Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note. :P

Chapter 3

L quickly regained his composure, finding it more difficult with unfamiliar features. The giant, looming monster in front of him might also have something to do with it. "What... what are you?"

The beast cackled. "Hyuk hyuk. I'm the shinigami Ryuk. What are you?"

L paused, reflecting on what had been said. Somehow the Shinigami knew his name. His mind was already putting puzzle pieces together. A notebook with the words 'Death Note'. A monster that magically knew his real name, despite both his appearance and the fact it was top secret. He forced his expression to remain stoic, even as his insides churned painfully at his realization. He needed confirmation. "Am I Kira?"

The Shinigami's cackling interspersed his speaking. "Depends. Are you going to write in the book?"

"Write in the..." L picked the notebook back up, gingerly opening it. Within were countless criminal names... he recognized nearly all of them as Kira's victims. He'd have to check up on the ones that were still alive in the notebook... "What does this notebook have to do with Kira's killing method?"

"The human who's name is written in that note shall die," said Ryuk, almost as if reading it from a paper. "Why not try it out for yourself? Hyuk Hyuk."

L sat on the cushioned desk-chair in his familiar crouch, trying to get his brain working again. Or... his borrowed brain? Does it even count as-

He had a brief moment to appreciate the view of a sideways world before his shoulder and hip ignited in pain. Dazed, he sat up in his place on the floor. Sitting comfortably was apparently no longer an option. He cast a glare at the still-cackling shinigami. It was starting to grate on his nerves. Maybe this was how Kira was driven mad- the insane laughter of a God of Death.

L decided to try a modified version of his crouch with his back against the headboard and pillows beneath him. Muscles ached that never ached. He settled down into a criss-cross position, rolling his eyes. Was he even really himself if he did nothing like himself?

Clearly Light-kun, of all the people L could have become, was Kira. Had switching bodies been part of Kira's plan? No, Kira didn't even know who L was. He was sure of that. Could it really just be a coincidence? He gently ran his hands over the english letters on the Death Note. "What happens if I burn it?"

"The owner of the Death Note loses all their memories," Ryuk replied, "and their ability to see their Death God." Ruby eyes were uncharacteristically analytical. "Are you going to burn it?"

L sighed. "No. I can't solve the case without this. It's the only real evidence."

Ryuk laughed. "Prepare to be the next Kira, then."

"I'm not going to write in it," L clarified. The answering laughter was unnerving. "What's so funny?"

"Hyuk. No human has ever kept it and not used it. Not without going insane. It's impossible."


Light was going insane. How could anyone stay inside so long? Even after opening the blinds and letting the bright sunlight in, he still felt suffocated. What he needed was out. He got up from his position on the floor, making a beeline for the door. He slipped on the ratty sneakers by the front door, before sneaking out.

He couldn't sleep at night, no matter how hard he tried. Without sugar, he couldn't think about anything other than sleep. The only solution he could think of was excerise. Maybe if he actually moved, this body would pass out. And he wouldn't go stir crazy.

Exiting the front door of the hotel, he walked right into another man. He opened his mouth to apologize, freezing when he realized who it was. "Watari," he greeted, trying to continue past. The old man wasn't allowing it, blocking the doorway.

"Where are you off to?" asked the 'caretaker'.

Seriously? L had to tell this man before he left? What was he, a child? Then again... if anything happened to the detective, it'd be good for his whereabouts to be known... Maybe it wasn't a case of L-is-a-captive going on here. "I need some fresh air."

"I'll open the windows in your room for you."

Light had to try very hared to keep his expression neutral. He had practiced expressions for at least an hour to make sure he could master them in this body... "I need some fresh air outside. I'm just going for a walk."

Watari stepped out of the way, deliberately taking his time. "Be back by dark. You may not value your life, but some people do."

Light paused for a second. Was that... concern in the man's voice? Maybe he wasn't a mere caretaker. Maybe he was... a family member. Did the great L even have something as normal as family? He offered a nod to the man, before going on his way. First things first, he needed to find an ATM machine. He had found a credit card in his search of the hotel room.


"Are you alright? You seem... off," said Sayu, looking up at the world's greatest detective as he helped her with her Algebra II homework.

L ignored her. "Try and solve number ten on your own, now."

"What?" she asked, indignantly. "Can't you go through it with me?"

Children like Sayu were the reason L never wanted to be a teacher. Well, that and the fact that he was set up to be a detective since the age of four. But in any case, no matter how much help he gave, she refused to do anything herself. It was like she wanted him to do it all for her. He snatched up the pencil, pausing for a moment, admiring the untensil. Could something so simple really be used to kill hundreds... thousands? Maybe even millions? If he didn't try it out, he'd never know for sure...

He shook the thought, starting on the problem. "Pay attention this time."

Even as he went through the simple equation, his mind wandered. If Light Yagami truly was Kira, that would mean Kira's in L's body... The mere thought made him dizzy. There were so many things wrong with this situation. He needed to get in contact with Watari, and warn him about the imposter. Before Light learns about the orphanage, and L's successors, and maybe even finds out his real name.

Unfortunately, Watari wasn't the most easy man to reach. L knew his current cell number, but a numerical password needed to be typed in to get through. That password changed every morning. One wrong attempt when typing it in, and you could no longer even try from the number you used to call.

If L went missing, Watari would keep the last password shared between them. As it stood, L hadn't gone missing. For all intents and purposes, his body was quite present. A devil in detective's skin paraded around as L. Even the tracker he had installed in his arm was useless without his body. He had never even thought to prepare for a situation like this...

"Light! Sayu!" called Sachiko Yagami. "Dinner's ready! And your father's home!"

Sayu shot from the room like a bullet, L going momentarily deaf from the loud shriek of excitement. Descending the stairs, he caught his first glance of Soichiro Yagami beyond just a screen. The Chief of Police... and Kira's father. In hindsight, it made sense. Kira had to get his passion for justice from somewhere. As he sat at the table, he took this as his chance to catch up.

"How was work?" he asked, innocently.

Soichiro sighed. "You already know I'm working on the Kira case?"

He nodded.

"No new criminals have been killed for over 48 hours," Soichiro confided. "L says Kira is only messing with us, but it makes it hard to-"

"Wait, how did he make that deduction? How does he know Kira didn't quit, or die?"

Soichiro leveled L with a stare. "L has resources beyond anything the police have. He said he'd explain at a later date, but for now we need to trust him."

So Light was enjoying his new power. Maybe I should, too... He quickly shook that thought. He had already decided he wouldn't write in the notebook. Just one name...What was wrong with him?

"Let's not talk about work at dinner," said Sachiko, redirecting the conversation. "So, Sayu... how was school today?"


"I can do this," Light said to himself. I'm Kira, God of the New World. I can handle something so simple!

Except he couldn't. He stood in the middle of the hotel room, stark naked with a pile of clothes around him. Light held up a black, button-down dress shirt. He couldn't stand the feel of it on his body. On L's body. He slipped one arm in... so far, so good... He could do this, even if he had to do it inch by inch! He would wear normal clothes.

"Sir... is there a purpose to this?"

Light looked up, locking eyes with Watari. He stood with a tray half-piled with 'normal' food, half piled with sweets. As per Light's request. Think fast, Light. "I'm trying to get into the mind of the suspect. I feel Kira most likely wears dress shirts, judging by the evilness of the texture."

Watari didn't even bat an eye, setting the tray down nearby. "Whatever you need to do to solve the case..." He paused on his way out. "I don't know what's going on, but if you need to talk I'm here."

Light took that into consideration after the man left. Could he somehow glean L's name from such a 'talk'? Hours of searching on the computer had come up with nothing.

More importantly, what was he going to do about L? The detective could be setting up incriminating evidence against Light, for all he knew. Undoubtedly he had already figured out Light's secret. At the very least he hadn't used the Death Note... yet. He needed to find and subdue L before he could cause any harm. Except, he needed to do it without incriminating himself in the process. He planned on getting his body back, and when that happened, he didn't want to be behind bars, especially that he put himself behind.

He pressed a button on his phone, speed dialing Watari. "Hello? Watari? Could you get me an electronic meeting with the police?"