TO MY READERS: I apologize for taking so long to update this and my other story. My mom died several weeks ago and it has been difficult for me to get back into my writing for a while. Thank you so much for your patience, and thank you so much for continuing to follow me. Hugs to all of you!
Light paid no attention as to where they were as they walked, holding L's hand and talking, until L suddenly froze, unable to continue. He looked at him in alarm and followed his line of vision and realized they were about to walk past Maki's restaurant. L had stopped walking; staring at it wide eyed and didn't even appear to hear Light as he called his name.
In L's mind all he could see was being drugged and being thrown into Maki's car; the ultimate in his being obtuse and out of control. He saw it before him as if it had happened to someone else and he were watching a movie; he watched as Maki led him out of the door, looking as if he'd had too much to drink. Being put into her car and the door closed on him so he couldn't get out. How laughable; the world's three greatest detectives couldn't keep himself from being abducted by a deranged waitress who was half his size. He could hear mocking laughter in his mind; telling him what a fool he was.
"Ryuzaki…come on Ryuzaki look at me," Light said turning L around so he was no longer facing the crepe restaurant, "I know how you must be feeling but…" he began and L cut him off.
"No…no you don't, Light, but I know you 're trying to," he took a deep breath and looked back at the restaurant, "That's where we're going for dessert." Light shook his head.
"That's not necessary, you don't have to prove anything to me," Light told him and L smiled at him.
"I'm proving something to myself. This has always been our favorite restaurant and I refuse to allow my failings to ruin something that we enjoy."
"It hasn't ruined anything," Light soothed, "Nothing important has changed, my love for you hasn't changed, our life together hasn't changed. Forcing yourself to go somewhere that has traumatic memories isn't necessary."
"Yes it is, I will not let it dictate to me! We are going there as we always have for desert and coffee," he turned and headed towards the restaurant. Light grabbed his arm to slow him down and then took his hand.
"All right, but if you feel like you have to leave don't hesitate to tell me," he advised and L nodded knowing he'd do no such thing.
The moment they walked in it caused a furor. They headed for their usual table, which was free, and sat down. All the wait staff began to buzz; one went to find the manager who immediately came to their table, bowing almost to the point where his noise was about to touch the table.
"My deepest apologies for the crime one of my staff has committed against you. I am pleased you do not hold my restaurant or me responsible for her behavior and continue to be our customer. For this whatever you order will be our responsibility to show our appreciation."
"It would be ridiculous to hold the entire restaurant responsible for her behavior," L answered with a small smile, "And for now we would like coffee to begin."
"Right away," the manager said bowing again before leaving their table. Light watched him leave with a smirk and then took L's hand.
"Are you okay?" he asked and L nodded and looked up at him.
"I admit I feel…uncomfortable…but I will be fine," he picked up the menu, opened it and Light could see his hands trembling slightly but said nothing.
L fought his own mind which flashbacked to the last time he sat in this seat; whenever he looked up he saw Maki walking over to him until he closed his eyes and she was gone when he reopened them. Being here made him relive how ridiculous he had been and he hated it, but he refused to let it control him.
When their coffee was delivered and they ordered their usual, Light decided to try another tactic to try to get him to change his mind about leaving.
"You look like you're handling this okay," he said, "I think this proves how strong you are, Ryuzaki. I think it proves my point that you don't have to leave to heal." L sighed and shook his head.
"There's a big difference in controlling my urge to run out of here and working my cases, Light," he answered, "I am dealing with my own problems here; with my cases it could be any number of people who will be affected by what I do, what my decisions are," he looked up at Light and sighed, "I'm sorry Light, my mind is made up, I have to go."
Light nodded and sighed again, but then smiled, "Okay, I won't try to change your mind again. I told you I would stand behind you and your decision and I will." He went quiet as their crepes were delivered. He watched as L picked up his first bite, his hand trembling slightly as he did. The happy sparkle that was usually reflected in L's eyes when he ate something like this was missing, and that bothered him more than almost anything else. The joy that L always had when eating his beloved sweets was something Light loved to see, and it was gone.
"What will you do when you get to Wammy's?" he asked as he toyed with his own crepe, "Didn't the boys take over your old apartment and make it their own office for their own cases?" L nodded as he took another joyless bite.
"Yes, they did and I have no right to expect to just walk back in there and take it over. I will use Wammy's old apartment; it has all the connections I will need and afford me the privacy I will also need," he looked up at Light, "It will be fine," he reached across the table and took Light's hand, "I will be fine eventually and I will come back home when I am." Light squeezed his hand and nodded.
"I know, and I'll be here when you do." He smiled hoping it looked stronger than it felt. L nodded and went back to eating his crepe.
When they arrived back at their apartment, Light remembered that Watari wanted them to stop in when they returned. He reminded L and they went over and knocked on the door. Watari was quick to answer and ushered them in.
"Is there something in particular you want," L asked, his exhaustion emotionally and physically beginning to overtake him, "I need to rest before my flight in the morning."
"Yes, and it is about your flight," Watari told him going towards his bedroom, "You know as well as I do L, that flying alone that far is out of the question," he raised his hand when he saw L begin to argue, a gesture that always quieted the raven from the time he was a child. "I also understand your desire to not leave Light alone at this time with things so unsettled; so I have provided a solution." He opened the door and Matt strolled out, grinning widely.
"I've been called a lot of things, but a solution is a new one," he said as he did, "Hey guys, glad to see me?"
Both L and Light stared at him in surprise, before L finally managed to speak.
"Matt…what are you doing here? When did you get here?" he asked walking over to him.
"Just got here this morning…I think, my time is all screwed up," he said scratching his head, "Wammy called me and asked me to come so I could help you fly back home and I said of course. Aren't you excited?" L turned on Wammy in fury.
"How dare you go behind my back like this?" he seethed, not feeling Light grab his arm as he moved forward, "Do you have so little trust in me that you did this? How dare you?"
"L calm down," Light soothed, "He did it because he was, like I was, worried about you flying all that way by yourself. I'm glad he did it, and if you stop being stubborn and think about it you'll understand it's the best thing he could have done."
"Do not forget yourself L Lawliet," Watari countered, "You are in this situation precisely because you are too stubborn to realize you are not invincible and that once in a while you need to listen to someone else because you are human and can be wrong. In this you were also wrong, and I was not going to allow your stubbornness end up costing your life. Matt is going to help you fly back to Wammy's and you will shut up and be civil about it." L's face, already flushed in anger, seemed to get more flushed as he realized Watari was right and he was only proving once again why he had to get away. His judgment was incredibly flawed and dangerous, if only to himself, yet again. He looked down at the floor and turned away.
"I apologize, you are correct, of course. Matt, thank you for coming at such short notice," he then moved quickly out of the door, running to his apartment, slamming the door behind him. Light turned to Matt and hugged him quickly.
"I have to go to him, but thank you Matt. As you can see, he's not himself. Make sure you keep a good eye on him tomorrow. Thank you Watari." He said and ran out after L.
Matt stared after them then turned to look at Watari, shaking his head.
"I've never seen L like that, even when he was falling apart over Light during that case, his judgment was always right on, this is crazy." Watari nodded with a heavy sigh.
"Now you know why I called you. In his present state of mind, I'd be concerned he'd drop the plane over the ocean," he turned towards the kitchen, "I need a cup of tea, what about you?"
"If I wasn't flying in the morning I'd want something a lot stronger than tea," Matt said with a chuckle, "But for now I'll go for the tea…but with two teabags!" Watari laughed as he went into the kitchen.
"L!" Light called as he ran into the apartment and not seeing him right away. He went into the bedroom, which was empty, and turned to see the balcony doors open. He walked thru them to see L standing near the railing, his hands jammed into his pockets, back painfully hunched as he stared out over the skyline of Tokyo. He walked behind him and wrapped his arms around him, pulling him against his chest, and kissing the side of his face.
"We'll get through this L, you'll get through this." He soothed.
"I'm still such a fool Light, turning on Watari like that when he was absolutely correct in what he did. I can't believe my judgment is so incredibly impaired. Do you understand why I have to get away, do you understand it now?" Light sighed and nodded, kissing the top of L's head.
"I understand. I always understood, I just…I just wish I could help you." L turned in his arms to look at him.
"By understanding you're helping me, Light." He answered and kissed him gently, "I'm exhausted, and I need to rest. I'm leaving before dawn; please don't feel you have to come with me to see me off. As a matter of fact, I'd rather that you stay here, it will be next to impossible to say good-bye to you at the airport." Light nodded.
"If that's what you want," he said taking L's hand and leading him back inside, "Then we should go to bed." L followed him to the bedroom where they both undressed and crawled into bed. Light wrapped his arms around him and held him against his chest, listening to him breathe, knowing that neither one of them would sleep well.
L opened his eyes and glanced at the clock. He sighed and sat up slowly, looking down into Light's sleeping face. They had both tossed and turned most of the night, and he was glad Light finally was able to get some rest; he still had to work in a few hours. He leaned down and kissed him gently, slowly running his fingers through his hair. He got up and got dressed, then went to his office to pack his laptop and a few files and was startled to see Watari already in there. His hands went to his pockets and he looked down at his bare feet.
"Wammy, I'm sorry about yesterday, I had no right to speak to you that way," he offered. Watari smiled and patted his shoulder.
"You were not yourself, you still aren't yourself, and it's fine," he gestured to the items in front of him, "I thought I would at least pack up what I believed you would need to take with you and give you a little more time with Light." L allowed a small smile.
"I appreciate that Wammy, but he is asleep and I don't wish to disturb him."
"He will want to say good-bye L," Watari warned him, "Don't take that away from him as well." L sighed and nodded.
"Yes, of course," he said, "I just didn't want to say it. I don't wish to leave him Wammy, but I need to be alone." Watari nodded his understanding.
"Go back to Light, I'll get these things into the car," he said ushering him out of the office. As he turned and walked out of the office he saw Light practically running out of the bedroom. He stopped when he saw him and sighed, "I thought you left without telling me." He said going to L and taking him in his arms and kissing him.
"No, but I had thought about it, I didn't want to disturb you, you didn't sleep well last night," L said when he was released.
"Neither did you," Light answered trying to stop a yawn, "Coffee seems like a good idea," he added trying to keep everything light and pulling L towards the table. L nodded and followed him, sitting at the table while Light prepared their coffees.
"You'll call me as soon as you get there?" Light asked as he set the coffees down in front of L.
"Of course, and after that I'll call you every few days to let you know how I'm doing," L answered and Light smiled.
"Every few days is definitely better than once a week," he said and sat down next to L, "Are you sure you don't want me to go with you to the airport?" he asked and L nodded his head.
"I'm sure, I'd rather think of you being here when I leave than in a noisy airport," he said sipping his coffee. He turned to look at Light, seeing the weariness in his face and the sadness in his eyes; hating himself for being the reason. "I am sorry it has to be this way, I've done nothing but make a mess of things and cleaning the mess is as painful as creating it was," he reached up and caressed Light's face. Light leaned against L's hand, closing his eyes to hold back the tears he could feel burning behind them.
"Just get better quickly and come back, that's all I want," he said, leaning forward and kissing L desperately. L smiled when he pulled away.
"Knowing more of that is waiting for me, I'll be back as quickly as possible," he finished his coffee and stood up. "It's time," he added sadly and walked towards the door. Light put his cup down and followed him to the door, then held out his arms. L fell into them holding Light as tightly as he could, holding back his own tears as Light rubbed his back. He moved away just enough to be able to kiss him, and then pulled himself out of his arms.
"I love you Light, and I'll be back. Just be here when I do…please." He said sadly.
"You are a fool if you think I won't be," Light said with a smile, "I love you L, of course I'll be here." L nodded then quickly kissed him once again, then opened the door and went out of it, closing it quietly behind him. He looked up to see Matt and Watari standing by the elevator. He looked back at the door for a moment before going to the elevator and stepping inside, looking at the floor as the doors closed in front of him.
Light turned around after the door closed and looked around the apartment. L had left many times during their years together to work on cases, but this was different. It was work, he understood that, but this was something he didn't completely understand and was terrified of. He went back to the table and sat back down, picking up his coffee cup, the tears still burning at the back of his eyes. He finally gave up, putting the cup down and bringing the hand to his face as the tears finally escaped.
Matt quickly went over the controls of the plane as checked everything to make sure everything was ready. He had said good-bye to Watari at the car, not wanting him to leave Light alone for too long, and not sure he could survive another long good-bye without breaking down, and he didn't want to do that. He turned and looked at Matt and tried to smile.
"You feeling comfortable with the controls?" he asked and Matt nodded as he pulled his goggles down, putting on the headphones.
"Ready when you are Dad," he said with a grin that turned into a huge laugh when he saw L's eyes comically widen at what he called him.
"Never do that again," L said in deadly seriousness that only made Matt laugh again. Within minutes they were off the ground and on their way.