Disclaimer: do not own.

As if there aren't already enough less than favourable consequences of being locked up in a holding cell for ages, Light, who is only really used to the comfort of his high-end bed, is developing the most terrible cramp from lying on the ground all the time. The strange thing is that his body never seems to adjust to the feeling of the floor, and the floor never seems to warm under his body – no matter how feverish he sometimes gets from lack of proper nourishment or sleep.

Tonight must be one of those delirious nights, when the tiles swim beneath the flickering lights and it is a fight to keep his eyes open and his intestines inside his body. Light shifts with great effort against the slightly sweat laced ground and cringes at his stench as he stretches out his aching muscles. It's unfamiliar and degrading how filthy he has become, locked in this cell for what must be at least a month and only being able to bathe when L says he can. He knows that L isn't being mean on purpose, or because he wants to – the killings have stopped and the small amount of evidence the taskforce have all points to Light. L even said they were friends once, and although there are high chances he was lying, sometimes this is the only thing that keeps Light from believing that the whole world is against him.

His hair, oily yet brittle, falls into his eyes as he tries to stretch further, and it remains there as he decides his effort is in vain and collapses dejectedly against the ground like a fallen bridge. He is so entirely heavy and limp at the same time, and his whole body feels as if he is shaking but when he cracks his eyes open to check, his hands, which are still bound together, lay lifeless on the floor.

How can he be sweating like he is when he can't remember the last time he even got water?

A screech pierces the overbearing silence of the room, and although the sound nicks at Light's already aching brain he is thankful for it because it is one of the only sounds outside of himself he has heard in days, possibly weeks, and it feels good to know that there is a universe outside of his fraying mind.

The gentle patter of bare feet against cold tile fills the room and Light smiles weakly before strong fingers grasp onto his shirt collar and he is heaved up and thrown to land on his back, his head connecting with the ground as the world lurches around him. At once, L is upon him, straddling him in his trademark froglike position, wrinkling his nose at Light's smell.

A hand reluctantly finds its way to his hair and grips it tightly, painfully. Light opens his eyes and blinks up at L, shocked by the air of distaste coming from the detective. The man's dark circles are larger than he's ever remembered them being, so big they almost distort his face completely.

Light's head is jerked from its landing place on the ground and he screws his face up as all of the recent unpleasant sensory information catches up with him, his stomach clenching uncontrollably like L's fingers in his hair.

L stares down at him dispassionately and Light wonders what he could possibly have done to provoke such a reaction from the usually stoic man. He shifts slightly in the detective's grip, his legs already developing pins and needles from the awkward position they've been placed in. Apparently movement is not the wisest choice because L tightens his clutch around Light's shirt and over the sound of their breathing can be heard the tearing of seams.

"Ryuuzaki?" Light chances, his voice a rusty croak rather than the smooth tenor it once was.

The detective doesn't answer immediately, his eyes are clouded and he stares down at somewhere on Light's cheek, seemingly lost in thought despite the circumstances. Light's own eyes are clouded by fatigue and fever, but he looks up at L unabashedly whilst he can, and thinks he sees the occasional glimmer of fear in the dank depths of his pupils.

However, eventually the detective snaps back to reality and he looks down at Light one last time before pushing him roughly to the floor and standing over him, looking incredibly tall even in his hunched state. Light can't meet his hollow gaze for long, because suddenly the flickering lights hanging precariously over him are brighter than usual, so he blanches, clamping his eyes tightly shut.

"Why couldn't you just confess?" L's voice rings out into the room, bouncing off of the walls and hitting Light from every direction. His feet slap against the ground as he walks, the sound getting increasingly more distant, and despite what has just occurred Light wants to call him back.

He remains silent, and as a reward the sound of the door screeching shut never comes.

Instead, L returns and Light feels him take a seat next to him on the ground, hears the denim of his jeans scratching over the tiles as he shifts to get comfortable.

Good luck with that, Light thinks cracking open one eye to see the detective holding onto a glass of water with a straw. Immediately his mouth once again feels dry, so when the detective sets down the drink and pulls Light up into a precarious sitting position, Light silently rejoices.

The straw, a vibrant pink so contrasting to the cell that has become his world, is offered to him and he opens his mouth, drinking greedily the moment he gets his chance. He doesn't pause to think of how degrading it is to be acting like this, hasn't thought of that for a long time, nor does he wonder about if the drink has been laced with anything harmful. Eventually, the sounds of a straw running out of water to vacuum up fill the room, reminding Light of his childhood, of lunchtimes spent in fast food restaurants with his mother and his younger sister, of the play parks outside and the sun on his face.

His thirst is quenched, but not really.

Once more, the detective is on his feet and he pads away towards the door, glass in hand. The door opens with a wail, and is slammed shut before Light can croak out any parting words.

When Aizawa comes in hours later and wakes Light up from what must have been a dream, he says he needs to shower quickly, because today is the day he is finally being let out of the cell.

Light presses up as far against his car seat as he possibly can, his hands scrabbling against the fabric of his trousers, Misa's hands, the car window, anything that could possibly be an escape from the gun pressed up against his forehead, but his misguided efforts are in vain. Somewhere amongst the chaos he hears his father's voice, steady and defeated, but he doesn't register the words anymore, too busy screaming - too busy over-sensing everything after such a long time of almost no sensory stimulation at all. Misa is screaming as well, her high pitched wail like that of a banshee as she begs Soichiro to spare his life, her once painted nails clawing desperately at the fabric of his shirt.

Long-forgotten adrenaline pounds through his body unforgivingly, making him feel almost as if the car is still hurtling towards their destination as it spins around him, a vivid mixture of colour, sensation and his father's regretful face.

The trigger is pulled and the gun releases a cracking sound, like a whip to his psyche, over and over and even though he realises the car has gone quiet something inside of him is still whirring, rushing and pounding, waves of relief over a shore of fried nerves. He can't figure it out, his mind on repeat as the whip cracks over and over against it, sending white hot signals of pain coursing through his skull, through his self, and as his mind begins to calm down he hears through newly-popped ears his own voice murmur:

"It was a… blank?"

He watches through burning eyes as his father slumps over his own seat in the car, mumbling something that Light can't quite distinguish, until suddenly a familiar voice rings out in the car, coming from seemingly nowhere, and Light jerks his head around to try and find the source.


The detective's voice hangs like a foul odour inside the car as he explains himself – but it isn't enough, will never be enough now that Light has tasted his own death in the form of blood from his freshly bitten tongue. A camera sits above the front seats of the car, unforgivingly recording the scene like something from a reality TV show. Light wilts beneath its gaze, pressing back against his chair even more and becoming suddenly aware of the physical flaws his mock-execution has produced; feeling intensely the sweat on his face and the way his hair sticks to his skin in what must be an unattractive manner. He's too afraid to look into the car window next to him to check, anxious about what he might see in his eyes if he meets them too soon.

Talking is like forcing razors out of his throat but he does it anyway, not allowing the wince that swells up inside him to reach his face. He gurgles something out about catching Kira, his true intentions hidden safely behind the cliché of his shaken smile – the nice boy façade that has gotten him out of many lectures in the past. His father looks proud, relieved despite his obvious fatigue and when he looks over at Light and smiles weakly his eyes glint like the silver streaks in his hair.

Misa continues to cling onto him, her freshly cut nails aggravating his skin, strangely reminiscent of the pet rat he'd had when he was nine. The urge to shake her off is overwhelming, but instead he nods along to her incessant rambling, feeling a strange niggling of something like guilt in the back of his mind, reminding him that this girl already lost everything that mattered to her once and to almost go through that again must have been agonising.

There's a noise outside, suddenly the car door beside him is wrenched free of its child lock and pulled open, and Soichiro is taking hold of both his arms (Misa's fingers slip away soon enough) and pulling him out of the car. Fresh air burns his eyes, his knees buckle and slam into themselves inelegantly, and soon enough he finds himself seated on the damp grass, his father towering over him concernedly, mumbling something about "we could use some fresh air" and "waiting for L".

At the mere mention of the detective something ugly stirs in Light. He was reluctant to believe it before – too naïve and trusting to think that the other man was hurting him purposely - but he can feel it now, in the way the volume of his surroundings shifts as his ears pop over and over, in the way ants crawl lazily over one hand as he slouches in the grass, Misa at his side.

L is out to get him.

He realises how literal that thought is when a car clumsily bumps along the uneven ground to park next to his father's, the door opening to reveal an elderly man dressed in a suit, beckoning them closer. The man is L's face, his errand boy, and something stirs in Light again when he thinks of how cowardly the detective must be, to not even collect Light himself.

They reach the car before Light even realises he's standing. He looks up at his father in surprise. The man stares back with a look of intense worry so unlike him, and that does it.

"Dad…" he croaks, swathed in guilt for being the cause of so much pain for his father, "I'm sorry."

At once there are arms around him, and he concentrates on the way the strong hands of his father pat his back, concentrates on the feel of him swallowing awkwardly – Watari is undoubtedly watching. The fabric softener scent on his father's jacket is foreign when he buries his face into it, something far too perfumed for the man to choose himself, and despite the fact that he knows how childish it is, he blames L, because the smell of home is just one more thing he's taken from them-

"Gentlemen, I apologise for the interruption, but could you please enter the car? I'm afraid we're on a tight schedule."

The moment ends, Light and Soichiro break apart immediately, both too unfamiliar with these sorts of things to know what to do next. Cold air hits Light once more and he climbs into the car to hide his face and escape from the weather, feeling his father and then Misa (who is silent, perhaps with envy) climb in behind him. The inside of the car is suave and roomy and the three make good use of it. Watari shuts the door behind them.

L's voice comes from nowhere again, rattling off statistics, percentages and instructions. The bare branches of the trees they pass cast jagged shadows across the interior of the car, stabbing into Misa's torso one moment, roping over Light's legs the next.

He leans back, closes his eyes, and wills it all away.

"Is Light-kun finished now?"

"I haven't even done the back yet, Ryuuzaki."

Light pauses in cutting his hair over the hotel bathroom sink to turn around and offer the detective a mock-apologetic face. In reply the man shoves another bonbon in his mouth and stands to closer inspect him.

"Has Light-kun always cut his own hair?" he asks, warily approaching his scissor-wielding suspect.

"I guess so," comes the distracted answer. A clump of hair tumbles down into the sink. "I started when I was about thirteen, it was just easier than having to go to a salon and tell them what I wanted done." Memories of bad haircuts and equally terrible school photos float to the surface of Light's mind, but they feel detached now, almost as if they belong to somebody else.

He shakes the feeling away and loose hair flutters from his head. L stares at him strangely for a moment before speaking.

"I also cut my own hair," he mentions, "I do not-"

"You don't say?"

The interruption is insulting and unexpected, but L doesn't show his surprise. Instead, he pauses in his examination of Light and takes a moment to meet his narrowed eyes, taking in fully the sight of his face, which is twisted with cruel humour.

L has never been a master of social interaction, but this behaviour is so unlike his new companion that he knows something is going on. Before the imprisonment Light would never have dared to show such a reaction to L's comment - after all, they were "friends", weren't they? Deciding not to push his luck, the detective sits neutrally on the bathtub and makes a show of absent-mindedly running his fingers across a nearby towel before continuing.

"I suppose the idea of trusting somebody with a sharp object near my person just does not sit well with me," he explains.

Light cocks his head to one side, the hand holding the scissors slowly falling to be level with his chest.

"What about this?" he asks, snipping the scissors experimentally. "Does this bother you?"

L raises a pale eyebrow, his gaze firmly meeting Light's. The cruelty from the boy's face has worn away, leaving only morbid curiosity in its wake. He rubs the silver handle of the scissors with the tips of his fingers, his eyes never leaving L.

"What are you doing, Light?" L remains sat on the bathtub, keeping his body still and his breathing calm; even as he feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand up without consent.

The teenager snips the scissors a few more times before answering.

"Nothing," he decides, turning back to the mirror and brushing his freshly-styled fringe out of his face, "I just didn't want to scare you."

Once more the scissors rise and Light begins to attend to the top layers of the back of his hair. L watches him cut liberal chunks off, seemingly at random, and tries to stop the anger welling up inside of him. It would not do him or Light any good if an argument were to break out mere minutes into their time chained together, and yet the younger man seems adamant in behaving antagonistically.

L was never very good at behaving patiently.

"Maybe Light-kun should focus less on trying to frighten me, and more on proving his innocence? I would hate to see him incarcerated again due to his threatening behaviour."

The change in atmosphere is instantaneous. Light's snipping pauses and in the mirror L sees his expression change from one of faux disinterest into one of molten anger. Although Light's facial expression doesn't distinctly change – his eyebrows don't move, his lips don't twitch at all – his eyes are suddenly intense, angry, powerful.

As if a dark cloud is in the room, the lights are suddenly duller, and when L looks up to inspect the difference, he sees that one of the three hanging from the ceiling has stopped working. Suddenly very aware of his surroundings, he notices how cold the bathtub is against his legs, and wishes he could sit in his normal position without falling.

Water drips from one of the taps in the sink, its usual sound effect muffled somewhat by Light's discarded hair.

Wordlessly, Light goes back to his hair, chopping rather than snipping, moving quickly down. The back of his neck is laced with a few loose strands of hair.

A set of ugly net curtains hangs up at the window, casting odd shadows across the bathroom tiles. Tiny drops of water hang, almost defying gravity, from the ceiling.

More water condenses on the walls, sure to leave little patches of mould in their wake.

L wonders if this really is a five star hotel.

It would be good, he thinks, if Light would go ahead and hurry up with his self-grooming so that they can go and meet with the taskforce. Whilst he understands that appearance is obviously important to the little brat, he himself has a schedule to keep to, and his suspect is holding him up. Hopefully, when they finally arrive, the taskforce will be compliant with his wishes to move into the specially-built workplace.

Unfortunately, now that Light is out of his incarceration it will be a lot harder for Watari to secretly bug every hotel room they stay in prior to their arrival. Whilst the current suite is kitted out with the things, their constant switching of location would make it almost impossible to remove and replant them in every new living space without Light becoming aware.

Deciding to chance speaking, L takes a breath, ready to deal with any more childishness.

"If Light-kun could please-"

His voice dies in his throat.

Light, upon hearing his voice, had whipped his head around to face him - the scissors still at his neck.

L watches, transfixed, as his companion drops the scissors haphazardly into the sink with one hand, the other sailing upwards towards the back of his neck where a long, angry wound is already making itself known. Seconds pass and blood, thick and dark, leaks out from between his fingers as he stares into his own panicked eyes in the mirror.

The trance shatters, and L is on his feet at once, fetching toilet paper and pushing Light away from in front of the mirror to dampen it. The teenager stumbles, but then his own shock seems to dissipate as well, his face falling into one of mild boredom once more. He takes the paper from L, who was on his way to compressing it himself, and reaches behind himself to dab it gently onto the cut.

"Press it, you have to press it," L says, reaching out for the paper once more but recoiling once Light pulls it away to reveal how heavily blood-stained it is.

Light drops the sullied tissue into the toilet and goes for more, this time pressing it harder against the cut, his expression not changing in the slightest.

L, tired of being useless in the situation, searches the cupboards for antiseptic cream. When he returns to Light with a tube of the stuff, the bleeding has slowed considerably, oozing out lazily instead of pouring like before. Whilst he waits for it to stop completely he unscrews the cap of the antiseptic, turning it upside down and pressing the pointed tip of it into the foil lining the top of the opening.

The only sounds of the room after that are those of bunched up toilet paper dabbing at the red surrounding the wound.

Once satisfied with the cleanliness of the cut, and sure that no more stray hairs are on his neck, Light takes the antiseptic from L with a nod and sparingly rubs it onto the back of his heck, visibly clenching his jaw at times.

"Are there any bandages around?" he asks once finished, placing the antiseptic tube back into the waiting hand of L.

The pointed tip lingers in the detective's palm for a second longer than necessary.

"There is a more extensive first-aid kit in the kitchen; we should be able to find a suitable bandage in there."

Light nods.

"Alright, well, I've finished with my hair so I guess I'll just clean up in here first then."

"Light-kun should put his shirt on as well," says L, pointing to the folded white shirt and maroon jumper folded on a stool in the bathroom, "Or he will catch a cold."

"Of course," blurts Light immediately, looking down at the exposed chest he had been oblivious to for quite a while. He hadn't wanted to get his shirt covered in hair, so he left it out.

With a sigh, he gets to work at clearing up.

Just because they fight so much in public, doesn't mean they can't in private too.

It starts when they both realise the cause of their frequent tummy aches, the reason they keep waking up to find their pillows covered in hair. They're stressed, abnormally so, and with each other.

So it only makes sense that they spend most of their isolated moments either fighting or sleeping, the former with one another, and the latter pitifully alone.

Light presses closer to the wall and slides quickly down it to avoid L's fist, which hurtles through the air with such a speed that he knows just painful it would have been if it had reached his face. Instead, the fist impacts with the plaster of the wall, and Light hears the other detective hiss in pain. He uses this to his advantage, taking what he knows to be one of L's signature moves and using it against him, sweeping one leg into both of his opponent's and watching as he tumbles inelegantly to the ground.

L catches himself at the last moment, like he always does, and after he's picked himself up he reaches for Light, who doesn't protest as he is dragged to his feet. The older man keeps his hand on his shirt though, bony fingers clutching at worn cotton, and when he reaches up to slap his suspect the boy doesn't move far.

"I'm innocent," he spits, turning to gaze into L's face, his eyes molten with smug righteousness, "you were listening to that recording Misa made, weren't you? Higuchi confessed to being Kira, so stop this!"

L's own eyes become fiery, this time with rage and when he pushes hard down on Light's collarbone and sends them both falling into the wall he means it.

"Stop what, Light-kun?" he growls, "Stop investigating this case? Stop trying to find the truth, to fight for justice as we know it? What is it you want?"

"Just stop." Light cries, wriggling in the detective's grip, "Quit suspecting me, you know it isn't me now – I'm not Kira!"

"In case Light-kun has forgotten, Kira has the power to control people's actions before they die. How do I know you're not just doing that to Higuchi?"

Light loses his temper, kicks a shoe-clad foot out to kick L in the shin.

"When could I possibly? Even in the bathroom, you're there – do you have any idea how much of an invasion of privacy this is?"

L grits his teeth, clutches his fingers tighter around his suspect's shoulders. He doesn't remember when they got there.

"Actually, Light-kun, I am quite aware. Imagine solving cases in blissful solitude for years on end, then being suddenly chained to an arrogant brat like you-"

At this, Light roars and pushes L away from him with surprising strength.

"Just stop, Ryuuzaki – stop it! I'm not Kira, why can't you see that?" He reaches out to shake the detective but his efforts are in vain - no look of sudden enlightenment crosses L's face as he allows himself to be rattled from side to side.

Light himself stops, after a while, and they stand there in silence, glaring at each other for a long moment. A coffee table behind them sits upturned, the fruit bowl and its contents smashed beneath it. A lamp has tipped over near the sofa, its shattered light-bulb dressing the sofa in glimmering shards of glass. Never before have they fought with such ferocity.

They are both already bruised; Light knows he will find marks in the shape of handprints on his arms when in the shower. L sports the beginnings of a black eye, looking even more panda-like than usual.

"Does Light-kun wish to know what I do see?" breathes L, his fists clenched readily at his side, "Sometimes, when Light-kun thinks I am not looking, I see his eyes - cold, calculative, murderous. And that gaze is almost always focused on me," he pauses, and perhaps for a moment a flicker of regret passes over his face, but it is gone as quickly as it came. "Light-kun," he says, his voice its usual monotone, "has the gaze of Kira."

Light, visibly shocked by the statement, folds his arms over his chest and scowls.

"Did you not ever think I was just looking at you like that because I hate you?"

And then they are nothing but a mesh of claws and fists, feet and shoes and angry words. Light launches himself at L, his expression one of rage, and the detective welcomes the challenge with literally open arms, allowing himself to be floored by his suspect before taking him by surprise and kicking him almost up into the air. Light, slightly winded, is back on the floor in seconds, grabbing the detective by the shirt in an ironic turn of events and hitting him harshly across the face.

L is undoubtedly angry, grabbing Light by the hair and pulling him down to lie on the floor, and then-

They slip. Light, panicked, looks for something to hold onto to break his fall. That something is L's shoulder, and as he grabs hold of it to keep himself up, L, by reflex, grabs his arms to keep him steady. The speed of Light's falling combined with the force of their movement makes their faces knock together quite suddenly.

Their lips meet.

The kiss – if it can even be called that – is over immediately. Light touches his hand to his mouth experimentally as the pair sit there stunned, and L does nothing, sitting worn out next to him.

And then they do it again.

Just like all of their interactions, the kiss is slightly hateful – L can feel it in the way Light takes to biting his lip, in the way his hands clutch desperately at his hair. Light can feel it in the way L carelessly sends them to the floor, knocking Light's head against the carpet as they land. They remain there, L straddled on top of Light, for a long moment, kissing harshly and occasionally pausing just to breathe. Eventually, L's hand finds its way to Light's neck, and as a single finger begins to trace a line down it, the teenager lets out a muffled scream.

"Get off of me!" He cries, pushing weakly at L's arms, "Get off! What are you doing?"

L, practically jumping off of the auburn-haired man below him, stares down to see Light curl his knees to his chest and rest his head between the arms that are folded on top of them.

"…Light-kun?" chances the detective, but his voice is washed out by Light's continued shouting.

"Just stop, Ryuuzaki! You ruined me – you ruined me! Don't you get it? I can't, I can't just-"

"Light-kun," L says again, unsure of whether or not the boy can hear him over his own high-pitched rambling, "Light, please calm down."

He crouches down next to the boy, warily, as if approaching a wild animal. This behaviour could, after all, simply be a tactic from Light in order to somehow win their fight.

However, Light shows no signs of foul play, and as L places a tentative hand on his shoulder, he does not move away.

"I'm not Kira," he mumbles into his arms, "I'm innocent. I'm innocent!"

L, noting Light's habit of repeating himself when under stress, says nothing.

"Why can't you believe me? Everyone else believes me, why can't you?"

"I am sorry, Light-kun."

The younger male lets out a muffled, choked laugh. For a while there is nothing but silence as disrupted dust and the heavy weight of their words settles in the room, and eventually L removes his hand from Light's shoulder in order to stand up.

"I think we would both benefit from a good night of sleep, Light-kun."

L looks around at the mess they have created as he speaks, watching with mild interest as the juice of an apple trickles down the side of its crimson skin to the carpet, where it has already left a dark patch. They can clear up in the morning.

"But that's what we always do, isn't it?" Light sighs, raising his head to peer up into the eyes of his fellow detective, his captor, "Fight and then sleep. Wake up covered in bruises and yet act as if nothing ever happened."

When no answer comes he gets reluctantly to his feet, the chain forever rattling with his movement.

"Alright then," he murmurs, "let's go to bed."

L smacks the bottom of the shampoo bottle once, twice, before declaring it a lost cause and tossing it out of the shower before reaching for another one. Light looks at him strangely, and L can clearly see the eyebrow he is raising because his entire head of auburn hair is scraped back away from his face as he too uses the shampoo.

L quickly diverts his attention back to the bottle in his hands, popping it open and pouring a liberal amount of the mildly-scented liquid into his palm. Ducking his head under the shower water one last time, he rubs his hands together and places them on his head, strategically rubbing the scalp with his fingertips. He feels foam build up in his hair, and soon enough there is so much that it runs down his wrists and neck, falling from there and hitting the shower floor with a splat.

Once finished, he stands beneath his showerhead and tilts his own head back to peer up at the ceiling, letting the heavy-falling water rinse the majority of the soap out of his hair. Only when he is sure the water can do no more does he reach his hands up to rub again at his scalp, listening rather than feeling the last remainders of suds die out.

He tips his head back up, feeling a momentary wave of dizziness as his blood pressure drops slightly. After putting the shampoo back onto the nearby shower shelf, he reaches across to the further shelf to get his shower gel. At that moment, Light reaches over to take the shampoo for the second time ("Lather, rinse, repeat, Ryuuzaki.") and their skin brushes only slightly.

Whilst L ignores the contact, deeming it as irrelevant, Light shuffles forward in an effort to move away from the detective. Not bothering to even note the reaction after so many months of awkward showering, L unscrews the cap on the shower gel and squeezes some out onto his waiting hand, hearing distinctly the sound of Light opening the shampoo bottle.

He thinks nothing of it, too busy cleaning his own body to worry about what Light might be doing, but when he accidentally peers up to see Light massaging his scalp, a long line of diluted foam coursing down along his spine, he has the most intriguing feeling.

Light's softly tanned shoulder bones move as he rubs his fingers through his hair, head tipped back, eyes closed, plump lips slightly parted in relaxation. The cut on his neck from months ago is gone now, leaving only a pale scar behind, hardly visible past the shampoo running down from his hairline.

L follows the course of the shampoo with his eyes one more, the way it falls down Light's back before meeting with the soft curves of his hips and changing direction to slip down the outside of his legs. The shampoo pools on the shower floor for a while before being sucked down the plug hole.

Unthinking, L reaches out an arm, holding it out in the direction of Light's back. Slowly, he moves closer and closer towards his suspect's golden skin, until his fingers are mere millimetres away from contact. It's then that he notices how much his body moves even when he thinks he is being still, in the gentle bobbing of his hand as it struggles against its sticking out position.

And then, he closes the space between his fingers and Light's back, brushing them softly along the moist curve of his lower spine.

Light spins around to face him immediately, his eyes narrowed with paranoia as one hand reaches behind to touch the point on his back L had touched. L, realising himself, lets his hand drop to his side, feeling the suds on his shoulders solidify as he remains away from the showerhead.

"What are you doing?" asks Light, stepping out from underneath his own showerhead.

L says nothing.

"Ryuuzaki?" Light moves closer still to the detective, "L!"

The older male remains silent, knowing that any reaction he gives will only be perceived as antagonistic behaviour. However, despite his best efforts, Light still finds a way to be offended, cocking his head to one side and scowling. A few moments pass, Light staring bitterly into L's eyes and L staring back unaffected, and then something in the murder suspect clicks, his expression changes into something unlike him, and he reaches out for the detective's waist.

Almost slipping against the wet floor of the shower, L crashes into his companion's body as said companion's lips collide with his mouth. Immediately he reacts, caught up in a feeling he knows has a vendetta against him – he has ignored these urges for too long.

They end up pressed together against the glass of the shower door, L feeling Light's growls reverberate against the inside of his mouth as shampoo runs down the man's forehead and into his eyes. Despite the obvious obstacle neither of the two pull away, instead continuing until L takes the initiative and presses his tongue against the lovely white teeth opposite his, requesting entrance into the other's mouth completely.

Light, pressed up against the door, allows L's tongue to knock against his own before responding, sending his own tongue out on a scavenger mission into the mouth of what should be his enemy. They remain like this for some time, clutching onto each other, pausing only briefly for air before going back for more, the weight of the world on their shoulders and the feel of the other's semi-erect member against their thighs.

It is only when the shower starts to feel cold (despite their apparent body heat) that they think to break away, Light with drying soap suds in his hair and L with a pale pink rash along his chest from where the ignored shower gel has aggravated his skin.

The steam that once filled the bathroom is gone, leaving only dried soap and goose-bumps in its wake. L, staring hard into the bloodshot eyes of his companion, sticks his hand out in the direction of the showerhead and finds that the water has probably long since gone cold.

"Shit," says Light, "I haven't rinsed this shampoo out yet."

And with that, they turn away from each other and complete their bathroom rituals in a silence broken only by the occasional hiss of discomfort. Finished first, L creaks the shower door open, somehow aware of the other's heavy gaze on his person. However, he is unprepared for confrontation and so he ignores the way the dampened hairs on the back of his neck stand up, wrapping himself in a towel and sitting on the edge of the nearby bathtub (disused, and complete with a fine layer of dust around the outside) to air-dry.

The taskforce building is beginning to feel more comfortable lately, an appreciated comfort in a situation which otherwise has none. They are closing in on Higuchi, and very soon they will be able to formulate a plan to capture him once and for all. Everybody is telling L to be more cheerful, but how can he possibly? L can't identify what Kira's plan is exactly, but that doesn't mean he cannot feel it closing in on him.

Every time panic makes his heart pound he thinks of heart attacks, thinks of Kira, thinks of Light.

"What just happened?" L is shaken out of his thoughts by a voice, and turns around to see Light, naked and shivering with cold, grab his towel from where it is folded atop the radiator and wrap it around himself indulgently. Something about the action is so endearing that L wants to laugh and cry and shake the boy, but he does none of these things.

"We kissed, Light-kun."

"Yeah," Light sighs, "again."

L really does laugh this time, a short, choked out laugh but one all the same, and when Light joins in he supposes he should appreciate it.

Water drips miserably onto the shower floor behind them.

L has heard of seeing red, but somehow, in the midst of all of the sirens and the desperate shouts of the taskforce, he thinks that maybe this isn't exactly it. The workroom is glowing crimson, and maybe a poet would make comparisons to blood, or evil, but L knows why the room is red and it is a reality harsher than any metaphor.

Watari is dead, for starters, taking all of the Kira case information and thus the majority of L's hard work with him. The detective can't say he feels completely bitter about this turn of events; it is, after all, what they agreed to when they discussed the chances of not coming out of the Kira case unscathed. It shocks him, though, that his caregiver since he can remember has been murdered and he feels almost nothing on the matter. He continues to direct the taskforce, raising his voice not only to make himself heard but to break himself out of the bubble he feels he is trapped in – everything is surreal, almost like a fever dream – is this how Light felt when he thought he was going to die?

Somebody kicks him hard in the chest, but he doesn't need to look down to know that nobody is really there - maybe Light, in another world, kicking him to the floor like somebody's unwanted dog, but not right now.

His spoon is the first thing to hit the ground, but nobody hears that over the noise of the sirens and their own flailing. It is only when he begins to tip from his chair, feeling as if he is moving in slow motion, that they notice something is wrong.

They cry out – his alias, he notices, and thinks idly that he has trained them well – rush to him, but it is Light (always Light) who beats them there, diving heroically to the floor to break his fall.

In his nightmares of dying in ways frighteningly similar to this, this is almost always the part where panic grips at his heart, but now he feels no such fear, perhaps because his heart is already gripped in something far more deadly. It could be that he has exhausted his body's supply of panic in the past few weeks, lost in the smothering wonder of Kira's trap.

Light really has outdone himself with this plan.

He looks up at the boy (feeling numb except for the horrific pain in his chest), and observes that despite the gentle way in which he is holding L, the most terrible smile has found its way onto his once angelic face. The grin is twisted, evil, contorting Light's face into something truly ugly, and despite how easy it would be to believe that Light means it, L has no doubt that it is in fact a fake.

When they were chained together, there would be occasional moments where Light would do something small and endearing. Once, and only once, he called his mother, and spent the better half of the conversation smiling at nothing because he thought L was not looking. L was. Another time he made the bed up in their room, and when Watari came in to do so and found it already done, he turned to Light and thanked him, and the teenager gave this shocked little smile and said it was no problem at all.

Those endearing, tiny fragments of their whole messed up time together gave L an inkling of what a "true" smile from Light Yagami was, and from experience he knew Light smiled best when he was shocked, not when his plans went well.

The grin is a show for L.

This, L's death, it has to happen, not only because it has been planned since a long time ago but also because Light feels the need for revenge, after being "ruined" by the detective. Although every trial, every hidden camera stunt and every bruise has happened because of Light's writings in a little black notebook, L was the one who truly gave the orders for such things to take place, when there could have been better alternatives if he'd taken the time to think any up.

But he didn't, and here he lies, feeling a sliver of regret somewhere in his cloudy mind.

His eyes begin to shut of their own accord; he feels his own stare begin to become clouded and glassy. Light sees it too, because just before darkness takes L completely, before he becomes too lost in the visions of his childhood home, he peers up at his old companion one last time.

And Light isn't smiling anymore.

A/N: Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the fic! Any comments, opinions or constructive criticism are very much appreciated.