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Checkmate

Chapter Text

 

Light shut his eyes and willed himself under control. Six days in this cell, alone, handcuffed. Nothing but the white walls of his prison to see. Just the slow drip…drip…drip of the leaky faucet to break the unending silence. Ryuk was doing headstands in the corner, in the throes of apple withdrawal.

 

“Hyuk. Light-o. Not sure how much more of this I can take.” His feet wiggled wildly in the air.

 

It would have been nearly comical, except Light had to remember never to look or speak to Ryuk, given the constant surveillance. It was difficult at times, lonely as he was. Occasionally, L’s voice on the speaker would break the silence, but L never told him anything. Usually just taunted him as Kira or asked him to confess. It seemed a year ago that he volunteered for self-incarceration. Forever ago that L had called Light “his first friend.” A week, a year, a lifetime ago. But it was then Light knew that L both wanted him to be Kira and didn’t want him to be Kira; it was an internal struggle that L tried to hide. But he couldn’t hide it, not from Light. This prison would be his final freedom, if he could wait.

 

“Light-o. How’s about I step out to run you an errand Light-o? Isn’t it nearly time, now?” Ryuk righted himself but his limbs remained contorted. Mouth struck in a gruesome smile as usual, slightly drooling from the memory of apples. Light shook his head imperceptibly at Ryuk. He made the sign of 7 with his fingers, hidden from the camera.

 

Not yet. Seven days. Tomorrow, Ryuk, you can have your apples. I buried it in the apple orchard just for you didn’t I? Patience.

 

The speaker bleeped alive. “Light.”

 

Light didn't look up from the floor of his cell. “Yes, Ryuzaki?”

 

“Light, how are you? You look….tired.”

 

Was there concern under the deadpan tone? Light raised his eyes to the camera and sighed. “It is tiresome when people believe you to be something evil.” Light turned away. “Have the killings started again?”

 

In HQ, the team huddled around L and the screens. L could feel their waves of sympathy for Light, and felt an unbidden pang of guilt. If Light was not Kira, what am I putting him through? But Light must be Kira! This, all of this, it only made sense if Light was Kira. Light had charmed and manipulated the rest of the team to believe him, but L knew better.

 

“No, Light. The killings have stopped.” The truth.

 

Light feigned despair, but of course, he knew all this already. Right now, Rem was likely giving her death note to a truly selfish human, one who would use it for their own personal gain. And then the killings would start again. He too must have patience if this was going to turn out as he planned. Even the god of the new world must sometimes wait.

 

“That is disappointing to hear, L.” He flashed his eyes at the camera. “But I am not Kira.”

 

L took his finger off the microphone button and leaned back in his chair, as much as he could while crouching in it. He started to chew on his thumb as he always did when he felt conflicted. He turned to the team, who themselves looked exhausted. “Everyone, get some sleep. We will convene again in the morning. I will watch Light tonight.” L turned around again and peered at Light on the screen through tented fingers. He reached for his bowl of ice cream and twirled his spoon in the whipped cream.

 

The other officers shot glances at each other, but were relieved. One by one they filed out the door, until it was only L left alone in the pale blue glare of the screens. He slowly licked the whipped cream off his spoon then shoved it aside. Light, what are you doing, why are you here? This is not like the Kira I have come to know. To respect. To…want….

 

L bit his thumb hard at that intrusive thought. What was it about Light that had captivated his interest since the moment he laid eyes on him? Of course, his likelihood of being Kira meant L had to pursue him…but it was more than just a professional interest. All his life, he’d never met his peer, met his match. He’d never been challenged by another person’s intellect, not even among the geniuses at Wammy’s. The other ‘top detectives’ had all been easily outsmarted fools. Catching a criminal and solving cases had never taken more than a few weeks. Until now. Until Kira. And if Light was Kira, as the electric thrill in his gut screamed at him was true, then Light was…could be…

 

L shook free of the thoughts and poured a fresh cup of tea. Never had he been so compromised when it came to a suspect. But L was too proud, he admitted to himself, to ever stop now. No, not when he was so close. He stared at Light in his cell, and added sugar cubes to the tea…one…after another….after another…stirred….never taking his eyes off Light. And as if Light could feel his eyes, he looked up into the camera, and smiled. A challenge. L stopped stirring and gazed back into those brilliant eyes, and realized he was very, very hard.

 

L dropped his spoon with a clang on porcelain and hopped up from his overstuffed chair to pace the room. Finally he stopped in front of the elevator. After a moment’s hesitation, he pressed the button to call the elevator to the underground floors. He had to see Light.

 

Chapter Text

Light was lying on his side in his cot, in the twilight of sleep and wakefulness, when Ryuk stirred in the corner. He hopped on one twisted foot over to the door and peeked through it into the hall. “Hey Light-o. Someone’s coming.”

 

Light’s mind shot to full awareness but he stayed perfectly still, eyes closed, as the door to his cell softly clinked open. Now this is unexpected. Is that fool Misa trying to break me out? Has L truly come to a decision so quickly? Or is something wrong…my father?? Light struggled in his handcuffs to sit up on his cot, but it was hard to make out in the dim light who was there.

 

“Who’s there?”

 

“Just me.”

 

“Ryuzaki…”

 

Softly, “L.” L crouched on Light’s cot in his usual stance and bit his thumb as he looked into Light’s eyes. “I brought you….” L dramatically whipped out a bag of chips from inside his shirt. “…a snack!” He dangled the bag in front of Light from the tips of his fingers.

 

Light looked from L’s wide grey eyes to the bag of chips and back to L. He reached up tentatively to take the bag of chips. It was the same brand he always ate at home, his favorite. But he just held the chips in his lap, looking down at them in silence. What is L playing at? Doesn’t he know I’m not going to confess by now?

 

L looked at his failed present. “Aren’t you going to eat them?”

 

Light didn’t look up.

 

L bit his thumb again and stared up at the ceiling. “I know Watari has you on tasteless rations. I know because I told him to.”

 

Light glared at L. But the cruelty was tempered somehow by this little kindness. Or was it another of his tricks? “Isn’t this humiliation enough for you?” Light held up his handcuffs. “All of this?” He gestured to the barren cell.

 

“My intention is not to humiliate you Light. This was your idea, after all.” He turned his saucer-like eyes back to Light.

 

Light’s eyes narrowed. “I only want to prove to you I’m not Kira. I want you to trust me.” L’s eyes continued to bore into him. “So we can catch the real Kira.”

 

L tilted his head slightly. “But you are Kira.” L lifted a finger to Light’s lips before he could utter his usual protest. Whispered, “I want you to be Kira. Be Kira, Light.”

 

Light froze at L’s touch, the words he had meant to say melting away in his mouth, forgotten. They locked eyes—pale grey and amber. Light stared deeply but found no malice, no lie there. Finally, L dropped his finger, tracing a path lightly across Light’s cheek and under his chin. Words returned to Light. “L…why would you want me to be Kira?”

 

This time L was silent. His fingertips and gaze traced the angle of Light’s collarbone. Light flinched slightly but didn’t move away.

 

Light went on, “L, before you said that it was a problem if I was Kira. Because…I was your first…friend.” Why would he want his friend to be Kira?

 

L’s finger stilled and slowly pulled away. “I think…I think it would be more of a problem if you weren’t Kira.”

 

Light looked at L curiously, at a loss. Why is L touching me? And why do I feel exhilarated when he does? Is it the danger? He’s my mirror, isn’t he…my twin…my nemesis and my…

 

L took the bag of chips and opened them. “Light, haven’t you wondered why I haven’t arrested you by now, haven’t turned you over to the police, haven’t had you executed?” He took out a chip and looked at it as if it hid some answers, then held it up to Light’s lips. Light opened his mouth and took the chip, listening in disbelief, and chewed it slowly. “With the weight of my suspicions, and all the evidence pointing to you…I’ve had the police act on less.” Light swallowed, and L placed another chip on his tongue. “And I’ve never been wrong.”

 

Light got a sinking feeling in his stomach. Yes, he had wondered why L had not acted. After Raye Penbar. After Misa. There had been no one else. No other suspects. No other leads. Not for the first Kira, the real Kira, the kami-Kira. It had only ever been Light. L’s investigation had been more about proving that Light alone was Kira, and only to L, and over and over again, so he could be nothing but certain. This investigation wasn’t even about the police anymore, was it? It was about L.

 

Light swallowed the second chip, his throat feeling immediately dry. “Why then? If you are so sure, and the police will believe you, then why do you hesitate?”

 

“Because I need to know, Light….” L batted the chips aside and pushed Light down onto the cot, holding himself barely above Light. He leaned down to whisper into his ear, “How do you kill? Why do you kill? And how can I make you stop?”

 

Light froze beneath L. His handcuffed hands made him next to useless in a struggle, and anyway, there was nowhere to go. More worrying, he found himself liking the warm angular weight of L on top of him, liking the hardness of L pushing into his thigh. Light turned his head and smiled to himself. Yes, I’ve got him. I’ve misread L all this time. He’s more like me than I’d dreamed…a conflicted sense of justice and a lust for power and knowledge…he’s used to being the best and now…now there’s me. He can’t help but want to know it. To possess it if he can, possess me. It is in his nature. And mine. But our difference is more important…he’s still human, and thus…he’s weak.

 

Light turned back into L’s intense gaze, pushing power through his eyes and into L’s mind. “Do you even want justice, L? Or is it only the challenge Kira offers you that you desire?” Light pressed his hips up slightly against L’s erection, and the other man’s lips parted slightly, his pupils dilating. “You’re no better than Kira.”

 

L smoothed Light’s hair away from his eyes. “Ah, but you’re wrong Light. I don’t kill people like Kira.”

 

“Don’t you? If you believe me to be Kira and yet keep me from the police, people die, L.” Light lifted his handcuffed hands up to rest on L’s chest, ready to push him away if he had to. A seductive whisper, “You’re so selfish L. So very, very selfish.”

 

L took the chain between the handcuffs and forced Light to touch him, his chest, his neck. “Yes, Light, I am selfish.” L brought Light’s fingers up to his lips, where he mouthed them lightly. “I will not lose.” He bit Light’s finger. “I must have Kira.”

 

Light was a bit entranced by what L was doing with his fingers. “You want to defeat Kira, to kill Kira.” His eyes focused on L’s. “Or do you mean you want Kira’s powers?”

 

L released the handcuff chain. “Never.”

 

I’m not so sure. Let’s play this game and see. Light slowly unbuttoned L’s shirt, working his way down but his eyes never leaving L’s. “The power to remake the world? To be a god? You wouldn’t want that? To be…kami?”

 

“I’ve seen what such power does to a person. It destroys them. To be a god is to no longer be human.” L leaned down and traced his lips lightly across Light’s neck, not a kiss, just contact.

 

“And what then…” Light’s breath hitched at the feel of L’s lips, softer than he’d imagined, and the sweet, deceptive smell of being so close to him. “…what is the man who brings down a god?” He ran his fingers over L’s chest under his opened shirt, letting them learn the curves of his body.

 

L smiled wryly into Light’s neck. “What indeed?” He leaned into Light’s touch, a small sigh escaping his lips as Light’s fingertips brushed a nipple.

 

“And what must a man lose to truly know god?” Light hooked a leg around L’s waist and pushed him down into him, pressing their hips and hardness together.

 

L pushed back, his hands now gripping Light’s shoulders with restrained need. “The man might lose everything. Might lose himself.”

 

Light brought L’s face close to his, L’s gaze darting from his lips to his eyes and back. “And is that worth it, L?” He’s losing control. I can feel it.

 

L grabbed the handcuff chain again and yanked it above Light’s head, pressing it down on the cot. Light saw a flood of emotion in L’s eyes—lust, envy, anger, ambition, and…some softer things he could not name. Sadness? Admiration? Concern? Light didn’t have time to ponder before L’s mouth had crashed into his, L’s tongue invading his mouth and drawing his breath. Pinned to the cot, he was immobilized, his legs a tangle in L’s. L kissed him with eyes wide open, devouring and studying him. Finally he broke it and pulled back. “Maybe.” He pressed his body against Light so hard it was almost painful then turned his wide eyes to the ceiling in thought. “I’m not sure yet.”

 

“It could mean your life, L.” Light was panting from the long kiss.

 

L looked down at Light. “Kira wouldn’t do that.” The puzzled look on Light’s face brought out a hint of a smile from L.

 

Light’s eyes narrowed. “Kira kills those who oppose him.”

 

L’s lopsided smile grew a bit bigger. He leapt up and picked up the chips and tossed them on the cot. At the door, he paused. “Exactly.” And he left Light alone again, in the darkness of the cell.

 

Light sat up and took the chips with a smooth movement. He smirked at Ryuk, whose jaw was nearly dragging the ground, arms wrapped at odd angles. Light took a chip, and ate it, smiling to himself. The gears of his mind turning, the dark machinery there springing to life and lies again. Ryuk hopped forward and hovered above the cot, chuckling demonically. “Hyuk. This is interesting after all.” Light held back his laugh, but his eyes danced. And L is human after all.

 

“Er, Light-o.” The shinigami made an awkward attempt to point at something, but his fingers were laced around his neck. “Look there Light-o!” Light looked up and saw it on the cot… a shiny red apple, gleaming in the dim light. Light took it and this time couldn’t hold back a small laugh. He looked up at the camera, tossing the apple up and catching it again. Yes, L was watching. Of course he was watching.

 

Ryuk trembled with longing, shuffling closer to the apple. Light held the apple out in front of Ryuk. “Hyuk.” Ryuk’s tongue went out to lap at the apple, but he stopped. “Light-o…if I eat this…won’t your boyfriend see it disappear?”

 

Light shot him a glare and pulled back the apple slightly. Ryuk whimpered. Light looked back at the camera, extended the apple again. “Eat it.” Ryuk didn’t hesitate to take a large bite. Then another bite, another, and the core was slipped down Ryuk’s throat. Gone. Ryuk’s limbs relaxed and slowly unwound from around his head.

 

“L, do you know?” That cocky smile. “Shinigami love apples.”

 

In the monitor room, L plucked a double cherry from his melted ice cream sundae and popped it in his mouth. You think you’re winning, don’t you, Light? L worked the cherry stems in his mouth, tying them into pretty pink knots with his tongue. He held up the now entwined stems, studying them momentarily before flicking it at Light’s image on the monitor. And that's when you always make a mistake.

Chapter Text

No daylight reached his cell; Light relied on the daily morning check-in from L over the speaker to wake him. Today was no different as the speaker bleeped alive. “Good morning Light.”

 

Light’s eyes opened sleepily, and he sat up and stretched as best he could in handcuffs. He felt like he’d barely slept at all. As he sat up he felt a crinkle underneath…those damn chips L had brought the night before. He swatted them off the cot and put his head in his hands, ignoring L’s voice, and thinking about the confusing events of last night. What new game are we playing now L?

 

“Light, we have proposal we’d like to run past you.” In the monitor room in HQ, the team stood with their arms crossed, worriedly glancing from Light to his father’s now-empty cell. The Chief had progressively deteriorated in his confinement--the stress, his refusal to eat… and had had to be moved to the hospital this morning. L had nearly faced a riot from the team over his refusal to tell Light. But the fact remained that this approach wasn’t worth it if the Chief died of stress. He had to keep the pressure, and a close eye, on Light some other way. And this was the only other way.

 

Light looked up at the camera finally. “A proposal?”

 

Ryuk floated around the room in circles, chuckling. “Well, after last night, I expected something like this, but ya gotta admit that L moves fast. Hyuk hyuk.”

 

Light resisted the urge to glare at Ryuk but squeezed his hands into the bed.

 

“I’m coming down there Light.”

 

A few minutes later the door to his cell opened and Watari came in wheeling a tea cart piled with sweets and sandwiches. He then brought in a small card table and a chair facing Light, which L promptly climbed into. “Thank you Watari.” Watari bowed and left Light’s cell.

 

Light looked around. “What is this, L?”

 

L reached underneath the tea cart and took out a chess board. He laid it on the card table between them and started to set up the game. L paused, biting his thumb at Light, “Black or white?”

 

Light stared at him. L spoke slowly, dangling a white piece and a black piece for emphasis. “Black…or… white?”

 

Light sat silent. L sighed and started setting himself up as black and Light as white. Light took a sandwich off the cart but just held it warily. “L, I’ve been rotting in here for a week and you want to play chess?”

 

L continued setting up the pieces. “Light, do you want to get out of here?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Then play chess with me.”

 

“I thought you had a proposal for me.”

 

“I do.” L’s eyes bored holes into him. “Play. And then I’ll tell you.”

 

Light glared back. Ok, I’ll play your little game L. “Fine.” He picked up a pawn and moved it. Before he’d even taken his fingertips off the piece, L was moving. And then he was moving, until a flurry of black and white left just two pieces on the board.

 

L lazily licked a sucker as he surveyed the endgame. “Stalemate.” 

 

Light leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms as L continued to stare at the board. “So…?” About that proposal…

 

“We always stalemate.” L picked up his king with his fingertips like it was an interesting bug. He let out a deep sigh. “I shouldn’t have let you be white. He who moves first wins.”

 

“I didn’t win.”

 

“But I lost.”

 

“We both lost.”

 

L smiled a little and set the king back on the board. “I don’t like to lose.” I won't lose when it matters, Light.

 

Light was impatient, “Is that what you came down here to tell me?”

 

“No.”

 

“What then?”

 

L leapt up from the chair and grabbed a donut, leaving a trail of crumbs around the cell as he paced and nibbled. He stopped and turned to Light, licking his sugar-powdered fingers one by one. “I’m going to let you out of here.”

 

Ryuk perked up and leaned in from where he was sitting, bored on the bed. “Ho, Light-o…maybe no need for that errand after all. And I wasn’t looking forward to saying goodbye, hyuk.”

 

Light ignored Ryuk, but had a similar thought. Today was to be the day I lost my memories of the death note, Ryuk’s notebook buried in the apple orchard. I was going to relinquish it, for Misa to find later…after all this was done and L had let me out…but if he let me out now…?

 

L was studying Light’s reaction, the last sticky finger frozen in his mouth. Finally he walked over to Light and released his handcuffs with a key.

 

Light stood up, rubbing his sore wrists. Distrustfully, “What’s the catch…”

 

“This.” And L snapped on another handcuff on his left hand, one with a long chain connected to…

 

“L!” Light looked from his cuff to L’s cuff. “How in the hell is this better?” Liar!

 

L smiled up at the ceiling. “It may not be.” 

 

“It isn’t!”

 

L shrugged and walked over to the door, eventually pulling Light along with him. “But it does get you out of here. And you can go see your Dad.”

 

Light stopped firm, preventing L from walking any further. “My Dad? What’s happened…”

 

L turned, looking a little guilty. “He insisted on being locked up too. And... it didn’t agree with him.”

 

Light yanked the handcuff chain in fury, pulling L closer and nearly off his feet. “Didn’t agree with him?! What the FUCK Ryuzaki? What happened to him?” He looked nearly murderous, trembling, nails digging into his balled fists.

 

Ah, yes. Now there’s Kira. L steadied himself and looked up at Light. “Just exhaustion. Nothing more. We took him to the hospital this morning as a precaution.”

 

Light took another sandwich off the cart and shoved it in his mouth to keep from screaming incriminating words of murder. Stop. Think. If you’re mad you can’t think. He sank back down on the cot.

 

L was staring at his shoe. “The doctors said he’ll be fine.”

 

Light shut his eyes and took a deep breath. “L, are you really letting me out because my of my Dad.” There's more to this.

 

L was quiet for a moment, then said, “No.”

 

“I told you not to let me out until you were sure about me one way or the other.”

 

“I am sure.” The fluorescent light overhead flickered. 

 

Light was very still. Was this checkmate or stalemate?

 

L turned and tugged Light to standing. “C’mon. The team’s waiting for you. Then we’ll go see your Dad.”

 

Light stood up, half in a trance, and followed L out the door. But not before turning to give Ryuk the tiniest shake of his head. No.

Chapter Text

The cold beeping of the monitors surrounding his father was nearly as jarring as the looks the medical personnel kept giving Light and L. Handcuffed together, bags under L's ever-wide eyes, and Light dirty and rumpled, they looked like two escapees from an asylum. Light took his father’s hand as L crouched on a stool nearby. “Dad?”

 

Light’s father has been sleeping, but his eyes fluttered open at his son’s voice. “Light?” Souichirou tried to sit up a bit in surprise. “L released you?”

 

L pretended to be very interested in his untied shoelace, picking at it intently. Light held up the handcuff chain for his father to see. His father fell back on his pillow and looked sternly at L.

 

“Dad, Matsuda said you collapsed this morning…after telling them to lock you up too…” Light sighed. “Why would you do that?”

 

"I couldn't...trust myself. Lost my objectivity.......But, Light, I know you're not Kira." But Light detected a hint of a question. It irked him.

 

"I'm not Kira, Dad." Light gave his best son smile. "Recover soon so we can get back to catching him together."

 

L hummed at that, and turned his dark-rimmed eyes to the ceiling fan, watching it turn and turn in circles. "I'd say the current likelihood is..." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Seven percent." No need to worry the old man in his hospital bed.

 

Souichirou pointed to L, “My son is NOT Kira!” And broke off into a fit of coughing. L shrunk down in his chair a little lower. A nurse outside heard the commotion and came in with some water for Souichirou, but stopped dead when she saw the handcuffed teenagers. She hurriedly set the glass down and scurried away with a backwards look.

 

L looked after her. “Light-kun, I do believe we are scaring people.” The thought made him smile slightly and he stood up to take the water to Souichirou, who took it grudgingly. 

 

Souichirou finished the water and set it aside. “The doctors are keeping me for observation for a few days.” He sighed and looked over at Light. “My blood pressure was high, and…they are going to run some tests.”

 

Light tensed a little. L noticed. “But you’ll be fine…after that?”

 

Souichirou waved away his concern and smiled. “Yes, yes, just an old man’s folly. I have to remember I’m not young anymore, Light. I’ll be fine.” He shut his eyes, sleep was near. “After some rest.”

 

L gently tugged Light’s cuff. Yes, it was time to go. Let the old man sleep. Light stood up and patted his father’s hand. “Rest, Dad. I’ll talk to you soon.” Souichirou was already snoring as L and Light tiptoed out the door.

 

Light stood for a moment looking at the closed door, doctors and nurses rushing past in the hall. And it struck him then that his father, his parents, were mortal, fragile. Could die. Ironic. I hold the power of death over anyone, everyone. But I can’t give life. I can’t heal.

 

“Children never want to believe their parents can die.” He said it half to himself.

 

L brought a finger to his mouth and considered this. “I wouldn’t know.” He turned and started to walk down the hall, and Light had no choice but to follow.

 

----

 

In the hospital parking lot, Watari was waiting for them. He held open the door and Light and L climbed in the back of the limousine. A dark panel of glass separated them from Watari, and the heavily tinted windows made it seem nearly nighttime. Light scooted across the seat and leaned against the door. He wanted to be alone. Seeing his father like that…weak, for the first time…had shaken him. Is this what it means to grow old? To have your frailty used as a weapon, even unintentionally, against the ones who love you?

 

L opened a cabinet and took two sodas, handing one to Light. They drank them in silence for awhile. “Light-kun is worried.” L leaned forward to catch his eye, but Light just stared out the window. L took Light’s hand. And Light turned then. L stared as his hand. “I wish I could feel it.” Light felt himself soften a little at this vulnerability, but remained guarded. Both of them lied to each other, and themselves.

 

Light’s eyes narrowed. “No you don’t.”

 

“I do. I never knew my parents. Even feeling worry for them…it would be something, wouldn’t it?”

 

Light let his head rest against the glass and shut his eyes. "It doesn't feel good."

 

L gently stroked Light’s fingers with his. "Does this feel good?" He edged nearer to Light across the smooth leather seat. 

 

Light opened his eyes and looked into L's wide grey pools. This moment. I can use it. “Who are you L?” A name. A name. I only need your name.

 

L smiled, “Who are you?” Light does have emotions, feelings. He wants to believe that only Kira remains, but that’s not true. As long as he still cares for someone....

 

“I’m too tired for riddles, L.” The weight of the week, of his father, it had finally settled into his bones. L's soft touch on his hand was lulling him, so soothing. "So tired...."

 

But something was wrong. He felt dizzy, the world was spinning. He looked down at the soda and back at L, who was inching closer to catch him as he fell. The last thing Light saw before he lost consciousness were L’s eyes, huge and searching and real. 

 

A whisper, “Sleep…..Kira….”

 

And Light fell into darkness.

-----

 

Watari was not shocked when he opened the car door and L emerged carrying an unconscious Light. Nothing shocks Watari. Not anymore.

 

L looked down at Light, so beautiful, shining brighter than the sun. A glint on the edge of a knife. He carried Light to the elevator. Watari pressed the right button and L nodded in silent thanks. "Watari, bring us dinner around 7." The older man nodded and walked back towards the car. L shifted his grip when the elevator opened again at the penthouse, and maneuvered Light through the door to his rooms. He laid him gently on the couch.

 

L crouched down beside the sleeping Light and inhaled him, his scent. Traced Light's barely parted lips with his fingertip. Like this, he looks so innocent. He pushed back the hair from Light's face and let his grey eyes search this puzzle. "Of what does Kira dream?" He took Light's hand and held it to his cheek. Warm. "Flesh and blood, still, Light." 

 

L kissed Light's hand and unlocked the handcuffs slowly, still not completely trusting. They clinked to the floor, and Light didn't stir. He slowly unbuttoned Light's shirt and pushed it off his shoulders, tossing it in the corner, pulled off his pants and the rest of his clothes. Until Light...Kira...lie there naked as any mortal, but more perfect than any mortal.

 

L studied Light's body, like a test, like data, his fingertips learning the memory of each muscle, tracing the skin like clues to a mystery. Know thy enemy. But he stopped at Light's hips. I won't touch him. Not like that. 

 

He bit his lip and stared. But I'll look. After a moment, L shed his own plain cotton shirt and jeans, kicking them aside.

 

He lifted Light again and carried him into the bathroom, and held him as he turned on the water in the huge recessed granite bath. When it was full, he stepped into the warm water together with Light, their twin baptism. Gently L washed Light's body, his matted hair, the angry red welts where the handcuffs had been, until a week's worth of grime was gone. "If only I could wash a lifetime of lies away, Light." 

 

The soapy water felt good and slick against Light's smooth skin. He'd been hard since he'd taken Light's hand in the car, and holding his naked rival it was nearly impossible not to...No, not like this. I want him to know me, too, to know all of it. 

 

He propped Light up against the side of the tub, and turned to cleaning himself. He dunked underwater and scrubbed his inky hair furiously, pushing down the compulsion to act...evil...He surfaced, shaking the water from his hair like a wet dog. It fell plastered to his face, dripping into the tub and breaking the silence like the tick tock of clocks.

 

L chewed his nail, frustrated. I won’t touch him.

 

A better thought. But that doesn’t mean I can’t touch myself. He leaned over Light, one hand against the edge of the bath and the other plunging under water to grip his own cock, sliding his soapy hand from its base to the engorged tip in smooth, slow strokes. Staring down into that peaceful face.

 

This is how I can worship you, Kira. His breath hitched as he edged closer to release, taking in all the tiny and imperceptible perfections of Light in widened pupils. He leaned in closer, not touching Light, but so, so close to him.

 

How do you kill?

 

His stroking sped up. He inhaled the scent of Light, the smell of his freshly cleaned skin. He thought of the blood on Kira’s hands. On his own.

 

Why do you kill?

 

Light hated him, wanted him dead. No...wanted to kill him and forget him. Eclipse him and erase him.

 

How…do…I make you… A moan escaped his lips, he was…almost there…..

 

“STOP!"

 

And L came hard, spurting against Lights’s chest until it cried white tears into the bathwater, L panting above him looking down. Wishing he hadn't yelled quite so loud. But Light remained still.

 

L sank into the water, floating a moment beneath it. Seeing colors. Seeing faces. Hearing the rush of liquid around him, of their heartbeats in his mind. For a moment he was nothing but a ray of light in the church of Kira. And then it was over. He was L.

Chapter Text

 

Light heard clacking in the distance. Far along the horizon, a train was hurtling down the tracks at high speed, and he was in a dark train tunnel. He could see the headlight of the train, a pinpoint now but growing. He turned and ran, as hard as he could, as fast as he could, farther into the tunnel. The train was gaining, he could hear it thundering behind him, feel the rumbling vibrations as his feet met the tracks. But he was too far in now, there was no turning back, deeper into the darkness was the only way. He ran until his legs gave out, and the tunnel was illuminated with a blinding light, a deafening noise....a clacking....

 

Light shot up in the bed, gasping from the dream, and looked around in confusion. "Where am I?"

 

L stopped his furious typing on his laptop, his fingers paused over the keys. "Ah. You're awake." 

 

Light surveyed the strange room. He was in a huge four-poster canopy bed heaped with pillows. L at a messy desk to his left, within the length of their handcuff chain. The room was dim, almost dark, and shadows played off gilded mirrors and rich wood furniture. It felt like the master's bedroom in an medieval English castle. He threw off the covers and stood up, but his head was pounding and he reeled. He demanded of L again, "Where am I?!"

 

L turned to Light and folded his arms on his crouching knees. Calm as the surface of a pool. "My room."

 

Light rubbed his temples, willing the pain behind his eyes to cease. "I was in the car..." Memory returning. His eyes narrowed. "You drugged me."

 

L's eyes widened innocently. He looked up at the ceiling and tapped his chin thoughtfully with his finger. "You must have just been exhausted."

 

Ryuk hovered behind L, doubled over in hysterical laughter. "Light-o....hyuk hyuk....Light-o....you wouldn't believe me if I told you." He made a play of pretending to drink something and dramatically fainting away, only to devolve into devilish giggling again.

 

Light's mouth fell open a little and he stared at Ryuk, wanting him to say more but barred from speaking. Stared so hard that L noticed and turned around to look behind him. Nothing. They were both disappointed.

 

Light fumed at L, "You wouldn't have been able to move me if I was just sleeping!" He patted his clothes and panicked when he noticed they were different, and he was clean. My watch....did he...no...its still here. "You-you dressed me? Bathed me?!" He took a step towards L, fists balled in anger.

 

L shrugged nonchalantly, "You smelled." He started delicately stacking pastel macaroons until they formed a precarious tower.

 

Ryuk stifled a laugh and nodded vigorously, "He's got ya there." Pinched the space where a nose should have been.

 

Light grabbed the front of L's shirt and yanked him out his chair, trembling with fury. The macaroon tower tilted and fell. He yelled into L's face, "How dare you!" L smiled a little in defiance. Something in Light broke and the day's, the week's frustration boiled over into the shape of his fist making contact with L's cheek. Hard. He knocked L clean across the floor, but the handcuff chain pulled him off his feet and onto the rug. Light glared up at L, eyes ablaze, and pointed at him, "Liar!"

 

L rubbed his cheek and flashed Light a dangerous look. "Coming from you!" He pulled the chain taut yanking Light forward within striking distance, kicking him across his face.

 

Light stumbled back but caught himself on the bedpost. He rushed L, knocking them both back down to the ground. He had his fist pulled back and was about to smash that wide-eyed, smug face when...

 

"Dinner!" Watari cheerfully called as he opened the door and wheeled a cart inside. He paused for a moment when he saw the two bruised men frozen in their tussle. "Ahem."

 

Light released L's shirt and rolled off of him, turning to face the wall and regain composure. 

 

L stood up and dusted himself off. "Thank you Watari. That's all." Watari bowed and exited the room.

 

L surveyed the cart, one side piled with a tier of exquisite cakes, pies, and snacks. The other side had a covered dish, and a bowl of fruit. A gleaming silver tea service was set between them. He picked up a chocolate covered strawberry with his fingertips and nibbled it. Mostly the chocolate. He turned to Light, "Come eat." He ate the chocolate off another strawberry. Light sat where he was. 

 

Ryuk drooled, flying around the room excitedly. "There's apples Light-o." He did a backflip in the air. "Don't be mad, hyuk."

 

Light sighed in the direction of the wall. Damn your stupid shinigami addiction. "If you think I'm going to eat any of your food after you've drugged me, you're crazy." Was he angry that L had drugged him...seen him naked...or just that L had outsmarted him?

 

L gazed at Light's back. He picked up another strawberry and crouched next to Light, dangling the strawberry in front of him, more candy than fruit. "I've already had two. See, its safe." He took Light's hand and put the strawberry in it. "My peace offering." L watched him intently.

 

Light looked at the strawberry. He was hungry and it did look good. What choice have I got? I'm still a prisoner here, even if the cage is gilded. He took a small bite.

 

L nodded in approval and turned back to the cart, pouring out cups of tea. "I take it you won't object to the tea if we both have some?" He added 6 sugar cubes to his cup before adding the tea, watching them slowly turn from white to grey to nothing.

 

Light finished the strawberry and wiped the juice off with his sleeve. "Why?" He went over to the cart and grabbed an apple from the bowl of fruit, eyeing Ryuk who turned him his best demon puppy eyes. "Why did you drug me?"

 

L picked up his teacup and swirled it with his finger. "I only bathed you and dressed you." Took a tentative sip. "You needed that, and I couldn't trust you without the handcuffs." He added 3 more sugar cubes to his tea. 

 

Light leaned over the cart, facing L. "What else did you... do to me...." I can't trust you, either.

 

"Nothing." L poked around at several of the cakes on the tray. "I can't say I wasn't tempted, Light, but I did not molest you, if that's what you think." He picked up a piece of chocolate cake and shoved it in his mouth. Mouth full, "Ath your 'thinigami if you dun beleef me." L swallowed and peered at the miniature pies this time, pretending to mull them over. But really watching for what Light would do now. Is there really a shinigami, or did I only see what I wanted to see on the camera last night? 

 

Light hesitated. L watched him from the corner of his eye, following his gaze, but Light's eyes remained trained on L. Light took a slow bite of the apple, savoring it, a seduction. L involuntarily squeezed a tiny cheesecake to mush.

 

But Ryuk was nearly having a conniption as Light ate the apple, rolling around on the floor in a fit. "Light-o! Give me the rest of that and I'll tell you!" Light tilted his head, his ear towards Ryuk, waiting mid-bite.

 

"He...he did drug you Light-o," Ryuk's long black fingers wiggling up towards the apple, "but...er....he's...uh...telling the truth about the rest." Technically. Ryuk chuckled. It would be more fun to be 'technically' honest here. It was just most of an apple now anyway, so he'd tell most of the truth. He opened wide his demonic maw, waiting for his prize.

 

And Light chucked it lightly into the air, where it disappeared whole.

 

L's eyes were the size of the tea saucers now, shifting from Light to the air where the now invisible apple once was. He bit his nail, unblinking. "I knew it." Must I accept that such things exist?

 

Light nonchalantly lifted the top of the covered silver dish. Sushi. Bless you Watari. He picked up the plate and some chopsticks, and sat cross-legged on the bed, bringing a piece of translucent tuna to his lips. "What do you know, L?" He sucked the fish down, and looked up at L, his fist still full of crumbled and mashed cheesecake. "Sleight of hand is all." A knowing smile. Another fish.

 

L looked down at his hand for the first time, a pang of sadness for the ruined dessert. Whispered, "You have a shinigami." He wiped his hand off slowly, methodically.

 

Light remained silently eating his sushi. Let him wonder if his searchlights have deceived him a second time. It must be exquisite torture to be so close and unable to prove it, isn't it L?

 

L crouched on the bed, peering down at Light from a higher perch. "Is that how you kill?" Tell me.

 

"Do you really think I'd tell you, if I *was* Kira?" Light ate the last piece and reached over to set the plate back on the cart. "Which of course, I'm not."

 

"I think you want to tell me. I think you are trying to." His unconscious biting was making his nailbed bleed, a metallic and not altogether unpleasant kind of sweetness now tinging his mouth.

 

Light leaned forward to look up at L. "Thinking like Kira," he waved a blithe finger towards the sky, "...hypothetically of course...I'd never give away my secrets to someone who wants to me dead." Just as you won't give up your secrets to me.

 

L considered this, head tilting slightly. A smear of crimson blood marred his pale cheek as he pulled his finger away at last. "And what if they didn't want you dead?" 

 

"Just imprisoned for life?" Light laughed bitterly. "Might as well be dead." He fell back onto the pillows with a smile. Never, L.

 

L crept up on top of Light until they were nearly nose to nose on the bed. He stared into Light's eyes. "Tell me your secret and I'll tell you one of mine."

 

Light paused, considering. "Your name." He reached up to touch the still wet blood on L's cheek, bringing back red fingertips. 

 

L grabbed Light's bloodied hand as he pulled back, restraining it in midair. "If I tell you that Kira will kill me." He noticed the blood on Light's fingers and slowly licked them clean without breaking eye contact. "Something else." 

 

Light felt himself getting harder with each languid lick, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by L who shifted to press down on him. Barely above a whisper, "What then, L?" This rush. Why do I only feel it with him? 

 

L turned Light's palm over and began to lick his wrist, up his thumb, until he was sucking it, twirling his tongue around it. "I want you."

 

Yes. Checkmate. Light flipped them both over on the bed until he was above. He raked his fingers into L's silky black hair and yanked his head back sharply. That pale, translucent skin. Light could nearly see the blood pulsing hotly beneath it. L didn't struggle, didn't fight back, just stared up at him, searched him. He leaned down to L's ear with a half-smile, "That's no secret." Light let his hand travel down L's body to trace the bulge in L's jeans, firmly at first, then just lightly, lightly. Teasing him, punishing him. "You can't hide everything, L." He squeezed. You can't hide anything.

 

L shifted his hips up slightly to try to get more pressure, more contact, gasping as Light's grip in his hair tightened further and held him down on the bed. He shut his eyes, for once. "At least I don't lie to myself." Eyes open again, wider than ever. "We're the same, Light. Two scales of justice each trying to rise, trying to pull the other down. Kira. And L. We need each other." He touched Light's face, almost sadly. "I need you."

 

Light loosened his grip on L's hair, and grasped his face instead, searching it for the truth in those words. Impossible. "You need Kira to justify your own twisted existence." He tore open L's shirt, buttons popping across the bed. "But a god needs no one." Push him, break him. Take what you need from him. Get it any way you can.

 

L reached up and kissed him, entwining his fingers in Light's hair and dragging him down to him. Light raked his fingernails across L's chest, down his side, and was unbuttoning L's pants, pushing them down. Their tongues fought their battles for them, invading, playing, receding, invading. L broke the kiss, panting a little for air, and pulled his shirt off. He pounced on Light, licking across his collarbone as he rushed to unbutton Light's shirt and pants. "You're wrong." I won't hold back, Light. This is what we both need.

 

Light kicked out of his pants and shirt and they were skin on skin, erections sliding against each other, sticky and slick with pre-cum. Light hummed with pleasure, with the power of the moment. He bent down over L, taking a nipple into his mouth and teasing it with his teeth and tongue. This power. It's almost as good as the death note. If I can break L, maybe even better....

 

A small moan escaped L's lips and he arched his back into that warm mouth, his hands were everywhere on Light, and still felt like it wasn't enough. Not close enough. Closer. "A god does need someone." 

 

Light's mouth traveled down L's tight stomach, biting down across his angular hips until his tongue made contact with the tip of L's cock. It tasted sweet, hot. He sucked the head into his mouth and teased it, sucking hard and then releasing to barely any pressure. "Who does a god need?" You won't want to live without this, L. What would it mean to lose your first friend ever...your first equal....

 

L's fists were balled at his sides, eyes squeezed shut. He was panting. "A witness."

 

Light pushed L's legs apart, and L opened himself willingly. Yes, surrender to me. "The world is Kira's witness." He licked slowly down L's shaft, down to the soft taut skin of his balls, pulling and sucking them gently into his mouth one at a time. Gripped L's shaft and slowly teased him, his saliva sliding beneath his fingers.

 

L shuddered and gripped the bed sheets. Panting, "The world is a witness to Kira's kills, but do not know him." Such sweet agony, Light. You play with me like a toy you don't care breaks. "What good is their love if a god has no name....no face...."

 

Light paused at that. It was true that his one regret was that no one could ever know it was he...Light...that was Kira. That he was the one above them, judging, sparing, killing, ruling...L, you see into me somehow. How annoying.

 

L looked down at him between his legs, sensations ceased. "Don't stop." Don't stop this. Any of this. He reached up for Light's cock but was batted away. You won't let me touch you? I see, you want to have the power to control this pleasure. To take it for yourself if you can. Take it then.

 

Light rose above him on his knees, looking every inch a god to L, chiseled from marble and set on high. Light placed his hands on L's chest and leaned in. "Promise me." 

 

L tilted his head, staring up into unreadable eyes. "Promise you what, Light?"

 

"First, that you'll never drug me again." Light stroked L's nipple. But his tone was full of danger.

 

Breathlessly, "I promise." Too easy.

 

"Second, you stop pursuing me as Kira."

 

L hesitated, and Light pinched his nipple. He flinched. "You know I can't promise that."

 

Light moved up to straddle L's chest, taking hold of his own erection and lightly rubbing it  across L's now open lips, their eyes still locked. "Then submit to me." I could use you L, your brilliance, your mind, your body...

 

L was frozen beneath him, a private battle in his mind between two desires. Justice. Or this. He suddenly grabbed Light's hips, yanking him forward and engulfing Light's full length, nearly choking himself as he savagely sucked Light's cock, deeper, harder. He couldn't tease as Light could, he didn't want to fight. He just wanted this moment, the two of them one, and to come, to make Light come. He grabbed his own cock, painfully hard. Needing this more than breath.

 

Light hissed with pleasure and leaned in, brutally fucking L's mouth, not caring if he choked him, not caring if he couldn't breathe. Grabbing his hair and angling his head back to thrust deeper. "Yesss.....submit to me L......" Getting close....L's warm wet mouth was overwhelming him, blinding him. All sensation in his body focused to a single point. Softly, a bit brokenly, "We are the same."

 

L wrapped his hand around Light's ass and pulled him in, squeezing and kneading as he stroked himself fast. You are beginning to understand, Light. 

 

Light gasped as his orgasm overpowered him, a tiny death, and he shot down L's throat, pulsing again and again. And L opened to receive it, humming as he came all over his own stomach at the same time, waves of sticky heat. Light panting above him as he came down to earth once more.

 

Light released L's hair and his head thumped back down on the pillow. He gazed down at L, who was wiping his mouth with a little smile. "You know you can't have it both ways, L." There was a soft darkness in his words that L hadn't heard before. Light wiped a bit of his cum off L's face and tasted it. He stroked L's pale cheek, flushed in afterglow. Smoothed his sweat-drenched hair out of his grey eyes. Nearly tender. "Which do you need more?"

 

Justice. Or this. That is your question, isn't it Light?  And L wasn't sure which he'd choose, when he'd have to.

 

Chapter Text

Light's question hung in the air, more corporeal than Ryuk. 

 

"I don't know the answer to that, Light." So much of it depends on you. He rolled out from beneath him and crouched on the bed, thinking, oblivious to the cum running down off his stomach. A finger in his mouth again. Softly, to himself, mostly, "This has never happened before."

 

Light was quiet, but his heart was thudding in his chest. I'm closer.

 

L turned his eyes back to Light. A question for another time. His mind shifted focus. "I told you I'd tell you a real secret, so I will." He got up off the bed and crouched into the desk chair, staring into his laptop again, electric blue light on his naked body. "The killings have started again. While you were asleep. While Misa was still locked up."

 

Light's pupils widened. Good work, Rem. He heard a distinctive 'hyuk' from the corner.   

  

"There's another Kira." L looked over his shoulder at Light. "Or maybe you already knew this secret too." 

 

Light didn't say anything. I don't trust myself to lie convincingly in this moment. L submits to me in one way and resists me in others. The game begins anew. 

 

L went on. "A week's worth of criminals killed in a day." He held up a document with his fingertips, scanning it. "I hope you'll help me with this case, Light." 

 

Light smiled. Of course. Who did you choose Rem? "You know I will, L." He laid back against the pillows, his thoughts racing towards the possibilities of this new Kira. "And what then, when we catch him?"

 

"Justice." Kira, the real Kira, was surely in this room, in my bed. In my mind. And this other Kira, another imposter, somewhere out there in the world with a power so beyond him. Was it not also beyond Light? No one should have this power. How can I be so clear about this for the fake Kira...and not for the real one?

 

Light's eyes were heavy. The drugged sleep from before was not real sleep, and as the adrenaline ebbed away, he felt drowsiness creep into its place. "Tomorrow, L." His eyes closed and he took a deep breath. The plans are in motion. "Justice can wait for tomorrow." He covered himself in the fluffy blankets and turned towards L, eyes opening a slit. "And don't get any ideas while I'm sleeping." His heavy eyes closed again, drifting away. "You never know... who might be watching."

 

L looked around the room, and saw nothing.

 

--------

 

It was just before dawn, and while L didn't need sleep, he did need some peace. He typed away on his laptop, consuming all information on this new Kira, each death a clue to scrutinize. He watched Light sleeping soundly, seeming to have better dreams this time. But he was anxious. The handcuffs kept him from pacing. Kept him tethered to the source of his anxiety. And even worse, he was sticky with sugar and sweat and...other things, and no way to get to the bathroom without waking Light. I'll suffer like this for you. I'll wait until you're ready. 

 

But would Light ever be ready? Just because I'm changing doesn't mean he is. The thought twisted into his guts. I'm changing. It unsettled him.

 

The real question. Would Light still kill me, given the chance?

 

The answer was definitely yes, he deduced. And is a shinigami watching over him right now? A being that only Light can see? Can order to kill? 

 

He knew he was playing a dangerous game. One of them might be dead in the end. He found that he didn't care.

 

This has never happened before. 

 

--------

 

Light woke from a dreamless sleep and felt eyes on him. He startled a little to see L crouched next to him, wrapped in a blanket and peering down at him with interest, sipping a fresh cup of tea. 

 

"Good morning." L reached for another cup of tea and handed it to Light. 

 

Light sat up and drank, remembering why he was naked. Why he was here. I'm still a prisoner and still know nothing about L's identity. Still...progress....."Morning." L's hair was a tangled mess, sticking out in odd angles. Light poked it. "You need a bath."

 

L nodded. "Yes." He tugged the chain. "I was waiting for you. Come on." He took Light's nearly full cup and set it back on the cart.

 

Light scowled but stumbled out of bed and followed L into the bathroom. "Can't we...uh....remove the handcuffs for this?" He jangled the chain in annoyance. "I have to pee."

 

L shook his head solemnly, reaching into the shower and turning on the hot water. "I'll turn around." He turned around, his bare feet chilly on the cold marble floor, looking up innocently as the room began to fill with steam. 

 

Light sighed. "Fine, have it your way." This time.

 

After they'd both taken turns heeding the call of nature, Light stepped into the huge shower and under the falling water. He turned his face into the stream. I'm walking a dangerous line with L. Each step closer could be moving towards his death, or mine. He doesn't trust me. I'm never out of his sight. Yet I have some unexpected power over him too.

 

L stepped in behind him and took some shampoo off the shelf, squeezing some into his hands. Light's distant. Regretful? "Here, let me." 

 

Light hesitated then shrugged. "Why not..." He sighed. "I suppose you planned to keep me chained like this for some time?"

 

L started to scrub Light's hair, lathering it into bubbles, then doing the same to his own unruly hair. "You'll get used to it."

 

They took turns rinsing off. Light picked up the soap and lathered his hands. What is this scent? This is what L smells like. What he smelled like last night... He turned L around and ran his soapy fingers over L's back and shoulders, cleaning off the remnants of sugar and sex. He stopped himself. Its a farce. But it feels too natural. Its odd. "What are we doing, L?"

 

L brought a finger to his mouth. "Aren't we showering?" 

 

Light sighed. Bigger picture, L. "Yes, but what are we doing? You won't trust me and I can't trust you. Its stalemate again, isn't it?" 

 

L tasted soap on his finger and pulled it away. "Maybe." He turned back around took the soap himself, finishing cleaning himself and stepping under the water. "Life is not as simple as a game of chess, Light." The water ran clear. He was clean. "There's always more moves on the board." He stepped out of the water and handed the soap to Light, standing back to admire through the steam.

 

Light held the soap a moment then finished washing under L's gaze. "You know you won't win." 

 

"As long as Kira doesn't either." 

 

Light looked down at L's erection, unnoticed by the other man. L looked down and back up at Light, a little smile. "I can't help it." He reached for Light. 

 

Light stepped back and grabbed L's wrists and gave a short shake of his head. Stay back. Not until I clear my head. Not until I have a chance to think. I don't understand what is going on in L's mind. And this new Kira. I have to know...

 

Observation. Light is cautious in the morning and reckless at night. L easily broke Light's grip and reached behind him to turn off the water. "Then let's go. Time to work." 

 

------

 

They received odd looks at HQ when L walked in dragging Light behind him, but both of them could feel the relief and happiness to see Light again. The rest of the team already knew the deal, and their suspicion of Light was nearly gone now that another set of Kira killings had started. L leapt into his chair in front of the huge screens and tapped the button to speak to Watari. The familiar 'W' appeared on the screen.

"Yes, Ryuzaki?"

 

L heaped sugar absently into his cup. "Any progress with Amane?" Her demeanor had completely changed in the past week, seeming to know nothing, remember nothing, speaking only gibberish about them being stalkers who'd abducted her. 

 

"Unfortunately, no. She still claims she has no knowledge of Kira."

 

The cup was nearly full to the brim with sugar before L noticed and stopped. He tapped out enough room for tea and poured it in. "I see. Thank you." The screen went back to black. 

 

L turned to the team. "As you all know, the killings have started again." He let his eyes dart to Light momentarily. "But it is my belief this is a new Kira. A third Kira." 

 

Matsuda stuck his hands in his pockets. "A third Kira? Why not the original Kira, or the second Kira?"

 

L gazed up at the ceiling, munching a frosted pastry. "The first Kira only killed criminals, or those who pursued him. Not innocents. This Kira has killed criminals as well as several who are not." Also, Light is the first Kira, of course. A sip of tea. "Misa Amane is the second Kira, who could kill with just a face. Or was the second Kira. We have the hard evidence found in her room and on the tapes to prove this. Also, the names and faces of all the new criminals killed have been broadcast recently. Thus, we are left with only one conclusion."

 

"Misa was the second Kira?" Light crossed his arms. He's sure about Misa. Hard evidence is what you always need to be certain, isn't it? And you have that for her, even with her memory gone, that remains.

 

L turned his eyes back to Light. I'm not telling you anything you don't know, Light, am I? "Yes, Misa Amane appears to have lost something. Somethings. Her powers as well as her memory of them."

 

Aizawa looked skeptical. "How would you know for sure that she's lost them?"

 

L turned back to the screens and brought up the video feed of Misa, restrained, blindfolded. And here is my first gamble, Light. He buzzed Watari again. "Watari, remove Miss Amane's blindfold." I know she was the second Kira, but I need to prove to myself she isn't anymore. That she's not the one behind these new deaths. That one Kira has exited the game. 

 

"Yes sir." On the screen, the team watched with mouths wide open as a masked Watari entered the room and removed Misa's blindfold. She looked around the room, struggling against her bonds and seemingly yelling at Watari, who slipped out again.

 

Without turning, L said, "Everyone put on the masks in that box on the table. Everyone but Light." Light's eyes snapped up.

 

The team looked at L worriedly, but put on the dark riot gear masks. All but L and Light.

 

L pressed the button to Misa's speaker. "Miss Amane, look at the screen to your left." He motioned to Light to step next to him. 

 

Misa stopped shouting and turned her head towards the screen to look. They all saw the faces of Light and L now appearing on her TV, clearly being shown to Misa, and held a collective breath. She squealed, "Light! Light!!!"

 

Light's face went several shades of pink as she screamed out her love for him, for him to rescue her, how much she missed him. He brought a hand to his face and pinched the bridge of his nose, shutting his eyes and his mind to her grating voice. Little fool. Do you know the trouble you've caused me? 

 

L interrupted her proclamations. "Miss Amane, do you know who I am?" 

 

Misa quieted, and nodded slowly, confused. "You're Ryuzaki. Are you my stalker, too? Why are you---"

 

L went on, "Do you clearly see my face?"

 

Misa nodded again, then resumed struggling, "What is this? Let me out of here!" 

 

L shifted in his chair, trying not to let his nerves show. I don't think I'm wrong, but... He took a sip of tea. "Can you tell us what you know about Kira?"

 

She groaned, "HOW many times do I have to tell you? I don't know anything about Kira! Let me out of---"

 

L released his hold on the speaker button and her voice went silent again, to Light's relief. L turned to Light. "Apologies for this." Light gave him a searching look, but L pressed the button down again. "Miss Amane, Light is Kira. We know this now and can prove it." And I know you have an unnaturally strong love for Light.

 

Misa was stunned into silence, along with the rest of the people in the room. Most of all, Light. He pushed down the panic and rage bubbling up inside him, shooting a glare at the back of L's head but maintaining an otherwise calm exterior. What are you playing at L? Are you still testing her, or me?

 

The rest of the team stared from Light to L. Light heard Ryuk chuckle behind him.

 

But Misa did not disappoint. "If Light is Kira, I think I'd know that, wouldn't I Mr. Stalker? I'm his FRIGGIN GIRLFRIEND! We--"

 

L cut her off. "Miss Amane, we're going to execute Light as Kira. We are handing him over to the police tonight." Sat back, looking up at the screen with his mouth pressed against his folded hands. Her face was frozen in shock and horror. "Think about that for several minutes and we'll speak again." He turned off the microphone and cut off her video feed.

 

The room exploded with noise. Matsuda stepped next to Light. "Ryazaki, what are you doing? Execute?! We KNOW Light isn't Kira! The killings started again while he was handcuffed to YOU!" 

 

Light considered this play. Don't be a fool Matsuda. Its a trick, of course. A trick to provoke Misa to kill him, if she can. But she can't. We both know it, but he has to prove it to himself. Or to provoke me into making a mistake again. No, L. Not this time. "If Misa truly believes that her love is about to die, and she still had Kira's powers, she'd do anything she could to try to stop it. And she's seen L's face. If she is still the second Kira, L's dead." Unfortunately, its not that simple, L. But you haven't figured that part out yet. "And even if she has lost her powers, if she knows anything about her being Kira or anything about Kira at all, she'll tell us now. To save me." 

 

L was watching Light closely. He nodded. "That's exactly right."

 

Aizawa jumped to his feet, the anger plain on his face. "Ryuzaki! This is cruel. You've gone too far."

 

L turned to Aizawa. "The only one in danger here is me. As Light said, she loves him and would do him no harm."   

 

Aizawa took off the helmet and threw it across the room. "But you don't really know, do you? I'm done with your manipulations, L. You can't just threaten to execute people...play games with their lives. I can't take how you do things anymore. I'm done with this." He turned on his heel and pushed hard through the rear doors, which closed with a slam. And Light actually saw a hint of a flinch from L. 

 

For his part, L just turned his chair back around to the screens as if nothing had happened. He turned on Misa's microphone and video feed again. "Miss Amane, do you have any information on Kira you'd like to share with us now? It might save Light's life."

 

She popped up on the display, eyes puffy, tears streaming down her face. She entreated him, desperation in her voice, "Ryuzaki, listen to me! Light is not Kira! He's NOT! He's.. he's kind, and a good person, and....and...NOT KIRA DON'T KILL HIM! If I knew anything don't you think I'D TELL YOU?!" L cut the mic again as she devolved into blubbering alternating with raging. 

 

Matsuda peered at L. "You're right. She's lost it."

 

L nodded. "We have to wait and see. If nothing happens by tonight, I think we can safely say that's true." He turned off Misa's video feed and buzzed Watari. "Watari, monitor Miss Amane and let me know if anything changes."

 

"Understood, sir."

 

------

 

The team was nervous for the rest of the day, including L. They went over the details of the new, third Kira that L had dug up the night before. But the seconds ticked by more slowly than they usually did. Light couldn't stray far from L with the handcuffs but he felt a million miles away from all of it, listening to the briefings as from atop a mountain while someone's echoed voice yelled up from below.

"Light.....Light!" L looked across his dripping popsicle. "Are you listening?"

 

Light's eyes focused, the room came back into view. "The victims are mostly criminals, but some wealthy people with no criminal history have also died in circumstances like the ones that Kira uses. Men and women in the prime of their life, healthy. Thus, these criminal kills may just be to mimic the previous Kira's pattern while masking their true intent." 

 

Matsuda looked confused. "Vendettas, maybe? Business rivals?"

 

"That is not yet clear." L slurped up his popsicle where it was melting. "We'll have to see if this is truly a pattern or a coincidence. But this Kira appears to operate differently than those we've pursued until now." L finished off the popsicle and chewed the stick thoughtfully. He glanced at his watch. Nearly 7 pm. If Misa Amane was going to give up anything, now would be her last chance. He pressed the mic for Watari. "Watari, any updates?"

 

"No sir. No change. She continues to say she doesn't know anything about Kira."

 

L depressed the button to turn on Misa's mic, but didn't give her the video feed of their room. "Miss Amane, this is your last chance to tell us anything about Kira. The police are on their way to retrieve Light."

 

Misa was slumped over in her restraints, looking as if she'd cried all her tears, given up. She let out a weak sob. "I'm sorry Light. I wish I could tell them something to help you! I wish I could save you....I love you....I'm sorry...." 

 

 L sat back in his chair, popsicle stick still jutting out at an angle. Its decided then. "Miss Amane, Light will not die. Not tonight. I'm sorry to say I lied to you."

 

Misa's head lifted up, not knowing whether this was the truth or another lie. 

 

"Yes. Furthermore I'm releasing you. I'm satisfied you aren't a danger, although Mogi will accompany you for now as your new talent agent. He will fill you in on all details." 

 

Life shone again in Misa's eyes. "Please let me see Light. I have to know he is ok!"

 

"I'm afraid that is impossible at the moment. But I give you my word we are not executing him tonight. You can call him tomorrow to confirm that, but I must limit your contact from here on. It is for his safety and yours." And L cut the mic, and buzzed Watari. "Watari, please see to releasing Miss Amane into Mogi's care. See she gets home safely. Thank you."

 

"Certainly, sir."

 

L cut all screens and set the chewed-up popsicle stick aside. "I owe you all an apology for that deception. Especially you Light."

 

Light pushed all emotion down deep. "Did you get everything what you wanted?"

 

L stared at him blankly. "No." He dismounted the chair and paced a bit until the chain stretched a taut reminder of his limits. "But we know she has no power now. And no memory of being Kira."

 

Matsuda chimed in, "So we can focus on the third Kira now, without hesitation." He yawned a bit. "Maybe time to turn in for today? This has been a bit exhausting." He looked around, trying to perk up. "I mean, if we're done....if not, then I can---"

 

L smiled, "Go home Matsuda. Get some rest. Tomorrow we focus on catching the third Kira with clear minds."

 

Matsuda gave him and Light a tired wave and headed out the door. And they were alone.

 

Light slumped into his chair, the tension of emotion buried so long finally wearing him down. "L, was that really necessary?" 

 

I shouldn't feel guilty for this but I do. Why? I'm just doing what I always do to solve a case... "Yes, it was." He stepped closer to Light. "I did apologize." 

 

Light looked up at him, scowling. "You said you were going to execute me. You lied about that so easily. Is that what you really want?"

 

L was silent for a moment. "No, it isn't what I want." He crouched in front of Light, chewing his thumb. I should want that but I don't. "Let me make it up to you."

 

Light barked a laugh. "How?"

 

L stood up. "Come with me. I'll show you."  

Chapter Text

L led Light into the elevator and pressed the button.  

 

Light gave him a distrustful look. "Where are we going?" 

 

"The roof."

 

"Why, what's up there...?" Light stole a glance at Ryuk who just shrugged with an impish grin. Would it kill you to go make sure there's not an ambush up there or something? Shinigami are really useless.

 

L smiled mysteriously. "You'll see."

 

The elevator stopped with a ding, and the doors opened out onto the roof. L led Light out a ways then just stopped, looking up.

 

Light looked up too. It was eerily quiet up here at the top of the skyscraper, all the noise of the city left far below. But it was the sky that took his breath away. Up here, the city lights didn't mask the stars and they spilled out across the sky like scattered diamonds. Constellations Light remembered from childhood connected in his mind and animated the night sky. They gazed for awhile in silence.

 

"As a child I believed that the stars held our destinies. Isn't that silly, Light?"

 

"I remember believing something similar. That the sign under which you were born could influence your fate." He scanned the sky for his and pointed it out. "There." It was faint but perceptible. 

 

L looked where Light was pointing. "Libra. The scales of justice." He smiled a little sadly. "Seems appropriate I guess."

 

"And yours?" Give me some clue, L.

 

L hesitated. He could lie. But he didn't. "Gemini." He stepped behind Light and pointed Light's hand to its position in the sky. "The twins." He released Light's hand and gazed up thoughtfully.  "Do you know the Greek myth of Gemini?"

 

"The two bright stars are named Castor and Pollux, aren't they? Both the children of the same human mother, but Pollux was the divine son of Zeus."

 

"And Castor was the son of a mortal, the king of Sparta." L's skin glowed translucent in the moonlight. "When Castor died, Pollux asked Zeus to share his own immortality with his twin. Zeus agreed and they were transformed into Gemini, these stars."

 

"It seems a poor trade for Pollux. Being transformed into a star." 

 

L laughed softly. "I thought you might say that." 

 

"I suppose it was more important for him to be with Castor than to be immortal." Still, a fool to give up divinity. 

 

L turned his own moonlike eyes to Light. "Castor and Pollux will still be shining up in the sky long after we are both dead, won't they? What is immortality if not an everlasting presence?"

 

Light exhaled. "Even stars die." He kept looking up, feeling humbled by the immensity of the universe. Nothing truly lives forever, does it.

 

L took Light's hand and led him to a corner of the roof, where a small dining table was set up under twinkling electric lights. Watari had left them a cart of covered trays, and set the table for two. "I hope you don't mind." 

 

Light looked around at the romantic setting. Alone on the roof, under the stars, the soft lighting. "Is this a date, L?" He couldn't help but grin. "Castor and Pollux dine atop Mt. Olympus?"

 

L blushed. "Its dinner. And its getting cold." He looked under the dishes until he found the desserts, then crouched in a chair and started to poke at an enormous piece of chocolate cake. "I thought you could use a little air after...being cooped up for so long." My clumsy apology, Light. 

 

Light uncovered the other dish and sat down across from him. I get it, L. But your apologies won't mean much if I'm dead. "It is nice to get out, to see the sky again." He took a bite of the chicken dish Watari had left for him, some decadent French recipe. "Wow, Watari can really cook."

 

L, through a mouth full of cake crumbs, "I'll tell him you thend your compwamins."

 

Light tapped his fork lightly on his plate. "Hmmmm, no wine?" An intoxicated L might be very interesting indeed.

 

L looked up at him, wiping his mouth with his sleeve. Softly, "I don't drink."

 

Light smirked a little, leaning back in his chair. "Why not?" 

 

"We aren't old enough, for one." And to keep my mind clear, for another.

 

Light stifled a laugh. He twirled his fork in the sauce and brought it to his tongue, licking it off seductively. "Could be fun."

 

L stopped mid-chew, watching Light. He dropped his fork and reached under the cart for a walkie-talkie. "Watari?"

 

The device crackled with Watari's voice, "Something wrong, sir?"

 

L looked back over at Light. "Er, no, but...um....could you bring us up some wine?" 

 

"Wine, sir?" The surprise was evident on the other end. "You want wine?"

 

"Yes yes any kind you think is good will be fine. Thank you." L said it fast and clicked off the receiver, stowing the walk-talkie away again. 

 

Light laughed. "You didn't have to do that, I was joking." You surprise me, L. "Poor Watari, at your beck and call. I hope you give him a day off every now and then."

 

L brought a frosted finger to his mouth. A day off? I've never....I've never even thought about that. But Watari, he's devoted to me and doesn't mind. But, maybe he does. You're being thoughtful, Light.

 

A few moments later the elevator door opened and Watari came through holding a bottle and two glasses. "Champagne, sir." He nodded at L and set down the cups. L stared at the delicate crystal flute as Watari popped the cork and filled their cups. 

 

Light thought L looked decidedly nervous. He's never had it before. This is something new for L. He took his glass and waited for L to stop staring at the bubbling liquid and pick his up. The great detective afraid of a little alcohol. 

 

L stuck a tentative finger into the champagne and tasted it. His eyes widened and he smiled up at Watari. "Its sweet." Watari chuckled and set the bottle on the table. "And Watari?"

 

"Yes sir?"

 

"I want you to take Saturday off." He avoided Light's surprised eyes by pretending to watch the tiny effervescent bubbles rise in his glass and pop.

 

But not as surprised as Watari, who nearly gaped. "Sir?"

 

L waved him away in embarrassment. "Yes yes. Take the day off and go do...whatever it is you like to do."

 

Watari rose to his full height, clearly pleased. "As you say sir. Thank you." He cast an odd look at Light, as if to say, is this your doing? And headed back down the elevator.

 

L picked up his glass and bent over it to take a tiny sip.

 

"Wait!" 

 

L froze, eyes wide and cup nearly to his lips. "What?"

 

"You have to toast with champagne." He gave L a look of mock disapproval. "That's the rules."

 

A tiny smile spread across L's face and he leaned back up. Light's relaxing into this, finally. "What shall we toast to then?"

 

Light extended his flute to the middle of the table. "To Castor and Pollux. Looking down at us from the heavens."

 

L met his glass with a clink of crystal. "To twins." L took a small sip, then a larger one. He smiled. "It tickles."

 

Light also toasted up to Gemini, then drank deeply, finishing off the glass. He poured another and leaned back in his chair, watching L playing with the champagne. He was giggling holding it up to the light to glow golden. He's like a child sometimes. He's spent his life chasing after criminals, solving gruesome crimes, but is fascinated with ordinary things. But he looks beautiful like this. Vulnerable like this. Fragile. I don't want to....but I have to... "L, is it true what you said before? That you don't want me to die?"

 

L stopped giggling and brought the glass back to his lips, drinking the rest and setting it down. "Yes. I meant that." They locked eyes over the table.

 

Light's heart was thudding, and he didn't know why. He looks into me. Not at me. "Even if I was Kira?"

 

"Are you Kira?"

 

Light didn't know what to say. You're right, L. I want to tell you. I'm trying to tell you. But I want you to understand first. To understand me. I could make a better world, a perfect world. You could help me. With your brilliant mind we'd be gods in this new world. I know it holds some draw for you. I see your struggle even if you try to hide it. "If I was, would you be my witness?"

 

L hated the table in that moment. Hated being separated from Light. He wanted nothing more than to crash into him, devour him, worship him with his body, his tongue, his eyes, his mind. But he didn't. "What I would witness first would be the end of me."

 

"I don't want you to die either." Don't I???? The words came out and he was as surprised as L to hear them voiced.

 

L saw his surprise in his eyes, if not in his face. "Ah. This is new." Perhaps the lies you tell yourself don't run as deep as I thought. But can I trust you yet, if you don't trust yourself? 

 

Light sat there speechless for a few moments, lost in L's gaze, until he finally had to turn away. He downed his glass of champagne and stood up, walking to the edge of the roof, the end of the handcuff chain. He peered over the short wall, looking down. "We're all so fragile, aren't we, L?" He ran his palms over the smooth granite surface in front of him, cool and slick to the touch. "Letting someone in, really letting someone in...could shatter us." He stared out into the city lights of Tokyo, millions of people and he was high above them all. It was a comfortable perch. He didn't want to let it go. Ever. Even for L.

 

L stood up and went to stand by Light. "Not if you let the right one in." Could you let me in, if I let you feel safe with me?

 

Light laughed bitterly. "There's no 'right one' for me, L." He hopped up to sit on the low wall, dangling his feet over the side. "Some of us are too far gone." He stared out into the night, the breeze lifting his hair like the touch of shinigami. "There's nothing left inside me."

 

"I don't believe that." I can't believe that.

 

Light stood up on the wall, stretching his hands out into the wind, eyes squeezed shut. "L, tell me the truth. Are you my friend?"

 

Worried, "Light, come down from there." He held the chain, trying to tug Light down.

 

Light laughed, the wind whipping his shirt around. "Do you know how it feels, L. To have nothing but a black hole inside your soul, stretching wider each day, swallowing up each shadow, each trace of light." He brought down his hands, balling them into fists at his side. "Until all that remains is your purpose, a one-way road, a conveyer belt pushing you towards something you don't understand?" The traffic raced beneath him. Ants. Yet all it would take to end this nightmare was one small move. It would be over. He'd be beyond the reach of L, of Ryuk, and it would be his choice.

 

L touched Light's ankle, "I do understand." More than you know. "Come down, Light!" I recognize this dark thinking. I know it too well. Come back, Light.

 

Light squatted down on the wall, his head in his hands. "L, are you my friend?" He turned to him, screaming, "Don't lie to me!" What is happening to me? I feel a pull in opposite directions. Towards my justice. Kira's justice. And to L. I'm being torn in half, I have to know...to know whether....Softer, "Tell me the truth, for once and for all."

 

And here's my second gamble. "Yes, I am." He reached for Light's shirt and pulled him back down to the roof, to solid ground. He held him tight. "You're safe with me."

 

Light let himself be held, limp in L's arms. He whispered, "Liar."

 

"Tell me." He smoothed Light's wind-tossed hair. "You want to tell me."

 

Light pulled back and looked for the trick in L's eyes. It wasn't there. He turned his eyes back up to Gemini, those twins who had won. He closed his eyes as if in prayer. "Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like insects to him, who draws back the heavens like a curtain."

 

L knew these verses. Old testament. Isiah. "It is he who reduces rulers to nothing. Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless....." He brushed Light's lips with his thumb. 

 

Light exhaled. Release me from this game, L. Can you submit to me?    

 

"I know you're Kira. I've known since I saw you." A whisper. "I wanted it to be true." Needed it to be true.

 

Light touched L's face. It was wet. "Why?" He wiped away another tear running down L's cheek. L's crying.

 

"My twin is you. Is Kira." He leaned in close to Light, their lips nearly touching. 

 

Light ran his hands up L's shirt, stroking the soft skin beneath. "Can you save me then?"

 

"I'm going to try." They breathed the same air. L was intoxicated by wine and by Light. "Will you let me?"

 

"You know I can't stop." And Light was forever intoxicated by the power of the death note. I want it all L. You, this power, my new world. Everything. He pulled L closer, feeling the other man's erection pressing against him. 

 

"I know." 

 

Light kissed L deeply, lacing his fingers through his hair and pulling, breaking. Between the kiss, "Tell me you submit to me. Tell me your name." Prove it. Prove yourself to me L. Let me see you. The real you.

 

L panting against him, "I need more.....I need to trust you...." I don't want to die, Light. I need to know you won't do it.

 

Light smiled bitterly. "Secrets again." Not trust. Light broke their embrace and walked over to the bottle, refilling his glass again with the last of the champagne and setting it on the cart. No. This ends tonight. With a smooth movement, Light swept everything off the table, and yanked L towards him.

 

L stumbled forward against the table, catching himself against it and looking up at Light. It was then he noticed that he had a knife, glinting in the starlight. "Light?" You’re as scared as I am.

 

Light stepped up to L, pinning him against the table. "You should really tell Watari to be more careful." He traced the serrated dinner knife down L's shirt, catching under the buttons one at a time and cutting them free.

 

L's eyes had become impossibly wide. But he was more turned on than he'd ever been in his life. My life is at the edge of this razor, isn't it, Light? 

 

Light ran the blade down L's shirt, cutting the rest of the buttons free, then pushed him up onto the table. He crashed into L, ravaging his lips with his own, yanking L's pants down and pulling his own shirt over his head. "This is what you want, isn't it, L?" He ran the blade against L's neck, lightly dragging it down to his stomach.

 

L grabbed at him, unbuttoning Light's pants and reaching inside to stoke him. "I don't want to die, Light." I want to live. I want you. I want Kira....my twin...

 

"Neither do I." Light tilted his head back with pleasure, savoring L's strokes. He kicked his pants off and leaned onto L. "But submit to me and I promise you will never die by my hand."  

 

Chapter Text

Light had L pinned on top of the table, the moonlight making his pale skin look ghostly against his grey eyes and wild black hair. Light placed the knifepoint under L's chin, not breaking the skin but enough to cause L to draw his breath in quickly. He whispered, "Don't you think I could kill you if I wanted that?" He licked up L's cheek slowly, moving to bite his earlobe and suck it into his mouth. "Did you ever think you were safe from me if I desired you dead? Keeping me at a distance, keeping me close, it makes no difference L." His mouth traveled down with the edge of the knife, across L's lean muscular chest. He pressed its edge slightly harder, just enough to bring pinpricks of ruby blood welling to the surface. "Over all the earth, I'd find you."

 

L gasped a breath and shut his eyes, his hands squeezing Light's arms so hard they'd bruise, but his cock throbbed with a sick thrill. "Light...what do you really want...." Cut me Light, if it thrills you, its nothing to me....

 

"A new age..." He licked up the trail of blood he'd left in the wake of the knife, staining his mouth with gore. "To create my perfect world." He leaned back and straddled L, breaking L's grip on his arms. He pressed the scratch he'd make on L and watched it begin to bleed again. L twisted under his touch, from pleasure or pain, Light didn't care. "To defeat you." ...The dim lights cut shadows against his body and face, making him hardly seem human. He felt the night pass into him, through him. "Possess you." Light grabbed L's waist and yanked him closer.

 

L opened his eyes and looked up at Light. Light is going to kill me or fuck me. If its like this, I don't care which. He felt hotness across his chest as Light smeared the blood across his body with a flat palm, marking him. He spread his legs to either side of Light, staring up with open lust. He panted, "I've never been safe from you." He arched upwards as Light sucked a crimson finger and began to work one and then two into L's entrance, searching and circling until L's vision blurred with desire. I shall know god tonight either way.

 

Light took the knife between his teeth and positioned himself between L's legs, one hand pushing L to the table, the other nudging him open insistently. And L let him in.

 

You really are a god, Light, you're channeling angels to you now. Making me move for you, to open to you. They open the closed depths of me like a curtain for you, and let you judge me....Breathless"Light, my promise to you..." He caught his breath as Light slid in deeper, and began to move, slowly at first then faster, hungry."You are truly the first friend I've ever had." L grabbed the table as Light slammed into him hard, ramming his prostate and pulling a moan from his lips. 

 

Light leaned over L, inflamed with passion and rage, and took the knife back into his hand. "Liar!" He angrily dragged the knife beneath the curve of L's collarbone, punishing him. A bright bloom of blood followed the shiny edge, made jagged with their movement. "I'm your enemy, L!" He pressed a bit harder until L gasped again and Light knew it was from pain this time. I can break him...I can break L....I can win....All the rage was free, the power springing from his fingertips like electricity upon L's flesh. He leaned over L, angling his hips to penetrate him deeper, slamming his palms down on either side of him.

 

L ran his hands up Light's taut stomach, wanting to touch himself but wanting to touch Light more. The banging against his prostate was pushing him closer and closer to the edge. And it was him....Kira...pushing into me. He pulled Light's face down to meet his mouth, hungry for him, desperate to be closer, to commune with him on every level. Light kissed him brutally, fucked him savagely until he broke the kiss. L could feel Light's body tensing, knowing they were both about to break, and squeezed around him. Light gasped and shot waves of warmth deep inside L's body. L stroked himself, watching the beautiful spectacle above him, Light's rage finally washed away by his orgasm. With a moan, he came too, spurting up against Light's chest, whispering, "Light!"

 

Sweat dripped from Light's hair, dropping as tears as he slowly lowered himself against L. Skin on skin. Blood on sweat and cum. He stared down at L for what seemed like ages, panting, writing this into forever memory and too tired to fight anymore. Just wanting to feel this, just like this, forever. "I am your enemy, L." The darkness seemed to swirl thick around them, tugging them both into a nearly liquid night. "I am Kira." The world went mute at those words. 

 

L sighed deeply. "Yes..." It is one thing to think it....another to know it......L was seeing the stars above, the stars in front of his eyes, having a nearly out of body experience as his brain flooded with adrenaline, the panic of their violence, a strange release at finally hearing Light's truth spoken. Is this it? What it feels like when the numbness ends and something else breaks free? Do you feel this too, Light? I needed you all my life. A laugh started inside him, parallel to a scream, battling it out to see which was going to make it out of his mouth first. The laugh won. He arched his back into the night, the sky upside down and close. "Not your enemy....your sacrifice." He lifted his hands to the stars, speaking to them, to all gods. "And I don't care." The dark laughter grew inside him. Softly,"You win." He turned back to Light, pushing him up and meeting his eyes. "Do it." Trickles of blood burned slow lines down his chest.

 

Light stared into L's face, defiant, pleading and half-mad with fear and lust. This is it. My moment. His fingers twitched around the knife, but they longed for the death note. The wind lashed against his face, egging him on. But he hesitated. Why am I hesitating? He's practically begging me to do it. Those eyes. What would they look like when life and light faded from them? He felt a unexpectedly painful pang at that thought. We won't become stars, L. There's only oblivion waiting on the other side. Light felt afraid.

 

L's fingers softly curled around Light's hand in his moment of indecision, his eyes never breaking from Light's. He slowly pulled the knife closer to his heart.

 

"L..." Light's eyes widened and he pulled back, but L kept his grip.

 

Whispered, "You've won, Light." He pulled again, stuck in a tug-of-war between Light's grip and his, between the desire of his enemy to keep him alive and his own apocalypse. "My name is truly L." A tear ran from unblinking eyes. "L Lawliet." He released the knife, and Light fell back, eyes wide.

 

Light held his trembling hand over the edge of the table and opened his palm. The knife fell to the ground with a clatter. He was shaken to his core. He quickly glanced for Ryuk, forgotten until now. Ryuk can see it, he knows L's name. The shinigami looked nearly solemn. 

 

L followed his gaze and turned towards the demon he couldn't see. He demanded of Light, "Can it tell if I'm lying?"

 

Ryuk alighted from the wall and flew to the radio antenna above. He turned his back to them, considering the most amusing option to take. And then he considered Light. Over his shoulder, "He's not lying."

 

Light looked back to L in amazement. "You're telling the truth."

 

L slowly crept across the table to a frozen Light, placing his hands on Light's knees and pushing them apart. "And what are you going to do now, Kira, now that you know my secret, the only shield I had against you gone...." He kissed Light's knee and leaned his head on it, an act of submission at last. "I'm at your mercy."

 

Light touched L's hair like he was made of glass, letting pieces of it tumble through his fingers. I haven't won. I wouldn't feel like this if I'd won. "I...I...don't know..." He grabbed L by the shoulders and brought him up to him. "L...." One letter. It sounds different somehow, knowing its real. He surveyed the bloodied and bruised mess he'd made of his friend, feeling both excited and shocked. The red smears clashed against porcelain skin, like someone had dropped a china doll and mended it badly. He thought about the piece of Ryuk's death note, hidden on his body in this very moment. How he could simply open his watch and write L's true name in his own blood, and all this would be over. All this would be over. 

 

L turned to stare up at him, waiting. 

 

"I know you now L." You've shown yourself to me at last. "Do you truly want to know me? To know Kira? To lose yourself?"

 

"I've made my choice, Light."

 

Light reached down for his watch, touching the smooth glass. He remembered the moment when he'd begun to enjoy the kills. "The world is rotting, L. Don't you see it in your cases, in the monsters you chase?"

 

"I noticed. But I never cared, until now." He exhaled deeply. "I needed the challenge. Its what I was made for. But I was afraid..."

 

"Of what?"

 

"Of what true justice might look like."

 

"Sometimes you must destroy something to make it new."

 

"Until you become the thing you are trying to destroy," L smiled a little. 

 

"Keep me from that. Save me. Your twin." He pulled L closer and kissed him, softly this time, no intention to hurt. "Be my conscience, L Lawliet. The conscience of Kira."

 

"I don't care about the world, but I can't live without you, Light." A moment. "So, yes." He looked up for Light's reaction. 

 

Light hugged him close, a rush of happiness, victory, relief, and many unidentifiable emotions. Light reached down for his watch. Pulled the mechanism three times and the secret compartment popped open to reveal his real secret. He took the piece of the death note out of his watch and held it up in the moonlight. Such a little thing, to hold such power. "And now you'll see..." He touched the piece of death note to L's shoulder. "...what I see."

 

L was watching the piece of the death note intently, then lifted his eyes to look around. When his gaze finally scanned past Ryuk, Light felt him tense. "A shinigami....." He looked back to Light in awe. "They exist!"

 

Light waved Ryuk down. "L meet Ryuk."

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes and flew down from his perch to land next to them. He mock-bowed to a gaping L. "Nice to meet you. Hyuk."

 

L's impossibly wide eyes turned from Light to Ryuk and back again, speechless for once. "Light...I have so many questions..."

 

"One apple per question. Them's the rules." Ryuk hovered above them both. "Lucky for you, I don't lie near as much as either of you do."

 

Light stifled a laugh, but L couldn't help himself and fell on his back on the table, giggling. "Shinigami really do love apples!" He lept up and pulled on his tattered clothes excitedly, picking up Light's and throwing them to him.

 

Light pulled on his pants and shirt, carefully hiding away the piece of the death note again. 

 

L reached inside the cart and took the walkie-talkie, flashing Light a beautiful smile. He pressed the button, "Watari?"

 

"Yes sir?"

 

"Can you send some snacks up to my room in a few minutes?" He glanced at Ryuk. "And a bowl of apples? A big one."

 

The shinigami just grinned at him. "Light-o, I like this guy."

 

Watari's voice crackled back, "Of course, sir. Shall I clear away dinner now?"

 

L surveyed the crashed scene, biting his thumb. "Yes, but...um....I think you better take Sunday off too." 

Chapter Text

L took Light by the hand and led him back down the elevator, drinking up this new reality, his mind still barely registering the events of the night. In his room, he turned Light's bloody hand over and ran a finger down the lifelines, then kissed them. "Our fates are bound now, Light."

 

Light pushed L's torn shirt off one shoulder, a warfield beneath. He gazed at it. The right thing to do is apologize. But I don't feel sorry. 

 

L looked down at himself. "What is Light-kun thinking?"

 

Light hesitated to say his true thoughts. 

 

L stared back up at Light, tilting his head. "No sense in keeping secrets anymore." 

 

In answer, Light pressed L's hand against the front of his pants, letting him feel the hardness there for himself. "I can apologize if you like. But it would be a lie." 

 

"Don't." L squeezed, enjoying watching Light's pupil's dilate with pleasure.

 

"Most of all I think we need a bath." Light removed L's hand again with a smile. "What would Watari think if he saw you like this?"

 

Light brought a finger up to his mouth innocently. "Oh I think he already knows." Smiling at Light's surprise, "You didn't think you were the only one who had someone watching, did you?"

 

"Why didn't he stop us...me....when..." 

 

"I forbid him from intervening, no matter what happened."

 

Listening too? "Did he hear--"

 

L shook his head, laughing. "Don't worry. There's things even I don't want Watari to hear." He ruffled Light's hair. "I'll tell him to stop watching. Cmon let's get that bath."

------

 

L's eyes were visible just above the bathwater, peering over at Light... Light was soaking on the other side amid the steam, arms stretched out on the smooth marble sides, head back, eyes closed. 

 

Ryuk was perched on the side next to Light. "Generous of you to let Light stay awake this time, L." A knowing grin. "Hyuk."

 

Light's eyes opened and he looked up at L, blushing under the water. "Since we're telling all our secrets, what did you do when you drugged me, L?" 

 

L dunked underwater then rose above it. "Nothing." Looking at Ryuk warily. "He already told you." 

 

Ryuk chuckled. "Well I might have left a couple things out. For fun." You'll learn I have no allegiance, L.

 

Both Light and L turned to Ryuk, who was pantomiming a good wank. Light tried not to but broke into laughter alongside Ryuk. He splashed L playfully. "Misa was right, you are hentai."

 

L sulked sheepishly. "It's nothing compared to what he's seen since then." Ryuk barked a laugh. L swam over to Light. "Plus, I think I've paid for it, don't you?" 

 

Light rubbed some soap bubbles off L's cheek and grinned at him. "I suppose."

 

L looked up at the shinigami, considering. "What's it like, being a god of death?"

 

Ryuk stuck a non-corporeal toe in the water, where it didn't make a ripple. "That'll cost ya an apple, hyuk."

 

L just kept staring. "I'll owe you one." I don't trust it, but Light seems completely at ease with this demon.

 

Ryuk shrugged. "Pretty boring most of the time. Less so since I've met him." He motioned to Light. "Been quite a source of amusement. Especially lately, hyuk." He grinned, revealing a set of jagged, monstrous teeth.

 

Light gave Ryuk a sideways glance. "Ryuk came to the human world from the shinigami realm simply because he was bored." He stood up in the bath and stepped out, grabbing a towel and drying off. "I suppose it's time to tell you how everything works, L." He reached out his hand to help L out, and handed him a towel. "Every shinigami has a notebook, a death note, and they write down the names of people to make them die, in various ways."

 

"Why?" L was dripping all over the floor, towel forgotten in his hands.

 

Light sighed and started to dry L off. "It's how they extend their own lifespan. The years that the human would have lived is transferred to them, and they can become for all practical purposes immortal."

 

"But shinigami can die, if they don't do that?" L was catching on quick.

 

"Yes. And in one other way."

 

Ryuk laughed. "Don't get any ideas, L. Never gonna happen."

 

Light went into the bedroom, L following close behind. The snacks and apples had been brought up by Watari and Light tossed an apple to L. "Better give 'em what you promised." Or he may take something you value higher.

 

L caught it against his chest. He walked around the shinigami, his fingers passing through when he tried to poke his wings. He held out the apple and Ryuk flew off into the corner of the room with his prize. L turned back to Light. "What's the other way?"

 

Light slipped on a pair of boxers. "The other way is if they fall in love with a human, and use their death note to extend that person's life. To save them from death."

 

L picked up a plate of brownies. "Seems unlikely that would happen."

 

Light sighed. "It happens." He took a brownie too and sat down on the bed. Rem...

 

L stuffed the brownie into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. "So how do you kill if Ryuk's the one with the death note?"

 

"Another death note came into his possession. He gave that one to me. To use how I see fit, as much as I want. It literally fell from the sky one day and I just...picked it up."

 

L stopped chewing. "Just like that?"

 

Light nodded. "Just like that. There's rules for using it, lots of rules. How to write the cause of death, how long you can control someone's actions before they die...and also...what happens to the user of it."

 

"And what does happen?" L looked over at Ryuk, feeling a bit alarmed.

 

Ryuk flew close again. "I'll be the one to write Light's name in my book when his time is up. And a human who uses the death note sees neither heaven nor hell." He held out a clawed hand for payment."Not that I believe in either."

 

L took another apple but hesitated. "What else?" He's holding something back. I can see he's under no obligation to tell us everything, or even the truth. 

 

"I am bound to him until he gives up the notebook or he dies." Ryuk watched the apple in L's hands greedily. "And...."

 

"What?"

 

"The users of the death note are usually changed by it, but this is not a rule just an observation. Some might say cursed."

 

L tossed the apple to Ryuk, who munched it happily. "Cheer up, L. It's not a bad trade for the power of a god."

 

L sat down beside Light. "Ryuk wouldn't have chosen you if he didn't think he'd get something out of it. Amusement may be part of it but shinigami need to kill to live."

 

Light shrugged. "He still kills, don't you Ryuk?" Ryuk nodded, flinging bits of apple around. He rubbed L's shoulder. "Don't worry. As long as I'm interesting to Ryuk he's got no cause to kill me. And to hear him tell of the shinigami realm, anything's more interesting than that."

 

Ryuk grunted in agreement, and floated on his side, propping up his head with his hand and looking down at them. It’s not me that chose you Light-o.

 

L was still disturbed. He looked up at Ryuk. He's no pet, Light. Your life is at the whim of an idiot god with a short attention span. "Where is it, the death note? You had a piece of it with you but where's the book?"

 

"Hidden away." Light laid back on the pillows and closed his eyes. "I suppose I can go get it at some point, if there's a place here that's still safe from Watari and anyone else." And soon.

 

L crouched next to Light. "Stay awake, I've got so many questions."

 

Light turned over and snuggled into the blankets. "Unlike you, I need some sleep. I'll tell you more about everything in the morning." And he fell asleep. 

 

L touched Light's hair softly. What a complicated puzzle you've laid out for me Light. He got up and unlocked the handcuffs from his wrist and Light's and placed them on the nightstand. No need for these anymore, although I might find myself missing them. I guess we'll still have to wear them in front of the team so as not to arouse suspicions. It must appear as if nothing has changed between us. He sighed, running his hands through his hair. That won't be easy. He stood up and walked back to the bowl of apples. Plenty left. 

 

He took one, and Ryuk perked up. "Ryuk...."

 

He interrogated the shinigami until all the apples were gone, and Ryuk was hiccuping, his eyes glazed over in near intoxication. He learned about the various rules of the death note, Light's actions till that point, the shinigami realm, Misa and Rem, and Rem's handing over of her death note to some as yet unknown Kira... The depths you've gone to to hide yourself from me, Light. I'm impressed. 

 

Last apple. Last question. But it was the hardest to ask. "Ryuk, if Light stops being amusing...will you write his name in your death note?"

 

Ryuk broke out into a disconcerting grin. "Dunno. Depends, don't it?" I have become a bit fond of the little punk but L doesn't need to know that. If I'm bored, who knows?

 

"I suppose if he gets caught that won't be very fun to watch him all day in prison." 

 

"Nope."

 

This is a variable I can't control. Light, what doomed deal have you entered into with this foul creature? He looked down at his sleeping god, suddenly seeming so fragile. "Ryuk, if you ever write Light's name in your book...promise me that you'll write mine too." He held the last apple out to the shinigami.

 

Ryuk snatched the apple and swallowed it whole. "Deal."

 

L looked back over at Light, sleeping the pure and untroubled sleep of innocents. I’ll never make you regret your choice Light. Thank you for letting me in. And he snuggled up close behind Light, not planning on sleeping in his excited state, but just wanting the warmth and closeness of Light’s body next to him. To feel Kira’s justice slide into him, to lose himself to it, and jettison everything else away without a single regret. Justice or this?

 

This.

 

--------------------

 

The next morning L and Light gathered together with the team to go over new evidence in the third Kira case, shackled back together for show, but L was armed with new knowledge about the origins of all this death. And, a motivation to somehow get Light out from under it. If Light gets caught, the police will kill him ...or jail him, and Ryuk kills him. But if he stops using the death note, Ryuk may kill him out of boredom. L jumped up into his chair, crouching over his laptop while munching on a jelly donut. "Matsuda, any updates on new Kira deaths since yesterday?" He glanced quickly at Ryuk, never far from Light. That will take some getting used to, too.

 

Light sipped his tea, secretly smiling into his cup. This deception, and L being a part of it now, is delicious.

  

Matsuda stepped forward with a stack of papers, and handed a sheet to L. "Yes, there were 5 criminals last night, heart attacks in prison."

 

L scanned the list, holding it up by his fingertips. "And what about other deaths?"

 

Light sat down at his computer and started to scan the news and databases for any deaths that occurred last night. "During that time a rich heiress unexpectedly committed suicide." He looked for a few more moments. "I think that's it."

 

L turned back to his laptop, biting his thumb in thought. "It seems this Kira prefers wealthy victims and may be using criminals to mask the marks." There's no nuance to this Kira, Light. They have none of your style. "Your thoughts, Light?"

 

Light gave him a wicked smile that immediately made crouching uncomfortable. "Thinking like this Kira?" A stupid, greedy Kira?  "Extortion."

 

Matsuda nodded excitedly. "Yes! That makes sense! The third Kira contacts rich people, telling them to pay up or else."

 

L was still staring at Light. "Its possible. And some of them don't pay." Light told me that Rem gave her death note to someone who would use it for a selfish purpose. This idea could be right.

 

Matsuda tapped his foot in thought. "Maybe those people didn't believe it. Until now, Kira never killed anyone other than criminals."

 

Light stood up and walked close to L, wanting to touch him but unable to. "We need to find the ones that did pay."

 

L gazed up at Light, shifting a bit in his chair. Being close to Light now was...hard. "That might be difficult. I doubt they'll speak with the police now that they see this Kira is real and can kill." He turned, typing away again on his laptop. "But we can look for big transfers in the past couple weeks."

 

Light bent down, looking over L's shoulder at the screen. "I doubt we'll find this Kira like that though. I don't think he's stupid enough to use anything traceable like an account. The money would have been exchanged in cash."

 

L nodded. "Large cash withdrawals make more sense." He buzzed for Watari, and the 'W' screen popped up on the large overhead screen. "Watari, can you get us a list of cash withdrawals over 50 million yen in the past 2 weeks?"

 

"Certainly, sir. Should have that in a few hours."

 

"Thank you, Watari." He turned back to Matsuda. "And Matsuda, please confirm with the police whether anyone has reported an attempted extortion lately. Just in case." 

 

----------

 

By the time Watari wheeled in lunch for them, Light was already exhausted by the day. The hospital had called to let him know that his father was still undergoing tests but they'd be releasing him the day after tomorrow. But he'd also received a frantic phone call from Misa, which L had made him take to keep up appearances, to confirm he was alive and unharmed. But she hadn't taken it well that they would have to go on a "short break" in contact. Once the dismayed shrieking had reached such a pitch that Light held the phone away from his ear from the pain, L grabbed the phone and took over.

 

"Miss Amane, both you and Light are under suspicion of being Kira and we must limit your contact for this reason. I'm sure that you wouldn't want to place Light in an even more difficult position." The cellphone dangled from his fingertips, held a bit away from his ear in case Misa started up again. The things I do for you Light.

 

Misa calmed down somewhat, thinking that over. "Well, no, of course not but...."

 

"Then I assume you are willing to cooperate fully to clear both your names."

 

"Yes, but--!"

 

"Then we appreciate your understanding and I'm certain that Light will be extremely grateful when this is all over."

 

"I...well, ok, I understand, but when---"

 

"Thank you very much Miss Amane," And he hung up. 

 

Light collapsed into his chair, stifling a laugh. "I need you to be my permanent secretary." Rem isn't going to be very happy about this. About any of this. If she finds out I've.. changed my plans, she will become even more of a pain than she already is. "Misa could be a problem for us." He gave L a smoldering look and pulled the handcuff chain suggestively. 

 

But Matsuda walked back in the door to HQ in that moment. Damn it. L blushed and just replied, "We'll worry about that when we have to." Which may be sooner than we hope.

 

Matsuda huffed over to them, a bit out of breath. He bent over, puffing, and held out a police report file to L. "These are all the recent reports of attempted extortion in the last few weeks."

 

L took it and started to skim through it. "Thank you, Matsuda. Good work."

 

Matsuda beamed a little, and straightened up.

 

L tapped his chin. "Hmm. There's not much really. A ransom for a kidnapping, but Kira wouldn't need to do that. He'd hold their own life hostage. Some attempted blackmail, but that doesn't fit either. All he'd need was their name and face, or maybe even just a face, not scandals." I hope this Kira hasn't done the shinigami eye deal Ryuk mentioned last night. He set the file aside and buzzed Watari. "Watari, any progress on that bank data?"

 

"Yes, sir, I'm sending to your laptop now."

 

Light, Matsuda, and L huddled around the laptop as a spreadsheet popped up on the screen, all the large cash withdrawals from Tokyo banks in the past 2 weeks. L scrolled through them, trying to keep his mind on the numbers in front of him instead of on the intoxicating smell of Light's skin, so close. "This one." He pointed to a withdrawal 2 days ago, marked by the bank as a rush order. "Big transaction. Someone was in a hurry to get this money and didn't mind paying a large fee to the bank to get it quick." 

 

Light looked closely at the transaction. "Tadashi Ito. I've heard that name before." It came to him. "He's the president of Promise Pharmaceuticals. That company had a blockbuster drug this year, it allows people needing organ donation to receive it from anyone no matter their blood type or genetic profile. Expensive drug but nearly a miracle. But why him?"

 

L chewed his nail. "He's incredibly wealthy for one, but it might be particularly tempting to focus on a pharmaceutical executive. There's a lot of ways this Kira could get money from them. Even in the event they didn't value their own life."

 

Matsuda nodded, "Like threatening to kill people taking their drug. Tanking their stock."

 

Light thought for a moment. "Or wiping out their clinical trials."

 

 L nodded. "At the very least, I think we need to take a closer look at Mr. Tadashi." He buzzed Watari, "Watari, pull up any background you can find on Tadashi Ito, including any information on his place of residence, daily routines, anything." 

 

"I'll check on what the police have on him, if anything." And Matsuda was out the door once again.

 

As soon as the door had slammed, Light stepped behind L and let his fingers travel down into L's shirt. He leaned down and tongued his neck, whispering, "I didn't realize it'd be so hard to keep my hands off of you." 

 

L leaned his head back, exposing more of his neck to Light's mouth. "We have to be careful...." Light bit him softly at that, and L inhaled sharply. "Light, does this sound like the type of person Rem would give the notebook to?" 

 

Light lightly traced the cuts from last night, not disturbing them, just reminding his fingers what they felt like. "Its hard to say what shinigami will do. But her only motivation is protecting Misa, so I think she'd follow what I asked, given my promise to her." 

 

L turned his chair around to face Light. "What promise?"

 

Light pulled L's feet out of his crouch, forcing him to sit normally for once, and straddled his lap before he could protest. "I promised that if Misa was not free in a couple years that she could kill me." 

 

L's eyes widened. "You sure have a knack for getting shinigami to want to kill you."

 

Light laughed. "I'm not worried. Misa's lost her memories and she's already free, mostly. Once we catch this third Kira, we can place all the murders to date on him." He kissed L softly. "We just need to get it back from Rem."

 

L reached around to grab Light's ass, pulling him closer. Breathless, "Her notebook?" He pulled Light's shirt over his head and buried his mouth in Light's neck.

 

Light pressed himself against L, getting painfully hard. "I don't want another Kira in this world. I don't want any more Kiras." He guided L's mouth to his nipple and watched him lick and suck it. 

 

L moved across Light's chest, his heart rate speeding up as he teased a hard nipple with his tongue. "There are no other Kiras. Only you." He felt Light throb against him and quickly moved to unzip Light's pants, reaching inside to stroke him. I'll help you do your works Light, to make your new world, and to keep Ryuk at bay. 

 

Light pulled L's head back up to his mouth and kissed him deeply, his fingers threading through silky black hair. He moaned as L quickened the pace, "Just me." He started to unbutton L's pants but they both froze when they heard a familiar buzz from Watari. Light pulled back shooting an angry glare at the large 'W' on the screen overhead. Damn Watari and his fucking timing!

 

"Ryuzaki?"

 

L groaned and gave Light a look of apology. "I did tell him to stop watching us." I'll pay for this later. I'm ok with that. He reached around to the control panel, "Yes, Watari, what is it?" 

 

"I've sent the information you requested on Tadashi Ito to your laptop."

 

L cleared his throat. "Um, thank you Watari." The W disappeared. He turned back to Light, but he was already standing up and zipping up his pants with a glower. His own cock throbbed, but the desire to know about this other Kira was equally strong. And probably more important at the moment, given their lives depended on it. He chewed his fingernail watching Light.

 

Light pulled his shirt back on and crossed his arms at L. "I get it. Not here."

 

Chewing intensified. He's so fucking hot when he's mad. But its a bad idea to be so reckless. "Later. I promise." And all the days until I die.

Chapter Text

L closed his laptop. Matsuda had come back empty-handed, and all Watari could dig up on Tadashi Ito was some basic information: address, phone, credit, work history. But still, useful. I'll ask Wedy to start tailing Tadashi tomorrow; Matsuda is, well...Matsuda. And with the chief still in the hospital, Matsuda was the only physically present link to the police remaining. Yes, a job for Wedy. He looked over to Light, who seemed anxious. "What's wrong, Light?"

 

Matsuda had gone home for the night so Light felt free to speak plainly. He looked down at his hand, which twitched in remembrance. "I miss it."

 

"The death note?" 

 

Light nodded. "It feels like a piece of me is missing. The feeling has been growing stronger each day."

 

Ryuk hovered above him. "Light-o. You should be able to go get it now." He looked over at L. "Can't you?"

 

Light laughed softly. "So ready for me to begin again, Ryuk?"

 

Ryuk nodded, grinning stupidly. "But the death notes have their own desires too, I think." He scratched his scaly head. "Maybe it misses you?" Ryuk laughed.

 

Light gave him a strange smile. "Misses me?"

 

Ryuk circled him. "I have to say Light-o, I've never seen another human take to the death note like you, hyuk. Although death notes have only made it to the human world a couple times before I guess." He flew over to L and fake-whispered, "Violence becomes him, don't cha think?" 

 

L swatted a laughing Ryuk away. I don't like him so close to me. But Light was smiling too, laughing at Ryuk's silly antics above them. L placed his chin in his hand and gazed at the giggling shinigami. "I suppose I would like to see it." Its what Light wants. "I have a place we can...put it." And you're right Ryuk. He needs to be Kira once more.

 

An eager fire started in Light's eyes. "Tonight?"

 

Am I ready to see Light kill? To be a willing witness to his new world? He felt his heart rate quicken. He was. Had been waiting for it. "Alright." He stood up from crouching. "You'll have to drive though." 

 

Light smiled wide, and all the reservations L felt vanished. The sun shone, only for him. 

 

-------------

  

Light found the apple tree in the orchard, as if it had called his name. He leaned on his shovel, looking down. "This is it."

 

L looked around, every tree looked exactly the same as far as he could see in all directions. "Are you sure?"

 

Light stuck the shovel in the dirt and rammed it in with his foot with a grunt. "I'm sure." They dug together for a few minutes until they had uncovered the watertight metal container he'd hidden the death note in. He sat with his back against the tree and wiped the dirt off of it. 

 

Ryuk leaned in, watching the box. "It'll be good to see it again. I went to a bit of trouble to steal it y'know." Ryuk wished immediately he hadn't said that.

 

L bit his nail. "You stole it?" Light also turned to Ryuk with a questioning look.

 

Ryuk hovered above the ground nervously, trapped by his own words. "Er...well, kind of. I sort of swiped it from a lazy shinigami who was more interested in gambling than killing." He smiled, remembering how easy it had been to take it and convince the Shinigami King it was his.

 

L's brow furrowed. "Won't that shinigami come for it when they miss it?"

 

Ryuk dismissed him with a wave. "No need to worry about that, it belongs to Light now." And I, not Sidoh, am bound to him.

 

Light felt that this was true. It does belong to me, it knows it is mine. Calls to me. He turned back to the box and pried open the lid, tossing aside the now useless envelope he had left for Misa. He grasped the death note at last and ran his fingers over the black leather cover, laughing softly. Its been too long from me. Too long. Never again. He opened it to the last names written on the page and touched them, remembering writing each one. He felt its dark energy flow back into him, electrifying him, flooding him with his sense of purpose like a tidal wave. 

 

Ryuk closed in, watching Light. "See. It missed you, hyuk." Its more yours than it would ever be mine or Sidoh's. Use it Light, its been waiting for you. 

 

Light looked up at L, and the smile was wiped from his face. L was reading the letter he'd left for Misa. The letter directing her to recall L's name from when she had her shinigami eyes, and write his name in the notebook right away. Light snatched the letter away, and snapped, "That is not meant for you. None of that matters anymore, L." He crumpled it and smashed it into his pocket. 

 

L watched Light, a disturbing power emanating from him now that the notebook was in his possession once more. Thinking of the words written in the letter, so causally discussing his death. Your eyes seem to glow, is it the shadows here? Why do I feel fear again?  He moved closer to Light, pushing that fear aside. "It's odd, reading about the plans for your own death." He gazed into Light's eyes. "Can you understand?"

 

Light could. The hold of the death note waned, and he pulled L close, leaning back against the apple tree. "Of course." He stared out among the trees, each one exactly the same as its neighbor, no difference in their purpose, no difference in their beginning, middles, or ends. "I'm sorry. Its new for me to not be alone in this, L."

 

L thought of the words from Light to Misa, promising her his love if she obeyed. He'd felt an unfamiliar emotion reading them. Jealousy. "And Misa?"

 

Light looked down at the questions in L's eyes. "I used her. She meant nothing to me. Her shinigami eyes and the threats of her own shinigami compelled me write those things."

 

L saw the truth in his eyes, but wasn't sure if that made him feel more or less bad. Yes, you use people. "Is Light-kun using me now?" 

 

Light smiled and kissed him on the forehead. "No, I'm not." He turned back to the death note, holding it for L to see. "Touch it." He took L's hand and placed it on the names of his victims, pressing it to the pages. "Do you feel it?"

 

L felt a rush of...something. It was different from touching the small piece of the note, this was obviously where its power lived. He felt adrenaline, like a spark through his body.

 

Ryuk chuckled, watching them. "Careful Light-o." He plucked one of the few ripe apple from the tree and took a sloppy bite. "It’s you it wants."

 

Light turned to Ryuk, who was licking his fingers of juice with his grotesque black tongue. "What do you mean, Ryuk?"

 

He stopped when he felt them watching. "I didn't choose you for the death note."

 

Light sat up. "It chose me?"

 

"I'm bound to both you and it, and I can feel its desire for you." Ryuk shrugged. "But some things even gods of death don't know." He flew above them, scanning for more ripe apples. He stopped mid-flight and pointed down to L. "And you now know what comes along with using it. Don't say I didn't warn you."

 

Both Light and L stared down at the notebook, until Light slowly drew a pen from his pocket and clicked it ready. I have filed away their names and faces in my mind. Filed them away for this moment. He turned to L. "Are you ready? Are you sure?" A dangerous smile. 

 

L felt a chill. It wasn't cold in the orchard, but he shuddered. My justice is dying, that's what I feel. Kira's justice is being born in me. He held the pen together with Light. "Will it let us write together?"

 

Light fought back the overwhelming urge to take L right then and there under that apple tree, but no, he...they...had work to do first. He smiled darkly. "Let's find out." 

 

And they began to write.

 

-----------------

 

The ride back to HQ was different from the ride out there, because L was changed. He stared out the window as small raindrops began to beat against it, softly at first then harder. I'll see neither heaven nor hell. Wherever Light goes, I'll follow now. I'm destroyed and made anew. 

 

Light reached across the front seat and took L's hand. "It's real now, isn't it."

 

L squeezed Light's hand but kept staring out the window. I've lost something. I've gained something. Something's been taken. Something's been gifted. "Is this how you felt, the first time you used it?"

 

Light kept his eyes on the rainy dark road, but his words spoke emotion. "And how do you feel? Tell me."

 

L closed his eyes. "I feel the same way I felt when Watari first brought me to Wammy's."

 

"Wammy's?"

 

"It was Watari's orphanage. In England. I grew up there."

 

"And what was that moment like?"

 

L exhaled, his breath fogging against the window pane. He wasn't sure if he could dig this hole for Light. I'll try. 

 

"I never knew my mother, but I knew her face all the same. Beneath the grubby clothes, away from the lice and filth, I'd kept her picture. It was creased and faded, but she was beautiful, her face was kind. When I looked at her, I knew she must have loved me. And I knew she must also be dead, or else she'd be here, with me. I learned to do without sleep in those days, night time was when the monsters came out. But when I did, she was the last thing I saw before fading to dreams. She was the first thing I checked for when I woke up."

 

L wiped the condensation off the window. "I was living in an abandoned house with dozens of other children, wild as I was, lost as I was. Each had their own sad story, if they remembered it. But survival was all that mattered then. It made them hard, older than their years. They were grown ups to me. We took care of ourselves the best we knew how. Which wasn't very well."

 

Light stole a glance at L. "How did you end up there?"

 

"I don't remember. I do remember that I was five years old when Watari found me in that house. Why or how Watari was there, I'll never know. Maybe one day I'll ask him." He smiled to himself. "Haven't managed to yet. But I remember sitting on the steps, looking at my mother's picture, when a shadow fell on her. I looked up, and Watari was there." L leaned back in the seat, his huge eyes turned to the ceiling. "We were wary of adults, true adults. We knew them to hurt, to force, to take. But Watari was different. He knelt down in front of me and said, 'She's very pretty. Is that your mother?' And I admit, I was charmed. That picture meant the world to me, everything to me. And he smiled. Somehow I knew that he could be trusted. That he wasn't a monster, not really. Luckily I wasn't wrong."

 

L watched the streetlights blur against the rain.  "He came by every day for a week. Each time he brought me something. A toy. Some food. A winter coat. A book. And he'd talk to me. Not like the other children would speak to me, lies and games and survival, but about beautiful things. Interesting things. He'd ask me questions that I'd think about all night, giving him my answer the next day. Until all I could think about was the next time he'd come. What we'd talk about next."

 

Light just listened, trying to imagine L as a lost boy. The thought hurt him somehow.

 

"One day Watari came by and asked me if I wanted to go live somewhere else. Somewhere I'd never have to fight for food, where I could go to school and learn to ask my own questions. Where I could grow up to maybe one day be a very important person."

 

"Sounds like a hard offer to refuse." Light pulled into HQ's underground parking and turned off the ignition, turning to L. 

 

"It was." A tiny laugh broke from L. "Anything seemed better than that rotting house. I accepted of course, and he took me to Wammy's that very day. There was no one to say goodbye to. No one who would notice or care that I was gone. When we got there, I remember standing in front of those iron gates and feeling....well, the same way I'm feeling now, I guess." He searched for the words. "I felt... that until that moment I had only been a ghost, no one had ever seen or heard me. And now I was made real. That the monsters that had chased me could not find me here. That the hand I was holding I could trust, and wouldn't let me fall, wouldn't let me drown. I saw the world with new eyes and there was hope there. There was light at last." 

 

Light leaned back in his chair, watching L. "You are really beautiful, you know. Not just your face or your body but you. What's inside you." You've moved me, L. No one else ever has.

 

L gazed up at him with huge eyes and smiled, almost sadly. He leaned towards Light, as if to kiss him, and Light leaned in too. But L put a hand against his chest. "Don't let me drown, Light."

 

And Light saw all the reflections there, L's ghosts. The invisible child he had once been. The hulking and faceless monsters. The Englishman that had saved him. And his mother, hazy as a dream, floating ever present just beyond reach. "I won't." And leaned in to kiss him.

 

L leaned in too. And the monsters drowned. 

 

-----

 

Back in L's rooms, Light pulled the death note from inside his shirt. "Do you have a safe place for us to hide this?"

 

L nodded, and walked over to the side of the living room. The wall was richly paneled in dark wood, but one panel popped up and slid aside when L ran his fingertip against its raised edge. He motioned Light over. "This is a secret even from Watari. I'll program it to recognize both our fingerprints." He took Light's finger and ran it against the panel three times, then ran his again. He closed the panel. "You try now."

 

Light ran his finger down it, and it popped open for him as it did for L. Behind it was the interior of a safe. He placed the death note inside, but noticed a laminated scrap of paper was also inside. 

 

L reached in a took it, a tattered photo was immortalized behind plastic. He smiled down at it and handed it to Light. "My mother."

 

The face of a Japanese women in her twenties smiled up at him, with L's unmistakable grey eyes. She looked carefree, standing beneath blooming cherry trees, their blossoms frozen in the air in that moment in time. "She looks happy." Light smiled and handed the photograph back to L. "I wonder what happened to her."

 

"The first mystery of my life. I wanted to become a detective to solve it. But its the only one I've never found the answer to." L touched the plastic casing gently then placed it back into the safe and shut the panel. "Maybe one day."

 

Something was bothering Light. "L, Watari seems very loyal to you, but what would he do if he found out I was Kira? I take it he doesn't know....?" He poured them both cups of tea, and handed L a cup.

 

L took it and slowly dropped cube after cube of sugar into the tea. "No, he doesn't know. He knows I have a... new kind of interest in you. He's watched us, up until I told him to stop yesterday. So, he's seen...everything before that." He went to the couch and crouched on it. 

 

"Given what he's seen he must think your life is in danger."

 

L shook his head. "I just told him..." He looked up at the the ceiling and blushed. "That we were just...." Chewing his finger. "Kinky."

 

Light laughed and sat beside him on the couch. "I suppose that's not a lie. Does he believe it?"

 

L shrugged. "He trusts me. He won't ask questions." He met Light's eyes again. "But its important that we hide everything from him as much as anyone else. Especially because...."

 

"What?"

 

"Wammy's isn't just a regular orphanage. Its a training ground for prodigies. For the next generation of detectives. Of Ls."

 

"You mean there's a whole orphanage full of little kids that will grow up to be like you? Being trained by Watari?" That's an unsettling thought. 

 

"In a nutshell, yes. And I doubt they'll share our....particular brand of justice." They can never know, Light. You have no idea how dangerous that would be for you. For us.

 

Light smiled, "Probably not." What's the endgame for Watari, L? How much does he mean to you? He took L's tea and set it on the table with his own. "Enough about that. There's something else on my mind at the moment." 

 

L looked over at him quizzically.

 

Light grabbed L's shirt and yanked him into his lap. "Nobody to interrupt us now." I'll write their name tonight if they do.

 

L pulled Light's shirt off and threw it behind him. "I must admit, writing those names with you..." His ran his hands over Lights chest. "It excited me."

 

Light got instantly hard at those words. He ran his hands up L's sides, pulling his shirt off too. "I'll tell you a secret." He unbuttoned L's pants and pulled them off, along with his own. "That never goes away." 

 

L leaned his hands on the couch behind Light's head, bending down to lick Light's lips seductively. "I can understand why you like it so much. It almost feels like sex."

 

Light opened his mouth and let L's tongue meet his, drawing him closer against him. He ran his hands across L's back, reaching down to knead his ass. L hummed into their kiss, sliding himself against Light and feeling the leaking wetness between them. 

 

L moved down to the floor and pushed Light's legs apart. Grey eyes gazing up into amber ones, he nuzzled Light's cock and teased it with his tongue. "Kami..." L's smile seemed nearly wicked to Light.

 

L you've changed. But the thought was swallowed along with his cock, and all he could focus on was L between his legs, worshipping him with his mouth. "L...you're so good at this." He spread his legs further, leaning his head back onto the back on the couch. He laced his fingers into L's hair, timing his rhythm as the pleasure built.

 

But L pulled back, climbing back up to Light. "You know I always have to be the best at what I do." He grasped Light's cock and lowered himself onto it, slowly, but Light couldn't wait. He embraced L and pushed him down quickly, wrenching a moan from L. But L grabbed Light's wrists and held them against the couch, staring down into his eyes as he rode him slowly. "You are impatient tonight." That wicked smile again. 

 

Light was surprised but charmed, and didn't struggle, just focused on that tight slick place and the movement of L's hips. So tortuously slow, drawing him out, drawing out this moment. Breathless, "You have that effect on me."

 

L guided Light's hands down to his own cock, guiding their movements to stroke him in time with his hips, until they were both gasping with the closeness of their orgasm, of each other. L leaned his head forward on Light's shoulder, and Light could feel L's body tremble against him. 

 

A moan and L whispered, "I'm coming...Kami..."

 

Light arched up into him, releasing as well, "Come for me..." L gasped and spurted ropes of cum through both their fingers, biting Light's shoulder until it was over.

 

Light released his grip and embraced L, just holding him as he panted and slowly relaxed against him. He stroked L's back, "You were right, L."

 

Eyes closed, "About what Light?"

 

"I let the right one in."

 

L smiled dreamily. "I hate to be wrong."

 

Light laughed softly, but L couldn't hear him. Because for the first time since Light had been in that cell, L slept.

Chapter Text

L stood alone on a beach, staring out into a misty and monochrome sea. Gulls cried overhead, and a distant ship's bell tolled lazily somewhere far away. He knew he was standing here for some important purpose but couldn't remember why. He knew he just had to keep looking out towards the horizon, waiting for whatever was coming. But the ocean was becoming more turbulent, and L's eyes flicked from the horizon to an area that was churning, bubbling with increasing violence. He tried to take a step back, but the sand had swallowed his ankles and legs, rooting him to that place. He gasped as a sky-scraper sized column of black ocean, but more viscous than seawater, shot up from the vortex towards the sky. He tried to shield himself as all manner of dead sea creatures--fish, coral, whales, sharks, monsters he'd never seen before--rained from the sky, falling with heavy thuds around him. And as the column rose higher, he watched in horror as a huge rotting tentacle writhed out, squirming towards him. Feeling its way blindly towards his thundering heartbeat. And as he opened his mouth to scream, no sound came forth. Just the bells, tolling, tolling, tolling..... 

 

An insistent chiming woke L with a start. It was just a dream. He grabbed a pillow and crammed it over his head, but it kept on going. I never dream. As sleep faded, he remembered that was the doorbell. He pulled on a robe and staggered up to the door, peering through the spy hole. Just Watari. He glanced down at his watch- already 9 am! He pressed the intercom button and leaned his head groggily on the door, "Watari, I seem to have overslept. Is Matsuda already there?"

 

"No sir. Its Saturday. And...."

 

Matsuda doesn't work Saturday. "Yes, Watari?"

 

"Well, sir, I was planning to take the day off as you suggested. I wanted to make sure you wouldn't have need of me. I have your breakfast here."

 

L smiled. "Yes Watari, please go have a nice day off. Thank you for bringing breakfast." He could hear Watari hesitate by the door.

 

"Are you certain, sir? I'll have my phone, call me at any moment and I'll be back in no time."

 

"Yes, Watari, I'm absolutely certain. Now please, go enjoy yourself. You've earned it. I have a call with Wedy later this morning, and will let you know of any developments later."

 

"As you say, sir. Have a pleasant day."

 

"You too, Watari." And he let up his pressure on the intercom. Go Watari, I'll be fine. He heard steps behind him and he flipped around. I feel a bit jumpy. Very odd.

 

Light was standing there, grinning. "So he took the day off after all. I only gave it 50-50 odds he actually would."

 

L relaxed again, stretching and letting out a yawn. "I can't believe I slept so long." An absent finger in his mouth. "I'm starting to think you're a bad influence on my work ethic."

 

Ryuk phased through the door, peeking into the hall. "He left some apples, Light-o."

 

L opened the door and scanned the hall, then pushed in the breakfast cart. He grabbed an apple and tossed it to Ryuk. "Ryuk, how far can you stray from Light? Can't you fly around and tell us where Rem and the third Kira are?"

 

Light laughed, pouring himself some coffee. "Don't even bother, L. He won't help us. Too lazy."

 

Ryuk, mouth full of apple, "'Gainst tha thingigmi code."

 

L picked up a chocolate truffle and popped it into his mouth. "So even gods of death have a code. Never to help the users of the death note."

 

Ryuk shrugged, swallowing. "It's not so well defined as all that, but we generally try to stay neutral. Run into trouble otherwise. Like Gelus. Like Rem, hyuk."

 

L took the whole box of truffles and crouched in an overstuffed chair facing Light, and picked through them. "Light, I have an idea to track down this third Kira."

 

Light took a plate of actual breakfast and sat on the couch beside him, digging in. "I'm all ears." 

 

"I've asked my associate Wedy to trail Tadashi Ito, as of last night. She's an expert thief as well, so I asked her to place some wiretaps and cameras in his home and office."

 

Light exchanged a look with Ryuk, who snorted. "Sound familiar, Light-o?"

 

Realization came to L. "So you knew they were there when I was watching you at home. Ryuk, you told him?" Wait...you couldn't have known where ALL of them were....

 

Ryuk shook his head. "He figured it out himself, I just...er...told him where they were." Most of them anyway. But you probably know that by now L.

 

L picked an almond off a truffle and tossed it aside. "So much for your shinigami code." And you didn't tell him the whole truth. You can lie too, Ryuk. L felt himself getting a little hard in his pants, thinking about what he saw Light do in the bathroom during that surveillance. Not now, L.

 

Ryuk laughed. "I never said it was iron clad. He was holding out on me." 

 

Light tossed him an apple in apology. "The things you'll do for an apple, Ryuk." And thank goodness for that. He turned to L. "So why follow the victim of the extortion? We're assuming Tadashi's already paid up to Kira."

 

L nodded, placing one de-almonded truffle atop another and beginning again. "I think he paid, but I also think this Kira is greedy. If his motivation is money and got what he wanted once, he might try to contact Tadashi again."

 

"Might seem less risky than contacting someone new. Especially since some seem to have not paid." Paid with their lives instead. Light finished off his coffee and set the cup aside. "Anyway, I think its possible. When will Wedy be done so we can start checking things out?"

 

L glanced at his watch. "She's supposed to check in at 11. We'll know more then." He got up from the couch, leaving his chocolate abstract art wavering on the coffee table. "But I want you to stay here for a bit. There's something I need to go take care of."

 

"Take care of." Light's brow furrowed. "Alone."

 

"Alone." L went into the bedroom and quickly got dressed. 

 

When he came back out, it was obvious that Light was more than a bit peeved. "You aren't going to tell me what you're up to?"

 

L took his hand. "Trust me."

 

Light sighed and nodded reluctantly. "Fine." And L slipped out the door. 

 

Ryuk flapped over to Light on the couch, bending over in a pose Light thought looked like a demonic 'Thinker.' "Light-o, whatcha think he's up to?"

 

Light got up and went to open up the secret panel with the death note inside. He took it out and shut the panel again. "Dunno, Ryuk." Sat back down.

 

"Do you think you can really trust him?" Ryuk scratched his head. "I mean, he says he knows what he's getting into but I'm not so sure."

 

"It just so happens that I do think I can trust him." He stretched lazily. "Besides, I've got his name and the death note is back in my possession again. We'll find the third Kira and the case will be wrapped up with a nice big bow for the police. Relax, Ryuk."

 

"You're forgetting about Rem, hyuk."

 

"No, I haven't forgotten."

 

"Shinigami have long memories Light. She'll always try to bend your life to Misa's desires. Rem might give the notebook back to Misa if she can. She'll get her memories back and kill you and L."

 

"I know. That's a problem." He looked curiously at Ryuk. "Are you concerned about me Ryuk? I don't remember you caring whether I lived or died before."

 

Ryuk flustered up towards the high ceiling and perched atop an old grandfather clock. "I just don't want my fun to end and get sent back to the shinigami realm. Don't let it go to your head."

 

But Light knew that there was a lie there. "Whatever you say, Ryuk." And he flipped on the news and opened the death note. I'll put this time to use too, L.

 

-----------------

 

L took Wedy's call from the monitor room in HQ, impatient to begin. "Morning Wedy."

 

"Good morning, L. I assume you're properly caffeinated by now?" Wedy was always full of good-natured ribbing for L.

 

L picked at his bowl of strawberry mousse. "I see you've been talking to Watari today."

 

"Sleeping in and giving Watari a day off?" She giggled. "If I didn't know better I'd say you were going soft L."

 

L tapped his spoon impatiently on the bowl and sighed. "What do you have for me Wedy? Other than jokes."

 

"Well, I followed Tadashi last night and this morning, and scoped out his home and office. Guy's a workaholic. No family I saw, at least none that live with him. Stays late at the office, goes in on weekends. He's there now. His house is really...you might say palatial. Or, more like a fortress. Pretty tight security system he's got."

 

"But you managed it, I assume?"

 

"But of course. Did you ever doubt me?" A hint of faux hurt for dramatic effect.

 

"Of course not Wedy, good work. Patch me in when we get off the phone."

 

"Will do. Give me a call if you need something else."

 

"Keep out of trouble, Wedy." And he closed the cell phone. L turned to his laptop and saw a message pop up from Wedy with the login information to Tadashi's surveillance feed. Deep breath. Here goes.

 

-----

 

Light had just slid the death note back into its hiding place when L buzzed him on the intercom.

 

"Light, can you come down to the monitor room? Just got off the phone with Wedy. We got eyes and ears on Tadashi."

 

Light walked over to the intercom and buzzed back, "On my way." In a couple minutes he was downstairs next to L. "So did you get everything done? Your secret mission?"

 

L looked up from the video feed and chewed his thumb, eyes innocently wide. "Don't be like that. Come here, take a look."

 

Light pulled up a chair in front of L's laptop. "It feels odd not being in handcuffs down here."

 

L smiled a bit. "We can put them back on if that would make you feel more comfortable."

 

Light laughed and shook his head. "Thats alright. I'll manage." Maybe later though, L. "So Wedy came through for you. We got audio too?"

 

L unmuted the sound and they both heard Tadashi speaking to someone about the latest experimental results of some new drug. "He's been droning on about p-values and sample sizes since I started watching." He dropped his chin on his crouching knees. "Why don't you start reviewing the older videos. Wedy got things going at some point late last night, so should be some footage there. I'll feed it all into the server so you can watch it up top." He hacked away at his keyboard until Light saw the feed pop up. 

 

Ryuk yawned and Light turned to him. "Well Ryuk, if you don't want to sit through this, go and find Rem for us." 

 

Ryuk just chuckled. "Nice try. But I'm used to sitting for millennia just watching people yammer on. And got plenty of practice lately with you two." He flew up to the steel balcony and perched there. "You're on your own, hyuk."

 

Light turned to the screen and plopped his chin in his hand. "You know, you really are irritating sometimes, Ryuk."

 

---------

 

By dinnertime, they seemed no closer to learning anything of importance about the new Kira. A softly humming Watari had come back from his day off, a new spring in his step as he brought them something to eat. But, for all intents and purposes, Tadashi appeared to be a workaholic scientist obsessed with data and results.

 

Until the last video Light viewed. He watched it a few times, feeling more confused each time but something was definitely very wrong. At the end of the saved footage, Light leaned back in his chair, "Well, if I was into stocks, I wouldn't be buying any Promise Pharmaceuticals anytime soon."

 

L looked up. "Why's that?

 

"This last video I watched....late last night Tadashi got a call. It wasn't from Kira, but....I think it may have been about something Kira did. Tadashi used a separate cell phone to take the call. He asked about something called 'Project Mojave,' and..." He hesitated, but L was leaning forward in his chair. "He asked the person on the other line 'How many are still alive?' And things...got weird."

 

L's eyebrows rose a little. "He could've just been talking about lab mice, Light. Or bacteria. Doesn't seem too odd to me, coming from a scientist."

 

Light rewound the footage. "No. Watch this." Light pointed up to the large screen and they both watched it.

 

              Tadashi gets a call. <the other end of the line cannot be heard>

              "You know not to--- wait, what? Oh my god.....he got to Project Mojave? But he said 24 hours....." 

              Clearly agitated. "....How many are still alive?"

              He paces a bit in his office. "All of them!" He steadies himself against his desk.

              "That's...that's...impossible. I spoke with them all this morning." He's nearly frantic.

              "Did you back up all the data. Onto the secure server?"

               He's nodding and his shoulders slump a little in relief.

              "Good. At least we have that. Burn all the rest. Yes. Yes! I know what the police would do. Thats why you burn it. Burn them."

               Getting frustrated with the person on the other end.

              "Put them in the incinerator! Do I have to spell it out for you?" He slammed his hand down on his desk.

              "Listen, I don't care if you look at them like children. They aren't. They're test subjects and they're dead now. Burn them."

               And he ended the call.

 

Light paused the video. "What do you think?"

 

L was leaning so far forward in his chair that Light thought he might topple out of it. "I think that Tadashi didn't pay Kira the second time." He chewed his thumb, still staring up at the frozen image. "And I think we need to get into that secure server."

 

Light crossed his arms and walked over to L. "This Kira knows something about this Project Mojave. It sounds like a secret experiment using....." He closed his eyes. Children are innocent. No true Kira would kill children. "I thought this was extortion at first but now I think it may be something...more complicated."

 

L turned back to Light nodding solemnly. "It would have been easier if it had been a greedy, stupid Kira." He stood up with a blank look on his face. "We assumed too much." We got lazy, Light.

 

"What does this Kira have to do with this experiment? How did he even know about it?"

 

L picked up a peppermint stick and started pacing, gnawing on it deep in thought. "He clearly wants money from Tadashi. But something else. To punish him."

 

Light followed him with his eyes. "There's hate there. If that phone call suggests what I think, he has no qualms killing children in order to see Tadashi fall apart. In the other video footage you watched, did you see any other projects at Promise targeted?"

 

L shook his head. "Just this. Project Mojave."

 

Ryuk laughed loudly above them, clearly delighting in their consternation. 

 

Light looked up and glared at him. His fingernails dug into his balled fists. Radioactive fury coursed through him. She betrayed me. "Rem....what have you done...." I wish I could write the names of all you shinigami and be done with you. Rem. Ryuk. I'd fly to hell just to know each of your faces to destroy you all. 

 

L walked up to Light and looked up into his eyes. "Light-kun. Look at me." An angry Light isn't going to help solve this. I need Light as much as Kira right now. 

 

Light exhaled deeply and looked back at L, his eyes alight. "Sometimes it seems there aren't enough pages, L." He turned away. "She knew what she was supposed to do." He let out an angry scream and brought his fists down hard on the desk.

 

"Light I need you here now. We need to keep clear minds for this." He put a hand on Light's back lightly. "You told me there's no way to know what shinigami will do."

 

Light continued to stare down at his fists for a moment, then sharply nodded and stood up. "She means to destroy me. I knew she loved Misa but thought she cared for Misa's happiness."

 

L darkened. "Misa would find no happiness with you." Misa would find death with you. We both know that Light. "Rem saw through that."

 

He whipped around to face L. "Then why doesn't she kill me? Why am I not dead?" 

 

Ryuk flapped down to the ground floor next to them. "She can't. Only I can kill you, Light. As long as you have possession of my notebook."

 

Light stared at Ryuk. Then L. "L." To Ryuk, "She could kill L."

 

Ryuk considered. "If she learned his name. Saw him. But she would likely die given that would almost certainly extend Misa's life."

 

Light ran his hands through his hair. "She still has some sense of self-preservation." He closed his eyes. "It's not you she wants. She blames me for everything Misa went through. And most of all for making Misa forget her. She always resented me, was jealous, but I thought that was overridden by her knowledge of Misa’s...love for me." I shouldn’t have assumed anything with damned shinigami.

 

L crouched back in the chair. Quietly, "Ryuk. I'm not blind." His grey eyes burned into Ryuk. "I know you care for Light." And vastly more than you’re letting on, even to yourself. It’s not just Rem that’s in love with a human.

 

Ryuk stared back, speechless for once. Oh no...

 

And Light's mouth dropped open slightly at L's nerve. He sees it too, but I’d never be so blunt with Ryuk.

 

"Don't lie." L's dark rimmed eyes were half-hidden under his inky hair. There was an aura of power around him Light found incredibly sexy.

 

And to Light's amazement the shinigami slowly nodded, frozen by L's intensity in this moment. He’s....admitting it...

 

L, "Then help us Ryuk."

 

Ryuk stammered, "I..I can't. There are punishments for shinigami that lengthen the lives of humans." He looked legitimately scared. "You have no idea what that means." No...please no. L, don’t do this to me. You already have him, let me keep what’s left of my pride.

 

Light felt the conflict in Ryuk and actually felt sorry for him. Felt bad about his thoughts from before. "Ryuk, is there any way you could help me without being punished?" Tell me. Help me if you love me. He reached out to touch Ryuk's wings and they instantly became corporeal for him.

 

Light is touching me. "Light-o...please don't ask me. I don't love you as L does." He turned to L. "I'm no threat to you." I’m not like Rem. Back to Light. I can’t lie to you anymore. I can’t pretend. "But I feel...some deep bond with you. I want you to live. I want to see you win."

 

"You love me as a friend. So help me." Light gently touched shinigami wings and stepped closer to Ryuk. A whisper, "Help me win." 

 

Ryuk was perfectly still. A fistful of soft feathers threading through fingers. Light's expressive eyes, full of life and fire, fragile mortality and magic. A smile. A spell. 

 

Ryuk slowly nodded.

 

And as L watched them, he smiled to himself. Which one is the god?

Chapter Text

"There's a couple ways I can think of to help you Light-o that probably won't end in horrible pain for me, but I don't think you're going to like any of them." Ryuk folded his wings back inside, looking a little embarrassed. 

 

Light nodded, "Tell me."

 

"Well, you already know one of them. The shinigami eye deal."

 

"We'll use our wits to find Rem and the fake Kira before we resort to that, Ryuk." Light gave him a sardonic smile. "I plan to live as long as possible." I have a lot of work to do, Ryuk.

 

"Thought so, hyuk. But, funny thing about that..."

 

Light's eyebrow raised. "What?"

 

Ryuk looked around a bit nervously. "I'm not supposed to tell you this....but your lifespan's changed Light. Yours too L."

 

Light and L exchanged looks. At the same time, "Changed how?"

 

"They've both gotten longer. Recently. That's all I can say." Ryuk scratched his head. "Without, y'know, that pain stuff, hyuk."

 

L looked at the ceiling thoughtfully, head tilted. "Light, we've somehow changed our fates after all."

 

Light understood. "When we stopped trying to kill each other, our lifespans changed."

 

Ryuk nodded. "Rem will notice too." He chuckled. "Watch out."

 

"Which means she'll figure out something's changed between us, that my plan has changed. I'll have to be careful about that." Back to Ryuk. "And what else can you tell us?"

 

Ryuk hovered above the ground cross-legged, his chin in his hand. "Well, I can see a lot more from the shinigami realm than I can from down here. If I was able to go back I could find out where Rem was at. Who she was with." He grinned. "Up there its just a matter of looking down."

 

Light got a little excited. "Yes! Ryuk, can you do that? Go?"

 

Ryuk sighed. "I have to stay in the human realm because I'm bound to you. To the death note. But if you released it back to me...I could go. I can stay in the human world for 3 days not being bound to the death note, but I'm compelled to return to the shinigami realm after that. I also have to stay there for 3 days before being able to come back again."

 

The color drained from Light's face. "I'd lose all my memories of being Kira. Of the note. Of you, Ryuk." He turned to L. "Of everything."

 

"You know how it works, hyuk."

 

"Ryuk, would Light forget....me? Us? Without him knowing he was Kira, I...."

 

Ryuk shrugged. "Hard to say. If what you got going on is tied into him being Kira, he may forget that part of it."

 

Light barked a laugh. "So, then, all of it."

 

L leapt up from his crouch. "Ryuk could we trust you to bring it back to Light? He'd get his memories back then, wouldn't he?"

 

Ryuk laughed hard. "Listen to yourself L. Wouldn't you be happier if I didn't come back and Light could just live a normal life?"

 

L didn't say anything for a long moment. And Ryuk laughed harder.

 

Light turned to him, disbelieving, "L?" L, I thought you understood me. My purpose. He tried to hide his hurt and disappointment, badly. 

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes and flapped around them both in circles. "Oh don't look so serious. Of course I'd bring it back. Light's the most fun I've had in eons." 

 

Light glared at L, who turned away. "Ryuk, I suppose I can count on your powerful urge to be entertained, in any event." He walked back over to the large screens. "But no, that's out of the question too. I just...." He looked down at his fingers. "I can't imagine giving it up. Not yet. Not now." Not ever.

 

Ryuk flapped higher. "Suit yourself. Just wanted to let you know that it was an option."

 

Just then, Light's phone rang. He looked down at it. "The hospital." He took the call quickly. "Hello?" He paced a bit, but then a smile spread across his face. "Yes Dad. That's great news. We can get you tomorrow, first thing? You bet. I'll see you then." He was still smiling when he pocketed his phone. "My Dad's being released tomorrow morning. I can go get him...finally."

 

L smiled. "Its good to hear that. We can go with Watari in the morning."

 

Light gave L a withering look. "You don't have to go." I thought you understood L. I thought you wanted to be a part of it. But you'd rather I just forgot everything, forgot you?

 

L chewed a finger. "Why wouldn't I?"

 

Light turned and pressed the button to call the elevator. Are you with me, L? With Kira? "Come if you want." He turned around to L when the doors opened, his eyes ice. "Just make sure you don't have second thoughts later." And he stepped inside, Ryuk flapping close behind.

 

-----------

 

Back upstairs, Light stormed into L's rooms and immediately felt like a prisoner again. Ryuk was right, L doesn't know what he's getting into. He wants me to forget being Kira, go back to just being a normal college student. For Ryuk to take the death note and never come back. He felt a white hot anger twisting inside him. No! He picked up a vase sitting on a side table and threw it across the room. 

 

Ryuk ducked and the vase went sailing over his head, smashing against the far wall. "Hey, Light-o, what's wrong?"

 

Light paced the room, his anger building towards L with each step. He turned to Ryuk, "What's wrong? L practically said he'd prefer if you took the death note and never came back! That--"

 

"I didn't say that."

 

Light whipped around, and saw L standing just behind him. You can be goddam sneaky when you want to be, L. Light pushed L up against the wall, pinning him at the shoulders. "What then?!"

 

L struggled half-heartedly, turning his enormous grey eyes up to Light's. "Kira is your curse, Light. Your blessing and your curse. I want you to be safe. You'll never be safe as Kira." 

 

Light grabbed L's wrists and held them against the wall, pressing himself against L to immobilize him. "I'll always be Kira, L. I'll die as Kira. Don't ever try to take that from me." He ignored the growing hardness in his jeans, furious yet excited by the domination of L. "Ryuk warned me that you didn't know what you were getting into with me. Was he right?"

 

L shook his head. "No, Light. I do know." He tried to push back but Light just squeezed harder, banging him back against the wall, and he relented. "You were innocent once, before all this, before the killing, the death note....you could be again...." He searched Light's face. "Wouldn't you be happier if you forgot all this...me?" 

 

And Light was struck by the thought that he feared forgetting L, everything with L, even more than he feared forgetting about being Kira. It was a terrifying thought. Do I really care this much?  "Forget you?" This hurts, L. A whisper, "Don't ever ask me to forget you." 

 

L saw the battle on Light's face, a wild and desperate look in his eyes. I've hurt him. He doesn't understand. He must know. "Light..." A little smile. "I don't want you to forget. But I want you to live." He bent his head forward and kissed Light before he could pull away. "Because I'm in love with you." And do you feel anything for me Light? I knew the first time I saw you I loved you.

 

And Light stepped back, releasing L suddenly, who fell forward to the ground. Light looked down at L in surprise, taking a step back. I can't...He shook his head slowly as L looked up at him from his hands and knees. "I thought...I thought this was about--"

 

"Lust?" L crawled forward a pace. "Sex?" A little more. Softly, "Power?" And he was at Light's feet, staring up at him with naked admiration and desire. "It is about all those things." But for me, it’s everything.

 

Light looked down, still shaking his head. "L, I can't love you as Kira." A lie. A lie from fear.

 

"I don't care." He reached for Light's pants to unbutton them, but Light pushed him back.

 

"L stop." I can't think. But L didn't stop. I can't do this. "STOP!" Light felt the wall at his back and backhanded L across the face, out of panic. Harder than he'd meant to, knocking him back down to his hands.   

 

L looked back up to him, eyes flashing, a red mark spreading across his face. But that wicked grin was there too, sanguine with blood. "Yes...Kami...." He grabbed Light's hand, the hand that hit him, and caressed it, kissed it. "I could never ask you to forget being Kira." Their eyes met. "I couldn't live if you forgot me." I wouldn’t want to. 

 

Light felt the room shrinking, closing in. I can't do this. And he needed to get out. Right now. He pushed past L and bolted for the door, running deeper down the dark hall. Trying to outrun the thought being painted against his mind again and again and again:

 

I love him. 

 

Chapter Text

L finally found Light downstairs in the monitor room early the next morning. He hadn't slept, hadn't needed to. But he had a rough night anyway, which got progressively worse when he realized Light wasn't coming back. 

 

But Light was here, passed out in the chair, his head on the desk. Looks like you had a rough night too, Light. I pushed you too far. He crouched in the chair opposite Light and watched him sleep, an absent finger in his mouth.

 

Ryuk flapped down from the balcony to hover above Light, and L looked up at him. "He slept here all night?"

 

"Yup." Ryuk nodded then proceeded to pick his teeth with his needle-like fingernails. "Quite the shiner you got there, L. A real beaut, hyuk."

 

L reached up to touch his swollen cheek, noticing it for the first time. I don't care about this Ryuk. "I take it he was pretty mad at me." L plunked his chin down on his knee and looked mournfully at Light.

 

Ryuk chuckled, pulling some foul bit from between his fangs and flinging it away. "Eh... I dunno. Mad's probably not the right word."

 

"What then?"

 

Ryuk laughed and shook his head. "Ain't gettin' in the middle of this. Nuh uh."

 

Light yawned loudly, "You know I'm right here you two." He stood up and stretched. He locked eyes with L for a moment, each looking like they had something to say to the other, but neither spoke.

 

Finally, L stood up and took the handcuffs out of his pocket. He snapped one end on himself and held the other end out to Light. "Watari's ready with the car whenever you are." Should I apologize? Shouldn't he? 

 

Light looked down at the handcuffs. He sighed and snapped it back on his wrist. 

 

L chewed his thumb nervously and peered at Light. "I'm sorry Light-kun."

 

Light looked up. "No, I understand why we need to wear them....oh you mean...." He gave his head a little shake. "It's fine." I don't want to talk about this L. He turned towards the door, pulling L along with him. "Cmon, let's not keep my dad waiting."

 

L stumbled behind him. "I hope Watari remembered to bring the donuts." Donuts make everything better.

------

 

The backseat of the limo was full of donut crumbs by the time Souichirou got in, Light sandwiched between him and L, but nobody seemed to mind. 

 

"Dad, how did all your tests go? Everything turn out ok?" His dad certainly looked a thousand times better. He was back to business and bluster, and seemed as sharp and energetic as ever.  Amazing what a little rest can do. Welcome back, Dad.

 

Souichirou nodded, patting Light on the back. "Yes, I'm as fit as a fiddle, and cleared to return to work right away." 

 

L hugged his knees. "That's good news Yagami-san, as its just you and Matsuda from the police left with us. We've made some breakthroughs that we'll brief you on back at HQ."

 

Souichirou bristled. "Just me and Matsuda? Where's Aizawa? Mogi?"

 

"Mogi is reporting on Amane Misa, acting as her talent agent after we've released her. Aizawa..." L looked up at the ceiling. "...quit."

 

"Quit!!" Souichirou leaned back in shock and crossed his arms, clearly displeased. Huffing, "I'm in the hospital for just a few days and everything's changed."

 

L and Light shared a look, and Light gave him a little smile. He has no idea.

 

---------- 

Matsuda was waiting for them at HQ, looking decidedly hung over and a bit sleepy. L walked past him, dragging Light behind, and crouched in his chair. Over his shoulder, "Matsuda, you really should take better care of yourself. We need you at full capacity."

 

Souichirou gave him a stern look and Matsuda grinned sheepishly, scratching his head. "Ah, yes Ryuzaki. I will." You look worse than me today, L. He straightened up, trying his best to look like an agent. "I brought over the list of suspected Kira deaths. They...ah...well, there's a lot more this time."

 

L took the paper and held it up in his fingers. There's a lot of names on here I recognize, names I wrote with Light. He inhaled deeply, remember the feeling of pressing ink to paper to death. There's also a lot of criminals on here I don't recognize. Either this new Kira has been busy or Light has been making up for lost time. He lowered the paper and handed it to Light with a meaningful glance. Better cross off your doing, Light. "Matsuda, were any of these not criminals? Any wealthy people?"

 

Matsuda shook his head slowly. "Just criminals this time. Although...."

 

L raised an eyebrow, "Yes?"

 

"There's one that struck me as a little odd. She was a criminal, years ago, but...well, she was locked up for some kind of unethical research activities, but just for a few years. Not the kind of crime Kira would usually go after."

 

Light brought the list over to Matsuda. "Which one?" A scientist. Could be associated with Tadashi Ido, the one Kira's so interested in? He glanced at L. I can tell he's thinking the same thing.

 

Matsuda scanned it and poked at a name. "Her. Yamamoto Fumiko."

 

L tapped his chin in thought. "Matsuda, I'd like you to make up a list of all the non-criminals as well as the scientists that are currently considered new Kira kills, can you do that?"

 

"Yes, Ryuzaki...but...why?"

 

L turned back to the console and pulled up the video of Tadashi Ido's phone call. "Souichirou, Matsuda." He waved them over. "We had Wedy get audio/video of the home and office of Tadashi Ido, the president of Promise Pharmaceuticals. Tadashi made a very large cash withdrawal several days ago that we hypothesized was paid to this Kira, and we hoped Kira might contact him again for more money. We believe this indeed to be the case, however, we also found this." He pressed a button and the video began to play. "Please watch carefully."

 

At the end, L turned his chair around to the team, who were gaping at the screen. But oddly, Ryuk was chuckling from the balcony above. Light gave him a quick look, but Ryuk just grinned mysteriously.

 

Matsuda looked thoroughly confused. "I don't get it. Why would Kira kill a bunch of children in some clinical trial? Just because Tadashi didn't pay? What's Project Mojave?"

 

L stretched his arms behind his head, glad to be wrapping his mind around a puzzle again. "I searched all the trial databases and there's no record of such a project. In fact, there's no record of it anywhere I could find. Project Mojave is no legitimate clinical trial."

 

Souichirou's brow creased with alarm. "Does that mean that Tadashi has been experimenting on children, illegally?!

 

L calmly turned to Souichirou. "Yagami-san, no need putting yourself back in the hospital again." He picked up a long stick of red licorice and waved it in Souichirou's direction. "If you recall from the video..," a bite of licorice, "he mentioned that 'he knew what the police would do' and to 'burn everything.'" He looked at the licorice with disappointment. "This isn't very good." 

 

Souichirou, red faced, "Ryuzaki!"

 

L tossed the candy aside and sighed. "Sorry. I think what we heard suggests that Tadashi knew that this was a secret, illegal activity, but also one of great importance to him. Kira targeted it for this reason."

 

Light nodded, "He mentioned a secure server. He was trying to hide all the data and information about Project Mojave." He turned to L with a smile. "So how's Wedy coming on that, anyway?"

 

You know me too well. He brought a finger to his mouth. "Watari said she's finding it...challenging." She always gets in eventually, but can we afford to wait? "I've had Watari monitoring Tadashi and we haven't seen further calls, but he appears to be very anxious." 

 

Matsuda plopped down in a chair. "Ryuzaki...how will breaking into that server help us find the new Kira?" 

 

L sighed. Matsuda you can be quite dense sometimes. But I suppose your earnest dedication more than makes up for it. "If Project Mojave is a secret, so hidden that there's no trace of it anywhere, how did this Kira know the names and faces of the children in the project?" Or at least their faces. "How did he know that this would be a way to get to Tadashi?" 

 

Souichirou gazed up at the screen, somewhat more calm now. "So you think Project Mojave is our key to finding this Kira. If so, we need to talk to Tadashi. Bring him here for questioning."

 

"I agree. We shouldn't wait for Wedy when Tadashi might be able to tell us something to move forward on now. He may even know the identity of Kira." Light rubbed his wrist, already sore from the handcuffs again. But will he talk to us?

 

He heard Ryuk laugh again above him, and say, "Light-o. If you want to talk to Tadashi, better do it soon. Man's got an expiration date coming up, all I'll say."

 

Light and L exchanged looks; they'd both heard. We need to move fast L. Thank you Ryuk.

 

L got up from his chair and walked to Souichirou. "Yagami-san, as you are the Chief of Police, I'll be interested to hear from you the best way to get Tadashi here. Do you think you can do it."

 

Souichirou stood tall, giving L his best official police face. "Of course."

 

L paced past the team, forcing Light to follow behind him towards the elevator. "Good. We'll reconvene at 2pm. Matsuda, please have that list we discussed ready. Yagami-san, I'll be wanting an update from you regarding your approach for getting Tadashi here." He paused at the door. "But don't tell the police about him just yet."

 

Light stopped next to him at the elevator, waiting for the doors to open. "And what about me?" Tethered to you, my options are pretty limited. 

 

"You're coming with me." The elevator doors opened and L pulled him inside, Ryuk swooping in at the last minute before the doors closed. L pressed the penthouse button.

 

"To do what?" The elevator hummed as it rose. I may be Kira, but L slides so smoothly back into control when it comes to his investigation.

 

L turned to Ryuk. "Ryuk, how much time do we have with Tadashi?'

 

Ryuk grimaced, "Cmon L. I'm already bending the rules so hard they're bout to break just by hinting at it. Can't tell you the actual moment."

 

L chewed his thumb. "I see. Well, if a green apple was more than a day, and a red apple was less than a day, which apple would you prefer?"

 

Ryuk was quiet for a moment, thinking over whether this was trouble or not. He shrugged. "A red one. Er....but mostly a whole red one." He fake ducked like he expected something bad to happen, but nothing did.

 

Light got a serious look. "L we have to hurry if we are going to get to him before Kira does. The police may not be fast enough." It has to be today.

 

The elevator stopped and they entered L's rooms. L turned and released their handcuffs. "We have a way to get him here, Light. We don't need the police." Why does the thought of writing his name excite me so much?

 

Light's eyes widened. "Yes...we could write Tadashi's name in the death note as well as all his actions leading up to his moment of death. Get him to tell us everything he knows."

 

Ryuk circled the room and laughed. "L you're starting to think like Kira." 

 

Light opened the wall panel and took the death note out. He sat down on the couch and opened it to the last page. "Let's think about how we want this to go L."

 

L crouched on the couch next to Light. "First we need him to leave his home and drive here. Watari meets him in the lobby and he goes to an interrogation room. He tells you everything he knows about his interaction with Kira, Project Mojave, how to get into the server. He answers every question truthfully. Drives home. Heart attack." He bit his lip, wide eyes waiting for Light's thoughts on this.

 

Light squirmed a bit on the couch, his pants suddenly feeling uncomfortably tight. L, you are ready for this. "L this begs the question though. Why doesn't the other Kira do the same thing--control Tadashi to drop large sums of cash for him before killing him."

 

"You're assuming that Kira is going to be Tadashi's cause of death, but that might not be it. I think this Kira's more interested in toying with Tadashi before killing him. Punishing him. Money is part of it. Project Mojave is too. But controlling him might take the fun out of it." L scooted a little closer to Light, nearly touching him.

 

Ryuk nodded. "L's got a point. I can't see what will kill Tadashi."

 

Light took out his pen. "If this is personal for the other Kira, he won't be too happy with us taking away his fun." But it might just draw him out.

 

"Tadashi will be dead by tomorrow, whatever the cause. We should take our moment while we can." L placed his hand on the pen too and gazed into Light's eyes. "Its our best chance to find this Kira."

 

Light laughed. "It is." Its perfect. You're a natural L. And ink began to flow.

 

Tadashi  Ido - Leaves his office at 2pm today without telling anyone, and drives to the headquarters of the Kira investigation. Meets a man in the lobby and follows him inside. Answers truthfully all questions asked of him. Drives home. Dies of a heart attack. 

 

 

Light stared down at the page and took a deep breath. The expected rush came, his heartbeat quickened as it always did when he wrote a name, but something seemed wrong. He crossed out the last part and wrote something new. 

 

Dies of a heart attack. Accidentally drives his car off the Rainbow Bridge and slowly drowns in Tokyo Bay.

 

"Ouch. Heart attack too boring for you?" Ryuk chuckled. "You know I like your style Light-o."

 

"Ryuk..." Light half-smiled. "We still need to make it look like an accident, but....I have a feeling that after Tadashi tells us everything about Project Mojave--"

 

L, softly, "A heart attack wouldn't be nearly enough." 

 

Light felt L squeeze his hand and met his eyes. "L, I'm sorry I doubted you." I never will again. 

 

L smirked. I've been pursuing justice in my own way too, Light. Is this such a surprise?  "It occurs to me that Light-kun regrets that...." He turned his head to show the pale purple bruise across his face. "...but not this." I don't regret it either. When you dominate me, Light, I come alive. He took off his shirt. "Or this." The shallow cuts like red strikethrough across his pale skin.

 

Light traced his finger tip across L's cheek. L didn't flinch. It looks oddly beautiful actually. His fingers moved down to the cut under L's collarbone. "I should regret it, shouldn't I..." He leaned forward and placed his mouth on it, slowly licking it from end to end. A bit darkly, "But I don't." His mouth traveled up across the soft, unbroken skin of L's neck.

 

L shuddered under the soft wetness of Light's tongue. "A sacrifice after all."

 

Light threaded his hands into L's hair and brought his face close. "You sacrificed one thing." Kissed him deeply, biting L's lip as they pulled back apart. "Gained something else."

 

He pressed the open death note to L's bare chest and L felt the thrill deeper, the rush harder. I want to write more, Light. More and more, until your perfect world submits. As I submit. He kissed Light back, his hands under Light's shirt, grabbing at him. Mumbling between gasping breaths, "We have to go....back downstairs....the team.....waiting....."

 

Light broke the kiss and smiled. "Always work with you, L."

 

Ryuk from the corner, obviously watching them closely. "Hyuk, yeah, live a little." 

 

L slipped his shirt back on and snapped the handcuffs back on them both. "That's what I plan to do." He smiled at Light, a real smile. "Live."

 

 

Chapter Text

By the time L had assumed his usual perch in his chair in the monitor room, Matsuda was already hurrying towards him with the list of non-criminal and scientist Kira kills. "Thank you Matsuda for putting this together so quickly. It will be of great use."

 

Matsuda beamed. "No problem Ryuzaki! It wasn't a long list after all. Just six names."

 

L held up the paper with one finger, scanning it, while pressing the button to call Watari with the other. "Watari."

 

Watari buzzed back. "Yes sir?"

 

"I need you to go down to the lobby right away. A man will arrive soon, please show him to interrogation room 1. Light will be there waiting for him. Thank you."

 

The team gave L puzzled looks. Souichirou's brow creased, "Who are you expecting Ryuzaki?"

 

L handed the list to Light and turned his chair around to the team. "Tadashi Ido. He's coming to give us his statement about Kira. I'm going to have Light question him, and we'll be watching from here."

 

Souichirou's face flushed. "What?! How did you convince him so quickly?" Obviously a bit disappointed that whatever official plan he'd cooked up to get Tadashi here wouldn't be needed. Dead weight again.

 

L flicked his eyes to Light briefly. "I merely called him and asked for his cooperation, and he agreed to help. I assume he must be rather frightened at this point." Oh Yagami-san, if you only knew the truth.

 

Matsuda brought his fist down in his hand. "We can get to the bottom of this business with Project Mojave! About what happened to those kids!"

 

Matsuda has a soft heart, hearing that about the children seems to have bothered him. Don't worry Matsuda, Tadashi won't escape justice. L mouthed a hangnail. "Yes, I fully expect his...guilty conscience...will be weighing heavily on him. I think he'll be truthful with us." He heard Ryuk's chuckles from high above. 

 

Souichirou stroked his chin. "If Light is to interrogate him, and you'll be here watching, does that mean that you are releasing Light from..." He motioned distastefully to the chain between them. "...this?"

 

L gazed back at him. "Yes, given what we've seen, I think the chances of Light being Kira are...quite low. I feel comfortable with releasing him." He turned to Light, reaching for the handcuffs and unlocking them. "But I still must ask you to stay here until the case is completed." And forever. 

 

Light rubbed his wrist. "You know I will." L nodded, but Souichirou didn't look as pleased about that part. Light looked at the list. "Maybe we can get some information about these people. See if Tadashi knows them."

 

"Take the elevator down to the basement level and interrogation room 1 is the third door on the left." L allowed a little smirk. "Just past your old cell." Full circle eh Light? Light shot him a look, but L just stared at him innocently until he went over and called the elevator.

 

Matsuda scratched his head. Tentatively, "Ryuzaki, shouldn't the Chief or myself be the one to interrogate Tadashi?" I don't like to question L, but.. "I mean we're the ones with training for this kind of thing."

 

L turned to Matsuda and smiled a little. "I have every faith in Light-kun's ability." He looked over to Souichirou. "But if either of you feel that during the interview you could be getting more from Tadashi, please let me know." And there won't be much chance of that. 

 

-------  

 

L and the team huddled in front of the large screen, watching Light sitting alone in the interrogation room. Well, L could see that he wasn't really alone, Ryuk was there, nearly rubbing his hands in glee. Oh you'll get your entertainment today won't you Ryuk. And if this works, I'll have Watari bake you three apple pies. L pressed the intercom to the room. "Light, Watari just let us know that Tadashi has arrived. He's bringing him there now."

 

Light looked up at the camera and nodded. 

 

Ryuk cackled and phased through the door, peeking into the hall. "Here they come, Light. Time to put on your big boy pants."

 

Light checked that the video camera next to him was taping, and stood up. Here goes.

 

The door opened, and Watari ushered an immaculately dressed but slightly lost-looking man of about 50 into the room. Watari turned to Light and nodded and then left, closing and locking the door behind him. 

 

Light stepped forward and bowed slightly. "Tadashi-san, thank you for coming. My name is Yagami Light, and I'm with the official Kira investigation. Please, have a seat." He's got that dazed look. The look they get when the death note takes hold. A good sign. 

 

Tadashi looked at the seat as if he'd just noticed what the purpose of a chair was. He slid it out and sat down, and Light sat down across from him.

 

Light opened his (regular) notebook. "Sir, we're going to be taping this interview. Can you state your name and age for the record?"

 

"Tadashi Ido. I'm 51 years old."

 

"And what is your position and employer?"

 

"I'm the president of Promise Pharmaceuticals."

 

"Thank you. Do you know why you are here?"

 

"I drove here because...I think you want to ask me some questions."

 

"And do you know what kind of questions?"

 

"No."

 

"Its about Kira." Tadashi was silent. I see. He only responds to questions. Just as I wrote it in the death note. I'll have to stick with that and be very specific. "Tadashi-san, have you been in contact with Kira?"

 

"Yes."

 

"And when was the first time Kira contacted you?" 

 

"The first time was five days ago."

 

"How did he contact you and what did Kira say on that occasion?"

 

"He called me on my private cell phone and said that if I didn't give him 50 million yen in cash within 24 hours he would start killing people at Promise Pharmaceuticals."

 

"And did you give him the cash?"

 

"Yes."

 

"How did you give it to him?

 

"He told me to go to Yoyogi Park and to place it in the garbage can in front of Kiyomasa's Well, and that he'd retrieve it when I left."

 

"Did you see Kira at any time during that drop?" Kira must have been watching him from nearby to know when to retrieve the money. 

 

"No, I didn't see him."

 

"And did anyone at Promise Pharmaceuticals die 24 hours after he contacted you that time?"

 

"No."

 

"I see. Tadashi-san, were there any other times that Kira contacted you after the first time?"

 

"Yes. Once more."

 

"And when was that."

 

"It was 3 days after I gave him the money."

 

"What did he want this time?"

 

"He wanted 500 million yen in cash within 24 hours."

 

"So a lot more money." He glanced up to the video that was feeding to L and the team. "And did you give him the money again?"

 

"No."

 

"Why not?"

 

"I was trying to get it together, but it was too much cash for the bank to release to me that quickly."

 

"I see, and what happened when you didn't give Kira the money?"

 

Ryuk leaned forward, grinning demonically.

 

Tadashi hesitated, as if he was trying to fight a futile battle. But it was no use. "He killed five people at Promise Pharmaceuticals."

 

"Which five people, Tadashi-san?"

 

Tadashi was sweating. "Five children who were part of an experimental trial. Test subjects."

 

"What were these children's names?"

 

"They had no names. Just numbers."

 

"Their names were numbers? What numbers?"

 

"69, 71, 73, 88, and 89."

 

"Tadashi, were these children part of a legal clinical trial?"

 

Sweat dripped to the table. "No."

 

"Then what was the trial?"

 

"It was called Project Mojave."

 

"Tadashi-san, can you please tell me everything about Project Mojave, starting at the beginning? I'm asking you to leave nothing out." Hopefully that counted as a question.

 

Tadashi wiped his face absently. He clearly didn't want to do this. But the death note compelled him. To tell the truth. To answer the question in full. He could not refuse. And so, Light and the rest of the team in the monitor room heard the following tale.......

 

"In 1994, I was approached by a very wealthy man, a billionaire named Yamanaka Seito, who had found out he was dying of an unknown genetic condition. His doctors had told him that his disease would cause the organs in his body to shut down, one by one, as they were attacked by his own immune system. It was to be a painful and protracted way to die, and to date, science had never seen a single case like it. I had never heard of anything like it. There were no treatments, no cures, no one was even studying it. He was about 35 years old at the time and had been told he had about a decade left before the disease killed him.

But Yamanaka told me he wasn’t going to give up without a fight and was looking to recruit a scientist to discover a cure; money was no obstacle. At the time, I had been fired from my academic position under a scandal for unapproved human cloning experiments. So when Yamanaka approached me, I was out of a job, broke, and willing to listen to his proposal. Yamanaka told me about his disease and that I had a blank check to build whatever lab I needed and assemble the team to study his condition. It seemed like a dream come true. Of course, I accepted, and Yamanaka wrote up a contract to create Promise Pharmaceuticals, funding it for the next 10 years. I asked if he was comfortable with me pursuing all options. And he said yes, anything. He didn't want the details. Just a cure.

It took 4 years of studying Yamanaka's condition before I figured out the biological mechanism behind the illness. However at the same time as this breakthrough, Yamanaka's organs were just beginning to shut down and he would need several organ transplants to avoid permanent injury, maybe death. This would buy time to come up with a real cure, which was still years away. So my team and I switched gears to save him, but there was only one way to do this. We needed to develop a drug that would prevent new organs from being attacked by Yamanaka's disease. And clinical trials would be too slow.

So I turned back to my expertise in human cloning research, which would allow us to have unlimited human tissue to work with. My lab assistant Kyoko donated her eggs for the research. At first she refused to do it but eventually she....relented. Using the embryos developed and later cloned from her eggs, over the next year we were able to create the anti-rejection drug and keep Yamanaka alive with organ transplants. But he needed and would continue to need more transplants than the hospital system would permit. Also, Yamanaka had asked me to test his young daughter Akiko for the disorder, and she had it. It was the worst day of his life, but for me and my team it meant everything. Yamanaka had to begin to think about preserving her life as well his, and that her symptoms may not manifest until after he was dead. He had to have a cure for her even if he died. So he funded Promise Pharma indefinitely via a board of directors who were to act as financial advisors as well as Akiko’s guardians.

And so...the most physically perfect of the cloned human embryos we raised in a facility at Promise Pharmaceuticals. To provide an everlasting supply of organs for Yamanaka and Akiko while we worked on the final cure. These children were raised receiving the anti-rejection drug from birth, and it worked for its primary purpose—the children’s organs became universal donors and saved the man’s life several times while we worked towards the cure. But the drug in its pure form, and given for so long, had the unintended effect of both heightening the children’s intelligence and making some of them psychotic. We had kept these children of Project Mojave secret from everyone--from Yamanaka, Akiko, and most of all from my lab assistant Kyoko. Kyoko had never been the same since giving up her eggs, knowing what they were used for. But one day she stumbled upon the children, her children, and insisted on working with them. Not long after, she stole two of them, just 5 years old, and absconded with them. I looked for her, and them, for years, but never found them. They were simply gone. 

Despite our progress with the anti-rejection drug, we weren't much closer to developing the cure. We spun a version of the drug, less concentrated and meant for normal donors with different blood types, into a mainstream drug that made Promise very successful. But, eventually, Yamanaka died and our focus turned to Akiko, who started to need transplants around age 18. Project Mojave has been going ever since. But now Akiko is dead, the children are all dead, and I'll be dead soon too. Kira has come for us all."

 

At the end of Tadashi's confession, Light could do little more than stare, eyes wide, mouth half open in disbelief. How could this...murder! have been going on for so long under everyone's noses? All to save the life of some rich guy and his daughter? Wait...Yamanaka Akiko....wasn't she the heiress that unexpectedly took her own life a couple days prior?? 

 

After a couple moments of shocked silence, Light heard L in the monitor room, over the speaker. "Light, give Tadashi the list of names. See if he recognizes any of them."

 

Light's eyes focused on the sheet in front of him, and he pushed it across the table to a haggard-looking Tadashi. Pull yourself together, Light. You knew this wouldn't be easy. "Tadashi-san...can you look at this list and tell me if you recognize any of the names on it?"

 

Tadashi turned the sheet around with trembling fingers and glanced down at it, scanning the names. "I recognize them all."

 

"Who are they?"

 

"Yamanaka Akiko, she was Yamanaka Seito's daughter. I heard she committed suicide. All the other names are either the board of directors of Promise or scientists who worked on Project Mojave over the years. The ones that worked directly with the..test subjects."

 

"Do you mean the children?"

 

He swallowed hard, staring down at the names. Sweat rolling down his cheek and dripping onto the paper. "Yes."

 

Just a few questions left, and then you'll join them Tadashi. "Tadashi-san, do you know the identity of the Kira who contacted you?"

 

Tadashi's eyes darted around the room, as if looking for Kira then and there. "I'm...not sure."

 

Light and Ryuk both leaned forward. "Do you suspect someone?"

 

"Yes."

 

"What is their name?" Open your dark heart and let the last secret flow.

 

"They don't have a name."

 

"What do you mean they don't have a name?" Oh no....don't tell me...

 

"They have a number. 68."

 

"Who is 68?" Please no....

 

Tadashi shut his eyes. "68 was one of the children from Project Mojave that my lab assistant Kyoko stole away in 2004. Along with 67."

 

"And why do you think that Kira is 68?"

 

"Because 67 and 68 are the last two  people who could know about Project Mojave, other than myself. Kira killed the last other person yesterday. And...." He opened his fearful black eyes again. "...68 was the psychotic one. A true sociopath. The reason I searched so long for them and Kyoko is because....68 always threatened he would kill me...kill all of us if he ever got out. He got out. And somehow...now....he's Kira." Tadashi slumped back into his chair, holding his head in his hands.

 

Light exhaled deeply. 68, who are you really? Can I blame you for wanting to kill this monster? For wanting to kill all of them? Wouldn't I do the same? "Tadashi, what is the login and password for the secure server that houses all the data on Project Mojave?" He slid his notebook to Tadashi and motioned for him to write it out. Tadashi looked at Light, a glimmer of horror in clouded eyes, yet wrote the information all the same and passed it back to Light. Light held it up to the camera for a long moment for L and everyone else to see.

 

Light looked to the camera, giving L a chance to say if there was anything else he wanted to know. Or if it was time to finally cut this puppet's strings. I'm going to kill him with my bare hands if he doesn't get out of my sight soon, L. He clenched his fists under the table and tried hard not to think about what Tadashi's face would look like beaten to a pulp.

 

L's voice traveled over the speaker, unusually strained, "That's it Light. Good work."

 

Light turned to Tadashi, eyes narrowed in disgust. "Get the hell out of here." He picked up his notebook and whispered to Tadashi as he passed, "My only regret is that I won't be there to see you die." And he left before his wish became reality.

 

------------

 

Light hurried back up to the monitor room, jamming the button on the elevator. "Cmon...Cmon..."

 

Ryuk grinned, "What's the matter Light-o? Didn't you get everything you wanted outta him?"

 

Light gave Ryuk a look but stepped into the elevator when it came, smashing the floor to the monitor room. "Yes, Ryuk. Too much."

 

The doors opened and Light ran out into the monitor room to the team's shocked stares. They were all patting him on the back solemnly and asking him how he got Tadashi to spill his guts, but he went straight to L and grabbed his arm. "We have to go." He pulled L out of the chair and dragged him back over to the elevator.

 

The cup in L's hand sloshed tea all over the floor, but he didn't protest. He handed the cup to Matsuda as they passed, who called out, "Hey, where are you guys going?"

 

Light called over his shoulder as he dragged L into the elevator. "Just going to do some recon on Tadashi, he'll need to be arrested after what he's confessed." No arrest will be needed though. Sorry Dad.  And before anyone else could protest, they were on their way to the roof.

 

-------

L bit his lip and looked up at Light. I know what you want. You want to watch it. You need to see it. I need to too.

 

"Aren't you going to ask where we're going?" Light released his grip on L as they stepped onto the roof.

 

"The helicopter."

 

"How did you know?"

 

L smiled. "C'mon, we'll have to hurry." They ran over to the helicopter and L jumped in the pilot seat, Light in the passenger.

 

"I hope you know what you're doing in this thing." I don't really care though, I need to see him die.

 

"I do." He handed Light a helmet and fired up the controls. "For the most part." The blades sprung to life, methodically beating out the seconds, then their quickened heartbeats, then so fast as to blur together in unified motion.

 

Light pulled the helmet down over his head and gave Ryuk a thumbs up out the window. "Rainbow Bridge."

 

L nodded and they pulled up and forward off the roof, heading towards the enormous bridge over Toyko Bay. L pressed the comm button, "Watari, what kind of car was Tadashi driving?"

 

Watari answered, "A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, sir."

 

"Thank you Watari. Over."

 

Light looked out the window with a dark smile. "Should be an easy car to spot. Would be a shame to see it fly off the Rainbow Bridge if only Tadashi weren't in it."

 

L grabbed his hand briefly then went back to moving the controls. "That must have been hard to hear those things alone in there, Light." He turned his huge eyes to him for just a moment, then back to the sky. "Are you ok?"

 

Light gritted his teeth and stared back down at the road, searching. "I will be." The silhouette of a silver car finally caught his eye beneath him. "L, there he is, just to our right!"

 

L swung the helicopter right until they were trailing just behind the silver car.

 

Light leaned into the window. "Fly lower! I want to be right up on that piece of shit when his world goes dark."

 

L brought the helicopter lower, still at a safe distance, but now they could practically see the back of Tadashi's head.

 

Light heaved in frustration. "It's no good, I won't be able to see much of anything." He banged on the window. "Ryuk!"

 

Ryuk phased through the window, his head appearing disembodied. "You called Light-o?"

 

Urgently, "Ryuk, can you go down to Tadashi's car? Is it too far for you? Too far from me?"

 

Ryuk phased back out, turning his head and looking down at the car. "Nope, I think I could do it. Why, Light-o?"

 

Light smiled with grim satisfaction. "Because I'm going to ask you to do something Ryuk. I want you to be in that car when it goes off the Rainbow Bridge. And I want you to tell me everything that happens."

 

Ryuk laughed hard. Yes, that would be amusing. "That's a big ask, hyuk. Flying off a bridge." He scratched his chin deviously. "But I suppose I could do it. If....."

 

Light's brow furrowed. They didn't have much time. "If what?!"

 

Ryuk phased over to L's side of the helicopter. "If L agreed to do something for me." He whispered in L's ear. Whatever it was made L's eyes grow twice their size and look at Light, blushing hard.

 

Light pointed down, "He's turning onto the bridge!" Back to Ryuk, "Cmon Ryuk!"

 

Ryuk chuckled as L looked from Light to the car down below. "Well, L, what do you say?"

 

L nodded. Oh Light, I hope this is worth it.

 

And Ryuk barked a laugh and gave them a fake salute. "Then I'm your man...er, shinigami."

 

Light watched him shoot like an arrow down to Tadashi's car and phase inside. He turned to L, "I hope he didn't ask too much. A truck of apples or something?"

 

L exhaled. "Or something."

 

But Light forgot all about it immediately. Because just then Tadashi's car swerved on the bridge, broke through the barrier, and sailed off into the bloody sunset before falling into the icy bay.

 

------

Ryuk rocketed into the back of the Rolls Royce, taking up nearly the entire backseat of the sedan. Whelp, Light-o, time to put these shinigami eyes to your purpose.

 

Tadashi was driving, but not driving. He was staring forward, hair a mess, tie thrown aside, and gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles were white. Muttering under his breath, "68....68...I know its you....68...68..." over and over like a tape reel on repeat. His hands, his whole body shook, knowing death was near. Ryuk laughed loudly, but Tadashi couldn't hear. Oh its near, old man. Its here.

 

And suddenly he jerked the wheel with a scream. The death note--Light and L's written word was law-- compelled his hands to act against their interests. Its fatal magnetism yanked the wheel, putting the car into a tailspin. The Rolls Royce screeched against pavement, but spun through the side barrier of the bridge and sending other cars veering to avoid impact. And as Tadashi flew, as his car sailed into the air and off the bridge, both he and Ryuk saw the final beauty of the Toyko skyline against the gorgeous sunset. Knives thrust up against the clotted gore of clouds, and the pure blue sky beyond. Beyond him, and Ryuk, and L and Light forever, beyond all monsters and beyond those who kill monsters. Light-o I have stolen that pure blue from you. Forgive me.

 

The movement was slow, nearly creeping, but the car turned its nose down into another blue, nearly black. The murk of water, vast and unforgiving and hard. Ready to steal his life and engulf him, erase him as water erases all things with time. He saw it coming and screamed as the wall of black made impact and swallowed them all, man and car and god. And Ryuk giggled, howled, as Tadashi turned to each window in horror, watching the air bubbles stream out around them and the inky water stream in.

 

Ryuk phased front and back, following Tadashi's frantic movements to open the door, to break the glass, to live, to live, but only to fail in each. And as the water crept higher against his head held just above, Tadashi sputtered and flailed, fighting futilely against his fate written by lovers, by twins. The water was cold, so cold, unforgiving as he was unforgiven.

 

Ryuk made his final observation. For you Light. He phased into Tadashi himself and felt the abject panic of mortality, the flood of adrenaline and fear, and Ryuk felt what he felt, knew what he knew in that moment. That Tadashi's final thoughts, as water displaced air in his lungs, were not of the children he'd tortured and burned to ash...but of cherry blossoms falling in a park, and a smiling girl beneath them who'd looked at him the way angels look to god.

Chapter Text

L watched the place where Tadashi's car sank with cold curiosity as the bubbles rose fast and violent. A small crowd of people were gathered at the edge of the bridge, peering over the side and pointing. The police will be here soon...we need to fly Ryuk. Hurry.

 

But Light was pressed to the window, helmet thrown off and straining to see Ryuk. Counting down the seconds until he knew Tadashi had drowned. The bubbles rose slower and fewer until a final murky orb broke the bay's surface and popped, and the water was once again still. His last breath? Light brushed the death note, against his skin, under his shirt. I needed it close. It gives me strength but I feel its violence in me. It compels my thoughts as it compels their actions.

 

And then, emerging from the bay was Ryuk, flapping heavily from the water yet making no ripple or splash. "L, its Ryuk! He's heading back up here." How did his eyes look underwater Ryuk? What were his last gasping words? Tell me! His heart rate quickened. He wanted to savor this kill like no other.

 

Ryuk flew parallel to them and made a bug-eyed choking face through the window, then showed them a mouthful of watery razors as he devolved to laughter. Light banged on the window. "Ryuk! Get in here and tell me what happened!"

 

Ryuk phased his head back into the helicopter, somehow keeping it stable as shinigami and machine flew together. "Not so fast Light-o. There's the matter of some payment from L. Once he ponys up, you'll get all the nasty details and then some, hyuk." Ryuk grinned at L. "You ready?" And he phased back out to flap beside them again, doing the occasional barrel roll for kicks.

 

L gritted his teeth and avoided Light's searching gaze. Am I really going to have to do this thing Ryuk? Instead he pressed the comm button. "Watari?" 

 

Watari bleeped back, "Sir. How did recon on Tadashi go?"

 

A deep breath. "It seems that Kira got to Tadashi." Its not a lie. "As we were following him, he crashed through Rainbow Bridge and his car sank into Toyko Bay." Silence on the other end. "He's dead." By my hand.

 

"I see, sir. I'll monitor the police channels then. It was a lucky thing we were able to get his confession before that. Are you returning now?"

 

"Yes, nearly there." Light is watching me. Stall! "Watari, did you pass on those server login details to Wedy?" 

 

"Yes sir. She's on her way to HQ now to start accessing the files and transferring them to our database."

 

"Good." A second thought. "And Watari....send the rest of the team home for the night. We'll all go over Wedy's intel together tomorrow AM." And I'll be a bit busy tonight.

 

"Very good sir, I will let everyone know. Safe travels back."

 

"Thank you. Ryuzaki out."

 

Light peered at L and then past him to the dark wings flapping beside them. His eyes narrowed in suspicion, "L...what did you agree to?" I trust Ryuk more than any other shinigami, but...that's not saying much.

 

L ignored him and focused on landing the helicopter on the roof of HQ beneath them. When they were again on solid ground, he pulled off his helmet, relieved to finally able to chew his thumb again. "He... asked me to show you something." Gazing out at Ryuk hovering outside. "And then...he asked me to show him...something." L opened the door of the helicopter and jumped out onto the roof, his wild hair becoming even more of a mess in the artificial wind.

 

Light gave him a puzzled look through the open door and yelled over the slowing beat of the helicopter blades. "What does that even mean?" Someone tell me what the hell is going on.

 

L opened Light's door and offered him one hand, the other still nervously planted in his mouth. "I'll show you." A promise to a shinigami is a promise I must keep.

 

Light cast Ryuk a distrustful glance but took L's hand and climbed down. "Fine." You won't deny me, Ryuk. Whatever L promised.

-------

 

Light stumbled forward in darkness, "WHY do I have to wear this?!" He grasped at the blindfold but L swatted his hand away. Anger rising, the death note still close against his skin like a hot, beating thing. "Ryuk, I swear, if you..."

 

L put a finger to Light's lips. "Shhhh...Just go with it." He traced a finger across a panel in the wall and a hidden door opened. Dim candlelight shone ahead. L squeezed Light's shoulder and pushed him gently forward through the door that Light couldn't see. "Just walk a few paces forward and we'll be there." We'll all be there, in the dark heart of me.

 

Light took a few halting steps forward and stopped. It is surprisingly cool in here. He felt himself shudder against the chill, his skin turning to goosebumps. He turned, reaching out blindly for L in the darkness. "L...where are you?"

 

And L was there, suddenly kissing him in the darkness, overwhelming his senses. Because there was only this, L's warm wet tongue against his, and nothing else to feel but the chill air.

 

L pulled back, a half-smile of anticipation and nerves, and removed Light's blindfold. He stepped back against the wall to let Light take it in. Here, Ryuk. I've fulfilled half our unholy bargain.

 

And Light took it in. His eyes adjusted for a moment and then went wide. He was in an enormous but windowless room hewn from solid rock..a cave? The soft light of candles cast deep shadows across everything his gaze fell upon. Floor to ceiling screens, currently dark, made up one entire side of the cave. Tall cabinets lined the opposite side, their contents unknown in the darkness. A waterfall streamed down one corner from high above and into a large pool beneath. And in the middle of it all, a replica of L's enormous canopy bed. It would have felt oppressive, but everything was so beautiful, another shimmering mirage sprung up from the unlimited depths of L's vast fortune. 

 

Light looked around, feeling slightly awed. "Where are we?"

 

L stepped up behind him, encircling his waist and placing his mouth softly on Light's shoulder. "Deep beneath Tokyo. Beneath the tower."

 

But Light just wandered around the space, L releasing him and watching with an amused look on his face. 

 

Light's eyes darted to the glowing shinigami eyes high in the darkness, the gleaming white teeth spreading into a menacing smile. "You knew this was down here?" 

 

From the darkness, "Of course."

 

To L, "What is this place exactly?" Light looked around again. 

 

L walked over to the glassed-in shelves. "I built it as my safe room." He touched the glass tenderly. "It became....more."

 

Light stepped up to the cabinets and peered inside, seeing dozens of objects from the macabre- weapons?- to the mundane. Each carefully labeled with numbers that meant something only to L. Light opened the glass door as L watched him intently. "These objects are from your cases aren't they?" The glint of shiny metal in the back caught his eye- a pistol, a Desert Eagle. Light turned back to L, realization setting in. "You built this place to relive them."

 

L exhaled and traced his finger tips across the exposed skin at Light's neck. "That's one way of putting it." He stepped closer to Light and looked up at him. "What does Light-kun think of my trophies?"

 

Light felt death note under his shirt, the only trophy he needed. "The murder weapons. Why those?"

 

L's dark eyes flickered in the candlelight. "They're the embodiment of the crime. A physical memory."

 

And I want mine, L. "So...you've done what Ryuk asked. You brought me here." He found Ryuk's glowing eyes in the darkness and pointed at him. "Now tell me about Tadashi!" The order echoed across the cave.

 

And as a wind, Ryuk shot forth and phased into Light, pushing him down to his knees and knocking the breath from him with a gasp. L caught him and saw shinigami eyes there, pupils red and glowing, foreign and alien.

 

A slow, deviant smile spread across Light's face as he felt himself plunge as if into the the depths of the sea...

I'm falling! Oh god, I'm turning with the gravity of the earth and I cannot stop it <PANIC> 

A pinpoint of bright white fear, I'm blinded by this, there is nothing else but this 

I must survive....I want to live...Just breathe, just breathe... <FALSE HOPE>

It will not end like this, I cannot end like this

A way out...I'll fight...there's nothing more....there's nothing else....

My mind is not my own, my mind is not my own, and I'm losing this, I'm losing...I'm... <TERROR>

 

Light was shuddering, screaming, until L shook him and yelled, "RYUK! STOP IT!"

 

And Ryuk stepped back, leaving Light gasping on his hands and knees in L's arms.

 

"No!" That wasn't the end! Light banged his fist on the ground, panting. "Ryuk....."  Light turned to look at the shinigami, still doubled over from the intense emotions. "This...this is what Tadashi felt. How can you...how did you...." His heart was racing madly, his body primed to run or fight, kill or fuck. But something was missing, Ryuk stopped before....

 

Ryuk moved to face him, hovering just above and seeming more demon that Light could recall. Light heard his voice, a whispered hiss both far away and within his mind. "Shinigami must kill, and we feed on years unlived. Yet, in this world, we are but spirits, and I pass through matter and mind as if water, Light." Ryuk phased behind L, who turned to look up at him. "I can imprint the powerful emotions of humans, instants in time, and feel them, transfer them." He phased atop a rock ledge above and extended his wings to their full length. "If I wish."

 

Light fought back the powerful urge to vomit and steadied himself enough to stand up again to walk towards the ledge. He fixed the shinigami in his cold sights. "Where's the rest, Ryuk." I know there's more. You're holding back.

 

Ryuk laughed softly. "Ask L."

 

L hesitated then spoke, still on his knees. "I promised him...." Eyes upturned, holding Light's questioning gaze. "...that he could phase into me, when...." Light I promised it for you, for Ryuk to give you what you wanted. 

 

Light's head shot back to Ryuk in disbelief, who was grinning madly. "Small price to pay to live your kill, Light-o. Really live it to the end."

 

L's pupils were blown wide, making his grey eyes seem nearly black. "Light....I...." The look on Light's face silenced him. I made a mistake...

 

"No..." Light reached into the cabinet and took out a long and menacing-looking knife. "...Kira..." 

 

L felt fear and hot lust rise with his erection. That knife. Of course he was drawn to Beyond's knife. Seeing you hold that...Light...its doing something to me...its going to make me lose control. He stared at Light's reflection in the knife, and L swore he saw his eyes still glowing as they did when Ryuk was inside him. He felt his heart rate quicken.

 

What trophy will you keep from me L? What piece of Kira?  "What other secrets are you keeping from me, L?" He took a step towards him. And the familiar black fire ignited within Light as he traced his index finger down the bright blade and cut himself... slicing a superficial yet bleeding line that flowed down his hand. Light stepped forward before L, a drop of blood running its way down his arm and splashing to the ground. "What other sins?"

 

L gazed up at him, whispering, "Nothing." He touched the drop of blood on the ground and brought it to his lips. Sweet. "I swear it....Kami." I'll do anything...say anything... if you'll touch me. 

 

Light held out his bloody hand. I believe you. "Then drink of Kira, L. Take your trophy and be forgiven."  L grabbed hold, lapping at the blood and sucking the wound until fresh blood flowed anew. Light closed his eyes and leaned his head back, feeling that warm mouth pull life and power, but there was more, always more. He locked eyes with L once more. Darkly, "We must do this thing you promised." He stroked L's cheek and spoke to Ryuk without breaking eye contact with L, "Just once Ryuk. Never again."

 

Ryuk whispered from darkness, hungry, "Just once."

 

L pulled his mouth away, made red with Light's blood, and called out, "Ryuk!" I'm ready.

 

Ryuk phased into L, faster than either of them could see him move, but Light knew it was done because L's wide and beautiful eyes glowed as red as his bloodied mouth. L looked down at himself. I don't feel any different. Not like how Light seemed to feel. And L heard a voice in his mind, I'm not here to give you something L, I'm here to take. Now go get fucked. 

 

Light yanked L up by his shirt and easily sliced it away with a loud rip. You want to feel what it's like Ryuk?  Light flipped the knife in his hand so he was holding the blade end and threw it at the bed's headboard where it buried deep. I'll give you something neither of you will forget. Light was gone. Kira was here now.

 

He crashed into L, kissing him hard, and pulling L's legs up around him. He walked over to the bed and threw L onto it, climbing on top of him. He leaned down on top of L, pressing himself against him. "L, do you realize how much I want you every time I look at you?" He grabbed L's hair and yanked his head back to look deep into shinigami eyes, straddling him. "Do you know what its like to be hard all the fucking time..." He pressed his hardness against L. "...just being close to you?" 

 

L whispered, "Yes...I know exactly." 

 

Light released L's hair and raised up, pulling his shirt over his head. He reached into his pocket and took out two pairs of handcuffs, laughing as L's eyes went even wider. "You aren't the only one with secrets you little sneak." Before L could struggle, he snapped one end on L's wrist and other end to bed post.

 

"Light!" L whipped around to face him, but Light pounced, taking L's shock as his moment to secure his other wrist to the bed. He stared up at Light, panting hard. "Oh god...Kami...I want this...I do want this..." He felt the voice in his mind, We both want this.

 

Light wrenched the knife from the wood and moved down to L's bare feet, sucking then biting his toes. He ran the knife up L's ankle, careful not to cut him, but L felt the cold steel and dared not move. Light gave him a wicked smile, "Careful, L, better not struggle right now." He started at the bottom of his pants and cut a smooth line in the fabric up to L's waist, then cut back down the other leg. The fabric parted, revealing L's pale skin beneath, and Light yanked them away. He flashed the knife at L, catching the candlelight, before stabbing it into the mattress to the hilt.

 

L flinched involuntarily, watching puffs of downy feathers float lazily across his field of view before focusing on Light again though mussed black hair. The voice in his mind spoke, Beg for it. L's voice was raw and low, between pants, "Light... please fuck me....fuck me now...please..." His black rimmed eyes pleaded his need and he pulled against the handcuffs in vain.

 

Light sat back on his haunches and ran his fingertips across the soft skin of L's stomach, making L arch into his touch. He smiled, "I'm not going to rush this, L." His fingertips traveled down, so so slowly towards L's twitching cock and lightly brushed the head. "You'll be begging harder than that before this is done."

 

The tiny sensation of Light's touch there, light as it was, teasing as it was....even that was enough to send something like an explosion though him and he jerked hard against the handcuffs. That wasn't me. That was him. And the voice inside his head answered, This is...interesting.

 

Light ran his hands down L's arms, starting at their restraints against the bed and stroking down his biceps, his sides, meeting in the middle on his chest. Completely avoiding his cock this time, to L's frustration, and digging in, scratching down his hips and legs. And L just closed his eyes and felt it, let the one inside him feel it, until he felt Light's body pressed against him again and knew he was naked. The voice, Open your eyes, you idiot. He's naked. L's eyes shot open and there Light was, shadows playing across the defined lines of his slender, muscular body...his cock erect and dripping. But Light's eyes were fire, were Kira. He sees us, both of us. And the voice inside sighed.

 

Light pressed himself skin to skin with L, smoothing the tangled hair from his eyes and licking across his lips still crimson with blood. "Maybe I'll just leave you like this, L." Kissed him deeply, smiling into it. "The great detective, chained like a fucktoy for Kira to come and play with." Light's hand reached between L's thighs and stroked his leg, close to where L wanted but still too far away.

 

L strained to position himself closer to Light's hand, but Light just pushed him down with his body, immobilizing him. "Do whatever you want with me Light." He lifted his neck to meet Light's lips again but Light pulled just out of reach. Desperation, "You've made me Kira. Let me make you L."

 

Light felt a rush at that. True submission, L. Yes... Light leaned in to meet his lips again and L hummed into his mouth, his tongue searching, wanting, finding. "No secrets between us anymore." He sucked L's earlobe, tracing his tongue around its curve. A whisper, "Kira and L. Two people, yet one." He drew back and turned around, straddling L's face. He spit on L's cock, taking it into his hand and stroking it slowly as L saw stars. Over his shoulder, "You know what to do."

 

And L did. Light positioned his cock above L's mouth and L engulfed it, letting Light fuck his face in his helpless state. And then Light's mouth was around his cock and he felt like he might die. He gasped at the sudden warmth and pressure, and Light lapping and sucking his flowing precum. The voice, Keep sucking his cock stupid. And L opened his throat and did as the voice commanded, his legs spreading wider as Light edged him close to orgasm and then backed off...again and again...until he was practically bucking up into Light's mouth.

 

Light turned back around to face L..I'll come too soon if I'm not careful, and I want this to last. The look in L's glowing eyes was anger and desperation at being denied so many times, but Light just laughed, a bit cruelly. "Ryuk, are you getting your money's worth?" Just wait. He held out two fingers to L and stuck them in his mouth. "Get those nice and wet, L."

 

L sucked his fingers, shinigami eyes locked with Light's fiery ones. Yes, I know where this is going. Fuck me at last.

 

Light pulled his fingers back and stroked L's entrance, pushing his legs apart as far as they would go. Worked them inside, then deeper, up, up, until Light found what his was looking for and circled it slowly, letting the pleasure build. He leaned forward to watch L closely, each pant, each sigh, all the little facial expressions that L only let show in these moments but otherwise hid beneath calm waters.

 

L knocked his head back onto the pillow, straining at the cuffs and moaning with pleasure, "Kira...you mean to kill me with this..."The voice inside, I may be immortal but I might die too if you don't get to come soon. And L knew he lied. You love it. An answer, Yes.

 

Light smiled down at him. Now this is power. He kept circling L's prostate but starting lightly flicking his tongue against the head of his cock as well, teasing, watching it swell and throb. "L...let me hear you beg...now."

 

But L was barely there. Ryuk was overwhelming him, and L was flying across barren otherworlds, blinded by intense pleasure and a moment of immortality, watching himself beg Light, thrash against the cuffs, speak promises and threats. And like being sucked though a vacuum, he was back there in the bed again, close....so close....and Light had stopped. He and the voice begged in unison, "DON'T STOP!"

 

Light's eyes narrowed and he hoisted L's hips up. "I won't ever stop." And he plunged inside and let his head fall back, savoring the tightness of L.

 

L held in his scream of relief, pleasure with pain, of finally getting what he'd wanted all this time. Mouth open, "Fuck yes....Light...." The voice, harder! "Harder!"

 

Light pulled L's legs over his shoulders and leaned down, picking up the pace and slamming into L. My heart's banging out of my chest. Am I fucking them both? He leaned into L, nearly bending him in half, looking deep into those red glowing eyes. See me, both of you. See Kira, your god, and worship me. He reached down to the floor and picked up the death note from his discarded clothes and pressed it between them, and the power, the energy, that flowed into him in that moment must have been what the universe felt when it was born. Feel this L. Ryuk. It binds us together. It enslaves us, yet we will rule it together.

 

And that rush finally sent L to the brink of a blinding orgasm. He pulled hard against the handcuffs, fists balled, moaning higher and louder as Light banged evil into him. The voice floated through his mind, soaking up all of it, each sensation and pulse of his cock, he felt another's wild thrill matching his own. And when he came with a whimpered, "Ka....mi....", spurting onto the death note between them all, he felt the shinigami sigh, Light.....

 

Light finally let himself relax into his rhythm, fucking L for his own pleasure now. Staring down at L's parted red lips, those still-glowing eyes, pressing against the death note...he threaded his fingers into L's hair, and felt the rising tide of his own orgasm wash over him as he released deep inside L with a gasped scream and kissed L deeply as he rode it out to the end.

 

They both laid there for a few moments, Light letting L's legs fall back to the bed, just kissing softly, slowly, finally sated and calm. Light sighed and pushed the death note aside. He rested his head on L's chest, listening to the heart beating wildly there, but slowing. My heart lives here too, L. I'll have to tell you soon.

 

L inhaled deeply, floating in Light's arms in a post-orgasmic ocean. Ryuk, are you still here? The voice didn't answer right away; after a few seconds, Can I stay a little longer? Please? L smiled into Light's hair. You love him too. The voice answered him, Yes. This is my only chance to feel this. I'll remember you both for an eternity. L closed his eyes and thought of that. Stay a little longer then.

 

Light sat up and reached for the key to the handcuffs in his pants pocket, unlocking L's restraints. He smiled down at a flushed L, who reached up and pulled him back down into his arms. L sighed into his neck, "Light and Ryuzaki. Kira and L. Where does one begin and the other end?"

 

Light stroked L's back. "I never want it to end."

 

L held Light's hand and kissed it. "This moment. Ryuk said he will remember it forever."

 

Light laughed softly, "I suppose that's a sort of immortality." He was quiet for a moment, listening to the quiet rushing of the waterfall behind them and the metronome in L's chest. "I love you too, you know."

 

L stilled. "You're the first person to ever say that to me Light." The first person in my entire life. He turned to face him, red eyes still glowing softly but clouding with tears. "I love you. I'd die for you."

 

Light kissed him. We are fragile, aren't we L? Letting someone in, really letting them in, its broken us both. Remade us both. Made us one.  He pulled back and smiled. "Nobody's dying. Not tonight anyway." He sat up in the bed and gazed into shinigami eyes. "But I think that Ryuk's had quite enough fun. Don't you, Ryuk?"

 

The red glow left L's eyes, and he felt a coldness pass out of him. And Ryuk was once again beside them, hovering next to the bed, a satisfied look on his face. "Yeah, yeah, couldn't stick around much longer in there anyway." He turned to L, "Thank you." And he sounded like he meant it.

 

Light lounged on his side, smirking. "Shouldn't you be thanking me, Ryuk?"

 

Ryuk grinned back. If a shinigami could blush, he would be. "Yeah, you too Light-o."

 

Light tilted his head. "Aren't you forgetting something?"

 

"Hyuk, you want the rest of it. Of Tadashi."

 

Light nodded. To L, "Watch me, if I look like its too much, tell Ryuk to leave me." L nodded and grabbed his hand.

 

Ryuk floated above the bed. "How far do you want to go in, Light?"

 

"To the end."

 

Ryuk gave him a brief nod and phased into him; in icy plunge into darkness again....

 

I deserve this...death...pain...  <DESPAIR>

The air is running out, my life with it...sand through the hourglass <giving up>

One more breath...one more.... <lungs filling with water>

Will I see you soon Kyoko? Will you still hate me...curse me...

For making you do it..they were children to you, weren't they......

Or will you greet me as you did  <vision blurring>

Under those cherry trees in spring <consciousness fading>

When we were young and innocent <her face, Kyoko's face>

When you loved me....<BLACK>

 

Light came back to himself, as if stepping back from the edge of a cliff, suddenly gasping for air and the warmth of L's body. And as L held him and Ryuk looked on from above, a fear as powerful as Tadashi's crept into the secret places within him. Because as Tadashi had focused on Kyoko's face in his final seconds, Light saw her too. And he had seen her before. In a picture. That L showed him. Of his mother.

Chapter Text

From far away, as through the haze of a dream, Light heard L's muffled voice...."Light....Light..."

 

He focused his mind on the voice, slowly coming back to himself. He looked up at L as his vision cleared, "I'm alright...that was just...." He sat up slowly and waited for the world to stop spinning, feeling grateful for breath. "It felt so real."

 

Ryuk chuckled, "Well, you didn't think dying would be puppies and rainbows, did you, Light-o?" He smoothed his black feathers, feeling a little out of sorts himself after...well..."Anyway, you asked for it, hyuk."

 

L was staring at him, crouching next to him on the bed. "You're crying." He a touched a tear on Light's face. I've never seen Light cry, except during the surveillance, and he doesn’t know about that...

 

Light reached up and felt the wetness there with surprise. I am. But for who?

 

"You said a name. Kyoko."

 

Light looked away. How can I tell you, L? I can't do it until I'm absolutely sure. I need to see that picture again. "Tadashi's lab assistant. He was thinking about her...at the end."

 

L's finger made its way to his mouth, "Why?"

 

Light wiped his face of tears and Tadashi's emotions. "I think he had regrets. He thought she hated him for making her...donate her eggs...to Project Mojave." They were children to you, weren't they? "But I think they were in love once." L, I'm so sorry...please don't let this be true...let me be wrong... He stood up and put his pants back on and shrugged his shirt over his head.

 

L bit his lip and held up his own pants, sliced and tattered and ruined. "I'm going to have to buy more clothes if you keep ruining everything I own, Light." A little smile.

 

Light grinned. He's trying to cheer me up, in his way. "Its going to be a cold walk back up to your room L. Let's hope we don't run into Watari in the hall."

 

L's eyes went wide and he grabbed a blanket from the bed, wrapping it around him tight.

 

Ryuk floated up, doubled over in laughter. "Hyuk, I'm sure Watari's seen stranger things." But nothing compared to what I just have. Thank you Light.

 

-----

 

L and Light crept back up to L's room via a convoluted path of basement halls and elevators. Without the blindfold on, Light realized the safe room would have been impossible to find without knowing where to look. 

 

As they stepped into L's rooms, L tugged him towards the bathroom, "C'mon let's get a bath." He tossed an apple to Ryuk from a cart Watari had left, and the shinigami flew to his favorite perch atop the grandfather clock to dig in.

 

Light stood his ground. "Wait, let me put the death note away first." And see the fateful picture... 

 

L shrugged his blankets closer. "Ok, I'll get the water running." And he headed into the bathroom.

 

Light opened up the panel with a powerful sense of dread, and there it was. There she was. There was no mistaking that this was the face that Tadashi focused on in his last moments. I'm sorry L. He set the death note inside and took the picture, scrutinizing it. L's huge grey eyes stared back at him, but she was smiling as L rarely did, raising her hands up to catch the falling pink blossoms. She loved whoever took this picture, you can see it in how she was looking at them. 

 

Ryuk, peering over Light’s shoulder from his perch, drew a quick breath. "That's her."

 

Light touched the plastic over Kyoko's face. "You just realized, Ryuk?"

 

Ryuk swooped down in front him. "Don't tell him, Light." Why do I care that a human will hurt?

 

Light gave Ryuk a warning look. "I have to Ryuk." 

 

He heard L call from the bathroom, over the sounds of running water, "Light! Come get in!"

 

Light put the picture back in the safe and closed it again. "Coming." Our secrets are safe from the world, but not from each other. What damage am I about to do to you L? 

 

Ryuk hovered in front of Light again, blocking his path. "Light, what good will this do? Don’t."

 

"Ryuk, he's been searching for her his whole life...." I'm conflicted too Ryuk, but its what L would want me to do. He walked straight through Ryuk into the bathroom. 

 

L was scrubbing his hair when Light walked in, and smiled at him, but it was quickly wiped away when he saw the look on Light's face. He stopped scrubbing, a halo of soap bubbles slowly dripping down to his shoulders. "What's wrong Light-kun?"

 

Light didn't answer at first, he just shrugged off his clothes and got in the steaming water with L. I have no god to pray to to help me.  He dunked under the water and when he came back up, his hair was plastered against his face. He moved closer to L and tried to smile. "L, we promised to have no more secrets between us."

 

Some soap ran into L's wide eyes and he rubbed it away. "My secrets are yours Light. Anything you want to know, I'll tell you, I'll show you." What's he talking about?

 

Light scooped some water into his hands and rinsed the shampoo from L's hair, smoothing it out of his eyes. "I'm talking about me."

 

L blinked but was quiet, waiting for Light to go on. 

 

Light shut his eyes. "I saw something when Ryuk showed me Tadashi's final moments. Someone."

 

Ryuk, through the rising steam, growled softly, but didn't speak. Light, don't.

 

L chewed his thumb nervously, wrinkled from the hot bathwater. "Who?"

 

Light let out a deep breath and opened his eyes. "Kyoko...Tadashi's lab assistant....she's the same woman as in the picture you showed me." 

 

And L stopped chewing. His hand fell into the bathwater and Light grabbed it. A look of cold fear passed over his face. "How...how is that possible?" No. No! After all these years....it can't be....

 

Tears sprung to Light's eyes, as they did after feeling Tadashi's death. "L, I'm sorry...Ryuk didn't want me to tell you...and maybe I shouldn't have." He embraced a limp, frozen L. "But I thought you'd want me to. Want to know."

 

L, stricken. "And you're sure? That its her?"

 

Light pulled L closer into his arms and held their wet bodies tight. "I'm sure." 

 

L turned to Ryuk, “Show me!” Ryuk glared at Light, hesitating. “Please.”

 

The broken way L asked moved Ryuk, and he did as he was bid. Phasing in and showing L that one moment, then back out, quick and cold as a winter’s breeze. And Ryuk felt regret for the first time in his ancient life. Regret for the suffering of a mortal.

 

L shuddered in Light’s arms, his eyes going grey to red to grey and full of fearful tears. A whisper, “It’s true. It’s her.” He stiffened, a realization. "Then that means....I was....I am...." An experiment, a clone? Made for some evil purpose and alive due to chance? 

 

Ryuk extended his wings in fury. "Light what have you done!" His eyes glowed brightly. You're lucky I love you or I'd kill you for this.

 

L looked at Ryuk, shaken but still keeping his emotions under control, "No, Ryuk....Light's right. He...did the right thing to tell me." He buried his face in Light's shoulder. "You did." Ryuk pulled his wings in slowly, but his eyes glowed no less brightly. 

 

Light stroked L's back, "I'm sorry anyway."

 

L sighed heavily and raised his head. "Tadashi created me, then. I was one of the children of Project Mojave. But, I'm alive..."

 

Light looked into L's eyes and felt sick from the pain there. I caused this. "She must have saved you. Your mother... you must have been one of the children she rescued. You don't remember anything?"

 

L shook his head slowly. "My first memory is being in that decaying old house in London, surrounded by other kids and just trying to survive. I don't remember anything before that."

 

"But you know somehow she's your mother. You had her picture." 

 

L shook his head again. "I don’t know how I know who she was, just than I was more sure of that than anything in my life at that time. I don't even know if I remember her real face or just know it from looking at the picture all the time."

 

"There was another. Another she saved."

 

L stared off into the distance. "67 and 68. I wonder which one is me?" Who am I? He broke from Light's embrace and swam over to other end of the pool. His face was wet but Light couldn't tell the tears from the bathwater. "Am I the psychotic one Tadashi was so afraid of? 68?"

 

"No, that can't be."

 

"He was terrified of a child. We must have only been around 4 or 5 when my...when Kyoko--took us from the lab."

 

Light sat there silent. I felt Tadashi's intense fear of 68. To be so afraid of someone so young... 

 

L turned to Ryuk, "Ryuk...you can see my name. Tell me what it says."

 

Ryuk hesitated, but looked closely. "It says the name that you've told Light. L Lawliet. Nothing more."

 

L considered this. "Ryuk, can the names of humans, that you see with shinigami eyes, change?" A marriage, an adoption...or being given a name for the first time, well after birth?

 

Ryuk scratched his head. "I guess they can. I'm not sure of the rules exactly, but I've seen it happen."

 

So which one am I?  L turned his eyes back to Light, "Why didn't she keep us, Light? If she cared enough to save us, why abandon us after that?" That first, old pain, my deepest pain. 

 

"I don't know, L." Light floated over to him, reaching out, but L pulled back. He's processing all this. Give him his space. 

 

"And Tadashi said he never found us or Kyoko after she ran. 68...or 67... wasn't with me at that old house. I wouldn't have forgotten coming there, being there, with someone like that." A sibling.

 

"Maybe your mother tried to hide you from Tadashi, thought it was too risky to keep you both together. She knew he’d be coming after you. He did try."

 

L turned his back to Light and put his arms on the edge of the bath, letting his head fall onto them. "As a child, I always thought she must be dead, or she'd be with me. I wonder if that's true." Silent for a few moments. "It still feels true."

 

Light felt helpless. What can I do to help you, L?  "The intel Wedy gets from the secure server might hold some answers. Some records on..67 and 68, on Kyoko."

 

L lifted his head blankly. "There's a bigger problem, Light." This hurts, but there's worse news here. "If Tadashi's suspicions about 68 being Kira are right, then Rem chose...not just a selfish human, but someone psychotic to give the power of the death note to." He turned his eyes to Light's. "If her weapon to destroy you is 68, they may destroy much, much more."

 

Light's eyes narrowed, feeling the depth of Rem's betrayal. "Until now he's been focused on Tadashi and Promise Pharmaceuticals." I'll kill you Rem, I don't know how, but I'll kill you. "And we took that away. We killed Tadashi, and Project Mojave is now defunct."

 

L swam into his arms. "This was all part of Rem's plan. She was counting on us killing Tadashi before this Kira was done with him, leading the fake Kira to the real Kira."

 

“Rem.” Ryuk snorted. "She's more crafty than I gave her credit for, hyuk."

 

Light gritted his teeth and cast him a glare. "When it comes to deception, shinigami appear to be exceptionally gifted." He gave L a devious smile. "But she's no match for us, L. We'll destroy them both."

 

L looked up at Light, believing. "We'll beat them at their own game." He hugged Light tightly. I believe in you Light. I believe in us. "Light...Kyoko was my mother but....does that mean Tadashi was my father?"

 

Light was quiet. "I don't know." I hope to all hell thats not true. "But we are not our parents, L. We are our own selves." 

 

"Even if he turns out to be...." He bit his lip and locked eyes with Light. "...I'm glad he's dead."

 

Light exhaled, and smiled at him sadly. "Me too."

 

L gave him a peck on the lips and swam over to where Ryuk was perched on the edge of the bath. He reached out to touch Ryuk's shiny boot in front of him, and it became real in that moment. "Thank you for showing me." He looked up at the shinigami. You care. "I’m ok. The truth can never hurt me." You shouldn't care but you do.

 

Ryuk looked down at him, feeling more than had been there before. Disturbing. I've been infected with some of your human emotions now, L. I took too much. It is a gift but also a curse for a shinigami. "If you say so, L." He became air again, and L's hand fell through. "You mortals seem so flimsy, I can never tell what will break you, hyuk." He looked at Light. "But you aren't like other humans, are you?" 

 

Light fixed him in his gaze. Under Kira's spell. Remain there, Ryuk. "No." He swam to the edge and climbed out, standing dripping, naked next to Ryuk. Shinigami eyes glowed, taking it in, remembering, remembering.... "Don't question me again, Ryuk." He said it gently, but there was an edge behind his words. Don't ever stand in my way.

 

Ryuk, softly, "I won't." I could never oppose you. My life is yours, although you may not know it. 

 

Light smiled. Kira smiled. He grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his waist, then held one out to L. "Let's go see what Wedy's found." Rem...68....we're coming for you.

 

------

 

"Rem. Rem!! REEEEEMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!" A frenzied voice echoed across the cavernous warehouse. 

 

"I'm right here." The shinigami wondered for the hundredth time if she'd made a mistake giving the death note to this person. Was my judgement clouded by my desire to destroy Light?

 

"Rem! Tadashi's not picking up his phone." Frantic pacing, banging the buttons on the phone. "Why isn't HE PICKING UP?!" He hurled the phone at the wall where it smashed into pieces. 

 

He is a damaged human. I was not wrong, he is perfect. Calm"Bring up his picture. Let us look." 

 

"Yes...yes...." He banged the keyboard and Tadashi's picture appeared on the screen. They both saw with shinigami eyes. Tadashi’s time was done. Gripping the laptop, fighting the urge to hurl it too. A strangled whisper, "He's dead."

 

"Did you write his name?" If not, then I know the one who did. 

 

Pacing across the room, "NO!" Stopping. "Its too soon, TOO SOON...I wasn't ready to...." Picking up a razor blade. "I WASN'T DONE WITH HIM!" Slashing his arm.

 

Rem watched the blood flow. Not again. He'll kill himself before he kills Light. "You shouldn't do that."

 

"Shut UP!" Another vicious slash. He staggered and dropped the razor, which clinked across the floor. Slumped to the ground, back against the wall. Calm at last. "Who did it Rem. Who stole him from me."

 

"Maybe he committed suicide." But I doubt it.

 

He shook his head. "No. The Tadashi I knew...I watched for years... was too proud for that. He wanted to live, above all else." A crazed laugh. "Which is why it was going to be SO MUCH FUN to..." He pulled off his shirt and wrapped it around his arm to staunch the bleeding. He kicked his legs out in frustration. "No. Someone TOOK him. STOLE HIM!" He beat his fist against the floor. "Kira....Kira....Kira....KIRA!" 

 

This is it. Rem floated over to him, looking down at the scarred and bleeding human below. "I know who Kira is. I can tell you."

 

He stilled. "You....Rem...you know? TELL ME!"

 

Rem smiled. "First, you must do something for me."

 

Eyes narrowed, waiting.

 

"There is a human girl named Amane Misa. She is being watched by the police and suspected of being the second Kira. You must tell the police that you were the second Kira. She must be cleared."

 

A barked laugh. "I care not for the demands of demons." He stood, bracing himself against the wall and dizzy from the blood loss, but whole again. "I'll never do that."

 

"You will or I'll kill you."

 

Psychotic red eyes glowed, and he threw his head back in peals of laughter. Snapping back to Rem, "YOU CAN'T!" He walked through her and grabbed the death note, hugging it to him. "I know what happens when naughty shinigami kill for love Rem, when they extend the life of a human. You DIE!" With sarcastic sympathy, "And who would save your precious wittle Misa then?"

 

"How do you know this?"

 

A finger brought to lips set in a sick smile. "You are not the first shinigami I've had dealings with Rem." He flashed his red eyes. "You know I have the eyes."

 

"Who is this shinigami?"

 

"A shinigami who wanted to save the life of a child. Even a cursed one."

 

"Thats not possible." But Rem knew it might be possible. There was a shinigami, obsessed with the inability to have children, who had disappeared one day. Balush, you idiot, did you give your life for this human? He's more monster than we are.

 

"Who's to say what is possible, Rem? I have the eyes, too, don't I? I've had them since that day and never asked for them." 

 

Another impossibility. "It doesn't work like that. If that shinigami died to save you, you would have gotten their life, but not their eyes." But I can see plainly that you did not get their life. What is this? What are you?

 

"Perhaps it is different with children, Rem." He grinned at her menacingly. "Or maybe... I'm special." He shrugged. "Anyway. They died, and I know how it works. You can't lengthen Misa's life without getting seriously fucked up."

 

Rem glowered at him. I hate him but I need him. For now. "I won't tell you Kira's name unless you help Misa."

 

He sighed, tapping his chin as he paced. "I'm so conflicted Rem." Laughing, he spread his arms wide, "I owe Kira so much, all of this! My freedom!" He turned his wild red eyes back to Rem. "In truth, I should be thanking him. WORSHIPPING HIM!! I would be, if he hadn't taken Tadashi." A look of rage glimmered across his face then passed. “I cannot forgive THAT.”

 

“Why would you thank him..." I did not expect this.

 

Smiling, easy, "Criminals were dying like flies. That prison was just a waiting room for Kira's justice. It was only a matter of time until he came for me too. I’m sure Beyond Birthday would have been a name he’d love to write." 

 

"But you escaped it. How?"

 

"Faking a heart attack, Rem. Once they transferred me to the hospital to..." a giggle, "save me...all it took was a little planning and I walked out of that hospital a free man."

 

"All Kira needs is your name and face for the death note."

 

"Thats right Rem. My name. My real name."

 

I see. Kira doesn't know his real name. I can see it is not Beyond Birthday, but his real name is...odd.... "You aren't safe from shinigami eyes."

 

"I don't care about being safe!” Whirling around with a laugh, “No one...no one is safe Rem! I cared about being free. And through Kira I was FREE!" He leaped into his chair and crouched there. "Tadashi was only the beginning of this. I have my real work to do Rem."

 

"Who else?"

 

"You know who, Rem. 67."

 

"Tadashi didn't know where he was."

 

"I'll find him. I know it." He held Rem's stare, red to red, as the seconds ticked by. A whisper, nearly seductive, "I'll do it Rem. I'll help Misa." He unwrapped his shirt from his arm, picking at the crusted blood underneath with morbid fascination. "But I'll do it my way."

 

"How?"

 

He stared at the screen, Tadashi's face still glowing there, and tasted his red fingers with a smile on his lips. "Easy Rem. So simple. I can make anyone walk into the police station and give a confession to being the second Kira. They'll die of course, but the police should be satisfied by that." In his excitement, he dug nails into the cut, opening it again.

 

Rem saw the potential in this. It could work. "She had a friend. Misa used tapes with this girl's fingerprints on them to send video messages to the media and police. But the police haven't found her, don't know of her."

 

"What's this girl's name, Rem?" Red fingers twitching over the death note. 

 

Rem didn't know. But she knew who to ask. But before that, let's be clear on terms. “When you find Kira, you must kill him. That’s our deal, understand?”

 

Beyond sucked his fingers and grinned red and wide. “Would you ever think I’d do anything else?” A giggle. 

 

Rem wrote down Misa’s address and slid it to Beyond. And that’s why I chose you.

 

Chapter Text

L closed the phone and tossed it on the desk. "Wedy won't be done for a few more hours yet, but she's transferred what she does have so far to our databases."

 

Light propped his head up on L's bed, "L, come to bed. Its well past midnight and we have an early day tomorrow." He yawned wide. "Come sleep. We'll go over Wedy's intel with the team tomorrow."

 

L pulled up the login to Wedy's files and his fingers went to work. "No, you sleep, Light." He dug his fork into a large piece of strawberry shortcake and shoveled it into his mouth. I'll need this energy tonight. He held up a strawberry between his fingertips and then slurped it down. "I don't feel tired."

 

Light fell back onto the pillow and sighed in exasperation. "Have it your way. But it you find anything juicy, wake me up." 

 

L licked some whipped cream off his mouth. "I will. Get some rest." You know who you are Light. I am only just beginning to find out. No way am I sleeping tonight.

 

And few moments later Light was fast asleep, breathing deeply. L locked eyes with Ryuk, laying on the couch beside the bed and motioned him over, a finger against his lips like 'shhhhhh.' 

 

Ryuk gave him a curious look and flapped closer, straight through the bed. Voice low, as not to wake Light, "Hyuk. What is it?"

 

"Ryuk, when Light touched me with the piece of the death note, only then was I able to see you. Will I be able to see Rem then too, any shinigami?"

 

Ryuk's feet touched the ground. "Nope. You'll have to touch her death note. Light already has, so he'll be able to see her, though, hyuk." Ryuk crossed his arms. "Unless...."

 

L leaned forward a bit. "Unless what?"

 

"Well, unless Light thought to keep a piece of Misa's death note." The shinigami's staring eyes looked everywhere and nowhere in particular. "Knowing Light-o he might have. He didn't trust her."

 

L looked at Light, "I don't want to wake him." But I hope you thought that far ahead Light. "Thanks Ryuk. I'll ask him in the morning." He turned back to his furious typing, pulling up file folders and starting to go through them.

 

Ryuk didn't budge, and craned his neck over L's slouching shoulder. "What are you looking for anyway?" And why do I give a shit? How annoying.

 

"Answers, Ryuk. About Tadashi, 68, Kyoko...me...and all the children of Project Mojave." He kept banging away with one hand and scooped up some cake with the other. He paused mid-bite. "Ryuk, how do you think the third Kira knew their names? The names of those children? If Kira is 68 like Tadashi thought, he probably would have left the lab well before they were born. There's no way their names and faces would have been in the media."

 

"Hyuk, well, if he had shinigami eyes all he would need was their faces. He would know their names from that."

 

Through cake crumbs, "But how would he have seen their faces?"

 

Hell, I'm no good at this detective shit, L. "Tadashi maybe showed him? Think he got into the server somehow? I dunno, hyuk." I'm going back over here now. You and Light make my brain hurt. He flew back over to the couch and spread out on it, catlike. 

 

L considered both possibilities, the frozen fork dangling from his lips. To himself, "Possible. But Wedy had such trouble getting in. Without Tadashi giving us the password it might have taken her weeks...Unless he was truly a genius...and had some special training in..." L's eyes widened and the fork fell from his parted lips. He turned back to the computer, not knowing whether he hoped he'd confirm or deny his suspicions. Is it you? Can it be you?

 

-----

 

Beyond tugged at the uniform in annoyance, and pulled the black vinyl cap down over his face. "GOD...I'm not sure why all my BEST ideas have to end up with me looking like a complete idiot." But damn, don't I know I look fucking hot as hell. And I'll look so much better in about 10 minutes...

 

Rem arched a spectral eyebrow and silently agreed. "Why are you wearing that." 

 

Beyond just giggled and adjusted himself in the skin-tight leather pants. "Now Rem." He hoisted high the bouquet of white roses and extended a long nail to push the doorbell. "You'll spoil the surprise." Oh and everyone will be surprised....you too Rem, just you wait. 

 

"Remember, if you hurt her, I'll kill you. I don't care if it means my death." 

 

"I KNOW." Beyond glared at her and through his teeth, hissed, "But we're doing this my way, remember? Now shut UP before--"

 

And the front door swung open. Standing on the other side was Mogi, slack-jawed staring at what appeared to him to be a crazed, half-naked L in S&M gear on the doorstep. "Ryuu--" but he couldn't get the rest out. 

 

Beyond grinned his widest and dramatically announced, "STRIP-O-GRAM for Miss Amane Misa!" He bowed, sweeping the roses in a theatrical arc. He twirled past a still-stammering Mogi and Rem slammed the door behind him. 

 

Mogi recovered himself enough to reach for Beyond's arm, "Now wait just a---" Either Ryuzaki has lost his mind or this is an imposter....either way.....danger..!

 

Beyond gracefully dodged him, flipping capoeira-style to the corner of the room. "No touching, those are the rules." Waggling his finger at Mogi with a ingenuous grin. "Now, if you could point me towards MISS AMANE MISA..."

 

From upstairs, "Mogi? Who's at the door, Mogi? Is it Light?"

 

Mogi turned to look up the stairs, caught between what to do. Everything about this feels wrong. Should I press my belt and call Watari....

 

Beyond cupped his hand to his ear, "But SOFT! What light though yonder window breaks?" He slowly pulled one of the white roses from the bouquet and flipped it into his fingers so it was aimed straight at Mogi. 

 

Rem was an ancient being. She had seen many things, horrors over millennia of human years. But even she felt a chill at the look in Beyond's eyes as he waited for Mogi to slowly turn back to him before giving the rose a single snap. He wanted the man to see him. To see his death coming. 

 

The thin blade shot forth like a bullet from Beyond's fingertips, impaling Mogi at the shoulder against the wall, knocking him back with incredible force. Mogi screamed, looking down at the rose-shaped blade protruding from his shoulder. He called up the stairs, "MISA RUN!" 

 

But Misa was already halfway down the stairs, frozen in fear at the sight of Mogi bleeding profusely from his right shoulder and struggling to remove the blade. Her gaze fell upon Beyond, who was pulling another rose from the bouquet and flipping its piercing edge round, focused completely on Mogi's thrashing. And Misa grabbed her hair and screamed. Rem hovered closer to her, but it was no use, Misa couldn't see her. 

 

Beyond looked up at Misa and shrieked with delight, "It is the EAST! And Misa is.." He snapped his fingers and another lovely projectile flew forth and caught Mogi's left hand, piercing it against the wall. "THE SUN!" 

 

Mogi whimpered, but turned his face up to the stairs, "Misa get OUT! RUN! GO!!!"

 

Misa collected herself and turned and ran up the stairs, tripping in her panic. Beyond leaped over the coffee table, frenzied from the blood, and called to Misa, mockingly, "Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast!" Approaching Mogi, red eyes staring into his terrified ones, he took a final rose and thrust it into Mogi's neck, giving himself just one luxurious second to feel the thrill of that spraying blood coating leather and making it slick. Closing his eyes, a whisper, "These violent delights have violent ends." Over too soon. Rem, your crush is not worth forgoing this. He took the stairs two at a time and caught up to Misa, yanking her hair and pulling her down to the floor. 

 

Rem was there in a flash, "BEYOND!" Your way.....how did I agree to this....

 

Beyond turned his glowing eyes up to Rems and laughed as he pulled a rag from his pocket and held it over Misa's mouth and nose. Misa stopped struggling and fell into his arms, and as he hoisted her up, smearing Mogi's lifeblood across them both, he kissed her softly, "And I shall say good night till it be morrow." He kicked open the door to Misa's bedroom and stepped inside. 

 

Rem floated in front of him. "Beyond! STOP! I did not agree to--"

 

Beyond slowly brought his eyes back up to Rem, no laughing there now, nothing but madness, and squeezed Misa's neck slightly under his fingertips, and Rem went silent. He held her gaze, challenging her. 

 

What have I done....Rem flapped helpless, silenced. Beyond smirked at her defeat and nodded to the window. Rem shut her eyes for a moment then opened the window. 

 

Beyond got a good grip on Misa and crouched in the window, holding her and himself just on the edge. He bit his lip, tasting blood there, and sighed. "Better not let us fall Rem." And with that he leapt from the window, and Rem had no choice but to grasp him, them, as gently as she could in shinigami talons and fly.

 

-----

 

Watari's signature 'W' appeared on L's screen, and L almost didn't answer as he was knee-deep in Project Mojave, consuming it as fast as Wedy was uploading it. Absently, "Watari, its 3 am. What is it?" There's so much here, I've only just begun....

 

There was an urgency in Watari's voice. "Sir! I just received a signal from Mogi's belt. He pressed it about 5 minutes ago. But...he's not picking up his phone."

 

The pretzel L was biting turned to ash in his mouth and he sputtered it out. "Watari, ready the car. And get Yagami-san and Matsuda over to Amane Misa's apartment immediately."

 

"Sir, you can't seriously be thinking of going yourself. I'm sure that--"

 

Softly, but with an edge of annoyance to his voice, "Watari, ready the car."

 

"Yes sir. Watari out."

 

L leapt onto the bed and shook Light awake, "Light! Light wake up!" 

 

Light blinked and rubbed the bits of pretzel off his face. "Morning already? I--"

 

"Light, Mogi's used his emergency call and isn't answering Watari. Get up, we have to go see what's going on now."

 

Light jumped up and yanked on his clothes, "Misa..."

 

L nodded, grabbing Light's hand and they ran to the elevator, taking it down to the underground garage.

 

They jumped into the limousine, and L broke out his phone. "Yagami-san....yes, we're headed there now. No, don't worry, I'm....It's fine...I'm with Light....yes, you'll get there first, so meet up with Matsuda and check on Mogi. Thank you Yagami-san."

 

Light looked over at L crouching in the backseat next to him as they zoomed down mostly-empty Tokyo streets. He could tell there was genuine fear and concern about Mogi under his otherwise calm exterior. He grabbed L's hand. I won't tell him things he knows probably aren't true. I won't lie to him. So they just sat there in silence, the neon night rushing past and a growing feeling of dread at what they'd find at the apartment of Amane Misa.

 

Eventually L turned to him, his dark rimmed eyes looking even more stark than usual. "Light did you keep a piece of Rem's death note?"

 

Light's eyes widened a bit, realizing the importance of this. "Yes! I did! Its in my room at home...my family's home. I have a rigged drawer where I hid the death note, and when Misa gave me hers for safe keeping I tore off a piece and kept it in case...."

 

"In case of what?"

 

"You know that if a user gives up the death note, they forget all about it. You have to touch it again to remember everything. When I was planning on giving up Ryuk's death note, I was pretty sure I'd get it back and be able to remember everything tied to that death note. But I wasn't totally sure my plan would work without a hitch, so I kept pieces of the death notes so I'd always be able to see Ryuk and Rem."

 

"Ryuk's piece is in your watch." L looked at it, remembering that night under the stars when Light had opened it for him, opened it all for him. 

 

"And Rem's is hidden in my room. We need to go there later. You need to be able to see Rem."

 

Always one step ahead, aren't you Light? It used to infuriate and intrigue me, but now it may save our life. L squeezed Light's hand as the limousine slowed in front of Misa's apartment building. "Oh no..." The yard was alight in police vehicles, already on the scene.

 

Light recognized his father's car, and saw Matsuda outside gesticulating wildly at a couple beat cops who must have been called there by concerned neighbors. His heart sank. "Police already here, looks like Matsuda is trying to keep them out. I better help him." He went to open the door but L pulled his hand back. 

 

"Wait." I don't want you to go where I can't follow.

 

"L, stay here. No one can see you. Rem especially cannot see you. Just stay and I'll go check it out." He turned again but L grabbed his shoulders and pushed him down on the backseat. 

 

"Wait." I don't want to let you out of my sight.

 

Light laid there looking up at L, chewing his thumb. He smiled a little, "Not the time for this L." 

 

L sighed. "You're right, I can't go. But...be my eyes." He opened up a drawer and took two slim earpieces, fitting one into Light's ear and the other into his. "It has audio and video, you can talk to me with this and I will see what you see." He chewed a little harder, ignoring the physical pain. "Ok?" That way I'll know if you are ok, too.

 

Light reached up and touched the nearly-invisible earpiece and smiled. "One day, L, you really gotta tell me where you get your toys." He sat up and kissed L, tasting him, savoring this. The sounds of their breathing echoing loud in Light's earpiece. This is not the time Light. He opened the door and stepped out.

 

L scooted to the other end of the backseat, in the shadows, away from the eyes of others. "Be careful."

 

Light shut the door and into the headpiece, said, "I always am." 

 

He walked across the morbid disco of the crowd and police lights and towards Matsuda, who's voice was lilting higher as he tried to explain why the city police couldn't come into the house. "As I already said, this crime scene is currently being investigated by the Kira Task Force and other personnel are OFF LIMITS!"

 

Light noticed that sweat was streaming down Matsuda's face, and the air had a slight chill of autumn to it. He approached him, cutting in front of the other officer. "Matsuda, what's happened?"

 

Matsuda's face was a wave of relief when he saw Light. "Light. Thank god you're here. Its Mogi....he's.....he's....." Matsuda was trying to remain composed, badly, and Light saw a small tremor in his hand. 

 

Light put a hand on Matsuda's shoulder and felt the man relax slightly. "Is my father here?"

 

Matsuda nodded, "He's inside...but Light...I don't know if he'd want you to..."

 

"Which apartment?"

 

"3F...but, Light, I think...."

 

"Thanks Matsuda." He patted the man on the shoulder lightly and walked past him into the building, over the protests of the city cops behind him, enraged that some kid gets to go in and they don't. Sorry Matsuda. But you'll have to do your best.

 

Light ascended the stairs and headed up to 3F in the deserted stairwell, Ryuk flapping close behind. "L, are you listening?"

 

"I'm here Light."

 

I don't know what I'm about to walk into. "Stay with me. Not sure what to expect here."

 

"I'm always with you Light."

 

When he got to the top of the stairs, the door to apartment 3F was ajar and Light pushed it open slowly. At first all he saw was his Dad, his notebook open and camera out, taking pictures of the scene. And then he pushed it open all the way. And stood there in shock.

 

Death he'd seen. Death he'd caused. But nothing could have prepared Light for this. He took and step forward and immediately felt a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach when it squished. Blood had soaked everything in the living room, had flowed into the carpet creating pools of congealed gore stretching all the way to the entry.

L on the other end. “Light, look up.”

 

His gaze leveled to the source, Mogi was pinned to the wall of the room by three knives--shoulder, hand, and neck. And the blades were like nothing he'd ever seen before. Beautifully crafted and enameled metal roses, sharpened to a deadly point. He gasped and his father looked up from his notes. 

 

"Light!" 

 

Steeling his nerves, whispering "Dad, what happened?" He walked slowly towards Mogi, drawn by horror and fascination.

 

Souichirou snapped his notepad closed and turned to Light, a serious yet tired look on his face. "I’m not sure. Watari said Mogi used his emergency button at around 3:05 am. Shortly after that, L  called all of us over here and...well, this is what we found.”

 

“And where’s Misa?” 

 

“Missing.” Souichirou rubbed his chin. “I’m sorry Light, I know what she means to you.”

 

No Dad, you really don’t. He stared at a dropped bouquet of once-white roses, now made red. “Someone was here. Somehow overpowered Mogi.”

 

L on the earpiece, “Get a good look at those knives, Light.”

 

Light held his hand out to his father, “Gloves?” Souichirou pulled another pair from his pocket and placed them in Light’s hands. Light snapped them on and peered closely at the rosette blades. “What do you make of these Dad?”

 

Souichirou shook his head. “Never seen anything like them before.”

 

Light wrenched the blade from Mogi’s hand, whispering an apology. He held it up to the light, so thin, barely  more than a needle. “I’ll find who did this, Mogi.” He placed the blade in an evidence bag and put it in his jacket.

 

L, “We’ll send forensics to process the scene for prints or DNA. Check upstairs. Misa’s room.”

 

Light headed up the stairs and noticed a rag on the landing floor. He crouched down to pick it up. “Smells strange. Chemicals”

 

L, “Careful. It’s probably soaked in a drug he used to incapacitate Misa.” 

 

Light placed it in another bag and sealed it tight. He stood up. “Door’s broken.”

 

L, “Kicked in?”

 

”Looks like it.” He pushed the door open and the autumn breeze rushed past him. “Window’s open.” He walked over to the open window and looked down. “There’s a concrete parking lot below. Jumping out of this window would have been fatal from three stories up.”

 

”For a human, hyuk.”

 

Light snapped to Ryuk. “Are you saying Rem flew...carried them from this window? You can do that?” 

 

Ryuk shrugged. “That would be pretty humiliating for a shinigami, to tell the truth, hyuk.” Although the idea of Rem toting humans around in the sky gave him a good belly laugh. “I doubt she’d do it willingly.”

 

L, “She’s not the one in control anymore.”

 

“Hyuk. Well she’s not the one that made that mess downstairs.” Ryuk floated on his side, his head propped up. “I don’t get it. This guy has a death note, why’s he hacking people up instead.”

 

Light stared out the window into a still-sleeping Toyko. “Because he likes it, Ryuk. The death note is useful, but it’s from afar. This Kira likes to see his kills, experience the act of murder.”

 

Ryuk’s eyes glowed in the darkness, “Seems you two might have something in common after all.”

Chapter Text

Hours later when the team finally left Amane Misa's apartment building in the hands of the forensic investigators, they were feeling shell-shocked, and the day had hardly begun. Light opened the door of the limousine, the colors of dawn playing across the waxed exterior as a gory reminder.

 

L crouching in the backseat, on the phone, and motioned him to get in quickly. To the person on the other end, "I expect your full cooperation. I want this crime scene processed immediately, drop everything else." He cast his eyes up at the ceiling in annoyance. "You don't need to worry about that. I'm here now. Just get the scene done." And he hung up and turned his saucer-like eyes to Light. "I'm glad you're back." He took the earpiece out and tossed it in the drawer with a sigh. "You gave forensics the evidence you collected?"

 

Light nodded, and saw the strain there, the loss of Mogi, in L's eyes. He leaned his head back on the seat as Watari set the car in motion. "How do you do it L?" Eyes closed, but even the back of his eyelids seemed awash in Mogi's blood.

 

L tilted his head. "Do what?"

 

"Look at crime scenes like that all day, for years, and not let it affect you?"

 

L smiled a bit sadly. "Who ever said it didn't affect me?" He chewed his nail and stared at Light. Has Kira grown a conscience after all? Or is it just because it was someone you knew?

 

"Its hard to believe that someone was strong enough to overpower Mogi, kidnap Misa." He turned to L. "Any thoughts about that...about the crime scene?"

 

"Many."

 

A bit impatiently. "Care to share them?" L will tell in time, I suppose. Light peered through the window; they weren't headed back to HQ. "Where are we headed anyway?"

 

"Your house."

 

My house....oh....the piece of Rem's notebook. Light tried to smile. "What will my mom think when a limo pulls up outside?"

 

L tapped his chin and nodded. "Yes, we better get Watari to let us out a couple blocks away and walk the rest in case someone is home."

 

Light sat up. "You mean you're coming in? Probably not a good idea...."

 

L smiled innocently, "What's wrong with your friend Ryuzaki from school visiting?"

 

Light laughed softly. "Ok. But we better not stay long." You watched me in that room, that house. You listened, spied. So much happened with the death note in that room....memories, and nightmares. What will it be like to have you there?

 

L pressed the intercom to Watari. "Watari, let us off a couple blocks from the Yagami residence, just up here." Watari answered in the affirmative and slowed the limo at the curb.

 

Light and L got out and headed the short walk to Light's house. He looked up at his house from the steps, and was struck at how little it felt like home anymore. He hadn't been back in weeks. "Feels odd to be back here. Like going to visit the home of someone who died."

 

L gave him an odd look and pushed him forward gently up the steps. "Still got your key, I hope?"

 

Light produced his keyring and opened the door to a quiet house. "Mom? Sis?" Only silence echoed back. To L, "Looks like no one's here." Ryuk zoomed past them with a "Hyuk!" and into the kitchen just beyond, pointing happily at the bowl of apples that Light's mom always kept on the kitchen table. Light locked the door behind L and smiled at Ryuk, "Knock yourself out, Ryuk. L and I have to grab something upstairs."

 

Ryuk, between swallowing apples whole, "I know what you'll be grabbing up there Light, hyuk." He started choking as he was laughing so hard.

 

Light rolled his eyes and took L's hand, leading him up the stairs and in front of his bedroom door. He checked the position of the doorknob--same as he'd left it weeks ago-- and pulled the piece of pencil lead from the hinge.

 

L's eyes widened, "Clever. So that's how you knew."

 

Light smiled to himself. He unlocked the door and pushed it open, flipping on the light and stepping inside. "Look familiar, L? Welcome to the birthplace of Kira."

 

L stepped inside too, and Light locked the door behind them. He stood there looking around, finger in his mouth. "Looked bigger on camera."

 

Light smirked at him and went to the desk, grabbing a pen from on top and removing the interior ink cartridge. He opened up the lower desk drawer, giving L a meaningful look, and pointed the pen tip up into the hidden hole in the upper drawer, completing the circuit and preventing the whole room from going up in flames from his booby trap. "I rigged this drawer with an incendiary trap--anyone who didn't open it like this would have found nothing but ash." He pulled the top drawer out and pushed the pen up further, revealing the false bottom.

 

Brilliant. L felt himself getting hard, watching the machinations of Light's beautiful genius displayed so simply. The lengths he went to hide his secrets...from me. He stepped closer and looked into the upper drawer. A small scrap of nondescript paper was all it contained. Light nodded for him to take it, and he picked it up in his fingertips, holding it up to the light. "And that's it? I will be able to see Rem now?"

 

"That's it." Light dropped the top of the upper drawer back down again and closed the drawers. "Keep that safe, will you."

 

L jammed it into his pocket and started to wander the room, picking up Light's things, scrutinizing them and putting them back. He stopped in front of the girlie magazines that Light had bought when he knew he was under surveillance. He took one from the bookcase and leafed through it, "You weren't very convincing with these you know."

 

Light laughed, amused, "Oh really?" He stepped behind  L, brushing his wild hair away from his neck and getting close enough to smell his skin. "And were you disappointed by that, L?" Were you watching me in the bathroom L? Did you see Kira then?

 

L looked up at the bookcase vacantly, considering what to say. Not now. One day I’ll tell you Light. "Yes, I think I was."

 

Light placed his mouth on L's neck and felt L shudder slightly at his hot breath on his skin. Whispering seductively, "You little voyeur. And what were you hoping to see?" What did you actually see? His hand snaked around L's waist and traced the bulge in his pants lazily. "Something like this?"

 

L's breathing sped up and he snapped the magazine shut. He turned to face Light's stare and flung it away. The way you look at me when you want me... "Something a bit more, I think." And I did see so much more. 

 

Light gave him a look of mock disapproval, "Always so demanding, L." He gave L a sexy smile and slowly unbuttoned his pants, pulling out his hard cock. L's eyes went to it immediately, his finger dropping from his parted mouth. "You know I hate to disappoint, though." Light spat in his hand and stroked himself, watching L watch his careful movements. His lips parted as he let the pleasure build with each slow stroke, and he leaned forward putting one hand against the wall and pinning L between. Through pants, "L."

 

L's eyes snapped back up to his.

 

"On your knees."

 

And L dropped instantly, tearing his gaze from Light's amber eyes to again watch what was happening now right in front of his eyes. "Light...let me--"

 

Light sighed, enjoying the moment, "No." He sped up his stroking. "But I want you to come for me..." his breath hitched a little. "...when I tell you to."

 

L looked in awe up at his god, his Kira, and unbuttoned his pants. He held his open hand up to Light, eyes pleading, "Please Kami."

 

Light spat in L's hand and immediately L was stroking himself fast beneath him, eyes locked together and panting in separate but mutual pleasure. "Light..." The things I've seen in my cases, my career, Light. I can never tell you. He shut his eyes for a moment, but it was too much, too far. It's all affected me, warped me, twisted me. Would you still love me, love anyone, want to save this dying world, if you knew what I knew? I save and I haven't saved. I haven't saved them all....

 

Light bent a little lower, seeing some moment of sadness pass over L's usually expressionless face. "Forget everything L. Everything but this. Look to me." Light tried to force something through his eyes to L, some strength, whatever it was that L needed in that moment. Close...

 

And L looked, and felt it. It was healing and scarring, Lazarus and shinigami, brilliance and simplicity. I've had it all, Light, been at the peak, alone, but its meaningless without you. I have no meaning, I have no meaning without you. A whisper, "There is nothing else...." he gasped a little, "...but this." A deep breath, maintaining control, for Light.

 

Light was close, but he wanted to see that small death on L's face first. Panting hard, "L...now..." He went to his knees too, face to face with his mirror. "Let go."

 

And L's breath heaved and he let go, silent until he whispered, "Thank you....."

 

Light watched all the tiny emotions pass over L's face as he orgasmed, then pushed himself over the edge as well, grabbing L's hair and pushing his tongue into L's already parted lips as he came. L leaned weakly back against the wall, artificially pushed by Light into his usually natural crouch, and Light rested his head there as his heart rate slowed again.

 

Light whispered, "It wasn't your fault, L."

 

L lifted his eyes to Light's. "He was part of the Kira taskforce. His death is my failure." And its worse than that Light....

 

"No. There was no way we could have prevented this. Stop blaming yourself."

 

L was silent for a moment, just biting his lip. Finally, "I know who killed Mogi. I know who Rem gave the death note to."

 

Light sat back, eyes wide. "What?! How?"

 

L hugged his knees to him and stared at the floor. "I didn't want to believe it at first. But after I saw that crime scene, I recognized something. The knife. The rose knife. A similar weapon was used in another murder investigation I was involved in." L shivered. "His name is Beyond Birthday."

 

Light recognized that name too. "L, I know that name, and Beyond Birthday is dead. I wrote his name in the death note weeks ago. It can't be him."

 

L shut his eyes and took a deep breath. "It's him."

 

"How can you be sure?"

 

"I checked the police records for him. They state that he experienced a heart attack in prison and was moved to the hospital, but his body was never recovered. I think we can assume he escaped."

 

Light was beginning to connect the dots. "So you think he faked a heart attack? Fooled the doctors and escaped?" This didn't seem like an ordinary criminal. "L, who is he really."

 

L turned to Light. This is going to hurt. "I know him by many names, but we've never actually met. Before he was Beyond Birthday, he was B, the second child ever taken in at Wammy's. And before that....I have to assume he was 68."

 

"How could you have never met him, if he was at Wammy's?"

 

"Watari informed me of his arrival after I had...already become L and was living elsewhere. I was about 12. I remember hearing some things about him, about B, from Watari. But he didn't share much about him, honestly. Just that he was to be trained as my successor, and was an exceptionally gifted hacker." L let his head fall to his knees. "I searched for him for years after he left Wammys, needing to know that our secrets were safe, where he'd run to. But, instead of finding him, I found murders. I helped to solve the case that resulted in his capture, but it was from afar. Always from afar."

 

"Hacker....then he could have gotten into Tadashi's server...."

 

L looked up again. "That was a clue. He needed the names and faces of the Project Mojave children to be able to use the death note to kill them. And when I was going through Wedy's information late last night, before Watari called, I found what I was looking for. Each year, the lab staff took a...class photo...of all the children."

 

Light's heart skipped a beat. "Just a picture." He's got shinigami eyes.

 

L nodded. Now you understand.

 

Light stood up, fixing his pants again. "L, if that's true, if Beyond is B is 68, then....you must have known him long ago as children. You must have been at Tadashi's lab together."

 

L grit his teeth. "I don't know why I can't remember him, remember anything about my time in the lab." He stood up too. "That's one piece I don't understand yet."

 

Light wiped his hands on a towel and tossed it to L. "L, does this mean that...Beyond Birthday is your brother?"

 

L had a stricken look on his face. He didn't speak for almost a full minute, just carefully wiping off his hands until they were completely clean again. "Clone."

 

Light took a step closer to L but stopped when L looked up at him, and the truth he was grappling with was enormous. A whisper, "He's your clone?"

 

The towel dropped from L's hand. Tears welled up in his huge eyes, pooling there before running down. "Not just him. All of them."

 

Light was frozen. "All....all the children...."

 

L turned to the wall, gathering his composure again. A deep breath. "I was the first. It was the same at Wammy's. I was the first. Destroying those that came after me."

 

"Beyond ended up there too. From Tadashi's lab to Wammy's. Then becoming a murderer while you became the world's greatest detective. That's more than a coincidence."

 

L turned around, composed again. Wiping his eyes with some annoyance at himself. "I agree. Its no coincidence."

 

Light stepped forward and embraced L. I don't know what to say to you L. I thought the weight of the world rested on Kira's shoulders. But half the earth is crushing you too. I feel your gravity, your pull.

 

L let himself be held, relaxing a little at last. He laughed, an odd tenor to it. "What am I Light? Clone? Human? Experiment? Watari's project?" He pulled back, a slighly crazed look in his eyes. "World's greatest detective? The ax of justice? Disembodied savior???" He stared beyond Light, eyes unfocused. "You are the only one who ever interacted with me as a human being. I'm only real when I'm with you."

 

Light sighed and pulled him close. "You're real, L."

 

"Make me real."

 

----------

 

Rem watched Beyond crouched in his chair in front of his laptop, still covered in Mogi's blood and dressed in skin-tight black leather from the night before. But now it was crusted into his hair, across his face, cracking and splitting every time he moved and leaving tiny red flakes across the room where he walked. She held in her white hot fury, the immortal fury that only shinigami can know, but couldn't hold back her words. "Why did you kidnap Misa? The police were already suspicious, now they'll all be looking for her. It just casts more suspicion on her."

 

Beyond tented his filthy fingers and peered at Rem, red eyes a warning.

 

She was not deterred. "This was not our deal."

 

Beyond leapt up from the chair and strode towards Rem, slashing at her with a rosette blade. But she was as thin as air, and it just passed through. He laughed hard and winked at her. "Wish I had that trick as well as shinigami eyes Rem." He snapped his fingers and the blade flew across the room and embedded in a black-haired mannequin with a loud smack. He skipped over to it and wrenched the blade back out. "Rem, what is Misa to you, exactly?" He played with the blade menacingly and turned red eyes to her.

 

It was not lost on Rem. "I watched her from the shinigami realm, saw the shinigami Gelus give his life to save her. When he died, I made sure his death note made it into her hands."

 

He leaned forward dramatically, waving the knife around in circles, "AAAANNNNNNDDDDDD????"

 

Rem sighed. "And...although it is unnatural for shinigami...I came to care for her."

 

Beyond giggled, "For shame Rem." He backed up to where she was and snapped the blade at the mannequin again. He turned to her, barely concealed disgust, "You really are a disgrace of a shinigami."

 

Rem narrowed her eyes but said nothing. Can you feel my hate, mortal?

 

Beyond's eyes widened. Oh yes I feel that. DELICIOUS! "Rem stop that. You're making me hard." He giggled behind his hand and turned back to his laptop. He crouched in the chair and brought up a video feed. He cracked his neck and flexed his fingers. "WELL. I think its about time we said hello to Misa-chan. Whattaya think Rem?"

 

"If you touch her with the death note, she will see me. I can explain everything." A little too eager, she immediately knew.

 

And Beyond knew too. "Umm.....NO." A barked laugh as he positioned his microphone closer.

 

Rem flapped over to the screen, where she saw but did not hear Misa, caged like an animal in the near-darkness. But as yet unhurt.

 

Beyond tapped the microphone, which screeched and caused Misa to flinch and huddle in the corner of the cage. Exuberantly, "MISA MISA! Welcome to my humble abode! I DO hope you are comfortable." He pressed the mute button on the laptop as Misa screamed incoherently. He gritted his teeth. With true evil in his voice, "If you do that again you little bitch I'll come in there and slit your throat and bathe in your blood while watching you die."

 

Misa immediately stilled, glancing around and unsure where the voice was coming from. She slowly nodded, trembling and confused.

 

Beyond unmuted the microphone again. "NOW. I have but one question for you Misa-chan. And if you answer this, you may be released and go back to your dull vapid life posthaste. So listen up."

 

Misa leaned forward, clutching the bars. "Wha--what do you want to know?"

 

Beyond muted the microphone and turned to Rem, laughing. "Oh yeah, what was it I needed to know again Rem?"

 

Rem, deadpan, "The name of her best friend in Osaka, the one she made fake ghost movies with."

 

Beyond stuck his hand up in the air triumphantly. "RIGHT!!!" He pressed the microphone to unmute. "Misa-chan, please tell me the name of your best friend in Osaka, the one you made fake ghost movies with." He muted again and then laughed hard, thinking of how absolutely stupid of a question it was, and to be kidnapped for, caged for. But when he was done laughing he realized he'd missed Misa's answer.  "Ahem. Sorry." Unmute. "Misa-chan, can you say that again?"

 

Misa's lip trembled but she said it again, a whisper, "Gretchen Coates."

 

Beyond stood up in the chair and raised his fists high. "GRETCHEN COOOOOOOAAAATTTTTEEESSS!!!" He looked to Rem, still standing in the wobbly chair, "That sound right?"

 

Rem shrugged. "I suppose so." You are truly mad.

 

Beyond crouched back down. "Misa, you have been a great help. If this is the correct information then you will be released within one day. I promise you."

 

Misa nodded, terrified, and Beyond's screen went black again.

 

Beyond stood up. "Phase one COMPLETE!" He ran his hands through his hair and his fingers stuck from the matted blood there. He pulled his hand back with a huff, then walked to the mirror in the corner of the room. He stopped when he saw his reflection, red on black leather, red on grey eyes, and slowly turned in front of it, admiring himself. "Look at me Rem....."

 

Rem forced herself to look. She thought of Misa alone and cold in that cage, and hoped this would all be worth it.

 

Beyond licked his hands and pressed it to the dried blood all over him, making it wet and slick again. "So beautiful....." He opened his pants and stared into the mirror, leaning into it and leaving a smeared crimson handprint as he stared into his own eyes, laughing, and did the only thing worth doing in moments like this, in front of the only person who mattered. Me.

Chapter Text

Light barely remembered the ride back to HQ, but he remembered holding L's hand the whole way and that L was quiet. Light felt that L was processing, like data streaming through a computer, and interruptions would just slow the speed. So he gave him his space and let things take their course. 

 

Back at a still-empty HQ, L snatched a jelly donut as he passed on his way to his usual chair, and munched it oblivious to the powdered sugar falling like snow to his keyboard. After staring at his blank screen for a few minutes, he wiped his mouth with his sleeve and unfolded his phone. I can't let this get to me. I'm used to being under pressure. I work best like this. After a couple rings, "Wedy. Are you finished?" He washed down the dry donut with a sip of syrupy tea. And what took so long? Are you losing your touch Wedy?

 

Light gave him a curious look and L pressed a button to feed Wedy's voice through his laptop speakers.

 

Wedy sounded tired. "Yeah, finally done. The whole shebang should be on your server now. This wasn't easy L. Even with the passwords this was tough."

 

L bit his lip. "What do you mean? The password wasn't the only safeguard?"

 

"No, it's not that...." Wedy hesitated. "L, soon after I got in, it was like someone was chasing me in there. It's hard to describe but it was like they were following me through the data. They were trying to cover their tracks, and they were good....very, very good. It was a full time job just keeping myself hidden from them as I transferred the data."

 

Light met L's eyes. Beyond is definitely in, and he's monitoring the server. "Wedy, were you detected?"

 

"I don't think so, but I can't be certain. If I was, you should be hiring this guy to do your hacking, to be honest."

 

Not likely Wedy. "Did you get everything?"

 

"Yes, of that I'm certain. If they did detect me, for whatever reason, they didn't prevent the data transfer." She paused. "I guess that doesn't make much sense. But I'm confident I got everything that was there."

 

L brushed the sugar off his keyboard absently, "That's the important thing Wedy. Thank you."

 

"Sure L." But she didn't hang up. Something was bothering her. 

 

"Yes Wedy?"

 

"I'm....I know I'm not supposed to look at the files...I'm sorry...but..." 

 

"But what..." No, you aren't supposed to.

 

"Tadashi." The air between them died. "He's dead, right?"

 

L sighed. What did she read...."Yes, he drove off the Rainbow Bridge and drowned yesterday."

 

She sighed. "Good. I hope he rots in hell. Let me know if you need anything else, L. Wedy out." And she hung up.

 

L slowly lowered the phone and closed it. He stared at it for a moment, and Light was about to speak, but L pressed the button to call Watari before he could. "Watari?" L's voice sounded a bit odd, like a tremor of emotion was trying to break through calm waters.

 

Watari buzzed back. "Yes sir?"

 

"Any update from forensics? Its nearly evening, they should have something for us."

 

"They promised they'd send an update tonight, around 10pm."

 

A few hours yet. "I see. And where's Yagami-san and Matsuda?"

 

"The Chief is with forensics and Matsuda is with the team tasked with trying to located Amane Misa, sir. Shall I call them back?"

 

"No....no. Thats fine." He paused but didn't lift his finger from the intercom button. "I...Watari, I'm coming to your office in 5 minutes. Meet me there. L out." 

 

"Very good sir, Watari out."

 

L lifted his finger from the intercom button and bit it. He turned his chair to Light and lifted his dark, so dark, eyes to Light's. "I want you to stay here. I need to talk to Watari alone."

 

Get some answers, L. He knows more than he's told you. Light nodded. "I get it. Tell me about it later?"

 

L shook his head. He smiled a bit sadly, "This time I'll be your eyes, Light." He reached into his pocket and held out the invisible earpiece to Light.

 

Light walked up and took it, placing it in his ear. He couldn't even tell that L had his in. Still, I feel nervous. "How this gonna go, L?" He's wound so fucking tight, sitting there like a rocket on a launchpad. He stepped behind L and rubbed his shoulders, trying to gently work out the knots of tension.

 

L stiffened then relaxed into it with a deep breath. "I'm not used to feeling this way, Light."

 

Light worked his fingers up L's neck, massaging those tight muscles. "Its different this time. Its about you, not some faraway case." 

 

L sighed happily, looking up at Light above, upside down. "That's part of it." He leaned forward and shook his head, clearing his mind. "Wish I could go back in time, remember these things myself." He jumped up, acting more energetic than he felt. "Thank you, that helped." He stared at the door to Watari's office. "Hopefully I'll get some answers." He headed for the dreaded door across the huge space, but paused before he turned the handle. A whisper, "And Light?"

 

It was so soft, Light only heard it via the earpiece. Equally quiet, "Yes L?"

 

Matter of factly, "I want to go on a date with you. Later. Tonight." I need this.

 

Light couldn't help but smile. L, will I ever understand you? "A date? At a time like this?"

 

"What better time, than a time like this?" Who knows how much time we have? 

 

Light laughed softly. "Ok L. I'm game."

 

"Good. Wish me luck."

 

"L, wait. Take Ryuk with you." He smirked up at the shinigami above. "For luck."

 

Ryuk looked up at his name. "Me?" He flapped down from the balcony. "Hyuk, why not. Could be interesting."

 

L took a deep breath and turned the door knob and stepped into Watari's office and into his past. 

 

----------

 

Beyond crouched, picking at the remains of his laptop, poking at the mechanical entrails with a long, bright knife. Finally he stood up and stomped on them hard with a long stiletto heel, turning his foot and crushing once useful silicon back to sand. "Die.....Dieeee! DIEEEEE!!!!" 

 

Rem, from across the room grimaced yet again at her luck. He was dressed in a black sequined minidress, thigh-high black vinyl stiletto boots, with crimson lipstick and heavy black eyeliner. "What are you doing?" But nothing you do surprises me.

 

Beyond gave the dead technology a mighty kick in Rem's direction, but it just skidded across the floor a bit sadly, spewing screws and chips and plastic in its wake. "It BETRAYED me, Rem." He slid the knife into his boot.

 

Rem stared at the black and grey mess impassively. "It's a computer."

 

Beyond huffed, snatching a gasoline can and pouring the contents onto the laptop pieces with a satisfied hiss. "Somebody got in. Somebody was snooping around Tadashi's server." He grabbed a book of matches and struck one, but became so fascinated with the tiny flame he accidentally let it burn down to his fingers. "OW!!" He dropped the spent match and shook out the pain, giving the soggy laptop another kick for good measure.

 

"How is the laptop to blame for that?"

 

He flashed red eyes at Rem. "WELL WHO ELSE THEN REM?" He strode towards her, although she was unflappable; she just stared back down at him, at a loss as how to reason with madness. He stopped in front of her face, striking another match and bringing it up between them. A whisper, "Nobody betrays me." He turned and lazily flicked the match at the laptop, feeling a pyromanic thrill as the gasoline immediately caught alight and roared blue, red, orange, yellow. Beyond crouched beside the flames, smiling wide, watching the cables and plastic curl and melt in the heat. Nearly in a trance, "67....was it you? It was you wasn't it. It must have been you."

 

"Why do you seek 67? Who is that?"

 

The light of the flames played across his face, "I am he and he is me."

 

"That makes no sense."

 

"Actually, it does." Beyond barked a laugh. "We were children together, Rem. He became one thing and I became the opposite. I am his shadow. And he casts his shadow on me."

 

What is the opposite of you?  "67 is not a name."

 

Oh but it was Rem. It was, for years it was, although he doesn't know it. "He goes by something else now. Even you may know it...... L." Always molded in your fucking image L. First my body, then they tried to take my mind away too.

 

I do know it. "And when you find 67, you plan to kill him? Why not use the death note if you know his name?" But how can this be? Light's enemy is also Beyond's?

 

Beyond inhaled deeply the darkly billowing smoke, it felt as fresh as oxygen to him. "No Rem. That would be too easy. Killing the man is not the same as destroying L." He turned to her. "But trying to track him is like chasing the wind. I hoped Tadashi knew something, but....." He exhaled hard, puffs of black soot passing his parted lips. "He didn't."

 

Rem watched the fire but did not feel the heat. She stared into the flames. I don't believe in hell. But hell is here. "What should I call you?"

 

Beyond held his hand over the fire, letting his head fall back and shutting his eyes in near ecstasy. "You can see my name Rem. You are the only one alive....if you are truly alive...that knows it." A small moan escaped his lips as the fire fed on him.

 

This troubled Rem. "I don't understand why, but your name changes." What are you?  "I've never seen that happen."

 

Beyond finally pulled his hand away with a gasp, staring at redness there that would transform to blisters in time. He stood up and walked over to his desk and opened the drawer, pulling out another identical laptop and placing it on top. He gave it a stern look, "You better behave." Back to Rem, with a sick smile, "You may call me Beyond. Beyond Birthday." He bowed and gave a dramatic flourish. 

 

"And what about the other names?"

 

Beyond pulled the death note from underneath his dress and tossed it on the desk, jumping into the chair in his awkward crouch in heels. "I've been many people, Rem. I am many people." He opened the death note to the first empty page. "But to you, I am Beyond." He picked up a pen and chewed it, thinking.

 

Rem was silent. This presents a problem when it comes time to kill you. Which name do I write? Who are you really? This shouldn't happen. Somehow the rules don't apply to you.

 

Beyond bit the pen cap and spit it across the room. "I'm feeling inspiration coming on Rem. INSPIRATION!"

 

And Rem felt dread at those words. But still she flapped over to Beyond and stood close to him, close enough to see the death note over his shoulder. "You promised Misa. You promised one day."

 

Beyond nodded solemnly, "And I intend to keep that promise." He dropped the pen and typed in "Gretchen Coates" into his internet browser. "Let's see what dear old Gretchen is up to." The search results weren't extensive, but there were some. Mostly related to her activities in college. He clicked through a few until he got a picture of her in a soccer team photo. He shrieked, "PAY DIRT!" His fingers flew across the keyboard, enlarging the picture until it was centered on her face. He enhanced it until her features were clear--a smiling, happy girl, surrounded by her friends and teammates. Believing in the promise of her life. Radiating potential and all the light of untroubled youth. Oh it will beautiful to destroy her. Too bad I won't be there to see it all fall apart. He giggled to himself, chewing his burned thumb and oblivious to the pain, or enjoying it, Rem wasn't sure and didn't care. 

 

She gazed at the girl impassively. "You have everything you need now. Do it."

 

"Oh this is too delicious Rem." He smirked up at the stoic shinigami. "She'll die, you know. Die so your precious Misa might return to her insipid existence." He bit his lip, hard. Does a shinigami squirm? Let's see. "I could make it painful. That sound about right to you Rem?" 

 

"I don't care. This is the price for Kira's name."

 

Beyond tapped the pen on the death note, drawing it out. "She looks happy Rem." He pointed the pen at Gretchen's picture, enjoying playing devil's advocate. More like devil's tormentor. "And you're so ready to snuff that light out?" 

 

"Yes."

 

Beyond tilted his head back at an unnatural angle, gazing up at her upside-down. Softly, "That's cold, Rem." But he couldn't hide his approval, his smile. "I LOVE IT!" His head snapped back to the death note, and he started to scribble in a chaotic hand: 

 

 

 

Gretchen Coates---goes to the Lucky Libra Hotel in Yokohama and rents a room. Receives a call and tells the person on the line which room she is in. She waits for a man and a woman to arrive. She then goes to the police station in Yokohama at 8 am where she says she is the second Kira and to go search to the Lucky Libra for a missing person. Gives her fingerprints to the police but otherwise does not answer any questions. The next day, she commits suicide.

 

 

Beyond sat back and chewed the pen some more, admiring his handiwork. Happy now Rem?

 

It was barely legible and took up the entire page in a wild scrawl, but Rem could still make it out. Yes. This is what I've been waiting for. "This is good Beyond."

 

He giggled and picked up the death note and kissed it. "Now Rem, tell me the name of Kira." He craned his head around.

 

Two birds with one stone. Save Misa and kill Light. She smiled thinking of what fate awaited Light with Beyond after him. "After Misa is safe, not before."

 

Beyond snapped the death note shut and leapt up, pacing the room with a dismissive wave. "Fine fine...." He stopped in front of the black-haired mannequin, a mock-up of a male he'd dressed in slave attire--collar, harness, blindfold. He tilted his head to admire its cold proportions. "Kira...." He smiled to himself, and ran his hands up and down the mannequin in a way that could only be perceived as sexual. "....Kira....." He leaned in and softly kissed the plastic lips, getting a little too into it and nearly knocking the model over. He caught it and righted it. "Er...sorry about that....."

 

Rem narrowed her eyes. I don't like this. "Beyond, remember, when you find Kira, you must kill him."

 

Beyond avoided her gaze but nodded anyway. Kill something as perfectly, as beautifully deranged as Kira? Never......"BUT. There are things we must do Rem...do tonight...to set our little plan in motion." He cartwheeled over to the corner of the room, hoisting up a rifle. He picked up a dart from a table, filled with an ominous-looking white liquid. He pushed the dart into the rifle and pulled the lever to load it with a loud KER-chunk. He closed his eyes and breathed deep. The sound alone is nearly enough to get me off. 

 

Rem eyed it distrustfully. "What is that."

 

Beyond stroked the rifle adoringly, "Oh my own little proprietary mixture, Rem. A little dose of this and Misa will be out like a light and won't remember the past few days when she wakes up." He marched towards the back door of the warehouse, stilettos tapping echoes across the concrete floor. He turned at the door, giving the rifle a little twirl, "And wouldn't that just be for the best, hmmm?"

 

"Memory loss. Thats it."

 

He placed his hand over his nonexistent heart. Heavily kolhed eyes widened, "That's it, Rem. Scout's honor." An innocent little smile and he flung open the door behind him dramatically, bathing the room beyond in light and sending Misa scuttling away to the far end of the cage.

 

Rem flapped over to Misa, peering down at her sadly. "Beyond. Please. Let me speak with her one last time, to say goodbye. Before you erase her memories...."

 

Beyond arched an eyebrow. "Means that much to you eh?"

 

Rem nodded silently, reaching down to carefully catch a tear that fell from Misa's cheek and rub it between skeletal fingers. I'd die for you. I probably will.

 

Beyond leaned up against the wall. Well, that should sure scare the shit out of her. HELLO MISA IN A CAGE HERE'S A SHINIGAMI! WEEEEEE! He doubled over in laughter but eventually caught hold of himself and cast devious red eyes back to Rem. "How much, Rem, how much does it mean to you...."

 

Rem looked up at him. My last chance. My last ever chance. It means everything. "What do you want?"

 

"I want to know about Kira....everything...everything..." His shinigami eyes glowed with desire. 

 

Rem paused. She didn't like Beyond's apparently burgeoning obsession with Kira. 

 

Beyond tilted his head, cracking his neck and holding it at an unnatural angle. "And I don't want you interfering in any of my plans for him."

 

"Plans? What plans." No.....

 

Beyond held a finger to his lips and grinned wide. Whispered, "Its a secret." He chewed his finger and stared at her. "So, what'll it be?" He held up a tiny scrap of paper, her death note. 

 

Rem looked between the confused, trembling girl and the crazed murderer. If there is a god, I hope they will forgive me for this. She closed her eyes, trying to pretend she wasn't agreeing to what she was agreeing to. "Yes."

 

"Sign your name to this deal, Rem." Beyond pulled his knife from boot and hurled it at Rem, who lifted her long arm and caught it easily. "Bind yourself to me."

 

Rem looked at the knife, "Sign where?"

 

Beyond pulled the dress over his head and tossed it into the dark; he was completely naked underneath. He walked to Rem and turned around, holding his arms out at his sides, palms up.

 

And Rem saw the names of other shinigami there, carved into his back in the glowing script of her own language. Balush. Farippa. And soon, Rem. “How...how have you done this?” He’s a shinigami killer. I’ve heard tell of them but thought they were just the tales from our lazy kind. Ensnare shinigami into a contract and take something from them, some power as well as their life, if they break the deal. But how did he learn of this....

 

Beyond’s fingers twitched impatiently. “Sign!” 

 

Rem looked to Misa, horrorstruck at what she perceived to be a knife floating above a naked, crazed man. Rem grasped the knife and turned to Beyond again, scrawling her name and sealing her fate. “It is done.”

 

Beyond clenched his fists triumphantly. He flipped around, to Misa, “Come here girl.”

 

Misa, crying hard, crawled toward the end of the cage closest to him. “Please...let me go...”

 

Beyond crouched beside her, grabbing her hand and touching the piece of death note to her. He stood, and to Rem, “10 minutes.” 

 

Misa’s eyes widened as she saw who Beyond was speaking to and her whole body started to tremble. He strode out the door and slammed it behind him, pausing long enough to hear the long, soul-shattering scream that inevitably came. He sighed happily, leaning against the door and closing his eyes as if in prayer.

 

He opened them again, his gaze falling on his slave-mannequin. He stared it down as if it were real, standing there as he counted down the minutes, a tiny smile growing across his face. “Kira...”

Chapter Text

L stepped inside Watari's office and felt an unfamiliar sensation. Is this what people mean when they say 'butterflies in the stomach.' Its rather unpleasant.

  

Watari was sitting at his desk, in front of about a dozen paneled screens. He stood up and removed his headset when L walked in and smiled. "Yes L? You wanted to speak with me?"

 

L crouched in the chair opposite Watari. "Yes Watari." I can only hope you are with me Light. "It's....there are some things I need to know. Things you've never told me, about my past." He chewed his thumb, but his eyes never left Watari. "About B."

 

Watari's smile faded and he sat back down in his chair with a heavy sigh. "I suppose I knew we'd have this conversation one day."

 

"I think the time has come now, don't you?" L placed his hands on his knees. 

 

Watari nodded, removing his glasses and wiping them with a handkerchief. "What is it that you want to know, L?"

 

"My mother. Kyoko. Did you know her?"

 

Watari looked up sharply, and slowly put his glasses back on. "I should have known that Tadashi would have kept records on her, records you'd read, a picture." Watari knew the jig was up, and there was no use hiding anything from L anymore. "Yes, I knew her, years ago. She was a very talented scientist and a dear friend of mine when I was living in Japan at that time. She took a research position with Tadashi Ido, and was always very secretive about what she was working on. Eventually she faded out of my life over the years as she communicated less and less, and when I moved back to England."

 

L gazed over a Ryuk in corner, listening intently. Somehow his presence is comforting. I used to dislike having him near. Yet another change in me. He caught the shinigami's eye, and Ryuk grinned encouragingly, if that was possible.

 

Watari went on. "One day, I think the year was 2005, I received a frantic call from Kyoko, saying she was leaving Japan and needed my help. That her life was in danger. She asked me for a place to hide....herself and her two children. I of course agreed. But she never got off the plane she told me she'd be on. I tried to find out where she went, but she didn't call again. Not for several months. I got one last phone call from her, she was driving somewhere and seemed very upset. She wouldn't tell me what was going on, just that she was in England but had had to change her plans as Tadashi was looking for her. She asked me to go to a certain old house in London. I think you know the one."

 

L nodded. Of course. Ryuk hovered closer to L, squatting on the floor beside him, like a child being read a fascinating story.

 

"She told me that she had hidden one of her children there at that house, and that she wanted me to help him. Begged me. That he'd be the one with her picture. She was so upset....I couldn't get coherent answers of out her about anything. She only calmed down when I promised to go there and find the boy, and help him." Watari smiled a little, remembering. "To help you."

 

L crossed his arms on his knees. "And you knew it was me, because I had her picture of course."

 

"That's right. And her eyes. You have her eyes." He smiled again, kindly. "But your trust was not easily won. It took some time before I felt confident that you would come with me."

 

"To Wammy's."

 

Watari nodded. "It was once my family home, but as I am the last of my family, it seemed time to put it to better use."

 

"Did my mother tell you anything about her time at Tadashi's lab?"

 

Watari shook his head.  "She didn't. We never spoke again after that day...because...." Watari frowned, sighing.

 

Both L and Ryuk leaned forward, hanging on his words. 

 

"I...I later found out she died that same day, at Great Ormond Street Hospital." Watari wiped his brow with his handkerchief. "I'm sorry."

 

Ryuk gazed up at L's fallen face, feeling a very real and very odd pang of something unpleasant. I'm sorry too. He didn't understand why, but he put his clawed hand on top of L's. 

 

And L didn't understand why, but he let him. To Watari, barely above a whisper, "She’s dead...was she sick?"

 

A troubled look passed Watari's face. "No. It seems that she was there visiting her child. Her other child."

 

L was quiet for a moment after that. I knew she must be...but still...."How did she die?" 

 

"According to the police report, she was in his room and suffered a fatal heart attack."

 

L's fingers clenched beneath Ryuk's at that. A heart attack.

 

"But B was gone from the hospital. They never found him and neither did I. Not until he showed up at the doorstep of Wammy's seven years later."

 

"He just showed up there one day? Out of the blue?" L pulled his hand away, needing to bite his thumb, still his anxiety. How could he know about Wammy's? That I had been there?

 

"Yes. At first I thought he was you. But of course, he wasn't. I called you right away and you were already operating as L, in Brazil at that time, I believe."

 

"What did he want?" Had he traced my movements, even at that age?

 

"He told me that Kyoko was his mother and wanted to come live there, if I'd let him; he remembered things about her, things that you had not. He knew of me somehow, I supposed from her. And he remembered you. His brother. I saw Kyoko in his face, same as I had with you, and I agreed to take him in."

 

"My brother. That's what he said." Not quite, B.

 

Watari nodded. "There was a lot of things I didn't know about Kyoko's life, and I was trying to honor the last wishes of my old friend. I felt that she'd want me to help you both. He never spoke of Tadashi, or what happened at or after the hospital. Where he'd been. At that time, he was almost sweet. Seemed lost. He was a genius, of course, nearly as gifted as you. In some ways he was your perfect successor, or so I thought at the time. "

 

 L bit his lip. "And B's time at Wammy's. What was that like? Why did he leave?"

 

Watari's brow furrowed at the unpleasant memories. "You must understand L. Training you, training all of you....I looked at it as my life's work. Helping to mold moral geniuses who could make the world safer, better. You were the first, as you know, then B, and A came soon after. But B and A....they responded differently to the pressure of being the next L. Both had many...quirks, but I felt that they were just the characteristics of incredibly intelligent minds. Unfortunately, I was wrong about both of them. B was a sociopath...I should have realized it sooner, but he hid it from me, from A....so carefully. And I had no inkling that A would take his life. B left Wammy's that very night, right after A...died."

 

Its not your fault Watari. You were just a pawn in his game. "Maybe you were a bit blinded to B, because of Kyoko."

 

Watari nodded. "Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, that's certainly true. And when I looked at him, it was like looking at you. You two could have been twins, except he insisted that you weren't. Was very emphatic about that. I saw you when I should have seen B, who he really was." Watari paused, wondering whether to say the next part. "He was obsessed with you. Slyly asking things about you, where you were, what you were doing. Something about that troubled me enough to keep the two of you apart." He sighed, regretful. "I should have realized how dangerous he was."

 

"There was no way to really know that, not until the murders in Los Angeles."

 

Watari smiled sadly. "You're being generous. But its true that I certainly didn't understand the lengths he'd go to until then."

 

L frowned. "Why don't I remember him Watari? Why don't I remember my mother and Tadashi and everything else? Its as if my first memory, my life, began at that old house."

 

Watari got a confused look on his face, remembering his old consternation at that. "I don't know, L. I never understood that." 

 

Makes two of us. L stood up. "Watari, I'm going to tell you something that you must keep secret."

 

Watari stood too. "You know I always keep your secrets, sir."

 

"B is the third Kira."

 

Watari's eyes widened. "When Tadashi was the target, I wondered if perhaps that might be true, but I knew him to be in prison."

 

"He escaped." L put a hand on Watari's shoulder. "But we'll find him. Just like last time."

 

"I-I...I'm sorry, sir. If only I'd been wiser..."

 

L smiled and shook his head. "Shhhhh. No Watari, no more of that. Just as Misora was the crucial piece to solving the LA murders, I have Light with me now."

 

Ryuk looked up at L. "And me too, you know, hyuk." He plopped his chin into his hand, feeling a bit slighted.

 

L looked into Watari's eyes. "Watari, I know you may still have suspicions about Light, but I want you to trust him. As you trust me. This is very important to me. Can you do that?" Light, I promised to make you L, as you have made me Kira, and I will.

 

Watari held L's intense stare and gave him a nod. "Of course, sir. You know I don't question your tactics. If he's somehow won your trust....that's good enough for me. And, if I might be so bold, sir...I'm glad to see you happy. I think he makes you happy." A genuine smile.

 

L smiled back brightly. Thank you Watari. He suddenly hugged Watari tightly, for the very first time in his life, throwing the surprised older man a bit off balance. "He does make me happy." I owe you so much Watari. You saved me when no one else did. I'll always be grateful to you for that.

 

"Oooff! Sir! I--" But eventually Watari recovered and patted L on the back stiffly.

 

L stepped back, a bit embarrassed by the awkward display of emotion. He looked down at his bare feet. "I love him, Watari." Black-rimmed eyes looked up at Watari through wild hair, hopeful. Please understand. Don't make me choose between you.

 

"Well that is a rare thing indeed, L." Watari hid his smile by pretending to stroke his mustache in a very English gentleman kind of way. "I suppose that's why you are allowing him to hear our little conversation, then?" 

 

L's mouth dropped open a little, and Ryuk gave a surprised "Hyuk!" loudly from the floor.

 

Watari could hide his smirk no longer. "I'm old, L, not blind." He pointed to L's invisible earpiece. Well, nearly invisible. He laughed primly. "Light, please consider me at your service. I'll help you however I can, same as L."

 

L let out a laugh, a real laugh, feeling happier than he had all day. "Thank you Watari." For all of it. 

 

------------

 

Light had indeed listened nervously to the whole conversation, alternating between heartbreak for L hearing about his mother, to pumping his fist in the air when Watari declared his allegiance. And he was right on the other side of the door when L stepped back into the monitor room, crashing into him and kissing him passionately.

 

L stood there in surprise, eyes wide, just letting himself be kissed at first, then wrapping his arms around Light and leaning in. Between smiling lips, "Light...." We will win, won't we?

 

Light pulled back finally, grinning wide. "L....that couldn't have gone better."

 

L let out a huge sigh of relief. "He filled in some of the pieces, but there's still so much that's blank when it comes to B." He chewed his thumb with a little smirk and looked up at Light. "But yes, he's on our side." And I think he would be, even if he knew everything.

 

Light took out his earpiece and stuck it in his pocket and L did the same. "Guess its hard to pull one over on the old man."

 

L giggled. "I've been trying for years. Should have known better by now. I used to tell him he should be L, with that bloodhound nose of his."

 

Light ruffled his hair. "Now about that date."

 

L's grey eyes lit up. "So we're gonna do it?"

 

"Absolutely. Let me go change clothes and make a couple quick phone calls to set things up, and we'll fly."

 

"Change?" Uh oh. He looked down at his plain white cotton shirt and baggy jeans sheepishly. "Pretty much everything I have looks like this." L bit his lip, a bit worried.

 

Light held his fingers up in a square, framing L as if taking a picture. "You look beautiful. Don't change a thing." He winked at L and went to call the elevator. To Ryuk, "Ryuk, I'm going to ask you to take a backseat tonight, don't be offended if we ignore you, ok?" 

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes but laughed. "Sure, Light-o. Go have your little romance and pretend a god of death isn't flying around."

 

L dogged his footsteps. "Where are we going?"

 

The elevator came and Light stepped inside with Ryuk, but he held L outside the doors. "Its a surprise, ok? Just trust me, you'll like it."

 

L gave him a suspicious look. "I don't like surprises. Tell me."

 

Light smirked at him. "Coulda fooled me. Now meet me on the roof in 15 minutes. We'll need to take the helicopter."

 

The suspicious look deepened. "The helicopter? Light...."

 

"15 minutes." Light flashed a devious smile as the elevator doors closed. 

 

-----

Fifteen minutes later, L was pacing on the roof, looking down at his watch and chewing his finger nervously. Where are we going Light? It makes me anxious not being in control like this. He stared at the elevator doors, willing them to open for the millionth time.

 

Finally, they did. And when Light emerged, L swore that he heard the trumpets of angels in his mind, for the god that was walking towards him was no mortal, no human. His mouth fell open and his hand dropped from it. Oh my god....my kami.....

 

Light was dressed in a black dinner jacket and pants, with a silver silk shirt beneath. The clothes looked tailored to the unique curves of his body and moved with him, the silk rippled in the light breeze at the top of skyscraper. He locked eyes with L and walked towards him, fully aware of his power, his magnetism. He stopped in front of a gaping L, and flashed a confident smile, "Well, how do I look?"  

 

L hadn't blinked during Light's entire walk over, too afraid to miss a second of this. How are you mine? Barely above a whisper, "You look....beautiful....." 

 

Light nodded and walked past L, who turned his gaze to follow him. He opened the door to the helicopter, and turned around, laughing, "L are you coming?"

 

L quickly composed himself and climbed up into the helicopter with Light, where they strapped in. L got the blades turning. "Ok, you're going to need to tell me where we're going now Light." Its intoxicating being next to you. Do you even know the effect you have on me? On everyone?

 

"Fair enough. Land it on the roof of the Park Hyatt. We'll be staying there tonight. I've already let Watari know." 

 

The most luxurious hotel in all of Tokyo?  L turned to Light, shocked, "The Park Hyatt? Light....can you afford that?"

 

Light looked out the window and tapped his finger absently on the glass. "Funny thing about that L. A few days ago, I noticed an obscene sum of money had been transferred into my account from a company I'd never heard of." He turned back to L. "I don't suppose you'd know anything about that, now would you?" A smile twitched at the edge of his lips, trying to keep a straight face.

 

L blushed in his helmet. Maybe something, Light. He turned back to the controls and got the helicopter airborne. I hope you can't see how big I'm smiling right now. They barreled over nighttime Tokyo, the city their playground, their training wheels for the world. Have I ever felt like this in my life?  "You really didn't need to go to so much trouble, Light." But I'm so glad....

 

Light reached over and ran a hand down his back, feeling L shudder beneath his touch. "Yes I did."

 

---------

 

L touched the helicopter down on the landing pad of the Park Hyatt, soft as a whisper. He suddenly felt a bit of anxious excitement. Pulling off his helmet, "Light won't there be a lot of people here? Do you think its safe to be seen in public together like this? Its not like school, or your house...how can we relax?" How can we be ourselves?

 

Light grinned, "I've thought of that." He reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out two half-masks--a kitsune and a golden one of the greek god, Apollo. He handed the kitsune mask to L and put on the golden mask. "Tonight's their annual masquerade ball." He adjusted it and turned to look at L, amber eyes sparkling above his divine smile. "You can thank Watari for these." 

 

L gaped at him, speechless. Like you needed that. Anyone looking at you would know....would know....He slowly took the kitsune mask and fitted it over his face awkwardly. My mind is not working very well tonight. My hands aren't either. 

 

Light laughed at him and fixed the mask, adjusting his hair around it. Sitting back to admire his charade. "Perfect. It suits you." He opened the door and hopped out. "C'mon, you won't want to miss this party, L. I hear its to die for." An easy laugh.

 

I've never been to a party. My heart feels like its about to explode. L quickly shut down the helicopter and leapt out to meet him. I love you. I love you. He reached Light, who was tipping the rooftop crew as if he'd been some young billionaire, casually explaining the helicopter and that they were guests. L stood right next to Light, ignoring everyone else, and blurted out awkwardly, "I love you."

 

The crew snickered and turned away, walking back across the roof, shooting amused glances at them. Light silently laughed to himself. Classic L. He turned to L, holding him by the shoulders and leading him to the elevator that was going to take them to the party. Light pushed the button and whispered, "If you think you love me now, just wait until you see their dessert buffet." 

 

----------

 

L stepped out of the elevator and into the most beautiful room he'd ever seen. Guests, all dressed to the nines and wearing elaborate masks, meandered around sipping drinks and laughing, dancing. A full band played booming music from a stage, and the ballroom was festooned with gilded decorations, balloons, flowers. An enormous fountain was set in the center, Triton carved from marble and pouring water into the pool from a seashell. L looked up and saw sparse pieces of golden confetti slowing drifting down from the ceiling. And against the far wall, a near football-field length of every possible sweet and dessert that had ever been devised by man. Frankly, he was absolutely overwhelmed.

 

Light smiled down at him, and took his hand gently. "Let's go have fun." 

 

L gazed up at him, amazed that Light pulled this together so quickly, so perfectly. He tried to stammer something but all words flew from his mind when Light smiled behind that god mask.

 

Light laughed and tugged him towards the dessert buffet. "I have a feeling you'll perk up with some sugar in you. Let's check out the desserts."

 

L stepped up to the long table, and tentatively picked up one of the tiny plates that was laid out for the guests. He looked at the long line of desserts and back at the plate. And then looked to Light, chewing on his thumb. "Light, this won't be nearly big enough."

 

Light nodded thoughtfully. "You're absolutely right L." He gracefully stuck his hand out and stopped a nearby waiter who was passing with a huge silver tray. Locked eyes with L, he swiped the tray and handed it to L. "This better?" The waiter huffed for a moment but Light silenced him with a look, and he slinked away.

 

L looked down at the possibilities, the sheer real estate of this tray, and nodded emphatically. You do love me. He set to work piling the tray with everything that looked good, which was, essentially, everything. Chocolate mousse, strawberry parfait, cheesecake bites, chocolate truffles....if L had ever craved it, it was here. Half of it didn't even make it to the tray, he just sampled as he moved down the line with barely contained excitement. If I died tonight, if Rem found me right now, I'd die happy, Light. Finally they reached the end and L maneuvered the over-laden tray to an empty table. 

 

Light grabbed two glasses of champagne from a waiter and sat down with him. "I can barely see you over Mount Sugarmanjaro, L." He picked up a spoon and tasted a bit of the chocolate mousse. "Mmmmmm....almost sinful." He looked across the table at L, eyes sparkling as fingers darted between the dozens of options, picking at each one, sticking a finger in this one, licking the topping off that one.

 

L finally noticed Light staring at him and froze. "I'm being rude. I should offer you something too shouldn't I?" He pushed the chocolate mousse over to Light. 

 

But Light just laughed and shook his head, pushing it back. "Its all for you L." He toyed with the glass of champagne, "I do have one favor to ask you though. Toast with me? You remember this, don't you?"

 

L wiped his hands on the tablecloth. "Of course. Last time we toasted to Castor and Pollox. To twins."

 

"What shall we toast to tonight? We aren't under the stars this time."

 

L smiled and looked around, "Every bit as beautiful." Looking at Light. "The world is always beautiful when I'm with you." Some golden confetti drifted into his hair and stayed there.

 

Light leaned forward a little. I feel the same, L. "We couldn't do it last time, but we can now. Let's toast to us. To L and Kira. To me and you." He held up his glass.

 

L slowly picked up the other champagne flute, feeling his heart rate speed up. You started remaking the world by remaking my world, Light. "To us." His glass met Light's with a clink of crystal and he gulped the sweet bubbly liquid down as Light did the same. 

 

They stared at each other across the table for a few moments until L finally spoke again. "I have something for you. I've been waiting to give it to you."

 

Light gave him a curious look. "Really? What?"

 

L reached into his pocket and took out a box, and pushed it across the table. 

 

Light took it, confused. "A present?"

 

L nodded silently. "Remember my 'secret mission' I think you called it, a few days ago I said I had something to do and left you with Ryuk?" He motioned with his head to the box. "I did that."

 

Light turned his attention back to the box. He opened it, and for once Light was speechless. Inside was the most beautiful fountain pen he'd ever seen, sleek black enamel and silver. He picked it up carefully, it had some heft to it and felt just right in his fingers. He turned it over in his hand and saw it had a silver pattern of Libra on one side and Gemini on the other, with the stars marked out in diamonds. This must have cost L a fortune. And what a meaningful gift. A pen...for a certain notebook....He looked up at L, gratitude plain on his face, "L, this is exquisite. Thank you." He reached across the table and took his hand. 

 

L blushed a little. "I just want you to know how much you mean to me Light." He reached his other hand across the table and took Light's hand, pen between their palms. Where it is meant to be. "You mean everything. Anything you ask for, any wish, anything at all, just say it and it is yours."

 

Light felt something pure in his dark heart, pushing aside the vacuum that had sucked everything but his purpose from his soul. Something new, like a little candle in the night, that without shelter and care would be snuffed out forever. But with patience, could be stoked to a bonfire to burn down the world. "Give me your heart L."

 

Dark rimmed eyes glowed. "You already have that. Forever you have that." 

 

"Then give me the world. My world."

 

Without hesitation. "Yes. I'll live to see the day they all worship you." He leaned down over Light's hand and kissed it. "As I do." Resting his cheek against it. His eyes gazing back up to Light's, and so filled with emotion, softly, "Kami...."

 

Light knew he was about to yank L onto that table if they didn't leave right now, party guests be damned. Breathless, "L we need to go upstairs now."

 

L stood up, desserts forgotten, and they walked hand in hand to the main elevator. As soon as the doors closed, Light had L up against the side, pinning his wrists above his head and forcing his tongue into his mouth, L humming into his mouth happily. Light felt frenzied, overwhelmed by emotions he'd never felt before, that maybe no one ever had. No one has this, L. No one else. We kill. We love. We win. The elevator slowed and the doors opened, and Light was walking him back into the hall, not breaking their kiss. The door to the Presidential Suite was right in front of them. Light tore away momentarily to punch in the key code Watari had texted him; L unbuttoned his shirt as his fingers banged the keypad.

 

Light smiled. "L you're gonna make me mess this up."

 

L got to the last button and started running his hands all over Light's chest. "I don't care. Right here in the hall works for me."

 

Luckily Light had managed to get the code right and the double doors swung open, revealing the most opulent suite in the hotel. But they didn't notice or care. L slammed the doors behind them and tore off his mask, flinging it aside. He leapt into Light's arms, wrapping his legs around him tight; he couldn't bear his lips to not be touching Light's. Light supported his weight and backed up to the wall, seeing nothing but a frantic L firmly planted exactly where he wanted him. Eventually he pulled back, lowering L. "Bedroom."

 

L looked for the bedroom door and pulled Light towards it. Light reached for his mask, but L stopped him. "Leave it on."

 

Light smiled, his hand falling away. 

 

L scrambled back onto the huge bed, shedding clothes. "I need you in me now Light." His grey bedroom eyes burned. "Right fucking now." This is how I can worship you Kira.

 

Light shrugged off his jacket and the rest, advancing on a now-naked L. "Right down to business tonight, L, aren't we?" He languidly licked and sucked at L's nipple, eliciting a frustrated moan. "Wouldn't you rather me draw it out." You know what I'm capable of.

 

L pushed Light back, spitting on his hand and getting his entrance ready for Light. Quickly, "Not tonight, Light. Fuck me. Hard."

 

Light was incredibly turned on by this frantically needy L. Shall I give you what you want, L? "Have it your way, L." He licked his hand slowly, eyes locked with L. He got himself slick and yanked L's hips closer, making L yelp with anticipation. He positioned himself against L, just nudging him. "You sure?" I really am evil, aren't I? 

 

L screamed, "YES DO IT!"

 

And Light slammed into L, and started to fuck him, hard, just like he wanted. L let his head fall back against the pillow, his inky hair flopping against his face with Light's fast thrusts. Between pants, "Light...Ryuk....lied....."

 

Light bent over him, leaning into L and pulling up his legs. "What are you talking about, L?"

 

"He said...we'd see neither heaven...nor hell...after using the note..." He let his hands travel up Light's chest, his neck, across the gold mask and into his hair. Ecstasy. "But this is heaven."

 

Light felt the pleasure build from the frantic pace. "Of course, L." He grabbed both L's wrists in one hand and pinned them to the bed. "Heaven... is where your Kami lives, isn't it?" A soft moan as L clenched around him at those words. Light started to stroke L's cock with his free hand, which sent L bucking underneath him. A whisper, "Get ready to pray." He let spit fall to his hand, feeling his saliva slide slick under his fingers against L. Take of my body L.

 

And L drew a breath and silently mouthed his prayer, slightly changed from the one he’d spoken to a sleeping god not so long ago...

I know how you kill.

I know why you kill.

And I don’t want you to ever stop.

 

He spoke the words aloud, repeating them again and again until Light finally came inside him with a gasp. And as he fell into his own orgasm, he knew he was no longer a ray of light in the church of Kira. He wasn't L, or Ryuga, or Ryuzaki. He wasn't a clone, an experiment. He was no one's savior. He was an inferno ready to burn down the whole world for Light.

Chapter Text

After Misa's scream had finally run out of breath, Rem kneeled in front of her so they were nearly eye to eye. I don't have much time. "Misa, shhhhhh. Don't worry this will soon all be over." How must I look to her? A horror to the mind of a human. A monster. No guardian angel. "My name is Rem and I am your friend."

 

Misa did not look convinced, and slowly backed to the opposite end of the cage. "Stay...stay back...." Her fearful eyes darted to the door, clearly wishing for Beyond to return and dispel this nightmare.

 

Ironic that you would think he, not I, would save you. "Misa, you don't remember me, but we knew each other once. Before you lost your memories, I was your ally."

 

Confusion spread across the girl's face. "My ally? Ally against what?"

 

Rem herself now cast a cautious eye to the door, hoping that Beyond was not listening on the other side. Whispered, "I don't have time to fully explain. But believe me that you would not be here if you had not been involved in the games of shinigami, and the plans of Kira. All of this is just a step towards releasing you from the suspicion the police have of you being the second Kira." Rem reached for Misa, but the girl stayed back. "It is too much to ask you to trust me, but...the reason we are speaking is because of the love I have for you. I wanted to say goodbye. It will be forever this time. You will be free soon and never think of me again."

 

Something in the shinigami's voice spoke truth to Misa, or perhaps it was the pure love that Rem did truly feel for Misa shining though even the power of the death note. But, for whatever reason, she believed Rem. "Shinigami...that's what you are?"

 

Rem nodded, clutching the bars as Misa took a hesitant step forward. Encouraged, "You were the second Kira, and I was the one who gave you that power. And it nearly got you killed Misa, but this.....I'm sorry to say this is the best I could do to return you to your normal life, to free you from it and me forever. To save you."

 

Misa stepped forward again, face to face with a monster that looked altogether less fearsome now. "I don't know how....but something in me says you are telling me the truth."

 

Rem gave a gruesome but grateful smile. "Yes, Misa. Thank you for believing me." The distance between them small but ultimate. "If you do, then I must warn you while I can....Beyond, the man who was here before, is a monster, but he will help you. The one you need to be careful of is Yagami Light."

 

The distrustful, cautious look returned to Misa's eyes. "Light? Rem, if you truly knew me, you know I love Light more than my own life. And he would never harm me."

 

The minutes are flowing away fast. I must hurry. Urgently"Light doesn't love you Misa. He may indeed kill you if you do not stay away from him. I have no reason to lie."

 

Misa was shaking her head slowly. "That cannot be true, Rem."

 

Rem sighed and shut her eyes, "Forgive me, there is no time." And she phased into Misa, and showed her Rem's own shinigami intuition about Light, and it rung through Misa's mind like a bell that Light was both Kira and had never loved her. Had only wanted to use her to further his own goals of finding out the identity of, and ultimately killing, his enemy L. That Rem had betrayed Light when she knew he would suffer no threat to his work as Kira. Gave her death note to Beyond Birthday, a psychopath who Rem wanted to kill Light, rather than to an easily-defeated human as she'd agreed. And that Rem truly loved Misa enough to die for her.

 

Rem left Misa, who collapsed with a gasp, new tears flowing down her face. Brokenly, "Rem.....you betrayed Light!....how could you.....if you loved me....."

 

Rem felt shock, rare for a shinigami. No, don't you see? I did it for you! Its not Light that loves you, its me....he will kill you, I betrayed him to save you from him, for all time....

 

Misa slowly raised her tortured eyes to Rem's. "Rem, I don't care if Light doesn't love me. I don't care if he kills me. I'd die for him same as you'd die for me."

 

I hate you Light. I hate you for what you've done to her. I hate you for having her love. "Misa, Beyond will be back any moment. You will forget me and this conversation. But you can choose to remember my warning. I can scratch it to your skin, and it will be there when you wake up."

 

"No Rem. I don't want to remember it. But I do want something from you."

 

"Anything."

 

"Promise me you will never hurt Light, that you will not let Beyond kill him. No matter what." Her eyes were steel, even after the past week of being held at Kira headquarters, witnessing the death of Mogi, and now this. She found some inner strength for Light, some well she had never known was there. "Promise this and you will have my love."

 

No Misa, don't ask this of me. I must kill Light. Rem stood, looking down at Misa. "I belong to Beyond now. I made a deal that no shinigami can break, to speak to you one last time."

 

And Misa gazed back, tears drying, "Is your love for me not stronger than whatever foul deal he forced you into? Even if Light does not love me, I will die if he does. I will kill myself."

 

Rem knew then that she had lost. Lost it all to Light. Could I even keep this promise? I will torture myself into eternity if I break my word to her and she kills herself. But Light...no human, except perhaps Beyond, has been more deserving of death..."Misa, you don't know what you ask of me. Please, forget him."

 

"I do know, please, Rem. Please." Misa reached out to grab Rem's arm desperately.

 

And Rem cried black tears, caught between double promises. I've done nothing to help you have I? Only added to your sorrows, all my plans are dust, and my own life is forfeit. Very well. I will do what I can to protect Light, for your sake. Your parting wish. "I promise, Misa."

 

Misa heaved a relieved breath and smiled up at Rem, "Thank you Rem. I may forget you. But you'll remember for the both of us, won't you? We part as friends, allies once more." She squeezed Rem's arm gently, and Rem placed her emaciated fingers over ones of flesh and blood at last, and felt that perhaps all was not lost if the gods had seen fit to bless her with that.

 

That is, until the door flung open and Beyond was standing there, in all black, but at least dressed. "TIMES UP!" He leaned casually in the doorway, hoisting up the dart gun and giving Rem a wink. "I promise this won't hurt a bit." He flashed her a dark smile at that lie.

 

Misa turned frantic eyes to Rem, who only bowed her head and slowly floated away from the cage. "Goodbye Misa."

 

Beyond centered Misa in the sights, "Parting is such sweet sorrow...." And he pulled the trigger, sending the dart into Misa's neck with a sickening smack.

 

Misa stumbled backwards and slumped to the back of the cage, grabbing at the dart weakly. And as Beyond turned on his heel with a laugh and left to finish his preparations, Misa held Rem's gaze as she felt her consciousness slide away in pieces, and Rem watched, through the black tears of shinigami, the last memory of herself die.

--------------

 

The rays of dawn streamed into the Presidential Suite of the Park Hyatt, falling directly onto Light's face and waking him. He sat up in the enormous bed, rubbing his eyes with a yawn. I forgot to close the curtains last night. Didn't seem important. He smiled, thinking of the night before, and noticed that L was actually sleeping peacefully next to him. L, you slept. I won't wake you yet. He got up and pulled on his pants, grabbing the death note from his jacket, and wandered shirtless out into the luxurious suite. He hadn't gotten a chance to get a good look at it last night, being otherwise occupied. It was decorated in a plush European style, with a grand piano in the living room, a library above them via a spiral staircase, a dining room, a study through a pair of french doors.

 

He saw that a light was flashing on an intercom by the door and he pressed the blinking button. A message played, "Good morning sir. Please let us know when you'd like us to bring up your breakfast. Thank you." Light pressed another button marked 'Call,' and a voice immediately responded, "Yes sir, how can we help you this morning?"

 

"I'd like breakfast now. For two."

 

"Certainly. Would you like coffee or tea?"

 

"Coffee and tea, and plenty of sugar cubes in a bowl." He scanned the room for Ryuk, who he now noticed was sitting at the piano, looking despondent. "And fruit. Apples."

 

"Thank you, sir. It will be there in 15 minutes."

 

Light lifted his finger from the intercom and turned to walk towards Ryuk at the piano. He hadn't even lifted his head when Light had mentioned the apples. Strange. He sat next to the shinigami on the piano bench. "Ryuk, you don't seem yourself this morning." He leaned down to try to catch Ryuk's eye, "What's wrong?" 

 

Ryuk looked up, his idiocy, his humor fallen away, and something else more raw laid bare beneath. "Light....it isn't always easy to watch you and L. Its...its hard to explain. I'm both happy for you and sad for me." Shinigami should not feel this way.

 

Light gave him a puzzled look. "Sad? Why sad Ryuk?"

 

"I'll never have that. What you have."

 

Light sighed, "Ryuk, what god would make shinigami capable of love? It seems nearly cruel."

 

Ryuk gave him a half-smile. "It is indeed cruel. And more cruel who I love, hyuk."

 

Light was quiet at that, thinking while running his fingers lightly over ivory keys. I need to keep you close Ryuk. You are a crucial part of everything that will be, that I will become.

 

Ryuk looked out the large window, towards the breaking dawn in the distance. "Light, when I entered L, I thought it would be just a fun ride, hyuk. But experiencing his emotions..." Ryuk sighed, turning his gaze to the bedroom now. "It was nearly more than I..... You have no idea what he feels for you, Light. And its infected me. Some part of me is now human."

 

Light laughed a little, "Is that so bad, Ryuk?"

 

Ryuk shook his head slowly. "No...but it is a curse upon shinigami. Why we would not usually use such power lightly. Death we are prepared to control, emotions we are not."

 

"I see." He turned to face Ryuk, who turned to him as well. "Ryuk, I can never love you as I love L, but I can love you in my own way. Isn't that enough?" 

 

You actually could feel anything for me? A monster? "Hyuk. Don't lie to me Light. Your lies work on everyone else if your life, but not me." Lie to me.

 

Light got a serious expression on his face, "I'm not lying. Let me prove it to you." I need you Ryuk. I appreciate you by my side. That is honest and must count for something.

 

That got the shinigami's interest. "How?"

 

"Phase into me." 

 

Ryuk hesitated. I felt L's emotions and its changed me, made me an almost useless shinigami. I only gave to Light my experiences before, what will happen to me if I take something from him? But the pull of Light was too strong, even for Ryuk. Let him try. "As you wish." And he entered Light, gently like a soft breeze.

 

Light felt the cold rush as before, but warmer somehow, less jarring. And he spoke to Ryuk in his mind, Listen. Feel. He moved to the center of the piano seat, placing the death note next to him, fingertips positioned above the keys. And he began to play a sonata** that Light loved most, that always filled him with a beautiful longing and deep emotion. He let the music flow from his mind to his hands like water in a stream, letting the impact of the melody build until he could feel the shinigami sigh within him. He closed his eyes, bringing to mind the bond he felt with Ryuk and wove all that complexity into his playing. The feeling of touching feathered wings. The happiness of knowing his presence was ever there. The appreciation for the care that he knew existed, but shouldn't. The fragility of his life, the fear he sometimes felt in the face of having a mortal life to lose. The place of Ryuk at his side as he ascended to godhood.

 

And he whispered to the voice within him, Do you feel this Ryuk? The music of humans is a kind of emotion too, isn't it? Do you understand me now? And the voice answered him back, painfully, I can't take it. Let me leave. Light kept playing harder, his fingers moving more rapidly, as if across L's body, You know now. Leave if you wish. But Ryuk stayed, although it hurt him. He faded into Light's mind, stitched there by ethereal music and pulled toward's Light's dark sun, and was no more than a mortal for a time. A brave human, a unique soul who reached out across the oceans and eons to touch divinity and might yet do it. One who's life was but a transient breath across the expanse of immortality, and yet so bright that he could believe that the universe may yet dissolve to molecules again at his feet.

 

Light opened his eyes; L was standing there watching him, his thumb pressed under his lip. "Come to me, L." L walked forward mesmerized by Light's glowing red eyes and the music. Light scooted forward for L to sit behind him, and he continued playing, letting the melody begin to reach crescendo as L stroked his leg from thigh to knee. Closing his eyes once more and resting his head back on L's shoulder, playing by memory alone, he dealt the final blow to Ryuk. He pushed his feelings about L to the forefront of his mind, laying them there for Ryuk like cards turned up on a table. The voice, so soft, You do this to bind me to you forever. Light smiled to himself, fingers working their magic on the keys, no less deadly than that of the death note, Yes, yes I do. Have I succeeded? And the voice answered, after a moment, Yes. Light's fingers spread wide across the keys, reaching to integrate the high notes, the low, leaning to bring the sonata to its conclusion at last. And L wrapped his arms around Light, sighing into him as Light turned his head to meet L's lips. To the voice yet within him, I'll win, Ryuk. Stay with me for all time.

 

Ryuk left him then, standing behind the two of them still silently embracing at the piano. They all turned to look at the door as the bell rang. Light got up, "That'll be breakfast." He went to open the door, taking the cart from the attendant and pushing it into the room. He shut the doors and picked up an apple, looking at Ryuk intensely from across the room. He stood there for a minute, holding it back like a secret, like a sin. "Ryuk, I don't want to bribe you with apples anymore." He tossed it to the shinigami, who caught it but didn't devour it as usual. An order, "I want your real loyalty."

 

And L had thought Light had never sounded more godlike as he did then, commanding a truly immortal being as easily as instructing a child.

 

Ryuk looked from the apple to Light, and back to the apple. This is nothing, Light. A momentary crumb. I want to feast forever. He floated over to Light. He held the apple back out to Light, and their hands both clenched the fruit, man and god, god and man, interchangeable, fragile, powerful. "You have it."

 

Light pulled the apple, and Ryuk, closer. "How do I know?"

 

Ryuk flicked a long, sharp talon from one of his claws and held it between them. "I bind my soul to yours, and our fates become one." This is the ultimate gift a shinigami can give you Light. How have you ensnared me so?

 

Light's eyes shone, wanting this certainty. "Yes......"

 

L stood up from the piano, drawn to the scene he was witnessing between Light and Ryuk. Some shinigami pact yet untold. Your soul...no Light, you belong to me..."Light...." Wait, think this through....

 

Don't stop this L. Light wants it more than you know, as do I. Ryuk crushed the apple in his claw and turned Light around so his naked back faced him. "I will help you become a god. We will be allies." And I will be at your side for an eternity, long after....

 

Light, over his shoulder, "Friends." Do it Ryuk.

 

Ryuk nodded solemnly and held his talon over Light's smooth, unmarked skin. L jumped between them, covering Light's back with his body. "Ryuk, wait! Light, don't do this. These shinigami deals always have a catch." Demanding of Ryuk, "Tell us."

 

Ryuk lowered his talon. "I will be bound to him forever, and my death note can never leave him. I cannot kill him nor go against his will without it meaning my death."

 

"And what does it mean for Light?"

 

"Light would absorb a shinigami power as a mortal, were I to ever die. And he...will become shinigami one day, as I am, at the end of his mortal life." 

 

Light turned to face them both, excitement there, "Real immortality, Ryuk? You offer me this?" I could remake the world, not just in my life, but for all time!

 

"Yes."

 

Light looked to L, conflicted. "But....I would live forever and L would die one day." Pollux, is this how you felt with Castor? 

 

Ryuk hesitated, but nodded. Yes.

 

This is everything you've always wanted Light. But its so fast. "Its your decision, Light." I cannot hold you back.

 

Light walked back to the piano, picking up the death note. He ran his fingers over the smooth leather cover, feeling it cry out to him of the rightness of this. Of holding it forever, only him. He turned back to L and Ryuk. "Ryuk, if I relinquished the death note back to you and you dropped it here in this room, back to earth....," He felt the death note cry out at that as he walked back to stand by L. "....if L and I touched the death note again at the exact same time to pick it up, would we both then own it, and could do this deal with you together?"

 

Ryuk's eyes glowed. You are a genius. Even outwitting the rules of death itself. "I do not know. I have never seen it happen." For you, anything seems possible. And for me, this would make so much forever impossible.

 

L grabbed Light's hand, "But it is possible?"

 

Ryuk shrugged, "It may be. But as soon as you release the death note, you will forget everything about it...me...L. You won’t know what to do."

 

Light stared into the abyss of shinigami eyes, “Then you must be my memory Ryuk. Help us touch it together after I forget everything. After Kira has died.” He looked to L, “And a new Kira is born.” The death note screamed out again and he willed it into silence. I will bend you to my will. I will bend them all, eternity itself.

 

L gave him a searching look, “Are you sure about this, Light? Do you trust Ryuk so much...with our lives...with us?” I'm scared Light.

 

Light did. “It’s the only way to protect us both from Beyond’s deathnote, from all death notes. And we’ll live forever L. Stars at last.” Not everything dies.

 

L felt exhilaration and dread. A whisper, “But at what cost?”

 

There is no price I wouldn’t pay for this. Light pulled him down to his knees, placing the death note between them and joining hands above it. To Ryuk, “Ryuk, after I release it, pick it up and drop it immediately. Then grab our wrists and make us touch the death note together. It has to be perfect.” He smiled up at the demon. “I’m counting on you.” 

 

Ryuk knelt beside them. Its not supposed to work like this. Do you know what you ask of me? But I'll do it for you Light. “Whenever you’re ready.”

 

Light closed his eyes. A whisper, "Zeus grant my wish." He opened them again, focusing on L alone. "Ryuk, I give up the death note to you.” And the expression on Light’s face slowly devolved to confusion. He looked around the room and down at his hands that were being grasped tightly by L. “Where am I?” He tried to pull back but L didn’t let go. “What’s going on?!”

 

Ryuk picked up the death note between them, and Light’s mouth fell open as the book appeared to hover in mid-air and fall back to the ground. 

 

L yelled, “Ryuk, now!” Light I can't bear to see you this way a moment longer...looking at me like that...so cold.....

 

Ryuk grabbed both their wrists, pulling their hands apart and slamming them down together on the death note. 

 

Light and L gasped and looked up at each other.

 

”HYUK!” Ryuk released their wrists and flew back, looking at them as if he’d just witnessed something unholy.

 

L whispered, “Did it work?” He kept his hand on the death note next to Light’s, barely breathing. “Light, do you remember me? Can you see Ryuk?” 

 

A smile broke out across Light’s face and he turned to Ryuk. “You did it.” L heaved a sigh of relief. You’re here.

  

Ryuk's voice was barely a whisper, "I can feel the change. It belongs to both of you." I didn't believe it would happen, even for you, Light. L is not your sacrifice, I am. Or perhaps, both.

 

Light picked up the death note and felt its power but not it’s voice. I’ve broken it’s will. A small laugh began inside him which grew louder. “It worked!” He stood up, pulling L up with him. “And now Ryuk. Bind yourself to me. To us both.” He turned L's back to Ryuk, and did the same. “Do it.”

 

Ryuk hesitated a moment. A second in mortal life but an eternity to a shinigami. Gods forgive me. He flicked his talons open on both hands and slashed his name across their backs simultaneously, names only seen, read with shinigami eyes.

 

Light turned around triumphant, laughing once again, but madder this time. You’re both mine. Forever. He walked to the window and felt the immortal possibilities stretch out towards the sky. Whispered, "I'm a god...." He touched the glass in front of the rising sun, and Ryuk caught his reflection there, eyes glowing with power, both innate and newly felt. But something human seemed less bright there now, and although L didn’t notice, Ryuk did. "A GOD!"

 

L took a step towards him, but stopped. What have we done....

 

And Ryuk wept.

 

—————

  

Beyond propped himself up on his elbow, gazing down with insane adoration at the black-haired mannequin lying stiffly in his bed. He spoke to it gently, stroking its blindfolded face, "Nothing left but to wait now. The pieces are in play and we only must see the outcome of the game. Soon...soon I will know you." The pawn is moving to protect the queen. He wrapped a leather-clad leg around the mannequin's waist, and whispered in its ear with raw longing, "Kira, Kira, Kira....how have you done what I dream...how...." He kissed the plastic lips. "How???" He bit the plastic neck. "HOW!!!!!" He kicked it off the bed and sat up, panting furiously. He recovered his temper, lifting the doll back to the bed tenderly, whispering apologies that Rem could not hear as he curled around it again. 

 

Rem held onto of her last memory of Misa, clutching it fiercely in her mind. Misa, dumped by Beyond on a dingy hotel bed in Yokohama, yet sleeping peacefully. "Beyond." Gretchen should be at the police station now, soon Misa, soon you'll be safe. The last thing I can ever do for you.

 

Beyond did not look up, or ignored her. He lifted the arms of the doll, positioning them above its head and pretended to hold them down on the bed. "Tell me your secret Kira...." You are a genius too, are you not?  He fell on top of it, first nuzzling it then sobbing pathetically against it. Would you be able to understand me? No one else ever has.... "I want...to be you....be with you....." He stroked the black nylon hair, plastic cheek to flesh and blood. "L cannot catch you, cannot find you...." He giggled a bit through the tears. "You've outwitted them all haven't you...." He closed his eyes, a whisper, "Haven't you....." You succeed where I failed. 

 

Rem floated over to the bed, trying to get his attention, "Beyond!"

 

Beyond's red eyes flashed dangerously up at Rem for interrupting his private moment. "WHAT REM?" His fingers laced into fake black hair and clenched tightly, possessively. 

 

"Turn on the news. We need to watch for when the press announces anything about finding Misa...and Gretchen being the second Kira." This won't be able to be kept secret. 

 

A fire started in Beyond's eyes and he shot up, "YES! Yes Rem. Good idea." I should not waste my time with copies. Soon the real thing will be under my fingers. He walked over to the tall panel TV against the wall and turned on the news. He looked at the time--9 o'clock. Gretchen should have spilled all to the police by now, and they should be on their way to retrieve Misa from the Lucky Libra. He brought a finger to his mouth, a comforting movement, "Nothing yet." He turned and paced, feeling impatient. He pulled over his desk chair and crouched in it in front of the TV, not taking his eyes off it. "When will you tell me his name Rem?" Nearly pleading, "When?" Please just tell me Rem. I must find him. He's the only one who could understand me. My pain. What they've done to me....why we need to kill to save ourselves....

 

Rem floated to his side. How can I keep both your promises? "When Misa is recovered and safe, I'll tell you."

 

Beyond chewed his thumb nervously, and reached into his pocket, eyes on the TV. He held it close, like a child would hold a teddy bear or blanket.

 

Rem caught the glint of steel in his hand. A razor. Again? Perhaps I should let you die, goad you to it. Something in her mind pained her terribly at that thought and she grimaced. I cannot. My bond to you prevents it. "Beyond, why do you want to find Kira? You seem nearly obsessed." She looked down at him. "Do you mean to kill him?"

 

No reason to pretend to you now Rem. Beyond gave a small shrug. "I don't know Rem." He looked down at the razor. Darkly, "And you are not one to speak of obsession. After you sold your immortal soul to me for 10 minutes with a silly girl." A barked laugh. 

 

Rem bristled at that but was silent. You know nothing of what I feel. Your twisted mind could not comprehend. Sorrow filled her heart once more, and hatred. Hatred for Light, for Beyond, for every human. All but Misa.

 

He looked up at her, feeling her hatred, and actually feeling sorry for his harshness. Softly, "Rem, he could save me."

 

Rem stared down at him pitilessly. "You are beyond redemption."

 

Beyond bowed his head, silently agreeing through his blurred vision. He held the razor blade to his arm and drew it slowly, carefully across his outer bicep until the familiar rush took over with the blood and he was there....where he always needed to be. Perhaps could always be there with Kira...with someone who didn't have to live in the shadow of their real self, who was powerful enough to tell the world to go to hell, could kill....kill...KILL....until all the world was dead and they stood above the bodies as one, laughing....and he would be REAL....he would be real at last.....Kira. Make me real.

Chapter Text

Sunbeams streamed around Light at the floor-to-ceiling window, bathing him in a full-body halo, so bright L nearly had to look away. A star already, Light?  L took a first step towards the nascent god, another, and then just one foot in front of the other until he was standing next to Light.

 

L bit his lip, gazing out the window at clouds made to blush. "I don't really feel any different. Was I supposed to?" You slide into this so easily, like you always expected it to come to you one day. He half expected Ryuk to answer, but heard only silence.

 

Light put an arm around L's shoulder and they stood there together a moment, taking it all in. "Physically I feel the same. Its our opportunities, our future that's changed. L, nothing is impossible. Not now."

 

L brought a finger to his lips, feeling the colors of the world intensely, as if for the first time. "Not for you. I believe it." I've seen you defeat death. There is nothing beyond your abilities, is there?

 

Light turned to him and smiled, brighter than the dawn, than any dawn. "For us." He turned back to the sun, rising higher in the sky. "So dawns our new beginning. Kira reborn." For now we only look upon eternity, but its waiting out there for us L.

 

L smiled back at him, "Someone once told me that sometimes you have destroy something to make it anew."

 

Light grinned out the window, catching L's reflected eyes in the glass. "Sounds like a smart guy."

 

L looked back at Light's reflected eyes, desire taking hold. Softly, "Actually he's a genius."

 

Light caught the look and licked his lips. "Careful." He turned to look into the real thing. Voice lower, "I think I'm going to be a jealous god." He pushed L up against the glass panel with his body, pinning him there. He licked across L's lips, which parted for him.

 

L felt the warmth of Light's chest pressed against him and the cold of the glass at his back, only just warming up after a cool autumn night. We're also caught between. Mortal and not mortal.  He whispered, "I don't think my Kami will mind."

 

Light kissed him then, hard, knocking his head against the glass. He let his hands run and up down L's chest, brushing his nipple and stroking it erect. A bit needier than he'd meant it to sound between their kiss, "Am I still your Kami?" He placed his hands on either side of L's face and looked into the deep wide grey. "You're as much of a god as I am."

 

L sighed, looking up at him. No, I'm not. And I never will be, Light. "I may be as immortal as you, Light." His hands went to Light's pants and unbuttoned them, reaching inside to stroke Light. "But only one of us is a god." You.

 

Light gave him a look of dark amusement and desire, "L, what do you think it feels like to get fucked by a god?"

 

L drew in a breath and stoked Light a little faster, relishing the pleasure in Light's eyes. "Show me."

 

Light unbuttoned L's pants and flipped him around, pressing his face to the glass. He kicked L's legs apart, feeling his cock pulse as L arched himself slightly towards him, ready. Light spat in his hand and positioned himself at L's entrance, remembering the first time he'd taken L on that rooftop table. He leaned in and whispered, "Ready to know god, L?"

 

L pushed back against him. Raggedly, "Yes....." I always knew what you were. So did you.

 

Light pushed into him and L moaned, taking his entire length, hands splayed out against the smooth glass but finding no purchase. Light wrapped one arm around L's waist and stroked him in time with his thrusts, building up a steady rhythm as they faded into each other. "L, we can have this for eternity....forever....."

 

L closed his eyes and turned to rest his forehead on the glass. "You've saved me....saved me....."

 

Light pressed his lips to the place that Ryuk had marked L's back, feeling a spark of adrenaline flow back into him. I cannot see it, but I know its there, somehow. Some power lives here. "We saved each other." His lips left an alternating trail of kisses and bites across L's shoulders and neck. I'm close, L. He sped up his stroking and L banged his head against the window with a gasp.

 

"I need to come. Let me....let me...." I need you to tell me. Give me absolution.

 

Light exhaled, knowing he was also close, panting, "Do it." And L immediately moaned and shot through Light's hand and against the window, and watched it slide down that smooth cold surface, feeling the hotness of Light's own orgasm within him.

 

Light and L leaned against the window together, Light pressing him to the barrier, for a few moments, just watching the sky. "There will never be another dawn like this one, Light."

 

Light smiled. "Who knows? We have a hundred billion dawns to compare it to."

 

L giggled a little. "I think this is going to be fun."

 

-----------

 

As L and Light walked into the monitor room at HQ a little after 9am, they were nearly deafened by the monitors all across the space blaring different newscasts. L froze and looked to Matsuda and Souichirou, who were discussing something with Watari by the screens.  

 

L grabbed Light's arm and gravitated towards the conversation, a finger hanging from his bottom lip. Something's happened.

 

Matsuda saw them approach and ran up to L. "FINALLY! Where have you two been?!!" He gave Light's dressy attire an accusing but appreciative look.

 

L and Light both went to open their cell phones, only now remembering that Light had insisted they turn them off during the party. And it had slipped his mind, and L's, to turn them back on this morning. L looked from his phone to Matsuda, "32 missed calls from you in the past hour?" He leapt into his chair and crouched there, sliding back into his work mindset. Maximum analytic stance. "What's happened?"

 

Souchirou strode forward, looking like he hadn't slept all night. "I've been at the station downtown since Misa's kidnapping. We got a call this morning from the police in Yokohama, saying that..." He looked to Light and coughed nervously,"....a girl named Gretchen Coates had just walked into their station this morning and said that she was the second Kira."

 

Light and L in unison, "WHAT?!" This is the work of the death note, without question. Rem, have you made your move at last?

 

Matsuda nodded hurriedly, excited. "And that's not all. She told the police that she knew of a missing person who could be retrieved from a hotel in Yokohama....the local police are on their way there now to check it out. We should get some updates soon." He smiled a little to himself, "Maybe Misa Misa is innocent after all!" Then frowned again, thinking about what that would mean given what they'd put her through. "I hope she's ok...."

 

Light fell into a chair and rubbed his temples. Now. Of course it had to be now. "Dad, what else did this Gretchen Coates say? Do they have a tape of her interview?"

 

Souchirou opened his phone, "I'll see if they do, and if we can get it." He paused, closing his phone again and turning to L. "Ryuzaki, we still have the fingerprints from Misa's Kira case, correct? The fingerprints that were on the tapes she sent."

 

L tented his fingers. Unlike the police, I don't lose evidence. "Of course. Did they get prints from Ms. Coates?"

 

Souchirou nodded, "Odd thing about that....she insisted that the police take her prints."

 

L's eyebrows rose at that. "Insisted?" He turned to Matsuda. "Matsuda, get those prints from Yokohama and run an analysis of them against the prints on the second Kira tapes." Matsuda nodded and strode out to the lobby where it was quieter to make calls. 

 

Light waved at the screens. "What's all this? Have the press got wind of this so quickly? The police are probably barely out the door."

 

Souchirou gave a tired smile, "I figured that the rescue of a famous idol and the capture of the potential second Kira won't be under wraps for long." He scanned the screens. "Nothing yet, but it will break."

 

L was gazing off into the distance, but managed to take the cup of sugared tea that Watari held out to him in his periphery. Dreamily, "You're absolutely right Yagami-san." He turned to the older man. "I have a request for the police in Yokohama and I need you to call them right away. Tell them to put Ms. Coates under suicide watch and not to leave her alone under any circumstances. This is very important."

 

Souchirou gave a serious nod and headed to join Matsuda in the lobby to make the call. 

 

L took a frosted strawberry danish from a tray Watari was holding and crammed the whole thing in his mouth. "Bthari. We nedth allfintel on Greffhen Cfuffs." 

 

Watari adjusted his glasses. "Sir?"

 

L swallowed and chased it with tea. "All intel on Gretchen Coates. Especially her movements in the last 24 hours, if we can get it." Watari nodded and put down the tray, heading into his office to get to work.

 

Ryuk flapped down from the balcony and perched on one of the monitors. "If Gretchen Coates is the Second Kira, then I'm the Queen of England, hyuk." He wobbled a bit on the screen and flapped down between L and Light. "But if this is Rem's doing, she's as good as dead either way."

 

Light looked up at Ryuk with a smirk, checking that everyone was gone. "Feeling better Ryuk? Thought you'd run off for a bit." Ryuk just shrugged and gave him an irritated sigh.

 

L took another sip of tea. "My thoughts exactly, Ryuk, but a question remains." He looked to Light.

 

Light leaned forward and smiled, "Has Rem done us a favor without meaning to?"

 

L nodded. "It will make us look silly for accusing Misa, but there's a upside to the police believing the second Kira is Gretchen."

 

"Misa is one of the last suspicious pieces linking Kira to me."

 

"Hyuk!" Ryuk thought of something and stopped. "I doubt this is the end of it though, Light, the last you'll see of Rem. She didn't follow your plan for a reason." If only I could believe she'd just free Misa and go away, but I know now the depth of her obsession with Misa. All too well do I know.

 

L sighed. "I think what Ryuk is saying is that Rem may now put into motion her attempts to kill you, especially if she's cleared Misa."

 

Light nodded, standing up to pace a bit in thought. "But we really only have circumstantial evidence on Misa's connection to the second Kira. Of course, I know it was her, but Gretchen's confession and fingerprints are likely to hold up in court, and in the eyes of the police." Light's voice trailed off as Matsuda and Souchirou came back into the room

 

Matsuda called to L from the door, "Yokohama's sending the prints to the station, I'm going to head there now to light a fire under their asses." He turned to leave, but stopped and walked up to L. He pulled a thumb drive from his pocket. "Almost forgot, here's the forensics from ....er....Misa's apartment." He blanched a little at the thought of Mogi and hurried out the door before they saw his face.

 

L held up the drive by his fingertips, staring at it a moment before popping it into his laptop. He eyes darted to Souichirou, "Did you get through to Yokohama?" He started typing rapidly.

 

Souchirou nodded, "They put two officers on her. Said she seems like she's in some kind of state of shock. Refuses to answer questions. But they're sending over tapes of what they have."

 

No Dad, its not shock. But, she's still alive for now. He exchanged a glance with L. "L someone needs to be there in Yokohama, we need eyes there on Gretchen, and if Misa is recovered." 

 

Not you Light. "Yagami-san." Not looking up from his furious typing.

 

The police chief deflated a little, looking like he was hoping to get a little sleep. But then straightened up and said in his most official-sounding voice, "Of course. I'll head there now, and let the Yokohama police know I'm on my way."

 

"No need, I already did. They'll be expecting you in 30 minutes. Please keep us updated."

 

Light touched his father's arm, "Be careful."

 

Souchirou smiled at Light, "Don't worry, if Misa's there we'll make sure she's recovered safely."

 

How little you understand, Dad. I hope that's always the case. "Thanks Dad." And he watched his father walk out of the room with a small sense of foreboding. I don't like this.  "L, I feel I should go with him. He looked tired, and he hasn't been out of the hospital but a week."

 

"Out of the question." I need you here with me Light.

 

Light snapped his eyes to L's and he walked towards him. Light leaned down on the arms of L's chair, pinning him in it. A whisper, "You can't stop me." Don't tell me what to do, L.

 

"Trust your father, Light. Trust me." He looked up into amber eyes. Please. Stay.

 

Light let his his head fall forward with a sigh, "Fine. But--"

 

"BREAKING NEWS! WE HAVE WORD THAT A WOMAN IN YOKOHAMA HAS CONFESSED TO BEING THE SECOND KIRA JUST THIS MORNING."

 

L, Light, and Ryuk all turned up to the booming voice of the newscaster, their disagreement forgotten. 

 

---------

 

Rem watched Beyond crawl across the floor towards the screen, mouth hanging open, red eyes bright. Just seconds before he'd leaned forward in his chair so steeply he'd fallen right out of it and hadn't bothered to get back up. She'd been tempted to laugh, but then remembered what might happen if she did.

 

"FURTHERMORE, THE SUSPECT HAS DIRECTED POLICE TO THE LOCATION OF AMANE MISA, CELEBRATED POP STAR KIDNAPPED RECENTLY, WHO HAS BEEN RECOVERED AND IS ON HER WAY TO THE HOSPITAL. OUR CONTACT REPORTS THAT MISS AMANE WAS UNHARMED BUT REMEMBERS NOTHING OF HER ORDEAL. MORE DETAILS WILL BE REPORTED AS THEY COME IN."

 

He whipped his head around to Rem, grinning impossibly wide. He giggled softly at first then louder, creeping over to her slowly like some stalking predator. A singsong voice, "Reeeeeeemmmm. Oh Re-em." He stopped in front of her, pulling into a crouch. He cracked his neck and looked up at her expectantly. Steel behind his voice. "Its time."

 

She stiffened. I must do this Misa, I'm sorry. But she felt a pain in her heart, not like the real physical one she'd felt when she thought about goading Beyond to suicide, but something worse. I am truly cursed. Panicking, Rem turned her back and started to float away from him. I cannot do this. She felt a searing pain in her middle and doubled over, stopping her retreat. She looked up at Beyond, who was watching her intently with glowing red eyes. 

 

"Don't you turn your back on ME, Rem." His eyes burned again and Rem fell to her knees as if stabbed. "Come here and answer me!"

 

Rem composed herself and lifted herself with her wings, slowly flapping back to Beyond. "I hate you."

 

"I don't care." He got up, grabbing the death note and pointing it at her. "TELL ME!"

 

Words that Rem did not form passed her lips. "Yagami Light is Kira." Pain.

 

Beyond's eyes widened, and he touched his bottom lip with a trembling finger. Whispered, "Yagami Light." The light in his eyes shone, unblinking.

 

Rem felt the pain again, but was helpless to deny him. She hissed at him, "Yes."

 

Beyond fell to the floor on his back and started rolling around gleefully. "LIGHT! Yagami Light...." FINALLY! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes......He laid there still, eyes closed for a few minutes and Rem wondered if he'd fallen asleep. But he sat up, chewing his finger thoughtfully. "Light...." He looked up at Rem again, a dreamy smile on his face. "Tell me about him. I want to know EVERYTHING."

 

Rem's wings drooped a little. "What do you want to know?"

 

Beyond leapt up and started to pace excitedly, chewing his thumb to bits. He paused and snapped his head to her, "Is he beautiful?" Smiling darkly around his bleeding thumb.

 

Rem looked at him with disgust. "Humans would find him to be so."

 

He took a step towards her, finger falling away and now biting his lip in anticipation. "And young?"

 

"He's eighteen."

 

Beyond looked like he'd just unwrapped the biggest present under some nightmarish Christmas tree. Slyly, "How big's his cock, Rem?"

 

Rem rolled her eyes. "These are not the important questions, Beyond."

 

Oh yes they are Rem. The MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS! Beyond giggled, zooming around the room in a frenzy and stopping to right his chair and pull it to the desk. "Light.....Light....Yagami Light....." His fingers tapped excitedly and he banged the return key. He gasped. "REM! REM! Look at this Rem!" He pointed excitedly to the screen, beckoning Rem over to look.

 

Rem reluctantly floated over to him, staring down at a news picture that was definitely not Light. "That's not him."

 

Beyond bit his lip and let out a tiny laugh, as if he knew a secret that Rem didn't know. Or one she did know and would tell him soon. "Nope. Look closer."

 

Rem actually looked this time. "That's live footage of the scene from the hotel." And then she noticed the name above the head of the person on camera. Yagami Souchirou. On the screen, they were interviewing him, naming him Chief of Police and Official Head of the Kira Task Force. I feel sick. I can't lie to him. I've seen this man at Light's house. Its his father.

 

He turned his wide grey eyes from the newsfeed up to Rem. Oh, she knows...."Rem, he has Light's same last name. He's the Chief of the Kira Task Force?" He reached absently into his pocket, his thumb rubbing the smooth pebble there. Lucky...lucky.... "Rem, I feel like there's something you're not telling me."

 

And Rem was right, she couldn’t lie to him.

  

 ------

Sometime in 2005......

 

67 sat in the corner away from the other Winter Children, as he thought of themselves. Because the walls, the furniture, their clothes, their very eyes were nothing but sterile grey and white. Their toys were permitted garish colors, the luxurious primaries and pastels, so he knew such hues did exist. But when the toys were swept away by the grownups, when it was time to work, the world was nothing but snowy white and the air was always cold. But for the moment the children were happy, because it was Sunday, and that meant playing outside in the grassy courtyard. Play for everyone but 68. 

None of the other children dared speak to 68, none of them considered him a friend. No one considered him at all, except for 67. And on Sundays, when the other five Children played cramped games of hide and seek, where everyone was easily found and nothing was ever secret under the sunshine, the grown ups left 68 locked in his room. For their own protection, they were told. Not enough grown ups here today to watch, just like every Sunday. And they never listened to 67, who each week would say that he would watch 68, make sure he behaves. But there had been too many incidents for the grown ups to go along with this. Too many self-inflicted injuries. Too many attempts to escape. Too many times he had gone wrong. 68 was too much of everything, yet still precious to them. So, 67 didn't join the outside games. He merely sat in the corner of the courtyard, stacking colored blocks or tiny pebbles as high as they could go, imagining they were a ladder to somewhere else, a ladder that he and 68 could climb. Like Jack and the Beanstalk, they just needed a magic seed to plant, and 67 would wake up and find it a leafy tower twisting to the heavens. A place where all the world had color and every child could play on Sunday and no one ever hurt you.

When the sun finally betrayed them and playtime was over, the grown ups brought all the children back inside to the snow, and each child was locked again in their tiny room for the night. That was when 67 knew that 68 would be waiting for him by his air vent to speak to him through the wall. When 67 heard the last footfalls of the grownups down the hall, when he was sure they were truly gone, he popped the tiny vent out of the wall and knelt down beside it. He peered into the airway, but 68's vent was not open this time. He whispered to him across the grey inches, the miles, and finally the other side was removed and he saw 68's dark-rimmed eyes peering back at him. 

 

"68! I brought you something." 67 reached into his pocket and pulled out the best pebble he'd found today. He went to his belly on the floor and held it out into the vent. "Here." The pebble was smooth, translucent; he knew better than to give 68 anything sharp.

 

A tentative hand reached in from the other side and took it, and he examined it, turning it over in his palm. "Pretty." 68 went to his belly too and they were face to face through the vent. "What did you play?" 

 

"I just stacked blocks, looked for pebbles. Their games are stupid."

 

68 smiled, "Yeah they are. Stupid."

 

"I tried to get them to let you come out this time but they wouldn't listen."

 

"Grown ups. I hate them. They'll never let me out again."

 

"Maybe if you were really good...."

 

68 looked back to the pebble. "I really do try."

 

"What did you do today?"

 

"Work."

 

"They made you work on a Sunday? I thought there weren't enough grown ups here and thats why you couldn't come out." 

 

"Its a lie. They always made me work while you all play." A dark cloud passed 68's face.

 

"Did they hurt you?"

 

Silence on the other end of the vent.

 

67 reached his hand inside, "What did they do?"

 

68 reached his hand across too, and they clutched the pebble together. "I have to get out of here." Tears were streaming down 68's face. "They're going to kill me soon, I heard them."

 

67 shook his head, his eyes going wide as he saw the fresh needle marks on 68's extended arm where they bled him again, the new purple bruises from the restraints. "No, its not your time. Not yet."

 

68 clenched his hand around 67's, driving the pebble into it a bit painfully. "No one is safe here but you....." He turned 67’s pale, unmarked arm sharply.

 

67 cried, feeling helpless and afraid. "I wish magic was real. Like in the stories, the kids are always saved from the monsters. By magic."

 

68 released his hand in frustration, but took the pebble. "Magic isn't real." He got up and kicked something in the room, hard, but then came back after a moment. He bent down to smirk at 67. "But I'm going to get us out of here. Just you wait......and then I'm going to kill them....I'll kill them all."

Chapter Text

Light's jaw clenched a little, watching the newscaster on TV tell the tale of how the heroic Yokohama police had supposedly unraveled the second Kira case and rescued Misa. By the afternoon, Matsuda had phoned in to tell them that Gretchen's prints were a match for the tapes that Misa sent to the police and press, but of course, Light already knew that. Misa told me that she made sure her friend's prints, and not hers, were on those tapes. And Rem was standing right there the whole time. He picked up his phone to call Misa for the third time, and like the times before, she didn't pick up.

 

L watched him from the couch in his rooms, chin resting on his crouching knee. "They said Misa was in the hospital, Light. She probably won't even have her phone right now." He stretched out his open palm. "Come here." 

 

Light exhaled and slowly closed his phone. I hate it when you're right. He gravitated to L and sat down beside him, letting L's hand run through his hair in a way that was somehow soothing. Frustrated, "Rem knows I'm Kira. Why hasn't she had someone go to the police and revealed MY identity yet?" He grabbed the remote and muted the news.

 

L continued to rake his fingers though Light's soft hair. Calmly, “Does Light-kun believe that Rem is the one pulling the strings...or the puppet?”

 

”I don’t know which is worse to be honest.”

 

L’s hand stilled. “I do.” He stood up, looking down at Light.

 

L looks worried. Who IS Beyond Birthday exactly? He stood as well, rising to meet L’s gaze with slightly narrowed eyes. “I’m not afraid of him. He’s nothing but another fake Kira.” But something did trouble him. He took out his deathnote and flipped to the page where he’d written Beyond Birthday’s name weeks ago. He pointed to it to L. “But, look. How do we explain this.”

 

L looked but didn’t feel any better. Worse. “All that means is that Beyond Birthday isn’t his real name.” 

 

Light took out the pen L had given him and held it and the death note out to L. “You knew him once, knew his face and name, didn’t you? Can’t you do it?” The death note belongs to you too now, L.

 

L shook his head. “I don’t remember anything about him from our... childhood. And I never saw him in person during the LA murder case. I told you I worked from afar. I recently searched the police databases for his mug shot or any pictures of him after his arrest and they’ve been deleted.” Hacked more like. You covered your tracks, B, as I would have. 

 

Light tilted his head in thought. "The databases at Wammy's? Watari has nothing?"

 

"The files at Wammy's....as soon as someone left all their records were destroyed. For their protection and ours. And Watari never kept real names or pictures." Which is why I've been so successful in hiding my own identity, Light.

 

“If he’s your clone, he must look just like you.” 

 

”All the more reason to be careful here.” A lop-sided smile. “I don’t want to end up a shinigami quite yet, Light.”

 

Light sighed, putting the death note in his jacket. “Then we have no choice but to find him."

 

L crouched in the overstuffed chair, pushing his thumb under his bottom lip. "And then what? If we don't know his real name...."

 

Light scanned the room for Ryuk, and found him perched on top of the grandfather clock. "Ryuk, come down here." Ryuk could see his name.

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes and flapped down from the clock to sit on the couch next to Light, chin propped in his hand sullenly. "Decide you need something again?" I'm invisible to you unless you can use me, huh. But still, you know I'd help you willingly. 

 

Oh I see. I never thanked him...he's hurt. "Ryuk...no....I'm sorry we ignored you this morning, its just been....we'll you've seen."

 

A single sulky "Hyuk" was all the answer Light got.

 

"Ryuk, I apologize...." Turn on the charm, Light. You need him. Light softly stroked the edge of Ryuk's wing; Ryuk had taken the habit of always becoming corporeal whenever he was near Light. Do you do that in hopes that maybe I'll touch you, even accidentally? The feathers bristled out, ruffled, then smoothed back down with Light's touch. "You gave me my heart's desire."

 

I can't stay annoyed with you. I can't be anything with you except...."Hyuk...I didn't expect anything." Ryuk rubbed his chin. "But a 'thank you Ryuk for making me a god' wouldn't have killed ya, hyuk."

 

L stifled a laugh. "I think technically nothing can kill him now, Ryuk." He smiled a little bit, a finger in his mouth and eyes wide as ever.

 

Ryuk chuckled, the tension broken. But he looked between them, a new kinship there. We're the same. He grinned at Light, a real smile, gruesome as it was, still something honest and beautiful there. "What have you two done to me?" You've become more shinigami and I've become more human....but wasn't that also MY heart's desire?

 

L exchanged a look with Light that said 'Make up with him' and gave him an amused shrug.

 

Light laughed easily and reached over and hugged an absolutely astonished Ryuk, wrapping his arms under his wings. He held him tight, laying his head on that spiky, monstrous shoulder, and exhaled the words he knew Ryuk needed to hear, "Thank you Ryuk for making me a god." I mean it. 

 

And Ryuk couldn't even hug Light back. The feeling of that warm beautiful body pressed against him willingly was just about enough to send him back to the shinigami realm in a rocket. Every feather on his wings stood on end and all he could do is let out a tiny strangled hyuk. He sat there frozen until Light finally let go and sat back on the couch. But just stared straight ahead, not saying anything. That wasn't meant for L, it was meant for me.

 

Light looked at him curiously. "Um...should I not have done that? I didn't think there were any rules about--"

 

But Ryuk cut him off, booming, "YES YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE IT." He coughed a little, embarrassed. "Er....I mean, um, its fine." He flapped up from the couch and composed himself atop the clock again. "Which is to say....you're welcome, hyuk." But his eyes shone brightly. I'll never forget that, Light. He smoothed his raggedly-looking feathers out with his claws. Change the subject Ryuk. "Anyway, what is it you wanted to ask me."

 

Light bit back his smile, trying not to laugh at Ryuk's embarrassment. "Well I wanted to know a couple things....there's two owners, and one death note. Who do you follow now?"

 

Ryuk smirked at him. "Assuming you two ever leave each other's side? You."

 

Light gave him a puzzled look. "Why?"

 

Ryuk shrugged. "Dunno. That's just the way it is. Our bond is stronger." Or, more like, because I love you. "But I think it may be possible to go between you both without having to worry about the usual distance limitations shinigami have on earth."

 

Light knew better. So you can choose, and you choose me.

 

L stared up at him. "So if Light was in France and I was in Japan, you'd be able to go between us both?"

 

Ryuk nodded, "I think so. But this is a first for me too, hyuk. I'm not really sure of anything. Its just a feeling, shinigami intuition."

 

Light considered that. Might come in useful. A completely secret way to communicate across distances. "And you've heard us talking about Beyond Birthday. About his real name. Would you be able to tell us his name if you saw him? Would you still get punished for that now?"

 

Ryuk's eyes glowed red. "I am free of the shinigami king's hold now, when I bound my soul to you. The only one who can punish me, hurt me is you now Light."

 

"And L."

 

Ryuk nodded. Please don't. 

 

Light and L stared at each other. Light spoke to Ryuk but kept eyes on L. "You don't have to worry about that with us, Ryuk. You know we'd never hurt you." Looking at Ryuk, "So can you kill for us then?"

 

Ryuk gave him a cautious look. "The one thing I cannot do, the only thing I cannot do, is extend the life span of a mortal out... of love." I saved you best I can, Light. I cannot extend your mortal life without my forever death. "That doesn't change. For any shinigami."

 

Light frowned. "And killing Beyond Birthday might do just that."

 

L shook his head slowly. "No. I won't ask Ryuk to do that." 

 

Light leaned back on the couch. L, you soft heart. "Of course not. But all we need is his name. And this." He held up the death note. 

 

L stood up and walked to Light, pointing to the notebook. "Light, give me a page."

 

Light hesitated but opened it and then neatly tore out a page, handing it to L. I felt it cry. Does it truly wish to stay with me so badly? "Here. Not a bad insurance policy for you to have."

 

L held the blank page between his finger tips. "My thoughts exactly." 

 

__________

 

"Star Light....star bright......first star.....I see tonight." Beyond held the mannequin in his arms, stroking the light brown hair now swapped from black. He tousled it and smiled. "Does this color look right Rem?" He looked at her hopefully.

 

Rem looked from the corner of her eye. Ugh. "Yes, it is similar." 

 

The mannequin was now dressed as a college student might, a black polo shirt and slacks. Normal clothes. He's not normal, though. He's a GENIUS! Back to Rem, a finger in his grinning mouth, "His eyes. What color?"

 

"Amber."

 

Beyond gasped and bit down hard. "OW!!!" He looked at his bruised finger. Unimportant. "But Rem..." He looked at the doll with grave disappointment. "These eyes are BLACK." A frown. This would not do. He took his knife and pried out the glass eyes of the doll, holding them in his hands like precious marbles. He clinked them together and giggled. "Young men's love lies not truly in their hearts but in their eyes." He grabbed a yellow marker and colored over the black glass, carefully filling in the entire ebony space. "Must stay in the lines Rem.......stay in the lines....the lines...." He held up the newly colored eyes triumphantly, a decent approximation of light brown. "How about this, close?"

 

Rem didn't even bother to look this time, she just nodded. 

 

Beyond smiled wide and blew on the ink to dry it, and then stuck the eyes back in the mannequin. He held it up to Rem for a final showing. "Rem. Look."

 

Rem ignored him, to her peril. 

 

"REM LOOK."

 

Her head snapped up then of its own accord, and her eyes were made to focus on Beyond's plastic obsession. What a sick farce. Through her teeth, hostile, "Not nearly good enough." That's not Light you lunatic.

 

Beyond let the mannequin fall from his hands to the floor with a clatter. Softly, dangerously, "Oh really." He stepped towards her slowly, inky hair hanging long in his eyes, knife still in his hand. A growl, "Not good enough IS IT????????." His shinigami eyes glowed and she fell to her knees in pain.

 

She was frozen to the spot as he advanced, unable to move. Foul, foul deal. Unholy! Cursed. But perhaps no more than I deserve. A whisper, "You're insane." And I fear you.

 

He was right in front of her, trembling. Brokenly, "So you think he could never love me." He held the knife to her throat, pressing hard. "IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING REM?" Oh yes, I can hurt you now, cut you now. I know....I KNOW....

 

Rem considered her words carefully. Calmly, "That's....that's not what I'm saying, Beyond. I'm sure he could love you." After a moment, she brought herself to standing, feeling his power over her weaken at those golden words. Yes, I must tell him what he wants to hear. "Just that a doll is no real stand-in for the real Yagami Light.

 

Beyond's eyes widened at that and he lowered the knife. Wonder displaced blind rage, "Is he really that special Rem? Truly?"

 

Rem gathered herself, confident in her new approach. I'm sorry Misa, this is the path I must take to save us both. "Of course. There is none that compare to him." She pretended to look down her nose at the doll. "You only insult him with this....nonsense. What would he think?"

 

Beyond looked back to the doll, spilled across the floor ungracefully, artifically. "Oh GOD!....you're right......!" His hand went to his mouth in a panic and he stuck the knife hastily back in his pants. "It is.....it is.....INSULTING!" He kicked the mannequin's head and it went flying across the room, hitting the wall and popping out the eyes. He whipped back to Rem, apologetic, "Rem......Rem.....I'm sorry....you must never tell him about this. Please?" Pleading. Humiliation. I am beneath him, so beneath him. Worthless copy. Oh god I am nothing and he is everything, perfection..... He paced, whispering softly, "Never never never never never never never never...."

 

Rem smiled to herself. "Of course Beyond." I have found your weakness at last. 

 

He crouched on the floor with his back to her, chastised. “No wonder Misa loved him so. I suppose that’s why you hate him so much, want him dead.”

 

Rem deeply regretted telling him about Misa’s connection to Light, but she’s had no choice. Again.

 

He took out his knife and held it up to the light, catching Rem’s reflection behind him. A whisper, “I know you hate me too. But I don’t hate you. I don’t like to hurt you.”

 

”Yes you do.”

 

Beyond stared back to the blade. With a glimmer of self-awareness, “No. I really don’t.” He drew it across his bare chest, parallel to several scars already there. He closed his eyes. “Only me...” Whispered, “What I wouldn’t do for love...even yours Rem...”

 

Rem said nothing. Then why do you do it?

 

He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, like sucking in all the air in the room. Eyes snapped open. "Rem. Its time for a field trip." Blood trickled slowly from his chest, unnoticed. I’m whole, I’m safe.

 

She gave him a wary look. "To where."

 

He smiled to himself, placing the knife in his waistband and letting his hand travel lower to the hardness beneath. "To Light of course. I need to find him.....show him....."

 

Rem was quiet a moment then spoke. "Beyond. You know now he's working with L. With 67. And against him.”

 

Beyond shifted in his crouch, a little agitated. "Yes what of it. Light’s hiding in plain sight, isn't he?" A small laugh between fingers. "I'd do the same. Get information about the case against you and manipulate the trust of your enemy. Its brilliant, Rem.” 

 

“Aren’t you afraid L will find you? So close to Light, Kira...you’ll draw his attention if you contact Light.”

 

Beyond stood and gazed sadly at the broken mannequin across the room. “I hope so Rem.” He went to pick up the newly-painted eyes and the doll’s head. He replaced one glass eye then took the pebble from his pocket and pressed it into the other socket. It fits. “Let L see that I’ve beat him. That I’ve captured Kira as he was unable to do.” He placed the head back on the doll’s body, it’s dead eyes staring into nothingness. Beyond stood next to it, shoulders slumped.

 

Rem floated towards him. Why am I helping him? What’s wrong with me? “His father. He could draw Light to you.”

 

”I’ve thought about it. Light would hate me. More than you hate me now.” I want him to love me Rem. 

 

“Then follow him. Follow Light and wait for your moment.”

 

I’m past this Rem. I already know what to do. Beyond brought a thoughtful finger to his lips. “As far as he knows, I *am* L.....” He reached down to smear the nearly-dried blood on his chest and brought fingers to his mouth absently. “And I will be....” He stood up and walked to the desk and the scrap of the death note he’d hidden away, the one he’d touched Misa with, drawn there by what he must do. I’m sorry Rem, I will never have your love after this. But I may have his.

 

—————

 

Light picked up the phone right away when it rang. Misa. “Misa! What happened?” Remembering his charade, “How are you?”

 

The voice on the other end sounded tired. “Light....I don’t know....one moment I was asleep in my apartment and the next, I was in the hospital.”

 

“Are you out now?” He set the phone to speaker so L could hear too.

 

”Yes, they’ve released me. I’m at the Sakura, my apartment is still a crime scene.” She was quiet for just a moment then said, “Won’t you meet me? I can tell you everything in person.”

 

Light looked to L, who shook his head no very slightly.

 

“Can you come here? Kira HQ?”

 

”Not that place...after what I’ve been through there, and been through recently...no....”

 

”Where then?”

 

”At the coffee shop on Inuoe, called Gombei. Do you know it?”

 

 I know it. “Yes. What time?”

 

”How about 8pm, so in an hour?”

 

L had stood up and was shaking his head no a bit more emphatically.

 

Light looked away, “Ok, I’ll be there at 8.” 

 

”Just you.”

 

Light sighed. “Ok.”

 

And she hung up.

 

Light closed the phone and turned back to L. “Don’t look at me like that. I have to find out what she knows.”

 

L chewed his thumb from the couch. “I don’t like it. I don’t like you going alone.”

 

Light smiled, “I won’t be, really, will I? I’ll have Watari drive me there and back, and I’ll even wear the earpiece if that makes you feel better.”

 

L stepped towards him and reached into his jacket, taking out the pen he’d given him. “I didn’t get a chance to explain it before, but this pen can act as a homing beacon if you press here.” L pointed to the diamond holding the place of the star Castor in the Gemini constellation. “Just press this three times quickly and both Watari and I will receive the signal.” He held the pen back out to Light. “Promise me you’ll use it, I don’t care if it’s a false alarm. Promise me.”

 

Light took it and brushed his thumb over the diamond button. “I promise, L.” He smiled easy. “I’ll just have a coffee and maybe we’ll know more about what happened with Misa, Mogi....” He smoothed the hair out of L’s eyes. “Don’t worry so much. It’s me, remember?”

 

And that’s exactly what L was worried about.

 

——

 

Sometime in 2005......

 

68 sat in the corner of his room, staring at the closed vent, knowing 67 was on the other side of it, sleeping soundly. Secure in the knowledge that he was no one’s copy, no one’s fake....he was unique, a real person. Not some stolen soul. A stolen face, life, mind, blood. That’s what 68 was. Oh the grownups loved to tell him in his more disobedient moments. That he only existed because he was a clone of 67. Clone. He hadn’t understood what that meant at first. But they’d been too happy to explain. To hurt him. To strip away any pretense of his individuality. Because his life didn’t matter anyway, not to them. They kept him to bleed him, only that was precious to them. And when that was done, or when he’d finally caused them more trouble than he was worth, life would end. Because as long as they had 67, there was no end to the clones. No end to copies, to shadows. 

 

He closed his eyes and tried to become a real person, a real boy. Separate from 67. Different. Unique.

 

But it was no use. He was only real when he bled, just like the grownups said. And no one was going to save him.

Chapter Text

"Ryuk's going with you." L had a serious look in his eye and every nail was chewed to the quick. To Ryuk, "Keep an eye on him."
 

Ryuk flapped behind Light, who was putting the death note back in the safe. "No problem. Not like he has much of a choice, hyuk."

 

Light sighed. "I'm not a child, L. You of all people know I'm capable." He checked his appearance a final time in the mirror and went to the door. “Anyway, I can’t stay here holed up from the world like you. I’m supposed to be an innocent college student, remember?” 

 

Staying holed away has kept me alive this long. L still dogged his footsteps as he headed out of the room. And I also know you’re cocky, feel invincible now. "At least take this with you." He held out the page of the death note to Light, now a folded square. 

 

Light looked down at it and shook his head. "No, too dangerous, someone might touch it and be able to see Ryuk. I have a scrap in my watch still. That's good enough." Geez, L.

 

L let his hand drop back to his side, and looked up at him through wisps of black hair fallen into his eyes. Softer, "If not that, then this." He pulled something from his pocket and shoved it into Light's hand insistently. 

 

Light looked down at it in surprise. "A gun?!" Then back to L, eyes wide. L please don't tell me this is one of your mementos from a previous case. "L, these are illegal." And not just any gun, a Desert Eagle. This won't just stop someone, it'll blow their head apart.

 

L gave him a half-smile. "You're on the Kira taskforce. Exceptions can be made." Don't forget who I am, either, Light. He leaned forward to kiss Light, and they grasped the gun together.

 

Light's fingers clenched around the cold metal as L's tongue pressed into his mouth. Better stop this, or I won't go after all. And this gun...makes me feel even more powerful....how would it look between your pretty lips, L?

 

L let one hand weave into Light's hair, but L knew he had to otherwise hold back. He pulled away, terrible at keeping his serious face on now. They both looked back to the Desert Eagle. "You know how to use it?"

 

Light held it up, pretending to aim at himself in the mirror. Sexy. "I figure you point this end at the thing you want to kill." He laughed. "And pull the trigger."

 

L watched him, feeling both disturbed and turned on. Its not a toy. "That's the basic idea." And you like it a bit too much I think. 

 

Light lowered the gun and stuck it in his waistband under his shirt. To L, "Anyway, I'm going to be late. Watari already downstairs?" He opened the door and stepped into the hall.

 

L grabbed his arm. "Wait!" He reached into his pocket and took the earpiece and put it in Light's ear. "Almost forgot."

 

Light touched it and smiled. Then turned down the hall, Ryuk flapping behind him, following on his heels close as his next breath.

---------

 

Light stretched out in the back of the limo, and adjusted his earpiece. "Coming in L?"

 

L answered immediately. "Yes, I hear you Light." Some static on the other end that was probably just his nervous chewing. "You can still come back you know." But I know you won't.

 

Watari buzzed back to Light. "Sir, would you like me to drop you off out front?"

 

"Around the corner would be better. Don't want to draw attention." The car slowed at a short distance from Gombei. "Just make a few laps and I'll give you a call when I'm done."

 

"Very good, sir." 

 

Light waited for the limo to stop and he opened the door, checking the gun was secure before stepping out to the sidewalk. Watari zoomed down the street, and Light held his hand out to catch the beginnings of rain. Damn. He turned street corner, Shibuya absolutely alive tonight, like every night, even Tuesday. Slim men and women from host and hostess bars held out flyers for their establishments, which he politely refused. Couples were arm in arm, some businessmen with loosened ties were discussing where to kick back for the night. Just another normal night in Dogen-zaka. Except there's an electricity in the air that I don't usually feel. The rain?

 

Ryuk scanned the crowd's names, checking for anyone that might look like L, or with a name even hinting at 'Beyond Birthday.' And of course, for Rem, who he was sure he couldn't miss. "Nothing weird, Light-o."

 

Light gave a slight nod and crossed the street until he was standing in front of Gombei. He could see Misa sitting alone in a booth, poking listlessly at an ice cream sundae. He exhaled and pushed open the door, sending the door chime ringing. The barista at the counter welcomed him from across the cafe and he gave them a vacant response, heading straight for Misa. He slid into the booth smoothly, "Misa."

 

Misa looked up, looking a bit dazed. The strawberry sundae was partly melted, it didn't look like she'd taken a single bite. "Oh Light. Thank you for coming."

 

"Of course, Misa. I've been worried sick." But not about you.

 

She smiled a little, but looked around suddenly. "Are you alone?"

 

Light glanced at Ryuk, flapping thin as air next to the booth. "Yes, just as you asked." He took her hand. Cold. "Misa, what happened? What do you remem--"

 

But just then a waitress walked up to the table. "Can I get you something sir, a coffee?"

 

Light looked up, annoyed at being interrupted, but Misa had pulled her hand away and was also now standing. "I have to go to the ladies room." And she walked off into the cafe corridor. 

 

Light sighed and leaned back in irritation. "Sure, why not. I'll have a double expresso." The waitress nodded and went to the bar to make the drink. Light heard L in his ear, "Light, something's off with her. Could be the trauma, but...stay alert."

 

Light grabbed a napkin and wrote I know on it. He looked down at the napkin so L could see, then flipped it over as the waitress brought him his coffee and set it on top. She hesitated at his table a moment, and he looked up. "Yes?"

 

She fidgeted a bit. "Would your name happen to be Light?"

 

Ryuk's head snapped to the waitress.

 

Light's eyes narrowed, making the waitress even more nervous.

 

She stammered, "Its just that.....that.....someone asked me to give a man named Light this present, and their description sounded a lot like you."

 

Light sat up slightly. "A present? Who asked you?"

 

Ryuk touched down on the floor. "Light-o. Don't like this." He scanned around for Rem, but saw nothing but normalcy in the cafe.

 

She smiled and shrugged. "Just some other customer who was in here earlier. Said it was your birthday. Paid me $200 bucks to do it. How sweet." She reached in her apron and set a small, beautifully-wrapped box on the table in front of Light. She couldn't hide her own curiosity. "Must be something nice for him to go to all this trouble!" She pushed it towards him when he didn't take it. "Aren't you gonna open it?"

 

My birthday. Light heard L whisper in his ear, "Light get out of there."

 

But Light was curious, and become moreso as he stared at the golden wrapping and black silk ribbon. No L. I'm close now, he's close. He reached out for the box, and turned to the waitress. "Yes, I'm Light, thank you." He stared at her until she huffed back to the bar, disappointed. He turned and looked down the cafe corridor again. Where the heck is Misa? Back to the box, and L was hissing in his ear, urgently now, "Light! NO! Get away from that, get out of there! NOW!" 

 

But Light was not to be deterred. He drank his expresso in one gulp and turned the napkin back over, writing No. He looked at it for a moment and then crumpled it, shoving it in his pocket. Ryuk put his hands on the table and peered down at Light, pleading, "Light, please. Let's get out of here!"

 

He ignored Ryuk, and turned the box over in his hands and slowly pulled the long silk ribbon until it fell away. L was nearly screaming at him now and he muted the earpiece, single-mindedly focusing on the box. But as he lifted the lid and looked inside, he was met with only confusion. What the....

 

Inside, something long and black was curled in a spiral, long enough to be a ribbon, but, Light realized with growing disgust....it was flesh of some kind, and mottled with black blood. Not human flesh. Ryuk let out an inhuman roar and flew back from the table, panting with his palms on the ground and eyes glowing up at the box. I know what that is....but how..... “Light, that’s a shinigami’s TONGUE!”

 

Light scrambled back into the booth and knocked the box away. But at that moment, he heard a blood-curdling scream from the bar. Light's eyes shot up and he saw his waitress clutching the counter, bloodshot eyes bugging from her head, her carefully manicured nails breaking as they dug into the polished wood. And then a loud THUMP as she fell behind it heavily. Light's stomach flipped. No...

 

The employee next to her dropped the drink he'd been making with a crash and clutched at his own clothes, heaving, then falling to his knees and out of sight behind the counter. NO!!  

 

Light stood up shakily, looking around in horror as the customers of the cafe started  falling to the floor one by one, some soundlessly slumping into their desserts, others rolling around on the floor in agony before coughing up blood and laying still. Until only Light stood there, alone amid the apocalypse, trembling in shock. "Ryuk....."

 

And Ryuk was there at his side, taking his arm and pulling him towards the exit in a hurry. 

 

Light grabbed the gun from his waistband and swung it around as he stepped over the dead, staring bodies, but there was nothing to shoot at. Nothing but corpses all around him. And then his gaze fell on one person, standing in front of the exit. One person still alive. Light held the gun up, unable to see the person's face in the shadows. He willed himself under control to steady his aim, and pointed it at the dark figure. With as much calm as he could muster, "Stand aside."

 

The figure did not stand aside. Instead it laughed, very softly at first, then a bit louder, bringing a finger to his mouth in a way that was eerily familiar. It whispered, "Yagami Light......." The figure lifted his gaze and looked Light full in the face, the dim lights now hitting it. "Happy birthday." And he smiled. 

 

Light's mouth fell open and he inhaled sharply in surprise. Oh my god....you look exactly...EXACTLY like L! His hand trembled, the action of holding a gun and threatening L felt incredibly wrong, and every piece of him was telling him to stop, put it away, don't shoot....don't shoot....I can't shoot L. What if its really him.....no, its Beyond.....but..... 

 

Ryuk bared his teeth in rage, wings drumming up a tornado of wind and cafe napkins. He howled something in his shinigami language, so loud and guttural it broke every piece of the glassware throughout the cafe like an explosion. His grip on Light's arm tightened as he pulled Light to him closely and advanced menacingly on Beyond. His name...what’s wrong with his name.... “I can’t see his name Light! I don’t know why.....” This is wrong. Please don't let this mean....he’s one of us!

 

The ballistic rain of glass made Beyond startle and take a step back from the shinigami he couldn't see, letting out his own scream, red eyes flashing, "REM!" Immediately, Rem was there at his side, staring down at Light with an unreadable expression. She grabbed Light's neck in her fleshless fingers and squeezed, jerking his neck towards her hard and making his earpiece fall to the floor. She looked to Ryuk who was now frozen, but didn't speak. I've learned from you well, haven't I Beyond? You've shown me....made me see....its not your fault....its his....his....his.... Her red eyes glowed as she choked the air from Light.

 

Ryuk looked to Light, who gasped out, "Ryuk, back off!" Light flung the gun to the floor, grasping at Rem's fingers and looking up into those hateful immortal eyes. Ryuk released his grip on Light in response but spoke to Rem, a mean hiss which Light couldn't understand. But a new expression appeared in Rem's eyes before passing. Fear? She fears Ryuk? 

 

Beyond turned to Rem sharply and whispered darkly, "Rem, you think you've experienced pain at my hands, but if you hurt a hair on his head you'll be begging for death before I'm done with you." Rem immediately loosened her grip on Light's neck so he could breathe, and looked at her feet intently, avoiding Beyond's stare. To Ryuk unseen, “But Ryuk, you make a move against me and I’ll gladly have Rem crush his windpipe and torture her to death for it anyway.”

 

Ryuk breathed fury, his shoulders heaving, but stood his ground. Light, what should I do?

 

Beyond took Light's gun from the floor and turned it over in his hands appreciatively before sticking in down his pants. He patted Light down, pulling the pen from his jacket and held it up, admiring it. “Pretty.” He fingered the diamond stars. “Gemini and Libra, hmm?” He chucked the pen behind him and stepped closer to Light, sharing his breath. This moment, how I've ached for it. But control yourself, don't be crazy....don't be crazy....

 

He stroked Light’s cheek and stepped hard on the earpiece, slowly crushing it while gazing into Light’s eyes. He couldn't hold back the emotion, although he tried. “You’re so beautiful. Light...Kira...even more perfect than I could have dreamed.” He leaned down and kissed Light softly, a stark contrast to Rem’s harsh grasp. He opened his mouth and let his tongue touch Light’s with restrained passion. Slow... slowly at first. Don’t scare him.

 

Light’s brain said Beyond. His eyes and lips said L. And his body reacted independently of either, pulse quickening and with that familiar-feeling and confusing mouth against him. Emotion overwhelmed him as well--arousal, terror, revulsion, desire. He felt blood rushing downwards, making him hard. No...don’t do this....He heard Ryuk emit a strangled sound but neither of them made a move.

 

With some effort, Beyond broke the kiss with a sigh, eyes closed for a moment. He felt a little surprised. You enjoyed that too. I can tell. He walked past them all, towards the back of the cafe. "Come Rem, we must fly." He looked down at his watch. "There's not much time." He twirled his finger in the air for her to follow.

 

Rem yanked Light by the neck after Beyond, down the corridor and towards the back alley door. She paused a moment at the bathroom, leaning against the wall weakly and shaking hard, almost allowing Light enough leeway to escape. But a backwards glance from Beyond made her hurry again after him, stepping out into the alley. And Ryuk slyly grabbed the pen from the floor, mashing Castor and activating the homing beacon before hiding it in his wings and following them.

 

Beyond stepped into the alley and paused, stopping to smile to himself at an employee having a smoke break and checking his email. Beyond took the gun from his pants and in a smooth movement, held it to the man’s head and pulled the trigger. The man hadn’t even looked up, just crumpled to the pavement beside bits of brain and bone. The gunshot echoed through the alley as Beyond stared at the gore pooling in the garbage and the filth. Not much time. But that was nice. 

 

Beyond turned to Light, who was in a cold sweat staring at the remains of the man’s head, and spoke rapidly. “Option number one. You fly with Rem. But I can’t guarantee your life in the sky under her talons. She’s slightly peeved at you.” And likely to be moreso soon. His red eyes glinted in the street lamps as he giggled. “Option number two.” He pointed the gun to a sleek black motorcycle in the alley. “Ride with me.” Eyes narrowed, “And I promise you’ll make it there alive if you behave. But Rem will be close behind in case you don’t.” He looked to Rem, who released his throat enough for Light to speak.

 

Light gasped in air, coughing hard. Which is the lesser of these two evils?  He went with his intuition, and brought his eyes up to Beyond’s. “I’ll ride.” 

 

Beyond smiled, pleased at his choice. He grabbed the extra helmet and tossed it to Light, then mounted the motorcycle and pulled on his own helmet. He revved the engine, enjoying the rumbling vibrations between his legs. “Then get on.” He nodded at Rem and she released Light completely, catching the gun Beyond tossed to her. “Hold onto that Rem.”

 

Light felt the adrenaline rise as oxygen flowed fully back. I could run. Fight. Lose my mortal life, maybe. But Ryuk would die defending me. And what then? Beyond wins. He becomes Kira. NO! I am the only Kira. Only me and L. And you, 68, are not L. He stood up straight and squared his shoulders. I must stay calm. I will win. He pulled the helmet down over his head, pushing down thoughts of the bodies on the floor inside. Misa, gone, dead? And L...what he must be thinking after what he had seen. Light’s heart ached at that, but still it was a comfort that L had seen something of this.

 

Beyond beckoned him and Light swung a leg over the motorcycle behind Beyond. “Hold on to me, Light.” Light wrapped his arms around Beyond’s waist and his fingers clenched around supple leather, so soft it was like touching skin. He fought back confusing, sickening feelings inside him...the feelings that he had for L were not meant for this person. He looks the same. He smells the same. His body beneath my hands moves the same, feels the same. He’s not L!

 

Light did hold on tight and was glad he did, as Beyond shot out from the alley like a rocket, taking the curves tight and fast. When they were a few blocks from the cafe, Beyond glanced at his watch then held up one hand to the night. Three fingers. Two. One. Light heard a massive explosion behind them and felt rolling waves of heat. Then Rem screamed long and low behind him, a broken sound without words.

 

He reflexively gripped Beyond tighter and he could feel the man softly laughing under his hands. Light shuddered as Beyond stroked his leg to sooth him as L might have, and he shut his eyes tight to keep from getting hard and betraying himself. He saw Beyond glance at Rem in the side mirror and she fell away but returned a moment later.

 

Beyond smiled into the wind as they careened through the darkness, feeling elated, happier than he’d ever remembered. Kira behind me. Salvation ahead. I will win, Light. I’ll win you.

 

They drove for about an hour, weaving through backroads to avoid other drivers, silent as ghosts. Finally, Light recognized they were somewhere near Yokohama. Beyond pulled down a nearly hidden back road off a sleepy street and followed it into the forest, finally stopping in front of what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse.

 

Light felt Rem lift him from the motorcycle, only a little more gently than she’d handled him before, and she held his arms behind him as Beyond dismounted the cycle. Light looked around for Ryuk, finally catching him flying down from the building’s roof. Light caught his eye through the helmet. Ryuk. Leave me. Go to L. Tell him what happened. Please Ryuk.

 

Ryuk hovered above them grabbing a last look, then shot towards Tokyo, understanding somehow. Don’t worry Light. I activated the pen and threw it on the roof of this place. L will save you. I will save you. And I'll tear Beyond to pieces if he touches you again.

 

Light followed those dark wings across the sky until he could no longer see them. I’m truly alone now. Hurry L. 

 

———————— 

 

Ryuk shot through the walls of the skyscraper, straight into L's room. But the scene he came upon he wasn't prepared for. L had absolutely trashed the room and was curled in a fetal position on the floor in front of the couch. L, don't tell me you've lost it too. He alighted next to L, bending to touch his shoulder. "L....L...look at me...."

 

L turned bloodshot grey eyes up to Ryuk, tears running fast and free. He was holding the death note, cradling it to him like a child. "His name...Ryuk, tell me his name....." Let me kill him...kill him...murder him....he has Light...kill him...kill....

 

Ryuk's face fell. You've been waiting for me to come and tell you the one thing I can't. I'll break your heart even more. "L, I don't know how, but I couldn't see it. He's masked his real name somehow." He went to both knees in front of L. "I've...I've never seen that before. Unless he's already shinigami....but he can't be...he looks human, not like me and Rem...."

 

L shut his eyes and clutched the death note closer. "He looks like me. Exactly the same." 

 

Ryuk scooped him up and held him as L broke into hard sobs. "He's not you, L. He's not you."

 

"Light is at the mercy of my worst nightmare, Ryuk." L buried his head in black feathers and tried to focus. "The homing beacon in Light's pen activated. Was that you?"

 

Ryuk said "Yes" and L held him tighter. "He wanted me to come to you. Tell you."

 

"Thank you Ryuk...."

 

Ryuk pulled away and brought them both to standing. "L, we have to find him. Call everyone you can. We have to act now."

 

L nodded and wiped his eyes. "I already had Wedy outside the cafe, in case anything happened and Watari wasn't there. She let me know that a motorcycle had left Gombei and she followed it west for a while until...we lost contact."

 

Ryuk remembered a moment when Rem had disappeared and then returned. He knew he was being followed.

 

L walked into the bedroom and crouched in the chair at his desk, Ryuk following. He looked up to Ryuk with determination shining there now, "First, tell me everything that happened after the earpiece went dark." He opened his laptop, breathing deep and focusing on Light. Only you Light. Only you could channel angels to you and open the curtain of my soul. I won't lose you now. "Then I'm going to have Yokohama crawling with so much police that Beyond won't be able to look in the mirror without seeing a gun in his face." But I'll be the one to kill you, Beyond. I want to be the one to write your name.

 

---------

Beyond held up the Desert Eagle, looking at his smiling reflection in the shiny metal. “I never thanked you for this.” He turned to Light with a fake frown. “And you didn’t even like my present.”

 

Rem's nails dug into Light's arms at that, making Light grimace in pain, and Beyond glared at her through a fringe of black hair.

 

Beyond turn his back to them and gazed up at the front of the warehouse. He stuck the gun under his arm and pulled out a matchbook, lighting a match and holding in front of his face. The tiny flame illuminated his delicate features and reflected hell in his eyes. He flicked the match at the warehouse door and the old boards went up like kindling, flames spreading rapidly and burning hot.

 

Light looked up at Rem, angry, afriad, "Rem....why didn't you just do as I asked....why..."

 

Beyond turned back to them as the fires behind him rose higher, hotter. A half smile, "Don't bother, she can't answer you."

 

Light looked away from those red eyes. "In the box...that was hers." He felt Rem inhale and stiffen behind him.

 

Beyond's smile widened to a toothy grin and he nodded rapidly. "Her betrayal of you. Even if it brought the death note to me....is unforgivable." He stepped up to Light, ignoring the encroaching inferno, and brushed a thumb across Light's lips, watching them part for him. "I've fixed it for you. Fixed it all for you. Misa's dead, she is no longer a threat to you. Rem is mine, body and soul. A fitting punishment, don't you think?" He let his thumb slip into Light's mouth and softly traced his tongue.

 

Light tasted gunmetal and firestarter and fear. His body started to react to the touch but he forced it down. He wants me, desperately wants Kira. Is my only way to stay alive to play his game? No, I can't.... He bit down hard on Beyond's thumb, and Beyond sprang back. Shit...

 

But when Beyond lifted his eyes to Light's there wasn't anger there, just mad lust under those hooded eyes. Softly, "So you like it rough. Good. Very good." He backhanded Light across the face, making Light taste blood. "So do I." Beyond finally felt the intensity of the heat behind him and mounted his motorcycle once more, motioning for Rem to bring Light.

 

Rem pushed Light forward and he stumbled against Beyond, who handed him his helmet again. He spat out blood, glaring at him, "Where are we going?" He felt panicked but kept his cool demeanor. The beacon won't bring you to me now, L. Thank you for trying, Ryuk.

 

Beyond gave him an amused look. Defiant, aren't we. I love it. How will it feel to make Kira submit to me? Delicious. "Somewhere safe." He looked up into the night, finding Gemini there and laughing softly. So he's tried to protect you. What do you mean to L, Light? He pulled on his helmet and motioned Light to get onto the motorcycle, starting up the engine again.

 

Light looked over to Rem, who was staring at him as if real chains were all that were holding her back from ripping out his throat. He exhaled deeply and pulled on the helmet, climbing back onto the motorcycle and holding onto Beyond. I'm a prisoner. But I must survive. I must survive for L, for my perfect world. Nothing is more important than that.

 

--------

 

Sometime in 2005....

 

68 crouched at the vent, calling to 67 urgently. A few moments later the vent was removed and the ultimately familiar face, the only face, appeared in the space. "67...something's happened...I figured out how to get us out!" He knew he didn't have much time left. He was desperate.

 

67's eyes widened and he went to his belly in an instant. "How?"

 

68 went flat and smiled, "I think magic really does exist!"

 

67 gave him a confused look. "Whattaya mean?"

 

"Its Kyoko. She's the one. I know it."

 

”Dr. Tadashi’s assistant? I—”

 

”She’s our mother. Your mother.” Silence on the other side, and 68 let that sink in. “I’m going to ask her for help. She has to. She just HAS to.”

 

After a moment, a whisper in the darkness, “What can she do?”

 

”Everything. I’ll make sure of it.” And 68 stood up and replaced the vent, pretending he didn’t hear the soft crying on the other end.

Chapter Text

L paced in Watari's office, his hands clenched tightly in his mussed hair, "Burned to the ground!!!....FUCK!..." Keep it together, L, don't lose it. This is not like you. Not in front of Watari. He switched directions and paced through Ryuk. Turning to Watari, eyes bright, "Did they find.... bodies, or....?" His heart stopped with his pacing, a finger hooked in his lip.

 

Watari turned to look at the fire in fireplace, disturbed to see L so agitated. "No sir. None found, but they've only started sweeping the burnout after putting out the fire. They did say there was evidence that someone had been living there for a time." He crossed his arms, thinking. "If this is truly B, as you say, I doubt they'll find much evidence."

 

L crouched in the overstuffed chair and put his head on his knees. Muffled, "I know. He was meticulous in cleaning up or destroying evidence in his LA murders, and the forensics from Misa's apartment were a blank." But no bodies. Light's alive. He sighed and brought his head up again to meet Watari's eyes. "Send Eiber right away to try and get a track on them from the warehouse. When I spoke to Wedy before.....before, she told me they we're on a motorcycle." He leapt up, chewing his thumb, biting, gnawing. "I already spoke with Tokyo police and they've got eyes on all the airports in Japan, looking for Light and B in case he tries to leave the country--"

 

All three of them turned towards the door as it burst open and a bedraggled-looking Souichirou practically fell into the room, Matsuda close behind him, "Where's Light?!" He scanned the office and strode quickly over to L, grabbing his shirt, "Where is he? They told me...." He couldn't finish the sentence, the rest choking in his throat.

 

And neither could L. I dreaded this most of all. His breath quickened, seeing the pained look on the face of Light's father. I have to be the calm one. I have to be calm for the team. He gently pried Souichirou's fingers from his shirt and guided him over to the chair by the fire. "Yagami-san, I won't lie to you or soften the truth. Because I need you now. Light needs you now. Kira, a murderer named Beyond Birthday, used Misa to lure Light into a trap. He kidnapped Light, first stopping outside Yokohama to burn down his old hideout." L paused to catch his breath and let Souichirou take it in. "We aren't sure where they are now but I've got every resource at my disposal trying to find out." And I'd be out there myself, if Watari hadn't talked me down...for now....To Matsuda, "I'm sorry, Matsuda, but Misa's dead."

 

Souichirou's anguished expression turned to horror and then fear as he looked between L and Matsuda. "Ryuzaki, why? Why would he target Light?" He took off his glasses and wiped his leaky eyes. "Its my fault for getting him involved in the Kira task force in the first place....if I hadn't allowed it....I....I...." He buried his face in his hands but his training finally kicked in. He put his glasses back on with a grim determination. "No. Me sitting here blubbering won't get Light back." He looked up at L, trusting him. "Tell me what I can do."

 

Matsuda looked like a puppy that had just been kicked, all mournful eyes and whimpers. "He killed Misa?" He clenched his fist at his side. "Bastard!! I want to help too, Ryuzaki! I want to help Light."

 

L felt great admiration for them then. You've handled this far better than I have. I could use some of your strength, even as you look to me. He nodded, "We will need you to let the police know everything that's happened, Watari will brief you on all the details and where were are." He turned to Watari, "Have Eiber report directly to me and Yagami-san." Back to Souchirou, "In addition, there may be a moment when we will need coordination of police ground forces or maybe just a strike team, and I'll be relying on you to make that happen. At present, we are trying to just find them, and any tactics will depend on thatOn where they are."

 

Souchirou nodded, clearing his throat of emotion. "Of course, Ryuzaki. Just say the word, and the police are at your disposal."

 

Matsuda gave a loud sniff and tried to look like he wasn't about to fall apart. "When did they leave Yokohama?"

 

L looked at the clock on Watari's desk and made an educated guess based on what Ryuk had told him. "Approximately 2 hours ago, by motorcycle." He walked to a large map of the area and beckoned Matsuda over. "The warehouse that Beyond burned down was here." He pointed to a red dot he'd drawn there.

 

Matsuda approached and stared down at the map. "I grew up in Yokohama, I know the area well." He picked up a pencil and marked several roads in the surrounding area. "If we had the police place checkpoints here, here, and here, it would greatly limit their ability to leave the area by road." 

 

L nodded in agreement. “It’s not a bad idea.” Good job Matsuda. "Can you make it happen?"

 

Matsuda nodded and looked to Souichirou. "Don't worry Chief, we'll find Light and catch Kira at the same time." He looked at L with a sigh. "I can't believe we ever suspected Light and Misa were Kira. It was Beyond and Gretchen. How were we so far from the truth, Ryuzaki?"

 

L felt odd, he didn't like his intuition or deductions questioned, but this line of thinking from Matsuda shouldn't be argued with either. I wasn't wrong. But I'll happily appear to be wrong in this case. This once. "I suppose we underestimated Kira, Matsuda." He brought a finger to his mouth. But I won't make that mistake again. “I need to get some air. Watari, let me know if anything updates. Anything at all.”

 

L headed to the roof of the skyscraper, taking some small comfort in the open sky. What are you feeling Light? How do I find you?

 

He walked to the edge of the roof and sat on the ledge, pulling his knees up to his chest. Ryuk flew to perch beside him and they sat quiet for a moment. “Ryuk, tell me the truth. You were there—why does Beyond want Light?” I could understand if it was me—is this a ploy to get to me?

 

Ryuk shifted uncomfortably. “He seemed to be obsessed with Light, and...and he kissed him.” Ryuk growled low, remembering feeling helpless. "Rem had him by the throat and I...I was afraid they'd kill him if I stopped it."

 

L stood up and screamed into the night, fists balled at his sides. His chest heaved with fury, imagining such insanity touching his Light, his Kira. My Kami. Controlling his anger enough to speak, “And Rem, WHY is she helping Beyond if he’s killed Misa?” He focused on a blinking emerald light in the distance, some small symbol of hope, and counted the flashes until the blood stopped pounding in his ears.

 

“He’s broken her somehow. I didn’t know that was possible, but...he has. And...”

 

L stopped counting and looked down to Ryuk. “What?”

 

”I think he’s done the soulbond with Rem. I never would have thought she’d do it, but it’s the only explanation that makes sense. He wouldn’t be able to hurt her, command her otherwise.”

 

L’s gut clenched at that. A whisper, “So he too is a god.” He sat back down in a crouch, hugging his knees. “Then we can’t write his name, no more than he could use his deathnote on us. Only Rem could write it, and she’s now soulbound to him and would die if she did.”

 

Ryuk nodded sadly. “Yeah.” It felt inadequate but he didn’t know what to say to make this better. It was bad.

 

“Can you feel where Light is Ryuk? Can you go to him?”

 

”I feel he is somewhere to the west of here, but I can’t say for sure without the death note in his possession. The scrap isn’t enough. Without going to the shinigami realm I can’t say exactly where he is.” Damn it. “And after the soulbond, neither of you can release the deathnote. So, I’m stuck here.” Ryuk closed his eyes and tried to feel his bond with Light. “It feels like part of him is with you.”

 

L found the green beacon again and watched its soothing predictability. Softly, “I’ll kill Beyond with my own two hands.” It scares me how much I want to.

 

”And when he becomes shinigami, what then?”

 

“I don’t know yet.” He bit his lip to hold back the tears that pricked his eyes, and focused on the beacon. Stay alive Light. Whatever you have to do, just stay alive. I'll find you, I promise.

 

Blink. Blink. Blink. Dark. 

 

----------

 

The moon was high in the sky as they rode towards Mt. Fuji at breakneck speed. Again, Beyond took the backroads when he could, and finally they were just barreling down rough mountain trails towards the interior of Aokigahara Forest just north of the mountain. Light had never been here before, and an eerie mist hung low to ground, making the forest seem both ancient and magical. The rain had soaked him to the bone and he was shivering against Beyond, he hadn't dressed for an hours-long motorcycle ride in the rain. Adrenaline was keeping him at peak awareness but his fear was wearing him down. The situation felt increasingly dire and every mile they traveled further from Tokyo was another mile further from L. 

 

At last, Beyond slowed the motorcycle in a secluded copse of trees, and Light felt Rem pull him off the bike and restrain him once more. She tossed the gun to Beyond and he walked among the trees as if looking for something, pulling off his helmet and dropping it to the ground. "Now...where was that damned button." He ran his hands alongside a large tree, but nothing happened. "Re-em, do you remember?" He looked up at her in the moonlight, chewing his thumb, and Light had to remind himself again he wasn't L.

 

Rem spoke to him and didn't speak to him. The second biggest tree. The knot on its left side. She closed her mind to him again. 

 

Beyond turned to the second tree and found the knot, and pressed it, fingers sliding against the wet fake wood. "Aha!" The tree rumbled slightly and a door opened in it that Light would never have been able to see. He laughed at Light's surprise, "I always wanted to show somebody that, and Rem here's no fun anymore." He blithely waved the gun at the scowling shinigami. Actually you were never any fun Rem, except once.

 

Beyond walked to Light and yanked off his helmet, tossing it to the ground, and took his hand from Rem. He held the gun at Light's side and spoke and didn't speak to Rem, Get rid of everything. And in a flash, she was flapping off carrying the motorcycle and helmets in her talons. Beyond pulled him into the doorway in the tree and Light was able to see a spiral staircase leading down into an illuminated space. He grabbed Light's hair and walked him down the staircase with the gun at his neck, the chill metal sending further shivers down Light's spine.

 

At the bottom of the long staircase was the last thing Light had been expecting. Instead of some dank cellar or basement, he found himself in a large illuminated room styled with modern Japanese simplicity. Plants and ferns grew purposefully in alcoves, and the ground beneath their feet was rough black granite, cut through the middle with a long glass panel with small stream running underneath. The back of the space had a black marble kitchen, sofas and tables filled the larger space, and a couple of doors led off from the main room. It was nearly a palace underground, hidden deep within Aokigahara Forest, yet...Could Beyond have built this? How? Someone could live down here, live well, and hide. He turned to Beyond, trying to conceal his amazement. Where the hell am I?

 

Beyond gave him an easy laugh. Don't be crazy. "Thought you'd appreciate it." He pulled off his muddy boots with a sigh and threw them near the fireplace, pressing a button to light it up. He pointed to the sofa, “Sit.” Light sat on the plush sofa, shivering in his wet clothes, eyes on the door. Beyond crouched at his feet, keeping the gun trained on him. He looked up at Light, tilting his head, “If you’re thinking of trying to fight me or making a run for it, remember the only thing keeping Rem from tearing your heart out is me.” A half smile as Light’s jaw clenched. “And what a waste that would be.” He held Light’s gaze as he reached down slowly to remove both Light’s shoes and toss them over near his. Beyond fingered the edge of Light’s soaked pants. Softly, “We’ll need to get you out of these.” 

 

Light figited and broke his gaze, turning his eyes back to his surroundings nervously. Don’t speak. 

 

Beyond leaned back in his crouch and looked around the space. "Better than some old broken down warehouse, huh? Well, you can thank Tadashi for this." A dark expression passed his face at the thought. You stole him from me. You shouldn't have done that. Darker, low, "I suppose you remember him."

 

Light remained silent.

 

Beyond straddled Light's lap, getting face to face with him and holding the gun against his temple. Red eyes glowing, angry now, "You know, this isn't going to go very well for you if you don't feel like talking." As mute as my doll. And you're real Light. The real Kira. His ears perked up as he heard Rem enter the room behind him. "I get enough of that with her." He jerked his head in Rem's direction, Lock the door Rem. He pushed the gun, forcing Light to lean his head away from it. A snarl, "And what might keep you alive is talking to me, and listening." And some other things, but we'll get to that later.

 

Light met his eyes and nodded finally, his heart thudding hard. I keep you talking and it buys me time. "I remember him." Beyond lowered the gun slightly and Light righted his neck. "He was your victim. One of them." 

 

Beyond's eyes flared with emotion, "MY victim?!" He laughed bitterly and stopped suddenly. "No." He slid closer to Light, pulling his knees up against the couch so their chests were nearly touching. He leaned in, whispering in Light's ear, "I think you know you have that backwards." I feel your heart pounding, Light. 

 

You were his victim once. You wanted revenge for what he’d done to you.” Try to portray sympathy, get him to think you understand.

 

I was right. You know. “So you were the one who got into Tadashi’s server.” Which means L knows too? “And how did you like reading about Tadashi’s little science projects?” He pulled back to see Light’s expression.

 

”It sickened me.” The truth. “You were only children. I can’t believe no one knew...found out...told.”

 

Beyond bit his lip. Could you understand me then? “This place was Tadashi’s insurance policy in case he ever was found out. His secret place to hide. And now it’s mine.”

 

Light studied his face, trying to find little differences between him and L and drawing a blank. ”You were 68.”

 

Beyond bristled a bit at being called that. Not anymore. ”You may call me Beyond. 68 died a long time ago.”

 

”What do you want with me?”

 

Beyond threaded his fingers into Light's wet hair, smoothing it out of his eyes and face. I want everything with you. ”Isn’t it already obvious? We’re the same, Kira, you and me. We kill. We enjoy it. I can help you.”

 

Light's temper flared. Eyes narrowed, ”You have an odd way of helping me. Kidnapping me at gunpoint? What happened in that cafe? Using Rem to threaten me?”

 

There's the fire. Yummy. He felt himself getting aroused at Light's anger, and pressed himself against him. Desire dripping from his voice like honey, ”I had to show you...what I was capable of. We can take down L together. He’s the last piece on the board standing in your way. I’ll help you to destroy him. Wouldn't you like that? I know him. I know how.” I know him like I know myself.

 

Back to L again. “How do you know him?”

 

“Don’t play coy. He’s 67 of course. He was there.”

 

”He doesn’t remember any of that. He remembers you only as B, from Wammy’s after he'd left, and says he’s never met or even seen you.”

 

He’s told you about Wammy’s then? Interesting. “Yes I know he doesn’t remember me.”

 

”Why doesn’t he?”

 

Not yet. Beyond stood up, looking down at Light and the now soaked couch. “All in good time. First, let’s get out of these wet things.”

 

”I’m fine. I’ll dry out.” Danger.

 

”No.” He raised his gun and pulled Light to standing, leading him to the back of the room and through a door to an opulent bedroom. He rummaged through a few drawers and threw some clothes to Light, and grabbed some for himself.

 

Beyond pushed Light into the bathroom, which was more like an exotic spa, with a huge mineral bath in the corner. He sighed, looking around. “Tadashi really spared no expense did he, that rich fuck." The blood of children made you a fortune, didn't it? Sick sick SICK! "Guess there’s some perks to being next to a volcano—hot water for days!” He motioned for Light to get in.

 

Light looked back at him and stood his ground. “No way.”

 

Beyond laughed. I have the power here, Light. “Don’t make me call Rem in here to scrub you herself.” He giggled at the thought. “I doubt you’d enjoy it.”

 

Light looked down at the clothes and sighed. I have no choice. He placed them on the counter and pulled off his wet shirt. He hesitated a moment at his pants but pulled them and his boxers off with a glare at Beyond, who couldn’t take his eyes off of him.

 

Beyond stood there staring, chewing on his finger, but his eyes went wide when Light turned around. Oh my god....he’s got Ryuk’s mark. He’s immortal. “Kira, you amaze me.”

 

Light shuddered and stepped into the hot water, anxious to hide his nakedness. He dunked his head under, a small escape, and when he came up, Beyond was in the bath next to him, startling him.

 

Beyond’s fingers curled around his wrist, and he slowly maneuvered Light to the side. “Light, you’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. You have no idea how hard it is not to....” He bit his lip. Don’t scare him...don’t be crazy...you know how to control yourself. You learned well at Wammy’s.

 

Light looked towards the door, pushing down the panic threatening to overwhelm him. And back to Beyond. He was beautiful like L, pale skin and silky hair, but many crisscrossed scars were in various stages of healing across his chest and left bicep. He was slightly more muscular than L but still slender underneath defined abdominal muscles, and he had a tattoo of a drop of blood underneath his left nipple.

 

Beyond followed his gaze, biting his lip self-consciously. Oh no. I'm so beneath you aren't I. “I’m a mess, you’re thinking. Do you find my scars disgusting?” You’re so perfect and I’m...this. The battle scars of my mind, Light. But you could heal me.

 

Light shook his head slowly, feeling an unbidden pang of actual sympathy for him. If I'd have been 68 instead of him, what would that have turned me into? He may be crazy, but he's not without emotion. “This is how you’ve coped.” They are oddly thrilling actually. Beyond’s inner damage made manifest.

 

”Smart boy.” Am I getting through to you, Light? Beyond lifted Light’s hand to his lips and began to suck his fingers one at a time, those wide red eyes holding his gaze. I'll push my luck a little and see.

 

Light’s breath sped up and he could feel his cock stir in response. He looks like L, as hauntingly beautiful as L. But he's dangerous. He excites me. I don’t want to admit it but he does. I need to get control of this situation. But Light couldn’t control his body as much as he wanted to. “Stop that...” He pulled his hand back but Beyond held it tight.

 

”Why is your body telling me you want this, Kira?” He looked down into the water, Light’s erection plain to see. Don’t touch him yet. Make him want it more. He let his tongue travel up Light’s wrist, and he bit there softly, making Light inhale. He pulled closer to Light and leaned in, their lips nearly touching. A hoarse whisper, “The things I could do to you, make you feel. Tell me you don’t want me to.” But it will be so much more fun if you want it.

 

Light was practically panting against Beyond, his cock rock hard and leaking precum into the water. “I can’t...” It would be a lie. But I love another. I love L. But I can’t tell him that either—would he kill me for that ultimate betrayal? Kill L? If I seduce him to me perhaps I can use that to manipulate him. But L...would he forgive me?

 

”Then tell me you want me.” 

 

“I can’t...”

 

Beyond smiled at the contradiction. There's only two choices Light. “Why not? I see that violence thrills you. You lust for it. We’re the same, you and I.”

 

Light felt some truth in those words, but also a lie. He didn’t love killing for killing’s sake as Beyond did. Do I? His goal was to eliminate such people from the world, make it safer, better. Not burn the whole thing to ashes. Isn’t it?

 

Beyond’s red eyes shone, feeling braver witnessing the private war between Light’s body and his mind. He pressed against him, skin to skin, pinning Light against the side. A new intensity to his voice, “I’ll worship your body as you’ve never imagined.” He kissed Light’s cheek and let his tongue trace up to his earlobe, sucking it into his mouth and biting. “I’ll give you pain to make the pleasure more intense.” His mouth traveled to Light’s neck and he licked around the hollows there, feeling Light’s breath hitch. “We’re gods on earth Light, only I can show you what that means. Let me show you.” 

 

Light tensed. How does he know?

 

Beyond felt him tense and looked up with a half-smile, stepping back. “Yes my shinigami eyes can see Ryuk’s name upon you. I know what you are.” Like ME!

 

”You made the eye deal with Rem?” Beyond shook his head, grinning wider like he knew a secret. Light gave him a searching look, “Then how?”

 

A whisper, ”Kiss me like you mean it and I’ll tell you.” Desire burned holes though the space between them.

 

The game is dangerous. But I can get information from him this way, find his weaknesses, find a way out. Or is this just an excuse to...

 

Beyond looked up at Light, waiting for his answer, a finger in his mouth. Do it! DO IT!

 

Just like L. Light pulled Beyond to him suddenly, willingly touching him for the first time and feeling a jolt of dangerous electricity between them. He brought his mouth to Beyond’s and felt his cock throb as his tongue pushed into that new but familiar mouth, Beyond coming alive and humming into the kiss. 

 

Beyond felt some some kind of explosion behind his eyes. YES yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes! He pressed himself against Light, grabbing fistfuls of his hair and kissing him back hungrily.

 

But Light pushed him back, breaking the intense kiss with a gasp. “Now tell me.” Forgive me L.

 

Beyond looked like someone had taken away his favorite toy on Christmas morning, but slowly pulled his hands back and sighed. You tease. “There have been two other shinigami I’ve known before Rem. Balush and Farippa.” He laughed, remembering them. Idiots both. “Both made the soulbond with me. Both broke it. Perhaps Ryuk told you what happens then?”

 

”They die and you get some shinigami power.”

 

”Exactly. I got the shinigami eyes from Balush, when she betrayed me.” He looked at his rippling reflection in the bath water, rubies in a sea of black and white. Balush, your dust has covered the world in sorrow. Good riddance. 

 

”How did she betray you?”

 

Beyond looked up again, smirking. “That’ll cost you.”

 

”What...”

 

Beyond drew close to him again and bent down to kiss Light’s chest, wrapping his arms around him and digging his long nails into his back. He pulled Light forward and took his nipple into his mouth, sucking it hard and flicking it erect with his tongue. 

 

This is madness. But Light shut his eyes, pretending it was L making him tingle all over, pretending it was L that was making him ache for more, pretending it was L when he heard himself say, “Bite.” And when the mouth smiled and bit him, he pretended it was L that made him exhale a moan, L’s hair between his fingers as he guided the insistent mouth to his other nipple. But it wasn’t. I’m going mad. It was Beyond, and Light pulled back again. Panting, “Tell me.”

 

What a fun and furious toy you are. “Balush killed my mother. To save me. But I had said to never hurt her, so when Balush disobeyed me the soulbond was broken.” He wiped some saliva away with the back of his hand. “She was L’s mother too, of course.”

 

Kyoko, so that's how you died. “You’re brothers.” 

 

”Of a kind. But Cain was a better brother to Abel than L was to me.” His eyes flashed with some old, hidden hatred. He trembled a little, feeling like he might do...something...wrong. Don’t...don’t...

 

How is that possible if L doesn’t even remember him? “Why do you hate him? Tell me why he doesn’t remember you.”

 

”Two complicated questions with one long answer.” That will cost you much more.

 

Light had to know. This is the key. The key to why Beyond has been searching for L, wanting to destroy L. But he was almost too afraid to ask. A whisper, “What do you want?”

 

Beyond got out of the bath and dried off, rubbing his hair furiously with the towel until it stuck out in all directions. He paused and looked at Light with a dark smile. "When you muster up the balls to find out, I'll be in here."  He grabbed his clothes and the gun and walked into the bedroom, leaving Light alone in the bath. 

 

------

Sometime in 2005.....

 

68 was strapped down again, like nearly every other time it was his turn to work. None of the other kids caused such a fuss, they told him. None of the other kids bit and screamed, thrashed and cursed. Where did you even learn that language from? Why is your head so full of broken, evil thoughts that you toss at us so easily? Can't you just see we're doing our job, they say. Just our job. Look at the mess you made. So much wasted blood. Bad, bad boy.

 

When they were done with him, they always sent Kyoko in to calm him. She was the only one who could. And she stroked his hair and dried his tears, and sang to him like a real mother might. And one day she admitted to him, to 68, that really, she was. She had been the cause of all this suffering, but he'd made her do it. She didn't have a choice. And the next time she saw him, she said she was sorry. So sorry.

 

"If you're sorry, then save me."

 

I can't.

 

"Why not?! Won't I die...won't I die soon if you don't...."

 

I can't.

 

He was strapped down and could not reach out to her, but he reached with his eyes. Grey like hers. Large like hers. And he felt the pure love that any child feels for his mother, and he tried again. "Please..."

 

They'll kill us.

 

"You can do it."

 

How.

 

"The vents. If you open the outside vents we can crawl out to you if you tell us the way."

 

Us.

 

"67. He has to come too. I promised. Don't leave him."

 

I could never leave him. My first child. My real child.

 

"Aren't I your real child?"

 

Of course. Don't cry.

 

"So you'll do it? Please...Mommy...." And that word brought the guillotine down on her head.

 

I'll do it. Whatever I have to do. I'll save you. I promise.

Chapter Text

Light sat in the pale green water of the mineral bath, trying to will his hard-on away. Its not working. He was still breathing rapidly, heart drumming fast, feeling chills all over and coming to the rapid realization that this entire situation wasn't going away. He's waiting for me. There were two options as Light saw them. He could be Light or he could be Kira.

 

Option one, he resisted everything, and Beyond (or worse, Rem) forced him into it. I'll also lose whatever power I have in this situation. He'll turn against me, tell me nothing. Or, that could just end up with getting killed when Beyond got angry or bored with him. Throw away my mortal life, and become shinigami. I'm not ready. Not without L. And I may have kill to protect L, and die forever.

 

Option two, he dove head first into this mad game, and got all the answers from Beyond, and played him like he knew he could. I know how to use others’ desire to get what I want. But playing with Beyond seemed more potentially lethal than any of the others had. He’s as adept at this as I am. And is that why I'm afraid I'll enjoy it? The challenge?

 

He stepped from the bath and dried off, getting dressed slower than he needed to. There's really only one option. He looked towards the dim bedroom door, unable to see into the room. Survive, Light. Use the tools at your disposal. He dropped the towel to the floor and slowly walked through the door to the bedroom. 

 

He waited for his eyes to adjust to the near darkness, but it was easy to tell where Beyond was in the room.

 

His shinigami eyes glowed like bright embers in the shadows. A whisper, which seemed to be coming from everywhere and nowhere, "By the pricking of my thumbs...something wicked this way comes." Beyond leaned up from where he'd been lounging against the wall and stepped forward into the dim light, twirling something lazily around his finger. With menace and desire, "Ready to play?" He was wearing tight black leather pants and hadn't bothered to put on a shirt. Hell, why'd I bother with pants?

 

Light pushed down his fear, his thrill. Don't let him see you're afraid. Meet him as an equal and take control of this. Be Kira. "Tell me what I want to know first."

 

Beyond laughed softly. "If you want to hear THAT long and sordid tale, it will cost you dearly." And me too. He chewed his thumb, his partially dried hair spiking out like a halo of black knives. But I’ll break you. Make you mine.

 

Light took a step towards him. "Tell me a little at a time and...we'll see what happens." 

 

Beyond gave him a disconcerting smile. "Dictating the rules of the game already, are we?" He tilted his head, "I'd expect no less of Kira." He thought a moment. Sure, why not. "Fine. Could be fun." He stopped spinning the thing around his finger and held it up for Light to see. "Put it on." 

 

"A collar?!"

 

Beyond grinned, "Getting cold feet already?"

 

Light glared at him. "No." He took the black leather collar and unbuckled it open. It had a silver ring on the front and little metal spikes all around. Draw him in. He smirked at Beyond, "A little help?"

 

Beyond exhaled hard and took it, placing it around Light's neck and buckling it in the back. He slipped a tiny padlock on it-click- and came back around to admire the view. "Beautiful." It looks much better on you than on my doll, Light. His eyes focused again on Light's. Time to spill guts. "I take it you know what the purpose of Project Mojave was. What we were there for?" When Light nodded, he went on. "Kyoko, our mother, was Tadashi's lab assistant. And his wife, for a time. Things fell apart once he forced her to give up her eggs for the..." He shuddered slightly. "...good work, and 67...L...was the only one that survived the process and actually grew up. The 66 before him, well..." Beyond gave a half-smile, his voice going lower. "...they didn't make it. So, he was their one success, and alllllll the sorrow that followed sprung from him."

 

"What sorrow?"

 

Beyond gave him a knowing look. And an order, "Your clothes. Lose them."

 

Light pulled off his clothes, slowly, a bit seductively. Make it count. This is what he's playing for. And stood naked, but for the collar, in front of Beyond.

 

Beyond stepped up to him, tilting his head as if to kiss him, but instead just speaking softly and looking at his lips. "The sorrow only clones can know. Those unoriginal bastard children of science, motherless, fatherless, futureless.” He brushed his own lips with his fingers. “Tadashi wanted a dozen of 67, a hundred, a million! The rest of us bled like pigs for his cures. But not 67.” His eyes flitted from Lights lips to his eyes. “Oh, I’m sure your childhood was all rainbows and happiness. Mine was blood and pain. Never seeing the sunshine, never knowing a parent’s love. But I had one friend. My first friend.”

 

Light thought he knew the answer but asked anyway. I want to. “Who?”

 

“Let me touch you.” 

 

I'm surprised he's asking. Light looked up at the ceiling and nodded.

 

Beyond stepped behind Light and ran his tongue along his neck and shoulder, tracing fingertips up his muscular arms. He bit down hard on the soft skin at the base of the collar and Light gasped softly, but didn’t move. His hands wound around Light’s waist and up his chest, and he laid his cheek softly against Light’s back. “67. L.” He took a deep breath. “He was the only one who didn’t fear me. They only one who would speak to me. He brought me things from the outside. Where he could go and I never could. Grass, flowers, rocks.” He laughed a little against Light. “Once he brought me a huge disgusting bug and we named it Tadashi and SQUASHED it!” He giggled a moment but it faded away. “There was a whole world out there I didn’t know, and he was my only link to it. Which is why when I escaped with Kyoko, I told her he had to come too.”

 

Light turned his head at that, surprised, but couldn’t see Beyond. Could only feel his soft lingering touch across his nipples, his stomach, his sides. Making him harder, making him dizzy. “How did you escape?” So you saved L?

 

Beyond pulled his hands away and moved to step in front of him again. He smiled down at Light's erect cock and bit his lip. A whisper, “Touch me.”

 

Light reached a tentative hand across the space between them, touching Beyond’s cheek lightly with his fingertips. His skin is as soft as L's. Then down his neck and across the scars on his chest. Make him feel something. Disarm him. Beyond inhaled slightly as Light traced them one by one, but held his gaze, eyes wide. Light stepped closer and brushed Beyond’s lips with his other hand, watching them part for him and staring into glowing eyes. Fall under Kira’s spell. My spell.

 

Clever. You knew what that would do to me. Beyond spoke, unblinking, “The air vents. We were just small enough to crawl through them but needed Kyoko to tell us the way outside." A bit breathless, feeling suddenly uncomfortable in his tight pants. "I convinced her. She told me what to do and when. And when we came out into the night I saw the stars...for the first time.” He closed his eyes, remembering the wonder of that. Not even expecting all that beauty to be there, yet there it was. “We fled to England.”

 

”And yet something happened that separated the three of you. Got her killed.”

 

Beyond’s eyes focused again at the question. A big one. My turn. “Show me how you like to touch yourself.” He brought a finger to his smile, “But don’t come... or I’ll kill you.”

 

Light felt his pulse race. He's crazy enough to do it. But he did as he was told and started to touch himself in the way he liked best, long slow strokes, taking his time, only grazing the head lightly to build the pleasure gradually. He breathed deeply, lips parted, forcing himself to stay in control, even when Beyond crouched in front of him to watch his movements closely. He’s studying, remembering. Why does that make me harder.... He wanted to speed up, take it further, but a hand on his told him to stop. 

 

From his crouch, Beyond looked up at him and whispered, “Something did happen. A shinigami.” He stood up and fingered Light’s collar, running a finger over the spikes. “Balush had watched us from her hell since we were born, 67 and I, loved us as the children she could never have. Cursed children.” He gave Light an ironic smile. And how will you take this? “She gave a death note to him when he was barely walking, but he didn’t understand. Not how to use it, not what she was. He spoke about an imaginary friend to me sometimes and I just laughed at his childish games. But she was very real.” Oh Light, the look on your face.....

 

L had a death note! As a kid! Light’s mouth must have fallen open because Beyond looked at him with curiosity and he shut it. “Go on...”

 

“Unbutton my pants.” Light reached down, but Beyond stepped back. “With your teeth.” Red eyes shone. You only think you have control of this.

 

Light exhaled and got to his knees and pulled on the front Beyond’s leather pants with his teeth until the button popped free, then took the zipper in his mouth and pulled it down. He looked back up at Beyond. Am I getting closer to whatever this is all about....or am I just getting closer to madness...

 

“When we got to England, I found the death note in his things, touched it and of course then I could see Balush." Beyond pushed his hands into Light's hair, letting it fall through his fingers. "I turned out to be a much better pupil than L when it came to understanding the deathnote. Balush hadn’t wanted to corrupt a child and never told him how to use it, she only wanted it in his possession so she could be near us always. But I read the rules, I figured it out. And it wasn’t long before she told me EVERYTHING.”

 

What a thing to fall into the hands of a child like him. ”You finally had your means of revenge against them. Tadashi and the scientists who tortured you.” Oh that must have been sweet, Beyond.

 

I wanted it to be.”

 

”So why didn’t you kill them then?”

 

Beyond slipped out of his pants and threw them behind him. He was erect, dripping in front of Light's wide eyes. But he dropped to his knees too, leaning towards Light until their lips met, and Light was opening his mouth for him, kissing him back hard, Beyond’s hands in his hair and his hands all over Beyond’s body. You want this badly. Who are you pretending for? Who are you holding back for? Through the kiss, “I wanted to. God I WANTED to....” He raked his fingernails down Light’s back and smiled when it made Light moan into his mouth and pull him in harder. 

 

Light nearly forgot to pull back but he finally did, chest heaving, waiting for Beyond to finish his sentence. I'm losing control. He held him at arm’s length. Don't lose control.

 

Beyond glared at him and grit his teeth. Pretending again. “I was 5! I didn’t know any of their names. Not even Tadashi’s first name. It was useless to me then.” He calmed himself and smiled. "Which was pretty frustrating given he was chasing us." I’ll get what I want. Patience.

 

”Obviously he didn’t find you.” He stared at the drop of blood tattooed on Beyond's chest, then pulled his eyes away and tried not to think about licking it.

 

”No. But he got a message to Kyoko all the same.” Do you know how hard your fingers are digging into my shoulders?

 

”Saying what?”

 

“Hit me.”

 

Light’s eyes narrowed. Was this a trap?

 

”If you want an answer, hit me!” Give me violence.

 

Light slapped him, not too hard, and it barely moved Beyond other than turning his face.

 

How disappointing, Light, really. ”You can do better than that.”

 

Light backhanded him hard, knocking Beyond down to his hands. He felt his cock twitch and he clenched his fists, the adrenaline flooding his brain and making him ready to fight if need be. Beyond didn't look up for a moment, but when he did, the sadistic smile across his face scared and thrilled Light. I’ve knocked something evil free.

 

Beyond brought his hand to where Light had hit him, laughing softly, “He told her...to give one of us UP! Send one back to him!” His voice rose in volume and pitch, like a bubbling madness. “That if she did, he’d let her and the other go free and pursue her no more!” He rose to standing, looking down at a gaping Light. Bitterly, “I knew...had always known.... that Kyoko loved him best, wanted him, not me. Not some empty psychotic copy of her REAL child!” His eyes narrowed and he turned and punched the wall, “But she was WEAK!” He paced a bit, agitated, chewing his thumb and eyes burning. Turning back to Light, speaking fast, “She told us she wouldn’t do it. Couldn’t bring herself to send either of us back to him. Couldn’t, WOULDN’T! WEAK!”

 

Light shivered, thinking of that awful choice. Sacrifice one to save the other, or potentially lose both? A whisper, “So she never chose between you?”

 

He pulled Light roughly to standing and shoved a knife in his hand. “Cut me.” The dim light glinted off angry tears running down his face.

 

Light just stared at him, unsure what to do. I can't think!

 

Rage bled into Beyond’s shinigami eyes, and he screamed, “DO IT!”

 

Light shoved him to the wall, himself angry now. “NO!”

 

When Light still hesitated, he put his hand over Light’s and quickly drew the knife across his chest. It was shallower than he’d wanted as Light was fighting him for it, but it did the trick. He slumped a little in Light's arms, eyes closed. Softly, “She chose.” A sigh. “I made her choose.”

 

”You made her. How?” To choose you???!

 

Beyond opened his eyes, smiling slightly as the anger ebbed and desire took its place once again. Yes, better. Much better. He touched the blood running down his chest and brought it to Light’s lips, watching as those confused lips parted and tasted his life. “There was only one way I could think of. I had to do something bad, something CRAZY, and she had to see." Softly, "And then... and then she'd send me back and they would be safe.”

 

Light blinked at that. Beyond... "You wanted her to send YOU back?"

 

He grabbed Light and flipped him around against the wall, pressing against him to pin him there. Yes, I'm FUCKED UP Light!  He smeared the blood from his chest and started stroking Light's cock red, remembering how Light had done it and mimicking the movement. Here we go. Animated, intense, “First I made him give the death note to me. I told Balush I had a sure way to save us but in return she had to soulbond to me and stay with me ALWAYS. And she DID IT.” His words were just tumbling out, but he kept an agonizingly slow stroke on Light. You're so, so hard, Light.

 

Light leaned his head back against the wall, trying hard to focus on his words and not the building pleasure. Damn it, he was really paying attention. ”And...what did you do....”

 

Beyond reached between Lights legs with his other hand and pushed a finger inside him, making Light gasp and grab his arms. ”After the soulbond, I told Balush I was going to pretend to hurt L when Kyoko was there. Balush was angry--she didn't want me to go back to Tadashi. But she had no choice but to obey me. And I told her no matter WHAT, not to hurt my mother." Another finger, and Light's mouth was hanging open, panting in lust. "But....it went wrong...I strangled him...too long, and I actually hurt him. Badly...” He was grinning madly, watching the emotion play across Light's face as he edged him close and then backed off.

 

Light shut his eyes and banged his head against the wall, hard. It wasn't supposed to go like THIS. Not like this....“But....L lived.” L...I can’t pretend anymore...

 

Beyond curled his fingers against Light's prostate and made slow circles there, laughing when he heard Light moan loudly. Yessssss. Feel it Kira. Feel ALL OF IT. Nearly giddy, ”She took him to the hospital. And while L was in a coma, Balush and I heard her tell him that she was going to save him. I thought I’d done it!! She chose him! She took me from there but instead of calling Tadashi she called Watari. She gave me her picture and dumped me at some old house.... just pushed me out of the car and drove away. But Balush and I....we knew where she was going, and followed.”

 

Light had lost the capacity for coherent thought, his hips jerking against Beyond's hand, yearning for more friction, for release. I don't care anymore...this is driving me insane. "I've got to....I need to....."

 

Beyond bit him hard on the neck and snarled, "NOT YET!" He backed off from his stroking and removed his fingers, making Light's eyes snap open with the loss of sensation. "On your knees KIRA!"

 

Light fell to his knees, trembling all over. I want this. This is wrong. L...where are you?

 

Beyond smiled down at him, and held his cock in front of Light's face, rubbing it across his cheek and lips. Light's lips parted and he took Beyond's whole length. "Yessssss." He leaned back against the wall, one hand on Light's head, guiding his rhythm. "We made it back to L's hospital room...." Words were coming with a little more effort now, broken by his heavy breathing. "And...he was awake." He writhed against the wall, Light's mouth overwhelming him, but he regained control. "I....I hid....but Balush, she was so angry...so angry....GOD THAT'S GOOD." He bit his lip hard to push it down, then went on. "She saw Kyoko, singing to L...and LOST it....she wrote her name right then and there. KILLED HER!" He laughed hysterically, eyes on fire, doubling over and fingers finding Light's face and yanking him off him. He braced himself against the wall like some predator, waiting to pounce on Light in the darkness. With a soft evil dripping from his voice, "Get on the bed."

 

Light froze. This is it.

 

"THE BED!"

 

No. I'm KIRA. Light stood up and rushed Beyond, grabbing his throat and squeezing. "We're gonna do this MY WAY now."

 

Beyond's eyes went impossibly wide. Oh this is going to be good. "Oh really?” He swept Light’s legs from under him, breaking his grip on his neck, and jumped on him. He pinned Light’s arms above his head, laughing, “Just a moment ago you were begging me to get you off.” 

 

You’re strong... who am I fighting? You or myself? Angry, “WHY DOESNT L REMEMBER YOU? TELL ME!!”

 

Beyond screamed back at him, “Because I BURNED the death note! That bitch shinigami KILLED our mother! And L forgot everything...EVERYTHING since he’d first got it. His whole life!” Words falling out in a tumble, “And I gave him Kyoko’s picture and took him to that house AND I WAITED FOR WATARI TO FUCKING SAVE HIM!” He let go of Light, scrambling back against the wall, panting hard.

 

Light laid there alone on his back, trying to process that this damaged psychotic wreck was responsible for saving L’s life, for giving him the chance of an extraordinary life, of the chance of meeting Light, of being L. And what that had cost Beyond. Everything. He sat up slowly, his eyes leveling to shinigami eyes crouching in the corner. “It... could’ve been you. You could have been L if Watari took you instead.”

 

Softly, “I couldn’t...I couldn’t leave him alone with me. I’d hurt him. Not...not safe. It was better he forget me, forget everything. Better.”

 

Light slowly crawled to him, and Beyond retreated further into the corner from him. “Better for him.”

 

”For him.”

 

”You loved him. Your brother.”

 

”I hate him.”

 

”You don’t.”

 

”HOW COULD I NOT?” Tears. Tears. Tears! My life. My tears. My knife. My life. My knife..... But the knife was nowhere to be seen. But the gun was there. Right there.

 

Light reached out his hand to him, and cupped his face, wiping the tears from his cheek with his thumb. Beyond grabbed the gun and pointed it at Light, his hand shaking. “I tried to find him...I needed him...all alone...but...but he didn’t need me anymore...he left me.”

 

Light slowly took the gun, and Beyond let him. Then Light was leaning in, no duress, no threat, only because he wanted to, and he kissed Beyond softly at first, then more insistently, more deeply. Thank you Beyond. Let me take your pain away.

 

Beyond was surprised for once in his miserable life. And he didn’t question, just held on tightly to Light, as if here was his salvation at last, someone come to save him, just him, and he didn’t have to give it up or feel like he didn’t deserve it. “I won’t make you...I won’t...” 

 

”You don’t have to.” He stood up and pulled Beyond with him over to the bed, and climbed on top of him. He’s not L. But he saved L. And damned himself. Light laced his fingers in Beyond’s, around the gun, and licked across the bloody mess of his chest, end to end across the cut he’d help to make. And I want him. No more pretending.

 

Beyond arched into his mouth and gasped beneath him as Light’s tongue traveled over each scar, each time he’d fucked up, fucked himself up. I know you can’t save me. I’m... beyond redemption. I don’t care anymore. But I’m going to make you feel something for me. Right now. He pulled Light up his body and grabbed their cocks and pressed them together, stroking them in both hands. He smiled through clenched teeth, watching Light’s eyes pin to dots and his mouth fall open at the hard pressure, the warmth and friction. “Try this.”

 

Light moaned and nodded, seeing colors behind his closed eyes, “Oh my god...” He spat in one hand, holding himself above Beyond with the other, and helped to stroke them, rubbing around the heads as their precum flowed together. His arm felt shaky with the pleasure and he buckled, falling to Beyond’s side with a moan but not losing his grip. He stared into shinigami eyes as Beyond picked up the pace, and he didn’t even recognize his own voice or the sounds he was making, just knew that he was not in control and this pleasure was so intense it was searing into his body and mind Beyond Beyond Beyond

 

Beyond released his grip and Light brokenly cried out, “No!!” He tried to grip them himself but Beyond pulled away, instead moving himself lower and positioning himself at Light’s entrance, and continued to rub slow circles just under Light’s head with his thumb. He waited for what he already knew Light would do.

 

Light was not himself. He let his legs fall to the side and locked eyes with Beyond. And he begged him. You’ve kept me hard all night, on a razors edge. A scream, “Do it!” He pulled Beyond forward, rushing his push, then grabbed fistfuls of the bedsheets as Beyond fucked danger into him hard and fast. He stroked himself, panting so hard he was nearly hyperventilating.

 

Beyond picked up the gun and stuck it in his mouth, muffling Light’s moans and gasps, and he leaned in to plunge deeper, watching Light suck off that gun like his life depended on it. “Time to come, Light, its time. Remember this.” You won’t ever forget what I can do to you.

 

Light shut his eyes and arched beneath him, immediately shooting up and it wasn’t stopping, he just kept coming until he thought he was going to choke on his own orgasm and the gun. He felt Beyond’s fingernails press into his thighs as he came too, pumping into him with a low moan, “Mine...” He dropped the gun and fell on top of a twitching, trembling Light.

 

Beyond laid there motionless on Light’s chest, his breathing gradually slowing, listening to their hearts beat out the seconds of their mortality. I’m real in this moment. I’m real. I did it. I got through to you.

 

Light whispered, “What was that...what happened...” I didn’t know such intense pleasure existed. 

 

Beyond smiled into Light’s chest. “There’s so much more...” He shut his eyes, content, and stroked Light’s body softly for a while. “By now, Rem’s delivered my message to L.”

 

Light tensed. Message?

 

”You were right that I loved him once, Light. No more. We’ll take him out together. As one. As Kira.” He sighed happily. “Sleep now. Much to do tomorrow. So much...” And he fell asleep on Light’s chest, still inside him, wet and sticky and fucked up and beautiful.

 

Light looked up at the ceiling, his mind spinning, thoughts running from despair to exhilaration to fear to completeness. L’s coming here. A chill passed through him. He’s got to remember Beyond. I’ve got to make him remember somehow. L, he saved you, you don’t even know what he’s done to save you. I can’t let him kill you and I can’t let you kill him. 

 

Shit.

Chapter Text

Beyond....Beyond....Rem called to him and didn’t call to him from the other room. 

 

Beyond woke but kept his eyes closed, feeling Light’s chest rising and falling beneath him with easy sleeping breaths. He smiled. Shhhhh. Let me have this, Rem. I’m happy.

 

Rem did not leave him be. Why is Ryuk gone? He shouldn’t be away from Light this long. 

 

Beyond’s eyes snapped open. Did he never return?

 

No

 

Beyond lifted his head slowly, and carefully crept off of Light, not wanting to wake him yet. Really. He closed his mind to Rem. You ruined it Rem! Hmm. Light couldn’t give up the death note, not with Ryuk’s mark. And no way he would. Did Light tell him to go do something and it’s taking a long time? 

 

He picked up the gun and looked for the knife, finding it under the bed. A disturbing thought occurred to him as he grasped it.

 

Or...to go to L? No. That would mean L can see, can speak to Ryuk, that he knows Light’s secret. But, L did try to track him with that earpiece, that pen. To Rem again, And you delivered my message?

 

Yes.

 

Then he will come tonight. Go and watch for him in the forest. Check he is alone then guide him to me.

 

How? He cannot see me.

 

I don’t care! Pick him up and fly him here if you have to! I have preparations to do.

 

Fine. Do not trust Light. He’s the devil! And she left.

 

“Angel....” Beyond brushed the tattoo on his chest, his nipple, fingertips making it erect as he watched Light’s peaceful face. If L knows why and how you’re Kira, this changes everything. Why hasn't he... Beyond felt a fissure run through his mind, at the possibility of...L have I underestimated you again? Are you blackmailing Light? He’s so fucking hot I could see that you might, but I thought justice was your only desire. He clenched his hand around the knife. NO! I’ll kill you before I let you take him from me. You’ve taken everything from me. Not him.

 

L will come. Light is mine.

 

————————-

 

L reached into the bowl of sugar cubes and grabbed a fistful, shoving them into his mouth and crunching messily. He hadn't slept in three days, which usually wasn't a problem. He'd gone longer, even a week with no sleep and never felt bad, or tired, or anything less than his usual self. Which is to say, it didn't dull the edge of his razor-sharp mind. But this morning he felt it, for the first time in his life he felt it, the quiet and creeping insanity that comes with prolonged insomnia. Because just at dawn, Ryuk had brought him something. Something he'd found on the roof. He held it up in his fingertips, sugar feeding anger, crouching on the floor in his safe room.

 

A message made from cut-out newspaper and magazine letters, pasted together haphazardly, but legible: 

 

 

 

If 67 seeks 68

Come alone to the suicide forest

He dies if you tell

He dies in my hell

Come and settle the score between us.

B

 

The note had been jammed inside the cut-open mouth of a mannequin head. A mannequin head made to look like Light. L touched that last letter. B. You don’t know what you stolen from me. What I'm prepared to do to take him back. L crumpled the message in his sticky fist and tossed it behind him in the darkness, turning to hold the doll’s head. He stared down through blurred vision at the mutilated face. The hair was a chestnut brown wig, styled as Light's was. In one socket was a glass eye the color of Light’s, amber. In the other socket had been pressed a white translucent stone, smooth as if pulled from a river bed.

 

L touched it, a very, very odd feeling passing over him. Is this deja vu? Why do I feel like I’ve seen this before? THIS stone. But I can’t remember where. But this is part of the message too. He pulled the stone from the socket and held it up, staring for awhile, and then pocketing it.

 

Ryuk had been perched on a rock ledge above him, feeling nearly as worried for L as for Light. He’s so quiet. He came here to be alone. But he’s not alone in this. He flapped down next to L and stared at the doll’s head with him. Grotesque. He already knew the message. “What’s the suicide forest?”

 

L lifted bloodshot eyes to Ryuk’s then to the ceiling. “I'm 90% sure its Aokigahara Forest, at the foot of Mt. Fuji. One of the most popular places for suicide in all of Japan.” He stood up and walked over to his trophy case, opening it and surveying the contents. Where is it?  “The forest is old, dense, and the floor of the forest is porous volcanic rock, muffling nearly all sound inside or outside.” He tossed aside knick-knacks and weapons, searching.

 

Ryuk followed him over to the case, peering over his shoulder. “Sounds spooky, hyuk.”

 

”Some people think it’s haunted. But I don’t believe in ghosts.” He turned to Ryuk, a finger curling into his bottom lip. I didn’t believe in shinigami either. “Should I?”

 

Ryuk just shrugged. “There are many things that humans cannot see. Shinigami are just one. But most take no interest in humans.”

 

L sighed. Great. “Beyond picked it for a reason. He feels safe there. But a forest so deep and large, I’m not sure how I’m meant to find him. Find Light.”

 

”Maybe he’ll find you.” More like he'll send Rem to do the dirty work again.

 

L nodded. “But he’ll have all the power, the upper hand.” Not that it matters. I'll still go. He finally spotted Beyond’s knife, the one from the LA murders, and took it. I remember this, Light. You chose it. “And Rem will be there. I have no way to hurt her.” And she'll need to die first, else she'll be free to kill Light, if she hasn't already.

 

Ryuk's eyes glowed and he balled a fist. ”But I can hurt her.”

 

He turned his grey eyes to Ryuk. ”Can you?” Would you?

 

”Yes.” And I would.

 

”But then she can hurt you as well.”

 

”Yes. But she won’t.”

 

”Why?”

 

Ryuk smiled a bit demonically. You haven't seen me at my worst, L. ”Don’t underestimate me, hyuk. I still have something to fight for, she doesn’t.”

 

Light. You’ll fight for Light. Thank you Ryuk. “She has her hate. That’s powerful too.”

 

Ryuk nodded. “But remember, I cannot disobey you or Light so be careful what you ask me to do. Or not to do.”

 

”Don’t risk your immortality. Even if I or Light die we can live as shinigami. So don’t die, ok?”

 

Ryuk gave him a toothsome grin. A bit sarcastically, “Well that’s a relief. I'll try not to, hyuk.” He was quiet a moment, watching L gaze into Beyond's knife. “Are you truly going to go alone? Without Watari, the team, or the police or...?”

 

”Yes. It’s time for me to come out of the shadows, Ryuk. It’s the only way Beyond will end this. I’ll be honest with you. It may be my death he wants.” He turned to Ryuk, a bit sadly. “If so, I will let him have it, if it means Light lives.” He stuck the knife in his waistband. "I won't ask anything of you but please, don't do anything to get yourself killed."

 

”No. It won’t come to that. We will find a way to kill him. And when Beyond is shinigami, I can finish him.” Ryuk drooled a little, thinking of rending his smug, psychotic face apart.

 

”I have no idea what we’ll be walking into Ryuk. We have to be ready for anything.” He walked back to the bowl of sugar and shoved a few more cubes in his mouth.

 

“Are you going to bring it, the death note?”

 

”No, I don’t want to falling into his hands. I’ll bring the page though.”

 

”If he touches it he can see me.”

 

”It’s a risk we’ll have to take.” And if what I think is going to happen, happens, it won't make much difference. We have to kill Rem first, then Beyond. Twice. Oh my kami how I need you. You’re better at this. I’m better in the shadows.

 

“When will we go?

 

“At sunset. There’s one last thing I have to do.”

 

——————

 

L walked into Watari’s office without knocking, making the older man look up from his screens. “Sir, no updates since an hour a—“ He stopped when he saw the look on L’s face, his bloodshot and darkly rimmed eyes. "What is it?"

 

L was dressed all in black now, the color of night. “Watari....if something were to happen to me, I want your promise you would make Light the next L. I name him my successor.” Please don't question me now, Watari. I'm about to walk into the lion's den. I need to know you'll do this if I...

 

”Sir? What do you mean...what’s going to happen to you?”

 

L smiled weakly. I don't know. “Nothing, but...I want your promise. Be as loyal to him as you have to me.”

 

Watari gave him a concerned look. “You don’t have to tell me what you’re going to do--”

 

”Good, because I’m not.” I can't.

 

”--but can’t I help in some way?”

 

L shook his head slowly and sighed. “This is something I have to do alone.” He crouched in the chair across from Watari, chewing his thumb. Why does he hate me? “Tell me about A. What was he to Beyond, to B?”

 

Watari held his gaze for a moment, then spoke, “A was nearly your equal, only B surpassed him among all the children who passed through Wammy’s. They were very different, but inseparable, and I thought...I thought they might be lovers, too, when they got older.”

 

”But A killed himself. Why?” Is this why, Beyond?

 

”The pressure of being you, of being your successor. You had chosen him to be next, remember? He broke under those expectations. Couldn't live up to them.” He quickly added, “That was not your fault, it’s mine. I should have noticed. But he and B were secretive, they lived in their own world.”

 

“He blamed me for A’s death?” Of course he did.

 

Watari was still. “I don’t know. He left the night A died and I never saw or heard from him again. Not until the murders in LA.”

 

L stood again and walked to the door, stopping before leaving. His shoulders slumped a little, thinking of where he must go. “So I have your promise. Light will be L.”

 

”I promise.”

 

"Don't come after me." And L squared his shoulders and walked out the door.

 

————-

 

L sped towards Aokigahara Forest on Wedy’s motorcycle, the moon rising ahead of him and Ryuk soaring behind. Wedy, forgive me. You deserved a better end than that. It was several hours before he got to the turn into the forest itself, the trees closing in tight behind him. He slowed at the tourist entrance and stepped off the bike. The parking lot was empty except for one thing. A torso.

 

He ran to it, falling to his knees to touch it, and heaved a sigh of relief—plastic, like the doll’s head. But from behind the trees stepped Rem, pale as the streaming moonlight, silent as bat’s wings as she glided towards him.

 

Ryuk flew in front of L, and growled “Remmmmm, stay BACK!” L got up and took a few steps back.

 

Rem did stop, hovering then stepping to the ground. She stared at L. Why is Ryuk with you? He protects you, you can hear him, so you know of Light’s death note? Are you still enemies? No matter, I see your name. You have come and are no longer safe from me. But it is not me you should fear. She turned to Ryuk, giving him a questioning look before beckoning them towards a narrow path into the woods.

 

Ryuk stood his ground. “Rem, see reason. Why are you doing this? Think! It’s BEYOND that’s killed Misa, not Light! If you had listened to him—“

 

But Ryuk didn’t get a chance to finish before Rem had picked up the doll’s torso and ripped it in half in her talons. He eyes flashed danger. She didn’t need words to get her point across to them. Come now or I’ll kill Light.

 

The sound of shredding plastic echoed in L’s ears and was swallowed up by the forest. He thought calmly to Ryuk, We must follow her or never find Light alive. She cannot be reasoned with.

 

And to L’s surprise, Ryuk answered. I can hear you. You open your mind to me and I understand.

 

The soulbond?

 

Yes. But I do not think she is beyond hope yet. She may still have her mind. Ryuk closed his mind to L and took a step forward towards Rem. “Rem you can regenerate your tongue. Do it. Speak to us.”

 

She shook her head slowly. I cannot.

 

“He’s forbidden you to do so.” Bastard!

 

She nodded and beckoned them again, more emphatically this time. He’ll hurt me more if you don’t. Come or I must make you.

 

Ryuk looked to L, who took a step forward again. Back to Rem, “We’ll come.”

 

Rem’s eyes flashed in the dark, and she turned down the hidden path, stopping to make sure they followed. Which they did, deeper and deeper, pushing aside branches and brambles and weaving through other paths and places with no paths. Until they three were standing in a clearing, surrounded by large trees. Rem opened her mind to Beyond. He’s here. He has Ryuk and can see him. I don’t understand.

 

And in reply, she heard him, I do. Show them both the way. Let them come. I'm ready. Stay there until I call you. Rem pressed the knot on the second largest tree and the door slid open, revealing the staircase going down. 

 

L stepped forward to the opening, brushing the knife in his waistband, reminding himself it was there. I must be brave. For Light. He looked up at the stars, finding Gemini, finding strength, thinking to Ryuk, Stay behind me.

 

Ryuk gave him a wary look but nodded. He opened his mind to L, Be careful. He has murder on his mind.

 

And L stepped slowly down the stairs in near darkness, feeling his way forward until there were no more steps ahead and he was on solid ground. As soon as he had taken one tentative step into the space, he heard a voice whisper from somewhere, “Let there be Liiiiiiiiight....” and a dim spotlight illuminated the direct middle of the room.

 

L gasped and grabbed his knife. In the middle of the spotlight, a shirtless Light was on his knees, a chain running from a hook in the floor to a collar around his neck. His hands were bound behind his back and a gag was stuffed in his mouth, muffling his voice. But their eyes met, and L felt a deep well of emotion bubble up within him. I can do this- I can!

 

Light saw L and Ryuk and tried to scream through the gag, but no words were formed. You understood me once Ryuk, can you now? He tried to tell Ryuk, Beyond's here in the shadows. He means to kill L. Watch out!

 

And Ryuk felt his call, and opened his mind to him, I won't let that happen, Light. But I promised L I wouldn't kill myself either. Trust him. Trust us.

 

L took a step, but Beyond stepped in front of Light, eyes glowing hot. He held his own knife up, tilting it side to side to catch the light. He smiled wide. "So you came. At last I have found you."

 

L grit his teeth, leaning forward, ready to pounce on Beyond if he moved closer to Light. "B! This is over! Don't make me kill you!"

 

Beyond doubled over in hysterical laughter. "Kill ME?" And suddenly stopped. "You can't kill me. NOTHING CAN KILL ME!" He stepped closer to Light, tracing the blade down his bare chest but careful not to mark his skin. "Him on the other hand." He tilted his head in mock concern at L. "Very killable."

 

Little do you know, Beyond. "Beyond...WHY have you sought me out, kidnapped Light?! I'm here now. TELL me!"

 

Beyond laughed darkly, and began to stalk L, edging forward. A whisper, "Stars, hide your fires, let not Light see my black and deep desires." L tried to circle around him, but Beyond lunged, taking a swipe.

 

L ducked and rolled next to Light, glaring up at Beyond from one knee, knife held out, "B, let him go!"

 

Beyond flipped caporeia-style to the other side of Light, peering around him at L, grinning madly, "Oh? Just like that?" The grin fell from his face and he snarled, "Never." He spun around behind L, catching him slightly off guard and kicking him across the face.

 

L looked up at him from the floor, chest heaving, and jumped to standing. Angry, alive, "What do you WANT?" I WON'T let you do this!

 

Beyond spun the knife in his fingers, twirling it like it was nothing more than a baton. He tilted his head as he advanced on L, "Want?" The knife stilled in his fingers, and he grabbed the hilt, "First....I want to see you BLEED!" Bleed like I always bled for YOU! He snapped the knife at L, but L smacked it away with his own with a CLANG, and it went flying to the floor.

 

They both dove for the knife, but Beyond got there first, snatching it up and turning to slash wildly at L. And this time, he drew blood, an ecstatic look on his face as he felt the blade meet flesh. "Look at that! 67 does bleed like the rest of US!" He bit his smiling lip, savoring the small victory. But I want GALLONS!

 

L gasped and sprung back, clutching his upper arm. The cut hadn't been deep, but it bled freely, dripping down his arm and wrist and spotting the floor. Ryuk flew to his side but L shook his head fast, "I'm fine! Stay back!" Ryuk hovered helplessly, unable to go again L's order.

 

Beyond's eyes widened at that. "So..." He looked to Light and then back to L. "Rem was right, you can see him." He walked behind Light, threading his hands in Light's hair. He leaned down and licked up Light's cheek, watching L's reaction closely.

 

Light strained at his chains, trying to scream at them. He spoke and didn't speak to Ryuk, There's more to this Ryuk! They knew each other once, as children. L doesn’t remember because of a death note!

 

L clenched his teeth hard but tried to hold his composure. He's touching Light! But if he sees what Light is to you, it will be worse. Can I honestly hide it though? He raised the knife again, "Beyond, its me you want not him. Let him go!"

 

Beyond nuzzled Light's hair, pressing his face into it, but turned his eyes to L. "You're wrong....." He reached down and traced Light's cock beneath his thin pants, smiling, staring at L. Light shut his eyes, squeezing out tears, and tried not to let his body respond. He failed. 

 

L's eyes widened to moons and he screamed at Beyond, "DON'T TOUCH HIM!"

 

Beyond grinned to get such a reaction and stepped away from Light, balancing his knife on his fingertip playfully. He flipped it and caught it, snapping eyes back to L. "And why do YOU care what I do to him? You know he's Kira. He's your ENEMY!" He balanced the knife again, turning his ear dramatically to hear L's response with a wide smile.

 

L had no good answer for this. So, against better judgement, he decided to tell the truth. "He's not my enemy. Not anymore." I can't lie right in front of you Light. My kami....

 

Light yelled into the gag and struggled again. NO L!  To Ryuk, Is there ANY way that someone can remember something after a death note has been destroyed? PLEASE RYUK!

 

Ryuk was confused, but answered Light, Not without a soulbond, no.

 

Beyond smirked and flashed his eyes at L through a black fringe. I've got him. He stepped up to Light, grabbing the collar and yanking it up and embracing him. He whispered to Light softly, "Forgive me love." To L, "Not your enemy? Then WHAT is he to you?"

 

L's wide eyes met Light's frightened ones, "I love him." I love you Light.

 

Light went limp in Beyond's arms. L.....no......

 

Beyond’s mouth dropped open, and he was taking deep, furious breaths. He locked eyes with L and slowly pulled a page of his deathnote from his pocket. “My shinigami eyes see your name, L. The name you’ve taken, the name you’ve become. L Lawliet!” He ran his finger down his blade, wetting it with L’s blood. “You can’t love HIM. Can’t have HIM!”

 

Light and L looked at each other from the space between them, and thought the same thing. It won’t work. The soulbond prevents it.

 

Beyond drew his finger across the page, writing L’s name in blood, and held it up shakily for him to see. Softly, through tears, “I loved you, you know. Would’ve done ANYTHING for you! And I did!” He stepped towards L, holding the page up as his shield.

 

L raised his eyes to Beyond’s. “You can’t kill me, not with the death note." Beyond stopped. "Ryuk is bound to us BOTH!” He held up his knife, pointing it at Beyond, “And Light is mine forever, our souls are one!”

 

Beyond screamed in anger, ripping the page to shreds. He called and did not call to Rem, REEEEEEEEMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!

 

Light pulled the chain but Beyond pushed him back down, roaring, "NO!" He snarled into Light's ear, "Forgot to mention THAT little detail, didn't you?!" He held the knife hard to Light's throat, speaking fast, "I won't let you take him from me, L. You've taken everything from me, EVERYTHING! He's MINE!" He closed his lips around Light's earlobe, sending a shiver of rage through L.

 

Light, to Ryuk, A soulbond, even if another made the bond. Could they remember somehow? Please, I have to make L remember Beyond....it may save us.....

 

Ryuk, agitated, What IS this Light? He looked from Light to L and back, panicking. If someone touches the mark of a shinigami's soulbond, they will remember all the memories tied to that death note, if they had any. But....

 

Light felt a rush of hope. Ryuk, you have to make L touch the mark on Beyond's back. PLEASE! Trust me!!! Please Ryuk, do it......Tears ran down his face, and Ryuk knew he wasn't asking. He was telling him. And Ryuk nodded.

 

L took a step forward, but stopped as he saw Rem materialize behind Beyond, watching Light menacingly. "Beyond...if you ever loved me, please, release Light!" Is there any humanity in you left to appeal to?

 

Beyond withdrew the knife from Light's neck and stood up behind him, lifting his face and hands to the ceiling, eyes closed. "If YOU had loved me once, if you KNEW what you’d cost me. YOU. WOULDN'T. ASK!" He snapped his eyes back to L, and bounded towards him, clashing against his knife and pushing him to the floor. He was overpowering L, slowly pressing him to the ground beneath the fury of their locked knives.

 

Ryuk spoke to L quickly, opening his mind to him. L you CAN remember him. Touch the mark on his back!

 

Beyond was on top of him, staring into L's eyes with his glowing ones as the knife inched closer to L’s face. And L didn't question Ryuk, and quickly ran his hand over Beyond's back, over the mark. Beyond's eyes focused at that sudden, odd touch and he leapt back as if burned.

 

I ..I felt something...some energy pass from me in the moment L touched me. What happened? Beyond scrambled back to Light and Rem, grasping Light's waist and holding him tight. Why am I suddenly afraid of him?

 

And L laid there panting.

The knife forgotten.

The danger forgotten. 

Flashes of memory flooded him.

Suddenly he was 67, 5 years old, and 68 was holding out his bruised hand through an air vent between their rooms.

An imaginary friend and a story book he must always keep hidden.

A pebble he'd found that was meant for 68.

A cold, white place, their home, their hell.

Blood, so much blood, and never his.

68 telling him he had a way out.

A mother, hugging them both under the stars.

Watching the clouds from above, in a plane, with 68 sleeping on his shoulder.

A sudden and confusing pain.

A hospital bed and his mother singing.

A scream and his brother pulling him from that place and taking him to an old house.

Giving him a picture.

Telling him to wait for a man that would save him.

Saying goodbye, forever.

And the love he had felt for 68.

His little brother.

 

L sat up, tears streaming down his face from wide grey eyes, a hand held over his mouth to hold in his scream. He looked at Beyond. You...its you.....

 

Light watched L, holding his breath, not daring to move. Ryuk's told him! He's done it! But will it be enough to save us?

 

L stood up with some effort, his black hair hanging limp in his eyes as he turned to a frozen Beyond. A whisper, “I remember you.” He slowly stepped towards Beyond, crouching in front of him and pulling down Light’s gag without breaking eye contact with Beyond. “I remember everything.”

 

Beyond’s red eyes widened, and his mouth fell open. “H-how...?” Yet I know it’s true, I can see it in your eyes, the way you look at me now was the way you did when....

 

Light could finally speak now, “Beyond! Ryuk told me if L touched Balush’s mark he would remember everything associated with her death note!”

 

That touch...that energy...that was the reason. “Then...then you know now.....?”

 

L nodded, hypnotic, slowly, so slowly taking the knife from a frozen Beyond. “I remember her, our mother, she saved us. You saved us.” He touched Beyond’s face softly, “You saved me.”

 

Rem took a step forward, opening her mind to Beyond. Don’t listen! He’s trying to trick you. Kill Light! Kill them both! They are your enemies! KILLLLL!!!!

 

But Beyond wasn’t listening. He was staring into L’s eyes as if in a trance, “67, why did you leave me...I looked for you...I needed you...” You remember me....after all these years... you know.....

 

L gripped the knife hard, speaking evenly, softly. “The death note made me forget. I would never willingingly forget you. Not you. Never.” Release Light or I'll kill you. I'll drive this knife into your heart and twist it, no matter what you were to me. Whatever you did for me.

 

Light looked between them- if not for Beyond’s shinigami eyes he wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart. He saw the knife in L’s hand, edging closer to Beyond, millimeter by millimeter. He was afraid to speak, afraid to break the spell that L was weaving. No L, don’t kill him...please don’t...

 

But Rem broke the spell instead. She put a hand on Beyond’s shoulder and yanked him back behind her, knocking the knife from L’s hand. But before she could move to attack L, he called to Ryuk, Ryuk, now!

 

Ryuk was there in an instant. He flicked his hands at his sides, and long knives slid out from his finger tips. With a roar, he slashed across Rem’s chest, sending her reeling backwards with a wordless scream.

 

She held her hands against her chest, large globs of clotted black blood seeping through and falling to the floor. Beyond fell to her side, “Rem!” He glared up at L through clenched teeth, panting in anger. But she stood easily, and extended her arms, light seeping from her wounds as they regenerated. She turned her eyes back to Ryuk and shuddered, her left arm morphing into an enormous black scythe with a long shriek. 

 

L and Beyond scrambled back from the raging shinigami, but Light was still chained in the middle. L yelled to Ryuk, “Don’t hurt Light!”

 

But Rem was advancing on Light, and sliced his chain with a swipe of her scythe. He tried to back away from her to Ryuk but she snatched him by the neck, holding him up off the ground, hands still bound behind him. Ryuk flew at her, and she swung her scythe around in a large arc. He ducked underneath it, but it caught his left wing, severing it at the root in a cloud of feathers and black clotted blood.

 

Light screamed and didn’t scream, Ryuk!!!!! 

 

Ryuk howled in pain and anger, scraping his fingernail knives against the ground, trying to pull himself to his feet again. And Rem laughed and turned back to Light.

 

L screamed at Beyond, “Command her to stop! She’s going to kill him!” He grabbed Beyond, “Please!!”

 

Beyond stood up and pointed at her, “Rem! STOP! Look at me!” 

 

She tried to ignore him, but the soulbond made her turn her head in sharp inches and look at him. She snarled at him, a guttural, ugly sound, and opened her mind to him, I’ll kill him. I must kill him. For Misa! 

 

“Rem I KILLED Misa!” And Rem froze.

 

Some part of her, a part she’d pushed down deep, knew it was true. But more true was that she had killed Misa. That while it was easier to hate Light, she had only herself most of all to blame for the miserable life and death that had been inflicted upon the human she’d loved. She turned back to Light, crying black tears, and screamed in his face, the sound a cornered animal makes. And she slowly slid into acceptance that she wanted to die. There’s nothing to live for. Will I see you in Mu, Misa? Or is it really nothingness after all? Either way, I’ll bring him to you...bring him too...the human you loved. I can’t keep my promise to you but I can do this.

 

And she looked into Light’s eyes and started to squeeze, softly at first, gently, as if she didn’t really want to cause him pain. 

 

Light was gasping against her hand, and from the corner of his eye saw Ryuk stand, one wing severed and the other stretched to full length. Ryuk squeezed his fists and light extruded from the wing wound, pushing forth a new white wing in its place. “REM TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF HIM!” 

 

Rem squeezed tighter, watching the life slowly fade from Light’s eyes. This is the end Light. Both our ends.

 

And Beyond was behind Rem, kicking and hitting her, and he finally screamed, “REM! DON’T HURT HIM!” He focused his burning eyes on her and shot her as much pain as he was able. 

 

It was those words that forced her drop Light, compelled by the soulbond, and he fell to the floor gasping weakly on his side. Rem shuddered, her skeletal body shaking as she tried to fight him, the pain.

 

Rem whipped around to Beyond, and opened her mouth to expel light from the place her tongue had been. “I’ll die, but I’m taking him with me to Misa!” She turned back to Light and raised her scythe, bringing it down swiftly towards Light as she began to slowly shimmer, her death beginning. 

 

But Ryuk sprung towards her and plunged his knives into her throat to his knuckles and wrenched them around, severing her head at the neck. And her scythe fell to nothingness, to dust upon Light, who shuddered under that demonic rain.

 

L ran to Light, kneeling to cut his bonds and scoop him in his arms. “Light!” He wiped the shinigami dust from Light’s face and kissed him hard, and Light cried as he kissed him back, still needing oxygen but not caring. Finally... This is right...L you did it....

 

Ryuk knelt beside them and they both hugged him, weeping against his soft feathers now black and white, happy to be alive. Light pulled back, looking from Ryuk to L, whispering hoarsely, “Thank you. Both of you.”

 

Beyond let out an ear-splitting scream behind them and fell to his hands and knees on the floor. L and Light turned and watched wide-eyed as Beyond’s body arched and his back exploded with light. From two ripping holes, wings emerged and fledged, the grey feathers bloody, and grew to the size of Ryuk’s wings. Beyond collapsed beneath them, unconscious and bleeding.

 

Ryuk turned, growling softly and advancing on Beyond, saliva dripping from his razor teeth.

 

Light stood up, grabbing L’s hand. “The soulbond! When Rem died he got her—“

 

L shut his eyes. “—shinigami wings.” There’s no hiding these. Not from the police, not from anyone.

 

“Ryuk, wait!” Light approached Beyond, pulling L behind him. “Is he dead?” There’s so much blood...

 

L crouched next to him, feeling for a pulse. “No. There’s a pulse, a weak one.” He looked up at Light. “We could kill him now while he’s weak...” Ryuk nodded and let his knives slide back out of his fingers. But L looked back to Beyond, lying helpless and torn. “...but..he’s saved both our lives now. We wouldn’t have been able to stop Rem without him.” And I do remember the bond we once had now. I owe you.

 

Light stared at Beyond, looking more shinigami than human, like some fallen angel cast out of heaven. He’s done terrible things. He’s had terrible things done to him. He nearly killed us. He’s saved us. “They made him into what he is. But there’s still some good in him. Some humanity. He can love.”

 

L gazed at Light through dark rimmed eyes. “He loves you.”

 

”He’s confused.” I’m confused.

 

”You feel something for him. I can tell.” Tell me it’s only me Light. Tell me.

 

Light didn’t know what to say. “It’s your decision.” 

 

L was silent for a while, then lifted Beyond in his arms. “Come on, let’s get out of here.” As you wish, kami.

Chapter Text

The moon was high in the sky when they emerged from the tree, battered, bleeding, exhausted. But Light swore that the air had never felt so fresh and cold in his lungs, and the silent forest now seemed friendly rather than frightening. He leaned on Ryuk, still feeling shaky and a bit breathless, but Ryuk didn't mind. The shinigami felt alive, energized, and somehow stronger than he ever had.

 

"Hyuk, L, give him here. You two take the motorcycle back and I'll try to sneak Beyond onto the roof of HQ." Ryuk looked around. "Good thing its dark as Hades tonight, but still, I'll have to fly high to avoid him being seen."

 

L handed Beyond over to Ryuk, smearing himself in his blood, "Ryuk, if he wakes up, can you handle him and fly too?"

 

Ryuk laughed easily, eyes flashing in the night. "Weren't you watching in there?" He grinned and Light smiled weakly.

 

"Point taken." L bit his lip and smiled. Ryuk, you're scary when you want to be. Glad you're on our side.

 

Light wiped the remnants of Rem from his eyes. "It'll be the middle of the night when we get back. Nobody should be there. We'll meet you on the roof, okay?"

 

Ryuk nodded and began flapping to rise in the clearing, Beyond's grey and bloodied feathers hanging limply below them.

 

Light looked up at him, Your white wing, Ryuk. Its beautiful. Half angel and half devil. Like me. He opened his mind to Ryuk, I'll never forget what you did for me, Ryuk. Never. And....please be careful with him. For me.

 

Ryuk gave him a look but nodded. Light, you know just how to get what you want from me, don't you? He called down to Light, "You owe me apples for days Light-o!" But he grasped Beyond a little more gently and shot towards the sky, the stars.

 

L looked after him a moment, his face so pale in the moonlight, spattered blood appearing black. And he sighed as he felt Light embrace him from behind. He shut his eyes and let his head fall back on Light's shoulder. Rem's dead at last. She can threaten you no more, Light.

 

Light kissed L's neck, burying his face in that soft warm place. He let out a deep breath. "We're alive, L. Because of you, and Ryuk. You were amazing. Truly. I can never thank you enough. I owe you my life." He softly stroked the skin underneath L's shirt.

 

L turned to face him, a little smirk on his lips, "Maybe next time you'll listen to me when I say 'don't meet Misa alone, Light' or 'better get away from that suspicious box, Light.'" He brought a finger to his mouth. But there's a 0% chance of that, isn't there?

 

Light laughed quietly and pulled L to him, pushing the matted hair from his eyes. "What do you think?"

 

L looked into his eyes, You're still mine. Your eyes tell me. "I think Kira won't ever listen to me." He kissed Light softly, unable to do much else in his sleep-deprived and exhausted state, but it was enough, it was what they both needed. He broke the kiss and just hugged Light tightly under the stars, the trees their only witnesses. "But I hope Light may learn to one day."

 

Light shut his eyes, just feeling L's living beating heart pulse near his and wanting to remember the beauty of this moment for all time. Softly, "I have an eternity to learn, L."

 

L laughed and sobbed at the same time, it just now hitting him, I almost lost you Light. I couldn't let myself feel it before, I couldn't feel the fear and do this too. He whispered, "You don't know what its been like for me, trying to live without you for a single day." He pulled back a little, stroking Light's dusty hair. "I was a wreck, to be honest."

 

"You'll never have to be away from me again." Light kissed his forehead. "Not even for a day." He took L's hand, lacing their fingers together.

 

L wiped his eyes, his heart feeling a bit lighter now. He nodded, but held Light back when he headed for the forest. One last thing, while we have this moment. His grey eyes got serious. "You were right not to kill him you know." And you were smart to figure out how not to. I admire you Light. He looked up at the moon, feeling disappointed in himself, "And I was supposed to be the conscience of Kira."

 

Light turned to look at him. "You're more Kira than you know." I saw you with that knife, L. I saw how you hypnotized him, lulled him into believing your words while your eyes screamed murder.

 

L sighed and smiled at the sky, a finger curled in his lip. Do you really think so, my kami?  "He's not my brother. He actually is me." To Light, "I look at him and see myself, not another person. Who I would've been if things had been different. All that separates us is luck and our experiences."

 

Light smirked at him. "And wings."

 

L frowned at him. "You like them." Softer, "You like him." Something in him appeals to your darker side, as I appeal to your lighter one. Is that it?

 

I'm not ready. Not here. He pulled L's hand. "Let's get back to Ryuk. I can't imagine he's going to be a very good babysitter." And Beyond needs our help.

 

---------

 

Ryuk was pacing on the roof when they finally met him hours later, held together only by the adrenaline that can make tiredness flee. The eastern sky was getting lighter. Dawn was near. Ryuk flapped over to them, still holding Beyond, "Geez, hyuk. Thought you got lost or something." He looked down at the unconscious person in his arms. "He's going cold. I think he's slipping away." He opened his mind to Light, If you actually give a damn, better do something quick.

 

Light turned to L, "We need to hide him somewhere safe from Watari and everyone else while we try to think of what to do. The cells won't work, there's cameras there."

 

L nodded. "My safe room. Only you and me...and Ryuk...know how to get to it."

 

They crept through the labyrinthine halls and elevators to get down to the safe room, careful to avoid areas with cameras and listening closely for the footsteps of Watari. When L finally opened the door to the cavernous space, Light heaved a sigh of relief, "Ryuk, put him on the bed." He walked over with Ryuk, "But not on his wings. We're going to have to do something about those wounds if he's going to make it." The ragged tears on Beyond's back were still open and weeping. "He looks deathly pale." I hope its not too late.

 

Ryuk laid Beyond on his stomach on the bed and peered at the wings. "Humans are most definitely not meant to have these, hyuk." I'm amazed he's survived at all.

 

L rummaged through his trophy case until he found some lengths of strong rope. It strangled someone to death once. He tossed them to Light, "Better tie his hands and feet. I doubt he'll be thrilled to be here when he wakes up."

 

Light nodded and secured Beyond's hands and feet to the four-poster bed, tightly enough to prevent much movement but not enough to hurt him. "L do you have any medical supplies? Alcohol, gauze, maybe a needle and thread?"

 

Ryuk laughed, "Kira the nursemaid?"

 

Light scowled at him and Ryuk bit his lip and held back his chuckles. "I'm trying to save his life Ryuk. If you want to be useful, go get us some water from the pool over there." Ryuk rolled his eyes and his wings drooped a little, but he flew off to find something to put water in.

 

L approached the bed and examined the wounds. "I have medical supplies upstairs. I'll go and get them but what he needs is blood."

 

Light looked at him sharply. "Blood?! But we can't get him to a hospital, they'll--"

 

"Luckily we happen to have the perfect donor right here." L looked up at Light. Softly, "An exact genetic match, in fact." You wanted me to bleed for you, Beyond. And I will.

 

Light smiled at him, a bright, genuine smile. "You are the conscience of Kira after all." The better part of me.

 

L gave him a look as he slouched towards the door to get the supplies. A sigh, "Don't make me regret it."

 

Ryuk flapped back to Light, holding a bucket full of cold water. "Here you go." He plopped it by the bed. "But don't think I'm helping you with that." He flapped up to the rock ledge, yawning. "I think I've done enough for one night. I'm getting some shut-eye, hyuk."

 

Light pulled a pillowcase from a pillow. He laughed up at Ryuk, kidding him, "I thought shinigami didn't sleep. Just the lazy ones."

 

Ryuk's black and white feathers fluffed out at that and he Hrrrrruuumppphh-ed loudly. "Lazy! Says the boy who was all tied up begging me for help, 'Oh pleeeeaaase Ryuk! Save me from Rem's crazy deathscythe!'"

 

It was a poor imitation of Light but Light laughed loudly anyway. He sighed, smiling, "Don't ever change, Ryuk."

 

Ryuk stuck out his tongue at him, "Don't plan to." Well, I guess I already have, quite a bit. And with that, he stuck his head under his white wing and started snoring loudly.

 

Light turned back to Beyond, who was taking shallow breaths on the bed. He dipped the pillowcase in the water and sat down on the bed, wiping the blood from Beyond’s back and sides. It was dried and clotted, and Light had to scrub a bit to get it all to come off. By the time he was cleaned up, the bucket of water was red. He squatted next to the bed and brushed Beyond’s hair aside, marveling again at the exactness of his features with L’s.

 

L came back carrying an armful of supplies and dumped them on the bed. He crouched on the bed beside Beyond, wetting some gauze with alcohol and swiping his own arm with it. He bandaged the cut Beyond’s knife had made then looked up at Light, “I’ll need your help Light. Tie that tourniquet here.” He pointed to the bicep of his unhurt arm.

 

”You sure about this?” When L nodded, Light wrapped the rubber band there tightly. L grabbed a needle attached to an empty IV bag and placed it in his arm vein, dark red blood slowly flowing down the tube and into the bag. He looked up at Light, biting his lip. “Those chips.” He pointed to a bag he’d brought with him. “Please?”

 

Light smiled and grabbed the bag, opening it and taking a chip. It was his favorite brand, the kind he used to eat at home. The kind L had brought him in his cell so many days ago, a secret snack, a peace offering when they were still enemies. A lifetime ago. Light held the chip in front of L’s lips and placed it in his mouth. L chewed, holding Light’s gaze. And the blood dripped into the bag.

 

”L...I love you.” He put another chip in L’s open mouth but L just held the chip there, then slowly crunched it and swallowed. “You know that don’t you?” He held up another chip between them. L opened his mouth slowly and Light put it inside. 

 

”Something...happened with Beyond, L. There were things I had to do to survive, do you understand?”

 

Light held up a chip, but L didn’t take it. Softly, “What did Light-kun have to do?” He was getting a bit pale from giving blood, making his grey eyes look bigger, darker. He finally opened his mouth and took the chip and chewed it very slowly, watching Light intently.

 

Light blushed and looked away. “Everything.”

 

L swallowed hard and sat quiet a moment. “You survived. That’s all that matters.” How dare he touch you? But does it matter? Light’s here now, with me. He opened his mouth and Light placed another chip on his tongue.

 

Light sighed. “There’s more.” And L stopped chewing. “After he told me...everything...I...I was confused. And I did things...things he didn’t force me to do.” He looked down at his hands, remembering. How he made me beg...

 

L just stared at him. 

 

Light looked up with pleading eyes, “L he looks exactly like you!” He bit his lip. “He was very persuasive.” That sounds so lame now, but in the moment...

 

”It wasn’t me. I’d remember being crazy.”

 

”Its not his fault.” Light put his head in his hands. “I was afraid to tell you.”

 

”Kira afraid?” 

 

”Yes.” Hurting you is my greatest fear now L. I have nothing else to be afraid of but myself.

 

”I was afraid to ask.” I saw how you looked at him. L looked at the nearly full bag of blood and then at the winged wreck lying beside them. He pulled the needle from his vein, pressing some gauze to the puncture wound and taping over it. He took a new needle and fitted it to the tube, then inserted it into Beyond’s arm. He taped the bag to the top of the bed, letting gravity do the work to infuse his life into Beyond.

 

L reached in the bag of chips and ate one, watching the blood draining from the bag. ”You felt something. For him.”

 

Light was quiet for awhile then took L’s hand. “There’s something about him. He’s so broken. It’s our turn to save him now. We can.”

 

“There’s irony here, Light. We’re saving exactly the kind of person Kira is meant to kill.”

 

”He’s exactly the kind of person who would be Kira.”

 

“He enjoys killing.” Quieter. “You want to be his kami too.”

 

Whispered, “I want to be kami of the whole world.”

 

”But his especially.”

 

”No, yours especially.”

 

”You want him.” Just admit it already.

 

I can’t lie to you. I won’t. “Yes.”

 

L held up a chip, and fed it to Light. “You want me to let him love you too. Is that what my kami is asking?”

 

“I don’t know what I’m asking L.” Yes I do. “I have a vision of my perfect world. Can’t Beyond be a part of it? Like you said, he’s you.”

 

L crunched another chip noisily. Matter-of-factly, “Light-kun is making me jealous.”

 

“I love you, L. This you. I’m never going to leave you. I’ve given myself to you forever.”

 

“He’s spent his entire adult life trying to kill me. Will he stop now?”

 

”If you want him gone we’ll send him away when he’s recovered. Or now, even. Or if you still want to kill him, I won’t stop you.”

 

L took a needle and threaded it with nylon. He sterilized it with alcohol and moved closer to Beyond, sizing up the area to stitch. “I don’t know why you think I’m saving his life if I wanted to kill him.” He started stitching together the shredded flesh, making tiny, precise stitches. “I don’t enjoy killing, Light. Do you?”

 

Light took a deep breath. “I’ve come to realize that, when they deserve it... I do.” He met L’s eyes. “That’s why I understand him.”

 

L kept stitching quietly, focusing intently.

 

“You’ve known there’s darkness inside me. You’ve always known.”

 

L nodded and gave him a little smile. “I loved you for it.” Beyond’s color was starting to look a little better.

 

“I suppose that makes me partially evil. Kira is not completely good or evil. But at least I’m honest with myself now.”

 

“I surrendered my justice to yours, to Kira. I knew what I was doing then and I still do.”

 

”I don’t want to make you unhappy.”

 

”All I want is to make you happy.” He tied off the long string of stitches and moved to the other wing wound on Beyond’s back. “I told you once that if Kira wins, he’s justice.” L looked up at him, smiling a little. “You know you won. And you make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life.”

 

Light dropped his chin in his hand and ate another chip. I’ve made your life so complicated, L. 

 

L sat there stitching in silence until he was finished and tied off the other line. He checked the IV bag. Empty. He removed the needle from Beyond’s arm and bandaged it and the stitched area with gauze. “We’ve done what we can.” He stood up. “Why don’t you get some sleep.”

 

”Why don’t you? Come with me.”

 

”I’ve got to figure out how to explain to the police that we’ve recovered you and Beyond Birthday is dead. And I’ve got to tell Watari and the team something. Your Dad needs to know you’re safe.” He felt the weight of their decision heavy on his shoulders, and he was tired. 

 

”Even heroes need sleep, L. We can worry about all that after we rest a little. We both need it.”

 

L did feel extremely tired, down to his bones tired. “Maybe just a little nap. We can’t go upstairs though.” He looked at Beyond and his wings taking up the whole bed. “So I guess it’s the couch.” He pulled off his filthy shirt and pants.

 

Light did the same and laid on the couch naked. He held out his hand to L, who curled next to him, face to face. They looked into each other’s eyes for awhile, breathing quietly and not speaking. Light embraced him, pressing his lips to L’s, stroking his hair, moving his mouth down L’s neck.

 

L smiled to himself, running his hands across Light’s back. He stopped when he felt raised scratch marks under his fingertips. Beyond did this. He was surprised as he felt himself getting hard at the thought. What else did he do?

 

Light lifted himself above L, straddling him, getting aroused and kissing L deeper. Pulling back from their kiss with a smirk, “Suddenly I don’t feel as tired anymore, L.”

 

L touched Light’s neck where a bite mark and an indentation of teeth was apparent. He did this too. And I’m getting harder. He looked up at Light, obvious that he’d noticed and knew it’s origin.

 

Light flushed and fell on top of L, burying his head in his shoulder, embarrassed and unsure of what to say or do. “I’m sorry, L. I—“

 

A breathless whisper, as he pressed himself up against Light, ”I want to hear about it. I want to hear everything he did to you. Tell me...”

 

Light froze, his breath quickening. “Really L? I don’t want to torture you with this...”

 

L took his hand and put it on his cock, letting Light feel for himself. “Tell me.”

 

Into L’s shoulder, “He gave me little pieces of information in exchange for...me doing things to him or letting him do things to me.” I can’t believe you want to hear this L....but it’s exciting me...I want to tell you, show you...

 

L traced down the scratch marks on his back lightly. “What things?” He grabbed Light’s ass and squeezed. I know you can’t wait to twist this knife Light.

 

Light pushed against him, feeling the precum begin to flow and get slick against L’s skin. His breath speeding up, “He told me to kiss him like I meant it.” He sat up and kissed L liked he’d kissed Beyond, hungry, passionate, his fingers grabbing and pulling inky hair. Then pulled back, watching L.

 

L’s eyes widened. Wow. “And what else?” 

 

Light pushed his hands underneath and behind L’s back and leaned down to lick and suck his nipple, digging his fingernails in. He felt L arch beneath him, as he had, and Light bit him as Beyond did. L moaned softly and Light moved to the other side, flicking the other nipple erect as L whispered, “More...” Another twist, Light.

 

Light licked up his chest to his neck and sucked his earlobe, biting it hard, whispering, “He made me wear a collar. He got on his knees and watched how I liked to jerk off.” Light was rock hard and panting, remembering. “Made me unbutton his pants with my teeth.” 

 

L was grabbing him, making his cock slide against him, “Show me what you showed him. I want to see.” I’m bleeding for you too aren’t I?

 

Light lifted to his knees above him, and started stroking himself as he had in front of Beyond, long slow strokes to let the pleasure build gradually. He shut his eyes and leaned his head back as L ran his hands up his legs, up his stomach and chest. He smiled back down to L, “He told me he’d kill me if I came...”

 

L got a shocked look on his face. Damn that’s hot.

 

Light stopped stroking himself and leaned to stroke L the same way, watching his pupils dialate with the pleasure. “He made me hit him hard. Cut him.”

 

”Oh my god...Light....” L moaned, his hips pushing up into his hand. You’ve hit something vital, Light.

 

”He remembered how I touched myself and touched me that way. And did this.” He pushed one and then two fingers into L, smiling as L’s mouth fell open when he curled his fingers against his prostate and started to circle it slowly. 

 

L was seeing stars, clutching the couch cushions and feeling like his whole body was on fire. He pushed his head back, arching into Lights’s hand. “I’m going to come...I’m going to...” Take my life, Light.

 

And Light pulled his hands away, making L gasp, and look at him in frustration. Light pushed him down to the couch and bit him on the neck hard, “Not yet....” He moved down L’s body, “He made me do this....” He swallowed L’s entire cock, sucking it hard, twirling his tongue around the head until L was writhing beneath him.

 

”Kami....let me come....please....” Your sacrifice...

 

Light moved up his body and grabbed their cocks together and stroked them with both hands, his mouth open at that intense pleasure again. L groaned and grabbed his arms, “Fuuuuuccccckkkkkkk......” Light grinned  down at him as he sped up slightly, watching L come unraveled beneath him.

 

Light pulled back, sitting up to position himself at L’s entrance. “One more thing....”

 

L looked up at him, not sure how much more he could take but wanting more. He let his legs fall to the side, pulling Light towards him. Panting hard, “You fucked him...” The knife tears me.

 

Light slowly shook his head, smiling a bit evilly as L’s eyes went the size of dinner plates. He pushed into him hard, making L cry out with both pleasure and pain. Light took L’s hands and moved them to his cock, and L took over and started stroking himself fast, eyes wide and locked with Light’s. “He fucked YOU?” Oh I’m going to die. I’m going to become shinigami right now Light. “I can’t believe it...” I want to see it...

 

Light pumped into him fast, feeling so close to L, so close to orgasm. He leaned down, and whispered raggedly, “I begged for it L.” 

 

L bit his shoulder at that, muffling his moan as his cock throbbed hard. “I’m begging you...begging you now kami...” The killing blow, let me have it...

 

“Then come. It’s time.” Light pressed his open mouth to L’s and thrust his tongue inside. 

 

L shut his eyes and shot through his fingers with a low gasping moan into Light’s mouth, and lay there heaving with his eyes closed as he felt Light’s warmth shoot into him with a gasp. Mu....nothingness. 

 

Light pulled back and exhaled hard, panting a bit as he collapsed on top on L, listening to his heart drumming fast. He laid there quiet for a moment. Softly, “We fell asleep like this. Him still inside me.”

 

”Holy shit.” It felt like too much effort to open his eyes. Kami you are cruel....beautiful...complicated as hell...and I love all of it. What was my life before you? I didn’t even really exist, did I? You make me feel so much, you overwhelm me. Truly you are a god.

 

Light laughed softly, shutting his eyes too. “You wanted to know. Now you do.” 

 

Their hearts found a rhythm and beat together, slowing.

 

“I think....I think...” 

 

”What L?”

 

”I think there might be a place for him in your perfect world after all...maybe...” 

 

”Our world, L. Yours and mine.” Light smiled and kissed his chest, feeling himself drift towards sleep. Mine.

 

And Beyond, tied down, weak under heavy wings but watching, closed his shinigami eyes and pretended to be asleep again. And mine.

Chapter Text

Ryuk looked down from his perch atop the rock ledge in L's safe room. Three future shinigami, but for now, two sleeping humans and one very awake human. Ryuk opened his mind to Light, Light-o. Might be time to get up lazybones. He's awake.

 

Light awoke but kept his eyes closed. He answered, How long Ryuk? Any trouble?

 

Ryuk flapped down the the ground next to the couch. To Light, Hours. No trouble. He can't see me, doesn't know I'm watching him watch you. But he hasn't made a sound all night. Or, er, morning.

 

Light opened his eyes, his head falling and rising with L's sleepy breathing, and immediately met Beyond's red, unblinking gaze from the bed. Beyond’s breathing got faster when he met his eyes, but he didn’t move or speak. I cannot read you. I can read everyone. You’re the only one who’s ever made ME come undone.They gazed at each other for a moment then Light carefully got up from on top of L's body and pulled on his pants under Beyond's stare. He grabbed a cup from the table and filled it at the waterfall then brought it over to Beyond's bedside, squatting down in front of him. Beyond followed his movements, eyes glowing dimmer than usual and little of their usual fire behind them. He's still not out of the woods.  

 

Light brushed Beyond's sweat-soaked hair out of his eyes, softly, "Good morning." He held the cup to Beyonds lips but he didn't drink. "Cmon, you must be dehydrated. You lost a lot of blood. Nearly died." He held the cup up again but Beyond took no interest in it, just gazed at him blankly.

 

A soft whisper, "Why am I alive?" Why didn't you kill me when you had the chance? Don't you know what I am? Why save me? But I love you for it.

 

Light set the cup aside and sat cross-legged on the floor beside the bed so they were eye-to-eye. Did you want us to kill you? Hoped we would?  "Well, how about you take a sip of water and I'll tell you."

 

Beyond smiled weakly, "We've played this game before." And I heard you tell L all about it. But its our memory Light. Just ours.

 

Light smirked a little, and held the water to Beyond's lips. This time he lifted his head with some effort and drank, watching Light all the while, then flopped back down on the pillow as if even that small movement took enormous energy. "Ryuk wanted us to kill you. L wasn't sure. I convinced them both to give you a chance. L and I owe you our lives. You stopped Rem."

 

Beyond sighed heavily. "I feel like shit. Did Rem hit me with that fucked up scythe or something? You two run a train on me while I was out?" He tried to laugh but the movement of his stitches made his eyes go wide with pain and he winced. "Owwwww..." 

 

Light laughed softly. "Sit still. L had to stitch up your wounds and give you his own blood last night. You got a couple new appendages as a parting gift from Rem." Ryuk chuckled a bit at that, but only Light heard him.

 

Beyond pretended to be shocked, "Oh really? I thought maybe some Godzilla pigeon had crawled on top of me and died. Thanks for clearing it up though." He looked up at Light, feeling afraid. "What are you going to do with me? I'm sure they still want to kill me." And I'm amazed you don't.

 

Light held the cup to Beyond's lips and he took another sip. "That depends on you really. Like I said, I decided to give you a chance. I'm going to extend you a little trust, and if you can handle it, I'll give you more." He pulled his watch button three times and took the piece of Ryuk's death note out. "Starting with this." He touched the piece of the death note to Beyond's hand. "Beyond, meet Ryuk."

 

Beyond's eyes traveled around the room and settled on Ryuk, standing near a sleeping L. A tired sigh, "Ah. The illustrious Ryuk. We meet at last. Forgive me for not getting up." He pulled against the ropes weakly and relaxed.

 

Ryuk grinned at him, being sure to show him his full complement of razor-sharp teeth. He let his knives slide a little out of his fingers and floated towards Beyond, who had to crane his neck in an odd angle to look up at him. "Listen up boy-o. Cause I'll just say this once, hyuk. I. Ain't. Rem. I get that you got used to bossin' her around but if you try that shit with me? Well. Let's just say I've had the past few hours to think about what I'd do. None of it ends well for you."

 

Beyond grinned weakly. I like you better than Rem. He laughed a little but started coughing, which just ended in more wincing and 'ow's. "Don't worry Ryuk. I wouldn't dare." He looked back to Light. "Plus I think Light's gonna keep me on a pretty short leash. Isn't that right, my kami?" His eyes glowed a little brighter at that word. Did you mean it Light, what you said to L? Is there a place for me?

 

Light's eyes narrowed. "You were listening to us." And you calling me kami just made me hard.

 

Beyond closed his eyes with a sigh. "Guilty." I'm very impressed with you Light. Convincing L like that. You’ve got everyone under your spell. Yet I made YOU beg. Don’t forget that. But I better keep my smart mouth shut for now and play along. He opened his eyes, smirking. "Don't worry. I don't want to get thrown out on my now-winged ass. Would be a death sentence for me. I'll behave." He bit his lip. But you'll have to help me keep the crazy at bay Light. Will you want to? My knife.... He glanced at his knife lying on the nightstand, out of reach.

 

Light didn't break eye contact with Beyond. "Ryuk, go and check who's upstairs. I wanna know who's here so we can make a plan when L wakes up."

 

Ryuk gave him a side-eye glance but flapped off to go check. Yeah right. You just wanted to get rid of me for a bit. Light, you're so obvious sometimes. Have fun.

 

When Ryuk was gone, Light brought his face closer to Beyond's, close but not touching him. A whisper, "Say it again."

 

Beyond's eyes flashed even brighter as he whispered back, pretending to moan it softly, "Kami...." I'll say it to you as much as you want Light. Just keep me. Let me be part of that perfect world with you. 

 

Fuck. I want to make you moan it and mean it. Light watched his parched lips and spoke softly to him. "I love L. I will always love L. He will always come first."

 

Beyond gave him a half-smile. "I'm used to that, remember?" I'll take whatever I can get. I've survived on it this long.

 

Light stroked his hair then yanked it slightly, leaning in close to his ear, "If you want this, Beyond, its not me that will need the most convincing. But I'm not completely convinced either. If you threaten us in any way or even make L stub his toe when I'm not looking, what you did to Rem is going to look like a vacation compared to what I'll do to you." We can rule the world together, the three of us, but only if you don't fuck it up. He pulled back to look into Beyond's eyes again. "You get one chance. Just one."

 

Beyond nodded seriously, not smirking, not joking. He's really going to give me a chance! "There's just one problem, Light." I'm going to fuck it up like I always do. 

 

"What?" He stood up, looking down at Beyond.

 

Beyond whispered, "I'm crazy." He smiled a bit apologetically and bit his lip, staring up at Light.

 

"As long as you keep the crazy within limits and don't hurt us or compromise my work, I'm fine with that." In fact, I like it. Too much. He walked back over to L, still sleeping on the couch, and gave Beyond a backwards look. Are you watching? Of course you are. He leaned down slowly and kissed L's chest, kissed down his stomach and licked his jutting hip bone. Licking over to L's soft cock. I'll fix that. For both of you. He took L's cock in his mouth and started to suck gently, feeling it starting to get hard in his mouth and L beginning to stir.

 

Sleepily, eyes still closed, "Good morning to you too, Light-kun." A dreamy smile, not ready to wake yet.

 

Light locked eyes with Beyond, who was staring hard enough to set the air between them aflame.

 

Beyond shifted uncomfortably on the bed, which hurt but wasn't noticed, and bit his lip hard. Oh you evil evil evil bastard. Are you punishing me?

 

Light kept eye contact with Beyond and took more of L's length into his mouth, humming as he bobbed up and down faster. Don't look away. 

 

L smiled wide and finally opened his eyes with a little moan, gazing down at Light. But his gaze followed Light's and saw Beyond’s intense stare. He's awake! He's watching! "Light what are you...." oh. OH. He reached down to Light's shoulders, trying to push him back a little half-heartedly, but Light just started sucking harder and he fell back to the couch with a moan. That feels so damn good. Don't stop....I don't care who sees...

 

Beyond was pressing himself hard against the bed, but his movement was nearly totally restricted. DAMN IT. Now this is downright cruel Light. Sick!! He smiled wider. God I love you.

 

Light added a hand underneath his mouth on L's cock and didn't have to stroke long before L was moaning and begging to come. Light kept stroking but lifted his head up and looked at L with a devious smile. "Ask him." He looked to Beyond, splayed out and tied down, who began to laugh softly. 

 

“Do what your kami asks, L.” Is that how you made him love you? Tell me how...

 

L gasped but looked over at Beyond, "Oh fuck, Light, tell me you aren’t serious...." Light stroked faster and L's lips parted as his eyes went a little wider. Fine. To Beyond, quietly, "Let me...please...." I can't believe this is happening. But...I'm going to come so hard. Light I'm going to kill you... 

 

Beyond grinned at Light and then at L. "I didn't hear you." He rocked his hips against the bed, the best he could do. Sweet torture, isn’t it L? 

 

L's mouth was wide open in pleasure and disbelief, the enormous effort of trying to hold back his orgasm making his mind slowly slide away. He screamed at Beyond, "LET ME COME!"

 

Beyond waited a few agonizing moments, watching L suffer with his shinigami eyes, then whispered, "Now."

 

And Light bent down and put his mouth back around L's cock and sucked every bit of his load from him, having to swallow in the middle of it as it was so much. L shuddered beneath him but kept staring at Beyond as he rode through it, finally having to push Light off him with a moan when it was too much.

 

He fell back against the couch cushions, closing his eyes and leaning his head back towards the ceiling, biting his thumb. "Goddamn it Light." He picked up a pillow and threw it at Light's head. Light caught it and smiled, then laughed, softly at first, then louder. And L bit his lip and started giggling too, unable to hold back his laugh. Light crawled up his body and bent down to kiss his smiling face, laughing into the kiss. L broke the kiss and smiled at Beyond. I remember you. I loved you once. Maybe I can again. "Are you sure you really want to be at Light’s mercy?" Jesus Christ Light. Who’s the crazy one?

 

Beyond was giggling from the bed. "I think you were actually at my mercy, L Lawliet. For once." But YES L. Fuck yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes! Will you let me?

 

Light wiped L's cum off his face, trying not to laugh anymore but still failing. I can have everything. Nothing is denied me. He laid down next to L, kissing him on the cheek. "We had a little chat while you were sleeping, L. He's going to behave." Looking at Beyond, "Aren't you?"

 

Beyond's eyes flashed. "I'll behave as much as you." I’ll push my luck at every turn. Of course. That’s why you want me.

 

L rolled his huge grey eyes, standing up and pulling on his pants. He stood there shirtless, looking between them, chewing a finger, thinking. Then he reached into his pocket, and brought out the smooth pebble. He crouched in front of Beyond on the floor next to the bed, placing the stone in his tied up hand and holding it there in his. Softly, “I’m sorry I left you. That I forgot you. I’m sorry for what they did to you.” He looked through black bangs up at him, deep emotion and old memory there. “You needed me and I wasn’t there to protect you. Like you protected me.” He touched Beyond’s face gently. “67 loved 68.”

 

Light watched them quietly, not wanting to interrupt. This is what needs to happen. Let it happen.

 

Beyond’s eyes filled with tears which he couldn’t wipe away or hide. They ran down his face to wet the pillow beneath. Brokenly, “Untie me.” He looked to Light, begging him with his eyes. “Please.” He trembled against the ropes and squeezed his eyes shut. My whole soul is a gushing wound and I cannot hide.

 

But L did it instead. He loosened the ropes at his feet and then his hands, helping him to sit up on the bed beneath the unwieldy and still painful wings. 

 

Beyond looked down at the white pebble in his hand, turning it over as the tears continued to fall. Softly, “I forgive you.” Then looking up. “But I can’t ask your forgiveness. Rem told me I was beyond redemption and she was right. There’s too much...wrong with me...broken inside me...things I’ve done...you should have killed me.” I should have died in that lab, stayed there to make cures for people whose lives mean a damn. I tried to save our mother and you. I tried. A broken sob as he clutched the stone tight, “You still should.“ Kill me!

 

L pulled Beyond into a gentle embrace, being careful of his wounds. A whisper in his ear, “I forgive you.” He pulled back and looked to Light, who moved towards them, sitting on the other side of a frozen Beyond.

 

Light touched Beyond’s grey feathers, making Beyond shudder with that new sensation. Gorgeous. Your soul is not as black as you fear Beyond. He turned Beyond’s face towards him until their eyes met, L’s arms still around him. “Kira is your god now.” He leaned in and kissed Beyond softly, taking L’s hand as he did. He deepened the kiss and then pulled back. He wiped tears from Beyond’s astonished face, “And I’m here to save you.”

 

L squeezed Light’s hand. “We both are.” He turned Beyond’s face towards him and looked into his huge red eyes. L slowly, so slowly leaned in to press his lips against those of his other wide-eyed self. Beyond closed his eyes and let him, feeling the odd yet amazing sensation of kissing himself, feeling a tongue exactly like his own against his, a mouth that perfectly fit. This is incredible. And a hole that had been torn in Beyond’s soul, an ancient vortex, the Scylla that had sucked him in so long, closed in a supernova of light and hope. I need you both. 

 

Light watched them a moment, but when L didn’t stop, he leaned down to kiss Beyond’s neck, stroking his scarred chest. This is right. We are complete now, us three.

 

That made Beyond gasp into L’s mouth and pull back, a look of exhausted amazement on his face. He felt very dizzy and braced himself against L. A whisper, “You two really are trying to kill me.” Am I dreaming? Is this real?

 

L brought a finger to Beyond’s mouth. He is me and I am he. “Let his wounds heal first, Light. And we have work to do.“

 

Light nodded at L and leaned up, laughing softly. I’m going to absolutely wreck the both of you. Heal fast Beyond. He stood up and touched both of their faces, delighting in them. My perfect world begins here.

 

Beyond moved off the bed to fall to his knees before Light. He looked up at him in awe, lust, naked admiration. “Kira...my kami....”  My savior. Make me new. Make me real. I worship you.

 

Light held his gaze, relishing this image, these words. He took Beyond’s knife and ran his finger down it, bringing a small bloom of red blood. Beyond’s breathing sped up as he watched Light’s hand slowly extend in front of him, dripping, alive.

 

“Take of my body....Beyond Lawliet.”

 

Beyond’s eyes went wide and he grabbed Light’s hand, sucking the blood hungrily through sobs. He then held it in both hands and rested his forehead on the back on Light’s hand, crying softly on his knees. I’m safe. I’m whole. I’m real.

 

L moved down to kneel beside him, staring in wide-eyed awe up at Light. It’s happening. He reached for Light’s other hand and held it to his cheek, gazing up at him, love shining there. You are the whole world Light, and I turn with you.

 

And Light smiled down at his creation. He lifted his eyes to meet Ryuk’s, watching from across the room. He opened his mind to Ryuk, Join them. And Ryuk phased beneath him, fast as an arrow, to kneel at his feet. He spoke to Light, You shine, Light. Kira shines.

 

A laugh of pure joy and triumph filled Light and he knew he had done it. Become it. And the rest will fall before me too. The molecules of the universe will dissolve at my feet and I will remake it!

 

He spoke to the three before him, “We will become reapers of souls, as I have claimed yours.” He closed his eyes and lifted his face to the heavens. “We will win! Look upon me, other gods, and DESPAIR!”

Chapter Text

L and Beyond sat crouched across from each other, both staring down at the chessboard on the floor between them. The news was playing on the huge screen above, and they were waiting. Waiting for Light.

 

Beyond reached into the bowl of jellybeans beside them and grabbed a bubblegum one, tossing it up and catching it in his mouth. Then moved back to mimic L's stance and movements exactly, which he knew was annoying him.

 

Ryuk called down to L from his perch, bits of the apple he was munching flying from his teeth, “What time’s he coming on, hyuk?” Oh I know you must be relishing this Light. You do love the spotlight. Better put on your best game face.

 

L didn’t look up, but removed his thumb from his mouth long enough to answer, “6 o’clock.” He picked up his white bishop and knocked Beyond’s black knight off the board. L grinned a little behind his fingers as he looked up at Beyond. A chess match against myself. This is growing on me. He picked a black licorice jellybean and threw it at Beyond's head. But stop mirroring me! “Your move.” 

 

Beyond swatted it away and grumbled, “Yeah yeah.” He plopped his chin in his hand, surveying his options. Damn it, L, how are you winning? He moved a pawn to take L's bishop, tossing it back at him, then stretched his back a little, rolling his shoulders back, “It’s hard to concentrate with these damn wings itching like crazy.” He looked up at Ryuk with an annoyed scowl, “How the fuck do you stand them? I think I’ve knocked over half the room today.” Rem, are you laughing at me from Mu? 

 

Ryuk sighed and flapped down behind him, looking closely at the nascent wings. “Hyuk! They look a lot better though.” He motioned L over, “Check this out L.”

 

L stood up, curious, walking around to look at Beyond's wounds. He brushed the grey feathers aside to look at the area he'd stitched yesterday. Its healed. Its like nothing even happened. He let the feathers fall back and pushed a finger to his bottom lip. "Ryuk, how do you explain this?"

 

Beyond gave them a concerned red glare over his shoulder, shoving a buttered popcorn jellybean in his mouth, "What?!! Somebody tell me something already."

 

Ryuk shrugged. "Those wings ain't human. Their parts of a real shinigami. You saw how we can heal quickly, maybe Beyond can do it too." But who knows? This is not supposed to happen. "But slower maybe? Not instantly."

 

Beyond inhaled sharply, "Fuck yah...I like the sound of that...." Thanks after all Rem! You bitch.....

 

L sat back down at his place at the chessboard, and moved his rook to take Beyond's pawn. "Your wounds are healed but...." He brought his eyes up to look at the enormous grey wings jutting from Beyond's back. "...those are rather noticeable." Understatement. He chewed on the black pawn absently, "Ryuk, if those are truly parts of a shinigami, not human, Beyond should be able to make them invisible, like you can." He picked out four cotton candy jellybeans and ate them all at once, then picked out another black one and threw it at Beyond, who was chewing his white pawn. 

 

Beyond dodged it and gritted his teeth at the chessboard. Time to stop playing it safe. "Well Ryuk, how do you do it? Go from real in space to thin air?" He moved his other bishop to corner L's queen with a smirk. "And keep those nasty black ones to yourself L! I hate licorice."

 

Ryuk scratched his scaly head, "Um....Its like flexing a muscle kinda, or breathing, hyuk...I dunno, mostly unconscious. But, I can just think about it and it happens." 

 

I hate licorice too. L was watching Beyond and not the chess game. "Try it. Try thinking about making them invisible." L moved his rook to protect his queen.

 

Beyond held L's gaze and bit his lip, trying. "Um, nothing's happening." He moved a pawn to trap L's rook. 

 

Ryuk started laughing softly. "Not quite." He swatted his claw through the air where Beyond's right wing had been. "You got one of 'em at least." Not bad for your first try. "Try again."

 

Beyond squinted up his face, thinking hard about having no wings, and suddenly his back felt much lighter. "Whoa...." He patted around his back where just moments before they'd been there. "They're gone!"

 

L's eyes scanned the thin air and he nodded. I can still see them faintly, as I can see Ryuk when he is non-corporeal. "Try to bring them back now." He took Beyond's pawn with his, but now his king was exposed. Sneaky. He meticulously picked out all the black jellybeans while Beyond was concentrating on his shinigami wings.

 

Beyond screwed up his face with the effort, but nothing happened this time. He let out a heavy sigh. Still didn't come back. "Shit." And a rain of black jellybeans pelted him in the face from across the board. "SHIT!" His eyes flashed at L and he picked up the chessboard and flipped it, sending the remaining pieces flying in all directions. "L LAWLIET!" He was fuming, but trying not to laugh, trying hard to stay mad, but he couldn't. Why does this feel so easy with you L? Like we were never separated at all. 

 

L was smirking at him across the way behind his hand, "You just did that because you knew you were going to lose." But you might have actually beat me. Thats interesting.

 

"Thats IT!" Beyond grabbed the black jellybeans from his lap and pounced on L, trying to get him to open his mouth. "I'm gonna make you eat every damn one of these!" Except he was laughing so hard he couldn't hold onto L, who wiggled away, laughing himself. Beyond gave up, just lying on his back, looking up at L with a smile. "I wasn't going to lose. You were toast."

 

L crouched down, peering at him upside down. "Guess we'll never know." His traced his finger across Beyond's chin, across his lips to his forehead. He tapped his finger there. "You owe me a rematch later." 

 

Beyond sighed dramatically and sat up, "Fine fine. But only if you tell Watari no black jellybeans anymore. Have him pick that shit out! Give the old man something to do in his dotage." He giggled a little and pulled L suddenly into his lap. It was friendly though, not angry or suggestive, just close. Quieter, "But I gotta ask you something L." He turned to gaze into those wide, clear grey eyes that were a little wider now.  

 

"What?" He moves so quickly between hate and love, animosity and generosity, anger and vulnerability. But he was always that way...I remember....It seems I have three friends now. But he was truly my first. We have so much to talk about, what does he want to know first?

 

"Do you have any cigarettes in this godforsaken cave?" Damn I need a smoke. 

 

L shut his eyes and laughed to himself. I expect too much too fast. Just let him be him for now. He turned to Ryuk, "Ryuk, there's a pack in Matsuda's desk. The team should all be at the TV station, so would you mind going to get them?" A finger in his mouth as he asked so sweetly. 

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes. Picking up Light's tactics I see. "Sure L." And he phased through the ceiling to do it. 

 

L turned back to Beyond. Dubiously, "Cigarettes."

 

"No, I just wanted to get rid of him." He pulled L's legs to either side of his waist and embraced him, laying his head on L's chest. I need this closeness, if you'll let me have it. I've been alone so long, all I want is human closeness. 

 

And you knew I would ask him. He stroked Beyond's back softly. "You'll get used to Ryuk. It took me a bit to do so too, but he's not like Rem. He's our ally."

 

Beyond's eyes flashed as he looked back up at L. "Will you let me be your ally?" Will you really share Light with me? Love me?

 

L stared down at Beyond, brushing the black hair out of his eyes. Its like looking into a mirror, even when he doesn't mean to mimic me. "If you mean to be, you can be. Make Light happy. Its that simple."

 

"Just like that?"

 

"Just like that."

 

"Does he make YOU happy?"

 

L smiled and nodded slowly, "Yes." He laughed a little. "You'll see." 

 

"I...I have problems controlling myself sometimes L. You remember." All those stupid doctors gave me so many labels. What was my favorite? Oh yeah....oppositional defiance disorder. Fuck yah! But..."I'm afraid I'm going to fuck it all up. I've coped in my own way, but I only have found two things that work." None of that other shit they tried did.

 

"What are they?"

 

Beyond shifted in embarrassment. Ugh, this sucks to talk about. "My knife and....." He shut his eyes and blurted it out. "My hand." He made a motion like jacking off and buried his face in L's shirt. Muffled, "God I'm fucked up." Mmdfsieonfeknvksvnkdsvndsk fuuuucccckkkkkkkkk! 

 

"So cutting yourself and orgasms keep you sane."

 

Beyond nodded in L's shirt, not looking at L, his face on fire. Fuuuuuccckkkkkkkk!

 

Well, this should be interesting. L tilted his head a little and smiled. "Light loves a challenge." Beyond lifted his face up at that. L leaned closer to Beyond, their lips barely apart. Softly, "As do I." Light was right, there's something about you.

 

But the TV's blare interrupted any further discussion of Beyond's antipsychotic techniques, snapping them both to attention:    

 

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING. WE HAVE THE KIRA TASKFORCE HERE TONIGHT WHO WILL GIVE US ALL THE DETAILS OF HOW THEY SOLVED THE CASES OF THE FAKE KIRAS AND RECOVERED YAGAMI LIGHT. FIRST THOUGH, WE WILL PLAY A MESSAGE FROM THE REAL KIRA WHO UNEXPECTEDLY ASSISTED IN LIGHT'S RETURN. HERE IT IS:

 

A metallic, computerized voice played on the TV while a 'K' in Old English script displayed on the screen: 

 

Citizens of  Tokyo. This is Kira, the true Kira. Those who are not criminals have nothing to fear from me, and should rejoice in my hand in society's renewal. The murderer Beyond Birthday was responsible for the kidnapping of Yagami Light. Gretchen Coates and Amane Misa conspired together to attempt to malign my name and works, and committed the murder of innocents. However, all three have met their fate, the fate all criminals will face. I offer their deaths as proof of my goodwill, and demand that the police and government recognize that I am a force of justice and pursue me, the true Kira, no more. People of Tokyo, of the world, rise up and proclaim Kira to be your justice! Those who oppose me shall receive no mercy.  

 

AND THAT IS THE EXCLUSIVE MESSAGE FROM KIRA, DELIVERED ONLY THIS VERY AFTERNOON. NOW WE GO TO YAGAMI SOUCHIROU, CHIEF OF POLICE AND HEAD OF THE KIRA TASK FORCE....

 

<<Souchirou gives some details of the cases of Gretchen, Misa, and Beyond, and mentions that Gretchen has committed suicide in jail but that her prints were a match for tapes sent by the second Kira. The reporter highlights the human interest side of the story by saying that Light is Souchirou's son and was kidnapped by Beyond for this reason. They discuss how Misa was initially cleared but that the evidence now suggests that Misa's presence in the cafe where dozens of people died and where Light was kidnapped, and the evidence L has from the second set of tapes, she too has been confirmed to have been a fake Kira. That the Kira Taskforce's official position is that all but the original Kira are now dead, but he is still recommending that the Task Force continue to pursue that Kira as well.>>

 

SO CHIEF YAGAMI, YOU BELIEVE WE SHOULD IGNORE KIRA'S MESSAGE AND CONTINUE ATTEMPTS TO CAPTURE THEM. INTERESTING. NOW WE GO TO YAGAMI LIGHT, THE CHIEF'S SON, WHO JUST SURVIVED A HARROWING ORDEAL AT THE HANDS OF PSYCHOTIC MURDERER BEYOND BIRTHDAY.

 

Beyond barked a laugh at that and stood up, dumping L onto the floor. He paced, biting his thumb under a huge grin. "THIS IS AMAZING L!" He turned to look at L. "Why didn't you two tell me???"

 

L stood up and dusted himself off, and gave him a half-smile as he picked up the bowl of jellybeans. Because Light doesn't trust you totally yet. He went to stand by Beyond, holding out the bowl and they both ate whole handfuls of licorice-less jellybeans gazing up at the TV. 

YAGAMI-SAN, WELCOME, AND PLEASE ACCEPT OUR SYMPATHIES FOR YOUR TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH THAT PSYCHOPATH. HOW DID YOU EVER SURVIVE?

Light: Thank you, that's appreciated. Of course, I was in constant fear of my life the entire time. I thought I was going to meet my girlfriend Misa for coffee, and instead I was kidnapped and taken on a boat towards Izu-Oshima Island off Tokyo. However, by some lucky turn of fate, on the way Beyond suffered a fatal heart attack and fell into the sea. I can only assume it was caused by Kira, given their message. I was able to navigate the boat back to Tokyo, and here we are.

 

Beyond snapped his head around to L. "Boat!?? What boat?"

 

L took a root beer jellybean and chewed it, smiling to himself. "My boat, of course." Another jellybean. "One of them."   

   

THAT IS TRULY AN AMAZING STORY YAGAMI-SAN! SUCH A RESOURCEFUL AND BRAVE YOUNG MAN! AND THE BODY OF BEYOND BIRTHDAY WAS SWEPT OUT TO SEA?

Light: Yes, that's right. Unfortunately, as you know, that area is infested with many sharks. I saw his body get ripped apart as it drifted away. I'd be surprised if there was anything left.

I'M SURE THAT MUST HAVE BEEN SATISFYING TO SEE AFTER HOW HE AND YOUR DEVIOUS GIRLFRIEND HAD TRICKED AND EVEN FRAMED YOU AS KIRA! 

Light: It was a relief to be sure. The police retrieved a sample of his blood from the deck of the boat. He hit his head when he fell into the sea. So, they have the evidence of his presence there and death. 

 

Beyond stared at L. "BLOOD!! What in the...."

 

L took a cherry cola and a grape soda jellybean and munched them together, smiling bigger. "My blood, of course." Same as yours Beyond.   

AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THE POLICE AND GOVERNMENT SHOULD DEAL WITH  THE REAL KIRA GOING FORWARD?

Light: Well, I may be biased given they may have just saved my life. But, I think that we should all think very hard about whether this Kira is what we need to improve society. If it is truly a force for justice, perhaps we should consider that. But what do I know, I'm just a college student. <chuckles and awwws from the audience, who are clapping>

YOU ARE TOO HUMBLE YAGAMI-SAN! WE SHOULD ALL TAKE YOUR WORDS TO HEART. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS AND STORY WITH US. WELL VIEWERS THERE YOU HAVE IT.....

 

L turned off the TV and crouched on the floor, closing his eyes and grinning ear to ear. He sighed, "Light, you did it."

 

"Did you doubt him?" Ryuk tossed Matsuda's pack of cigarettes to Beyond. "Here ya go."

 

Beyond caught the pack against his chest and shakily took one out, knees buckling as he went to sit next to L. "Holy shit." You protected me Light. You DO mean to keep me!!! He put the unlit cigarette in his mouth. "Think the police bought that?"

 

Ryuk flicked his finger, making a tiny flame appear beneath Beyond's cigarette to light it. "It's Light." Of course they did.

 

L held his open palm out to Beyond, eyes still closed in his crouch. I need one too. Getting Light out from under this has been my goal for so long. And we've finally done it. If there’s any time to try a cigarette...

 

Beyond gazed at him in amusement. "The great detective wants a nicotine fix, eh?" He pulled out another. "Allright L!" He slapped a cig in L's pale hand. He laughed hard, "Not like we gotta worry bout cancer."

 

L opened his eyes and laughed, holding it between his fingers, "Ryuk?" 

 

Beyond giggled and held one out to Ryuk too. A devious whisper, "Cmon Ryuk, be bad with us."

 

Ryuk shrugged and took it with a mischievous smile, "Hyuk. You're a bad influence on us." And I'm starting to like you, a little. He lit L's and his cigarettes and the three of them sent ephemeral clouds of smoke up to the top of the cave.

 

L hacked a little and looked down at it, “This is supposed to be pleasureable?” He took another drag. Oh. It is.

 

Beyond laid down on his back, one hand behind his head and the other holding the cigarette to his lips. He blew a few smoke rings and watched them rise and dissipate. Feels good to lie down without those fucking wings in the way. "I'm exactly what you all needed." He grinned and blew a cloud of smoke at L, who waved it away and blew one back. "You're just now realizing it." 

 

-----------

 

Light stepped through the door of the safe room, tugging at his stupid tie, and was nearly thrown to the ground by L jumping into his arms and kissing him hard. "Whoa...L...." He smiled into the kiss, holding L up until he finally pulled away. "I take it you watched the broadcast then. I think it went well."

 

L helped him undo the knot of his tie and nodded, smiling up at him. "You were great, Light-kun." He pulled the tie from his shirt and threw it behind him. "Perfect." As you always are.

 

Light beamed and shrugged out of his formal jacket, tossing it on the bed. "Glad that's over." He plopped down on the couch next to Beyond and leaned his head back. Then, thinking twice he sat back up, "Hey, where's your wings?" He glanced at L and then back to Beyond. Oh I see... "You can hide them like Ryuk?"

 

Beyond grinned and nodded, scooting closer to Light. I want you. "Except....well, I haven't been able to make them come back yet."

 

Light let his head fall back on the couch again. "Well...thats something at least. And it also means..."

 

Beyond scooted even closer, nearly touching Light. I REALLY want you. "What?"

 

Light opened his eyes and smiled up at him, "We can go party. I feel like celebrating."

 

Beyond's eyes glowed, "HELL YAH! And its Devil's Night! Right before Halloween. Let's go fuck shit up!"

 

L stepped forward, looking a bit concerned. "Uh no. We will not be fucking any shit up, Beyond." To Light, "What did you have in mind?"

 

Light sat up. "I wanna go to Hell." When he got back nothing but blank stares, "Its a club! Cmon we can wear Halloween costumes and go party like rockstars on L's tab." He laughed and held out his hand to L, who approached him warily. Light pulled L to the couch and put an arm around him, nuzzling his hair, "What do you say L? I was thinking I'd dress you up as Kira...." he looked at Beyond, "...and you practically already have a costume with those black leather pants..." He stared a little harder. "...and that collar you made me wear." Oh yes Beyond, you'll be wearing that tonight, for me this time.

 

Beyond's eyes widened, "WHAT?!" Your torture of me knows no end, Light. I love it! 

 

Light gave him a wry smile, "Not getting cold feet are we?" He got up off the couch with a laugh but stopped when he looked at Beyond. "Your scars. Look L."

 

Both Beyond and L looked down at the scars that had been on his chest and left bicep. They were significantly faded, some were even gone. Beyond gaped at them, "Shit! It must be that shinigami healing stuff Ryuk was talking about." Do you like me better like this Light? We can always make new scars if you don't. To Light, slyly, "My wing wounds are healed too by the way." He let desire creep back into his voice. "You know, in case you wondered if I was UP for anything." His shinigami eyes flashed. I'm up for everything.

 

Light smirked at him. "We'll see." He turned to the trash can, pulling out the old IV bag that L had used last night. He ripped it open. "L come here."

 

L gave him a look but went to him. "What is Light-kun doing...." He stared at the IV bag and thought this was distinctly unsanitary behavior.

 

"Making your costume L. Now stand still." He laughed and stuck a finger in the bloody bag, and wrote 'KIRA' in capital letters across L's white shirt, then drew a bloody finger across L's neck and under his eyes. It looked like he was crying blood. Light stood back to admire a fuming L. "Perfect."

 

"LIGHT!" He walked over to the mirror and looked at the bloody horror Light had turned him into. You make me Kira yet again. "Well....I guess its not so bad, but really...." he held out his shirt proclaiming 'KIRA,' "...I mean isn't this pretty risky?"

 

Light laughed and rummaged around for the collar that he'd worn back at Tadashi's hideout. He found it thrown in the corner and picked it up, tossing it to Beyond. "Put it on."

 

Beyond glowered at him but fastened it around his neck. With the leather pants, he looked more like an S&M slave than the psychopath they'd called him on TV. Both? Hmmmm...... He crossed his arms. "Happy now?" We all know that's all that matters.

 

“Very. Now what should I wear?”

 

L’s eyes shone, “Perhaps...you could wear that gold god mask again.” Oh kami please.... He chewed his thumb in a way he knew Light found totally irresistible. Please wear it, ...it...did things to me Light.

 

Light laughed easily and nodded, pulling L to him. “Anything for you, L. We can grab it from upstairs.” He held out an arm to Beyond. “Come here.”

 

Beyond got up from the couch and approached them cautiously, feeling a bit like he was interrupting. Where is my place? At your side, Light, or between you both?  Light slipped his arm around his waist and pulled him close.

 

Light looked into Beyond’s red eyes, “You gonna behave if I take you somewhere? Maybe this is a little too fast, you feeling ok?”

 

Beyond pressed against Light’s leg, hard at just the thought of going to a club with Light and L, “I feel FINE. I’ll behave.” Don't you leave me here!!! He crosses his heart with a grin. “Scout’s honor.” He giggled a little. I’ll TRY At least... “Pleeeeeeease.....” A whisper in Light’s ear, both pleading and demanding, “I wanna party with you. I wanna fuck you. I’ll make you beg as hard as you did before. Let’s show L.” He shifted a little against Light’s leg. 

 

Light drew a sharp breath and bloodied his fingers again. He rubbed them under Beyond’s eyes as he had with L’s. He looked between them. My bloody mirrors. “Let’s go get wrecked.”

——————- ——

 

Pounding music washed over them as Light slipped a dead president to the bouncer to bump them up to the front of the line. Light grabbed both their hands and pushed through the crowd, the three of them standing amid the mist of smoke machines and bass chords vibrating their bones. To Beyond, “Go get us some drinks. Champagne for L.” He pushed some money into Beyond's hand and slapped him on the ass as he headed to the bar with a smirk.

 

A guy in the crowd gave L’s costume an approving nod. “Awesome costume! Kira forever baby!” He gave L a thumbs up and headed off to the dance floor, and L just stared at him blankly, chewing his thumb.

 

Light guided L over to a booth and they claimed it, sliding across the smooth leather seat. L leaned towards him, nearly yelling over the music. “If you love me you won’t make me dance, Light-kun.” Oh please no...

 

Light smiled a bit deviously beneath his gold mask. “Now L, when have I ever made you do anything you don’t want to do?” He scooted closer to L and let his hand move up L’s leg and to the front of his baggy jeans, tracing the outline of L’s cock beneath. It started to get hard under Light’s teasing touch, and L’s breathing sped up. 

 

L looked back at him wide-eyed, but a little smile was forming at the edge of his mouth, “About every day.” L moved his hand up Light’s shirt, fingering Light’s tight stomach. “Not that I mind.” You make me enjoy it somehow, want to do it again...

 

Beyond came back from the bar, holding three drinks in a delicate balancing act. He shoved the champagne in L’s direction and he took it, and gave Light his drink. He slid into the booth on the other side of Light, then turned his eyes back to the bar, extending his hand in a ‘come here’ motion. The cute female bartender came over and set down three shots on the table, gave Beyond a wink and walked sultrily back to the bar.

 

Light laughed, “Making friends?” 

 

Beyond shrugged, pushing the shots in front of them. “Amazing what letting someone do a single body shot off these will get you.” He arched up slightly and showed off his six-pack and Light ran his hand over Beyond’s stomach appreciatively. “Bottoms up guys.”

 

L poked at it dubiously with the neon yellow cocktail sword. “What is that?”

 

Beyond grinned, “Lemon drop. You’ll like it.”

 

L gave him a look. I only let Light get away with this Beyond.

 

Light picked his up. “Cmon L. Beyond had to practically sell his body for these.” He laughed and held up the shot. “To the reapers.”

 

L reluctanly picked his shot up, and they clinked them together with Light’s then downed them. L nodded happily and stuck his finger inside the cup, “Good....” We have the same tastes too.

 

Light sat back in the booth and sipped his real drink, a martini, as Beyond watched him closely. L peered at the tiny bubbles in his champagne rising and popping, holding the glass up to the strobe lights and giggling. Light smiled, “Don’t mind him. He has a thing about champagne.”

 

Beyond drank his martini in one long gulp and placed the empty glass on the table, moving to grab a cigarette from his pocket. “Damn, no matches.”

 

Light reached into his pocket and took out a matchbook. He struck a match and held it out to Beyond's cigarette, their eyes meeting over the flame. “Beyond...”

 

”What Light?” He lounged back in the booth, taking a drag and exhaling with a look of deep bliss. 

 

“Do you belong to me?” As soft as he could whisper over pounding music, “To Kira?”

 

Beyond stuck the cigarette in his teeth and straddled his lap, facing him.“Yesssss...” He tilted his head and smiled a bit sarcastically, “....my kami.” He took a deep drag of the cigarette and leaned in to kiss Light, releasing the smoke into Light’s mouth.

 

Light inhaled it and exhaled it through his nose, grabbing Beyond’s ass and pushing his tongue into his mouth. Light’s right hand moved to L’s thigh, but he broke the kiss and smiled up at Beyond. “Good. Then your kami wants to dance.” L’s eyes shot up from his nearly empty glass of champagne. “With both of you.”

 

Beyond grinned and backed off Light and out of the booth, waiting for them as he stabbed out his cigarette. His red eyes flashed in the dark, only for them, ominous above the blood that Light had smeared there.

 

L grimaced, flicking the cocktail sword off the table nervously, “I don’t know Light. I’ve never...”

 

Light stuck out his bottom lip playfully, “Please L.”

 

L rolled his eyes and downed the champagne. “Fine. This once.”

 

Light laughed and grabbed L’s hand. He finished his drink too, and stepped out of the booth, pulling L too. He took Beyond’s hand and turned around, backing into the crowded dance floor, his eyes seducing them to him.

 

Light pulled L in front of him and Beyond moved behind him, grabbing Light’s hips and moving against him. L was seeming suddenly a lot more relaxed. ”Light-kun, I feel a little odd.” He moved against Light, pressing himself tightly to him and gazing up at Light with bedroom eyes. 

 

You arent a bad dancer, L, you got this. “It’s called being drunk L.” He laughed a little, but when it hit him like a ton of bricks he knew that wasn’t it. He reached back to thread his fingers into Beyond’s hair and turned his head towards him, “What did you do?” His fingers clenched in Beyond’s hair.

 

Beyond licked his ear with a laugh and whispered, “You didn’t think I’d let some girl lick booze off me just for free shots, did you?” He kissed Light’s neck, grinding his hips against Light’s ass. He hissed in Light’s ear, “We’re all fucking dosed.” He pushed his hand up Lights shirt when he felt Light tense. “Don’t be mad. All in good fun. Just think how hard you’ll come for me later.” He pinched Light’s nipple and giggled. 

 

Light released Beyond’s hair as waves of sensation shuddered through his body with the music. He leaned his head back onto Beyond’s shoulder, exposing more of his neck to that wet mouth. Ecstasy. Ohhhhh you’re gonna get it later Beyond. And it’s having quite the effect on L. 

 

L’s hands were under Light’s shirt too, moving over and across Beyond’s, overwhelming Light pressed between two warm bodies. Two hard cocks. Fuck yes. I forgive you already Beyond.

 

He lifted his eyes to meet L’s intense stare, pulling him closer, their lips nearly touching. “I’m ready to start writing names again. Would you still kill for me L?”

 

L looked from beneath his black fringe, a nearly deviant smile. “You know I would. I have.” He licked across Light’s lips. “I will again.” He pressed his mouth against Light’s, the ecstasy ramping up and pushing emotion into their kiss. 

 

Beyond whispered in Light’s ear, watching their intense kiss, “I can’t WAIT to kill for you.” He laughed darkly. “Let’s write some names tonight.” He reached around and slipped his hand into Light’s pocket, fingers brushing his cock inside his pants.

 

Light smiled and pulled back from L, turning his face over his shoulder slightly, “Starting with anyone who’s ever seen your face. I’m taking no chances. Get those ready for me Beyond.”

 

An angry voice behind them, “Hey!!! Get a room you three. Take that SHIT SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

 

Light stopped dancing and three pairs of eyes snapped to the source of the comment. Some frattish guy with Greek letters on his shirt was glowering at them with his equally fratty friends. Beyond stepped forward, clenching his fists as his red eyes pulsed in the dark. A dangerous tone to his voice, “What the FUCK did you just say to us?!”

 

The unsuspecting dudebro laughed in his face, “You heard me. Get that gay shit the hell out of here!”

 

Beyond gave him a sadistic smile and made to turn his back on the guy, but then roundhouse kicked him hard across the face, sending him sprawling on the dance floor and his drink flying onto his date. She shrieked and looked down at her ruined shirt as Beyond doubled over in mad laughter. He kicked the guy in the floor in the ribs, feeling a sickening crunch under his boot, and his friends roared and jumped Beyond.

 

Light looked at L and sighed as Beyond ducked, punched and kicked until they all joined their friend moaning on the floor surrounded by blood and teeth. “So much for behaving.” L grabbed Beyond’s arm as he spotted two huge bouncers being pointed their way by the fratguy’s howling girlfriend. “B, come on! We gotta get outta here NOW!” Light looked around at the chaos around them, the club was nearly rioting, and laughed loudly as L pushed him towards the side door and into the alley. 

 

Light doubled over in laughter when the door shut behind them. “Oh my god the look on their faces. Beyond that was awesome.” He leaned a hand against the wall to catch his breath.

 

But Beyond was still full of fury, wanting not to beat but to kill, and tried to go back through the doors until L grabbed the back of his collar to hold him back. His red eyes flashed, “I’m gonna KILL those motherfuckers, I’m—”

 

Light smirked at L, who was still holding him by the collar. “Beyond...”

 

”—gonna RIP their eyes out with COCKTAIL SWORDS!! I’m...”

 

”Beyond!”

 

”—gonna FUCK THEIR EYELESS SKULLS DURING PLEDGE WEEK!”

 

“BEYOND!” Light slapped him hard and Beyond finally focused his eyes on Light. “We’re getting out of here. Now shut the fuck up before the bouncers call the police.” He bit his lip trying not to laugh at the disappointed look on Beyond’s face. Light pushed him towards the street and hailed a cab and all three of them piled in. That ecstasy is fucking me up good....

 

I BLEW IT! Beyond grabbed his hair and put his head in his lap. “Ohhhhh shiiiitttt. I fucked up good, didn't I? Those guys just made me SO PISSED!” Beyond looked down at his hands as the cab weaved through Tokyo streets, they were bloodied and pretty beat up. “Ugh. Sorry Light. I...I warned L about this.” He gave L an apologetic look and L whispered something in Light’s ear. Beyond blushed hard.  Oh no don’t tell Light....

 

Light looked at him and gave him a knowing half-smile. With a deep sigh, he took out a page of the death note from his pocket and handed it to Beyond along with a pen."I'm sure you saw their names." Well, might as well get started. “Don’t make it happen tonight.”

 

Beyond’s eyes lit up with new fire. “Fuck yes!” Hello prostate cancer my old friend mwhahahahahahah! He snatched the page and hunched over it, giggling and scribbling until 4 names were scrawled across the page with identical and medically-unfortunate fates. He tossed the page back into Light's lap with a little laugh, and went straight to biting his thumb while fantasizing about their slow, painful deaths.

 

L snatched it and held it up in the streetlamp light with his fingertips. "Not a nice way to go." He bit his lip and smiled up at Light. He's good for this Light. You chose well. "We heading home now?"

 

Light nodded and told the cabbie where to turn and drop them off. He looked back at L. "He's been a bad boy tonight, L."

 

L lowered the page and nodded seriously. "Very bad."

 

Light adjusted his gold mask. Softly, "I think we might have to punish him a little."

 

L smiled, not breaking eye contact with Light. "I think you might be right."

 

Beyond got a worried looked on his face and looked between them. "Oh fuck. What are you two up to?" 

 

The cab slowed in front of HQ and Light threw some money on the front seat as they exited the cab and snuck inside. When they were in the elevator, he put an arm around L and whispered, loudly enough for Beyond to hear, "He needs to get off to stay sane? Let's see just how crazy we can make him then." They both turned to stare at Beyond, who froze with a bruised finger in his mouth.

 

L felt the ecstasy coursing through him, and ran a hand down Light's back. "Its Devil's Night. Let's fuck some shit up."  

Chapter Text

Light pushed Beyond through the door of the safe room, his arm still around L’s waist. Beyond stumbled forward in the dim cave and turned to look at them, his red eyes, the skin underneath them marked with blood by Light, full of lust tinged with fear. You’re going to torture me aren’t you Light? Bring IT! He smiled wide, an invitation.

 

Light tilted his head and spoke softly to L’s ear, “Beyond spiked our drinks. You feeling it?”

 

L bit his lip and nodded slowly, his hand reaching back to grab Light’s ass. Like you don’t make me feel enough already Light. Will I be as crazy as Beyond after tonight?

 

Light sighed, crossing his arms and staring at Beyond through narrowed eyes. “My fun at the club got cut short, L.”

 

Beyond smiled a little wider, letting his fingers move to the bulge in his leather pants. “I’m SO sorry, let me make it up—“

 

L held a finger to his lips and interrupted him. ”A severe offense.”

 

Light sucked L’s earlobe, sending a shudder though L’s body. “I want more music while I figure out what to do about that.”

 

L smiled up at him a little and went to the computer at his desk, throwing together some songs. How about this too, Light? I think you'll enjoy it. His fingertips flew over the keyboard as music began to reverberate the cave, and the huge floor to ceiling screens came alive with footage of gory crime scenes, victims, murder. Let my past cases thrill you Light, as they have me. See what I've seen. See who I didn't save.

 

Light smiled up at the screens as someone screamed and was stabbed in the neck, then locked eyes with Beyond and walked towards him slowly, pulling his shirt over his head and tossing it aside. When they were face to face, Beyond nearly panting with desire, Light pushed his hand into Beyond's hair bending his head back, and stepped behind him. The music and the drugs pulsed through them both as Light began to grind against him, his chest skin to electric skin against Beyond's back, hands traveling up the hard muscles of his stomach and chest. "You caused a lot of trouble tonight." He licked and sucked the soft skin where Beyond's neck met his shoulder. Darkly, "You're gonna pay for that...." Fingernails dug into Beyond's hips, making his breath hitch.

 

Beyond leaned into him, moving with him and turning his head to meet Light's eyes, "I can't help it." He leaned his head back on Light's shoulder, lips parted, "You like it. I can feel how hard you are." He pushed back onto Light's cock, watching his pupils dilate, ".....kami....."

 

Light teased his lips with his tongue, "It's the thought of making you pay that's making me hard." He pushed Beyond's mouth into his, a hand around his neck slightly squeezing. Beyond hummed into his mouth needily and nodded slightly. Light broke the kiss and turned them both towards L, who was watching them from across the room. He beckoned L to them with his eyes, wordlessly, while he stroked Beyond's cock slowly through the leather. Somebody was walking through a crime scene on the screen above, taking pictures of arterial spray across white walls.

 

L's face was a bloody ruin, the gore Light had smeared there earlier in the night had run in streaks, making him look as true a specter of Kira as his shirt named him. He stepped to a writhing Beyond, pressing against him as his hands went over his shoulders to touch Light behind him. Light, these drugs.....the both of you....

 

Beyond turned towards L and smiled seductively, encircling his waist and pulling him close as the music washed over them. As they were the same height, they were at exactly eye level. "L....I want you to kiss me again. That was so sick....." Beyond took L's hand and started to lick and suck his fingers, maintaining eye contact, "Nobody to fight with here...we can be as gay as we please." He smiled and bit L's finger, eliciting a small gasp, and trailed bites up L's pale arm, getting more excited and biting harder the further he went.

 

L met Light's stare then leaned in to press his lips to Beyond's, yanking his hand free of Beyond's grip and pulling his face closer, hungry for it too. L's other hand met Light's and they started to stroke Beyond together over his pants, L pulling back to watch Beyond's face crumple with the pleasure. "Light-kun, he must really need to get off." Eyes flicking up to Light's. "Don't let him yet."

 

Beyond inhaled deeply and his mouth fell open at the double stimulation, "Is...is this my punishment...?" I'll be bad more often if so....I'LL BE NOTHING BUT BAAAAADDDDDD! A gunshot blew somebody’s head apart on the screen and the camera lens was painted red.

 

Light laughed, "No, this is just a little teaser. But if you're so ready....." He stepped away from Beyond and over to L's trophy cabinet, opening it and looking inside. Now I know I saw it in there before.....oh it will be a perfect lesson.....His fingers closed around a smooth leather handle and he laughed to himself. Yes. He turned back to his boys, L's tongue pushed down Beyond's throat as he danced against L to the music, the ecstasy completely overwhelming them both. Almost a shame to interrupt them. God they're beautiful. And mine. His eyes scanned the room for Ryuk, he found him atop his favorite rock ledge on the wall, eyes burning in the dark and staring down at them. He opened his mind to the shinigami, smirking up at him, Enjoying the show Ryuk?

 

Ryuk's wide white grin glowed nearly as bright as his eyes, Been enjoying all night, hyuk. You boys know how to party.

 

Light coiled the whip in his hand, running his fingers over it. Fancy a little fun too, Ryuk? I got an idea but I need your help. He heard Beyond moan into L's mouth and he pulled L's Kira shirt over his head, throwing it aside. On the screen, someone was lying in a bathtub, opened wrists dripping onto the tile floor.

 

Ryuk extended his wings to their full span, white and black. I'm game, hyuk. Whatcha want oh my kami?

 

Light knew that he said it sarcastically, but couldn't help but feel a little thrill anyway. Just get that memory of Tadashi's death fresh in your mind. I'm gonna use it to blow Beyond's. But not until I say so.

 

Ryuk's eyes bulged out and he laughed softly. Ok then. You tell me when. He stretched out his shinigami talons and cracked his fingers, closing his mind again. You perfect, sick bastard, hyuk.

 

Light turned back to Beyond and L. He flicked the tip of the whip, making it crack loudly in air like a small explosion. L and Beyond immediately turned to him, staring at the whip in his hand wide eyed.

 

L moved to stand over with Light, touching the whip and turning back to Beyond. "Light, don't hurt him too bad." He wiped his mouth of Beyond's saliva. "I spent a lot of effort trying to save his life after all."

 

Beyond took a hesitant step backwards, "Oh fuck...." Above him, the screens showed footage of a tied-up man crying into the camera.

 

Light laughed, taking a step forward, staring him down and speaking softer, "L drugged me once. What happened L?"

 

Beyond's eyes darted to L's, disbelieving. But L laughed, remembering, "You punched me in the face and fucked my mouth until I could barely speak the next day." He touched his jaw, And worth every bit of it.

 

Light took another step forward, grabbing Beyond by the hair and pulling him over to the foot of the bed. "Better hold on tight."

 

Beyond's eyes flashed as he gave Light a masochistic grin, "Do your worst." Do it Light. I'll suffer for your kicks. He gripped the bedpost, turning his back to Light. "As long as I get that second thing L mentioned." Ryuk laughed above them.

 

Light felt a thrill course through him as he stepped back and took a deep breath. The screens above them showed a bright explosion as a building collapsed. L embraced him from behind, watching over his shoulder, whispering, "Remember how he humiliated you...." Light brought the whip back and snapped it down on Beyond' exposed back with a loud CRACK. Oh but I loved it L.

 

Beyond gasped loudly, arching away from the blow, "FUUUUCCCKKK!" Oh shit shit shit shit shit shit! The place the whip touched felt like it was on fire and he leaned against the bedpost slightly, panting through the pain made more intense from the drugs. Above him, a car spun out of control and into a crowded square, flinging bodies in every direction.

 

L sucked Light's earlobe, reaching around to play with Light's nipples. A whisper, "Remember how he used Rem to try and kill us." Light smiled and brought the whip down on Beyond's back again, a little lower this time, biting his smiling lip. Oh L, I think you're enjoying this more than I am.

 

Beyond inhaled sharply and twisted against the blow, trickles of blood running from the whip mark. He turned furiously to Light and L, through clenched teeth, shinigami eyes burning bright, "I'm gonna FUCK YOU BOTH DEAD!" The crazy....its coming.....He held on tighter to the post, nails digging into the wood. And why do I want him to do it again? He yelled over his shoulder at Light, "MORE!"

 

L unbuttoned Light's pants and pulled out his cock and started to stroke it. "He drugged us, got into a fight at the club." A burning building blazed on the screen, the flames climbing higher as people in the upper floors screamed.

 

Light moved his hips against L's hand, turning to kiss him over his shoulder. Through the kiss, "You finish him." Light let the whip dangle in his hand as L reached over to take it. Light continued to stroke himself watching L bring back the whip and crack it hard on Beyond's upper back.

 

Beyond took the blow nearly stoically, barely moving. My mind....Three deep cuts were across his back and he was dizzy with pain and arousal and adrenaline. I don't even mind the pain. I just want to come so bad. I feel the blood running away from me and it makes me feel ALIVE!  He closed his eyes and whispered, "Kira....."

 

He slowly turned to face them, and the look on his face made L drop the whip. But the look made Light just speed his stroking, meeting Beyond's insanity head on and looking deeper into his madness. Beyond saw what he was doing and fell to his knees, crawling over to him and sucking Light's cock and humming around it. Light pushed his hand into Beyond's hair and looked over to L, pulling him close and shoving his tongue down his throat while fucking Beyond's face.

 

Beyond pulled back, stroking Light's cock lubricated with his spit, "Did you enjoy using me as your whipping boy, Light?" He grinned up at him, licking his lips. "Making me BLEED for you?" He stuck his hand in L's waistband and pulled him down to the floor with him, holding his face and bringing it to Light's cock. "Show me what you can do L." A closeup of a heroin needle flashed across the TV before it plunged into a vein.

 

L grabbed the front of Light's pants and deep throated him, forcing a low moan from Light. Beyond watched closely then pulled Light's pants all the way down, letting Light step out of them. He pushed Light's legs apart a little and moved beneath his legs to lick and suck his balls, making Light moan harder.

 

Light let his head fall back, a hand on each of their heads. "Oh fuuucccckkkkk...." If I believed in a god, I'd be thanking them for the existence ecstasy about now.

 

Beyond gave a sloppy suck then gently pushed L back a little bit, moving his mouth close to L's, licking up and down Light's shaft as L tongued the head teasingly. L looked up at Light, whose mouth was wide open and panting, "Light, I always knew you were Kira." His tongue met Beyond's and they kissed around the head of Light's cock.

 

Light's legs were feeling shaky, "When L, when did you know?" He pressed their mouths together and fucked between them slowly, gasping softly. "Oh fuck....." On the screen, a woman with her eyes gouged out lied on an autopsy table, chest opened.

 

L laughed, sending soft vibrations along Light's cock. "One day I'll tell you when. But I knew I had to catch you or fuck you." He reached out to Beyond, giving him a smile and glancing up at Light. "It wasn't a hard choice after I knew you didn't want me dead either." He kissed up Light's hips and across his stomach, Beyond mirroring his movements. They each took one of Light's nipples in their mouth and started licking and sucking them, Light clutching them to his chest and feeling like he might just come from this.

 

"Jesus Christ you two..." He grabbed their hair and pulled them back. "Get out of your pants already."

 

Beyond pushed his down quickly, and pulled L's off as well, taking both their hands and leading them to the bed. He gave Light a smirk and pulled L next to him, their bodies entwining as Beyond kissed him deeply. He was nearly soaked with precum after all the teasing he'd endured, and slid his cock against L's identical one. L took Beyond's hands and placed them on his cock, "Do what you did to Light. Do it to me." He stared into those red eyes, that familiar face, lips slightly swollen from kissing and being kissed.

 

Beyond grinned, "You mean this?" He pressed his cock against L's in his hand and stroked their heads together in his fist. L arched into his hand and gasped with the overwhelming pleasure.

 

Light laid down next to them, spreading L's legs wider. "Or maybe this, L?" He stuck his fingers in Beyond's mouth and pushing them into L, finding his prostate and pounding it while Beyond continued stroking them together.

 

L's mouth was wide open and he moaned loudly. I'm losing it Light.... "Kami...." He pulled Light up to him, close enough to kiss him while he continued his fingering. He was moaning more than kissing, but Light didn't mind, seeing L fall apart was a beautiful sight.

 

Light looked up at Beyond and mouthed, Make him come, but you better not. Beyond grinned and sped up the pace, spitting in his hand and twisting it around the heads of their cocks. Light sped up too, pushing L down when he bucked against his hand. "L look at me. Look at me while you come."

 

L tried to focus on Light and looked into his eyes, pupils wide. Between pants, so close, "Oh fuck ...Light....I love you." He moaned and began to tremble beneath them, "I....I....." but no more words came because L was coming so hard his mind was swimming in nothing but dopamine and adrenaline, the blood pumping hard in his chest as ropes of cum shot between Beyond's fingers and Beyond and Light just kept going until L was grasping at Light, tears mixing with the blood under his eyes and running red down his face. "Stop....stop....please....or......" And he dug his fingers into Light's arms and came a second time with a keening moan, the drugs giving him new powers, new experiences. "OH FUCK!" He released Light and grabbed the bed sheets beside him, wrenching them in his hands.

 

Beyond and Light exchanged impressed looks as L shot through his fingers again, and Beyond finally slowed down and released L's cock. And L rolled on his side and pushed his hands in his hair, eyes closed. Softly, "I'm dead. You killed me." He laughed a little, biting his thumb and smiling when he felt Beyond spoon him from behind and Light stroke his bicep. "Shinigami realm here I come."

 

Ryuk called down from his perch, "Not quite yet L, hyuk." But that almost gave me a heart attack too. Holy shit.

 

L sighed deeply then sat up, looking between Light and Beyond. "Now you." I gotta see this to believe it.

 

Beyond moved behind Light on the bed, his cock aching to come. I am nothing but sex in this moment. And I've been teased long enough. He grabbed Light from behind and pushed him to his hands and knees, licking and biting across Light's tight ass until his tongue got to his entrance.

 

Light gasped slightly at that sensation, and shut his eyes and took a deep breath as Beyond began licking slowly up and down his crack then focused on teasing and circling his entrance. He lightly brushed Light's cock, making Light sigh, "Beyond, who's torturing who now?"

 

"Whatever could you mean, KAMI?" And with a laugh he squeezed Light's cock hard and plunged his tongue into Light, making Light shudder and gasp. He kneaded Light's ass then rose to his knees, nudging Light with the tip of his cock. "Tell me you want it, Light. Tell me you want ME!" You couldn't before, but you better do it now.....

 

Light pushed back against him, panting with how much he wanted it, "I WANT you Beyond!" He looked over his shoulder at him, "FUCKING DO IT!"

 

Beyond smirked at him, "As my kami demands." And he plunged into Light's now slick entrance, leaning over Light's shoulders and shutting his eyes at the exquisite tightness, the heat, and as he started to fuck him, the smooth friction. "Ohhhhhhhhh shiiiiiittttttttt....." I'm so hard, been hard for so long, I'll have to really hold back not to come too fast. Light doesn't want that. He fucked Light until he found the spot that made Light moan and shake beneath him, and kept hitting that spot. His eyes met L's wide ones and he grinned, and they both went back to staring at Light, watching their god come undone. Beyond leaned back, gripping Light's hips, pounding him harder, pushing him down into the bed. He reached behind him and wiped his back, bringing back a red bloody hand. He leaned back over Light and stroked Light's cock bloody and slick, massaging it and relishing the sounds Light was making. He hissed in Light's ear, "Don't you forget I can make you fall apart on YOUR knees, my KAMI!" Beyond sped up both pounding and stroking, pulling a gasping Light up on his knees against his chest. You've made me new, but I'll make you die a little. I'll give you mortality back.

 

L moved to watch them closer, a finger in his mouth. You look so beautiful like this Light. Your face....what he's doing to you....

 

Beyond held tightly onto Light across his chest, pushing him down into his thrusts, and focused on stroking the head of Light's cock. He hissed into Light's ear, "Gonna make you come so hard Light, you'll be calling my name." He twisted his fist around Light's head, and Light shuddered hard and moaned, lifting his arms to encircle Beyond's neck and lean back on his shoulder. Roughly, "Say it Light, say my name...."

 

Light opened his eyes to Beyond and whispered, begged, "Beyond....make me come....oh fuck I want to come...." Beyond shinigami eyes glowed brightly, "Then do it." He leaned down to kiss Light against his shoulder, their tongues twining together as Light trembled and nearly screamed into Beyond's mouth as he shot through his fingers as L had. He clenched his fingers in Beyond's hair, grasping at him like a drowning man grabbing a rescuer. Light opened his mind to Ryuk....now....

 

Ryuk smirked and phased into Beyond and pushed Tadashi's violent death straight into Beyond's mind. Beyond pulled his mouth away from Light with a cry of emotion, his eyes rolling back in his head as he felt his orgasm wash over him, pushed like a rush because of the drugs, right along with the overwhelming terror and desperation Tadashi felt in his last moments. DIIIEEE! And he was holding tightly onto Light, a feeling like his soul was ripping in two and pulling him into the air and out of his body. He pulsed over and over into Light, moaning softly then louder, emotions bouncing between the finality of gasping death and the pinnacle of pleasure, ending with a whispered, "....kami...." It was him....the one I'd hated for so long, who tortured and pursued me, the one I wished to kill since I was a child. You gave me a gift Light. You let me live what I'd waited my whole life to see. What I thought was stolen from me. Thank you....I love you.....

 

When he opened his eyes, he had to try hard to focus on what was in front of him, to let his brain process sound. Ryuk had left him and was flapping next to him. FLAPPING! He looked down, the floor of the cave far beneath them, and clutched Light to him tighter. His wings seemed to have a mind of their own and drifted them back down to the ground softly, where he fell to the ground on his knees, completely overwhelmed by the emotions he'd just experienced. And I bust my wings with my nut. Just great.

 

Light moved him gently to standing, "So you can make them come back after all." He brushed Beyond's sweat-drenched hair from his face. "Did you enjoy my little surprise?" Don't YOU forget that I can bring you to your knees in an instant.

 

Beyond looked up at him, still a little shocked, and nodded. He tried to think about having no wings again and they both disappeared. A bit drained, "I guess I'm getting a bit better." He sat on the bed and L moved behind him to embrace him. "I'm....." He rubbed his eyes, suddenly tired, the crazy ebbing away. "Tadashi's death...thank you for sharing that with me." He crawled to the middle of the bed, collapsing there on his back, and Light and L laid down on either side of him, both stroking him and each other. He smiled happily. "I don't deserve any of this. When you whipped me? That's what I deserve."

 

L closed his eyes too. "You did deserve it. Drugging us." He giggled sleepily.

 

Light laughed. "Oh don't get on some high horse L. Or I'll make Ryuk come tell us all what you did when you drugged me."

 

L blushed a little, smiling, "Yes, L the hentai detective shot his load right onto your pretty chest while you were out. So there."

 

Beyond laughed hard, pulling the covers up over them all. "Jesus Christ. The world is really doomed to become some dystopian orgy under us isn't it?"

 

Ryuk's eyes lit up, "Now THAT would be interesting, hyuk!"

 

Light smiled, "But it'll be MY dystopian orgy."

 

Beyond turned to L and whispered, "At least we'll let him think so....."

Chapter Text

L crouched at his desk in the safe room, glancing briefly at Light and Beyond still sleeping in the bed. Beyond was snuggled up against Light's back, arms encircling his waist. Is that how we look together asleep, me and Light? There are some differences between us yet. He seems to need normal sleep. L had awoken about an hour ago, and dawn was still two hours away. He gazed at Light and felt an unwelcome twinge of jealousy that he forced back down. I'm glad Beyond's here, glad he makes you happy. And we get a second chance too, after all these years. But....even though he is my genetic twin, you are still my real twin, my soul mate, aren’t you?

 

His head was pounding slightly from the aftereffects of their wild night, and he turned back to his laptop, reading the emails one more time while nibbling a piece of pineapple upside-down cake he'd grabbed from upstairs.

  

L-

Why haven't we heard from you lately? Did the Kira case have you so stumped you can't even check in? I saw the broadcast about B and those other Kiras. Is that really true? I feel like there's more to this. Anyway, I'm missing our chess matches online, let's plan one soon. I had a great red velvet cupcake yesterday, I attached a picture of it.

-N

 

L-

Things are so damn boring around Wammy's without your calls, and Watari's not spilling on the details of the Kira case. Why didn't you let me come help you? You know I'm ready! And don't let me hear that you've finally picked that albino mute as your successor or there's not enough chocolate in the house to keep me from burning it to the ground. >:| Anyway, give a ring won't you? I want to try to get all the gory details about Kira, even though I know you probably won't tell me.

-M

 

L sucked on a piece of pineapple as he typed something back that was congenial and non-committal, just mentioning that he'd been busy and would call soon. I will have to think carefully about what to say to them. These are the only two at Wammy's that could cause real trouble for us. Especially Near. Mello may even join us, he's always been rather amoral, but Near? Never.  

 

But at the forefront of his mind was Watari. Watari, who had saved him from being an orphan, had raised him as his own son at Wammy's. Who had poured his heart and mind into training him to be what he was, to whom he owed so much. Watari, how far does your loyalty go? Will you follow me? Follow Light if I ask it of you? L leaned back in his crouch and pressed 'send' on the emails to Mello and Near, then tented his fingers. This can't be avoided. But if we can get Watari's loyalty, the rest may take care of itself.

 

There was one more email that Watari had forwarded him, a reply to the update he'd sent to INTERPOL after Light's return. He stared at this one the longest, although there was no reply needed.

  

To the Kira Task Force head, aka "L"-

INTERPOL thanks you for the excellent work on the Kira case thus far, and were pleased to hear of the developments in ending the killings by Amane Misa, Gretchen Coates, and Beyond Birthday, and the safe recovery of Yagami Light. Given your and Chief Yagami's updates, as well as the recent message from Kira released to the press, we concur that the original Kira is still at large. However, we are re-evaluating how to address this. Your report on the significant decrease in violent crime across Japan since the emergence of Kira has created dissent as to the next steps. Please stand by with the task force and await further instructions in 48 hours.  

 

He got up from the chair and went over to the side of the bed where Light was sleeping. I hate to wake you Light, but we need to talk. He crouched beside him and gently stroked Light's cheek until those amber eyes fluttered awake. 

 

Light focused his vision and smiled up at L, "Is it morning already?"

 

L held a finger to his lips like 'shhhhh' and whispered, "Not quite, but I thought we might talk a bit before Beyond woke up."

 

Light nodded and carefully extricated himself from Beyond's embrace, lifting his arm carefully and placing it back on the bed. Beyond just sighed and turned the other way, still out cold. Light got up and followed L over into the back of the cave near the waterfall, the white noise of the falling water masking their words and echoes. 

 

L stuck a hesitant toe into the pool beneath the waterfall, and when he was assured it was warm, he pulled off his clothes and got in. "Its fed by a hot springs and usually pretty warm, even this time of year." He turned his wide eyes up to Light, "Get in with me?" 

 

Light slipped into the pool, letting the warm water flow around him and wash away the traces of the night before. "Ahhhhh." He dunked underwater and scrubbed his hair, then surfaced feeling much better. He swam to L, treading water over a deep spot, "What did you want to talk about L?"

 

L bent his head back in the water, wetting his hair, and shook it out. "First, I wanted to get your thoughts on an idea I had. An idea to test Beyond's loyalty."

 

Light smirked at him, "Still don't trust him?" He swam to a more shallow place where his feet could touch the rocky bottom. "I suppose that's being cautious."

 

"Has Light-kun forgotten about Rem's death note? Its still belongs to him." And that’s dangerous for us Light. Even if he's on our side, we don't want any other Kiras. No temptations.

 

Light shook his head. "I hadn't forgotten. Its somewhere at Tadashi's hideout I suppose. Beyond doesn't have it with him. But yes, we need it in our possession. What's your idea?"

 

L grabbed some soap from the side of the pool and scrubbed his face and body, getting all the blood and sweat off and splashing the suds away. "Send him to go get it and bring it here. Have him give up possession of it, to you. If he does that, I think we can trust him." L gave him a little smile. "And he has wings now. He should learn to use them in the real world. At night of course." L handed the soap to Light.

 

Light smiled and took it. Smart, L. Accomplish two things. "I like it. But the death note was bound to him through his soulbond with Rem. But now that Rem is dead....." He looked for Ryuk and motioned the shinigami to come down from the ledge. Ryuk flapped down and sat at the edge of the pool, sticking his spindly legs in the warm water. "Ryuk, can Beyond give up Rem's death note now that she's dead?"

 

Ryuk nodded. "Yup, the soul bond was broken, hyuk. When that happened, her immortality and in his case, her wings, transferred to him. But the bond with the death note itself is finished. He can give it up."

 

Beyond was already an immortal, but the rest sounds right. "Good." Light scrubbed himself clean with the soap, then had L wash his back. "In that case, Ryuk, I'll need you to go with Beyond to get it. He might need flying lessons anyway." He laughed a little and heard a small chuckle from L behind him. "Sorry."

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes. "Babysitter again, huh? Hyuk, fine. But if he falls out of the sky, I'm letting him." Although if he really gives up Rem's death note to you, I might be a little nicer. He splashed Light and flapped back up to his perch. And there's something I want to ask Beyond about anyway. Something that's been irking me.

 

L finished washing Light's back, "Can you wash mine?" He turned around and gave Light a smile over his shoulder.

 

Light took the soap and kissed L's neck. "Of course." He spread the bubbles around over L's angular shoulders and back. There's something else you wanted to say. He cupped some water and washed off the soap, trailing fingers across that soft skin. "What's wrong, L? There's something else, isn't there?"

 

L looked down at his reflection in the water. Not just mine anymore. "Light-kun is perceptive as usual."

 

"I just know you by now. What is it?" He put the soap on the edge of the pool and embraced L from behind, planting his mouth along his shoulder and neck. "Tell me."

 

"I enjoyed last night, Light. I enjoy the three of us, being aligned together towards your new world." Its exciting. He's exciting. And we need all the allies we can get.

 

"But...."

 

"But..." I hate to be so needy Light. "Its....its me you love, isn't it?" He turned to face Light, eyes bright with worry and emotion. "I need to hear you say it." And to mean it. He laid his forehead on Light's shoulder. "Kami..."

 

Light held him close. "L." He kissed his hair. Quietly, "The night I told you I was Kira, you said you had but one twin. I don't care that you and Beyond look exactly alike, I am your true twin." He stroked L's back, fingertips running over the bumpy ridges of his spine slowly. "You are the one I love, will love for a mortal lifetime and then for eternity. Because our souls, our minds are one and the same, and we've both always known it." He laughed quietly. "Even when we hated each other." He rubbed L's bending neck, his fingers smoothing wet hair. "Beyond is a toy. A person but a plaything. Someone broken we can mend and befriend. He can complete us but he can never replace us. I couldn't imagine the task before me if you weren't at my side, L. Kira and L are one and the same, you and me." Perhaps Beyond can be more than a toy, but I will leave that up to you L.

 

L sighed into him, smiling against his shoulder. Thank you Light. I once thought you never felt a real emotion in your life. But I was wrong about that. I was wrong about something, and glad for it. Interesting. "My lover and my twin." He lifted his eyes to meet Light's and kissed him softly. "But, I never hated you. I wanted to...defeat you, to catch Kira, to stop you. But hate? No, Light-kun."

 

Light got a serious expression. I won't lie to you. "There was a time I hated you, L." Hated you for standing in my way, for being my equal. There was a chance you could have stopped me, destroyed me. I nearly killed you. "I used to fantasize about killing you."

 L smirked up at him, tracing Light's collarbone with his finger. "At least you're being honest." He pressed his mouth to it, feeling Light's warm pulse beneath his lips. "And if I'm being honest, it turned me on." He looked back up at Light. "There's something else." 

 

"More? What?"

 

L told him about the email from INTERPOL and watched Light's eyes become bright with triumph. "There's a chance they may call off the investigation entirely. Or, maybe not. We'll know more in a couple days. But it seems INTERPOL has accepted the information about the other Kiras. Beyond should be safe."

 

Light took L's face in his hands and kissed him happily. "L! Even if they don't stop the investigation, this means that there are those who are starting to accept Kira. Not just the citizens, but those in power!" But not in power for much longer. He got a faraway look. "That must have been some crime stats report you sent them." He looked back to L. "Is that true? Violent crime has gone down?" I knew it!

 

L nodded seriously. "It has. By a big margin actually." The corner of his mouth turned up a little. "Well, violent crime not committed by Kira at least."

 

Light laughed, hugging L tightly to him, cradling the back of his head. "Now do you believe me? My justice...Kira's justice..." He held L in front of him again. "I don't claim to be a good person, L, but you, your justice drags mine towards being a force for good." He took a deep breath. "The original goals we both had are not incompatible."

 

"But my primary goal was putting you behind bars and seeing you executed." He chewed a hangnail to hide his snicker. And I've had to bend much more than you have. But somehow, you've made me see.

 

Light shut his eyes and laughed, then opened them into L's dancing eyes. "L, are you joking with me now?"

 

"I'm glad I didn't succeed there Light." L tapped him on the nose.

 

"Little chance of it."

 

"Uh huh." Oh you were in more danger than you knew. Until....well...."Last thing."

 

"There's more?"

 

"This isn't as good of news." L looked away, still not sure how to handle this particular problem. "We need to try to tell Watari the truth." This won't be easy.

 

Light was genuinely surprised. “What? Why would we do that? You had said before we needed to hide the truth from him as much as anyone else.”

 

“I agree it’s a risk. But...Wammy’s will never be under our control as long as Watari is in the dark about this. And he’s loyal to me, has protected me and helped me my whole life, he may be swayed.” L licked his lips, thinking. "There's two students at Wammy's in particular who could be trouble for us. Watari could help with that."

 

“And also you don’t like to lie to him.”

 

”That, and we can’t keep Beyond hidden down here forever. Watari will start to be concerned something is amiss if we’re hiding all the time.”

 

Light sighed. “I suppose I see your point. But how will he feel about seeing the person he knew as B? He thinks of him as a psychopath now. A murderer.”

 

”Well, he is all those things.” Or do you prefer to forget that, Light?

 

Light hadn’t forgotten. He just found he didn’t care. “Many would say the same of Kira. They’d probably be right in both cases.” He took L’s hand. “We’ve absolved him. I’m not going to hold any of that against him given what was done to him.” And given what we’ve both done, L. “You wrote names too L.” He turned L’s palm over and bit it playfully. Need I remind you?

 

L sighed, remembering the thrill of those first names he’d written in the death note with Light. “Oh don’t misunderstand me. I’m not judging.” I understand better than you what was done to him.

 

”But Watari might. Or, Beyond might be the key that convinces him, if he feels any need to honor your mother's last wishes.” Light laced his fingers in L's. "Let's think that one through before telling Watari anything. We could just say that we have B here but not tell him that I'm Kira."

 

L nodded. “Yes. I need some time to think about what to say. First thing I’m going to do today is let the team know we’re on hiatus for the next 48 hours.”

 

”Beyond can go get Rem’s Death note with Ryuk tonight.”

 

”So that leaves you and me....” L got a hopeful look.

 

”Alone tonight.”

 

"Uh huh."

 

Light pulled L close. “Gonna be a busy day, but you up for a date tonight, just us? Something low key.”

 

L purred, “Low key sounds perfect. I’ll think of something good.” He pecked Light on the lips and swam over to the side of the pool and hopped out, steam rising off his pale body. “Should have brought towels down here.” He picked up his clothes and dripped across the floor to pull the sheet off the bed, wrapping up in it and waking Beyond abruptly.

 

Beyond shivered and looked around, “Hey! What the....” He clutched his head and fell back to the pillow. “Argggghh my fucking head....”

 

Light joined L under the sheet, drying them both off. “Wake up Beyond. We got a mission for you.”

 

Beyond squinted his eyes, “Does it begin with a Bloody Mary and an aspirin? Cause if not, I’m gonna have to decline.”

 

L pulled on some dry clothes and took a bottle of aspirin he’d brought with the medical supplies from before. He tossed it on the bed, hitting Beyond on the head. “Here’s the aspirin at least.”

 

”Ow!” But he sat up and opened the bottle, swallowing a couple pills. “Fine fine. Ugh. So what’s this mission?”

 

Light dried his hair in the sheet, then put on a pair of pants. He sat on the bed next to Beyond. “The cuts on your back.” He turned Beyond’s shoulder so he could get a good look. “They’re nearly gone.” He traced a finger down Beyond’s chest. “And all these too.”

 

Beyond looked down then touched his back. “Don’t get any ideas like I’m your personal pincushion or something. Just cause I can heal this fast doesn’t mean it’s open season.” He gave them both a red glare that devolved into a sly grin. “We had fun though didn’t we.” He crept closer to Light. “Hey you’re both clean and I’m...” he looked at himself, a total bloody mess.

 

L crouched next to him. “Filthy.” He bit his thumb, smiling a little thinking about what he’d done to Light last night, concerns gone after Light's reassurance. Light's toy. Mine too.

 

Light rolled his eyes. “Ok, first step is to get a bath. Then tonight I want you to go with Ryuk and get Rem’s death note and bring it back to me.” Light laid down on his side, propping his chin up in his hand. “Can you do that?”

 

Beyond sighed. “With Ryuk huh.” He looked up at the shinigami, who just shrugged and grinned down at them. “Guess that means...”

 

”Wings.”

 

Beyond winced a little. “I’m not so confident in them yet. Sure that’s a good idea? I mean, right now I only know of one way to get them to...uh...appear.” But I have no problem with that if you help me out there.

 

L and Light giggled and Beyond fell back and stuck a pillow over his face. Through the pillow, “Sure sure LAUGH IT UP guys.” He sighed heavily and threw the pillow at Light. “Fine. I’ll do it.”

 

“Good.” Light threw the pillow back at him with a laugh. “Now get up before I get my whip.” 

——

One day earlier.....

 

“What a smug fuck.” Mello turned off the TV and tossed the remote on the couch. He lounged back on the cushions, looking up at the ceiling, and pushed his blonde bangs out of his eyes with a sigh. “You expect me to believe that tall glass of water is working with L on the Kira case?! And somehow escaped B?” He turned his eyes to the boy on the floor, who was carefully stacking tarot cards into an elaborate rendition of the Eiffel Tower. “I don’t like him.” He pulled a chocolate bar from the couch cushions where he’d hidden it earlier.

 

Near remained perfectly still in his crouch, a small pale hand reaching to carefully place another card. The Lovers card. Calmly, “You don’t like him because L picked him to work with instead of us.”

 

Mello huffed forward, “I—that’s not true! I just...” before relaxing again into the cushions. “I doubt this Light guy has had a thought more complex than who he’s taking to prom.” He pulled one leg up and unwrapped the chocolate bar, taking an irritated bite. “You telling me you buy that load of shit he just shoveled for the police? About Kira killing B and getting eaten by sharks??”

 

Near pulled his hand back slowly, picking up another card from the careful stack next to him and placed it. The Magician card. He was quiet for a while, and Mello thought he’d decided to ignore him, but finally he answered, “No.” He placed the final card atop the tower. The World card. He turned to Mello, Near's white hair, white clothes, pale skin making him barely more than a dust mote floating in the halls of Wammy’s. “L may have his reasons. He’s never lost a case.” I trust L, you should too.

 

Mello pointed at the black TV screen. ”The real Kira is still out there and Mr. Perfect here is saying we need to think real hard about whether society needs Kira's justice. Hmph!” Another messy bite. “L’s lost it.”

 

Near’s eyes went wide with suppressed anger. “Take that back.” L will NEVER lose it!!

 

Mello giggled, loving to get a rise out of Near. “Oh relax, I’m kidding.” God help us all if that were true. He leaned forward to meet Near’s stoic gaze. “But something else is going on, I know you see it too. And L’s been distant from us lately.” Mello licked his chocolatey fingers thoughtfully then rubbed them on his red vinyl pants.

 

Near’s eyes went blank again. “That’s not unusual.” He hugged his knees to his chest. “But, L’s been working on this case for months. That is unusual.”

 

Mello grinned. “See? L’s losing his touch.” He ate the last bite and tossed the crumpled up the wrapper into the trash.

 

Near grit his teeth but didn’t take the bait this time. I won’t give Mello the satisfaction. I know L’s the most brilliant detective that ever lived. “What I mean is, if L is playing cat and mouse with Kira for this long, there are probably complexities we aren’t aware of.” And that's probably an understatement.

 

Mello just shrugged. “Maybe.” He flopped down on the couch, an arm across his eyes dramatically, one leg up on the back of the couch. “But why’d he have to pick Yagami Light for the taskforce?” He said Light’s name with heavy sugary sarcasm. “That kid looks like he never had a bad day in his life.” And I know about bad days.

 

”Being kidnapped by B probably qualifies as a bad day, Mello.”

 

“You’re just sticking up because you worship the ground L walks on!” He peeked at Near under his arm and giggled. Mocking Near, “Oh L, let's play chess. Oh L, let me send you some cake recipes. Wait L, I’ll upload that file for you. L you're sooooooo smart.” He bit his lip as Near’s face went from pale to blotchy.

 

”I do not!” Maybe a little....

 

”Do too!” Oh you definitely do.

 

Near squinted at him, clenching his fists, but composed himself. “Mello, why don’t you just accept that L’s going to pick me as his successor.” He allowed himself a thin smile and turned back to admire his tarot tower. With as little emotion as possible, “That way you won’t be so upset when it finally happens.” I know that smarts. 

 

And it did. Mello bolted up on the couch, eyes bright with anger. You little....! He hissed down at Near,“If L ever did that then I’d know he’d lost it for real.” He stood up and kicked Near’s tower with a patent leather boot, sending the carefully placed cards tumbling across the floor, and stomped down the hall to his room.

 

Near looked after him a moment, feeling a bit guilty for being cruel. I shouldn't let him get under my skin. I shouldn't be so childish. He turned back to the ruined tower and picked up a card at random and stared at it. The Justice card. Near held it up close to his face. Yagami Light. Who are you? Why does L trust you? 

And he started to rebuild.

Chapter Text

"Ryuzaki, what is THIS?" Soichirou looked down, his expression a mix of befuddlement and horror, at the ridiculous ice cream sundae that an aproned Watari handed him. The sundae consisted of two scoops of green tea ice cream, a scoop of strawberry on top of them, and Watari had expertly crafted the sundae to be what Light thought was a pretty decent (and hilarious) confectionary approximation of his Dad's face. Hot fudge was dolloped on top for hair, a drooping licorice whip mustache was stuck under a cherry nose. 

 

L's eyes went wide, "Does Yagami-san not like ice cream parties?"

 

Light stifled a laugh behind his own sundae, dark chocolate scoops with Reese's Pieces eyes and smothered with butterscotch. "I like mine, Ryuzaki." Its so odd to call you that, L. It even feels a little naughty, like part of our deception. He caught L's eye and quickly shoveled more ice cream in his mouth before it could twist into a smile. "It's very good Watari."

 

Watari gave a pleased smile and bowed, holding the ice cream scoop. "Thank you sir!"

 

Matsuda looked up from his own sundae with a genuine grin, just vanilla ice cream and whipped cream with overly sweet sprinkles dumped haphazardly on top. "Me too!"

 

Soichirou's face was turning the color of the strawberry ice cream, "The Kira task force is having an ice cream party at 9:30 in the morning." He looked back down at the sundae, which was frowning just like he was currently. He shut his eyes with a tired sigh. "Tell me this isn't happening."

 

L stuck his finger in his own sundae, digging around in it. Watari had originally made him one with three scoops of marshmallow ice cream and two enormous Oreo cookies for eyes and a crumbled chocolate bar for hair. But by the time L had finished "improving" it, it looked like an unrecognizable mess of candy and whipped cream. L pulled out a soggy Oreo and started to munch it, "I thought we might [crunch] celebrate Light's return and [crunch crunch] the conclusion of the second and third Kira cases." He licked his fingers and then wiped them on his jeans.

 

Light licked some butterscotch off his spoon, "Its a very nice gesture Ryuzaki. Thank you." He looked to his Dad, with eyebrows raised. "Isn't it Dad?" Don't laugh.

 

Soichirou opened his eyes and sighed even deeper, giving his frozen miniature a wary look. Heavily, "I suppose." He tentatively took the spoon that a grinning Watari was holding out for him and went to sit on the couch next to Matsuda, poking at the licorice. Grumbling, "My mustache does NOT look like that." He poked it until it fell off. "Mine is not droopy. Its distinguished." He hrrrmped quietly but scooped it up anyway and ate it.

 

Light couldn't hold back anymore and started laughing loudly, and Matsuda joined in until Soichirou gave them both a stern look and they quieted, smiling down at their desserts.

 

L took an enormous bite and started to explain the INTERPOL email he'd received that morning. "So, essentially, INTERPOL has put us on hiatus for the next 48 hours, and we will be informed of their decision on how to proceed at that point." He tilted the bowl and let the last bits of melted ice cream drip into his open mouth. "I suggest you spend some time with your families or use the time to relax until we get their decision."

 

Soichirou had been heartily enjoying his sundae, but that news put him right back into scowl mode. "What do they mean that there is 'dissent' in how to proceed? The original Kira is still out there." The scowl deepened. "And Light, those things you said on TV about Kira." Souichirou crossed his arms and looked at Light sternly. “I hope you don’t really believe that. What were you thinking?” He cast his son a disappointed look and Light withered a little under it.

 

Matsuda stopped slurping his sundae and turned to look between Light and the Chief. He swallowed and wiped some whipped cream off his face with his sleeve. “Chief, Light just had a pretty traumatic ordeal. And Kira did technically save his life. Maybe he was just in shock.” He looked to Light like he was trying to help him out here. “A little...confused...?”

 

Light finished his sundae and handed the bowl back to Watari. “I am not in shock or confused Matsuda.” I’ve never been more clear-headed. 

 

Matsuda paled a little and stared down at his sundae, poking at it. “So are you saying that you really do think Kira’s...murders of criminals...are good for society?”

 

"I said those things because--" 

 

L put down his bowl and dropped the spoon into it with a jarring clatter. "Light-kun said what I asked him to say."

 

Soichirou and Matsuda both turned to L sharply.

 

L hugged his knees to him, his toes digging into the fabric of the couch. "We need a way to draw out the first and original Kira, and traditional tactics have not worked so far. But we know he has a weakness."

 

Matsuda looked confused, "We do?"

 

L looked up at the ceiling. Oh Matsuda. "Yes. The first Kira, the real Kira...." Eyes back to Matsuda, "...loves to be praised." Oh does he. "When followers have reached out to him, like Amane Misa, he responded. You only need listen to his last transmission to understand that he desires the approval of society, wants their acceptance of his justice. I believe we can use this." 

 

Soichirou's expression went from shock to gradual understanding. "I see....so you believe that we might lull him into a sense of false security, and under those circumstances he may be temped to reveal himself. Or make a mistake."

 

"Precisely."

 

Matsuda nodded slowly but then scratched his head. "But isn't that a little risky, Ryuzaki? I mean if Kira thinks people are starting to sympathize with him, he might kill more people. Or feel safe enough to come after us...." He shrunk down slightly on the couch.

 

L got up from the couch and went to crouch in his desk chair, and opened his laptop. "I believe it is time to take some risks. What those turn out to be will depend on INTERPOL's decision. But I have some ideas." He turned his wide eyes to Soichirou and Matsuda in turn, "When you came onto this case, you knew that more than your careers were at stake. You've come with me this far, so I ask that you continue to trust me. However, anyone is free to leave at any time." He chewed his thumb, staring and waiting for their response.

 

Soichirou turned to Light, "Light, do you feel comfortable with this approach?"

 

Light gazed into L's grey eyes. You keep my secrets close, L. "I trust Ryuzaki." With everything.

 

Matsuda sat up again, energized once more, "Me too!" He smiled at Light, "New tactics! Woohoo!"

 

Soichirou sighed. He was outnumbered. "It seems you are correct that a new approach may be warranted."

 

L gave a hint of a smile, just enough for Light to see he was pleased. "Good. Matsuda, I have a task for you, if you want something to do until INTERPOL responds. There appear to be numerous Kira fansites that have cropped up lately. Perhaps when you go home, you might explore them and get a feel for which ones are the most popular, what they are about, and perhaps when we reconvene we can discover who is behind them."

 

Matsuda nodded rapidly, "Of course! Leave it to me."

 

L turned to Soichirou. "Soichirou, I suggest you relax with your family, given your recent hospitalization for stress and the strain we've all been under. And you especially."

 

Soichirou stroked his not-droopy and very distinguished mustache. "I could use a breather. I've barely slept since Misa was kidnapped. And when Light was...." He turned to Light, smiling a little. "It will be nice to have all of us back in the house for a few days."

 

L's expression changed, but Light didn't quite recognize what it had altered to. "Light's staying here with me. I've asked him to stay permanently to help with all my cases, as L, together." All eyes turned to Light. Except for Watari, who was watching L closely.

 

Light stood up and walked to stand beside L. "And I've accepted." He grinned at his Dad. "It seems that detective work will be my career Dad. I hope you aren't disappointed." He gave L a knowing smile. 

 

Soichirou beamed proudly. "Disappointed?!" He stood up and walked over to L, grabbing his hand and shaking it vigorously, wobbling a wide-eyed L. "Ryuzaki, I know Light will not let you down!" 

 

Matsuda jumped up to join them, patting Light on the back, "Congratulations Light! Well at least we know that Ryuzaki doesn't think Light is Kira anymore, ha ha!"

 

And from across the room, L caught Watari's eye, but his expression was unreadable. I hope you'll be with me Watari. With Light. Please don't make me choose between you. Because there's only one choice I could make. 

-------------

 

Beyond paced in the safe room, feeling a bit like a caged animal. I'm STUCK down here with nothing to do. Those two get to go play their spy games and I'm stuck being babysat by Mommy Damnedest. He sat heavily in front of the chessboard on the floor and glared up at Ryuk. Sulkily, "Do shinigami play chess?" Rem would never play anything with me. She was never any fun. Except once.

 

Ryuk stared down at him from his rock ledge, eyes glowing. "Shinigami play with people's lives. That's our game, hyuk." 

 

Beyond sighed and set up the chessboard anyway. "You don't like me very much do you..." Can't say I blame you, Ryuk. 

 

Ryuk laughed. "You tried to kill Light. You tried to kill L. Rem's dead because of you. You haven't exactly made the best first impression, hyuk."

 

Beyond glared up at him. "Well, that suits me FINE. Because I HATE shinigami!" He stuck his tongue out at Ryuk and moved a white pawn, slamming it down angrily.

 

Ryuk feigned surprise. "Really? Could've fooled me with all your dealings with them. L and Light can't see those names on your back, but I can. Balush. Farippa. Now Rem."

 

Beyond shifted to the other side of the board and moved a black piece, chewing his fingernail. "They knew what they were doing." He gave Ryuk a devious smile. "As do you, putting your name on both of them." He moved back to the white side and moved a piece. Sarcastically, "That's a neat trick. Care to tell me how you pulled that one off?"

 

"Not particularly."

 

I better shift tactics. "Come down here, I'll teach you the rules. I'm sure you're bored too." Shinigami eyes met in the dim cave, and Ryuk didn't budge. Beyond crossed his arms, "Cmon. We're going to have to work together later. Might as well chat."

 

Ryuk considered it, then flapped down to the floor in front of the black side of the chessboard. Eh why not. "You don't have to teach me. I know how. I've watched Light and L." He picked up a piece between obsidian claws and moved it.

 

I've got you down from your high perch, brought you to the dirt with me. Beyond stared down at the board and moved his bishop to take Ryuk's pawn. Ha. Softly, "So did Light give up the death note, and then they both took possession of it? Then you did the deal with both of them?"

 

"Hyuk! Lucky guess." Ryuk shifted into a cross-legged position and moved a pawn to endanger Beyond's bishop. "I knew them you know. Balush and Farippa." 

 

Beyond looked up at that. Good riddance to both. "Do all shinigami know each other?" He moved his bishop to take another pawn. Take that you big winged beetle!

 

Why do I play these silly human games? "Pretty much. There's not so many of us, and we have a lot of time on our hands, hyuk. When one goes missing, we notice." He moved his rook forward through the now empty space on his front line.

 

"Did Light tell you about...Balush...about me and L and Balush?" Beyond moved his other bishop to take the rook. You're pretty bad at this Ryuk. 

 

Grrr. "Yes." She killed your mother. Yeah, that sucks. "I won't cry any tears for her." He made a safe move. "Is that why you hate shinigami? Because of what Balush did?" I could understand that, I guess. From your perspective. Shinigami kill people all the time, its nothing to us. Humans just aren't wise enough to know to hate us.

 

Beyond’s voice was tight when he answered, "I've known three prior shinigami. Two of the three succeeded in killing people I loved, and the third one almost succeeded." Beyond moved a pawn, staggering them. "You make four." His eyes burned at Ryuk, as he hissed, “Shinigami have stolen everything from me. I won’t let that happen again.”

 

Its hate, but also fear. As soon as you can see us, you know what we can do. What we can take. "I'd never hurt Light or L. And not just because of the bond." He folded his fingers together, and gazed across the board at Beyond. "And I can't hurt you either because Light told me not to."

 

Beyond's eyes shot up. "He did?"

 

"Yes." Ryuk rolled his eyes. "Light's serious about giving you a chance." He moved a random piece, not really paying attention. "So don't blow it!"

 

Beyond sulked but was secretly pleased. Light told Ryuk not to harm me! Quietly, "I'm not planning to." He moved his queen to a safe position in the middle of the board.

 

"So, Farippa...." Ryuk probed gently. This may be a sore spot. "What happened with it....." Ryuk picked up a pawn and moved it, a completely useless move. Farippa. As powerful a shinigami as I ever knew. Jealous, sneaking, dangerous, full of lies and double-speak. No good must have come from your pact with it.

 

"It..." Beyond got a faraway look, staring through and not at Ryuk. I remember something. Something I shouldn't have forgotten. "Yeah....Farippa was truly an 'it'...that's about right." He turned back to the board, but without interest, moving his queen to checkmate Ryuk's king. Emotionless, "Checkmate Ryuk."

 

Ryuk shifted his eyes from Beyond to the board, "Eh, what? Oh damn. Well, I said I knew how to play, not that I was any good, hyuk hyuk." He swept the rest of the pieces off the board with his talons. “So what happened with Farippa?"

 

STOP asking!! Beyond sat quietly, his breathing speeding up a little as he glared up at Ryuk through the bangs in his eyes. He focused on the one fun moment with Rem and reeled it through his mind. The crazy. Don’t let it win. DON’T!

 

Ryuk stared back. Uh oh. I pushed too much. “Another game?

 

Beyond slowly stood up and turned and walked away, as if in a trace, towards his knife. Vacantly, “I don’t feel like playing anymore.” IT killed him...it killed him...it killed him because I loved him. And I love Light, Ryuk. I love them both. He picked up his knife and slashed his chest. And Ryuk didn’t stop him.

———————- 

 

After Soichirou and Matsuda had left HQ for the hiatus, L stood in front of the door to Watari’s office. I should knock. But I never knock. But I’m nervous. Maybe I should just act normal and barge in.

 

But before he could, the door swung open, as if Watari had been expecting him. The older man smiled warmly and stood aside for L to enter. The fire was blazing, casting a cozy light in the room, and L went to stand by it, feeling suddenly cold. 

 

“How can I help you sir?”

 

L stared into the fire, pulling at a hangnail with his teeth. “That’s just it Watari.”

 

”What’s just it?”

 

”I need your help.”

 

”Anything sir. You need only ask.”

 

L bit his finger, ripping the hangnail out. “Watari, would you really do anything for me?”

 

Watari laughed softly, “I’ve devoted my life to you L. In the face of all I’ve already done, would you really need to ask?”

 

”But you’ve devoted your life to other things as well.” He looked up at Watari. “Like Wammy’s.” He moved to crouch in the overstuffed chair. “Like bringing criminals to justice.”

 

Watari got a puzzled look on his face. “I’m not sure I understand, sir. We’ve both done that. Do that.”

 

This isn’t going very well. I don’t have Light’s charm or his way with words. There’s no cameras here. I can speak freely, but should I? Yes. “Watari....what would you do...if...just hypothetically...I were Kira?” L held his breath and tried not to flinch.

 

Watari laughed heartily. “You? Come now, don’t joke with an old man.”

 

But L just stared. “Watari, what would you do?”

 

Watari stopped laughing and sat down. “I...” He took out his handkerchief and mopped his brow. He turned to stare back at L, a growing look of horror on his face. He whispered, “You can’t be seriously asking me.”

 

Softer, “What would you do Watari?”

 

”I...I don’t know...I would, I would try to convince you to stop.”

 

”And if you couldn’t?”

 

”I’d ask why. Why you were Kira.”

 

”Is there any explanation you would accept?”

 

”I don’t know.”

 

”Would you turn me in? Turn me over to the police for execution?”

 

”No.” He answered right away.

 

”Really?”

 

”I couldn’t. You’re like a son to me. The son I never had.”

 

”And B, did you feel that way about him too?”

 

”B? I...You were always the most important person to me. But...I did care for B more than any of the others, because...he reminded me of you. When you were gone.”

 

”Are you sad he’s dead?”

 

”He’s done terrible things. He kidnapped Light!”

 

”But that’s not an answer.”

 

Watari was quiet for a while. “Yes, I’m sorry. Sorry he’s dead and sorry I couldn’t save him. I made a promise to your mother. To help you. She would have wanted me to help you both.”

 

L sighed deeply and nodded at Watari. Not yet. I need more time. “Thank you Watari, I needed to hear that.”

 

Watari’s brow furrowed, “Were you testing me sir?”

 

”No Watari. Testing myself.” L leapt up from his crouch and left a bewildered Watari to ponder by the fire alone.

 

———

Up on the roof, Light held out a backpack to Beyond with a smirk. “Try to bring the death note back in one piece.” Beyond took it grudgingly, thinking it was definitely not made to accommodate wings. Light spoke to Ryuk, “And Ryuk, you bring HIM back in one piece, got it?”

 

Ryuk rolled his eyes. “Yeah yeah, I got it.”

 

Beyond was standing on the low wall at the edge of the roof, looking out over the nighttime cityscape. I don’t want Ryuk along. He’s not going to leave me alone about Farippa. “I’m not so sure about this Light.”

 

Light peeked over the edge. “Not afraid of heights are you?”

 

Beyond slowly grinned. That’s not it. “Nope. Prefer to avoid the falling and going SPLAT part though.”

 

Light laughed, “Just don’t fly too close to the sun and you’ll be fine.”

 

Beyond barked a laugh. “So I’m Icarus now, eh?” Darker, “And I guess that makes you the Minotaur, Ryuk.”

 

“Minotaur?” Ryuk wasn’t sure if it was an insult or a compliment.

 

Light got up on the wall with Beyond and touched his shoulder, looking out at the horizon with him. ”I’ll tell you later, Ryuk. Time to fly Beyond.”

 

Beyond nodded and thought hard about having wings. But nothing happened. He tried again. And again. He looked over at Light with a sigh, “Not working.”

 

”You know how to do it.” Light gave him a smirk.

 

Yeah I do. Beyond grinned, “Wanna help me out?”

 

”I want to watch you.” He stepped forward and turned to Beyond, staring into his eyes. 

 

Beyond’s eyes shone. Hell ya. Ok then. He unbuttoned his pants and reached in, taking his semi-hard cock out. He stared back into Light’s eyes as he started to stroke, breath hitching as Light didn’t let his gaze waver. 

 

“Tell me what you’re thinking about Beyond.”

 

A small gasp, “Kira...you...”

 

Light waited for him to go on, unblinking, running a fingertip across the fresh cut on his chest.

 

Beyond’s lips parted, feeling the rising pleasure and the odd vulnerability of Light touching his self-inflicted wound, “We both lust for blood...”

 

Light’s pupils focused and he felt himself getting hard. He answered, “We both turn into darkness instead of away...”

 

Beyond was staring intensely at Light, panting as he stroked faster. “We both need perverse thrill...”

 

Light’s breathing started to quicken. “We both use emotion to manipulate, to twist, to win.” He smiled darkly.

 

Beyond leaned forward into his stoke, looking up at Light with an evil grin through black fringe. Softly, “We’re both killers...”

 

Light pressed the cut and watched new blood bloom there.

 

A choked whisper, “And we both love it...”

 

Light brought his red finger to his lips, tasting him. “We do.”

 

Beyond got a desperate look in his eye, “Please touch me kami.....”

 

Light looked down, and pulled his wet finger from his mouth and started to lightly circle Beyond’s slit. Just slow, repetitive circles, gliding around smooth skin slick with leaking precum. “I’m going to fuck L so hard while you’re gone.” He looked back up and smiled at Beyond. And now you’ll be thinking about it all night.

 

Beyond’s eyes went wide and he felt dizzy with the motion, all sensations in his body now a pinpoint at that single spot, a laser focus slicing him and making him start to tremble as Light kept it up. And jealousy. So much jealousy. “No....”

 

Light sped his circles, his grin widening seeing Beyond’s face. “Oh yes...” 

 

His mouth fell open, feeling blinded, overwhelmed and knowing orgasm was close. “Do you love me too Light....” Please...

 

”No.” He brushed his finger over the slit and went back to circling, precum flowing faster as Beyond just stroked the vein beneath the head.

 

Beyond gasped with the pain of that and the nauseous pleasure burning his insides. L, you steal from me again. But I know you deserve him, not me. I’ll be grateful for whatever place I have with you. “I...I love you though....”

 

“I know.” Light watched Beyond’s pupils blow wide. In an explosion of feathers and light, Beyond’s wings suddenly appeared and fledged wide as he moaned and came over Light’s finger, flapping immediately and uncontrollably with orgasmic frenzy. Light was knocked off the wall onto the roof, but Beyond stumbled and fell over the edge with a gasp.

 

Light jumped up and ran back to the edge, peering down in a panic, “Ryuk!!!!!”

 

“HYUK!” Ryuk spring to action, but there was no need.

 

Light saw the top of Beyond’s head rising fast, coming to meet his eyes with a triumphant look on his face. Beyond grinned at Light, showing off a little as he fluttered his soft silver wings in front of him, buttoning his pants and biting his smiling lip.

 

Light looked up at him with happiness and amazement, “Now I’m jealous Beyond.” What a beautiful weapon you are for me. My mad, deadly Icarus.

 

Beyond extended his arms with a wide grin, laughing madly as he rose and darted around like a frantic dragonfly above a laughing Light. He stopped mid-air and screamed up at starry sky, “HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW MOTHERFUCKERS?” He swooped down suddenly and grabbed Light’s face, kissing him savagely, deeply. And before Light could say a thing, was flapping off towards the moon, rising higher and higher, Ryuk shooting forth to catch him.

 ———

 

Light walked through the door to L’s rooms and was immediately greeted by an enormous bowl of caramel popcorn. Actually it was L standing there, but the bowl was obscuring Light’s view. Light peeked around it, laughing, “L, you back there?”

 

The bowl lowered and L appeared above it. “Movie night!” He scooped up some popcorn and crunched it noisily then handed Light a DVD case.

 

Light closed the door behind him and took the DVD. It was a boring-looking documentary on serial killers and psychopaths. Light looked back up dubiously, “Really L? You want to watch this?” 

 

L looked at him blankly and nodded. “Doesn’t it look fascinating?” He turned and walked towards the couch, picking up the remote and flicking on the TV. “I left you some pajamas there.” He shoveled another handful of caramel popcorn in his mouth. “Oh. We’re having a pajama party too.” He pointed to the table by the door.

 

Light grinned and shook his head slowly. You are full of surprises L. ”L you are feeling rather festive today. Ice cream party, pajama party. Are you going to break out into Christmas carols next?” Light took the black silk pajamas and put them on. L was wearing matching white ones.

 

L tilted his head, looking puzzled. “Why would I do that?”

 

Light sighed with a laugh. “Nevermind.” He put the DVD in the player and walked over to sit beside L, crouching on the couch. “Sure then...this will be...fun.” I’ll make it fun. He put an arm around the couch above L.

 

L dimmed the remote lights and started the documentary, staring wrapt at the screen as the dramatic announcer’s voice began to fill the room. I saw you on the roof with Beyond, Light. I think I might make you beg for it tonight. I think I’ll make you work for it.

 

Light scooted closer to L, ignoring the movie and playing with L’s silky hair. 

 

Hmm. This won’t work if he keeps that up. “Light-kun is distracting me from the movie.” 

 

Light let his fingers trace down the curve of L’s spine. “Am I?” He didn’t sound the least bit sorry for it.

 

”Yes.” L took Light’s hand and set it back in his lap. “It can’t be movie night without a movie.”

 

Light smirked at him. Alright, I see your game L. He reached in to take some popcorn, letting his hand brush L’s on purpose. “Well, nobody said we had to watch the whole movie.”

 

”Light-kun should know I always watch the whole movie.” He smiled a little to himself, hiding it behind his thumb.

 

Light sighed, a bit frustrated. “Yes I suppose you would.” He leaned back and pulled one foot up to rest on his knee. “Well, how about talking, or is that too distracting.”

 

”Talking is fine.”

 

“Well, then I want to ask you about something you said before.” Light leaned in close to L’s ear, lips barely brushing it, “About when you first knew I was Kira.”

 

”I think that particular topic would be too distracting to talk about.” He pointed to the movie, as if it took precedence over all.

 

Light moved to sit behind L on the couch, their silky pajamas just barely sliding against each other. “Nuh uh uh. You just said that talking wasn’t distracting. I’m holding you to it.”

 

Sneaky, Light. “You use my own words against me.”

 

“Always.” Light brushed the hair from L’s neck and placed his lips there, just barely teasing the skin with his tongue. L shuddered slightly but didn’t stop him this time. Just kept staring at the screen in front. Light gave his neck a little nip and L’s fist dove into the popcorn bowl, sending popcorn flying. “So tell me.”

 

L regain composure and pulled his hand out of the popcorn, bringing some to his mouth slowly. “When you were under surveillance. You...”

 

Light snaked his hands around L’s waist, between his crouching legs. “I what...”

 

L’s breathing sped up slightly and he was having a hard time focusing on the movie. Light’s hands were slowly moving lower, stroking the silk over his body in a way that was extremely distracting. “Light-kun said some incriminating things under surveillance.”

 

So you were watching me then. Ryuk, your silly lie started all this. The thought made Light instantly hard and he pressed against L’s back slightly. A whisper, “And what did you hear L? What did you see?” He felt for L’s cock, stroking it lightly over the silk, and was surprised to feel him already completely hard. 

 

L’s breath hitched and he set the popcorn on the floor. I’m going to drop it if I don’t. Light, you’re making me forget my resolve. Softly, “Doesn’t Light-kun remember?”

 

Light pulled him close against his chest, and L relented and leaned back on his shoulder. “Yes I do. But I want to hear it from your perspective.”

 

L turned to gaze into Light’s eyes. That moment changed me forever Light. I’ll never forget it. He whispered, “You said..you said you hated me and want to kill me. Wanted to see me tied up and at your mercy. To make me crawl to Kira and beg you for my life.” Emotion filled L’s eyes. “To fuck me.” He was quiet a moment before going on. “And I saw how fragile you were. And how strong. How much you believed in yourself, in Kira. I saw your fear. Your beauty. Your pain. Mine.” L sighed. “It broke my heart. Even more than it already was.” He reached up to touch Light’s face. “And only you could mend it. I knew that as much as I knew you were Kira.”

 

Light smiled a bit sadly. Bittersweet memories L. But it brought me to you. “How different we were then.”

 

L smiled back up at him. “Light-kun still likes to see me beg. And you have me at your mercy.”

 

Light stroked L’s hair, staring into eyes like moons, “Do I?”

 

”Since that moment, you have.”

 

”You wanted Kira.”

 

”I still do.” And L flipped around and straddled Light’s lap, crashing into his mouth as their fingers on both hands intertwined. L pushed himself up slightly above Light and held his hands behind him on the couch, kissing deeper, then licking down his neck to dip his tongue in the hollows there. Into Light’s neck, “I always will.”

 

Light shut his eyes and breathed in the sensation of silk sliding against him, of his soulmate’s mouth on his skin, and wondered for once if he truly could make a world more perfect than this. Oh but I can. We can. He pulled his fingers free and grasped L by the waist, switching places so he was in L’s lap. Through their kiss, “You were playing hard to get tonight.”

 

L grinned sheepishly, “Not very effectively it seems.”

 

”You want to make me work for it, is that it? Work for you?”

 

L’s grin deepened and he chewed his thumb a bit anxiously. But he gave a small nod.

 

Light pulled off his pajama pants and straddled L, pulling down L’s waistband until his erect cock sprung free. He looked into L’s eyes, “I’ll work for it then. Just sit back and relax L.” A devious smile. He spat into his hand and smoothed it on L’s cock, L rising to meet his touch with a sigh. And then Light leaned forward and lowered himself onto L’s member, slowly sliding down on it. L gasped loudly and froze, gaping at him.

 

And the further he went down, the bigger L’s eyes got, until they truly looked more like the huge Oreos from Watari’s sundae than anything else. “Light.....” L groaned and squirmed beneath him. Oh my god Light, are you really...? “You feel...feel...so...” But words we’re failing L. My mind isn’t working very well. Light you are the ultimate distraction.

 

Light began to move up and down, doing the work like he’d promised, watching all the tiny emotions play across L’s amazed face, watching him start to tremble. The  small sighs, his parted lips widening with each of Light’s movements, the increasing tension in them both as they panted and grabbed each other. He buried his face in L’s neck and whispered, “Please L.” He quickened the pace, gyrating his hips and panting against L’s chest. Tiny droplets of sweat ran down L’s neck and Light licked them, tasting salty like tears. L squirmed his fingers between them and stroked Light as he knew he liked it, making Light moan into his neck and start to bite him, softly at first then with increasing force.

 

L’s hips thrust up into Light, and he moaned low, grabbing Light’s hip to push him back down hard. He gasped, “Kami...kami....” with each thrust until he shuddered against Light with his orgasm, and his eyes fluttered shut but his hand didn’t stop until Light shot between them with a hard bite.

 

Light finally relaxed onto L’s now very sweaty chest, and he laid there, watching the bite marks on L’s neck change color from pink to red to purple against his nearly transparent skin. “Did I work hard enough for you L?” He pulled up and looked down at L with a smirk.

 

But L wasn’t smirking back. He just stared into Light’s eyes, letting the waves of complicated emotions wash over him. You are a generous god, Light. Perhaps the world is not doomed.

 

Light got a puzzled look on his face. “L? Was that not ok for you?”

 

L grabbed his face and kissed him, kissed him as suddenly as Beyond had, and he nodded into it. “It’s ok Light. Very ok.”

 

And everything’s going to be ok, Light. I’ll make sure of it. If I have to drag every last person to their knees before you. If I have to write their name to make them do it. 

 

Everything's going to be ok, forever.

Chapter Text

The King of the Shinigami was not regal, barely more than a decrepit, creaky skeleton with rotting skin pulled taut over parched bones. They stuck through the paper-thin skin in odd places, as it had either worn away or crumbled over millennia. Yet as long as he had what they didn’t, namely his crown, he would rule over his weaker ilk. Because while he was neither beautiful nor particularly wise, he was strong, yes, strong! And he was the first to be created among them, the first and the oldest. The one entrusted to rule. He alone knew the secret of their existence written in pulsing, glowing script spiraled within his circlet. Their true purpose. Their prophecy.

 

Oh come ye demons red of tooth and claw

From the dust I bear you, to keep my killing law.

Keep watch oh demons! Be mine eyes to lower planes,

And reap the souls of mortals lest a mortal rise again.

When gods are defied by the hubris of man,

Rend their soul as only shinigami can.

 

But today, as he grasped a gilded chalice and adjusted his circlet just to be reassured of its presence, he had baser thoughts in his mind. “Where’s Ryuk? Where’s Rem?” I have not seen those two among you for some time. What sorrows are they inflicting that I cannot see? 

 

It was more of a rattle than a verbalization, but none of the lesser shinigami misunderstood the question. They looked between each other, no one wanting to be the one that told the Shinigami King bad news. For they knew what came of that. Tentacles squirmed, metallic insect legs clinked, scales were scratched and drifted delicately to the filthy floor. And no one spoke.

 

The rattle got louder, echoing though the crumbling fortress made of the bones of leviathans, shaking the dust of eons from the ancient eaves. It rained down upon their head along with his growing wrath. “I SAID WHERE IS RYUK AND REM??!”

 

The lesser shinigami quaked before him, some falling to their knees or flat on their monstrous faces, but all remained silent. The Shinigami King extended his skeletal fingers, each hanging heavy with gaudy bejeweled rings, and curled them delicately towards him. Sidoh, attempting to hide in the back, was clutched in an invisible vise and slowly drawn forward as the others parted to make way. “Sidoh. I believe you told me Ryuk had stolen something from you. Tell me now, where is he....”

 

Sidoh rubbed his hands together anxiously. “Si-sire...Ryuk has become ensnared by a mortal. He...he has bound his soul to it.” Sidoh  cast his eyes down, hesitating. “An-and Rem did the same, and is now no more.”

 

”WHAT???!!!!!” More dust rained upon their heads as the fortress trembled with the boom, and they cowered. The shinigami king flung his chalice into the throng and grasped his throne of bones with similar fingers, yellowed nails digging into ossified crevices. No wonder I have not seen them! They have fallen beyond my view, my grasp. And for Rem, forever. 

 

Sidoh squeaked and shifted back and forth on his feet nervously, shielding his head as a large beetle carapace fell from the upper beams and shattered in front of him. “It’s true! Rem broke her soul bond...AND attempted to kill a human without the death note!” The other shinigami murmured and jostled at this. When the shinigami king only leaned forward, vacant eyes staring, he felt slightly braver. “Ryuk made the bond with a human named Yagami Light.” He snickered. “Ryuk seems to be quite enthralled with him.”

 

A ripple of laughter shot through the shinigami throng. “SILENCE!!!” And they were quiet as death. The king sat back and stroked his rotted jaw, worrying an exposed spot that showed his teeth from the side. “So, Ryuk would make us a new shinigami. Hah.”

 

Sidoh winced. “Two.”

 

The king looked puzzled. “Two you say?”

 

”He found a way to confer the death note to two mortals simultaneously...and make the deal with them both.”

 

The king chuckled, “Sneaky Ryuk. You always were a conniving fool bent only on amusing yourself.” He turned back to Sidoh. “Yagami Light, what sort of mortal is he?”

 

”He has used the death note...extensively, sire. He...he appears so have some kind of plans. That is all I know.”

 

”I see.” The king clenched his fist and a swirling hole opened beside him, and he peered into it. The rest of the shinigami craned their necks to see as well. Within it, they saw the human Yagami Light in black at a messy desk, watching the news and writing name after name, grinning and scribbling. Then another human in white who they read the name to be L Lawliet came up next to him, and Light handed the pen to L. Light pulled L into his lap and they watched the news together, as L wrote and Light reached to unbutton L’s pants. L kept writing as Light began to stroke him in the chair and lick his neck, L pausing only to whisper “Kira.....kami...” with a shudder before writing more furiously. Shinigami neck craning intensified.

 

The king sighed and closed the hole, which collapsed upon itself with a loud suction sound.  Kira. Kami. Who does this mortal think he is? “Humans are truly disgusting.” It seemed most of the slack jawed, drooling shinigami disagreed with his assessment but they didn’t say a thing as they leaned back with disappointment.

 

The king flicked his finger and a cabinet flung open on the side of the throne room, a single black book floating out of it and in front of him. A death note. “Sidoh, I will replace your lost death note. Try not to lose this one if you please.” He changed the direction of his finger and the death note floated into Sidoh’s hands.

 

”Thank you, sire!” He went to one knee, barely believing his luck.

 

”Don’t thank me yet Sidoh. For I am sending you to that human world, where you shall find out more about this Yagami Light and his ‘plans.’”

 

Sidoh looked up sharply, “How?”

 

The king waved his hand and his chalice returned to it, a flagon floating up to pour some viscious, foul-smelling liquid into it. “I will leave that to you Sidoh. Choose well who to give your death note to, someone who can bring down this mortal, if need be.” He opened his fist wide and Sidoh buckled to the ground with a cry of pain. “Do not fail me.” He closed his hand again and Sidoh relaxed in a heap on the floor.

 

Sidoh panted into the dust and slowly rose. He put the death note in his robes and nodded at the king. ”I...won’t....”

 

——-

As Beyond flapped high above land in the faint moonlight, he couldn’t stop thinking about what Light has said to him on the roof. I’m going to fuck L so hard while you’re gone.

 

Angry tears flew off his face into the wind, and he clenched his jaw all the harder, flapped all the faster. I’ll prove myself to you Light. And when I do you’ll love me too.

 

Ryuk hung back, sensing Beyond’s tension and that his presence wasn’t exactly welcome. Light, be careful how you play with this one. But soon Ryuk realized they had changed directions and were no longer flying towards Tadashi’s hideout. He came closer to Beyond, beside him, “Hyuk, where are we going? The hideout is that way.” He pointed west, and they were headed in a southerly direction now.

 

Beyond rubbed his red eyes angrily. Without looking at Ryuk, “I just need to make a quick stop, then we’ll go.”

 

Ryuk put a hand on his shoulder, stopping their flight. “I don’t think Light-o would like that. Where?”

 

Beyond twisted out from under his hand, “DON’T TOUCH ME!” He shuddered slightly, as if his insides had clenched when Ryuk touched him, and he shot south once more. Over his shoulder, “You’ll have to hurt me to stop me, and Light told you not to hurt me!” Racing ahead in front of a pursuing Ryuk.

 

”HYUK! You’re gonna get us both in trouble Beyond!”

 

”Fuck YOU! I don’t care!”

 

Ryuk sighed and just followed him. I’ll only make things worse if I press him. I’ll let him do his thing and make sure he goes with me afterwards. 

 

Twenty minutes later Beyond alighted in front of a huge recently-boarded up complex, his wings disappearing as he hit the ground. Ryuk read the sign with dread, ‘Promise Pharmaceuticals Annex Facility PM.’ “Beyond, why are we here?” He looked around but the place was completely deserted and beginning to look unkept.

 

Beyond ignored him, and went around to the side of the building, stopping in front of a small ventilation shaft that was covered with a grate. He knelt in front of it, his fingers tracing the slotted grooves in the grate. Ryuk watched as he laid his forehead on the grate after a moment and sobbed. Beyond played the short piece of Tadashi’s death Ryuk had shared before in his mind, able to savor it now, the little gasps and fears, the panic and the terror. And Beyond raised his head through the tears. A whisper, “You bastard...we were only children...” With a broken scream he pushed his fingers into the grate and wrenched it off, flinging it into the tall grass. “CHILDREN!” He looked inside the shaft, wanting to go in, not knowing why, but wanting it. But it was no good. He wasn’t 5 years old anymore. He flopped back down onto the grass, clutching his head and rocking back and forth.

 

Ryuk sat down beside him, careful not to touch him. “He’s dead now Beyond, he can’t hurt you anymore.”

 

Softly, “Oh yes he can....he never stopped...”

 

Ryuk felt a tiny glimmer of pity in his black heart for Beyond. He did the only thing he knew might help. “You want to live his death again?”

 

Beyond looked up at him, red eyes to red. Amazed Ryuk would offer, softly, “Yes, and the whole thing this time.” A bit choked, “Please.”

 

And Ryuk did as he asked, playing it from the beginning to the bitter drowning end, as Beyond laid flat in the grass and shook with grinning delight and Tadashi’s emotions. When it was over, Ryuk left him again, and Beyond’s eyes focused on the stars above instead, remembering that first sight in this very spot. He whispered, “Thank you.” I do feel better. Much. Hmm, something’s under me. “Hey, my wings came back.” He looked over his shoulder, then felt wetness in his pants. Er...yeah I guess I came. That’s a little weird. But at least the crazy died down.

 

”Hyuk, you’re welcome.” But something had struck Ryuk when he was in Beyond this time. A deeply unsettling feeling, dread even. He’d felt...Ryuk could only describe it as a presence within Beyond. They had not been alone. He wondered why he didn’t feel it before. Probably because of what Beyond was experiencing the last time, I was taking and giving, not really paying attention so much to other stuff heh. But I need to tell Light this right away. I wonder if Beyond even knows. He peered at Beyond, who was now sitting up. “You ready to go now?”

 

Beyond stood up and sniffed, wiping the last of the tears away and stretching out his wings. “Yeah. Let’s go.” He reached down to help Ryuk up, giving him a little smile. “Sorry I’m such a bastard.”

 

Ryuk took his hand and pulled to standing, and Beyond didn’t flinch this time. With a grin, “Hyuk, me too.”

 

The made it to the forest without incident, Ryuk not falling back this time, and Beyond stepped inside the hideout, shoving his wings through the tiny door. He grabbed the death note and a few other things, stuffing them into the backpack. And before they left, Beyond walked over to the pile of dust that had once been Rem and gave it a mighty kick with a giggle. “Damn that felt good.” He stomped on it, grinding it into the floor.

 

Ryuk doubled over in laughter. You got what you deserved Rem. “You’re my kinda bastard.” 

 

And they flew home, racing each other and Ryuk showing him a few tricks and tips for faster and more agile flight. You ain’t so bad Beyond. Not really. But....what lives inside you? But Ryuk already knew, although he didn’t know how it was possible.

 

And its going to be a big problem. I’ve got to tell Light.

—————

 

Mello stretched out across all three seats in his row, his patent leather boots kicked up onto the the armrest of the aisle seat in the airplane. He was hunched over a crossword puzzle in the back of the completely asinine airline magazine. Regrow hair with this laser hat and be attractive to women again! Matchmaking service—give us money and we get you ass! Best cardiac surgeons across England are ready to slice and dice you! 

 

He finished the puzzle before takeoff, tossing it aside with a bored sigh. L...what’s happened? Why would you tell Roger you’d chosen Light as your successor instead of me? Even Near would be better than this! He crossed his arms to glare at the stewardess who gave him a disapproving look and told him to buckle up. He tied the seatbelt in a dramatic knot around his waist instead of buckling it and gave her a smug smirk that sent her huffing away. Bitch

 

He pulled to sitting as the plane began to make its way down the runway, peering out the tiny bulkhead window that was wet with the rain outside. I’m coming to you L. You’ve dodged me long enough and I’m getting to the bottom of this shit for once. And I might just punch that smug fuck Light in the face while I’m at it. He giggled a bit loudly at that thought. I bet you wish you could do it L! But noooo brilliant L must maintain objectivity at all times, don’t you? That’s why you need me!

 

He turned towards the chair in front of him, which was now leaning back nearly into his lap. He kicked it hard, “Hey! A little courtesy for your fellow passenger asshole!” The seat quickly raised again and he smirked, digging into the seat back pocket. “Let’s see if there’s any more puzzles for toddlers in here.” But there wasn’t.

 

There was something new there. Something he hadn’t noticed before, something he’d never seen before. Huh?

 

He yanked it from the pocket and stared at it. Death note. He opened it and began to read names, so many names, some written in blood, scrawled in god knows what, some he couldn’t even read or recognize the language. And a list of rules. What in the hell kind of fucked up joke is this???! He was about to reach to call the stewardess, but it was then he noticed that someone was now sitting next to him on the plane. No...not someone. Some...THING!!!

 

Mello’s eyes went wide as his finger froze in the air and then dropped into his lap. The thing was large, taking up the other two seats and it still had to bend forward in an awkward crouch. It was cloaked in rags and it’s horror of a face was wrapped in bandages, it’s round mouth reminding him of the needlelike suckers of a leech. Mello looked around wildly, but none of the other passengers were screaming or freaking out. He whispered to himself, “I’m...I'm going crazy. It’s finally happened just like Near always said.”

 

Sidoh made a creaking noise that was actually a laugh, and held a finger to its chapped, horrid lips. It’s voice was thin, sighing, “Shhh. We have much to discuss.”

—————

Ryuk kept a lookout as Beyond snuck back down to the safe room with the death note in tow, both breathing a relieved sigh stepping inside to safety.

 

Beyond flopped on the couch heavily, pulling off his pants that were now sticky and uncomfortable. He forlornly looked around the empty cavernous space. “Guess they ditched me.” He pulled on a pair of L’s jeans and slipped one of L’s white shirts over his head. Of course, they fit perfectly. He leaned forward, chin in his hand, and stared at the door wishing Light would walk through it.

 

“I got used to it, hyuk. You will too if you want to stay with them.” Ryuk sat down beside him, and he mirrored Beyond’s stance. 

 

Ryuk opened his mind to Light, seeking him out in L’s rooms. Light, we’re back, come down here. And there’s something important I need to tell you.

 

And Light was awake and answered him, in the middle of “writing names” with L, Ok Ryuk, we’ll be down soon, a bit busy at the moment. 

 

Ryuk hrmmphed and said to Beyond, “They’ll be down soon, said they are “a bit busy” at the moment.”

 

Beyond’s eyes glowed at that and he leapt up off the couch and made a break for the door.

 

”HYUK! Beyond, wait! You know you can’t go out there!” He darted forward after Beyond, who was already out the door and running fast down the hall. Ryuk stopped him at the elevator at the end of the hall, but before a furious Beyond could snap at him, the elevator doors opened.

 

And Watari was standing there. He gave Beyond a puzzled look, “Everything all right sir? You look out of breath.”

 

Beyond froze. He thinks I’m L! He could only stare, and whispered, “Watari...” I haven’t seen you since that fateful day at Wammy’s when Farippa...when it....

 

Watari’s brow creased, “Sir...”

 

Beyond composed himself and slouched forward a little like L did. He brought a finger to his mouth and nodded seriously, “Everything’s fine Watari, I was just looking for Light.” He stepped into the elevator.

 

Watari stepped out of the elevator, still a bit confused, “I see. I think he’s up in your rooms.” The door began to shut but Watari caught it. “I wanted to let you know I’ve informed Wammy’s of your decision about your successor. There was some...dissent.”

 

”Thank you Watari. We’ll discuss it later.” Watari nodded and released the door, which finally closed shut. Beyond collapsed against the wall in a heap of relief. He looked up at Ryuk, smirking, “That was close.”

 

Ryuk growled at him, “You could’ve blown everything you idiot! Now go back to the safe room NOW!” 

 

Beyond kept smirking and and shook his head. “Make me.”

 

Ryuk was close to losing his temper but Light’s warning rung through his mind. “Light’s gonna be pissed!”

 

Beyond laughed and shrugged. He stood up as the elevator arrived and immediately flung open the door to L’s rooms, Ryuk trying to warn Light with his mind. But it was too late for that and Light wasn’t responding. Beyond stormed through the living room and into the bedroom.

 

Light saw them first, he was sitting at the desk with L in his lap, and they were watching the news and writing. Light’s eyes widened, “Beyond? What in the hell are you doing up here?! Someone could see you!” L turned wide-eyed to look too and slowly stood, zipping up his pants in a hurry.

 

Ryuk covered his eyes with his taloned hand, sighing, “We ran into Watari. Luckily he thought Beyond was L.”

 

L took a step forward at that. “What?!”

 

Beyond opened the backpack and took out Rem’s death note. He was huffing, angry. “Your precious death note.” He stepped up to Light and slapped it against his chest. “Here.” He looked between Light and L. “I give it up to you Light. It’s yours.” And he turned to walk back out the bedroom door. “Guess you don’t need me anymore.”

 

”Beyond!” All three of them called it in unison, and the volume was enough to stop him in his tracks.

 

Ryuk opened his mind to Light, This is going to sound crazy but I think a shinigami is living inside Beyond. I felt it’s presence within him. Farippa is its name and it may be dangerous. Tread carefully Light.

 

Light looked to Ryuk, eyes wide. Then back to Beyond who was just standing there with a scowl. “Beyond, listen to me, this is important. Who is Farippa?”

 

Beyond gave Ryuk a glare and walked into the living room. “Just some other shinigami I used to know.” The rest of them followed him and Light moved in front of the door so he couldn’t leave. Beyond shoved him a little, “I thought you wanted me out of here?! Move!”

 

Light grabbed his wrist. “Not until you answer me! Who is Farippa? Ryuk says there’s a shinigami inside you! Is that true?”

 

L stepped to Light, pushing Beyond away from him gently, and Beyond moved back. “Inside him? How can that be? Ryuk?”

 

Ryuk shook his head slowly, “I can only stay in for an hour or so. But Farippa... was a shapeshifter. It was bound to Beyond at some point. It may have figured out a way to stay longer.”

 

Beyond’s mouth dropped open. “That’s impossible...I saw it die when it killed A at Wammy’s...” Oh don’t make me relive this memory...

 

L grabbed Beyond’s arm, and Beyond focused on him. “This shinigami killed A?”

 

Beyond nodded slowly, forcing himself to recall that awful day. “I’d just come into the room we shared together and found him.... They said it was a heart attack...but Farippa was standing over him...it killed A!....When I told it never ever to hurt him....it broke the bond... ”

 

L stared at him hard. “But did you SEE Farippa crumble to dust like Rem?”

 

Beyond got a struck look. Softly, “No...it just disappeared. I didn’t know that’s always how they died...I never saw it again, after I left Wammy’s.”

 

Light touched Beyond’s arm, “Where’s Farippa’s death note?”

 

”I...I burned it. Like I did with Balush.”

 

Ryuk hovered a safe distance from Beyond. “You must have kept a piece of it. Otherwise...”

 

”No, I....” And something dawned on him. No please no. He went to the backpack and took out a letter. A letter that A had written him so many years ago. The last one. He opened it slowly and held it out to Light, and he was breathing heavy, nearly hyperventilating. Tears of horror flowed down his face. Nooooo....“Read it.”

 

B-

If you’re reading this I guess you know I’ve left Wammy’s by now. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore, the pressure of being L, all if it. Can you understand? I love you, I’ll always love you...but I have to leave, it’s the only way I’ll save my life. And yours. You have so much anger B, and I wanted to take that away. But I can’t even save myself. I’d just bring you down further with me. But I won’t forget you. Please don’t come after me.

I love you-

Ash Varian 

 

Ryuk’s eyes bugged out. “That’s it! A piece of Farippa’s death note, I feel it!”

 

Beyond fell to his knees, sobbing hard as Light and L stared at the letter. L took it and read the sentence with his name over and over, feeling terrible pangs of guilt. It’s my fault... “It’s been near you always, hasn’t it.”

 

Beyond grabbed his hair, talking fast and wild, “That...that motherfucker...it must have left a piece of the death note out where A would find it, use it like paper! Write HIS OWN NAME!” Light moved quickly to hold him tight on the floor and Beyond just crumpled into his arms.

 

Light hugged him close, “Tell it to leave you. It is soul bound to you. Tell it to get out!” L moved next to them and put a hand on Beyond’s back.

 

And Beyond started screaming at the top of his lungs, “GET OUT! GET OUT OF ME! GET OOOUUUUTTT!”

 

Light felt Beyond go rigid in his arms, and his neck tilted back, eyes rolled up into his head. A long thin strand of light emerged from Beyond’s mouth and started snaking through the room, sparkling with an eerie iridescence as everyone watched frozen and amazed. The end of the strand finally touched the floor and began to ravel into a glowing form, but shapeless like a writhing mist until the last bit of the strand coiled around the top of the form. It pulsed once with a blinding light then assumed the shape of a tall, grey-robed figure, head in darkness under a hanging hood. Pearlescent scaled hands protruded from the sleeves of the robe, opening and closing in a controlled way, stretching and betraying their non-use for many years.

 

Ryuk shot across the room to stand in front of L, Light, and Beyond, immediately extending his fingernail knives with a double-flick. He snarled, “Stay BACK Farippa!”

 

Beyond scrambled back from it, out of Light’s arms and against the wall, staring at it in horror and disbelief. His lips moved silently until they could finally form words, “Farippa...”

 

And the voice that answered him was musical in a way that falling icicles are music, soft in the way that flames are quiet, even in the way an earthquake might break the earth in clean halves. “Hello Beyond. I’ve missed you.” 

 

Chapter Text

Beyond heaved a breath and finally stood up against the wall to glare at the faintly shimmering shinigami, feeling his sanity slowly slide away. Its coming...He slowed his breathing, mouth twisting into a dark smile. What I did to Rem is nothing like what I’ll do to you. And I won’t be quick either...You stole the only person who ever really loved ME!!!! He took a slow step forward, twitching with murderous anger, fists clenched at his sides. “How....how dare you...HOW DARE YOU SHOW YOUR FACE TO ME!” He suddenly rushed at Farippa, but L and Light caught him and held him back, kicking and screaming. “It KILLED him! Let me GO!! MURDERER!!” We were allies once! You made a promise to me!

 

Light tried to shake him but he wasn’t registering. “Beyond! Calm down!” Don’t provoke it!

 

A voice like distant chimes yet piercing as a gunshot. “I didn’t kill Ash. If you’ll listen to me.....” It reached out to Beyond's mind, but that door was closed tight.

 

Beyond’s eyes blazed all the harder and he struggled against L and Light, who were both using all their strength to hold him. He paused when it spoke again, then screamed, “LIAR!!!! I’ll KILL YOU! Rip those fucking bat wings off your BACK!”

 

Without a hint of fear, “You know I cannot lie to you. The soul bond prevents it.” But Farippa pulled in its horned and scaly white bat wings, pearlescent like its hands, all the same. 

 

L wrenched Beyond’s hands down from where they were flailing, trying to calm him, “Perhaps let it speak.” It does not seem to fear Beyond, not like Rem did, despite what the bond means...what is this thing?

 

Beyond stilled somewhat, also remembering the limits of bound shinigami and looking at Farippa with slightly less crazed eyes. Dubiously, “You’re telling me A really just tore a page out of the death note himself and wrote on it. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!” He pushed against Light and L but didn’t break free.

 

”Yes, that is what I am telling you. It was an accident. And I’m sorry Beyond. Sorry for your pain.” The voice took on a mournful, dirge-like quality, lilting toward the end.

 

My pain...”You were jealous of him! HATED HIM!!” But the struggles were weaker.

 

”Yes.” A bell in a church.

 

Light spoke, eyes wide at this new being, so different from Ryuk, “Why? Why did you hate him?”

 

The whine of a single trilling violin. “I was weak, as all shinigami are weak before humans. I loved...I love...Beyond. And Beyond loved him. He forgot me.” A teacup smashing to the floor. “But I did not kill his friend.”

 

Beyond huffed and stopped thrashing. Finally getting out of L and Light’s grip, he stood silent a moment, just standing there shooting daggers at Farippa. Can you really be telling the truth? An accident? Yet you hid... “You’ve been inside me, hiding, since that day? WHY?!”

 

The chirping of a thousand birds, a flock of starlings, whirling. ”I hid from your anger, to stay near to you, on earth. And to hide from the anger of the king of my kind, who seeks my destruction.” It turned its hood to Ryuk. “Ryuk. It has been some time now since last we crossed paths. Many ages.”

 

Ryuk’s knives were still out at the ready. He growled, ”Not long enough Farippa. Explain yourself.” He opened his mind to Light, This is no ordinary shinigami. It is the oldest, the highest ranking besides the king himself. Powerful. Capable of killing me easily. Be careful. I know it, but I do not know it well. Please do not send me to my doom.

 

A tiny crack spreading across a frozen pond. “I have broken no rules of our kind. I have done nothing wrong.”

 

Beyond barked a laugh. ”Nothing wrong? You’ve hidden inside me, STOLEN from me, RAPED my mind! A cancer within me... For years!”

 

"I only waited within you. I did not take. I did not give. I was patient." It broke into a swarm of thousands of emerald dragonflies, clinking together in a mass, then solidified again into its regular form.

  

Light couldn’t take his eyes off Farippa. Waited. ”How long were you planning to stay in him?” You are powerful. Different from other shinigami...And I am drawn to you somehow. Why?

 

A fetal heartbeat. ”Until I knew it for certain.” 

 

Light took an involuntary step towards it, some siren song calling him. Closer....“Knew what...”

 

Farippa turned to face Light. “Who was the one I was looking for.”

 

L caught Light’s shoulder, preventing him from advancing. Wait, Light. Think. He gave Farippa a distrustful look, “What do you mean, the one?” Light, it was looking for Light. I can feel it somehow.

 

But Farippa did not answer him, merely pulsed softly. “Now is not the moment.”

 

Light blinked, entranced. “Tell me!”

 

Its shoulders shook. It was laughing under its hood, the squeaking of gears. “In time. When the moment is right.” It turned back to Beyond. “But now you must decide. Shall you allow me to stay as your shadow? Or shall you send me back to the shinigami realm where my king shall surely kill me?” It briefly changed shape into a tall cherry tree heavy with blossoms then returned to its hooded form. Farippa opened its mind to Beyond again and he let it happen at last, a door creaking open for the first time in many years, We were allies once. Keep me as I have kept you. I’ve guided you to him as I promised, although you have not known it. And you guided me. Let me stay here.

 

Ryuk spread his knives wide, “Keep your shape Farippa, or I will leave you in pieces. Why does that crowned bag of dust want you dead?” I couldn't kill you if I tried. But I would try. 

 

”I have something he wants.” With a flourish, Farippa moved its hand in an arc and an enormous scythe appeared as if from thin air. The handle was a long, knarled tree branch which continually sprouted leaves which turned red, shriveled and died, the black blade curving to an ominous point. It opened its mind to Beyond, He seeks power. Power only I can give.

 

Ryuk's eyes popped. I know it, but why do you have it? ”Hyuk! That belonged to Zeus—“

 

Farippa swept it through the air lightly and a puff of black feathers drifted slowly to the floor to crumble away. ”So you do remember.” And do you remember those twins that tried? Tried and died? They were not the ones to fulfill the prophecy. False gods who met a cold end as stars. And so the sleeper still dreams.

 

Ryuk nodded slowly, his knives sliding back into their home. “Are you saying you’ve been looking for....and you think Light is....” And yet I’ve known it. Known it for so long.

 

L looked between the two shinigami, and took Light’s hand in his. They speak mysteries upon mysteries. “Light is what...”

 

Farippa set down the end of the scythe and it vanished in a burst of light. ”Make your decision Beyond.” It opened its mind to him, Light is more than A, more than all humans. You have known this. Do not deny him his destiny. Do not deny us ours!

 

Beyond was frozen, eyes on Farippa. He spoke slowly, deliberately, “Light, this shinigami and I have history. I have known it to be loyal and I have known it to lie. But I feel that it is telling the truth about A. And about this.” He turned to Light, calm at last. “I leave it to you. Do you want to send it back to the shinigami realm?” He opened his mind to Farippa, Only he can choose. I am bound to him as surely as you are to me. He is my god now.

 

Light looked down and picked up A’s letter that had been tossed to the floor during Beyond's tussle. He breathed deep, uncertain which path held the least danger, or the most promise. You have a purpose although you do not reveal it to me now. I must keep you near and discover it. To make you my ally. My soldier.

 

L gazed at Light with concern, “We could burn the letter. Free it.” But you won’t will you... To Farippa, “Will the shinigami king see you here with us? You’ll put us in danger if he is looking for you.” You'll put Light in danger.

 

Spoons rattling in a drawer. ”No, Ryuk and I are no longer visible to him from his realm. Our souls are bound to humans, we have new masters.” 

 

Beyond opened his mind to it, You bonded to me to escape him, this king, didn't you? To hide from his gaze, his wrath. And he heard it answer, Yes. But I knew you would find him one day, the one I sought. I came to love you.

 

All eyes turned to Light. He looked into L’s eyes, took both his hands. “I have a feeling about it. Something’s telling me...whispering to me...keep Farippa close.”

 

Ryuk startled. I heard it too. “The death note. My death note. It whispers sometimes, hyuk. I didn’t think you could hear it.” Have you heard its voice all this time?

 

Light handed the letter back to Beyond. “I didn't at first. Clearer and clearer now Ryuk, I do.” He squeezed L’s hands and then released them, stepping forward to size up Farippa. A whisper when he was in front of it, “You came here for me, didn’t you...you’ve been searching for me.”

 

A wave upon the shore. ”For longer than you can imagine.”

 

”Why...?”

 

”Soon you may yet hear. The time is not yet nigh.”

 

”Who are you?”

 

”Your human world has known me as many names. The grim reaper. Azreal. Anubis." It held up its hand and Light saw flashes of murals depicting such gods, masks buried in pyramids, books with flipping pages whose macabre pictures animated to a murderous being when they stilled. "The one I liked best was Erebus.” 

 

"Erebus...god of darkness among the Greeks." Light recalled these names from his history class. Personifications of death within historical religions and mythology. Were they true? “You are different from Ryuk.” He looked harder. “Older.”

 

“I was among the first four shinigami created by our maker, only behind the king himself and his twin. After us was Zeus. We four were alone among shinigami for years beyond your counting. Well before mortal man covered this earth and we were led to reap your lives.”

 

L stepped forward, also feeling a powerful pull. “Who is the shinigami king’s twin?”

 

A lightning strike. “Hypnos. He no longer walks among us.”

 

”Dead?” L brought a finger to his lips. Twins. Twins again.

 

”Humans may think of it that way. His soul was rent into pieces by our maker for his crime.”

 

L bit his finger and stepped forward again, even with Light. This is key, I can feel it. “What crime?”

 

Farippa stood silent. To Light, “Beyond gives you the decision. Shall I stay or shall you doom me?” It opened a shimmering hand, palm up, and extended it slowly to Light. Above its palm, Light and Light alone saw constellations of stars, planets and suns spinning and swirling through blackness.

 

Light gazed at it, mouth slightly open, both wary and tempted. Exhilaration coursed through him, as it did when Ryuk had offered him the soul bond. I can feel your ancient power. I want it. “And you shall tell me your purpose...when the time is right....”

 

The vision of the universe disappeared, leaving only a scaly hand beneath. “Take my hand and you shall command me, to a point, through Beyond, who belongs to you.” It opened its mind to Beyond, And I shall help you both win you your heart’s desire. Tell him. Tell him to let me stay.

 

Light cast a glance at Beyond, clutching the letter to his chest, but his eyes were unreadable. “Beyond...?” It has resided in you, hidden and lurking. It knows you, and you know it. Has it grown with you, suffered with you, loved and killed with you? 

 

Beyond held Light’s gaze, just breathing, and then gave a small nod. And Light slipped his hand into Farippa’s, which he was surprised to find, was warm.

 

——————— 

 

Farippa had gone to the roof with Ryuk, saying they had something to discuss, leaving Light, L, and Beyond without their presence for the moment. It was the middle of the night, but none of them felt the least bit tired. Light sat on the couch holding Ryuk’s death note, just staring down at it, willing it to speak. L crouched on one side of him and Beyond was laying across the floor, his arm covering his face, still holding A's letter. 

 

Speak. There’s something you want me to do. Tell me what I'm supposed to do. But it didn't speak to him. Light sighed and leaned back on the couch, "Something's happening, and I don't know what it is."

 

L placed his hand on the death note too, feeling that now familiar energy. Softly, "Its you. You're happening, Light. Farippa came here for you." His large grey eyes turned from the black book to amber eyes. "It could be a powerful ally, but....."

 

Light stared at L’s wiry hand on the book, feeling the death note sigh but not speak. “There’s no telling what shinigami will do...”

 

Beyond sat up and turned towards them. Quietly, "L's right. It told me it had a power. A power only it could give." He got up and curled up next to Light, laying his head on Light's shoulder.

 

Light put an arm around him and laid his cheek against his hair. “How did it come to you, in the beginning?”

 

"Farippa came to me when I was alone on the streets. I had looked for L for a long time but had nearly given up. It had been years since Kyoko died, since I saw Watari take him, and it seemed he'd disappeared. I'd been...well let's just say that a homeless orphan made easy prey. I missed Balush. So, I would pray every night that another shinigami would come to me. Save me." He sighed heavily. "And finally, one did."

 

L reached across Light and took Beyond's hand. "I'm sorry, Beyond. I didn't know, didn't remember." It was still wrong. My entire life has been twisted by shinigami. And yours. My mind wiped clean of things once precious to me.

 

Beyond gave a weak smile. "I know. I wanted it that way, remember? I wanted you to forget me." He looked at L's hand. "But I couldn't forget you. I thought maybe...after some time had passed...it would be ok. Ok for me to find you again. Farippa promised me it would help me do that." And it has. It kept it’s promise. 

 

Light put his hand on top of L and Beyond's. There are no coincidences, are there? "It brought you to Wammy's. That's how you ended up there?"

 

Beyond nodded. "I met A not long after...he was...like a breath of fresh air after I'd been suffocating. We were friends, best friends, then more as we got older." He looked up at L. "We both followed in your footsteps, your successors, your shadows. And A couldn't handle it." He sighed deeply and put the letter on the table. "Neither could I."

 

L moved to crouch at Light's feet, and laid his cheek on their clasped hands, looking up at Beyond. "You blamed me." He bit his lip, waiting for rage, but none came. I tried to save so many, but it was you that needed my help most. "Beyond do you remember what they used to give us, the scientists, to get us to cooperate with their work? When we were good?"

 

Beyond snorted, "Well, I wasn't very cooperative most of the time." They didn't give me what they gave you. "But I do remember. Candy. Sweets. They'd load us up with sugar. Probably the most effective thing for little kids." An ephemeral joy in our empty lives. 

 

Light grinned a little as L looked up again, trying to cheer him. "I guess you didn't forget everything after he burned Balush's death note, given your obsession with desserts."

 

L smiled a little. "I used to sneak cake into my room--"

 

Beyond smiled back. "--and we'd eat it together through the vent--"

 

"--which was probably pretty unhygienic, come to think of it." L giggled a little.

 

Beyond gently pulled L to his lap and held him close there, eyes closed, L wrapping his arms around his waist too. I did find you. I can forgive Farippa all of it. He sighed, "Do you remember me sneaking through the vent sometimes at night?"

 

"When you'd had a nightmare. Which was pretty often. You were afraid of the dark." 

 

"Yeah." But the real nightmares came during the day, L.

 

"You'd tap on the vent until I let you in, and you'd crawl into bed with me." I hoped you'd tap every night.

 

"You'd hold me like this until I fell asleep again. But you didn't sleep. Not when I was there." And you still don't sleep L. Not as much as you should.

 

L lifted his head to look into red eyes, their chests breathing together. "You knew? That I wasn't sleeping? How?" 

 

"Because you'd always wake me up at dawn so I could crawl back through the vent before the scientists came back the next morning. You knew I couldn’t be in there during the day. You never let me get caught." 

 

That's right. A whisper, "I knew what they'd do." He laced his fingers into Beyond's hair, stroking it slowly. And I wanted to save you from that. I didn’t know how to help you, other than that.

 

Beyond bent his head, placing his lips lightly on L's neck. Warm breath against skin, "Is that why you don't sleep now, L? There was always someone out there to save, wasn't there...." And if you sleep, you’re afraid you’ll miss it, your chance. I remember.

 

Yes, I fear that, have always feared that. L felt a shudder run through his body as Beyond's lips parted and he felt the wetness of his tongue soft against his skin. He looked up at Light, who was watching with an interested smile. He held Light's gaze as he answered, Beyond's soft mouth kissing across his neck slowly, making his heart start to pound and him begin to get hard between them. A bit breathless, "We can save more people now Beyond...so many more, if we rid the evil from this world. Its a justice beyond any L Wammy's could create." He felt Light’s touch on his back, stroking comfort and desire into him.

 

Beyond raised his eyes to L's and he held him tighter, looking from L's mouth to his eyes and back. "Through Kira." He turned to Light, leaning his head back on the couch and staring up into Light's bright eyes, "Through you." He gave Light a meaningful look, and whispered low, "Kami....."

 

L reached out and touched Light’s face, the face of his god, “You are our kami. But Farippa means to make you a god above all.”

 

Light edged closer to them both, nodding slowly but excited at the possibilities, and feeling himself get harder the longer he stared between them. Softly, “L, how do you know?” But I feel this too somehow.

 

“I just do.” As if it reaches inside me to ask my permission. It knows you belong to me.

 

“I see it too Light.” Beyond wrapped an arm around Light’s waist and pulled him closer to them. He leaned up, bringing his lips close to Light’s, a whisper, “Everyone sees it.” 

 

Light felt consumed inside by something secret hiding deep within him, wanting more than anything to believe their words as he leaned in to kiss Beyond.

 

L’s hands traveled up Light’s chest as he watched them without jealousy, and Light reached back, moving to kiss L now, deeply.

 

Light felt hands on him everywhere, pulling him and touching him under his shirt, over his pants. Between their kiss, “I can do it. Only I can....”

 

Beyond pulled Light’s shirt off, breaking Light’s kiss with L briefly. Then his mouth was on Light’s neck, leaning down to run his tongue across the ridge of his collarbone, making Light hum into L’s kiss. He felt L’s hardness pressing into his stomach, “Only you Light.”

 

Light pulled back from L and turned L’s face towards Beyond. “We need each other. I cannot do it without you.” They stared at each other and then L crashed into Beyond’s mouth, grasping his face and making Beyond gasp softly. Beyond grabbed L’s waist and pressed their bodies tight, and Light stood up behind them, pulling their shirts away. 

 

L pushed fingers into Beyond’s hair, mumbling and kissing, “I won’t leave you again. I’m sorry I didn’t save you.”

 

Beyond smiled, eyes closed, mouth reaching, “You did.” 

 

Light gazed at them, a grin spreading across his face, “My reapers. Shall we kill tonight?” He picked up the death note once more, opening it with a devious look in his eye.

 

They looked at him and nodded, and Light moved beside them and unbuttoned their pants, pulling identical erections free. He took the death note and held it against L’s chest and gave the pen to Beyond. Light considered his chaos, “I want you to write the names of anyone whose ever seen your face.” He spit in his hands and started to stroke them, just teasing.

 

Beyond took the pen and held the book against L’s chest, laughing down at Light. “Awesome.” He looked to L and then brought to mind every prison guard, police, investigator, all of them, and he started to write. Farewell you bastards! 

 

L gasped as pen met paper, feeling the lethal excitement and adrenaline, so near, so close. His cock throbbed beneath Light’s fingers, and his mouth fell open slightly as he felt Light’s tongue tease the head. “Light...I can feel it’s power...” He closed his eyes and stroked Light’s hair, guiding him in. And yours.

 

Beyond was panting and scribbling, laughing and gasping, speaking the names to L as he wrote them. When Light moved to lick up his cock he shuddered and the pen scrawled across the death note and bled ink onto L’s chest. He looked down at Light momentarily but Light just sucked teasingly and said, “Write.”

 

More names flowed from Beyond’s mind, each one gasped out as if a lover’s name as Light moved between them, alternating between stroking gradually faster and sucking. And L began to repeat them back between moans, each name a throb of his cock, each death another link in the chain binding him to both of them tighter, as his fingers curled into Light’s hair tighter. 

 

Light couldn’t touch himself as both hands were busy, but he didn’t mind. Watching L and Beyond above him, trembling under the excitement of the death note and his mouth...watching these deaths slide by so casually as he fed them pleasure, and they consumed it all. He felt them both tensing, and L was digging his nails into Beyond’s chest as well as Light’s hair.

 

Beyond looked down at Light once more, his eyes looking crazed with this soft violence, and panted, “Last one.” His hand shook as he brought it to write the last name against L, exhaling a whine as Light engulfed him. When it was written the note slid from his fingers and he doubled over, clenching against L as he came hard into Light’s mouth, and L reached behind his neck and kissed him deeply through both their shuddering orgasms, their kami on his knees, killing and resurrecting them. Beyond’s wings burst forth behind him and fluttered slightly, pushing him forward into L, but he stilled them and made them disappear.

 

Beyond pulled back, trembling and sweating, dropping his head to L’s chest and stroking Light’s hair with L as they both came down. Panting weakly, “The death note...it makes things...”

 

Light looked up, wiping his mouth with a smirk, “Intense?” He caught L’s eye and laughed softly. You know. You remember.

 

Beyond shut his softly glowing eyes. A sigh, “Yeah. That.”

 

L moved from Beyond’s lap to the floor with Light, on his knees next to him, reaching for his zipper. A nearly wicked grin, “Your turn, kami.” He pulled Light’s cock free and bent down to suck him, taking the whole length while those wide grey eyes gazed up to watch the pleasure on his face. How you've changed my life, Light. You'll change the world too.

 

And Beyond moved behind Light, grasping his wrists behind his back, not roughly, but just holding them there, restraining them together with one hand and reaching around to stroke his balls with the other hand. Light closed his eyes and whispered, “Yes...” and leaned his head back onto Beyond’s shoulder, arching into L’s mouth and thrusting his hips, moaning softly. “Tighter...” Beyond wrenched his wrists back a little tighter, pulling him backwards and down slightly against him.

 

Light gasped at that, the tension in his arms increasing, his power and his helplessness. “Faster L.” L grabbed his jutting hips and sped up, Beyond moving his hand to Light’s chest and then tightly clenching in his hair to yank his neck back hard. He moaned loudly as Beyond pushed Light's body deeper into L’s warm mouth, “I’m coming L...” And he arched sharply as he spurted hot waves into L’s mouth, Beyond biting his neck and whispering, “We kill...we love it.....” 

 

Light shuddered and fell back as Beyond caught him in his arms against the side of the couch, blinking against the rush and smiling as he looked up at L. L crawled into his arms and curled against him while his breathing slowed.

 

And they sat that way for a while quietly drinking in the new possibilities, the reapers, until sleep called and they crawled into bed, sticky, happy, lethal. 

------- 

L woke first the next morning, as he usually did, with a singular purpose in mind. Watari. I need to have Watari on our side. I've stalled long enough. My plans are ready and its time to test him for real this time. He got dressed quietly, and woke Light, leaving Beyond to his slumber. He whispered to Light, "Light, wake up." Light looked up dreamily and tried to pull L back down with him, but L just laughed quietly and pulled Light out of bed. "Come with me. I need your help to do something."

 

Light rubbed his eyes. "What...can't it wait until after a shower and breakfast? The team's still gone until tomorrow, what's the rush?"

 

"It can't wait." And I probably shouldn't have waited this long. But what I had to do took some time. 

 

Light sighed, pulling on his pants and shirt. "Okay, okay." He followed L into the living room and stretched, then spied the death note. "Shouldn't have left this out." He picked it up, and he felt it sigh.

 

"Bring it with us." This hurts. But its the only way to be safe. To be sure.

 

Light looked at him in alarm. "Why? What are we going to do?" He stuck in under his shirt anyway.

 

L slouched past him, of a serious mind now, pulling Light's arm as he passed, "We're going to tell Watari." 

 

Light's eyes went wide as he was pushed down the hall by L, whispering, "What!? Really? Why now? Are you sure?"

 

L sighed, but kept trudging down the hall. "I'm not sure what he'll say, but I know....I know a way that might convince him." L stopped in the hall and took a newspaper clipping out of his pocket. He slowly unfolded it and handed it to Light as they walked to the elevator. 

 

The clipping was old and fragile, and Light held it delicately so not to damage it. It described an unsolved murder of a family in England nearly 20 years ago. But one person survived. 

 

GRUESOME STABBING, DOUBLE HOMICIDE ON THE WEST SIDE

SOLE SURVIVOR IS ONLY WITNESS, PERPETRATOR UNKNOWN

 

Light peered at the picture of a smiling family and stopped short in front of the elevator, looking up to L. "Wait...that's Watari! He's younger but that's him!" He read more of it, "He had a wife and young son, just 4 years old....they were stabbed to death by an intruder...shit....no wonder he became obsessed with hunting down criminals." Back to L, "Did the police find the person who did this?"

 

L pressed the button to call the elevator, and turned mournful grey eyes to Light. "No, but I did. He doesn't know I know. But I finally found his family's killer."

 

The elevator came and they stepped inside, Light folding up the clipping and putting it in his pocket. "So, you're going to appeal to Watari...say we can get people like this? That Kira can?"

 

L bit his lip and looked up at the ceiling. Is this the right thing to do? I don't know. But its the only thing I could think of. "Not 'like this.' Exactly this. I told Eiber where to find him and he brought him here yesterday."

 

Light gasped as the elevator started to move. "He's here under Watari's nose? How did he not see with the cameras?"

 

L gave him a little smile and hooked a finger in his bottom lip. You are not omnipotent yet, Light. While you sleep, I work. "Not everything is covered by cameras, Light-kun. I have a special cell just for him." If anything will sway Watari, this is it.

 

Light smiled back at him. Still sneaky when you want to be, and thank our stars for that. "L, you're a genius." He pulled him close and kissed him. "I love you."

 

L grinned to himself, "I know."

 

The elevator doors opened and L stopped him a moment, a serious look on his face. “Light....if Watari refuses...” I don't want to imagine this, but I must.

 

Light touched his shoulder, “L...” How hard this must be for you. 

 

“You’ll have to write it. Because I can’t.” He squeezed his eyes shut, hoping hard it wouldn’t come to that.

 

”Ok L.” There’s nothing I can say to make this better. Light looked at the door to Watari’s office. Please Watari, do it for L. Because I'll write your name in an instant.

 

And L stepped up to the door and knocked, and after a moment Watari opened it. “Sir?” Seeing Light there too. “Sirs? Please come in.” He stepped aside and they entered, L going to pace by his usual spot by the fire, and Light standing close by. “How can I help you?” He went to sit in the over-stuffed chair and gazed at them, curious.

 

L bit his lip hard and went to crouch at Watari’s feet, looking up at the only father he'd ever known. “I can’t lie to you anymore. I don’t want to. Light is Kira and I’ve known it a long time. I love him and believe in him. Believe in his justice, in what we can accomplish together for the sake of the world. And...B’s alive. He’s our ally now.” L shut his eyes and clenched his jaw, feeling relief and intense fear simultaneously. “Now you know. I’m in love with Kira.” He opened pleading eyes to Watari. “Please. I need you still. Say you’re with me.”


 
The look on Watari’s face was a mix of complete disbelief and amazement. He was speechless for a good minute. “L-Light is really Kira?” His eyes were almost as wide as L’s and he looked between Light and L quickly. “And you’ve...been helping him?” He clutched the chair. He whispered, “B’s alive...he’s here?!” He looked around as if half expecting Beyond to pop out from the desk or fireplace.


 
L shut his eyes. “Not just Light is Kira." He paused. Will this kill you are sure as writing your name? "We both are.”


 
Watari gasped and covered his mouth with his hand. ”This could destroy you! No L...”


 
Tears began to well in L’s eyes seeing Watari’s devastation. ”We wont hurt you Watari. You are free to go from this place and forget me. Just keep our secret, that’s all I ask.” I can't let him think I'd kill him, I'm not that cruel. Light, I know what you will do. This hurts.


 
Watari inhaled deeply and straightened his back. He looked directly into L's eyes. “I have no intention of leaving. I’m not leaving you L.”


 
L got a blank look on his face. “You...you aren’t?”


 
Watari's voice shook, he was obviously trying to hold himself together ”No. But...how can this be? You must stop! Y-you must...or...I can't...” He grabbed L's hand, and L cried harder.

 

Light stepped forward, the newspaper clipping in his hand. He laid it on the arm of Watari's chair, and squatted down next to L in front of Watari. He tried to make his voice calm, warm, but forceful. "Watari, listen to me, to us. Kira is a force for good, a justice that can remake the world." He tapped the clipping. "A force that can eliminate people like this from society and make it safer, better."

 

Watari looked down at the clipping, and his eyes went wide as he let out a strangled gasp. He picked it up, fingers shaking, "This...this man....they never caught him..." To L, "How did you know...."

 

L sighed, "That's not important Watari, what's important is that I found him." He took Light's hand in his free one. "I found him for you. So you can understand our justice, so you can be a part of it too. Because you know, don't you? You know that sometimes the most evil among us get away. Watari, we won't let them get away. Not anymore."

 

Watari’s eyes were leaking as he stared at the old picture of his wife and son. “I...I hated him...for so long. I saw him do it....but he disappeared. But you...” Looking at L, whispering a hope, “...you found him...really?”

 

L stood up and went to the computer, typing in a password to unlock the camera in the murderer’s secret cell. A new image popped up of a man slightly younger than Watari, strapped to the same contraption Misa had once been restrained in. He was gagged, as L zoomed in on his face.

 

Watari slowly stood and walked to the screen, touching the man’s face on it. Softly “It’s him....” Then louder, angry, “ITS HIM!” He turned to Light, agitated, shaking, and pointing at him. “If you’re Kira, then kill this man! HE’S PURE EVIL! He made me watch as he cut up my family!” Watari sobbed, broken. “Please...” He stepped up to Light. “I do understand.” To L, “Please, kill him. I need to see it.”

 

L and Light locked eyes. Light took out the death note from his shirt, “Watari, if I do this, you are bound to Kira forever. You shall keep my secrets as closely as you have L’s, closer. We shall remake the world and you shall be our shield against those who pursue us.”

 

Watari didn’t hesitate. “Yes.” He clenched his fist and Light screamed inside with triumph.

 

L went to stand by Light and whispered the name of the man on the video screen. Light stared at the man’s face and then wrote the name. He nodded at Watari, “Its done. 40 seconds.” They huddled around the screen and the three of them silently counted down to 40 together.

 

40 seconds to Watari’s heart’s desire made manifest at Kira’s hand.

 

40 seconds until the stranglehold on L’s heart released itself.

 

40 seconds until Light knew he had Watari, as L the detective had and more, his loyalty, as Kira.

 

Forever.

Chapter Text

Its my day off, I can day drink, right? Matsuda was drinking a Sapporo at his perfectly neat desk at 9 in the morning, staring at his computer screen, a hand resting on the mouse. I guess its time to do your homework L.

 

He moved the cursor over to his web browser and typed in ‘Kira Fan Site.’ His eyes scrolled down the dozens of hits, many inside Japan but many outside of Japan too. Wow...Kira is really a global phenomenon. No wonder INTERPOL is divided on what to do. They could have a major backlash on their hands.

 

He clicked on the top hit, a website called ‘Kira Kathedral’ and stared at the landing page. A stylized gothic ‘K’ was displayed on a black background with a single clickable link in red underneath, ‘Come worship.’ Matsuda hesitantly clicked the link and the screen appeared to be running with blood until it was red and a new message appeared:

    

Welcome! This site is devoted to the praise of our god of justice, the one and only, the true and original Kira! Has Kira’s mercy touched your life? Are you ready to get closer to god? If you have a story about Kira, please share it in our discussion boards or chat rooms.

 

Under the message, a list of Kira kills scrolled past, obviously cobbled together by amateur sleuths wishing to highlight the evil being eradicated everyday. Matsuda watched their names, faces, and crimes roll past with mixed emotions. Why is my first thought 'good riddance'? This is still murder! Vigilante justice is not justice!

 

Matsuda took a sip of beer, a bit taken aback at the website and his own reactions to it, and looked at the top menu. There’s a chat room for thirty countries. He clicked on ‘Chat, Japan.’

 

Its asking for a screen name. Hmm. He typed in ‘EyesOnKira’ and entered the chat. A moderator appeared to be directing the discussion, but it wasn't long until he received a private message.

 

 >>KiraIsMyKami: Hello EyesOnKira! Do you have a story to share?

 

Matsuda hesitated. Should I respond or just watch? What would L do? He typed back. 

 

>>Eyes on Kira: thnx. I’m just here to listen and learn today. 

>>KiraIsMyKami: Of course. Soak up the mercy of Kira and be awed.

 

And Matsuda did. It was story after story of victims who'd finally found justice, who had heard that their rapist had died, who had seen on the news that a murderer on death row for decades had finally been silenced. The relief of that. Their ability to move on with their lives, to put the crime in the past. The healing of it, knowing that one less monster was in the world. That someone who had hurt them no longer could. And could no longer hurt anybody, ever.

 

Some of it brought tears to his eyes. A child who stopped having nightmares. A woman who felt safe to date again. A man who’d decided not to commit suicide. These people seem finally free...

 

After a couple hours of listening, another private chat popped up:

>>KiraIsMyKami: EyesOnKira, you’re still here. Have you learned anything by listening?

>>EyesOnKira: ...I don't know.

>>EyesOnKira: It’s a bit overwhelming.

>>KiraIsMyKami: Everyone says that at first. 

>>EyesOnKira: Kira’s actions saved my friend. But one of his followers killed another friend. It’s confusing...

>>EyesOnKira: All murder is wrong...

>>KiraIsMyKami: I understand. But it is evil that’s wrong, not the actions taken to prevent and eradicate evil. Those fake Kiras blasphemed against true justice.

>>KiraIsMyKami: You’ve heard the victim’s stories now. Heard their voices. 

>>KiraIsMyKami: Can you deny the justice you see?

 

Matsuda sat back in his chair and downed the rest of his third beer in a hurry, as his breathing sped up. He stared at the blinking cursor for a few minutes, breaking into a cold sweat. No! I’m on the freakin Kira Taskforce! How can I be sympathetic to this??! I can't be feeling this way...L and Light would hate me. The Chief....I could lose my job! 

 

But he finally typed back.

 

>>EyesOnKira: I can’t.

 

Matsuda let his head fall into his hands, and peeked at the screen through shaking, clammy fingers.

 

>>KiraIsMyKami: Welcome home.

————

Near had taken over the basement of Wammy's long ago, and he now sat among tall lego towers, a ghost among places he had seen in pictures or, rarely, had visited. Most of his colorful creations mirrored London, but a few new structures in Tokyo had appeared in the past few days, Rainbow Bridge the largest of these. He picked up a silver toy car with pale fingertips and placed it on the bridge, then rolled on his back to stare up amidst his miniature city. L...your mind is opaque to me. You neglect me. You ignore me. And choose another as your successor, forgetting me and Mello who have waited and trained so long. Maybe I should just be glad it isn't Mello...

 

He turned over on his belly and slipped four finger puppets on his hands. One had a black shock of wild hair and wide eyes. L. Another had light brown hair and was wearing a school uniform. Yagami Light. A third had cropped blonde hair and a tight vest of black vinyl. Mello. And a last one was nothing but a black figure with red eyes. Kira.

 

He held up the Mello puppet and waggled it, mimicking Mello, "You albino midget, you telling me you're staying here after L's shoved us aside?! I'm going to Japan to talk sense into him!"

Near looked impassively at the mini-Mello and responded, "We can do more good from here, Mello. Stay and work with me to find Kira."

Mini-Mello, "Fuck that shit! I'm going to go rearrange that bitch Light's face. Ohhhh I can't wait!"

Near, "L won't like that. You'll get in trouble." The L puppet nodded.

Mini-Mello, "Stay here then you powder puff! Just don't come crying when L names me his successor and I kick you out on your scrawny ass." Mini-Mello laughed loudly and stopped abruptly.

Near, hissing through his teeth, "L won't name a second-rate like you. Maybe YOU'RE even Kira!"

Mini-Mello waggled in anger, "SECOND-RATE! Ohhhhh you just wait Near! You'll regret those words! I HATE YOU!" And Mini-Mello was tossed off the finger across the room, Near pausing to glare at it.

Near turned to the L puppet, "L why are you doing this? Why did you choose Light?"

Mini-L, matter-of-factly, "Because he's smarter than you Near. He's my friend and I like him better than you." The finger holding mini-L hunched over a little like a crouch.

Near, close to tears, "Don't say that L. I love you."

Mini-L, coldly, "What use do I have for some anti-social wimp. I have Light now. We will solve all cases together and play chess and have fun and eat candy together all day long. You aren't invited."

Near, angry, "DON'T SAY THAT L!" He looked at mini-Light who was now touching mini-L.

Mini-Light, laughing, "We're best friends Near. Stay the hell away. You heard L, you're stupid. I'm the real genius." Near yanked off Mini-Light angrily and threw it across the room too.

Mini-L, "Hey! Bring him back!"

Near, stone-faced, "No, L. He's bad for you. I'm going to have to do something about him."

Mini-L, "You better not or I'll hate you too."

Near got a pained look on his face. "If Light's gone, you'll love me instead. You'll know I'm the real genius, your real successor." He stared hard at mini-L, hoping against hope what he would hear mini-L say (which was rather insane and even he knew that).

Mini-L, "Yes Near…. that's right. So, what are you gonna do about it?" Near trembled, and mini-L was flung across the room in a huff. He turned to the last remaining puppet, the black one, with dread. Kira.

Mini-Kira started laughing maniacally, "I'm even smarter than L! Try and catch me, hahah!" Mini-Kira danced around madly as Near glowered at it.

Near, "Even smarter than L...."

Mini-Kira, "That's right! Which makes me way smarter than you, you freak!"

Near, "Smarter than me...."

Mini-Kira, “And who do you think that is?"

 

Near looked over at the finger puppet of Light, lying next to mini-L on the floor. He crawled over to it and slipped them both back on his fingers and spoke to mini-Light, "Are you Kira?" He put the black puppet on top of mini-Light and held it up to look at it. But mini-Light/Kira was silent.

 

He stood up and walked to his laptop. As of yesterday, all of Wammy's had been locked out of anything to do with the Kira case, and most of L's high profile cases too. They're just feeding us filler cases now. L doesn't trust us anymore. Or maybe...Light is doing it, or making L do it?

 

Near to mini-L, "L, I can't come to Tokyo like Mello, I'm scared."

Mini-L hunched over a little, mimicking the real L. "Don't get involved in things you don't understand, Near. Trust me."

But mini-Light/Kira piped up too, giggling. "That's right Near! Listen to L!"

 

Near stared between them for a minute and then slowly removed the puppets. I can't come to Tokyo, but I can do something. He pulled up his email and typed out a long message, and when he was satisfied, pressed send. We'll see. 

 

Near moved back to his model of the Rainbow Bridge and toyed with the little silver car on it. He pulled back his finger and flicked the car, sending it sailing over the bridge and onto the concrete floor with a thud. 

 

And even though it wasn't on his finger, and he wasn't saying anything at all, he heard mini-Light/Kira laugh.

  

——

The night before...

Ryuk looked around the roof nervously. It feels bad being separated from Light. I don't like it. He flapped over to the edge of the roof, to perch on the low wall where Farippa was already standing, just looking out over the midnight city. He extended his wings, one black and one white, into the wind and let the night breeze flow through him. Probably gonna hear some shit, aren’t I. Whelp, nothing for it. "Erebus, huh. Been a while since I've heard you use that name."

 

Farippa didn't turn to look at him but spoke softly nonetheless. A faraway windchime. "Do you remember your real name Ryuk?"

 

He mumbled, not really wanting to recall. "Hermes. It has not been so long to us that those names were used."

 

"No, not to us." It sighed, marbles rolling across a wood floor. "But you always did have a selective memory." A quiet moment. "You know why I've come?"

 

Ryuk looked up at the ancient shinigami and shrugged. "I have an idea, hyuk."You want him but I won't let you take him from me.

 

Pine trees rustling. "How much do you remember, Ryuk? How much do you know about the beginnings of creation, of our kind?"

 

"Nyx made you and the other three. Gave Prince Putrid his precious crown and dominion over us. Told us to reap the souls of humans at the dawn of man. Before that, I....can't remember it well. Maybe there was nothing before that."

 

A rock falling into water. "But there was Ryuk."

 

You’re worse than L! "Well spit it out already then."

 

"As you wish." The scythe appeared in Farippa's hand and it ripped a hole through the space in front of them, revealing a swirling portal. As it spoke to Ryuk, figures were animated in the churning air. "One of the first of all beings was Nyx, you are correct in that. She is the mother of the original shinigami, and of our world’s creation. Thanatos and Hypnos were her first children. Twins." The portal showed a nebulous feminine form scooping up dust in a barren red plain and tossing it into the air. The wind divided the dust, and two shinigami exploded from it. "She was benevolent then, and bent kindly towards her creation."

 

"You and Zeus came after." The portal showed Nyx picking up two more handfuls of dust, one shinigami emerging from each toss.

 

Farippa nodded. "More and more shinigami she tasked Zeus to create, until there were many of us, living in the shining city that all but myself have forgotten.”

 

Ryuk looked interested at that. “Shining city? You ain’t talking about the shinigami realm are you?”

 

Scissors across paper. “I am.”

 

Ryuk shifted on his perch, agitated. “I don’t remember that. Just the hellhole it is now.” And hard to imagine anything else being there.

 

“It was long ago, before Zeus called you into being. You are yet young among us.” It laughed, bubbles rising and popping.

 

Ryuk crossed his arms. “So what happened to this ‘shining city’?” He said it a bit sarcastically, peeved at being laughed at.

 

Farippa motioned to the portal. “Nyx chose Thanatos to rule over our kind, but us three—Hypnos, Zeus, and myself--felt it to be....a poor choice. One that would result in ruin." The portal showed Nyx spinning a golden circlet from the air and placing it upon a shinigami's head, Thanatos' head, while the other three looked fearfully on. "While Hypnos was equally strong as Thanatos, the latter was cruel, more devil than shinigami. Delighted in destruction as well as death, pain as well as our purpose, chaos. It was a doomed choice, and that prediction has come to pass."

 

"Guess there wasn't much to do 'bout that." He looked around shiftily, "I mean...Nyx and all." Dare I speak her name?

 

Farippa swept the scythe again and the scene changed. "With the passing of aeons, both Nyx and Thanatos shared a common fear, the loss of their power. Nyx had chosen Thanatos as she knew he would jealously guard his position, and would remain at her whim in order to keep it. With his crown, he was tasked with directing shinigami to reap the souls of men. But we three knew that our world and all others would fall to chaos at his hands. So, Hypnos watched and waited, and in secret created a weapon capable of bringing death to an immortal." A scene flashed in the portal, an enormous obsidian shinigami pounding the scythe with a blacksmith's hammer, sparks flying off as he struck it. As he immersed the hot metal in liquid, steam billowed up and the picture was replaced with him wielding it against the Shinigami King, Thanatos himself.

 

Ryuk's mouth fell open. "HYUK! You mean that's how Hypnos died? He tried to challenge the king?" They never tell me anything good!

 

The cry of a wolf in the night. "Yes, and he may yet have succeeded had Nyx not intervened." The portal now showed Hypnos holding the scythe high, black with shinigami blood, standing above a kneeling Thanatos who was reaching up to the sky. The sky ripped open and long, rotting tentacles shot towards Hypnos, rending him into pieces as Thanatos threw his head back and laughed. 

 

A solemn whisper, "Nyx ripped him to shreds." Ryuk sighed. "Guess that was kinda pointless, huh." We all know he can’t be beat. He’s beaten it into us.

 

Whitewater rushing in a river. "Not so pointless Ryuk. For as Hypnos died, two important things happened.” The portal showed a million motes of light, like fireflies in a jar. “First, all the bits of his soul were bound to books, to our death notes, by Nyx. Thus, it is him that gives them their powerful magic. Nyx laid down the original rules in these books that would exert near-total control over our killing kin." 

 

"You mean that the voice I hear in the death note...that Light hears...."

 

"It is Hypnos. Yes. But he only speaks through one death note. The one in Light’s possession. How did it come to you?”

 

Quieter. “I stole it, hyuk. From Sidoh.”

 

”And you are lucky he never knew what he had.” A hammer hits a nail.

 

“You said two things happened, hyuk. What was the other thing?”

 

The portal now showed the bloodied scythe falling into the dirt and a golden hand reaching out to take it. "Zeus claimed Hypnos’ scythe, although it was altered."

 

"Altered how?" 

 

A temple’s gong. "He sealed this prophecy within it as his final curse to Nyx, and to his twin. As a warning and a message as how one might yet succeed where he failed. Behold." Farippa sliced the air again and the portal disappeared, in its place hovered glowing words in their language.

 

And Ryuk read aloud the burning words, which dissolved as he read a line, a new line appearing:  

 

Creation sprung from a once pure heart,

A shadow cast against empty dark.

The mind of Nyx dreamed beauty, now sleeps as Mu,

Having commanded demons, her will to do.

Her dreams drift across the plane of Lense,

Hollow whispers of a forgotten purpose.

And creation rots from its core.

 

Until the one with two rises from lower planes,

In belief and hubris, a fragile light shall gain:

Mortal life, shared with twins,

Immortal life, gifted in demonic sin.

To conquer death, through sorrow and heartbreak,

When the crown falls to dust, the dreamer shall awake.

And Lense may open its door.

 

Ryuk was speechless for long after the last line had disappeared. He finally swallowed and spoke, looking up at Farippa with a newfound respect. "I had heard whispers of such a thing...but after the last two humans that tried, I thought it was just the fantasy of our kind." 

 

Rain upon sand. "Yes, when Zeus came into possession of the scythe, his first thought was avenging Hypnos and seeking out the humans that would fulfill the prophecy. It took many ages to find them. But he was wrong in his choice."

 

Ryuk flapped to standing, turning to Farippa. "Tyndari and Pindar. We all know of them, hyuk. The king loves to remind us of the empty aspirations of mortals. How he cleaved them in two and sent them into the sky to remind all other mortals of their arrogance." A foolish dream….

 

"Yes.” Farippa turned its hooded face to the sky, to Gemini. “In this world, they were Castor and Pollux, lovers and twins of a kind." Farippa slashed the air and the portal emerged again, a golden shinigami standing beside an athletic mortal reading a black scroll. "Zeus gave Pollux his death note, and they conquered many battlefields together alongside Castor, the prince of Sparta." The portal morphed into a violent warfield, men being speared and screaming, horses racing with carts on fire, catapults casting boulders against barricades. "However, in their last battle, Castor received a mortal wound." The image of a bleeding Castor in the arms of Pollux, and Pollux entreating Zeus' help. "Zeus thought Pollux to be the one to defeat the Thanatos, yet he believed two were needed. Twins. And thus Zeus told him how he could share the death note with Castor, by relinquishing it and then grasping it together." Two hands on the black scroll, a golden one above them both, guiding. 

 

Ryuk nodded nearly reverently, "And Zeus performed the soul bond with them both." Light...how did you know this was possible? Zeus told them, yet you figured it out yourself. The portal showed Zeus’ name being written upon their backs with lightning by a golden hand.

 

A cicada in summer. "Castor died shortly after that from his wounds. And Pollux took his own life on the battlefield, falling on his sword beside him." A mist swirled in the portal, then the bodies of Castor and Pollux, grasping hands amidst a pool of blood. "But these deaths were written for them by Zeus, and their brief lives as shinigami began." The portal changed to a golden Zeus handing Pollux, now appearing as the half-shinigami Tyndari, the scythe.

 

"You mean...Zeus gave Tyndari that scythe and told him to attack the shinigami king?!" Ryuk’s wings fluttered a bit in agitation, then he turned to look at Gemini as well. "Guess he didn't like them very much, hyuk. That's a death sentence given what happened to Hypnos. What Nyx did to him."

 

If a smile had a sound. "Not quite. Nyx has been asleep many long ages, Ryuk."

 

Asleep? So I been shitting my pants for nothing all this time? "I suppose the prophecy did say she dreamed in Mu."

 

A volcanic eruption. "Not in Mu. She has become Mu. And feeds upon the unfulfilled hopes and dreams that mortals have when they die. Fed to her by Thanatos, by us! She consumes them, and they sustain her dreams which blow across the plains of Lense."

 

"Nyx is Mu...." Ryuk rubbed his head. This is making my brain hurt. "So what you mean then is....she's not paying attention anymore, hyuk." He grinned a little bit, thinking of all the bad stuff he’d done and he was scott free.

 

"Correct. And you must have noticed in your long life, the shinigami realm, as all worlds, has turned to rot and decay. She is corrupted, and so her flawed creation mirrors that."

 

Ryuk sighed heavily. "Please don't say you're here to send Light and L on some fool's mission." He gave Farippa a look of warning. "I won't let you send them to their deaths. Tyndari and Pindar….Castor and Pollux….they failed to kill the king and got messed up for it. Hypnos…Zeus…. I won't let that happen to them. Fancy scythe or not."

 

Farippa closed the portal, sealing it with the scythe. "It will be Light's choice in the end, if it turns out he is the one."

 

"You still aren't sure?" You’d want this Light, I know you would. But you’d die. Beings more powerful than you have already.

 

Farippa turned its gaze back to the skyline, but it was clear it was looking so much farther. "Castor and Pollux died not because the scythe was ineffective, or because they lacked bravery or ability, nor because Zeus was unworthy. It was because they were but two." It slashed the air and a few lines of the prophecy appeared again:

   

Until the one with two rises from lower planes,

In belief and hubris, a fragile light may gain:

Mortal life, shared with twins,

Immortal life, gifted in demonic sin.

 

"The one with two...mortal life, shared with twins....." Demonic sin, eh? Guess that part’s my fault.

 

A sail filling with wind. "Zeus believed this to mean that he was looking for two. Just twins. But that was wrong. He needed three."

 

Ryuk's black and white feathers stuck on end, and he felt a chill run through him. Three. Quietly, "So that's what you're waiting for." 

 

Farippa nodded. "I'm waiting for him to realize it, on his own. I cannot interfere lest risk the fates of the others upon these mortals too."

 

Ryuk crouched again, leaning down to grasp the wall. "That might never happen."

 

"Then he is not the one, and you can go back to being his forever shadow, and join him in whatever's left of our home when he dies."

 

The thought, which once thrilled Ryuk, now unsettled him. There's a possibility for so much more, Light, if you are willing to open your dark heart to another. He reached out to touch the scythe, curious to feel it under his fingers, and Farippa watched and did not pull it back from him. Two visions flowed into his mind. Light as a half-shinigami, as bored and listless as he, as useless and purposeless as he, perched upon the bleached ribs of some primordial beast. And then, Light bright and radiant, holding the universe in his hands, eyes ablaze. Smiling. "The problem is, Farippa...."

 

Farippa turned its dark hooded head down to look at Ryuk.

 

Ryuk pulled his hand back from the scythe, and the visions stopped. "...there's no telling what humans will do."

 

--------

 

back to the present...

 

Beyond recognized the place was beautiful, but had no idea where he was. Beneath his feet was soft, long grass, blowing gently as sparkling gusts of wind blew across them. It was odd, as he saw the wind rather than felt it. In the distance was an enormous blooming cherry tree on a hill, and somehow he knew that this was where he was meant to go. Something was there, waiting for him, something important. He ran across the grassy field, feeling like his heart might explode, but running harder, faster, as all the wind blew around him, not touching him. When he made it to the base of the hill, he stopped, looking up as pink blossoms swirled around, caught by the wind or just slowly drifting down. Someone else, a woman, was standing there under the tree, her back turned to him. He walked the rest of the way up the hill and reached slowly out into the fragrant air, but the woman turned around before he touched her. Kyoko! Mother! He smiled and reached for her again but she just stepped back from him, her hand resting on the tree trunk, no look of recognition there. His smile slowly fell away. ”Mommy….” She stepped closer to the tree, hugging it and further from him. “I’m sorry, sorry you died…I didn’t mean for it to happen…” Her eyes narrowed, but she stood silent. Beyond felt panic and held his hands out to her, “I saved him! I tried to save you both!” Her face was a mask. His voice broke, “Don’t you love me?” His mother stared at him for a moment and as she opened her mouth to speak it just kept stretching wider and wider. And Beyond saw not human teeth, but razors there, blood dripping down from her lips across her neck and chest. She spoke, “No.” Beyond stood there frozen as the woman began to laugh, and changed into something more and more inhuman, eyes multiplying, arms lengthening, skin blackening and cracking into bright red wounds, and growing, growing, taller than the tree, to tower over him. And as he stumbled back and ran, a single word echoed again and again across the windy, windless plain….No. No. No. No! NO!

 

"Beyond...." Light gently shook Beyond's shoulder, waking him with a start. "You were calling out in your sleep." Beyond looked around in fear, grabbing onto Light. Light caught him. "Hey...hey...what's wrong?" Light felt Beyond's head but it was cool. 

 

He gradually relaxed as he looked up at Light. Its not here. I'm in L's room. I'm safe. He released Light with a blush. "I...I had a nightmare." He rubbed his hair and grinned a bit sheepishly. "Ugh, how embarrassing."

 

Light smiled at him and sat on the bed, handing him some clean clothes. "Come on, somebody wants to talk to you." 

 

Beyond pulled on the clothes, giving him a look of surprise, "Who....." 

 

Light stood up, taking his hand. "Come see."

 

Beyond followed him dumbly into the living room, but stopped short at the doorway. No....its Watari, and L's here too. He looked fearfully between L, Light, and Watari, not sure what to say or do. "Light...."

 

But Watari stepped forward, up to him, and took his hand. The look in his eyes was kind, teary. "B...." And Beyond just stared, his mouth open a little in shock. Watari wiped his eyes, "Its so good to see you alive. I thought we'd lost you."

 

Beyond couldn't stop staring in unblinking shock. He whispered, "How can you say that....after all I've done....." No. I'm a monster. 

 

"Light and L told me everything. I'm with them now, there's no need to hide anymore. They told me...." His voice broke a little. "...what you did for L...as children. I'm sorry I didn't take you too. Give you a home too." More tears leaked from Watari's eyes. "And...I'm sorry I couldn't help A. I'm so sorry, B.....so sorry....."

 

Beyond covered his mouth with his hand, his eyes not budging from Watari. How is it you are apologizing to ME? HOW? He shook his head slowly, whispering, "Stop....stop....don't...." No. I don't deserve it.

 

Watari pulled him into a hug and Beyond started to sob on Watari's shoulder, repeating, "I'm so sorry...sorry....forgive me....forgive..."

 

"The past is behind us B. There's nothing to apologize for."

 

But that just made Beyond go nearly limp in his arms, and he looked up at Light over Watari's shoulder. The look in Light's eyes....Beyond couldn't decipher it. But he tried to push as much gratitude as he could through his eyes, although the words from his dream kept echoing in his mind. No...no....no.....no....no....

 

Watari pulled back and gave Beyond a smile, gently leading him to sit on the couch. "We're a family now. You and Light and L. And me. I'll be here to help you. All of you. I promise." He put a mug of warm cocoa in Beyond's hand. "Welcome home."

 

Beyond looked down at the dark swirling cocoa, then to the eyes of each of them. And a tiny voice that he hadn't let speak in many years, a child's voice, spoke from the shadows. 

 

Yes.

 

Chapter Text

Mello got off the airplane with a decidedly different idea of the world than he boarded with. Yeah ok so...there’s immortal weirdos scribbling names up there like a bunch of homicidal Starbucks baristas. He looked at Sidoh as he breeezed past the taxis and commotion outside the airport. Double gunshot espresso please, lightly frothed mindfuck. Do I want sprinkles of what in the actual hell? Oh yes, thanks. Probably still spell my name wrong.

 

Mello hoisted his fluffy hot-pink duffel bag on his shoulder and strutted though the airport parking garage, heading for long term parking. He rummaged through his bag as he walked, until he found a half-melted chocolate bar and unwrapped it as he scanned the cars. Hmmm, which one?

 

Sidoh sidled up close beside him, floating, his wispy rags trailing behind. A creepy hiss, “What are you looking for?”

 

Mello swatted him away with a sticky hand, snapping, “Just cause I believe in you doesn’t mean I want you in my face. Ugh.” He rolled his eyes and gave the shinigami a disgusted look, and it shrunk back meekly. Mello chomped the bar and turned back to look at the cars. “Anyway, Mr. I-Leave-My-Murder-Book-in-the-Seatback-Pocket, we need wheels. Not like I’m walking across Tokyo in these.” He motioned to his platform boots, boosting his height at least two inches.

 

Sidoh followed at a distance until they reached the top-most level. Mello stopped and looked around, finishing the candy bar and wiggling his chocolatey fingers. He grinned, "Sorry I yelled, come back over here." Sidoh floated closer hopefully and became corporeal but Mello just wiped the chocolate off his hands with a quick swipe on eternal rags. "Thanks." The look on your face you slug haha. “RIGHT. SO. No cameras up here. And these cars have been here forever, owners might not even miss them for awhile.” He grinned when he spotted it and ran over, “Oh. my. GODDDDD....” 

 

Sidoh floated behind him as Mello made a break for his choice. Sidoh did not approve. Oh no...they'll see him coming a mile away. “Um...isn’t this a bit—”

 

“Perfect.” Mello, grinning ear to ear, dropped his bag and ran his hand along the steel curves of the turquoise 1966 Mustang convertible. “289 K-code...” 

 

Sidoh scratched his head. “Er...what?”

 

Mello sighed dramatically, “It’s fast.” He stopped at the back of the car, giggling at the vanity plate: THX SEME. “Yeah, thanks seme!”

 

He squatted down and opened his bag, pulling out a wire, which he bent into a hook. To Sidoh, “Keep an eye out will ya?” He stuck the hook between the window opening and jimmied the lock, popping the door, which swung wide. “Yeah! Come to poppa baby!” 

 

Sidoh squeaked, glancing around nervously and rubbing his hands. “M-mello....what are you going to do when you find them?” He's mad enough to stop or kill Light, but....he's pretty impulsive too. Are all humans so unpredictable?

 

Mello swung inside the car, throwing his bag in the passenger seat, “Oh I already know where they are.” Saw that before you locked us out of your cases, L. He fished his switchblade from his bag, popped it, and got to work on the ignition, peering into the column and preparing to splice the wires. 

 

But Sidoh reached up and pulled down the sun visor, and car keys plunked on top of Mello’s head. "I thought you were supposed to be some genius, hehheh." He creaked softly with laughter.

 

“OW!!” Mello shot Sidoh a dirty look but it faded when he grabbed the keys. A bit sullenly, “Was about to look there anyway.” He turned the keys and the engine roared, then purred. Mello grinned again, “Fuck yah now THAT’S what I’m talking about!” No reason why I can't roll up in style.

 

Sidoh phased into the backseat as Mello lowered the top. “So? What are you gonna do?”

 

Mello checked his hair in the rear view mirror and caught Sidoh’s red stare. “Well, first I’m gonna kick the shit outta Yagami Light. I mean if he’s got one of these death notes too like you say, he’s got to be Kira!” He tore down the parking lot ramp, heading for the exit. He turned on the radio to max volume, laughing as Sidoh shrieked and covered his ears.

 

”Light is probably dangerous, Mello. You might wanna be more cautious. He’ll have no qualms about killing you.” And then I’ll have failed the king and....Sidoh gulped.

 

Mello headed for the exit of the garage at breakneck speed, “L’s in trouble, so who gives a shit about being cautious?! The only explanation is that Light’s blackmailing L...holding him hostage maybe!! Shit!” He gunned it harder, speeding up as his temper rose. I'm coming L! Unlike that pint-sized snowman Near!

 

The exit and payment station was fast approaching, but Mello didn’t slow down. Sidoh cowered in the backseat, but pointed at the gate. “M-mello!” 

 

Mello just laughed and pushed his foot to the floor, and the Mustang crashed through the flimsy red-and-white barrier while he blew a kiss to the frantic valet. He saw a camera flash, getting a picture of his lisence plate and he giggled. Sorry uke! Your seme's gonna be PISSED! The wheels squealed as he merged into the airport traffic then the highway, cars honking and swerving to avoid him. He looked back at Sidoh, “So the death note. You explained most of it but...I’m kinda curious now if it really works.” This is probably trouble, but I've run out of fucks to give.

 

Sidoh peeked up over the seat. That’s the power of the death note, it makes you want to use it. “Oh it does. Just look at what Light’s done as Kira. And what shinigami do every day.” Sidoh grinned, and if Mello had been looking he’d have seen his beady eyes glowing in anticipation, which quickly turned to anxiety when he spotted a cop car turning on its siren and tailing them to pull over.

 

Mello smiled darkly through his blonde bangs and shifted gears, slowing to the side of the highway. “Well. Let’s find out.” He looked in the rear view to silence a squeaking Sidoh, as the cop pulled behind him. 

 

The rather portly cop heaved out of his car with a labored huff and waddled over to Mello’s side of the convertible. When he got up to Mello he was a bit sweaty and out of breath from the chase. “Hoooweeee that’s a mighty purty car you got ‘ere. But looks like it got you ina heap ‘o trouble.” He lifted his sunglasses to peer at Mello with a low whistle. “You know how fast you were goin’ boy? You’s a boy aintcha?” He chuckled a bit, shaking his head at Mello’s flamboyant appearance.

 

How the fuck did a hick like this end up as a cop in Tokyo?? Mello grit his teeth and gripped the steering wheel so tight his knuckles were going white. “YES I’m a boy.” Under his breath, “You fat fuck.” Louder again, “And who are you?” Give me your name you pig.

 

The cop grinned and folded his glasses in his pocket. “Oh just the friendly arm of law ‘n order round these parts. Officer Gimple, at yer service ma’am.” He tipped his stupid cowboy hat sarcastically. “Now. How ‘bout your license and registration if you please.”

 

Under his breath again, blood pressure rising, “It’s not ma’am you asshole.” Mello leaned back, turning a strained smile up at the cop. “Officer Gimple? That wouldn’t be officer Steven Gimple from Texas would it?” First name oinker!

 

The cop crossed his arms, “Nope. Ma momma done named me Jimbob last I checked.” He leaned on the door, sticking a hand and half his gut in Mello’s face. “License and registration.” He leered down at Mello, licking his lips, “Lessen you’d rather we worked something else out.” 

 

Mello leaned back from the door with a look of revulsion. OH GROSS! Jimbob Gimple, eh. "I'll get them, they're right here in my bag." He turned to the bag and pretended to dig through it, smiling to himself. Oh yeah, it's here you hog! He grabbed a pen and held it above the death note inside the bag, about to write.

 

Sidoh hissed from the backseat, "Psst. Mello, you can write what you want him to do too. Like drive far from here before he dies. Just a suggestion!" 

 

Mello stifled a laugh. Oh REALLY?  

 

"Chop chop! Ain't got all day!" Officer Gimple leaned a bit forward, trying to look over Mello's shoulder, but getting distracted by the boy's bare midriff under the tight vinyl vest. "Your momma let you outta the house in that?"

 

THATS IT!!!! And Mello scribbled in the death note:  

 

Jimbob Gimple, starts oinking uncontrollably and goes home. He fries up 3 pounds of bacon and chokes on the last piece. 

 

Mello looked down at his watch. Forty seconds to breakfast, idiot. Just stall....

 

The moment the 40 seconds were up Mello heard a loud and very alarmed "OINK!" He whipped around to look at Officer Gimple, who's eyes were both wide with surprise and glassy from the control of the death note. "OINK OINK! OIIIIIINNNNKKKKKK!!!!!" The cop stumbled back from the convertible, oinking all the way.

 

Mello doubled over, laughing and pounding the carseat, reaching back to put a hand on Sidoh's knee to steady himself he was shaking so hard. "MWHAHAHAAHAH!! SIDOH THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!"

 

The cop grunted one last "OIIIINKK!" and turned around and got back in his car, pulling away and down the highway as Mello continued to shake with laughter.

 

Even Sidoh was holding his grotesque hand to his leech face and nearly guffawing behind it. "See. I thought you'd like that." At least this human is amusing.

 

Mello caught hold of himself and took a deep breath after the last laugh, shifting the car back to the flow of traffic and being a bit more careful in his driving now. "Oh I can't wait to see the look on L's face when I write 'Light Yagami.' I can't wait to make him confess to being Kira and then jump off the roof." He patted the passenger seat and Sidoh phased up there. 

 

"Won't be that easy. Light's untouchable with the death note. Its...complicated, but you can't control him or kill him with it. You'll have to find another way."

 

Mello sighed with disappointment. Guess it was too good to be true he'd go down that easy. Well, I'll just have to convince L is all. But if L is being held hostage or being threatened, maybe I better approach Watari first. Yeah. "But Sidoh, I can touch the death note to someone and they'll be able to see you, right? Then you can tell them Light is Kira and they can't doubt me then!"

 

"Yessss, that's right. Who are you going to tell?" Choose wisely mortal. 

 

Mello smiled into the wind as his hair whipped around, confident, certain. "Someone I know would never protect an asshole like Yagami Light."

 

-------

 

L was crouching at his desk in the safe room, his long, thin fingers poised over the keyboard. "Have you been listening to anything I've been saying Beyond?" He picked up a thick strawberry milkshake Watari had made and slurped it noisily.

 

Beyond looked up from his bleeping handheld game and made a fake face like he was listening, nodding a bit, then turning back to his game. "Yeah yeah, I'm going to take over the hacking and sneaky spy shit. You know I can do that stuff in my sleep L." He looked up again, winking at L a little mischievously, "One thing I’m better than you at, and you know it." His game made a sad noise as his character exploded on screen, "FUUUUCCCKKKKK! Look what you made me do L! You distracted me!" He angrily lifted it over his head to throw it across the room, but thought better of it and brought it back down into his lap slowly. Softer, a bit forlorn, "Was gonna be a high score too." He grabbed his chocolate malt and sucked it through the straw, sulking. 

 

L looked up to the ceiling as if asking for patience. And of course we're both equally childish. "Well, its your fault we don't have Wedy anymore to do the 'sneaky spy shit' so you better be on your game. Get good." L pointed at the now-dark game with a smirk and slurped some more milkshake.

 

Beyond gaped at him, "Did stone-cold L actually make a JOKE?" Not a good one, but hey, it’s L. He laughed, tossing the game on the desk. "Anyway, that was Rem that snuffed her, not me." Technically. Oops! He stood up and swung a leg behind L, sitting behind him in the chair and peering over his shoulder. "Don't tell me you're mad...." Beyond plopped his chin on L's shoulder, and reached his milkshake around to be in front of L's mouth temptingly.

 

L smiled and shook his head, taking a sip of the chocolate malt. "No sense in being mad. You're just lucky I don't get easily attached to people." And I'm attached to you now, like I had been before, but had forgotten.

 

Beyond sighed, bringing the straw back to his own lips. SLUURRRP! "Good. Well, what are you doing that you want me to pay so much attention to."

 

L pushed a finger under his lip while he navigated the web browser. "Well, the global popularity of Kira has skyrocketed the past few weeks, as crime has plummeted. There's numerous fan sites, and even groups of followers who are demonstrating in the streets at rallies. So, I decided to set up a website a while ago in hopes of keeping tabs on it all. On public opinion." The things I do for you Light.

 

Beyond squinted at the screen over his shoulder. "Kira Kathedral. Come worship. Hmmm.” A conspiratorial whisper in L’s ear, “Sounds a bit like the story of our lives, doesn't it, L?" He laughed and was surprised to hear L giggling too. "So ok, you set this up, what do you want me to do? Looks like the thing's in full swing already." 

 

L turned his head slightly, speaking over his shoulder and leaning back a little against Beyond. "I want you to plunge the back page data so far in the dark webs that absolutely nobody will ever be able to find out any information at all about it, or us. I've covered it pretty well, but like you said..." I suppose it is true, as much as I hate to admit it. "...you're better at this type of thing."

 

I know that's hard for you to admit L. Thanks. Beyond pecked him on the cheek, "Uh huh, ok, I can do that. What else?" I want to help Light, help you too L.

 

L turned back to the screen. "For the past few days I've been limiting case access to Wammy's, to the residents there and to Roger. I want you to monitor all communications going in and out of there."

 

Beyond nodded on L's shoulder. "Who are you worried about? Lemme guess. Mello and Near." I never met either of them, but I know enough from sneaking through Watari's databases.

 

"Yes." Quite worried, in fact, although I haven't let it show to Light. "The others will be no problem, I think. But Watari told me Mello left Wammy's and Near's not speaking to anyone since I announced Light as my successor." 

 

"Sure, L, I'll keep tabs on the brats." One last slurp and the chocolate malt was gone, and he chucked the empty cup behind him. "But it occurs to me..."

 

"Hmm?" L was back to typing, having a conversation with someone in the Kira chatroom.

 

“I mean...we could really fuck some shit up if we hacked INTERPOL or...the Prime Minister’s email—”

 

They heard Light’s voice behind them, “You think you could really do that Beyond?” He strode over to where L and Beyond were sitting and leaned down on the back of the chair. Well that'd be useful...

 

Beyond’s red eyes glowed with the challenge, “With the proper incentives...” He extended his tongue at Light, licking the air seductively.

 

Light smirked at him, looking at his lips, “Oh? And tell me please what you had in mind.” He pushed a finger in Beyond’s mouth who bit it playfully, then started tracing his tongue up Light’s finger.

 

L, over his shoulder, “Light, stop that. I’m trying to concentrate on something important here, and the now sharp object poking me in the back is distracting me.” He typed something in the chat box and pressed enter.

 

Beyond released Light’s finger with an eye roll. He bit his lip and scooted closer to L, pressing himself against him harder, looking up to Light with a giggle when L yelped and typed a mishmash of characters. L sighed and put his head on his knees, fingers still over the keys, “Work ethic dropping precipitously.” 

 

Light pushed his fingers into L’s hair, playing with it, and leaned forward more to see what L was doing. With a little smile, “KiraIsMyKami, huh. I like your screen name L.” He pulled L's head up by the hair to look at the screen again.

 

L extricated Light's fingers from his hair. “You’d be more interested to know who I’m talking to.”

 

Light traced a finger down L’s spine slowly, making L shudder slightly. “And who’s that?”

 

”Matsuda.”

 

Light’s finger stilled. “What?!!” He scooted around the chair to get a better look at the screen and read the prior messages. “Oh shit...he’s...”

 

L closed the chat and turned toward him, a little smile creeping up one side of his mouth. “He’s about to be team Kira.” He slurped the last of his milkshake loudly, feeling a bit triumphant. 

 

Beyond looked between them, Light grinning wildly and L just chewing a finger and basking in Light’s appreciative gaze. “Who’s Matsuda?”

 

Light laughed loudly, “Oh I think you’ll be meeting him soon. This is perfect, L, because I wanted to tell you both about Kira’s next big move--” 

 

Just then, Watari’s characteristic ‘W’ popped on the screen. L quickly pressed the audio, “Yes Watari?”

 

“Sir, we have a problem.” Watari’s usual calm tone was slightly strained and L immediately knew something was wrong. “Mello’s here.” Watari switched the screen to an image of Mello outside Kira HQ, pacing with a ridiculous looking pink duffel bag, pausing every now and then to kick the doors that were barring him entry.

 

Above them Farippa whispered, “Sidoh....”

 

“HYUK!!!” They turned to Ryuk, who’d fallen off his rock perch beside a stoic Farippa, and into an undignified heap of feathers and leather on the floor. He flapped awkwardly towards them and stared at the screen. “He’s got Sidoh with him!”

 

Light gave him an odd look.

 

Ryuk rubbed his jaw nervously. “Light-o, Sidoh’s the shinigami I stole your death note from! He’s a lackey for that old piece of shoe leather that calls himself king of the shinigami.”

 

L looked at Light with some alarm. “Watari, what does Mello want?”

 

”He says he wants to speak with me, just me. Says it’s a matter of life and death.” A pause. “What would you like me to do, sir?”

 

This is bad for so many reasons. L’s fingers curled into a ball on the desk, “One moment Watari.” He depressed the audio button and turned to Light. “Mello is one of the potential successors at Wammy’s I told you about. He’s among the top students there, we shouldn’t underestimate him.”

 

Light clenched his jaw at the screen. Oh really. He pointed Beyond’s face to the image of Mello, reaching down to nip at his earlobe. He whispered, “Beyond, what’s his real name?”

 

Beyond stared at Mello with his shinigami eyes and mysteries became clear. “Mihael Keehl.” Looking back up to Light, "You owe me one.” And oh yes I will collect on that.

 

Light’s eyes narrowed as he focused again on the flailing blonde on the screen. “He has a death note.” There can be no other Kiras.

 

All eyes watched Light, quietly waiting.

 

An eager whisper, ”I want it.” A dark smile started to spread across Light’s face and he clenched his fists. Only me.

 

It’s Kira here now, not Light. L’s eyes went wide, “Light...before you write his name, I think there may be a chance he’d join us. He’s impulsive but intelligent, with a bit of a love of...mayhem. His dearest wish is...or was...to succeed me one day. Be the next L. And he has a rivalry with our other big problem at Wammy's. Near.” 

 

Light’s smile widened a little. It’s all coming together. Oh this might be fun. “Let him in L.” He laughed. “Let him talk to Watari." He draped his arms around Beyond and L. "But we’ll be watching. Tell Watari to wear an earpiece." He breathed deep, drinking in the challenge yet to come. "And then Mihael Keehl will talk to me.” I'll ensnare him. I'll ensnare them all.

 

Uh oh. L was chewing his thumb hard but nodded and pressed the audio, “Let him in Watari, but we’ll be watching in your office while you talk to him in the monitor room. Put in an earpiece. Give us 15 minutes before you let him in.”

 

”Very well sir, Watari out.”

 

Farippa opened its mind to Beyond. I must enter you once more. Sidoh cannot see me, or all is lost.

 

Beyond responded, Come on in then. And it did. Try not to trash the place, ok?

 

Farippa only laughed, spreading a warm feeling through Beyond. I won’t. 

———

 

Mello looked around the empty monitor room suspiciously. “Watari are we alone? Truly alone?”

 

Watari sat in L’s usual chair and nodded, “L is upstairs but doesn’t know you’re here yet. What is it Mello? Why didn’t you stay at Wammy’s?”

 

Mello shot a sideways glance at Sidoh then paced forward to Watari, touching him with Sidoh’s death note. “Watari, look around.” Watari will know what to do.

 

Of course Watari knew what to expect as Light had explained about shinigami and had seen Ryuk, but it was still a shock to really see another one. “O-oh my!!” He clutched his chest and shrunk back in the chair a bit.

 

Mello didn’t waste any time. “Watari, listen to me. I know this is a shock, but...Light is Kira. He’s been using something called a death note to kill criminals—it once belonged to this being, a shinigami named Sidoh. I know because I have one too!” He waved the death note frantically. “And Light must be threatening L...or blackmailing him or something, because how could L be working with someone like THAT?! Choose HIM for his successor?!” Mello stomped his foot, getting angrier and angrier.

 

Light smiled at L in the next room. To Watari, “Ask him how he knew.” 

 

Watari mopped his brow with a handkerchief. “How do you know this? This...this shinigami told you?” Watari pointed at Sidoh.

 

Sidoh floated towards Watari. “Yes, I have seen him with a death note from my world. He is Kira.”

 

In the other room, Light snickered a little. He spoke to Watari’s earpiece, “Act surprised.” 

 

Watari gasped and stood up, backing away from Sidoh against the console. “Mello, if what you say is true, this is grave news indeed.” Its grave that you know this Mello. 

 

Mello took a step forward, nodding urgently and clutching the death note. “YES! YES! Watari we’ve got to stop him! STOP LIGHT!!!” Mello was panting with anger and excitement. 

 

Watari tented his fingers and closed his eyes. “Mello...”

 

Mello took another step forward, eyes wide and waiting. 

 

Watari opened his eyes and stared at Mello, a little smile forming there. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”

 

Mello’s face changed to pure shock, his voice rising several octaves, “WHAT!!!!???!!!” He was feeling a bit weak in the knees. I don’t understand! “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???!!”

 

Light stifled his exuberant laugh behind his hand, and screamed inside with joy as L grabbed his waist. To Watari, between laughs, “We’re coming out.” 

 

Watari stood up and walked to his office door, opening it as a dumbfounded Mello watched Light and L emerge. Light took out his earpiece and tossed it on the console, casually leaning against it to size up Mello in the flesh at last. “So. You're Mello.” Light tilted his head, "Or should I say, Mihael Keehl?" He smiled wide as Mello’s knees finally gave out and he fell to the floor.

 

Sidoh gasped, turning to Mello, "How---how does he know your name? You told me he didn't know it! He doesn't have the eyes!"

 

Mello looked up at Watari and then L, so supremely confused. He crawled towards L, reaching for him. “L...L...Light is Kira!” Pointing at Light furiously. “HE’S KIRA!!!”

 

L put a finger in his mouth and went to stand next to Light, encircling his waist while looking at Mello. He gave him a little smile, “I know.”

 

Mello’s mouth fell open, tears of anger and confusion pricking his eyes. “No.....” The death note shook in his trembling fingers.

 

Light kissed L’s neck and walked up to Mello. On your knees before me, as you should be. He squatted down in front of Mello, coming eye to eye with him, “Mello. I’ll offer you this choice just once.” He took the death note from Mello’s hand and Mello didn’t or couldn't stop him, just stared at Light shocked, entranced, amazed. “Join us.” Light stood back up, grinning down his nose at Mello, then fixed Sidoh in his stare. “Or die.” I can see you now. You cannot hide from me.

 

Sidoh screamed at Mello, “NO!!!”

 

”Oh give it a rest Sidoh. Nobody cares what you think.” Ryuk had been watching from the balcony above but flapped down to stand next to Light. Sidoh cringed back, shaking.

 

And Mello truly wasn’t listening to Sidoh anymore. He whispered up at Light, fingers still extended as if holding the death note, “Join...Kira....”

 

L stepped forward to touch the death note, then took Mello’s hand, bringing him to standing. “Join us Mello.” I know your heart’s desire Mello. I can give it to you.

 

Mello’s expression of amazement deepened, looking between Light and L, “But...but....”

 

“Cmon Mello. I bet you’d like to see the world burn as much as I would.” Beyond walked out of Watari’s office with a shit-eating grin, putting an arm around L’s neck. This is too much fun to leave to Light and L. “And really, what choice have ya got?” Light held up the death note for him to touch and he did. He looked over at Sidoh, "Daaaaammmn. Ugly mother, aren't you?" Back to Mello, "Sorry about your luck." He flashed his shinigami eyes at Sidoh, who snarled at him.

 

L motioned blithely to Beyond. “Mello meet B. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He can see your true name, he has the shinigami eyes, if Sidoh bothered to tell you about that.”

 

Light leaned forward a little towards Mello. “So?”

 

Mello took a deep breath then a disbelieving smile spread across his face. He barked a laugh, a bit mad, then stared at Light. This is insane. And AWESOME. “FUCK IT." I guess I've already killed someone like Kira. "Why not?” He laughed harder, rubbing his face, “On one condition.”

 

Light crosses his arms. Something to bind him to me. Something he wants. “What?”

 

Mello’s eyes shone. “There’s someone I want dead.” You’re toast Near. He looked at Beyond. “I want his name.”

 

Light’s eyes narrowed. “Done.”

 

Mello felt a little braver. ”And...and I want Wammy’s!” Mello salivated a little at the thought.

 

Light looked at L, who nodded. “Convince me I can trust you and it’s yours. But...” Light smiled. “...I’ve got some plans for Wammy’s too. So we need to get one thing perfectly clear.” He stepped forward and pressed a finger to Mello’s chest and Mello swore he felt fire burn hot there. A whisper, “Kira is your god.” He tapped out the words, and Mello flinched. “Say it.”

 

Mello’s eyes went wide, unable to look away. How did I ever think I could defeat you? Like showing up in Tokyo and punching your face was gonna mean shit. He whispered back. “You are my god.”

 

Light stared harder, forcefully, “Say it on your knees.” 

 

Mello dropped to his knees. I know now. “You are my god. You are Kira.”

 

In my spell. And there you shall stay if you wish for life. Light touched Mello’s face, speaking softly, “Release it to me.” He held up the death note.

 

Sidoh shrieked, “Mello! MELLO! DON’T!” He rushed at Mello, grostesque fangs bared at Light. 

 

Light shot Sidoh a look full of loathing. “You’d be smart to shut your mouth Sidoh. We’ve killed shinigami before.”

 

Ryuk broke into an eager grin, and let his blades slowly extend from his claws, curving into long mirrored razors. Dangerously, “Hyuk. Ready to settle your score with me, Sidoh? Still mad bout losing your death note?” He stepped forward slowly, and Sidoh raised his spear-like fingers to either side of him at the ready.

 

”I can’t let this happen. I CAN'T!!!! I’ll write this human’s name before I see you end up with another of my death notes YAGAMI LIGHT!” He pulled out his own death note in threat, and Mello scrambled back behind Light and Ryuk with a yelp.

 

Ryuk growled something in his language and Sidoh squeaked something back, but it just made Ryuk angrier. He flew at Sidoh, his blades catching and severing two of the other shinigami’s long fingers, but Sidoh grabbed Ryuk in his other hand and sunk his teeth into his shoulder. Ryuk howled and plunged his knives deep into Sidoh’s chest, twisting and thrusting as an undeterred Sidoh’s teeth moved in a fast circle, sawing at Ryuk’s flesh.

 

Light screamed in panic at Sidoh, “LET HIM GO!” He turned to Beyond, and Farippa within him, “HELP HIM!!!” He grabbed Beyond, "NOW!!"

 

Beyond opened his mind to Farippa immediately, Do it! GO!

 

A wisp of light shot forward from Beyond’s mouth and instantly Farippa was standing there, towering above both Sidoh and Ryuk in his clutches, scythe raised high in its scaled hand. It spoke, roared, a canon shot across a field building to a nuclear explosion, “RELEASE HIM SIDOH!” It morphed even larger, an enormous shinigami, its robe ripping as it screamed. Horns burst through its skin, its white scales gleamed and shone like a million diamond shields covering its dragon-like body. Its wings filled the entire monitor room, flapping sheaves of paper everywhere, crushing desks under its reptilian feet. And now you see my true form Beyond.

 

Sidoh immediately froze and released Ryuk, shaking and squeaking as it stared up at Farippa in abject horror and fear. “Fa-fa-fa.....fa----I'm sorry! I'm SORRY!” No! We all thought you were dead! 

 

With an easy, smooth motion, Farippa swept the enlarged scythe through the air, and it left trails of fire and light as a comet streaking across the sky. It sliced through Sidoh’s body effortlessly, severing his monstrous torso in a rush of black blood, the top half slowly sliding off the bottom to fall in halves to the floor. The writhing flesh crumbled to a pile of dust and chunks of bone. And Farippa returned to its hooded form, hood downcast.

 

Light held his arms out, “RYUK!” And Ryuk phased into his arms, panting and bleeding from his nasty shoulder wound. Light held him tightly and then looked to his face, “Are you ok?” 

 

Ryuk nodded heavily, “Yeah...gimme a second, hyuk.” He closed his eyes and slowly the wound began to glow, until it emitted rays of white light, making them all shield their eyes. The chunk that Sidoh had torn from his shoulder healed over, but was different now. The healed portion now gleamed as silver chainmail on top of the black leather that had been stitched into his skin. He opened his eyes as he felt the pain abate, and looked down at it, “Whoa...Light-o.....”

 

Light fingered the new silver flesh with wonder and Ryuk shuddered beneath his gentle touch. “It’s beautiful Ryuk.” He brought his eyes to Ryuk’s and hugged him close again. “Thank you.” He pulled back with a weak smile. “You could have died. Don't be so quick to jump every shinigami you see ok?” He tried to laugh but couldn’t. Serious now, “You scared me.” And I didn't realize how much until now.

 

Ryuk was struck. The pain was gone. He was fine. But Light...you care Light. Ryuk just whispered, unblinking, “I’m sorry Light. I won’t be so careless with my life if you value it.” Do you really?

 

Light's face crumpled at that. He doesn't think I do but... His voice broke, “I do.” He opened his mind to Ryuk, a moment only for him, I care for you my friend. Your death would break my heart. Tell me that you know this. Light sighed and took Ryuk’s clawed hand. Tell me you know. He stared into wide red eyes, knowing as certainly as anything he ever had that there was no other point to Ryuk's life than him. And Light cried softly, moved by that. I love you Ryuk. He knew nothing in Ryuk's long eternity could ever be as precious as the words Light had just spoken to him. That Ryuk would hold them like treasures in his heart and nurse them, turn them over in his mind forever, even if Light were to die. Something immortal, old as time itself loved him. And while it wasn't how he loved L and Beyond, could never be like that, he loved this monster. Light gasped a little at his own thoughts. Beyond.

 

An ugly black tear rolled down Ryuk’s shocked face. What have you done, Light. What have you done to me. What has this done to you. He spoke silently back to Light, I know now. You see me. I love you Light. 

 

Light wiped his eyes and smiled, then turned back to Mello, who was cowering under the console, arms over his head. He held up the death note again. A commandment, “Release it to me. Now.” It belongs to me. They all belong to me.

 

Mello didn’t budge from his spot but blurted out fast, “I release it to you! It’s yours!” His eyes went briefly empty until Light touched him with the book again, and his memories returned. 

 

Farippa returned to inside Beyond and it spoke to him now, Time grows short. The king likely knows I am alive now. I do not know what he will do.

 

Light pulled Mello from under the console and helped him walk over to where L and Beyond stood. He took the piece of Ryuk’s death note from his watch and touched Mello with it. Mello stared wide-eyed at Ryuk and whispered, “Somebody tell me what the fuck I just agreed to.” 

 

L smiled at Watari, who was peeking out from his office door. “Watari, I think more ice cream will be needed. This may take awhile.” But we have an eternity. 

 

Watari put his glasses back on and heaved a relieved breath. “Yes sir.” He glanced at the pile of filth in the middle of the floor that used to be Sidoh. “And....I’ll bring the dust pan too.” He flushed a little as he scanned further, now registering the crushed desks and wrecked furniture smashed under Farippa’s feet.

 

Ryuk snorted loudly and grinned at Light, and Light started laughing until they were all giggling uncontrollably, all except Mello who looked at them all like they were crazy. Light grabbed L and Beyond's hands and held them both to his lips. "We're unstoppable." He grinned up at the ceiling, his heart swelling as he felt Farippa's eyes on him through Beyond. It’s true. He looked into Beyond's eyes, not ready to tell him yet, not ready to say it, but pushing it through his eyes nonetheless. Sending something to him that wasn't motivated by want or greed or ambition, but was a pure and shining emotion. And a promise. I do. I know. 

 

Mello slowly walked over to the pile of Sidoh dust, and squatted down next to it. Gonna write my name were you. 

 

He spat in it and whispered with a grin, 

 

”Oink oink motherfucker.” 

Chapter Text

*DING!*

 

Near looked up from his sleeping bag in the basement of Wammy's, and pulled his laptop into his lap. They responded.....and they said yes! He quickly read the email, a satisfied smile illuminated blue in the computer's light, and typed out a response. After he pressed send, he flopped back down on his pillow. Guess I'm going to Japan after all. All of his "friends" were lined up beside the sleeping bag, and he turned to them, putting each on his finger excitedly. He grinned at a slouching mini-L, "L, guess what? The CIA in the United States has agreed to work with me! I sent them all my information on Kira and are going to continue the case!" He sighed happily. 

 

Mini-Kira bobbed angrily on Near's finger, "Won't do you any good. I'm already ten steps ahead of you! Give it up already you freak."

Near glowered at Mini-Kira, and turned back to mini-L which responded, "Near, do you really think you can do a better job than me? Just tell them to work with the great L and go back to your toys."

Near shook his head emphatically, "No L! INTERPOL is sending me with a CIA task force to Japan to work there. We can work together after all! I can help you!"

Mini-Mello scoffed, "More like just get in everyone's way."

Mini-Light laughed, the finger bending over as if he was finding this just hilarious. "Oh Near. Such a silly child. I can't wait until we're in the same room so L can see how pathetic you are next to me. He’ll only love me more."

Near shook with silent fury at Mini-Light, "SHUT UP! I know you're Kira! And as soon as I can prove it I'm going to tell the whole world! Tell L!" He laughed a bit madly. "AND I'LL KILL YOU!!" He stuck the Kira puppet on top of mini-Light.

Mini-Light/Kira yelled back, "JUST TRY IT THEN!" And Near yanked Mini-Light/Kira off his finger and stuffed it under the pillow to silence him, as he trembled with fear and anger.

 

When Near had calmed down a little, he whispered to mini-L, "L, I won't be at Kira HQ with you. We'll have our own HQ, at the Prime Minister’s office! But don't worry, I'll reach out soon L. I'll save you." Lowering his whisper even further, casting a worried look at the pillow, "And I'll kill Light. But first I want to see him suffer, like he's made me suffer."

 

Mini-Mello was also listening, "How has he made you suffer you transparent nincompoop? You’re just jealous of him."

Mini-L leaned forward, "Yes, how exactly Near?"

 

Near shuddered, hearing muffled yelling from under the pillow, "Shhhhhhhh! He'll hear us." He took a deep breath, keeping his temper and fear under control. Very quiet, "Light's taken everything from me. He's taken my future. He's taken you from me, L. Taken justice into his own filthy hands! He's killed so many people and evaded us all, laughing in our faces! So....I'm going to take something from him. Someone he loves."

 

Mini-Mello and mini-L looked at each other, and mini-Mello spoke to mini-L, "I think he's finally gone crazy. I always told you this would happen, L."

Near gaped at mini-L, "No no no no L! It'll be perfect, you'll see!"

Mini-L turned back to Near, "I hope you know what you're doing, Near."

 

Near smiled, and got to packing.

------------

 

After Mello had gone to one of the apartments in HQ to pass out, exhausted from jet lag and the crazy events he'd just witnessed, L, Beyond, and Light headed back to the safe room to plan for the team's return the next day. INTERPOL had finally sent L their decision, which had them all a bit worried. Not only were they not giving up the chase for the original Kira, the US was sending a CIA taskforce to help them work the case, given the now global reach of Kira. They would announce the development to the press tomorrow, in hopes of intimidating Kira.

 

Light laughed when L told him, “A bit pathetic, isn’t it?” They have no clue what they’re dealing with.

 

He turned to the other two, pacing a bit but seeing potential in this. This is Kira’s chance to shine. “This is our opportunity to show the world that all those who stand against Kira are doomed to fail. When this task force makes its presence in Japan known, we’re going to do two things.”

 

L and Beyond listened closely as Light went on, “First, Kira is going to address the world, and every nation and leader against me is going to have a fucking riot on their hands.” Light smirked at the spark of excitement mirrored in their eyes. “Second, we’re going to make an example of this task force. Which is really INTERPOL’s last ditch effort to get this situation under control.”

 

Beyond nodded, “Crush them, and INTERPOL’s resistance will crumble.”

 

Light clenched his fist, “Exactly. We need to find out everything about them and then destroy them in a way that nobody can doubt it’s Kira. Beyond, you’re going to help with that by hacking the Prime Minister’s email and files. And L...you’re going to use their trust in you to get information. Are you ok with that?”

 

They both nodded, but both were a bit distracted. Light sighed. “Think you got enough ice cream L?”

 

L had taken another enormous helping of ice cream with him, but it was mostly hidden beneath a mountain of maraschino cherries. He was crouching on the sofa, letting the bowl rest on his knees as he took a cherry and popped it into his mouth, tying the stem into a knot with his tongue. “I heard you Light-kun.” He smiled a bit darkly, “Sounds like a fun challenge.” Beyond went to sit beside him, stealing a cherry as L tried to pull the bowl away. "You had the chance to get your own, Beyond." He pulled the knotted cherry stem from his lips and flicked it at Beyond, then ate another. 

 

"You've got enough for everyone L! I'm sure you don't mind sharing, hmmmmm?" Beyond tossed a cherry up in the air and opened his mouth to catch it, but L reached out and grabbed it in the air and ate it with a smirk. "Hey!" Beyond reached for the bowl of cherries again, and as L tried to hold it out of reach they both toppled off the couch into an inelegant heap of pale tangled limbs and black hair. "GAHHHH!" But even worse, the punch-bowl sized ice cream and cherries spilled all over them both, coating them in chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and the dozens of kinds of candy and sauces that L had hidden under the pile of cherries.

 

L frowned at the ruined dessert and shot Beyond a look of devastation. “Now look what you’ve done.”

 

Light walked over to them, looking down at their sticky situation with a smirk. "You two are a mess. In every possible meaning of the phrase." 

 

Beyond looked up at Light and groaned as some caramel sauce ran down into his shirt. "SO not my fault! L wouldn't share." He picked up a fallen cherry and ate it defiantly, sticking his tongue out at L.

 

Light laughed and squatted down next to them, picking up a cherry from L's lap and licking it slowly, seductively. L bit his lip watching Light’s tongue caress that pink flesh. "L... you shouldn't be so selfish." He bit the cherry off the stem and ate it.

 

L wiped a glob of whipped cream that had affixed to Beyond's cheek, bringing it to Light's lips and staring as Light licked his fingers clean. He smiled a little, "I'm not as selfish as I used to be." He looked at Beyond meaningfully and grabbed a handful of melted ice cream from the floor, spindly fingers squishing it slightly. "But sweets are off limits!" He quickly hooked a finger in Beyond's shirt collar and pulled it open, stuffing the ice cream inside with a giggle. 

 

Beyond howled wide-eyed, shivering as he tried to flap his shirt to get the icy treat away, "THAT'S IT!" He turned his glowing shinigami eyes to L, now on fire but Light saw the laughter there behind it. "YOU'RE IN FOR IT LAWLIET!" Beyond scooped up some more ice cream as he pounced on L, rubbing it into his face as L laughed and tried to pull him off. "HERE TAKE ALL OF IT!"

 

L gave up and just started licking the ice cream off his face, turning to Light, who was now laughing on his knees, "Think this is funny, Light?" He grabbed Light's wrist, yanking him into the slippery mess with them.

 

Light caught himself against Beyond, and wrenched his shoulders around, pushing him flat to the sugary floor next to L and holding him there. Above them, "Stop it you two. We have serious business to discuss." Like how hard I'm going to wreck you both right now. Fuck INTERPOL.

 

Beyond pulled his shirt over his head, revealing his tight muscled stomach. He slowly licked some chocolate sauce from his lips, giving Light a smoldering look. "I don't feel like being serious." He picked up L's sticky hand, running it over his chest and stomach. This has got to be some kind of sick fantasy for L. Getting fucked while rolling around in ice cream? 

 

Oh my god, are we going to fuck while rolling around in ice cream?? L felt himself getting immediately hard in his pants, positively throbbing at the idea of mixing his two favorite things in the world. Oh kami, yes......L turned towards Beyond, letting his pale fingers trace the remnants of ice cream that were now pooling in his belly button. He leaned down to lick the melted ice cream out, letting his tongue spin circles there as Beyond bit his smiling lip. "Ice cream is serious business. We shouldn't let it go to waste." He turned his grey eyes up to Light, extremely aroused, chewing his thumb and getting more excited as he tasted caramel there. 

 

Light sat back on his knees and pulled his shirt off, throwing it behind him. I wouldn't dream of denying you L. Chocolate sauce and ice cream had soaked through his clothes; but L thought he'd never seen anything more delicous in all his life. He sprang forward and went for Light's pants, unbuttoning them as fast as he could while licking Light's sugary neck hungrily. His voice was low, panting, "I'm going to lick every bit of this off you, kami." L pushed Light's pants down with a yank as Beyond crawled over to them like a predator, giving L a long lick up the entire length of his spine, sending a shudder through him. "Yes...."

 

Light sighed as L's mouth moved down his neck to lick across his collar bone, precise fingers trailing through chocolate sauce and circling his nipples. "Mmmmm....you're really liking this aren't you L?" And I'm hard as hell watching you get off on this. 

 

L nodded, tongue licking across Light's chest to taste his now sticky skin, "You have no idea." Sex AND sugar? Holy hell....He grabbed Light's hand and pressed it to his erection practically busting from his jeans, then sucked a chocolatey nipple, grabbing at Light and pulling him in. He was making little noises of happy pleasure as the glucose flooded his brain, but he didn't care. 

 

Light caught Beyond’s eye behind L, and he smirked back. We got something good here. L's gonna go insane. He mouthed 'Pants off' and Beyond nodded with a conspiratorial grin, pulling off his own pants and then reaching around to unbutton L's and pull them down while sucking some chocolate from L's earlobe. L was so focused on giving Light's chest a tongue-bath, not missing a single spot, he didn't even notice until Beyond's whipped-cream coated hand reached around and started to tease his cock. He froze and mumbled into Light's shoulder, "Oh fuck...." and he felt his cock jerk hard against the touch. Beyond started to slowly stroke him, smooth and sticky, and L's lips parted with a small gasp as his fingers dug into Light's sides. 

 

Light tilted L's messy mouth up to his, looking into L's grey eyes and then to Beyond's red ones just behind him. He reached back to touch Beyond's face too then kissed L deeply, tasting every part of the ice cream sundae there on his tongue, tasting cherries and chocolate and caramel, and kissing deeper, tasting L's lust and rawness. L was gasping slightly in his mouth, tasting the same things, "Kami....you taste so good....." 

 

Beyond whispered in L's ear, "Just think how fucking good his cock will taste." He licked down L's neck and bit his shoulder, tonguing and sucking the skin with growing intensity, pressing himself against' L's ass while he stroked. "Bon appetit."

 

L's eyes flew open. YES. He pulled back from Light's kiss and swiped his hand through some chocolate and ice cream, and smoothed it over Light's cock with trembling fingers. Through pants, "Better let me know... if I'm hurting you Light. I might get...a little carried away." He bent down and extended his tongue, eyes going wide as it touched the tip of Light's cock. Tastes as good as it looks. And with that, he started licking at it in earnest, making excited noises like he had just been offered the best dessert of his life. 

 

Light let his head fall back, lips parted. Oh shiiiiitttt. He threaded his fingers into L's stiff and matted hair. "For chrissakes, L....now I'm gonna be jealous every time you eat ice cream......" I'll never be able to watch you do that again without getting hard. L deep-throated Light in response, humming around his cock, and Light's body clenched forward involuntarily. "AHH!"

 

Beyond ran a hand over L's back, bending over slightly to keep up his stroke. His free hand traveled over L's ass, kneading it under his strong fingers. His breathing sped up as he met Light's eyes, pupils dilated. He pressed his erection in the cleft of L's ass and moved his hips slightly for stimulation, precum flowing freely as he squeezed against him. Breath ragged, "L....can I fuck you....oh please...." He stared into Light's eyes, "Kami....please...." 

 

Light smiled to see him beg, seeing his desparate need, and he pushed his cock further down L's throat. "Whattaya say L?" And L nodded vigorously on Light's cock, a slick and sticky finger reaching up to tease Light's entrance as he pushed back against Beyond. Light leaned forward towards Beyond. "He said yes." Light grabbed the back of Beyond's neck, pulling him into a violent kiss. He pulled back, biting Beyond's lip they separated, "And so do I." He moaned softly in Beyond's face as L pushed the finger into him and hooked around to press against his prostate, L's soft tongue giving him no mercy as it licked, flicked, and sucked him hard. 

 

That was all the permission Beyond needed. He looked back down to L's bending form with an amazed grin, "Fuck yah." Oh hell, how long have I wanted to do this to you L? YEARS! He bent down to tongue L's entrance, getting it slick with sugared spit, and speaking softly to L as he did so, "L, I've jerked off to this a hundred times at least......" More like ten thousand but who’s counting? He slowly worked a finger inside, then two, and L opened for him without resistance, pushing back with a needy moan around Light's cock. When L was plenty relaxed, Beyond took his own cock and began to push into L slowly, so slowly, not wanting to hurt him or ruin any of this. And as he pushed in inch by slow inch, he locked eyes with Light, mouth wide open with the tight pressure and warmth surrounding him, holding L's hip in one hand and teasing his cock in the other. A ragged whisper, "You feel so good....." As he slid in all the way, he stopped and moaned with a little shudder, pulling L's hip towards him hard as L squeezed him internally. "FUCK!"

 

Light pushed his fingers in Beyond's hair, grabbing it and pulling their faces close again. He stared into red eyes as Beyond started to move inside L, knowing exactly what he was feeling. He whispered to Beyond, "You don't have to be gentle, he likes it hard." And L nodded again against Light's cock, making Light gasp with the movement. Beyond picked up the pace, pushing his whole length into that hot, tight place again and again. Light felt him start to tremble beneath his hand, "Beyond...."

 

Beyond gazed back at him, his face awash in pleasure and surrender, knowing nothing would ever be as good as being with the two of them, nothing ever had in his entire miserable life. I have to say it, I have to.  Between pants, "Kami....Light....Light....I love you." He clenched against L, feeling nearly overwhelmed, and unable to tear his eyes from Light. "I love both of you." Slamming L harder now, and L writhing beneath him, moaning on Light's cock and about to come. Whispered, his voice breaking with emotion, pounding even harder, "So...much." 

 

L froze a moment on Light's cock, gasping a loud moan as he came between Beyond's fingers, and Light took over, stroking himself fast now and leaning closer to Beyond. "You really love me." I want to tell you. I want to say it. I need to.

 

L leaned his forehead down to touch the ground, breathing hard, eyes closed, but smiling wide. Tell him Light. Just say it. We both feel it, know it. Make us complete at last. This is right. I know it now too.

 

Beyond whimpered, grabbing L's hips with both hands now and slamming into him. "Y-yes....I know you don't....its ok....its ok....." This is the closest to love I've felt in so long, Light. Its all I need if its all you can give me. I'll be more than satisfied. My life is yours. My heart is yours. And I have to tell you that. 

 

Light got a struck look on his face, warring between what he knew he really felt and what he thought he shouldn't say. "Beyond....I....."

 

L looked up at them, "Light, tell him." He pushed Light's hand away from his cock and started to stoke him instead, fast and tight as he knew Light liked it at the end.

 

Light gasped, looking down at L and then back to Beyond. "Beyond... I...I do love you." And he pulled Beyond's mouth to his and kissed him so he knew it was true, and not just words. He kissed him and he meant it. Through the kiss, "I really do." With that confession, the built-up sensations overwhelmed him, and he was coming into L's fingers, his body jerking and pushing his tongue further into Beyond's mouth with each spurt.

 

And somewhere deep inside Beyond, Farippa opened its mind to him in a joyous explosion of shinigami emotion that he had no words for, couldn't understand, but still experienced as if they were his own, and knew that something incredibly significant had happened not only for him, but for everyone, everything. He smiled into Light's mouth, laughing and crying as he finally released into L with a stifled moan, his wings bursting forth behind him with a flash of light and feathers. He broke the kiss and collapsed against L's back, not bothering about his wings, not bothering about anything at all except for the words that Light had spoken to him just now. Light loves me??! He gently pulled out of L and nuzzled his back, placing his wet cheek there and embracing him. "Thank you."

 

L sat up and turned around to face him, brushing a piece of sweaty, caramelized hair from Beyond's amazed face. "See Light?" He turned to Light, who was leaning forward on his hands, heart rate slowly coming back down, but feeling very odd all of a sudden. 

 

What is this feeling? Happiness, but something else. I cannot explain it, cannot name it. Is it even human? Light sat up and smiled at them both, sweat dripping softly from his hair to the floor. "See what, L?"

 

L entwined his sticky fingers in both their hands. "I told you I'm not as selfish as I used to be."

 

Beyond pulled them both into a jumbled hug, a bit awkward with his wings sticking out and trying to flap every now and then. But he didn't care. My heart's desire. "Everything. This is everything to me." He looked to Light, "You." My kami. And to L, "And you." My lost heart. There is nothing else. The warm feelings that Beyond had felt before from Farippa flowed once more, and he knew they would stay there now, glowing like a candle in the dark.

 

They embraced for a while, sticky and happy and beautiful, no one wanting to move and break this moment, to let it pass. Farippa’s glow passed between them, pulsing further which each of their heartbeats. 

 

L turned over in his mind all the memories he’d forgotten so long, each like a finding one diamond after another in a place that had always been nearby but he’d never visited. Pale identical fingers, small and fragile, reaching across darkness and evil to him and calling to him as no one else could. The shadows between them forever falling away and the light pouring in, vaporizing loneliness, doubt, jealousy, pettiness, selfishness. The faces of the people he didn’t save now fading behind those he did, and an endless sea of those waiting for him if he’d just reach out and grasp the chance. A single-minded purpose of justice bifurcating, splitting and refracting into  infinite possibilities at the speed of light.

 

Light buried his face in shinigami feathers that weren’t meant to be there, thinking how none of them should even really be here. How rare and beautiful it was to even exist at all, given the millions of tiny mysteries that must conspire from the start of time for any one unique life to be made real. And that the universe was created only to be one day seen by his eyes and changed, altered beneath his own fingers. He had slept as a shipwreck beneath the ocean until now, but would rise, jettison fear and doubt as freely as seawater pouring forth, and seize the wheel at last. We won’t be just stars L, Beyond. We’ll be so much more. I feel it somehow.

 

Beyond opened his mind to Farippa inside him, You kept your promise. You did it. I can never repay you, never truly thank you.

 

And Farippa opened its mind to him to answer, No. You did it Beyond. You did everything.

 

Farippa left him then, a wisp of light escaping his mouth to materialize beside them. Light looked up and gasped slightly in surprise, seeing it so close and wielding the scythe in its scaled hands.

 

Ryuk flapped down from his ledge, more curious than concerned, and stood next to Light. This is the moment

 

Farippa spoke to Light, an eagle piercing silence above snow, “Light, it’s time.” It went to one knee before him and tilted the scythe so it fell into its upturned palms, held out to Light. It bowed its hooded head, “You are the one I’ve been searching for. Are you ready to hear the truth? Are you ready to grasp your destiny?” Quieter, a new tone, “Help us.”

 

L and Beyond looked up too, and Beyond whispered, “That was it then. What you were waiting for.” Farippa nodded.

 

Light’s mouth fell open but somehow he had been expecting this. Knew what it was going to say. Somehow he’d known, even before he’d ever even grasped the death note, before he’d done the soulbond with Ryuk, before he had begun to assemble his army to him. Had somehow always known.

 

He stood up, now looking down at a kneeling Farippa. He reached forward to push back its hood and it didn’t stop him. But what he saw wasn’t what he’d seen when it fought Sidoh. It’s head was a swirl of stars, comets, suns, asteroids...the whole universe both laid out and condensed into consciousness. Darkness made corporeal, the raw power of a hurting, dying creation, fearful of the rot within it and reaching up to Light for salvation. He reached into the void and his fingers bled into nothingness, the folly of grasping the unknowable, of pinning down time. But an ache as plain as a exclamation point hung there and asked Light again, not with words, as the voice of creation would not use words. But through gravity, the wrongness of a planet’s tilt, the impact scar of an asteroid now floating in pieces, photons murdered inside black holes, an electron spinning away to lonely void, the unraveling of the strand of DNA that may have given rise to life. Just the act of being asked the question changed him.

 

It asked him again and again in infinite and undefined ways, in that moment and in all the moments. As it had been asking him all his life, Help us...

 

He drew his hand back and looked at L and Beyond, frozen in awe at Farippa unmasked, lost and listing in those mysteries. They both tore their eyes upwards to Light, and he saw there all the answers to the questions he’d found within Farippa.

 

His fingers curved around the scythe and he lifted it from Farippa’s hands slowly, and it was now glowing with a golden light, illuminating the entire space. All the knowledge that Farippa possessed, beginning from the moment of its own dusty birth at the hands of Nyx to this very instant, flowed like water through Light. He hoisted the scythe high above them all, naked and sticky as when the universe dreamed him to reality. And he gave Farippa the only answer he could, the one that had been sitting and waiting within him unknown until right now.

 

The only one that had ever existed, “I will.”

Chapter Text

Light laid awake well after the other two had fallen asleep on either side of him, staring at the top of the canopy bed, staring further. Even L had passed out soundly after they got cleaned up in the waterfall pool.

 

It was late. He knew he should sleep. Matsuda and his father were coming back to HQ tomorrow, the CIA team may already be in Japan by now. The entire world...and more...were now depending on him. The pressure, the enormity of it was thrilling and crushing. He sat up in bed quietly and called to Ryuk in his mind, Ryuk....

 

Ryuk was there in an instant, sitting cross-legged at the end of the bed in front of him, red eyes glowing softly in the darkness of the cave. What is it Light-o? Why aren't you sleeping? 

 

I can’t sleep. Could you? Light extended his palms, thinking about the scythe, and it appeared in his hands, softly glowing. He balanced it a moment above the two sleeping forms at his sides, then willed it back into nothingness with a faint trail of sparks. Ryuk....this...its changed me. I know things now. Things I...no mortal...should know. But I feel like there’s so much more I don't know. Things it will only tell me in time. 

 

Ryuk had been watching the scythe but brought his eyes back to Light's. Farippa told us this would happen. That the scythe held powerful magic that would slowly make itself known to you. That thing was never meant for earth. Zeus only gave it to Tyndari in the shinigami realm. He smiled a toothy grin, bright white in the darkness. I guess I'm saying you could really fuck shit up down here with that. Should be interesting, hyuk.

 

Light smiled too. I was thinking the same thing. His smile faded gradually as all the question marks reappeared. But Ryuk, Farippa wants....it wants so much. From me. From all of us. I know I must do it, I want to. It’s haunted my dreams, my days. Shadowed my entire life. But to make them....He looked at a sleeping L, his hand stretching towards the empty place where Light was just lying. And to Beyond, his naked and now smooth chest rising and falling with sleepy breaths. It seems too much to ask. But I can't do it without them. Or you. 

 

Ryuk smirked at him. You know they'd go to the ends of the earth for you, Light. Past those ends, I guess, hyuk. His eyes burned hotter. As would I. As will I. 

 

Light gave an appreciative nod, looking down at his hands which now seemed both familiar and strange. From what you and Farippa have told me about the shinigami king, he's nearly invincible. And he's got Nyx....the creator, on his side. They've killed Castor, Pollux, Zeus, his own brother Hypnos, probably more....Do I even have a shot at fulfilling the prophecy? 

 

Farippa believes you can do it. So do I. Ryuk gave a sideways glance at the stoic shinigami high above them, silently looking down but not interrupting their moment. A wistful smile spread across his face. And you told me once that you wanted to see Lense, remember? Now's your shot. We can see it together. It'll be my first time too. 

 

Light smiled a little too, remembering that day under the apple tree with Ryuk. I remember Ryuk. I want to see it. It felt like years ago. And....I knew how you felt about me even then, you know. 

 

I knew. I didn't care. Ryuk hyuked softly to himself, cradling his head in his hands like a broken thing. That probably just made your ego swell to the size of Nyx's already, didn't it? He looked back up at Light. You've destroyed me as a shinigami, Light. When Sidoh came with Mello, the reason I jumped him was because of what he said to me. I guess you didn't understand it, but....he said the others...were all laughing at me up there. He called me your pet. And I am aren’t I? Ryuk laughed quietly and edged closer to Light, laying across the end of the bed languidly and looking up at him. He purred, Your pet?

 

Ah, so you let your pride get the best of you Ryuk. Light silently chuckled. Is being my pet so bad? The companion of a human? My friend?

 

No Light, its not bad at all. Ryuk sighed and reached out the jagged carapaces of his black fingers towards Light. He started to pull back again but Light grabbed his hand and held it tight. 

  

How have you spent so long killing to prolong your life just to throw it all away on me Ryuk? Light laughed a little. Tomorrow....it all starts. This could all go very wrong you know.

 

Ryuk looked up with certainty. It won’t.

 

Light was quiet awhile. I’m afraid. 

 

Ryuk let his hand phase into Light's and passed three memories to Light, then became corporeal again, looking down at Light's hand and his. Three memories when Ryuk had been afraid. 

 

In the first memory, Ryuk was lying next to Light fast asleep in his bedroom at home. L's cameras were still there and Ryuk, not needing sleep, had decided to keep watch over Light for reasons he didn't understand. He brushed a wisp of hair from Light's face and had accidentally scratched him very slightly, but didn’t wake him. And Light felt Ryuk's immense guilt, an ache at hurting him even that tiny amount, marring something so perfect because of his clumsy, his cursed monstrosity. And how he never did that again but always watched over Light as he slept from then on. I will protect you.

 

In the second memory, a naked and bloodied Light was calling up to Ryuk from the roof of Kira HQ, desperately asking whether the name that L had just told him was real and true. And Light felt Ryuk’s violent conflict, between telling Light a selfish lie that would result in L’s death or the truth that may steal Light from him forever. But that he remembered that Light said that he'd know he was a friend when he stopped lying to him. I won't lie to you.

 

In the last memory, Ryuk was staring at the unmarked, naked backs of Light and L, and he had hesitated to cut them both with his name. How he nearly wrote ‘Ryuk’ only on Light, almost ruining it all but clenching an immortal Light for himself, only for himself forever. But that he loved Light and hated himself, so he slashed his name across them both, for Light. I will sacrifice for you.

 

Light sat there in the dimness, the only illumination Ryuk's eyes. So. I really have ruined you. Light looked down at his hand enclosed in something that once would have utterly repulsed him, but now only seemed as natural as holding the death note. Something deadly and wonderful and his. Do you regret what I’ve done to you?

 

Never once. What I wouldn’t give to be human, Light, and not this.

 

Ironic.  All this time I’ve been becoming a god and you’ve been becoming human. But, how can I be a god if I’m afraid?

 

Feeling afraid doesn't matter, as long as you make the right choice Light. 

 

Then give me your strength now. You don’t have to watch me tonight. Not tonight. Phase into me and dream like a human that wants to be a god.

 

And Ryuk did. Light laid down with monster and man, and closed his eyes. He felt less afraid, felt as if in his mother’s arms and he was forgiven and enough. L was right. Even a god needs someone. You do too Ryuk.

 

Someones, it seems, hyuk.

 

Yes. And they slept.

—————

 

L crouched in his usual chair in the monitor room, Watari handing him a cup of overly-sugared tea. He slurped it loudly then turned his chair to face the team. "Welcome back. I trust your time off was restful." He gave a decidedly nervous-looking Matsuda a little smile then his eyes flitted to Light briefly behind his teacup. "There's been some changes while you were away, and I want to update everyone on INTERPOL's response."

 

Soichiro crossed his arms and gave L a curious look. "Ryuzaki, it seems the team has...er... grown." He glanced at Mello, who was wearing his usual black vinyl vest, but had also somehow wiggled into purple leather pants so tight Soichiro felt they must be cutting off proper circulation. 

 

L sat down his teacup and rested his arms on his knees. "Yes. This is Mello. He's one of my proteges and will be assisting us going forward. He has a sharp mind and I'm sure will be an asset to the team. Won't you Mello?" And Beyond's already at work on INTERPOL's files, and ready to deliver Kira's message to the world at Light's signal. Probably better you don't meet him right now. 

 

Mello beamed at L's words and flopped down on the couch next to Matsuda, grabbing a chocolate bar from the pile Watari had set out for him. "You bet, L."

 

L sighed, "You'll call me Ryuzaki here Mello."

 

Mello rolled his eyes and took a big bite of the chocolate. "Fine. Whatever, Ryuzaki." 

 

Matsuda shifted on the couch, edging a little further from Mello. "Um...Ryuzaki, so what did INTERPOL say? Do they have new orders for us?" He was having a hard time meeting L's persistent stare, and of course L knew why.

 

L held out his palm to Watari and a strawberry danish appeared it in. "Yes. As I'm sure you are aware, public sentiment worldwide has become increasingly sympathetic towards Kira and their actions. It could be a volatile situation, but INTERPOL would have us continue our investigation into the original Kira. The United States' CIA has already sent their own task force to Japan who will be working both with us and in parallel. Their presence in Japan will be announced by the Prime Minister this morning." He picked up a remote and switched on the large overhead screen to the news.

 

Both Matsuda and Soichiro sat up a little at this. Soichiro was clearly pleased with the new development, Matsuda seemed less so. Matsuda rubbed his chin, staring at a speck of dirt on his shoe, "But...we don't have any leads on the original Kira anymore Ryuzaki. Are we back at square one?"

 

Soichiro's brow furrowed. "That doesn't matter Matsuda. We have our orders and I for one intend to give it my all." He gave L an austere nod.

 

L took a large bite of his danish and gave Soichiro a wry smile. "That's the spirit Yagami-san." Just then, the screen above came alive, and all eyes in the room looked up. Light went to stand behind L, his hand just barely grazing his shoulder when no one was looking. Here we go. 

        

WE INTERRUPT THE NEWS THIS MORNING TO GIVE YOU A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN, WHO HAS AN UPDATE ON THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION INTO THE IDENTITY OF KIRA.

<the image shifts to an official-looking man, the Prime Minister, standing in a large arena in front of an enormous crowd in Toyko>

PM: Thank you. I'm addressing the citizens of Tokyo and of Japan to announce that we shall not submit to Kira, nor shall we let such vigilante justice--no murder!-- go unpunished. Therefore, although there are many who now sympathize with Kira, the police and the government are redoubling their efforts to find them and end this worldwide reign of terror once and for all. To this end, the United States has sent a special task force, the Special Provision for Kira or SPK, here to provide new eyes and new methods to our current team in Japan. Please rest assured that we WILL find Kira and bring him to justice. And Kira, if you are listening to this, know you cannot escape the rule of law. Turn yourself in now if you have a shred of humanity left. 

 

Light's fingers twitched at that, but otherwise he remained completely impassive to the message. Are you ready world?

           

<the image shifts back to the news caster>

THANK YOU PRIME MINISTER. I'M CERTAIN THAT YOUR WORDS GIVE COMFORT TO JAPAN AND TO THE WORLD, AND STRIKE FEAR INTO THE DARK HEART OF KIRA!

 

Light sucked in his lip, choking back his laugh with a deep breath, his body tingling in anticipation. Come on Beyond, don't fail me.

           

NOW WE WILL RETURN TO--WAIT....WHAT'S THIS?

<the newscaster is handed a piece of paper and looks off-camera in confusion>

IT SEEMS THAT WE HAVE JUST NOW BEEN SENT A MESSAGE FROM KIRA! HERE IT IS!

<a gothic 'K' appears on a black background on the screen, and Kira's characteristic metallic voice plays>

Kira: People of the world! Do not be deceived by the words of your false leaders. For you know, you have seen, the fruits of my justice. Has it not made you safer, has it not given you peace? You are lambs to the  wolves no more, and the meek have inherited the earth! Therefore, I ask you, make your voice, MY voice, known in your towns, your cities, your nations. Go to the streets, go to the politicians, to the press, to your schools and places of work. Make them see what we see! That the innocent will no longer suffer and that evil will be destroyed by my hands. We have entered a new age! Come be a part of the new world, the world of Kira! All those who stand with me, my believers, shall have life. All those who oppose me, who oppose justice, shall face death. Rise up and meet your GOD!

<the image switches back to the newscaster, who is mopping his brow nervously>

AND THOSE ARE THE WORDS OF KI--AH, IT SEEMS THAT THE PRIME MINISTER WISHES TO RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.

<the image of the PM is now displayed, and he's looking rather angry, shaking in fury>

PM: KIRA! How dare you---

 

But the Prime Minister's words were cut off with a loud gasp, his face started to go red then purple, as if an invisible hand was clenching his throat. And Light stopped breathing too, his eyes wide and shining as he grabbed the back of L’s chair. YES!! Choke on your words!

 

Matsuda slowly got up, realizing what was happening, "Oh my god...."

 

Soichiro leaped up from the couch and ran towards the screen aghast, "Its KIRA! He's killing the Prime Minister!" He grabbed his phone and was dialing the police headquarters hurriedly, but it was far too late. The prime minister clawed frantically at his throat, ugly rasping noises escaping his blue lips.

 

Light stared hard at the man flailing on the screen, and felt a tidal wave of blood bursting forth as from a dam, washing over the world and staining it, cleansing it, destroying it and making it new. Watch, world! Watch, you false gods above! 

 

Around the minister, numerous people were now rushing up to the podium, yelling and hovering around him, but he suddenly collapsed on the stage with a dull thud. Screams from the audience as they began to stampede the arena, and someone leaped on stage in front of the minister's body and screamed, "KIRA!!! LONG LIVE KIRA!!!" The screen became absolute chaos, a riot, with people jostling and fighting the overwhelmed security and police. And the screen went black.

 

Soichiro dropped the phone and clutched his hair, screaming, "NO!" He covered his hand with his mouth and turned to his phone again, someone was screaming through it on the other side. He picked it up and brought it to his ear with trembling fingers, trying to calm them without success.

 

YES! Light felt an explosion of triumph inside but turned to the team, pretending to be devastated. A gasped whisper, "I can't believe it....the prime minister, killed on national television for opposing Kira!" You cannot stand against me! AGAINST KIRA! 

 

L was clutching the armrests of his chair, breathing a bit faster than usual. Light you play your part well. "This is...unexpected." He turned around to the team, the black screen behind him. Soichiro was out the door, screaming into his phone, and Matsuda was just standing there staring at the screen in shock. Only Mello looked completely unfazed, leaning back on the couch with a satisfied grin and another chocolate bar from the pile. Come on Mello, couldn't you at least try to look shocked? He pushed a finger beneath his lip. "Matsuda...please contact the station and get all information related to that broadcast. Mello, you will monitor the situation in Tokyo today, there may be further public response to Kira's message. Light and I will--"

 

But L was himself interrupted by Watari's 'W' up on the screen. L pressed the intercom, "Yes Watari?"

 

"Sir, it seems that someone from the Special Provision for Kira is reaching out and wants to speak with you immediately."

 

L and Light exchanged glances. This is sooner than I'd hoped, but I suppose it can't be helped. "Yes Watari, send it through." Soichiro stepped back into the room in time to see the 'W' replaced with an 'N' on the screen. The news screen beside it was still black.

 

A disguised metallic voice, similar to that used by Kira and L but of a slightly higher pitch, filled the room. "Hello L. Its been too long."

 

L tented his fingers at the screen and frowned. "N." Near. Yes, we saw your email out of Wammy's. "Welcome to Japan." He gave a somewhat bored sigh and took another bite of his danish, wiping the crumbs away before continuing. "Losing your boss is a terrible thing to happen on your first day on the job. My condolences."

 

I don't care about that L. "Yes, truly the depravity of Kira knows no bounds." Near was silent a moment. "L can I speak with you privately?"

 

L had been expecting this. "Of course. Watari, patch the feed into your office. I'll continue there." He leaped up from his chair with a backwards look at Light, who gave him the tiniest hint of a smile. 

 

When L was in Watari's office, crouched in front of his laptop, he spoke again. "Ok Near, I'm alone." I’ll never be alone again.

 

Near, "I'm switching to video then. Please do the same." And Near's diminutive white form, clothed in his usual baggy pajamas was displayed on the screen. He was surrounded by dozens of black and white die, which he was stacking into intricate pyramids on an expansive desk. He looked up when he saw L's face on the screen, and grinned wide, leaning towards the screen. It seemed an incongruous response to the havoc they'd just witnessed. "I'm so happy to see you!" At last L! At last at LAST!

 

L just stared back at him with wide grey eyes above knobby knees. I'll need to maintain his trust if I'm to get any information. "Likewise Near. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch as much as I'd like, but as you can see, this has been a rather...complicated case."

 

Near clutched a die hard in his palm, "I'm here to help you now L....and....you don't need Light anymore." He lowered his voice, "L...do you still think Light is Kira? I mean--"

 

So, that's the SPK's angle then. I have to go along with this. "I suppose anything is possible. We can't really exclude anyone."

 

Near's eyes bugged a little at that. "Yes! L, listen to me. You need to be very very careful around Light. Is...is he....threatening you somehow?" Don't worry L! I've got all this figured out.

 

"No."

 

"Then why are you working with him?!!"

 

"He's in possession of a singular brilliance, and has been instrumental in catching the other Kiras."

 

"The other Kiras, L. Not the real Kira." Brilliance?! NO! How has he impressed you so??

 

L looked up at the ceiling and sighed. "How shall this go Near? Are we sharing information or what?"

 

Near clenched the die harder. "Yes, we will. I want you to send Chief Yagami over to our headquarters and we will brief him on all details."

 

The Chief? "I'm sure you can just tell me like this."

 

Near smiled a little, as if he knew a secret. "No, there are things we must show to him. And as the official head of the police investigation in Japan, he is the most appropriate person."

 

"I see." L got up and went off screen momentarily, pacing a bit by the fire, then returned. "Yes I suppose that would be acceptable."

 

"Good, we'll send someone over later today to pick him up and bring him here. Blindfolded of course."

 

"Blindfolded? Quite cautious, aren't we Near?" 

 

"You can never be too cautious, L. That's some advice you might think about taking. We'll speak again soon." And the screen went dark, the transmission over.

 

The black haired man crouching in front of the laptop giggled behind his hand, softly at first, then louder. He slowly closed the laptop and turned his red eyes to L in the corner of the room, whispering with a dark smile, "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." He extended his hand out to L, who walked over and grabbed it. Beyond pulled him into his lap, nodding and giggling. Nate River, your days are numbered. 

 

L bit his smiling lip, and breathed a deep sigh of relief, dropping his head to Beyond's shoulder. He spoke to Light in the earpiece, letting emotion bleed into his voice for the first time all morning, "He got it."

Chapter Text

The headlines scrolling past the screen all day made Matsuda feel ill, and not for the reasons he should.

      

KIRA KILLS PM, CROWD TEARS BODY APART

TOYKO OVERRUN WITH CHAOS

POLITICANS FEAR TO SPEAK

ANTI-KIRA 'WOLVES' STAY IN SHADOW- WHO ARE THEY?

 

And those from around the world were no better for his nerves.

        

WORLD LEADERS AGHAST AT KIRA’S RISE: WHO’S NEXT?

US PRESIDENT SILENT ON JAPAN PM DEATH

RUSSIAN MOBSTER SAYS HE’S KIRA (Light appeared to be particularly interested in this one and scribbled something down)

BELIEVERS UNITING ON GLOBALLY ON DARK WEB

KIRA BANNER REMOVED FROM EIFFEL TOWER

 

He was sweating, eyes darting from one screen to the next. I'm living a lie! The city wasn’t calming, it was getting worse, and in between frantic phone calls and L’s errands, he felt like he was losing it. How are the others so collected? Just going about their work as calmly as they ever have. Why aren’t they as scared as I am? I guess because they’re doing their job while I’m rooting for Kira. Ohhhhh fuck....

 

Finally, late in the afternoon, he couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m going to have a heart attack. There’s no way I can do this anymore. “R-Ryuzaki?”

 

L looked up from his laptop, a half-eaten cream puff dangling from his mouth as he typed. “Mmmghf?”

 

You’re just typing over there like nothing‘s happening at all! “Ca-can I talk to you alone for a moment?” He shifted on his feet, eyes downcast.

 

L took the cream puff and set it aside. Finally ready Matsuda? He resisted the urge to look at Light; he knew Light was watching this and had been watching Matsuda all day. “Of course.” He leapt up from his crouch and motioned to Watari’s office, opening the door and holding it open as Matsuda followed him inside. Soichiro was busy on the phone, still pacing and huffing, and didn’t even look up as they left. His superiors had assented to his going to the SPK and exchanging information, so he was getting briefed by his higher ups about how to approach the situation going forward.

 

Matsuda wrung his hands a little as L closed the door and jumped into the overstuffed chair by the fire. “Ryuzaki...I...” Those big grey eyes. He’s going to be so disappointed in me. “Here.” He thrust a folded letter into L’s hand then turned to look into the fire, ashamed. He'd written the letter yesterday but hadn't worked up the nerve to give it to L yet. I can’t face you. I’m a disgrace.

 

L gingerly unfolded the letter and held it up in his fingertips. Perfect. “Your resignation from the Kira task force.” He smiled slightly but wiped his face blank again before Matsuda turned around. He slowly lowered the letter and met Matsuda’s anguished eyes. Then he crumpled the letter up and tossed it smoothly into the fire. “I’m afraid I can’t accept it.”

 

Matsuda’s mouth fell open as he watched the letter burn. He stammered in indignation and a little bit of panic, “But...but...but...You have to!”

 

L tilted his head, a finger brushing his lip, “Why?” You can do it Matsuda. Say it.

 

Matsuda was going a little red in the face, fists balled at his sides. “Because...because...I saw...saw the justice for the crime victims, how they felt about all of it and...I AGREE WITH KIRA! I’M A BELIEVER!” That was louder than I meant it to be. He covered his hands with his face. “Oh no...I’m so sorry Ryuzaki...I’ve let everyone down...”

 

L, very quietly, “You agree with Kira? And you’re absolutely sure?” You better be sure, for your sake...

 

Matsuda nodded behind his hands. “I suppose you’ll tell the Chief.” He let his hands fall away and he slumped down to the ground in a pathetic heap. “Of course you will...”

 

L stood up and walked over to him, crouching in front of him. “Matsuda...”

 

Matsuda started blubbering when confronted with L’s searchlights. I cannot hide. “My career’s over.”

 

L put a hand on his shoulder. “No Matsuda, it’s not.”

 

Matsuda looked up, confused (as usual), “Huh?! I’m on the Kira task force and just told you I support Kira! That I want him to win!”

 

Very quietly, L whispered in his ear, unable to hold back his smile now, “Light’s Kira.” He stood up, letting that sink into Matsuda’s dense skull. “And so am I.”

 

Matsuda immediately stopped his blubbering and his eyes went the size of dinner plates. YES! Somehow...I didn’t know it but... I knew it! “Light....you both?! ARE KIRA???!!!” His frozen face slowly broke into an amazed smile.

 

Light opened the door to Watari’s office and walked over to Matsuda, taking out his earpiece and handing it to L. He knelt down beside Matsuda and grinned wide. “How does it feel to meet your god?”

 

Matsuda tried to say a few words, but they all got jumbled in his rather flailing excitement. Light laughed softly, “I just need you to say one word Matsuda.” The word they all must say. He leaned in and whispered it in his ear, “Kami...”

 

Matsuda’s eyes went even wider, thinking how a student had started all this, had changed the world in a matter of months. And I can be a part of it. I can help people, those victims, their stories will never leave me. More, give me more...He whispered, starry-eyed as a fanboy confronted with his idol, ”Kami...”

 

Light extended a hand down to Matsuda who stared then grasped it and pulled himself to standing. “Welcome to Kira’s world, Matsuda. Your career’s just getting started.”

 

—————

 

“The helicopter’s on the roof, sir.” Watari’s ‘W’ glowed bright on the screen. “The SPK’s waiting for the Chief.”

 

Light glowered a little at this. He was slightly annoyed that his father had agreed to it so easily, and felt nervous as to what Near and the SPK were going to tell him. My Dad's the last one. The last one who believes I'm not Kira, and doesn't want to believe it. I need to keep it that way or possibly lose him forever. But there was no good reason for them to refuse sending him without making Near even more suspicious, and anyway, they had Near's true name now. That was Light's trump card, when the moment was right. He sighed, touching his Dad's arm, "You'll be missed Dad. Let us know if you find anything useful out."

 

Soichiro nodded, "I know you and L have things under control here. Don't worry, this will only make us stronger, smarter! More minds means we'll just catch Kira all the quicker." He looked up at the news screens, one showing an angry mob protesting in front of the police headquarters. Thoughtfully, "Its only a matter of time until they find out where Kira HQ is and come for us too." Back to Light, "And we can't hide from Kira forever, despite L's best efforts." He gave L an apologetic smile.

 

L caught the look from Light. He looked between Soichiro and Light, seeing some hesitation there to say goodbye. We can find out what they know this way, Light. Near trusts me. "Its only for a couple days Light-kun." But he doesn't trust Light. I hope this was the right decision. 

 

Light nodded, "I know...just..." He thought of his Dad lying in that hospital bed, weak and fragile, and pulled him into a hug, surprising him. "Take care of yourself anyway."

 

Soichiro looked slightly embarrassed to be hugged in front of the team, but hugged Light back anyway. "Of course." He pulled back, gathering his papers and files together, shoving them into his briefcase. "Now I shouldn't keep them waiting any longer."

 

And as he entered the waiting elevator, Light nearly stopped him, nearly told him not to go. Almost screamed at him, ‘I'M KIRA!’ just so he wouldn't leave.

 

But Light didn't.

 

----------

 

After the Chief had left, Kira HQ immediately felt different. It truly was Kira HQ now, in the way Light had always wanted it to be. He looked around--Mello, Matsuda, L, Ryuk. Beyond, I need him here too. No sense in hiding him now. He pulled out his phone and texted Beyond to come upstairs and then turned to L. "Alright, what's the situation in Tokyo right now?"

 

Mello looked up from painting his nails black, blowing on the wet polish, "Well....I think 'fucked up' probably hits it." He laughed and went back to painting. "Riots, protests, a few high-speed chases. Oh and they never did find anything left of the prime minister." He giggled.

 

L rolled his eyes and turned his laptop to Light, "Look, the website's gotten more hits today than it ever has. People are certainly paying attention."

 

Light bent over to check out L's screen, but looked up when he heard Matsuda’s sharp intake of breath. "What?" And then he noticed that L had snuck his hand up the back of Light's shirt and was stroking his back in a sensual way nobody would mistake for friendship. It had felt completely normal now but....yeah...Matsuda. Light laughed, "Yes Matsuda, L's with me in more ways than one. Probably better get used to that too." Light heard Ryuk chuckling above them, obviously enjoying this.

 

Matsuda was slightly in a daze after Watari and Mello had spent a couple hours briefing him on the ins and outs of shinigami and death notes and the like, but Light had to admit he'd handled it surprisingly well. But Matsuda blushed hard at that, and scratched his head, smiling a little. "I don't have a problem with it Light. Always thought you two looked ready to jump on each other."

 

Light smiled at his innocence. If you only knew Matsuda.

 

The elevator opened and Beyond came running out, jumping into Light’s arms, biting him on the neck. “Miss me?” He looked around and noticed Matsuda in the room and froze. “Uhhh...I mean...” Oh shit...

 

L snickered slightly behind his thumb. “Best get all the shocks out of the way at once Light.”

 

Light set Beyond down, laughing at the now truly confused look on Matsuda’s face. “Yes, this is...B.” Better go with that...Matsuda knows Beyond Birthday killed Mogi. “He’s L’s...twin brother.” Not quite, but close enough for Matsuda’s reading comprehension.

 

Mello fell back on the couch, cackling with laughter. “Oh this is too good.” To Matsuda, “You can’t be a Boy Scout around here Matsuda.” He grinned, “Light fucks them both.” He grabbed some chocolate and ripped the foil. “Can you deal?” He took a bite and brought one platform boot to rest on his knee, leaning back and watching Matsuda’s look of shock tinged with awe.

 

Light shut his eyes. Oh Mello. “You make it sound like we just do it right here on the floor when work gets slow.”

 

Matsuda’s face was now beet red. He stammered, “Uh...that might be...distracting...” Holy shit...I really haven’t been paying attention.

 

Light rubbed his face and looked at L, smiling, “We don’t do that Matsuda, don’t worry.”

 

L cleared his throat. “Anyway....now that’s all cleared up.” He was blushing slightly too. The floor of HQ......“Shall we get back to work? Light, what’s Kira’s next move?”

 

Beyond sat down between Mello and Matsuda on the couch and grabbed a chocolate bar too. “Well, I have some information you might like to know.” His red eyes flashed with mischief. “And a suggestion for your next...move.”

 

Uh oh. Light gave him a look. “And what exactly is that...”

 

Beyond broke off some chocolate and held it in his fingers with a grin. “There’s a Kira rally. Tonight. I saw it on the dark web.” His warm fingers were starting to melt the chocolate. He looked up at Light through the bangs in his eyes, “We should crash it.” Can you pass up the chance to witness their worship?

 

Light walked over and sat down on the coffee table in front of Beyond, intrigued. “A rally tonight? Where?”

 

Oh I thought you’d be interested. “Abandoned warehouse out in the shipping district, pretty out of the way.” He ate the chocolate then started to lick his fingers clean, staring at Light. “Looks like it might be pretty wild. More like a rave. And wouldn’t it be just swell if Kira decided to show up in the flesh, hmmm?” I see how your eyes glow Light.

 

L’s brow furrowed, deadpan, “Really...a rave? This doesn’t sound like a good idea B. Kira has to stay in the shadows, especially with the SPK in Japan now. Near already suspects Light is Kira.” You just want to go cause trouble don’t you? But I doubt Light can resist this. Ugh.

 

Beyond looked down at his marginally cleaner fingers, unmoved by L’s concerns. “Oh everyone will be in the shadows, L. Nobody gets in unless they’re wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.” Voice going lower, “They’ll be right next to their god and not even realize it.” He bit his lip and giggled.

 

Mello leaned forward with interest, “Whoa...sounds fun! Come on, Light, I wanna go! Nobody has to know who we are. And if anyone causes us any trouble, well...” He pulled a pair of golden pistols from the back of his pants and gave them each a quick kiss, grinning at Light. MY twins.

 

Matsuda looked around, feeling a bit unprepared. “Er...I better stay here and watch HQ...” Think I better stick to the boring work...

 

Light crossed his arms, amused. Let’s see what my Believers are up to. “Guy Fawkes masks huh.” He turned to Matsuda, smirking, “Think I got your first job as a member of the real Kira task force.” Time for them to meet their god. To Beyond and Mello, pretending to be stern, “And you two, you going to behave?”

 

Mello gave him a half smile and leaned back on the couch and pretending nonchalance, “Of course. No worries.” LET’S FUCK SHIT UP!

 

Beyond however broke out into a wide grin. “Oh you know me. I always try.” I feel the crazy in me tonight...should be interesting Light...

 

———

 

Matsuda handed Light the brown paper bag with some trepidation. “Got ‘em. But...be careful tonight, Light. And call me here if there’s any trouble, ok?” I won’t sleep a wink tonight will I? I feel like the parent of unruly teenagers, waiting up at home. Sigh.

 

Light took the bag and dismissed his concerns with a pat on the shoulder, “Don’t worry so much Matsuda. I’ve achieved this much haven’t I?” He headed down to the safe room where the others were waiting for him. But as soon as he stepped in the room he heard loud yelling, and saw L holding Mello and Beyond apart. He sighed, “Jesus, already?”

 

They all three turned to Light, and L spoke a bit wearily, “Light, help me out here.”

 

Mello huffed, “Tell him to give it back!”

 

Beyond dangled one of Mello’s guns above them, giggling, “I just wanted to look at it!”

 

Mello flailed for the gun just out of reach. “GIVE IT HERE!”

 

”Fine.” Beyond turned to Light and smirked, then licked the gun from the trigger to the end. He tossed the gun to a gaping Mello. “All yours.”

 

Mello held the gun in his fingertips, “EW GROSS!” He hurriedly wiped Beyond’s spit off the gun and shoved it back in his pants, going over to sit next to Ryuk and sulk.

 

”Causing trouble already...” Light walked over to him. He looked into red eyes then slapped him hard, turning his face. “Say you’re sorry.”

 

Beyond turned his face back to Light, his expression betraying that he was not at all sorry. Ohhh yessss. Do it again... He hissed, “So very sorry Mello.” Not sorry for how hard that just made me Light.

 

Light raised an eyebrow and pulled L towards him, into his arms. He pushed his fingers into L’s hair and kissed him, running a hand down that tight, thin body. L gasped a little but grabbed Light back, pushing into his hips.

 

Through the kiss, “Light...you better stop or we won’t go anywhere tonight.” L pulled back and smiled at Beyond’s glowering face, “And you better behave.”

 

Light opened the bag and took out the masks, “Mello give me your switchblade.” He gave Beyond a smoldering look. Mello dug into his pocket for it, having to arch up a bit due to how tight his pants were, and tossed it to Light. Light popped the blade. To Beyond, “Stand still.” Let’s ease the tension shall we?

 

Beyond’s eyes went wide as he looked down and watched Light cut a thin line under his collarbone and the immediate rush of familiar relief that flowed with the blood. He shuddered slightly, smiling as he gasped, eyes closed, “Ahhhh....” He opened his eyes to Light’s, “Yeah that’s better...thanks.....”

 

Light dipped a single finger in the blood and then traced a line under the eyes of each mask. “Now we’ll be able to find each other.” He handed a mask to each one of them, then turned to Mello with a smirk. “And you’re the designated driver.”

 

Mello laughed, “Sure.” He caught the blade as Light tossed it back. “I’m an awesome driver.”

 

Light motioned to Farippa and Ryuk. “Come on you two. Inside.” Ryuk phased into Light and Farippa into Beyond. He felt Ryuk's death note against his skin, under his shirt. Just in case.

 

He shut his eyes and let the scythe materialize in his hands momentarily, letting its power course through him and giving him strength as the others gaped at him. Its going to teach me something new tonight, I can feel it! He let it disappear again in a flash of sparks and smirked, "Let's go see if my followers know how to party." 

 

————-

 

Mello hadn't been kidding when he'd said that Tokyo was fucked up. After dark, most of the protestors had dissipated or moved to downtown, but the looters were out in force, which meant the police were out too. The chill autumn air whipped through the convertible as Mello expertly avoided the roadblocks placed through the city, finally getting to the warehouse in the nearly-deserted shipping district. But as they approached, they saw that it was deserted at all, just dark. Rows and rows of cars, motorcycles, and bikes lined the docks, parked haphazardly.

 

Light looked around, "Holy shit. With this many people, this can't be much of a secret anymore." He pointed to where Mello should park. "Ok, masks on everybody." He put his own on and they did the same.

 

Mello parked the car and giggled behind his mask, "Feels so subversive. But hey, not like we can use our real names here sooo.....we need like cool code names!" He parked the car and put the top up, and they all got out. "Oooh! I wanna be 'Seme'! Cause I owe him a LOT!" He motioned to the 'THX SEME' vanity plate on the Mustang and doubled over laughing. 

 

Light rubbed his temples and sighed, wondering now if it was such a good idea to bring Mello. "Definitely not."

 

L grabbed Mello's arm and they started walking towards the warehouse. "We'll call you M." We're definitely not calling you Seme, Mello. 

 

Mello whined, "Oh fine. So, we have L, B, and M--what about Light?"

 

Light smiled behind his mask as they approached the door, "You already know what to call me."

 

A huge bouncer was manning the door in an identical Guy Fawkes mask (without the blood), and was letting people file into the double doors behind him, light and music pulsing forth every time the doors opened and shut. The bouncer looked the four of them over, doing a bit of a double-task at the blood, but let them past with a grunt. Light gave him a nod and pushed through the heavy doors and stopped short, the other three behind him piling up and crashing into his back. "Whoa...."

 

The warehouse was enormous but it was filled to the rafters with overwhelming light and sound. Strobe lights and lasers had been set high and reflected off the fog softly billowing through the space. A makeshift stage had been set up at the far end of the warehouse, a sea of anonymous people dancing as the headphonned DJ on stage spun pounding music reverberating the walls, occasionally mixed with statements made in Kira's metallic voice. A projection screen above the stage was playing loops of public Kira kills---Lind L. Tailor, the prime minister, homemade videos that Light had never even seen but had somehow been captured by amateurs or passersby. In another corner of the warehouse was a crowded bar made of stacked metal crates, and the bartenders behind it were tossing cans of beer to the crowd and mixing drinks as fast as they could. Light sucked in his breath as his eyes devoured the spectacle. THIS. IS. AWESOME!

 

L pulled Light over to the side away from the door, "I think they know how to party."

 

Beyond looked around like he'd just stepped into a wet dream. "Ohhhh these are my kind of people."

 

Mello gave him a sideways glance, still a bit sore about being teased earlier, "Let's hope THAT'S not true."

 

L pointed to the balcony above, "We could get a better view from up there."

 

But Light wasn't going anywhere. "M, you go up there, get a good look around." He turned to L, "And how about you go get us some drinks. I'm not trusting B with it this time."

 

Beyond shook his head, "Bad idea oh my kami, else L will come back with nothing but fru-fru drinks. I better go too. To, uh, supervise." Its a good thing he can't see my face right now. And he dragged L off towards the bar in the corner.

 

Mello crossed his arms