Chapter 1: Raven

When Lawliet Corbeau was born, there was nothing particularly odd about him as a child. He grew up with pale skin, an unruly mop of dark hair, obsidian eyes, and a star-shaped birthmark over his heart. It was April 3rd when he was born, in the year 2010, and his parents were happy to have him. They loved him dearly, as he was their only child.

Their family lived in France, just outside of Lyon. Lawliet grew up as any normal child would, happily. He did well in school, easily surpassing the other students and making near-perfect grades. In his free time, he studied the Kira case, a string of mysterious murders stretching over six years, ending a mere three months before he was born. There was a point in time where Kira had held nearly the entire world under his thrall, and Lawliet was fascinated. How one person could have so much power was beyond him. But like so many others who craved ultimate power, Kira eventually fell, killed under unclear circumstances outside a warehouse in Japan. But for a while, he must have had what he wanted. Control.

Lawliet knew that there couldn't be a 'perfect world' as Kira had envisioned it. Humanity would never allow for such a thing. No matter how many criminals Kira had killed, there would always be the arrogant people who truly believed they would not be caught. Crime would continue. Kira was mortal, like any man, and as soon as he died things would return to the way they were. It was how things had happened. After Kira's death, in January of 2010, all was quiet for about a year. But as people finally started to realize that Kira had disappeared for good, everything had gone back to normal. Murders, rapes, robberies… Everything had returned to just how it had been before Kira's appearance.

When Lawliet turned seventeen, he left France. They didn't have the money to send him to college, and he wasn't really sure what he wanted to do anyway. So they scraped together what money they could and got him a ticket to Japan. His parents understood. They always understood him, better than anyone else ever had.

Although… Lawliet always had the nagging feeling that that wasn't true. There had been someone else… Once…

Being fluent in French, English, and Japanese, as well as knowing bits and pieces of various other languages, communicating in Japan wasn't a problem for him. He found a small apartment in Tokyo, getting a job as a translator. It made him enough money to get by on, as things stood. Tokyo was a busy city, and he enjoyed just watching the people going about their daily lives.

Tuesday was grocery day, usually. He would generally walk to the small market down the street from his apartment, and be able to get everything he needed there. The people who worked there knew him now, after two months of living here. It didn't surprise him. With the way that he slouched, his typical wardrobe, and his messy hair, anyone could probably recognize him.

He slipped into his battered tennis shoes, the only footwear he really felt comfortable in, and started down the street. Several people he knew from various places waved, and he waved back hesitantly. He really wasn't a people person, and to have others acknowledging him in public was a bit disconcerting. Upon reaching the market, he headed immediately for the bakery, where he was probably best-known.

"Konnichiwa, L!" Ayame, the lady who ran the shop, called to him as she saw him come in. Upon arriving in Japan, he had shortened his name to L after many people experienced difficulty pronouncing his given name. He smiled, coming up to the counter, and Ayame asked, "What can I do for you today, Eru-san? I just made strawberry cake."

"Grocery shopping." L replied. "But the cake sounds delicious. May I get a piece to take home?"

"Certainly!" While Ayame packaged the cake for him, he glanced around the shop. It was a cozy place, and it always made him feel safe and at-home. Ayame handed him the carefully wrapped slice of cake, and he thanked her. As he passed her the yen, she smiled warmly. "Come back later if you have time. You're always welcome, L."

L left the small bakery with a grin. It always made him feel better to be in there. The rest of his shopping was completed without a hitch, and as he shouldered the bag of groceries to take back home, a voice called to him out of an alley.

"Oi, oi!"

L looked around for the source of the voice, seeing a young woman calling from the side of the street. He glanced around once or twice, and she hissed impatiently, "Yes, you!" L blinked, but walked over anyway.

"Yes?"

She smiled. Dressed up as she was in an odd form of clothes, she looked even stranger than L. "I'm a gypsy." she said easily. L was surprised. In today's world, there weren't a lot of people who could get away with that kind of life. She peered at him curiously for a moment, then said, "You appear to have an interesting future. Would you mind if I did a reading?"

L didn't usually believe in this sort of thing, but something about the way she said it made him yield. He let her pull him into a small store, no bigger than a single room.

"I'm Momigi, but just call me Momi. Please, sit." She rummaged through a shelf, pulling down a deck of what L recognized as Tarot cards. Seating herself across from him, she shuffled the deck and held it out. "Draw six cards, please, and line them up on the table." L did as he was told, picking at random and arranging them into an even line, face down. Momi reached out when he was done, flipping the first card up and peering at it with interest.

"The King of Wands." she said slowly. "You have a passionate heart. A critical moment is coming, so walk through the fire without fear." She turned up the next one. "Eighteen. The Moon. Confusion and fear, psychological conflict. Something is going to affect you deeply."

L listened closely, unsure of the truth of what she was saying. They were just cards, right?

"Sixteen, the Lightning-Struck Tower. Crisis, disruption, revelation, and a realization of the truth. Next is…" she flipped the fourth card. "The Four of Swords, for healing. Whatever this truth is, it will heal you." Reaching for the next card, she hesitated a moment, then looked directly at L. "Raven's Law, you are, yes?"

L's eyes widened. His name, very clearly his name. Law coming from Lawliet, while Corbeau was French for 'raven'. There was no way she could have known…

Nodding in understanding of his reaction, Momi flipped the fifth card. "Six, the Lovers. Affinity and heart. And finally…" The last card settled upright onto the table, and Momi stared at it a moment. "Twenty. Judgment. Rebirth and absolution…" She looked at L for a long moment, then held out the rest of the deck. "Now draw the focus."

L debated. He could leave now, thank Momi and pretend all of this never happened. But the part of him that craved knowledge wanted to see what would become of this. He reached out, choosing a card at random and laying it face-up upon the table. Momi gasped.

"Thirteen… Death." Silence reigned between the two, before she continued, "An ending, a closing, or a finale…" Choking on a laugh, she murmured, "At least it was not the Ten of Swords. Nothing could be grimmer than absolute destruction… But with Death as a focus, I confess that I do not understand." She closed her eyes a moment and murmured, "Night God… The Night God's Moon… Watch for him…"

L picked up the Death card, looking at it warily. The skeleton seemed to be laughing, and as L stared, its eyes seemed to turn red. He dropped the card as if burned, his fingers tingling.

"Are you okay? What's wrong?" Momi asked.

L took a deep breath. "I'm fine. Just a little unnerved, is all."

Momi collected the cards back into the deck, reaching out and touching L's hand. "Don't dwell on this. What will happen will happen, even more so if you attempt to avoid it. Everything will turn out for the best."

L nodded. "Thank you. It was… interesting." He collected his groceries, heading for the door.

Momi smiled. "Come back anytime. I look forward to seeing what happens to you. A most interesting future…"

As L walked back to his apartment, he couldn't help but think of the future the cards had foretold. Normally he would not believe such a thing, but it unnerved him for some reason. They were just Tarot cards, he told himself. They hold no true power over the future. Everything was psychosomatic. It's all in your head

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So.

I started this with no real plot in mind, just to indulge my fantasies about writing about Tarot cards and Capoeira. (the Capoeira comes later) But now I'm up to six chapters on my computer, and a plot came from nowhere, so let's see where this goes, 'kay?

Li