Eru-chan: Hi minna-chan! XD Everyone's doing well? Sorry I was away so long, but my muse fled me for this chapter and I couldn't seem to get working on the story, plus homework, plus report cards, and all that annoying stuff. :(

Light: Stop making excuses. You were being lazy.

Eru-chan: *pouts* well I have it posted now! Anyways, this chapter is more like crack than romance, but our favourite couple can't seem to cooperate without a bit of tension, so... here ya go!

Light: Eru-chan doesn't own Deathnote, no matter how much she would like to.

Eru-chan: Meanie! *cries* Don't remind me of that! And as I am the author of this story, you have to call me Eru-sama... or maybe Eru-dono... *smirk*

Light: No. Way.

L: Eru-sama! Give me candy! *smiles*

Eru-chan: Yay! I love u, L!

Light: *impatiently* Yeah yeah, whatever, get to the story already!

Eru-chan: You big meanie! I'm gonna get L to annoy you so much!

Light: *sweatdrops*

Pranking was an art. A fine, fine art, almost like sparring. I jab here, you jab there, and the game continues. But of course, Light and L were not going to play fair – nobody expects them to, anyways. Where's the fun in things if they followed the boring old rules? All the backhanded, dirty tricks were allowed here, because the sole purpose was to win.

So Light really couldn't blame L, he supposed. In fact, the only one at fault was really himself, for letting down his guard and relaxing around the happy-go-lucky, evil child. And he really couldn't blame Matsuda, either, because he had unfortunately simply done the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Hell, karma has an evil sense of humor. Why did he have to smash so embarrassingly into a plate of spaghetti in front of the Task Force? He can never face them without blushing again, he was sure. They already had him branded as an insane psycho from his recent weird behavior, such as the syrup incident… And now they probably lost all respect for him, after this… Light wanted to sink through a hole in the ground and never be seen again.

He really couldn't believe he'd fallen for such a basic trick. Fallen, quite literally. As in teeth hitting hard floor painfully. Or rather, Matsuda's spaghetti instead of the floor, which was not much of a consolation, considering.

A while earlier, when they'd returned from their crazed candy-shopping spree (L buying and Light paying), Light had excused himself to go to the bathroom. "Okay." L had cheerfully agreed, and Light never suspected anything wrong…nor had he seen the devious glint in the L-kid's eyes…

A grave mistake, as it turned out. When he returned from his bathroom trip, he had unwittingly walked straight into the trap, that simple, ingenious trap – a tripwire. That was all; a tripwire across the door that L had hastily set up in the time he was in the bathroom.

SPLAT! His face went straight into Matsuda's noodles placed at exactly the right spot… or the wrong spot, one could argue. How Matsuda could be so idiotically accident-prone, and managed to work his way into the middle of any disaster, Light would never know. Climbing back up, his face covered in dripping red tomato sauce, he'd glared right into L's triumphant, gloating grin.

"Bonus!" L had crowed, punching his fist into the air victoriously.

And so this was why L deserved the worst punishment Light could give him now.

An utterly horrible punishment.

The worst he could think of.

The very, very worst.

Stealing his candy.

Okay, so perhaps it's not the most dramatic plan ever, but Light knew it would be effective, after watching L's reaction after the pudding prank. And this time, his tears be damned, Light was not going to fell sorry for him, not at all. He planned to go even further than just stealing his candy. No, he planned to dangle a piece of STRAWBERRY candy in front of L, just out of reach.

And then eat it slowly, lick after lick.

Light shivered in delighted anticipation, I'd better get busy, putting the first step of the masterprank in effect, he thought, rubbing his hands in preparation. And when I'm done, L will wish he'd never messed with me!

But, strangely, even as he started searching the kitchen thoroughly for L's stashes of dessert in revenge, there was no venom in Light's purpose. There was none of the usual desire to win pushing him ahead relentlessly, dictating his actions and fuelling his thoughts dangerously. In fact, the prank war was only a rather childish game entertaining the geniuses and keeping the boredom at bay. Light found he enjoyed it sincerely, quite a bit in fact, and that was quite rare for Light.

There was just something about the hyperactive child that made Light drop his guard subconsciously and become at ease to truly feel –

Happiness. Yes, true happiness, not shallow temporary pleasure or interest. Perhaps the reason Light found himself so drawn to the L-kid was his unique ability to make him feel comfortable and content. In L's company, he could almost forget his troubles and worries and become free. And subconsciously, without realizing it, Light had formed a bond with the L-kid – a bond that had no name.

It was not love, and yet not quite friendship, for an undercurrent of grim knowledge ran through their carefree plays. Light could not forget that L was the one who accused him of being Kira; while L could not forget that Light was Kira.

And yet, despite all this, they'd managed to laugh, and smile and enjoy, and be happy. Their relationship was complex, entangled in a fragile web of lies and deceit they'd built themselves, ready to collapse any second at a mere touch. But for now it was enough to live in the moment, and pretend to forget, in order to nourish that delicate bond that had grown between them.

Light smiled, a genuine smile that lit up his face and seemed to radiate from his soul. For now, he was happy.

Of course, that did not mean Light was going to let L off easy. Oh no, no way. L deserves every second of the agony coming towards him. So that's why, after two full hours of searching, Light had found every single stash of candy in the entire headquarters, and thrown them out. The cake was gone; he gleefully threw out the sugar cubes; the cookies went too – none of L's sweet snacks survived the massacre.

Wait, what's this? He pulled out a well-concealed bag of candy he'd almost missed. Almost being the word, because as an off-the-chart genius, he would not be outsmarted. No, not even by the world's three most famous detectives, L. So he laboriously dragged the small package out from a trapdoor hidden below a closet, protected by a 5-digit code. Which he had promptly cracked, of course: being the genius he was, it had taken less than a minute. The world record for cracking 5-digit codes was 17 minutes 26 seconds, but Light was not going to bother trying for the world record. He had more important things to do. Such as stealing a seven-year-old's candy? His mind asked him shrewdly. To which he replied, quite eloquently, "Shut up."

He inspected the package closely, noting that they pieces of candy were all strawberry flavoured. On one side of the bag, EMERGENCY STASH was written. A slow smirk spread across Light's face as he carefully stashed his prize in his pocket. Perfect.

Light's efforts weren't wasted. Barely 10 minutes had past before a hysterical L stumbled out from the kitchen, screaming and generally looking demented, with his wide panda eyes even wider than normal in his panic.

Light winced as he covered his ears. At least he was prepared for this reaction though, and had earplugs ready - he really knew L quite well. The other members of the Task Force weren't as fortunate and were writhing on the floor in pain while trying to protect their damaged eardrums. Absently, Light wondered how such a small person can emit such a loud sound - but oh well, that's L. Always defying expectations.

"W-what's w-wrong, L-kun?" Matsuda managed to stutter over the high-pitched noise, his face arranged in a rather monstrous distortion as he simultaneously tried to cover his ears, find earplugs, phone the police, run out the room, and do the pirouette. ...Actually, no one knows why exactly he's trying to do the pirouette as L screams, least of all Matsuda himself. Light had a half-formed theory that Matsuda's ...unique mind somehow mistook the scream as music and automatically ordered Matsuda to dance... or maybe he was just crazy.

This entire headquarters resembled a madhouse at the moment, with L leading the asylum and Matsuda being cheerfully insane, and Light wondered why he was here in the first place. Perhaps it was just a strange nightmare that he would wake up from any moment. Ah, but you fit snugly into the insane category, a voice in his head told him snidely.

"I'm not crazy!" Light argued heatedly. But you hear and talk to voices in your head... the voice replied, accompanied by something seeming suspiciously like a smirk. Light thought about this, and deciding that it did make sense, he promptly resigned himself to his fate.

Wait, his fate was to be screamed at by a hysterical seven-year-old who was currently holding him prisoner? Don't think about it, he told himself. That way is the road to insanity.

"L," He began delicately, or as delicately as possible while trying to be heard above the glass-shattering wail. "I suggest you calm down and tell us what the matter is." He asked, keeping a straight face.

L had to take several gulps before he gathered himself enough to reply. "M-my c-cand-dy!" He wailed, panicked. "Th-they're g-gone!"

"So" asked Aizawa, who had just picked picked himself up from the floor from where he was curled in the fetal position a few moments ago. He dusted himself off and adopted a rather annoyed expression at being subjected to all this drama. His practical, sensible mind failed to see why L was making such a big fuss over candy, of all things. He thought rather crossly that L needed to get his priorities straight - he never even bats an eye looking at the list of murders that Kira has commited, but is reduced to a sobbing mess when his candy is missing?

"But I can't function without my sugar!" L yelled, distressed. "In ten minutes without sugar I will DIE!" Light sniggered, privately thinking that this was actually very likely, considering it's L.

Soichirou looked completely bewildered. "If it's candy you want, we'll make a quick trip to the candy store - " he tried to placate his seven-year-old boss.

"No, you don't UNDERSTAND! I can't last that long without sugar! I need sugar NOW!" L looked completely frenzied, wildly gesturing with his arms. Light watched, entranced. This was better than he had expected. It was like watching a real-life soap opera!

But so thoroughly immersed in the wild scene before him, Light was unprepared as L lunged savagely at him. "You!" The kid growled menacingly. "You have my candy, I know it!"

Light choked and tried to stop L from throttling him, but the seven-year-old was surprisingly stronger than one would expect from his wiry frame. "I-I don't h-have your candy!" He choked out, slowly turning red and sputtering as L continue to exercise his grip on his neck.

Soichirou looked positively alarmed and at a complete loss as to what to do... this type of situation was never really included in his police guidebook. "Now, now." He muttered weakly. "Everyone calm down now, and L, you'd better let go of Light before he suffocates to death..."

"The world will be a better place without Kira!" L shouted. "And this proves it! Light is Kira! You see! He tried to deprive me of candy! He is 100% Kira!"

Aizawa rolled his eyes. "Actually, doesn't this prove that YOU have more homicidal tendencies than Light? After all, I don't see Light trying to kill YOU, only the other way around."

Matsuda frowned as he considered this. And as a some difficulty, his eyebrows finally uncreased as he reached a conclusion. "Wow... it actually makes sense! Amazing!" He clapped with joy, seemingly forgetting the homicide happening right in front of him.

"Uh... s-some h-help here?" Light finally managed to choke out through L's iron grip. Mogi, silent as always, stepped forward without a word and lifted L easily away from Light. The teen gasped with relief and massaged his sore throat, frantically gulping air. L struggled in vain in Mogi's grip, unable to free himself.

Light savoured the surreal and comical moment, letting every detail sink into his mind so he can remember it and have a quiet laugh some other day. But for now, he had a plan to carry out... the best part hadn't even arrived yet. He just needed L to catch sight of a certain brightly-coloured, strawberry flavoured candy pack with "EMERGENCY" written on it, placed strategically and tantalizingly under that aged oak tree outside... And this shouldn't take long for L, because again, it's L. Pretty self-explanatory.

Sure enough, L ceased struggling the next moment as his keen bright eyes caught sight of a glimpse of colour outside... something that looks suspiciously like...

"CANDY!" He exclaimed with such excitement that Mogi, who was never surprised by anything, was startled into dropping him. Without any ado. L bulldozed right past all the Task Force members like a crazed... seven-year-old (nothing else seems to compare to a hyper kid who wants his sugar... ), leaving behind six very bewildered adults and a strangely triumphant teen.

The teen in question, though, hid his glee well under a mask of righteous concern. "Everyone, don't worry, I have been assigned the duty of caretaker and I will take responsibility for L now." He stated calmly. "You can continue working on the tasks that need to be completely... I'm sure L, in his right mind, wouldn't want the Kira case to fall behind just because of a petty incident like this."

Soichirou breathed a sigh of relief, happy that someone is willing to provide sense to their topsy-turvy world, turned upside-down and loopy since the arrival of L. "Thank you, son." He said gratefully. "We'll just leave this up to you. I trust you'll take care of L." With that, he motioned to the others to join him in returning to his work.

Light turned away to hide his diabolical grin. Take care of L? Oh yes, that, he'll surely do... with pleasure. With a cheerful whistled tune, he waved to his dad to reassure him of his competence and exitted the headquarters at a comfortable speed to go find L. He turned some figures over in his head, did some calculations, and concluded his awesome, ingenious trap had probably already ensnared L already. That thought made him smile. Revenge was sweet.

Just as he thought, L was dangling comically by one leg from the previously mentioned oak tree, swinging and yet still desperately reaching - or rather, trying and failing to - for the sweets bag.

Light couldn't stop a laugh from escaping, and immediately wished he had thought to bring a camera. No one will be able to take the genius seriously after seeing this, he was sure.

"So." Light sauntered up to L nonchalantly. "What's up?" He placed a subtle emphasis on the word 'up', just enough so L can hear the pointed barb at his current predicament.

L looked up, with his pitiful puppy eyes ready and brimming with tears. Fortunately, Light was prepared for this approach and put on a mocking expression in defense, not falling for L's trick. He raised a finger to stop L's act. "Before you even start, I'm going to warn you that I'm not going to fall for it." He said seriously matter-of-factly. L regarded him with a shrewd expression, as if judging his resolve, but upon finally deciding that Light was serious, he abandoned his act.

"Good." Light said with some satisfaction, pleased that he could finally get back at L. "Do you have anything else to say?" He prompted, convinced he finally has the upper hand in this situation. He was therefore disturbed when he saw the characteristic trace of a devious smirk flitting about L's lips before disappearing. Uh oh. That expression means that L is plotting and up to no good...

L adopted a cynical air and looked up again with narrowed eyes at his captor. He seemed to have regained his uninterested calm, despite his rather problematic situation. "Yeah, I only have one thing to say." Light had a bad feeling about this... "... I didn't know you were into bondage... or such a pedophile, for that matter..."

Light screamed with frustration. How did L managed to twist everything he did like this? L laughed happily, swinging amusedly back and forth.

Back at the Headquarters, everyone's head turned simultaneously towards the the direction from where Light's scream and L's laughter was coming from. "I wonder what's going on..." Matsuda mused aloud.

"I think we'd be better off not knowing." Soichirou said decidely.

Aizawa just snorted with disgust. "Kids these days..." he sighed, shaking his head.

Eru-chan: Originally this was only about a third of the chapter (scary thought) but it was WAY too long, so I had to cut it short...

L: Review please! Eru-sama and I will be so happy! *starry eyes*

Light: I'm not a pervert! It's NOT bondage! Argh!

Eru-chan and L: Tee-hee! XD

Eru-chan: Next chappy featuring: the neverending song, the barney theme song, and more! Don't miss it! XD