Matsuda punched in the special code in the elevator so the door would open on Light's floor. He always got a giggle out of the fact that he was one of the very few people who knew the code and knew who Ryuzaki really was. It gave him a little lift and made him feel he was special in some little way.
"Good morning Light, I brought coffee!" he called through the door as he knocked.
Light walked out of the bedroom throwing on his jacket and opened the door to see a smiling Matsuda at the door.
"Coffee Matsuda? That's nice of you, but you know I usually have plenty here," he said moving so Matsuda could come in. The detective shrugged as he walked in.
"Yea, I thought of that afterwards, I keep forgetting you have Watari. I always stop for coffee in the morning and I just automatically picked one up for you." Light smiled and took the coffee.
"Thanks," he answered and closed the door behind him. "I took some notes on the case yesterday I want you to look at," he said sipping at the coffee and going for his notebook on the table. "Did a pretty quick sweep of the victim's apartment, so you and I will have to do a more thorough one. I didn't have any evidence bags or I would have done more yesterday." Matsuda blinked in confusion.
"What case? Where?" he asked as Light handed him his notebook.
"The Makota Ishinu case, murder or suicide, remember? Mr. Hayami took me to the crime scene last evening, so I could get an idea of what we were dealing with."
"He took you? When? Where was I?" Matsuda asked flustered and Light laughed.
"He called me on my way home last night after he found the keys. I just decided to go ahead and take a look since he was available. Matsuda, you should have seen that place, I've never seen such extreme opulence. I can't describe it, you have to see it for yourself." Matsuda knew better than to say anything about what a bad idea he thought it was for Light to be alone with that character so he just nodded, swallowing back everything he wanted to say. Instead he took the notebook and flipped through the pages.
"What kind of box was this?" he asked as he read the contents that Light had written down.
"A fun one obviously," he said with a smirk, "I'm sorry there's probably things in there you've never seen. He enjoyed sex toys, a lot of people do." His smirk became a chuckle as he watched Matsuda's face color as he realized what all those items were he was reading about.
"Really? He had these things? Definitely a…um…free spirit wasn't he?" Light nodded as he sat down at the table, drinking his coffee.
"Yes, and I get the feeling Hayami is just as free," he agreed. Matsuda looked at him from over the notebook.
"Has he seemed…interested in sharing his free spirit with you?" he asked knowing it was probably going to be met with anger but having to ask anyway. Light shook his head.
"He's done nothing more than offer conversation believe me. He did say he couldn't see me as the type that had a wife and kiddies and I agreed with that, but that was the end of that kind of conversation, I put an end to it. So don't concern yourself with that, only with going to the office, getting some evidence bags and gloves and heading back to that apartment to do a really thorough search. I don't think our boys really bothered that much, assuming too quickly that it was a suicide." Matsuda nodded.
"Yea, that happens. They're more into the homicide side of things, suicide bores them because so many of them happen around here." He looked at his watch, "We ought to get going. Do YOU think it's murder or suicide?" he asked handing Light back his notebook as Light got up and walked with him to the door.
"I'm beginning to think murder, his personality is larger than life, people like that don't generally want to end it unless something horrible has happened that would lessen the way they live their lives," he sighed, "And from what I'm hearing about him he was way over the top and nowhere near heading down."
Once in Matsuda's car it didn't take them long to get to the NPA and to their desks. Light immediately began to work on the list of names that Hayami had given him, making phone calls and appointments to talk to them.
L pulled his head up from the screen when he finally heard the knock on his door. From the way they were knocking apparently they had been knocking for a while and he hadn't heard. Before he stood up his phone started ringing and he answered it while walking to the door. When he opened it he found Near standing at the door with his phone to his ear.
"I was beginning to wonder if you were alright," the soft-spoken young man said to him as he put the phone away. L shrugged, stuffing his hands into his pockets.
"I was working, sometimes I blot out the entire world when I'm working, you know that," he answered turning and walking back into the room, "Is there something I can do for you?"
"You haven't had anything to eat all day, it's past dinner. I thought you would come back up to my apartment…"
"I'm sorry, I've been focusing completely. I've found that I've been able to focus better than I have in quite a while, no distractions."
"That's good, now that you've found that again you should have no problem doing it when you go back home. I know that office of yours is like a soundproof cavern. I know Light wouldn't bother you." L nodded with a sigh.
"Light never bothers me when I'm working, when the office door is closed. But even then I couldn't focus at home. Sometimes just knowing he was out there made me want to be out there with him and I couldn't focus properly. With him not here, I don't have
that distraction and in reality that worries me."
"L…you've been with Light for almost ten years, you've been continually working the entire time. Why is it bothering you now?" Near asked closing the door behind him.
"I don't understand it either, all I know is that it has happened and I need to understand why and how I can stop it. I can't lose Light because of this, I'd rather give up being L, but at the same time…" Near's fingers went into his hair as he tried to understand; his relationship with Sayu was so much simpler. Now that she was out of college she visited quite often, and they were taking their time as to what exactly the next step was going to be in their lives and this was one of the reasons why.
"Perhaps you should think of it as just another symptom of inevitable change," Near suggested, "Just as coming back here showed you that things never stay the same, everything changes. Your relationship with Light has changed many things about you, this is just another change. Instead of fighting it and trying to push it back to what it was years ago, perhaps you should just go with the change and adjust your modes operandi accordingly." L frowned and shook his head.
"No, I only know one way to work and it has served me well since I was ten years old. If I change it…it isn't feasible." He looked at Near and smiled, "I am not hungry, but thank you for checking on me." Near stared at him for a few moments, knowing nothing more was going to be said that was going to change anything. He nodded and left the room, deciding he should talk to Matt and Mello about where L's head was at the moment.
L sat back down at the desk and ran both hands through his hair, Near's suggestion going through his mind. Was he simply fighting inevitable change? Was he being overly stubborn? Should he just give up being L if he couldn't do it the way he was used to doing it when he was home with Light? How else could he do it than the way he's always done it? He pushed away from the desk in disgust with himself and went out of the door, and eventually out of the building.
After the fourth conversation, Light put down his phone and sat back in his chair with a tired sigh and looked at Matsuda. He'd given his partner half the list and could see he was just as frustrated with the conversations as he had been.
"I take it you didn't learn anything particularly useful either?" he asked and Matsuda nodded.
"No, they were either old relationships that hadn't seen him in quite a while, or clients that he had tried to have relationships with and they had turned him down. But no one seems to be angry enough with him to want to see him dead. Although there were a couple that weren't broken hearted over his death," he chuckled.
L nodded his agreement. "How about after lunch we head over to the apartment, I really want to do some serious searching." Matsuda agreed.
"Something somewhere is definitely missing," he looked at the autopsy report, 'He had enough drugs in his system that if someone told him he could fly he would have leapt out the window, so why not to cut his wrists? He probably thought it would be an interesting experiment, he was so into new experiences." Light nodded as he stretched and then stood up.
"I wonder," he said, "Is it possible that he took that many drugs on his own in order to have a new experience? It could have backfired and he killed himself without even meaning to." Matsuda stood up with him and shook his head.
"Somehow, I don't believe that, in fact…" he stopped when he heard Light's name called from behind him. He turned and then narrowed his eyes in annoyance.
"Detective Yagami, I'm glad I caught you!" Hayami said as he walked towards them.
"Mr. Hayami," Light said politely, "Did you think of something else pertinent to the case?"
"Absolutely, it's a name I'd completely forgotten about," he said smiling at Matsuda as he walked past him, "A client…well he wasn't actually a client and that's the problem. A good-looking young man, who wanted to be an actor/model. He just didn't have the talent for it. That and he had a mother who was an absolute horror; she wouldn't take no for an answer for months. I don't know how I managed to forget about them." He handed Light a piece of paper. "Both of their names are on there and the phone numbers; they were quite unhappy." Light nodded and put the paper into the folder on his desk.
"Thank you, Mr. Hayami, I'll get right on it after lunch." Hayami smiled and looked at both of them.
"Let me take you both to lunch, my treat, to make up for not getting these names to you sooner." Both Light and Matsuda shook their heads.
"That wouldn't be appropriate Mr. Hayami, technically you're still a possible suspect." Light answered.
"Really? You can say that after everything I've done to help you? What do I have to do to prove my innocence?" Light looked at Matsuda.
"Did you check out his alibi?" he asked and Matsuda nodded, going through his folder again.
"His alibi checked out completely, witnesses, phone records, everything," he said. Light shrugged and then smiled.
"Then I guess you're no longer a suspect, but the lunch thing…."
"Oh please, you're on your way to lunch, I'm on my way to lunch, what's wrong with sharing it?," he frowned, "Perhaps if I ask your superior if its permitted…"
Light held up his hands in defeat; the last thing he wanted was to involve his father in all of this.
"Fine, Matsuda and I will be happy to accompany you to lunch. Perhaps you can give me some more information on that client and his mother while we eat." Hayami nodded in triumph and turned to leave. Matsuda took Light's arm before they followed.
"Have you heard from Ryuzaki today?" he asked wanting to get his name in before they went to lunch.
"No, but I'm sure I'll hear from him later," Light answered a twinge of unhappiness clouding his eyes as he answered. Matsuda nodded and released his arm, his own mind made up that he would contact Ryuzaki soon himself if Hayami kept showing up like this. Right now he was just glad he was included in lunch, he could keep an eye on him this way. His resolve steadied he then followed Light out of the room.
Once at lunch the conversation was about the case for the first 15 minutes, then Hayami changed the subject so that he and Light were talking about everything from politics to recent books they had read. Matsuda was alarmed at how much they had in common, and how quickly he had been shut out of the conversation. Light had visibly perked up as the discussions moved into things that peaked his interest outside the case. Matsuda watched them as if he were watching a tennis match, sometimes completely losing the conversation, and with a growing wariness of where this was all going. It reminded far too much of how Light and L talked when they were out. He looked down at his watch and cleared his throat.
"Light, if you want to spend a lot of time at the apartment, we should get going," he suggested. Hayami looked at him with a narrow-eyed annoyed expression, which he completely ignored.
"You're right," Light answered as he finished his coffee, "This has been quite enjoyable but we really need to get going." He said reaching for his wallet.
"I told you this was my treat," Hayami reminded him gently pushing his hand away, "In appreciation for not thinking I was a crack pot when you first heard my case."
"Not at all," Light answered standing up, "Thank you again for lunch and conversation, I quite enjoyed both. Let's go Matsuda." He said and followed Matsuda out of the restaurant. Hayami watched them leave and sighed, next time no Matsuda, he thought.