Disclaimer: If I owned DN, Mello would never have worn a shirt. Never. Not once. No shirts, ever.
Spring 2007, To Oh University
Light was staring out the window of his Econ lab, letting the role of conversation flow and ebb around him as he watched younger students cross the campus at blinding speed. It was drizzling outside, and Light was mildly amused by watching the various falls and mud slides that the younger students were getting themselves into. He watched as one particularly speedy student with an overly large backpack settled on his thing shoulders took a spectacular dive into a mud puddle. Light allowed himself one small snort, before glancing down at his watch to see that his self-allotted 'mental break' time was over.
He sighed as he turned back to his already completed lab report. This class was absolutely inane, an obscure required class by his degree that neither intellectually stimulated Light, nor held any relevance to his future career plans. It was this sort of requirement that had turned Light off of his college experience starting the second term of his freshman year, and the academic ennui had stalked him ever since. He hadn't let his grades drop though, and was expected to graduate top of his class- again. Light didn't think he could fail if he tried at this point; it was just too automatic for him to be the best, both for himself and for his professors. Light was willing to be they hadn't actually read one of his term papers in years, instead just glancing at him name and the large amount of pages with minuscule type and writing an 'A' on top. He pushed his paper forward as the class assistant walked past him for collection and he indulged the other man with a small smile of shared pain. The assistant was actually more Light's speed than the professor, and the two had shared a number of conversations on macro-economic theory outside of class without the restrictions of the other students' knowledge over lunch which for both Light and the T.A. followed this lab. The man was relatively brilliant, and young enough to not be caught up in his own academic ego, making him a challenging verbal sparring partner for Light. He was also the key reason Light was now contemplating a graduate degree, perhaps even abroad.
Light had always known he was destined for the NPA- to become one of Japan's bravest just like his father. But recently he had been questioning the time line of that destiny, wondering whether the minimal increase of his NPA salary from an additional degree would be worth the time and money spent getting another degree of higher accolade. He knew his father disapproved, but Light could use the additional education and time to himself before tying himself down to a detective's life. He had been bitterly disappointed with his undergraduate experience so far, but from his research, it seemed graduate school would be much more fulfilling. Light twirled his pencil in his fingers, glancing back out of the window. The rain had only increased, meaning Light would probably have to stick to the small café located within the econ building for lunch. Lovely.
As the bell rang to end the period, Light stood and stretched, glancing at the TA. He sent Light a small smile, but shook his head as the professor of the class talked his ear off about something or the other. So Light would be dining alone on poorly prepared Western-style chicken salad today then. Lovelier.
He exited the classroom in the thick of the rush, and let the crowd carry him forward to the over-packed café at the north end of the building. Ordering the chicken salad and a cappuccino, he used a few well placed smiles and eyebrow raises to secure himself a chair alone in the corner, sliding into a red vinyl chair and wincing as it made that unpleasant squelching sound. Pulling out his laptop, he began to search once again through graduate schools online, quickly running through his top list of possibilities. It was a pointless exercise, he'd long ago memorized the information on all of his top schools, but looking at the glossy online portrayals soothed Light. He tapped his fingers idly against the sticky table top, contemplating that he needed to begin the application process soon. It was the end of his junior year and he had all of his scores in, international and otherwise, so now all he needed were easy to come buy professor recommendations and a lot of essays. Light was lucky that To-Oh had been a forerunner in transitioning to the traditional two semester system used throughout the rest of the world, so that making the switch to another country's graduate school wouldn't be too hard. The switch had happened his sophomore year, and Light had immediately liked it better for the freedom it offered him. This past summer he had toured the United States, taking in different universities and monuments with all the money his parents had saved for his college education that Light had not used due to his extensive scholarships. It had been wonderful and invigorating, and Light was looking forward to the end of this semester so he could continue his solo adventuring in Europe this time. He glanced back at the Oxford page. Maybe…
Light's cell phone went off with a soft trill and he frowned, staring at it. Light was popular, but he was not social. He rarely gave out his private line, relying instead on email for his social communiqués. As a matter of fact, he could usually set his watch by the phone calls he received- one in the evening from his parents and sister at 7, and then a following one at 8:30 as Sayu launched into her homework. Light's recent move from his house into his college apartment had been rough on her academic standing. So Light stared confusedly at his phone for a moment before sliding it open and answering.
"Yagami, are you alone?" Light paused as he heard the hushed male tone. This couldn't be…No, no, they never called this early on tap day. It was only noon. Light hadn't expected this call until at least after he was done with Sayu's tutoring.
"Go to the physics lab, you have 180 seconds." Light dropped his phone into his pocket, quickly shoved all of his things into the lap of one of his better known classmates' hands and ran. The physics lab was across campus, and he was going to need all of his precious seconds to get there. Sprinting across the rainy campus like a madman, Light didn't care at the gaping faces. They could go to hell, Light needed to get to that lab.
He slid into the physics lab, noting that it was closed supposed to be closed before slamming open the door and running in. Standing by the window grinning widely was the tennis club captain, a title Light was expected to take over next year. He strode over to Light, clapping a hand down on Light's shoulder and leaning forward into Light's face. Light took in the strange light the boy's eyes had, and felt him stomach flip over. It was time.
"Light Yagami….Kira, accept or reject?" Light's heart beat faster at the word, getting tunnel vision for a moment. He'd known he was going to get this since freshman year, but still. It was a moment of victory to be treasured, to be noted as significant against the dull background the rest of his life was reduced to thanks to school. Light nodded before opening his mouth, and saw the smile of his tennis team mate widen even further as he answered.
Light spent the rest of the day in a haze, listening less than usual in his lectures. He wondered who else among his class was going to get the tap, and surreptitiously began to glance at the most promising candidates spread out among his large lecture class on philosophy. There was the young head of the school's newspaper, he would definitely get tapped. Then there were a few legacies and sons of prominent businessmen that would most likely be part of Light's class of future Shinigami…
Light leaned back and relished the thought for a moment longer. He was going to be a Shinigami, a member of Kira, Japan's most prestigious secret society. Light knew he had always been destined for great things, but this was actual confirmation from those who mattered. Receiving the tap was like a validation for everything, more than entrance to To-Oh, more than the newspaper articles about him, more than the proud softening of his father's eyes every time the two talked.
More importantly, Kira was legend, and Light was going to be part of it. The Kira Society had been founded not long after To-Oh, only 6 years after actually. And from 1864, the society had run Japanese society from the prestigious halls of its famous Tomb, located on the outskirts of campus. The tall, spiraling building that only had a large ornate English 'K' emblazoned on the door was a source of rumors and intrigue for all of the students on campus. The Kira Society had many rumors attributed to it, but the most exciting were that they practically handpicked Japan's rulers, from the NPA director, to the government, to business CEO's. They had practically started all of Japan's intelligence agencies, and any member was sure to succeed through the society's connections. Light felt another tingling rush of adrenaline spike through him. He was going to be a Shinigami.
He saw the captain of the baseball team, Sasaki Akio and also a junior, glance back up at him from a few rows down. Light was relatively friendly with the other boy, but they kept their distance usually because the other boy was fond of partying whereas Light was fond of his solitude and perfect grades. Light arched an eyebrow and the baseball player smirked back, lightly tapping his shoulder. Light nodded back and the other boy winked at him. So it looked like Sasaki had gotten in as well, that was no surprise. He was one of Japan's best baseball pitchers with one of the fastest curve balls in the world. His family was also extremely rich, unlike Light's upper middle class standing. Light would have bet his trip money on Sasaki getting the tap, and Light disliked betting immensely. There was no glory in winning by chance.
Light glanced back up at his professor, and tried to pay attention and sate his racing thoughts. He would learn more tonight, and until then, he just had to wait.
Light was pulled from his bed, with a bag shoved over his head at exactly 11:33pm. Light was glad he had only been resting his eyes instead of actually going to bed, so that he was still dressed in a presentable outfit. He was then pushed into what he assumed Kira's Tomb at 11:46, according to Light's amazingly accurate inner clock. There he waited, head covered, as he heard shuffling and others being pushed into place beside him. As the stroke of midnight rang out from the university's bell tower, he felt his head covering lifted and Light immediately looked around, taking in the large room.
They were obviously in the antechamber to the Tomb's infamous Hall, and lined up on the wall where sport coats of the same make, and exceedingly nice velvet slippers with each of the eight young men's name written in a flowing script next to a set. Light slid his jacket on and slipped the slippers on, placing his shoes by the card with his name. He glanced down at the comfortable slippers, noting the fine quality and the golden thread that twinkled dully in the muted firelight that lit the antechamber. They were emblazoned with a golden English 'K' on the left foot, and a "S" on the other. Kira and Shinigami. Light had heard rumors that The Kira Society preferred English due to their connections with the secret societies contained within Britain, perhaps this was confirmation. He glanced at his other fellow juniors, noting that while a few where dressed in more casual nighttime attire, many had taken to over-dress for the occasion, probably lying awake in bed in their Chino's and leather loafers. It made Light glad that his normal dress was so well put-together, he didn't look to be trying as hard as the newspaper editor, who was now sporting a tie, even though Light had never seen him outside of jeans.
"Gentlemen, welcome." Light glanced up to where his tennis teammate and captain was speaking. Hiroaki was grinning widely at all of them, but spared a particularly bright smile for Light. "You know why you are here. You are the best of To-Oh, and therefore the best of Japan. You have been chosen for your unique combination of skills. Each of you represents something your class of Shinigami will need. You are to bond together over the next month until your seniors graduate so that you may carry on the Kira legacy. You are to know each other more intimately than your family knows each other, more intimately than your girlfriends know you. We are now your true family. Welcome home, boys." Hiroaki threw open the doors with flourish, and the stunned eight young men entered into the Hall. Light stared at the torch lit walls and paintings of Kira's most famous members, memorizing their faces. The light created by the flames was eerie, flickering along the walls in spurts, creating shadows and intrigue on the rough stone walls. The long rug underneath their feet was obviously old, but impeccably maintained, the oriental pattern showing a bit of French influence. Light looked on ahead, staring at the hooded figure that stood on an elevated podium at the end of the hall. Above them, similarly hooded figures stood on a balcony that ran the length of the Hall, each of them clutching a large black notebook emblazoned with white letters that Light couldn't make out.
"Future Shinigami's, welcome. You will call me Ryuk. I will be the guiding Shinigami for your journey into The Kira Society." The man pushed back his hood, and Light started. He was young, perhaps only a few years older than Light himself.
"My outside name is Mikami Teru. I am of the Shinigami Class of 2004. I will teach you the meaning of our society, our brotherhood, and you will learn your lessons well or face my displeasure." Light fought his urge to smirk at the dramatic proclamation. Despite his enthusiasm for the Society, Light was not a fan of theatrics. But still, the dark haired man had a flash in his eyes that showed he was exceedingly serious.
"You will now receive your Death Notes. Inside of them you will find our rules, our history, and our pride as a Society. You will not reveal the contents of these Death Notes to anyone, under any circumstances or you will face death. Remember gentlemen, the moment you said 'accept', you became one of us. Our laws are absolute, our rules are the ultimate guide. You will not break them, no matter what. You will benefit immensely from Kira, but only if you obey Kira, is that understood?" There were soft murmurs of assent from the young men, and slowly they were lined up as the hooded men descended down spiral staircases that were behind the podium, congregating behind 'Ryuk'. Light frowned as Hiroaki pushed him towards the back of the line, squeezing his shoulders for a brief moment.
"You are now in the order of importance for your class. The outgoing senior class has chosen your class Shinigami King for you, the one most deserving of the title. The Shinigami King of each class is the one that best represents what Kira values- intellect, discipline, determination, athleticism, and class." Light's stomach twisted funnily as he glanced up at the front of the line where Sasaki Akio stood. Though the other junior didn't have half the grades Light did, he was still easily in the top 5% of their class. And he often went toe to toe with Light for athletic awards, and had beaten out Light by making team captain a year earlier than Light, even as Light won the Spring Sports banquet's overall MVP award for the university's athletes at the end of their sophomore year. He was also the son of a well-known politician with various connects, most likely a Kira legacy. Not just that, but Light was standing at the back of the line, behind a group of his classmates that were all easily within Japan's top income bracket. One part of Light knew that he should have been prepared for the class clash that was likely to occur when he was tapped, but it was still slightly infuriating. He wanted the prestige of joining Kira, but not at the insult to his own ego. He was Japan's finest after all, the top student in his class and the country for years. He didn't need Kira to survive, merely he wanted the connections because he was a student of practicality, and joining Kira was the most expedient way to reach his goals. But he would not be insulted or discriminated against because of his father's income. Though his father did not make as much as the businessmen who had sired those standing in front of Light, he still had plenty of influence as the NPA's chief- influence that would be important to Kira, as they were known for sometimes dealing in the underground and then becoming in need of Japan's police force's forgiveness.
"Your King is…" Light glanced up at Sasaki, who winked at him once again and then glanced at one of the hooded figures, who nodded slightly in his direction. Must be Sasaki's father then, Light decided. Light's stomach twisted again as the Mikami let the pause drag on. Couldn't they just get this over with? Sasaki had an unbearably smug look on his face, and Light was not fond of those who thought themselves above himself. The pause ended as Mikami's eyes met Light's.
Author's Note: So this is a bit of a short upload for me, but that's because this is the Prologue to the overall story, not an actual chapter. The main plot occurs several years down the line, but we will be revisiting Light's college years in flashbacks as the secrets among his class of Shinigami come forth. I know that this chapter doesn't tell much about what the main story will be about, but hopefully it gets you excited to read the rest of it.
A bit of background on the set up of this story: Kira is a secret society, and my version is a blend between traditional American college secret societies like the Skull and Bones and traditional Japanese secret societies that tended to be more nationalistic. You'll see the dynamics more as the plot is laid out, but remember-Secret Societies are for life, not just for college like fraternities and sororities. Most of the big stuff doesn't even happen until you're out of college, which is why this story is taking place when Light is older and an actual member of society.
As to how this will be different from my other fic, Tale of Two Death Notes, well, hopefully it's already obvious. There is a lot less humor in this piece, and a lot more plot and intrigue. Also, TTDN gives a lot more focus on a wider variety of characters, whereas this will be exclusively an L and Light show. Light is also going to be a lot darker in this fic, because he has had corrupting influences unlike TTDN, so for fans of Kira!Light, this may be more your speed.
As always, I love reviews. They make me write faster. No, seriously, studies have shown that for every review, I write at least 2 pages as soon as I get it. ;) So...please? Please review?
Thanks for reading!