Summary: L already has his hands full trying to catch the infamous Kira, and now there's a rogue shinigami scaring the citizens of Tokyo! Supernatural monsters aren't really L's forte, so it's time to call in the experts - the Scooby-Doo gang! Death Note / Scooby-Doo crossover. DN canon-divergent.
Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note or Scooby-Doo, I just borrow their characters for random crack-ness on occasion (although I like to think of it as pretty high-quality crack, thank you). Please, please don't sue me?
A/N: This whole chapter is pretty much an introduction. Yes, it's long, but despite the ridiculous nature of this story, I'm gonna try to make this as true to DN as is possible. Impossible? Maybe, but I have way too much respect for DN and all its characters to make this a complete parody. Many things have been reworked to accommodate my plot, so please don't flame me saying I got something from the canon wrong if you haven't bothered reading all my notes. There's another author note at the end of this chapter in case any of my changes so far are unclear, so hopefully by then you'll have a good understanding of the whole situation. If you find any other stuff wrong, though, feel free to let me know, because how else would I be able to fix it?
Chapter 1: A Groovy Twist
L was frustrated.
It felt as if the Kira investigation was coming to a standstill. There was no solid evidence to be found, and his sole suspect gave him almost nothing to go on. The only reason he still felt the need to further investigate Light Yagami was his glaring innocence itself. The boy's record was so clean, the righteous morals inherited from his police chief father ingrained so deeply into his psyche, his academic standing so high, his good looks and social charm – everything about him was so perfect, so maddeningly perfect.
L calculated a five percent chance that his remaining suspicions were just a stubborn result of jealousy; yes, he was the world's three greatest detectives in one body, but he was a far cry from perfect. Yagami – he was on a different level altogether from L, and yet was one of the only people he'd ever met that could challenge his intellect. There was circumstantial evidence that pointed to Light being Kira, but that same evidence pointed equally to every member of the families Raye Penbar had investigated. It was only L's personal suspicions that kept the spotlight on the Yagami boy, but with his father on the investigation team, he couldn't pursue him outright without a more concrete lead. Soichiro's protests of his family's innocence had already forced L to remove the cameras and bugs – not that they had actually revealed anything, but L would have preferred to leave them in place much longer to be sure.
Thus, L was forced to gather evidence on Light in a more active way than he was used to – not only had he enrolled at the same college, but today he had offered Light a place on the task force. L hoped this would placate, perhaps even please, his proud and upstanding father while allowing him to keep close surveillance on his suspect. After all, it had been four months since Kira's arrival, and this was his only lead – even if it did hinge on some admittedly baseless suspicions.
Grasping the mug's handle with just his thumb and index finger, L took a long sip of his sugary coffee, quickly figuring up the likelihood of Light, the college student and son of a policeman, agreeing to join the investigation against the many different arguments he could use to persuade him. How would that likelihood be affected if he were also Kira..?
"So, do you have any proof, Ryuuga?"
L blinked slowly. Light, sitting across the table from him, seemed more than a bit perturbed by the wide-eyed blank stare that L had been giving him these past few minutes. L removed the mug from his lips, only to replace it with the thumb of his free hand as he sat the coffee back down.
"Proof of what, Yagami-kun?" L lightly chewed his thumbnail, hoping to replace the lingering taste of the lukewarm coffee. The last few sugars he'd added to it had not fully melted – the sweet sludge these had created was the only thing that had made that long sip palatable.
"Are you even paying attention to your own interrogation? I asked you if you've got any proof that you yourself are not Kira, because if you don't, there's no reason I should trust your offer to let me join the team," Light continued, scowling ever so slightly. "Of course, if you can prove that you really are L, that would be proof enough that you're not Kira."
L removed the thumb from his mouth, now listening more intently.
"I need to be able to trust you, and the only way to do that would be for someone I already trust, such as my father or another officer involved in the investigation, to confirm for me that you are L. If you refuse me that much, the deal is off," Light firmly declared. L fought to keep from smirking; maybe his suspicions hadn't been so baseless.
"You know, I don't recall saying that you couldn't meet others from the team, Yagami-kun." Yes, he could feel it – that tiny twitch at the corners of his mouth. The look of shock on Light's face, which he undoubtedly thought to be well-hidden, was just delightful. Likelihood of Light being Kira was now... seven percent. "I am currently working alongside your father on the investigation. If I brought you to headquarters and allowed him to confirm my identity, would that be convincing enough of my invitation's sincerity?"
Light was speechless, dumbfounded. It was indeed a golden moment as L childishly indulged in his small victory, but this moment was ended all too abruptly as a squealing, high-pitched whine filled the little cafe.
L fought the instinct to shove his fingers into his ears, forcing himself to keep his hands on his bent-up knees and his eyes as blank as ever. The only sign of his discomfort was the slightly more vigorous twitching of his bare toes against the wooden seat of the chair.
"Over here, Misa," Light apathetically called out, waving his arm in the air. He didn't bother to turn around to face his mysterious screeching guest – L wondered briefly if her voice was bothering him as well.
A second later, a bouncing blonde in a short-cut black dress appeared behind Light's chair. Her face seemed familiar somehow, but L couldn't place it. He instead amused himself by counting all the various Gothic-style accessories adorning her: necklaces, bracelets, skull barrettes in her hair..
"Light," she whined, wrapping her arms around his neck, "you said you would call Misa today!"
"Misa, it's barely past lunch time. There's still plenty of today left," Light explained, an uneasy grin plastered on his face. For only the second time in the last half-hour, L blinked. The main pitfall of being popular with everyone, he supposed, was being popular with those one didn't necessarily like. He watched with interest as the girl – she certainly looked like just a girl, perhaps 15 or 16, although being in this cafe on a college campus seemed to suggest she was older, he reasoned – as this woman happily plopped down in Light's lap.
"Yeah, but Light-kun obviously has time now, and he's spending it with a guy instead of calling his girlfriend," she said, an exaggerated pout evident on her dark red lips. For the first time, she looked over at L. "Although," she seemed to ponder, "he is a pretty unique-looking guy."
L's eyes widened ever so slightly. He did know that face!
"I'm Light's girlfriend, Misa Amane. Nice to meet you!" she said cheerily, her delicate hand giving him a casual wave.
"Ryuuga Hideki," L replied simply, popping his thumb back into his mouth again.
"Like the pop idol? That's so cool!" L couldn't help noticing the bored, perhaps annoyed look on Light's face. Such a girlfriend as her, and he didn't even seem interested at all. Life could be so unfair...
"I envy you, Yagami-kun," L said quietly. Light looked back at him with disbelief, and something else. Was there something about this relationship that he hadn't wanted L to know about? Those pesky corners of L's mouth finally were freed from his tight mental control, creating an almost creepy sort of smile around his thumb. "You're really dating the Misa-Misa?" he continued, eyes darting between the grinning blonde and the dumbfounded Light.
"Oh wow, I guess I'm becoming a real household name!" Misa gushed.
"Yes, well," Light began, shifting slightly beneath the model's weight, "we met at a party a few nights ago. Some friends from class invited me. Of course I didn't realize it was such a big event that even a famous model would be there." That fake grin had returned to his face. Light was uncomfortable, no question.
"It was love at first sight, right Light-kun?" Misa interrupted.
"Right," Light uneasily agreed. L removed the thumb from his mouth again and began to idly stir the now cold coffee, although he had no intention of finishing it. Light was popular enough with women – he'd been seen casually dating several since enrolling at the college – so why was he staying in a relationship with Misa, whom he obviously did not like very much? He didn't seem to care about her fame, but he also didn't seem to mind lying to her when he agreed to her small declaration of love, so why bother keeping up such appearances unless there was something more to it?
For all this obvious manipulation, the likelihood of Light being Kira rose to nine percent.
"Oh, Light-kun, have you seen the news today?" Misa suddenly asked.
"No, why?" he answered apathetically.
"It turns out that Kira is actually a rogue shinigami! This big flying monster showed up in Aoyama and started terrorizing people, and a bunch of people who got too close to it had heart attacks and died, right there!"
For once in his life, L sat straight up. Dropping his stirring spoon, he slammed his hands down on the table.
"When did this happen? How many people died?" he asked frantically, wide eyes boring into the shocked Misa.
"It was only a little while ago, I heard it on the radio on the way here!"
"Exactly how long ago?" L demanded.
"I.. I don't know, really. Maybe an hour?" Misa stammered, a bit taken aback by the quiet and unkempt man's sudden outbursts. L began to slouch slightly again.
"Yagami-kun," he began slowly, pondering, "did you in fact go to class before meeting me here?" Light just stared at the detective incredulously.
"Come on, Ryuuga," he finally said, with a slight chuckle, "I know I'm a suspect and all, but I'm no shinigami, as you can plainly see. Besides, it was probably just a prank or something."
"But they said that people died all around where the shinigami had been! He flew around in circles, and a minute or so after he had passed, people just fell over dead!" Misa protested.
"Hush, Misa, darling," Light said cheerfully, patting her head like a child. "It's probably just one of those stupid radio dramas – some station is playing a prank on the whole city by spreading rumors like that."
Light had a point. After all, if this had been a real event, surely Watari would have contacted him about it by now. Perhaps it was just some sort of prank. L returned to his former level of slouching, his wide eyes becoming dull again. Never any real leads...
Eru netsu masani desu paireetsu!
All three of them jumped slightly at the sudden burst of music.
Aganau houritsu geemu...
Suddenly whipped back into reality, L reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out the offending cell phone.
Zetsubou za birii iza rinri
Saa tomerarenai eraser rain!
"Cool ringtone," Misa commented, her cheerful voice quiet for once.
He flipped it open, holding it between just two fingers, and gingerly pressed the "Talk" button.
"Yes, Watari?" he casually answered. Light and Misa could only hear a garbled voice on the other end, but whatever they were saying, it seemed urgent. Light watched carefully as L's eyes widened.
"I understand. We are in the cafe at the university, meet us out front," L said quickly before snapping the phone shut.
"Us?" Light repeated softly. L chose to ignore him for the moment, looking toward Misa again as he rose from his seat.
"I'm terribly sorry, Amane-san, but Light and I need to leave immediately," he told her politely.
"Um, okay," she reluctantly agreed, standing up as well. She looked back toward Light, who was still seated and looking a bit confused. "Call me later, Light-kun?" she whined, although more softly now.
"Of course, Misa," he quickly replied. Despite their hurry, it seemed to L that brushing her off like that was odd for someone in love. Something was definitely suspicious about the whole thing, he decided as he reluctantly stuffed his sock-less feet back into his shoes.
"Okay, bye bye Light-kun!" Misa chimed, waving as she headed out of the cafe. Only then did Light rise from his seat.
"So, what's going on? And what does it have to do with me?" Light asked, once he was sure Misa was gone. L simply shuffled toward the door, motioning for him to follow.
"It seems," said L as they reached the outside, "that the shinigami incident was no prank, after all." Light stared back at him, wide-eyed. L gave a strangely satisfied smirk. "What a convenient time for you to join the task force, Yagami-kun."
"Pretty tight security for a hotel," Light muttered. He had observed Watari undergo a fingerprint and retina scan as they drove into the underground garage. Even after this, both L and Watari had gone through another checkpoint within the building. Light himself had been registered in their security database, had his retinas and all ten fingerprints scanned in, and even had a three-dimensional computer model of his face created as back-up. They were finally on their way to headquarters, but Light was sure he would have gotten lost in the dimly lit, unremarkable halls without his enigmatic companion leading the way.
"Its construction was finished just last week," L explained, not bothering to turn around to face him. "This entire building is our headquarters, although most of the floors are, indeed, populated by hotel-like rooms."
"What's the point of that?" Light asked. "It's not as if anyone off the street can waltz in and see whether this is a real hotel or not."
"Those with families, like your father, return home at night. The rest of us live here, in those rooms," L replied, turning his head just far enough to meet Light's eyes, "as will you, Yagami-kun."
"You mean to say I'm forbidden from going home to see my family?" Light demanded, his eyes aglow with all the fire of the dedicated son that Soichiro Yagami had made him out to be. L frowned and again faced away from the boy. It was either another facet of his perfection, or an extremely corny act.
"You are not merely another investigator, you are also a suspect. You cannot expect equal treatment," L stated, his voice now a cold monotone. The finality of his voice was enough to convince Light to finally shut up. Watari, who walked along behind him, continued to quietly observe.
After some silent minutes more, there was finally a break in the dark, windowless walls – a large set of double doors, which Light could only hope was finally headquarters.
"Here we are," L quietly commented, as if answering Light's own thoughts. He opened the door maddeningly slowly for Light's tastes, revealing, at last, the first truly well-lit room in this whole depressing building. An entire wall was covered with huge monitors, an odd glass staircase sat nearby, and couches and coffee tables were strewn all about. The team members, whom Light recognized from the minor cases he had helped with in the past, were gathered around a large table covered with laptops and stacks of paper. They rose from their seats as the three entered. No one bothered with any actual introductions.
"So you've agreed to join us, Light!" Soichiro exclaimed with a proud smile as he approached his son. The middle-aged police chief, his hair already going grey, seemed quite pleased with this – after all, not only was it an opportunity to show off his son's skill, but also to finally rid L of his ridiculous suspicions of him being Kira.
"Please confirm my identity for him, Yagami-san," L said quickly, cutting off any response Light might have made. "He has agreed to join only on condition of trust."
"Oh, of course," the elder Yagami replied, somewhat taken aback by L's curtness. "Light, this man is, in fact, L, but for security reasons, we refer to him here only as Ryuuzaki."
"Proof enough for you, Yagami-kun?" L asked, an almost annoyed stare fixed on Light's face.
"Yes, thank you," Light answered, uncertain as he tried to read the eccentric detective's expression. Without another word, L shuffled over to the large desk in front of the wall of monitors and sat in his strange, hunched squat on a wheeled office chair. How he managed such a feat, Light couldn't imagine. L immediately began to type something, and soon multiple news shows were playing on the large monitors, all of them covering the same story – the shinigami in Aoyama.
"Aizawa-san," L said suddenly, not taking his large black eyes off the monitors, "please brief Yagami-kun on all information we have on the Kira case so far."
"Right," said Aizawa, still standing with the rest of the team around the work area. Whether they had been waiting for some sort of introductions or just for orders, even they did not know, but the tense feeling that surrounded the room kept them from relaxing. Wordlessly, Aizawa led the much shorter Light to a far corner of the room, carrying with him a short stack of papers and laptop.
"The rest of you," L continued, "I want every scrap of information to be found on this Aoyama incident, and the exact times of death for every criminal killed by Kira today."
"Already got it, Ryuuzaki!" Matsuda exclaimed, half-jogging over to L with his own laptop in tow. L quickly looked over the information they had gathered, his slight scowl deepening into a frown.
It made no sense at all. Kira's judgements for the day seemed to center around the time of the shinigami's appearance, but at the same time, the people around the shinigami had been killed. Why these innocent bystanders? And more importantly, why was Kira, a mass murderer who seemed to view himself as righteous, as a god ridding the world of evil, resorting to such cheap theatrics? A cheesy monster costume to scare the very people who already lived in fear of his "divine" judgement? Some kind of taunt to L himself, or even retribution, punishing the innocent people of Japan for his discovery of Kira's location?
Or suppose, although he paled just thinking about it, the shinigami was real?
Matsuda watched nervously as L's unblinking eyes pored quickly over the data he and the other team members had spent most of the afternoon gathering. He certainly thought L's mannerisms were strange, as did everyone else, but the absence of them seemed almost foreboding. L's long fingers flew over the flat keys instead of being chewed on, and for once there were no cakes or fruits by his side, though he didn't seem to miss them at the moment. Watari seemed to have noticed this as well, as he continued to stay by L's side – maybe he, too, was wondering when a request for tea or sweets would come.
"So, what do you make of it?" Matsuda asked, his normally cheery manner rather muted now. L finally blinked; the rookie cop briefly thought that perhaps his words had shaken L from a trance.
L sat back, finally taking his eyes off the laptop, and sighed almost forlornly. Matsuda raised a questioning eyebrow, but said nothing. Watari continued to patiently wait.
"This is," L said softly, "unfamiliar territory." He brought a hand to his forehead, holding it briefly there before running it through his messy ebony locks. His hand fell back to its familiar position on his knee, his hair now even more wild-looking than before. "Kira, an apparently psychic killer, is strange enough, but now this..."
Matsuda uncertainly shifted from foot to foot, waiting, like Watari, to see just what the brilliant man would do with this odd new development in the case. He sighed a little to himself as he realized yet again what a small part he seemed to have in all this, especially compared to L, who he thought must be a couple of years younger than himself.
Suddenly, L leaned forward again in his usual hunch, his eyes alight with inspiration. Matsuda stiffened, half-expecting the detective to simply request that he get him some coffee. Instead, he surprised him by quickly spinning around in his chair to face the rest of the team.
"Everyone!" L exclaimed, a giddy glint in his black eyes, "I'm afraid I haven't the expertise to deal with this shinigami business, but I know someone who does. In short, I'm calling in reinforcements." From across the room, Soichiro, Mogi, Aizawa and Light stared on, more than shocked to hear such a concession from the world-renowned L. Watari and Matsuda stood still on either side of him, Matsuda's face matching the others', but Watari's as calm as ever. An odd smile crept its way across L's face as he turned to face his old patron.
"Watari," he said firmly, "please contact V." L turned back to face the team as Watari busily typed something into one of the computers.
"V?" Aizawa ventured.
"Yes," L nodded, "V is the head of an expert team of American detectives. They specialize in crimes involving paranormal events and supernatural creatures – ghosts, monsters, what have you."
"If that's the case," Aizawa challenged, an incredulous look in his eyes, "why didn't we call on these people when we first determined that Kira kills using some supernatural method?"
"Well," the genius detective pondered, absentmindedly placing a thumb upon his lips, "to be quite honest, they do not normally take on such high-profile cases. But now that this so-called shinigami has appeared, I believe their assistance will be indispensable."
"Ryuuzaki," Watari said quietly, "I have V on the line."
"Thank you," L replied, spinning back to face the monitors just as they simultaneously turned a familiar off-white. A second later, an Old English letter "V" appeared. Removing his thumb from his mouth, L gently pressed a button on his microphone.
"This is L," he firmly stated. "I require your group's assistance on a case."
"L?" the indistinct voice of V inquired. It was probably being scrambled, as the team knew L's was, though it did not sound so digital as his signature computer-like voice. "It's been years since you've contacted us. Aren't you still working on the Kira case?"
"Yes, but it has taken a strange turn," L continued, "and it requires your expertise."
"But L," said V hesitantly, "you know we've never taken on a case like this. The worst we've ever dealt with were drug smugglers – we've never worked on a murder case before!"
The task force collectively gasped. What was L thinking, bringing in these so-called detectives that had never even solved a single murder case to chase Kira? Aizawa scowled, questioning for the umpteenth time why he still followed anything the crackpot suggested.
"I have complete faith in your skills," L affirmed, not even seeming to flinch at V's admission of inexperience. "I need all of you on the first flight you can get to Japan. I'll fully fund your tickets if money is any problem for you."
"Of course, we can get there, no problem. It's just," V hesitated again, "you see, we've just wrapped up a case in England, and we happen to have Scrappy along with us. We'll have to take him back home to the States before we can leave for Japan – with that and our basic preparations, it may take us a couple of days." Matsuda turned from the monitors to face his teammates, and found that their confusion matched his own. Everyone involved in any way with L seemed to have a code name, but Scrappy?
"That won't do," L replied after a moment, frowning again. "The situation here has quickly become much more serious, and may only worsen with time. I need you on a flight today, V."
"We can't exactly take him with us, L," V protested.
"Certainly not," L reluctantly agreed, chewing on his thumb yet again as his thoughts raced. It took him but a moment to find a solution, as evident by his widened eyes. "You say you're in England?"
"Yes, in London. Why?"
"You can drop him off at Wammy's," L said with a slight smirk. "I'm sure the kids would enjoy his company, and the trip there shouldn't delay you by more than an hour or two. You can return for him after the case has ended."
"Of course," V said, somehow sounding more hopeful now, despite the scrambler. "Are you sure that would be okay, though?" Much to everyone's surprise, the smallest of chuckles escaped from L's mouth, barely muffled by his thumb.
"Just tell Roger that you're leaving him under my instructions. He won't mind," L assured.
"All right, I guess that covers everything, then," V consented. "We'll drop him off, then we should be on a plane by tonight."
"Good. I'll have Watari meet you at the Tokyo airport – you can contact him when you have the flight information available."
"Right." The monitors returned to their previous news feeds as the connection was terminated. The task force members looked nervously back and forth between each other before quietly sitting back down to work – except, of course, for Matsuda.
"Um," he ventured, "so, what is Wammy's?" At last, some animation came to Watari's wrinkled features, but before he could brush off Matsuda's intrusive question, L's hand left his mouth and shot up into the air to stop him.
"It's fine," he said quietly. L slowly turned his chair toward the naïve young man, although he raised his voice to be heard by all. "I suppose it's safe to tell you a bit about it. Even this won't be of any use for figuring out my identity, since all my records there have been long since erased." Watari nodded, then stepped away with a small frown.
"Wammy's is... a sort of nickname," he began, "for the orphanage that V and I grew up in." Another simultaneous gasp erupted from the task force, and even Light had a sort of sympathetic look on his face as he listened intently.
"V could have easily ended up just like me, a mind hiding behind a letter, solving cases in relative safety," L continued, smirking slightly at the irony of the last bit. "Instead, V decided to take things head on, hinging on an interest in mythology, folklore, and in turn, the supernatural. V moved to the US after leaving the orphanage and formed a small, independent detective team. They work completely in the open, and in fact have won quite a bit of fame in America, though they do occasionally travel to other countries on cases. Despite the fact that they typically take on fairly minor cases, I have worked with them once before," L paused, resting his thumb on his lip, but not yet chewing it. "Their tactics are... unique, to say the least, but very bold. You'll find they are much more capable than they seem."
The task force members silently nodded in understanding. Naturally, though, Matsuda had only picked up on one thing.
"Does that mean," he said sheepishly, "that you and V are childhood friends, Ryuuzaki?" Aizawa sighed, shaking his head slightly at his friend's simplicity.
L rose slowly from his chair, shoving his hands into the pockets of his baggy jeans and keeping the same slouch as he had when he sat. A single corner of his mouth rose in an odd half-smile.
"I suppose you could say that, Matsuda-san," he admitted softly. The rest of the team was just surprised that the great detective had even bothered answering such a pointless personal question. L ignored their looks, taking a few steps toward Watari. How his benefactor had made his way almost to the door without his noticing, he had no idea. The old man certainly had not lost his touch.
"Watari, if you wouldn't mind," L addressed him, the familiar twinkle of motivation in his eyes, "some coffee, and a large slice of strawberry cake."
A rare, wide smile stretched beneath the senior's neatly cropped mustache.
"Right away, Ryuuzaki."
A/N: Oki, here's the promised explanation of canon changes, in case I've lost you already.
First of all, the account that Light and Misa give of how they met... isn't necessarily a lie, so don't be too quick to dismiss that tidbit as you're trying to piece the clues together later. ;) Secondly, Soichiro never has that minor heart attack in this story, simply because I needed to use the cafe scene right before that happens as part of the intro, and that whole thing would just screw with the story's focus – hell, this "intro" chapter is long enough as is – hence Soichiro having to confirm L's identity when they go to headquarters. Thirdly, I'll play with the Scooby-Doo characters as much as I want, because neither their families or histories have ever really been explained (with the exception of a random uncle showing up or something), so who's to say one of them can't be an orphan?
Sigh. I'm taking this alleged crack way too seriously.
As I said, if you still find something weird, wrong, ooc, continuity issues, whatever, lemme know, because I really would like to make this as good as it can be, even if it is just a fun crossover. And since I know plenty of you prolly don't read author's notes, I'll just say...
[I wonder if anyone will notice all the puns... haha.]