Disclaimer: Maybe if I saved up my allowance… wait, I don't get an allowance. Hmmm…
Author's Note: This idea hit me on the way to work. Completely out of the blue… and yet, also sorta inspired by the doujinshi, "God's Eyes." (Those of you who have read it will probably be able to figure out why.)
IMPORTANT: A "koseki," or family register, is to Japan what birth certificates are to Americans. It can be used in the place of an official ID, and the only legal requirement for marriage is to have the woman's name join the man's family's register. Even if a Japanese woman gets married to a foreigner, the foreigner has to make up a koseki… and in order to have the woman's koseki changed, someone has to go to the town of her birth (where the koseki is kept) and have it altered in person.
Warnings: L!name spoilers. LxNaomi. Non-AU.
Naomi had never considered herself a fantastic detective—she was good at her job, yes. Had been praised and received promotions. Had worked alongside (in a manner of speaking) the illustrious L. But, while intelligent, she knew was no genius. She knew this; knew her own limitations. Unlike L, unlike B, she was not able to pull clues from thin air, immediately notice the smallest of details, or solve complex cases in an instant. No: Naomi needed time to mull things over, a chance to compose her ideas, and at least one solid piece of irrefutable evidence to base her theory on.
But in the matter of the Kira Investigation, she had all three. And with the utterance of a simple sentence, a young man—Yagami Light— had confirmed her darkest suspicions.
"I am Kira."
Even now, the words turned her blood to ice. In that moment, she had wanted to scream, to run, to shoot him with her gun… but no. He needed to be tried. He needed to be convicted. He needed to be captured by L. Her job was to get her information to the detective; her job was to escape while her heart still beat.
So she did. She wasn't sure how she had managed— to walk calmly, to breathe levelly, to leave the teenaged murderer in the middle of the street, his crimson eyes promising death—, but she got away with her life intact.
Which brought about a whole new mystery to solve: how?
To kill, Kira needed a face and a name. That much she had figured out through her own investigation: re-watching L's broadcast, memorizing newspaper articles, copying Raye's notes and trailing his suspects. And Yagami Light—Kira, she mentally corrected, a shiver racing down her spine— had been in possession of both: eyes on her driver's license as the winter snow fell. There was no way he could have used the wrong kanji, or otherwise misspelled it; there was no way he had suddenly 'forgotten' her appearance. He had every chance in the world to kill her …
So why was she alive, half-frozen and still thawing, in the darkness of her Japanese hotel room? For hours, the question plagued Naomi, made her stomach churn with worry and her head spin with confusion…
But no longer. Dripping wet, eyes wide, hands frozen on her laptop keyboard, she discovered the truth. The idea had seemed farfetched when it had first occurred to her, but now… Everything made sense. Clicked into place. She understood: for while her driver's license and business cards and every personal item she owned proudly labeled her as Naomi Misora, someone had hacked into the government's database and turned that truth into a lie.
Someone had legally changed her name.
To the Japanese government, to the American FBI, and—most importantly—to Kira himself, "Naomi Misora" was now nothing more than a clever alias. A quick call to her hometown's registrar had confirmed this: she had been erased from her family's register and added to a new one. Without ever having been aware, her true name had been altered…
Since December 27th, the confused bureaucrat informed her, she had been Naomi Lawliet.
The phone fell from her hands with a clatter.
For the first few moments following this discovery, Naomi's mind remained completely blank. A second later, her brain had seemingly imploded, filling with a noiseless buzzing; the passing of a minute found her an inconsolable heap on the mattress: face in her hands, tears streaming down her cheeks, gasps and choked sobs lodging in her trembling throat. The glowing monitor grew fuzzy; the single word that had served as her saving grace blurred.
The case was solved. L knew. L knew everything. About Light, about Naomi… He knew she would try to catch Kira, knew that she would eventually succeed. Knew that she would need protecting when the time came, and knew the only way to save her. Knew that she would someday discover his trick, and knew that, when the time came, she would understand his unspoken message: that he loved her, that he was sorry, and that he would take it from here. And in return for her cooperation, he gave her a new name, a new chance, a new reason to live. This name—Lawliet— was his thanks for the part she'd played: not only in the Kira Investigation, or the BB Murder Case, but in his life.
This was his good bye.
Bleary eyed, Naomi sniffled and raked a hand through her tangled locks, smudging her mascara. L Lawliet… she thought, linking the names and marveling at their beautiful simplicity. The name suited him…
And she would make sure that it did not die.