Author's Note: THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT GUYS! This is the end. It would have been out sooner but I have had finals. It's sad and I wanted it to be a happy ending (for once) but that would be nearly impossible with the way the actual story of Death Note goes and I refuse to change major events of someone else's plot unless it's clearly AU.
Now, I have been toying with the possibility of kind of an ending one-shot. "Sugar-Coated: The Final Slice." And it would be happier. However, every time I try to plan it in my head, it becomes dirty. I'm just a pervert. But anyway, I'd like feedback on this: Yes? No? Dirty? Clean? Mildly suggestive? AU? Well, it'd have to be AU but you get the picture.
And whoa, there are a lot of L x OC stories now. When I posted "Sugar-Coated" there were practically none.
Warning: Spoilers if you haven't read chapter 58. I'd assume you all have.
Credit to The Cure for "Love Song". It's one of my favorite love songs (well, duh).
Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again.
Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am whole again.
The almost melancholy vocals of "Love Song" sounded through her apartment as she analyzed and re-analyzed an MRI of her patient taken that morning, tracing the lines of the scan with her fingers. Work was a method of escapism but the song was making the effort fruitless. It had been a three week duration since she had received his last letter and this irked her in a way nothing else ever had. Unlike most people, when he said he'd send a letter every three days, he meant it, never off by a single day unless the mailman was getting lazy. But this wasn't a one or two day delay; this was three solid weeks.
She found herself glancing over at the mail slot in her door every few seconds and then looking back at the clock to see how soon the mail would be coming. She had made up her mind the second she had woken up from another restless night of sleep - things just weren't the same without him- that if a letter did not come today, she was going to take drastic action. He is working on a case that could easily get him killed! And if he was killed, there would be no way for her to know.
Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am young again.
Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am fun again.
She knew what she would do if there wasn't a letter. Going all the way to Japan wouldn't make any sense because she would have no clue where to look. She would start with the hotel they had both been at but she already knew that would be wasted effort. The headquarters he had been building has been completed for quite a while and he had been staying there. Even though it was done, she couldn't move in because her patient's malady turned out to be more complicated than her coworkers had made it seem. She didn't even know where the headquarters was! It was an unmarked, anonymous building that looked like every other big building in the Kanto region. She very well couldn't search every one.
Reports on a detective named L had not faltered, however. He was still thriving and working to solve this case according to every cheery bimbo on the daily news. But that was what made it weird. L was in the news. For a while, while she had been receiving letters from him, he was not mentioned at all. Now, all of a sudden, he has press attention. The L she knew would not want attention to his work unless it would have a specific benefit to the case.
However far away, I will always love you.
However long I stay, I will always love you.
If there wasn't a letter, she was going to the Wammy House. In the event of L's death, they would be the only ones who would actually get a notice regarding it. They would need a new detective to take over.
She shivered. A new L. One that must have already taken over if it's true that he is gone.
She glanced upward at a shelf that hung above her head, into continents within arm's length while she sat at the desk below. Along the shelf were his letters, hidden in plain view, each one folded into its original envelope and each envelope written in a different hand with a different return address, stamped from a different place somewhere in Japan. The Japanese origin was the only cohesive thread between the varying envelopes aside from the destination and name of the receiver, Kit Carlisle. In spite of the envelope, every letter began with the words, "Dear Kassie," and ended with a gothic L. As the first letter described, "It doesn't feel right to try to see you any other way and I'm sure you wouldn't like me to hide myself either." It was a statement that would be too vague for any other reader to unerringly interpret what he meant.
Whatever words I say, I will always love you.
I will always love you.
The song's ominous juxtaposition to her worries over his possible death made her thankful that it had ended. But her brief moment of comfort was harshly interrupted by the sound of a stack of mail hitting the floor of her plain, lonely living room.
With a slow pace, she approached the letters, stalking them like prey that she was more afraid of than they were of her and bent down with shaking hands, grasping the entire pile and rapidly flicking each letter onto the floor as she skimmed the envelope covers.
Grabbing a handful of cash from her suitcase that she never unpacked and shoving it in her pocket, she ran out of the building finding herself becoming very religious in spite of her generally agnostic, spiritual beliefs as she prayed with every step that she had been wrong.
Brick-walled and cathedral-looking, in spite of being an orphanage, was always the impression the building gave to an onlooker unaware of what lurked inside; brilliant minds, destined to change the world with their trade, many that will achieve a similar level of famous to the one she was to inquire about.
Approaching an elderly receptionist in the lobby of the Wammy House, she tried desperately to draw up a memory of the women and realized just how little she did interact with people during her time there. It wasn't like she ever had to report to the receptionist because of visitors and she spent most of her free time at the house, time not spent on learning, either stealing food from the cafeteria, hiding in the linen closet, or wandering around the fields when they were empty trying to catch sight of a certain nameless boy. In fact, other than the faces and aliases of her sadistic roommates and her companion, of course, the only people she could remember from the house were Roger and 'Watari.'
"Hello. May I help you?" the women asked.
"Possibly." she answered glumly. "I used to live here and I was wondering if I could find out some information regarding another past resident. He's a friend of mine but we seem to have lost contact and I was wondering if his current address was on file because he moves around a lot so I send all my mail to him to this mailbox that he has to travel to get to but it can't be too far from where he's living logically because that would be a severe inconvenience and I've sent him mail but I haven't gotten any responses for weeks so I'm convinced that he changed his mail address . . ." She was cut off by the receptionist holding up her hand to silence her causing her to realize that she sounded vaguely stalker-like even though if she had mentioned who the friend is, all the secrecy with locations and mailboxes would have made worlds more sense.
"What is your name?" the women asked, turning to face her computer with her fingers hovering above the keys.
"Kit." she said, rocking back and forth on her heels nervously. If he were here, he'd try to steady her so she wouldn't fall.
The receptionist put her hands down and looked at her with a critical eye. She looked like a former resident of the kids training to be detectives. They all had a tendency to be a little strange. She was mildly-disheveled, wrinkled clothes and messy hair, a little pudgy from snacking, and was dressed in a simple turtleneck and pants, completely black, something that she had never done before but was chosen based on her expectations. Her neighbors she had passed by on her way out of her building had assumed that she was going to a funeral. The closer she got to the House, the more she believed that she was.
"You're Kit?" she asked, not really doubting her but not completely sure yet, even though security was supposed to be high around the orphanage during such a time. "Do you have proof?"
She pulled a driver's license out of her pocket, a fairly obsolete tool since she seldom drove and did not own a car even though she could afford one. Her lifestyle just never made a car seem like a practical purchase even though a license was a practical tool for things other than driving such as convincing people that her name was Kit and proving that she really was older than nineteen even though she didn't look it.
"Kit Carlisle." the women read out loud. "Hm, I wonder who came up with that one," she mumbled to herself and she handed the license back to her. "As it just so happens I have a letter for a Kit Carlisle. I was told that you would be coming here soon looking for something and I was told that the letter would answer all your questions."
The women unlocked a small safe under her desk and exacted a letter, sealed and addressed to Kit Carlisle and postmarked in Japan on the day she left for England but somehow containing no return address.
"Thank you." she said, shakingly reaching for the letter and stroking it like a pet once it was in her possession.
Without saying another word, she walked past the desk and headed for the nearest door that would lead her to the fields and, specifically, that one particular place against the building where they met.
I sincerely hope you never have to read this letter. If you are, it is because I have died while working on the Kira case before you could move here and you cleverly knew where to go looking for a reason to why I haven't written to you, just as I had predicted.
I must ask you to not go after Kira even though you are well aware of who he is and I'm sure you could find him quickly if you set your mind to it. You should not put your life in danger for the sake of avenging me. That would be the last thing I would want to happen to you. As you know, I have successors prepared to take on the case in the event of my death and the job should be left up to them. Please keep yourself safe and away from Raito and, if at all possible, avoiding going on international television broadcasts simply because there is still a chance that he suspects you of being a detective or a confidante of mine and what with Misa's ability, even with your name, you aren't safe.
Enclosed you will find three keys. The one with the address on it will lead you to the headquarters and the other two have various codes on them. They can be used to find your floor in the headquarters. Whether or not you decide to go is your choice. I understand if you do not wish to.
And also, in case I forget to mention this before you read this letter, I just want you to know that I accidently touched Misa's butt while trying to steal her cell phone before she was arrested. I should have told you when it happened but I forgot so I thought I should at least mention it now because that seems like the kind of thing you should tell the one you are with. I apologize and hope you are smiling at me in spite of things because you think this is an odd thing to mention in such a letter.
Kassie, I wish you the absolute best in life even though I regrettably cannot be a part of it and I want you to know that I am 100 sure that I love you.
She wasn't sure how long she sat against that building. Minutes? Hours? Days? It seemed like an eternity. And her eyes hurt. They stung like she had been rubbing them all day and caused the back of her head to thump with every beat of her heart. And her face was wet. And the wet was all over her hands and the sleeves of her shirt and even her pants. It was the first time she could remember crying.
She did not like crying. It was starting to make her feel sick and no matter how hard she cried, she knew there was no way he was going to come back. No way he could walk around from behind the building and tell her it was all a scam to fool Kira. Even if he fed the lie that L is dead to the world, he would never do it to her. And there was no logical reason to proclaim himself dead anyway. A new L has risen up in hopes that no one will notice a difference.
Suddenly her senses started coming back to her and she found that it was making her angry. I'm alive, she thought disdainfully. I can still feel that it's chilly outside today and smell the grass that has just been mowed and yet now I'm trying to remember what exactly my motivation for staying alive was before him. I don't think I had one. I think I just thought it was better to be sure of life than unsure of death, however if it happened to come, I wouldn't mind. Does this mean I have even less motivation now?
She knew she was slipping into dangerous territory: A question of what happens after death. When I die, will I see him again? Or will nothing happen? Is there a place to travel to or is that just an idea fabricated by naive humans to give us a sense of comfort?
Then she realized that she wasn't alone. Kneeling in the ground not far from her was a young boy of about thirteen and she could not for the life of her (whatever exactly this thing we call life is) remember when he had taken up a spot outside with her. He had hair that looked almost white with the sun beating down on the fine strands and he was dressed in white as well. His index finger on his right hand was caught twirling his hair as he worked on a puzzle that had white pieces too.
Something about this was eerie to her. The white, it was almost, dare she think it, angelic. The boy was white like an angel and doing a puzzle, playing like he used to play with his sugary foods.
But there was something wrong with this picture. The boy looked annoyed and cold, unlike a blessed being and more harsh than her deceased companion. And his total obliviousness to her crying was not the behavior she would be expecting of someone who would come to help her. Even though she was aware that she was thinking crazy, she was still hurt he didn't ask if she was okay.
Slow and trembling, she stood up and walked around the boy who did not lose his concentration with the task at hand. She stood behind him and realized that in the corner of the puzzle was a black part that was unable to be identified without another piece. The unknown blob annoying her, she scanning the pieces on the ground for one that had black on it discovering the piece behind the boy's feet where he would not have noticed it. She picked up the piece and tapped the boy's shoulder a few times so he would turn around.
"This was behind you. It goes right there." she said, pointing to the empty spot on the puzzle board. He nodded, took the piece, and placed it in the frame. Sure enough, it fit and now she could see that the black part was actually the letter L. Another tear fell down her cheek and the boy did not thank her.
"Kit. Oh, it's good that you two have already met." spoke a voice to her right. She looked and saw an older man coming towards the boy in white and herself, the girl in black. Standing by his side was a boy about the age of fifteen with blonde hair and a chocolate bar in his hand, dressed in black like her although he didn't seem to have a reason outside of looking tough.
"Hello Roger," she said, extending her hand to him. "It has been a long time."
"Yes, the last time I saw you, you were only a child. Although I was expecting you." he said sadly. "I am sorry for your loss, our loss. I hear you two were quite close. During both of your times here you never seemed to have anyone to spend time with but I'm glad that you two did."
She decided not to correct him to spare him the lengthy story of her relationship with the estranged man. "Yes."
Roger then turned to the boy in white. "Near, did you introduce yourself to her?"
The boy shook his head without looking up. "She was crying quite a lot." he said almost accusingly.
"Well, Kit, this is Near and this boy is Mello." he said, gesturing to the blonde boy.
She extended her hand to Mello and he shook it and mumbled a slightly uncomfortable, "hi" before taking a loud bite from his chocolate bar.
"These are L's successors. I thought it would be important that you meet them so you would know who is going to be taking over his work and be assured that the case is in able hands."
She looked at him flabbergasted. "But then who's using the L name now?"
Roger sighed. "We don't know."
She looked down at the little blonde boy and then looked over at the even smaller white-haired boy. It was like breaking him down into parts. The blonde boy had his love of sweets and looked like he would take risks. The white boy was his cautious side and his stoicism to an extreme with hands that liked to play and build. And they both had his intelligence.
Against her will, she started to weep, Near now putting his puzzle on hold to look over at her. Bending down a bit, she wrapped her arms around Mello in a tight hug. He let out a strangled noise that made Roger wonder if he was having trouble breathing.
"Thank you." she said, crying harder now.
"You're . . . welcome?" Mello choked out a little confused.
She let go of him and ran over to Near, sitting down on the ground and wrapping her arms around him this time.
"Thank you." she repeated again.
Near nodded and brushed off his shoulder once she let go. Apparently she had gotten it wet with her tears.
Clutching the envelope containing his final letter and the keys in her hands, she ran out of the fields and past the gates. She could hear Roger calling out her 'name' behind her but she did not stop. She wasn't sure where she was going to go. Maybe ride the train for hours until her tears dried and then go home: home to the generic apartment, the thing she called her home even if it held no homely feelings, her home before she had actually found her real home with him. But that home didn't exist anymore.
"She's a strange person." Mello remarked, still standing next to Roger outside. "Why did she just run off like that?" he asked, turning to the older man for an answer.
"She wasn't just friends with L." Near stated, twirling his hair around and around until it tugged roughly at his scalp. "She was in love with him, most likely. And judging by the fact that he had a letter set aside for her in case of his death, I'd say he loved her too."
"They could have just been friends. I mean, what do you know about love anyway?" Mello retorted, trying not to let Near make a fool out of him. Again.
Near simply shrugged as he put the last puzzle piece into his almost blank puzzle, letting out a slight sigh when he realized that there was still a hole on the board for a piece that had apparently gone missing.
Whether or not she would visit Japan, it was too early to tell. Maybe in a year, I'll go, she thought to herself as she sat on a bench at the train station, anxiously tapping her fingers on her thighs. After my life goes back to the way it was before him. After I remember what I had been working towards before getting to Japan was my goal because now, I seem to have lost sight of my purpose.
I remember sleepless nights and patient files. I remember ironed clothing that never felt right and people telling me my eyes are creepy to look at. I remember my lifeless apartment, white walls and gray furniture and no one to bring it to life. I remember sitting on my couch, eating an impromptu dinner alone with the television on but my mind not being able to focus as the numbers and symptoms repeated themselves until I wanted to scream.
Then I remember dreaming of feelings, not plots. I remember wearing the same thing for days and being told that my eyes should not be hidden from the world. I remember my hotel room and having company to sit with me and talk. I remember sitting on a hotel couch, sharing a piece of cake and not saying anything because we have given actions a higher privilege than words for that day.
And then the train stopped, its doors opening up and welcoming her inside and all she could think was, I wonder if any train will be able to take me far enough away.