It had begun in such a way as stories about gods often did: Little different from stories about monsters.
Except where the monsters were disguises for humans and their stories explicable by whatever ugliness man had dug out with his toothpick of self-loathing this time, the gods and their stories were tales about the inexplicable.
Under twenty four hour surveillance and a six feet distance of free movement, it didn't take long for L to start noticing certain inexplicable occurrences.
Like Light’s discovery on one dull, grey, distressingly boring Kira-incidentless afternoon of a chess board in a drawer beneath their bed. This was inexplicable because L had overseen Watari’s installation of the furniture, and he remembered quite distinctly that not only had Watari never bought a chess set (in fact, there was one on its way at that very moment to make up for the oversight), the bed had most definitely not come with drawers, and had therefore spontaneously grown drawers over the course of the morning.
Like the time they had been shaving next to each other, on another dull, grey, distressingly boring day. Light had looked away from the mirror to flick the foam off his razor and for the briefest of moments L had seen Light's reflection fall of out of sync, blink and stare as if startled awake, until Light had looked up and all had returned to normal.
Like the way on, yet again, a dull, grey, distressingly boring day, so distressing it almost seemed deliberately infuriating on Kira’s part, Light had declared the work room too full of litter for any of them to possibly work well in, and on returning from a hurried breakfast they had found the desks as spotless as had St Light Yagami spat on them and purified them with his godly spit.
With some curiosity, L realised that Light didn’t seem to notice any one of these things. The drawers, when L had mentioned them, had always been there. The reflection had been a trick of the light (ha!). The miraculously clean desks of the task force went completely without comment. Light didn’t even show any signs of remembering that no less than half an hour earlier he had been waxing lyrical about the crumbs in L’s keyboard and the hordes of deadly bacteria that no doubt infested it.
Soon L was keeping his eyes wide and peeled for small everyday miracles, and after no more than three weeks, a strange and unsettling pattern emerged around the dull, grey, distressingly boring days that forced L to a startling conclusion:
When bored and not suitably occupied, Light Yagami’s extraordinary, terrifying and terrifyingly beautiful mind turned to occupying itself with the extraordinarily terrifying task of remaking and reshaping reality.
Albeit limited by his common sense and level of exhaustion.
And, perhaps willfully blinded by his own perceptions of what a human could and couldn’t do, Light was somehow entirely unconscious of his god-like abilities.
“Watari,” L had messaged on his phone, painstakingly prodding buttons with his index finger whilst Light grumbled to his computer about why L couldn't type like a human with fine motor control as opposed to a gibbon with a stick, “I sent you a pdf last night documenting my findings concerning a new angle of investigation I have been taking these past three weeks. I would like to hear your opinion on the matter.”
It took two hours and a half for Watari to go through the evidence L had collected and presented that Light Yagami was a fledgling god and didn’t know it, and to come up with a suitable response: “Well, I’ll be damned.”
Yes, L had agreed, they all were, if Light ever found out.
And L had no intention of letting that scenario come to pass.
After some consideration as to the frighteningly real possibility of divine punishment, L decided that it was time to act. He provoked Light into a petty argument over whether Kira was, as was the tradition of villains that ultimately failed, a cat person and kept him righteously distracted until Watari had got in position behind a pot plant and darted Light like a rhinoceros in the savannah.
Their main source of danger safely tranquilised and strapped to a bed, L gathered his motley tap-dancing crew of a task force together.
“What’s happened, Ryuuzaki?” demanded Souichirou, the moment Watari had closed the door behind him. “You said that this was a matter of great urgency.”
“Where’s Light?” Matsuda glanced at L’s wrist, with its decided absence of handcuffs and absence of teenaged accessory item. "If it’s an emergency, don’t we need him here? Unless he’s the emergen - “
He trailed off as Souichirou glowered him into silence and shrank in his seat.
Aizawa cleared his throat. “I’m guessing there’s a good reason Light isn’t here.”
“There is.” L took the castella from Watari and started dividing it into cubes on its plate. “I am going to need to you all now to listen very closely to what I say and not question my authority, the state of my mind, the suspicions I already have concerning particular individuals in my care, the possible obsessive and paranoid tendencies I exhibit, and the possible side-effects of twenty four seven attachment to another very trying person.”
The task force denied that that they had ever questioned any of those things a little too quickly for L, but their resigned promises to be open-minded to whatever he was about to spout at them would have to do.
L looked them each in the eye, knew that this would likely be difficult to swallow but hopefully not too difficult to believe in. After all, humans had believed for centuries.
He inhaled the softly bracing tannin smells from the cup beneath his nose, and opened his mouth to speak.
“Light is a god.”
In the silence that followed, L turned his castella slices into an Aztec ziggurat and amused himself by examining his own subconscious’s efforts to avoid Souchirou’s gaze.
“Well,” said Matsuda with a laugh that was overly loud and a little overly bright, “I guess Light is, er, very attractive, from certain angles...I mean, er, most angles. Actually, he’s pretty close to perfect - “
“Matsuda,” cut in Aizawa stiffly, “shut up, before it’s too late.”
Souichirou’s jaw was clenched. A vein was throbbing in his temples. He cracked his knuckles when L looked up and met his eyes. “What do you mean by that, Ryuuzaki?”
“I meant it entirely in the traditional sense.” L stabbed into his castella ziggurat and picked up an altar, admired the shine on its perfectly baked top side and moved the morsel to his mouth. “A being that can manipulate space and time and the whole fabric of reality to be however they desire it to be. A being that could quite likely create what doesn’t exist out of nothing and destroy the world if it didn’t meet his imagined standards.” L bit into his altar. “On a whim.”
For the second time that meeting there was a lengthy silence of absorption, although it seemed to L decidedly more embarrassed than the last.
“Oh,” said Matsuda eventually. L wondered why he sounded slightly disappointed. “Yes, god in the traditional sense. I get it.”
“Are you,” Souchirou appeared to be taking a series of deep and calming breaths, and slowly his face was turning back to its usual complexion from a dangerous boiled octopus red, “are you sure that’s what you meant by Light being a god?”
“Of course, Yagami-san. What else could I have possibly meant?”
“Wait a moment.” L continued eating because castella waited for noone, but he turned his ear to Aizawa nevertheless. “Can I get this straight? Did you just honestly say that Light, our Light, our chief’s son, is an honest to God...er...god?”
“You mean like in, er, Christian mythology? Created the known universe in six days, rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, ten plagues, dubious morality, made playthings of people, stuck a tree in a garden he didn’t want his pet projects to touch but stuck it there as a pissing post anyway? That god?”
L tapped the fork against his chin. “I rather think if Light put his mind to it he could remake the world in far less than six days, but as of yet his powers work in a limited range around his personal vicinity.”
The blood drained from Aizawa’s face. “Holy mother of God.”
“Well, as the father is in the room, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say ‘holy father’.”
Aizawa rounded on Mogi, Matsuda, and Souichirou. “Why are you three not reacting to this?”
Matsuda blinked over the plate of castella slices Watari had just handed him. “To what?”
“L just told us that Light has god-like powers over reality!” Aizawa cried, shaking his hands at the ceiling as if invoking some distant cosmic entity that cared about him about as much as it did an ant, which was probably fair if all lives were born equal. “Light could go Old Testament on this world whenever he felt like if we pissed him off, and you two are more concerned that him and Light - “
“Me and Light?” prompted L as Souichirou’s face skipped red and went straight to radish.
Aizawa looked around the table and eventually sighed in resignation. “Nothing. I was just trying for some perspective. That’s all.”
“So,” said Mogi quietly, after Aizawa had sat back down in his chair and refused Watari’s consolatory offer of extra castella, “Light thinks he’s a god?”
“No. I know that he is a god.” L dropped a sugar cube in his tea-cup and watched it melt. He wondered if Light could do that to a person, break them down at the molecular level until they were nothing but a heap of mostly carbon. “Light, however, doesn’t know this.”
Mogi shifted in his seat, glanced over his shoulder at the door then, for some reason L couldn’t fathom, lowered his voice. “He doesn’t know that he can alter reality to be however he wants it to be?”
“No,” L replied, appreciating that some people and other primates needed the basic principles of a concept spelled out to them step-by-step before they grasped it. “He doesn’t, and I believe it will be safer for everybody and the universe if he remained ignorant of his abilities.”
“But if Light doesn’t know how about it, how is he going to be able to control it?” asked Matsuda.
“The way he’s been controlling it up until now - subconscious acceptance of society’s human limits and so-called common sense.”
“He hasn’t been doing much to control it if you noticed what was going on,” Aizawa remarked, taking one of the evidence folders that Watari had laid out on the table and flicking through the pages. His eyes widened. “He turned a fake security camera into a real one?”
“He expected it to be real.”
“...Did it connect to the rest of the system?”
“That was how we found out it was now real.”
“Damn holy ginger fires of Hell.”
“All changes to reality so far have been done unconsciously, when Light’s mind was too excessively active for the tasks required of him. In short,” L lowered his teacup with a clink, “whenever he was bored,”
“Wow,” breathed Matsuda, eyes round. "Does the chief have god-like powers too?”
“No. Watari and I have been observing Yagami-san for a couple of weeks and we can safely conclude that he is as mundane and mindless in boredom as the usual majority.”
“That’s a relief,” laughed Aizawa, somewhat frantically until he glanced at Souichirou and closed his mouth with a click.
L hummed and stirred sugar into his tea. “Anymore questions about Light’s very real godliness or can we move on?”
“Matsuda, this isn’t school. You can put down your hand. What is it?”
“Kira’s a, er, supernatural killer, right? He can, er, kill, er, long distance, can’t he? Like, er, divine punishment?”
In fourteen words the room descended into a heavy, icy silence.
The clock on the wall ticked through seconds as if turning pages of a book. Watari chose the delicate moment to refill everybody’s cups of tea.
Aizawa breathed. “Light is Kira.”
“No!” cried Souichirou, leaping to his feet.
“Yagami-san.” L looked up over the brim of his tea-cup and fixed his eyes on Souichirou, “If you could sit down.”
He waited for the man to be seated again before continuing. “With our knowledge that Light could kill at a whim if his powers were under his conscious control, it is not unreasonable to think that your son is Kira, Yagami-san. In fact, I would put his new probability at seventy-six percent.”
“I don’t believe it - “
“However, there is also a sixty two point four chance that Kira or Kira’s weapon were either or both figments of Light’s imagination that have accidentally manifested in reality.” L stabbed into his new castella perhaps a little more viciously than necessary. “We will have to keep our minds open on the topic.”
“Then I can still believe in my son,” said Souichirou with a quiver of fatherly pride. "He has no imagination to speak of.”
“As far as you know,” Aizawa muttered.
L smiled. "That might just be a mercy to us all. In any case, you are all here now to be briefed on a new security measure that is not only a security measure for our own safety, but the safety of all known reality.”
The task force, sensing the solemn weight behind L’s words, leaned forward in their seats and gave him their full undivided attention, which was perhaps unfair given that a portion of L’s attention was divided between tea and cake.
L held up his dessert fork and watched the light play across the tines. "We need to find ways to stop Light from ever being bored again. Short of killing him, which will be the last resort, I am open to suggestions.”