See, I can write serious Death Note fanfiction! It's possible! Anyway this idea has been in my head for a while now and I've only just now gotten to the point where I think I can start posting. I'm going to try to update roughly every week, though that's subject to change depending on how tough college gets. I hope you all enjoy this expansion of the story, and constructive criticism and feedback are always much appreciated!

If I owned Death Note, this is how it would have played out.

Light Yagami stared at the young man kneeling in the center of the warehouse. Silence was rolling past them both like an endless river. No one moved. Every human in the shadowy building was waiting with bated breath. It was amazing how much time forty seconds had become. In the hopes that those seconds would pass more quickly, he allowed himself observe as much of the warehouse as he could without his eyes wandering suspiciously. It was a humble place for his victory. Dirt covered the walls, and the peeling posters on the abandoned crates were water-stained. Rusted chains hung from abandoned pulleys, and there were missing nails in the paneling of the walls.

By his estimation, five seconds had passed.

He let his attention fall on the group standing around the white-haired boy. The dark haired young man standing just behind the boy had a sharp thin face. For some reason Light's attention fell on his hands, which were strong-boned with long slender fingers. They were the hands of someone used to delicate work. Such as picking locks and forging signatures and documents. Light almost smiled then, but had enough self-control to keep his face blank. There would be time for that later. For now, he had to maintain his composure. He would keep up this act till the end. He fought to keep his own breathing steady, and overall, he felt that he succeeded. The seconds were passing with infinite slowness. He longed to tell Near just how worthless an opponent he was, but knew that the best moment for that would be the moment of the boy's realization. As soon as Near felt that crushing hand on his heart, then, Light decided, he would allow himself a moment of triumph.

Now it was twenty seconds. He turned his attention to the woman.

It was almost a pity, in a way, that he had been saddled with Kiyomi Takada, who had almost no initiative of her own, and had needed to follow instructions so simple that a baby could understand them. He could have used someone like this woman, Halle Lidner. Lidner had daring enough to think for herself, independently of Near. He wondered for a moment how useful she might have been if she had supported Kira's cause. Certainly she would have been a stronger tool than Takada, but in any case, he would have had to dispose of her eventually, as he had disposed of Takada. In the end, she would only have had temporary value.

Thirty seconds had gone by.

The tall man beside Near was of no interest. The quintessential American hero, tall, strong, and willing to die for what he believed to be right. Well, he would die here, and Light hoped he would have some heroic feeling as compensation for the crushing pressure of his heart collapsing.

Near himself was another matter. When Light met those dark shadowed eyes under the ghostly hair, he was sharply reminded of his former nemesis, the one who had died so long ago. Yet this boy was nothing more than a childish admirer of L, who imitated him in the same way little boys fondly imagined themselves to be their favorite superhero. There was nothing in him that was original; he was merely a failed copy of another, no real successor, but rather a warped image of something truly great.

Forty seconds were gone. Light kept his face locked in an emotionless stare, though his hands were sweating and his stomach crawling with anticipation. Now was his time.

The white-haired boy gasped and clutched at his chest, falling forward as he did so. All three members of the SPK cried out as he fell. Light was suddenly struck by how young Near looked as he clutched his pajama shirt, his eyes wide. For an instant, Light was sure he saw fear and terror in the young man's startled face. He opened his mouth to make a speech of gloating victory. Then suddenly the boy's fear died down. He was braced on his right hand, and he was still holding his chest with his left, but his face was terrifyingly calm.

"You did it, Kira," he whispered. "You won."

Before Light could say anything, he crashed to the floor.

The others were not so dignified in their deaths. The tall American died calmly, he admitted, but the dark-haired one was shaking with terror even before he clutched at his heart. The woman, typically, had dashed to Near's side the instant he had fallen. But she actually had frightened Light the most; for she had been able to draw her gun and aim at him before she too had gasped and toppled, clutching at her chest as though that could somehow reverse the process of the heart attack.

The deaths that disappointed him most, on the whole, were those of his own task force. Ide and Aizawa, both fairly hardened policemen, had been shaking, and Ide had almost been weeping. Light was conscious of a faint feeling of disgust when they fell. However Matsuda had shocked him. As soon Aizawa had finally collapsed for good, the young policeman had seemed to understand at last what was happening. And then he had turned to face Light, shouting furiously at him: "Light, how could you do this? How could you have done that to your father! He was your father, Light, and you killed him for this?"

Then he too had fallen, twitching faintly on the warehouse floor before his ragged breathing had finally ceased. Light had watched his corpse for a moment, startled at how long that death had taken. Then he remembered that from his spy's vantage point it would have been harder to see Matsuda's face, which would have been in shadow, and thus his name might have been written down somewhat later than the others. He watched Matsuda's body for a moment, thinking of the irony. In the end, it seemed, of those on his former task force, Matsuda had died with the least amount of fear. "Strange," he whispered at last. "I wonder if you were given extra courage to make up for your lack of intelligence."

Straightening up, he turned to the rusted and warped doorway to the left wall of the warehouse. "Mikami," he said softly, but with the ring of command in his voice. "It's over. You did well."

Slowly the door opened, creaking loudly and sending shrieks of scraping metal throughout the warehouse. Light kept his eyes on the door, eager to see his proxy in person for the first time.

Teru Mikami looked thin and bony in the dim light of the warehouse. Even his well-cut suit and large coat could not hide his narrow frame. There was less substance to him than Light would have guessed from his clear voice and piercing eyes, which were overshadowed by curtains of dark hair. On the whole, he did not look very different from when Light had witnessed him on the television program asking for Kira's guidance. Yet there was something rather impressive about him in person, something that reminded Light of his own fire when he had begun remaking the world in his own name. He was about to commend Mikami on a job well done when the lawyer suddenly dropped to his knees. "God," he whispered reverently. "You are here."

Light watched him thoughtfully, somewhat surprised by this level of devotion. He had known when he had seen Mikami speak on the television show that the young prosecutor was dedicated to Kira's cause, but he had not expected outright worship so soon.

His faint surprise was lost on Mikami, who had bowed his head almost to the warehouse floor. "God," he said in a muffled voice, "I did what you asked me. What do you need me to do now?"

"Sit up," Light said sharply. As flattering as the man's groveling was, it was only serving to delay them in the rather awkward position of being surrounded by several bodies. "We don't have much time here. This warehouse is abandoned, but we can't take the risk that their bodies will be found, at least not immediately. We need to make sure they are hidden in the crates or in some way concealed. Then you and I need to discuss how the world should come to know me as its god."

Mikami rose to his feet without a trace of embarrassment. He removed his glasses and looked long and hard at the corpses that littered the warehouse floor. "If you'll forgive my asking, why do we- you- have to hide the bodies? If they are left here and discovered, it will be attributed to the work of Kira, correct? What is there to fear?"

"That someone might recognize that I'm the only member of the investigating force that survived," Light replied. "The chances are very slim, since the task force's trip to this warehouse wasn't known to anyone on the Japanese Intelligence. But it's remotely possible someone might make the connection."

He stared at the corpses for a moment. Though he enjoyed the prospect of declaring himself openly as Kira, he was not sure that his supporters were devoted enough to accept him when they found out he was only a young man. Not every Kira supporter was a Teru Mikami. The mystery of Kira's identity was partly what lent him his divine reputation. Light thought of the clichéd advice that one should never meet one's childhood heroes. If he exposed himself, a large fraction of people would be disappointed, and their discontent could undo everything he had begun.

He clenched his fists. All his thoughts had been concentrated upon eliminating Near, but now that he had done so, he had to deal with the aftermath. As he looked back over the course of the past few days, there was no real way he could have avoided this meeting. The search for the mystery killer who struck down criminals with heart attacks had been going on for several years now, and Light had only lately come to the position of having control over the Japanese police force searching for him. But then Near had appeared- the mysterious entity stationed in America who had claimed to be the successor to the world's greatest detective, and Light had realized that he was not quite safe yet. His troubles had been answered when Near had suggested a face-to-face meeting. With the aid of the young lawyer who was fanatically devoted to Kira's cause, he had set his plans for Near's death in motion. And now they had come to fruition.

But now Near was lying dead at his feet, and Light had to deal with the consequences. Slowly he paced back and forth between the dead bodies of Matsuda and Aizawa, giving their contorted faces an emotionless glance. Quickly he bent and took the notebook that Aizawa had been carrying. Flipping it over idly for a moment, he tucked it away into his coat and surveyed the bodies a moment longer, his eyes narrowing slightly.

At last he straightened up and looked at Mikami. "Leave them. Write down your phone number and address for me, and then go home. Do nothing until I contact you, and continue judging criminals for me. I have an idea."

Mikami quickly scribbled the required information on the back of a receipt and handed it over. "Very well." He then bowed his head, and then, seeming to feel that this was not enough, dropped quickly to his knees and bowed his head almost to the floor. "Thank you, God."

Light searched his brain for something appropriate to say. If Mikami worshipped him as God, he had to keep that devotion alive as long as he possibly could. His mind raced through vaguely religious phrases. "Mikami, well done. I could not ask for a better servant."

Without looking back he strode back out of the warehouse, slipping out of the heavy door through which he had come. Mikami would go out the side entrance through which he had come and would go back to his home. Light allowed himself a thin smile as he began to work out the details of his next step.

A gravelly voice came suddenly from above his head. "Hey, Light. Now that it's over with Near- what now?"

"Wait and see, Ryuk," the young man replied calmly. The Shinigami was hovering just behind him, his dark wings flapping idly. Light knew if he turned his head he would see the elongated face and toothy grin that perpetually hid everything the god of death might be thinking. But Light had known him for several years, long enough to know that the death god wanted entertainment. And as long as he still had work to do, Light knew the Shinigami would certainly be entertained.

He strode briskly through the streets, not bothering to pay the passerby any attention. After a few moments he came to the cleaner parts of the city, where the skyscrapers rose proudly into a dusty grey sky. Taking a deep breath, Light began to walk faster toward a tall brown building that managed to somehow be indistinct even while towering above most of its neighbors. When he shoved the doors aside he looked around almost frantically, as though he was in a terrible hurry. One of the receptionists spotted him immediately and gave him a smile that died away as Light almost ran to him. "Light, are you all right?" the man asked.

"No. I have to see the director right away. It's urgent. I must speak to him."

With a nervous glance, the man quickly pressed a few buttons on his phone and relayed Light's message. There was a brief pause before he glanced quickly at Light. "You can go up."

Light nodded and passed the desk quickly. Once he had reached the elevators he closed his eyes, weighing every word and gesture that he would have to use to convince the director of his story. It should not be too hard for him to do, given that the director of Intelligence had been mildly acquainted with some of his team, but he could not risk the man inquiring too deeply because of a slip in acting.

He reached the director's office and felt a faint stirring of memory at the sight of the placard on the adjacent door, which read "Deputy Director." But he brushed the thought aside and went into the director's office as soon as he heard the sharp "Come in!"

Light went inside and closed the door, driving a hand through his long bronze hair as he did so. It was a deliberate gesture, one that many people associated with agitation, and he had a feeling the director of Intelligence would be no exception. It seemed to work; there was a look of faint concern in the man's eyes as he looked up at the young man before him.

Slowly Light walked toward the desk, staring at the carpet as though in a daze. "Director," he said slowly. "I don't- I don't even know how to begin to tell you this. But recently- a few days ago, in fact, we had contact with N, the member of the American organization that was still investigating Kira. He wanted us to meet him out in a warehouse near one of the docks, saying that he had important information that would help us catch Kira."

He paused as though to gather himself and the director stirred behind his desk. "Did he have any worthwhile information? Did you go?"

Light swallowed and looked at the floor as though ashamed. "No sir. I didn't go. I was going to- N was very adamant that everyone had to be there. I stayed because- Matsuda told me that he thought that as L's successor, I had to do as he had done- hide my face." He buried his head in his hands before straightening up and composing himself. But he made sure to keep a note of anguish in his voice.

"So I told the others that they should go to meet N," he went on. "I wanted one of them to wear a wire at the least so I could hear what was going on. Matsuda volunteered for that, naturally. And they all went to the warehouse."

"And?" The director sounded impatient.

Light looked up at the older man as though he needed his support. "They were all killed by Kira."

The director, a thin-haired man with a nose too large for his narrow face, caught his breath, and for one moment he looked stricken. "All of them?" His voice was composed, but Light could see his trembling hands.

"All of them," Light said softly. "I didn't know what had happened at first. I had Matsuda wearing a wire so I could hear what was being said, and for a while I could hear a little. N was talking about how he'd narrowed Kira's identity down to three possible suspects. He was about to name them when I heard him stop. Then- the whole wire just went wild. I could hear people gasping, shouting- I think someone might even have been crying or begging for mercy." He swallowed and began to clench and unclench his fist as though he was having difficulty controlling himself. "Then everything went dead. I kept trying to establish communication between them, but I couldn't get anything to work, and I finally ran down there myself."

"You should have called for backup," the director interrupted. "That was a reckless thing to do, Light, you knew that Kira was there and you-"

"I'd just heard them dying!" Light shouted, hoping he had the right balance of indignation, fear, and sorrow. "I'd just heard them all dying over the microphone and there was nothing I could do about it!" He took a deep breath. "You're right, sir. I'm sorry. But at the time, I didn't know what else to do. I ran down there and found- found all the bodies. The wire Matsuda had been wearing had been taken off and the whole place was deserted. And I saw N." He hesitated a moment. "And he was just a child, sir. He was… very young. And Kira had just killed him."

The director stood and began to pace the floor. "You didn't touch the bodies in any way?"

"No, sir. I came straight here."

"All right. I'll get the police and tell them to get the bodies from the warehouse- where is it?"

"It's the Yellow Box Warehouse, sir."

"Very well. And Light, you and I are going to have to talk about what to do next. We have to decide how we're going to approach Kira." The man sighed and rubbed a hand on his face. "I don't understand how he could have orchestrated that meeting, or known about it."

Light shrugged. "I'm not sure." He paused a moment, trying to determine whether it was safe to provide speculation or stay silent. Since he had stepped in as the greatest detective in the world, it was probably wisest to offer some input. "If he had a pawn in the SPK, he could have found out and then gone to the meeting to try and dispose of all his enemies at once. And then killed his pawn to make sure they couldn't betray him."

"Do you think he'll come after you?"

Light rose and walked to the window. "I don't know, sir. I joined the force after Kira had become a threat, so I wasn't required to have a photo I.D., and my father insisted that I keep my involvement a secret from everyone except my immediate family. Kira might try to come after L, but I don't think he knows me as L. He might even believe that he disposed of L in the warehouse. Maybe he'll get careless if we just sit back and wait for little while."

The director went to his desk and called up the police desk to brusquely give the order to fetch the bodies from Yellow Box as discretely as possible. After he hung up the phone he fixed Light with a sharp eye. "You think we should sit back and wait? Even though Kira's still killing criminals worldwide?"

Light pondered how he could best answer that. He hoped with all his heart that he was not going to have to kill the director; such a move would be risky if it became necessary, and he was not entirely sure yet that he could get by without the Japanese Intelligence. "I think it might be safest," he said at last. "Hear me out, sir. If Kira thinks he killed L and the two main task forces who were after him, he may get careless. He may even announce himself publically. And when he does that, we'll be able to arrest him with hard evidence."

The director pinched the bridge of his nose wearily. "True. Is that worth the cost, do you think? What do you estimate the death toll will be if we let him go on? He's been killing people just accused of crimes. Is that worth it, do you think? So many people dying?"

"Do we have a choice, sir? I don't like it any more than you, but is there anything else we can do? We've been dealt a serious blow. I'm going to have to explain to the NPA that the task force has been wiped out in one blow. Do you think they'll want to form another with the risks like that? And I couldn't even keep my own task force safe." Light stared broodingly at the carpet for a moment. "What kind of successor to L am I?"

He heard the director rise. "Go home for now," the man said wearily. "We'll talk this over tomorrow. You've been working like a maniac lately, or so I've been told. Go make sure your family knows you're all right."

"I can't do that yet," Light said softly. "I have to go tell the families of the others, sir. I need to make sure they know their loved ones died like heroes." Immediately he wanted to kick himself. That was overly saccharine even for his persona as the devotee of justice.

But the director took no notice. "You're right, but you don't have to tell them yourself."

Light shook his head. "I should. It's only right. I worked with them for a long time, and letting anyone else go to them- it would feel like I was hiding. It's something I feel I should do."

He shook hands with his superior and turned away, well aware of the sympathetic look the older man gave him. For now the director seemed completely fooled, though Light knew well enough that silencing him might still be necessary. But at the moment it seemed that all was going smoothly. And once again he was free to use a Death Note himself. He walked to the door, keeping his head lowered and shoulders slumped, and was hard-pressed to hold back a smile.