|Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Author: Desdemona Kakalose PM
Two possible endings, two worlds apart. A single bullet, tilted centimeters too far. A boy destined for greatness, and a man destined for the shadows. The beat of a butterfly's wing. How easily do the fates tangle their thread? AU, LxLight, discontinued.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Romance - Light Y. & L - Chapters: 9 - Words: 20,414 - Reviews: 95 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 79 - Updated: 04-02-09 - Published: 07-13-08 - id: 4392140
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bullet With Butterfly Wings- 'Despite All My Rage'
The investigation Arc has officially come to end! Now we enter the second half.
It was with only half a mind that Raito bid his employees goodnight, and with slightly less than that, he snapped the first handcuff onto his left wrist. He vaguely wondered if he would be forcing L to chain his dominant hand, and then promptly decided that he didn't care.
He held out the empty cuff to his new prisoner—shifting uneasily as his mind picked out the unpleasant word—and stared fiercely out the window. He'd never questioned himself before; in his business, even a slight waver of confidence would get you killed.
In that moment, the detective turned to a dark thought growing in the corners of his mind. It was a cowardly thought, and nothing to be proud of, but at that moment…
He wished he'd never started any of this.
"How do you spell your name, Raito-kun?" L asked idly, fiddling with the cuff sizing.
The investigator raised a brow. "Do you always ask such random questions?"
"Does Raito-kun always keep everything to himself?" The suspect shifted forward into a more challenging stance, handcuff secured.
"Why should I tell people about my personal problems?" Raito leaned forward in response.
"…So Raito-kun is admitting that he has problems?"
"Why are you so interested in my life?"
"If I'm going to watch Raito-kun sleep at night, shouldn't I know what I'm watching?"
L broke into an actual smile. "Single word answer, disqualified. I would appear to be the victor."
Baffled, Raito blinked uncertainly. Their faces had gotten awfully close together…
"The victor of what, Ryuzaki?"
"Questions," he answered simply, hopping into a chair—looking uncannily like a very thin frog. "Raito-kun is English, yes? Surely he has played before…."
Oh. "Ryuzaki, you can't start a game and not tell the other person! That isn't fair. Of course you'll win if I don't know there's a competition." Really, what kind of cheater did that?
"One should learn to accept defeat gracefully," the Frenchman observed, infuriatingly nonchalant.
"Well," Raito replied through slightly gritted teeth, "I'm nothing if not a sore loser."
"Speaking of which," L began to chew his thumbnail again, perhaps a sign that he was thinking? "These handcuffs aren't really about improving the investigation, are they?"
"You don't believe me?" asked Raito, feeling another game of Questions coming on.
"Raito-kun, I know people," the suspect answered, making unabashed eye contact, "I know how they move, how they think, and more importantly, how they lie. All the things one must know about a man, these are the things he coveys through silence. I don't need to know your answers, all that I need to know is what you will not answer."
An interesting way of thinking. Grudgingly, Raito found himself impressed.
"So yes, I did realize that the handcuff suggestion was intended as a psychological ploy from the beginning." L somehow managed to talk and chew at the edge of his nail at the same time. How was anyone's guess.
"Yes, well." Detective Light admitted unhappily, "I'm not backing out now. Unless you want to?"
"Oh no, Raito-kun. I could not possibly hinder the investigation in such a way. Of course, if you are not up to this…"
"I'm fine." The detective smiled acidly. L was fast proving to be the most difficult man he'd ever dealt with, barring James. "This will be the most interesting thing I've done in a while."
The most frustrating too, he added silently. He'd read books—when he was younger and not wrapped up in such a demanding career—with people like L. Pity he hadn't taken to time to learn something from them… but then, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
"Should I take that as a complement?" the pale man wondered. Something past his reflection in the window must have caught his attention, because his eyes never left a certain spot.
Raito fought the impulse to look.
"You can if you want." the brunet shrugged.
It was entirely silent for a moment, the detective shifting uneasily and unsure of what to say. For all his renowned charm, nothing came into the man's mind—no clever display of wit, no brilliant verbal traps. It was almost as if something about his suspect stripped away all the charisma that so wooed everyone else. He was reduced to playing children's games. And losing.
It was, needless to say, not something he'd had to deal with before.
And then he snapped. "What are you looking at?"
L's eyes never left that mysterious point past the glass. He simply extended a finger and made a leisurely come-here movement, beckoning his investigator to a better vantage point.
With a defined tension between his shoulders, Raito obeyed. He slipped behind the wooden frame of L's chair and focused on the place past his now pointing finger, struggling for a glimpse of something beyond their reflections.
Cobalt colored sky, black blots of skyscrapers breaking the blue. He looked harder, noticed small shapes on the ground, catching radiance from windows and streetlights. The lights were everywhere, more than he'd ever noticed before…
"Do you see the lights?" L asked quietly, disturbingly in sync.
Raito made a small noise in his throat. There was something mesmerizing about the panorama, and L's voice too. They seemed to fit each other, blues and blacks to match his blacks and whites
"Tonight may be the night," he whispered, seeming to recite, "that the lights go out for good. Tell me, Raito-kun, what would you do?"
"If the world ended? That's a bit melodramatic." the Japanese man took a step back, pulling away from whatever spells his suspect had cast.
"Not really," responded the raven-haired man, emotionless. "I am surprised Raito-kun has never thought about this."
No. "Forgive me if I've been a bit preoccupied with my career. You ask some of the most random questions I've ever heard."
"There is power in a question, Raito-kun."
The detective sighed. It was really too late at night for philosophizing, and all he wanted to do was go home. Which he couldn't do on account of the investigation.
He was not happy.
"Look, Ryuzaki, it's late and James is waiting in the limo to take us off to HQ. I think it's time we left." The brunet gave the chain a small tug and headed for the door.
With an unreadable look, L climbed out of his chair and followed. They passed through the hallways in total silence, each careful not to disrupt the stillness. Finally, as the elevator door dinged open, he turned to the detective and said, "But Raito-kun never did answer my question about his name."
Raito was not looking forward to the next few weeks.
Not at all.
"This is our room." L said. It might have been a question, but his voice had turned so very flat that it was impossible to tell.
Detective Light looked around. Beige walls, average bedroom size, twin beds separated by a small table. Nothing unusual as far as hotel rooms went—which is what it was. The whole building had been a hotel before Light bought it for the investigation.
"Is there something wrong?" he asked hesitantly. In real terms, he didn't give a damn what was wrong. But it pays to be polite, especially if you happen to be attached to the affronted person.
"No, there is nothing wrong, Raito-kun. I am simply disappointed that we are not sharing a bed."
The detective squinted at his companion. "Why?"
Hopping a bit, L entered the room, dragging Light behind him. Without looking back, he answered, "This throws a sort of wrench into my plans. Never fear, I shall persevere anyway."
It seemed a good idea not to push that point, so Raito kept his mouth shut. Anything that would get him to sleep sooner.
Raito tapped away at his keyboard in the recently remodeled convention room. Computers covered the east wall, illuminated by the large window on the west side. When he first purchased the building—on his flight from England to China—he'd decided to keep in his holdings even after completing the case, so he poured the best of the best into the project. In terms of equipment, and interior design.
He was rather happy with the end result. His employees grumbled about the security measures, but that what employees did: they grumbled.
Of course, at that moment, he was the one doing the grumbling.
A call had woken him up from his much sought after sleep in the early morning—five o'clock, an ungodly hour on any day, after falling asleep at one o'clock the same morning. Light went out of his way to maintain an eight-hour a night down time average, to keep his faculties intact. Four hours was not going to cut it.
Sometimes, he wished people would keep in mind that he was only a teenager—a brilliant, incredibly successful teenager, but with a teen's body nonetheless.
Beside him, L's fingers sped across the keyboard like a caffeine-doused spider. Only two fingers on each hand. Who the hell taught him how to type?
"Raito-kun is unhappy with events as they stand?" the suspect inquired, dark-rimmed eyes on the screen.
"No," Raito lied, "things are falling perfectly into place."
"Ah. So there is no frustration at all? Not even, should I say, with sleeping arrangements?"
Eyes narrowed. Light felt himself inches away from dropping all self-control and shouting like a madman that L knew damn well how he was feeling about last night, since L had been watching him the entire fucking night with that skin-crawling stare of his.
Get a grip.
The detective forced a nonchalant smile that felt like acid on his skin, and simply replied, "A good detective is prepared for a sleepless night."
Light's team came strolling in at about eight o'clock, carrying their shoes in their hands. The investigator turned his chair (ugh, what was with that squeaking noise?) And bid them a warm but brief hello.
He was too tired for a long script of acting.
"Matsuda, I want you out with Mogi interviewing potential witnesses. Make sure that you do some talking around Oda Street..." the detective let a hint of a smirk creep into his voice. That was where L had done his rounds. "And report back in tomorrow morning."
Mogi looked slightly annoyed, but Matsuda simply appeared thrilled to be out on the case instead of behind a desk.
For some reason, only God knew why, Raito had a soft spot for Matsuda. A small one. Hidden very well.
"By the way," the detective added, "your time on this investigation is drawing to a close. We have another week or so together before you have to go back to the department. I want this case closed by then."
The team nodded and dispersed, leaving L and Light once again alone.
"Do you love anyone, Raito-kun?"
Another question from the blue. And why was Raito's personal business suddenly such a big topic of conversation?
"I don't suppose you mean parents."
"Not particularly, then." the investigator answered, close to a growl.
"Not even Misa-san?"
"Well, yes, I do love Misa," Light amended, almost hastily. As soon as the words tumbled from is lips, though, he knew that there was not a syllable of truth in the whole sentence.
L's eyes widened innocently, and it was clear that he knew as well as Raito what a lie that had been. With the hints of a smirk about his mouth, he inquired, "Does Light-kun term 'love' with a romantic connotation?"
Romantic? He knows right well that's what I meant. God dammit, Raito seethed, the bastard is offering me a way out.
How degrading, handed a gift-wrapped loophole in the midst of an argument--and by your aggressor nonetheless! Well, damned if he was going to accept charity from the likes of L.
"Why yes," he simpered, "I love Misa very much! It's so painful that we're always apart, with her in Japanese business and myself all around the world."
The tell-tale lights flickered in L's dark eyes, a sure sign that he was up to something. "Does Misa-San love you just as avidly? I would venture to guess an affirmative, to judge by the way she clung to you last night..."
Oh, twist the knife, why don't you? But to his credit, Detective Light's smile never faltered. He didn't even have to lie about this part.
"Misa loves me like crazy. She never stops talking about it! We have to be the perfect couple–everyone tells us so."
The investigator pulled back there, berating himself internally. That was verging on more information than he had to give, and there was no reason to tell L anything he didn't have to know. Actually, why was he answering these questions at all? It would serve the creep right, being left in the dark.
Coincidentally, Light himself hated nothing more than being left in the dark.
"Raito-kun is incredibly fortunate," the suspect offered in a grotesque parody of admiration. "I would never be able to forgive myself if I came in between something so rare."
"Yes, well," Light had the sinking feeling that he'd walked into a verbal trap. "It's my job to make sacrifices for the case."
An actual grin. The sight of that expression on his captive stirred up a mess of paranoid butterflies in Light's stomach. Those stupid butterflies...
"Oh, I must insist. We shall have to schedule regular visitations from Miss Amane, preferably a few private meetings without the team in our immediate vicinity... Of course, I will have to be there myself, as we happen to be attached..."
One second of silence too long. What to say? Could he turn it down somehow? No, any refusal would be tantamount to caving. Somehow, this had turned into a game of chicken.
"If you insist," the detective finally agreed, "That's very kind of you, Ryuzaki."
"Think nothing of it," L waved him off.
Crazy effing bastard.