To those who have never read this before, welcome. To all others, welcome back. This is the first of many rewritten chapters for The Story of L. I hope you enjoy.
Death Note, L Lawliet, and all other characters belong to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. I do not make any profit from this story.
Mewling whimpers. Quiet sobs. "Mama, please don't go!"
"Baby, I know, I wish I could keep you. I'm so sorry, baby."
A woman's calloused hands shake as they pin a letter to her son's chest. Tears ran down the toddler's face, and he shivered from the cold, knee deep in snow.
"I don't wanna go away, mama."
"I'm sorry. There's nothing...there's nothing else I can do..."
Her son deserved a better life than this, than living on the streets, wondering when they'll eat again, watching his own mother violate her body to maybe give them enough money to sleep indoors for a night. As much as it pained her, it was better this way.
"Please don't cry, sweetheart," she begs, caressing his pink flushed cheek and smiling at him with tired, dark eyes. "Be brave for mama, alright? You have to be a brave boy. You remember where I told you to go, right?"
The boy nodded, whining pitifully.
"Of course you do. You're the smartest boy I know. You'll do great things one day, I just know it." She taps his nose playfully. "I bet if you really wanted to, someday you could change the whole world."
"I-I love you mama."
"I love you too, babydoll. Be a good boy, now."
His mother turned her back to him, before she cried in front of him. The boy set off through the frigid night, not daring to look back.
It was the last time he ever saw his mother in this life.
Janet James had seen children come to her under the absolute worst of circumstances. As such, when she heard a knocking at the orphanage doorand found a shivering child standing out in the cold in the dead of night, her pity was rather limited. But, as it was her job, she ushered the child intothe clinical warmth of the orphanage, giving him a blanket and a change of clothes.
She took the note from the boy's shirt. The ink had run so badly that the whole thing was illegible, save for a single, capital letter L.
The boy wouldn't say a word, even to tell the staff his name. So they took to simply calling him L, and the name stuck.
He was well behaved, and stayed out of trouble for the most part. He did what he was told, and never got into fights with the other children. He just stayed in the corner, or in a closet, and played with the splintered blocks and broken dolls the other children didn't touch. When the older kids would push him around or give him a hard time, he would take it, good naturedly, and wait for them to get bored before returning to his work.
Eventually, L started talking. Incoherent babbling, mostly, but sometimes he would say something comprehensible, like 'mama' or 'sad', when he thought no one could hear him.
He would spell out words with alphabet blocks when prompted, and could identify objects put in front of him. He wasn't stupid.
One day, late in February, L took the worn out alphabet blocks and started spelling something out.
"My mama," he said.
One of the attendants, a bright young woman named Elizabeth, noticed, and rushed right over to see what he had done.
"What is this, L?" She asked.
"My mama," The boy repeated, matter-of-factly. "Lawliet."
Elizabeth looked at the blocks, then up at the child. Then something clicked inside her brain.
"It's your mother's name?"
"She's gone outside. But she's not gone in my head. She's not gone in here." L put a tiny hand over his heart, offering up a shy smile. "So I'll be happy."
Now that L had finally decided to speak, he seemed to have a lot to say. It was the beginning of an insatiable curiosity, and a million questions. The beginning of a brilliant mind.
Thanks for reading the rewrite :) There's plenty more to come.