Haruka's Haste Or
Request For Ryuzaki
Haruka would never know what Light had planned for them, but a criminal did die on the night of their eighteenth birthday in an elaborate show that would have delayed their return to the hotel had they taken the most direct route. She could only imagine where that was supposed to lead them, but in any event his plan was derailed.
They did go to HQ, but this was different. The days of skipping between hotels were over; well disguised as a luxury apartment building, complete with lower floor shops, the new official headquarters would never be suspected of housing a team of investigators who were chasing Kira.
Looking up at the towering building now Haruka remembered seeing it under construction and wondering what kinds of people would be able to afford to live there.
A valet stood ready to take the car into the private parking garage, a door man welcomed their arrival. The windows were tinted and it would be impossible for anyone on the street to see what was going on, even in the entrance hall. It would seem to the public that this was a building designed for the super rich and famous.
She, Light and their father entered the lobby and were greeted by the rest of the task force. All of them.
Haruka tsk'd at the sight of L, still without shoes and looking like a hunchback. He did not at all fit in with the surrounding opulence. Honestly he didn't seem to fit anywhere except that small, dark room with his laptop and microphone.
Genius and very close to insanity.
Yet, in the end, she supposed that she was the crazier of the two. She was the one who'd wanted to start a relationship despite his eccentricities.
"As you are aware this building has become the permanent location for the task force meetings. These gatherings will be held in the basement, in a room accessible only with a certain type of card key and pin code. The rest of the building is a front though it will function as designed for the sake of the illusion." L spoke in his usual monotone, offered no change in pitch when Watari stepped forward to hand an envelope each to the twins. "You could think of these birthday gifts, but really they're for the sake of my convenience."
Within both missives were store bought 'Happy Birthday' cards, the generic type with pictures of a dancing cake and numeral candles indicating that they were meant for an eighteenth year celebration. However, what was inside the cards was different.
Light got his open first to find a card key and another key. A car key.
"Obviously you'll have to pass the driving test and be issued a license, but once that is done you will find the vehicle within the parking garage."
With her brother suitably rendered speechless, Haruka tore into her 'present' only to be immediately disappointed.
"What?!" No car key. "Is this a mistake?"
"No, I wouldn't trust you behind the wheel of a vehicle."
"So what is contained in your card?"
He was mocking her, she felt sure of it. Talking to her like she was a child. Leading her to the answer without giving it away. Annoying. "Two card keys."
"And one is like Light's?"
"Then what might the other relate to?"
"You could just tell me!"
"Or you could figure it out yourself."
Or I could walk out of here and never look back, she thought sourly. Why exactly did she care about him again? Was it too late to rescind her confession?
They were all staring at her, she could feel their eyes. Everyone knew. Whatever it was they were already aware and she felt like an idiot for being so blind, but her aggravation was clouding her judgment. For the life of her she could not understand what the-
She stomped away, toward an elevator and refused to turn even as the door began to slide shut behind her. She was so stupid. What else could a card key be for in a place like this?
A loud, long sigh escaped her.
An idiot. She was such an idiot!
Despite those self-depreciating thoughts Haruka had realized what her sort-of-a-gift was. All that remained was to go see it for herself and in spite of her prior irritation excitement began to build as the elevator climbed higher. Once she'd slid her key into the slot the lift had begun it's ascent and she'd known that her guess was right.
One key would take her to the basement. The other to an apartment.
Twenty-three floors later, and at the top of the building, the doors opened. Haruka released a small puff of air as the realization hit: That this would have been L's decision; to put her on the highest floor, in what she assumed was the best of the available accommodations, was exactly the kind of thing the freak would do.
This was his stupid, weird brand of affection and she couldn't help but love him for it.
Haruka didn't think she was ever going to be able to beat L in the gift giving department, not after this. She would try of course, but what would win out over a furnished highest floor apartment?
Something money couldn't buy. Something she didn't want to give to anyone else. Something he'd actually saved once already.
It was an embarrassing thought, but she couldn't deny the truth. Ryuzaki had, once again, come to the rescue. He'd recognized the direction of Light's plans, probably before she had, and had a counter move ready; not only that, but giving Light a car likely served more than one purpose. As he'd said it was partially a matter of convince, but it would also be a way to keep Light on the move and away from her.
Her brother was about to become the errand boy.
She could only imagine how angry he was, fuming in silence while forced to keep up a facade of gratefulness.
Birthdays had never been made into a large affair within their family. If they were given a gift at all it was something deemed useful, like a new book for advanced study or notebooks for the same purpose. The computers had come when they turned sixteen and were assigned for the practical use of school work.
How many presents had L given her so far? Those flowers, that spoon, but even before that he'd given her a laptop and then another when she destroyed the first.
There was no way for her to pay him back except with that and she wanted to, she couldn't imagine caring about another person the way she cared about Ryuzaki.
This whole apartment thing was more than what it appeared on the surface, even she understood that. This was symbolic. He'd placed her on the top and regulated himself to the bottom. Whether or not he realized this she couldn't say, but it was the root of a new worry. What would he do to keep her safe at the expense of himself?
"What would I do?" she asked the silent room in a whisper.
Step into high speed traffic. Jump in front of an oncoming train. Take a bullet to the head.
Move herself away from his side and pretend she no longer cared.
A familiar pain pulsed through her forehead and she cringed as she dropped to the floor, both hands on her head. Rocking on her heels she fought to see more clearly, but this vision was blurred. It was not the death of a person she saw, but the end of a relationship.
She wasn't going to let him do it.
Light was predictably furious. His plan had been perfection incarnate, brought so close to fruition and then ruined.
And he could do nothing about it. There was nothing he could say, no obscenity he could scream, no act of violence he could preform. Nothing. His hands were tied, but it was even worse than that.
He had the sinking feeling that Ryuzaki's actions were more than mere coincidence. L had taken Haruka away in the first place and now it seemed that he was hell bent on keeping them apart. Was it possible that he knew?
He could think of no other explanation, but how could that be? He'd not allowed his infatuation to get out of hand, there was no reason for anyone to suspect them.
Unless she'd told L.
No. That was impossible. Haruka had been just as annoyed by the whole display as he was and more visibly so. Even if she regretted their relationship she would never tell someone and he didn't think her capable of hiding something like that from him. Granted they hadn't been physical in some time, but she'd never shown an aversion either. Haruka was incapable of keeping a secret like that.
After Haruka's departure, with a scowl that was perhaps permanently etched upon her face, L led the way to the cellar meeting room. Truly he couldn't help feeling a little smug and he thought he'd done enough to warrant this hint of arrogance. He'd pulled the rug out from beneath Yagami, Light and the boy didn't even have a solid accusation to pin on him.
No doubt Light had planned for a special night with his sister, but that was something he would work against. It was no longer a matter of right and wrong; this was about jealousy and possession.
The eldest Yagami siblings could not be allowed to form that type of connection. Haruka could very well be damaged beyond repair if she was forced into that situation. He knew she thought she could deal with it, but the emotional harm would be greater than she realized.
"Mori and Matsui will remain here, the other three are to return to the station with Watari and Light-kun should probably go home as he has school tomorrow."
Directives given he wandered away from the group and began the trek to the top floor.
He'd disappeared before any one of the others had a chance to ask questions, but as always they followed the directions of their leader, though there remained an atmosphere of confusion.
Matsuda was the only one to attempt a comment. "Did anyone else find it kind of weird that he–", but the looks on the faces of the his coworkers successfully subverted his unfortunate choice to speak.
Still, those few words were then planted in the minds of those present. In fact each of them found the entire evening strange and for basically the same reasons. L's 'gifts' were practical, but also very expensive. A few were able to push aside the desire to dig deeper into his reasoning with the thought that this was a cultural difference, but Matsuda and the Yagami's had no such luck.
Matsuda couldn't help but question Ryuzaki's actions. Despite all that he lacked in conscientiousness he was neither stupid nor blind and he was beginning to put pieces of this puzzle together. His understanding was hampered by the facts he couldn't find, but he wasn't so reckless that he would go looking for clues that were purposely hidden, not in this case at least. Even so, it was hard not to see what was going on. He felt certain that L and Haruka were in some kind of relationship and judging by the look on the chief's face he'd had the same thought.
Soichiro was reminded of his previous fears that romantic inclinations existed between his daughter and the detective. He'd dismissed the worry at the time and he still couldn't find it within himself to understand how it might have happened, but Ryuzaki's actions were unmistakable. If nothing else he liked her. He was paying far too much attention to Haruka for this to be innocent. It was one thing to require her to be under surveillance, but giving her an apartment in this building was something else entirely. They been told that they also had spaces assigned and that offered him some comfort, but she would still be out of sight more often than ever before. Could he trust her? Could he trust L?
Maybe not in this instance.
He was going to have a talk with Ryuzaki.
She heard the ding of the elevator, but she couldn't bring herself to greet him properly. Instead a demand spilled from lips.
"L! Marry me!"
Haruka hadn't meant to say it that way, acting like a needy brat was probably not the best way to propose marriage, but she wasn't going to take it back or apologize.
Sitting alone had given her time to think and she'd realized that there was never going to be another person on the planet that she could love this way. She was too picky, too difficult to get along with and L was the same, though in different ways. He was The One for her, as sappy and ridiculous as that sounded, and she'd never been the type to beat around the bush. She knew what she wanted and she was going to get it.
The look on his face said it all though. He was shocked, startled into silence by her sudden request; she could see that he was going to have a hard time pulling himself back together so she took up the task of carrying the conversation.
"I mean it," she stood from the step that separated the entrance way from the rest of the apartment. She wondered how long she'd been sitting there. She'd not moved since the last vision, the one she was trying to prevent now. "L, I don't care how we do it, if you use an alias or whatever! I don't care." Standing before him she brought her hands to his face. "Right now. I want to get married right now!" Stamping her foot was childish, but she couldn't help it and immediately after that show of immaturity she kissed him.
Unfortunately he remained in a state of disbelief and not even this show of affection was enough to shock him out of it.
This called for shameful behavior.
She snickered when he jumped back. Apparently putting her mouth to his ear was far enough outside his comfort zone to get a reaction, but she'd actually been hoping to push further than that. Perhaps another time.
"Your request is unreasonable."
She sighed. Ryuzaki had returned.
"I doubt very much that your father would be accepting of the idea. As a matter of fact I'm sure he's become aware that something has happened and he will very soon be requesting my company."
"What, you think he's going to have 'a talk' with you?" She couldn't keep the incredulity out of her voice. "My dad may be the Chief of Police, but he really doesn't notice things like that."
"You underestimate him."
"Ehh...Do you think so?"
He looked to her with suspicious eyes; her demeanor had changed again and she was slowly advancing. L was sure that he was never going to have an easy time predicting her movements. As simple as it was for him to understand the minds of criminals, to see through practiced smiles and counterfeit anger, Haruka's actions always surprised him.
Demanding marriage. Had she guessed that he was incapable of denying her something she honestly wanted? He'd hoped she would remain unaware of that weakness for a while longer. That was a dangerous weapon she wielded and he had no doubt that she would use it without hesitation once she realized it was part of her arsenal.
"Ryuzaki," she was going to try a different angle. "I don't care what my father thinks, okay? I'd want to keep it a secret anyway, only we would know, for obvious reasons." Kira would kill her. "I don't know if you could tell, but getting married wasn't ever really on my to do list. I wasn't against it, but I didn't think I would ever find someone I wanted to be with forever." Confessing her feelings again, even more clearly than the first time, left her breathless. It was embarrassing and exhilarating at the same time. "I want to be with you forever. L," she paused to gauge his level of attention. Wide eyed, perhaps slightly nervous. "To me, forever really means always. If I die and find out there's a way to be with you again I'll do it without a second thought. You're not allowed to leave me, do you understand? I won't let you," she grabbed his arm. "I'll handcuff myself to you and– Well, maybe I won't do that..."
His snort may have been amused; she doubted he was offended.
"Anyway when I say forever I mean it. If you try to leave I'll follow you. If I get lost on the way, if I get hurt, you'll only have yourself to blame!" It was a low blow, but it was the truth and he deserved to be forewarned, just as she had been.
He would have tried to leave her, that was what she'd seen him do. Haruka wasn't going to allow a future like that to come to pass because in those few moments she'd felt a pain unlike any other. It wasn't just the pulsing in her head, it was a terrible ache in her chest, like her heart was struggling to beat.
It was a first. She'd never seen or felt anything like that before, but perhaps it spoke to how deeply her feelings ran. Should Ryuzaki leave she would feel as if she'd died.
L did not doubt that she meant what she said, Haruka was not generally a liar, but this posed a serious complication. He could not allow her to learn his name, not until Kira was caught and executed, and their relationship could not be exposed until that time either. Any legal step they took had the potential to be found out.
"In this case feelings are not to be considered," he spoke bluntly. "We cannot afford to leave a paper trail. Your brother is also suspicious of me, though I don't think he suspects that your loyalties have wavered, but he will undoubtedly be watching."
"Tch." Light, ruining everything he set eyes on. She was going to have to placate him somehow, keep him from growing too mistrustful. L was right, it wouldn't take much to cast her under his suspicion. If they were to legally wed, and Light went looking for evidence of her betrayal, she would likely die within minutes of his discovering the truth.
She'd been running on emotion alone, disregarding the reality of their situation. Nothing could be done until Kira was six feet under.
Another thought occurred to her as L paced away to sit, in his usual strange way, in one of the white armchairs. There was more than one way to bind herself to him. Marriage was a legal process, but being together physically was even more of a tie in her eyes.
Light had not given up on his quest for her virginity, she was sure. His plan had been postponed, but there was no way he'd stop scheming just because L got in the way once. At some point she was going to find herself in a room with Kira and trying to back out would be certain death.
She didn't want to give that to him.
"Okay, you're right. I was being emotional and not thinking of the reality, but I–," She was cut off the ring of his cell phone.
She knew it was important, she knew it was, but she didn't care. So, as he pulled it out of his pocket and made to answer she snatched it away, hit the 'reject call' button and tossed the device over her shoulder.
He would have chastised her had she given him the chance.
L wasn't sure if he should allow this. Strike that, he knew he shouldn't allow this, but how could he tell her "No" when he craved this intimacy just as much as she did? He understood what she wanted and why she was doing this, her reasons were multifaceted, but he would admit that this was also something he desired for entirely selfish reasons. He wanted to be with her and the idea that Light might take her to bed was bad enough; to think that that Kira would have her first was intolerable.
He didn't know if he would be able to protect Haruka from her brother entirely, but he could keep her somewhat sheltered.
At some point they'd left the living room and later, when he wondered how it happened, he would find the trail of discarded clothing. In those first few minutes of heated kissing he'd not been sure how far she would try to go. He'd though it might have been her way of expressing anger, but when Haruka pulled off her shirt and forced him to his feet he'd had a moment of panic.
For one moment he couldn't help thinking that this wasn't the right thing to do. For one moment he thought of pushing her away. For one moment he considered ending everything.
But then she said, "L, I love you" and suddenly he could hardly imagine being anywhere else with anyone else. This was right. He would never love another the way he loved Haruka and he would never be able to consider staying away from her again.
Now they were in the bedroom and he was infinitely grateful that he'd had the foresight to place a block on the surveillance for this floor of the building. Should an attempt be made to access the feed all that would be seen or heard was static. Though at this point he wouldn't have much cared who was watching. His rational mind had been abandoned, lost to a fog of love and lust.
Haruka was in a similar state, but she thought she might have more of a grasp on reality than Ryuzaki did.
They were supposed to use protection, yet she'd made the conscious decision that she didn't care. If something was created through this act, well, that just put a tight time limit on ending Kira. She could hide a pregnancy for a few months and if a new life was at stake she would work even harder to dethrone the terrible god.
Those thoughts came and went, drifting through her mind at random intervals as their pace moved from frenzied and haphazard to intense and deliberate. Long, deep kisses and soft touches had replaced wild, careless groping and Haruka was close to coming undone.
A shudder racked her body and a small pant broke through when his fingers entered her body. Light had done this before, but it felt so different. The same actions with contrasting feelings behind them. L loved her, Kira did not.
"Ah," just a quiet sound as she tensed around him, her walls clenched and then released. She was left gasping as he hovered over her, waiting for his resolve to cement. She knew he worried, always considered the worst outcomes, but this was right. "L," his dark eyes met hers. "I love you so... So, don't be afraid. This is what I want."
It seemed her words were enough and with one fluid stroke he was fully sheathed within her.
The pain was sharp yet brief; he remained still while she adjusted to the change and when she gave a nod of assent the rocking began.
Haruka lost her sense of decency completely. In the hours to come she would be embarrassed by some of the sounds that came out of her mouth, but in the moment she hardly cared; she wasn't sure what she'd thought sex would be like, a physical pleasure certainly, but this was so much more than that.
She was one with Ryuzaki, connected to him in a way she'd never expected she would be with anyone and she knew that she would never want to be this way with anyone else.
L gave no explanation for ignoring the phone call that he'd received, however he did tell the attending team members that he'd solved several other cases while absent, which was entirely true. Seven others to be exact. Two missing persons within the Untied States, one missing pet in London and four money laundering schemes in South America.
"It is sometimes beneficial to step away from a problem," he told Matsuda, who seemed to accept the excuse though it was clear he he did not completely believe the reasoning.
Really, it didn't much matter what they thought of his absence as long as they stayed far from the truth.
"A reply tape was sent to Sakura TV, Watari sent a copy of the video."
"I have found Kira."
The Shinigami Realm was not always a wasteland.