by Tari Gwaemir
He could never find the right words.
He could never find the right words to explain his suspicions, so he couched them in numbers, to prove their logic. After all, L did not possess a mind that worked by intuition. "Still," he murmured to himself, turning the handcuff on his wrist back and forth, "that five percent."
Raito gave him an irritated glance, but said nothing and turned back to placing more and more graphs on the monitors. His mouse clicked furiously, the noise loud against the softer buzz of computers and air conditioning. L let his head hang over the back of his chair and counted the tiles on the ceiling. One half of his mind kept turning over memories of Raito's imprisonment, looking to pinpoint the when and why of that sharp change in his behavior; the other was designing trap after trap to reveal the truth that he knew must be there, hidden beneath the bewildering sincerity of Raito's face. He clutched at the handcuff and shook his head. He had never obsessed over his conclusions before.
"L," Raito said, yanking on the chain. "Focus. Yotsuba."
Raito stared at him with an impatient twist to his mouth. "I can't believe--of all the--I told you, L, I'm not Kira."
L lifted his head and considered him with unblinking eyes. Raito looked back, his face curiously open in its indignation.
"Were you or weren't you," L said very quietly. "I suppose it doesn't matter anymore. You aren't Kira."
A shadow of a smile, humorless and sly, passed over Raito's face. "I'll prove my innocence," he repeated, "I'll prove you wrong." He turned back to the computer, staring grimly at the charts that littered the screens. Softly, almost to himself, he added, "I'll win in the end."
Something inside L shuddered. He studied Raito's calm expression--the smooth forehead, the relaxed mouth, the wide, bright eyes--and could find no flaw, no hint of the shadow he had seen before. He pulled his knees closer to his chest and thought in numbers.