Silence. Eerie, complete, silence.
Yagami Light lies in bed, perfectly still. Though it's well past three am, he cannot sleep; the fact that he seems to have become a near insomniac these last few weeks frustrates him. The room is utterly dark - if Light cared to look, he would perhaps be able to make our a few vague shapes in the shadows, but it is of no interest to him any more. He stares up at the ceiling, faintly rumpled covers thrown carelessly over his waist. He knows what the source of all this is; knows why it has to be done.
Around his wrist chafes a single, silver handcuff.
Light doesn't mind, really; if it helps to reassure L that he is not Kira, then of course he is willing. But…
Finally, there's a slight, quiet rustling from the bed next to him. Light hears faint breathing quicken, and then after a moment feels the weakest of tugs upon his handcuff. It had only been a matter of time, really; it had hardly come as a surprise to Light when he had discovered that L barely slept at all - and when he did could be awakened by even the slightest disturbance.
Light speaks the name quietly, and it isn't unexpected when a moment later he hears the faint click of a bedside lamp being switched on. The sudden flood of warm light is painful at first, but Light squints and turns to face the other bed. L is half-sitting, propped up on one elbow. In the soft glow of the lamp, the shadows cast upon his face cause the perpetual dark circles under his eyes to appear even more pronounced. He stares almost blankly at Light, as though faintly surprised.
"Yagami-kun. If I woke you, I apologise."
It's strange really, Light thinks; they go through this almost every night, as though it's some rote act to try and keep up some semblance of normality. But it feels empty and hollow; there's nothing normal about the situation they're in.
"No. I couldn't sleep anyway."
It had started a week ago, and now it's almost a game: they both know where this charade will lead.
Light watches as L quickly discards his covers, pushing them off absent-mindedly as he searches around for where he last left his laptop. L is now crouching, toes digging into the soft mattress, gaze flitting around the shadowy corners of the room. Somewhat strangely, his hair is much messier than usual; it amuses Light that whenever L gets up in the middle of the night, his hair always seems to stick up at various odd angles.
L mumbles something quietly to himself as he reaches down next to the bed and retrieves his laptop, placing it down in front of him before flipping it open. There's a faint beep and then the glow of text scrolling up the screen.
"…what are you doing?"
Of course, Light knows full well what L is doing - the same thing he asks after every night. But he has to ask, or it wouldn't be the same.
"Going over the Kira case."
Light can tell that L isn't quite himself; there's something uncertain, almost nervous in the way he glances from his laptop to Light, not quite meeting the other's eyes.
"I thought so. I'd tell you to stop thinking about it for once, but I suppose that would be rather hypocritical of me…" He trails off and L's reaction is as usual: a faint, wry smile which fades away quickly, his gaze returning to the screen.
This is where Light finally sits up, glancing over to study L properly; the way he crouches, hunched diligently over his laptop; the way he bites his lower lip in thought, brow furrowed as he considers new aspects of the case. L's looking very pale - but then he always does; skin drawn and pallid beneath the black shock of hair.
Light is fairly sure that, at the moment, L only has half a mind on the Kira case.
His turn still.
"…do you mind if I take a look, too?"
This gains L's attention; his dark eyes briefly glance down at the chain connecting them which falls down between the beds, glinting silver in the half-light. He seems to consider it, biting on his thumb before nodding shortly.
"Please do, Yagami-kun."
Light slips out of bed, crossing the short distance to where L is waiting, looking up at him expectantly. L's covers are in an untidy heap on the floor, but neither bother to retrieve them. There's a pause, where the only sound is that of L shuffling over, still crouching, to make room for Light to sit on the edge of the small bed.
It's almost surreal; the world seems muted, and Light's becoming acutely sensitive to the smallest things around him. L's mattress is harder than his own, but warm. Their shoulders are almost touching, and Light can't help but think that L's eyes don't look entirely focused. Their breathing seems strangely loud in the silence, and L is clicking through folders on the screen so fast, it's all unreadable.
This shouldn't be happening, and yet it is. Light thinks this every time.
"You… still think I am - or was - Kira, don't you." It's not a question, and Light always finds it surprisingly hard to say. L doesn't look at him; merely frowns a little, and stares at the screen.
"Unfortunately, there is still a chance of it. Otherwise…" L gestures to the handcuff around his right wrist ruefully, "there is little point to this. However… Light-kun, as I told you, you are my friend. I--"
"It's alright, really," Light interrupts him, smiling faintly; L's expression is slightly pained, and Light feels something twist inside of him. "I understand why - I can certainly see the evidence pointing to it myself, but… either way, I want to catch Kira as much as you do."
L nods, and silence falls once more.
Light looks resolutely at the screen, but he knows that L is watching him. There's a tense, uncertain period where they both consider their positions and think, is this really necessary?
But truthfully, it's not a matter of necessity.
He reaches out, and cautiously places a hand gently on L's shoulder, and there's still an absurd sense of relief - just as there was the first time - when L leans slightly into his touch, and sinks down onto his knees. They don't quite meet each other's eyes, as Light's grip tightens and L lifts a hand to warily brush his fingers lightly against the side of Light's neck.
The laptop lies to one side, all but forgotten.
Light shivers, and fumbles a hand behind him to turn out the small bedside lamp; though no one will be watching, there are still cameras everywhere. Besides, if neither of them can see, it's easier to convince themselves that this didn't really happen come morning.
Light feels L gripping his arm with one hand, and pushing him down with the other, the chain cold across his chest; in the darkness, everything is a confusing blur of touch and taste and scent, and Light brings up a hand to bury it in L's spiky hair. He can feel hot breath on his cheek, and then there are lips on his neck, carefully tracing small, uncertain kisses up to his ear.
It's short-lived, though, because it always is. Light simply holds L, because he knows that's all he wants.
L's hesitantly slipping a hand beneath Light's shirt, and the skin he finds there is smooth and cool; he runs his fingertips across Light's stomach, as though to memorise every contour.
It would, Light thinks, be an entirely different experience if it wasn't dark; he can somewhat make out L above him - but the moment is defined by the hands and lips on him, by the warm skin pressing against his own.
And then, L falters, and simply clutches at Light, holding onto him so tightly it's almost painful.
It always comes to this, and they never once speak. Light's near given up on trying to analyse L, but at times like these he can't help but wonder at how little affection L must have had shown to him in the past.
Or perhaps, Light sometimes thinks cynically, L's just making the most of him before it's proven he's Kira.
They lie there in the darkness until morning, neither sleeping, and when the first strains of sunlight begin to filter through the small gap in the curtains, Light slips out from L's arms and returns to his own cold, barely-used bed.
Nothing changes, really; they still have their occasional fights and disagreements; still work together to try and catch Kira. But there's something else there, now, and though they know it's only temporary - for the moment, they'll continue to carry out this charade.
However for Yagami Light, even after the handcuffs are removed and he is no longer under suspicion for being Kira, the insomnia continues. He can never quite work out why.