Note: I may not be making logical sense in some parts. This is a happier ending though, the end justifies the means, so to speak. Err..enjoy?
Ending II: Future
A draft flitters through the gap of the sliding glass doors to the balcony, bringing in a sprinkle of white sand. Misa hurries to shut the doors, glancing down at the black notebook that lies outside, a strong breeze fluttering the pages open. She decides to bring it in as well. It could be useful to Raito.
The blonde girl notices two things at once: a shimmering light radiating out of a page and a pair of feet sticking out of some bushes at the entrance of the apartment complex. The shimmering could be a trick of the eye. Maybe the white sand is reflecting off the sunlight. But those feet are real. They simply refuse to go away after she blinks for several times. A call to the police is absolutely necessary.
After Misa places the call, she starts to doubt her impulsive decision. What if it is a prank after all? Some props people have carelessly discarded? She can imagine tomorrow's headline scorning at her stupidity. She cannot have that! Growing more apprehensive at such possible outcome, she gets dressed in record time to prepare for her own investigation.
x x x x
"No, Ryuuzaki, no.." Raito grips on tight, as if that would anchor the soul to the body within his embrace. He keeps on whispering, "Don't go. Don't go.."
This is one of those rare moments he is unprepared. He has anticipated this event would take place, had even looked forward to it. How many weeks he had planned for it, despite not being aware of his own agenda? Now that it has happened, its appeal is far less than the loss he feels. A totally unbalanced formula. A heartbreaking solution.
Hold on. Heart attack victims can be saved! It has been reported. Death Note only states those whose names are written shall die. It never said they cannot be saved. People didn't try to help those criminals simply because of what they were. Ryuuzaki is no criminal. He is the one after them. He should live so that more can be caught.
What? Kira fumes. They all should die. Die! Die!
Raito is already acting ahead, ignoring the dull droning inside his mind. Simple, make the heart beat again. Make him breathe again. Make him whole again. The youth hasn't felt this helpless, not even when he was detained by L. A tear rolls down when he starts the chest compression. Before today, he has had time to plan his strategies, his games. As of now, time is precious, each second lost is a drastic decrease from a possible recovery. L, I'm not finished with you. Don't you dare to go.
You are nothing without me. Kira smirks.
Oh yeah? What are you? Death is inevitable. Bringing that on sooner doesn't make someone almighty. What was I thinking? What am I doing? What can save the life before me now? Answer me! Raito battles with his conscience.
In his mundane life as a student, he has cared for no one. Death Note has seemed like an entertaining tool that coincides with his interests. He couldn't care less to see those culprits disappearing from the population. Whoever tried to stop him was guilty by association. He has the noble intention to make this world pure again and it has served its purpose well. Too well that he was blind to the obvious.
Blind to the fact that life is precious, no matter how high and low the person ranks in the society. No one has the right to cheat it out of anyone. Those who do are evil. Immoral.
Blind to his own stumble off the true path of justice. He has been biased, high on his juvenile fantasy of creating a fictional utopia. As disillusioned as he is, he has to admit such an ideal does not exist. No one is perfect. It is this imperfection that makes humans complement each other, connecting to build networks, societies, the world. What right does he have to judge?
Blind to the ripple effect he is causing. Even a small pond can be disturbed by a pebble breaking its surface. What of the society? It is a much more sophisticated system with countless links and gears. In a perverted sense, one person dead may ease the anguish of one party and create the opposite for another one. What about one dozen? One thousand? Surely, such negative cycles beget nothing but fear and adverse devastation. Someone's gain, another's loss. Is it a true gain? Death being a gain? It is illogical. He has not been creating harmony. It is not real peace.
I've been doing the devil's deed. So many names. So many lives. What have I done? Another tear drops. It lands on the pristine white sweatshirt and disappears into the fabric. Come back. Please come back...
The detective remains unresponsive. The very symbol of justice lies motionless on the floor. The other team members seem to have faded from the surroundings. It is only L and him. You are strong, Ryuuzaki. You can make it.
Raito takes too many things for granted. His brilliance, his loving family, Ryuuzaki. There isn't anything he is lacking in his life. Regret doesn't come when a loss is not realized. If something is always present, its importance becomes less obvious as time passes. His IQ, he's born with it. His family, he's had them caring for him all his life. Ryuuzaki.. he is the latest addition, but a prominent presence nevertheless. Despite his childish ways, his arrogance, his stubbornness, his oddities, he is Raito's first friend too. One that can understand him, one that can drive him mad for all the right reasons, one that can touch his heart.
He's been the first in many ways..
What have I done? The keen sense of loss is slicing him open, shredding him to pieces. The pulses of an ongoing ache gnaws at his insides like acidic fire. Each open wound bleeds with tears of sorrow, of eternal regret.
After a second round of mouth-to-mouth, Raito is hauled away by his father. Yagami-san is devastated by the bleakness of the situation, the suffering of his child.
"Ryuuzaki!" Raito wails, the sudden roaring of blood rushes to his head, clashing with the guilt weighting heavy on his shoulders and causing him to trip over when the floor rises up to meet him in a blink.
x x x x
The sirens from the ambulance are melting away into the distance. Misa has watched enough movies to know whoever is on the stretcher at least has a chance at the hospital instead of a place at the morgue. She never got to investigate before the police arrived.
Misa has not been linked to this matter. She could tell the officers are actually quite relaxed as they questioned her. Of course she has concealed the Death Note in advance. At a very safe place - right against her back. They have no reason to search her person.
The officers thank Misa as they leave. She is curious and asks, "How is the person doing?"
"Oh, he should be fine. We are in time. Old people tend to have these spells. It's common."
x x x x
Everything is dark. It doesn't look like the Shinigami Realm, yet there is a familiarity to the place. The pale being is bewildered. Her one yellow eye stares without comprehension. Why do I still exist?
"Ah, Rem. I have been expecting you."
The Shinigami King? She peers at a huge silhouette in darker black, if that is possible.
"Humans are interesting, don't you think?"
Rem says nothing.
"They love. They hate. They protect. They destroy. That's not all. It is their ability to combine all four that makes them so unique."
"My lord, may I know the reason I am here?" Rem does not understand.
"But Love is the most amazing of all. Shinigami cannot feel it." A trace of sadness vibrates off the hollow voice. No, that can't be. "They have forgotten how."
Rem awaits patiently. She should cease to exist after she wrote those names. The mere minutes' wait hardly matters.
"Love. It can be so gentle, yet so deadly. The things humans do, the sacrifices they assume they are making. You know the vows humans exchange in a marriage? 'Til death do us part.' How right, yet wrong they are."
Rem grows uncomfortable. Perhaps she has indeed ceased to exist in the Realm and had transported to another dimension where she must listen to the King and His preaches. For all eternity? If she can observe Misa from here, that is still bearable.
"Rem, I have been watching you," The voice grows nearer and spooks Rem. Does the King know what I am thinking? "for centuries."
"My Lord, I find my presence here...unusual." Rem is thoroughly dumbfounded.
"Indeed, it is unusual, beyond any shinigami feat. However, there was one before you. Not too long ago."
"I don't understand." The lesser shinigami is confused, though she starts to have an inkling to where it leads.
"The Death Notes may have endless pages, but their supply is limited. I expect their return when they are not assigned to any particular shinigami." The King heaves a light drift through his bony jaws, as if remembering a fond moment. "On rare occasions, I could be persuaded to be generous. That does not apply to you though."
The darkness is heavy with unasked questions. The King seems amused.
"Rem, you have stumbled upon a secret and I shall reveal it to you after your retrieval of the Note from the human world."
The pale skeleton hesitates. By requesting its return, the King is in effect telling her she has ceased to be a shinigami. That is to be expected. The Note is now an item of the human world, being owned by a human, until the person gives up ownership, or dies. She knows the lifespan of the human girl. So does the King. By not imposing a deadline, she has been granted the definite time to stay with the girl, however short it is compared to how time runs in the Shinigami Realm. She is also aware that she is no longer privileged to use the Note, therefore she cannot protect the girl even if she wants to. Is this part of the punishment? No, I deem it as a reward. I shall treasure the time on earth, to be with Misa until she draws her last breath.
x x x x
The grand room is mostly white, no windows, with two rows of bed. Is this a hospital ward? Having just awoken from an unnatural sleep, Raito is disoriented. He notices his father sitting in a chair next to him.
"How are you feeling, Raito?"
Yagami-san has aged at least five years in the past two days. The white is showing at his temples and the lines are making deeper tracks on his face.
Raito blinks slowly to shake off the fogginess clouding his brain. "What is this place, Father?"
"Inside the same building. There is a whole floor dedicated to treat the sick in case any one of us falls ill. Ryuuzaki has thought of everything."
There are two doctors and three nurses hovering close by. One doctor is a foreigner and he converses quietly in English with the other doctor who is obviously of Japanese origin, from his bulby nose and smaller eyes. Raito is intrigued to their presence but refrains from asking unnecessary questions. He senses the group of five pouring their professional attention entirely at a bed further away from him, next to where his father sits.
Then the background noises register. Specifically, the beeping sound. In a hospital, everyone loves that sound. It is the bearer of good news. The rhythmic pattern is reassuring in its repetitive continuity. To the very least, it instills hope. To hope that one day this mechanical monitoring becomes redundant in assessing the life force of the subject.
There was a time Raito wanted nothing more than to have the detective six feet under. It would have been perfect without him in the picture. L could only hinder his progress in ridding the world of its scums. Now the world is not perfect without him. When did it become that way?
The doctors are murmuring in monotones. Professional gibberish. Raito soon tones them out. It is all pointless, if L stays that way. Not that the detective was very animated when he was alert, just that the light switch is off and he would give anything to switch it on again. He gazes intently at the fallen figure on the bed, and concentrates on one single thought: Have I done the right thing?
x x x x
Misa lies flat on her stomach, her chin resting on her forearms. Her legs make occasional thumps against the mattress after she bends at her knees alternately to slap on the bed with her feet. She stares forlornly at her cell phone. It has been impossible to reach Raito all day. She called but it immediately told her the person was not available. She text messaged him at least a dozen times. No feedback. Typical response.
Have I done the right thing?
Whatever Raito tells her to do is right, right? She trusts him. She is willing to give her life to him. Anything for him. All she needs is a little love in return. Just a little. Tears start to overflow. She flips over and covers her eyes with both hands, stifling the urge to weep. Insecurity gnaws at her. There is a reason why Raito is not in touch. Must be a good reason. Misa should trust him.
After two minutes of self hypnotization, Misa feels better. She removes her hands and receives a mild shock.
Rem is here!
The pale shinigami stands next to her bed, concern showing in her one yellow eye.
"Rem! Oh Rem.." The petite girl hugs the skeleton figure. She can no longer contain her tears.
Rem is angered. There is only one person who can upset Misa like this. But the human girl is willing to protect this villain at all costs. Very frustrating. The shinigami strokes at the girl's blonde hair, hoping to soothe the heartache that must be there.
"Misa.. is there anything I can do for you?"
The girl's sobbing has subsided. She shakes her small head. "Misa is alright. She just feels lonely."
Her quiet words twist at Rem's heart, if she had a heart. There is absolutely nothing she can do as of now. She should have taken action when she still had the power. Her anger flares, though it is overshadowed by more frustration.
"It is the Yagami boy.." Misa can sense a trace of threat from Rem and she hugs the shinigami tighter, unaware that this is merely an empty threat.
"Raito is trying to rid the world of evil people. Misa understands he cannot be with her all the time."
It is the exact opposite of what Rem has witnessed earlier. She had located the crowd at the building in a room with rows of beds. The man with the false name was at the phase crossing between living and dying. The boy had looked at him in a similar way that Misa had looked at this boy. Like the very world is within this person. The boy is already in love, just not with Misa.
Misa has given everything to the Yagami boy. The fact that it is not likely for him to return her feelings is a burning chip right at the beginning. It cannot be like this. She cannot hold onto false hope forever. As much as she wants to be with the human girl, it could only hurt more if she doesn't speak up. Cruel as it is, Misa deserves to know the truth.
The girl keeps on shaking her head with her fingers pressing at her lips as Rem recounts her shocking discovery. Tears spill slowly this time. Rem would not lie to her, right? Raito would not betray her, right? Who to believe? Who to believe? She kneels on the bed in a fetal position, forehead touching the mattress, palms at her ears, shutting out the damning words.
"Is Rem leaving Misa too?" The petite girl wonders, eyes dry, too shocked to continue crying.
Rem stops her narration, realizing the only way to protect the girl is for her not to own the Death Note. "I'm sorry, Misa. I wish I could stay and watch over you. But this is the consequence for breaching the rules."
"Misa is sorry too." The blonde punches at the buttons on her cell phone, composing a message. "Misa loves Raito with her whole heart. She wants Raito to be happy." She knows no matter how hard she tries, she cannot gain Raito's love. The gender preference is clear. How could she compete with a man?
"Rem is leaving too. Misa will be so lonely." The girl whispers, drawing inwards to her melancholic shell.
"Misa..have you ever regretted meeting Raito?"
"Misa wants to be a happy girl again." She appears to be talking to the air, not directing the comment at the shinigami.
"You will need to forfeit the Death Note to do that, Misa." Rem values Misa way beyond her own existence, even if it means parting with Misa much earlier. It is also a perfect way to thwart Yagami's plan. Rem notices Ryuk has returned and silences him with a freezing stare.
"Hey..you giving up already, girl? That's no fun." Sympathy be damned. Nothing can shut up that big mouth of Ryuk.
"Can Ryuk make Misa a man?" She must be out of her mind!
"Uh...no. Who da you think I am?"
"What's the point? Misa can use the Note but it cannot bring Raito to her. What's the point.." The small girl clutches at the space above her heart. "It hurts to remember. It hurts so much."
Though her tone is mild and light, the pain is visible, drifting through the room like wisps of unwelcome darkness. Not even Ryuk has a smart comment for this. Forfeiting the Death Note seems like an appealing and sensible decision. The inhuman forms await, silent.
x x x x
It hasn't been the same.
The Kira investigation has been put on hold. They have no data, no leads, no supervisor and the most likely suspect (or so everyone else thought) has died.
Raito makes his daily visit, not expecting new progress. Ironic that he is now observing L on the bed as L had been observing him in the cell. Well, at least there was some kind of communications back then. He doesn't know if the man can hear anything he says, though it has been known that coma patients are aware of their surroundings. They simply have no physical means to express their thoughts. That is the reason Raito makes sure he holds the man's frail hand every time he visits, especially when he isn't in the mood to speak.
The nurses have caught on this extraordinary display of affection and have refrained from intruding while he is here. He knows they know. It can't be helped.
Yagami-san has talked to his son more than once to return home until L regains consciousness. Just one look at Raito has stopped the father from speaking further. The student doesn't have to pretend now. He is actually acting out his true feelings. It makes him feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.
What is keeping me here? Raito has to wonder. Am I not the one having the power of Death Note? All my supporters are waiting. Surely I cannot disappoint them. The Kira in him struggles to break loose, to control the brilliant mind that is occupied missing the unconscious detective. Somehow, Raito finds himself taking less efforts to constrain this strong force within him, having a more intense emotion simmering and growing day by day.
Suddenly, a perfect world no longer seems like a priority. The world has not collapsed at his absence. People continue to live, die, work, rest, cry, laugh, as if he doesn't matter. He is not as powerful as he once thought he was. Was he in fact putting too much importance onto himself?
"Raito-kun shall have his freedom when Kira is caught."
L was wrong. Wrong in assuming Kira can be caught. Whatever the outcome, Raito still does not have his freedom, when they have been through so much, when a part of him already belongs to the sleeping man.
What if L never wakes up?
x x x x
It has been hours in the human world, yet it is only a blink of an eye, maybe two, in the Realm.
"I have returned, my lord." Rem brings with her the original Note.
"Excellent." The Shinigami King responds with disinterest "I suppose it is time to show you your path."
Path? Nonexistence can hardly be defined as a path.
A self suspending orb of ether appears in the inky blackness. It becomes brighter when its center reveals a scene in the human world. Rem was not curious about what happens after a shinigami disappears, so she never seeks out any place for a hopeful continuation. What she is witnessing is a soul being saved by something. This something is not an angel. This mysterious being is doing the opposite of what shinigami do. She could see that it is not time for this human to die. The number countdown hovering over the human's head was faint at first, almost flickering out like the battery is going dead, but grows more vibrant as the soul settles more firmly within its worldly husk. The savior finishes its job and stands back. Its shape and features remind her of...
"A competitor." The King's hollow eyes stay with the glowing orb. "Rem will also become our competitor, though we outnumber you by a much larger quantity."
Rem is speechless.
"Oh yes, do not be surprised. It is Jealous. You will also follow the same path that he is leading. The number of souls needed to be saved is equivalent to the number taken during the period as a shinigami. Not just random souls. Worthy souls. Those that are before their time. Those that love and deserve to be loved."
"Nay, Rem will be her own master from this moment on. Only you will know when the time comes to act. Only you will know what happens when you complete your task."
Rem is destined to discover and experience the secret of Love.
x x x x
The white blanket shifts. Raito has his hopes up. It has been weeks. The body beneath the blanket moves again. Raito could no longer contain his excitement.
"Just a little more. I'm here. Take your time." The youth takes the cool hand to have their fingers entwined. The once still fingers are twitching, as if in the process of starting up an ancient machinery.
The figure on the bed becomes motionless again. Raito lets out a disappointed sigh.
"Damn you, L. Wake up!" Raito is contradicting himself over his earlier patience.
The immobile hand is warming considerably. Perhaps it is Raito's hand that's feeding heat into it. Perhaps the detective is truly coming out of it. Raito strokes at the pale cheek. Still cool and lifeless.
"Everyone has missed you... I've missed you.." The brunet pauses. "..a lot."
No response, as expected.
"You have my word that Kira will be put out of action, as long as I'm alive." Raito studies the man's eyelids, as if that would will them to open. "We could accomplish so much. Together, we can contribute our abilities to help the society. Justice shall prevail, isn't that right? You would like to see that, wouldn't you?"
More beeping from the machine.
"The world needs you. They are calling for you." The young man blinks. Those closed eyelids are fluttering. He moves closer and continues, "I need you."
The beeping tempo has increased.
"Wake up now and I ..." The rest of the promise is lost as Raito leans in closer to drop his whisper into the man's ear, kissing it after he is done.
The young man lets out a long sigh, messes up L's already wild hair and plants a kiss on his forehead, part of his sacred ritual before leaving. It is at this close range that he feels a series of light breaths grazing at his throat. He glances down. Moving lips! Ear closer to catch the flow, he hears it, albeit crooked and cracked up, the sweetest word ever, even though he can't be more familiar with it than he already is -
x x x x
More weeks have passed. Some time earlier during this period, Raito had noticed the text messages flooding the inbox of his cell phone. He read through the first four, then deleted most of them. Something about the last message made him hesitate. The time it was received was hours apart from the many consecutive ones prior to this one. It had an attachment. An image file. The image of the three of them on the floor at that celebration party.
The brief message was 'Goodbye. I will not remember you. Will you remember me?'
It was over.
x x x x
"I am unable to think."
"I can't imagine."
"There were particular bits of conversations that I thought I am able to recall.."
"You were unconscious."
"Verbal agreement is legally binding."
"Stop thinking. What you should do is to rest all you can."
"You are forgetting about the surveillance system. I could review the records."
"You are forgetting the system has been disabled, along with the data deletion."
L pouts. Touché.
The pale man has done no more than the basics during his recuperation and he still has a long way to go. Often, he would let Raito represent him when the world needs the detective. He would listen in by his side, though he is confident of the student's ability. Only rarely would he rap on the table to intercept and correct a solution that is just second best.
"What?" If the youth had not just tried to kill the world famous detective weeks ago, he may have walked away from the babysitting, or rather, there would be no babysitting at all. Watari is barely able to take care of himself, much less other people.
"I'm cold." L has to be careful with his sweet craving. His fragile state is not life threatening, though he has listened to the doctors to reduce his excessive doses of sugars. Without the surplus glucose, the energy depletion is taking its toll.
"I told you to stay in bed." Raito is annoyed at the man's stubbornness. L is curled up on a sofa. "Take my jacket."
"Your body will do just fine."
"Ha, you wish."
"I'm being practical."
"That, I will. I promise you."
"Shut up." Raito frowns, takes a seat next to the seemingly fragile man and says nothing more.
After two seconds, a muttered "I'm still cold" breaks the silence. Raito proceeds to position himself behind the detective to wrap his arms around.
The student unbuttons his shirt and lifts up the back of the other's white sweatshirt for better transfer of body heat.
"I doubt it."
Pink lips plant light kisses on a soft neck. Hot breaths are warming the white skin considerably.
Raito removes his shirt completely, for better contact. His arms return to wrap around the frail body, this time, underneath the white sweatshirt. His searching fingers have found the pair of delightful nubs and start giving them loving attention.
He turns the detective to face him, notices a faint tint of pink spreading through his pale face and ducks beneath his white sweatshirt. A small mountain moves under the fabric from one side to the other as Raito presents wet strokes to where his fingers were minutes before. His moist lips are unbiased, giving each side fair treatment. His body is now leaning on top, his arms supporting him with his hips barely touching the man underneath. He is waiting for his answer.
The answer appears very rapidly and rises to meet his crotch. Raito pokes his head through the wide neck opening with a triumph smile and, even though knowing it already, he has to ask, "Better?"
They are now wearing the same sweatshirt. Raito still has his arms around, skin to skin. He rocks his hips gently and savors the moment. He has ceased all intention to advance. In the pregnant silence, their heartbeats sound like thunders. It feels like a balmy day in spring.
"Ryuuzaki, you've got to admit it is a perfect method to generate heat at short notice." He murmurs next to a sensitive ear.
"I will keep that in mind, Raito-kun. It could make all the difference between life and death." The reply is flat and dry.
Guilt crawls across Raito in an unpleasant wave. His grip tightens on the body beneath him, as if letting go would truly mean letting go. He has nearly lost L. It was a ghastly experience that will definitely haunt him for life.
"I have a confession to make." The student's words are muffled in the sweatshirt.
"I am not here to solve your worldly burdens."
"You have the right to be cross with me..."
"The cherry blossoms. The way they fall, the way they grace the earth, at this season."
"We are twenty-three floors aboveground." Buildings and skies are all that fill the windows. There is not a hint to the beauty outside. Raito wonders.
"I remember. It was during this season that we met."
"It has been a year."
"Indeed.." Pointless chatter from L? Not likely.
"Kira's emergence has relied on the sole existence of the Death Note. Do you not agree, Raito-kun?"
"Quite true, without it, there would be no Kira."
"Kira wanted L dead."
"It was a successful failure. L is still alive."
"Your point is?"
"Kira doesn't have a second chance to kill L without leaving a trail, no matter what method he should devise."
"Did it ever occur to you that Kira has never learned L's true name? That it could've been something else that caused.."
"Would Raito-kun like to know my name?"
"I would like that, but I don't want you dead." Quiet words spoken tenderly, like a hand giving feather light strokes to the back, soothingly, lovingly.
"That means Raito-kun doesn't want to be Kira."
When Raito starts to object, L turns his face and kisses the youth fully on the lips, causing the potential argument to die a sweet death. They take a moment to draw on each other, neither wants to break the intimate connection. Nevertheless, L continues his train of thoughts.
"According to the Copernican principle (note 1), there is a 95 percent certainty that Kira will be present for another 9 days, but for no more than 39 years. I'm giving the existence of Kira the shadow of a doubt and substituted 1 year for the variable, though I know for a fact that Kira hadn't known himself as Kira during that entire timeframe."
"You know there is a flaw to the principle. It discriminates against subjects too young and old."
"Yes, Raito-kun is too young."
"You know that wasn't what I meant."
"What do you mean?"
"Forget it." Raito's stomach is churning. Was it something he ate for lunch?
Never missing a beat, the detective continues, "L, on the other hand, has existed before Raito-kun was born. Justice precedes us all."
"We have discussed this before. Justice has many forms." Raito's stomach continues to bother him..was it the salad? He is promptly ignored by L.
"Wouldn't Raito-kun wish to join me? People can change. Justice can help them to change. They are rewarded accordingly when they make reparations for their offenses, to acknowledge their own mistakes. Kira's path is the one that leads to destruction, denying people the chance to change, robbing their future by ending their lives." The pale man pauses, "I have changed, because of you. You can change as well."
"Hold on. I don't feel so well."
"I'm sorry, Raito."
The youth is piqued at the absence of a honorific and the random apology.
"Sorry for the inane chatter?" Raito starts to sweat. Tiny claws are kneading at his intestines.
"Sorry for the inevitable."
"What?" The student's mind is clicking pieces together in alarm. "Is this some kind of revenge? Whatever have you done to me?"
"Relax. It's merely an effective laxative." The assurance is laced with childlike innocence.
"You could've warned me!" Raito attempts to unclothe himself from the cotton cocoon, upsetting his already disorderly brown strands.
"This is to purge you of the Death Note, if you are unwilling to do so on your own. Since there is no shinigami present, there is a high possibility that you are not the owner of the Death Note, therefore, you require ingestion of the paper to retain the associated memories."
"How? My lunch? Your lips?"
"I recall sampling your lunch. As you can see, I feel perfectly well."
"The question stands."
Indeed, the detective hasn't so much as put his thumb near his lips and Raito had assumed that the man simply wasn't in his thinking mode. The empty weeks have left him off guard. Why, this devious little.. Raito gasps as a phantom pitchfork stabs and twists at his insides, grinding everything into a painful putty. He has already made his promise, back at that hospital bed, why can't L just wait? His split-second glare at the detective can cut through diamonds.
The agonized youth races to the bathroom in record time, hardly holding in the outburst that threatens to rip him inside out. He manages to snatch a notepad and pen set before he slams the door shut. With an urgency he has rarely felt, he scribbles onto the paper in desperation, a vigor that perhaps even surpasses his passion during his judgment through the Death Note. He writes as swiftly as he could while keeping the words legible, with the bathroom counter for a desk and the toilet itself as his seat. There, he pours out everything.
A lifetime later, Raito emerges, confused but fuming nevertheless.
"That was sick, Ryuuzaki. How would you like it if I did this to you?"
"I'm sorry, Raito-kun."
"And...oh.." The grumpy youth looks at his balled fist in slight surprise, rereading the instructions in his own writing. "I don't understand why but I'm supposed to give this to you."
L hesitates, accepting the folded sheets of paper with two fingers. He hasn't been expecting a message from Kira. He reads the sheets calmly with occasional funny glances from Raito. With painstaking care, the papers are folded once again.
"Ah. At last, a love letter from Raito-kun." Those black eyes twinkle, looking pleased.
"You're lying. Let me see them."
L takes one sheet and hands it to Raito. It reads 'I love you with all my soul. How those empty weeks had taken the joy of living out of me! There has never been anyone else..' Raito stops reading and arches an eyebrow. Indeed, these words were written by his own hands! How...?
"Would Raito-kun like to read the entire letter? It has some rather fascinating proposals that I am most definitely interested in." The pale stick of a man grins suggestively, wiggling his dark eyebrows.
"This is all a joke to you. Here, take it back. I don't wanna read any more of this shit."
"This is where you are wrong, Raito-kun. This is not a joke. I take it very seriously." L resumes his usual stance, face showing nothing. Only his eyes remain animated.
L embraces Raito, feeling his own heart tearing in half. He has on his hands a written confession from the ex-Kira, containing explicit details. Details that could have remained hidden forever. That sheet of 'lover letter' is the only irrelevant page. Raito himself wrote it to dampen his own curiosity, using words he knew would embarrass himself. For the rest, L had to improvise. Now, the justice in him screams for immediate arrest of the mass murderer. The lover in him cries for him to show mercy. At whatever decision he makes, the fact remains that Kira is gone for good. Threat annihilated. Case solved, in a way.
"Raito.." A gentle whisper.
"'I love you with all my soul.'" A soft recitation.
"Do you not me?" A worried question.
"Yeah..but, don't repeat those words. You are the greatest detective. Think of something original."
Five minutes later, both males gasp for breath, having broken from a deep and lingering kiss, arousals heavy against one another.
"Ahh..don't tease, Ryuuzaki. You are in no condition...your heart can't.." The weeks not touching each other makes the simple kiss that much more erotic at this moment than to being naked together. No, maybe the kiss was not that simple.
"Is Raito-kun not satisfied? It was the answer to your questioning of my originality."
"I doubt you would be satisfied at that." The student's hand lowers in deliberate slow motions.
"Now, who's teasing?" Then, almost as an afterthought, L adds, "Kira would do something like that."
"How many times have I told you? I'm not Kira!"
"You..what?" Raito has grown accustomed to L's constant rebuttal of his claim of innocence. The different response leaves him pleasantly speechless.
"We have received information on the location of the other Death Note. We have the current one secured. With Higuchi dead, the power transfer is not likely to be taking place. No Kira victims have turned up since his death and that supports my theory."
"I'm L. I have my sources."
"You believe that I'm not Kira."
"And you actually said you love me."
"What have you done to my Ryuuzaki?" Raito feels ridiculously happy, despite the prank L had pulled on him. It must have something to do with solving the case, and the detective being alive and spreading good news..
L decides he can live with his selfish decision. He would deal with Raito privately. There are fine prints in the justice system that could be interpreted in a certain way. In exchange, the individual is required to perform community service. He would be serving justice side by side with him. A crime of his magnitude, it would take more than a lifetime, though that is certainly a preference over execution or life imprisonment. A just retribution..
"Ryuuzaki, something doesn't make sense. Didn't Kira try to kill you? Wasn't that after Higuchi was found dead?"
"The shinigami made the attempt. The creature had disappeared after Watari and I both received heart attacks." That seems to be a safe postulation.
Raito continues his tight hold onto his love, an unreasonable fear of losing the man appears out of nowhere. He did try to break his fall when he fell from that chair, didn't he? Only now their directions are reversed with him gazing upwards. A lump forms at his throat and a tear falls from the corner of his eye.
L looks down at the youthful face. His beautiful face. Those innocent eyes. The brilliant mind behind them. The childish personality that could almost match his own. The lithe body that completes the whole package. He loves them all. Every single part. Raito has become an essential part in his life. He brushes away the single tear from his precious. Somehow, a tear of his own slips down the bridge of his nose. Funny, he is not even sad.
"Thanks to Raito-kun, I'm not cold anymore."
"Wouldn't it be more efficient if these were out of the way?"
"Such impatience.. we have a lifetime ahead of us. I'm not letting you go."
"Neither am I."
- finis -
(note 1) The Copernican principle: minimum 1/39 x 1 year; maximum 39 x 1 year
-the 1 year there is the variable, you can put any timeframe there. I know it probably doesn't make sense, but hey..can't blame me for trying, huh..
Final Notes: So did you enjoy all the chapters? Which ending do you like better? Sigh..it's finally...over. I really don't know how to express my gratitude to you all, especially those who are still sticking with the story. You've got incredible patience (heh, you probably don't remember much about the details from the older chapters, do ya? ^^). If there is any part you're confused with, ask. If there's any part you don't like, yell. If you love me, do tell.
I actually had maybe 60 percent of this chapter done last year, then the months went by with me being brain dead. Finally filled in more details as I started to write again. Inertia is not just a term in physics. It is so true! I guess I was grateful to whatever gave me that spark of energy to start moving again.
How I wish I could put up some deleted scenes from the chapters, but it's an old fic and well, I've changed computers so I'm not sure if I've still got the original files. Besides, I edit the chapters on here mostly so... Still, I'll see if I can find anything interesting. If I do, I'll probably do an update here instead of creating an extra chapter. No promises though.
And... I want to dedicate this fic to former members of the DN7 forum. At least to those who enjoyed the story. This fic was born there. The forum was gone by the time I was up to chapter 7 or 8, or maybe 9. But really..what can last forever? L&Raito!
THANK YOU once again. - deep bow -
-M.H., Nov 1, 2009
Late note: I never did answer the question from Chapter 1, did I? Quite simple, if you did read/watch the series, or if you have read through this fic, you would notice L was monitoring Raito in his own house, so he must had taken that into consideration. And what is that? I'll leave that to your imagination. (added: Dec 8, 2009)