Light was furious. Beyond furious. Hell, Light didn't think there was even a word for his level of anger. Not in any of the four languages he was already fluent in, and he was fairly sure Italian (which he was currently studying) wouldn't yield any results either.
No, there was simply no word in existence that could describe just how angry he was right now.
L had chained him to the fucking bed post.
Now, Light was not one who normally resorted to the fouler aspects of the English language, in fact he was a firm believer that only those with little or no imagination used the crude vocabulary.
He was also fairly sure that this case warranted the use of every single foul word he knew.
Sure, L had attached his end of the handcuffs to various stationary objects before, indeed, the very same bedpost had seen the gruelling grasp of the metal seal before. But in every single one of those cases before now L had made certain to wake Light and warn him about what he was going to do. After all, it was not only common courtesy, but both L and Light were quietly aware of the second, slightly more complex reason.
Light had become… accustomed to having L in easy reach.
He groaned and bent his head into the pillow, intent on smothering himself before thinking of the… sticky… reasons for that. Since L did not appear to be anywhere nearby right now, Light didn't really want to get himself into the position where he may… ah, "require" him.
Back to the problem, Light growled with frustration, sliding his chin forward to free one eye to glare at the current source of his woes. He pulled half-heartedly at the cuff, knowing that however hard he tried, the steel simply would not break under his will.
So he was more than a little shocked when the metal simply slid open.
Swiftly sitting up in disbelief, Light watched with complete amazement as the other handcuff simply lay on the pillow, innocently staring straight back up at him.
Well… now what was he supposed to do? It wasn't like L to simply let him go; the black-haired man did, after all, believe he was, or had been, Kira. He would never let go of his main suspect in such a way.
Was it a test? Light's mind was racing, fumbling for an answer that, in all honesty, just didn't seem to compute in any way, shape or form. He knew L, and neither carelessness, or even a test of Light's character didn't explain why the handcuff had never been locked. Light's mind only came up with one scenario for that occasion, and he was fairly sure he'd know if L had been murdered and cut away from the metal chain right next to him.
Even then, his mind pointed out that the murderer would be unlikely to take the time to place the other handcuff around the bedpost like that.
So there was only one explanation for why the cuff was dangling from the other end of the chain as Light held it up to examine it.
L had chosen to leave him unchained.
Light flung his legs over the edge of the bed, sliding swiftly off the soft sheets. He raced over to the bathroom, ramming the door open with one letter on the very tip of his tongue.
It died in his throat as he swallowed at the empty room. There was no evidence that L had been in there recently; no dirty towel lying clumsily on the floor, waiting for Light to scoop it up and tell L off for leaving the cloth there to fester with bacteria.
L never changed the habit, only smiled fondly as he reminded Light that he would never allow that anyway, so why should he have to worry?
Light's fingers dug into the framing of the door, then tore themselves away as he whirled round to face the only other exit from the room. It was a door he'd never walked through without L leading the way, chain raised as he fiddled with his lower lip, informing Light of whatever new thing he'd discovered while Light was sleeping (occasionally to do with the case, more often concerning some previously unnoticed sleeping habit or blemish of Light's).
He swallowed, not quite sure what would happen when he left through it on his own. Were alarms going to blare? Would Watari be down the other end of the hall, a gun carefully aimed at the exact spot where Light's head would appear?
His fingers trembled slightly as he touched the handle, uncertain of his fate.
He needn't have worried. The door opened, as usual, onto an empty corridor that bent to the right after about fifteen paces.
Completely confused and, though he would never admit it, extremely anxious, Light hurried down the silently longer than normal hallway and shot nervously round the bend.
To be faced with, of all things, a rose.
Light stopped shock still, stumped at the appearance of the thorny flower. His anxiety evaporated in moments, leaving only a deep-seated and total blankness as Light failed to comprehend exactly what had just happened.
Well, that certainly hadn't been what he'd expected to see.
Bending down, the chain and cuff held gently in his other hand, Light reached for the red flower lying prettily on the carpeted (L liked the feeling of the fibres between his toes) floor. Picking it up, the leaves falling to touch his fingers gently, Light stared at it, not understanding what was going on at all. He sniffed it timidly, then rose to his feet again, staring at the hallway ahead. There was a fork, just ten feet away, and lying in the opening of the left branch… was a sweet. Specifically, one of the few Light was actually fond of. A small, but oh so delicate tasting, Turkish delight.
Light had revealed to L that, of all the sweets in the world, this was the only one that he would actively seek out and eat voluntarily. It had been a calm conversation, held early in the morning, while the pair were lying contentedly in bed, discussing whatever various things came to mind. Light could remember it, the feel of L's fingers woven lightly into his hair, his lazy voice describing one of his favourite subjects; cake.
Light had chuckled, stroking his fingertips across the bare expanse of L's chest, pressing his lips to the side of L's neck. He had whimsically told L that he wished the man had a greater love for the strawberry Turkish delight he ordered in every so often.
He was not entirely surprised that L had remembered, but he was impressed that L had not only bought the exact brand that he liked, but had managed to somehow work out that his favourite flavour was blueberry. When L had found that one out Light had no idea. He certainly hadn't told the black-eyed detective.
Picking the box up, Light turned into the left passage, pacing slowly down it, anticipation unfurling in his chest. Although he still wasn't sure what was going on, the prize-filled treasure hunt filled him with intrigue. There was only one person who could have done this, could have known the little details to place along the way. Light was admittedly not a terribly romantic person on most occasions, but he did appreciate it when a person showed how much they cared by doing small but loving acts such as this.
There was another bend, then a second fork, with three routes leading away from it. The middle one contained the next surprise, and Light frowned slightly as he realised that this path would shortly lead to the private kitchen on this level.
Almost disappointed at how quickly the hunt would end, Light's steps slowed as he approached his third gift. How L had managed to procure all these items he would never know. Being around the wiry man twenty-four/seven should have made it difficult for L, but Light had, quite honestly, not had a clue about any of this.
It was at the end of this thought that he realised what his third (final?) gift was. Wonder in his eyes, he bent to pick up the small slips of paper, shock and amazement coursing through him. Holding the two slips close to his chest, he stumbled forwards, breaking into a run as he turned the last corner to enter into the large cooking area.
L stood there, a small grin on his lips as Light padded his way into the room, feet bringing him to a halt just a foot away from the slightly taller man, staring into his eyes with a searching gaze.
"What does this mean?" He whispered, the papers crumpled in his desperate grasp.
L laughed, bringing one hand up to curl around the nape of Light's neck, gently pulling him forwards as he pressed his lips so softly to Light's head. "I'm sure you already know," L murmured, pulling back to place his forehead against Light's, his calm eyes holding Light's wondering hazel.
Light's fists released instantly, the gifts - rose, sweet and two thin, delicate slips of paper falling to the ground - as his arms flung themselves around L's neck, fingers slipping through the black mane of hair that tickled his cheek as he hungrily devoured L's mouth, tongues mapping out the territory of the other.
He knew it had been calculated. He knew L had given him nothing, even as he had given him everything. The truth was simple; nothing in their relationship could be uncomplicated, just because of who they were and what they could be.
But the intent was still there. The showing of trust and hope was still there.
The two slips of innocent paper, creased beneath the stumbling feet as L pushed Light into the wall, held only words. The first was unimportant, the words meaning barely anything alone, reading "Light loves".
It was the second slip of paper that meant the world to Light, even though only one word was written on it. One word in bold, stylised black capital letters. Even later, as the two men watched the two slips burn into only ash and soot, the firelight rippling over their bare skin, Light saw that one word emblazoned on the paper and felt some foreign emotion flood through him.
He would never repeat it.