Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and the lyrics belong to Dashboard Confessional.

AN: This story is officially L/Raito.

'Font' – Character thoughts, mostly just Raito's, seeing as how it is kind of in his POV.

THIS CHAPTER HAS BEEN EDITED AS OF 3/22/09. PLEASE RE-READ!


VINDICATED

Chapter 4: The Shine of It has Caught My Eye

-

//It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. : The Chaos Theory, otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect //

-

Raito sat his desk staring blankly at his homework, homework that he vaguely remembered doing five years or so prior. He couldn't concentrate and though he would deny it if anyone had asked him…

The meeting with L had thrown Raito off balance.

He had already decided that he was going to try and avoid the two of them meeting, and the plan had obviously backfired. But the thing was… it was completely accidental. They just chose the exact same place to go, at the exact same time, on the exact same day.

Raito's disbelief over coincidence was waning. It seemed too well planned.

'Why is he here to begin with? For what reason is he in Tokyo of all places? He's an international detective. Is he working on a case?'

And then there was the fact that his only informant on the whereabouts of the Death Note was killed, which in truth did not strike Raito as too surprising; he had been expecting it after all.

But now he had to track down the group of drug users she mentioned and discover whether or not they were in possession of the note, which also meant he had to do a bit of digging, nosing, and some pretty well thought-out acting.

'This is going to be insanely troublesome.' He rubbed his temples warily.

-x-

When L returned to his hotel room, he immediately, as always, went to his computer and turned it on.

It was inevitable really, when the detective brought up a people search and typed in one lone name. With that one brief conversation, the boy got under his skin in a way that no one else had before. The feeling unnerved L just as much as it intrigued him. There was just something about the teen that didn't seem right, and the bells in L's head were ringing in warning.

The results to his search came up and he scanned the page in seconds.

Name: Yagami, Raito.

DOB: Jan. 28, 2006

Height: 179 cm (5'9')

Weight: 54 kg (119 lbs)

Blood Type: A

Occupation: Student

These would be the average results one would get when searching Yagami Raito, and L wasted no time digging further. He hacked into the main website of his high school and looked at his school profile.

There was slight surprise on the detective's face, followed by curiosity, when he discovered the extent of the student's genius. Not only had he never gotten a grade under a hundred percent, but he was obviously favored by the majority of his professors at the look at all the recommendations.

'Who is more intelligent, I wonder? Raito-kun or I?'

L imagined a game of chess wherein he was playing against the said boy. He watched himself mentally make the first move, placing a pawn one square forward and observed curiously at how the auburn haired teen across from him mirrored his same move.

-x-

There was an advantage of being the most intelligent student at school, other than the fact that he had almost all of the teachers in the school wrapped around his finger; he had access to files restricted to most of the student body.

Which was why he was in the main file room, stealing the profiles of his suspects. His third period teacher thought he was in the library studying for some imaginary exam.

'Sato Sato?'

He grabbed an immensely thick file compared to all the rest and eyed it carefully. 'Ah… the drug dealer…and Leiko's ex-boyfriend…'

With what little evidence he had, Sato seemed to be his prime suspect.

'This whole thing would be a lot easier if Misa just used her Shinigami eyes on them all.'

Truthfully, he had almost forgotten about his 'girlfriend', and though his first reaction was to not care at all, a part of him felt a tinge of guilt, which surprised him to say the least.

'First L, and now Misa? When did I start caring at all?' Raito furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.

'Speaking of which, if the new Death Note user has the Shinigami eyes I had better watch out. I'm getting too involved.'

Shrugging it off for the time being, and making a mental note to ponder on the matter later, he was about to leave the room, when interest struck as his eyes landed on the main file room's computer.

He walked toward it and leaned to see that the teacher who had used it last had forgotten to log off. Seeing it as an opportunity, Raito sat in the computer chair, and began to research more on Sato under the name of Admin. Minamizawa Daisuke.

As he finished scanning the information on his suspect, he became curious.

Clicking on the internet link, slowly, as if unsure, Raito typed in a single letter.

The result was expected; he'd found nothing. Nonsense Internet sites that had nothing to do with the person he was looking for. He didn't know why he even attempted such a meaningless search.

After all, this was L. It wasn't likely that he'd be publicized at all.

'Unless, of course…I narrow down the search to police records…'

Raito began typing, unable to stop himself. He wasn't quite sure why he was so intent on finding the detective. In fact, he wasn't exactly sure what he was looking for. But subconsciously, he knew why.

It was as though L was challenging him. Taunting him even. As if he was saying, 'catch me if you can.' The way Raito had done to L in the past.

And Raito was never one to back down from a challenge.

As fast as he was typing, he was already knee-deep in classified police records, but somehow managing to hide his tracks as went from file to file. He was doing quite well, until he happened upon a file entitled the 'Los Angeles BB Murder Cases'.

Curiosity overran sensibility as he clicked on the link without a second thought.

The document was detailed, but down to the point, Raito read it avidly. The case was of a serial murder in Los Angeles.

It was solved by none other then Naomi Misora, working secretly under supervision of L; the same woman whom he had written in the Death Note to commit suicide. It was no wonder why she had figured out his plan so quickly; she had worked with L beforehand.

As he read further, he stopped, eyes widening, when he came across the name of the criminal.

Rue Ryuzaki.

'That name... L's main alias. Why would he…What was so important about this criminal that he would take on the same name? A personal matter?'

Resting his chin on his palm he scrolled down to the end of the page until a pop-up box appeared on the screen. It was a chat box.

-

unknown: you are viewing classified information.

-

'Damn. How careless of me. Someone's caught on. Now what…?'

Debating on whether to reply or not, Raito decided to wait and see what the person would write next.

-

unknown: why this case in particular?

-

'Does this case mean something to this person? Is that why he or she put surveillance on it? It's probably set so that when anyone views it, it will alert him or her. Could it be Naomi? Or…maybe L himself?'

-

unknown: it would be wise to answer back

-

'And why is that?'

-

unknown: because if you don't, then i would have to track you down myself.

-

Raito narrowed his eyes. 'What makes you think that you can find me?'

-

unknown: you aren't as hard to find as you may think

-

He glanced down at the clock at the corner of the screen and saw that it was almost time for school to end. Looking back at the chat box, he smirked slightly and typed a single sentence before shutting down the computer.

-

---: Then go ahead and try.

-x-

Raito walked out of the room, files placed safely in his schoolbag, feeling very pleased with himself. So maybe he was being a tad bit overconfident over the whole matter, but he had a right to be.

'There's no way that guy could find me. I was using another log in, and my fingerprints will be unrecognizable by then. It's hopeless.'

The bell rang, and he tilted his head slightly to the side so that he could view the students outside pouring into the courtyard out of the corner of his eye as talking began to get louder.

He turned the corner, moving to the side as a pair of girls walked by chatting animatedly, and spotted a dark lit hallway to his right. 'I might as well.' He immediately made his way down it and noticed how all of the noise seemed to drift away.

A bitter odor began to be very apparent, and he refrained from rolling his eyes at the stupidity of his classmates for being so blatantly obvious, as he stopped in front of a door with an upside down men's bathroom sign.

Before pushing open the door, he looked down at his neat attire. 'Would it be smart to walk in looking like this? I definitely don't look like a drug user.'

The thought made him think of his suspicious family and he sighed before going ahead and opening the door.

Once inside, he was met with the pathetic sight of two unconscious teenagers on the floor, one sitting on a sink, and the other two, he suspected, were probably inside the stalls.

The air was polluted with smoke, which came as no surprise to the twenty-three year old turned teen, but what he didn't understand was why he saw no other sign of drug use in sight.

The one in the sink turned toward him belatedly, and Raito noted that the boy wasn't half as stoned as his friends were. His black hair reached his mid-neck with ragged-cut ends and his bangs covering the left half of his face were dyed blonde.

"And you are?"

Before he could answer, there was a loud sound of a flushing toilet and three, instead of two, of the stall doors were slammed open to reveal none other Sato Sato along with two other male students.

'I guess Aiko-san was wrong. There are six not five.'

One had his head hung low, making his shoulder-length coffee-colored hair conceal his face; the tips were dyed neon pink.

Further observation made it known to Raito that the other unknown student was the same person who had run into him the other the day. The one who had reminded him of L. He saw that his bangs were dyed as well, except white.

"Well, well, if it isn't Yagami Raito, golden boy and class favorite among his peers and professors alike. Never thought I'd see the likes of ya in a place like this," Sato drawled cynically slightly slurring his words.

"And why's that?" Raito questioned in a composed tone.

"Oh, I don't know," the teen tapped his chin and pretended to think, "maybe it's because you're always so goddamn perfect?"

"You sound jealous."

"Why you!" Sato shot back angrily.

"Oh, come on, Yoshi," the guy on the sink began as he hopped off it, "he hasn't done anything wrong." He sauntered over to Raito and offered a hand. "Why, hello there, gorgeous. I'm Cain."

It obviously wasn't his real name, but the daring glint in the other's eyes told Raito that he didn't want his real name to be revealed, which made him wonder what sort of business he was dealing with here as he shook the offered hand.

"Yagami Raito."

The other smirked slightly as he watched Raito shake his hand briskly before letting go. "Pleasure to meet you, Raito-kun."

Raito raised a brow at the 'Cain's' actions, unsure of what the other was trying to do.

"How'd you find this place anyway?" Sato before asked warily, "Nobody ever finds us here."

Raito shrugged, but in the back of his mind he scoffed. "Took a wrong turn."

"Oh," he replied dully.

"Wrong turn?" a voice from ahead spoke up. It was one of the guys on the floor; the both of them were now in a sitting position leaning against the tile wall and watching the scene before them with veiled eyes.

It was then, after making note of the identical set of faces and similar short and spiky ginger-colored hair that Raito noticed that they were twins. The only difference was the color dye. The one that had spoken before had dyed half of his hair orange, and the other had dyed the opposite half green.

"How very, very curious. Don't you agree, brother?" Green, Raito decided to call him, said.

"Indeed," Orange continued as if bored.

"What is your purpose here, Yagami-san?" Green inquired meeting Raito's reddish-brown eyes with his own murky hazel.

Raito shifted his gaze to each drug user discreetly, from Sato with his tousled purple streaks, to 'Cain' with his yellow bangs and the look alike L with his white ones, then to Pinkie, and lastly to Green and Orange.

"I-," Raito blinked, as his vision became blurred.

'Did they drug me?'

He took a step back and held his head with a hand before losing consciousness and falling.

'Cain', who was standing the closest, caught him easily. "Yoshi, you didn't slip him anything did you?"

"'Course not, 'ro!" Sato responded truthfully as he leaned over to stare at the unconscious teen. "Why would ya think that?"

"Well normal people don't just faint on a whim," Pinkie muttered under his breath.

"And you seem to have a grudge against him," the L look alike pointed out. He was staring at the unconscious teen with an odd gleam in his eyes.

"Maybe you scared him brother," Orange said while prodding his twin with his elbow. They had moved closer and joined the others in crowding the fallen student. "You can be pretty scary sometimes."

"Yagami-san does not seem the type to be frightened so easily," Green replied tilting his head to the side to stare more closely at Raito.

The six glanced at one another and then back down to the auburn-haired teen.

"He's really…" Sato trailed off not wanting to finish his sentence.

"…Attractive?" 'Cain' grinned knowingly and laughed at his friend's forlorn expression as the others nodded in agreement.

"Whatever," Sato muttered looking away.

"So what do we do with him?" Pinkie asked.

They pondered in silence until the L look alike spoke aloud.

"Can we keep him?"

-x-

It was two in the morning.

Watari watched L in concern as the detective dropped another cube of sugar into his coffee making the count twenty-three in total while gazing at his computer in earnest.

"Is something wrong L?"

Dark, almost black, gray eyes turn toward the older man in wonder. "Of course not, Watari. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you seem…troubled," the elder admitted as he observed the detective bring the small glass cup to his lips and take a sip.

"Oh," a small smile began to form on the pale face, "I'm fine." L turned back to his computer and began typing.

The smile made Watari even more worried. If there were anyone in the world that knew L best, it would be him. And that smile was not one of happiness; it was more one of…anxiety.

"I am planning on going somewhere later today. Can you please set up transportation for me, Watari?"

"Where to, L?"

"A high school."

-x-

Raito awoke to the familiar feeling of not knowing where he was, but with one small glance around the area, he concluded with disdain that he was in dreamland once again.

Everything was a nostalgic white.

The chain now free from its confinements in his blazer was just a sure reminder.

Following the length of the metal with half-lidded eyes, he wasn't as surprised as he was before when seeing his other self wearing the same thing as he sitting next to him staring into space.

'Hello again, Kira.'

This time, Raito could not hide the wince from his younger self.

'What?' He tilted his head to the side with a slight smirk. 'Don't like the name Kira anymore?'

'Why am I here?' Raito shot back but avoiding the prior question. 'Come to give me more advice?'

'Do you plan on actually listening to me this time?'

Raito said nothing in reply only played with the metal cuff attached to his wrist.

He was looking at Raito now, staring at him with his own reddish-brown eyes. 'I know you have not changed your mind. How is it that you still believe that you can purify this world? You're only human-'

'Why ask questions when you already know the answer?' Raito interrupted.

His other self shook his head. 'I can't read your mind here, Kira. Only when you're in the outside world or when I'm looking into your memories.'

Raito nodded in understanding. 'Well, I might only be human…Light-san,' his past self quirked a brow at the name, 'but that doesn't mean that that fact alone can restrain what I can do. If you had the ability to change the world you would,' Raito looked over and gave a bitter smile, 'I should know. After all, I was you once.'

'Light-san?' The other Raito questioned.

'I needed a way to distinguish the both of us. It's bizarre knowing that you're talking to yourself, but at the same time knowing that you're not that person anymore,' Raito divulged.

'Aa. I didn't think of that,' Light replied curiously, 'But why '-san'?'

'Because you're a stranger to me now,' was Raito's cynical response.

Light almost laughed at the irony. 'Then you have become a stranger to yourself.'

Raito nodded seriously not at all finding it funny. 'That's the way it seems,' he looked over at Light in speculation, 'Tell me, Light-san. I've been thinking about it, but nothing seems to make sense. How exactly did I get here? Who or what for that matter sent me back?'

Light grinned uncharacteristically at the question. 'I've been wondering when you'd ask.'

But before Raito could get an answer in return, he felt himself being woken once more, but this time back into reality, and all he could do was glare at his other self's grinning face as his vision began to blur.

-x-

"Guys, he's awake!"

There was a shuffling of footsteps, and Raito slowly opened his eyes and waited until they adjusted to the dim lighting in the room before looking around. It was then that he noticed the face only inches away from his. The other's startling eye color made him uncomfortable.

"Who are you?"

The person backed away and he saw that it was one of the drug users, the one with great similarity to L. "Where am I?" He asked cautiously as he gradually sat up to find that he was situated on a couch.

"I'm not allowed to say…" the other trailed off looking around at his surrounding companions whom Raito just noticed. They were all still wearing their school uniforms.

"Good job, Azuma, now he thinks we've kidnapped him," Sato, who was standing on the opposite side of the couch, bit out sarcastically.

Pinkie, Raito had dubbed him before, rolled his eyes. "Good job, Yoshi, now he knows his name. And second off, we kind of did kidnap him," he turned to Raito, "You can call me Sam."

The twins stepped up beside him and bowed before introducing themselves. "I'm Fred," Green began. "And I'm George," Orange followed after.

Cain waved at him from his spot across from him.

"Why give me aliases?" Raito asked, "If we go to the same school, I can just as easily find out who you really are. What use is the secrecy?"

"First off, it's a precaution. We've learned not to give our names out freely," Cain replied, "And second off, it's an added bonus for being a club member."

"Alright, you've got me here, you've told me your fake names, so, now what? Are you going to kill me?" Raito asked with his poker face in check. Inside, a feeling of dread coiled around his gut.

"No, quite the opposite actually. We want you to join our club." Judging by the expressions on the other's faces, the six had discussed and agreed on the matter beforehand.

"I don't do drugs," Raito pointed out.

"You can start," Cain replied grinning.

"I don't plan to."

"Well, now you put us in a hard position. We're offering you a place within our group, and you refuse us. And now that you have been exposed to what we look like, we have no choice but to-"

"-kill me?"

Cain faltered, and Azuma took the time to intercede. "You don't seem to be too frightened of the idea." His voice betrayed his curiosity, underlined with an indecipherable intent.

"The idea of death?" the auburn haired student questioned, mostly to himself. Raito closed his eyes briefly, memories flashing vividly beneath eyelids without his consent. A black notebook. A pen. A name. A face. That was all he had ever needed in order to kill.

When he opened them again, he locked eyes with Azuma. The other had been studying him closely, his thumb raised to his lip in a thoughtful stance. Raito looked away.

"Of course I'm frightened by it. I'm only human." It was an ironic thing to say, especially since his past self had called him such in his dream.

"Only human," Azuma repeated slowly, tasting the words, before a small smile appeared on his face, "Is that what you are?" The look-alike chuckled to himself softly in amusement, as though he knew something no one else knew and said nothing more.

Unnerved, Raito turned to look back at Cain who had been observing the short exchange with something akin to apprehension. "You have yet to explain why you desire my membership in this so-called club of yours."

"Do we really need a reason?" Cain asked with a chipper voice, no trace of his former emotion. "Maybe we just like you!"

"Like me? You don't even know me," Raito ascertained with incredulity.

"We know enough," Sato piped up. Raito did not like the sound of that.

"I am not joining your club," he said with finality.

"Then you leave us with no choice," Cain put in. A look of mischief crossed his face and he turned toward the other members, "Why don't we all discuss what we should do with Yagami-san?"

Raito watched carefully as they all gathered in a far corner of the room, before taking a look around.

From what he could tell, it was a basement. The walls were brick, and the ceiling cemented. It was pretty spacious, enough room to fit in a couple of couches, a TV, and a refrigerator.

And there was a low open window right next to the couch. If worst came to worst, that was his first solution. Glancing at his watch, he saw that it was already four in the morning. School would start in three hours.

Raito looked around beside him for his bag and found it on the floor next to his feet; he quickly grabbed it. 'I can't believe they didn't even hide this.'

Suddenly, he felt eyes on him, and he turned quickly to the other males in the room only to see them look away. Unease quickly began to form.

'What exactly have I gotten myself into?'

They slowly broke apart from the small circle they had created and turned to face him; he instantly took note of a small box being carried by Sato.

'Drugs…'

"Okay, Yagami," Sato spoke with a devious smirk clearly evident on his pale face, "We will let you leave with your life, but under a few conditions."

"What…?" Raito asked guardedly.

"Well…" he drawled.

Narrowing his eyes Raito spoke indignantly, "If it has anything to do with that box you are holding, then no."

At first Cain looked surprised that he even noticed it and then shook it off just as quickly as his smile became just a tad darker. "Do you think you have a say in the matter?"

"Still not doing it."

"All you have to do is get stoned once, just once, and then we give you a dare and you have to fulfill it," Sam explained as if it was nothing.

Raito scoffed. "And what does this dare entail exactly? I'm not stupid enough to put myself in a life threatening situation." He eyed the window again. 'If any of these guys have the Death Note, then I'm in trouble...'

"You're already in a life threatening situation," Fred pointed out.

'They're still pretty far away. I can make a run for it, but I don't know my exact location and if I wander the streets for too long, they'll catch me.'

"So you'd rather let us kill you?" George asked.

"Just do it, Yagami-san!" Azuma insisted with a touch of concern. Raito felt his gaze turn to him thoughtfully. 'This guy…'

"What's the dare?"

"You have to jump off a building," Sam said bluntly.

Raito shot them all a skeptical look. "No."

"Not just any building, but the Police Headquarters," Fred informed him, "After you get on top of the building, one of us will alert the police of your intention. Then you'll jump off the building and into the net they have prepared, and you're free to go."

"That is…the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You actually expect me to comply with such terms?"

"No."

"Yes."

"That's the idea."

"Well, yeah."

"If you want to live."

"I would."

Everyone stared at Azuma, being the only one who said 'no', and watched as he blinked at them innocently. "I was being honest."

"So basically you want me to jump off of the police headquarters building because you believe that I would find it humiliating on account of my father being chief," Raito said as he slowly, and without detection, inched towards the window.

"So, your answer?" Cain asked, not denying it.

Raito shuffled his feet, readying himself to jump out the window, but he pretended to look at them with a calculating look before replying.

"Hell no."

And with that, he propelled himself from his spot on the couch and towards the window, successfully escaping the room's confinements. The others were too shocked to move at first, but seconds afterwards, sprinted after him.

Adrenaline fueled his every action. And he took only a moment to see that he ended up in an alleyway before running down it with great speed. Turning the corner and ending up on a sidewalk, he quickly looked at the street sign and saw that he was near the school.

Cursing, and hearing footsteps behind him, he sped up and turned left.

Raito stole a glance behind him and saw that his pursuers were meters behind him, Fred and George leading the pack.

'I can't keep this speed up for long. Hopefully a car will pass by and I can ask them for help.'

The chase continued for twenty more minutes, before Raito began to lose his breath. After going at an all out sprint for so long and without practice, he wasn't surprised. And there was the fact that he was giving himself unnecessary strains by making his body move as though he was still twenty-three and not seventeen.

And they were just getting closer.

'Now what?'

And like a beacon of light, a pair of headlights came into view and he swiftly detoured towards it waving his arms to stop the car from going any further. If he had taken a moment to glance at the car, he would have noticed a certain familiarity and run the other way.

The brakes were heard screeching, and Raito let out a sigh of relief when one of the passenger doors opened. He quickly entered the vehicle, closing the door behind him; he didn't breathe at all until he heard the car moving once more.

Eyes closed and taking slow, deep breaths, he didn't even think once of who was in the car with him, until a deathly recognizable voice spoke up in alarm.

"Yagami-kun?"

Raito froze on spot, but his thoughts were racing. 'Fucking coincidences...'

Knowing that it was inevitable, but still dreading every second of it, he unhurriedly opened his eyes only to spot L sitting on his toes with his knees meeting his chest like Raito knew he always did.

"Ah!" He said in a pretend relieved yet shocked voice. "You're the man who called the ambulance at the café!"

L nodded slowly, still staring curiously at Raito with his wide eyes. "Whom were you running from?"

"Classmates. We had…a disagreement," Raito answered cryptically refusing to meet the other's eyes as he stared at the driver's seat before him. 'Watari is driving this car…Out of all the cars in Japan that could have passed by it just had to be this car. Why are they in my school area anyway?'

"Those classmates of yours were holding knives, Yagami-kun."

"Yes they were." 'Hm. If they were really planning on killing me, and one of them had the Death Note, then that person would not have run after me...he would have killed me instantly instead. I haven't gotten anywhere.'

"It must have been one serious disagreement," L said indifferently.

"That it was," Raito answered, not giving anything away. 'He is not getting anything out of me.'

L quickly caught on to Raito's evasive behavior and changed the subject. "Where would you like us to drop you off? My driver, William, won't mind."

'L was very cautious with names even before the Kira case, it seems.' "My house, please," he told them his address. 'Watari might already be an alias, but since that is the name of the man who assists the detective, L, he doesn't want the two to be linked back to him. Speaking of which, I wonder what name he'll give me this time.'

"I forgot to ask you before, but what is your name?" Raito asked in an all-innocent tone.

The detective's gaze was unwavering. "Hideki Ryuga."

'Ah, the movie star pseudonym. I thought he had only used that because Kira needed a name and a face, and I could not help but picture the actor when writing down the name.'

"It's a pleasure to formally meet you, Hideki-san. This would be the second time you've helped me. Thank you."

"You're welcome," there was a slight pause before L went right to the point of his interest, "Not to seem rude, Yagami-kun, but you don't seem the type to run away from a fight."

Raito looked at him in question. "You barely even know me. How would you be able to decipher my type by a mere passing of words?"

L smiled as if humored. "I'm very good at reading people."

"I see. Well, you're right," he locked eyes with the detective, "I'm not one to run. But unnecessary conflict is troublesome. And being as I was in a tricky situation, I avoided it."

"So you took the easy way out?" 'Another interrogation in disguise as conversation.'

"I value my life more than my pride," was Raito's answer.

"Then you are a smart man," L replied grabbing a plastic bag next to him filled with sweets and opening a package inside. He looked pointedly at Raito's left arm and cocked his head to the side. "Yagami-kun, do you normally wear handcuffs as an accessory?"

'Of all the damn things…'

Raito looked down at his arm to find that the chain had unraveled itself at some point during the chase and was now hanging limply at his side. He never wanted more than to smack himself in the head. "No, my classmates thought it amusing."

Before he could stop him, L had reached over Raito's side and had the chain close in observation. "Interesting. You say those guys chasing you did it?"

"Yes." 'Shit. What if that chain is specially made by L, and him alone?'

"We must have gotten it at the same place then," L said softly, "I own an exact replica."

'He knows. He knows. He knows. How am I supposed to explain this one?'

"For what reason would you need handcuffs for?" Raito inquired in hopes of getting L on the spot.

"Amusement," he simply replied while dropping a pink candy into his mouth.

Raito turned to look out the window and saw that they were nearing his house. "You wouldn't happen to own the key then would you? I'd rather not walk around with this on."

"How unlucky. I did not bring it with me. Perhaps, I can drop it off another time," L offered. But, Raito got the idea he would not be seeing that key any time soon.

'Wonderful. More quality time with the person I'd most like to avoid.'

"That would be very helpful, thanks." The car came to a stop at his home and Raito moved to open the door as L dropped the chain. "You know where I live, so stop by anytime you'd like. Goodbye, Hideki-san."

L nodded in parting and watched as the teen closed the door and walked to the front of his house before the front door opened and a frantic mother let him in.

Watari started the car again. "L, who was that young man?"

The dark-haired man shook his head. "I'm not sure yet…but, his name is Yagami Raito."

"The chief of police's son?"

L nodded, but he wasn't really paying attention. 'Those handcuffs…they were made especially by Watari for special cases. How is it that Yagami Raito is in possession of them? Impossible.'

"Do you still want to go to the high school?" Watari asked.

"Yes. There's something I need to look into."

-x-

As soon as the door closed behind him, Raito mentally prepared himself for the onslaught.

"Raito! Where were you?" Sachiko questioned in a loud and panicked voice. "It's five in the morning! You didn't come home from school, and you didn't call to tell us you were okay!"

Sayu was tearing up beside her mother. "We thought you were dead, Onii-chan! Like those two girls from your school!"

Raito was frozen in momentary silence as he watched his mother and sister do a combination of crying and yelling all at once.

'This is…'

"You are so inconsiderate, Onii-chan!!" "Raito, you worried us so much!"

'Is this how they reacted when I…when I died?' He remembered not caring much for his family. He remembered using them selfishly as Kira. He remembered…almost writing down his father's name in the Death Note…

The hysterical crying continued and the two females latched on to his body in a tight hug.

'I'm sorry…'

"I'm so sorry."


AN: Continuing his search for the Death Note, Raito is confronted by a suspect, which leads to a daring escape, followed up by an unintentional rescue by none other than L. The question is though, who really sent Raito back? And what shall L do with the bewildering information he has discovered?

Next chapter: Stalking club members, disguised detectives, and one very confused Raito.

L is for love. And love is for reviews.