Warning: This chapter contains yaoi references, naff puns, comments which may offend the staunchly religious and naughty language. Huge thanks to Marshmallows Rule The World and WhiteLadyDragon for reviewing the last chapter!

"You! I want to take you to a gay bar!"—Electric Six

One of the dominant themes in the stories by fans from all across the fandom is romance. Who doesn't love seeing their favourite character getting paired off with random people and having wild, steamy affairs with them? And I'm not talking about your crap OC—proper shipping only occurs between canon characters. But how does one "ship"? To understand this activity, we must first familiarise ourselves with the meaning of the word.

It is the common belief that "shipping" is derived from the word "relationship". This is incorrect. It actually comes from actual ships—you know, boats that float on water and stuff. When you write a fanfic for a less mainstream couple, you must convince others that your couple is the best, and it becomes like shipping goods—the writing process is like a long, arduous journey across choppy waters, and when you're done you still have to sell the goods to customers. Ships also have the potential to sink halfway across the ocean, ie. get abandoned by the writer. Anyone who thinks shipping comes from "relationship" is clearly an idiot.

So, we have the meaning of the word sorted out. Now, I hope none of you get seasick because we're setting sail; it's time for the actual shipping. That sounded much better in my head.

Step 1: Playing Cupid

Dilemma alert! Do you want to write a romantic fic with a creative, original pairing? Don't know who to pair up with whom? Have no experience in love whatsoever? Luckily for you, setting characters up is remarkably easy! Just pick one hot character. Done? Good. Now, pick another hot character. It doesn't matter if they never met in-series, because we're going to find a way around that.

Congratulations, you now have a ship! Just don't try sailing it. Since Death Note's cast is primarily male, it's likely that you have a yaoi pairing. This is fine—yaoi will inevitably get you more readers, since the Death Note Fanfiction community mainly consists of sexually frustrated teenage girls. But I would advise you not to mention the yaoi fans to your parents, they will start to wonder if the fandom is some kind of gay club.

Now you have your main characters, which will give your story body. What's next?

Step 2: Across A Crowded Room

This bit will focus on how your characters met, especially if they never made contact in canon. There are several ways you can do this:

1: At a bar—Were your characters ever in the same country at the same time? They were? Great! Get them hammered so they can have wild, no-strings-attached sex just for the hell of it. If you're really clever—and this is hard to pull off, so be careful—you can have one of them remember who they slept with, stalk them, then turn up in the middle of the Kira case to rekindle the flame! How romantic!

2: High-school romance—El gasp! Who could have guessed, but your characters went to the same high-school! And as if that weren't crazy enough, they dated, too! Not only will this reel in reviewers like a fishing rod, but it's totally original and unclichèd and you have the opportunity to create a High-School Musical parody!

3: In the Afterlife—Lots of characters die in Death Note—pretty much all of the hot ones kick the bucket, so why not have Jesus (or Satan, depending on the character) set them up on a blind date in the Afterlife? Don't make J.C a main character, though, because that would count as a Bible crossover.

These usually work when your characters have never met before, but what do you do if they actually know each other? Here are some popular pairings and some tips on writing them.

LxLight: A fan favourite. These two were handcuffed together for several episodes, therefore they had sex at least once. However, due to L's social awkwardness and Light's plain dickishness, they quickly terminate the affair because they both have better things to do and Light's fucking Misa anyway.

MattxMello: Another favourite. These two are BFFs, so who's to say it's nothing more than bromance? After all, they died together. That's, like, sooo cute! It's Romano and Juliet all over again. When writing this pairing, it's sometimes hard to decide who's uke and who's seme. If you're stuck, just look at Mello's trousers. Is there room for 'anything' under there? No there is not. And he looks like a girl anyway, therefore he must be an uke. Just a really aggressive one.

MelloxNear: Ah, teenage rivalry, inevitably leading to sexytiemz. Obviously, Mello's hatred for Near is just a cover and he can't admit he's gay because teenage boys are immature like that. Can't you just see how their scenes are burning with sexual tension? But wait! This pairing has potential for even more drama when Mello gets caught in a love triangle between Near and Matt! It sounds like the beginning of a joke. A blond, a ginger and an albino walk into a gay bar...

RyukxLight: I really don't think I need to explain this. It happened and you know it.

Using any of these pairings guarantees Fanfiction success. Just add angst, Mellodrama, heartwarming fluff and more lemon than a citrus farm and you've got yourself a hit. Good luck and happy shipping, sailor!

Next time: A special appearance from everyone's favourite creep. No, not Near. I'll keep you guessing.


A/N: God, this chapter is so bad it's not even funny. Literally. On top of all the ship-bashing, I really should get my flame shield out for this one. MATSUDA GET OVER HERE.

Song lyrics are from "Gay Bar" by Electric Six. There's a few good Death Note AMVs for that song. By the way, I'm going to put a poll up on my profile so you can vote on the chapter you want next. The chapter wit hthe highest number of votes before I start writing will get posted first, if you get my drift. That'll be up soon, and I'll see you next chapter!