Part II

Chapter 9

L traced his fingers across the sheets and moved his thumb under the silk, his pointer rubbing against the smooth surface. His eyes closed for a moment, but this posed no difference. Eyes open or closed, he was enshrined in darkness. All he could see, was the inside of himself.

And the inside had grown into something insidiously dark, his brain had become his greatest adversary again. It was not the first time, and neither would it be the last. Yet he could not ignore it, he could not quiet it. Or should he say, he would not.

Perhaps either word would be appropriate. It was not so easy to drown his sorrows in pain killers forever, as he'd done for a short period of time before when feeling incredibly helpless. But there was an urge inside of him, an urge so strong all he could think of to distract himself from memories was to plan his scheme for scoring pills.

He closed his eyes harder, as though to guard the images from his eyes. All thoughts, all senses, it was all too much-...

He felt a darkness bloom inside of his chest, a sense of impending doom. He opened his eyes and instinctively looked towards the window. He'd heard something.

The curtain fluttered gently from the fan above, and as it did a red glow peaked through the glass. L shot from the bed, grabbing his side in pain as he lurched himself from the bed. He would not be handicapped by his injuries. He moved, with much difficulty, towards the window.

L pushed the curtain aisde and looked frantically towards the city lights visible from his bedroom. There were not many given the building beside the headquarters happened to block out much of the signage, but what signs there were within his view, that could have even possibly been shining through the window, were all blues and greens. He opened the window with a heave and groan, and looked down the way.


No one.

A light suddenly entered the room from behind him and turned backwards on his heel.


Watari stood standing in the doorway, right hand on the knob and left on the door jam.

"Are you alright?"

L averted his eyes back towards the window lazily. His eyes attempted to convince Watari he was unconcerned but the flexion in his brow gave a different story, and Watari had grown all too familiar with the subtilties in L's seemingly changeless expressions.

"Of course, I was only trying to let in a little fresh air..." L whispered coarsely, beginning to reach for the window. His arms shook as he raised them above his head.

"Let me-"

"No." He said firmly and gripped the window firmly, slamming it down, "I'm off to bed now, thank you for your concern. Have a nice evening."


"That is all Watari. Good Night."

Watari looked at him squarely for a moment, but words could not find him and so he turned and closed the door behind him.

L laid there, pulling mindlessly at a strand of hair, the faint red glow re-playing again and again in his mind.

What had he seen?

What had he seen?

Too slow, he was too slow.

Too slow...

L awoke with a jerk. A cold sweat broke across his forehead and he realized quickly it was day. Light was flooding his room through the crack between the curtains. He looked at the clock beside him and found that, oddly enough, it was already twelve in the afternoon.

He rose to the side of the bed and moved quickly to the shower, the red light coming back to him like a dream. It was nothing but a flash...could it have been a figment of his imagination?

Was he truly losing his mind? No, how ridiculous and inflammatory. A red light out of the corner of his eye was not symptomatic of psychosis. Not alone, anyway.

He shook it from his mind for a moment as he worked on scrubbing himself as clean as he could, his body was like a giant memory of his time with Metho- Hobbs. A, literally, painful reminder of his stay. A souvenir.

He dressed himself quickly and towel-dried his hair in a frenzy, then glanced sideways at himself in the mirror as he was moving towards the door.

And then he saw it again.

The red light.

For only a moment.. behind him! He saw it, he was sure of it!

He turned as quickly as he'd caught it and still, too late. It was there, and then it was gone. It passed behind him, swept past like a fly in the wind. A red, glowy orb.

He saw it, he saw it, he saw it, he saw it-!

The hair on his arms stood on end- he'd never felt so bothered by a mere phenomena. A trick of his brain? He'd read extensively on trauma and coping. The mind can create illusions when trying to come to terms with a recent traumatic event, so it was very possible his chemistry was simply a little off. Yes. Of course. It all makes sense in those neat little organized terms. Of course.

He gathered himself.

'Of course. It all makes sense now.' He thought assuredly, 'How ridiculous of me, I must remain more level-headed than this.'

The leaping sickness in his throat pulled back down to his stomach from the string he held so neatly inside of himself.

Composed again.

Or at least, on the outside.

He grabbed his clothes from the drawer in the bedroom as quickly as he could, pulled them on himself though still agonizing he refused help with dressing. It was just indecent.

L left the room with eyes forward, closing out his peripheral image as much as he could for fear of the red glowing light.


He felt something bitter in his mouth.

Yes, fear.

He'd always feared the unthinkable, the unknowable. Something which cannot be explained. Phenomena.

Afterall, his life's work was to explain the inexplicable.

But this was certainly understandable, he was simply struggling to regain his balance. It would come to him again with some time. With some thought. With some research. With some answers. Of course, of course.

He rushed down the stairs as much as he could, though in his current state it merely more than a crawl, but he could already hear the chatting from below.

He stepped from the final stair, paying attention to the cool tile against his bare feet and the burning pain across his abdomen- hot, searing, stretching. But he enjoyed the grounded-ness it provided. Anytime he felt like he was floating, he could twist himself and remind himself of what was truly real.

Pain was life, life was pain.