Author's Note: My updates on this story will probably start to slow down a bit. It's back to college on Thursday for me, so I won't have nearly as much time as I do now. I thought I'd leave you all on a little cliff hanger, so I hope everyone will forgive me. Anyway, onto the replies.
Zena Silverwing I'm glad you liked L's dream and how I showed his subconscious. I thought it just fit and it also seemed kind of ironic to have it visualised as Light. I was hoping for depth in this story, so I'm happy you think I got that, and L is visiting Light this chapter. So, I hope you like it.
merichuel Poor L? Yeah, I guess you're right. Stuff like that just doesn't really happen to him does it? And as for Light, his head doesn't have a hole anymore, and I suppose he would freak about his haircut but his head's covered in bandages, so he's not going to notice for a while.
Lucky Koi I'm glad that you like the realism. I try to do that with most of my stories, and it makes the whole thing more interesting, don't you think? Also, I'm a pretty steady going person. I don't like to rush, so I guess I incorporate that into my writing style, as long as I'm not going too slowly. ^_^
So, onto chapter four now. I hope you guys enjoy!
L stopped as he entered the waiting room. Last time he had been here, Light was being carted off to a surgery in an attempt to save his life. That attempt had been successful, but L was hesitant to venture in any further none the less.
"Mr Matsui?" came a young female voice. "Mr Ryuzaki Matsui?"
Ryuzaki Matsui? Oh yes, that's right. Matsuda used his alias to sign me out of here.
L turned round to find himself looking at a young nurse. She couldn't have been much older than him. She had a pretty face, not that L was interested at all, and she was smiling politely at him. She wasn't the woman who had taken his empty plate and blanket that night, she wasn't the one who had addressed him as 'sweetie'. But, she did look familiar.
"I'm Akeno," the young lady introduced. "I was the nurse attending the reception when you came in with your friend. You cousin signed your release form."
"Release form... that makes it sound like I was in jail," L commented.
Akeno's face fell slightly, and her smile dropped. Her look made L wish he hadn't mentioned it, but he couldn't take back words, and he wasn't about to start trying now.
"I'm looking to see my friend, Light Yagami," L explained when Akeno didn't say anything.
"Of course," Akeno nodded, her smile returning. "If you'll follow me, I'll see what room he's in."
L followed her without a word. He was glad that someone had spoken to him, rather than the other way around. As foolish and as childish as it was, L hated to ask someone for advise of directions. Watari might have been an exception to this, but only slightly.
Akeno made her way around the hospital reception desk and looked up Light's room number. When she had it, she wrote it down on a piece of paper and handed it to L, who took it without comment. She watched him turn to leave, when he suddenly turned back.
"Thank you," he murmured.
"Not at all," she smiled. "Do you know how to get there?"
"I'll find it," L stated. "Just out of simple curiosity, why is it that you smile so much?"
Akeno blinked in surprise. Of all the questions he could have asked, he was asking why she was smiling. There were just some people Akeno simply didn't understand.
"Uhh," she stalled while trying to think of a good explanation, laughing slightly at herself. "I... I usually work in the children's ward. They're less afraid of hospitals if the staff smile at them and make them laugh and smile too. I guess it's just habit now for me to smile when I'm at work."
She shrugged and walked off to attend another person who had just walked in, leaving L to find Light's room on his own.
L wondered over to the elevator and looked at the sign that told visitors which ward was which floor. He looked down at the post-it note with Light's room number and ward, and scanned the sign again. Finally, he came to the conclusion that Light was on the fourth floor, and that hospitals really needed to rethink their floor plans, or at the very least, have better signs.
He entered the elevator and pressed the button for the fourth floor. As the metal box slowly began to rise, L looked back down at the note, hoping that he had gotten the floor right. He hated being wrong and a hospital seemed to be purposefully designed to confuse visitors.
The doors opened with that automated voice mechanically calling out the floor number, and L stepped out into another waiting area. But this time he could see beds that were laid out in rooms that were semi-separated from the main corridor.
He looked down at the paper for the umpteenth time to check the ward name, and then looked around for a sign or map that would tell him where to go.
What he found was Misa Amane.
She was wearing her usual attire of Gothic princess, and her makeup had run slightly, proving that she had been crying. She stopped once she saw L. She was still for a moment as they just stared at each other. Misa slowly started walking again. She was heading straight for L, and she didn't seem bothered by the fact. She stopped a few feet away from him.
"Hey Ryuzaki," she greeted awkwardly. "How are you?"
He shrugged to the question. Seeing her bite her lip slightly and nod was enough for L to know that she understood what he was saying. She was probably feeling the exact same. On the outside, she was fine enough, but inside, she was a wreck. It would take just one thing, a poorly chosen word, a thoughtless action, and her self-composure would shatter.
L knew that feeling, and it scared him. It scared him because he had never felt so fragile inside before. It scared him because he didn't know anything about what to do when the mask before you breaks and leaves you exposed. It was frightening to him.
"I guess you're here to see Light, huh?" Misa asked, blushing at the stupidity of the question.
L nodded. He knew that it was a dumb question, they both did, but it was one that someone asks just to keep a conversation going. He didn't know how to really answer her, and he decided to ask her if she'd just seen Light. It was again one of those dumb questions, but it kept the conversation going.
He opened his mouth when-
"He- he doesn't look that bad now," Misa stated, her breathing hitched every so often.
L looked at her in his usual way, unashamedly. Tears were once again creeping their way down Misa's face. Her eyes were focused on something that L couldn't see, probably Light's appearance when she last saw him.
"He doesn't look that bad at all," she repeated. "It's like he's just sleeping..."
L's eyes flicked over Misa's figure and he noticed the tremors that were increasing in strength. He felt his stomach drop in anticipation as he realised that the young lady was about to break down, and he was going to have to be the one to catch the pieces. He was suddenly beginning to regret coming, and he hadn't even seen Light yet.
Awkwardly, he took his hands out of his jean pockets and extended them away from his body and in Misa's general direction. The closest physical interaction he had ever had was through Watari, and Light if a fight counted as close contact. Now, he was offering a hug to the most annoying person he knew.
Something was wrong with this picture.
However Misa didn't seem to notice the awkwardness. She had probably been so desperate for comfort, that she was willing to take it from anyone. The fact that that anyone was L probably made the whole thing slightly better, in the sense that he was someone she knew, and much worse, in the fact that she looked so bad that even L felt sorry for her.
She stifled a sob as she closed the distance between her and L and she wrapped her arms around his slim waist, raised her hands to rest at his shoulder blades and took great folds of his shirt in her hands. She rested her chin on his shoulder and began to cry.
Unable to do anything else, L put his arms around her gently and laid his hands flat across her back. After a while, one of his hands moved up to hold the back of her head while the other began to slowly rub the area between her shoulder blades. He felt her crying increase, and he wondered if he was doing the wrong thing. However, he realised that while she was crying harder, she would use up her tears sooner and would calm down quicker. He flinched slightly as Misa opened her hands to collect more of his shirt into her hands, scratching him while doing so, but remained motionless otherwise.
He looked to his left to see a doctor walk out of one of those wards. The man seemed to understand what was going on with just a brief glance. The doctor walked over to the reception and pulled out some tissues from a hidden tissue box. He them walked up to L and held out the tissues.
L took them with his right hand and flashed a smile at the man in thanks. He watched the doctor return the smile sympathetically, before returning to his rounds.
It was a few seconds later that L felt Misa's death grip weaken on his shirt. He froze and loosened his already loose hold on her. In an unspoken understanding, the pair of them stepped back and looked at each other. Misa looked a little embarrassed at her break down, and wasn't looking at L, but to the floor.
L lifted his right hand and offered the tissues to her. Misa laughed slightly, not expecting L to have tissues, and took them. She mumbled a thank you to him before dabbing her eyes and cheeks. Her makeup was ruined, unless she wanted to go with the look of decaying sanity, with her eyeliner running in streaks down her cheeks.
"I'm sorry," L mentioned, unsure of what exactly it was he was sorry about. Something just told him that he had set her off.
"No, it's me," Misa protested calmly. "I just keep thinking about you and Light, and how I couldn't do a thing to help. He was so quick when he grabbed you, but the- that truck just came thundering past so fast. I... couldn't do anything. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. All I could do was cry."
So, I'm not the only one who felt powerless, L thought, surprised. He had berated himself for not doing anything to save Light, and here was Misa Amane who was doing the exact same thing. It seemed so foolish for them to doing this.
"I don't think Light would want you to be beating yourself over this," L commented, trying to say it as kindly as he could, though he wasn't sure if he had accomplished.
"I know," Misa agreed. "But, I also felt so bad for leaving you there in the waiting room."
L felt his stomach drop again. He had been completely unresponsive that evening until Matsuda had shoved cake under his nose. At first, he had taken it out of habit, just like he did with Watari. He hadn't even noticed Matsuda to begin with. It had taken quite a bit of time for him truly come back to be a functioning member of the taskforce.
"I sat next you for about ten minutes, but you weren't speaking to me, so I just signed my name and I went back to the apartments," she explained, being careful not to mention that those 'apartments' were the headquarters for the Kira Investigation taskforce. "I felt so terrible as I went home. I was about to go back when I saw everyone come back, and you were with them. SO, I just went back to my room."
L noticed that tears were threatening to flow from Misa's eyes again. With no desire to have her cry on his shoulder for a second time in the next hour, L quickly thought of an answer.
"Nothing like this has happened to me before," L explained. "I didn't know how to cope, so... I guess I didn't it take very well."
Misa smiled at him weakly. She knew he was trying to cheer her up, or at the very least, make her feeling like she didn't have to cry. She knew that L had come to see Light, not her, and decided that she'd taken up enough of his time.
Knowing that words would be inaccurate for how much she wanted to say, Misa stepped forward. She gave L a peck on the cheek before rushing off to the elevator. She waved him goodbye as the doors closed.
L stood rooted to the spot. He had seen Misa wave at him, but he couldn't move a muscle. All he could do was blink. He could see the receptionist trying valiantly not to smile at his predicament, but her lips were twitching constantly.
Eventually, L managed to turn his head to glare at the receptionist. However, the woman didn't seem bothered. Instead of being offended, she smiled sweetly at him before returning her attention to her work.
Feeling his annoyance break the hold that Misa's kiss had put on him, L walked down the corridor that he had seen Misa come from. It was quite a simple plan. All he had to do was walk around and not going down any side corridors. He could look around all he wanted and he would hopefully find Light or his family, or he would just end up back at the elevators.
A simple plan and, as it turned out, an effective one.
Soichiro Yagami was sitting in a chair outside a small, private room. He had a cup of coffee with him and looked dead on his feet. He turned slightly at the approaching footsteps, wondering who it could be. His eyes widened as he realised who it was, and wondered if he had fallen asleep. He rose from his seat and watched L approach.
L looked to the ajar door and then back to Soichiro. He frowned in confusion, and knew that the older man understood.
"I can't only stay in there for so long, before it gets to me," Soichiro explained wearily. "The heart monitor, his stillness... it just gets too much too easily."
L nodded, not completely understanding what he meant. He looked back to the door and the back to Soichiro. When he nodded and sat back in the chair, L took it as granted permission and he entered.
It wasn't what he had expected at all. He had been expecting a dark room with the only light trained on the motionless patient, but the whole room was filled with vibrancy. The room was compact, but not small. The equipment took up a lot of space, but not enough to make the room cramped. There was plenty of space for a couple of chairs and for people to move unhindered.
L took the second chair, the one that was near Light's feet. He could see Light perfectly, without having to be uncomfortably close. He slipped off his trainers and sat in the chair.
Misa had been right. Light didn't look all that bad at all. True, his head was wrapped in bandages, which probably meant that Light would have a very odd haircut, unless the staff had taken it all off.
The thought of Light having a bald head made L smile. He was almost looking forward to it. Then he remembered why Light would be bald and his smile fell. He then realised that he had no idea what to say.
Light was lying before him. His eyes were closed, but seemed to be dancing beneath his lids. It was as if he was about to wake up in the next minute. It was as if he was trying to open his eyes with lids that weighed a ton.
However, L knew that it was nothing but rapid eye movement, something akin to when people dream. L wondered if Light really was dreaming, and if so, he wondered what the dream was, what it was about, and if Light wanted to wake up from it.
"Hey Light," he greeted his friend finally.
He felt foolish for talking to Light, but he knew that that was the only way Light was going to know that he had come to visit, if Light knew that anyone was there. He was sure that people would talk about things that they shared with the person they were talking to. However, it became painfully obvious that he didn't know that much at all about Light. The only interest he knew that he shared with Light was the Kira case.
He's not really going to be able to hear me, so I might as well talk to him about that, L reasoned to himself. But, how was he to begin?
His eyes caught sight of a range of flowers in several vases that had been laid out across a table, along with several get well soon cards. He left the chair to look through the cards. There was a card from the Yagami family, from Misa, from several people that L didn't know, and then there was a card for every member of the taskforce. Even Watari had sent a card. What got L was that Watari had not only signed his own name, but L's as well, or 'Ryuzaki' at least.
"it seems that a lot of people wish you would wake up soon," L observed. "I never thought one person could have so many people care about their wellbeing."
He snuck a glance at Light. Nothing had changed. Light was still unconscious, and L chastised himself for thinking differently. It wasn't right for him hope that Light would suddenly wake up for him. Misa had probably been hoping the same thing for a fortnight, as had Light's family. He suddenly felt like he had no right to hope for Light to wake up because he was there.
"The case isn't progressing nearly as quickly as I hoped it would," L stated, wondering if that was a good place to start. "It seems that our progress has decrease exponentially since you have been in here."
Again, Light didn't respond. His chest rose and fell gracefully and evenly as he breathed. His heart rate hadn't changed. He hadn't even twitched.
L felt something crumple inside him. He returned to the chair. He could feel his eyes watering, but he used sheer willpower to force the tears back. He wouldn't allow himself to cry. The tears he had shed in front of Watari had been a shock, and he had no desire to cry now. It just wasn't something that he did.
He gripped his shins tighter than he had intended to, but it rooted him none the less. He looked back to his friend, and felt his heart tear just that little bit more. He opened his mouth, but nothing he wanted to say came out. It was like something else, some other being was using his mouth.
"I believe you know something," he heard himself say. "I believe you know something that would help the current deaths make sense. I believe you can help, Light."
Light's right eye twitched and then settled. For that one moment, L had felt his heart inflate to the point of bursting. When nothing else happened, he felt himself fall deeper into himself, and he silently but finally admitted depression.
"Please, Light," he whispered pleadingly. "Please help me on this. Please help me, Light"
Feeling his eyes watering again, he pressed his eyes into his knees. He couldn't take this! He now understood why Soichiro was spending time in the corridor. To talk to Light and know that every word was falling on deaf ears, knowing that nothing he said made a difference to Light... it was unbearable for L.
L's head shot up as if he'd been electrocuted. He stared wildly around the room so he could rule out anyone else. He then let his eyes fall on Light Yagami.
His heart skipped a beat.