Here it is, out-of-nowhere-fanfic-piece. Nothing too fancy, nothing too plotty, as usual. More reasoning that anything else. Enjoy?

…First, there was the Problem of Evil. If God exists and God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, evil shouldn't exist. Still, it obviously does, which results in God's absence. And if there isn't anyone whose job is to orchestrate the intricate mechanism of the world and punish wrongdoers, wouldn't it be natural for someone, a chosen one, to take up to this role? Wasn't Kira much of a redeemer?

But yet again, how could he know that he was the chosen one? And how could such a great responsibility be dropped in the hands of an ordinary person, without anyone confirming his suitability for the role? Of course, Kira was naturally arrogant and his self-esteem went through the roof a bit more than necessary- but after all, didn't all great leaders in the history of man possess those traits? How else could they have ever built nations, empires, worlds, than by combining almost-flawless logic with a dose of smug recklessness?

Take Napoleon, for example. The typical romantic hero, fighting for domination. Almost a success. Great improvements for future generations of France and not only, but of course he had to make a mistake at some point.

That mistake was made when he had become drunk with power, wanting more, always more, until the point at which reckless became stupid and victory became defeat. This- this was it! Just like Napoleon, Kira had to screw things up at some point, and it would only happen when his mind would become one-tracked for victory and dominion and power and supremacy and all those beautiful illusions that provoke more serious addictions than any illegal substance ever could.

Yes, Kira had to stray from the path at one point, and that would be their occasion to catch him. Light's mind rejoiced and a shade of a smile softened his features, even though he knew nothing was as easy as a second of intuition makes it seem.

But yet again, was it really necessary…?


'Yes?' he answered promptly, temporarily deserting his trace of thought.

'You look rather depressed. Obviously, it's because I'm the only one eating cake here. Have some.'

The boy shifted his gaze from the awkwardly-sitting detective to the plate that was being offered to him and he couldn't really put his finger on either of them, his mind still wandering along untraceable territories.

'No, thanks. I'm fine.'

The detective's words were only surface, but his eyes scrutinized Light's with intolerable depth. The boy would have interpreted his behaviour as pure interest and preoccupation, in another place, in another time, but there and then, he knew L's only aim and perceiving any of his actions as detached from the case would've been a proof of utter ignorance.

Imminently, a second passed, then another one, the next one being no less tense, fourth coming forth with nothing changed, then Light got bored and stopped unconsciously counting moments. Perhaps it was time they talked.

'I'm not Kira,' he restated for the millionth time, from habit more than from conviction.

L kept his gaze for a second longer, then returned his attention to eating cake which was certainly a more interesting activity than talking to someone who just won't confess.

'I know.'

What exactly do you know?

'I'm serious,' he reinforced, knowing as well as L that neither of them would believe him. 'But I was thinking,'- and here the detective looked at him again- 'of the ways in which Kira's actions could be forgivable.'

'The 'greater good' excuse, I suppose, and the deterministic one.'

'What do you think?'

'I think they're connected. The deterministic explanation assumes that everything that happens follows an unmovable sequence of cause and effect that no one can escape from, and even though it doesn't include moral implications, I believe that the importance of conscience in this matter is crucial.'

Sip of tea. Awaiting.

'Because as perfect as the universal order would be, people aren't simple pieces of a clockwork, they're also equipped with thoughts and feelings- with a conscience. The deterministic theory doesn't accept the concept of evil, since everything works according to a preestablished plan- from this point of view, Kira is not guilty of his actions, because he is simply acting as a part of the machine. Still, if everything is already in order, why is there suffering in the world? That comes as the echo of events that people perceive as negative. So, Kira could be excused from both the perspective of things happening beyond his free will and that of his revolt against that very system that cannot be perfect as long as humans have souls.'

'But, of course, neither of these excuses are valid. Harmful action can't be justified by philosophical views, it's not pragmatic enough.' L shrugged and rolled his eyes, letting out his words in an apathetic half-sigh.

'Unlike the law system,' Light said on a tone that was part mock, part inquiry.

'I admit that the law system is far from perfect. But wouldn't you agree that trying to do something against crime, as imperfect as those actions and their results are, is better than doing nothing at all?'

'Of course I agree. You know Kira's mind as well as I do, so following your logic, basically Kira is better than any philosopher simply because he is more pragmatic than them, because he acts.'

L arched his lips into a small, crooked smile.

'Basically, you are trying to make me admit that I agree with your ways… Kira.'

Frown frown.

'We are on a purely philosophical field, I thought you'd realised that.'

'But philosophical conceptions are strongly related to one's personality.'

'Do you agree or not?'

Light's tone was sharp and demanding and L's smile didn't falter, but his cold, calculated gaze didn't seem to match. They stared at each other for a few seconds, eye to eye, vision to vision, none of them willing to give in.

'Perhaps. Perhaps I do. '

A few days later, or maybe it was weeks or months or decades, L and Light were sitting on the armchairs in their old room, their room, face to face, with no chain to hold them together anymore.

'Why are you here?' L asked and his wide eyes were full of caution.

'I… don't really know,' Light answered, his tone relaxed and his features mimicking boredom, as if this was a conversation he had to go through as a daily routine.

'I was thinking that maybe we could talk.'

'We are talking now.'

Composed laugh. Fake.

'You know that's not what I meant.'

'Then tell me, what do you want us to talk about?'

'Life. Morale. Justice. Anything.'

'Does your sudden wish for communication with me come from the fact that I will be dying soon or are you just reminiscing the good old times?' The detective smiled and it hit Light, that smile again, crooked and twisted and somehow evil but so, so lovely.

One can smile and smile and be a villian.

'A bit of both, I guess,' Light replied with a smile of his own. 'I missed you.'

'If by 'me' you mean 'the show that we are putting on', the sentiment is mutual.'

Laugh, again. Two seconds. Then, completely vanished.

'Seriously, since we both know your days are numbered, I want you to cut it out for a while and just be damn honest with me once in your life.'

'Look who's talking.'

'I hold the upper hand in this very moment, so I make the rules.'

'Or else what? Am I not going to die anyway?'

Wicked smile. 'Maybe not. I could keep you around for fun.'

'Like a pet.'

'Like a friend, or… an enemy, or anything I would like.'

'You already know what I would choose between my life and my dignity.'

'Yeah, I know,' Light said calmly, all-knowingly, maybe a bit melancholic, looking away on the open window towards an unidentified point in the horizon. 'That's why it will never work.'

Two hours, from which at least ten minutes had been spent shouting, six discussion topics, various types of laughter, one kiss on the lips and four anticipated bites later, the sight of a blonde boy sitting in the same small armchair as a strange-sitting dark-haired man, limbs intertwined and no one knowing which belongs to whom and both of them laughing at a seemingly priceless remark would've been what any visitor would have least expected to see.

But there they were, aiming for nothing in particular and holding the world upon a string, passing the time and forgetting how to lie.

'Those damn bastards, I accuse them of inhabiting this earth with their small bodies small minds small visions, either corrupted or idiotic, evil or naïve. Useless ants. We should build up a world just for us, you know,' the younger boy said, playing with a strand of L's hair.

'And it still wouldn't be enough.'

'Nothing ever is.'

'We would still end up as enemies. Out of boredom.'

'This is it, right? We're too good for this world.'

'Aren't you being a bit narcissistic, Light?'

'Sure I am. But you have a place at my faithful right, so you should be content,' he smiled.

'No one has no place at nobody else's right, and you know that. We have always been equals. And you have always been a delusional, arrogant bastard, Light-kun.'

Something in the way L said it stopped Light from feeling offended- perhaps the half-mocking tone, perhaps the sing-song cadence of the words or maybe the state they were both in, that state of nothing-really-matters-we're-going-to-hell-but-that's-okay-because-we're-having-fun-aren't-we? and both of them knew that they were past it, past everything, post everything and anything else but present moment seemed superfluous and not worth the attention.

'Look who's talking now. You're as arrogant as I am,' Light replied, analysing the detective's features a mere two inches from his face.

'Yes, but I am neither idealistic, nor corrupted or drunk with power. Unlike you, I know who I am.'

Light laughed loudly, genuinely, with all his nonexistent heart, for the first time in what seemed to be forever.

'No one ever knows who they are.'

Seconds, months, years in the future, nothing would be that perfect anymore.

Things would change and lives would go to waste and loneliness would settle in slowly, achingly, like moss on the trees, and absence would turn into obsession. Or perhaps- perhaps!- the light would still dawn on their careless faces after a night of hide and seek and truth or dare and life or death and life, life, life.

Who what ever knew.

In that second, the world was and always would be their playground.