This is Written for Calicedesang on LJ, and I hope she enjoys it
Rating: Pg-13, I guess
Spoilers: Not really
Set in: Innocent!Raito/Yotsuba Arc.
The night was still. Or at the very least, as still as it could be with the city of Tokyo surrounding and drowning out the silence. However, there was still some sort of stillness, a feeling of a safe haven – a sanctuary. Even if the city was disrupting with large neon signs lightning the streets and hiding the stars for the people on the street, here, several stores above them all, he could clearly see them, gazing up at the small pinpoints of light.
Somehow, being all alone with only the stars as the witness of his being, he felt secure. No gazing eyes, no cold stares which were trying to decipher his character, no looks of occurring disbelief at his decisions, his appearance or his personal traits. He felt stripped, and a slight hint of the emotion called fright was present in the back of head.
After all, he wasn't used to being in a larger group of people. A larger group, to him, meant more than two individuals in the same building at once. He felt out of place. And that sort of feeling disrupted his ability to stay calm. And the ability to stay calm was highly needed in the current predicament.
He had certainly no need of making a misstep. Not now. Not at this critical stage.
Eyes cast downward, leaving the glimmering points in the dark sky to glance at the thin wrist, connected to the hand currently placed on one knee. A feeling of emptiness, mixed with a strange profound state of relief, washed over him. Empty. He lifted it and shook his hand once to confirm it for himself. No clinking sound of metal against metal, no rattling of chains, no feeling of the coldness against his skin.
Maybe it had been an unwise decision. He, who was used to solitude, suddenly bound to another human being twenty-four hours a day. Of course it would bring some sort of disturbance to his mind. Especially if the other human being happened to be his prime suspect of this time's greatest murder case. Not to mention his first ever friend.
No, scratch that. Friend was the wrong term, as he'd come to conclude. It was more than that – somehow. He shifted uncomfortably, frowning to himself before looking up again, frown deepening as a cloud had come to pass over his favourite spot of stars. He instead lifted his right hand – still lacking the cuff – and instead traced the constellation.
Four stars down… three to the down-left, five to the up-right, three to the right, five in a circle, and one out to the right.
He dropped his hand again and recited the Greek mythology in his head. Aphrodite and Eros, her son, transformed into fish to be able to escape the monstrous being known as Typhon. To make sure they didn't lose each other, they tied themselves together with a cord.
He sighed. A cord, hm?
He glanced at his bare wrist again, dark eyes narrowing in thought. To make sure they didn't lose one another…
A chilly wind brewed, but he didn't mention the dark strands of hair that blew into his face and eyes, a few strands sticking to his lips. The wind was merely welcome. Hopefully it could blow this helpless feeling off.
He was nervous.
But he wasn't supposed to be. Sure, this case was hard. It was frustrating, stressful and impossibly illogic, but that was not a reason to be nervous.
Maybe his paranoia had merely increased. Or maybe he was just not eating well enough… – that was a joke. He never ate well enough. But then what was it?
Maybe it was because it was slipping out of his control. Things were suddenly going too easily. Everything seemed to follow some sort of set plan, and if there was something he knew, it was that the Kira case never went according to some plan unless someone controlled all the strings at once – on both sides.
His eyes fell once more on his bare wrist, and suddenly the wind chilled, froze him to the bone. And he shivered. It really was slipping beyond his control, wasn't it? Suddenly he felt alone, too alone, a strange feeling for him indeed, but something about the thought of being alone, bare and unprotected, open for anyone – unlinked – made him frightened.
This was beyond him. He was slipping from his rational self because he was paranoid after watching a constellation and associating himself with it. That was all.
It was certainly not because he felt more secure knowing that he was linked together with someone, and if he went down, he wouldn't be alone. Of course that wasn't the case…
"What are you doing, Ryuzaki?"
His hearing must be really off, he figured as he looked over his shoulder to meet the quizzical expression and arched brow of his prime suspect, Yagami Raito. Even if he was startled, he certainly didn't show it, and instead looked back up at the sky.
His answer was simple. "Stargazing."
"Really now?" The tone of the other's voice was suspicious, but Raito didn't ask further. The sound of clinking metal brought obsidian eyes to turn to the brunet again. "I think you forgot something."
Raito absently twirled the unfastened cuff in a perfect circle that started at his own, still cuffed, wrist, fingers holding the chain securely. L didn't even blink, just gazed at the youth calmly.
"I didn't predict that Raito-kun would wake up at this time of night. He usually likes to sleep to at least five." He explained casually, as his eyes resumed to follow the different constellations. "I needed some air." He then continued, before Raito could ask.
"Somehow the thought of you leaving the one you suspect of being Kira seems awfully unlike you." Raito stopped twirling the chain, instead walked up to him. "Still… why the roof?"
"The stars aren't visible from the streets." L explained silently.
"I see." Raito sat down next to him, silently except for the small sigh that fled past his lips. Amber eyes turned his way, and L, even though he didn't turn his head, met them. "This case is stressful, am I right?"
"Raito-kun is correct in assuming that." He mumbled, refocusing on the pinpoint of light that started the constellation he had earlier analyzed. "The constant creeping horror of knowing that I could be dead any moment, accompanied by the unfamiliar situation of working in this large a group… and…" He cast a faint look to the handcuff, still held by the younger man. "…It just stresses me."
"I'm not particularly surprised." The brunet admitted. "Especially since… this is an eerily unfamiliar situation for me as well." To emphasize his point, he twirled the chain once. One perfect circle before the chain was allowed to be dragged down by gravity. The clatter of metal against the stone of the rooftop was not as loud as most noises on the street, but in the silent night it made L jump slightly.
He watched the brunet out of the corner of his eyes, watching amber eyes slowly focus on the sky as well. He counted the seconds, waiting to see if Raito had something to say. He felt an urge to ask Raito about his favourite constellation, but wondered if that would be a ridiculous thing to ask. Curiosity finally getting the better of him, he voiced his inquiry aloud.
"My favourite?" Brown eyes blinked before the youth frowned. "Let's see…" A hand raised, along with a soft rattle of chain, and L watched with a slight creeping fascination, as the other's hand gently traced a line he himself had done not so very long ago. His heartbeat skipped once before increasing slightly in regularity, as the other dropped his hand and gave him a smile. "I think I like Pisces the most."
"Might that be because Raito-kun is born in the sign of the Pisces?"
A soft, tender laugh emitted from the teen's throat as he shook his head. "No, not because of that."
"Am I to assume that Raito-kun knows the story behind the constellation?" He traced it with his eyes once more while waiting for an answer.
"Of course I do." The chain rattled slightly again, and L felt the sudden coldness of metal against his skin, before the cuff snapped in place over his right wrist. He glanced down at it, bewildered, before glancing at the younger male. Raito gave a small grin, shaking his left hand to rattle the chain again. "We're linked. So we won't lose each other."
"But we're not fleeing from Typhon."
"No." Raito agreed, but didn't say anything further as he lied down on his back, head propped up on his folded arms. "But we're chasing him to get rid of him once and for all. And at that time it's even more important that we're together. Neither is going to go down alone."
"Hn." He hummed softly, glancing up again, gracefully hiding the smile that threatened to befall him behind a thoughtful frown.
Raito huffed. "You'll hurt your neck if you sit like that." He glanced at the younger male with a blank expression. "It's less painful in the long lead if you lie down."
"I prefer to sit this way."
"I know, reasoning ability and all…" Indeed. And he very much needed those forty percent. If he lost forty percent of his reasoning, he might do something stupid. "But still, you don't need those forty percent to watch the stars."
No, but they are needed to help him be kept in check… "I guess you're right." Raito flashed him a victorious grin, and he frowned at him before allowing himself to lay back, a sigh passing his lips as the strain on his neck disappeared. He even faintly closed his eyes, merely listening to the small sounds. The hiss of the wind that blew freely above the rooftops, the buzz from the town below, and the faint sound of the other man's regular motion of inhale-exhale. He wondered if he could hear Raito's heartbeat if he concentrated enough.
He frowned softly and gave it a try, but concluded that his own heart was drowning his ability to hear that faint a sound. "Raito-kun?"
"What time is it?"
A soft rustle, and then, "a quarter to four."
"I see." He opened his eyes again and glanced sideways to study the other's profile. His study was though interrupted as his subject turned his head, brown eyes regarding him again. He found his breath catch in his throat, like it had so many times when those earnest eyes locked with his on different occasions. Other times where when the brunet laughed, when he drew one hand through his so-constantly neat hair, and when he would mumble something and shift while deep in sleep.
There had to be something seriously wrong with him. Maybe he should have almond biscuits tomorrow, because he seriously needed those antioxidants if his breath would continue to fail him like this.
Raito arched a brow at his continuous stare, at which he felt his face heat up, and quickly turned his head to look skywards again, mortified with himself. He had to remind himself that this was his prime suspect for the Kira-case. And if his suspicions were right, this man had killed thousands of human beings out of a skewed sense of justice.
If there was any person he should not gain any sort of emotional attachment to, it was Yagami Raito.
But he had since long concluded that body and brain didn't always agree, so based on his own deduction of his state of being, he was already too far gone to tell himself to not gain an emotional attachment.
He wanted to believe that Raito was innocent – or at the very least, that he wasn't Kira. But he couldn't let his personal hopes stand in the way of his reason. All the evidence… or at least, the evidence they had, pointed towards the fact that Yagami Raito was Kira. But the reasoning was faltering. People were still dying, and yet, Raito was bound to him twenty-four-seven, without any time to kill. Unless he made a habit of leaving the teen unguarded and uncuffed, that was.
But no matter what he thought, there was the issue of his stressful state. Maybe his stress was not because of the case itself, but because of his struggle against his own emotions. Being cuffed to the person that made your heart flutter with every little word they said, and made your breath catch in your throat with a simple smile, couldn't be healthy. In the end, there could only be one outcome.
"What are you thinking about?"
He blinked and glanced at the subject of his thoughts, and firmly thought out another subject relevant to his stare up in the sky. "I was wondering… if it took Aphrodite and Eros long time to escape, and they couldn't leave each others' sides, could it be possible that their mother-son relation would grow into something deeper?"
"Incest, you mean?"
"Well… yes. Being linked with another being for a larger expanse of time… would affect your mind, wouldn't it?"
"Only your mind?" A single brow arched and he felt himself grow weak again.
"…Perhaps your body too…" He then murmured, frowning. Raito laughed; a short, amused laugh that rung crystal-like through the night. "Raito-kun thinks I'm acting foolish, isn't he?"
"Not at all." The brunet shook his head. "It's quite a common thing, being locked to someone can make one develop something that is alike the Stockholm syndrome."
"You mean a fake emotion?"
"…Not necessarily. It could also be a genuine emotion that just surfaces because you get more aware of it since you're never allowed to escape from it."
"…" L clicked his tongue once. "Has that ever happened to you?"
"Once." Raito said surreptitiously, eyes closed.
"When was that?" Curiosity suddenly peaking, L rose up on one elbow, regarding the other's still relaxed form. One brown eye cracked open to regard him.
"I happened to be forced to spend most of my time with a person whom I first took for a generally weird one, who couldn't perform the art of sensitivity, and instead went straight on with whatever thought they came up with. Except for being a great annoyance to my daily life, I didn't have any regard for that person."
"Is that so?"
"Mhm. Not only were they arrogant, but also selfish, secretive and persuasive." Raito clicked his tongue once. "However, certain circumstances caused me to gain a sense of respect for them, as well as a feeling of calm that slowly gained a hold of me. At the very same time, it was frightening."
"How can it differ so?" L cocked his head slightly, deciding to listen until Raito was finished, even if he felt a great sense of déjà vu at the other's words.
"I did not know. But time taught me that the feeling was natural, and that the emotional turmoil was caused by my own doubt. Once I had decided to determine my own feelings, it calmed. Sometimes you have to just accept what you cannot change."
"…I guess that makes sense…" He nodded, dark strands of hair once again falling into his eyes, and he wiped them away with his right hand, the chain fleetingly touching his face, sending a soft shiver down his spine. "Did you ever get the chance to tell the person about it?"
"I am a generally hesitant person when it comes to emotions, Ryuzaki."
"So you didn't."
"…" Raito turned his head slightly, his amber eyes locking with L's own, jet black ones. "Sometimes it's better to wait and see if the seasons change, Ryuzaki. Coming to terms with one's emotions is one thing, to admit them to others and risking the possibility of being let down is a completely different one."
"So… what if the other end was being just as hesitant? Just as… afraid."
The youth shrugged. "Sometimes that happens."
"But you don't like being the one taking the first step?"
"In everything except my emotions, Ryuzaki. In everything except my emotions."
They both silenced, and L let himself fall back again. "I usually don't like acting upon my emotions either."
"Do you even have any?" He let the taunt pass without even a blink, and continued.
"I lack the trust for people around me. I have seen far too much in my life to be able to openly trust another human being. Especially… Especially when it's revolving around a case."
"You're afraid to get hurt."
"Aren't we all?"
"Indeed we are…" Another silence followed, and L heard the younger man shift slightly. Another half a minute passed before Raito spoke up again. "So what is your favourite constellation?"
"…Pisces." He answered, without much thought.
"…They must have trusted each other a lot."
"Aphrodite and Eros." Raito inclined his head towards the sky. "To be able to steadily swim forward while bound to each other. As soon as one of them decides to give up, the other would be dragged down too. In order for them to reach their goal, they had to stop doubting themselves and start trusting that the other was capable of helping them get through. Trust is an important issue, especially when cooperation is inevitable."
"…" Raito had a point, of course – he always had a point – but it surely wasn't helping his self-consolation. "I guess that might be just right."
"A mutual understanding."
They sat silent for another while, both into their own thoughts. L frowned. Obviously, if he decided to trust Raito as a friend… or perhaps more, instead of his prime suspect, they might be able to move forward faster. But if he dismissed the possibility of the other being Kira, he might have himself killed.
But would dying be so bad in comparison to being able to understand trust?
They sat up at the same time, and gave each other a blink at the mirrored movement. Their gazes locked hesitantly, and they kept looking at each other for a while, studying the other's face for any hint of malice, before Raito's cuffed hand came to gently rest on L's shoulder, fingertips barely brushing at his neck.
A sense of relief suddenly flowed through him at he let his defences drop, one by one, one per passing second. One per inch that disappeared between them, on per fraction his eyes closed.
By the point that their lips touched, he was completely void of barriers, allowing the soothing feeling of the brunet's gentle touch at his neck, the texture of the younger male's hair against the back of his hand, and the warm swimming emotion of something indubitably honest as they inclined their heads, lips parting symmetrically – as with most things they did, they always thought the same train of thought – and tongues gently touching one another.
He felt himself grip the other's shirt tighter, a strong will pulling at him to get closer, and apparently Raito thought the same, as they fumbled as much as they could without breaking the kiss. The brunet lowered his hands to his waist and pulled at him firmly to draw him onto his lap, efficiently accomplishing the formerly troublesome mission.
L threaded his fingers through Raito's hair; taking delight in the smooth texture while feeling that air would soon be sufficient. Unwillingly but forced to, he broke the kiss, gasping for air while locking eyes with the younger male again, meeting a smouldering gaze of molten amber, and he flushed slightly under the intensive stare. To unload the embarrassment slightly, he twirled a lock of the other's hair absently. "So…"
"…?" Raito arched a brow.
"…If that is what you call a 'mutual understanding', then I guess that Aphrodite and Eros really had an incestuous relationship."
Raito blinked once, and then blurted out, "what?"
"… Never mind." L concluded, smiling slightly at the others utterly confused look. He glanced over Raito's shoulder and blinked. "…The stars are vanishing."
"The stars cannot vanish-…" Raito turned his head and cut himself off. "…Unless the sun rises, of course."
And as said, the sky had begun to turn from dark blue to lighter, and then towards pink, orange and red, the faint sliver of the sun peeking up from the horizon. "But the sun only hides them, so I guess they never really vanish."
"No." Raito smiled at him. "They'll always remain, as long as someone remembers that they exist."
"If I cease to exist, will you remember me?"
Raito frowned at this, and for a second, L felt a tinge of doubt in his heart. "Stop saying such ridiculous things." The chain rattled as Raito put his hand to the black-haired male's face. "We're linked. And as long as we are, I'm never going to lose you."
"…" Without his consent, a smile begun to grow on his face again, and Raito added, seemingly relieved that he was calmed;
"So don't you ever dare unlock this until we have sufficiently gotten rid of our Typhon."
With confidence now, L nodded and leaned in for another kiss. And with the same confidence, he in his mind concluded…
Yagami Raito cannot be Kira, and if he was wrong, then he'd at least die with trust, and not with regret.
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