Quidam

oOOoOOooOOoOOo

Your world is yours, not mine
Quidam
Your dreams are yours
You may have touched the stars
But they weren't moved
And if you reach for me, I may not
Choose to hold your hand
I might smile or I might
Turn away

An ordinary man
Quidam
I'm every man
I'm any man

Quidam, Quidam
The night retreats
To waltz with you
Once so hollow
There is an evil
That drinks upon your silence

There's nothing left
There's nothing right
There's nothing wrong
I'm one, I'm two
I'm all yet none of you
The truth, the lies
The tears, the laughter
The hand and the empty touch
Here I am, alone
Waiting for the curtain call

An ordinary man
Quidam
I'm every man
I'm any man
You are the stranger

Quidam, Quidam
The night retreats
To waltz with you
Once so hollow
There is an evil
That drinks upon your silence

I dance in this silken veil of pain
I walk without a map or a guide
Sweet madness my only refuge
I am born in the shade of the fools

Quidam, Quidam
On the banks of the river
On the edge of shadows, you waltz
All around you
Is the evil
That draws upon your silence

Quidam, Quidam
The night retreats
To waltz with you
Once so hollow
There is an evil
That drinks upon your silence


Prologue - The Wall Between Worlds

The wall had stood there for as long as any person or, indeed, any history book could remember, a low hedge made of stone just a mile past the limits of the village. It was easy enough to see past it, into a field of crisp, dewy green in the springtime, bright wildflowers in the summer, long grass of gold in the fall, and a sheet of perfect, radiant white in the depths of winter. There seemed nothing extraordinary about it, besides the broken gap in the continuous wall, the stone crumbling away as if crushed beneath a foot too large for comprehension.

And for as long as any could remember, the gatekeeper sat by the wall, a long scythe grasped in his hand as he guarded the breach come rain or snow. Still he sat, never abandoning his post, making sure that nothing would ever emerge from the other side to plague the peaceful village. Or, more importantly, that no fool would ever make their way through the opening, and disrupt a delicate balance.

For it was said, that beyond that ancient, winding wall of stone, one could find another world….


Quillish Wammy observed the figure on the bed with a solemn expression, his tired eyes following the labored rise and fall of the man's chest. It had not been a surprise when he had been summoned, by any stretch of the imagination. After all, Eraldo Coil had just passed his one-hundredth birthday a few years back. He had lived a long, good life, and Quillish could wish his brother nothing more than a peaceful death and afterlife.

No, it wasn't his brother's imminent passing that bothered him, since soon enough it would be his turn to move on, and he could only hope he would also die of old age. No, it was the fallout from the man's death, the empire that he had reigned over for the majority of his life that would suffer.

It was time for a new heir to be chosen.

Quillish sighed, thinking of his Eraldo's wayward children, his nephews. There would be no peaceful resolution as to who would inherit their father's position, indeed, the Wammy empire would be lucky if they kept the fighting and murder among themselves rather than involve the public in it. But he highly doubted that would be the case.

Nonetheless, the next heir had to be chosen from a male descendent within the Wammy line, no matter how lacking said heirs turned out to be.

Which was why his brother had called him back to his side in the first place. While his heirs only thought of themselves and their own selfish desires, Eraldo's first concern was for his people, and his people alone. His brother knew of the battle that would break out between the brothers for his title, and wished for there to be as little damage as possible outside the brats. Which meant they would have to find a more reasonable method of choosing an heir without civil war.

Still, Quillish had to wonder if his brother's method was truly the wisest course for them to take, even in such desperate times. For such a thing to be released into the world, let alone make its way into the hands of one of the uncouth lot his brother called his children….

Quillish did not wish to dwell upon the consequences.

But he had agreed, in the end, as it was his brother's choice, not his own. And his will would be done, even when he lay on his deathbed.

And Quillish had to be strong, for he still had a small measure of hope, something that not even his powerful brother knew of….

Though it could be said that that hope was not so small any longer….


The gatekeeper, truth be told, had the most boring job in existence at the time, though also the easiest. The job demanded no hard labor, was not challenging on any level, and did not require any measure of skill or intellect. The only things the gatekeeper was ever asked to do, day after day, was sit at the hole, and make sure that nothing passed in, or out.

When one considered the fact that nothing ever tried to pass through the opening, it's easy to see how sitting in the same place, looking at the same scenery and following the same schedule every day could get old, and get old fast. However, the gatekeeper was content enough, having entered the twilight years of his life; he was content to sit all day and think, and feel free to rest whenever the mood hit him, for it was not as if any threat would truly come. And so he was free to lay back, relax and let himself float in his own reflections and musings, simply gazing at the stars on the most clear of nights.

It had been such a night when the man came, and for the first time in his life, the gatekeeper had to fulfill the duties that came along with his job. Honestly, it was shocking enough to see the man at all, since no one came here but to deliver his daily rations for his service to the village….

But what was even more bewildering was that the man came from the other side of the wall. Despite all his years standing guard, just in case such a person came and attempted to cross between the two sides, the gatekeeper froze, staring at the figure wrapped from head to foot in a cloak the color of midnight.

It took him a few seconds to regain his wits and sense of dignity, as he stood up tall and walked to the border, raising his trusty staff in warning. However, the figure in black made no move to come any closer than the roughly three yards he was from the wall, nor did he make any move that could be seen as threatening.

It was only then the gatekeeper noticed the small bundle within his arms.

"I'm sorry, but none are permitted to pass through here. You'll have to turn back."

"I am well aware of the rules of the wall, you will find." The man's voice was calm and kind as he reached up, pulling back his hood. It was more a gesture of courtesy than anything, but it put much of the gatekeepers worries to rest. The man in front of him was at least his age, he guessed, if not older, and had a generous, grandfatherly look to him.

"If you know the rules, then why did you come, stranger?"

"Ah, let me introduce myself, before we get into such matters. You may call me Watari."

"What, no last name?"

"Only when it suits my purposes."

"…I see." He didn't, not really. For what could omitting one's last name do but breed suspicion? But at the same time, he had a feeling that this old man knew what he was doing.

"And you, gatekeeper?"

"Eh? Oh, yes. I am Roger." If the old man could give no more than his first name, he saw no reason he could not do the same.

"Ah. It is very good to meet your acquaintance, Roger." The man bowed with impeccable manners. "Now, on to the business at hand. May I approach?"

Roger was uneasy… but he was the one armed here, and could still stop the man from crossing the wall. In the end, would it really matter whether he gave his permission or not?

"You may."

"Thank you." The man walked forward with a purposeful pace, not particularly fast, but still hinting at a hidden urgency in his actions that night.

"Now, what is it?"

"What it is, sir, is a matter of grave importance, for the future of my world as well as yours."

Roger paled. What kind of a person… would dare speak such things so bluntly, without so much as a warning or introduction? He felt as if a staggering weight had fallen upon his shoulders, and he moved to sit down on a fallen stone, dropping onto the surface heavily. Licking chapped lips, he was finally able to find his voice once more.

"S-so… there is another world then?"

"You doubted?"

"Hard not to… I've sat guarding this hole for most of my life, and not once has a single creature tried to cross. Makes you doubt that there's anything special about it."

"Ah, but just the fact that nothing did try to cross makes it special. After all, humans may respect the laws residing over it, but the animal's are held by no such limits. Yet, I dare say, you have never seen an animal so much as attempt to move from one side to the other, or even come close to the wall itself."

It was true, and possibly the only reason he hadn't given up faith in the legend entirely. But how did this man know so much?

"How do you know all this? Why do you believe so fully?"

"Forgive me, sometimes I forget just how different our worlds really are… on this side, such things as magic and spells are not so uncommon, rather than your side, which is ruled mainly by intellect and reason, correct?"

"Yes, what of it?"

"Well, I find that intellect and reason is exactly what I am in need of right now, if I wish to prevent terrible tragedy in the future."

Roger's stomach knotted. Terrible tragedy? Surely it couldn't be… and even were such a thing to occur, there was no chance of it affecting their side, right? But the old man had already said….

Roger sat thinking for a long while, while the man who called himself Watari remained silent. In all his years, he had never made such a decision. It was his duty to fulfill his job as gatekeeper, but if he could prevent something that could possibly damage not just one, but both worlds, wasn't that obligation even greater?

Roger nodded to himself, coming to a decision. Standing up, he turned to the old man, squaring his shoulders.

"What do you need me to do?"

The old man nodded gravely, pleased with his acceptance. After a moment, he held out the small bundle of cloth in his arms. Roger blinked, before taking it with the same delicacy as it was being held out. Cradling it in his arms, he stood confused, till the old man gestured for him to open it.

Carefully pulling back the top swath of cloth, Roger was shocked to find himself regarded by two wide, black eyes. It was… a child.

"I… do not understand."

"Do not take him lightly, sir. This child's life is of the utmost importance, as is what he represents to many."

Looking down at the child, he could hardly see how it could be considered of 'utmost importance'. A frail, weak looking thing; its skin was pale, its eyes large and dark, and it black hair a tangled mess upon its head.

"And what is it that he represents?" He said, his voice incredulous.

"Hope, my good sir, hope. A small, seemingly weak hope, but one that will grow with time. There is a-" Watari suddenly cut off, going still, before shifting through his cloak hastily. Pulling out another bundle, he thrust it at Roger, who took it before he could think to refuse, driven by the abrupt shift in the man's manner.

"I must go now, they are looking, and they must not find me here, of all places."

"What? Looking? Who's looking? Why mustn't they find you here? Sir, I do not understand!"

"You don't need to." The man tensed again, holding his breath for a few seconds, completely still. After a few moments he let the air out in an uncomfortable hiss.

"They're getting closer, I must be off." With that, he turned around and strode back into the field, moving much more quickly than one would have thought capable for a man his age.

"B-but sir! The child!"

The man paused, turning around at the edge of the trees, calling back in a clear, commanding tone.

"Yes, the child. Keep him hidden, keep him well, keep him safe. If any other should come to this gateway between our worlds, never mention me or this night's happenings. And remember, this is a matter of utmost importance… to everyone."

And he was gone.

Which left Roger standing right on the border between two worlds, one stationary bundle braced under one arm, one very alive and squirming bundle cradled in the other. Looking down at the child once more, Roger sighed. The child, staring up at him as though fascinated by what it saw, gurgled a moment, before promptly shoving its thumb in its mouth.

"A child… a bloody child…" Roger muttered to himself, at a loss. "What am I supposed to do with a- I have to stand guard all day, and night- have to find someone to care for it - but who would care for it…"

The child let out a small squeal, focusing Roger's attention once more. He couldn't help the small smile that overtook his face as he observed the baby, which appeared to be trying to stick its feet in its mouth, both at the same time.

"It suddenly occurs to me, that for all your importance to this man and his world… that he never left me with a name."

Roger poked the young one's tummy gently, prompting another squeal. "So what shall I call you, hmm?"

The child grabbed his hand, staring at it with those disconcerting black eyes.

"I think I'll call you…."

The child looked up, eyes giving off an air of expectancy, as if the child knew it was about to be named.

"Ryuuzaki."


Beyond Birthday stared at his brother, eyes unblinking. Or, more specifically, he stared at the series of numbers directly above his brothers head, as though his look alone could change their value. Though annoyed, he kept his face blank as the value stubbornly stayed the same.

How annoying. It never occurred to him to feel bad about wishing death upon his own brother. He was fairly sure Mello was doing the exact same to him, if that look was anything to go by.

Not that he blamed him. After all, there were only the four of them left, out of numerous brothers and sisters. They had been disposed of easily enough though, and now it was down to Beyond and his younger brothers, Matt, Near, and Mello. Beyond sighed. It really was a pity that these boys were too smart to kill in the conventional ways. Indeed, he'd have to watch his own back to make sure he was not killed himself.

Matt would probably be the easiest to get rid of, though he was only a threat for the title if Mello died. Every idiot and their pet dog knew that Matt would rather see Mello on the throne than himself, he didn't make much effort to hide it. But it also made killing Mello more difficult, so long as he had his little guard dog by his side.

Beyond chose not to dwell upon those two any longer, as he doubted he would ever understand what went through those heads on a daily basis. Instead, he refocused his eyes on the youngest of the group, currently lying on the rug, playing with his stupid dolls.

Near was the one he would have to watch out for. Not driven by his emotions like the others, Beyond had no doubt that assassination schemes for them all were already flitting around that small mind, hidden behind a wall of apathy and indifference. No matter what he may project, Near wanted the title just as much as any of them, and was willing to go to great lengths to get it.

But those lengths would not be far enough, Beyond would make sure. He would always be willing to go a step farther, and he had an advantage already.

He could see their real names.

Names were sacred in their world, as they defined a person, and were representations of power. A name was all a Kira needed, and one had to be wary of any curse that may follow their tracks. In regards to this, the Wammy line had long used aliases to protect their real names, leaving them untouchable as far as the Kiras were concerned.

But Beyond's eyes could see them. And he planned to use that fact to his full advantage. As far as their names were concerned, he knew even Near felt sure in his conviction that there was nothing to fear from that road. None of them had told a living soul their true names, and the only man who knew them all lay on his deathbed at that very moment.

But Beyond had never told a soul of his eyes either, a secret that had been kept safe even from his father. He was not above exploiting his advantage or using such a dark force as the Kiras to get what he wanted. In fact, he was rather looking forward to it.

He was drawn from his thoughts as his uncle, Watari, entered the room, his face mournful but composed. His strides seemed heavier than usual, and it was not hard to guess the reason.

Eraldo was dead. His father had passed away, just minutes ago. And now, one of them would be chosen as the heir.

It was Beyond's job to make sure that someone was him.

"As I'm sure you have all guessed, Eraldo Coil passed on just minutes ago."

Yes, yes. That was a given. Now old man, get onto the part that mattered….

"I'm most sure that none of you would like to dwell upon his death, and are much more concerned with the matter of inheritance. Therefore, I will be brief." The old man's voice was reprimanding, likely for their lack of concern over their father's death.

Beyond didn't really see why. It was a matter of inevitability for them, the man had to die at some point. It wasn't as though they had been particularly close to the man, by any stretch of the imagination. Why dwell in the past, when the future was so much more relevant, in any case.

"You're father has named none of you as his heir."

It took mere seconds before the man's words sunk in, and three of the four were immediately on their feet, hackles raised and eyes screaming murder, with even Near giving the man his full attention. Protests were immediately voiced, as one of them had to be the heir, as the heir could only come from the Wammy line. The volume steadily rose until Watari held up one hand, demanding silence.

"As I said, your father has named none of you as his heir. This is accredited to the fact that he could not decide between you. So rather than name just one of you, and risk making a grave error, your father has set up a challenge. He felt that, considering the natural competition between you all, this was the most appropriate method with which to settle the matter."

A challenge? That was… actually interesting, and Beyond shared intrigued glances with his brothers, curious despite himself. Perhaps their father had known them better than they had thought.

"And… this challenge is?" Beyond spoke on behalf of them all.

Watari let out a deep sigh, suddenly seeming much older than his eighty-six years. Beyond leaned forward, more curious than ever as to what could possibly weigh so heavily on his uncle. What exactly was the challenge his father had requested?

"The challenge… is a race of sorts, if you will. But rather than a race to a fixed point, it is a race to retrieve a specific item, with the first heir of the Wammy line to come in contact with said item as the victor."

"So, what's the item?" It was Mello who spoke this time, his too loud voice grating on Beyond's nerves.

Hesitating, the old man finally reached into his tunic, pulling out…

…a notebook?!

"That's it?!" Mello cried, indignant at the unimpressive picture before him. But something was up. There was a dark air around the man holding the seemingly innocuous item that seemed out of place. What was the cause of such emotion?

What exactly was that notebook anyway?

"I would not expect you to understand the significance of what I hold in my hand." Watari spoke tersely, almost angrily at Mello's apparent dismissal of the object. "After all, this notebook was found and hidden long before you were ever born, and cost more than you could ever imagine."

Wait. He couldn't mean… that small notebook was…?

"Yes, what you see before you is known in legends as a Death Note."

Sudden silence fell upon the room, as the brothers regarded the notebook with a great deal more respect, and perhaps small amount of fear. A Death Note? Here?

"You're probably wondering how what was once the Kiras most devastating weapon came to be in your fathers hands. I can honestly say I do not know, as it is a tale that he took with him to his grave a short while ago. However, I can safely say that this is the last Death Note in existence, with all the others having been burnt in the Last Kira War. It is only a pity that Kiras themselves are not so easy to destroy."

Indeed, Beyond thought. While their main method of killing had been successfully destroyed, the Death Notes becoming a weapon of legends, the Kiras themselves lived on. They had developed new ways to cause destruction and death, the unnatural spell casters. Especially the Three of the Kingdom. But even thinking of them was said to be bad luck, and they were not a topic any wished to dwell upon in any case. But that a Death Note still existed was….

And the implications hit him. They would be racing for the Death Note?

Suddenly he understood Watari's disposition. That the murder weapon would be out of the protection the Wammy House offered was disturbing at the very least, disastrous in the worst. Beyond might have been excited for the opportunity to own a Death Note himself, had it not long been known that Kiras were the only being who could actually use the notes. Which only made the idea of one getting their hands on it even more of a disaster….

He could see his thoughts echoed in his brothers' faces, each regarding the note with a sort of nervous tension. Not even Near was able to clear all the strain of the situation from his features.

"Okay…" Matt began slowly, obviously hesitant. "But, if you don't mind me asking, er, how do I word this…."

"How is it going to get outside these walls and to a separate location without anyone else knowing of its existence?" Watari asked the question for him, sounding tired.

"Yeah."

"A little known fact about the Death Notes is that they are not a single package deal, if you don't mind the metaphor. They always come with their own companion."

"Pardon?" What the hell was the old man talking about?

"Ryuk? Yes? …Oh, so they have to touch the Death Note first. …Yes, that makes sense. …I was wondering why they didn't acknowledge- hm? …Well, thank you for explaining."

…Was the old man talking to air? What the fuck was going on?

Watari turned to face them once more. "If I might ask you all to come and touch the Death Note for a moment, and to please not scream?"

Those were some pretty vague and odd requests. However, the brothers stood up as one, all of them moving forward. Four hands hovered above the surface of the Death Note, before they finally fell one by one to rest lightly on the black cover.

In respect to Watari's request, none of them screamed. Likely because they were too shocked to do anything but gape at the creature hovering to Watari's left.

A large, grimace-like smile stretched out over a pale, deformed face. Wings as black as midnight grew out the back of a body too long and gangly to be human, clothed in black leather from head to foot. Slow, rolling 'Hyuks' emerged from the wide mouth of the monster, as it seemed to take great amusement in their animated expressions.

"Might I introduce Ryuk. He is the Shinigami attached to this particular notebook. He has informed me that a Shinigami is a standard companion for anyone possessing the notebook, indeed, they were the original owners of the Death Notes before the Kiras somehow got a hold of them."

"Hyuk hyuk… nice to meet you, humans."

None of the brothers replied, still trying to come to terms with the existence of such a mons- no, a Shinigami. A companion of the Kiras. A God of Death.

"Ryuk will be assisting us in the placing of the notebook. As I understand it," Watari glanced at Ryuk for confirmation before continuing. "Ryuk has the ability to drop the notebook from the Shinigami realm. This will make the race that much more difficult, you understand, as from this the book could literally end up anywhere. However, Ryuk has assured us that it will not be lost forever. But this will leave you no leads or clues as to its whereabouts to follow, and is the only way to truly begin the race on equal grounds."

Watari was quiet for a moment before continuing. "I will have you know that I was totally against this idea from its conception, but it is your father's wish that the heir be chosen in a unbiased manner. But it is also a challenge among your intellect and skills, so that he will rest assured that the winner will be worthy of his title. However, as relevant as this challenge is, it is equally dangerous, with devastating risks being taken during its prolonged continuation."

"I daresay I need not emphasize the importance of haste in the retrieval of this notebook, as I'm sure that you will all do your best to find it in the most timely manner possible. But, I must also implore you…" Watari let his voice grow forceful, his expression dark. "If there is ever so much of a shadow of a chance of a Kira gaining possession of this notebook, I expect you all to set aside this competition and work together to prevent such a grave event. The consequences of this notebook in the wrong hands could be…." He let his voice taper off, his face saying all they need to know.

Their world might not survive another Kira War, if the enemy once again had possession of even one of their most powerful weapon. The bother's knew this, and no matter how selfish they were….

It wasn't exactly worth having the title if there wasn't anything left to rule over.

"Now…" Watari handed the notebook to Ryuk, and with a large flap of black wings, he was out the window, soaring into the sky.

"Let the race begin."


Ryuk wasn't really in a hurry to drop his notebook back into the human realm now that it was finally in his possession once more, but a deal was a deal. And he had already eaten all the apples they had given to him, so he supposed he had to hold up his end of the bargain.

He just hoped that whoever picked up this notebook would be interesting enough company, at least until one of those so called 'heirs' came and took the blasted thing. Really, he wasn't interested in following them around, they were probably just as boring as their old man, if not more so. Being a leader wasn't really all it was cracked up to be. All the boring audiences, with the petty troubles and the endless paperwork… so boring it made his ears bleed.

Ryuk shook his head, resigned. He'd have to drop it eventually, may as well get it over with. Tossing it out into space, he watched as it fell toward the Earth. But his eyes went wide when he noticed that it wasn't just Earth it was falling toward.

Was that a star?

Ryuk watched as the note continued to fall, finally collided with the star, making him wince, and promptly…

…kept falling, the star tumbling down towards the Earth right along with it.

Uh-oh…

Ryuk did NOT like this. He couldn't even remember the last time a star had fallen to Earth, but he instinctively knew that it had not ended pretty. He wondered if he was going to be in trouble for this. Looking back into the night sky, he tried to decide whether the star he had hit was that important.

It would just be his luck to hit the evening star, the brightest in the night sky, wouldn't it?

…Maybe… nobody would notice?


Ryuuzaki sat on the roof of his- well, actually Roger's- house, swinging his legs back and forth idly. He knew he shouldn't be out here, it was getting late, but if he had to be inside that room for so much as a second longer, he would go insane.

Let it be known that Ryuuzaki hated three things in this world above all else. That was, children, idiots, and attractive women. Especially attractive women who knew they were attractive.

Which made Wedy all the more annoying. Ryuuzaki didn't particularly care how attractive the woman was, or that she was pretty smart. Her intelligence was nothing compared to Ryuuzaki's, and he had made it perfectly clear that he was attracted to traits other than the body.

But the damn woman just wouldn't give up, which made Ryuuzaki mad, and Ryuuzaki just wouldn't give in, which made Wedy mad. And to add more distress to the situation, Wedy liked Ryuuzaki, which made Aiber mad. Since Aiber had been going after Wedy since the age of six.

But he refused to think about all that. Those sort of thoughts were exactly the sort of thing he had come out here to avoid. Now was a time for him to relax, let his mind wander, and think very non-female-harpy thoughts….

Ryuuzaki's wide eyed gaze was riveted on the sky, stars reflecting in their dark depths when it happened. There was a brilliant flash, and Ryuuzaki sat, watching with wide eyes as the evening star flickered, suddenly shooting across the sky and falling towards the Earth.

"What the…"

That shouldn't have been possible, his mind told him. Even if the star were to suddenly decide to up and leave its home, there was no way it could have made it to Earth so quickly, being millions of billions of miles away….

Ryuuzaki was snapped out of his musings as raised voices rang from inside the house, one belonging to Wedy, and the other to someone even less welcome within his home. Ryuuzaki allowed a grumpy look to steal across his face as he dug in his pocket, looking for a piece of candy. Candy managed to cheer him up a little.

However, as he pulled out his hand once more, he found it occupied only by brightly colored wrappers. Today must have been a particularly annoying day, Ryuuzaki reflected, if he had needed this much comfort to get through it with his sanity….

When the voices began to escalate, he decided it was time to go down and sort this mess out, candy or no. He wondered how it was possible for those two to feel so comfortable fighting in the middle of someone else's home, especially when they had never been invited into said home in the first place. Must be out of practice, since they did it often enough. About twice a day, and still, no results.

He should probably comment on the lack of efficiency in solving the problem in a satisfying manner.

Standing up in his usual slouch, he walked to the edge of the roof, swinging over the edge and into the open window just below. Landing lightly in a crouch, he observed that he had managed to startle his uninvited (and unwanted) guests.

At least they shut up when they were surprised.

"If I may interject on this conversation…" Ryuuzaki began, biting his thumb gently and staring at the ceiling. "Why are you two in my house?"

The two recovered at Ryuuzaki's question, Aiber's lips pursing into a hard line of distaste while Wedy's spread into an indulgent smile. Ryuuzaki resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

"Ah, Ryuuzaki! How nice of you to come down, I was worried you'd be up there all night…" Ryuuzaki really hated it when Wedy acted this sweet to him, like she wasn't a conniving little thief. He wasn't just saying that to be mean either, as he was pretty sure he saw some of Roger's good silverware sticking out of her apron pocket. He frowned.

"That hardly answers my question."

"There's no reason to get short with me, Ryuuzaki."

"Besides the fact that you invited yourself and your shadow into my house, only to start a shouting match and disturb my quiet time?"

"Yes, besides that Ryuuzaki." Aiber snapped irritably, his lips curled in a small sneer. Ryuuzaki met his stare without so much as flicking an eyelash, a true feat within the small town. There were very few people that Aiber could not charm or intimidate with his good looks and fast tongue. Ryuuzaki happened to be one of them. Add that to the fact that Wedy was after him, and it wasn't hard to see why Aiber harbored such resentment toward him.

Not that Ryuuzaki really cared either way. It was just annoying when the man had to get involved in his business was all.

Aiber finally broke the eye contact, uncomfortable under Ryuuzaki's discomfiting gaze. He wasn't sure why, but his eyes seemed to throw a lot of people off. Nobody could ever look at them when they were talking to him, and he had been told once that one could feel his gaze on them, that it felt like something crawling over their skin almost. He hadn't been too thrilled with the unpleasant comparison, but most of the time refrained from staring at anyone for too long anyway.

Aiber turned to Wedy, attempting to make up for lost ground by completely ignoring his existence. Ryuuzaki allowed it, since all he wanted was to be left alone anyway. He really had nothing against Aiber, and was actually rooting for him as far as bagging Wedy went. Get the bitch of his back, by all means. He couldn't tell if Aiber knew this or not, though he made it perfectly clear to everyone that Wedy was the last thing he wanted in this world.

Hell, that probably pissed Aiber off too, now that he thought about it. Made him seem a bit arrogant, he supposed, like he thought Wedy wasn't good enough or something….

Not that he had ever denied it.

He only tuned back in when Aiber worked up the nerve to speak.

"I just don't get it Wedy. What the hell do you see in this slob?!"

Wedy huffed indignantly while Ryuuzaki took a quick look around the room, just to see if he could spot some candy. Slob? He'd heard worse, and he wasn't exactly going to deny that either….

"Really, Aiber! Ryuuzaki's got plenty to offer-"

"Oh please, such as?! He doesn't even have his own home, living off of Roger's kindness like some bum! All he has to his name is a chain and a bloody apple blossom, not to mention the fact that he's a reclusive freak from the other side!"

Wedy was taken aback at Aiber's outburst, her mouth opening and closing a few times as she tried to find something to say in Ryuuzaki's defense. Coming up blank, she turned to him with a glare, hands planted firmly on her shapely hips. "Aren't you going to say anything to defend yourself?! Well?!"

Ryuuzaki blinked. "No. It's not like anything he said wasn't true." Indeed, Ryuuzaki was from the other side, as Roger had explained many a time. He had been given to him to care for, along with a mysterious silver chain and an apple blossom that never wilted. All that he had to his name. "Besides, unlike you, I am not ashamed of these facts. Therefore…" Ryuzaki hopped into a chair, pulling his knees up to his chest. "I feel no need to defend them."

Uh-oh. He must have said something wrong, because now she looked angry. He had no warning before she slapped him, whipping his head to the side with the force of her open-palmed blow and storming out afterwards, nose in the air.

Ryuuzaki slowly turned his head back, looking at the door for a few long moments. "Ouch."

"I don't understand you."

Ryuuzaki regarded Aiber steadily. "That's not so hard to believe."

Aiber clenched his jaw before continuing. "You have a beautiful woman practically panting for you to so much as look in her direction-"

"Ah, yes. I find that rather unattractive, to be completely honest. Not that I'm attracted to physical attributes, in any case."

"It's not just that! Everyone knows you're a bloody genius-" Aiber spat out the word like a curse. "And yet you are perfectly content to live off of Roger like some bloody fool-"

"I do not feel the slightest need to prove myself to anyone, and am content in my current living environment. What more do I need?"

"Did you ever think that you might be a burden to the old man? Huh? Having to take care of you like some sort of child, day in and day out, dealing with your spoiled little demands while he goes out and works every day, despite his age? Ever think of that?"

Ryuuzaki frowned, because yes, he had considered such a thing. And he was rather grateful to Roger for all he had done for him, though not terribly attached to the man. He supposed he did owe him something though… Ryuuzaki just wasn't particularly inclined to do any work.

Though it could almost be considered work, having to constantly listen to other people whine about him all day… but he had perfected the image of not caring.

Probably because he didn't.

Aiber's ranting once again penetrated the recesses of his brain, and he realized (not terribly surprised), that Aiber had never stopped ranting through his little tune out. Thankfully, he hadn't noticed that Ryuuzaki wasn't exactly listening. That would undoubtedly lead to more ranting.

And he was pretty sure that there was a limit to how much ranting one person could take and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"-and I bet you're not even planning to pay him back anytime soon, if ever!" Aiber finally quieted, panting, the tirade apparently taking a lot out of him. Upon further examination of what parts had actually made it through his thick scull, Ryuuzaki came to the conclusion that Aiber was still on the Roger subject. That reminded him, how was he going to pay Roger back? Probably owed him the price of the moon by now….

Ryuuzaki's eyes went wide. Or maybe… the price of a star….

Ryuuzaki rose to his feet quickly, eager to explore this idea while it was fresh, and before he thought better of it. Walking over to a chest in the corner, he opened the top drawer, quickly pulling out his two most dear possessions - his chain and blossom - and unceremoniously shoving them in his pockets. Turning back, he walked towards, by, and away from Aiber, seemingly not noticing his continued presence.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?"

Ryuuzaki paused at the doorway, looking back. Aiber was standing there, face uncharacteristically red and fists clenched, doing his best to stay in control. Ryuuzaki almost felt bad. So he decided to throw the man a bone, so to speak.

"I'm going star hunting. I might be gone for quite a while, to tell you the truth." Ryuuzaki brought his thumb to his mouth, biting down on it carefully. "Feel free to take Wedy while I'm gone, I would not want her to be lonely. Oh, and just to tell you…"

Ryuuzaki shuffled a foot, almost embarrassed that he of all people was giving romantic advice to Aiber, the most popular flirt in town. "Perhaps what Ms. Wedy is after in a man is a challenge. Maybe if you no longer have interest in her, it would cause her to develop some feelings for you?"

Ryuuzaki turned back to the doorway. "But this is only a theory made from biased observation. Please do not take it too seriously." And with that, he walked out the door, not bothering to look back and see the expression on Aiber's face. Recalling what direction the star had fallen in, he quickly set a moderate pace, willing to walk for a few days to find it. After all, a star of all things should pay off his debt, and he would finally have some thinking time to himself.

It wasn't until he spotted the endless wall, with Roger sitting guard at the breach that he realized it. If he wanted to find that star…

…he would have to go to the other side.

Provided he could make it past his old man, that is.


Raito was not happy, oh no, he was not happy at all.

It had just been one of those days, he decided. He was sitting around, minding his own business, thinking about having a chat with his sister Sayu when - BOOM - something had hit him at what felt like at least a hundred miles an hour, and the next thing he knew he was falling through the sky, and the Earth just kept getting closer and closer and…

Well, he didn't want to remember the details of is rather violent introduction to the ground, preferring to move on with life.

And, true to Raito form, when he said move on with life, he actually meant lay back on the ground and pout like a five-year-old. He could practically hear Sayu mocking him now. But he couldn't, because he was on Earth, and there was no way even a loudmouth like Sayu could yell all the way down here.

Sulking, Raito let one cheek fall against the ground, his eyes settling on nothing in particular… until a slash of black caught his eye.

Raito blinked. And blinked again. And once more just because he was that cute.

Was that what had hit him?

Rolling over onto his stomach, Raito reached out a hand, snatching up the… notebook, it seemed.

Well, this was just… insulting. Who the hell got knocked out of the sky by a bloody notebook? WHO!? And what was the bloody thing doing hurling through space like that anyway….

This situation was just too surreal to be true, Raito decided. He must be asleep. That had to be it. And any minute now, he would wake up, and still be drifting endlessly in the sky for all eternity, occasionally glancing down at Earth or having a chat with Sayu to pass the time.

Hey, it was boring, but it was home.

Still, Raito kept the notebook, opening his vibrant white cloak and tucking it into his sash. He frowned, noticing the book was a terrible contrast to the perfect white he was wearing.

But this was a dream, and that wouldn't matter when he woke up, he told himself firmly. Laying down, Raito stared up at the starry sky, a sky… that it seemed he was no longer a part of.

But that was okay, he was only dreaming, after all.

Closing his eyes, it only took Raito a few minutes to fall asleep, hands folded demurely on his chest. He was unaware of the lovely picture he made, lying there. Clothed in pure white, possessing the golden beauty all stars possessed, though as the evening star, his was the brightest. Still glowing softly, he illuminated the crater he was lying in, made from the impact of a star falling to Earth. His soft light shone off the stardust that covered the area around him, creating an almost surreal landscape most could only hope to find in their dreams.

His glow drew animals, plants, spirits, all the beings that wished to bathe in his radiance.

But more than that, it drew eyes.

For it had been centuries since a star had fallen to Earth. And though nobody knew how the star's story had ended, they all agreed that it was a dark day indeed, when the light of a star was snuffed out.


A/N: Wowza... finally done! TT TT But you know what they say, the first chapter is always the hardest. Actually... I don't know if they say that, but that's what I say. So there.

Anyway, in case you couldn't tell (or didn't read the summary) this fic is based off the movie stardust. With my baby Raito as the star, of course! XD Tell me whatcha think, even if whatcha think is that this is the lamest idea for a Deathnote fic ever, cause I haven't done a parody before, even if its not making fun of the movie it's based off of. So yeah, I don't know.

Anyway, I'm almost done with the next chapter of This Black Lamb, and the first chapter of another fic called Singing Through The Silence. I'm working on Valiant (it's going slowly but surely), and on the off chance anybody is reading my Saiyuki fic, I'm working on the next chapter, please be patient. Every chapter of that fic is long enough to be its own story. Sigh...

As always, reviews are SUPER-SPECIAL-AWESOME AND I LOVE REVIEWERS FOREVER AND ALWAYS! - but it's not like I'm gonna stop writing if I don't get them. So, feel free to review or be a lazy jerk. ...wow, that was rather harsh of me. Sorry, I'm in a weird mood right now.

ONE AGAIN, SUPER BIG THANKS TO NILAHXAPIEL FOR BEING THE MOST AMAZING BETA IN THE UNIVERSE! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

And yeah, that's it for now. Hope you enjoyed it! X3