Disclaimer: If I owned Death Note, the manga and anime would have been like the live action movies. Which I love dearly. And you should all own copies of. Not just download.
Author's Note: Finally! Some LxLight! I was afraid that, despite my love for this pairing, I'd never be able to think up an idea that hadn't been done to death in doujinshi…
Basic Human Needs
"What a night…"
With a faint sigh and a muted groan, Light raked his fingers through his hair and flopped back against the closed door, loosening the navy-colored tie that had been threaded around his neck. 'What a night' pretty much summed it up: Traffic that never seemed to end… a horribly crowded restaurant… Misa… At least it's over now. Sucking in a deep breath to calm his body and recollect his thoughts, the young man bent down to unlace his shoes, making careful note of his surroundings.
As promised, he'd returned immediately to the investigation HQ, despite the fact that everyone else had gone home for the night. All of the lights had been previously switched off—even those in the foyer, in which he was currently wrestling off his shoes. Thankfully, he was still able to see: there was a dim, golden glow pouring from the distant sitting room— one last lamp that had not been unplugged. From the same general direction came the soft clatter of a fork on a plate, and the tinny ring of a spoon in a tea cup.
Ryuuzaki, Light knew without a doubt; he snorted to himself as he lined his shoes neatly beside the door. Doesn't that man ever need to sleep? It was already one in the morning… Maybe a side effect of all of that sugar.
"I'm back," he quietly called, tiptoeing down the hall in case Watari was still around, asleep. He heard an affirming grunt from the same direction as the weak light and noisy cutlery; Light rounded the corner into the living room and found L—quell surprise— slouched in his favorite sitting position on the long leather couch, nibbling on a small bite of strawberry cake. Just like he had been when Light had left four hours ago.
He wondered briefly if he'd moved at all in that time.
"How is Misa?" L asked coolly as Light neared, taking his usual seat next to the detective on the sofa. Light could tell by his tone that he was only asking for politeness' sake; he didn't even seem to be listening for a response. Rather, his soulless eyes remained glued to the wide array of monitors that lined the far wall, each of which was busily displaying some scene that probably meant something to L, but nothing to Light.
"Fine," Light answered all the same, in a tone that was admittedly similar to Ryuuzaki's. "She says 'hi.'"
"Greetings from a celebrity. I am flattered."
He didn't sound it. However, the brief and highly monotonous conversation seemed to have reminded him of some distant thought: blinking once, he tapped the prongs of his fork against his plate in a brisk, musing manner.
"Light-kun. I've been meaning to ask you something."
Shit. A lead-in like that during a conversation about Misa? This could only end badly. And Light really wasn't in the mood for another fist fight… maybe, if necessary, he'd just bop L upside the head once and call it a night. "What is it, Ryuuzaki?" he droned nonetheless, pinching the bridge of his nose to keep the weariness from his voice.
L swallowed another bite of cake. "Why is it you go on dates?"
…that was unexpected.
"Why do I…?" At a bit of a loss, Light tossed his companion a sideways glance; the detective was still refusing eye contact, choosing instead to gaze upon the constantly changing scenes on the display. "That's a rather bizarre question, even for you, Ryuuzaki."
"Forgive me. I don't mean to pry."
"Like hell you don't," Light muttered, rolling his eyes. But for all that, he could think of no reason not to respond—it wasn't like the answer was a secret. (Well, apart from the whole Shinigami Eyes thing.) Besides, whenever he did anything to make L mad, it seemed the chances of him being Kira always concurrently rose. "Well, I take it you don't want to hear the clichéd, romanticized reasons behind my having a love life."
"No," L agreed calmly. "Because such reasons would be a lie. Yagami Light does not function on such levels—everything he does is calculated and self-serving. He would not engage in a relationship that did not offer him something of interest, which makes his relations with Amane Misa rather paradoxical. I do not understand it, and so I want to know—" Here the fork met the coffee table; here the cake was pushed away; here L turned his head and allowed the full intensity of his ebony eyes to fall upon his companion, "—what is it that you gain from dating, Light-kun?"
The university student felt his face slacken a bit in surprise. Almost immediately, however, the mild shock was replaced by a small, knowing smirk. "You really don't know?" he chuckled, propping his head up with the back of his hand. "It's quite simple. A date, if all goes well, should provide a person with the three basic human desires: food, sex, and sleep."
Still staring, L stuck the tip of his thumb into his mouth, gnawing it gently. "…clearly you don't go on many good dates, then."
Light instinctively straightened, unable to squash his indignation at this stab to his male ego. "And what makes you say that?" he demanded, though his voice betrayed the faint curiosity that stirred within him— always eager to hear how this genius's brain worked.
"Simple math," L returned blandly, plucking up his fork again. Holding it above his head with the very tips of his long fingers, he twisted his head to lick a stray dot of whipped cream from the handle. "Your dates with Misa follow a predictable, recurring pattern. Take tonight for example: the date began at 9. I know from the phone records that you made reservations at one of the most popular restaurants in the city. It takes 35 minutes to get there on a good day—factoring in Saturday night traffic and the fact that you had to collect Misa from her house, that time is more likely closer to an hour. The fact that you had to make reservations means the place was undoubtedly busy: the process of ordering food, waiting for your food, then eating your food probably took another two hours. Add in the hour it then took to get back and return Misa to her home…"
L stuck the silvery prongs into his mouth, giving a valiant suck. "It is now one AM. Nine plus four, in terms of time, equals one. Therefore, you obviously didn't have any inclination to take your date to the 'next level,' more specifically the sex and subsequent sleep stages. This is a common theme. Meaning, by your standards, no good dates."
Light knew he shouldn't have been as impressed as he was—he would have been able to figure all of that out, if the shoe had been on the other foot—but he couldn't help the faint amusement that had flickered to life of inside him. "Maybe we didn't go to the restaurant," he challenged, always keen on playing the devil's advocate. "Maybe Misa and I just met at her house and did the deed right there. Four hours is more than enough time for a quick bite, sex, and sleep if we kept it all in one place."
But L was shaking his head before Light had even finished speaking. "Not possible," he countered, clearly bored. "You smell of cigarettes. As neither of you chain smoke, you would have needed to sit in or near the smoking section of the restaurant to collect so much of that scent upon your person. Not to mention you have a spot of steak sauce on your tie, Light-kun— a steak dinner is not a 'quick meal' fix."
Light glanced down, blew out his cheeks, then ripped the tie off completely. "All right then, maybe we wanted to have sex, but I needed to get Misa home by curfew. She does have a show tomorrow morning."
The detective leveled him a flat glance. "Light-kun. This is Misa we're talking about. She would cancel the next four years of her life if it would mean five minutes of sex with you."
Light's manly ego, which had been feeling a bit bruised, instantly swelled back to life.
"Ergo," L carried on, glancing into the distance as if in a moment of deliberation, "the only conclusion that I can come to is that you were the one who decided to forgo sexual intimacy. Meaning that you willingly sacrificed at least one—maybe two, if you consider the possibility of a sleepover—, of the three basic needs that (so you claim) motivate your decision to date in the first place. Which obviously makes no sense. And so I have to wonder…"
With speed that one didn't often see from Ryuuzaki, the detective abruptly twisted around, facing Light with his eyes wide and piercing. "I have to wonder why you pretend to submerse yourself in this world of 'dating' when you could easily fulfill all three of those basic needs right here," he concluded, absolute solemnity in his tone and upon his inexpressive face.
Light, on the other hand, responded quite visibly: his jaw dropped half an inch, and for a full fifteen seconds he could only gawk at the dull-faced detective beside him.
"Excuse me…?" he finally managed to choke out, torn between laughter and mortification. "When you say the three basic needs…"
"The needs that dictate your dating," L clarified, his big toes twirling around one another in a rather distracting fashion. "The three basic human desires. Companionship. Food. A place to sleep. Etc. You receive all of those things here with me."
Light's once-discernable thoughts were becoming a large, fuzzy, buzzing blank. "…are you saying that you view our time here at HQ as one long date?" he demanded, blinking rapidly as he tried to wrap his mind around the conclusions L's brain had apparently jumped to.
L shrugged, gingerly twirling his dessert fork. "If you define 'dating' by those standards, then yes."
A pause. Both men stared unblinkingly at the other, though one did seem altogether calmer about the situation.
"…Ryuuzaki," Light finally decided, his voice oddly loud after the two minutes of perpetuated hush, "I don't think you fully understand what you're talking about." He was something of a social outcast, after all—maybe that had warped his reasoning skills a bit.
But L gave his head an adamant shake, glowering at his roommate. "No, I understand perfectly, thank you."
"Then you realize, in essence," Light retorted in a drawl, staring flatly at the slouched teenager, "you've just told me that you'd have sex with me."
Another pause. This time, however, it was L that spent it lost in thought: he chewed on his thumb in a musing sort of way, staring off into space. But after a measly minute and 24 seconds, he was nodding slowly, and had met Light's incredulous stare once again. "Yes," he agreed, wholly unfazed, "that would be the implied sentiment. What's more, after deep consideration of all possible factors, I've concluded that there is a 68 percent chance that you would not only enjoy engaging in sexual intercourse with me, but that you would prefer me to Misa."
Despite his very best efforts, the faintest hinting of a blush appeared on Light's face—if only for a fleeting instant. And yet, regardless of the insanity of this claim, Light couldn't say he wasn't intrigued. "You don't say. How do you figure that?" he prompted, allowing a coy, mysterious smile to overtake his thin lips.
L seemed less amused. "I'm not blind, Light-kun," he droned, offering another dry glare. "Even if only on a subconscious level, that girl repulses you."
It wasn't only on a subconscious level. Not that L needed to know that.
"Be that as it may," Light said breezily, glossing over the crack about his feelings for Misa, "that doesn't mean I'm gay."
"I never said you were."
"Are you secretly a woman, then?" the university student inquired lightly, arching a thin eyebrow and giving the detective a slow, sweeping visual examination. Actually, if it wasn't for the lower timbre of his voice, it might have been possible: that baggy white shirt hid quite a lot.
Unsurprisingly, L didn't seem to appreciate this joke, either. "Don't be ridiculous," he coldly retorted, narrowing those midnight-colored eyes.
"Then what makes you think—"
"Because men are at their most vulnerable during sex," he interrupted swiftly, seemingly keen on purging Light's mind of any remaining inkling of his possible femininity. "As Kira, you wish to see me vulnerable. Furthermore, you believe that sex would give you a chance to dominate me, which is something you desperately crave to do. However, I promise you, that would not be the case."
In spite of the idiocy of the situation—or, perhaps, because of it— Light couldn't help but allow himself a small, throaty chuckle. "You think you'd be on top?" he scoffed, trying to muffle a second bout of laughter with a hand.
Surprisingly, L seemed equally amused. "Of course. Because otherwise, your chances of being Kira would climb exponentially, and we both know Light-kun doesn't want that to happen."
Light's chortles vanished; L's juvenile smirk grew. "…is that a threat?"
"No," L returned evenly, his dark eyes sparkling with secret humor. It was one of Ryuuzaki's rare expressions that hinted at actual, genuine emotion—and Light was oddly transfixed by how human it made him appear. Almost… attractive. "It is a statement of fact."
Light shook such bizarre thoughts from his mind. "I dunno, it sounded like a threat to me."
"I assure you, if I was threatening you in any manner, you'd know it instantly."
"I did. That was definitely a threat," the younger man retorted, the slightest hint of a teasing grin on his face.
"Fine then," L returned coolly. "Interpret it as you will."
"Look, I'm not going to have sex with you at all if you threaten me."
In an instant, Ryuuzaki's impassive mask shattered: those glittering eyes returned with a vengeance, alive with laughter as the detective graced Light with a wide, toothy smile. "Ah. So you do want to have sex with me?"
"I—!" Light froze, stunned, as he mentally rewound and replayed the events of the past few minutes. Damn. That bastard was good at these games… "…you have a twisted little mind, L."
The other man merely hummed in reply, sounding altogether too pleased with himself. Nevertheless, he allowed the conversation to drop, choosing instead to smirk obnoxiously as he picked up his dish of cake and resumed eating.
Beside him, Light continued to try and figure out how L had managed to make him admit to wanting to have sex with him. Er—not that he wanted to! No, he'd used the wrong words again… 'how L had convinced him to want to have sex with hi—?' God, no!
A loud swallow interrupted Light increasingly disturbing thoughts. He instinctively glanced to his right, watching silently as L carefully set his empty dishes back on the coffee table and resumed nibbling on his thumb.
"…so was it a nice meal, then?" Ryuuzaki asked after another minute, in a casual voice that fooled no one.
Light gnawed momentarily on his bottom lip, still trying to work things out. His eyes narrowed… Then he moved his shoulders in a vague sort of way, blowing out his cheeks. "Yeah, I suppose."
"Are you full, then?" L continued dispassionately, noticing a small pool of chocolate sauce he'd missed on his discarded plate. A single finger reached out, smeared the tiny puddle, and brought the treat back to his lips.
He must have planned this, Light decided, watching him lick his finger in an increasingly inappropriate fashion.
"Yes, I am."
"I see. Tired?" he pressed, running his tongue leisurely up and down his now-wet finger, making sure he hadn't missed a single drop of sauce.
Not anymore. "Not really, no."
"Hm." With a nonchalance that, at this point, seemed entirely contrived, L begun sucking the very tip of his long, pale finger—ever so gently running his teeth over the moist skin. "Did you have sex?" he then asked, dark eyes framed by his draping bangs.
Light's mouth went dry.
"Really…? That's too bad." With another breathy hum, L's lips curled upwards; he gave his moist digit a swift once-over before offering Light a half-lidded glance. "So there's still one basic human need that has not yet been filled tonight."
"I suppose so," Light agreed in a whisper, fully aware of where this conversation was going. And yet, for reasons he could not fully explain, he felt no need to stop these events from playing out. For now, he'd blame it on curiosity, and perhaps boredom— and not the way the desire in L's eyes made him want to lean closer… drink it in…
"You really should have just stayed here," Ryuuzaki added, watching Light's unhurried approach though lowered lashes.
Light paused. At some point, without his realizing it, he had shifted in his seat: he was now crouched as if to pounce, one hand clenched in the upholstery and the other clamped around L's leg. L, for his part, had not moved nearly as much… though he had lowered his hands from his mouth, choosing instead to brace them behind him.
For a beat, they simply stared at one another. Quiet. Calculating. Plotting. Planning.
"…74 percent," L then murmured, as if to himself, as he stared steadily up at his younger roommate— black eyes meeting auburn with a spark of something akin to electricity.
In return, Light slit his gaze, leaning ever closer: his chin hovered above Ryuuzaki's knees, and he removed his hand from the other's jean cuffs so as to wrap it around his upper arm, instead.
Their noses brushed; a wisp of charcoal-colored hair tickled the brunette's cheek.
"Ryuuzaki…" Light growled, his mouth pulled down in an expression of annoyance even as his murmured voice trembled with barely-suppressed laughter, "…shut the hell up."
A heavy thud echoed through the complex, one that sounded suspiciously like a pair of helplessly tangled bodies falling from the leather couch.
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