An Alternate Death Note Fanfiction
by: aishuu

Prologue: Look, Over There...

The first time the man called L saw Yagami Raito was at a funeral.

It wasn't quite raining, but the sky sputtered now and then, letting water slip from its grasp in irregular spurts. The wind blew through their clothes, hinting at impending winter, but those who had chosen to wear cold weather gear were sweating slightly as they became overheated. There was simply no winning when the weather was like this.

All in all, it was an ugly day. It seemed appropriate.

L didn't usually bother to attend funerals, believing them to be a waste of time. He was an atheist, and found the whole ordeal pointless. This one, though, was special. The criminal always returned to the scene of the crime, and he wondered if he might actually finally catch a break on the Kira case. It didn't seem like Kira's style to get so close to his victims, but there was a chance. Right now L was willing to take any chance he could get.

He was standing at the back of the crowd, his hands folded deep into the pockets of his dark coat. Thankfully the weather gave him the excuse to hide under a rather chunky hat. Everyone had dressed more for the elements than for respect for the dead. Not that many people really respected the deceased. Yagami Soichiro had gambled, and it had cost him his reputation - and now his life.

They'd his death an accident, a tragedy that happened when he'd stepped into the oncoming path of a car. His blood-alcohol content had been through the roof, and the other driver, a woman in her forties, had an otherwise spotless record.

L didn't buy it. He knew Yagami didn't drink.

While people mouthed words of condolences to the family, most were secretly gleeful over the death of the rather shamed policeman. He'd been so respectable, once, but in the last few years his judgement had been questionable at best. Really, imaging that Kira was real and not some political stunt.

More than half the people in the crowd were offering condolences with varying degrees of sympathy, coming for the spectacle. The family was bearing up well, L thought. He watched as the son stood between his mother and sister, a pillar of comfort as he graciously accepted the promises of future help, promises which were doomed to be broken. Within a month, people would have forgotten about Yagami, except for tall tales about the crazy investigator who'd drank himself to death.

L knew Yagami would have been proud if he could see Raito. He'd spoken often and fondly of his family, but he'd had particular pride in his son, a genius who wanted desperately to follow in his footsteps. Several times he'd broached the idea of bringing Raito into the case, which L had vetoed. He didn't need some up-start teenager with more enthusiasm than common sense to mess things up. Parents often overestimated their children, and even though Raito's test scores had been impressive, he lacked the experience necessary to confront a killer that most people didn't believe existed.

He glanced at his watch, noting that he'd have to return to his hotel shortly if he wanted to catch the evening news. Watari would record it either way, but he preferred to watch it live. Glancing through the crowd, he noted with disappointment that no one really fit his mental image of who Kira was. It had indeed been a waste of time.

Had L believed in heaven, he might have taken a moment to wish Yagami's soul well. Since he did not, he merely pulled his collar higher, trying to keep the rain from slipping in. Yagami had deserved better than this. The only thing L could do was make sure that Kira was eventually caught.

Turning to leave, he hesitated suddenly. He wasn't sure what it was. Instinct, perhaps, that someone was watching him. Something caused him to look over his shoulder, and it was only his customary composure that saved him from gasping as he met Yagami Raito's gaze squarely.

I know who you are, the expression said.

L was transfixed. Even from fifteen feet away, he could see their fierceness which burned through the air between them. He nodded slightly, pulling away into the crowd and hoping to disappear as soon as possible.

The sky finally opened up, and he heard a few women shriek in surprise at the sudden downpour. The rain kissed his cheeks harshly, and he listened as the thunder boomed in the distance.