[Death Note] A set of twenty one-hundred word drabbles about various characters. Mostly gen.
NOTE: Done for the LJ comm 20Themes' Death Note list. The themes are inside the parentheses.
DISCLAIMER: These stories are based on characters and situations created and owned by Obata Takeshi and Ooba Tsugumi and their publishers. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
1. Small fry (carnival)
On one side, a con man.
On the other, a rigged game.
Raito felt fingers slip into his back pocket and whirled, grasping for the pickpocket's wrist. He missed and swore.
/Goddamn/, he thought, gritting his teeth. /It would be right to kill him. Just/.
He followed Ryuuzaki through the carnival for the rest of the day. His skin crawled. There were criminals everywhere, cardsharps cheating people out of their money, thieves, beggars.
"They should die," he muttered.
Ryuuzaki raised an eyebrow. "These minor criminals?" He paused. "Kira would think so. For justice."
He tossed Raito his wallet.
2. Most Beautiful (Social graces)
Misa twirled in front of her mirror. "How do I look, Remu?" She pouted cutely at her reflection. "Do my stockings match my eyes? I can't decide." She contemplated her outfit for a moment: red fishnets, black garters, black lace dress, her favourite red-and-white striped shirt.
Remu choked out, "Uhhh."
Misa struck a pose. "I have to look perfect! I'm finally going to meet Kira, my true love! I love him so much, I need to make a good impression! What do you think, Remu? Remu?"
Remu groaned, "Misa, your underwear is showing."
3. Striptease (sexuality/criminality)
"It's considered impolite to watch," Raito said. Socks went on the floor, pants piled on top. He started to undo his shirt, but stopped halfway through. It fell off his shoulders and hung awkwardly. Ryuuzaki peered at him from his perch on the toilet.
Raito unbuttoned his shirt and pulled off his undershirt. They slid down his arm and hung on the chain. When he waved his arm, the dangling shirts flopped around.
Ryuuzaki unlocked the cuff and dumped his clothes on the floor. Raito stepped into the glass shower and waited.
"Aren't you going to leave?"
4. Nemesis (hourglass)
One/. Time had stopped for Raito. /Two/. No. Time had stopped for Kira. /Three. Raito was counting the seconds in his mind, Four./, and each passing minute was a minuscule step toward freedom. /Five/. Kira was the one on hold, for him and for the rest of the world. /Six. The seconds echoed loudly in his head, loudly in his cell. Seven. The world was panicking in his absence. Eight. Crime must be skyrocketing, criminals rejoicing in their freedom to rob and rape. Nine. When he was released, he would return justice to the world, beginning with L. Ten.
5. Confusion (English breakfast)
"Raito-kun, what is this?" L wrinkled his nose and poked dubiously at the greasy mess on his plate. Raito turned, frying pan in one hand, spatula in the other.
"An English breakfast. That's what you asked for, isn't it?" He dumped a piece of fried herring on top of the scrambled eggs; some ketchup jumped and splattered L on the face.
"This isn't breakfast, it's a monstrosity," L said. Rivulets of grease were dripping off the bacon, soaking into the buttered toast. "Where are the pastries? The strawberry crepes?"
Raito threw his spatula at him. "That's a continental breakfast, idiot."
6. Jealousy (one-half of a photograph)
"Ryuuzaki-san! Look! Raito and Misa got our pictures taken!" She waved a photo at Ryuuzaki, and Raito sighed. He jangled the chain on his wrist pointedly.
"He was there, Misa."
Misa twirled and pouted. "Misa knows that! But it's more like a real date if we pretend he wasn't." She hugged him and glared at Ryuuzaki. "Stupid."
The photographer had posed them like lovers, Misa's head on his chest and his arms around her waist. The chain stretching off to the side marred it only slightly.
Ryuuzaki calmly ripped the photo in half and walked off. "We have work, Raito-kun."
7. Murphy (empirical law)
He wakes up freezing and choking because Raito's stolen the comforter and the chain's tangled around his neck.
At breakfast, the crepes are burned and the strawberries are way over the line between tart and too sour to swallow.
Ten more criminals die, each one on the hour, all of them in the same district of Tokyo as his headquarters.
Misa-san demands a date with Raito-kun and throws a tantrum until he agrees. After an hour with the happy couple, he gets extremely drunk and tells them all about his childhood.
The next morning, L doesn't wake up at all.
8. Captive to Fascination (suicide, self-destruction)
/Fool/, Remu had thought, watching the shinigami crumble to dust. /What human could be worth it/?
Ryuuku was overjoyed. The human world was so interesting, and best of all, it had apples!
She began watching the human out of curiosity. There was nothing better to do here, even if the girl was a bit brainless and vapid.
Apples! He'd kill for apples!
Maybe not so brainless, just exuberant. She was fascinating, with her enthusiasm for everyone and her childish love for Kira.
He'd even help Raito, for apples. Just a little, though.
Then Misa got caught.
Then Raito got caught.
9. Battle of Wits ("perfect score")
Around dawn, Raito asked, "Don't you ever sleep?"
L blinked slowly, still reading newsfeeds online. "No."
Raito glared and stalked off to bed, perforce jerking L along with him. "Well, I need to."
A week later, Raito asked, "What do you do at night?"
L stared at his monitor. "Chess. Intellectual battles."
Raito fired up one of the computers. "I play chess."
Twenty minutes of silence later, L said, "Checkmate."
Raito brushed the hair out of his eyes and settled into his chair. "Again."
L tapped his temple and said, "You play well, Raito-kun. But I will always outthink you."
10. Behavioural Experiment (voyeurism)
Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays they stayed in front of the computers. The other nights, L worked on his laptop in bed.
On Monday night, Raito glanced at L's monitor and saw Misa. She'd kicked off her covers and was barely decent in a childish, lacy nightgown. He focused on his own monitor, which was throwing up columns of calculations on Kira's probable victims.
On Thursday night, Raito glanced at L's monitor and saw Misa. She was showering and he thought, /He really is watching us. All the time/.
On Friday night, L commented, "A loving boyfriend would have punched me."
11. Cyke! ("residual ___")
After a week of being chained to L, Raito was dead on his feet and not quite capable of thinking before speaking.
"Ryuuzaki, what's next?"
Ryuuzaki rolled over and stared at him. He did not, Raito noted enviously, look any more exhausted than usual; if anything, the bags under his eyes had decreased slightly.
Raito's tongue was heavy in his mouth; he was forcing out words past a veil of thick fatigue. "I mean, us. Will we keep working together?"
Ryuuzaki didn't blink. "You know my identity. When we're done, I will be forced to dispose of you."
12. Where the Heart Is (Eden, loss of Eden)
Soichiro sat back in his chair and absorbed the warmth of being at home. He could hear Sachiko preparing dinner and scolding Sayu to not drop the rice. He looked across the table and smiled at his son. Raito, just seventeen, was already a genius and a respectful, dutiful son. "So, have you thought about where you'll go to college?" he asked.
Raito said, "I think I'll apply to Touou," and smiled back.
"An outstanding school." That Raito wanted to follow in his footsteps warmed his heart far more than any of the accolades he received as chief of police.
13. Nightmares (4:00 A.M.)
The souls of your dead haunt you at night. Raito had read that once, and he felt chilly ghosts breathing behind his shoulders.
Raito woke up and blinked at the harsh light.
"Ryuuzaki? Are you still up?" He felt restless and the rumpled sheets were proof of his uneasy sleep.
Ryuuzaki looked over. "Yes, Raito-kun?"
Raito pulled the blankets around him more tightly. "No. Nothing." The deeper they got into this Yotsuba case, the more disturbed he felt. The cool logic of the old Kira seemed frighteningly just.
"You've been watching me all along?"
"I would know if you're Kira."
14. Calculating (Machiavellian)
Namikawa shifted into fifth and released the clutch. The Z4 accelerated smoothly and he smiled, relaxing slightly. One of the seven was Kira. Not Midou or Shimura, certainly not Takahashi either.
The scenery whizzed by, dark silhouettes of trees and highrises. Kira was the key to freedom, to success. If he could figure out who Kira was, the possibilities were endless.
His cell interrupted his thoughts. "Namikawa here."
"It's Midou. Shimura and I," there was a pause, "we want to discuss something. At my house."
Namikawa smiled and turned back toward Tokyo. "I'll be there." Events were starting to move.
15. Lost in Translation (generic Tokyo)
"We've been together for five years and you still won't tell me your name, you bastard!" Raito yelled, face flushed with rage.
"It is not--" L began.
"Don't you dare tell me that it's not important, or that it's not that I don't trust you," Raito mimicked the precise cadences of his voice and grabbed his collar. "Five years! I could've killed you at any point, Kira or not. You don't trust me, L." He shoved L away. "Get out."
There was no reasoning with Raito in this mood, so L left and walked out into the bright Tokyo night.
16. Withdrawal (cell)
His body was contorted into knots. He couldn't eat. There weren't any humans to watch. He couldn't talk to Raito-kun, he couldn't talk to this L or Misa, and very shortly he wouldn't be able to think, either. Maybe he could talk to Raito-kun, drive him insane because Raito-kun had to be going insane in this changeless prison and it wouldn't take much more to break him. A voice constantly speaking to him, taunting him, asking him simple questions, which he couldn't answer or tell to shut up. But even if Raito-kun went insane, he still wouldn't get any apples.
17. e-Evangelicals (apocalyptic cults)
The end of the world has come, for surely the Antichrist walks the earth.
The dawn of a new age has come, for Justice has returned.
People are dying everywhere, attacked by an unseen force. The hand of Satan moves among us.
Evildoers are being punished for their crimes. Divine retribution has visited us.
Yet in this darkness, there is hope. Do not lose faith, and you will be saved when the Rapture comes.
Yet in this rejoicing, there is doubt. Who is Kira? Do not question; His Will will be known.
The Messiah will come.
The Messiah has come.
18. Dinner (oxymoron)
L scrutinized the menu intently while Raito-kun charmed the waiter into thinking that L didn't have to take his feet off the chair, and that he certainly didn't have to put his slippers back on. He knew it was there somewhere, the perfect appetizer, something light to complement the entree, something to balance the heavy richness of the tiramisu he was ordering for dessert.
The waiter, finished with fawning over Raito-kun, turned to L. "And what will you be having, sir?"
He scanned the menu frantically, looking at the Italian words and italic print. "Ah! To start, the jumbo shrimp."
19. Logistics (public transportation, buses)
Running people over. Not a good idea. Can cause traffic accidents, will injure innocent bystanders. Affect busdriver and busdriver's family negatively, lawsuits.
Running people over. Bad idea. Likely to cause a massive accident. Messy.
Jumping onto the tracks. Halts the subway line, causes hours of delays and inconveniences everyone. Perhaps at night when the subway's not running (is the electricity still on in the rails?).
Falling down the stairs. Perfect, can convincingly break a neck, quite likely to happen in a hurry to catch the subway. Not during rush hour, too crowded.
Same problems as the subway.
20. Isolation (stagnation/disease)
"It's a pleasant day outside," Watari said as he set down the tea tray.
L flicked his fingers at him absently while studying his laptop. "Mmm."
"There's a new exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan," Watari hinted, pouring a cup of tea.
"Working. Case," L mumbled.
"We could go to the park." Watateri whisked the cover off of the biscuits. L contemplated them for a moment, fingers skittering here, there, then finally plucking one from the middle.
"Busy." The biscuit disappeared rapidly, and stray crumbs dribbled onto L's shirt as he spoke.
"L, you haven't been outside in months," Watari sighed.