The story of Light Yagami and L Lawliet, two men far too alike for their own good. SPOILERIFIC FOR EPISODE 25/CHAPTER 58
Spoilers: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN EPISODE 25/READ UP TO CHAPTER 58 RUN THE FUCK AWAY NOW. NO, SRSLY. GO AWAY. LEAVE. I’M SO NOT KIDDING. YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU DON’T. I’LL WRITE YOUR NAME IN MY DEATH NOTE. OKAY NOT REALLY, BUT STILL, YOU’LL BE SORRY, I’M SERIOUS.
Disclaimer: Death Note is not mine, alas. If it were there would be a lot more sex. I’m just sayin'.
Before he'd picked up the Death Note, Light Yagami wasn't even sure he'd truly been alive. A bit ironic, that; that a notebook of death would be the thing to bring him to life.
There'd been nothing in his life. Nothing except the endless monotony of trudging to school every day, where he didn't even have to pay attention to be the top of his class. Nothing to look forward to except more of the same when he graduated to university, and perhaps eventually a job on the police force, walking in his father's footsteps. Everyone would have been proud--everyone was proud. He dragged himself through a mindless existence, doing everything everyone expected of him and never finding anything that could truly stimulate him, truly make him feel alive.
He wanted to feel alive. He wanted to be alive, and make damn sure everyone else knew he was.
The Death Note had given him the chance he'd been waiting for his entire life. The world was a rotten, sorry place; he knew that. Everyone knew that, except perhaps children that hadn't yet had their naivete shattered by reality. No one trusted each other, everyone was selfish and a liar, and mankind as a whole was rotting. He'd known it for years, but there was nothing one single person could do about it.
Except him. He was the one person who'd been lucky enough to find a Death Note, who had the intelligence and the discipline and the stubbornness to actually do something about it, and follow his plan through to the end. And it gave him a chance not only to improve the world--but also to prove that he was alive.
And he'd succeeded. The world may not have known him as Light Yagami, son of the chief of police and top of his class--but it certainly knew him as Kira, bringer of justice upon the wicked.
Writing in the Death Note. Being Kira. Bringing down righteous vengeance on evil. And as time progressed, plotting first to escape the police, then to defeat L. Playing their games, each trying to stay a step ahead of the other, an intricate game of chess with real lives on the line.
All of it--every single bit--was glorious. It was a challenge, it was a chase, it kept him on his toes. It was the first thing he could ever remember feeling passionate about. And for the first time in longer than he could remember, Light knew for a fact that he was alive.
It was amazing how accustomed to someone's presence you could become, when you were handcuffed to them for months. He noticed when L went missing, and it bothered him. Without the detective around for him to keep an eye on, there was no telling what he might get up to, or how bad it would be for Light.
And so he asked Matsuda, as casually as possible. "Hey, where'd Ryuuzaki go?"
"Huh?" Matsuda looked up from his computer screen. "Oh. I think he went outside. Said something about needing to think."
Outside? It had been pouring down rain all morning. Then again, he thought with disgust, that was just like Ryuuzaki to wander out into the middle of a storm without so much as a second thought. Just like he was always devouring sweets, without ever acknowledging how bad it had to be for his health.
He makes me fucking sick.
Sure enough, there he was, standing on the roof in the middle of a downpour and staring off into the distance like a complete idiot. Looking at him now, hunched over with his hands in his pockets and dripping wet, bags under his eyes as usual, it was difficult to believe he was the greatest detective in the world.
"Ryuuzaki," he called, suppressing his annoyance. "What are you doing?"
The detective's only response was to cup a hand around his ear, indicating that he hadn't heard. Even when Light repeated himself, it didn't seem to get the message through; and so, blissfully imagining the moment when Rem would kill L, he set off across the roof.
"What are you doing, Ryuuzaki?" he repeated, when he was close enough that he knew the detective could hear--and, of course, far enough out on the roof that he was thoroughly soaked.
"I'm not really doing anything," L said, and glanced out sightlessly into the distance. "The bells...the bells are loud today."
Automatically, Light followed his gaze--and saw absolutely nothing. "I don't hear anything."
"Is that so? They've been going all day. It sounds like church bells. A wedding perhaps, or maybe--"
"What are you talking about, Ryuuzaki?" Light interrupted, further irritated by both the nonsense L was spouting and the fact that dammit, the rain was not only wet but cold. "Stop babbling and come back inside."
"I'm sorry," L said; and glanced down, and away. "I'm talking nonsense, aren't I? Don't take anything I say seriously."
Unable to stop it, a corner of Light's mouth quirked upward. "I think I've learned that by now."
"True. But...it's the same for you." At last he met Light's gaze--and somehow, seemed slightly amused. "Have you ever spoken a word of truth since you were born?"
L knew. Oh, there was no doubting simply from the look in his eyes that he knew. He'd known since the case had begun, and Light had known that he knew--and yet still they kept pretending, putting on an elaborate act even when there was no audience around to appreciate the show.
They were, both of them, extremely capable liars.
And so, Light did what liars do best.
"What are you talking about, Ryuuzaki? Of course I lie sometimes, but everyone does. Nobody is perfect. But I would never tell a lie that would hurt anyone."
L looked away, and almost smiled. "I thought you'd say that."
"Let's go inside. It's raining."
Light was honestly beginning to wonder if he was ever going to get completely dry, much less warm. A towel was all well and good, but it didn't do much when his clothes were soaked as well--not to mention, he wasn't going to be able to walk in those shoes for days without squishing.
He was mentally reciting a litany of curses against Ryuuzaki for making him go out there in the first place when the man walked up behind him, a towel draped over his head. "Well," he said, sounding overly cheerful. "Looks like we got soaked pretty bad."
"It's your fault," Light growled, scrubbing at his hair with the towel. "Going out in the rain like that..."
"You're right. I'm sorry."
Next thing he knew, his heel was being held in a firm grasp. Startled, Light dropped his towel. "What are you doing, Ryuuzaki?!"
"I was going to help you," L said from below, giving him one of his deceptively innocent looks. "You were trying so hard to dry yourself, I thought I'd help out."
Light shook his head. "It's okay. You don't have to do that."
"I'll give you a foot massage too. I'm pretty good at it. It's the least I can do to atone."
Atone for what? For making me go out in the rain and get wet, or--
"Do what you want," Light said, looking away in exasperation.
When the detective's hands moved on his foot, Light grunted. "Hey, that hurt!"
"I'm almost done," L said softly, staring down at the towel in his hands. There was water dripping from his unruly hair, onto Light's leg. Somehow, the sight made his irritation dissipate.
Ryuuzaki. You may be the most irritating bastard I've ever met, but it's going to seem awfully strange around here without you around.
Light picked up his discarded towel, and patted awkwardly at L's hair. "You're still wet."
"I'm sorry," was the only reply, still in that same, oddly sad tone of voice.
Light Yagami was Kira.
He knew it; had known it from the moment the boy had first displayed his intelligence, almost as if showing off for the security cameras he should have had no way of knowing were in his house. He might have doubted it during the time they'd been handcuffed together, when Higuchi was Kira--but as soon as Yagami had touched the Death Note, his doubt had disappeared. The change in personality had been complete. He was now 99 percent certain, and all that remained was proof.
Light Yagami was also the closest thing L had ever had to a friend.
It was ludicrous, really, to call it that. Friendship was simply a facade, an act that they maintained while each tried to outwit the other. They were two liars dancing a deadly masquerade, and the first to slip would be the first to die. And Light was Kira--the worst serial killer the world had ever known. Not to mention that as a person, he was an adolescent, egotistical bastard with few, if any, redeeming qualities.
But L had grown--accustomed to him, really. His presence was almost comforting, in an odd sort of way, and not just because it meant L could keep an eye on him.
It was also because Light Yagami was the only person L had ever met that was like him.
He supposed it should have bothered him, that he was kindred spirits with a serial killer. As it was, the only thing that was bothering him was that the case would soon be over. He was testing the 13-day rule--via the U.S. government, which Kira could have no control over. When it was proven false--as he knew it would be--that alone would be enough cause to lock up Light once more. And this time, he would have no way of proving his innocence.
It wouldn't be long before Kira was apprehended, and most likely sent to the executioner. And thus would the most dangerous mass murderer in the world be gone for eternity.
It was going to be lonely without him.
It seemed impossible that, after everything, it was truly possible for L to die. So many times they'd plotted against each other, trying to snare each other in traps that somehow the other always managed to avoid--and the entire time, all it would have taken was one misstep. One simple mistake, and the game would be over, the victor left standing tall.
And yet L never made a mistake, never made one wrong move. Neither did he, carefully outwitting and evading all the detective's plans to catch him. That the inevitable had finally happened, that he was truly about to win--it seemed surreal.
And he knew. From the instant the power went out, he knew he'd won. The multiple computer screens, all flashing the same thing into the darkness--ALL DATA DELETED--it was only further confirmation.
So why, when he knew he'd won, did his heart begin to pound and his palms to sweat as though he were the one about to receive a death sentence?
Perhaps it was because he knew L, better than anyone else. And while he knew his plans were foolproof--well, if there was anyone alive who could somehow manage to evade the trap he'd set, it would be L.
"Where's the shinigami?" the detective asked.
It was his father who answered. "Now that you mention it--" He sent a quick glance around the room. "It's gone! That means..."
"Everyone," L said urgently. "The shiniga--"
He jerked to a halt in mid-word. Light's heart went into his throat.
And as he watched L slump from his seat in what seemed to be slow motion, Light realized he had never truly witnessed death before. He'd been killing for a year, delivered Kira's justice to what had to be thousands--but they were, all of them, naught but strangers. He'd never seen anyone he knew with that look on their face--the panic, the pain and shock as their heart gave out in their chest. But this was far from a stranger, far from an unknown criminal, this was L--a living breathing human being who he'd been handcuffed to for months and even had to share a bed with, and the bastard had hogged all the covers and insisted on dragging him out of bed at four in the fucking morning just so he could go get a piece of cake, and after all that and all their games and all their lies there was no way this was actually happening, no way that L could honestly be dead--
He leapt forward instinctively, catching the detective in his arms as he hit the floor. He was dimly aware of Matsuda yelling in the background, but couldn't seem to make out the words. All he could think was how impossible it was that L had been foolish enough to actually get himself caught. How surreal it was that he was holding L in his arms, trembling all over and watching as the last bit of life left his eyes and his body surrendered to oblivion.
And Light suddenly found that even to Kira--who was, after all, not much more than a scared, idealistic eighteen-year-old boy underneath it all--to witness death firsthand was a very unnerving thing.
He had won. He had defeated L, eliminated his greatest rival, and disposed of his last obstacle. There was nothing and no one left to stand in his way, to keep him from sculpting the world into the utopia he knew it had the potential to be.
He wondered why it didn't feel more like a victory.
A/N: I rewrote the dialogue a bit from what it actually said in the sub I was working with. It made it flow better/make more sense, so sue me. (Actually, please don't. I'm broke.)
Also, writing L's death scene is really fucking hard. It took three tries to get this one, and I still think it's the weakest scene in the story. Bah!