AN: Alright kiddies, this here is a fic that I've been outlining the entire summer. I will be updating throughout the school year, as my stress-reliever. I'll try to have an update every Sunday night, but I can't promise. Anyways, please enjoy!
To break a path- "to open a way through obstacles by force or labor"
Summer in LA was a trainwreck waiting to happen. Both literally and figuratively. High-noon traffic always seemed to stretch longer with each passing hour, the honking of horns and the "colorful" yelling leaving a throbbing, buzzing migraine by the time the car traveled one whole mile. Lanes and lanes of cars, slithering at a snail's pace, boiling under a hot August sun, with no end in sight... not exactly what Naomi called "fun". Then again, the nights were hardly better- she'd gain a habit of drinking herself to sleep, which she knew wasn't the brightest idea, but it did beat listening to the endless bickering of the lovely couple next door. How'd she land in such a cheap apartment, she couldn't say, but she knew it wasn't her fault. Well...not entirely her fault...well, okay, so it was her fault, but she had her reasons.
Naomi Misora groggily sat up in bed, careful not to knock over one of the few empty bottles that were teetering on the desk next to her. Her blood-shot eyes scanned the room apathetically, noting the peeling flowerprint wallpaper, glancing at the flickering light bulb dangling lazily above her, glaring the cracked mirror next to her bed. Exactly one month and two days ago, that ill-groomed, unwashed, angry reflection that gazed back at her was a (somewhat) happy woman with a nice home, a good job, and the perfect boyfriend. Until, you know, he decided to show her that wonderfully chauvinistic side of him. Surprise.
The Japanese woman lifted her eyes from her (very expensive) meal, smiling at her brunette beau. He had taken her to a very nice restaurant on the upside of town, a rare treat that neither of them usually indulged themselves in. It was a perfect date, Naomi kept telling herself- an upscale Italian restaurant, with fresh lobster on the table, and complete with a beach-side view. It was perfect, oh so perfect. But that little nagging voice in the back of her head wouldn't leave her alone. 'It is perfect', it would say. 'Almost...too perfect.'
Under that innocent little smile (that no one but Raye Penber would buy) Naomi was paranoid. Oh so very paranoid.
"Naomi, there's something I need to tell you," the man was twiddling his thumbs as he mumbled. Naomi was inwardly panicking. Did someone die? Was someone hurt? Did he gamble again? ...Was...was he going to break up with her? She inwardly shuddered in apprehension.
He was now standing up. Immediately the wheels began churning in Naomi's head, but as good as her deduction skills were at crimefighting, she always knew that she was a bit oblivious when it came to men.
He was looking at her...and...kneeling down? She blinked. Oh. She gave a small shaky laugh, scolding herself for her own silliness. If she didn't know any better, she would have thought that-
H-he was...was he proposing to her? Her heart was beating faster, cold sweat broke out as she began to realize the nature of the situation.
"Will you be my wife?"
Her breath hitched as she felt her eyes grow large, her heart palpitating so hard she wouldn't have been surprise if she had dropped dead. Was he joking? A look into his sincere and hopeful eyes declared that he was serious. A surge of adrenaline rushed through her body, her limbs itching to latch onto her boyfriend and smother him with kisses right there on the restaurant floor. But she kept completely still. Finally, after a moment of putting herself back together, the FBI agent felt herself twitch with emotion before finally letting out a strangely quiet "yes".
And that's when everything went downhill.
Raye's face relaxed. "Really?"
She blinked. Why was he asking twice? "I said yes, didn't I?"
He sat back down immediately, intense excitement pumping through his veins. "Naomi...you have no idea how happy I am." Here, he clasped his hands around hers slipping on a beautiful diamond ring as he rubbed the skin tenderly. Butterflies were threatening to gnaw out of Misora's stomach- she was on cloud nine, practically floating with giddiness. Raye, on the other hand, looked like he had just won the lottery, grinning ear to ear. He leaned towards her, his grip on her hands becoming a little tighter. "Think about it! Now you can finally settle down with me, quit your job an-"
"Wait excuse me?" Naomi stated more than asked. The glow of the moment seemed to have gone to a screeching halt.
Raye blinked before replying. "Quit your job. You're going to quit your job and become my wife, aren't you?" The buzz of the restaurant seemed to quiet down as the conversation took a turn for the worst.
The raven-haired woman stared, dumbfounded. Where...?
"Where'd you get THAT idea?" Naomi asked, her eyes hardening as the initial happiness of the moment rapidly decreased.
"Well, you'd quit your job so that you could have more time spending time with the kids-"
"Kids?" Naomi interrupted once more, her face portraying the initial amount of bewilderment and anger that she was feeling. They had been dating for a couple years, true, but Naomi hadn't put that much thought into the future- at least, THAT far into the future. Where was Raye getting all this crap anyways? She steadied her breath, trying her very best not to lose it. She looked up at her lover and spoke.
"Raye...as much as I love you, I love my job as well. I mean, kids are great but...not right now..."
There was a silence. A very, heavy tedious silence that seemed to have taken over the entire restaurant, people peeping from the corner of their eyes towards the young couple in plight. The conversation, so short, but so heavy, was slowly starting to piss Misora off.
Raye seemed a little more than frustrated as well. "Hon, if we're going to get married, it wouldn't make sense for both of us to have a job. I mean, I make more than enough money to support both of us, and well...I don't want you to get hurt." At this he tenderly took her hand, massaging it gently with his thumbs. His eyes were soulful, sincere. But putting all of that romantic smut aside, Raye had conveniently forgot that Naomi made at least five times more than he did. Misora decided to be nice and disregard that blatant offense.
"Raye, you know I love my job," the Massacre said slowly. "And I know what you've been doing."
The man's face instantly went chalk-white, a heavy lump forming in his throat. He let out a nervous laugh, vainly trying to act composed. He refused to look at her directly, instead directing his attention to his now cooling soup. "...I...I d-don't know what you're talking about..." he mumbled.
Naomi raised an eyebrow. "You know exactly what I'm talking about," she said coolly, leaning back against her chair. "Over the past four years, I've gone from being on the frontlines to practically having a desk job. You think that I actually believe that it was merely coincidence that this began happening right after you started complaining about my safety?" She glared at him harshly, a fire forming in the pit of her stomach. Where was all this anger coming from?
Raye was now sweating a bit, and his gaze still refused to meet Misora's. "That had nothing to do with me," he said hastily, his words disjointed and ill-fitting. "That only happened because of the drug dealing mista-"
Naomi shot up from her seat, slamming her fists against the table with a loud crashing sound, crying out, "To HELL with my mistakes!" She glared down at him, tears burning against her eyes, a dreadful lump threatening to choke out the last of her composure. "You've been using your "connections" to transfer me to less dangerous units. I've known this since it began, and I've been tolerating it, but just barely." Here, she looked at him firmly in the eyes. "I lost my job once, I don't plan to do it again."
Her boyfriend twitched at that. Remembering that she worked with the great L always sent a shock of jealousy down his spine, but Naomi knew that it wasn't her he was jealous of. He was jealous of L.
She had often been told that she had smiled more after that case than she had during her entire life. She had worked with L. L. And somehow, this just drove Raye insane...the fact that another man made his lover happier than he ever had, regardless at how many times he tried. Naomi had attempted to reason with him multiple times, reminding him that it was a ground-breaking case, one that saved her career- but of course, he argued back that he should be more important than "some case" (though he knew full well it was anything but trivial), and that she needed to stop stalling, and marry him. Sighing, she ran a manicured hand through her hair. It was the first time in months that she had done anything to her nails...or any cosmetics, really. Raye said it looked good on her, better than her leather jacket. When was the last time she had worn her favorite jacket anyways? Not since Raye took it, she remembered. She frowned, scrunching her eyebrows furiously together. She needed a drink...she needed a nice long ride on her motorcycle. But of course, she couldn't since Raye had said that motorcycles were dangerous, and he forbade her from taking it from the garage and-
Naomi looked into her glass of water and at her murky reflection. Raye...Raye was controlling her life. She sank into her chair, her eyes brimming with tears, her mind full of anger and betrayal. RAYE had convinced her to wear a bit more make up. RAYE had forbidden her from one of her only pastimes. And now RAYE was trying to steer her away from her beloved FBI career. And then, to put some salt in the wound, she realized in horror that her shirts and jeans were slowly being replaced by dresses and frills...because Raye said so.
She slowly sat down, heads now facing her directly. She looked at Raye coolly. "I love you Raye. I really do."
He stirred in his seat uncomfortably, her tone of voice sending shivers down his spine.
She stood back up, throwing her purse over her shoulder. She was shaking violently, tears now flowing freely down her face.
"But you won't control me."
With that, Naomi tore off the engagement ring and flung it straight into his face. She stormed out of the restaurant and ran into her car. Not until she was safely inside did she allow a loud sob to escape her lips.
She had quickly moved out of their shared apartment, only grabbing her necessities and opting to send a friend to grab the rest of her stuff for her. She rented a cheap apartment room, not because she was short on cash, but because she wanted to get out of Raye's home as soon as possible. She figured she could find a nicer place later on, but it wasn't in her priorities at the moment. It was a week later that she began drinking heavily.
Now, Naomi had drank alcohol in the past, maybe some champagne or a shot of vodka, but after the break-up it had become increasingly commonplace for Naomi to drink one, two, or maybe three bottles of beer in an hour. Part of it was to alleviate the pain, but mostly, she appreciated the muddled mind it gave her- she had always prided herself on her quick thinking and clear thoughts, but at the moment, she wanted to lose herself, to just forget about Raye and everything that had happened.
It was cool Friday evening when all of this screeched to a halt.
Staring emptily at the ceiling had become a rather horrible habit of hers, especially when she realized that she had already numbered all of the cracks that scampered across the surface. The fact that she was wasting time doing mindless bauble began to irritate her, especially when she began to realize she was letting her emotions get to her- Raye get to her. If she kept this up, he was winning. She sat up on her futon, rubbing her eyes wearily. She had to go back to work soon. But she didn't want too. But she had too.
A sudden whirring noise jolted her out of her thoughts. She jumped on her feet, her eyes hastily looking back and forth for the source of the noise. Her eyes widened as they locked onto her laptop, suddenly alive and bright, even though it had been in hibernation for a good two weeks. A rush of excitement and nervousness took over her body as she instantly put two and two together. The last time something like this had happened...
Instantly, she opened the laptop, the white screen blessing her with bliss and happiness. "L." she breathed.
For a moment, it was quiet. And then, that same, odd, synthetic voice spoke. "I see you have a microphone now, Naomi Misora."
She couldn't help but chuckle at the remark, but immediately regained her composure. "It's been a while," she said, shifting her feet here to there. It was strange- she was nervous, of course, but there was an odd feel of familiarity between them. He had been her boss for a while, some would even say partner, but she would be lying to herself if she didn't admit that it was he who had broken her out of her never-ending depression.
"It has," the computer agreed. "Onto business, though. Misora is one of the best agents who has ever worked under me. Right now, I am working on possibly the most challenging case of my career."
Naomi's head snapped up to this. Of course. She had been so drunk in her depression that she had almost forgotten about the infamous vigilante known as 'Kira'. L, from what she had heard, was now working on the case.
"What you are thinking is correct, Misora," the voice drawled on. "I am about to depart to Japan, to work directly with the Japanese Work Force."
The FBI agent's eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. L was giving far too much information. Did he trust her that much? Why was he telling her all this?
A knock suddenly rapped against her door.
Immediately, she reached to close the laptop.
"Wait, Misora." the computer said suddenly.
"Please answer the door," it continued casually.
Slowly, she released her grip on the computer and walked towards the door. She felt her heart pound frantically against her chest as her clammy hands latched onto the door knob. Taking a deep breath, she swung the door wide open.
Her heart skipped a beat.
It...it was the man from the subway station. He was hunched over, bending his knees as if he was carrying a burden on his back. Large, black eyes looked up at her curiously, framed with such dark eye bags she wondered it if was makeup. He was rolling a lollipop around in his mouth as if there wasn't a care in the world, but it was the cellphone that caught her attention. Never taking his gaze away from her, he dangled the phone against his ear. And then he spoke.
In perfect harmony, both he and the synthetic voice on the computer said,
"I need you, Naomi Misora."