Gomen, this took quite awhile. I hope you will not hold this against me and review anyway ; ;.

Chapter 6: F is for Fallen - One Year Time Gap

For the next year I saw little or nothing of L, as he predicted would be the case. I didn't know why, or what was going on, but he refused to tell me anything during our phone conversations. In fact, I didn't see anything of Matsuda-san or Raito-san either. I was really starting to miss my friends dearly, and I felt isolated without them. I did end up renting that flat, which is where I lived for that whole time, but it seemed strangely empty. Probably because I lived all alone, and my love for L didn't get cut off by separation or lack contact with him. I was kind of miserable, I suppose, but I lived for the day about once a month when he would be willing to see me.

That's how I made it through until the next time. I was a hopeless case, I knew. In fact, I tried to forget about L. It worked for a while, and then he's call me and then I'd have to start all over again. It was kind of ridiculous, and I kept getting nagged by my record company to do some more concerts. But I really wasn't in the mood, and I haven't been since the day L decided he was going to watch Raito in jail.

But today, the ninth month of Raito-san's imprisonment, L decided to come visit me at my flat, like he promised. I was so excited I couldn't find an activity to keep me occupied until he arrived.

Hurriedly shoving my crochet under the couch, I glanced up as my friend entered the room, the bags under his eyes even more prominent than usual. Smiling, I told him, "Wait right there, I have a surprise for you." He blinked and I waved as I ran into the kitchen pulling my gift from the refrigerator. I spent forever baking and decorating this thing, so I hoped he liked it. I even decided to get some strawberries for it! "Okay, close your eyes!"

I went back out into the living room and saw he had curled up into his favorite chair, his knees to his chest and his toes wiggling in impatience. I carefully set the cake on the table before him, and patted his arm, waiting to see his reaction. He opened his black eyes and I smiled when he did. "Did you bake this for me?" he questioned, eyeing the confection in obvious delight.

I put a fork in his hand and handed him a slice on a paper plate. "All for you."

He took another plate from the pile and set another piece on it, holding it out for me to take. His fork hung from his mouth as he held it out with both hands towards me. "Fall-san should have some too, then."

"But I…" His expression was insistent, and I took the plate and pulled another fork from the basket on the table. "I hope you enjoy it Ryuuzaki-kun." He smiled an adorable smile and took a big bite. I was still surprised at the amount of sweets L could consume and not get extremely fat. In fact, he was terribly underweight, which might be from this whole Kira affair, the stress and all, or burning calories… with his brain? L couldn't tell me anything about it, well, wouldn't actually. He told me that if I knew anything more than what the media gave out, I could be targeted and killed by the mysterious man as well. But I worried day in and day out for him, and he had absolutely no reason whatsoever to worry about me. I had no idea why he did. He was the top investigator against Kira and could be murdered any day now, and here I was, watching all of this happen from the sidelines!

I suddenly wasn't very hungry anymore, and I lowered the piece I had been about to put in my mouth to my plate. The worried knot in my stomach tightened even more at the very thought of him… ceasing to exist. The world would be a darker place without him; my world at least. I bit my lip. How would I survive without him coming to visit me, sitting in the adorable way, and eating all of my confections? I would miss all of his crazy quirks. Like his intense dislike for socks, his intelligence, and his ability to remember where I put my wallet when I lost it. I couldn't go on without him, I knew. Because… well it was kind of obvious, I think. He was my best friend after all. At least that's what I would keep telling myself, until I was a stronger person and I could admit the truth.

"Fall-san." I glanced up and saw L watching me with his thumb pressed against his teeth, two slices already eaten. "Why are you crying?" I blinked and pressed a hand to my cheek, and was shocked when I felt they were wet.

Swallowing hard I told him, using the code that we had set up months ago when he decided to take up occasional residence here, "I'm afraid that Ryuuzaki-kun is going to fail his test to get into college." I bit my lip harder and tasted blood dripping into my mouth. "It makes me sad to think that you studied so hard only to get to the crucial moment and… fail. I don't want to see your dreams die." I could barely choke out the last word because saying it made the whole situation seem that much more real. I felt the knot tighten in my stomach again. "One mess up could cost you the whole exam."

L stood up and took a piece of cloth from his pocket and stood before me, holding it delicately as if were to break if he held it any other way. I didn't see him holding it out for me too take, too blinded by my fear, and I didn't even know he was standing there until I felt the soft cloth on my skin. "Fall-san needs to stop worrying. I will past the test, though there will be lots of studying and roadblocks along the way. Hard work always pays off remember."

I sighed. "Yes." I didn't really believe it, of course. L had to pick the most dangerous job in the world didn't he? And the most dangerous person to investigate, a cold-blooded killer that might murder him at any moment. "But don't you forget, Ryuuzaki-kun." My tone, strange even to me, obviously caught his attention because he looked at me with slight worry in his eyes. "If you fail that test, my confidence will be shattered. Because if you can't do well how can I possibly? I will most definitely have a failure of a concert."

The message was easy enough to understand. If you die, my heart will be broken. If you're gone how can I possibly live? I will most definitely die too.

L's eyes widened ephemerally and his expression and voice seemed slightly strained. "Fall-san has a stronger will for disappointment than I do. If I don't pass the test, it won't affect you at all. You'll perform with flying colors, like always." It seemed like such a normal conversation, even L's changing expressions were only apparent in my eyes after knowing him for so long. He tone seemed to be begging, begging me not to twist and twine my fate with his. And I just couldn't do that.

"But I don't want to pass if you don't. It'll make me feel bad, like I'm bragging. I'll feel mean." I pouted to add to the effect, but L could never know the turmoil I was feeling right then. Could I live without him? I didn't think so. L was my world, and I lived to aid him wherever I could, even though he couldn't tell me anything too important or secret. Always. I whispered, so softly that no one could possibly have heard even if they were listening, "Life gives no second chances."

He replied in an equally quiet voice, "And a second chance is not needed if you live to the fullest in the first one." With that he turned and sat back in his chair, taking anther piece of cake and munching on it. I frowned and picked up my own eating utensil. L understood completely, like usual. He knew I was in love with him, and even though he didn't return my feelings, he was kind enough to not want me to suffer when he dies. If he dies, I reminded myself. I refused to think of him dying. I wouldn't let it happen. I would die before I would let anyone harm a single hair on his head.

"All righty then, Ryuuzaki-kun," I told him, trying to act as cheerful as possible. "Would you like something to drink?" He smiled and nodded, following me into the kitchen after downing the rest of his third slice of cake. "Well, I didn't know when exactly you were coming, so I don't have many sweet things, but I do have tea, and a lot of sugar cubes. How's that?" I opened the door to my refrigerator in case there might be something else in there.

He didn't reply and I was about to turn around, but I felt his chin on my shoulder, looking into the fridge with his naturally wide eyes. "Hmm," he mumbled, pressing a hand to his mouth and looking at the contents of my cooling unit interestedly. "Tea sounds tasty, but I know something that is a lot sweeter."

"Like?" I turned to look at him and I saw he head tilted his had in my direction, and I accidentally brushed my lips to his nose. I blushed madly and back away, but L stood in the same haphazard position, as if he was still setting his chin on my shoulder. He looked slightly surprised, like he hadn't been in such close contact with anyone before. Which he probably hasn't, I realized. "Er, sorry."

L blinked, looking like he was contemplating something important. "Does Fall-san love me?" I sweat-dropped. Obviously not that important…

"Huh? I thought you knew the answer to that already."

"I'm only 97 percent sure. That's not 100. If you tell me, then I'll know for sure." I felt my throat tighten. Did I really want to tell him the truth? And he didn't specify which way his 97 went. It could be a yes, it could be a no, and I couldn't tell for certain. But he'd most definitely know if I lied about it, he knew me way too well. He wasn't the world's number one detective nothing.

Biting my bottom lip, I watched his face for a moment, his innocent, childlike expression breaking down my will. Should I…? Shouldn't I…? Finally, after a moment of silence, I whispered, "…yes." He nodded and, opening my pantry, took a packet of tea and the bowl of sugar cubes from inside and walked over to the cabinet to get a couple of teacups. I felt a little lighter from my confession, but then something else filled that little space. Sadness. I loved L; I have since we lived at the orphanage, but he would never return those feelings. He was too good at his job, and he needed to keep his emotions under check to retain a level head. I understood that, and I didn't care. As long as we were friends, I was cool. I smiled. Yeah, I was cool.

"Fall-san, would you like some?" He held the cups up carefully by their handles, making me wary about the possibility of dropping them, and I nodded. He began making tea and I sat back into the living room, pulling my legs to my chest very similar to the way L does. But for him it's a habit, for me it's my way to show that I'm trying to be reclusive. Plus, I bet he does it way cuter than I do. I heard him clink the cup down on the table and I smiled at him gratefully, taking it and sipping a little.

I smiled at him. "Thank you Ryuuzaki-kun." I watched as he put enough cubes into his own so that the tea wasn't visible anymore, and followed suit, though only with three. I was planning on letting the subject drop, but my curiosity got the better of me. "May I ask you something?"

He smiled. "You just did, but you can ask me something else." I watched him for a moment, sitting in that comfortable position on the blue floral patterned armchair. It all seemed so familiar, like this would never go away no matter what that bastard Kira did with his time. I hate that man so much, if I could kill him, I would.

"When Ryuuzaki-kun said 97, did you mean you were 97 sure that I did love you or 97 sure that I didn't?" He set his teacup on the coaster and looked at me for a long moment. He looked like he was evaluating something, but I supposed he was trying to decide whether or not to tell me.

"It wasn't about Fall-san," he told me simply, his eyes darting to fix on the brown tea in his cup. That surprised me a little, because I had no idea what he was talking about now. He added when his sentence was met with my silence, "It was about me."

"You?"

"Mm-hmm. But that's enough questions now. Let's enjoy our tea, and our time together."

An hour later he told me he had to leave, that the task team would need him back to get right on working against Kira. My worry and emotions getting the better of me, I wrapped my arms around his neck tightly, not ever wanting to let him go and get himself hurt. "Be careful, L," I whispered so quietly that I could barely hear it myself.

"I will Fall." Then he left and I felt tears spring in my eyes. I didn't want anything bad to happen to L, ever. I wanted to keep him wrapped in a safe, protective bubble, free from having to hunt Kira down, or putting himself in any danger. It was entirely selfish I knew, but I couldn't stand to see him get hurt, or die. I turned back to the mess he had made and chuckled slightly. I love that man to death, but he is such a huge slob whenever he comes over.

When I finished cleaning up the clutter, I decided I was going to change into pajamas and watch a few movies until bedtime. But when I pulled my jeans off however, I heard a piece of paper crinkling in my back pocket. Confused, I fished it out, and opened it carefully, confused. As I read it, I laughed heartily, and felt tears really drip down my cheeks now. I took the sheet and placed it under my pillow for safekeeping, because that was one thing I would never want to forget.

97 percent sure I care for Fall-san. 3 percent unsure I care for Fall-san. My suspicions will never have existed if she doesn't care for me.