Gilded Cage

By: Haiku

Fandom: Death Note

Pairing: Light/L

Warnings: Rape, Mpreg, Violence

Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note in any way, shape, or form. I do, however, claim the plot line of this story as my own. I don't mind if you use some of the elements in it, of course, but it will really irritate me if you blatantly copy my work. You're better than that. Don't do it.

I also make no claim on the lyrics of Great Indoors, by John Mayer.

Author's Note: I am so sorry this chapter took so long to get out. School has kept me so completely preoccupied that I had to choose between writing this story and making good grades. However, a sweet reviewer asked for an update for Christmas and I couldn't very well refuse. I very nearly didn't succeed in getting this done by the deadline but I managed! I hope you all enjoy!

As a side note, I'd like to ask that the threats stop. I don't appreciate being threatened by my reviewers and someone actually made a threat to take my story and continue it themselves. I am extremely displeased with this display of immaturity and would like for rude!anon to know that said review was not appreciated. Thanks guys, please remember that this is all for fun.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Fly the Coop

Check your pulse, it is proof that you're not listening to

The call your life's been issuing you

The rhythm of a line of idle days

Scared of the world outside, you should go explore

Pull all the shades and wander the great indoors

Great Indoors, John Mayer

L stood patiently as Sachiko packed item after item into his suitcases, surprised by the sheer number of things she seemed to have decided belonged to him. He'd politely asked to take some clothes with him at first, anticipating taking only a few outfits and his laptop. However, Sachiko was determined that he should be well off if he was going to be on his own.

Admittedly, the family hadn't been happy when he'd told them of his decision to rent an apartment with Amane. Soichiro still didn't trust her – with good reason, L thought, but surely Soichiro trusted L's own ability to judge a person? Perhaps Soichiro felt that L's perception had been compromised as of late. However, with calm and stubborn persistence, he'd won them over and they'd agreed – especially when he'd threatened to do it on his own, given that he was under no obligation to obey them in any manner.

"Remember to shower once a day and eat three square meals," Sachiko said, packing underwear neatly in next to his jeans. "Watch the sugar, young man. Don't make me come over there just to make sure you're eating right. Please call, won't you, at least once a week? At least, at first. I know you're capable of looking after yourself but it isn't a transition you should rush into."

"Amane-san will be there to remind me," L murmured, gently biting down on his thumb. Sachiko's eagerness to help him was still overwhelming. He supposed she was replacing her son with him, desperate for another person to love and protect with her boy so suddenly ripped away. As illogical as it was, he did feel guilty for taking Light from her. And so, he allowed her to mother him.

A huff left Sachiko's lips and she turned to him with worried eyes. "I know," she replied softly. "It's just in my nature to worry. You know that you can call any time you need to, right?"

"Yagami-san," L said with a slight smile. "You don't owe me anything but I will call. I will stay in touch. Perhaps you can come by now and then."

"Of course I will!" Sachiko exclaimed, suddenly throwing her arms around him and hugging him tight. "Sweet boy, I will visit you as often as I can."

L tensed up when he felt her body began to shake. Her sobs were so soft that he barely heard them but he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back. "Yagami-san, you don't even know me," he murmured helplessly.

--

"I like that look on you," Misa commented as they stood in the elevator, referring to the black T-shirt L was wearing. "Black's a good color on you because of your hair and how dark your eyes are. But you know, you need some color too. Oh! We could go shopping, Ryuzaki! I would help you pick out the coolest clothes! And then we could go get an ice cream cone!"

The suggestion made L cringe (though the offer of ice cream was tempting). However, he wasn't quite ready to put himself through the torture of exploring fashion stores with Misa-Misa; maybe another time, when he was wasted or something and not thinking clearly. "Amane-san, I think I like plain clothes," he told her calmly. "They make me feel comfortable."

Misa grabbed up L's suitcases as the elevator came to a halt and stumbled out into the hall with them. "Shit, Ryuzaki, these bags are heavy," she huffed, not for the first time. "What do they have in them?"

"I'm not sure," L replied with a shrug. "I can get them. You really don't need to…"

She shook her head defiantly and soldiered on down the hall. "You don't need to be lifting stuff like this! You could hurt the babies! You are going to be extra careful from now on or they might come out deformed with, like, extra arms and stuff!"

"I don't think so." L slipped his hands in his pockets and followed after her, mildly amused. She was certainly excited about the babies, to be sure. Perhaps the Yagami's would let her be part of their lives after this was all said and done. He sincerely doubted her parenting skills but maybe she'd make a good aunt or something.

The apartment was small and very close to what L had imagined. Misa was obviously an avid jewelry collector and had bits and pieces all around the apartment. The closet of her bedroom was filled to bursting with elaborate lace dresses and mannequin head arranged on her dresser sported wigs of various styles. Misa was certainly a model, both at work and at play.

Despite the overabundance of lace and diamonds, it wasn't so very annoying. It was endearing, almost, to know that she was letting him stay in this place. This was obviously her private world – the one that no one else ever got to see.

"Here's the other bedroom that I've been using for storage," Misa explained as they reached a tightly shut door. "The door sticks," she said as she put her shoulder into shoving it open. "Like, we can rearrange stuff and make it look nicer. I just have boxes in here right now but there's room for a futon. I sleep on a western style bed but I have a futon somewhere in here."

L hung back at the doorway and watched her poked through the stacked boxes. After a few moments, she let out a triumphant exclamation and pulled out the aforementioned futon. "Here we go! You don't mind futons, do you? I'll bet they don't sleep on futons in that window place you come from, huh?"

"Winchester," L corrected. "No, they mostly sleep on western style beds, but I haven't been to Winchester in a long time. I am accustomed to the sleeping habits of many countries, so the futon will more than suffice. Perhaps some extra blankets could be added to it, though?"

"Oh, no problem! I've got this great comforter, you'll really like it. It's got skulls on it!"

--

The room full of boxes felt familiar and comfortable to L. It reminded him of moving from place to place with Watari, never staying anywhere for too long. It kept him from feeling tied down to this apartment. If he wanted to, he could pretend that any moment, he'd need to grab his laptop and catch the next flight to America or Germany – wherever his latest case came from.

Problem was that he couldn't seem to get to sleep. Curled up under the "skull blanket," he would stare at the boxes for long hours into the night, wondering what was inside of them. Dead bodies, he thought grimly to himself. Or perhaps weapons of some sort. Likely, they were actually filled with clothes and not nearly as interesting as L dreamed them to be.

It was lying in bed like this that he noticed how his abdomen had rounded as he rested his hands on top of the small bump. The twins were making themselves known, finally.

--

Things didn't make sense to Light these days. He moved about as though in a daze, allowing nurses to handle him and care for him without complaints. But he was certain that there had been a time when things made sense. He knew there had to be. Now, though, there were so many burry memories floating aimlessly in his head like stray pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Sometimes, there was a man's voice that talked to him instead of the nurses. He barely paid the nurses any mind but he knew this man was important; this man could give him information. So he talked, hoping for some kind of help from the other, anything to ease his agonizing confusion.

"Just woke up like this," he whispered, eyes fixed on nothing in particular. "I'm not crazy, I just don't remember those things that I… that I keep remembering. Please, tell me I'm not crazy. Why don't things make sense?"

"Kira, what do you remember?" the old voice spoke to him sternly. "What did you do?"

That name sparked something in Light. He knew it so well. It was almost like a brand seared across his heart. "I'm not Kira. My name is Yagami Light. I'm a normal college student. I make good grades, I work hard. I'm not Kira. I wouldn't…"

"Wouldn't?"

"No, I wouldn't."

--

The café was small, simple, and served wonderful muffins. It was out of the way, so L liked coming here the best. The baby bump wasn't quite visible through his clothes at four and a half months but he was still paranoid about it. When he went out (if ever) he liked to keep himself hidden from prying eyes.

"Finish your egg," Misa reminded him, poking her fork at the egg that he'd only eaten about half of in the 45 minutes they'd been in the café. "You need the extra protein, remember? If you don't eat right, Ryuzaki, they're gonna' come out, like, tiny or something." She lifted her fingers and indicated the possible size with her thumb and forefinger.

L just slouched and reluctantly picked up his own fork. "Children aren't worth it," he swore under his breath as he eyed the egg like an enemy to be faced down. "I haven't had anything sweet all day," he mourned, eyes straying to the lovely muffins on display at the counter.

"Hurry up before they get here," Misa prodded stubbornly. "And don't even start with that, you so had waffles with syrup for breakfast and a pop tart on the way here. So eat or you won't get a muffin at all because Yagami-san and his family will be here and we'll have to leave to see the new apartment without buying one."

That was enough to talk L into finishing the egg. He swallowed it down in as few bites as possible, managing to smear egg all over his mouth in the process. "Now?" he asked hopefully, giving her his best pout. She took her napkin and scrubbed at his face as she rolled her eyes.

"You're such a baby, Ryuzaki. Yeah, go get a muffin. But nothing too sweet!"

She didn't complain when he sat back down with a double chocolate chunk muffin and began to happily munch it. "It's good," he told her brightly through a mouthful. "Want a bite?" He offered the half eaten muffin to her. She held up a hand.

"Uh, no thanks," she replied with a grimace. "You can have it."

L shrugged his shoulders. If she didn't want any muffin, he wasn't going to force it on her. That just meant more for him. Licking the crumbs from his mouth, he grinned at her. "Amane-san should get one of the poppy seed muffins, they're very good."

"Sweets are bad for my figure," she insisted stubbornly. "I've got a big shoot coming up in a couple weeks, so I've got to be really careful and all that candy that you leave laying around the house is totally making me fat. I've gained five pounds since you moved in!"

"Oh, you weigh a hundred pounds now?" he asked in mock surprise. "You're right, Amane-san, I apologize. Obviously, leaving candy lying about was an invitation I should not have offered. In fact, I insist that whenever you find that candy from now on, you should simply tell me and I will stop whatever I am doing to retrieve it and properly dispose of it."

The look on her face said she didn't appreciate the sarcasm and she waved her fork at him. "You don't need it anymore than I do, smarty pants," she reminded him. "I'll just throw it away instead. You are so going to rot your teeth if you keep eating sweets like that. I'm surprised you haven't already done it."

L flashed her a grin, showing off pearly white teeth. "I take the utmost care of my teeth, Amane-sand. Without teeth, it would be quite difficult to partake of sweets."

The bells on the door of the café jingled and both L and Misa turned to see Soichiro and Sachiko enter the establishment. Misa beamed and waved them over. "We're over here! We just finished our meals!" She stood and gathered her bags as they approached. L shoved the last of his muffin into his mouth before following.

"Amane-san, you look nice today," Sachiko greeted, pleasantly surprised by the long, flowing skirt that Misa had donned with a simple black top and matching boots. It was much more conservative than what Misa had been known for wearing in the past.

"My manager wants me to go for a more girl next door kind of look," Misa explained, twirling around in her skirt. "It's not really my style but it's nice to try something new every now and then, I think! You look wonderful too, Yagami-san!"

The older woman blushed deeply but smiled. Her eyes turned to L and widened slightly. "Oh… Dear, you look… nice too…"

L shoved his hands into the pockets of the light blue hoodie that Misa had forced him into and shrugged his shoulders. "I asked Amane-san to pick up a sweatshirt for me but she got this instead. It still serves its purpose, so I have not complained. It is a little bright, though."

"A little," Sachiko agreed, her smile returning. "Okay, you two, let's go see this apartment and figure out if it's the one you want."

They rode the train to the apartment and L didn't mind all the people surrounding them when he was sandwiched safely between Soichiro and Misa. He openly stared at the other passengers, often making them shift uncomfortably in their seats, but he was oblivious to their discomfort. It was interesting to study them all like this in their natural environment – watching the way they all went through the motions, slowly working their ways to their last breath.

Life, he decided, was a strange and wonderful study.

"The view is great!" Misa gushed, standing in front of the apartment's huge windows. The view overlooked the city below and a huge expanse of blue sky. The blonde lifted her arms and held them out from her body, inhaling deeply. "I feel like I could fly out of them!"

"Dangerous," L told her simply as he moved away to inspect the spacious kitchen. The granite countertops were nice and new. "I should learn to cook," he mused to himself as he ran a finger along the polished surface.

While Soichiro and Sachiko carefully inspected the pipes and electricity, Misa danced about in the living room with the light shining in on her from the windows. "We could put my sofa right here," she indicated, "and the television set could go here. I think I'll get a new one if I get a really big paycheck. A widescreen! I always wanted a widescreen."

"There are three bedrooms," Soichiro said, "so you could turn the smallest one into a study."

"Or a dressing room!" Misa suggested before throwing herself onto the living room carpet. "Oh, it's so soft!"

"I like the idea of a study," L mused, folding his hands around the baby bump. "I might buy a desktop computer. They're better for running my preferred programs and storing large amounts of information. I have a few mini projects I could easily turn into a database of sources and leads for the police, Yagami-san, regarding some still unsolved cases in the area."

"You've been keeping up with the news, of course." Soichiro arched an eyebrow. "…If you would like to continue your work as L, we could use your help. Just don't push yourself too hard. Do whatever feels comfortable."

"…I don't think I'll be L anymore," the young man murmured after a moment's thought. "I did quit, after all. However, Eraldo Coil and Denuve have yet to resign their posts. Please be on the lookout for the two of them."

--

A week later, L had sworn off leaving the apartment for any reason. The windows, which had initially captured Misa's imagination, turned out to be L's favorite part of the apartment. It was nice to stare out at the people below with the safe glass shield protecting him from everything. And these days, he'd developed a habit of pacing about the living room, as the babies made it more and more difficult for him to find a comfortable position when he tried to sit or lay down.

Said babies were very active now and seemed intent on bruising up L's insides before they were big enough to make themselves known in the world. At first, he'd kept quiet about it, slightly embarrassed to speak about it to anyone, but Misa had seen him flinch in pain on various occasions and had eventually put two and two together. She was constantly nagging him now, wanting to feel the bump to see if the babies would kick when she did. So far, she had been disappointed.

Sachiko had called the previous day to tell him that she was going shopping for baby clothes and like and Soichiro had started to renovate Light's room to turn it into a nursery. She'd asked if L wanted to go with her but he'd politely declined.

"You are so going to wear a hole in the carpet," Misa commented with a sigh as she walked into the room, fastening an earring as she went. "I'll bring Chinese food back with me, okay? We haven't had anything bad for us in a while."

L paused in his pacing, his stomach growling at the offer. "Coconut shrimp," he told her before turning on the television. The news flickered to life on the screen and L resumed his pacing as he watched and absorbed the information.

--

"There's the first one's head," Yamakawa explained as he pointed at the much more definable shape of a baby on the screen. "And there's the second one. They both look happy and healthy, Yagami-san. Congratulations, you're officially at the halfway point with no complications. Would you like to find out what the sexes are?"

L watched the screen in curiosity. He almost said no to the question because part of him wanted to be surprised but then he remembered that Soichiro and Sachiko would probably want to know. Reluctantly, he nodded. "Go ahead and tell me, if it's possible," he replied.

When he left the hospital that day, it was with the knowledge that his body was currently housing a little boy and a little girl.

--

L hugged a pillow to his chest, his face contorted in agony, as Misa attempted to work out the kinks in his back. "The doctor told you about your posture," she scolded him, shaking her head. "You're almost six months pregnant – the damage is pretty much down now."

"I know," he growled back at her irritably. "I think I need a back brace. My spine is ill-designed for this sort of strain."

She paused in the massage and sighed, resting her cheek against his shoulder. "… You're huge," she remarked with a giggle, quickly ducking when he swatted at her. "I'll make you a smoothie," she suggested. "Strawberry, right?"

--

"What's it like, living with Misa-Misa?" Sayu asked from where she was lying upside down in the living room armchair. "Like, it's gotta' be totally cool. Hey, Ryuzaki, do you think you and Misa-Misa would ever date? Sorry, I know that's a weird question. I'm just curious because you do live with her and all and Mom and Dad talk about it sometimes."

L looked over at her with wide eyes. "… Amane is not my type," he finally replied, shaking his head.

"Oh, you like guys?" Sayu questioned. "I'm totally cool with that too. I have friends at school who're gay. Dad thinks it's weird but I don't see a problem with it, you know? You think you are? Like, what's your dream guy look like?"

"Sayu," L replied with a sigh. "I appreciate your company – it was nice of you to come over. However, my sexuality is one of those things I don't really discuss with anyone. I believe it to be a private matter, you see?"

The girl pouted. "Okay, sorry, I was being too nosey. But hypothetically, if you liked guys, who's your type?"

"… Ryuga Hideki," L replied after a moment's consideration.

"Seriously?! I have all his movies! I so have to bring them over!"

--

He'd read up on the matter and he knew that increased libido was very typical at this stage of pregnancy but every time he started to feel the urge, he still had a habit of turning on a warm shower and hiding under the spray as he pleasured himself, needing to feel like he was cleaning off the filth even as he inflicted it upon himself.

The worst was when he reached orgasm and Light's face flashed in his mind. Every time it happened, he'd curl up on his bed and pull the covers over his head and hide there, sometimes for a few hours, sometime for a few days. Occasionally, Misa would attempt to get him to talk to her about it but he always refused.

"Look, I know you're still messed up," she spoke gently to the mound of blankets one day. "…I just want you to know that I'm your friend and you can tell me about anything, even if it's gross or something."

"I'm fine," the mound of blankets replied.

"You don't look fine," Misa said, reaching out to gently poke the mound. "Come out of there, Ryuzaki, I made supper and you're letting it get cold."

After a moment, L threw back his blankets and stared up at her. "Help?" he asked, holding out a hand to her.

--

L was having a lovely dream and this was odd because he normally didn't have vivid dreams. They were often mixed up swirling facts that had little or no defining forms. However, in this dream there was a huge cupcake with a strawberry and L could see it as plainly as he had ever seen anything. He could practically taste that cupcake and his mouth watered as he was about to take a bite…

A sharp scream snapped him back into consciousness with a surprised shout of his own and he nearly fell off the couch. Luckily, Misa grabbed hold of him and pulled him back. She stared down at him with a sheepish, guilty expression.

"I'm so sorry! I know I shouldn't have but you were sleeping and I thought I'd just have a feel instead of bothering you when you're awake, you know?" she jabbered excitedly. "I mean, a feel of the babies! I just really wanted to see if I could feel them kick and one of them did! So then I got so excited that, I don't know, it just came out. I'm so sorry! I woke you up!"

L sighed and shook his head as his body began to relax again. "… Could you get me a cupcake?"

--

The maternity clothes that Sachiko had brought to L were starting to feel rather snug. L spent some time in front of Misa's mirror, displeased with what he saw. He'd always had a fantastic metabolism and what weight he did gain, he'd worked off with a few different forms of exercise. However, there was no way he could work off all the weight he was gaining right now.

"Single moms sometimes have a hard time dealing with this sort of thing," Yamakawa told him gently. "You don't have a spouse to tell you that you still look good. But the facts, and I know you appreciate facts, are this; the weight is important for a healthy pregnancy. You need to be especially safe with your twins – there's always a higher risk. You're seven months along now – premature is a very real threat."

--

The refrigerator was covered in ultrasound pictures and pregnancy tips, held up with colorful magnets that Misa had gotten into a habit of buying when she went shopping. L often caught himself staring at the images, tracking his babies' development from the earliest image to the latest. They looked human at this point. They looked real.

Misa and Sayu insisted on sneaking him down to the hotel's swimming pool and despite his objections, he found himself enjoying the sensation of weightlessness as he finally gave his tired legs a rest in the water. However, he was too paranoid to stay in the water long, for fear of another tenant spotting him, and soon abandoned the sanctuary of the water.

Sleep was ridiculously hard and L was certain that this was the most uncomfortable experience in the world. Why did so many people go through this by choice?

--

"This is ridiculous," L grumbled as Misa struggled to fit a pair of headphones over his baby bump. "You're just going to upset them and I'm the one that has to suffer for it."

Misa shook her head stubbornly. "I want them to be singers!" she insisted stubbornly. "Someone said that playing music for them when they're still in the womb helps. I mean, it sounds silly, but you never know. Wouldn't they be cute, Ryuzaki? Twin singers! Or maybe they'd play piano and violin together, that would be so adorable!"

"I am very seriously considering murder, Amane," L warned, even as the faint sound of Misa's singing began to filter through the headphones. "And of course it's your CD. Brilliant."

--

At eight months, L felt like he was going to explode at any moment. Unfortunately, any moment was constantly threatening to arrive, with Braxton-Hicks contractions sending him to the hospital in a tizzy about ever three days. Yamakawa had warned L repeatedly that with twins, labor was likely to come early. By now, L was getting stir-crazy. He was ready for the babies to be born because they'd taken up housing in his body for far too long by now.

He wanted to be able to walk again.

However, he refused to stay in the hospital for the remaining weeks.

"I brought you something," Misa said, oddly solemn as she put her bag down on the couch. She took out to teddy bears, one blue and one pink. "I know you're set on giving them away but you've been through a lot for these babies, Ryuzaki. You should… You should think about what you're doing, okay?"

L hid the bears in his closet.

--

A few weeks later, L was doing his best to clean the apartment with his limited mobility. He wasn't getting a lot done and it probably wasn't a bright idea, but he desperately needed something to keep him busy. Misa had tried to talk him out of it at first but had finally given up and settled for following him around, laughing when he had to give up and ask her to help him move things.

In the middle of pushing the couch to the other side of the living room, L suddenly froze, his eyes widening. Misa paused as well, frowning in concern. "Ryuzaki, what's wrong?" she asked gently, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Are you okay?"

L turned to her and spoke only one word. "Now."

~TBC