Here's Chapter Five(: (or chapter 6 when you count the prologue but whatever~)
We're back to present-day Kira investigating with L!
Before I knew it, a good two weeks passed after I joined the Kira Investigation Team.
Interestingly enough, the only significant conversations I had throughout the past weeks with L were about the investigation—a striking lack of interrogation attempts. After Watari told him that Grandpa was the one responsible for my taking up residence in Wammy's House, L had ended the conversation with an unusual lack of curiosity. It'd hit me that perhaps it was L's way of being sensitive, but why would he feel the need to be sensitive? He'd already brought up Grandpa's death in front of me in full knowledge that my grandfather was a victim of the "Kira kills criminals" category. His lack of curiosity, I'd thought, must've just been the recognition that Watari—being a man that wouldn't just tell my entire personal story without asking me—was not the correct source to pester for knowledge.
L did not, however, ease up on the detailed surveillance of me. It remains a most unfavorable experience but, on the bright side, it's eased the wariness of the rest of the team. I might even dare say they've begun to accept my presence rather than just bear with it. But of course acknowledging my presence doesn't mean going out of your way to talk to me; so I was left for days without assigned work and was able to get through the full updated collection of folders on the Kira Case.
The bulk of the folders had been lists of Kira's victims—their names, personal descriptions, photographs, date and cause of death, and crimes all listed in chronological order. The lists gnawed at me every time I had to read through them, for the sheer number of victims was astoundingly horrid. Nearly all the victims had "heart attack" written as their cause of death, a sick signature of Kira.
Aizawa had just handed me the updated list of victims for April when a call came in from Watari.
"The Second Kira has sent another message to Sakura TV—a video tape and diary page," L addressed us stoically.
The three policemen present froze apprehensively; it had been weeks since Second Kira last made a move, with the last action being a declaration to meet Kira himself.
"Asahi-san, please phone Light-kun and tell him to come here."
"S-sure thing," he fumbled out in response before turning to call his son.
L then passed out printed versions of the diary copy Watari had sent him and handed them to Matsuda to pass out. When I got my copy, my eyes immediately darted to the entry dated May 22nd:
Met with my friend in Aoyama and exchanged notebooks.
"I'm here, Father." Light entered before the others had gotten too far into discussion over the diary.
"Is the diary going to be aired?" he asked, taking a copy of the entries.
"Look…on the 30th…" the elder Yagami gestured to the last entry which read:
Saw a shinigami at the Giants game in the Tokyo Dome.
L broke in, "What do you think, Light-kun?"
"Hmm?" Light sounded innocent, but I knew he'd already recognized the suspicious entry on May 22nd. "Right now, I'd have to say that the Second Kira's an idiot."
Matsuda readily sounded his agreement, "Right? It's obvious that he wants to meet Kira at the Giants game!"
"If this is broadcasted on television, there'll be a major panic," Chief Yagami reasoned.
"The truth is, I think he is a real idiot…" L's voice quieted everyone's discussion, and he walked over to a box on the coffee table. "…so much so that I'm not sure how to deal with it." He popped a chocolate truffle in his mouth. "If we broadcast the diary, we'll have to cancel the game; if we don't broadcast it, the Second Kira won't make any moves."
Aizawa voiced his concern, "Won't he lash out if we refuse to broadcast his message?"
"No. He has promised Kira that he won't kill innocent people—I believe we can hold him to that. Nonetheless, we'll broadcast the message and cancel the game so we can set up police surveillance around Tokyo Dome's perimeter. After that, we'll have our fake Kira send a reply that agrees to the arranged meeting."
The chief countered with, "Would they actually try to meet knowing that the whole place will be guarded by the police?"
"It's needless to say Kira won't, but we don't know just how foolish this Second Kira is." L took a sip of tea. "Granted, there is always the possibility that the Second Kira isn't as stupid as he seems...there may be hidden messages that only the two of them would understand. We should be prepared to set up surveillance at all the mentioned locations."
The team began discussing the logistics of the different location set ups at the Dome, Shibuya, and Aoyama, and my mind wandered to what was soon to come on the 22nd, where Amane Misa would pinpoint Yagami Light as Kira.
"Then…I'll go check out Aoyama and Shibuya by myself," Matsuda offered as they finished up planning.
Next came Light's volunteering, "I'll go too. Matsui-san and I will blend in well with the crowds in Aoyama and Shibuya."
For a moment I wondered if I should try to stop Light from going. Wouldn't preventing Misa from finding Light help change everything? What was I supposed to say though? There was no good reason I could give to keep Light from going. I could say that letting a possible Kira suspect go would be dangerous but, if anything, L would be the only one to accept such a reason (especially coming from me).
"You should come along too, Fremont-san."
"What?" I was thankful that my voice hadn't let too much bewilderment out.
"The three of us going together will look even less suspicious than just Matsui and me," Light explained cordially.
The suggestion seemed to strike a dissonant chord with the others, for, although I was in name their fellow investigator, I was still a bit of a stranger.
"If you don't mind, I think I'll stay here," I rejected politely.
Light was intrigued. "Why not? This is a good chance for you do some active investigating."
"That's true, but staying here might help clear my name a little more."
This time L cut in. "And what might you mean by that, Jenny-san?"
"If I stay here while the two Kiras find each other in Aoyama or Shibuya, then it'd be practically impossible for me to be either one of them—wouldn't you agree?"
"Indeed, that is quite true."
"I know it's a rather selfish reason, but I'm sure Matsui-san and Asahi-san can handle things perfectly without me."
"I suppose it'll just be me and Matsui then," Light gave a smile.
"I didn't think you were so concerned about how high my suspicions of you were."
The investigators had left, and L had just finished telling Matsuda to keep a close eye on Light in Aoyama and Shibuya. I slumped back on the couch. "Honestly speaking, I'm really not."
"Then you should've accepted Light's invitation."
"Hmm…I didn't really want to though."
"And why would that be?" After weeks of strictly business talk, it was interesting to see L trying to press me for answers again.
"You're quite suspicious of Light, aren't you?"
"Are you referring to my conversation with Matsui-san?"
"It may be a low percentage, but it would be irresponsible for me to stop investigating him before my suspicions hit zero percent."
"Yes, but isn't the real percentage something closer to 99%?"
L answered with silence. I tossed a truffle from L's chocolate box in my mouth and added proudly, "I thought so."
"Those are my chocolates."
A couple days before May 22nd, I woke up with a sudden urge to go outside. It was a sensible thought, seeing as I'd been cooped up in a hotel room researching non-stop for over two weeks. I'd caught up on the investigation's data and reviewed the more recent information already—I figured a break was in order. I didn't know how L could take this sort of endless confined detective work, but it was obvious I couldn't without at least getting a breath of fresh air.
It wasn't yet 8 in the morning when I walked into the suite lounge that doubled as our investigation headquarters. L was still at his usual seat in front of three computer monitors, just where he'd been when I'd gone to sleep. Watari greeted me pleasantly and offered me some breakfast—as he did everyday—and I accepted graciously. It was an odd thought to think when I realized how normal this life now seemed to me.
"Is there any chance for me to tag along the next time you go out? Not necessarily for investigation work, but just some errands you have to do?"
Watari smiled. "You must be getting tired of staying here all day."
I returned with a sheepish grin, "No kidding."
"What do you think, Ryuuzaki?" We both turned expectantly towards the detective.
L stopped his typing. "I suppose there's no reason for me to object if it is with Watari."
"Thanks for accepting but you don't even have enough trust to leave me alone for one day?"
"Do you truly need to ask?"
I scoffed. "Point taken."
In the following three hours, the other investigators began arriving one by one. After Light, the last of the bunch, had entered, L swiftly addressed him.
"Light-kun, you have a day off from classes at the university, am I correct?"
"That's right Ryuuzaki."
"Would you be willing to escort Jenny-san for the day then? She says she'd like to go outside for a change of scenery."
My eyes darted straight to L and his incredulous words.
"Sure thing, as long as she's okay with it." Light smiled innocently.
"What do you think, Jenny-san?" L spoke as if he wasn't sending me off with a mass murderer, so I smiled back as if Light was indeed completely normal.
"It's fine with me."
"I suppose then, Ryuuzaki, you'll want me to watch Jenny-san for any suspicious activity while we're gone."
"Naturally," L said, and glanced at me.
It was the stark opposite of the change of scenery I'd wanted, but L was creating a chance for me to talk with Light outside of the Kira headquarters—no doubt a valuable investigation opportunity. The man really was too conniving for his own good; I couldn't help but be at least a tad offended since he'd thrown me into this without asking my opinion. Nonetheless, I wasn't going to turn down an offer to investigate Kira.
When Light and I left headquarters, it was a quarter past 11 on a comfortably sunny spring day. On the sidewalk, we walked an appropriate distance apart from one another on the pretense that we were supposed to be something along the lines of "cordially acquainted fellow investigators."
"Anywhere in particular you'd like to go to?"
"Not really…I'm not too familiar with the area after all." I'd been in Tokyo for less than a month, and spent most of that time in front of a computer screen and piles of paper.
"How about getting a drink at a café? There's a good one right around the corner." I didn't like the overzealous cheerfulness in his voice.
"Sure, sounds good."
Some ten minutes later, we were situated across from each other at a corner booth in the café, he with a cup of coffee, and I with a glass of iced tea.
"Jenny is fine."
"Ah, then call me Light."
"Anyways, Jenny-san, forgive me if it sounds rude, but I've been wondering why you decided to join the Kira investigation."
I stared at him. "To catch Kira, obviously."
He chuckled. "Yes of course but, as bad as it may sound, most people wouldn't go through all that trouble just on a sense of personal justice."
I stirred my tea around and listened to the clinking ice. "Individual morals are more than enough to spur action." Light watched me with intrigue. "After all, "I continued, "isn't everything Kira does based on his own sense of justice?"
"That's true," Light agreed with a low, guttural laugh. "Then I suppose you're here because you hate murderers?"
"…I think it's better to say I hate murder."
"So you mean to say you don't necessarily hate the murderers?"
"I just don't think anyone's as simple as 'good' or 'bad.'"
"Does that mean you don't think Kira is evil?"
I studied his expression carefully before responding. "If I had to choose between good and evil, then…I definitely think he's evil—but more so a case of possible good gone disgustingly wrong. He's acting on his own morals…but he doesn't realize that murdering murderers is a counterproductive and sad irony."
"That's an interesting way to put it, Jenny-san." Light sipped his coffee. "However, Kira thinks of himself as a god-like figure so, rather than murder, he considers it 'cleansing the world of evil;' I'm not sure your reasoning would work with him."
"Which is why he needs to realize he's just a human." Though barely noticeable, Light's hand twitched at my words.
"But what do you think would happen if he actually succeeded? Kira seems to be fixated on the idea that the end justifies the means, don't you think?"
"I don't like to think he'd ever succeed at all."
"Of course I agree, but I think it's important for people to consider all possibilities."
"That's true…however what would success really mean to Kira—this so called 'cleansing the world of evil?'"
"Hmm…I suppose that would be his goal."
"But there'll always be evil in the world."
"That's a rather pessimistic outlook, don't you think?"
Light let my words sink in a bit. "So you believe that Kira would never fully succeed because he'll never be able to completely rid the world of evil?"
"Yes. Even though crime seems to be going down because of Kira's 'judgement,' in reality it's all just being diverted onto Kira's hands. Crime hasn't decreased, it's just changed directions—so he's really accomplished nothing."
"Evil can't get rid of Evil; an obvious contradiction of logic, is it?"
"If you want to put it that simply, then yes."
"Isn't all this still based on individual morals though? To Kira, what he's doing is justice, and all who oppose him are the evil ones. Even though we know what he's doing is wrong, Kira himself thinks it's right. To him, it's Good getting rid of Evil."
"That's what makes it so much worse. He's committing evil while thinking he's some sort of all powerful and righteous judge. I suppose that's why we have no choice but to fight him head on—there's no way to make him change his mind anymore so now it's more a battle of minds than morals…"
Light leaned back on the booth cushion. "Ryuuzaki was right about you being an asset to the investigation; you've got a response for everything I ask."
"Thanks," I faked a pleasant chuckle, "and you've got question for every one I answer."
"Well, being a part of this case has forced me to think about Kira's mindset quite a bit."
"I can tell from all your questioning that you've done an impressive job. I almost forgot we were being hypothetical half-way through."
"I'm not sure if that's a compliment I want to hear."
"Just treat it as an accolade to your investigative skills."
"Will do," Light said with a satisfied tone before glancing at his wristwatch. "It's almost noon, shall we head back?"
I nodded, "Yeah, okay."
"Did you enjoy your little break?"
"If you're trying to get me to tell you what Light and I talked about, don't worry I was planning on telling you anyways."
"You're rather blunt."
"I prefer calling it 'efficient.'"
It was half past midnight and just minutes after the last investigator had called it a night and cleared out. L was on the upholstered chair that matched the couch I sat on. He was stirring about a dozen sugar cubes into his tea and seemed to contemplating whether or not to add a couple more. The hesitation didn't last long, and he plopped a couple more in the cup.
"So what did you discuss?"
I set my sparsely sugared cup of tea down on the coffee table. "What else? Kira of course."
"And your thoughts on that?"
I knew L was going to ask this sort of question, but I found myself at an odd loss for an answer. What exactly were my thoughts on the conversation I'd had with Light? "It was…an interesting experience." It was a measly sounding response, but terribly accurate. Nonetheless, L was unimpressed.
"'Interesting?' I expected more, Jenny-san."
I glared at him. "Oh don't sound like I've failed you; you're the one who just randomly decided to send me off with him in the first place. What a jerk."
"By 'jerk,' would you be referring to Light or me?"
"Both of you." I didn't know whether to scoff or sigh. "Jerk."
"I'm quite hurt by your words."
"Mhm yeah." Even though his voice seemed monotonic, L had a distinct tone of sarcasm. "Anyways, I can't say that I have any hard evidence to show you, but Light definitely gives off the feeling of being Kira." Maybe because he is Kira—go figure.
"He asked you why you wanted to join the investigation team, correct?"
"Yeah…don't worry though I didn't say anything about my Grandpa—that would've been far too idiotic of a thing to do. I just told him that it was because I had a personal conviction to stop Kira's murders."
"And he accepted that answer?"
"At first, not quite…but a little debate about Kira's motives and the like helped convince him a bit more." At his urging, I gave L a short summary about said debate.
"So do you believe Kira's wrong?
"Yes!" I shrunk back at my own uncharacteristically loud reply, the obvious result of me more so trying to convince myself than L. As much as I hated to admit it, the murder paradox was nowhere near being solved. I was so fixated on the belief that Kira was wrong and bad, but the surer I got the more I had to face the darker side of my grandfather's deed. That was a thought I liked to keep buried.
"I'll count on you to help catch Kira then." He delivered the potentially heartfelt line with nonchalance.
Whether it was imagined or not, the faint traces of genuine honesty I sensed from his words had the corners of my lips tugging upwards.
"Consider it done, my friend."
Originally, the conversation between Light and Jenny was like twice as long because I just kept on having them debate back and forth and back and forth and so on and so forth...but anyways I hope their little talk seemed like a reasonable and natural thing to happen.
Hmm...I noticed I used a lot of page breaks in this chapter...does that make the reading flow choppy for you guys? ): I just didn't want to drag out the scenes anymore then necessary so I could get on with the story.
Thanks for reading c: