Disclaimer- I don't own Death Note

Chapter 46

Naivety

October 18, 2009

Noriko bit at her lip as she absently moved herself from side to side, not even realizing she was doing so in the swivel chair she sat in. Her eyes were focused on one of the many television screens on the wall. It was a satellite view of a run down building, a building that looked completely unimportant from the outside. A building that was easily passed by every day, only a few even realizing it was there. The other screens held pictures of other buildings in varying states of decay or grandeur.

"You're sure?" She asked, letting her eyes glide from the screens to Near. "These are the only hideouts?"

The young boy was hunched up on a chair, idly twirling some of his bushy white hair. He frowned at the screen before nodding. "The only ones we can get information on. That doesn't mean there aren't others. I'm actually sure there are others."

The similarities between Near and L were at times uncanny, if she hadn't known any better she would have sworn that the two were related. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she bit her lip again and returned her attention to the television screen. Sighing, she stopped twisting herself from side to side and said, "Yeah, so am I. They're not in any of these places."

Near eyed her curiously. "And how do you know that?"

"Two reasons," she replied. "One, Mello isn't stupid enough to go to a hideout the FBI knows about. Two, the notebook isn't in any of these places. I'm pretty sure I would know if it was."

"How?" Near inquired.

"Long story," she answered evasively. "But I can tell you that right now there are four of the notebooks in the world and two shinigami."

Near momentarily stopped absently twirling his hair and glanced over at her. "Shinigami?"

"Another long story," Noriko said dismissively. "Is there anyway I can get access to current satellite images?"

"What do you want to see?" Near inquired, eyes studying Noriko closely.

She smirked. "Just the United States. You know, all of it."

Near's eyebrows rose.

"How about we start with major cities?" She suggested, rising from her chair. "I'll be in my room, just send the images to my desktop. Or if you can just give me full access to the satellite that would work too... Actually, give L full access, I have no idea how to work a satellite, but he knows everything, including how to put up with me, and he'll show me what I need to see. I'll have to bake a few cakes when I get home, but there are worse things." She shrugged, then realized she had rambled a bit and grinned. "So, satellite?"

Near sighed. "I'll make sure L has access."

"Good, it would be really awkward if I had to have him hack into one. National security and all that," she said, grinning as she walked to the door, her black flats barely making a sound.


October 19, 2009

Near was studying the image on one of the monitors, while also glancing at the exact location on another. The image was of an old, no longer in use factory that was in Los Angeles, California.

"How close can you get me?" Noriko asked.

Near turned to look back at her curiously. "You want me to get you into a mafia hideout?"

"No," Noriko replied, a slight smirk forming on her lips. "I want you to get me close to one. I'll get myself in." When Near only continued to stare at her, assessing his options and the possible outcomes, she rolled her eyes. "L's wife, remember? I can take care of myself. Or I can call L, offer to bake a cake, and he'll be able to get me out of just about any situation I can't handle."

The white haired boy gave a slight shrug, continuing to twirl a piece of his hair. He glanced at the television again. "Do you want them to know you're coming?"

She chuckled. "Nope, this is going to be a surprise reunion. It'll make kicking Mello's scrawny ass that much more fun."

Even Near couldn't help but to smirk ever so slightly. "I can get you as close as you want, undetected, but how do you know you won't just be shot on the spot?"

"What makes you think I know I won't be shot on the spot?"

"If your life was in danger you wouldn't go, you have too much to lose," Near pointed out.

She nodded in agreement. "I do, and I won't be shot on the spot. There's something there that I can see, but you can't. I can use that to my advantage."

"... You'll be there by tomorrow morning."

"Thanks." She began to turn away, intending to make sure her things were ready to move at a moment's notice, but Near spoke again and she paused.

"You are aware that Light Yagami is in Los Angeles as well, aren't you?"

She was aware, but it was something she was trying not to think about. Light was trying to get the notebook that had been traded for Sayu back, of course he would be in Los Angeles. It made things slightly risky, but Mello was playing a dangerous game and he needed someone to smack some sense into him before he slipped and got himself killed.

"I'm aware," she answered evenly. "It won't be a problem, Light stays behind the scenes, it's easier for him to get others to do his dirty work than to do it himself. He won't go looking for Mello, someone else will. Already is I'm sure. I just need to get to Mello before they do. Now, if you'll excuse me I should pack a bag."


October 20, 2009

She stepped out of the taxi and onto the cracked, dusty sidewalk while pulling a backpack onto one shoulder. Glancing around, she was glad she had chosen to wear a pair of jeans, a worn in pair of black converse and a red pull over sweater. She would have looked completely out of place on the nearly empty street otherwise. Sighing as the taxi drove off, she adjusted the brim of the baseball hat she wore and pulled the hood of her sweater over it, concealing most of her face. There were several security cameras in the area and the last thing she needed was to be seen on one of them should Light and the task force figure out where Mello's current hide out was.

Glancing around to get her bearings, she pulled her phone from her back pocket and pushed a button before holding up to her ear and beginning to walk down the street.

"Did you get it?" She asked when the other line was answered.

"Yes, but I still don't think-"

"L, just give me the number," Noriko cut in.

Her loving husband had not been fond of her plan to find Mello and the men he was working with. She couldn't blame him, they were mafia after all. However, if they wanted Mello and Matt to survive past their teen years then she needed to find them before Light did.

Noriko sighed at the silence that followed her interruption. "L," she said. "I love you, I love Saki, and I will be careful. It would be easier to be careful and not get myself killed walking into a mafia hideout if you give me Mello's number. Please."

L easily rattled off a number to her, before telling her he loved her.

"I love you too," she replied before hanging up the phone and dialing the number L had told her.

"Why hello, beautiful, how are you?"

She rolled her eyes at Matt's greeting. "L already called you?"

"He did indeed," Matt answered, chuckling at the flat tone of her voice. "He was worried about you just walking in here. He was right too, things have been a bit tense with the notebook around."

"Who would have thought that having a notebook that kills people would make things tense?" She retorted dryly. "You meeting me outside?"

"Of course, princess, I'll be right out."

She hung up the phone, continuing to walk around the tall, barb-wire topped chain-link fence that cut off an old factory from the rest of the world. When she turned the corner that would take her to the entrance she began to feel nervous flutters in her stomach. She was about to walk into a world that was very different from the one she was used to. It made her feel a little better that Matt and Mello would be there, she doubted either of them would actually let anything happen to her.

When Matt stepped through the gates, waving her to follow him, she did so without complaint. He still wore a pair goggles she noted, and he had a pair of large headphones resting around his neck. He led her to a tunnel that dipped below the ground level. They were stopped as they neared the tunnel by two men that were dressed far too nicely to actually work at the plant. Matt introduced her, but it wasn't enough to get her out of being patted down and having her bag searched. When nothing was found that would make her a threat, the men let them passed.

"Sorry about that," Matt offered as they made their way down into a parking garage lit by dim yellow light. "Like I said, things have been a bit tense."

"It's fine, it's not like I expected to just be able to waltz right up to the door without raising some suspicion." She looked around as she spoke, studying the garage. "Isn't this place a bit... easy to get trapped in?"

"You would think that, but it's not. There are a lot of hiding places, and tunnels leading into the sewers. Aside from that there is another underground lot, an above ground lot, and both have a good selection of vehicles should we be in need of one. This garage is the main garage, but not the only way out."

"That's good to know actually," she mumbled. If Light were to track them to the factory there was no way that one exit was going to suffice.

"You can take your cap off now, by the way," Matt said, flicking the brim of her hat with a finger. "The cameras down here don't pose a threat, I made sure of it." He gave her a grin and a wink when she glanced over at him.

Brushing her hood back, she pulled the hat from her head and ran her hand through her hair to attempt and give it back some of the shape it had had prior to her putting the hat on. "Do I have hat head?"

Matt laughed, grinning at her as he pushed his goggles up to rest on the top of his shaggy copper colored hair. "You look beautiful, as always." He slung an arm over her shoulders and opened the door for the both of them.

Noriko didn't complain when Matt left his arm around her shoulders, she knew what he was doing by leaving it there and depending upon his status in the group of mafia members he and Mello had begun hanging around it was a smart move. He was basically laying claim to her, she was his, no one else was to mess with her or they'd have to deal with him. Or at least something along those lines.

"Ready?" Matt asked quietly, seriously, as they walked down a brightly lit, well kept hall and towards a heavy wooden door.

She took a deep breath, and nodded. "As ready as I'll ever be to walk into a mafia hideout."

"You'll be fine. Just don't make any sudden movements," he teased.

Punching him playfully in the arm, she mock glared at him. "Can we just go? I'd like a shower and some tea."

Opening the wooden door the two stepped through it and into a room with two couches. Three men were sitting on the couches, bottles of liquor and an ashtray full of crushed cigarette butts on the table in front of them. They had been playing a game of cards, but stopped when they walked in.

Noriko smiled, trying to look much more at ease than she felt with the gaze of three obviously strong, and heavily armed, men on her.

"Guys this is Noriko," Matt informed them. "She's going to be staying with me for awhile."

The men exchanged glances, but nodded grudgingly and went back to their game. When Matt began leading her towards a staircase, she followed, feeling the curious stares of the men following her.

"Relax, beautiful," Matt quietly told her, squeezing her shoulder gently. "I won't let anything happen to you. Neither will Mello even though he might not say so."

"You know you two have some explaining to do later, right?" Noriko asked, giving Matt a pointed look.

The copper haired teen chuckled. "I don't know what you're talking about, lovely lady."

She poked him in the side with her elbow. "No? So Sayu's kidnapping and the deaths of several SPK members had nothing to do with you two? Nothing at all?" She tweaked a brow at him, daring him to lie.

"Oh, that... About that..." He scratched thoughtfully at the side of his head. "It was sort of... necessary." He chuckled again when Noriko glared at him and pulled her closer against his side. "Maybe that was the wrong word."

"You think?" Noriko retorted blandly.

"Mello goes about things in a very direct manner, as I'm sure you've noticed," Matt said, earning a snort of agreement from Noriko. "Besides.. It did get us the notebook."

"It got you guys a lot more than that," Noriko replied, giving him a look that said they had a lot to talk about, but now wasn't the time to do it. They were approaching another room and Noriko could hear people talking, smell the stench of fresh and stale cigarette smoke that was mingling with the pungent aroma of liquor and cheap cologne.

Just as in the room below conversation dwindled when everyone laid on eyes on Noriko. She was new, unknown, and that made her a sort of rarity. The conversation only dropped away for a matter of seconds before starting back up again, that didn't stop the eyes of everyone from following as Matt led her to the opposite of the room and Mello rose to follow, his usual grumpy scowl Noriko was used to in place.

Noriko cast a glance at the shinigami lingering idly in the back of the room as the passed through, he spotted her and looked very confused by what he saw. He looked about to say something, but Noriko shot him a quick, dark look and momentarily let her ephemeral wings become visible to him. The warning seemed to be enough because the shinigami shut his mouth and skulked into a corner, muttering sulkily to himself.

Mello stalked along behind Noriko and Matt as they made their way down the hall and to a door that Matt opened for them.

Setting her bag down beside Matt's bed, she plopped herself onto the rumpled sheets."Do we have to do this now?" Noriko asked tiredly when Mello stiffly walked in behind her. "I'd really like to clean up, have some food, maybe a drink, and-"

"Why the hell are you here?" Mello growled, crossing his arms stubbornly over his chest as he leaned into the wall across from her.

"Nice to see you too," she grumbled. When Mello continued to scowl at her, she rolled her eyes. "You're an idiot. That's why I'm here."

"Whoa, lets just calm down," Matt interjected, stepping between a very red faced, and angry Mello and a casually innocent looking Noriko.

"Instead of calming down," Noriko said tartly. "Maybe some of us should grow up."

"Ok, not a great way to start the day," Matt cut in before Mello could say anything that would burn even a seasoned sailor's ears. "Why don't we let Noriko get settled for a little while, buddy? Then we can all sit down and have a bite to eat and talk like the mostly civilized adults that we are." He looked between the two, Mello was glaring petulantly and Noriko looked bored while examining her fingernails. "Right, so.. Noriko, you can use my room and my bathroom. I'm one of the lucky few to have a bedroom with a private bath. The bathroom is right through that door. Make yourself at home."

She rose from the bed, grabbing her bag as she did so, before sauntering over to the bathroom and shutting the door behind herself.

Switching his attention to Mello, Matt grinned lopsidedly. "Just remember, Mel, she's here to help."

Mello snorted haughtily. "She's here to spy."

"Maybe she is, but for now lets just attempt to get along. While she's cleaning up why don't we go and find some food?" Matt suggested.

"Whatever," Mello grumbled, pushing himself away from the wall.


Noriko showered in the small, but surprisingly clean bathroom. She had expected Matt's room to be more cluttered than it was. There were electronics and video games here and there in the room, and his bed wasn't made, but those were little details. After showering, she put on the same pair of jeans she had been wearing and a red tank top beneath a black lace top. Brushing her hair, she left it to dry on its own before heading back into the bedroom.

Mello and Matt hadn't returned from whatever they were doing and since she had no desire to venture outside of Matt's room, she laid down on the bed and texted L.

'Thank you for calling Matt. Though I don't think Mello is happy to see me.'

'I don't think Mello is ever happy.'

She laughed at the response. 'You make a valid point, my dear. How is Saki?'

As usual his response took only a few seconds. 'She misses you, but we have discovered that she likes strawberry shortcake. She wants you to make her one when you get home.'

'Is that so? Well, I guess there's no doubt that she's your daughter. If the unruly mop of black hair wasn't enough, her sweet tooth sure is.' She sent the message with a smile on her face.

The next message was a photo of Saki, her black hair forming a thick halo around her head, eating a piece of strawberry cake. She had a few smudges of frosting on her face, and all over her small hands, but she looked perfectly content despite all of that.

It was while she was smiling at the picture that she nodded off to sleep, dreaming happy dreams of home and the loving family that she missed with her whole heart.

When she awoke to the sound of the door slamming harshly, she jolted in the unfamiliar bed and sat upright so quickly that her head spun.

"Was that really necessary, Mel?" Matt sighed.

"Someone needed to wake your little princess up," came the snide reply.

"I thought only civilized adults were invited to our little meeting?" Noriko smiled bitterly in response to Mello's glare.

"I guess that means the both of you should leave," Matt spoke up, earning himself stubborn glares from both Noriko and Mello, he ignored them both before handing Noriko a plate with a sandwich and a handful of chips on it. "I didn't know what to bring you, so I kept it simple."

She took the plate and set it in her lap. "Thank you. It looks great."

"So you're here why?" Mello pressed.

Noriko rolled her eyes while she chewed her first bite of her sandwich, turkey if she wasn't mistaken. "I'm here because Light wants you dead, and the people that Light wants dead tend wind up dead. He's here in L.A. Plus, he's been talking to the president. He's looking for you. If he finds you, you're as good as dead. It'll only be a matter of time, Light knows how to use people to his advantage and he's excellent at it. You may be hidden now, but it won't take him long to find you, because he will certainly find you. I'm here to make sure you stay alive when that happens."

"And how is some scrawny little girl going to keep us alive?" Mello inquired.

She took another bite of her sandwich. "By knocking some damn sense into your thick skull for starters," she muttered, holding a hand over her mouth to cover the fact that she was talking with her mouth mostly full. She swallowed her food before continuing. "Listen, I've had a long couple of days. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I miss my husband and my daughter, and I'm way too close to Light for comfort. You're just going to have to deal with my attitude, with me, if you want to survive. You're a smart kid, Mello, so are you, Matt. Both of you have to realize that this chess match you've started with Light isn't likely to end in your favor." She glanced between the two young men, both had a grim look on their faces, and neither was arguing. "You're too in the dark about just what the Death Notes are, about what they're capable of, and what Light is capable of. I'm more familiar with them, and I'm the only person who can protect you from your own ignorance in those matters. One by telling you what I know, and two by keeping the Death Notes' power from killing you."

"You can keep the Death Notes from killing us?" Matt inquired.

"Lets just say that once upon a time the shinigami used their little notebooks for all of the wrong reasons, a family rose up against them and managed to find ways to protect themselves and others while also learning how to stop the power of the notebooks. I'm not quite on their level, but I can still help keep you two alive so long as I'm with you, or at least close."


October 27, 2009

Her first week with Mello and Matt had past in a haze of video games, fast food, and cigarette smoke. She had told Matt and Mello what she knew of the Death Note, the rules that were fake, the extents that someone could be controlled, at least as far as she was aware. She also explained Light's personality a bit, making sure they understood that they weren't just dealing with a genius with a god-complex, Light had become much more than that, at least in his own mind.

Noriko jolted, nearly dropping the hand held game she was playing when Matt suddenly opened the door, letting it bounce off the wall with a loud bang.

"Time to go, beautiful, we've been discovered," he said, walking straight to the closet with a calm sense of purpose.

She blinked at him. "What?"

"There's a squad of pretty well trained guys trying to storm their way in here. Mello and Sidoh are dealing with it, but we won't be sticking around once they've handled the situation." He pulled out two suitcases that he began stuffing his things into.

For a moment, she rather dumbly watched him before dropping the game system in her hand and standing up and grabbing her hoodie and hat as well as her backpack. She hadn't brought much with her and she was packed within two minutes, Matt was done just a moment after and they made their way out of his room and down the hall in the opposite direction from the main room that was acting as a living room.

A wooden door was slammed open and Noriko followed Matt down a set of steps that were only dimly lit and into a small garage. An old, but well cared for car sat waiting for them. Matt tossed his suitcases in the trunk followed by Noriko's backpack.

Once they were both in the car, Matt in the driver's seat and Noriko in the passenger, they belted themselves in securely. Noriko stuffed her hat onto her head, pulling the hood of the sweater she was wearing over it and adjusting it to hide her face. She noted a spare pair of large sunglasses on the floor of the car and with a shrug she grabbed them and put them on. Couldn't hurt to be overly-cautious.


Matt sat on the floor, playing with his video game while Noriko sat on the bed and read over the day's news on her phone. As she was reading, her phone pinged and a new text message from L appeared. She stared at it for several moments, frowning.

When the door slammed open, causing her to jump, she dropped her phone and sent a glare at Mello as he stomped into the room, shaking dust loose from nearly every surface in the room.

"Everyone is out," Mello said. "I don't know how they found us though."

"That's not the only concern," Noriko added, holding her phone out for them to see. She had quickly pulled up a breaking news report and was holding it out for them to see. "The President of the United States just killed himself."

"So?" Mello asked gruffly.

Noriko sighed. "I told you before that Light has been working with the President, now the President is dead. His usefulness must have run out, and on the same day a group of highly trained officers attempted to find you. Light was using the President, but now the President is dead. Who do you think he's going to get information from now?"

"Near," Matt said.

She shook her head. "This is what I meant about being naïve. Near is one person he can try to use, but we all know Near, and that isn't likely. At least not to the extent Light would like. Where else do you think Light can get information?" The two exchanged looks and Noriko sighed again. "You're little friends are criminals."

Realization seemed to blossom behind both of their eyes.

"If he can get their names-"

"If?" Noriko cut in, giving Matt a sideways glance. "Light has access to whatever Light wants access to. Won't be that hard for him to find names. Not with Misa helping him."

"The eyes," Mello said grimly.

"Exactly. So even if their names have been changed, they'll be able to find their real names. Every one of those guys out there is a trap just waiting to be used. They can't kill you themselves, it's not allowed, but they sure as hell can tell Light where you are, what you're doing, and what your name is if they know it. Or maybe even get a picture and send it. It's not safe here."

"It's not safe anywhere," Mello replied.

"That's true too," Noriko sighed.

"Besides," Mello said, opening the door to make his way back out among the mafia. "I want Kira, if using these guys will get him closer, then I'm fine with that."

November 10, 2009 11:45pm

Noriko sat up suddenly, dropping the book she had been reading as she stared at the door for a moment. Cocking her head as if listening for something and narrowing her eyes slightly, she sat very still for over a minute before scrambling off of the bed and running out of the room. Her feet pounded against the thin carpeting of the hall as she sprinted to the stairs.

"Mel!" She shouted as she reached the top steps.

She had startled everyone, and wound up with several guns pointed in her direction, but she ignored them all as Mello turned to look at her. He was caught off guard by her sudden appearance and how tense she was.

"There's another notebook and shinigami here," she announced. "It's time to go."

"Get to the monitor room," he demanded making his way up the steps.

She didn't move, however, simply stood at the top of the steps and stared down at the group of men that were lounging around the room. Her hands tightened on the railing and her jaw clenched.

"Leave them," Mello said, grabbing her arm and shocking her out of her thoughts. "If you save them all he'll know you were here, won't he?" When she only stared stubbornly at him, he yanked her hard, away from the railing and shoved her down the hall. "Get out of here!"

Noriko wanted to argue, but she knew better. Mello was right, if she saved the lives of the men below she would be shouting her survival to Light, and he would hear it loud and clear. Besides, if she stayed she risked being seen. She didn't know who had the notebook, or if they had the eyes, and she couldn't risk hanging around to find out.

Darting down the hall, she slammed through the door to the monitor room, startling the one, big burly man on watch. He stood up, indignantly yelling and shouting at her as she made her way to the monitors. She didn't even realize she had knocked the man out as she strode passed him.

"Ryuk," she muttered, staring at a screen that showed Sidoh, the shinigami that was attached to the notebook the mafia had in its possession, talking to Ryuk. "So Light is behind this, but who is here?" She tried to fiddle with the cameras to see if she could locate the group that would soon be storming their way inside the house.

For several minutes she saw nothing, just the junk yard-like expanse that surrounded the old, crumbling mansion they had taken residence in. She was beginning to wonder if it was only the shinigami Ryuk that had shown up when she saw the black clad bodies with tinted visors begin to make their way towards the house.

The door opened again and Mello ran inside, slamming and bolting the door shut.

"Any bright ideas?" Noriko asked.

"Call Matt," Mello replied over the chocolate bar that he had taken between his teeth as he started punching buttons on the keyboards set up in front of the monitors. "Tell him not to come back. We'll meet up with him later."

She wasted no time pulling her phone out of her pocket and dialing Matt, the conversation was quick and to the point. "I told him we'd call him when we were in the clear." Noriko said, glancing at the monitors and the group of police agents making their way through the house. "Put this on," Noriko demanded, removing her necklace and holding it out to Mello. He gave her an incredulous, haughty look and tried to ignore her. She grabbed his arm and turned him towards her. "Put. It. On."

"It's just a stupid necklace," Mello argued, pushing her away.

"It's a stupid necklace that hides your name from the shinigami and anyone that has made the deal for the eyes," Noriko growled. "Now put it on!" She thrust the necklace into his hands and glared at him, the look on her face must have been rather frightening, or perhaps pathetic, but either way the blond put the necklace around his neck and clasped it in place.

"Think of any way out of this yet?" Noriko asked, glancing at the thick door behind them as the police reached it and began to pound at it in an attempt to open it.

"Maybe," Mello replied, hovering over the keyboard. "I have a few tricks up my sleeve anyway."

Noriko let out a surprised squeal when several small explosions rocked the foundations of the old house. Dirt and dust and bits of wood shook free of the walls and ceiling and rained down on the floor.

"You're going to want this," Mello said blandly, thrusting a gas mask at her.

She cast a weary look at him, but slid the mask on. It would at least help to hide her face.

"N-Nor-"

A single gunshot cut off the rest of what Soichiro Yagami was saying as he stared at the woman wearing the gas mask, her back to him as she sat stiffly in the single chair near the desk. If he could have seen her face, he would have seen her surprise, her shock. He couldn't of course, but he could see her name as it hovered over her head along with her lifespan.

"Enough talking," Mello growled, lowering the gun he had snatched of the desk drawer on to the desk. "You're not going to use that notebook in your hand, we all know that. So why not just hand it over and no one gets hurt."

"No one gets hurt?" Mr. Yagami repeated. "You've already murdered-"

"No!" Noriko yelled, rising from her chair as the man she had earlier knocked unconscious began to move and reach for his gun. She had thought he was dead and hadn't paid him much attention, she had other things to worry about. Like the fact that Light's father was the owner of a notebook now and he had the shinigami eyes.

The gun shots echoed off the walls, and forced Noriko to cringe backwards to stay out of the way and avoid being hit herself. In the chaos caused by the gunshots, Mello managed to slip on a gas mask of his own while the rest of what they now knew to be the Japanese task force hammered on the door. It wouldn't be standing much longer. The wood was creaking, splintering.

Noriko tried to run for Mr. Yagami, regardless of whether she was supposed to be alive or dead the man was a good man and one she didn't want to see die. However, Mello grabbed her arm just as the door was smashed in, she noted the control in his hand and her eyes widened, but she wasn't given the opportunity to do anything. Mello pulled her into him, shielding part of her body with his own just as the world around them was torn apart by a loud explosion and a flare of sudden, scorching heat.


November 11, 2009 3:47am

Noriko clenched her teeth so tightly together she was surprised they didn't shatter. She cringed away from Matt, the antiseptic he was using to treat the burns to the right side of her face, neck, and arm stung and she was in enough pain as it was.

Mello was in another room of the cheap motel, she had refused to be in the same room with him after spending a few hours in the car with him. Her body ached and the burns she had received were going to leave brutal scars to remind her that he had very nearly killed them both.

Hospitals and doctors were out of the question, and her phone was a mess of molten plastic, there was no way she could currently call for help. She had half a mind to call L or Near and have them arrange for her to be picked up. At least then she could get proper medical attention. However, she knew if she let Mello and Matt out of sight she would have a hell of a time finding them again. She wasn't about to let them out of her sight after the night they had had.

She wasn't angry only at Mello. She was angry at herself, she had forgotten just what Light was capable of. Of the lengths he would go to to get what he wanted. It wasn't only Matt and Mello that had been naïve, it was her. She had thought she could protect Mello and Matt, and while there was a chance that she could protect them from the power of the notebooks, she couldn't protect them from Light. She couldn't protect them from their own choices and decisions, and that was the scariest thing of all.

Not only that, but if Soichiro Yagami really had seen her name, the danger she and the others were in had just grown tenfold. She could only wish that he wouldn't tell Light that he had seen her, but she somehow doubted that would happen.


~A/N~

I've had this mostly finished for awhile, but wasn't sure if I should upload it. At this point, considering how long it's been since I've updated, I thought I should at least get something up... I've lost track of where I was going with several of my ongoing stories, part of what I get for not keeping notes... But I'm hoping that won't stop me from getting this, and a few other stories, finished.

Thank you for all of the support everyone!

Also, I've created a Facebook page which can be looked up by using the name "Rukia Twenty-Three". If anyone is interested please take a look and "like". Thank you much!

Please feed the hungry, neglected review monster if you could. :)