Gloria Victis

BY : hnm
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1699
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, nor shall I ever. Death note is owned by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba. I'm not making any money from writing this.

A/N:

Ok. So, I know I'm supposed to be working on the sequel to 'Want It. Take It. Love It. Keep It.' right now, and I promise that I am but this got stuck in my head and I just couldn't get it out.

If you're looking for fluffy, hit the back button NOW because you're shit outta luck. This is MUCH DARKER than my other fics so, you've been warned. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff, drugs, rape, torture, etc... It's about BB. What do you expect? Anything about that freak is bound to be fucked up.

Anyway, here it is. Read. Enjoy. Review.

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The first thing that Mello noticed when he woke was the lack of light, the absence of any sound. In his own room, there was always the noise of a clicking keyboard, the faint sounds of his favorite detective sipping his tea or munching on sweets. There was always the light from a computer monitor; a silhouette of L crouched in his chair. Now, there was nothing, just darkness and silence.

Only once this information was processed, did he become aware of the dull throbbing in his forehead, the crushing feeling against his temples of a fading migraine. The child was used to waking in this way, as he slept very little these days. It was close to exams, he remembered in a panic. Had he blacked out again? He should have taken the time out from studying to find a late snack. But of course, this couldn't be the case, he rationalized. If he had passed out from exhaustion, or malnourishment, he'd be in the infirmary, or waking to the concerned face of his lover, or possibly Matt, or Roger, or Watari. There was no one sitting at his bedside, no cool cloth on his forehead. Mello was alone, left only with a headache and the terrifying feeling that something was definitely amiss.

Mello tried to sit up, only then realizing that he could barely feel his limbs. It was as if all of his nerves existed only in his throbbing head, and his very dry, sore throat. What had happened to him? His genius mind quickly cycled through the possibilities. He was obviously weak, dehydrated, and not in his bed. It felt like there was a fog surrounding him, and the exhaustion he felt was more severe than the usual. Then there were the other physical signs, far more terrifying, but definitely more important. The blond tried to lift his arm, succeeding in only wiggling a few of his fingers. He felt boneless, weak. Drugged?

Never once in the young genius' life had he abused drugs, prescription or otherwise, but he knew what the effects should feel like. This was the after effect of being sedated. Tiredness? Check. Confusion? Definitely. Blurry vision? Well, he couldn't exactly tell in this room, but his eyes felt raw and he desperately wanted to just close them and go back to blissful, dreamless sleep. But something was most certainly wrong; some part of him just knew that he was in danger, that he had to figure out where he was and what was going on, for the sake of his very survival. After all, he was in line to be the next L. Surely that put him in a fair amount of danger everyday. Especially considering just how close they'd become in the previous months.

Mello tried again to lift his arm, to reach for his rosary. There would be comfort there, guidance that he so desperately needed. Yet, he could still barely move the limb, let alone bring his hand up to his chest where the symbol of his faith always hung. It was during this battle, that he felt the something cool and soft slip around his throat. It was a hand, almost icy to the touch, that gently stroked over his throat, long thin fingers that wrapped around it. He gasped for breath, not being able to pull the hand away as the grip tightened, constricting airflow. "Oh, god," he managed to croak out, before he heard laughter bubbling up from just over his head.

"Mihael Keehl," a voice rasped, deep and low. The monotone was eerily familiar, but held an edge of something to it that confirmed for the blond immediately that it was not the voice it so desperately attempted to imitate. There was the faint English accent, the careful pronunciation of a name that no one was supposed to utter, not even the detective that the blond so desperately wished the voice belonged to. "Tell me, does this little trinket keep the demons at bay? Will it save Mihael's life?" The other hand tugged on his rosary, while the first tightened its grip.

"P-pl..." Mello managed to choke out only the beginning of the word. There might only be seconds left before he blacked out, yet he couldn't push against the threat, couldn't use any of the skills his mentor had taught him in defense lessons. It would all be over in seconds, but there was nothing he could do other than hold back frightened tears as he struggled in vain for his very life. It wasn't fair. He knew how to win a fair fight, had been taught how to cripple an attacker in a similar circumstance. But what happened to the endless training sessions when he could barely raise even a finger in defense? When he couldn't even beg?

"My apologies, what is it that Mihael is trying to say? Is he addressing myself, or someone else? God? L perhaps?" The hand around his throat relaxed slowly, and Mello took in several deep breaths. He was shaking all over, his skin felt cold and slimy where the other man had touched him. Then the hand that had been around his throat traveled down, the touch softer, as it slipped under the hem of his t-shirt. "Mello would like to see L again, I imagine."

The blond had been willing himself to calm, to figure out a way to delay whatever plans had been made for him long enough to regain strength, to escape. He knew that he could not rationalize with his captor, whose mind was long since gone. Now the panic returned, his mind offering up all kinds of horrible scenarios when the man suggested that he could see L again. He silently prayed that it couldn't be, that L was still safe at Wammy's, that he wasn't somewhere in this darkened, freezing room.

There was light now, and Mello could see that they were alone. The room was bare, except for a single wooden chair and the bed he lay in. Both pieces of furniture were set in the middle of the room. There was one window, carefully boarded up several feet away. There wasn't even the slightest crack between the boards to see outside, to determine if it was even day or night. Nevertheless, the tall, stick thin figure that stood before him crossed the room, pulling shut heavy black drapes over the window.

"B, this is kidnapping. This is wrong. It isn't a game, ok? You could be sent to jail, you could be-" L's 'twin' crossed the room, his stride a little quicker, his back just a touch straighter than the man he attempted to emulate. There were so many quirks it was surely hard to keep up, and though the man tried, he could never be a perfect match. Not to the great L.

"Mello, I have no idea what you're going on about. Are you feeling well?" To his credit, the words were nearly perfect, the tone almost an exact match. Genetics had helped fuel the insane obsession with the detective, and a great mind lent assistance to almost perfectly mocking speech pattern and mannerisms. Now, his back curved more, his shoulders slumped. His eyes visibly widened as they stared straight into Mello's. The only difference in the eyes was that where L's irises were actually a pale blue around the normally huge pupils, B's were a deep, dark color, nearly black actually. Mello always swore they were actually tinged with red, but since one rarely saw the maniac in the daytime hours, everyone else said that it was either a trick of lighting, or that his presence merely cast a sense of unease. Of course a person's eyes couldn't be tinged blood red, now could they?

"You're not L. You look like him, you talk like him, but you'll never be him." Herein lay Mello's greatest problem in life; he often said whatever he felt, even if the words were likely to give him trouble later on. A captive person might try to keep up with the delusion, in an effort to calm their tormentor, but Mello could not allow it.

B reached out with a cold, spider-like hand to touch the blonde's forehead, attempting to appear soothing, concerned. He smiled, and here was the final proof that he could never completely imitate the object of his obsession. As convincing a copy as he was, the smile was all wrong. L's whole face lit up when he was truly amused, his blue eyes sparkling, the expression lending a child-like, innocent quality to features. B's smile was disturbingly sinister, one corner of his mouth quirking, his eyes flat and black. When he smiled, he truly looked most like a grinning corpse. "You aren't well, I can see it. But don't worry, I'll have you back to health in no time."

"You fucking drugged me!" The blond shouted, his throat still screaming at him. He needed a glass of water, he needed to get out of this room. It was dark, musty. It smelled like death.

"You're feverish." A kiss was laid against his forehead, the blond trying to turn his head away. Even those lips were icy to the touch. The other children at Wammy's were always comparing Beyond to a vampire, himself included. Now he wondered if maybe this were really true, if the clone were about to suck him dry right here. "I have warned Mello on numerous occasions that he ought to take better care of his body, especially during times of such stress. He's always putting his studies before his own health. It is no wonder that he is suffering from delusions. Clearly, dehydration and lack of nourishment are at fault."

The blond shivered, remembering a conversation recently with his mentor. A conversation they'd had in private, in L's own bedroom. The detective had been helping him study by over-viewing a current case with him, and had noticed the blond rubbing his temples, popping aspirin throughout the evening. L had mentioned that he had not noticed the boy at either breakfast, nor lunch, that they had begun researching while the rest of the teen's peers were heading to dinner. The detective concluded that Mello was accidentally starving his body of nutrition in favor of cramming in a few extra hours of work. Watari had been called to bring in a rather elaborate meal.

"I know the difference between malnourishment, and the effects of a drugging. What was it? I can still feel it. How long have I been out? Where the fuck am I?" B only shook his head, attempting a look of sympathy, failing miserably. He shuffled out of the room, Mello noticing that there was no light coming from wherever the man was headed. While his peer was gone, he tried again to sit up. It was getting easier, he could now almost make it, though he was still quite shaky. It would be a long time before he could stand again, so he was going to have to keep the man talking, and hope that he would metabolize the drugs in his system faster than his captor anticipated. There was little chance of that, however. B was exceptionally well versed in biological studies. He was old enough where he was actually past the education being offered at Wammy's, but Mello had seen the old scores, and L had told him that if B were more social (read: stable) that he would have been asked to instruct classes on such subjects.

Mello's captor returned with a glass of water, and the blond eyed it suspiciously. He was dying of thirst, and knew that if it weren't laced, the liquid would help in his recovery. The question was, was it worth the chance? The brunette had already put a hand behind his head, lifting him up enough to sip from the cup against his lips. Blue eyes glared defiantly into the black holes of the older man's, as the edge of the glass was pushed against his mouth. "Please, drink. Mello will feel much better soon."

When the liquid was drained, quite quickly after Mello detected no obvious strange taste, the older man disappeared again. The blond had shut his eyes tight, silently praying that maybe the bastard would just drop dead wherever he was. Mello would recover sooner or later, and L might be there to save him even before that. Unfortunately, B did return after several minutes. Even in the dim light, the blond could see the needle in his hands. So the water had been fine, but oh god. What was in that? He watched Beyond tap the syringe, depressing the plunger to rid the dose inside of air bubbles as he crossed the room.

Mello's wrist was gripped tightly, his arm yanked up. The brunette's expression looked somewhere between fascinated and hungry as he eyed the veins at the inner elbow. The blond stared in horror as the tip of the needle slid into his flesh. He could still barely move, and though he knew screaming would do him no good, he shrieked and cried. Someone had to be coming for him. L had to be coming for him.

"Mello needs his rest. This will help. All will seem much clearer in the morning. Please relax." B's tongue darted out while he pulled the syringe away, looking at the bit of blood at the inside of the blondeís elbow, and that that had filled the syringe. He seemed to be losing focus, slipping out of character, though he still clung to the L persona. He was stroking back Mello's hair, offering other soothing words. The blond already felt his eyelids growing heavy, felt the mattress underneath him disappearing. Just before he slipped out of consciousness, he was trying to push away the thought that the warm, wet thing against the skin of his arm was almost definitely Beyond licking at his wound.

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Their relationship was kept secret for much longer than either dared to expect. It started out like any other young romance, with the awkward flirting, the accidental touches, neither one daring to make an obvious move. It started out slow, a look across the room, holding hands during late study nights. They would both argue it for years to come, who finally took the leap. It could be said it was L who really initiated it, by inviting the blond to work on his assignments in the detective's bedroom, only to ignore studying in favor of sharing a meal, having a lengthy conversation that went from academia, to philosophy, to poetry.

Then again, it was Mello who stole the first kiss, while the two read lines from a Shakespearean play to each other. When Romeo and Juliet were meant to kiss, the ever-dramatic blond had leaned into L, perfectly playing the part of the infatuated teenager. He'd closed his eyes; wet his lips, his hand going to the back of the detective's neck to pull him in. Of course, later he would say that he was merely getting into character, that it was L who took the scripts and threw them across the room, pulling Mello into his lap, deepening that kiss until they were both breathless and blushing.

From there, they regularly snuck up into L's bedroom, sending text messages to each other during the day, setting dates for the meetings. Mello had been admittedly slipping in some of his studies, falling just a hair below Near's scores, so the detective had explained to his instructors that he would personally tutor the boy himself. Mello had always teased about the obvious perversion of these acts, how the teacher-student relationship was highly inappropriate. However, his scores had risen considerably in the areas that L was supposedly tutoring him, so that he was in fact ahead of his rival. L had returned the teasing by suggesting that it must be completely psychological on his young lover's part, since they rarely worked when they met.

They managed to keep their secret for almost a year, until they were finally discovered. It was the obvious conclusion to their affair, since they had indeed become somewhat reckless. It wasn't as if they were overtly affectionate in public, or that they were not careful in their plans, but even geniuses make mistakes. A lingering look here, a touch there, eventually the accidental term of endearment spoken in the presence of the wrong person. Of course it had been a father figure that had caught them in the compromising position, in the act of making love on a night when both had neglected to check that the door had been locked. However, there had been many slips before.

Mello could recall one such instance, though at the time neither man had noticed that there was another body present. They'd been in the library, hiding among scattered stacks of books, looking for some new poetry for the hopeless romantic detective to bring to bed. "Darling," L had whispered, "what do you think of this one?" A book was held between forefinger and thumb, dangled in the blonde's face. The teen had giggled, planting a kiss on his lover's cheek.

"Ah, was that what you were quoting last night?" The detective only smirked in reply, blue eyes twinkling suggestively. The detective had a habit of quoting the great romances while they made love, perfectly reciting the verses as his lips and tongue teased every inch of Mello's skin, as his hands drifted to remove articles of clothing. Mello had admitted to himself that if his friends were to see the way he behaved with the detective, he would never hear the end of the teasing, but he couldn't bring himself to care. L's words were as skilled at bringing him immense pleasure as his hands and mouth were. It was young love in the worst way.

When the older man had pulled the teen to him, his own arms wrapping around the thin waist as Mello's went around his neck, the two heard a loud thud. Both jumped back from the embrace in time to see Beyond sitting at a nearby table. He was hunched over a book, and the two were close enough to catch the writing on the cover. BB's attention was focused on a textbook of human anatomy. The two cringed, knowing their peer's obsession with the inner workings of the human body all too well.

The only time he had ever participated in the tutoring of other children had been during a class on dissection, where, admittedly, he'd perfectly instructed his students at how to cut into the specimens. It had also been his last chance at being allowed anywhere near most of the children, since he'd frightened the majority nearly to death. L had sauntered in to watch the class, and suddenly been engaged in a loud verbal argument.

The problem was that B felt the lesson was not nearly interesting enough without a human body to work with. They'd been given the usual, a frog to dissect, but Beyond could not be satisfied with this. He'd raged that neither Wammy nor Roger Ruvie had taken the initiative to call a local morgue for something more interesting. When he had offered to take the liberty, he had been denied. Somehow he felt that this was all the great L's fault, and that he was solely to blame for his potential successor's boredom.

BB had had to be physically escorted from the room, then shut in his own bedroom for the remainder of the day. When L had tried to reason with him, he had been jumped by his double, sent flying onto the ground on his back. B's hands had been around his throat, his eyes narrowed into little black slits as his grip tightened and his lips curved into a vicious grin. Mello had been the one to rush to the front of the room, to retrieve the scalpel that had fallen from the maniac's hand to the floor. It had been dangerously within reach of the original second in line. The blond suspected, that if given the chance, his mentor would have become the object of study for the day. That was not the way the teen wanted to discover L's body. Several of the girls in the room had been in tears, one thankfully rushing out to catch several instructors in the hall, screaming that B was going to kill L. It took three men to pull the enraged teacher from his position over L.

In the library, Mello and L quietly watched Beyond mimic the detective, legs tucked up in the chair, lips slightly parted, mumbling to himself. From his position, it would have been easy to both see and hear what the two had been doing. The couple rushed from the room, both going their separate ways, the mood ruined. Whether or not he had actually caught them, they were never sure. Neither spoke of the incident again, both always more than a little nervous around the strange man.

When he thought back on it, Mello could actually remember several occasions when they had been 'caught' by Beyond. There had been the time when they had been walking through the hall during dinnertime one evening, Mello nuzzling into L's shoulder, when out of the corner of his eye he spotted B several feet behind, shuffling along quietly. Looking the copy, Mello felt a shiver travel up his spine from where L's hand rested on his lower back. He'd looked into L's eyes just to assure himself that they were indeed the usual light blue, and not the pair of flat black that always instilled such fear in the teen.

The blond suddenly felt claustrophobic, pushing L away, quickening his pace to walk in front of the detective, traveling backwards to watch both men. His detective had assumed that the boy was playing a game, and quickened his own pace to catch up, catching the teen to lift him up, carrying him down the hall. Mello had whispered that then was not the time that they were not alone. When the brunette turned to see what the trouble was, he only shrugged, tightening his hold on the younger boy. Sure, Beyond was creepy, probably insane even, but was no threat to their secret. He had never showed an interest in fraternizing with anyone that he might be able to alert to the affair, and also had nothing to gain from doing so. Though it disturbed L, he maintained that the fear they felt at having his double watch them was irrational. He was only curious, but would do nothing more than stare for a moment before continuing on his way.

There had been another instance, and this time, L had finally spoken up. The couple had been making love that evening, and when they had finished, they lay curled in each otherís arms, falling asleep. They'd heard the creak of a floorboard just outside, so the brunette had volunteered to investigate, saying that he might as well head downstairs for a late night snack as well. Sex burned a lot of calories after all. When the detective stepped out, his clone had been standing right there, palm flat against the door, his expression far away.

B had finally stepped over the line in L's opinion, and was told that under no circumstances should he be loitering outside L's bedroom, especially at this hour. This was the detective's personal, private space. In fact, most of the floor belonged to him, and B's own room was nowhere near. The potential successor had only been allowed to continue living there if he behaved himself, contributed when and if possible to the cause, and made no trouble. It was mostly out of their own fears that neither Quillish nor Roger had thrown the young man out yet, and L agreed with them to a point. However, if B planned on stalking him, then he would have absolutely no reservations about kicking him to the curb. Beyond had only nodded, not even offering an apology as he shuffled away.


"It is time to wake up, beautiful." The voice invaded the hazy dream, startling Mello awake quicker than usual. His type of insomnia was the kind that he forced upon himself, so that when the blond finally did fall asleep, he was out until something shocked him awake. The interruption was usually an impatient detective lately, or else his own alarm clock on weekdays. Most of the time, L had to shake him, to raise his usually quiet voice if he hoped for the teen to wake. Now, it seemed like even deep in the most pleasant of dreams, this voice could bring him crashing back into reality.

Mello was thankful that at least the light had remained on, though the sight before him had him wondering which was better. He'd been dreaming of L, of course, of being wrapped safely in his arms, of missing a day of classes to lay with the man. Inches from his nose, B smiled at him. He leaned over from his seat in the wooden chair, kissed the blonde's forehead. "Don't touch me."

"I will not take Mihael's attitude personally. He has had little sleep, and seems to still have a slight fever. Warm to the touch, in fact. So very warm." B reached for his hand, only to have it batted away. "I am only concerned for Mihael's well-being. Whether he likes it or not, he will let me care for him." The brunette took the teen's wrist, nearly crushing the bones in his thin wrist with those cold digits. "If I am met with much more resistance, I will be forced to bring out the restraints. Mihael has yet to have his medication. A dose is not due yet for several hours, but there are other ways to calm him."

That's right, Mello remembered now. He'd been drugged unconscious. The teen could remember at least two times having been given whatever poison that syringe held. He dared to look down to his arm, where there were now quite a few puncture marks. "How long have I been here?" The older man shook a scolding finger in his direction, making little sounds of disapproval. His hair was smoothed back, tucked behind his ears. B kissed the side of his neck, breathing in the scent of his skin. His tongue flicked out, licking a long stroke up towards his ear. When the blond turned his head away, the older man bit down on his earlobe.

"Mello is normally so affectionate. I do not understand why I am being treated this way. Have I said or done something to upset him?" Without waiting for an answer, the brunette stood, exiting the room without another word. While he was gone, Mello realized that he could finally manage to sit up, though the ensuing head rush made him wish that it hadn't been attempted. However, he remained sitting, feeling a little stronger, a little less vulnerable, even when he saw that the majority of his clothing was missing.

"I have warned Mello against exerting himself. I should have known that he would be too stubborn to cooperate." The voice came from the other room. Of course Beyond knew that he had moved, the springs in the bed that had been poking the blond in the back for however long he lay there creaked noisily with every slight movement. "I'm afraid I will have to resort to restraints. Just remember, love, that it is your own fault."

"No!" Mello shrieked. He threw himself over the side of the bed, landing in a heap on the floor. B was shuffling back into the room, carrying several sets of handcuffs. The blond crawled away from the bed. He felt heavy; his legs shook as he brought himself to his knees. He pushed up with all the strength he had in him, managing to stand for only a few seconds before falling back to the floor. "Leave me alone B. Take me back. You don't want to do this. This is wrong. This is very very wrong."

The brunette threw the restraints onto the chair next to the bed, coming around the stand above Mello, peering down at him with a look that was part pity, part aggravation, and at least a little hunger. The blond was reminded of those old movies, where the monster just keeps slowly making it's way towards you, shuffling along, not racing, because it knows that eventually you'll tire, stop running, fall, and it never can. B seemed to be fueled by that same force, never tired, never concerned with the blonde's screaming or begging or insults. He placed one arm underneath Mello's knees, the other under his shoulders, effortlessly lifting him and dropping him back onto the bed, even though he appeared to weigh even less than the teen. BB could very well have been thinner than L.

"That is a dangerous thing to do, my dear, unless you wish to see the threat through to the end." Beyond had sighed, his eyelids falling shut, when Mello made a grab for the older man's hand, biting into the flesh between his thumb and forefinger. It was a self-defense tactic that L had taught him. There were many sensitive places that could be even minorly injured to cause enough pain to distract an attacker. Of course, if his captor was twisted enough to enjoy a sensation like that, it left the blond with very few options.

"Let me go! Bastard! Take me back!" Both of his wrists were captured with one hand, jerked above his head, pressed into the headboard while B reached for a pair of cuffs. The metal dug into first one wrist, the chain going around a post in the bed before the other side was hooked around the other wrist. He kicked at the man beside him, twisting his aching body, finally landing a kick straight to B's stomach, effectively knocking the wind out of him. The older man doubled over, gasping and coughing. When he recovered, he seemed even more determined, laughing while he restrained Mello's ankles.

"I so love how playful Mello is being, but I am still concerned for his health. We can play later when he is feeling better." Beyond turned and left the room, humming to himself. From beyond the shut door, Mello could hear the ring tone of his cell, the tune interrupted as his kidnapper picked it up. "Hello, my friend. Hmm? Yes, safe, sound and intact. No, you may not. Goodnight."

The blond screamed until his voice left him, hoping the caller might hear him. He wished he had an idea where he was, could offer some clue to his rescuer. There was still no evidence to where he might be being held, but he continued to shriek, more out of fear than any real hope at this point. Beyond returned long enough to shut out the light, closing the door again before he left.

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Despite how mischievous L's second in line was, he rarely ever missed a class if it could be helped. Barring serious illnesses, or the occasional decision to stay in bed with his detective lover, Mello had never so much as been late to a lesson. It caused immediate concern, then, when he was still missing after lunchtime. Roger was contacted first of course, Mello's instructor inquiring if the boy had gone out of town that day, or if he may be ill. They should have been notified, but oversights can happen. When Roger claimed to know nothing of it, Wammy was then contacted. His colleague was already suspecting that the boy was with the detective, but did not wish to be the person to interrupt whatever might be transpiring in that bedroom. He wanted as little as possible to do with the romance that he still found gravely inappropriate. If Mello was skipping classes to do whatever it was that he did with L, then Quillish ought to be the one to retrieve him. He'd already seen it first hand, so was therefore the better candidate for the job.

L had not answered the insistent knocking on his bedroom door, having been fast asleep. It had been almost four days consecutively since he'd slept, and was exhausted to the point where he finally just had to give in. The door had been left unlocked, if there was an emergency then whoever needed him could just walk in. Quillish was overly cautious of doing this lately, not wanting to see into any more private moments than he had to. However, this was a dire emergency, so after five minutes of waiting for the lazy detective to answer, the old man finally opened the door a crack, peering into the darkened room.

The caretaker took a moment to watch his surrogate son sleeping soundly, looking very much like a small child. He'd never tell the boy, but often when he was very over-tired, the detective could be caught curled up into the fetal position with a thumb in his mouth. This warmed the old man's heart more than any of the other endearing quirks the young man possessed. He hated to wake the child, but finally had to. There was a missing blond to be found, and then properly scolded. If anyone knew where he could be, it was L.

After Watari had shaken the detective awake, it was mere seconds before he was fully alert, at having heard why his sleep had been interrupted. It wasn't really that he had been concerned for the boy already, since the blond had been hard at work studying, insisting that for once he wished to be left alone. Admittedly, L had been distracting him the last time the teen had brought in his work. L had desperately missed Mello for the last thirty-six hours (and 32 minutes, and 29 seconds, 30 seconds, 31...). For the first few hours, he felt the usual longing for physical closeness, then as time went by, he began to miss the sound of his voice, felt the familiar tightness in his chest as the hours ticked by. By the end of the first full twenty-four hours he was beginning to feel the pangs of jealously that went along with knowing that Mello still saw it more important to beat Near in the rankings than spend time with him. It was silly of course, and just a bit embarrassing, knowing that he was so jealous of innocent little Near, of all people.

"Yes, I have checked his room, L." Watari sighed. "Personally. He is not anywhere in the building." L had been told in no uncertain terms to not interrupt, had had the door even shut in his face when he tried to enter. When the blond was in one of these moods there was no stopping him until he accomplished what he set out to do. He would stay locked away until he had every fact memorized, until whatever he meant to write out or construct was up to his standards. This of course meant that he might not be seen for days.

"Perhaps Mello has stepped out for chocolate? Is my motorbike in the garage?" Watari shook his head no. He had thought to check that as well. Even though Mello was only fifteen, technically not allowed to be driving, he would often escape the grounds on L's motorcycle. It had been bought on a whim, and had only been used a handful of times by the detective, who had personally taught the teen to drive it. Roger had been furious over this, knowing the mischievous boy well enough to not trust him in the least. L, however, was confident in the young man's abilities, and did not worry for his safety when operating the vehicle. Even if he were to be discovered as underage, there was no chance of repercussions regarding the law. L would see to any trouble. He was the law after all.

"L, there is one more fact that greatly concerns me in this matter. Beyond has been missing as well." Though BB was mostly a shadow to the majority of the Wammy House inhabitants, there were still a handful of people that kept track of his whereabouts. As unstable as he knew the young man was, Watari quietly kept tabs on him. He made sure to keep at least the younger children away from the library or the halls he might be traveling through in the evening hours. He even waited near the door to B's bedroom when he knew he would be retiring. He had been especially cautious of the strange boy when L had confided that he and Mello thought B might be following them, that he had been spotted outside L's room at night several times.

"Perhaps he has finally decided to leave us. We will all be better for it." L did not believe his own hypothesis for a second, though he wished he could. He was suddenly very concerned now, leaping out of bed to rifle through some papers at his desk. There was a contact list somewhere, one that had the names and cell phone numbers of nearly everyone that had passed through the house. Watari reached into his pocket, producing a small black cell phone, handing it out to L.

"I had the same thought." Watari had stood outside B's door, his heart sinking when he heard the phone ring without an answer for several minutes. Though the old man had a key to every door in the house, his did not work at B's. The bastard had changed the lock without his knowledge. He'd had to resort to drastic measure, managing to use a long forgotten skill to break in. Any other time, he may have shared the experience with his surrogate son, who was also an expert at breaking and entering. The two may have been able to share a laugh. Now was not the time. "If we do not find Mello soon, I fear he may be in some kind of danger. It is the last scenario I wish to believe, but the evidence is not in our favor."

"I do not appreciate what you're suggesting. I know, more than even you think you might, just how far gone BB is mentally, but kidnapping?" The last word L had to force from his own lips. It couldn't be possible. Not his Mello. But wasn't Beyond capable of such a thing? Hadn't he done nearly as bad with little to no provocation? What would be his reason behind it? Mello usually left L's copy alone avoided him even. It couldn't be revenge for some conceived wrongdoing. What else might be the reason? The detective felt himself wishing that it had been someone else, anyone else, that had gone missing at the same time as Wammy's loose canon. He would be able to keep a clear head then, be able to list the possible reasons and outcomes, come up with a plan of action. He tried to forget that it was his Mello that might be in danger, that his love could have been taken away from him. If B had done something, he was not only already a former resident; he was a dead man walking.


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