I've been working on this fanfiction for AGES it seems, and it's finally finished! Yaay! (My beta is learntosayhello on fictionpress :) )
The voice was unfamiliar and monotonous, which was why Beyond Birthday knew exactly who it was. Of everyone at the funeral, Roger had sent L to find him. The one person who actually needed to be there.
Beyond was seated on the grungy tiles of the public bathroom, the tiny building on the grassy hill of the cemetery. He had one leg pulled up toward his chest, the other laying on the floor in a twisted fashion. The stall door wasn't locked, but it was open in such a way that Beyond couldn't see the world famous detective as he walked in. All that was visible were L's bare toes.
Beyond chewed on his thumbnail habitually and fingered an unknown liquid that graced the floor.
The walls of the stall were a sickly green, the tiles orange, but they both appeared deep red to Beyond. He literally viewed the world as if through a piece of red cellophane. All that appeared in its true color were Beyond's two favorite things: blood, and strawberry jam.
"Beyond, I am 92% sure you are in this room."
L silently padded into Beyond's view, his reflection in the mirror revealing both his appearance (which Beyond hadn't seen before), and his name and death date.
"Look under the stall doors, dumbass." Beyond mumbled angrily in a voice that hardly sounded like his fourteen year-old self. But, then again, he wasn't quite fourteen anymore. His experiences in the past week had sent his childhood self running and squealing for mercy.
(Beyond chuckled at the mental image of Roger trying to deal with hundreds of screaming, raven-haired boys.)
L peeked around the door, and Beyond greeted him with indifferent eye contact. The younger man forever relished the minute physical changes in L as he saw Beyond for the first time. L's wide eyes had widened just a bit more, his pupils had dilated. To anyone else, he might seem unfazed, but his stance said otherwise.
Perhaps he had reacted that way because for him, looking at Beyond was like staring at a mirror. Or perhaps it was because his doppelganger had been painting pictures on the wall in blood.
(L would never see Beyond without blood nearby.)
"What are you doing?" L asked.
"Nothing," Beyond said.
L wasn't as strong as the adults should be in this situation, or perhaps he was stronger. An adult would kneel down as if to a wild animal and then pounce on Beyond, restraining him and then dragging him off to a mental hospital. L simply stood there, hands shoved awkwardly in his jeans pockets, and on high alert when Beyond politely invited him to "have a seat."
L was a lot like A in that respect... but, no.
A was a taboo topic right now.
"So, Lawliet, please tell me, how does it feel to know that someone died for you?"
The adults had probably warned him about Beyond. About the eyes that could see into your soul. About the voice that made you feel as if you were missing out on a really good secret. If it was a really dark, twisted secret, Beyond supposed that in some sense, they were right.
L made no move to answer the question, so Beyond prompted him, "Answer me truthfully, please," he flashed a smile, "It's for posterity."
Again, no response other than the famous detective's dark-as-night eyes, which were trying and failing to throw off Beyond.
The stall was a small space. Beyond hadn't moved from his sprawled state to accommodate the detective, so L had to crouch in the area forfeited by Beyond's retracted leg. There was at least a foot between their noses, but in reality (and to L's hopefully great discomfort) there bodies were only inches apart.
Beyond was still smirking at L knowingly. As L shifted, the ceiling creaked.
"Whose..." L cleared his throat- he had slipped, "Whose blood is that?"
"Well it can't be mine... I'd be dead." Beyond fingered it again, tracing the form of the Old-English font L he had painted. He waited for L's racing mind to catch up.
"32 seconds. New record." Beyond stared at his black fingernails.
L tried to stand in alarm, but because of the way he sat, his backside got caught on the door, so he hissed on the way up. Beyond's smirk turned into a full-on sardonic grin.
"You killed him," The monotony shifted a bit to the anger and terror that made Beyond's mouth water. "You killed him so you could be the next successor."
"Don't flatter yourself, L." It was said almost happily, giddily. "He committed suicide. It's just that I found his donated blood in the banks."
"So you-" L broke off at the sudden deathly flash in Beyond's eyes. L's eyes, however, didn't betray him.
Beyond wondered if anyone other than himself could understand L quite so well. Could Wammy tell when he was this angry? Could Roger tell when he was this terrified?
(Could L tell how depressed Beyond was?)
"L, A is dead," Beyond began, but he looked up at L from his comfortable seat by the toilet and sighed, "Sit down. I can't take you seriously when you're being all dramatic."
There was something interesting about the way the flickering light from the ceiling light hit Lawliet's pallid skin that intrigued Beyond. How, when L turned his head in just the right accusing stare, the soft skin on the side of his neck became visible.
The neck was Beyond's favorite part of the human body. It is so easy to call life's sustenance to the neck- whether it be with a silver blade or... other means. And, from the sensitive neck, emotional reactions are abundant. A moan. A giggle. A scream.
"Beyond!" L yelled as if he'd been trying to get Beyond's attention for an extended period of time.
L had sat down, and Beyond would like to think it was to comply with his will.
"L?" Beyond's voice, even to himself, suddenly sounded a lot more like a fourteen year old boy.
"Yes, B?" L had recovered as well.
Beyond didn't feel like the dominating psychopath he would like to feel like. He felt like a toddler in trouble for stealing gum from the supermarket.
"Those two blood bags were all that was left of A."
"Yes, Beyond, I understand that," and L was the parent who had heard Beyond snapping bubbles in his room.
Beyond's conscious mind steamed. Who did this bastard think he was?
"A was mine. I'm not sharing him with the fucking blood bank," Beyond said, "Or you, for that matter."
As Beyond looked up with a practiced evil gaze, for a moment, he saw fear in L's eyes.
"I am sorry for your loss, Beyond, and I forgive-"
Beyond Birthday didn't hear the rest of L's words.
The moment the detective's pale lips formed the word "forgive", everything changed.
Beyond's mind snapped. He launched himself at L.
"You fucking bastard!" Two hands (one bloodstained) locked onto the collar of L's white t-shirt and slammed the older teen into the corner between the hinges of the door and the wall.
L tried to shove the boy off of him, but Beyond had the merciless strength of someone who has lost their grip on reality. Efforts of resistance were futile. "Beyond- augh!"
"I don't want your fucking forgiveness, L!" Beyond was shivering in his painful bloodlust.
(The t-shirt was so flimsy...)
"What the hell do you want, B?" L's voice was strained. When Beyond saw the older teenager begin to move his left leg, he kneed him as hard as he could just above the inside of the knee where it would hurt most.
Beyond leaned in very close to the detective's face and glared daggers into his eyes.
"A was mine, but he died thinking he was yours. You stole my property-" Beyond emphasized his words by slamming L against the wall so hard that the metal stall wall vibrated, "and now I want revenge."
Beyond lunged for the neck, but he wasn't hoping to elicit a moan, a giggle, or a scream. He wanted to taste blood. His teeth clamped down on stark white skin.
Beyond found himself thinking of the times he'd done this to A. L belonged to Beyond now. The crescent of teeth would be a beautiful scar.
(There was screaming.)
When Beyond's jaw loosened at the taste of copper, L's foot collided with his stomach and sent him flying across the stall, hitting his head painfully on the seat of the toilet.
At first, Beyond berated herself for being so careless to let his prey get in such a good shot, but then he saw L.
(L was like the walls. He used to be so boring until Beyond painted him with blood.)
For Beyond, and only for Beyond, the human Lawliet was revealed.
He looked about as frenzied as Beyond had felt. L's hair was frayed and static charged from being thrown against the paint-coated wall. The bite marks bled, sending crimson droplets down his neck and soaking into his collar.
Beyond licked his lips, relaxing.
When he was (not quite) sure Beyond was not going to do anything else violent, L sank against the wall, raven locks crackling with electricity as his face retreated behind his knees.
L didn't appear scared, per se. He appeared wary.
Beyond curled up similarly in the corner across from L, and watched as the detective examined the wound with his fingers. A moment passed in silence, and then L looked up with wide, blank eyes.
"It is unfortunate I forgot my silver cross."
Beyond was unhappy now. He hadn't gotten as deep as he'd hoped, and now his jaw was sore.
(For A, for A.)
Beyond's body racked with shudders as he resisted both slapping L senseless and going senseless himself.
In fact, the shudders didn't end. Beyond was shivering in his corner, and he suddenly felt lightheaded. He couldn't resist anymore; he buried his eyes into denim and his tears became blood.
He felt and ignored L's perceptive eyes on the back of his neck.
"I should take you back to the funeral." L said quietly.
(Beyond was not L's puppy.)
Beyond looked up, eyes stained with more red than usual. He unfurled himself, leaning on the painted wall for support.
The door had been opened the whole time, Beyond realized. L hadn't run when Beyond attacked. This meant L felt trapped psychologically by the situation, or that he couldn't escape Beyond Birthday.
Beyond didn't feel depressed anymore. He felt powerful.
He stood, and L (stupidly) took this as a signal that they were going back to the funeral. They exited the bathroom stall and L, slouched as he normally would be, began stepping towards the door.
If L left now, if he broke through Beyond's cage now, he would never truly be Beyond's. He would have a scar, sure, but no leash. Beyond wanted revenge, but not a little bite. Not a tiny scar.
(An itty-bitty scar from the little-wittle mouth of the teeny-weeny adolescent. Where is the fun in that?)
On a whim, Beyond placed his fingers on L's shoulder, stopping the older teen. L turned around. "Beyond, what are you doing?"
"Where were you going?"
"Back to the funeral-"
"What made you think you were going to the funeral?"
"I decided to. Beyond, you have no control over my actions."
"I marked you, that makes you mine."
Beyond took an intimidating step forward. L took a step back, but not towards the door. Beyond was herding him toward the sinks.
"No." Another step forward, another step back.
L fingered at the bite again, "Beyond-"
"You sure like my name, don't you?" Beyond said this with the breathy inflection of a crazed man.
L hit the counter.
Beyond paused for a moment, glancing at the bite again. Here was not only his brand, but it could also be...
"L, here, let me help you with that." Beyond reached for the detective's neck, but L was gone; he had jumped up on the counter.
(Hah! He flies, too.)
Beyond hopped up to join him on his perch. From there, he had a new perspective on the room. He had the plastic faux granite under his bare feet (much nicer than the floor tiles), the flickering ceiling light narrowly missing his spiky hair, and the gargantuan mirror providing not two of him, but thanks to L, four of him.
(All red. Always red.)
It was ironic that they looked so similar and yet were so different. Trying to be better than the other. One might say Beyond's efforts were futile, because he would always look the same as the man beneath him. They were wrong, though. Beyond didn't want to be better than L.. He wanted them to be equals...
...under his own supervision, of course.
L was at a disadvantage. He was a bit of a pacifist, Beyond observed. He didn't like to fight with people- not because he preferred peace, but because he knew he was right and didn't have to fight to prove it. Beyond found this disgusting, insulting.
So Beyond was forcing L to fight back now. L had to kick and claw his way away from Beyond.
(Unknowingly growing ever closer to Beyond in doing so.)
Beyond wondered if this was really the best way to teach his delicate raven. Perhaps L would learn quicker if he was forced not to fight. If he was incapacitated somehow...
His pet spoke.
Beyond looked back from the mirror to L with wide eyes, (not quite) innocently staring. "Yes... detective?" That was an afterthought.
"How much control do you have at Wammy's house?"
"Why? You want something done?"
Beyond glanced warily up at L, who was staring at Beyond in his usual creepy crouch. Beyond sat down instead of copying the older teen. He paused, licked at his fingers, and then looked back up at L with a shrug. "Roger's scared, not of me,but of me hurting the other children. Wammy, and I quote, thinks I'm a 'right bastard, who needs mental help.'"
L smiled. He fucking smiled.
"Watari wouldn't say something like that."
"Maybe not to you!" Beyond shot back fiercely. "Or... perhaps..."
Beyond's mind raced.
"Perhaps you never asked."
The crickets outside quieted, and Beyond began to laugh. It resounded around the room; it shook the walls and made the stall doors swing slightly on their hinges. The stall with A's blood became visible to Beyond, and the laughter of the crazed boy stopped as quickly and randomly as it had began. His head whipped back to L.
"You didn't know anything about Wammy's, did you?"
L said nothing, and Beyond felt the offense wash over him.
"You're an ass," Beyond muttered.
L looked as if he was going to retort angrily, but he paused and instead said, "Beyond, you weren't introduced to my lifestyle as A was. You don't understand the vitality of my role in society."
"What grade did I get on the intake assessment?" Beyond crawled up to L, his shins resting in front of the detective's toes and his fingers grabbing at L's knees, peering at the older teen curiously.
Beyond loved how L tensed at the contact. Most people tense beginning at the base of their neck, traveling up and down the body like chills. But L tensed beginning at his eyes. They widen as if he has nothing to hide, but in that openness he is hiding. Any emotion that was in his charcoal eyes disappeared.
Beyond, internally, was sad and frustrated that L hadn't even known Beyond's test score (28, for the record. 28 out of 27). But on the surface of Beyond's thoughts, he was more excited than sad, because the evidence that L hadn't known had been apparent on his face.
Which meant Beyond, in however many minutes it had been since L had arrived in the grungy bathroom, had gotten so far under L's skin that the other boy had reacted.
Beyond fingered at the seam of L's jeans. "You don't know, do you? You never cared. All you knew was that I was good enough to get into Wammy's house, and you let Roger take care of the rest." All true, of course.
(Beyond was like a lawyer. He only asked questions he already knew the answer to.)
"Beyond, this is inappropriate," L said, strained.
"You don't get a say," Beyond allowed his hand to slide a bit further up L's leg and L squirmed. He was probably claustrophobic, Beyond supposed, trapped in the corner between the walls and Beyond's groping hands.
"I trusted Roger's judgment more than my own. Is that not enough?"
"Now you're trying to blame him."
"No, but-" (And up, and up) "Beyond, what are you doing?"
"No, with your hands?"
"I find people reveal more under stress, and considering my interrogatee is socially retarded..."
"I am not socially retarded, Beyond."
Beyond allowed himself to lean closer, but not too close, (Because L bites.) "Ah, but you are uncomfortable."
"As a normal adult would be. Beyond, you are fourteen-"
"Funny. You are older, but I'm the one-" He pinched L's thigh.
"Beyond!" L grabbed the boy's wrists and removed the unwanted contact.
Beyond did his best to look childishly offended. "And here I thought you would like the attention. You've never had any." Beyond cooed sarcastically, "Aww, poor little orphaned Lawliet, Mummy and Daddy died right in front of his very eyes..."
L looked at Beyond with contempt. The crickets were jeering at L.
"So I get a reaction when I allude to sex, but not when I talk about your dead parents. Interesting... interesting."
At this point, L had done something no one had ever done to Beyond and (Beyond would make sure) no one would ever again do. He stared Beyond down. And Beyond did back down, flopping backwards on the counter, sitting in the socially accepted position and staring at L with the gaze of a kicked puppy.
Something made a snapping sound, and both Beyond and L whipped their faces to the small bathroom window, a little night rectangle about six feet from the floor. Beyond stepped off of the counter and over to the window, which was too high for him to see out of. He glanced back at L, who was still curled up on the plastic granite like a doll on a high shelf, watching him with omniscient eyes. Beyond returned to the task at hand, glancing up at the window.
He jumped, and at the peak of his jump he looked down outside. There was, in the secondhand umbra of light exiting the window, a white face looking up at him, two wide coal-black eyes circled by large black sections. Then Beyond fell back to the floor, and put his ear against the wall.
A badger had interrupted his time with L.
"Badger?" He said to the wall, "If you don't leave right now, I will skin you, leave your meaty body on the nearest highway to forever scar the mind of a young passerby, and use your fur to warm your brother badger, my prisoner at Wammy's, as I bleed him and study him in the final moments of his life."
Something (presumably the badger) squeaked and scurried off. Beyond returned to L, hopping up and sitting cross-legged in front of him. "So, you were saying?"
"Hmm?" L looked attentive, but at the same time his eyes were hazy.
"Your parents," L looked hesitant (or at least to Beyond he did), but the younger boy pressured him into speech by putting a palm on his own chin, as if listening intently, and waiting. "Well?" Beyond prompted.
"...I never knew them well." L said, very little emotion seeping into his words in comparison to earlier. "I was six. I grieved for a couple of years, but then I accepted their death... as you should A's." Beyond could tell, from L's body language, that he was lying.
(They had made so much progress... but all of the fun is in the chase, correct? So why not start over?)
"Bullshit," Beyond said angrily, eyebrows furrowing in frustration at L's lies. "They died saving you from a trigger-fingered robber, yes, but you only mourned for a couple of days." Beyond turned to the side and swung his legs off the counter, back and forth. "I am seeing a trend forming... do you see it?" Beyond counted off the seconds until the detective realized the question was not rhetorical.
"You want me to analyze my own actions?"
"No, no... something even more foreign to you," Beyond grinned, "I want you to analyze your relationships with others."
L pulled his knees a bit closer to himself.
"Come now, L, it'll be fun! So, do you see the trend?"
L let out a small sigh. "No, Beyond, I do not know what you're talking about."
"Everyone who died for you, you didn't know very well," Beyond waited for L to say something, but he didn't. Beyond pulled his legs back up onto the counter. "Someone else might think this meant you were so well-loved that even people who didn't know you very well were willing to give up their lives for you. I know what it really means."
L closed his eyes. "Beyond, stop."
"The truth is that the people who do know you wouldn't even consider giving their lives for you." Beyond wasn't smiling anymore. His tone was cruel, and he felt merciless. He liked feeling merciless. He crawled up to L the same way he had before.
"Beyond..." L's fingers clutched his shins. (Beyond deducted he must do this when he is angry.)
"Of course, three people are a rather small data portion. Maybe I could convince Wammy that you wanted him dead. Or I could convince one of the orphans that they're not good enough. No one will be quite good enough, will they?"
Beyond had given up on even expecting a response. His hands skipped L's legs and instead latched on to his neck and chin, brushing a piece of hair out of the detective's eyes so
he would listen intently to every word Beyond said. L's eyes, up closer, were surprisingly reflective, like jewels, but they weren't faceted. Obsidian, maybe? His breathing came in shallow, hot breaths, and he was listening. Beyond licked his lips, glancing down from L's eyes to the dried blood on his neck, and then back again.
Beyond could see why people would give up their lives for L. He could also see why they wouldn't give their lives for Lawliet. Lawliet was a scrawny soulless youth with a sharp tongue.
Beyond touched his forehead to L's, and said, in a low,
"You are not worth saving."
L's shallow breaths became uneven, and his eyes shut Beyond out.
When they opened, they were blank, and cold, slicing through Beyond's cruel gaze. Beyond could almost feel his sadism shatter; he rolled back on his haunches.
"Hmm. I miss A."
L raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"Because, you know, he was really nice to me. I can't believe he would kill himself." Fourteen years old again. Beyond was switching violence on and off too fast, and L was looking dizzy.
"Beyond, I know what you are trying to convince yourself of, but I am not responsible for A's death."
"This isn't about you, L. This is about A. Stop being so selfish, because it's terribly annoying." Terribly indeed, Beyond thought to himself. Why was L being such a pain in the ass?
(Messing with L is more fun when you know you are doing it. When Beyond switches off violence, he switches it off completely.)
Beyond did miss A. He missed A because now he had no one to share secrets with and complain to, no one to cheat off of and no one to sit next to. No one to hit when he was angry, no one to argue with... no one to hug and touch and pet and hurt and cut and scream at...
Well... now there was L.
A tear slid down Beyond's cheek, and when it came close enough, he licked it.
He took a ragged breath.
"You're not even really human, are you? You have no reason to be alive. I could kill you if I wanted, and Wammy and Roger would be more worried about keeping you a secret than burying you. Perhaps, in order to preserve your identity, they'd bury you in a dog cemetery."
"How do you feel?" Beyond chewed on his thumbnail nervously as he glanced back at L. "You can tell me, I won't judge you."
There was a moment's pause before L's (monotonous) voice reached Beyond's ears. "All you do is judge me."
Beyond stared at him blankly. "Yes, I suppose you're right. But you should still tell me. I'm the only one who will understand."
A sort of anger settled into Beyond's chest. Beyond liked to believe L was not susceptible to emotions as much as Beyond liked to think he was. It was a lose-lose situation. Beyond hated those.
"I bet I could guess how you feel," Beyond's shirt rustled as he scooted closer to L. "You are frustrated that I keep bringing up your feelings, angry that I bit you and you did nothing to stop me, scared of A's death, terrified it's your fault, and you are trying not to think about your worth as a human being. And you hate me. Wanna know why?"
L only gave him a glance.
"Because I'm right."
Beyond surveyed the detective for any indication to the truth of Beyond's words, but there was none. "Damn it! Why won't you say anything?" (Nothing.) "L!"
Stare. L's wide blank eyes made him a non-entity. Beyond shoved him off of the counter, and L fell to the tiles with a thud.
"Beyond!" L yelled defensively.
"Hah! I got a word out of you!"
L childishly turned his back to Beyond, his arms crossed angrily.
Beyond wondered how it might feel knowing someone else knew you better than you knew yourself.
"L, you're a coward."
"I am not."
"Then turn around and face me," Beyond had switched violence on again. It was in his voice.
"Beyond, is our conversation quite finished yet?" L asked in a bored tone.
Beyond slid off of the counter to sit next to L on the floor.
(When Beyond switched on violence, he also switched on the rest of his feelings. Including love. And possession.)
He liked how L leaned away when their shoulders touched, but he also didn't like it, so Beyond put an arm over L's shoulders. Again, L tensed in his special way.
(No matter how distanced from one's human side, everyone needs affection. L had gone at least ten years without human affection. Maybe by being possessive, Beyond could show L love, cause the detective to open up just enough for Beyond to stick a violent blade into his heart.)
Beyond's heart skipped a beat when he felt L, ever so slightly, lean into the touch. It wasn't much. It wasn't an embrace. But there was a warm pressure on Beyond's side, and L was hugged to his person- safe, warm, and belonging to Beyond.
He gently rubbed the detective's shoulder, pulling him closer.
"Do you like this?" Beyond whispered.
"This is wrong."
"Only if you want it to be."
Beyond stopped rubbing L's arm, and the older teen gave him a worried look.
(But he didn't use his big-boy words, so Beyond didn't continue.)
"You know, I'm the only one who can do this for you. Affection. You hate it, but it's true. You've never had parents, you've never had friends, you've never fallen in love, and there's no way Wammy-" Beyond broke off, because the longing was seeping out of L's gaze so fast that Beyond wondered if there must be a leak.
"Enough, Beyond," The only remnant of pain was the choked sound of L's words, as if it was a struggle to get them out. He began to pull away, but Beyond held him in place.
("Open up, L. I want to hold your poor beaten and withered heart in the palm of my hand.")
Beyond pulled L's chin back down towards himself. Beyond's hand was on the side with the bite, and L's neck recoiled at the touch, instinctively trapping Beyond's fingers in the warm, soft skin between L's jawbone and collarbone. Beyond pulled him closer so their noses almost touched, and L swallowed thickly and watched Beyond. Beyond looked from L's eyes to L's lips and back again, putting his other hand behind L's head and into his hair.
"You do like this." Beyond whispered, and he looked back down to L's lip's, pale and taut and anxious and Beyond could take that all away. "I can tell."
Beyond kissed him.
It was delicate and soft at first, and L tasted like sugar and... blood? Maybe at some point he had bitten his lip or his tongue. Beyond closed his eyes and allowed his hand to stroke L's hair, which was soft, but knotted, and caress his cheek. Beyond let out a quiet moan from the back of his throat, but L was soundless.
Beyond pulled away from L's lips, but did not move his hands. His first thought was that his plan wasn't working. Not completely. L was breathing faster and his neck felt warmer under Beyond's fingers, but he was staring at Beyond with the same blank stare as before. Beyond wanted more. He wanted L to want.
Beyond slammed L against the concrete wall and again kissed him, this time with more ferocity. He ravished L's lips, and in between gasps for air Beyond could hear the other boy whisper "stop," and "that hurts," and, the most telling of all, a shaky "Beyond..." One of his hands was toying with the fabric of L's collar, stretching and sliding it to the side and around and down L's shoulder, revealing a section of the pale, hot skin of his chest. L was struggling to breathe. Beyond's other hand was firmly putting pressure on L's forehead, forcing him against the wall and most likely hurting the detective. Still, L was limp in his hold, only barely moving his own lips if only to breathe and form his almost silent protests.
But then, then L's lips began to move hesitantly and his hands began to move upwards, wrapping themselves around Beyond's neck, and he began to relax into the kiss. Still hesitant and soundless, but L was giving in to his more human side. This meant Beyond had won.
And so Beyond pulled away, hands and all, stumbling a bit backwards and landing his elbow on the plastic counter. He felt a shiver run up his arm.
(A funny bone that Beyond did not find very funny.)
L looked absolutely stunned.
There it was: in L's eyes, in L's face, a wide range of emotions had taken residence, everything from fear to anger to lust, all present and accounted for in answering Beyond's call. Here was Lawliet, scarred and bared before Beyond's eyes. A would be proud of him for doing such a good deed. For making L human.
He was human, was he not?
Beyond had won, had he not?
Why did it feel as if he'd lost?
L's fingers were trying to grip onto the slippery concrete wall, latching onto nothing because there was nothing to latch onto. Beyond was silent and far away watching him crumble; he was a fly on the wall... or counter, rather.
L was trying desperately to recover his senses; that much was obvious in his slow, deep, but still uneven breaths. He seemed to be trying to return to Beyond an emotionless quip or a stare, but he simply couldn't. Fear and shocked confusion still filled his eyes, because Beyond had patched up the leak. (Fortunately. Unfortunately.) When he gave up and looked at Beyond with terror, his gaze posed a question (accidentally on purpose) that Beyond was waiting to see... to hear.
("Why did you stop? I wasn't prepared for you to stop...")
It had pained Beyond... or rather, it saddened Beyond, as a (mostly) benevolent master, to deny L what he had suddenly been craving. But, then again, it also gave him a bit of a rush.
"Ah, L, I've won. Can't you see it? Did you think you were going to get through this with your dignity intact? I see a trend forming. Do you see it?"
L stood shakily, using the wall for support. Slowly, the shock was draining from his system. Much slower than before.
"Beyond, I do not know what you're talking about."
Beyond stood. "I always win."
(You've lost, Beyond.)
Beyond hated how L had looked at him, then. There was no contempt in his gaze, nor any admiration. Only the same emotions over again: fear, turmoil, anger. An endless loop.
(No, L wasn't human. Beyond had failed.)
Beyond let go of the counter and stepped over toward the wall- towards L- and in front of L he stood.
(It would seem there was a foot between their noses, their toes, but their minds were in constant contact, constant battle.)
L's palms were pressed up behind him on the wall, supporting him so he wouldn't fall. Beyond's hands were also behind his back, but in an authoritative pose because his own emotionless mask was in place. Their roles had been reversed now. Beyond was the shielded enigma, and L was the defensive, unstable one. But hadn't it been like this from the moment they met?
Beyond just stood there in front of L, staring into (red-stained) black depths, watching, waiting.
And then L did something unexpected.
Lawliet tried, desperately, to kiss Beyond.
Beyond stepped backwards.
(No, L had always been human. Now he was broken.)
L... Beyond couldn't look at L.
Beyond's fist clenched. Here was the man he had been trained to admire. To dedicate his life to. Here was the man A had died trying to please, who countless criminals bowed to, who Wammy and Roger had created. Here was the man who was supposed to be unbeatable, and Beyond had reduced him to ruin in about an hour, minus two minutes spent with a badger.
Beyond felt cheated. Cheated by the universe.
He stepped backwards farther before turning back to the sinks, the plastic granite and the giant mirror, the stalls reflected in the giant mirror, A's blood, L's letter. He didn't like to be made a fool.
He hopped on the counter, his knees at the base of the mirror, and his entire body pressed up against it, all but his head, which stared at himself in the mirror. Did he really look so fragile? Did he really look so much like L? So weak?
Beyond's fist slammed into the mirror, shattering it into millions of pieces, large shards falling to the counter top and the smaller shards launching throughout the room. L, who apparently was kneeling now, brought up his arms to shield his face from the flying glass. All that was left in the mirror's frame was a sort of flimsy cork-board that it had been mounted on.
Beyond was breathing heavily.
A died... for this?
He couldn't hear anything, and the edges of his eyes were tunneling as Beyond picked up a large piece of glass from the pictures of him around his knees. Everything slowed as Beyond's anger and hatred exploded. The lights flickered.
Beyond didn't wait for the other boy to respond. There were lots of points of focused pain all over his body.
"L, come here."
Now Beyond did look up, red vision taking in a view of L, wide eyes apparently deciding that horror was the appropriate response.
"Come here, L," This was marked by a malicious smirk. Beyond's words sounded insane… perhaps now, he was. Perhaps he had fallen off of the deep end. He loved it. Beyond found comfort in adrenaline and solace in pain, whether it be his or somebody else's. He needed comfort and solace now. A was dead.
A was dead, and weak, pathetic L was alive.
He hopped off the counter and towards L predatorily. "I promise nothing...unjust will occur."
L backed away. Beyond's body cut off the exit so L ended up by the stalls. The florescent lights went on and off like lightning.
"A funny little paradox, don't you think?" Beyond said, a giggle bubbling up in his throat. "L, are you afraid of justice?"
L had his back against one of the walls again. The green ones with the chipped paint, not the concrete. (Nothing was concrete anymore.) He said, quietly and with a sort of quiver in his low voice, "I am afraid of your brand of justice, Beyond."
Beyond's eyes found himself in his own hand, his own wide red eyes gazing up at him from there. Well... they weren't really red. His pupils were still black; it's just that the whites of his eyes appeared red. (He was seeing more red than usual.)
He looked up at L, "Well... I did learn from the best."
Time seemed to slow as Beyond's arm lashed out. The sharp point of the glass cut into the warm skin of L's right temple and ran a gash across his forehead. Beyond felt control of his body slip away from him as he embraced the pure unbridled turmoil that took over.
(Comfort in adrenaline... solace in pain.)
L had closed his eyes instinctively before the blade slipped under his eyebrow and over the bridge of his nose, traveling down and calling blood to the soft, sensitive skin between his cheek and his left eye.
(Gone was the emotionless detective. Here was L Lawliet.)
The blade neared the end of its arc near the square of L's jaw, and Beyond saw the detective pull away in terror.
All of this happened in roughly two seconds.
Beyond's world returned to him the moment he saw the blood seeping into L's mouth as he screamed. Then the power went out, throwing the two boys (one surprised, one hysterical) into utter darkness.
"Damn badger. Chewed through the electricity again. This time more literally, unfortunately," Beyond said with an air of nonchalance into the darkness after L began smothering his screams.
Beyond's voice sounded loud in the darkness, but he knew it was just loud enough to drown out the sound of L's heavy breathing. The detective was somewhere on the floor in front of him, and, Beyond decided, his face was probably stained and wet with his own blood.
L was shivering. Beyond could tell because he was making the stalls clatter. Beyond felt his chest tightening, so he inhaled deeply, attributing it to lack of air.
It was very dark. Beyond tried to imagine the kind of pain L was in, but it was hard to enjoy it in the dark like this, when he couldn't see the detective's reaction.
Beyond flopped down on the ground, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the lack of light and basking in the angry heat emanating from L's body.
The crickets sounded much louder now. The tightening sensation grew, spreading to the pit of Beyond's stomach.
"B-Beyond..." It was L, his weak whispers muffled further by his hands covering his face.
(You are in pain.)
Beyond took another deep breath, but the heavy feeling wouldn't leave. "Yes, my pet?"
"Could you p-please get me a paper t-towel...?" He said it with dread seeping into his words, as if he had no faith that Beyond would ever do anything for him, but at the same time, he needed Beyond to do this for him or he would die.
It was a big gash.
Beyond rolled his eyes at the detective. "I know this might be hard for you, now, but I am sure you saw your surroundings earlier. Do you honestly expect this public bathroom, in its severe stare of disrepair, to be stocked with paper towels?"
L only collapsed further into himself.
Beyond sighed. L was no fun when he was hiding in himself like a turtle, but Beyond didn't think hitting L would solve that particular problem. Beyond, instead, stood.
He ritually ripped his black sleeve off, as he had done to countless shirts before and stepped over to the sinks. Beyond turned the faucet, tested the temperature of the newly flowing water, and, when satisfied, put the sleeve under the water. He then wrung it out and paused.
L could never be the same as A, because they were absolutely nothing alike. But A had belonged to B and L belonged to Beyond, and Beyond had never had reason to damage his own property. Why had he done this?
"L..." He wasn't going to say anything to the boy curled in front of the stall, name and death date hanging dangerously over the tips of his raven hair. Beyond liked the name on his lips. "L Lawliet..."
Beyond heard another sound pervade the room, other than his own voice. As he turned around with the wet cloth and walked towards the small detective, he heard the muffled sound of a sniffle.
L was crying.
Beyond (already having come to the conclusion that the weaker L was, the more the Universe was teasing Beyond) didn't like the thought of reducing L to tears. But then he reasoned that tears are a bodily function for when one is overcome with emotion, and considering how emotionally stunted L is, calling tears to his eyes might not be such an incredible feat. Or perhaps the tears were from the pain of the gash. L might not have experienced much physical pain in his life because of his mostly sedentary lifestyle, so he could be hypersensitive.
Either way, Beyond wanted him to stop that awful sobbing.
Beyond knelt in front of L, and slipped a hand into his raven locks, pulling up the detective's head roughly and making him squeak. L's eyes were wide with fear and pain.
Beyond was surprised at the amount of blood. L's entire face was red and wet; the seven-inch gash running diagonally across was still bright and messy. It wasn't beautiful like the bite had been. It was ugly. Beyond had made L ugly.
L was watching him helplessly, waiting for Beyond to either say something or let go of his hair.
Beyond looked into his eyes, saying fiercely, "No more tears."
"I agree, b-but," L mumbled weakly, "it seems my body believes c-crying to be appropriate."
Beyond flashed him a rare smile, "I'm going to clean you up, okay?" he said quietly.
A note of fear struck L's red features.
Beyond's eyes narrowed. L was in what seemed like the fetal position, legs pulled up to his chest and making it near impossible for Beyond to reach his face well.
To solve this problem, Beyond, for the third time, put his palms on L's bony knees, spreading his legs by pushing them sideways to the ground, so his legs were crossed. L tried to resist, but after receiving a deathly glare from Beyond, he resorted to shifting uncomfortably.
L appeared to brace himself. Beyond brought the wet cloth up to L's face, dabbing at the corner of the cut on L's forehead. The blood formed a speckled pattern before Beyond wiped it off.
Every time the cloth made direct contact with part of the cut, L tensed in his special way. He continued instinctively, trying to pull his legs back up to himself, but every time Beyond caught his knees and shoved them to the tile. It was obvious L had issues with personal space, so Beyond made a point of constantly being very close to him. He breathed hotly on the cut.
L hissed when Beyond, distracted, pressed too hard with the cloth, causing blood to flow again. Beyond apologized under his breath. He didn't have very steady hands- rather unfortunate for L. He decided there must be an easier way to reach the cut.
Beyond shifted from his knees to his bottom, draping his legs around L's skinny torso and behind his back, seating himself in the detective's lap.
(Beyond liked the feeling of L's entire body wrapped up in the crease of Beyond's jeans... he just wasn't about to admit it to anyone.)
(It was at this moment that Beyond became proud that for the last few minutes, he had removed all excess analytical thoughts from his mind- a difficult feat for such an analytically trained student. But just as he reveled in his [for once] focused mind, those particular thoughts returned.)
Why was L still here? Was it really because he felt trapped? Beyond began doubting his earlier theory to L's motive. If L had felt trapped psychologically, then his fight-or-flight instincts would've kicked in. L hadn't flown... well, not technically... and all of his efforts of resistance had been weak and unwilling- so that could not be the case.
Perhaps L was still here, shivering under Beyond's unusually gentle touch, for the same reason Beyond couldn't look away from the beautiful crimson dripping down L's face. For the same reason Beyond's eyes had been locked on A that first day at the orphanage.
He wasn't captive, he was captivated.
Beyond returned to the task at hand. Now that he was so much closer to L, he could put a hand on the older boy's shoulder and finish the cleaning of the cut. As he wiped away some of the last drops of blood from L's face, those thoughts continued.
Maybe it wasn't so ironic that they looked the same. The only difference was that when Beyond had watched A, A had accepted and befriended Beyond, whereas when L became attached to Beyond's madman idiosyncrasies, Beyond had lashed out...
Beyond had marked L. That made L his.
"You're wondering why I'm doing this for you," Beyond said with certainty. He knew L wouldn't ask the question for fear that if he opened his mouth, a sob might escape.
The strange feeling from before was strangling Beyond.
"I'm doing this... because you belong to me now."
L's eyes narrowed. Beyond rolled up the dirty cloth into a ball and set it next to himself, then wrapped his arms around L's neck. He squeezed L's torso with his legs. L squirmed a bit, but Beyond was perfectly comfortable with his whole body wrapped around L, restraining him, holding him. L's eyes became frightened and uncertain.
"I have the right to take out my troubles on you, my pet," Beyond said, the breathy tone of lust seeping into his words. He wanted to keep the bored skepticism from L's eyes.
"But, in return, I must relieve you of your troubles."
L's eyes widened as Beyond's thumb began to caress his cheek, careful to avoid the cut but still forcefully enough to feel L's cheekbone below ghostly skin.
"I must show you love and affection..."
Beyond's finger moved from L's cheek to the top of the gash, tracing it lightly.
"I must heal your wounds..."
Beyond's nail sank into the end of the cut, calling a few drops of blood to his fingertip. L squirmed again.
"And I must wipe away your tears."
Beyond put the finger with the blood in his mouth and licked it, comparing its metallic taste to his own tears, which he had taster earlier.
L put his hands on Beyond's shoulders, gently trying but failing to push the boy off of his lap so he could resume his normal thinking position.
"You said you wanted revenge," L muttered.
Beyond's fingers wrapped around L's wrists (also not for the first time) and guided them behind his back so Beyond's arms were around his waist.
"I want you, more."
Beyond swiftly had L's lips under his own, and then trailed kisses down L's chin and neck. Beyond liked L's soft, untouched skin under his own lips. It was a beautiful feeling. L moaned softly as Beyond's mouth reached down to the bite.
It was incredible, the changes that had happened in the past however long. Beyond had gone from mental instability to the only one keeping L stable, while L had been reduced from the strong, intelligent detective to a shivering slave to Beyond's whims. The public bathroom, once almost dignified in its filth, was now dilapidated, its walls and floors painted with blood and it's mirror shattered. By now the funeral was probably over, and Wammy and Roger were probably looking for them.
A was now buried, and now permanently embedded into both boys' lives forever.
"They're going to come looking for us," Beyond mumbled into L's shoulder.
He didn't want Wammy and Roger to ruin his time with L. He didn't want L to ever leave his arms. Sure, L was no A, but there was something there, something much more similar between L and B. An understanding.
Beyond pulled his face away from L's body to look into his eyes, seriously. "Lawliet..." Again just for the feel of the name on his lips. "You know, you can kiss me back if you want to."
"It's okay," Beyond amended his own words. Finally, the violence was once again gone from his voice. He was just a teenager, drunk from his proximity to another teenager. "You don't have to if you don't want-"
L's lips were on his, and Beyond (fierce, terrible, bloodthirsty Beyond Birthday,) melted in his arms.
A long while passed like that. The both of them, for the first time in a long time, content. Warm from the other's presence, happy with the feel of the other's skin under soft, young lips, and safe in the other's arms. They said nothing, simply enjoying the empty darkness of the night and the calmness of the grungy bathroom. Their own secret little haven in the dirt of the world surrounding them.
Beyond suddenly felt his back grow cold. Attributing it to the temperature, he wrapped his arms tightly around L's back and buried his face in L's shoulder. Sure enough, the detective copied him, wrapping his arms around Beyond and gently rubbing his back. But, though there was now warmth on Beyond's back, the hairs on his neck still stood on end, and he shivered in L's embrace.
The silence was broken by the sound of two old men's voices, conversing as they neared the bathroom.
Beyond pulled away from L completely, sitting two feet away and curling in on himself like L had done before, suddenly feeling colder than ever and his teeth almost beginning to chatter.
"But... Beyond..." L whispered yearningly, pleading into the darkness.
"Shh... I know," Beyond replied almost silently.
("Only when we know freedom do we fear its loss.")
A beam of light pierced the room, reflecting off of various glass shards and causing L and Beyond to squint. L resumed the same position as Beyond, his position, and waited as well.
"L? B? What... what happened in here?"
Beyond innocently pointed at L, who glared back at him, bored (and to the trained eye, menacing.).
Wammy and Roger entered, one of them shining the torch directly into the two boys' faces.
Beyond hated endings. He didn't read books for fear of those big words on the last page, he loved causing pain but hated killing and feared death, and he didn't like saying goodbye. But for the end of his first night with L, Beyond was prepared. Beyond had mapped L's body in his mind, memorized his taste and his touches, his resistance, his thought process.
When Roger pulled Beyond off of the ground by the ear, he was ready, his usual madman grin plastered on his face as he watched Wammy worriedly examine L's wounds. Beyond almost giggled when Wammy pulled away, declaring to his ward that there were still pieces of glass in the wound that he later must remove. L glared at Beyond.
(I own you. I still hold the right to cause you pain.)
L, however, wasn't ready. Beyond could tell. He wasn't ready to say goodbye to his new-found master... no, caregiver... no, friend... no... It broke Beyond's already shattered heart to see L's anxious glance, hidden from the adults but clear as blood on porcelain skin to Beyond. It was like L's desperate kiss. He wasn't ready for Beyond to stop. He craved affection, not Wammy's medicinal hands.
Roger was saying something, but Beyond wasn't listening. He had won. He had won A and now he had won L. He had, in his own little world of death, given someone life. He could be happy now.
And to L, broken and bared and weak and shattered and strengthened and hopeful and living L, Beyond said, "You'd better sleep with one eye open, tonight. And tomorrow..."
L gave a rare smile (no, it wasn't even a smile, it was an unassuming half-smile), also hidden to Wammy's business-focused eyes and Roger's disciplinary mumblings.
Roger wheeled Beyond out of the public bathroom with the fourteen year-old cackling, "And the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day... Till death do us part..."
Beyond Birthday had the image of his pet, his first love, plastered like a beacon of white onto the dark backs of his eyelids.
The next part of this is called "Diamond Tears," and it's up now! So go read that! :)
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you liked it!
Drop a review please :)