A Death Note Carol

The Boy who would be God

Light suddenly sat up, still screaming.

He was in his bed, in his own room. Gasping he wiped his brow. It was soaked with sweat. Soft rays of morning light shone through his open window. He stretched out his hand and touched the pale rays stretching across his bed. How long had it seemed that he had seen some sort of light? How long since he had dared to hope...?

"Future?" He called softly. Where was he now? Was this a new scene? He wasn't sure he could take much more. He felt no presence, malevolent or otherwise. He felt no strange feeling within himself. He recognised his own bedroom and it looked perfectly ordinary.

What...was happening?

Slowly he leaned out of his window. It was cold and crisp despite the sun, there was a faint taste of electricity hanging in the air; a warning of on-coming storm. But for now all was calm and quiet.

Suddenly filled with energy, he pulled himself out of his tangled blankets (all with very little poise and dignity) and ran out into the hallway and down the stairs. He heard his mother humming softly to herself. He also heard his sister talking animatedly, supposedly to mother.

Light stood outside the living room, taking in deep breaths. He took refuge in the sound sthey made. They were so ordinary and so innocent. But Light also knew that if he walked in and they could not see him, that he would break. There would be no way that he could standing out in the hallway until he felt ridiculous, Light finally pushed the door open. The wood beneath his hand was rough and tangible. He was part of this place, he was sure of it.

Inside a wonderful sight greeted him. His sister, young, innocent, beautiful and very much alive sat at the kitchen table. She waved her arms around in elaborate motions as she tried to tell her tale. He smiled. A real smile. As if feeling his presence she turned and smiled back. The smiles were twins- perfect replica's of one another.

"Good morning, Sayu. Mother." Light felt ecstatic. They could see him! He could talk to them! "Sayu, what day is it?"

"It's November the fifth," she grinned cheekily. "It's not like you to forget days and dates."

Light sat down opposite her slowly allowing relief to fill his body. It was the Next Day. It was Tommorow. He had actually made it! He almost felt giddy with shock and delight. He had survived the Night with the Spirits. They had finally let him go.

"I'm not perfect," he grinned back at her, stole a piece of her breakfast and avoided her swiping her hand at him in response.

It felt nice, that little moment in the kitchen. All that they were doing was eating breakfast, their mother doing the dishes. Yet it felt so warm and comfortable. Before Light would have been bored, watching the clock and waiting for the right time to leave. Where now, he just felt happy that he had a family and that he was, for all his faults, greatly loved.

He looked over to Sayu, who was acting silly and getting toast crumbs all over the table and on her face. "She would die for me," he thought with awe and wonder. "She would die for me."

Light dressed in his usual tan suit thinking carefully. He would have to face L today. And he would have to tell him the truth. He wasn't sure how L would react, but Light was afraid. Despite the suicidal thoughts of the previous night, he didn't want to die now. He was finally happy. The previous night had felt like a lifetime. It had been full of him feeling awful. And worst of all the feelings of anger and disappointment were mostly at himself, the person he used to rely on the most.

Plus, now his family were now all alive and in their right minds. And he didn't want his family to suffer any more than they needed to. He knew they would be devastated with his death, never mind if he got executed for murder. How could he leave them now, after he only just reconnected with them?

Maybe he could ask L to keep his crimes a secret? He was sure there was a way L could get around it. Would L be arrogant, sneering? Would he have that nauseating self righteous hypocrisy about him?

Light decided he would just have to deal with it if that was going to be the case. He splashed some cold water on his face, determined to suck it up, to start becoming the man he wanted to be, even if that was just for a day.

In all fairness, L hadn't committed the crimes he had, and was one of the few people to have the foresight of how much destruction Kira could cause.

But...still...

To die, to put his own life in the hands of someone who seemed a natural enemy was terrifying as well as utterly mortifying.

"I guess L won..."

"Don't think about that Light," he told himself while straightening his tie, "I'll go out as my true self, in full control of my thoughts and with poise and grace. I owe myself that much."

Despite his disappointments in himself, Light still had to rely on his own wiles, intellect and inner strength to get him through the day. "I let my Kira side control too much," he mused. "So much so that I became illogical." His hands gripped the sides of the sink and he stared at his reflection. In the mirror he saw a boy; a boy that was young, and scared, but determined. "I won't allow that to happen again," he whispered to himself. "I swear I will never give myself over like that."

Speaking off the Kira persona, where was that sneaking, red-eyed voice? During the start of the night and over the last few months, that voice was one of his regular inner monologues, consistently judging others and sniping at Light's attempts to be even slightly forgiving towards them.

"He, or rather It disappeared, but when?" Light allowed a frown to mar his features as he mentally went through the night once more.

Had it stopped speaking Sometime during the Present maybe? Maybe after the shock of seeing was Misa did to the girls she hated? Or further than that, when he went into the past and saw L's early childhood years? And what exactly did the absence of the voice mean?

Kira was not exactly a separate entity to Light. It wasn't that Light had a different personality within him.

Kira was part of himself.

The voice was the equivalent of a conscious. Only it was, he now realised, negative rather than positive. Was it his Id, a brutal, base part of his mind, the part many killers and criminals succumbed, the part that craved and ate and destroyed? Or was it his Super Ego, the part of him that strove for perfection in obscene ways?

He suspected it was in fact the latter.

Maybe a large serving of humble pie and a slap in faced from reality was exactly what he needed to calm his super go down; to make his super ego and Id balance out once more into a normal ego.

"Now isn't the time to worry about that Light," he thought. The boy's shoulders slumped slightly. "Now I have to say goodbye."

Light stomped down the stairs. Sayu was pulling on her shoes, ready to head out. He almost ran to her. He could not leave without saying goodbye, he did not know if he would ever come back to this house, or that he would ever see his family again. He pulled her into a hug. She laughed, not understanding his attention. "I love you Sayu," he whispered into her hair. She stopped laughing and came still. Sayu understood, she knew something was happening or going to happen. How could she not?

He felt her arms wrap more tightly around his middle. They stood, frozen in time, as two siblings who loved each other. "I love you too, Big Brother," she replied. She let go and smiled at him, her normal attitude reappearing- her facade covering her worry. "Have a good day at work, Ok!"

His own mask came down over him and he replied in the affirmative.

The last Light saw of Sayu was her running down the street, waving good bye, splashing through the puddles, the damp leaves blowing around her face.

Saying good bye to his mother wasn't much easier. She had fussed over him like he was a child, offering him his lunch and brushing his hair (unintentionally making it more untidy.)He felt a little ashamed of how proud she was of him and how much she loved him. He wasn't perfect and he knew it.

"Mom," he said, after tidying his hair which she had ruined.

"Yes, darling...aren't you going to be late?"

"I'm fine. I usually get to work early. Mom, I love you very much." She grinned at him, reminding him of Sayu. "But I want you to know that I'm not as good as you think I am. Sayu is a much nicer person than I am."

You both have your strengths and weaknesses," she said, turning away and fiddling with a dish cloth. It reminded him of future, when Sayu had argued and reasoned with her, only to be ignored. He sighed quietly. He touched her shoulder lightly, something about the gesture startling her into looking at him again.

"Just know," he struggled, allowing sincerity to warm his eyes, "just remember that there are two of us, not just one."

He kissed her on the cheek then left for work, leaving his old life behind him.

For some reason he did not get a taxi to work (his usual mode of travel), but rather he got on the bus, the same bus he had rode with Adult Sayu the night before. Outside was beginning to go grey and storm clouds hailed in the distance. Yet, despite their ominous threat, the atmosphere was very different to last time. People were moving about, looking at their phones or bopping their heads to the music playing through their headphones. They were reading newspapers or gazing out of the windows daydreaming about what they were having for tea that night.

It was crazy, but for Light the ordinary had become surreal. He relaxed back into his chair feeling of warmth spreading in his chest. He was just so grateful for the simplicity. He was aware of his death, so much so that he felt like he could taste it. He would fight for the right to live, but there no guarantee. In fact, he was unlikely to succeed. This was his next Great Battle. In the meantime, he had to appreciate everything around him- the weather, the people, the sounds and the smells. Everything was precious.

What would he do first? Go to Misa? The whole thing about her murdering girls rested heavily in the back of his mind. He needed her to understand that it wasn't right and for her to be punished. Yet, due to his own actions, he hardly felt like he had the right to judge. His hand brushed across his face.

L.

It always came back to L. That crazy, stupid insomniac. L was the head of the Investigation team and was hunting for Kira, it only made sense for Light to report Misa to him. Again the idea galled him. He had spent a lot of time with Misa, she was his girlfriend and they were partners in crime. To go against her, to betray her, to L, it was pretty appalling to his senses.

But what other choice did he have?

He couldn't just drop hints to help L discover Misa on his own, because while he would be playing his game, more girls would die. And all life was important. Light knew that now. The death of L's father had destroyed a family and affected the lives of others in a domino effect; it had made Melor a revolutionary, leading other youths to fight and rebel, helping turn the tide of a mass of peoples. It had made L an orphan, made a young girl called Galor a surrogate mother and a foreigner hiding in England. It had made L's older brother religious and a soldier, influencing his own followers. So many lives had been wrecked, all through the death of one human being. How many lives had he ruined already?

"Should I tell L about his brothers?" He looked out the window deep in thought. People outside were pulling up their collars and tightening their coats about them. It was getting colder. "How much does he already know? He's pretty messed up," Light recalled L standing alone in a dark room, the depression spreading out like an ink stain on a white paper. And that was before the gross display of an eating disorder. He rubbed his lip with his finger absent-mindedly.

"No, L isn't well. But he might not know why, or there might have been other things that messed him up that I don't even know about." Light's eyes lowered and dimmed slightly before he blinked away the sadness and continued gazing resolutely out of the window. "It's best perhaps if I keep it to myself. But if I can use it, it might be a useful bargaining tool in keeping me alive..."

He got off the bus and walked down to L Headquarters. He glowered and rolled his eyes and the massive L situated at its peak. God, that man was as vain as he was.

Light stopped in front of the doors momentarily. He looked around. He had sentenced Misora to death here. Naomi Misora and her innocent unborn baby. He had felt so smug and so superior back then. Now he felt a deep shame and guilt. It weighed heavily against his chest and he knew that the burden would always be there because it was one of the mistakes he could not fix.

"I'm sorry," he whispered to the ground. The best he could do was be strong now. So, taking in a deep breath he walked inside.

It wasn't until he was in the lift before he heard, "hyuk, hyuk, hiya Light!" He could hear the shark-like smirk before he even saw it. He grimaced. There was Ryuuk grinning like a satyr.

Light looked at him, wondering whether he should just speak to him outright, despite the camera's. What did it matter now? L would know the truth shortly anyway.

He stared for a while, recalling the way Ryuuk had looked at him and laughed when he had been in the future watching Sayu. The present Ryuuk stared back and said nothing, giving nothing away. Finally, "Ryuuk, can you keep Rem occupied away from killing anyone for as long as possible?"

Ryuuk cackled, "why should I?" He complained. "She's boring and I hate her as much as she does me. All she goes on about is her pet human."

Light expected as much. "Just half an hour, Ryuuk, half an hour and you get as many apples as you want. I'll even play a video game with you."

Ryuuk whooped. "But why?" The creature pushed. "What are you hiding from her?"

"It's a trick," Light whispered no making his mouth movements too obvious, but not taking as much care as he did before to hide them, "a trick so that I don't get caught by L. That means more entertainment for you and if my plan works, Rem no longer threatening you." He hoped his ruse worked, he knew Ryuuk did not appreciate Rem threatening to follow him forever should he kill Misa. Ryuuk grinned. "Ok, don't say anything more, I want it to be a surprise. Your half hour starts now."

The Shinigami disappeared through the ceiling. "Oh, it'll be a surprise alright," thought Light to himself.

Meanwhile, up in his private quarters L spied on Light, who was apparently whispering to himself, with owlish intensity. "Watari," he called out in his low, soft tone, "Watari, Light's acting like a freak...again."

From another room Watari said something like a disinterested 'oh right, golly...' He too was used to L's accusations towards Light; unlike the rest of the team, he took them seriously. But still, they were tiresome and there were only so many times you could pretend to be interested.

L tongued a Cadbury Cream Egg in an obscene manner, completely unaware that he was doing so. Light's percentage of being Kira had just risen to 99.99 per cent.

He rubbed his eyes. Last night had been tough. He had been sick, really sick. Luckily most of it he cleaned away himself so Watari didn't see all the damage. He had been meaning to get what he assumed was an eating disorder sorted, but there were always more important things to deal with. Besides, it really wasn't that bad. It wasn't life threatening or anything. But now he probably would never have to get help. There was a good chance he was going to die today.

Because of his job, and how good he was at it, L frequently dodged the Grim Reaper. But he had always found ways to manage this rational fear of the inevitable which enabled him to cope with such pressure. He controlled his food and immediate surroundings like a mini dictator, insisting things go his way. With a childlike attitude he built up walls, physical and emotional, all around him.

But Kira, somehow had stripped these control mechanisms away. Kira, through perhaps a stupid gamble on L's part, had infiltrated into his living space. L's own team supported Kira more than L himself. Kira had even become something of a friend to L, though that sickened him slightly. And now he was gambling with his life again, only, this time, he didn't think he was going to make it.

As he had been pondering these things his head was lowering further and further between his knees. He suddenly sat up, making himself go dizzy. "Watari," he called unintentionally in English, "I'm going outside for a bit."

"OK." There was a pause before Watari's head popped around the corner to where L had been sitting, "wait...outside?" He asked, but L was already gone.

Escaping what had become the intolerable heat of the headquarters, L burst open the door to the roof. It was a grey, unimpressive day. It reminded him of England. Of Winchester. Of all the days he gazed out of his bedroom window, drowning out the noises of fellow children and instead straining his ears to hear the birds out in the countryside. He remembered the smell of cut grass, of mud, of on-coming Spring. He remembered the distant hums of cars, the whispered conversations between intellectuals, the turning of pages and the whirring of young, enthusiastic minds. And then there were the bells, the bells of the church rung by Priest with the dark past.

Opening his eyes and walking further onto the roof, L knew that the chill in the air and the grey never ending cloud were the only similarities with home. Here was pure urban life; a great metropolis of efficiency and celebrated conformity.

He was to die in a foreign land. At least he had Watari.

"What are you doing out here by yourself?"

L turned his head slightly to see exactly what he expected; Light, Kira, looking all sexy and unruffled, the polar opposite of himself. Kira's lightly red-tinged eyes observed him with the concentration a cat has on a bird. It was disturbing, that level of intensity. L always thought he had been the only one who could wield that power over another human being with a single glance. But then Light came along and destroyed all his misconceptions and delusions of grandeur (namely, that he alone was a genius at such a high level.)

L really hated him at that moment, and decided to bring down Light a little to his level. He cupped his hand to his ear like Peter Pan, making a 'what was that?' face.

Light frowned. L grinned. He knew h was childish but he didn't care.

Light himself restrained a little shudder, L's hand action reminding him of Present just before he had dragged him outside to England. Thank god Present's mess had magically disappeared this morning. Still, he knew what stupid little game L was playing. He would not go into that rain. He had had enough of it and being permanently wet or damp the night before.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE BY YOURSELF!" Light repeated, just short of outright shouting.

It was embarrassing. Two self titled geniuses playing a silly mind game. But still. This was, ultimately, what L and Light were all about. Everything, from the epic life and death deals, down to the silly childish games, was a matter dealt with completely seriously and in the spirit of fierce competition.

Finally, Light, after glancing at his watch, decided to be the bigger man and stepped out into the rain.

"I said," he stood in front of his Nemesis. "What are you doing out here by yourself?"

L looked into the horizon, suddenly becoming very serious. "I thought I heard bells."

There was a moments silence after that. L assumed Light was a little dumb founded and pouring derision on L in his mind. L was wrong. Light instead thought back to the church L was remembering. He was remembering the little graves outside of it. He was thinking of his death.

The two men's thought were in perfect synchrony.

Light sighed quietly. He knew what he had to do. There was no point putting it off any more. He looked at his watch, he only had twenty minutes.

"L, you need to call off today's plan, for the sake of yourself and everyone you love." L spun round and stared at Light, his eyes the widest Light had ever seen. He tried not to let it put him off.

"In order to protect Misa, Rem is going to take the Death Note and write both your and Watari's names. I know this because Misa is the second Kira. I was the first. I've come to make a deal with you."

"Why should I make a deal with the likes of you?" L's heart was pumping wildly. He could hear thumping in his ears. L had always hoped that Light would crack and confess under pressure, but he hadn't actually expected it to happen! Especially not today. L was ashamed to admit that light's blunt admission of guilt had actually thrown him. Desperately he tried to settle himself back down, he needed to think. Light wanted a deal, which meant he was desperate. That meant, in turn, that he was at his most dangerous.

"You're safety is most important." Said Light so confidently that L almost could have believed his sincerity, someone of a lesser mind definitely would have been seduced. "Let's work out a plan, because as of now, Rem is out of control. The Shinigami's are more dangerous than we human Kira's are." Light knew he had to play his hand carefully. He had half an hour to convince L that the Shinigami and their instruments of death were the real enemy. So far, the emphasis of the task force had been to stop Kira, Kira being a human. Light just had to try and shift what 'Kira' meant in L's mind.

"No, you have to convince me to trust you, and now, or else it all goes ahead, no matter what." The two men circled each other like competing predators. The almost genial atmosphere was gone. "He's trying to panic me," thought L. "That's why he mentioned Watari and my so called 'loved ones'. He wants me to panic and agree to some plan that will ensure his survival. I won't let him tip the axis of power, not now that he's confessed."

Light felt frustration building; He was trying to save L! He didn't understand.

"What's wrong with you?" Light threw his hands up in the air, just short of being melodramatic. "Do you have a death wish?"

Overhead a cloud rumbled. The storm was heating up. Static was in the air.

"No, I don't and that's why I'm telling you to convince me now! Convince me Light, because when I look at you, I don't see a sweet kid with the world at his feet and an aura of goodness about him, I see a mass murdering lunatic who's lost his mind!" L wondered if being so honest made him look afraid. He was afraid of course. Light's turn around and the threat against Watari had stung him deeper than he ever imagined. But more so what scared him was the fact that he could see in Light's eyes that he was sincere.

Light was telling the truth. L did not understand it. "How can I trust you or anything you say?" He cried. "I cannot and will not and mostly, I don't want to!"

With those last four words Light realised that's what it all came down to. Even if L was telling the truth, or a half truth, about wanting to be Light's friend, or not wanting Light to be Kira, at the end of it all, L still did not want to trust Light,. He probably did not want to trust anyone.

Light flashed back to the boy hiding under the stairs while his mother, abused and abuser, lay dead and mocked. Light felt his frustration dying down. The wind blew, helping lessen the humidity. But the low pressure and heavy clouds persisted.

"Ok, ok L." Light lowered his voice and checked his watch before stepped towards L, his arms up in a peaceful gesture. "I can prove to you that you can trust me. I know you have successors. Their names are Mello, Mihael Kheel and Near, Nate River. I know the list of successors goes down to a girl called Olivia." L was blinking a lot. Light wondered if he was revealing more than what L himself knew. "I know you all lived in Winchester, London, in England. I know that you and the others are from all over the world. I know a nutty guy who loves bugs and Il Divo is in charge. Now, if you go check, you'll see that everyone where you grew up is fine. No one is hurt. I promise, if anything, anything bad happens to your successors, then you can distrust me. But so far, I haven't hurt them, despite me knowing all of this about them."

L was slightly turned away from Light, as if he was going to start running at any moment. Light couldn't blame him, had their situations been reversed, he would have been horrified and terrified. "Why do you keep checking your watch?" L sounded calm again, despite the question.

"We have less than twenty minutes before Rem is back on the prowl. My Shinigami, a being named Ryuuk is keeping her distracted. He only agreed to do it for thirty minutes from the moment I was I the lift. We need to figure out how to stop her from hurting you or Watari now."

L smirked at Light's choice of words. 'Hurt' indeed. "So what do you suggest we do about Rem, make it seem that Misa is completely safe?"

"Yes." Ught tried not to get frustrated with L asking an obvious question; they both knew that keeping Misa safe was the best way to calm this Shinigami down.

"The best way to do that is to let you take the fall for both of you, officially at least." L said simply, knowing Light hated the plan already. It meant that everyone would know that l was right and that he was a killer. "Then we can find a way to dispatch Rem later. Tell me Light, what kills a Shinigami? Can we write their names in a Death Note?"

"Perhaps, but Shinigami have a lot of years and nothing we know of klills them. We would have to find a way of destroying hundreds of years of them. But I don't know of any illness or injury that kills them. I would rather not risk writing down a name and seeing what happens. What will kill them is breaking one of the rules, writing a name in a Death Note in order to save the life of someone destined to die."

L blinked and asked Light to explain. Light used the example of Gelus, and made comparisons of how Rem now felt the same way about Misa. L's face was stoic the entire time.

"Ah so you would have defeated me and Watari, and also rid yourself of Misa's protector." He said at last when Light was done. "Very clever Light. I don't understand the reason for this confession." His voice did not sound admiring, and Light found himself feeling little ashamed.

Still, L was listening, and that meant a lot. It meant that he might survive past this day.

"I've seen the future L, and it did not sit well with me. I do not like what I have become or where I am heading. I do not like the type of people I have chosen to align myself with. While I am not at your style of thinking, I have developed a certain brand of empathy, a kind of respect for the ability of people to change. I understand that Kira robbed people of this chance and that that itself was a crime."

"You saw the future?" L queried, a hint of curiosity in his voice.

"In a sense, yes." Light decided to keep his experience vague. He hardly had time to explain it to L now. Besides, it would be another reason for L wanting to keep him alive.

Perhaps sensing he would get no more information out of Light concerning his experience, or being aware of their lack of time, L brushed over the subject and returned to the one at hand. "And so now you no longer wish to be aligned with Misa Misa Chan?"

"No." Light's eye twitched a little at L's use of her nickname. "Misa has been killing innocents without me knowing. She took out pages from a Death Note and made up her own." L perked up a little at this, clearly never thinking about this scenario himself. It did not bode well in the regards of destroying all Death Notes if humans could make their own. It probably made him deeply suspicious of Light once more, and Light instantly regretted mentioning how Misa did it. "Girls, any young girls whom she considered a threat to our...relationship have been executed by her in horrible ways. A lot are my ex-girlfriends."

"Is this a matter of pride?" L sounded a little smug, as if saying 'hah, I knew it wasn't out of the goodness of your heart! You just want to get even!' Well, Light wasn't' going to let him make him feel bad! Recalling the giant 'L' on the tower, he replied coolly, "a little. Aren't these things always a little to do with pride?"

"I suppose." L smiled slightly, but as quickly as it arrived it disappeared. Light was surprised by his feelings of disappointment at the loss of superficial geniality.

"Then we need to remove Rem and then arrest Misa."

"Will she be punished by the law?"

"She'll have the same chance as you," was the ambiguous reply. It leant nothing to Light's fate.

"There is a chance for us, L. If Misa gives up the death note, she'll loses all her memories of being Kira. She might restore her previous sanity and go on to live a good life."

"You think the Death Note affects your thinking?"

"Yes." He replied quickly, grateful that he had an opportunity to emphasis this theory.

"I concur." (Light blinked in astonishment.) "But punishment still needs to be met out." Light gulped slightly. L still thought of Kira in terms of a human criminal, as something that could be caught and stopped. He needed to understand Kira as an entity.

"But it's not really us L." Light insisted. "It's the Death Note. When I was Kira it was almost like a new personality was rising in me, something crueller and less human. It wasn't me." But even as he spoke those words, he knew he was lying. The red eye thought had been him, if anything, it had been a truer version of himself.

As if knowing his thoughts L replied; "no, the death note merely stripped you of any need to abide by the rules of society. Kira is your Id. You and Misa still had a level of choice, Kira is you and you are Kira. Punishment will still be met out; you did the crimes Yagami Kun."

"Aren't the Shinigami''s more to blame than us? We are only human; the lure of the Notes is surely understandable even to you L. The Shinigami's did this out of their own selfish want for fun. "

"It's not like you or Misa were pawns. Besides, how many wicked things have been done through the encouragement of some higher power? Think of all the terrorists who kill because their holy book or god tell them to do so? According to your argument, their god or religion should be put up for trial and not them. I am not happy with the Shinigami's or their role in this game of theirs, but you still have to pay."

"I understand. Am I to be executed then? Please L, think, I am so much more use alive. It would be foolish to get rid of me." ('He keeps Aiber and Wedy around,' Light thought desperately, ' even though they are ex-criminals, so this request isn't so far out of his understanding. If I can convince him of my use, he can keep me alive and use me in other cases.' )"The greater risk are the Shinigami's," Light continued, keeping his voice as strong as possible, "even if I got rid of you and Misa, Rem or the others may just give a death note to someone else. The cycle may never end. But I have a measure of control over them, I understand them and know what they like. I'm sure they like me, on some level."

"If we remove Misa as Kira, then Rem will no longer have to be so protective of her. But there is always the risk that she will kill for Misa."

"But that risk is low, as doing so will mean her own demise."

The rain had stopped. L was shivering. He looked so vulnerable, Light couldn't understand how he hadn't seen it before. It seemed crazy now that he had ever seen L as an evil monster. "I will help you control her L. I want to try and heal what I can. I want to try and make things better."

"They have too much power right now," muttered L. "Even if you can control her now, what about in the future? What about when you die, be it of old age or whatever? What if Ryuuk gets bored? We need to tip the scales in our favour, preferably remove the Shinigami all together."

"I agree. "

"I will need your help, you're the expert."

Light looked at his watch. They had less than ten minutes to think of a way to tip the power in their favour instead of the Death Gods. "There were some rules that went with the Death Note," he said, looking up at L who looked stressed and worn. "I know that there are things the Shinigami cannot do, other than kill a human in order to save another." He thought for a moment, his memory running over the vast list of rules and regulations. "There was another rule, but I don't know what the punishment will be..."

"Tadaa!" Ryuuk posed, balanced upside down on one hand, before leaping up and guzzling the twenty five apples that had dropped around him in the most obscene and disgusting manner. Rem stared impassively. "I do not understand what you want of me." She repeated.

"Ok, Ok," giggled Ryuuk, apple drool leaking down the sides of his mouth, "now check out dis! Look! Chocolate covered apples!"

"I do not care," she said over loud crunching and humming sounds made by Ryuuk. "Are you trying to annoy me?" An apple core flew past her head, narrowly missing her, but she did not flinch. "You are distracting me from important things that are happening elsewhere." Ryuuk used his serpentine tongue to lick off all the chocolate off the apple in one go. Rem's eyes widened, but not because of that. "You are distracting me! And you would only do so on Light's orders, which means something has changed. Where is Light?" But Ryuuk was too engrossed in his orgasmic joy of apples to pay her any heed, so she flew off without him.

It didn't take her long to locate Light on the roof. The rain had stopped and the detective and boy-god were sitting on some steps towelling themselves off. She hung back and kept herself non corporal. She did not trust like, and the strange pull she felt towards him, a slight attraction, if it could be called that, made her trust him even less.

"So will they be coming here?" Light was asking.

"Perhaps. Near will come in my absence, but I will place Mello elsewhere."

Light sighed in frustration and put his hand through his hair. Rem recognised that he was acting. But that in itself was not unusual. "L, you don't have to do this. Just don't go through with this crazy plan, then there is no risk and your successors can stay at home." Rem jerked at the word 'successors'. L had successors?

"They're only young aren't they?" Light continued. "Your successors are only young. Just let them live their childhoods a little longer. It's not fair for your successors to have to deal with a being as tricky and dangerous as Kira."

"Even if they die in the line of duty, there will be more to follow them. My successors are based all over the world." L stood, his shaggy mane heavy with rain water. "We are trained to be brave in the face of death." He shrugged. "Shall we go?"

"Yes, just let me get dried and dressed properly. I hate looking a mess."

Just as L turned away and began to head back down Light called out, "how long would it take for your successor to get here? Assuming the worst does happen?"

"A few hours," replied L without turning back. He then left quietly and quickly.

Light stood for a few moments, Rem could not tell if he was deep in thought or waiting for someone. Then with a sigh that did seem real, he began to follow in the direction of L. This was when she decided to appear.

"Things have changed." She complained, ghosting to his side.

"How much did you hear?" he hissed unpleasantly.

"Enough," she replied, trying to keep emotion out of her voice. "Even with L out of the way Misa will be in danger. Did you know this beforehand? Was this your way of getting rid of me? I will not allow Misa to be put in danger. With my death from killing L, who will protect her from the successors? You will not!"

"We are in a tight situation. I'm not sure what to do, but I need your co operation Rem!"

Rem turned in front of him, halting his steps. "Think of something now," she threatened, leaning down and putting her face in his, "or I will write your name in the Death Note, because no matter what she will be safer without you."

Light nodded, his eyes were defiant and he held his head up bravely, but Rem noted how he had gulped.

"Alright Rem, there's only one option, get Ryuuk to come to the main office. I will settle this once and for all. I see I have no choice. But you will have to make sure Ryuuk does nothing to me!"

"I can threaten him but I cannot promise that you will always be safe," she answered coldly. "He is a trickster and spiteful. You will have to think of your long term safety yourself. But do you really think L will let you live?"

Light scowled in response. He turned to the side and brushed past her. For the first time in months, Rem felt the stress role off her shoulders. There was only one thing Light could do, and relying on his charms was now all he had left. Misa would be safe, and that's what mattered. Thank god, it was nearly all over...

In the time Light was plotting with Rem, L had done what every good stereotypical detective does best; everyone was gathered in the main office, the task force, Watari and then Light entered with Rem. The men looked at each other, tense. No one smiled or said anything. The task force looked between them, concerned at the strange turn of events. Soichiro looked dreadful. Light knew of their suspicions. He also knew that Soichiro and Matsuda would be crushed with his confession, but what choice did he have anymore?

"We do no need to do the thirteen day rule test," said L in his inflectionless tone. "We already know that it is fake. The real Kira has finally confessed."

There was a collective intake of breath. Aizawa bowed his head slightly. Matsuda's face flushed. Soichiro looked as if he wanted to die. "Light." He breathed. It wasn't a question.

"It's true dad," Light responded, looking at Rem and Ryuuk and then the rest of the team. He felt sick with guilt and shame and humiliation. This was one of the worst things to happen to him, including the horrors of the previous night. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry dad...please, I'm so sorry."

"I don't believe you." His father returned, anger beginning to colour his accent. He glared at L, as if he had somehow made Light confess to something he was innocent of.

"Ha-ha, Light you're giving up," cackled Ryuuk. "I'm kinda disappointed."

"Quiet you fool," hissed Rem, making Soichiro glare at her, reminding Light that no one could see Ryuuk.

"Ryuuk, please allow everyone to touch your death note. This isn't over yet." He added the last part for Ryuuk's sake. The last thing he needed was Ryuuk killing him out of an assumption that he was now boring.

"Ok," grinned the Shinigami, making Light hate him even more, "if you say so, hyuk, hyuk."

Each member touched Ryuuk's Death Note, gasping or falling away as he appeared in front of them. The one who reacted the least was L.

Light took in a deep breath and began, "it all started one afternoon at school, when I saw a little black book fall out of the sky..."

As he told his story he saw the task force slowly slumping more and more as their faith in him dwindled into nothing. Matsuda's jaw and fists tightened, and more than once Light wondered if he was going to attack him. He never would have put Matsuda down as violent.

His father however, seemed to actually age. It wasn't so much that Light had used the Death Note, it was all the lies. The worst part was talking about how he killed Penbar and Naomi. They were fellow police officers, even if not known personally by the task force, not to mention that they were, by the task force's requirements, 'innocents' and the members took it hard.

However, Light did not tell the absolute truth of course. Rem was listening and Misa had to stay safe at all costs. So, Light lied and said that he had controlled her. Poor Misa was just a pawn. He had chosen her due to a childish crush, and when he had grown tired of her, she was still useful and he was unable to get rid of her. She was in love with him, and unable to forget him, even if her memories of the death note and Kira could be wiped.

It was at this that his father argued back, "You had a crush on Misa and so made her the second Kira?" He repeated incredulously. "Don't be absurd! You were never really interested in girls like her! Anmd you never...never..."

"Never what?" Queried Aizawa, a nasty snarl in his voice, "never be so cruel? Your son is a killer!"

Soichiro became quiet.

"Also," muttered L, Light winced, did L have to turn the knife in his father's heart? "Also, you seem out of touch with your son's desires Mr Yagami."

Soichiro looked ashamed as he suddenly remembered his shock at discovering Light read pornographic magazines.

Light continued his story, emphasising the evil of the Death Note, how difficult it was to be away from it, how seductive it was. He didn't believe they were all buying it, especially L and Aizawa. But he needed to push it, at least for his father's sake. He couldn't stand the idea that his father knew he was a monster.

"It was like a game to you," muttered Aizawa when Light was finished. "Just a stupid game because you were bored. Over privileged, spoiled and bored! L was right about you."

He suddenly turned to L. "And you needn't look so smug!"

Light looked at L, who stared back blankly.

"I can see it in your eyes," Aizawa continued his voice rising. "You are as bad as he is! Well I hope you're happy L because it looks like you won!" He looked at them both, a heavy silence soaking into the room.

The feeling of being cheated and lied to was absorbed into the heavy, stormy atmosphere. It was too much emotion, too much blame, too much bad feeling, too claustrophobic.

"You both make me sick," he muttered before leaving the room. No one attempted to stop him or bring him back.

"I need someone to collect Misa Misa chan," Said L after a few awkward beats. "Light will be put in custody for the night. His trial will be organised for some time later this week. The officials will want to keep it as quiet as possible, lest the Kira followers begin to get even more hysterical than what they already are and attack in a bid to save their god."

No one moved or responded. They hardly seemed able to breathe. Light felt a headache forming.

"I could...I could allow Light to go home for a few days." Light stared at L, unable to believe what he was saying. L saw him watching and continued in a less hesitant manner. "He will still be under surveillance of course. I will have to observe everything. But..." he looked back to Soichiro, who himself looked like a dead man, "but it is possible for him to say goodbye to his loved ones."

Soichiro stood, his eyes on the floor, as they had been for the past half hour. "I have no son." He said quietly and bluntly.

And then he left because there was nothing more to say.

At that moment, it was like the heavy atmosphere whose presence was actually painful now suddenly broke apart and began to bleed. The sound of heavy rain could be heard from where they sat. The storm had finally broken. It was as if time and space had frozen for a little while, just for the time when Light had to destroy his own web of lies and face up to the end of life as he knew it.

Light felt a little dizzy and very ill. He knew his father would take it badly, he had anticipated this very reaction. But anticipation and reality were two very different things. To think he would never see his father again or at least never hold his respect, made Light want to die. The faces of his family swam in his mind's eye. Just as he had learned to love them, they were taken away from him.

The last members of the task force stood and quietly told L they would collect Misa. They did not want not stay in the same room with Light. He made them angry. He made them sad. Watari began to tidy everything away. Light and L sat in the dimly lit room.

"Things are gonna get pretty boring now huh," Ryuuk croaked, looking over at Rem. She however, floated away silently, no doubt to watch over Misa's arrest to make sure she wouldn't be hurt or frightened. Light and L had relied on her doing this. Her disappearance roused L into action.

"Ryuuk," L turned to the Shinigami, "I hear you like apples. Watari will give you as many as you like."

After Ryuuk left crowing and turning cartwheels, L turned to Light. "Snap out of it," he hissed. "You...we can do this."

Light gulped and nodded.

L pulled out of his pocket a thin piece of paper. Light smirked, his mask back in place. "You little pick pocket," he teased in a voice deceptively light and calm, "so you were able to get it."

"It wasn't that difficult, he isn't very self aware." L passed the paper to Light. Light took a pen and began to write.

Immediately there was a great yowl. Simultaneously, lightening flashed and a roar of thunder echoed through the building as if it were made of paper and the storm would soon bring the whole building tumbling down.

Ryuuk came up from the floorboards at amazing speed that was both alarming and disturbing to see. It reminded Light of the eerie, unnatural speed of Presence .

"What have you done Light?" The Shinigami screamed.

But before Light or L could even react, the room began to shake. A black hole which looked like it had a silky, obsidian texture, not unlike that which future appeared as, formed on the ceiling. Light had to stop himself from gagging, but L still gave him an odd look meaning he had revealed something of his disgust and fear. The ceiling was engulfed by this dark matter; slowly it began to drip down towards the Shinigami. Several dislocated eyes appeared inside of it, blinking down on them all.

"It wasn't me," cried Ryuuk, "it was a trick! Shinigami King, it was a trick, a human trick, I-" But before he could find any more excuses, he was scooped up in the dark matter and dragged into it, roaring and wriggling and crying for mercy.

The room returned to normal. Light and L sat gasping for breath as if they had been under water for too long.

"I told you," panted Light at length. "'The God of Death must at least own one Death Note, that Death Note must never be lent to or written on by a human.'"

"Yeah, well it didn't say anything about that." L gestured to the ceiling. His eyes were wide and he was shivering a little.

"No...no..."

L's mobile phone began to play. They looked at each other meaningfully before he answered it.

"Hello?" Light could hear Matsuda's frantic squeaking down the phone. It was a contrast to L's quiet, calm voice, despite the horror they just witnessed. "Really? Well make sure she is taken care of, that's quite a fright she's had. Matsuda, make sure Mogi looks for a pile of dust and a Death Note. Then bring it back so it can be burned. Goodbye." He hung up without hearing anything else Matsuda had to say. The detective looked at Light. "Misa was attacked, as specified."

They both looked down at the piece of paper L stole from Ryuuk's Death Note.

'Misa Amane: Whilst on the set of her new film, Misa is attacked by a deranged fan. She is stabbed and killed.'

"I feel like I am an accessory to murder," muttered L.

"You are," replied Light frankly. "Whoever that fan is, Rem has sacrificed herself to kill that individual. We didn't have any choice L. We had less than ten minutes to think of something."

L looked at him in a way that asked, "didn't we?" But Light did not respond to it. Truthfully, Light was glad that L was also sullied a little. It made him feel less morally inferior. It was also more evidence that the Death Notes really did poison everyone they were involved with.

"Let's get out of here," muttered L, casting another nervous glance at the ceiling. Despite the storm, both men headed back to the rooftop. They needed air. They needed something as raw as the storm to put them back into the realm of the physical and the real.

"I think this demonstrates how I can be of use L," started Light, hoping he didn't sound like he was begging for his life. He was cold and wet and miserable with thoughts of his father and family and all that he had lost; but he had a duty to make up for all his past mistakes, and death wasn't a way of earning his penance. Or at least that's what he told himself.

L was quiet for some time and Light just knew that he was fighting against his instincts; he knew that Light wasn't like Aiber or Wedy, that not only did L disagree with Lights actions, but he actually disliked Light. L wanted Light to be punished.

"You're a big picture kind of guy," Light said softly, moving closer to L and settling down. Now both men were slumped against a wet brick wall, equally soaked and cold. L made no motions of moving away or not wanting Light near him. However, the detective still refused to look his way as he had done since they found out that the Misa-fan had been killed. "You know as well as I do that we don't know if or when Ryuuk will return or another Shinigami decides to drop a Death Note in the world. I would be the best person to train up your children, to teach and research about the death gods."

Light had been thinking about his future all day; and one thing he had decided was he was going to put others first. He had to make up for his sins somehow, but at the same time, he knew he couldn't cope with going back to his mundane life. The murder of the Whammy children was one of the most distressing things he had witnessed on his journey through Time. The wasted life and wasted intelligence was a huge insult to him; the fact that it was himself who committed the atrocity destroyed him a little inside.

"If you come with us we can keep an eye on you," L muttered, making Light jump a little because it had been silent, save for the storm, for so long. "You would be kept occupied. You would be useful."

Light smiled, sensing another victory. Well, a sort of victory. He was alive at least.

"It will have to be a secret Light." L pushed, sensing Light's smugness. "Everyone will be told you were executed, and the public will be told nothing at all. Kira will fade away. Are you alright with that?" L of course did not really care, but he peered at Light through his heavy fringe, analysing the boy's behaviour and reaction.

"Yes," Light sighed, "god, yes. I don't want to be Kira, L."

Something in Lights voice or face must have resonated within L, because he suddenly looked away again. "Maybe we could tell your immediate family the truth, one day. It would be like a witness protection programme. And I'm sure they can be trusted, with what I've seen of them. It seems unfair that they are punished by not getting to see you anymore because of your faults."

"Thank you, but I'm not sure my father-"

"He'll come around."

The two men looked at each other. Despite the lack of a chain they were physically closer to one another than they had ever been before. Light analysed the detective before him. This scrawny boy, who had so many demons, but yet had worked so hard and done so well...truly L was a worthy adversary. He would be an even worthier friend.

"Misa will kill herself when she finds out I'm dead," Light muttered. L said nothing in response. He didn't need to. On the rooftop beforehand, after some quick fire arguing they had both finally agreed that after losing her memories, it was hardly fair that Misa would go to court and no doubt be executed, while Light secretly got to live in penance. They had settled on destroying all the Death Notes, and possibly destroying Misa's career through letting out rumours of her interaction with the Kira cult, essentially hoping that the loss of her career, reputation and boyfriend- essentially her entire life- were punishment enough for her murderous crimes.

However, that all seemed unnecessary. Misa would not cope with Light being gone, and they both knew that. However, neither would fight to keep her alive. The morality of their decision was another weight, another grey area that Light believed they would never fully work out. They both stood at the edge of the rooftop, looking over a wet and grey Tokyo.

"This changes everything Light," said L with such feeling in his voice that it frightened the young man a little. It was like when L had first worked out about the existence of Shinigami, his reaction was so overwrought with emotion it bordered on the absurd. L was staring at the sky, the rain hitting his pale face. "All this supernatural phenomena, my keeping you alive, making this deal with you, what we will be teaching the Whammy students... everything has changed. The flood gates are open and reality is not so set as it was before. The whole world has changed, and nobody knows about it."

Together, side by side, on the precipice of Change the two men looked at each other in a wild surmise.

FIN

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