Desideratum: Chapter 13
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.
L had never been the sort of man to put much judgment in physical appearance, unless such an endeavor was relevant to the process of formating a criminal profile. Yet despite the fact that Light Yagami was the perfect criminal, L himself could not help but look and completely comprehend how Light was handsome and confident in a way that surely only a cold blooded killer could be. The white button-down dress shirts that the young man was accustomed to donning had a way of giving Light an outer air of intelligence, grace and more than anything (or perhaps because of everything), power. When he had the choice, Light dressed so pressed and ironed, with the collar folded and shirt straightened and head held high to make him a vision of adolescent flawlessness. Even when the shirt was untucked, loose and casual, there was nothing unprepared about the cool composure of his face, the acknowledgment of himself that made him already border on divinity.
Perfection was the precursor to the most brutal of sins. Perfection, like power, corrupted absolutely and such was the force that made the gods indiscernible from tyrants, and such was the force that made a boy's head easily sway by terrible dreams of blood baths and revolutions. Dreams of idealism were what twisted a child's face into a smirk in the face of sorrow, and fired the brilliant glint of crimson in his tawny eyes.
As for L, he knew that he was terrible too. Because when he tore at the buttons of that white dress shirt, sending a pearly piece of plastic flying across the room from a broken thread, what he was thinking about was stripping Light Yagami of his wings and leaving him grounded forever with the rest of the humans who knew they were doomed to Earth for eternity. The humans who were only humans and wise enough – dead enough – to accept their own existences as irrelevant in a merciless universe. When the shirt was finally untangled from Light's arms, L threw it in a messy heap on the floor – to let it be forgotten until the morning.
Light was sprawled before him on the mattress, his arms laying carelessly on the pillows. He tilted his chin upward and gave the impression of looking down at L, even though L was the one standing up. He smiled, unconcerned, and hardly bothered moving as L next hastily unwound his belt and worked the zipper of his khaki pants. Like even L himself was now Light's servant, doing his bidding as the god rested against a bed of white silk.
But L didn't care what was going through Light's head for the moment. He knew what he wanted, and he knew that he could, he would have it.
"You know, I know you lied to me about the train tickets to Winchester being available at earliest tomorrow," Light's tenor voice rumbled. "You've found convenient distractions ever since we left Tokyo."
L's fingers curled around the elastic band of Light's white boxers, and he paused to peer again at this youth from under the wild dark bangs that half-clouded his vision. As Light lay on the pale blankets of the London hotel bed, calmly, rich brown hair spilling in a halo around his head against the sheets, L thought if a god existed, such a thing must be him at these moments. After all, L was – had been – certain that gods were the elaborate inventions of humanity, to provide the much yearned answers to a desolate existence; had been until he saw a haunting, looming God of Death for himself. Perhaps both perceptions suited Light in his vast perfected self. If gods were man-made spectacles who harnessed the hopes of millions through promises of judgment upon the wicked, such a thing was Kira. If gods were confused, cruel creatures who saw little value in the human life and could kill without a second thought from a place far away, such a thing was Light.
But such perceptions remained subjective, remained in the angle that one chose to look upon the being on the pedestal. Crush the pedestal, clip the feathers from the wings of angels and underneath all the splendor, the show of brilliance and goodness there is always a human. An actor, even an actor who believes his own script and rehearsed lines. And when you have a human, you have someone you can conquer and someone who you can actually have faith in – that is, have faith in the fact that they are fallible and they can die. Because what else was certainly real, and certainly something that Lawliet could comprehend?
Here, he had Light Yagami.
Resentment made L smirk, pulling the undergarments down and exposing Light for a human. He leaned forward, casting shadows against Light's body and lowering his chin until it cradled on his torso, at eye level with him. He murmured, "Or perhaps we tarried too long at the duck pond for all our sins?"
The younger man raised himself on his elbows, if only so that he was a head higher than L. "There's something that you're afraid of in Winchester. Why don't you tell me?"
Instead of an answer, L's tongue slipped out of his mouth, lapping silently against Light's slim stomach. He tasted and smelt of soap – anticipating the sex, Light had taken a shower beforehand and would take a shower again after. Like the others, this was a five star hotel, the best of the best that was available on such short notice, and the soap had a rose fragrance that made images of English countryside gardens float through L's mind. And Light (always Light), Light walking through the gardens with his white shirt and a hand extended to the world's victims, like a god in Earth for a temple.
Clip the wings of the angels and what's left is...
"Hhhn!" The hiss exhaled through Light's gritted teeth as L bit down on his thigh. It was controlled in his jaw, not tight enough to draw blood but held with the grip of a wolf. Light grabbed L's hair immediately, winding his fingers into his scalp and pulling. When L hand slid down Light's stomach, tracing against his pelvis bone and then latching on to his testicles, Light's grip lessened slightly. In turn, L unclenched his jaw, licking where there were now deep teeth imprints. With his hand he began to massage the area, roughly, but with precision that made Light inhale. It was almost like an experiment, and certainly a learning opportunity like any other. L was learning what made Light gasp, what made beads of sweat trickle down his brow, and such a sight was something he valued the moment he said those supposedly self-identifying words to him: I am L...
With his free hand, he untwisted the lid of the small complimentary lotion bottle that he had found on the nightstand. Carefully, he managed to squeeze some of the cream onto his fingertips, and as he brought the hand to Light's bottom, he also moved his mouth to the bottom of Light's shaft. Softly, he pressed his lips against it, almost like a kiss, and lingered there more to make Light go mad with anticipation than to take things slowly. Finally, he widened his lips and began sucking, still massaging with the other hand, and making Light pull against his hair in an effort to bring him closer. When he hardened, L allowed his lotion-bearing finger to gently intrude into him, massaging the entrance well before adding another.
L tightened his hand around Light and raised his face to look at him. Light's eyes were tightly closed and he was gripping the bedsheets. His cheeks were lightly flushed. At the pause, he opened an eye and somehow managed to smirk. "Of all the cruel things..."
"There are crueler things, Light-kun. I was only making sure that you were all right..." L leaned upward against Light's stomach, kissing and sucking against his chest. He curled the two fingers inside of Light, and after an adjustment he hit the place that he wanted to hit and not even Light could keep completely silent. To intensify the feeling, he moved his hand on Light's groin more quickly. The sigh that Light made then was something content, like a cat stretching in the sun, and with his eyes closed again L thought he'd never seen Light so seraphic.
But I will pull you out of the sky...
"I want you to say my name, Light-kun," L said after pushing in another finger, causing Light's eyelids to flutter open and reveal the glazed brown, like cream swirling in English tea. "When that feeling overwhelms you, you will say my name. ...Do you understand?"
...so you can be with me.
Of course Light heard every word, he was not a man to let any detail go unnoticed, especially not in concerns to his pursuer. But he shifted, lifting his shoulders, and mumbling purposefully to change the topic, "I should turn over. Won't it be easier that way?"
"Did it hurt last time?"
"A bit..." Yet Light's tone was far from convincing, ringing with the unsteadiness of ecstasy from the pleasure as L's hands brought him closer to orgasm.
"It'll be easier like this." L abruptly pulled out his fingers from Light's bottom and used the hand to direct Light's legs around his back. He hoisted them high around his shoulders so that Light's lithe body was half suspended in the air. Light caught on quickly and crossed his ankles, his knees bent around L's shoulders and L raised Light's hips under the weight of them. As Light adjusted, L rubbed a handful of lotion into his own member, touching it and grimacing against his own throbbing arousal. "Ah... it's just that..."
Light's head was turned to the side against the pillow, tousled hair beginning to stick to his cheeks and forehead. As L put both hands on his hips to adjust for the penetration, Light's now-wide eyes rolled upward to L.
"...I want to see your face."
Before any kind of response could be uttered from the adolescent's half-parted lips, L began to push inside. Light's irises wildly flickered from L's hips to L's face to the ceiling and back again, and a grimace found its way on his face. It was an expression that was hard to read, though doubtfully any more than the shock of adjusting to L's girth advancing inside of him. If it meant more, L was beyond caring. The burning tightness wrapped around him, as dangerous and wonderful as Eve's forbidden fruit. He flushed, exhaling in a ragged breath as the tight entrance pressed against the pulsing length. Everything around him seemed to go dark, forgotten, and there was only Light – Kira, absorbing all the color and light that the rest of the room had forsaken.
It was all he could do to pause to allow Light a few precious seconds to accommodate. Light's breath came out short, scattered hisses between gritted teeth and he was still curling his fingers tightly into the sheets, making every effort to keep from crying out. L went further in, which caused Light to throw his head back on the pillow, neck arched, and a muffled keen escaping him. Yet, when L dared to hesitate, if more to soak up the frantic expression on the other's face than for sympathy, the younger man snarled a go! Keep going!
L thrust hard, losing any kind of restraint that he might have previously had. Nothing else mattered except connecting to this person in the ultimate intimacy, pouring in all of his frustrations and desires into a single point that enveloped the tattered remnants of logic. He leaned forward, landing against the mattress on his knees and bending Light's lower half further forward until his knees were close to his shoulders. Here, the aroma of salt filled L's nostrils and he could see the moisture of desperation dribbling down the other's brow and catching in his eyelashes. The heat was almost too much to bear, but there was no turning back now – he thrust again.
His hips thrashed against Light. At first, the overwhelming sensation from the slick, narrow passage made his movements erratic, untamed. Light moaned, sending a jolting shiver down L's back, but he would have been a fool to take the noise as a submission. Light wrapped his legs even more tightly around L's torso and pulled him forward, forward and in further than ever before. White lights flashed in L's eyes, but he wasn't finished yet. With Light's legs entwining their two bodies together, L continued with a mutually established rhythm, in a cycle that Light reciprocated with his own time.
It was difficult to conceive, when the were both wet with sweat and hot with lust, that they were looking at Death with their half-lidded eyes.
Or that the watch on Light's wrist was still ticking.
(tick, tick, tick...)
With a sudden snapping jerk of his pelvis, L hit into Light and found a place that made the youth's face surge with electricity and cry out. Dazed but encouraged, L burrowed his fingers into Light's hips, cupping around his bottom to maintain the angle. Light's upper teeth were gnashing into his lower lip in a futile effort to stifle his cries, causing them to come out in a harsh uh, ahh, uhnn. L could feel the breath against his cheeks, and the sound put a rush of lust aching throughout his body. He tightened his grip, trembling now with the insatiable longing to both satisfy himself and rip cries from his doomed seraph.
"Ryuu-..." Light began to choke out. "Ah, L..."
At the peek of his hardness, a tremendous shudder coursed through L's spine. He spasmed and his vision went blurry. Everything was like a bed of clouds except Light. Light the harbinger, the criminal, the boy who thought he could take wing and claim the sky when their business was complete. Could he? Could he make the world his, if L had let him go unhindered? The question was a paradox, so thoroughly flawed in itself, so ironically mistaken because he would never – could never – let Light go. Just as Light had been unable to let him go. Too badly they needed to destroy one another, too desperately and, in the tightness that connected him to his doom, he wondered if he wanted Winchester to end their journey. The thought made L convulse again, convulse and shake until he couldn't hold on any longer.
L spilled himself into Light, a stream of hot semen. He gasped as he came, and his muscles seemed to go completely numb. Releasing his fingers, he went to take Light's member into his hands despite feeling light-headed, but the efforts were almost pointless. Light bucked his hips into the air and cried out.
The word overcame him.
It overcame him and with a shock in his chest he fell forward into the sticky ejaculation pooled on Light's stomach. Simultaneously his head was heavy and empty, he couldn't lift it from Light's panting chest. For a moment, he felt as thought he couldn't breathe.
And then the moment was more than just a moment.
Burning, burning. The world was spinning in a blur of color.
"Lawliet?" Light whispered then, slowly folding his arms around L and tightening them into an embrace. "..Are you...?"
But before Light could choose the end of his sentence, L recovered and pressed forward with his elbows and tangled his fingers into Light's hair. He caught his mouth and poured kisses upon his lips, sucking and searing and needing until all energy was gone and they could only lay there, silent but alive, and forgetting themselves in the pounding of their heartbeats.
It was colder today, with a new splash of white snow glittering in the afternoon sun, but Misa felt as though she were the only one who noticed. In the Harvard area, the streets were filled with young students – scholars who wanted to read their books and lead their protests, so threw on knit scarves and hats and went on with their lives. The young model shivered, blowing out a breeze of pale breath in a sigh, and made her way through the crowds while trying to keep her balance on the iced sidewalks. Behind her, Ryuk lazily drifted along through the air with his tattered black wings outspread, casting invisible shadows against the bright sky.
They had agreed to meet at a coffee shop. Starbucks, Misa read carefully in English letters before she entered, while thanking the gods that she could at least read the foreign alphabet, if not much more than that. After stepping inside to a sudden change in atmosphere, she stomped her feet on a black mat until her designer boots were free of snow and unwound her scarf from covering her nose. It'd be awhile before she was warm, but at least there was hot coffee waiting. Someday later – soon, she told herself – she could laugh with Light about how she endured the weather in America.
For now, though, she had to focus on the mission at hand, and so she scanned the faces and the red-lettered names above the heads of everyone in the small shop. When she saw who she was looking for, she turned the other way and headed toward the counter. The clerk smiled and said something she didn't understand, and Misa pointed to what looked like a picture of a large sized latte. The total price showed up in green numbers on the till, and Misa fished out the appropriate number of bills and coins out of her purse. She tapped her foot as she waited for the clerk to finish making her drink, and she knew that he was watching her.
"Teru," Misa responded informally without bothering with honorifics, slipping across from him at the table. He had visibly scooted over to accommodate her if she had chosen to sit at the same side as he, but Misa would have none of that. Even if neither Light nor Teru Mikami would ever know the full truth, she ached for her beloved Kira, and could only tribute her longing with determined chastity. She crossed her legs at the thighs and folded her arms.
Despite his obvious respect for etiquette, Mikami didn't seem offended by so suddenly being on a casual first name basis with her. His face lit up just to see her, though, Misa could recognize that the look of adoration was not for her, but for Kira himself, and Misa was only the intermediary. To her, it was easily recognizable, because it was identical to her own face after Kira had punished her family's murderer. "Are you well?"
Misa wished she could answer honestly, and heave a sigh and complain that she didn't know more than three words in English, and she couldn't understand these American customs, it was too cold, and above all she missed Light so terribly that it hurt. But complaining was not only inappropriate, it was cheap. She was serving a great purpose for Kira. What more could she want? "You're doing well, Teru," she said instead. "Kira is pleased."
"He... what did he say?" Teru's fingers curled tightly into his styrofoam coffee cup, nails making indents but mercifully not quite piercing it. His eyes darted around the bustling shop, and he leaned forward and spoke in soft, hasty Japanese. "Is God satisfied? Does he have new instructions?"
"Only to continue."
After they had finished their coffee, she smiled and waved when they parted ways, playing her part as an actress in Light's grand production. Teru Mikami smiled back, beaming, and seemed to have no idea that God was sending his child to be crucified. Or maybe, somewhere deep inside, Teru knew, but it was a purpose he gladly served.
An expendable tool who offered his body, heart and soul to the god he believed in, knowing full well that he might never get them back.
Misa thought, as she arrived back in her hotel room and hooked up the voice scrambler and prepared an audio tape to send to the police, that she really wasn't much different. The only difference was that Teru Mikami thought Kira was indestructible. But Misa prayed to every god she could think of – even to Kira – that Light would forever be safe, because deep inside, she knew that her savior was just a boy. But somewhere less deep inside, she told herself she had nothing to worry about.
"Hyuk, hyuk," Ryuk rumbled. "Things are really going to get exciting now."
It wasn't L shifting and leaving the bed that woke up Light in the morning. It wasn't the soft noises L made as he took a shower and put on a pair of pants. It wasn't even when L knelt beside him on the mattress, leaning down to him with one hand against his cheek and nipping light kisses against his neck. This, Light could endure with a sleepy groan, and he could curl into L's naked waist and accept the comforting warmth of another human body. When L said his name gently, his full name, he burrowed his face into his pillow and restfully zoned him out. Fingertips brushed down his spine, trying to pull down the blankets, but Light yanked them back up again and was ready to drift back into heavy sleep for another hour at least.
What woke him up was the television, quietly buzzing across from him.
"-American president David Hoope has stated officially last night that they have taken Kira into custody, but has not released any name nor further details. The International Police Criminal Organization, the ICPO, has also issued a public statement that they will ensure this matter is looked into internationally and with cooperation from representatives worldwide. Again, no details-"
Light froze up at the news with a sudden awakening, a hot thrill rushing through his body and tensing every muscle he had. Beyond all luck, Misa had actually succeeded in his instructions of scouting out a new Kira who existed solely to be a scapegoat. With a fake Death Note and pages filled with his handwriting, no more evidence would be needed to arrest him after Misa tipped off the police as to his identity. The X-Kira would be interrogated, initially as to his role as Kira. The man may or may not deny it, and he may claim that he had only been using the notebook for a few days, which was true, but the United States probably wouldn't let him so easily off the hook. When interrogation got harsh, X-Kira might be inclined to mention Misa's false name and describe her features to plea bargain, but Misa would kill him within a few days with her own Death Note. Without L working the case, focus from Japan would relocate to America.
It just could be enough to distract Interpol and the task force from the fact that the thirteen day rule no longer assured the innocence of Light Yagami. It would certainly be enough to ensure that, thirteen day rule failure or not, his father and the other Japanese police would reject any doubts they had previously had about Light being Kira. They knew Light himself wasn't killing now, and Light had L himself as a witness to that. When L found his name, he would drop dead of a heart attack – Light was relying on Ryuk's speculations to him on that day that felt so long ago now. L's 'real name' was in the Death Note, and though Light didn't like that he was in a vulnerable position by working so directly with L, he supposed L of all people deserved all of the effort he was putting in. After L was out of the way, Light would sobbingly call his father and tell him what happened, and his dad would quickly have him sent home to Tokyo. Light could even tell the task force why L was dead, certainly not any fault of Light's, and they would bury their grief and proceed to work with Interpol in American investigation as Misa continued to make false notebooks and recruit new Kiras.
America would be dealt with when Misa killed President Hoope. Misa would send a video to the White House and give her regrets, but state firmly that America must no longer hunt Kira. Once America was tossed off the board, the rest would crumble. Interpol would be more difficult to subdue because of the strict confidentiality anti-Kira measures they had taken, but if their supporting countries gave in to the reign of Kira they had no reason (nor funds) to continue.
From there, it would be a never-ending process. They would continue to capture Kiras, who soon after being taken into custody, would die. Kira would reign so long as Light could control the Japanese task force and steer clear of suspicion against Misa. As for suspicion against him... well, who could accuse him when criminals were being punished while he was living at home again under the supervision of his father?
L's kisses trailed downward against his neck, hitting him in a crook that made Light squirm. It tickled, but rather than admit it, he pushed L's face away with his shoulder and sat up, nestling himself in L's arms to keep the man satisfied.
"Kira's caught?" Light asked, putting sleepiness into his voice and resting his head against L's chest as though he were too tired to care. "That can't be..."
The detective pressed a palm into Light's cheek to hold him against him, fingers winding loosely into his hair. "America says it is so," L replied softly. "That doesn't mean it's true."
"But you know," he insisted, breaking his eyes away from the television and craning his head upward to peer at L, whose head rested against the headboard. Light allowed himself to sound more and more awake with every second as to illustrate a sense of excitement. It almost seemed useless now, but he had to act the part of the unfairly accused who wanted nothing more than have his name cleared. "Lawliet! Could Kira really be caught? Is it the real Kira?"
"Shh, Light-kun," L hushed, adjusting his knees so that they stood upright on either side of Light's body, and Light was laid against him. An arm wrapped around Light's chest, laxly bent at the elbow and fingers lightly pressing around his ribs. "It's difficult to know what the real Kira is planning, but he's made an interesting move."
"You aren't even considering that it might be Kira..."
"I believe that the person who was captured will be dead soon, or else will lose all of his memories of the Death Note." L paused, listening to the television repeating itself with breaking news. "And that the real Kira means to fool us all."
It didn't matter at this point what L thought, so long as he kept his apathetic behavior consistent, but Light exhaled. "So this is all completely meaningless."
"It's not useless. It's a move that could either help Interpol trace the real Kira, or could help Kira terminate his opposition. But in the end..." The voice trailed off, and there was a soft thud as L shifted his head back into the wooden headboard behind him. He hesitated with a moment of unfinished silence, until finally he said, "In the end, everything is meaningless."
But as he spoke, his arms winded tightly around Light, and when he was quiet again they didn't loosen. Light's breath caught, and for a few minutes he allowed L to hold him in silence. L was unhappy. Light could feel it as easily in his murmurs as in the slow rise and fall of his chest and the passive beating of his heart inside.
Light was inclined to agree. Yes, there were many things that were meaningless, and many things that should not be lingered upon.
Decisively, he turned over, sitting on his knees and resting his stomach against L's. He leaned forward to set one hand upon L's shoulder and the other in the curve between his cheek and his neck, tangling a bit in his soft hair that looked like midnight even as the morning light sprinkled in through the window.
"It'll be okay," he lied gently for reasons he didn't think about, and tenderly brushed his lips against L's own.
"What do you think of that?" Diane Wittlinger asked while flaunting a wide smirk after. Though the live broadcast of American President Hoope had aired hours ago announcing Kira's capture in America, the offices had been busy with reports, files and other classified information coming in from America. Akiyama Takahashi looked pale, much to Diane's delight, and she leaned over his desk with a palm planted on the wood. "Our American agents have already confirmed the man's identity as a Teru Mikami. In no way related to Soichiro's boy."
Akiyama didn't answer. He didn't even look in her direction. He stared at his computer screen, but his eyes were too dark. He was trying to work something out in his head, trying to account for a thousand unknown details, and Diane knew full well at least some of the problems he was facing.
"You might not be head of investigation anymore," she threw out, knowing it would agitate him to hear. "America will want to take over."
"Teru Mikami is from Japan." The words were slow, and controlled, but not quite certain.
There was another way to go with this one – destroy the theory that he had staked his position on. "Exactly. Kira is from Japan, just like L said about the original Kira."
Then the Japanese representative turned, fire in his eyes and spitting out his words like venom. "No, you idiot! Don't you think I read the dossiers?! Teru was studying in America at the time of Kurou Otoharada's death! If you had listened to a damn thing L said, you would know that Otoharada's death was only reported in Japan, and Kira responded to a live broadcast aired only in the Kantou region. Mikami's not Kira. He's just a fuckin' lackey."
Diane hissed, her long nails digging into her palms as she clenched her fists. "What do you want me to do then? Tell Hoope to piss himself and keep his fake Kira? How do you think the public will respond when we tell them that this isn't Kira after all, when everyone's celebrating? Morale and government confidence hasn't been this high since the name 'Kira' crept into our dictionaries!"
"I don't care what Hoope does or what anyone thinks. But what you'll do is tell him to piss himself and then bring his fake Kira to me. I myself will find out exactly what's going on, and how this relates to Light Yagami."
"Go ahead and find out how it relates to Light Yagami!" she snarled. "Because I'm telling you, your superiors and very, very curious why you're wasting time and money chasing after some teenage brat when the United States has a genuine murder notebook in their possession. Now you want to tell the President to let you have Mikami? Who in God's name do you think gave you that authority?"
Akiyama stared at her sharply, before straightening his tie and standing up. "L will," he said, and then was gone.
With large white snowflakes dancing lazily down from the clouds, the streets of London were chilly. More than that, however, they was messy. The weather was just warm enough to wet the snow, and the result was a sloppy mess of mud on the ground. L amused himself as they walked toward the station by watching Light try to step around the puddles, and even after his shoes were brown and soaked, he still stubbornly tried to reduce the further damage. The urge to accidentally kick the adolescent and send him splashing into the sidewalk was tempting, albeit childish, but L had never claimed to be particularly mature.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Light demanded as he sidestepped around some slush that L had marched carelessly through.
"What do you mean?" L asked innocently, and then pointed out, "This is how I always look at you."
"No. That's the look you gave Misa the first time you met her. Right before you had her apprehended. So naturally you're making me uncomfortable."
L outwardly scoffed and inwardly chuckled, and Light smiled too. Light's smile was sly, with the twist of his lips and the furrowing of an eyebrow that L had come to learn spoke as well as in words that this was Light being playful. It had been a strange revelation at first, and a part of Light that had taken time and companionship for L to learn. Light – Kira – was competitive, this much and been obvious from the moment Lind L. Taylor had clutched his chest and died. Yet, Light generally acted overly serious, and his normal smiles were often controlled and placed, fooling everyone except for the world's greatest detective. Seeing his true faces was like being told a secret.
Uncanny, perhaps, but L desired to dwell in it. After all, the journey would be over soon.
Both L and Light knew that.
"Wait, Law– ..where are you going?" Light asked behind him as L suddenly turned into a shop along the sidewalk. L opened the door with the chime of a welcome bell, entering a breeze of warm air and a crackling of merry Christmas music on the radio as behind him Light read the sign. "The Cake Shop? Agh... of course such a name can't keep you away. Lawliet, can't we just eat at the London Waterloo?"
"Why wait?" L asked as he trod forward to the glass display case, leaving a trail of mucky water in his footsteps. The shop must have been new, as L had never heard of such a place, but the menu looked promising. Prices were definitely overmarked but that wasn't exactly a troublesome issue for him. The young clerk gave a glare and trot over with a customary greeting, and L made his decision. "Strawberry shortcake and coffee for me. What do you want, Light?"
"Nothing," Light growled, crossing his arms. And then, "Tea."
Service was pointedly slow, but within a few minutes they had made their way to a small chestnut table by the window. Light was still scowling, tapping his fingernails against the ceramic teacup as he waited for it to cool down (for such an adolescent was far too dignified to blow on it). Unbothered, L dropped a handful of sugar cubes in his coffee, not looking away from Light's face as they plopped in one by one. Light pretended to ignore L's attention, but with each second he grew more irritated.
"What?! Eat your cake and let's go."
"Light-kun," L said gently, holding up a forkful of cake. "You hurt me. I've been enjoying our adventure together, but it's almost as though you wish for it to come to its end."
The adolescent darkened, slumping over on the table with his chin in his hand. He glowered for a moment, then said more carefully, "It's not that, Lawliet. But we both know that now isn't the time to be enjoying ourselves. I swore to solve the Kira case, and with every day, every detour, more lives are lost to Kira."
"Yes, it's true," he agreed, sucking on his fork until the cream was thoroughly free from the prongs. "But it will all be over... soon. And after that..."
"After that we'll go back to Tokyo and have Kira's head."
"That's right..." L turned to his backpack, on the floor by his chair, and fumbled with the zipper. He retrieved his laptop, which he immediately opened and booted up. "I had realized that I should alert the headmaster that I will be visiting, otherwise he will have a heart attack of shock. That's why I stopped, for a moment to write him an e-mail."
"And then we'll be going to the place you were raised?"
"After I left the orphanage in France, yes. Watari brought me." Light was frowning, and L smiled. "Relax, Light-kun. It won't take long. All I've wanted to do is to confirm my original birth certificate, which is in the vaults of the institution. I am sorry that it has taken so long. I admit that efficiency has not been my priority, and perhaps it would have been wise to leave you with your father and allow you to continue the investigation, but.."
Light lowered his gaze to his reflection in the tea. If he had stayed, probability was high that he would have been arrested by Interpol when the thirteen day rule had been tested and proven false. If not by Interpol, then the Japanese task force would be forced to admit that Light might not only be guilty, but that the circumstances of his innocence were highly suspicious and convenient. Light needed to rely on L, at the moment, to safeguard him. It was an ironic and delicate situation for him, and Light was undoubtedly formulating his own counter-plans but as it was, L could keep Light with him at the moment.
"But it would've been lonely without you," L finished instead.
The words earned a look of surprise from Light, quickly covered by darting his eyes in the direction of the window and focusing them on the passing traffic.
L watched him a moment more before turning back to his laptop, typing in a group of nonsensical numeral plus digit passwords. Whatever happened, L could claim these moments as his own. The inevitable fate they they would face – whatever course that fate took, perhaps without even much influence by the actions that they took now – would come. L wasn't so delusional to reckon that he could stop the ticking of time. He was only certain, at that moment, that he could at least hold the watch hands back for a brief pause from their endless travels around in immortal circles.
And why not? Surely it was no task that a normal human could complete. But no one argued that L was human, not anymore.
No one except Light.
To think that the criminal he had spent a year pursuing was now his partner in confidence, in travel, and even in lust was ludicrous, at least, it should have been. But the truth was that L felt... old now, aged further than his twenty-five years and after the day that Light's Shinigami killed his dear Quillsh Wammy and tried, unsuccessfully, to slay him with a name he didn't have, he wondered if he could ever be surprised again. Everything seemed natural because he was only half awake, and he was also half sleeping. In a way, it all remained a dream, a dream that kept him chained in the opaque. Kept him chained to Light with no desire yet to discard him, but with all reason telling him that he had crossed the line if now he was purposefully trying to withdraw from the world that needed him back into the shadows just to drag Light with him. Just to have Light with him.
Because destroying Light himself would give him faith again in reality by destroying his faith in dreams. When Light was gone, when Kira was gone, everything that had been the ruin of L would dissipate. Light, with his gods of death, his murder notebooks and his names to stamp on faces, and his justice, would be a memory that L would take pains to never access again. What was lost couldn't be regained, but the new would be grown. L would, could endure.
The problem was that... was that... salvation might have been miscalculated. If salvation was actually in Kira – in Light – then L was doomed right beside him. If Light brought such a thing as fate in his procession of the unbelievable, then L could accept orders like a machine processing coding and compute, however, as far as L could deduce there was an underlying conundrum: and that was a choice.
I need your authorization to extend my authority and move my investigation forward with all the resources that I will require. I know that Kira is Light Yagami, the son of Soichiro Yagami who you previously incarcerated under suspicion. I also know that you know that Light Yagami is Kira, and I hope we can work together to put an end to this chaos once and for all.
But the choice had already been made. There was not even a thought to freedom.
The e-mail illuminated at him in crisp English, the death warrant whose oblivious victim was only a meter away. In almost a morbid fascination, L stared with mouth agape again at Light, with his elbow curled at the table and his eyes watching a choir of Christmas carolers make their way down the sidewalk through the window. So close, his laptop with the etched words might as well have been a gravestone. Fate, for Light, had come with the Death Note.
L had tried to ignore it, but ignorance was a luxury that would always be denied to him. The world was vast, and L could go to Russia, to France, to China, Canada, New Zealand, wherever – but wherever he went, he would never escape. He was connected to Interpol, to the governments, to the politicians and the police, to himself. To L. L, at the head of the rest, would always want, need to solve the challenge that had been placed before him. That was what the world was, and who L was.
He had known – should have known – since Quillsh Wammy first told him the truth about what he was to become. A detective of this caliber can no longer be a human, because humans have weaknesses that make them fallible. Infallibility is a mechanical approach, so L must be a machine. A robot with the most technologically advanced of artificial intelligences, a thing of steel and wires who doesn't need to waste time for sleeping or for trusting people. Or waste time with the nonsense of self-identity.
Wherever he went, he was a system who had to abide by the golden rule of all systems, and that was to continue to follow the systematic path.
The truth was that Light Yagami was unquestionably the merciless serial killer Kira, and he unquestionably knew it. L could have had him arrested the moment he set eyes on the adolescent and knew, but he had been seduced by the desire to work out the puzzle and put the pieces together himself. He wanted to conquer Kira on his own terms, and wanted to conquer Light Yagami on his own terms, too. By his folly he had been paying the price ever since, when he should have died along with the only man in the world who he could trust. Even if his body remained breathing, something had died that day.
Something had changed that day.
What was left was to either move forward and compromise Wammy's House to the face of Interpol and of Kira, or to stop now and realize that what he had been trying t accomplish was never going to be solved with a simple algorithm... and to accept that he had known this all along.
"Are you done yet?" Light asked, raising his head and looking expectantly at L. "...What's wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong," L answered softly. "It's just as it should be."
Light frowned, sensing something unspoken. "Then... shall we go?"
L looked away from Light to the sky beyond the glass, where a mountain of clouds soared forth to block the sun with promises of a snowstorm soon. "I just realized something. I never wanted to go to Winchester at all."
Clip the wings of an angel, and what's left is...
A Paradise that is lost to us forever.
-To Be Continued...
1. That's probably the longest sex scene I've ever written. lol
2. This story is finally nearing completion. I need to stop being so damn lazy and just finish it. Some parts, particularly earlier parts, are still irritating me... but well, I'm excited to be able to say that I've written to completion something besides a one-shot.
Thanks for reading and all of the support! -Serria