Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.

A/N: I dunno, but I liked it. :)

"Another nightmare, Light-kun?"

Damn but I was tired of hearing that first thing every morning. It wasn't the words, really- like, if he was saying it with compassion in his voice, or concern, then maybe it wouldn't bother me so much.

But the way he said it almost sounded like an accusation. Not even almost- it did sound like an accusation. As if having nightmares somehow proved that I was what I knew I wasn't. That thing that had been haunting us for months, now.

To be completely fair, I'm sure that Kira, wherever he is, has nightmares. This would only make sense and it would only be fair, too, because he deserves nightmares and worse for all the things he's done. That certainly doesn't mean, however, that anyone who has nightmares is Kira.

By L's own logic, he should then suspect himself.

Watching L have a nightmare is something that everyone should experience before they die, but also something that few people ever will experience. When L manages to sleep, rare in itself, he always dreams. He denies it when he wakes up, but I always know that they're nightmares. No one screams like that when they're dreaming about puppies and rainbows. And for someone like L, I can only imagine what his nightmares are about. He has seen a lot of things and done a lot of things, too, that I know for a fact he's not proud of.

"Yeah, so what?" I grumbled at him, rubbing the pointy sand out of my eyes and making damn sure that they ended up on his side of the bed. "Can't a guy have a nightmare?"

"Of course, Light-kun," L said in the innocent voice he only used when he was being as far from innocent as is humanly possible. "I am just concerned about you. They say that dreams are a window into one's subconscious. Persistent nightmares could, perhaps, be an indication of hidden feelings of guilt..."

"Ryuuzaki, must we have the same damn conversation every morning?" I sighed.

"Yes, Light-kun," he replied seriously, nodding. "We must."

"But why?" I begged him, even though I knew the answer since this was part of the routine, too.

"Because the more often I ask about it, the more likely you are to admit to being Kira."

"I'm not Kira," I told him helpfully, as usual.

And as usual, he replied, tiredly, "Of course not, Light-kun."

This was our morning ritual, and I still had yet to figure out why we did it. Why, every morning, we had to go through the same script, over and over again, words never changing, tone hardly varying. Every morning, his implications annoyed me. Every morning, my lack of confessing to be Kira (which I wasn't) annoyed him. So, really, we both succeeded only in started out every morning pissed off, which made us an absolute delight to the rest of the Task Force. And all for no apparent reason.

Actually, that was a lie. I knew perfectly well why we did it, and I also knew as well as he did that, if we didn't, the world as we knew it would collapse around us.

Because the sniping that began our every morning made the actions of the previous night seem far, far away.

This way, we effectively drove the images of each other's naked bodies from our minds. He gave us something to focus on- how much we annoyed each other- other than how much we wanted each other. Because of his carefully crafted, extremely annoying morning routine, I was able to go to work without spending every single moment thinking about how his body had been above mine, wrapped all around mine, in mine, moving with mine, all the night before. He was able to forget about the sounds we made, how our sweat mingled, about the scratches I left on his back that had drawn blood, about the state my hair had been when he was done with me.

During the day, we could focus on catching Kira, the way it was supposed to be. And we could be irked with each other all day, until nighttime, when L allowed everyone to go home and we went back to our room...

At which point we promptly forgot all about how much we hated each other in the morning and clung, and kissed, and swore love forever in gasped breaths until we fell into each other's arms for the night.

And then we'd wake up and do it all again, whether I had a nightmare or not.