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The Rondo of the Sun and the Moon

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Ever since waking up that day, L knew it was going to be different. He himself was already feeling slightly weaker, his head aching right at the bridge of his nose. Yet, he pretended it was nothing, what with how he couldn’t simply take a day off and rest. If he did so, it was possible and 89% probable that Kira would have killed thousands by the time he went back, which was why he promptly stood up when the first rays of sunlight invaded the room, having been awake for about an hour or so already.

Slowly, like a cat, he stretched himself, his shirt sliding up a bit. A small sigh came from behind him then and he immediately turned around, thinking Light had woken up. But no, his primal suspect was still sleeping, his muscles relaxed and a serene expression on his features. For a moment, L felt like climbing back into bed and watching him for a moment longer, telling himself that Light could say something worthy of his time in his sleep. The truth, though, was much different.

L was…Confused. That was not the best word to describe the feeling, but the best one he could come up with when his eyes refused to move away from the brown haired young man. You see, L wasn’t experienced with things like this. It took him a long time to even figure out that something else had grown amidst the hate and determination he had always felt towards Yagami Light. He was Kira – or had been, at least –, L knew it deep in his soul, but, there were moments in which the genius detective didn’t want to believe that truth.

This was one of those moments. Light was peaceful while asleep, the frown that constantly assaulted his facial features when he was working at the headquarters almost completely gone, only small traces left behind. The person L saw in front of himself was not the one he had met, and that nearly frightened him enough to want to stay the farthest away from Yagami Light possible. At the same time, however, he had also grown fond, for the lack of a better way to put it, of this new façade.

Realizing his scrutiny had already taken too long and Light would probably wake up soon, L shook himself away from his thoughts, refusing to dwell on highly improbable possibilities of carding his fingers through the strands of soft hair presented to him against the pillow. The first time such thoughts came to him L had been frozen in place, his gaze never leaving Light as he typed furiously on the computer the older detective had designated as his, a little after the handcuffs had been placed.

In some sort of sick, twisted way, L missed the chains that kept them together. Light was still by his side most of the time, of course, but it just wasn’t the same. They had become closer because of them, inappropriately so, and now that they were gone L was unreasonably afraid that what they had built together had been destroyed the moment he unlocked the metal from their wrists, both at the same time.

Irrational fears such as this had never even occurred to L before and, at first, he had been nothing but angry at Yagami Light for changing him so easily. It had been effortless, L noticed quickly, and, the worst part, he was sure the brown-eyed hadn’t even realized it, hence their fight at Amane’s room soon after she and Light had been released from their confinement.

His mind finally wandered away from Yagami Light once they arrived at the headquarters that morning. Watari had left sweets in front of his desk and, although his mouth ached for something salty, he had to keep his own mask in place. But that was all it was: a mask. One he had been using ever since he was forced to reveal himself to the Task Force and, even more so, after his first meeting with Light.

Never in his sixteen years of being the world’s greatest detective had he had to show his real identity, and therefore he knew he couldn’t let people see him for what he really was. There was an extreme bitterness in his mouth when he talked directly to Kira, which made him decide his new personality would eat only sweets, thousands of them, if only to send that terrible taste away the longer possible. As his mind became more engrossed on the case, he started to curl into himself, as if shielding his insides from harm, explaining the hunch Ryuzaki constantly walked with. At all times he would have to keep his eyes open to any new evidence or possibility that might come his path, so Ryuzaki would also have wide eyes. And last, but certainly not least, childishness was the main characteristic found in Kira, fact that made L resort to his own liking for games of pursuit, Ryuzaki’s peculiar way of sitting striking a challenge towards the assassin, one L knew he would accept.

Thus, Ryuzaki had been created.  A new being, whose only goal was to destroy Kira, and he wouldn’t be stopped for nothing. Except, L came to understand recently, for L himself. The one who liked Yagami Light wasn’t Ryuzaki, of course, and that was even more frightening than the dark haired man had first thought.

L sighed when he realized his thoughts simply wouldn’t stay away from his suspect for long. What would he do when he finally proved Light was Kira? Would he let this new experience take the best on him, or would he be the professional he had always been and arrest the assassin once and for all? The rational part of his brain told him those questions were ridiculous and, truly, he agreed with it. Still, he was afraid he wouldn’t be the same once Light was gone.

Gone. That was what was going to happen to him. Yagami Light would be sentenced to death even before being thrown behind bars. Damn it, he already had been sentenced to death! L dug his fork into his cake and stuffed it into his mouth, trying not to allow his frustration to show. Ryuzaki’s eyes were slightly more narrowed than usual, but try as L might he couldn’t open them wider. This whole situation was taking its toll on him, what with Ryuzaki pointing at him, at all times, every single fact that proved Yagami Light was Kira, and L refusing to see them for what they really were.

It was his fault, in the end, that Kira was still on the loose. Countless nights since he had freed them both from the handcuffs had L spent awake, fighting with Ryuzaki, the personality’s calm demeanor never wavering, even when L screamed at it inside his own head. It was a constant discussion that led L into wanting to bang his head against something, if only to get some peace of mind.

As predicted, however, most times it didn’t work and L was left to fight an endless battle with himself throughout the night, all the while watching as Light, barely a foot away from him, let go of his own worries and allowed sleep to take over him, his calm breathing brushing against L’s skin every now and then, making everything so much harder.

Amane Misa entering the headquarters made the dark-eyed flinch, his gaze falling on the clock on the computer in front of him, that announced the night was about to fall. On her hands there was a cup with what L assumed to be tea, which was just ridiculous, Light only drank tea when he wanted to relax, otherwise he would always favor coffee without even thinking twice, what with how it kept his eyes more focused. The fact that L knew that by having observed him for way too long didn’t go unnoticed by him, who assured himself it was only because Light was his number one suspect, statement that was immediately countered by Ryuzaki.

For a certain amount of the period of time that Amane stayed in the room with them, she made sure not to stay more than five feet away from Light, often trying to sit on his lap and being shoved away by the younger. Those occasions made L smile to himself, Ryuzaki intently staring at the screen in front of him, analyzing the clues Light had sent him earlier that day, claiming he saw something different in that data, he just couldn’t pinpoint what.

Such a blatant lie, and one that even L could see right through. Yet, he chose to believe it, forcing Ryuzaki to concentrate on it, successfully shutting him up for at least quite some time, until Light said something about maybe visiting Amane at her room later that day, if he got Ryuzaki’s permission. And of course Ryuzaki would have said yes, had Light asked, because it meant L would be forced to face a night of the personality providing him images of what exactly Amane and Yagami were doing.

L opened another lollipop as Amane left the room, the bitterness in his mouth suddenly overwhelming. There was no denying it anymore; he wanted Yagami Light, and if it weren’t for Ryuzaki he would have already thrown the younger man against the wall and assaulted him in every way possible, allowing his frustration to slip through the cracks of his armor.

However, Ryuzaki kept him in check. He told him how Light would laugh at him, or push him away and never look in his eyes again, disgusted L could think his feelings went down this road. And L just couldn’t move. No matter how much he wanted to have Light for himself, right there and right now, the possibility that this could ruin what they had even more was just too risky for L to take at that moment.

So he decided to wait, and wait he did. The pain in his head hadn’t subsided since that morning, the few minutes he had managed to close his eyes that night doing nothing to help his case, and in fact making him even more tired. His gaze was turned towards the screen in front of him, but his mind wasn’t processing any of it, his thoughts turned in the complete opposite direction.

It was almost pitiful how hard he tried to concentrate, or force his mind to wander to other directions, but even when Ryuzaki took over, he thought about Kira, and Kira would always lead them towards Light. Ryuzaki wouldn’t drop the subject that what L was feeling was much deeper than the dark haired detective wanted to admit, although he had already conceded that questioning his resolve as to what he’d do to Kira once he was caught should have been proof enough.

A side glance away from his computer told him that all of the members of the Task Force had already gone home without his noticing it, leaving him and Yagami Light alone. Trying to do his best to keep his emotions and needs in check, L reached for the third ice cream bowl he’d be having in the last hours, devouring it with incredible speed.

As he ran his tongue on his upper lip, he realized there was some syrup left there, which made him do it a few more times, until he was sure his skin had been rid of the liquid. The detective then put down his empty bowl and let out a sigh of both relief and discontent, the sweet taste helping him focusing on something other than Light, but at the same time, as soon as he was finished his mind traced his route right back to the young suspect.

With the corner of his eyes, L watched as Light took a deep breath, as if to steady himself. Although he had no idea as to what had unsettled him, the dark-eyed liked to think he had been the cause. At least in the deep corners of his affected brain, L allowed himself to believe that a few of the things he did had some kind of effect on Light, such as when he stared into his eyes, trying to see his soul. Light would always shudder in the slightest under the full power of his gaze, and L liked to count that as a small victory.

Just as Ryuzaki had forced L to look back to his computer, the detective felt Light’s gaze on him. Chancing another small glance at the younger, L realized Light wasn’t even aware of his staring, his mind working visibly. A sad smile graced the older man’s lips as he typed a few things into a new document about the data Light had sent him earlier.

Indeed there was something different there, but he quickly gathered it wasn’t relevant at all to the case, and he just knew that Light was aware of that fact as well, reason as to why Ryuzaki wiped away the smile from L’s face by saying he blatantly and constantly lied to him without even a trace of regret, how could L feel anything that wasn’t related to hatred towards such a despicable creature?

Reluctantly, L had to agree. Kira was, truly, a despicable creature. But Light wasn’t; he and Kira were like L and Ryuzaki, two different personalities that worked for two different causes, may they be rightful or an ambition. Ryuzaki and Kira hated each other and wanted nothing more than to see the other fall under their intelligence, bow down to the supreme authority that they had convinced themselves that they were.

As for L and Light, though, the story was completely different. L knew how hard it was to live with an intellect that couldn’t be comprehended by most people. Watari had only found him when he was seven, moment when he began his one-year long training that ultimately transformed him in who he was today. Until then, however, L had been forced to inhabit the same place as people who pretended they could understand him, but couldn’t even grasp the meaning of his simplest sentences.

Those seven years had been extremely difficult for L, and therefore he couldn’t even begin to imagine how living under the shadow of his intelligence and, in Light’s case, beauty had affected him. Kira was the way Light had found to escape reality, L soon realized, and he ended up becoming addicted to the feeling of finally being able to free himself of endless expectations, be them of his family, teachers, friends, or whoever came to cross his path.

That being said, it was completely unreal to state they didn’t connect in some sort of way. L knew Light was aware of the older man’s intelligence, and finally having someone who actually understood them, they had both fallen in the other’s trap. Light was a good and ethical person, he had proven to be so many times while he and L had been handcuffed; but Kira wasn’t, and he was going to destroy Light, sooner rather than later, unless L did something.

Yet, the only thing he could do was destroying Kira before he got tired of Light. The only problem was that Light and Kira had become one along the while, and, even though it was possible to end Light without harming Kira, the opposite would never happen. Kira was like a virus, one that had already spread around Light’s body and was now just waiting for the perfect opportunity to take over his mind. What L was also aware of was that this would happen the moment he was no longer there. His demise would be the death of Yagami Light.

Wait. His demise would be the death of Yagami Light? L’s heart began racing at an impossible speed. If he could prove Light that what Kira wanted didn’t necessarily mean what Light himself wanted, there might still be a chance. Swallowing against his suddenly dried throat, L took a deep breath, listening as Light stood from his chair and headed towards the stairs, stretching himself.

“Ryuzaki? I’m going to bed, are you coming?” asked the voice L had come to know so well. The detective didn’t move, however, knowing that this was it, there was no more time to waste. His gaze was trapped to the monitors as he heard Light calling his name again. “Ryuzaki,” he said, his voice sounding slightly annoyed.

Once more, L remained in silence, the only sound of Light’s shoes against the glass steps. He climbed them down again, and this time he was definitely more pissed off than annoyed, which was where L wanted to get. Kira needed to be there with them if this was supposed to work. “Ryuzaki!” Light called one last time.

And L put his plan into action. As believably as he could, he fell to the side of his chair, his eyes closing and his breath slowing down. Just as he thought he would collide with the ground, L felt Light’s arms encircling him, easing his fall as a scream that could only mean desperation left the younger’s lips. His instincts told him to turn their positions around and assure Light in all ways possible that he was okay, but this had to be done. If L wanted Light to have a chance, this just had to be done.

Two warm fingers connected with his neck, almost making him shudder in the process. He kept still, though, making sure his breathing would be in check. It felt different to have Light holding him so carefully and yet fiercely, as if he didn’t want to let go. For a moment L almost believed that, but he couldn’t tell if Kira was still between them, and therefore couldn’t assume such foolish things.

“Light!” came Light’s father’s voice. The teenager stood up, L still in his arms as the others approached, but L belatedly realized his calculations must have been wrong. Although at first this had only been an attempt to save Yagami Light, L suddenly started feeling even weaker and now dizzy, making him glad that Light was holding him, otherwise he would have fallen down. As exhaustion took over him, L couldn’t do anything but succumbing to darkness.

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Morning came quicker than L would have expected. He was still tired, but he had managed to sleep for a grand total of six hours, which was basically a record for him. When he turned on his side, at first he was startled by the sight that met his eyes. Light was there, which wasn’t anything new to him. What was new, however, was the troubled expression he had clouding his features, and L had to refrain himself not to reach out and slide his fingertips along the skin of his forehead in order to calm him down.

He didn’t, however, afraid that it would wake Light up and put him in a most terrible situation that could ruin his plan. Ah, yes; his plan. Meticulously, L looked for changes in Light’s way of holding himself while asleep, trying to see under the blanket of lies he usually were. There wasn’t one that day and, with a sigh of relief, L realized his plan had apparently worked. Even the calmness Light used to bear while asleep had some untruthful points, and so L was grateful to see him baring himself, as if he didn’t have anything else to hide.

Rubbing his own forehead to get rid of the slight pulsation behind his eyes, L stood up and away from the bed, knowing that if he remained this close to such an open side of Yagami Light, he wouldn’t be able to control the need to reach for him. It was a beautiful sight, truly, to see Light laid there, his frown deepening once L moved away. He moved a bit, adjusting himself, and L decided he could give himself a few minutes to just watch him.

This time, as he sat on the chair by the window, he didn’t bother using Ryuzaki as a shield. He wanted to be equal to Light and, since he had chosen to show him the true Light, L would show him the true L, even if only while he was asleep. Obviously, there was no blatant proof that Kira was definitely gone, but, from what L could see, he wasn’t with them at the moment, which was enough for now.

It had always been hard for him to understand why people would throw themselves at one particular individual. In his eyes, every life was worth his time, and therefore he had never been one to judge by appearances. Of course, his intelligence stopped him from wanting to be friends with all of them, what with theirs almost every time being inferior. Still, it wasn’t like he was going to single out one specific life.

And then he met Yagami Light, honor student and a true example of beauty. Light had caught his eye ever since he had been provided with the pictures of Chief Yagami’s family, and ever since then L had paid more attention to him. Not that his certainty of him being Kira began back then, but it would be a lie if L said Light’s IQ hadn’t sparked something in him that he didn’t even know existed.

Once they met in person, however, Ryuzaki was already too strong, which forced L to hide behind the personality. It had been painfully easy for him to realize the same thing had happened to Light and Kira, although at the time he didn’t allow himself to think about the possibility of Kira being a side of someone, instead of his or her entirety.

Coming to think of it, such hypothesis only crossed his mind when he came up with the theory that Kira had lost his memory, giving way for Yagami Light to come to life and destroy everything L had created for himself, be it the shields he had raised alone in order to protect his identity, or the walls he had built around his heart and soul.

As if he had sensed what L was thinking, Light moved again in the bed, his hand falling on the mattress and his fingers clenching against the sheets for a moment before relaxing again. L felt desperate to lie down with him and protect him from the struggle he could clearly see in his features, Kira obviously trying to convince Light that he was his ally and L was his enemy.

Unable to keep watching, L stood from the chair, heading for the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror before splashing some water on his face, trying to wake up and concentrate on what his next step should be. Ryuzaki couldn’t be let go yet, not until he was sure Kira was gone for good, so that was one thing.

Arose then the million dollar question: what would he do to Light? Of course, if he didn’t confess L could just eventually find a way to incriminate Higuchi as the only Kira. That would be the easiest part, he was sure. However, if Light did confess…Then L wouldn’t be able to do anything. For as much as he cared about Yagami Light, neglecting a confession would be the same as admitting he wasn’t fit to serve the people as justice anymore.

His decision had been made, then. If Light said nothing about being Kira and both L and Ryuzaki were convinced that Yagami Light was the only one left, he would point Higuchi as Kira and inform everyone else that he used to have an assistant who helped him committing the crimes. And if Light confessed, L would have to allow justice to prevail and arrest him, no matter the consequences.

Sighing, L left the bathroom, intent on going to the kitchen and preparing some hot chocolate for himself and maybe for Light. He headed out quietly, throwing one last glance at the teenager and hoping this wouldn’t be the last time they would sleep together, be it as friends or, he allowed himself to hope only for now, something more.

As soon as the bedroom door was closed behind his back, L hunched over, allowing Ryuzaki to surface, his hands immediately burying themselves in his pocket. This was a habit of his own that the personality had taken for itself, showing him that, although he was in control, this could be changed if he wasn’t careful.

Preparing the hot chocolate proved to be easy. It wasn’t like he had never done it before, since Watari wasn’t always around to make him things like they had decided to portray to the public. In fact, they rarely saw each other, since Watari had his orphanages to take care of and L couldn’t allow himself to stay away from his cases for long.

Therefore, if L still wanted to live and continue to help the world, he had had to learn a few things about cooking, even though he only knew the basics of the basics. Hot chocolate had been the first thing Watari taught him, what with it being one of L’s favorite beverage, something else Ryuzaki had stolen from him. The personality took it extremely sweet, however, and L refrained from drinking the sickening liquid.

He was about to leave the kitchen and go back to the bedroom when Matsuda interrupted him, claiming he had found something crucial for their investigation, and so L set the two mugs down and followed him to the headquarters, his features readjusting into a frown when he noticed it was the exact same data Light had sent him the day before.

After telling Matsuda so, L went back to the kitchen and fetched the mugs, knowing Light would be awake by now. Part of him wondered if Matsuda was going to question why he had two mugs instead of one, but he let it slide, realizing it didn’t bother him in the slightest if he thought anything else. Actually, a side of L that had only started coming out once he met Light wanted all of them to think exactly that. It was kind of terrifying to have such foreign thoughts; yet, in all honesty, he enjoyed it, probably a lot more than he should.

The walk back to the bedroom had to be done carefully, since he didn’t have much experience with caring liquids. That was why, when he finally opened the door, he didn’t realize Light was staring at him until he had kicked the door closed and looked up from the mugs. “Oh, Light-kun, you’re awake. I was hoping I could return sooner, but Matsuda insisted on showing me evidence he assured would be extremely helpful. As expected, though, it had nothing to do with the case,” he explained, although he had no idea why he was doing so.

Handing one of the mugs to Light, L headed to the same chair in which he had been earlier, crouching on it and looking out the window. It was raining quite heavily, but not enough that he couldn’t see what was in front of him. Ryuzaki had also stolen his love for the falling water, and so both of them could stare at it for hours straight.

Like always, though, his attention wasn’t completely on the rain. Whenever Light was around both he and Ryuzaki, for completely different reasons, couldn’t totally focus on anything else but him, his presence pulling them closer by the moment, even when they were looking away from him.

L listened as Light put his mug down and took a sip of his own, waiting for the question that he knew was to come. “Ryuzaki,” the younger called, his tone soft and slightly concerned. “Are you feeling okay?” he questioned, making L bite his lips. It didn’t matter that he had been addressing him, hearing Yagami Light call Ryuzaki’s name made something boil inside of him.

Still, he remained where he was, resisting the impulse that told him to make Light forget about Ryuzaki once and for all. He wanted to hear him saying his name, and he couldn’t help but resent the personality. “Why wouldn’t I be?” the detective countered, his tone sounding more acid than he had expected.

In order to get rid of the burning sensation on his throat, he downed the contents of his mug quickly, the sweetness of it helping clearing his closing throat. Finally, he allowed himself to turn around and immediately caught sight of Light’s mug on his bedside table, pointing at it. “Aren’t you going to drink that? They’re pretty good,” he told him, desperately hoping the answer would be no so that he could drink himself and get rid of the terrible bitterness in his mouth at once.

When the teen shook his head, L wanted to sprint towards the drink, but managed to stop himself at the last minute. “No, I only drink coffee in the morning,” Light provided, his eyes following L’s every move as the detective stood up and caught the mug in his hands, desperate for anything even remotely sweet. “L, you do remember that you passed out last night, right?” the brown haired questioned after L had drunk the whole liquid.

Allowing himself a moment to relish on the sound of his real name in Light’s voice, L set down the mug, putting it side by side with the other one. “Ah, yes, I do recall that,” he assured him, turning around so that they were face to face. What he saw almost scared him. Seeing Light bared while asleep was one thing, but seeing it while he was awake and staring at him was something else entirely. “You were worried about me,” L said then, understanding dawning on his features as he saw Yagami Light being cornered and not reacting in any way.

“You were cold,” Light almost whispered, his voice so low L had difficulties to hear it. “I thought you were dead.” The older man watched as Light’s arms wrapped around himself, the fear obvious in both his voice and eyes, which were looking away from him. And that was it; it didn’t matter what Ryuzaki told him anymore. Kira was gone and the one left behind was none other than Yagami Light.

He had never been one to pray, but, deep inside his soul, L started praying that Light wouldn’t confess to him. Arresting him now would be the death of the dark haired detective, and although Ryuzaki was under control for the moment, he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep him that way for long, were Light sentenced to death.

Fighting against his better judgment, L approached Light, his back straighter than usual, and set a hand on his shoulder, Light’s head snapping back towards him almost immediately. It was the first time he allowed the younger to see his real height, although he wasn’t completely erect yet, and he felt something warm up inside him as Yagami Light looked at him in something akin to awe.

“I apologize for worrying you, Light-kun,” L told him in what he hoped was a reassuring tone. “It wasn’t the first time it happened, so I don’t even pay attention to it anymore. Watari says I should take better care of myself. However, I swore not to rest until Kira was caught,” he poorly explained.

And although it wasn’t entirely true, it also wasn’t entirely a lie. He hadn’t truly passed out the night before, only fallen asleep when Light took him in his arms, but there had been times when he worked himself into exhaustion, the Kira case included. The first nights when he and Light started sleeping in the same bed were some of them, what with how uneasy it made L feel with the recent thoughts that had been going around in his head.

Something, almost unnoticeable, changed in Light’s gaze then. His eyes were intent on L’s, as if he was desperately trying to make him understand something that he himself couldn’t even begin to grasp. “He’s caught,” Light told him, his voice filled with emotion and the words almost breaking in the end.

Fearing the worst, L dropped his hand from Light’s shoulder, his arms suddenly feeling limp, as if it wasn’t a part of his body anymore. “Light, what are you talking about?” he asked seriously, Ryuzaki hiding behind the deepest parts of his brain and L taking over, possibly showing Light that almost everything he did up to that moment had been an act.

For L, it was ridiculously easy to see the raw fear and desperation crossing Light’s expression, although someone else would probably thinking he was merely frustrated. So Light wasn’t one to show his emotions that easily, either. He made a mental note on that and stored it for later, because he refused to think Light would be stupid enough to confess to him.

Perhaps he underestimated him. “I am Kira,” the teenager voiced, his limbs shaking slightly as he tried to calm his breathing, and L knew it was unconscious; Light had no idea his body was reacting to his words and trying to put up defense mechanisms. This was only registered by a small part of L’s brain, however, since the rest of it was screaming at him the fateful three words that had just left Yagami Light’s lips.

Ryuzaki smiled at him inside his head, that same twisted, stupid smile that disgusted L every single time he saw it on his own lips. It was true. Every time he accused Light of being Kira, every single time they hit each other, all the anger they felt, their heated discussions, their intense games. In the end, it had been just that: games.

Fighting against the desperate need to go against all of his beliefs, L walked until he was behind Light. He didn’t have to ask him for his hands when he pulled the cuffs out of his pocket; the younger provided them silently, now shaking violently. “Yagami Light, you are now under arrest for confessing to be the mass murderer Kira. You have the right to remain in silence as you are escorted to a prison with maximum security, where you will wait for the jury to decide when and how your death sentence will be executed.”

His mental chaos tried to show through as he closed the cuffs and pulled him towards the elevator, pressing one of the buttons that was directly connected to the police and would instantaneously send a vehicle of high security to the building. When the doors opened, he pulled Light out of the elevator, Amane automatically catching sight of them. “Light-kun!” she exclaimed, horrified by the sight.

“Amane-san, please step back,” L told her with finality, this time using his own voice and ignoring the shocked looks. “Yagami Light is now being escorted to jail while he waits for his sentence,” he informed everybody, suppressing that wanted to run through his body as he said Light’s name out loud.

The girl then tried to throw herself at Light. “No, I won’t let you do this, Ryuzaki!” Amane yelled, her eyes briefly meeting Light’s. “If Ryuzaki is arresting Light-kun, he has to arrest Misa-Misa as well. I am the second Kira, and my fate has to be the same as Light’s,” the blonde confessed, to which L simply repeated his speech and cuffed her as well.

Not two minutes later their transportation arrived and the guards took Amane and Light away, leaving L alone once again, like he had always been. Just as they were closing the doors, however, he heard Light’s voice one more time. “L!” he yelled, the emotion leaking through his tone and making L catch his breath.

But L couldn’t look at him. If he did, he would tell everybody to get their hands off of Yagami Light, proving that he had truly succumbed to his feelings. He turned and walked away while hearing the doors closing, bidding farewell in his mind to the first and only he had ever loved.

Chapter Text

From the moment L saw the van leaving the building with both Amane Misa and Yagami Light, he hated himself. Hated to have to force what seemed to be the first real sentiment he had ever felt since he embraced Watari as his father figure away; hated having to turn his back on Light when he heard him calling his name; hated that he had truly allowed himself to develop feelings for someone. Even worse, someone who he had known from the start was a criminal.

Of course, that still wasn’t the end of the Kira case, and therefore he buried these new emotions inside his own head and projected a blank expression into his features; one that finally looked like himself, instead of Ryuzaki. Many confused faces turned to him once they were left alone and, although all he wanted to do was packing his bags and leaving, he had to do a few things before that.

Yagami Souichirou disappeared before L could utter his last words to the integrants of his investigation team, and L couldn’t do anything but envying him. So he took a deep breath, straightened his shoulders, allowed his eyes to relax and turned to the questioning looks, explaining how things would proceed from now on, which basically consisted of him leaving the place for them to use as they pleased as he and Watari arranged the closing of the Kira case and left to continue his work as L.

A few questions arose then, mostly from Matsuda. However, L felt like he had said enough, so he simply raised his hand to stop whatever words were leaving their lips and started for the stairs, intent on reaching his bedroom so that he could make the calls that needed to be made. As soon as he closed the door behind himself and turned the computer on, Watari’s signature W showed up on the screen and he offered to talk to the jail that would be containing Amane and Yagami, to which L thanked him and required that he took care of Amane’s case, but left Yagami Light to him.

Something was starting to take over L as he connected his computer to that of the Colonel in charge of the jail. The talk was somehow brief, the dark haired detective basically telling the other man what to do, how to handle the two criminals and, in the end, that the preparations for the main Kira should be arranged differently from what they had firstly agreed upon.

“Although I cannot give you the whole information about the case, I am allowed to confess Kira kills using his hands, so having someone going into his cell at any time might result in said person’s demise,” L lied through his teeth, his mouth tasting like blood as he spoke. It was so obvious that he was letting what he felt get in the way that it was almost disgusting.

And yet, the Colonel didn’t dare interrupt him, so he simply continued. “Therefore, it is only logical that his wrists shall stay free, otherwise someone would have to be allowed inside to feed him, since, even if his death is certainly approaching, starvation will not be chosen method. Also, so that nobody gets hurt, keep him away from other prisoners, preferably in a confined room. I shall send someone to make sure you have followed my orders soon.”

With that, L cut the connection and sat back against his chair, locking the fingers of his hands and bringing them towards his lips, a clear sign that his mind was completely elsewhere. He called Yagami Souichirou next. At first L had wanted to talk to him in person, but it was quite obvious that this case had shaken the both of them, which meant leaving the two of them alone in a room wouldn’t be wise at the moment.

Their conversation was also short, consisting for most part of it of L letting Light’s father know he could visit his son, if he wanted to, and requesting that he let the others know about that as well. They didn’t talk about how L was, in the end, allowing people who used to love Light, or had grown fond of him, to say their goodbyes.

Such thought was what made L snap. He stood from his chair, his hands going into his hair as he pulled at the strands, trying to make himself think clearly behind the fog of confusion that had spread all across his mind. The detective closed the blinds and turned off the lights, the brightness starting to get to him, and tried to breathe a few times.

Watari brought him coffee not long after that, this time with a reasonable amount of sugar. L thanked him and the older man took the cue, leaving the dark-eyed alone once more. The closing of the door was like the final nail being driven into his coffee. Anger simmered through him all of a sudden and before L could do anything, he was already throwing the mug against the door, a scream as strong as his lungs were able to release leaving his mouth.

This wasn’t like him at all. Even when he finished an unusually stressful case, L would normally sit back and relax, maybe read a book to calm himself down. Yet, he knew this time it wouldn’t be enough. There was just so much angers and frustration in him that he just couldn’t hold back, no matter how hard he tried.

His breathing increasing, L turned to the desk full of piles of papers that stood a few feet away from the foot of the bed. He headed there with determination, his eyes seeing nothing but red as he threw everything to the floor, including his computer, microphone, and every single equipment he used to work.

For sixteen years he had been nothing more than a machine that had been built to solve crimes, but now he was tired. All of the desperation he had ever felt in his life started running through his blood, and soon he wasn’t satisfied with just destroying his work. With his heart beating at full speed, L threw the chair he had been sitting on across the room and flipped his table, his throat starting to feel hoarse from screaming.

That was when he heard it: a laugh. It started low, but grew the more frustrated L got. He looked around the room to find Ryuk floating by the window, his hands on his stomach as he tried to control himself. Somehow, that only made L anger and he took the mugs he and Light had used that morning and threw at the Shinigami, who easily avoided him.

“What do you want?!” the black haired inquired, venom dripping from his tongue. He wasn’t in the mood for mythical creatures to mock him, especially the one who had put him in this situation in the first place. “Isn’t everything you have done enough?” he accused, his tone getting more heated as he spoke. “Get out this instant!”

But Ryuk simply whipped at his eyes and shook his head. “You humans truly are amusing,” the Shinigami chuckled, making L suppress a growl. “Well, I wanted to tell you something about Light’s fate, but since you’re not interested, I’ll be leaving,” Ryuk teased, turning towards the wall, clearly intent on leaving.

And just like that L was in front of him, having climbed on the nightstand and now stopping the Shinigami from getting anywhere. “Speak. Now,” the detective commanded, his voice authoritative. What the creature had to say was obviously important, and if there was something that could change Light’s fate, L wouldn’t let that chance slip away that easily.

After one more fit of laughter that was definitely a way to test L’s patience, Ryuk moved away from him, taking in the mess of the room. “There’s this thing I didn’t write in the Death Note Light found, which is about regret. This emotion isn’t common between the owners of the Notes, and so if one truly regrets what they have done, they are given a second chance,” he explained nonchalantly.

L’s mind immediately started working then. The reason as to why Light surrendered was certainly related to his act the night before. If only he knew exactly what the brown haired had in his mind at that instant, he could work a plan to help him. “Ryuk,” L called, jumping from the nightstand and reaching for his computer, which thankfully still worked. “You will visit Light every three days from now on and report to me immediately afterwards. In exchange, I will give you a basket of apples each time.” He raised his eyes towards the Shinigami before he continued. “And one more thing: how, exactly, is this second chance ministered?”

It was clear that Ryuk had paid more attention to the first part of the sentence, since he took an apple from his pocket and started eating. “Sure, I’ll do that,” he agreed, shrugging and swallowing the entire fruit. “Ah, yes, that. Well, they have to die first, but when they do, they have to prove that they really deserve that chance. Once they do, they go back to the day before they found the Death Note,” the red-eyed creature explained.

So sneaking Light out of jail wouldn’t be something L had to worry about. Nodding, the detective dismissed Ryuk for the day, reinforcing that he expected a report the next day on what Light’s situation was. That routine continued on for twenty-nine days, in which L tried to solve the most crimes that he could. Something was obviously going to happen to him if Light was to be saved, and so he had to leave everything more or less organized for his successors to take over once he was gone, whatever that might mean.

Then, on day thirty, L was let known that Kira was going to be executed in a little over a week. He realized he couldn’t wait more, he had to know what Light was thinking that fateful day right now, or else he wouldn’t be able to help him. That being said, he booked a visit for the next day, telling the Colonel L was sending the someone who would be inspecting Kira’s accommodations.

He spent most of that night awake, telling himself that, no matter what, he couldn’t let his feelings get the best of him. No matter how much his instincts would scream at him to protect Yagami Light at all costs, the teenager was still held captive for murder, and so L had to keep his emotions at bay at all times.

As Watari drove him when the time arrived, L allowed Ryuzaki to slip through the cracks in his personality. With Light he knew he could be himself, but everyone else around him just weren’t ready for him to show them who really was. So the wide-eyed took over instead, a shield he presented to the rest of the world.

A guard led him towards Light’s cell once he reached the place. He didn’t pay attention to his surroundings, what with his brain telling him over and over that he was headed towards Light and Ryuzaki telling him to take this professionally, something he surely intended on doing, but was afraid of not being able to.

They stopped in front of a door after climbing down a few flights of stairs and the guard opened it, L nodding so that he would lock it again once he was inside. “L…,” he heard Light’s voice calling to him. His back straightened automatically, Ryuzaki hiding inside his brain as he allowed himself to surface.

L had his hands in his pockets, nails firmly pressing against his palms so that he wouldn’t reach for the brown-eyed teenager in front of him. He still hadn’t given himself permission to look at him, mainly because he knew it would be too much. To cover for his silence, L leaned against the wall and bowed his head, taking in a few silent breaths to steady himself for whatever was coming.

Nothing could have prepared him for the sight that met him. Light was there, his eyes wide, hair disheveled, hands gripping the sides of the bed with all of his strength, and although L had lied to the Colonel to keep him away from the other prisoners, he still looked terrible, huge circles under his eyes and stress written all over his body.

After finally deeming himself ready, L locked his gaze with Light’s, his heartbeat instantaneously increasing. “Why did you turn yourself in?” he asked flatly, not wanting to give his brain enough time to register the fact that Light was completely vulnerable at that moment, and so would welcome any kind of contact, including L’s.

The shivers going through Light’s body were obvious, as well as the whitening of his knuckles as he tightened his grip on the bed. “The case was going to kill you,” the younger told him in a low, small voice. “Either I would be forced to kill you before you turned me in, or you were going to work yourself to death for nothing. I…I couldn’t let you die,” Light finished, forcing L to concentrate fully on keeping his breathing steady.

Of all the possibilities he had thought about, his death was certainly not one of them. Apparently his plan had worked all too well. “What made you change your mind? Getting rid of me seemed to be quite a priority not long ago,” L pointed out, going for hostility to hide his surprise and need to be closer.

Still, he almost regretted it when Light’s shoulders hunched over, making him look like a frightened child. “When you passed out, as I have already told you, I thought you were dead. Part of me wanted to be happy, what with how nobody else would present as much of a threat as you did. But when I got to think about it, I understood that I wasn’t fixing the world, like I had hoped to; I was merely making it more difficult for people like you, who actually make a difference, to do their part,” the brown-eyed offered.

So Light regretted it. L’s determination to save him grew even stronger at each word Light was saying, because now he knew it would be worth it. Kira was gone, as the detective had hoped, and Light was the one who stayed; the one who deserved to be saved. L nodded at him, turning to knock on the door so that the guard would open it for him. For as much as he wanted to stay with him for the final week, he still had to plan how he would make Light prove he truly regretted everything he had done.

“L, wait!” Light pleaded, standing up as the guard opened the door. And L wanted to answer; everything in him told him to turn around listen to Yagami Light. But he couldn’t, and so he ignored him like the last time and started leaving the room, knowing that if he stayed longer he wouldn’t be able to keep his composure. “I love you!”

As if he had been frozen in place, L stopped at the threshold, his posture tensing. It wasn’t possible that he had heard him right, was it? Did Yagami Light just tell him that he loved him? No…No, not now. Not when L knew what he had to do. The detective felt like throwing up as he allowed Ryuzaki to take over again, aware that this was the only way he would be able to leave that place.

He destroyed another room once he was left alone again, back at the headquarters. Watari had been the one to clean up the first time and L was pretty sure he would do it again, but when the anger lost its strength he felt ashamed of what he had done and, mostly to keep his mind away from Light or anything related to the Kira case, he fixed everything up himself.

That week went by without any other eventful evenings, even if Watari did try to talk to him at one time. L had simply stayed quiet, so the older man quickly took the hint and left, leaving the detective back into his own head. Aside from that, L continued solving his cases without stop, allowing himself only one or two hours to sleep each night, if only because he knew that, if Light was there, he would be pouting at him and telling him to go to sleep already.

And then the day of the execution arrived. The jury had wanted to use electric chair, but L managed to convince them it was a most uncivilized way, so the sentence would be applied by lethal injection. He crouched on the chair just in time to see guards dragging Light towards a bed behind a glass wall, where he would be executed.

“Yagami Light, 18 years old, will today be executed for all the crimes he committed under the alias of Kira,” started the judge as Light’s wrists and ankles were cuffed to the bed. “His case was judged by the Interpol alongside with the famous detective L, and it was decided that his death shall happen this Monday, November 5, 2007, caused by a lethal injection.”

Their gazes met as one of the guards asked him if he had any last wishes, and L knew exactly what he meant: the same words he had said the week before. L wanted to bolt towards him at that moment, but he remained still as Light shook his head, never leaving his eyes. Guns were pointed to the teenager’s head then, one of the guards reaching for the injection and perforating the inside of Light’s elbow with it.

Automatically, Light’s body relaxed, his eyes opening and closing consistently before he finally dropped his eyelids for the last time, L’s breath hitching and tears filling up his eyes as he tried to keep his composure. I will see you soon.

Chapter Text

“This is stupid, not to mention preposterous,” L said as soon as he heard the suggestion, standing up. He was extremely frustrated, his blood boiling inside his veins and his body slightly shaking with anger. What they were saying was just plain ridiculous, how could they even consider bringing something like that up? And to him, L, of all people!

It seemed that nobody understood he worked for justice; nobody understood what he was going through those past few weeks. Not even Watari, who had never even raised an eyebrow at his decisions, could fully grasp the concept. He was alone, just like he had been as a child, and he had never felt so helpless.

A few moments of silence stretched out. So apparently they could open their stupid mouths to make even stupider suggestions, but when he set his foot down, nobody dared contradicting him. Bastards. All of them. They thought they knew what they were dealing with, when in truth they didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the real problem.

Trying to calm himself down, L took in a deep breath. He had to do this, there was no other choice. The detective ran a hand through his wild hair and sat back down. “The situation presented at us does not require such methods. Following your suggestion would only make a martyr out of him. The ones who believed his teachings would rebel, resulting in consequences we can’t fully imagine or understand,” he reasoned, keeping his voice as even as he could.

Controlling his emotions used to be so easy before this whole thing started. It felt almost surreal to have to think before speaking, even while using Ryuzaki. The personality was a good escape route, one he used constantly, but it wasn’t nearly enough. He needed something to make him feel like himself again, and he knew it nothing would help.

More silence. His patience was already wearing thin, and he wasn’t even ten whole minutes into this meeting. Another thing that had changed: when had he become so impatient? From the beginning knowing how to wait was a crucial and somehow easy thing to do, but now it all felt like wastes of time, time that he could be spending somewhere else; with someone else.

Guilt struck him for the thousandth time that day and he pressed his head against his hands, elbows on the table in front of him. He shouldn’t be feeling guilty, what with how this was all his fault in the end. Still, he couldn’t help it. Whenever a smidge of a thought regarding his decision crossed him, he wanted to scream.

“What do you suggest, then?” one of the men had the audacity to ask, sounding bored and annoyed at the same time. L hated the sound of that voice and, sticking to the downright murderous behavior he had been maintaining since Kira’s arrestment, he wished he could use the Death Note for once.

Instead, though, he simply raised his head and glared at the image in his computer, a table with ten men representing the world’s greatest agencies, such as FBI, Interpol, CIA and so on. He didn’t really pay much attention to the file regarding this meeting when Watari handed it to him two days ago. In fact, he had thrown it at the wall at first, just like he did with everything that was handed him nowadays.

Stopping himself from wishing a lightning would strike the building and send those men to their death, L straightened in his chair. “I suggest lethal injection, a painless one. I also suggest we keep the execution as hidden from the public eye as possible. Let everyone think everything’s normal, otherwise they will come after the government. If I may remind you gentlemen, there are people who are faithful to Kira as they would be to a God. Religion is a powerful thing, one that should not be toyed with. Allow the image of Kira to fade away; eventually only few will remember his existence and the world will be free from his judgments,” the dark-eyed offers, his voice way too steady for someone who was literally discussing the best method do away with the life of the only one he had ever loved.

After that, no one argued with him anymore. They were all puppies who followed him blindly, and L couldn’t tell whether he liked that or not. As he had already said, the first suggestion had been to use the electric chair, but he could never do that to him; it was cruel, inhumane, and he actually felt sick when he thought about how he had already agreed to that method before.

Now, though, as he walked inside the new hotel room Watari had booked him once he gave the headquarters to the Task Force, he felt sick for an entirely different reason. There were still unshed tears filling his eyes, wanting desperately to come out. Watari had offered to drive him afterwards, but L hadn’t really been listening. His head was swimming, and he couldn’t focus on anything for the life in him.

Life. Such a malleable thing, so easy to be manipulated; so easy to be destroyed. He could see now the temptation Kira must have felt while in possession of the notebook, when he wrote down the names, when he eliminated the criminals and those he judged to be ruining his oh so perfect world.

However, the one he had sent to death wasn’t Kira. No, that was Yagami Light, the innocent and repentant Light. His chest tightened and L had to lean against the wall to his left for a moment. It was early in the morning, probably around five or six, so there was no one else around yet.

In all honesty, he wanted to just slide to the floor and stay there until somebody found his lifeless body. He wanted to pretend none of this had ever happened, and that he would wake up from such a terrible nightmare and turn to his side to see Yagami Light, sleeping sweetly and breathing slowly, nothing to worry him.

The idea gave him some strength at the same time that it utterly destroyed him. Gathering up the last bit of will he had, L finished his walk of shame and entered the hotel room numbly, without even noticing when he had reached the building itself. He locked the door out of habit and headed to the bed, considering lying down. When he realized that would only make him feel worse, though, he went for the farthest corner from it and slumped against the wall, finally reaching the ground and leaning his head where the back wall met the right one.

Everything felt too surreal yet, part of him believing he had yet to wake up from passing out that doomed night. What would have happened if he hadn’t faked it? Would Kira kill him? How would he do it? He didn’t know his name, could it be possible that he would have found a way? Was it really necessary to make a scene and almost literally break Light halfway?

Ryuzaki answered yes. L answered no. He didn’t know which one to believe anymore, so he simply closed his eyes and finally allowed the tears to fall against his cheeks, staining his white shirt until he was just too tired to stay awake, and even then a few droplets fought their way past his lids.

When he woke up again, he couldn’t stand the sight that met him. The hotel Watari had chosen resembled the bedroom he had shared with Light in too many ways, and L felt like tearing it apart. So that’s exactly what he did. He kicked chairs, ripped curtains, ruined the mattress until his nails bled, punched the walls until his knuckles did as well, hurting as if he had broken a few bones. Perhaps he had. He didn’t care.

Watari dropped by a few hours later to find him sitting at the center of the room, hands pulling desperately at his hair, shirt ripped from where he had tried to eliminate the tear stains, form rocking back and forth helplessly, the place completely trashed. Belatedly, L realized he had also been screaming, and he flinched away when Watari tried touching him.

He moved back to the last hotel in which he had stayed before moving to the headquarters, the same room, even, except cleared out. Everything brought back painful memories he just couldn’t deal with yet. For exactly nine days, twenty-two hours, fifty-seven minutes and three seconds, he refused to do anything but solving cases he had left aside in order to catch Kira, his mind trying to concentrate on anything familiar.

That strategy didn’t work out as well as he had hoped, though. Aside from the fact that he missed having someone who completed his ideas, L could never fully concentrate. His mind kept wondering back to unfelt touches, unspoken words, and, more importantly, to the three ones that had been spoken.

Light had told him he loved him. That knowledge made his whole body ache, because he knew it was true. From the moment Kira was gone, the sweet, reliable, and ever so righteous Yagami Light had been back, and he would never lie about something like that. L knew it; knew him. And that just made it all worse.

Had he touched Light before Kira came back, would things still have ended up as they did? As soon as the thought struck him, L knew the answer: no, they wouldn’t, if only because L would be lost in Yagami Light and wouldn’t have been able to kill him, thus writing down his own death sentence.

Because of course Kira wouldn’t have been stopped because of a stupid thing called love. No, the one who had fallen for it was Light, Kira would have found a way to use the situation to his advantage. Then again, Light would still be there, somewhere. Perhaps, if L had been there for him instead of keeping accusing him, things would have turned out differently.

L clung to this thought like a lifeline. It was the only thing keeping him from doing something amazingly stupid, such as taking away his own life. Because if he did that, then Light’s death would have been pointless, and the fact that this made it sound as if L chose himself over him made him run to the bathroom. This time he couldn’t hold it in; he vomited the few things he had forced himself to eat.

Throughout the next days he did try eating again, but when he realized that everything just came back out, he simply gave up. It was then that Ryuk appeared again. L had been trying to analyze a case, his mind wandering back to Light every two to three minutes, and he actually started when he felt a shadow lurking over him.

He stood abruptly, almost hitting his head on Ryuk’s stomach on the process, eyes wide. “You,” L whispered when he managed to gather himself upright. The sight of the Shinigami brought back the memory of their conversation, one he had forgotten the past few days, and suddenly a spark of hope filled him in such a way that he almost couldn’t see behind it.

“It worked,” Ryuk offered, munching on what looked like a long rotten apple. “Yagami Light will be presented the opportunity of proving his regret starting today. In fact, he will be here very soon,” he finished, looking at one specific point of the room, clearly indicating that was the place in which Light would be.

Having dropped this information, the Shinigami disappeared without another word. L didn’t pay attention to him, though, he was too busy staring at that spot, trying to keep the swell of sheer happiness that was starting to form inside of him. Even if he had forgotten about his own plan, he now had to put it in action.

So that’s exactly what he did. The happiness quickly ebbed away, leaving nothing but certainty. He would make this work, even if it literally cost him his life. It was worth it; Light was worth it. Swallowing down the unimportant stab of fear underneath his ribcage, L got to work, first solving the few cases he had left for the day. When he was finished, along came the most difficult part: telling his successors about his retiring.

The deprivation in which he would have to put himself would most definitely cause his death and, although to him it was a fair price, the world still wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the great detective L. People would still need him, so the best he could do was ensuring someone was there, caring for justice.

Of course, Watari had everything more or less arranged back at the Wammy’s House, but L felt a flash of sentimentality crossing him, one that said he should say his goodbyes. Nobody would understand, obviously, since he would make sure the use the right words, but it was needed, to put an end to all this; to finally save Light.

After the Kira case, I believe I have fulfilled my duty. I leave everything at the hands of my successors. To those who believe this is sudden, I can only agree. However, my motives are mine and mine only. You are prepared, and I trust you will honor the name of L. Farewell, and I hope one day we can explore the world of nothingness together. Perhaps then it will all become clear as light.

He kept it short and simple, recorded it only once, without giving it much thought, and scheduled it to air within a few days. To Watari, he sent the message earlier, at that very moment, to be more precise. The answer was immediate, his father figure promising he would still be there for him, no matter his decision. It touched L to some extent, realizing that he actually cared enough, and not just for L the detective, but for L the person.

And then his plan was put in action. He forced himself to eat every now and then, if only because he knew that, if Light was really there and could see him, he’d find it strange that L had simply given up. If only he knew. L also continued solving cases after cases, not caring whether or not he still could see behind the black spots that soon started forming in his vision after five days of sleep and food deprivation.

His body ached in places he didn’t even know existed until then, and he tried to keeping his emotions at bay, but the more his plan progressed, the more irritable he became. There were times when Watari would drop by to make him shower and eat something, and he pretended to feel better, until he was left alone again.

Anger was something he felt constantly, but sometimes it became stronger, and he ended up losing count of how many piles of paper he had already kicked away, how many times he had already curled into himself against the corners, whispering almost inaudible words about how he missed his friend, how he grieved losing him.

All of the time, it felt like a part of him was missing, and he could never have imagined that it would be this difficult. He quickly became weaker, to the point in which he almost couldn’t force himself upright. That was when he realized it would happen soon. Taking deep breaths, he used the final bit of strength his body had left and walked out of the room and to the reception, since he had forced Watari to take the phone away as well.

Once he reached it, he told the woman that he wouldn’t be taking visits anymore, no matter who they were or what they wanted. She nodded solemnly and L went back to his bedroom, sitting with his back to the wall and closing his eyes. He felt boneless, his weight too much for him to bear.

It took three more days, but he finally managed to reach his goal. He couldn’t even open his eyes for too long at this point, his breathing varied from extremely fast to way too slow, his heart was certainly decreasing in tempo, and he was sure that if he tried to stand up, he would fall flat on his face. He thought about Light when his eyes closed for the last time, and he kept thinking about him until he lost conscience and…

L almost fell from his chair. Without realizing it, he had fallen asleep and was suddenly feeling incredibly hungry. He reached for his tea beside his computer and took a long sip, sighing as the liquid ran down his throat, warming up his whole body. It felt good like always, a typical British tea prepared traditionally.

As he read the file that had been presented to him that morning, he ate a slice of strawberry cake, eating the fruit on top slowly, savoring each bite and rolling it around his tongue quite a few times before actually swallowing it. He finished his case before finishing his slice and, once they were both done, he buzzed Watari to bring him another slice and a few files for him to decide which one he would take. They didn’t have this routine, but Watari was paying him a visit to help with the choosing of his next main case.

While he ate his cake, Watari offered him three files he had taken a look over. “These are the ones I believe to be the most urgent. Kidnappings in France and Italy, robbery in Australia, and,” he stopped, placing one last file in front of L. “Mysterious serial killer in Japan.”

Chapter Text

The last thing L was expecting when he said goodbye to the team he had worked with for the last three and a half months, was for them to throw him a party. It was one of those rare cases in which he had agreed to work with the agents in person and, something that happened even more rarely, at the police station. Watari had been the one to convince him, if only because the man was like a father to him, and worried about his mental sanity. Therefore, from time to time, L would go out, being sure to take precautions.

Even so, it was still a surprise for him as Matsuda jumped out of the nowhere with a cake in hands. No one had ever thrown him a surprise party, especially when it wasn’t even his birthday and, for that reason, he didn’t exactly know how to react. Thankfully, Watari was behind him, L having called him about an hour back to make the final preparations for them to go back home, probably even that same day.

With the party, though, L decided it wouldn’t be that bad if he stayed about a day or so longer. It wasn’t like Wammy’s, the orphanage Watari owned and L had grown up in couldn’t wait for them. The boys who lived there, all of them geniuses abandoned by their parents because of their brilliance, knew very well how to handle themselves, and their questions for L could be held until a bit later.

So it was decided: L would stay another day or two. He didn’t tell that to the team, though, because he felt that he deserved a day off, to do something for himself, be it whatever it was. When he consulted Watari, the man immediately agreed, always worried about L letting off some steam and forgetting about his busy routine. His other cases were all in a point in which he had to wait for new information to arrive from his contacts so, really, it was the perfect moment.

Having been to Japan quite a few times in his life, L kind of knew his way around, especially for someone who was usually driven around. Watari was the one who used to take care of his transportation, but, when morning came, L felt like walking. He hadn’t drunk during the party the night before, which was definitely a fortunate decision, since he wasn’t hung over, and so was free to simply walk wherever he wanted, without having to worry about headaches.

At some point, he passed by a school and smiled slightly. Kids who grew up at Wammy’s never frequented an institution designed for education, if only because they were already offered everything they needed at the orphanage. That being said, the fact that L’s smile quickly turned somewhat longing wasn’t anything new. He never really thought about going to school or college, but now that he had the time to stop and truly imagine how it would be, a part of him wanted to have that experience.

Shaking his head to get his mind to rid itself of such thoughts, L continued walking. He ended up taking the subway soon after that, and something led him to go down at a certain station that was about two blocks away from a university. Shrugging it off, he headed towards the place and stopped in front of the gates. The petals of cherry blossoms were falling from the trees, something that distracted L for a while, but he soon found the college’s name: Toou.

Although he had never been to that place, the name sounded vaguely familiar for some reason and, despite himself, he found that he was smiling again, the fondness in the movement actually managing to scare him to an extent. L wasn’t someone who smiled all the time or felt things like fondness towards something. It was a strange notion, yes, but, honestly, when he really gave it some thought, it wasn’t such a terrible one.

And that was even worse. Unable to figure what had triggered such emotions, L headed back to his hotel. Just as he was about to go in, however, his cell phone rang. “Hello?” he answered, slightly worried. Not many people had his number, and if someone actually wanted to contact him, something big must be happening.

“Is this L?” the voice on the other end inquired and L hummed to indicate it was him. “I’m sorry to bother you at this time, L; this is the head of the NPA. A new case has emerged and, since we believe you haven’t left the country yet, it would be a great honor if you could at least take a look at it,” he explained, his voice sounding sheepish.

Sighing and rubbing at his eyes, L agreed to head back to the police station in about an hour. He thought about going to his hotel room and maybe take a shower, but decided against it in the end. The sooner he got to the NPA, the sooner he could go back to his day of doing nothing but wondering around.

As he walked to the place, another thought occurred him: how had the head gotten his number? He called Watari as soon as the idea hit him and, with a chuckle, Watari explained that he had given it to him. Upon being asked why, the man told L had seemed more alive in Japan than he had in any other place they had ever been to, and so Watari had figured that, if another case were to show up, they should elongate their stay even more.

At first L was confused. Japan was just like any other country they had ever been to. Sure, the people were a lot more welcoming, and he had to admit that he had liked going to the police station every now and then to discuss the case with the team in person. They used to have meetings from one to three times a week, depending on how close they thought to be to the closing of the case.

However, L couldn’t see what Watari meant with him ‘looking more alive’. He even questioned the man on the words, but Watari hadn’t given much away, instead just saying that the Orient was definitely better for L than the Occident. Now, L was a smart man, the whole world could prove that. Yet, when it came to himself and Watari’s enigmas, he was truly clueless.

So he brushed it off for the moment. If he were going to actually consider staying in Japan, he had to have a case there, and for that he had to keep his mind open for when the head explained to him what was happening. Everyone knew L only took cases that had at least ten victims or a million dollars at stake and, it being Japan, he couldn’t really picture that situation.

He was wrong. Apparently, this was a case that had been forgotten about in the past, because the killer simply vanished and the detectives had been unable to trace him. Now, though, eight years later, the assassin seemed to be back. Three new victims, aside from the fifteen ones from the past, had already been made, and L was certainly the man for the case.

Still, he didn’t want to take any decisions on a whim. After all, this case would require he stayed in Japan, which meant leaving Wammy’s unsupervised for a long period of time yet again. Then again, Watari hadn’t exactly promised to stay with him, so maybe L was on his own on this one? He didn’t know, and the idea was troublesome.

The head told him he would send him the details of the case the next day, so L had until then to decide and could still enjoy his day off. When he stepped out of the NPA, he yet again called Watari to tell him about the case and discuss what he thought he should do. As expected, however, the man only told him to choose what he thought was the best options, and so L was quite a bit frustrated when he hung up.

For the first time in his life, he had no idea what to do. Worse, he had no idea why he was even considering staying in Japan. Was it only because Watari had said it seemed to do him good? Or was it something completely different that L simply couldn’t put his finger on for now? Would he ever be able to point what exactly it was? Those doubts made him frown and huff.

This was absurd. He was L, for the love of God, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to make one simple decision that didn’t even require him that much thought. If he were using only his rational thinking, he would already have his bags in his helicopter and head back home, but there was something very strange happening to him. It was a bit crazy for him to let himself be influenced by such thing. And yet, he simply couldn’t help it: something told him to stay in Japan for as long as he could.

When L looked back up, he found himself in a park. He had never been there, and so had no idea what had led him there, but he went with it. It was clear that he had walked more than he had first thought, since he couldn’t see the police station if he peaked above his shoulder, something that had him confused yet again. Had he really been that immersed in his thoughts?

Birds sang and flew in the sky, the wind trying to assault his skin, something that it would have managed to do, weren’t it for the fact that he was wearing one of his white, long-sleeved shirts and jeans. He had many of those, if only because they were comfortable and he didn’t have to worry if they matched or not. Besides, he barely even left his hotel rooms, so he had no reason to have anything that would be considered more presentable.

It was about then that L noticed there was someone else in the park with him. The boy – at least he seemed to be younger than L – was sitting on a bench a few feet away, intently staring at the horizon, clutching a notebook and a pen in his hands. Even from where L was standing, it was obvious that the boy was troubled and, although he had no idea why, he felt compelled to help him.

Just as L was about to ask if he was alright, though, the boy’s breathing started quickening, which made the detective frown. The question was answered for him when the younger brought his legs to his chest and supported his forehead on his knees. His warm brown hair hid any signs of expression L could look for, and yet he knew that something was terribly wrong and the boy was probably having some kind of panic attack.

Before L could do anything, the boy quickly changed his position, and some kind of resolve seemed to take over him. He sat straighter, took a deep breath and leafed through the note on his lap, until he reached the first blank page. L caught something to do with rules and figured this must be something important.

Which was why he decided to lighten the mood. “I believe it is rude of me to ask that when I don’t even know your name, but shouldn’t you be writing in your diary at home, if you’re so afraid of someone reading it?” he joked with a light tone. And once again the fondness was there, coloring every single word he directed towards this boy.

Upon hearing his words, the brown haired seemed to freeze. His hand lifted from the paper, his breathing stopped completely, and, honestly, L wasn’t sure what worried him the most, when the boy was breathing too harshly, or now that he wasn’t breathing at all. Ultimately, he decided that the second option was definitely the worse, because it meant that he was scared, and maybe L had come on too strong?

Slowly, as if trying not to scare himself, the teenager – it was clear that he was that young now that L could see his face – turned to face him. Brown eyes met his black ones, making L worry even more for the boy’s safety when his lips parted. Still, L was smiling again, and he had no goddamn idea why, but apparently there was something about the brown haired teen that lit something deep inside of him.

At one point, L was sure that the boy was going to start crying. However, although L had always avoided people when they cried or showed any signs of emotions, the urge he felt was not to run away, but to wrap his arms around the boy and promise him that everything would be alright. He seemed more at ease now that he wasn’t about to write in his notebook anymore, but there was still something that was very distinguishably fear in his eyes.

Such fear lessened in the slightest when the teen nodded and his lips formed a smile. It was a small one, but filled with so much feeling that it almost had L falling back. He noted then that this boy was beautiful. His features were carefully sculpted, almost delicately, and he had a softness to him that could only mean he was deeply in love with someone and, even if it was irrational, L found himself envying that person.

Clearing his throat, the boy closed the notebook and stood up. He tried to hide it, but L saw it when he wiped away a tear from his left cheek. “Yes, I believe you are correct. However, this is not my diary,” he explained, his timber perfectly matching the beauty of his form. From what L could tell, the brown-eyed was only a bit smaller than him, but he still felt like he was meant to protect him from harm. Wow, where had that come from?

L raised his eyebrows then, his gaze following Light’s every movement. “Oh?” the dark haired asked, moving to stand beside the younger man, instead of behind him, wanting to see just how big their height difference was. Indeed he was right, it wasn’t much, and yet he could still almost engulf him in his shadow. That realization made him feel a lot better than he probably should have.

“This is just something I have to get rid of,” the brown haired continued decisively, his tone leaving no room for discussion. He looked back up to meet L’s eyes then, clutching the notebook to his chest as tight as he could. “I’m Yagami Light, by the way,” he introduced himself politely.

Light. L couldn’t hold back a smile at the name. It brought him a warm feeling that spread all over his chest. “L Lawliet,” the detective introduced himself, not even caring about the fact that he had actually given him his real name. L couldn’t tell why, but he had a feeling that deciding whether he should stay in Japan or not wasn’t such a difficult decision anymore.