A Death Note Carol

Paper World

Light opened his eyes to see only darkness.

"Present? Present! Where am I?" He called, but Present would not answer. It seemed the entity had disappeared off again. Light felt around to find he was in a small, rectangular space. Rocking from side to side, he was able to move it a little. So he was in some kind of box.

Just as he was pondering his next move, harsh light hit his eyes.

Gasping and repelling it from his sight by lifting his hands to them, Light lowly realised that someone was in front of him. As his sight adjusted, he lowered his hands to see L staring at him. Looking side to side in shock, he saw that he was amongst a rack of hung up clothes. Well, not so much amongst, more like in. It seemed he was non-corporeal as well as invisible, something he had previously assumed but now was proven as the clothes were going through him. Yet earlier he had touched the pages of the Death Note. Maybe it was something Present controlled.

Light was amused to see another assumption being true- all the clothes were blue jeans and long sleeve white tops. L was staring as if he had a difficult choice. He really was an odd man.

Looking at him this closely, without the pressure of being stared back at, Light analysed the mans face. He had eyebrows so faint and thin they were almost non-existent. It was funny really, how little hair L had aside from the top of his head. It was as if his body just put all its energies onto his scalp.

L tipped his head to one side like a bird, wild silken locks falling with it. For someone who, Light knew from months of being chained to him, considering washing your hair as merely dipping it under the shower head for a few minutes, L's hair was surprisingly beautiful. But then Luka's hair had been beautiful as well even whilst greasy and malnourished. "Maybe its his best feature," he thought, "L doesn't have many…"

But then he saw the dark grey eyes staring unblinkingly at him. "No they're his best because his talents rely on them. Everyone, aside myself, cannot bear their scrutiny. And yet they hide his true self from the world. There like his stupid camera's, he can observe everything but they are so lifeless they reveal nothing of him. Why is he staring at so much? It can't be me, his eyes aren't as focused and searching as when he analyses me normally. So what is he observing so closely? The clothes? They're all the same!!"

Slowly, L's eyes turned left, and he absentmindedly closed the wardrobe's doors after not taking anything out.

In the darkness Light was ashamed at how heavily he was breathing after holding his breath for so long; only L affected him like this. The Detective was like a ghost. A ghost that did not realise it was a ghost. L was the epitome of Lost Soul. So aimless, when not obsessively trying to solve the Kira case.

Stepping an experimental step forward, Light found himself in L's bedroom. He had indeed stepped through the wardrobe door. Turning left he now saw L was simply standing there, his head bowed. "Is he deep in thought perhaps?" Walking towards his adversary, he noted how quiet the room was. Tonight had been so filled with drama, horror and excitement, it was a shock to be back in the sombre mood of a fellow genius. The light that had seemed so bright when L had ripped open the wardrobe doors now seemed dull and unattractive. L went about the room, switching off each lamp, till only the blue tinted light emitted from his laptop screen touched the rooms surfaces. The room was now engulfed in shadow.

In this action, L's mood suddenly inhibited the room so much it felt like Light was drowning in it, like a swamp made out of grief and regret in its purist form. It was as if L was the core of a depression that now radiated out in waves, sadness rippling across the atmosphere.

This depression was a deep, dark, all encompassing loneliness. Depression was more than sadness, is that not what the experts say? Light had never really understood how it could be anything but a profound, long-standing unhappiness that only occupied the minds of those too weak to fight it with practical actions.

However, being in this room affected Light enough to have him reconsider this opinion. It was as if all of L's negative emotions had become physical; leaving his body they stretched out like shadows, touching and penetrating everything in the room. His inner demons haunted the limited space possessing the lamps, the settee, the bed, the table stand and all the other inanimate objects so that they became alive. The settee seemed desolate, the table mourned alone and isolated, each lamp a seed of dissatisfaction. The walls leaned in, dark tall and ominous suggesting that there was no escape; a cocoon of impenetrable sorrow in which stood this alabaster statue.

But his loneliness was more than loneliness; L had actually been forgotten, forgotten by the people who loved him the most. To be but a child and to know that your life was so irrelevant, so unimportant was it any wonder that L made no pains to draw close to anyone? That he in fact did the direct opposite?

Light could well imagine that L never truly connected to anyone after his escape from the Eastern bloc. Not the girl, none of the children at the orphanage, then or now, not even Watari. The children clearly loved him, but he could not give them presents in person, such was his desperation for solitude and quest to apprehend as many criminals as possible. He would not allow them to love him more; like a brother or a father. To the children he was more like a Father Christmas; he was an benevolent entity and at best a role model.

Light recognised such actions. He was similar in that he did not have friendships per say, only the adoration of his fellow man. Only…Light had chosen that path. It suited him. But was that L's way, really? Light could not help but smirk a little nervously at the thought that out of the two of them it was he, in fact, that was the anti-social one, and L would have been the society-loving, man-about-town, given the choice.

It was a weird concept that Light quickly eliminated as stupid.

How was it that L's emotions had managed to find expression on everywhere but his face? Light was almost too afraid to get closer, a suspicious fear that L was like some sort of vortex, sucking out all happiness and light and replacing it with a tone of melancholy. He had turned off all the lamps- who willingly sat in the dark, all alone, whilst knowing that out there everyone you know was happy and in company?

It was ironic that in the cove of shadows, the one bit of beauty was L himself, the source of unhappy feeling. The blue light reflected off his skin (rather than being absorbed into it, which would of happened if Light had been in L's place,) which consequently made L glow ever so slightly.

He looked ethereal.

He looked like an unconventional angel, or perhaps, a little like the Angel of Death. L certainly was almost Shinigami-ish in the way he looked and acted; the odd, angular body, the way he hunched over in that Neanderthal manner, his greed and queer obsessions.

So slowly that he hardly seemed to moving at all, L lowered himself onto his bed, steadily curling his legs up to his chest and bringing his thumb to his lips, one step away from actually sucking it like a toddler.

Suddenly he sucked in a harsh breath and lent his head onto his knees, rocking ever so slightly, a suggestion of trying to gain some kind of comfort. L was hardly aware that he was doing it; his body was doing it for him.

Everything he did he did so slowly; like every action was a chore; like his being was one long-drawn out sigh…

As he drew his hands through his hair (hands as white and pale as the moon, hair as black as obsidian onyx) Light wondered why L simply did not call Watari, did he not rely on the elderly man for the relief of any kind of discomfort?

Sudden movement from the bed alarmed Light out of his musings; L had leapt up and marched out of the room down into the kitchen. Light smirked. He understood this behaviour, this typical L behaviour! He almost laughed and shook his head. L, so strange and so greedy, of course his confectionery-based avarice would get him through whatever dark feeling he had had.

"Enjoy your sweets and chocolates," Kira thought, crimson eyes shinning with malicious glee, "you won't have many more chances after this night…"

All smug thoughts evaporated as L once again shook Light from his thoughts, this time by grabbing just about everything from the cupboards and literally throwing them onto the table. Pulling up a chair, he grabbed some jelly babies and threw them into his mouth barely chewing until he swallowed them. When they were done he moved onto a box of caramels, then to the bonbons, a entire family sized pack of chocolate coated biscuits, a bag of liquorice and so on. It was horrendous and disgusting but Light watched on in the entrancement of morbid curiosity. He had no idea L was this gross. It made his own teeth feel itchy and loose.

"L must have diabetes, he must…. I mean look at him…"

As Light considered this, L got up and took out several frozen puddings from the freezer. He unwrapped and put them all in the oven, still shovelling food into his mouth as he cooked.

"Dear God, it's an eating disorder. It has to be! Like some type of bulimia but only with sweets." Light frowned and put his hand between his eyebrows as if staving off a headache. "His OCD tendencies and bulimia must have merged to make this hybrid eating disorder. Does Watari know? He must do, he buys all the food. " Suddenly Light shot up his head. "In fact, Watari has never done anything to stop L's massive in take of unhealthy food! Does he know but not care? How can this be?"

L slowed temporarily, saliva tainted multi-coloured from the obscene amounts of sweets, ran down from his reddened, wet lips and down his chin. L's slate grey irises seemed flat, 2-D, like the painted eyes of a doll.

It was horrible to look at.

Flashes of Luka, the broken doll, swam across Light's mind forcing him to accept that Luka whom he felt for and L whom Kira hates are one on the same. L had never really moved on from when he was a child, the pain and the loneliness and the fear were still present. No matter how many criminals who caught; how many 'bad guys' were stopped, L was still the friendless, forgotten boy with no family and no clear past. L was the most obscure man Light had ever known, but what of that wasn't L's choice? Did L want love, friends and acceptance? Even at the cost of his life, being as unpopular as he undoubtedly was in the underworld?

"He said I was his friend. We both know that wasn't true," Light and Kira thought simultaneously, for a moment becoming one again. "But what if L wanted it to be true? So much that he lied to himself and revealed too much to me? And it was at his expense, because this is his last night on earth- alone in a kitchen guzzling every 'piece of happiness' Watari could afford him." It made Kira want to snort in derision, and somewhat embarrassingly, made Light just want to cry on his behalf.

"To L," said the voice of Present behind Light, making him jump in response. "To L, this is nothing but a paper world; flat, superficial, no colour, no life."

("Like in the room just now," Light whispered in the recesses of his shared mind. "All colour was stolen when the lights went out. He created his mind in the room.")

"But for a short while he had someone with him who wanted nothing from him. Someone to relate to. Someone to converse with. And suddenly he noticed the smell of the bakery, the vast amounts of movement upon the land and all the colours of the sky. But then," he looked at Light, "you became Kira again, your form twisted and your eyes rose-coloured. You wanted his subservience, his defeat, his praise, his death. Hell, you would take his very soul if you could. And he knows it too. The moment you went back to the demi-demon you worship, L went back to being in a desolate paper world. The only problem is that since he escaped it he now remembers what he is missing. He has regret."

Am I supposed to feel sorry for him?" Snarled Kira defensively (whilst Light cowered inside.) "He's my enemy and would kill me if he found out who I actually am. Some friend!"

"I don't expect you to feel sorry for him," countered the turquoise eyed Matsuda with an equally scathing tone, "he was lying when he said you were his friend. He knew that wasn't true. Besides, you do not have the emotional maturity to empathise with other people. But my job is to make you aware of your actions. Strip away the false humility and shallow piety and you will see that Light is nothing but a coward."

As Kira seethed, Light watched as L ran to the sink and threw up psychedelic sick. He then sunk to the floor.

"You have done enough irreparable damage as it is." Present was continuing, unaffected by Kira's glare. Was he talking to Kira at all, or the boy inside the Kira persona? "If you kill L tomorrow, we won't stop you, but you must understand the consequences. The suffering you cause on a individual scale is covered by me and Past, Future will help you understand the larger complications borne of your mass murdering. By us doing this, you will never be able to claim ignorance."

The last sentence scared Light; it was spoken like a threat.

L, almost painfully half crawled, half dragged, himself back to the table and continued eating. Light felt physically sick himself at this point.

"Hmm, this is going to go on for a while," sighed Present. "Its quite boring. Kira will be happy to know its because L is pretty damned sure he's going to die soon." He shrugged nonchalantly, his previous self righteous air gone.

"That's two people's night you've ruined. Tsk tsk. Not to mention all the children who have no parents thanks to you."

Light looked at him indifferently.

"You mean all the innocent I killed on accident?" He asked without feeling, thinking of Kyoko.

Present grinned and nodded.

"Well you don't need to show me them as well," Light replied trying not to raise his voice. He consciously avoided looking in L's direction, who was still eating sweets at a disgusting rate. "I know I made a mistake."

"No problemo. I'll take you home now kiddo."

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