A Pocketful of Posey
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Not mine.

AN: The rough draft of this was done for an anonymous writing meme on LiveJournal. Abstracted style.

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Sometimes it's as if he has cobwebs on the mind - ghost-softness tangled in synapses and warping electrical signals until all he can see and hear is the faint glow of a thousand screens humming softly in a still night - and he can't quite recall just what it is that he's so afraid of, so annoyed by, and if the vagueness makes him uneasy, the soul-deep suspicion pulsing beneath L's skin is the only thing in the world that he can trust and dread.

New strangeness spills into his life with every moment, bright-sharp and terrifying every morning that he wakes with steel gnawing his skin and an unvoiced scream trembling on his lips, and he can't help but be intrigued by the gleam of sullen, wicked sweetness hidden behind too-dark eyes. Misa will hang off his arm, and his father will watch him with a crinkled, worried brow, but all he thinks and breathes is this other boy, this other creature, mirror-match and opposite all at once, and he isn't sure why he's so thrilled every time they launch into a vicious, lovely fight, and why he's close to wiggling with pleasure every time they flop down together, exhausted and bruised and grouchy.

In moments half-caught in dreams, he thinks this must be love - his first, his true, his only - but when he blinks himself into waking, he knows that something so tender can never be, but he doesn't waste precious time regretting it. Love makes people soft, love makes people stupid, and neither of them have the time or the inclination to melt into one another. The clash between them makes the violence sweeter, the passion deeper, and there is no softness to be had at the hand of a man he can't stand save for living without him.

At sour, bitter times, he lies on his back in the king-sized bed they share (imported, fine Egyptian cotton sheets, and L's crumbs always wind up in his pajamas and leave him cranky and itchy in the morning) and thinks unlovely thoughts. On those nights, he dreams of blood and laughter, and wakes up still furious and longing to curl his fingers around that pale throat and squeeze. The one time he tried, spider-fingers clamped down on his neck and matched his own pressure exactly, and staring down into his eyes was like drowning in forever.

He collapsed then, falling into his arms, and they didn't fit together at all, but he buried his face against L's shoulder and wept shamelessly, helpless with fury and a smothering hatred that left him gasping wetly for breath because he refused to let out the scream locked inside his throat. L, rocking him like a child, pressed his lips to his ear and crooned softly in English, the words slurring and sleepy, and it wasn't until he woke up hours later and alone that he realized he'd been singing about the plague that had ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages.

He trembled, feeling too-vulnerable in the shower that morning, but beneath the stark glare of the overhead lighting, L said nothing, and he wasn't sure if that was a curse or a blessing or both hidden beneath the guise of indifference.

He hates all childish things, because the two of them are anything but children, but he adores it when L plays with him, taunts him and challenges him, loves the thrill and the chase and the fighting, and the first night that he felt bold enough, he curled against him, sleepy and drained, and thought that maybe he could be saved. But then L brushed a hand softly through his hair, and snaking around him only meant that the noose silently curled around his throat drew tighter. The truth - the truth he does not understand, the truth that L won't tell him - is far more terrible than the cruelest lie, and in the moments that he feels brave enough to brush his fingers curiously over his chapped lips, L sinks his teeth into his flesh hard enough to bruise.

Look at me, he thinks, look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me!

Sometimes, he wonders where his life has gone - Sayu, his mother, the comfort of home and school, the serenity of solitude - but then he remembers boredom, and he remembers inanity, and if he kissed L in gratitude, he'd get kicked in the face and dragged to the bathroom so L could scrub out his mouth and gargle with imported mouthwash.

Through all of his fervent denials, he revels in the attention, preens over every compliment, and if there's a tingle down his spine at the ghost-touch of pale fingers against his skin, it's just because L blasts the air conditioning like a man in the Sahara.

This is not hell, and this is not bliss, but this is desire, stronger and more potent than any drug, and when he wakes to himself, he knows this is a test.

Kira desires power beyond all else, but looking at him is like looking at everything and nothing all at once, and if Light were softer, perhaps, he could be swayed into gentleness by the force of his longing. Because it is impossible, he wants, and the wanting is slippery-sweet and terrible and must be purged. Anything else would be insufficient, inefficient, and as a young god, he can be allowed one moment of indulgence while he still has the time.

He looks at him in the low light of another early morning and thinks I will never get over you, and it's such a pity, such a travesty, but of all the people on earth, he will never win him over, and though he'd not be a treasure if he could, he's already aching for the necessity of his loss.

He wonders what it will be like, to steal a kiss from a dying boy, to hold him as he crumples and shatters and watch all his beauty and brilliance drain away into the perfect stillness of death. The thought makes him flush with heat, with triumph, and this absolute victory will be sweet enough that the lifetime of irritated boredom sure to follow will be worth it in the end.

They crush together only once, a messy, angry tangle of arms and legs and lust, and if the team suspects what they've been up to, they're absolutely, perfectly wrong. L tastes sweet, too sweet, like cherry syrup - artificial flavor, artificial color, artificial artifice - and it's absolutely revolting and exquisitely, awfully perfect. Somewhere hot and dark and lost in slick-salt kisses, he gives him a sweet, fervent smile and promises without words that he'll give him a beautiful murder, because even the most mundane death will be a wonder when it's his. L's silent answer is a strange smile and a rough shove back into the already-tangled bedsheets, and the joy in all of this is the anticipation - he can't wait to see him die, and this tiny preview leaves him flushed and satisfied and panting with exhausted bliss.

Sweat-soaked, bruised and sore, he lies on his side and threads his hands through his matted hair, down his too-pale skin, and presses messy kisses down his vulnerable throat. He hates him with a purity that borders on adoration, and when he laces their fingers together, the sweetness of his fleeting smile is pure as silk-soft poison. He revels in the answering softness of slender fingers stroking down his bare skin, and if his gasp of shock and pained pleasure is just a little bit too loud in the room's quiet, it's nothing compared to what they've already done together, and he's absolutely fascinated by the wet dart of pink tongue smearing his own blood brightly down his chest.

It's only right that it's him, in the end, and it's only right that he knows, that he's looking at him and only at him, and this is the pinnacle of power, of joy, and life will never be sweeter than it is at this precious moment. And he throws his head back and screams and wails and rages, and even if there's a grain of truth in his grief, all the while it's all he can do to keep up the act instead of nuzzling adoringly against his corpse and laughing with sheer, delicious delight.

Years later, he finds out about Mello and Near, and is furiously, violently jealous.

Dying is a simple, painful, miserable thing, and all he can think is that L - Ryuuga Ryuuzaki first friend first enemy first lover - doesn't even have the decency to play his final hand until long after he's dead.

That fucking bastard.

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