Author's Note: Three things… 1. Yes, Doctor Who fans, "Turn Left" was foremost on my mind at the beginning there. XD 2. Followers of The Hunt, I'm very, very sorry—and very, very swamped with other fic projects. Forgive! 3. I like the articles within as much as L does, so there's really no need to tell me if you hate them. XD Happy Valentine's Day!
Morning poked at Light's eyelids, not particularly gently. He tried to latch onto the trailing end of a disappearing dream, but it slipped away, all mist and echoes of emotion, so he gave in and opened his eyes.
Light usually slept on his front, often with his arms folded under the pillow. Sometimes, depending on his angle, one of them went numb, which was troublesome when he needed to turn off the alarm clock and had only a floppy, deadened arm to do it with.
This morning, however, his arms were fine—something else was off. There was something on his skin, settled right on his bare backbone, and he knew for a fact that there hadn't been when he had gone to sleep. The sheets were drawn down to his waist, which explained why he vaguely remembered Arctic expedition dreams, and something was itching strangely on his spine.
Light blinked and focused. Beside him, in plain view, L sat, folded forward about his bent legs, only his toes covered by the sheet. His face was buried in his knees, one white cheek and the familiar explosion of dark hair visible above.
"Ryuzaki," Light said.
L started and awoke, raising his head to display a pair of hazy gray eyes and a very impressive denim imprint on his jaw.
"Yagami-kun?" he prompted, his tongue fumbling its way over the sounds.
Light looked at him, not yet daring to move. "Ryuzaki," he said again, "what in the hell is on my back, and why did you put it there?"
L's eyelashes dipped and rose again. "Yagami-kun assumes I am responsible."
For such a celebrated genius, L had made quite a habit of stating the glaringly obvious.
"Crazy, huh?" Light was scowling as he doled out the sarcasm, to no apparent effect. "We're handcuffed together in a locked bedroom in a hotel with incredibly high-end security, and you have a thirty-second attention span. I wonder what could have put that ridiculous idea in my head."
L was fighting a smile and losing. "Yagami-kun has a very active imagination. It's an admirable trait. Has he considered the possibility that Amane-san's desire to stalk him has overcome my safety measures at last?"
"Don't third-person me," Light retorted. "And don't insult my intelligence by giving Misa that much credit. Ryuzaki, what the hell is on my back?"
L gazed at Light's spine for a moment, thoughtfully. Then he reached out and selected something, which he raised for scrutiny.
It was a pink conversation heart. It read CUTIE PIE.
For probably the third time in eighteen years of life, Light was utterly speechless.
"I was doing an experiment," L announced, setting the piece of candy on his tongue, his cheeks hollowing as he sucked on it pensively. "I have noticed that you usually wake up in the same position in which you fell asleep, and I was wondering if perhaps you lie still the entire night."
Light rediscovered his voice, which had taken up residence under a rock with his dignity, his sanity, and his social life. "So you covered me in candy?"
L blinked, distantly offended. Light was getting far too good at interpreting L's extremely subtle changes in facial expression.
"You are not even remotely 'covered in candy,'" L pointed out. "That would have been wasteful, and it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. It occurred to me that your spinal column would be a relatively reliable gauge for—"
"Get the candy off, Ryuzaki," Light growled.
The rate of L's blinking increased marginally, which indicated a degree of irritation. "It is no doubt significantly tamer than what Amane-san has planned for Valentine's Day."
"I'm trying not to think about that," Light informed him. "And the fact that Misa is more insane than you are doesn't change the fact that you're a lunatic."
L leaned over to pluck another heart off of Light's back, the better to display it. This one was purple, blazoned with HUG ME.
"Isn't that a generous sentiment?" L inquired, popping it into his mouth like its predecessor and beginning to crunch on it.
"Is there one that says 'I'm going to beat you with a blunt object if any part of my back is sticky after this'?" Light asked. "Because that would be accurate."
"Your lack of celebratory spirit is discouraging," L remarked.
"Hating Valentine's Day does not even remotely make me Kira," Light gritted out. L shrugged, picking up a green heart, and Light wrinkled his nose. "How can you even eat those things?" he demanded. "They taste like chalk."
"They do not," L countered, the tip of his tongue darting out to swipe across his lip. "I've eaten chalk; I would know."
Light stared at him, and L paused.
"It was April Fool's Day," he said. "A young friend of mine put chalk dust in Pixy Stix straws and managed to reseal the ends."
Light raised a hand to run it down his face, feeling conversation hearts wobble on his spine. "I don't know why I even talk to you."
"Presumably because I'm the head of this investigation," L noted innocently, reaching out for an orange heart.
"Will you hurry up?" Light muttered, shifting impatiently.
L sat back for a moment, thumb jumping to his pursed lips. Then he crawled forward and did what Light should have been afraid of all along.
"Augh!" Light cried, his muscles locking unhelpfully at the faint, soft, warm touch of L's mouth as it collected the next conversation heart from off of his skin. "Not what I meant! Stop! Personal space!"
"'M only helping," L mumbled, his breath hot and moist as he set a hand on Light's hip for leverage, calmly eating his way upward.
The deft mouth touched a spot that tickled, and Light squirmed. "You have never in your life been less helpful," he managed, babbling half into the pillow, "which, for you, is really saying something, believe me."
"Calm down, Yagami-kun."
A butterfly kiss lifted a heart off of one of Light's vertebra. "Now you're just being contrary."
"I am not!"
"You should be glad it wasn't chocolate," L commented.
"There is nothing here to be glad about," Light hissed, clenching his fingers in the sheets. He hated L. L was unsettling and arrogant and completely backwards, and his total disconnect from the universe sometimes lent him a terrifying capacity for callousness. There was nothing about him that was alluring, whether or not he was the only person Light had ever met who gave him a run for his money; whether or not he would lick ice cream off of his fingertips with a fascinating precision; whether or not there was something of a fairy tale in the depth of his pale eyes and the shadow of his indomitable hair. It didn't matter that he was the strangest set of contradictions Light had ever seen—brilliant and clueless; sharp and helpless; untamed and untaught; addicted and sheltered and curious and weak. It made no difference that the only things they had in common were their confidence, their stubbornness, and being significantly smarter than everyone they knew. It was entirely irrelevant that they were polar opposites with a crucial correlation.
One of L's long fingers stroked idly at the small of Light's back. "It could have been Jell-O."
"I'm going to hit you in a second."
L's mouth descended gently at the nape of his neck, inches higher than the last conversation heart had lain. "What's stopping you?"
Light cast around for the first excuse he could conjure.
"Consider it a Valentine's Day present," he said.
L retreated, cold air sidling into the place he'd been, and sat back. A smirk curled the corners of his lips with a glee his enterprising thumb couldn't hide.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Yagami-kun."
Light buried his reddening face in the pillow. "I hate you."
He could hear L's broadening grin. "I think you are missing the point."