Author's Note: Hastily dashed off because even mass-murderers' birthdays should be celebrated with strange fluff!


It's really hard to be good-humored before eight o'clock in the morning.

It's even harder when a certain sleep-defying someone was up until three tick-tapping away at his computer keys.

Light scrubs at his eyes for the umpteenth time, the chain links jingling in a much-too-merry way, and attempts to force his eyes to focus on the letters on the screen.

Coercion does not seem to be working. Perhaps he should try to bribe them next.

He glances over at his inescapable companion. L is sitting stock still, knees drawn up, hands folded on them, like a very unorthodox statue, and either whatever his monitor displays is downright fascinating, or he's having just as much trouble staying awake as Light is.

"Ryuzaki," Light prompts, tugging on the chain with just the right amount of force and from just the right angle to make L's chair swivel towards him. "I want coffee," he announces. "No, I need coffee."

L blinks at him. "Yagami-kun," he says slowly, as if Light is a child begging for sweets in the supermarket, "I hardly imagine that you need caffeine."

Light flicks an eyebrow upward pointedly. "I hardly think you are in a position to tell me about food being unnecessary."

L frowns. "I hardly think that you are in a position to tell me to get out of my chair at your every whim."

With that, he turns sharply to face his computer screen again, with as much dignity as any man curled up and disheveled, a handcuff dangling from one wrist, could possibly muster.

Light scowls, but then he smirks. Two can play at this game.

"All right," he concedes pleasantly; "don't get out of your chair."

Smugly, he takes to his feet, wraps the handcuff chain once about his hand for leverage, slings the rest over his shoulder, and starts walking towards the kitchen.

There's a moment of resistance as carpeting fights plastic, but then Light thanks whichever proto-humanoid was so kind as to invent the wheel, because he's towing L's rolling chair behind him.

He hears a very faint, very low growling noise from behind him, and he realizes that he has just invaded Poland.

Metaphorically speaking.

Oh, dear.

Instinctively, he drops to the floor, and the maneuver saves him a brutal bruise, because L's foot swings harmlessly over his head. L channels his momentum into a second effort, however, and it's all Light can do to scramble out of the way.

Evasion, of course, will not suffice.

He dives for L's knees just as the detective has spun to gather speed, and with an aggravated yelp from his victim, they both go tumbling to the floor. L's fighting like an alley cat, though fortunately he lacks the claws, and in the interest of not losing an eye, Light does the only thing he can think of.

He starts tickling L's ribs.

L is stunned into absolute immobility at first, whether because the tactic is so ridiculously immature or because the sensation is so discomfiting Light doesn't know. But then he's squirming, and then he's writhing, and then he's howling and batting at Light's hands so avidly that the handcuffs ring where they collide.

Light, however, is undaunted—and is, furthermore, inspired to snatch one of L's bare feet and drag a fingertip slowly down its middle.

L positively screams.

Absently dodging flailing limbs and a few kicks that probably would have broken his neck if they'd connected, Light supposes that tickling is not the most dignified route to victory, but he's pretty sure he can live with that.

And it's strange, because it makes him realize that he's never heard L laugh before.

All the more reason to bob and weave past the thrashing appendages and recommence his assault on a slender torso.

L is wailing and breathless, and Light finds that he's laughing, too—because the whole situation is utterly absurd, and the World's Greatest Detective has an extremely infectious giggle, and Light's sleep-deprived and sick of working—and he feels like he's been working all his life, and successes have only brought new opportunities for drudgery. When was the last time he dropped everything and just played?

So he laughs, and tortures his coworker, and ignores the very silly squealing noise he hears himself make as he darts away from a retaliatory hand.

When he's simply too winded to persist, he releases L from tickling torment and flops down on the carpet next to him, panting.

It is then that he notices Aizawa, Matsuda, Mogi, and his father standing not far away, looking as though they aren't sure whether applause or a quick call to the mental asylum would be more appropriate.

But wait—is that—?

Light scrambles up and grabs one of the foam coffee cups from the tray in his father's hands.

"Thanks, Dad," he chirps, stepping over L and plopping down in his chair again.

There is a long, long silence.

Light sips demurely and meets incredulous stares.

"What?" he asks.