A/N: Last chapter, thank you to everyone for reading and commenting! I felt L deserved some happiness after all he had been through.

Ch. 25

It was over a month before the baby was released from the hospital into L's care. Light wondered if this was fate. The truth of the matter was that the stress of the situation - and the situation's long duration - had forced L and Light to become closer.

In an attempt to step up and prove himself, Light had come to answer L's every beck and call. It wasn't as if he had much to do anyway, being unemployed. Using the money he had saved, he purchased a car to drive L to and from wherever he needed or wanted to go. Usually, L wanted to go to the hospital to visit the baby.

The two would go nightly, often taking Near or Watari with them. They would stay for hours, watching her, talking to her. Sometimes Light would read to her. L would spout off random facts in the hope that she might learn something.

At first they started out sitting near each other, but not too close. By the end of the month, they were essentially inseparable.

Light did more than just act as a chauffeur. He was there for L's emotional needs as well.

The ups and downs of the baby being away coupled with the physical changes that L had to cope with had had a big impact on L. Light did his best to ensure that he was there when L was worried about the baby, even if Light was worried himself. He forced himself to stay strong, if only for L's sake. And whenever L mentioned anything about disliking himself, Light put his fears to rest. Yes, L had gained a little bit of weight, but it wasn't anything too noticeable. He just looked closer to a normal weight now. And yes, he had stretch marks, but he was still young and they would fade, not that Light thought they were ugly.

Loathe as they were to admit it, even Matt and Mello had noticed that L seemed more confident when Light was around.

Slowly, L's family began to trust Light. Besides L, Near was the one who was most willing to give Light a second chance. He even suggested that perhaps the three of them could find a larger apartment and live together there.

00

On the day that the baby was released, L and Light returned to L's apartment to find that both Light and L's family had come over, and that a small welcome home/baby shower was being thrown.

At first, Light was nervous. He had no idea how L would respond to seeing his father. Luckily, L seemed too wrapped up in caring for the baby to stress over Soichiro's presence.

After eating a meal prepared by Sachiko and Sayu, L was given some presents. Since the baby had come much earlier than expected, he had only gathered a small amount of supplies. He was pleasantly surprised to find that most, if not all of the baby's needs for the coming months were now taken care of.

Matt and Mello had assembled the crib and placed it in L's room. They'd also bought a few outfits, specially sized for small babies. Most of them were fairly generic. One was pink and had little pieces of sequins on it. Another was funny, and read 'I only cry when ugly people hold me'.

"Mello picked that one out," Matt explained, as L rolled his eyes.

Near had picked out some toys for her along with a pink stuffed teddy bear.

Watari had given the wonderful gift of extra money, enough so that neither Light nor L would have to worry about finances for at least a year. Soichiro, Sachiko and Sayu had provided baby formula, cloth diapers and a small bathtub.

00

Despite how exciting the day was, within a few hours L was tired. He'd been up for most of the previous evening, thinking about how they would soon be taking their daughter home. Six months of actually sleeping like a normal person had left his body craving rest more than usual.

So, dessert was served. It included Light's favorite - strawberry cake along with various other pies and pastries. Then the party began to wind down.

It was not until the end of the party that Light and L finally made the announcement of the baby's name.

Anna Aiko Lawliet. The decision to give her both an English and a Japanese name came as an easy compromise, and Light had insisted that she take L's last name, if only for the trouble that he had been put through.

Two months later, L and Light lay in bed together in their new apartment. They hadn't become sexually intimate again -Light knew that that would surely take more time - but they were intimate on an emotional level and slept in the same room, "for Anna's sake", of course.

As L drifted off to sleep Light lay awake, wondering what the future would hold. He was planning on finding a consultant job or opening his own detective practice. Perhaps he and L could work together again.

Then he glanced over at his sleeping friend, the parent of his child, and wondered to himself whether L would ever want any other children, if things ended up going well.