So, before we continue, let me just get this small detail straight. I didn't intend to harm L in the slightest. It was coincidence that did all the damage. There. Now, let us move on to where L and R were waiting patiently in local police station. The officer on duty at the desk had given them raised eyebrows upon their request to see the body. Watari had been more than L had hoped for thanks to Mello. Not only had Watari convinced the police to be cooperative in L and R’s little escapades but he’d also offered them drives to wherever they needed to be.
“I wonder what Mello told Watari,” R said in amazement, swinging his legs back and forth.
“He probably used reverse psychology or another useful technique that works so well on adults,” L suggested. He shifted forward a little so his toes were gripping the edge of the seat. His heavy jacket made it almost uncomfortable to sit like he usually did. Unfortunately it was cold outside so he didn’t have much choice.
“Ah, Mr Lawliet and Mr…R?” The detective looked pretty standard for a man of his role. Under his nose he had a neatly cut moustache and his trench coat was a beige colour. He surveyed the two children with surprise, his eyes lingering on L.
“Yes.” L began his usual routine of letting his legs slide out, bending his back as he stood and stuffing his hands in his pockets.
R jumped up.
“I’m Detective Gordon. Please follow me.”
L and R wandered behind the detective until they reached a room with pictures that were noticeably more prominent on the walls than the actual wallpaper. Nearest to the far wall were the pictures of the dead woman. Even in the light, it was evident that she had no injuries.
“Now that you’re here,” Detective Gordon began, sitting at a desk. “What is it that you kids want to know?” His tone was condescending as if L and R had no place in the investigation at all.
“I want to take a look at the body,” L stated.
R seemed agitated by the fact that L forgot the ‘we’. “We want to take a look at the body,” R added.
“I’m planning to help solve this case or rather solve it on my own if my contribution is not appreciated.” L waved off R’s correction.
“Oh so you plan to be a detective like me one day,” Detective Harris grinned.
L didn’t understand that Detective Harris was mocking his statement. “Yes. So, I’ve really got a tight schedule so it would be nice to see the body as soon as possible.”
“Of course, let’s be going then.”
Detective Harris was amazed at L. It wasn’t just by his hedgehog hair and sickly appearance but the way his intellectual ability was impossibly brilliant. He watched L skim through the reports which he’d uninvitingly taken from Detective Harris’ office.
L noticed the attentive eyes but he didn’t mind. Even though he loved solitude, attention was also welcome. “You didn’t tell me there was another murder other than Miss Lucy Harroway,” L said quietly as he nibbled at his thumb-nail.
“What?!” R jumped up. It hadn’t quite occurred to him yet that he was merely there for moral support.
“It says here that a man named, Liam Harroway, was found dead four days after the woman at Wammys. A relative it says,” L read. “Eighty...no. There’s a ninety percent chance that these two murders are connected. If you compare the photos you can see that both of them have no wounds and both of them were found in basements in the London area.”
R’s eyes widened so much that his contacts were in danger of falling out. “So, the murderer has struck again! We’d better hurry up and find him before there’s one more.”
L nodded. “We must.” He shut the folder and gave it back to Detective Harris. “And now I shall repeat myself. Why didn’t you tell me that someone else had died?”
“It wasn’t your place to know, son,” Detective Harris replied.
L didn’t show his reaction but he was obviously agitated deep down. He lowered his back and shuffled out. “Thankyou for your time, Detective.”
R smiled at the man. “It’s been awesome,” R said. “Thanks Mr Harris.”
Detective Harris watched the two children slip into a sleek, black car. He made himself a coffee and sat down for a while, enjoying the silence. That’s when he decided that he had better do something before that Lawliet kid got too involved.
L let himself tilt out over the long narrow steps of the basement. He shook his head to rid his eyes of his fringe and didn’t even mind that he looked like that horrible creature from the supposedly entertaining movie Lord of the Rings, Gollum. He had to think. He couldn’t see a pattern in the places where the people were murdered. All he had to go on was that the victims were all in basement. All L had to do was calculate how many houses in the London area had basements.
A hand came out of the darkness.
L began to think that Wammy’s House was haunted. After seeing me and now this! L kicked out. Despite being very unhealthy in his eating habits and uncommonly exerting himself except for the occasional tennis match, L was very fit. Both mentally and physically. His foot came into contact with the attackers face.
A harsh voice swore sharply and the attacker stumbled into view, his nose bleeding profusely.
L jumped to his feet and kicked again. He missed this time but regained his balance by grabbing the attacker’s arm and slamming them to the ground. For those few seconds of weakness, L could make out the attacker had a black mask on his face. L reached for the mask.
An animal like growl escaped the attacker’s throat then he rushed to the window, squeezed through and ran off.
L slid through the window as well. He jumped at the attacker, wrapping his arms around their neck. Caught off balance, they both toppled backwards and landed in a heap on the cold, dewy grass. Quickly, L ripped off the mask with triumph. What he saw made him cry out.
The attacker shielded their face and ripped themselves from L. They ran away.
The air was icy and still and it clung to L’s lungs. Red eyes. That’s all L saw. Red, glowing eyes. He tried desperately to clear his airways by taking steady breaths. He hadn’t been particularly bothered by the colour. It was the maniacal, almost sorrowful glint that had pierced through the stuffy night. L dropped the mask to the ground and kicked it as far away as possible. They’d been human. Undeniably human. But the eyes belonged to that thing he’d seen the other night. Slowly, L made his way back through the window, up the basement stairs and back to his bedroom.
R was waiting patiently for him in the corridor. “I heard a row. Everything alright?”
“Yeah,” L said quickly. He stopped and considered what he’d stated for a moment. Then he seemed satisfied and continued on his way to his room.
I shook my head in absolute wonder as the person responsible for the murders came rounding the corner. Their face was bloodied and bruised from so many hits. “Fail,” I said, my time on Earth affecting my choice of words.
They glowered at me. “I could've punched his face in. I just chose not to!”
“Whatever you say.” I munched slowly on my apple and surveyed them. They were really pathetic. “You'd better leave the killings for a while. L probably suspects where the next attack is and then you'll be caught red handed.”
They turned to me with anger flashing in their eyes. “Not when I'm so close, Nayoko!”
“Alright. So what do you plan to do?”
L stared intensely at his wall with his thumb being gnawed at with ferocious determination. He had to stop this murderer. The detectives were never going to figure it out on time. Just by looking at their notes he'd figured that much.
“What am I missing?” L said huffily. He closed his eyes and looked over the crime scenes in his mind. The basement. The body. The basement. The body...the basement...it wasn't about where the victims were killed! In fact, the basements were merely a coincidence. It was the body that was the key. But what about the body? No marks. Dead. No marks dead. Poison. No. There wasn't poison in their system. Dead...no marks...suffocation? It couldn't be. There would be hand marks around the neck. Then maybe a heart-attack! L jumped up. He knew who was going to die next. First Lucy Harroway and then Liam Harroway. Lucy Harroway and Liam Harroway. Relatives! That was what connected them. They were relatives.
L jumped onto the computer and his fingers flew across the keyboard as he searched Lucy Harroway. After a few unhelpful results, L finally found a family tree. Lucy Harroway. Daughter of Megan and Donald Harroway. No siblings. L tapped at the table restlessly. Liam Harroway. Cousin to Lucy Harroway. No siblings either.
L now knew very well that the next victim would be of the Harroway family. It was unknown, however, which family member. Without any significant clues, L wasn't going to be able to figure it out! Heart-attacks. Lucy Harroway. Liam Harroway. Heart-attacks. The method wasn't important either. It was the name...Lucy Harroway. Liam Harroway. The last name had no significance at the present. It was all about the first name. Lucy. Liam. Lucy. Liam. Girl's name. Boy's name. Both beginning with...L!
L swung around to the screen. Lacey Harroway. Auntie to both Lucy and Liam. The only other L in the family tree! His heart leapt into his mouth as L raced through the cold night streets of London. Light from the lamps cast soft, eery shadows across the black tarmac. He felt his muscles straining and sweat forming on his brow. Twisting his way through the streets, L dug his feet into the road as he rounded the corner and came face to face with the towering house of Lacey Harroway.
The door was locked as L had been anticipating and so he frantically tried to find an open window.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I haven't done one of these in a while, dear human. You might be wondering why L was being so energetic all of a sudden. Why isn't he sitting on a chair, eating sweets and biting his nail while thinking up exciting ways to solve a simple problem? Would it surprise you to know that L hadn't wanted to keep his identity hidden as a child because he wasn't a world-renowned detective yet? Now that we've talked that through let's continue on with the story.
Eventually, L heard a click and he slithered through the tight space provided by the bathroom window. The room was shrouded in darkness and so L had to tread carefully so as in order not to knock anything over. When he reached the hall he listened. Silence. Taking step by step, L took quick looks into each room. So far, he'd passed many an empty bedroom, the lounge-room and the kitchen. L rested his hand on the doorknob at the end of the hall. This was the second last door. His hopes rose as he turned the doorknob and opened the door. What he saw made him gape. What he saw made anger boil in the pit of his gut. A note shone innocently at him from behind the door.
Dear detective, it read. You must be thicker than I thought.
L tried to calm his trembling hands. How could he have been so stupid?! Of course the murderer wasn't the dumb as to keep to a pattern. This was all a hoax. They'd wanted him to find the name Lacey Harroway. They'd wanted him to go to her house. And in all that time they'd be able to complete the third murder. L tore the note to shreds and tossed the scraps to the floor.
Meanwhile, while this very amusing spectacle was occurring, I followed ('The Aquaintance,' as we shall call them from now on), looked down at their latest victim. They didn't enjoy making a mess of anything and so they had strangled them to death. It was another man. Middle aged and very rich.
“I have to admit that I admire your ingenuity. Leaving that note for L was very cunning,” I said to The Acquaintance.
They grinned. “I know.” Then they washed their hands clean under the nearby tap, the clear liquid turning red. “Who's the next victim?”
I thought for a moment, enjoying the feeling of superiority. Back in the Shinigami Realm it was a battle of wits and everyone subjects to that insufferable Shinigami King. Plus, a Shinigami will do anything for an apple and so it was a usual thing for a small rebellion to break out among the Death Gods only to die down due to a sudden appearance of the barely edible grey fruit that is a Shinigami apple.
“Well?” The Acquaintance was growing impatient.
I settled myself in the dead man's couch, folding my wings back and dangling an apple between my thumb and forefinger. Even though they probably didn't know it yet, their role in all of these events was an equivalent to a pawn in chess. I was the player. I was the one in control. And I might've been lying when I said that I try my best to stay away from you humans as much as possible. This one adventure was certainly an exception but I assure you that it was all for a greater cause.