Author's Note: This one's for Eltea, beautiful beta and partner in crime; and for MiaoShou, who rocks my socks right off.

Er, and for Jenwryn, 'cause I love her, and Richelle, 'cause I love her, too. And for you, 'cause you're reading this.

Also, I promise it gets funny enough to earn the 'humor' tag, just not as quickly as I'd like. XD

I. Love Stories

Since the dawn of remembered time, man had been working diligently to preserve and present the greatest love stories of his kind: Romeo and Juliet; Odysseus and Penelope; Antony and Cleopatra; Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy; Heathcliff and Catherine; Othello and Desdemona; hell, Westley and Buttercup—and countless others that the overactive, overeducated mind could conjure at a thought.

Light Yagami could not recall a single legendary lover, however, who had blearily awoken next to his friend-cum-rival-cum-jailer and had immediately regretted having become such a lover at all.

He rather doubted any had also immediately regretted the choice to implement a Latin preposition.

Milky white skin that had been flushed in the half-light, that had been soft and smooth beneath his curious fingertips, that had been warm against his lips, stretched over jutting shoulder-blades. Last night's idol looked almost ill now, weak and small, nestled under the sheets with his incorrigible ink-hair splashed over the pillowcase.

Light's stomach clenched, threatening to convulse. Sure, Ryuzaki—Ryuzaki, L, whoever he was, whoever he chose to be—sure, he was beautiful. Sure, he was extraordinary. Sure, he was like nothing and no one Light had ever had the strange fortune to encounter, and sure, that was intoxicating as hell, hooking his mind and netting his heart in one smooth flick of the line. But he knew how to control himself. He knew how to watch—knew how to watch instead of moving.

Or he had, until last night.

What had it even been? Where lay the last straw, the fissure that finally split the wall to send its scattered pieces tumbling?

Oh, God; his metaphors were even worse when he was hungover and had just gotten laid.

Why had they drunk themselves into that sweet, pleasant haze of inebriated misjudgment anyway? He slid his hands out from beneath the covers, trying not to make an audible rustle, and pressed their heels into his eye sockets, his pulse thrumming insistently in his temple. He couldn't remember. He was willing to bet it was Matsuda's fault. Why had his father let him drink? He knew what happened when Light drank; he'd been the one who'd retrieved Light at two in the morning from that one pathetic party with the cheap vodka, when Light had called from the bathroom, curled up between the shower and the toilet to which he'd just offered his dinner, pleading for an egress, knowing he'd receive a fifteen-minute car ride of stony silence.

His father had delivered; the gaudy traffic lights had seared his eyes. They'd sat side-by-side in the driveway for a long moment, his father's sturdy fingers clenched around the clutch.

"You said I could call you," Light had mumbled—mewled—when his stomach had settled enough to let him speak. "If I ever needed to. That you wouldn't be mad."

There had been a pause, and Light had feared for a heart-skipping moment that he'd miscalculated, and his father wouldn't speak—that this thick, blurry silence would go on forever.

"Your mother said that," Soichiro Yagami had told him quietly at last. "I never said anything of the sort."

Light had folded his arms tighter, hugging himself. "You're disappointed."

The word that haunted children's dreams; the word that smoldered with a potency and a persistence that the momentary blaze of anger could never match.

Two fingers of the free hand had pinched his father's nose below the bridge of the glasses. "Yes, Light."

"It was just once. Just a party."

A sigh. "I know. And I am glad that you called instead of trying to get back on your own. But Light… You of all people should understand consequences."

A new fear had fluttered in Light's chest, feathers spiraling into the pit of his unsteady stomach. "You're not going to—"

Soichiro had shaken his head slowly. "You called me as your father, not as an officer of the law. No one's going to get turned in, at least not by me. But I want you to think about this, Light. I want you to think about what you did and what that means. And I want you to think about the fact that as much as I may disagree with what you've done, I came when you called me, because I am first and foremost your father, with a duty to protect you in every way that I can."

Light's throat had tightened considerably. "Thanks, Dad," he'd heard himself whisper.

Light opened his eyes, withdrawing his hands from over them. White sheets and ivory skin between them; black silk on the pillow; mahogany headboard; floral wallpaper. It was awfully picturesque for an I told you so.

…oh, God—if his father found out—him and the strange, strange angel at his side—

No one could know. That was it. That was the beginning and the end of it, no epilogue required. It had happened; it was over; end of story. That had to be it.

And then Ryuzaki stirred, and Light pressed his face to the pillow.