A/N: Mozart's thirteenth serenade is also (and more commonly) known as Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

This was actually one of the first things I wrote in the fandom, but I wanted to save it until I'd written a great deal of fluff, in order to disturb as many people as possible. I'm sick like that.


Through half-lidded eyes Light watches the usual commotion of the morning unfurl. There's no water cooler here in the headquarters, but there is a coffee maker, and human beings have a truly inspiring gift for adaptation. People cope. It's a beautiful thing.

L—beg pardon, Ryuzaki—isn't drinking coffee today. From the lush armchair he has claimed, Light watches the mild-mannered maverick fiddling with a sugar cube, one finger curled against his lips, the others oddly autonomous and, apparently, slightly peckish. The plain shirt ripples carelessly down his curved back, wild hair spilling over the collar, hiding a neck that Light imagines is like a swan's—smooth, white, and eminently breakable.

He thinks perhaps it is the wildness that intrigues him—or, rather, the balance of the wildness and the control. For it's true that L—or, rather, Ryuzaki—is the most disciplined individual Light has ever encountered. There is something animalistic about his undaunted disregard for social convention—it's not even a disregard, not even an ignorance; he just doesn't see fit to acknowledge the existence of such tenets in the first place—and there is something predatory about his unwavering intensity. But the calm—the composure—the brilliance, the blitheness, the incredible degree to which every part of him cooperates with the intention of the whole—is supremely human. It has always been the abstract hope and futile wish of mankind that his intelligence may someday outweigh his impulses, and L—that is, Ryuzaki—has succeeded.

But then, there is something wild about that, too—because that success is supposed to be impossible.

They're a deck of cards, the people in this room—Light's father is a king, the others jacks, though Matsuda sometimes seems to be a two. Light's an ace, of course. And L—Ryuzaki—is a Joker.

Light and his sister always used to play with Jokers wild.

He's fascinating, this strange, paradoxical creature, fed on cake and candy and a maddening genius that bubbles endlessly from some depthless, unknown wellspring. If Light could find that place, he could smash it out. Clog it up. Tear it down. Destroy it once and for all, instead of just trying to shore up the cracks in his plan.

But until he can do that, there's little left but to admire the way the water flows.

L—right; yes; Ryuzaki—slips a sugar cube between his lips and rolls it around in his mouth, absently as always. His pale pink tongue darts out to catch truant grains, and his eyes flick back and forth as he scans the screen.

For their part, Light's eyes slide almost all the way closed as he envisions, in luscious detail, the delicate detective tied to a chair in an ill-lit room, duct tape plastered over that weirdly sensuous mouth, the eerie bright eyes shining in the dark the only indication of his mounting horror. Seeing in those eyes that L—that Ryuzaki—is ninety-five point four percent certain that he's going to die.

Or maybe he's kneeling, hands bound behind him, matted hair flooding his forehead, lips parted and trembling, before the victor—before the god. Light wants to see him kneel. Light wants to see him beg. Light wants to see the look in his eyes when he knows that he's been had, knows that he's been beaten, and knows that he has no choice now but to grovel like a slave for his pathetic life.

Or maybe it's a four-poster bed with gauzy blue curtains and pure white sheets, and the day of the inevitable crucifixion has duly arrived. The familiar strains of Mozart's thirteenth serenade float from unseen speakers, warm, soothing, and uplifting, swelling with inarticulate joy. And there's L—Ryuzaki. There's the fallen crusader, Justice's spidery right hand, trapped like a rat. Chains, Light thinks; they jingle so merrily, and the poetic justice—the variety Light prefers—is exquisite. There the subjugated sleuth lies, hair like spilt pitch on the pillowcase, narrow chest hosting quick, shallow breaths for partial moments before they're released. Blood, too—Light wants blood. He wants it to pool in the hollow between the collarbones and coat the ridges of the ribs, wants to marvel at the contrast of its deep ruby red and the ivory of skin that doesn't know the sun's kiss. He wants to feel it, hot and slick and thick and more gratifying even than he anticipated, beneath his hands as his fingertips walk through it up to a neck and a chin and a cheek. He'll caress the curve of that cheek gently, despite the way the animal eyes accuse him. He'll lean down, graze a vein with his teeth, and whisper in the shell of an ear draped with unruly black silk—"I've won." And L will cringe and cower away, wishing he could die for the shame.

But he won't.

Oh, no. No, sweet L, sweet Ryuzaki. No, you're much lovelier alive.

"You look awfully pleased with yourself this morning," Matsuda remarks cheerily, flopping down on the couch nearest him, barely avoiding spilling acrid coffee all over the cushions. "Did you figure something out?"

Light shrugs. "Nothing in particular," he answers pleasantly. "I just have a good feeling." He smiles indulgently. "A very good feeling."