Title: Tea for Three
Pairing: LightxL, MelloxMatt, possible others
Rating: M for alcohol, drugs and sexual themes
Genre: humor, action, romance and crime with the occasional side dish of fluff and angst. Can I register a patent for flangst? In seem to mix fluff and angst a lot. xD
Warnings: All characters are slightly out of character because of the simple fact that this is AU and they've lived lives that are very different from the ones they did in the original. :D So if you can't deal with a joking, flirting DN cast, go read something else.
Summary: AU: When bounty-hunters Light and L have to protect a scene queen, find a stalker, catch a killer, expose a drug ring and keep all this a secret from their three unexpected quests, it's either party hard or die trying. LxL MxM
A/N: What? AGAIN? Well, since "I Won't Say" is nearing its end (after what, two years? God I'm so slow...), I figured it was safe(-ish) to start publishing something new. You people have no idea how much unpublished stuff I have on my laptop. Most of them are things I'd love to publish, but I think too big – they're all parts of longer stories that I don't have the time to write ;_; I've been waiting to publish this chapter since Valentines Day...
Be warned that I will be a slllllllow updater. I study. I work. I have a social life, even though you wouldn't always believe it. And unlike L, I sleep. :D When I can.
(Totally unrelated to the story at hand, but if you're a reader of I Won't Say, check out my DeviantArt account – I finally managed to draw something for it~ Yeah, shameless attention whoring ends here.)
On with the show!
Tripped and Fell Down the Stairs
In the beginning, there was a massive headache.
Slowly, very slowly, Light Yagami opened his eyes, only to shut them immediately again. Holy barbeque chips, his head hurt... What had he drunk? Motor oil mixed with tequila and something dead and rotten? That was what it tasted like, at least...
Alright, he told himself, you can do this. You've dealt with hangovers before. Just get up, get some coffee and ibuprofen in your system, and then you can crawl back to bed to sleep it away. Just get up...
Showing incredible strength and willpower – luckily, he had always had plenty of both – he managed to steady himself on his feet and open his eyes enough to navigate his way from his room to the kitchen. His vision was still blurry, but he could see the black-haired figure of his flatmate standing in the kitchenette, preparing coffee – oh God, L was an angel.
"'Rning," he slurred, pressing his forehead against the cupboard door over the sink and searching blindly the contents of its neighbor. His hand emerged victorious, cradling a clean glass, which he then proceeded to fill with ice cold water. Or at least cold. Or lukewarm, actually, because he was much too thirsty and eager to wash the foul taste from his mouth to wait for the tap water to cool.
After refilling the emptied class he made a beeline to the table and sat down with considerably less grace than usual.
"Good morning," someone said.
In a decidedly female voice.
Light blinked slowly and looked up, and his brain registered another slim, dark-haired figure, shorter than the first one. There were two Ls? Had he drunk himself to death and gone to Heaven?
No, he hadn't, he realized as his gaze dropped by twenty centimeters. This L had breasts.
There was a woman in their apartment, and he had been drinking last night.
"Shit!" he gasped, suddenly wide awake and far too sober, jumping up from his chair. The woman recoiled away, startled by his sudden movement, when he turned to shoot a panicking glance at the man in the kitchenette.
That wasn't L either!
Light Yagami, a brilliant young law student, the son of a police chief, a man who never lost his cool or ended up in situations he didn't have a plan B, C and X ready for, stared at the two strange people in his apartment (and they stared back quite shamelessly), and then he turned around and fled to his room. There was only one possible explanation: he was still asleep. He would only have to go back to bed, and when he'd wake up -
Unfortunately, his bed was already occupied.
Light froze next to the bedpost, gaping at the dark hair peeking from under the blanket. One more?
Luckily, this one proved to be his one and only flatmate, L Lawliet. For a moment, Light was relieved. Then new questions joined the earlier ones: how on earth was it possible that he hadn't noticed the man when he had gotten up? And, more importantly, why was he in Light's bed, anyway?
"Jesus Christ!" he groaned. "Please tell me we didn't..."
Jesus was apparently either busy or giving him the cold shoulder, so Light was left to swallow, take a deep breath, and yank the covers back, making L awaken with a yelp and curl up into a tighter ball.
The raven-haired man was clothed. And luckily, since he had already paraded in front of two complete strangers, so was Light.
"A very good morning to you too, Light-kun," L grumbled, sitting up and ruffling his already chaotic hair. "You are always so pleasant when you're hungover."
Well, now that the worst panic had subsided, Light was starting to get pretty mad. They had rules, dammit! They had made rules so that mornings like this would never happen! Without further explanations he grabbed L's arms, jerked him off the bed and unceremoniously threw the protesting man out of his room.
"Remember the rules we made when we moved in, huh? Think of what could have happened!" he called through the door after slamming it shut behind the other man. "Rule number one, L – we are never to get drunk at the same time!"
"... I didn't drink, Light-kun -" L's reply was slightly muffled by the door.
"Rule number two – when one of us is drunk, the other stays at an arm's length!"
"Light-kun can hardly blame it on me that his bed isn't wide enough. And that staying at an arm's length would have resulted in Light-kun having more unexpected meetings with the pavement..."
"And rule number three," Light continued, ignoring his best friend's protests, "we don't let strange people in!" And he crossed his fingers and prayed to anyone willing to listen that it had been L who had admitted the two in their apartment.
… They were probably listening, too. Damn.
L was silent for a moment, and then he said in a carefully balanced monotone, "Ah, I believe Light-kun is referring to our new next door neighbors who we found in the corridor last night. I also believe that we – yes, we – offered them a place to stay for the rest of the night since Misora-san's purse, and along with it their keys, had been stolen. I gave them my room and offered to sleep on the couch, but Light-kun insisted that I share his bed."
Light froze, then groaned and slid down the door until he was sitting on the floor with his back to it, head in his hands – heck, was his eye swollen? - and headache resurfacing. Yes, he had seen the couple once in the stairs – they had moved in a week ago – but they could hardly blame him for not recognizing them in this state, right? His behavior had been horrible, though, that much he had to admit. He never failed first impressions like this... Oh, this was just beautiful.
He stayed like that for a while, trying to will his nausea away, until L was knocking on his door again. With his knee – and Light knew the man far too well to believe that it had been an accident to knock the door right where Light's already sore head was resting against it on the other side...
"Light-kun?" the slightly older man called. "I have a bag of ice for your eye, a cup of coffee, black and bitter, and a sandwich, and I'm running out of hands. Could you please let me in?" After a moment of silence, he corrected his words, "Actually, I already ran out of hands. I'm balancing one of them on top of my head."
For whatever reason, Light's first mental image was L trying to walk with a cup full of steaming coffee on top of the bird nest he called his hair, and he was on his feet and had opened the door before he even realized it.
Behind it, L blinked his wide eyes at him, a cup in one hand, a small plate in another, and a bag of ice draped over his head, flattening his wild hair. "It's melting," he informed calmly, "or at least something very cold is trickling down my spine. It feels quite unpleasant and I still have a limited amount of hands."
"Oh, hint hint," Light scoffed, taking the ice bag and pressing it gingerly against his sore eyebrow. Accepting the coffee and inhaling its sweet, sweet scent he glanced around with his good eye. "Our guests?"
"Gone," L informed him. "They have to call a locksmith to break into their apartment."
"That sucks," Light admitted, taking the ice off to feel his head for a moment. "Heck, no wonder it was pounding like that... What on earth happened? I don't remember drinking more than two beers... And though I admit that I'm not the toughest drinker in Tokyo, I can handle my liquor better than that."
The raven-haired man touched his elbow with his fingertips, guiding him to the couch to sit him down for inspection. "You called me from the bar bathroom at 23:46," he told, skipping straight to business now that their guests were out and they no longer had to pretend to be normal young men, "and said you felt funny and feared that you had been drugged. Apparently they realized you were in our team and they were hoping to take you as a hostage. We were lucky – they thought you were just someone working for us, not one of us. Otherwise..."
"... I'd be dead," Light murmured, moving the ice bag so that it covered his whole face. Right. He had been on an assignment, hadn't he? They were supposed to catch Takeshi Ooi, the rumored leader of a yakuza group called Yotsuba. Unlike most of their undercover assignments, this one had actually come from Light's father, a chief inspector in NPA; because there was no proof of Yotsuba's illegal deeds, the police was powerless, but as a private person, Soichiro Yagami could send the best snatchers in Tokyo – one of which just happened to be his son – to find the needed evidence. "Well, I must say that I've done better..."
L agreed, removed the ice bag from his face before he could consider suffocating himself with it, and, standing behind the couch, proceeded to inspect his head. Light groaned and relaxed as the man's nimble fingers moved gently against his scalp. Though L's caring and tending to his injuries was very mechanical and practical – if life were Star Wars, L could have passed for a medic droid – it didn't stop Light from enjoying it.
It took a while to realize that L had been talking while he had been imagining an army of deadly assassin droids, infiltrating the enemy ship as medic droids and bearing a remarkable resemblance to L. "Sorry, I wasn't listening. Please repeat?"
L blinked slowly, looking vaguely annoyed, before going on to repeat what he had just said. "It took me fifteen minutes to make sure that I had managed to mislead the rest of the Yotsuba men and that they wouldn't notice if I turned back, and ten to get to the Red Apple from Shibuya. By the time I got in, you had left the bathroom. It was extremely lucky that the drug they used reacted as it did with the alcohol you had drunk – instead of passing out quietly so they could just carry you out and pretend to be your friends helping you home, you were acting like you were very drunk. You made new friends and drew a lot of attention, making it very hard for Higuchi and Kida to abduct you without anyone noticing."
The fingers on his scalp withdrew and L moved to stand before him, a small, quirky grin on his lips. "That also made it very easy for me to locate you. You were dancing on the counter when I found you."
"Stunned you with my dancing skills, I hope?" Light answered with a crooked little smirk to cover his embarrassment.
"Stunned me with the lack of them, but we can blame that on the drug, if Light-kun is willing to demonstrate them to me sometime when he's less intoxicated," L threw back.
"Put the music on and I will," Light was quick to agree, moving to get up and grimacing as his head, ribs and knees reminded him of last night's abuse. "... On second thought, what's good is worth waiting, at least until what's good doesn't feel like he has been overrun by a bus, a couple of elephants, and a thousand of screaming fangirls."
"Oh, because Light-kun knows all about getting overrun by buses and elephants."
"Oh, but Light-kun knows all about fangirls, down to the color of their underwear in the cases that like to throw things on stage." Light grinned again as he felt his head with his fingertips, happy to find out that his eyebrow wasn't so sore and swollen anymore. Whatever was left of the bruise could be covered with his bangs; though he hadn't really been an active performer after his boy band from high school times had disbanded, he still liked to keep his appearance intact at all times.
L stopped mid-movement as he was reaching out to continue the medical inspection, blinking again. "Did Light-kun's female fans actually throw their underwear on stage when his band was still active?" he asked, appearing truly shocked for the first time since they had met. "What on earth did you do with them?" The unvoiced implication especially since I happen to know you don't swing that way was hanging in the air, but L was either saving his voice or believed it was socially appropriate to just imply it instead of actually saying it.
Light picked his most expressionless expression, touched the tip of his index finger to his lips to imitate L's trademark naive innocence, and deadpanned, "I sold them. There are shops that buy ladies' underwear to sell them to old perverts. They are more valuable if they're used, and even more so if I claim they belonged to a foreign woman."
L stared. "That," he said after a while, clearing his throat, "is disgusting."
"This," Light countered, "is Japan. I would have thought that after the years you've lived here you would have gotten used to it. We're the most polite and reserved people in the world; it shouldn't come as a surprise that we are also the creepiest and the most lecherous. We read porn in train, watch it in the lobby of a hotel, and buy used underwear."
His flatmate shook his head slightly, reached out to grab the hem of Light's shirt and promptly pulled it over his head to inspect the damage dealt to his ribs. "Well, I know Light-kun doesn't read porn in train or buy ladies' underwear, so I'm left wondering how the lecherous Japanese genes show in him..." he murmured as he ran his hands across the other man's ribcage, searching for any serious injury.
"Wouldn't you like to know," Light chuckled, trying his best to come up with a slutty smirk and earning an ice bag on his face. "... Do I sense denial?"
"Trust not your senses," L said mock impertinently, "for wrong they may be when sensed through a bag of ice they are."
"My senses tell me, and not through a bag of ice, that I'm blinded, shirtless and enjoying some skin-on-skin contact with the Yoda wannabe who just claimed he's not interested. Denial is best served hot, not cold, so next time you decide to tell me you're not attracted to me, leave the ice out..."
Aaaaand I'm on tonight, you know my hips don't lie and I'm starting to feel it's right...
"... and please, please, change your ring tone."Light removed the ice from his face and turned to shoot a scalding stare at the silver and blue cell phone lying on the table next to the kitchenette. "That's so last season."
L rolled his eyes (admittedly, it had been Light's brilliant idea to make that his ring tone, and now L was refusing to change it just to annoy the hell out of his flatmate), walked to the table and flipped the phone open. "Yes? … No, Roger, I could see it from the caller ID... There was no reason to greet you by informing you with my name, you already knew who you were call- no, I'm not trying to make you feel old – yes, I understand. Yes, I am. Mhm, yes, he is. What? What do you mean, 'always there'? He lives here. No, Roger, he's not harassing me. Much."
Light snorted, standing up and going to the bathroom to take a look at his reflection. L, although an orphan, didn't exactly come from a poor family; his adopted uncle, Roger, found it very hard to understand that he chose to live in a small apartment (that was actually huge by Japanese standards) with another man, when he could have bought a whole skyscraper practically with his pocket money.
"I'm perfectly fine. They're going well, I'm going to graduate next fall. Of course you're invited – yes, they are, too. How are they? … That sounds just like Mello. Give them my greetings and tell them I miss them... What do you mean, myself? When?"
His face had looked better, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed with make up and by repositioning his hair, Light mused, staring at the mirror. His ribs, on the other hand, were going to develop a nasty blue bruise – but at least nothing seemed to be broken. Apparently he had dived from the counter when he had seen L making his way through the crowd, but the crowd had narrowly missed the part where it was supposed to catch him.
"When I pick them up from the airport? What airport? When? I didn't know they were coming to Japan! No, he didn't. I think I'll call him right now and berate him on that – can't? Why? In the plane? When were you going to inform me that they're coming to see me? … Oh, you know very well that's not true, Near never forgets anything, even if Mello and Matt do. How long are they staying? … Really? Can they afford to skip school for that long? … No, I'm not going to teach them. Quillish can. He will be happy to have company... he is? Where? Hawaii? But he never takes vacation! … Oh, in that case. But where are the boys going to stay, then? If they're alone at Quillish's place, there will be nothing left of it by the time he comes home..."
Light was pretty sure he heard the mirror crack when L said his next words.
"HERE? But... Roger, that's... we... there are two bedrooms and both are taken! There's no room! One night, yes, but a month, no – what do you mean, no other choice? I'll just book them a room in a hotel! They can't come here – you promised? How, and I say this with all possible respect, how did it ever occur to you to promise a three-headed walking natural disaster that it could reside in my apartment, especially when half of it is already taken by someone you don't even know? … For educational purposes? You can't actually believe that a month in a cramped little apartment with two other men will turn them from problem youths into decent citizens? … I am not using the tone. No – well, yes... no, he is – wait, what – I see. Well, I hope you don't expect to be invited to celebrate my graduation next fall... Bye, Roger."
The call was ended in a decidedly frostier tone than it had begun. Light was peering at his flatmate from the bathroom, already knowing what the man was going to say but still hoping that he had, somehow, misunderstood. He couldn't possibly mean that -
"We're going to have to share, Light-kun," L said in monotone. This monotone was the kind that spent all of its spare time beating punching bags into oblivion and throwing televisions through hotel room windows. "Apparently, my favorite cousins are going to... drop by."
So, tell me what you think! Bad? Tolerable? Downright awful? Please review, because my fragile self-confidence and semi-fragile inspiration are heavily dependent on your words!