Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note. Quote is the Bible. No, I am not saying L is Jesus. Please, please do not assume I am saying L is Jesus. I do not think L is Jesus. Have I made my point yet. Okay. Good.
Note: Okay I got a few points to make here. First of all, yes, I'm well aware that I should be updating my other fics not spamming new ones. But this is how it's rolling at the moment. My head is full of Prison Break and Kellerman but Death Note keeps shooting through. So I give you MOAR L. Been doing a lot of L lately, it seems. I have no idea where my apparent obsession with stars in this comes from. I really don't. Don't read too much into it.
So...yeah. You might hate this fic. Because I haven't written about the L people have latched onto, who perches and eats sweets. I've decided to wipe that bit out completely and go for the L behind the computer, the sharp mind and the blazing ferocity, the man in those few panels in the second volume of the manga who stands upright at the window. That's where this is set - in those panels. And you don't have to like it. You don't even have to read it. But this, this is L to me.
Before The War
Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with the Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
L is the stars.
L is phenomenal.
L is something extraordinary, something spectacular, something completely and unspeakably dazzling. L is energy and inertia all at once, L is a hundred different questions and a thousand more answers – L is the fire and the flower, the destruction and the phoenix rising, blazing, from the ashes. L is unbeatable and L is eternal and L is something not quite right and something perfect.
L is not L, he is not a man with a stoop and a tired face. L is an embodiment, a metaphor: L is all the genius in the world, raw and unfettered by society's trappings, L is bold and vibrant and lethargic and doesn't need to impress anyone at all. L is just the name, L is the tag, the identification signalling courage and ferocity and pure, uncontrolled intellect, because after the L who is called Lawliet will be other L's, a lineage not of blood but thought; blinding similarities cased in different shells. L is the deus ex machina, the unstoppable, improvable answer, the trump card for justice. And L will never die.
But right now, L is none of these things. L is not some blazing fire in the heavens; L is not the personification of justice charging forward over iniquity's fields. Right now, today, L is all these things, these great ideas, these impossible notions, these unravelled puzzles and unspoken answers, bound up in the body of a twenty five year old man on the cusp of something unbelievable.
The room is entirely empty except for a computer on the floor, with its tangle of wires splayed across the carpet, and an armchair in the corner, by a door. L stands by the window. The light from the computer is glaring against the window, reflected back onto itself, and the city is ablaze underneath him. L does not stoop, but he slouches a little, shoulders slumped, hands in his pockets. Today he is not strange, he is not bizarre, he is not the feral freak or the curiosity picking apart an éclair. Today he is himself, L Lawliet, concerned but completely at ease. No eyes are on him, there are no expectations. He has met no one and is known by only a handful of people. He could step back, right now, and turn away. Let Near, as young as he is, take over. Let Mello, as rabid as he is, fight him for it. Let them blaze and rage and spin out their own story. No one need ever know that he is L. He will just be the slightly strange, pale, tired looking man who starts turning up at the supermarket, starts wearing ties, starts living a normal life.
L stands by the window for a very long time. L, who is the embodiment of everything, and who is just a skinny, plain faced young man, has a decision to make tonight. He can reveal himself. He can step forward, shedding his shadows for the first time, he can solidify himself and in doing so, give himself up forever...or he can turn, walk away, and leave it to someone else.
But L – the L who is Lawliet, the man, the youth, and the wasted dreams, the false god's enemy and the untimely death – he has this sense of duty, this idea he has to finish what he's started. He's also got this obsession with rightness, with justice, and this burning, inescapable feeling that if he doesn't try, if he doesn't fight against this, if he doesn't hurl himself completely and totally towards it, then it doesn't matter how long he lives. Every day will be a step away and a glance over his shoulder, a half-formed wish about what could have been.
L is under no delusions about how dangerous his idea is. He has no misconceptions of his mortality, no irrational faith in his own abilities. He has a shred of confidence, a dash of hope, a fervent wish for luck and a passion, destructive and formative all at once, for what he is about to do.
One by one the city lights go out. L, as usual, does not sleep. He thinks. He dreams with his eyes open. He works. He paces, occasionally, and drinks water from the bathroom tap. And finally, he locks himself away. The L who is Lawliet has no place here anymore – now, he needs to be the unspeakable starshine, the strange and the incomparable, the non-complacent and the indescribable. L cannot have an identity. He must be the eclectic, eccentric mix of things; he must be nothing and everything.
L is not L, he is not a man with a stoop and a tired face. Not anymore. Now, L – he's got to step outside the shadows. Because that's the only way to take down an enemy with no face, an enemy with no identity. To defeat the faceless, he has to give himself a face.
In the cold, cruel, impassive light of day, the L who is Lawliet gives himself up completely, and becomes simply L – the burning sun and the shimmering moon, the glinting shadow at the edge of the doorway, and the calm, static face of justice, under a haze of stars.