notes: sad to say that this is the last chapter. I really do enjoy this fic and the world within, and I truly hope that you all found something you liked from it, too. Thank you very much for the lovely reviews. Please let me know what you think after this one :)
"I can't believe you actually agreed to move here," Aizawa teased as he made his second trip up the stairs and into L's new flat. "I've always seen you as a city boy. This place is almost too small for you."
Chuckling, L set down the (embarrassingly light) box in his arms, so grateful to have Aizawa's help with the move. As much as he liked to pretend he was a tough guy, lugging boxes up a couple flights of stairs would have been hell for him on his own.
"There's just something about this place," L replied, holding his arms out in gesture to the town. "Don't you think? It's got a certain charm to it."
Shaking his head, Aizawa turned to close the front door, speaking over his shoulder. "I still think you're mental for moving here, but if it's what you want…"
"It is," L said with confidence. If anyone ever knew anything about something, it was L.
The town was more secluded and definitely smaller than he was used to, but there really was something about it that just drew in and held his attention. It felt as though something had wrapped itself around L's legs and pulled him right in, leaving him no choice but to stay there. If he had believed in a higher power, he might have even questioned if Fate had any play in his life.
"It'll suck having you so far away, too," Aizawa mumbled as he pressed the tip of his shoe against a box, sliding it across the wood floor.
Smiling, L placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, giving it an appreciative squeeze before changing the subject to something less emotional.
The day was spent unpacking. Aizawa kept the mood lighthearted by teasing L about certain things he found in the boxes ("Really, L? Kissing 101?" "Piss off."). Everyone knew L had quite a few eccentricities about him, and luckily their tight group of friends were comfortable enough to tease each other without offense. By late afternoon most of his things had been put in their new places, and L mentioned (complained) more than once how thankful he was that he didn't own very many things (still too many).
"All that's missing is food, then," Aizawa said as he fell back onto the small loveseat that he'd bought as a surprise gift and had delivered.
"I think there's only one grocery store in town," L shouted from the kitchen, finishing putting away a few pans before making his way into the living room. "You want to drive? I can get us something to eat, and maybe fill up the fridge."
Nodding, Aizawa pushed himself to his feet and led the way out.
L made his way to the cash register with a full basket, looking over his shoulder briefly for Aizawa before telling himself that his friend could handle himself.
Smiling at the girl behind the counter, he set his purchase onto the moving belt, reaching behind himself to pull his wallet out of his back pocket.
"I'm sorry," the girl said, giving him a strange look. "But… do I know you?" she asked, and L looked at her a little closer, though finding nothing familiar about her.
"Um," he started, trying to find the right words to keep the conversation from getting too awkward. "I really don't think so. I just moved into town yesterday, actually." He glanced at his still full basket, keeping the smile on his face though he was starting to get anxious. Ever since he could remember, L had never been too comfortable meeting new people. His throat would lock up sometimes, and Aizawa had stepped in to apologize for his sudden muteness more than once.
"Oh, well, I really don't then," the girl said, more so to herself than to L. With a shake of her head, she started to ring up L's items, her brow drawn together as she lost herself in her thoughts.
Waiting patiently for her to finish, L fiddled with his wallet – opening and slapping it closed over and over again. After nearly a minute, the girl glanced at his hands for a moment before gasping in shock.
Startled, his hands froze and the wallet fell to the floor, but the girl shouted at him to stand still when he moved to pick it up.
Doing as ordered, he watched worriedly as she bolted around the counter and snatched up his wallet, holding it open and staring at his license with wide, disbelieving eyes.
"You're-" she stopped, seeming to remember herself. With a dark blush, she handed the worn item back to him, apologizing continuously under her breath. "That's just, I'm sorry, but that's just… so unexpected."
Absolutely confused, L raised an eyebrow at her actions, wondering if it'd be too rude to ask what in the hell had just happened.
"L! I picked up some beer, hope you don't mind," Aizawa said as he came to L's side, setting the pack of beer on the counter with a smile. When he noticed L's attitude, however, he turned questioning eyes onto the girl who was still muttering to herself. "Something going on?" he asked quietly enough so that L was the only one that heard.
"Strange girl." He shook his head at the questioning look his friend gave him, turning his attention back to the girl when she finally got around to telling him how much he owed.
"I'm truly sorry about that." Her blush, if it was even possible, became even darker. She took L's money with an embarrassed smile. "It's just that some really weird things went on in this town a few years back, and you really reminded me of someone."
L looked at Aizawa in absolute bewilderment, having no idea what to say to that.
Taking control of the situation (fortunately), Aizawa gave the girl a charming smile. "Well," he glanced at her name tag, "Sarah, my friend just moved here, so if it's something bad, then there's nothing to worry about."
Sarah shook her head back and forth fast enough to whip her ponytail, and L couldn't help but wonder if he'd ever met anyone so obviously crazy in his entire life.
"No, it's not bad, really." She cringed as if she knew she was telling a lie. "Just strange."
Interested, Aizawa pressed her for more information, and after having him promise that he wouldn't say he'd heard it from her, she explained a little more.
"There's this man that lives here – Light." She looked over her shoulders quickly, acting most suspicious. "He moved into town seven years ago with his father. Rumor had it that he'd just been released from a mental hospital, and that his dad was trying to settle down in a place that wouldn't trigger any memories of… whatever he was trying to get away from. Mr. Yagami died just over a year later, and Light had a miraculous turn around in his recovery."
L listened with rapt attention. His stomach tingled in the most pleasant way at the mention of Light's name; though, strangely enough, his heart felt a bit heavy at the same time.
"You'll probably meet him," Sarah said, biting her bottom lip as she gave L another glance. "This town is so small that it's hard not to run into everyone at least once. It's one of those everybody knows what everybody else is doing types of places."
Obviously, L thought, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. He wasn't sure why, but he was desperate to know more about the supposed 'crazy' man.
"I'm sure he can't be that bad," Aizawa said, always the kind one.
Sarah gave him a look that clearly told her opinion on the matter. "I heard that he suffered from hallucinations, and not a safe kind."
L swallowed heavily, losing the pleasant feeling in his stomach completely at that. He didn't understand his reactions in the slightest. All he knew at that moment was that he had to know everything.
Where is Light?
"If I were you," Sarah said, addressing L fully. "I would stay away from him. Something tells me that you two meeting would be a very bad thing."
Aizawa laughed, throwing an arm around L's shoulders in a way that he'd come to know as comfort. His friend knew that Sarah's quick judgment of him would hurt him, and he was quick to pull L out of his thoughts. "L here is a really nice guy. I can't imagine anyone not getting along with him."
Sarah shrugged, looking very skeptical. "You don't know Light, though," she argued, sounding so sincere that Aizawa's friendly laughter was forced to a halt.
"Should I be worried for L here, or is he going to be alright?" he asked, a slight threat to his tone.
"It's just… let me explain something, and then you can decide. It was rumored that Light saw an angel – black wings, pale skin, dark hair, and black eyes." She stared pointedly at L until both of the men caught on.
"Does look a bit like you," Aizawa said, taking a step back as if to get a better view.
"But that's not it, either," Sarah insisted, the pitch of her voice increasing with her excitement. "Light's father mentioned once that his son called the angel L."
"You holding up alright?"
Turning to face his friend, L shrugged, not knowing what the honest answer was. The fact that some guy in town had been having hallucinations of some angel that looked eerily like L himself was a bit unsettling.
Even more unsettling were the butterflies that had yet to leave his stomach since he'd first heard Sarah say Light's name. He couldn't explain it – he was too nervous to think too much about it, telling himself over and over that his dreams were just a coincidence – but he felt as though the next thing he should have been doing was go out on the town in search of Light.
More than once L had to grip the edge of the car seat to keep himself from jumping right out of the door.
"It's just a shock," he replied finally, resting his elbow on the window ledge and watching as the town slowly passed by.
"I won't lie; it all just makes me really curious to find out more."
L turned to Aizawa once more, a wide smile on his face. "Feel like taking a walk through town, then?"
Aizawa nodded, slowing the car down and pulling into a parking space just outside of a small convenience store. "Best see just how ridiculous this place's gossip mill is."
Turned out that the town was exactly what you'd expect for its small size. It seemed as though everyone truly knew everything there was to know about everyone who had ever stepped foot across the city line. The odd thing, however, was how tight lipped they all were when Aizawa finally asked outright what they knew of a certain Light Yagami.
"It's so sad what happened to that man. His father died when he was just twenty and fresh out of the hospital."
"He's been doing really well lately. I wish him the best."
"Nice man with a rough history. He's getting back on his feet, though. He'll make it."
It was absolutely infuriating.
"You know where he's living, then?" Aizawa would ask, and L watched over and over as whoever they were talking to glanced at him before shaking their heads.
"It'd probably be best that you leave him alone. Like I said, he's been doing so well lately; it'd be a tragedy to see him have a relapse or something."
It was as if everything was conspiring against him meeting the man, even though every inch of his own body was desperate to see him.
"I don't get it," L said as they made their way back to Aizawa's car after a short stop for lunch. "They all say that this town is small enough that I will eventually run into him, but they won't let me find him on my own?"
Aizawa shrugged, getting into the car with a frown. "Good point, but it's obvious we won't be able to change their minds."
L took a deep breath as he got into the car, closing the door harder than necessary.
Aizawa eyed him curiously. "Is it really that big of a deal to you to meet him?"
"Yes," L answered without thought, crossing his arms over his chest and pouting towards the window. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you what was going through my head right now."
Rolling his eyes, Aizawa started the car and drove out of the parking lot. "I think I've been a pretty understanding friend the entire time that we've known each other."
L bit his bottom lip in thought, turning to his friend with his brows drawn together. "Five years," he said, sighing when Aizawa only gave him a confused look. "We've known each other for five years."
"Maybe it's just me thinking too much. Yeah, it's stupid." He sighed and turned away again, wondering where the idea had even come from.
"Come on, mate. It can't be that bad," Aizawa urged.
L stayed quiet until they had turned onto his street, hoping Aizawa wouldn't admit him to the hospital after hearing what he was thinking. "Sarah said that Light had a miraculous recovery after his dad died, which would have been a little more than five years ago, since he's been here for seven." At Aizawa's nod, he continued. "I was in the hospital five years ago, got hit on the head, remember?" Another nod. "And I've been having these really weird dreams lately, and they… you're going to think I'm mad, but they are the same exact thing that Light was, I don't know… seeing."
Noticing the look Aizawa was giving him, L wished he had just stayed quiet.
"You're having dreams of what? That you're an angel?" He laughed, and L could tell that Aizawa thought it was all just a joke. As the seconds passed, however, and L didn't disagree, the smile slowly faded from Aizawa's face and he looked at him in surprise. "You're serious?"
L nodded. "Very."
Looking away, Aizawa drove in silence, parking his car outside of L's flat and climbing out. L followed, unlocking the front door and leading the way up the stairs before unlocking the door to his place. The food that they'd dropped off earlier was still on the counter, so L busied himself by putting it away, glancing over his shoulder at Aizawa every once in a while.
Groceries put away, L grabbed a couple beers from the fridge and took a seat next to his still quiet friend, handing over the cool beverage with a nervous smile.
"Look," he said, getting Aizawa's attention. "Just forget I said anything, yeah? It was just a stupid thing anyways. Just a coincidence."
Aizawa shook his head, and L worried for a moment that his friend really did think he'd lost his mind. "I've seen you naked enough times to know you have weird scars on your back."
Swallowing heavily, L opened his beer and took a drink, feeling a bit uncomfortable.
"Sorry," Aizawa said, running a hand over his head with a sigh. "They aren't weird, per se. It's just strange that you have these dreams, have a strange urge to move to a city that really doesn't fit you, hear about some man that had hallucinations about you with wings… and you have those scars that… Shit, I sound insane."
L chuckled, shaking his head. "You and me both. This doesn't make any sense."
"No, it doesn't," Aizawa agreed, opening his own beer with a sigh. "I wouldn't go around talking about it too much, though. This town would eat you up if they knew."
L nodded, fingering the edge of his beer with a frown. "Do you think I made a bad choice moving here?"
"I think, once everything gets settled, you'll like it."
The following morning, L woke up to complete silence. Aizawa had left late the night before, having promised his wife Kelly that he wouldn't be gone for more than a day.
Trying to keep himself entertained, L organized his things a bit more around the flat, making note of anything that he would need to buy before the day was out. All in all, he thought he did a good job distracting himself from what he really wanted to do – find Light.
Without Aizawa there to keep his attention, L's thoughts drifted often to the crazy man, and more than once he brought himself back to reality only to find that he was already halfway down the stairs with his car keys in hand. Every time that happened, L shook his head and turned back around, the people's suggestions of staying away from Light still echoing in the back of his mind.
At noon, tired of cleaning and moving things around, L popped a movie into the DVD player and curled up on the small sofa, fully intending to sleep away the rest of the afternoon.
Fate had other plans for him, however, and he was just starting to realize how much of his life he really didn't control – one aspect of it being Light.
Considering, for a moment, the very farfetched idea that he somehow had been an angel six years earlier, L shuddered at the thought of his dreams actually being his memories.
If that were true, then his hands were the cause of thousands upon thousands of deaths – two of them being people that were dear to Light.
His heart skipped a beat at that, different images coming to his mind as he mulled over what Light truly held close to his heart.
The brunet boy in his dreams, Light – how could he not have made the connection sooner?
Light brown hair, dark eyes, tanned skin, and a skinny body. Absolutely stunning.
He loved him. Completely.
He wanted to be with him. He had wanted to be with him in a way that angels couldn't be… and now…
Blinking up at his ceiling, L tried to catch his breath, thinking of… no, remembering where Light's father had moved them to. Remembering the old chair that Mr. Yagami had died in, remembering the horrified look on Light's face when all the pieces had slid into place.
Remembering the roads that would lead him straight to Light's door.
L was on his feet in an instant, heart pounding furiously in his chest as he snatched up his keys and bolted for the door. He took the stairs two at a time, nearly falling flat on his face in his clumsy haste, catching his balance just at the last minute, and sprinting out of the building with burning lungs.
His hands were shaking so badly that he struggled to put the key in the ignition, letting out a shout of frustration before he finally held still long enough for it to slide in.
He drove blindly, having only his dreams and memories to guide him in the right direction.
How could he have ever forgotten?
The house was just as he'd pictured it, and as he walked up to the front door, it felt as though he'd gone back to whatever being he was before – as though he hadn't been given a human life at all.
"Please be here, please, please, be here," he whispered over and over, rapping his knuckles against the front door, shifting his weight from foot to foot in excited anticipation.
What would Light do? Would he recognize him after all those years? Would he welcome him in with a warm smile and an intoxicating kiss?
Or would he panic? Would he slam the door shut in L's face after only a single glance? Would he refuse to let L back into his life after everything that they'd been through?
"Please," he whispered again, leaning his forehead against the door and raising his arms above his head, tapping his fingers on the wood in a continuous plea for attention. His eyes clenched shut, bright spots dancing through the blankness before him.
At the sound of shuffling inside the house, L's head shot back, his eyes wide as he started knocking frantically. He didn't care if Light thought he was some insane freak trying to break in, just as long as he was able to see him, only for a moment.
"Light, please, it's me! It's L! Please, open up, please."
The shuffling stopped immediately, frozen by L's words.
"It's me," he repeated, his voice calming as he stepped close to the door once more, brushing his hands against the wood as if it was Light himself standing before him. "Please, Light. Let me in."
He held his breath, listening closely for any sounds from within the house, anything that would give Light away.
"Please." A deep breath. "I love you."
Words that he should have said so many years before.
"I love you. Please, Light."
The click of the lock being turned made L jump back, his eyes staring wide and shocked as the door was eased open.
Six entire years.
Light still looked as perfect as ever.
He only opened the door enough for him to look out at L, and from what he could see, Light hadn't really changed much in the last few years. The scar on his neck had faded a bit, and his clothes seemed to have gotten even tighter over L's absence.
"L?" Light whispered, not believing his eyes. "You're…" He pulled the door open wider, glancing up and down L's body, drinking him in.
L stared right back, blinking a few times just to make sure that his own eyes weren't playing tricks on him.
He moved closer, watching for any sign of protest from Light but the man didn't move. Light's eyes followed him, his hands twitching at his sides as if they wanted to reach out. L wished he would let them.
He stopped only when he was close enough to feel the heat from Light's body, to feel his breath flutter across his lips and cheeks.
"Human," Light whispered, finally – finally – reaching out, holding L's head in his hands, pulling their foreheads together.
Closing his eyes, L smiled, pressing his hands against Light's as he tilted his lips closer. "Yours," he breathed, his lips brushing against Light's softly.
Light let out a laugh, letting his arms slide around L's shoulders and pressing their mouths tightly together.
"Finally," he said, eyes shining with tears – happiness and relief.
L's smile grew as they kissed again.
With a groan, L shuffled his feet through the produce section of the grocery store, wanting nothing more than to flop down on the floor to rest his aching feet.
Not only did Light insist on dragging him around town simply to show him off, he'd insisted on doing it the day after they'd gotten very, very well acquainted with each other's bodies.
L was sure his arse would be sore for weeks after the way Light had pounded into him the night before… and after a few hours of sleep… and after they'd finally managed to make it to the shower.
Groaning again (though for a completely different reason) L waltzed up to the cash registers and gave Sarah a small wave… even though he really wanted to give her something else. Light had made him promise that he'd behave, however, not wanting people to spread any vicious rumors about them so soon.
L took pleasure in Sarah's shocked face when she'd first realized that he actually was Light's angel – that he hadn't been crazy after all. She may not have known that he had been Death, once upon a time, but that didn't really matter to him.
It had taken him awhile to understand what he'd gone through, but he finally did.
He'd given up his purpose, given up the only existence that he knew how to live, just to be at Light's side.
Death didn't have any regrets.
And neither did L.
Not a single one.