Disclaimer: Death Note belongs to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
Sighing, Raito's eyes unfocused for the third time that day. He fidgeted in his seat in growing frustration – he'd never been forced to stay still for this long. He quickly stopped the embarrassing tantrum once he realized what he was doing, shifting restlessly once more to rid himself of the need to move and stretch. As soon as he settled again, the chain connecting him to Ryuuzaki stopped chiming musically. He gave the chain an emotionless glance as it fell silent. Looking around the bare room, he again found himself wishing the others hadn't taken the day off as instructed by the raccoon-eyed detective. Not that Raito could blame them – a break would be really nice, and you'd be a fool to pass up the opportunity, but there was no one to talk to now. Raito dejectedly pushed around a small pile of almonds before him. He would talk to Ryuuzaki, but when the detective was concentrating, Raito couldn't expect more than monosyllabic grunts as reply.
Raito ran his tongue over his left canine tooth in thought. 'Would another call from Misa be all that bad? Probably… All she has planned for her day out is shopping, and if I have to hear about one more pleated skirt, I'll scream.' Resting his chin in his palm, he closed his eyes to block out the glow of the monitor screens. 'I'd appreciate Matsuda's company over hers. At least he has interesting things to say.' Raito peeked at the screen, disappointed when he found it just as he'd left it. He closed his eyes again. 'I wonder what Matsuda's doing with his break… Maybe he's at the arcade. I'd like to go.' The brunette considered asking Ryuuzaki for a break. He frowned; Ryuuzaki never took breaks. 'I wish something exciting would happen…' He smiled at the memory of his fistfight with the boy sitting quietly to his left and he started to crave another.
Glancing over at Ryuuzaki, Raito groaned internally. The boy was staring at a list of data intently, his box of pocky forgotten. If Ryuuzaki was distracted enough to ignore treats, he definitely wouldn't give in to Raito's wishes. Turning back to his own screens, Raito shut his eyes again. Staring at the endless reports of criminal deaths that could possibly be related to Kira was making him unbelievably depressed. It was quite a feat, as Raito couldn't remember the last time he'd been depressed. Had he ever? Raito popped an almond in his mouth. 'If there ever was a time I've been depressed, it surely would have involved a poor school grade, only because it would have caused Mother and Father disappointment.' Raito looked to the ceiling thoughtfully. 'Do they really mind my grades that much?' Frowning, he concluded, 'They're accustomed to good marks, I'm sure. I mustn't fail.' Raito ate another almond.
The continued slack in the chain connecting the two alerted Ryuuzaki to Raito's third lapse in concentration. Raito had also eaten two almonds within three seconds of each other, further proving he wasn't paying enough attention to the data before him. "Raito-kun, do you have breathing problems?" Ryuuzaki asked. His tone implied curiosity, but he wasn't even looking at the brunette. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the computer screens before him.
Grateful for an excuse to further ignore his given task, Raito turned to Ryuuzaki. "No, not really. I occasionally have trouble inhaling if I don't rest enough. Why do you ask?"
Ryuuzaki made a thoughtful noise. He continued to watch the lines of data scroll by on his screen.
Shrugging when he wasn't answered, Raito looked to his own screens again. He had only two monitors whereas Ryuuzaki had three. He wasn't sure if he should take offense. Did Ryuuzaki feel he had to work harder because he didn't take breaks as often, or was he subtly claiming he was better? No matter, Raito didn't care much either way. Maybe he wasn't resting enough. Usually he would try to prove himself better than Ryuuzaki at this point. For some reason it seemed sickeningly childish now.
"You seem to like almonds, Raito-kun."
"Hm?" Raito gave the detective his attention again. "Yeah. They're good. Antioxidants and all that…"
"And their other benefits…?"
"Heart benefits, I suppose. But there isn't a medical history in my family that I have to worry about."
Ryuuzaki's shoulders slumped.
'Was that the wrong response?' Raito thought, watching his companion's odd behavior. Well, odder behavior.
"Are you tired, Raito-kun?"
Raito blinked. "No. Are you? You're asking odd questions and acting stra-'
"If I'm the cause of any discomfort to you, Raito-kun, please inform me," Ryuuzaki turned to face Raito, gaze soft and eyebrows knit together in either guilt or concern.
It took the brunette a moment to recover from the other's expression. Usually the detective had a cool, collected mask in place. Seeing this secret Ryuuzaki struck something in Raito. "Really, Ryuuzaki, I'm fine. Thank you," it was nearly a whisper.
Smiling sheepishly, Ryuuzaki nodded. "Yes, however… If you experience breathing problems after lack of proper sleep, and you currently are eating almonds, which assist lung function, then-"
"Are you suggesting that your sleep habits are affecting me?"
Ryuuzaki said nothing, averting his eyes.
Raito laughed unexpectedly, and Ryuuzaki gave a small start. "You overanalyze, Ryuuzaki. I just like almonds." As if to prove his point, Raito ate another.
"Still, I know your current situation must be quite a change from the routine you're used to. And even though it's only been a few nights, I'm sure it's enough of a shock to your body. If there is ever a need for adjustment, please don't hesitate to ask."
Ryuuzaki was genuinely concerned. "Thank you, Ryuuzaki."
Nodding, Ryuuzaki turned back to his screen. Soon after they had been bound together, Ryuuzaki noticed a significant change in the brunette's behavior. Or had the change truly occurred the seventh day of Raito's imprisonment? Either way, the change was simultaneously unsettling and uplifting. His evidence against Raito seemed unfounded, now. The percent of Raito being Kira had dropped to ninety-three, and was quickly decreasing. It would be wonderful to keep this soft, uncalculating Raito, rather than the defensive, suspicious Raito-Kira he was used to. However, if Raito weren't Kira…then all those hours spent deducing…would have been for nothing. To prove L wrong was nearly unheard of. If L proved himself wrong, would the universe end?
Ryuuzaki sighed silently. 'Even if the universe were to end, at least I'd have a true friend to experience it with…'
A slight tug on the chain informed the detective that Raito had returned to work. He stole a quick glance at Raito. The boy was speedily typing, pulling up new windows and comparing data flawlessly. Ryuuzaki smiled softly, 'Yes, it would be nice if I was wrong, just this once.'
Around 2h, Raito's posture had changed drastically. He was slouched forward, face close to the screen, as if to force his eyes and mind to focus on the work before him. On occasion, he would blink rapidly in an attempt to keep sleep at bay. After Raito's third stifled yawn, Ryuuzaki stood up from his seat. Having failed to gain Raito's attention, he shook his handcuffed wrist.
At the sound of the chain, Raito blinked once, as if waking up. He lifted his head jerkily, squinting against the harsh light of the monitor. He looked over to Ryuuzaki's seat, and finding it empty, lifted an eyebrow in confusion. He blinked a few times, looking the chair up and down quickly, illogically thinking that the blind spots before his retinas were to blame. However, if that were truly the case, there was need for alarm.
"Let's go to sleep, Raito-kun," Ryuuzaki said gently, hoping to diminish the brunette's panicky behavior.
Turning around to face Ryuuzaki, Raito gave a small smile. "I was wondering how you could have gotten away while still handcuffed to me…"
"Yes, among the many ways sleep-deprivation is affecting you, common sense is one of them."
Raito had not heard the jab, as he was instead focused on the pocky stick that was balanced between Ryuuzaki's lips, moving with every word. He wasn't sure why the found it so fascinating. Puzzling over the possible reasons only caused Raito's hazy mind to become hazier.
'Where's my comeback,' Ryuuzaki thought in mild disappointment. He saw the boy's lack of response as an even greater reason to get him to sleep. He pulled Raito's chair away from the computer screens, Raito a passive passenger. He urged the brunette to his feet with a simple, "C'mon."
Ryuuzaki's strides were casual, while Raito's were shuffled and unsure as they made their way toward their current bedroom. Ryuuzaki censured himself, or more correctly, his previous inconsiderate behavior. He looked guiltily to the brunette, who was rubbing at an eye sleepily. 'I should have seen sooner; Raito won't be able to adjust immediately to my poor sleeping and eating habits.' He bit his lip when Raito stumbled. He wrapped an arm around the brunette to steady him; Raito clung on tightly.
"Sorry," Raito laughed in embarrassment.
Ryuuzaki nodded in response. He realized he still hadn't removed his hand and quickly did so. 'Raito shouldn't have to adapt to me at all,' he thought as they continued. 'If he is willing to give up his privacy due to the chain, then I should be willing to sacrifice routine.' In truth, Ryuuzaki usually got three consecutive hours of sleep. He found sleep to be a waste of time. He enjoyed it, of course. His dreams could be quite pleasant. But, given the choice, he'd rather work; most of the cases he took on were by choice, and those cases were the most intriguing, the most challenging. Why waste time with sleep? At any rate, Ryuuzaki wasn't tired in the least, but he was ready to pretend so as to quell Raito's inevitable guilt.
Upon reaching the room, Ryuuzaki flicked the air conditioner on in a swift motion. He opted to leave the lights off for now, as the moon offered enough light to make out the shape of the beds. He followed the brunette into the dark, and realized Raito was mumbling quietly.
"What, Raito-kun?" Ryuuzaki looked at his companion in the moonlit room. For a moment, his hand hesitated to turn on the lamp over the nightstand. Every strand of hair on Raito's head seemed to shimmer, and Ryuuzaki couldn't look away.
"Said I'm sorry… We should still be working…" Raito hung his head, and the moonlight continued to highlight his hair lovingly. He reached up rub his shoulder.
Ryuuzaki had long since finished his last stick of pocky, so he pretended to yawn. "No, really, we put in a long day today…" He reluctantly turned on the lamp. He artificial glow failed to grace Raito's features as beautifully as the moonlight had. He found himself still staring, and he looked away quickly.
Raito nodded, choosing to ignore the fake yawn. He sat down on his bed and tried to take his shirt off. He tugged ineffectively at the article of clothing, arms clumsy with the beginnings of sleep.
Deft hands reached down to assist Raito. Ryuuzaki moved closer when Raito didn't protest the help. The brunette willingly lifted his arms as the shirt was gently pulled over his head. While Ryuuzaki slid the discarded shirt to his side of the handcuffs, Raito began work on his jeans. Pulling his own shirt off to let it bunch up against Raito's, Ryuuzaki smiled as Raito leaned against his hip. The brunette's pants were undone, but still wrapped around his waist. Ryuuzaki couldn't stop himself from reaching down with his unburdened hand to run his fingers through Raito's hair. He blushed lightly when Raito hummed contently with closed eyes.
Ryuuzaki decided he definitely liked his softer Raito. If Kira's powers really could be passed on, and if Raito truly had no memory of being Kira…then perhaps Ryuuzaki could save him from punishment. He frowned. He knew that would be the wrong decision to make – if Raito had committed murders, then justice would see to it that he was punished appropriately. Still…
When the other's thin fingers stopped gliding through Raito's hair, Raito was disappointed. He'd never felt so at ease before, and to have it taken away so abruptly almost had him begging for it again. There were so many facades he could drop in Ryuuzaki's presence. He didn't have to be the focused student, or the role model, or the perfect son, or the flawless brother. All he had to be was himself. He desperately wanted those fingers to continue, but knew the only reason they had stopped in the first place was because Ryuuzaki was considering the case again. "What are you thinking about, Ryuuzaki?"
Ryuuzaki shrugged, removing his hand. "Nothing of importance."
"Yeah, right. Everything you muse over is important, and it all ultimately-" Raito interrupted himself by yawning. "Ultimately leads to me being Kira," he finished tiredly, rubbing at his eyes again. His arm fell heavily to the mattress and his body quickly followed. He made a small noise as Ryuuzaki removed his jeans, and a light blush tinted his cheeks as his baby blue boxers were exposed. When the jeans were off, he gave a quiet thanks and nuzzled his pillow before his breathing began to slow.
Ryuuzaki smiled down at the boy, and took a seat near his waist. He swiftly produced the handcuff key as if by magic, shaking the shirts free from the metal around his wrist.
At the dip in his mattress, Raito blinked a few times before looking up to Ryuuzaki. The raven-haired detective quickly unlocked his handcuff and allowed the bundled shirts to drop to the floor. He bound himself again, and said quietly, "If it makes you happy, Raito-kun, my suspicions of you now being Kira are at ninety-three percent."
For a moment, Raito gave no show of having heard Ryuuzaki. Eventually he smiled. 'Wasn't it at ninety-eight a while back?' He asked, "Really?" When he got a small nod in response, his smile refused to leave his lips.
After Raito had closed his eyes again, Ryuuzaki wasted a few minutes staring across the sixty-centimeter gap at his own bed. He stood to slip out of his jeans, revealing black boxers, and took a step toward the unoccupied bed. He hesitated. Glancing over his shoulder, Ryuuzaki blushed and turned off the nightstand's light. Cautiously, he maneuvered himself around Raito's sleeping form. When he was sure he hadn't disturbed his friend, Ryuuzaki settled into the bed, pulling the sheets over them both. "I hope you continue to prove me wrong," came a barely audible whisper in the darkened room.