Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever own Death Note.
FOOL, n. A person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity. He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscience, omnipotent. He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude and the circle of the sciences. He created patriotism and taught the nations war — founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago. He established monarchical and republican government. He is from everlasting to everlasting — such as creation's dawn beheld he fooleth now. In the morning of time he sang upon primitive hills, and in the noonday of existence headed the procession of being. His grandmotherly hand was warmly tucked-in the set sun of civilisation, and in the twilight he prepares Man's evening meal of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers of the universal grave. And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilisation.
I do not understand. I am told that I do not look and behave as one should, that seems comprehendible enough. All my life I have been judged. But never like this before.
A young brunette female in a black and white striped uniform smiles sweetly, hiding what seems to be excitement, before asking what we would like to eat today. Raito politely refuses, making the stupid girl look away shyly from his intense gaze. Is he really that appealing? I doubt it. She then turns to ask me, and I am greeted with a less than welcome glare. What's wrong with me? I order my chocolate covered waffles with extra strawberries with what I hope to be a blank expression. What is the world coming to? I honestly cannot believe that I actually care. The girl stalks off leaving me and my suspect together sitting quietly.
"Yagami-kun? As I am under the impression that you know more about the behavioural habits of the human race than myself, may I ask you a question concerning said topic?"
He hides his smile with a bored look, but I can see him and his smug look through the mask he wears. I just admitted that I myself had a inferior quality to him. Without waiting for an answer, I continue.
"I do not understand why the young female looked at me like she would prefer that I cease to exist. I interpreted the way she was looking at you as desire. Are these two related?"
For a moment there, he looked almost embarrassed. Could that really be? Or was the glint in his eye a figment of my imagination. No. That is certainly impossible. My skills are impeccable. Even now he is trying to hide what he is thinking. Attempting to hide his emotions. Does this prove anything?
"That girl thinks I'm gay," Raito responds coolly, "with you."
I stare blankly at my rival, my equal. "And exactly how, Yagami-kun, have you come to this conclusion?"
I seldom ask a question I do not know the answer to. This, however, was an exception. I was then overcome by the strangest thought. Light is a human boy. He thinks and breathes, and feels. I must test this theory.
"Ryuuzaki," he sighs, with mock exasperation. He seems to have planned his answer. Did he see this situation coming? What exactly was this situation? Is he thinking the same as me? Surely not. I follow his words closely as he continues. "We are two males in a cafe, chained together. I believe that to one of a lower level intelligence, such as the girl that you just saw, that we are romantically attached, despite the seemingly obvious certainty, to us at least, that we are not."
A smile slowly creeps upon my face as I draw in this concept. I never thought of it that way. This is very interesting indeed.
"So are you saying, that the poor girl fore mentioned is under the impression that I am her competition for your..." I pause for just a moment to consider the possible implications of using this word, "love?"
Disappointment washes over me as he fails to react to my choice of words. Is he so different to me? Maybe he is better at hiding his emotions than I first anticipated. Hypothetically, if he can be loved, can he love in return? More questions I cannot answer. I must work on this area. I am obviously lacking knowledge. I determine that now isn't the best time to ponder such things.
"Yes, that would be correct." Raito brings me out of my own little world with his playful tone. He must be in a fairly good mood today.
I smile a little at the girl as she brings me back my sugary treat. She looks with a little less hatred and even manages to smile at me weakly.
I watch her back as she leaves, leaving me with difficult thoughts and Light at my side. I have no clues as to what he could possibly be thinking. So if he thinks and feels... Does Raito get hungry too? Was I really too busy analysing what he was doing, to realise that he, like all other humans, eats. I look guiltily down at my tasty snack. Maybe he would like some?
What did I almost do? Was I about to share my beloved sweets with a suspect of a mass murder case? No way would I do that.
"What is it?" His voice is gentle. Mildly interested.
"Ah, never mind." If I believed in luck, I would have said that nothing else stopped me from treating him like a... friend? What a strange thing to be. The suspect and the detective - the unlikely pair. Pair? Raito and I are not a pair. Most certainly not. We are so different.
But, are we really?
I must put this out of my mind for now. I will contemplate these discoveries later.
He makes a soft 'hn' sound.
We sit and eat in silence. Well, that's not entirely true. I eat and crouch, and he sits and... well, I don't actually know what he is doing. Or thinking for that matter. He is so unreadable, so individual. I never know quite what to make of him.
When I am finished with my dessert, I stare at Raito blankly. So many thoughts run through my head. Who is he? Who is he to me?
He is my suspect.
But is he my friend? Honestly, I cannot establish what friendship is. I have never had a friend. What is a friend? I will ask my human behavioural studies expert.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your train of thought," I say quietly, "but I have yet another question that I am unable to answer." I cannot look him in the eyes. Instead I play with my dessert fork. "What is a friend?"
His shocked look seemed quite hard to suppress. Do I analyse him too much? Quite possibly.
"A friend... is a person whom one has a mutual bond with." He has regained his composure. A dictionary-like answer. I would expect nothing less from my key suspect. This is not the answer I am looking for, and he knows that.
"I do believe that you have deciphered that this is not the answer I seek. Please explain to me what makes a friend. What makes this bond?" I look at the table, the street, the sky. Anywhere but him. Somehow, I feel an odd sense of shame. How could I not know what a friend is? Am I embarrassed? I should not be. I have sacrificed all I have for justice. If I had not, I would not be in this cafe interrogating this person as to what I have missed out on.
I smile inwardly at the thoughts that could possibly be going through his head. He will not understand. If he is Kira, he is thinking 'Shit, does this have to do with the case? Does how I answer this determine how much L suspects me?' I thank my logic for rationalising my fears. He can not possibly understand where my question is coming from.
"You are correct," he mused. "The truth is, I do not know what makes a friend." He is so calm. So sure. "I do, however, know when I have made a true friend."
"As opposed to?" I ask with a mildly curious voice.
"Someone I act friendly towards for appearances. I know that you probably think that this is all an act of Kira; I can assure you of that being untrue. I am not Kira. If I were Kira, you would be in the second category." He tugs on the chain slightly to catch my attention and I realise I cannot look away any longer without being suspicious. "In any case, where are you going with this?"
I was right. He believes that I am relating this to the case. So afraid that he will be misinterpreted. Poor boy. Maybe he is not Kira. I will answer his questions with honesty in mind.
"I would now like to know if you consider me your true friend, Yagami-kun, and if I should consider you mine." I watch him, so composed. He knows exactly what I am going to say, even before I know. This could be disastrous.
"I believe so," he says with a smile. "I believe you are my friend, and I hope you think of me that way too."
The answer was expected. The tone of his voice was not. Hmm, I am unable to determine whether his statement is false or not. It sounds genuine, but I can never be sure. I am so shocked by the innocent note in his voice, I am unable to move, to think or barely breathe. Is it all an act for reasons I have not yet determined? I'll push him that little but further.
"You really think so?" I answer with genuine curiosity.
His answer seems almost like a riddle to me. He seems to have left absolutely no trace of a lie. Maybe he is being truthful?
But as for me, what do I feel? I enjoy Raito's company. Despite the possibility that he may be trying to kill me. I enjoy being with someone who can understand my theories. Someone who won't envy me, won't accept everything I say as law. He is so different to anyone I know.
"I accept your offer of friendship. We are now friends," I say proudly.
I am one step closer to being happy. If I can like, I can love. Unfortunately, I must now find a being capable of loving me. The probability of me finding such a person is about 3%. I admit to myself that these are pretty grim odds, and reassure myself that love is not essential to a person's wellbeing. For now, I should be grateful that even the unlikely event of friendship has occurred today.
As we stand and walk towards the counter to pay, I am reminded of a friendly tradition.
"If we are friends now, may I call you by your first name?" I ask with a slight twitch.
"Sure," he replies with a smirk, realising the irony of me seeking permission to use his first name, when even any part of my true name seems so beyond reach for him.
"I am terribly sorry that you are unable to return the gesture. Ryuuzaki will be fine," I say with mock disappointment.
I am itching to try calling him by his first name. I want to see how he reacts. But I'll wait. I refrain for the rest of the way back to the car, and all through the car ride and through several hours of tedious work. In fact, during that time I barely speak at all. Neither does Raito. It feels like it has been forever since I have heard any sound other than the steady, toneless tap of fingers clacking against the battered keys of the keyboard, and the deafening hum of the computer monitor.
"Ryuuzaki, I want to sleep now. It's 2am and I'm not getting anywhere with all these names."
The familiar voice is so unexpected that I twitch noticeably and have to shift my weight to keep balance.
"I understand," I reply mechanically. I make a few final adjustments to my document and shut it.
I internally thank him for relieving me of my duties. I do not like admitting such, but searching through files for 'suspicious activity' does bore me. I unfold my legs and walk stiffly towards the exit and to the room we share.
I never thought of chaining myself to a suspect as odd. I never thought of it as anything other than useful for keeping an eye on him. Now I feel a little awkward. Raito lives a mere metre away from me. Unable to be far away. I too am unable to escape him. Two lives entwined by little more than a thin chain. But, in honesty, why would I possibly want to escape? I have a friend.
We arrive at the room and I see him take his normal side of the bed. I, as always, sit on the floor beside him. It has become ritual since the beginning. When the first day of being chained came to a close, he lay down on the bed. I was not going to let my prime suspect watch me sleep, so I sat beside him on the floor. He yelled at me and told me if I didn't trust him enough to sleep next to him, then I didn't deserve a bed. At that time, I analysed his outburst and put it to him being Kira. And that night, next to his bed is where I stayed. In fact, that is where I have slept ever since.
"Goodnight, Ryuuzaki," he whispers, not daring to look at me.
"Goodnight." I pause. Is now right? No. Not yet.
A smile ghosts my lips as I watch and wait for Raito to fall asleep. When I am positive that he is no longer awake, a curious thought slinks through my mind, and takes a hold of my body. If he is asleep, he will not notice me next to him. If he does not notice me, it is as if it never happened. I spring from my position and creep to the forbidden space beside. I do not dare to touch my friend.
How did I end up here again? This must be an act of friendship. A bond that cannot quite be described. Almost like...
Not so out of reach. If I can feel this 'friendship' bond, I can feel anything. I have never felt so in control in my life. Nothing is impossible for me. I have sacrificed nothing. Although, finding someone to love me is the difficult part, and that is still to come.
But for now, seeing my friend so soundly asleep calms me. in fact that I am barely breathing. I watch intently Raito's sleeping face. It amazes me. I have never seen him so relaxed. He is very beautiful with his eyes shut lightly, breathing slowly and deeply, shallow smile etched onto his lips. Very beautiful indeed.
"Raito-kun," I whisper, barely audible. "Goodnight."
His name sounds wonderful spoken.
I don't know why, but ever since I acknowledged Raito as a person this morning, he seemed real. I have never felt so... well, honestly I am having difficulty describing how I feel. It is like we are closer. This must be what true friendship is about.
I attempt to pull myself away from watching him, but it is too hard. I am quite stuck between be rational; If he wakes up, he will see me, and emotional; I want to see him for longer. My rational side gives in as I slide to the edge of the bed. I must not sacrifice my pride for friendship. As I sit back down on my uncomfortable piece of carpet, I get the feeling that this is only the beginning of a long journey to come. I just hope that my tale has a happy ending.
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