Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note. Quote is a poem I've used before - Stopping By The Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost, and it's possibly my favourite poem.

Note: Two updates in one day, how about that. Okay, this is pretty much the same theme as the other one, isn't it? Night time reflections on death. This is a little bit more sparse though, a little bit less about terror and death and more about two men sitting on a rooftop in Tokyo and having a smoke and thinking that all of this nonsense is probably going to get them all killed.

Anyway. Enjoy.


Once There Was


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.


He should never have agreed to it.

It's crazy, and he's probably going to get himself killed. Matsuda knows that. He knows he should never have joined the investigation, should never have stayed with the investigation, should never have got himself pulled into all this...

But it's a moot point, because he did get pulled into it and he did agree to do it, so now he's going to keep going. He's here, in L's big building, and he's fighting Kira as best as anyone can. And every day he wakes up thinking it might be the last time he does, that today, their luck might run out, and Kira would find them, and snuff them out.

The night isn't all that cold. There's a breeze, sure, but as far as the Tokyo evenings go, Matsuda doesn't think it's all that bad. Quite a nice night, if it's going to be his last one.

He really hopes it's not though.

His stomach feels awful. He hasn't eaten all day, and he tucks his arms round his gut to muffle the loud gurgling sounds. He looks up at the sky. There are no stars out. He'd prefer stars, he thinks.

The roof of L's building is so high up that the traffic still on the roads has faded to a dull blur below. It's very quiet, very still, because all the movement is down there – away, separate. It's nice, he thinks. It's nice to be away from it a little bit. Nice to be up above and away, where Kira doesn't matter and the only way he can die is if he tumbles over the edge and crashes to the ground. And seeing as he doesn't intend on doing that, Matsuda decides that right now, sitting here, he is, for all intents and purposes, immortal.

He's lost in considering this when the door to the roof opens. Matsuda hears it, vaguely, but doesn't turn around at first. He thinks maybe whoever it was won't notice him sitting here, or maybe they will, and they wanted to go out here alone, or didn't want to be seen, and he doesn't want to impose on anyone or make someone awkward...so he just keeps looking out over the city and the sky. He thinks it might be L. L would still be awake. But if L is here then Light would be here, too, and they'd probably be talking, and Light might not even be awake anyway.

It's not L. L's footsteps aren't heavy, L doesn't wear sturdy cop shoes and L pads instead of clumps. It's Aizawa who drops down next to him, knees up, arm dropped on top of one casually, loosely.

"Up late," he says, and he doesn't look at Matsuda. He looks down at the network of streets and the blaze of lights.

"Yeah," Matsuda replies, even though he'd rather stay quiet. It's impolite not to say anything.

"Worried about stuff?"

"Yeah," he says again, because lying is bad, too, and Aizawa would know that Matsuda was frightened anyway.

Aizawa shifts, reaching a hand into his jacket. Matsuda barely catches his motions out of the corner of the eye, and it's not until Aizawa flicks open the packet of cigarettes and offers them to him that Matsuda actually turns to look at him. He frowns down at the pack, frowns up at Aizawa.

"I don't smoke," he says, confused. Aizawa knows this. He pauses, then says, "You don't smoke either."

"Ukita did." Aizawa takes a cigarette and puts it between his lips.

Matsuda follows suit.

"Ryuzaki's plans are dangerous as hell," Aizawa say, teeth still clenched round the cigarette, reaching into his pocket. He lights up, takes the first drag. He holds out the light to Matsuda.

"I know," Matsuda says, after he's lit his cigarette. He breathes in then, and the smokes hits his lungs, makes him cough suddenly. He's smoked before, but not often, and not in a while. Aizawa chuckles, and he feels his face go red. Guess what, he thinks, Matsuda's messed up again.

But Aizawa doesn't say anything else about it. He rolls his cigarette between his fingers, and frowns a bit. "Personally," he says slowly, "I'm terrified."

Matsuda blinks. "Really?"

"Yeah. Of course. Matsuda – you think you're the only one of us who's afraid?" Aizawa's face is a picture of shock, and then something changes behind his eyes. Something goes soft, something turns sad, and Matsuda can't work it out. "You think you're the only one of us who's afraid." His voice is quieter now.

"Um...I guess." Matsuda looks down. It sounds silly now. Of course Aizawa and the Chief and Mogi and everyone would be afraid – of course they would, they were fighting Kira! They might die any day and he was stupid enough to think he was the only one who...

He can't do anything right, even when it's inside his own head. He ducks his head and glances up at Aizawa, expecting scorn and derision on his face.

There isn't any. Aizawa still looks sad.

"Matsuda –" he starts. His expression clouds. He shuts his mouth and shakes his head. He looks like he's fumbling for words, trying to find the right thing to say, and Matsuda wonders what could possibly be so important that Aizawa is worried about how he has to say it. What important thing would Aizawa want to say to him anyway?

"Just..." He stops again. He raises the cigarette to his mouth again and turns his gaze away over the rooftops. Matsuda watches him a moment more.

"Don't let it get to you," Aizawa says after a while. "You're as good as any of us. I know I come down hard on you. I'm sorry. I'm stressed – worried –" He breaks off and runs a hand through his mass of hair. He shrugs. "None of us want to be here. It's crazy. But we are, so we may as well get along. I just want you to know I think you're okay, alright, Matsuda?"

Matsuda nods. He doesn't really know what to say. He just kind of wants to hug Aizawa, kind of wants to hug himself. Because Aizawa doesn't think he's useless – he thinks Matsuda is okay. And Matsuda smiles.

"You hate that, don't you?" Aizawa says, nodding towards Matsuda's cigarette.

"Kind of, yeah," Matsuda admits. Aizawa smiles a little and reaches out to take it from him, but Matsuda says "But Ukita didn't."

And they sit there and smoke for a bit, saying something every once in a while, watching the lights in the city go out and the traffic trickle away, and the clouds clear and the sky darken. And eventually, the lights at the ends of two cigarettes are some of the only spots of brightness that high up in the city, that far into the sky.

A little while later the two spots of ember go out. And life goes on.