The monitor shone brightly in the dark room. Stacks of VCR tapes surrounded the two men sitting quietly, watching the monitor with anxious eyes. It showed a seemingly ordinary bedroom. They waited for something, anything at all. The monitor's soft hum brought a feeling of calm through the room. The older man felt his eyes droop, the lack of sleep beginning to affect him. He looked out of the corner of his eye at the detective beside him who watched the monitor with eyes wide open and expectant.

Blast him, thought Soichiro, his mind hazy from fatigue. He keeps me up all night just to watch videos of my own son-

"He's back," L said quietly as the bedroom door opened.

Raito entered the room and dropped his bookbag next to his bed. Carefully he shut his door and locked it. He sighed and flopped onto his bed, hair tousled gently.

L observed his prime suspect, watching meticulously for any sign, any slight suspicious action to come from him. Raito hadn't showed any weakness yet. To any normal person, he seemed like the perfect studious university student. Soichiro was already convinced his son was innocent.

L ran through all the evidence. Raito had proved himself innocent of all charges in one day. He was almost too perfect, if that was even possible.

L brought his thumb up to his mouth, searching his mind for any clues he could have overlooked. The monitor's light reflected off of his glazed eyes. A sudden movement caused him to focus back on the screen. Raito was moving, standing up, taking his sweater off-

L felt his pulse slowly increase. He watched Raito's sweater pull gently over his head. His breath caught in his throat as Raito's shirt came up slightly with the sweater, exposing a flash of smooth, tanned skin. Raito threw his sweater in a pile on the floor and ran his fingers through his dark, chestnut hair. For a second, L imagined his own fingers running through that hair, tracing soft patterns on that exposed skin, leaning in closer and breathing in his sweet scent-

L felt his cheeks burn. He shut his eyes, cutting off his view of Raito.

Wrong, he thought to himself. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong! I need to distract myself…

He concentrated on his breathing, attempting to return it to normal. He cautioned a peek at the monitor and saw Raito sitting peacefully at his desk, starting his homework.

L let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. Wrong. He couldn't do that. He barely knew the boy. All L knew of him was his intelligence was enough to possibly challenge his own.

Raito breezed through his homework, pencil scratching incessantly. L watched him, eyes beginning to unfocus. He heard Soichiro's gentle snores and realized he was alone in watching the boy. L leaned in close to the screen, looking closely at the way the desk light brought out the lighter streaks in Raito's hair. L watched his had gracefully write line after line.

L jumped as Raito stood up suddenly.

"Done!" L heard Raito say.

He stood for a second, and walked over to his bed. He flopped down on top of the blankets.

"Mmm, naptime…" Raito mumbled softly. L felt his face flush. The movement of Raito's chest slowed, rising and falling calmly as he fell asleep. His face looked so peaceful during sleep.

It's as if while he's asleep, he's innocent, L thought, even though he knew this was far from the truth. If Raito was innocent, he wouldn't be observing him carefully through these monitors-

Or would he?

He was only watching for signs of Kira, right? It was necessary!

Raito mumbled something in his sleep. L's heart nearly stopped as he watched the boy shift slightly on the bed.

So if this is strictly professional, I shouldn't have to watch him while he's sleeping, L thought to himself. There's no possible way he could be Kira in his sleep.

L sat perfectly still, his mind grappling for an answer. His eyes were unfocused as he ran over possibility after possibility. All logic said that L had no reason to watch Raito presently.

I don't need to watch him for now, thought L, but instead of relief this thought brought unease and disappointment. Setting his jaw, he turned slowly away from the monitor in an effort to prove himself right. Surprisingly, he found it physically challenging to pry his eyes away from the screen. L shivered as a cold lump formed in his stomach. I need some cake…

A small flash from the screen caught the corner of his eye. L whipped back to face the monitor so fast he would have fallen off his chair if not for the death grip he currently had on the desk. Raito calmly turned over in his sleep, facing the camera. L sighed. Why was it that he couldn't look away from this monitor even when his never-failing logic told him it was no longer necessary to watch?

Some Time Later…

L looked down at the boy sleeping next to him. He sat, knees curled up securely, unmoving. Raito's slow breathing was the only sound in the dark room. L's eyes had adjusted long ago to the scarce light and he found himself staring at Raito's sleeping form.

He remembered all the time he had spent staring at the monitors, watching Raito sleep, wishing that he could reach out and brush the soft skin with his fingertips. He remembered how he told himself he didn't need to watch, but found himself pulled towards looking anyway.

He felt the same pull now as he watched Raito's chest rise and fall, almost like the belly of a slumbering dragon. L smiled to himself. Raito really was like a dragon- murderous and deceptively beautiful, yet peaceful when asleep.

And he, L, was like the deer mesmerized by this great beast. He was trapped by big, deep, chocolate colored eyes that caused every sane thought to fly straight out of his head. L knew he should be terrified of this monster, this man he knew to be Kira. But he was stuck, his own body betraying him.

What am I thinking? L smacked himself in the head softly. He's got me making medieval comparisons… good god. He listened to the soft clink of the chain as he lowered his hand. He had resigned himself to watching Raito while they were chained together, but prolonged exposure to this boy no longer seemed like such a good idea. His mind kept going off on random tangents and he felt the strangest urges, like to reach out and touch Raito…

He saw his hand reach out toward Raito slowly, cautiously. He moved slowly, trying not to disturb Raito's sleep. Thoughts buzzed angrily through his head, telling him to stop, stop before it was too late! His eyes widened, and for once in his life, L did not know what to do. His fingers shook slightly as their tips came perilously close to grazing Raito's skin.

Do it.

L blinked in surprise. His own thoughts were turning against his logic!

Do it now.

He had never believed the people who claimed they had a devil on their shoulder. His own sense of justice had always been too strong for him to even consider the possibility. Yet here he sat, his mind telling him to do what he knew to be wrong.

"Do it,"

L froze. That voice was not the same one he heard a few seconds earlier. In fact, it sounded like-

"Ryuuzaki,"

"Shoulder devil-san?"

The bed shook lightly as Raito chuckled. L felt a blush sweep across his face, spreading rapidly to his neck. He had only half-believed his own question. Raito cracked open his eyes and immediately stared L down. L tried to look away, but Raito's eyes had already captured him. L stared, eyes widening, at the deep chocolate pools that drew him in. His heart beat faster, yet a strange calm settled over him as he was pulled into Raito's eyes.

A shock traveled up his fingers as warmth closed around them.

"Ryuuzaki,"

L said nothing as he realized his hand, the hand that had wanted so badly just to touch, was held by a strong, warm grip that caused every single piece of reason to vanish from his head.

"Eh…" L said the only thing he found himself capable of.

"L,"

Warmth flooded his body as Raito's sweet voice said his name, his real name. A smile spread across Raito's face as he watched L's blush turn from pink to a vibrant fuchsia.

"Yeah?" L's voice came out with a little squeak at the end.

"I'll be your shoulder devil now," Raito said, and L caught a glimpse of something in his eyes that made his heart skip a beat.

L squeaked something indiscernible.

"So, L, will you do it?" Raito asked as he pulled his eyebrows up in pseudo-curiosity.

L sat, shocked into stillness.

"You know, L, I am a very impatient shoulder devil," Raito said, sitting up slowly.

"M-my apologies, shoulder devil-sa…"

He was cut off as Raito gave a sudden yank on L's captured hand. L tumbled over his own legs as he fell. The chain clinked angrily as L found himself on top of Raito's chest. He scrambled to remove himself as every part of his body in contact with Raito shocked and tingled like an electric current. An arm closed over his back and held him in place.

Dammit, I have to get out of here before… before…

L's thoughts grew fuzzy. Every pore in his body was charged with the electric current that felt too good. The arm tightened on his back as Raito let go of L's hand. Raito used his newly freed hand to lift L's chin so their eyes were level. L's already fuzzy mind went blank. Raito's eyes, normally full of contempt or disgust for the detective, looked at L with a happy, knowing look. Yet behind this, L saw something more, a feeling that had been covered up previously.

I'm seeing things, L thought. He blinked, but the image his eyes showed him was the same.

He saw compassion.

Eyes full of love, desire, and passion had replaced the hate L usually saw.

His breath caught in his throat.

"L," Raito breathed, staring into his eyes. "Do you trust your shoulder devil?" he let go of L's chin and moved his fingers gently up L's jawbone.

Do you trust Kira?

L couldn't think straight. Raito's fingertips burned like fire as the trailed over his skin.

He is Kira.

L looked away from Raito's eyes, feeling a bubble of anxiety rise in his chest. He could never trust Kira! This man had killed thousands of criminals without mercy!

But…

His eyes moved back to Raito's. He tried to put everything he felt into this one look, all his fears, his wants, his desires. Raito's eyes widened as L's eyes transformed from the emotionless mask they usually were into windows bearing L's soul. There was fear, curiousity, even anger, but what Raito noticed was a want- a need for something. L's eyes were nearly begging him to take all the pain and fear away.

Prove to me that you are worth this trust, Kira.

Raito's lips curled up into a smile. His hand shifted slightly and captured L's head from behind.

"L, you have nothing to fear. Especially from you own shoulder devil," whispered Raito, rising up slightly, decreasing the space between them. L could feel Raito's breath on his face. His thoughts went haywire, bouncing back and forth. He barely felt his heart beat faster in his chest. All he felt was Raito's breath, his fingers, his strong arm. L's world was spinning, his face flushed. There was only an inch left between their lips…

Oh, god! His lips!!

L's mind stopped. The busy thoughts disappeared, taking with them the fears and anxiety. One thought was left.

I want this.

He couldn't wait. He moved forward and crashed their lips together. Clarity rang through his head like a bell. He felt the softness of Raito's lips on his, the tingles over his scalp as Raito curled his fingers into L's hair, the warmth of their bodies pressed together. Sparks of electricity traveled up and down his spine.

He lifted his lips gently off Raito's. He looked down at the stunning youth below him. Raito was breathing deeply, his eyes closed. His lids lifted slowly, the pupils beneath them unfocused.

"L. Why the HELL did you stop?" Raito asked in a slightly husky voice that made L want to lean back down and shut him up. He untangled himself from Raito's arms and cleared his throat.

"Simply put, I was merely curious. Your lips looked to be about the same color as strawberries, so I was testing to see if they had the same flavor." L said, seating himself in his original position. He didn't mention that the flavor was a thousand times better than any strawberry he had ever eaten. "Now, Raito-kun, you should get some sleep. Goodnight."

Suddenly a pair of arms dragged him down onto the bed, pulling him into place right beside Raito. L realized Raito was shaking with- was that laughter? A blush crept over his face.

"It's time for you to get some sleep as well, L," whispered Raito, hugging him close.

Impossible, thought L. I don't need… sleep…

His eyelids drooped as the rhythm of Raito's breathing lulled him to sleep. As he drifted off, one last thought flooded his mind.

Thank you, shoulder devil.