L

Who is L? No, I believe that is wrong. What is L?

I'm sure he is not human. He cannot be. Not with that empty stare, that porcelain skin, those insane mannerisms that drive me up the wall, even as he lays six feet under me, truly dead in the sense we think of. Honestly, I think he was always a walking corpse. A fucking zombie that can't stop hunting me.

I put the bullet in his head, didn't I? Didn't I?

So why is he still here? Why do I come to his grave every day? Why do I make offerings to the man who made my life hell? Those things… There are five items around the ornate cross—one for every week he's been gone.

One for each goddamned week I've come to see him.

"C'mon, Light. What are we doing at L's grave? And why do you have a fake apple?" Ryuk complained loudly, floating just behind me, as always.

I scowled at the shinigami, "I think I deserve a bit of gloating, Ryuk. So shut up and let me do this." He shrugged indifferently and turned away from me, interest lost. I knew I was being ridiculous, that I should just leave L alone. He was gone, after all. He was out of my hair for good, right?

But I couldn't just leave him. I had to exact a degree of revenge on the man who had caused me so much trouble while he was alive. I sneered as I knelt before the ornate stone cross, somehow feeling L's presence in the small plot of land. My voice came out harsh and mean, "Miss me, L? I know you did. So, I brought you a present." Laying the unnaturally red plastic apple on the earth, I chuckled softly. L wouldn't miss the cruel gesture, wouldn't miss the reference to my first notes to him. Wouldn't miss the subliminal message:

You lost.

I went without Ryuk the second week. He'd been getting more and more obnoxious about coming to L's grave as the days wore on. He began simply complaining about how pointless it was to go, which I was able to brush off easily.

But then he started asking questions I didn't want to know the answers to: "Why does this matter to you so much?" "What's the point of going anymore? You don't have to put on such an act, right?" "Do you actually miss L?" I'd gotten angry with the questions and ordered him to stay home from then on if it bothered him so much that I was going.

He did indeed stay home, but his questions followed me, even as I laid the handcuffs on the ground beside the apple that had miraculously stayed the entire week. I found myself with a heavy and hollow heart, touching the cool metal that had kept me bound to that insane creep for all that time. It was almost as if I was indeed missing something.

I was only too happy to leave behind those chains.

The investigative team got involved next. It was my father's fault. Just as I was leaving, the small offering tucked into my pocket, my dad held me back, concern on his face, "Light, you shouldn't be going to see him so often."

Matsuda nodded, "You go to the graveyard more that you go to see Misa. It's getting out of hand and kind of creepy."

"What harm is it doing? It's not like I'm sacrificing the Kira case to visit him. Not that there's much of a case to sacrifice in the first place." I scowled irritably, moving closer to the door.

Aizawa shook his head, "No, it's not that, Light… Just…"

My father came right out with it, "Were you and Ryuzaki more than friends?"

I blanched, my heart screaming with pain. No, no, no! We had not been together like that! We were enemies. We hated each other. I was Kira, he was the super detective L. We were born to be enemies, through and through. So why couldn't I deny it? Why was my heart suffering so much? I didn't love L. I couldn't have.

I ran out of the building, racing all the way to the graveyard, Ryuk following me after nearly a week and a half of staying back. I was too shaken to reprimand him, or even to vent any of my emotions on the shinigami. I didn't even know what those emotions were.

When I got to his grave, I collapsed into a sobbing wreck. I hadn't cried for his death. I had maintained my stoic outlook these three weeks, I was so sure I wasn't sad about his passing, and yet there I was, tears rolling relentlessly down my cheeks. I howled incomprehensible curses at the dead detective, curling up on the earth above him, forgetting that the world existed while I allowed my sorrow to pour out in front of the man I hated. The man who was my enemy.

When my tears were spent, I set the next offering upon his grave and croaked, "I am god. And yet, every day I feel the need to see you who caused me such inconvenience. I hate you, L. I hate you for winning."

The only sign of my tortured visit was the small golden cross newly placed in the slowly-growing pile of presents for a dead man.

My father and the others didn't back off. No, they got worse after I ran out on them. They now escorted me to the graveyard whenever I wanted to go and were insistent I didn't stay long. That day was Matsuda's turn.

I carried the small bouquet carefully in my hands, trying to convey with my body that Matsuda was not to ask about the roses at all, but Matsuda had always been oblivious to silent messages like that and he asked, "What are those for? You've never brought flowers before."

I scowled, "Shut up, Matsuda. It's bad enough having you coming along without you asking questions you have no business asking."

The young man snapped, "Light, we're all just worried, okay? I was just trying to understand you a little. We're friends, right?"

I didn't directly answer him, but I sat in front of L's cross and said quietly, laying the blood-red rose on the small pile of things, "Red for the bloody circumstances surrounding our meeting." Next was the white one, "White for the time we were true friends." The darker red, nearly black one came with, "Black for your death." And my soul, I added in my head. Finally was the pink rose, which I twirled for a moment before offering it to L, "And pink, for something I don't want to put a name to, but I know you will." I felt tears coming to my eyes again as I choked out, "You were always a bastard like that."

Matsuda urged, "But, why roses?"

"L knows. He's the only one who would understand, anyway."

It was Mogi's turn, the fifth week. I couldn't be more thankful for that. Mogi was probably the most understanding of the difficult situation I found myself in, and he'd always leave me alone if he saw I needed to cry or needed to be alone with L, who I swore now waited for me every day, if only to see what other pathetic things I'd bring him.

This week was special. This week, Mogi wandered away immediately, as if he could sense the importance of the piece of paper in my pocket. I sat down on L's grave, unfolded the paper, and read to him, "L, I've been thinking a lot about what 'L' should stand for these past few weeks. Immediately, I came up with lackluster, laconic, lamentable, lanky, loser, lost. However, the words started to change: luminous, lamb, leader, long-lasting. Now, the only word I can find that is perfect is love. You are my one true love. And I killed you. You have no idea how sorry I am, and though I know it doesn't change anything, I felt like I needed to tell you. I'm sorry. I love you. I miss you."

My eyes stayed miraculously dry as I laid the paper on the pile and found Mogi, who said nothing, though something in his eyes told me he'd heard just enough to know everything and nothing.

I didn't care.

Today, I am trusted to go alone since we suddenly got a 'lead'. Today, I stand at his grave and say, "I know you already know this, but I felt like I needed to be the one to tell you." I take the scrap of notebook paper and shove it deep into a small hole I'd dug right beside the pile of other gifts before covering it well with dirt.

"I am Kira."

I take a deep breath, "And I love you, L Lawliet."

So I leave, never to return. I've said all that needs to be said.

Nothing can change the facts.