L is For

II. Like

For L's 13th birthday, Watari gave him the latest set of computer technology, including five monitors (still quite chunky, then), a huge set of speakers, three keyboards, the earliest prototype of a webcam, and quite a lot of hacking software with novel-length user manuals. He also gave him a thick file of the latest cases he might wish to pursue; and, knowing that any respectable kind of book would be promptly ignored (the boy seemed to read those with his fingers rather than his eyes), he also got him the latest tankobon of Akazukin ChaCha. The last gift, at least, merited a discriminating glance from his young, er, protégé? – and then he went straight back to clattering away on his old computer, setting down his two pointer fingers in a rather unnerving staccato rhythm.

Watari labored on anyway, entirely unruffled by that apparent lack of reaction. He brought out an intricately wrapped golden box, and said, in as grand a voice as his wheezy one could muster, "And this is a gift from Interpol. While this," another, infinitely larger package was introduced, "Is from the CIA. They're thank you gifts, really, for solving those cases, but I thought I'd save them up for your birthday." L looked up long enough to peer at the golden box, take note of its size, and incline his head. He reached out a hand for it, and Watari obliged him. L picked away at the ribbons with his thumbs and forefingers, lifting the lid to reveal…a stunning golden watch.

He stared at it blankly for a while. Then he put it aside and faced his screen again.

"You don't like it?"

"I thought it might be chocolate." The boy paused, and thoughtfully scratched an ear. "Besides, I never asked for anything more than the money. They really shouldn't bother."

Watari repressed a sigh with utmost care, and quietly left the room. L got back to work – or rather, returned to building and destroying SimCities.

The older man returned, a good hour and a half later, bearing the most sinful looking cake one could lay eyes on – it had a layer of frosting two inches thick and was studded with all manner of gum drops, jelly beans, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and sugar crystals; it was one foot tall, wobbling precariously on the plate that carried it. Struggling rather, Watari set it down unceremoniously on the floor, where L was still squatting, bent over his latest half-demolished city. The old inventor produced a fork from his coat pocket, and set it beside the plate. He waited.

L swung his head about and stared first at the cake, then at Watari, then back at the cake. He took the fork without a word, and, very carefully, cut into the cake. It was impossible for him to cut through it the whole way through; he had to dig in repeatedly, and slowly, so that it didn't crumble apart. When he was about a fourth way done, he licked his lips clean, looked up at Watari, and smiled. It was a huge, and rather eerie, smile – but it seemed genuine, and that was very rare.

"Thank you, Watari." He ate another forkful. "I enjoyed it immensely." He paused, then added, with some doubt, "Even if it's not my birthday."

For what he thought was L's 13th birthday, Watari got a headache; and L? He probably got several new cavities.

A/N: I finally got around to a Chapter 2, after three years. XD I really like L, and this fandom, and somehow recently got dragged back into it. I put in old 90's technology in this drabble (I didn't know L's age in the earlier chapter - now that I do, I realize that laptops probably weren't very common then. My mistake. D:) As always, comments would be greatly appreciated. :D