Title: "The Sugar Cube Fort"
Spoilers: MAJOR Spoilers for everything up to chapter 58 of the manga and episode 25 of the anime. Spoiler for L's real name and Watari's real name. Some spoilers for the entire second half of the series, particularly in the author's notes.
Warnings: NO UNDERAGE READERS. Rated M for a reason. Sexual activities, swearing, some violence. Contains discussions of rape and sexual abuse, plus implied references to rape and a non-detailed flashback of a rape in a very late chapter.
Summary: Shinigami cannot have sex or experience sexual emotions, but some of them are very curious about the mysterious, pleasurable things that humans can do. Rem is an incurable voyeur, and L is convinced that in order to solve the Kira case, he needs to study Rem in every way possible. When L discovers that Rem really likes to watch, the entire plot starts shifting in a different direction than the way it went in the anime. Rem begins to see Light as her enemy and L as a possible ally, as she schemes to keep Misa alive, caught between Light's plans and L's plans. Lots of plot twists. Lemons at the rate of about one every three or four chapters. If you're not sure if you'll like the lemons, check chapter 3 for the first lemon.
Pairings: The main pairing is LxRem. Other pairings include LightxMisa, MisaxRem, and a tiny bit of LxLight, plus a large number of other minor pairings, especially in later chapters. Some pairings are one-sided or present only in flashbacks or consist only of sexual teasing and similar things rather than outright sexual activities.
Additional Notes: This is meant to be an alternate ending to the series, with all the canon anime/manga events happening up to a certain point, and then the plot diverging from there. It starts at the end of the Yotsuba arc.
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and I do not make any money from these writings.
CHAPTER 1: HELICOPTER
The bright lights of dozens of police cars shone at them, and Rem could hear the rhythmic thumping of helicopter blades overhead.
Rem knew the end was close, and somehow, somehow, this was all part of Light Yagami's plan, his very complicated plan that he refused to elaborate on all those months ago when she had stood in the forest with him and Ryuk, passing death notes around in a circle. Instead, Light had said, "Trust me" with that evil little smile.
Yes, even back then, Light must have intended for Higuchi to get caught. Would that mean Higuchi would take all the blame for the work of both the first Kira and second Kira? It didn't make sense, but Light Yagami always had something smart planned. There must be a way for this to work.
Higuchi spun the car around and tried to flee the other way, but the helicopter dipped low, then a masked sniper hanging out the helicopter's window shot Higuchi's tires out. The car slammed into the retaining wall at the side of the road. In moments, police officers wearing dark, face-obscuring helmets had surrounded the car and were demanding Higuchi's surrender.
Amidst her worry, Rem allowed herself a moment of pleased satisfaction. Higuchi was a despicable human being. He killed for money, for whims, and for power, plus he never made even the slightest attempt to judge criminals, he just wrote down the names as fast as they were broadcast. Rem had started to admire Light a little, enough that she knew she could no longer risk killing in order to save Light, but she would never admire Higuchi. All these humans, they were really starting to grow on her, each with a personality and a bright, active interest in the world, so unlike shinigami. And Higuchi just snuffed out those lives without even thinking about it.
Higuchi, the idiot, tried to hold himself hostage with his own gun, threatening to kill himself unless they let him go, but the gun was expertly shot out of his hand without spilling even a drop of blood. Then he was being forced from his car and blindfolded.
One of the police officers said, "Ryuzaki, we have secured Higuchi."
Ryuzaki... that was one of L's underlings Misa had talked about during that brief time when Rem had cornered her in the bathroom at the Yotsuba corporation headquarters. Misa had said that Light was chained to Ryuzaki all the time.
Then a headset was put on Higuchi and a voice came over it, saying, "Higuchi, how have you been killing people? If you refuse to tell us, then we will employ every means we have until you comply."
Rem panicked. Was it really a good idea to let the other side get a hold of the death note? Was Light's plan still unfolding perfectly, or had something gone horribly wrong? As Higuchi began explaining about the death note, Rem wondered if she should force him to give up ownership immediately, then snatch the death note and hide. No, she had to trust the plan would still work. Soon Misa would be safe and could live the rest of her short life in the way she wanted to, with freedom and dignity, and the man she loved by her side.
Then, one of the police officers took out the death note from Higuchi's car, began paging through it, and said, "Ryuzaki, the notebook is here but it's not anything special. It's true that there are a lot of names in here..."
Just then, he caught a glimpse of Rem and began screaming, falling to the ground, clutching at his chest. At first Rem thought he was having a heart attack, but then she heard him stammering "M..monster" and the voice, Ryuzaki's voice, came again over the headset and said, "Chief Yagami, you don't have a gun with you right now. Please calm down."
The man, Chief Yagami, took his hand away from his chest and Rem realized he'd been trying to reach for a gun that wasn't there. Rem blinked in disorientation. All the dark helmets around her seemed wrong. Humans should always have a name and a lifespan floating above their heads. A shinigami shouldn't be forced to sort out people's identities according to what they called each other. Then Chief Yagami's performance was repeated as another police officer touched the death note and had his own screaming fit. A flicker of a smile played over Rem's lips as she imagined the death note slowly making its way through the entire crowd of police officers, causing the same reaction in each one.
Then the headset voice, Ryuzaki's voice, came again, demanding the death note be taken to the helicopter for him to touch. Rem's head snapped upwards in surprise. If Light was still chained to Ryuzaki, he might get to touch the death note and get his memories back, but it wouldn't do any good. Surely the other side wouldn't let Light hold the death note forever, and if Light tried to write down Higuchi's name, he'd get caught, especially with another man chained to him. If that was Light's plan, it was completely stupid.
Rem watched as Higuchi was led toward a waiting police car, but then he suddenly threw back his head and convulsed a few times, slipping free of his blindfold. Higuchi gasped and gaped like a fish, then collapsed. His name and lifespan disappeared from above his head. Higuchi was dead! Rem felt the invisible tether that had bound her to Higuchi dissolve and instantly reform with someone inside the helicopter... Light. Rem looked angrily in the direction of the helicopter. Any moment now, they would look in the death note, find Higuchi's name, and arrest Light. In no time at all, that would cast suspicion on Misa as well. Rem could only hope that Light had managed to rip out the name unnoticed and then had disposed of the scrap.
The police cars began dispersing, and Chief Yagami tried to motion Rem into a car, but she ignored him. If the helicopter took a different route than the cars, it might become known that Rem was now attached to Light. It would be best to hide that information unless forced to reveal it. Several police officers stayed as all the others left, these remaining ones looking scared and vainly trying to motion Rem toward a waiting car. Finally, the helicopter lifted off, and Rem spread her wings, following it slowly, at as great a distance as the invisible tether allowed. She didn't want to approach Light closely just yet or interact with him too soon, because perhaps it would reveal a clue that Ryuzaki would pass on to L.
The helicopter wove lazily through the night sky, at last settling on a landing pad on top of a giant skyscraper. Rem took a deep breath and settled next to it, shrinking her wings to mere bony spikes on her shoulders. The helicopter doors opened and a masked gunman jumped out. The few strands of hair poking out from his face covering were gray. An old man. Rem looked inside the helicopter and saw Light, clearly handcuffed to another young man. Rem read the name over his head. L Lawliet. This was the one they called Ryuzaki, but since his first name really was the letter L, he had to be L himself. Rem had seen enough names to know that single-letter names were practically nonexistent, and it would be too great a coincidence for someone really named L to be working alongside L instead of being him.
Still, Rem couldn't call him L. If L had been merely a nickname or alias, she could, but there was the rule against revealing a human's true name. That rule applied even to part of the name. Rem stared at L, at Ryuzaki, and he stared back with large dark eyes, an inscrutable expression, almost devoid of emotion. It was hard to say what Ryuzaki might be thinking, but his gaze was very penetrating and it felt like countless wheels were busily turning in his brain. After a few moments of looking, the young man casually climbed down from the helicopter, Rem's death note tucked under his arm. Rem had never seen a human, other than Light, show so little fear when first introduced to her presence. In a few moments, Light had awkwardly climbed down as well. With a single glance over his shoulder to make sure his companion was indeed free of the helicopter, Ryuzaki began walking in a very slouched manner, Light coming along at the end of the chain like a dog on a lead.
Rem thought, tried to remember. Where had she seen that walk, that posture before? Yes, moments before Misa was arrested, she had seen this man. That had been months ago. And then, he'd had a different fake name as well. If she had paid any attention to his real name beyond briefly noting that a mismatch existed, she might have realized back then that he was L. But to focus on every single human that Misa spoke with was too much. Light had said L suspected him, not that L attended the same college and passed himself off as Light's friend.
Rem turned to look behind her, and watched as the old man removed his face covering. Rem remembered him. This one had been in the room where Misa was restrained in a straight jacket and all those bindings. Quillsh Wammy. He had been called "Watari" by an electronic voice piped in from elsewhere, and he had tormented Misa with dripping water and succulent foods kept just out of reach, sometimes injecting her with drugs that were supposed to loosen her tongue but never did, merely increasing Misa's mental torment as she tried to hold in and not spill any secrets. Watari looked like a harmless old grandfather, but Rem knew he had a terrifying dark side. She eyed his lifespan with some satisfaction. Less than ten years left, not surprising for someone of his obvious age, but still it was nice to know he'd die before long.
Rem carefully hid the hatred on her face and turned back toward Light and Ryuzaki. They were just entering a door on the roof. Rem spread her wings and launched into the air, slowing to a steady glide as she neared them, hanging lazily in the air above them, phasing through the wall and ceiling as they went through the much smaller door. Ryuzaki looked up, startled at the sight of Rem overlapping with the ceiling. Then she remembered that she should disguise her attachment to Light. Rem said, "Ryuzaki, is it? Do you want me to go where you are going?"
Ryuzaki pressed one finger against his lower lip and said, "Yes."
There was no more talking as the three of them rode the elevator down, just some weird glances from Light along with Ryuzaki's endless, penetrating stare. Rem felt like that stare could see everything and strip bare all her secrets, given enough time. She shivered inwardly.
I have done the forbidden. I've fallen in love with a human. A stupid, practically suicidal human who seems to be a magnet for unhappiness and seems to have a death wish for both of us.
Rem remembered watching Misa from the shinigami world along with Jealous. Misa's sanity had shattered when her parents were killed in front of her eyes. Rem had found herself feeling so sorry for the girl, watching her giggle insanely as tears flowed from her eyes, watching her have night terrors, whimpering and flailing for hours, only to wake up and put on a fake persona to interact with the world. More and more, Misa acted childish and cute, pushing her feelings down and hiding behind a mask, so pretty, such a bubbly little bimbo, just what everyone wanted.
Misa was determined to be needed, to fit herself exactly to the needs of others, so she would never again be abandoned. Misa wanted to be used. Misa's mind became dull as she actively tried to act like the stereotype of a stupid model and her insanity gnawed away at her intelligence. Misa became prettier, more childish, more shallow, but at the same time death came to haunt her; the darkness seeped in. The gothic clothing started and soon took over her wardrobe. The death dolls and toy coffins proliferated in Misa's room. And, at night, Misa sometimes got out a sharp razor and held it just above her wrist for an hour or two, never cutting, just thinking and shaking.
And then, Rem's heart had truly gone out to Misa when the stalker came to attack Misa on her scheduled day of death. After seeing that terrifying incident, and losing the only shinigami friend Rem had as Jealous crumbled away, Rem wanted so badly to become a guiding force in Misa's life, to find some way to help her.
Rem was startled out of her thoughts by the elevator door opening. The three of them stepped out into a large room with many monitors at the far end and stairways at either side. Multiple views of Misa filled the screens. Rem looked intently. Misa seemed neither happy nor unhappy, but at least she didn't have any restraints or chains on her. And, from the magazines Rem had seen at Higuchi's place, it seemed Misa was pursuing her career just like she wanted to.
Then Rem turned her attention to the others in the room. They were all involved in a heated discussion about Higuchi. Rem noted with relief the names they called each other were real. She wouldn't need to worry about trying to remember a bunch of fake names. Only Ryuzaki and Watari hadn't let any mention of their real names slip. Rem came to stand among the investigators, but though they glanced at her and sweated a lot, none tried to talk with her. She could see the fear in their eyes every time their glances flickered over in her direction. Everyone except Ryuzaki, who crouched on a couch that was underneath the stairs and began to meticulously go through Higuchi's death note. His few glances at Rem were fearless and intense.
Rem tensed. Would Ryuzaki find Higuchi's name? No, Light didn't look at all nervous. What had Light done to kill Higuchi without leaving a trace? As Ryuzaki sat in that crouch and delicately paged through the death note, Rem found herself comparing him to Misa. So childish, and he looks very alone. In a few moments, Ryuzaki said, "Higuchi's name is not in here."
Ryuzaki lifted his head, looked straight at Rem with his most piercing stare, and said, "Did you kill Higuchi?"
Rem said, "I did not."
Ryuzaki nodded, almost absently, then said, "Shinigami, do you know why Higuchi died?"
Rem said, "I have no idea."
The one called Soichiro Yagami was sweating more than anyone else. With a trembling voice, he said, "Perhaps Higuchi committed suicide. He had the power to kill others, so it is not so strange to think he could kill himself."
Matsuda sighed and shook his head. "But, you kill by writing names in the notebook, so in order to kill yourself, you'd have to write your own name, right?"
Everyone was saying, "Yes, yes" in agreement.
"And," Matsuda continued, "if he can die of his own will, isn't it strange that earlier he tried to kill himself with a gun?"
Soichiro said, "No, it might mean that if he killed himself with a gun it would be far less painful than a heart attack... is it a coincidence, or suicide, or another Kira, or the shinigami... what is it?"
And then Soichiro swung his gaze fully on Rem and looked at her accusingly. "Which is it, shinigami?"
Rem said, "My name is Rem. I didn't kill Higuchi, nor do I know why he died."
Ryuzaki was watching Rem very carefully now, sipping creamer from little plastic cups one after another while never removing his eyes from her. Those eyes looked so wide and dark, like the nighttime surface of deep, still water. He seemed younger and more child-like than ever. Curious, and just a bit afraid now. He continually stacked the little cups, and his expression became grimmer and grimmer. Rem could almost hear the clicking of little wheels inside Ryuzaki's brain.
Ryuzaki said, "Mogi, I need you to scan the entire notebook, even the blank pages. Please get an electronic file and also a hard copy version for each of us. After that, remove minute fragments from the ink used to write the rules. Get a separate fragment from each rule and keep track of which is which. Also, I need similar fragments from at least three blank pages and from each noticeably different pen that Higuchi used. Send all these fragments to a forensics lab and try to get results within an hour."
Rem relaxed. Light had somehow managed to conceal his killing of Higuchi, and the tests would not reveal that some rules were fake, because all of them had been written by Ryuk, using his pen. Still, she waited nervously as the time went by. Light hardly ever looked at her, Ryuzaki seemed to spend most of his effort focused on stirring his coffee and rearranging the empty creamer cups, and the other investigators swarmed around her, discussing everything about the case, looking through their printed copies, but seeming afraid to talk to her. When Mogi returned with the notebook, Ryuzaki took it from him possessively and kept flipping through it, seemingly amazed, as if he had to keep touching this otherworldly artifact or it would stop being real.
Then the awaited phone call came. Mogi nodded on the phone and said, "Yes, I understand."
Mogi turned to face the rest of the investigators and said, "They say the 'How to Use' part of the notebook was written with an ink never seen before in the world."
Soichiro nodded and said, "I see. As Rem said, the notebook is something from the shinigami realm."
Matsuda said, "I thought for sure as soon as the shinigami appeared that Light and Misa-Misa were completely innocent. This is great."
Aizawa said, "If Light and Amane were Kira and the second Kira, then they wouldn't still be alive, because they were under surveillance for over 50 days and are still under surveillance right now."
"Yes," Matsuda said, "They didn't write anything, certainly not a name."
Soichiro said, "And, from the last rule, we can't destroy the notebook, or at the very least everyone in the investigation center will die."
Rem knew then, this was the plan. L would never have let Misa go completely free unless he understood how the power worked, and he couldn't do that without discovering a death note. One of the fake rules would free Misa from suspicion, and the other would leave Light with his memories intact, so that if he needed to act to save Misa, he would know what to do. Everything was working out perfectly.
Matsuda giggled nervously. "Ah, I shouldn't have said I wanted to see the monster too and touched the notebook!"
Soichiro said, "If you hadn't done that, you'd be the only one who wouldn't know what kind of investigation is going on."
Matsuda waved one hand in the air while a bead of sweat ran down his forehead. "No, I want to investigate on the same level as everyone else."
Ryuzaki knocked over his tower of empty creamer cups. His eyes were downcast, his mouth set in a straight line. He began to build again and said, "Rem, there are other notebooks in the human world. Am I right?"
Rem said, "There may or may not be. I do not keep track of what other gods of death do with their death notes."
Ryuzaki paused, looking more intensely at the beginnings of his creamer-cup tower. "If there were other notebooks in the human world, would they all have the same rules?"
Rem's breath hitched momentarily. He knows. But then she impatiently said, "Yes, they are all the same. Even the rules for when a human uses it are the same from one death note to another."
Aizawa shouted, "Ryuzaki, Light and Misa are completely clear. The surveillance of those two is over."
Matsuda nodded. "Yes, there's no denying their innocence."
Ryuzaki hesitated as he was about to stack one more creamer cup, then withdrew his hand. "I understand," he said, "Sorry for everything up until now."
Soichiro walked over to Light, putting a hand on his shoulder, then said, "Light, I'm so glad."
Light turned toward the man he was still handcuffed to and said, "But, we can't say this is over, Ryuzaki. Since Kira and the second Kira operated at the same time, there has to be at least one more notebook. And I'm thinking that the Kira who operated before I was imprisoned showed a different pattern of killings than Higuchi. I want the handcuffs removed, but I'd like to stay here and investigate with you, Ryuzaki."
Ryuzaki started stacking the creamer cups faster. Keeping his eyes downcast the entire time, he said, "Yes, you can stay, Light. Misa will be sent away. We won't observe her, Mogi will stop being her manager and she won't be allowed inside the building anymore. She'll be an outsider to this investigation and nobody should pass any more information to her."
Light said, "Then, I guess when I meet with Misa it will be outside of here."
Ryuzaki was so startled he almost knocked over his new stack of creamer cups. "You want to meet with her?"
Rem had a sinking feeling about this. Light and Misa had spent months being observed by this very perceptive man, Ryuzaki, the great detective L, and yet he was surprised to hear Light wanted to date Misa? How badly had that relationship been going?
Light said, "She's told me she loves me so many times, and even risked her life for me. It's natural that my heart would be moved."
Ryuzaki just continued to stare, a look of disbelief plastered across his face.
Then it hit Rem. Light's love had always been fake, so of course it had disappeared entirely when his memories had been gone. Without a reason to manipulate Misa, he just didn't want her. Rem stared up at the monitor showing Misa curled on a couch, reading a magazine. She looked so oblivious, yet so vulnerable. Light brought Misa nothing but harm, yet Misa let herself be happy with the illusion. At least, in the short time Misa had been "together" with Light before L captured her, Rem hadn't seen that hateful razor come out even one time.
If anything, Light made Misa more insane, encouraging the fake mask she wore, but it was a happier kind of insanity, not a sad kind. Misa desperately wanted a purpose, and Light gave that to her in his own sick way. But how was Light going to date Misa after this? Wouldn't the rest of the investigation team notice that Rem was attached to Light and start to suspect something? And why would Light be interested in Misa when she no longer had talents for him to use? Was Light just doing it because he was afraid Rem would kill him if Misa became unhappy?
Rem was pulled out of her thoughts when she realized Ryuzaki was talking to her again. "The deal," he said, "Higuchi made a deal with you. The second Kira's video mentioned the eyes. Those eyes can see a person's name just by looking at their face, am I right? Are you not allowed to tell that to humans?"
Rem glanced at Light for a cue, and he immediately said, "Of course that's what those eyes do. You can easily figure that out from Higuchi's behavior after he made the deal, with him killing that officer by just looking at his face, and trying to see Matsuda's face again after making the deal, even though he had seen it before."
"Yes," Rem said, "You two are pretty sharp. Since you've figured out that much, I won't deny it."
Ryuzaki said, "And, the deal is?"
With one more glance at Light, Rem said, "Concerning that, I cannot tell anyone except the person who kills with the death note."
Suddenly, Rem felt very tired. It was so unfair that Light hadn't explained hardly anything about his plan before, and now she had to endure grilling by the world's greatest detective while not letting anything slip. Would she need to judge Light's facial expression before each question she answered? How long could this go on until the detective noticed the cues and leading questions? Light was a bastard. He didn't make anything easy or nice.
Ryuzaki said, "What about the person who uses the notebook losing their memories of it?"
Rem's eyes flickered to Light, but she couldn't read his expression. She said, "I wonder. That never happens to gods of death and I've never used it as a human, so I don't know."
Rem saw the corner of Light's eye tighten in a way that looked disapproving. She'd said the wrong thing? How? Surely it was best to withhold as much information as possible from the investigators, and denying knowledge was better than outright lying, because lies might come out later. Perhaps Light had wanted her to say it in a different way?
Ryuzaki, L, stared into his cup of coffee for the longest time, looking more and more despondent. Finally, Soichiro put a hand on his shoulder and said, "I think it is time we started this."
Ryuzaki didn't look up, but pressed an intercom button and said, "Watari, could you bring the key for the handcuffs?"
Ryuzaki then looked at the monitors showing Misa. "We will let her go today. Her things will be packed up and sent along later. We've been paying the rent on her apartment, but that will cease after this month."
Rem's head whipped around to stare at Misa on the monitors once more. Misa would go, and she couldn't say goodbye without causing the Kira suspicions to revive. It had been so long, and now she would lose Misa again. No communication could pass between them, until some unknown future time when things would be safe again. Would Light be able to date Misa without raising suspicions in the investigation team? Would Rem be able to talk with Misa on those dates? But then, Rem remembered it had never really been pleasant with Misa. Misa was at best indifferent to Rem.
She never loved you. She'll never love you. She wants to kill you.
"No," Rem whispered.
But, she knew it to be true. When she had told Misa how to kill a shinigami, Misa had immediately admitted her desire to kill Rem, and then Misa had gone on to tell this valuable shinigami secret to Light, who started scheming to kill Rem, scheming out loud right there in his bedroom, and not even trying to hide it much. If Light had never been told of that weakness, Rem could have threatened him into being more cooperative. Misa hadn't made a good decision about this whole Kira business since the very beginning. It was like Misa wanted to die and drag down everyone around her.
No friends. No friends. Jealous is dead, Misa hates you, Light hates you even more. No other gods of death care much about anything, especially not you.
Rem couldn't watch the monitor any more. She turned away to see Ryuzaki looking at her with a curious expression on his face. Had he noticed any emotions? Was he trying to figure things out? He looked fairly sad himself. The great detective L was losing his prey, the precious Kiras he had spent so long chasing and caging.
The entire rest of the team, except maybe Watari, had turned against him. He was helpless and alone, perhaps going to die soon. Rem glanced at his lifespan and saw about twenty years left. Well, death notes killed you regardless of how much remaining lifespan you had. If L died because of Light's scheming, it could be tomorrow. L looked very young. Probably not much older than Light. Even if he lived out the rest of his lifespan, he wouldn't be that old when he died. It was likely a violent death, especially considering how many enemies the greatest detective must have. It was then Rem noticed that Light was gone, along with the handcuffs. Watari must have come with the key and left already. How long had she been staring at Misa, oblivious to everything around her?
No, this wouldn't do. There was a whole set of lies that needed to be perpetuated to save Misa's life, and Rem couldn't afford to let L notice weird behavior and start drawing conclusions. Though, how could he have any idea what is normal behavior for a shinigami? If Rem had appeared to be too interested in Misa for a while, then she just needed to appear to be too interested in others as well. The interest could cycle around from person to person. Rem glanced back up at the monitors. It appeared that all the others, except Watari, were with Misa, escorting her out in a heartfelt goodbye. Rem couldn't be there. Misa might inadvertently betray that she could see Rem. Just as importantly, Rem might not be able to control her own emotions.
A/N (Author's Note):
I am editing all chapters of this, in order to fix some of the lines that got messed up, to remove old redundant author's notes (ones that are time-sensitive or now out of context) and as part of my quest to replace all instances of "Riyuzaki" with "Ryuzaki" (since I know my preferred spelling is wrong) and to make a few other small edits.
I am not changing any plot points or doing anything more major than, for example, fixing instances when I use "quickly" three times within a paragraph and it just looks odd. The story is remaining the same.