Basically, this is my revised edition. I combined what were chapters one and two and put them together for the first chapter, and have continued on from there with my second chapter. I did this because I originally wanted this fic to be a three-shot, and I didn't want to mislead anyone into thinking it was going to be multi-chapter.
That being said, there will be three chapters and an epilogue. Thanks.
A/N: I have a lot of explaining to do for this fic, and it's very important, so please read this. First, Beyond Birthday is a main character in this fic, so it would be beneficial, if not necessary, for you to have read The Los Angeles B.B. Murder Cases. Secondly, both L and B went by the name Ryuuzaki as one of their aliases (this is very important). Lastly, this is the first chapter of a two or three part fic, so don't be surprised that it cuts off pretty abruptly at the end.
That's all. Please read and enjoy!
There were one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight cracks in the ceiling. He knew this because BB had helped him count them. L liked the cracks. It didn't matter whether he started counting from the corner by his bed or the very middle of the ceiling. There were always one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight of them.
L liked things he could be sure of. He liked things that stayed the same. It comforted him that 7x + 15 - 2x(squared)= 0 had a strictly positive discriminant of D = 169, because that was that, no questions asked. And that would always be that.
Before, time had fascinated him: The fact that you could proverbially plot your life down to a millisecond, that each day was a point on the line, solid and substantial. But now he had no way of knowing what time it was. If there was a window he might've known that it was morning, or seen sunlight, or maybe felt warmth not artificially assembled like so much store bought machinery.
It was too cold here anyway.
Everything was white. Not white like one would expect to see, blinding with too bright lights and perpetually exhausting to the eyes. Just a dirty sort of off white, acquired not from neglect or lack of sanitation, but from a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Only harmless memories.
There was a bed in one corner, with white sheets and a light blue blanket. Near the bed was a bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. It had a door, but it didn't lock. There was a desk as well, located in the corner perpendicular to the bed, as well as another door too, but it was closed.
Didn't open from the inside anyway.
Then there was the ceiling and the cracks, all one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight of them. And in the last corner, the one diagonal to the bed, there was B, at least at the moment.
L was in the corner too, talking to B. Ever since they had taken away his cases he liked to talk to B. It was because a sort of stagnant quiet lived in places like these, but more cloying and motionless. And there was no one but B to save him from the silence. Otherwise he'd be left choking and inaudible.
"Ecru," L proclaimed. He was sitting with his knees bent to his chest, hands wrapped around his calves, rocking back and forth a little on his heels as he spoke. Across from L, firmly in the corner, sat B in much the same way. His posture was more exaggerated though; spine curled forward so he was hunched up and doubled over. L seemed relaxed and comfortable, B seemed tense and awkward. There was hardly a difference in the two's appearances. Looking at each other was almost like looking in a mirror. They both had the same black hair, long and shaggy and wild, and in desperate need of a brush or something of the like. They both had the same pale faces, pallid skin, thin lips and deathly, gaunt slenderness.
The eyes were where the difference lay. L's were almost comically large, so large they were gripping and impossible to tear your gaze away from. Both the pupils and the irises were a deep black, void of any emotion whatsoever, and he seemed to have the uncanny ability of going for minutes without blinking. Making eye contact was like having your soul searched and laid bare, or a final judgment without mercy. B's eyes had the same comical wideness and intensity, only they were almost more gripping than L's. The irises were an unnatural, vermillion color and disturbing, and lack of sleep had marked the spaces beneath them gray.
B glanced around the room and stared back at his idol. "I'm rather sure it's more of a beige," he intoned, pushing his thumbnail nervously against his teeth.
L shook his head. "Beige is too light, B." He uncurled a hand from around his knees and traced it across the walls of their prison. "See the stains? They're darker." He curled his hand back around his leg and steadily regarded his friend. "Ecru, to be exact."
B nodded in agreement. If L said so, it was true, because L was truth. B liked L, but it didn't stop at admiration. It was more of an idolization, an obsession. And there was a dark part of B's soul, a part that knew the more he was with L the more he'd become like him. And soon B would take him over, and there wouldn't be an L. No, there would only be a B, a B more perfect, a B more flawless. The thought made him shudder in delight.
Right now L was watching him, head cocked slightly to the side. His eyes were hardly narrowed, but they were narrowed none the less, watching him with curiosity and suspicion. Like prey.
It was times like these, when L would look at him so intensely, that B thought L could read his mind. It made him scared to think, and those dark, penetrating eyes haunted him in his sleep.
"How many stains are there, B?" L asked. He seemed to have deemed B safe and was now leaning back on his heals; head tilted all the way back so his untidy black hair fell in heaps down his back. He opened his mouth and yawned.
B shrugged. "Just as many as there are cracks, I'd imagine."
B glanced up and L stayed tilted back and they both gazed up at the ceiling. The cracks began to spread from the center of the ceiling like a myriad of spider webs, growing and twisting complicated designs before their eyes. L hummed in satisfaction.
"You start counting from the corner by the bed and I'll start counting from here."
B nodded. At first it had been hard to count, because the cracks were constantly moving, refusing to stay still. However, he had soon developed a way of keeping track of the cracks which had already been counted. B put a red slash through them with his red eyes. L put black slashes through his with his black eyes. It worked well.
Soon, the ceiling was covered with red and black slash marks. When there were no more unmarked cracks the two turned their attention back to each other. "How many?" L asked.
"Eight hundred fourteen," B responded. "And you?"
"The same," L intoned, and proceeded to add the two numbers in his head. There was really no need, they both knew what the results would be, what they always were. But it was routine, and it was comforting.
"One thousand six hundred and twenty-eight," L announced happily. A glimmer of a smile shone on B's face.
"C'est parfait, n'est-ce pas?"*
Before L could respond the noise of someone sliding their ID card into the slot on the other side of door sounded, and it slid open with a mechanical clicking sound.
About an hour earlier, Naomi Misora had sat at the desk in her office, reviewing the paperwork of her most recent patient. In the right hand corner of the first sheet was the photograph that had been taken upon intake. Naomi glanced over the photo and then did a double take. He was the strangest looking person she had ever seen, with wild black hair and large, hollow eyes staring directly into what must have been the camera but now felt more like her soul. It was almost disturbing to look at, to be honest, and it sent shivers down her spine. With no small amount of effort, Naomi ripped her eyes from the photograph and redirected her gaze to the written information.
Naomi's brow crinkled in confusion. There was no last name written, or perhaps that was his last name, and there was no first name written. She read on.
Age: Assumed to be around 19-20
Social Security Number: Unknown
Misora read through the rest of his file. Most of the information had been filled out similarly; everything was either inconclusive or unknown all together. Whoever Ryuuzaki was, he was a total mystery.
Two light knocks sounded on Naomi's office door. She placed the file back down on her desk and spun her chair around to face the door.
An old man in a suit entered the small room, glasses on his nose and a single strip of white-gray hair on his balding head.
"Dr. Watari!" Naomi exclaimed in surprise. Watari was the head of the team of doctors that worked in the adult psychiatric unit. He was an old man with gray hair and smile lines around his eyes. He tended to give off the air of being very sophisticated and important, but he was kind, and he cared for his patients.
"Dr. Misora," he said by way of greeting, making himself comfortable in the spare chair beside her desk. "I've come here to discuss our new patient, Ryuuzaki, with you, as you have been assigned his case. I assume from just reading over his file you have quite a few questions."
Naomi nodded. "Is this all we know about him?"
Watari sighed. "Unfortunately, yes. We picked him up from the police station. They seemed exceedingly eager to get rid of him."
"What about his name?" Naomi asked impatiently. "Does he have a birth certificate or a driver's license?"
Watari shook his head. "No identification of any sort was on him when he was arrested, and there was none among his personal belongings. His past has been investigated of course, but he wasn't in the computer system. Since he has no social security number, he doesn't even officially exist."
Watari paused, taking a breath. Naomi had taken a notepad and pen from her desk drawer and was scribbling the information down madly.
"We asked the residents of the apartment in which he formerly resided for any information they could give. The lady who lived next to him told us he seemed to go by Ryuuzaki. When further pressed she said he often introduced himself using different names, but Ryuuzaki seemed to be the most consistent of his aliases."
"Did she say what other aliases he used?" Naomi asked.
"No," Watari responded indifferently. "She seemed reluctant to give us more information. So we entered the name Ryuuzaki into the database and to our amazement, came upon his picture. From there we were able to figure out some of his past names. Ryuuga, Eraldo Coil," Watari listed, "and Deneuve are the ones we're aware of." He sat back in the chair, pressing his fingertips together.
Naomi finished writing and glanced at the doctor with a perplexed expression on her face.
"And is there a possible diagnosis?"
"Well, you tell me."
Naomi bit her lower lip, seriously tempted to roll her eyes. She wasn't a rookie; she didn't need a test to decide if she could properly diagnose a patient.
"Well, it sounds like either Dissociative Identity Disorder or Schizophrenia."
Watari nodded and smiled, spider web lines deepening around his eyes.
"Ah, there's one more thing you should know about."
"What is that?"
"A few days after intake we had Ryuuzaki take an IQ test. The results were truly remarkable; his IQ is off the charts. A few things have been noted as particularly interesting. When asked to describe the color red, he said…" Watari shuffled through the report he had brought with him. "He said it was 'a color evoked by the transfer of photons of the longest wavelengths discernible to the human eye,'" Watari read off the sheet, "'ranging from 625 – 750 nanometers.'"
Watari glanced at the sheet of paper, adjusting his glasses. Naomi looked impressed.
"However, when asked to describe the concept 'love', he was unable to articulate an answer."
Naomi shook her head. "Just… wow. If you don't mind me being honest-"
"I welcome honesty," Watari cut in.
"Well, in that case, this seems completely overwhelming. I've never worked with someone like this before…"
"I simply told you these things so you could have a better idea of your case, not to bewilder you with information," Watari said kindly.
"I know," Naomi intoned.
Watari rose from his seat, knees creaking tiredly, and Naomi winced, suddenly reminded of exactly how old the man must be. She briefly wondered why he hadn't yet retired - surely he had enough money. Perhaps he enjoyed his job. That was strange, in her opinion. You had to be at least a little unwell to want to work with the emotionally unstable.
As Watari opened the door to the hall Naomi turned in her chair once again, a sudden question popping into mind.
"Excuse me, Dr. Watari?"
"Yes," he asked, looking back at her, his hand still on the door knob.
"What exactly was Ryuuzaki arrested for?"
Watari froze, a pained look on his face.
"Manslaughter," he said, and walked out the office door.
*C'est parfait, n'est-ce pas? – It's perfect, don't you think?