Summary: Light knows that L is his mortal enemy. But is Ryuuzaki his friend? He struggles with these inconsistencies on a fateful, rainy day. Rated for language.

Spoilers: Through manga 7 / Episode 25

Disclaimer: If I owned Death Note, Light and L would be constantly snogging and very much alive and happy and bubbly. Damn those creators...

L is for Lucifer; L is for Lamb

The day of judgment is upon us.

I will kill you, Ryuuzaki. I will kill you. You wanted to remain nameless, and yes, you did win that round. But one battle is not the same as a war. It doesn't even matter now, not anymore. In fact, I prefer that you remain nameless. If you had a name, people might remember you. I don't want people to remember you.

I don't want to remember you.

The rain trickles down on my cheeks like serene victory. But the rain falls down your haunting face like blood. You shiver slightly in the cool air, but you don't even know you're cold. All you know is that you've lost. All you know is that I'm victorious in our battle of wits. You're smart, Ryuuzaki. But I took the step farther, taking every factor into consideration. I moved even my worthless pawns just so, just so, because in our engagement even worthless pawns could tip the scale. The pattering of rain on our hair, our backs, our feet and the concrete - to me that is the sound of blaring trumpets. To you it is the gong of death.

"Ryuuzaki, what are you doing out here?" I call across from the building top. You are standing by the edge, gawking into the misty fog at something only you see. Are you planning on jumping, Ryuuzaki? No, that's not like you. You wouldn't run away from me even now. You're going to accept your defeat, aren't you? You're too stubborn to run away or give in.

You turn my way, and your raven eyes focus on me thoughtfully. You take in my image, you process me. Then you put a hand to your ear, as if to cup the sound of my voice closer. As if the blaring trumpet of a rain has out sounded my words and you can't hear me.

"Ryuuzaki! What are you doing out here?" I call louder. I know you heard me.

Again, you put your hand to your ear, but this time you smile at me. It's the smile that beckons a God, beckons Kira. Come hither, O Lord. Come talk to me.

You knew I was Kira.

You should have been one of the saved because of that, Ryuuzaki. You've seen the true face of the God. You understand why He does what He does because you've made it your profession to understand those that you consider to be criminals. This should have been your enlightenment. If only you didn't oppose me, just think. You are the closest thing to an equal that I'll ever have. You could have made a good friend. You could have made a best friend.

But it's fine. It's okay. You were instead the best enemy I've ever had. The truth is, one could call you Lucifer - God's favorite and most beautiful angel, but he led a rebellion against Him. Thus, Lucifer was damned to hell. I'm sorry, but you're going to hell.

You're going to hell because L is for Lucifer.

"The bells are really loud today," you remark wistfully. You gaze out into the distance like a child, and you look pensive. There's a certain tranquility surrounding you, and that must mean you know you've lost and you have accepted it. There is no warrior left in you, is there? You always got depressed when your theories were disproved. But I've managed to shatter your only hypothesis that you put all of your faith into. Even so, it is appropriate that you were putting your faith into me, and you were correct - like a true believer with his God - but for you this means damnation.

"I don't hear anything," I answer, glancing around through the heavy rain at the buildings that surround us. There is nothing.

"Oh. Really? But they're so loud. There's a church. A wedding, maybe..."

You are damned, Ryuuzaki. How I hate you. I hate you, hate you, hate you. Those are the bells that will ring at your funeral, when they bury you. It'll be the government that buries you, and it'll be a private funeral. No one will mourn because no one knows you. Your tombstone won't even have a name, because you told nobody. This rain is the only tears you will get. Let the sky cry for you now, let your imaginary bells chime to their hearts' content. I don't care, I don't fucking care. You're done, you're finished. And I will rise as the Messiah from your ashes.

"We're alike." You utter that claim, and you look at me with those eyes that stab into my soul. I hate those eyes that see right through me. It was those eyes that didn't have a doubt that I was Kira. It is those eyes that will be eternally closed very soon. "You haven't told the truth, not really, since you were born."

...Silence. The rain seems to have stopped, just for a moment. There is no sound between our eyes. A challenge? An accusation? How the hell do you see me, Ryuuzaki? Why the fuck do you look at me like you understand me? Why the fuck am I afraid that you do? Ah, you're a detective, Lucifer. You are the smartest among the angels. You are powerful, and you have an unholy intuition.

You had the intuition that no one else had. You knew that I was God.

It is an unholy intuition that no one else shared. Using that, you challenged me. You challenged me, Lucifer. On the television, you dared me to kill, and then you dared me to find you. You were a being without a face to his name nor a name to his face. "Kill me, if you can," you provoked, but even the computerized robotic vocalization didn't mask your perceived righteousness, your entertainment. You were excited to start your rebellion. It didn't mask how alive you felt right then. "You can't... can you?"

The pawns are set now, Ryuuzaki, the pawns that only a true God, the true Kira could control - the gods of Death themselves. And they are coming for you. They are placed and they are just waiting for the right trigger.

Still, those ebony eyes watch me, and you're hiding your malice along with your name. You're always hiding. Damn you, Ryuuzaki, why are you always hiding from me? "It's true that I lie sometimes. But everyone lies, there isn't a human being who doesn't," I declare calmly. "However, I would never lie to hurt those that I care about. That's my answer."

You turn your head away. I don't know what you're thinking, Ryuuzaki. I don't know what you're gathering from me now. Or maybe you're not hiding anything this time. You look sad, but you don't smile. Does that mean you're actually being honest? "That's why they all love you."

Ryuuzaki... I hate you. I hate you because you're such a better actor than I. I hate you because sometimes you make me want to believe you. You called me your 'first ever friend', and you did know that I was thinking about how to extract your name from you. It was a test. It's always a test. You don't love me. It's a chess game of reason and wits, and the stakes are higher than ever. I know this. You know this. A chess game. Don't make that expression!

Fuck... Ryuuzaki... you're shivering. The raindrops are sliding down your face. I don't think you notice. But I do. "Let's get back," I say. "We're soaking wet." I turn. Follow me, you damned idiot.

"Yeah.." You say slowly, quietly.

Well, I'm cold too. Maybe that's your final victory, Lucifer. Drawing me out into such cold weather. Maybe I'll catch a cold. I'll catch a cold and I'll remember you. All right, that's fine. I hope you know that that's all I'll feel. I'll cough and I might sneeze, but that's all that will happen when you're dead.

Hurry up, Ryuuzaki, go find yourself a towel.

I'm inside. I sit on the large staircase in our building, a towel in my own hand. Irritated, I scrub my hair. Scrub it, scour it, stomp out all of the water, that fucking water. I take my shoes off. The shoes were really wet and heavy. My feet are free. I'm barefoot, just like that fool always is.

"What a terrible rain storm," you comment as you walk back from the closet. A towel lays loosely on your head, soaking up the raindrops embedded in your midnight mess of hair. But you make no move to help the cause. You aren't wiping away the water dripping down your skin.

"It's your fault," I accuse, and rightfully so. But I feel tired all of the sudden. I shouldn't be here right now. "You were the one standing outside in the rain."

"That's true," you answer with sincerity. "I'm sorry."

I can't even look at you. Stop talking like that, will you? I close my eyes. I know you're behind me, watching me. Testing my reaction, right? Not like it matters, it's too late. You're going to die, and you've done your damage. I'm wet. My clothes are soaked. But true Gods are supposed to clean up the messes of the world, right? The messes that Lucifer made. I press the towel so hard against my skin that I feel the cloth fibers rub my cheek red.

"Ah! What are you doing, Ryuuzaki?!" You've startled me. You're down at the stairs, right below me. You've taken the towel from your head, and my right foot is in your pale hand. You're rubbing the towel against it.

"I just thought I'd help you," you respond, looking up at me with large, hopeful eyes. "I'll help to dry you."

A small wave of heat hits my cheeks. I don't understand. "No thanks," I say, trying to find my words and composure. "You don't need to do that."

"I'll massage your feet, too. Light-kun." You are wide-eyed. You are innocent. You are honest. You want to help me. You feel guilty; you want to make it better. "It's the least I can do after the rain, and I'm pretty good at it..." You're trying to make me believe- no, make me remember - that Light Yagami and Ryuuzaki are friends, dear friends.

I want nothing more than to look at you. You always have the answers. Tell me the answers. But I look away. Don't make me be your friend. Light Yagami and Ryuuzaki are friends. Kira and L are not. "Do what you want," I mutter, adverting my gaze from his kindness. I'm ashamed, maybe. Just a little.

I don't know what I'll do if you aren't hiding from me anymore. I don't know what I'll do if I let myself admit that this is the real you, right out in the open.

"Alright." You nod and your voice is soft. You press the towel against my foot again. You wash the feet of the Messiah. You kneel at his feet, rubbing them clean. Your face is lowered, and I can look at your again. I wish you weren't doing this. I wish you weren't making me so unsure of myself. But at the same time, there is a part of me that feels...

Your hair is glittering in the lamplights from all of the raindrops in your hair. Your skin glistens. "Hey.." I say. Why is my voice so urgent?

"I'm almost done," you answer quickly, almost apologetically, as if you think that I'm reprimanding. But your hand has stopped moving. You gaze right down at my feet, or perhaps the stairs under it. You aren't moving. Your thoughts have taken you prisoner.

I take my towel, picking it up after a second of hesitation. I reach over with it in my hand, and I touch your face with it. "You're still wet..." Gently, but firmly enough, I slide the towel across your forehead with my fingers, across your messy bangs. I wipe your face, picking up most of the dripping rain. Why am I helping you? I don't know. Payment. Yes, 'one for one' as you always said. I just don't want to be in your debt, that's all.

"...I'm sorry." You pause, and then continue to dry my feet.

I don't know why you're apologizing. I don't think you do, either. I want you, no I need you to stop this. I need you to stop this. I am righteousness, there are no questions. There were never any questions. There was only the determination at the beginning. There was only 'am I willing to take this as far as it needs to go?' As far as only I would be willing to take it?

I was willing. I killed a man. By killing that man, I saved somebody. Could I do that? I had cried, but that made me stronger. I killed another, and therefore saved another. I wasn't killing, I was saving. Of course I'm willing to do it, because I want to make this world a Paradise.

I'm a genius. You know that, Ryuuzaki. But what could I do? You would've done the same thing. If Heaven sent you a sign, you would've done it too. You know I'm not even doing it for Heaven. You know I'm doing it for people. For humanity. I want to protect the beautiful things in the world.

I am doing this to save the world. I made the choice. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I will. I'm sorry. Yes, I will do it.

Damn you, Lucifer. Damn you and your temptations. I hate you. I hate you. I'll do it. I can't lose to you. I will create Paradise. Don't stop me! Don't! Stop!

But the anger isn't coming. The words fill my head, and I meant them to be buzzing hornets. Instead they are falling autumn leaves. You've robbed me of my hatred right now, and I'm an empty vessel. Ryuuzaki... you would do the same thing. You want me dead, too. I'm sorry you lost, but if you could prove my secret then you wouldn't think twice about giving me the death penalty.

...You even said so...

Ryuuzaki... it's just a game, right? Neither of us wanted to lose. But from the moment we started we knew it was a gamble. But even if you lost, you wouldn't hate me, right? We would still be friends. Right?

Again, your thoughts have stolen you. That's alright; my thoughts have their hold over me, too. Thoughts. I don't even know what I'm thinking anymore. I feel your hands on my feet and suddenly Kira is just a distant dream. No, this is the distant dream. Everything is distant. I am just Light Yagami, just for this moment. I am quiet, and I am in a daydream. Like the long lectures back at school, I stare out a window and look at a sky. But this time there is no window and there is no sky. There is Ryuuzaki.

You look up at me. Your hair is still a wild mess of midnight, and it falls over your eyes. It makes you look younger. To think I once saw you as ominous. It's ironic that the truth is that you are just a boy. We are just boys. We haven't even reached the second decade in our lives. Our bodies have not fully matured. Our minds are still ripe. We still think like children, don't we? "I'm so sad," you suddenly proclaim.

"Huh?" I blink out of my thoughts and I look at you. Our gazes meet.

"Well... you'll understand soon."

Again, I am drenched, but this time it is guilt that chills my skin. You know, you really do, don't you? Don't you? No, you couldn't. You're referring to the Death Note, maybe. You're disappointed that you can't prove that I'm Kira because of the fake rules I had written. The lies that I had told. You know it's me, but you have nothing to prove it with anymore. You know I won, so therefore you know that you're going to die.

Please don't be sad. I didn't want to make you sad. Please be angry instead. Please swear at me, please threaten me, and please claim that you're still going to win. Please hate me.

But I wouldn't mind if we just sat here. I wouldn't mind if you didn't say anything at all just yet.

Your cell phone rings. You are surprised by the sound, and we are brought back to reality. You open the phone, and your voice is again that of the determined L. You are still the greatest detective of all time. You turn to smile at me after your conversation has ended, and you say that maybe things will get better. We go back to the office room, and you look hopeful. You're hoping that you've found your answer. You're hoping that you've found the evidence that you need.

..The evidence to have me killed... Ryuuzaki?

It'll be your downfall.

The rain is getting worse. I hear it pounding above our heads. Like a great orchestra made simply of drums. Timpani! Snare! Taiko! Heaven is casting stones down upon us. I hear the thunder booming. I hear our hearts pounding like that thunder. Your heart is pounding like a drum. Ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum.

"We're so close to closing this case! If this condition is cleared, then we can resolve the whole thing in a single step!" You're a genius, L. You suspect my 13-day lie, and you're going to have it tested. If you achieve the results that you expect you're going to get, then I am guilty.

Oh, but you aren't going to achieve those results. You won't achieve them because Rem, the Shinigami who waits here in haunting, is the lightning. She is your god of death. But really, she is just a pawn. She is just a chess piece that I have so exquisitely and precisely set up. My army is set for battle. It took awhile to get all of the pieces exactly where I wanted them, but now that I have, I am infallible. You are surrounded.

And this is your checkmate.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. I hear the sound of thunder. The lightning cracks.

The computer monitors flicker, and then are blank. Your data has been perfectly deleted. That means that Rem has killed Watari. Your eyes widen and you cry out his name in disbelief. "I instructed Watari to delete all the data if something unexpected should happen to him," you explain, and your face and voice are robbed of all the emotion that is contained in your wrenching heart. There is no color in your cheeks. Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Your mind is racing and searching at a speed that only you could muster. And then you know. Now the light is shining upon the chess board. You see the black knight that sits behind you. "The Shinigami! Everyone, it's the Shini-"

Ba-dum. Ba...

My heart is stopping along with yours. The orchestra doesn't make a sound. The chess pieces are still. There is no breath, there is no rain. The lies are hushed. There is just you, with your eyes widened by simple, curious surprise at what is happening to you. You have such a shocked puzzlement at why you can't control your body and at why you are losing balance from the chair you were seated upon. I am trembling.

You are falling. Oh, God. Fucking hell, God! Why has time stopped? You're falling...!

I leap forward and I grab your body tightly with trembling hands. We hit the floor together. This is the moment of judgment. The most beautiful of the angels is in my hands, looking up at me with his final seconds before his brain shuts down like Watari's computers. He looks at me, into my blood-red eyes.

I... I... I am righteousness.

And I win. L, look at me! Oh god, look at me! You have been sentenced and you have been damned! You can have the kingdom of Hell, L, but Earth, which will be the new Heaven, is mine. You challenged God and this is your punishment! Look upon me! Beg for forgiveness! This existence shall be cleansed. The sinners will burn. The righteous will arise. See L?! See how I won?!

.. Your eyes become hazy as you look at me. You are not trembling. Even at the end you are an atheist who does not fear God. Your face is frozen into a look of awe, but damn you. Your only thoughts are "I was right after all in thinking that Light was Kira. I'm happy." Damn you. You aren't even thinking of me anymore. In your final moments you won't even think about me. You don't even care about me. You're thinking about something peaceful, some fond memory. I know this because as your eyes slowly close, you look as though you were smiling.

I don't care either. I'm not going to remember you, L. The drums aren't going to remember you. The rain is the only one mourning because no one knows your name. You never even let me know your name.

You bastard! You never even let me know your name! If I knew it... if I knew it... and the Death Note, and my pen... If you would have just trusted me enough to tell me your name... I might have let you live another day or two. You're a fucking god damned bastard. You knew my name! You knew my secret! I was your friend, Ryuuzaki? Oh no. All you are is an actor. But now it's my turn to be the actor.

"No! No! Oh God! Ryuuzaki! Please get up, what's wrong with you?!" I shriek, screaming at your lifeless face. The police pawns around me are horrified. They accept my performance. They don't understand. No one understood except for me and you. But you're no one anymore.

I have overcome all of the obstacles. I have gone through the trials, and now there is nothing left for opposition. I am free to spread my wings, and I am free to purify this stupid, hateful world. I'm going to cleanse it of all the evil, and all who stand in my way. I am righteousness, and justice has prevailed.

They're going to bury you, but I will never visit your grave. I'm never going to bring you flowers and no one is going to cry. In my new world, no one alive will have even heard of you. I don't want you to exist anymore, not at all. I don't want to remember you. I'm never going to remember how we worked together to catch the pawn who I let borrow the name Kira. Nor am I going to remember our tennis matches. I'm going to forget about the peculiar way you sit and even when I walk through a candy shop I won't think of your face. I will never be caught wandering to your tombstone. Why should I? Not even that will bear your name.

I've won... you bastard. I've won, L. Lucifer has been judged. Lucifer has been damned. Lucifer will be forgotten. Lucifer, my enemy. Let me read you now. You were sad because you were losing. You were standing in the rain because you were sad. And how I hate you. Despise you, loathe you, love you, you bastard. I hate you because this is your fault and not mine! You made it this way! Not me! You could've... it didn't have to... no...

Ryuuzaki... the sacrificial lamb. We could've been friends, but you were a better enemy. You're a sacrifice because now everyone will know better than to get in my way. It's a good thing that you died. You are a symbol. L is for lamb, a tribute to God. In a way, you'll also be my pawn. You set an example that needed to be set. You're dead, and now I will cleanse the world so I never have to kill you again.

The storm is the cleansing of the world. It sounds to me like music. It's an elaborate symphony with complex chords and harmonies. It's a grand composition with many parts. The rain... the drums... the trumpets, the gong. The bells. The lightning, the climax. And I'm the director. I'm determining the beats of the music. Your verse has concluded. The only way to go is onward.

The symphony is mine without competition. You're dead. I am truly happy. I can do anything now. Because I will never have to kill you again.


Author's Notes:

1. It's become fashionable to translate Light's name as 'Raito', because that's how it's pronounced in Japanese. I think it's cute and I don't mind, but his name is properly supposed to be Light after all. but more than that the reason I chose to use that is due to the religious connotation (which obviously is relevant to the theme of my fic). Light wants to be God, justice, righteousness, etc - something we associate with the light.

2. The text is a rough translation from the real dialogue of the Japanese script of the anime. I can not wait for this show to be dubbed, but as soon as it is I suppose the dialogue of this story will be inaccurate. Oh well.

3. I think the scenes in the anime spoke for themselves. The manga version felt a little incomplete to me, but how the anime portrayed this was so beautiful. This fic is just me trying to put into words what I imagined Light was feeling.

4. On that note I must clarify that this isn't necessarily meant to be taken as shounen-ai (romantic relationship between L and Light). It is meant to show that they cared about each other.

Thank you to everyone who has read this far. :-) It's appreciated.