I've always wanted to write something in this sort of style, and am glad I finally got the chance try do it. This was written for RubberDucker, the 300th reviewer for my Naruto fic 'Carousel', and she requested L/Raito. I hope you enjoy it!
Set during the 'chained' arc. Please note that the scenes are NOT in chronological order.
x Picturesque x
Sunlight is seeping in through the blinds, casting long strips of yellow onto the carpet. A few run up onto the bed and across Raito's bare legs, warm and sticky on his skin like a weightless honey. There is a cup of coffee sitting on the rosewood end table next to the bed, steam rising slowly into the air from the dark chestnut surface, where curls of milk spiralled.
It's (almost painfully) picturesque.
L is sitting beside him on the messy bed, now dressed and hunched over his laptop, lengthy fingers tapping away fiercely, (loudly). If he notices Raito is awake, he doesn't say anything.
Raito wishes he would.
"You and L," Yagami Souichiro had remarked to his son one night, "are quite similar, you know?"
Raito, of course, had smiled and nodded, casually changing the topic after taking another sip of his coffee. Even though teen's face was partially hidden by the rim of his mug, L could see that Raito was hiding displeasure at his Father's comment. The young detective took a large bite out of his fifth sugar cookie that evening, observing quietly the subtle way Raito's lips tightened as he feigned a convincing smile.
"Maybe you should be getting home, Dad. It's late, and you look pretty tired," Raito told his father a little later, though the bags under his eyes were deeper, their movements dragging as he averted his eyes from L as the other man wiped at the crumbs clinging to his shirt like icing-pink mistakes.
In the shadows that clutter their bedroom, there is no clear separation between one thing and another. Perfection and imperfections, right and wrong, the space where Raito's hands become L's; it's all been blurred (into a lovely grey) to the point of (just) barely existing at all. The only thing that indicates it is the tangible sensation, of skin against skin, nearly overcoming as it ripples through them (together…).
If Raito opens his eyes, he could see the faint outline of L's face right next to his (the same as his; all lips that want and eyes that stare). But he doesn't.
(He doesn't want to. Or perhaps he has simply become accustomed to having things that way between them.
The illusion is maintained, and) In the hazy dark, they are only bodies seeking some sort of solace in each other (bodies without definite names or faces) and for those twenty-seven and a half minutes that will soon be pushed far into the backs of their minds, there is no L or Kira.
It all means nothing
And there are no words, but the touch is just as loud.
As far as Raito was concerned, he and L were complete opposites, and not just by standards of appearance. For instance, L let his hair tangle and hang in his face, clothes wrinkled and without regard for fashion, while Raito's appearance was casually refined, attractive in an effortless way. L's behaviour was uncaring for society and his mannerisms much more than odd, while it seemed to most people that Raito was extraordinary and yet perfectly normal at the same time.
Perfectly. Yes, that was the key word.
Ever since he was a child, Raito had been somewhat of a perfectionist, quickly developing a zealous work ethic and determination to match. And in that way, perhaps he and L were somewhat similar. After all, both were extraordinarily gifted at anything they put their minds to (but of course, only one could ever be the best. Only one could ever win). They were rather different though; Raito was, in many respects, the current ideal of society, while L was the outcast, the unwanted. What Raito wanted was to achieve perfection, and it showed through in every bit of his person, from the way he had patterned and planned his life down to the way the photographs on his desk and the books on his shelves were arranged just so, as if having them any other way repulsed him.
Every detail was simply picturesque, and that was the way he (liked to think he) preferred things.
And perhaps that was the largest difference between he and L, and perhaps that was the thing that bothered him most; how L was so full of flaws and such things, and yet rivalled him to the point where he had actually lost sleep over it. It just didn't make sense, and made everything he had done up to that point – the marks and the sports trophies and the admiration of so many – seemed worthless, jaded. Even with his accomplishments as Kira, he felt it. He couldn't explain it, but he was always wanting for something more, something different.
Wanting for something he couldn't yet grasp…
After they'd finished – all tangled up in sweat-damp sheets and each other – L brushed Raito's shoulder (just) gently and whispers his name, almost as a question.
Raito pretended to have fallen asleep already, though his muscles tensed under the touch of those lengthy fingers. He waited, and soon the cold links of the chain were digging into his naked back as L shifted, settling down restlessly onto the mattress. His breathing slowed gradually as he stared at the ceiling, wide-eyed.
L pretended he didn't know that Raito was still awake.
Raito pretended he couldn't still taste the saccharine flavour of L in his mouth.
Inches away from each other (but not touching), neither slept.
"What do you think of 'love', Amane-san?" L asked Misa one day, taking a break from blowing on his tea, the delicate cup held with one hand as it rested on his boney knees. A violent ripple spread over the honey-tinged surface, and a few drops spilled over the edge, down onto the couch cushion below. Raito continued tapping away at the keyboard, attempting to ignore Misa as she massaged his shoulders (her nails had been painted icing-pink, and he tried not to look).
"Love?" Misa asked enthusiastically, putting on that magazine-cover smile as she gave Raito an affectionate squeeze. "Why do you ask?"
"I'm curious," L responded.
"Well…" said Misa, biting her lip thoughtfully. "Love is when you care about someone with everything in you… when all you want is for them to be happy, and when they make you happy in as well. You want to be with them all the time, and when you talk to them it's like…like you're sharing a really good secret, even if you're just talking about the weather. And you'd do anything for them!"
"Anything?" asked L.
L noticed the way Raito's fingers pause (if only slightly) in their percussion (fragments of quiet slipping in through the spaces), before he resumed typing. Misa's hands had moved to on his neck now, kneading the flesh in a somewhat graceless fashion.
"Yes…" she said slowly. "I suppose one could…"
"Also," L adds before she can say any more, "you say that love is something that makes you happy."
"It makes Misa very happy."
"But certainly you've heard of Romeo and Juliet? A Tale of Two Cities? For millennia, love has been causing war and death, jealously and betrayal. Don't you agree?"
"Thank you, Amane-san," said L, setting his cup down on the table. "Raito-kun, we're out of sugar cubes. Do you want my tea? It would be a shame to let it go to waste, and I know you like yours bitter."
The teen flinched as he heard his name whispered hoarsely into the place where necks meet shoulder, warm breath gliding over his flesh. He ignored it (or at least tried to), squeezing his eyes (even tighter) closed as a clicking of a switch breaks (shatters) the silence and his eyelids are turned splotchy red as lamplight flooded over the bed.
"Raito-kun," L said again. "Open your eyes."
He turned his head away.
"Look at me, Raito-kun."
He could feel L's deft hands, one burrowing into his hair in an almost forceful way and the other gliding over his chest, (there were no words, but only those hands) asking questions that needed answers, even though L already knew them.
"Ryuuzaki," Raito hissed. He could still feel L on top of him, pressing into him in all the wrong places for all the right things (he wanted…), and the saccharine taste of the other man lingered on in his mouth (sticky residue, like icing sugar). Stumbling over his tongue, he muttered, "stop."
"Why now?" asked L, leaning down a little closer. Shadows across Raito's eyelids…
For a while, L said (just) nothing, though there were many things he could have said – sarcastic remarks or observations that he knew would have gotten right under Raito's skin, little bits of information to make him squirm, something about Kira… - and yet he chose none of them. His hands removed themselves from Raito's body, hesitantly, and Raito took this opportunity to roll over to his side of the double bed they shared because of the chain that attached them. He could hear L's breathing and his own in mismatched rhythm, fading…
There were so many tiny imperfections to the scene, all the paint smudges and scars; the light was on, the silence too loud, Raito kept his eyes closed (so tight).
And neither had won.
"Do you mind if I open the window?" L asked. "It's a nice day today."
"If you want," Raito answered, looking up from the computer. "I heard it's kind of windy, though…"
the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen