Beta credit and dedication to SociiallyDiisoriiented.
L Lawliet, also known by a million and a half point two other names, was contemplating.
As he usually contemplated a minimum of twenty hours a day if not more, this was not exactly strange news at all. He was used to constantly thinking, analysing, imagining, considering, recalling, psychoanalysing, breaking down features and components, and contemplating. He was used to doing these things for the majority of his day, because a day not thinking was a day wasted, in L's very well-known and respected opinion.
Well, that and eating cake, but that was beside the point.
It was what he was contemplating as he happened to be on his way to the local sweet shop that made it so interesting and unique. At the moment, as he walked down the concrete-paved street with his stomach thinking of strawberry shortcake and the wind whipping through his hooded hair, a green apple sucker in his mouth, he was thinking about what Amane Misa had said in the interrogation room.
Usually his mind was composed of theories, imagination, sweets, and options. He thought of everything scientifically, with much deliberation and consideration, and it always had to do with a case that had a logical explanation or some type of theoretical meaning underlying. He thought about cases and criminals and never thought, even in a passing, about human emotions unless it was from a psychological and methodical point of view. Emotions and thought processes were thought about systematically, gathering the useful evidence within the stories and the ways of human beings, but the underlying cause and nature of the emotions and actions weren't really worth contemplating. He didn't think about his own emotions, as he was aloof and detached himself, and the emotions from others had no standing in L's mind because he didn't really believe it was necessary. He worked with percentages and science, not with love or hate or happiness or sadness or the rest of the bundle of human emotion. He just understood why people did the things they did; he could think like them but he couldn't let himself become consumed by it.
However, he couldn't get Misa's statement out of his head: You're a...pervert! Normally, he wouldn't think much of it, because he heard unnecessary and emotional words come out of people's mouths all the time. "You're an unemotional bastard" and "I'm going to kill you one day, you miserable, emotionless fuck" were among the most common that people would say to him over the intercom after being apprehended to be thrown into prison for life. He was definitely used to verbal insults about his strange lifestyle—he barely ever saw the sun before the Kira case had come on the table; he hated being looked at even if the people around him had no idea of who he was—and his cold methods—"Torture? Sure, have at it. I don't mind. Just don't kill him until I get my information."—but it had never really occurred to him that he could possibly be a pervert.
He knew that it was ridiculous to dwell on it, because it was probably some useless sentence that criminals blurted out of their thought processes in the heat of the moment, not really thinking about what they were saying exactly, but for some odd reason, it was really bugging him. If there was one thing that he was sure he was not, it would have to be a pervert. He was twenty-four-years-old, almost twenty-five, and had never once thought about anything revolving around himself and the same or opposite gender, or the act of copulation at all. He knew that there were beautiful women and handsome men out there, because he had seen their pictures on databases and on papers, but he knew this through a theoretical standpoint because he had never engaged in any of that sort-of activity.
He recognised the act of intercourse and 'perverted' natures to be about physical and/or emotional attraction, pheromones, and other weird things that he tried not to dwell upon unless a case needed it, but he had never really understood it. It was a basic reproductive stimulus that ninety-seven per-cent of Homo-sapiens were compelled to in order to continue the human race. Most people couldn't suppress the urges even if they wanted to, and took part in sexual intercourse by the time they were twenty nowadays. He understood this, even if he did not have first-hand experience, and while he had questions and curiosity about what could drive people to do terrible things for useless emotions like love and attraction, he had only considered it in a scientific standpoint. He had no other use for dwelling on thoughts of such a nature.
But perverted? It was beyond L's comprehension. He had never been with a man or a woman, would never be with a man or a woman, and would be perfectly content not being with a man or a woman. He didn't care about the basic biological urges of people, because he didn't have them. His urges were composed of interesting cases, getting satisfying results, and sweets. Preferably cake. Especially strawberry cake, with white icing and a strawberry on top with a toothpick holding it all together. He definitely cared about cake. And botamochi and dango and strawberry ice cream and lollipops that tasted like cherries and cherries themselves and chocolate-covered cherries with the runny cream inside...
He forced himself to think about the Kira case as he got closer to the sweet shop. He was supposed to be at headquarters, watching the interrogation of Amane Misa and Yagami Raito. It had been expected by the famous detective that Raito would ask to be put into solitary confinement, which meant that there was something suspicious going on with the college student. Therefore, it was necessary to watch the two of them almost non-stop, to see if the killings would stop or if they would let something slip. However, as much as L hated to be outside where he could possibly be seen by everyone and their grandmothers, he knew that if he didn't get something besides green apple flavoured suckers and that watermelon in the ice box, he was going to go mad.
Quillish Wammy, known in this country as Watari, was currently dealing with Roger in Winchester, England, who was the head of the Wammy House. Wammy or one of the members of the Kira Investigation Team were usually the ones that went to the sweet shop that L loved above all others in this country, but as Wammy was off on that important business call that could take hours—Roger had a tendency to talk quite extensively about insects—and the team was mostly at home spending time with their families, he was off to get his own strawberry cake. After all, his brain function without the sugar would decrease by forty per-cent, and that just wouldn't do. He needed his brain to convict that slimy, clever little Yagami Raito, so he needed sugar. Well, something besides watermelon and green apple suckers. He needed that strawberry cake that tasted so wonderful and divine.
He could smell the sweet shop, and the Kira case, which he considered nearly ninety-four per-cent complete now that Raito and Misa were in custody, all but left his mind. The wind was blowing with a humid, sticky scent, which didn't really bug L that much. It smelled like cookies, and chocolate, and something like rum, but the hint of strawberries made everything else go away. He lifted his head to sniff the air, giving the people walking down the street the complete and proper view of his face, but at the moment he didn't give it much thought, because he didn't believe that there was another Kira out there. Besides, with the big black sunglasses hiding his equally black eyes, he felt moderately safe even though the chills down his spine made him hide his face yet again.
So with a nice view of cracking sidewalks and the feet of passer-by, he made his way through one of the less populated areas of the city, following that wondrous scent to Sato-Mari, quite possibly the best sweet shop in Japan. His mind was on cake, and all of the rest of the yummy items that were just waiting to be delicately handled by L's careful fingers before being devoured.
The sweet shop was flashy and colourful, standing out clearly against all of the drab greys and blacks and whites that surrounded it. He loved this building the few times he had laid eyes on it, for he loved the multitudes of cakes and dango and cookies and anmitsu and truffles and anpan and castella and green tea ice cream and melonpan and mochi ice cream laid everywhere in the place. He was nearly dizzy just staring at it. It was the only place in Japan worth braving the crowd that was waiting in line to get some of the sweets. After all, it was one of the most popular shops in the Kantō region regardless of its location, filled with anything that could possibly satiate a sweet tooth like L's. It was a fantastic place, in L's opinion, and so he took a deep breath, shivered a bit despite the hot and mildly humid air, and entered the shop.
The roar of the crowd hit him like a tidal wave, causing him to pause for a second and just take it all in. It wasn't often that he allowed himself to even go outside, so being surrounded by a small mob of people was different and uncomfortable. It felt as if everyone was staring at him, which was probably true considering the clothes he was wearing—the denim trousers and the white long sleeved shirt probably wouldn't have bugged many people, but the glasses over his face was definitely enough to touch someone's curiosity, and if they looked down at his feet that were in loose shoes without socks, they'd probably think he was nuts—but in reality, he was just regarded and then ignored just like usual. Strange visual or not, he was just another human being. Unless he smiled, that was, and then people veered away from him in fear that he would eat their livers with some fava beans or something. Apparently his smile was creepy, because ninety-eight per-cent of the time it produced the same result.
The last two per-cent were just as creepy and took it as normal behaviour.
So he stood in the back of the line, avoiding touching anyone in the store, finally finishing his green apple sucker and throwing the stick away in the litter bin by the door. It would take forever to get his order filled because the line ended practically at the door in the first place, and so he sighed almost inaudibly and pulled out another one of those suckers, practically desperate to have something sweet on his tongue. He really needed his next substantial sugar fix if he wasn't going to shrivel and die on the colourful floor beneath him.
Still hunched over with his right hand tapping restlessly against his thigh, he heard the door open and he shuffled forward a bit to allow the newcomer some room, not taking the time to look back although he was aware of them. He was very proficient in capoeira and could fight if he needed to, and he was very, very sure that the two Kira's were currently in captivity, so he was only a little suspicious. Like one per-cent suspicious. He was one per-cent suspicious of everyone in the room, but that was because he was just naturally suspicious and wary of other people. It was one of the main reasons that he never went outside, opting instead to bury himself in a room with a computer and a microphone to solve cases. It was how he worked and thought best.
For a few moments, L just sucked on his sucker and attempted to look as if he was completely oblivious to everything around him, which was not the case of course. But if he appeared that way, the greater the chance that other people would believe it and not consider him a threat...or perhaps the greatest detective on the globe. But just looking at the people was a joke, he figured as he moved forward just as the door opened again and invited another customer. They were so obvious with everything they did, to the point that L could practically see their entire life story right before his covered eyes.
For instance, the young girl behind the cash register had a small bruise on her neck, indicating sexual activity, but she also had more make-up on the left side of her face, badly hiding a larger bruise that came from a solid hit to the cheek, indicating a fight of some sort. She had trouble moving her neck and shoulders, bruises and small cuts on the yellowish-gold, although her hair did a nice job covering it up. Her dyed blonde locks were down, covering the sides of her face, and every once in a while she would nervously palm it to make absolutely sure that the left side of her face was covered, which guaranteed that she was embarrassed and ashamed of it. There were gloves that covered her hands, attempting to cover the wrists that so clearly had rope burns on them and failing. However, the girl looked close to tears, and was hunched over a bit in a defeated expression, which was the biggest tell-all of the entire package. So L logically confirmed that she had been raped by one cruel bastard, destroying the girl's self-esteem and confidence, and that no one in the administration had the common decency to let the girl stay home and rest. Or maybe she was just fooling herself into thinking that everything was okay when it really wasn't.
And then there was the kid in front of L, wearing a huge, long sleeved burgundy shirt and baggier trousers than L's own, with a pair of beaten up shoes. L could see that the kid was standing in a self-defence posture, his arms curled around his chest and indicating the need for protection, and when he shuffled forward when the line moved, he was walking with a slight limp. By his side was a large man with a name tag that read 'Tazuna', who had red-rimmed eyes due to an alcohol or drug withdraw, and was practically standing over the kid. They were probably father and son, and the father was beating the hell out his son.
For a small, fleeting moment, L wondered if Kira had killed the man that had raped the cashier, and wondered why Kira hadn't killed the man that was terrorising his child. It wasn't over the news, that was for sure, because L didn't recall seeing the cashier or Tazuna on the television, so perhaps that was the reason. But a girl had been raped and a boy was being traumatised, and L's lips pressed in a hard line, his eyes closing beneath the sunglasses. It really was dreadful what was happening to the world, L knew, but it did not give Kira the right to pass judgement on people that did or didn't need it. Yes, they were murderers, but it did not give Kira the right to be a mass murderer himself. Kira was a modern-day Adolf Hitler, and he needed to be punished for his crimes.
L sighed again, opening his eyes just as he lurched forward. The cause was the door opening and a group of teen-agers galloping in like idiots and pushing everyone in the line as they thrashed around. L allowed himself a brief moment of insanity and barrelled as hard as he possibly could into the man named Tazuna, nearly knocking the larger man off of his feet, and the detective felt the corner of his lips twitch upwards in amusement. It had been definitely worth it, even though now he had the scent of a mixture of cigarettes and sweat in his nose that didn't seem to want to go away.
A taller figure nearly did fall, but at the last moment L reached out with swiftness and grasped the person's shoulder, stopping him in his topple to the ground. Nearly as soon as it started it was over, and the taller figure straightened himself out and revealed his face, huffing with annoyance. For a second, the man fumed silently before giving out an accented "Arigatō gozaimasu" and smiling tightly.
L's eyebrow rose slightly as the taller man returned to his place behind him. He was definitely taller, possibly around 183 centimetres, and had hair just like L's own except a bit longer, with the same shade of jet black hair and an identical dishevelled look. His skin was darker than L's, at a lightly golden colour that shined in the light, and his almond shaped eyes were a vivid, sharp green, framed by dark eyelashes and round glasses. He was foreign, no doubt about it, but the biggest mystery was the thin scar on his forehead. It appeared as if he had had the lightning bolt-shaped for years due to the tightness around the scar tissue, and yet the colour was still a tender brownish-pink colour, as if just only a couple of weeks old.
His clothes were normal to most people's eyes, with a short sleeved red shirt and a pair of dark denim trousers, but the jeans were loose, so loose that he had to have a black belt on to keep the fabric from falling down. To L's eyes, the jeans were too nice to be hand-downs, and no one would consider buying trousers that loose if they had the money to buy the jeans in the first place, and his shirt was nice and fitted like a shirt should. His shoes were simple tennis shoes, but they were surely expensive as well, and he had jewellery on that probably cost a small fortune, consisting of a golden watch, a silver band (probably titanium or platinum) on his right ring finger, and a necklace made out of silver that was tucked into his shirt. He had a black shoulder bag that was filled with books to the brim, and a knitted hat that was pushed over his messy hair. The man obviously had money, which did not explain why he was wearing those overly large jeans.
The only explanation was that this man was hiding something.
Behind his sunglasses, the detective's large black eyes narrowed with suspicion, and he combed through every single bump and crease in those trousers to find the outline of whatever he was hiding—a weapon?—although he saw nothing. So instead, he decided to speak, in English, because he was pretty sure that the stranger was from a Western country like Britain or perhaps America just by the vague accent in his Japanese words. "You're very much welcome."
Those green eyes widened and a wide smile popped up on his face as he exclaimed in an airy, melodic British timbre, "You speak English! Fantastic! I'm not good at this Japanese thing, so you're a breath of fresh air!" His features, which before were moderately attractive and more exotic than anything, brightened up considerably with the beaming grin on his face, and for a moment L was taken aback that someone would direct a smile at him.
The line moved forward a metre as L decided to reply, "That's true. I know that a different language can be difficult to get used to." His posture slumped a bit more, the shoes starting to make him very uncomfortable because he wasn't used to them. L really hated shoes, almost as much as socks, and so he felt a bit awkward and off-balance in them.
"Yeah, no kidding there. Within two years I've had to learn three different languages. It's a bit of a bummer, to tell the truth." He grinned again and then extended his right hand to shake. "I'm James. James Lupin. It's nice to meet you." His hands were on the small side, his fingers not as long as L's own and golden instead of L's pallor. With a slight hesitation, L returned the gesture, his long and spidery hands wrapping around James', and just as quickly took his hand back. The dark headed James had warm skin, with good circulation, which was more than L could say for himself, as he was always cold to the touch.
"I'm Hideki Ryuga, or vice versa." A couple of curious bystanders glanced hurriedly at L, clearly wanting to see if he actually was the famous person with the same name as they recognised it regardless of the language, but they were disappointed and went back to ignoring the two of them as they waited in line for their sweets.
With a raised eyebrow, James said, "Well, that was odd." The smile appeared again, but didn't reach those green eyes, and L could immediately tell that he was a bit nervous now. This, of course, was understandable, but now that L's own guard was up, he could practically hear James' mind whizzing around in his skull.
Who was this man? L thought to himself silently. He had a questionable appearance and could've been hiding a weapon. He clearly wasn't a police officer, because he'd be way out of his jurisdiction, and L doubted that he was an agent for another country because he would be wearing a jacket to hide the shoulder holster. It'd be too difficult to pull a gun from his trousers because of that belt and too much of a hassle to reach down to pull one out of the leg. Therefore, he wasn't an officer of the law, because he was clearly unprepared should an attack occur.
But then again, it could've been because he was off duty, but even then, it was illegal in both England and Japan to carry a firearm while not on duty, and no police officer or agent would ever just have a gun on his or her leg. It would've been in a shoulder holster or a back guard or even in a side case, because it was easier accessible and faster to get to.
L was pretty convinced that he wasn't a foreign mobster, because a member of the British mob in a country like Japan was near suicide. He could've been working alone, like a professional hitter or maybe even just a nutjob with a bad temper, but even that was farfetched. From L's first glance around the place, there was no one of much importance in the sweet shop besides L himself, and no one even knew that he was L, so that was scratched off, and the usual criminals like thieves didn't laugh and joke around. Also, if a criminal had been shoved like he had been before, he would've been jumpy and trying to keep the weapon concealed.
"I have the same name as a famous musician in this country, so I tend to get a bit of attention for it," L replied in his strange accent; it was the oddest mix between a British, Russian, and Japanese accent, due to his usual employment between the three countries. However, it was more because he had been born in Japan and lived there for almost five years, transferred to an orphanage in Russia for three years after that, and then had spent the remainder of his childhood with Wammy and Roger in Winchester as he had been technically 'adopted' by Wammy when he was eight. Therefore, he was a blend between the three that confused a lot of people and just bewildered the rest.
"Ah, well that makes sense." The line moved forward once again and L was finally next in line to get his order taken, his stomach rumbling at the idea. Absently, he pulled out two green apple suckers and offered one to James, who shrugged and accepted, tentatively unwrapping it and appearing as if he was a bit cautious about eating something from a stranger. It took L practically shoving his own sucker in his mouth for a small fix of sugar, his wide eyes staring a hole in the strawberry shortcake that was displayed on the counter, for his new acquaintance to finally pop the candy in his mouth. For a couple of seconds, they stood in silence, absorbing the sounds and the view of the mountains of sweets behind the counter, before the line moved forward and L nearly pranced his way to the cashier, sighing as he remembered the girl's injuries.
She glanced at him and straightened, smiling brightly as she said in Japanese, "Well, good afternoon, Hideki-sama! It's nice to see you up and about! Do you want the usual?"
L just nodded, his head bobbing up and down in his enthusiasm. She had met him only twice since he had moved to Japan for the Kira investigation, and even though she usually received orders from Wammy, it was sort-of hard to forget someone like him. His posture was apparently dreadful, the sunglasses made him look like an insect, and he usually spent more money than most people earned in a week just on sweets. It was pretty much guaranteed that she would remember him regardless of the few times they had met.
With a laugh, the blonde cashier said, "Alright then, your total is...the usual: 22,729 yen." A couple of eavesdroppers looked towards him with gaping mouths at the absurd price, and even James behind him choked a bit on his saliva. After all, most people spent around 2,000 yen, which was definitely reasonable, and so hearing such a large sum of yen was a bit of a shocker.
She gave him a receipt that was a good half a metre long, stating that he had gotten everything on the menu in his usual gigantic servings, including three strawberry cakes and more anpan than one could possibly need in a year.
Yeah right. All of it would be gone in a week.
He stood to the side, dialling his chauffer so he could get a ride, for Wammy usually had to carry a good four bags after all of the candy and cake was bagged, and was satisfied to hear that he'd be here in ten minutes if the traffic was according. He hung up just as James finished ordering his simple serving of green tea ice cream. His receipt was tiny compared to L's own, and James quickly stepped to L's side as he waited at the pick-up counter for his multitudes of goodies.
"Well, hell, you must be feeding a small army for a month with that type of order," James joked with amusement, and L frowned slightly.
"No. I'm feeding myself. If anyone else was to touch my cake, I would probably lock them in a room with nothing to eat but onigiri for a month." L said it so bluntly that James broke out in laughter, clutching his side with the force of his chuckles. The shorter of the two stared with his thin eyebrows raised, highly confused. Had he said something that amusing? He was only stating the obvious, and he didn't see much to be amused about. It was the truth, because he definitely could get away with it. The Kira Investigation Team was at his disposal, really, considering he was paying them a salary out of his own pocket and keeping them employed when their own government wouldn't do the right thing by attempting to arrest Kira. Besides, it was an unspoken rule that no one but Wammy—and that was only on the most dire of circumstances—was allowed to eat his sweets unless L himself permitted it.
"How in the hell are you so skinny then, hm? Are you a pro-athlete or do you have an unhealthy fascination with plastic surgery?"
L cocked his head, still a bit bewildered by James and his unpredictable reaction. "The brain takes a lot of calories and energy to work properly. I can increase my brain activity by forty per-cent with the sugar I ingest."
James shot back with a grin, "The body needs physical activity and vegetables to keep healthy. You eat all of that and you're going to have a heart attack!" His ice cream was placed on the counter and he picked it up, saying brightly, "They have the best green tea ice cream here. It's not as good as chocolate custard, but it's still worth coming here. I'll see you around." He turned on his heel and walked out in his horribly loose trousers, waving once before disappearing around the corner, leaving L reeling from James mentioning him having a heart attack.
When his driver came and helped get the bags of sweets, L was still telling himself to stop worrying, because the Kira's, even the one who could kill by seeing faces, were in custody, in custody damnit, because both Amane Misa and Yagami Raito were guilty.
But his shaky self-assurances didn't stop the shiver from running down his spine.