Was it Kira? Did Kira kill him?! C'mon, Roger, you're got to tell me!

- Probably.

But he promised me he'd find Kira and execute him! And now you're telling me that he's been killed!?

- M-Mello!

-Mello and Roger, Death Note episode 27.

Promises. Faith. Shattered. Soldier On.

It was odd.

All was quiet, which in itself would be rather unsettling had it not been nearing midnight. Orphanages are rarely quiet, you see.
All was as it should be. Except it wasn't. There was one room, tucked away on the second floor, where two persons still remained awake, despite the late hour and peaceful night air.

There was an agitated rustle of clothing, and one figure, a moving shadow it seemed, detached itself from the wall and crossed the barren room to loom over the sleek computer, and the man sprawled in front of it.

When the wraith crouched down to eye level, the blue glow of the computer screen illuminated blonde hair and red rosary beads. It threw spider web shadows across the boy's cheeks, hooded his bright eyes, and made him appear harder, colder and sharper than sunlight ever could.

He spoke then- a low, soft purr.

The elder man let his eyes flicker in the boy's general direction before going back to the neat, clean, uncomplicated rows and rows of kanji-- black on white on the faintly glowing screen.
"Mello. You're up late…don't you have a Forensic Science exam in the morning?"

He didn't ask why Mello was there, didn't ask the obvious-- why would he? L already knew what he would do. There was a (97 percent) very good chance that Mello would attempt to keep him leaving for Japan, and a 76 percent chance that Mello would, in fact lose his temper when he was shot down, before he changed strategies to something a tad more effective.

So when the boy, not yet 14 shifted and lowered himself to perch above L's thighs, with the mildly amusing (cute) expression of grim determination, he was neither surprised, nor affected (mostly). But among all of L's talents, X-Ray vision was not one of them, so he was forced to meet Mello's unwavering gaze.
"I don't give a damn about that test and you bloody well know it. I don't want you to leave. You're not leaving. "

This was old news, and L for once, was almost sick of being right all the time.
" I have to. You know that."

One small, elegant hand rose to toy with the silver cross, and Mello dropped his gaze for just a moment, just a heartbeat.

"Yeah. I know."

The bitterness in Mello's tone and the closed off blankness that made up his face surprised L. Just a bit, just a little.

"I'm sorry."
L's hand moved on its own, clasping spider-like around Mello's own, tanned fingers. Both seem transfixed at the contrast, lily-pale covering tan. Then, as if electrically shocked, Mello jerked-- a half-baked bid for freedom, before L's other arm (the one that had been propping him up) wrapped around his skinny hips and set the boy off balance. Mello's warm weight crashed into L's, and his words (still in that bitter, defeated tone) were muffled by his white shirt.
"No, you aren't."

"Of course I am…"
Mello, in his desperation, pressed his face into L's neck, fervently shaking his head. He wanted nothing more than to be free- L confused him, upset him. Hurt him. But freedom had never been an option, not with L's arms caging him, not with Near's dead eyes and Roger's favoritism, certainly not with one hand wrapped deceivingly tight round his prized rosary, the other wrapped round him. Him. Oh Lord. The thoughts blur, chaos bright through a brilliantly broken mind and this hurt so good and-

"...I'm sorry." Lying bastard- L didn't sound sorry in the least bit.

Mello had opened his mouth to tell his elder exactly that but-oh. Warm, mildly chapped lips pressed against his and oh- Mello made a half-surprised, half-terrified noise in the back of his throat because this was wrong, this was Sin but oh-it was what he wanted and he's kissing back and-

Mello opened his eyes because he was cold, so cold without that mouth on his, and when did he close his eyes? L wasn't looking at him he was staring intently at the shadow wreathed ceiling above, his thumb at his mouth. Thinking most like, and Mello wasn't angry, not calm, certainly. He was confused, he was bitter. He knew what it's like to want but not have.

He made to rise, but there was still an arm around his waist that tightened its grip when he moved, so he shifted and rested his head on L's shoulder and closed his eyes. Memorizing, calculating, wanting.

After a long moment, where the only noise was the muted, innocent sound of rain falling outside, L spoke.
"I will catch Kira, and bring him to Justice."

And Mello nodded, a faint, miserable little nod. He got it, he understood he does-L will catch Kira, jail him and come back. To end his misery, one way or another by declaring his failure at becoming L's successor or to finish this sin of sins, but there's still doubt and pain and fear-
"You promise?"

Mello brushed black hair from black eyes and meet L's enquiring gaze for the last time.
L seemed to reward this with a crooked little smirk, before pressing their mouths together again (because they fit like puzzle pieces and Mello always had been dreadfully, beautifully broken: it's what made him so fascinating.)
"I promise."

He's lying again, but neither of them knew it yet.


Well then, this is a bit more shippy than I ususally go for. Who's complaining, though, right? Well, thanks for reading. Drop me a line if you like, it'd really be appreciated.