To Bernadette Cezelia Otis, cleanliness was close to godliness.
As a proud member of the hotel's cleaning staff, she was always working hard to make sure that every inch of its floors were nice and tidy. She took an immense amount of enjoyment in what she does, and it wasn't because she was paid rather handsomely. Actually, if it wasn't for the fact she needed the money to feed the gargantuan monster that was her college tuition, she'd gladly volunteer to do this job for free.
It's just like Grandma Ghissie said, she thought as she polished the marble floor with the straggly tendrils of her mop, If it feels good, do it.
"Bernie, you're getting a special assignment!" The blonde and tan American girl snapped her head up from furiously cleaning the hotel's floor. "Yeah, Yuki? What is it?" Bernie replied, her New Orleans accent spilling into her Japanese words. Yuki smirked and pointed at the hotel ceiling. "You're gonna clean the rich guy's room upstairs! The one who owns the building!" Bernie frowned and stopped mopping the floor with one hand and grabbed her cleaning bucket, preparing to head for the elevator. As she pressed the button, Yuki called back, "And for the love of God, don't put any Voodoo spells on this room this time!" Bernie twitched and looked back at Yuki, a slightly unamused grin on her face as she sang back, "Ain't my fault my Grandma's magic sticks to me, chere!"
The elevator doors slid open, and Bernie waltzed in before pressing the button to the top floor. She tugged on her honey colored hair, and rubbed her tortoise shell bracelet (A goodbye present from Grandma Ghissie). She tapped her fingers on her big yellow cleaning bucket, and hummed an old blues song before the doors opened and she shuffled off to the luxury suite, where everyone knew the owner lived. Now that's strange, Bernie thought. For a guy who's so rich, shouldn't he or she live in a huge mansion? What a fool! Pushing these criticisms aside, she headed for the door. A small doll's leg stuck from out of her coat pocket, and she hurriedly shoved it back into her pocket. "Can't let anyone see you, little sweetie," she cooed to her doll. After knocking three times, an old man opened the door with a smile on his face. "You must be the new maid, miss," he greeted warmly. "My name is Watari." Bernie smiled widely and shook his hand. "Bernadette Cezelia Otis is mine, but everyone calls me Bernie. Charmed to meet ya, chere. Can I come in now?"
Watari nodded and allowed her in. The second Bernie walked in, her eyes nearly popped out of her sockets: Candy wrappers were littered everywhere, empty cake plates were next to a large computer wall, cups of coffee were set on the coffee table ( .), and Bernie could even see crumbs and chocolate pieces on the floor. Immediately, her fingers shook, and her entire body tensed as she shut her eyes in panic. Her chest heaved lightly as she breathed quickly, and Watari put a hand on her shoulder. "Are you alright, Miss Bernie?" he asked concernedly, and Bernie opened her eyes to smile wobbily at Watari. "I'm alright, Mr. Watari," she managed sweetly. "Now, let's get to work!"
She rubbed her palms together and rushed to the computer desk, her cleaning bucket bumping her hip madly. "Hmm, you got a sink nearby, Watari?" she asked, and Watari directed her to a large sink near a kitchen a room away. Bernie sprinted to the sink and immediately grabbed some dishwashing liquid and a sponge to begin scrubbing like made at a stack of thirteen (she had counted them) dirty dishes. After she was satisfied, she dried them with a nearby towel and skidded back into the living room. She scowled at the coffee table and mugs. "Now, what kind of fool leaves a drink without a coaster?" she muttered, taking the mugs to wash the cold coffee out and get coasters. A few minutes later, she had found coasters in a cupboard in the kitchen and had set out fresh cups with coasters on the luckily undamaged table. "Next, candy wrappers—Oh, for the love of God!" she sighed, noticing a bedroom near the living room. Bernie turned to Watari. "Are those bedrooms as dirty as the living room, Mr. Watari?" she asked, panicked, and Watari shook his head. She sighed in relief and hugged her chest. "Well, they are," Watari corrected, "But I must tell you that those rooms are off limits, so you needn't worry about it, dear."
Bernie nodded, the gears in her head confusedly turning. "Er, not to intrude, chere, but….Why exactly can I not clean in those rooms?" He merely smiled, and she nodded meekly as she began work on eradicating every candy wrapper in the room. "Don't ask any more questions," she hissed to herself. "And no backtalking, neither; you need this job for college. Lord knows that making your boss mad ain't gonna work out for you…." She stared back at Watari as she hefted a trash can full of wrappers at top speed. "Would you happen to be the owner of this hotel?" she asked, mentally cursing herself for being nosy. Watari merely smiled and shook his head. "The owner is out to eat lunch at this moment. He'll be back shortly." Bernie nodded and went back to working on the candy wrappers. Within ten minutes, she had finished and was mopping insanely while humming an old song from Louisiana. After a short time, she had made the room sparkling clean; seriously, some parts of the table sparkled, a trademark of a room Bernie cleaned.
Watari smiled as Bernie leaned on her mop. "Much better! So, any other rooms I gotta clean, sir?" The old man led her to a smaller conference/living room, which was a less exaggerated mess than the first room. She wiped the sweat of her slightly uneven brows and set to work, emitting a small battle cry that made Watari chuckle. "Yah!" As she worked, Watari prepared to leave the room. "I shall be leaving now to check on other matters, Miss Bernie," he said, and Bernie nodded to herself as she scoured the room of candy wrappers. When she heard him shut the door, her curiosity about the bedroom was gnawing at her badly. "Now why can't I go in there?" she muttered, intrigued by the closed door. She shook her head and kept working. "Now, don't go lookin' in your boss's business, Bernie," she chastised herself. Still…. That bedroom MUST be as dirty as the rest of the house. I need to clean it, or else I might go crazy!"
So, she made up her mind to enter the bedroom. "No lock? Ain't that strange; you'd think a rich guy would protect his room better," she remarked. With her cleaning bucket in hand, she slumped against the wall as she saw more cake dishes, more candy wrappers, and way too many computers on a desk. Next to that, a laptop with a big black "L" onscreen stood in the middle of the desk. "L? Gotta admit that boss has a cute nickname," she chuckled, glancing at the monitor. She saw the bed, which strangely, was already made. "Does the bakasweetie sleep on the floor?" she said, setting to work on stacking the cake dishes to take them to the sink. After a few minutes, they were perfectly clean, and she set to work on the bedroom wrappers. "Ya know," she grunted, carrying a bucket full of plastic to a trash can, "With the sweets the boss eats, he must move like a rattlesnake from all the dang sugar!" She giggled and set to work on dusting the monitors, when her arm bumped the mouse. The L disappeared, and a password for a file to open popped up on the screen. In teeny little black letters, it read clear as day: Kira.
Bernie paled and stepped back, staring at the little locked folder. "….." She took a deep breath and shook her head. "Nah, can't be the boss that's Kira," she muttered to herself quietly, albeit a bit panicky. "Must be a fan of him or something, like an idiot. B-Besides, Kira probably uses Voodoo and the like, and I didn't see no spells or dolls or gris-gris bags in here or anythin' like that…" Her eyes turned back to the folder name, and she pinched her gris-gris bag in fear. "Still, it wouldn't be too hard to believe. Nobody knows their face…" She swallowed and held the doll in her coat pocket. She traced the stitched words 'Kira' on the doll's chest, and felt a drop of sweat roll down her temple. "Maybe if I see him, I can test out my newest doll," she planned. "Oh Law, why of all the hotels in Japan, I had to work in Kira's!" Bernie moaned.
She turned around to run to the living room and calm down before she hyperventilated too quickly, but she heard someone walk in on the carpet. "Dawgon it," she hissed, looking for a place to hide. It was too late, and she squeaked as she saw the door open to reveal her boss. She shut her eyes and bit her lip. "S-Sorry to intrude on ya, Mr. Ki—Mister! I, er, wanted to clean the entire room, and…" Bernie heard no response, so she opened her eyes slowly to see who had walked in on her.
Well….He ain't what I expected, that's for sure, she thought simply. And boy was she right: Her boss was a young man, probably in his twenties, but did NOT look too Boss-like. Bernie almost wanted to spit at the sight of her young employer's appearance. He was just so...ugh. His long white shirt and baggy pants made him look like a god of laziness. The way the clothes fit him made her think that he was way too thin, and her Southern maternal instincts were telling her to sit him down and cook him a couple hundred of meals to get some meat on his bones. His back was hunched slightly, his posture closely resembling a question mark. His blank eyes were black and had dark circles under them. But the thing that wrung Bernie's nerves tighter than a dirty wash rag full of filth was his feet.
He wore nothing on them.
No shoes, no socks, no nothing.
Oh, all the germs he could have been leaving all over the place! Bernie managed to calm herself down, trying hard to keep her composure. Before the man could even speak, she put a hand on her hip.
"Someone looks like Tim Burton's Hunchback of Notre Dame," she joked in her Southern lilt. She immediately covered her mouth. "Oh, dawgon it, I'm sorry, chere! I mean, Kir—I mean Boss!" She bowed down and looked up at him.
"Would you mind if I asked why you are in my room?" he asked simply, in a husky voice that made Bernie think of what Grandma Ghissie once told her. If you wanna know which boys are seductive, chere, just look for the ones with voices that sound like chocolate. Those are the trophy husbands and lovas! She blushed at the memory, but realized what she meant; this man's voice could only be described as what chocolate sounds like. Bernie tugged on her blonde hair. "Well, um, I'm the maid, and Watari said not to come in here, I know," she rambled. "But, see, I saw how dirty it was in here, and I set to work 'fore I had a nervous breakdown."
Bernie chuckled nervously, scanning for a way to tell if she could use her doll to see if this man was Kira. "Y'know, for a Boss, you look pretty unusual," she commented softly. Her hand crept to her coat pocket, and the man stared at her. "I know." He replied. "Why did you turn on my computer as well?" He pointed a pale gray hand at his monitor, with the Kira file on it, and Bernie reddened. "Well, I was dustin' the monitors, and my hand bumped against the mouse and a folder named 'Kira' popped up, but it was locked, so don't worry because I didn't see anything on it!" She stared at him in an awkward silence, and she finally said, "Y'know, you face looks mighty pale. You sick or somethin', chere?" More silence and staring.
She took a deep shaky breath, and held out her hand with her tortoise shell bracelet clacking. "Name's Bernadette Cezelia Otis, but everyone calls me Bernie," she said hastily. "What's yer name then, Boss?" He tilted his head, and she stiffened. "Come now, sugah, I don't bite. What's yer name?" He nibbled on his fingernail and muttered, "2.5 percent…." Bernie's eyebrow rose even higher. "Darlin', what's with the number talk? I said name, silly, not percentages!" she giggled nervously. Suddenly, her boss grabbed her wrist and something silver was attached to it. "Hey, know! What the—did you just handcuff me?" she sputtered, and her boss dragged her into the living room, where a few older men were sitting around and eating lunch.
One with an afro noticed Bernie, who was now handcuffed to the pale man. "Ryuzaki, did you just…handcuff your maid?" he managed, and Bernie's eyes widened; these men were wearing police badges? Was she going to be arrested?! Ryuzaki nodded. "I suspect her to be Kira," he explained, and Bernie glared at him. "Hold on, chere," she retorted angrily, "YOU'RE the one with the file named 'Kira' on your computer!" Afro Man stared at her some more, and Ryuzaki spoke. "Matsuda, would you please help me find a place for me to interrogate Miss… Bernie, was it?" He looked into her eyes, and she frowned. "Indeed it was, bakasweetie," she spat. "Now, who are you to even arrest me? And don't you dare say that you're the Japanese version of Dick Tracy or somethin', Pale Man!"
Ryuzaki shook his head as Matsuda escorted them to a now clean conference room/living room. "Not quite," he corrected, as they glanced at each other. "I am L." She frowned. "Don't think that's a full name, Sugah," she huffed. "It's a letter. Now let me….GO!" Bernie pulled with all her might, making her and L hit the floor. On the way down, Bernie felt some things fall out of her pockets, and Matsuda picked up her items. "Um, you dropped your bag thing, and…Is this a Voodoo doll?"He managed, and the trio stared at the name on the doll's chest. "3.7 percent," L said simply, and Bernie shook uncontrollably as Matsuda took her doll and gris-gris bag away. Now you know, she thought to herself, When somebody says don't go into a bedroom…Don't do it!
Now that I'm back to writing, I might as well start this Death Note fic that I've had for an insanely long time. By the way, there are two sections of this that were actually written by an AMAZING fanfic writer, Beryl Bloodstone (thanks for the suggestions and looking this chapter over, sweetie!): The intro up until "Bernie" and the description of L. Isn't she great? Anywho, I hope this is one people really like, and if not you can kill me with your Death Note. Till next chappy, this is Everyonesfangirl13579!