Oh, my. Here we are again. O.o

To all the readers of Poison Apple we tipped off about this a while back… Sorry it took so long. Incidentally I'm just going to go right back to blaming Narroch…

(Speaking of Poison Apple, thankyou so much to everyone who read it! It stands now at, I believe, 2033 reviews – which I think may be the highest review count for any story in the Death Note FFNet section! I wouldn't like to stake my life on it, but I haven't seen one so far with higher than that… So THANKYOU, everyone! We're so glad you enjoyed it – and the special "fairytale" addition at the end! In fact, Perdue liked it so much that she wrote a fanfic for it! Indeed, a fanfic for a fanfic! O.o It's called Human and there's a link on my profile under the AMV links if you want to read it – it's a little MelloxNear oneshot.)

Okay, so. This story. We hope you like it. I can say with confidence right now that it won't be as epic as Poison Apple, and there are also no Disney princesses. But we hope you like it anyway!

After all, it's still LxLight, and that's what you guys liked best about Poison Apple anyway, right?


The Monster You Made

L slammed him up against the wall.

"I don't think you want to die, Yagami-kun," he said; his voice, normally masked in monotone, was suddenly colored with anger, frustration – a moody, venomous mix that slid the threat into Light's mind far more effectively than the fists clenched in his shirt.

It was rare for L to show such crude behavior – his cautious causal reasoning would make even the most stringent empiricist envious. But he was also creative, willing to take risks and change the variables if it promised results. Revealing himself to Light while they were in university together was an example of that rashness, his attempt to startle a response. This unanticipated violence was no different and Light's eyes narrowed, his own anger visibly hardened in the amber.

"I don't think I need to reply to that," he bit out, pushing against L's skeletal fists, still twisted in the material of his shirt. "Why would you say that?"

L gave him an icy smile, matching the derision that still tinted his words.

"Yes, alright," he murmured. "I expected you to keep playing the Denial card, even now."

"I'm not Kira. We just caught Higuchi, a watershed in the case that was desperately needed, and yet you still insist on hanging on to these illogical threads. What the hell is wrong with you?"

L only snorted glibly in response before tightening his grip.

"The watershed you needed, you mean. …Of course, it's the same answer as always."

"You're the one who's like a damned broken record," Light spat. "Even now, when my innocence has been proven—"

"I might have known you'd assume that. That you'd have predicted, even hoped for, that. But as it remains, right now nothing has been proven either way…" L trailed off, perhaps hoping Light would be tempted to fill in the silence of the elliptical wake and reveal a clue.

Light ignored the bait and thrust his hands against L's chest, finally shoving him off.

"You make me sick," he said angrily. "Why can't you just accept that you're wrong?"

"Because I'm not wrong."

"First time for everyth—"

"No, Yagami-kun." L gazed at him hatefully. "I'm not wrong."

For all his excuses, deflections and premeditated answers, Light was struck speechless now, silenced by L's fierce, aggressive adamancy even in the face of the "evidence" that he usually valued so highly.

"And unless you do something about it very soon," L went on, his voice softer but no less vicious, "you're going to die."

L was cornering him.

Despite the fact that Light had already knocked down all the walls surrounding the case, L was still somehow cornering him. It was infuriating and nerve-racking that the detective could continue to proclaim Light as the prime Kira suspect (and Kira himself under his breath and behind veiled threats), even when his alibi was now airtight thanks to the manipulation of the Death Note rules. Light didn't know what other argument he could give, since the exonerating evidence should have spoken for itself. He'd set this all up very carefully, and although L had never really had any sort of concrete, tangible evidence against him, only his tenacious suspicion, now he definitely had nothing whatsoever to stand upon.

They'd caught Higuchi with the Death Note, he'd admitted to having used it, and then Light had killed him before he could be questioned further – and had done so right in front of L. More or less.

Not to mention that he'd thought ahead, predicted – as L had said – this outcome, and prepared the Death Note with the fake thirteen day rule that all but cleared he and Misa from suspicion.

So. Yes. L wasn't wrong.

He was going to have a hard time proving it, however.

Not that that seemed to matter to the detective right now. Light was still chained to him, L clinging to the teenager, his only suspect despite everything, in a desperate bid to be proven correct. Light saw right through the charade in disgust, but still the key to the handcuffs wasn't produced.

L hadn't won – but he hadn't lost yet, either.

Light could only take comfort in the fact that L's earlier violence probably stemmed from the detective's frustration. Even though L acted secure in his own knowledge, Light could tell that he was getting desperate.

All Light had to do was wait him out, and not trip up in the process.

Light slept on the same side of the bed he'd been sleeping in for the past few months, the handcuff leaving its imprint deep into the skin of his wrist, so that it would only just have faded by the following lunchtime. He'd found it difficult to drift off that night, still unspeakably annoyed at L, by the way he had shoved him against the wall earlier. It hadn't been sexual – rather, it had been a display of hostile frustration, a scare tactic to try and intimidate him, but Light felt more annoyed by that. Nobody pushed Kira around, physically or mentally, especially not L.

But he slept now, oblivious to L, who was far from asleep. The jerking and jingling of the chain as L remained awake when he was sleeping didn't bother Light anymore.

He only awoke when L wanted him to, doggedly pulling back the edges of sleep, making the room appear in spliced flashes of dream and waking until the detective's persistent prodding separated them out.

"What?" he asked sleepily, raising his head from the pillow slightly to look up at the detective through the darkness of the room.

"I think you know what, Kira-kun."

"That again?" Light sighed dismissively at the name and settled back down onto his pillow. He closed his eyes, willing himself back into the skin of sleep that still clung to him, trying to shut down before L could start another debate.

"Yes, that again," L said bitterly, tugging the covers off just enough to prevent Light from sinking under. "And again and again and again, until you tell me what I want to hear."

Light ground his teeth for a second of resistance before opening his eyes; he could not ignore such a blatant threat. He glared through the shadows, trying to fix his eyes with L's. But even from a few feet away the darkness made it difficult; L's face had taken on a strange terrain, shadowy tracks removing all detail. His distinctive eyes which normally held the same attentive inquisitiveness of a blackbird were now just dark circular voids.

"What do you want to hear, L? I don't sing very well but I do know some Shakespeare soliloquies in perfect English."

"How humorous you are."

"It's nothing compared to how annoying you are."

L didn't reply verbally to this, instead grabbing Light by his hair and lifting him from the pillow again, forcing him to sit up. Light twisted in his grip with a hiss of pain, smacking him away.

"Stop tossing me around like I'm some silly rag-doll or something!" he snapped, rubbing at his skull.

"Oh, Yagami-kun, shut up," L sighed. "I can't stand your whining."

"And I can't stand you!" Light bit out, fully fired up now. He was already irritated by the rude awakening and getting a bruise on his skull to match the bruise on his ego wasn't improving his mood.

"Oh, this is wonderful – this idle, old-married-couple banter of ours." L sat down on the bed and leaned towards Light, his expression dangerously blank. "Listen to me and listen well, Light Yagami – I am sick to death of this. Do you think I'm an idiot? Well, even if you do, you're wrong, because I know when I'm right, even if I don't have the evidence to prove it. You are Kira, and if I hear you deny it one more time—"

"What, you think you can threaten me into confessing that I'm Kira?" Light spat incredulously, not backing down from the violation of personal space. "Corrupt methods, L? I never would have thought it of you."

"It's more like Good Cop, Bad Cop, Yagami-kun… except that I'm not playing Good Cop anymore," L said, with such complete seriousness that Light couldn't help but give a harsh demeaning laugh.

"How dramatic. Tell me, which police TV show did you get this speech from?"

L gave a sigh and sat back, rocking contemplatively on the balls of his feet.

"Well," he reasoned, more to himself, "I might have known you'd be like this. You talk far too much, Yagami-kun – always having something to say for yourself, a defense, if you will. You are, overall, an extremely defensive person. It's almost mechanical. Very strange, even…"

"You've never heard of being quick-witted?" Light asked icily.

"It's not being quick-witted. It's ironic that you mentioned Shakespeare – that you know some of the soliloquies, I mean. You know them by heart, presumably because they have been learnt. Rehearsed, perhaps. That's how you often seem, Yagami-kun. Your clever defenses that always deflect my suspicion away from you… they are too clean, too perfect, they seem rehearsed to me, as though you predicted my reaction. As though you set up the situation so that I would react in no other way but the one which you foresaw."

Only a chilling tingle along his spine acknowledged the truth in L's words; beyond that Light betrayed nothing. No matter how perfect L's assumptions might be, he would never be able to move them out of the realm of speculation.

"Ryuzaki, that's ridiculous."

"Ridiculous? Yes. Impossible? No." L smirked. "Likely? I'd say so."

"I'm. Not. Kira," Light hissed. "Even when you have proof—"

"I don't have any proof that you're not Kira."

"You don't have any proof that I am Kira!"

"I know that you are."

"You don't know that – you just think you do."

"Just the way," L agreed airily, "that Yagami-kun thinks he is going to get away with convincing me that he isn't Kira."

"That… that's not even the same—"

"Yagami-kun." L shot him an odd, twisted smile. "I hope you realize how much this useless cyclical reasoning amuses me. I have great respect for you – you are almost my equal. Your deductive ability is astounding, so much that you have helped the NPA on minor cases prior to this one. However… no matter your potential, you are not a detective. I, on the other hand, am all three of the world's top three-ranked detectives, and have been for several years. And yet you… you are arguing with me. You really have no respect for me at all, do you?"

"I…" Light faltered as L effectively pinpointed a weakness and exploited it, showing off the gap between them that Light often forgot existed. He clenched his fists and fired back: "That's because I know what you're like, and you… you're just a spoilt childish brat!"

"Ah, such hurtful words, but you forgot to add that I am a very powerful spoilt childish brat." L leaned closer to Light again (who by this point was regarding him warily, his cinnamon eyes wide and guarded). "Here's how it works, Yagami-kun: This is my case. Nobody besides the task force really knows what is going on with regards to this investigation. The fact is that I could really just go back to the ICPO and present just about anybody I choose to them as Kira. I've earned that kind of status at this point, and that kind of unquestionable power." His oblivional eyes gleamed. "…My pointed being that if I truly wanted you executed, Light Yagami, it wouldn't be a problem for me."

"That's abuse of power!" Light hissed, unable to hide his horror and disgust at L's words.

The powerful nerve-racking truth of those words.

"It is. However, I would argue that using the Death Note to kill criminals is also an abuse of power."

"That's got nothing to do with me."

"Still saying that?"

"…Even if I were Kira and were to confess," Light said in a hard voice, "you'd have me executed anyway, so how exactly do you expect to force a confession out of me by threatening to have me executed?"

"It's a crude method, I admit – but it would get the job done either way."

"A desperate, baseless method is more like it! Do you know what my father would do to you if—"

"Ah, yes, your father. I would regret bringing that kind of pain upon him, of course. Yagami-san is a good man. But as for "what he would do to me"…" L smirked again. "I'm L, Yagami-kun. I can completely disappear if and when I choose to."

There was relative silence for a moment as they stared at the darkness in the other's face. The tension was so tightly strung that it could be heard humming lowly in the air between them.

"You're despicable," Light breathed.

L laughed. It was quiet but genuine; cold but nonetheless amused.

"Yes, we make quite a pair, don't we, Kira-kun?" he replied, rattling the handcuff locked around his own wrist.

"Stop calling me Kira!"

"No, I won't. No matter how many times you deny it, I simply won't believe you. The only thing which can save you now is that thirteen day rule, which I'm afraid I have my suspicions about." L finally leaned back. "I understand that this must be frustrating for you, Yagami-kun. I know the feeling – around and around and around in circles, never getting anywhere. Don't you think I'm tired of accusing you of being Kira?"

"Stop doing it then!"

"But then I won't get the answer that I want to hear."

"You won't get it even if you do keep asking," Light retorted.

L paused, apparently considering this.

"Very well," he said at length. "I won't ask again."

He slipped carefully off the bed and Light heard him rummaging around on the floor for a long moment. Eventually he resurfaced, his arms filled with various wires, plugs and cameras.

"Here," he said, and threw them all onto the bedsheets. "This is all the security equipment from this room and the two adjacent. Hidden cameras, bugs, sound feed, everything. I ripped it all down earlier. And look." L pulled off his shirt to completely bare his chest. "I'm not wearing any kind of wire or recording device."

"Put your shirt back on, you exhibitionist," Light spat icily, ignoring the cool tendrils of nervousness. This was something new, something dangerous; he could feel L's deceptive methods lapping at his mind. "If you think all this is going to magically make me confess, you are sadly mistaken, because I have nothing to confess," he said, with just the perfect combination of indignation and sincere denial. He then lowered his head, glaring at L through his hair as he came back with his own accusations. "And even if I did have some thing to confess, I still wouldn't, because I don't trust you, and just because you say you've taken all the security stuff out, it doesn't mean you actually have."

L smiled wryly.

"That's true," he agreed mildly, pulling his top back on over his head. "But then… just because Yagami-kun says that he is not Kira, it doesn't mean that he actually isn't." The detective blinked innocently at Light's irate expression, noticing the slight twitch in his left eyebrow. "What?" he went on. "Is that not an employment of identical logic?"

"You always twist my words against me, no matter what I say," Light said bitterly.

"That's true," L said, his voice pleasanter now that Light had acknowledged his skill at creating loopholes.

"You sound so proud of that."

"It's what I do best."

"This is pathetic, Ryuzaki." Light pulled the covers over his head to block out L's smug face. "I'm going back to sleep."

"No, you're not." L grabbed the sheets and wrenched them completely away from the teenager, tossing them to the floor.

"Ryuzaki—!" Light started indignantly.

"Yagami—No. Light-kun." L leaned close to him again, locking their gazes inescapably, in a way that sent a premonitory chill crawling down Light's spine, and which had nothing to do with the absence of the bedsheets. "This is the end. Dire straits." His voice was almost hypnotic. "I'm not going to put up with your lies and false-offence whenever I accuse you of being Kira anymore. I don't think you actually understand how much you insult me every time you deny your title – though I suppose you wouldn't particularly care either way, now would you?"

"Not really."

"I thought not." L gestured around the walls of the bedroom they'd shared for months. "This is an ultimatum, Light-kun. I won't ask you to confess again – I'm telling you to. Warning you to, even. I've taken out all the recording equipment. No matter what you say, I won't have it on record. I won't have any evidence to prove that you said it. This is really more about my sanity, because I really can't stand to hear you deny being Kira again when I know how unashamedly you are lying."

"You're an idiot."

"And you're Kira."

"Ryuzaki." Light took a deep breath to calm himself down. "Listen to me: I am not Kira. End of story."

L looked at him for a long moment, studying his face in silence as if trying to peel back the layers of skin and get inside Light's mind with just a penetrative gaze. After a poker-faced moment, L gave deep, woeful sigh, leaning forwards so that his forehead rested on Light's shoulder. He loosely wrapped his arms around the teen's shoulders and started to laugh. There was less humor in this one, and it unnerved Light greatly as L's shoulders quivered with mirthless noise, but he didn't dare push him away in case he'd actually gone completely mad and tried to throttle him or bite his eyes out or something equally insane…

Eventually L unwound himself from Light and sat back, smiling; Light was unnerved further still, finding his expression impossible to read or predict his next actions from.

"Well, I didn't think it would be that easy," he mused, and he got up off the bed and shuffled over to the wardrobe.

"Ryuzaki," Light started impatiently, "you can't still think… Wh… what are you doing?"

"Getting this," L replied absently, digging to the bottom of the wardrobe and pulling out the case Light had originally brought all his things from home to the taskforce HQ building in. "We can easily fit everything we need in here," he went on, bringing it to the bed and slamming it down on the mattress, making Light hastily fold up his legs.

Light's eyes narrowed as the cold suspicious feeling in his chest intensified.

"…Everything we need?" he repeated. "And again: What are you doing?"

"I think you mean what are we doing," L sighed, unzipping the case and flipping the lid back. "Isn't it obvious?"

"Oh, I don't know… You feel bad for constantly accusing me of being a mass serial killer and have decided just this moment to take me on vacation to Hawaii to make up for it?"

"Something like that," L muttered. "Get up please, Light-kun."

"…You're serious?" Light could barely contain his perplexity and shock at this sudden bizarre behavior from practical, logical L. "…We're running away?"

"You may call it that, if you wish."

Light stood up, shaking his head in bewilderment. He had been thrown for such a loop that it felt as though the wind had been knocked out of him, and he struggled profusely to form coherent sentences.

"What the hell is wrong with you? What…? I mean, why are you… suddenly doing this? It makes no—"

"Because," L interrupted, halfway through carefully and meticulously wrapping up his laptop wire, "as I said before, Light-kun…"

He glanced at Light, who was struck silent again, part-confused and part-frightened.

"…I don't think you want to die."

So, yes, no Disney princesses, but I think it's fair to say that we're off to a more dramatic start than Poison Apple, right?

You know, I would like to promise a new chapter soon, but I have Narroch for a co-writer, so… (She's getting senile in her old age…)

But we hope you like it so far, and indeed come back for that next chapter!

Thankyou for reading the first chapter of The Monster You Made!

RobinRocks and Narroch xXx