I don't own Death Note
The car ride was bumpy as always; the fancy town cars we were always picked up weren't suited for the country roads. However it was relaxing. The constant humming from the engine and the rare sunshine that shone through the windows left me in a half-drowsy state. I couldn't say the same for the two boys sitting across from me. They were rapt with attention; staring out the windows like at any moment some great dragon would fly over the car.
My boys. I couldn't help but smile at the pair of them. Raito and Ryuzaki. Raito's name had been a bit of a joke; merely someone saying "Light" with a heavy Japanese accent. Ryuzaki of course was named for the codename L had been so fond of. They both had their father's last name, though all of the documents we used said Yagami. I had been left with this sort of paranoia after the Kira case. Yet another reason why I kept their initials identical, both R.L. in hopes that if someone would ever acquire a death note in their lifetime, he would confuse the names and faces.
Rate and Zack, as I called them. They were twins. Not identical, but fraternal.
Rate's hair was a dark brown, closer to Sayu's color than mine, but it still had that shine Light's had. His hair just reached his collarbone, but his bangs often fell in his face and he would have to brush them back or toss his head much like a horse. He was just beginning to reach the age where children lose their baby fat, so it appeared he was much taller than he actually was. He wore normal clothes; t-shirts, jeans, sneakers etc. Though he had a tendency to rewear a dark gray jacket to the point where it became uniform for him. He stuck to dark colors. His eyes however, instead of being my brown, were L's shade of gray.
Zack's hair was much darker brown, verging on black. He wore it longer than Rate's, keeping it just short enough that he couldn't be told he had girl hair by Rate. It always tended to have a windswept look that he couldn't be bothered to deal with. While Rate was losing his baby fat, Zack had none at all. He looked very angular and had knobbly knees and elbows. He also stuck to typical kid's attire. His shoelaces had a habit of coming undone and he often trailed behind Rate and I because he was retying a shoe. He wore whatever he saw first regardless of color. His eyes were a dark dark brown that often appeared black due to his hair.
Both of them enjoyed sweets though not nearly at the level L had. Rate usually spoke too quickly, while Zack spoke too slow or not at all.
"I don't understand why we have to stay there," Rate said with a frown still staring out the window. "We never had to before."
"You need to have some sort of education," I said back. "Near and I don't have time to teach you while we're working on cases."
Rate turned to face me, brushing his hair out of his face. "We'll teach ourselves; Zack and I are smart enough to manage it.
"There are some things that can't be self-taught, and it's not a question of whether or not you and Zack are smart enough." I sighed in exasperation. "Didn't you like going to school?"
"I liked the Japanese school," Zack said quietly. "We were able to stay with Aunt Sayu and Uncle Matsuda and the teachers were good."
"You just liked them because they let you read your horror stories during class," Rate interrupted with a scowl.
Zack went on like he hadn't heard his brother. "I didn't like the American school. The teachers thought I was strange."
"You are strange," Rate muttered. Zack seemed to shrink in a little bit on himself. Instantly Rate was apologetic. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm just mad okay?" Zack nodded solemnly back at him.
They often had little spats like this. Fights that were resolved before they were even fights.
"Well you should like Wammy's House. It's where Near and your Dad grew up. If you're too smart for the teachers, they'll hire new ones to challenge you," I said trying to throw in another pitch.
Rate continued to sulk. I sighed again and reached through my bag pulling out two wrapped boxes.
"I was going to wait to give you these until we got there, but I suppose there's no harm in doing it now." I held the boxes out.
Rate perked up immediately and ripped the paper off as though his life was dependant on it. Zack's pace was slower and more delicate.
"A cell phone!" Rate crowed with delight. "So we can call you right? While you're gone?" I nodded with a smile. Zack was less enthusiastic.
"I read a book where everyone who had cell phones became zombies," he commented.
Rate rolled his eyes. "Well that can't really happen. There's no radiation in them or anything."
"It wasn't because of radiation. Someone made a frequency that played whenever someone was listening to a cell phone. It basically undid evolution and made everyone mindless and following everyone else like drones."
Rate looked at him fearfully. "Nobody could make anything like that now…could they?"
Zack shrugged. "I don't know. I won't use it, so I'll be safe." Rate continued to grow more panicked until Zack smiled. "Just kidding."
"YOU JERK! I thought you were serious!"
"Why would you believe anything as ridiculous as that? Don't you have any common sense?"
Both boys were rolling around on the floor, laughing and throwing insults at each other. The car stopped, but neither of them noticed. I simply got out and held the door open, waiting for them to fall out.
"Why are you saying anything? You fell on top of me!"
"Your body is very boney."
"You're the one who has matchsticks for ribs!"
I cleared my throat. They both peered up at me and got to their feet, blushing like mad when they saw all the kids who had gathered around to see the fight.
"Why don't you both grab your things and go unpack," I suggested. "You'll be staying the same rooms you normally do." The children who had flocked giggled at this before running off to play something else.
"Rei!" a woman's voice called. "It's good to see you!"
I grinned widely at the keeper of Wammy's House. "It's good to see you too, Penelope." Roger had passed on some time ago, and Penelope had been hired in his place. Her father had been a former Wammy graduate, so she knew how to keep a secret. She was several years younger than me, with blonde hair and bright blue eyes. However she was tall, so she towered over me.
"Are the boys already inside?" she asked. I nodded. "How old are they now?"
"Seven," I groaned. "Seven going on thirty-seven." She laughed. "I swear, I have to give them Greek textbooks now to keep them out of my hair. They're both almost too bright, just like their father."
"I can imagine," she sympathized. Her voice suddenly grew faint. "Um, ha-have you heard from Near lately?" she asked flushing.
"Not since this morning? Why?"
"Ah! No reason! Just wondering!" She looked around trying to change the subject. "Will you be staying long?"
"No, I'm really just here to drop off the boys. I'll just say good-bye to them and be on my way." I started walking towards the car again, the driver still patiently waiting for me.
"Would like me to fetch them?"
"No need!" I said with a laugh, popping open the trunk and fishing Rate and Zack out.
"…it seems she's found us," Zack commented.
"Duh," Rate shot back.
I rolled my eyes and pulled them both into a hug, squeezing as hard as I could. "Be good, okay?" I said. They nodded. "I love you."
"Promise you'll call us every day!" Rate started.
"And email," Zack added.
"And video chat!"
"Alright I promise!" I laughed. "You're both ridiculous."
"You have to pinkie promise," they said simultaneously.
I swallowed heavily, but stuck my pinkie out all the same. They both followed suit and I had to fight back tears. I pulled them both into one last hug. "I love both of you. So much." I pulled back kissing both of their foreheads.
I got into the car, waving out the window as we drove away. I brushed away the tears that had formed in the corners of my eyes and cleared my throat. We drove for about fifteen minutes, before my phone.
I flipped the phone open in exasperation, expecting Rate to be the one on the other end of the line.
"I didn't realize you received so many calls that you would be unable to remember the number I use to contact you."
"Don't get smart with me," I said sourly. "I didn't bother to look at the number and just gave Rate and Zack cell phones."
"I see. Then you are already returning from Wammy's House?"
"I am. By the way, have you spoken with Penelope lately?"
"No, I have not communicated with Miss Edwards as of late."
I smirked into the phone. "Her little crush on you has gotten worse."
"…this topic is extremely irrelevant."
"Throw the girl a bone! At least have dinner with her or something so she can realize you're a jerk and get over you."
"I feel mildly insulted."
"Liar," I said with a laugh. "Anyway, I presume you called for business reasons.
"Yes. Members of political parties opposing Russia's current leader are dying from heart attacks. Naturally, due to the political nature of the case the authorities have managed to keep it quiet. However, I believe that it will be exposed soon."
"Another copy-cat Kira?" I asked.
Though Kira's influence had faded from the world; his fanatics and reputations had not. It was not uncommon for murders or leaders to adopt his beliefs. If the case became more than a few muggers dead, Near, acting as L was called in to handle the situation. Luckily we have never encountered a situation where a death note was being used.
"Correct. High levels of certain toxins were found in the blood. But if this case ever comes to the attention of the public, I'm sure that fact would be omitted."
"Russia, huh? Is it cold right now."
"Wonderful," I groaned.
"When shall I expect you back at the hotel?"
"In another hour."
I sighed and placed the phone down beside me, only to have it vibrate a second later. I read the text message.
We miss u
I smiled softly to myself.
They were on their own now. Becoming their own persons.
"Well L, looks like they're growing up."
And for a moment I could imagine him sitting next to me; a small proud smile on his face.
Thank you all so much for sticking with me until now. I want to be able to thank all of you, but I'm afraid all have to limit myself to a few.
First, to Miss Bright. Thank you so much for giving this fic a chance and always reviewing kindly. People like you make the world go round for people like me.
Secondly, to WhiteLadyDragon. Thank you for always reviewing so honestly and not holding back. Your criticism has helped me become a better writer and Rei a better character.
Lastly, to Jayne Foyer. Look Lucy. I did it, just like you said I could. I know it may be a while before you read this, but I still want you to know what you mean to me. You were the one who inspired me to write and who taught me to say what I mean. You're quite honestly my very best friend in the entire world.
I'll be taking a small break after this to begin planning my next fic, Dance with the Devil. You can find information for it on my profile. It will be beta'd by the lovely Jayne Foyer. It's going to have a bit darker feel then this one and I'll be trying a different style out. I'll begin posting that October 31st. The date alone should warn you what's coming.
Small note: Zack is talking about a real book. It's called Cell by Stephen King. I highly recommend it. It's a new sort of zombie feel.
Thank you all once again.
Good-bye for now,