Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note and I don't pretend to. This is written just for entertainment and I make no profit from it. Although, I hope that this will stop the bunnies from attacking me for a while…
AN: As you might have been able to tell from the disclaimer; this is the result of a rabid plot bunny refusing to give me moment's peace. This Fic is AU from the point where L and Light are chained together, but it swings into the world of wildly and impossibly AU at the end of the Yotsuba arc.
"I'm not Kira."
That had become Light Yagami's most repeated sentence and thought ever since he had been taken from his cell and chained to the infamous detective known as L. L, occasionally known as Ryuzaki, suspected him, and made it clear that he was the number one suspect, even though there were two other Kiras out there.
L thought that he was the first and most dangerous Kira, and sometimes, Light had a hard time disagreeing with him.
The profile fit perfectly. Well, almost perfectly, as Light had absolutely no memory of ever having been Kira or of killing anyone in any way.
It all came to a head one afternoon, just after Misa had left and L was dragging Light back to work. Light knew that he had been quiet all afternoon: it had been the reason why Misa had left early, after all. He was deep in thought about himself, L, L's suspicions and everything else that had been driving him crazy for the past few weeks.
"Ryuzaki," he said softly, after he had sat down in front of the computers, and L had clambered into his chair. "Do you want me to be Kira?"
L blinked his black-rimmed eyes and turned his head to look at Light. There was something in his eyes that caught Light's attention, a kind of softness that could either have been pity or deep affection.
"Is this what has been bothering you, Light-kun?" he asked. Light nodded and continued to wait for his answer.
"Well," L continued as he turned back to look at the glaring screen of the computer. "I'm not sure."
"Pardon?" Light choked out.
"I do want you to be Kira because that would mean that I am right and have been so all along," Ryuzaki explained. "But I also hope that I am wrong and that you are not Kira because I care about you, Light-kun, and sending you to your execution would mean that I was killing my best friend."
"Oh," Light said softly. "I…thank you."
L smiled slightly around the thumb that he habitually chewed on and began to go through the Kira files yet again, hoping to find a clue that he might have previously missed however unlikely that was.
Light longed for privacy. He had been chained to L for weeks now, and being so close to the detective all the time was doing strange things to him. For starters, he thought that despite the fact that he had the gorgeous model Misa Misa more than willing to do anything for his attention, he was falling in love with L. L, the scruffy, oddball male detective who thought that Light was Kira.
Needless to say, his growing feelings were more than enough to make Light question his sanity, but even so, he had to acknowledge them. He didn't know why he felt that way about L, although he suspected that it could have something to do with being in his presence all day every day.
What he really wanted was space so that he could work things out, but the only time he was really left to himself was when he was in the bathroom, and even then, L waited just outside the door and grew suspicious when Light took too long. And Light refused to think about his 'L situation' in bed; he was a teenager after all, and certain contexts would definitely make things worse.
"You're brooding again," Ryuzaki observed suddenly.
Light jumped and looked up, only to find that L had abandoned his computer in favour of watching him. The thought made Light squirm internally – was he really that obvious? – but he managed to keep his composure.
"I'm tired," he replied. "And I have a lot on my mind."
"At risk of sounding clichéd, a problem shared is a problem halved, Light-kun," was L's response.
Light wondered if he should tell him. The thought of the look on L's face at being told that the prime Kira suspect was in love with him, was almost worth the inevitable humiliation Light would receive.
"You won't like it," Light muttered.
'Oh come on,' he berated himself. 'That was possibly the most stupid thing that you could have come out with. He's a detective and all you've done now is made him more suspicious.'
"Are my feelings on the matter really that important?" L asked, and Light sighed.
"Yes," he replied. "They are. I'm in love with you."
He had been right. The expression on Ryuzaki's face had been worth the admission. The young detective looked absolutely flabbergasted, as if the thought of any of those feelings developing between them wouldn't have crossed his mind in the wildest of his dreams. His dark eyes were wide and his mouth hung open slightly, showing surprisingly white teeth for a sugar addict. Then, Ryuzaki managed to regain control of his mental faculties, and actually thought about what Light had just said.
He opened his mouth to say something, but faltered and closed it again. If Light hadn't been embarrassed and more than slightly worried, he would have found L's inability to talk amusing. However, now it only succeeded in making him feel more and more antsy.
"What about Misa?" L asked after a while. His voice was quiet, and Light could barely hear him despite the fact that he was less than three feet away.
"You know fine well that I'm only keeping her around because you want me to," Light pointed out, and L nodded.
"True, although I really have to wonder about your taste in partners, Light-kun," he said, managing to summon a slight smile from somewhere.
"Along with the majority of the male population," Light muttered. "Including myself at times."
L raised an eyebrow.
"Am I to understand that you are not happy about this, Light-kun?" he asked.
"Well, to be honest, I would have rather fallen for someone who doesn't suspect me of being a mass murderer," Light admitted. "But other than that…"
"I see your point," L replied. "But you see, Light-kun I am far worse off than you at the moment."
"And how is that?" Light asked, allowing sarcasm to taint his voice.
"You see," L answered, now outright grinning at Light. "I am in love with a person whom I suspect is the first Kira."
It was Light's turn to be speechless.
They had decided to keep things between them as quiet as possible. After all, it would be awful for L's reputation if he was discovered to be in a relationship with his own prime suspect. Fortunately, sharing a hotel room and being chained together granted them plenty of private moments when the rest of the task force were not present.
Another bonus that unofficially dating L had for Light was the fact that L was perhaps more reluctant to allow him time with Misa. Of course, he still had to; she was still a suspect for being the second Kira, and she could prove useful in the investigation, but it was now pretty clear that he didn't enjoy watching her cling to Light.
Light thought that L was cute when he was jealous, no matter how good the detective was at hiding it from the others.
Nights were spent working usually, but on the occasions that Light could pry L away from his precious laptop, something which was becoming easier every time he did it, they would spend their time talking, and sometimes kissing. Ryuzaki wasn't really keen on much physical contact, and Light didn't want to annoy him, so the kisses that they shared were brief and chaste, and Light always backed off if L wanted him too.
Most people Light's age probably would have been frustrated by the lack of physical affection that Ryuzaki offered, but Light found it refreshing, especially since he had to keep up the pretence of dating Misa, who seemed to be growing more clingy every time they spoke.
Light had also realised that despite his feelings, L was still trying to keep a certain distance between them. He didn't want to grow too close to Light in case he did turn out to be Kira. Light could admit that L had a point (even though he was not Kira) and he was willing to wait until after his name had been cleared before they went any further. He didn't want to force L into doing anything, and he didn't want to hurt him either, so he resigned himself to waiting.
"You probably won't believe it, but there's a notebook that kills whoever's name you write in it, if you know what they look like. It's in my bag in the car!"
Higuchi's words sent a shiver down Light's spine, even though he had no idea why. He shook his head slightly and focussed on the blindfolded man while L sent his father to the car to check for the book.
Was it really possible for a notebook to hold that much power? The thought of a killer notebook almost made Light smile, or it would have, if the situation they were in was not this serious.
Then his father started screaming. At thin air. And so did Mogi just after he had grasped the notebook that was still clutched in Light's father's hand.
"What's going on?" Light demanded. "Dad? Mogi?"
"There's a monster," his father replied, his voice crackling slightly as it came down the radio link. "Looks like only those who touch the notebook can see it."
"Please bring the notebook to the helicopter," L said. He sounded excited.
Light rolled his eyes. Of course Ryuzaki was excited; he was doing the job he loved and they had managed to capture one of the three Kiras that he knew existed, while the other two were still just suspects.
Mogi was shaking when he arrived at the helicopter door.
"Here it is, Ryuzaki," he said as he handed the notebook over to L, who took it delicately between forefinger and thumb at each of the top corners. L then looked out of the helicopter windscreen, and his eyes widened slightly.
"A shinigami…" he breathed. "So they really do exist…"
Light couldn't take it anymore. Shinigami this, shinigami that…his father, Mogi and now L?
"Is this true, Ryuzaki?" he demanded. "Let me touch it too!"
He snatched the notebook out of L's fingers, but as soon as his hands closed around it, the world went white.
Then it started. Words and images whizzed through his brain. They were things that he had done, people that he had killed. He was vaguely aware of someone screaming, and only distantly did he realise that it was him. Last of all to arrive was the plan. Oh god…the plan. He let go of the notebook, dropping it to the floor as if it were a poisonous spider about to bite him.
He had been planning to kill L. He had deliberately given up the Death Note and his memories of being Kira so that he could get close enough to L to kill him.
"Are you okay?" L asked softly, and Light turned to face him. There was a warm look of concern in Ryuzaki's eyes, but there was something else there too. "Anyone would be surprised by a monster like that…"
Ryuzaki knew…he knew that it wasn't Rem that had caused Light to scream like that. He was just keeping up appearances for the others, who could easily listen in on their conversation. Light raised a shaking hand to the microphone on his headset and covered it tightly.
"Ryuzaki," he whispered. "When we get back to headquarters, I want you to arrest me. You were right all along. I am Kira."
Hurt. Light hated himself for causing that flash of pain in the detective's eyes, but he knew that this was better than the alternative. He couldn't let L die, he couldn't…and he certainly couldn't kill him.
L nodded slowly, and didn't say anything. Instead he returned his attention to the scene outside and ordered for Higuchi to be held.
Light sat quietly as L set up the tape recorder. He had asked if Ryuzaki wanted his father or another member of the task force present, but L had just shaken his head and told him that he would be more comfortable interviewing Light by himself.
"Alright," L said as he clambered into his chair. "Tell me."
"I'm Kira," Light said softly. "Worse still, I'm the first Kira."
"I know," Ryuzaki interrupted gently. "Just tell me why you did it."
Light looked at him. Hidden away from the other members of the task force and alone with Light, L was letting his real emotions show, and while he wasn't crying, he certainly didn't look happy that he had been right all along and that he had finally got the first Kira. He looked hurt and upset and all Light wanted to do was walk around the table and pull L into a hug, even though he knew that L really wouldn't appreciate that right now.
"At first I didn't think that the Death Note would work," Light admitted. "I mean a notebook that kills people? It's a ridiculous idea. But it did. I tried it out on Kurou Otoharada, the man who had taken hostages in the primary school, and it worked."
"I thought so," L murmured. "What then?"
"Then I decided to test it again. It could have been a fluke that Otoharada had died of a heart attack just then. So the second time I tested it, I made sure that I was there personally. I made a gang member who was harassing a woman die in a traffic accident. His motorbike was hit by an eighteen-wheel lorry. He died exactly forty seconds after I had written his name down."
L nodded. He wasn't looking at Light; instead, his large dark eyes were fixed on the tabletop, following the patterns on the wood.
Light continued, unable to stop. Before his eyes, Ryuzaki grew more and more tired looking as he related all of the deaths in perfect detail, including his thoughts as he experimented as to how far he could go with the Death Note's powers.
"What about Naomi Misora?" L asked softly.
"She went to the NPA looking for the task force when I was dropping some clothes off for Dad," Light said. "I got her to start talking to me, and she revealed that she believed that Kira could control people before they died, and the way that they died. She wanted to tell you; she said that she trusted you implicitly as you had worked together on a case before, and I couldn't let her.
"So I tricked her into telling me her real name by telling her that I was a member of the task force and that I could get her a meeting with you. I then wrote onto a piece of the Death Note that I had torn out that she should kill herself in a way that meant no one would ever find her body."
L nodded slowly.
"Well it worked," he said, his voice little above a whisper. He cleared his throat then, and asked for Light to continue.
When Light got to the part where he had plotted with the shinigami over what had to be done, and willingly given up his memories he faltered. L still wasn't looking at him, and Light couldn't tell what the young detective was thinking. Did he hate Light now? If so, and it was quite likely, then his plot to kill L would not make any difference in Ryuzaki's feelings for him. He just wished that he didn't have to explain. But he did.
Light found himself unable to keep looking at L when he told him about how he had manipulated even the shinigami in his plan to end his life, so he talked directly to the tape recorder instead. He felt terrible, even though he knew that he hadn't meant to let L fall for him.
When his story was over he fell silent, barely noticing the tears that ran down his face.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
"So am I," L whispered back.
"L, I…I know how you can get Misa as well as me and Higuchi," Light said. "Will you…I know I have no right to ask this of you, but will you let me help you get her too?"
L looked at him again, for the first time since the interview had started, and Light was surprised, although he realised that he shouldn't be, that L had been crying.
"Alright," L said. "I'll let you help. One more question though, what do you plan to get from confessing everything?"
Light just stared at him for a moment before a bitter smile slowly crossed his face.
"Execution," he said. "It's what I deserve after all, and it's the punishment that awaits all three Kiras. But maybe…I think I'd like your forgiveness one day, if you're able to give it."
L couldn't answer that.
There were a lot of people present for the execution of the three Kiras, although two of them were blindfolded so they weren't aware of it. Higuchi and Misa, the two with the shinigami eyes, had begged for their lives and pleaded their innocence, but they had still been convicted. Light had made no such argument. Instead, he had simply said that he had been wrong in his actions and that he deserved the death penalty.
He had actually apologised.
He sat calmly in the chair, his head held high as he waited for the guards to finish strapping him down. He was to be executed by lethal injection.
Ryuzaki pushed forward suddenly, moving closer through the crowd to the sound-proof, bullet-proof glass that separated them. He was being held captive by a morbid desire to look into Light's eyes and tell him one more time that he loved him, despite everything Light had done. And he was running out of time.
A reporter grunted and protested loudly as L elbowed him in the gut accidentally as he passed, making his way quickly to where Light's family stood. They were all dressed in black and Sayu was sobbing quietly into her mother's sleeve. Soichiro looked worriedly at L as he arrived next to him, but said nothing, only nodding in greeting. L ignored him in favour of his son, who was staring right at him.
"I love you," Ryuzaki mouthed, and Light's eyes widened in surprise. He then smiled, seeming totally at peace with the world. "I forgive you," Ryuzaki continued.
"I love you too," Light mouthed back. "Thank you."
L nodded. The man who would be administering the injection had just finished sterilising the needle he would be using on Light. Misa and Higuchi were already dead, and Light was the only Kira left.
Another urge overcame L, one to tell Light something that only one other person on the planet knew, and he pressed his hand to the glass. Light could do him no harm now; he had no Death Note and L's heart was set to be irreparably broken in just a few seconds.
Light's eyes widened to almost comical proportions as he read L's lips. There was no way that the single world mouthed through the glass could be anything other than L's name, and he realised in his last few minutes what L was telling him by giving up his name.
A single tear rolled down Light's cheek as the needle entered his arm. His eyes were still locked with L's even as the plunger went down.
The machine that was monitoring Light Yagami's heart beat flat-lined and his intelligent grey eyes went dim and glassy. L turned away from the sight of the boy he loved sitting dead in a chair and vanished back into the crowd. When Soichiro Yagami turned to thank him for coming, he found an overweight reporter trying to squeeze into the space left by L's slight frame and take a photograph of the now dead Kira.
A year later Ryuzaki smiled bitterly into his tea cup as he listened to Watari talk about a series of mysterious deaths in England, where the victims had been perfectly healthy when found dead, with no signs of injury at all.
"No Watari," he said, looking up into the kindly face of the man he regarded as a father. "Have Mello do it. He needs the experience if he is to become the next L."
He stood up and crossed the room, pausing only to slip his bare feet into his trainers by the door.
"Where are you going?" Watari asked. Ryuzaki turned to face him, his small smile still playing over his lips.
"Japan," he said. "Light is waiting for me."