What The Gods Cannot Foresee
There had only ever been one reason for the shinigami Ryuk to 'lose' his Death Note in the human world: out of boredom. The life of a god of death was so routine, so dull, so lacking in the unexpected or the fantastic that they could die of boredom. Maybe it hadn't happened yet, but Ryuk was sure it could happen, and indeed it probably would one of these days. Several of those lazy fools that most of his kind had become had spent so much time gambling that they forgot about writing names in their Death Notes and their lifetimes ran out without their even noticing.
It wasn't just the lack of variety that made Ryuk bored, though. It was the utter lack of meaning. There had been a time before the gods of death had become lazy and gotten wrapped up in gambling, when writing a few names in the Death Note earned more recognition that a derisive "Why are you working so hard?" But even back then, there was no meaning to what they did. Ryuk had come to realise that they had never had a real purpose. Even if they never wrote down any names, humans would keep dying naturally. In a way, it was no wonder that so many of them had almost given up on killing humans. There was just no reason to, beyond keeping oneself alive.
He was perched on top of a school building, attentively watching the black notebook he'd left deliberately on the footpath just outside the gate, waiting for some little human, anyone at all, to innocently pick it up and change the course of human history. With the exception of suicidal idiots like Jealous, gods of death were not moral creatures. Ryuk couldn't fill that emptiness by trying to make the world a better place or anything so human as that. Interfering with human destiny like that could only get him in trouble, and he would get no pleasure from it at all. But this, this was genius. A human with a Death Note, one with written instructions on how to use it, could result in anything. Anything at all. His own kind were boring to him now, but maybe humans could be more interesting. Whoever used that notebook would be able to change the world, and it was going to be because of Ryuk, and then, maybe, his existence would at least mean something.
The sunlight was deepening into the first shades of sunset when a girl in a blue and white school uniform finally stooped to pick up the notebook on her way home. Ryuk watched her open the cover to read the instructions, and heard her mutter "It's all in English. What a pain," before she tucked it in with the rest of her books and went on her way home. Oh, but she'd open it again. Ryuk was sure of that. You couldn't just ignore the Death Note. It wouldn't let you.
With that, he flew away, grinning broadly. Of course, Ryuk was always grinning; his face just went that way. But for the first time in centuries – maybe the first time ever – he really felt like grinning. Whether it was for better or worse, he'd finally done something that mattered. Things were about to get very interesting.
Five days later, though, Ryuk's enthusiasm was fading, and he was beginning to feel bored again. That girl didn't seem to have done anything with the Death Note. There had been no unusual human deaths and she seemed to be acting exactly like a normal human. This was utterly boring. Not to mention disheartening. Perhaps his expectations had been too high, but Ryuk was thoroughly disappointed. Where before he had simply been bored, now his mood was positively melancholic.
"Oh, stop moping around like that, Ryuk," another shinigami berated him without looking up from his game. "I don't know why you're so upset about losing your Death Note, but if it bothers you that much, just go back and get it."
"I can't. A human has it."
"Well, go talk to it. With your ugly face you'll just scare it into giving your note back, and then it'll forget about it."
It was about time, Ryuk thought, that he paid that girl a visit instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. Yes, that was quite a good idea. And if she didn't want to use it, he could get the notebook back and leave it somewhere else, where someone more interesting might pick it up. Maybe he should be more selective next time. The Death Note needed someone with ambition and daring to look after it, not a timid little school girl.
When he entered her room, the girl was sitting at her desk, curled into herself over some workbook or another. Pitiful, Ryuk thought. He had been foolish. This little girl would never have been able to cope with the Death Note. Humans could be interesting, but some of them were so weak. Most of them, in fact. He would have to choose carefully. Even if she was a disappointment, though, this one was going to be so fun to scare. He relished the thought of creeping up behind her, hovering silently until finally he would…
As he came up behind her and peered over the girl's shoulder, he stopped in surprise. The girl wasn't doing her schoolwork, she was writing in the Death Note. What's more, as she opened it, he realised that she'd already written in it, filling up at least half a page with a scrawl of Japanese.
Everything's gotten so boring again lately. Why doesn't anything exciting happen? I hate it all. I hate this whole life. Kyon said I should try writing a diary. That moron. I wish he'd just shut up once and for all. What good does writing in a diary do? I just found this stupid thing on the ground so I'm trying it, but it's not making me feel any better. This is retarded. Still, I guess at least Kyon is happy with things like this…
"WHAT?" Ryuk yelled, completely forgetting himself. "What are you doing with my Death Note?"
The girl spun around and gaped at him, her eyes wide. Well, of course she's scared. Humans SHOULD be scared when they see the face of a god. But Ryuk was too surprised even to enjoy it. This little girl had taken his notebook, a weapon more powerful and more destructive than anything any human could ever dream of, and turned it into a teenage diary. At least he could stop this now. Demand the notebook back, rip out the offending page and pass it onto somebody else. Nobody would ever have to know about this little embarrassment.
"Listen, you," he growled, in his scariest monster voice, reaching out one black, clawed hand towards her. But before he could try to claim his notebook back, she did the last thing he ever would have expected a human, let alone a school girl, to do.
She leaped up, threw her arms around his neck and hugged him.
"Finally!" she cried. "I don't know what you are, a demon or a spirit or a ghost or something, but you're really here!"
"… what?" Ryuk muttered, utterly stunned. He grabbed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her off him. "What are you doing, you crazy kid? Aren't you scared of me?"
"Of course not. I've been waiting for you!" She wriggled free of his grip, dropped to the floor and twirled around, unable to contain her excitement. This was just unacceptable. Ryuk needed to get his notebook back, and now.
"My name is Ryuk, and I'm a God of Death," he began, sternly. "The reason you can see me is because you picked up the Death Note. Now it belongs to you."
"You chose me?" her eyes shone. "Of all the millions of ordinary, boring people in the country, you chose me? I'm really that special, Ryuk-san?"
"I can't believe something mysterious is finally happening to me!" she repeated. Ryuk wondered if he should use his wings and hover near the ceiling so that she couldn't hug him again.
"The way you're using the Death Note… didn't you read the instructions I wrote in it?"
"Instructions?" The girl paused, and glanced back at the book. "You mean the English? I thought it was just a bunch of random words like they always put on stationery and T-shirts. I can't be bothered reading that."
"Oh. Well, in that case, I'll have to tell you the rules of the Death Note. The human whose name…"
"No rules!" the girl interrupted. "Rules are boring. I don't want anything to do with what's boring. I'm experiencing something really exciting and mysterious and you want to ruin it all with rules?" She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him that glare, the one that usually sent her friends – or at least, one of them – into a panic about what crazy thing she was going to do next. But this time, she hadn't done anything. Something exciting was happening to her, instead.
"My name is Suzumiya Haruhi, Ryuk-san," she said. "I'm not interested in ordinary humans. Ordinary life is so boring I can't standit. I'm only interested in mysterious things, like aliens, time travellers and espers. And gods of death. And so now, after all this time, I've really found one." She laughed, a strangely innocent laugh, one of pure delight.
"Things are going to get very interesting from now on."
Disclaimer: I do not own either Death Note or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Note: When I wrote the first draft of this fic, I used the terms 'shinigami' and 'god of death' interchangably; I've since changed them all to 'god of death', but I'm not sure whether I should have used 'shinigami' instead. What do you think? All feedback is appreciated!
Also, this was intended as a one-shot, but I'm considering writing a longer fic with the same concept. If I do, though, I think it'll probably end up being in the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya section rather than in Death Note, since I'm thinking it would be more about Haruhi than Ryuk.