Another Note: Crime Scenes

BY : Resting-Madness
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 2181
Disclaimer: I don't make money from this work of fiction. I don't own the realm of death note's creation like characters and plot, and world. None of it is mine.

June 18th, 1995.

Beyond Birthday had been watching Adel Armina, a.k.a. A, for weeks now as the older detective both active and in training wandered through life in Wammy's school. The date over his head was interesting to say the least because it was ever changing. In all of Beyond's short existence he's never seen anything like it. Ever since he could recall memories he's seen names and numbers floating over people's heads, like a weird phonebook. It took the death of his parents to answer the question as to what the numbers meant, they left the house one day with the day's date over their head and never came back afterwards. So that answered that. But it never answered the question as to why…

Why can he, a simple boy from the outskirts of Kiev City, Ukraine, see the day when someone is slated to die? There must be a purpose. That was why Adel fascinated him so much. Beyond almost lavished his curiosity in thoughts of the slightly older, Debby-Downer out of wonder of what would be the cause of his death? What would bring down the fragile being before him? Suicide? An accident that he's been averting until today? A murder?

All scenarios seemed possible, especially the accident part. Maybe he'd be out on a case and get shot dead or perhaps he'd take a train somewhere and it crashes, just as the one his mother had taken. Hell, the boy could even slip on bath water and split his head open on the sink edge! The possibilities were endlessly amusing to the studious younger child.

Mr. Wammy had been out for the day with him, so Beyond amused himself with his assignments, cases, and his personal studies of watching the fascinating creature that was the listless Adel. There was no harm in calling him by his given name, if Adel believed himself simply as A the name over his head would change as Errol's had changed to L, and the younger would address A as such; although, that's not entirely a statement to be believed because despite the changed name over his head, Beyond still called the robot Errol or Lawliet. Just because he knew he was going to be L it didn't make him so. But, there seemed to be no question in Lawliet's mind about his position and so his name changed.

Beyond didn't care heads-or-tails what he, himself, was called but he would not be seen as someone else's backup. Best is best, there is no just incase. If he was considered backup than why consider Errol L?

Beyond was reading in the library four days prior to the incident, along with Adel and him. It wasn't mandatory reading it was just down time at the school. More kids began coming in for training but it was always and, in Beyond's universe, only the three of them. But that day the fates seemed sealed for A; it was literally just the three of them. Adel called attention to himself by closing his book then getting up to return it. Beyond watched the other detective do these things all while viewing the numbers over his head as it changed from next year January to four days from then.

He was friends with A, had been fast friends from the first week they'd met each other. They played well together, ate meals with conversation, he certainly never joined in any discussions. And over holidays, they even bought gifts for each other. So, Beyond came to the conclusion that his presence was keeping the older boy alive. If A were suicidal he had plenty of alone opportunities to do away with himself. If it were as simple as an accident it would have happened by now, surely, so he could only surmise that it would be murder. Someone was going to kill A and his being by A's side must have been averting the boy's death because the date over his head changed so frequently. B was starting to think his unusual eyes were on the fritz. But that day in the library put his plan into motion to simply back off and observe. Wait and see.

So on the day of June 18th, late one night in the large and quiet school, Beyond walked down the long still hallway; his footsteps are like a slow heartbeat waiting to give pause and even stop beating at the sight of the cause of its long and slow drumming. He cracked the door open and peeked an eye into the room. There's one lamp on at the bedside table, three beds in the room and two are empty. And there on his bed sat Adel weeping quietly in the empty bedroom. Tears and snot weren't the only sticky things running down a part of the boy's flesh there was blood, a lot of it, pearls beading out of both wrists and getting smeared against his cheeks mingling all the fluids together.

The door creaked a bit when Beyond leaned back giving himself away. Adel looked startled believing it would be Mr. Ruvie or one of the other boys he shares a room with, but for some reason they tend to sleep in other kids' bedrooms leaving A there alone with his thoughts.

"Is someone there?" whispered a voice soft and garbled by despair.

There was no sense in hiding anymore, not that he was hiding, he could have easily gone inside to simply observe the boy up close as he'd often done in the past. He's even admitted it that he, Adel, fascinated him. So it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary between them. But not knowing it was Beyond, his friend had him momentarily spooked that Roger Ruvie would open the door and catch his naughty deed.

"It's me." said Beyond as he entered the dimly lit bedroom.

At least the light wouldn't turn away from the boy, not physically anyway. Inside, it surely didn't reach him no matter how everlasting or bright, Adel would believe there was nothing there. Beyond cocked his head as though someone had kicked him suddenly and he had yet to straighten in the recovery.

Adel seemed relieved to see him, but then he began crying in earnest as he croaked. "I thought I could do it, but I'm too afraid…" He sobbed. "I think that… I think I'm just going to leave the school…"

"Do what you gotta do," Muttered the younger boy, who then climbed into the bed crouching in fetal position before the mess of a child.

Adel hadn't heard Beyond's words he was far too lost in his tears for speech to reach his ears just yet. So for minutes he cried and cried while Beyond remained silent and watched.

'It takes a long time for someone to bleed out from the wrist, I would think it'd be fifteen minutes tops,' Beyond took Adel's arms into his hands to assess the damage. His fine arched brow quirked in disbelief. The cuts weren't deep and the slash didn't touch the vein. 'So boring.' He declared to himself then slid from the bed, grabbing the knife stained with squiggles of red liquid, and started away.

Adel began sobbing again as he heard his friend's departing feet thumping across the wooden floor. "How can I do things like this? How can the world be so incredibly horrible but I can only do something about it and not everything? It isn't fair!"

Beyond's pace stopped suddenly as those words seemed to anchor him place like a manifest of desperation telling him to stay. Listen. Don't leave him alone. 'So that's what this is about? A hero complex,' gagged the otherworldly boy. 'Adel, Adel, don't be vain…'

There wasn't a thing Adel could do but to shield himself from the sudden attack. Beyond swung around and charged him! It sounded like a dark horse thundering across the wood floor, and the last thing A saw was a glint of light hitting the sharp, long kitchen knife before his hands went up to shield his face and throat. The blade caught his wrist taking the knife across and through in the way he only ten minutes ago failed to. Why? Why would Beyond...

The younger detective carried his lulling friend into the bathroom, A weighed next to nothing, it was a sinch. He whistled 'May It Be' by Enya as he lay A in the bathtub. And he knelt beside the tub watching and listening for 15 minutes as Adel's body spasmed and squirmed and a tiny voice whimpered, pleaded, and drowsily cried as life left it. The date over his head changed to numbers of a mere clock timer, as it ticked away the last bits of life of the young boy known as Adel Armina.

Watari and L returned from their work to find police cars parked outside of the school, blood on a raving Roger's clothing, and young Backup being escorted in handcuffs out of the school. They wondered about who the victim was until a stretcher was brought out of the building and on it a small bodybag containing the identity via the uncovered face of Adel Armina.

Beyond was released back into Wammy's custody because the knife contained two sets of fingerprints, Beyond's and Adel's. The young boy explained that he'd found his friend in his bedroom that night with a knife in his hands and sobbing about something he'd done. He rushed to help him but he was pushed off, that was when A made the final cut. The police believed him. It was hard not to. But life at Wammy's was never the same for the boy. Surveillance round the clock, check-ins, and Beyond was never allowed alone with anyone. He complied, of course, that was easy when the rumors began and no one wanted anything to do with him at all. Living in the home as L's shadow, B grew quiet. And one day, he just up and left…

His mind had been made up about his future as a detective, and even as a human being. He had new goals to pursue. A goal that has never veered even today. And today was more than a courtesy call. The L.A. murders may as well have been a dress rehearsal for what he's concocted now.

It was supposed to be between L's protégés and himself, but when he stumbled out of that home in disguise as Ellis Quimby to find himself face to face with his eternal rival… Beyond felt erect again. He had worried that his aspirations, admiration and general reason for going on had been all but lost to a God's hand, a hand when simplified could be described as nothing more than the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Whatever there is that's strong there is always something that will better challenge it.

It was divine. He was resurrected from death's grip and born again in a much better situation of incognito than any shadow of a life he'd once held. The charred monster in the Special Handling Unit, b.k.a The SHU where the worst of the worst spend their lives because they are beyond help, became a new kind of Shinigami, one not held by their rules but equipped with all the delicious perks. Beyond can pass through walls, and as life had bestowed to him the Shinigami eyes, he has no ties to the rules of living off human remains, and Beyond also has a death note. It was given to him by the God of Gods when his human form passed away in that prison cell.

Before the Kira case called his attention back to L, after leaving Wammy's school for the gifted, Beyond lived a quiet, extravagant existence as a private investigator. He'd take on whatever cases his rival passed up under the name of Bohdan Boiko. The alias Bohdan, translation Gift from God, turned out to be pretty ironic since it was someone posing as a God who'd killed him by a heart attack. And it was in death that he'd received his gift of rebirth.

From there he devised a plan upon noticing the Kira case was still going strong and getting nowhere. He wondered what had happened? Surely the world's greatest detective had to know it was Light Yagami. He couldn't understand why Kira hadn't been arrested yet? It was because of that that Beyond knew then that L had been killed. It was the only explanation. At the time, without knowledge of the death notes, himself, he didn't know as to how.

And for a long time Kira was passing judgement on criminals like himself before someone, or rather two someones, finally tripped him up and brought him down. Why hadn't Beyond stepped in to assist in the bringing down of Kira? It was simple, he wasn't interested. But...

Then there was Near and the blond firecracker Mello, who didn't seem like much to Beyond and worse than that, as far as he knew, Mello had been killed by Kira as well! It was a shame, Mello showed promise to be somewhat like himself. Living outside expectation. He could be the best and so much better as the worst. He's wanted to sink his claws into Mello since getting his hands on a digital file of the single print copy of his little 'Memoirs of a psychopath' inspired by his L.A. stint. Protégés are lovely.

Back to the point, he concocted a challenge for the survivor, Nate River, the young man to proceed L since his rival was out of the picture. He could either be depressed and return to his P.I. work as Boiko or see if the leftover was up to snuff as a detective and, well, fish gotta swim. So Beyond moved to London and started over. As fate would have it, he spotted a very much alive Mello cooling his heels in the area, not long after arriving. Two for the price of one, and neither had officially been picked as the successor to L, so he'd gladly be the deciding factor.

But then he opened the door of the Talbott home on that perfectly gloomy morning with intentions of alerting the neighbors of his false life's dilemma, from which he'd proceed to take out person after person until he's either caught or ignored as a cold case, which in his eyes would dub the pair as failures. And that assessment would then shoot him back into a state of depressed. But to find L walking the streets. The L. His L. Born again. And thus the game plan was switched. Who would figure it out first? The successors? L, himself? Or the wildcard of the mix, the very alive Light Yagami? Kira.

It seems like nothing in this world stays dead these days. Well, he'd see about changing that…

Which is what brings them to the present day.

Matt hung up the phone then walked back into the den with a demeanor that stated he'd put prayer hands together in hoping his composure seemed casual instead of on high alert; despite telling himself not to he was side-eyeing the imposter as he returned to the sofa. "Yeah, that was Mello," he muttered and picked up his laptop walking it over to the bookshelves. "He wanted me to check the street cameras, I won't be long,"

"It's fine. Time is a valuable thing, we shouldn't be wasting it," a smile curled at the corner of L's mouth. "One never knows what's going to happen even an hour from now,"

'Was that a threat? Dammit, this is bad… How did I not notice? He's nothing like L!' The gamer linked into the security cameras around the house continuing to berate himself. 'Duh, Matty, it's because you weren't expecting it,'

Baron Samedi looked like the bringer of death, to a little girl he came off as a Frankenstein, to the family next door to the Talbott's he was a scarecrow. A man of a thousand disguises, but no one could disguise himself as someone they've never seen before. So this L in the living room could only be one person. Beyond Birthday.

And who would factor in the resurrection of a former member of the place you grew up in? A deserter who died in prison. It was a long told tale among the 'Alphabet Children' like a: 'Don't Let This Happen to You' bedtime story to scare you straight. Although no one knows exactly what happened to Beyond after he left, it wasn't until he'd been killed that anyone had heard anything new about him since the investigation in Los Angeles. And that was many years back.

Some of Wammys thought it was a blessing that Kira killed Beyond, the stories were that etched and altered and retold in their minds that he was a terrible monster in the closet or under the bed, or even the stalker in the park left them with a sour taste for the deserter that didn't belong to them but existed on other's behalfs. But to think that he's alive? How? And why is he here?

When the camera feed came up Matt saw the car that L sent for him and the driver idling in wait at the front gate, and he also sees the car that Quimby stole away in. Was he here, too? 'Shit. I've gotta get to Near and get him out of here,'

He closed his laptop screens then turned around, he held his gasp watching the mock L approaching him.

"Mello's on his way here," he cheered for himself that his voice didn't crack or elevate.

"Oh? How's the case coming along?" asked the imposter.

"We're bringing him in as we speak,"

Mock L's long slender index finger touched at the corner of his lip and he asked thoughtfully. "Really? You know who's been doing the killings?"

"He seems to think so," Striding past, the techie shivered inwardly with nervousness that he could have been grabbed by the arm or shoulder by the disguised Beyond but thankfully he wasn't.

The leering eyes watched Matt like a hawk before he asked. "Why did you tell Mello that Near was out, I told you he was in the library?"

Lifting his controller he replied. "I tend to spout off whatever when Mello and Near are asking about each other, it's that being the middleman of a 'love and hate rivalry'… Neither wants to know how the other is, but they're always secretly asking."

"I know exactly how that goes,"

"I figure it's better not to let on that Mello beat Near to the punch," Setting down his controller he stands then heads to the door. "I'll be right back, I need a smoke, and my cigarettes are upstairs."

Matt left the room feeling as though he was hitting every pin and needle with barefeet but he made it out. Beyond followed shortly after coming to a stop by a 'click' at his left ear. The mock L smiled, his contact covered black gaze shifted to look at the threat head-on.

"Is there a problem, Mail?"

Matt said nothing just kept his aim steady and fixed on the bullseye right through the hole in the sadistic serial killer's ear.

"What will the others say if you shoot me, nn?" Asked the phony. "The great L felled by a rogue agent, how embarrassing a headline for me. I imagine you'd come out of it all right- for the time you're allowed to live. The others will..."

"Shut up!" Matt snarled, his breathing picked up, and he was sure he'd have his own heart attack if this bluff of absolute bravery went off poorly. "You're not L so you can stop talking like that and drop the act. And sidenote, no one would have a problem with me splattering your brainmatter all over this hallway, Beyond Birthday."

Beyond's gaze sharpened at the declaration of his name. "So cocky when backup is on its way, huh, Mail?"

"Guy's gotta survive…" He shrugged his shoulder.

"How do you know I'm not L and the person you spoke to on the phone the imposter trying to lure you out of the house? Get you to kill me.." Commented the imposter still impersonating the great detective.

Matt wavered but then shook it off. Of course he's not L, he doesn't even smell like the unique man. "Put your hands on your head and take a step forward, then follow me,"

Beyond snorted at the situation but does as he's asked by taking a long step forward out of the room, he snickered when the gunman tensed and righted his aim. "Too far? If we're going to play Violent Simon Says you gotta instruct the S&M to the letter,"

'Is this guy for real?' Matt glanced over his shoulder then called out. "Near, are you back there?"

"Hmbwah haa haa haa, if you could see what I know, you'll wish you'd called an ambulance instead of checking the grounds on your laptop." Beyond picked up his laughter- or something that's supposed to be a laugh, Matt couldn't figure it out. "Nate's not fairing too well,"

Backing up, he ordered the killer to follow him, and he kept the gun aimed at the disguised head. Beyond mimicked a crab by sidestepping along after Matt. The techie looked down at a red stain on the floor and recognized it as blood. It has to be Near's blood, or perhaps one of the servants? To be honest, Matt hoped it was the latter, he couldn't imagine it being Near's. The kid is resiliant; this sick fuck could just be trying to disarm him with concerns and the indifferent-to-emotions teen could really be out in the garden. But upon reaching the room he knew it was no such luck.

"Near!" He spots the still figure lying flat on the floor on his back and, even more horrifying than that, Light was kneeling over him and doing nothing to help. Looking back to Beyond he opened fire!

The bullets missed the nimble killer's head as he did a full bridge dodging them but the destructive bits of metal impaled the straightening psychopath in the arm, his hip, and side. Beyond hit the floor with a howl when another bullet popped a hole into his knee then foot, that was a good enough distraction for Matt, earning him time to head into the library and recover Near, destroy Light, then, hopefully, make it out of the house to the awaiting car while B nursed his wounds.

"Fucking prick, what's wrong with you! Why aren't you helping him?" Matt bellowed as he shoved Light aside. "Huh?" His concern as to whether or not Near was beyond help came to a halt when hearing Light clatter onto his side. It sounded like bamboo popping against itself during a blow of wind. He touched the former killer's hand and instantly pulled it away because of the strange texture of his skin. 'He's not real? What the hell?'

Matt's attention fell back to Near and he assessed the damage. It was hard to tell without cleaning it but he knew it was bad. Fainted in the woods and awakened due to being eaten by a bear bad. A swear passed his lips as he ran for the first-aid kit in the closet, he kept an eye on the door as he did so. Quiet was not good; he can hear sounds from the TV but nothing from the resurrected Beyond. He had been under far more stress when helping Mello treat his burns until he could stealthly find a doctor to help him, back when that bomb had gone off in the factory, so treating stab wounds would be a breeze. He expertly, quickly, cleaned and dressed the cuts without interruption.

'I did shoot him in the side, maybe he really died this time?' He knew that wasn't likely, but he could hope all the same. Matt looked down at the Yagami doll, his furrowed his brow as he recalled when he'd seen Light draped and drunken like that before. When L and Light first arrived. He'd spoken to L and Light was passed out at a table. 'But, shit, it couldn't have been…?'

But it was dark in that room. L called him Mail, a habit Beyond was known for, at least that's what the kids whispered about. And Light was never even really considered at the time, because he doesn't like Kira. If he was out cold or dead: let them eat cake. But the most telling thing that he hadn't even noticed until now, was that the next day L and Light showed up at the house and one of the butlers was carrying their bags. If they'd already been at the manor so too would be their bags.

Scratching his head he thought in dismay. 'There goes my observation badge; I really need a smoke,' He looked down at Near who groaned. "Don't try to move around too much, I'm gonna help you."

Matt got to his feet then walked to the room entrance; he used the silver gun barrel as a mirror to look into the hall. Empty. There wasn't even any blood! What the hell was going on? Wondered the young man as he returned to Near to gather him up. The front door is twenty three feet away, the getaway car about the same- granted the driver hasn't said "screw it" and left. With any luck Mello will walk through the door right as he's about to exit the library.

Intercom: This his your friendly neighborhood hunwanted guest speaking, hif you can guess what room I'm in hI'll let you leave without harming a hair on your darling head. Hif you can't…, watch out.

'Hif? I see he's dropped the L act. I wonder if that's a good thing or bad?' Holstering his gun into the waistband of his jeans, he lifted Near into his arms, making hushing sounds when the teen complained through groans about his wounds stinging him. "We're gonna get out of here," Fuck that fucker's mind games. If the exit was clear he was taking it.

Matt stood at the exit looking left then right. Clear. He didn't walk on tiptoes but he was careful not to move so quickly that the wounds caused Near worse pain. The techie mocked Beyond for being too giving with the leeway, he could have killed them both if he'd wanted to but he chose to play with his prey and it was his mistake; dipping his knees a bit he turned the knob on the front door to sweet freedom.

"Fail." Beyond pulled his fist back and slammed it into Matt's face fullforce. He had used the intercom outside at the front door of the manor.

Matt blinked through a haze then blacked out. The last conscious thing that registered was Near being moved from off of him.

0 0 0

Matt blinked and looked through blurred vision around the room, he can see a haze gently moving just ahead of him, and he can see streaks of red. He used his senses to assess the situation; judging by the warm metal against his skin he's handcuffed to a chair by both wrists. The scent of blood is everywhere but then his nose feels broken so the metallic scent was probably his own. He can hear Beyond muttering something, and upon listening, his foggy mind can make out what's being said. And he seems to be speaking to Near.

"Matt's not bad for a quick patch-up but, in the end, wounds like this need a finer touch,"

'What is up with that weird accent?' wondered Matt listening to the many letter 'h' sounds brushing against the psycho's speech.

His vision cleared a bit more and he can see blood staining the front of his pants; had he not recalled being slugged with a brick at the front door he would have been worried after the state of gender, but he knew his nose had bled on him.

"Get a..." he cleared his throat then tried again. "Get away from him you sick son of a bitch."

"Don't be so righteous, Mail, I'm sewing up the cuts." Looking over his shoulder with a smirk, he added. "Do you want me to let him bleed out?" He shrugged his hands letting the needle that's still attached to the thread pull away from his hand. "The work is done anyway, so you can stop caring." Tying off the end, he leaned over and bit the thread apart to show the completion.

"Why are you here? I thought you were dead?"

Walking over to Matt he knelt before him. "I was dead, but the illogic has shined it's lovely light upon me and I came back. Aren't you happy to see me? We've never been properly introduced; I'm the one who hung around in the shadows during Q.A.s, and you are the tech whizz that shut down the system one Thursday afternoon while trying to see the security feed of the house. Guess you were curious about L as well," he pet Matt atop his head. "Tell me, now that you've seen him," And the L disguise smiled at him. "was it everything you'd thought it would be?

"Why are you dressed like that?" Matt wondered. "To fool me? You could have just shown up as the Baron if you wanted to hurt us, why pose as L?"

"Who's posing as who? You never knew your precious L before he took my title during that L.A. case, Not Rue but Ryuzaki," He made a hissing sound in the back of his throat then continued. "My Lawli is a bit of a taker.. a little of him, a little of her… Gotta understand the nature of the beast to resume the hunt of others. All those titles he's fought other detectives for, do you really think the real L is anywhere near the surface?"

"It doesn't matter," Matt fired back. "He can be Bozo the fucking Clown, L at least stays on the right path while others turn into fucking lunatics!" Spat the genius technician. "What's the matter B, couldn't hack it as a detective so you went the easy route of a killer?"

Beyond muttered something about Mafia Mello turning quick when L died, before he looked momentarily confused by Matt. Smiling as he straightened to a stand, the resurrected asked. "A killer? Did you hear that from Lawli-pop? Hmm? Quillish, perhaps? Tch. Probably Roger, he was there that night Adel died, and he had me sent away."

"It's common knowledge that you're batshit crazy and a murderer, no one had to tell us anything,"

"I'm no murderer. If I were, you'd of already graced my 'To Die' list when you arrived from the hospital, little boy," he caressed Matt's cheek. "But you're still alive; I even helped out Nearest over there," he shrugged his hand to remove it from the gamer as he continued. "And I'm sorry to break it to you but I'm one hundred percent sane… People call others insane to remove their credibility.." Waving his arms in the air he shrieked. "He's mad I tell you! Maaad! What if someone should understand me and wanna follow in my footsteps? Wouldn't look good for Wammy's school of the gifted helpfuls."

"You call setting yourself on fire sane?"

"Means to serve a purpose. Trivial," he hummed thoughtfully.

'Trivial? He smells like firewood and decay, formaldahyde and he calls that trivial?' He looked closely at the blast from the past and noticed that L's face was a mask and beneath it the blackened dead skin of a burned man, skin he knew well because some of Mello's skin got pocked with it. Thankfully, it was small specks and not the grandiose that is Beyond Birthday. 'Quimby had that same stink to him, I didn't notice the char because of the cigarette but I did smell the decay… What does that mean?'

Seeing the pensive look on Matt's face, he asked. "Thinking about escaping? You can't. Mello will show up and I'll incapacitate him as well,"

"I was just wondering about that weird accent of yours," Matt diverted the comment because he doesn't want Beyond focused on Mello, maybe the former mob boss can get the drop on him if he's distracted. "It's not any kind of British I've ever heard."

"It's not my accent, I'm not British, this was an accident. I swallowed a bit of gasoline before the fire was lit. That stuff'll mess with the larynx. You have no idea the discipline it takes to change voices these days," He walked back over to Near. "Tell me, because you know Nearest better than I do, would he make a good L?" Smiling down at Near he then peeked over his shoulder at Matt. "As far as I know the kid is colder than wet steel in the dead of winter- he didn't even scream when I was stabbing him! Just grit those pearly whites, and grunted a bit."

Matt glared in heated anger. He knew it had happened but Beyond didn't have to talk about it as if it were casual reading on a Sunday afternoon.

"Even the humanoid has some sort of reaction, but this kid… nothng, well, except in concerns to Mello," a crooked smile slanted on his false skin's lips. The more expressions Beyond made the more uneven his facade seemed to get revealing the man underneath between peeks around the eyelids and mouth. "Do you know he's got the hots for your man?"

"Yes." And he does know. He's not stupid. But, so what? He hasn't made a move and would be extremely rebuffed by Mello if he did. Matt sometimes entertained the idea of Mello giving in, and laughed at the hot angry sex the pair would have.

"I wonder if he fantasizes about him when he's fucking My-size Ken'avanni?" He slid his finger along Near's unconscious body until he reached his crotch. "Can you believe he's never had the pleasure of anyone inside of him? I know he must be curious." Beyond gave an animated hoot. "Think he's saving himself for Mello? Maybe I should spoil his plans?"

Matt growled then began thrashing to get free. "If you so much as-" He had to stop there because 'harm' didn't seem to fit when Near's been stabbed fifteen times in the stomach, possibly more if the stabs were inflicted in the same place.

"Relax, Mail, I'm no rapist," Sitting the young detective up he hoists him over his shoulder. "Doesn't mean I don't know people who are!" He said boisterously giving Near's rear a slap. "Do you know how much his exotic looks would fetch in the skin market?"

Matt struggled to get free from his restraints but it was useless, that didn't stop him though. His wrist were scratched and scraped but the cuffs held. "Put him down, B!"

Tires screeched outside calling their attention from each other.

"That's Mello," he said to himself, and who else could it be? "Mello!" He called over and over until a fist knocked him back into slumber.

Beyond snickered at how easily worked up the new recruits could get over each other. Had someone said Errol or Adel were dead, he'd go digging for copper in his ears with more enthusiasm than a show of care about them. But that wasn't to say that he's inhuman, if anyone had been trying to kill little Lawli with him around he would dispose of the body promptly, because no one gets L. He's got an ultraviolet stamp across his forehead that reads: Property of Beyond Birthday. Kira cheated. But, that won't happen again. In this new game the checkmate belongs to him.

"Don't worry Peter, I was only joking about selling your cottontail," he said to the unconscious Near.

Tipping Matt's chair to an angle he dragged him along behind him as the Baron Samedi would a coffin as he exited the library and headed up the stairs.

Mello burst into the home calling out for Matt but he received no answer. 'Maybe they've gone already?'

Mello got a text from L when he was ten minutes from the manor, it had an address and informed him that he was to go there, that the others would be there as well. But Quimby was a wildcard and Baron Samedi could be anywhere. He didn't want to take the chance. His instinct was right because the stolen car was parked outside along with another car that was leaving. He peeked through the window as the car passed by him seeing it was empty of anyone familiar, not even a servant was inside. So either they left together in one of the cars in the garage or they stood the man up because they couldn't leave the house.

Samedi uses drugs to subdue people, he could have slipped it into the food or drinks before Matt or Near knew what was happening, and the servants… Mello counted them out. They're collateral and undoubtedly dead, but Matt and Near may still have a chance if they need saving.

Passing through the den he turned off the video game. The moaning of the undead ceased leaving the room in an eerie silence. Nothing was turned over or disturbed, but the house is too quiet. Even with soundproofing you'd still hear something moving around.

"Matt!?" Peeking into each room as he passed he called out again. "Matty, answer me!" Removing his cellphone he speed dialed the gamer's number then listened for the sound of the ringtone. Matt never leaves his phone on vibrate so that he can hear it over the game music in his headphones. 'Upstairs.'

A thump caught his ear and he hurried through the hall; listening in all directions he heard the sound again from upstairs. Taking the stairs two at a time he stopped dead three stairs away from the second floor.

'L? What's he doing here?'

When the detective locked eyes with him and smiled, Mello took aim but was stopped from firing because the surprise guest turned off into Gevanni's bedroom blocking his head by using Near, whose body dangled over his shoulder. Mello was finding it hard to recover from the cold water thrown in his face. Too many unanswered 'whys' piled up. 'That's not L; it can't be. Which means I can torture an answer out of the imposter,'

Up the last of the stairs, he rounds the banister spying a glance into Near's mess of a room; there are blood streaks on the floor and the bed is turned over; and a mysterious door beneath it lay open; the runner in the hall is moved and a door in the floor has been left open there as well. All the rooms must have hidden ways in and out, figured the former mob boss. This place did used to belong to royalty, and they did tend to need such secrets in the olden days.

"I thought you'd died in lockup?" He asked after putting it together whom the L at home might be; scooping his hair into a ponytail to keep it out of his way he tied it off using a band fished from his pants' pocket.

Beyond snorted. "You know how suicide is, totally unreliable…" He spoke casually like they were dining over burgers. "I thought you'd burned up in a truck fire?"

Mimicking the response with a snort he replied. "You know how fires are, all property damage but nothing permanently gone." He smirked when the very burnt Beyond agreed with him. The barrels of his Eagles are pointed where his target is as he walked towards the bedroom. "So what're you doing here?"

"Lawli's alive and you expect me to remain passive?" he ground out. "Not likely."

"Oh, come on, you've been apart for how many years and you're still holding a torch for L?" He's pressed against the wall just beside the door. "Hate to break it to you but he's got other adversaries keeping him occupied at night."

"I knooow." And he does not sound amused. "I know a lot of things, Mihael..." He smiled unseen by the person it's meant for. "Wanna know how long Near and "Matty" have to live?"

Caution went out the window and Mello stepped into the doorway, guns aiming around for something to hit. He can see Matt passed out and latched to a chair, Near is slumped in fetal at his feet. The former mob boss looked for anything moved out of place that would gain Beyond access to another room that might aid in placing the deserter behind him to give him the slip, but nothing looked out of the norm.

Mello stepped through the room slowly and on high alert, the aim of the barrel went everywhere as he stepped over to his fallen teammates. Taking a lockpick from a tiny pocket in the inner lining of his boot collar he worked one of Matt's wrists free while speaking to him to wake him up. He didn't need to look at Near to know he was in bad shape, there was too much blood on his shirt. He took out his phone he then dialed 911, putting the call on speaker so he could continue removing the cuffs.

Emergency Dispatcher: 9-1-1 what is the nature of the emergency?

Mello is on Matt's ankles now as he replied. "There's been a stabbing, send an ambulance," he gave them most of the address before his words were cut short by a kick to the ear.

Mello rolled to his feet after he'd been punted sideways and left staggering backwards three steps before he could recover into a melee attack from there. He had to use fists because his guns were left on the floor where he set them down to free Matt. Beyond was surprised by the young man's speed and caught a right hook to the jaw, but he parried with a spin and swung his arm back to counter but Mello ducked then returned to the brawl with an uppercut from the left and right. Both landed a hit beneath the mad-man's chin with great satisfaction.

The former mob boss grunted when a long leg kicked him in the stomach once with the right then again with the left, before he caught a fist to the left cheek by a right hook. It was like something out of a gang war movie, fists flying and grunts filled the airspace of the large bedroom only both seemed to have the upperhand trading blow for blow without backing down. Beyond endured a body blow to his ribs and balled his fists together then brought them down onto the back of the shorter fighter dropping him to his knees where he would have caught a knee to the teeth but the blond was too fast for him and he rolled away but not so far that he couldn't take a swipe at the intruder with a knife he'd pulled from beneath the chair Matt is semi-stuck in.

There are weapons all over the home, either guns or knives, even a flash bomb or two.

The madman looked offended by the slice to the outer thigh. "And here I thought we were gonna do fists-o-cuffs but you go and bring out a weapon,"

Mello looked perplexed when the murderer unbuckled his jeans intent on slipping out of them, he thought he'd see something vulgar and worse have to watch out for being privy to it but beneath the light blue jeans was a pair of dingy but white comfortable pants that had a bunch of wooden handles sticking out up the length of each leg.

"The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker," sang the demented intruder as he equipped each hand with a knife pulled from a pants leg sheath. "and all of them going to feaast." He licked the blade and grinned at Mello. "Makes you rethink the situation, huh, Baby Babylon?"

"Not at all, you murderous fuck," Mello spat with bravado not offended by the nickname as Baby Babylon is an incredible massively destructive tank and he is immaculate with firearms. The complement is rather flattering. "I'm dangerous with knives as well."

"Again with the murderer," his voice strained in back like he was trying not to laugh and instead chose a 'hnnn' before he continued. "I never killed anyone who wasn't already going to die," He glanced over Mello's head with his Shinigami eyes and grinned. "I'm more of a murdering interloper."

Mello blinked hearing that. He'd forgotten about Beyond's eyes and a caution stirred when he noticed the deserter looked over his head. It's never been proven; how could it be when no one knew about Shinigamis or Death Notes at the time? But Beyond, according to L, has always had the weird ability. What is he? The blond detective wondered.

"Death Scientist is my prefered title, and mmm the things I've seen after the things I've done," he laughed a deep guttural laugh. "I'll always wonder what would have happened to those people had I not stepped in and did the deed, but.." he shrugged a knife equipped hand. "thems the breaks."

"Speaking of breaks, your face isn't looking so good," Mello was trying to distract him, because just behind the madman Near is recovering one of the guns from the floor.

The intruder's knife came up to his face lifting the limp skin up and down for him to notice that it had become incredibly loose. That was the problem with quick change, you couldn't get the fine touches perfect in a haste. But if Mello thought the murderer's dropping of trou was enough to raise an eyebrow what happened next really knocked him on his ear. Beyond grabbed inside of his mouth and from upper and lower lip he yanked his mouth wide open and a head shimmied free from the enlarged opening revealing a mash-up of races of African American patches around the eyes, Caucasian flesh mingled with hues of other shades, a tan ring is smattered around his mouth and all of them stitched together like a quilt creating a more monstrous Frankenstein, though Mello doubted it was a mask. It looked much too adhered to him. Was this guy ever human?

'He is back from the dead; how could he not be some sort of monster?' Thought the suddenly concerned. "What are you?" He couldn't keep himself from asking.

"Dead." Near fired all six rounds left in the clip into Beyond's back.

The madman swayed and was shoved forward by the sudden thrust of the bullet hitting him. Mello stepped in when hearing the empty clip clicking. He caught the point of his knife into Beyond's right eye. The horrific man swung his knives wildly around to keep another attack from coming. Going for the eyes was just the type of dirty move he'd expect from Mello, he liked the guy more all the time!

Near had been attempting to crawl out of the way but Beyond spied the boy through peeking open the uninjured eye and he kicked him as hard as he could muster- which was pretty spectacularly- in the stomach.

The young detective spat blood onto the throw rug coughing and unable to duck as the slashing knife caught him across the back before he could duck by laying himself flat on his stomach. He curled in around the pain shooting in his abdomen and passed out once again.

"Hey!" Mello barked and when Beyond turned around he used the other gun he'd been holding to unload another, fuller, clip into him.

The intruder staggered backwards with each hit away from Matt and Near. When a bullet landed him in the shoulder and the next seemed ready to hit his throat or head he dropped the weight of his upper body backwards like a contortionist leaving his head between his feet. It was a mistake on his part because Mello's aim shifted with ease in an instant, and with the squeeze of the trigger the firearm sent a bullet free, landing it into the killer's face right between the eyes. It was a pretty fucked up pose to get rigor mortis, forever curled in as triangle. It would have been funny if it didn't look so disgusting.

"Matt, hey Matty wake up," he spoke as he worked the last cuff from the slumped red head's ankle.

Matt groaned lowly but roused from his unconscious state. His puffy battered face barely moved from the swell to allow him to speak or see clearly enough, but his hearing was alright. "Mel',"

"Can you walk?" Assisting him to stand, he released his hold around his waist when he got a nod. "I called an ambulance, the car outside bolted," he didn't need to add that they needed to get Near to the hospital. Looking around for a second victim he asked. "Where's Quimby?" There was no way he'd still be standing whether he helped Beyond or not.

"I think you're looking at him," Matt's brows furrowed in uneased disgust. "What the hell is that?" Though he knew the icky looking thing to be Beyond.

"Beyond Birthday. The real deal."

The dispatcher continued calling "Sir!" through the phone until Mello spoke again with the rest of the address.

"You have to get Near out of here," Mello retrieved his phone stuffing it into his pocket.

"What are you gonna do?" Matt lifted the boy up into his arms.

"There's no way Beyond is here for us, he must be after L. And I sure as hell am not gonna let him hurt him."

"I'll be back once I drop off Near," Matt assured him. Because he wasn't going to let harm come to L if he could do anything about it, but more to the matter he wasn't going to let anything dire happen to Mello.

Matt dashed out of the room as quickly as he could but slowly enough to prevent popping one any of the stitches on Near's stomach. Mello retrieved his guns from the floor stuffing one into the front of his pants and the other he kept aimed at the madman on the floor. He had to know something. Dialing Quimby he felt his stomach lurch when somewhere on the corpse the ringtone sounded.

'Then what the hell happened to the real Quimby?' Dead. He suspects. Beyond said he didn't kill. Wasn't a murderer? Ha! And Quimby was supposed to die? What nerve the deserter has to claim innocent. If he could have stopped the deaths he should have. What happened to his upbringing at Wammy's? 'Does he really hate L that much?' Mello walked over to Beyond and removed Quimby's phone from his pocket. 'I don't even know what to think at this point… Was it ever Quimby we were helping? How could Beyond have fooled us like that?'

Mello checked the phone and found no messages on it from Beyond to the actual Ellis Quimby. Work related emails and whatnot. But nothing sinister or harassing.

'Was he playing both sides of this?' Wondered the detective. Standing from his crouch, he walked out of the room standing in the hall. 'Dementia medication. Split personalities and double names. It all pointed to Beyond.' He was too distracted to hear the light thump against the wall from the corpse straightening his legs up. 'Every murderer's true intention begins with the first murder. The death of the Talbott family. Dead twins and a dead mother posed to appear as if she'd peacefully watched the blood bath… The photos all must have been allegories to when Beyond and L were children at the school- even Jason Llyod the return of someone who was already dead.'

"You know something," long spindly fingers tickled up Mello's torso. "that actually hurt a bit," Beyond snorted directly in Mello's ear and with an arm draped over the younger detective's chest he caught the shattered bullet in his hand after spitting it out. "These are expensive so hold on to it."

Matt walked back into the house just in time see Mello being pulled back into the bedroom by the still-ticking killer. "Mello!" He hurried up the stairs.

"You don't have to do this B," Mello could only kick wildly as his shorter stature was elevated from the floor. "We were all on the same side once, you can't really wanna kill us?" He winked an eye to keep from getting blood in it that's leaking from his forehead where the bullet is being pressed firmly into his flesh and touching too noticeably to bone.

"I don't want to kill you, you're right," replied the deserter backing up towards the large windows. "I want to play with you, however, I do need to kill L- the greatest has to go. He has to know that he lost." Stopping when his back is up against the window he then slams the back of his head into the glass breaking it.

Matt stood stunned by the sight before him. Beyond wouldn't really throw Mello out of the window? Would he?

"And when my game begins we'll see if you're up to snuff or just a pile of let downs, because you see…" He leaned in close and whispered in his ear.

Laughing, Beyond then gave Mello a hard shove towards the approaching Matt before he dropped out of the window. The gamer caught his staggering lover then hurried to the window to see if he could put another bullet into the man's brain but he was stopped dead when seeing the deserter hit the ground and laugh at his pain before staggering into a perfectly fine run away from the house.

"Mihael, are you ok?" There were often times when the man outweighed the work and they addressed each other as humans.

"He's gonna kill him," Mello felt numb. More mentally and emotionally wounded than any of the swelling bruises forming from the brawl earlier. "He's gonna kill L,"

And with the way he said it… Matt knew that there was nothing they could do to stop it.

x x x

Commentary: I only have one chapter left, I'm shocked it happened so suddenly ahaha. Thank you again forgiving me your time!

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