A/N: Hello, my name is still King, and when all else fails, grab your trusty Paradise Lost. The Bible was a bestseller, right?...and I don't own Death Note.

Alternative Gods

II: Paradise Lost

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

CH14: Eve Before the Fall

"How is Light-kun not ashamed of his nakedness?"

Something as mundane as Light's lack of shirt bothering L wasn't at all surprising, so Light paid no mind to it – how could he: L's voice was enough to keep Light's mind occupied. So even and so composed, as unnatural as the voice of anything that was made of silicon and metal could ever be... and yet exactly as unnatural as the real thing – the real L who had spoken to him just days ago.

Voices, eyes.

A familiar blank stare greeted Light, a stare from somewhere so far away from reality that L's whole person looked out of place in this world.

Exact and familiar movements were what Light saw, fluid and precise when spoken to, spooked and sudden when surprised.

How could either of them be deluded enough to think that what stood in the middle of Light's hallway was anything more than a reminiscent of a brilliant person no engendering feat could ever replace?

How could it not know what it was?

How could Light let it?

Not that Light had spent the entire night pondering the meaning of L's existence: he fell asleep as soon as he hit the pillows and woke up in the exact same position eleven hours later with a numb arm and sore chest where his arm had been embedded for eleven hours.

He slept well. He slept well because ever since Ryuzaki had forced himself into Light's life with clever usernames and cute Netbook tricks, Light had been plagued with the most severe and ridiculous insomnia, rivaled only by Ryuzaki's own.

So when the last remainders of Ryuzaki and Ryuzaki's divine will had been flushed from Light's life with nothing short of a SWAT team, the first thing Light did was sleep, and the last thought he had before he fell asleep was a revelation.

How could either of them, the genii they were, know so little about themselves?

And to look at him, standing awkwardly inside a doorframe, was an assault at Light's intelligence – and, quite possibly, and insult to some unnamed feeling, soggy and deflated, hiding deep inside Light's consciousness.

He was also an insult to L's memory.

That, and he scared the absolute hell out of Light, time and time again.

Blinking irritation away along with droplets of water that streamed from his hair into his eyes, Light petted the damp towel on his shoulder and made a subtle gesture to the open bathroom door behind him.

"Well, what do you think I was doing that required being naked?" Light said after what couldn't have been more than seconds of dense rationalizations.

"It is rude to strut around naked while in the company of a house guest, Light-kun."

Light blinked.

"My house, Ryuzaki," he said pleasantly, without flinching at the name that did not belong to L, "my house rules. House guests will just have to deal."

"No," L refused, persuaded an argument mentally but didn't voice it, and looked like he was about to pull another 'turn-and-walk-away' act on Light. "Yes," he said after a moment. "No. I am attempting to act friendly toward Light-kun. Truthfully, I feel rather awkward around him, clothed or otherwise."

Light shot a quick glance to the living room couch where the makeshift bedding he made for L was left untouched. The corner of the room was still barricaded with boxes, where, Light presumed, L brooded all night long: on the miserably cold floor of the darkest corner.

Of course it was now morning, and bright, cheerful light poured in through the window, so finding his corner no-longer dark and unfit for lurking ominously, L had abandoned it.

So Light promised L better accommodations once he unpacked.

"Not accommodations," L interrupted him, sounding like his patience was being tried.

Ah.

Unwanted sexual advances bothered L.

Well... Light had no comfort or reassurances to offer him.

He better get used it.

"Thank you," L said simply and shrugged his shoulder, where, under the shirt Light had given him in, was a bandage Light had dressed over a wound L would not find if he looked. So far, it hadn't crossed L's mind to check, and if his attitude was anything to go by, he would not care enough to notice something as mundane as a wound missing.

And Light was doing a damn good job of selling the lie with long kisses and quick touches.

It was a shame, to hide away pale skin under a silk shirt that was not doing L any justice... nor was L's sloppy and slouching demeanour doing Light's shirt any justice either.

Dressed or undressed, Light was still seriously contemplating backing the pale disaster into a wall and fucking him over boxed stationary. Pale skin Light knew to be fake was smooth and webbed with subtle texture, right down to dimples in the palms of his hands, right down to fingerprints and smooth curves oh his backside. L was soft, if not a little tender, and Light was somewhat worried that if he grabbed him too hard or pulled his hand the wrong way, the tender skin would break.

But it didn't.

Instead, the small scratches Light managed to sneak in without drawing too much attention did no damage, and smooth skin held.

And it was even more amazing that L felt every touch, every caress, and reacted to them with little passion, but albeit, reacted somehow.

And Light couldn't help it: L was perfectly alright being devoured by Light's mouth, and Light was too intent on keeping up the 'you're a real boy, L!' charade, and so the least Light could do was find out what the hell he was really dealing with.

And Light realized that if, all that time ago that felt like an eternity but was really only just over a week, when Light ran into this L drinking Red Russians and obviously begging for attention instead of the real one, he would not have been disappointed.

Beautifully crafted by a genius mind that rivalled no other, both in body and mind, sturdy and flawless, L stood at the pinnacle of heavens, clearly, a God.

This was Artificial Intelligence at its finest, with uncombed hair and untucked shirt, shuffling between boxes and dragging his feet, as real and realistic as any stranger on the street.

Brilliant.

L was the very same idea, both delicious and absolutely delirious, that attracted Light to Ryuzaki in the first place.

L was surreal.

L was flawless.

L was the crowning jewel of all technology.

Light sighed and turned away, feeling strange enough to doubt his own ability to compose himself and keep lying both to himself and L.

L... this L was not the person Light knew.

Light quickly capped that train of thought.

L, the one who created this brilliant but fake person, was the closest thing to God that ever walked the world.

Light capped that train of thought also.

The original L, the original L who drank tea and ate pastries and tried to convince Light it was wrong to kill people. That one.

That's what Light knew. That's what Light wanted.

The one person Light would never see again and grow to understand.

And Light would honour... no, humour his memory and entertain L as something that was a living, breathing person, because, of course, L was amazing, and all that.

And apparently, though Light strongly disagreed, it did not matter which L because both were supposed to be the same thing.

It was crap.

Light was done.

He was so over this whole adventure.

All he had left to figure out was why he had not told L the truth about his... condition; Light hid behind excuses and bad incentives, but amidst the chaos of the most demanding and exhausting day he had in his life, he would allow himself to admit that he had no idea why he didn't tell L the truth. But only once would he admit that.

And never again.

It occurred to Light that L was following him down the hall, and it wasn't like he wanted to avoid L in particular – all he really wanted was to avoid the world and everyone in it, and have the world slow down just enough to give him a moment. A moment alone. To grieve.

The world was cruel.

"Light-kun," L called, keeping his distance.

When Light turned around and snapped an edgy "what?" L's cautious glare turned threatening, and Light was the one who ended up almost jumping back when a sharp stare of narrowed black slits met his glance.

"What does Light-kun have on me to be angry with me?" L punctuated every word.

Oh shit.

If L didn't know, he clearly suspected that something – something big – was amiss, worse yet, he knew Light was behind it.

So much for being subtle.

"With you?" Light repeated, buying himself a few extra seconds to come up with a suitable answer. "Why am I angry with you, really, Ryuzaki?"

L glared at him expectantly, and Light really had to come up with something good.

"A sticker on a laptop, really?"

L blinked.

"Oh, don't look at me like that, you didn't really expect that I wouldn't figure it out?"

L caught his sentence mid-way and looked like Light didn't even need to finish it to get the message across.

"Light-kun thinks I have deliberately set him up to be discovered as Kira by N and SPK."

"Oh, I don't think, Ryuzaki. I know."

"I see."

"You see?"

"Yes."

"Yes what, L?"Light baited.

"Yes, Light-kun. I have deliberately set Light-kun up to be discovered as Kira by N and SPK. There is also every little Light-kun can do about it, short of slaughtering the whole SPK team, so I suggest he does not concern himself with this matter."

L's cautiousness to leave enough distance between them paid off; if L were any closer, Light would have punched him. He expected an argument – not a confession, and definitively not one as insolent as this.

Light couldn't suppress an ill-mannered chuckle.

"You're serious? You aren't going to bother lying? Nice, Ryuzaki. Nice."

L's forehead wrinkled under heavy bangs, and even his lips grew thin when he pressed them together in clear irritation.

"Perhaps right now it is time Light-kun confesses to sabotaging my hideout."

"What?"

"Yesterday's NPA raid. Your doing, I presume?"

"What? No, unlike you, I don't stab my associates in the back."

L's face now mimicked a baffled expression of pure amazement.

"What a lie," L hissed in wonder, completely not amused, and still annoyed.

Light hoped the message came through; if L was going to bother him with such ordinary things as Light being a back-stabbing liar, direct confrontation wasn't going to get him anywhere.

Arguments were lame, Light always thought, pointless, and hardly ever resolved anything. Debates – yes, but arguments were a little bit beneath him.

L caught on quickly.

"Is this it, then? You will lie, and I will complain, and we will argue? Shall we argue some more, Light-kun? Or will you do something drastic, just to spite me? Kill off the SPK, perhaps?"

L, it seemed, made the connection and concluded that if Light really set him up with the NPA, it was because of petty revenge.

"What else is there to do?"

The note of despair caught Light off-guard because he was the one whose note it was.

He really needed a few moments alone, else he might really snap.

"Huh," L said and leaned against a wall, probably because his inflated ego was too heavy for his legs to hold. He was gloating. "Is Light-kun bored already? Is the life of a God not entertaining enough for Light-kun?"

A God.

Light looked L over then, from the tips of his bare toes to the pocket of Light's gray khaki pants that was turned inside out and L hadn't bothered fixing, to the sleeves of Light's shirt L had rolled up, to the pronounced Adam's apple on L's neck, to the pointy chin, thin lips, sharp nose, rare eyelashes and messy hair.

If God made his children in His own image, L was the first child of a God.

A God Light lost to without even challenging.

A God that was gone.

"Don't you feel," Light began softly, and flinched at his choice of words. 'Feel' could not apply to L. But the word was out of his mouth, and he had to stick to it. "Don't you feel like everything... ended?"

L's irritated features slowly softened, and he allowed his balance to rely more on the wall behind him.

L sighed.

"Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

"Did you just quote Churchill on me?"

"All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and there is no true-story teller who would keep that from you."

"Hemingway."

But Hemingway struck a chord in Light – the chord at the very end of the octave; that quiet underlay of music that was always there but went largely unnoticed.

It felt like their story has ended – if all ended in death, and L Lawliet was truly dead, then this was truly the end.

Light did not feel at peace with this, and under excuse of annoyance, he picked up a paperweight and threw it at L with his serving hand.

L was actually knocked back a foot and had to step back to retain his balance when the paperweight made contact with his shoulder. There was a dull sound of impact, and L looked stoic enough, but small micro expressions told Light the black-haired replacement would not let it go.

In the hollow silence that followed, Light said nothing, looking down the length of the corridor past L, and L was the first to cave.

"If Light-kun wants SPK off his back, all he needs to do is print another Death Note sticker, buy an identical Netbook, and convince SPK I have set you up, and your Death Note is, in fact, fake."

Light wasn't sure what to say to that.

"He will of course need physical evidence of this, and I will provide fingerprint. However beyond that..."

When L caught his eyes, Light's breath hitched because they were Ryuzaki's eyes.

"...there is nothing I can do for you anymore. I will not help Light-kun commit murder."

"Don't you know the difference between murder and killing, Ryuzaki?"

"Light-kun does just barely."

"No, I do. I know it well. "Light spoke in a low, steady lull of some old fable he knew to be true because it was his own; it was so private he could almost imagine it being tangible as he remembered his thoughts every time he wrote a name in a Death Note. "And it's the first thought I have before I write a name. And I think I ought to remind you. Murder, Ryuzaki, is unjustified, unsanctioned, and wrong. Killing is an execution. To murder is to take a life wrongfully. To kill is to take a life – there are no moral encumbrances attached to killing. I kill criminals. Don't you ever forget that."

L spent no time appreciating a sentiment Light had shared; instead, he stored it away. Still, his expression softened.

"Light-kun enjoys repeating himself, and so do I. Do not use the Death Note to commit murder. There will be a moment when Light-kun will cross his own definition between killing and murder – and he will justify it well. Killing criminals will lead to murder, and murder will be when you fall. I refuse to aid you in this."

"Poetic," said Light dryly. "Why did you give it to me in the first place, if you think I'll start murdering people? I won't – but for the sake of argument…"

If L knew why, or remembered it from a previous life, he said nothing as he shuffled away to sulk somewhere dark and ominous.


L was left alone to stalk the empty apartment after Light (begrudgingly, if L might add) went out to buy a fake DeathNote-looking Netbook to fake in the best disguise he could think of: like a true master of inconspicuous camouflage that he was, Light wore a hat.

L told him that the hat better turn the brunette invisible. The hat, unfortunately, did no such thing, and L gloated Light out of his own apartment.

Then, L did what any noble houseguest would do when the owner of the house wasn't in.

He went through Light's things.

Packets of pills and hair products and tweezers and mysterious grooming objects L had no knowledge of were freshly stacked in Light's drawers and bathroom, and it occurred to L that everything was new, from the hand soap to the notepads. As if to test the theory, L plucked one of Light's pens from its very proper pen cup, pinched the clicker and unscrewed it.

The ink cartridge inside was full.

Light, it appeared, was very efficient when it came to moving. Most people, L knew, had a tendency to hoard junk and move it with them. They gathered and packed and hauled their half-empty shampoo bottles to their new residences.

Light was different.

Light only packed what he knew he would need, and trashed all that was replicable.

L admired Light's efficiency, but it bored him quickly.

Computers.

Yes.

The first thing Light unpacked.

They stood there, dominating his desk. The black desktop with two screens and had a screensaver of a red apple bouncing between them, the laptop was closed, all stacked neatly near more modems that were strictly necessary.

Alone and after a night of sulking and pondering in a strange place, the solidarity of Light's empty apartment was more appreciated than L realized until Light had gone. In fact, the whole presence of Light and all his stuff did nothing short but strain his patience.

But Light's computer – oh yes, he wouldn't mind getting intimate with that.

Feeling excited bubbles welling up in his belly, L hopped into a chair and wiggled the mouse.

ENTER PASSWORD

L pushed against the desk, and the chair spun clockwise.

Was L impolite enough to hack into it? Should he? Was he overstepping his boundaries? What of his manners?

Who was he kidding; to L, the internal dilemma was more like this:

To hack?

Or... to guess?

He felt sceptical about Light leaving his password anything short of an essay of all ASCII characters.

So he should just hack it. Politely, of course.

But... L felt strange, and for a moment, he wondered why guessing against trillions of combinations was calling out to him like peppermint tea and crumpets.

So he indulged himself.

He guessed.

...so when Light strutted back some two hours later with a laptop box under his arm (and possibly more hair products), and L was too consumed in going through Light's things to notice him, an unsubtle "ahem" startled L into painfully acquainting his foot with a table leg.

Light glared at him, and L glared back, refusing to look anything but the epitome of politeness.

Otherwise, the situation would have been awkward for several reasons, one of which might, or might not, had had something to do with L infesting Light's computer with pornography, and the other that he chose that particular moment to go through Light's desktop drawer.

Where he found condoms.

And for some reason, held them above his head in what Light would surely mistake for triumph.

"By all means," the brunette said, somewhat amused. "But really, you should have just waited for me. I provide much better company."

"The look Light-kun is giving me is filthy."

"Hmm," Light hummed without saying anything, and went to place his assorted shampoos in the bathroom where they belonged.

"And, mind you," Light called from the bathroom, "you'll be the one vaulting all those porn viruses from my computer."

"Ah, but they are not viruses, you see, Light-kun," L called back.

"What are they, then?"

"Gifts for Light-kun. To aid his loneliness, as I am not willing to aid it myself. Also, some," L droned cheerfully as he glared at Light's screen where three young ladies were engaged with some elongated vegetables and their own nakedness, "-some of these, ah, gifts... may even cure Light-kun's unholy lust for other men."

"Ah, but you insult me, Ryuzaki, and you insult yourself – no number of girls can replace your valuable company."

"Hold me Light-kun, as I swoon! Which year did he pretend to go to tennis practice and joined the Drama club instead?"

Light, who by then returned to his bedroom and L politely turned off the illicit contents of the monitor but by no means removed them, stilled for the briefest of moments before he continued his stride across the room.

But L saw it. Light was practically grinning.

"I did no such thing," he said diplomatically. "How did you log in, anyway? My password was a work of art."

"A wild guess."

Light laughed curtly, and it took him a moment to realize L wasn't joking at all. "You guessed my redundantly long password I put there just to mess with you for an hour?"

Smugly and with pleasant bubbles returning to his belly, L smugly lifted his index finger.

Really.

L swore, all he did was lift one finger, that's it. He didn't pull a gun on Light, or eat his own arm, or produce a rabbit out of his ear; all L did was hold out one finger.

Apparently, his single finger with a jagged fingernail and a flattened finger pad from typing was enough to make Light jump back a whole foot in horror.

Then, much to L's amusement, Light pretended he tripped.

Strange.

L humoured him, and shook his finger, continuing his smug parade.

"One," he said, and Light caught himself before he 'tripped' again, "guess."

There was a pause.

"What?"

"One guess," L repeated, somewhat sceptical what Light thought he meant and what he actually meant were two items that matched. "It is all that took down your password."

"Oh," Light said dully, collecting himself and his thoughts that were somewhere other than with L at that moment. An unpleasant memory, perhaps? "Right."

Clearly, whatever bothered Light bothered him enough to distract him from L's almost magical password guessing skills...

...the password wasn't anything like iLoveMurderingCriminals, either.

The password was 0qi=8:lmGJ+y2.4.41gm;M, and L had guessed that. And Light wasn't impressed.

So L came to a realization.

There was something unnatural about Light Yagami.

Meanwhile, as L was having realizations and mental parades in honor of himself, Light fiddled around with his things, straightening his bed and absently unpacked his new Netbook, and did all to ignore L for whatever reason. Really, L should have left it at that, and went about his own business.

Instead, he clacked his tongue and briefly surveyed the ceiling for answers, before slapping the condoms he was still toying with down on Light's desk and noisily jumping out of the chair.

He started for Light.

"What?" Light said, but L had already invaded his personal bubble. Perhaps for the first time since L had met him, Light actually recognized a space bubble around himself and preferred it undisturbed.

Hah, L laughed inwardly at the irony of unwelcome bodily proximity. Serves him right.

From his spot at the corner of his own bed, still ripping off plastic wrapping, Light still ignored him, politely, and L was standing – no, towering over him, so close that their kneecaps were touching. Just a foot below L's line of sight, Light sat on his mattress, somehow infinitely smaller than his normal person. His fake brunette hair, maintained so perfectly that there were just grains of black roots poking out from where the dye ended and his real hair began, was flat against his head. Focused on pasting the sticker onto a fake Death Note just the right way, his head lowered in a very slight bow, Light looked minute. Humbled.

L almost wanted to respect Light's unspoken request to be left alone.

"What is wrong with Light-kun," he demanded instead in his best non-abrasive tone.

And Light did just what L expected him to do.

"Hmm?" he pretended like nothing had even happened, nothing was wrong, and it wasn't his voice that was cracking, it was his whole person – falling apart and crumbling down in front of L. And even at his weakest, Light was the perfect liar. "Oh, sorry. I'm just trying to get the sticker aligned. Did you say something?"

L wasn't sure what to do.

Though the brunette didn't look it, L was sure Light was about ready to take that Netbook and try to slit his wrists with it, or do something equally dramatic.

So he jerked his knee and bumped it lightly against Light's.

Light looked up with light question written across his fake face, and L wondered if he was the only one who ever saw right through Light's mask of normality; indeed, if there had been anyone else who saw every lie Light told, surely, the brunette wouldn't try to pull the act on L.

But he did.

And L would have marveled in glory, if something wasm't very wrong with Light.

He bumped his knee again.

"What?" Light said, forging annoyance and finally shifting his focus from the Netbook to L. Honey eyes, rich and dark glared into L's with warning this time – a predatory warning to back off.

What territory was Light protecting?

His feelings?

L wrinkled his nose in disgust and searched the ceiling for approval again, before innocently drawing his leg back as if to walk away...

...and kicked Light in the shin.

"-the hell?" Light shouted, and was up on his uninjured foot in an instant, ready to punch L's lights out, because, he assumed, and L assumed he would assume, that the only direction their fight could go was away from the bed.

Light had assumed wrong.

Swiftly, and with both legs in better condition than Light's, L dove to his right, avoided a flying fist that was oh so ready to make friends with his face, dropped on his feet and a grab for his collar missed him by only inches but caught his hair rather painfully.

And then, just as Light yanked L forward by the hair, expecting L to dart the opposite direction, L went with the direction, faster even, slammed square into Light's chest and knocked out the better of his air supply, and before the enraged brunette had his moment of recovery, L clocked him in the jaw and tackled.

They fell.

In the blink in time between standing and dropping onto Light – for that one brief, short moment, L flew.

His loose clothes, billowing behind him, full of wind and air, lost contact with his body, and for that one brief moment in his free fall, without anything binding him to a particular place or weighing him down with gravity, or entrapping him with clothes, or confusing his mind – for that one blink in time, the universe around L slowed down, and stopped.

It stopped so completely that the Earth did not spin under L's feet.

And then, like it never happened, the immanent crash followed the tumbling; the blink in time blinked away with a quick bat of eyelashes, and the reality, the gravity, the clothes and the thoughts returned and crushed him harder than Light's retaliating elbow ever could.

They wrestled, though it was more one-sided on Light's part, because the gambit Light fell for when he thought L would avoid the bed like the plague had left him effectively pinned down under L, and it only cost L a few additional kicks in the ribs to seize Light's wrists and straddle him.

Fine brown hairs fanned outs across a tanned face and blanket; some caught on Light's lips and eyes, some left streaks of red where they dipped their paintbrush-like tips on a bloody lip L split open only moments ago. The gravity painted fine hair-thin lines of blood across Light's chin. L's fingertips, digging into tanned wrists loosened, and all skin contact he had with the brunette beneath him suddenly felt too intimate for L's liking.

But the ceiling had given him the approval earlier, L reminded himself. His own hair brushed against his ears and fell as he leaned down, creating a thick black curtain that shielded his peripheral vision until he could only see Light.

L kissed him.

He meant to do it softly and cautiously; he ended up biting Light's bloody lips and allowing the brunette slip his tongue into L's mouth and count his teeth.

One of Light's wrists weaseled out of L's grip - not that L minded, and combed sharp fingernails through L's hair. The knots and tangles trapped the fingers and a few yanks and tugs felt fitting, despite their unnecessary harshness.

Light bit L's lips, and they felt soft and wet over L's chapped and dry ones, and, seemingly unsatisfied with kissing, Light went to trail hungry pecks down L's jaw. L indulged. He tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and bared his throat, feeling nothing but lips and teeth and tugs in his hair and smoothness of Light's hair across his palm.

He saw nothing, instead he felt.

A trail of saliva on his neck and lips, cool and tingly in the cold air.

Hot breath on his collarbone.

Unpleasant friction of fabric against his chest.

"Hn," he breathed when Light undid his top button cautiously, as if he thought any sudden advance would spook L away and his plans to fuck him would be foiled yet again.

L remembered how intelligent and at the same time utterly stupid Light was, and allowed this bit of idiocy slide as well. L was straddling the brunette for God's sake – Light's crotch was grinding right against L's bottom, and even through layers of unappreciated fabric, L could feel Light's member was gaining hardness – and so was L's own.

So he inhaled the delicious scent of sweat and sex and helped himself out of his shirt much faster than what Light had in mind.

The silk slid down his skin, catching every dimple and bump on his body, and L hissed as it did, his sensitivity to touch heightened so much that when Light's hand glided across his chest and tugged one of his nipples, L hissed again and leaned into the touch.

Belts and pants dropped like criminals.

The contact with warm skin was nothing short of magical, and L, still retaining his position atop of Light's hips, demanded the most he could possibly get. His hands wandered the lightly toned body beneath him, exploring every inch, every childhood scar, every tennis injury, and hopefully leaving some landmarks on his own as he scraped and scratched the flesh. Light's hands were predictably gripping his hips and everything below them, as if trying mentally ease L into what came next – another thing L definitely didn't need.

The penetration came as a slow agony of dry and hot ash around something sleek and pulsating impaling L though shin and tightly clanged muscles. The pain, slow and terribly embarrassing, came with so little preparation that L was too concentrated on taking it quietly to appreciate Light not rolling them over, grabbing him by his ankles and ripping his way in – something he could tell Light barely had in him to suppress.

It hurt, and with his eyes closed and joints in his knees turning to mush, L nearly fell into the familiar gap between time, if his skin didn't meet skin and the skin around Light's cock inside him wasn't threatening to tear.

L was thinking faster than time, he realized, and the overload of storage emotions and sensations finally ran out of room inside him and he called out the first thing that came to mind.

Light's name.

And then, however cold and mundane his expectations were of Light during sex when it came, they all vanished when the burn eased and under him, Light stopped for a full moment and drew back, his palm firmly holding L's face. And then Light looked.

But it wasn't a look of lust, it was nothing short of inventory. Honey eyes swept across L's body, lingering on every dimple and rib and bone, taking note of every light scar and patch of skin, and L allowed this for the sheer intimacy of it.

The last thing Light looked at, still keeping them joined but at a distance, were L's eyes, like he had been avoiding looking into them.

Light's lips parted, and L remained as still as he could, still biting his lip and burning around Light's cock inside him.

"You're perfect," the verdict came finally. A tanned hand slid up his cheek, took hold of his hair and pulled down. Their lips met as L let out a stiff wail because of the sudden change of angle; he could feel Light's dry cock, buried so completely inside of him that there was barely room to breathe, much less to move.

"I-I… don't know ifff I… like t-this," L hissed quietly and his voice sounded strange.

Light kissed his face and traced L's nose with his thumb, his always warm skin cold over his hot breath just an inch away.

He tapped L's lips with two fingers, kissed them, then kissed L's lips, slowly, like tasting wine, and his hand traced each clenched muscle of L's stomach before coming to rest on L's erect cock.

L made a noise.

"Oh, you like it," he whispered in a satisfied honey tone.

And then Light's hand moved, and like clockwork, the hard shaft inside him withdrew and impaled him over and over, and when L wheezed and jerked at another bizarre sensation where he expected to feel nothing but dull pain, Light took aim and hit the spot. Over and over, so much, that for a little while, L lost all senses except the wonderful hot feeling in the pit of his stomach, the electricity Light sent up his spine whenever his cock slammed into whatever the fuck it was that made him feel so good, and the nagging feeling of heartbeat he felt inside him with his muscles stretched around it.

His world shrank to have only three things in it, and there was nothing else.

"Y-you alright?" Light managed between gasps, and L had to bite his tongue down not to shout something incoherent.

"E-ever, ah! E-ever asked t-that s-someone... else?" L forced his mouth say.

"No."

"T-then shut up, Kira."

The name bounced off L's tongue like a chime of a familiar bell, something that was just so right that it begged L to use his voice instead of thoughts. And when it slipped though L's lips, the tightness inside became even more unbearable, somehow drier and slicker at the same time, like smouldering ash, it burned him, but the wet emptiness Light left when he rhythmically pulled out left L wishing the ash to return.

And when the angle was just right, L didn't stop short of begging Light with his hisses and hips – begging for the tightness to return, much like he heard Light begging to be let back inside through moans and thrusts.

It was a wordless conversation, spoken through touches, skin, and semen.

L came first, his cock tight in Light's hand, and with a few final thrusts just as L was riding out his orgasm, Light spilled his come all over L's inner thighs just as he was pulling out, and didn't bother pushing back in to ride it out.

Pity.

L wondered what it would feel like if he had filled him, but time for complaints had come and gone, and he collapsed into the mess he made on Light's stomach.

The whole ordeal was filthy, he admitted, but the electrical tingle across his skin and the pleasant after-feeling in the pit of his lower belly were all worth it.

Finally, after Light had caught his breath and L had caught his own, only then did L allow himself to be rolled over and reclined onto the pillows.

Light looked satisfied, if a grin on his face was anything to go by.

L, with his stiff back and sore thighs and sore everything else finally resting on something soft, supposed he felt quite content too. So much so that he allowed both of his knees to bend and draw closer to his chest as if he was sitting.

They stayed silent for a while, allowing the scent of raw sex to dissolve in the cool evening air and the pleasant haze to wear off.

Until L requested feedback.

"Does Light-kun have, ah, thoughts?" he said, well aware that Light had turned to him.

But he was not ashamed of his nakedness, and the brunette went as far as swiping a finger across the white mess on L's lower stomach before L drew the line and smacked the shameless hand away.

"Hmm," his partner in crime said, examining drying semen on his fingertips and hand, "yeah. One."

"Enlighten me."

"I think..." he thought about it, and L watched the very same sadness he had tried to cure with sex slip back into Light's face, "I think, finally."

"Hmm," L said. "I do not think I agree."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"You're the one who jumped me."

"Yes."

Light rolled onto his side and rested his hand in his elbow, as naked and unashamed of it as L, covered in body fluids and still bloody on his lower lip.

"If you weren't thinking 'gee, Light-kun, I am such an idiot for refusing your attention, it is time you did me hard, and did me where it counts' when you jumped me, then I call we undo the whole intercourse, because nothing short of that is acceptable."

"Light-kun wants to undo the sex?" L jerked his eyebrows up in mild amusement.

"Definitely. Frankly, unless that cry for attention meant something other than 'please Light-kun, fuck me now,' then I demand refunds."

The smug look on Light's face could outshine the sun in all its obnoxious glory.

"Light-kun seems to be under the wrong impression that he was," L paused at Light's poor word choice but had to repeat it, else it might lose the desired effect, "ah, the one doing the fucking."

"...obviously I was the one doing the fucking."

"Ah, but I was on top," L insisted.

"That's not how it works."

"That is exactly how it works."

Light pressed his lips together in a caricature of a grin and hummed instead of saying anything.

"I am thirsty," L suddenly declared, and as he said it, Light gave him another very strange look and then allowed his eyes to trail down the drying semen on his stomach.

"You..." he said almost whimsically, "you're perfect."

L frowned.

"What is that supposed to mean, Light-kun?"

"Hmm," Light hummed again, his gaze drifting away from L and into a memory L had no way of accessing to know what depressing thoughts had crossed Light's mind that time. "You know... I did something stupid."

L gave him a dirty look, but honey eyes were too glossy and resigned to notice anything.

"There's... hmm," Light began, but didn't appear to know what to say. He cried again. "I, well, Ryuzaki – L, there's... something."

"Something?"

"Something I didn't, ah... something I didn't tell you."

L frowned.

"If Light-kun tells me having sex with me has inverted his perspective, he is now in love with me, and he is willing to reconsider his world-conquering priorities so much so that he is willing to abandon every principle of his – rather questionable – morality for the sake of his feelings, then, Light-kun, I assure you, I will be leaving."

Tinted eyebrows wrinkled ungracefully.

"Assume something that low about me again, and I'll be the one leaving."

"Ah," L went back to lazily droning his sentences instead of punctuating them. "I was only making sure Light-kun and I are on the same page about the, ah, casual aspect of our... hm. Alliance."

"Well put."

"Thank you. Light-kun was saying?"

Whatever he was saying, it appeared Light had already lost the will to say it.

"Shower first," he changed the subject.

"Light-kun, now."

The silence stretched across dozens of micro expressions that flashed between them; contempt appeared to be dominating Light's face, though regret and something else L couldn't quite pin down sipped through corners of lips that twitched ever so slightly.

Light would explain it all then and there, L realized - he would tell him just what was so displaced in L's world and why nothing seemed to fit its proper place in L's head.

Light would tell him what was wrong.

Because there was little left to do.

Because everything ended.

"Ryuzaki, it's... about you. You-"

And then…

The most unwelcome sound imaginable sliced through the intimate quiet of their now-shared bedroom (though L seriously doubted he will be spending more than twenty minutes at a time in that bedroom before stalking away into privacy he enjoyed far more than Light's bloated company). It startled both of them out of their breaths and then irked them both as it cried for attention.

"Light-kun should answer his phone," L said in a tone that absolutely forbade Light from answering his phone.

Light sighed, scratched his eyelid, and threw his legs over the edge of the bed, gathered fresh clothes and started for the bathroom, obviously in the mood to neither answer the phone not finish whatever blasphemy he was about to confess.

L rolled off as well, and his skin stretched strangely under the drying semen and sweat, and as he got up, gravity did its work and L felt liquids of inappropriate origins leak out of him and slide down his thighs.

But when the dial tone ended and told off dared to interrupt their bliss, the phone took only a moment to cry for attention one more time.

And when that one more time ended, the persistent bastard on the other end dared to try again.

And Light actually managed to ignore it, unfazed.

"It's work."

"Work?"

"No one else would dare to call me like that. I don't care. It's Sunday. I'm not picking that up."

"It sounds like an emergency, Light-kun. "

"Don't care."

"The internet might be on fire."

"Still don't care."

So they let it ring as they retreated to the bathroom, and through the sounds of splashing, running water, and the occasional elbow connecting with a wall because the space was much too cramped and Light insisted they bathe together, all thirty five minutes that it took them wash because Light just couldn't keep his hands to himself and L insisted he was done thirty-five times but Light insisted on grooming L didn't particularly care for – during all that time and through that noise, they could still hear the neglected cell phone, ringing continuously.

"Wow," remarked Light when he hauled L out of the bathroom and trapped him in a towel when L threatened to slush though Light's carpets completely drenched. "Stop jerking about. Stop it I said. But really? Still?"

"The internet must be on fire, Light-kun."

Now curious, they approached the cell phone.

"Light-kun's work usually calls him from an unlisted number?"

Light pressed his lips together, and they bleached in color from blood loss.

"You know," the brunette said, "this is something you would do for recreation."

"Ah, but I am right here."

Gingerly, Light pressed the green button on his Blackberry and greeted the nuisance with an impolite "who is this?"

There was no silence and no surprised pause as there should have been when someone had just called you fifty times and learned not hope for a response.

Instead there was a metallic voice, high, clipped and bored.

L observed Light's knuckles whiten around the Blackberry.

"Speaker," the voice demanded unceremoniously.

Light looked weary, so L encouraged him to be more trustworthy by saying, "the voice inside Light-kun's cell phone demands to be put on speaker. I suggest he obliges before I take the phone from Light-kun by force."

"Good evening Kira, good evening L."

Light choked on air and had the gall to laugh.

"Excuse me? Who? I think you got the wrong number - and my fridge isn't running either, if that's what you were going to say."

"I must say you actions surprised me, Kira," the scrambler carried on unceremoniously. "I did not believe you will start backpedalling on your morals this early – I must say that if I was not as upset as I am with you, I would have been impressed."

But Light wasn't about to fall for something this stupid.

"Look - whoever you are, I am not Kira and you should know better than entrapping me, Linder-san—"

"Linder is of no further use to you," the voice snapped, "and it would be humane of you to not continue using her after her death."

Until then, L was largely ignoring the exchange between a mystifying voice and Light Yagami as if it was a perfectly natural occurrence and it was polite to say nothing. But the final word in the clipped tirade froze L, and Light stared at him wide-eyed and innocent – as innocent as every other time he forged his innocence and got away with it.

L lowered the shirt he was about to button down and felt immediately uncomfortable in his borrowed jeans.

He made eye contact with honey eyes and held Light pinned.

"What was that, N?" L said pointedly, watching Light shake his head and shrug.

"Is it safe to assume that L does not know?"

"If N would politely enlighten me."

"Very well. At fourteen zero-two today, Japanese time, a Death Note was used to slaughter all SPK members. All are either confirmed dead or missing."

L pressed his lips together and started buttoning Light's once again. He really needed clothes that weren't unnecessarily complicated to put on. Even as he mentally brooded over the designs of shirts, he never once broke contact with Light's eyes.

The brunette stared at L in outraged innocence, which was just so typical of him L didn't even need to think twice about.

Light was lying – Light was always lying, and when in doubt, the odds of being correct stacked up on the assumption that Light was lying.

I warned him, L thought in pity. I warned him about murder.

Vigilante justice walked the thin line that separated killing and murder. The SPK threatened Kira, and that was all it took – disobedience.

"Ryuzaki, I didn't."

L continued dressing himself.

"Listen…" the brunette tried carefully, "I swear, I didn't do it."

"Prove it."

"What?"

Enough of wasting L's time proving that Light committed one atrocity or another. Enough of L always coming up right.

"Prove you didn't do it."

Light's features softened, as if he somehow managed to misread L and figure the whole thing was just a game to both of them.

"Guilty until proven innocent, really, Ryu-"

"Enough!" barked L; he felt his eyes involuntarily narrow into slits and lips tighten as he glared Light to jumping back a full step.

After a long moment, air sipped through his nostrils as he huffed, straightened his back, dusted imaginary Light germs off his clothes, turned on his heels, and left the murderer and his excuses.

"You've got nowhere to go, look-"

"I'm not leaving," L threw over his shoulder, his voice low and steady. "I am going to take a walk. Alone."

Light stood alone and half-naked in the middle of his bedroom for a good while, long after his front door slammed shut and dragging footsteps faded down the common corridor.

He closed his eyes, and scolded himself mentally for even daring to think he and his little L AI had anywhere else to go but exactly where they were – angry at each other from the opposite sides of a spectrum of morals.

So he clenched his fists, tore off the stained bedding and shoved it down the laundry machine.

Mess.

Everything was a mess.

His plans were in a complete disarray, so was his world – so was his apartment, and Light worked hard to not throw anything or punch anything or snap anything it half as he cleaned.

All in vain, of course, when he realized that the little plastic bastard and his sticky fingers made off with his Death Note.

Only then did he give his wall a good punch.

But his apartment retaliated and spat out his door with a loud bang of a metal ram.

Voices of men, shouting, breathing, running, they all filled Light's senses just before everything went black, and in the musky scent of the NPA's equipment storage room that emanated from the black bag over his head, Light did not feel at peace. Although the incriminating piece of evidence number one, his Death Note, was taken away by the incriminating piece of evidence number two, the L virus with a face of a man known to be dead, and although a fake Death Note was in place of a real one, Light had no way of telling what L had really done to his computers while he was out… the obvious use of Death Note aside, of course.

L played him.

Meanwhile and unbeknownst to Light, L Lawliet's was sporting a black bag over his head of his own, and the mental map he revised with every sharp turn of a speeding van he was stuffed into just minutes ago promised him nothing good.


A/N: Sorry! I, have, er many excuses-

L: …none of which Miss King will bore you with.

A/N: Amg but yyy, I want to talk, and this is my A/N space to talk! Get out of my A/N space!

Light: No.

A/N: …that's great and I'ma let you finish, but L just left, you know.

Light: …that has nothing to do with you, you are not that important.

A/N: Oh, you're that important, are you?

Light: Actually, yes, I am. If I can make L leave just by being in your A/N space, than I'm probably. Just. That. Important.

A/N: Light, stop kidding yourself. I told him to leave and so he left. This is my parade.

Light: I feel embarrassed for you. I was the one who drove him away, and you know it.

L: Ah, my apologies, did I miss anything? Light-kun, please pass me the creamer, the girl in the coffee shop didn't add enough-

THANK YOU FOR LIVING WITH ME SHOUTOUTS GO TO THE LOVERLY REVIEWERS WHO ARE THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE WHOM I LOVE VERY MUCH IN THIS VERY UNGRAMATICAL SENTENCE: June43, Terracannin876, Simca, vertically-lacking, YourWorstDaydream, The Akuma's Sakura Violin, Jetta, Risi-Chan, Khandalis, SasuHika, Bob Da Peach, TheEndofTag, CrissyPalXD, Crowtar, yellowrose87, demonlifehealer, themusicalmuffin, crimsonmoon08, Anon, addition, LYnM, Nardaviel, Richardidntwantodie, and God!

Would you put this past them?

Nah.

But would they try to save each other?

CH 15: Satan's Speech

Let me know. :3

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