First Death Note fic. Slightly dark. RaitoxL, not explicit, just there.
Musings on love, L's intuition, and his ability to reconcile the two.


"I think I believe in love now."

L says it gravely, speaking to Raito's back through the soft patter of the rain on the windows. The chain snakes from one limp pale hand, under the covers of the bed, and across the other boy's shoulder where L can see the outline of its links through the sheet. His words are metered and careful, timed in between the soft breathing of his bedmate.

He waits, listening to the hum of the heater and the small noises of the room. His answer will come eventually.

"What makes you say that?" Raito responds at last, no trace of sleepiness in his voice.

"I just realized it. Some of the strange things they say about... love... apply to me now. I would say that there is at least an eighty percent chance that I am in it. Love, that is."

Raito sits up, tossing the chain aside and running a hand through his hair. It falls back into its perfect place like magic, the sleep-mussed tangles disappearing like a forgotten dream. "What the hell? You woke me up at 1:19 in the morning to tell me there is an eighty percent chance that you love me, Ryuuzaki?" He shoots L an annoyed look. "That may possibly be the least comprehensible thing you've ever done."

"Well, we are equals, then," says L cryptically, deciding not to argue the point about Raito being asleep. (They both know he wasn't.)

The rain tapping on the glass fills the silence before Raito turns over and flops back into bed, snorting softly. L waits a few more moments before he lays down, knowing the Raito will feel the bed shift and understand that the conversation is closed. For the time being, that is.

At 1:23 am Raito flips over to face L.

"What kind of strange things?" he asks without embarrassment, without preamble, and L smiles into his pillow.

"I find my self inexplicably subscribing to generally over-popularized romantic ideals, which is a serious aberration from my normal thinking process. In fact, in most people such a dramatic shift would indicate a drop in reasoning capability."

"Translation: you're so in love you can't think straight?"

"I can always think straight, Yagami-kun. I am L, after all." L tosses off the blankets and perches on the side of the bed, affording Raito a view of his pajama-clad back. The young man tries not to focus on the place where Ryuuzaki's skin is exposed between the waistband of his pants and the edge of his too-loose shirt.

"Hey, now, no need to get all formal on me," Raito says, trying to act hurt. "I'm Raito, you're Ryuuzaki—just for once let's not be detective and suspect, ok?"

"Why?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why does it make any difference?" L turns his head very slightly, looking over his shoulder at Raito as his toes curl into the mattress. "Do you think I would be less likely to love you as Kira?"

"I... what?"

There is a dead silence, and both of them are suddenly aware that the drumming of the rain has turned into a hiss. L fancies for a moment that the weather is empathetic of his own pounding heart, measuring time against his slender ribcage. But no—it's just the rain, after all.

"That's what I meant earlier," L begins slowly, staring pointedly away from Raito, eyes boring a hole in the blank wall. "by strange things happening to me. I realized that I would not care in the slightest if you were Kira. I would still act and feel exactly the same."

L can't see Raito, but he suspects (correctly) that Raito is looking at him with a mixture of cold calculation and utter disbelief. They are possibly the only two humans capable of that particular expression, so L would know.

"And... I would still try to catch you, Raito-kun." He licks his lips, noticing that Raito has gone very still behind him. "I believe... that is what you would want."

"And what if I killed you?" Raito says quietly, voice ragged along the edges. "Then what?"

"Then I would go down as your equal, having lost fair and square." He turns around at last to look the other youth in the eye. "This is a game you want to play, Raito-kun. And I will see that you get a chance to play it."

"Even if...?"

At that L smiles humorlessly, one pale thumb reaching out to brush along Raito's nose, down the contour of his face. "I believe that was one of the symptoms of love, was it not? The ability to give anything to make someone happy?" Raito huffs and pulls away from the touch.

And in that moment, listening to his only friend and lover grumble about how he makes the whole thing sound like some kind of disease, with symptoms and all, L carefully lowers his guard. Not too far, mind you. Just enough. Slowly, deliberately, he allows that fateful eighty percent to get the better of him, and offers up his hope—if not his trust—to the only person who ever really mattered.

Delicately, like a child lifting a precious vase, L turns around and holds the god of the new world in his arms. His fingers loop around Raito's back, his chest brushes against Raito's own. If it were another world, perhaps... another time, another place, another sort of madness...

But it's not, and so L's head is full of hunches and percentages and cold observations as he notes the smell of Raito's hair and the way the other youth stiffens under his touch.

This is Kira, he believes.

This is Raito, he believes.

This is love, he believes at last.

Here, thinks L, as the rain drums on the windows with Zen-like calm. Look—look what I lay down for you.