Disclaimer: Death Note is not owned by me. I only own this story and make no profit from this.

AN:

Thanks to all of those who reviewed! Though not many people reviewed to answer my question of the previous chapter. Nevertheless, your suggestions have been duly noted!

Enjoy this chappie, and let me know what you think of it! And happy holidays!


Chapter 9


September 1, 2000

Raito was seated in front of his desk, with his laptop's screen glowing at one side, while he studiously did his homework for his class of 'Psychiatry and Psychology for Criminal Profiling'.

It was three hours past midnight and everyone at Wammy's House was already asleep, with the possible exception of Beyond, who made himself only sleep three or four hours a day. But the older boy hadn't come into his room yet, so Raito deduced that he was engaged in his own late-night study session. He would surely see the Beyond in the morning, after the boy surreptitiously slipped in his bed when he was asleep.

A small smile quirked his lips as he thought about the older boy, while he continued doing his homework. During the last week, after L had found them sharing a bed, Raito had gone forth with his plan of using intimacy to manipulate Beyond. And as he had expected, he was growing to like their shared kisses more and more. He still hadn't slyly asked Beyond any questions about L during their snogging sessions, since that would be too obvious since they had just began their intimacy, but he would start doing it soon. That was the whole point of kissing Beyond, after all.

Nevertheless, he always forced himself to analyze his situation and to admit to himself that kissing Beyond, and being kissed by him, was very pleasurable. He needed to be honest with himself in that regard, in order to never lose his focus and control, so that he could balance those pleasurable moments by spending intimate time with Viviane. So far, it was working.

Every day in which he spend time kissing Beyond, then he would eventually seek out Viviane to kiss her as well. It nullified the pleasure he felt with the older boy, and allowed him to keep a cold and tight grip on his emotions, safely locking them away. Not that he got emotional with Beyond, of course, that was ridiculous; but feeling pleasure was dangerous. Hence, he always made himself kiss and caress Viviane afterwards, so that he could feel again coldly detached and unfeeling.

His plan of using Viviane as a counterbalance worked perfectly, for several reasons.

Firstly, he already saw how she was becoming more attached to him. She hadn't openly expressed it, but he could see that she was indeed deeply in love with him. Thus, he knew that he could persuade her to do anything for him, if the need arose. And that certainly would be useful in the future.

Secondly, they kept their 'relationship' a secret. He had told Viviane that it was imperative to do so, since he feared for her safety if Beyond ever found out that she was his 'girlfriend'. He hadn't needed to say much to convince her, since she had been bitten by Beyond, but he had explained that the older boy was very possessive of him ever since they had become 'friends'. He had told her that he didn't particularly like Beyond, but that there wasn't much that he could do, since the older boy was unstable and deranged, so he thought it best to play along with Beyond's belief that they were 'best friends'.

Thus, he had easily persuaded her to keep their intimate moments to themselves, and to only indulge in them when they were in her room. There no one bothered them, not even Beyond. He suspected that it was because the older boy usually disappeared whenever she was present, surely because Beyond didn't want to be tempted to bite her once more, for it was certain that Roger would send him away if the boy did that again.

Therefore, as much as he indulged in the pleasure of kissing Beyond, tasting the unique sweet and coppery tang of the older boy's mouth, he was always able to keep himself in check. And he was mightily proud and satisfied with how everything was currently working out.

Suddenly, a small window popped and flashed green in his laptop's screen, and Raito pushed his homework a side to check it. He had configured his computer to let him know when someone posted a message in the Ekwok forum he had created at Globalnet. He only hoped it wasn't some idiot asking again if Ekwok was a village in Africa or some such ignorant and inane question.

Raito blinked when he read the posted message, and a smirk curled his lips. So L had finally decided to contact Y… the man had taken his sweet time in doing so. Oh, he had been furious at first when L didn't write in the forum, for he knew that the man must have unraveled his message weeks ago. But then he had immediately understood that making Y angry was just what L intended to do. So he had armed himself with patience and indifference while days crept by and L didn't post a message in the forum.

But this was certainly L, and Raito inwardly chuckled with amusement when he read the message again, wondering if the man had been high when choosing the stupid username.

Misty: I'm also looking for Yolanda. I want to see the pictures of her puppy playing with the snow in Ekwok. I love puppies. I never had one myself, but I still hope that someone will give me a puppy someday. Sleuth, do you like puppies?

Raito snorted snidely. Either L was high on drugs or the man was simply naturally giddy and childish. Then he narrowed his eyes at the screen. Or L wanted to appear to be that way, so that Y underestimated him…. But honestly, 'Misty' and 'I love puppies'? It was ridiculous and it also belittled the seriousness and importance of L's first direct communication with Y. But, probably, that was L's intention as well; to piss off Y.

He smirked and poised his fingers on the keyboard. If L wanted to play, he would oblige. Though, of course, he couldn't let L know that Y suspected Misty to be L. After all, he had created a crafty little program to constantly change his IP address, permanently looping, so the message of 'Looking for me' had been repeated several times, for anyone who looked for it. He knew that L was trying to locate Y because he had heard Roger's conversation, thus he knew that Matt had been monitoring the IP address.

Therefore, Raito knew that L was looking for Y, but Y had no reason to instantly realize that this was L. After all, there were many people who could want to communicate with Y; police forces to whom he had sent his emails or the other two greatest detectives in the world. As a matter of fact, he felt angry and disappointed that Eraldo Coil hadn't found Ekwok's Forum.

Raito had hoped that the second greatest detective in the world would have also been looking for Y. But none of the messages previously posted in the Forum had used the keyword 'looking', except Misty's message, at present. And he knew, given Misty's childish and playful tone, that this had to be L.

It could only mean that Eraldo Coil wasn't interested in Y or that the detective wasn't as intelligent as he had assumed - if the man hadn't unraveled the message hidden in the locations of Y's IP addresses.

He angrily sighed. Finding Eraldo Coil was much more important to him than playing with L. But it didn't matter, for now, since he would keep trying to figure out who Coil was by studying the man's reports on solved cases. And he would have more clues about the man once he got back to Tokyo and contacted someone in the NPA who had worked under Coil's orders, when his father had led the NPA force to raid the Red Dragon yakuza headquarters. Thus, he accepted that he had to be patient.

Currently, he knew that Eraldo Coil had taken a case on serial murders in Miami. It had been all over the news that the detective was helping the FBI on that case. On the other hand, he knew that L had taken a case in Moscow, about a month ago, and that the man was still currently working to solve it. As for Deneuve, there had been no indications that she had recently taken any case. Nevertheless, he knew that none of those three detectives ever showed themselves in person to the people they worked with, or to anyone else. Obviously, for security reasons, given all the criminals they had caught.

He often fleetingly wondered if any of those detectives flew to the cities in which they took a case... Nevertheless, he would work under the assumption that L was in Moscow, which meant that it was three hours later in the night for L than for him. So he had to be careful of never giving away in which time zone he was in.

He would need to write in the forum at different and sporadic times during his days and nights, so that L could never deduce in which country he was. And he would always post messages that would throw L off his course, so that 'Andrew' would never be suspected of being Y. Though there was little chance of that; Y could be anyone in the world with an interest in criminal investigation.

Satisfied, and with several schemes speeding through his mind, Raito focused back on the task at hand. And while he typed his message, to post it under his username of Sleuth, his lips quirked upwards at the challenge of matching wit against wit with L.


In his luxurious hotel suite in Moscow, L leaned forward while he precariously balanced himself on the chair. With his legs bent against his chest, he unblinkingly gazed at the file he had been reading about the Miami murders. He briefly glanced at his computer's flat screen, eyeing the window of Ekwok's Forum, wondering when Y would post a reply message. Would the man see it soon, or was the man in some part of the world where it was late at night, and thus, currently sleeping?

L daintily snatched the delicious cherry topping his cup of ice cream, and popped it into his awaiting mouth. He sighed with blissful contentment as he twirled his tongue around the sugary cherry, and went back to read the file on the latest murder in Miami, his mind quickly piecing together the new clues about the serial killer's identity.

He often took several cases at once, using his two other detective personas, so that no one would suspect that L was also Eraldo Coil and Denueve. After all, who would imagine that he would have the time to work on several cases at once? Though it wasn't really a matter of time; his mind simply could easily work in several tracks at once, and he could follow and solve cases simultaneously.

He was currently in Moscow because he always travelled and set up headquarters at the city in which he took the most challenging case. Nevertheless, it was easy for him, with Quillsh's help and technical expertise, to stay in constant communication with the FBI task force working in Miami under his orders – Eraldo Coil's orders.

Suddenly, from the corner of his eyes, he saw something flickering on his flat screen and he immediately put down the file he had been reading. So Y was currently awake? In Moscow, it was six in the morning. Therefore, it could mean that Y was in America, where it was night or late evening, or the man could be in Europe, staying up late at night… or it was day time for Y… Well, there were countless possibilities, and he wouldn't be able to simply deduce where Y was just based on when the man posted messages. Surely Y was sly enough not to reveal, by that means, in which time zone he was in.

L's lips spread into a small grin, while he reread the message.

Sleuth: I adore puppies too, Misty. And that's a very pretty name, surely matching a very pretty woman. I'm quite bored at present, in my lunch break at work, and chatting with a young woman like yourself will brighten my day. Tell me, Misty, what are you wearing?

The corner of his lips quirked upwards even further, and L daintily swooped a fingertip along his chocolate and strawberry ice cream, before he stuck it in his mouth. So Y wasn't playing to be a hormonal teenager anymore, like in his first posted message? Though, he didn't believe for a second that Y was some lecherous man looking to have some sex-chat during office hours.

A creepy, little grin curved his lips, and he quickly typed on the keyboard with his index fingers.


Misty: *giggles and blushes* Oh, I cannot tell a stranger that. My mum always tells me that I have to be very careful in chat rooms and forums. There are many evil men out there, according to my momma.

Raito scoffed and rolled his eyes. Was L going to keep that up for long? Things wouldn't get interesting until they admitted that they were Y and L. He widely smirked. Nevertheless, he could play along to get some information out of him, and to barrage L with deceitful clues about Y's identity.

Sleuth: Your momma is right, Misty. I apologize, I thought you were older, but it's clear to me that you must be a very young girl. Being quite older than yourself, I recommend that you listen to your momma. I have a daughter myself, thus I know what I'm speaking about. There are many ill-intentioned men prowling the web, Misty.

L blinked at the message and shoved his thumb in between his fingers. Y wanted him to believe that he had a daughter? Surely the man wouldn't reveal such information about himself. It was a diversionary tactic meant to make him wonder once again about the man's age.

His lips quirked upwards and he scooped some more ice cream with a sugar-coated cookie and popped it into his mouth, before he daintily typed back.

Misty: Oh, and how old is your daughter?

Raito frowned, wondering where L wanted to go with this. Nevertheless, he quickly replied.

Sleuth: She's fifteen years old, a mischievous and fiery girl who had me wrapped around her little finger the moment she opened her eyes and grabbed my finger with her chubby, tiny hands when she was a baby.

L grinned widely, feeling a rush of exhilarated expectation. He had the man now. Let's see how Y responded next. Surely the man would see the hidden message.

Misty: Fifteen! She's the same age as I am. That's awesome! Oh, I wish I could meet her. I have no friends of my own. Everyone thinks I'm an oddball. Oh, if there was only a way in which I could meet her!

Raito softly chuckled with amusement. He had to admit it, bantering with L was fun. He slightly frowned at that. He shouldn't enjoy this; he couldn't afford to like L. The man was competition, someone he wanted to show up and rid from the title as the best detective in the world. And L had already proved to be someone controlling, manipulative, and sly. The man had, after all, spied on him and Beyond, and then practically ordered him to cease any close relationship with anyone. Though, granted, he didn't particularly have anything against L; his prey was Eraldo Coil – when he found the damned man.

He suppressed his seething hatred of Coil, and focused back on the message. It was clear what L was implying - for them to meet. But it had to be a bluff, since he knew perfectly well that L never revealed himself in person to anyone.

Instantly, he widely smirked while he replied. It was a test. L wanted to see if he was willing to meet him face-to-face, even though the man had no intention of doing so.

Sleuth: I would be happy to oblige. My daughter always loves to make new friends. I could reward her good grades in school with a trip somewhere. Tell me, where are you, Misty?

L pressed his thumb against his bottom lip, gazing unblinkingly at his flat screen, while his mind lurched forwards. Obviously Y was willing to play along for as long as he did, but it was time to get to the point. He was 98 certain that Y knew that 'Misty' was someone who had caught Y's 'Looking for me' message. Thus, the man must suspect that 'Misty' was a policeman, detective, or someone in that line of work. Furthermore, he needed to know how much Y was willing to do, and reveal, to satiate his curiosity about who had caught the message hidden in the location of the IP addresses.

A small grin crept on his lips, and he swiftly typed.

Misty: I'm in Florida. But I have to admit that I'm more interested in meeting you, Sleuth.

Raito smirked and placidly leaned back on his swivel chair. Well, L was finally ready to cut through the crap. He poised his fingers on his keyboard, and he quickly typed and launched the program he had created for this situation. In a few seconds, he had locked down the forum, and he immediately posted another message.

Sleuth: We can communicate openly now, Misty. From now on, only we will be able to enter this forum.

Misty: You have high-skilled hacking abilities, it seems.

Raito widely smirked. L knew that already, of course, since the man had to know that Y hacked into police mainframes and databases in order to get information to crack cases. Thankfully, he had been very careful in masking his computer skills in Wammy's House. Actually, the only one who knew about his hacking abilities was Beyond, because they always studied together police files and the reports given by L, Coil, and Deneuve. Though, obviously, not even Beyond knew that he was Y. He always sent his emails under the Y alias when he was alone in his room before going to sleep, or when he had a free period while Beyond had classes.

Sleuth: You must know that already, Misty. Tell me, are you an FBI or Interpol agent?

Misty: Is that who you expected to find your message, Y?

Raito arched an eyebrow in surprise. So L meant serious business if the man was already openly revealing that he knew that 'Sleuth' was Y. He had expected L to dally a while longer before doing that. He frowned in puzzled pensiveness. What did L want to get out of this?

Sleuth: Possibly. Either you work for some police force or you are a detective yourself.

L's lips curved into a small, nasty grin, and he daintily typed back.

Misty: Is that what you consider yourself to be – a detective? Tsk, Y. You're nothing but an amateur, trying to play in the big leagues, and you'll repeatedly find yourself outmatched and bested.

Raito flared in anger, but he quickly suppressed it, thinking carefully what to reply to that jibe.

Sleuth: You're very arrogant and conceited if you think you can best me. I can only gather that you are indeed a detective.

A small, satisfied smirk spread over L's face, and he decided to push the game a notch higher.

Misty: I am L. But you must have suspected that already. If you didn't, I find myself very disappointed in Y.

Raito gritted his teeth together, before he instantly replied with supreme impassiveness, making it look as if he was startled, suspicious, and also excitedly pleased.

Sleuth: Are you really L? I had been hoping, of course, that I would grab your attention… I can't believe that you're truly L. I've wanted to talk to you for so long, to get to know you… You've always been my inspiration. I feel deeply honored. This is amazing! But, how can I really be sure that you are who you claim to be?

L stared unblinkingly at the screen, nibbling on his thumb while his mind was rushing with sly, pondering thoughts. The man sounded like a worshipful fan; someone who had simply become Y to grab L's attention. But he doubted that. He was 86 percent certain that the man actually thought himself to be a competitor.

His lips quirked upwards, and he swiftly wrote back, in order to test the man further.

Misty: I am L, and you'll simply have to take my word on it. But as I said, I am in Florida, so perhaps you have a chance to meet me here. I've always wanted to visit Disney World – such a merry place of fantasy. For the sake of keeping my identity a secret, I will be masked with a costume of Goofy – I love that character, he's so cute and funny, don't you think? And you can be Minnie Mouse. We could meet, say, tomorrow?

Raito's hands balled into fists, blazing with indignant anger. Minnie Mouse – the gall of the man! But immediately, he reread the message again and he burst out laughing. Oh, L was priceless! It was another test, of course, to see if he was willing to meet face-to-face, and also for L to deduce where he was. Nevertheless, he was certain that L was bluffing about the meeting. L wouldn't chance his safety just out of curiosity about Y's identity.

Smirking widely, with both amusement and thrilled enjoyment, he deftly typed on his keyboard.

Sleuth: I would be ecstatic to meet you, L! And it's wonderful that you're in Florida, since I can take a plane and be there in only an hour and a half. I also live in the US, and I've taken my daughter several times to Disney World. I admit that I've always enjoyed myself as much as she has. So at what time do you want to meet? Oh, and I think I'll be Captain Hook, and you can be Tinkerbell.

A small grin spread on L's face, and he shoved his thumb in between his lips, to smother an amused chuckle. Tinkerbell? He supposed he deserved it for the Minnie Mouse suggestion. And Y had seen through his game. Oh, the man didn't disappoint. Though, did Y truly have a fifteen-year-old daughter? That would make him a man in his mid thirties or forties. No, it was another lie, to throw him off-track; he was 99 percent sure about it.

Regardless, it was time to glean some information about the man's views, and to rile him up.

Misty: Y wants to dress up as a villain? I would have thought that someone who was working to catch criminals wouldn't choose a villain to masquerade himself. Though, you are a criminal yourself, aren't you, Y? Given the way you illegally hack into police databases. I could easily have you prosecuted for that, Y.

Raito smirked, utterly unfazed, quickly grasping where L wanted to go with this. Well, he would put on a superb performance, as always. And they both knew that L could do nothing to prosecute Y. When he hacked mainframes, he never left any evidence that could be traced back to anyone, and L knew that.

Sleuth: I've always thought that Captain Hook was vastly misunderstood – the poor man, having to put up with a childish, disrespectful brat as Peter Pan. Since I'm a middle-aged man myself and have a teenage, rebellious daughter, I can sympathize with Hook's annoyance. That's why I like that fictional character. But truly, L, you wound me when you say that I'm a criminal. How else could I try to solve cases if I didn't hack into police mainframes? Regretfully, I don't have your fame or connections, therefore, I try to do my duty to uphold Justice in the ways I can. And since I have a gift in computer skills, and also given that I earn a living with them to sustain my family, they are the only means with which I can help the world. Wouldn't you say that I'm pardoned if what I do serves for the betterment of mankind, to have a crime-free society?

L gazed unblinkingly at the screen, his mind working fast to unravel the lies from veiled truths. Y earned a living with his computer skills? Was the man a programmer or worked as an obscure hacker for some company, steeling secrets from the competition? Given the man's obvious hacking skills, it wasn't that far-fetched, if Y needed to work to earn a living. Though, admittedly, it could be a blatant lie. Or a truth, to justify the means he used - those at his disposal. And if it was true, Y lost nothing by revealing his line of work, given that there were countless computer programmers in the world. Thus, it wasn't a clue that could help him find out who Y was.

L's lips quirked upwards and he daintily grabbed a spoon in between thumb and index finger, scooping up ice cream and letting it slowly melt in his mouth. Nevertheless, he could never take at face-value the clues that Y so casually dropped. He shouldn't work with assumption that Y was so careless; he shouldn't underestimate the man.

Moreover, what mattered was that Y had delved into the topic he had subtly directed their conversation towards. Though, he was 73 percent certain that the man had followed it knowingly. Yes, both of them wanted to measure up the other's view on Justice.

Feeling a rush of challenge and true enjoyment, his grin spread while he typed his reply. He would answer back using his public L persona facade, and figure out where Y truly stood.

Misty: I certainly don't believe that your illegal actions are excusable. The end never justifies the means, Y. You should leave matters in the hands of those who have the power and ability to legally catch criminals. The way you perform this hobby of yours is illegal, and your attempts unnecessary. For I am Justice, and need no amateur's help. What I conduct is lawful Justice, and what you do is a crime itself.

Raito dryly chuckled under his breath. What a sly, little hypocrite! L could feed that rubbish to the media and to the gullible, hero-worshipping, worldwide public, but he certainly didn't buy it. He clearly remembered his first conversation with L, on his first day in Wammy's House. The words were branded in his mind, since he had been surprised by them, and since he had inwardly agreed:

'I didn't become L due to any sense of justice. Figuring out difficult cases is my hobby. If you measured good and evil deeds by current laws, I would be responsible for many crimes. That's why I only take cases which pique my interest. It's not justice at all. It's a matter of finding something that challenges me. And if it means being able to clear a case, I don't play fair. I'm a dishonest, cheating human being who hates losing.'

Though, obviously, Y wasn't supposed to know this, so he would play his part. But darn it, he was enjoying this bantering and battle of wits with L too much! And he was speedily growing to like the man more and more.

Raito deeply sighed, with a slight frown on his face. But instantly, he deviously grinned. Well, he supposed that he could afford to like L. He didn't have any bones to pick with him; besting and outsmarting L was simply a challenge, while bringing down and destroying Eraldo Coil was a matter of justified, unmerciful vengeance. Therefore, liking L wouldn't have any consequences for him. Thus, he would allow it to himself.

His grin spread while he typed his reply; he had a rose-tinted-viewed, idealistic, noble character to portray, and it was so much fun - he wondered if L would swallow it. But the opinions he expressed were so unlike his own that he inwardly grimaced. Nevertheless, it was entertaining and challenging to spin the deceitfully open-hearted, persuading, and smooth lies.

Sleuth: I concur with you, L. You are Justice. I can tell that you are always impartial and that your code of ethics and morals must be outstanding. And I know that you don't need my help, but I feel the duty of doing something to uphold Justice. I would gladly leave it to your proven capable hands, but I can't, since I want to do my best to offer my daughter a better world when she grows up. I don't want her living with the fear that some criminal might rape her in an alley, or with the fear that her father might be mugged and killed just for a few bucks. I don't want her to always look over her shoulder, scared that something bad could happen to her. Don't you understand that what I do is for her?

Raito paused, thinking quickly, before he added some more.

Sleuth: Because I believe that if people like us work hard, then we could build an ideal society with very low crime-rates. Where everyone could feel safe and live in peace. I'm sure that this is attainable, L. Therefore, I'll keep working hard for it, but I would never use any means to accomplish it. I agree with you on that. Criminals have to be caught, judged, and sentenced, with fairness and by legal means. Nevertheless, I do no harm when I hack into police mainframes, and I help when I send them my inputs on on-going cases. Perhaps, someday, I'll be able to do it with impeccable and untarnished legal means, like you do. I'll certainly try to do so. But for now, I'll use the harmless means at my disposal. I, Y, won't give up in my goal of creating an ideal society. The same you aim for, L.

L stared unblinkingly at his screen, nibbling pensively on his thumb, while a slight frown spread on his forehead. Was Y really this naively idealistic? He fleetingly felt disappointed with Y. And there it was again, the mention of the man's alleged daughter.

Granted, his own words had purposely been those of an idealistic, righteous man. And if Y truly had a daughter, then the man's goals, however inanely rose-tinted, were understandable. It seemed that solving cases wasn't a challenging hobby for Y, as it was for him. The man appeared to really take to heart the mission of catching criminals; it seemed that Y was a well-intentioned man who considered it to be a duty.

Or, everything Y had written was simply a lie meant to deceive him. L lips curved into a small grin. Yes, the man could very well have his own brand of Justice, and be manipulative, dishonest, and a cunning cheater, like him. In that case, what were Y's real plans for the future? To become an L, one more worldwide famed detective? Or were Y's schemes more complex, covert, and sly?

Whatever Y's real views and motives, he would certainly play along to try to unravel them. L popped a sugar-coated cherry into his mouth, and his grin spread while he considered the man. Yes, he was 65 percent certain that there was more to Y than it seemed. And he felt a flare of excited thrill at the challenge of figuring out Y.

Misty: I'm very glad and relieved that you share my opinion about fair and righteous Justice, Y. And I feel that I understand you. You're right, you should try to build a better world for your daughter. I think I could help you with that, if we discussed cases together. What do you say?

Raito blinked, startled, and then he immediately narrowed his eyes at his laptop's screen. What was L playing at? The man would never offer anyone to discuss and work on cases together. He was certain that L was a self-centered, prideful man who thought that everyone else wasn't up to his level of prodigal genius. Cracking cases was L's entertainment, and he was sure that the man didn't share 'toys' that challenged him, nor would the man share the glory and fame of solving cases.

He leaned back on his swivel chair, deep in thought, trying to see through L's intentions. It was fairly clear that L hadn't bought his lies, at least not completely. Perhaps L was withholding judgment on Y's motives and opinions, until the man had more information. Sharing views on cases would certainly give L information about how he, Y, pieced clues together. On the other hand, he could learn much himself. And it wasn't as if they would ever meet, it could be conducted through the Ekwok Forum. Moreover, he was more than capable of trading inputs on cases with L, while masquerading the way his mind worked, his true brilliancy, and the depth of his deductive skills.

Well, if L wanted to play tougher and more seriously, he was up for it. He widely smirked, and quickly typed his response.

Sleuth: Wow, I feel deeply honored, L, truly. I cannot express how grateful I am for this amazing chance of helping you with any case you have. I would still send my own inputs to police forces, but I certainly accept your offer of discussing the cases. We can do it right here, in this Forum.

Raito paused briefly, while he checked his wristwatch. It was already four in the morning, and he needed to get some sleep. His smirk widened further. He would leave L hanging for a few days. It was only fair, since the man had taken more than a month to post a message in the Forum.

Sleuth: I'm very excited about this, L! But regretfully, my lunch break is over and I have to get back to work. My boss is already giving me the evil-eye. But I'll make sure to study the case you have taken on my free time, and I'll post a message here soon, with my inputs on it.

L stared at the message, and a sulky expression spread over his features. Just when things were getting more interesting! Or was this simply an-eye-for-an-eye? L slightly scowled with sullen irritation. Yes, he was 97 percent sure that this was Y's payback to him, for not posting a message in a very long while. Y could certainly hold a grudge.

He loaded his spoon with a large scoop of strawberry ice cream, and shoved it into his mouth. Instantly feeling more cheerful and devious, he grinned slyly while he daintily typed his reply.

Misty: Very well, we'll keep communicating in this Forum. But don't stress yourself, Y. Take all the time you need to carefully study the case. After all, you're just an amateur, you shouldn't overexert your mind trying to solve it. I'm willing to grant you time, since I'm aware that your deductive abilities are vastly inferior to my own. And I wouldn't want you to unnecessarily tax yourself – think of your lovely daughter.

Raito glared at the message displayed on his laptop's screen. Yes, he was growing to genuinely like L, but the man was still an annoyingly arrogant, superiorly-conceited, and infuriating bastard!

With his lips tightly pressed in a thin line, he typed back dryly.

Sleuth: Thanks for your concern. It melts my heart, L. Have to get back to work, chat with you soon.

L widely grinned. What a short-temper Y had. Oh, it would be fun to keep riling him up in the future. People with short-fuses were prone to let things slip, after all.

Misty: Certainly. Enjoy your work, Y.

Raito scoffed, and shutdown his laptop, firmly closing the lid. He pushed L from his thoughts as he got ready for bed. He would deal with the man soon, and he wasn't worried about showing anger or irritation. It would make Y seem more humanly flawed - easily tricked to unwittingly reveal things about himself. And it even distanced Y further from 'Andrew', since he had always been coolly collected and impassive when he had spoken to L as Andrew.

That was his first priority; to never give L any reason to link Andrew to Y. Moreover, it would be easily done since there was little chance of L believing that Andrew had any different goals than other Wammy's students such as Near and Mello. The man would always believe that Andrew simply wanted to take L's mantle. Therefore, like Near and Mello, 'Andrew' didn't have a reason for creating the Y alias.

After brushing his teeth and putting on his pajamas, Raito burrowed under his bed covers, while a small smile played on his lips as his thoughts turned to more pleasurable matters. Beyond would surely slip into his bedroom soon, to lie down on the bed by his side. Regretfully, he would have to pretend to be asleep, but he would certainly pin down Beyond on the bed and kiss him senseless once they woke up in the morning.

He was always inwardly delighted when he could make Beyond respond to his kisses, and he wanted to feel the boy's lips again, with their strawberry-sweet and tangy coppery taste. Sometimes, he couldn't get enough when their mouths locked together, their tongues skillfully battling for dominance. So unlike Viviane, who easily yielded to him.

Instead, Beyond fought back, and their kisses were sometimes rough, other times playful, and other times gentle or fierce and passionate, but they were always consuming. Sometimes, the older boy ended up dominating their kisses, while other times, Raito controlled them. Their dominating natures were evenly matched in their kisses, and, admittedly, he had come to like both ways just as much. It was the continuous and inciting struggle for dominance that challenged him, as only Beyond could do.