Disclaimer: Death Note is not owned by me. I only own this story and make no profit from this.
Hello everyone! This chapter is, admittedly, quite short. But I hope to post a new one in a few days, to make it up to you.
Also, I would like to know the kind of stuff that you would like to read. Romance, slash, Raito's plots, his schooling, scenes with Matt, Mello and the like, or more of Raito's work as Y? You'll understand more what I mean when you finish reading this chappie. So I'll await for your comments with abated breath! *winks*
Hope you enjoy it!
Warning: explicit slash scene – brief.
February 21, 2001
It was late evening and Raito and Beyond were all alone in the Gymnasium, sparring with each other, their grunts, groans and barbed, mocking bantering echoing in the domed, vast room of padded floors.
Since the beginning of the new school year, Raito had commenced his new language classes –Russian and Spanish- he was also learning the usual forensic and criminology subjects at a more advanced level, and finally, he and his other two classmates –Viviane and Xavier- had been deemed old enough to be more seriously trained in combat and weapons-mastery, for defensive purposes, of course. Students under fifteen were usually taught light- and medium-contact martial arts, such as basic Karate and Twaekwondo. Those who were fifteen and over, were introduced to full-contact mixed martial arts.
During their new 'gym' classes, their sensei, Mr. Morimoto, had started teaching them the joint-locking methods of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo pinning techniques, the swift dancing-like kicks of Capoeira fighting, and the striking techniques of Kickboxing. The mixed martial arts program they followed during their classes had the triple objective of keeping them fit, of teaching them how to defend themselves and of instilling into their minds the codes of honor which came with each type of martial arts. The latter always bored Raito but he had admittedly become more agile, stronger and fitter during the training.
And not only did he truly enjoy himself, but he had discovered, thanks to their sensei, a new fighting skill which was immensely useful to him, given his goals for the future. It was the Krav Maga, a fighting technique developed by the Israelis in the 1940s, and which utterly appealed to his senses. Its attack and defense maneuvers aimed to neutralize the threat and facilitate rapid and safe escape. These include a variety of fast and fluid crippling attacks to vulnerable body parts through various efficient and often brutal strikes; and there was no code of honor to follow.
The improvised use of any available objects was encouraged, along with exploiting the opponent's vulnerabilities to their extreme, using the most natural, quickest reflexes of the body and changing quickly from defensive into offensive techniques, to respond to an attack with overwhelming force in the quickest time possible and often to fatally incapacitate the enemy.
All in all, it was an eclectic hand-to-hand combat system derived from street-fighting skills, which focused on training combatants in conditions approximating real-life scenarios. It was exactly what he needed to excel in, since it would be highly useful to him once he returned to Japan and infiltrated the Red Dragon yakuza organization, using his Kurai persona.
Therefore, Raito had lately invested some of his spare time to train on his own, and often with the help of Beyond, who had two more years of martial arts training under his belt. His classmates were useless to him, in this respect, since Viviane was agile but lacked strength, and Xavier all together disliked any type of physical exertion. Xavier was a typical bookworm and solitary individual who hardly said a word to anyone and who always groaned when they had to undergo their 'gym' classes.
Apart from being taught mixed martial arts, he and his classmates had also been granted permission to learn how to wield weapons –again, under the tacit understanding that it was only taught to them for defensive purposes. The shooting gallery next to the Gymnasium was usual used by the older students of Wammy's House, always under the supervision of an adult. Viviane, Xavier and he had started learning point shooting, which relied on muscle memory to more effectively utilize a firearm in a variety of real-life threatening situations, much the way an iaidoka would master movements with their sword.
The first time that their teacher had handed a blank-firing gun to him, Raito had been barely able to repress a shudder, since his mind had been instantly flooded by the memories of that fatal night in which his family had been murdered. Nevertheless, clenching his teeth, he had forced himself to cock the gun and learn how to aim and shoot properly.
Personally killing someone in cold-blood was highly distasteful to him, but he had accepted the challenge heads-on and he had learned how to shed the last remnants of the noble scruples instilled in him by his father. After all, he needed to learn how to shoot for his plans, and he always reminded himself that he would never become a killer, no matter what he did, since he would only kill those who deserved it. Namely, the Red Dragon yakuzas and the mole, in revenge and also to rid the rotten world from some of its filth. Thus, it wouldn't be killing, but cleansing, in the name of Justice and rightful retribution.
Raito swiftly swerved to a side when Beyond shot a high kick aimed at his head, and he quickly crouched and flung out a leg in a sweeping motion, hitting the older boy's ankles and making him topple to the padded floors.
With a crow of laughter, Beyond jumped to his feet again, true enjoyment painted on his face as he toothily grinned at Raito and launched another attack. Beyond was three years older, thus stronger, taller and more skilled, but Raito was more agile, given his leanly muscled, shorter and thinner body, and he was much more of a fast-thinker than the older boy. Beyond depended on his greater strength, and Raito always counteracted by using against him the force the other boy employed in his strikes.
Thus, when Beyond aimed a solid fist to his face, Raito immediately grabbed the boy's arm, swiftly turning around and using the momentum behind the strike to pull Beyond over his back and onto the ground.
Beyond hit the floor with a groan, and Raito immediately lunged forward to incapacitate him in an arm-to-head locking grip. But the older boy counteracted before he could finish, and Beyond's foot kicked him in mid chest, making Raito crash against the wall.
With a grunt, feeling as if all the air had been punched from his lungs, Raito started straightening up. But before he could even blink, Beyond had straddled him, pinning him to the floor with a choke-hold, fingers wrapped around Raito's throat.
"Do you finally yield, Light-kun?" said Beyond in a sing-song, crookedly smirking at him.
"To you?" rasped out Raito, narrowing his hazel eyes at him, bucking up, trying to free his arms from underneath his body. "Never."
Beyond let out an amused crow of chortles, and Raito found his irritation growing as he snapped incensed, "You only win because you're older and therefore stronger. Someday soon I'll best you."
"Probably," said Beyond unconcernedly, a mischievous glint sparkling in his crimson-shaded eyes. "But I know other ways to make you yield to me, Light-kun."
He intently gazed at him, his smirk widening as he clenched his thighs against Raito's waist and imprisoned arms, rubbing his lower body against him. Beyond released his throat to part open Raito's gi white top, and kept sinuously moving against him, adding friction between their clothed groins.
"You bastard," hissed Raito through gritted teeth, doing his best to ignore the heat mounting in his body, as he tried to dislodge him. "This is cheating – get off!"
"Cheating?" purred Beyond, cocking his head to a side as he trailed his fingers along Raito's bared chest. "This is me making you yield to me."
Raito scoffed, and completely stilled as he shot him his most contemptuous sneer. "This is you acting like a mutt in heat. That you manage to arouse me doesn't mean that I yield to you."
"Oh, yes it does, it does, it does," sang Beyond delightedly, letting out a gleeful crow of chuckles as he trailed his hand to Raito's gi drawstring pants. "Because I'm the only one who can do this to you, and you looove it."
Before Raito had a chance to bit out a retort, Beyond smashed his lips against his, pushing his tongue inside as he ravenously explored Raito's mouth. In the next second, Raito felt his pants being pulled down, and suddenly Beyond slipped back to straddle his legs. Finally being able to free his arms, Raito was about to shoot a punch and shove the older boy away from him, when he felt Beyond gripping his hips and something warm and wet trailed along his erection.
Raito's eyes widened, and he snapped his head up to glance down at what the other boy was doing. "What-" He gasped and all thoughts flew from his brain as Beyond's lips wrapped around his arousal, the boy's tongue licking and pushing, the lips encompassing and sucking, making waves of pleasure scorch from Raito's groin, expanding to every single fiber in his body.
With a moan, Raito's head landed back on the padded floor and his eyes closed shut with a volition of their own, his fingers sinking into Beyond's silky mass of black, messy hair. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. Beyond and him had done things, of course, but they had never gone this far.
To make matters worse, or better, he couldn't quite think, the older boy seemed to be humming a song and the vibrations made him buck up into that tantalizing, welcoming, hot mouth. Raito's eyes rolled up when Beyond's fingers dug into the smooth flesh of his hips, as the boy sped his action, the head bobbing up and down, the lips tightening around his arousal, the wet, warm mouth taking it all in. Soon, the pleasure heightened to unbearable levels, and Raito's body trembled and bucked as he let out a long, low moan, feeling himself exploding and spilling into the older boy's mouth.
A satisfied, smug chuckle issued from Beyond's lips as he tenderly licked Raito's spent arousal, caressing Raito's heated and blushed cheeks with one hand while he gently tucked him back into his gi pants.
"And now, I've taught you one more thing," said Beyond, sitting up and devilishly grinning at him, as he hummed with contentment whilst licking his lips.
Raito glazed eyes followed every movement of the tip of the boy's tongue trailing along the puffed out lips, still feeling a thrum of lust, desire and pleasure coursing through his body.
"You should reciprocate, Light-kun."
That effectively snapped him out of his daze, and Raito shot straight up, piercing him with narrowed eyes as he said curtly, "If you think I would debase myself by doing that… that demeaning thing, then think again."
"Demeaning?" hissed out Beyond, standing up to face him, narrowing his eyes at him. "You have some very misguided ideas and prejudices if you think that, Ligth-kun. It's not demeaning to do things which gives pleasure to one's partner."
Raito clenched his jaw, and shook his head, while he tied the strings of his pants and fastened his belt around the waist of his gi top. "Look, it's not something I would do, alright? So don't ask it of me."
"I see," said Beyond crisply, tightly grabbing Raito's chin, forcing him to meet his gaze. "And what else won't you do? When we have sex, will you refuse to bottom as well-"
"When?" snapped Raito, wrenching his face free from the boy's grip, angrily narrowing his eyes at him. "You presume too much. We are not 'partners', whatever you believe, and if… if I deign to bed you, take for granted that I will be on top, not you."
Beyond let out a crow of harsh chuckles, before he said mordantly, "Oh, no, it won't work like that, Light-kun. If anything, we'll both take turns. You won't top me if I can't top you."
"I won't ever be the uke!" bit out Raito heatedly. "I have my pride, Beyond!"
"Oh, so I don't?" snarled Beyond, abruptly pushing Raito against the wall, grasping his face again to bore his gaze into his. He frowned, and added softly, "What are you scared of?"
"I'm not scared of anything," spat Raito, aggressively shoving him away to stand up straight, leveling him with a hard gaze. "I simply won't be fucked as if I were a woman. I won't be forced, and I won't be mounted as if I were some bitch, and I'll kill anyone who tries, got it?"
"Forced?" said Beyond quietly, his frown deepening, as he eyed him worriedly. "Who said anything about…" He paused, and intently gazed at him as he whispered softly, "Does this whole fear of yours have anything to do with whatever happened to your family? Was your little sister or your mother rape-"
Raito's hand immediately shot forth, tightly gripping the older boy's throat and squeezing, bringing his face inches away from his, as he hissed out, "Don't you finish that sentence. Don't pry into my life or I'll make you regret it. And I don't have any fears!"
Letting out a sigh, Beyond shook his head, a sad expression crossing his face, as he said in a hoarse, strangled voice, doing nothing to free himself from the grip around his throat, "Why won't you tell me? You can trust me." He pierced him with his eyes, and added with hurt exasperation, "What more do I have to do to convince you of it? I have never told anyone your real name and I would never tell your secrets to a living soul! I only want you to trust me."
Scoffing, Raito released him, taking a step back and quickly forcing himself to gather back his cool, nonchalant composure. He eyed the older boy, and with a mocking smile, he said sweetly, "Trust? I will never trust anyone in my life. So my advice to you is to simply give up."
"I won't," interjected Beyond, gazing at him with wide, unblinking eyes. His expression softened and he trailed his fingertips along Raito's cheek, as he whispered fervently, "You are all I long for, Light-kun. I love you-"
"Please," sneered Raito, shaking his head in snide contempt as he swatted the boy's fingers from his face, "spare me your romantic babblings. You're only humiliating yourself."
Beyond cocked his head to aside, utterly unfazed, a lopsided smile tugging his lips. "Am I, Light-kun? I don't think so. And I don't care whatever hurtful things you say to me because I know you don't mean them. That's the first time I've said that I love you and I'm not ashamed to admit it." His smile turned into an amused, crooked smirk. "I wasn't expecting you to reciprocate, either. I simply wanted you to know."
"Fine," scoffed Raito, rolling his eyes. "Whatever you say."
"You don't believe that I love you?" mumbled Beyond, looking at him confusedly and gauging. Then, his eyes widened and lightened up, as he let out a crow of chuckles. "I do! You must believe me. I love you, I love you, I love you-"
"Alright!" snapped Raito with exasperation, glaring at him. "Just shut up!"
Beyond clamped his mouth close, and toothily grinned at him. "Only if you tell me that you believe me."
"Oh, for heaven's sake," muttered Raito darkly under his breath, carding his finger through his auburn locks of hair.
"Well?" said Beyond quietly, expectantly staring at him with wide eyes.
"Well what?" groused out Raito, shooting him a snide glance. "We've only known each other for a year and I find it very hard to believe that you 'love me'. Besides, even if you do, I couldn't care less. I've always been honest with you in that regard. If you love me, it's your misfortune, not mine."
Beyond's jaw jerkily clenched, and Raito saw the pained hurt flickering in his eyes. And for a flittering moment, he regretted his harsh words, but in the next second he solidly decided that it was indeed the boy's problem. He knew that Beyond was obsessively infatuated with him. What had begun as a game of manipulations had derived into something else for the older boy; he didn't doubt that. But again, it was the boy's problem, not his. He was perfectly satisfied with how things were between them, as long as Beyond didn't press for more.
And of course, as long as the boy didn't insist that there were 'feelings' between them. He couldn't think of anything more pathetic or revolting than that. 'Feelings' and lovey-dovey 'relationships' were for weak-minded people who had the repugnant need to feel loved; it was for lesser beings of limited intellectual capacity, with no ambitions of their own and with nothing better to aim for. It was certainly not something that someone as prodigically brilliant as himself would ever want to consider, and much less experience.
"Why can't you accept-?" whispered Beyond, before he trailed off, slowly shaking his head. "Why must you be so mean to me?" He gazed up at him with large, wide eyes. "Why can't we be together as I want? Why won't you at least allow me to give you pleasure without fighting with me afterwards? And when we have sex…" He shot him a toothy grin. "Because we will, it's only a matter of time before I make you cave in with my unparalleled skills… So when we do, if you say that you don't have any fears, then why won't you at least allow me to take you once, to be on top. Maybe you'll like it, you must at least try-"
"Control," interrupted Raito sharply, leveling him with an impatient scowl, while he fleetingly wondered why, exactly, he was bothering to explain himself to the older boy. "It's a matter of control, Beyond. I won't give another person control over me, whatever shape or form it takes."
A musing frown spread over Beyond's face, before he exclaimed excitedly, "Then I'll find a way in which I can top you without making you feel that you're surrendering control to me!"
Raito made a monumental effort to gather his patience, decided that it was pointless to continue that line of conversation since the boy wouldn't give up –though he would certainly fail- and he grasped the boy's arm and pulled him along as he made his way out of the Gymnasium's facilities.
"It's getting late," he said sternly, "we must get back to the main house." He scrunched his nose, and released Beyond when he approached a small shelf stacked with towels. He hung one around his neck and tossed another to the older boy. "And we need to take a shower before dinner. We smell."
"A shower together?" asked Beyond hopefully, staring at him with wide eyes as he ruffled his messy hair with the small towel.
Raito side-glanced at him, and scoffed, "Of course not, baka."
"I like it when you call me a baka," said Beyond with a chuckle, slouching as he easily caught up with Raito's graceful strides.
"Do you even know what it means?" interjected Raito, shooting him a smirk. "If you knew, you wouldn't like to be called that-"
"Oh, I do know," said Beyond cheerfully. "And I like it because you can only call me that, when we're alone, since I know you're Japanese and all. That's why I like it, because it's exclusively mine. And it's cute."
"Cute?" hissed Raito highly affronted, venomously glaring at him. "It's not 'cute'. And I certainly won't call you a baka again, if that's what you think."
"No, you must!" said Beyond gravely. He toothily grinned at him, and sang joyfully, "Baka, baka, baka… I like it! Baka, baka, baka-"
Halting in mid-step, Raito slapped his hand on Beyond's mouth, glowering at him as he hissed out, "Stop your childish behavior. You know how much it annoys me." He narrowed his eyes at him. "And you always do it on purpose."
He felt a tongue slurping his palm, and he immediately withdrew his hand, knowing that Beyond was seconds from gleefully biting into his skin, as per usual.
With an irritated expression on his face, Raito cleaned his hand with his towel, before he continued on his way towards the school, purposely quickly leaving the other boy behind.
"Will you still call me a baka?" demanded Beyond after him.
"Yes," said Raito tiredly, taking the steps to the school's entrance.
Before he could open the entrance doors, hearing some agitated voices coming from the inside which made him frown, he was halted when Beyond grasped his arm and made him turn around.
"Now what?" said Raito impatiently, glancing down at himself to make sure that his gi outfit was neatly tidy and that everything was in its proper place.
"Look at me," whispered Beyond.
Raito slightly frowned and glanced up, and seeing the older boy intently staring at him, he arched an eyebrow. "Yes?"
"I've been meaning to ask you something," said Beyond quietly, his gaze turning intense as he bore his eyes into his. "I'm turning eighteen this year and I'm graduating on December. I'll be leaving this place and I want you to come with me."
Raito almost gaped at him. But he obviously didn't lose his cool composure, and after a pause of silence, he stared at him and said disdainfully, "You must be joking, Beyond. Why would I ever go with you? I would still have two years to complete before I graduate from Wammy's House-"
"But you don't need to stay for so long," interjected Beyond vehemently, excitingly pulling Raito's arm, bouncing it up and down. "You're the brightest student here, you could study hard in advance and ask to take all the tests sooner and you could graduate by the end of this year-"
"Not even I could cram three years worth of study into one," interrupted Raito, playing along with the boy's proposal just to discern what, exactly, the boy was up to.
"Yes, you could," said Beyond, with a stern nod, "if you used all your spare time for it." His crimson-shade eyes sparkled with enthusiasm, and he added jovially, "Think about it, Light-kun. We could travel all around the world, see places, do whatever you want! I have a load of money in my bank account – I'm rich! And I assure you that we would never want for anything. We could do whatever we wished!"
Arching an eyebrow, Raito said skeptically, "You are rich? How come?"
"I just am," said Beyond, a wide, crooked smirk stretching his lips. "So what do you say?"
"I say that you've lost it," replied Raito nonchalantly, gracefully leaning on the frame of the school's entrance door, stoically gazing at the older boy. "Really, Beyond, what's all this nonsense about-"
"I'm serious," hissed out Beyond, piercing him with a hard gaze. He slouched forward and gently gripped Raito's shoulders to whisper into his ear, "I'm not an idiot, Light-kun. I know you have plans for your future, and I'm telling you that I want to be with you and help you out. I have the money, the resources for it. You think I haven't noticed how you obsessively study the cases taken by not only L and Deneuve, but particularly by Eraldo Coil? Do you think that I don't know that what motivates you is whatever happened to your family, and that it must be somehow related to Coil?"
Raito jerked back, and stared at him with wide eyes. But he quickly pulled himself together, and said calmly, "I don't know what you're talking about-"
"Pretend as much as you like, Light-kun," interjected Beyond, lopsidedly smiling at him. "If you don't want to tell me the whole truth, that's fine. But I can help you. I want to help you! I know you have your plans and I want to be involved, because I don't want to lose you. How much clearer can I be?" He shot him a crooked smirk, and added in a low, smug voice, "And I know Eraldo Coil's real identity. If you accept and come with me, then I'll tell you when I deem that the time is right."
Raito's mind spun with countless thoughts and plots, but he couldn't truly believe that the boy before him knew who Eraldo Coil was. How could he? It could easily be a bluff. Besides, he couldn't just pack up and leave Wammy's House, and then have to put up with Beyond. His plans were his own and there was no place for Beyond in them. It would only extremely complicate matters.
Shaking his head, he cleared his mind, and warmly smiled at the older boy. "If you truly want to help me, then you can tell me now your suspicions regarding Coil's identity."
"It isn't a suspicion," said Beyond airily, "but a known fact to me."
"Really?" said Raito smoothly. "Pray tell, how did you become the only person in the world who knows Coil's real identity?"
"I have my ways, Light-kun," replied Beyond loftily, shooting him a crooked smirk. "But I will only tell you if you come with me." He gazed at him with wide, expectant eyes. "So, will you?"
Raito regarded him in silence, and finally said with his best, soft voice, "Thanks for the offer, Beyond. I'll think about it."
"Will you, truly?" breathed out Beyond, his breathing becoming louder in anticipation.
"Of course I will," said Raito gently, beaming a warm smile at him.
A joyous, lopsided grin spread over Beyond's features. "Great!" He licked his lips, and inched his face closer to his, as he murmured, "Kiss me."
"Only if you beg," said Raito, widely smirking.
Beyond darkly scowled at him, before he let out a crow of chortles and said with a mockingly whiny voice, "Pretty please?"
Swallowing a chuckle of amusement, Raito sternly gazed at him, and bit out sharply, "You wouldn't convince the most needy person on the planet like that. Utterly appalling." He pulled a long-suffering expression his face, and added in a reluctant tone of voice, "But I guess that I can't expect much more from you, so I'll comply – this time. And be thankful that I'm in a magnanimous mood."
Before he gave the other boy time to say something annoying, he quickly grasped Beyond's face in his hands and locked their mouths together, delving his tongue inside. Arms tightly wrapped around his waist as Beyond pressed him closer, they tongues battling together before Raito gained the upper-hand when he bit down on Beyond's, making the other boy let out a startled chuckle which was muffled between their lips. Raito carded his fingers through Beyond's messy hair as he deepened the kiss, slowly and gently exploring every inch of the boy's warm cavern, knowingly making the older boy pant for more.
Finally, he broke the kiss before either of them could get further affected by it, and he stepped back, shooting him a smirk. "There, satisfied?"
Beyond took a deep intake of breath, and shot him a smirk of his own, as he pointed out, "For now."
"I don't know why I put up with you," muttered Raito darkly, feeling a flare of irked annoyance.
"Because you like me," said Beyond in a cheerful sing-song.
"Hn. No comments," grunted Raito, side-glancing at him. "Now, let's get inside. I think something's going on."
Beyond blinked at him, but Raito didn't wait for another second and he swiftly opened the front doors of the school and nonchalantly walked inside.
Raito strode along a deserted corridor, with Beyond slouchily trailing after him, as he heard muffled, excited or arguing voices coming from some distant part of the school. There were no students or teachers in sight, so it was obvious that everyone was congregated together, and his curiosity couldn't be greater.
Suddenly, a tiny boy hurtled into the hallway, from one of the restrooms, and Raito instantly called out, "You there! What's going on?"
The ten year old boy gasped, looking mortified, and he stuttered, "I needed to- to go. I couldn't hold it in-"
"I'm not asking why you went to the toilet," interrupted Raito with thinly veiled aggravation, wondering if indeed the school was filled with such fools. "I want to know what's happening. Where is everyone?"
"Oh," said the tiny boy, pushing his large, round eyeglasses up his nose. "Everyone's in the TV room, but I didn't get to hear much because I had to leave... er- you know, to the toilet… um…" He nervously peered up at him, and then seemed to gain valor from the patient look that Raito purposely shot him, and he continued with a hint of excitement in his voice, "But it's all over the news. That's why everyone's in there. I was just getting back to watch it. I don't know much, but they caught that terrorist! The Moscow case has been solved." He widely grinned at him. "L did it, surely!"
A surge of anger flared up in him, and Raito didn't waste another second. He broke into a sprint, wanting to watch the news with his own eyes. He could hardly believe it – those idiots! He had spent months trading emails back and forth with the Head of the Moscow Police Department, telling that doddering, old fool exactly how they could trap Kolya by using the man's son, and now, L had solved the case? L, who had dismissed his impeccable plot, hypocritically taking the moral high ground?
Not to mention that two more schools had been bombed in the last months, ever since he had discussed the case with L in the Ekwok Forum. Countless of children had died, all because the Head of the Police Department had said that he needed more time to put into action the plan he had submitted to them, that he needed the permission of several of his superiors in the Russian government.
Moreover, L hadn't posted a single message in the Forum since their argument, and neither had he when he had seen that, of course. And now… and now the idiots had done whatever L had come up with, instead of following his magnificent plan? It had been one of the most important cases in a while, with wide international media coverage and following. And it had been solved thanks to L? Of all the injustices in the world…
When he reached the door of the TV room, Raito forced back all his anger, pulling a nonchalant and calm expression on his face, and he slipped inside. The medium-sized common room was packed with all the students, and he had to politely ask to make his way through towards the front, where a large TV set was indeed televising a news channel.
He finally stood in the front, fleetingly aware that Mello, Matt and Viviane were to his sides and that Beyond had threatened his way through to stand behind him, but no one had taken notice of him. Everyone had their eyes glued to the screen, their loud, excited voices rambling throughout the room.
Raito had to strain his hearing to catch what the news reporter was saying, as images flickered on the screen.
An image of a school building, with masses of children pouring out from the front doors, instantly grabbed by armed policemen heavily protected with anti-bomb squad uniforms.
"… over sixty children attending this state school were saved today when terrorist Nikolai Fyodor Deverenko was shot down by Moscow's police force… Deverenko, leader of the Freedom's Fist terrorist group, and widely known by his alias Kolya, was the author and executer of the series of bombings which have been plunging Moscow in grief and desperation during the last six months… five schools, mounting to the loss of the lives of over three hundred schoolchildren…"
Raito froze when a new image flickered across the screen; a still picture, undoubtedly taken by some civilian who had been curiously, and rather morbidly, watching the proceedings from the side lines. It was photo, a bit hazy, of Kolya hugging a small, limp body, with a look of utter desperation and heart-wrenching and crazed grief on his face, the man's body covered in blood from several gunshots to the torso.
"… an undisclosed source had revealed to the Police Force the next school which was to be targeted… rumors that world-famed detective L was involved have not been confirmed… it is unknown why Deverenko's son was present at the school, and authorities refused to comment on the matter… it is speculated that Deverenko tried to manually override the bombs he had activated when he saw his son amongst the other schoolchildren… the terrorist was shot down immediately after he succeeded deactivating the bombs… the unfortunate death of Deverenko's twelve-year-old son who was caught in the crossfire…"
"Fucking awesome!" yelled Mello, punching the air with a fist. "They finally brought the fucker down!"
"Oh, how can you say that?" cried Viviane. "That poor, poor boy…"
She gasped, and Raito suddenly found himself being tightly hugged by her, her teary green eyes looking up at him. "You're here, I'm so glad! Isn't this terrible? Of course that I'm glad that they stopped him, but his poor innocent son…"
Raito absently-mindedly nodded, comfortingly patting her shoulder while she kept rambling between sobs, though he didn't hug her back. He could feel Beyond's heated gaze piercing his back, but it wasn't due to any consideration to the boy's feelings that he wasn't showing himself as affectionate towards the girl as he usually was when they were alone. Admittedly, Beyond didn't know that he was seeing her behind his back, and he certainly didn't want to put up with the boy's rants and possessive claims of ownership. Not that he cared about Beyond's feelings, of course. He was simply struck mute, his mind rushing with thousands of thoughts.
He had to admit that the death of Kolya's son did pain him. But above all, it angered him. He hadn't wanted the boy to die if it could be prevented. He valued the life of good people, after all, whatever L thought to the contrary. The little boy had certainly been blameless for his father's actions. And he had included every imaginable contingency scenario in the plan he had submitted, so that Kolya's son would be protected.
A small, dissatisfied frown spread over Raito's face. Indeed, the boy should have been saved by the Police Force. But it was clear that the child had died due to their incompetence and not due to any glitches or failings in his plan. It was easy to deduce that the police had been trigger-happy as soon as they saw Kolya deactivate the bombs, and that they hadn't truly cared if the child was in the man's arms, before they shot him down.
"…Mr. Borovitch, the Head of Moscow's Police Department, revealed during this evening's press conference that the case had been solved by a detective who goes under the alias of Y..."
All other thoughts flew from Raito's mind, and he fixedly stared at the screen. But he didn't move an inch, he simply focused on the words coming from the TV set.
"That's him!" gasped out Matt, digging his elbow into Mello's ribs. "That's the guy that L asked me to trace! It was bloody tricky too, the man's damned IP address kept changing and…"
"…the Police Force acted following this unknown detective's detailed instructions…"
"Who the fuck is he?" snapped Mello indignantly, his voice getting louder and angrier. "And why don't they say anything about L? No way that this frigging Y solved the fucking case and L didn't! And where the hell does he come from? Another detective! Aren't three fucking famous detectives enough, and now another to boot! More frigging competition?"
"…there's a public acclaim in Moscow to know who is this mysterious and erstwhile unheard of new detective, who seems to have gained the fervent gratitude of the Russian people and the hearts of the mothers of the schoolchildren who were saved today..."
Raito had remained in stoic silence all along, and now he was no longer interested in hearing any more. Not that he could, even if he tried; all the students were now loudly speculating with one another about who Y was, and the how's, and when's, and why's. It was as if rippling waves of voices were battling each other to be heard. Some discontented, some curious, many excited, and all together agitated.
Gleeful joy and a sense of all-encompassing triumph spread throughout him, and he was hard tasked to suppress his victorious, roaring laughter. Of course, he wouldn't outwardly behave so churlishly, so he only allowed an infinitesimal smile to tug his lips.
Without another thought, he swiftly disengaged himself from Viviane's arms, and quietly made his way out of the room, ignoring her calls for him. With his mind spinning, he quickly proceeded towards his rooms. Plots and plans bubbled frenetically in his thoughts, and he knew that he had much to do. This was it, what he had been waiting for – for Y to be known to the world.
At last his hard work was being repaid, at last Y had been publicly acknowledged in solving a case. And damn it, he had saved sixty lives! He was encompassed by a feeling he had never experienced before, caused by the knowledge that he could indeed be a force of change in the world - that he indeed had the capacity of bringing down criminals, that all his skills and brilliance had proven to be unparalleled, and moreover, that people were acclaiming what he had done! The whole of Russia was grateful, as the newscaster had said.
His plan had worked, even though it had cost the life of a boy. He had been right and L had been wrong. He had saved lives! And he would have saved many more if the idiotic Head of the Moscow Police Department had acted sooner. Nevertheless, the crux of the matter was that this was his triumph, not only over L, but over criminals like Kolya - who undoutedly deserved death, and not merely capture, sentencing and the chance to get a parole, as if often happened. Filth had to be ruthlessly disposed of, before they had a chance to cause more pain in the world, and Russia certainly seemed to agree with his views!
This was the beginning of a whole new era for his Y persona. And an ecstatic feeling of immense satisfaction, limitless possibilities, and a sense of overwhelming power swept over him. This was what he had lived for.