Just a quickie – for sbyamibakura. Happy Birthday! :)
I realised I don't know what time zone you're in, so I'll take the shotgun approach and spread the three chapters through the day :)
The whole phone/fall routine at the start is by way of an homage to Hari-Aisu, whose stories constantly make me laugh and – certainly not cry! Maybe sniff a little, but that's only because, uh, the weather's cold! XD
Thanks very much to recipe for insanity for beta reading this for me :)
SPOILERS: there aren't any.
DISCLAIMER: Death Note and its characters are not mine. Now if I was going to cry, this is the point! XD
I can't seem to face up to the facts – I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax –
I can't sleep, 'cause my bed's on fire – don't touch me, I'm a real live wire –
Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est – F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-far better – Run, run, run run, run, run, run, run away –
"Where's my fucking phone!"
The auburn-haired young man leaned across his desk to grab the offending cell phone, reached too far and slipped from his seat with a yelp of pain.
"What!" he growled into the instrument as he held it to his ear, his other hand rubbing his bruised behind.
"Darling!" the voice on the other end did nothing to calm the cinnamon-haired man's mood.
"What do you want, Mikami, I'm working!" he muttered angrily.
"I wondered if you were free to go to a benefit with me tonight, Raito, my dear?" the voice cooed at him.
"What!" Raito said. "I thought you wanted to go spring a surprise interview on this mysterious author of yours tonight, Mikami? I thought that was why I was doing all this damn research to find out where she's staying?"
"Where he's staying, you mean, Raito," Mikami contradicted. "I'm absolutely convinced that Lois Lexington is a man."
"Whatever," Raito said dismissively. "Anyway, I think I've found her. Him."
"That's wonderful, Raito, but it's going to have to wait. My editor wants me to go to this junket and I have to attend – I thought you might enjoy a night out. And then, perhaps later – tonight could be the night, ne?"
"I have a headache," Raito said, without even thinking about it. "I'm going to have an early night. Some investigative journalist you are, anyway, I do all this spying and hacking for you and then you don't even follow up on it!"
"I will follow up on it, Raito!" Mikami said, plaintively. "Just not tonight – and Raito, you have another headache? Perhaps you should see a doctor or an optician? How can we finally consummate our love when you always have a headache?"
"We can't," Raito said. "What a shame. Listen, Mikami, I'll see you tomorrow for lunch. I have to go now, there's someone at the door."
He cut the man's next sentence off and sighed. Damn him. Always wanting to have sex with me. Why does he always want to have sex with me? Oh, yes. He's my boyfriend. Well, I suppose I'll have to sooner or later, before he decides I have a brain tumour with all these headaches. I'm not going to find anyone better, am I? Maybe I should be grateful to have found somebody bearable. Most of the time, anyway.
He turned back to the computer he'd been working at and studied the details on the screen. What a waste of time – and it had taken a few hours to track down the mysterious author who was apparently in Tokyo discussing some kind of movie deal for one of her more popular books.
"I could do this," Raito muttered to himself. "I could just do it myself. Take some pictures of this guy – if he is a guy – and get him to tell me about himself. After all, if he's pretending to be a woman and writing romance novels with heaving bosoms and thrusting members on every page, there's a good possibility he's gay. So he might be quite pleased to see me turning up at his door!"
Raito debated with himself, toying with the Olympus camera, then putting it down and deciding to go with the Canon. He slung it over his shoulder, then picked up a brown paper package he'd created shortly before. On his way out of the door, he checked himself in the hallway mirror for the last time. He'd chosen to wear black pants – tight; a black t-shirt – tighter and just short enough to reveal a flash of skin if he stretched; and over it all, an open sheer white cotton shirt that fluttered enticingly in the cool evening breeze as he left his apartment, grabbing an umbrella on the way out. Rainy season was darkening the Tokyo sky and he didn't want to arrive at his destination dripping wet with a ruined camera. He jangled slightly as he walked, due to the excess of bangles he'd slid onto one arm and the rather blingy neckchain he was also wearing. Fortunately, what he considered his crowning glory of tacky gay on-offerdom was silent, this being a sparkling bellybutton jewel he'd affixed to himself with eyelash glue.
It was a short subway ride to the Grand Hyatt hotel where he'd discovered the elusive author to be staying. Slipping into the reception area after a noisy crowd of tourists, he made straight for the elevators, strolling across the crowded lobby as if he belonged there. He pressed for the penthouse and waited, leaning against the wall of the elevator, a little nervous now, rehearsing his script. Pulled a cap out of his back pocket and put it on. Made sure he could grab the camera quickly.
On the top floor, he paused. Took a deep breath and headed for the door. Knocked.
"Who is it?" A voice said after a few moments. A low, pleasant, definitely male voice.
Raito smiled. Got you!
"Parcel," he said, making his voice sound as bored as all the postal employees he'd ever met.
"For whom?" the voice enquired.
"Huh?" Raito wasn't about to be caught out that way. "Dunno. Can't read it. The rain got on it."
"Just a moment." The door opened a crack. "Pass it through."
"Huh?" Raito grinned, quite pleased with his impression of a half-wit. "Here it comes, then." He poked the edge of the parcel through the small space, bringing his camera up with the other hand. He should be reaching for it now – here we go!
Dropping the parcel, Raito flung his full weight at the door, bursting through it into the luxurious hotel room beyond. A cry of dismay came from behind him as he staggered half-way across the room, then he spun around, bringing the camera up to his face and pressing the shutter release. Backed up, still snapping pictures of the alarmed man who was just moving away from the door.
"What the hell?" the man expostulated. Then went into action.
Raito might have dramatized the moment by saying he never knew what hit him, but in fact, he knew quite well what hit him. A precisely aimed naked foot that took him in his midsection, driving all the air from his lungs and propelling him backwards across the room. He had time to think this was what flying must feel like, before his head collided forcibly with something and he became temporarily unaware of anything apart from vague noises and movements.
He came to himself gradually, finding himself lying on something soft. Tried to reach his hand up to comfort his aching head, but discovered that it wouldn't move.
"This is my punishment," he muttered to himself. "For saying I had a headache all those times."
"Why did you say you had a headache?" The soft tones of someone's voice near his ear. A nice voice. Soothing.
"Didn't want to sleep with him," Raito told it.
"Really?" The voice took on an acerbic edge. "Judging by your appearance, you wouldn't have much objection to sleeping with anybody who asked you."
"What!" Raito's eyes flew open, found themselves staring into another pair. Huge, dark eyes that fixed him with an intent and not too friendly stare.
"Uh –" the young man struggled to sit up on the couch he now lay upon, then realised why he was having difficulty. He stared down at his hands in disbelief.
"What – why – you handcuffed me?" he exclaimed.
"I most certainly did." The owner of the voice, which Raito had now decided was not pleasing at all, leaned closer, staring into the young man's face. "Who do you work for?"
"Pardon?" Raito stared back into the pallid face so near to his own, noticing the black rings around the man's eyes that spoke of many sleepless nights. "You look like a bush baby," he decided, his mind still not completely focused.
"Don't prevaricate." The man got to his feet and Raito stared up at his captor, taking in the shock of messy black hair, the baggy, shapeless white top and the jeans that looked as though they'd seen better days but not for a very long time. He looked young but there was something about him that said that wouldn't make any difference.
"I want to know who you work for," the man said, and now there was an edge of menace to his voice. "I suggest you tell me without my having to resort to persuading you in any way. You might not appreciate my methods."
Raito shrank back against the cushions, realising with a jolt of horror at this point that his legs were also shackled, effectively immobilising him completely. "I – I don't work for anybody," he assured the stranger. "I mean, not yet. But I'm joining the NPA in two weeks, so you don't want to do anything you might regret! I'm practically a police officer!"
"I don't believe you." The black-haired man bent over Raito. "Why would the NPA send someone to take photos of me? That's not in their interest, or mine."
"What?" Raito's mind was finally picking itself up off the tracks and making its limping way toward the station. Who was this man? Surely some author of romance novels didn't need to be so paranoid? Or to even consider that the police might conceivably send someone to investigate her. Or him. Was his captor a criminal of some kind? Had he perhaps – murdered Lois Lexington?
"I'm waiting." The pale man's hand was on Raito's shoulder, shaking it as if he thought the boy had passed out.
"It's hard to think," Raito murmured. "My head – may I have some water, please?"
He expected the man to refuse, but instead he disappeared for a moment, coming back to raise Raito gently from the couch and help him drink from a glass.
"Now," he went on when this was done. "Tell me who sent you."
"I don't know why you think the NPA wouldn't be interested in you," Raito said, fishing for information. "Why wouldn't they want to know what you look like?"
"Stop fishing for information and tell me the truth."
"I'm a journalist." Raito half-lied. "In my spare time."
"Are you hoping to expose me?"
"Uh –" Raito couldn't help finding that rather suggestive, especially since the strange-looking man was still sitting very close to him and apparently inspecting his belly-button adornment with great interest. He decided not to answer.
"Very well, I'm going to search you," the man said, lifting his head to stare at Raito's face. "If you refuse to confide in me, I will find my own answers. I suggest you keep still, otherwise I will be forced to hurt you."
"Urk!" Raito said in what he was ashamed to admit was a very undignified manner as the man produced a taser from somewhere and waved it in his face. "I'm not moving!" Raito assured him.
Raito screwed his eyes shut, determined to put up with the search. It wasn't as bad as he expected, the man's hands running gently and expertly over his legs and torso, down his arms, up inside his –
"Hey!" he burst out. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Searching you," the man replied. "I thought I told you to behave yourself?"
"But – let go of my pants! Stop that! You pervert!"
"I'm not the one who's dressed like naughty Nancy on a night out," the man said, dryly.
"These are my undercover clothes."
"I should imagine you end up under the covers quite regularly, wearing those."
"Are you suggesting I'm promiscuous?" Raito demanded, attempting to sit up but finding his captor pushing him back down with little effort.
"I'd say there's a thirty-eight per cent chance."
"You bastard!" Raito yelled as he was systematically stripped and meticulously examined, even his most private areas not being exempt as he found when the touslehaired man rolled him onto his stomach and brought out a latex glove.
Raito shrieked at that, then fell silent, too embarrassed to protest any more.
At last, he found himself turned back to face the other man.
"You have no press card," the pale stranger muttered as he pulled Raito's clothes straight once more. "You have no weapons. So, neither a journalist nor an assassin. Unless you're some kind of unarmed ninja killer, but that's straying too far into the realms of manga fantasy. In any case, the only people I can imagine wanting to assassinate me round here are the Yakuza and you have no tattoos that suggest you are a member of that association. I'd also say there's a ninety-two per cent chance your statement about your lack of promiscuity is true."
"Why?" Raito managed in a weak voice.
"You are blushing and have become less vocal." The man was going through the wallet he'd taken from Raito's pants pocket. "If you were used to being touched and examined in such an intimate way, you wouldn't be so embarrassed. You implied when you were coming round from banging your head, that you have a boyfriend but don't sleep with him. Besides, I can see from your physical condition that you've never had anal sex."
"I might like to be on top!" Raito exclaimed, offended both by the stranger's presumption that he was a uke and by his casual reference to his very intrusive search of the boy's person.
The man looked him up and down, eyes lingering on the navel jewel. "I hardly think so."
"I told you, these clothes are a disguise," Raito said. "I thought if I wore these, you might like the look of me and... want... to..." he fell silent under the other man's quizzical stare.
"I am honored indeed to have such a tempting virgin sacrifice delivered to me," the raven-haired one began.
"Look, there's something wrong here," Raito interrupted quickly. "I don't think you're the person I'm looking for."
"My heart is broken." The man sighed, theatrically, then glanced down at the contents of Raito's wallet. "Tsuki? Is that your name?"
"That's the kanji for my name. But it's Light. Raito."
"Pretty. As I was saying – first, Raito-kun, you offer me sensual delights I have never before experienced. Then you reject me. Is this a ploy by some enemy to drive me mad with despair?"
"Honestly!" Raito was beginning to get irritated with his new acquaintance. "I just told you, I don't think – wait a minute, what do you mean, delights you've never before experienced?"
"I lead a solitary life," the man confessed.
"You're very flirtatious for a misanthrope!"
"It's just a part I play, Raito-kun."
"Well, you're not playing with mine!" Raito huffed, then went on, "I thought you were Lois Lexington. But you're not, are you."
"What!" the man looked surprised for the first time since Raito had met him. "No, I'm most certainly not."
"What is your name, anyway?" Raito asked. "Or at least, something I can call you."
"You can call me Ryuuzaki," the man said absently. "Whatever led you to believe that I was Lois Lexington? Do I look like someone who writes steamy romances for a living?"
"No, not at all," Raito said decidedly.
"Then, why –" Ryuuzaki paused. "Lois Lexington has a habit of letting it leak to the press that she is staying in some room in some hotel that she has, in fact, never been anywhere near. It protects her privacy and also, I think, satisfies her rather malicious sense of humor when the unwitting occupants of the room have a horde of paparazzi descend on them suddenly."
"So you think she picked your room, accidentally?"
"It would seem so – Raito-kun, this means we must leave here quickly, before others follow your example and arrive to interview the supposed Ms Lexington."
"We? We? What the hell do you mean, we?"