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To See His True Face

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Mello tried. He really did try to be professional and cool-headed and non-emotional and everything they told him L should be. Okay, it felt fake as hell and after ten minutes of it he wanted to yell motherfucker into the sky just to release some tension, but Near’s busy kissing up to the FBI, and someone had to go to Japan and make nice with the police there and Mello wasn’t going to trust it to some idiot. This is the Kira case. It’s personal.

Only it’s got way too personal way too quickly and it is not that he gives a shit about codes of conduct or emotional distance, it’s just that one pretty-boy fresh-faced graduate should not be able to get to him this much.

They’re in a hotel room. They’re usually in a hotel room. Light’s apartment is full of Japanese police officers and Mello has no intention of letting anyone here know where he’s crashing. Kira doesn’t need to follow you home to off you, but one of his loony followers who thinks their god isn’t acting fast enough might.

But it probably doesn’t matter, because Kira knows exactly who he is and what he looks like, particularly naked, and it’s very little comfort that the reverse is also true.

We still don’t have proof, Near said, but Near always says that. Mello knows full well whose eyes he’s looking into when he’s doing this. Sometimes you just know. Light Yagami is Kira, Light Yagami killed L, and it’s entirely likely that Light Yagami is now both literally and metaphorically fucking with him because he thinks he’s untouchable.

Still, Mello’s proving him wrong on that score at least. That's probably how it started, to be honest. Light kept playing the part of the hero, and Mello had him marked as Kira after about five seconds, and he was really trying not to needle the guy into admitting it because, you know, trying to build constructive working relationship with the Japanese police. Except that he could see they would get fucking nowhere catching Kira. Their only suspect is their boss's son? Yeah, they're not gonna believe he's Kira even if he's writing their names down right in front of them. Mello's not stupid, no matter what some people might like to think. He pushes too hard, he'll burn all his – his and Near's – bridges, and he likes burning things but only when it's going to achieve something.

So how else was he meant to get under Kira's skin?

Hotel room. Japanese summer, so the air is so sticky you feel like you need to peel it off you, even now at stupid o'clock in the morning. Same time, same place? Light whispered to him earlier as they pretended to study some bullshit report. That alone is a massive clue. The Light Yagami everyone else knows doesn’t flirt with guys in leather and talk about meeting them in hotel rooms like it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Well, in Mello’s opinion it is nothing to be ashamed of, but Mr Straight-A Student Star Graduate should be staring at the floor and pretending this isn’t happening.

He is always there when Mello arrives and he’s always standing by the window, looking out at the lit-up streets, and turns to greet Mello, Good evening like he’s the one doing this just to mess with your head. Mello isn’t going to play that game and so he always storms over, shoves Light against the wall, kisses him so hard it’s close to a headbutt. You’d think an uptight pretty boy like Light would be bothered by this but Mello can always feel him smiling, like he’s working just as hard to keep his cool. Mello figures he’s got more room to manoeuvre there, his default state is obviously impulsive and emotional and so he can tangle his fingers in Light’s hair or wrench his shirt open or snarl at him to shut up and it’s nothing out of the ordinary. You’d expect someone who’s murdered thousands of people because he decided he was Supreme World Judge would be a control freak in bed (or, you know, against wall, or on floor, or whatever) but Light lets himself be bruised or shoved onto his knees or whatever, always with that faint superior smile just under the surface, like this is all exactly what he planned.

Which pisses Mello the fuck off because this bastard killed L, plus he constantly drops little remarks day to day about how L – Ryuzaki, they call him – did things this way or that way and wow, it must be a lot of responsibility for Mello to have to take on – well, share - the role when he’s still so young and he mustn’t feel like he’s in the master’s shadow, it will take time to get to grips with the case –

Mello has so far managed not to punch him halfway across the apartment and he’s kept the swearing to a minimum in his responses (sort of. Maybe?) and so he’s not about to fuck it all up now. (Not to mention, Light shouldn’t show up to work with obvious bruises; even their moronic colleagues might start wondering things if he constantly has black eyes.) Besides, Mello’s pretty sure he’s fucked more people than Light has, and he’s starting to know what makes the bastard moan and shudder and rock against him and sometimes he can even make him beg don’t stop, don’t you dare stop and, he’s not going to lie, hearing Kira say that to him would be all he needed to come if that wouldn’t be clueing his opponent in to another vulnerability.

So, the point is, Mello is the one in control here. He’s the one getting behind Light’s always-in-control façade, and he thinks he’s getting a look at Kira’s real face, and while that’s not evidence admissible in court, it’s good to remind him he’s on the right track. And if he’s fucking someone who is definitely Kira, then he’s not getting frustrated enough to be lured into a honey trap and fucking someone who might be Kira. Not to mention, getting into this situation is something that would never enter Near’s head. Mello’s choosing the unorthodox route, as per usual, and it might net him some unexpected bonuses, and he’s going to win, he always wins, and he really doesn’t care if Light thinks he’s got the upper hand here.

It’s just. It’s just sometimes he’s not coldly analysing the situation and deducing the necessary truths from it, like L is meant to do, like he knows that he can do. He’s just rage and want and teeth and blood and he’s coming close to crossing a line. Not that he cares, because crossing lines is what he does, but sometimes – only sometimes, when they’re both flat out, sprawled on the bed, almost falling asleep together for fuck’s sake – it feels like he’s the one being played here.