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Fan Fic / Thirteen Days

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Thirteen Days, available on Archive Of Our Own and FanFiction.Net, is a Death Note For Want of a Nail Fanfic by PrinceDarcy. Starting a little while after Higuchi's death and the task force's seizing of the Death Note, Light finds his plans completely derailed when L decides to test the Death Note by using it himself... Which may or may not turn out to be better than Light's original plan.


Thirteen Days provides examples of:

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  • All According to Plan: Light repeatedly affirms himself in his internal monologue that things are definitely still going exactly how he wants them to. Even when they're not.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • “How would you define murder, Light-kun?”
  • Ascended Extra: Watari, who barely even has any dialog in the original adaptation, is playing a larger role thus far, having a few one-on-one scenes with Light.
  • Asshole Victim: Kosuke Gōto, the first person L writes into the Death Note, killed five people, including his own wife and child. The following four are all death row inmates, one of whom killed twelve kindergarten-age girls. L doesn't feel all that bad about about how he's "testing" the Death Note.
  • Bad Boss: L. When the task force understandably freaks out at him for using Kira's murder weapon, he goes as far as to rather unambiguously threaten to write their names down if they try and get him arrested.
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  • Bad Powers, Bad People: The task force seems to feel this way about the Death Note and its use.
  • Batman Gambit: It is a generally canon-compliant Death Note fic. These are a given.
  • Battle of Wits: Between L and Light. See above.
  • Berserk Button: The task force doesn't take kindly to L justifying murder.
  • Birds of a Feather: The similarities between L and Light are getting more obvious as time goes on. Even Light's noticing.
  • Blatant Lies: Light accuses L of trying to frame him as Kira. Subverted in that that was nearly what L was trying to do when he tried to convince the task force the thirteen day rule was fake without actually proving it, albeit with it considered that he's actually right about Light anyway.
  • Cassandra Truth: Misa suggests to Light that L might not be that different from Kira after all. Light disagrees at the time, but he's been giving the idea a lot more thought since.
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  • Clear My Name: Light's plan is for Rem to kill L after thirteen days so his fake rule will be "proven true," giving him and Misa airtight alibis. It isn't working out for him.
  • Consummate Liar: L and Light. Rem has been lying outright as well, for the sake of going along with Light's plan to exonerate himself and Misa.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: L makes his first victim draw a capital "L" on the floor of his cell in blood to have an immediately recognizable cue that he had, in fact, been controlled by the Death Note as he'd written.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Watari's had about half a chapter in the spotlight so far, though it is through a conversation with Light.
    • Misa has only been in one chapter so far, but that chapter deals with little else.
  • Demoted to Extra: Aizawa and Mogi left the task force after L first used the Death Note. Ryuk's also only appeared in one chapter, though that's unavoidable with him being attached to Misa, who Light isn't spending much time around.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Averted. All five of L's victims were death row inmates who he set to die on the days of their executions. Three of them he actually wrote down to die ''via'' their intended execution. Played straight when he implies he'd kill his own former employees if they tried to set the authorities on him... maybe.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Light doesn't miss the chance to remind L he's not supposed to be carrying a gun in Japan.
  • Easily Forgiven: Light acts like this is the case after L kills Kosuke Gōto, to have an excuse to stay around headquarters and see what happens. This doesn't last.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Seems like what L's planning to do. He doesn't.
  • False Friend: Light to L, and vice versa.
  • False Innocence Trick
  • Framing the Guilty Party: L attempts to throw suspicions back on Light by trying to make the task force believe the thirteen day rule isn't real, which is true, but he tries to convince them by writing names in the Death Note without their knowledge.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: L has a hard time psyching himself up to commit his first direct murder, and says he wanted Light to be there so he wouldn't have to do it alone. Averted afterwards, when he realizes doing it didn't actually bother him.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Lampshaded by Light, who at one point thinks that he's playing the "good cop" to L's "bad cop".
  • Good Is Not Nice: L. The "good" is debatable.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It rains on what everyone thinks is L's last day alive. It pays homage to the famous rooftop scene from the anime.
  • Grey and Gray Morality
  • He Who Fights Monsters: L's willing to do anything to catch Kira. Anything.
  • Hidden Eyes: When L is confronted about using the Death Note again, Light can't see his eyes for much of the conversation.
  • Hypocrite: L, full stop. He's repeatedly called out on this.
  • I Know You Know I Know: In typical Death Note fashion.
  • Implied Death Threat: When some members of the task force decide to leave, L makes sure they're aware that there will be serious consequences if they tell the police he's committed murder. Light thinks he's bluffing and that he wouldn't use the Death Note that way, and L assures him... that he wouldn't use the notebook.
  • Inner Monologue: Light, as the POV character, is prone to these.
  • I Was Just Joking: When L's thinking of how best to test the Death Note, Light jokingly asks if he's Kira. Averted later when Aizawa asks L the same question seriously.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Subverted. L's victims are all convicted criminals already on death row, who he kills, at the earliest, a few hours before their execution.
  • Karma Houdini
  • Manipulative Bastard: L and Light, though Light's been primarily internally taking credit for L's own machinations seeming like they're going his way thus far.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When the task force realizes L's used the Death Note. Both times.
  • Master Actor: Light. Lampshaded in his self-congratulatory inner monologue more than once.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Soichiro specifically sees L making one criminal commit suicide as this.
  • Moral Myopia: L seems to think just about everything's fine if he's doing it to catch Kira.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: L implies this when he says that Light would have "lost his alibi" even if L had died and the thirteen day rule had been supposedly proven true.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: L.
  • Not Me This Time: Kosuke Gōto wasn't killed by Misa, though all the other heart attack victims are.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: L has these counting down to what everyone thinks will be his death.
  • Oral Fixation: "Ryuzaki stared at the monitor for a solid forty seconds before removing the pen, which he had apparently gotten to second base with, from his mouth."
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The task force spends a lot of time not accomplishing anything. Justifiable, since they all think L's dying, and Light's specifically warned Misa to be especially cautious so that they can't make any headway until L's out of the way.
  • Politeness Judo: Light makes a lot of decisions based on what "Ryuzaki's friend" would be expected to do.
  • Redemption in the Rain: The rooftop scene in chapter 7 looks like this, since it sets the reader up to believe L couldn't bring himself to kill again, even to save himself. Turns out to be inverted when he turns out to have been very much aware he wasn't going to die, and was just trying to make Light think he hadn't written another name.
  • Rules Lawyer: L learns how to make use of the rules of the Death Note about as quickly as Light.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!
  • Serial-Killer Killer: L. Misa's still acting as Kira, as well.
  • Sidekick Ex Machina: L's plan to convince Matsuda and Soichiro that he'd proven the thirteen day rule to be false probably would have worked if Rem hadn't played along with Light's plan and lied on his behalf.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: L, Rem and Watari, for now. At the very least, their canonical deaths were averted.
  • Tame His Anger: Aizawa manages to restrain himself from punching L in the face when he very clearly wants to. Light's almost disappointed.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In order to make sure the Death Note is working properly, L specifies that one of his victims, who was due to die by firing squad, survives the initial volley and needs a mercy kill.
  • This Cannot Be!: When L doesn't die when he should and Light doesn't know what's happening.
    No, no, no, this can't be happening. How? Just what did that bastard pull?
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Soichiro's reaction to finding out L had continued using the Death Note and tried to push suspicion back onto Light with false evidence.
  • Unintentional Backup Plan: The entire fic is this to Light.
  • Villainous BSoD: Light when L doesn't die. He barely keeps it together.
  • Worthy Opponent: Light actually finds L more interesting now that he's getting less and less moral. He had to remind himself that L dying as quickly as possible was the best option.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess
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