Disclaimer- I do not own Death Note. I do however own Noriko, who you'll meet soon.
Hello everyone, whether you're a new reader or someone who is re-reading this. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have been in the process of re-writting/editing this. As of today, November 7, 2009, all 39 chapters of Of Death and Love have been edited and parts re-written. The plot hasn't changed at all, just the verbage.
A light drizzle fell from the cloudy gray sky, covering the stones of the shadowed cemetery in a glossy mist. It looked to be about midday, although the darkened sky made it hard to tell for sure.
A small girl around ten years old stood apart from a group of adults that seemed to be talking in a somewhat unfriendly manner a few yards from her. Her bright green eyes were staring sadly at a stone that was no more than a foot in front of her.
"Daddy," she mumbled longingly, a tear spilling down her pale cheek.
The little girl wore a black dress that fell just below her knees and shiny black shoes. There was a black metal cross hanging on a dark chain around her thin neck, the gems on it sparkling in the mist. Her long dark auburn hair was pulled half up and secured with a silver clip that looked like a butterfly. There was a black umbrella in both of her small hands and as it rested on her shoulder, she idly twirled it around.
The ashes of her father who passed just a week before had moments ago been laid to rest under the stone that had his name carved into it. Next to his name, in red paint was another name, the name of her mother who was one of the adults in the group a few yards away.
'Stupid woman,' the little girl thought sourly as she glanced at her mom who was arguing with her grandmother, her father's mother.
"Noriko," a voice said behind her.
The girl turned quickly and saw a brown haired boy her age approaching her with his parents behind him.
"Light," she called out as she ran towards the young boy. "Mr and Mrs Yagami," she said with a bow before hugging the boy tightly.
"We're sorry about your father, Noriko, he really was a good man," Mr Yagami said.
The little girl sniffled as she released Light and wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand, determined to be strong and not cry in front of everyone.
"Thank you. I really miss him," Noriko replied, her little voice cracking as she fought back the tears.
Her head snapped in the direction the shout had come from to see a slender woman with brown hair and chestnut eyes walking towards her.
"Mother." The little girl's voice held a hatred and bitterness that sounded unnatural in one so young.
"What do you think you're doing, we're leaving. Now!" The woman snapped loudly as she grabbed Noriko's hand and pulled her away from the three people she hadn't even acknowledged.
"Noriko," Light said as he stepped forward before a hand was placed on his shoulder. He turned his young, confused face up to his father's.
"Just leave it be, Light. There's nothing we can do," the man said as he stared after the struggling girl who was being dragged forcefully away from the cemetery by her mother.
"Does she have to live with her mom? She doesn't treat Noriko very nice," Light's voice held the concern of a child for a hurt friend.
"She's still her mother, Light, and she loves Noriko," the woman who stood behind him said with a reassuring smile.
"No she doesn't," Light said quietly, "Not like I do."
Of course he didn't really know what love was yet, but his young heart did love Noriko. She was his best friend, and they had been inseparable since they were toddlers. Their fathers had grown up together and so they wanted their children to grow up together as well.
Noriko struggled to be released from the vice like grip on her hand.
"You're hurting me. Let me go," she complained angrily.
"Shut up. You're such a pest," her mother said back.
Izanami Mori, mother of Noriko Mori, and wife to the late Kiyoshi Mori was what many would call a beautiful woman. She was of average height, slender, with tan skin and the bone structure of a noble. Looks, however, could be deceiving and Noriko knew this all too well.
"I'm a pest," the girl muttered under her breath.
"Unless you want to be punished, I'd shut up," Izanami said while gripping Noriko's hand tighter causing the small girl to cry out in pain.
"Your father isn't around to treat you like a little princess anymore, so you'd better learn your place."
The girl was quiet as she was tossed towards a small car to collide with the passenger door roughly. With one last glance at the friend she had been pulled from, she opened the car door and got inside. The ride to her home was a quiet one as she stared sadly out the window at the coming storm.
Later that night the wind howled and the rain was crashing loudly against her window as the storm raged on. Noriko slept fitfully and tossed and turned in her bed as thunder and lighting lashed through the cold night outside of her bedroom window. A whimper escaped from her as she curled up into a ball and clutched a brown teddy bear under chin.
"Daddy, no, don't go, please."
She awoke with a start as tears began to pour from her green eyes, her father's eyes she had always been told. She sat up in her bed and rocked herself back and forth as she held her knees to her chest and cried softly.
She had been the apple of her father's eye. He had meant the world to her and now some freak car accident had claimed his life.
Kiyoshi Mori had been a good man, he loved his wife and daughter, and would do anything to give them the world. He had spoiled Noriko but also made sure she knew that she couldn't always get what she wanted just because she wanted it. He had taught her the difference between right and wrong, and that it was wrong to judge people without first knowing about their situation in life.
He had met and fallen in love with Izanami when they were teenagers still in high school. She had been a sweet and kind woman then. That changed after Noriko had been born. She suffered from post partem depression and never seemed to get over it. She became jealous of the attention her husband paid to their daughter, and slowly grew to hate the child she had given birth to, as well as the man she had once loved. She had no friends but alcohol and would usually drink herself into a state of unconsciousness every night.
"Your mom isn't feeling well, sweety," her father would say every time or "Mom loves you, she just doesn't know how to show her feelings."
It had been one excuse after another from him. Even as a child, Noriko wasn't naive, she knew the truth. Knew that her own mother despised her very existence and couldn't care less about what happened to her.
Noriko lay back down, huddled under her favorite lavender blanket and cried herself to sleep.
She woke the next morning with red, swollen eyes to the sound of her mother yelling her name.
"Noriko, dammit!" the woman yelled as she threw the bedroom door open, "I'm going to be late, and unless you want to walk to school hurry up and get ready."
"Yes mother," Noriko replied as she obediently slid out of bed and began to put on her school uniform. She had learned it was easier to just do as her mother told her to, instead of pushing her luck, her mother had no qualms about disciplining her.
She hurriedly dressed and grabbed her backpack from her desk, and sprinted to the kitchen. Izanami didn't say a word to her daughter as she walked out of the house and got into her car. Noriko followed and quietly slid into the car.
"You're going to have to walk home, I'll be working," Izanami said as Noriko was getting out of the car that was stopped in front of her school.
She nodded in reply, before shutting the door and turning towards the school buildings.
There was still 30 minutes before class started and not too many students had arrived yet. Not that it really mattered to her, her only real friend had already arrived and was waiting for her near the door to their classroom.
"Hello Light. How are you?" she asked.
"Fine. I guess. What about you?"
She shrugged half heartedly and tried her best to put on a smile but it just didn't work.
"You'll be fine. You still have me," Light said, smiling brightly at her.
"I'm glad. I don't know what I'd do with out you," she replied and smiled a real smile at him.
"I think we should get inside everyone's almost here," Light said as he looked around at all the students milling around the halls.
Noriko nodded and followed after Light receiving many cold and jealous stares from nearly every female student. Even at ten Light Yagami had admirers. She just rolled her at eyes at the girls and took her seat next to him as the bell for class to begin rang.