Lynx: Thank you to the wonderful Practically Venomous for betaing this chapter!

Chapter Seven: Close to the Cigar

I was called in to an empty and private office. After a day of rest, I came back to nothing but people worrying about me. L had asked me for my presence, privately, and of course, many objected. I just shrugged. I had a feeling he was going to discuss that my illness was a liability and that I should stand down and leave the case; which I was going to refuse to do. I was tired of being treated like a doll.

The office looked more like an interrogation room. A portable table was in the middle as well as a metal folded up chair, which I unfolded and sat upon. There were two cameras staring down at me, and I knew there were two others behind me. I was sure that there were more than just those. L was always thorough.

I waited a moment when I heard a quiet voice. "Good morning, Yagami-san."

"L." I nodded my head. "Good morning."

There was a long pause. "Mello always was rash," He finally stated. My body jerked and my eyes narrowed. Why did he bring up that name? There was another pause. "And judging from the way your reacted, I can assume safely that he affected you."

"He kidnapped me. You tell me how that doesn't affect someone and I'll admit I'm crazy," I snapped.

"I didn't mean to offend you." There was no apology in his voice, and I wasn't about to demand one from him. We were in tensed silence. Perhaps he didn't feel it. "I wanted to talk to you privately; I know that you've been studying the Kira case."

"And what do you have for proof?" I asked. I had turned off the cameras. I knew how to get into the security room and erase any tapes if I forgot one or so. There shouldn't be anything tracing me to a crime.

"You're the only witness to Matt Jeevas and Misa Aname's wedding." I opened my mouth to tell him that it had nothing to do with the Kira case. "Matt's well known for running his mouth. I'm also sure that Matt helped you in the beginning, because most of the information couldn't be accessed by file."

I snapped my mouth shut. "Your point?" I asked coldly.

"Also I noticed that some of the tapes from security are blank or they'd been turned off and turned back on after a number of minutes. Only…enough to fill your breaks." There was a hint of smugness. "I'm surprised that you covered your tracks so well."

I couldn't defend myself from any of these accusations. I merely narrowed my eyes and firmly kept my mouth closed. I don't know if we had a staring contest, if Near was waiting for me to say anything, or if I was waiting for more information that he had about my activities.

"You're good, Near," I finally said, admitting that I knew his real name and also knew that he was L's successor. Only few people knew that information and I had a feeling that he wasn't at all shocked to know that I knew it. We both knew that Matsuda would be the one that told me. If he thought Matt ran his mouth, Matsuada was worse.

"You're no genius," Near said after a while. "If anyone had been looking, it would be considered an amateur's attempt at sneaking around. How far are you in cracking the case?"

"The case is already cracked," I answered. "You're the one that solved it along with L, Matt, and Mello." Matt had lost his life. Misa had lost her husband and will to go on. Mello had died and I gained the inspiration to breathe again. L…I don't know anything about him besides it was the name of a famous detective. I don't know how close he was to closing the case before he died.

"You blame me," Near commented. "You always did seem sour towards me."

"There's nothing I blame you for." I leaned back against the chair. "I'm trying to figure out who my brother was and why he turned into the criminal he was. If he was innocent, I will find out."

"You want to keep hoping that your brother was framed."

"I gave up on hope a long time ago, Near," I said stiffly. "My brother was Kira. If it's true, then my father died in the arms of a criminal, and I was in danger of being killed in my own house, in my own bed, by my own kin."

"One would consider it lucky that you're still alive. Some of the Kira worshippers may look towards you as a goddess of death as well." Near sounded amused.

I didn't see anything amusing about it. I stood up. "I'm a detective. I'm a part of Heartbreaker Case. You're wasting my time and I bet another female is dead on the ground."

"For ten hours actually," Near said, "I was the one that was elected to tell you."

My heart thudded. "So you brought me in here to infuriate me and then tell me that there's been a death! Goddamn it, Near! I'm starting to understand why Mello wanted to beat you!"

Near ignored me. "Does the name….Yuri sound familiar to you?"

Light's girlfriend before he became Kira. Yuri had been such a good friend to me. I immediately sat down, my head spinning and heart beating. "Was she the real target?" I whispered. "Are we too late?"

"No, but I can safely assume that you may want to keep your guard up. His MO changed again. Yuri's body was found outside an apartment. Her heart was in the trash." My stomach turned. I could imagine her blood on the ground, her body laying helplessly with wide-eyes that were blank without life.

"He's losing his touch," I finally had a good enough grip on myself to say something. "You think he's close?"

"Close to the real target? Yes. I'm getting names of who Yuri saw last. If I find anyone who was common with the others, then we'll be able to take him down." Near commented, "I'm sorry about your friend."

I merely nodded, folded the chair, and walked out of the room and straight into the bathroom. My stomach couldn't handle it and my mind was torturing me with thoughts of what Yuri must have gone through. I couldn't wait until that damn bastard was behind bars.

I decided to work overtime. I stayed at my desk as I looked through newspapers that were talking about a new victim. The news was playing on my desktop, softly talking about the latest incident that the Heartbreaker had created. Many of the members of the small task-force had decided to go home and enjoy life. Matsuda and Yamato were the only ones that occupied the office with me, along with Mogi who was also working quietly.

"Sayu, you're going to fall asleep." Matsuda was next to me. His eyes were filled with concern and his hand was at my chair and another was on my desk. He was looking at the piles of newspapers that I had stacked and the news I had playing. "It's been a rough day, why don't you take a break?"

"No, I'm fine." I gave Matsuda a smile. His eyes flashed concern, worry, then acceptance. He knew that he wasn't going to be able to get me to leave. I looked back at my work. If anyone had been affected by Light's death, it was him. I was starting to think that if my brother had been the one who was Kira, I think Matsuda was the one who felt guilty that he didn't realize it.

Matsuda liked my brother. Everyone loved Light. We were blinded and I couldn't blame any one of them. I put my pencil down. I had been circling every article that had anything about Yuri or the Heartbreaker. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the glass walls that were around us. The world could look in and see busy workers, and we could look out and wish that we were the ones walking around; walking away from this gore.

I remember when I finished my time at the academy and in the police force, climbing the ranks as fast as I could. I remember how harsh I was to those that broke even the tiniest law. I remember when I solved my first case and how I treated the criminal. I remembered I told him that he was lucky that Kira was no longer around. I wasn't allowed to interrogate anymore because of my threatening statement. I had to admit when I got back to my apartment, I laughed.

I laughed at my stupidity, at how my feelings compelled me to be a Kira supporter for just that one moment, and how I regretted it. But, it didn't stop me from thinking it. In a way, if Kira were still around, I think my brother would be around too; especially if he was Kira.

"You spacing out isn't convincing me that you're fine," Matsuda said. I didn't realize that he was back at his desk. I looked over to my side and saw that he was writing something down on a notepad.

"You sound like my shrink." I smiled fondly. She had been a good one. She taught me many things about myself, and I opened many doors with her. Without her, I don't think I would be able to handle standing on my own two feet. I don't think I would be able to handle Misa's suicide. I don't think I could handle being a police officer, or a detective.

"Better a shrink than a parent." Matsuda frowned as he looked up. "Then again I do like children."

Yamato snickered and Mogi's lips curled into a smile. I had to bite back a grin myself. "You say the strangest things," I told him, laughter crept into my voice.

Matsuda looked offended. "How is that saying something strange?"

"Take it out of context and you sound like a pedophile," Yamato pointed out. I had to clap my hand across my mouth to hide my laugh. I glanced over at Mogi whose shoulders were shaking slightly.

Matsuda looked horrified. "Yamato! That's disturbing!"

He held his hands up. "You're the one that said it. I merely pointed it out."

"My god." Matsuda placed both hands on his face.

"Also," I couldn't help pointing out, "indirectly you called me a child."

It was so easy to make Matsuda bang his head on the desk. He grumbled something that I couldn't understand, but it sent Yamato into hysterics. I shook my head, amused and went back to the newspapers, my mind clear.

The news lady said something and I looked up. They were showing the location of where Yuri's body was found and my face paled. I turned it up, just a bit so that no one else would be disturbed. My heart stopped completely and my blood ran cold. Yuri had lived in the same apartment as I lived.