Chapter One: Nighttime Delicacies
A/N: Okay. So these past six months have been filled with projects, essays and school paper deadlines. But I can honestly say, I have finally finished my last stress-induced headache – woot! Then…an odd sensation hit me. I have time to actually spare! Then, I was like, "Hey! Why not try doing something fun and attempt to write my first fanfic?" So here it is. My first fanfic! Dedicated to Death Note. Enjoy!
The computer keys clicked rapidly back and forth. It was an incessant, monotonous strum the way it carried on – more so after the minutes began ticking into hours on end. Light shifted back into his seat, crushing the hard plastic further into his back. It was the only rest he was going to get, being restricted in handcuffs and confined to a narrow chair.
"This is rather interesting."
Not bothering to crane his neck further than he had to, Light turned his eyes towards L's computer screen. Because at the angle he was sitting, Light couldn't distinguish the words on the screen, he waited for L to relay to him this "interesting" information.
"Would you like for me to share, Light-kun?" L succeeded in locking eyes with him.
Raito glared at L for a brief moment, before throwing back a curt response to spite him. "No."
As if his reply hadn't been relevant in the first place, L started anyways. "I take it you are familiar with the Wakayama Prefecture Murders?"
Light tilted his chin down and leaned forward. "What about it?"
"I was asked to take up the case four years ago with Interpol." L said, turning back to the screen. The glare from the monitor lit his face, casting pale shadows over his skin. He lifted his right hand, dragging the chain from the handcuffs along with it. "I never did," he said, pressing his thumb to his bottom lip.
"Yes, I have heard of it. Twelve people were have said to have been brutally murdered in that area. However, those murders were eventually traced by Public Security Intelligence Agency and they succeeded in catching the killer responsible," Light said, "Why bring up this matter suddenly?"
L turned towards Light. "I see that you are well-informed of the situation. As you know, Public Security Intelligence generally works to see its activities are not known to the public, so the Wakayama Murders were kept confidential – to protect their investigation from the public. What is interesting," L began, "Is similar murders are now beginning to take place here, in this very city."
"What makes you suspect the murders are connected?"
"Actually, I'm not at all convinced. In fact, there's only a .5 percent chance the disappearances could be connected at all. Only...Interpol is now requesting my help in the case. Earlier this morning, it was reported a woman disappeared after coming home from work two days ago. Her body was found outside a park. There is strong evidence this murder is connected with the disappearance and murder from three weeks ago, as well as the one from a few days back." He stopped. "You do know how these people were murdered, don't you?"
"I figure no differently from the Wakayama case – victims were typically found to be heavily drugged, assaulted and strangled."
"From what information we've gathered on Kira so far, he can control the actions of his victims," Light said, "If this is in fact Kira's doing, he could be telling these victims to set that exact stage of their death before being found."
"Considering the knowledge we have that Kira cannot make his victims kill others, and given the nature of these murders, I highly doubt it. No, I believe this is someone else's doing this time."
Light crossed his arms over his chest, watching the detective scour his thoughts over this new case. A feeling of opportunity caught hold of him then and he stood up. "I suppose your going to set aside the Kira case while taking up this newest one?"
"If you are inquiring about removing the handcuffs, that is out of question," L said, taking note of the twitch in the corner of Light's eye. "And as for setting aside any case, I have been known to handle multiple cases at once, so your concern isn't necessary, Light-kun."
Raito stepped forward violently, yanking the chain behind him. L stumbled to his feet, skidding the chair across the linoleum flooring, skewing it off balance and away from his workstation.
"I need some air," Light said. "I'm getting out of here."
However, L regained his stance. He held his arm firm and steady. The chain reached its limit of distance and the metal links tensed to a grinding halt. For a guy who spent his life in front of the screen of a computer and a tray of sweets, Light was surprised that L's strength quite evenly matched his own.
"There's work to done. And I don't have time for these inconveniences."
"I've spent the past week handcuffed to a meticulous ass, so don't you speak to me of inconveniences."
If there had been anyone else left in the room, the two would have been cut short and restrained, but it was well after dark, and Light and L had been left alone as usual. There would be no outside constraints from the others on the team. The tension was intensifying, and a number of things were bound to erupt between them.
"Don't test me, Light-kun. Your aversion towards me only heightens my suspicions against you."
"Then why don't you remove these cuffs and you and I will both be better off."
"I don't believe you were listening when I said my suspicions have already heightened against you."
"For the last time, I am not Kira!" Light flipped his wrist back, wrapped the chain around his fingers and pulled L towards him. He ran forward, throwing back a fist into L's face. It hit on contact and L teetered off balance, heading towards the ground. He caught himself backhanded on the floor and landed a kick directed for Light's jaw, but Light had seen it coming and shifted out of way's impact. L spun back, and the two stood their distance, breathing hard.
"I'm tired of these restrictions!" Light shouted, "And I'm sick of you!" He sped another full-front blow, and L took the hit.
When L made no further move to attack or defend himself, Light stood back, still winded with rage. He wiped the corner of his mouth from heated sweat as L stared back at him. There was no trace of anger in his eyes, no resentment. In fact, he seemed almost sad. It was strange how that one look could take away all the rage in him and for once, Light felt powerless to not stop. He lowered his arms.
At that moment, a cellphone rang. It was Light's. He checked the caller's ID. It read unknown. For some reason, he didn't answer. The ringing eventually died and Light pocketed the phone.
"I think we could both use a breather," Light spoke. He looked towards L, who hadn't moved since. "It couldn't hurt leaving that monitor for a few hours, you know."
L stepped forward, walking past Light to open the door. "Sometimes I'm forced to take extreme measures in my investigations, but they are effective," he said. "And I apologize, Light-kun."
It was a blow to his pride to be apologizing like this, and Light knew it. He kept his lips pressed together, unwilling to do the same. Silently, he walked out with L following close behind.
The air was cool that night, and the streets were bustling alive with city lights and nightlife. Cars swept around them while people, mainly young couples, trailed the sidewalks. A typical night in the city. Soon enough, Light could tell L didn't get out much. He was straggling behind, shoulders hunched, head bent, hands in his jeans. Light tried slowing down to L's pace, but he was dragging on so slow behind, people were staring. Of course, the other reason they might be staring was due to the six-foot chain connecting from his wrist to L's. A group of girls pointed at this and whispered. Light reddened and quickly, he found a pace to match L's. He lowered his voice, "Listen. Straighten up and walk with me. I feel like I'm walking a dog out here."
Light looked up. "Light-kun, you know I can't think as well any other way. I'm busy contemplating this latest case. And besides," L said with a smile, "You were the one who wanted to come out."
Raito narrowed his eyes. "Come on, they keep an all-night coffee shop open down this street," Light said, leading him down a turn, "Let's get something to eat. I haven't had a decent meal in days."
They entered a side shop that read "Koh-Hee-Ten" in burgundy characters printed on a near sign. The coffee shop was quaint, with dimmed-set lights and planted greenery in ornate ceramic pots. A glass bakery case was located towards the front. Light followed obediently as L led him towards it.
A lady across the counter greeted them with a warm smile and stood attentive behind the glass case. "May I help you?" she asked.
As a kid might have done, L had his palms pressed to the glass.
Light directed his attention towards the lady. "Sorry, give us a moment." He turned towards L, who was still inspecting the display of cakes and pastries. "Why don't you order first?"
"Hm?" L glanced up at the lady. "I'll have one of everything on this shelf here – and some coffee – with extra sugar."
"Of course," she replied politely. "And for you sir?"
"A soup and sandwich, please, with coffee. No sugar."
She left the display case to ring their prices.
Suddenly, L remembered something. "I didn't bring any money."
Light decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. "Don't worry about it," he told him, paying for both of them. "It was my idea to come here."
L tucked his hands in his pockets. "Thank you."
The two sat down, seated across from each other. The chain dangled under, clinging against the center stand of the table.
L was first to speak. "Who was that calling you earlier?"
"I don't know. Their number didn't register."
"I see." L raised a hand. "Hand me your phone."
Light did as he was told.
"I'll be holding on to this," L said, placing the cell away.
Light overlapped his arms across the table. "That's some thanks to someone who just bought you dinner."
"All other cellphones were gathered from the team," L stated. "Though I was aware you were still holding on to this one, I never felt it necessary to confiscate it until now."
"If you have to know, Misa insisted I have one so she could contact me in chance of an emergency. For all I know, that call could've been from her."
"Wait. Are you saying she gave you this phone?"
"Then…," L paused, dragging his knees to his chest. "If she is the only one you received calls from, assuming you haven't shared your number with anyone else I am not aware of, you should not be expecting any other calls on this line."
"Very well. When we return to the lab, I'll run a trace on that call."
Light double-checked his watch. It was after midnight. "I take it you mean in the morning."
"No, after you and I are finished here, we will go directly back to the lab."
Light brushed a hand through his hair. "I don't know how you manage to focus on four hours of sleep a night, but this new schedule is starting to catch up to me."
A server walked towards the two of them to set down their meal. At least, what Light had to eat, he considered to be a meal. L's could be considered something different. Nevertheless, he ate to his full-hearted content. "It's good," L said, in-between bites. "There's the slightest hint of licorice." At that time, he was finishing his first bite of an orange glazed, vanilla cake.
"I don't believe anyone could be as adamantly addicted to sweets the way you are," Light mentioned. He threw his head back. "It's inspiring in a way."
L ignored the sarcastic remark. "You may try whatever you like," he offered.
The table was covered with an array of individual platters. Light leaned forward. He eyed a particular slice of cake. "What's that one?"
L glanced down. "That would be the raspberry-chocolate cheesecake. I haven't tried that one yet. Would you like a taste?"
Taking hold of his fork, L scooped away a corner of the cake. He held the fork to Light's lips. "Here. You first."
Light pulled away, finding the environment of the shop to be suddenly warm.
His eyes widened and L tilted his head to the side. "What's wrong?"
L blinked. "I'm not sick," he stated matter-of-factly. "I realize that to be a common hindrance when two friends mean to share food."
Light cleared his throat and pressed his back into the chair. L could be so oblivious. He reached for the fork in L's hand and took it from him. "Thanks," he replied.
A smile touched the corners of L's mouth. "I think this might be the first time I've seen you eat cake!"
Light handed back the fork. "Knock yourself out."
"Is that it?" L sounded utterly astounded. "You can have more, if you wish."
"No, I'm done."
"I don't believe I've ever met anyone as adamantly adverse to sweets the way you are. That's a shame," L said cheerfully. "But that only means more cake for me."
Light shook his head. He was later stunned, but not surprised to see that L had devoured the entire tray of desserts he had ordered.
"Come, it's getting late Light-kun, and we still have work to do."
"That's right," Light said drudgingly, rising from the table. "I forgot."
"Don't worry. It shouldn't take longer than half-and-hour to get the information I need," L assured.
It was nearly two in the morning when they stepped back outside. The night was brisker, cooler, quieter. Stopping at the corner of a crossroad intersection, Light waited to walk across. A tall, street light lit the square of sidewalk nearest them. Suddenly, a cellphone began to ring.
L reached for what used to be Light's old phone. He studied the thin, illuminated screen covering the lid. The dial number read "unknown". He flipped open the phone and answered.
"…Is this Raito?"
"I'm afraid he can't come to the phone right now. Who is this?"
There was a brief pause before the line disconnected.
L closed the phone. "I am now even more curious to trace this call."
"What did they say?" Light asked.
"They asked for you." L sent a glance his direction. Lost in thought, he took a step forward. "Then hung up–,"
A car was racing towards the crosswalk. The stoplights blared red, but the driver wasn't slowing and L was in the midst of walking straight into a collision. Acting on instinct alone, Light yanked the handcuffs sharply back. The abrupt shock from the pull knocked L off his feet as the car sped blindly past the intersection. They were both left shaken, gasping from the short-lived adrenaline rush.
Lying on the asphalt, L pushed himself upright. "I would have never thought these handcuffs would've ended up working out this way."
"That act had better clear my name from any of your suspicions," Light said, "Because I don't believe the real Kira would've tried so hard to save your life just then."
"Maybe," L replied. "Or perhaps then wasn't the time Kira wanted, and Kira wants to kill me himself at a later time."
Light sighed, "Whatever."
The rest of the walk back was silent.