Last chapter... Oh my god...

Okay, I'm gonna say this now and hope you read this. I'm really sorry, but that canon is back. The canon; the dreaded canon. Unfortunately, you'll find that much of this chapter is the plain old warehouse scene with a difference here and there. (But some of the differences are important, so...) My point is, I'm sorry if the epic, amazing, finale-like last chapter ends up irking you and not being what you expected in that respect... sorry. I'm actually rather unhappy with this scene. Though I kept a lot of what's in here mostly just to keep the same feeling of suspense.

...Yeah.

Long chapter is long. o-o

Aaand... todays my mom's birthday. :D Soo... the epilogue and first chapter will be put out tomorrow, as it turns out. Good thing, yes? :D

I hope you like it?


I swallowed hard as Aizawa and Matsuda made their way back to the car. "Well," he said, "it's no doubt that it's Near and his men who are in there." I breathed deep, calming breaths as we all exited the car and made our way into the Yellow Box warehouse. It looked so horribly familiar with its faded yellow walls and chipped paint, a single doorway along the wall we were facing. Upon filing into the abaondoned building, my group turned to the right, then turned to face the SPK at our left. The door closed behind us, leaving us all in only a dim glow. As I gazed across the small expanse of bare floor to the next group, I noticed that Sam was standing among them. She gave me a small wave, and I forced a small smile in acknowledgement. Near, was, of course, wearing the L mask. Matsuda blinked, looking at Sam oddly. "Isn't that Sayuri?" he asked confusedly, but Aizawa nudged him. Matsuda took the hint, and was silent. It was incredibly silent, actually. Even the chattering at the back of my mind had quieted. That wasn't normal.

"L…" explained Aizawa, "those five people are the SPK…. The one wearing the mask is Near, there's no mistaking it."

I would vouch for them, too, but I'm not supposed to know what they look like…. I absently wondered what would happen if I started claiming I knew all of them. That would be interesting, wouldn't it? And maybe it would set back Light's death a bit... What if I just caused a whole bunch of confusion, what would happen? Light would tell me to calm down, and it would do nothing but lose people's trust in me, I thought with a small sigh. And then it would be even harder to stop everything from happening if things started getting out of hand...

"B-but I can't accept this!" Matsuda exclaimed. "You freely accuse someone of being Kira…. The sole person wearing a mask is you! How selfish can you be?!"

"Matsuda, calm down," I said softly, and Sam jumped as though I had snapped her out of a daydream. She probably hadn't expected to hear my voice. "It can't be helped. He thinks Light is Kira."

"But he himself is the one who shamelessly asked to meet us!" Matsuda countered.

In any other situation, I would have been silently proud of tuning back into reality and responding so quickly. But this wasn't any other situation... this was the warehouse, after all.

"This mask is a precaution," said Near simply. Ah, missed a few sentences there. It didn't matter; I had this scene memorized anyhow...

"A precaution?" Matsuda asked confusedly.

"He believes Kira and the Kira judging now haven't seen his face," I clarified. "Everyone else's faces, however, were probably seen. Three days ago the time and place were decided, so it's possible everyone but him could die at any moment." I looked at Near. "Is that right?"

"That is correct," Near replied.

"Meh," Sam muttered under her breath.

Don't worry, Sam, I only remember 'cause I memorized this whole damn scene….

"…With Kira free to write my name in the notebook Mr. Aizawa has now, and get rid of me," Near added. I missed the first half of his sentence; oh well. I knew what he said. "Although, in accordance with my judgment… the Kira here now shouldn't be able to kill people with only their face…. That's why, for one hour… no, for thirty minutes, I would like you to allow me to see if anyone here is being manipulated and dies."

"Wh-what the hell?!" Matsuda yelped. "We're waiting to see if we don't die?!"

Sam snorted.

My mind started thinking of other situations again. But what if I blurted Near's name the moment he took of the mask? He would suspect me of having the shinigami eyes and then Near would have to rethink his plan. And... But then the warehouse scene would no longer be credible. He'd come up with a new, unpredictable plan that I can't foresee, and Light would probably die. Or Near would. And neither situation is a good thing.

"...I can't show you until I take off my mask," said Near.

"You can't show us what it is if you don't take off your mask, but you're not taking off your mask?!" Matsuda cried. "Aren't you contradicting yourself?!"

"You contradict yourself all the time, Matsuda," I replied quietly. "Besides, he means he'll take off his mask once he knows everyone is safe, then show us. Is that right, Near?"

"Yes," Near replied.

Sam frowned at me.

You know, I think I was starting to make a good impression upon Near. That was nice. I think.

So, we waited. Somewhere along the way, there was an odd clank on the roof, but only Sam and Matsuda paid any mind to it. Those two were probably the most impatient, though as time went on, I grew more and more tense, apprehensive for the events to come. Not much longer now…, I thought.

"Near, hasn't it been half an hour?" asked Sam.

"Near, it's been over thirty minutes and nothing has happened!" said Matsuda.

"Of course that's the case, because Kira is not here, among us," said Light.

"Of course not…," Sam muttered in an undertone, her voice full of sarcasm.

"Alright," agreed Near, putting his hand to the mask, "everyone seems to be okay. I'll take off my mask now." He pulled the mask away from his face, looked at Light, and smiled his creepy smile.

First time seeing Near, I thought. And first time seeing his freaky smile.

"Well," said Matsuda, frustrated, "there you have it; you took off your mask. Now, what were you gonna show us?!"

"Matsuda, stop being pushy," Ide frowned.

"Matsuda," I whispered, "why are you so irritable today…?"

"Huh?" Matsuda responded, looking at me.

"I'm sorry," said Near, "please wait just a while longer."

Sam rolled her eyes.

"Wait again?!" Matsuda yelled, his attention immediately going back to the little albino. "What are we waiting for?!"

"Come on, Matsuda, he was even polite!" I reprimanded.

"We're waiting for the one who will complete our circle to come," Near smiled.

"The one that will complete the circle?" asked Ide.

"I feel like were talking about this circle of some creepy ritual. Are we bringing L back to life?" Sam asked brightly.

"Um," said Matsuda.

Near frowned, his expression dull. "No, Sam."

"He means the one judging now," I said. "The Kira working under Kira is coming, I'd think," I said.

"Exactly," said Near. "He will definitely come, and we are waiting for him."

"That didn't sound creepy," Sam remarked.

Near glanced at her, slightly irritated, and continued, "This building is a sealed room and only by opening that door can someone see inside. For sure, he'll come through the door… or, at least, try to peep in from it."

Sam giggled, probably at the idea of Mikami just sort of peeking in through a crack in the door. Which was actually exactly what he was going to do.

I closed my eyes and waited, breathing deeply. L's plan will work, I thought. L's plan will work. No one will die here. I was able to fit an apple in either pocket of my overcoat, so I have two apples…. It's better than none…. I became aware of Ryuk, who floated silently in the background, always grinning. Nothing new there.

I snapped back to reality with a "Wait, Near!" from Aizawa.

"What is it?" asked Near dully.

"If this X-Kira kills you, it's obvious he'll kill every one of us here, as we all know about the notebook."

Except for Kira himself, Sam, and me. Sam and I can't die because of the notebook, after all. I wonder what he'd do with us, if he were to succeed. What then, make us all prisoners? What about L? Would that battle start all over again?

"I don't understand…," Matsuda said weakly, eyes wide in panic. "Exactly what is he saying? That this third person will come with the notebook to kill us?"

"And we'll just sit back and watch?!" Ide yelled in disbelief.

"Yes," Near confirmed.

"You must be joking!" Ide cried.

"Guys, hush," I said calmly. "Near wouldn't be doing such a stupid move unless there was a plan behind it. Just do as he says. He's got it covered."

"Yes," agreed Near, "if you do as I tell you, we will win for sure. Listen, when this person comes through the door, only greet him. And if the door opens only slightly, just pretend you didn't notice it."

"Always trust strangers," Sam grinned.

"That's ridiculous!" Ide protested.

"I understand your concern," I said coolly, "but do you really think Near would put lives at stake, including his own life, mind you, if he wasn't completely sure we'd all be safe? This guy is smart; he's the successor to the great L. And I know, Ide, that you didn't trust L either, but you have to give him some credit, alright? Besides, even L wouldn't throw his life away."

"But L still died!" Ide exclaimed.

Ha.

"He's already here," said Near.

Everyone looked to the only door in the vicinity to see there was a small crack that shed light into the dimly-lit room. In the crack, a single eye shown. Then the shadow disappeared, and there was a faint scribbling sound. I swear I even heard him mutter "Delete!" in an undertone. I couldn't help but smile ever so slightly. Oh, Mikami…. Sakujo. Haha….

"Th-this is bad, you guys!" Matsuda cried, pulling out his gun. "If our names are really being written this very moment… then we needlessly…!"

"Please, don't move!" commanded Rester as he and Gevanni pulled out their guns and pointed them at Matsuda.

"Gevanni is so badass," Sam mumbled.

"You don't need to threaten him with a gun…," I muttered.

Matsuda stopped short and stared at them, mouth open. "Wha…what kind of stupid…?"

"It's okay," Near assured us. "We won't die; please stay where you are. It's fine. Even if your name is being written down, you won't die. And with this, the shadow over Kira will be unveiled."

"Tada…," Sam sang in a low voice.

"And how can… you say we won't die, Near?" asked Aizawa, trying to keep calm.

Yes, Near, I thought dully. Explain that you tampered with the notebook. I listened quietly as he specified that Mikami only wrote a page a day and all that good stuff. And Aizawa and Matsuda would act surprised as Mikami kept on writing all of our names. I wondered vaguely if Mikami was wondering why Sam and my lifespans were whack. I mean, here was everyone else with perfectly good lifespans, and then there was me and Sam, with these inconsistent things. Haha, we're abnormal. At least our names didn't change randomly. Then he'd be really thrown off...

"...At that point, we will seize the notebook," Near elucidated. "The person whose name's not in it is Kira."

"C-certainly the one whose name isn't written down would be Kira, but…," said Aizawa.

"Bu…but…," Ide stuttered, searching for words.

I took a deep breath. It's coming soon, I thought. Here it comes….

"Whoever's outside," said Light, "are you done writing down the names?"

"Yes, I am," came a voice from outside.

Well, it seemed that's what dear old Mikami sounded like with his Japanese voice in English…. If that makes sense. At least our weird ears didn't make everyone sound like the English dub…. That would be horrible.

"Huh…?" asked Matsuda faintly. "Then that means we're all doomed."

I couldn't help myself. I laughed.

"Why are you laughing?!" Matsuda cried, his voice much higher pitched than normal.

"Just the way you said that, sorry," I grinned apologetically.

"Jeez, Natsumi," Sam scoffed.

I frowned at her. She was the one who was joking around throughout.

"That… that is Sayuri, isn't it?" Matsuda asked weakly. He laughed nervously.

"Teru Mikami, if you don't mind, would you come in please?" asked Near kindly. There was a pause. "Teru Mikami, I know you're taking over Kira's judgments now. If you wrote down the names, there's nothing to fear, is there? Here, please come in. Or, you at least want to join with Kira, don't you?"

"Teru Mikami?" Light asked. There wasn't a single hint of a smile on his face. "It's alright. Come in."

Mikami slid open the door with a manic grin.

"Mikami!" Sam squeaked quietly.

Gevanni shot her a quick look.

"God, at your command," Mikami beamed, his face alight with slightly insane joy.

I gazed at him without expression. This was all just the same as L's death had been, those years ago. It was that same sort of tense calmness…. No. It was a tense sort of anxiety this time. Perhaps it was because it wasn't a decoy acting as Light. Light was seriously at risk here, and if one thing went wrong, he would end up dead….

"How long has it been since you've written our names?" Light asked coolly.

Mikami looked at his watch, his face twisted into a smile. "Thirty-five… thirty-six… thirty-seven… thirty-eight… thirty-nine…."

Light and Near smiled at one another intently.

"Forty!" Mikami exclaimed.

Matsuda held his head in his hands (as if that would help...); Ide cringed; everyone but Light, Near, Sam and I tensed in preparation, in case we did, in fact, die. There was a fleeting moment when I actually thought Light's plan had worked, that everyone but Sam, Light and I would die, but that instant disappeared when a few seconds passed and nothing happened. "We… we didn't die," Matsuda said in disbelief. "One minute passed… and we didn't die."

"That's sixty seconds, Matsuda," I mumbled.

"Which is why I said we wouldn't, many times over," Near replied calmly, as if that whole scene hadn't just happened. I thought about how calm he was in his confidence. I thought that maybe I'd like to have seen his face if he'd lost. How'd he react, I wondered? Then I realized what I was thinking, and mentally asked what the hell was wrong with that thought right there.

"Why won't they die…?" Mikami murmured, trembling all over. "Go…God, I… I only did as you wished…," Mikami insisted, his smile having been replaced with a horror-stricken frown.

"Oh noes…," Sam breathed, smiling ever so slightly.

Light merely raised an eyebrow at him, looking at him questioningly.

"Rester, Gevanni, detain Mikami…," said Near.

"Okay," Gevanni agreed as the two made their way over to Mikami to handcuff him.

"Gh…God…!" Mikami cried as his wrists were bound.

"Poor Mikami," Sam sighed.

"Gevanni," said Near, "hand me the notebook."

Gevanni picked the notebook up off of the ground and handed it to Near.

"Everyone, please confirm this with your own eyes," said Near, holding it up for all to see. "The first five names are, without a doubt, the SPK members' real names. And… the only one here without his name written down is Light Yagami. Mikami called you 'God' and said he did as you said. It's settled."

"Yay!" Sam cheered.

I shot her a quick glare.

Light's eyes narrowed. I felt no shock from him, or fear, or anger. I felt nothing; even the incessant chattering in the back of my mind was gone. "This must be some sort of trick," he said calmly.

He's supposed to freak out here, I thought, vaguely confused.

"A trap of some sort. Right? Something Near devised to frame me." His voice kept rising in volume as he went on. "It must be a trap. I'm not Kira, you all know that. Don't you think it to be odd that all of your names were written and none of you died?! It has to be a trap!"

"I told you that I modified it so we wouldn't die, didn't I?" Near asked.

"But this makes no sense!" Light cried. "I don't even know him!" He gestured to Mikami.

Mikami stared at him, then bowed his head in defeat and depression.

"Light," Aizawa said firmly, grasping his shoulder. "It's already too late; Near won."

"Light…," Matsuda whispered, eyes wide. He fell to his knees. "Why…?"

"Matsuda," I said lightly, heading to him as Mogi walked over to us from the SPK. What else could I do in this scene, anyhow? Nothing but wait, and listen, and comfort poor Matsuda. I wondered what would happen if I stopped Matsuda from ever shooting Light... Near would die, wouldn't he? Ah, well, that wouldn't work...

Mogi took out handcuffs intended for Light, and Light's eyes widened as he backed away. "Stop," he said firmly. "No; I'm not a criminal."

Mogi stepped closer and began putting the handcuffs on Light. Light took a deep breath, as if preparing himself for something, then let out a yell. "Stop it!" he demanded, smacking Mogi's hands away and running to that oh-so-memorable wall of his. He looked back at everyone.

"We get it, Light," Sam mumbled with a smirk. "It's your wall."

"Light Yagami…," said Near. "L…. Kira…. You lose."

"I just lost The Game!" Sam cried.

She was ignored. "Originally, you had won. And I had lost." So, Near began laying out how everything had happened. Why he'd won. Explained how Mello had saved all their lives in doing what he did. Clarified how Mikami had messed up Light's perfect plan. Described how close Light was to defeating him. Light remained stone-faced throughout Near's explanation, eyes narrowed.

His expression should be changing much more than this, I noted. Was he expecting this? No, that couldn't be it…. I frowned. And why can't I hear his thoughts or feel his emotions? Is something going on? I shook my head and ignored it, preparing myself for the act I'd have to pull not long from now.

Yes… I was back in the play again… but now I played an important part. If I forgot my cue, or slipped up, it would end in a not-so-happy ending. I'm sure Near wouldn't mind, and Sam wouldn't really care, but….

"Together we can stand with L," said Near, holding up his Mello, Near, and L finger puppets. "Together we can surpass L. And now… the Kira who L was not able to bring up any evidence against…the Kira L lost to… we have concrete evidence on!" He paused. "If you can talk your way out of this, please do."

Light scowled and closed his eyes. Another sign of preparation. But by this point, I didn't even notice that his actions had careful precision. Light let out a yell, and curled up on the ground with a thud, trembling. And as he lay, curled there in the silence as we waited for his counterattack, his rebuke, he began to laugh. It built until he flung himself to kneel upright, laughing and laughing because it was the only thing he could do. Everyone was staring at him, though Aizawa glanced back at me, likely remembering the laugh I'd shown them not all that long ago.

Ha.

Light slowly got to his feet as his laughter subsided. "That's right," he said darkly, his lips curled into a smile. "I am Kira."

Near smiled. The entire Kira investigation team, minus me, was gaping at him, shocked.

"In that case," Light smiled sweetly, "what will you do?" He tilted his head towards them. "Kill me here?"

Sam squealed. "It's the kitty face!" she exclaimed. "It's so cute!"

Even I ignored her that time.

And Light's long speech was told…. It was here that I allowed myself to relax ever so slightly. I knew it would last, and oh, how it made for an odd sort of entertainment. His ideas… they'd started out so pure….

"Listen," Light said, ignoring Sam. "I am Kira. You hear me, Near? You're smiling; am I making you happy? I'm Kira. And also… God of the New World. Don't you know? Right now, Kira is law. I'm doing nothing but preserving the order. It's reality. At this point, Kira is the icon of righteousness. Kira is the people's – all of mankind's – hope. Are you going to kill me?" he asked, spreading his arms wide. "Is that the right thing? In the past, perhaps catching Kira would be an act of justice, but the people's will has changed. Or maybe you just personally want to catch Kira, so you're satisfied? Kira appeared six whole years ago. World crime has been reduced by seventy percent, all brutal crimes have nearly died, and war no longer exists. However….

"The world is still rotten. The world needs to be rid of all the despicable people. Humans pursue happiness, and they have the right to pursue that, but there are the few spoiled people who cut that pursuit short."

I noticed, as I listened, that his speech had similarities to the speech the Light in his subconscious made. His subconscious. Was that really what that was, last night? Not that it mattered at this point….

"When I picked that notebook up… no… before that… humanity had reached rock bottom. Couldn't you see it? The human race was as rotten as could be. Looking at it closely, even though there are people looking to become happy, certifying whether they're with or without harm… or if their life has value or not… evil only makes more evil. The evil people of the world cause these evil deeds, and the weak people will learn from them and eventually change their perspective to believe that it's okay…."

I took a deep breath, and sighed. My eyes were narrowed in sympathy. Not for those he killed, or for Matsuda and the others, but for Light himself. And through this, I would stay utterly silent as he gave his monologue. This is his last speech as Kira, I thought, whether this plan works or not. You know, I was actually savoring this speech. I knew that soon after it, the plan would take place, and for once I wasn't looking forward to it because I was afraid it wouldn't work…. And then I'd just be heading for death….

"A rotten world… justice… politics… education… what makes this world right? Yet someone has to…. When I first picked up that notebook, I realized… I had to do it… no… only I could do it. I knew killing was a crime, but I also knew it was the only way I could make things right. I figured out that over time people would come to realize this as well, and see my actions as an act of justice. I had no choice but to be Kira. It was destiny. I was chosen to bring about a New World, with peace – a utopia!"

I knew his speech was long, but I didn't mind that…. He was buying time, really. Truthfully, I wanted this time too. And throughout it all, I didn't zone out even once. I remained at a high sense of alertness as I anticipated what I knew was to come. All of this was happening too quickly. Thinking back, where had the beginning gone? When I first met Light? When I first got on the task force? Back when I had just saved L? God, how time can fly….

"Only I can do this…. To create a New World…. Standing at the top. Guiding them along the right path. Only I can do it…." He looked at Near. "Think about it. Do you want to return to a rotten world? Even you should understand. There are people in this world that we are obviously better off without. If it's justified to kill harmful pests… then why is it wrong if I kill harmful people? Is it really best to destroy Kira here? Will it really be beneficial to the world? What will come from arresting me here? Isn't it serving only to satisfy yourself? Isn't it just for the sake of your own ego? If you claim that it is to avenge L's death…" - Light smirked - "...then that is an act of folly. What you see before you is Kira… and also… the god of this New World."

Sam rolled her eyes.

"No," said Near simply. "You… are just a murderer."

And Near talks, I thought, and he gives his own speech…. Then the moment he finishes, Light begins walking away… he tries to kill Near… and Matsuda shoots him….

Near picked up the Kira finger puppet. "To speak of extremes… I can actually understand who would use this notebook for their personal interests and kill a couple of people, and even think that they're normal. But you have yielded to the power of the notebook and shinigami and have confused yourself with a god."

Sam let out a little laugh.

"You're just a crazy mass murderer."

Sam giggled.

"Nothing more."

Near squished the Kira puppet, making a squishing sound and thus causing Sam to giggle again.

"Nothing less."

I frowned at Sam, then glanced at Near. I didn't care as much to hear his ideologies. Now all there was left to listen to these ideas, and everything would suddenly speed up….

"And anyone who claims they're a god and kills people from left to right is definitely evil by my standards. But what do the other people here, besides you and me, feel is righteous…?"

There was a long pause.

Sam coughed.

"Near," Light said. "You first thought the fake notebook made by Mikami was the real one, and replaced the pages in it. And Mikami had the fake notebook that you made."

I braced myself. Now it would begin….

"In other words, both notebooks turned out to be fake, when both sides believed them to be real. And the mistake made by both sides is that they didn't test the notebook to see if it was real or not. So, how can you be sure that the notebooks here are real?" He began walking away calmly from his special wall.

I breathed a tight sigh. My heartbeat was starting to speed up.

"The two notebooks here… are they real?"

I shut my eyes tight.

"You see Ryuk, so we'll say the one you have is real, but what about the Note strapped to Aizawa?"

I breathed deeply.

"I could have switched it."

There was a clang on the roof.

"And if I did, only I would know where it is…."

There was an unidentifiable sound from right outside the door.

"So you should probably write mine or Mikami's name in Aizawa's notebook to make sure it's real."

I opened my eyes again.

"Light Yagami… Kira… I have no plans to kill you," said Near.

I gazed at Light, face emotionless.

"I really don't care if the notebook is real or not anymore."

The plan will work, I thought. This plan has to work….

"From the very beginning, my goal was to capture Kira. All I want is for everything to become clear and for Kira to be captured."

L is amazing, his plan has to work. I tried not to think of what might happen if L had purposely not come up with the perfect plan simply because it was Light, and I knew all too well he didn't like Light all that much...

"You're as good as arrested now, and I will confiscate the notebook Mr. Aizawa has. That is enough for now."

It's up to me…. I can do this…. I'm not screwing up again….

"And I will not announce Kira's arrest or the existence of the notebook to the public."

Light won't die here….

"I believe that everybody here can keep that secret."

I swallowed hard.

"I'll take full responsibility of putting you in a place where no one will find you until you die."

My thoughts began churning with the clear memory of the way he would die if things didn't go correctly. If this is real, he'll actually be dying, too…. This is no TV show anymore. …I feel sick….

"Well," said Light, walking away from them with a shrug, "whether it's real or fake, don't you think it's a good idea just to take a look at it?"

I'm getting worked up about his death again….

"If that notebook is real…."

I bit my lip.

"…or fake…." Suddenly Light was bent over, writing into the hidden note in his watch.

"He's got a note on him!" Rester exclaimed.

A gunshot was fired.

My entire being tensed up. I stopped breathing for a moment.

Light dropped his pen, then fell on his hands and knees, clutching his wrist.

"Light…," Sam said hesitantly. "You have a watermelon butt…."

"Matsuda…," Light growled, ignoring her, then got to his feet. "Matsuda, you idiot," he spat. (Wasn't he supposed to freak out a bit more here?) "Who do you think you're shooting?" he asked him, his tone venomous. "Damn you. If you're going to shoot someone, shoot the others! What do you think you're doing?!" Light held his hand, now dripping blood, tenderly. "Matsuda…! I thought you were the only person who understood me! Kira is righteous! Kira is needed! Shoot! Shoot Near, the SPK members, Aizawa and the others!" (Alright, now he sounded like he should….)

I saw tears trickle down Matsuda's cheeks.

My breathing came a little harder.

"Wh-what was it all for?" Matsuda asked. "The chie—no… the deputy director… Deputy Director Yagami…. He was your father…. What did your father die for?"

"Dad?" Light asked. "You mean Soichiro Yagami? Yes, Matsuda. Overly earnest people like him with a strong sense of justice always end up the loser. Do you want a world where people like him are always made fools of?"

"You drove your father to his death. And now you're trying to change the subject by telling me that he was made a fool…."

Oh…, I though, tugging at my shirt collar uncomfortably, worry gnawing at my chest.

"A society," said Light, "a world where people like my father don't have to be made into fools…. Soichiro Yagami died to create that. I'm telling you to kill the others so that his death was not in vain! Can't you understand me?"

When there was only silence in reply, Light began using his blood to write Near's name on the paper. "He's using his blood!" said Aizawa urgently.

Two more gunshots.

Light fell to the ground.

Sam cowered behind Gevanni, closing her eyes in fear. She always was afraid of an angry Matsuda, ever since she watched this scene...

My concern spilled over. "Matsuda!" I cried, running at him to stop him from going further. "Stop it, Matsuda, you'll kill him!"

"I have to kill him," Matsuda replied angrily, aiming for Light's head. "This guy has to die!"

"Stop!" I howled, grabbing him by the waist and pulling him away from Light. "Matsuda," I growled, "You supposed to be the nice one!"

His gunshot missed, hitting Light's special wall and ricocheting into the floor. The sound rang throughout the warehouse. "Natsumi!" yelled Aizawa in alarm as Ide cried out, "Matsuda!"

Mogi and Ide rushed forward to help restrain Matsuda, and Aizawa took the gun away from him. I relaxed as Matsuda went limp, the spur of the moment over.

Light rolled over painfully, propping himself up on his elbow. "Mikami!" he commanded as he tried to push himself upright with his hands. "What are you doing, standing there like a fool? Help me! Write their names down! Kill them! Kill them… that's your job… what are you doing?!"

Mikami's face twisted in anguish. "How could I write their names down… in a situation like this… and with a fake notebook…?" He pursed his lips then bellowed. "You're not God! What the hell is this?!" he cried. "Look what you've gotten me into. You're no god, you're just… scum."

"Damn you!" Light hissed in pain.

"Since he had that piece carefully hidden in his watch, he probably doesn't have any more," commented Near.

"Mogi; Ide," said Aizawa firmly. "Help me arrest Kira, Light Yagami, the mass murderer."

"Yes," Mogi and Ide replied in unison.

"Stop it!" Light cried. "Don't come near me!" He began trying to drag himself away from them.

I stood, slightly detached from the others, silent as I watched Light suffer.

"M-Misa…," Light breathed. "Where's Misa?!"

"Misa Amane is at the Teito hotel right now," Near replied calmly.

"Hotel?" Light asked. "What is that idiot doing at a time like this? Takada…. Where's Takada…? Kill them…. Write their names down…."

I watched him with a pained expression.

"Kiyomi Takada is dead," Near explained.

"Dead?!" Light cried, writhing as he made his way forward. "S-somebody…. Anybody…. Somebody kill these guys…."

"Near," said Rester quietly. "It's over at last."

"Yes," Near agreed.

However… even Sam was sobered by the scene before her.

"Light, think a moment," I said. "At least think."

His eyes flashed, and he twisted his body around to stare at me. With a new energy, he dragged himself towards me, a hopeful grin on his face. "Natalie…!" he said. "Natalie, you still have that piece of the Note! You can kill them! Kill them for me!" He reached me, reaching his arm up to grasp desperately at my shoulder. His hands, streaked with crimson with his own blood, stained my shirt and overcoat at his touch. (But something was off; his eyes, maybe? But...) "Come on, Natalie, you're on my side…."

I opened my mouth and shook my head, unable to speak.

"Near!" Light cried. "You missed something! You didn't know she knew about me all along! She supports me; she believes in me!"

"Wha… what…?" Matsuda asked softly, staring at me in disbelief.

"What?" Near asked flatly.

"Do it, Natalie, write their names!" Light implored, his desperation ever evident.

"Is this true?" asked Near coolly. "Did you know he was Kira all along?"

My mouth opened and closed, but I could only make strangled noises as I looked from Near to Light to Near to Light… all the while trying to ignore the distressed Matsuda.

And then there was a knocking sound, and the entire scene stopped where it was as every person in the warehouse looked over to the noise. L and Anna stood in the open doorway. "I think that that's enough," said L.

"Ryuuzaki?!" Aizawa gasped.

"DeNero?" Near asked confusedly. His eyes widened. "L…?"

"Yes," L confirmed. "Natsumi knew all along. And after a while, so did I."

"But…" Matsuda said blankly, "you're dead…."

"I don't know what's going on…," Near mumbled.

"L!" Light exclaimed. "You said you were done… with this…."

L shrugged. "I lie a lot."

"I suspected as much," Light scowled.

Anna squealed. "I can hear it!" she cried in delight.

"Hear what?" asked Gevanni.

"Near's thoughts!"

"…What?" Near asked.

"Oh, and I knew all along too," Sam said, raising her hand.

Near stared at her. "What?" he repeated.

"This will all be explained, of course," said L.

"So wait…," said Matsuda slowly. "L… is alive."

"It's impossible," said Near.

"I guess not," commented Halle.

"This makes no sense…," Near muttered, twirling his hair.

There was a scraping sound from above, and suddenly light was pouring in from the roof. "Shit!" someone exclaimed, and suddenly there was a body dropping in from the ceiling. Matsuda let out a yelp of surprise. The man's foot got caught on the rope that followed him, however, so he dangled by his ankle, his head a foot from the ground.

Near stared at him. "…Mello…?"

"Takada killed him!" Light protested to reality.

"Matt, you goddamned idiot!" Mello exclaimed. "Let me down!"

"Sorry!" called someone from above. Mello irately began untying the knot that held his ankle in place.

Sam burst into laughter. "Way to ruin the moment, Mello!"

Once the knot was untied, he fell with a thud to the ground, and soon Matt and Sierra were sliding down the rope one at a time.

"What is going on?" Near asked. He looked very confused.

"You don't know?" asked Matt.

Mello let out a bark of laughter. "For once, you're the one out of the loop, Near!"

"Hello, Mello," L greeted.

Mello looked at him. "Who the hell are…? Are you...?"

"L," L confirmed. "Pleased to meet the three of you."

Sam let out a squeal and ran from her hiding place behind Gevanni to glomp poor Matt. "Wha…?" said Matt, surprised. He winced at the impact, what with the gunshot wounds. Oops. "Hey…."

Sierra let out a small squeak when she saw Light, who was still practically bleeding to death on the floor at my feet. "Aw," she cried, "I don't want you to die…." She leaned down to hug him.

"Wha-? Ge-get off of me!" Light cried.

Sierra frowned and stalked over to Near, then slapped him square in the face. Matt laughed. Near rubbed his cheek and looked up at her. "What was that for?" he asked.

"Hey!" Anna cried. "Don't hurt him!"

Sierra stuck her tongue out at Anna.

"In any case," said L, stepping forward, "there is still Light to take care of."

"Yes," agreed Near. "He's still to be detained."

"Well, I don't want to wait through that," said Ryuk, and my heart dropped like a stone again.

Okay, I thought. Now what? Oh, I had no idea this was supposed to happen, but now…. I took a deep breath. Light. Light, can you hear me?

Of course I can, he thought bitterly. I always can.

I know a way out of this. You just… you just have to—

"Forfeit," he said aloud, his voice soft. He grinned. "Near, you can't touch me if I never did anything wrong. Ryuk… I forfeit. I forfeit ownership of the Death Note."

The whole room went quiet with surprise, save for Ryuk, who was snickering. Mello, luckily, didn't ruin the dramatic moment this time.

Ryuk shrugged, still seeming amused somehow. You'd think he'd be disappointed. "Alright, Light. Whatever you say."

"But wait," asked Matsuda. "If he does that, what'll happen?"

"He'll forget everything," L explained. "And when that happens, I hate to say this, but he's practically innocent."

"Like Misa Amane?" asked Matt.

"Yes," L replied.

I gazed at Light as his eyes widened. Suddenly the chattering at the back of my mind returned, and his feeling of confusion was clear to me. "What…?" he asked.

"You're Kira," Near muttered, annoyed. "That's what."

"So you know," said Ryuk with that grin still set in place as always, "that notebook is yours now, Near."

Near looked down at the Note and blinked.

Light shook his head, confused. "This doesn't make any sense."

Matsuda began to hesitantly laugh. You know, one of those nervous laughs that you make when you're not sure how to respond to something. And that laugh grew because he had to laugh, to release the nervous tension. "Oh, Light, glad to have you back!"

Light squinted at him. "I didn't go anywhere." He began trying to get to his feet, and I helped him up. "Besides," he said with a weak smile, "you shot me, didn't you?"

"This is a stupid conclusion," Near muttered.

"For once, I agree with you," Mello frowned.

"Revenge is a double-edged sword!" Sierra snapped, whacking both of them over the head.

Light laughed weakly.

"Hey," I said, "can someone help me? Light can't support himself just yet…."

Matsuda immediately came over to help.

"Thanks," Light smiled. And his eyes, then, were pure and innocent. Anna's eyes.

And I didn't want to taint them.


Okay. So. Too much canon? I hope I didn't kill you. But remember: things are never as they seem.

I wish I could have done better with this scene, I really do. *sigh* ...I liked the 'Mello falls from the ceiling' part, though. That was fun to write.

Fun Fact: I have this thing with innocence. It's one of those topics, those concepts that really affect me, I guess. From the moment I decided the ending, I wanted to connect the innocence in Light to that innocence I saw in Anna way back in one of the early chapters. Thus, that last line was born.

REMEMBER: Epilogue's out tomorrow! (And I do believe it's more of a 'real ending,' you know?) Plus the first chapter of the sequel's coming out too~

Review? For innocence? :D