Another little foray into the innermost mind of our two favourite geniuses. This one, unbelievably enough, is more or less fluff. FLUFF, I tell you. "Le gasp!" You say! How could the queen of angst ever write FLUFF!!!
It started off as angst, I promise. Really. Honestly. I tried. I really did.
That was the only difference between them, really.
It wasn't much. A shift in perspective. That was all that separated them, put them on opposite sides of the fence. Just a different point of view.
L thought in numbers. He was a math person. He calculated, factored, reduced the world to an endless stream of numbers. Every choice was determined by probabilities, percents. Those damn percents.
Light wasn't like that. He understood math, but he didn't think in it, so to speak. He thought in words and sentences and the scratch of a new ball-point pen against a fresh sheet of paper. When he thought, he wrote, on paper he kept safely tucked away inside his mind. That was part of the reason why the Death Note was so perfect for him.
While he was abstract, artful, forming beautiful lies with an almost uncanny ease, L was literal, blunt, and always brutally honest. His world was as black and white as the stark lines of a chalkboard. Light lived in vibrant Technicolor, every shade blurring together until you could barely tell one colour from the next.
For Light, every case was a mystery. For L, every case was a puzzle. There was more of a difference between the two than you'd think.
If only L had that same little smudge in his personal ethics that Light had, if only he could bend without breaking like Light could… If only Light's world was as simple and unwaveringly clear as L's. They could have accomplished so much together, done things neither world would ever have forgotten. Whether they rid the world of evil using the DeathNote, or brought about a new age of justice and law as the two best detectives in history didn't really matter. It was the same thing, really. Just different methods.
If only, if only.
And yet, despite this one tiny detail that turned them into complete and total opposites, they were the same. When you reduced them into their most basic forms, they were the same as every other human being on the planet. It was only their thoughts that were irreconcilable.
So they agreed not to think. They'd put aside all their differences, all the things that made them bicker and fight, and just… be. They never spoke, because they had to think to speak. They didn't have to, though. They were similar enough to need the same things at the same time. After every frustration, every breakthrough, every endless menial plodding day of getting no-where, they'd come back to their room and flick off the lights. It was so frighteningly easy to just turn off the part of their brains that gave a damn about the rest of the world. It was almost like nothing existed but them and the bed and the sweat-soaked sheets.
It started off almost violent, and sometimes the almost was taken out of it entirely. No one asked about the bruises. They just assumed the two had been fighting again. It was nothing more than a release, more like true sleep than anything else. It was a chance for them to stop worrying and give their brains a much-needed rest. They knew what they were doing of course, and what it could potentially mean for their respective causes. It was simply a choice of release or insanity.
Somewhere, though, it changed. Light wasn't sure when. It wasn't gradual, really. One day, they simply did it differently. It became tender, gentle. They silently worshiped each other with gentle kisses in the dark. Somehow along the way the release became an emotional thing. The rapid acceleration of their passion suddenly swooped and changed, flying up past the origin line and into another quadrant entirely.
And before they had even realized it, they had fallen in love.
Light had never loved someone before, not like that. He loved his parents, and his sister. But someone outside his family? Not a chance. They were all too boring, too astoundingly stupid to interest him. If there was anything at all to say about L, it was that he was neither of those things. L was interesting, with all his little quirks and eccentricities. Even the irritating numbers had somehow found a way to be charming. They found a way into his heart, whether he wanted them there or not.
But anyone would have felt the same, after spending enough time with the odd-ball detective. He was the kind of guy you'd love to hate, and hated to love. He grated against everything which was right, everything which was proper, blew past the societal stop signs like they weren't even there. He, like Light, was someone everyone secretly wanted to be. Someone who honestly didn't care what people thought. Someone who was so strong that they didn't need anyone, or anything. Someone strong enough to be alone.
It wasn't what the world saw that crafted the change between lust and love, however. It was the things no one ever saw. The things only Light was permitted to witness. The way he cried after what had to have been his first time, on his side and facing away from him, as if he couldn't see his shoulders tremble. As if he wouldn't know. The way he held Light's hand, in the last moments, pale fingers locked together with dark, and then pretended like it had never happened. The way his mouth tasted, sugar and sugar and more sugar on top of that, almost sickly sweet. But no matter how much candy he ingested, he'd never be able to hide his true taste, not from Light. Underneath the saccharine lie, there was a cinnamon-flavoured truth.
It was these things, the things that his father and Matsuda and Aizawa and all the others would never know, that made him pause one night. That made him lay a tender kiss on those sugary lips. That made him want to stop the violence and have something soft, for once in his life. Have something that went deeper then just using someone.
It was these things that made him change.
He wasn't exactly sure how L thought about this strange new development. They still never spoke of their clandestine affair. He didn't seem to mind, but Light could never really tell. He was so hard to read. But then again, that was the very reason why Light had been interested in the first place, wasn't it? L was a mystery, even to him.
But Light being Light, he wasn't going to be satisfied unless he knew. Unless he knew for certain if L felt the same way about him as he felt about L. Light knew better than anyone precisely what the results of a one-sided love affair would be.
He needed to be sure.
A year had gone by, one whole year full of gentle kisses and soft touches, growls replaced by moans. And then, on the same day as the change had been worked, something peculiar happened.
Kira took a day off.
For one day, no criminals died. For one day, judgment was withheld. For one day, the world was left holding its breath, waiting for the next victim. They didn't have to wait long. The next day, the killing started up again. The task force was perplexed.
"Maybe he got stuck in traffic or something?" Matsuda asked, blinking his wide brown eyes in that particularly stupid way of his.
"For one whole day?" Aizawa deadpanned. "I doubt it."
"Then what was it?" the chief asked, putting his hands flat upon the desk. "Some how, I don't think he'd be the type to go on a holiday."
Light felt his heart flutter. Here it was, the moment he'd been waiting for. The moment when he'd finally have his proof. He was risking everything, leaving everything in the hands of one genius detective he'd somehow come to love.
"Maybe…" He said, instantly drawing everyone's attention with just the tone of his voice. "This is another message."
Silence. L was staring at him. L was always staring at him.
"To whom, Yagami-kun?" The detective didn't blink. Didn't give any indication that he suspected. Light knew him better than to believe that. "Not us, surely. What would he have left to say to us?"
Light paused. Slowly, ever so slowly, muscles lethargic with the weight of what he was about to do, he raised his head. Turned it, seeming to scan everyone in the room, but he didn't see any of them. As far as he was concerned, there were only two people in the world.
Their eyes met. Empty darkness and glittering brown, pouring out through his eyes what he'd never been able to say, trying to fill the blank chalkboard with poetry. Trying to turn the endless litany of numbers and equations into prose. Bridging the gap.
He knew L understood what he was trying to say. He knew. L had understood from the moment they'd first realized no one was going to die. He could have just left it at that.
But he didn't want to. He wanted to break the silence. He wanted L to know, beyond a doubt, what he already thought.
"Not for the task force, Ryuuzaki." He said, never letting his eyes waver in the slightest. "It's a message for someone else. Someone special. Someone he loves."
The world stopped spinning. The others were frozen, subconsciously aware that something was going on, beyond the confines of their own meagre imaginations. They
would never understand, of course. No one would have imagined exactly what was going on. But they could feel it in the air, the tension, the suspense. The workings of something that might very well change the world.
Light waited. L had to react. If he didn't, then that would mean that he was indifferent, and that just wasn't possible. It wasn't the sort of thing you could be indifferent about. And yet, it seemed that he really was just going to sit there like nothing was happening.
And then he changed. He never moved, but he changed. The black voids sunk into his face shifted, and suddenly they weren't voids any more. The darkness fell away like a curtain, and Light saw then that they weren't empty, never had been. They were full of millions of tiny, far-off lights, glittering in the darkness like stars in the night sky. And there, nestled in among all the burnt-out husks of lonesome days and tragic nights was a newborn sun, sending its first bright rays out to the only person in the universe who would ever be allowed to see them.
And then Light knew.
He felt his fingers shaking against his lips, although he didn't really remember putting them there. He felt the other's eyes on him, heard his father's concerned baritone, but didn't bother to listen. There wasn't anything that the old man could say that would even approach the realm of important. Nothing anyone else could possibly say would ever have any meaning to him ever again. He'd seen the sun, and it was in L's eyes.
He mumbled something inane and fled the room. He could still feel the heat burning into his back, even after the door clicked shut behind him. Down the hall, in the elevator, up in their room, still he could feel it, delicious flames licking at the edges of his soul like solar flares licking the edges of space. Suddenly, it was he who was empty, he who carried the void within him. Or maybe it had always been him. Maybe it was the black hole worming its way through his soul that had kept him from seeing that light before. He had sucked it in without even knowing it was there.
He was still standing there, in the middle of their room, his hand unmoving over his mouth, when the door silently opened and silently closed. He was still there when bare feet padded silently over the plush carpet. He was still there when scrawny arms that had always been warm wrapped themselves around his waist and a pale, glimmering face propped itself against his shoulder.
"There are things…" The detective whispered in his ear, and Light heard every word, even the ones he didn't say. "We need to talk about, aren't there, Yagami-kun?"
"Yes, L." Light whispered back, letting his hand slowly fall down on top of the others'. "There are."
The silence was broken. The equation, written in ball-point on an eternally new sheet of paper, satisfied itself. The story, scratched out on the crowded margins of a chalkboard, came to its conclusion. The black and white went through a prism and came out a rainbow, and the colour blurred so much that it just gave up on being separate and formed back together again. Great things would be done, whether the rest of the world knew about it or not. And for once, Light didn't care.
That was the only difference between them, really. It wasn't much. A shift in perspective. That was all that separated them, as they were now, from the them that they always had been. Just a different point of view. Just a little shift, but that was enough.
Enough to change everything.
Just so you know... THEY ARE NOT CHAINED TOGETHER. This is after that. Back when Light has his memories and L lets him go. So no flaming me about any of that.
Anyways... Much thanks goes out to Silver Sole Alchemist, my amazing beta. I really must learn how to spell your name. GO READ HER STUFF.
Reviews will be printed off and given a place of honour in my shrine. Flames will be used as incense.
With love, Jiia