L had always been perfectly content to live out a solitary existence among his sweets and puzzles, and preferred to stay anonymously ensconced in the safety of a luxury hotel when working on cases. So, he had never seriously considered that one day he might actually have to beat the absolute shit out of a man upon seeing them for the first time, on the off-hand chance he ever met his so-called “soulmate.”
Deep down, L didn’t believe in that drivel. Soulmates? Bah. The phenomenon was a well-known urban legend, but L put no stock in those. It was much more likely to be sentimental nonsense cooked up by mutual assault perpetrators trying to dodge jail or a fine. These epic beat-downs happened rarely enough that “meeting your soulmate” must be equally rare, however the explanations given were quite similar after any such event.
“I couldn’t help myself, I had to do it or I felt I'd die.”
“My fist got a life of its own and pulled itself into their face by magic.”
“I was overcome with a lustful rage that could only be sated by repeated kicks to his groin.”
Every time L saw something like that on the news, he rolled his eyes, and occasionally giggled if the camera stayed on the battling pair too long. Eventually punches and kicks gave way to kissing and groping in front of sometimes shocked, sometimes jealous onlookers; that is, if the police or someone else didn't step in to break it up to prevent any injury. L thought it might be amusing to observe such a ruckus (from a safe, out-of-the-way location with a good view), but that would never, NEVER happen to him. Impossible.
“Silliness.” L turned off the news in the back of the limo when it came to a stop in front of To-Oh University. Today was the day of the entrance exam, and he was going to spare 10 minutes from his busy day to ace the test so he could better spy on his prime Kira suspect Light Yagami.
“Don’t forget your backpack sir.” Watari lowered the opaque glass between the front and back seats and caught L’s eye in the rearview mirror. “I packed it with snacks in case you get hungry during the test.”
L smiled at Watari but shook his head as he opened the car door. “Appreciated, but I won’t be needing them. I’ll be back in just a few minutes, so wait for me.” He had second thoughts about those snacks halfway out the door and jammed a box of Pocky into his baggy jeans. “Maybe one, just in case.”
Watari put the car in park. “Good luck, sir. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
L got out of the limo and slouched across the grassy courtyard with his hands in his pockets, following a small crowd of students to a classroom. He looked for Yagami Light among them but didn't see anyone who resembled the young man he'd taken to spying on.
A prim-looking proctor was standing at the door, stiffly handing tests and pencils to those coming inside. “Please take your seat and begin the test at any time. You have until 3 o’clock to finish. Number 2 pencils only!”
L took the test materials and headed up the row between desks, sliding into a crouch in an empty chair. He chewed the end of the pencil while he scanned the paper, scribbling the answers down immediately in his barely-legible chicken scratch. But, a velvety voice made him look up.
“I have my own pencil, thanks.”
L turned all the way around in his chair and met the eyes of an absolutely stunning man who had stopped in his tracks in the entryway to stare back. The pencil in L’s fingers snapped in half as his fingers jerked. It’s him. Yagami Light. That was when L’s entire hand began to twitch in a very disconcerting way. He balled it into a fist and pressed it to his knee, but the other one started up too. And to his horror, he was yanked up out of his chair by what felt to be an invisible force and propelled down the aisle towards Light at a startling pace. “What the--!” Oh no, no no no it can't be….not here! Not THIS! Oh shit not HIM!
The only thing stranger than L’s hurtling sprint was that Light was already halfway down the aisle, his face contorted in wide-eyed shock and a fist pulled back behind his head. “I’m sorry!!!” Light’s fist slammed hard into the face of the odd-looking weirdo, smashing his nose and sending a spray of blood over the gaping students in the classroom. Light pulled his fist back again (or, more accurately it was pulled back against his will) but L kicked him in the stomach before it made contact. “Oooof!”
The dumbfounded proctor screamed at them, test papers and pencils flying up from her hands, “Yagami Light! Hideki Ryuga! Stop this at once!!” The other students scrambled out of their desks, but hung at the edges of the classroom with mouths open and eyes shining."Stop this or you'll be disqualified from taking the test!"
Light stumbled back from the kick, wheezing a few breaths as he clutched his stomach. “Hideki Ryuga? I...I apologize, I don’t know what’s…” Light dodged another round-house kick, sweeping L’s ankles and knocking him to the floor. “....come over me but--” L’s foot shot up in a 45-degree angle into Light’s jaw, silencing the rest of the words with a dull crack of teeth.
L jumped to his feet, rolling to the side to just barely miss Light’s knee to his face. He wiped away a trickle of blood from his nose, eyes as wide as tea saucers as he stared at an equally bewildered Light. “I too seem to be...affected by some unexplained force.” He lunged forward to grab Light around the middle, tackling him to the carpet as he tried to restrain Light’s wrists. “Curious, very curi--OW!!!” L winced but couldn’t stop himself from grinning despite the pain. “Biting is not fighting fair Light-kun and--OWWWW!”
“THAT’S for getting blood on my blazer you weirdo!” Light tried to wrench his hands out of L’s grasp but even though the other man looked frail he was surprisingly strong. “Let me GO! I’m going to kick the SHIT out of you!” Why do I need to do that so badly? What in the hell is wrong with me??? I don't even know this guy!
A student piped up from the back, “Hey!! I know what’s going on! You two are soul-mates! You’re just gonna keep fighting each other until you kiss!” He giggled and looked around to the others, starting a chant, “Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss!”
Light looked at ‘Ryuga’ in disbelief, feeling both thrilled and disturbed by the pervy look on the man’s face. He’s thinking about doing it! Oh no...This is a travesty….isn’t it?
L sighed, biting his lip as he considered what to do. “If what the student says is true, then this will be over soon. Seems logical to at least try it, Light-kun. Else I’ll have to beat you some more. And while I rather did enjoy it, further violence might get us both disqualified from this college.”
Light shook his head rapidly even as he stared at Ryuga’s mouth, thrashing harder to get away. “No...no way! No way am I letting that happ---mmmph!!!”
Let's test the theory then. L pressed his mouth to Light’s, his eyes open and staring as he felt the fight in himself instantly recede. Interesting indeed. But a new, perhaps even more worrying impulse was taking hold, and he wasn't sure if it was another magical force or if he was actually this intensely attracted to the man beneath him. He could tell Light was experiencing the same thing given where L was sitting. Straddling Light’s lap had seemed a good idea to keep him still when they were fighting, and suddenly it seemed an even better one.
Light screwed his eyes up but kissed L right back, their tongues now taking the place of fists in this match. Oh no, it’s true. He really is my soulmate? A man? And THIS guy?! But I’m Kira! My soulmate should be someone extraordinary, someone powerful, someone….oh but this feels good, oh….. Light was unable to stop himself from grinding his hips up as their kiss became more passionate, ignoring the scandalized shrieks of the proctor and the jeers and cheers of the other college hopefuls.
L ground right back down on him, starting to move rhythymically against Light’s crotch while making (what would have been to anyone else) embarrassing grunts. L didn’t care, had never cared about the opinions of others, what they thought about him or how he looked or acted. But he was beginning to care quite a lot about what this particular person thought of him as he released Light’s hands and thread his fingers into silky hair. I've never felt like this before. A tremor worked through L’s body at the wrongness of all of this, of how Light may be Kira, and the son of a police officer he was working with, and years younger than he was! But it was equally exciting and L had to admit Light was a much better kisser than he’d ever had in the past. Not that there’s been much competition.
Light grabbed Ryuga’s hips, rolling them both over as he broke their kiss. His mind was finally clearing and he forced himself to focus as the spell upon him was broken at last. The urge to fight is gone but I still feel so....no, oh no, what if my father hears about this? What about the entrance test? He felt dozens of eyes upon him, and looked up to see the enraged proctor glaring at them from behind a quivering hand. Light whispered to Ryuga, “This is bad. The test….”
The proctor squeaked out, “Under the circumstances you will have to petition for a re-test. Now please remove yourselves from this classroom immediately!”
L looked up at Light, a finger hooked in his bottom lip. “I believe we should do as she says Light-kun.”
Light frowned in humiliation, quickly standing up and covering his blushing face with a hand. “Sensei, I deeply apologize.”
The proctor went to the door, holding it open. She huffed, her face an ugly shade of purple, “Go. NOW.”
Light grabbed his backpack and hurried out the door, staring at the ground, mortified as he practically ran towards the train station. I can’t believe this. How absolutely humiliating. Ryuk will never let me live this down, and neither will all those students in the classroom. Shit! But halfway across the courtyard, he felt a firm hand on his arm.
“Ryuga-san.” Light stopped and slowly turned around, already knowing whose soft voice had sent a chill up his spine. “I owe you an apology. I don’t have any good explanation other than….” Other than we’re soulmates? What a stupid thing to believe in. But what other explanation is there for how I acted? “...well, I have no excuse.”
L stared at Light’s attractively mussed hair, his rumpled clothes, noticed how Light’s eyes dilated when they looked back at him. I would never have believed it. “Yes, Light-kun does owe me an apology. That was very rude indeed.” The gears were turning fast, trying to figure out how to keep this gorgeous creature close to him now that watching him in class was no longer an option.
Light flushed, moving his gaze to his scuffed shoes and bloodied khakis. “I know. Believe me when I say that was not like me at all.” Light looked up in alarm as he caught L reaching down into his pants. “I didn’t mean--”
“Light-kun ruined my Pocky.” L pulled the smashed snack box from his pants, dangling it from two fingers as crumbs and cookie dust dropped to the grass. “This, I’m afraid, is very serious indeed.” L tried to keep a straight face but a little smile twisted at the corner of his mouth.
“Well...I do love Pocky too.” Light’s shoulders relaxed, the tension fleeing as he saw Ryuga’s tiny smile. He’s not actually angry. Why does that make me happy? “I will reimburse you for it then.” Light swung his backpack around to grab his wallet but stopped when L shook his head. “No?”
“Unnecessary. I have plenty of Pocky back in my limousine.” L motioned to the parked Rolls-Royce in the courtyard drive, feeling satisfied at Light’s surprise that it belonged to him. “But you must answer a question as way of apology.” L tossed the broken box into a nearby garbage can.
L fixed him with a serious stare. “What is Light-kun’s favorite flavor?”
“My favorite flavor?” Light laughed, running a hand through his hair nervously. “Of Pocky?”
Light cocked an eyebrow, finding Ryuga to be oddly charming. “I guess it’s strawberry mousse.”
Light frowned at L’s silence. “What? Did I say something wrong?”
Strawberry? Maybe it is true after all. L pulled his finger from his mouth and made a beeline for the limousine, grabbing Light’s arm as he went to drag him along. “Time to go Light-kun.”
“W-wait! Where are we going Ryuga?” Light saw a group of security guards heading their way from across the courtyard. That old crone must have called campus police on us!
L saw them too, and hurried Light along. “No time to explain, Light-kun. I’ll tell you in the car on the way to Kira HQ.”
Light went rigid and stopped just in front of the limo. His voice was quiet but serious, “....where?” Who is he…
“Ah yes. I am L.” L watched Light’s reaction carefully as Watari opened the car door for them, but saw not a glimmer of anxiety. He’s good. Very good. “And seeing how neither of us likely have a shot of gaining entrance into To-Oh after... that , I suggest you come work with me to catch Kira. I’m aware you are the son of Yagami Soichirou and have assisted in many criminal cases prior to this.” He ducked inside the car, sliding across the leather seat to make room for Light. “Unless you have another better offer lined up? Or care to be interviewed by those guards huffing this way?” He grabbed an undamaged box of strawberry Pocky from his backpack and stuck one in his mouth, holding another out to Light.
My soulmate is L….? A million thoughts cycled through Light’s mind, and he tried to calculate whether he was just lucky, or perhaps L had faked the whole thing. Perhaps he’s my soulmate but I’m not his, is that possible? What if he only acted like that because he thought I was Kira, to trap me, get close to me? Light narrowed his eyes, but tossed his backpack into the car before following L. Either way, I know who he is now, and have to find out what he knows about Kira. I have to stay close to him. He took the proffered Pocky and bit into it, a slight frown on his face as he thought how he’d explain any of this to his parents. “I suppose if you think I could be of some help, I’d be honored to assist with the case.” He’d lost his appetite now and set the half-eaten snack on the car seat.
L peered at him as the car started up and began to move, picking up the Pocky and finishing it off. He’s cautious again, I can see the machinations behind his eyes. He opened a cabinet, “There’s chips too if Light-kun would prefer. I have a taste for salty snacks from time to time.” And this is your preference, isn’t it?
Light looked up with slight interest, “Oh? And what is Ryuga-san’s favorite flavor of chips?”
L reached in the cabinet and held out a bag of chips to Light in pinched fingers. Same as you. “Consomme.”
Light took the bag, opening it and taking out a chip. “You know, if the soulmate urban legend is true, then this whole cycle will repeat itself every 24 hours.” He shrugged nonchalantly, “I mean, if you believe in it, that is.” He bit the chip, noticing now that it was the exact brand he loved the most. Does he like this too?
L took one of Light’s chips and ate it with a loud crunch. “Yes I suppose it would be difficult to work together if we have to fight every 24 hours and then kiss.” Passionately. On the floor. Nak-- “Indeed that might be distracting.” He sighed, staring up at the fluffy clouds through the limo’s sunroof. “Perhaps it is too much to ask, if you are not up for it.”
So does he think it’s real? Light ate another chip, tuning out the faint ‘hyuks’ he heard from atop the car. “We all must make sacrifices sometimes, Ryuga. For a good cause and all.” It wasn’t so bad actually, and maybe I could get close to him, find out what he knows. Light licked the salt off the chip he held, maintaining eye contact with L. Hide in plain sight.
L mumbled something unintelligible and shifted in his crouch, furtively looking at the clock in the dash. Twenty-four hours. “Yes, Light-kun is very sensible.” And every twenty-four hours after that. “We could head off the fighting and...just go straight to the kiss next time.”
The fighting wasn’t so bad either, oddly. We were evenly matched. Light wiped his hand on the car seat and put the empty chip bag in the trash. “Hmmm, but don’t you want to keep your reflexes sharp Ryuga? Also, it’s not impossible we may not notice the time and forget to...head things off.”
Shit, is he flirting with me? Small chance of me not keeping track of the time now. “Hmmm. Yes, that may occasionally occur. In that case, if I happen to kick Light-kun, he will forgive me?” L scooted closer, pressing his thumb to his mouth as he tried to push down his excitement. It’s real, somehow, it really is happening to me.
Light smirked, leaning closer too. “As long as you don’t hold a few punches against me in return.”
No, I promise you I won’t. “However, if we do it again then we won’t have to for another 24 hours.” L grinned, trying his best not to be creepy but an approximation of alluring instead. “Like now for example.”
Light smiled, there was something about L’s clumsy flirtations that were endearing. “This is what the genius mind of L has deduced? And here I assumed that he was so high-minded, only thinking of facts and data and criminals.”
L waggled a finger, “This is for the case, Light-kun. As you said, sometimes great sacrifices must be made to achieve the goal.”
Light’s eyes darted from L’s lips to his eyes and back. He was so close now he was practically breathing the same air as Light, and it felt dangerous, forbidden, primal. Light could smell him, the fresh detergent on his clothes, the strawberry-scented shampoo, the sugar and salt on his breath. The overwhelming urges Light felt before had passed but their chemistry was undeniably apparent. I’m attracted to him. “I think we should wait. See what happens in 24 hours.” Light leaned back, grinning inside at the pout on L’s face. “We can’t just accept this whole soulmate business as truth. As the world’s greatest detective, surely you need facts not intuition and rumor, correct?”
L frowned, leaning back in muted disappointment. He snacked a Pocky sullenly. “Yes, that would be the best course. An experiment then. We’ll wait and see what occurs.” Will I be able to wait that long? “However I have it on good authority that the next time one kiss may not be enough to stave off this...unfortunate bond. It might eventually require...escalation.”
Light gave him a dubious look. “Escalation huh?” Is he just making that up?
“Trust me, this is no more comforting for me than it is for you.” Unlikely. “We shall just have to do our best to operate under such difficult circumstances.” L peeked over at Light to try and gauge his reaction and how uncomfortable he really was about the prospect of kissing L again. It would take all the fun out of it if I thought he hated it, or was only doing it because he had to. “Does Light-kun agree then?”
Light blushed, turning his face away to look down at his watch. Twenty-four hours. “Yes I agree Ryuga. I hope I won’t be more trouble than I’m worth.” Which I almost certainly will be, given who I really am. "I will maintain professionalism, of course."
“Of course.” But can I? L watched the seconds tick away on the bronze clock hands inset into the wood of the car. They were pulling into the underground parking lot of Kira HQ now, and the whole team would be there, requiring an explanation for this newest team member. L would have to think of something to say other than ‘he’s my soulmate’ or ‘I ruined his chances of ever getting into college by grinding on top of him in front of his potential future classmates.’ Or even worse ‘I’m hoping to sleep with my main suspect in the case you’re working on for me.’ No, he’d have to think of something better than that, but now that he saw Light was furtively setting his own watch when he thought L wasn’t looking, he felt that inspiration was sure to strike. "Time to meet the team then. Your father will be there too."
Light pointed to L's shirt, which was spotted with blood from their fight. "Like that?" He looked down at himself now, rubbing his jaw which was starting to swell from where L had kicked him. Maybe we'd better head off the fights after all unless we want to limp around all day. He shrugged off his ruined blazer and stuffed it into his backpack, and smoothed his hair into a semblance of normalcy.
L held his white shirt out, finally taking note of its state. "Yes we should head to my room first so I can change." L took a leap. "I can also show Light-kun which room will be his."
"The others also have their own apartments here due to late nights. And besides, I think it best if Light-kun stayed here under the circumstances. That pesky 24-hour cycle and all."
"I don't know...." Light wasn't sure how his family would react to that development. Fighting my soulmate, dropping out of college, moving into L's crime-fighting tower?
"At least stay for the next 24 hours, and if you want to go back home or not work the case, I will completely understand. Does that sound reasonable?"
Light held L's interested gaze, already knowing for certain that he'd neither be leaving this tower nor the case when that time period was over. He smiled and nodded in agreement, a small but growing part of him was starting to hope that maybe the legend was true after all, and that L hadn't faked it. "It's a deal." Wouldn't that be a kick to the head?