Disclaimer: No Death Note pwnage for me. (Even though I asked for L for Xmas… sigh.) And all of this info comes from the ever-reliable Wikipedia.
Author's Note: This seemed like a fun holiday idea to attack. Though, in retrospect, it's not very… I dunno… happy? Oh well! I hope you can enjoy it for what it is. :D
Oh, and please—REVIEW! (This and my other fics, if you don't mind. :3)
Warnings: LightxL action. (Sorry L, I still prefer you on top, but…) A few explanations of terms and allusions will be explained at the bottom.
Fact: In South Africa, the sticky juice of mistletoe berries is used as an adhesive to trap prey.
He pretended not to know who had hung the festive plant beneath the doorway.
He pretended, and did not mention it—kept his black eyes diverted and face deceptively casual whenever he was forced to walk beneath the holiday decoration, or chanced to glance towards the entryway.
He pretended, and looked away, and tried to keep all of his amassed mistletoe-related knowledge from overwhelming his brain whenever his gaze drifted unconsciously upward, falling upon the bright green spray.
But it was a futile, wasted effort—even he knew that. And this uncomfortable truth only became more evident as Light's delicate hands fell upon his humped shoulders, forcing him to stop…
The younger man smiled, jerking his chin as if to draw the detective's attention to the plant above them. But L didn't need to look up; he already knew it was there. There, dangling above them, an all-too-innocuous ornamentation upon the doorway that framed and trapped them, chest to chest, eye to eye…
Lip to lip.
Fact: According to Scandinavian tradition, if two enemies happened to meet beneath sprigs of wild mistletoe, they were to lay down their weapons and maintain a truce until the next day. This historic custom lead to the modern-day ritual of kissing beneath the plant.
There were many things that L did not like about Yagami Light.
He did not like his pomposity, or his easy arrogance. He did not like his warped sense of justice; his lack of mercy; the dark, crimson glitter behind his auburn eyes. And he certainly did not like the way time seemed to stop and speed and vanish when he was around the boy—did not like the way he blacked out in Light's presence.
No… no, not 'black out.' He never lost consciousness. But L could think of no other description for the way he would, at one moment, be at his computer, or in the kitchen, or upon the couch, and the next find himself on the floor, or atop the table, or in a bedroom, writhing and groaning and kissing those smirking lips as if they were necessary for life itself.
Which he knew, in the rational part of his brain, was something of a contradiction. After all, this was Kira he was coupling with, and what was Kira if not Death?
Fact: Mistletoe is a hemi-parasitic plant. While it performs basic photosynthesis, it obtains most of its water and nutrients by draining its host, slowly killing it in the process.
Perhaps that was why Yagami Light persisted in performing these activities with him—the hope that L would slip up in the throes of passion, let down his guard and allow Kira inside… in metaphysical ways, rather than literal, of course.
But if this was true, the younger man made no sign of it: in bed, he was all whispered praises and soft moans, shimmering eyes and caressing touches. Sweet and passionate and beautiful and perfect and the intensity of it all was too much for L to handle.
This would kill him—there was no doubt in L's mind. Light had already begun to seep through the cracks of L's heart, eating away at whatever was left of his emotional humanity. Every breath, every touch, every thrust in and slide out was bringing him closer and closer to his own demise.
Kira would win, and L could no longer stop him. Rather, he found himself begging for more.
Fact: The ingesting of mistletoe results in stomach pains and a lowering of a person's pulse; the plant is considered a poison.
The human body was a funny thing, with its pain and pleasure centers so warped and twisted… to the point that one could be mistaken—or purposely misinterpreted—as the other.
An intense heat was knotting in the pit of L's belly. It burnt, and boiled, and the detective could feel his thighs quiver and torso shudder and he gasped for oxygen, his face overheated and body flushed. But rather than go away, the sensation merely grew: escalating and pulsating and making the detective convulse in pain, or pleasure, or both. Even now, he couldn't tell the difference—or didn't trust what his senses told him—, but either way, it didn't matter. One way or the other, he didn't care.
His toes curled around the sheets; his hands fisted in Light's hair.
Fact: The inner contents of mistletoes' fruit, viscin, bears a great resemblance to human semen.
And for once in his life, Light did not deny the claim.
Fact: In Germany, mistletoe is used to treat problems of the circulatory system.
Days passed. Then weeks. One month, then two. Clues and leads came and went; criminals continued to die of agonizing heart attacks. And though life went on, and the holiday season was over and all but forgotten, the drying bunch of mistletoe continued to dangle from the HQ entrance, as innocent as you please. Obnoxiously so, really. From its high post, it almost seemed to taunt L… It did not take long before the detective found himself highly annoyed.
"What are you doing?" Light asked one day, pausing with a mug of coffee beside L's spindly chair. When no one else had been around, the older of the two had rolled it beneath the entryway and hopped atop it, reaching for the decorative plant.
He spared a moment to shoot his suspect a dry glance. "I should think that would be fairly obvious, Light-kun."
"It's bad luck, you know, to remove hung mistletoe before the next Christmas eve," Light commented airily, taking a short swig from his cup. "And as it serves as a charm against lightening strikes, perhaps you should keep it up. This is a tall building, and all."
Again, the detective sighed—but his sour mood improved slightly when his hand balled around the damn mistletoe; with a tug he managed to yank it down. "I shall take my chances, thank you."
Light shrugged. "Suit yourself."
And as he began to walk away, strolling nonchalantly in the opposite direction, L was forced to pause, to blink. For while he prided himself on knowing almost everything, there was a sudden, unfamiliar heaviness in the air—an alien tingle racing down his curved spine.
Slowly, as if against his will, the detective's midnight gaze dipped downward, landing upon the crumpled leaves poking out of his tightly-formed fist.
"…These two have 'ticed me hither to this place: a barren, detested vale, as you see it is," L whispered faintly, his long fingers clenching as he ripped his eyes away. "The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean; overcome with moss and baleful mistletoe. Here never shines the sun, here nothing breeds; unless the nightly owl or fatal raven...'"
Fact: Mistletoe has been cited in a number of myths pertaining to death. In Norse legend, it is stated that Baldr, the god of light and beauty, was killed by a spear made of the plant.
It wasn't so much that L didn't like to sleep. To be sure, he acknowledged it as necessary to function, particularly on the level that he needed to: he could not make rational judgments if his mind was fogged or delirious from a lack of proper rest. He also recognized that one felt better after slumber, and that sleep was an important tool for staying physically healthy.
To that extent, L enjoyed sleep. To that extent, L needed to sleep. But as time went on, L found that he did not want to sleep. For whenever L slept, he dreamt. And whenever he dreamt, he knew.
It was no coincidence that the bags beneath his eyes had grown larger, more predominant, as he became more and more involved with the Kira Investigation. It was no wonder, no surprise… for as time wore on—as time ran out—the dreams became more intense, more frightening.
He had always known that this case would kill him.
He had always known that Kira would be his murderer.
He had always known that Yagami Light would be his downfall. And so he could see no harm in one last dance with the devil—one last taste of cantarella.
On that rainy November day, L carried no mistletoe upon his person, nor had he cultivated any other excuse to pin Light against the cold brick wall... but neither boy complained.
Fact: Similarly, Christian tradition says that mistletoe decorated the cross of Jesus's crucifixion. After His death, the plant shriveled and became a parasitic vine.
He didn't want to die, of course. Nobody wanted to die— death was a mysterious, possibly painful experience that brought a permanent end to everything one knew. But people only feared, only cared, because they were still alive… once death actually claimed them, there would be no terror, no hurt, no anguish. Nothing.
And so as L laid there, sprawled and heavy, his empty heart faltering and fading into silence, he was not surprised to realize that he felt just that: nothing.
No anger, no sadness. No regret. For he knew, deep within those scarlet eyes, there hid nothing more than a frightened boy. And one day, one day soon, Kira would die. Like a weed, he would be choked and killed: he would wither and wit and fade into oblivion, because he was a parasite—and if L was no longer there to feed him, how could he possibly survive?
The detective closed his marble eyes, and knew that he had won.
Fact: However, despite all of these negative connotations and associations, recent studies have proven that mistletoe can have a positive effect on biodiversity.
From somewhere far away, a mournful alarm beeped into life.
Rather, it had beeped into life an hour ago… but even now, the somber sound rung in his old ears. The elderly gentleman heaved a heavy sigh, steepling his wrinkled fingers atop his antique desk.
"What is it, Roger?"
Roger did not bother looking up; he could feel Mello and Near's black eyes pierce him, watch him, take him apart as they waited for him to speak.
He wasted no more time.
"… L is dead."
A few explanations, as promised.
Baleful Mistletoe: This is a quote from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.
L's dreams: In the anime, it seemed as if L was already aware of the fact that he was going to die. In the Norse legends, Baldr had dreams predicting his own death… so I fused the two ideas together. (Though I suppose it's also possible that a fangirl might have spoiled that plot twist for L… haha.)
Cantarella: A sweet poison. (And a very good manga series.)
Thanks for reading! Again, please review! (And happy holidays. :D)