Symphony 6: Oculi potest fallentes (Looks can be Deceiving)

Disclaimer: The Maiden of Autumn owns nothing.

Thank you to all the readers and reviewers- please, continue to enjoy the story!

(By the way, if you guys really wanted to be awesome, you'd check out Remmy18's new story, Dark Dreams I Bring. It's good, I promise, so go an' check it out!)

Summary: A week after the tension between Light and L finally came to a resolution finds L seriously thinking about the actions of that day. Embarrassed at the way he had acted, he has been avoiding Light, only to realize, after finding a note from his assistant, that it was rather stupid of him. He ends up getting Light to come to his workroom, where the true heart of the matter is finally hashed out. However, they are interrupted by L's nephew, Mello, and Light drags the blonde off, only to have Mello answer the door and meet a man called Nate River, whom he mistakes as a woman. But it turns out that Nate is not all of what he seems, and something from Light's mysterious past comes back to plague him, and he can't help but wonder how it will affect he and L in the future...


"Now, where did I put that…?"

L's thin black eyebrows furrowed as he rummaged busily in one of the many piles of parchment that littered the corners of his workroom. Frustration ran through him as his constant searching came up with nothing, and he finally stood back, glowering darkly at the piles of clutter and raising his hand to nibble upon his thumb.

It was so frustrating.

Sighing, he rubbed his cheek with a long-fingered hand, mind racing as he pondered where he could have possibly left that blasted piece of music. For once, it was not a composition of his own, but a piece that was to be played in a week's time. The composer, a well-known but not famous man had asked him to conduct it, hoping that the news that the famous composer L was to be at the concert would bring more recognition and sell more tickets.

The man was one that L did not know well, but Robert Kane was someone that had done L a few small favors in the past. It was one of L's personal rules to always pay one back what one deserved- an eye for an eye, he always said- and helping the man out simply by conducting a piece was the least he could do.

He had planned on going to the concert anyways…

Kane's new piece was one that, while simple, was still elegant and he looked forwards to hearing it played.

But… that was only if he could find the piece.

It still confounded him that he could lose something such as this in the course of two days.

And, he could not even blame it on going senile in his age. He was only 17, after all. Memory loss shouldn't set in for a few more decades, at least.

Groaning in frustration, he stood barefoot in the middle of the plushly-carpeted room, his mind working furiously as he tried to remember, wracking his brains desperately for the location of that blasted piece of music. He couldn't possibly think as to what had happened to it after the messenger from Kane had brought it over…

He remembered taking it, looking over it, setting it on top of his piano for further consideration after lunch… and then… then…

Well, he couldn't remember.

His eyes flicked over to the piano, a sudden thought striking him as he tilted his head, looking closer at the pristine, shining surface of the suspiciously dust-less piano.

Parchment had a nasty tendency to leave small particles of dust and residue everywhere. The sand that dried the ink tended to scatter, leaving a telltale mark as to where it had been. It was often not noticeable, but on the lacquered, polished surface of his piano, there were always some particles that were left behind.

If he had moved the piece of music after he came back from lunch those couple of days ago, there would still be dust particles left on the surface of the piano where the composition had been resting. He was disinclined to waste time by wiping off the surface when there were others to do things like that.

But… there was one person that resided in this mansion that would have taken the time to wipe off the piano if they had moved a certain piece of paper that was eluding L, and noticed dust on the piano. Someone with a slight compulsion to leave things tidy and neat and clean.

…He was willing to bet Light had moved it somewhere.

The thought stopped him short, black eyes widening and thumb-nibbling coming to an abrupt halt, so that the appendage simply rested peacefully in his mouth. The vampire…

Only a scant few days had passed since..

Since…

Well, that.

L's eyes slipped shut and a light heat rose upon his face, staining his high cheekbones and suffusing them with a light shade of pink. He had not talked to Light much since then…

It wasn't for anger over what had happened, to be sure. He had been a more than willing participant, and while Light's high-handed ways had irritated him at the onset…

He couldn't be mad that Light had chosen to act upon the offer he had subtly given.

And- here, the slight flush upon L's cheeks grew just the slightest bit darker- he had more than loved what had occurred. However…

Thinking back upon it all was, well, utterly embarrassing. Light had been the only one ever get that close to him and share such an intimacy with him. To be exposed to openly to another person, especially one that he was in continuous close contact with… it was highly mortifying.

And even worse…

It was preposterous that the Great L be embarrassed! He should not have let such a thing affect him in such a way. It was bad enough that the kiss Light had been roundaboutly forced to give him had shaken him so much, interfering with his work, it was ridiculous that he had given into… into…

Hiding, of all things.

He cracked open an eyelid to level an irritated glare upon the chair where Light usually perched with his newspaper and repertoire of witty remarks and scathing comebacks. Apparently, his reluctance to see the vampire face-to-face had unconsciously communicated itself to the supposedly mythological being himself after the first two days of L retiring from his workroom as soon as the vampire graced it with his presence.

Slinking back to his piano, he stepped gracefully upon his worn, antique bench and ran a thoughtful finger gently over the smooth ivory surface of the keys as he settled into his preferred way of sitting.

He no longer had the patience to continue looking for the music. He'd ask Watari to have Light find it or something. Or, rather than run the risk of running into the vampire, he'd simply just have Watari scan for it while bustling around the mansion, and tell him to have the staff keep an eye out for it.

Sighing, he returned his gaze back to the piano, frowning as he felt the cool, polished ivory keys under his fingertips. He had been neglecting his playing and his own composing, he knew. He had not graced the piano with his playing for the past week, unable to think with the thoughts rolling around in his head.

Unlike last time, they were not confusing, simply…

Consumingly distracting.

Sighing, he opened his eyes to favor his fingers with an emotionless gaze as they rubbed gently over the white keys.

Yes… his thoughts had been utterly distracting him from his work. But… it as so very hard to work when the vampire kept popping up in his thoughts, derailing his musical train of thought. Every time he went to write something, it always unfailingly evolved to a darker, more sensual piece, no matter what the mood he was trying to create had been. Thoughts of the way Light had leant upon this piano, lovely amber eyes curious and open plagued him, and looking down at his own fingers…

He blushed and closed them, suddenly struck with the remembrance of long, graceful fingers upon his own white flesh, ivory-colored like the piano keys. The sunlight streaming in warmed his skin, reminding him of the way Light had slowly and erotically burnt him up with his touch, and the unruly black hair that brushed against his ears reminded him of the way Light's had tickled his cheek as the vampire nuzzled into his ear to whisper such delightfully ruinous things into it.

Love. Lust. Possession over the one I desire. You.

Gasping, L quickly snapped his eyes open, clapping his hands over his ears as his black eyes desperately swept the room for any signs of the being that was currently wreaking havoc upon his mental homeostasis.

He relaxed slightly, though, as he realized that it had simply been a product of his imagination. He let out a sigh of relief upon discovering that he remained alone.

Just as he would prefer it.

Now, if the blasted vampire could leave him be in his thoughts as well…

Mumbling nonsensically to himself, L reminded himself of his purpose and reached out to the trusty desk that had been placed next to the piano. It held his quills and ink, as well as his parchment that he wrote his music upon. There was really nothing that struck him- his inspiration had dried up as soon as he had started avoiding Light, though he refused to dwell upon the reasons as to why, exactly.

Light was his inspiration.

Frowning now, as he desperately flicked that stray mental thought away, L reached out to grab a piece of parchment, only for his frown to deepen as his fingers met with a smaller sample of paper than he was used to. Pinching it delicately between two fingers, he brought it up to eye level, brows furrowing as he read what was on it.

I found this when I was dusting off the piano. I thought you might look for this sometime, so I took pains to put it in a place where there would be no doubt of you happening across it. I hope that this also sparks some inspiration, as I wonder what happened to that lovely, and apparently damaged, musical instrument we discussed previously. I have not heard you play for some time.

-Light

Blinking, L turned his head slowly, a small smile tweaking the edges of his lips as he saw that the music Kane had given him was lying atop his table.

Though the note from Light was brief, it displayed a small amount of his dry humor. L's ability to misplace simple things was something that Light took pleasure in reminding him of constantly. He maintained that the vampire took a special delight in moving things on him while tidying up and then subtly mocking him for it later.

Blasted mythological bloodsucker.

Adjusting his grip so that he was grasping the small note with his whole hand, he fingered the edges, eyes running over the graceful, spidery writing that was unique to Light. It was a style that was rarely used anymore, testament to how old Light truly was. He was no child of the 1800's, certainly, and his more than formal syntax, smooth mannerisms and almost artistic style of writing bespoke that he was from not only a foreign country, but a time when art was valued much more highly and the simplest misspeak or misstep could cause dire consequences.

…That, and the subtle nettling, even in written words, was something that L suddenly realized he sorely missed.

He missed Light, and the realization that he was reliant upon the vampire for more than good company and his ability to keep everything organized in the wake of L's untidiness spoke volumes for how important the vampire had truly become to both his mental well-being and life.

Heart, too, but that was someplace that L was not even thinking of pondering today. It could be broached another time, when this whole situation was not so new to him.

…And there was another thought that L was unsure of. What had happened a week ago… would it happen again? Light would no doubt need to feed sometime, sometime very soon. He had taken quite a bit the last time he had fed, but still…

He would need to be fed soon, in accordance with their Accord. And he would have to face Light then.

Sighing, L rolled his head back, shivering as the spikes of hair brushed along the sensitive skin of his neck in a tickling fashion. Annoyed, he reached up to brush at the spot and soothe away the little tingles, but stopped short as his fingers brushed over Light's bite mark. The edges were still slightly raw and very tender to the touch, making L shudder at both the feeling and the memories they provoked.

Fingers lightly tracing over the tender marks, L couldn't help but imagine, wish and wonder that it was Light's burning fingers upon him, as they had been before. It was the memory of Light's hands, no doubt, that inspired this. As a musician, he admired the simple grace and beauty Light's slim, graceful fingers held, and it had been so… almost unbearably pleasurable to have those hands on him and remember exactly what it was like.

He could almost imagine Light picking up the quill, grasping it gently and then fluidly writing down the note he had left L on top of Kane's composition. Eyes slipping shut, L could almost perfectly picture the small smirk that Light's lips had held as he penned the note, the slight narrowing of his eyes in humor as his lovely amber eyes swept over the paper, leaving behind a mark of his presence.

I miss Light.

This, he finally acknowledged as his lips turned down into a thoughtful frown. He missed Light's conversation, his arguments and gentle prodding and teasing. He even missed Light just being infuriatingly boring, being quiet and hiding behind his daily newspaper, situated comfortably in his red chair.

But…

L tilted his head forwards, hand dropping from his neck to rest upon his bent knees. He clutched at them, wrinkling the already-ruffled black fabric of his trousers, biting his bottom lip as he thought.

By pushing Light away and avoiding him the day after that, it must have communicated that he didn't want to see the vampire. And by continuously doing so… it must have only reinforced that belief.

But that wasn't at all it. That wasn't what L had wanted at all… in the end...

Have I done something stupid?

By creating a rift like this, even if it was only because of his own insecurity, there was a chance that he had damaged their relationship, in whatever form it was- assistant, bodyguard, friend, lover- irrevocably. And L didn't want that. He wanted…

He wasn't sure what he wanted from Light. But he did want Light back, back here, in this workroom. And the only way to do that….

Eyes snapping open, they flicked over to the note that Light had left. He reached a hand out, shifting his body closer to in order to reach it. Snatching the note, his eyes skimmed over it once more, this time, going deeper than the subtle dry poking at him and digging deeper, seeing the nuances hidden within the carefully-chosen words.

I have not heard you play for some time.

But he had not seen nor heard L conducting for an even longer time.

L traced a hand over the ink once more, inspiration glimmering within his eyes. A small smile tugged at his pale lips and he set the note aside, on top of the piano. He ignored the dust that would surely settle there, forcing Light to polish it once more if he were to satisfy his need to keep everything clean.

Smirking to himself now as he satisfied his need to annoy Light, he then turned his attention back to the music that still rested upon the table.

Picking it up, he smoothed it out, black eyes flicking across the carefully-drawn musical notes. Kane's handwriting was more neat and orderly than his graceful, flowing notes, making it easy to distinguish from his own.

Music grasped firmly in hand, L's eyes never wavered from the paper as he slipped his feet from the bench to the floor. He hummed the music quietly to himself as he retrieved his black iron music stand from the corner where he had shoved it off to a few days ago.

A small smile tilted his lips upwards as he did so, brain now working in a much favorable direction. He had not conducted since the night of the disastrous affair with Dominick Tracey, and he was quite looking forwards to being upon the podium once more. Up there, he knew that the gentry were watching him, taking note of him, and that word would eventually spread of him, even though it was not his piece. People who had not witnessed him or heard of him would soon be educated, and then…

It was like a domino effect, and in this case, it was very pleasing for it to happen.

It would be impossible to not hear his name spoken of in one context or the other. L loathed the gossip mill much of the time, for the rumors spread were not always favorable, and the Lawliet history was an interesting one indeed.

But in this case, the gentry's need to entertain themselves with the misfortunes and fame of others would work to his favor. L was a widely-known name in England, and foreigners were becoming more and more common these days. His name would be heard, his talents made known of and word of both would spread.

A small glint sparked in his eyes as he thought of this, hopes and dreams flitting through his mind. Moving himself, stand, and music to the center of the room, he placed Kane's composition upon the stand, flicking through it, foot already tapping in tempo as he hummed quietly, already totally absorbed within the music.


The silence from the room was unnerving.

Light stood outside the door to L's workroom, eyes narrowed and thoughtful as he contemplated going in, despite L's feelings about being near him. It was obvious, at least to him, that the eccentric composer, his Accorded, was avoiding him.

And, despite how well he knew L, being his constant companion for the past few years, he could not ascertain to why, exactly, L felt the need to hide.

He could narrow it down, certainly, and it wavered between a lingering sense of embarrassment over what had happened naught but a few days ago and disgust over the actions. Homosexuality, was, after all, looked down upon.

Despite the fact that many rich old nobles partook of the pleasures young boys had to offer without any one being the wiser. It happened, everyone knew it, and those fat old men lounging about in their lavish mansions were the worst sort of hypocrites for it. It infuriated Light to no end, though there was nothing that he could do about it.

But…

He suspected that it was not disgust that L was feeling- he knew the boy well enough to know that much. Light was betting that the scale leaned more heavily towards embarrassment.

And while it was annoying to be cut off from L, to have the very being that both pleased and annoyed him so delightfully in turns remain unavailable to him, he was willing to wait until L came to terms with what had happened. He would wait, because it was the only thing he could do. Luckily, centuries of living had given Light an immeasurable amount of patience. Therefore, he would allow L to evade him, even while Light missed his presence and the pleasure it brought being around L, because he knew that his waiting would pay off in the end.

A sudden rustling from the music room snapped Light out of his daze, drawing his attention back to the room that he knew L was in. He could smell L's alluring scent, that dark, tantalizing smell that drew Light in and enraptured him so completely. It brought a longing ache to both his throat and to himself, for he could not forget the way L had tasted, had felt under him in the throes of pleasure. L was addicting, and while he could hold himself back and allow L to avoid him, it was getting a little harder every day not to simply snag the boy's sleeve as he skirted around Light in the hall, pressing him up against the wall and feeling that lithe body against his, inhaling the smell of the eccentric composer and tasting his skin- and blood.

…Damn.

Pressing a hand against his forehead, Light sighed, closing his lovely amber eyes. He missed L. it was simple as that. He could go without his blood, without any physical contact or the such, even conversation. Simply being around L was enough, watching and listening covertly from under lowered lashes as the teenager worked determinedly on his music, nibbled on his thumb or quill as he thought, or simply took a quick hiatus to play contededly on his piano.

Simply watching had been enough, and now… he could not even do that. And he missed it, longed for it with every fiber of his being. Twin desires tore at him; to be around L and please himself, or leave L in peace and please the boy.

It was obvious which desire would win out; L's wishes would always take precedence over his own. Since the day he had first entered L's service, it had been this way, and so it would continue to be.

Shaking his head, Light reluctantly turned away from the door where the object of his thoughts was, letting a harsh breath hiss out from between his clenched teeth.

He was just making moves to walk away, when the sudden sound of light, rhythmic footsteps sounded lightly from L's workroom. Pausing, Light cocked his head curiously, brows furrowing as he listened.

If he didn't know better, he'd say L was…

No. Preposterous. L didn't dance. He had a gift for it, certainly, but at any of the social functions they attend, L never used his dance card, preferring to speak with other composers or musical talents that had also chosen to attend. He had never in his life seen L dance, apart from the one time he had watched and attended L as he conducted his piece that was a direct challenge to the late Dominick Tracey. Even then, it was not dancing, but it had been close, graceful movements of his body as L allowed the music to seep into his body.

But then…

Cocking his head, Light slowly turned to look back over his shoulder, eyebrow quirking as he gave in to curiosity and turned his whole body round. He listened intently, fingers absentmindedly coming up to rest against his cheek as he closed his eyes.

What else could L be doing?

Curiosity flared inside of him, and against his better judgment, it consumed him. He stepped forwards, reaching out to silently push open the door. It swung open without a sound, much to his pleasure. Light stepped through the oaken door, closing it securely behind him, though he forgot to lock it. His eyes flicked up, widening as they took in the sight that met them.

L was dancing.

No, Light realized. Not dancing, but conducting. However, when L conducted, he did so with his whole body, moving gracefully in time with the music.

As Light stood at the doorway in shock, he took in the way L's feet tripped lightly over the carpet, body shifting fluidly and arm raised to his chest, moving in sweeping, encompassing motions. The large black eyes that Light loved so dearly were closed, a look of relaxation and contentment upon his pale face. L was humming, and Light knew, with sudden certainty, that it was the piece L had been asked to conduct.

He was only practicing, getting a feel for the music and making sure that he would not make any mistake, and yet…

He still seemed so perfect, so poised that Light could only watch, transfixed. Though, the volume of L's humming increased, his tempo speeding up a bit, and now that he could hear it properly, Light deduced that the composition that L was working with was in the style of a waltz.

Inspiration struck Light, and before he could think it through, he was silently stepping forwards. His feet made no sound upon the carpet as he closed the small distance to the middle of the room, where L was. His eyes trailed down L's slim form, eyes falling heavy-lidded as he remembered what the body underneath the ruffled, wrinkled clothes felt and looked like under his hands.

There was so much more to L than met the eye, and that Light had only just started scratching the surface only whetted his appetite to learn more. And while he would have many more years to get to know L even better… his patience was good, but nowhere near perfection.

L's arms were raised now, at his sides, silky spikes of hair shifting over this back and brushing enticingly over his shoulders as he moved. Taking the chance offered to him, Light reached out and grasped L's left hand, spinning him around.

At being cut off so abruptly, L let out a small yelp of shock, miraculously able to maintain his footing even as he was whirled around, left hand grasped firmly in a warm one that he knew very well. His other hand shot up to the vampire's shoulder to steady himself, and he felt the weight of Light's other hand settle upon his waist, right at the flare of his hip.

"Light!" he exclaimed as he realized both that Light was here, and that the vampire had quite suddenly and shockingly, pulled them into a dancing position. And yet, even as he saw a small smile pulling at Light's full lips and a mischievous glint in his lovely amber eyes, L couldn't help but allow a slight one to appear on his lips in return.

It was dampened, however, as he felt the tightness in Light's shoulder and the uncertain, apprehensive look in his eye. It was apparent that the vampire wasn't sure if this sort of closeness was okay, and it bothered L that he had been the one to unintentionally cause that. Light had taken what he considered a huge risk by doing this, and the thought made something within L clench. After what had happened, there should have been no unsurety.

Before L had a chance to speak further, the vampire's full lips parted in a breathy chuckle as he readjusted his grip on L's waist, fingers shifting and unintentionally caressing. The feel made tingles dance along L's spine and his stomach coiled in excitement and tension.

"Dancing such as that is notoriously hard without a good partner, L," Light said, his voice smooth and warm as he tilted his head to the side to survey the composer better. He attempted to gain some insight into what L was thinking, to see if this was overstepping the bounds that L had laid with his prior actions.

But the lovely composer did not seem to be shifting away, and a fleeting look of surprise and something more flashed through his eyes when he readjusted his grip on L's hip. He had to resist the urge to grip L tighter, to pull him closer and feel that lithe body against his once more- doing so could jeopardize everything he was trying to regain.

A thin black eyebrow quirking, L's eyes flicked over to their joined hands as he told Light, with only the slightest trace of skepticism, "I was not aware that I was supposed to be dancing."

His obsidian eyes were fixed firmly on their hands as he spoke, and as he did so, he adjusted his grip so that their hands fit together somewhat better. Light's fingers grew tighter around his as L wriggled his own closer into the vampire's grip, holding the pale fingers in place.

"Conducting, dancing… with you, it seems to appear the same," Light said almost in a dismissive manner, and yet there was a subtle hint of teasing under the words that L had missed so much. His hand clasped L's firmly, silently communicating that he would not allow the composer to slip away unwarranted.

Not that L would, of course. Not now that he had finally gotten the blasted vampire in here. Eyebrows raising, L questioned, "Does it? And then, the point of this?" He raised their entwined hands on the last question, giving Light a sardonic, questioning look.

A small smile tugged at the corner of Light's full lips as his eyes flitted over to see their hands, pale fingers twisted round golden ones, caged, trapped, ensnared.

Just the way Light preferred it. And that L was allowing this, not trying to pull away and almost…bantering with him only pleased him more, ignited a small spark of hope within him. "You looked like you could use some work with your steps," Light said quietly, tugging L's body closer, so that the fabric of their shirts were brushing.

"And so you presume to take on the title of teacher?" L sounded slightly offended at this, but he made no move to tug away or otherwise showed that he took genuine insult at Light's words.

There was a small smile flitting on L's pale lips, unseen to all but Light, who knew every nuance of L's facial expressions by heart. "Well, of course," Light said graciously, giving L a smile that held a bit of a challenge- and a question.

Ducking his head, L let what Light thought was a small smile flick over the composer's pale lips, before he brought his head up once more. "I see," L sighed, thin shoulders lifting up and down in a seemingly helpless shrug. His eyes lifted up to meet Light's as he raised thin black eyebrows. "Lead on, then."

Taken momentarily back by L's words, Light blinked, shoulders stiffening, before they relaxed and a gleam of what could be called excitement passed through his lovely amber eyes. A small, genuine smile pulled at Light's full lips as his grip tightened about L's waist and hand, and he tapped his foot three times in succession, before he pulled L along into a waltz, humming a well-known melody as he did so.

…At least, it ought to be known. L was the one who composed it, after all. Light had spent countless hours listening to L plucking out the different melodies and harmonies on his piano, heard him humming in when he paused for a break, and observed him tapping his foot, fingers twitching in the standard ¾ time that was used for most waltzes.

It was something that Light had long found endearing about L. He tended to become focused on a composition to the point where he would think of nothing else but that one song.

But he was stretching the truth, however, when he had told the young composer that he needed to improve his waltzing skills. L was a marvelous dancer. The vampire, however, would have expected nothing less, as many musically-gifted people that Light had known in his long past had also excelled in the dancing arts. Dancing, after all, was taking the music that was heard and simply expressing it through the body. This was no exception.

"What changed your mind?"

Light's sudden question had him almost stumbling as it surprised him, but he recovered before Light could take notice of anything being wrong. Glancing up at Light fleetingly, L saw that the vampire's face was fixedly thoughtful, though his eyes were fixed firmly upon L's face.

He had known that he would have to face questions like this, but he had obviously not emotionally or mentally prepared well enough. It was apparent what Light was asking, though. Light knew that L knew, because there was no other reason that L would have allowed Light in here without disappearing within a scant few moments. And they knew each other well enough; further explanations were not needed to explain what the matter at hand was.

L's eyes flicked to the left as he tried to come up with something to say that was not so… girlish. He had, apparently, not thought this far ahead in his planning of luring Light here so that they might reconcile. He had no idea how to go about this, to explain why he had been avoiding Light without sounding like a schoolgirl.

His brilliant mind raced, and finally, he slowly and quietly said, "It was not that I was avoiding you, per se, so much as…"

He trailed off, unable to think of how to finish, how to voice the words. L remained silent and Light waited, wondering if the composer was thinking. After a minute of silence, the vampire reasoned that perhaps he had not intended to finish answering. But he wanted the answer- he wouldn't allow L to elude him, not this time around, not when he had finally been able to reach L once again.

"So much as what?" Light pushed, and L's shoulder's tensed for a single, almost unnoticeable moment, before his eyes dropped to the ground.

"…Nothing," L murmured after a moment, shaking his head. Black spikes of hair waved with the movement, and the action sent a hint of L's darkly delicious scent to Light's nose. It was something he'd missed, being this close to L, and the proximity after being cut off for days was almost overwhelming his senses.

But it didn't deter him from the fact that L was trying to be elusive, to evade the question, and that was something that Light could simply not allow. He forcibly ignored L's scent, pushing it to the back of his mind in favor of getting to the bottom of L's feelings.

"L…" Light tried again, eyebrows raising the slightest as L's black eyes remained downcast, cutting Light off from seeing what the young composer was truly thinking, truly feeling. His body felt stiff under Light's hand, the muscles running along his back tight from where Light could feel them under his fingertips. It felt good to be this close to L once again, but this awkwardness was not what Light desired.

Silence reigned, and the only sound in the room was the sound of their feet- Light's shoe-clad feet, and L's bare ones- thudding softly on the plushy-carpeted floor, still keeping in perfect rhythm that Light had previously been humming.

L's lovely black eyes were shuttered, cast down and their depths shielded by the too-long jags of bang that obscured them. Light despised it when L was like this- inaccessible and cut off. He had hoped that they would be easily able to get past the... thing… hanging between them, the awkward embarrassment and unsureness that L still kept about him, gathered to himself like a cloak.

However… somehow, Light could not blame the young composer. L's past was shady and hidden, even from Light, whom L trusted implicitly and with his life, as had been proven over and over again, every time Light took L's blood. And he remained, still faithful even after L had cut him off. Ironic, that, that a creature that was treated with such mistrust and disdain was the one to keep a promise and remain true, when L had not. Light had not openly asked for blood and L had not refused him, so the conditions of the Accord were still upheld, but both knew that this could not continue forever.

It was just a matter of finding the right words. And Light had always been a master wordsmith. If L would not talk, then he would simply do the talking, and let L take it from where he wanted to.

"…I've missed you, you know," Light murmured softly, breaking the silence. His words were a gamble, as he was not one to voice his true feelings with great abandon. L was the only one who he had ever made an exception for, and he let the words fall unhindered from his lips, not hiding the trace of longing that they held.

The words, however, served Light's purpose well, just as he had intended. Shocked, both at the amount of open feeling they carried, as well as the words themselves, L's head snapped up, endearingly thin black eyebrows furrowing over wide eyes. "What?" L said, clearly taken aback.

Shaking his head slightly, Light proffered a small, somewhat rueful smile at the shocked composer in his arms. "You heard me, L," Light told him, seeing surprise flitting through lovely black eyes. "Unless all that music has finally made you deaf, there's no way that you couldn't have not heard me."

No. L had heard Light very, very clearly. With the proximity Light's full lips were in regards to his ear, there was no way L could have not heard him. But the words… it was so rarely that Light was so open with him, so clearly honest.

And…

A small flash of guilt went through him at the trace of longing within Light's lovely voice, because he knew that he had been cruel. To accept Light's advances, return them, and then abruptly cut the vampire off from the contact he had apparently been desiring…. It was harsh. But to say such a thing, to offer up the feeble excuse that he had simply needed some time to think, when their relationship was so clearly already defined…

It truly was feeble, at best. They had already been partners and friends, for many years. The previous events had simply been upping their relationship, taking the next level in trust. It should have not been this hard. Embarrassment flushed through L as he realized how truly selfish and childish he had been, for there had really been no reason for such drastic measures.

But, now… to mend what he had frayed was not so easily. Pride was something L had in overabundance, and to say that he was wrong for cutting light off like he had, to apologize was something that was not easy at all.

He became aware that he was still in Light's embrace, his hand resting on Light's warm shoulders. The vampire was quiet, waiting for his response with softly enquiring eyes.

There it was again, the crescendo that was so present with Light. It was leading to the only conclusion this meeting that L had subtly initiated could possess…

Taking in a short breath, L struggled to find the words, finally coming up with just the barest beginning of a sentence, just to have something to say, to acknowledge Light's words and indicate that he had heard. "I just…" L trailed off, shaking his head. There were no right words for this situation, no way to verbally right this wrong.

A small puff of air escaped through L's lips, an inarticulate expression of irritation. Why did this have to be so difficult?

Sensing that L was not about to finish his thought, Light intervened, taking hope in the fact that L appeared to be trying to voice his feelings. He understood, though. Emotions were fickle things, easier felt than voiced. "I miss your company, L," Light said quietly, yet earnestly. "I miss you."

The last three words had something start aching within L's chest, a nameless guilt for his unwitting cruelty. Because he had been childish and refused to talk to Light, it had come to this. He hadn't wanted to hurt Light, and yet…

"Light…" L started, looking up at Light. His black eyes were wide, and Light could see some nameless emotion in them, something that was struggling to get out. But Light cut L off before the young composer could say anything else, feeling the need to reassure L in some way.

"I understand, L," Light murmured gently, leaning down so that his lips were closer to L's ear and delighting secretly in the tiniest shiver that it elicited, "if you don't want to face me, but… tell me. Let me know. I don't like to be cut off from you like this. If there is something wrong… tell me, L. I'm here," Light said, pulling back. His eyes were open and honest, no sense of trickery or deceit in any nuance of the vampire's voice or facial expression. "I promised you I wouldn't leave your side, and I'll stick by that to the end."

L let out a shuddering breath at the fervent words. Something like that… that complete reassurance, the promise that Light would be with him until the very end, would never desert him or leave him behind as so many others had, was something he had always longed to hear from the mouth of someone he could trust.

But constant turmoil had left L wary of such sweet promises. His brother had once said something to that effect, and he was nowhere in sight. His parents, the Lawliet family's rock were supposed to have been there, but the dead were not good company. A recluse, L had many acquaintances but few friends, and even his nephew rarely visited.

Light was the one being that could and would always be there, as the mark on their fingers could attest. Light was L's rock, his inspiration, and to have that for the first time in his life was frightening, because L truly did not know how to deal with it. He was at a loss, and the only thing he could say in return was the faint start of the confession as to what was truly plaguing him.

"I…" L started quietly, but the right words, the pretty excuses would not come to his lips.

It was such a faint sound that L had made that Light, even with his supernatural hearing, did not catch the beginning of L's cut-off sentence. "Hm?" Light hummed inquisitively, gaze so very open and expectant, waiting for L to respond.

…He couldn't do this. It was simply too embarrassing. L slid his hand off of Light's shoulder and subtly tried to pull his other hand from Light's, his only thought on leaving somehow, because he didn't think he truly could face this. He had his pride, and to admit to something such as that was something that was extremely hard for him to do. He tried to pull away, but Light's grip on him tightened, holding him in place as they finally came to a halt in the middle of the room. It was not hard to hold the composer still, which was good for Light, as he did not plan to let L go until this had been settled for good.

As if sensing the vampire's intentions, L finally stilled and looked up, meeting Light's bright, intense amber eyes fully. His black eyes sparked in mixed anger and embarrassment as he finally hissed, throwing his caution and pride to the wind, "It's just embarrassing!"

Silence reigned in the room after L's confession, though a single thrill of relief went through Light's heart at the confession.

There. The heart of the problem.

A small smile, unseen by the rather angered L, flirted at the edge of Light's full lips. If nothing else, he could trust L to be honest with him, when push came to shove. He could elude and only say what was needed, but when the time came, when it was just L and Light, the younger man would always, always be honest.

Because he knew what the problem had been. L was a prideful creature, as Light well knew. He had shown in many times, both in his protective actions towards his work when Dominick Tracey had dared to copy him, and in the way he positively seemed to glow when he finished a piece and received the highest amount of praise for it when it was performed.

But L had to truly learn how to face his fears, to get over this. Light did not want such hindering emotions in their relationship.

"How so?" Light asked gently, subtly stepping closer to L, pleased when L made no protest. His hand slipped from cradling L's waist to around his back, wrapping his arm around the composer's trim waist. The firm body felt wonderful in his arms, a sense of rightness suffusing Light as his grip around L's hand tightened, subtly refusing to let go and allow the composer to slip away.

A slew of confusing emotions assaulted L, and he barely noticed the vampire slide closer as he attempted to sort out his feelings to coherently put them to words. But the vampire's sudden closeness, the warm arm wrapping around his waist and the feel of tanned, graceful fingers wrapping more firmly about his derailed sigh train of thought somewhat and flustered, he forced out, "That you saw… I've never…" L gritted out jolted, before shaking his head and gathering his thoughts, finished, "You were the first person to get that close to me, Light! To think that you saw me like that is just too embarrassing!"

The allusion to that night a week ago, when they had finally allowed the crescendo of their relationship to peak, hung thick in the air. L's embarrassment was understandable, however, for Light had once been the same way. But in that same nuance, because Light understood the embarrassment of allowing another to see them so debauched and not in perfect control… he also felt the need to reassure the young composer.

Because L had no need to feel embarrassed, whatsoever. Letting go of his control had no doubt been hard for L, but Light… he had adored it. Had reveled in the way L had become so beautifully unraveled and wanton under his touch, and looked forwards to doing so again and again.

He could see the tenseness and slight humiliation in the tense lines of L's mouth, in the narrowing of his eyes and tightening of his muscles as his back stiffened. And he felt the need to wipe that away, and decided to do so in the way that he saw best.

A beatific smile took over Light's face, as he finally let go of L's hand, releasing it from the tight grasp it had been captured in. Instead, he reached down to take hold of L's pointed chin, turning the pale face up, forcing downcast black eyes to meet his. "Embarrassing…?" Light murmured, shaking his head before he continued with great earnestness, "L, I adored what I saw. You've no need to be embarrassed at all." Closing his eyes briefly, Light let a small, self-depreciating chuckle escape his mouth as he murmured, "You have no idea what it did to me to see you like that."

L's eyes opened wide in shock upon hearing Light's words, feeling the warm fingers cradling his chin. Of all the things that he was expecting his assistant to say, it was not this. A hot flush of embarrassment swept through him at the vampire's words, but it was mixed with a tinge of desire, too, for the way the vampire's voice dropped to a husky whisper brought back memories of whispered urgings spoken directly into his ear that night a week ago.

Just he thought sent a thrill through him, and unbidden, the vampire's name came tumbling from his lips in a voice that held both a hint of discomfiture and desire. "Light…"

L felt himself being drawn in closer to the vampire, the arm around his waist pressing him flush against the vampire's body, and he felt the firm press of Light's chest against his own, could feel in detail every line of Light's body. His other arm moved from his chin to the back of his head, cradling it as L allowed his head to fall back, giving Light total access to his neck. He inhaled sharply as Light leaned over him, and he could smell Light's natural scent, a dizzying mixture of cinnamon and something that was namelessly masculine.

It sent L's eyelids fluttering, resisted the urge to close them as Light inclined his head, hot, silken lips playing over the delicate white skin of his throat, soft strands of caramel-colored hair brushing over his skin. There was a soft exhale of warm breath, and then Light murmured, "No idea what feelings it incited within me to see you splayed out beneath me, trembling and taut with desire…"

Light's fingers tightened around his waist and hair, making L gasp both at the pleasurable, tingling shocks of slight pain from Light's tightened grip and the smoky, murmured words. And it only became more intense when Light continued, his voice enveloping L's senses and making his mind go fuzzy as Light nipped at the skin of his neck, "…To feel and watch you writhe in pleasure… the sound of you crying out in ecstasy… the way you tasted on my tongue, felt on my lips…" As if to punctuate this last sentence, Light pulled back, only to place a soft kiss upon L's lips.

"Ah…" L breathed softly, into Light's mouth. The vampire lingered only long enough to get a full taste of L's lips, before dipping his head once more to nuzzle gently at the rise of L's collarbone.

"I reveled in every minute of it, L," Light murmured against the soft skin of L's neck, nipping gently and making the lithe frame pressed against him shiver in mixed delight and anticipation, "knowing that I was the only one who would ever draw such reactions from you."

Speechless at this point, Light's very presence overwhelming him, L could only clutch at the pressed fabric of the jacket covering Light's shoulders, "Mmm…" he moaned, feeling the breathy exhale of a warm laugh against his neck. A hot, soft tongue came out to lave at the spot on his neck where his pulse was the strongest, and he shivered in anticipation, knowing that the sting of Light's fangs were coming soon.

It was difficult to put into words or emotions, what he felt the moments before Light bit him. This position was so much more intimate than Light taking his blood from the wrist. There was no way to see for sure what Light was doing and that he could only feel and allow Light to do as he wished. Clutching at Light's shoulder and at his hair in an attempt to steady himself, L had only the hazy passing thought this was both frightening and exhilarating. But he trusted Light, trusted him with his life, and so he allowed the vampire to do what he wanted, because what Light wanted was also what L wanted, as well.

His body tensed as he felt the press of fangs against his skin, anticipating the pain, waiting for it.

But, before Light could act, the door to L's workroom suddenly flew open and a certain young, blonde man that had been hiding out and lying low at his uncle's mansion strode in. "Uncle L!" Mello said jovially, blue eyes sparkling with anticipation of taking mid-afternoon tea with his uncle.

However, he stopped short, his next sentence dying upon his tongue and blue eyes opening wide as he saw his uncle and his uncle's assistant in their rather compromising position.

"Uncle!" Mello exclaimed in shock, and that was enough to snap both Light and L to attention. A brief moment of panic went through Light at being discovered, but he hid it well as he calmly released L and stepped away. L, however, was a little less composed and a flash of fear ran across his pale features. It went unnoticed however, as Mello's full attention was focused on the- to his point of view- instigator of the act.

"What the hell were doing to my uncle's neck! Get away from him!" Mello growled, stalking up to Light and placing both hands upon the vampire's chest, sharply shoved the vampire away. Anger glittered in his eyes

"Mello…" L said placatingly, trying tp draw Mello's attention away from Light, but his furious nephew was having none of it.

"What the hell were you doing!" Mello hissed, jabbing a finger into Light's chest, making the older man wince a bit. "What were you thinking?!"

"Mello," L said, struggling to remain calm in the face of his nephew's anger. He couldn't allow Mello to draw the wrong conclusions- but he feared the blonde's incapability to listen to reason. He was notoriously bullheaded, and it was hard to get through to him when he was this angry. "You're drawing the wrong conclusions!" he tried again, saying it loudly and hoping to turn Mello's attention away from Light and onto him.

Mello heard his uncle, but he was currently more focused upon the man that had, for all intents and purposed, appeared to be doing unsavory things to his uncle. "Like hell I am!" Mello retorted sharply, though his eyes never wavered from their glare that was directed firmly at Light. "I know what I saw!"

Blinking, Light realized that this could be his out, his chance to take control of the situation and turn Mello's line of accusations in a new direction. "And what do you think you saw?" Light asked calmly, standing tall and folding his arms, refusing to be cowed by the younger man.

Ice-blue eyes narrowing, Mello stabbed a finger at the vampire, saying accusatorily, "You were eyeing his neck like you were about to-" Mello abruptly cut himself off, freezing as first few moments when he had walked in replaying in his mind. The way that Light had been holding L and hovering over him, the way L had been desperately holding onto his assistant, as if he were to fall without some assistance…

Light's eyebrows raised as Mello remained frozen, waiting for the younger human to speak. It took only a few seconds for the blonde man to recover, however, and he stepped back in disbelief, eyeing Light with a mixture of wariness and anger as he whispered, "Holy shit, were you about to… to bite him?!"

"No," Light answered shortly, as soon as Mello had forced the biting words out. His eyes flicked over to L, seeing the stricken look upon the composer's face. The sheer worry held within L's face was enough to make Light decide that this situation needed to be defused quickly.

He unfolded his arms, walking closer to L's nephew, telling him firmly, "Mello. You're distressing him needlessly." Ignoring the way Mello seemed to back away from him, Light reached out and snagged the front of Mello's jacket in his grasp, clutching the lapels firmly in hand as he started tugging, pulling Mello along after him. He slowly made his way to the door of L's workroom, blandly telling Mello while ignoring the blonde's protests, "Let's go somewhere where we can discuss this privately and leave L to work."

"Hey- HEY!" Mello shouted, grasping Light's hands and trying to remove them. However, the vampire's grip was ironlike and nothing Mello did could force Light's hands off of him, even as he continued to snarl, "Get your hands off of me! You bumbling idiot, stop that!"

Rolling his eyes, Light firmly shut out Mello's voice as he walked, only turning to politely tell a now bemused-looking L, "L, I shall be seeing you later. Make sure that you go down to the kitchens for some tea soon. You need a break."

And as Light left with a struggling Mello firmly in tow and a glint of irritation mixed with amusement in his lovely amber eyes, L could only stare after them, a small smile tugging at his slightly reddened lips.

…He had a feeling everything would be alright now. He could hear Mello's useless protests still coming from the hallways, but he paid them no mind. Smile still flirting teasingly at his lips, L turned away, pulling out a piece of paper that had been hastily stuck between the pages of Kane's composition. It was something he had been working on for some time, a piece that had to be worked on in absolute secrecy, for it was a composition that he did not want Light to see.

Not yet, at least.

He took it gently in hand, smoothing out any wrinkles that were to be found within the creases. L wandered back over to his music stand, deep black eyes scanning intently over the piece of music that had been abruptly cut off in the middle of being written.

While he was somewhat disappointed that their dance had been cut off so suddenly, it did not upset him overly much.

It gave him some time to think, after all.

There was a concert in a month's time…

Just enough time to piece together something truly spectacular, truly wonderful.


Being a vampire with supernatural strength did, on occasion, did come in great use sometimes.

Such as when one had to drag enraged nephews away to allow them to cool down.

Which Light was doing at the moment. Disregarding the threats and protests that the engry blonde tossed at him, he dragged the enraged young man all the way down the hall, firmly ignoring the doors that tentatively opened the slightest bit, peeking out to see what all the fuss was about. He put out of mind the way the servant's eyes that peeked out of their rooms widened in shock upon seeing the rather odd sight of Earl Loren Lawliet's nephew being single-handedly and determinedly dragged away from his uncle's workroom by a bland-faced assistant.

…It was not something that was seen every day.

But still, Light persisted, and successfully managed to pull Mello along after him down the stairs, across the marble floors of the entrance hall and to the library, through the door to the left of the entrance hall. He opened the door and let Mello go, only to push him inside and firmly close the door. Servants were rather nosy, and he did not relish the thought of eavesdroppers for this particular conversation.

Servants had the nasty tendency to gossip, and the truth often got stretched to unsavory lengths because of this. Light did not even want to imagine the types of rumors that could spread if this conversation was heard.

Scant moments after being pushed into the library, Mello recovered and rounded on Light. "What the hell was that?" Mello snarled, blue eyes flashing in fury. "What were you doing trying to bite my uncle?!"

This wouldn't be the first time that Light had dealt with enraged humans because of his vampire nature and he had the kind of sinking feeling it would not be the last, either. But past experience had made him quite the accomplished spinner of falsities, and he used this ability now to ease L's nephew's suspicions.

Straightening his posture and adjusting the sleeves of his jacket, Light put on an affected affronted look, light brown eyebrows rising in an expression of disbelief. "Bite?" Light asked with false incredulousness. "You have it all wrong- I was simply looking at a burn

"…A burn," Mello repeated flatly, blonde slashes of eyebrow raising high in silent disbelief. A flash of fear went through Light- he didn't even want to imagine what woul dhappen if Mello did not believe him. It would create complications, for Mello was very protective of his reclusive uncle, and Light did not want to be regarded as a threat by Mello.

This thought fixed firmly in mind, Light put his best efforts into convincing Mello that he had not been attempting anything unnatural with L. Well, unnatural to anyone but them. "Yes," Light nodded. "He was in the kitchens the other day," he lied with ease, "and was watching the cook sauté onions that were to be used later that night when the oil spit and a stray drop flew onto L's neck. It has been irritating him and he wished for me to look at it and determine if it needed an ointment."

Light internally congratulated himself for his impeccable ability to weave such plausible tales as Mello paused to assess him, considering. The story was plausible, for L often wandered down to the kitchens for a small bite to eat when he was in need of a break from his music. It wasn't often that he stopped to watch the coos, but curiously did get ahold of him occasionally, and Light had more than once found him lingering in the kitchens when he failed to come back to his workroom.

And, he sincerely doubted that Mello would check the authenticity of his story with the cooks themselves. It simply wasn't worth it, Light knew, and besides, he knew that his story had been accepted as Mello stepped back and folded his arms, with a sharp nod.

"Right. That's a relief. Thought you wanted to bite him or something," Mello said, turning away.

An unseen, small smile playing over his lips as he watched Mello walk away to settle into one of the library's comfortable chairs, he murmured, "Of course not. Things like vampires only exist in fairytales."

"Quite right," Mello replied with a sharp nod of his head, picking up the daily newspaper that had been carelessly tossed over the arm of the chair he was now settled into, opening it with a sharp snap. The action was as good as saying that Light was dismissed, and with a last smirk, Light turned sharply on his heel and strode out of the library.

…Humans were so easy to manipulate in their ignorance sometimes.

Ignoring L's rather irritating assistant, Mello started in on his newspaper. However, he was barely able to get through the first article before there came a loud and rather jolting sound of the knocker upon the doors to the mansion came. Rolling his eyes, Mello ignored it, assuming that it would be answered shortly and the annoyance would be taken care of.

With every knock, Mello's eye twitched, for the sound was quite irritating and never ceased. When the sharp rapping of the large metal knocker remained insistent, even after a good three minutes, Mello cursed and threw aside the newspaper he had previously been immersed in.

Didn't L have a blasted butler or some other servant to take care of annoyances like this? Even that assistant of his that he seemed to favor so much, Light, could have taken care of it. But, since there was no one around and the idiot standing at the door would simply not leave, there was really only one alternative.

Newspaper abandoned, Mello pushed himself irritably out of his comfortable chair and stalked angrily out of the library, down the wooden grand staircase and across the white marble tiles of the entry hall, boots clacking resoundingly on each step, signifying his irritation.

Striding to the door, Mello grasped the polished doorhandles and yanked the great oaken doors open, the start of an angry greeting on the tip of his tongue.

However, that greeting died a sudden and very quick death as he saw who, exactly, was standing at the door.

White curls. Slim form. Youthful face. Large grey eyes with thick black lashes. Pale, full pink lips.

...Everything that Mello liked wrapped up into a nice little package that was standing so very invitingly on the front doorstep. His whole manner shifting quickly from angry to lasciviously welcoming, Mello brushed his neatly-trimmed blonde bangs out of his eyes and gave his best smile to the person standing patiently on the doorstep.

"Oh, hello. What's pretty thing like you doing here, hm?" Mello purred, darkened eyes sweeping slowly over the stranger's slim form. She seemed a bit small-chested under the stylish overcoat, but that was quite alright. Breasts, after all, were not everything. "Wandered quite far off the beaten path, haven't you?" Mello continued, his blue eyes lazily traveling down further.

Blonde eyebrows raised in silent shock before he tore his gaze away from the really quite nice legs showcased splendidly in flattering dark grey pants. "And in trousers, no less?" Mello asked, shifting his weight to lean against the doorframe, offering up a welcoming, sultry smile.

Large grey eyes blinked slowly at the rather unorthodox welcome. Mello was fully aware that he did not look like a butler, so it was quite understandable that the lady was somewhat confused.

And then, the pale pink lips parted, and- "…My name is Nate River. I'm to be Earl Loren Lawliet's new bookkeeper," the
stranger said quietly. "And… I'm male."


Light poured wine from a crystal decanter into two glasses as the young man behind him got settled into his chair. He raised a pale hand to even paler white locks to twist and curl a wavy piece of hair inbetween his fingers, thinking quietly as Light moved around the library. It was a bit of an annoyance that Mello had answered the door, but perhaps it was for the best, because a sulking and mortified Mello was far less likely to burst into the library and overhear some incriminating nuance of their conversation than a Mello that was not so.

Light's lips twitched in in amusement as he remembered the shocked look of disbelief upon Mello's handsome face as the white-haired man had calmly informed Mello of his true gender. Light himself had just been coming down from his own rooms to answer the door, but Mello's patience had apparently grown thin and he had answered the door himself. He had caught just the very end of their short conversation and witnessed the way Mello had abruptly stalked off without another word, leaving Light to show their new bookkeeper in.

The caramel-haired vampire's lips twitched once more, threatening to spread to a full smile as he thought of Mello's mixed anger and embarrassment upon finding that the man currently with him in the library was, in fact, male, and not female.

…He didn't blame Mello, though. Not really.

…Nate tended to have that effect on people.

But, that thought brooked the further question of why, exactly, Nate River was here, of all places. The last time Light had gained word of him, the white-haired vampire was in Germany, staying in a small, rural clan in the countryside.

Turning back around, Light set the two glasses of wine upon the table, then reached back and set the decanter upon the wooden surface as well. Light pushed Near's glass closer to him as he settled down into his own chair, leaning back. Without further ado, Light's eyes narrowed the slightest bit as he asked, "What are you doing here, Nate?"

A small smile overtook Near's lips for a brief moment. Light was just as he remembered; curt and straight to the point on things that he deemed rather important. And then, he grew serious once more as the true reason of his sudden arrival here. "I've heard some things... I thought it would be best to confirm my own suspicions."

A caramel-brown eyebrow quirked as Light abruptly asked, "So you came here and blatantly decided to invade my privacy?"

Near was silent at this, his only response to reach out and take his glass of wine from the table and raise it to delicately sip at it. Light took Near's silence as a yeas, and he shook his head. "Damn it, Nate…" Light muttered.

The last thing he wanted was a vampire at L's mansion. If L were to find out of another vampire here… it might seriously shatter the composer's faith in him. That was not something he wanted under any circumstance.

Setting his glass down, Near leaned forwards, his voice intent as he told Light, "It was the only way. I had to see for myself. You've been out of contact for some time. We were all worried about you, Light," Near said, referring to the clan that they had stayed at in Germany for a few years. The vampires there had been extremely kind, and if Light were not so restless, he might have eventually settled down there.

But… there were certain circumstances that had forced Light to keep on the move, and Near knew this. "You knew why I left," Light said softly, staring at the thick red wine that sat untouched in his glass. As a vampire, he quite disliked solid food, but certain liquid substances still held somewhat of an appeal, one of which was darker varieties of wine.

Near nodded at Light's words. "Yes," he agreed. He knew very well why Light left. But… where he had settled was not in the best interests for his life. "And I see that you've taken up with a human-Light, what possessed you to think that making an Accord at this time was a good idea?"

Immediately, Light's amber eyes grew frigid and shuttered, lines of his body tensing as he leveled a forbidding glare at the vampires sitting opposite of him. "Don't bring that into this, Nate," Light warned.

But Near was not to be dissuaded, and he pressed forward, saying insistently, "…Light. You know this can't go on forever."

"I know that, Nate," Light replied shortly.

Near paused long enough to take a long look at Light. The elder vampire continued to flick his eyes upwards, and Near could sense the tenseness and desire within Light's bearing. He knew that Light had forged an Accord with Earl Loren Lawliet, but… he had apparently been wrong in assuming it was only for a constant, safer source of blood.

It would seem that the feelings Light held for his Accorded ran deeper than he previously thought, and that could pose a very serious problem in the future. Light needed to realize…

Leaning forwards, Near said softly, regaining Light's attention, "He's going to die someday, and you'll be left behind." Light stiffened at Near's words, the muscles around his lovely amber eyes tightening, though Near could see a flash of some unnamed, dark emotion pass fleetingly through Light's eyes.

\Nevertheless, Near forged on, saying quietly, yet firmly, "And when he does… I refuse to pick up the pieces, Light. It's a hell of a tough job to put someone back together after a loss like that, and you're not one of my puzzles." Taking a deep breath and shoving away the memories that his own words brought to mind, Near forged on, a tinge of a deep sadness lacing his voice as he continued, "People aren't puzzles, no matter how much I'd like them to be. They'd certainly be a hell of a lot easier to piece together if they were."

"Nate," Light said, and his tone brooked no argument. He stood, looking down at the younger vampire with a gaze that spoke volumes for how he was done with the conversation at hand. "I'll deal with that when the time comes."

"No, Light," Near firmly said, standing up as well and meeting Light's steadily- darkening gaze. "We deal with it now. Humans are fragile. We both know this." Near's eyes became downcast, and more quietly, he murmured, "Me more so than you do."

"What happened to Matt," Light gritted out between clenched teeth, "was not my fault. Neither of could prevent that."

"I know," Near whispered. His arms crossed around his chest, shoulders slumping as his mouth turned downwards in unhappiness as the memories that had been plaguing him for years came to the surface once more. "And he hates me for it. I should have let him die, but…"

"It's just you, Nate," Light said, rounding on the smaller vampire. His eyes flashed in the light of the fireplace, the flames reflected in hem making them turn a bright reddish-orange. "You hold onto things until they're broken, and even then you can't let them go."

Near recoiled from Light for only a scant second, before shaking his head. "You, Light, are the same way," he said, and then continued, cutting off the start of Light's angry protest. "Long after L's died, you'll hold onto him, cling to the memory. You need to either let him go now, or-"

"No," Light said, refusing to Let Near finish that thought. It was painful to even think of, and he couldn't actually imagine actually cutting himself off from L. But the other option… what Near was suggesting he do… "I will not do that. I refuse to take that away from him."

He couldn't curse L just to keep the younger man at his side. He couldn't take that away, like it had been ripped from him.

Near's eyes grew almost black in anger at Light's stubborn refusal, his unwillingness to listen. He had always hated trying to reason with Light, for the older vampire was bullheaded to a fault. "Then let him go, Light!" Near shouted, making Light fall silent in surprise, for the soft-spoken vampire rarely ever raised his voice above a steely whisper when he needed to be listened to. It was at odds with his soft appearance, wholly unnatural for the white-haired vampire.

Standing up, Near stepped closer to Light, his hand slashing out in anger. The light from the fireplace played along his face, casting it in an unnatural shadows as he vehemently snarled, "This is not going to end up as a happy fairy tale, Light! Your princess is going to fade one day, Light. Your kingdom will crumble and you'll be left with memories that eat at you until you go insane!"

"My life is not one of your fantasies that you entertain yourself with by playing them out with toys, Nate!" Light retaliated, referring to the way Near still clung to the toys of a childhood that he would never regain, for he had been cursed with the gift of immortality at only 15, left to have his mind age beyond his years while still stuck in the body of a just-budding teenager.

Eyes narrowing into venomous slits, Near hissed, fists clenching, "I'm only trying to help you, Light! I'm trying to prevent what I know will happen. There are only two ways that your little Accord with L will end up, and we both know that."

Near's last words rang heavily in the now-silent library as the two vampires eyed each other warily. The irrefutable logic of Near's words sombered the air between them, dampening their anger and making their hearts heavy. Because Near was right. Light's relationship could end only two ways, and both were undesirable. It was why vampires so rarely forged Accords with humans, unless they were sure that no deep feelings would be formed.

And Light had deeply miscalculated on that count.

Turning away, Light closed his eyes and rubbed his hand over his face in desperation. "I said, I'll deal with it when the time comes," he forced out, to wanting to face this decision. Everything, the emotions he felt for L and their tentative, fragile relationship was too new, too raw to throw that variable into.

Near watched Light with unwavering eyes, saw the slumped set of his shoulders and could almost sense the indecision and turmoil within his heart. However, he could afford no sympathetic feelings, for a much more pressing matter was at hand, and he did not- could not- watch Light fall to the same depths that he himself had, floundering in indecision when the movement became crucial. He needed to make a choice and come to terms with it, before he made the wrong one at the crux of the moment and ended up regretting it for the rest of his eternal life.

…As he himself had so long ago.

Taking a deep breath, Near quietly said, "Light, that time may be coming sooner than you think. She's caught wind of your presence here, and-"

Light's eyes opened wide and his hand dropped to his side as he whirled around, fangs bared in a grimace that was both anger and fear. "Her?!"

He had expected nothing less. The woman that had turned Light, terrorized him and stalked him for years before he was finally able to escape and hide in a new country was the darkest spot in Light's past, a burden that bowed his shoulders and ate at his memories though he had tried so hard to forget.

Near truly wished that he didn't have to be the bearer of such black news, but he was the only one who really knew where Light was, through careful, hidden observation of the vampire that had sheltered him and cared for him for years while he attempted to come to terms with the curse. It was his way of repaying Light for his kindness, and even if he had to be the devil's advocate, it was all in Light's best interests.

"Yes," Near nodded. "She's found out that you're here. One of her men were at the concert you and L appeared at."

List fist slammed down upon the coffee table, making the delicate crystal wine decanter and glasses wobble upon the wood. "Godda- I was trying to lie low!" Light snarled, leveling an unholy glare upon the ground as he tried to think of how he could have possibly been recognized. He had been so very careful… No one should have taken notice of a lowly assistant!

Gently, Near spoke, steadying the glasses and decanter, preventing the wine from spilling out. "Then you should have stayed in the slums, Light," Near said, raising his head to look Light straight in the eye as he asked, "Why didn't you refuse when L offered you the chance to work for him?"

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Light turned away, fists clenching harshly at his sides. He barely registered Near's words, instead focusing on reigning his anger in as he shakily replied, "…I … I wasn't thinking of her. I thought I was safe… I had no idea… no clue that L would grow to be this famous... I did not know that she was on the move again. I thought she had settled down in Russia."

Near nodded. Light's line of thinking had been reasonable at the time, when L was younger, but now… "She did, but you're not in the loop anymore, Light."

Light nodded curtly. "Is that why you thought that it would be best to find me?"

"Yes," Near replied, inclining his head. Sighing, he moved back to take a set upon a plush read chair, bringing one leg up onto the chair. He had nimbly toed his shoes off the moment they set foot within the library, and so there would be no marks left on L's chairs.

Resting an elbow upon his upraised knee, Near stared at the polished surface of the coffee table in front of him as he resignedly told Light, "I knew that if you were living with someone like this, you had to have formed an Accord with them. And you know that he's the first one she will target. L's not safe anymore, Light. Not until she's dead."

"..Goddamn that woman…" Light hissed furiously, also mentally cursing whomever had decided to turn her as well. "They should have known that someone as unstable as her would turn out to be dangerous as a vampire…"

Near smiled a small, unhappy, self-depreciating smile as he quietly said, "Love makes one do crazy things." His slate-grey eyes hardened as he looked up at Light's tense form, murmuring unforgivingly, "You would know that, wouldn't you, Light?"

The elder vampire's head snapped up and his amber eyes grew ice-cold as he regarded the other vampire's small form curled up within the chair. Nate River had a soft appearance, but his words could cut like knives when he chose to wield them. He was not as harmless as he appeared. "Sometimes, Nate, you go a bit too far," Light hissed darkly, baring his teeth in a threatening snarl.

"No," Near returned, and his voice was as hard as his eyes had become. "I go as far as need be. Now-"

But Light cut him off before he had time to finish, tired of hearing the other vampire. He was growing weary of Nate's persistence, and there were things that he refused to consider. Not now, when his emotions were running so high, anger at Near's sudden appearance, his mixed fear and furiousness at the news that the younger vampire brought, and the frustration and helpless desire that had been churning through him ever since Mello had so rudely interrupted he and L earlier. "Not tonight, Nate," Light said sharply, turning away from the coffee table and straightening, a sense of finality in his words and bearing. "No more. We'll discuss this later. "

"But-" Nate tried again, frustration sparking in his slate-grey eyes. His hands clenched in frustration as Light refused to listen him, heed his warnings and cut him off before he had a chance to try to get the elder vampire listen to him.

"Later," Light repeated firmly.

"…Fine." Nate muttered, turning away to stare into the fire, shifting his body upon the chair. "Go to him, then. But when the time comes and you've not thought to plan ahead, I shall not be the one at fault."

Light's eyes narrowed and a mirthless smile overtook his lips as he said, walking to the library door, "You don't know me very well, then, Nate, if you think I would ever let harm come to him."

Something in Light's voice, in his words aught Near's attention and the white-harried vampire looked up, assessing Light. There was something more to Light and L's relationship, Near thought. Light had never, in his memory, been this wholly involved with a human. And because of this, because he knew Light and knew that the elder vampire would take this to the end, he feared that Light would end up broken and shattered, because hearts were almost impossible to put back together. But Near needed confirmation of Light's feelings, because if Light was going to stick this out, then Near…

In honor of their friendship, Near would stay at Light's side until the very end, no matter what happened. His eyes lowered to stare at the fire as he slowly asked, "…He's that important to you?"

Light paused as Near's question came, hanging quietly in the spacious library. His hand was on the handle of the doorknob, clenching it tightly.

He could pretend that he hadn't heard the softly-spoken question. Near had said it in such a volume that he could logically have not heard it, though both of them knew that he had. Because a question such as that… once Light admitted it, there was no going back. Near would never tell, but he would always know, and somehow, someway, through no fault of Near's, word would get out. There were those who would glean the information from body language and syntax, and eventually, rumors would spread and she would gain knowledge of it.

But… to refute what L was… seemed next to blasphemous.

Because there were no words that could ever describe what L was to him. L was his most important person, the center of his universe. Without L… Light didn't even want to entertain any imagination of a world that was devoid of L's brilliance and influence.

And to deny that was to deny all that he had ever felt for L.

"More than you would ever imagine," Light whispered as a reply, growing somber as he voiced the words, because there was no going back now.

He didn't have to look behind him to see that Near had turned his head to stare at him. He could feel that slate-grey gaze boring into his back, assessing and measuring his words, weighing the value of them within his mind.

And then, Near spoke, and Light knew from the words that he had Near's- however unwilling- support.

"Then, Light…" Near murmured, turning back to the fire and removing the heavy grey gaze and fixing it onto the dancing flames, "Be careful. Watch for her, because it won't be you she'll be targeting."


As it was late by the time Light finished with his meeting with Nate, (or Near, as he preferred to go by, since he was keeping under the scope just as Light was doing and his name was well-known in the vampire communities) Light assumed that L would no doubt just be retiring to his rooms. The composer was a slight insomniac, and very late nights were an often occurrence with L.

Quietly, he made his way up the polished wooden staircase and through the hallways that he had traversed so often, making sure not to make a sound. It would not be in L's best interests if his assistant were to be seen making his way directly to L's room this late at night.

However, Light couldn't find it in himself to simply retire to his room this night. L's scent had been lingering about him all day, ever since he had found it necessary to drag Mello out of L's workroom to dissuade the composer's nephew from harboring any unwanted speculations as to the true nature of their relationship. L's scent was very subtly spread throughout the entirety of the mansion, but it was spread so thinly throughout the rooms that Light had long ago learned to acknowledge it subconsciously, but consciously force it out of his mind, lest he be distracted by the alluring smell.

But… his sudden proximity to L earlier that day had left his enticing scent lingering on Light's clothes, and for the rest of the day, he had been unable to truly block out the alluring aroma. It set both his desire for the composer's lovely blood and more physical desires alight, left him unable to truly concentrate with the alluring scent constantly assaulting his senses.

He prided himself for his excellent control, but a more than physical need had also instilled itself within Light. He needed to be near L, basking in his presence and watching as the young man conjured up some magical compositions with the same intenseness that a plant needed sunlight.

And cut off for so long, he felt an aching desire to be with L, to touch him and reassure himself that it truly was alright now, that L was his and was not eluding him anymore.

It was the driving thought behind his actions as Light made his way down the darkened, quiet hallways, listening intently for the sounds of doors opening or footsteps coming along the same path that he was traversing. But all he heard was the sound of the servants already sleeping or in the process of falling asleep.

For now, he was safe, though he still breathed a sigh of relief as he came to the wooden door of L's room. He heard L moving about in the room, heard the shifting and rustle of clothes and the opening and closing of wooden drawers as L withdrew his nightclothes.

Smiling softly to himself, Light did not bother to knock, but instead opened the door silently and slipped inside, closing it without a sound behind him and turning the lock. He had been interrupted once, and he was sure to take measures that would prevent further disturbances this time around.

Amber eyes lifted, then opened wide at the sight before him.

Only a few scant candles were lit in L's room, and under the thin white fabric of L's casual day shirt, the soft light from the candles allowed Light to see the lightly-muscled torso that lay hidden under the cotton. The composer's back was turned to him, and transfixed, Light watched as L set about shaking out his freshly-washed nightshirt, laying it out upon his dresser, seeing the muscles shift and flex under white skin.

And then, L stopped and stood up straight, an arm raising to run pale fingers through contrastingly ebony-black hair, smoothing it out unconsciously. The movement sent a fresh wave of L's natural scent straight to Light and his eyes fell heavy-lidded as he quietly inhaled.

The smell ignited a fresh wave of desire within him, a burning longing for L's blood as the alluring smell reached him. He had been without for a week, and though he had gone much longer without sustenance on much less nourishing blood… L's was addicting, and he longed for it with every fiber of his being.

Before he knew it, his control had snapped and he was silently striding across the room to press himself against L's back, strong hands clasping the front of his shoulders, nose nuzzling into the thicket of black hair and inhaling deeply. Surprised once again, L gasped sharply and stiffened in his grip, before he calmed and stilled as he realized who was holding him.

His black eyebrows furrowed as L struggled to turn around, which Light was refusing to let him do. He seemed more than content to simply hold L like this, and giving up his struggles, he simply stood still, allowing Light to embrace him.

L's body was firm and lithe underneath his hands, and yet… he was content to simply hold the young composer and revel in his closeness. There was the barely-suppressed desire that was running, burning just under his skin, but he was able to ignore it in favor of simply having L here, being close to him. The silky black hair brushed along the side of Light's face tantalizingly, sweeping delicately across his skin, and unable to help himself, he turned his head to brush gentle lips over L's soft cheek, inhaling the sweet smell rising off of the skin very subtly.

Other than the first initial shock and small struggle before falling still, L had said nothing to neither deter him nor give him encouragement, and filled with an intense need to get some sort of reaction out of the young man, he tilted his head and nipped at the line of L's pulse, feeling it speed up under the bite of his teeth. The jerk and sharp inhalation he gained from L was extremely rewarding, but it was nothing compared to how exciting it was when L gasped out his name in shock.

"Light…!" L gasped, feeling the gentle nip of sharp teeth upon his neck, a shiver of anticipatory delight running along his spine. He had known what Light had come to his room for, though he had not expected to be surprised like this, he would admit. He had no objections, though, and had been expecting the vampire's appearance sooner or later- after being interrupted by Mello earlier, L had known it was only a matter of time before Light made his way here to finish what had been started. But, the composer had not been sure if Light only wanted his blood, or if…

He had wanted something more.

"Shh, L," Light whispered, nuzzling into the thicket of black hair, just behind his ear. It was one of the places where L's natural small, musky and masculine, seemed to blend perfectly with the smell of the sweet, darkly delicious blood pumping hotly beneath the pale, soft skin. "I just want…" Light trailed off, unable to help himself from nipping gently at the skin of L's tantalizing neck once more.

It was obvious what Light wanted, and L was not about to deny him now, not after he had cut Light off for so long. And he had missed it, too, L realized hazily. He had missed the intimacy of the act that had been a permanent part of his life since first forming the Accord with Light.

And, if he were to be honest… now that he had experienced the warmth and security that the vampire's arms held… he had not realized how much he had relished in it and been longing for it until he had it back. It was with a sense of relief that L finally gave in, relaxing back against Light and tilting his head back and to the side, eyes slipping shut.

He allowed Light to slide his hand from his shoulder to rest gently over his flat stomach, right above the slight dip of his navel. Through the thin fabric of his day shirt, he could feel the warmth of the slim, graceful fingers, pressing him backwards into Light's body and providing a steady length of support. Tentatively, L reached up to thread the fingers of his free hand through Light's soft hair, silently communicating that this was alright with him.

But just to make sure, after this morning and solid week of avoiding Light, he felt the need to let Light know that this was alright, to voice it.

"It's alright…" L murmured, and that reassurance sent a flash of mixed relief and desire sizzling through Light. He felt L's hand come to rest on top of his arm, lightly grasping onto the fabric. The other, he felt reaching back to twine into his hair, urging his mouth closer to the pale, slim neck in a gesture of encouragement. The acquiescence and open acceptance of this sent a thrill of delight through the vampire, and he just barely heard L murmur, "You just startled me."

A small smile tugged at Light's lips, a pure feeling of happiness going through him at L's acceptance. It felt right now, that L was allowing him to do this, that there was no hesitation whatsoever. Affectionately, he bent his head to nibble gently at L's earlobe, knowing it to be a sensitive spot from the reactions that he had elicited a week ago. The shiver he got was more than enough encouragement, and going further, he curled his free hand around the arm that L had raised, feeling the firm muscle of L's bicep flex under his touch.

"Ah… Light…." L breathed, and Light's eyes snapped open upon hearing the breathy exhalation of his name coming from pale lips. Something wild took hold of Light, and he tore his lisp away from placing gentle nips and kisses along the line of L's neck. He grasped L's chin and turned it to the side, and before L had time to ask what was wrong, his lips were molded firmly to L's supple ones.

It came as somewhat of a shock when Light suddenly kissed him, but he had no argument whatsoever when Light's hot lips were pressed firmly against his.

He had missed this, L realized. Missed all of Light, every nuance of him. His hands, his lips, his voice, everything. He craved Light with an intensity that would have scared him, if he had not been sure that Light would always be around. But he would.

You're not going to get rid of me that easily.

Light's words rang in his mind, a silent promise that he would stay with L no matter what. Light was safe, was his anchor and inspiration, a constant in a life that had been so unknown and tumultuous. He trusted Light, trusted Light with his life and the vampire had never betrayed him.

Never would betray or leave him. Light was his, just as much as he acknowledged that he was Light's, and this was the thought that was fixed firmly in his mind as he returned Light's kiss with a sense of desperate hunger, craving the closeness that Light offered to him.

He felt Light's grip on him tighten, and knew that if he could see Light's eyes, they would be blazing beautifully, a look of absolute hunger and desire on the vampire's beautiful features. The thought had a thrill of desire running the length of his body and heated groan coming from his throat.

But as soon as the sound left his lips, Light's lips were torn from his, and before he could open his eyes, there was a flash of sharp pain on the side of his neck as sharp fangs pierced his skin swiftly. The feel of blood being pulled from his body made him lightheaded and shaky, a sensation that could only be caused by Light himself. It was only the first part that hurt, L knew, and after that… the feeling of blood draining, forcibly being pulled in long draughts from his body sent pleasurable tingles all through his body, to the very tips of his fingers.

Light had been unable to help himself, and though he regretted not allowing more time for the numbing drug his saliva carried to truly take effect, he had been unable to stop. Another moment more, and he would have been biting at L's lips in an effort to get the blood that his body was craving. It had been almost pleasurable, the way his teeth had punctured the skin, and his body sang as hot blood poured from the twin punctures, rushing into his mouth in a deliciously sweet flood.

He could feel L trembling in his arms, and growling, Light's grip on the lithe body tightened. The fingers twisting in his hair clenched, small shocks of pain rippling through Light's scalp, only heightening the sensation as hot, thick blood that tasted uniquely of L poured into his mouth. It was much stronger, much more heady at the neck, closer to the heart, and Light let out a groan of relief as the taste flowed over his tongue.

He had missed this, had ached and longed for the nearly euphoric taste of his Accorded's blood for the past week. It was better than he could have ever imagined, L quivering in his arms, alluring scent surrounding his senses, alluring, husky moan tumbling from his pale lips.

He tried to savor the taste that was coating his tongue, for he would not be able to indulge in it for a few days. It was hard, however, to pace himself and not simply swallow it in deep draughts, for he felt as if he were the thirsty man who came upon a well with cool, sweet water. L's heart was still beating furiously under his hand, pumping the sweet liquid he was indulging himself in, but he detected the slightest skip to it, the moment when it began to subtly slow as the amount of blood it had to pump lessen.

Caught up in the haze of bloodlust, Light almost disregarded it, but when he felt L's trembles worsen, his body start to fall limp, Light knew with absolute certainty that he had to stop. L could suffer serious harm if he took too much, and that was something that Light never wanted to happen. L trusted him, and that trust was one of the most valuable, treasured things that L had gifted him with.

And he was damned if he was going to break that trust.

With a smooth movement of his head, Light slid his fangs out from L's throat, licking away a few escaped drops from the pale skin and giving the twin punctures a last kiss of farewell before lifting his head. From where he was, he could see L's eyelids were fluttering weakly, his lips parted as he took deep, calming, even breaths.

A flash of panic went through Light as he saw this, and he quickly grasped L's shoulders and turned him around. The younger man's knees seemed to give out as he did so, and Light caught him before he could fall to the ground. His hand cupped the side of L's face as amber eyes worriedly took inventory of L's wellbeing. L looked extremely ill, and that he had been the cause of that made a sort of sick feeling well within Light's heart. Leaning down, he breathed out, "L! Oh, God, I'm sorry…"

"No," L said quietly, opening his eyes and staring up at Light. "I'm alright. Just a bit tired…" he reassured the worried vampire. He proffered a weak smile, just the barest quirk of bloodless lips upwards, before he yawned a little bit, relaxing into Light's arms. "I haven't slept well," he murmured, eyelids drooping until they were almost fully closed, "and today has been rather strenuous…"

L's words were somewhat slurred, and Light watched as the composer let out a light sigh, eyelids slipping all the way shut. His face was very pale, more so than normal, and the vampire fumbled for L's chest, letting out a small breath of relief as he felt the heartbeat under his hand. It was slower than normal, but it was still steady and strong. The firm thumping of the organ reassured Light that L was okay, that Light hadn't gone too far as he feared.

Shoulders slumping in relief, Light raised his eyes to regard L's sleeping form with mixed affection and annoyance. "Next time, brat," Light murmured to the resting composer, reaching up to tap L's forehead with some irritation, "I'll make sure you warn me. Vampires can't suffer heart attacks, but you came rather close to reversing that line of thinking and giving me one."

But the sleeping L had nothing to say to that, and Light sighed, wincing as he shifted L so that he was cradled a bit more comfortably. L stirred a bit at his actions, a wordless murmur coming from his lips and Light looked down, face softening as he regarded the form in his arms. Spikey black hair fell carelessly over L's shoulders and face, a few strands falling to brush ticklingly over the back of Light's hand.

He wiped away a stray droplet of blood trickling down L's neck, and thought back to the first time that they had done this, that night so many years ago, when L had been but a small child.

A small, affectionate smile tugged at the corner of Light's lips as he gazed down upon L's peaceful face. Light had called L a brat back then, and a brat he had been, though a fascinating, brilliant one.

…A brilliant child that had grown into an even more brilliant and bright young man. Light himself had seen the transformation that L had went through over the years and would be the first to admit that the young composer had blossomed into a desirable young man in all aspects of the word.

And…Light would be a liar of the worst sort if he did not admit that he was proud of the fact that he had been the one to capture L's attention. Out of all the companions that L could have chosen over the years, the composer had hand-picked him to be first his assistant, and now his companion. L was wholly his, his to tease and nettle and play with, and when the time came… to enjoy and pleasure in the most erotic way possible. It sent a thrill of possessive delight through the vampire, and his amber eyes gazed softly down at the man cradled in his arms.

A soft sigh escaped Light's lips as he reached up to brush his fingers over L's parted lips, and then reaching up to smooth the jaggedly-cut bangs away. A small flash of amusement went through Light as he remembered L's absolute and stubborn refusal to see a barber, instead choosing to take care of the thicket of spikey black locks himself.

His fingers then trailed down to trace the black shadows that were ever-present under L's eyes, the feature that Light had grown to become so fond of. They highlighted the monochrome of L's eyes so wonderfully, made the large grey and black orbs seem even larger and more striking against the composer's pale face.

…Everything about L was striking, Light conceded, running the pad of his thumb over the sharp line of L's cheekbone. From his sheer intelligence to his musical brilliance, to his unforgettable appearance and enticing smell…. There was nothing about L that Light had not come to admire in some way or another. If he was allowed, he would watch L always, for the man unintentionally drew wandering eyes to him.

There was nothing that Light would ever change about L, no matter his odd quirks or infuriating habits. L was absolutely perfect to him, and was all his.

The thought made a satisfied smile cross his lips as he gathered L close, making sure that the composer's head did not roll uncomfortably. L's slight body was not much of a burden, especially to Light, who possessed an unnatural strength. Gently, he rose to his feet and strode over to the side of L's bed, his stride smooth so as to not jostle L in any way.

He silently pulled back the bedsheets and knelt down upon the bed, alternately lifting and lowering his arms so that he gently shifted L out of his arms. His movements were gentle as he lifted L's head to slip a soft feather pillow under it, caressing L's face affectionately one last time before reaching down to pull the blankets over the young composer.

Smoothing out the sheets, Light flicked his amber eyes up to L's sleeping face, peaceful in repose. He paused to deliberate only a minute before he slowly leant over L, placing his hand on the opposite side of the human's head, staring down into the youthful, lovely features. "Sleep well," Light whispered, and he brushed his lips gently over L's, inhaling the alluring scent that rose from the pale skin one last time before pushing himself up and straightening.

The light from the candles still dimly burning on the top of L's dresser caught his eye, and turning on his heel, Light blew out the last few candles in the room. He then strode silently to the door, pausing only once to glance at L's sleeping form. His hand rested lightly on the wooden frame as he stared at L, and then, he blinked, shaking his head.

"I've always done as you wished, L," Light murmured softly, so as to not wake the sleeping man. L needed his rest, especially after Light had taken so much blood.

His eyes became downcast as the conversation with Near returned to mind, and he closed his eyes, letting out a shuddering breath, before continuing, "But this time… do something for me, L. Sleep well, because if what I fear happens… you'll need your strength to get by. Sleep well," Light whispered, a slight tinge of dark amusement lacing his voice as he realized that this scene was familiar, "sleep well and dream of cake… Mon petit compositeur."