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Can You Hear Me Screaming

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Light was running. Racing. His feet pounded rhythmically against the unyielding tile of the task force building. Frantic in his need, his desire, his fear to find the Shinigami. He didn't linger long in any room before jolting down the corridor to the next.

He was an idiot. He saw Rem leave. Watched her float that unnatural Shinigami body of hers out the room. But he waited too long before the knowledge that it left so it could kill in peace had come to him. L was too close to finding Kira. The Death Note that they picked up belonged to the Shinigami, Rem. Rem was Kira's shinigami. Rem was going to kill L. It was obvious once it came to him. And he just ran. No doubt leaving the task force in confusion. Never before had he pleaded with any God as he did right then. Let him make it in time.

His body skidded to a halt when he saw Rem crouched on the floor, Death Note in hand. Her pen, methodic in its strokes.

"Stop!" He shouted. His fingers shook as he gripped the doorframe. With a weak step forward he pleaded. "Don't do this Rem. Please!"

Rem looked at him, her pen poised over the page she had been writing in. Only to have her gaze jump behind Light. Where Ryuk floated upside down and into the room. He was laughing hysterically.

"Look at you. Killing yourself to save a human. Oh! I knew dropping a Death Note in this world would be a cure for boredom!" Light slowly edged closer while the Shinigami's were distracted.

"She will live as long as her life line depicts it should. Having that detective find her will shorten it considerably. I will not let that happen." Seizing the moment he lunged forward. Light ripped the cursed book from the Shinigami. Falling, Light tucked in his shoulder and rolled. His arm shot out to spring himself swiftly back up on his feet. Now Rem stood between him and the door.

He quickly glanced down at the book in his hands. Light felt a liquid shock race to his core at seeing L's true name written there. The name was written in broad deep strokes. His lip trembled on a gasp as he sank to his knees. Half in a daze his hand lightly touched the dry ink. Fingernails scratching at the black ink. Impossible. He couldn't be dead! His mind rejected the sheer thought of it.

"Bring him back!" Light shouted at Ryuk while his eyes skimmed over the room. Rem was gone. "Where did she go? Find her Ryuk! Please! We have to bring him back."

Giggling, Ryuk floated upside down. He twirled in glee and laughter as he said, "No can do Light. Once a name is written it cannot be unwritten. There is no force on this world that can."

Footsteps were soon echoing down the hall, drawing closer to the room Light occupied. Someone from the task force must have followed after him. Light looked up as Matsuda and Aizawa entered the room. Their guns drawn and aimed steadily at Light.

Numb, Light looked at the pen that lay mere inches from his collapsed form, then to the book in his lap, and finally locking onto the name written there.

'Oh, I guess they're one hundred percent certain I'm Kira now.' Light thought brokenly. How stupid of them. But even he can see the reasoning. The evidence has always held him firmly as a Kira suspect. Someone played them perfectly. She played them perfectly. Whoever she was.

"Yagami Light. You are under arrest!" Aizawa shouted, gun never wavering as Matsuda approached him, handcuffs shaking in his hands.

Light flinched as the cold steel bound his arms behind himself with a tight clasp.

"How could you," Matsuda said. His voice was tight and restrained. "We should have listened to L. God how wrong we were! I trusted you! I never once believed L. But you've made idiots of us all. How could you do this!"

With that Matsuda hoisted Light to his feet. The Death Note tumbling to the ground in a mock reenactment of that day Light had first laid his eyes on a Death Note. What pain and suffering those accursed things brought.

Aizawa bent forward to grab the evidence. His eyes landed on the only name within, before slamming the thing shut. "Congratulations, Watari and L are dead. You've killed them both. I hope this was all worth it." He spat. His grip iron clad on Light's bicep.

Light stumbled along as the two detectives forced him out of the room. His mind was whirring at that new information. She killed Watari too? He didn't even remember seeing his name listed next to L's. His throat constricted, his eyes had only cared about L's name. All he could see was L's name written in such black ink on such blindingly white paper. He never even saw that Rem had written Watari down too. Shame burned the back of his eyes. Watari was like a father to L.

They both died of a heart attack with the knowledge that Light was the one who did it. There was nothing Light could do now that could prove his innocence. Kira had played them too well. Framed him so completely. They literally caught him red handed with the Death Note that killed L. Because of Kira, Light will never be able to finally prove his innocence.

And now, Light can never speak to L again. He will never get the chance to argue with the man, play that second round of tennis, or get to stare in abject horror as the man downed another piece of cake.

He'll never get to sit next to L and listen to him spout deductions and theories again. Or watch those grey eyes shine with hidden mysteries. He'll never again get to fall asleep watching L work, the rhythmic sound of the clicking keyboard the last thing he hears.

A thousand different insignificant moments lost forever. Light desperately wanted them back. He wanted more time with the man.

Light let his legs collapse beneath him. He no longer had the strength to hold himself up. His bottom jaw shook with tension as he held in his sobs. Eyes stinging with unshed tears. It felt like he was having a heart attack by how much his heart wrenched. Light was vaguely aware of his panicked state when his vision started to blacken.

But Aizawa and Matsuda gave no care for Light as they dragged him back towards the main room. Once among the rest of the task force, they dropped him onto the hard tiles. They were cold to the touch, but Light could barely register the sense. His eyes had landed on the white clad figure that rested below L's monitors.

His father was crouched before L draping a white cloth over the prone form. Light tried to scramble to his knees, lurching himself forward. He needed to get closer. He needed to see him. To touch him. Feel his heart beating. He needed L to be alive.

"Please, please let me see him." He begged when a heavy hand clutched at his shoulder. Restraining him. Holding him down. "Please, I need to see him!" He tried to shake the man off him. Not caring who it was. But they only exerted more force to keep him still.

They smashed his face against the ground, an arm pressing against the back of his neck while a knee dug into his spine. His jaw collided painfully against the ground. A sharp pain lanced through his haze as copper filled his mouth. Blood rushed from his newly bitten tongue to drool down past his lips. The warm liquid pooling against his cheek. Warm but cooling. It was a sign of life to Light. He hated that thought. He could bleed while L could not.

"You've already killed him, why must you see his body?" One of the members scoffed in disgust, "Need to prove that you won against L? Its all just a game to you. Well I hate to break it to you Kira, you may have killed L, but you didn't win. We caught you in the end, and justice will be served for all the souls you callously slaughtered."

Light couldn't take his eyes away from where L laid. He knew the voice that was snarling the words. How could he not after working with these men for so long? But he didn't care to provide a name and face to it. They didn't matter at that moment. He didn't want to let his eyes stray from the dead body beneath the cloth. He could just see one of L's hands peeking from beneath. They weren't moving. He watched his father tuck L's against his still chest, effectively hiding L from Light's view.

"Dad! Please, let me see him. Please, Dad!" Light wanted to cry. He needed his father to believe in him. Trust him. More than anything he needed his dad right now. If there was one man here who would still love and trust him it would be his father. "I just need to see him. Dad please."

Light craned his neck to watch as his dad bent towards the cloth and lifted the corner just enough for Light to see the pale grey face of L. His eyes were closed. Had he died with them closed or did the men do it for him? His body was unnaturally still. Did he die hating Light? Light's heart lurched once more. A choked sob escaped him with pink saliva bubbling down his chin. A raw scream tore his throat as he dug his forehead against the ground. Twisting his head away from L's dead body. The weight against his neck was suffocating but the pain in his chest was worse.

Seconds after, Light's Dad dropped the cloth gently back onto the dead detective. His gaze was hard as he straightened his back. A snarl on his face.

"Know this one thing Kira. You are not my son. My son is dead and you will soon follow him." He was Chief Detective Yagami at that moment. Another part of Light's heart cracked when he heard his father reject him. Broken, bruised, and bleeding, Light Yagami was reduced to a being systematically hated by the whole world. He was well and truly alone.

"Put him in a cell. It's about time we let the world know that Kira has been caught." Once more Light found himself being dragged away. His legs scrambling beneath him for purchase.

"Wait, Dad! Please! I can explain. I didn't… L he-he can't be...please. No, no, no no, he's not…It's not me. Please no...please." Twin lines of tears scalding his cheeks, he had given up on holding them back.

"Ignore him. He's nothing but a criminal. Wait no." He paused on reflection, "It's nothing but a monster that can act as a human. A pitiful creature beneath us. It speaks nothing less than pretty lies and treachery. Let's not continue to disgrace our station and continue to fall for it's lies." Chief Yagami Soichiro said. Voice flat, but rigid in disgust. He had turned his back on Light.

Light was the only one to hear the eerie laughter that followed the team as he was dragged to reside once more in the holding cell.

/\/\

The cot was cold where Light laid curled in on himself. His head buried against his knees. He shivered where he laid. Not bothering to grab the thin scratchy blanket to cover himself with. He figured spending fifty-three days in this jail cell the first time and another fifty days handcuffed to L would have made his body all but immune to this kind of treatment.

His right hand was twisted around, cuffed to the bars of the cot. It didn't leave much room for comfort. The handcuff rattled against the metal frame of the cot when Light had tried flexing his muscles to force blood back into the numb appendage. He didn't want to face the room. He knew there were cameras watching him, but he didn't know where they were. He didn't want to know. He didn't want to frantically search for them. Because this time, he had no clue who was on the other side watching.

Light panted out a silent sob. More tears burned behind his eyelids. His head throbbed with his pulse. His pride was shattered days ago. He could barely understand why he tried to be so perfect. All it got him was a cell, the hatred of his family, -and the world- and the dead body of a man that had been on par with Light's own brain.

It had been three days since his father locked him up. Three days since L died. He spent those three days waging a war with his body.

His body ached. His tongue was swollen where he bit it. His head was pounding from dehydration due to his near constant crying. His arm was numb. His body was cold and starving. And he fought tooth and nail against it all.

It was a losing battle.

A static crackle echoed against the brick walls.

"Well I have to admit I expected a bit more theatrics from Kira." The warbled voice said. "Maybe some grand speech on how you couldn't possibly be Kira. That you were framed. What tactic are you playing with?" The tone seemed playful. Almost childish in its quizzical questioning. Light bared his teeth. The only recipient, his jean clad knee. He was confident that this new person couldn't see his face, but just hearing the voice made Light shiver in disgust.

For one brief second Light had thought that voice was well and truly L. But he knew better.

"So this is what happens," Light said, his voice rough with disuse. He didn't bother moving from his curled position. He could no longer hold a placating mask, his emotions were out there for everyone to see. They were too raw. It was safer to not show them.

"And what do you mean by that?" The speaker asked. The layered voice was starting to get on Light's nerves. His lip curled in annoyance.

"I had always wondered what happens when L dies. Now I know."

"Oh? That's definitely something Kira would be interested in. And what do you believe happens?"

Light scoffed, just what was this person playing at? Toying with him like this. He presses his knees harder to his face. He needed the comforting pressure.

"You just replace him. Like he was nothing. Nothing but a spot to fill. Can't let the world know that the great detective L is human. He can't die, he's a symbol of peace and justice. But you'll never be L. You'll never be as great as he was." Light was growling now. The idea of them just putting someone else in L's place was abhorrently heinous. "Tell me, do they grow you in labs or steal you off the streets? Does just anybody fit the bill or are you trained in schools? How pathetic."

The new L didn't respond. The speaker stayed silent for a long minute. Good. Maybe they'll leave him alone. He's not stupid enough to think he wasn't going to be constantly monitored, but as long as he didn't have to listen to a voice that was supposed to be L but wasn't then he would consider it a blessing.

Light couldn't help but tense when he heard the sound of keys sliding into the lock of his jail cell. He bit his lip, frozen in apprehension. Nobody came to visit him. Let alone open the door. He never heard any footsteps leading up to the door in the first place. Was he so far out of it that he didn't hear the clanking of shoes on tile?

He strained his ears to listen for his mystery visitor. Was he in the cell with him? Clenching his eyes shut, Light didn't want to meet the new L. Didn't want to have someone else's face superimposed over L's.

"Actually it's a bit of everything." The person spoke. Fabric rustling as they must have moved in some way.

Light's body unfurled on a gasp. His head whipped to the side to stare at his visitor. Before conscious thought, Light's body had rolled off the cot and reached towards the man. One arm outstretched while the other strained against the metal binds holding him in place.

"L!" Light gasped out on a sob. His fingers inches away from clutching at the man's shirt. God he was so sick of crying.

He doesn't know if he managed to stretch his body to finally reach the man or if L had leaned too far forward by accident. Nevertheless, within a second Light had the fabric of L's white shirt clutched thoroughly. He pulled the man towards himself with all the strength he could muster. Quick as he could he unclenched the shirt to wrap his arm around L's torso. Effectively slamming their bodies together.

Caught off guard L had stumbled and slammed his head against Light's. Light didn't care. What's one more aching body part compared to L, in his arms, alive. He sank to the floor, dragging the other man to sprawl undignified with him. Light gulped in large breaths of air. L smelled like too much sugar. Sweet and rich. Light buried his face in L's neck. He was breathing heavily trying to burn the smell into his brain.

The one hand not tangled in a short chain and cuff, clawed at L's back. Twisting and pulling the shirt trying to press the detective impossibly closer. Light was aggressive in his desperation to hold the man there in his arm. He could feel the fabric beneath his face quickly become wet.

"You can't do that again, L." Light begged. "Please I can't do that again. I can't be in this world without you. Please." Light shoved his face in the hollow of L's throat. His cries were ugly. It was the one thing he knew that looked bad on him. But he just didn't give a damn anymore of what people thought of him. Look again where that got him.

It took Light longer than he's proud to admit to notice that he was no longer chained to the cot. His arm had fully gone numb a day or so ago. L had been so silent through everything Light was foisting on him. He barely noticed that L was holding him back. That L was rocking him. One hand clutching the back of Light's head holding him in place beneath L's chin while the other gently massaged Light's arm, helping the blood flow back into it.

"How?" Light choked out. How was he alive?

"Strange thing those Death Notes. If the name isn't written fully you don't die." L said. He rubbed his chin against Light's head. Ruffling the short locks.

It was like the snapping of puppet strings. Light's whole body collapsed boneless against L. He had made it in time. He had made it.

"I owe you my life, Light, and I'm never one to leave a debt unpaid." Debt unpaid? Light couldn't give a shit about any debts owed. L was alive. That's all he gave a damn about. That's all he needed out of this despicable world. "Sadly the world knows that Light-kun is Kira. Light-kun must die."

"So you still believe I'm Kira." Light felt hollow at that. His mind just couldn't keep handling these surges of emotion.

"No." L acknowledged. "I am one hundred percent positive that Light-kun is not Kira."

"Then why must I die for that criminal?"

L's hand came up to rest gently against Light's cheek. He pulled away to allow their eyes to hold, "Kira went to a lot of trouble to kill me and frame you. In the eyes of the world you must die like I had. But we will fake it. I may have been wrong about you being Kira but I was not wrong that someone on the task force is working for them."

"You spent so much time convinced it was me, that you missed a rat in your own task force." Light couldn't believe it. If he was thinking straight he'd be able to come to the same reasoning. But right now he just felt annoyed.

"Yes, I believe so." Ls thumb brushed against a cooling track of tears. His grey eyes watched as he gently wiped it away. He was silent for a moment. "You're not going to ask why I don't believe you're Kira anymore?"

"I figured it must have been my running down the halls to stop Rem that did it." Light said, slumping his head back against L's shoulder. Light figured that L would be boney and was slightly shocked to land against a broad defined shoulder. His ugly white shirt could really hide his physique.

"No, I was almost certain you were Kira at that time." L answered with a shrug. "I figured it was a ploy to prove your innocence."

"Damnit L." Light growled half-heartedly.
His teeth skimmed the ridges of L's shoulder in a mock bite. Sue him. He was frustrated and exhausted. "Just tell me, what it was I did, so I know how to stop you from spouting the stupid Kira percentages again and keep me firmly at zero."

"It was your reaction to my death," L answered. His fingers had slid up from Light's cheek to play with Light's unwashed hair of three days. "You are a great actor, Light. But what you did was visceral. You truly thought I died. You screamed and cried and begged. I watched the tapes over and over. Analyzing you from as many angles as I had. You were heartbroken. For me. Over me. Kira wouldn't have been able to fake that."