Okay, well, I guess I have pretty much officially moved in to the Death Note section; and it was only a matter of time before I dragged my long-time co-writer Narroch in with me. Not that she put up much of a fight, incidentally…
Narroch: None at all. Been a big fan of Death Note since it first came out!
Robinrocks: So. Anyone familiar with Small Print – this is our new Small Print. This is an LxLight extraordinaire –
Narroch: Stick around, you'll be glad you did. But first, Robinrocks is going to have to attempt to make the summary a little more coherent – yes, ultimately this will be a kind of "alternate" Death Note where L is resurrected and the slashy LxLight fun continues, blah blah blah, but…
Robinrocks: Yeah. Sorry. At the moment, our summary is kind of misleading. In order to make the main thrust of the fic (the resurrection thing) more believable and powerful, there is in fact a first part or "act" to Poison Apple, set during the chained-together arc. Yes, how cliché – but oh-so-fun. :) And obviously we couldn't cram all that into the summary, but in case you start reading and are confused: YES, the first act, Fairietayle (old Medieval spelling), and all its inclusive chapters, is set BEFORE L DIES. Way before. And Light doesn't remember that he's Kira, blahblahblah, etc…
Because their fucked up little relationship has to start somewhere. :D
Narroch: And we couldn't resist the whole chain arc… it lends itself too easily to fanfic writers.
Robinrocks: This fic also embodies a lot of inspiration and imagery from Snow White (hence the title), the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty, and, to a lesser extent, Beauty and the Beast. It's Death Note with a Disney twist! And it's yaoi! What's not to love?
And so, once upon a time…
Act One: Fairietayle
Light Yagami was anything but an insomniac – it was not a label he would ever have applied to himself, because not only was he incapable of staying up all day and all night (mostly due to his life-long routine of getting a good amount of sleep so that his prestigious studies didn't suffer), he also had no desire to.
He was not, however, a heavy sleeper; he awoke easily at even the slightest noise or movement.
And so, mathematically, being chained to a real insomniac who stayed up glued to a laptop all night and then attempting to work out some kind of sleeping arrangement with him was a terrible combination that, ultimately, was doomed to failure right from the ambitious start of the chain-linked surveillance.
Light had a lot of respect for L; but at night, when L really hit his deductive stride, there was no other way of putting it:
The insomniac detective was a goddamn nuisance.
The sharp metallic clinking of the chain awoke Light in the same way it usually did at some ungodly hour of the morning; last night it had been closer to 3am, caused by L fidgeting with something at the other end of it. With a sleepy groan, the brunette teen slitted his eyes open to look blearily at the digital bedside clock.
He sighed deeply; not as terrible as last night, but still earlier than he would have liked. L tended to drag him out of bed at around six, sometimes seven if he was lucky; but if the detective knew he was awake, no doubt he'd haul him out of the warm comfy bed right now. He closed his eyes again, but not before noticing that the other side of their double bed was, as usual, empty and unslept-in, cover still tucked neatly in on the corner.
The room was still dark, due to the early hour, but not intensely dark, since the first slivers of dawn were beginning to break through the obliqueness of night, making the darkness really a murky kind of gray. Daring to open his eyes a little again, he found that he could make things out quite well; such as the closed laptop thrown unceremoniously on L's unoccupied side of the bed.
L not working? That was odd. Light wondered where he was, but didn't dare look around for him in case L saw that he wasn't still asleep and consequently pried him out of bed.
He put the detective out of his mind and buried his face in the pillow, fully prepared to go back to sleep and damn well enjoy it. However, he was only awarded five minutes of peace before the chain began to clink irritatingly again; starting to pull a little now too. Knowing full well he wasn't typing, Light wondered what the hell L could possibly be doing on the other end of the chain, and dared to open his eyes and lift his head a little so that he could follow the crumpled length of it across the bed.
He was surprised to find that L was actually crouched at the end of the bed, curled up in his usual strange perching position (complete with terrible posture) and with his usual vacant expression dominating his pale, precise features. His face was titled up towards the ceiling, his shadowy eyes scrutinizing the surface of it, and the chain…
Light blinked and then squinted, not sure he had seen correctly— No, he had; for some extremely bizarre reason, L had wrapped a loop of the chain around his own throat. And the way he was looking up at the ceiling with intense interest…
Light sincerely hoped the guy wasn't planning to hang himself.
The teen put his head down again, suddenly worried; the hanging thing had been a joke in his head, but surely…
But how could he have gotten the enigmatic detective's name?
His precious half an hour's worth of extra sleep forgotten, Light sat up sharply and gave a small tug at the chain; L almost overbalanced from his precarious position, and turned his head towards the teenager on regaining it.
"Ah, Light-kun," he greeted him absently. "Good morning."
"What the hell are you doing, Ryuzaki?" Light asked uneasily, holding up the chain.
"Hm? Oh, this." L tilted his head to the side a little, letting a few more links of the chain come into view, juxtaposed harshly around his pale neck. "Nothing. I was just bored. I didn't mean to concern you, Light-kun; although, incidentally…"
He pulled the chain loose and slipped it off over his head, letting it drop slackly onto the bedsheets.
"That's really morbid, Ryuzaki," Light said hollowly, his sudden concern being seeped away by the drowsiness that had yet to leave. "And with Kira on the loose…?"
"Ah, I thought you looked rattled." L even smirked a little, casting even more shadow over his face. "Did you perhaps think I was planning on killing myself at Kira's will?"
Light swallowed imperceptively; L's uncanny knack of being able to read his thoughts often made him feel uneasy.
As though the detective was constantly setting him up, expecting him to follow this or that line of thought and arrive at this or that conclusion, in an attempt to trap him in some sort of confession.
Although, on that note – given the handcuffs – that probably wasn't such an outlandish idea. Mind games weren't beyond the guy, certainly; L could be cruel in his methods sometimes.
"Ryuzaki, if you're just testing for my reaction," Light said coldly, "please cut it out. You play some very sick games sometimes."
"I apologize, Light-kun." There wasn't a trace of remorse in either his tone or his expression, but Light decided not to pursue it.
"Well, as it stands, I wasn't thinking about suicide," L went on flatly. "As I said, I was simply bored. Though you did seem concerned…"
"That's because I'm not Kira," Light snapped exhaustedly, flopping tiredly back onto the mattress.
"Yes, so you keep saying," L sighed in reply.
"Is it that you don't believe me, or that you don't want to believe me, Ryuzaki?"
L nibbled thoughtfully at his thumb and looked at the ceiling again.
"I don't think I have quite decided yet, Light-kun."
"Well, wake me up when you have," Light replied grouchily, yanking the pillow over his head.
"You're going back to sleep?" L questioned, sounding astonished.
"Yes, if you don't mind."
"And if I do?"
Light chose not to answer him and simply shifted to get comfortable again.
When he received no answer, L gave a very exaggerated sigh, and took up a brand new hobby of sending little flicks down the length of the chain so that they snapped against the handcuff at Light's wrist. Light endured it with mounting annoyance for as long as he could – which wasn't very long.
"You are so annoying!" He seethed from beneath the darkness of his pillow. "Go away!"
"I'm sorry, Light-kun." Again, no real remorse at all.
"No, you're not."
L gave another woeful sigh and Light felt his weight shift away further across the mattress; he breathed an internal sigh of relief and concentrated on getting back to sleep. Honestly, for the world's three top-rated detectives, the guy behaved like a five year old sometimes.
Incidentally, Light thought that L seemed more fidgety than usual this morning; usually he was awoken by the consistent rustling of sweet wrappers and the inerrant clacking of laptop keys. This was the first time L had actually deliberately antagonized him, and it wasn't as though he could blame his behavior on his getting out of the wrong side of bed – he had never gotten into it to begin with.
Light was almost back to sleep – suspended cozily in that warm comfortable place halfway between sleep and wakefulness – when he suddenly felt a solid weight (and it could only be L, of course) on his back.
Furious at being jerked awake again, Light threw the pillow off his head and turned up towards the suddenly-hyperactive detective, who was actually sitting on his back.
"Ryuzaki, it is five-thirty in the morning!" He snapped. "Will you please leave me alone?!"
"You sleep too much, Light-kun."
"Well, I need as much sleep as I can get," Light hissed, "since you insist on waking me up every five minutes!"
The wide-eyed expression on L's chalk-colored face only annoyed Light even more; it infuriated him that he looked completely clueless when Light knew that he knew exactly what he meant.
The auburn-haired teen twisted himself over underneath both the sheets and L's weight, so that he was lying on his back and could look up at his antagonist without having to strain his neck. L was chewing at his thumbnail as though he hadn't eaten for a week, staring down at him with those weird, incredibly dark eyes of his.
There was something a little unnerving about L's eyes, Light had always found; it wasn't just the way the dark circles under them, caused by sleep deprivation, seemed to enhance how eerily pale he was, and it wasn't just the way his black eyes themselves acted like perfect mirrors if you cared to look into them hard enough, and it wasn't just the way that, beneath the vacant mask, they were completely unreadable.
No, it was that, somehow, there was something soulless about them; as though (although the rest of him was obviously very much alive) he had been dragged back from the grave. That was the feeling Light got whenever he held L's gaze for a long period of time – not quite a zombie or vampire or other ridiculous figment of the imagination, but just…
…Something that wasn't quite alive.
"What do you want?" Light muttered darkly, looking away from him and his eerie eyes.
L stared at him for a while longer, as though he was mentally peeling back every layer of him in an attempt to find Kira in there somewhere; and then he too looked away.
"Nothing, really," he said finally, his voice airy. "I'm sorry, I just can't seem to sit still this morning…"
As if to prove his point, L shifted his weight and changed his position from his usual crouching one; now he sat in the most normal position Light had ever seen him in – and incidentally, given that he was now straddling Light's stomach, his knees on either side of his chest, it wasn't really all that normal at all.
"No, really," Light repeated coldly, "what do you want, Ryuzaki?"
L looked at him in puzzlement; although it was perhaps mock-puzzlement. You couldn't always tell with the genius detective.
"Nothing, Light-kun." He chewed more fiercely at his nail. "I'm just agitated."
"Agitated?" Light repeated in surprise. "What are you agitated— oh."
Light cut himself off when he suddenly came across the reason for L's agitation; although it was still quite dark, L was very close to him, and now that he had changed his sitting position, it was much easier to see the bulge between his legs, snug against the zip of his otherwise-loose jeans.
Morning wood. Light almost smirked. Ah, so that's your problem…
"Oh," he said again, because that was all he could think of to say. Wow, shock revelation; Mr Cold-and-Emotionless did have genitals…
"What?" L asked blankly, removing his thumb from his mouth.
Light blinked at him; there was no way he hadn't noticed, especially not when he was this restless.
"You said you were agitated, and I said "Oh"," Light said impatiently.
"You sounded like you had suddenly worked something out."
Light sighed irritably; he could just never tell whether L was seriously oblivious, or just yanking him around for his own amusement. If the latter was the case here, then Light was prepared to bet that it could get seriously awkward if he didn't tread very carefully.
He sounded way too innocent; Light was leaning seriously towards the second choice, and decided that L was playing him up.
"Your crotch, Ryuzaki," he said abruptly, refusing to play the game with him this early in the morning.
L looked down; and then looked up again with a thoroughly bored expression on his face.
"Oh, that. Yes, I agree. That's probably the reason."
Light sighed deeply and rolled his eyes; already lamenting at his next generous offer, which would involve him getting out of bed;
"Do you want to go to the bathroom?"
But L's answer surprised him;
"No, thankyou, Light-kun. I will be fine."
"What the hell do you mean?" Light said indignantly. "You're halfway up the wall because of it!"
"I know that, and I am sorry that I'm distracting you."
"Well…" Light cleared his throat and stared at the wall. "I was thinking of you too. I know… it's not comfortable…"
L nodded absently.
"So, uh…" Light could feel a little heat creeping up his face now, and was glad of the dawn darkness. "Don't… you want to go take care of it…?"
"That's very kind of you, Light-kun, but I don't deal with it like that."
"What?" He asked in surprise. "What the hell do you do, then?"
He immediately wished he hadn't asked that question; the heat in his face burned a little hotter as he realized that he just asked L, of all people, how he jerked off.
"What, you just…?" Despite himself, Light asked the question anyway.
"Let it go away on its own."
Light shook his head incredulously.
"Ryuzaki, that's… that's just weird…"
Then again, Light remembered dryly, this was L. L, who lived on a diet of pure sugar and calories, perched on chairs as though he was about to jump back off them, had a vendetta against socks and held things as though he thought they were contaminated.
Maybe that wasn't really so weird after all, at least not for him.
"It's just something I don't do. I never have."
"Never?" Light found that hard to believe. "Not even when you were thirteen or something?"
"I know it sounds unbelievable to you, Light-kun, but I am speaking the truth."
"No, I believe you," Light replied flatly. "Somehow, when you say it, it doesn't seem all that unbelievable."
"I just don't see the point in it."
"Oh, no, because heaven forbid," Light agreed mockingly, suddenly getting rather annoyed with the supercilious attitude the detective was taking about the whole thing, "you might actually like it, and then you'd be the same as all us other mere mortals."
L scowled in the dark.
"That's very unkind, Light-kun."
"You're the one acting like it's not good enough for you!" Light snapped. "Listen, if you don't want to go to the bathroom, will you please go away?"
"Am I making you uncomfortable?"
Light considered that L really did have the capacity to be extremely slow; he was straddling him, hard-on waging war against his jeans, and then asking if Light felt at all uncomfortable with the situation.
"Just a little," Light muttered blackly, sarcasm congealing on his voice. "I'm sorry to be rude, Ryuzaki, but would you please move?"
"Yes, of course, I apologize…"
Light breathed an inaudible sigh as he felt L's weight shift off him; the chain clinked musically as the detective went over to his own side of the bed and, to Light's surprise, actually lay down on top of the covers.
"Now what are you doing?" Light asked irritably.
Which wasn't really an understatement, actually – Light looked across at him and found that he was lying on his back, gazing up the ceiling, and not doing much else.
Light rolled his eyes, giving up on him and his strange behavior, and turned over away from him. Maybe L was actually going to go to sleep – in all the time they had been stuck together, Light had only ever seen him sleep a few scant times, usually on the floor where he eventually just collapsed. He presumed he had slept more often than that, but could only conclude that L slept briefly while Light himself was asleep.
His mind drifted off, began to float amidst colors, probably induced by the fact that was falling asleep again. He found himself strangely remembering flashes of the old Japanese-subtitled version of Disney's Sleeping Beauty he and Sayu had once watched, many years ago, and caught himself thinking it would be very nice if L would prick his nail-bitten finger and fall asleep like that, if only so that Light himself could get a moment's peace.
There was no movement or sound at all, and Light was happy to deduce that L had in fact fallen asleep; he himself lay with his eyes half-closed, enjoying the peace of the gradually-lightening room as dawn broke higher and higher.
Light sighed tiredly, his half-dreaming reverie broken by the inquisitive voice.
"Yes, Ryuzaki?" He replied sleepily; he looked over his shoulder at L, who was still in exactly the same position.
Unmoving, unblinking; just lying there, still as death, and probably still with the bulge between his legs, if Light would care to look. He almost seemed to be radiating over contemplative self-pity, and Light was in no mood to empathize with him.
L was silent for a while.
"What?" Light pressed, closing his eyes and turning away again.
"Do you hate me?"
Light bit the inside of his cheek in severe irritation; again, he was unsure if this was just an act, or a test, on L's part, or if he was really being sincere. He sounded serious; but if Light was a good actor, then L certainly gave him a run for his money.
"No, Ryuzaki," he sighed finally. "I find you severely annoying, but I don't hate you. We're friends, remember?"
"You don't hate me?"
L waited a very long time before replying; so long, in fact, that the room had begun to turn the pink and gold of aurora, and Light had eventually drifted back to sleep, before he whispered, more to himself;
"Yes, you do."
"You should eat something more substantial for breakfast, you know," Light said finally, taking a bite out of his perfectly-made toast.
L scrutinized him across the table over a delicately-held sugar cube poised to descend into his coffee.
"You do not consider strawberries substantial, Light-kun?"
"Not when they're covered in sugar and arranged on top of a slice of cake, no."
L speared one of the strawberries with his fork and put it into his mouth out of sheer defiance; Light averted his gaze elsewhere to tell him that he was not biting.
"Did you enjoy your extra time asleep this morning, Light-kun?" L went on, acting as though he hadn't noticed that Light was ignoring him when, in fact, Light knew it was impossible for a detective of L's standing not to notice something as obvious as that.
"Yes, thankyou, Ryuzaki," the teen replied stiffly.
Did you enjoy lying there with a hard-on you were too up yourself to relieve yourself of? He thought bitterly in reply.
He was still very annoyed at L for this morning; but it didn't help that L was not, in fact, in a very good mood at all. The carefully-posed questions, belying friendliness, were enough to tell Light that. L didn't care if Light had enjoyed his extra half an hour or not, and if he were in a better mood, he actually wouldn't have asked – the fact that he had was just because he was being poisonous. It was a sugar-coated jab at the younger investigator, and Light didn't appreciate it – it seemed to distract L that Light needed more sleep than him, and he was loathe to allow him the amount that he needed.
As it happened, it was eight in the morning; but L considered this a late start, even though the rest of the investigation team hadn't arrived yet. And due to that, L had no-one else to vent his irritation on but Light, making the latter the unfortunate target. Light could only hope that L would refocus his foul mood onto Matsuda when the unfortunate detective put in an appearance; as he often did.
Light ate his toast while watching the detective finish his cake; incidentally, it looked as though he had thoroughly enjoyed it, but Light couldn't help but frown.
"No wonder you always look so ill," he observed finally, maybe just eager to get in a snipe of his own.
"You think I look unwell?" L repeated, sounding surprised.
Light looked at him; yes, he looked the same as he always did, from his intense, coal-rimmed eyes to the posture he held – the one that would make a chiropractor most likely pass out in horror – to the way he curled up in his chair to the way his ebony hair fell across his bleached face—
"I'm sorry, Ryuzaki, but…" Light brushed a little of his own hair back. "Yeah, you do look kind of sickly. I don't just mean today, by the way."
"You are concerned about me?" There was a delighted little lilt in the detective's voice, but Light was wary of it; it had a cruel tint to it, as though L was subtly mocking the notion that Light might be worried about him.
"I might be if I didn't know you," Light answered sharply, "but since I do, and know you always look like that… no, I'm not."
L gave a little introverted smirk and sipped at his coffee, holding it in that precarious fingertip fashion.
"What if I was to become sick, Light-kun?" He asked. "Would you be concerned for me then?"
Oh, here it came; Light was fed up with these hidden questions to determine whether or not the percentage of L's suspicion of him as Kira should be risen or lowered. He didn't understand how and why L just couldn't work it out that he wasn't Kira, but the more he insisted, the more L seemed to suspect him.
Which made perfect logical sense, in all fairness; but it was damned infuriating.
"Of course I would, Ryuzaki," he answered dryly.
"Would you look after me?"
"Yes, of course."
He watched L look up at the ceiling, knowing he was processing his answers in that horribly mechanical way of his.
"But incidentally," he said, making L look at him again, "I don't want you to get sick."
"Is that why you complain about my eating preferences?" L asked blandly.
"I guess a little," Light agreed, "but, Ryuzaki… Don't you get tired of all that cake?"
"No." L's tone was clipped, as though he found Light's question completely ridiculous – and L was not going to leave any room for argument on the quality of his precious cake.
"I really think you should eat something else from time to time, you know."
"Such as what, Light-kun?"
"Here." Light thought it best to demonstrate and reached for the fruit bowl, taking up a gleaming apple and offering it across the table. "Eat this. You know what they say; an apple a day keeps…"
Light trailed off as he watched L stare at the apple; becoming bewildered as the detective's thumb made its way to his mouth, and a smile materialized around it. There was an oddly happy little glint that had sparked in his black eyes at the offered apple, and it made Light uneasy.
"What?" He asked warily, drawing his arm back slightly. "What's wrong with it? It's just an apple."
Wordlessly, L reached for the apple, making the chain clink against the table's surface; he took it from Light's hand by the stem, holding it the way he did everything else so that it dangled in front of his face. It was very red, almost glowing, and Light actually didn't like the way it looked against L's near-white complexion.
"L, do you know," the detective breathed in a soft, delighted voice, "Gods of Death love apples?"
"Oh, come on!" Light snapped, slamming his fist on the table. "You've deduced that I'm Kira because I gave you an apple?"
L lowered the fruit a little so that he could see Light over it.
"Are you Kira?" He asked, his tone innocent, but his eyes accusing and analytical; ready to snatch up any scrap of response Light might give.
"But you sound so defensive," L sighed. "I can't help but be suspicious, Light-kun."
"Why shouldn't I be defensive, when you keep on accusing me of murders I know I didn't commit?"
"That is just my reasoning, Light-kun. Please don't be offended."
He bit into the apple; and maybe it was just L's snow-white skin and ebony-black hair, but Light didn't have a hard time at all wishing, just for a moment, that the fruit was poisoned.
First Sleeping Beauty, now Snow White.
Light didn't know what was wrong with him – maybe it was a lack of sleep getting to him – but he knew he had to stop comparing L to fairytale princesses, because while he was only wishing their bitter ends on the detective, it was starting to get a little weird…
And probably, he reasoned uneasily, he should stop thinking how much he'd like L to drop dead while the detective insisted on labeling him as a killer, despite Light's own convincement that he was innocent
Incidentally, L didn't keel off his chair; he simply ate the apple in small efficient bites, watching Light intently all the while. His mood seemed to be a little better, but Light couldn't express any thrill over that – it was a maliciously better mood, fuelled by the fact that his suspect had just handed him the fruit once mentioned in a Kira victim's suicide note.
Light could practically hear the percentages racking up in L's head; it was getting to a point where Light got the feeling that if he ever saw L actually erecting a noose from the ceiling, it wouldn't be for himself…
"Ryuzaki," Light said patiently, clenching his fists even so, "have you ever considered, even once, how awful it is to be constantly assailed with allegations that you're a mass murderer?"
"Yes, I have considered it once." L chewed a juicy bite of apple flesh thoughtfully. "You asked me this question before, do you remember? I replied that it felt terrible."
"Then why do you keep doing it to me, when you know what it feels like?"
"Because I suspect you of being Kira." L's gaze was point-blank, as was his tone. "Only by a small percentage, as you know, Light-kun; but nevertheless, suspicion is suspicion. Additionally, I might point out that you did not object to any and all surveillance arrangements, supposedly in an effort to clear you of suspicion altogether." L held up his own handcuffed wrist, giving it a little shake to make the chain jingle and give proof to his point. "This is for both our benefits."
"I know that," Light agreed jadedly. "It's not the situation, Ryuzaki, it's just…"
"I understand it must be tough going on you, Light-kun, and I greatly appreciate how maturely you are handling this; much better than Amane-san, it must be said. But it must have occurred to you that if you are chained to me because I suspect you of being Kira, then it only follows that I will question you as such."
"Of course I know that!" Light snapped. "It's not what you do, Ryuzaki; it's the way you do it."
"How do you mean?"
"It's just, sometimes…" Light trailed off uncertainly, not sure whether it was crossing the line to tell L exactly how he felt; but then, L never spared his feelings, did he? That was the whole problem. "Sometimes it just feels like you're getting way too much of a kick out of all this. It's like you think it's a game or something…"
"I am not allowed to enjoy my work?" L asked innocently, licking at the apple core.
"Ryuzaki!" Light stared at him. "Taking pleasure in accusing someone of murder… It's not something you should enjoy."
"But if my job is to deduce things based only on clues and evidence, with no tangible factual origin, isn't it normal to feel satisfaction when one of my deductions proves correct? It is a natural human reaction, Light-kun; I can't help it."
"But none of your deductions have been proven right yet!" Light argued. "You still haven't caught Kira!"
"I think I would disagree with you, Light-kun," L said simply, glancing at the chain; Light followed the movement of his dark eyes and felt annoyance flare in him when he too came to rest at the chain imprisoning him. Binding him to L's suspicion.
"Your confinement of Misa and I all but cleared us," he replied coldly. "This is just because you don't have any other suspects, any other leads…"
L shrugged lazily, finally dropping the apple core onto his empty plate.
Light paused, furious with the detective.
"Ryuzaki, remember this morning? When you asked if I hated you, and I said no?"
"Well, I take it back."
L only smirked, even as Light glared blazingly at him.
"I suspected that you might." He flicked at the chain. "Not that it changes anything."
"Doesn't my hatred of you make the Kira percentage go up or something?" Light asked mockingly.
"Not necessarily. You are angry, after all. It is natural to feel hatred when you are angry at someone. Unless…" L took up gnawing at his thumb again as he averted his thoughtful gaze to the far wall. "…Kira acts solely out of anger…?"
"Maybe." Light gave an offish shrug. "I'm not Kira, so I wouldn't know how he or she works."
There was a glint in L's eyes as he paused, and then noted;
"I notice you were careful to say both gender pronouns, implying your lack of knowledge of Kira's gender… or is that perhaps misdirection on your part, Light-kun?"
Light wanted to bang his head on the table – there was just no winning with this guy. He had been careful to mention both because he knew that if he had merely carelessly said "he" in reference to Kira, simply as a means of addressing the elusive killer, L would have immediately jumped on him for that too, declaring that he seemed certain that Kira was male, and hey, how convenient, Light-kun was male too.
"Ryuzaki, this is getting ridiculous," he seethed; the detective seemed to be more cruelly relentless than usual today, and Light was beginning to find it intolerable – and he still had the whole day chained to the detective ahead of him before he could crawl into bed and try to forget they were still only six feet apart. "These… accusations, if you can even call them that, surely can't be getting you anywhere as far as your investigation into me is concerned."
"Individually, no," L admitted, "but together, they aid my cross-examination of you and your behavior and your thought process because they put increasing pressure on you. That may sound unethical, and perhaps it is, but eventually, Light-kun, it will reach a point where you will either snap under the force I have placed on you and give yourself away as Kira, or… the innocence you proclaim will become apparent and I will be forced to truthfully and satisfactorily conclude that you are indeed not Kira."
"And exactly how likely do you think the latter is?" Light asked, daring to put a little hope into the genius detective's reasoning.
L looked up at the ceiling for a very long time, deep in thought, before eventually coming back with;
"About two percent, Light-kun."
Light's heart sank, half-disappointed and half-furious.
"You honestly believe that it's ninety-eight percent likely that I will reveal myself to you as Kira?" He spat.
"No. There are other possibilities, after all."
"No, Ryuzaki!" Light snapped, finally losing his patience under L's calm dissection. "There's only one possibility, and that is that I'm innocent! I'm not Kira, I know I'm not!"
"Light-kun," L sighed heavily, suddenly looking very tired, "I wish it were as easy as simply believing you when you say that, but we both know it isn't. I know you and the rest of the investigation team don't agree with all of my methods, but you will simply have to bear with me for now."
"Frankly, Ryuzaki," Light replied stiffly, "I hate some your methods."
"You are not the only one, I assure you." L eased himself out of his chair, standing up. "We really should go downstairs and begin working. Would you care to finish your coffee?"
Light would actually have cared for nothing better than to throw the rest of his cold coffee right in L's face, get some form of retaliation in other than dodging cold interrogation tactics; and he might have done so on any other day, because L was usually pretty placid and would probably just shrug – but today he was in an oddly dangerous mood, and although Light certainly wasn't afraid of him, he thought it best not to provoke him so outrightly.
Light drained his coffee, brushed away a stray strand of hair that had fallen across his eyes, straightened his sweater, and then made it apparent that he was ready to go; L looked pretty pissed off by this point, and Light was glad. Clearly provoking him un-outrightly still worked a treat…
Subtlety was the name of the game for both of them. The silent jabs in casual conversation were constantly being lobbed between them and only the two of them could see it for what it really was. Few were clever enough to decipher the tacit yet profound ongoing battle of wits.
Sure, Light Yagami and Ryuga Hideki, or Ryuzaki, or whatever, were supposed to be friends; and, grudgingly, despite the whole "I suspect you of being a mass murderer" thing, and the whole competitive rivalry thing, and the whole L-was-the-most-infuriating-Siamese-twin-ever thing, Light supposed that they were, at least by criteria. At times it seemed like a barely-there friendship, because Light hated the way L treated him much of the time and hated to be controlled by the oddball detective and hated to be called a liar by him; and L, well… he just didn't have any conception of friendship at all, and wasn't likely to grasp the basics of it anytime soon, either.
Right now, in fact, Light found himself wondering how the hell he put up with this guy 24/7, since although they were friends, they weren't really… friends. L frankly didn't have any friends, never having the opportunity or motivation to even attempt socializing. And if Light was honest, he didn't either; at least no one that he considered on his own level. With L, their intelligence, skills at tennis and, most importantly, the Kira investigation had been enough to spark an interest in each other, so much that they could each consider the other a true friend. But what it came down to was that while L seemed eager for Light's friendship, he was just too good at making the younger boy back away warily, and did nothing to earn Light's trust at all. Light wasn't sure L even really understood what a friend actually was, even though he was lax to throw the word about.
Truthfully, Light wanted to be L's friend, really actually be his friend; but, to his dismay…
…Found that hating him was so much easier.
- Okay, most important confession of the day:
I, RobinRocks, went to Disneyland Paris in July, where, while standing in the queue for Space Mountain or the Rock 'n' Rollercoaster or whatever, I was whacked over the head with the inspiration for Poison Apple (and weirder still that I hadn't actually even seen Death Note at that point, just knew some stuff about it…). Yeah… kinda creepy that the idea for a really intense (and dirty! Did we mention it was dirty:D) LxLight fic came to me in Disneyland, but that's partly why there's such a heavy influence of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty. Although… Snow White actually lends itself remarkably well to Death Note because of the apple thing.
Narroch: And I was delighted with the endless notes outlining (most of) the plot, which she gave to me on my vacation in her home country England. (Oh what fun…) So we got right on it, and… well, we hope you all enjoyed the first chapter!
Robinrocks: And okay, not much happened in this chapter (um, named Aurora after Sleeping Beauty, but also because "aurora" means "dawn" and this was kind of the "dawn" of the fic since it was the first chapter – lame, I know…) but it gets way more LxLight-y, and we can promise that because we've done five chapters already and YOU SHOULD ALL STICK AROUND!!1111!!11!
Guys, seriously: If you like Light as seme and L as uke, stay right here – and if you like it the other way around, stay right here. As the fic progresses on to the latter stages, other treats will include MelloxMatt and obviously Near will be around somewhere too. And Ryuk too (yes, Ryuk!). It's all one big twisted intertwined "fairietayle", and we think you're gonna like it. :)
- RobinRocks and Narroch