AN: My friend E-chan was kind enough to lend me her copy of the Death Note Tribute Album. Some of the songs are really touching, others are just very nice to listen to. At the moment I think my favourite is 'Manatsu no Yoru no Yume' by Suga Shikao. It's a great track, I just can't get tired of it. Please listen to it if you have the chance. :)
It was a quiet afternoon, with the Kira Taskforce team hard at work. L sat as usual, looking intently at his wide computer screen. Mogi and Yagami-san were searching through documents silently, and even Matsuda had settled and was printing off some papers.
Raito's pencil, scratching the page quickly as he worked, stopped abruptly. Delicately he placed it on the desk in front of him without a sound. Suddenly he slammed his palms loudly against the surface of the table, at the same time standing without warning, his chair crashing to the ground behind him.
"What…? Raito?!" his father started in surprise, his own work forgotten.
"L!" Raito ignored everybody but the detective, placing his hand on his hip and pointing at the seated man accusingly. L slowly turned in his seat to gaze at him, his face expressionless. His friend continued, shouting, "Accept my challenge!"
"But Raito, why would you want to…" Matsuda asked confusedly, momentarily distracted from the hardworking printer.
Near him Yagami-san buried his face in his hands and sighed. "Ah, here we go…" Mogi patted his shoulder absentmindedly, watching the two men with an expression of amusement.
The characteristically disheveled L, staring up at his rather aggressive friend, merely blinked at him. "Please inform me of your conditions before I am asked for my decision, Raito."
Folding his arms, the youth smiled confidently to himself. "It can't matter, unless you are worried I will finally be the one to beat you, L. After all," his smile widened and with a swift arc of one arm he gave Matsuda a thumbs-up. "Victory is imminent!" The two chorused, Matsuda returning his thumbs-up and grinning stupidly.
Yagami-san slumped further onto the table, his forehead almost touching the surface. Mogi chuckled quietly.
L continued to stare without expression at Raito who stared back, his face determined. "That is not the issue, Raito," L spoke finally after moments of silence.
"Ah, so you are worried!"
"If it has come to the point where you seek Matsuda's counsel, concern is quite understandable."
Raito face twisted into a scowl, which only deepened at the sound of Mogi clapping. He glared pointedly at the older man, but it only seemed to go over his head, and his applause continued for almost a minute before it was silenced. "Please forgive my intrusion into your conversation. That was quite impolite of me," he spoke formally and bowed. When his composed face was turned to Raito, however, the youth was thoroughly irritated to see a mischievous glint in the man's eyes.
"Your actions are entirely understandable. You are forgiven." L replied seriously, and Raito's glare was once again directed at him.
"Fine, fine! Since we seem to be getting nowhere, I'll tell you my terms," Raito said in exasperation. His scowl was once more replaced with a cocky smirk, and he stepped closer to where the detective was seated.
Where he was still slumped tiredly, sprawled across his desk, Yagami-san lifted one hand and slowly traced out odd shapes on the table surface. Mogi realised his gestures were forming letters, a message: Don't do it. Mogi covered his mouth casually with one hand to hide the wide smile that appeared on his face.
"It's a simple test of ability," Raito informed L excitedly, unaware of his father's feeble protests. "Now, we both agree on a word – it has to be something you say often, or the challenge won't be interesting – and whenever you say that word, you have to be punished in some way, though I'm not entirely sure what would be appropriate for that sort of thing, maybe deprivation of sweets or something…"
"Or a kiss," L suggested calmly.
"Or a kiss, yes, that would-" Raito stopped mid-sentence, his enthusiasm disappearing in an instant and a blush spreading suddenly over his stunned face.
Without a sound, Yagami-san slumped so far he threatened to fall out of his chair.
"Uhh…but that's-" his embarrassed son began to protest weakly.
"Your conditions are satisfactory. I accept your challenge," L interrupted, turning back to his computer screen, still without any trace of expression.
"But I, uhh…" the youth floundered.
"Raito, if you choose to withdraw from this challenge, would that not mean," the detective turned slowly to look at his opponent directly, seemingly unaffected. "That. I. Win?"
In a flash Raito's hesitation disappeared, and he pointed at his rival again angrily. "I accept your accepting this challenge! I will not lose to you!"
"Very well then," L's voice was emotionless as ever, but nobody saw the faint smile that lifted the corners of his mouth as he examined the computer screen.
Raito scowled at his back and strode over to Matsuda to have his wounded ego soothed. "You did well, Raito! Of course you'll beat him this time!" the man told him with a cheerful smile, and Raito hugged him tightly, making complaining noises just like a child.
"Raito," L asked suddenly, interrupting his moment of selfishness.
"What?!" Raito threw the word at him loudly.
"What word do you wish to be the subject of this challenge?"
After a moment of thought Raito released Matsuda, his confident smile growing quickly as he straightened to his full height and told him arrogantly, "Kira!"
There was a moment of surprise when Yagami-san fell to the ground with a clatter.
The mood around L's living room table was tense. Only the detective himself seemed largely unaffected by the ominous aura that Raito was giving off, eating his dessert with something close to happiness. He paused mid-bite, and lowered his spoon. Everybody braced themselves.
"I must congratulate every one of you in this room. This Taskforce unit is working hard toward the capture of…" L drew out the moment unnecessarily, making the other men sitting around the table become increasingly anxious.
There was an audible sigh of relief when he continued harmlessly. "…the criminal responsible for these inexplicable deaths. Though I still cannot be certain that no one around this table is in fact…"
Again the suspense grew in the moments he did not speak. Mogi noticed a slight smile appear on the tormenting detective's face, which was growing at the same time the scowl deepened on the youth sitting beside him. "…guilty, I believe myself to have been fortunate to be able to work with such clearly dedicated officers."
Matsuda grinned nervously at him. "Uh, thankyou for that compliment, L," he put down his cup of tea rather shakily as he spoke.
L lowered his head slightly to acknowledge his reply. "It is highly unlikely that Kira will be able to avoid his inevitable capture," he finished, and Raito tried to hide a deep blush with his hand, quite in vain. The detective did not move, and Raito had to stand and lean over him to brush their lips together quickly. Beyond embarrassed, the youth sat back down heavily.
It had not been the first time L had 'accidentally' let the forbidden word slip and they had kissed, but it still didn't seem any less awkward than the first incident had been. Mogi noted L's contented expression as he returned to his dessert with barely veiled amusement.
Seeing Yagami-san's discomfort, Mogi leaned a little closer to the older man so that his whispered comments would reach his ears. "Do you think you could take a sick day?"
The chief had his eyes closed and was frowning visibly, but made no move to leave the room. "Honestly, my son is an intelligent young man. He must understand that he is going to find himself in situations like these, but he still tries to rile him up. Sometimes I think he secretly enjoys the whole thing."
Mogi smiled kindly at him, and looked back at Raito, who was still blushing furiously and fidgeting with the buttons at the end of his sleeve. He did not reply to Yagami-san's comment, but his agreement was quite clear in his affectionate smile.
Having finished his current dessert, Watari promptly replaced L's treat with a new one. "…Kira," L said out of the blue, appearing to inspect the dish intently. Raito kissed him hurriedly and sat down again.
"Kira," L lifted the provided utensil carefully. Raito blushed and rose, kissing him even more quickly, the barest touch, before he returned to his seat, this time sitting slightly closer to the detective on the sofa.
Unperturbed, L loaded his spoon with a portion of the cake, lifting it to his lips. Before it could touch them he stopped and placed the spoon attentively beside the bowl. There were a few moments of silence, and he stared at it. "Kira."
Frustrated, Raito rested a hand under his chin and forcibly turned his rival's face towards his own, kissing him gently without standing up. He released him and his glare was thoroughly undermined by his blush.
"I think this means he's won, Raito," Mogi told him in a serious voice, though he found the boy's uncharacteristically sweet expression quite amusing.
'Oh, I had won from the moment he challenged me," L informed him. "Because you see, Raito," the detective touched his blushing cheek lightly, an affectionate gesture. "Kissing you is not a punishment."
Slowly he lowered his face to kiss him, and this time the youth did not put up any resistance. Overcoming his surprise at L's sudden display of emotion, the challenge was forgotten, and he gave himself up to the kiss.
"On second thought, I think I may call in sick tomorrow," Yagami-san said, his hand touching his forehead wearily.
Mogi looked at the couple embracing tenderly and then back at his friend. "I would take the week off."
AN: I was interrupted mid-sentence while writing this oneshot by the image of 'Matsuda the mommy'. I couldn't help it, I just laughed so hard I had to stop for a little while. It would be great fun if I could find some fanart of that idea. :P