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Sat, Mar. 12th, 2005, 11:30 pm
lacunarity: XII: The Boss



XII: The Boss

The ride was uneventful, as far as traveling-under-duress car rides go. Mogi spoke very little, and that suited me just fine. I was calmly and efficiently guided to Aizawa’s place.

Aizawa sat like a king on a plain chair behind a plain desk inside a plain room. His hair was arranged in a neat but practical style and his clothes were expertly tailored without being obviously fashionable. He was the very picture of the modern new-old riche, the type to spend the extra dollar to make his style that much more unobtrusive, just to show that he had no need for money’s excesses.

“L. Sit down.” It was more of a command than a measure of hospitality, but I obeyed pleasantly. “You look like shit. What are you, 20? 60? I can’t even tell anymore.”

I kept my tone mild. “Somewhere in that range. I didn’t think you cared.”

Aizawa grunted. “I don’t. I’m just not used to seeing someone like you self-destruct.”

“What do you want, Aizawa?”

He leaned back in his chair. “That’s the question, isn’t it. I could give you a long list of things, but in the end it all boils down to the fact that I want what you’re looking for. I want Kira gone.”

I inwardly groaned. Everything else that day had been about Kira. Why be surprised that Kira was involved in this, too? “What makes you think I’m looking for Kira?” I asked instead.

“I have my sources, the same as you have yours,” was all I got for an answer. I wasn’t too upset at the evasion; there was no use denying something Aizawa knew. I had just been curious as to where the leak had occurred.

“I assume you've been hurt by Kira’s power?” I said, not assuming it at all.

Aizawa looked at me in complete shock. “Don’t tell me you believe in that Death Note nonsense.”

I did my best to remain bland and impassive—it was the best way to infuriate Aizawa, and thus the best way to get him to reveal information. “I don’t have the facts to disprove it.”

Aizawa ground his teeth. “Kira is a fake, L. His only power is the power to frighten weak-minded people. While everyone was running scared, I did a little investigating myself. Do you know how much the rate of death among my associates has risen?”

I was tempted to point out that if Aizawa hadn’t kidnapped me, I would be determining that number right then. Instead, I just asked, “How much?”

“Three percent, averaged over the past five months. Negative two percent over this past month. Kira isn’t killing anyone; he’s just taking credit for it.”

I raised an eyebrow. “If you don’t believe in Kira, then why do you want him?”

He steepled his fingers and leaned forward. “Frankly speaking, L? Kira is bad for business. My people are leaving me. Associates are refusing to participate in transactions. If this keeps up, soon—“

“Soon the city will be free of organized crime?” I finished for him.

“Soon I will be forced to resort to Yotsuba’s methods in order to stay in business,” he corrected me.

“What are you suggesting?”

“Discredit Kira.” He said it as if it were the simplest thing to do.

I looked away. “I don’t have the evidence to do that.”

“Does it matter?” He smirked; I must have looked surprised. “It looks like you’ve forgotten that you’re L. The famous justice-will-prevail never-been-wrong L. You don’t need the evidence. If you say Kira’s a fake, people will believe it.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Name a price.”

I honestly thought for a moment. It would be an easy way out of this case, and out of my impoverished lifestyle. Then again, if that were what I really wanted, I could have given in years ago. “I can’t do that,” I repeated.

He looked disappointed but resigned. “I thought you’d say that.” He reached into his coat pocket. I tensed for a moment, but all he withdrew was a small business card, which he passed to me. “Hurry up with your investigation. I’m doing one myself. If you get any—“ he pointed a finger at me “—any information about Kira, call me at that number. I’ll do you the same courtesy.”

I slipped the card into my pocket with little intention of ever using it. “I’ll keep that in mind,” I said as I stood up to leave. Aizawa nodded at Mogi to escort me.

“L,” he called after me, “I never liked you. The way you act, your selective morality...all of it.”

I contemplated simply agreeing with him. Instead, I said, “I have always felt comfort that, if there has to be someone in your place, at least it is someone like you.”

As Mogi escorted me out the door and to the car, I could hear Aizawa grumble, “Saying such things with a straight face....”

Next chapter

Sun, Mar. 13th, 2005 05:25 am (UTC)
firedraygon97

I’m just not used to seeing someone like you self-destruct.

I love how you imply that L changed from what he used to be like. I'm looking forward to when you tell us exactly how it was, but for now, the foreshadowing (would you call it that?) is excellent. *loves* Please write more soon!

Sun, Mar. 13th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC)
worstangel

You have two XI parts. Wha? Is this part two or...?

XD I really love Crime Boss!Aizawa, and the last dialogues at the end really made me snort. L's so.. well, politically incorrect, because I don't want to use "obnoxious" to describe him. I think part of that comes from where he's not used to people.

Man, I hope Aizawa gets what's coming to him. (Of course, I guess he is already. ^^;)

Sun, Mar. 13th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC)
lacunarity

::thwaps forehead::

Thanks for catching that. It's really part twelve. This is what comes of my doing this chapter in a little yellow notepad instead of my usual journal and then not checking to see if I remembered the numbering right when I transcribed it out.

In other words, I really need to check my work before posting. ^_^

(I can't take credit for the last bit of dialogue since it's really a paraphrase of a bit of dialogue from the actual manga. I do that a lot, actually. Makes people think I'm more clever than I actually am.)

Mon, Mar. 14th, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
zandimonious

I like where you are taking this. I am getting a mental image of a noose slowly tightening around L's neck. As if he has no idea what he's doing and way in over his head. Do you have plans yet for the more recent chapters?

Tue, Mar. 15th, 2005 12:04 am (UTC)
lacunarity

Do you have plans yet for the more recent chapters?

If I'm parsing that question right (you have the english skills of an engineer, my dear) then the answer is: the entire thing has already been planned out, but I've only considered continuity up to DN page 42. There's a little wiggle room to squeeze in some stuff, but I'm not going to go death-by-death if that's what you're asking.

What fun would it be if you knew how it'd turn out?

Mon, Apr. 4th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
shinra_lackey

Eek! I've been slow on the reading, but I really liked this part. Very dark and edgey. My favorite line was:

“L,” he called after me, “I never liked you. The way you act, your selective morality...all of it.”

Ah, L, so many unanswered questions.