Disclaimer: Don't own.
Opening Notes: This's the first time I've actually sat down and written since...goodness, it's gotta be October the last time I wrote properly. Blame university. Anyways, as such, I'm a bit rusty. Thoughts are welcome, but do be gentle. Otherwise, enjoy!
She shivered, rubbing her hands together vigorously and breathing on them. Spotting a café, she immediately steering towards it, Neuro be damned. It was cold, damn it – the unseasonable cold snap had reached its peak, it seemed – and with God as her witness, she was going to get some nice, hot coffee. And maybe some muffins.
Ducking inside the café, she suddenly felt a chill, quite unlike that of outside. Neuro would doubtless come up with some horrific torture for her if she was late, but… he would doubtless have one ready anyways. She might as well have a warm belly while she did it.
Jumping into line, still shivering, she scanned her eyes over the menu, swiftly selecting her decision and praying the line moved fast enough that she wouldn't be late.
"Katsuragi-san?" A voice called.
She closed her eyes, counting to ten and back down. If it was another fan, so help her…
She turned, a reprimand ready, when she paused. "Higuchi-san!"
"Yo." The hacker grinned. "Fancy seeing you here."
"I could say the same thing! What're you doing here?"
He looked surprised for a moment, before he chuckled and gestured to the back of the café. Blinking, she looked behind him, noticing for the first time that there were rows of computers lined in the rear area.
"This is an internet café." Higuchi supplied helpfully.
"Oh!" Yako said, surprised, "I didn't notice."
Higuchi chuckled softly, before turning to face the counter, "Getting some coffee?" He asked.
"Yeah," Yako replied, "It's so cold; I thought I'd get some before I head to the office."
He made a noise of affirmation, still staring at the menu. After a moment, he turned back to face her, a faint smile playing across his lips. "How about you join me for a coffee?" He offered.
Yako paused, considering, before she realized that she was late as it is. She'd have to run the last couple blocks to make it on time…
"My treat." Higuchi offered, watching the emotions play across her face.
"Well." Yako replied after a moment, "I suppose I have a little time…"
Higuchi laughed. "It's a privately owned business, isn't it? You have all the time in the world, until a client comes along. And your assistant's there to deal with any that might show up." He flicked his eyes to her, "Right?"
"Uh… right…" She replied hesitantly as they stepped up to the counter. She had the faintest idea he was teasing her…
"So, Ms. Katsuragi, what'll you have?" He prompted, directing her attention back to the matter at hand.
Higuchi leaned back casually, a coffee in hand, eyes wide in open admiration. "How do your parents manage to afford keeping you fed?"
Yako made an indiscernible noise, looking up from the current plate of muffins she was devouring. Swallowing, she replied, "My dad used to have a special fund set aside for it at work. Everyone pitched in." Looking back, she actually found it rather sad that everyone thought her appetite was voracious enough to require a fund…
"Used to?" Higuchi asked, blinking.
She hesitated. "He died."
"I'm sorry." Higuchi supplied, his eyes softening.
"Ah… don't worry about it." Yako said, feeling awkward from the look he was looking at her. Casting her eyes about for something else to talk about, they landed on the computers.
"What were you doing on the computers anyways, Higuchi-san? Surely your personal one must be a much better model…" She gasped, an idea occurring to her, "You weren't hacking and avoiding being traced by using a public computer, were you!"
"Uh, no." He replied, mentally sweat-dropping, "My skills are such that I can avoid being traced even when using my own computer." He took a sip of his coffee, "I just like seeing what level the regular person's computer is at, on occasion."
"Ah… I see…" Yako replied hesitantly.
Another pause, this one just as awkward as the first.
"What model of computer do you have, Katsuragi-san?"
"Me?" She said, startled, "Uh… just a Pac (1), I think…" She frowned, thinking.
He blinked, "Is that all you know?"
"Ah, yeah… I've never been too good with computers…" She laughed nervously.
He laughed, "That's no good. All your case files are on your computer, aren't they?"
"Some of them, yes…" She laughed again. The only ones were really from the Hime case, being that it had been on an online community, and any personal research she'd done herself. Everything else she just assumed Neuro remembered.
"How about I give it an overhaul sometime? I'll install some anti-viruses, some firewalls… that way no one should be able to get in without a good amount of difficulty."
"Would you really?" Yako said, surprised. She'd never even thought about viruses, being that Neuro could just go inside and exterminate them manually. Though she supposed he wouldn't really care if the computers got infected with measly man-made puzzle-less viruses.
"Sure. Consider it repayment for saving me from HAL."
"Ah, you don't need to do anything about – Gnngk!"
Unfortunately, due to the fact that Yako's neck was now twisted at a full 180 degree angle, anything she'd been about to say was lost.
"Sensei, what are you doing? I was worried!" Neuro chided gently, before grasping her by her head and dragging her out the door, ignoring Higuchi completely.
Jolting himself out of the initial surprise of the image of Katsuragi with a reverse head, Higuchi got up and followed the pair outside, where a handsome Zeep waited.
Neuro, never pausing, promptly threw Katsuragi in the back seat, slamming the door behind her, before turning to seat himself. Katsuragi, meanwhile, had somehow managed to pick herself up, and had turned to see Higuchi watching, half-amused, half-astonished. She waved. Higuchi waved hesitantly back.
As Neuro began to open the passenger door, Higuchi chuckled.
"Women… really are the ultimate mystery." He laughed softly, turning and heading back into the café.
He never saw Neuro's head turn so fast that a normal man's neck would've broken, or how he turned to stare at Yako with an incredibly predatory gleam in his eyes.
(1) I'm going off the fact that they seem to take regular names and replace the first letter, the fact that their computers look like Macs but have a pineapple (I think) on them, and the added plus of Pac-man.
Closing Notes:TOTALLY not implying that Neuro eats Yako. Just turned out that way. XDD
I think that'd be a fantastic way to end the series, don't you? "Women are the ultimate mystery." I'd laugh.
And now, a special short, featuring Death Note!
Side Quest: Detective Battle
"Neuro, haven't you heard about this Kira case?"
"Of course. Why?"
"I'm just surprised you haven't tried to solve it. It seems like your thing."
A derisive snort.
"Anyone from the Daemon world can see that it's just a Shinigami notebook. That puzzle isn't worth my time."
"Ah… I see. I wonder if this "L" character will be able to solve it okay…"
A thunk and a screech of pain and fright.
"Do you think that I should waste my time aiding him?"
"Do you think he would believe me, if I were to tell him?"
"I suppose not…"
Still, she hoped "L" would be able to figure it out okay…
Closing Notes: It was too short to be a story on it's own, so I tacked it on the end. XD
I was thinking out how L had 'Detective Battles', and I wondered what would happen if he went at it with Neuro. It would probably be much more epic than this. XD I was trying something different, and decided to keep non-verbal text to a minimum. Thoughts?