Rating: M (sexuality)
It all starts with the simultaneous rustle of blankets with the fumble of a pillow, curling arms and legs and toes in the next temporary position, then after one to three seconds a discontent sigh, followed by stillness from somewhere between fifteen seconds and four minutes before the cycle starts again. It was by now a familiar pattern, a nightly ritual, when a great detective lies awake listening to his prisoner's inability to sleep. It's not a failure on Light Yagami's part, not exactly. Nor is L willing to accept the blame. Not exactly.
L likes to instead place the blame, like he places everything else these days, on Kira. That simplifies matters, so long as one doesn't reason out the situation too elaborately – which is impossible for L not to do anyway, and in the end he has to admit that to blame Kira is to confront someone he has lost sight of and recognize his own failure. But he's done enough brooding, and all there is right now is to take the broken pieces and decipher their meaning.
Audibly taking a breath, Light tenses again and L hears it in the air and feels it through the mattress. Light shifts for the seventeenth time that hour, arching his back to turn his hips and sliding his hand down from under his pillow to the mattress in front of him, until finally he plants his palm down to roll over to L's direction.
The next segment of the nightly ritual commences.
"Hypothetically, what if I really was Kira," Light asks urgently, "and I don't remember it?"
L is already watching Light (spends every waking hour watching Light). Impassively, he answers. "I would encourage you to remember."
Either missing or ignoring the implications, the younger man inquires, "But what if your theory is true?" It's not the same mild, collected curiosity that the proud Light Yagami exhibits during the daytime, nor is it passionate denial. He is disturbed, it bothers him and he's afraid and it's too dark in this room to pretend he's not. "If it's true, and Kira's powers have left me along with my memories. What will happen to me?"
The detective coils his body forward, vertebrae by vertebrae, to sit up with palms of his feet pressed into the blankets ahead of him and knees bent in the air. He studies the younger man from under his unruly black locks of hair, and finally says, because it is the proper thing to say when dealing with a suspect, "The punishment of a criminal takes all case details into consideration. I don't know what will happen to you."
Recognizing the pointed ambiguity of his captor's words, Light clutches the pillows to his chest and speaks ahead into the darkness to himself or to L or to both. "But if I didn't remember anything... then I'm innocent, right? And if I'm innocent, I can't be convicted. I know I'd never.. become Kira again. So we will capture the current Kira and end this once and for all, then things will go back to normal.."
At that, L chooses not to respond – let him think that he can get through free of consequences, if it's more likely to make him cooperate and confess. It's not fair and it's not kind, but L did not become the world's greatest detective by being either of those things. L could not have become the world's greatest detective by being either of those things.
"Ryuuzaki?" Light turns to him, and in the starlight that creeps through the window L can see desperation in his almond eyes.
"Would you convict me anyway?"
L leans forward and softly brushes his fingertips against the obstruction of Light's chestnut bangs, grown long since these months in captivity, to free those eyes that pray and lie to him. His hand lingers, and he cups it against Light's cheek to first plant a gentle kiss at the corner of his lips, and then he whispers with tender venom,
"Of course I would."
Yagami Sōichirō is misinformed, as usual, about the nature of his son's incarceration. There are a number of details that he manages to falsely assume the worst about (or falsely assume the best), and this kind of conflict was undoubtedly inevitable with his protective nature pitted against L's eccentric (and admittedly stubborn) methods of investigation. But perhaps the biggest misconception of all is that L forces Light against his will to work long nights. Becoming the ringleader of dissatisfaction, the entire task force victimizes their chief's perfect child and apparently find another excuse to downsize the gravity of the particular situation, while taking every opportunity possible to shoot L rather nasty glares when they leave for home at night and the pair is still hard at work.
But in reality, Light will refuse to rest when L volunteers Watari to bring him a pillow and blanket or even a cot. He insists on working until his eyes are red and surrounded with smears of purple-black, and most nights he will eventually drop his head against the counter. Then he will sleep deeply for a short time, until the nightmares make him stir, and he gasps and wakes as suddenly as he fell asleep. He will blink and take a frantic glance at his surroundings, at his hands (checking for bloodstains, L wonders?), and then proceed to berate L for letting him fall asleep at all. The next step of the nightly ritual is for L to finally take Light to bed, sometimes insisting that he himself is tired now, or that Light's father was going to lecture him if Light looks any more pathetic from sleep deprivation, or that Light's deductive abilities would decrease to the point of uselessness if he wasn't well-rested – anything to get the teen to follow him to the bedroom.
Next, after L frees Light from the handcuffs just long enough to clean himself up and take off his shirt, they crawl into bed and Light does not sleep. First, the fidgeting. Squirming in the blankets, pulling at the chain that tethers him to his friend (his nemesis). Drifting off and waking up, sweating, crying out. And always, the questions, and with them the game of pretend that L has somewhere deep inside the answers he wanted to hear.
L thinks that somewhere deep inside, Light knows he doesn't.
"Ryuuzaki?" Light asks anyway. The detective turns his head to meet the teen, and after a pause, he tries again. "What happens to me if you can't convict me after all?"
"If you are Kira, it'll only be a matter of time before I do convict you," L answers. It's always the same question and the same answers, once you strip it of the specifics. Light is asking L what his fate will be, and L is answering that he belongs to him.
Light challenges. "But if you can't?"
"I've never failed before."
"But if you do?"
L doesn't answer. I won't fail, he assures himself. To do so would be to submit to Kira, to die for Kira, and if L does that then Kira is a god after all. I can't fail..
"Ryuuzaki, if I'm not Kira, you'll let me go," Light states with a façade of confidence, the utterance of a promise to the sanity he's clinging on to and to the one who ensures that he must always scrape his fingernails bloody to get it. "Right?"
"I just don't see that as a possibility," L finally asserts, and Light rolls over and doesn't speak to him for the rest of that night.
In the privacy of the bedroom, the only place where the task force doesn't have access to the camera footage, the nightly ritual, though predictable, loses all pretenses of following a pattern. Some nights there are kisses, with L's spidery hands touching and tweaking because he wants to and he can, and Light wants the distraction so he lets him, and they both want him to tire himself enough to sleep. Some nights, when L is more frustrated, he takes Light, some nights roughly, and Light just grits his teeth and bears it silently, save for husky breaths and moaning. Other nights, carefully at first but then with more reluctant deliberation, Light is the one to initiate penetration. This is an experience L finds most interesting as a direct expression of his suspect's complex psychology. At first, Light is apologetic and gentle as he tries to prepare L with his nimble fingers and a bottle of lotion. But then in the process of pumping and thrusting inward he taps into a vast supply of subconscious resentment, bitterness, even hatred that is palpable to L in the unrelenting movements, yet when it's finally over Light always offers the same generic half-hearted apology.
Tonight, Light sits on his knees in a perfect, disciplined seiza on the bed, shirtless and glowing in the moonlight. He looks up at L and meets his gaze, searching for something in a cryptic smirk in the same way that L is searching for something in him. L exhales and stands in front of him, wrapping his hands around either side of Light's neck to lift his chin for a kiss. Light's arms wind around L's back, fingernails digging into his skin and pushing the kiss closer and closer until their lips are swollen.
L raises one foot and places it on the mattress beside Light, curling his long toes into the blankets. Then, when he has his balance, he hops his other foot on the other side and presses his hips into Light's stomach and straddles him. Light's arms slide down to L's waist, and L breaks the kiss to suck at his neck, which earns a shiver that pulses through both of their bodies.
"I'm innocent," Light claims in a breathy mumble. His head raises upward, beseeching to the gods for vindication, the gods that L doubts give a damn even on the off chance they do exist. "I'm innocent..."
Sliding his hands down the teen's arms, L catches Light's wrists and unhooks them from his back. Pressing his weight forward, he forces Light to fall back against the mattress, and folds himself over to pin him by the arms. His face is directly above Light's, and locks of his ebony-black hair brush against Light's cheeks. "Maybe tonight, Light-kun," he hums. "But I wonder if the reason you cannot sleep is because even you are afraid that tomorrow you'll wake up as Kira again."
"I'm not-" Light starts, but his objections drown in another sultry kiss. He closes his eyes, and eventually his body grows calm, focused only on the kiss and the growing heat in their hips which are pressing tightly against one another.
L releases Light's wrists, and slides himself down to L's groin. Taking no precautions in ripping off Light's boxers and tossing them carelessly against the wall, he wraps his tongue around the tip of his shaft. His fingers, swathed with lotion, massage and stretch into Light's hole, and his ever-watchful eyes soak in the image of his almost-Kira clutching the sheets and trying not to writhe.
"Whether I was once Kira or not," Light annunciates with surprising grace as a trickle of sweat makes its way down his brow. "You may never find the evidence you need. You may lose, Ryuuzaki."
"My investigation won't be over until I've solved the case," L responds, caressing the hardening member. "Kira won't escape me."
Light gnashes his teeth, twisting. "You make me feel like you're never planning to let me go, even if you're wrong."
"Your distress is nothing compared to how you're making me feel," he snaps, tightening his grip and brushing his thumb to the tip of Light's erection. Light, with his wide eyes brimming with moisture from excitement, lips parted and everything of Kira that L had come to know so intimately through the allegro beat of armegeddon, all vanish and swept away like vapor - it is too much to bear. "But how distressed I am when the real you lurks somewhere in the shadows, waiting for my mistake."
"You're looking at the real me," the young man swears, hips rocking and face wincing and voice bellowing for truth and justice. "I'm on your side! Do you really think I'm lying to you right now?!"
L wraps Light's thighs around his shoulders and positions himself. He narrows his eyes at this sincerity-ridden youth, soaking in the meager light and as soft and fair as a child of the gods themselves even when blushing and with his hair sticking to his face with sweat. There is nothing but a beautiful and unyielding determination to be believed, a holy halo of stars crowning him and the thorns of his sacrifice showing in every weary flaw.
But L is an atheist.
Yes, I think you are lying, he dismisses, but in the sanctuary of his own mind as he pushes himself into Light.
Light yelps out at the beginning of penetration, and bites his hand to keep from doing it again as L settles in further. The heat is almost suffocating, embracing him tightly and assuring him that this moment is all he wants anyway, and L retreats only to thrust in again. Even L lets out a soft cry and his fingers dig into Light's hips. Adjusting his angle, he pushes, tearing another choked growl from the brunet. Light gasps, eyes tightened closed, radiating and shining and all that L can see, all that he ever can see. Soon, it's rhythmic, the hips and the heaving and the moans, a pattern, a dance unchoreographed but with the perfect match of players taking the stage and everything was color and it all made sense again-
(and there they are, reigning in the heavens with all the universe watching in silent awe at the colossal game they play, at the mighty ballad of L and Kira-)
No... I only hope you are lying.
(-until the universe is spent, dead, and they were only human again.)
Because after everything, and with all that had yet to come, no one else should be Kira. No one else was Kira. It was the only thing in this world that L knew he had faith in, that he wanted to have faith in, and if he was wrong then nothing about the investigation seemed to matter anymore.
"Bear with it for now, Light-kun," L finally says, taking his panting companion in his arms. "I know it's difficult but please just bear with it until everything concludes itself." Bear with it because tomorrow, the world might change for us again, and the tomorrow after that... that's more difficult to believe in.
"I'll stay with you anyway, you know," Light suddenly says. He lifts the hand that connects him by chain to the other, and the metal coils between their bare chests. "It doesn't matter if you release me. Even if you do, I'll see this all through by your side. Isn't that how we should be?"
It was all part of the same nightly ritual, the same traditions and fabrications and ceremonial lovemaking that disregards the impending human sacrifice. Afterwards, Light will fall against L's chest and close his eyes, and L will wrap his fingers in his soft hair and murmur gentle things in his ears, while calculating a higher percentage in his head.
And, transcending all logic, Light will fall asleep in the place he should feel least safe at all.
-Quick little L/Light, with Light having no memories. It amused me to write about L noting Light's insomnia but totally disregarding his own, haha.
Thanks for reading! -Serria