Title: Three of Pentacles
Author: Evil Day
Fandom: Death Note
Pairing: Raito x L
Rating: let's say T or PG13 to be safe. It is yaoi.
Spoilers: Oh, yes. Everything up to…chapter 58. But that didn't happen in my world.
Disclaimer: I own many things. Death Note is not one of them.
Summary: The Kira investigation continues…and Raito is still without his memories. When something happens to Misa, Raito is left with something he never wanted. Thankfully, that something is what might bring he and L together. Raito x L yaoi.
And now, it's really AU, due to some inaccuracies pertaining to the Death Note. Please just roll with me on this one…it's going somewhere lol
Where did I go? My son's first birthday was this week. Yay! And I had to plan a party. Or rather, I had to listen to my Mom plan a party for the past week. What? I don't wanna do it! I mailed the invitations! Oh, and I picked out the part theme – Monsters! I'll post pics of the party on my author page, check 'em out! And for more on what I've been doing besides writing my strange little fic, read my closing notes. And now, I bring you…
Three of Pentacles, chapter 9!
L sat alone at the computer desk in the living room, trying his very best to work. The case that he and Raito had chosen was on the very brink of being complete. It hadn't been the sort of case that L would have normally selected simply due to the lack of difficulty, but he didn't want there to be anything that could possibly take his attention away from his true task.
Clicking his mouse, he closed the window he had been working in with a heavy sigh. He couldn't concentrate again. His unwarranted thoughts about Raito had been increasing in frequency over the past few days, and it wasn't only pertaining to the Kira case. Raito had simply been on his mind far too often, especially for someone that wasn't exactly far away.
L hugged his arms around his knees, pressing his toes into the soft seat of the computer chair. What would it be like to hold Raito-kun as close he was always holding himself?
His deadened features betrayed no obvious reaction, but inside, his mind was calculating.
Was this a weakness? L thought that it probably was. Perhaps that was part of the appeal.
Forgoing thought entirely, he put his hands on the armrests of the chair and touched his feet to the carpet, one at a time. He shut the computer off completely, snapping it shut and walking away into the hall.
L put his hand on the doorknob that opened into he and Raito's room. A part of him was angry with himself for succumbing to something so indistinct and incalculable in the first place. He couldn't rationalize what it was that he felt for Raito-kun, nor could he meticulously identify and solve the reasons why it was so difficult for him to even touch something so simple as another person's hand. There were no devastating memories, no conclusive evidence to prove that this was truly an ailment deserving of diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
But it ate away at certain parts of his inner landscape. An irrational craving is what he classified it as, but even that wasn't something he could file away so easily. The name was just as vague as the symptoms themselves.
L pushed the door open slowly, watching as the glow from the bright hallway trickled into the room, casting rivulets of light and shadow across the rumpled sheets of the bed.
He stood without moving as the beams illuminated the face of Yagami Raito. He didn't stir, and L knew he was sleeping soundly. He almost left at the sight, but he knew there wasn't any other way to rid his mind of the ambiguous ache. Casting off the rest of his reasoning, he shut the bedroom door.
Stepping softly, L lifted his right leg first and climbed onto his side of the mattress. Moving forward so that he was in the middle of the bed, he balanced himself on the tips of his feet, using his toes as leverage to assume his normal position. His left arm coiled around his knees, hidden beneath baggy blue and faded jeans.
His right arm extended outward, pulled by an unseen and untouchable force. He stopped just short of Raito's face, fingers hovering within inches of the smooth white skin. His hand was frozen in place, and briefly L allowed himself to wonder if he wasn't stirring up trouble where it wasn't needed.
'This is not part of Kira,' he thought silently, and his inner voice was firm. 'This is only Raito-kun. This is…what I have decided.'
The narrow tip of L's index finger lightly brushed the skin of Raito's cheek. The flesh there was just as soft as he had imagined it would be, but there was a firmness to it, hidden underneath.
The hand that was on L's knee crept up to his own face, and within moments L's thumb sought out a place in his mouth, stuck between his teeth. He chewed absentmindedly, running his other hand gracefully down Raito's face. The younger man was sleeping on his back with his face towards the ceiling, and hesitantly L's searching finger settled on his jaw, grazing the surface.
Raito twitched in his sleep, and just as quickly L's right hand darted back to his knees again. His left hand remained in place at the side of his own mouth, gnawing curiously at his thumbnail.
Was this wrong? He wouldn't have jumped at the sight of Raito-kun sensing him in his sleep if he hadn't thought he was at least somewhat in violation of the rights of the other boy.
L surveyed the scene with a detective's eye. Raito only slept with a single sheet in the summer, but sometime during his sleep it had gotten kicked and pushed down so that it only covered his feet and part of his legs below the knees. As always, he slept only in a pair of pajama bottoms. Tonight's choice was red and black plaid flannel. The bare skin of his chest was as pale as that on his face, and L wondered if it felt the same. Maybe it was different.
L wasn't sure if he ought to find out.
A short frown crossed Raito's features, but it was soon replaced with the peace of sleep once more. L moved his face in a bit closer.
The younger man's eyes slid open. He met the intense gaze of L without a start, something he'd had to adapt to over time. His face still held the essence of someone who still wasn't sure if they were still dreaming or not.
"What's wrong?" Raito rubbed at his cheek with the back of his hand. L thought that maybe Raito could feel his lingering touch, but he said nothing to that effect.
"I am…I have been thinking again."
"About what?" Raito blinked a few times, his eyes adjusting to the shadowy atmosphere.
Sleep-filled eyes met L's gaunt and unreadable expression, although L suspected that Raito could almost see straight through him. Almost.
Raito lifted his upper body and rested back on his elbows, appearing slightly more awake.
"What do you want?" Raito's voice held no irritation or sense of annoyance. He asked the question sounding for all the world like he wanted the real answer this time.
L didn't think he had one. He knew he could offer up a choppy explanation of why he might possibly feel such a way, but as for what he wanted Raito to do exactly…he didn't know.
He couldn't ask. He wanted what he couldn't understand.
The thought of not having an answer was frustrating, and L pulled his knees closer to his chest in defiance. His teeth worked at this thumbnail furiously, digging for the truth within his mouth. It wasn't there.
He was just toying around with the idea of resigning himself to his fate and leaving when Raito suddenly sat up on the bed and crossed his legs in front himself, facing L. His expression was blank, but open, and his arms were at his sides, his hands resting on his thighs.
L stared, watching Raito's face in the dark. His eyes had adjusted somewhat to the lack of light, but seeing him this way evoked the feeling of being in another place entirely. Uncertainty was masked by almost total night, and the connection he felt to Raito-kun was strengthened by the weakness of his other senses.
He took his thumb away from his lips, but that was all.
Raito let out a short, even-tempered laugh, and it was so small and quiet that L barely had time to catch it before it faded into the darkness.
"Get off of your toes for once." The tone that Raito's voice held was tinged with amusement, and L couldn't help but teeter a bit with his balance, thinking about the what the younger man thought so funny.
"Raito-kun, sitting like this is quite important for my thought process."
L watched as Raito chose his words carefully.
"It's not something that you can analyze, Ryuuzaki." Raito spoke plainly this time, keeping his voice low even though there was no one to hear them. "You're thinking about this too much. It's just the opposite."
The detective stared, mulling over that statement with a sinking feeling. He had suspected that might be the case, and it was something he wasn't sure if he would be able to do.
"Don't think about it. Don't think about anything."
Raito's hands came up and grasped L's upper arms. L's muscles tensed and his shoulders rose in a subconscious defense, but Raito wasn't thrown off for a moment. Holding on firmly but without putting any real pressure on the older man's arms, he pulled ever so slightly towards himself until L's balance was thrown.
The moment L's knees came down on the mattress, Raito was up on his own knees. He let go of the detective's arms and waited, counting the seconds and watching L's f ace no more than a foot away. L knew that he was under scrutiny, but he did as Raito had suggested and avoided thinking about it entirely.
"Ryuuzaki, I have to ask…don't you still think that I may be Kira?"
"…The percentage of Raito-kun being a Kira at the moment has not changed." It wasn't a lie; that much was true given the current circumstances, although L deliberately chose his words.
Raito's eyes searched L's own, and even in the dark L could feel it. It was almost as if Raito were sifting through his mind, searching for something.
"Then…why me? Wouldn't this be dangerous?"
Of course it was dangerous. It was almost stupid, even, but L did not want to think of it that way. He'd been over it so many times in his mind that the worn pathways in his brain needed to rest. Raito-kun was right about that…he needed to not think about it.
"I don't have a satisfactory answer for that. I have decided that it is because…you are Raito-kun."
A look of tense acceptance crossed Raito's features, grayed out in the darkness.
Then, before L could blink, Raito's left arm was snaking around his waist, pulling insistently. His other arm found it's way around L's shoulders, and all at once L found himself locked in a firm embrace.
His chin just barely touched Raito's shoulder, and the swift motion had forced his back to straighten out some. Nearly 27 years of tension was locked into that hunched position, and the shock of that combined with the nervous proximity of Raito-kun was enough to bait L's panic. He put his hands on Raito's chest, not pushing very hard but still protesting in a feeble sort of way.
"Hey…" The rich timbre of Raito's voice resonated inches from L's ear, calm and steady. It was infectious. "Relax."
Raito's even breaths danced over the skin on L's neck, causing all of the tiny, invisible hairs to stand on end. He stopped trying to push him away, but he couldn't bring himself to relax. He wondered if he ever had before.
L kept his hands where they were and brought his forehead to join them on Raito's chest in an inadvertent attempt to hide from himself. At first he'd thought that Raito's arms were trapping him and a tinge of claustrophobia had raced through his veins, but he both listened to and felt Raito's steady breathing and felt the initial fear slipping away. Raito smelled clean, like freshly scrubbed skin with no particular scent of soap or shampoo.
There was something dangerous about this, and as that thought crossed L's mind he found it somewhat thrilling. Was he getting better? L had nothing to compare it to, but a strange thought crossed his mind and he flinched. He was completely and utterly helpless.
L knew that, logically, that wasn't totally true. He was a very skilled fighter, and if need be he could physically extricate himself from most situations, but that wasn't the sort of helpless that he was feeling at the moment. If Raito-kun truly wanted to, he could kill L, right here and now. He could slip his hands to L's throat and strangle him to death. It would only take less than a second to get to his neck from where his hands were, currently, pressed against L's back.
'Such an odd thing to think, at this moment,' he thought to himself. It was haunting him, lacing his brain with half-formed suggestions and racing images. But no matter how careless L suspected he was acting, a tiny truth inside of him said that all of this helplessness was weirdly liberating.
Raito's voice penetrated his inner musings, breaking the spell the silence was attempting to weave.
"Yes, Raito-kun?" L lifted his face and met Raito's eyes, only inches above his own.
Raito cracked a smile at L's response.
"You know, you sound the same. Like nothing strange is happening at all." Raito's grin broadened.
L sat back a little onto his heels, and Raito let his hands slide down from his shoulders, coming to rest on the small of the older man's back. L didn't try to stop him.
"Do you find this strange, Raito-kun?"
Raito shook his head, wearing a lopsided and knowing smirk.
"No. In fact…after living with you for this long, I think it's the most normal thing I've ever seen from you."
Raito purposely did not look up from his dinner, knowing exactly where the loud noises were coming from.
Bang. "Di-di-di-di-di- DA!" Bang.
Narrowed brown eyes glared over the edge of his bowl. Tsuki sat a few feet away on the floor in front of his high chair. In his tiny hand he held a clear plastic ball filled with tiny rattle seeds, an accessory that went to one of his larger play sets.
Tsuki's eyes met his father's with a look of pure determination.
"Da! Di-di-di Da!" He slammed the plastic ball against the leg of his high chair, staring Raito down. Bang.
Raito brought his attention back to his food. Giving into demands such as these was not within his realm of capability. He mentally laughed at the audacity of such a thing, a baby insisting that he interrupt his own meal just to feed him.
"Raito-kun…" L's tired drawl interrupted his stand off. Sitting next to Raito at the dining room table with the computer open in front of him, he didn't even spare a glance at the younger man, too occupied by his current situation. "I am very busy right now. Can you please feed Tsuki?"
Raito responded with an annoyed scoff and a curled lip in L's direction.
"Why? What are you doing?"
L pointed at the screen of his computer. "I am informing the police on the suspect we have narrowed the search down to. I will only be a few minutes longer." L resumed typing, and Raito knew that the matter was closed.
Raito sat for approximately 5 seconds, fuming in silence, although he knew that if he sat any longer, L would have called it pouting. Wanting to avoid any discussion of that sort, he stood up from his chair haughtily and picked up Tsuki, placing him in the high chair without looking at him directly.
Walking into the kitchen, he took one of the plastic toddler spoons from the drawer he'd noticed had appeared some time ago, and then stood in the middle of the floor, looking back and forth.
"Where's the baby food?" he asked, sounding exactly as annoyed as he really was.
L paid the tone little mind.
"The cabinet by the fridge, on the left."
Raito pushed his fingers around through the little glass jars, looking at all the different kinds of puree the food companies had managed to come up with. He decided on something that was about as far away from candy he could find. Broccoli.
Taking the jar and the spoon back to the dining room, Raito pulled a chair and sat down in front of the high chair. Tsuki began to bang on the high chair tray impatiently as soon as he saw the signs of dinner Raito held in his hands.
Raito forced his face into neutral. He'd promised the baby more attention, and he knew it, and no matter what had actually transpired in order for Raito to make such a promise didn't matter. Maybe Tsuki was acting this way because he wanted Raito's attention.
Tsuki slammed his hands down on the tray again, yelling as loud as he could. Raito felt his eye twitch, and he gritted his teeth to keep from yelling back. That would just look ridiculous…but it didn't change the fact that he still wanted to.
"No, Raito-kun. Please, give him cereal first. After he eats a handful of cereal, then give him a jar of food."
L resumed his typing, either unaware or unconcerned with the glare Raito was sending to the side of his head.
Heaving out the loudest sigh he could manage, Raito got up once more and went back into the kitchen, fishing out a box of dry cereal from the cupboard. He stuck his hand inside and grabbed a handful, taking it back to Tsuki and putting it on the tray in front of him. The baby immediately put his hand in the pile, grabbing a few pieces at a time and shoving them into his mouth.
Raito sat back and watched. This wasn't so hard, he supposed, but he knew that Tsuki couldn't feed himself with any utensils yet. He would have to do that messy job, and he hadn't ever done it before. It couldn't be that hard, though.
Tsuki took his time with the cereal, and Raito grabbed his own dinner from across the table, making sure to stick his arm in between L and his computer as he worked.
The older detective didn't even blink. As Raito had learned not to jump or yell when awoken at odd hours by L's face stuck into his own, L too had learned a few things in his time with the younger man. Silently riding out a stubborn hissy fit was one of those things.
Peace reigned for roughly three minutes.
Raito set his bowl down on the table, finally finished with his own dinner. L still typed furiously to his right. Tsuki still shoved little pieces of cereal into his mouth on the left.
Eyeing the other two residents of the building secretively, L clicked out of the window he was working in. He would have to wait until the police apprehended the suspect before anything further could be done. Satisfied for the moment, he kept quiet about being finished, wanting to watch the proceedings from his front row seat.
Raito sat stiff and silent, his back pressed against the wooden chair. His arms were folded against his chest, and he was watching Tsuki with a tired stare.
"Ba…ba-ba-ba-ba…" Tsuki picked up another piece of cereal. There were only about ten or so left from the handful Raito had dumped on the tray. Pinching the tiny ring in his hand, he met Raito's gaze and flung the cereal over the edge of the tray. Raito watched it fall onto the carpet.
"Ba?" Tsuki grinned widely at his father, and his smile pulled his face so wide his cheeks rounded into little circles, dimples marking the left side. Putting his hand to the tray again, he grabbed two more pieces of cereal and let them go over the edge. They, too, fell to the carpet.
"Ryuuzaki, " Raito pointed at Tsuki, giving the older detective an offended stare, "He's throwing his cereal."
"Then feed him from the jar." L thought it was a simple enough conclusion, but Raito was withholding intelligence in favor of being difficult. L smiled, his face turned away from the two of them. His partner's behavior was almost comfortingly Raito-like.
Raito picked up the jar of baby food, twisting off the cap with an audible pop. Stirring it with the plastic spoon, he brought a small amount to his nose and sniffed.
"…Ugh. He'll really eat this?"
L nodded, his eyes trained on the laptop screen.
Turning his attention to the baby once more, Raito pushed the spoonful of pureed broccoli to Tsuki's mouth. Tsuki ate it easily, well used to being fed just about anything that could be ground into a paste.
"Hm." Raito mentally shrugged. This wasn't as awful as he'd suspected it might be. For some reason, he had imagined that the baby would make a huge mess or rub broccoli in his hair, or something else equally nauseating to Raito. But Tsuki took bite after patient bite, until the jar was almost halfway gone.
"Is it difficult, Raito-kun?"
L's eyes met Raito's briefly over the top edge of the laptop L was still pretending to be using. The older man had been watching avidly from his place at the dining room table, finding that the sight of Raito feeding his son was almost endearing. If Raito hadn't been wearing his standard but subtle "unhappy face" (which L had concluded long ago was a perfect hybrid between boredom and elitism), it would have been almost charming.
"No, I suppose not," came the indifferent reply. "At least it isn't messy."
"Ah." L knew how feedings ended. But Raito did not, which was most, if not all, of the fun.
The spoon was just hovering near Tsuki's mouth when the baby suddenly decided that he wanted to feed himself. Quickly his hand darted up from his side and grabbed at the spoon Raito held. He missed, only because Raito saw the tiny hand moving just soon enough to move it out of the way.
"Don't grab at it…just eat it." Raito's voice was firm, and Tsuki regarded his father's face carefully as he was offered the spoon again, more cautiously this time. He ate the spoonful, then reached out again and tried to take the now empty utensil away from Raito.
Raito pulled on his end of the spoon. Tsuki's grip was surprisingly strong, and all of his fingers were wrapped tightly around the plastic.
"No! Quit it…let go!" Raito pried the little fingers from the spoon one by one, yanking it back.
"Da di-di-di-di da!" Tsuki laughed and hit his hands on the high chair tray.
Setting his mouth in a straight line, Raito scooped up another spoonful of broccoli, eyeing Tsuki closely as he brought the food towards the baby's face. Tsuki opened his mouth, waiting for the bite. As soon as the broccoli was an inch or so from his mouth, Tsuki grabbed at the spoon again. Raito jerked his arm back but the baby's fingers were already closed around the top of the spoon, squishing into the broccoli and getting it all over his hand.
"Damn it!" Raito turned his anger to L. "How do you make him stop?"
L feigned irritation with his now imaginary police dealings, tossing an uninterested look in Raito's direction.
"It is a natural reaction at his age. He is interested in learning to feed himself. You simply must not allow him to take the spoon."
"Well, if it's so easy for you, then you do it."
"Raito-kun…I am busy."
The younger man watched L as he worked, snatching the spoon back into his own grip. L's eyes and attention were on the computer, but his toes were working wildly, moving and twisting around on the edge of the chair seat. Raito knew this action well, and deduced from it that L was either very nervous, or very amused. Sheer pessimism and a nagging hunch told him it was the latter.
Ignoring the discovery, Raito turned his attention back to the baby, who was wiping broccoli all over the high chair. He exhaled sharply through his nose, looking into the jar and seeing that there wasn't very much food left inside. Enough for two or three more baby-sized bits sat at the bottom of the glass jar, and Raito decided just to hurry up and have the whole ordeal over and done with.
He scraped the bottom and sides of the jar with the baby spoon, heaping the rest of the puree into one huge bite. If Tsuki put his hand in it again, then Raito would be done, since all the food would be gone. Feeling confident in his plan, he lifted the spoon up and edged it towards Tsuki's mouth, watching for his son's hand.
Tsuki made no attempts to grab at the utensil this time around. He opened his mouth wide, and Raito dumped the entire contents of the rest of the jar into his mouth.
Tsuki's eyes widened and then scrunched shut, and he took a deep breath around his mouthful of broccoli, making a suddenly strange face. He lifted his chin, his mouth still open and baby food still on his tongue and in his mouth.
Raito looked at L, but before he could wonder what the detective meant by that command, Tsuki sneezed.
Many things happened all at once. Raito realized that Tsuki's odd expression was the beginnings of a powerful baby sneeze. He also realized, in the same moment, that L had meant for him to duck as in, 'duck down or else you will be covered in baby food'.
However, Raito had not ducked and instead stayed exactly where he had been. He was still in that exact same position, staring at L, only now he had been sprayed with a mixture of broccoli puree and baby spit.
A white-hot flame of anger flickered in the recesses of Raito's heart and threatened to grow by the second. He could smell broccoli. He could feel it in his eyelashes. He looked down.
L's toes were curled around the edge of the seat he wasn't able to sit in correctly, frozen in anticipation.
Raito closed his eyes.
"Da di-di-di-di- Di! Ba!"
Tsuki waved his hands, finding sneezing to be fun. L waited patiently, withholding all commentary.
All at once, Raito stood up from his seat and slammed the plastic spoon down on the dining table, a foot or so from L's computer. The entire table shook from the force of the blow. Standing upright, Raito stomped out of the room, the lush carpet muffling his heavy footsteps.
Tsuki and L both watched him go. Tsuki, of course, had no idea anything was wrong, and as L looked over at the baby he found him playing with the mess on his high chair tray. Tiny fingertips painted swirls and circles of broccoli puree as Tsuki babbled breathily to himself.
L smiled once more, the second time in a matter of minutes. Raito-kun was most upset, but that wasn't what he was smiling about.
Ahh…Since I was gone for a long while, I kept writing until the chapter was of decent length. The second half was very easy to write, since it's, um, something I've experienced. Lolz. The first half was incredibly difficult for me to write, and is part of the reason this chapter took so long in coming. Cause see, it's not really sexy at all, but in a way, it's incredibly sexy. The sheer amount of tension and uncertianty alone makes it sexy at least for me, so every couple of sentences I had to stop and gnaw at my keyboard.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading!
My next Death Note project, unfortunately, will not be posted on fan fiction dot net, due to the still current ban on explicit sexual content, and the last thing I want is my account deleted. I'm going to be starting a Raito x L kink series. Basically a series of one-shots exploring the sickest and most disturbing sexual dysfunctions (kinks) I can come up with. Sounds like fun for me, yay! So, if you're into that sort of thing, you can add me on Live Journal, which is where I also post fan fiction (and currently reside). I might post in adult fan fiction dot net, as well. Idk.
Just go to my author page. There's lots of fun stuff to do there, anyway
MY TREASURED REVIEWERS! I HEART YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH! THANK YOU!
Oztan (I'm sorry, I have to lolz. Your reviews are fun, and I strangely enjoy your demands)
Shadows (your reviews keep me grounded, and I thank you for that. You always let me know exactly how clear or unclear certain things are, and it's really helpful because that's how I gauge how much more to reveal. You are actually a pretty important factor in the integrity of my fic, thank you very much!)
Nokturnal Augury (THANKS SO MUCH once again for helping me out with the unedited scenes!)