A/N: HOMAHFRACKINGGAWD! People actually read my story . . . and LIKE it?! Well, hot damn. That's pretty hacking awesome! Thank you all so much for all of your continued support! If I keep on getting this kind of response, well hell, I might just update EVERY day, lol!

I'm so freaking excited about next chapter it's not even funny! XD


The Art of Drowning

Confessions of a Serial Killer


Light wasn't surprised when L wasted no time in starting his interrogation.

"Raito-kun. You have me at a disadvantage."

Light laughed, a choking, self-mocking laugh. Of course he had Lawli at a disadvantage, and he hated himself for it all the more.

"I want to know how Raito-kun knows my name," insisted L, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. He stared down at Light, his face blank and eyes cold.

How did Light know . . . his name? How couldn't he know his name! Lawli was. . . was Lawli! His best friend! His only friend!

How could Lawli not know his name? Light pushed the thought away almost immediately. Now was not the time.

"I'm still waiting, Raito-kun," said L, voice monotone.

And suddenly Light smiled, perhaps one of the most genuine things he had done in a decade. Light saw right past the cold exterior, because he knew Lawli, and Lawli really hadn't changed. He just didn't know he had been looking at Lawli for all these months, but now that he knew, he wanted to hit himself over the head.

It was so obvious! And Lawli was so obvious!

Light was almost giddy with the realization that he could still read Lawli so well after many years separation.

Lawli was confused, guarded, hesitant. He was dealing with something so completely unexpected that he didn't even have a plan for such a scenario. This whole situation had come completely out of left field, and Lawli was busy looking to his right while the ball had smacked him upside the head.

Light 7,471 to Lawli 7,470.

The tie had been broken.

Finally.

And Light had won. He had won their competition that had spanded years, and Lawli didn't even know.

It was a bittersweet victory, but Light's smile just grew.

It was the smile that must have thrown L completely off balance, because he was suddenly very nervous. Of course, only Light would be able to see that. A happy sigh escaped his lips, and he realized, then and there, that he was happy.

His friend was alive, and Light was happy.

Of course, he still had questions. Where had Lawli been? Why hadn't Lawli found him? How the hell had Lawli become one of the most powerful men in the world in just one short decade?

It was obvious that Lawli didn't know who he was. Lawli wasn't shy, after all. He would have said something after all this time of knowing Light here in Japan.

Surely he would have.

It almost hurt that Lawli had no clue who was tied up in front of him, but the relief was too overwhelming for Light to be terribly upset by it. He didn't want knowledge of his own identity to cause Lawli any pain or discomfort.

But there were so many unanswered questions . . .

It didn't matter. Lawli was alive, and it was Light's job to protect him, even if it meant protecting the detective from himself.

"Raito-kun?" prompted L.

Light blinked. He must still be quite out of it. He shook his head slightly, mindful of the horrible headache his screaming had caused, and tried to clear his thoughts before focusing on L's questions.

"Does it really matter all that much, Ryuuzaki?" inquired Light, having finally rememebered what the previous question had been.

Lawli's eyes narrowed slightly. "Yes, Raito-kun. It matters quite a bit. It would be very easy for Kira to kill me with that sort of information."

Light chuckled softly. "I'm surprised you're not denying it."

"What's the use in denying it when we both know it's true? Such a course of action won't get me any closer to the answers I seek, Raito-kun."

"Well, you have a point there," agreed Light amiably.

L blinked. He obviously hadn't expected Light to agree with him.

Light laughed. It felt so damn good to laugh properly, even if it was broken and scratchy and decidely uncomfortable against his aching throat. It felt as if he hadn't really laughed in ages.

And Light was happy, for the first time in a such a very long while. It amazed him. It had been years since he had felt happiness to this degree. He had almost given up on happiness.

But L obviously did not share Light's sentiments at the moment. He glared at Light through increasingly narrowed eyes.

"Oh, get off your high horse, Lawliet, and stop glaring at me," snorted Light.

He had used L's real name on purpose just to see how L would react to the use of it. He watched with interest as L flinched, and Light could tell that Lawli was getting angry. He decided that it was time to diffuse the situation before it got violent. Well, before Lawli got violent. Light was still tied up.

"I won't tell you how I know your name, Ryuuzaki. But hopefully I can give you information much better than that," said Light, a small smile playing on his lips. It might have been a bad idea, but this course of action would ensure Lawli's safety.

L's eyes narrowed, and his head tilted a minute degree in curiousity.

"I am Kira."


L left the room faster than he thought possible. But then again, the impossible seemed to be making a habit of becoming possible lately.

He was seated back on his spin chair, tea clasped tightly within his hands.

What had just happened?

Yagami Raito had just confessed to being Kira, smiling away like a lunatic the entire time. Maybe Raito really was a lunatic, but then again, so was Kira. So the chances of them being one and the same were still - but Kira would never confess - and Raito was smiling about . . . .

He was getting a headache.

L frowned, rubbing his temples. There was no denying that he had a confession. He could have Raito administered the lethal injection by this time tomorrow if he so desired.

It was a bloody dream come true. He had won, after he was sure that he had all but lost. L could finally close this monster of a case and return to his coveted solitude, where Yagami Raito couldn't bother him anymore with his cat and mouse games he was so fond of playing with the detective.

L could even take a break, for a week at most, and do nothing but eat cheesecake and strawberries before boredom would undoubtly set in. He would probably even wish for the annoying serial killer to once again share his company, but none the less, a vacation of sorts was just what he needed after this case was closed. It was a fabulous thought, and L actually entertained it for a few quiet moments. It was a dream come true - an impossible dream come true.

So then what was the catch? Things like this just didn't happen without a catch.

There was something vital that L was missing, like some errant shape in a simple 20 piece jigsaw puzzle. It was glaringly obvious that something wasn't right. He was completely in the dark as to the reason behind Raito's sudden change of heart, and L hated being in the dark almost as much as he hated salt.

One would think that Yagami Raito's confession would have solidified L's theory of Raito being Kira 100%. However, L realized belatedly that the impromptu confession had done the complete opposite of solidifying L's suspicion, much to his despair.

L wasn't so certain that Yagami Raito was Kira anymore, which was highly disconcerting, considering that L had never been wrong about this sort of thing before. Unless this debacle was some part of a masterful plan to kill him, he couldn't accept that Raito would give up so easily. That was not like Raito, nor Kira whether they were different people or not.

But what other explanation did L have for Raito's sudden confession?

He took a sip of his tea, grimacing at the coldness, and searched his mind for alternatives.

Whatever had caused Raito such emotional pain and his subsequent confession stemmed from the moment he had uttered L's true name. Did Raito know him? L dismissed it immediately. No, there was no way that Raito could know him. L would remember, and besides, he had never stayed very long in Japan before. He had never socialized either, always being busy on one case or another.

Then what was he missing?

Where had Raito learned his name?

And who else knew?

He was determined to find out, because the more people who knew his name, the more dangerous it was for him. And now that he had his doubts on whether Raito and Kira were truly one and the same, L would not be able to arrest him, confession or no.

L rubbed his temple ruefully. He really did have a headache from this whole ordeal now. He didn't like this newer, unpredictable Raito. The Kira case was going to ruin him for all future cases. He had never been this challenged before.

What he needed now as a plan. L rubbed his bottom lip with his thumb thoughtfully, his eyes never leaving the prone figure on the screen. He sighed to himself. He may be upset that Light's percentages of being the original Kira had dropped - he hated to be wrong after all - but he was equally relieved that he wouldn't be arresting Light so soon. L hadn't lied when he had told the teenager that he was L's friend, and L wasn't too keen on losing his friend just yet.

He flipped open his phone, hitting the button that called Watari.

"Yes, L?"

"Has the team arrived yet?"

"No, but they should be here within the hour. I am waiting for them in the investigation room."

"Change of plans, Watari. I'll be up there in a minute. I need to discuss something with the task force."

"Is it about Yagami-kun?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure that is wise, L?"

"No."

"And will you keep Yagami-kun in confinement?"

"Of course, Watari. I was actually hoping to persuade you to keep an eye on him."

"I'll be there in a few minutes."

He flipped his phone closed.

L just hoped what he was about to do wasn't completely stupid.


"I can't believe how completely stupid you are! What possessed you to try something like that!?"

"Shut up, Light. You're making my head hurt worse," grumbled L, an ice pack on his head.

"Well it would serve you right! What were you thinking taking on that Neanderthal? Your upper body strength sucks! That punch you landed bounced off his fat head!"

"Yeah, but at least I got him good with that kick," muttered L.

Light rolled his eyes. "Yeah, after he slammed your head into the pavement. You're just lucky he was standing over you like that, otherwise you might not have been able to incapacitate him as well as you did."

L chuckled. "I'm sorry I couldn't warn you, but you jumped on his back just as I was kicking upwards. Sorry he fell on you."

Light winced.

"Eh. I won't deny that five hundred pounds suddenly squishing you isn't fun, but at least he curled over into that fetal position so I could escape," shrugged Light.

"Walter doesn't weigh five hundred pounds," pointed L.

"It's called sarcasm, Lawli. I'm surprised your superior brain can't identify it. Guess that just means my brain is more superior. In turn, that means Light 2,654 to Lawli 2,653. I just broke the tie. So take that!"

"Ugh. You're being ridiculous. That shouldn't even count! You're just mad because it's been a tie for sooo long."

"A week is a long time, but I'm glad you're trying that sarcastic thing out. It suits you," replied Light.

"Oh, just shut up, and go get me a cookie, would you?"

Light snorted. "Yeah, just let me sneak down to the kitchen. I'm sure I won't be caught. After all, it's not like anybody's in the kitchen preparing dinner at five in the evening."

"I don't think I like particularly sarcasm," said L, gingerly touching the knot on his head where Walter had slammed it into the pavement.

"I don't think I like particularly like Walter one single, tiny, miniscule bit. What did he say to you, Lawli? Why did you try and deck him like that?" demanded Light.

Lawli mumbled something under his breath.

"I'm not superman, Lawli. I don't have supersonic hearing."

"I said Walter made a crack about your parents being neglectful druggies who abandoned you, and I got so mad that I hit him."

Light blinked.

"Well, you and I both know that they weren't neglectful druggies. They were murdered. There's a big difference. It's not like they gave me up on purp - Oh. It wasn't all about me, was it?" asked Light, suddenly hesitant.

Lawli sighed. "No, not completely, but I can't lie and say I was fine with hearing him talk so badly of you. I wasn't."

"They might not have been druggies," suggested Light delicately.

Lawli shrugged. "But they did abandon me, and for all I know, it was on purpose."

"At least you got me out of the deal," offered Light, trying to lighten the mood..

Lawli laughed, taking Light up on his silent offer for some good natured banter. "Yeah, but I'm not sure if I got the better end or not."

"Oh, shut up. You can't live without me, don't deny it. Who would help you get your sweet fix, huh? And who would jump on the backs of five hundred pound Neanderthals when they attack you? And who would you even talk too, anyway? No one our age can keep up with our conversations, half the time anyways."

"Well, you got me there. But what about you? Who would put up with your arrogant arse? Your OCD? Your borderline narcissistic tendencies? Who would be able to deflate your head when it got so big it threatened to send you into orbit?"

"And who will iron your clothes?" asked Light, not denying what was said. It was all true, after all.

"I really wish you wouldn't bother."

"But everyone looks better in ironed clothes! Even you!" exclaimed Light.

"It's a waste of time, Light."

Light opened his mouth, intent on telling Lawli exactly why it was most certainly not a waste of time, when an electronic bell sounded over the intercom.

"Dinner," Lawli pointed out unnecessarily.

"And you need your sweet fix, huh?" sighed Light, giving up on the argument.

Lawli smiled and nodded. "Strawberry shortcake tonight."

Light rolled his eyes, argument forgotten, and together they went in search of cake.


L shifted from foot to foot. He didn't want to sit down. He was in the operations room waiting for the arrival of the task force. It would be a few minutes still, and L alternated between shifting, pacing, and obsessively scratching his left leg with his foot.

He was not nervous.

L was never nervous.

He was simply unsettled. Yes, unsettled.

Because Yagami-san was always the first member to arrive.

He only hoped that Yagami-san wasn't armed this morning, because he wasn't precisely certain what the resulting actions would be after Chief Yagami was informed of his son's confession.


Edited: 7-3-09

A/N: Light is SUCH a self-sacrificing martyr, no?

Now, once again, I urge all of you to hit that big button directly under this sentence and say a little something!