So, I promised myself I'd finish my first story before starting any others, but the idea refused to leave me alone. And as it's finals week, who am I to deny the chance to get something out of my head?
Warnings: OOC in the beginning, but then he changes to similar to how he is in the manga/anime. Just he's not Kira. And an incorrect location as to his childhood living situation, but there's a reason. Also rape.
Note: I'm perfectly aware that L's speech is wrong. I'm also dyslexic, so while the writing is good, the chance of typos isn't exactly nonexistent. And my roommate happens to be snoring. Kill me?
Disclaimer: only own what you don't recognize.
When Light wakes up, he can't see a thing.
For a moment, he panics - he can feel the concussion and I've gone blind, he thinks. Then he registers the rough cloth of his face. It's backwards, but he calms in a little, comforted in the knowledge that he's been blindfolded because this means someone hasn't gauged his eyes out. Who this "someone" is, he doesn't know, he remembers what he can now. The ineffective hit on the back of the head, the fabric pressed to his face. He never saw who the attacker was, which is bad, but his dad will find him. Often, the man is absent, but there is no way Light can go long without rescue.
Or maybe that's the concussion talking. Light is an optimist by nature despite his studies and personal experiences saying he shouldn't be. But he's a week away from turning fourteen and this is expected.
So he is.
A person suddenly says in English, "The kid's finally awake."
Now is the first time he notices the scratchy feeling of tight rope around his wrists and the pain in his shoulders from having them pulled backwards. He's sitting on what feels like wood. The optimism cracks a little already.
"Took him long enough," answers a man with a considerably gruffer voice. A calloused hand grasps his chin, yanking his face up with a swift movement. Light expects the blindfold to be taken off, but it stays firmly in place. "I was starting to think we'd be stuck here forever. The others didn't take this long. This means we can leave now, right?"
There's a pause where one of the men must've used a form of nonverbal communication. "Enjoy your stay, Yagami," says the first person, followed by the shuffling of footsteps and the slam and locking of a particularly heavy door. Instantly, the silence sets in.
When the panic begins to build, he forces it down. Gets himself to think logically. Without his sight, it's hard to determine much, but he does what he can. What he comes up with isn't anything substantial.
He's in a room, blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back. The room's floors are stone but the walls feel like brick or stucco. There are at least two captors, if not more. One of them said "the others didn't take this long," implying that Light isn't the only kidnapped. Awake not even five minutes and they left. For a moment he listens for any hint of a sound, but hears nothing. It's completely silent. He tries to wiggle away from the wall and makes it a good foot or two before he flops sideways, narrowly avoiding hitting his head again. So he's probably drugged too because it isn't until now that he feels the bruises on his body and his mind is foggy even for a concussion.
At least his ears aren't bleeding.
It's a struggle, but he forces himself up and back against the wall where he can be supported. What he wants is to take the blindfold off, but in his current situation, he doesn't know how. What are their motives? he wonders. Who are "they" in the first place? Where is he? All are good questions.
And none of them come with an answer.
It's silence that gets to him more than anything else.
In a sick way, the confinement he can deal with. The bound hands, the blindfold - inconvenient and annoying, yes, but that alone shouldn't inhibit his ability to think. The silence, though, is sickening. It causes a humming in his brain worse than his concussion, lets horrible thoughts surface and panic to form and becomes harder and harder to stop from speaking out loud just to break it. To get the silence out of the air and the silence out of him and get his full cognitive functions back.
As a kid, he hated noise when he was reading or studying but when he thinks about it, there was always something to hear. Sayu laughing with her friends, activity on the street below his window, Mom baking downstairs. Always something. Now there's nothing. Logic says that this should make his breathing sound louder, but he can't even hear that. It's like someone stuck the world's best earmuffs on his head along with the blindfold, but he knows that isn't possible because he hear the kidnappers talking to him clearly.
And the silence slowly begins to take hold.
"So this is the last kid in our line-up," says an entirely different voice than before after what feels like forever of being trapped in that silent room. Light's eyes are still blindfolded, he's dizzy from how little food and water he's gotten, and his arms ache. "Light Yagami, age fourteen, from Osaka, Japan. Say hi, Light."
He stays silent. Over the past...however long he's been alone, he's decided that this must be on a large scale and cooperating isn't such a good idea. And he will probably regret this decision like hell, but it might be easier for his dad to find him, which is a hope he desperately clings to. They're still speaking English and considering that they've never switched to Japanese around him, odds are they know he can fluently speak it.
"What are you, kid, mute?"
Still, he stays silent, and looks in the estimated direction of the one speaking, wishing his blindfold was off so the man could see his glare. Either way, he's sure his contempt is obvious to whoever's on the other end of the camera feed and definitely to the ones actually in the room.
"We'll contact you in a week. You have three months."
Through the lightheaded feeling and fading concussion, Light tries to process what he knows. The man gave no reason, so it must've been given at some prior point. "Last kid" again implies that there are at least two other hostages, if not more. His name, age (since they said fourteen, at least six days have passed), and location down to the country was given and everyone's spoken to him in English, which means this is at an international level. The recording was short and they didn't force him into doing anything, so whatever signal is being used must be traceable. This is good.
Next week, he'll time how long it takes. Whatever communication comes after, he'll try to drag it out.
Suddenly there's a hand in his hair, pulling him to his feet and at this point in time, he can still support himself. The second voice he'd heard his first day here says, "Think you're clever, kid? Not saying anything like that?"
Again, he says nothing but at the blow to the stomach followed by the subsequent letting go of his hair so that he tumbles backwards is enough to force him to let out an undignified squeak. His abdomen is on fire and though he tries not too, he curls up. Someone in the room lets out a sound of frustration before arms reach down, picking him up and he's too dazed to struggle. That single hit took a lot out of him, which speaks volumes about how weak he's getting here. At least there's no stereotypical laugh.
Then he gets dragged backwards until he's literally thrown, landing in a heap on stone floor, and hears the door shut behind him.
Halfway across the world, L sits crouched in front of his computer, the TV behind it playing the newest footage of the kidnapping, split into six sections, each showing a different child. All are from one of top six world superpowers. Four were girls, two boys. Alice Darnton, age fifteen from England, daughter of a Parliament member; Jordan McKinley, age ten from America, daughter of a New York Senator; Cosette Sinclair, age thirteen from France, daughter of a high ranking French military officer; Mei Cheung, age twelve from China, daughter of a high ranking Chinese military officer; Pasha Ivanov, age sixteen from Russia, son of a Russian ambassador. All are in various stages of begging their parents to come save them, to give into demands, crying helplessly. Normal. Expected.
But then there's the sixth, the one in the bottom right of the screen. The younger of the two boys. Yagami Light, age fourteen, from Japan. He looks small for his age, much too thin, and the only one still blindfolded. His hair is messy and dirty and he holds himself like he's in pain. Everything is bleached of color, including his lips which means he's close to fainting. He hasn't said a thing, hasn't cried. Last time - the second airing and first time L joined the case - he'd been kicked pretty hard for not saying anything and the bruises on the skin that he can see prove that he's dealt with much more. Today marks the fourth week of the children being there and Light's lip is bleeding.
The disembodied voice asks the boy, "Ready to say something?"
There's a pause, another kick in the side and though Light doesn't scream, his body goes rigid. Who delivered the blow is off camera, hidden. The minute they use to keep filming is almost up. Any minute now the kid's father will get through to him because Yagami Soichiro is the only one he feels justified in talking to. Everyone else's children look worse for wear, but definitely not tortured or even starved. Not like Light who, according to his father, happens to not be mute.
Then, suddenly, "Yeah, I would." Few things manage to surprise L, but hearing the raspy, accented voice of the silent hostage speak really does catch him off guard. He glances at the time and sees - well, he sees something genius. Perfectly timed and in English. Apparently the kidnappers are just as surprised because the camera doesn't shut off. "Dad, I'm somewhere where it rains -"
There comes a fumbling sound and a tall figure steps in between Light and the camera, back facing the screen, and everything goes dark. The last thing L hears is a sudden scream, cut off abruptly. His entire body is shaking and when the call comes from Yagami, he hits the button to answer faster than usual.
He says in Japanese, "Your son is brilliant, Yagami-san," and the upset look on the man's face doesn't fade. "He kept the video going just long enough to trace the signal."
"I know," says Light's father, running his fingers through his hair. "Just, God, what are they going to do to him?"
Normally L doesn't show much compassion or sympathy, but he decides not to answer with the suspected truth. "We're getting closer thanks to him," he tells him instead. Five other calls are trying to get through, but he ignores them. The sound of scream won't get out of his head and he really does have to wonder what the men are doing to the kid. "Exact position cannot yet be determined, but it's somewhere in the northwest part of North America."
Obviously trying to keep calm, Soichiro asks, "How do you think he knows it rains?"
"That also cannot be determined at this time. I will contact you soon, Yagami-san."
They exchange goodbyes and L closes the call, still ignoring the others, and tries to access the information.
Six children from six superpowers, kept somewhere in the northwest of North America where it often rains. The kidnappers' demands in return for the hostages is for the UN to repeal the bill allowing peacekeepers to use force in self-defense, which isn't going to happen because six children is not enough to sway an international decision. They also made it clear that they are not perpetrators of genocide, but rather believe that those who carry the name "peacekeepers" should not be allowed to use violence. So they fight violence with violence.
L always has had a special hatred of hypocrites.
And now this new information and the boy who delivered it. If not for Light, L wouldn't have even been interested enough to join the case because he purposely tries to avoid those that involve children. Young ones are a weakness for him that he doesn't like. But then he saw that first message and Light's blatant glare suddenly turned it into something too fascination not to get involved in. He's a genius, according to his father, and now he sees it. A kid like that shouldn't have to die.
For a moment, Light is confused as to why the binds on his wrists are cut. Then he's thrown to the ground. The weight of one knee lands on his chest and the other one on of the arms. A hand holds down the other one and though he's becomes apathetic to terror over the past however many weeks, he feels it come back full force now.
"You're such a fucking idiot, kid," says the man above them and Light's body spasms under the weight of the knee on the rib cracked not even ten minutes earlier. "Do you have a death wish or something?"
"Don't kill him," says someone else who recognizes as the one who does the filming. "We need him for another two months."
Two months. It feels like he's been here forever, not just four weeks. "We could use him," comes a third voice and his breath catches in his throat. Use him? What does that mean? "I told you three months was too long. But no, you just -"
"Oh, shut up. None of us exactly expected it take this long."
The pressure on his chest is suffocating, but they're talking as if he isn't here at all. This leaves him somewhere between insulted and relieved.
The second person says, "Let's just use him to speed up the process. That L guy is working on the case now, I don't think anyone wants to see this kid get hurt. Besides, if he dies then we martyr him."
Get hurt? Oh, God. He doesn't like where this is -
"We restart the feed tomorrow."
The pressure leaves arm and chest and he doesn't feel anyone bend down to retie his arms, which is strange.
The first voice tells him, "Don't bother untying the blindfold. You've had it on for four weeks and the light in here is bright. You'll go blind."
Then the door is shut and Light is plunged back into the silence.
On the first day of April, L narrows down the location further, speaks with the other five captive's families, and gets the shock of a lifetime.
He's with Quillish, examining the evidence when the monitor blinks an alert. It hasn't been a week yet, which can't mean anything good. So he turns on the TV and is instantly greeted with the normal sight - Light blindfolded, shrouded in darkness. Except not really the normal sight at all, because it's only Light and rather than being by himself, there's a masked man holding him, and his arms aren't tied.
The one holding the boy says, "You've been taking to long. We've decided to give you a little incentive."
Behind him, he feels Quillish tense and he hits the answer button the moment Yagami calls.
"Are you seeing this, L?" the man says. His face is white, his tone shaky. On the screen, the man holding Light forces him to extend his arm and someone else has reached out, pressing a scalpel to thin appendage. The boy doesn't scream, but his body goes rigid. "Raito!"
"They're in Alaska," he answers, wide eyes also transfixed on the screen. The scalpel moves, and the kid's getting attacked from every direction. For all L has seen in his twenty-one years of life, he's never actually watched anyone get tortured. When Light's stabbed in the stomach, he finally screams. "Where, I don't know, but that's a starting point. I'll contact the American government."
"You have one week."
The connection goes dead exactly two seconds before it could become traceable.
For Light, things derail pretty quickly.
He's left alone, suffering in the silence, cut and bleeding and nothing but the stomach wound's been treated. His breathing is shallow. Taking off the blindfold doesn't even cross his mind; he's become used to his sightlessness.
No one brings him food or water anymore, though he knows more than a day has passed. It's so quiet it hurts and that combined with the pain makes his sanity begin to slip. He's forgotten how to speak, how to see - too tired now to even be afraid. His last coherent thought left is I won't cooperate.
Once sound comes back, so does sanity. And of course it's at the worst possible moment.
Whoever is restraining him is different than last week, the arms thick with gloved fingers. He feels like he's bleeding from just about everywhere, but there's no way because the camera can't be on for more than a minute. They've given L three days to find them and the UN three days to repeal something that Light still doesn't know or the six of them are going to die. Six. There are six of them. Since all thoughts of being found have shattered, he at least hopes no one else went through this. Getting torn to pieces, beaten up, held under water until he was sure he'd drowned.
All to get him to talk to a camera. Not to give information. Just talk. Too bad Light seems to have forgotten how to use words.
Someone patches up a wound on his shoulder, shouts something that he doesn't register. It's not quiet but the silence is creeping back anyway. It's like he's air, floating and thrashed around and when he faints, he isn't particularly surprised.
There's a gun to his head. He can feel it without actually touching it, his sense of touching having gotten so sensitive. But the silence has turned him apathetic again and he doesn't feel afraid. If it's the third day and no one's found him, that's okay. One gunshot to the head, pretty instantaneous, can't hurt all that bad, can it? At least this way the kidnappers won't get what they want. All he really wants is something to drink, like water or green tea or apple juice.
"Are you ready to talk, kid?"
He doesn't answer, doesn't even understand what the man said. His mind's gone blank and he can't remember English anymore. His mouth is too dry to talk. The silence swallows the voice whole and goes back to suffocating him. It's grown hands and those fingers are wrapped around his neck.
Suddenly cold metal collides with his temple, snapping his head and shocking him out of it for a moment. He can hear his own ragged breath, feel his entire body's dull ache of pain. The barrel of the gun is pressed right up to his new bruise, hurting him. Hurting him a lot, actually.
"Are. You. Ready. to. Talk."
He shakes his head because that doesn't take words but still gives an answer. Not that he wants to answer - he just doesn't want this stalemate to last forever.
Suddenly to gun goes off, but it doesn't hit him, shot past his head. He jumps at the sound and feels it graze his shoulder, more pain to add to the pain. He feels the blood ooze.
"Next one will be you."
When he still doesn't answer and the sound of metal clatter against the floor, he jumps again. The sounds scare him, but they aren't silence. He's yanked forward by the shirt, pressed up close to the one who held the gun and then there are hands.
"Oh, fuck you."
Light screams so loudly that the guard outside and Cosette Sinclair the room over can hear. He struggles and begs and sobs and this is a thousand times worse than anything. The confinement, the beatings, the sense deprivation, the mock execution, the silence; all dull in comparison. For all his vast intelligence, the idea of this possibility never crossed his mind.
After it's over and he's made somewhat decent again for the camera, he's curled up in a ball crying. His insides feel replaced by tar. The man takes him by the back of the head and gives him a rough kiss. He turns and throws up nothing but stomach acid.
"You're good kid. Maybe I'll keep you around."
And Light contemplates how easy it would be to bite his tongue and drown.
The next broadcast is what causes L to make one of the most rash decisions of his life.
Something's different than before. Again, it's just Light and he's being supported and covered in blood but...it's different. He's shaking. There are streaks through the blood on his face that look like tear trails. He'd been crying. Yagami Soichiro is already online with him, as L had just given the American government the information necessary to remove the children.
"Say hello to your dad, Light," says the man holding him with mock-intimacy before reaching up and brushing away some of the boy's hair from his face. Light's entire body tenses further. "C'mon, just two words. You can do it."
Barely above a whisper, Light says, "Otōsan o tasukeru," and the boy's father makes a sound in the back of his throat. Quillish stands next to him and gives L's shoulder a small squeeze, and he knows what he means.
Even if when they do get all the children out, they won't win. They can't now because it doesn't matter about the mental state of the others. They've all cried and begged and sniffled and have had nothing more horrible than the what situation already has already done to them. Light, on the other hand, went through hell and never spoke a word. Until now. And worse yet, the word was "help."
L doesn't often feel compassion or sympathy but there's something so utterly heartbreaking about this whole matter that he does anyway.
"I gave the American government the location, Yagami-san," L says in Japanese as the broadcast goes dark. "I'll also be sending in one of my own men. You'll be able to see your son by tomorrow night if you can acquire plane tickets to somewhere near Little Port Arthur."
"Thank you, L," the man answers, and the line disconnects. Other calls come through, and he answers every single of one of them.
When he's finished, the mother of Pasha Ivanov placated as well as she can be, Quillish says, "You really intend to do this?"
He stands, back cracking. "I do," he says, knowing it's one of the stupidest ideas he's ever had.
Along with the silence comes the insanity.
It's different this time. He sits huddled up in the corner, listening for any sort of sound, barely breathing so that he causes no noise himself. At all times, he has a scream built up in the back up of his throat, ready to release the moment he hears anything. The silence isn't suffocating, isn't smothering - it's a thousand times worse.
At one point he tries to stand, but falls over before he can. His mouth is dry. The silence has taken over his brain. Rather than destroy his thoughts, it replays them and he keeps feeling and remembering everything from start to finish, over and over. His insides are made of tar and asphalt. Something sticky and black. No one's coming to save him. There's no point anymore, anyway. How will his family ever be able to look at him?
L says his name is James O'Hara, flashes an ID, called ahead of time. He stands with his back uncomfortably straight and has shoes and normal clothes on. It's annoying and Quillish thinks he's insane, but that's okay. No one questions anything. One of the younger ones gives an attempt of a weak smile, but that's it. The leader of the excursion makes him put on a bulletproof vest.
Half an hour into the search and a lot of gunfire later, he stumbles upon the boy by accident. At gun point he forces the guard to open the door and then knocks him out because he's L and L doesn't kill people even during those rare moments when he wants to.
He pushes it open gently and finds the boy in the corner, surrounded by blood. It's everywhere - on the walls, on the floor, somehow even on the ceiling. Light is pale, blindfolded, in ripped clothing, literally pressed as hard against the wall as close as physically possible. The kid heard him and he should've expected this. It's a good thing L found him rather than anything else because most of the soldiers haven't seen the footage. Light is somehow manages to look even smaller in person.
As soothingly as his emotionally limited capacity can manage, he says in Japanese, "Are you Light Yagami?" The boy stays still, but he doesn't need answer. "Light, I'm not one of them. I'm getting you out of here."
Some of the tenseness leaves his shoulders, but he doesn't move. L moves slowly forward, impatient but knowing that since he can't see, for Light he can be anybody. He continues, "You don't have to say anything if you can't, but I need to pick you up to get you out of here. Will you let me do that? Just nod or shake your head."
A moment of hesitation, followed by a nod. This is probably desperation more than actual belief. Still slowly, L gets down on one knee and reaches out, gently putting his hands underneath Light's arms. The boy tenses, but lets it happen. Then, in a voice so quiet it almost didn't exist, he asks, "Who are you?"
Since he's never going to see his face and he's already given Yagami Soichiro advance notice that "one of his men" would be partaking in this trip, he answers, "L. Can you put your arms around my neck, Light?" If the boy tells later - if he even remembers - his family will think he was confused because James O'Hara saved him. It's a mean thing to do, but also seems like the fastest way to calm him down.
"Yes, I am L."
He breaks out into a coughing fit but does as L asked, leaning forward and wrapping his arms around his neck. Once that happens, he changes position, one arm around his shoulders, the other under his knees before picking him up. More coughing. Something wet and sticky and warm hits L's shirt and that explains all the blood near his mouth. He hopes the damage isn't permanent.
As they exit the small room, Light manages to get something out again. "My family?"
"Waiting for you in town," he answers. "We are currently in Little Port Arthur, Alaska, one of the rainiest places in North America."
Light is too skinny and small for a fourteen-year-old boy and he carries him easily, despite the shaking. Eventually they meet up with the group, each child accounted for. As he thought, Light's the only one who's been tortured. There's a general widening of eyes from everyone, but the boy can't see a thing. He quivers. Jordan McKinley, the youngest, says, "Oh my."
Yeah, that's one way to put it.
When Light wakes up, he's in a pitch dark room, but the feeling of the bed and the covers and the sounds stop him from having more than a few seconds of panic. There's snoring, which he knows is his dad, and the quiet hum of a heart monitor. Jeans rub together and there's a hand on his forehead. A small, soft hand. His mom's.
Very softly, she says, "You're awake," and he's pretty sure she's crying. Dazed, he nods. Then he feels the wires. There's something over his face to help him breathe. "I've missed you."
Speaking feels unfamiliar but if he could pull it off with L (who, now that he's thinking straight, probably wasn't really him though why anyone would lie about that is a mystery), he can pull it off with this family. "Why're the lights off?" he asks. His voice sounds harsh and quiet from weeks of either screaming or -
Silence. Or, lack thereof. There's noise here. So much noise.
And then it's like reality's set in. With what little strength he has left, he twists to his side, wraps his arms around his mom and she still smells the same too. Perhaps too tightly, she returns the hug, and everything feels all right.
Everything will be all right.
But it won't be! Okay, so there's one more intermittent chapter, then it starts getting into actual Death Note. Or, well, AU actual Death Note. Enjoy.