Just a bit I wrote for fun with no prior planning, to see where it would go. I think there are a couple good pieces I could recycle into a better piece of work; anyway, hope you enjoy my first DN fic :D

Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, of course. I'd pray I did, if I didn't burst into flames upon entering a church because of the appallingly filthy state of my mind. I can't even wish or else the gods might see fit to throw a star at me. Which wouldn't be good for anyone.

Feel free to critique; I can take it, if you can be fair about it.

Great Minds

He remembered when he tilted his head in boredom and smiled, nonchalantly replying, "We used to consider it a good time."

The moonlight spilling through the window across the room and the ethereal glow of the computer screen and pale yellow desk lamp highlighted the pair from both sides and darkened Raito's perceptions of the other man. "We?" L replied, that ever intense and empty stare darting aside for a moment only to glance at his companion. It was not interest; it was only attempting to pose as interest. Raito felt slightly flattered that L would indulge him in such a way.

"People my age," He continued. "The group I talked with at school. It was a common pastime, common subject of conversation."

"I would not doubt it." This time those dark eyes remained fixed on the screen. "Sex is an unhealthy, untidy act, and should only be performed in the most extreme cases of emergency." He snorted in a way that revealed, while his eyes might be focused elsewhere, his mind was firmly jammed against the subject on both their lips. "Youth waste their time on such frivolous exercises. The world will never change."

Raito smirked in response, lowering his head as he did so and shuffling the files on the tabletop. "You were young once, weren't you?"

L did not reply, and without looking up Raito knew he would not get one. L's fingers were at the keys, madly composing a symphony of distraction. 'No', they sang, 'we are not talking about that.'

As much as L's true identity, and even more so, the strange man's past, had confounded Raito, he was always well prepared to release the subject when conversation lapped at its shores. L had always made it clear, not with words, but simply in the way he existed among them, through his namelessness, his nondescript uniform of jeans and white shirt, his lack of culture, creed, prejudice, or anything that might indicate that at some moment, at some point in time, he had stood on the cobblestones of an ancient street or breathed the salty air that blew into the coastlines, that THAT particular Atlantis was sunken, and would always remain so. Discovering those facts would require a dive so deep that Raito doubted himself capable of surviving it. Even to know that the man sitting curled into himself not two feet from him had ever held a kite string in a small hand, and felt the tug of the wind, would require too high a price.

Raito gave a mental shrug to clear his mind of the curiosity, and curbed the conversation back to its focus. "Not to say it was so long ago, I'd imagine. I don't think it's quite what you're making it out to be."

"That is my official standpoint on the subject," L said, as if oblivious to the fact that he had only moments before refused to speak. "So I don't think we need to discuss it further. When I politely asked what was on your mind I had no indication that it would lead to such talk."

Raito shuffled the papers again, and reordered them slowly and deliberately. "We've been chained together for a week and we haven't left these rooms. Other than helping you with the case, I've had very little to do. You had to know it was possible I might be thinking about it."

"I apologize for respecting you a little more than that."

Throughout the brief exchange, L did not budge from his position, not even to glance back toward Raito, who could not take his eyes off the other man. When Raito had raised the question, it had only been an attempt to alleviate the boredom. The question, "Ryuuzaki, have you ever slept with anyone?" had seemed a way to perhaps catch him off guard, shake him up, to stimulate some kind of entertainment. When L hadn't even blinked at the question, straightforwardly answering, "That is none of your business, Yagami-kun." it had become more than a game, an amusement. It had become, in the few seconds after Raito realized he really wanted to know the answer to this question, a passion.

Raito continued moving the papers, knowing that out of the corner of L's large, wide eyes it would look as if he was actually doing something, although it didn't matter because L knew he wasn't. He didn't speak for a long time; any normal person would have assumed the subject had been dropped, but L was no normal person. He would be expecting the next words out of Raito's mouth, and he would know them before Raito did. Even Raito knew this. So there was no point in rushing it. There were other ways of communicating, after all.

Raito leaned back slowly in his chair, savoring the loud, metallic belch of the unoiled aluminum backrest grating against the bottom of the seat. L's fingers hesitated on the keys until Raito was nearly fully reclined and the chair fell silent. The fair-haired boy was gripping the sides of the seat tightly, and he almost couldn't contain his grin as L began typing again, and he leaned forward again, the back of the seat resounding with a deep, quiet click click click as it returned to it's former position. Then, Raito pressed back against it.

The chair scraped and screeched back to reclining, whining as Raito pushed back slowly, arms quivering from the force and strength he was using, as slowly… as… possible. L's fingertips froze again, poised above the keys, as the cuff on his wrist slid ever so slightly less then a centimeter down his forearm, tugged by the swing of the chain that hung between them. Time passed in a sluggish, irritating blur as Raito finally reached the limit of the chair again, and the sound erupted into silence.

L did not look at him, and Raito tilted his head back in a defiant pose to glare at him down his nose. He studied L's thought process through his back, how his shoulder blade shifted as he made his hesitant decision, the ridges in his spine bearing themselves through the fabric of his shirt as he calculated the consequences.

'You asked for it,' Raito thought cynically, 'because you let me get bored.'

L's right ring finger descended, leisurely, other fingers spread around it like spider legs, or unfurled wings slowing its descent. It rested lightly, and by no means coincidentally, directly on the 'L' key. Raito could barely see the movement from where he sat, and he moved at the same pace, until, just as L's finger found the key of his namesake, the chair let out the first click. Raito hesitated when he heard it, eyes wide as he glared at the single, disobedient finger. He glanced up out of instinct, already knowing he would read nothing from L's turned face.

And then L's elbow began to lift, just as slowly, as if it were part of some precise machine. His ring finger still lay gently on the keyboard, the other fingers draped around it, guarding like watchmen, turning into columns as his forearm reached forty five degrees at a downward slope to his fingertips, displaying his defiance to Raito through his never shifting hold on the 'L'.

Click. Raito had not been aware of the movement this time. He caught himself suddenly, as if his thoughts had walked in on him in a compromising position. He seized hold of this lost ally and began his own calculations, and the theories began to emerge. Was L teasing him? He didn't seem the type to put important work on hold for a trivial game. Perhaps this was more than a game to him, but some kind of battle, a competition fierce enough to draw his attention from Kira. Or maybe, the previous talk combined with Raito's choice of irritants had actually gotten to him, and made him angry. Was this what L was like when he was angry: silent, methodical, and drawing out his retaliation to a length befitting the crime? Was he really so cruel?

Raito felt a pang in his chest, undefined for a moment, until he recognized it as fear. Fear of L. He had never been so aware of being alone with him before. Anger at his own weakness emerged on the heels of the fright, and he gritted his teeth resolutely. 'What is there to fear?', he reasoned. This was L, after all. The pair had fought before, and they were evenly matched. Raito reasoned, that if it were more vital, life or death, he could win.

But… what if it were vital for L too?

Raito shivered, only slightly, but his body, tense in the seat, quaked from it and rattled the chair below him. He silently cursed himself, for now he could see the shift of L's head, and both knew how Raito felt at that moment. Raito, the civil boy as always, knew when he'd been beaten and knew when it would be best to back down. With a frown and sigh, he surrendered and sat up straight in the chair, allowing it to resume its original position and issue the final, piercing 'click.'

Unfortunately, L was unprepared to give up the fight. In this sort of battle, L takes no prisoners.

Raito could see this, as L's elbow lifted, and his arm, hand, and fingertip drove sharply and firmly down into the keyboard. Raito stared in grim astonishment as the L's began appearing on the screen, row after row of lowercase L's, page after page, thousands, like lines of complex code. There was only one message behind this, though. L's eyes were different as he now peeked at Raito over his raised arm.

"Do you really want to know, Yagami-kun?"

Raito stared back, eyes narrowed and nervous. "It was just a simple question. Don't you think you're making a big deal out of it?"

"Who is making the 'big deal' here? If it isn't an important question, then why are you still thinking about it?"

Raito shook his head in reply. "You did it first, Ryuuzaki. If you had just answered me in the first place-"

"Why did you make such a fuss after I refused to answer?" L tilted his head so that only one eye was visible, the dark iris glaring up at him from an impossible angle below the ridge of his brow. "We could argue in infinite loops."

Sighing, Raito lowered his head in contemplation, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration and squeezing his eyes tightly shut. L continued to glare, his finger still planted in the keyboard. Raito had not anticipated this reaction, so severe on L's part. But that could only mean… Raito's eyes snapped open with the sudden thought…. That could only mean that it was a sensitive subject.

Raito returned his gaze, thin and wise again, and the pair locked eyes, waiting in silence, for some catalyst. Even ground once again. L was already aware of this, as he finally lifted his hand from the keyboard and placed it on his knee, stilling the computer screen and clearing Raito's view of his face.

"I'm puzzled about this, Yagami-kun. I don't know why you would ask me that question. I can only think you want advice for Misa-chan."

Raito winced visibly. "My motives aren't so devious. I was being honest when I said it was just a simple question. It just popped into my head and I asked it."

"You don't usually strike me as the spontaneous type."

Raito shrugged. "I'm tired, Ryuuzaki, and not only of this argument. I want to go to bed now."

"Now who is avoiding the subject!" L proclaimed triumphantly, smiling in his creepy, haphazard way. "Besides, there is still work to be done."

"Nothing that can't be done later." Raito argued, giving the chain a tug.

L shrugged, cocking his head to the side deviously. "Perhaps. But I want to know why you really asked me that question. I'm not going to sleep until I know; thinking about it would keep me up all night troubled anyway."

Raito grimaced. "Fine." He sat angrily in the chair, pushing away from the other man, whose attention was fully devoted to him now, his left thumb jammed against his teeth.

"I can't help but list the reasons…" L said thoughtfully, gnawing his thumbnail brutally. "And there aren't many. You would not ask me something if it was as unimportant as you claim."

Raito could not argue with that. Even if it was the truth, he had to agree it didn't suit him.

"And I highly doubt you wanted my advice on the subject. I'm sure you know enough already, and you are the type of person who would rather endeavor to figure it out along the way."

L's descriptions of his intimate details were prickling Raito's skin warm. How, how, could this man know him so well? Embarrassment crept up his cheeks in a faint blush, thankfully concealed in their darkened environment.

"And so I can only conclude that you want to sleep with me, Yagami-kun."

As Raito took a moment to register the meaning of the words, L kicked both feet straight out in front of him and slowly lowered them to the floor. As he pushed himself up, Raito's expression changed, and as he finally came to his definition of 'standing straight', Raito had leapt to his feet also, and expression of fury and humiliation unguardedly emblazoned across his features.

"What in the hell!"

"Well, tell me why else you would be so interested in who else I had been with? How many? Men or women? Were they more beautiful than you, more intelligent? Were they… good?" The dim light could no longer hide Raito's coloring cheeks, and it was completely unable to mask his speechlessness. "This expression does not become you, Yagami-kun."

Raito snapped his mouth shut instantly and lowered his head, cursing inwardly. What a terrible mess this was turning out to be. And all he had wanted to know was whether L had ever fucked someone. Was that so curious to wonder? Raito considered voicing the statement, but his voice had been comfortably silent all this time, so it seemed almost painful to rouse it now. There was no point in bothering anymore, at this time. L had him nailed. He always had. The two of them… were too alike to fool each other. Their thoughts traveled the same pathways and coincided at the same destinations. So he ground his tongue between his teeth and did not make a sound.

L was not speaking now, only staring, head ducked low from his hunched, sloping shoulders. Expecting an answer, perhaps. Raito continued to return the look with less enthusiasm. He noticed the same things he always did when he looked at L: the dark, sleepless eyes, the thin wide mouth, the hair that fell in leaflets and framed his pale face. Raito liked L's hands quite a lot too, when they were not shoved deep into the blue jean pockets as they were now: hands on paper, on the keyboard, on sugar or tea. The crook of the wrist and the splay of the fingers, delicate, deliberate and cautious. He loved the thin limbs, not when they were folded in on a chair or couch, but when they flailed outward, as they did when the pair fought, as his legs did when he walked or his arms did when he reached for something, almost awkward, but with an impossible precision. Did L know all of this already? He loved the mouth the most, the unpredictable, elastic mouth, at one moment thin and set and at another pouting, fluxing between strange shapes and working, as it was now, over a thumb, with reckless abandon.

Did L know that it was all Raito could do to avoid touching him, to avoid staring with open adoration? L was fascinating to Raito, a new and peculiar entity, a mind unlike any he had ever encountered encased in a bizarre body that reacted to stimuli Raito could never see nor understand. And for this mind Raito had felt something, for as long as he had been aware of it, a burning desire he could never identify. He wanted the body, yes, his own body answered that question simply enough… but the mind…

Raito could feel it under his skin, some fire he could not label. Hatred or jealousy, an urge to possess, control, dominate… love perhaps, for all he knew. It had strength, though, that much was certain.

"Isn't that why you asked, Yagami-kun?" L continued abruptly, in a low, quiet voice that descending to near whispering by the time he finished. "Didn't you want to know?"

A fire under his skin that boiled his guts, and burned to crispy black all his fraying nerve endings.

L knew him so well… because they were the same. The same mind, the same paths, the same conclusions… Raito had never dared push this train of thought so far, but as he did, he realized it was the only way they could know each other so well. Intelligence only counted for part of it. And then… and then…

Raito's skin thrummed with the idea, and even under L's heavy stare and in the dark silence, he could not withhold the smirk. Victory at finding the even ground once again.

"Bravo," L murmured darkly, slowly pulling his hands from his pockets. "So we won't play games anymore, then. There is no retreat from this, you know."

The same conclusions…

L wanted Raito as much as Raito wanted L. The same burning consumed him, as well. Raito had always been afraid to trust this fact, because it had required quite the leap of faith. That was the only difference. L was not afraid. L trusted himself. Raito, at once sure and unsure that he could be Kira, and not remembering, not knowing one way or the other, did not have the same ability.

"Bravo, yourself, Ryuuzaki. You had me confused for awhile," Raito rumbled, crooked grin still pulling at the corner of his mouth. A new flood of confidence washed over him, and he shivered in anticipation. Ah, why did this feel so familiar, so wonderful…?

L returned the grin, although it was hard to believe it belonged to the same species as his: half a circle, a little shaky, and sweet. Raito's stretched straight across his lips, curling at the corners, like some burning pamphlet, plastic laminated.

"So if that were the case…" Raito began casually, tossing his head, pausing forcefully, urging.

"If that were the case," L continued. "Something should be done about it."

"Of course."

"Of course, yes."

"Along the lines of…"

"Possibly…"

"In all likelihood…"

"Most definitely…"

They both trailed off into silence, glaring at each other, daring the other to speak the words first. Raito thought for a moment about how childish this game was; if they were a more mature pair they'd have slept together twice already, at least. L must have been thinking the same thing, but he was more stubborn, more willing to accept his immaturity, if it spelled victory.

"Ryuuzaki, we really ought to just get it over with."

"How do you suggest?"

"We stop talking about it and just do it."

They both paused again. Neither had moved an inch since they'd stood. L's hands were still in his pockets.

"I don't know if I will be able to stop talking about it, Yagami-Kun."

"Well, you can begin by calling me Raito…"

"But that is so intimate…"

"That's the point, Ryuuzaki. What would you have me call you?"

"Ryuuzaki is fine. Raito. What would be the next step, do you think?"

"We would kiss, I suppose."

L stuck out his tongue abruptly, and Raito recoiled a little. "Kissing is very unsanitary."

"It's supposed to be sexy."

"Why don't we skip it? We don't need foreplay."

"Well, we need a little, you know."

"We could just use our hands." L lifted them from his pockets and wiggled his fingers in the air. Raito felt a disgusting shock when he realized this did turn him on.

"That… is very strange."

"Does that matter?"

"I want to keep the kissing. I like it."

"Why?"

"I like the feeling… warm, wet, muscle against muscle," Raito inched towards the other man, who in return began to lean away.

"Ew, Raito-kun."

"Raito."

"Ew, Raito."

"So we wouldn't use our mouths at all? What about the other thing…?"

"Well, you can do it, but I refuse."

"That's insulting. And terribly unfair."

"Well, I'm not saying it's necessary. I'm only saying I'll allow it. Granted you don't bite me."

"I wouldn't bite you! Who do you think I am!"

There was a humorous feeling in the air as they both pondered those words. Raito was leaning over L now, only barely hunched, and L's spine had reversed so that he was bending awkwardly backwards. Raito felt the heat in his abdomen, and sighed in frustration.

"Let's compromise. We kiss before, but not after. I'll brush my teeth too. You're still getting the better half of the deal here."

L pondered it for a second. "Alright. But I get to be top."

Raito stared down at him incredulously, but there was no change in L's expression. "Top!" He burst, throwing his arms in the air. "You do not get to be fucking top! Tops don't get their cocks sucked in a fair relationship!"

"Well, you're the one who was so fixated on the sucking…"

"I made the first move, so I'm the top! Plus I'm taller!"

"You started the conversation, Raito-kun, but I am the one who propositioned you. And I am older. And more intelligent. Therefore," He pointed at himself with a dramatic twirl of his wrists. "I am seme."

"Like hell! Uke!"

"Seme."

"Uke!"

"The problem may be," L said suddenly, frowning. "That we are both tops."

Raito rolled his eyes.

"Perhaps we should not actually sleep together? It may be too much trouble to decide."

"So what then? If we don't fuck then I'm not blowing you! What's left?"

L wiggled his fingers again. Raito was so enraged by this point that their charms had no effect on his groin. Rather, he sneered at them.

"Hand jobs? You're still getting the better deal. You're too clumsy to pull that off."

L frowned. "Clumsy? I can do it well enough."

"I might as well just do it myself."

"Perhaps. Of course, it can hardly be called 'sex'."

"There's still the kissing."

"I never agreed to any kissing."

"Ten minutes, open mouth."

"Ten seconds, closed."

"Seven minutes, open."

"One minute."

"Five."

"One and a half."

"Two minutes, open mouthed for one, closed the other. No other touching, and I'm not brushing my teeth first."

L thought about it for a long time, chewing his lower lip and staring at the ceiling. Raito was trembling with pent up rage, and he was moments from snapping and strangling his nemesis with the chain connecting them when L smiled.

"Alright, I think that is acceptable."

Raito growled as L's face leapt up suddenly to meet his, capturing his mouth in a hard kiss. L's lips were full and warm, still a little wet, and Raito felt a sudden fury that his own had been pressed into a thin, dry line before L got to them. Neither closed their eyes, L watching the clock on the wall. They kissed for two minutes, the first minute closed mouth, the second open, and Raito enjoyed the second, wet and warm, muscle against muscle.

L broke away abruptly, sticking out his tongue and shoving his hands in his pockets. "Revolting."

Raito huffed and crossed his arms. "You're a terrible kisser."

"I want to brush my teeth."

"I want to go to bed."

L shut down the computer and dragged Raito to the bathroom, where he was forced to stand outside the half-closed door while L spent ten minutes alternating toothbrush and mouthwash. Raito fumed as he waited, hating the dark coolness of the room, the warm light flooding through the door at his back, the soft fading moonlight through the window. The sky outside had begun to brighten. 'Already dawn,' Raito thought with a grunt, which meant L would want to be back to work almost as quickly as they'd lain to rest. Damn him.

When L emerged Raito dragged him across the room, where he collapsed immediately on the bed, leaving L to sort out the tangle of chain and blankets that emerged as he tried to join him. It was eerily quiet as the strange man struggled, and Raito buried his head in the pillows to escape it, blocking out the chafing metal loop on his wrist as well. He remembered exactly how it had started; he had asked L, 'Have you ever slept with anyone?'

We used to consider it a good time. This was anything but a good time. Raito doubted he would ever have decent sex again. He should have expected this from the beginning. There was no way he and L could be together. Their minds were too noisy, they were always analyzing, over analyzing, unable to agree. It was too much to hope they could both put that aside, just for a little pleasure, a little lust. The mind overrode lust in all cases, unless it was too hopelessly weak to do anything about it. Either way, the mind was not a sex toy.

Raito noticed the movement on L's part had nearly stopped, and was startled by one great motion and a warmth on his cheek. L, leaning over him, tenderly kissing his cheek. He pulled back after a moment and smiled at Raito's dumbfounded expression.

"It was no contest. You were definitely the best, Raito. We should really do it again sometime."