I know this chapter is shorter than normal. But I wanted to get another chapter up just to let people know this story is still alive. If you could shoot me a review, that would be lovely :)

"Frustration is the wet nurse of violence."

-David Abrahansen quotes


I lay with my head against Matt's chest, humming happily. It'd been ages since I'd gotten to cuddle him without something interrupting, and I very much enjoyed what I'd been denied for awhile. Matt was content to lay against the pillows and pet my hair- he was even ignoring his video games for me. I pressed into his chest and mewled happily. Every once in awhile, the plastic ring on his thumb would catch a stray piece of hair and tug it gently.

I was the center of attention. I was Matt's world. And I loved that. (I know as well as anyone else that I was a narcissistic asshole, even back then- but at least I admit it.)

"Happy birthday, Mel," Matt said, for at least the third time that day.

"Shaddup. You've told me already."

"I like saying it."


"Why not?"

Matt sat up and planted a kiss on my nose.

Our little happy-time was suddenly ended when a great commotion started downstairs. People were shouting, things were toppling over...I think something shattered.

We got out of bed and ran downstairs to find the place a total madhouse. You couldn't even hear yourself think with all the shouting and cheering going on. Matt and I wormed our way through the crowd, gripping each other by the hand. We got to the main entrance, and I was finally able to make out some coherent speech.

"L's back! L's back!"

My heart lept into my throat, and every nerve in my body came alive with elation. I practically dragged Matt behind me as I ran.

Sure enough, L was there. Thinner, sure, and paler too. He was slouching more than usual, and he looked exhausted overall. But he was back.

I nearly knocked him over when I threw my arms around him. I'll admit it- I cried a little. But only because I was so happy.

I felt L's hands on my shoulders as he gently pushed me away. I looked up at him, pouting. L's face was completely blank. He walked past me and all the others like we weren't even there. My mind was numb with shock and betrayal.

B tried to stop him to talk a little, but L brushed him off too. I've never seen Beyond look so crushed. All of us watched him go sadly, parting to allow him to pass.

"What's wrong with L?" Someone asked. "He's never been like this before..."

Matt took my hand and wiped my eyes.


I realized I was shaking.

"Does he hate us now?" I asked softly. I was surprised at how weak my own voice sounded.

"No, Mel. He doesn't hate us," Matt tried to reassure me. "He's just...tired. That's all. He got shot, remember?"

I leaned against him for support. And, like always, Matt was right there, able to be strong while I wasn't.

"I hope you're right," I whimpered. Something told me that even Matt wasn't so sure.


Talk about L resonated through all the rooms of Wammy's House. Most were worried. some were angry. But nobody ignored what happened.

Because L had always made time for us. No matter how tired he was after a case, he would sit down and talk to us, assure us that everything had worked out.

What happened after he got shot? What went through his mind while he was in the hospital? A part of me didn't want to know. But that was a tiny part, and the rest of me really, REALLY wanted to know.

I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling and wishing my uneasy stomach would settle down so I could catch some sleep.

I tossed around for a little while, to no avail. So I simply curled up in a little ball and waited for the nausea to pass.

Something was wrong with me. I was sure that by this time tomorrow, I would be violently ill. I almost looked forward to having a break from class tomorrow. Then again, where I was headed wasn't that much better.

I heard Beyond talking to himself again, ranting in fury. I didn't try to listen in like I usually did. Instead, I just buried my head under my pillow and tried to forget everything. Ignore everything.

L had looked so dead... almost like a walking corpse.

I wasn't succeeding.


I could feel Ryuuk's eyes following me as I paced wildly around my room, throwing my few possessions at the wall and at the headboard of the bed where A used to sleep.

Damn him, why did he have to go and die now?! He always knew what I needed to do- he always had something to say to reassure me, to make me feel better. I liked A. At least, that's what I liked to think.

"Bad day, kid?" Ryuuk asked.

"The worst," I spat. "L completely blew me off today! I'm furious! He didn't even look at me!"

I threw my algebra textbook at the wall. It hit with a dull thud and fell onto the carpet. I pulled at my hair and screamed. I kicked the foot of my bed. I wound up with a throbbing foot and a sore scalp.

Ryuuk laughed at me. I had to suppress my urge to try and strangle him- even though I could have if I wanted to. I growled at him instead, and he fell silent. I continued stalking around like a caged lion.

Something was wrong with L. Terribly wrong. I wanted to know. But how was I supposed to when he wouldn't even talk to me?