Author's Notes: Hello, everyone! Bratchild3 and Magic_Mind are at it again - this time, we come bearing Death Note fic. This one is decidedly lighthearted (we laugh a LOT while we write it). L and Light are raising a baby and eventually Near and Mello will too. And the kids will be growing up together! Lots of things are in store here. Because the fic is so full of "events," we have broken things up into "episodes." Each episode will be a chapter, and each one will stand alone. But they will all fit into a larger narrative arch as well.
The episodes will not always be in chronological order. The time line will bounce around, so be prepared for that as well. Our chapters will clearly state how old the child is upfront. Hopefully there will be no confusion. :)
As for warnings, things can be very tame all the way to sometimes graphic, so...basically be prepared for anything and everything. Some episodes will have nothing more than G-rated material and some are explicit. But all will be entertaining, we hope!
Chapter 1: Fairytale Bedtime Story
Junior: Age 4 months
"Light-kun," L said for the second time that night. "Do you hear that noise?"
From the opposite side of the bed, L heard an indistinguishable mumbling which tapered off into the heavy breathing of sleep. His eyes slid from the glowing laptop monitor to Light and rolled his eyes.
It was 1:31 in the morning. L could understand Light was tired, but they had both agreed before getting themselves into this that they would share the responsibilities fifty-fifty.
L pulled out one of the Serta pillows piled behind him and whacked Light over the head a few times, which unfortunately didn't get much of a reaction.
"This noise," L said, louder. He grabbed the baby monitor off the side-table and held it to Light's ear. "is the sound that your son makes sometimes. He requires your assistance."
Light was having a terrible dream. There was some kind of...walking rectangle that was floating around his head...no matter what he did or where he tried to run, it followed him. And it was emitting this terrible, horrible...wailing sound. A wailing that was so pronounced, and so incessant, that any peace left to him at this juncture of his dream life was being sucked away before his eyes.
Also, there was L. Joy.
Also also - Light KNEW this wasn't a dream. He had begun the practice of lucid dreaming at age 9 and so he was quite aware of what the wailing really was. The four-month-old just down the hallway. The one that L had somehow convinced him to raise cooperatively.
Light rolled over and slowly pushed the baby monitor away from the vicinity of his rapidly decaying eardrum. "Miracle of miracles, I am actually aware of that crying, L. This is what I look like when it's your turn to 'assist' him and get rid of it."
L thrust the monitor back toward him. "It is your turn, Light-kun. I dealt with it the last time. He needed a diaper and now I am sure he needs a bottle of chocolate milk. Do not starve him or his brain may not develop properly. Also, he may never grow teeth and then you will have to chew all his meals for him."
Light sighed. This was so typical. "Yes, L." he said slowly. Patiently. "I am also aware that you dealt with it the last time. But I am ALSO aware of the schedule we drew up three weeks ago, when it was mutually decided that taking immediate turns was too taxing on us, as it required our activities to constantly be interrupted. Like my sleeping is being interrupted now. We decided then, as I recall with my photographic memory, that we would take turns in days. You have this day. It is on the calendar - signed and dated - in the kitchen if you care to challenge me."
L's eyelids and the monitor drooped simultaneously. Of course Light was right about that; L simply was hoping that he would be too taxed for rationality and get up anyway. Like he had every other night it was L's turn for the past two weeks.
"That is fine, Light-kun. Go ahead and sleep." He snapped his laptop closed and pushed it toward the foot of the bed. "But do not blame me when he grows up and has no idea who you are. Subconsciously he will remember that I was the one who always came to the rescue in the night time."
Light stretched out and nestled himself more deeply into his pillow, making a deliberate show of his contentment. "Yes, dear genius detective. And he will remember that I was the one who came to rescue him from your 'rescues.'" Light said sleepily. "I saw that diaper job you did last time...it's a wonder the nursery isn't covered in urine."
Ah, sleep. Finally. Glorious...heavenly...
Light suddenly remembered an earlier part of the conversation.
"And L?" he yelled, as L was walking out the door of their bedroom. Out of his peripheral vision, Light saw L shoot him a look of sarcastically polite inquiry - those eyebrows of his rising a good three inches. "Don't you dare give that baby chocolate milk. We DO want him to have teeth. The sugar will disintegrate them."
L gave a slight bow and turned away. "You do not have a say so when it is I who is getting a bottle, your highness," he said to himself, padding down the hallway and into the next room.
He didn't bother with the light switch; the room was aglow with the soft green of a Play School aquarium. Light's sister, Sayu, had attached it to the whitewashed bars of the crib. It was supposed to sooth the child to sleep, but Junior had unfortunately inherited L's sleeping patterns and wasn't much for resting during the late hours.
The baby stopped fussing the moment L peered over the railing, his fists flailing and teddybear-bootied feet kicking excitedly. He was a pretty baby. All Light with perfectly symmetrical features and a bit of soft brown cinnamon colored hair. Nothing about him looked like L- except the eyes and skin. The baby's eyes were black as soot and abnormally large. His skin was the same milky white as L's. A far cry from Light's golden tan
"I know what the problem is." L said, softly. "You do not need to sleep more than you are awake like someone we both know. You would rather be having some cake and hacking into international databases with me, wouldn't you?"
L scooped the child into his arms and started toward the kitchen. Inside the refrigerator was a jug of baby formula-homemade, at Light's insistence-and an array of bottles with pre-measured amounts. L chose a light yellow one with smiling strawberries speckled down the sides and bounced Junior lightly as it warmed in the microwave. Next he pulled out the Nes-Quick canister and poured in a teaspoon or so. Light-kun need never know.
Junior was sucking the contents down greedily when L reentered his and Light's room. L climbed onto the bed and settled the baby against Light's side, using his ribcage to prop the bottle up. He then pulled open his laptop pulled it back into position.
Through the haze of his half-sleep, Light could feel something squishy and abnormally warm against his left side. This was unusual, as L was neither squishy nor warm (except in a figurative sense. Occasionally.) There was only one other human whose presence it could be, and Light didn't need the half of his brain that was sleeping to know who it was. The plastic bottle wedged between his third and fourth ribs was also a clue.
In spite of himself, Light was glad that L had decided to bring Junior back in with him. He would trade many sleepless nights for time spent with his new son - and had already given L many sleepless ones in the past. (While he was on the subject, Light made a mental note that they were far past due for another such night, and decided to phone Sayu tomorrow and call in a favor of babysitting.)
For now though, Light gently turned so that his son wouldn't be disturbed in his feeding, and propped himself up on one elbow. With his other hand, he lifted the bottle (L had a pronounced fondness for the strawberry one, which is why Light bought it) and let Junior continue on more easily in his midnight meal.
"Light-kun decides to wake for his son now, I see. He is fickle." L noted, eyes still on his laptop screen.
"Not fickle," Light said. "Just...charmed." And for the moment, he didn't care if L could see the emotion in his eyes when he looked at him.
"Then Light-kun may change his charming diaper when he is through, as I am 100% certain he will need a new one. Things were feeling a trifle squishy on the way back up."
Light sighed and turned his eyes toward Junior, whose bottle was already nearly empty. He was kicking his feet merrily - happy with the milk and happier still at the sound of L's voice.
"Your Daddy noticed squishiness in your diaper and did nothing about it." Light said to his son seriously. "I trust you will remember this in your teenage years, when you pick which parent you want to rebel against more."
"Unfortunately for you, that was already decided," L said, now tapping the keys. "Junior and I discussed it last week. I give him chocolate and you do not. I also let him stay up when you force him into solitary confinement in that cell you call a nursery."
"Ah… discussed it, did you?" Light said, gently removing the now empty bottle from the baby's mouth and setting it on the nightstand. "I do hope the decision was made with great concern and care, as well as all due fairness. For example, such solitary confinement is not punishment. It is the gift of independence. Isn't that right, Junior?"
Recognizing that all hope of sleep was gone, Light sat up and rested himself against the headboard, taking Junior into his arms and holding him on his lap, against his chest.
"And I hope you didn't leave out that time that the dark chocolate you gave him produced a week-long bout of diarrhea, L."
"We decided in the end that it was worth it. Especially me, who did not have to deal with it since you would not allow me near him for that week." L looked up finally, a smirk fixed on his face. "Ah, he is watching you, Light-kun."
Junior had stilled in Light's arms, his owl eyes fixed unblinkingly on Light's face. When Light glanced down, the baby smiled and cooed, producing a small, chocolate-colored bubble, which popped and dribbled down his chin.
Light chuckled warmly, leaning in closer toward Junior's face and blinking with wide exaggeration. "That was a BIG one, little man." he said.
Taking a cloth from the nightstand (such towels were littered all over the house now, as the immediacy of baby-drool was impossible to overestimate), Light gently wiped the remains of the bubble from Junior's mouth and chin.
"Do not forget that he is squishy," L said. "You will not be watching him with such fond eyes if you wind up spending the rest of the night washing clothes and bed sheets." He hit the power button and stuffed the computer unceremoniously onto the side table, then stretched his arms up. "Then you may bring him back to me so that I may play with him."
"L." Light said, very unimpressed with these plans. "First of all, we've already established that today is your day for baby-duties. And secondly, playtime is over. Right now the sun is sleeping. That means Junior should too."
"But, Light-kun, he is not sleepy," L said, pointing at the child, then withered at the sharp glance Light shot him. "Then," he said, changing his mind. "let us tell him a bedtime story."
"Hmm." Light said, reaching over to the side table for a fresh diaper and wipes. He made short work of Junior's mess – his mind all the while on L's suggestion. Light found that he reluctantly approved such a postponement of bedtime. Junior listened more closely to stories with each passing day, and Light admitted to himself that he enjoyed making up the tales with L.
"Alright. One bedtime story. Let's see… once upon a time… there lived a prince in the most beautiful temple in Japan. His name was Yoru."
Now feeling extremely pleased with himself for getting his way not only with the chocolate milk and with Light taking over duties, but also putting off bedtime (which he and Junior both disliked) L scooted closer to Light. He lined up his right thigh to Light's left and pulled Junior toward him, situating his back against the support of their legs so he could face them.
"Prince Yoru was exceedingly handsome," L said. He slipped his index finger against Junior's palm and smiled when tiny fingers closed around it. "he had toffee colored eyes and hazelnut skin, and everybody loved him. But Prince Yoru did not love anyone back."
Light glanced aside at L and watched him, momentarily entranced by the image of he and Junior's interactions and at the implication of L's words.
"It was… this way for quite a long time. Prince Yoru was lonelier than anyone around him, though no one knew it. Until one day, a rival empire sent a scroll over to Prince Yoru's temple. There was a new prince scheduled to arrive in the village."
Light reached out and tickled Junior's little bootied toes. "The new prince kept his name a secret."
"Because he was the most brilliant and richest person in the whole, wide world. He was like a celebrity, only better, because most celebrities only use 6% of their brain cells. They use too much bleach on their hair, like M-"
Light elbowed him sharply in the ribs, and L changed course seamlessly. "He went by the name of X. What Prince Yoru didn't know was that X was even lonelier than he was. X did not have any admirers. He did not even have any friends because he had been kept a secret for so long."
"X was quite upsetting to Prince Yoru when he first arrived at the temple. X was different from anyone Prince Yoru had ever met before, including other royals. He was messy, blunt, spoiled, and too intelligent by half. Prince Yoru didn't know what to do with X, or how to tame him. Smiles and friendliness didn't tame him. Harsh words didn't either. Neither did ignoring him, because X had a way of making it so that Prince Yoru COULDN'T ignore him. Prince Yoru was consumed with the need to tame the new prince, and yet he couldn't figure out how."
Light leaned in close to Junior and whispered, "It was X's fault that he made it so difficult."
"Incidentally, Prince Yoru was not upsetting to X," L said. "X was fascinated. He had never seen anyone so beautiful. And Prince Yoru was spoiled in a completely different way than he was. Prince Yoru was charming, but like a snake. He was conniving and he used his beauty for his own benefit. But X was not taken in by that. X saw through Prince Yoru's smile and he saw that it was not a real smile."
L looked at Light, smiling softly.
By now, the tiny hand enclosed over L's index finger had dropped down onto the coverlet, and Light reached over to take over the duty himself. That he held L's entire hand was unbeknownst to the baby.
"One day," Light said, "X came to Prince Yoru's chambers and told him that. Prince Yoru was taken aback by X's knowledge of his heart, and his motives. While X talked, Prince Yoru came to see that when X watched him, it was not out of nefarious plotting, but rather out of something else. And Prince Yoru found himself inviting X inside for tea."
L chuckled softly. "The way I remember things, it was a bit more than tea you were inviting me over for."
Light sighed and shook his head, though he was smiling in spite of himself. "And yet I find myself oddly reluctant to tell our son more about that 'more.'"
"But I have a feeling that Light-kun would not be opposed to retelling me that part of the story with actions instead of words later on, once the child is secured inside of his cell once more."
"He might be." Light replied. "Provided that you can behave yourself."
"Light-kun has a way of letting all the air out of my happy party balloons," L said. He looked back at Junior and brushed his free hand softly over the sleeping baby's hair. "He looks just like you when he sleeps; a miniature Angel Cake."
Light huffed out a self-conscious-sounding laugh. "I… was not aware of that, L. Every time I look at him, I see all that's you in him." He took a moment to just watch the baby, and reflect on the miracle that this… this life was truly his. That the fairy-tale was true.
"Let's take him to his crib, L."
Light slid his hands under Junior's back, carefully supporting his head with one. "He needs sleep, and we need it too. …Eventually."
L perked at the last word, his eyes brightening. "For once, I will not argue. But please do not get used to it." He slid out of bed and slumped into his usual hunched posture. "I will accompany you to his cell."
Light rolled his eyes and kept his voice to a whisper as they started down the hall. "You know it's a nursery. Calling it a cell is going to give him a complex."
L waited for Light to pass with the baby and followed them out. "It is the truth. How would you feel if you were put behind bars inside of a room devoid of all social interaction and decorated in scary-faced chibi animals?"
"I would feel relieved of the world's idiots, given that you could still come over for conjugal visits." Light said, smirking. He slipped into Junior's cell (damn L's euphemisms) NURSERY… and lowered the baby down into his crib, switching the aquarium lights to their dimmest setting.
L glanced around the room, hands in pockets. "It is true that his painted chibi friends appear more intelligent than Matsuda-san." His gaze had landed on a soft brown monkey painted just beside the window, who was scratching his head with his tail. Their mistake; incidentally, it was Matsuda who had helped Sayu decorate the room. L thought it was creepy. It would have been much better if the theme had been chibi cupcakes.
It was only with careful control that Light stopped himself from laughing audibly and waking Junior. L's humor was sharp and pointed and dry - Light should probably tell him at some point how much he liked it.
"Perhaps you and I will redecorate when Junior gets a little older and can tell us what he would like better." Light said. He pressed a kiss against his fingers and touched them to the baby's cheek, then turned and went to L. "Bedtime now, chibi-hater?"
L nodded. "I do not have room in my heart to love chibis when I love Light-kun and strawberry cheesecake so much." His fingers curled into the sides of Light's T-shirt as he leaned in for a kiss.
Light pressed his lips against L's, teasing for the moment and much less deep than the kisses he planned to give in the near future. When Light pulled back, he said, "Perhaps you can have both in our room sometime."
L was already tugging him out of the door. "You will suffice for now."
Light's self-satisfied grin did not leave him even when they made it back to their bedroom and the door was closing behind them. He suspected that he'd be waking up with it too.
The idea was not unpleasant.
A/N: More to come! Please let us know what you think! Favs and comments welcome! :-)