Reincarnation, L discovered, was funny business actually.
He hadn't given it much thought in the past, beyond diving into the differences and similarities between popular beliefs and how many of them people truly denied, that is. When you are a 10 year old with a hunger for activity, no cake in the kitchen and no Wammy to supervise you, there isn't much else one can do.
The concept of reincarnation had been a tad too hopeful for his tastes, and, a microscopic side of him would admit, a tad too scary. Although, that depended on what exactly being reborn would imply. While theoretically the soul was the same, were you the same person? What if life was breathed into a human again, but they weren't the same gender, or species?
Psychologists had reached the conclusion that what made up an individual; habits, likes, dislikes, core morals; all in all, their personality, was greatly shaped by both factors of nature and nurture. Nature, because one's genetic code wasn't something that could be brushed away. Nurture, because humans latched onto each other, no different from leeches, and then absorbed: first words, then actions, after that traits, consciously or not. L himself could remember a couple of times when he pinpointed Whammy's mannerism within his own. Nothing obvious to the average eye. When disheveling the subtle was your job and main source of time consumption, you tended to notice "a few" things.
Perhaps he should choose debating the philosophical aspects of reincarnation as his new main occupation. If only so it could be easier later on to break it to religious folks that the process didn't work quite as their scripts presented it as.
Also, beginning to speak in full, articulated sentences at fresh three weeks of age would surely not be something the world was ready to handle, even by genius' standards. And Mrs. Larue had already gone through tribulations during both the pregnancy and birth. Who knew if she could survive another?
The year was 2046. The month was that of September and on last Thursday temperatures had reached as high as 29°. A solid rain hadn't fallen since late July. There were more withered plants on the sideroad than there were puddles. Global warming continued to take its toll on the world.
L had been right, as usual. Mrs. Larue could not survive another tribulation. Stress and anxiety did it for women in such conditions. First there were the typical worries of inexperienced parenthood, then a mistress in the sheets and a car accident that cut short the one source of income in the house. Go look for a job, be rejected, agonise over unpaid bills and come back home.
The young boy with a mind older than the mother's who birthed him a second time could do nothing other than observe his flesh and blood in this life slip through the cracks. The strong smile presented to her friends turned thin and bitter as quick as a finger snap in the privacy of her one person bedroom. L noticed the signs. He was good at noticing and connecting.
The cracks deepened with each day, that hopeful smile became more and more feeble and in the middle of September, a year ago, Lo Larue had woken up to being an orphan. L Lawliet had woken up to the previous status quo.
He had shut down the door as soon as he saw the reason, a distant memory of A threatening to spill out all over the floor.
Wammy found him at the unripe age of four in a small city that never appeared on the weather forecast at 17:00 o'clock. Just like last time.
Unlike last time, recognition lit his eyes upon landing on the small, malnourished frame in the middle of the crumbling play room of the orphanage. Following short negotiations with the staff members and the plump woman in charge, Lo Larue was given into custody to Wammy's House For Extraordinary Children. L - or now as he was better known as - Lo regarded the half-hearted "Never forget us!" from his fellow younglings slapped early by life with mild indifference. Arguing with himself whether to recommend the head of the orphanage some acting classes or not before taking off concerned him a great deal more. Crocodiles could have wept more believably. Then again, not everyone had Light-kun's talent for navigating social cues and toxicity like a duck resting on a lake.
In the end, one stern look from Wammy - sorry - Warren was enough to refrain him from handing the much-needed advice. He guessed she would just have to learn by self-practising.
As the ear-gritting bawling faded into the background of his thoughts, L discovered that, unlike him, Wammy didn't remember everything. He had learnt, of course, from reports, rumors, word of mouth passed from generation to generation in the house. The man, however, had no recollection of his own. Not how he died, at what age he died and curiously, but no way coincidentally, nothing related to the Kira investigation.
"Who is Light?" the older man asked and that simple question prompted L to retreat back to his theories for the rest of the ride to the airport.
While watching the remaining of the French soil disappear behind a thick curtain of white patches, Lo Larue, in a previous life the number one ( and second and third ) best detective in the world, L, scratched his mental notes on reincarnation and settled back on square one. The fly time between Paris and London was around an hour. He spent its entirety dissecting semantics and religious texts.
The first thing kids did when they arrived at Wammy's House For Extraordinary Children was stare in awe at its magnitude, the complete opposite of whatever sad hole they originated from.
The first thing Lo Larue did was storm into the kitchen as though he knew the place better than he did the palm of his hand ( which he, indeed, did ) and look for cake.
The second thing he did was go into Wammy's office, piece of cake still with him, sit down in front of the computer, legs folded close to his chest, and figure out how technology changed over the last 41 years.
Quite a lot, yet not enough to truly inconvenience him. One hour passed and L had already got the hang of it almost 15 minutes ago. He was right now neck-deep into any document, classified or otherwise, concerning one Light Yagami, he could put his cursor on. That's when L saw it.
Date of death: January 28th, 2013 ( age 23 )
He had to smile at the irony. The God had lived less than the mortal always on his heels.
The ( not-so-young ) genius pointedly avoided the curious glance thrown his way by the confused old man just entering the room. Some inside jokes were better left between two individuals, current heart rate of said individuals being irrelevant to the matter.
Lo Larue joined the new, clearly not also reincarnated, staff members on the pointless tour of a place that had barely even moved around a photo in 41 years.
L Lawliet briefly wondered if the other party of the joke would ever show up on the chess plate's opposite side, like long before. His percentage of possibility tilted somewhere between 45% and 50%.
Warren Quinn stayed behind in his office to finalise the necessary documents for Lo's arrival.
Wammy Quillsh looked up the computer's search history, seeking clues to no avail.
L had encrypted everything.
The 5th L burst onto the crime scene like an unpredictable hurricane, leaving behind the utter astonishment of every police agency in the world. The 4th L hadn't been active for 5 years now. No one knew what happened to them. A 5th appearing without warning raised question after question with no serious consideration being given by the person behind the screen. He did his job, pushed the oblivious "men of justice" in the right direction and received in exchange some form of entertainment besides tasting each new culinary wonder of the past decades.
Lo Larue sighed and raised a hand to massage his temple as the chief of the FBI continued to make a nuisance out of both himself and everyone else next to him. Some things were a constant variable in this world. The Earth rotated around the sun and its own axis and the authority figures of humankind rotated around their fragile egos in need of a pat.
Too bad, L had always been better at shoving and kicking than sweet nothings.
He spoke boredly and pressed on the device in his ear. "I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Matthews." He wasn't, really "I understand you have important inquiries about the situation." Nonsense to be more precise. "And I'll try my best to be as thorough as possible." Which meant he'd throw them a bone or red herring if he was feeling generous ( or lacking amusement ) "But I'm afraid I must return the topic back to the case." From which the discussion shouldn't have deviated in the first place "I'm sure the other participants wish the same" L could see quite a number of them on the screen muttering phrases that strongly resembled "Finally" and "Thank God." in their respective native languages.
He scanned the files and turned off the sound in his ear, sneakily checking the calendar on the wall from time to time.
6th of February, 2049.
L put himself on mute and groaned.
February 28th couldn't come more slowly.
In an average hospital, with average doctors and less than average sanitary conditions, in the northern side of New Jersey, Natasha Yamamoto was resting. The bundle of joy and love in her arms lay still and silent. Her utter exhaustion was the sole reason she stopped herself from gushing out loud in excitement. Finally. After what she presumed to be futile attempts and after endless tears of disappointment from both wife and husband, Luke was here. Their son had reached their world. She looked at him adoringly.
He is a healthy baby, the doctors had said. Perfect weight and no apparent complications to be found. Luke would no doubt grow into a handsome young man. Natasha was certain of that. The roundness of his chubby cheeks was only accentuated by the rosy blush decorating them. His eyes were wide and seemingly comprehensive, two pools of melted chocolate staring straight at the yellow ceiling. And then their owner frowned with his entire might, as though feeling unwell. But the moment passed faster than it came and the woman questioned how tired she must have truly been.
Above her, above the baby, a shadowy, dark figure chuckled madly at the sight in front of him. "Well, hello there, Light!" greeted Ryuk the familiar addition to the human realm before spinning into another fit of laughter.
Of course, the mother was very much unaware of what was happening, so she requested a doctor to come check her scowling son. For safety reasons.