Preface

It's amazing. In life, there are many choices, and it is utterly amazing the difference that one new little twist can make. L gazed down at the two bodies strewn across the warehouse floor. The more familiar of the two's blonde hair had formed a halo around their head where they lay. Their deaths had been undramatic. He wished that they'd had to suffer more, just a little more, to make it up to him. As if they could have ever accounted for the suffering, the death… With a last glance at his old, for lack of a better word, friends, he turned to his accomplices.

"We should go," he said simply.

One - Caught

It had been an awkward decision. Indeed, if the taskforce had found out about it, he would not have been able to explain himself. But he didn't have to; he was L. His decisions were what counted and if he wanted to do something without informing them, then he could. He did not believe that he could have been wrong, at least not completely wrong, about Light. Because Light was Kira. Everything about him screamed Kira. He might as well wear a sash that said Kira! And if Light was Kira, and as far as L was concerned he was, then Misa was the second Kira. That much made sense on its own. And so, he had made the choice. The choice he had not told anyone else about. As far as they knew, he had released Misa and no longer suspected her; at least not officially. But he did. Very, very, desperately he suspected that Misa was still playing Kira's pawn. But he had released her. Technically…

What Misa did not know was that she'd been bugged. And so L could hear everything she was saying at any given time. Even Light would not have expected this. Misa was going to betray Kira without even knowing it. Betray Light. Finally… He just had to wait.

Light had been shadowing him pretty much since the handcuffs had been removed. It was almost amusing watching the tables turn like that, but it meant he was unable to listen to Misa. He recorded it all, of course, so it wasn't as if he was missing anything. But the more time went by, the more annoyed he became. He wanted to know he had been right all along. He couldn't wait; especially if Light's plan was still moving along smoothly.

Finally, he found a Light-free moment to escape and listen in on Misa. As he sat in his chair, drawing his knees up to his chest, he paused. If he got what he wanted, then he would surely have to execute Light. Admittedly, he did want to see Kira fall, but… he didn't particularly want to have to lose his only friend. Needs be. He pushed the button to play back the tape.

The recording started right away, from the moment he had had it implanted into one of her earrings. To be safe, there were also bugs in her boots, phone and various other items of clothing she seemed particularly fond of. The earring was his favourite though, as it would record the best sound quality. And he had noticed she seemed to wear them most days. If at any point the tape skipped over a long period of time, he could try one of the others.

Nothing useful had been recorded at first. Misa had been under surveillance for another day from the point of the bug's installation; it seemed reasonable to ignore anything before she was released. L moved the recording on to the point when she had been freed. Ideally, he would have listened to everything, but Light would not leave him alone for too long, he supposed. He had to be picky.

Aha. This must be the conversation Light and Misa had shared immediately after her release; before she had even left the building. He had not been able to record any of it with the main surveillance gear. Perhaps it would be useful.

At once he was glad he had placed this bug in her earring. Light, unawares, had whispered in her ear. He had actually placed his mouth right against the bug without knowing it! How ironic. He asked her to dig something up. What..? L frowned. He wished he didn't have to rely purely on sound, but that would have been impossible.

He was silently glad that he was no longer chained to Light.

He listened to everything now, forgetting Light. He could always pause the tape if necessary. He managed to survive a lot of poorly recorded network television. He even listened to all the recorded near-silence as she slept. And finally he was rewarded.

He could tell she was outside; judging by the sounds of birds and rustled leaves, somewhere like a wood. And then… it sounded as if she was digging. This was it. His eyes widened. The bug had picked up half a conversation; Misa's half. Talking to someone called Ryuk.

A shinigami.

This tape would be enough evidence to start surveillance again, but he didn't want that. He was right. He just needed confirmation. He knew where it would be.

Impatiently, he forwarded the tape to the point when he knew Misa had stopped to see Light again at the HQ. Yesterday; it had been yesterday. He found the place.

And despite himself, he could hardly believe it.

"I don't remember Hideki Ryuga's name… I'm sorry."

He was right.

"… I will be able to operate as Kira once again."

That was Light. No, that was Light confessing. That was Light admitting he had been and would again be Kira! Light was Kira, all along… Just as he'd thought. He had been right.

He had caught Kira.

He had caught Light.