notes: So it's been literally 2 years since there has been anything 'new' for this fic, so I completely understand if it's lost all of it's readers. For those that haven't yet given it a try and for some reason do, I hope you enjoy it. For those that have been waiting for years, I am sorry for the wait but I hope you still like it all the same 3

chapter 5

"If the memory is ranked lower than 5, keep it for… fuck, what? A week? How much fucking memory does that even take up?" Light grumbled to himself, slamming his fingers against the keyboard as he made adjustments to the code. "How much space is set aside for memory? I don't even fucking know!"

Pushing the chair away from the desk, Light got to his feet and stomped over to where Mr. Lawliet was sitting slumped in an over-plush chair with headphones completely covering both of his ears. Too irritated to really care about any sort of reprimand, Light pulled one of the headphones out for a quick second before letting it snap back against the old man's skull.

Mr. Lawliet jerked and twisted his head to the side, his eyes staring blankly ahead and his mouth already spitting out obscenities.

Light politely waited until the bastard had taken the headphones off before interrupting his ranting, "You're a fucking asshole, and I know that you have the answer to this," he started, the adrenaline pumping all the more faster through his veins. "What was the mistake in the original code?"

His lips, which had previously been curled down in a scowl, curved right up into the wickedest grin Light had ever had the misfortune to see. "Go to Hell."

He only just managed to keep from hitting the man.

He didn't know what else to do. He wasn't good enough, wasn't smart enough, to fix the algorithm. It had to be something obscure and minuscule. Something that Mr. Lawliet would have overlooked again and again until finally seeing the error that would fix everything.

Throwing himself back into his own chair, he spun back to the computer monitor and went back to staring - staring - staring - thinking about nothing.

What was he missing?

Light sighed and spun his chair around, not wanting to be distracted from his work for too long, but not stupid enough to ignore the woman that could potentially hold a lot of power over him (and L).

"How's it coming?" she asked, her voice a soft and somehow welcome break to the silence that Light had been sitting in for an unknown number of hours. She was standing over the table that Light had laid L down on when he'd first brought him inside. She was smiling down at the machine that she had raised as her own son, resting her hand gently on his own unmoving limb. "He looks just like this when he's sleeping."

Light's lips twitched up in a tiny grin at the image. "Does he actually sleep?" he asked as he got to his feet and walked over to join Mrs. Lawliet at the table. He rested his hand on L's other arm, ignoring the way the AI's cold skin seeped into his own like a small shock. It was like touching death.

Mrs. Lawliet was still smiling but her eyes had started to mist over. "No. His sleep was only when Jim needed to fix something in the code. He'd shut him off even in the middle of a sentence because he was so certain that L didn't feel. He was so sure that no Lighter what experiences L went through, what memories that he had decided to keep, they wouldn't end up in the evolution of emotions."

Light's heart skipped a beat… Mrs. Lawliet had just given him an idea.

"He evolved on his own then?" Light asked, tearing his eyes away from L's face. "Mr. Lawliet didn't even write the actual algorithm?"

"No," Mrs. Lawliet said, looking back up at him. She was quiet for a moment longer, glancing over her shoulders a few times before leaning somewhat over the table. "He was never able to find the answer."

Light's eyes widened in surprise. "What? Who figured it out?"

She turned her eyes back down to L and smiled. "My boy did." Her smile widened. "He was only 2 years old at the time. Mr. Lawliet blocked it from him moments after and pretended that nothing had changed."

Light moved without thinking, hearing her words but not actually understanding anything as he rushed over to the computer where the chip was plugged in and quickly pulled it out. "We have to put this back in. It should be enough to wake him up. I don't fucking know where the memory drive is or how it's stored, but my only hope is that he remembers how he did it." He hurried back to his side of the table and slid an arm behind L's shoulders and lifted his dead body up.

He cringed a bit when L's head dropped forward, exposing the hole in the back of his skull where the chip fit perfectly.

"If Jim sees this…" Mrs. Lawliet whispered, but she didn't make any move to stop him when Light slid the chip into L's head and laid him back down on the table.

"Thank you for telling me," was all Light could say. He didn't care if Mr. Lawliet came down those stairs in the next five minutes; he'd tell the man to shove his pride right up his arse (probably not, but at that moment he felt strong).

He leaned close to L, resting a hand against the AI's cheek as he stared into his still closed and unmoving eyes. "How do you wake him?" he asked, running his fingers all over L's head, threading his fingers through lovely black hair in search of some sort of hidden switch.

"You don't," Mrs. Lawliet said, holding a hand up when Light nearly pounced at such an admission. "He has to wake himself up. It could take over an hour, and on such an old chip it will probably take even longer."

Light didn't want to hear it. Over an hour was too long, an hour was enough time for Mr. Lawliet to notice that he wasn't sitting at the computer, it was enough time for him to come down and see that he had figured it out. It was enough time for him to ruin everything and keep L for himself, even if the old man didn't really care about him.

"I have to get him out of here," Light said, straightening up to get a look over Mrs. Lawliet's shoulders. The bravado that he had been feeling seconds before was already gone from his system, leaving him with nothing more than an empty, nervous shell. "I can't leave him here."

Mrs. Lawliet nodded and gave her son's arm one last stroke before taking a step away from the table. "I'll distract Jim. Will you be able to carry him?"

Light nodded as he gathered L into his arms, huffing a bit at the dead weight of him. "I'll go to a hotel. When L wakes up, I'm taking him home with me."

She shook her head and walked over to a desk that had been pushed into the far back corner of the room, pulling a key out of the front pocket of her sweater. "Jim doesn't know it, but L did occasionally leave hard drives laying around. I hid them; I don't think either of them believe that I understand even an ounce of what's going on here." She pulled a little wooden box out of the drawer and held it out to Light. "There's other things in there, and I'll leave it to you and L to sort through it all."

Light motioned for her to put the box on the curve of L's stomach, unable to take it with his own hands.

Mrs. Lawliet gave him and her son one last smile before turning and walking up the stairs. Though Light certainly worried what Mr. Lawliet would do if he ever found out that she helped him get away, he was still relieved once his foot hit the sidewalk, once he had L laying down in the backseat… once he was finally driving down the road with hope of the future warming his stomach.

"Thank you for your help," he whispered just as she shut the basement door behind herself.

He didn't stay in the city. The paranoia that he had felt before was multiplied the moment he had slid the key into the ignition, and he wasn't going to risk anything by staying to close to Mr. Lawliet.

The hotel was cheap and felt like one from a horror film, but it was secluded and, it seemed to Light anyway, not full of many patrons. He had no idea what to expect when the AI's system finally kicked back on - would it be loud? Would L be loud? - but he couldn't do much more than wait on the other queen sized bed, hunched over with his face in his hands as he waited… waited and waited.

He busied himself for a while on his computer, browsing through the latest news articles but not really reading any of it. Every few minutes, however, he would look over the top of his laptop screen to make sure that L was still alright - not awake, but at least he would be comfortable when his eyes did finally open.

He kept an eye on all of the major news sources to see if Mr. Lawliet had caused any fuss in the media, but no Lighter how many sites he laid a bug in, he never had any hits that matched his criteria. No flags, no pings, just endless silence on the other end of a fiber optic cable.

"I'm losing my mind," he whispered, tossing his laptop onto the mattress and not even flinching when the screen titled back a bit too far. "This is pointless. It's been…" he glanced at the clock on the nightstand, "3 hours already. He's not going to wake up."

The moment his lips pressed together to make the P, a whirring sound caught his ears. His heart stopped in his chest when he turned his head, eyes widening as L's head lifted slightly before falling back to rest on the pillow.

He didn't even realize that he had gotten to his feet, all he could see was L's black eyes opening and staring back at him.

He could tell that nothing was registering - L didn't know what was in front of him, and for all Light knew, the AI didn't even know who it was.

"L?" Light called quietly, reaching a hand out and placing it against L's cool cheek. "Can you hear me?" It was eerie to see the machine working, but not completely. It was like looking into the eyes of a dead man - one that was trying to come back to life.

"Source code: version 3.07. Memory drive last updated… data error. No date recorded."

It was his voice - his sweetly monotone voice with only the barest hint of robotics. It was the gentle tone that Light was certain he had heard for the last time when L had ripped the chip out of his head.

"How long does this take?" he asked aloud, even though he knew that L wasn't going to give him an answer. "Am I supposed to just wait some more?" He didn't want to wait - he wanted to delve into the brilliance that was L's entire being. He wanted to find out all of his secrets and to see him working on a computer, a server, a network. Maybe at a local level, but the thought of L being able to control things at a national level had his cock twitching in his pants.

"Firmware up to date. All processes functioning normally, preparing for full power."

Light sat back on the mattress, wringing his hands together as L's eyes slid closed once more and his chest started to regularly rise and fall. His fingers were the first to move, twitching only slightly before clenching and unclenching. His toes were next, following the exact same pattern of twitching and then clenching. Light made sure to give him plenty of room to ensure that he didn't mess anything up.

It was nearly five minutes until L's eyes finally fluttered open and he groaned as he rolled onto his side and pushed himself up. It didn't seem as though he had even noticed that Light was there as he focused on getting to his feet and stretching his unused body out.

"How do you feel?" Light asked, getting up from the mattress and standing meekly at L's side. It was a wonderful feeling to be standing next to him again. "Do you remember anything? Do you remember me?"

The AI's head turned slowly towards him, and while his eyes weren't as empty as they had been before, there wasn't an ounce of recognition in them. "Something is wrong with my source code," he said instead, his body freezing as his eyes slid closed and he turned his attention inward. "I'm hundreds of versions back. Long term memory is faulty. I have ten minutes until data clog."

Light swallowed heavily, falling back onto the mattress again. He was useless in that moment. A genius in terms of present day technology and computer science, but absolutely useless to the man, the machine, standing next to him. He wanted to open him up, to rip the piece of skin off of his wrist and plug him in to his underpowered laptop and fix everything, but L was too far above him. He was nothing.

He could only sit there. Always waiting for someone else to fix the real problems.

"Done. Updated again to version 891.09."

Light jerked, shocked at the speed of it all. "Already?"

L didn't smile at him, but the twitch of his lips suggested that he could have. "Light Yagami," he said, his eyes focusing as he finally remembered. "I knew I could trust you."