A/N: I'm a little late, sorry. :D I'm a sucker for sweet Christmas fluff – I bet you would have never guessed, looking at my older works. And I was listening to Enya while I wrote, so I ended up mentioning her in the fic as well. It seemed logical to me that they'd play one of her Christmas songs in Tokyo, since she's fairly popular and Japan likes foreign artists.
Try to guess my favorite sentence from this fic! It goes to the top 5 of my favorite sentences in my own stories. :'D
Wise Men Say
"... Mnh. Hello?"
Four fucking twenty AM.
… Then again, he didn't give a damn.
"Ryuzaki?" Light blinked, rolled onto his back and rubbed his eyes, trying to chase away the last remnants of his dream. It had been a nice one, if memory served, with watermelon, a rainbow and a certain raven-haired detective... A very nice dream. "This is my personal cell phone..."
"And this is mine. I'm not calling about work."
"Oh." Personal things, then. This, Light supposed, just might be worth getting yanked out of dreams about the detec- watermelon. Dreams about watermelon. They were always the best. "You do realize that it's very late, or rather, very early, here in Tokyo?"
"It is? I'm terribly sorry."
… Oh yeah, this was L they were talking about. The man wouldn't have realized that it was very late, or rather, very early, even if he had been here in Tokyo himself.
"But you see, this is very urgent. I wanted to hear your v... opinion."
"I can't see how my vopinion, whatever it is, could be of any use to you at this ungodly hour." Light had to add a little acting to keep his voice perfectly level.
"I believe that Light-kun is making fun of me," L murmured, sounding appropriately offended.
"I could never, and I'm astonished that you think so little of me. Honestly."
The detective was silent for a moment. "Remind me again, why did I decide to keep in contact with you after the Kira case?"
"Obviously because when you're away, you miss me enough to call me at four twenty AM."
"I do not, I was merely hoping to hear your opinion on a case."
"Oh? Didn't you just say it wasn't work-related? Which case, anyway?"
"A... new one. A... murder case."
The silence dragged on for thirty seconds. "... There's no case."
"Oh, I'm sure there is. I just haven't picked one yet."
"L... you just called me to hear my opinion on a case you haven't taken yet."
"... Now that doesn't sound like me at all."
"So in reality, you just missed me and wanted to hear my voice."
"Light-kun thinks very highly of himself."
"All right, since you asked for my opinion on a case: don't take one. Call it a day. Have a break, have a Kitkat. Take the kids out for ice cream or something, and go to bed when they do."
"Justice never sleeps, Light-kun."
"Injustice does. What do you think we have time zones for, anyway? You can sleep while they work on this side of the planet to employ you tomorrow on your side. Murderers pay for your cake, you know. If they pay tax, of course."
"What an unpleasant thought."
"I agree. Now, if you drag your one hundred pounds of skin and bones over here, I could pay for your cake. There's a nice cafe in Harajuku, with the most amazing chocolate sundaes I have ever seen..."
"Oh, yes, I've been thinking about that. Coming to Japan, not the sundaes... mostly. A lot of interesting cases seem to take place in Japan..."
"My cases. Greedy paws off my stuff."
"Sharing is caring, Light-kun. I think... I might find myself in need of a place to stay shortly after Christmas. I'm planning on taking the Shinjuku murder case then, after I'm done with the ones I have here."
"Well, in the most unlikely case that I haven't solved it by then, you may have the case and a place on my couch."
"A couch, Light-kun?"
"It's a nice couch. Very reliable when the bedroom is just too far. Trust me." Light allowed a soft, small sigh past his lips. "... I feel like a housewife, waiting for her husband to come home for Christmas."
"I believe that I'm the one taking care of children every day. Does that make me a traveling wife and you a house husband?"
Light smiled. After the Kira case, L had decided to get to know his heirs better – death had been so close this time, and the only people who would have mourned for him had never met him in person. Light supposed you never really knew what you had before you came near to losing it, and that was probably why he had supported the detective's idea. The detective had left to nourish what he had realized he held dear, and Light was left alone in Tokyo, realizing a little too late what – or who – he held dear.
"Hey, L. Did you really have anything to say? Because my alarm will go off at six and I'd like to get some sleep before that..."
"I still don't understand such need for excessive sleep, but I know better than to argue. And... no, I suppose that was all I wanted to say. All my leads had ran cold and my cell phone was just there on the table and I thought about you, and suddenly I was already waiting for you to pick up and I had no idea what I was going to say..." There was a gasp. "The phone call! That's how he did it!"
Light blinked and then chuckled. "Back on the track?"
"Yes, I can't believe I didn't notice before – amazing – now you see, Light-kun, I woke you up for a perfectly good reason! I have to go now, I have a criminal to catch. I'll contact you later. Sleep well."
"... You too. Bye." The line went dead; Light tossed the phone to the other side of the bed – L's side, as he still found himself thinking, even though the handcuff episode had been two years ago – and laughed. So the call would have been 'a complete waste of time' if it hadn't helped L to catch on a criminal's plot, huh?
"... L, you really are... a special kind of stupid, aren't you?"
"You have one new message. Beep!"
"Good morning, Light-kun. I just booked the tickets – we will arrive at Narita Airport on December the 26th. Yes, we. I'm going to bring M, M and N along. I would like you to meet them, and it would probably do good for them to watch us work together. I hope they'll learn to get over their disagreements as well. Call me when you have time."
To: Yagami Light
From: Ryuga Hideki
Subject: Re: Excuse me but...
Obviously I did not mean that we are all going to stay at your place. I may be socially inept but even I don't invite three teenagers – especially since one of them is named Mello – to someone else's house without so much as a warning. We will stay at a hotel, as usual.
"You have one new message. Beep!"
"Light-kun... This case is getting surprisingly tricky. You know exactly how much I hate to say this, but... this might take more time than I had anticipated. I might have to take a later flight. Call me."
"This is Ryuzaki."
"Hey, it's me. You okay? You sounded... odd in the message."
"I did? I find that hard to believe."
"Fine, then, you sounded odder. How are things with the case?"
"Not too bad, but it takes a lot more time than I had originally calculated. Light-kun... Can I ask you a favor?"
"You can ask for the Moon, though I'm afraid delivering it would take some time. What is it?"
"You see... the boys are so excited about the visit to Tokyo... Mello has already packed his stuff. Would it be humanly possible to trick – or treat – you into picking them up from the airport and looking after them for a day or two? I would hate to have to tell them that the trip has been postponed..."
"... Mello's seventeen and Matt will be in February. Near's mentally older than you, if you ask me. Do they really need me to baby-sit them?"
"Do you know what Hiroshima looked like after the bomb?"
"... Actually, I rather like Tokyo as it is, so let me rephrase my question: do you really think I'm enough to keep them at bay? What about the NPA? Interpol? The army? And a couple of Buddhist monks to take care of the immortal souls of the victims?"
"I think Mrs. Yagami would suffice if you are not available."
"You place my mother on the same level with the NPA, the Interpol, the Japanese army and a couple of Buddhist monks? I admit that she's quite amazing, but..."
"She did bring you up. I – ah, Watari is calling. It's probably something urgent... I will call you again."
"Oh, all right... And Ryuzaki? I'll pick them up from the airport. Leave that to me."
"This is Ryuzaki. I am currently unable to answer your call, but you may leave me a message. I will call you back if I deem it necessary."
"Damn!" Frowning, Light hit the red button and pocketed his phone after giving it a scalding glare as if to blame L's disappearance on it. "Where could he be?"
"Something wrong, Yagami-kun?" a familiar voice asked as the scent of fresh coffee drifted past Light's nose.
The young detective glanced at Matsuda over his shoulder, smiled briefly and thanked for the coffee. He wasn't finished with studying yet but his father had talked him a chance to do a shift or two a week – "to get some real-life experience that would look good in his CV", though Light knew that the actual reason had to do with the speed he solved the cases.
"Shouldn't you be at home? Chief said you were having a Christmas dinner together..." Matsuda looked confused as he settled behind his own desk, where his computer was playing Christmas songs on low volume. Light was using his father's.
Light shook his head and turned back to his papers. "Mum just used that to get Dad for herself for a whole day. Sayu is staying at her friend's place and I'm going to my apartment after work."
"Yeah, but a night shift on Christmas Eve..." the older man mumbled, apparently mostly to himself, taking a sip of his coffee.
Light couldn't help but smile a little at that. Matsuda loved Christmas – actually, the man radiated an aura full of Christmas and Valentines Day all around the year – but his family was very traditional and didn't celebrate the western holiday at all, so instead of moping alone in his apartment he had decided to catch criminals. It was clear that this was not Matsuda's ideal way of spending Christmas, though.
"What's up, anyway?" the older man returned to the earlier topic. "You've been toying with your cell phone all night. Is something wrong?"
Light glanced around; they were alone in the room. Maybe it was all right to tell Matsuda... "It's Ryuzaki," he admitted, using the alias just to be sure. "I haven't been able to reach him for almost a week. He hasn't returned my calls and apparently he hasn't even opened the emails I've sent him." He decided to leave it out that he had hacked into L's email account to find out that this was indeed the case.
Matsuda blinked. "Have you fought?"
"No. I can't think of any reason for this. He's even supposed to come over in a few days. I suppose he could have been forced to go underground suddenly – the case he's currently working on is apparently rather tough and dangerous – but he has always found a way to inform me that he's alive and well..."
Matsuda managed to look worried and grin from ear to ear at the same time. "You're still that close?" Appropriately, Elvis Presley chose this very moment to sing quietly, 'Wise men say only fools fall in love, but I can't help falling in love with you'.
Light shot him a Look. He could almost feel the blush creeping up his cheeks. "We work together," he reminded the man. "And we are best friends, despite the distance."
Matsuda's grin softened slightly. "That's... great, you know, how you two get along. I remember how you were before you met each other – you were popular and had a wonderful career waiting for you, and he was the best detective in the world, but no matter how much you smiled and he feigned indifference, both of you always looked so lonely. Both brilliant but miserable. I'm not sure if you even realized that, and I'm pretty sure he never did."
Those words were still echoing in Light's ears when he was walking to the train station later that night. Matsuda had, once again, proved that though he lacked in the brains department, he did have the eye and heart for details that no one else noticed. Had he really been that miserable?
Yes, he realized, he had.
Why on Earth, why the hell had he let the detective leave?
And he was supposed to be intelligent.
It was snowing, though the white powder would be gone within hours; it was late, but Tokyo was never dark. Neon lights were beaming and blinking at him all around him, and the leafless trees lining the street had been wrapped in pale blue Christmas lights. On the walls, the too thin men and women of the gigantic advertisements were smiling their perfect model smiles through thick layers of make up; the huge screen on the wall of a shopping mall showed a foreign woman singing a slow western Christmas song in a beautiful, ethereal voice. Enya, it read in the corner of the screen.
There weren't too many people in the streets, but most of the few who shared the outdoors with him at the moment had company – couples with their arms around each other, friends laughing at some mutual joke as they headed home from work or bars.
For the first time in his perfect life, Light Yagami felt lonely. Calm and content and slightly sad like someone who has accepted his fate, but lonely.
A few days, and he'd have to meet L's heirs. He was slightly wary of whether they would accept him – after all, L had even said that Light could very well take over his job after his death, though that wasn't something Light liked to think about – but in a way, it felt good to know that they were coming. At least then he could get some information about the whereabouts of the detective.
If they know, his pessimistic side decided to add as he fumbled with the keys and opened the door to his apartment. L paid half of his rent and was responsible for finding such a big apartment in a prestigious area for him; it was an apology for everything he had been put through during the Kira case, but Light didn't mind. It made him feel like it was their apartment, somehow, not just his.
There was a familiar pair of ratty sneakers on the floor.
Light stared at them for a short moment. Then he closed the door behind him, took off his coat and shoes and walked to the dark living-room, moving very slowly and almost robotically, his face completely expressionless.
There was a bag lying next to the couch, a hand still gripping its handle loosely. The hand, along with the rest of the figure sprawled across the couch, was moving gently, following the slow rhythm of breathing; the other arm was curled against the chest, the thumb touching the lips ever-so-slightly. Dark hair, midnight black in the darkness of the room, was splayed over the closed eyes.
"... L?" Light whispered, asking before reaching out to touch, just in case that he had worked too much and was seeing things.
The bony detective stirred, his breathing hitching momentarily, but didn't move. After a few seconds that felt like forever, spent to find his voice, a soft sound drifted past the almost closed lips. "Tadaima," L murmured in Japanese, "I'm home, Light-kun."
Light didn't give a damn if it was lame and girly, but when those words reached his ears, his eyes got suddenly very misty and he was moving far before he realized what he was doing. When he was sitting on the couch, stroking the detective's hair gently, it was already too late to withdraw.
"Sorry," L whispered after a while, still with his eyes closed, "I didn't mean to fall asleep. It's just... I really wanted to come here, so I worked day and night to close that case. I haven't slept for three days... and even then it was just an hour or two... I'm afraid I fell asleep in the plane, and it was so hard to keep my eyes open until I got here, and I was going to sit here and wait for you, but..."
"Hush," Light said, and L trailed off. "You're rambling. How did you get in... no, it doesn't matter. Why are you here? You wouldn't believe how happy I'm to see you, but I thought you'd spend Christmas with the children..."
"I did," the detective whispered, "or most of it, anyway. But it felt like something was missing, and really, the only thing missing was you. So I got on a private jet and came here... I apologize for not warning you, but I was in a hurry."
Light was floored. What could he say to that? He was so touched that he could barely speak. "Wow, you don't only miss me enough to call me in the middle of the night – you miss me enough to fly across two continents to the other side of the planet on Christmas... You're really something, L."
"I did not miss you that much," L claimed, trying to curl up into a tighter ball. "I just wanted to come to Japan..."
The younger man smiled softly. "L, for the top three detectives in the world, you can be quite silly at times." But don't worry, he added to himself, I love you anyway.
"Shut up, Light-kun," L groaned, "and lay down – I'm sleeping, for once. It's a very nice couch, trust me."
Light new that already, but it remained to be tested whether it was still nice when there were two people sleeping on it, and Light was never a man to turn down a chance to test a theory. Crawling over the curled-up form of the detective, he settled behind him, wrapping his arm around the thinner man and pulling him against his chest.
"Merry Christmas, L," he whispered against the back of the raven-haired man's neck, finishing it with a small kiss and a, "Sleep well."
1) They don't really celebrate Christmas in Japan, since it's just one of the holidays that have migrated from the USA, but they love the material and commercial side of it, and especially in a big international city such as Tokyo Christmas can be seen everywhere. (They had green Santas appearing in an TV ad in June...)
2) Have a break, have a Kitkat was the punchline in a popular chocolate bar ad when I was a kid. :D
3) There is a very nice cafe with the most amazing desserts in Harajuku. XD If you happen to go there, take Takeshita Street from the train station and go check the first cafe on the right. And try the melon soda.
Merry Christmas, everyone!