I wanted to make this an alternative ending. The prologue takes place during volumes 5 and 6, when Light and L are cuffed together. Treat it as scraps behind the scenes. The rest is an alternative story. It begins in the middle of chapter 57 and brings volume 7 to another conclusion. It is based strongly on the manga/anime and contains heavy spoilers so I recommend to read the manga at least to chapter 57 or watch the anime up to episode 25 before reading this. Otherwise it might even not make sense to you. Aside from that, I hope you like it.
The story has been proofread by Mikitoru and Lady Karai. Thanks very much!
Prologue (Chapters 38-52 – Behind the scenes): Nights
Light stared at the figure curled on the sofa. Ryuzaki lay there, rolled into a ball, covered with a blanket. He slept. In spite of the team's belief, Ryuzaki did sleep and even every night. Well, at least five of the seven nights they had already spent together. Although it was probably because, as the detective admitted himself, he had lost motivation.
Light remembered that day, one week ago, when for the first time they stood in the door of their shared room. A huge bed stared at them from the opposite wall. A double bed. Light snorted angrily.
"What? No way, Ryuzaki, get it out of your head. Not only am I confined to you, but I am also supposed to sleep with you like some pervert? I guess Misa was right about you after all."
L looked at him with his unnaturally huge eyes and seemed to have scooped even more.
"It's just a bed, Yagami-kun. We are cuffed together."
In the back of his mind Light noted that Ryuzaki hadn't denied his words about being a pervert. Could it really be that…? No, more likely such comments simply didn't affect the antisocial eccentric he was.
"It could be two beds next to each other," he countered.
L shrugged. "I didn't see any difference. If you were a girl then yes, but as it is…"
Light gave him a glare. "I demand separate beds."
Not that he felt any particular anger. One bed or two, it really made no big difference. But Ryuzaki had made his life pretty miserable lately and Light felt like taking a little revenge on him. No matter how you looked at it, fifty days of being unjustly detained and now a complete deprivation of privacy was a serious violation of human rights.
Ryuzaki sighed heavily, dropping his gaze.
"All right, no problem. I hardly ever sleep anyway, mainly on the sofa. We'll move the sofa to the bed and we will both be comfortable."
For the first three nights, when some remains of motivation still flickered in the detective, Light went to sleep leaving L crouched on the couch, and when he woke up in the morning he found him in the exactly same place and position. Once, he came round in the night and his eyes were exposed to the most amazing sight. Sleeping L. Sleeping in a sitting position. Not even covered with anything. Taken by compassion, Light got up and reached for a blanket he found within the chain reach. He covered the other youth, not waking him up, and lay in bed again, staring at this amazing picture.
Soon after that, L lost his ambition to stay awake, so at night he made himself lie down and even took care to cover himself. Although on an angle, his position didn't change. And sleeping so piteously, he was like a pang of conscience. Light couldn't understand that. The guy could afford the most expensive hotels, had a chauffeured limo, was the most famous and brilliant detective in the world, but he had the mentality of a servant.
Light just knew that in L's place, he'd have become big-headed.
Tonight L had fallen asleep even before Light. Lying comfortably on a luxurious mattress, Light looked at the sleeping figure. Asleep, Ryuzaki looked even younger than usual, almost like a kid. Touching. Wonder how old he really was… Not that he would ever reveal it.
One of L's hands, the cuffed one, hung over the sofa's seat, dangling over the carpet. His knees also stuck out. In this position on the couch, he couldn't possibly be comfortable.
Driven by an impulse, Light tugged at the chain that connected them. Ryuzaki's hand sprang up, stirring the rest of the skinny body. Black eyes opened and L raised his head, meeting Light's gaze.
"Hey, Ryuzaki. You don't have to sleep over there. I can't stand seeing you curled up like that. Get to bed."
For a while L still lay motionless. His eyes closed and opened. He shook his head.
"No, it's okay. I am comfortable here."
"Don't be ridiculous. I believe that you're not a pervert and won't harass my innocent young body."
L's lips twisted with a hint of a smile.
"And even if," Light added, returning the smile crookedly, "I can defend myself, right? There really is no point in continuing this."
Ryuzaki pondered this for yet another moment, then he hauled himself off the couch and, clambering awkwardly over Light, lay down on the other side of the bed.
"Thank you, Light-kun," he murmured. "I am glad you came to this conclusion." With that he closed his eyes and was fast asleep.
Really, Light thought. Mentality of a servant.
Why couldn't Misa be as smart as Ryuzaki? Dammit, why was she so stupid, how come she was his girlfriend in the first place? They had nothing in common. Why didn't she have such a fascinating mind like the guy lying beside him? Why didn't Light have such a bond with her as he had with him?
The problem was he'd never had such a bond with anyone before.
Light had to admit it. L fascinated him. And, with this mentality of his, in a way excited. And the worst thing was that when he tried to imagine Misa lying now in Ryuzaki's place, he was relieved it was just an imagination. And content.
Content. What did that mean? He looked at the youth sleeping beside him. Ryuzaki wasn't very attractive. At first sight he wasn't attractive at all. With that hunched, skinny body and dark rings under the protruding eyes— eyes without a gleam, like a dead fish, he really didn't present a remarkable picture. But apart from that, Ryuzaki's features were regular. Handsome. It was hard to notice under this sloppy cover, the ruffled hair and the eyes. On the other hand, those very eyes – a bit scary, a bit scared – in a way made up Ryuzaki's… charm wasn't the best word here… exclusivity. L-ness. Without them, Ryuzaki wouldn't have been the same Ryuzaki.
And the body wasn't that lame either. So what that it was hunched and skinny, if it was also unusually fit: fast, agile, strong… Light still felt the bruises on his ribs after L's lightning kicks; he still remembered their tennis match. Who would have expected it from someone who walked and sat like an ape? It was also in a way fascinating. Discovering secrets. Stripping off layers… like peeling off clothes, to the raw.
Realizing suddenly which direction his thoughts were taking, Light tried to stop them, horrified with himself. Was it possible that he was attracted to a man? Nah. He liked women. He had always liked women. But on the other hand, if he was to choose between a dumb, even the most beautiful woman and a superintelligent, if not even super-cute man, he preferred the latter. How could stupidity excite him? Someone intelligent was a whole other story. Mind above all, apparently even in such situations. Wait, Light, you were not to think about it…
Content… no, it wasn't about L. He was simply happy that he wasn't here with Misa. If there was someone to harass his young innocent body, it was Misa, not Ryuzaki. He was just glad he avoided that. Right?
With a sigh, Light turned and moved to Ryuzaki. What on earth was he doing?
"It might seem strange to you," he whispered into the other youth's ear, "but…" He wrapped his arm around the detective, to show what he meant by 'but'.
Ryuzaki twitched. "Light-kun…"
"If you mind that, just say so."
"No." And after a moment of hesitation. "No, I don't mind."
Now Light found himself surprised. He did expect a protest.
"I want you to know that I generally don't like guys. I prefer girls. Decidedly. It's just that… you make me feel strange. Don't make me explain this, I don't get it myself. All I know is that I want to… hold you. All right?"
"Yes." L's voice was faint in the darkness.
"So how about you, Ryuzaki? You don't mind it. Does that mean that you really prefer guys over girls?"
"No. Hm…" Ryuzaki considered it for a moment. "No, I think it just makes no difference to me. I have never thought about it."
Light drew back, surprised, taking his hand from L's thin body. As if sensing his intentions the detective turned to face him and took a long look into his eyes.
"You never thought about it?" Light asked. "Are you telling me you've never been with anyone?"
L shook his head and shrugged. "I told you, you are my first friend. If I were with someone, this person would have to be my friend. So far there was no one."
Light closed his eyes. Dammit, he knew what Ryuzaki meant, he knew it all too well. He, himself… in spite of his apparent sociability, he'd always felt alone. None of the people surrounding him could really understand him.
"But you like girls," he asked to make sure.
Another shrug. "Those pretty ones, why not? But so far I've never looked at anyone like that. I had other things in my head and no one was interesting enough. Their minds were not interesting enough. Besides, we are just talking about hugging, yes?"
Somewhere in the back of his mind Light knew that it wasn't quite true, that there was more behind this. L also seemed to know it. His shapely lips curled in a little smile.
"And what about Misa? She is your girlfriend. Wouldn't you rather be here with her? What would she think of it? Don't you feel you're disloyal to her?"
"Ryuzaki," Light murmured. "I am glad that I am here with you, instead of her. I told you, it's one-sided."
Thin black brows rose at him, but eventually L said nothing. Light wrapped an arm around him again and pulled his bony, hunched body to himself. He felt L's arm slowly, tentatively encircle his waist, pulling him even closer. He buried his head into Ryuzaki's shoulder, feeling the nice smell of his skin. So good. Instantly, a strange calm poured into him and spread throughout his body. He closed his eyes and dozed off at once.
Light wasn't sure who kissed whom first, those two or three nights later. It just sort of happened. Lying so close you touched each other in various places. You oftentimes touched the other's shoulder with your lips, because it was simply a good place to put them. What harm would it be if those lips moved, if they actually kissed? If they also kissed the neck, and jaw, and… Then they found themselves probing each other's lips, trembling with excitement, wanting more, probing more, pulling closer, groaning, growing frantic… Finally it was L who first, reluctantly, broke the kiss.
"Just holding, Light-kun?" he asked.
For a moment Light couldn't find a word in his mouth.
"I guess… not anymore."
"So what do you want?"
"I guess this."
"Perhaps. Later." Looking into Ryuzaki's scrutinizing eyes he felt a need to explain himself. "What I said about liking the girls is all true. It's really just… you."
L half-closed his eyes and smirked somewhat bitterly. "Of course. But in that case, if we get to this 'more' later, won't you mind that down there I have the wrong… equipment?"
"I don't know. Have to try to find it out." Light smiled wryly. "I can always look you in the face and pretend that 'down there' everything is as usual."
But the truth was he was even curious of his reaction. Strangely enough, the thought of L's other than female 'equipment' was quite exciting. Light had already admitted to himself that his fascination with Ryuzaki expanded from mind to body. It looked so weak and fragile that it seemed almost girlish, which could stir his interest in the first place. But he felt a strange thrill at the thought that in fact it was neither female nor weak. The thought of the thin but hard and flexible muscles, of the flat chest… of something other than usual and actually perverted sent waves of heat through his body. I am a pervert. Something's really wrong with me. Perhaps I am Kira after all. He was fully aware that this thought was irrational and self-pitying… and so what?
"How about you, Ryuzaki?" he asked. "Do you want this?"
"Do I look like I wanted to protest?"
"No, but… gender aside, don't you mind doing it with your main suspect?"
Ryuzaki pushed his thumb into his mouth and considered it for a moment. "I am a bit worried about it, yes. Not with the fact that you might be deceiving me. According to my theory you're not Kira anymore or at least not at the moment. What I am bothered with is that being here with you now, I don't seem to have a problem with the fact that maybe you were."
"Oh," Light said, because nothing more clever came to his head.
The depths of L's eyes continued to watch him and their intense stare told Light what to do. He bent to L's lips and kissed him again.
Light rose over L, straddling his hips, and looked down at the skinny figure. They were both naked, their skin touching in the most disturbing places, sending hot shivers through his body. Even in the darkness of the room he could see Ryuzaki's paleness, but he didn't mind it. The detective lay there, looking up at him with a half-smile, arms spread loosely on his sides, leaving his chest open, relaxed and straight. Open? Straight? That was new. Light's stomach twitched in a funny way. Lying like that, smiling like that, L looked almost lascivious.
Ryuzaki's gaze slid down his chest and the little curl of his lip widened. The thin arm rose and brushed Light's side ever so slightly. It almost sent Light over the edge.
"Is that what you are like, Ryuzaki, when there are no people around you?" he asked, before he managed to stop himself.
"Never mind." And he added in his mind: Because if that is so, you're damn gorgeous. Why don't you ever show it to anyone?
Feeling the rush of blood in his veins, he bent down and locked his lips with L's. The detective's arms came around him, tightening so strong that they almost choked him.
That night Light came. He came a few times, along with Ryuzaki, and stronger than ever before. But it was all an effect of handy work, or a few times it just happened. They didn't go any further. As much as Light wanted this, the thought that he might actually have sex with another man was still too scary.
And the next morning Ryuzaki was wearing his usual ugly, baggy clothes, looking fully Ryuzaki again.
"Hurry up, Light," he said, poking his head into the bathroom. "We really have lots of work to do."
Light stood in front of the mirror, busied with his usual morning grooming that was to make him into the Light-looker he showed to the world. He smiled at his handsome reflection. The '-kun' was gone, at least this changed. He was glad of it.
"Yeah, sure, just a moment."
When five minutes later they stood at the door of their room, Light stopped and glanced at Ryuzaki.
"I wish we wouldn't have to hide with this. I don't want to keep my hands off you for all these hours."
There was a sad smile on L's face when he answered.
"I don't think they would be too happy if we started to grope each other in front of them."
"Yeah, I don't think they would." Ryuzaki nodded and made a move to open the door. In the last moment Light grabbed his arm. "But Ryuzaki…"
Without words, Light gathered him into a tight embrace, making the detective give a startled gasp. After a second he relaxed in Light's hold and returned it.
"I can't wait for the night," Light whispered into his ear.
"Me either," he heard a whispered answer. After another second Ryuzaki disentangled himself from his arms and sent him a quick smile.
"And now to work, Light-kun," he said and pressed the handle.
They grew more intimate every night. Usually Light was the more active side. L eagerly took everything that was given, but didn't start things himself. It seemed that he was waiting, giving the doubtful one an upper hand and space to back off. And in the end Light never backed off. Instead, every night he felt more at ease with what happened. Until, one night, the moment came.
"Ryuzaki…" he murmured, lifting himself over L on his elbows. "Let's do it."
Ryuzaki tensed for a moment. "Are you sure?"
"Yes." Light heard confidence in his voice. He really wanted it. Dammit, he longed for it.
L smiled. "All right."
They quickly, habitually, discarded the rest of their night clothes and eagerly plastered their naked bodies together. They rolled, and kissed, and touched. The coolness of the chain, touching their skin here and there, only emphasized their heat. This time Ryuzaki wasn't holding back, he didn't wait anymore. His lips and hands seemed hungry of Light. They were both equally frenzied and impatient. Light appreciated this change, but was also surprised.
"I wish you were a girl," he whispered at some moment.
"Would I be better for you then?" asked L between the kisses, no real concern in his voice.
No! This sudden inside protest shocked him, making him realize that his words were nothing more than a cliché that sounded correct. He tried to imagine Ryuzaki as a girl and couldn't… didn't want to. Actually, the thought was unpleasant. If L was a girl, it wouldn't have been the same person, it wouldn't have been L. And there wouldn't have been this slight perversity about this. And he had to admit it – this perversity turned him on even more.
"But I can't imagine myself playing the 'female' part," he whispered instead of answering.
L pulled back and for a moment regarded him seriously.
"That's all right," he finally said. "I don't mind playing the 'female' part."
With that everything was settled, the parts were split. What was left, was action. And they went on doing it.
Ryuzaki's finger traced Light's side, slowly, lazily, somewhat idly. His gaze followed it as if fascinated with the simple act. When it reached the line of the cover, it stopped and the detective's eyes moved up, meeting Light's.
"I fear the moment we catch Kira," he spoke unexpectedly.
"Why?" Light asked.
"Because, if my predictions are correct, you will then become Kira again."
Light snorted irritably. Did this guy have to start this again? He couldn't be Kira, it was impossible. No… he could. Rationally thinking, he knew he could. The theory was consistent, even Kira's – the old Kira's – actions reminded Light of his own way of thinking. But he just didn't feel it. True, he sometimes thought along Kira's lines, but he would never be able to turn those thoughts into action. And it hurt him to the bone that Ryuzaki suspected him of being capable of something so inhuman.
"If you think I am such a monster, then why do you do this with me?" he asked bitterly.
"I don't think you are a monster, Light." L's voice was calm, almost gentle. "Not at this moment."
Not at this moment. Light smirked. On one hand it was comforting. On the other… he shook his head to chase away the gloomy thought.
This way or another, L had a reason to worry. The investigation was approaching conclusion. The circle of suspects was now reduced to a small group of Yotsuba and one of this group already cooperated with them. Establishing Kira's identity was a matter of days, they all felt it.
"So, what will you do once we catch the guy?"
"I don't know. I will question him. I will do my best."
"Do your best?"
Ryuzaki nodded. His finger moved along Light's side again. It reached the arm and slid down it. "To find out the truth."
"That I am Kira."
"If that's the truth, yes."
Light swallowed. "And what if I am?"
L closed his eyes and sighed deeply. For a long moment he didn't answer. Finally…
"I've been thinking about it. There are things… that make me wonder." The eyes opened and looked at Light again. It seemed like there was nothing special in them. It seemed like they were blank. But Light suddenly wanted nothing more than to reach for the detective and pull him close; to clutch him in his arms and never let go.
"If only I could save you, Light…" Ryuzaki whispered.