Hey everyone!

I'm back with more!

I hope you're loving Safe and Warm as much as I am. :)

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful reviews, and I ask again for a few more regarding this alternate ending bit. I need feedback on my written romance, seeing as I'm inexperienced and don't really know what I'm doing with it. *chuckles sheepishly* So yes, please let me know what you think, especially on this one. It could be really good for me as a writer.

This is the last of it. I'm pretty sure I've exhausted this story, now four full chapters/parts.

So much for a little one-shot... 0_O

I apologize if its lacking in anything or if I didn't do enough or did too much.

As I've said, I'm still learning how to write romantically, but I feel like this went pretty well.

Still, I'd like to introduce it to a bigger community and get some second opinions.

Thank you all for your time and feedback, and I hope you enjoy the last installment of Safe and Warm.

******Again, more-adult content than the first to chapters, I think. Heads up and all that.

Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't own L or any other aspects of Death Note. It all belongs to Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba.

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Safe and Warm

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Alternate Ending - Chapter 3 Part 2

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The realization that he was being called yet again from the laptop in front of the chair that we'd long since left behind was slow and verged on painful. The room seemed to lose some of its lovely liquid with the heated, passionate depths. Instead the remainders of the fluid washed with slight confusion against the walls. The delicious and maddening pleasure in my mind seemed to stop whirling and roiling with overwhelming vigor. Instead the remaining emotions and images slowed and wandered around in search of what they'd been just a moment ago. We froze once again, our minds making the conscious adjustments with dragging reluctance and stubborn unwillingness. L stiffened, his lips drawing with agonizing slowness away from mine. My entire body seemed to ache all at once in any sort of absence of him, something close to a scream of protest welling up within my throat, though I stifled it to the best of my ability and instead made a soft, subdued sound of utmost disapproval.

L continued to hold me close, but his body straightened slightly, his head pulling back a short distance. He knew just as well as I did what the call entailed, what it meant. He'd answered it without hesitation every time before, but now... Though he was moving, I sensed his disinclination. Still attempting to resist the sudden change in our situation, I opened my eyes to observe him. His dark eyes bored unrelentingly into mine, making my shallow breath catch raggedly in my chest that was pressed with knee-weakening strength against his when I truly viewed how very strongly his desire for me remained with him despite the interruption. My skin seemed to tighten and tremble beneath his fiery black gaze. It took him a long, silent moment to finally drag his eyes away from me, forcing them to slide off of my face and allow him to glance just over his bare shoulder at the computer far behind us. His disheveled ebony hair was even more unkempt than usual, spears of night splaying in random directions, reaching every which way and falling into his face without reason or restriction. His black gaze drilled through the chaotic sable strands in a way that suggested he was very thoroughly considering taking a large, heavy object and dropping it onto his computer at that moment. I had never before considered the possibility of the commencement of such an action from one as dedicated and passionate about his work as L.

His eyes slid back to me then, capturing me up into his gaze and refusing to let me go. I stared back at him silently with wide, glazed eyes. My lips, tingling hotly, were parted to allow my ragged breathing easier entrance and exit into my desperate lungs. My hair was tangled behind my head and in front of my warm, reddened face, the strands obscuring my sight of him and making him resemble a noble, feral beast gazing hungrily at me through the shadowed depths of an endless, untamed forest. His desire was still heart-wrenchingly evident in his expression, making my blood continue to surge. He looked undeniably magnificent, alive and hungry and free, wanting and needing only me at a level that made the air hard to breathe sometimes. I couldn't refrain from gently stroking his face, feeling his silken skin warm beneath my touch as his chaotic black hair lightly brushed across the back of my hand. He was so wonderful... My love, my L...

My legs were still wrapped around his waist, his arms still curled strongly around my back and holding my bare skin against his. The heat and tension and want were still undeniably present – the moment wasn't entirely ruined. True, the computer was another source of light in the room behind us, but it was silent now, so very ignorable... Part of me considered pulling his face to mine and dragging him down onto the bed and tearing our passionate displays of affection right back into smoldering being as if nothing had changed. I knew we could even enjoy the sudden rush of returning to the climactic level we'd been at and hadn't completely fallen from in a few brief seconds... Oh, it was tempting, so unbearably and mouth-wateringly tempting... But I couldn't reject the fact that I knew the call meant something. It was part of who L was – he was always ready to save the entire world at a moment's summoning. It was part of his obligation as the greatest detective on earth – he answered his calls.

Now that I'd realized that we couldn't continue just yet, I swallowed roughly, lowering my eyes in an attempt to prevent my moral judgment from being eaten up by the distracting attractiveness of his handsome face. However, the sight of his smoothly curving shoulders and perfectly muscled chest and flawlessly pale skin glistening beneath a thin sheen of sweat certainly wasn't much easier on my distracted mind... Oh, how I longed to lower my head even more and use my tongue to taste – I tried to stifle the blush-inducing thoughts before my body warmed up to the ideas slipping with sinuous stealth into my frazzled mind and failed terribly. His arms tightened around me, making it even harder to concentrate as his skin brushed strongly and surely against mine. It was as if he'd realized right then that I was internally conflicted and was currently swaying toward the choice that didn't involve answering the laptop and instead involved the cool, tangling bed-covers and the heavy, sucking darkness and the hot, sliding flesh and the flaming, passionate moans when – I winced mentally as I unintentionally released a hushed, breathless, gasp that hitched in my throat and revealed far too much about how little the laptop was starting to mean to me.

No. He answered his calls. Always.

I closed my eyes for a moment in an attempt to think clearly, steadying my hand against his face and making my fingers cease to tremble.

"...L, you really should–" I began quietly, murmuring softly into his collar and attempting to convey the right side of my internal battle before he stopped me, making my eyes snap open with ardent surprise. I felt his thumb against my lips, pressing delicately and yet firmly as he silenced me. I could feel my blood pulsing hotly against his fingers, shivers coursing down my spine as his hand curled beneath my chin and lifted my face up to his. While his large black eyes hypnotized me, his thumb pulled slightly downward on my lower lip until he reached my chin and let go, allowing my lip to snap back up into place, making hot sensations spark at the edges of my mind. He leaned even closer, allowing me to taste his sweet breath once again on the tip of my tongue...

"...Let them call..." he whispered to me, the sentence making my eyes widen. He was willing to abandon the needy world to be with me? My mind was having difficulty wrapping around that process, especially since I was wrapped around him and he was wrapped around me so very intimately at the moment... He drank in the sight of my flushed, disbelieving face before he dropped his head quickly, catching me off guard once again and not giving me time to gain any ground mentally in resisting what he and I both so deeply desired by ravaging my throat with his mouth once again. The wonderful feel made my head loll weakly backward, giving him even better access to make me forget all earthly limitations and restrictions. As my eyes began to close and my self-control began to wither, as his tongue traced my collar bones and dipped down across my heaving chest, as pleasure began to gain momentum within my mind and the room began to fill up with suffocatingly seductive liquid once again... I managed to notice the light of the awakened laptop, almost by accident. First, I turned away and tried to forget the sight of it, tried to focus on the feel of L's mouth against my skin... But I couldn't take it back. I'd seen it – the laptop was still there, still waiting...

As much as I was reluctant to admit it, I knew I wouldn't feel right if something terrible happened because L and I weren't paying any attention to the outside word. I wouldn't be content with a life being lost because we couldn't control ourselves... I'd known the risks – and the inconveniences – from the beginning, and, though I was far from compliant, I knew I couldn't let that call go ignored. I floundered in the feel of him as he consumed me once again, trying with all I had to return to some level of coherency and reinstate the importance of the beeping laptop, that stupid machine that seemed so insignificant and annoying... No, it was important. Important. Something was wrong or dangerous. We had to help. I had to try...

"...L," I whispered, knowing my voice betrayed my reluctance to stop him but also knowing that it was necessary. I didn't dare inject more feeling or volume into my tone, knowing it would most likely fail in deterring him and would probably only succeed in encouraging him even further. The thought laid its roots within my mind – him being encouraged, him taking it further, him doing everything I'd ever wanted – and it twisted and grew into a mighty, throbbing tree of feverish fantasies and tantalizingly delicious dreams that I knew were actually just within my grasp if I only allowed the laptop, beyond irksome, to go alight and unnoticed in the dark behind us... Ugh. Even my quiet, whispering tone seemed to cause a tangible change in his behavior, as if my breathlessness was an irresistible reason to continue. I was initially frustrated, with myself and with him, but it was quickly being devoured by escalating pleasure as he chose to continue to ignore the bothersome, interrupting machine and my pleas for him not to do so. Though he gave no verbal indication that he had heard me speak his name, I knew that he had. Instead of trying to persuade me otherwise with words, he simply let his maddening, ravenous mouth against my receptive skin speak for him. And damn it was persuasively eloquent.

His lips became even more fervent than before, almost ferocious against my neck, his impeccable abilities driving me wild as he exhibited new levels of determination and tried to make me as willing to forget the computer as he was. ...Ooooh my God... My fingers began to knot in his hair, my breathing becoming even more shallow and throaty. A short, strangled groan rippled from my chest as I continued to lose our sinfully-delicious battle. I hadn't expected to have any inclination to resist what he and I both so deeply and so hungrily desired, but I guess that made it interesting... The challenge each of us presented to the other was undeniably alluring, and I knew, despite our colliding views of the laptop, we were both immensely enjoying this. I tried not to smile and failed, my resolve weakening each second. I tried desperately to focus on why the previously-beeping computer was so important. Surely there was a reason..? Many people could be in danger... and his fingertips were slipping teasingly beneath my bra-strap...and many lives could be at stake... and his open mouth was making its steady way up my throat toward mine... Oh, I wouldn't be able to take that.

The knowledge of how disastrous a kiss would be to my laptop-attending endeavor helped renew the spark of my dwindling resistance, helping my determination rise higher and grow stronger. I withdrew my fingers reluctantly from his hair and attempted to draw myself backward away from him. I knew, so close and so entwined with the man I loved, my moral fiber hardly stood a chance – my legs were wrapped around his limber waist and my arms were locked around his lowered neck, and that wasn't helping me at all. I had to get away just enough to think clearly. Predictably, he didn't let me retreat without a fight. When his lips tried to follow me, the feel of his breath against the feverish skin of my throat quickening, I inhaled a quiet, uneven suck of air in slight panic and managed to swiftly yet gently cover his mouth with my hand, halting his advances and giving myself a moment or two for attempting to think with remote clarity.

...Thank God... I exhaled heavily, as if I'd been holding my breath, and took a split second to compose myself further before meeting L's gaze and attempting to convey the seriousness of the call that he was trying to ignore. He stared at me, waiting. There was something in his eyes, a curious expectancy toward what I would do. It was wickedly laced with a flaming, black, and daring mischievousness that made my blood swirl with heat and coolness at the same time, seeing as I could tell he was thinking of something – something that would no doubt be fantastically wonderful for me but terribly destructive for my laptop-answering venture. I could almost see the smile that I was probably covering up with my hand as it glistened with promise in his endlessly-captivating eyes. I opened my mouth quickly, attempting to speak and reach his professional investigator side while I was still somewhat coherent, but he shot that plan to hell when he slid his tongue across the palm of my hand, nimbly tracing numerous circles of various sizes into my skin and making my breath catch in my throat. I hadn't been expecting that, the hot arousing wetness, and I knew it was unfortunately visible in my expression. My weakness was clear, especially when I didn't speak and instead settled for allowing him to trail his tongue across my wrist and gently suck my fingertips as well. Sensual sparks shot through my brain and a betraying moan of pleasure slipped from between my lips.

My body began to slacken in surrender, my clenched and determinedly-muscled resistance beginning to drip out of my desperate grasp. My hand slid down his neck and fell against his chest, his heart beating vividly beneath my palm, his skin so warm and smooth, almost slick now... I was losing our war – and part of me didn't care. Part of me was entirely fine with it. Part of me was actually hoping I lost, screaming at me to fall against him now and let him lay me back onto the bed, finally defeated. Part of me was begging me to let him come to me, to surrender beneath him and fully embrace him and return his affections with all I had within me like every cell of my body wished to do. Part of me was pleading for me to forget the machines, forget the world, forget everything but him – and to finally lie there, blissfully exhausted and damp with sweat and softly gasping beside him, victorious in all that was love. And I almost gave into that part. I almost did everything it – and I – wanted to do. The other part of me was having one hell of a time remembering what it was fighting for, especially since L, the usual soldier of justice, was currently focusing on another cause – me.

His mouth met mine, suddenly and powerfully, and I melted.

I melted and sank and smiled.

And I came so close.

I almost lost the battle.

L began to lower me onto the bed, his smooth, strong body curling slowly downward with a sort of anticipating confidence, knowing he had almost won – and he would have, if the three mechanical notes hadn't rung out a second time.

I jumped against L in surprise, truly not expecting such an occurrence, cutting off our kiss with a startled gasp. Wait, had that really just happened..? Yes, it did... We had been so distracted with each other that it had been necessary to call him again. I couldn't deny that I was embarrassed by that thought – thrilled and eager and excited, but also undoubtedly embarrassed. My shame helped rekindle some of my abandoned self-control, fortifying me more securely for another of his sensual assaults. I'd made the world call twice – and that just wasn't acceptable. That was enough of a push to rebuild an adequate amount of moral fiber and to get my mind a little more logical. Not wasting any coherency, I placed my hand firmly against his bare chest and used it to draw back away from him just enough to get a sensible amount of space between our lips.

"L, please. They called twice...They need you..." I murmured breathlessly in an attempt to persuade him before he had a chance to sweep me off my feet again. (Granted, my feet hadn't touched the floor for quite a few minutes now anyway, but that was beside the point.) The second series of the laptop's beeps had been just the wake-up call I'd needed to remind him how important it was that he answer his own call, just like he had every time before. I only hoped my words would be adequate enough to save the world. I held my breath while I waited for his response, concerned because of the silence stretching between us. Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked up at him.

I stifled a gulp at the look he was giving me, a gaze still wrapped up in our desires as sure as we were wrapped around each other at the moment, overflowing with a heartfelt promise of searing intensity, but I was very relieved to see the familiar presence of deductive reasoning that I knew so well. He was truly giving what I had said some serious thought, now that I had managed to form a coherently reasonable sentence accompanied by the audible evidence of the laptop in the other room, refusing to be forgotten as it gleamed, alone in the dark. I refrained from sighing heavily with relief like I wished to, knowing it would probably breeze across his skin and coolly kiss the sweat at his chest and neck in a far-too-distracting manner. I was coming close to winning now, and I didn't want to mess it up after all the monumental effort I'd put into resisting him.

He continued to stare at me, peering with heated contemplation through the ragged strands of his long, dark hair, his large black eyes sharply taking in the pleading look in my own, wide and glazed. And finally, his face seemed to soften. He released a small sigh of resignation, his reluctance to comply being slightly overshadowed by a look of heart-warming fondness. He could see how much it meant to me, for him to stay true to his task in life and for the world to receive the help it needed, and it seemed to change his mind about what was the right thing to do at the moment. An acquiescent smile curled his lovely pale lips, his stubbornness finally yielding in part for the love he had for me. I smiled in return, knowing my heart was filled with the same golden and glittering devotion toward him and feeling so wonderfully fulfilled to have him care for me so much. I was also slightly apologetic, to him as well as to myself, for delaying the fulfillment of our desires this evening despite its necessity, and I hoped my apology would be sufficient in assuring him of just how much I regretted opposing him and just how very much I wanted him in return. Fortunately, it seemed to be just enough.

L's smile widened at my expression, any necessary words conveyed through our faces in the silence, and he finally drew back away from the surface of the bed. He held me close as his versatile body straightened slightly once again, careful not to drop me as he turned back toward the open doorway behind us. I could see the laptop flickering easily now, my view of it unobscured and unopposed. The path to it was clear, and it almost seemed to glow more brightly in the giddy knowledge that it was about to be answered. I smiled, beginning to disentangle myself from L and stand on my own two feet, as unfavored as such a position was at the moment. I paused when I met resistance – he wasn't letting me go. I glanced up at him curiously, though his ragged black hair shielded his eyes and his thoughts from my view. His lips were verging on some indecipherable smile, a very confusing expression.

"L, we must become more presentable before we respond to your call," I murmured with an air of caution, very curious as to what thoughts were currently occupying his intelligent mind. Surely he had realized that it would be much easier for me to dress myself in my clothing once again and return to a socially-acceptable state if he would lower me to the floor and allow me to retrieve my scattered garb? I stared up at him inquisitively, watching him tilt his head ever so slightly toward the pile of our discarded clothing, a few feet away from the table on which the laptop resided, and then slowly turn back to me. He was thinking of something, and I was starting to worry. Had he realized just how much he didn't like me getting redressed at this time and rebelled against our wordless agreement that we'd made only a few moments before to respond to his urgent summoning? Where on earth were his thoughts taking him?

"L?" I asked, my tone betraying my fears of my computer-answering progress being undone. We were so close now – surely it wouldn't be for naught after all of my fuss and all of his acceptance? Finally, I received a response, though it wasn't quite the one I'd been hoping for. First, it seemed to be going well; his grip on me slackened slightly in a way that allowed me to uncurl my arms and legs from around him a little, though his arms still kept me carefully supported. Then, things got slightly concerning once again. I waited a moment, glancing toward the floor to know where to put my feet so that I wouldn't fall, but he didn't lower me to the ground like I had expected. It would be awkward and potentially dangerous if I attempted to get free on my own and leap out of his arms somehow at this point. My brow furrowing in cautious confusion, I glanced up at him once again. His head tilted a little more in response to my unasked questions, allowing his hair to loll to the side just enough to let me glimpse one of his eyes. As I tried to process the possibly-answering look he was giving me, his lips completed his expression by curling into a wicked smile and bringing his eyes to flaming black life. I almost squeaked with fear, though I didn't even have time to do that if I had wanted to.

His arms tightened around me, gripping my waist and back almost roughly and securing me in his grasp, holding me in recklessly stirring proximity and not giving me the reason to clutch him close for support. He controlled my disengagement from our embrace at that moment, my arms and legs slightly flaccid as he hugged my body close to his and began to lower me toward the floor – but it wasn't that simple, or merciful. He was sure to thoroughly slide the front of my body against his in all of the right places. Even if I was being placed on my own two feet like I expected, he certainly wasn't making it easy on me or letting me go without having his way about it.

"L..." I whispered softly, both asking him to cease for the sake of my justifiable sanity and begging him to continue for my searing desires at the same time. I couldn't refrain from releasing a deep, shivering gasp as my eyes slipped closed and my lips parted, his skin moving against mine in a way that I was certain I would never be able to forget. My warm hands flew to him in need of support, not in the sense of physical balance but in the sense of needing something tangible to hold onto and attempt to recall the current, real situation and control myself. I gripped his biceps tightly, trying to refrain from grabbing his face and pulling it down to mine. I tried to hold myself together as I shook further and further apart. I tried to keep my tongue from slipping out of my mouth and tasting the sweat dappling his smooth, pale chest, so close... I tried to focus on the fact that my feet were nearing the floor, that I would soon be able to stand on my own and hopefully extricate myself from his heady, knee-weakening, maddening embrace...

"L!" I gasped raggedly with an utter lack of control, my entire world seeming to rock and smolder when he suddenly stopped sliding me downward as I had expected and instead seized my hips, grinding them against his and making me smother a rising scream into his chest. I felt him shudder, felt his breath hitch tangibly in his throat as he sucked in a quick, uncontrolled gasp of air. My hands scrambled against his front and shoulders, trying desperately to find anything at all to hold onto, wrapping chaotically around his neck. My legs kicked uselessly in open air for a long, stretching moment or two. My eyes bulged widely, their surfaces glossy with drowning pleasure. He didn't snatch me up like I had admittedly expected. Instead, he used just enough of a stirring, downward push on my hips to break my weakened grip around him and let me slide the rest of the way down to the floor. My feet contacting the carpet startled me, and my mind was so twisted by pleasure, I was unable to even think about how to stand properly. I collapsed against him, falling thoughtlessly into the support of his arms and shuddering against his warm flesh.

My entire head seemed to pound for a moment or two as my heart moaned, the air around me humming hotly when a delicious chuckle poured from his throat. He gently stroked the back of my head, allowing me to feel the beads of sweat shift against my scalp as his hand traveled lower and began to absently play with my long, tangled hair. His other hand curled around my waist, simply supporting me and allowing me to recover. He then took a tender hold on my shoulders and pulled me upright in front of him, keeping me steady when I swayed. Oh, I couldn't believe him... And I thought that statement with both frustrated and grateful awe. I sighed, brushing my hair out of my face and attempting to regulate my jagged breathing and keep my legs from giving out. His hand curled beneath my chin, coaxing my face up to his. I looked up at him through the long strands of hair that I had missed with large, glistening eyes, my tingling lips parted to allow my shallow gasps through.

He stared back at me with a similarly disheveled appearance, wordlessly assuring me that I certainly wasn't alone in my state of passionate and conflicted bliss. When his wide, gleaming black eyes gazed so deeply into mine through the obscuring fringe of his ragged hair, their depths expressively alive with such heart-warming and stirring ardor, I couldn't prevent the loving smile that curled my lips. He smiled as well, leaning forward to press a delicate kiss against my mouth. It made my breath shiver in my lungs, the simplicity and blissfulness of it in stark contrast to the previous displays of affection and, in that way, unexpectedly appealing. My fingers twitched as I fought to control myself and not leap back up into his arms where I so wished to be. My attention was drawn even further away from coherent thoughts when he gave me yet another ridiculously-tender kiss and let his mouth linger on mine for a moment before he spoke to me in a low, captivating whisper.

"Time to answer the call..."

I couldn't deny that actually diverting my focus to the laptop now, after what he'd done, seemed hardly worth the effort. But I knew this was what a part of me wanted. I knew answering the call was the right thing to do. It was just that the other part was screaming, and the wrong thing to do seemed so right... There was a brief pause, in which his words hung in the air and we both waited to see if either of us would just cave and forget the computer and tackle the other to the ground. The thought made my body tense and his black eyes flash. And yet, it seemed that we had reached a wordless agreement. Now that we had restrained ourselves, we might as well have done what we'd stopped to do, right? And that's what we did. He curled an arm around my waist and led me easily over to the computer, the air cold against my uncovered skin as we moved, making me keep close to him for warmth. We stood together behind the machine, out of its sight. He maneuvered his arm around the edge of the laptop from the back and clicked a key or two to reawaken the appliance and open the communication line once again.

"Yes? What is it, Watari?" he asked curiously as he walked away from the computer and pulled me along with him toward our pile of discarded clothing. It would be proper to get dressed before appearing visibly on the laptop's screen, but the call could have been urgent enough that it couldn't wait any longer for formality and acceptability. So we would answer out of sight until we were presentable. I felt exhilarated and giddy as he stooped to lift our clothing off of the floor, the hand that he'd placed around my waist sliding down and back up my leg throughout his movements and making me tremble.

"L, my goodness. Is everything all right?" Watari's voice traveled to our ears from the computer a few feet behind us. The concern in his voice almost made me wince a little, reminding me of how irresponsible I'd been. Hopefully he wouldn't be too angry and the case wouldn't be too important... I stood, glancing at the computer with a worried expression for a moment, clutching my shirt and pants against my chest. L seemed to be less alarmed than I was. He merely began to pull up his pants while answering simultaneously, raising his voice just enough so that it was clearly audible through the laptop's communication links.

"Yes, Watari. Everything is absolutely fine," he murmured in confident reassurance from where he stood next to me, finishing up with his pants and beginning to maneuver his shirt into a proper position to get it back on his body.

"Then why did you take so long to respond? I've never had to call a second time before...Where are you?" Watari continued, sounding less apprehensively worried and more politely interested now that L had assured him of our well-being. The chair that he could see was still vacant, the responses he was receiving seemingly coming from nowhere. It only made sense for him to wonder what the hell was going on.

"I will be there shortly, Watari, and I apologize for the unacceptable delay. I was incredibly distracted with...another matter," L murmured truthfully, though he smiled when he glanced at me and noticed my blush at his words. To think I could distract the greatest detective in the world – it was certainly a thought worth a happy squeal or two, though of course I knew that now was not the time. I focused on getting dressed and further easing Watari's mind concerning our lack of preparation for his call. I felt a slight reluctance as I straightened my shirt and began to shove my feet through my pant legs. I didn't want to put my clothes back on and I didn't like that L was doing that very thing either, but I did enjoy watching his fluid movements as he pulled the fabrics loosely into place against his body, how his muscles slid easily beneath his smooth, pale skin as he pulled his shirt over his head and around his torso... I just loved watching him – simple as that. I smiled as he pushed some of his chaotic black hair back out of his eyes, just enough so that it looked to be about as messed up as normal. His shirt and jeans were wrinkled and ruffled, but that wasn't anything new, as I had noticed before. This time, I simply smiled wider, knowing I looked somewhat similar and not caring all that much anymore. Because he loved me. And I loved him. And that was more than enough.

When we were finished redressing, L took my hand and the two of us walked over to the chair before the laptop. He took a seat in his usual, well-balanced crouch and I settled once more at his side on the arm of the chair, my hand still resting easily within his.

"Ah, there you are," Watari murmured with pleased relief, his glasses glinting as he smiled at us. I smiled in return, shifting closer to L and waiting to hear what the current case was. I was attentive and rather excited, already examining the possibilities of an upcoming investigation and what would have to be done to solve it.

"Now, I shall explain the reason behind my call. Your help is needed on an international string of serial killings. I have suspect reports, surveillance videos, crime scene images, and background checks on various witnesses involved. I shall send them to you at once," Watari continued, getting right down to business, as was to be expected.

"Thank you, Watari. I shall begin immediately," L responded smoothly, a composed and calculating air settling around him. His tone was focused now, though I thought I detected an undercurrent of reluctance and sadness, as if he wasn't pleased with having a more pressing matter to attend to instead of being with me. I had to admit, I felt similarly, but I was still eager to help him and the innocents involved in the case in any way I could. The computer screen was bombed with various links and files and images, and I felt L's shoulder hunch a little more next to mine. Watari reappeared, making his window move to the very front of the wall of case-related information.

"I'll leave you with that. Please notify me if you require my assistance in any way," he murmured to us, his deep, age-softened voice holding comforting loyalty and reassuring promise. It eased the pain of already having to accept another case even though L had only just returned from the last. Hopefully it would be easier than the Kira investigation – I could only hope, now that it had opened up so many terrible possibilities to what we would face in the future. But Watari's smile was a welcome and wordless reminder of the fact that he and L were certainly still there and certainly still willing to fight with all they had to enforce the safety and strength of justice in the world. I gripped L's hand tighter, and his fingers closed more securely around mine in response.

L nodded in dignified farewell. Watari shifted, as if he were about to terminate the communication link, and then his expression showed signs of some sort of internal conflict. His white eyebrows furrowed slightly, his mustache curving downward with his small frown. Before L and I had time to question him, he spoke, his voice soft and rather hesitant, as if he wasn't entirely sure that what he was saying was proper or acceptable or what he truly meant to say in the first place.

"...And I apologize to you both for imposing upon–"

"It's quite all right, Watari. We're all fully aware of the importance of my occupation," L responded quickly, dismissing the apology and trying to free Watari of any guilt he may have felt regarding the situation. His tone was sure and certain, revealing how he had accepted the way my life would blend with his and every pleasure and pain that would entail to us.

"Yes, but now you are able to be distracted by 'another matter,' and I regret burdening you with yet another case when you've only just returned to her," Watari replied with a small smile that was still slightly apologetic, unable to let go of his intrusion. A tiny glint sparkled in his eyes with his words, one that made my face warm a little when it was once again addressed how I was able to distract L. I had no doubt he knew how very much he distracted me... Watari's concern for our emotions was quite touching, and I felt the need to assuage his displeasure and attempt to remedy the situation. Yes, it was unfortunate that L already had another case, but it wasn't unbearable.

"It's fine, Watari. I knew what getting involved with L would entail, and I eagerly did it anyway. I can honestly say that every bit of it has been worthwhile. Don't think I would give up this life for any other," I murmured honestly, smiling sincerely at the computer screen and watching with pleased relief as his worn, aged face finally relaxed a little from the previously anxious expression.

"Yes, Watari. No one is at fault for what we've all chosen... I'll solve the case, no matter what," L murmured in final agreement, his black eyes solid with his convictions and certainty. He never ceased to amaze me, and it seemed Watari was impressed as well. The elderly man smiled then, a look of pride washing across his face and lightening his eyes. He smiled, chuckling slightly, and nodded approvingly to us.

"I know you will... Goodnight," he finished contentedly. L and I smiled in return, nodding our heads in farewell and watching as the link with Watari closed and left a montage of files and images behind. Though L's determination remained evident in his expression as he crouched more evenly in his chair and pressed his thumb to his lips, using his other hand to begin scrolling through the files with his computer's touchpad, it was clear that he wasn't thrilled about having another case at the moment. His black eyes looked tired, the shadows underneath them seeming even more prominent than before. I smiled fondly at him, sympathizing with his displeasure, and wondered about a way I could make it easier for him. Finding one quickly, I leapt from the arm of the chair and ran into the kitchen.

"What are you doing?" L asked curiously of me from where he still sat in his chair.

"Just getting a little something to help you think better at this ungodly hour," I told him in reply, rummaging around in the fridge and drawing yet another cake out of the cooled plastic interior. It was a glistening caramel beast of a cheesecake, and would hopefully improve his mood and outlook on the case to make him feel better. I kicked the fridge door shut and grabbed two forks out of a drawer, heading back into the living room with my cold, creamy prize held high. I grinned when L's eyes gleamed hungrily at the sight of the treat I was bringing him. I rejoined him at the chair, setting the cake on the table beside the laptop and taking my place on the arm of the chair as I handed him his fork. We dug into the cake and gave appreciative groans of satisfied pleasure as the sugary morsel melted deliciously on our tongues. As I went back for another forkful, L's arm curled around my waist and pulled me sideways once again, making me gasp quietly in surprise even though he was gentler than before. This time, I merely fell into the seat next to him, held comfortably against his side.

I laughed with delight when he turned and smiled at me, revealing that the small wad of cheesecake that I'd managed to get on my fork before he grabbed me had flown and squished against his cheek before falling down onto his leg. I plucked the piece of dessert off of his thigh and popped it into my mouth, chewing happily and making him chuckle quietly with fond amusement. When I'd finished the bite of cheesecake, I used my hand to draw his face down to mine and licked the rich bronze smear of caramel off of his cheek, temptingly close to the corner of his mouth. I felt his arm tighten around me, felt my heart rate immediately quicken, and I realized how I wasn't helping him solve the case at this rate. I began to turn away, to control myself and escape any of his possible retaliations, and I wasn't quick enough. He captured my lips in a sweet, sugary kiss that made me moan with pleasure. Oh no, come on, this isn't working... We separated slowly, his mouth lingering with distracting pressure against mine for a moment before he pulled back. We looked into each other's eyes, seeing the flames beginning to come back to heated life again, and realized that we had to refrain from flirting with temptation if we ever wanted to get the case done.

Realizing our thoughts were the same despite our reluctance, L sighed and turned back to the computer screen while still keeping his arm around me. To prevent him from having to stop using the mouse or stop holding me close, I used my fork and gave him bites of cake at fifteen-second intervals and ate some of it myself in-between his forkfuls. Though the case didn't seem to be at the degree of the Kira investigation, it was still puzzling and engaging. L seemed just as displeased with its possibility of lasting a long time as I was. I thought of a different perspective to keep him motivated and focused.

"L, think of it this way: The sooner you finish the case, the sooner we can pick up where we left off..." I murmured, dropping my voice low at the end and trailing my fingernail against his thigh, running it along his leg and drawing an imaginary circle against his folded knee. The clicking of the mouse ceased. I looked up curiously while still attempting to appear flirtatiously coy, and smiled when I saw his mind whirring. His black eyes flashed. Suddenly, he lowered his head and unexpectedly pressed a lovely kiss into my mouth, shocking my blood with the passionate action. He then removed his hand from the mouse and grabbed his discarded fork and impaled the cheesecake, hefting a giant piece onto his eating utensil and miraculously shoving it into his mouth. As he chewed and swallowed quickly, his gaze returned precisely to the computer. And he got to work.

I'd never seen someone solve a case so quickly in my entire life.

Only two mind-bendingly frenzied hours – and the bedroom door was slamming shut behind us.

(OH – MY – GOD...)

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All right, all right! That's it! Woo!

I wonder which ending you will all like better... even if it's the one I intended in Chapter 2, this one was still worth writing, just to expand my arsenal as an author.

Plus I just love L so much!

(snuggles L and squeals happily) 3 3 3

As previously stated so many times you're probably annoyed, I'd love feedback on this Alternate ending thing. It would really help me know if I have any hope in writing romances. :)

Thank you all again!

I've got other projects on the way, so this isn't the last of me. :D

Until the next story,

~SD