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xXxholic Death Note crossover fanfiction

Still sort of working out navigating LiveJournal. Hopefully this works out.

Title: Addicted to Death
Author: sinnatious
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 6,921
Summary: Light Yagami did not consider himself a superstitious person.  Then he met Watanuki Kimihiro.  xXxholic/Death Note crossover.  One-shot.
Author’s Notes: Just wanted to write an xXxholic and Death Note crossover. Probably isn't the first one - these two series seem to work really well together.  Either way, I have a stack of plot bunnies that need excising, and writing them out seems to be the only way to effectively crush them. 


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Addicted to Death

By Sinnatious

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Light Yagami did not consider himself a superstitious person. His world was ruled by logic, and magic and folk tales were not something he concerned himself with. Fortune tellers, ouija boards and exorcisms were, he felt, things that may have had some unrelated relevance and purpose in ancient times but held no place in modern society other than as vehicles for the manipulating the extremely gullible. Of course, now he spent his days being followed by a Death God, who by his notions of science and logic shouldn't exist. He'd never really had time to consider too deeply whether that meant ghosts or other spirits existed as most of the times he'd questioned Ryuk on such matters the queries had either been met by a shrug or the superstition had been totally debunked, so those thoughts hadn’t been followed any further.

That was until the day he met the boy on the train.

He'd been enjoying a position of security since L's demise and was cruising through his final year of university whilst simultaneously playing the parts of Kira and L. The rest of the investigative team had complete faith in him now, and while more people knew of the Death Note than he'd prefer, the situation was safely under control. Already he sensed society changing - crime was at an all-time low and still dropping, and more and more people were coming to see Kira as a God. His plan was years in the making but it was pleasing to see the slow improvements. With the thorn that was L removed from his side, he was rather enjoying himself. So when stepping onto the train to head to the home after classes, he'd been unsettled when he'd felt a pressing stare on the back of his neck.

Light was used to people staring at him from time to time - he knew that his clean-cut appearance was attractive, and his notoriety at his University meant that either jealous or appreciative gazes followed him almost everywhere he went. That sort of scrutiny was standard. This feeling, however, was one he hadn't truly experienced since L's death.

Taking one of the empty seats - he'd finished classes early enough to miss rush hour for once - he made to rifle through his bag as he quietly addressed his invisible companion. "Hey, Ryuk, anyone looking this way?"

"Why should I tell you if there is?" came the belligerent reply.

"Apples."

The shinigami heaved a sigh, and started looking around the compartment. He hadn't been looking for more than a second when the Death God froze. Light glanced over, curious.

"Oh, it's him," Ryuk muttered, staring.

"Him?"

Ryuk didn't reply.

Cautiously, so as not to draw any undue attention to himself, Light followed the Death God's gaze, making sure to make his eyes wander so that he didn't alarm his watcher by zeroing in on their location unnaturally. He was surprised then to meet the blue-eyed gaze of a high school student, who was making absolutely no effort to hide the fact that he was staring at him.

The boy was almost sickly pale, and had sharp blue cat-like eyes that he hid behind thin wire-framed glasses. He was wearing a traditional public school uniform, and was rather well kept, but all in all there didn't seem to be much to set him apart from any other high school student that caught the train. Light racked his brain to try and recall if he'd come across him before, but knew it was fruitless. He had an excellent memory for names and faces - something that had been an enormous help in his work as Kira - and he definitely knew he would remember someone with such pale blue eyes; it was an unusual colour in Tokyo.

That ruled out any agency tailing him. For one, agencies usually chose their field agents so that they didn't stand out from the crowd, and for another a professional would at least make an effort to hide the fact that they were watching the target - even if it was by doing something as simple as reading a newspaper or writing a message on a phone. Was it possibly the friend or family member of one of Kira's victims? Light was aware that though he killed criminals, even criminals sometimes had friends and family that would miss them. Though if such a person had managed to track him down without external resources, they were quite possibly even a bigger threat than what L had been.

Ryuk took a few steps forward towards the boy, and to Light's surprise - or perhaps 'horror' would have been the better word – those pale blue eyes shifted to stare at the Death God instead.

This boy could SEE Ryuk? That shouldn't be possible!

He tensed, waiting for a reaction, but none came. There was a definite air of wariness and caution in the teen's posture, but not the horrified screech, or at the very least some sort of surprised jerk, that was to be expected. Even the unflappable Ryuuzaki had been temporarily struck dumb when he'd touched Rem's Death Note and seen a shinigami for the first time. He himself, even after expecting it, had fallen out his chair when Ryuk first presented himself. Death Gods weren't the most pleasant or friendly-looking creatures, after all. But this high school student didn't seem perturbed in the slightest. He either had nerves of steel or had seen Shinigami before.

Light closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He wanted to believe that perhaps it was just a coincidence - that the stranger was looking through Ryuk to some advertisement on the side of the train, but given the way his eyes were flicking back and forth between the two of them there was no doubt that the stranger could see Ryuk and had accurately picked up on the connection between the two of them.

Brown eyes fell on the stranger's book bag, and he was gratified to see neat kanji scrawled on the side. 'Watanuki Kimihiro'. Spelled like April 1st. An unusual name. It was sorely tempting to withdraw one of the pieces of Death Note he kept on himself for emergencies and dispose of the high schooler then and there, but he wanted more information first. How could this kid see Ryuk, for one? Why hadn't he been surprised? Why did he seem less afraid of a shinigami than of a college student? He had to orchestrate an introduction. A great deal of information could be gathered from even a few sentences.

The next station was announced, and the teen tore his eyes away from them as though suddenly remembering where he was. Hurriedly, the blue-eyed youth gathered his things and made his way to the doors. Light very casually stood up as well, making his way to the exit with Ryuk lumbering after him. It was two stops earlier than the intended disembarking point, but there would be another train passing through in fifteen minutes he could hope back on to.

The train pulled up to the station, and the youth stepped through the door, Light having to walk quickly in order to make it out in time. However, the high school student had stopped right outside the door to look back into the train, and Light had to sidestep suddenly to avoid bowling him over.

The real surprise, though, was when the boy named Watanuki recoiled and gagged as they brushed shoulders.

"Hey, are you alright?" he asked, lacing concern into his voice and placing a hand on the youth's left shoulder.

The teen jerked away as though the hand burned him, breathing growing laboured. Confused, Light withdrew a couple of steps, and was surprised to see the youth recover almost immediately; breathing growing even as he brushed himself off and stood upright. Light reached out again, but Watanuki stepped back just out of arm's length.

"Please, it's nothing personal, but... please don't touch me."

"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to intrude," he responded, growing puzzled. It seemed like his very touch made the youth unbearably sick, but that in itself didn't make any sense.

“I have to go! Excuse me!” the teen blurted, practically tripped over his own feet as he scrambled away, eyes darting back to Ryuk again as he made his escape. The college student didn’t follow, shoving his hands casually into his pockets as he watched the other’s flight.

“You just going to let him go, Light?” the Death God asked.

“He won’t be going far. Let’s go, Ryuk.” Light made his way to the street, waving down a taxi instead of bothering to wait for the next train as he’d originally planned.

When he arrived home a few minutes later, the apartment was dark. Misa was still out working, apparently. That suited him fine – useful as she was, it was harder to concentrate when she was hanging off his arm complaining about how little she got to see him. Honestly – what did the woman expect? He was juggling his college career with being both Kira and L. At least Misa did the lion’s share of the judging these days, freeing him up to concentrate on finishing university and keeping all suspicion away from the two of them. Combing the world of criminals to judge might have been just, but it was terribly time consuming.

Shrugging out of his jacket, Light immediately retrieved the Death Note and sat down at his desk, pen poised to write on the page. That high school student had been able to see Ryuk, which in itself should have been an impossibility. Ryuk’s cryptic comments hadn’t made him relax, either. Even if the kid hadn’t committed a crime, he and Misa couldn’t risk being suspected as Kira again. He’d kill him off in an accident so that no one would be likely to link it to Kira. The sooner, the better.

Light paused, though, as the pen met paper. There was something weird about that boy. For one, his name included the kanji for 'four', and as such was associated with 'death'. Even if it was written as April 1st, most parents would go out of their way not to choose a name with such an unlucky character.

He laid the pen down again. Watanuki Kimihiro.

“Things might get interesting for a few days again, Ryuk.”


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Two days later Light Yagami could be found standing outside a high school wearing a hooded jacket, observing the students streaming from its gates with a careful eye. When he caught sight of a trio heading for the street, he withdrew a little, waiting until they were halfway down the block before drawing the hood closer around his face and stepping out to follow. A careful glance behind him revealed that Ryuk was floating some distance back, as planned. Hiding his face was meaningless if Watanuki happened to just glance back and catch sight of the hulking Death God. As it was, Light was staying a paranoid distance away as he trailed the youth leaving school. There was a risk of losing sight of his target staying so far back, but it was preferable to lose the youth going around a corner than to alert him to the fact that he was being followed.

So far, Watanuki Kimihiro had not exhibited any more unusual behaviour. He was walking home with a tall, athletic serious-looking individual and a short, petite, curly haired girl. Even from a distance it was obvious that the blue-eyed youth held a candle for the girl, though his relationship with the other boy was a little more confusing. It was hard to tell whether the occasional fits and outbursts at the other were friendly banter or genuine conflict, though give that the other hardly reacted, he was inclined to believe it the former.

It was easier to follow when the three parted ways, and much more interesting as well. The extroverted youth walking home with his friends seemed to deflate into a straight-faced, brooding individual as soon as they were gone. Watanuki also acted a little paranoid - glancing around himself cautiously every now and again, but Light didn't get the impression that it was because of him.

Despite the paranoid activity, the college student-turned-administrator of divine justice was beginning to wonder if this was an exercise in futility. Watanuki Kimihiro was strange, certainly, but he hadn't yet gained any clues as to how the youth could see Ryuk. Observing the teen for the couple of hours he could spare was realistically not enough, but he couldn't afford to be missing for too long or the investigative team might ask questions. And after the privileges he'd been granted as L, it was hard to go back to such old-fashioned methods, too. It was necessary, though, to try and discover where exactly Watanuki fit in. Did he have a Death Note of his own? Even he had the eyes, it didn't really explain how he could see Ryuk, unless Ryuk had been up to more mischief while back in the Shinigami World.

He was surprised by what greeted him when the youth arrived at his destination. Light had to blink a few times to make sure what he was seeing was real. On what he could have sworn had been an empty block of land a second ago sat a traditional-looking house, although upon closer inspection it could have been a shop. Cautiously, he approached the gate. Watanuki had obviously already gone inside by the time he arrived there.

For a moment, Light found himself indecisive. It was all too suspicious for him to just leave it alone, even though he had no alibi for entering the place. He could probably make up some sort of plausible story of wanting to use the phone, though, and pass it off as a coincidence if Watanuki recognised him. Absently, he turned off his own mobile phone to avoid getting caught out in the lie.

Just as he was about to step past the fence, though, Ryuk stopped him.

“I shouldn't go in there," the Death God announced without preamble.

Light paused at that. "You shouldn't or you can't?" There hadn't ever been anywhere that the Death God hadn't followed him before. Generally, it was mostly irritating, but you became used to it.

The Shinigami seemed agitated. "What's so important about this? Why can't we go somewhere else?"

Ignoring the complaining Shinigami, Light stepped through the gates, eyes roaming over the premises and gathering as much information as possible. Such a place in Tokyo should be an impossibility - a traditional house, complete with a spacious yard, surrounded on all sides by high-rise buildings? It had to be worth a fortune given the premium for land in even the outer suburbs of Tokyo - developers should have bought out this piece of real estate decades ago. So the people he was dealing with were obviously filthy rich. Wealth tended to equal power, as well, so he reminded himself not to underestimate them. Watanuki was apparently even more of a curiosity than he first thought. It would be prudent to tread lightly, since he didn't really know what he was dealing with. But he was confident enough to proceed, armed with a piece of Death Note, his wit, and his aliases.

As soon as he had entered the yard, what sounded like a muffled voice came from the side of the house. “Hello?” he asked, politely heading to the side of the yard sporting a well.

"Oh, we have a customer?" a whimsical female voice floated from within. A moment later, an old-fashioned shouji slid aside to reveal a tall, thin woman dressed in an ornate kimono that was showing far too much leg and shoulder to be considered appropriate. She moved in a languid and graceful manner, oozing a confidence and sexuality that would make almost any man stammer and blush in her presence.

Light Yagami was not just any man. He met her gaze squarely, unperturbed. He'd not yet met a woman he couldn't manipulate to his will. Making sure to turn on the charm, he greeted her with the slightest of bows and the subtlest of smiles. "Sorry to intrude. Hideki Ryuuga, pleased to meet you." It was poetic justice, he felt, that he now used one of L's aliases.

To his slight surprise, though he didn't show it, the woman's face went still and her eyes turned cold. "I know who you are. But you have no need to be in my shop."

"No need? What is it that you sell? And might I have your name?" It was unspeakably rude not to give your name after someone had given theirs, but the criminal genius reigned in his irritation. It wasn’t hard after all the practice L had given him with his array of bad habits.

"Yuuko Ichihara. Don't bother writing it down - it's an alias. Only a fool would freely give out their full name these days, right Ryuuga-kun?" She smiled at that, a sickly sweet smile that made Light unquestionably paranoid.

He'd come to gather information, to determine whether or not these people were a threat, but suddenly he was beginning to feel out of his depth.

Ryuk had reluctantly followed him into the yard, and to Light’s discomfort and alarm, the woman noticed him almost immediately. “Oh, my, isn’t this a surprise. Though it’s to be expected. You're certainly a naughty one, though I've not yet met one who isn't. Does the King know you're here?"

Ryuk was looking uncomfortable - Light half-expected the shinigami to start sweating. It was hard to decide which was more unsettling - the fact that this woman could see Ryuk and was even less perturbed by his presence than what the boy named Watanuki had been, or that she could actually make the shinigami uncomfortable. This woman was a threat that needed to be eliminated. He had to discover her true name.

"Oh, don't be like that. Unlike 'Ryuuga' here, you can't help what you are. Watanuki! Bring some apples for our guest!" She even knew about the apples?

"Come on in, then," the woman who had introduced herself as Yuuko continued airily. "I know you're going to, whether you're invited or not."

This Yuuko was mildly infuriating, but Light followed after her anyway, even though it was hard to shake the sensation that he was willingly entering the lion’s den.

They sat down at a table, the high school youth he'd been following emerging after a moment carrying a tray with tea and apples on it, wearing an apron over his school uniform. It was part-time work, apparently. Watanuki visibly started when he caught sight of them, though his expression was schooled back into bored indifference almost immediately.

"You've met, I see?" Yuuko drawled.

"I’ve seen him before, on the train two days ago. That was the only time." Watanuki set out the tea politely, jerking his hand away hastily when Light reached for his cup. Curious. The teen offered an apple to the Death God hovering somewhat anxiously by the door, who accepted in with more reverence than what the shinigami ever showed him. Ryuk's lidless gaze followed the youth for a long moment before he ate the apple in three gulps.

"You were followed," Yuuko intoned pleasantly, sounding rather like she was discussing a pair of new shoes rather than berating her worker. "Didn't you suspect?"

"I'm always being followed by something or another. How was I supposed to know it was him?" The blue-eyed youth replied resentfully. More useful morsels of information.

"Hm. Well, you've only created trouble for yourself." The woman leaned forward; pipe in hand. It was very strange to see anyone using such old fashioned pipes these days, but the smoke from it didn't smell like any known narcotic; not even opium like one would expect in a place like this. Light almost would have preferred if it was. People with drug dependencies were pathetically easy to manipulate. "You're a very interesting person, ‘Ryuuga’, I'll give you that. Most people would have collapsed under that weight by now. You don't even seem to notice. I guess it doesn't work so well on the clear-headed after all."

"What weight?" It wasn’t as though Light wasn’t used to talking in riddles with Misa and L all the time, but typically those were puzzles he knew the answers to.

"If you don't know, then it's better that I don't tell you. Unless you're here for a wish, I'm not going to interfere."

"A wish?"

She leant back again, crossing her legs and extending an arm as she did so. Most anyone else would have looked like a drama queen, posing in such a fashion, but Yuuko managed to make it look perfectly natural.

"My shop grants wishes. For a price, of course." Her lazy grin was like that of a cat that had caught the canary and framed the dog. "Would you like for me to grant your wish?"

"Any wish?"

"Whatever is your heart's desire. Though I should point out that the cost for, say, killing someone or bringing someone back to life is higher than what any mortal would be able to pay."

"I see. In that case, I rather expect that I am unable to pay your prices." Light had abandoned any attempts at playing nice or being charming. Clearly it was a waste here. "That's just a hunch, of course." If the deal for the eyes cost half of your lifespan, he was completely uninterested in asking any more of this woman, who seemed more like a loan shark than a fairy godmother. Besides, this was clearly some sort of occult shop. Even if it seemed to have more validity than most - given that neither of the occupants seemed at all intimidated by Ryuk - the notion that they could grant any wish at all struck him as absurd.

Then again, it was only a couple of years ago that the notion of Shinigami struck him as absurd too. And Ryuk's reactions so far seemed to indicate that there was at least some truth in those outlandish claims.

"Hmm, I suppose that would be the case. Such a shame."

Light could feel that was his cue to leave, but he was far from finished yet. These people were more possibly more dangerous than he first supposed, and before he could take any action to eliminate this threat, he needed information. Primarily whether they had told anyone else about his identity, or whether they had any ties to any particular group.

He glanced over at the apron-clad youth, who was hovering by the door listening in. Realizing that he’d been noticed, the teen hurried back inside to the kitchen. “And I take it that your employee is here working off a wish, then? What did Watanuki wish for?” Light put a special emphasis on ‘Watanuki’, letting the woman know that he knew her precious employee’s name.

"You’re referring to Watanuki Kimihiro, spelled like April 1st?" she mimicked, a cat-like smile spreading across her lips. "I do keep telling him to be more careful with his name, but it's early yet."

Light wasn't sure exactly what that meant, but it didn't seem important. What was important was that she’d responded to his veiled threat with such a cavalier attitude. Either she didn’t care at all about her employee’s life, or there was something she knew that he didn’t.

Crossing his arms and leaning back, the college student repeated, “So, what was his wish?”

“That’s confidential, I’m afraid. I’m sure you understand, what with your line of work and all.”

He raised a single brown eyebrow at that, feigning nonchalance. “My line of work? You’ve overestimated my age, I’m afraid. I’m still only a college student.”

“Of course you are.”

This was going nowhere, and he was starting to lose his temper with how difficult the woman was insisting on being. Leaning back in and narrowing his eyes, Light hissed, “What is this place? How is any of this possible?”

“How is it possible that people all over the world die before their time every day?” she retorted.

Light stood abruptly. “I don’t need to listen to this. If I cannot acquire answers from you, I’ll simply acquire them from your worker.”

“Very well then.”

"You're not going to try to stop me?" he asked dubiously. Even if the woman didn’t seem to care in the slightest that Watanuki could be killed any time, their brief exchange indicated some sort of bizarre relationship that surely was worth something.

"I don't need to," she replied serenely. "Your fate has already been decided. It is inevitable."

"I don't believe in fate." Not her kind of fate, anyway.

"Really? Can you be so sure that your encounter with Watanuki on the train was not fate? That this meeting is not fate?"

"The train was a coincidence. This meeting is merely a result of that coincidence." Light hadn’t particularly wanted to take the bait, but the smug look on the woman's face gave him the intense desire to crush her completely. It had been a long time since anybody had dared look down on or underestimate him, and it chafed more than expected.

"If you think so. Either way, how you choose to accept your fate is what defines you in the end. And this will teach Watanuki a valuable lesson."

"What lesson is that?"

Her grin was decidedly wicked. "To take greater care of his name, for one." She stood up and leaned forward, drawing uncomfortably close, but Light resisted the urge to back away, a distant part of his mind considering that had she been there, Misa would have likely tried to slap the woman by now for daring to get so close to her beloved. "And secondly, that some of the worst creatures in the world aren't spirits, but humans."

If there was any doubt left in his mind that Yuuko Ichihara knew exactly who he was, it vanished then.

"You're awfully cruel to your employee. I could kill him, you know."

"Maybe. But he has a destiny of his own. You'll play your part it in, however unpleasant it may be."

This entire meeting had been a complete waste of time. "Come on, Ryuk, we're not staying."

"Bye bye, Shinigami! Say hello to the King for me!" She transformed back into a carefree, slightly tipsy woman in the space of a second, flapping a hand cheerily at them as they walked down the cobblestone path back to the fence. Ryuk shuddered, following the Death Note user closely as they left the strange property.

Light refused to be played like that. It was humiliating. He would show Yuuko Ichihara exactly what it meant to deal so flippantly with Kira.


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Later in the evening after Misa had gone to bed, Light sat over his desk once again, pen poised to write in the Death Note. Make a fool of him? Even if Yuuko Ichihara was just an alias, there was one name he knew for sure.

Before he’d even managed to get halfway through the first character, though, Ryuk piped up suddenly behind him – the second time that day. “Don’t.”

“What?”

"You can't write his name in the Death Note. He's special," Ryuk said simply.

"Special? How?" Light asked sharply.

The Death God shrugged. "You couldn't understand. It'd be troublesome, anyway. He's got a pipe fox, and there's a Zashiki Warashi that's really attached to him too. Not to mention, the contract he has with that woman is stronger than the one created by the Death Note."

"So if I write his name down, it will do nothing?"

"I didn't say that. He's mortal, after all. But the Death Note isn't all powerful. People like that are either left alone or dealt with by the King himself, or things have ways of getting complicated. Curses. Ghosts. That sort of thing. Always unpredictable. And someone like that – things would just go crazy."

Light grunted, annoyed, tapping a finger on the desk as he thought. It wasn't the first time he'd heard of this 'King' of Shinigami, but it had been almost impossible to extract any information about him from either Ryuk or Rem. Come to think of it, that woman had mentioned a ‘King’ too. Had she been referring to the King of Shinigami?

If that was the case, the issue was even bigger than he’d first considered.

Still, now that he’d had some time to cool his head, Light was able to consider the encounter that afternoon more rationally. Even though Yuuko Ichihara had dared make a fool out of him, she was in the end just a mysterious and eccentric woman. It would be foolish to get carried away by anger. When emotionally charged, people made mistakes, and Kira couldn’t afford to make mistakes.

He considered his options carefully. Most of his evening had been spent searching for information, proving it impossible to find out the true name of Yuuko Ichihara - indeed, there was a vacuum where information should have been regarding all things associated with the woman. Even researching the property of her shop had led him to conclude that as far as the rest of the world was concerned, that nugget of valuable land just didn't exist. He truly was dealing with something supernatural.

Once removing the personal slight from the equation, it was actually sort of tempting to leave the matter be. While this Yuuko character hadn't seemed terribly fond of him, she also hadn't seemed particularly interested in revealing to the world that he was Kira, or getting involved at all for that matter. He didn't doubt that both she and Watanuki knew his true identity, even if they didn't say it outright. Watanuki's reactions to him and the woman's thinly veiled comments left no doubt. Fortunately, the high schooler didn't seem terribly inclined to involve himself in the matter either, though Light expected that was purely a self-preservatory action at this point in time. When he stepped up his campaign next, that could change.

Watanuki was the key. Ideally, if he could ensure that Watanuki would not reveal to anyone even the slightest clue of his identity, a great deal of his problem went away. He didn't necessarily have to use the Death Note to kill him - he knew enough about forensics to kill someone without leaving enough evidence to be linked to him, and he assumed that any of this divine sort of protection the high schooler had over him was meant to protect him from supernatural things only. It was always risky, but it was probably riskier still to leave the problem be, however tempting it was. People were generally predictable creatures, but they always bucked the trend exactly when it was most inconvenient.

There was the matter of Yuuko's shop, as well. A shop that could grant wishes - any wish, if it was to believed - could eventually attract a customer that wanted to destroy Kira, and was willing to pay any price to do it. While Light didn't get the impression that he could be killed by someone's wish, it wasn't so hard to imagine that the price to have the Death Notes taken away, or to have his identity exposed, would be something a desperate individual would be able and willing to pay. It was dangerous to ignore the shop and hope that such a thing never came to pass. He'd already seen how far L had been willing to go to defeat Kira - there were bound to be others out there just as dedicated, even if they were not as effective.

Since killing Yuuko with the Death Note was an impossibility - and he didn't like the odds of successfully doing it in person, either – that meant he needed leverage to prevent her taking action against him. Insurance, really. That was where Watanuki came in again.

This could very easily give him a headache. His only solace was the fact that this Watanuki character appeared to be relatively predictable and easy to control - he didn’t seem particularly stupid, but he likely didn't possess the sort of intelligence or insight that made him an even slightly threatening opponent.

It was well past midnight before Light felt satisfied that he’d considered all of the possible options. In the end, the solution chosen was far from elegant and more risky than what he felt comfortable with, but then again, it wasn’t L he was dealing with, and no one knew he’d had any contact with these people. They obviously weren’t connected with any organization, either, otherwise he would have come across something in his searches – no one could cover their tracks so thoroughly.

He’d act tomorrow. There was no point delaying the issue – best to resolve it swiftly, before Yuuko or Watanuki started getting ideas.


-------------------------------------------------------------------


It had been child's play to discover where Watanuki lived. It had been even easier to plan his move, knowing that the youth lived alone. An almost cursory investigation into his life had revealed everything he needed to know. It was surprising that a conniving woman like Yuuko Ichihara kept such a potential liability around, but then again, if the youth could see his shinigami, there was obviously more to him than met the eye.

The apartment block was small and run-down, but neat and well cared for. Even if there were cracks in the plaster and rust on the door numbers, there was none of the dirt or grime typically found in such accommodations. Light approved – nothing was more disgusting than watching people wallow in their own filth and misery, too lazy to bother improving themselves. One day, even such deadweight wouldn’t have a place in Kira’s world.

Knuckles rapped smartly against the door. There was a brief silence, then the quiet padding of slippered feet.

Watanuki seemed surprised when he'd opened his door to find Light Yagami standing there, with Ryuk no doubt an imposing figure filling the doorway behind him. The youth should have expected that he’d turn up again, though. Had Yuuko really not warned him at all?

"Watanuki Kimihiro. It's a pleasure to meet you again." He took a few steps into the apartment without being invited, but the youth had to move back anyway to avoid touching him.

"What are you doing here?" the blue-eyed teen asked. He was nervous. Good. He knew he was up against someone more powerful than himself. Friends in high places could only help to a point, and this confrontation would be a lot more difficult if he had to first convince Watanuki of his utter vulnerability.

"I'm sure you can guess," he replied, closing the door behind him so that they wouldn't be disturbed. It wouldn't do to have anyone accidentally overhear their conversation, after all. As it was he was taking a well-calculated risk - the sort Kira wouldn't have been able to afford in L's time.

"Are you going to kill me?" The question was asked in a surprisingly steady voice. Light appraised the youth in front of him, standing rigidly straight as though squaring himself for his imagined fate. He wondered if Watanuki's life had become so governed by forces beyond his control that he'd come to merely accept what he thought was inevitable. The kid got some extra points for sheer guts. Having seen many people to their deaths, Kira could confidently say that few could show such courage at the prospect.

"I could... but then I wouldn't have anything with which to bargain," Light replied, before reaching out faster than what the younger boy could react and grabbing his shoulder. As expected, Watanuki spasmed, one hand covering his mouth and the other trying to push his arm away. Light intercepted it, fingers encircling the wrist and causing the teen to jerk again.

"Don't touch..."

"Don't touch you?" Light asked, pulling the gagging teen closer. Watanuki slumped to his knees, cheeks flushing, but Light simply crouched with him. "It hurts you, doesn't it? The touch of Kira?"

"Please... stop."

"I'll stop. If you promise me one thing - that you never divulge even the slightest clue as to Kira's identity to anyone, under any circumstances. And that you don't allow your boss to, either."

"I can't control what Yuuko- Ah!"

Light effortlessly pushed the teen to the ground and straddled his hips in one fluid movement, actually eliciting a small cry of pain from the extra contact. "I'm afraid you'll have to find a way."

Watanuki actually managed to gain his composure enough to glare at him, though he spoke through clenched teeth. "Why should I help you?"

Light smirked, and spread the palm of his left hand against the high schooler's chest, leaning in closer. The kid had a surprising amount of fight, but that was okay. He'd been prepared for this possibility. "Because if you don't, you won't be the only one who suffers." He leaned down further so that his chest was pressed flush against the younger boy's. The position was uncomfortable, but obviously not nearly as bad as what it was for Watanuki, whose breathing had been reduced to choked gasps by now as he squirmed and thrashed uselessly from where he was pinned, face contorting in pain.

He leaned in, whispering in the high school student's ear, "Don't worry - I don't intend to kill you to keep my secrets. But it would be a shame if anything were to happen to that lovely Kunogi Himawari, wouldn't it? Or a good citizen like Doumeki Shizuoka. Or even those nice people that are lending you this apartment. It wouldn't be right at all that they should die for a crime they didn't commit."

Tears were leaking out of the corners of Watanuki's eyes by now. "Leave... them... out of it...." he gasped.

"I have no intention of bringing them into it, Watanuki. That's entirely up to you. But if I'm ever compromised, you can be sure I'll have more than enough time to punish whoever defied me. And both theirs and your deaths will be fair more painful than this. And far more painful than any heart attack."

Behind his glasses, Watanuki’s blue eyes were turning glassy. Light pulled back before the youth could pass out from the pain, letting his fingers ghost across the teen’s cheek almost tenderly as he withdrew, causing one last jerk before standing and brushing himself off. Smirking, he made to let himself out, the high schooler still laying on the floor, chest heaving as he tried to get his breath back. What a curious affliction. Light would have liked to know more about it, but it would undoubtedly involve more of Yuuko Ichihara’s esoteric babble. Still, it had served its purpose – Watanuki knew without a doubt that he wasn’t bluffing, and that he meant business. It was harder to retaliate or think clearly when in blinding pain, too.

Straightening his jacket, he paused before opening the door, and quietly reminded the teen, “Remember – if either you or your boss seek to speak of or involve yourselves in any way in my affairs, your life, and the lives of your friends, are forfeit. I’m only being generous now because it really would be a shame to kill those who haven’t really done anything to deserve it. Don’t make me regret showing you this small mercy.” Watanuki likely didn’t know about his own apparent ‘divine protection’, and probably didn’t realise that he couldn’t kill Yuuko Ichihara using her alias, either, and if he did ever realise, the threat to his friends would be enough to keep him quiet.

Quietly, Light Yagami left the apartment, closing the door softly behind him and heading back out onto the street, keeping an eye out for any witnesses. None – no one would ever know he’d been here. He could relax now, safe in the knowledge that the strange boy he’d met on the train wouldn’t dare speak of him again, and neither would he allow his boss to. Yuuko would acquiesce, he was sure – for all of her cavalier attitude, the look in her eyes suggested that she cared a great deal about her employee – even if not personally, it was apparent she had something invested in the teen, especially with all of her talk about ‘lessons’. The more paranoid part of him suspected that she’d already anticipated he’d take Watanuki and his friends’ lives’ hostage.

There was no point giving the matter any more thought. The risk of the two of the turning up again and interfering with his affairs was extremely small. Following up on the matter more than what he already had was the bigger risk – drawing others’ attention to the mysterious shop through his interest was potentially more ruinous than allowing it to fade into obscurity. It was all mathematics – weighing potential risk against potential cost. Logic. Logic was what Light felt most comfortable dealing with. There was a small risk in letting them live, but there was a larger risk in trying to kill them.

"You're pretty scary, Light," Ryuk said, looking back at the apartment as they walked away. He seemed cheerful, but then again with his clownish face and lidless eyes Ryuk always seemed cheerful. "I think you actually enjoyed that."

"You think I enjoy torturing people? An upstanding citizen like myself?" Light asked, adjusting the cuffs of his shirt and smoothing his hair.

"Yeah. I think you really do."

The college senior smirked at that. "You may be right, Ryuk. I guess I've changed after using the Death Note so much. No - it's inevitable that I changed. But it's necessary, if I'm to become the god of the new world."

Light wasn’t a superstitious person at all. There was no such thing as ‘fate’, merely fortunate coincidences. Perhaps some time ago, he might have held some belief in ‘god’s favour’ or ‘inevitabilities’, but he’d since killed a Shinigami. Nothing was invincible before him now. Not even God.


Comments

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sinnatious
Apr. 16th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Whoa, you've dug up a relic here! There's actually a better version of the fic up on FF.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3376247/1/Addicted_to_Death

-in which I fixed up some of the issues you mentioned about, and added in some extra scenes. Glad you liked it, though!
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