Disclaimer: I do NOT own Death Note, L, Mikami, Beyond Birthday, Mello, Near, Light, Rem… or any of the others that appear in the show. The only thing I own related to Death Note is a pencil sharpener and the fake Death Note my brother and I created out of a regular notebook. (I wrote down all the rules and he wrote whatever Light had in it…)

I do, however, own Tahlia, Akumi, Hiro, Solitaire, Libby, Gaga, Pink, the woman Watari went out with (I'm planning on giving her a name but I haven't thought of one yet), and… anyone you've never heard of in your life.

(And yes, I did get Pink and Gaga's names from the musical artists Pink and Lady Gaga. But they're not even relevant yet, because they will not show up until the NEXT STORY. Not even next chapter. Next STORY. So forget about them for now. ^^)

TIME FOR STORY START! After reading this pointless memo thing, you may scroll down!

Kira had stopped killing. That was why L had abandoned the case. He knew who Kira was now. It was Light Yagami.



L watched as Light stared in horror at a spot by the corner of the room. What was going on? He was talking… to a shinigami? Was that it?

"What are you doing, Rem?" Light pointed at L. "I told you to kill him and Watari! Him! Not me!" He paused for a moment. "Excuse me? You what? How could you find that out?"

All of a sudden, Light collapsed on the floor. Everyone immediately rushed over, and L crouched beside Light. "Light. Light, can you hear me?"

Light's eyes opened, and looked up. A small smile formed. "Loud and clear. Look, I've got about thirty seconds to live, so… I need to tell you two things. One… I am Kira. I always have been, Misa is the second Kira, and I was planning on using another Kira in my plans. However… that involves the second thing. I need a letter sent to Teru Mikami looking like it came from Kira, telling him that God has no use for him and that he should go about living his life like normal. Now… please…" Light groaned, clutching his chest. "Here it comes… I only wanted… to create a perfect world, L. I guess I… went a little overboard…" He smiled. "Free of the world of crime for me. That's all I want…"

As L gently cradled Light's head, he could feel the other boy slipping away. Putting a hand on his chest confirmed the fact: Light was suffering a heart attack. This was the way most of Kira's other victims had died. Light was Kira. "I always suspected you, Light," he said softly, carefully placing the high-schooler's head on the floor. "I never suspected anyone else. I will pursue and dispose of evil. I promise."

Light nodded. "… Good-bye… I'm sorry… everyone…"

~End Flashback~

So that was why L was here, in New York City. He left the Kira case, mourning the death of so many innocent people, including Ukita, and thanking whatever divine force existed that he had skirted death. He attended Light's funeral, offered condolences to Chief Yagami, and fled Japan under cover of night, not even bothering to arrest Misa. He and Watari both decided that he could use some time off detective work for a while. And so they went to New York. "The city that never sleeps," Watari had told him.

"Yes," L muttered, walking down one of the avenues in his bare feet. "I love New York. It's my favorite city in the world." Normally, it wouldn't have mattered that he didn't have shoes on. But seeing as it was December, and snow covered the majority of the city, it was a problem. He had no idea what possessed him to take a walk outside this close to Christmas with no shoes or even socks, or even what possessed him to leave the hotel in the first place, but the fact remained that he had done those things. There was no changing what was already happening.

It also didn't help that Watari was off somewhere, probably warm, having a glass of wine with a woman he'd met. He was making the most of a vacation to New York; and L was just standing out in the snow looking at the Christmas lights, bored out of his damn detective mind.

So, with nothing to do and fighting against frostbite, he finally just sat down on a bench and leaned back a little, contemplating his situation. He had at last defeated Kira – but he hadn't done it alone, after all. If Light had truly been speaking to the shinigami named Rem before his death, then she had been the one to kill Light. Based on all the talk about notebooks, he had deduced that the Death Note, Light's black notebook, had been the cause of all this. So he had burnt it, to ensure that nothing like this ever happened again.

"Hey, handsome."

L opened his eyes and looked over beside him. Sitting next to him on the bench was a young lady with dust blue hair and piercing gold eyes, staring straight at him, a wide smile plastered on her face. And then it occurred to him – did she just call him handsome? "… Hello."

"What's your name?"

He decided to be playful. "What's yours?"

"I asked you first, cutie."

"… So you did. I am L Lawliet. And you?"

"Tahlia Bedford. Nice to meet you. What are you doing out here?"

He shrugged. "Well, I was just… wait, you haven't heard of me?"

"No, not really."

"L Lawliet – best detective in the world?"

"Oh, that's pretty cool. So…" She traced circles on the bench seat, looking down. "What is the best detective in the world doing in New York City?"

"… Taking a vacation."

"Heh. All the criminals getting to be a little too much for you?"

"Well, I just completed… the toughest case I've had in a while."

"Oh. So you caught the guy." She looked up at the dark sky. "What did it feel like? Did it feel good to finally put the dirty law-breaker behind bars?"

"… It was bittersweet. He knew he was going to die…and before he did… he revealed to me that he was the one killing all these people. And so he died in my arms, and I went to the funeral, and then I got out of Japan like all hell was right behind me."

"Huh." She sat back. "All evil-doers deserve to die. I mean, not if they atone for it… but I would love to take case after case if it meant that I got to capture or kill a criminal and make the world that much safer. Every evil has got to have its place in purgatory."

L shrugged. "It's not about capturing the everyday criminals for me." He took a pack of Twinkies out of his pocket and began to munch. "I only accept cases that interest me. Such as the Kira case, which was my last."

The woman, Tahlia, loved over at him with a true death glare, and for a split second L was afraid she would smack him so hard he'd actually go into the future. "That's stupid, and selfish!" She stood up. "I mean – think! You're the best detectivein the world! You could really help people, ordinary people who need the help! You could save a person from a stalker who might rape or kill them, or you could stop an employee from stealing money from a company so it won't go broke! You could make a difference!"

L looked up at her, half a Twinkie sticking out of his mouth. He took it out and chewed thoughtfully before answering her. "I wouldn't go that far, Miss Bedford. You see… the ordinary cases are completely boring… totally irrelevant in the panoramic picture. The stalkers, the embezzlers? They always commit their crimes in the most obvious, most… unexciting, expected way. I let the state or local police handle those cases. But the interesting cases… that's another story. Consider Kira. Thousands of people dying – all over the world." He tossed his Twinkie wrapper into a nearby trashcan. "They had two things in common – they were all criminals, with the exception of those Kira killed merely because they were threatening him, and… they all died the same way. A heart attack, unless Kira specified how they were going to die. Early in the investigation, my proxy – a candidate for death row – died of a heart attack live, on a broadcast shown only in Japan. I was shocked… Kira needed only a name and face to kill. I didn't see how it was possible. So I took the case, because it seemed… impossible to solve. And I love challenges. That is the pursuit of justice – stopping the unstoppable." He shook his head, clearing his bangs from his eyes. "But… I wouldn't guess you agree with me, do you? That's alright, though, because the world would be excruciatingly boring if everyone agreed. No debate teams, no arguments… no crimes."

"You – You're awful!" Tahlia took a couple steps backward. If L didn't know any better, he would have said she looked scared of him. "You don't care about justice at all! You have no idea what you're talking about, you dumb, dumb detective!" She took a few more steps in the opposite direction, as if she wanted to run away.

"Miss Bedford…" L began, standing up. As much as he was apathetic to other people's feelings, he certainly hadn't meant to offend her on purpose.

"Just shut up!" She turned and ran away. "Just shut up!"

L sat back down, and sighed. They always rushed off when he gave his speech about justice, and he never could understand why. He glanced at his watch and rolled his eyes. "'I might be out with this woman very late,'" he said in his best Watari voice, slouching down on the bench. "'If I'm not back by eleven, you get yourself to bed, young man.'" He looked around and took a breath, wincing as the cold air hit his lungs. "I thought this city was never supposed to sleep. I can do as I please, Watari – I'm not a 10-year-old child anymore. I don't need constant supervision and reminders like I did back then. If New York doesn't need to sleep, then neither do I."

Yay, first chapter! One prompt-chapter down… 401 to go. There will be 12 of these stories, each chapter based on the prompts I got from a website while I was browsing for one-word prompts.

The beginning… since L is one of my major characters, I couldn't very well have him dying now, could I? And that's how I saved him. Rem found out that Light tricked her and that she didn't have to kill L and Watari to keep Misa safe. So Rem still lives, too. But she did kill Light for lying to her. Heehee, so he's dead now. I don't much care for Light, but I wanted to make his death bittersweet-ish.

If you have any questions, review or PM me!

Ja ne!

~Ai-chan ^^