On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
One Ruined Childhood
"I don't want to!" L whined.
Light tugged at the chain, absolutely done with L's bullshit.
"I have to go Christmas shopping! It's a tradition."
L's eyes hardened. He could never understand the big love for the holidays. To him, they were just an excuse for stores to rip off the general consumer. The detective jangled the handcuffs in front of Light's face.
"Well I'm not removing them," he growled decisively.
"I guess you're coming with me, then."
L blanched. A large mall filled with hundreds of people? Light blinked. How was it possible for the detective to go paler than he already was?
"Like Hell I am," L snapped.
Light's brow twitched. He rubbed it, groaning. Out of all the immature-
"I can just have Watari buy presents for them," L tried, waving the teen's scowl off.
"They'll know it wasn't from me," Light sighed, shaking his head, "besides, that's not really in tune with the Holiday Spirit."
L's teeth ground. Oh, no... the teen was giving him those puppy-dog eyes he did so well. The puppy-dog eyes of a coldblooded murderer. He had the whimper of one too. He pretended as if the eyes weren't having an effect on him, leading to the other's sad expression. Victory!
But L sighed, hanging his head in resignation.
"Fine... but I have demands..."
Light grunted as he pushed the cart. L was in the basket, his knees pulled beneath his chin. Surrounding him were things Light had bought for his mother and sister, stacked like a little castle. With a self-satisfied grin, he licked the candy cane in his hand. They were getting so many turned heads, so many confused and blank stares... Light smiled apologetically, his skin beaded with sweat.
"This is so degrading," he growled.
"We could always go home," L drawled, blinking innocently.
Light's teeth gritted. Now quiet, he just continued pushing all the gifts and the detective. Breathing heavily, he stopped the cart between the Mall-Santa and a makeup store.
"This is the last stop," he grinned.
L rolled his eyes. He'd agreed to undo the handcuffs for stores simply to avoid going in. There were many things in this life he needed, but eager employees and a heavy cloud of perfume was not one of them.
While Light stepped in, he waited, twirling his candy cane lazily.
He stopped twirling the candy.
Peering over the side of the basket, he saw a boy about six or seven years old. The detective's brow rose quizzically. Slowly, his gaze went to the Mall-Santa. There was a man struggling to get a two year old to stay still on Santa's lap while he tried taking a picture. Probably the boy's father. L tried his best to smile, but he was sure it looked... creepy... his bags and complexion had never really contributed to an inviting smile.
"Hello... child... what do you want?"
He blinked, cocking his head.
"Why are you sitting in the cart like a kid? You don't look like a kid."
L slowly put the cane back in his mouth, his eyes narrowing.
"I'm a kid at heart."
The boy's eyes lit up.
"Does that mean you get to sit on Santa's lap? Daddy told me grown-ups can't!"
The detective drummed his fingers on his knees. This conversation was getting old quickly.
"No. I can't. Can you go away now?"
"Then how can you be a kid?" He asked, confused.
L sucked on his sweet. Maybe if he just ignored him, the kid would go away... suddenly the boy threw himself into a long rant about how great it was to be a kid. He glanced at the store anxiously, never having wanted to see Light more than ever before.
After a solid thirty seconds, L snapped his attention back to the kid when he said "but if you can't sit on Santa's lap, your life must be really sad and lonely!" L had never been one for introspection, but he was lonely, always locked away in his investigations. But his own flaws were not what came to mind. His eyes narrowed to small slits as he glared at the boy.
My life, sad? You little asshole! I own five buildings, have millions more than you will ever see in your life, solve the world's hardest cases, and I absolutely fucking rock bedhead. Name someone else who hasn't slept in days and looks this good, I'll wait! You think you got something on me? I'm mother-fucking L Lawliet, world's greatest detective and I have the best life, okay?! Fuck you...
"Santa's not real."
Light staggered out of the store, burdened by about four bags.
"Santa's not real."
The detective said it deadpan, glaring at the child. Light was so surprised, he froze, watching in a fascinated horror. The boy's eyes widened.
"Wh-what? Of course he's real!"
"No. Your parents lied to you and Christmas is just a way for us to fill that empty void that the death and depression of winter brings... because everyone's going to die at some point. Everyone."
Light gaped. The boy's eyes teared, his lip quivering. Tipping his head back, the kid ripped out a wail. L stared at him, uninterested, crunching down on his candy cane. Jumping, Light rushed forward, shoving the cart into motion. L continued eating on as if he hadn't noticed Light.
"Crying's not going to change the fact you'll die someday," he called over his shoulder.
Light winced, trying to avoid the shocked and indignant expressions surrounding him.
"What the fuck was that!?" Light's voice cracked.
Behind them, they could still hear the boy crying loudly. The father had rushed over and was yelling obscenities at them. They rolled off L's shoulders, none of them very intimidating. Twisting his body, the detective gave a light wave towards the father with a lopsided smile. The man's face went a bright red. He looked ready to chase them, but opted to console his son. L finished his sweet with a pout, waving off Light's scowl.
"He has to learn eventually."
"Jesus, Ryuzaki! I was in the store for like 3 minutes! How the Hell did you manage to ruin a child's Christmas in that time?!"
"At least I didn't go over the birds and the bees," he gave a wry grin.
Light paused the cart, staring at him. Slowly, he hung his head. As much as he didn't want to, there was a laughter bubbling up in his chest, from deep within his stomach. It physically hurt not to laugh loudly, but he'd be damned if he gave L the satisfaction.
"You're an asshole," he managed, his breath strained from his silent wheezing.
L didn't respond, his brow quirking. Did Light really find it so funny? He rubbed his palms against his shirt, confused why they were suddenly so sweaty.
"Come on. Let's go before a mob of angry parents tear us apart."
The detective shrugged, leaning against the cart's wire as Light pushed. But L was smirking. Was this the Christmas Spirit Light had been going on about? The greatest joy? To psychologically destroy a child? Hm... maybe there was more to this Christmas than he thought. But L kept his expression neutral. No way he'd let Light know how he felt.