Note: Any opinions and/or viewpoints expressed in this are not necessarily my own, as they are written in the perspective of the individual characters.
And you're right to want to
Close the door and lock me in
Break the key and chase the blood out of my veins.
~In A Red Dress And Alone, Evans Blue
Truthfully, L didn't know why exactly he had come here. Backup was locked up, out of the way, nothing more than a failed experiment that his conscience had to live with. B was nothing.
(Nothing that used to be something.)
Why he was going to bother to visit the man was beyond him. He supposed he just wanted to see the man he had helped to destroy, charred flesh and all.
Not that there was all that much charred flesh left to see anymore. Beyond had had reconstructive face surgery, and now that a few years had passed, the face—while it still would never be a mirror of what it once was—had undergone significant healing.
Beyond still wore a mask, for whatever reason. A mask and the regulatory long-sleeved uniform of a mental patient.
(White clothing. Of course.)
The handcuff chains rattled, clanging against the chair, which was nailed to the ground, as the man adjusted his position.
"L Lawliet," Beyond shot back, some taunting venom in his words.
L had, of course, arranged for the institution to shut off the cameras and audio in Beyond's cell for this particular visit, trying to reduce the chances of any classified information regarding his identity be revealed. Now he was armed only with a panic button and a tranquilizer shot, concealed in a hidden location on his body, to be used should anything go wrong.
Should anything go wrong.
What a laugh.
Things were always wrong when Beyond Birthday was involved.
"The mask is a nice touch," L said, slowly. Trying to provoke him, obviously. It wasn't going to work.
Beyond knew that the best thing to do in this situation would be to ignore L, let his curiosity and irritation rise, to get under his skin, but he had been fantasizing about this day for too long to simply ignore the man. This was all too rich. L was already here and L was even here to see him.
"Oh, yes," Beyond responded, conversationally. He wasn't falling for anything. "Now, if only you had a matching one, we could be like twins."
So, that's how this was going to be played. It was a standoff of patience, and the person who managed to hold on the longest would have the upper hand. Neither man was at all eager to be giving up the title. Everything was still safe, for now.
Beyond Birthday was not, of course, without a plan. L's meeting with him had been completely unexpected, but years of learning to expect the unexpected had granted him a ready-made plan when such an event did occur.
And occur it finally did.
It had been only one scenario out of hundreds, hundreds that he had single-handedly calculated and prepared for, one by one. In all scenarios—and this was an inevitable fact, see—L wouldeventually confront him. Whether or not such a confrontation would occur face to face or not was of absolutely no consequence; it didn't matter in the slightest.
What did matter was that he had gotten L's attention, and that L was now bothered by the actions of another person.
He wanted L to be bothered.
And the fact that he had come to him, face to face, was even better. It would allow him to put in place one of his more elaborate plans—his detailed fantasy that would finally come true.
It was just a matter of who could hold out the longest.
L was not one for idle chitchat.
He normally would not be putting up with this, but the only problem was that he didn't know exactly what he was really doing here in the first place. For the moment, idle chitchat was all there was to keep them both talking.
More than once, L considered just leaving and being done with this, but now that he was already engaged in the standoff, walking away would be just like losing and he couldn't do that. He could never do that.
L didn't like the way Beyond was eyeing him from behind his mask, but of course he didn't let it show. That would be like losing, too.
"Twins?" L muttered, finally, letting out a deep breath. "I'm not sure about that."
Beyond laughed, then, and it was a drawn-out, wheezy laugh. L didn't really see what was so funny.
"There is too large a difference between us to ever be twins," L continued, lowly, carefully. His words had a double meaning, and Beyond received both messages perfectly.
"Now, Lawliet. Fire is easy enough to get. Even the Neanderthals could do it, so it certainly would be no problem for you."
But they both knew that neither of them were talking about physical appearance.
Beyond kept a mental scoreboard in his head. He could tell that the score was, or at least soon would be, 2 to 0, his favour. With every mention of the detective's name, B could sense almost like a tangible presence the other man's curiosity rising to new heights, and it might even become so unbearable for him that he would ask, ask how he could possibly know that name.
That, of course, would be the first point.
And it's not as if Beyond would answer his question, in any case. He would simply leave him hanging.
(Point two for Beyond.)
Of course, though, L hadn't asked—not yet. The scoreboard was still up in the air, but L wasn't going to be scoring any points against Beyond any time soon.
"You could always let me out, you know, Lawliet," Beyond suggested, after a particularly long silence.
(That's right, keep L guessing.)
L's gaze came slowly to rest upon Beyond's masked face, quizzically; what exactly was B trying to do?
L stood slouched over, only a few feet from where Beyond sat; Beyond, with his one arm handcuffed to the chair, needed desperately for L to step closer. He would no doubt have the key on him, somewhere. The back pockets, probably.
One of L's eyebrows twitched upward at this, like an automatic reflex.
Remembering himself, L muttered very, very slowly, "Yes, I could do that." L's eyes refused to leave him.
Beyond glared at L for giving such an unsatisfying answer.
(If only he could get him closer, damn it.)
L was getting an increasingly better idea of what Beyond's plans were, and there was no way he was going to let him achieve it. Honestly, the best thing to do now really would be to leave, but L hates to lose even more than Beyond hates to lose so they were both locked in this game. This very, very dangerous game.
And B was about to get the upper hand.
Beyond was an excellent pickpocket. All he had to do was get L to come over near him, and B had the perfect plan for that.
L didn't so much as twitch in response, but B knew he was listening. L was paying him more attention than anything else, and that was exactly what Beyond wanted. He deserved that attention, and it was right that he got it.
"Lawliettttt," Beyond spoke again, his voice almost whiny. This time, only L's eyes shifted to rest upon his figure. The glance was wary.
"I think you should take it off."
L said nothing in response, B knew full well that L would know exactly what he was talking about.
"You should take it off," B repeated, "and see what your little program has done to me."
This time, L spoke, but slowly. "You and only you are responsible for your own actions. Things didn't have to be this way; that was your choice."
"You're blaming this on me now? How wrong you are. But that's alright; I've come to terms with things. Now take it off."
Still calm, still calm. Throw a fit without the fit. That's easy enough.
L still did not move. Beyond snarled. "Oh, come on, Lawliet. I know you're curious. Go on. Take. Off. The damn. Mask. 'Oh, we'll all be like L!' and 'Oh, let's just call him Alternative and the otherBackup,' and you think that it's not your fault? Who do you think A killed himself for? Why do you think I ran away? Why do you think I murdered people and ended up here? It was all because of you, Lawliet, all because of you. And if you don't think you're guilty, then you are terribly mistaken. You're the reason for this, the reason for all of this. The least you could do now is to take off the fucking mask, goddammit!"
His voice was steadily rising—a perfect performance. Convincing enough that L was taking a step forward. And another step. And another. L wouldn't want B to have a psychotic fit in the middle of their meeting, so L was going along with it. And L took off Beyond's mask, exposing his scarred face. The scars were mostly healed—one would have to look at his face for longer than a glance to see them.
But that didn't matter. None of it mattered.
Because L was so, so close.
i do not think you'll escape
L wasn't sure how, exactly, Beyond had managed to steal the handcuff key from his back pocket. If that wasn't humiliating in itself, L had known that Beyond was going to try to take it. He had unraveled his plan almost from the very beginning, and yet here he was, handcuffed to the chair as Beyond had earlier, only facing the wrong direction.
It had all happened in a flash. L had very quick reflexes, but with them he and Beyond were more or less evenly matched, and L had been somewhat unprepared. With a few clicks, a pair of too-tight handcuffs—the ones previously locked to his former protégé—were clipped around his wrists, which were clipped also to the chair.
(when the handle and blade are gone, what remains of your axe?)
L cursed himself up and down. How was it possible not to have noticed Beyond pick-pocketing him and un-cuffing himself?
(Goddamn it, goddamn it, goddamn it.)
The white, portable little panic button L had been carrying earlier was cast aside, tossed over to the opposite side of the cell.
(Definitely out of L's reach.)
With a shrug, B was sure to throw the handcuff key to the other side of the cell, too. Unlike L, you could never be too careful. You never knew what could happen to these things if one kept them in their pocket.
L knew he was in trouble. Rather large trouble, he soon re-decided, upon viewing the situation from a statistical standpoint. Why, why had he let his protection become his downfall? Wasn't he usually better than this?
Though sitting around in a cell being angry with himself, L decided firmly in that moment, was definitely not his current best use of time, He immediately pushed the useless thoughts away. He needed to focus, focus.
(Just concentrate. What do you do now?)
He would need to somehow fight it out with Beyond Birthday and regain control of the entire situation.
That was the only problem.
Well, not the only one.
Wait; wait, wait, wait, wait.
He still had his cell phone.
If only he could reach it and have enough time to call Watari, then maybe—
Wait, wait, damn it, damn it, damn it; his cell phone was with the receptionist. No phones allowed in the mental prisoner cells.
Well, what now?
L could tell that Beyond loved how he was making him squirm. Though the detective was determined not to show it, it was probably apparent in the way his eyes almost involuntarily danced about the cell, darting to and fro between the handcuff key and the panic button—both of which were splayed on the ground a considerable distance away.
He still had, of course, the tranquilizer dart—the one that Beyond still may or may not be aware of. If he could only just take it out without being noticed…
But, Beyond was still keeping his distance, and L had never had an exceptional amount of confidence in his long-range combat skills; throwing the drugged needle at B like a dart would definitely not be a good idea.
(L is not a ninja.)
But, L is a negotiator.
(No, he is a hostage.)
L's mind, of course, is more than well-equipped to handle these types of situations.
(But, is this your only reason to live, Beyond?)
Someone, and only that one person, was going to be the victor; there was no other alternative.
The dart was concealed in a small, plastic case in the front pocket of L's jeans.
"There is no point in this," L stated, calmly, clearly. "Beyond. This is a matter of beating me, is it not?"
Of course it was. That was clear to them both, and it had been from the very moment L had stepped into the room.
(No, before that, long before.)
L and him had been locked in a personal sort of war before L had even realized it. Back when he was still at Wammy's. He may have been losing back then, but back then he had been fighting an uphill battle and now they were even.
At that, Beyond had to laugh—a short, breathy laugh. He didn't miss how L's dark eyes snapped to him immediately as soon he did it.
Yes, yes, yes, the detective was all his now. His property. His possession. His detective. The thing he was going to break—break into a million pieces.
(A billion pieces would be even better.)
He'll strive towards that, then. He'll break L into a billion pieces. It was perfect.
"I already have beaten you, Lawliet. You just haven't realized it, not yet."
Beyond began side-stepping around L, very, very slowly. Making his way behind him, out of his sight range. Slowly, not to make the action go unnoticed—at this point, it would be impossible for him to even twitch a finger without it being observed and mentally noted—but to build tension between them.
(What am I gonna do? You have no idea, huh, L?)
What better way to break someone, Beyond decided, than to begin by breaking some of their bones? The idea was fantastic. Brilliant, just like he was.
The blood could wait until later.
Beyond picked up L's free hand—his right—and cradled it gently, with the same tenderness that one might hold a newborn baby. He smirked when he felt L's sweaty hand go completely stiff in his own.
L didn't dare move. It was obvious who currently had control of the situation, and it wouldn't do him an ounce of good to pretend that it was him. Beyond had caught him ridiculously off-guard at a time he absolutely could not afford to be, and now he was paying for his mistakes dearly.
He heard the pain before he felt it—that disgusting cracking sound of bone splintering and snapping like worn out elastic bands put under stress. It made him feel just a bit ill.
And then he felt it.
Like a freight train crashing into him, pain flooded L's vision, briefly dimming his eyesight to black and making him dizzy. He gasped loudly, sharply, but he did not scream.
(No, screaming would be like losing and he can't lose—not to Beyond, not to anyone.)
It was his hand. B had broken his hand—had snapped it backwards.
L held his breath as he fought to keep his vocal chords silent, biting his lip with enough pressure to form a large gash on it. The blood trickled down his chin.
Once the initial urge to scream had passed, L let out his breath, heavily. He still couldn't see Beyond—he hadn't moved from his position in front of his back—but he could feel his excited, warm breath next to his earlobe.
"Do you like that, Lawliet?" Beyond breathed, a tone in his voice that sounded slightly manic. "This is what I can do to you."
L gritted his teeth, his hand throbbing immensely, and resisted the strong temptation to bash his head into Beyond's face, which was still close to his ear.
No, he couldn't let this get out of hand.
He had to remain calm, remain calm at all costs.
(Damn you damn you damn you.)
So L hadn't screamed.
Not a big deal.
L had such excellent self control, it would just take a little bit of prodding. Prodding…prodding, yes. That was perfect. Another perfect plan by Beyond.
(No no, but I want to see L's blood—)
Just a little bit longer. Be patient. You also want to make him suffer.
When L felt Beyond again pick up his injured hand and begin playing with it roughly, he had lashed out immediately, before he could even manage to stop himself. His legs had just reacted to the stimuli, not thinking, not thinking.
The execution, of course, did not go as planned. He had been unable to swing his legs around to the back of the chair properly—not with one of his hands broken and the other one tied up. He had lost his calm for nothing, and had, again, paid dearly as a result.
"Eager, are you?" Beyond's voice taunted him, mocked him, as he lay more than a bit sprawled awkwardly on the floor. L scooted himself upright.
Snapping without warning out of his civilized façade, B planted a kick in L's back, knocking him out of his sitting position on the floor and causing him to fall onto his bad hand.
"Do not try that again," Beyond spat to his face, his voice furious.
Acknowledgement was not a good idea at the moment—it would only serve to make things worse. L knew this, understood it, and yet—
He had made yet another stupid move, a stupid mistake that could have been avoided.
(Why was he making so many of those today?)
He couldn't afford to make any others.
"So, Lawliet," Beyond started, his voice back to normal.
(Damn it stop using that fucking name—)
"What a nice name you have. What is it, French?"
(Actually, go ahead, Beyond. Use my name as much as you'd like. I'm not going to give in.)
Beyond knew that L would not break easily—he wouldn't have been worth Beyond's time if he did—and B liked how this was going so far. He liked it quite a lot.
He liked having the upper hand over L. It was refreshing, interesting.
(How interesting will his blood be, I wonder?)
Beyond liked this game. It was fun; the most fun he'd had in years. The most fun he'd had since the Locked Door Murders. If he could only get out of this (whitewhitewhite) cell, he could do even more to torment L.
What could he do next? The opportunities were endless, and all were so, so interesting. Oh, how to make L bleed, how to make L writhe—?
What to choose next?
Kneeling behind L, Beyond began massaging his broken hand, trying to cause it further injury as he contemplated his next course of action.
L squirmed and squeezed his eyes shut, tightly, before his strained voice murmured in a tone that sounded stern but coated in pain, "Beyond. Please stop that." His breathing was heavy.
It was that, that small admittance of pain, and L was instantly no longer a machine and instead a human being, with flesh and blood and a beating heart that Beyond could stop if he wanted to.
(Not that he wanted to.)
This is what Beyond had been waiting for, what he had been fantasizing about for so long.
I've made you human I've made you human now all I have to do is break you.
A billion pieces.
Blood blood blood blood
Red walls white red walls white
Use L as paint paint paint break him to pieces
Now that L has admitted his own weakness, that he isn't untouchable after all, everything Beyond does will have infinitely more meaning. So what shall he do?
L knew that Beyond would never have expected L to lose in order to win, which is what made this perfect. No doubt Beyond assumed that he just won this…this…this whatever it was that was going on between them.
Sometimes losing is necessary to win.
Not, of course, that L felt he had lost in any way. Not yet. He may still be the one handcuffed to the chair, but he was not without plans of his own.
B's guard didn't go down, per se, but something had changed about him. L tried to focus on it, to pinpoint exactly where the change had originated.
B was now more…openly violent. He hadn't done anything to prove L right—it was just a hypothesis, after all—but the spark of madness that had seemed to have earlier been withheld for whatever reason now felt like it had been released from its chains, insanity out in the open. L could hear it on B's breath, feel it in the touch of B's skin against his own.
Beyond was insane.
L's heartbeat sped up as he tried to predict B's next actions, but Beyond was too unpredictable. Not, of course, in all aspects of his character, but when it came to things like this…
Beyond is not superior, just a madman. He was fucking insane. He was—
What—what the hell was he doing?
Beyond moved his fingertips along L's neck, tenderly. This was it; this would show his dominance over L.
Beyond stroked his hand up and down L's arm. "My precious little Lawliet," he said, his voice hushed, "you're mine."
He would show L that he was superior. The superiorest of all the superiorest people.
And what better way than this to show it?
L forced himself not to move as Beyond's fingertips brushed across his neck. He anticipated B's next move with apprehension, and when it finally came, it came in the form of a painful bite on the neck, along again with the words, "You're mine, Lawliet."
(I'm not I'm not I'm not—)
Immediately, L swung his body around to kick Beyond away, but it didn't work as well has he had intended. He made contact, but his broken hand slammed against the ground, causing him involuntarily to yelp in pain. His sneakers, which had been fitted loosely on his feet like flip-flops, went flying across the room with a soft thump.
The mark the bite would surely leave was indicative of L's failure to handle the situation appropriately. They both knew it—one saw it as victory while the other saw it as humiliation.
Without a sound, Beyond's arms came around him, tightly, and L couldn't move. L felt Beyond bite his neck once more, most certainly drawing blood, if it hadn't already.
Tied up and with a broken hand, L was completely helpless.
Goddamn, it was as if this had been given to him from the heavens—the ones Beyond didn't believe in. There were just no words in the dictionary to describe how perfect this was. It was perfect, it was just…
Goddamn¸ this was going well. It was going so well. Beyond couldn't wait to initiate the next step to his plan.
Of everything he loved the most about torturing L, he would have to say that his most favourite thing of all was L's reactions. The look of pain on his face when he had broken his hand, the fear in his eyes when Beyond had stroked his neck, the cry of pain when his mangled hand made contact with the floor—Beyond would do anything to evoke even more of those beautiful responses.
Soon he would do more than that. He would make L scream, would make him beg. If luck was on his side, he might even make the man cry.
(But Beyond doesn't need luck.)
With a grin, Beyond swung his body around and sat down right on top of L's lap.
(That's right, the detective is his to play with.)
And because L was his property, it was surely no problem that Beyond was running his cold hands up and down L's bare chest, his arms under the material that was his shirt.
L attempted immediately to buck him off, to make him stop, dammit!, but Beyond pinched his nipple, hard. The suddenness and intimateness of it was enough to make L gasp without meaning to.
(Fuck fuck fuck why did I give him that—)
Without warning, a pair of lips smashed forcefully into his, biting down on his lip with a considerable amount of pressure. As though he hadn't been compromised enough, L couldn't help but moan. L wanted to die of humiliation.
B's lips were still on him, still on him, when L felt a hand unzipping his pants.
(The fuck—? ‼)
He hadn't planned for this, he hadn't anticipated this happening.
(But why not?)
L head-butted Beyond, their skulls coming together with a thwack.
Immediately, B's hand grabbed hold of his penis. L gasped again and tried to curl into a ball as an instinctual reaction.
(Holy fuck get off get off get off)
"Beyond," L forced, his voice almost squeaky.
Beyond smirked, and began rubbing the genitals slow and hard.
(Holy fuck stop stop stop)
"Stop," L commanded, making his voice as authoritative as he could muster. It wouldn't matter; he knew it wouldn't matter. But, he was becoming erect and he felt he had to do something about the situation.
"I'm sure you never deduced a situation like this would occur, did you, Lawliet?" B whispered in his ear.
L snarled. "And I would imagine that you never deduced having your face reconstructed and being thrown into an insane institution, did you, Backup?"
But then Beyond pulled down his pants, followed by his boxers. L wanted to kick him, but he couldn't, because Beyond was still maneuvering himself about L's lap, and L more or less couldn't move. The single hand that was uncuffed would definitely be no good in combat.
Maybe he ought to swallow his pride. Maybe he has too much pride to swallow.
And then, Beyond got off his lap, and oh god, Beyond's mouth was on his penis, and that should not be allowed, not in this game they were playing, not ever. So he did the only thing he could think of, the only thing that might get Beyond off. L released his semi-full bladder, urine trickling slowly out despite the erection.
When Beyond tasted L urinating in his mouth, he was thrilled. L was peeing himself in fear; he was so scared that he was beginning to lose control of his bodily functions. It was superb. Beyond tasted the urine, savoring it—his victory, his win. L was his; every part of him belonged to Beyond and to Beyond only.
Beyond bared his teeth and sank them down onto L's exposed member. In what was surely instinctual, the man gasped. It was probably not instinctual, however, when he kneed Beyond in the face.
He hit Beyond's nose, but the nose didn't break. It just bled. Bled and bled and bled.
(Not the right red blood.)
It was then that Beyond shoved him forcefully onto his backside, twisting L's handcuffed arm with a loud snap.
L's arm was not supposed to bend that way—that was for sure. The fact that it did proved only that he was not going to come out of this in a very good condition, but he would get out of it. Of that, L was still sure.
(Pain pain pain pain pain)
L shrieked when his arm broke, and Beyond was on him in a second. L didn't know when he had done it, but Beyond's pants were off, and his cock was out in the open. Both of theirs were, only L's was pressed painfully against the ground. It didn't bother him, much. His arm was what hurt the most.
It was then that, without any prior preparation, Beyond began ramming into him, hard and fast.
All L knew was feeling. Feeling pain, and pain only. No time for thoughts. No time for words. L became blind to everything; everything happened in a blur. He heard someone screaming, and it took him a few moments to pinpoint it as himself.
L began sobbing, quietly, because that was the only thing he could do, and only vaguely realized that his crying was getting louder and louder. He didn't care anymore; he could barely even focus on just staying conscious.
It felt like forever. The pain was ripping him apart. Beyond felt so, so big. As big as the entire planet, the entire galaxy.
L hardly even registered the exact moment when Beyond came, but he must have, because slowly L came to notice that the panting and the moaning and the grinding had come to a stop, and somebody was putting clothes on him.
Beyond unlocked the handcuff, just so that he would be able to remove L's white shirt.
(White. How ironic.)
Removing his own shirt—red with blood from wiping off his bloody nose—Beyond put L's carefully over his head. He already had L's jeans on. In the pockets, he had found a tranquilizer dart. It was perfect.
In the background, L was still crying his pathetic heart out, eyes swollen and red, tears streaming uselessly down his face. That was perfect, too.
Once L was dressed in Beyond's clothes and Beyond in L's, Beyond crouched down to L's level and breathed hotly into his face.
"Enjoy the white walls, Lawliet. You might be with them longer than I was."
Then Beyond placed his mask over L's face, and the two looked identical. No one would notice the difference unless they looked closely. And that was just enough for Beyond to escape.
B injected L with the tranquilizer, and, for L, everything faded to black.
After re-cuffing L to the chair, Beyond walked out of the cell. As he passed by the receptionist, he placed the tranquilizer on the desk and said, "He went crazy in there; I didn't want him to hurt himself, so I had to use this. But don't worry; he didn't do anything to me. I have to leave right now, but you should check on him."
Without waiting for the receptionist's response, or reaction, Beyond walked away from the white, white walls and the night was haunted by the sound of cackling.
Nursery rhymes are said, verses in my head
Into my childhood they're spoon fed
Hidden violence revealed, darkness that seems real
Look at the pages that cause all this evil
Ring around the rosés
Pocket full of poesies
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
~Shoots & Ladders, Korn
I am so glad that I didn't write this four months ago, when I first wanted to. While this was incredibly fun to write (I loved every minute of it), it was also incredibly difficult to write. I would have never been able to manage to write this properly four months ago. Many thanks go to Stormygio, Lightning027, and Nix-the-Neko for advice and assistance with this. I really hope you enjoyed, and I'm dying to know what you think of it.
~Ratt Kazamata, 4/20/2012
Edit: There is now a sequel to this fic, called "The Letter L"!