For their guess of the winning word, this chapter is dedicated to: fouloldron, ChibiEii, x.MissK.x, Paws, Amber Spirit, Ever1, The Aquatic Chewbacca, LXLIGHTLOVER, narcissus in theory, eee, Too lazy..., shadows, False-Image, moony the chupz, Sibur Nightlust, Mariecool, ReidMorgan, Dawn-at-Midnight, ahou incarnate, Blessed Obsession, Teneo Vestri, Lord Divergece, Solowren, magalina, Wammy's House. I may have missed somebody. Sorry.

Obsession \äb-'sesh-әn\ N 1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly, a compelling motivation 2: something that causes an obsession

We arrive back at the hotel without incident. Misa is busy getting ready for our (I try my best not to wince from thinking it) date, which, she emphatically proclaims, will take at least two hours. She tells me in no uncertain terms that she expects me at her door precisely at six. So that we can have "as much time as possible!"

She not-so-subtly hints at an extended "date" afterwards. I not-so-subtly decline.

Then it's blessed silence as you and I return to our room to mull over this new information.

We were followed out of that restaurant. We both know that means something.

Many enterprising businesses tow along bodyguards. But we both know this isn't ordinary.

You search your database, fingers tapping delicately at the keys, barely touching one before that finger moves to another, like pale, long-legged spiders dancing on the board.

Almost...almost...beautiful. Graceful, maybe.

After many silent moments, and after I have hit a dead end in trying to track Morceaux's accounts -- it's not difficult, but lengthy. I don't have enough time right now, with the threat of Misa's date looming so presently -- I finally break our concentrated silence.

"This doesn't fit the pattern: others were killed because of their criminal activity," I point out.

You nod. Your eyes are not focused on me, instead seeing something else. Sometimes I wish I could read your mind...see inside your head. What would I find, though? Thoughts, words? Or something else...? Something more complicated.

I wonder if you think in numbers and statistics, Ryuzaki. If your entire makeup is just a binary code of ones and zeros. If that's all you see when you look at me.

Just data.

You open your mouth, the first time you have done so in the past hour -- my attention darts at once to the tiny wrinkles in your dry lips, as they twist and flow with speech: "We may therefore assume that these people were not killed for that purpose, and, because they were of means, they they were killed so that someone could monetarily benefit from their deaths."

I look back at the screen. "So the obvious question is..."

"What does Kira need Morceaux for?" you finish quietly.

"Well, he must be the client of several high-end businesses," I reason. I shift in my chair. This feels like dancing. Sharing. When we shoot hyphotheses back and forth, churning and combining thoughts. I shift again. "They both donate to a charity. The charity happens to fund the support of Kira. At a certain point, coincidences cease to be coincidences."

You look up at me. Your head tipped down, dark eyes peeking under dark lashes and dark hair. My throat goes dry. "Indeed." Your voice is low and silky smooth, but you're not fooling anybody.

I realize what I just said. How could I not? I knew how you would react; I knew the track your thoughts would automatically take. I did it anyway. Who is baiting whom in this game of ours?

And if I'm just going through the motions for the sake of it -- saying things just because I know they'll get your attention and relieve the boredom...

Well, what are you doing?

I know you're stubborn, Ryuzaki, but this...

This is obsession. And obsession isn't a casual thing. Obsession is everything I am reluctant to associate with you: passion, energy, emotion.'re nothing but blank tenacity. Except for this. You just can't let it go, can you? You want me to be Kira. Just so you can prove you're right. Because you just can't handle being wrong.

I scowl, refusing to look away, refusing to respond. I'm angry. Not because of your beliefs, not just that anymore. It hardly seems to matter, now, whether or not you think I'm a mass murderer. Insanely, that's just a little detail. Almost insignificant...just a tiny little piece in the larger scheme of our relationship.

No, I'm mad because...


Because maybe I can't handle being wrong either.

This impromptu staring match makes me squirm when your finger moves to rest lightly on your bottom lip. Suddenly your eyes lose my attention, and the only thing I can focus on is the way your fingertip slowly, ever so subtly, moves over the pale skin of your lip, back and forth in a minute yet dizzying caress. I swallow hard when the tip of your tongue, pink and glistening, flicks out to touch your fingertip --

When suddenly you draw it into your mouth and gently bite on the end.


You continue, "We know that he can control a person's actions before they die...the experiments with the prisoners have shown that. Perhaps this Agnes Clearwater was made to arrange in her will the posthumous donation of a large sum of money to the foundation." The quirk and pull of your lips around your finger is mesmerizing.

"And Morceaux?" I rasp, only belatedly clearing my throat to cover it.

"Perhaps he isn't under Kira's influence at all."

Ridiculous. I open my mouth to disagree, my eyes shooting up to yours.

"In the way that will get him killed, at least," you amend. "Perhaps he is operating under the influence of good old-fashioned blackmail. In that case, he may know who Kira is. We have the name of the charity, but while it is listed, there is merely a name, no bank records." The look in your eyes in more challenging than usual. You don't continue; you're waiting for my inference.

"Which mean he must deal directly with whoever it is," I conclude. I lick my lips, debating for half a second whether to say it, whether to go there. Ah, why not? He's thinking it anyway. "Perhaps he even is Kira, and he killed his own sister because she was somehow getting in the way."

You stare at me for a second.

Did I say something wrong? Suspicious? Your eyes flick away and I can't tell. "There is no clear answer at this time." It is only a second before I notice your eyes have moved to the clock. "I believe you promised Misa a date, Yagami-kun."

"You promised her," I remind you scathingly.

Your face when you look back at me is far too innocent. "And I believe you are late."

You're right. Dammit. This is the last thing I need today.

The knock on Misa's door, which resounds back to my ears in the hallway, sounds distressingly similar to...doom. In its purest, most undiluted form.

Yes, this night will be hell. Why did you suggest this?

Why did I agree? Surely we didn't need her help this much. I was under the impression that you were intelligent enough to handle a suspected the hell is it possible that you found Misa more qualified than yourself?

You clearly did it just to torture me. And you know I'm fully aware of this, if your sly grin (oh yes, you may think it's indifferent and blank, but I know what you're hiding) is anything by which to assume.

"Liiiiiiiiiiiight!!" I'm suddenly forced backwards as a great weight tackles me head-on. I manage to steady myself seconds before I topple over, to find Misa rubbing her face against my chest, her entire center of gravity magically switched from her body into mine.

Well, she would say I'm the center of her universe, anyway.

"Where would you like to go, Misa?" I ask politely, trying to draw her attention. I glare at you as I say it.

Let's face it, Ryuzaki, you always, without fail, undermine my efforts to let her down softly. You encourage her. It's as if you have no qualms at all with playing with this girl's mind. I've been brought up to realize that toying with a person's affections is altogether indecent.

Something that you clearly never saw fit to learn.

"Misa wants to eat at a pretty restaurant, and then she wants dessert -- ice cream! Chocolate ice cream! And then she wants a movie. I loooove movie...and she wants to hold Light-kun's hand the whole time, and she wants to lay her head on Light-kun's shoulder, and she wants..."

I listen with patience, but with a distinct lack of attention. I'm sure I'll find out soon anyway. It's for her benefit that I let her tell me all about it beforehand. Maybe it will help to relax her.

"May I suggest we visit the dessert shop before"--

"Now, now, Ryuzaki," I interrupt with a smirk. "Let's not forget, this is Misa's date."

Your eyes lock on mine.

I stop breathing for half a second, before Misa interrupts with one of her trite, predictable assents, and starts to pull me toward the elevator. I'm able to break the stare at only the last possible second, and I feel the chain between us tighten before it slackens -- you're following.

My lungs react so strangely to this knowledge. In one way, I'm relieved you'll be there, and I can breathe deeper. Relaxed.

In another, having you behind me, knowing -- just knowing -- you're so close, and that you're watching makes me want to breathe faster and somehow not want to breathe at all.

I sometimes used to think of torture. As an idle pastime, not in a morbid way; I just considered it in the way those with lesser minds may consider other, more commonplace musings. I used to wonder: what would the surest method be? People have experimented for decades, centuries. I was confident, of course, that my way, should I seriously consider it, would be most sufficient. I was sure I could devise something so horrific that the mere mention of it would have people dying to spill their innermost secrets.

Though of course I would never put these plans into action, because such a thing would be unjust.

But, now, as I sit across from Misa in a small booth at a cozy diner (because clearly smaller is more romantic), I am forced to concede that Misa is, in fact, more of an expert at torture methods than I could ever imagine myself, or anyone else, being.

It is not helped by your palpable presence behind me. She purposely chose this two-seated table, forcing you to sit in the next one over. You are turned sideways in your chair.

I can feel you breathing down the back of my neck.

Once more, the chain has been removed to avoid public suspicion, but that doesn't mean you're letting me out of your sight for even a moment.

And I'm actually glad. You provide a welcome distraction from Misa's almost painful chatter.

It seems like hours (and at least 5 sugary desserts) later that we leave the diner and cross the street to a theatre. Misa chooses the most obnoxiously romantic movie offered and we wait in the concession line while you buy your lion's share of sweets. The woman behind the counter gives you a bemused look, just shy of mocking -- good, she can tell it's all for you. I order a soda for myself. I'm too busy watching you gather your packages to notice what Misa buys, though, of course, she squeals the order and grips more tightly onto my arm. I gather this means I'm supposed to be excited, and I look back to her and smile. She's easily appeased.

We make it into the theater just as the beginning trailers start to run. Misa hurriedly ushers us into a row somewhere in the middle aisle. Her first, pulling me after her with an iron grip on my shoulder. You shuffle in after, crinkling and rattling with every small shift of your body because of your surplus of sweets. People stare; girls hide their giggly smiles behind their hands.

You fall into the seat beside me, dropping a few boxes to the sticky floor. I feel her fingers lace through mine and settle in for a long two hours.

During a slow part of the movie, where the heroine is having a personal crisis and the male love interest hasn't been seen for at least five minutes, I sense movement near me. I prepare to ward off Misa's advances, but find that another, all too familiar hand, finds its way to the shoulder opposite where she is resting her head.

I turn to find your face inches from mine.

"What is it?" I murmur softly. I actually think Misa may be asleep. I had thought it was strange that she had stopped her excited babbling.

"I have to empty my bladder," you reply. You bring your cup -- the largest size they offered -- up near your face and give it a good shake. I hear the rattle of ice, but no slosh.

It's empty.

"And you want me to come with you," I surmise.

"I must supervise you at all times."

I glance down at Misa, slumbering peacefully. This is the only state in which I can actually tolerate her. Why did you have you ruin it?

"Can't you hold it?" I grumble.

You lock eyes with me in the darkness of the theater and pointedly shake your cup again.

"Okay, fine. Just give me a second."

I take much longer than a second to gently slide her head from my shoulder onto the back of the cushioned seat. I pull my fingers from between hers; thankfully, her grip had slackened in her sleep. By the time I'm free, I can definitely feel your impatience in the way you start down the aisle, looking back at me to make sure I'm following.

You hold the door to the restroom open so that I can enter first, and then hurriedly stnad in front of the urinal to relieve yourself. I pretend to be invisible the whole time, but I can feel your eyes on me the whole time regardless.

Like NOW is the time I'd choose to mass murder Kira-style. In a men's restroom while your zipper's down.

Almost as soon as I think it, my eyes flick downwards. I catch myself just in time.

No. Not going there.

I turn back to the wall of sinks, noting in my peripheral when you finish and move toward the sinks. My eyes flick down again -- just an obligatory once-over to make sure you remembered to zip, I tell myself. You are spacy, sometimes.

All's well, and you take your time washing your hands. I decide to wash my hands as well: public restrooms are disgusting. Just being in one makes me feel contaminated.

You once again hold the door open for me.

When we quietly shuffle through the aisles towards our seats, I immediately spot Misa, urgently scouting the area. She smiles widely when she sees us -- me.

"Light-kun!" she hisses when I return to my seat. "Misa Misa was worried! She woke up and you were disappeared!"

"I'm sorry, Misa. Ryuzaki needed to use the restroom."

I don't miss the way her eyes narrow and focus on you suspiciously. But then she must decide that she understands the necessity of this, because she doesn't remark further. But still, she doesn't let it go entirely:

"You missed the best part, Light-kun! Tsuki and her friend were arguing over Hatori. It was horrible!" She launches into a vague description that leads me to believe she wasn't paying very good attention. Or she's very bad at describing things -- wouldn't surprise me either way.

With the movie over -- by the grace of some unseen power, Misa didn't try to take advantage of the dark and semi-seclusion of the theater more than once -- we leave the theater and begin our walk to a small pastry shop on the corner.

This is, of course, your idea.

It amazes me that you have any room left in your stomach.

As we walk, Misa claims my arm and matches her steps to mine. You take up a more subdued position behind us, but I can feel your eyes on the back of my neck.

It sends shivers down my spine.

I want to look back so badly. So badly. The desire consumes my entire being, until I feel my muscles twitching, already anticipating the movement.


I am in control of my own body.

I am in control of my own body.

I am in control...

This is ridiculous.

I want to turn around, slow my pace to even with yours. I want to.

So, instead, I lean down and whisper into Misa's ear.

"Did you have fun tonight?" I ask. I purposely let my breath brush past her cheek. She lifts her eyes to mine and smiles serenely, a pretty blush on her cheeks.

"It was perfect, Light-kun! Misa Misa can't wait to do it again." She keeps her voice low, almost husky, as if she senses my need for privacy. I can almost feel you get closer, in order to hear what we're saying. I smirk.

"I'm glad. Tonight was all about making you happy. To show how grateful we are for your help."

"All Misa Misa wants is you," she replies.

All I want is you...

All of you...

I shake my head to rid myself of the thought.


"Misa," I say regretfully. I don't want to ruin her night, but I don't want to lead her on. "You know this is just a show of gratitude, right? Nothing has changed between us."

She sighs.

"Light-kun knows how much Misa loves him. That will never change. And maybe someday, someday, Light-kun will realize that he loves Misa too." She looks up at me with a quirk of her dark-red painted lips. "I know he will. After all, Light-kun is so smart."

I look away. She's such a tenacious little thing. She's going to get her heart broken. She just doesn't understand: I can't love her. She's all wrong for me. I need challenge. I need intelligence. I need...everything she can never be. But how can I say this without destroying her?

"Why do you like me, Misa?" I whisper quietly in her ear, even more quietly than before.

She phrases her answer as if it's the most obvious reason in the world. "Because Light-kun is perfect in every way!"

I sigh. She just doesn't understand. "It's like I woke up and suddenly I was the center of your world. I don't believe in love at first sight." I make impressions of a person right away, judge their character, but love -- that's such a strong feeling. I don't think it's possible...

My thoughts trail off, hit by a memory so vivid that it might have happened two minutes ago.

I sat at my desk, preparing to take the To-oh entrance exams, confident that I'd do well, when I heard the administrator's rebuke and turned back to see; I remember the moment I first met your eyes. I felt a strong surge of...something. Repulsion, probably. Unease. The way you stared at me, the way you sat.

Whatever it was, it was certainly intense.

Perhaps...perhaps I don't have the right to lecture Misa on her emotions; because, after all, I can't explain why I took such an instant disliking to you.

Are these reactions innate, left over from the days when humans relied on their instincts to survive? Yes, that seems plausible:

I instinctively knew what an ass you'd be.

There's no concrete method to disprove that Misa "knew" I would turn out to be the man of her dreams, though I doubt the accuracy of Misa's instincts in any case.

"You know what? Let's talk about this later."

She smiles and nods, blissfully content. She leans her head against my arm once more.

I look back to see your dark eyes trained on us.

And then my eyes slide past you, to the two men following us.

Guessing Game Results:

Winning Word: Obsession (25)

Most Popular: Oblivious (13)

My Favorite: Ostentatious (1, Lan)

(EDIT: I forgot to give a hint!) Hint for P: Uh...they're chained together.

As I said before, I won't abandon this. Thank you all so much for sticking with me despite the insanely (insanely) long time between updates.

I don't know if they have movie theaters in Japan. Or diners. I actually know nothing at all about Japan. Please excuse my ignorance. Also, please excuse any mistakes. I really didn't take the time to look over this for errors before I posted.