A/N

Warning: this is a pretty sad story. Not intentionally trying to be depressing, but I just had the thought come to mind. This, of course, takes place before L's death. Enjoy.

I do NOT own Death Note, etc.

He had never seen Ryuzaki behave this way before.

Weeks earlier, he had received notice from Watari that the orphanage had located his father. They previously believed that he had died years ago, yet he turned up seemingly out of nowhere. At first, L thought they had the wrong person, but the truth had finally begun to sink it. Now Light sat, watching the young man switch between pacing until his feet were tired or picking at his fingernails until they grew inflamed and nearly split.

"Will you calm down?" Light suggested.

L barely took notice as he flicked a jagged piece of nail off of his thumb.

"Relax? No, I'm sorry. I wish I could, but I can't," his soft voice hummed. "I thought he was dead. After all of these years…I thought he was dead…"

Light shook his head and forced himself to remember why he had even come. That was it. L had asked him to come along and, seeing no other way to escape Misa, he hastily agreed. Though, as he watched L's nervous eyes flicker from the entrance of the café down to the table, he wished he had stayed behind.

"It is twenty-three minutes past 2 o'clock. What if he does not show up?"

Light chuckled.

"I don't believe I have ever heard you ask such a blunt question."

"What do you mean?"

"Usually, you ask about a criminal's motive or who a suspect has talked to within the past week," he smiled lightly. "Now, you are worrying if someone will show up for coffee or not?"

"It is not the coffee I am concerned with. This is my father. At least, I think he is."

"Think?" Light raised an eyebrow, annoyed.

"There is always a possibility that Watari found the wrong person. He may—"

"Ryuzaki, I think it is safe to say that he is your father. He isn't the type of man to make such careless mistakes. He wouldn't have told you otherwise if he had any doubts."

"I suppose you are right."

Minutes passed with no sign of anyone out of the ordinary. Occasionally, someone would enter the small café, but no one who stuck out as a relative to L, let alone his father, came into view.

Just when L stood to call it quits, a tall, lean man with black hair stepped in. A note card with what Light assumed had an address and time scribbled on it rested in the man's hand. When he placed the card into his pocket, both his and L's eyes locked.

With no smile, no emotion, the man walked forward towards his son. Light noticed the hesitant, fearful fog casted over Ryuzaki's eyes as he, too, walked over.

If it had not been for the matching black hair, the familiar pale blue eyes, and the exact, carved jaw line, Light would have never guessed that the two were son and father. While clad in his usual baggy pants and white long-sleeved shirt, L's father remained the exact opposite with his orderly suit, polished black shoes, and combed hair.

He folded his arms as he observed the two. No conversation had been exchanged so far, no long-awaited hugging, no urgent explaining; just aching silence.

Finally, Ryuzaki lightly pushed away the hair from over his eye, though it feel immediately back into place.

"Dad?"

Usually, L preferred precise wording accompanied by some form of evidence proving his wits or intentions. However, he could not help but to sound so child-like as he muttered the word. Dad. Plain and simple, yet so curious and hesitant. He did not want to hurt again. Fatigue had already taken its toll on the young man, filling many nights with many questions. Who were his parents? What did his mother look like? What did his father enjoy when he was his age? And above all, why had he ended up in an orphanage? Either death or voluntary decisions, the loss of knowledge in such a crucial aspect of his life left behind a hole cut clean through his heart. And the only way that hole seemed to be filled was pushing it aside and ignoring the persistent demand for answers. He never thought those answers could be found, so why should he spend more time wondering why? Yet even that conclusion could not silence the wound forever.

His father nodded and extended a hand.

"Good afternoon."

L peered down at the formal, business-like gesture and shook it lightly.

What kind of greeting is that? Light wondered.

"Hello," L nearly whispered.

They released their grip and pulled away, but L wanted more. He wanted his father to embrace him tightly, refusing to let go, as he explained the absence of his presence during the course of his life. But his dream never came to reality. The exact opposite, his nightmare, seemed to instead.

"How have you been?" the man casually questioned.

"I have been okay, I suppose," L looked at his feet. "What about you?"

"Okay," he nodded.

L shook his head and found himself defeated when he attempted to contain the question.

"Aren't you my father?"

The man seemed taken aback, but nodded reassuringly. "Yes, of course. At least that is what I was told. That is why we are meeting here today, is it not?"

L shrugged.

"I had expected more, I guess."

"More?"

"Perhaps answers. Or even a hug."

"A hug?"

Light was clearly shocked. Never before had he resembled a child as much as he did now. He had outright asked the man for such a farfetched suggestion and there he stood, waiting for his response.

He complied, though, not to the full extent of Ryuzaki's wishes. He lightly pulled him into an embrace and released him, glaring at the clock strapped to his wrist.

"Well, it was nice to meet you, uh…" he waited for L to tell him his name. The request was ignored.

"You are leaving?"

"I have some matters I have to attend to. Maybe we could schedule this for another day. Today really wasn't the best time."

L's mouth fell just barely and he gazed at the ground dejectedly. He nodded slowly.

"I see…"

"What is your last name?"

L looked puzzled.

"What?"

"Your full name would be better."

"I don't understand."

"Your last name. Your full name. What is it?"

Light's ears perked up and listened closely to the conversation. Nonetheless, L remained ever observant.

"Why does it matter?"

"I want to see if you are really my son."

Ryuzaki appeared hurt, though he quickly hid it behind blank eyes.

"Why would I not be?"

The man looked appalled as he scanned down L's figure with his eyes. "I guess I had just expected more."

Immediately, both L and Light recognized the question. It was what L had asked moments earlier.

"More...?"

He then saw his dad compare himself to L and right away, he saw the problem. He had expected Ryuzaki to be a formal, business man such as him.

"This is me," L shrugged bluntly.

His dad nodded, accepting a fact he wished he could change.

"Anyways, it was nice to meet you," his father attempted again. My name… L thought, he wants my name…But who am I to him? Am I Ryuzaki or am I…?

Ryuzaki's eyebrow frowned, falling in anger. He did not move to shake the man's hand. He did not rush to tell him his name. Instead, he studied his father's face.

"Is something wrong?" his dad asked, reaching up to his face defensively.

"I am remembering your face. I will not be seeing it anytime soon," L said lowly.

When he was finished, he gently shook his father's hand.

"L," his voice said hoarsely. "My name is L."

With that, he turned and walked away, leaving behind his father who stood shocked as he realized just who is son really was.

Light, surprised that he was finding it difficult to keep up the young man's hastened pace, observed him.

"I am considered above average in the level of intelligence? Impossible."

"What are you saying?" Light wondered. "You have seen your scores. You and I were the highest in our class?" Even Light knew L was clever. What was he getting at?

L stopped.

Facing Light, he shook his head and dismissed a lone tear that rolled down his face.

"Then why is it that I cannot even discover why my own father does not love me?"

A/N

Poor L…

I hoped you liked it. And for those of you wondering, yes Light was trying to find out L's real name whenever his father had asked him just so he could write it in the death note. Harsh, I know, but you know just as well as I do that Light wouldn't care if Ryuzaki is in a painful situation or not.