DEATH NOTE and SURPRISE SECOND FANDOM (aren't mine)
Rating: PG-13 for seriously attempted murder
Genre: CROSSOVER. With what should be obvious by the end.
Summary: The Englishman was once again embarrassed. Actually, he seemed to be in a perpetual state of embarrassment which varied only by degree.
An ignoble death was far too good for L, Raito had thought. For a long time he'd refused refused to compromise on this account, each set-back only adding to his determination to off Interpol's best agent by heart attack (and preferably on national tv). But then Ryuga had changed the rules; if he wasn't L he was certainly close enough. His actions were infuriating and inexcusable and Raito had had enough of competition.
Killing the man who'd embarrassed him wouldn't be as satisfying by proxy, but what was? Raito was an adult. He could recognize a disadvantageous situation when he saw one, and, as Japan's premiere student, he could adapt appropriately. He could adapt. He was adapting because he wanted to, not because he had to.
Raito had a new plan, for perhaps the first time in memory.
It was Friday evening in Touo's third lecture hall. Finals season, and the one day Ryuga absolutely had to be in class or else risk expulsion. He was finished an entire hour early, but Raito had expected that and had accounted for it. They walked out of the classroom together, a few beleaguered psychology students sparing precious seconds from their own finals to glare. Raito knew that behind him, Ryuk was grinning, because Ryuk was always grinning. At this particular moment Raito also felt like- well, maybe not like grinning. Like smiling hugely, perhaps, or laughing in uncontrollable anticipation.
They arrived at the mostly deserted commons right on schedule, and Raito, also on schedule, stopped them to greet a large group of friends. Raito made small talk while L observed, his eyes wide and face open. He was so simple-seeming that at that moment Raito wanted kill him with his own hands. Who did he think he was fooling? Instead he laughed politely at something that wasn't funny.
With impeccable timing, convicted felon Jun Ayashi appeared brandishing a pistol.
"Nobody move!" Ayashi shrieked, eyes practically rolling backward in his head. Raito supposed he looked suitably deranged, although truthfully he wasn't too impressed. Ayashi had been released from police custody a year ago, after prison therapists had diagnosed him as a mild schizophrenic. His attack tonight was believable, because his condition and gun he was waving were real- it was only his sudden appearance that had been supernaturally fabricated.
Everyone minus four screamed. Himself, Ryuga, and the gunman Raito expected, but who was the mousey-looking middle-aged foreigner? He was standing at the edge of the crowd, looking mostly resigned and also a bit embarrassed at the way one girl was clinging to his arm. On the other edge of the crowd, someone fainted, while in the middle Imura from the baseball team looked as if he was planning to jump the gunman. Ryuga alternated attention between Raito and the deranged killer. How amusing that he gave the same look to both of them, as if Raito were as much of a threat as the armed man.
Raito moved to support Imura, as any good police inspector's son not connected to the proceedings would do. Ayashi had not stopped raving, but what he said was of no interest to Raito.
Ryuka surprised him by interrupting. "Your actions may not be under your own control," he said calmly. "Are you sure you want to do this?" He blinked, looking no different from the way he usually did.
"Shut your mouth!" Ayashi screamed. "No one tells me what to do!" He leveled his gun at Ryzaki and tightened his grip, fingers just starting to pull back the trigger. Raito's face was a frozen mask of horror.
"Kukuku," Ryuk said behind him. "Raito is such a good actor. But what if you are killed too?"
He wouldn't be. His survival was written into the Death Note, just as Ryuka's death was. Raito felt nothing but anticipation.
Just before Ayashi could pull the trigger, though, there was a slight cough. It sounded suspiciously like someone clearing his throat. The interruption made Raito want to hit something, but in the end he was forced to react with feigned relief to the amateurish, "Halt! This is the police! You've been surrounded?" that came after.
It was obviously the foreigner, who was just as obviously the worst ventriloquist Raito had ever seen. Ryuga had also noticed the way the man's lips were moving, but unfortunately the murderer had not. Ayashi turned around.
This was what Raito got choosing a paranoid schizophrenic over one with simple delusions or multiple personalities.
The foreigner lunged. His violence was, if anything, more pathetic than his ventriloquism, because Ayashi was able to shake him off easily despite his surprise. The man, most likely English, hit the ground with a rather sad whump. He was shot, twice, in the chest, and Raito was momentarily torn. On the one hand, this miserable Englishman had shown him up; on the other, there was still a good chance that Ryuga would be shot.
The feeling passed quickly. What did he care if one clumsy man appeared braver than he was? But then Ryuga changed the rules again. He darted forward in his best tennis-player's shuffle, taking advantage of Ayashi's distraction to snatch at the gun. It came away in his hand before Ayashi had even registered the movement.
Being beaten by a stranger was one thing; losing to Ryuga was something entirely different. Nudging Imura, Raito leaped forward to tackle Ayashi to the ground. Imura held him while Raito twisted his hands behind his back in a hold that looked harmless but was actually viciously painful. "Stay down," he advised, his voice even. "The police will be here soon."
He revised his estimations of Ryuga's identity. L was known to be obsessively careful of his own well-being, and would never have taken such a dangerous step unless he was absolutely certainty to succeed. Without Raito's knowledge of the Death Note, such certainty was impossible. If, however, Ryuga had calculated his action to be the most likely to save himself, or if he had been relying on Raito's secondary intervention, then Raito had just played right into his hands. He felt a momentary rage, but was able to quickly put it behind him. In any case it was just one more reason to hate Ryuga.
The girl who'd been clinging to the middle-aged man was now kneeling by his body. "Are you alright?" she asked. Stupid girl.
"Actually I think I am," the man said, shocking Raito. He pulled a thick book out from underneath his jacket. The book was barely scratched. On the inside cover the words "Don't Panic!" were emblazoned in large letters.
"Could someone call the police?" Raito asked. The cellphones came out almost in unison. It wouldn't be long before this entire incident was wrapped up, and with the gunman still alive. Tonight hadn't gone according to plan.
Another girl was clinging to his own arm. "You two were great!" she said, indicating Raito and Ryuga. "You made such a great team! To take down an armed man like that, it must have taken a lot of courage."
"Not us," Ryuga said, absently scatching one foot.
"No," Raito agreed, "it's all thanks to that man." He nodded toward the man with the book.
Who seemed, if possible, even more embarrassed. "Believe me," he said, "whatever else it might have been, it most definitely wasn't courage." He looked slightly guilty, and Raito wondered why. He decided that questions could wait until after the police arrived.
Gun shot wounds
2004 August 10th don't take your medication today
2004 August 11th don't take your medication today
2004 August 12th don't take your medication today
2004, August 13th
the Touo University commons
8:35pm threaten a large group of students with a gun
kill the one with the darkest bags under his eyes
shoot, but do not seriously injure, the police inspector's son
shoot a few more people
8:40pm accidentally shoot yourself
die before the police arrive
The police had come and gone and they'd taken Ayashi's body with them; only he, Ryuga, the Englishman, Imura, and the first girl were left at the crime scene. As the most active participants, they had been the most closely questioned witnesses, and everyone except Ryuka would have to report to the police station in the next few days for further questioning. For now, though, they were free to go, and Imura and the girl promptly left together. The Englishman was also preparing to leave when Raito stopped him.
"Excuse me, sir," he said, "but I was wondering: Why were you so modest before? It must have been difficult to attack an armed man with nothing but ventriloquism."
The Englishman was once again embarrassed. Actually, he seemed to be in a perpetual state of embarrassment which varied only by degree. "Er, well, you know, it really wasn't anything special at all," he said. He sounded apologetic.
"It was," Ryuga said. "I was only able to disarm the man after you distracted him. I owe you my life." He bowed. Raito, too, bowed. "We appreciate your assistance," they said together.
"No, no, it was really nothing!" the Englishman said. Strangely, he had no accent at all. "Actually, er, it was because I knew I wouldn't be killed. Otherwise I would never have attempted it." He laughed a bit, guiltily. He could easily have been making a terrible joke, but Ryuga took him seriously.
"Oh?" the detective asked. "Why is it that you knew you wouldn't be killed?" Raito could practically hear the gears. He had to say this Englishman was an idiot, saying something that so obviously made him a suspect.
"Yes," Raito said, "why? I am also curious. I'm the son of the head of police, so feel free to tell me anything."
The Englishman was startled until he understood. "Oh!" he said. "I'm not involved, I'd never seen that man before in my life! I had no idea, really. It's just, er, it's just that someone told me once where I'm going to die, and this isn't it. If that makes any sense."
It made uncomfortably too much sense to Raito, who suddenly wanted a chance to talk to this stranger alone, or at least out of Ryuka's earshot. He'd thought it was against the rules for shinigami to inform humans of their own lifespan, but if this man had met one who'd broken those rules, and he told Ryuga, there would be trouble.
"Who told you?" Ryuga asked. Damn.
"Ah, er, well," the man said, his posture like a cornered rabbit, "I don't suppose you'd believe it was a fellow with bat wings and rather too many teeth?" His laugh sounded forced. Ryuk was also laughing, his own "rather too many teeth" showing nicely.
The man took Ryuga's thoughtful and Raito's brooding silence for disbelief. "Forget I mentioned it," he said. "Er. The Japanese are famous for tea, aren't they? Do either of you know a place that serves good English tea?" It was a pathetically transparent attempt to change the subject, but Raito, for once, felt more relieved than superior.
"Of course," he said. "Come with me, I'll treat you." He very pointedly did not look at Ryuga, which was why he missed the other's subsequent considering gaze. He had to speak to this man alone, and then he had to kill him. Whether the creature he'd seen had been a shinigami or not - although Raito could not imagine what else it could have been - his description was too pointed.
"What's your name?" Raito asked. "I'm Asahi Raito."
"Arthur Dent," the man said. "pleased to meet you. Ah, you don't have to pay - just knowing where to go would be wonderful."
"If you say so," Raito said. "But at least let me join you."
Ryuga slouched forward. "If you don't mind, I would also like to come along. I'm Ryuga Hideki."
"What?" the man said. "Oh, of course. Just lead the way."
Raito took the lead. He kept his hand away from the front pocket of his coat, where he'd placed a page of the Death Note. He hoped - but Raito never hoped. Nothing good ever came of it. He calculated how much better it would be if he could allow the man to live. It would be suspicious if the chief witness died, after all. Ryuga was watching him. The man himself was walking in a particularly obnoxious state of oblivion. And Ryuk was laughing.
He'd figure something out. He had all of the ten minute walk, after all.
Author's Note: Raito says in one chapter that the Death Note only kills those whose names are written in it and cannot be used to kill indirectly (ie, you can't manipulate one person into killing someone else whose name you haven't written down). In other words, writing this fic was an exercise in futility. But please, pretend that "can't" means only "there is no guarantee that it will work". Pretty please?
That's right, it's a Death Note/Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Crossover! To the ghost of Douglas Adams: I am so, so sorry. Commence grave-rolling. The title, "Paradox", is from what would happen ih Raito ever really tried to kill Arthur Dent, since Dent can't die (in Japan) and Raito can't fail to kill. It's like those sharpest sword/strongest shield, unbeatable force/unbreakable wall, or zero to the infinitieth power paradoxes.