March 11th, 2004

"Good boy, Sherlock!" Sayu Yagami called, entering the warehouse with her parents and a flock of police officers. She whistled, and Sherlock came running back to her. A police officer quickly cuffed B, who was bleeding profusely and looked as if a few of his bones had been broken. Misa Amane was being helped onto a stretcher. "Good dog, who's a good dog!"

"Sayu?" Light asked, disbelieving, from the floor of the warehouse. "What are you doing here? How did you know what was going on?"

Sayu scoffed. "I have no idea what's going on. Misa locked me in the kitchen cupboard, and Shiori and Mom found me a little while later- we found your bag and guessed at what might have happened. Shiori called the police, and Mom and I brought Sherlock with us to find you, just in case."

Light processed this for a moment. "...But, how did you know where to go?"

Sayu gave Light a look that said that he had just asked a completely stupid question, and that she was only humoring him by answering him. "I put a tracker in your journal. Duh."

"You..." Light for once seemed to be at a loss for words.

"Yes, Light, I did. Since you insist on getting yourself into trouble all the time, I really had no choice. And what else do you have on your person every day, but that you would never think to check for a tracking device? Your journal," She said, working on untying the ropes as she explained this. "It wasn't cheap, either. Unlike you, however, I'm not too proud to ask mom and dad for money."

"You're unbelievable."

"You're welcome."

March 12th, 2004

"I give up. Why haven't you interrogated me about what happened yet?" Light asked, giving in to his curiosity.

Sayu raised an eyebrow, then mumbled around her chopsticks, "Would you tell me, if I asked?"

"No."

"And is that because you don't want to, or because you're not allowed?"

"Both."

"Exactly," Sayu said, scooping more food into her mouth with an almost complete lack of grace. "Besides," she mumbled, swallowing. "I have a pretty good guess about who that dark haired guy is."

Light's stomach dropped. "You do."

Sayu nodded, pointing at Light with her chopsticks. "You drew him in your sketchbook, and I may have seen the name Ryuzaki once or twice when I put the tracker in your diary. But the deciding thing was really Sherlock- he still doesn't like people he hasn't met before, but he didn't make a move toward him. That means he's seen him before- which almost certainly means that he's the one who gave him to you." Sayu pointed her chopsticks to the ceiling, ready to deliver her verdict. "He's your boyfriend!"

Light coughed. That was not at all what he was expecting- and surely the shock was the reason he was blushing, not because... because...

There was nothing for it. Stubborn and hard-headed and immature and weird as L was, Light couldn't help liking him.

Light coughed again, then cleared his throat. "Yes. Something like that."

March 14th, 2004

"Congratulations, Light."

Light turned from his family, nodding to the unmasked detective and Watari, who were only slightly conspicuous in the large mass of families and friends in the aftermath of the graduation ceremony.

"Thank you."

"If you'll excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Yagami," L said politely, "but I'd like to borrow Light for a while, if that's okay."

Light and his father both nodded, and Light's mother did so after a moment as well, though she looked confused. Light led L out of the auditorium and out into the courtyard of the school.

L slipped his hands into his pockets, and Light mirrored him as he said, "Yes?"

"Mikami is dead, as you know," L said in his business monotone. "B will most likely also be dead, soon. Misa Amane will receive psychological help during her lifelong stay in prison."

Light hummed, having expected most of this. "I don't know that Misa deserves a life sentence," he said lightly, because it was true. "She was manipulated by Mikami, and by B."

"She took the mantel of Kira on her own, before their manipulations," L said coldly. "She is not responsible for quite the number of deaths that Kira was, but she did kill more than fifty people, Light. She is not innocent by any stretch of the imagination, and a life sentence is generous."

"If that's true," Light said, frowning deeply, "why wasn't Mikami given the death sentence in the first place?"

"Aside from his apparent insanity? Revealing the true extent of his crimes would have been too dangerous. As you said, the governments would find a way to use his existence to their own advantage. It seemed a good enough compromise, at the time, to make sure he was as small a threat as possible, even if that meant keeping him alive."

"What if Misa talks?"

"Misa will not talk, and if she does, she will be dismissed as a raving mad woman. In any case, there are no more Beyond Birthdays to further poison her mind, help her escape, and attempt to use her for revenge."

Light nodded. "If you had wanted to tell me any of this, though, you would have had me come to the debriefing you gave to Matsuda and my father."

L nodded as well, giving Light that stare that made him feel very, very bare. "I have come up with a suitable counter-argument toward your belief that I do not like Light Yagami for Light Yagami, and not some ideal of him I have in my mind."

Light stiffened, then swallowed. "Oh?"

"Yes. When I first met Light Yagami, I saw him in the worst light possible. He was a suspect, then having a panic attack, and then vomiting." Light winced, but nodded. "I was not attracted to those things. But I was attracted to Light's wit, and beauty, and strength." L paused. "And also, the cursing. But if that does not convince Light that I like him for him, then he should remember that I read his diary. And still have it."

Light frowned thoughtfully. No, he hadn't considered that. In fact, "Why do you like me, after reading all of that?"

"Because," L said, feeling a victory coming on, "Light Yagami is stubborn, smart, paranoid, vulgar, strong, passionate, manipulative, and a good friend."

L hesitated a moment, then drew his hand from his pocket and pulled Light's from his, intertwining their fingers with a daring, deliberate look. Light let him do this, feeling the corners of his lips quirking into a smile. "Not because I'm perfect and the embodiment of justice."

"I would not want you if you were perfect," L said dismissively. "Besides- I am the embodiment of justice."

Light laughed softly, nodding. "I suppose."

L nodded as well, fixing Light with the penetrating gaze that he was beginning to become accustomed to. "I have explained myself. I believe," L's hand squeezed gently around Light's. "That you have a verdict- one that you dismissed as unimportant, and which I think is very important."

"Fair is fair," Light conceded, studying their intertwined hands to keep from faltering under L's unwavering gaze. "Although now I find myself in the opposite situation, where I hardly know you well enough to be able to judge."

L made an impatient noise. "From what you do know."

Light watched L from the corner of his eye. "I like you very much."

"Ah." L tugged on Light's hand, and for once they both kissed each other at the same time. It was clumsy, at first, but after a moment Light got the hang of kissing a boy, and L got the hang of kissing anyone. L tugged on Light's hand again, and this time he did not pull away, but followed the tug. Light ran his tongue along L's lip, and L hesitated for a moment before opening his mouth. Light's tongue brushed against his, gently, just enough to coax it out and into his own mouth. L's mind, normally followingseveral trains of thought at once, had gone worryingly blank.

Light pulled back again, leaning his forehead on L's. "Breathe," he reminded L, panting. L placed a small kiss on the side of Light's mouth in response, then frowned. "What is it?"

"I can't take you with me." It was a statement, but Light knew that L meant it as a question.

"No, you can't," Light agreed, and L nodded glumly. "You'll just have to really stay in contact, this time."

"And find as many cases in Japan as possible," L added, tugging on a strand of Light's hair with apparent fascination.

"That, too." Light gently took L's hand from his hair.

"And right now..." L gave Light's hair up as a lost cause, and returned to placing small kisses at the corner of Light's mouth.

Light pecked the side of L's mouth in return. "Right now?"

"You have spring break." Another kiss.

"Yes."

"And I am here now."

"Yes."

"What are we waiting for?"

Light pretended to draw away. "I should really tell my parents-"

L was not in the mood to play along. "I don't think so." He caught Light in his arms, and really, he was much stronger than he looked. "I told you before- I can't ever leave you alone, now."