This – very long – one-shot has a number of "firsts" attached to it.
It's the first fic that me and my long-time pal AutumnDynasty have ever written together; and it's also the first Death Note fic either of us has ever written.
So it's not our fault if it sucks, ka ka ka.
Think of this as an alternate version of Episode 25; or Volume 7 of the manga. Yes, you all know what I'm talking about. That part where that guy that everyone likes… um, doesn't make it to the end of the episode/volume…
Watari. That's the one. :)
Oh, but before you begin, a WARNING: This fic is summarised as a lime. Whether or not it is a lime depends on your criteria of a lime, because I know they differ. Some believe it refers only to masturbation, while others use "lime" to refer to a fic not quite as explicit as a lemon, which would be those horribly crass and contaminated things over at adultfanfictionNet – you all know the ones we mean. This fic uses "lime" in the latter sense; these is sex in here, and it is described.
Just not in terribly horrifically gory detail.
That said, do enjoy – sorry about the length… O.o
The Sin of Defiance
"Ryuzaki, no matter what world, the god of that world creates the rules. You will be defeated by the fake rules I have created, and die for the sin of defying me." – Light Yagami, Death Note: Volume 7
It wasn't a question; and it wasn't quite a calling. It was devoid of tone, emotion, everything that qualified it as communication. It was nothing but a statement, as though the four-syllable statement breaking the silence was a comfort, steeling the speaker for the words to follow.
And while it woke its recipient up, it was indeed as though Light Yagami needed to say that fake name to convince himself that his enemy – his friend, his prey – was right there in front of him and, as the bottom line, not going anywhere.
Light leaned back in the chair, straightened his tie, let his gaze loiter first on the great detective L as he dragged himself awake, and then wander upwards to the mirror above the bed. The room was dark, with drawn curtains, lit only by the lamp at the bedside. It made the room gold and indistinct, a little blurred at the edges, with shadows stalking up the walls and across the floor.
The mirror was full of lies, of course; a vision of a could-have-been, where maybe it wouldn't have had to come down to this.
Not that it mattered anymore.
"I must confess some things to you, Ryuzaki," Light said finally, his soft, ice-edged voice catching L's attention as he began to struggle. "And the first of those things is that… I'm actually a little embarrassed that I had to resort to this. I didn't picture it this way, you know."
L paused, and frowned at him, clearly perplexed; it was a look that Light liked on him.
"Yes, genius detective that you are, I suppose it would be unfair to expect you to know exactly what happened," Light agreed in response to the wordless question. "I drugged your tea. Yes, it's a crude and rash method – I just confessed that I was not enamoured by the lowering of my standards but nevertheless, we both know you were never going to fall asleep on your own. Measures had to be taken."
"So then you brought me here, and…"
"Yes." Light nodded lazily from across the room. "Brought you up here. The only room on the thirteenth floor."
"Thirteen," L repeated bleakly. "Like thirteen days? How premeditative, Yagami-kun. Or was this not influenced by that? You never struck me as the superstitious type."
"I'm not," Light replied pleasantly, taking note of L's ability to wake up from a drug-induced slumber and immediately, despite his predicament, be completely focused on Kira and Death Notes and silly fake rules. "Are you?"
"But you believe in Shinigami."
"I have been forced to." L gazed judiciously at Light from beneath the black feathery fronds of his hair. "But that is irrelevant to all this, Yagami-kun."
"Of course it is." He unfolded his legs and rose gracefully from the armchair, straightening and making his way over to the bed. "We're both here for a reason."
L looked up at Light towering over him, his mahogany hair immaculately arranged, and matching eyes alight with a malicious, delighted glitter.
"I see you dressed up for the occasion," L noted in disinterest, looking away; referring to the black suit, white shirt and crimson tie Light had donned.
"I see you didn't," Light replied, taking in L's same old uniform of long-sleeved white cotton and loose-fitting denim.
"Only for special occasions, Light-kun."
Light laughed a little, but wasn't sure why; L's dry, detached wit, or because the detective had suddenly switched to his birth name instead of his family name, or simply Just Because.
"Well, no matter," he said after a moment's pause. "Maybe it's a good thing. It would be a shame to ruin any nice clothes."
"Yes, I think so too."
For the first time, Light's smile faltered a little.
"Aren't you afraid, Ryuzaki?" He asked him quietly.
"Of you, Light-kun?" L tilted his head to the side a little. "No. Not of you."
Light's expression hardened.
"What about Kira, then?" He hissed, bending lower towards where L lay spread-eagled on the bed-sheets. "Are you afraid of him?"
A dangerous look flashed in L's ebony eyes, before he leaned upwards as far as he was able towards Light.
"You have just confirmed that Kira is a 'he'," he murmured, a smile starting to manifest itself on his ice-pale face. "This is a confession, Light Yagami?"
Light paused for another moment; he wasn't going to deny it, because yes, one of the reasons he had done all this was to make sure L knew that he, Light Yagami, was Kira – that he was Justice.
But he hadn't intended to tell him this quickly; he had meant to toy with him for a while longer, before revealing the revelation in the most crushing way possible. And he hadn't meant for L to make the move.
But there was nothing he could do now, so he reinstated his smirk and nodded.
"Yes, Ryuzaki. I am Kira."
The sudden wild smugness that L dared to have on his face while in his current position was unbearable, but Light looked away from him, and soothed himself with the notion that L wasn't leaving this room alive, whether he'd solved the Kira case or not.
"Then… I was right," L said, a childlike wonder present in his voice. "I was right all along, Light-kun…!"
"Of course you were right," Light agreed. "But you have still lost to me… L."
"Tell me how you did it, Light-kun," L pressed, ignoring Light's last statement. "The Death Note? We confirmed there is more than one, the Shinigami… Amane-san must have had her own. I am right, aren't I? I am right."
"You're also in no position to be demanding things from me, Ryuzaki!" Light snapped, pushing him back down onto the mattress.
He was sure L had noticed, but Light decided to reinforce the apparency of the detective's imprisonment anyway; he gave the chain a small tug to make it jingle against the metal headboard. It did make him smile to think that he had used L's own method of freedom-snatching to imprison him – the handcuffs on their six-feet chain were a excellent restraint when looped several times through the elaborate metal design of the headboard and then snapped onto each of L's wrists. As such, it kept L's arms above his head and immovable, so that he couldn't fight back; Light was well aware that L had a severely mean kick, having been on the receiving end of a few of them, but pinned down on his back to the double bed, he couldn't gain enough momentum to do any real damage.
"Very well, Kira-kun—"
"If you are to call me "Kira", then you will address me as "Kira-sama"," Light interrupted haughtily.
"I will do no such thing."
Light's eyes flashed.
"As I said, Ryuzaki, you are in no position to—"
"That was just what I was about to say," L cut in calmly. "If I might continue?" Light didn't reply, but L nodded. "Thankyou. Now, you have admitted that you are Kira, Light-kun. While I admit to finding it odd that you would suddenly confess this, I am going to believe that you speak the truth, because my own suspicion of this premise is long-running and deeply-rooted. I may have been forced by the team to lower my suspicion of you and Amane, as well as terminate surveillance on the both of you, but I must confess something too, Light-kun, and that is that the percentage of my suspicion against you since the surveillance ended and you were cleared had in fact risen instead of dropped."
"Your percentages are meaningless now, Ryuzaki."
"I know. I do not doubt your confession, not because I think that you would not lie to me, but because I do believe that you are Kira, and while at times I have doubted my reasoning, I have never doubted you as the culprit, at least not to the point where my suspicion of you was at zero percent, do you see? And now that we have established that, I know what you plan to do here tonight, Light-kun, and also that you expected me to know, and so it creates confusion in you as to why I do not seem afraid."
Even now, as L stopped talking, Light felt a silver chill slide down his spine as he looked down at the trapped detective. Did L honestly not have any emotional capacity whatsoever? To be able to talk like that, in that level tone, words flat and blank as paper… about death, and about his first friend who had just admitted that he was the killer L himself had sworn to catch, and about the fact that…
"I'm going to kill you, Ryuzaki," Light said blandly, attempting to mirror L's tone. His palms prickled slightly. "You do know that, right?"
"You… do not fear death?"
Light found that surprising; hadn't L spoken of the value of life, or going back into hiding after the disclosure of the fact that the Second Kira only needed a face to kill…? It stunned him, frankly, to think that the lead detective on a case all about the apprehension of a murderer who controlled so many levels of society with his crimes, could impassively regard death as an inevitability.
But L's answer threw him off;
"Of course I fear death, Light-kun. I do not like to be uncertain about anything, but how can I know what waits beyond death? I cannot, and so I fear it. It is a natural, human reaction, don't you think?"
"Then why aren't you afraid of me?" Light spat, leaning down again, clenching the front of L's white top tightly.
L looked up at him with those big dark eyes, masked by their usual innocent, curious, fascinated curtain; but there something else behind it, something that Light suspected only he had ever been able to see, probably because it was in him as well. Something sharp and hard. It made Light uneasy to see it in L, because it meant that L felt no reason to hide it any longer and Light didn't feel quite as secure with that thought.
"Because you are my friend, Light-kun," was his eventual answer.
Light gave an incredulous, coughing little laugh, letting go of L's shirt.
"You still believe that?" He spluttered. "Ryuzaki, I hate you."
"I do not believe that, Light-kun. We used each other, we tested each other, we rivalled each other, we suspected each other of lies and trickery… but you are the only person I have ever met who is on my level. I cannot help but respect that. It is unfortunate that you are Kira, of course, but even that concrete evidence does not constitute, in my opinion, the denial of the fact that you and I were friends."
Light adjusted his tie; for all his well-thought plans, L was unnerving him. L was still half-drugged, chained to the bed and surely in the last hour of his life, and yet he was seriously unnerving him.
"Fine, Ryuzaki," Light hissed finally, "even if we were friends… no, especially because we were friends… it doesn't mean I'm going to spare you."
"No." L even smiled a little. "I would expect nothing less from you, Kira-kun."
"Don't call me that!" Before he had even thought about what he was doing, Light hit L hard in the face. "Shut the hell up!"
L barely blinked, although it did hurt, and burned afterwards, long after Light had withdrawn his hand; and furious as he was at being hit by this brat with a God complex, it amused him also to see Light Yagami so infuriated that he would raise his hand to anyone.
Not that L hadn't instilled that in him before, of course.
And it was okay; true, this was neither a desirable nor ideal situation, the building being empty apart from them and the hour so late. L understood that he really was in serious trouble here – at the mercy of Kira, no less – but he was also smart enough to know that things weren't going to go exactly as Light planned either. In fact, they already weren't.
It wasn't supposed to be like this, after all.
"Interesting," L muttered. "And you were so kind to me this afternoon." His dark eyes flickered upwards towards the flushed, enraged Light. "In the rain."
"You were wet," Light replied, struggling to keep his voice expressionless. "I wouldn't have wanted you catching your death before I got my hands on you."
"No." L smiled and looked up at the ceiling. "I suppose not."
There was a very long bout of silence between them; eventually Light sank down to sit on the edge of the bed, closer to L's torso so that he couldn't kick him.
"Will you be using the notebook?" L asked eventually. There was a slight tremor to his voice that gave it a note of anticipation. It was unsettling.
"I don't need it," Light replied, looking at the floor. "Not tonight. Not for you."
Light looked up at him.
"Well, you seem set on my murder anyway, and I admit I am curious as to how it works…" L tilted his head towards Light. "Does that seem terribly morbid?"
Light glanced quickly at him before averting his gaze again.
"Yes, Ryuzaki. It kind of does."
"So says the executioner."
"It has to be this way."
L didn't reply for a very long time. Then;
"When I first awoke, you said that you had things that you wanted to confess to me, implying a plural. So far, you have only admitted one, the fact that you are Kira. Two, I suppose, if you count utterance of your dissatisfaction with your method of capturing me. I suspect there are other things you wish to taunt me with before you kill me?"
"Ah." Light actually smiled at him. "You are as mechanical as I, Ryuzaki. Even faced with your impending execution… your mind is on only one thing."
"Naturally. Although I have a question or two, Light-kun. I hope that you will answer them for me before you murder me."
"I might, perhaps." Light shrugged off his black jacket and dropped it onto the floor, leaving only the white shirt and red tie; reminiscent of the school uniform he had been wearing when he had first found the Death Note. "But later. I suppose that I wanted to be completely honest with you, Ryuzaki. I know it must be killing you to know exactly why Kira does what he does. I thought I would tell you. After all, you have explained your view of Justice to me. I feel that I owe you mine."
The smile on L's face was devoid of both warmth and humour, but he smiled all the same.
"Yes, I think I would like that, Light-kun."
"Well… I found that notebook. A Shinigami dropped it into the world."
"No." Light shook his head with a small grin. "Another one. One who loves apples a whole lot."
L looked up at the ceiling with an inaudible sigh.
"He said that he didn't choose me, that it was simply chance that I picked it up, and maybe it is true that he didn't choose me, but… I don't believe it was chance that the Death Note became mine. I am not so wrapped up in idiotic practices that I do not notice the world around me, like so many of my old school-friends. I think the world is a rotten place, Ryuzaki, and I think you must think that too, because otherwise you wouldn't have devoted your life to serving justice."
"Please do not confuse our values, Light-kun," L said coldly. "I find it very insulting."
"I am not confusing them, Ryuzaki. I know that our perceptions of justice are different, and I can clearly see those differences, because I believe that your perception is wrong. No, please let me finish – this is what you want to hear, isn't it? The reason I became Kira was because I knew I could make the world a better place. I know you think that Kira is wrong and evil, Ryuzaki, but that's because you aren't Kira. The mathematics seem simple to me; if the world is a bad place, it must be because there are bad people in it, and so the solution must be to remove the bad people. Don't you think that makes sense, Ryuzaki? Don't you see why I judge the wicked?"
"I can see the logic behind your reasoning, Light-kun, but I still believe you are wrong. Your perception of justice is warped, and that means that you have no right to judge others."
"And what gives you the right to?" Light snapped, losing his temper again. "My justice is warped because you said so. That doesn't mean anything. Who said you were right?"
"I did, Light-kun, and I am never wrong."
Light looked at him in disgust.
"That's so incredibly arrogant I can't even—"
"So is judging those whom you believe to be unworthy of living," L interrupted levelly.
"The people I kill are rapists, paedophiles, robbers, murderers—"
"Ah, but doesn't your "righteous judging" make you a murderer too, Light-kun? And besides…" A dark expression flitted over L's features. "I think it is fair to say that not everyone you have killed fitted those descriptions. Twelve FBI agents. Naomi Misora. Lind L. Tailor, believing him to be me." L gave a tug at the chains to make them jingle again. "And now me too. How many of us will that make then, Light-kun? How many of us who do not fit your criteria, but simply stood in your way? Fifteen, I think?" L's eyes became colder still, until Light could barely look at him anymore. "Rather a lot of innocent lives taken by one who proclaims to slay the wicked to protect the good, wouldn't you say?"
"Shut up!" Light cried, whirling on him. "You don't understand! They were sacrifices, sacrifices that had to be made… I want to create a new, perfect world, Ryuzaki, filled with only good people. Don't you think that's a good thing?"
"At the cost of countless human lives?" L shook his head. "No, Light-kun, I don't. Your preconceptions are noble, but your method is calculating and evil."
"What do you know of sacrifice?" Light barbed furiously. "Anything you have lost has been meaningless to you! Those twelve FBI agents… I'm sure it was a blow to you, but only because they died, and only because the FBI refused you further support after that. Did you actually care, Ryuzaki? Ryuzaki?!"
L was quiet for a time, studying the ceiling with exaggerated interest.
"Tell me," he said at length, still staring at the ceiling, and ignoring Light's last question completely, "did you expect to rule this new world? Did you think you would be… God?" He levelled his accusation with a piercing stare that locked their gazes.
Light stared at him, tight-lipped and half-incredulous. How the hell did the bastard know…? Maybe Light had been thinking out loud the whole time, and Ryuzaki wasn't working anything out at all, just overhearing his thoughts…
"Don't seem so surprised," L said, noting the expression on Light's face. "It was a fairly conclusive premise to arrive at. Right from the start, the entire notion of Kira has rather reminded me of a kid with a magnifying glass and an ant's nest. Someone very immature, with no true understanding of life and death, only the knowledge that he has the power to spare some and dispose of others, installing himself as some Divine Judgement. It seems natural that someone with that kind of power would think themselves a god. After all, the Shinigami… they are Death Gods, are they not?"
Wide-eyed, Light clenched his sweating palms; and then, finally, breathed a faint little laugh.
"You really are very clever, Ryuzaki," he admitted. "But you must know that that is your death sentence. The likes of Matsuda I will probably never have to lay a finger on. Then again… sometimes I question your intelligence."
"Have I ever given you reason to doubt it?" L asked, sounding rather curious.
"I think so. Sometimes I just don't know whether you're insane or just stupid… maybe both."
"You aren't making sense, Light-kun."
Light smiled, closed his eyes, shook his head a little… and then they opened again, a wild, blazing look in them, just as his hands went around L's slender throat.
"I am Kira, god of the new world," he breathed, starting to strangle the detective, "and yet you continue to anger me. Are you stupid, Ryuzaki? Don't you know you'll be punished for defying my will? If you aren't with me, you're against me, and that means you're with Raye Penber, and Naomi Misora, and all the others… it means you have to die…!"
Light felt L's knees hit his back as the detective began to panic and struggle, but nothing was strong enough to knock the younger boy away. Light felt a smile begin to pull at his mouth as he watched L's trapped hands claw desperately at thin air as he started to die—
But, ultimately, something stopped Light from going the whole way with it, and the smile faded away; just as suddenly as he had grabbed him, Light released L, leaving him to choke and gasp against the pillows as air flooded back into his bruised lungs, his eyes screwed shut.
Light leaned back with a gasp of his own; wondering what had made him stop, and wondering what had made him start. No, this wasn't right. This wasn't what he had prepared for…
Or was he just too much of a coward to kill L; especially with his own bare hands? He didn't know quite what had driven him to this notion, but the Death Note…
Light gave a sudden groan, putting his head in his hands. He wasn't thinking straight, he couldn't, and he didn't know why he couldn't, but it stood that he simply couldn't, and he needed to calm down, and…
He gave L a while to recover; no, he wasn't finished with him yet. They hadn't really finished talking, what had he been thinking, grabbing him like that…? Anger, perhaps – though Light did not usually have this much trouble controlling his temper. If that were the case, Misa would have been long dead by now, and probably Matsuda too…
Though maybe it was easier to kill L now, without confessing everything. Why was he doing this? He didn't know, not anymore; had he ever even known at all? To make L happy before he died, to satisfy himself…?
Light couldn't spare him. He had steeled himself for this, because he had always known that this was what it would come to. L was dangerous to him, but that didn't make it any easier. He was beginning to feel the same as the day he realised what the Death Note truly was, hiding under his covers like a child. Today, with the rain, and the bells… that had been so very hard, but then, what could either of them do? They had vowed a battle before they had even met, and so in battle it would end – Kira vs L, wherever it took them.
And Light would be victorious, because he was God, and L would lose, because he had defied him.
Sacrifices were necessary, after all.
"Light-kun," L gasped after a long while getting his breath back, "I must confess that you are making me very confused…"
Light blinked; was that really it? He had come to within inches of his death – his murder at the hand of his first and only friend – and still, when his breath returned to him, he spoke only of his confusion in that same deadpan voice. He didn't beg for his life, or thank Light for sparing him.
Was he really so emotionless about everything…? No, Light had seen him mildly excited before, on his theft of Misa's phone from her bag; and he'd seen him angry, and he'd seen him sulk, and he'd seen him…
…in pain. Just now, while being strangled, just for a moment, it seemed like he had become human.
"Don't be confused," Light replied dully. "I am still going to kill you. How can I leave you alive now, after telling you all that stuff? I just decided not to strangle you."
Another bout of silence washed over them, L still panting a little from his near-strangulation. Light massaged his temples; he wasn't able to think straight, and wasn't sure if he was going to be able to go through with this. The Death Note made things so much easier, so much more detached, less personal… Killing someone via the notebook and killing them yourself were two very different things, and when his first personal murder victim was to be L…
But he'd cornered himself now; the whole reason he hadn't been able to kill L up to now was because he didn't know the bastard's name, and now that he'd caught him and tied him down and told him all these things, now that he'd confessed to being Kira, now that he'd…
There was no way he could leave the detective alive; he knew that. L knew that too, he suspected.
There was something horribly ironic about this whole situation, something that made Light feel very uneasy, and it wasn't just L's calm acceptance of the circumstances – though he admitted to finding that extremely unnerving also.
Barely realising he was doing it, Light suddenly leaned back on the bed, resting his head on L's chest.
"Light-kun, please don't do that," L said uneasily.
"You didn't mind me touching you this afternoon," Light replied emotionlessly.
"That was before you tried to strangle me."
"Stop giving me orders and shut up," was Light's only reply; he moved his head a little, hearing L's heartbeat. Lucky, lucky little detective, that it was still going… "You said you had questions, Ryuzaki?"
"You have confessed everything?"
"Well, I have questions for you, so I think it's only fair to answer yours first."
"I see." L bit at his bottom lip for a while. "Well, I have always wanted to know what happened to Naomi Misora. I knew her, you know."
"Yes, I did know. She told me. I made her commit suicide," Light said airily.
"How? And where is her body? It was… never found."
"I don't know the answer to either of those questions, Ryuzaki. I didn't specify the suicide method in the Death Note, nor the location."
"I see," L said again. "What a waste…"
"You seem awfully interested in her," Light noted coolly. "Did you… love her?"
"No, Light-kun. She was a brilliant agent, and I respected her very much, but I did not love her."
Light paused, listening to L's heartbeat a while longer.
"Have you ever loved anyone, Ryuzaki?"
"That's a terrible question, Light-kun."
"But have you?" Light pressed.
L sighed very deeply.
"Yes, Light-kun. At least, I believe so. And only once."
"Hn." Light stared up at the shadowed ceiling too. "I admit I'm surprised. You seem so… incapable of feeling anything like that. I'm sorry if that offends you, Ryuzaki, but that's how I perceive you."
"It doesn't matter. He's dead anyway."
The gender-defining prefix hit Light over the head like a brick and made him look sharply at L.
"He?" He repeated.
"You find that strange?" L replied dully, not looking at him.
Light hesitated; when he considered the way L sat, and the way he held things, and the way he refused to wear socks, he admitted that a homosexual tendency would probably be the most normal thing about the detective.
Though the revelation itself wasn't really what had rattled him…
"I suppose not," Light answered flatly. "You said he was dead?"
"Yes. Not too long ago."
Light opened his mouth to say that he was sorry; but instead he gave a small snort of laughter.
"Oh, Ryuzaki… don't tell me it was Penber!"
"Of course not." L flexed his long pale fingers, his expression completely emotionless. "His name was Light Yagami."
Light felt his heart make a rapid decline towards his stomach, sitting sharply upright to look down at L properly.
"What are you talking about?!" He snapped incredulously. "Is this your idea of a joke? Are you trying to—?"
"You asked, and I answered you."
"Well," Light seethed, "if you love me so damn much, Ryuzaki, then surely it can't have escaped your notice that I am in fact still very much alive!"
L smirked at him.
"You're wrong. It isn't you that I loved. You are Kira."
"This coming from the lunatic who has spent the past year trying to convince everyone else that Light Yagami is Kira?!"
"Oh, in principle, yes, you are the same person," L agreed absently. "If Kira and Light Yagami were perceived as entirely separate from one another, then Kira would be uncatchable. That is not possible. But we aren't speaking in terms of principles. Kira is a role you have created for yourself, which means that though it has become a part of Light Yagami, it is not actually him, since Light Yagami existed before Kira did. Kira has only existed for as long as the notebook has been in your possession and you have retained your knowledge of it; the actuality of Kira is in fact the link between yourself and the notebook. Remove the notebook and all knowledge of it, and you remove that link, and you therefore remove Kira, and you are left with Light Yagami."
"You… know about the memory loss process?" Light asked faintly. "When you give up ownership of the notebook?"
"It was a guess. Rem-san would not tell me if I was right or wrong. I will assume I was correct, as you brought it up unprompted."
Light took a deep breath; he realised what L was saying. The detective considered that Light-with-Death-Note-memories was Kira, and so, by elimination process, that made Light-without-Death-Note-memories… Light Yagami.
"You loved me after I lost my memory," he whispered finally.
"You were different then," L sighed in disinterest.
"You still suspected me of being Kira."
"No, I suspected that you had been Kira. I knew you were not at that time. I could never love Kira – but now that your memories have returned, and once again you begin your judgements, I do not believe I am wrong in concluding that Light Yagami is dead, because Light Yagami would not do the things that you do."
"That doesn't make any sense, Ryuzaki," Light hissed.
"Yes it does. Light Yagami was much, much stronger than Kira – much stronger than you."
Light clenched his shaking fists, furious with L for his words and his assumptions and the love that he was quick to give, but quicker still to take back.
"So… you would only want me if I gave up the Death Note?"
L shook his head.
"No, it is too late for that now. If you were to give it up and lose your memory once again, I would still be forced to have you arrested and sentenced as Kira, because, as I said, the two cannot be entirely separated. Light Yagami became Kira, and so must be punished as such."
"Then you do not truly love…" Light trailed off, wondering how best to describe the part of him that L had become attached to. "…Me."
"I agree," L said in a very bored voice. "You're Kira. We discussed this, Light-kun."
"If you think that, then why do you keep calling me "Light-kun"?"
"Because you hit me for calling you "Kira"," L said flatly by way of reply. "And I suppose that it is a habit by now, rather like the way you still call me "Ryuzaki". I don't think your father would ever have taken kindly to me addressing you as "Kira-kun", do you?"
"No, I… I suppose not."
Light's murderous intent was rapidly running out of steam, and for a while he sat in silence, staring fixedly at the carpet and toying with his tie, trying to screw up the courage to just suffocate L with a pillow and be done with it already.
As if he had needed that damn detective to make things harder than they already were…
"Yes, Ryuzaki?" Light answered tiredly.
"Did my confession make you feel uncomfortable? Would you rather I hadn't admitted that I once had feelings for you, or… well, at least, the person that you were…?"
"No, it's…" Light sighed heavily, running his fingers through his near-auburn hair. "It's alright, Ryuzaki. Actually, I'm glad you did, because… it makes a lot of things easier for me. There are things I meant to confess, and probably wouldn't have, but now that you… That is, I just… I wasn't going to…"
He trailed off and sighed frustratedly, pausing to cast a glance in L's direction; and truthfully, despite the fact that he was chained to the bed and destined to die that night, the detective looked much the same as he always did – intensely dark eyes, the visible intelligence betrayed by the absent-minded expression on his incurably pale face. Sure, he'd seen L smile, and he'd seen L angry, but mostly, L looked like this, and—
Light thrust himself forward and blindly kissed him. L didn't protest, but neither did he respond – he lay there on the bed, unable to push Light away, but making no effort to anyway.
Eventually, feeling no response, Light pulled backwards, pushing his hair aside.
"I'm sorry," he said, looking away.
"You drugged me, chained me to the bed and tried to strangle me," L replied flatly, "and you're apologising for a kiss?"
Light was quite for a while.
"Is that all you can say?" He asked finally, his voice very soft.
"What would you like me to say, Light-kun?"
"Oh, god…" Light wiped at his mouth with the cuff of his shirt sleeve. "Ryuzaki, I had… I had no idea you… I thought it was just… just me, and I didn't say anything because… well, because you're the lead detective, and because you suspected me, and because you're older than me, and because… well, damn it, because you thought I was Kira and you were right and I needed you dead…!"
"Light-kun…" L smiled faintly, but it was more to himself. "This is very unfortunate. Though I admit I never voiced my feelings to you for many of the same reasons, and perhaps it is better that neither of us acted upon our feelings. It could have compromised the case."
"Is that all you care about?!" Light snapped testily.
"That's ironic coming from Kira. The only reason we're both here right now is because you're going to silence my suspicions once and for all, to protect yourself and Amane-san. Although, if that is what you want to hear, Light-kun… Yes, the case is more important to me. I was brought in as L to find Kira, and now I have found him. My personal feelings towards Kira are irrelevant."
"So if I was to spare you, in exchange for your silence…?"
L almost smirked.
"Of course I would betray you, Light-kun. You know that."
Light glared blazingly at him, noticing what was left unsaid.
"You're an idiot, Ryuzaki." He leaned down towards the detective, placing his hands on either side of his head where it lay on the pillows of the bed. "Don't you think this is difficult for me? It's not that I want to kill you, it's simply a necessity, because I can't trust you not to expose Misa and I as the First and Second Kiras. In many ways, I wish I didn't have to kill you. Yes, I hate you, but I only hate you because you're trying to catch me. The Kira part of me hates you, Ryuzaki. The rest of me, the Light Yagami part, the part that you confessed to having fallen in love with… I respect you, in many ways I think you're my first ever friend too, and yes, I think I may love you, Ryuzaki. It seems insane to me, to love the person intent on nothing else but exposing me as a murderer, but I…"
"I trust this appeal to me has a direction?" L asked as Light's words died off. His cold expression remained unchanged even when he saw the glimmer of tears pool in Light Yagami's brown eyes – maybe they were real, but then again, the Yagami boy should have received an Oscar by now…
"How can you be so arrogant?!" Light cried angrily, grabbing L's shoulders. "All you care about is catching Kira yourself, like you vowed to do; your pride won't let you back away, even when you're about to lose your life! Would you really rather die than agree not to expose me as Kira?"
"Light-kun," L hissed up at him, "I took special interest in this case because I knew it would be almost impossible to catch you. I believed I could do it, and now that I have found you, do you really think I would agree to protect you? Yes, Kira – I would rather die tonight. That is all I will say to you on the matter. If you have summoned the courage, by all means, do it now."
"Still you defy me," Light said absently, gripping L's shoulders tighter. "You're stupider than I thought."
"No, Light-kun." L shook his head. "Think of me what you will, given my choice, but I refuse to cower before you. If my death at your hand is the only way for justice to be served, then so be it. I don't desire death, but it is preferable to the preservation of the one I swore I would destroy."
"Even if you once loved him?"
L looked away from him.
"Justice is more important."
Light smiled oddly.
"I am Justice."
L gave a little shudder.
"Please don't call yourself that, Light-kun. It disgusts me."
Light laughed dismissively, at which L looked back at him with a small frown. He suspected that the stress of attempting to prepare himself to kill in cold blood with his own hands was getting to Light, since his mood and personality were becoming increasingly inconsistent. One moment he was declaring himself Kira and Justice and God, and belittling L for his views and for being the one to have been captured; the next he was in tears, confessing his own secretly-wrapped feelings, even offering to bargain L's life for his silence.
L actually found that rather interesting – it only proved the God-like power the Death Note could give. Light Yagami had no qualms about killing if he could do it from behind a desk and the mask that was Kira; but to be forced to do it himself unnerved him to the point that, if he had not already confessed, L might have lowered the percentage of his suspicion against him, since the boy was stalling his way through a rainbow of emotional turmoil in a fashion that was utterly devoid of Kira's impassive confidence.
"Ryuzaki, I have another question."
"Of course, Light-kun."
"May I kiss you again?"
L blinked at Light; then averted his eyes towards the far wall.
"If you must," he sighed quietly.
Light nodded; and this time climbed onto the bed, crawling over to L before straddling him and getting comfortable. L merely looked up at him with exactly the same deadpan expression, attempting to blow a little hair out of his eyes.
"Here." Light reached out and brushed the offending spike of ebony hair away.
"You're welcome." Light placed his hands gently at L's collarbone; he saw the detective flinch a little as they came to rest, since they were very near his throat. Already, against L's skin, faint purple marks from Light's fingers were beginning to show.
Ah, yes, L felt pain. At times it seemed impossible to believe he felt anything, but Light had proof now that he at least, if nothing else, felt pain.
And love, of course…
Light leaned down a second time, pressing his mouth against L's; and for the second time, L averted his gaze and let him get on with it, not offering any participation or retaliation at all. But Light drew back after only a moment, and gave a sharp tug at a spike of L's hair to make him look at him.
"Have you even considered kissing back?"
L looked blankly at him.
"Is it something you might perhaps consider?"
Still that vacant, wide-eyed expression.
"Ryuzaki…" Light lowered himself right down so that he lay on top of L, moving his hands up to either side of his pallid face to draw them closer still. "…Will you please…? This is… there are no second chances after this. That was the choice you made."
Light's lips came to the detective's again, crushing against them and bringing a little colour to them; but after a few moments, L actually turned his head away, breaking it off.
"I'm sorry, Light-kun," he said quietly. "I don't love you. I'm sorry."
"Ryuzaki." Light tightened his grip on L's face, forcing him to look back at him again. "Look at me. No matter your logic, I am Light Yagami. Look at me. Who do you see, honestly?"
L looked at him passionlessly – in the same way he always did.
"I see Kira," he said finally.
There was a terrible silence between them, during which they lay like that, perfectly close and perfectly motionless, scrutinising each other intently, as though searching for one single weakness that would allow the other to emerge from this truth-drenched moment unbroken.
"Are you a virgin?" Light asked, finally shattering it; his voice was cold and uncompassionate.
"What does that matter to you?"
"Because this is the last you have defied me, Ryuzaki." He reached up to flick at the chain, as though to remind L that was still there, and that he was still a prisoner. "Answer the question."
"No, I'm not a virgin."
Light smiled in real amusement.
"Yes you are, you lying little son-of-a-bitch."
"I hardly see why it matters."
"Oh, it does matter," Light replied airily, beginning to loosen his tie, "because, after all, I am to be a god, and the gods were offered virgins, weren't they?"
"Light-kun, I suggest you do not stray down this road," L replied icily. "If you plan on killing me, then—"
"Shut up!" Light snapped, gagging the detective with his hand. "I'm sick to death of you! Don't forget, I've chained you up. I can do whatever I want to you, Ryuzaki, and you can't stop me. So stop giving me orders, because it's really pissing the hell out of me, and the more you anger me, the worse it will be for you."
Their eyes locked over Light's hand; perhaps there was fear in L's onyx orbs, but if so, it was greatly overpowered by the disgust and anger that was far more apparent.
"And don't look at me like that," Light hissed, his face coming so close to L's that his brown hair brushed the detective's forehead. "I suppose you think you're far too superior to be humiliated like this, but that isn't true at all. Being a world-renowned detective doesn't elevate you above becoming a victim yourself, you know. Welcome to Earth, you arrogant bastard – your stay is going to be a short and painful one."
Light's other hand stroked the side of L's face, brushing away the spikes of jet hair that framed it.
"And I think," he whispered, "when I'm done with you, I'll take your eyes; so that even in death, you can never look at me this way again." He ran a fingernail very gently across the dark circle – the scar of insomnia – beneath L's right eye, and then smiled. "I'll give them to Ryuk as a present. He'd like that."
For the very first time since L had awoken chained up like this, a form of disgusted shock registered in his expression. Light smiled to see it, slowly removing his hand from L's mouth as he sat upright on him again.
"If you refuse to even return my kiss, I know you will never consent to this," Light went on, pulling his crimson tie completely loose and slipping it out from beneath his shirt collar. "I cannot make you love what I have become, but I can make you submit to me."
He leaned down again, just for a moment, so that he could speak against L's colourless lips;
"I'm going to rape you, L; and it's going to hurt, and I'm going to make you curse my name and beg for mercy and scream, because as Kira I loathe you and want to make you suffer. But it's also going to feel good, because I still love you enough to want you purely for myself, and not because I want to hurt you; and it will humiliate you, because the almighty L will be reduced to the lower pleasures of the humanity he believes he is above. This, Ryuzaki, will be your punishment for your arrogance and your defiance of me, because no matter what you say, I have beaten you, and that gives me the right to judge and punish you as Kira. This, Ryuzaki…"
He leaned back, looking down at the speechless detective with what he believed to be the eyes of a god; and then slapped his face again, because truly, didn't the bastard need to know that he had lost…?
"…This is Justice," Light finished in a low, delighted hiss. He touched L's bruised throat, making him shudder. "I wonder… what does your scream sound like…?"
L swallowed and looked intently at the wall.
"You won't hear it, Light-kun."
Light's smile snapped off his face like glass.
"It is your defiance of me that has led things this way, Ryuzaki; do you think it wise to continue your campaign?"
"Light-kun," L replied, sounding suddenly exhausted, his expression weary, "I will not bow to Kira. You know that. Do what you want to me. It doesn't matter anymore, because you have already been defeated."
"We'll just see who's been defeated, L…!" Light seethed. "And I will make you scream…"
L knew it was hopeless when Light simply adjusted his position slightly so that he was straddling his thighs, utterly restricting his legs; his arms were chained up tight and that left the rest of him extremely vulnerable and easily accessible.
So this was it; he couldn't struggle and fight, and he had refused to scream, and that left him with simply endurance. It felt like a loss, and, in a lot of ways, it was; but if he was correct…
And of course he was. L was never wrong, after all.
It was a terrible price to pay; but still, better this than twelve more innocent FBI agents…
Perhaps, in Light Yagami's fantasies, the great detective L looked down at him in lustful, adoring rapture when he began to unbutton his jeans; and so, in reality, L made a point of staring intently up at the plain white ceiling with the interest he usually only reserved for cake or Kira when Light began to pry the button open; wanting desperately to kick him away when he drew down the zip, but having absolutely no means of doing so.
"Have you imagined me doing these things to you?" Light breathed, tugging L's jeans down to around mid-thigh.
"No, Light-kun. Even when I did love you, I had more important things to think about," L answered expressionlessly.
Light looked up coldly.
"Such as how you were going to force everybody to believe that I was a murderer?"
"With good reason, don't you think?"
"Well…" Light shrugged as he toyed with the waistband of L's white shorts. "…You aren't going to be thinking anything of the sort in a moment. I doubt your body is above sexual stimulation, even if you like to think that it is – and I know that you can feel pain…"
"Light-kun, this reflects very badly on you, you know."
"I don't care what you think, Ryuzaki."
"Of course you don't." L looked intently up at the ceiling again as he felt Light pull down his shorts. God only knew what the psychotic teenager was going to do down there, especially when he was so hell-bent on murdering him, and the detective flinched in anticipation.
The moments of stillness and silence that followed were as brittle and suspended as blown glass; as though L's internal furious orders of "Get away from me!" were actually doing something to push Light away.
But then the moment broke like a bubble on sharp, dry air; and Light lowered himself downwards towards his captive, beginning to take him into his sinful mouth. L gave a sudden breathless gasp as he did so, torn utterly in half. One part of him was riled with disgust and mortification at Light's actions, furious that he would dare to do this, and also nervous, because this was Kira, and L didn't trust Kira not to suddenly bite him. It was actually something he was expecting, since Light had emphasised that L did indeed feel pain, and had sworn to make him scream.
But that aside, the other part of the detective was already beginning to surrender to his own body, because already the actions of Light's tongue were bringing the blood rushing forth and building a delightful pressure in him; because, if nothing else, this was still Light Yagami, and L had loved him once.
Ultimately, he didn't want Light to be doing this; but he didn't really want him to stop either. All he could do was endure, biting his lip as he continued to look at the ceiling as though he truly found it more interesting than the sight of Light's auburn hair brushing across his own milky-pale stomach.
He did jump when Light actually started to use his teeth, because he simply didn't trust him; but it was nothing cruel, instead a gentle scraping that reached a point where L in fact arched his back up off the bed. Light looked up as the action caused a severe series of popping sounds from where L actually corrected his otherwise-horrendous posture for just a moment; he withdrew just as the detective sank back onto the bedclothes.
"That's disgusting," he said flatly. "Is your reasoning ability worth that horrible position?"
"I believe so," L replied breathlessly. "I can conclude that… this method of yours, solely to win… is not like you."
"It's not like me to do this?"
"No, I don't… think so."
"Maybe you're right, Ryuzaki." He leaned upwards and kissed him a third time, although thrice it was not one that sought a reply. "I'm probably not acting like Kira right now; I'm being far too kind to you to constitute any belief you may have that I am in fact Kira. In fact, I'm acting rather more like Light Yagami, wouldn't you say…?"
"Yes, I think that might be my problem," L agreed tonelessly, trying to twist away from Light's touch as he began to stroke him. He was able to move his legs a little more now that Light had lifted his weight upwards, but there still wasn't enough room to throw the teenager off him completely.
"Well, since you seem so set on the belief that I'm not Light Yagami, but solely Kira, I would so hate to disappoint you," Light hissed. "I suppose I'll just have to stop this show of being nice to you."
"Yes, I suppose," L agreed dully, feeling Light's fingers leave him completely. "Do what you will."
Light suddenly grabbed the front of L's shirt, hauling him upright as far as the chain would allow.
"This is going to hurt, you know," he spat.
"I expect it will."
"And I'm going to make you scream."
L blinked slowly at him.
"I doubt that."
"You live to piss me off, Ryuzaki," Light muttered blackly, throwing him back to the mattress. He slid off L's legs completely, already beginning to work at unbuckling his own belt; immediately L kicked at him, but Light had expected that he would, and was ready to catch his calves and hold them tightly.
"No matter your words," Light hissed delightedly, "and your vows that you won't give me the satisfaction of hearing you scream, I think you are afraid, Ryuzaki, because you have just aptly proven that you will retaliate if given a chance."
"If I wanted you to rape me, Light-kun, then it wouldn't be rape."
"That's very true, but it doesn't mean a thing. You're still at my mercy, and I'm still going to take you, and I'm still going to kill you."
Still awkwardly holding L's legs, Light managed to loosen his belt and unzip himself; he knew he was in a perfect position to be kicked completely off the bed were L to free his legs up, and so worked as quickly as he could.
And as for L… Half of him was seethingly furious that this spoilt brat was really going to do this to him, for the simple fact that he could not bear to lose; and the other half was becoming sickly afraid, because who in their right mind wouldn't be afraid of this? It would hurt anyway, because it always would, but Light was going to hurt him on purpose, he knew he was, and it was only human nature to want to avoid pain and suffering.
L was human, even if Light seemed to need to do this to convince himself.
And while the chain only proved that beneath all his bravado, Light had resorted to the cowardice of restraining him so that he couldn't fight back, it still stood that L was about to be violated by Kira, and was helpless to do anything about it.
All he could do was endure; and defy Light to the last.
He took a very deep breath as Light hauled his legs apart, still holding them tightly; and braced himself, closing his eyes and turning away with increasing dread was he felt the boy push up against his entrance. It was his last chance to beg for mercy; but L wasn't going to beg Kira for anything, and what good would it do even so?
This was how it had to be; or so the detective had concluded, anyway.
Although, incidentally, all the bracing himself in the world could never have prepared him for Light's entering of him; his eyes snapped open, his whole body locked up, and he gave a half-stifled cry that he somehow managed to silence before it turned into the very thing he had vowed Light would never hear.
L's breath came in tiny ripping gasps as Light paused to catch his own; it was, at present, actually uncomfortable for both of them, since Light hadn't used anything to make his entrance easier, and thus had had to stop only halfway to collect himself. He smiled at the sound of L's shallow gasping, brushing a little of his auburn hair aside before adjusting his grip on the detective's legs; Light's elbows were locked under his bent knees to keep him still.
"Does it hurt?" Light whispered maliciously.
"Yes," L replied softly, since there was nothing to gain from lying.
"Good," said Light; and thrust himself the rest of the way in, igniting a white fire of pain that took root at the bottom of L's spine and seared upwards throughout the rest of his shaking body. He bit his lip against the scream that welled in him like an eruption, so hard that his teeth brought blood, and Light watched in amusement to see the glint of it on his starkly white face.
The room was silent again but for their simultaneous ragged breathing, and the clink and rattle of the chain as L quivered, perhaps against his will, beneath the younger man.
"This is what you get," Light panted. "This is what you… this is your punishment, for standing against me, L…"
L only nodded faintly; was it wrong to think himself too weak to endure this when his vision was beginning to blotch with black, or when he felt physically sick with the pain Light was inflicting on him? He could feel heat blazing beneath his too-pale skin, the dizzy pleasure of before washed over by the tidal wave of hot, tight agony that Light had promised him.
So this was punishment for the defying of the will of a self-proclaimed 'god'; and, ironically, it felt like Hell.
He grit his teeth as Light started to thrust into him further still, and squeezed his eyes shut against hot salt that was bid not by self-pity, but by anger and agony. Light's hands moved to his hips to hold him still, his elbows still jammed under his knees to restrict him and bind him and let him know he wasn't escaping Kira's Righteous Judgement.
Light's piercing eyes never left the detective as he began to build up his rhythm, watching his usually expressionless face twist in real pain, and maybe fear too; there was blood on his lip from where he'd bitten himself and a sheen of sweat on his chalk-like skin. Light had never seen L like this, never seen him this panicked and frightened and tortured, never seen him this human; and he suspected that nobody else ever had either. That was part of L's enigma, after all – the ability to seem completely above all human thought and influence.
It was another look Light decided he rather liked on the arrogant bastard.
"You don't look so good," Light hissed between sharply-precisioned thrusts. "I'll make a deal with you. Say that I'm Justice, and I'll stop."
L clenched his fists and shook his head.
Light's eyes narrowed.
"Are you insane?" He hissed lethally. "Haven't you learned your lesson? You're not the one in control here…!"
"I won't… bow to you!" L groaned through gritted teeth.
Light slammed himself into the detective as hard as he possibly could; making him utter a sharp cry, but still, true to his word, it wasn't a scream.
"Say it!" Light ordered furiously.
"God damn it, Ryuzaki…!"
Light let go of his legs, reaching upwards towards his hair and grasping handfuls of black spikes; even with his legs freed, L was in no position to kick Light away, since the younger man was right in between them.
"Stop defying me!" The crazed look that suddenly flashed in Light's eyes surprised L, even through his pain; because Light was never this quick to lose his temper. "You think yourself above me, but you're wrong! I am Kira, I am God, I am Justice, and you will know that, L! You will bow to that!"
L didn't say a thing; no, this was the beginning of victory. Light had lost control of this situation – he might still be the one violating the other, the one with the power to kill the other, but the flash of insanity in his clear brown eyes had been enough to tell the detective that Light Yagami – Kira – had lost.
Perhaps L was in no real position to elect himself the one in control; but at least he knew what was happening here.
Light leaned back, releasing L's ebony hair; the flush on his face and the raggedness of his breath served only as evidence against him, that he was nearing his peak, and that enslaved him.
"Scream, Ryuzaki," he muttered, more to himself as he quickened up his pace. "I beg you, Ryu— god, L, stop defying me… scream, just…"
The sharp speed of it made L want to scream, but now that Light had demanded, and now that he had begged…
He grit his teeth and tasted copper and didn't make a sound.
Light gave a few more jerking thrusts, then shuddered and rocked forwards, spilling himself into the detective. L hissed in discomfort, praying that Light would pull away from him; but the teenager remained there for a while, looking glazedly down at his violated captive.
"I knew you were a fool," he said softly after a long, breathless pause; "but Ryuzaki, I thought…"
Light slid his hand downwards with knife-like precision, beginning to touch and stroke his prisoner again, and returning life to the erection that had flagged beneath the searing agony of the intercourse. L was really too badly battered by now to honestly feel it; Light's quick thrusts of the hand soon pushed him over the edge, but he made very little sound at all as the release of tension clouded his senses.
Light snatched his hand back, wiping it dry on his sweaty shirt as he completely pulled away from L, and scowled deeply in fused irritation and disappointment.
"No scream there either," he murmured. Slowly he pulled up his own shorts and black trousers and re-buckled his belt; and then, as L struggled to get his breath back, did the same for him, even going so far as to neatly do the button of his jeans back up.
"Thankyou, Light-kun," L said flatly, his breath still hitching a little.
"Don't mock me," Light hissed back. "I know you don't mean it, and I suppose there is no reason why you would."
He shifted his weight off L completely, kneeling on the sheets; he paid no attention to the way L immediately curled his legs up – although he probably should have, in retrospect, since the next thing he knew, L had kicked him onto the floor.
"Ryuzaki—!" Light raged, hauling himself back up again.
"Once is once, Light-kun."
Their eyes met as Light got to his feet again, locking together in the same way they had countless times before; across the examination room, across the tennis court, across the table of a dozen cafes, set with tea and cake and sugar cubes, and sheets of facts and figures with which L drew closer and closer to him, gradually cornering him—
Light averted his gaze; anywhere, anything other than L, ungodly creature that he was…
His gaze settled on his watch. It was almost midnight, and that meant that this ridiculous game had gone on for far longer than Light had ever wanted it to.
He went to the chair he had been sitting in earlier and retrieved the true murder weapon; a simple long-bladed knife, with a glint to its edge like that present in the eye of a predatory beast.
He saw the uncertain fear flicker once again in L's ebony eyes as he approached the bed; because playtime was clearly over now, and the both of them knew it all too well.
"I guess this is goodbye then, Light-kun," L breathed.
"Yes," Light replied stiffly. "I'm afraid so."
He had expected a struggle to straddle L a second time, especially since he had been successful in kicking him away only moments before; but L in fact allowed him to sit on his stomach. He seemed eerily prepared for this; even though he had just been very cruelly raped by this same teenaged quasi-god, and even though it was obvious that he was about to die.
Light raised the knife above his head; he hadn't aimed directly and didn't know where it was going to sink into the detective.
"Ryuzaki," he said quietly, "I want you to know… that I'm not sorry I raped you."
"I didn't expect you to be. You are Kira, after all, and I am L. We are not supposed to sympathise with each other."
Light barely tilted his head in a nod, then added, softer still:
"But I do love you."
L offered him a bland smile.
"I don't love you, Light-kun. Not anymore."
"Then that makes us… equal."
L shook his head.
"I have no interest in being equal to you, Kira. Only one of us can win."
Light smiled crookedly.
"Of course. But…" His smirk faded slightly. "…You seem so calm about this. So content – how can you be, knowing that you are about to lose?"
"Because I haven't lost, Light-kun. This is merely sacrifice."
Light gripped the knife together in hands that were beginning to become slick with sweat; and his gaze pierced L one final, pleading time.
"Ryuzaki… Don't defy me again. Scream."
"No," said L.
And he didn't.
Neither of them really registered the knife going down; blood hit Light in the face and began to soak through L's top in storm clouds, and only then did either of them realise that it had gone into L just beneath his ribcage. Light let go of the hilt and they both stared at it for a moment in silence.
Light's watch started to beep and, in almost unison, the same church bells from that afternoon began to strike midnight, sounding from somewhere far beyond the window of the thirteenth floor's only room.
"The bells," L whispered faintly. "I thought they… seemed loud today…"
"R-Ryuzaki!" As though it had suddenly dawned on him just what he had done, Light grasped the knife and pulled it back out of the fatally wounded man. He threw it aside and grasped L by his shoulders. "No, don't you… d-don't you dare die on me…!"
L still had the strength to shoot Light an amused glance.
"Don't you think… it's a bit late for second thoughts, Light-kun…?"
"No!" Light wailed, plunging a hand into his pocket and extracting the key to the handcuffs; with trembling fingers, he freed L as quickly as he was able, grasping him to his own body as soon as he was loose. "This isn't right, Ryuzaki, I never meant… this wasn't supposed to happen, not like this! Don't you see that…?!"
"No, Light-kun…" L grimaced in Light's clutches. "This seems… correct to me. You were planning… to kill me, after all…"
"No, this is all wrong!" Light insisted, his eyes wild and desperate. "I didn't… Rem was… the Death Note, I…"
"Does it… really matter?"
"Yes!" Light wrapped his arms around the dying detective. "I didn't want this for you, I wanted… I thought she… I thought she'd give you "Suicide", I thought… I wanted you to choose for yourself, I never wanted anyone else to lay a hand on you…!"
"And yet, your own actions, just now…"
"Maybe we can still get you help," Light said desperately, ignoring L's last statement. "Maybe we can… I'll go and find someone…!"
"No, Light-kun," L breathed, clutching at Light's shirt. "This is correct. This is sacrifice, as I said…"
"What do you mean?"
L offered him a small smile.
"Do you mind if I… confess something?"
Light speechlessly shook his head; and L nodded upwards at the mirror above the bed. Light looked up; and gave a stifled gasp of horror to see Rem reflected in it. Turning sharply, Light found her at the end of the room; her body crumbling away to lifeless sand even as he watched.
"Rem!" He screeched. "What the hell have you done…?!"
"Saved Misa Amane," was Rem's faint, scratched reply. "She is safe. I forced her to give up her memories again, including all the ones she has of you, Light Yagami…"
"You believed the Shinigami was on your side, Light-kun," L said softly as Light stared at Rem in speechless horror. "Or, at least… you believed you could manipulate her. You were wrong."
"I don't… I don't understand," Light said hollowly, shaking uncontrollably.
"You don't need to," L replied as, with a quiet sigh, the last of Rem turned to ash and dust and sand. "Together, though we did not… intend to work together, Rem-san and I… have defeated Kira. We have both lost our… lives in the process, but it does not matter."
"And just how do you see that?!" Light snapped. "I'm not the one bleeding to death here! How have you defeated me?"
"I do not know the details… of what the Shinigami wrote in the notebook," L explained, his voice dipping fainter and fainter, "but I presume that you were controlled… to confess all the incriminations against you to me… before murdering me in a physical sense rather than through your Death Note."
"What does that matter?" Light sneered down at him. "You'll soon be dead. Who can you tell? In fact, Rem may have actually done me a favour. If Misa's lost her memory, then I'm in no danger of her ever slipping up and getting us both found out."
"That is true," L panted, "but you forget, Light-kun… and I suspect this has something to do with the fact… that you were controlled in your actions by the Shinigami's notebook… This entire building is installed wall to wall with security and recording equipment. Everything you have said and done in this room tonight… has been recorded and backed up several times over. You have confessed… your guilt, in effect, to the entire investigation team. They'll view the tapes in the morning."
Light simply stared at him. The ever-turning gears of his mind shuddered to a stop.
"L," he said finally, his voice utterly toneless, "you have absolutely no boundaries."
L smiled faintly, his eyes sliding closed.
"I will take that as a compliment… from you, Light-kun. Although… at my own sacrifice, I have done you… a favour…"
"What you've done, the lengths you've gone to…" Light stared at him incredulously, ignoring his talk of favours. "It's absolutely hideous."
"That is very hypocritical of Kira to say, but… nevertheless," L said, his voice so soft now that Light could barely hear him, "I must disagree with you. This is not hideous, or evil, or even defiance."
He opened his eyes a little, reaching for Light's arm with a final twitch of a smirk.
"This, Light Yagami… this is… Justice."
His eyes closed again and he became very still; eventually Light felt him breathe his last, becoming a limp weight in his arms, and laid him back onto the mattress. Almost the entirety of his white top was stained crimson, and so was much of Light's own shirt; he checked his watch and read 00:05am.
Numbly, Light got off the bed and crossed the floor to the pile of sand that had once been the insufferably over-protective Rem, plucking her notebook from it and shaking it off. He flipped through it to the last written-in page to find out exactly what the Shinigami bitch had written.
Drugged, raped and stabbed by Light Yagami
Light almost dropped the notebook in revulsion; of course, he had deliberately engineered the situation so that Rem would have no choice other than to kill L, but he hadn't ever expected her to be so sickeningly specific… He had expected L to simply fall off his chair from a heart attack; or he himself perhaps be greeted tomorrow morning with the tragic news that L had jumped out of the window late the previous night.
Never in a million years had he ever expected this. Shinigami, it seemed, could be horrifically vindictive.
"L Lawliet, huh?" He mused aloud to himself, feeling sick to his stomach despite his breezy tone. His head felt light and empty, save for a dull pressure of realisation.
There was no way out for him; that was why L hadn't minded. Because of those security tapes, he would be arrested and put to death as Kira. Even if he managed to find and destroy the tapes, Light doubted he could hide the forensic evidence and his own guilt so easily.
That was why the bastard hadn't minded at all.
He flipped back a page absently; and his blood froze in his veins.
He looked across at the bed and didn't know whether he should laugh or cry; thank the dead detective or curse him for his defiance once again.
There were two bodies in the morning.
Matsuda had to leave the room and a disturbed, horrified look twisted Chief Soichiro Yagami's face; one that would probably haunt his features for the rest of his life.
The tapes had been more than enough; but to walk into the only room on the thirteenth floor and find not only L's cold body, but also that of Light Yagami, his wrists cut to ribbons with the same knife that had taken the life of the detective…
And to find the Death Note open on the last but one page, all but drenched in Light's spilt blood; and find that it said;
Confesses to L everything concerning his role as Kira before committing suicide
And, ultimately, to find that the writing was very familiar; not because it was Rem's, and not because it was Light's own, but because it was L's.
Against his own belief that Kira should be punished accordingly by Japanese state law, L had forced Light to take his own life, sparing him the execution he had always said Kira deserved.
Was that justice… or love?
Or perhaps it was simply defiance to the very end.
Ouch, yeah… sorry if you expected us to spare L because of the phrase "alternate Episode 25". It's not that we don't like him (quite the opposite), but I for one understand why he died, and think it was a very important part of the storyline, and really, when you think about it, it was the only way to move the story forwards.
And frankly, his death is a very powerful plot device – as exploited here, non?
Hope you liked it – we're quite happy with our first attempt at Death Note ficcing, even if it is, by one-shot standards, a little epic…
- RobinRocks and AutumnDynasty (who didn't get a look-in on these ANs… hope you like them!)