After several hours L got up to take a break, leaving the controls to Matt. He went out into the galley, made coffee and sat down, staring outside of the window at the clouds as they rolled by. Already he missed Light, the pain inside him so strong it almost took his breath away. It was because it was coupled with the fear that he had just made the worst mistake of his life, that he would go back and find Light gone, or with some else he had moved towards to ease his loneliness. He shook his head; Light would never leave him, would never go to someone else. What they had could not be duplicated with someone else, it was the entire reason they were with each other in the first place, there WAS no one else for either of them. But he could do damage to their relationship if he didn't get this done properly. He knew he had to fix what was wrong as quickly as possibly, because if he didn't and went home anyway, it would be he himself that would drive Light away from him, or worse yet get him killed. He knew Watari would keep an eye on Light, make sure he was okay at least when he was home. But what about when he wasn't home? L reached for his phone.
Matsuda reached for his phone the moment he heard it go off. He and Suki were having breakfast at his place on his day off, still going over the situation with Maki and what had happened.
"Matsuda," he answered and was surprised at hearing L's voice.
"Matsuda, it's Ryuzaki," he said, "I need to ask you for a favor."
"Anything Ryuzaki, you know that. How are you feeling? You Ok?" Matsuda asked.
"I'm…physically I'm fine thank you, but otherwise…Matsuda…I've had to leave Light for a while and I need you to keep your eyes on him for me, make sure he's okay." Matsuda's mouth fell open and he jumped from the table.
"What do you mean you've left Light for a while? What's happened? Are you okay? Is he okay?" L had to smile at the frantic sound in Matsuda's voice.
"Matsuda we're both fine, but…"
"Was it because of what happened? Maki? Is Light upset with you? No, that wouldn't be it, he's not like that…"
"Matsuda!" L nearly shouted to get his attention back on track, "It's because of me, I have to sort out a few things and I felt it would be best if I did it alone. I'm on my way back to Wammy's, just for a little while but…I know Light's upset and I would feel better if I knew you were keeping an eye on him, don't let him be alone for too long."
Matsuda wasn't sure he understood exactly, but he nodded at the phone. Suki stood up and went to him, concerned when she heard who he was talking to and Matsuda's questions.
"Well of course I'll keep an eye on him, he's my partner and best friend, you don't have to ask. But Ryuzaki…how long will you be gone?"
"He's gone?" Suki mouthed and Matsuda nodded.
"I don't know for sure," he answered, "But it shouldn't be for too long. Matsuda…call me, let me know if anything happens that I should know about. no matter what it is or the time."
"I will but Ryuzaki whatever it is, I know you'll figure it out. Maki was crazy you know that and we...none of us think any less of you because of how we found you! We…"
"Thank you Matsuda," L interrupted him before he could go any further, bringing a hand to stroke his forehead, "I'll be in touch." He hung up and dropped the phone on the table in front of him. He balled his hands into fists taking deep breaths as he fought to keep himself in check.
"I am L," he said aloud, "and I am in control at all times." He unclenched his fist and closed his eyes, concentrating on finding that part of him that was damaged, trying to visualize it so he could fix it.
"I will find it," he said opening his eyes after a few moments, "and I will fix it and I will go home to Light." He took another deep breath and let it out slowly, calming the craziness that was going on in his mind. He picked up his phone again wanting to hear Light's voice but decided that would not be fair to Light, at least not yet. He decided to text him instead, letting him know that all was right with the flight and he would let him know when he landed.
Matsuda explained to Suki as best he could what had happened as he quickly gathered his things. "I'm sorry but I have to go and see how Light's doing, you understand right?" Suki nodded and kissed him gently.
"Of course I do. I've go shopping to do anyway and I know how much you enjoy that, so this is a good thing. Call me when you get a chance and let me know what's happening." Matsuda sighed as he caressed her face.
"I love you, I don't know how I got so lucky."
"I love you too, and as long as you don't know, everything will be just fine!" she kissed him again before he ran out of the door.
Light had showered and dressed, and had been trying to work on some paperwork when he found himself being drawn to L's office. He got up from the table and walked to the door and looked inside leaning against the wall. In his mind he saw L sitting at his desk, hunched over his computer, his huge dark eyes surveying each screen above him. He closed his eyes and turned away, walking back into the main room. He'd be back, he'd be back soon and they could put all of this behind them. He sighed; sometimes it just seemed they were constantly getting past things and putting them behind. They always knew their relationship would be far from easy, but sometimes it just seemed they were doing more managing than just being. He shook his head, he knew that wasn't true, they had so much time where they were just living day to day like any other couple, it was just that when things did go wrong, they went big.
He was pouring more coffee when his phone chirped letting him know he had a text. He had left it on the table and he moved to it, and then quickly snatched it up when he saw it was from L. He read the text and smiled, shooting an answer back to him without telling him how much he missed him already, no need to make him feel worse. As soon as he finished sudden rapid knocking on his door startled him. Before he could open it, the door burst open and Matsuda flew in. They kept Matsuda up-to-date on the password to open the elevator doors on their floor in case of an emergency so he wasn't surprised he'd gotten in, just that he was here at all.
"Hey Light," Matsuda called coming in the door, "Sorry I didn't wait for you to open the door, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. L called me and told me what happened, well not exactly, just that he was on his way to Wammy's…and I just wanted to be sure you were okay after everything and…" Light put up his hands to stave off the rush of words attacking him and smiled.
"Thank you, but I'm okay Matsuda," he said, "But you're welcome to join me for coffee." Matsuda nodded and joined Light at the table as his partner poured coffee and brought it over to him.
Matsuda knew Light long enough and well enough that he could tell when something was wrong, in spite of the half smile on his face as he handed him the coffee. Now that he was in a serious relationship himself, he could understand even more what L and Light had together. He knew theirs was even more than his and Suki's; there was something almost symbiotic about it, one feeding off of the other for everything. He had never pried into their private lives before, but this time he felt maybe Light needed to know that he was there for him, and he had to know exactly what he was up against.
"Light, we've been friends longer than we've been partners, and even when I knew you as a kid, I was always awed by you, you had everything I never did. You were really good looking, the girls loved you, you were brilliant, you had Chief Yagami as a dad and you were never at a loss for anything, you always knew what to do, what to say. Even during the whole Kira thing, when L was accusing you, locking you up, handcuffing you, you just took it all until you were finally proven innocent. And through it all Light, you persevered and you were just a kid then. Now you're in this great relationship with L, and all the craziness that comes with that, you guys have been through so much, L getting blown up you being kidnapped and beaten…"
"Matsuda, is there a point you're trying to make?" Light interrupted, not really wanting to relive some of those things right at the moment, and feeling a little guilty at Matsuda proclaiming his innocence from being Kira.
"I'm sorry, I'm rambling. The point is, everything you and L have been through, you've always come through it with flying colors and I'm sure it's going to be the same this time," he eyed him carefully, "And Light, you have the right to not to be stoic this time, especially to me. I've been through all of these things with you and more, we're more than just friends. Stop trying to smile through this, stop trying to show me that brave 'I've got it under control coz I'm Light Yagami' face. Tell me what happened," he reached across the table and took Light's arm, "And just let it go, I'm here for you."
Light blinked in surprise at Matsuda, not used to having anyone call him out except L. He was genuinely moved by what he said, so much so he nearly cracked, but that wasn't him. Not since L's being hurt in an explosion did he lose it in front of anyone and he didn't want to do that again; not being in control was not something he could accept. He looked down Matsuda's hand on his arm, then at the table. He stood up and flashed Matsuda one of his famous smiles and walked over to the coffee pot.
"This is a different situation for us absolutely but I'm fine Matsuda, I'm handling it, I know what he's trying to do and that…" before he knew it Matsuda was up and behind him, once again taking his arm.
"Light, don't do this; I heard what L sounded like over the phone, he was worried about you and how you're handling whatever this is so that makes me realize that something big is going on here. You need someone to understand what you're going through, and that's me. Talk to me Light." Matsuda could almost hear the sound of Light's façade break and fall to the floor but wasn't completely ready for the look of pain and anguish on Light's face when he turned around.
"I can't Matsuda, if I let it go I don't know if I can get it back under control, I can't…" Light told him.
"That's not true, but if you don't let it out it will get the best of you and maybe it will be bigger than what you can handle. Tell me exactly what happened, why L felt he had to leave." Matsuda gently pushed. Light looked away for a moment and then sat down at the table again, the tears beginning again. Matsuda sat down again with him, his hand back on his arm. Light looked up at him his eyes wide and imploring.
"What will I do if he doesn't come back Matsuda?" he asked the tears finally escaping and falling rapidly down Light's face, "He could go back to being what and who he was before he loved me, not needing anyone or anything except being L." Matsuda sighed in relief at Light finally letting it go and trusting him.
"I can't even imagine that happening Light," he soothed, "Everything that you guys have been through and he hasn't given up, and neither have you. Tell me what happened to make him even think he had to do this." Light nodded, wiped his eyes and told him everything. He was surprised how good it felt to actually tell someone who wasn't immediately involved, like Watari, he didn't hold back anything as he was sure he would have if he were talking to him, afraid of hurting him as well. When he was done he felt like he'd run a marathon and leaned back in the chair. Matsuda got up and made another cup of coffee before answering.
"Okay, now I know what's happening," he said his mind churning to think of the right things to say. "Light, I don't think there's any grounds for you to worry about that. L can't change back to the way he was years ago, too many things are different. He can't turn off how much he loves you, that's impossible. I think the worst possible scenario would be he changes how he does things. Maybe he thinks he's gotten too easy with being L, it isn't the number one priority anymore. I think the worst that's going to happen is he may shut you out of his cases, stay in his office more and keep all distractions away. He's going to redefine the line between being L and being Ryuzaki. But Light, you know what you 're relationship is like, there's no way he's going to not come back."
Light nodded, and sipped at his coffee. He was sure L would come back to him, but that tiny fear that something might happen to change his mind had been running rampant in his mind and had needed to get out. He looked at Matsuda and tried to smile as he rubbed the back of his neck in slight embarrassment.
"Thanks, I guess I did need to get that out, hear someone else tell me I was being foolish. He suggested that if he couldn't fix whatever the problem was so that he could be L at the best of his abilities as he used to, he would give up being L, give it over to the boys," he sighed, "I have to continue being honest with you, I almost hope that it happens that way. Sometimes I wish that he weren't L, that he was doing just the lighter cases of Deneuve and Coil. There's so much death, destruction and danger involved in it. You have no idea how many contracts are out on his life, it terrifies me. I know he only chooses the cases that have the highest body counts and feels are worth his talents and time. Matsuda some of those cases…I don't know how he sleeps at night. Especially now that Watari's training me to do his job, I get a bird's eye view of them when they first come to him for help so I know what they are and what they expect from him," he looked down at his coffee, "I just sometimes wish he could stop and that's something I've never said to anyone."
"I can understand that, but I think he thrives on all of that. The pressures, the danger, the power, I think he really enjoys that though. Don't you think he'd be unhappy if he wasn't L?" Matsuda asked him and Light sighed.
"And hence why I've never mentioned it. I know how much it means to him, how much of him is actually wrapped up in being L. I guess I hope that since we've been together that gives him something more to focus on. But I don't want it to happen if he feels it's because he's no longer capable, I'm not sure how that would make him feel," he shook his head and sighed, "It's kind of a mess right now, isn't it?"
"Maybe a little," Matsuda said with a grin, "But then you knew this job was dangerous when you took it didn't you? You guys have been together a long time, that's gotta mean something." Light nodded running a hand through his hair.
"Yea I did, and I don't regret a thing, it's just…I love him so much Matsuda, I love our life and the way things are, I don't want anything to change, I don't want him to change, and all of this is because he wouldn't listen to me about Maki, he was so stubborn..." he stopped feeling the anger over that rise and took a deep breath. "Not going to go into all of that it's all moot right now anyway." He looked up at Matsuda and smiled warmly.
"Thank you Matsuda, I…" he started and Matsuda shook his head.
"You don't have to say anything, we're partners, friends it's what we do,' he looked up at the sound of the door to see Watari coming in with his trolley.
"I saw that you had arrived," he said warmly to Matsuda, "I thought perhaps a little lunch would be in order." Light shook his head.
"Don't think I'm particularly hungry Watari, but thank you," he said and then looked up as the older man placed a dish in front of him anyway.
"That wasn't a request," he said still warmly but with the tone of an order about it, "I will not have L coming back to find you wasting away or ill. It's lunch time, and you will eat." Matsuda giggled and thanked him as a dish was placed in front of him as well.
"What will we do if you ever retire?" he asked lifting the lid from the plate. Watari smiled and nodded towards Light.
"You had better hope Light can cook," he said with a chuckle, "Have we heard from L?" he asked.
"He texted me that the flight was going well and that he'd contact me when he landed," Light answered, "Apparently he called Matsuda to keep me company."
"Brilliant idea," Watari answered as he gathered used dishes from breakfast and put them on his trolley, "Who better than a partner who already knows everything to put you at ease," he patted Matsuda's arm, "You are a true friend." He then turned and walked back to the door and out of it, his smile never leaving his face.
He went back to his apartment and put the trolley to the side, then picked up his phone that was lying on the table.
"Mission accomplished, he and Matsuda are now having lunch. He looks much better now as well with Matsuda there, it was inspired of you to contact him."
L chuckled. "I knew he would go right over, and I knew he would be good for Light right now. Thank you for making sure he eats, Wammy. I'm getting back on the controls now so Matt can have a break, I'll call you when we arrive."
"Very good I'll wait for your call," Watari was quiet for a moment, "L…you will work it out and come home quickly, I'm sure of it." L nodded at the phone and sighed.
"Thank you Wammy, I think so too, I hope so. Just…make sure Light's okay." He hung up and walked back to the cockpit, his mind determined even if his heart was heavy. But he would turn that off as well…at least for a while…he had to if he was going to get back to Light anytime soon.