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The Immoral Memory, The Lost Memmory

Chapter Text

It started like any other day. Light spent most part of the morning and afternoon looking for false clues on the Kira case and, when the night started following, Misa brought him some tea as the day’s excuse for hanging around the room L had chosen as their headquarters. Things followed as usual, Light trying to send Misa away, Misa insisting that, since she didn’t have alone time with Light, she should at least be allowed to stay around him, L pretending he didn’t see any of it happen, Matsuda saying something completely useless to the situation and the rest of the task force either ignoring them completely or watching with curious eyes.

At some point, Light finally convinced Misa to go back to her room by saying that he might convince L to let him go visit her later that night if she went at that very moment – which was just a goddamned lie, what with Light knowing L would either spend the whole night working on the case or trying to get some shut eye when Light did the same. Ever since meeting the detective, Light was sure L had never slept around them, but he had the faint impression that, on the rare occasions Light checked, the sheets on L’s bedside were a little too rumpled for whom spent the entire time just working on the computer.

He hated admitting it, even for himself, but Light more or less cared about L. They were enemies, sure, and that certainly decreased the level of affection that the teen felt over the older man. Still, L was also the only one Light had ever met that actually met his intelligence. L was a challenge, putting it lightly, and Light had always felt that things were too easy for him. Being a genius was good most of the times, except when he wanted someone to talk to, even if only in a friendly way. Seeing it from that angle, he couldn’t help thinking that, weren’t it for the Death Note, he’d like to know L more, maybe even hang out with him.

Then again, the Death Note was the only reason as to why they had met in the first place. With how different their lives were, Light doubted they would ever cross paths occasionally, who would say stop and take the time to know each other. Although L had never talked about it, Light was pretty sure that the raven haired man wasn’t Japanese. If Light paid very close attention, he guessed he could hear the faintest British accent coloring L’s words, but it was so unacknowledged that it almost disappeared. Of course, it could be that he lived there for a few years and couldn’t let go of said trait; yet, L’s features were also different from those who were born in Japan.

And it wasn’t just that. The different nationalities and life styles sure added to the fact that their meeting was unlike, but one point that constantly nagged Light was the fact that L was seven years older than him. His age, for one thing, L didn’t make a big fuss about hiding, and when he slipped that he was in fact twenty four, Light was glad he was already sitting down, otherwise he would have fallen. Even though it was obvious that their age difference was present, Light hadn’t even considered the possibility that it was this big.

So, as presented, it was quite clear by proven evidences that L and Light were never meant to be anything more than enemies. What surprised Light, though, was realizing that such statement brought some kind of defeat-like feeling to his being, his shoulders slumping slightly as he stared blankly at the screen of the computer L had designated for him. Once his eyes focused again, the brown haired took a look at the time, the numbers indicating him it was way over two in the morning. He gazed around him, gathering his bearings again, and noticed that all of the task force was gone already, aside from him and L.

Chancing a glance towards the detective, Light had to suppress a small chuckle. L had about three empty bowls of ice cream in front of him and syrup all over his lips. Only belatedly did Light understand that his timing was awful. As he watched, L’s tongue darted from his mouth and thoroughly licked at the sweet liquid, until his lips were left glistening with saliva. Normally, this sight wouldn’t affect Light in the slightest, but thoughts about L and meeting him in other circumstances haunted his mind more and more often nowadays.

Shaking his head to both wake himself up and send the images away, Light took a deep breath. Even if his brain insisted on showing him numerous pointless and impossible situations, he was now working for a cause. Making the world a better place was his only goal, and thinking about being friends with L when he should be figuring out ways of killing the detective just weren’t neither productive nor helpful.

For a moment, Light considered calling it a night and asking L to accompany him to their bedroom. The handcuffs had been off for a while now, but L was still too suspicious to allow Light to be away from him or have a room of his own. Most of the time, Light was fine with it; he had also found a bright side in this situation, what with being able to watch L’s every move almost twenty four hours a day. Light was convinced that, if he watched him long enough, he would end up finding some kind of flaw to the detective’s disguise, and then he would be able to end their little game.

When Light looked at the clock again, the sight of 5:08 almost scared him. Had he actually been thinking this whole time? No, it was worse than that; he had been thinking about L this whole time. Sighing, the teen stood from his chair and stretched himself, wanting to have his deserved four hours of sleep. “Ryuzaki? I’m going to bed, are you coming?” Light asked when he was already reaching the stair that would lead him to their bedroom.

There was no response from the detective, though, and when Light looked again, a frown painting his features, L was still facing the monitor. “Ryuzaki,” he tried again, somewhat annoyed that he had to repeat himself. But, one more time, there was only silence from L’s part. Light had already reached the second step of the stair, but he climbed it down and crossed his arms in front of his chest so that he could glare at L’s back. “Ryuzaki!” the brown-eyed called one last time.

Just as he finished the last syllable, Light froze. Almost in slow motion, L was falling from his chair. His mind became a typhoon then, thousands of thoughts going through it in less than a second. Had Misa remembered L’s name? Maybe one of the Shinigamis had done it, even if Light couldn’t fathom why. Remu was a valid option, considering Misa could have convinced her. Yet, that would mean the Shinigami’s death, and Light was fairly certain she wouldn’t risk her life like that, at least for now.

Those were all background noises muffled by a loud yelling to Light. Too late, the teen realized that he was the one screaming as he sprinted towards the falling man, throwing himself to get to him in time. They landed hard on the cold floor, Light wincing from the pain on his shoulder that had collided with the concrete. His mind kept telling him he should be glad that L was finally dead; that this was what he had been waiting for ever since before they met. Kira should be happy that the only obstacle left on his way was gone.

If that was the case, then why didn’t Light have the guts to press his ear to L’s heart and confirm whether he was dead? Something warm brushed against his neck as Light tried to gather the courage to move his head down. Startled, the teenager jolted back, still holding the detective with a fierce grip. His eyes burned, and Light didn’t want to admit that he didn’t want this; in the end, he didn’t want L to be dead. Which was why he hesitantly pressed two of his fingers to the older man’s pulse point, almost falling back with relief when he felt a heartbeat.

Swallowing, Light looked down. L looked as pale as ever, his lips dry and half parted. Upon closer inspection, it was possible to see the very small rise and fall of his chest, indicating that he was still alive. That was when Light’s desperation turned into anger. The dark-eyed had obviously passed out because of sleep deprivation. Steps reached Light’s ears before he could move to the next stage and start panicking over the fact that he was, in actuality, worried about L.

“Light!” came his father’s voice, the steps stopping almost as soon as they moved from the plastic of the stairs onto the concrete of the floor. Light ignored the call and simply knelt up, adjusting L on his arms before standing up and turning towards his father, the detective resting bridal style against his chest, his weight – not so – surprisingly light. “What happened to him?” the chief inquired as Light began walking.

Misa was the next one to show up on the top of the stairs, followed by Matsuda. “Light-kun! Are you okay, Misa-Misa heard Light-kun screaming!” the girl said, sprinting down the steps, and some part of Light couldn’t help but want that she would just disappear. Now that his brain had stubbornly decided he wasn’t going to kill L, there was no other reason to keep Misa around anymore. The realization that he wanted L to survive Kira hit him almost full force, and if it weren’t for the understanding that the detective would fall from his arms, Light would have lost his balance.

He remained upwards, though, and took a second to organize his thoughts. “Ryuzaki passed out and I thought the worst,” he explained simply, without acknowledging that, this time, he wasn’t lying when he affirmed that losing L was a bad thing. The spectators remained with their gazes turned towards him, even though they seemed less confused now. “I’m going to take him to bed and make sure he doesn’t need a doctor.”

With that, Light started climbing the steps to their room, cursing L for not having built the elevator on the level of the headquarters. “Misa will go with Light-kun!” Misa voiced just as Light turned the corner and pressed the button of the elevator with little difficult. “This way Misa can be sure that Light-kun will take care of himself, too,” she offered further, the simple sound of her voice making wonders to piss Light off.

“There’s no need,” the brown-eyed teenager assured, his tone final. Sensing someone was going to protest that it would be best if Misa went with him, he put on a smile and abused his acting skills. “We’re going to be fine, really, I can take care of the both of us,” Light said before entering the elevator and pressing the button to their floor, not waiting for anyone to answer him. If questioned later about his odd behavior, he would just say that he was tired and worried about L, which was still confusingly true.

Trying to ignore the fact that L fit excruciatingly well against his form, Light slumped against the metal wall of the elevator. At some point, L’s head had lolled to rest just under his clavicle, the detective’s warm and calm breaths brushing against the exposed skin of Light’s collar bone, making the younger repress a shiver. Acknowledging it was probably the most difficult part, but a fraction of Light’s brain was beginning to accept that he had...Feelings for L.

Once the doors of the machine opened, Light stepped out of it and directed them both to their room, avoiding looking down so that he wouldn’t have to see the rare peaceful expression that was settled over L’s face. Upon entering the room, he closed the door behind himself and locked it for no apparent reason other than that he wanted to make sure he would be alone with the detective.

After placing him on the bed and making sure he was comfortable, Light took a step back and tried not to freak out, the task now being almost impossible. Covering his eyes with one of his palms, the teenager hissed, looking for ways out of this situation. Thinking L had died showed him that his sanity wouldn’t survive if it did end up happening, especially if he were the one provoking it.

Pain sprawled over his chest as he considered the possibility. He hated not having control over his feelings, and everything related to L felt uncertain at that moment. What was he going to do if he couldn’t kill him? It had been the only task he had given himself from the moment he saw Lind L. Tailor on the television. There was always the option of turning himself in or abdicating the possession of the Death Note, but both of them meant he wouldn’t be able to create his new world and, really, was he truly considering it because of L?

Light sat down on the dressing table in front of the bed, supporting his elbows on his knees and his head on his hand. If he were to really think about it, while he didn’t have his memories of the Death Note he had thought Kira was a bad person. That whole time, he had affirmed the god he had proclaimed himself would end up destroying humanity, and he had believed it with all of his being.

So what was it with the Death Note? Immediately, images of people thirsty for power reached him. He saw as the men in his mind became crazier and crazier the more they got it, and how they thought they were doing something good. Had that been his case all along? What if Kira wasn’t a benefactor, but someone who only wanted control? No. No, it was all wrong. Kira was justice! He was justice.

That was when it hit him. He was justice? Light nearly fell from the table as he understood everything. What he did wasn’t justice. He was just one of them in his mind, the ones desperate for power. Of course he wanted to make the world a better place, but he hadn’t gathered, until that very moment, that the way he was doing it was oh so very wrong. Actually, putting it that way, a much better way of helping the world was what L was doing and…

As slowly as he could, as if not to scare himself off, Light raised his head, meeting the sleeping form of L. The detective was still in the same position that the younger man had put him, and something about it made Light realize just exactly why he had those strange feelings for L. Although adept to unusual and unconventional ways, what L wanted was to bring justice to the world, just like Light. Still, L didn’t need a supernatural artifact to do it.

Instead, he used his intellect and any resource available, but he would never kill someone to achieve what he wanted. He fought with all he had, and he was damn good at it. Light admired him, because he lived for his cause. If he asked Watari, Light was sure the man wouldn’t be able to say exactly how many cases L had already solved, and therefore saved thousands of innocent lives.

Hesitantly, Light descended from the table and stalked towards the bed. His admiration for L had been hidden for so long that it was as if he were seeing him for the first time. With his heart on his hand for everything that he had done – everyone that he had killed – Light noticed that L was beautiful. A small glow radiated from him, the sparkle of determination. There were huge dark circles under his eyes that Light had already seen, but only now understood that were the reflection of L knowing he could only solve that many crimes in his lifetime.

In awe, the teenager climbed on the bed, hovering over the detective. Light had no idea what he was doing; he only knew that he needed to get closer, needed to make L understand what he felt for him. The brown haired managed to catch himself when his lips were inches away from the other man’s. He didn’t stop because he suddenly had a panic attack upon figuring he had feelings towards a man, though. No, he only did it because he wanted L to be awake for this, wanted to believe that he would reciprocate this mysterious admiration.

Rolling to his side, Light placed his arm on his forehead. There was a thin trail of sweat trailing from his temple, but that was the least of his worries. Even though he had just come to the conclusion that what he was doing was wrong, he was still Kira. From his earlier memories of L, he remembered the detective telling him he would be sentenced to death if he ended up being the assassin.

Part of him wanted to believe that L wouldn’t do that to him, that he wouldn’t let him die as a murderer. But that was what he was, wasn’t it? In the end, Light had been the one to kill each one of those people, no matter how hard he believed it was a small price for a bigger cause. As he had already stated, what he and L had was a game, and if he surrendered himself, he would just be handing it to the detective without fighting back.

And then, what if L disappeared? What if, by some kind of miracle, L decided he had a better punishment for Light and then fled the country afterwards? I mean, he was only in Japan because of the Kira case, and if it were solved, he wouldn’t have anything else to do there, meaning he would leave Light behind.

Too tired to continue thinking, Light shook his head and stripped from his clothes, changing into the pajamas he had brought from his parents’ house. This whole thing was still new to him, he had to muster over it a bit before deciding anything. Surely he would come to a conclusion after he rested for a while.

Chapter Text

When Light first woke up, he was a little confused. No matter how much he looked around the room, he couldn’t seem to find L anywhere, and although it was true that the detective was an early riser, he would never let Light out of his sight. The fact that L had passed out the other night only worried Light further, and soon he had jumped off the bed, running a hand through his hair to try and tame it as he looked around.

“Ryuzaki?” he called, raising his eyebrows and looking in the bathroom. There was also no sign of L there, so Light headed for the outside, only stopping when the main door of the bedroom was opened before he could even reach it, revealing L and two cups of what smelled like a horribly sweet version of hot chocolate.

After kicking the door shut, L looked up to find Light staring at him. “Oh, Light-kun, you’re awake. I was hoping I could return sooner, but Matsuda insisted on showing me evidence he assured would be extremely helpful. As expected, though, it had nothing to do with the case,” the older man said, casually, handing Light one of the cups in his hold.

Shocked, Light accepted the drink, watching as L crouched on the chair by the window, looking quite interested on the rain that had been falling since the night before. And that was all good, Light knew L liked rain – he had told him once when they were working late –, but what his brain couldn’t wrap around was why L thought it was okay to walk around when you have passed out not ten full hours ago.

Setting his cup down after taking a sniff of it, the brown-eyed young man approached the other, concern coloring his tone. “Ryuzaki,” Light said softly. “Are you feeling okay?” he questioned, waiting a few feet away from the chair. Perhaps L didn’t want to talk about the past night, and Light would be totally fine with that; however, it was undeniable that L had to rest for at least two more hours.

The fact that the dark haired didn’t even shift his gaze didn’t go unnoticed by Light. “Why wouldn’t I be?” L threw back, downing the contents of his cup in one long cup. He saw Light’s own drink abandoned on the nightstand by the bed and pointed at it. “Aren’t you going to drink that? They’re pretty good.”

Still not fully understanding what was happening, Light shook his head. “No, I only drink coffee in the morning,” he informed L, following with his eyes as the man stood from his chair and took the drink, finishing it almost as fast as the first one. “L, you do remember that you passed out last night, right?” the brown-eyed reminded as softly as he could. L’s behavior was even odder than it used to be, and that was saying something.

“Ah, yes, I do recall that.” Setting down the cups side by side, he then turned to look at Light, studying him for a few moments before understanding dawned on his eyes. “You were worried about me,” L stated, giving no room for objections. During their time working together on the case, L had become extremely good at reading his expressions, and so Light simply shrugged.

There was no point in trying to deny it anyway. “You were cold,” he said in a low voice, just above a whisper. “I thought you were dead.” His arms automatically wrapped around himself, as if trying to protect him from the images that insisted on filling his mind. Just now the memories of what he had dreamed of that night were coming back, scenes like L’s funeral and life without him around.

Kira would have laughed at those nightmares, but Light could only shudder, and that was proof enough for him that the assassin had died at the same moment that L fell from that chair. Suddenly, Light felt something on his shoulder and turned around to see the older detective standing mere inches away from him, shoulders barely even hunched.

For a moment, Light was only capable of staring, because he knew L was taller than him, but he could never have guessed that it would make that much difference. “I apologize for worrying you, Light-kun,” the dark-eyed told him in a soothing voice. “It wasn’t the first time it happened, so I don’t even pay attention to it anymore. Watari says I should take better care of myself. However, I swore not to rest until Kira was caught.”

It was as if something had taken over Light. He imagined L working on several cases, passing out countless times because he wouldn’t allow himself to take a break, or even sleep. That, right there, was a man who was changing the world, and he didn’t care that he was destroying himself on the process.

“He’s caught,” Light whispered, gaze never leaving L’s. The admiration he had felt the night before couldn’t even be compared to the overwhelming feeling that was taking over his chest now, making it hard to breathe. Just like the detectives Light saw on the TV when he was younger, L gave up on his life to help the people, and that was what Light had always wanted to do.

Confused, L allowed his hand to drop from Light’s shoulder, the younger instantaneously missing its warmth. “Light, what are you talking about?” he inquired, serious like Light had never heard him. That was when he understood that the man he knew was not who L truly was. No, that was an act L used to protect himself even further, even if there certainly were some similarities.

Swallowing his fear, the younger man braced himself for whatever was to come. It was now or never, and he had come to a conclusion: L was worth much more than him; could do much more for everyone than he could. Light guessed that dying so that L could live was a small price to be paid.

“I am Kira,” were the words that left his lips next. If he didn’t tell him, L would end up working himself to death, and Light couldn’t let the world lose one of its most precious integrants. Yet, that didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid. Death was a very real possibility now, and although Light had never feared dying, he regretted so much. Regretted picking up the Death Note, killing everyone he did, treating so many people like dirt and, most of all, almost taking L’s life more times than he could count.

Exactly ten seconds passed after that. In that time, L just stared at him, probably waiting to see if Light was going to say it was a joke or something like that. When it didn’t happen, however, an expression of pure disappointment clouded over the older man’s features before his mask was back, harder than ever.

Reaching inside his pocket, L took a pair of handcuffs and walked until he was behind Light. Shaking, the younger offered both of his wrists and closed his eyes, refusing to acknowledge what would happen next. “Yagami Light, you are now under arrest for confessing to be the mass murderer Kira. You have the right to remain in silence as you are escorted to a prison with maximum security, where you will wait for the jury to decide when and how your death sentence will be executed.”

The metal was closed around his wrists with finality, and Light was sure that the fact that L didn’t even say something like ‘I knew it’ or ‘I win’ was even worse. In the end, it seemed that the great detective wasn’t so happy with the final result, even though the criminal had obviously been caught.

Covered in shame, Light followed as L pulled him towards the elevator, his breath quickening and his heart desperately hammering against his chest. God, if he knew that was how this whole story would end, he would have probably burned the Death Note as soon as he found it. But of course, life wasn’t how he wanted it to be, and so he was only left with the terrible amount of regret that was practically leaking out of him.

Everything only got worse when L pulled him out of the elevator and into the headquarters, where the Task Force, his father and Misa were waiting for them. “Light-kun!” the blonde girl was quick to exclaim, jumping from her chair in his direction. Upon seeing her, Light could only turn his head away, unable to look anyone in the eyes.

“Amane-san, please step back,” L’s powerful voice sounded, and Light could feel the surprise in everyone else at realizing that was really the man they had been working with the whole time. Part of Light wanted to tell L he was liar, that there was no use in changing his personality as well, but the simply couldn’t find his voice. “Yagami Light is now being escorted to jail while he waits for his sentence,” he said to the others, the coldness in his tone as he said Light’s name making the brown-eyed tense.

No other words were needed for everyone in the room to understand just what exactly was going on. “No, I won’t let you do this, Ryuzaki!” Misa tried again, pouting and trying to throw herself at Light once more, only to have L standing in the way. The girl stared at him defiantly for a few seconds before her eyes met Light’s, and the brown-eyed man knew it was too late for him to do anything. “If Ryuzaki is arresting Light-kun, he has to arrest Misa-Misa as well. I am the second Kira, and my fate has to be the same as Light’s,” she confessed.

Nodding his head, L asked Matsuda to hold Light before getting a new pair of handcuffs and locking Misa’s wrists. “Amane Misa, you are now under arrest for having confessed to be the second Kira. You have the right to remain in silence and will be escorted to a prison with maximum security, where you will wait for the jury to decide where and how your death sentence will be executed,” the dark haired detective repeated.

Even if Light had known Misa would do anything for him because he was Kira, he never would have guessed that the girl would go so far. Couldn’t she see that they were doomed? That there was no turning back now? Light made the mistake to raise his gaze in hopes of comforting Misa, but instead he only met his father’s eyes.

Memories of that day when the older Yagami had a gun pointed at him came rushing back to Light, and he more or less wished that L had actually loaded the weapon. It would spare all of the looks he was getting now, and he would never have to deal with disappointing both his father and the one he most admired; maybe even loved.

Light stopped in his steps towards the van that would take both him and Misa to prison when realization dawned on him. It was so obvious, how didn’t he notice it before? The period of time he spent without his memories of the Death Note was when he started truly paying attention to L, and when his secret admiration began. He had made sure to shove it deep down, but without having Kira clouding his thoughts, he had actually managed to get even closer to the older man.

And that was when he fell. Understanding that he was actually in love with L was a slow process that began after their fight at Misa’s room. They didn’t talk to each other normally for a while when it happened, and Light hated to admit that he missed him. For as much as he had tried, Light never seemed to completely fit in, because whenever he tried making friends, they wouldn’t understand most of what he said.

Until he met L. The dark-eyed man was the first that could grasp the concept of his words and give Light just as good as he was getting. This friendship of sorts had evolved, and although Light had never imagined himself ending up with another man, he wasn’t against it. Yet, now, when he finally accepted his true feelings, was also when he had just destroyed any and every chance he had of being happy.

As his eyes widened, Light turned back to where L was standing, hands on his pockets. The doors of the van where he and Misa had been put in were closing, and Light tried to stand up, because he couldn’t die before letting L know how he felt. “L!” Light yelled, but to no avail. L didn’t even spare him a second look, turning away before the doors had even fully closed.

Desolated, Light fell to his knees, the metal that the van was made off clanking as he allowed his forehead drop against it. Misa called his name. Still, he had no strength to answer her. No matter how many times he tried looking at it differently, the scenario always ended the same way. He was a murderer, he was going to die for his crimes, he had just disappointed his father to the point where he didn’t say a word as Light was taken away, and the last time he had seen L, there was nothing but coldness in his features.

If he were less of a man, Light would have asked himself how he had managed to screw things up so badly. However, the answer was right before his eyes, and it was even more obvious when both Ryuk and Rem showed up inside the van. “Heh, you really got yourself stuck this time, Light. What are you planning?” the male Shinigami asked.

At that, Misa gasped. “This was all a plan? We’re not actually going to die?” she joined, her tone filled with a hope Light wanted to feed. Yet, there was nothing he could do now, and, if he were being honest with himself, he’d admit that he actually didn’t want to do anything. His fate was coming to him because of his choices. The only way to change it would be turning back time.

“There’s no plan,” the brown haired answered, closing his eyes and swallowing around the lump in his throat. “This is the end.” There was only dullness to his voice, his brain showing him thousands of ways to escape the situation. In his pocket, there was a ripped piece of the Death Note, and Misa could easily reach for it. Finding the name of the driver of the van where they found themselves would be easy, what with Light knowing Rem was as devoted to Misa as the actress was to him.

Feeling his body lose its strength, Light fell to the side, his mind too exhausted to formulate escaping routes and still unwilling to give up. Truly, there was so much he could that it would be almost insulting to say they were being led to a place of maximum security. But he knew that L had thought about that; knew that the detective was well aware that Light wouldn’t try anything, and therefore putting more men on the case would be pointless.

In a rush of wind, Rem was suddenly floating above him, and Light only had the strength to open his eyes and meet her gaze. “You told me Misa would be safe, Yagami Light!” she reminded him angrily, her wings flapping incessantly. “How is waiting for a death sentence anywhere close to safety?”

Trying to calm the Shinigami down, Misa stood up and positioned herself at Light’s side. “Rem, it’s okay!” the girl assured. “It wasn’t Light-kun’s fault, I was the one who surrendered. He didn’t say anything about me being the second Kira.” Her words hit Light like arrows, and he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that she was still standing up for him, even if the only thing he had done for her was giving her false hopes and basically leading her down path that could only take them to certain death.

Taking a deep breath, Light was able to put himself on a sitting position, his back against the side of the van. “I am sorry, Misa,” he told her, immediately getting her attention. “There was nothing you could have gained from helping me, and yet I deceived you to make you follow Kira. This whole time, I have only lied to you. I know you don’t want to hear that now, but if we’re going to die, you have to at least the truth. Misa, I’ve never loved you. I didn’t even try, to be honest, and I didn’t want to. I only cared about becoming the new God, and only now I can see that my motives had been the wrong ones the whole time,” Light admitted, waiting for her to yell at him, or tell Rem to write his name on her Death Note.

However, that wasn’t what happened. Misa only sat by his side, a few tears leaking from her eyes. “I know,” she confessed, her voice cracking slightly. “I’ve always known, but I was happy with pretending. As I said, I loved Kira for his avenging my family. Still, I also said I loved you more than I loved him, and that didn’t change. Of course I didn’t want to die, who does? But I am happy that I will die by your side,” Misa finished, laying her head on his shoulder.

After that, they remained in silence. Light didn’t have a good answer to that, so he thought it would be better to let everything sink in. For the remaining distance to the prison, he allowed himself just to remember the happy memories he had gotten from this whole mess. His mind was more or less peaceful as he was locked into his cell, cuffs still hurting his wrists. Yet, every time a memory that involved L came by, Light could only hope that his fate would meet him sooner rather than later.

Chapter Text

Life in prison was nothing like Light had expected. He was sure someone would end up trying something funny with him, or that he would have to do heavy work. However, considering the fact that he had been locked in for being a mass murderer, he should have guessed no one would even let him out of his cell.

Most of the time, he just sat on the bed, legs drawled to his chest and arms around them. Before leaving him inside, the guards had unlocked the handcuffs and changed his clothes, and although he had no clue as to why they did in the beginning, now he understood that it was just another method of prevention, executed so that nobody would have to enter the cell to feed him or something.

His time imprisoned by L had helped. This time, his brain was a little more prepared for what was to come, and he had to admit that he was quite pleased with being able to eat using his hands when they slid food to him through a little door instead of having to use his mouth only, like L had forced him to.

It had already been about thirty days since his imprisonment, and he hadn’t heard from L once. Unlike he had expected, sometimes people were allowed to visit him from the other side of the door and, surprisingly, quite a few people did. His father was the first one to come. He stayed quiet for a long time after the guard announced his arrival, and when he did talk, he refused to mention anything regarding Kira.

Even if Light couldn’t possibly grasp why his father hadn’t cursed and yelled at him until he lost strength, the eighteen-year-old couldn’t say he wasn’t thankful for it. They chatted for a long while, talking about everything and nothing, and pretending the teenager still had a future ahead of him. Quite a few times, Light tried asking about L, but his father always avoided the subject, and in the end Light got the hint.

A few more days after his father’s first visit – he started coming at least once a week after that –, it was Matsuda’s turn. Whatever Souichirou had failed to throw at Light, Matsuda did with satisfaction, yelling until Light could actually feel how tired he had become. Although, in all honesty, Light hadn’t cared that much about the other man while free, now every single word felt like a punch, and by the end he found himself laid on the ground, curled around his own form, trying to protect what was left of his sanity.

Light didn’t talk much after that. Other people came around, like Sayu and the rest of the Task Force, but none had the answers he was looking for, and when they didn’t curse him for existing, they remained in silence, which, sometimes, ended up being worse. Sayu started crying at one point, and she didn’t stop until her sobs were too much for her to bear, forcing her to leave in a hurry.

As for Ryuk, the Shinigami simply disappeared after Light was locked in. He showed up a few times, always eating an apple, but he just hovered there, watching Light until the brown haired fell asleep. Whenever he woke up, he was alone once again, and wouldn’t see or hear Ryuk for the next three days.

True, the Shinigami’s appearances seemed irregular at first, what with Light not even being able to think anymore, who’d say count the days. Yet, once he understood the patterns, he started counting Ryuk’s visits instead. At visit number five, Light had asked him why he disappeared and reappeared so often. The Shinigami had just laughed at him and finished eating his apple, fetching another one in the satchel he always brought along.

Visit number ten never happened. Light waited, actually looking forward to have some kind of company aside from his own thoughts, but Ryuk never showed up. Honestly, Light was a little disappointed, what with that meaning he would be forced to stay with himself and his regrets; still, there was nothing he could do, and so he just lay there, facing the wall, until he was forced to sleep by his body.

It was now day thirty-one, and Light had been woken up by a loud clanking against the door. He sat on the bed startled, heart hammering against his chest, afraid that the day of his execution had arrived. When he saw the door opening, he was even more certain about it, and he had to swallow the lump around his touch.

The sight that met him was something he never would have expected. Walking into the cell and nodding at the guard to lock the door once more so that they would be concealed from view was L, hands slipping into his pockets and back straightening as soon as they were left alone, the eyes that had been wide while in the guard’s presence, now slightly pressing together while he leaned against the wall, bowing his head so that his hair would hide his gaze.

“L…,” Light was able to whisper, gripping the edges of the bed so that he wouldn’t throw himself at the detective. It was the first time he cared about how he looked ever since being locked in, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from L to look down at his once white clothes and make sure they didn’t look wrinkled, like he normally would have.

They stayed silent after that, L refusing to meet his eyes, and Light refusing to move an inch, afraid that this would end up being a dream. Ever since being arrested, Light had never had one good dream; it was always either nightmares or just a black void. That being said, seeing L not five feet away from him was enough reason for the brown-eyed to do whatever he could to continue having this illusion.

Another eternity passed before L finally raised his head, eyes lacking any kind of emotion, and locked his gaze with Light’s. “Why did you turn yourself in?” he asked, tone hard like when he had cuffed Light’s wrists and informed him about what would happen next. There was something else there as well, something that couldn’t be described as mere curiosity, and Light decided to hold onto there as strongly as he could.

Feeling shivers running through his body, Light tightened his grip on the mattress, knuckles turning white. Deciding to turn himself in for L’s safety had been easy, but it wasn’t something that he could simply tell the older man. Although he sincerely doubted L would feel bad for being the cause of his death, Light was terrible with feelings. He had always been, and after being Kira for so long, he had just stored them away, which meant that facing the man he had recently discovered to love was one of the last things he wanted.

Still, he owed L as much, and so he took a deep breath to try and stop his voice from shaking, never leaving L’s gaze. “The case was going to kill you,” Light told him in a low, small voice. “Either I would be forced to kill you before you turned me in, or you were going to work yourself to death for nothing. I…I couldn’t let you die,” the younger answered, chest clenching as he said the words.

Perhaps Light had chosen the wrong way to put it, because although L didn’t immediately leave the room, he also didn’t say anything, instead deciding to study Light’s reactions. He was looking for any signs of lies, Light noticed, and only once he didn’t find any did he deemed it alright to continue.

“What made you change your mind? Getting rid of me seemed to be quite a priority not long ago,” L pointed out, expression serious, not a trace of the socially inept man everyone had come to recognize as leader of the Task Force left in his features. It was slightly scary to see someone change so drastically, but part of Light already knew L’s personality had been an act.

For as much as Light could notice the struggle to remain in character, whenever they were alone while he still hadn’t got his memories back, L changed. The change was almost unnoticeable, but back then Light had started paying even more attention to him than Kira did, and so he could see, the way he didn’t hunch his shoulders all the way, how his tone sounded slightly stronger, or how his eyes were less wide than usual.

Trying to make himself look smaller, Light hunched his own shoulders a little. “When you passed out, as I have already told you, I thought you were dead. Part of me wanted to be happy, what with how nobody else would present as much of a threat as you did. But when I got to think about it, I understood that I wasn’t fixing the world, like I had hoped to; I was merely making it more difficult for people like you, who actually make a difference, to do their part,” he explained.

Actually talking about it was like lifting a weight from his chest. Light had no idea how L would react to his confession, but he was happy that he got the chance to tell the detective about how he truly felt about him. Those were certainly not the exact words he wanted to say; yet, it was a small part of it, and, if L stayed there a little longer, Light might be able to gather the courage to say the whole thing.

The dark haired man simply nodded at Light, though, and turned around to knock on the door, certainly sending a sign to the guard. Panicking, Light finally found the strength to stand up. “L, wait!” the teenager pleaded, feeling his world shattering once more. Just like back at the headquarters, however, L didn’t even spare him a single look as the guard opened the door.

“I love you!” Light let out, almost by accident. That made L stop on the threshold, form obviously tensing. A small spark of hope started growing inside Light’s chest. And then L began walking again, without even sparing Light another glance. Devastated, the brown-eyed man fell to his knees, not able to hold himself up any longer.

How could he have expected that, after everything he did, his confession would make any kind of difference? He felt as the tears started dripping down his cheeks, but he had to touch his cheeks to make sure they were there. Crying wasn’t something he did, no matter how frustrated or hurt he was, and feeling the water against his fingertips was actually one of the most terrifying experiences Light had ever gone through.

The next day, Light was told his sentence was to be executed in a week. His father had been the bearer of the news and Light had been able to hear how his voice cracked, only slightly, as he told him about it. Souichirou had done his best to keep himself together and try to give Light the details, but the brown haired refused to hear it. He was going to die in a week, and that’s all he needed to know.

That week he got a visit from his mother. She was mostly silent, like many of the others, but she also told him she understood what he wanted to do; that he had just made the wrong choices of how to do it. Light agreed with her, and proceeded to explain that was one of the main reasons as to why he had turned himself in. Sachiko, much like Souichirou, refused to talk about Kira afterwards, instead saying she would wait for him at home with his favorite pie on Saturday. His sentence had been scheduled for Monday.

Neither L nor Ryuk showed up anymore, and Light couldn’t help feeling their visits had been connected all along. Maybe L hadn’t given up on investigating him, just waiting for Light to strike the next move. Or maybe he cared about him, and wanted to know if he was doing okay in the cell. It was impossible, but Light allowed himself to hope.

Soon, the visits stopped completely. The last one he got was from his father again, three days before Monday. Once more, Souichirou had been chosen to give him the news, this time of Misa’s sentence having been executed the day before. Her funeral would happen Sunday, he was told.

It was in that moment that Light was convinced there wasn’t even a trace left on Kira inside him. If there was, he wouldn’t have been able to actually feel for her death. The impact was, in fact, stronger than the brown-eyed had expected, and he couldn’t sleep that night for the life of him. Or perhaps it was because he knew he only had three days left to live.

Considering everything, however, Light had been able to embrace his fate. He now felt as if his mission had been complete, what with his telling L how he really felt. Even though the older man had ignored him, the teenager was now more or less in peace. His feelings had never been something important to him, until he met L. Knowing that he would die with L aware that he didn’t hate – and in fact loved – him was enough to bring him serenity.

Monday arrived sooner than Light had expected. He had actually had a good night of sleep, still, and even had a nice dream. In said dream, he had never found the Death Note. There were some bits of the scenes missing, but he remembered graduating from college, starting his job at the Japanese police department, becoming a famous detective and, when he was about to wake up, Light remembered meeting L.

Since a loud noise had once again startled him from his sleep, Light didn’t get to see what would be of their relationship, but just being able to see L one last time, even if only in a dream, was more than he could have ever asked. Therefore, when the door to his cell was opened for the second time after he had been locked in, Light was ready to die.

What he wasn’t ready for, however, was the fact that people had been allowed to watch his sentence being executed. And not just anybody, he noticed, but his family, the members of the Task Force, and every single person he thought he had seen the last of and, in all honesty, Light didn’t know what to think about it at first.

Apparently, his sentence had been decided to be done with the lethal injection, a glass separating him from the audience, and two guards dressed all in white, aside from the other two who were currently holding him. Easily, they laid him on the bed and tied his wrists and ankles, leaving Light to stare at the ceiling. The bed was then lifted until he was upright. That was the moment when Light caught the last gaze he thought he’d see there.

Crouching on a chair not fifteen feet away from him, L held his eyes with the same wide ones Light had seen on him way too many times. Seeing L acting as Ryuzaki made Light’s stomach clench, and he more or less wished the man hadn’t come. Being allowed to witness L’s true personality was something Light treasured, but knowing that the last thing he would see from the other man was a lie had tears watering his eyes.

This time, though, Light refused to cry. He was aware of everything he had done, and knew he’d only be paying for his mistakes. After considering the matter for a while, Light then understood that was the reason why L was there. Although Light was literally tied and cornered, the detective still didn’t trust him, and so was waiting for him to strike the last blow.

Realizing that was probably as hard as when he saw L’s eyes hardening after his confession back at the headquarters. His words meant nothing to the dark haired man; no matter what he did, L would never believe he had actually fallen for him. Such realization made him bow his head, suddenly losing all strength he had left.

“Yagami Light, 18 years old, will today be executed for all the crimes he committed under the alias of Kira,” started a voice Light didn’t recognize. “His case was judged by the Interpol alongside with the famous detective L, and it was decided that his death shall happen this Monday, November 5, 2007, caused by a lethal injection.”

One of the guards approached him then, standing not too far away and yet not close enough to be within reach. “Do you have any last wishes?” he asked. The words made Light raise his head and meet L’s eyes one more time. No one could give him what he wanted, therefore the young teenager simply shook his head.

With that, guns were pointed to his head and another guard started looking for a vein in his arm. The whole time, Light refused to look at anything but L. If he was going to spend eternity in the void, he wanted to have something to remember. As the needle entered his skin, his breathing immediately quickened, his vision darkening on the corner.

I’m sorry

I wish it had been different

I love you

The last thing he saw before darkness enveloped him was a small hitch in L’s breath.

Chapter Text

Nothingness was dark. Light remembered Ryuk telling him that those who use the Death Note could neither go to Heaven nor Hell and therefore would be forced to forever stay in the world of nothingness. He had thought it would be exactly what the word meant: nothing. Yet, no matter how dark the place in which he found himself was, there was always a dot of light behind him.

It seemed to have conscience. Whenever he turned around, it moved along with him; still, as time passed, he could feel that it started growing. He didn’t know how long it took – it may have been days, hours, months, minutes –, but one not so special moment, as he tried to make himself remember the things that were slipping from his mind, the dot became so big that he could see what was in front of him.

From all of the things he could have expected, to see himself inside a glass box with L on the other side was probably the last. Desperately, Light ran towards the glass, his eyes wide and his hands landing on the transparent material. L wasn’t looking directly at him, he figured after some time. Apparently, it was as if Light didn’t even exist, like he had never been there.

And that’s how time started slipping past him. Light would lose himself in the huffs of disagreement L would let when someone talked to him through the computer, or just watch his back as he worked. It took him some time, but Light finally recognized the place as the first hotel in which he had seen the older man, everything exactly like back then, except that there weren’t sweets all around him anymore, or, really, anything. The place was only a dark room, with the screen of the computer being the only source of light.

For the fact that he was still able to see L even after his death, Light was grateful. However, being within inches of him and never being allowed to touch or talk was simply maddening. His glass box eventually became like a second skin, an outline of his body instead of the square shape it had once been. That was when he realized he was able to move around.

One day, L left the room. Light couldn’t bear being alone and, in a desperate attempt, followed him out. Nothing happened in the first moments, but the farther away from the room they got, the more claustrophobic it became under his second skin. L didn’t go far, only to the reception to ask for something Light didn’t really pay attention.

Ever since the light allowed him to see L, Light refused to move his eyes away, afraid that the man in front of him was nothing more than an illusion his brain had created to cope with the loneliness. When he started thinking about, it made so much sense that he immediately pushed the thought away, once again concentrating on whatever L was doing.

Sometimes he talked to Light. Those were the times when Light hated the glass the most, especially when the words ‘friend’, ‘lost’ and ‘grieve’ slipped past L’s lips. He never spoke full sentences, only fragments, but from what Light could gather, L was feeling lost. His job had been the one thing he had always thought about, until he met Light. Now, he couldn’t give himself fully to his cases anymore.

There were also times when L would get mad. They generally happened after he had gone several days without sleeping or eating, the bags under his eyes even more obvious. He screamed at the piles of papers lying around the room, pushed them away and proceeded to curl into himself in one of the corners, face hidden on his knees and hands buried in his hair. Light would automatically move closer when he reached that stage, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never comfort him.

They ended up falling into a routine, more or less, and although Light couldn’t tell how long had been since his death, he constantly worried for L. When he was alive, the detective barely took any care of his health, and now it seemed to have gotten even worse. Watari sometimes showed up to force L into eating something and taking a shower. The dark haired always came out looking slightly better, his eyes less glazed over; yet, as soon as Watari left, L instantly dropped his façade.

One day, L passed out again. Light panicked just like he had done all that time ago, his body moving on instinct to try and catch the other man. However, the only thing he could do was hovering above him, yelling words that hit the glass and came back to his own ears. Tears slipped from his eyes, because there was no way L was going to die after Light had just gotten him back and…

Light woke up with a start. His forehead was sweating, his heart was beating painfully in his chest, and it was incredibly difficult to breathe. He looked around, looking for L, waiting to see him lying on the ground, still without any assistance. The sight that met him, though, almost made him fall back.

From where he was sitting, Light could see his room, just like he had left it before entering the Task Force. That was when he realized the place in which he was sitting was extremely soft and, looking down, he saw his bed. He also noticed, at that very moment, that his second skin was gone. Could it be that it had all been a dream? No, that wasn’t possible. So what, in Heaven’s name, was happening?

Carefully, the teenager stepped out of his bed, slowly walking to the door and, after catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, realizing that the clothes sticking to his body was his school uniform. Swallowing his fear, Light turned the knob and allowed the door to slide open, Sayu’s yell of ‘Mom!’ immediately reaching him.

“Sayu…?” Light asked, and his sister gave him a smile from the door of her room, once again calling out for Sachiko. The younger girl looked frustrated, already wearing her uniform as well, although hers was much more wrinkled than Light’s. And that’s probably the last thing Light should be thinking about right now.

Steps could be heard from the first level of the house, and soon after Sachiko’s face could be seen from the bottom of the stairs. “I will be there in a minute, Sayu!” she told her daughter before turning to her son. “Light, you better hurry up or you’re going to be late for school,” his mother told him.

Not quite believing his voice, Light nodded. He entered his room once again, only to reach for his bag. Apparently, the situation hadn’t been exactly processed by his brain, since there was no way he would be back home, still in High School and, more importantly, alive. Feeling like he didn’t belong there, Light climbed down the stairs and stopped at the kitchen. “Mom, where’s dad?” he asked, his voice cracking a little.

Without looking up from the dishes she was washing, Sachiko shook her shoulders. “He’s working in a new case with the Interpol and couldn’t come home last night. You better not be late for dinner, though, because he promised to be here by then,” she offered with a smile before shooing him out of the house.

Dumbstruck, Light left for school, walking slightly slower than he normally did. He had already decided that his memories were way too real to be a dream, but what else could have happened? Maybe he had been given a second chance? And why would that happen? Also, if his father was working in an important case, could it be that someone else had found the Death Note? But that was impossible, because he still had all of his memories.

Those were the thoughts going through his mind as his teacher called his name, asking him to translate something. As always, he did so and sat back down, hearing the professor complimenting his intelligence. It all felt like a déjà vu, one that he was dreadful of. Knowing exactly what would happen next, he looked out the window on his left, just in time to see the black notebook falling.

As if he had been given a shock, Light fell from his chair with a scream, fear written in his eyes. What was this? Some kind of joke Ryuk had decided to play on him? “This is not funny!” he yelled to the skies, waiting to see the Shinigami that never came. Who did come to his aid, however, was his teacher, who tried touching him, only to have his hand slapped away.

Afraid of himself and whatever was going on, Light quickly took his bag and book and fled the classroom, ignoring the whispers of his classmates and the callings of his teacher. With all of his might, he ran towards the place where he had found the Death Note, seeing the notebook at the exact same place.

“Ryuk!” Light screamed, his limbs and voice shaking. “Show yourself now, you low bastard!” he tried again, this time hearing the oh-so familiar laugh behind him. Turning around as fast as he could, the teenager shook his head, pointing at the cursed notebook. “What’s happening? Why am I not dead? What’s that doing here again? Why did I come back in time?”

After one more fit of laughter that would have Light strangling him if only he could reach his neck, Ryuk took a shuddering breath to control himself. “You have no idea how amusing this is, Light!” the Shinigami said with his big grin, floating to the other side of Light to show him that people were staring at the brown-eyed boy like he belonged in a madhouse.

Truly, he agreed with them. “This is not funny!” he insisted. “Answer my questions now! I remember very well everything that happened, I know I died, I know because I went to nothingness. Why am I back? And why wasn’t nothingness a big pile of nothing? Tell me exactly what the Hell is going on, Ryuk, or I will personally see that you never get to eat another apple in your goddamn life,” Light threatened, hissing under his breath.

Again, Ryuk threw his head back in laughter, his whole body shaking. “Calm down, Light, no need to make such drama! I will tell you all you need to know, but not here. No matter how much you don’t care if people think you’re crazy, you’re the only one who gives me apples, and if you are thrown in a mental institution I doubt they’ll let you feed me,” he pointed out.

Trying to calm himself down with the stupid logic, Light started heading to his house, only to be stopped by Ryuk. “Don’t forget the Note,” the Shinigami reminded, only to have the teenager looking at him as if he were the crazy one. Sighing, Ryuk rolled his eyes. “You’ll need it, believe me.”

No, Light wouldn’t need it, thank you very much. However, he still took the Note, because he knew Ryuk would never follow him if he didn’t, and he just desperately needed answers. Being careful not to touch it much, Light took the Note between his thumb and forefinger, instantaneously dropping it again once he realized who had done it in the past.

Taking a deep breath, he gathered all of his courage and stuffed the notebook inside his bag, Ryuk falling him as he started walking, laughing every other block. By the time he reached his place, Light wanted to kill the godforsaken Shinigami, and he couldn’t be more thankful that his mother still wasn’t home.

They headed straight for his bedroom and, just for safety, Light locked the door. He wasn’t so sure anymore if he wanted to know what all of this was, but he needed to. If he was still alive, it meant that L also was, and, maybe, just maybe…“Talk,” Light demanded, leaning against the door as Ryuk settled on his bed.

“Have you ever heard about regret, Light?” he inquired, eating an apple he had certainly stolen from the kitchen on their way over. Confused, Light hummed in agreement. “Regret is an emotion that isn’t often experienced by owners of Death Notes. When a human regrets extremely deeply what they did with the notebook, they are given a second chance. Most of them end up doing the exact same thing all over again,” Ryuk shrugged. “But that’s not what you wanted to know. You were thrown in the world of nothingness for only a small while, and the grief and emotion you felt when you saw that guy passing out again, just like when you turned yourself in, were enough to give you that second chance,” he explained.

Feeling as if his legs couldn’t hold him up any longer, Light slid down his door, looking for more support. “Why didn’t I stay longer in the world of nothingness? Before being brought back, I became some kind of spirit or whatever,” Light remembered, trying to sort out every single detail about his current situation.

Finishing his apple, Ryuk looked up, as if thinking. “You were shown how that guy reacted after you died. He was the one for whom you gave the Death Note up and, to see if your regret was enough to grant you a second chance, you had to prove having changed. That’s why you only came back when you didn’t regret turning yourself in, even after he almost killed himself over work again.”

It didn’t made sense; at all. Of course, the whole story with the Death Note didn’t make sense, but Light had read all of the rules, there wasn’t anything about regretting and second chances. Why would Shinigamis even grant second chances? Yet, Ryuk had always said he wasn’t going to help L or Light, so there was every possibility that the Shinigami had hid this one vital piece of information.

“He saved me,” Light whispered, mostly to himself. Wait, could it be that…? With his eyes even wider, Light raised his head towards Ryuk. “He knew!” he declared. “That’s why you showed up at my cell, you were investigating me in his behalf. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that...You told him what was going to happen to me. He…He forced himself into starvation and sleep deprive to save me,” the teenager concluded in disbelief, his eyes stinging.

Ryuk sat up then. “More or less, yeah. I mean, I did agree on telling him what he wanted to know after he promised me as many apples as I could eat, and he did know you were probably going to be sent back to prove your worth. But don’t fool yourself, Light; he only gave you the final push. Funny, isn’t it? You spent most of your time together trying to kill him and he almost killed himself to save you,” he laughed.

Bile rose in his throat at the Shinigami’s words, making Light hold his stomach and cover his mouth. The world started spinning around him and Light could only lower his head once more, hiding it on his knees and trying to stop the terrible trembling that had taken over his body. Why? Why had L done that? Light was dead already, why did he have to basically kill himself as well? He had succeeded, he had caught Kira. Why wasn’t it enough?

“I’m not using the Death Note again,” the brown haired told Ryuk as soon as he found his voice yet again. His eyes held certainty and determination once he stood up, heading for his bag to take the damn notebook, intending to burn it down. He forcefully opened the door of his bedroom, heading out of the house to find a place where to burn the Death Note.

Just as he had unlocked the front door, Ryuk stopped in front of him, trying to make him stop. “I wouldn’t do that yet, if I were you,” he warned as Light walked right past him. And he would have ignored the Shinigami, if it weren’t for the yet. Stopping Light crossed his arms and faced him, waiting for an explanation. “If you don’t become Kira, you’ll never meet L.”

Frozen in place, Light tried opening his mouth to ask just what the Hell Ryuk was talking about. Deciding to brush the matter off, the teenager simply turned on his heels, starting back on his steps. “Don’t say stupid things, Ryuk,” Light berated him, even as his feet felt heavier than before, making him second guess himself.

“Think about it, Light,” Ryuk continued, like the brown haired had never even said a word. “You two only met because of the Kira case. He’s not even Japanese, why would he come here? Almost nothing ever happens around here, and I doubt that it will catch his attention, even if it comes to happen.”

So that was the catch. Things had been all too well for Light, there was no way it would remain like that. In the back of his mind, he had been sure that he had been given a second chance so that he could show L Kira wasn’t the only part of him. And now he was being forced to become the serial killer yet one more time, if he ever wanted to see the detective again.

Closing his eyes to get a hold of himself, Light gripped the notebook stronger and turned back to his house, deciding to keep it there until he decided what would be his next step.

Chapter Text

Three months had already passed ever since Light found the Death Note for the second time. Just like in the first one, he created a security system to protect it inside his drawer and everything felt pretty much the same, except for one thing: he still hadn’t decided whether he was going to use it or not.

You see, if he thought about it, he could try everything again, and maybe succeed this time, but then he remembered exactly why he was there and who had sacrificed himself for him and he simply couldn’t do it. He missed L. After spending part of his time while dead with him, the teenager had grown used to the older man’s presence, and now being inside his room felt way too spacious.

Aside from that, there was also that annoying part of his brain that never failed to remind him how badly in love he still was with the eccentric detective. It was like a curse; no matter what he was thinking about, his brain would always end up leading him back to L, even in the most awkward situations.

A clear example of that was the fifth night after he came back. His mother had prepared dinner and his father had managed to come home from work, which meant they all dined together that evening. Light remembered trying to pay attention to what his father was talking about, to how excited he sounded about this new case, but as soon as Souichirou mentioned justice, the brown-haired boy’s mind automatically led him towards L and what he was going to do with the Death Note.

At one point, Light felt like breaking down. He just wanted to escape, to not have to worry about anything else in the world. To provide himself with that illusion of peace, he took the Note from his drawer and went out, heading to God knows where. When he saw himself again, he was standing in front of the tennis court in which he and L had had their match.

In all honesty, he wanted to scream. The teenager still hated himself for everything he had done in the past, and he was actually considering doing it all again, just so that he could meet L and end up in the same place. Did he really remember how he had felt when he died? How terrible it had been to be in the dark, to look around and see nothing; feel nothing?

Apparently not, because none of that seemed to matter. He just needed to see L one more time, remember how he hid himself behind that childish façade, even though now Light knew that was nothing more than a lie. But most of all, he wanted to see the real L, the one he had met for the first time when the detective was cuffing him after his confession.

That was the L Light had fallen in love with. During all of their moments together, the younger man noticed small hints to another personality slipping into L’s form, like how he would stand completely still when something didn’t occur according to his plans, or how he couldn’t help but press his fingers into his legs when he got really mad.

Those were the main things Light had noticed, but he knew there was so much more. At his last breath, Light’s last wish was that things had happened differently between them, only so that he could get to know the L he merely got glimpses of, for that was the man he admired and wanted to be equal to.

And even after reminding himself of all that, Light still couldn’t help but hold on tight to his pen, as if it were some kind of sword. Kira had died at that day when L passed out, that much Light was aware of. Yet, never seeing L again was too much for him to bear. All his life, the dark-eyed man had been the only one who had matched him at anything, really, and Light was going crazy trying to accept that it would be best if they never met.

I mean, he was basically giving up on the love of his life. Light stopped at that. Was L really the love of his life? He thought about the admiration he felt towards him, the love he knew was gathered inside himself, and he could only reach one answer every single time he asked himself that question: yes, he was.

Such realization only made it even more difficult. Because Souichirou’s case was so confidential and important, Light couldn’t help him with it, which meant he ended up getting even more time to his thoughts. He knew all of the answers to his upcoming tests and therefore didn’t have to study, so he spent most of his days lying on his bed, either staring at the ceiling or with his face buried in his pillow.

Ryuk followed him. He would let out the occasional laugh, probably at the piss-poor state in which Light found himself in most days, but mostly he just stood there and ate the apples Sachiko left in the bedroom. Their routine had changed drastically since the last time, and Light didn’t know if he was thankful for that or not.

Of course, he was glad that now he was aware of how much chaos he had caused. However, that also meant he knew just exactly what to do not to make the same mistakes. There was still a small voice inside his mind telling him to try being God once more. Still, it was completely overshadowed by the memory of L and what he had done to help him.

There were times in which Light tried to overanalyze the detective’s actions. Light was already in jail, he was already sentenced to death, only waiting for his execution. Why would L still worry about him? Okay, he had reached the conclusion that L was afraid Light might pull off a final trick, but what about when Light died? What was his reason to fight then?

The nights were the worst. During the day, there was always at least a small noise in the house, be it of Sayu’s giggling, or of the TV downstairs. At night, however, everything was dead silent and, more often than not, Light found himself putting on headphones and blasting any kind of music the loudest the device allowed him to, only so that he wouldn’t be alone with his thoughts anymore.

This whole situation was proving to be way too much for him to handle, and he was starting to believe he wouldn’t be able to. Would it be enough if he only wrote one name in the Death Note? Would L come looking for him? Probably not. Would Kira rise from the ashes? Light didn’t think so.

However, that fear was always constant. Kira had been a part of him once, and, according to Ryuk, if he ever wanted to see L again, Kira would have to appear once more. Light hated that he was almost set on bringing him back, because he knew L was the only one who could fill the emptiness he felt every time he opened his eyes.

One not so specific morning, three months and a half since he had found the Death Note, Light decided he was done. He couldn’t do it anymore, he just needed someone who he could talk to and be himself. Obviously he would have to pretend he wasn’t the assassin he was about to become for the second time, but L had been the closest thing he had had to an equivalent and he actually ached to talk to him.

As he walked by the living room to get to the front door, he was able to catch snippets of what his father was saying, about how he and his team had managed to finish the case the night before, and had said goodbye to someone who became a dear friend to all of them. Light stopped listening at that, because he refused to become Kira again in his own house, and so he was desperate to find somewhere in which he could just sit down and write the first name.

Fifteen minutes later, Light was sitting on a bench in front of a lake. It was a park not too far from his home, but closer to the police station. He had no idea as to why he had chosen that place, he had just been led there, he guessed. It was peaceful around him, only a few birds singing and wind brushing and singing against his skin, almost telling him to forget about his decision and go back home.

But he couldn’t. He had already done so much for L, including literally giving up his life, and he didn’t care if he had to do it again. Maybe things would be different this time; perhaps Light could stop with the killings, or give up the Death Note, like he had done previously, and never formulate a plan to get it back.

Way too many options and possibilities ran through his head at that moment, and meanwhile he just kept on sitting there, staring at the horizon with the Note clutched in one hand, his pen in the other. His breathing had started to quicken as his resolve began hardening, and at one point he had to bring his legs to his chest and try to breathe calmly, otherwise he knew he was going to pass out.

There was just such a heavy weight on his shoulders, his fingers feeling numb as he licked at his lips and lowered his head, bringing the Note to his lap. He noticed how his position looked like L’s and immediately changed it, though, refusing to have anything to do with him while he literally wrote drown his fate.

His hand was shaking as he opened leafed through the Death Note towards the first page, ignoring all of the rules he knew by heart. Even though his breathing had more or less slowed, his throat felt tight and his heart was now beating painfully against his chest and ribcage, signs that he was close to having a panic attack.

This was scary. In fact, it was probably the scariest thing Light had ever done in his whole life, for he might as well have decided to write his own name on the note. Except he hadn’t. And he knew exactly why he was doing it, and the thought of L gave him strength. Not to kill, but to do anything to see him again.

With a deep breath, Light led his pen towards the first page and started writing the…

“I believe it is rude of me to ask that when I don’t even know your name, but shouldn’t you be writing in your diary at home, if you’re so afraid of someone reading it?” sounded a very familiar voice from behind him, long form towering over his own.

Light stopped immediately. His breathing paused completely, but his heart started beating even louder and faster than before, because although the voice was definitely recognizable, it didn’t held the usual carelessness it did. Honestly, it almost sounded fond, as if he was worried about Light.

Trying not to look as shaken as he did, the teenager very slowly turned around, his lips parting at the sight of the man he had missed with all of his strength. It wasn’t just L standing there with a soft smile; it was L standing there with a soft smile and baring himself to Light, as if he didn’t have any reason to hide behind masks.

That alone would have made Light cry, but since he knew it would probably be uncomfortable for the older man – who, by the way, was almost not hunched at all – to see someone he had just met break down in tears at the sight of him, he managed to control himself. He didn’t trust his voice, however, since he knew it would break if he tried to speak, and so he simply nodded and offered back a smile of his own.

And that was when it hit him. All of those moments, the hints had always been there, just waiting for him to pick up on them. Souichirou had talked so many times about his cases that Light hadn’t even paid attention when he did, but the brown-eyed remembered his mother saying something about his father having help directly from the Interpol.

Clearing his throat at the realization of what the sight of L meant, Light closed the Note and stood up, wiping away one stubborn tear. “Yes, I believe you are correct. However, this is not my diary,” he assured, looking at the black cover and deciding to burn it to ashes as soon as he got home.

L raised his eyebrows then, his gaze following Light’s every movement. “Oh?” the dark haired asked, moving to stand beside the younger man, instead of behind him. That moment was when Light was once again reminded of how tall L was, but this time he realized he actually felt protected under his shadow.

“This is just something I have to get rid of,” Light said decisively, his tone leaving no room for discussion. The teenager looked back up to meet L’s eyes after making sure the Note would be safe against his chest. “I’m Yagami Light, by the way,” he introduced himself, more out of courtesy than expecting a reply.

However, as always, L didn’t fail to surprise him, offering yet another smile, this one looking almost fond. “L Lawliet,” the detective introduced himself, and Light couldn’t tell why, but he had a feeling that, this time, things would end up very differently.