She never would've thought a day like Father's Day could bring about so much angst. Father's Day, for her, had always been a day for goofing off with her old man. It'd been about waking up at the crack of dawn to fix him breakfast—both a gesture of appreciation and an attempt to impress him with whatever mad cooking skills she'd learned from him—and watching his face contort into odd expressions as he tried to swallow her culinary creations, then insist on the whole gang going out to eat when she'd ask him if she should make him lunch, too. It'd been about getting him the craziest tie she could find (ideally, one that's even crazier than the one her brother would get) to add to his collection, but not before biting back snickers as their father paraded his gift around his neck for all of his friends to behold at work for several days afterwards. It'd been about the entire tribe spending the afternoon at the bowling alley—her and him versus Mom and Farley, though it could also be her and Farley versus Mom and Dad, or Dad and Farley, versus her and Mom—and not caring in the least who won or lost, so long as they were together.
Father's Day had been about a lot of things.
But those were the days before college, Kira, and L.
This year, she's holed up in a hotel halfway across the world waiting on that sweet-sucking twit to realize that those kids he's keeping in prison can't possibly be the serial killers he's been hunting down and let them go already. Dad doesn't know this, though. None of them do. They think she's just studying her ass off, or otherwise poking her nose everywhere in Japan that she can. She's been so "busy," all she could afford to do was send him an electronic greeting card, which he may not get around to seeing until after the day ends, what with the family being out and generally away from the computer. Whoopee.
L had been there to watch her send it. He couldn't find it in his heart—given that he has one—to let her have just a pinch of privacy in sending her love to Dad in the only way she can. This had especially bugged her when she'd picked the fluffiest, flashiest card available (featuring neckties that spin like pinwheels). He hadn't said a word about it, but he didn't have to. She could feel him watching over her shoulder, burning a hole through the monitor with his inhumanly scrutinizing stare as he tried to dissect the whole ritual for its significance.
Of course he wouldn't get it. Some time ago, he had admitted to having no family to speak of, or speak to. Thinking about this leaves her unable to decide whether to hate or pity him.
She wonders what the family's doing right now, wonders whether they're having as much fun without her as they would if she were there. Wonders if Dad misses her too much to really enjoy his day. She can't say the feeling isn't mutual.
She wonders if Farley has found a tie crazy enough for him.
What's worse, it looks like she's not the only one here with the holiday blues. In fact, the blues might be hitting some worse than it hits her.
Light looks so tired, either from protesting his innocence every hour or from homesickness. Or both. Today, he quietly seethes, knowing that L won't let him out for even one day with his family, the stubborn ass. Misa, she sulks even more. She's blindfolded and equally quiet, but the lights accentuate the drying tear streaks on her cheeks. Even if she weren't being tied up and interrogated, she has no one to celebrate with. Her father's dead, along with the rest of her immediate family, from what Erin has heard.
Then there's Aizawa, himself a father of two cute little girls, according to Matsuda. Too bad he can't enjoy them. How can he, when he's here in a dim-lit suite with the rest of them, his temper flaring at the drop of a hat while his patience runs paper-thin? She wants to tell him to go home, there's nothing productive he can do here, he doesn't owe anything to that drip perched in front of the cameras, but she can't. He loves his family, but he has a job that he is just as dedicated to. He wouldn't want to hear it, not from her. What would she know? "I know you don't want to be here, but some of us actually have business, namely to stop a crazy mass murderer from terrorizing society as we know it," he'd tell her. Or something along those lines.
But Mr. Yagami seems to be hit the hardest. His incarceration self-imposed, it seems that all he wants for Father's Day is for Light's innocence to be confirmed (by L, of all people) so he can walk out of this hole with him. Until then, he just sits there in that metal chair, staring up at the ceiling like he's praying to whatever benevolent forces that be to grant his wish. Light doesn't know about what his old man's been up to since he went into confinement. If only he did…
By the looks of things, both of the Yagami men are deeply missed, today. She figures this because of what happens just after she and Matsuda have pulled up to the entrance of "headquarters." Matsu had needed to mail out the gift he'd picked out for his own father—ugh, what is it with everyone being so busy that they can't go see their dads personally?—and Erin, deciding to make the best of the holiday by getting something nice for the fathers in the task force, had accompanied him.
Suddenly, a young girl—early to mid-teens, by the looks of her—appears in the corner of the rearview mirror, hopping up to the entrance with a paper bag clutched in her hand. Her shiny, milk chocolate-brown hair bounces behind her in a loose bun.
She's got the same wide, bright eyes as Light.
Erin squints. "Huh? Hey Matsu, who's that girl? Know her?"
Matsuda gasps softly to himself. "Sayu…?"
Sayu. That's her name? Matsuda must know her, then. What business could she possibly have here?
He's hasty in unbuckling his seat belt. "Uh, Elin, you'd better stay in the car. I'll be right back. And please really stay in the car, this time, okay?"
Erin doesn't know what to say, but nods. It's not as if she could get out, this time, anyway. This time Matsuda and Sayu are standing in front of the entrance, talking. She places the bags of goods on the floor between her feet. All she can do is roll down the tinted window, enough so she can peek through the crack and hear bits and pieces of their conversation. He didn't say she couldn't snoop.
Sayu bounces a little on the balls of her heels before she hands the bag over to Matsuda. "This is from Mom and me. Extra clothes, toiletries, food, and…presents. Make sure these get to Dad as soon as possible."
Matsu bows. "Consider it done."
The cheery smile runs away from her face, all of a sudden.
"Wh-what's wrong, Sayu?" He then looks pained, as though he suspects that he's just asked an incredibly stupid question.
"I know I shouldn't be complaining, it doesn't do anyone any good to. But we really wish Dad was home, if only for today. Light, too. Ever since he and Dad had that argument about his wanting to move in with Misa, he's been spending all of his time at work."
Wait. So this girl…is Mr. Yagami's daughter? And Light's little sister?
Argument, huh? She wonders if L's had anything to do with concocting that load of PS. It certainly covers all of the bases, doesn't it? Why the boys haven't been home, lately.
"I know Light's eighteen and in college, so he can technically do whatever he wants, but do he and Dad really have to fight over it? I was sort of wishing they'd put aside their differences by today so we could celebrate it as a family…but I guess right now, this is the most we can do for him. Thanks for watching out for Dad when we can't, Matsu."
The girl adds with a slight, sad chuckle, "I wonder if Light decided to leave because of all the times I basically made him do my homework for me?"
Erin can't bear to hear any more. She rolls up the window until it can go no higher before those tears start stinging her eyes. This little girl is also being kept away from her dad and big brother, though the circumstances behind her situation are wildly different from hers. She's being lied to while it's happening. How can her friend Matsu be on board with something like that?
Sayu gives him a quick hug and leaves shortly thereafter. Matsu waves to her, wishing her as best of a Father's Day as she can have before heading back to the car. Erin can't stop rubbing at her eyes fast enough. "Elin? What's the matter?"
She can hardly look him in the eye. "How could you, Matsu?" she almost whispers.
"H-how could I what?"
"That was Mr. Yagami's kid you were just talking to, wasn't it? How can you lie to a little girl about what's going on with her dad and brother? O-on a day like today, too? And you know her?"
Unlike certain other people on the team, Matsuda is easily plagued with guilt. Erin doesn't want to torture him so, but she can't help it. Neither can he. He must also be getting fidgety because she'd heard everything, though doesn't call her out on it. "Well, I, uh—I don't want to lie to her, either, Elin. None of us do."
Maybe, except the big turd waiting upstairs.
He glances everywhere as he scratches the back of his neck. "B-but what could we say? 'Light is suspected of being Kira, and the Chief's thrown himself in jail because of that?' We can't let Sayu or Sachiko know what's going on. We don't want any civilians involved. A-any more civilians, I should say. Especially if they're family."
He can't explain it any better than that. Maybe she shouldn't place blame on him alone? After all, he's just following orders.
Erin can barely handle American food as a cook. Japanese cuisine? Fuhgitaboutit! The boxes of wagashi she carries in are all store-bought, but it's the best they can do. One box for all of the men, plus a complimentary razor (some of them really look as though they can use a clean shave). Watari has no children—or grandchildren—that she knows of, but he takes care of everyone and does a super job at it, so he gets something, too. Even Mogi, who is a bachelor, as far as she knows, though Matsuda had said something about his being an uncle, which comes close.
Well, maybe not all of the men will get something today.
L's sugar-senses must be tingling, or else he wouldn't be peering halfway over his shoulder to see her drop a box into Aizawa's lap. "What's this?" asks Aizawa, skeptical as ever.
"Oh, just a little something for Father's Day. The razor is complimentary. Guaranteed to keep your skin hydrated, while giving you that clean, comfortable shave you want."
"You don't say. Erm…thank you. I think."
She can feel L's gaze on her. Now he's paying attention? "Sorry, Ryuzaki. We'd have gotten you something, but deadbeats don't get presents. Or give, for that matter." This makes Aizawa snort in surprise.
If he's craving sugar, he's doing a terrific job hiding it on his bored face. "What seems to be the problem today, Miss Crocker?" He asks like he doesn't know what's up, but at the same time, doesn't sound at all interested.
Erin folds her arms. "Did you know that Light's got a little sister? She stopped by, a while ago."
"I know. Matsuda is on his way to deliver her package to Mr. Yagami, as we speak."
"Uh-huh, yeah, peachy." This time, she doesn't care about being called out on snooping. Something must be said. Besides, it's not like Sayu saw her or anything. "Apparently, she and her mom are under this impression that her dad and big brother got into this blowout about her brother wanting to move out or something, which is why they're not ever at home. I think that's awfully funny, considering how they're, you know, sitting right in front of us, not going anywhere. And not arguing."
"I know. That's the story Mr. Yagami made up for his wife and daughter to excuse his and Light's absences, under my suggestion."
"Suggestion?" Is that what he's calling it? Oh, how tempted she is to use his head as a bongo, right now. He's certainly uptight enough to be one, and at the same time, hollow inside. "W-well, what the hell, man? You're lying to a little girl about why she can't see her own father and older brother? Has there never been a point in your life where it wouldn't have killed you to tell the truth, a-and not make up some tall tale, since like, the moment you were born?"
Just before this, he'd lied to Light about criminals not dying anymore since he'd been detained. He still is. Jesus.
What's worse, the truth in this case would be what most might consider the stuff of tall tales.
"I trust that Matsuda has already provided an explanation, thereby making it unnecessary for me to provide one."
"Ugh. Is it too much to ask to let the poor guys go see the family, Ryuzaki?"
"Mr. Yagami has insisted that he won't leave until Light's name has been cleared. Returning home this soon could compromise the cover story. As for Light himself, we made an agreement that I would not release him until I was certain if he is guilty or not."
"Yeah, well, I think it's getting pretty dang clear which he is."
"I'm afraid it's not your place to decide that."
"Look at 'em, Ryuzaki! They're miserable." She points towards the screen. "Can't you let them go home for at least one day, maybe let Misa go with them so she isn't left out?"
She's starting to sound childish, if she hadn't already. But how else can she speak to a guy who's three times as childish as her?
Come to think of it, has L ever needed to shave? She's never seen a stubble on him or anything. Admittedly, she's never thought that much about it. She keeps forgetting he's not a five-year-old brat who'd been slipped Miracle-Gro™ in his formula when he was in diapers (she wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he's still wearing diapers underneath those pants, if only so he wouldn't have to get up to use the toilet). "Dude, come on, it's Father's Day."
Wow. Woooow. That's all he has to say? A day for families to get together to celebrate being family, and all he has to say about it is a flat "And?"
The argument of "wouldn't you want to see your family today, too" won't work here. It's not important to him because he wouldn't know (or is it vise versa?). For the so-called world's greatest detective, he doesn't know anything, does he? Anything that matters, at least.
Should she feel bad for him, now, about not getting him anything? Or kick over his chair? She ends up doing the latter, or at least tries to. Had she known she was going to kick the underside of his chair, she'd have kept her shoes on (why hadn't she gone for the back, that would've knocked him over for sure, although when you're steamed at someone, you don't generally think about how you're going to kick them over, you just do it). Her foot barely lifts the piece of furniture two inches off the floor before it settles back down into its crop circles in the carpet. She does, however, succeed in smashing all five toes on that foot before toppling to the floor herself, a usual consequence for hopping around on one foot while clutching the other, howling in agony.
None of this perturbs L. He redirects his attention towards the monitor. "Aizawa, could you please help Miss Crocker to her room? And also, get her an ice pack."
Aizawa had been about to take another bite of daifuku when he growls to himself—something about praying that his daughters don't act like this when they get to be around Erin's age—as he puts down the box and guides her onto her feet. By now, she's too embarrassed to look directly at him.
"Thanks," she mutters.
"Don't mention it."
"Mr. Yagami, a package for you. Mr. Matsuda delivered it here from your wife and daughter."
"Ah. Thank you, Watari."
Ryuzaki, while having yet to be as convinced of Light's innocence as Soichiro is, is merciful enough to allow a certain amount of contact between him and the outside. If one could consider the lies he's spun to his own wife of twenty years and daughter to be "contact."
Why would Light want to subject himself to such a thing? Have Ryuzaki's constantly voiced suspicions started to get to him? Has he been pushed to take such drastic measures just to prove that his hands are clean? His son has always kept a level head in times of pressure before, but he is still barely an adult.
Hell, if that's the case, is he not here for the same reasons?
Light has had absolutely no access to the media since his confinement began, and yet criminals continue to die. No, he could never be happy about people dying, criminals or otherwise, but surely it won't be long until Ryuzaki accepts Light's innocence, incredibly stubborn as he is. He's said once, he may chiefly suspect Light because they don't have any other suspects.
As much as he respects the detective, there's no way someone who's only known Light for a few months would know him better than his own father (even if his job has often kept him away from home for most of his upbringing).
But Ryuzaki doesn't just randomly suspect people, even if he appears to be to the others.
Light is a brilliant if aloof young man...but not deviously so. His pride and sense of justice are strong, but not warped. Not nearly as warped as Kira's, and definitely not so narcissistic. Light would never force his ideals on others like Kira does...
Soichiro folds his extra clothes as neatly as he can as he places them at the corner of his bed, along with the box of confections and…a razor. He briefly wonders who gave him these. One of the men, or perhaps that American student. They're not from Sayu and Sachiko, though; these wagashi are store-bought.
The small but elegantly wrapped box inside the bag? That is definitely from them. Who else would include a carefully wrapped bouquet of white carnations, daisies and snowdrops, and homemade seiōbo, peach-shaped wagashi?
It takes nearly all of the resolve he has not to cry.