A/N: My first Death Note fic! I'm rather proud of it, though it's incredibly, ridiculously cliche. Oh well. Until the end, I'm pretty sure I kept them relatively in character.
Mass Murder 101: Lesson One
When one spent as much time with someone as Yagami Raito had recently been forced to with the enigma that was the world-famous detective L, it was nearly impossible to keep one's feelings from getting confused.
That's what Raito kept telling himself, anyway. Because obviously, he absolutely could not fall in love with L.
It was nothing so trivial as homophobia--no, Raito was far too intelligent to be bound by extreme interpretations of a book that for all he knew was entirely made up. As far as Raito was concerned, homosexuality was natural. As far as science showed--and Raito trusted in science immensely--that homosexuals and heterosexuals differed on a genetic level only. Indeed, virtually every mammalian species studied by man had exhibited homosexual tendencies.
In any case, he didn't really care what his sexual preference was and frankly hadn't given much thought to it. Sure, if he liked men it might upset his parents, who had a rather Catholic view of it, but that would blow over eventually. And though he put up a front of trying to look good in society's eyes, Raito firmly believed that his own personal life was his business, and his business alone.
Raito couldn't fall for L--and he couldn't even believe he was thinking this--because on the off-chance that he really was Kira, this could have disastrous effects.
He didn't dare mention it to L, but everyday he felt that the possibility of his being Kira was greater. The only explanation he could think of was that he had, for whatever reason, willingly given up his memories, of course already having had a plan to get them back and throw suspicion off him. And when he did get them back...
Well, he could guess what his plan had been: Kill L. The detective was, after all, Kira's greatest nemesis. To kill L would mean victory for Kira--criminals would die at an astounding rate, and the romantic, Utopian world Kira envisioned would begin to take shape--only, he was sure, to come crashing down. And what was more, Raito would most likely take L's place at the head of the Kira investigation under the same alias, giving him access to information on virtually every criminal in the world.
But if Kira were to fall in love with L, what would happen? If Raito regained his memories, would he still love him?
Enough to save his life?
Raito considered this. To save L's life would be a virtual death sentence for himself. Because no matter how he felt, he was positive L didn't feel deeply enough for him to revoke the death sentence in store for Kira. No, that would be admitting defeat--and, Kira being the most considerable challenge he'd ever been faced with, L would never admit to defeat.
Sighing, Raito ignored the thoughts running through his mind and focused on the lengthy, boring document in front of him--information on the Yatsuba Group, who had been benefiting from the deaths of certain criminals lately far too much to be coincidence. This situation wasn't something he had the ability to ponder accurately at the moment; no, he'd have to wait for the return of his supposedly lost memories.
He looked down at the handcuff encircling his wrist, following the chain with his eyes to the person it bound him to. L was typing away at lightning speed, wide black eyes glued resolutely to the screen, though Raito knew the older man had noticed his companion's gaze.
"Is something wrong, Yagami-kun?" L asked after a while.
"Nothing, Ryuuzaki," Raito answered, mumbling. "Just... thinking."
"It... doesn't exactly pertain to the case."
Finally tearing his eyes away from the computer monitor, L looked at him with an unfathomable expression. "We are friends, Yagami-kun. You may talk to me about things other than the Kira case if you wish." He popped a chocolate-covered strawberry into his mouth.
Raito considered this offer. It wouldn't be entirely incriminating, he admitted to himself silently. After all, Kira wouldn't admit to his arch enemy that he suspected he was said mass murderer.
"I've been thinking lately," he started slowly, "that perhaps you're correct in your assumptions that I'm Kira."
L stared at him, the surprise showing very slightly in his features. "Indeed?"
"Only... I think, if I am Kira, that I must have lost my memories of it."
The detective nodded. "I believe that, yes. But I'd say, Raito-kun, that this certainly is pertinent to the case. Unless there's something else you'd like to share that makes it less relevant...?"
Raito sighed. "I... was wondering what I'd do if I were to regain these memories. I will, I'm sure, be a different person once I'm back in the Kira mentality. And though I know it is Kira's goal to kill you, I can't imagine bringing myself to it."
There was a long pause before L said quietly, "Kira does not care for anyone."
"But Raito does."
"Will you continue to care for me, Raito-kun, when your will to kill me is back?"
Here was something Raito didn't yet have an answer to. He furrowed his brow, thinking hard, as L sat patiently and watched him with a pensive look.
After what must have been well over five minutes, Raito finally spoke. "I think that when--if I was Kira, Kira was... well, something like another personality. Perhaps Kira's tool has some influence over its users? Gives them incentive--or, rather, intensifies an already existing incentive and gives them the means to act on it... And I think, that if I were to regain my memories, Kira would take over my body, but I would still exist... if that makes sense. So the Raito part of me will still care for you, yes."
"And Kira's incentive?"
Raito hesitated, knowing that his next words were practically admittance of his guilt, but he knew that L knew what he was going to say anyway. "A yearning to make the world a better place, coupled with a strong sense of justice."
"Such as your own."
"This effect you believe the weapon has on its user--it could be enough to get you acquitted, Raito-kun, or at least your sentenced reduced."
"I--I realize that."
They stared at each other in silence, L pushing another strawberry between his lips and chewing thoughtfully. After swallowing, he chewed on his thumbnail instead, and said, "Do you care deeply for me, Raito-kun?"
Raito was taken aback, his shock clear on his face as his normally exceptional talent for masking his emotions decided to leave him. "P-pardon?" he spluttered.
"Raito-kun is not an affectionate person. And yet, you admit to me things that could very well be the death of you, and you say you cannot see yourself killing me, even as Kira. Normally, you would not display such caring to a person you'd met only a few months ago--particularly if that person frequently accused you of mass murder and went so far as to lock you in a cell for fifty days to prove it... I know you better than anyone, Raito-kun, and I see in your eyes, when I mention the possibility of you being Kira, how much it hurts you."
As L reached into the mini-fridge next to the computers and pulled out a piece of strawberry cake, Raito mulled over what he'd said. It was true; he generally refrained from openly acting affectionate toward people, even his family, but lately he disregarded this rule and was freer with his feelings around L than he ought be.
"You are my only intellectual equal, Ryuuzaki," he said quietly. "No one has ever challenged me like you do--not more than once, anyway, and never has anyone held my respect like you do. I think... if Kira were to kill you, I would feel..."
"As if you were missing a part of yourself?"
L placed his thumb against his lips again. "We have encountered a problem, Raito-kun."
"And what would that be?" Raito asked, rather sarcastically.
"I should think that would be obvious," L shot back. "Though we are enemies--that is to say if you are Kira, and I'm almost sure that you are--we seem to have done an uncharacteristically stupid thing."
"Yes, I suppose falling for one another would definitely fall under that category."
"And now: the question. To forget everything that was said today, continue to be colleagues..."
"Or to carry out a secret love affair?"
Raito grinned. "Sorry."
L glared at him for a moment before his pensive look returned. "I cannot trust you, Raito-kun. Not after today, not after this conversation."
"I understand that. I can't expect you to trust me."
"Ah, but how does that saying go? 'Relationships are built on trust.'"
"I'd say these are special circumstances, wouldn't you?"
"That... is true..."
"Well... we could at least try, couldn't we?"
A brief pause, and then, "I suppose."
Raito allowed himself a small smile.
"What--eh, what do we do now?"
"Well--generally, there's, ah, kissing."
L paled visibly.
"We don't have to," Raito said hurriedly.
"No--it's--" Li sighed. "I... haven't got much experience in this area, Raito-kun. Any, in fact."
Raito blinked. "You've never kissed anyone?"
"When, praytell, would I have had the chance?" L snapped, looking annoyed.
"I'm... sorry, I just... You must be at least four or five years older than me. It's... a little strange."
"Yes, well, when have you ever thought to expect normal from me?"
"... Never. I've come to realize, after sitting next to you day after day while you continue to refuse to eat foods with less than thirty percent sugar and still like like you weigh about fifty kilograms--"
L looked at him in surprise. "How did you..."
"... You weigh more than fifty kilograms, don't you?"
Filing this away in his memory to remind himself that he would need to get some actual food into this kid, he said, "I should have realized you wouldn't have kissed anyone. You're far too asocial to have had any romantic relationships."
"That is rather impolite, Raito-kun."
Raito snorted. "As if you've ever bothered with niceties."
L bit his lip and sighed, clearly aggravated. "Are we going to do this properly or not?" he muttered, flushing.
Grinning, Raito pulled L's rolling chair closer to his own by the arm. "Seeing as I've got so much more experience with this than you--"
"You're all red. Don't tell me the world's best three detectives is nervous?"
"What could I possibly be nervous about? A kiss is simple human contact, it's not--mmph!"
The kiss was soft--out of character for Raito, L would've noticed, had his brain been less foggy--and as they pulled apart, L blinked, speechless for perhaps the first time in his life since he'd learned to talk.
Raito was grinning smugly at him.
"That was, admittedly, rather enjoyable."
"Just human contact, eh?"
"Do stop talking now, Yagami-kun. I must wipe the tape before Watari--"
Raito paled. "He was watching...?"
"Apparently so," L replied weakly.
"No. No, this could potentially be very bad."
"How bad, exactly?"
"Well. Er. Watari keeps a chainsaw in his quarters for emergencies..."
A/N: His weight really is fifty kilograms, by the way--it was in Death Note: How to Read--which is about 110 pounds. And since he's five feet ten and half inches tall, he's severely underweight, which I still do not understand as he eats sweets all day long and never gets any exercise, no matter how much of his energy his brain uses up.