His hand was resting rather delicately against the edge of the Death Note, almost pensively. Thinking. Wondering what it should write next.
Who it should kill next.
Somewhere in Light's head there was a tiny, thin thread that told him he had changed. The thread that linked the "Old Light" - the one that had never considered the possibility of a Death Note - and the "New Light" - the one who had the Death Note and made use of it regularly.
The old Light wouldn't have ever killed someone with his bare hands.
The new one probably wouldn't, either. After all, the Death Note was so much cleaner. Efficient.
But if it came down to it, he could.
Light chose a likely candidate from the headlines. An escaped convict, one that had killed before.
Scowling, Light slammed the Death Note shut after writing the name, and cast a dark look at the one who had spoken. "Shut up. He deserves it."
"Yes... he does. But you deserve the fate even more."
L was sitting on the computer moniter in front of him, eyes even wider and more ethereal than before.
Before he died. "I wish you would just hurry up and go to hell." Light stood and kicked the office chair. It went flying across the room and hit the wall with a dull thud that did nothing to ease his frustration. "Why do you persist in bothering me, Ryuuzaki? You can't stop me now. No one can."
"Someone can. They will." L nibbled on his thumb and looked longingly at the untouched slice of cake that Misa had brought to Light.
Seething, Light tried to punch the image of L, but his hand met only air. "Damn you..."
"I always knew you were Kira."
"No... no you didn't. I had you fooled." Light smiled through gritted teeth, his eyes narrowing. "The great L was turned into a complete spectacle as he died in Kira's arms. I'm sure that you knew then, but it hardly does you any good now."
L played with the cuffs of his pants and stared Light down, unfazed. "I can do nothing about this now, but you will be stopped. And if you aren't? What will you have, Yagami-kun? A perfect utopia filled with corpses. A one-man paradise." He ran a finger along the slice of cake, pouting. "It's unfortunate, Light, that my first friend turned out to be my greatest enemy."
Light was silent.
"I liked you."
"No, really. I did. I didn't want to believe you were Kira, almost as much as I wanted to be right."
"Stop it. Shut up."
"In the end I was too careless, too stupid, too trusting. You were the only outsider I ever let get in that close. The only one I wanted to get that close." L sucked on the tip of his thumbnail, regarding Light as one would regard an insect in a jar - fascination with a modicum of disgust.
"SHUT UP! YOU'RE DEAD!" Light, chest aching for a reason he didn't know, knocked over the computer screen. He stared, panting, at empty air.
L was gone.
"...Light? Who were you talking to?" Misa poked her head in, worrying at her bottom lip with her teeth. That's right, Light thought. We have a date today. He turned to her and offered her a smile, the gentlest he could manage.
"No one. Just myself."
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