warnings: sex! (and rather a lot of it), swearing, and general dysfunctionality. disregard for the canon timeline and canon in general.

notes: This fic is one giant cliche. With quite a few smaller cliches thrown into the mix. I'm not going to pretend to be doing anything revolutionary here. It's your basic L-and-Light-fall-in-love-during-the-Yotsuba-arc fic. I meant to come up with something new and different, I swear, but after staring down my word processor for a couple of weeks, this is what came out. In bulk. The cliches are cliches for a reason, anyway, and I have hope that I've fiddled with the execution enough so that it doesn't feel like you've already read this exact fic 68 times before. As you can see I tacked a pretentious quote onto it, so that, at least, should count for something.

The actual summary is something like: L has sex with everyone, FOR JUSTICE. Except with lots of angsty monologuing. I kind of don't know what I'm doing here, so bare with me, kids.

Any and all reviews are appreciated. Thank you for reading.

chapter one - nights.

"All mortal greatness is but disease."

- Herman Melville, Moby Dick: or, the White Whale.

There is a riotous sea under his skin when Light touches him, and it never quite goes away no matter how much they keep touching, or fucking, or talking each other in circles with the same tired accusations and flimsy defenses. Round and round, and L doesn't know when it will stop, only that when it does, one of them will have to die.

"You'll kill me someday, won't you?" he whispers into Light's hair.

That makes Light laugh with the nervous sort of amusement you force when you don't know what else to do. "Don't be stupid, L."

"Ryuzaki," L corrects. Not that it matters, of course.

"Don't be stupid, Ryuzaki," Light repeats, sounding tired and annoyed, like a weary parent with a wayward child that won't stop asking frivolous questions.

"I assure you, I am not. My intelligence is far above average, although I admit it's been a while since I've been properly tested. Perhaps it's decreased in the past few months. I have sustained quite a few light head wounds recently."

"Are you trying to say I've fucked your brains out?" Light jokes, tone light and amused because Light is alway grasping at those sort of straws.

"Don't be crass, Light," L chides. He likes correcting Light, because Light hates being corrected.

Light snorts indelicately, because he is a teenager yet and, along with fucking people their parents wouldn't approve of, that is what teenagers do. "I wouldn't dream of it." That and, in Light's case, mass murder, but there's a time and place for the latter, and in this little sanctuary of their's, Kira is just a ghost, a scary story that - for the time being - they can choose not to believe.

L turns and kisses him, long and slow, like this is the last time he will ever kiss him, because L likes to be prepared for emergencies at all times, and also because he likes kissing Light. He likes the tickle of the strands of his hair and the way he digs his fingers into L's jaw when he tries to pull away - and L always tries to pull away, just for the feeling of being held close.

"You make me feel sick, you know," L says after a moment, breath whispering against Light's lips.

"Don't say things to me like that," Light says back, but he's not crossing his arms or turning away, maybe because L is half on top of him, and maybe because he understands the truth of what L is saying more than he'd readily admit.

To be honest, L's not sure what Light knows at this point, only that it's less than it had been. He's changed, somehow. L can never decide if he likes the change or not. There are moments when Light's apparently genuine innocence is a blessing, a sheet that L can pull over the truth to keep it at bay for long enough for them to finish their latest chess game or discussion of classic literature or quick fuck in the hallway bathroom. It doesn't fix anything, but it makes it easier, and L can only bide his time until the moment when that won't be enough.

"Like what? The truth?" L asks, looking away. The moon is still out, but the sky is pink, and the glow of it streams in through the high-rise windows to fill the room with an unearthly, hollow warmth, like a picture of a faraway tropical beach or one of those screen-savers of an animated fire place.

"I don't want the truth," Light tells him, cupping his face with a solid palm that pulls L around to look at him again. Even if Light's aware of a lot less than he should be, he's not a complete idiot. He knows that something is off, that they're hiding away from the looming enormity of what this all comes down to. Maybe he even knows what it comes down to, maybe he's just that good a liar and L is the one falling into the trap, falling since day one, instead of the other way around.

"What do you want, Light?" he ask the curve of Light's jaw. "Any idea?"

Light has to think about it, probably takes longer to come up with the answer than L does, and that either says something about how well L knows him, or else about how little he knows himself.

"Justice," he says, after a few minutes. L nods, sighing as he leans against Lights chest, supporting himself with the frame of the other boy.

"That's the problem, isn't it?" he asks, not really expecting an answer, because it skates too close to the truth, nearly wakes the great big elephant in the room, and when that happens - whenever or however that will happen - this will all end.

Light looks at him then, and there's a murky sort of clarity in his eyes. "It's what you want, too."

It's sickening how much L doesn't want this to end.

"That's the other problem."

two months earlier.

It starts, as all of the worst things do, in the dead of night.

Light is either asleep or faking it when L leans over and asks, head cocked to the side and half-chewed lollipop sticking out from the corner of his mouth, "Light-kun, do you know how to make chocolate eclairs?"

Light blinks his eyes open, too tired to hide his annoyance, and L thinks that's probably a good thing. He should conduct all interrogations with Light half asleep. It makes him far less personable, but also far more likely to slip up and spill something. As Light forces his eyes shut and turns away to go back to sleep, L revises his thought process. Light would never slip up. That's part of what makes the Kira case so enjoyable. Light is the perfect criminal.

"Light-kun?" he repeats.

Light sits up, leveling a rumpled, sleepy glare in L's direction that L vaguely notes the attractiveness of. Said attractiveness being very. "No Ryuzaki, I do not know how to make chocolate eclairs," he grits.

L nods, slumping in his seat. He'd expected as much. "That's very disappointing."

Light rolls his eyes. "Why would you assume - " he starts, then shakes his head. "Nevermind. Just go to sleep."

"Oh, no, I'm not at all tired."

L imagines he can see Light's eye twitching, like an irritable cartoon character. He had never watched many cartoons in his youth, concerned as he had been with more intellectual pursuits, but there was a serial killer in Tulsa, Arizona two years ago who had killed his victims by crushing them with anvils. L had done research.

"Fine, then I'm going to sleep," Light says, falling back into the mattress with less grace than usual and pulling the blanket up and half on his head. Light generally employs a method of detached politeness with the various antics that L throws his way - employs it at everyone else, too, but at least then it comes off as more genuine - but it's the middle of the night now and it seems he can't be bothered with it.

L chews at his thumbnail and remains where he is. "Goodnight."

After a moment, Light sighs, opening his eyes again. "Can't you have Watari make them for you?" he asks, evidently trying to rectify his frustration from a moment ago - justified as it had been - in some misguided attempt to continue to perpetuate his golden-boy persona as the truth.

"Oh, yes, I suppose," L says, bringing a finger to his lip to tug at it. It's a measured movement. "I'd have to get him up, though, and as Watari only sleeps four hours a night as it is, I'd rather not."

Light rolls his eyes. "You can't wait four hours for some eclairs?"

"No, I'm afraid it's a rather immediate need," L says.

Light stares at him, brows drawn down and mouth almost quirked. It's sort of vaguely endearing in a way that Light had never once been before his imprisonment. His words and his actions are virtually the same, but his entire demeanor has shifted, and whatever clinical niceties he'd participated in before pale strongly to genuine decency that seems to radiate from him now.

Even when he's cruel, he's kinder than he was, and almost as if just to prove as much he scoffs and says, "You really are a child, aren't you?" Like L isn't the greatest detective in the world, like he hasn't seen and done things that would shock Light to his core.

"I'm 24," he says blankly, and that's measured, too - because everything is always measured, or else he'd be dead by now. He doesn't think his age will be of any real worth to Kira - it could only lead to birth records if L had birth records, which he doesn't - and anyway, he's been planning on something like this. Let Light in, let him think they're getting closer, that he considers him a friend. Neither of them actually have to believe it, they just have to commit to the farce, and it will all inevitably lead somewhere.

Presumably, to Kira's downfall.

"Really?" Light asks after a moment, seeming to process the information and then store it in whichever section of his head is reserved for information on L. He's sure there is one. L's got plenty of files on him, both mentally-kept and otherwise.

"Yes. You're surprised?" He would be. L does not look his age, he's fairly sure of that, which tends to be beneficial in allowing himself to be underestimated for purposes of stealth.

Light seems to have forgotten that he's apparently desperate for sleep, the thought likely having slipped his mind with the introduction of personal information on L. His eyes are awake and alive now, scanning L up and down with interested scrutiny. It's so blatantly Kira that it almost makes L less suspicious. "Well, yeah," he says after a moment, "You look like an anorexic 18-year-old."

L holds back an amused sound. The situation doesn't call for humor, and he's uninterested in introducing it. "I see." He tries to hit the stark balance between vaguely hurt, but mostly blasé, and from the way Light winces somewhat sheepishly, it appears to work.

"That's not what I meant," Light corrects somewhat hurriedly, sitting up slightly. His bangs fall in his face, no doubt tickling the edges of his eyelashes. He really is such an attractive boy; it's a shame about the mass murder.

"Ah. Is 'anorexic 18-year-old' code for something, then?" L says, cocking his head to the side. He's almost certain Light can't detect the teasing in his tone.

Light rubs at the back of his head sheepishly. "I just meant I thought you were… closer to my age." It's a valiant attempt, and if Light's opinion of his appearance mattered at all to the investigation, L might explore this issue further.

Then again. Given the nature of their so-called 'friendship,' it might be beneficial for Light to take a more personal interest in him. Cultivating a working relationship with Kira has been L's plan from the start - it's the only way to monitor him properly, and besides, makes profiling him far easier - and although he's worked to establish what, on paper, could be called a personal connection with Light - which wasn't hard, given their similarities - they aren't actually particularly close. Which seems ridiculous, at this point, as they're sharing the same bed and Light is looking at him with what appears to be genuine interest.

It had been different before, L's sure. Light had been different before. Farther away, like some distant, shining thing speaking down to the rest of them from the heavens - or, at least, the self-conceived, illusory heavens created by his monuments ego. That's gone now. Light Yagami is still intelligent, still slightly haughty and self-absorbed, but in a way that is not uncommon in a good-looking young man who's aware of his positive qualities.

He no longer sees himself a God. He's just a teenager now. What L doesn't understand, is why.

He has to do something with this, though. The situation has arranged itself perfectly for an opportunity of developing their relationship further, and L cannot shy away. Go for the guts, Watari had told him once, when he was a child. You'll have to get your hands dirty. A rather morbid thing to say to an eight-year-old boy, perhaps, but nonetheless effective. L knows where the guts are, and he knows how to reach them best.

L stands from his chair, moving over to the bed as swiftly as a passing shadow, and leans over Light to look him deftly in the eyes.

"Closer to your age?" he repeats, like he doesn't quite understand. "Is that because you feel a strong bond with me?"

Light's forehead crumples. "What? No," he says automatically. It's a lie, L thinks. Kira is undoubtedly connected to L, and even without Kira, L can tell Light thinks Ryuzaki more similar to him than anyone he's met, despite the many oddities of L's that he doesn't share. If anything is making him deny it here, it's L's wide eyes, the way he leans in, invades his personal space more than is perhaps appropriate.

"We're friends, aren't we, Light-kun?" L asks, only leaning in closer, like he has not a clue about social decorum or the rules of personal interaction. So close, in fact, that he imagines he can feel Light's warm breath on his cheek. Light leans back further, whether consciously or not, putting distance between them.

"Yeah, we're friends, Ryuzaki," Light says, almost cautiously. He gets this look in his eye, sparkling with that good-boy charm of his, like he wants to say something else. But after a moment he just looks away, mumbling, "I mean, most people don't imprison their friends for months at a time and then chain them to their wrists."

L can't help but pop a slight smirk then. He thinks it mostly goes unnoticed in the dark, anyway. "Most people aren't friends with mass murderers."

"I'm not -" Light starts, brow drawing down, and it'll be another self-righteous tirade, L's sure, about correct investigative procedure and a very by-the-book concept of justice, and not only are those tearfully boring, but they'll do nothing to bring he and Light closer together, so he cuts him off before he can really get going.

L flops onto his back, hitting the mattress with a soft sound and somewhat crushing Light's feet, ignoring whatever he has to say about not being Kira. "Do you think there's an eclair shop that delivers 24/7?" he asks, picking up the earlier thread of the conversation.

"An eclair shop?" Light repeats doubtfully, like he's half annoyed at L's behavior, and half exhaustedly resigned. "I… don't think we have those in Tokyo."

"That's a shame," L says, staring up at the ceiling dismally and chewing on one of his fingers. He wonders if Light will shove him off, or if that well-bred politeness will win over and he'll let L spend the rest of the night lying half on top of him. L's not sure he'd mind the latter. It's not particularly comfortable, and it wouldn't get him anywhere in the investigation, but Light's breathing is steady in the quiet room, accompanied only by the hushed hum of L's laptop where it balances somewhat precariously on the nightstand, and L can't help but feel a pang of unforeseen contentment.

"Ryuzaki," Light says after a moment, voice a low, pleasant spear through the buzz of thoughts that float through L's head.

"Yes, Light-kun," L replies without moving, eyes shifting in their sockets to peer at Light sideways.

Either Light changes his mind then, or hadn't planned what to say in the first place, but either way he's silent for a few moments, before looking away, to glare at the glowing red 3:56 of the alarm clock.

"Go to sleep," he says to his pillow, settling back down under the covers and lightly wiggling his feet in order to dislodge L. He looks tired and maybe a bit confused, in the boyish way he sometimes gets, the way that reminds L that Kira is little more than a child.

A child that treats the world as his play thing, and anyone he dislikes as a disposable toy.

"I can't," L says, sitting up again. He even does Light the courtesy of getting off of him, only to kneel as his side, invading his personal space even more so than before. Light glares at him over his shoulder, but it's half-hearted at best. If anything, he seems used to L's antics, which only means that L needs to up the ante.

If you are interrogating a man with electro shock therapy, you start with the lowest level of electricity, and if that yields no results, you move on to the next level - and so on and so forth until you get the information, confession or accusation or whatever else it may be, that you need. The same holds true with any sort of interrogation, however subtle. If Light isn't responding adequately to L's current methods, it's more than likely simply because said methods aren't strong enough, and need to be intensified.

"Fine, then let me sleep," Light says, purposefully looking anywhere else but the place from which L's eyes stare out at him. His intention is to unnerve Light, and it appears to be working, but such techniques can only be employed for a short time before they fade into the background, easily ignored.

L has to do something that Light can't ignore.

"Please don't do that," he tells him, as soon as Light seems to be settled in to get back to sleep.

"Then what should I do?" Light says, sitting up again, teeth grit and expression taut with annoyance. This clearly isn't endearing L to him. Not much does.

And it's sort of a snap decision more than anything else, something that hits L in the moment and, unable to mull over the possible ramifications - to weigh the pros and cons, to draw up mental charts, or calculate possibilities – he simply follows through on the experiment before any proper hypotheses can be made. Criminal investigation is oftentimes very measured and precise, with the pertinence lying in the smallest of details, but even so, certain gambits are necessary to keep things progressing.

That's what it's about - progress. It's when things come to a screeching halt and all roads lead to dead ends that you're really in trouble.

In order to avoid that, in order to fracture the dull calm that has come over the investigation in the last few weeks - defined only as a vague waiting period - L will have to act. So he does just that, leaning forward to tip his chin against Light's jaw, and press his lips, softly, to the edge of his mouth.

It's gentle, could almost be called shy, because L knows that he can't push too hard, has to time this just right if he wants it to actually get him anywhere. Not only will forcing the romantic angle no doubt make L appear more predatory than he actually needs Light to perceive him as, but he knows Light won't react favorably to being grabbed, or shoved onto his back. Friends or not, sworn enemies or not, their relationship is one of competition. L will go into this battle with plans to allow Light to, in essence, win.

After a shocked, frozen moment, Light relents, leaning into the kiss easily, seemingly soaking up the pressure of L's lips against his. He's a warm solid weight that pulls him in, trailing gentle fingers up L's chest and touching him briefly, before lightly pushing him away.

Light's face is flushed slightly, and his eyes are wide and awake, swimming with the electric sort of shock that isn't truly born of surprise, so much as it is some sort of violent jolt, unexpected or not. He keeps his hand on L's chest, not letting up on the pressure, but not seeming to actually want him to move away.

L licks at his lips, and just keeps staring. He vaguely wonders - not for the first time - if this is at all a good idea, thinks probably not, but resolves to continue with it, anyhow.

"What are you doing?" Light asks, breathing somewhat erratic, despite the definite lack of exertion required by the kiss. His cheeks are lit with a slight blush, but he doesn't strike L as being particularly embarrassed. No doubt he's used to advances from a number of people. It's not impossible that he had expected something like this to happen all along, what with the chain and the bed and the showers.

If that's true, then it can only work in L's favor. Feeding Light's childish vanity will no doubt endear L to him more than offend him. L doesn't want to play up the crush angle, though, because while, if he could sell it properly, it might work out very well, past experience shows that L is not as good at feigning affection as he'd like to be.

He'll have to make it seem like something simpler than that. Indulging curiosity? Engaging with a kindred spirit? Simple hormones? He's not sure, and at this point, he may indeed only have time to figure it out after.

"I would think that would be obvious, Light-kun," L replies, so softly he's practically whispering. He keeps his eyes wide as ever, and trained on Light's face, drinking him in with what he hopes looks like appreciation. It's not hard to affect - Light is, at the least, pleasant to look at. Devastatingly attractive, though, would perhaps be more accurate a summation.

Light doesn't appear to take that as an acceptable answer, but L doesn't care, leaning in further to capture his lips again, not quite so shyly this time, even licking slightly at the corners of his mouth, leaning over Light's chest to press against him.

Light just shoves him back again, almost looking vaguely amused, like this is just another one of L's antics. In truth, that's exactly what it is.

"Okay, okay, but why?" Light says, rephrasing the question, and still holding L off of him with one hand.

"I can't sleep," L says simply, letting himself be pushed. He slumps slightly in his half-crouch, trying to look as downtrodden as possible. Pathetic, even.

Please, Light, you God among men, please take pity on me.

He lets his body language speak for him, offers himself up as best he can. Tries to appeal to any part of Light Yagami that he can convince to be attracted to him, or, at the very least, minimally interested. It doesn't seem to work. Light frowns, lifting his hand away from L's chest, as if he'd forgotten that he'd left it there, and then looks away. L tries not to let the frustration show on his face.

"You can never sleep," Light says, still not looking at him. L is still practically in his lap, but if he notices, he doesn't let it show.

L cocks his head to the side. "I want to," he says, and Light looks back at him then, which is helpful, because then L can look him in the eyes when he says, "I'm tired, Light-kun."

There's truth in the words, but that doesn't matter so much as the blatant, falsified vulnerability that they showcase - that seems to catch Light even more off-guard than the kiss had. L knows what Light wants, and it's easy to give it to him, to sink against him and say, "Light-kun," in a quiet, cut-glass voice that makes it clear what he's asking for.

It's no better than cheap porn acting, perhaps, but - like cheap porn - it feeds into Light's baser desires, so much so that it doesn't matter if L's seductive farce is believable or not. Light leans in and kisses him again, choosing to believe it, anyway.

And L, he gives it his all. He pulls out those sharply honed skills he hasn't used in years, groaning softly into Light's mouth as his hand trails down his chest, pulling at the material of his pajama shirt. It's silky and it feels good against L's fingertips, the cool fabric sliding with his skin, pulling him in slippery and smooth, like a pool or a stream or an ocean. L almost goes there in his head, almost dips away, because sex is a requirement of the job, but investigative sex is oftentimes more a chore than anything else, and if he could afford to, he'd gladly zone out. Lie back and think of England.

This isn't just about gaining Light's trust, though, it's about testing his reactions, about watching, about measuring. So he mentally catalogues the feel of Light's warm breath against his lips, of his fingers twisting through the ends of L's hair, of his thigh sliding up to press against the rapidly forming bulge in L's jeans. He can't quite help the gasp that escapes, and that's good - so good - that's what he needs to do. Pretend he likes it, pretend he's enjoying it.

Pretend. Right.

"Ryuzaki," Light says, shoving him away for the third time that night, and L really wishes he'd make up his mind, because his cock is hard and he's got things he needs to do once Light's asleep, andhe really just wants to get this part over with.

Extended physical contact makes him uncomfortable in the first place, and prostituting himself is a fair bit worse, so if it's all the same to Light, he'd really thinks they should just get on with it.

Light looks like he wants to say something, that doe-eyed, questioning schoolboy look plastered across his face again, so L cuts him off, crawling further into Light's lap and pressing himself firmly against the solid weight of his lightly-toned supermodel chest. "Light-kun, please," L murmurs, grinding himself against Light's clothed hip, "will you help me?"

L suspects Light won't be able to resist that, the pleading - it's textbook awkward submission, and L is exceedingly good at it - and he's right, of course. Light cups his face in one hand, looking at him with those soulful eyes of his, and are they on a daytime drama, or what? L wishes that they could dispense with the teenaged romanticism and get straight to the point already. Sex, or something close to it, is what he's aiming for. Everything else is just window-dressing.

"Okay, Ryuzaki," Light says softly into his ear, finally slipping his hand down to tug at the button of L's jeans. About time. It's a good thing Light is so good-looking, so strong and solid and warm and, just, nice against him, because that makes his arousal far easier to fake.

L cants his hips as soon as Light touches him through his boxers, letting a soft whimper slip out, which - as predicted - only makes Light grip him tighter, stroke him faster. He's - very good with his hands, to say the least, which isn't overly surprising, considering Light Yagami is good at everything, but it makes L's mental note-taking quite a bit less focused than it ought to be. He groans again, lets his palm scramble slightly across Light's back, like he's desperate - he's not desperate, not really, it's just a show. Just another game.

Sex is a game and Light may have the advantage currently, but L is the star player, and he will win this like he wins everything else. His method of victory will simply be - and oh, Light's hand is good - a little different.

"Shhh," Light whispers, as L quivers in his arms, and really, his ego must be enjoying this terribly. "It's alright, I've got you."

Soon it's skin-on-skin, Light's hand wrapped tight around him and L cradled in his lap like a child, like a helpless thing. Light murmurs soft, kind things into his hair that L can't help but imagine with a mocking edge peeking out from the corners, because there's no way that Light - that Kira - isn't thoroughly enjoying his apparent desperation.

It's not long before L comes gasping into Light's hand, and blearily, in the back of his mind, he feels a smug satisfaction in the sensation of Light's own arousal digging sharply into his thigh.

Of course, L tells himself, as his mind comes slowly back to him, like honey from a jar. Light is an 18-year-old boy. He gets hard when the microwave beeps, when a beetle crawls by. When somebody sneezes. It's just hormones, he's sure, but it's still slightly pleasing to know that he's got Light aching without even putting a hand on his cock.

His own breath is overly loud in the quiet room, but he doesn't attempt the censor it, just lets the sound bleed into the corners of Light's mind, lets him get used to it.

By many law enforcement standards, this is highly unethical. Which is why L sets his own standards, otherwise nothing would ever get done in these situations, and the apparently innocent would remain so, instead of being found out for what they truly are.

No one is innocent, L knows. Not even teenage boys. Especially not teenage boys. Some are just less innocent than others.

He slumps off and to the side, curling himself slightly around Light, and if the situation were much, much different, he might be slightly comfortable, body warmed from the exertion and head bleary with post orgasmic chemicals. He could fall asleep here, and wouldn't that be something? He sleeps so little as it is, so to give in, to succumb to exhaustion now, half-draped on a mass murderer, seems terribly ridiculous to his overworked brain. Though perhaps not as unrealistic as it should be.

Light looks down at him, like he's not quite sure what to make of the whole situation - which is a good thing, L supposes. He blinks up at him, almost smiles slightly, but stops himself when it occurs to him that that, of all things, might be too unbelievable for Light. Instead, he keeps his eyes wide, and speaks softly.

"Would you like me to touch you, Light-kun?" he asks, trailing his long fingers up Light's thigh in a move that he hopes comes off as more absentminded than seductive. This whole plan hinges on the necessity that Light not realize that he's being seduced.

"You don't -" Light starts, words cutting off sharply when L's hand lands on the bulge in his sweatpants. His eyes widen, before going thick and hooded, and he glances only briefly at L's face, before reaching down to wrap his palm around L's knuckles, guiding the rhythm of his hand in harder strokes. "Mmmh, L."

"Ryuzaki," L corrects, speaking into the crook of Light's shoulder.

"Ryuzaki," Light repeats, catching on the word with a choked gasp as he speeds L's hand up, working himself quickly through the material. L lets himself be directed for a bit, enjoying the feel of Light's hand wrapped around his as his cock presses into the other side more than he probably should. After a minute or so he shakes him off, and slips Light's pants down his hips to bring his cock out into open air.

Light's face flushes slightly, before morphing into an indulgent smile when he catches L looking at it, somewhat curiously. L supposes Light thinks he's a virgin. He ought to play that up, then, which means he probably shouldn't go down on him just now. Instead, he opts for a gentle, experimental squeeze, keeping his eyes wide and his mouth slightly open, biting his lips to draw attention to them, to tempt with them. To make Light ache for a time when L will wrap them around his cock.

For now he just plays with it like a child with a new toy, jerking and stroking, until Light is gasping and mumbling something mostly unintelligible and slightly expletive, before finally seeming to get frustrated enough by L's slow tease to grab him forward by the collar of his shirt and demand, "More," in a gritty, arousal-stricken voice.

L, committing to his necessary role as the submissive partner, bends to Light's orders without complaint, speeding his hand up, applying enough pressure to get him off in moments. Light digs hard fingers into L's hair, grasping at his scalp to pull him forward and force his tongue between L's lips. Not having really expected the kiss, L's chokes a bit, but opens up to it anyway, lets Light in to do what he will, and accepts the muffled groan that's breathed into him when he Light comes in his hand.

While Light is regaining his breath, L wipes his hand off before rolling away to settle comfortably on the crisp, clean sheets on his side of the bed. "Thank you," he says into the thick warmth of the air. "You can go to sleep now, Light-kun."

He ignores the insulted grunt that Light gives in response. "You," he says disbelievingly, "you just -" He cuts off, either at a loss for words at L's oh so disrespectful conduct, or too exhausted to have this fight now. Either way, he simply rolls his eyes and turns over, shutting L's laptop as he goes, and settles resolutely in to sleep.

L lets him drift off, staring up at the ceiling and calculating what exactly he plans to do with this. Something, certainly, he's just not sure of the details yet.

He sleeps maybe fifteen minutes that night, and not a wink more.

Light wakes up with dried come on his sweatpants.

It's not the first time it's happened, but it's definitely the first time in a long time, and when it had - at those early stages of puberty when he hadn't the faintest idea about what was going on down there - it had almost certainly always been on the inside. He wants to groan and bury himself back underneath the pillows, but he blinks his eyes open instead, unconsciously glancing around to find L before he can stop himself. It's not hard, he sticks out easily in the monotone room, black hair an unruly stain against the cool greys everywhere else. He's perched at his computer, finger to his lip, and looking for all the world like he had yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.

The first thing Light thinks when his eyes catch on him is, Why exactly did I want to fuck him so badly last night?

The second, is Oh. Oh yeah - that.

He wrinkles his nose at the sight of his wrecked clothing once more. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time - and isn't that a pathetically common thought? He feels like a filthy cliche, deflated and disappointed after a night of regrettable sexual activity. He might as well go back to university now, because he'd fit in frighteningly well at this point. Hand jobs - hand jobs - with his roommate. He'll be getting idiotically drunk and vomiting on the sidewalk by next week, at this rate.

The worst part, Light thinks, as he leans further into the cushions and tries to wish himself back to sleep - and there are just so many possible worst parts to choose from - is that Light doesn't even like sex. Or any kind of sexual activity. He really doesn't. It's boring and unsanitary, and although it's necessary every so often to function at his age, he doesn't engage in it simply for fun. It's not fun. It's not even mildly diverting, usually. Last night, though - well, he'd been… mildly diverted. At the least.

The second worst part - and he's calculated it all properly in his head - is that L is unattractive. Objectively, there's no possible reason for Light to be interested in tugging on his dick until he comes, unless to try to use sex as a way to divert suspicion from himself - which is something he would never do. Manipulating a person with sex is just low, and even if Light were that morally bankrupt, he'd never even consider that that could possibly work on L. That L even has a sex drive is enough of a revelation in and of itself.

Unless… well, given his imprisonment and interrogation tactics, it's not unreasonable to suggest that L's investigative techniques are not exactly ethically sound. In fact, he's far less likely to follow any rules of procedure than he is to, say, try and seduce Light into a confession. The idea of L seducing anyone is as laughable as it is uncomfortable, but Light remembers how unreasonably appealing he'd somehow become last night, for no conceivable reason other than, perhaps, he'd decided that he wanted to be.

To make Light want to fuck him.

To make Light admit to being Kira.

That's not all that logical, of course, but then - for all that he likes to pretend otherwise - L is not a creature of reason or rules. He is blunt and cruel and unpredictable. He is the best in the world at his job.

And if that's what that had been, then Light actually feels quite a bit better about the events of the previous night. It's not his fault. L is brilliant and he had caught Light off guard. He hadn't had time to prepare, to think it over rationally. His strength lies in planning, not in improvisation, and now that he's got time to mentally work through this, he's sure he can come up with a way to shift it to his advantage.

He quirks an eye open too peer at L's hunched frame, watching his hair hang in thick tumbles across his face, and decides that, actually, he can probably think of a number of ways. If L wants to challenge him on this level, Light won't refuse. He himself wouldn't dream of using sex as a weapon on some poor, unsuspecting person - but L, L is more or less asking for it. He'd engaged Light this way, likely for the specific purpose of playing a game, and Light won't bow out now and let him win. L is the bad guy here - Light is just going to show him that he can't get away with this kind of thing.

After a few more minutes of feigning sleep, Light makes a show of waking, looking around and coming to terms with his surroundings. He's a brilliant actor, and though L seems more focused on his computer than anything else, Light knows that's just a cover for where his attention truly lies - where his attention always lies. Ten-to-one he's watching Light in the reflection of the screen, or at least listening intently to his side of the room.

"Ryuzaki," Light says blearily after a moment.

"Yes, good morning, Light-kun," L calls, not bothering to look away from whatever file he's reading. It's an act, of course, but Light pretends not to know that.

He thinks of mentioning last night, of asking - innocently, cluelessly - what it had been about. Instead, he just stands up, yawning like nothing's different, and says, nodding to L's laptop, "Can you bring that into the bathroom? I need to shower."

L nods wordlessly, picking up his computer one-handed, which doesn't seem at all safe, and following Light like an absentminded puppy.

The clink of the chain as L types from his perch on the counter is not an unfamiliar sound, but today it has the unfathomable and severely inconvenient effect of making Light so hard that he has to make a pointed effort not to wrap his hand around his cock and get off again in the shower.

If L notices his unease as he dries off, though, he, of course, doesn't say a thing.

It's mid-afternoon and they're on a bathroom break when Light slams him against the wall and kisses him. It's a little bit more awkward than it might have otherwise been, because L's barely finished having a piss, and hasn't even fully washed his hands yet, but Light doesn't seem to care. L had seen this coming - so to speak - miles and miles off, but for such a subtly brilliant mind, he'd expected Light to be a little less brazen with his acceptance of sex as a playing field. Maybe milked the coy school boy angle a little bit. Not that L minds the brazenness terribly - it sure saves him a lot work - but he might have expected a bit better from him.

Then again, he suppose Light has far less experience in using sex as a weapon than L does, and therefore can't really be blamed. He is, after all, a novice.

L had known since this morning that Light had caught on. He gets credit for that, at least, but then play-acting isn't exactly L's strong suit, so maybe not that much credit. If he had confronted L, if he had demanded an explanation, that - well, it wouldn't have lessened the Kira percentage per se, but it would have meant that Kira was just no good at this sort of game. The deafening silence had proven the opposite. Light had realized that L was trying to manipulate him with sex and had - if the current situation is any indication - decided to manipulate him back. So much for superior morality.

L bends in his hands, lets Light push him flat against the tiling and jam their hips together, pressing in close and sucking on L's tongue with something too measured to be blind lust, but too starkly intense to be completely false. Then again, Light is a fantastic liar, and L will not make the mistake of underestimating him. Erring on the side of caution is the only suitable option in these sorts of situations, so L will take everything Light does or says as a farce and a strategy unless it can be sufficiently proven otherwise. Light appears to want him, and the feel of his cock grinding against L's groin is certainly an argument in favor of legitimacy on that front, but L needs to operate on the assumption that he is really just working towards L's downfall, and this is only his means to an end - same as it is to L.

His head buzzes with the weight of the kiss, and the storm of physical reactions it evokes, but he needs to keep his mind clear, at least enough to remain in control of the situation, so he pulls back after a moment. Light lets him, resting his forehead against L's and smiling a sharp, hungry, angry smile.

"You didn't say anything this morning," L says, in between breathes.

Light huffs a laugh, straightening up a bit, but not moving an inch away. "It was awkward. Can you blame me?" His bangs are somewhat rumpled, and they hang in his eyes, but L can still detect the clear, calculating look that doesn't match the words. No, Light is not overcome by desire for him. Light is just trying to control him.

L cocks his head to the side. "I detected no such awkwardness."

He gasps, body jerking, when Light shifts his leg and presses his thigh further between L's legs, rubbing against him in a way that makes his mind blur with the spark and burn of sudden, wild pleasure. His head falls forward before he can stop it, and Light appears to like that, petting at L's hair with loose fingers and smiling a smile that L assumes is meant to be gentle, but just comes off as condescending. Though, with the way L's reacting, perhaps Light has earned himself the right to feel a little high and mighty. For now.

"You live and breathe awkwardness," he says, like he's poking casual fun at a friend, and not, in fact, holding L down so that his hips don't crush themselves against Light's with the brutal abandon he wants them to. "Of course you didn't notice. Us normal people, on the other hand," he says while getting a good grip at L's thick mess of hair, "don't exactly know how to react to out-of-the-blue sexual advances."

L wants to point out in the hypocrisy in that statement - seeing as Light is near on assaulting him during a bathroom break - but instead just tries not to let the side of his lip twitch too much when he says, "You seemed receptive."

"I wasn't thinking straight," Light bites back, still smiling.

"And now?" L rocks his hips forward slightly, watching Light's face loosen, eyes rolling slightly with the feel of it.

"I'm pretty sure I'm still not thinking straight," he says, and L means to knock out some clever response, but doesn't have time to before he's gripped forward and Light is kissing him hard and mercilessly, adding further to the aching pressure that's holding L down, keeping him pinned and stationary, even though he'd be far better off with more room to move around, to think and plot and breathe. Light is crowding him and L's got little choice but to open up and let Light shove his tongue forward, licking slick and hot against every corner of his mouth, teeth digging in uncomfortably at intervals and making him wince against Light's lips. It's close and stifling and rather glorious, in its way.

Light pins him to the wall, and L lets him, because even if Light is in on the game, it still works more in L's favor to be fairly pliant. He's not interested in turning this into a pissing contest of who-tops-who, because that's not what this is about. He needs to catch Kira, and he'll do virtually anything to achieve that goal, up to and including bending over for his chief suspect.

"Light-kun," he gasps, when Light pulls away, shoving him back and holding him down with a firmer grip than L would have expected from him. His fingertips dig into L's shoulder, and the ache sends strange pulses of pleasure swimming giddily through his bloodstream. "Please," he says, because he knows it will hit Light hard.

It does. He groans, shoves L's hands to the wall and rubs against him mercilessly with the length of his thigh, pressure so hard and deliberate that L's half convinced he's going to spill in his pants. Which, while not particularly detrimental in the grand scheme, would be rather uncomfortable, so he hopes Light decides he wants to strip him soon. It doesn't take long. L's jeans get shoved down his hips, and his cock get jerked roughly a few times, and that's all it takes. And a good thing, too - he'd rather not drag it out again, at least not on his end.

"Light-kun," he gasps again as he comes, because it makes Light eyelids flutter, the weight of it no doubt settling into him like a sort of disease.

And yes, L, can do this. It's been a while, but this is definitely something he can do. L is an arsenal, and sex is just one of the many weapons contained therein. He catches his breath, then keeps his eyes hard on Light's flushed face as he drops to his knees.

Light flushes further, and he looks vaguely unsure suddenly. "What are you doing?"

This is good. If he becomes too comfortable with the situation, it will only be to L's disadvantage.

"What does it look like?" he asks flatly, reaching for Light's zipper. Light's eyebrows fly up, but he doesn't push L's hands away. "Problem?"

Light looks like he's going to say something, but he cuts off abruptly, shaking his head. "No," he says, "no, definitely not." His fingers twitch slightly at his side, and L can tell he's, if not very, then slightly nervous. That's unsurprising. He is barely more than a child at this age. Perhaps that thought should make L uncomfortable, but he views the whole situation - as is his way - through a detached, clinical lens. Which is far easier to do once he's gotten off.

He considers Light's length with a vaguely curious look, before taking it between his lips. He can't help the satisfaction that burns in his stomach when Light gives an almost pained gasp in reaction. Yes, L can do this.

L's mouth is frighteningly, unprecedentedly warm. L is a thing that is cold and remote and so not hot, so what right does he have to feel this good inside? L is manipulating him using sex, using his tongue and his lips, and fuck, the edges of his teeth, and it's so immoral and disgusting and awful, and - and Light is spilling down his throat in the next instant.

His stomach shivers and quakes with the pleasure of it as his head thunks jarringly into the wall behind him. He feels cheap and dirty, but so unrepentantly sated that he doesn't really mind. He looks down at L, who's wiping at his mouth with the edge of his hand, and thinks that maybe this isn't the worst thing in the world. Sexual exploitation as an investigation tactic is against everything Light believes in, but then, Light's not the one doing it, is he? L's the bad guy here, the one using Light - not the other way around.

Light is 18. Light is curious. L is older - 24, apparently, however unbelievable that seems - the one with the power, the one who's keeping Light forcibly attached to him. No one could look at this situation and decide that Light is in the wrong. Light is never in the wrong.

So, it's all fine, then. It's fine to enjoy L's mouth on his cock, and fine to want to press him up against things and make him squirm and beg. Even if it's just an act. Especially if it's just an act. He deserves it. L is a bad person and Light is a good person, and that's just how it is, so everything's okay.

L grabs onto the counter to pull himself up, and as Light straightens out his clothes, rumpled as they are, he can't help smirking to himself and saying, in as unassuming a voice as he can manage, "You're… adept at that." Which is putting it mildly, frankly. It's hard to imagine L doing that to anyone else - and also foolish, because why would L want to do that to anyone but him? - but it's surely a possibility. Either he's had tons of practice, or it's he's just that innately talented. Light's not completely sure which idea he prefers.

L scratches at his hair casually, like he hadn't just given Light a blow job. "Is that meant to be a compliment or not?" he says, voice tinged with only vague interest.

"I don't know," Light responds, with genuine uncertainty. "It was - " he starts, then starts again. "Do you have a lot of experience? Doing that." He tries to frame the question indifferently, idly restyling his hair in the mirror. Like he really doesn't care and is just asking in order to make conversation. Which is true, of course. He doesn't care. L could blow the entire task force and he's sure he wouldn't care.

"That's dependent on your definition of a lot," L says, leaning against the tile wall, head tilted to one side lackadaisically. He doesn't seem to really be paying attention, but Light knows it's an act. Everything L does and says is an act.

Light takes his answer as a yes, if not a definite one. He sighs, rolling his eyes. "I should have known," he says, "You spend about half the average day putting things in your mouth. It's really not a surprise at all." Even if maybe it is. Even if the idea of L doing anything sexual or appearing - however momentarily - even remotely attractive is still slightly ridiculous, it does make an odd sort of sense. L is immoral and cruel, and sexual deviancy often goes hand-in-hand with those qualities. In fact, perhaps Light should have seen this coming a long way off.

L does that wide-eyed, clueless thing he always does, as he brings a finger to his lips and says, "Perhaps Light-kun just reads me exceptionally well."

It's all Light can do not snort at the blatant lie. L doesn't think anything of the sort. "I doubt it. Ryuzaki, you're really kind of difficult to understand most of the time. Even for me."

It's not a lie, but it's not exactly the truth of it, either. He always seems to understand - whether or not he wants to - what L is doing, the games he's playing and the theories he's testing. What he can't figure out is how he knows these things, how he's so finely attuned to everything L is thinking. He must have just picked it up unconsciously, in the time before his imprisonment, when he'd still considered L his friend, and a good person.

He's learned better by now. He doesn't exactly remember when or how he learned better, though. It's a thick and blotchy spot in his mind when he tries to think on it. He doesn't remember a lot of things, sometimes. But it's nothing important, just stress from the case. Lack of sleep, perhaps, from L keeping him up all night.

"I don't believe that," L says.

"You don't believe anything I say," Light replies, long-sufferingly.

L seems to weigh that answer in his head before nodding. "That is true in many respects, yes." He pushes off the wall, the chain jangling as he slumps his way to the bathroom door, plucking up the handle with only the tips of his fingers. "Now, come on, I'm hungry."

It's the next night before they talk about anything worth talking about again. The casework they're doing to track down the current Kira is only of minimal importance compared to the investigation going on right here, in this bedroom and on this chain. Light is the center of it all, and although L makes like he is working his hardest to catch whoever's currently passing judgement on the world, his attention is really mostly focused on him. People are dying every day, but he can't bring himself to be overly concerned by that. It's cold, perhaps, but such are the realities of the job. He'd never say as much out loud to the investigation team, but he's able to admit it to himself.

He's not sure if he'd say it to Light or not. He'd, of course, play horrified, but L knows he'd understand. Kira and L are eerily similar in some ways.

They don't bother with small talk as they wash up, L lazily brushing his teeth as Light flosses with singular determination, moisturizes his face, and rubs something sticky and lightly-scented into his hair, as he does every night. He's rather overly concerned with personal hygiene, L's always thought, but then that's probably the reason he always looks like he just walked off of a photo-shoot on some private, European beach, and that L tends to look like he's just walked out of a garbage disposal.

He makes a show of finishing up some research, but it's little more than a pretense and he can tell that Light knows it, watching him with sharp, considering eyes from where he's propped up against the headboard, likewise pretending to read some book or another. It's roughly ten minutes before L shuts his laptop with an audible click and rolls over to more or less climb into Light's lap and kiss him unwaveringly on the mouth. Light appears to have been waiting for just that, because he casts his book aside the very moment L touches him, wrapping a hand around to clutch the back his neck, digging his fingers into the ends of L's hair to drag him closer by them, before abruptly pulling him back.

Light cocks his head cleverly, like he knows the answers to all the questions he means to ask. "So, I guess this is a thing we do now," he says simply, staring back at L with warm inelegance in his eyes.

L's expression barely shifts. "I guess."

He leans forward again, brushing Light's words away like small, inconsequential things, mostly just because he knows that will drive him crazy. It is something worth talking about, maybe - the way their ever-undefined relationship has shifted and reshaped itself within the span of a cowpoke of days to accommodate their hormones. That's how they're painting it, anyway, although L's sure they both know it's more about lust for battle than it is for one another. Even so, although he's still not completely comfortable with having Light's hands all over him - at being touched, at someone daring to touch him - he's getting used to the situation, and the sensation it brings along. When he kisses Light for the second time, it's not completely painful, and nor is he completely overcome with apprehension at what will follow.

It seems like Light is more interested in talk tonight, which L might find vaguely offensive if his sense of pride was in anyway intertwined with his appearance and sexual ability - but as it stands, just has the effect of rather annoying him. Light soaks up the kiss, snaking L's breath straight from his throat, before pulling away again and roughly shoving L off of him and onto his back without a moment's warning. L's head hits the pillow with soft thunk, and then Light is the one on top, looming over like something great and golden and beautiful. He stares down with accusing eyes.

"L," he says, leaning in so his breath ghosts warm and ticklish across L's temple, slipping around to the back of his neck and coasting down his spine with shivering ease. "I know why you're doing this."

"Ryuzaki," L corrects, barely thinking about it. He's not been Ryuzaki for a few months yet, but he slips in and out of identities so easily, and this one isn't hard to keep track of. Besides, he doesn't like it when Light refers to him as L, even though they both know that's exactly who he is. It's cold, somehow. The title is departed and cruel when Light speaks it, even now, after his smile has gone so warm and his eyes so honest. Maybe because it's so close to his name - like Kira's already caught him, and is now only playing with his food. A disposable toy, L thinks.

"Ryuzaki," Light repeats, like he barely notices the corrections anymore. He's looking at L like he can't see him, but is trying to. Bright, boyish eyes - too clever by a half - dig into him, and L feels almost fractured. "I know," Light enunciates, "why you're doing this."

Yes, L supposes he does. He doesn't know why Light's saying it now, though. That's no way to play the game, so either he's become far less adept recently - along with becoming far more kind - or this is just part of some larger strategy, greater in scope than L can possibly measure at this moment. Erring on the side of caution, he ought to bank on the latter, but there's something honest in Light's eyes that - no. It's a lie. It must be the most expert lie ever told, because if it's not -

Caution, L thinks. It has to be. This is Kira he's dealing with. At least, he's fairly certain it is. If not now, then it was at some point.

"Does it bother you?" he asks flatly, because it would serve nothing to blatantly deny an accusation as vague as that. He's not going to admit to anything directly, either, and he's certainly not going to apologize. As long as neither of them says it outright, it doesn't matter. They can still play the game.

"Of course it bothers me," Light says, frowning down at L like he's a particularly slow child who won't stop misbehaving. There's something like disgust in his eyes, even though L's pretty sure he can feel Light's cock digging into his thigh. Perhaps he gets off on moral superiority.

Heh, perhaps.That's an easy 95%.

"I see," L says, like he doesn't really understand at all, or care to. Light's frown just grows, but he doesn't say anything, so L continues. "Would you like to suck me off?"

Might as well get this going again if L's going to get any work done tonight.

Light's eyebrows fly up and he looks like he can't decide between righteous insult or baffled amusement. He seems to settle somewhere on the latter, shaking his head. "Alright," he says after a moment, and scoots down L's body without another word.

He's not overly skilled with his mouth - he clearly hasn't done this before - but L comes quickly anyway, mind fuzzing over pleasantly in the next instant, and if Light hadn't immediately nudged at him to return the favor, he thinks he might have nodded off soon after.

It's another of those unproductive days at headquarters where everything leads only to dead ends. The neatly filed reports are brimming with useless information and Light can think of nothing better to do than file them again, just to busy his hands. Maybe he could get some work done under different circumstances, but as it stands - with no further clues as to Kira's whereabouts or identity and, worse yet, L doing… what he's doing - Light can barely keep his eyes on the words.

"Would you stop that?" he snaps finally, voice low and sharp so that the rest of the team won't hear. His tone is probably edging into unpleasant, but it's not as if it's undeserved. L isn't exactly an arbiter of social decorum himself, anyway. "It's incredibly crass."

L just stares at him, glass-eyes wide and innocent, and fuck, he's got frozen sugar melting on his lips, doesn't he?

"My popsicle is crass?" he asks, as if the idea doesn't quite compute for him, even as he leans forward to take a nice, long lick from base to tip, and then shoves the whole thing in his mouth, completely casually, like the phallic suggestiveness is utterly lost on him. Two weeks ago, Light might have believed that, but given that L had kept him up half the previous night - another factor contributing to Light's lack of concentration, and funny how all his problems in life inevitably come back to L, isn't it? - with maneuvers startlingly similar to the ones he's now performing on the obnoxiously colored popsicle, Light's not exactly buying the clueless facade.

L knows what he's doing. Hell, he's probably reveling in it.

"If you do that with it, it is," Light says, quickly and quietly. "Quit acting like you're being paid for your technique and just eat the thing like a normal person."

L cocks an eyebrow, but doesn't demonstrate his obvious amusement any further. "Light-kun, I think your mind is playing dirty tricks on you," he says. Light kind of wants to punch him.

Instead, he grits his teeth, fakes a smile, and ignores L's vulgar slurping sounds as he gets back to the work. He barely needs to think as he goes through the reports, mind scanning for important details on autopilot and taking in the rest of the information, however inconsequential, without him needing to do much work. He's hit with that overly familiar sensation of wishing he had something more engaging to do with his time, something worth extensive focus, and it takes him a moment to fully register how long it's been since he's felt like this. The Kira investigation, things with L - yes, definitely things with L - had kept him so occupied, he'd barely remembered how bored he used to be before all this.

Well, not right before. He's not completely sure why, but in the months preceding his first meeting with L, he'd been strangely content in a way that he'd never really been before, and he can't quite put his finger on why. He's sure it must have been a mix of things - graduating from high school, getting into university, his relationship with Misa…

The last one rings rather false, actually; he's not sure how Misa could have interested him at all. Then again, he's not even sure why he'd started dating her in the first place. He knows he must have felt something for her at some point, but he can't recall it now. Not that it truly matters, as they don't see each other very often anymore. Things would probably be better for her if they broke it off anyhow, since she's under suspicion of being the Second Kira mostly because of her relationship with him. He wonders if L would let her -


L, who had jerked him off last night, and whom he had gone down on two nights before that. L, whom he's screwed around with almost every night this week.

And Misa - his girlfriend.

It's like a flick of a switch, and it hits him harder than he might have expected it to, considering how little he actually cares for Misa. No, that's not true, he cares about her wellbeing. About as much as cares about anybody's, which is quite a lot, really. And he didn't mean - it's not cheating, because Light would never do that. Not to Misa, not to anybody. He and Misa haven't even ever been physical, so it's not like - it's - it's L, is what it is. L seduced him, practically forced him into it. L is the adult, the one in power, the one who is making a teenage boy sleep in his bed. Light is the victim here, and that's all there is to it.

So then it's fine. Light didn't cheat. Light didn't do anything wrong. It's L's fault. Everything is L's fault, and he deserves to hurt and suffer and be held down while Light -

"Light-kun?" L asks, cutting into his thought process like a splinter through thick skin. Light glances over at him, shoving the mental images away to the back his mind. "Is everything aright?"

Light smiles, even though he's not sure. "Fine," he says, because that's what he's supposed to say, and the word comes so easy, forming in his throat and twisting on his lips and sounding so utterly genuine he's half convinced of it himself. But he's not sure. Because that, what he'd felt, it had flared up in him like a flame out of nowhere, lit by feelings he didn't even know he had. He's been harboring animosity towards L for a while now, sure, but he's never - it's never been like that.

L's body spread out underneath him, long, pale limbs struggling as Light fucks him without restraint. He's begging, maybe. Bleeding, too.

The image rumbles through him, makes his cock hard even as it makes his stomach twist uncomfortably. Why is he thinking that? He is not the type of person who should be thinking things like that.

He has the strangest sensation, and not for the first time, that L can read his thoughts, and is just now examining the brutal pornographic fantasy in Light's head with vague interest, staring out at him with his thick, black eyes. All he says, though, is, "Would you like a popsicle?" tilting his head dumbly to the side.

Light declines, and tries to go back to filing. Tries not to think about L or Misa or anything, really, except for the reports in front of him, but the wet, noisy sound of L's mouth won't let him concentrate on anything else. Light really, really wants to punch him.

Instead, he waits the long hours until the investigation team heads home, makes sure to ask his father to say hello to Mom and Sayu, and smiles kindly at Matsuda when he waves goodbye, before grabbing L by the chain and tugging him into the hallway, not bothering to make it to their bedroom before he's wrapping his finger through L's hair and pulling him into a rough kiss. It starts off with an almost uncontrollable violence, but at that first touch, at the feel of L wavering in his hands, Light lets up quite abruptly, feeling almost guilty.

The image is still playing through his head, and he tries to block it out with the soft sounds that L makes against his mouth, the feel of his hips angling against him. He doesn't want to hurt L, not really, even if L maybe deserves it a lot of the time. Light is not that kind of person - he's not - and he's not interested in sexual violence, with L or anyone else. He's not actually interested in sex with anyone else, truly.

It's almost like an apology, and for thoughts that L doesn't even know he'd had, but there's something sick and off-putting about being forceful with L right now, so he lets his grip go gentle, lips dipping soft against the pale line of his jawbone. L shivers and leans into in, nibbling at Light's ear and coasting spindly fingers up and down his back. It feels good, maybe better than any of the other times, because for those short minutes, cramped up against the wall of the long, white hallway with its blinding fluorescents, Light forgets about the game, forgets about one-upping and teaching lessons and how L is a bad, bad person, and just thinks about his ragged mess of his hair, the bones of his spine, and how they bend under Light's touch. His voice hitching on something like, "Li-" before he comes, panting against Light's shoulder in heavy, racking gasps.

two months later.

When Light touches the paper - when it all comes flooding back to him in a torrent of something great and destroying, swirling in him like a tidal wave, like God - the first thought that becomes clear, as he sits there, shell-shocked in the helicopter, is that image: L, beneath him, bloody and broken and owned. He knows he shouldn't, knows it's not at all according to plan, but he wants it. He wants L.

Nothing has changed, and so has everything.

two months earlier.

The night casts blue shadows across the room, and Light's breathing is a steady, anchoring mantra in the dark. L's laptop has gone dark from his neglect of it, and though he knows he should pick it up, wiggle the finger-pad and get back to work, he can't seem to make himself move.

They hadn't actually had intercourse, but L feels, in a word, fucked. Empty and bled dry, like Light had sucked the life out of him when he wasn't looking. There had been something in his eyes tonight, something self-aware and almost dangerous, even in its gentleness. Like Kira had almost remembered being Kira - if he'd ever forgotten in the first place. Maybe it's been a farce the whole time, and this is just the first time that Light's let it slip up. But he hadn't looked - or felt, for that matter - like he'd wanted to hurt L.

Then again, of course he hadn't. He's a marvelous actor. He'd probably been plotting L's death behind his eyes the whole time, even as he stroked him, pressing ragged, breathless kisses to his forehead and temples. And even if he wasn't, even if there was a hint of sincerity in the softness of his hands, it doesn't matter. Er on the side of caution, L thinks, and watches the ceiling fan whir above him. It's surely not as complex as he's making out to be. L's brain has always had a tendency to overcomplicate things.

Light is Kira. L is L. Sometimes letting Light touch him is unpleasant - and sometimes it's less so. And that's okay, that can be okay. L is phenomenally good at his job, there's no reason why he shouldn't enjoy it. It's not like he hasn't before - but that was a long time ago, and… unquestionably different.

He hears the sheets rustle, and then the bed shifts, and he glances over to see Light blinking sleepily at him, pretty face awash with dazed exhaustion. "Hey," he murmurs, after a moment, smiling at L. The expression makes L's stomach twist with how genuine it looks, and he shifts his eyes down, tracing the lines of the shadows where they spill across the bedspread.

"Good evening, Light-kun," he mumbles back, half his face squished against the pillow, muffling the words.

Light glances at the clock behind his head. "It's morning," he says.

L flicks his eyes back up to Light, where he's lying on his side, almost mirroring L's slumped pose in the cushions. There is a sick sort of quietness between them, not stretched taut with awkwardness or distrust, but loose and easy, like they've been sharing a bed for years. L likes to think it's a simulated emotion, something he's projected onto Light due to the blatant similarities he's seen between himself and Kira from the start, but then he's not so sure. He doesn't like the idea of some teenaged boy who thinks far too well of himself being his kindred spirit, but there it is. He doesn't like the idea of having a kindred spirit - not only is the concept tacky and overly sentimental, it just rings false.

No man is an island, but L is a fucking continent, a perilous land mass of his own, and one that you need to cross an ocean to reach. Few people have ever tried to reach him, and fewer still have succeeded. Light isn't trying, though, not really. He's playing at trying, putting on a show of affection, but he's a child, and not half the liar he thinks he is. Not in this respect, anyway. So it's rather uncomfortable how close L feels to him in that moment. Like the ocean has dried up.

"Oh," he says softly, pointlessly. He's not sure what else to do.

"Are you alright?" Light asks, leaning slightly closer. He smells like warm skin and sex. L wouldn't mind if he kissed him, and he minds that. There are things he wants to say, but that he doesn't want Light to hear. Sometimes he wants to leave Japan, just call the Kira case quits and go back to England. There are cloudy days and rolling hills waiting for him, and it would be so easy to just leave.

L doesn't do easy things, though, and he doesn't give up. He's started this case, and he'll see it through to end. He'll see Light Yagami behind bars, or maybe to the electric chair. The thought lodges in him, thick and heavy, and to block it out, he tilts his head slightly and says, "Light, have I ever mentioned how much I like your hair?"

He does, actually. It's a nice color - strange, considering his genetics, but then he is an abnormality in more ways than one. It hangs in his eyes, makes him look boyish and young, even if he acts as though he's neither of those things. His hair is beautiful. He is beautiful. It's such a simple thing, and it's startling to remember. But L says it just to fill the silence, another facetious, empty-headed remark, same as he always uses to throw people off when they're getting too close, asking the right questions.

Light shakes his head and slumps, but he's smiling. "You're so full of it," he says, rolling over to face away from L. "I'm going back to sleep." His voice is kind, and it spears through L like something sharp and perilous.

Sometimes he wishes he could sleep, too, just so he wouldn't have to be awake.

"Good morning," he says quietly, as Light nods off again.


end notes: I'm hoping all the timeline skipping around wasn't too confusing? Because it's going to continue into the next few chapters (which I have mostly written but am going to avoid posting for a bit so I can bulk up my in-reserve word count because I write rather slowly and don't want to drag this out forever.)

Things to look forward to: sex! arguments! aiber and wedy! (some other things, maybe?) Once again, thank you for reading.