*Wow. We're done. This is it, it's the very end. Twenty-eight chapters, and we went through it all. I want to thank everyone for their support in this project, it really helped me a hell of a lot. I'm praying that this chapter doesn't disappoint. There's no playlist for this chapter, because I feel that music would take away from the effect of it all.
**My reviewers – tonight, due to the fact that I'm truly, honestly sad at the way I ended this, I'm not going to actually be responding to all of your reviews. I'm really sorry, but I'm emotionally drained at the fact that this story which I slaved over is gone. If there were questions in your reviews, I'll still be answering them. Thanks to – PiScEs-BlOsSoM69, simsbabii, Amaya-Ai, icanreadyourmind, VampyViolet, AmazingZeldaFan09, DancingPurplePanda, MissehKeehl, TheContheDistance, xsorandomx, Sapphire-Nightshade, PersonofDeath02, oXo sUpErSpIcYsUgAr oXo, x-Xara-x, toongeek14, If N When, Josephine Falnor, Kimi of the Crowd, and Lita Takanashi. You guys have really made this fanfic something for me, and you've been great to me the entire way through. Thank you, I can't say it enough.
***Aoife – Although normally I would be lighthearted in my response to your review, I simply can't find it in me tonight. Forgive me.
****Melissa – See Aoife.
*****We're at the end of the journey here. Thank you all. And as final disclaimer, I don't own Death Note. At the end, also, Azrael, translates from Hebrew to death, just so people don't think I picked a totally random name.
******Finally, if you are interested in reading future works of mine, please see my profile and vote on my poll. It will decide what I write next, if you're interested at all. So, without further delay, please enjoy the last chapter of Difficulty. I hope to see you all in the future.
"I knew it was suspicious when we ceased communications. You have to do it Misa. For us."
"B-but… But Light, I don't want to! Do I really have to? Isn't there another way?"
"Come on, Misa, it's for the good of you, for me, for the world. It has to be done. There's no other choice."
It all happened so fast.
I don't know when it started exactly, but once it did, there was no stopping it. Love made me want to exalt, reach for the heavens in one moment, then break down and beat his face in the next, and finally just go to a corner and cry for hours and hours on end.
I was at the 'cry in a corner' stage when I made it back to the SPK, but I managed to keep my eyes dry until I found myself back in Far's room. And then, as soon as I entered the room, my resolve broke, and I fell to pieces on Far, whose eyes took in my mess of a self gently. The generally hard-eyed girl's tough gaze softened as I collapsed on her bed, on top of her practically.
She stroked my head slowly, something that was sort of odd for her to do. I'd always seen Far as more of a hardass, more of a Mello than a Matt – but at that point, I wasn't really in the mood to analyze her actions.
"I don't think anything I could say would make you feel any better… Do you want me to do anything, Rae?"
I sobbed once, voice quaking, and said, "Far… Could you… Sing me a song?"
Far smiled softly, before the switching the lyrics of a song just the tiniest bit to tug on my heartstrings. "This love has taken its toll on me, he said goodbye too many times before…"
I bawled myself to sleep. It wasn't as if that was anything new for me anyway.
The next day was, I believe, the very worst day of my life.
"Rae…?" Far's voice floated into my head, somber and emotionless. I stretched slowly in the bed before mumbling, "Five more minutes, Far…"
"No, Rae," her voice hinted at worry, fear even, "You… you need to see this…" I sat up, taking my time, emotionally drained from the day before.
"What is it?" I yawned. Far shook her head, refusing to look me in the eyes and exiting the room. I raised an eyebrow and followed, the empty feeling in my stomach alerting me to the fact that the day before I had lost two of the only ones I cared about. I shot a look out the window – what time was it? I'd slept a long time…
Far's walk led me to the main room, one where Near was toying around with a few plastic robots while staring intently at the monitor. The rest of those at SPK headquarters were spread around the room, all tuned into the screen, hardly noticing my arrival.
"Police are pursuing Ms. Takada's assaulter. We believe there to be one male in the car of average build, he should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with any information on this should call –"
Far gave me a loaded look, one of pity and apology.
"I'm… I'm sorry, Raven." I looked at her skeptically, still not comprehending what the situation was.
"Far… I don't understand. What's this have to do with –" And then the police sketch flashed up on the screen.
Red hair. Goggles. Striped shirt. Vest.
"W-what… Why would they…?" Chills ran through my body and I took a step back, crushing a Lego structure that I was sure Near had put together.
"I realize your state of shock is most likely overwhelming," Near stated, that monotone of his grinding against my ears, "But I would appreciate it if in your grief you did not destroy my belongings."
Again the tears welled to my eyes, just like the night before as I saw the red car surrounded by police cruisers. I saw him get out of the car, hands up to prove he had no weapons, lazy grin in place.
"No…" I whispered. "W-where's Mello? Mello will take care of him, he has to, Matt can't die!" I screamed the last part. Far shook her head again, grabbing me from behind, holding me the way I'd always wanted a sister to. That was the last thing on my mind though as the reporter said, "Those who go against Kira must be punished. This one will be made an example."
Fire blazed in my eyes at the words, and I forgot myself, where I was, running up closer to the monitor and screaming. "No! Everyone's died on me, Matt, I can't have you gone too! Derek, Father! I can't have you just up and leave me too! I need you, and even if I didn't, Mello does, no matter how much the jackass doesn't want to admit it! I don't care if I never see you again, if you die it'll be more than I can handle!" I collapsed to the floor, a sad puddle of a girl on the floor. When I finally looked up again, the world was a blurry mess, and I could barely make out Kumiko's form, sobbing silently. I glanced at the monitor just in time to see Matt fall to the ground, seconds after a hail of bullets came his way. Kumiko screamed out once, silent no more, crying loudly at last.
Dead. He was dead. And that was it.
Far was shaking her head, staring at the ground. Kumiko was a complete mess, shaking with grief.
I was completely immobile on the floor.
Kumiko stood up in the silent room, and with tears still streaming down her face she said, "I need… to go home."
And she left. Walked out the door. Didn't say goodbye, didn't get her things.
And with her absence, my friend count was down to one.
It would've been so easy, so easy, to lock myself in Far's room, but I didn't. Not for a little while, at least. I gave up soon enough, listening to Near heartlessly analyze the situation, and barricaded myself in Far's room, shoving my face into a pillow and gripping Carter for dear life.
I didn't wake up for a long time, and in my dreams I had the nerve to hope that I was dead, or lost forever in a coma.
"Raven?" I heard Far's voice break up my slumber again, ruining my hopes that I'd been dead or unconscious. I sat up slowly, tears still wet on my cheeks from the awful and fitful sleep I'd been in. I didn't even know people could cry in their sleep.
Evidently, they can. And Far, despite being the only friend I had left, fixed me with such a look of pity that I just wanted to reach up and slap her.
I wasn't a child anymore. I didn't deserve that… that pity.
But I didn't hit her, and she said slowly, "I'm so sorry… But… I think you'll want to see this too, especially if it's what I think it is…"
I dragged myself up again, sluggish in my grief, having to stop at the edge of the bed to stop sobbing uncontrollably. And then, it hit me, the one realization that I never wanted to have –
If Matt was dead, then where was Mello?
And it all clicked in my head – the sympathy on Far's face, her words – it couldn't be, if it was , it would kill me.
"No." I managed to stumble over that one word before dashing to the room with the monitor, to discover that my very worst fear was in fact true.
"The truck also held an unidentified person, one who investigators assume is the kidnapper. If anyone has any information on this situation, please contact –"
And at those words, I let out a shriek the likes of which I didn't know my body contained. Agony, utter agony engulfed my entire body, piercing my soul and reaching out through my bloodstream as a close-up of the absolutely mangled body was shown.
A rosary lay only a few feet from the body, the only thing recognizable from the wreckage.
And a charred finger, barely touching it, just the cross itself.
It was his. I knew it was. It had to be, no one else would've been involved in something like the kidnap of Kiyomi Takada and have a rosary.
"Unfortunately, since we are unable to identify the body, we cannot give definitive evidence of this being the kidnapper."
"Unable, my ass!" I was hysterical, screaming, crying, shaking like a leaf. "That's Mello's rosary! He's dead! Everything's been taken from me, I don't have anything left!"
Far, Near, and the rest of those in the room were silent as I fell to the ground, the same place where I had been when I had heard of Matt's death. At least, all was quiet until Near began speaking again.
"Mello and Matt weren't clever enough to defeat Kira alone." My eyes burned with rage. How dare he? "However, their deaths have most definitely aided our investigation."
"Is that all you can think of?!" I whipped around, standing up and facing the boy. "My best friends are dead because of this stupid case and all you can say is that they aided your investigation?! Where do you get the nerve to –"
"Raven, Raven!" Far grabbed me from behind, restraining me from going after Near, which I'd been in the process of doing before she'd stopped me. "I know you're mad, but you have to think about this, they knew what they were getting into before they went on this mission!"
I pulled away from Far, ripping myself from her grasp and facing her. "They're dead, Far! Dead! Why is it that all you goddamn people can think of is this stupid investigation?!"
The room was quiet again, but Near said, "Far, I think Raven should be kept to your room in solitary confinement until her emotional discourse has subsided."
"No! I'm not done with you, damn it!" Far roped me into her, pulling me back towards her room, managing somehow to throw me into it despite me flailing a ridiculous amount. When I was finally secure in there, she locked the door and said through it, "I know… I know that this hurts you."
I sank against the door, head in my knees, crying softly.
"But… They did it so the world would be better. For all of us. And especially you." She walked away without giving me the time to respond.
"…But it's not worth the world if he's not here with me."
I managed to somehow fall into a fitful sleep again, but during this one I awoke in the night to Far sleeping soundly on the floor beside the bed which I'd been placed in. The door was open, and I pulled myself out of bed to walk out of it.
It was the only choice, really.
I snuck my way out of the SPK headquarters silently, having to be careful for fear of awakening someone, anyone in the building. My escape was relatively easy, however, and I walked out the door into the Japanese night.
Japan was beautiful at night, beautifully alive, mocking all the loss that I'd been through. I walked for seconds, minutes, hours – it could've been days, with all the attention I was paying. Finally though, as I sat on a bench in a park not so different from the one I danced in long ago, at home with Father, before Matt, Derek, Kumiko, and Far, before even Mello, I decided. I decided on my course of action, what I was going to do with my life now that everything was gone from it.
I walked back in the general direction of the SPK, waiting for the perfect type of traffic. And then I saw that armored truck coming down the street, with me on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road, and I laughed once, only once.
"Is it done Misa?"
"Yes, Light… It's done…"
"Don't cry, my queen. Because of this, you'll be exalted in the new world, a goddess to rule beside me."
"Well, yes… I know. I don't know what I'd do without you, Light!"
"Did you write exactly as I told you to?"
"Yes, Light, I did."
"May I see it please?"
And there, plain as day, on notebook paper that shouldn't have had any special purpose, was it written.
Raven Azrael, suicide.