A/N: I hate Light. And I'm okay with that. I don't even get into the Light versus L wars. What bothers me is I have trouble seeing things from his POV, since I hardly ever have that problem with characters, whether I personally like them or not. So, in my many attempts to get around to his side of things, I eventually tried coming from the sister angle, and this is what happened. I'm still not quite around to 'the Light side', but a fic resulted, so I'm pleased enough. ^^

Beta: SkyTurtle3.

Music:Deceiver of Fools by Within Temptation.

Disclaimer:Death Note and related characters © Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Good thing, considering how bad I would have made Light's death, otherwise…


Family Resemblance

Raven Ehtar


"I'm home!"

The words fell into the little dwelling and instantly dropped to the floor, unanswered and hollow. One after the other, Sayu kicked off her shoes in the entryway and slid her socked feet into the waiting house slippers, carefully arranging her school bag around her shoulders to it wouldn't pull her over when she bent down. It seemed as though her bag got heavier every time she picked it up, even when the number of texts she carried remained the same. It was a personal theory of hers that it was the amount of homework, and therefore number of handwritten pages that were responsible for the increased weight. That or someone was trading her regular texts for slightly thicker ones every week.

"Hello?" she called again, stepping into the front hall. "Okasan? Light? Anyone home?"

The young girl tripped her way through the living room, dining room, and the kitchen still with no sign of the rest of the family. It wasn't until she saw the makings of dinner set out that it dawned on her that no one else's shoes had been in the genkan, there had only been slippers. She was the only one in the house.

Her father, Yagami Soichiro, she hadn't expected to see home yet, as he would still be at the station, working. Her mother, Sachiko was a little more surprising. From the state of the kitchen it looked as though she had forgotten something to prepare the meal, and only remembered when setting everything out. Most likely she had made a trip to the nearest grocery store to pick up what she was missing, and hadn't left a note because she hadn't expected anyone to come home so early.

Her being home early would also go to explain why Light wasn't home yet. Sayu's junior high class had been let out unexpectedly early because no one could sit still or stop talking about this "great battle of good versus evil" between Kira and L, and the teacher eventually gave up in despair and sent them all home. Either Light's classmates were more mature than hers and able to focus, or his teacher had a firmer hand at controlling his pupils. Probably both. Anything Light was involved with wasn't likely to be derailed by something as sensationalist as this.

It seemed like all anyone could talk about was Kira, Kira, Kira. How many people he had killed, theories about how he killed people all around the world, and the constant fight over whether he was a force for good or evil. The introduction of the mysterious detective L only seemed to make the division of her classmates more pronounced. Some were celebrating his arrival on the scene and anticipating Kira's fall, while others were saying he was no better than Kira in using a man's life to test his theories, and a good deal worse in trying to stop Kira's work.

Not that he seemed to be doing much good, so far. The number and frequency of deaths had increased, and Sayu had even heard that there had been one person killed every hour by Kira the day before. There was a rumor that today was progressing the same way. L had made a show of defying Kira on television, now Kira was returning the gesture, using human lives.

It all made Sayu's skin crawl. She shuddered; rather than spend her entire afternoon thinking about it, she had other things she could be doing. Like homework. They had been sent home, but they still had projects to work on. Since half the day had been curtailed, most of it was waiting in her bag. If she wanted to get it done, she should make an early start on it.

Snagging up an apple from the fruit bowl on the dining room table, she made her way to the stairs. Her mother was in the process of making a meal, but she was hungry. Besides, they could never seem to keep apples in the house for some reason, they had almost become a delicacy.

Walking back up to her room, she couldn't help but turn her mind back to Kira. It wasn't just her classmates and the media that were being affected, her own family was being touched by the matter. She knew her father was a part of the investigation regarding Kira, was leading it, even. Every evening when he came home he looked more tired and stressed than he ever had before. His smiles were becoming less and less frequent, the worry around his eyes was growing, and Sayu could feel the distance growing between her father and the rest of them.

Her mother could feel it as well. She could see it in the dozens of little things Sachiko did to make the lives of her husband and her children more pleasant in the face of the horrors happening in the outside world. The house was tidier than ever, the food was becoming more elaborate, and whenever Soichiro, Sayu, or Light were nearby, she would put on her happiest smile for them. Underneath it, Sayu saw that her mother was worried for her husband, who was pitting himself against this apparently supernatural killer, and for her children whom she could not protect once they left the house.

Even Light, who should have been as uninvolved as Sayu was, was being affected by the matter. He did his best to hide it, and did a good job, but Sayu had known her brother all her life and most of his. There were some things you just couldn't hide from your sibling. For example; he'd always been serious about his eventual goal to follow in their father's footsteps, but recently it had escalated into something like an obsession. His eyes had lost their cheerfulness, had become sharper, the set of his jaw and shoulders ever more determined, his words subtly more clipped. It might have been simple stress from his approaching exams… but Light's average scores defied that explanation. And there was the added detail that he had started talking to himself in his room.

Their rooms were right next to each other, and occasionally Sayu could hear Light talking softly. At first she had thought he'd snuck a girlfriend into his room, and had listened carefully - as any overly curious little sister would - for a second voice. There was never one to be heard, not even an incoherent murmur. All she could hear was the muffled sound of her brother's voice, and no answering voice to partner it. With the smuggled girlfriend theory out the window, Sayu thought he might be reading an essay aloud to himself, but that was thrown out as well when she caught a couple of words, one of them being 'Kira'.

Sayu flipped over her schoolbag, dumping out textbooks and papers onto her bed with a flutter. Far too many of them, in her opinion, and all of them too thick. How was a girl supposed to have a social life when all her time was spent bent over books?

Crunching into her apple, Sayu picked up the little book she wrote all of her assignments in. She scanned the list with a sigh. The world was becoming wrapped up with Kira, and she was being buried alive in academics. She started the task of picking out the books she needed for a marathon of homework and setting them on the desk. If she got an early start on them, she might finish with enough time to catch her late afternoon shows with a clear conscience.

Or she might, if she had all of her books.

One of her texts, the one on mathematics and one of her least favorites, wasn't in her bag. Neither was it already on or in her desk, under her bed, or on the shelf she sometimes put schoolbooks on. She knew she hadn't left it at school, so where was it?

Ah! It was still in Light's room. She'd asked him for help with her homework a couple days before and hadn't needed it since, so she'd forgotten about it. Presumably it was still there. Light wasn't home yet, and didn't like other people in his room without his knowing, but she just needed her book back. He'd never know that she'd even been in.

Leaving her room and fighting the urge to knock on Light's door even though she knew he wasn't in there, she tiptoed in. It never ceased to surprise her how tidy and Spartan Light's room was. It looked more like a hotel room than a bedroom sometimes, always spotless and so little in the way of personal touches. Even as a boy he had kept his room this way, with few toys or games. She couldn't understand how Light tolerated it.

For how neat Light's room was, finding her missing book proved more difficult than she had thought it was going to be. It wasn't on his desk or table where she thought it might be, nor was it on any of his bookshelves. Where would he put a mathematics textbook that was several years below his level if he didn't hand it back right away? Feeling a bit like a spy, Sayu began opening desk drawers in search of it.

None of them were locked, which was a little surprising at first, but there didn't look to be anything of special importance in any of them. She finally found her errant mathematics text under one of Light's odder notebooks. It was a standard size and weight for a school notebook, but the cover was completely black with white roman lettering at the top of the front cover. Curiosity once again peaked, Sayu put down the textbook to look over the unusual notebook.

Sayu's English wasn't as good as Light's, but she was pretty sure that's what language the words were in. The lettering itself was more elaborate than she was used to seeing, but she recognized the second half of it as 'note'. What the first half said she had no idea. Was it a special notebook for English classes? It didn't have the right feel to be school issue, and not something Light would pick up on his own.

The longer she stared, the harder it became for her to look away from it. The black covers were beyond matte black, they seemed to suck in every bit of light that fell on them, and drew Sayu in the same way. Only the white lettering was immune, floating brightly in the dark void surrounding it. Even the feel of the covers was tantalizing. They were so smooth they were almost soft, like fleece or chinchilla fur. Not noticing what her hands were doing until it was too late to stop them, the notebook was open.

The inside cover was as black as the exterior, with more white roman text, suspended like flakes of ash in darkness. The pages themselves were a bit of a disappointment in comparison. They were plain white and lined, like college notebook paper. Light hadn't even written in it yet, although it looked like he had torn a few pages out.

Sayu wondered if it had been a gift from one of Light's girlfriends. A lot of girls were into the gothic Lolita thing lately, and there was a very gothic looking skull at the top of the inside cover. If it was a present, whoever had given it had missed pretty badly on Light's tastes.

"Well, now. What do we have here?"

Sayu jumped, nearly dropping the notebook at the sudden voice behind her. She flipped around guiltily to try and explain to her brother why she was looking through his drawers, realizing as she did that the voice behind her had been far too deep and gravelly to belong to Light…

A nightmare in flesh stared back at her through yellow eyes, its wide grin revealing rows of sharp shark's teeth. "Hello, Sayu-chan."

The scream echoed throughout the empty house. There was no one to hear it, or to save her from the demon she was confronted with. Somehow she was on the floor, pressed between the desk and the bookshelf as far as she could possibly go. She wanted to look away, squeeze her eyes shut and deny the existence of what she was seeing, but if she did then who knew what it would do? She stared at it, the monster with a long, hunched human shape and raven's feathers spurting from its shoulders, clutching her brother's notebook to her chest like a talisman. Its smile, already impossibly wide, only seemed to stretch wider. Praying that this really was a nightmare and that she would wake up soon, Sayu trembled and waited.

After what must have been an eternity, the monster jerked its head with something like a snort. "So. You didn't have a heart attack just by seeing my face. I knew you wouldn't die, but…" the stained eyes practically glowed in the twisted face, "maybe you're a little stronger than we thought."

The thing stepped closer. Its boots made no sound, but the chains it wore clinked together almost musically. It was hard to focus on the fiend, its form wasn't quite solid. The edges of it were soft, like brush strokes or black sand being slowly blown away and continually renewed. Boots, legs, arms, the great feathers at its collar and its hair, all forever streaming away without running out or losing its overall shape. The few places where it was truly solid were its face and where there were touches of metal. A belt buckle with a human skull at its center, chains that looped down from its hips, a dangling heart earring, a row of staples holding the ragged edge of its shirt into its flesh… but even these places Sayu's gaze refused to settle. The shine and glimmer only shook her off and confused her vision. Only the eyes of the monster really allowed Sayu look on them, and they drew her in like magnets, eager to consume her. The girl dug her heels into the floor, willing the wall behind her to become smoke and let her escape.

"You are Light-kun's sister," it went on, ignoring Sayu's tiny whimpers. "And humans who are related are meant to be alike. I wonder…" Its head tilted so far to one side Sayu thought for an instant it would just keep going and form a complete circle.

Sayu swallowed, clutching the thin, useless notebook even closer. Whatever this thing was, what it said made no sense. It was like it was having a conversation with itself.

It suddenly came in so close it was standing right over her, then leaned down until Sayu's world was filled with red and yellow orbs and far too many teeth. "Will you follow his example, and take the death note, I wonder?"

The girl choked back another scream with a sob, tears close to following in her terror and revulsion. Voice tiny and shaking almost beyond understanding, she managed, "Wh- What are you…?"

Sayu was terribly aware of the proximity of the teeth when the creature replied. "I am the shinigami, Ryuk," it said with a little nod.

"Sh… Shinigami…?"

The grin seemed to widen again, threatening to completely split the apparition's head in two. "Ye-es…"

Tears made good on their threat and began to roll down Sayu's cheeks. She made no move to wipe them away or stop them. "Shinigami," she repeated in a whisper. "A death god…"

The world warped and shimmered through her tears, hiding the messenger of death behind her grief. Fear curled its cold fingers around Sayu's heart, and she gave into it, bowing her head and sobbing in earnest. How long she stayed like that she couldn't tell, but it was long enough that her eyes ached and it was impossible to breathe through her nose. She would have continued to cry into her knees is something sharp hadn't jabbed her in the shoulder.

"Why are you crying?" Far from concerned, the death god sounded impatient.

Sayu sniffled, rubbed her salt-raw cheeks with the back of her hand. "Because," she said after taking a deep breath. "You're here to kill me."

There was a pause filled with only the sounds of Sayu trying to calm herself down, then there was an eruption of breathy cackles. She looked up a little hesitantly, squinting through the last of the tears that had yet to fall. The shinigami - Ryuk - was arched back and laughing hard, arms splayed and shaking with mirth.

"I'm not here to kill you," he said, finally controlling himself. He was farther away from her now, thankfully, but the eyes still bore into her.

Sayu stared, unable to process. "I'm… it's not my time to die?"

The shinigami laughed its weird laugh again, and nearly startled Sayu into leaping to her feet when it jumped straight up and flipped, landing upside-down and cross-legged on the ceiling. "I suppose," it said, staring up- down at her, "that depends on you, now. Do you want to die?"

Black bangs flipped back and forth across Sayu's vision as she shook her head frantically. No, she did not want to die!

"Well then, that puts you in an interesting position."

"Why?" she whispered, still trying to shrink further into her corner.

"Because now you can see me," Ryuk said. "And I can think of one or two people who might want you dead rather than know that I'm around."

Sayu felt the fear tighten its grip around her heart even harder. "Why?" she repeated, more desperately this time. "Why would anyone want to kill me for that? I- I can just pretend I never saw you, no one ever has to know!"

Ryuk shook his head, still unconcerned over his inverted position. "Only those who have touched a death note are able to see a shinigami. If you can see me, then you know about my death note as well. That's why you might die."

Sayu stared down at the notebook she had been holding so tightly, its dark, soft cover and decoration becoming more sinister. "This is yours?" At the shinigami's nod she thrust it towards him. "Here, take it back, then! Take it and go away!"

That same chuckle, made stranger from the creature's position on Light's ceiling. "Sorry," he said through his pointed grin. "But you're not the one who can return the death note. The only one who can do that is the book's current owner, and if he does he will lose all memory of it. It makes him reluctant to part with it."

"The current owner?" Sayu stared at the notebook, then at the still open drawer of her brother's desk, then up at the hanging shinigami. An impossible thought bloomed, making horrible sense. This was her brother's notebook. It explained why Light had become so quiet, and why she sometimes heard him talking late at night. He wasn't talking to himself, he was talking to Ryuk.

Feeling as though she were in a dream, Sayu studied the cover of the book again, at the twisted English lettering. The inside was covered with even more, but it was the skull at the top that captured her attention. The skull that also appeared on Ryuk's belt buckle. The notebook of a death god…

"Shinigami…? What is this book for?"

"Can't you read it?"

Sayu shook her head, not looking up at him.

There was a gravelly sigh. "The human whose name is written in that notebook will die. As long as you know their name and have their face in mind, anyone in the world can be killed."

Sayu had already been trembling, now her hands shook so badly that if she had been able to read the words, it would have become harder as they blurred together. There weren't many conclusions that could be reached using the facts she had just been given, impossible as they may seem on their own. There weren't many, and Sayu was fighting to not see them.

The shinigami had no such qualms. "Your brother Light has been using this death note every day, filling it with hundreds of names."

Sayu shook her head. Hundreds of names? Hundreds of people who were dead, because her brother wrote them down in a notebook? Was it possible? Could it even be considered murder if all someone did was write something down on paper? Even if it was possible… Light? Her brother? There was no way he could kill one person, let alone hundreds. Not her brother. That wasn't possible. Her brother was kind, and smart, and looked after her, wanted to be a policeman like their father. A killer?

"You're lying," she whispered, feeling tears sting at her eyes again.

"Why would I lie?" the shinigami asked innocently, tilting his head to one side. "You wanted to know what the notebook is for, I thought you might want to know who's been using it as well."

"No, it's a scam… Light wouldn't do that. You're a demon, a monster, trying to trick me and get Light into trouble."

"God, not demon." Ryuk got to his feet so he was standing as easily as though the ceiling were the floor. It was still hard to look at him, as his figure seemed to slip away from her eyes. The easiest place to focus on was his face, although that presented its own set of challenges. Ryuk locked his yellow eyes on her so what he said next hit home.

"Light is Kira."

Sayu shrank from the words. They were what she had been thinking herself, but that didn't mean she had to believe them… But she couldn't necessarily disbelieve it, either. All that she had been hearing about the faceless vigilante over the past weeks, all of the supposed good that he had been doing by doling out justice to those that the law couldn't touch, began coming back to her. Criminals that no one dared go near could no longer prey on the innocent, crime rates everywhere were down, it was becoming safer to walk the streets because no one wanted to become Kira's next. The world was a safer place in an amazingly short time. It was becoming the kind of world her father worked so hard to create, the kind of world Light dreamt of creating… And all that was given in sacrifice were the lives of people who had already caused harm to others.

The more she thought about it, huddled on the floor, the more she wondered how great a sacrifice that really was.

A small clink caught her attention and Sayu looked up, only to find her entire world had been taken up by the grotesque face of the shinigami. Suddenly more afraid than she'd been before, she jerked her head back, bumping it on the wall behind her. Ryuk was mere inches away, red and yellow eyes glowing, burning like lanterns in his cadaverous face. "You could try it for yourself," he said lowly. "Even if you aren't the death note's owner, if you write down a name, that person will die."

Sayu's breath caught, and revulsion swept through her. The idea of killing someone just to test if the notebook worked… what kind of evil person would do that?

Except she had just been thinking how it might not be so bad if the ones who died, the sacrifices that were made, were those who had forfeited their innocence. What if she just wrote down the name of someone already sentenced to death? Would that be so bad? And then she would know for sure, at least, if the notebook really could kill people.

The cover was so velvety under her fingers, the white on black text soft and clean, the lined paper inviting in its emptiness, line after blank line, calling out to be filled. How simple it would be, to just write down a name.

Just one, and she would know.

"You could even take some of the pages with you when you leave," Ryuk went on, eyes still alight. "They work just as well outside the death note as in, and if you take a few pages, you could write down as many names as you wanted. You could do the same work as Light, if you wanted to."

Ryuk watched carefully as Sayu's face continued to shift with each changing thought, each suggestion that he was putting in front of her. Normally it was his habit to stay a non-player in the affairs of humans, with a couple of small exceptions. His chosen role was that of an observer, watching the doings of humans and how they dealt with having the death note in their midst. It was endlessly amusing to a creature starved of entertainment in the shinigami realm. Humans, with their twisting, turning logic and alien drives would have them behaving any manner of ways.

It could have them killing in the name of morality, violating the very rules they put in place themselves.

Light was a lucky turn, as he demonstrated this very human quality well. He needed no encouragement to go on his bizarre mission. Simply dropping the notebook to earth started him off just fine. That was one of Ryuk's small exceptions.

This was one of his small exceptions.

At first glance the two siblings did not appear to be very alike… but Ryuk had been learning what Light had been like before he found the death note, and he had an idea that they weren't so far apart. If Sayu followed along the same path that Light had, if there came to be two Kiras under the same roof, then Ryuk's entertainment would increase exponentially. Two Kiras working together could be very interesting. And the not-so-farfetched possibility that Light might not take kindly to a second savior of the human race, even if it was his own sister, just added spice to the situation.

The real interest, from Ryuk's perspective, was whether or not Sayu would also develop that kind of possessiveness over her death dealing.

Ideas, plans, were whizzing through Sayu's mind faster than they ever had before. If it were true, if Light really were Kira, then that would make her brother a murderer… one on a scale never dreamed of. But if it were true, it would also mean that Light had taken on a huge burden, a responsibility to the entire human race by acting as its avenger. He was doing good work, there was a good reason for what her brother was doing. The world was becoming a better place thanks to his sacrifice. He was killing for the sake of the innocent, so they would be safe.

But it was still killing.

No one else would understand, not even their father if he ever found out. They saw the world in black and white, right and wrong, with no shades of grey or room for argument between. They would see Light simply as a killer - Kira - and not look at all the good he had done with a questionable means. Light was putting himself in horrible danger by using this notebook.

Sayu could do it for him. She could take the notebook, whole, and take over the job Light had started. No one would suspect a schoolgirl like her to have such a thing, of being capable of killing. Light they might come suspect, eventually. She would be a much better choice. And if anyone came for him, tried to take Light on suspicion, or her, who would be able to? Who was there who could stand against the power of a death god?

She could do it. She knew she could, if she could just…

"Ryuk? If I… took this notebook, would I become the owner? Would Light lose his memory?"

The shinigami, mercifully, leaned back, regarding the young girl with gold and scarlet eyes. "If you can hide and keep the death note in your possession for 490 days without Light finding it and taking it back, then it's yours."

More than a year of hiding the notebook in the same house while Light would surely be looking for it. There was no way she could keep it secret from him so long. "Is there any other way to take the notebook?"

"Yes… the death note will be yours if Light dies while it's in your possession."

The world stopped. For a minute, every coherent thought froze and Sayu felt her body go slightly numb. It wasn't the suggestion that the death god was making. It was that for an instant, the option of killing her own brother had seemed reasonable, and most certainly possible. Sayu felt sick.

Trembling all over again, Sayu dropped the notebook, almost threw it to the floor in her haste to get the seductively soft covers away from her shaking fingers. Wrapping her arms protectively around her middle, she curled up and began to rock. "I can't do this," she whispered to herself.

Ryuk, still listening, reared back onto his bent legs. His perpetual grin made it hard to tell, but he might have looked disappointed. "Why not?"

The girl shook her head, still rocking slightly back and forth, eyes fixed on the floor by her feet. One part of her mind, trying to find something mundane to focus on, noticed that one of her house slippers had come off, probably when Ryuk had startled her. Not surprising she hadn't noticed at the time, but now that she had she could feel that her socked foot was getting cold. The rest of her mind, still entangled in the grotesque play it had been thrown into, desperately churned for something equally simple to cling to, to no avail. "I can't kill someone," Sayu murmured to the floor. "Anyone… it's not right."

"Your brother is doing it," the shinigami pointed out remorselessly.

"No. No, that's wrong. He wouldn't…" Even as she said it, though, she could feel that her conviction was all but dust. She believed the shinigami existed, that it wasn't a hallucination, she somehow accepted that the notebook could kill… if she believed those, then finding the book in her brother's room only condemned him. She didn't need to hear Ryuk's continuing argument to be convinced, she already was.

"You know he would. To create a new world he would, and he is."

The rocking stopped. "I can't let him keep doing it, then." Sayu's muddled thoughts cleared slightly. "I have to stop him." The notebook and the killings were the problem. Fighting fire with fire would only destroy everything in its path. To get things back to normal, the fire had to be taken away.

Ryuk laughed, making Sayu look up. "How?" the shinigami managed around his mirth. "Will you steal the death note? Can you hide it from him that long?" The specter's head tilted to one of its impossible angles, the grin stretching obscenely. "Or will you kill him to stop him?"

"No! I- I'll take the book to my father, he'll know what to do."

"He's in charge of the investigative team searching for Kira. Light would be arrested."

"But then he would be stopped, and safe."

The shinigami, a dark, towering form of raven's feathers and smoke with eyes of burning coals, almost 'tsked' at the girl. "Do you think that Kira would escape execution?"

Sayu stared, feeling like the ground beneath her had just opened up to swallow her whole, and wished it would. She tried to speak, but her voice refused to work as her throat constricted around it. Light's room and the grinning demon swam out of focus, and tears cut their second set of tracks down Sayu's cheeks. Despairing, the girl buried her face in her knees, letting herself sob against all the fear and frustration eating at her. This morning everything had been as right as possible, with Kira being a far and distant thing and her own family secure and fighting on the side of the law. Now… now she knew it was so much closer, that her brother was this killer no one could catch, and there was nothing she could do that wouldn't lead to death one way or another. She'd been drawn into a kind of conspiracy she wasn't meant to, and now she couldn't back out of it.

It wasn't fair.

Sayu cried until her eyes were more sore than ever, her throat raw and her nose so clogged she could barely breathe. When her tears finally began to run dry, leaving her still with the need to cry but nothing to cry with, she talked lowly to herself as she had as a child. "It's not fair. This can't be happening, it's all a dream. I'll wake up and need to go to school soon… I wish it was a dream, then I could forget…"

She didn't expect the shinigami to be listening to her mumbles, much less for him to take it seriously…


Light's door opened quietly and shut again with barely a sound. The lock clicked into place, and the trim, angular young man threw his schoolbag onto the bed with a sigh. It had been another boring, frustrating day working at problems that he could do in his sleep. The only thing that kept him from descending into madness was knowing he had the most interesting of distractions waiting for him at home. He had some deep planning to do to now that L had entered the scene, and that was a far pleasanter way to pass the time than repetitive, obvious equations and useless papers.

There was a crunch over his head, making him look up. Sitting cross-legged on the ceiling, devouring one of his favorite fruits, was the less pleasant aspect that came with the notebook. Ryuk grinned down at him. "Welcome home, Light-kun."

Light glared back up at the hanging death god. Of all the creatures that could have come attached to the death note, there were worse options available. Light knew that he could have wound up with something much worse than Ryuk, but sometimes he regretted allowing the apple fiend into his home. At least he didn't interfere with his plans to become the God of his New World.

"Hello, Ryuk." He loosened his tie, worked at the top button of his shirt. "Where did you get off to? I thought you were meant to stick close to me?"

Another half of the apple disappeared into the pointed maw of the shinigami before he answered. "There's no actual rule that says I have to be with you every minute. I decided to come home early for a snack." He held out the remains of the apple as evidence, which was little more than one edge of skin and half an inch of flesh.

"Hmph." The jacket came off and joined the schoolbag on the bed. "Well, just make sure that no one sees a floating apple when you decide to have a snack break. I don't want to have to hear my sister panicking over fruit loving ghosts when I get home."

The shinigami only chuckled.

"I've got some of the supplies I was telling you about before." Light took out a small plastic shopping bag he had hidden in with his textbooks. "I can get started on the permanent hiding place for the notebook."

The mindless shinigami just chuckled its chuckle again, and Light wondered if he found everything amusing. Was the realm of the shinigami so monotonous that even pedestrian activities were enough to make him laugh? The boy sighed and walked under Ryuk, ignoring the sniggers and the final crunches of the unlucky apple. There wasn't anything useful he needed out of the shinigami for now, so he could ignore him implicitly.

Ryuk slurped down the final bits of Sayu's apple. After the little trick he had pulled on her memory, she hadn't been able to stay awake. Which was just as well, she needed to sleep off the effects of all the crying she had done. Ryuk supposed that it could be considered breaking the rules, or at the very least bending them quite far to take the girl's memories when she hadn't been the owner of the death note when she rejected it. Since the notebook already had an owner, to follow the rules strictly, her putting it down wouldn't affect her memory. Anyone not tied to the note that came into contact with it would remember everything about it and still be able to see him… if Ryuk had followed the rules to the letter.

When she had not only rejected the notebook, but had begun planning on exposing Light-kun as well, Ryuk felt the need to intervene slightly. The possibility of creating a new source of entertainment had been too good to pass up, but when she threatened to take away all of his toys, that had to be stopped. Besides, she had been seriously considering taking the death note for herself. If he wanted to, he could stretch the definitions in the rules to include her, and his little stunt with her memories would be considered completely legitimate.

Ryuk watched the current owner of his notebook set out the little odds and ends he had gathered to create the perfect hiding place for the notebook. That had been Ryuk's last opportunity to add another player for quite some time, if he ever got the chance again at all. It was too bad that the family resemblance between brother and sister ended at their tenacity.


A/N2: As many may have noticed, there were a few more tributes to the Japanese origins of Death Note than usual. Don't ask me why, sometimes I just feel like shaking things up. ^^

Okasan: How one addresses their own or someone else's mother. A more formal way of saying it would be Oka-sama, more informal would be Ka-chan.

Genkan: The small porch/entryway where one's shoes are removed and house slippers put on before going inside to avoid tracking in dirt and mud.

Anything else everyone should be fairly familiar with, I think. If anyone with more Japanese knowledge than myself spots any faults, lemme know and I'll fix it. :D

Thanks for reading everyone!