Title: I Won't Say
Genre: Humor, fluff, romance, drama, family, angst and hurt-comfort
Warnings: Slash; consent issues; morally questionable actions and ideals; delightfully AU after the end of Yotsuba Arc. Oh, and fluff. Like, cotton candy all around. Grab your xylitol.
Disclaimers: I do not own Death Note or its characters. This is a piece of fanfiction and I have never and will never make money off it. The title of the story is from a song by the same name, "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" by Alan Menken for Disney's Hercules. Bits of the song are semi-quoted later in the story. The story also employs another Disney song in one of the later chapters, also by Alan Menken: "Belle" from The Beauty and the Beast.
Summary: Having found out L's name, Light can finally have everything he wants: the world and, more importantly, L. Convincing L, however, turns out to be more difficult than killing him, especially with a house full of orphans to stir the soup. Christmas fluff balanced by a power struggle between the dynamic duo. Edited version up as of Jan 2017.
A/N: This story is my baby in so many ways. Originally started in December 2008, written with massive gaps between updates, and finished in December 2011, this fic has seen and, to a degree, reflected my most tumultuous years to date. I'm not proud of all of it, but I am proud of myself for finishing such a long, multi-chapter story in a foreign language, and it remains to this day my first and last finished multi-chapter story written in English. As of today, December 2016, eight years after I started this behemoth and five years after I finally wrapped it up, it still receives favorites on FF net almost every week, and even the occasional review. At 349 reviews, 331 follows and a staggering 724 favorites it's still my most popular story ever, and I am absolutely humbled and grateful for such continued success. I realize that as the story hasn't been updated since 2011, every new comment and favorite since then has been due to someone recommending this story, or due to the number of favorites and comments putting it near the top of the list when you search FF net for LightxL stories, and as such, I owe everything to you, my fantastic readers. Thank you.
As my more prolific writing years seem to be behind me for the moment, I'm returning to bask in my old victories. My English has improved a great deal since the beginning, and I have, for years now, been meaning to go back and edit the story, but kept putting that off because of the first few chapters, which I felt were more cringe-worthy than some of the later ones. I've mainly edited the language: misspelled words, grammar, awkward sentence structures and word choices, but the first two chapters have been partially rewritten. The changes are mostly small, and won't affect the plot; the additions are there to make the existing plot more coherent, tie the chapters together a bit better, and bring it a little closer to canon. As much as I'd like to edit some things more, I have always believed that minor changes and corrections aside, stories should not be altered after being published. Thus, the changes won't make the story something wholly new to read, but will, I hope, make it more pleasant to re-read should anyone wish to do that.
English is still not my first language. Also, despite most of the events taking place in the UK, I have long since settled on AmE, and deemed it better to not try and switch for this. I still use the occasional British phrase and word, though, but assume that it's generally because I don't always realize that it's only used in BrE.
A quick word about canon – I haven't read DN in years, but I'm aware that my story is not entirely canon-compliant even if you disregard the blatant change from canonical mystery-thriller doom and gloom to my sugary, sarcastic brand of humor and fluff and accept that it goes AU after Yotsuba. I have done my best to fill in some of the biggest plot-holes a little later into the story, and tried to do so in the earlier chapters as well by a few small additions.
One big hole remains, though: it is explicitly stated in the original Death Note that a Shinigami can't reveal the name of a person to a human. I can't recall if it was simply impossible, or if it would have killed the Shinigami, like when a Shinigami writes down a name for a human. Either way, I had completely forgotten about that when I started writing my story eight years ago, and as my explanation of how Light got L's name was Rem revealing it to him, believing that it would enable Light to protect Misa from L, I hit a wall there. If telling Light L's name would have resulted in Rem's death, then I couldn't in any way justify to myself why Rem would have done that when she could have ensured Misa's safety far better by killing L for exactly the same price, as she did in canon. In the end, I decided to leave this particular plot-hole be. As I already went AU enough to make L a semi-regular resident of Wammy's house and known to his successors (when in canon the kids were not at all familiar with L and only knew him as a position to aim for), I figured I could also scratch over one Death Note rule.
And speaking of canon-related issues, be warned that the characters will be slightly OC, although hopefully not unbearably so. I did my best to write them as in character as possible considering the change in genre and style. Despite the humorous, lighthearted nature of the fic, I wanted it to be as believable in the DN canon as possible, but of course, writing the characters completely IC and still managing a funny, sweet story with a happy ending would have been next to impossible, and sacrifices had to be made. I'd like to think that I've toned down some of the more serious characteristics (as well as murderous tendencies) and exaggerated the ones more suitable for the purposes of this fic rather than downright changed the characters. I hope you can still enjoy it!
Thus concludes my massive, hulking behemoth of an author's note.
"Light-kun, I am one hundred percent sure that you are Kira."
A silence. Only rain filled the air between them.
Light Yagami smirked. "Well, L Lawliet, I believe you are correct."
"L, there's a message in your inbox."
L bit his lip and didn't turn, but he glanced at his former Kira suspect from the corner of his eye. Light's voice was pleasant enough, but there was an unsettling gleam in his eyes, and L had noticed that he now invariably used L rather than Ryuzaki whenever they were alone. To gloat, or to keep reminding L that he'd lost, that Kira now had his real name, the detective wasn't sure, but it hardly mattered.
"It's from Roger," Light continued, a new, persistent edge to his voice. L flinched as he felt his chain-mate's hands settle gently (but very persuasively) on his shoulders, and attempted to withdraw from the contact, only to find the grip adamant. Light was already utilizing every bit of information he had managed to squeeze – blackmail – out of the shell-shocked detective right after their encounter in the pouring rain.
"Later," L murmured, shrugging slightly to dislodge the offending hands from his shoulders; Light's fingers dug into the soft material of his shirt, and refused to budge. L felt his mouth twist in an uncharacteristic grimace as he fought his natural instinct to whip around and kick the younger man square in the jaw; he didn't wish to anger his volatile captor, not just yet.
"It's about you celebrating Christmas at Wammy's."
This surprised L enough that he turned and stared at the younger man incredulously. "Light-kun read my e-mail?"
Something in Light's expression shifted as L turned to look at him. Satisfaction, L realized, and cursed himself for allowing the younger man bait him. To his relief, this also meant that Light removed his hands from his narrow shoulders to cross his arms across his chest in a smug display of dominance. "Perhaps," he replied silkily.
"Is Light-kun aware that it is against the law, not to mention terrible manners, to look through another person's mail?"
"Oh?" Light smiled and blinked, the very picture of innocence. "Confining a person for, say, fifty full days and nights, installing cameras in his house without so much as a by-your-leave, and chaining said person to your person is, I suppose, a whole another matter."
L scowled. "Fair enough," he grudgingly admitted, well aware that his conduct had, as always, teetered on the edge of criminally insane and thus was hardly better than Light's.
Light basked in yet another victory for a minute, allowing L a short, precious moment of silence. All too soon, however, Light was addressing him again.
"The message, L," he reminded the detective, and it sounded almost gentle.
L took a deep breath, sincerely regretting ever getting involved in this case. Light had played him, utterly and completely; L had expected death and/or humiliation the moment they returned from the rooftop, but this was almost worse, not knowing what was going to happen.
Neither death nor overt humiliation had taken place so far, and L's last-ditch attempt to make Light back off – his threat that there would be people to step in for him, for Watari, and that there would always be someone after Kira – had backfired magnificently. In his anger, pride, and fear for Watari's life, he had revealed too much to his enemy, who hadn't rested until he had managed to provoke, prod and bully the rest of the information out of him. Light now knew there was a man called Roger, who ran an orphanage by the name of Wammy's House; he knew that the place was a sort of headquarters for L; and he knew there were people L cared about there, because the detective had snapped his mouth shut at that and had refused to divulge any more information no matter how Light had worded his threats. He knew, from the name, that at least some of these people were children, and perhaps, just perhaps that was why the younger man had stopped soon after realizing that L wasn't going to reveal any more. After all, Kira had never targeted a minor, and L fervently wished that it was because even Kira had a code of some sort.
"I will read it later," L repeated, slightly more forcefully this time, determined to not be pushed around.
"Now, L," Light replied, his voice and smile still pleasant but with a steely glint in his eyes. "Or shall I print it out for you? Surely that would pose an unnecessary security risk."
Slightly alarmed and more than slightly defeated, L logged into his mailbox. How Light had come to possess all six of his passwords was beyond him, considering that even Matt hadn't been able to hack through them... or at least, he hadn't been caught doing so. Smug and victorious, the younger man had graciously told him how he had found out his name, if only to appease the frantic detective and convince him that no one he cared about had been killed or tortured for that information. Shinigami Eyes! All those years spent trying to erase his identity from existence, and there it had been all the time: his name, floating right above his head. It was ridiculous. And trust Light Yagami to smooth-talk a ghastly, mummy-like monster (and frankly, L was not quite yet over that either) into simply handing over such valuable information!
Perhaps that's how he knows my passwords, too, L thought venomously to himself as hestarted to read Roger's message, already knowing what it would say. Perhaps they are floating over me right now, along with my shoe size and home address and social security number…
Just like he'd thought: he was expected at Wammy's orphanage within a few days, for while there was nothing regular about L's visits to his old home, Christmas had always been an exception to that rule. Roger, who had always been like an uncle to the detective while Watari had played the part of a father figure, said in his typical very polite manner that he was welcome in the most fortunate case that he could possibly afford to take a break from whatever he was currently investigating. He also said that in the very unfortunate case he was unable to attend the yearly celebrations, Mello and Matt had sworn to take the detective's stuffed panda (and, apparently, Near) hostage, and to prevent Roger from sending the packages of English sweets and tea L was accustomed to receiving once a week.
This left L in a very tight spot. He wanted to go, of course – not just so his source of English sweets wouldn't run dry, but because he did miss the kids, too. But Light had made it clear that he wished for them to remain chained for the time being, and the younger man was hardly going to allow him to go unsupervised either way, well aware that a very short time was all L needed to arrange his arrest. As much as they were still chained and Light was officially L's suspect, it was now L imprisoned by his own chains. He had no idea why Light still insisted on keeping up with this charade, but he was reasonably certain that it was merely a phase while the younger man waited for whatever nefarious plan he had devised to fall into place. In the meantime, he was hardly going to let his nemesis out of his eyes, let alone allow him to fly off to the other side of the planet without him.
And while it would have been alright, in his opinion, to drag an unsuspecting Kira suspect to Britain to celebrate Christmas with Wammy's Freak Show, Open 24/7, it was a whole another matter to drag a suspicious Kira to the place L called home and where his successors were still growing up. And to let said suspicious Kira drag him there was twice as unthinkable...
"I'll start packing, then," he suddenly registered Light's voice saying.
"For what?" L inquired petulantly, but his stomach was already sinking.
"Why, we're obviously going to England," Light stated with a smirk.
"May I have your attention, please?"
Eyes turned to look at L, who had turned his chair away from his computer to address his co-workers. Their faces were expectant, apprehensive, excited; not sure what L would say, they expected the worst and hoped for the best.
"Gentlemen," the detective continued slowly, hesitantly, shooting imaginary daggers at the auburn-haired young man sitting next to him. Light had insisted that this had to be his idea, come from his mouth, for the rest of the Task Force to fold. "I have been thinking, and I have reached two conclusions. One, the case is currently at a standstill. There have been no developments over the last few weeks, after Higuchi's death. Two…" His arms circled his bent legs, hugging them to his chest. "We have all worked very hard for a long time. I believe we have deserved a little…" His eyes flitted to Light and back to his knees. "… break," he finished grudgingly.
Break just was not a part of his vocabulary unless it had the word cake attached to it.
The members of the Task Team were making their disbelief apparent as well.
"Ryuzaki, that's a wonder –" Matsuda started enthusiastically, but was interrupted by Aizawa.
"What an irresponsible thought!" the man yelled, slamming his fists to the coffee table.
"... wondrously irresponsible, that's what I was going to say," Matsuda finished hastily.
Chief Yagami was frowning, but seemed more receptive to the idea than his co-worker. "Ryuzaki, please explain your thoughts to us. I admit that a break would do us all a great deal of good, but I really doubt that Kira will take a break from his crusade just because it's Christmas. I thought we had established that Kira is almost certainly Japanese, so he will be unlikely to celebrate Christmas, anyway."
"Oh, but he will," Light piped up. "We figured -"
"Light, you're in this with him?" Chief Yagami asked in surprise.
"I am, Father," the young man nodded. L glowered at him petulantly and very nearly hissed, 'You'd damn well better!'
Taking his cue, Light stood up and moved to stand behind L, commandeering his mouse and proceeding to click away as he explained to the others, "You see, the Second Kira gave us an idea. If we were to send in a video to Sakura TV, just like we did before, and state that Kira will, in the Christmas spirit of mercy and forgiveness, cease to judge criminals for the duration of, say, seven days… seven, of course, to exploit his or her God complex and in reference to the seven-day creation of the world in Genesis…" He opened a file he had created the previous night, and clicked play. Static and the garbled voice of 'Kira' filled the room.
"… for seven days, I shall rest. Celebrate this time of peace with your loved ones, but know that any ill deed done over this time will be punished for at a later time."
Seeing that the Task Force still looked less than convinced, Light smiled at them. "Kira views himself – or herself – as a benevolent savior of good people, and wants the world to do so, too," he said. "They will be forced to keep the promise they haven't given, because if they don't, they will lose their face in the world's eyes."
L hummed his agreement, bobbing his head up and down in a nod. The gears in his head were turning wildly, analyzing Light's speech: was the younger man talking about himself, or just trying to convince his father that the plan would work? Yes, Kira had apparently only intended to kill criminals, until he had felt threatened by the FBI… But a benevolent savior of good people? That was a bit too much for L's cynical mind to accept.
"Oh, that's brilliant!" Matsuda's face lighted up again. "But," he added in confusion, "if we can stop him from killing for a week or two, then why not send in a tape which we say that Kira will end his judgment for good?"
L shook his head, once again wondering how the man had made it so far in the NPA. "Obviously, he – or she – would find a puppet to send in a tape to say that the one we sent was a fake, and that nothing of the sort will happen," he replied. "But I feel confident that they will not turn down this one, because even though they will know it's our doing, they will see this as a chance to win more people over. Who knows, perhaps even Kira will appreciate a chance to have short break – after all, he or she must lead an otherwise normal life."
"Can we afford that?" Aizawa asked, still angry but slightly hesitant now. "Shouldn't we use such a break in murders to… try and catch him without the bodies piling up?"
"Fortunately Kira has slowed down considerably as of late, so yes, I believe we can afford to have a break, too," L nodded. "Additionally, there are quite a few studies that show that breaks have a positive effect on morale and thus will often create results sooner than sleepless nights and long hours." The remark caused more than a few raised brows and meaningful glances at L's own disheveled appearance. The detective shrugged, decided to not address the looks, and instead played his best card. "I also believe that you all have families and friends you wish to spend some time with," he added, knowing that this would be all he needed to say to convince Aizawa, who, unlike anyone else in Task Force, had small kids. Aizawa's expression softened at that, and Light shot a quick glance at L to remind him of the remaining part.
"... Myself included," the detective muttered resignedly, turning his eyes to the floor to avoid seeing the victorious gleam in Light's eyes.
Chief Yagami was surprised again, but if L had looked up, he would have seen something akin to fatherly amusement in his eyes. "Ryuzaki, are we to understand that you came up with this plot so you could celebrate Christmas with your family?"
"As a matter of fact, Light-kun was the one to 'come up with the plot'," L said, a little snappishly and irritably, avoiding the actual question. He threw one last vengeful thought in Light's general direction and decided to face the police chief's wrath all the way now that he was at it. "I was going to ask you for a permission to borrow your son for a week, actually."
"Ex... excuse me?"
L made sure to radiate murderous aura to his right side, where Light resided. "Yes," he said, purposefully softening his eyes and allowing a touch of (perfectly genuine) uncertainty show in his voice as his acting skills kicked in, his thumb rising to his lips as though on its own accord. "You see, Yagami-san, I told you the truth when I said that Light-kun is my very first friend. Since – since I know that the Japanese don't celebrate Christmas nearly as much as they do New Year's Eve, I have asked Light-kun if he'd like to come to England with me, all expenses paid for, and he has agreed. I will, naturally, return him home in time for New Year's celebrations."
Or as soon as we have landed, preferably, he thought wildly to himself, imagining knocking the pompous young man out with a... a... with whatever he could reach at the time, stuffing him into one of their bags, and sending him right back to Japan. Probably without the 'fragile – handle with care' sticker...
Chief Yagami looked slightly taken aback, glancing at his son. "Light, have you agreed to go with Ryuzaki?" he inquired.
"Yes, Father," Light admitted, looking for all the world like he was slightly abashed but determined to stand by his best friend anyway. "Christmas is as important in his culture as New Year is in ours. I thought it would be fitting to celebrate Christmas in his home, and New Year's Eve in mine, since we are best friends – and can't really be separated anyway," he chuckled, holding up his shackled wrist.
Noticing his cue, L gave him a carefully planned apologetic smile. The eyes behind that smile said either "Light-kun is going to die at very young age, probably as the very first victim of a detective-turned-chainsaw-murderer" or "Light-kun is in for a night flight, not a chance at a window seat or any Christmas presents, and babysitting the kids at Wammy's."
"Oh," Chief Yagami said, considering it for a moment before nodding and smiling in approval. "Well, if that is the case I don't see why I should disagree. It's about time for Light to get to see the world beyond our borders." There was an uncharacteristic grin on the man's face, and L could almost hear his thoughts: what a good boy Light was, taking poor, socially handicapped Ryuzaki under his wing! How lucky it was that Ryuzaki was also so intelligent – Light had always seemed so miserable without anyone quite smart enough to understand him! How sweet of Light to accompany Ryuzaki to his childhood home, since it was clearly very important for the detective!
And, above all: Ryuzaki had to be preparing to free Light of all suspicion! Surely the incredibly secretive man would never take someone he actually believed to be a murderer to his carefully guarded childhood home – this had to mean that the chain would come off any day now!
Yes, how sweet of him indeed!
Silence hung heavily between them. The rain was no longer the only thing that chilled L to the bones.
"How did you find out?" he whispered.
Light shrugged. "What makes you think I would tell you?"
"Because... you are going to kill me in any case." It stung to say it, but there was no way he could elude death this time.
But Light – no, Kira – was shaking his head. Smiling. "No, L Lawliet. On the contrary. I will tell you how I found out your name – and Watari's as well. From now on, I will tell you everything, and you will do the same. Because I am not going to kill you."