought his attention to the shinigami as the creature settled himself back into Raito's booth. Ryuuku's odd, long jowled mouth had twisted up into a half grin, and the large, bulbous eyes flashed. "I thought ... ah. Interesting."
Raito paused. He couldn't ask, not now in public. The shinigami's grin widened even further as Raito's hand slipped casually down to his pocket, where a piece of paper always waited.
"Remember. I won't tell you if it's another shinigami," Ryuuku cackled. "And ya' gotta figure out the names yourself."
Raito sipped at his drink. I know full well you won't, Ryuuku. You are in this for your own amusement. So ... what in the next booth interests you? You mentioned shinigami ... are you trying to trick me into thinking along those lines? I doubt you'd let it slip so easily. However . . .
Ryuuku had finally managed to contort his spindly frame into the booth. One leg was flung haphazardly over the table top, another sneaked under it, and one arm had somehow bent in a ninety degree angle over the shinigami's head. It looked excruciating, especially when Ryuuku took the chance to stretch. The shinigami hissed in pleasure as his bones creaked and cracked, hideously loud like a full gallows under a heavy wind.
Raito added more cream to his coffee.
"Raaaaito. Hey! Aren't you the littlest bit curious!?"
Raito stared at the leg next to his cup. He raised an eyebrow. Ryuuku grumbled, but he removed the offending appendage just as the waitress arrived with Raito's meal.
"Thank you," Raito told her politely.
Behind him, the table of four were placing their orders. The two reporters requested coffee. One of the youths asked for a sandwich, while the fourth voice wanted a bowl of ramen.
"Ugh, that's the fifth time this week, Shindo, and it's only Thursday," the sandwich orderer protested.
"Shut up! Playing makes me hungry."
"That's okay, Waya-kun. We did promise you both anything on the menu you wanted. The paper'll pick up the tab."
"You shouldn't have promised that to Shindo. You've never seen him eat!"
There came scuffling of noise, then a muffled "OW!"
"Uh ...Shindo-kun ...Waya-kun, please stop kicking each other!" The voice stopped, apparently at loss as to how to deal with the source of the noise. "You both can order as much as you want. Consider it as a celebratory meal of sorts. I want to compliment you two on how well you played today. You both certainly spice things up for all the older players. Tell me, Shindo-kun, do you feel anxious at all when you play higher ranked opponent?"
"No." Shindo's voice was lazily confident. "I won, didn't I? If I worried all the time about opponents who are stronger than me, I'd never catch up."
"Yeah, and Shindo certainly has a LOT of that to do!" The shuffling sound came again, followed by the expected "OWWW!"
"Shindo-kun! Waya-kun!" the other reporter chided. His voice squeaked and huffed quite annoyingly like the whine of a flattening tire. It irritated Raito to no end.
"He started it!" Shindo grumbled.
"Uhh ... well, let's just get back to the question. How do you feel, then, when you're playing a older, more experienced opponent?" the reporter squeaked.
"Excited, I guess. If he's really good or even better than me, then it makes me really happy 'cause that means I can improve. But I don't really think about it. If you go into a game thinking about how smart or how better your opponent is, you've already lost. I just remember one thing -- on the board, it's either his death or mine ... and I rather it be his. So I go into a game ready to slaughter him, no matter what," Shindo declared cheerfully.
"Wooo. He has spunk, doesn't he? What do they play?" Ryuuku cackled. "Maybe I should learn. Sounds so violent. You humans are always so fascinated with the ickier bits of life ... keeps getting into everything you do."
Raito pointed gaze to the shinigami made Ryuuku snicker. So far, there wasn't any reason he could see as to why he should care about the occupants from the other table. The shinigami, though, seemed almost thoughtful as he slouched down even further in the booth. Why isn't he going over there and satisfying his curiosity? It's as if he doesn't want to be seen ... so can he be seen by someone over there? But how?
Meanwhile Shindo had finished saying something about the proper way to attack a 'cluster.' Igo then. Shindo and Waya are definitely igo players.
"And so you learn from every attack you make?" the squeaky reporter was saying.
"And every time I'm attacked," Shindo said. "Every game is about life and death. So you better know how to make your opponent's deaths count. Each attack, each death must be calculated just right -- you can't just take any stone you want. So of course you gotta learn from each attack, learn from each kill."
"On second thought," Ryuuku said. "Heh, maybe YOU should learn this game. Sounds right up your alley. Hey, I should really bring it back to the shinigami world. Beats the ol' bones and skull throw."
"I can't deny that you certainly seem to have learned a lot, Shindo-kun. You as well, Waya-kun. So, as the youngest rising stars of the Go world," the non-squeaking reporter asked, "what are you dreams for the future? Meijin? Honninbo perhaps?"
"Waya Meijin," Waya chortled. "I can see it now!"
Shindo made a half choking, half snorting sound. "Yeah, maybe on the funny pages."
By now, Raito could set his watch to the shuffling and "OW!" as the two boys tussled again.
"What about you, Shindo-kun? What titles do you dream of?"
"Err ... All of them?"
"ALL OF THEM?" the voices echoed each other, chorus like.
"Such ambition. And confidence." Ryuuku's voice lowered as he folded his arms and bent his head forward, as if in deep contemplation. It was pure mimicry of what he had seen of human behavior, of course, but Raito found himself leaning forward as well, in instinctive response.
"So familiar," The shinigami hissed the words so softly that Raito had to lean forward just a bit more to catch them. He could have slapped himself for the motion. If anyone was watching ...
Ryuuku merely grinned even wider.
"Why not?" Shindo was continuing to protest. "Why not go for all the titles?"
"Are you trying to become a god of Go or something?" Waya sounded incredulous. "NOW who's dreaming?! SHINDO HIKARU! GOD OF GO! As if."
"Oh ho ho, one name down," Ryuuku flexed his claws, examining them one by one. "Now what are you going to do, Raito?"
As if I couldn't have just as easily looked them up in a Go registry, or track down the magazine these two write for, Raito poked again at his rapidly cooling entree with a fork.
He had been keeping up the pretense of eating steadily throughout the conversation; to all appearances, he was enjoying his meal without a hint of interest in the conversation taking place behind his head. That should satisfy anyone L sent to watch. Though it has been frustratingly uninformative on my end as well. What are you playing at, Ryuuku?
The shinigami merely smiled and smiled, saying nothing at all.
"No, I don't want to become a god. Just want to be able to play one," Shindo's voice had dropped lower as well, and it was difficult to make out his words. "Just ... play the hand of one."
"Would you mind explaining more, Shindo-kun?"
Shindo must have made a face or some other odd expression, because the reporter chuckled. "I just want a quote. We have new players reading the magazine, you know. Not everyone knows what the kami-no-itte is."
"So I get to be explication boy? It's gonna make me look stupid. And don't even start, Waya," Shindo warned. "Fine. To me, the Hand of God is the finishing move you would make in a perfect Go game," Shindo sounded somewhat tired, as if the explanation had long become entrenched into his mind. "It's like the best move made in the best game ever played. It's the ultimate move that can win against even the God of Go. "
"The God of Go? Won't you have to wait until you go to heaven for that? Or do you have any mortal players in mind?"
"Maybe," Shindo spoke slowly, as if weighing each word. "Maybe it'll have to wait til' heaven. But it'd be best if I could play it here and now. It's what all players should strive to do ... make our own heaven here now. The perfect world of Go. I think that'd make the God of Go happy. And it couldn't hurt things on Earth either."
"Jeez, you're weird, Shindo." Waya's voice sounded somewhat mocking, but Raito could hear the underlying unease in the boy's words. Something beyond Shindo's words had unnerved him. If he were to judge by their silence, the other reporters seemed shocked as well. Perhaps it was something in the boy's expression. Raito would never know.
"I just think that it'd be cool if you could change the world through Go," Shindo's tone deepened further, making Raito reassess his initial guess at the boy's age, though he was at loss to explain why. It irked him, just the slightest bit. He was seldom wrong.
"If more people played Go, maybe we'd have a better chance for peace, because you gotta understand your opponent before you attack. You've got to see all the strategies behind each move. And every death counts ... you've got to make it count. People'll be less likely to kill one another if they understood that all the pieces are connected."
"You are deluded," Waya said, but not without a touch of grudging admiration. "And now every other Go player reading will KNOW you're mental. You really think you can change the world through GO?!"
"Hey, it's better than to try to change the world by ... I dunno ... other means." Shindo made a grunting noise, much like a stubborn pig.
"Other means? Heh. Shindo, you make it sound like a mob movie. I will change the world through GO! Or ELSE! You're crazy, like that Kira person!" Waya said.
This time, the abrupt shuffle and exclamation of pain did not come. Instead, an abrupt silence fell over the table, the strained sort of quiet that came after a joke was made in bad taste.
Raito did not have to look to know that Ryuuku was grinning. Some small part of him, the part that sometimes escaped his tight control, felt absurdly pleased.
Even now, in a random situation, they know and fear Kira, the little voice chortled, before Raito dismissed it for being irresponsible. He had little use for self pride. Self certainty was so much more reliable.
The booth behind him creaked as the occupants shifted uncomfortably.
"I shouldn't have said that, huh?" Waya mumbled.
"It's all right, Waya-kun," said the squeaky voiced reporter. "Though I admit that I might be a bit more touchy because ... it's just ... I almost took a job with the Sakura station. Thank God I decided to accept the position with Go weekly! When I think about it, I still get the chills. That Kira is so crazy. And the people they have chasing after him ... that M or O or something."
"L," the other reporter supplied.
"Yeah, him. With all that secrecy and stuff -- it's like the good guys who are after him are just as insane. I don't know what they're playing at. If you ask me, the police should've put a stop to that L-guy,and grabbed Kira long time ago." Mr. Squeaky said. "I don't understand why --"
"Actually," Shindo spoke up abruptly. "That's the only part I kinda understand."
"What?!" the exclamation was loud enough to draw stares from all over the restaurant. Raito allowed himself to turn his head, as if curious, though he refrained from peering over the booth.
"You keep up with the news?!" Waya asked. "I didn't think you would ..."
"They interrupted the whole Meijin tournament with those broadcasts!" Shindo huffed. "Of course I noticed! And I am interested because ... it's like a game, sorta."
Shindo's voice sounded unfocused, almost as if he was falling asleep. "Yeah, like a game. And they're the only two that know the rules and the moves -- the rest of us can't read it through, since we're not playing. That's why the police need L."
"A game? Shindo, how can you even compare it to an igo match?! It's NOTHING like Go! Igo is something noble and this ... people are dying ... it's a serious matter!" Waya spluttered.
"Who says Go isn't serious?" Shindo's voice held that off-key quality again, of something ancient and ageless at the same time. "It can be about life and death."
"Yes, b-but that's a figurative life and death, on the board!" one of the reporters insisted. "No one really dies because of Go."
"Uh ... I ... g-guess." Shindo finally replied, his tone tripping slightly over the cadence of the words.
Raito found the pause a little strange, however, though Shindo's companions did not seem to notice.
"But I still think there are stuff that's a LOT like a game. All those killings -- don't you feel they were going somewhere, forming a pattern somehow? And some parts of it were like they were baiting each other, back and forth, trying to establish territory, testing each other's limits, and taking stones. And now ... I don't know. To me, there's a kind of feeling when a game's about to go into yose. I dunno why, but I get that kinda feeling when I was watching the Kira thing. If that's the case, they probably already know who the other person is, or are very close. There's just one more stone or step in the way of ending. That's what really scares me. More than the fact that the killings increased."
"Ugh, Shindo, that doesn't make sense. If L knew who Kira was, wouldn't he tell the police?" Waya snorted.
"Jeez, Waya! Think. The news said that both of them are really smart, geniuses even. There can't be that many people like that around -- and I bet that they know each other. Look, I know all my rivals on the field of Go. Every last one. You can't stay hidden forever, especially when you have talent and especially when you're playing tournament level. You have to step up and battle in person. You either do that ... or you fade away."
Shindo's voice shuddered for a moment, then strengthened. "But even if L knows, he wouldn't tell ... if I were L, I'd want to catch Kira myself, for myself. Cause when I play, beating my rival is my ultimate goal. It doesn't matter how many stones I have to lose, as long as he looses more stones or territory. I wonder if it's like that for Kira and L. But in their case, the stones are actual people. And I wonder if they remember that. Or is it like just stones to them, something that represents something else."
The awkward silence returned to the table again.
"Shindo-kun," the non-squeaky reporter said. "While I don't agree that these murders are anything like a Go game-- or any game at all -- but let's say you're right. If Kira knew who L was, why would he have made that tape demanding for L to reveal his face?"
The booth creaked and shuddered again, as if both of the people behind Raito had leaned forward.
Shindo paused, and there came the sound of tapping, as if he was drumming a single chopstick against the table. The sound was heavier though; a ruler perhaps, Raito guessed, or something similarly flat and wooden, like the slats of a fan.
"That part, with the tape ... it's kinda weird. It's like the only part that doesn't fit into everything -- like the entire style of playing has changed. It's too bold, too brash a move. You usually don't make a new play like that in yose, not when you know that your opponent's very strong. Maybe ... maybe ... I don't know. It's like a third person is trying to play the game too, or taking over mid-game where the other Kira left off. But he's not as skilled a player. That changes things, makes it sorta unpredictable."
"Whoo. You gotta admit ... for a human with a bizarre taste in hair color, he's not half bad in the thinking department," Ryuuku mused. "He goes about it in a weird way, but still ... he's close."
Raito stared long and hard at the empty seat across from him. So he's the one with the blonde bangs, he thought.
"Jeez, Shindo. You had me actually had me going there for a moment," Waya laughed. "A second Kira?! Who's not as skilled? Taking over mid-game? How do you come up with that stuff? I'm glad you're not with the police. You'd never catch the crooks."
"Look, thing is, I really hope it's not like Go. Cause this is their ultimate game, and if that game's entering yose, and given the current pattern, that means there's only one way it all can --" Shindo's voice suddenly cut off mid-word. "Oooh! Ramen's here!"
"Jeeez, you can't just spit out a theory like that and just change the subject," Waya sounded annoyed, but no one said anything else to encourage Shindo to finish his earlier statement. The sudden slurping sound indicated that Shindo had wasted no time in digging in.
Raito slid sideways out of his booth, then stood. He heard a clatter as the shinigami rose to join him as well. Raito glanced around, as if looking for something, before heading for the bathroom located at the back of the restaurant. As he passed the table behind his, he studied the faces there surreptitiously. Three of the four weren't looking at him, but the blonde happened to glance up, in the middle of chewing. The boy immediately froze, mid-bite, his eyes wide and staring.
But not at me, Raito concluded, but at the area behind me. At Ryuuku, who's mouth was fully open, as if caught in the act of swallowing an especially juicy apple. The shinigami spared a glance back at Raito, before returning his gaze to the boy. I see. Ryuuku was waiting to get up until I did, so I can witness this reaction.
"Excuse me?" Raito asked, sliding smoothly into the part of the confused bystander. "Is there something the matter?"
"Shindo! That's disgusting! Don't let the noodles hang out like that and stop staring," the red headed teen beside him elbowed him sharply, causing Shindo to spit out the entire bite. "EWWWW!"
"Shindo-kun, are you okay?!"
Shindo spluttered into the napkin. His ears had turned a bright red. "I'm fine, but I'd be MORE fine, if Waya wasn't trying to gut me with his elbow."
"Can I help you?" Raito asked again.
"Err ..." Shindo's face was beginning to turn beet red as well. His glance slid to the right of Raito, then to the left, before blinking, as if confused. He shrugged and dropped his gaze as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh n-nothing. Just ... nothing."
"Oh! Is my fly ... oh, sorry," Raito picked up his pace, hurrying toward the bathroom before the others could check.
As he left, he heard Waya exclaim, "Oy! What were you doing staring at men's crotches anyway, Shindo?!"
"Hey, Raito, if you need to take care of business, I can ..." Ryuuku trailed off as Raito tilted his head towards the bathroom door. "Oh. You want to talk."
Raito entered the bathroom without a word, locking the door behind him. The rest room consisted of a single stall toilet, a rather small one at that. Ryuuku was forced to perch on the sink. "He didn't really see you, did he? His reaction indicates something, but he didn't see you. Also -- you, yourself, didn't know if he could see you until you passed him. Isn't that right, Ryuuku?"
For a moment, the shinigami ignored Raito's question and made a show of studying his surroundings instead, cocking his head one way, then the other. Finally, he turned back to Raito.
"Okay, fine. So I wasn't sure, but it was a really really long shot. Like I said, only those who had touched your death note can see me. However, other shinigami, well ..." Ryuuku waited.
"But he doesn't have a death note either ... nor does he know about the existence of the notes," Raito folded his arms. "If he did, he would have added it into his theory about Kira, or at least, sounded more certain of what he said. Nor is he the second Kira. No one would be that stupid to put out a theory like that if they were."
Ryuuku laced his long claws together, rocking back and forth in delight. "Clever of you! All right, no, he doesn't have a shinigami or a death note. But ... some ... some who have seen death in its other forms, who can see past death ... ah. Sometimes, you get a human who can sense my presence."
The shinigami licked his tongue against the top his teeth, like a snake tasting the air. "It's ... special. There's something about him, a scent, lingering and covering him like a second skin. Something powerful had a hold of him, and it still leaves its mark."
"But it wasn't a shinigami," Raito cut Ryuuku off. "And that's all that matters. If he can only sense you, he isn't a real threat and of no interest to me."
"I never said it would be interesting for you. But I find him quite entertaining." Ryuuku chortled. "And what he said about you and L ... doesn't it make you curious? Even the littlest bit? I wonder how he thinks it'll end."
The shinigami made a thrumming sort of sound low in his throat, much like the chesty rumble of a cat approaching something new. "All that passion, that drive ... if it wasn't for Go ... I wonder where all of that would've gone. Or ... where it still could be channeled into. Cause something has been channeled though him before."
"Enough. I wish you hadn't wasted my time. Or my meal." Raito took another step forward, confronting the shinigami face to face. "Like I said, I'm not interested in what ifs, and I've established he's not the second Kira."
They were close enough together that Raito could see his own reflection in those fish-belly eyes. He wondered, offhandedly, what Ryuuku saw in his.
Beyond his death date, of course.
For a moment, the shinigami merely stared at him, eyes half lidded. "No," he shook his head. "He isn't the second Kira. But maybe you should know this. There more things out there than gods of death."
Ryuuku's voice was whisper soft. The bulbous eyes glowed. "In both Heaven and Hell and the places past, there are many things even more powerful than death. That can go beyond death."
"Whether or not that's true, it's of little consequence. Death is one of the things most feared by the living. Thus it can be used as a tool." Raito shrugged. "Or do you truly believe, like him, that you can change the world through Igo?"
Ryuuku said nothing.
To keep up appearances, Raito flushed the toilet, then washed his hands. But as he turned to unlock and exit the bathroom, the shinigami dangled an arm in front of the lock. The creature wasn't quite blocking him, but it did make him pause.
"He's more like you than you think. There is something different in him, something that has been steeped in death. But that's not what fascinates me," Ryuuku's tone was slow and languid, as if he was tasting each syllable one by one. "That's not what makes all humans so fascinating -- the way death will touch them or the way they'll touch death. Death's the one part you'll all have in common. So it's boring ... well, to me at least."
The shinigami smiled, baring all of his needle sharp teeth. "But the way you live ... ahhh. And the shape in which you bend the passions of your life ... or perhaps ... the shape in which your passions bend you -- for him, it's Igo ... but have you ever thought about how you--"
Ryuuku clicked his teeth together, ever so slightly. "Ah. Well, like you said, he's not the second Kira, though he plays his own game well. And it's not like I have another death note -- beyond my own -- to give out. Not 'til you release me, that is," the shinigami shrugged -- an impressive feat that involved making his angular shoulders and arms creak this way and that. "I was just curious."
Yes, I'm sure you were, Ryuuku. Raito thought he walked back to his table. As he passed them, Shindo bowed his head, cheeks flushing red.
Shindo Hikaru. Raito signaled the waitress, indicating he wanted his bill. He's nothing like me ... nowhere near the same caliber as L and I. He's nothing. Just another common nobody.
"Hey, Raito," the shinigami's smile seemed shark-bright underneath the large eyes. "You do remember that all bets are off if you release me, don't you? All bets are off on the death note, as well."
Raito glanced back at the booth, where the he could just see the top of the blonde-black hair. He didn't need to see the face; he had memorized it already.
Still, it wouldn't hurt to keep that name in mind.
Yose -- Igo term meaning endgame ... it's the last set of movesmade before a winner is declared.
AN: The plot seed for this piece was planted about five months ago, when I first did a Hikago/DN comparison on the lj. I compared the obvious things, like Raito/Hikaru's names referring to "light" and them sharing an artist ... and the fact that both characters have been touched by the supernatural ... and how they both are driven, in their own ways. Then I read chapters 30-40 in one quick burst, and suddenly I had a plot bunny on my hands.
I've had the piece for about three months now, but I wouldn't have posted it if it wasn't for Eryne-chan, who for some reason, thought it would be something she'd want to read for Christmas. Hee, so if you liked it, you can thank her. If you didn't like it, well, you can pointy stick me.
The story is rather a black sheep since I'm not quite sure I like it, nor if I could manage to keep all the characters true to their nature in character for both series. Crossovers are notoriously hard to pull off. And for the record, I don't think the two worlds blend well.
Plus, the POV of Raito is really hard to write. I have major respect for those authors who can pull it off well, such as Aishuu. I still have miles to go in that area. There's also the "physical view" problem in that for most of the time, Hikaru and Co are situated behind Raito -- which meant that I was up a creek with descriptions of how people said things. It was a good exercise, but I don't think it helped my prose any. I think I've used up my quota of adverbs, as well as the phrase "his voice sounded like ..." sort of thing.
Also, the two nameless reporters ... Mr. Squeaky and Mr. Not-squeaky. Good grief. Any suggestions on how to deal with these problems are highly welcome.
Heck, any and all reviews are highly welcomed! Thank you again to Eryne-chan, Imbrium, Tarigwaemir, and everyone who keeps making my FF writing experience in Hikago so fun.
thanks for reading!