To Narroch: You are officially no longer a teenager.

Scary stuff! O.o Happy 20th Birthday, my friend! This one is especially for you. :D

Okay, well, this is a weird little Death Note thingie with very strong hints of LxLight, but no actual physical contact, as such.

All shall be explained.

A What If? scenario with a dark little twist. The title comes from an episode of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off show, Angel, of the same name, though this has nothing to do with hot, moody, brooding vampires.

How does that guy shave, anyway?

Anywayz, enjoy!

Are You, Or Have You Ever Been?

"It doesn't have to end like this."

There was a wavering note of desperation in L's voice – one that made Light glance up at him through strands of unkempt hair, chocolate eyes gleaming with something feverish.

Something a little… sick.

"I'd agree," the boy replied softly. "Well, I'd say… that it shouldn't end like this. It was always going to, though, wasn't it?" He tilted his head. "One of us dying, I mean."

"You… you don't have to die, you…" L was clutching the black plastic phone properly, rather than in his usual bizarre manner; taking into it quickly and quietly, barely able to bring himself to look up at Light – the boy painted a dull blue by the prisoner overalls, his impersonal little number printed on the left of his chest.

"Ryuzaki… L… I'm not a very good loser, but I will say it." Light took a breath. "You won. You beat me. You caught me, just like you said you would."

Light forced out a cold little laugh – one utterly devoid of humour.

"And now you're sending me to die, just like you said you would."

"Light-kun…" L gripped the phone more tightly, pressing it to his ear. "…I know I promised that, and I know the court—"

"Oh, don't start this," Light groaned angrily, interrupting him. "Acting all sorry because you were my friend… I know you don't care what happens to me now. You caught Kira, L. Isn't that what you wanted?" Light glared at him through the sheet of thick glass separating them. "How dare you turn up here and act like you're sorry they're going to execute me?"

"I don't want them to execute you!" L hissed. "And I doubt you want to die, so listen to me, Light-kun. I'm L, I caught you, I have the power to change your sentence—"

"To what?" Light snapped. "Life imprisonment? You'd rather leave me here to rot, satisfied that at least I'm still alive?" Light's eyes met with L's across the desk and telephone line – through the glass that kept them apart, the glass that kept Light from reaching out and strangling the bastard detective with his bare hands. "Or maybe," he went on, voice dropping to a malicious whisper, "you'd take me as your own prisoner? Have me chained to your wrist forever and ever, like the little Siamese twins we used to be? Don't be so fucking stupid!"

"You wouldn't have to be chained to me, you—"

"I don't believe you," Light said, shaking his head in incredulity. "I just don't believe you, L. You always threatened, always swore you'd catch me, that you'd make sure I was punished, and when it comes down to it… you're the one on your knees begging for my life. Do you think I'm going to make bargains with you now, you bastard, after you turned me in? I'm not proud that you caught me, L. I can't sink any lower than that, actually being caught, do you see? So you think I'm going to agree to any terms and conditions you present me with? You think I'm going to sell myself out to you, promise to be a good little boy if you spare my life? Get fucked, L."

Light threw down his phone, letting it clatter on the metal desk, and pushed up from his chair, starting to walk away; he'd just be taken back to his cell and pick stucco off the walls and think about how much he'd love to kill L, if only they'd let him near enough to the bastard to lay a hand on him—

Desperately, L banged on the glass; and though he didn't know why he did so, Light glanced back at him. L pointed at the phone on Light's side, dark eyes pleading, and Light exhaled before going back and snatching it up.

It was probably the last time he'd ever have to listen to his voice, anyway.

"Are you truly so proud?" L whispered to him.

"This isn't about me!" Light spat in reply. "This is about you, isn't it? You selfish bastard. No, don't start spouting crap about loving me. It's not true. If you loved me you'd have burnt that notebook and shut the hell up about everything."

"You're saying that I should have lied for you if I loved you?" L bit out icily.

"Hn." Light gave a twisted smirk. "I'm glad you didn't burn my Death Note, incidentally. It means a lot to me."

L actually flinched a little at that comment, and Light was satisfied.

"No, you're just a hypocrite, L," he hissed down the line. "Promising death to Kira, then fucking your suspect, then turning him in to be put to death after saying that you loved him, and then coming here telling him you can get him off the death sentence. For what reason, L? You promised me death, so why now do you ask for the chance to show off your powers and have me set free? The truth is, I don't think I should be punished for my deeds as Kira, but you and the Japanese court seem to think I do, so surely then I deserve death? What has made you change your mind? It can't be because you agree with my ideals – yet, if it's for any other reason, it's meaningless. Either pity or love would be setting me free for the wrong reason, L. You know that."

L took a deep, patient breath; that was a little shaky regardless.

"Light-kun, I think you are stressed by the trial and the sentence," he said levelly. "You are bitter and angry at me, and thus I have concluded that you are not thinking straight at this moment. It is impossible to expect you to make this kind of decision whilst you are in such a state of mind. Therefore I will deal with this matter myself, have your death sentence repealed and have you placed in my permanent custody instead."

"No, thankyou," Light responded calmly. "Spend the rest of my life with you? I'd rather die tomorrow."

L frowned at him, leaning closer to the glass.

"Light-kun, you are only a child," he said. "It is understandable that the gaining of a power such as that of the Death Note could have created Kira in you out of desire to do good, but—"

"Now you're making excuses for me?!" Light blinked at him. "I thought Kira was an evil, arrogant individual with a record of unprecedented, unforgivable mass murder? That is certainly how you described Kira before you proved that he was me." He too leaned forward, so that – but for the glass – there was less than a few inches between his face and L's. "I don't need you to pardon me, to apologise for me… I did what I did because there are evil people in the world who deserve to die. And believe me, L… I was going to kill you too, make no mistake."

"I know."

Light snorted.

"Then why are you trying to save me?"

"Because I don't want you to die."

Light gave a bitter little laugh.

"Because you can't bear the thought of being without me, no matter who or what I am? I know what you want – keep me alive, have me under permanent personal arrest so that you can be certain of a good fuck every night." Light raised his chin a little. "My crusade as Kira means more to me than you ever did. I am willing to die for it. I am not willing to be taken away by you to some place that no-one will ever find, locked away and kept as your little pet."

"You're being an idiot, Light-kun," L snapped frustratedly.

Light shrugged.

"Yes, maybe I am. There's something about this place, you know? Prison. It sends you a bit mad. That said, I'm here for a reason, right? I'm the world's greatest serial killer, something like that? I am Kira, I was sentenced to death as Kira, so I'll die as Kira."

L said nothing, just staring at him through the glass; Light's eyes narrowed.

"If you overturn my sentence anyway," he whispered, glaring at the detective, "I'll kill myself. Don't you understand, L? I don't want anymore of your promises. I hate you. I hate you so much that the word just doesn't express how much I hate you. I'd rather be executed for something you proved that I did – something that I'm still not ashamed of doing – than owe you my life."

"There's no need for this, Light-kun," L said, so softly that his voice was barely audible over the line.

"Yes, there is." Light smoothed down his creased blue top. "One of us was always going to die, right? It was meant to be you, but I guess someone's looking out for you."

At an utter loss for anything else to do, L pressed his hand to the glass; and, compelled despite his anger and contempt, Light mirrored him, so that they would be pressed palm-to-palm if not for the sheet between them.

L still said nothing at all, and Light heard the jingle of handcuffs behind him, knowing that guard had come to take him back to his cell.

"This is goodbye, then, L," the boy said quietly. "For what it's worth… it was fun while it lasted."

"Light-kun…" L glanced at the floor for a moment. "My… my name—"

"I don't want to know it." Light offered him a bitter smile, taking away his hand. "You won. That's your prize to keep."

Light pressed the phone to his ear with his shoulder as the guard handcuffed him, though L was apparently not going to say anything else. Handcuffed, the teenager was still able to take the phone back into his hand, and when he heard nothing, took it as a silent goodbye and took the phone from his ear to put it down.

"Light-kun!" L said suddenly. "I want to ask you one more thing."

Light put the phone back to his ear despite the guard clearing his throat irritably.

"What?"

"Are you, or have you ever been…" L paused for a moment. "…Sorry…?"

Light smiled at him.

"Yeah, I'm sorry," he said; and he was. "I'm sorry I didn't write your goddamn name down when I had the chance."

He put the phone down and let the guard lead him away – hearing, even through the glass, L drop his own phone.

Maybe shock; or sorrow of his own.

Are you, or have you ever been, sorry, L? Oh, yes, I think you are. You're sorry you were right, or that you didn't destroy that notebook so that you could keep me for yourself. You're sorry that I'd rather be sentenced to death than sentenced to spend all eternity in your arms.

Either way, your punishment is far greater than mine. I really can't think of a better ending for you – a better way for you to be.

Alive.


Ooh, dark stuff, ne? It's practically a total reverse of the real Death Note story.

Poor L. He just got majorly ditched. Oh well, at least it wasn't the night before the senior prom.

Narroch, I hope you enjoyed it. :)

Any Poison Apple readers who sashayed on over here due to the plug, thankyou for doing so! Hope you all enjoyed it also! Alternately, any Poison Apple readers who have yet to sashay on over to the newest chapter, do so right now!

LxLight FTW!!!!1eleven!!!111!

Happy Birthday, Narroch, meh friend!