• "Stop that, Ryuuga," Light's voice sounds off in the background, "You're chewing exceptionally loud today."

    "It's only human nature to enjoy sweet things, Yagami-kun."

    "But all the time?"

    "Your concern is almost as sweet as this shortcake."

    Ide's ear twitches when Light snorts and the clicking of the keyboard resumes. It was normal day in the headquarters: Light and Ryuuzaki bickering back and forth in that intelligent way, Matsuda fetching everyone coffee (or cake, in Ryuuzaki's case), and Misa running in and out of the building.

    "Is there anything I can do?" Matsuda chirps suddenly from beside Ide, "Anything at all?"

    "Would you really like to help out, Matsuda?" Ryuuzaki asks.

    "Yes, yes!"

    "Then could you get me another piece of cake?"

    " ... oh. Yeah."

    "Ryuuga!" Light interjects, "You'll get crumbs all in the keys - can you not?"

    "I believe we've been over this time and time again, Yagami-kun."

    Ide listens as Light audibly takes in a deep breath and then the tic, tic of keys resumes. It's always the same. Ryuuzaki's admiration for all things of the sweet and sugary manner would conflict with Light's obsessive-compulsive tendencies and an argument would inevitably break out. Come to think of it, everything about Ryuuzaki countered the young graduate: his baggy clothes, the dark circles under his eyes, the way he propped himself in a chair, even the way he held his phone - which, even Ide had to admit, was kind of strange. Maybe that was why Light exploded in a calm fury over every little thing Ryuuzaki did. If he so much as gave a breath out of place, it was a problem.

    They were complete opposites. It was to the point that the only way Ide saw to describe them was with fire and ice, cats and dogs, even a husband and wife. A rather silly image of Ryuuzaki in a suit - though still hunched over - walking into a house and greeting a lip-sticked, dress-and-apron clothed Light with a short kiss forms in Ide's head. It's weird, odd, but above all, hilarious. Ide covers his mouth with one hand to stifle the chuckle, but it slips through his fingers. A sleep-deprived Aizawa turns to look at him.

    "Are 10 more murders funny to you, Ide?"

    Ide quickly swallows the laugh, shaking his head, "No."

    "Then what's so funny?"

    "Nothing, nothing."

    Aizawa's dark eyes glint with curiosity, "Ide. I've been awake for over two days - nothing is nothing."

    Ide sneaks a glance behind him before he leans to his side, "Never mention this again. I just got the idea because I've also been awake for days on end and I've only had coffee to survive on, all right?"

    The other detective rolls his eyes in a 'spit it out' way, "Ide."

    " ... I was listening to Light and Ryuuzaki arguing over crumbs in the keyboard and thought that they fight like a husband and wife. For some forsaken reason, I imagined Ryuuzaki coming home to kiss an apron-wearing Light. Never mention this again."

    A very eager Matsuda comes in at just that time. What he hears brings a small giggle to his lips. "You're right, Ide! They are exactly like a husband and wife! And we all know that Ryuuzaki would be wearing the pants in that household," he finishes with a wink before turning to the one who had asked him to bring cake. He still has a big grin on his face as he sets the cake down in front of Ryuuzaki.

    "Why in such a good mood, Matsuda?" Ryuuzaki asks curiously, noticing the smile on the other's face.

    "Oh, it's nothing," he replies, turning and winking at Ide again.

    Ryuuzaki also notices this, but ignores it, thinking of it as nothing but a joke between Task Force members. Turning to the fresh cake in front of him, he immediately goes to work. From the corners of his eye, he notices that Matsuda was still there, staring from him to Light and back again. "What is it, Matsuda?"

    Matsuda quickly shakes his head, a red color creeping up to his cheeks. He quickly walks away - more like shuffles - to rejoin Ide and Aizawa.

    "Did I miss anything?" he says in a low, eager whisper as he sits across from Ide. He is a little jumpy from the excitement of the conversation. Why he is so happy, he doesn't know.

    Aizawa growls under his breath, "You've been awake too long, Ide. Go take a nap. Humph, we're dealing with a serial killer and you're having fantasies about the most dysfunctional family. You're becoming a bigger idiot than damn Matsuda over here, jeez."

    " ... I thought it was pretty funny ..." Matsuda interjects, but closes his mouth when the older officer glares at him.

    "This is not a funny time, Matsuda. Just keep your mind on Kira, why don't you?"

    Ide watches silently as Matsuda turns and leaves, sad and disappointed like a puppy with its tail between its legs, before saying softly, "You don't have to be rude, Aizawa. It was just a joke."

    "A joke? Ide, we've been stuck in this place, awake for who knows how long - do you really expect me to find some s**t like that funny?"

    "I was just saying, Aizawa."


    The gruff man turns back to his computer screen. His eyes focus in on Kira statistics, but his mind wonders to just what's being put into Ide's coffee. It must be strong, very strong.


    Later that night, Aizawa sits lazily on the couch in his room. It's an insane hour in the morning, he's sure, and the chief has commanded them all to go to sleep. Not that anyone can sleep; Kira's out there ... he's out there and he's still killing. Just picking lives and removing souls from the surface of the Earth. Aizawa closes his eyes, furious from just thinking about it. Sleep is not coming to him easily. How can one possibly sleep when Kira's out there?

    "... ugh."

    The man stands up from the couch. He yawns and stretches, shaking off the feeling that if he just sits back down he'll go to sleep. He knows better than that. With a dry mouth, Aizawa shuffles out of his door and into the hallway. There's voices talking, or arguing, as it sounds.

    "... unorganized - !"

    "... rude - !"

    Aizawa snorts; it's Light. He's probably yelling at Ryuuzaki for being a hunchback slob.

    Inside the room, Light is very close to throwing a book at Ryuuzaki's slumped form. The black-haired teen stands as far away from the brunette as possible, one hand holding a small plate covered in frosting. On the floor at his feet is the piece of cake that had slipped off the plate and met the floor with a splat. It had irritated Light when he hadn't picked it up. Which brought up the entire argument on his disorganization.

    "But, Yagami-kun, my dropping the cake has nothing to do with how I am organized," he says calmly, looking up at Light through thick lashes and dark bangs that came down over his eyes.

    This seems to calm Light down, who lowers the book in his hand and lays it on the table. Collapsing back onto the couch, a yawn escapes his lips. "Just make sure it never happens again, got it, Ryuuga?" He is tired, and very much ready to get rid of this detective. He is Kira, and being stuck to the person intent on capturing him is unnerving.

    It is silent for some time before Ryuuzaki finally leans down and picks the piece of cake up off of the white carpet. Looking at it surveyingly, he decides it's clean enough to eat and raises it to his mouth.

    "You aren't seriously going to eat that are you?"

    "Why? Did you want some Yagami-kun?" He holds out the piece to the brunette on the couch, who instantly raises his hands, palms outward, and shakes his head quickly.

    "No no no. All of those sweets are going to make you sick someday, Ryuuga. I hope you know that."

    "I do." Ryuuzaki plops the piece of cake into his mouth and swallows it nearly whole. Then, he sits down on the white couch next to Light. It makes him a bit uncomfortable around this man. Not because he is the chief's son, but because this was who he believes -over ninety percent- is Kira.

    "Then why do you eat it?" Light mutters gently; he'll never understand the other man.

    "It's a personal choice, Yagami-kun. Just as you are dedicated to justice - sometimes to a questionable degree - I am dedicated to the sugary sweetness."

    Light's body tenses at the Kira-innuendo and coughs gently, "Of course, Ryuuga."


    "Go to bed."

    "Ryuuga." The brunette shakes the dark haired boy who had fallen asleep on his shoulder. "Ryuuga, wake up!" He shoves Ryuuzaki a little too hard, pushing him over into the arm rest on his other side.

    The force of the impact wakes him up. "Hnn? Yagami-kun?" Pale hands come up to his dark, under-shadowed eyes. "What happened?"

    "It's morning."

    "Oh." Ryuuzaki stands and stretches upward, his back angling backward before returning to its normal, slumped position. "Are you ready to go downstairs, Yagami-kun?"

    "What, you aren't going to change, or even bathe?"

    "No. Why would you ask, Yagami-kun?"

    Light shakes his head in mock disbelief. This happens everyday. "You really should pay more attention to your hygiene, Ryuuga." He stands, as well, and leads the way to the bathroom. It is hard to get ready every morning with Ryuuzaki there every second, attached by the wrist.

    Downstairs, on the floor of the headquarters, Aizawa sits in his chair before the computer screens. Nobody else is downstairs, not even the chief. 'You get up ridiculously early, Aizawa.' Matsuda had once said in shock before turning over in his bed. It was shockingly early, but Aizawa reasons with himself that Kira doesn't sleep or wake up - he just waits.

    "Good morning, Aizawa," comes Light's voice from behind him.

    The older man lets out a gruff reply and listens as Light moves to his seat, Ryuuzaki shaking their chain loudly as he sits also. There's extra tension in the air, a result from their fight argument last night. The corner of Aizawa's lip turns up in a smirk as he plays back the memory. They do argue a lot, but certainly not like a married couple. That's for a man and a woman, not a genius high school graduate boy and a hunchback top-notch detective man.

    "Have you found anything this morning, Aizawa?" said detective asks.

    "Not yet, Ryuuzaki. But it feels like we're about to come to a breakthrough. I feel it."

    A strange noise erupts from Light's throat, a mix between a snort and a laugh. Aizawa frowns at this; sometimes, Light's obnoxious attitude kicks in. A snort here, a chuckle there, almost as if he just knows that something's wrong - as if he knows the truth ... as if he's Kira. Aizawa rolls his eyes before grunting,

    "Have you found anything, Light?"

    "Actually, I was just looking at the patterns of the most recent murders and ... "

    "And you noticed how Kira's stopped being so elaborate?"

    The group of three turn in their chairs to look at the freshly-awoken Ide, a cup of coffee fit snugly in his hands as he continues, "I noticed that also. It's nothing but heart attacks now. Kira's either getting bored, or he's planning for something big."

    "Or Kira has a new accomplice." This time, they all turn to Ryuuzaki, who sits in front of the computers in that odd way he always does. His thumb is against his lower lip, and black eyes glued to the screens.

    "What are you getting at, Ryuuga? Do you think this is like the time, when you thought Misa and I were Kira?"

    "Yes. But I didn't think that the two of you were Kira. I have the feeling that you are Kira. And that Miss Amane used to be Kira. But now, since the two of you are still under constant surveillance, that there is another Kira, one who works under the orders of someone who was close to the original Kira." His eyes turn to Light, who sits as far away from him as he can with the chain attaching the two together.

    "Who would want to work with Kira?" Ide asks, sipping his coffee.

    "Believe it or not, Ide, Kira has quite a large number of followers -"

    "Like a boy band!" Matsuda chirps.

    Ryuuzaki blinks before continuing, "True, but not quite what I was getting to. Anybody could do it. But I'm absolutely positive there's a new Kira - a third, new, and inexperienced Kira."

    "Inexperienced? No killer is inexperienced," Light adds in his opinion.

    "I meant one who hasn't been doing this as long. One who is new to this game of killing."

    Their eyes are all glued on the detective.

    "You think this is a game, Ryuuga?" Light is up on his feet, his hands grabbing Ryuuzaki's shirt collar and dragging him up out of the chair. "Killing is nothing to be played with!"

    Matsuda's eyes grow wide with horror. He has seen them fight before, but they have never done so in front of the rest of the Task Force. But the two pay no attention to the people who stand around them.

    Ryuuzaki's eyes are calm as he looks into the angry eyes of the other boy. "Kira is childish and selfish. He thinks this is just a game, and that he will win. But, he will not win, for there is someone who things nearly exactly the same who opposes him. Another player in this game of justice."

    Light's hands loosen on the raven-haired boy's collar. "What are you getting at, Ryuuga?" His eyes still have the same, intense, angry expression.

    "I only mean that Kira and I think alike. As do you and I."

    Hands release the collar and drop to Light's sides. His eyes are no longer angry, but wary instead. He opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted when his father makes an outburst.

    "Are you saying that you still accuse my son of being Kira, even though you have solid evidence that he isn't?" Now it is Soichiro's eyes that are filled with anger.

    "Chief. We don't have solid proof that Light isn't Kira. You said yourself that it was possible that there were more than one, and that they work together," Aizawa answers for Ryuuzaki. Beside him, Ide nods his approval.

    Soichiro shakes his head in denial. "So you think that Light is Kira, too, is that it, Aizawa?"

    Aizawa doesn't answer, only looks on, watching the chief's expression carefully.

    Matsuda stiffens where he stands near Light. As much as he wants to believe that Light isn't Kira, he thinks Ryuuzaki could be right. They don't have absolute proof that the honor student isn't Kira; not even from the time when he was held captive for over a month. But no one notices this innocent, childish police officer. They rarely notice him anyway. He roughly shakes his head and sighs, but doesn't throw in his two cents. Who would listen, anyway? They would just brush him off, like a bug. Moving over to the couch, he takes a seat and relaxes back. Well, relaxes as much as he can.

    "Don't worry about it, Dad. Sooner or later I can convince them to believe that I'm innocent." Light pays no attention to the others in the room as he speaks, a reassuring smile on his face. But this smile is fake. He would persuade those who thought he was Kira; stray them away from the truth and make them believe that he isn't Kira, and then he will bring justice down on all who opposed him.

    The stressed chief hesitates before nodding to his son; the confidence in Light's voice soothes him more than he expected. The room grows silent again, merely the sound of breathing filling the room. Light and Ryuuzaki continue to stare at each other for a short time before Ryuuzaki turns away. Soichiro leaves, dragging his feet into the elevator.

    "Light ..." Matsuda says just above a whisper; he wishes he could voice his opinion on the topic, but knows he would most likely be shunned for it. Being a lot less mature than anyone else in the room is hard, and always fills his mind with doubt and regret.

    "Matsuda," Ryuuzaki's voice sounds from the computers. It is late afternoon, not yet dark, but still late.

    Matsuda jumps up, almost eager to be of help to this great detective. "Yes, Ryuuzaki?"

    The slumped-over form holds out a small, transparent plate. The plate is covered with the crumbs from his last piece of cake. "Could you please get me another slice of cake." It is a statement, not a question. Why do detectives have to be so... so... imperative?


    Ryuuzaki turns in his chair to look at the stiff Matsuda, who's hands are clenched into fists at his side. "What do you mean 'No,' Matsuda?"

    "I mean that I won't be the servant of the Task Force anymore. I'm tired of everyone taking advantage of me. I won't have it anymore!" He stomps out of the room, brushing roughly past a confused Ide, who had just come into the room and seen Matsuda's reaction to Ryuuzaki's demand for cake.

    "What was all that about?" he asks Aizawa, sitting down next to the older man. He has a fresh cup of coffee in one hand, and a newspaper in the other. Laying the newspaper down on the table in front of them, he smooths out the front cover. The headlines show that there had been more killings that day. More than usual.

    "Matsuda's rebelling."

    "Oh." Ide notices the non-surprised expression on Aizawa's face. It's almost like the other man knew that Matsuda would do something like this. He will speak with him later, when no one else is within hearing distance. But for know, Ide sips at the coffee from the the mug held snugly in his hands.

    It isn't until later, when Aizawa's lying his aching body in his bed, that Ide even says another word to the detective. He knocks gently and enters without Aizawa's permission. It goes ignored though, and Aizawa sits up in the bed. It's dark as midnight in the room; he can't even see Ide's outline. There's shifting on the bed and Aizawa blinks his eyes, hoping to see the man.


    As if to prove that it's him, Ide gives a short breath and pats Aizawa's arm, "Yeah."

    "How the hell can you see? It's dark as midnight in here."

    "I can't really see; I bumped into your bed a couple of times," Ide chuckles to himself and the other man realizes that he almost never hears Ide laugh.

    Always a no nonsense man, Aizawa cuts off the laughter and says gruffly, "What is it, Ide? What do you want?"

    " ... I was just wondering about Matsuda."

    "You came in my room for that?"

    "If I had asked you anywhere else, at any other time, Matsuda would've heard and rebelled more - against himself. You know how he is."

    Aizawa grunts, "Yeah, well, he just got upset 'cause Ryuuzaki asked him for more cake. I don't get what the big deal is. We're battling a serial killer, and he gets mad because our best detective wants cake. That idiot."

    Ide blinks in the darkness and says softly, softer than his voice has ever been, "I would get mad too."

    "It's just cake."

    "But everyday. We never ask him for anything else. All he wants to do is help, Aizawa. If Ryuuzaki's so good at solving mysteries, then why can't he figure that out?"

    "He doesn't have time to worry about Matsuda. Ryuuzaki should only be spending time solving this mystery. But everyone wants him to do other things. Chief wants him to stop accusing Light, Matsuda wants him to ask for something besides cake, Light wants him to stop - well, for him to stop being Ryuuzaki. It's ridiculous!"

    Aizawa takes a breath when he finishes talking, drawing it in and letting it out. It is ridiculous, the way everyone wants Ryuuzaki to do everything but his job. That's what he's here for, no?

    "Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one taking this Kira thing seriously," the flustered cop growls into the dark silence.

    It takes Ide a minute to say something back, and when he does, it's not even relevant.

    "What do you think that's like?"


    "A kiss."

    " ... Ide, you know what a kiss is like. At least, I hope you have."

    "That's not what I meant, Aizawa, I meant ... a kiss ... with another man."

    " ... "

    There's the sound of Aizawa taking in a breath. Ide sits, waiting in anticipation, and then -


    "Wait - "


    "But - "


    "Hold on!" Ide shouts, jumping up from his seat on the edge of the bed.

    Aizawa growls at him and hisses, "We've been on the task force together for a long, long time, Ide, but you've never hinted to me that you ... that you - you - that you swung that way!"

    "I don't 'swing that way,' Aizawa, I was just asking."

    "What makes you want to know?"

    "I just ... Light and Ryuuzaki. Have you never thought about it Aizawa?"

    The other glares into the dark, wishing he could see the man. "No, I haven't, now GET OUT." He leaps up from the bed and pushes Ide in what he thinks is the direction of the door.

    But Ide won't stand for that. His hands grab Aizawa's arms, and his face comes close to the older man's. Warm, strong, coffee-smelling breath makes Aizawa wrinkle his nose, uncomfortable. "Ide, what're you-"

    His voice is cut off when Ide's lips press against his own.