New story at last!
PLEASE DON'T KILL ME FOR NOT FINISHING 'FEE FYE FOE FUM' FIRST! D: I CAN EXPLAIN! *clears throat* Err… see below this?
This has been sitting on my laptop for many months now (so it's not like I put off the already pretty-late, next chapter of 'Fee Fye Foe Fum' to type this) and I decided (with the influence of a few of my lovely readers of course) to post it as kind of a preview thingy. I won't update it for a little while just so I can try and finish my other story first, but you guys wanted it, you got it :)
Also, this is currently rated M for violence, coarse language, and plenty of death and mayhem that kind of exceeded the amount a T rated story should contain - NOT for a lemon. I don't really plan on writing one at the moment...
Another thing. I am fully aware that Light is a total bastard. I loved the ending of the series and totally believe he deserved every bullet and probably quite a few more heart attacks (even though I didfangirl over him for most of the series and cosplayed as him for my first anime convention… Never going as a character not of my own gender ever again… ANYWHO!). However, this is Fanfiction! Hence, I shall warp it either way. Don't worry. I plan on taking him down a few pegs (or at least pissing him off beyond comprehension).
Ladies and gents, without further ado -
Oh! Almost forget that lousy disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER : I do not own Death Note! It is the property of Tsugumi Ohba-senpai and Takeshi Obata-senpai. Bless their souls.
Ladies and gents, without further ado, I introduce to you… 'Great Minds.'
"The future has been entrusted to my hands."
- Light Yagami
"Another sixteen deaths were reported this morning by the Japanese Police Force - all suspected to be the work of Kira. The sixteen victims were being held in prison at the time of death and were awaiting bail. The names of the deceased are as follows - "
I frowned and sent my roommate a frustrated glare when she increased the volume on the television. Shinju scowled sourly back, finger jabbing defiantly at the little 'up' arrow on the remote. I rolled my eyes with a sigh and plopped down at the small table in our apartment's kitchenette, digging a spoon into my cereal. She may have been so obsessed with Kira that she felt the need to hear the name of each and every criminal killed, but I was not.
Kira, whoever he or she was, had spread through the media like wildfire over the past few years. Everywhere a person turned, 'KIRA' was splattered across the headlines in bold font. Every classroom buzzed with debate over the world's new 'savior.' Every TV and radio station held talk shows about the topic. Every wall was coated in promotional posters - Praise Our Savior. Support the Police. Protect The People. Protect Life. Kira is Justice. Kira is Evil. It was a never-ending international buzz.
Truthfully, it was starting to get old.
…Particularly now that the 'Anti-Kira' activists were so scarce.
" - Files containing the names and photos of over fifteen hundred prisoners were leaked this past week over the internet. Investigators suspect this to be the work of a Kira supporter who was able to hack into a police data base - "
Shinju beamed, face practically pressed against the glowing screen.
For others like her, I suppose Kira was still new… a fresh beginning…
The loud and screechy alarm on Shinju's phone cut through the still air of our apartment and I sighed, glancing up at the clock. 9:54. I stood, tossing my paint splattered messenger bag over my shoulder and reaching down to lace up my equally coated tennis shoes. I placed my bowl in the sink and sent a small goodbye wave over my shoulder before heading out the door. Class started in thirty-four minutes… that was plenty of time to walk to Geidai. Ueno Park was just a block away from my apartment complex and most of the traffic at this time of day seemed to be on the roads rather than the sidewalks.
The elevator made a light 'ding' and I stepped inside, hitting the button for the lobby and mentally checking over the list of things I needed for the day. The elevator made its slow decent to the ground level and I stepped out, walking over to the elderly woman at the front desk.
"Good morning, Yamashita-san! Is there something you need?"
I nodded, readjusting the strap of my messenger bag.
"Do I have any mail? I haven't checked for a few days."
She pulled a large bin out from beneath her desk and began sorting through the assortment of envelopes.
"No… I don't see any. How odd. I swore I saw something with your name on it the other day. I remember because the handwriting was so odd and - Ah! Here you are, dear."
I nodded in thanks and took the bulky manila envelope she offered, heading to the door. The familiar, messy, scrawl of my father stared back at me and I smiled. I carefully worked my finger underneath the seal and began to pry it open.
"Have a nice day!"
"You too…" I called back absentmindedly, pushing the door open with my foot and walking out onto the street.
I read over his letter while I walked, carefully weaving through the sidewalk traffic.
My father was incredibly old fashioned; something that I adored. The reason his handwriting was as messy as it was resulted from the fact that he was continuously attempting to copy the penmanship of those in the sixteenth century Western cultures that he researched in his spare time. He refused to send email to both me and my sister unless absolutely necessary, saying that electronic messaging could not compare to the feeling of communicating with ink and paper. He was right of course. Nothing could be better than opening one of my father's handwritten letters. He always said that there was no greater joy than creating with the hands and with the heart. That belief was what had driven me to become an artist.
I shifted through the photos he'd included in the envelope. A small smile spread across my lips as I glanced over them. My parents' tanned faces and exotic, flowery, shirts beamed up at me from the shiny surface of the photograph. The next picture showed the two of them standing in front of a large sign. My mind slowly made sense of the English garble written across it in vibrant orange. So they were in Hawaii now, were they? That was in the United States if my memory served correctly. Maybe they would visit my older sister at Yale University while they were in the country…
The next picture was a close up of my mother's terrified face as a man dressed in nothing more than a grass skirt juggled flaming rods over her head. The next, my father laughing hysterically. The next, my mother slamming some kind of salad into his face. I grinned and stuffed the envelope and photos into my bag. I could look at the rest after class.
"Alright, everyone. We'll be starting a new project today," our professor sighed, placing a large pile of papers on her desk. "Every year, I have my students focus on creating a painting that deals with projecting 'awareness.' Because of the ongoing debates of the past few years, I chose Kira as this class's focal point."
I frowned, pencil pausing on my paper. The girl seated next to me leaned over to high-five her friend. A boy sitting in front of me groaned and turned to glance sourly at his desk mate, mumbling something along the lines of 'can you believe this shit?'
"I want you all to portray how you see Kira - not society's view of him. Be creative. Let your emotions show through in your work," she paused, glancing around the classroom. "Start writing down ideas. Sketch out some thumbnails of possible options. I want you to express yourselves," she smiled. "Put your heart into this project."
The room burst into idle chatter and I sighed, flipping to the next page in my sketchbook. I tapped the eraser of the pencil lightly against my chin. Kira, Kira, Kira… How do I capture that twisted essence of yours?
A gnarled tree perhaps? I could put flowers on it to show how even though Kira is warped, people still consider him a beautiful being… No. That's too simple. Tons of people were going to think of that. A shattered mirror? Murky water? A thorn covered rose? Ugh… There's too many options!
I scribbled aimlessly in my sketchbook, resting my head lightly in the palm of my hand. Professor Sato paused in her usual classroom rounds to glance over my shoulder.
"You seem entirely unmotivated today, Masami-san."
I sighed, dropping my pencil onto the desk and looking over the mass of messy swirls and doodles that it had thrown up onto the paper.
"There's just too many things that I can use to represent Kira. I'm having trouble deciding on which to use."
"Ah…" she hummed, looking thoughtful. "Well, you're obviously not interpreting this project the right way."
"Excuse me?" I frowned, holding back the venomous snap in my voice. Art was the one thing I believed that I was truly good at. Esteemed professor offering an opinion or not, criticism was not something I took well to.
She pulled up one of the spare chairs and sat down, ignoring my bitter tone.
"How do you see Kira, Masami-san?"
I shrugged and she arched a neatly sculpted eyebrow.
"I see Kira… as exactly what he or she is… not who…" I answered slowly.
"And what would that be, Masami-san?"
"Kira… well…" I paused, biting my lip in thought. "Kira is a being who - no matter if a person is supporting him or against him - is an entity people cling to."
"Oh? Would you elaborate?"
"As a group of people, we hate him. We love him. We adore him. We abhor him… Either way, the world is searching for him… searching for justice, I guess. I don't support Kira's actions, nor do I condemn them…" The rusty cogs in my head began to move - ideas popped up into the back of my mind. "I'm kind of… at a midway point."
"I see…" Professor Sato smiled. "Do you understand the assignment now? There can't be a set thing out there - a specific object - to represent your beliefs. You have to show it on your own in the only way your mind will allow you to. You have to think 'this is it.'"
"Yes… Thank you, sensei."
"Alright. If you have any questions, feel free to set aside your ego and talk to me."
My eyes narrowed darkly.
She stood, patted my shoulder once, and headed over to the other end of the room to talk with another student. I glared at her silently for a moment before turning my gaze to back to my sketchpad. I glowered sourly at the scribbles and ripped out the page, crumpling it into a tiny ball. So what if I had a big ego? It wasn't like I went around shoving my work or successes in other people's faces. I was a top student at one of Japan's - if not the world's - best art schools. So what if I wasn't the exactly the smartest in the academic sense? When it came to art, I was fine. Better than fine. I had every skill that I needed to exceed in that field. I had every right to take pride in myself…
I dug the sharp tip of my pencil into a fresh sheet of paper and began to sketch dark, angry lines.
A dark robe appeared on the previously blank surface. I added structure and depth to it, giving my blob-like clothing an incapacitated shape. Next, I drew skeletal hands protruding from beneath the cloak, stray bits of decaying flesh curling up and off the bone. The hands were tense, stiff, and looked almost like the skeleton wanted to lash out at the world. I moved up to where my Kira's face should be and paused. After a moment of consideration, I skipped over it - leaving the detail brainstorming for another day. Right now, I just needed to get the basics down so I could move onto a canvas while I still had my rage inspired muse.
I erased the edge of the wide, jagged, cloak, making it smooth, tight, and restrictive. I added rough sketches of people to the bottom, each clawing desperately at my robed reaper's legs. A few notes were jotted on the corner of the paper, brief reminders to add certain facial expressions and body language to specific people. I added a few color labels to the humans, drawing a faint line between those who supported Kira and those who hunted him. I would have to remember to blend whatever background colors I chose right at that point.
My gaze focused on the blank spot in between the two groups of people and I nibbled lightly at my pencil's eraser in thought. Hesitantly, I sketched in another person. This one was a female, younger and less warped than the others. She wasn't reaching up to grasp onto the robes… just sort of awkwardly standing in place with her hands at her sides and eyes downcast. I added details - messy, somewhat-light hair and too-large, bleary, grey eyes. I hesitated, staring down at my medium point with a frown. My eraser flew over the light sketch, demolishing it.
It had looked far too much like the reflection I'd seen in the mirror that morning.
The final bell of the day rang and I sighed, closing my Art History textbook with a resounding 'thud.' I picked through my notebook and pulled out the rubric for the project I'd started earlier in Professor Sato's class. I glanced through the list of requirements as I packed my binders and notebooks away into my messenger bag.
My eyes narrowed at the fourth bullet point.
'Use influence from the real world - Incorporate places in the city or from photographs you find online into your project (cite your sources). Hand in this/these photo(s) as part of your final project. Minimum Requirement: One photograph.'
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. Seeing how my rough draft was going, the only place I could possibly incorporate a photograph would be as the background… unless I used real people's faces in place of the unrecognizable profiles currently worn by the sketches. No. That most likely wouldn't count. I'd just have to use the back drop idea, which seemed like it would work out pretty nicely; however, getting a picture that fit exactly to the criteria I wanted would be difficult. That cut out the option of surfing online for a photo. It would be better and more simple if I just took one myself.
I folded the rubric and slipped it into my bag, walking out of the classroom.
What would be a good background image for my reaper? It had to be a commonly known place that was stereotyped to be cold, frightening, and unnerving; though in the daylight, would look fairly harmless… I smirked when an idea popped into my head.
What could be better than a deserted, Tokyo alleyway?
If I took a shot of the road, I could imply that it symbolized the path to Hell. I could also incorporate the vandalized walls, cracked brick, and dark corners. What a perfect place for a reaper to spend its days.
I pulled out my cell phone, checking the time. The bright letters and numbers blinked back at me - January 26th, 3:15 PM. There was still an hour or two before it started to get dark. I had plenty of time.
For a moment, I considered calling Shinju and telling her that I would be snooping through alleyways incase I did run into someone unpleasant, but I thought better of it and closed my phone, tucking it away safely into my pocket. There was no need to send my already overly concerned and hyper-paranoid roommate into a panic attack. Besides, not even the dumbest attacker would blatantly assault someone while the sun was shining brightly and police officers were stationed off of every corner… and if someone was that stupid, they shouldn't be that hard to incapacitate.
I strode through the doors of the main entrance and into Ueno Park. I raised a hand to shield my eyes from the sunlight, unconsciously pulling my jacket tighter around myself to help shake off some of January's unpleasant chills. My fingers traced over the rectangular outline of the phone in my pocket and I frowned, shaking my head.
Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Kira will protect me.
I let out a mandatory (rather loud) snort, ignoring the curious glances of a few fellow classmates, and commenced my walk to the nearest alley. I was starting to think like Shinju… not necessarily a good thing. I pulled my hands back from my cell phone, choosing instead to stuff them into the cozy, fluffy, pockets of my jacket.
Nothing would happen. I didn't need protecting… and I certainly didn't need Kira to be the one to do it.
Kiyomi Takada stepped out of the limousine with a blinding, lipstick coated, smile. Camera's flashed. Fans cheered. She waved charmingly back at them, dark brown eyes sparkling at the attention. Even if she hadn't been hand picked by Kira himself to be his spokesperson, she would love her job all the same.
A faded red car raced forward, skidding jerkily to a halt directly adjacent to the black limousine. A red haired teen adorning a pair of chunky goggles and pinching a cigarette between his lips casually held his arm out the window, firing off a smoke gun into the crowd.
The chaos was instantaneous.
Spectators screeched in terror. Body guards surged forward. Takada's eyes narrowed and, with a harsh cough, she covered her mouth, using the sleeve of her fur coat as a buffer between the thick smoke and her lunges.
"It's a rebel! Protect Lady Takada!"
She felt a firm, reassuring, hand placed on her shoulder.
"Are you okay ma'am?"
Takada glanced up at the familiar outline of her pale haired bodyguard through narrowed eyes. She nodded.
"Yes. I'm fine."
"Good. I need to get you inside - "
"No! You've just been attacked! It's too dangerous for you to stay around or inside the NHN."
Halle Lidner looked up in shock at the familiar voice. A leather clad motorcyclist stared back at her. He angled his head lightly and the female SPK member was able to catch a fleeting glance of the teen's scarred face and messy blonde bangs behind the helmet's tinted glass face-shield.
"This best thing to do at the moment is to get her away from this place! Please, Miss Takada, get on."
Halle glanced back and forth between Mello and Takada, hesitant. The blonde's eyes narrowed.
With one final cautious look sent Mello's way, Halle gently led the news anchor to the motorcycle, helping her onto the plush, leather seat.
"It's okay. Please get on the motorbike and escape as quickly as you can."
Takada nodded, securing her arms around the cyclist's waist as the bike sped forward and down the street. Halle turned back to face the building, untrustworthy sneer twisting her lips. She spoke tersely into her electronic headpiece.
"A-Team, B-Team - I want you to protect Lady Takada with your cars. Follow the motorcycle and retrieve her. The rest of you go after the car that just escaped."
Four sleek, black cars pulled along side the speeding motorcycle.
"Okay. She's safe now. Get Lady Takada into car seven - "
The cyclist revved the bike's engine and turned sharply into an alleyway. The guards swore and swiveled around to follow him. The first car screeched to a halt, caught between the tight, brick, walls.
"Damn it! The alleyway is too narrow!"
"H-He's kidnapping Lady Takada!"
I stared over the picture displayed on the small screen with a critical eye. I could always adjust brightness, contrast, and coloring later on, but any blur - any hint of a shaky hand - would be there forever. A picture not in pristine condition would be of absolutely no help when it came to adding tiny details to the final draft.
I zoomed in, glaring at the blurry outline of the bricks. Delete.
I held the camera back up to eye level, carefully focusing the frame on where I needed it to be.
The picture shone up at me from the LED screen. I magnified different areas, making sure that all the corners of objects were crisp and all cracks and imperfections easily detectable. With a nod, I gave my mediocre photography skills the stamp of approval and hit the power button on my camera. I slipped the rectangular device into my bag and began the short trek out of the alleyway.
So far, this project was going smoothly. I'd completed most of the rough draft and now had all of the pictures I needed to go with it. Fairly decent progress for the first day. Being ahead now meant I would have more time to paint later, which was always a plus when it came to -
A motorcycle flew around the corner of the alleyway, smashing through piles of stray boxes and hurtling in my direction. I screamed in shock and the driver swerved to avoid me. The wheels of the bike skidded across the damp ground with an almost metallic screech. The cyclist hit the throttle hard, trying to shoot off in the opposite direction. The woman on the back of the bike shrieked at the top of her lungs, short back hair whipping wildly around her face. The motorbike seemed to comply with its driver's wishes for a fraction of a second before spinning out of control on the slippery cement and colliding solidly against the wall with a sickening 'crunch.'
…It took a full twenty seconds for my mind to process the blood dripping to the ground and the warped metal frame of the totaled bike. It took another good ten seconds to make my shaky legs move in the direction of the street… and yet another ten seconds for my mouth to properly form the words 'someone just crashed into a wall' to the black-clad men sprinting down the alleyway.
"Someone call an ambulance!"
"We need help! Now!"
I leaned shakily up against the alley's grimy brick wall.
My eyes blinked rapidly as I tried to compose myself and clear my misty vision. The deathly pale face of the woman frozen in an expression of absolute horror flashed through my mind and my knees shook, bile rising in the back of my throat. What were the odds? What was the chance that I'd be standing right there when they came swerving down the alleyway? I swallowed heavily, sliding down against the wall.
"Lady Takada's not breathing!"
"Where are the Goddamned medics?"
"I can't get a pulse from either of them!"
More cursing followed.
I looked up to see a small group of medics rush down the alley, pushing two, large, white stretchers with them. They disappeared around the corner. Another moment later they were rushing back, both stretchers occupied. I screwed my eyes shut, refusing to watch them pass.
I had always thought I'd had a strong stomach - that no amount of gore could ever even hope to bother me. I'd always assumed a situation like this could never get under my skin - that I'd be the hero running around with the paramedics and telling the victim that he or she would be fine. It would be just like one of those manga I'd read when I was younger. After the drama was over, I'd be the new town heroin, proudly recounting how bravely I'd dealt with the situation.
This was absolutely nothing like that.
The mental image of the two of them slowly being painted in their own blood… the woman's face frozen forever in that quintessential picture of utter terror…
A hand was placed on my shoulder and I winced, eyes shooting open. One of the paramedics smiled kindly down at me, helping me to my feet.
"We're going to have to take you to the hospital so that we can make sure you weren't injured."
The man sent me a rather skeptical look.
"I see… Either way, it's standard procedure, ma'am. Besides, the police have a few questions for you about exactly what happened." He paused, sending my a meaningful look. "You can come down the hospital to be checked out, or you'll be taken to a stuffy interrogation room. Which would you prefer?"
I stayed silent but let him lead me to a smaller ambulance - different from the one the woman and man on the motorbike were being driven in, I was sure.
Before I could step inside the vehicle, however, a swarm of people materialized seemingly out of nowhere. Cameras flashed blindingly and loud, rapid, questions were fired every which way. I stared at the mob in horror, eyes flitting over the dozens upon dozens of faces.
"Did you see the face of Lady Takada's kidnapper?"
"Why were you in the alley?"
"Was the crash an accident or did the man appear to do it on purpose to commit suicide?"
"Did you know the kidnapper?"
"What were your views on Lady Takada?"
"Did you actually see the crash occur or did you just hear it?"
My mind reeled and the medic gently began to push through the crowd, saying that I needed to be taken to the hospital and that they needed to move. My legs swayed awkwardly when I took a step forward and the world seemed to tilt at an awkward angle. The faces began to blur together and I blinked rapidly, feeling as if my head was stuffed with cotton. My tongue and lips felt numb.
Now, I've never passed out before in my life. It seemed like such an overdramatic, 'damsel in distress,' thing to do. Of course, it's not all that much of a person's choice to or not to lose conscious, but that was how I'd seen it. It had always seemed pretty pathetic and I'd always hoped never to be one of the unfortunate souls who'd pass out in stressful situations…
However, as the edges of my vision swarmed with black and I fell forward - dead to the world - I couldn't be more thankful.
With Takada gone before Light and Mikami have the chance to kill her and thus screw up Kira's lovely 'note book switch' plan, things should change quite a bit, hmm? No more mistake in Light's plan for Near to use to his advantage… Poor, poor, SPK and Task Force.
Fun little factoid, for everyone. After I came up with Masami's name, I began to realize that her surname - Yamashita - sounded awfully familiar. I googled it and, tada! It was the name Matsuda used as an alias during the whole Yotsuba arc.
Also, have I mentioned that I love quotes? Yes. I adore them. Hence, from now on, I'll be putting a quote from Death Note at the beginning of each chapter. I don't ever plan on explaining why I choose certain quotes for certain parts (too much work :P), but know that they all correspond somehow (even if it's in a very teensy tiny way).
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed this little preview of my first attempt at writing a Death Note Fanfiction. Once I start updating this (when Fee Fye Foe Fum is or is near completed), I'm going to update every other Saturday rather than every week like I attempted for 'Fee Fye Foe Fum' because of my extremely heavy workload this year. Not too bad, right? I just don't want to overload myself and make promises about updating on time that I can't keep. I'll try and sneak in a few 'one a week' chapters, but again, I make no definite promises.
So, until then~