I realized how much of a lazy ass I've been for not thanking you reviewers; you're really what motivate me. I just wanted graciously thank you for supporting me, critiquing me, and helping me become a better author with every chapter.

Thank you!

Light was sitting on the sidewalk once more; startlingly similar to before the car had crashed into the Coffee Shop. The red SUV was still burrowed deep into the vacant building. It looked as though a bomb had exploded and shrapnel was flung everywhere. Light glanced down at his bleeding hands, waiting. The EMT's had more important injuries to attend to. For instance the man driving the red SUV and the strange guy that was lying in the midst of the road, his limbs flung at awkward angles. They crouched over his body, assessing each injury with latex-covered fingertips. Each touch was light and a ginger and eventually the motioned to their colleagues, mouthing something that Light couldn't quite catch. However, there actions that occurred after projected the statement. He was dead. The tarp they threw across his body seemed almost cruel with how meager it was. It was a life that had been snuffed out, and they covered him in cold grey plastic and that was the end of things. Cold and grey plastic.

Light was so enraptured in thought that he hardly noticed the EMT that was squatting at his side, asking him several times if he needed medical attention, if he was okay. No, Light thought, I have just witnessed someone die. I am not okay. Instead of voicing this, he mutely turned his palms so they were facing upward and the red, bloody, mangled mess that was the flesh of his hands came into view. The EMT's face was set in a cool position, as if she'd seen things like this many times before. Worse things than some pulpy palms and scratched hands…Light assumed that some time in her past, she was the one to toss the tarp across the lifeless corpse. Scraped hands meant nothing.

"This is awful…" she said, a pathetic attempt at small talk as she bandaged up his hands. Light looked the other way, keeping his eyes focused on the empty road. Where was Ryuuzaki? Where was he? He should be here by now. There should be a car speeding down the road with the detective enclosed inside. He should be here. But he wasn't. Where was Ryuuzaki?

Assuming that he'd gone mad (or went into shock) the EMT placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and spoke in an inadvertently belittling tone. "It's alright, honey…the police are going to need to ask you a few questions. And then we'll fix you right up and you can go home." Light purposefully ignored her, keeping his eyes fixated on the road. Where was he? Where was Ryuuzaki? Not here obviously…so did that make him a liar? Yes, yes it did. Liar. Where was Ryuuzaki? Liar. Where was he? "Do you see something over there?" she asked kindly, twirling her head around to get a look behind her. Nothing. Liar.

"Nothing," Light muttered darkly, switching his brown gaze to the bandaged hands before him.

"Anything else I can do for you?" The EMT got to her feet and bent over, smiling at him. It was a weary smile, a tired smile. She had weathered a job that dealt with shocking things and smiling and innocent smile was nearly impossible.

"You can leave me be."

The EMT paused for a moment, taken aback by the brazen rudeness. Instead of replying, she just turned around and went to help wherever else it was needed. She didn't say goodbye nor offer him any more kind words. He had taken her kindness and spit it on the floor. But at this particular moment, he didn't care about the feelings he hurt or the small things that wounded insignificant people…he only cared about Ryuuzaki, his car speeding down the road. Where was he? He should be here. He said he would. Liar. Where was Ryuuzaki? He said he would be here.

Where was he?

Squinting his eyes, Light peered at the quiet road as if a vehicle would simply materialize upon the concrete, as if he stared long and hard enough, that Ryuuzaki would be there. That L would be there. Liar. He wasn't there.

And then…he was.

There was a black stretch limo speeding down the road, and barreling down the concrete without regard. No one was there to stop them anyways…though it was a mystery how they had made their way past the barricade that had been set up to protect the "crime" scene. Since this was treated as a hit and run. Well, he was the L after all...not just any person. So he wasn't a liar…no, he was just fashionably late. Light gave a wry grin and watched the limo come closer by the second. For such a low-profile detective, he definitely had a high-profile mode of transportation. Wouldn't something smaller and more compact be the more efficient choice? Well, that would be so if it was just Ryuuzaki by himself. But if there were others that occupied his space (which was rare) then he would need something a little more spacious. That being said, a limo could only mean one thing. More people…and the only people that were associated with L at the moment was the Task Force. He had brought them all. Dammit, he had brought them all! They were all heading towards him at this very moment, his father and his ex-coworkers…he needed Ryuuzaki alone. He needed the pictures, the photos…he needed them. And by God he wasn't about to plea foolishly to L in front of the task force, in front of his own father. He was above that, above groveling and making a fool of himself.

The limo came to a halt, and several EMT's and policemen paused to watch, their expressions alight with curiosity and a hint of befuddlement. There shouldn't have been any cars down there besides emergency vehicles and cop cars, and yet here was this shining black limo parked languidly in the center of it all. It was bizarre. Before anyone could gather to courage to approach and investigate, Watari stepped in a dignified fashion from the driver's seat. His wrinkled face came into view and Light felt his stomach turn slightly. Where was Ryuuzaki? He had to be here…he wouldn't send Watari alone to fetch him like a dog from the kennel. That was just demeaning.

"Mr. Yagami," he spoke in a very commanding and self-assured tone. It rang through all of the manic of the scene and pierced straight through to Light. A gloved hand gesticulated for him to approach. Before Light could get to Watari, a police officer did. However he retreated after Watari pulled something from his pocket and allowed it to be seen. The police officer backed respectfully away and Light continued his steady approach. "Please get in," Watari instructed once Light had tromped over towards the black automobile. Unsurely but unwaveringly, Light made his way to the door, and struggled slightly with the handle. His bandaged hands made it highly unhelpful. Watari was kind of enough to open the door for him. When the brunet slid in, he nearly sat upon Ryuuzaki's lap.

"S-sorry…" Light grumbled, precariously maneuvering around the detective and placing himself a good distance away in the opposite seat. "Where is everyone else?" he asked, his head flicking around. No one was there but L.

"Everyone else?"

"You know…the Task Force."

"They're not here at the moment."

"Then why the limo?" the photographer cocked his head, adjusting his bottom against the smooth leather. The last thing Ryuuzaki seemed was flashy. The only thing he had that was flashy was his equipment to solve his cases and his elaborate desserts. Both of which he claimed were pertinent for him solving cases. But a limo…? That didn't seem like Ryuuzaki at all.

"I thought you would appreciate it."

"Appreciate it?" Light suddenly realized the finely tuned insult that was being thrown his way. It was flashy and expensive and beautiful. It was also impractical and not logical in the least. That was definitely a blow. "Yes, I do appreciate." He brushed this off, adjusting in his seat and laying his bandaged hands limply on his lap.

"Did you hurt yourself?" L peered over at his hands. Light decided to completely ignore this, no sense trying to hide it or deny it.

"Yes, some idiot jumped out into the road and nearly had me run over," Light's eyes transferred from L to his hands. "Now enough with this small talk."

"I thought small talk was a normal function," L replied, "I was merely trying to 'break the ice.'"

"Where are they?" Light interrupted, not caring for whatever long-winded excuse L could formulate.

"What?" L seemed taken aback by the demand. He was normally prepared for anything, but this caught him off guard.

"You know what I'm talking about," Light sneered, sounding almost delirious. "Don't try and disillusion me, it won't work. You have them. Don't try and deny it, L."

"…" L adjusted in his seat, pressing his knees protectively against his chest. "You mean the photos?"

"Yes, of course I mean the bloody photos! What else could you possibly have that I would want?"

"You need them that badly?" L asked, picking idly at the seams in his jeans. "I don't see how images could really be of that great importance."

Light was speechless for a moment. "Not of that great importance? Are you out of your mind?" The brunet leaned forward, locks of his hair slipping down across his face. He frowned deeply, making sure that the lines of unhappiness creased his skin. "You don't understand it at all, L. That's my art."

"Are you alright?" Perhaps the accident had knocked a few screws loose. It had caused him to go mad and become deluded.

"No, I'm not alright!" Light said, leaning closer still. The anger in his face drained away and was replaced with a look of desperation. "Are you really so cruel that you won't let me look upon them? The photos I took?"

"A compromise, then?" L said coughing as Light's breath fanned across his face.

"Compromise…? You think I'm going to compromise with you?"

"Quiet, please." And for some reason, Light shut his open mouth. "Now I have them…all of them." The photographer bristled happily with this prospect, feeling relief wash over him. They were safe…safe. His art was safe. "They are to stay in my possession at all times. Any plot to steal them will result in my having to destroy every last one."

"Can I take more…that is, if they stay in your possession at all times?" Light entreated, his voice was imploring. He was still trying to get his way.

"Perhaps…" L responded, cryptically as always. "But that is my offer, you can take it, or you can leave it."

Light was happy, beyond words and beyond comprehension. Curious warmth sprang into his chest and he felt it consume his entire body. It drowned out the dull ache of his bandaged, bloodied hands. For a moment all was forgotten except the spreading warmth that encompassed his being. He was happy. So happy that he could spring forward and kiss L full on the mouth. So in his moment of ecstasy, he did just what his instinct told him. He sprang forward like a horny teenage boy and kissed Ryuuzaki (or L) full on the lips. The detective went rigid with surprise for a moment before his limbs went slack. But the photographer was just too damn glad at the moment to have any inhibitions.

"Mmm…" Ryuuzaki mumbled incoherently, his mouth was still under sabotage and any retort was rendered useless. If Light's hands hadn't been wrapped with white constrictions, he would have placed then around L's neck. Instead they bumped uselessly against L's chest.

Finally Light surfaced for breath, drawing back and keeping his brown eyes locked with black ones. He was breathing, breath hot and lips moist. "Thank you…for that," he spoke softly, like if his tone was too loud it would ruin the moment. "I mean the pictures…but that wasn't too bad either." His head turned to look towards the front of the car. There was a window that separated the front seat from the back. A small black curtain was drawn, blocking the view.

"Watari cannot see us," L intoned dryly. "And why are you doing this?"

Light furrowed his brows. "What?"

"This," L repeated impatiently, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "What is it you want from me?"

"You think I want something from you?" Light felt anger swell in his chest. He hated to see Ryuuzaki be right, and he was most of the time. But this was one of the few instances where Light could say without a doubt that the great detective was mistaken. That he had made a miscalculation. But how was Light to explain the ecstasy or the happiness that had compelled him? "I think you've already made your opinions about me," he began, "I think that you think you have me figured out, all my motives mapped and diagramed in your database. So maybe I kissed you once because I was caught up in something, because I wanted something. So what? Perhaps I'm not an awful bastard who will kiss anyone for the sake of material happiness. Perhaps I'm just a person who wants to kiss you, and did. Perhaps it's because I was fascinated by the bitter taste you have in your mouth…even though you shovel in the sweets the way you do. Maybe I'm interested. Is that so hard for you to understand? So out of the character you've set for me, that you've decided I am? Maybe I'm just fucking interested, Ryuuzaki or L or whatever the hell your name is."

The silence hung thick and heavy. L was staring blankly ahead, not moving nor emoting, or even breathing it seemed like. Still as a granite statue. "Maybe I have judged your character…but I've never been wrong about someone before. Every killer I've profiled has always turned out precisely as I had thought. People are a simple equation. You are no different." This assertion was stated in a clear, cold manner.

"You think I'm no different than the killers you profile?"


"I am different," Light said with the utmost certainty. "I am different because I'm not a killer, nor a murderer,—"

"That remains to be seen," L interrupted, but Light ignored this and carried on anyways.

"—I am different than those men you profile, because I do this. And it scares you." And once more, the photographer leaned fiercely forward and pushed his lips onto Ryuuzaki's. The familiar, somewhat bitter, taste of Ryuuzaki's mouth mingled with his own. It was wet and delicious and every bit as perfect as those photos. He pressed forward, adding a moist tongue to the chaotic mixture. It pushed sensually into L's mouth, prying apart pale lips and finding the warm cavern inside where it slid against L's own wet appendage. It was a beautiful and messy and enjoyable. It was everything, more passionate than any kiss with a woman or a cheap hook up. It meant something which was so different from what Light was used to. He was used to emptiness and shallow superficiality. To the appearance of contentment and the cheap way he sated his desires. Having it mean something was so thrilling.

Light pulled away. "Because you're afraid of this...I think," Light smiled, feeling the jovial victory, "you've made a miscalculation based on biased emotions."

"As if you're one to talk," L said, trying to stay as indifferent as possible and failing. His lip was curled ever so slightly, hardly noticeable unless one was staring strenuously at him. "You've been a bias on the subject since you decided to disturb my peace and rudely impose yourself upon me every day in the coffee shop."

"Well pardon me for buying you hundreds of dollars worth of desserts," Light retorted sarcastically, "next time I'll be sure to make sure not to do something so clearly generous."

"You always have to win, don't you?"

"Of course I do," Light said, "now open your mouth, jackass." And the next moment was tongue and lips and glorious exchanges of saliva. Breathing and light touches that sent shivers down both of their bodies. "It's just no fun if I don't."

"This one is dead?" the EMT asked, presiding over the tarp covered body. "Should I pronounce him?"

"Yeah, go for it."

It was an odd thing, to have people chatting over your corpse. Any human being would be horrified of the prospect of their death being taken so lightly. Let's just throw some plastic over their mangled corpse and then have a light chat about pronouncing them dead! But that was the truth about life, people cry over you at the funeral, maybe drop a tear or two at the burial but after that you're forgotten. People stop crying, people stop caring. And the scary truth of it all is that the loss of a life can desensitize a person entirely. So these EMT's that hung around the scene, loading the SUV's driver into the ambulance and tending to the wounded, hadn't really any sadness over death. They didn't care, were completely apathetic.

However their apathy was interrupted by a passerby on the street. He was pedaling a bike and donning a thick scarf despite the warm weather that had emerged. He also wore a part of black, thick-rimmed glasses and black gloves on his hands, which gripped the handles. His legs were propelling him forward, straight into the midst of a crime scene, a place of death, and a pivotal point for all plans leading up to this point. Smiling to himself, he dismounted his bicycle, propped it against a nearby street lamp, and stuck gloved hands in his pocket and began to whistle. A jovial smile was spread across his face as he made a beeline straight towards the heart of the area. The police were too busy crossing off sections of the street and marking bodies and examining things for the passerby to be noticed. So he lowered the volume of his whistle and continued along at a steady pace.

Now he was passing the totaled red SUV, and his smile widened. He looked as if he could kick up his heels and do a small jig. They were dead. Both of them! No tracks to cover, no unnecessary people to kill. It was perfect! Perfect!

That was, until he saw the ambulance doors close. "Hey! Hey!" he shouted, catching everyone's attention. For he had seen a body in there…not a tarp-covered one as he had expected, but one hooked up to monitors and machines. There had been a living, breathing human. And that was the last thing he needed. That meant he had to visit the hospital, which complicated things a bit. The driver he had hired to do the dirty work of running over the criminal that had killed Kiyomi Takada. The "Casanova Killer" as it were. Then after he reported back, the real Casanova Killer would take care of him, because you can't trust a soul to be quiet. You can only trust yourself. However something had gone wrong…he was still alive. And that meant the hospital, the intensive care unit, and a very hard time breaking in…

Wait a moment.

Misa Amane. Was she not in the intensive care unit? Was she not? She was sleeping right there, helpless and alone. That was the last loose end he had wanted to tie up, and with his hired driver going straight where she was, he could kill two birds with one stone. He could kill them both, but it would have to be a silent job. No room for fun or creativity. Just plain old, boring business.

His plan was set.

The car stopped and it took Light and L a moment to detangle their limbs, fix their hair, and adjust their attire. The last two were mainly done by Light, who wasn't used to being anything but pristinely put together. Once Watari had opened the door for them, they stepped out into the open, and once more were they way they had always been. Light hated L, L hated Light, and there was no affection or fondness between them. That was the guise they flew under, making sure that they were secret and safe. Both of them had no clue how to admit any kind of feelings (let alone homosexual feelings) towards the other. The physical acts were startlingly easy. The mental acts, not so much.

Light leaned forward, letting his silky voice glide over Ryuuzaki's shoulder as they made their way back into the hospital. "When can I see you?"

"I will determine that."

Light quirked a brow. No one had ever been so adamant on being the one to call. On being the one to 'determine' things…but then again, it wasn't a surprise. He was L, and most of the time was inconvenient for him. This…fling was on his terms, on his playing field. That made Light frown, but in the end he decided to sway. The physical connection between the two of them was unlike any other; however they both remained stubborn and immovable upon the emotional and mental connection. It was infuriating and imperfect, but it was something.

It was something.

Gelus fiddled absently with his Death Note, continuing to watch Misa Amane. He had been exuberated when he had first witnessed Misa sit upright in bed with a little help from the nurse. She was getting better, improving at a very rapid pace. Now she was fully conscious and aware, growing stronger by the day. Her frail body from a diet of liquid nutrition was beginning to fill out with the real food supplied by the hospital. She was once more becoming the lively, young, and famous Misa-Misa that she had once been.

If it wasn't for that nasty little lifespan floating over her head.

Gelus continued to fiddle with his Death Note. Her cause of death was undeterminable. If it was something medical, it was out of his hands. It was inevitable and undeniably heart-breaking. If it was something else…perhaps he could help stop it. The joy at that thought was boundless. He could bring back the Misa he loved and adored! He could, it was in his hands!

His jubilant thoughts were promptly interrupted by Ryuk, who was looming over the portal to the human world. "Ryuk?" Gelus asked his scratchy voice was dull despite the happiness he felt at the prospect of saving Misa Amane.

Ryuk did not reply. Instead he chuckled like a madman, the Death Note hanging in his hand. It swayed to and fro, hanging in the balance. And then, he tossed it like it was meaningless. It went tumbling down in the abyss inhabited by humans, spinning through the air and pirouetting as it traveled through worlds. Ryuk had finally let the Death Note go, watching like a game show contestant that was waiting to see where the spin of the wheel would land him. He had finally dropped it and now it was just a matter of fate where it landed. It finally fell down, out of the blue sky like a tiny black dot against an endless sea. Spinning down and down, reaching closer to the ground. Ryuk peered over, faintly interested. No one else but Gelus seemed to notice the turn of events. No one else cared that much about the affairs of the human world. They only seemed to care about death, gambling, and making foul jokes. Someone was going to pick up the Death Note, some poor unfortunate soul. It landed softly in an alleyway in a bustling city.

May heaven help whoever it was.