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L likes: crisp white sheets; surprises; brightly coloured jellies encrusted with glittering crystals of sugar; silence; sweet tea; Beethoven's Mass in C Minor; Cadbury's creme eggs; celebrity gossip; lists, molten chocolate cake with hot caramel sauce and proper vanilla ice cream; cities; Watari; riding pillion on motorbikes; origami; crème brulee; cute pop idols; challenges.

L dislikes: socks; uniforms; spinach; driving; having to carry heavy objects; large, exuberant dogs with muddy paws; people who talk in the cinema; pan pipe renditions of popular hits; getting rained on; durian; cabbage; criminals.

He has a very strong feeling that Light Yagami – who is Kira, he is almost certain – belongs on the second list too. But he doesn't really want to put Light there, even though it's logical, because Light Yagami is the most interesting person he has met in years. L genuinely enjoyed their tennis match, and he loves the fact that Light Yagami does not need things explaining to him step by step, the way that almost every other person on the planet, regrettably, does. He finds Light's very ordinariness fascinating even as he mistrusts it all – his carefully ironed shirts, his tidy hair, his quiet dates, his collection of vanilla pornography. His energy. His brilliance. His contradictions. L likes having Light Yagami around. He really hopes, for once, that his own instincts are mistaken, and that the criminal is someone else altogether. He feels almost guilty about it, but he wants to put Light on the list of things he likes, whether he ought to or not.

And Kira – who is Light Yagami, L is almost certain – is the most challenging opponent he has faced in, well, ever. And L really does relish challenges at least as much as he dislikes criminals, so a small voice in the back of his head keeps whispering that possibly, just possibly, Kira belongs on the first list too, quite regardless of whether or not he is a mass murderer. Quite regardless of whether or not he is currently lying in bed at L's side.

Although he would never mention this to Watari, of course. The old man had always been quite firm about right and wrong when L was growing up, and by and large L agreed with him. Still, his life has never been quite as exhilarating as it is right now, and it would be disingenuous to pretend that Kira is not a very large part of that exhilaration. Finally, L has found himself a worthy opponent.

Beside him, Light Yagami shifts in the darkness, and the chain rattles under the covers. L, who has been running idle fingers through the crow-black chaos of his hair and wishing rather wistfully for a lollipop, freezes.

It is, he considers, entirely possible that Light-Kun is only feigning sleep; but on the whole, L assigns this a probability of eight percent at the most. There would be little advantage to be gained from such a pretense, and as far as L can see Light is still following much the same sleeping pattern that he favoured during the fifty days of imprisonment, and during the time he was under surveillance at home.

L stays quite still while he slowly counts prime numbers in his head. Two elephants, three elephants, five elephants, seven elephants, eleven elephants, thirteen elephants, seventeen elephants...by the time he reaches nine hundred and ninety one elephants, he is sure that Light-Kun is fast asleep once more.

L doesn't need much sleep himself. Before he handcuffed himself to his chief suspect, he would usually stay awake until 3 or 4am, making links and seeing patterns as he chased lines of thought across the Internet, or busying himself with building the Eiffel Tower from chocolate- dipped Poky sticks while he turned over ideas in his mind. He would usually catch four hours' sleep before breakfast, but quite often he would fall asleep in the chair. Still, L is aware that this is not normal behaviour, and he is trying to make Light-Kun's life feel normal again – or at least normal-ish.

He is not very good at being considerate about others – Watari has mentioned this, a time or two – but he does try when it occurs to him. And in this instance, it has occurred to him, and so he makes sure that they retire at a decent hour whenever possible.

Light shifts again and this time he makes a small, stifled sound that might almost be a word. L moves a little closer, craning his head, suddenly hopeful: Light Yagami has shown absolutely no tendency to talk in his sleep so far, but L is not entirely without hope that this might yet change. Granted, it's not the sort of evidence that would hold up in court – but L isn't really all that interested in courtrooms. He wants to know, and a guilty mutter of “I am Kira” would certainly help validate his suspicions...

Light's breathing is growing heavier and less even, but it still takes several uncertain moments before the world's greatest detective realises that his bed partner is not on the brink of betraying himself. Or at least, not on the brink of betraying any homicidal tendencies.

L rolls away as far as he can go without actually falling off the bed. His face feels hot, and he isn't sure whether he is more embarrassed to be witness to a wet dream, or to have taken so long to identify it for what it clearly is. And, after all, he had considered this possibility before slapping the handcuffs on Light's wrist (his wrist of his left hand. The one that is presently quiescent, fingers loosely curled a few inches from L's own hand, while Light's right hand is busy elsewhere...), because Light Yagami is a healthy young man who has spent at least fifty days not relieving himself in this fashion, and has been reunited with a beautiful and adoring girlfriend with whom he cannot spend any time in private. And L had judged the awkwardness an unavoidable side effect of his security measure. And it is, and he is still entirely in favour of the handcuffs as a necessary security measure, but – well. Yes. It had been easier when everything was abstract.

He is almost certain that Light is asleep right now. He doesn't think that Light would appreciate the loss of face involved in being overheard doing this, and so he is almost certain that Light is not conscious. Light Yagami does not much like letting his guard down in public. But on the other hand, this could be some kind of trick, some kind of ploy to disarm L, or to shame L into suggesting they take off the handcuffs.

Light Yagami really is the single most fascinating and unpredictable person L has ever met. His mind is positively labyrinthine. (Unless it isn't, of course. Unless all this is in L's head, and Light Yagami is not Kira at all, but just an exceptionally intelligent and blameless young man.)

L swallows. He is experiencing a perfectly healthy and entirely predictable physiological reaction, and it is most inconvenient. He bites his knuckles and tries to concentrate upon unerotic things, such as spinach, and cold showers, and the Buddha, and Tony Blair. Unfortunately, he has always excelled at multi-tasking, and apparently his brain is perfectly capable of diverting energy to contemplate such worthy subjects as spinach, cold showers, the Buddha and Tony Blair, whilst still having plenty of attention left over to devote to such unhelpful topics as the warm, hard pressure of a steel cuff around his right wrist, caramel sauce licked from a collarbone, a smudge of cream on the corner of a half-open mouth...

A few feet away, Light Yagami moans something that sounds very much indeed like “-uzaki!” in a ragged tone of quite startling filthiness, and the sound sends a jolt through L's entire body.

“ME?” exclaims L, much too loudly, and then he closes his mouth with an audible snap, and waits to see what will happen next.

For all the sound and movement he is currently making, Light Yagami could be carved out of marble. Very definitely not asleep now, L thinks, and he considers commenting upon the situation – which is, after all, perfectly normal – but decides against it. Either Light-Kun has just woken up, and is presently very embarrassed indeed, or else Light-Kun was never asleep in the first place, and is playing some other game entirely.

Strangely, neither of these possibilities is doing anything to damp down his own inconvenient ardour. Under normal circumstances he could simply alleviate the situation in the traditional manner, but there is no way on earth that he will be doing anything of the kind with Light Yagami lying next to him in bed, wide awake and listening to his every move.

Meditation, L concludes, is the best way to deal with this unfortunate situation. Meditation followed by a deep, dreamless sleep. He closes his eyes and shifts his concentration inwards, letting the temporary stupidity of his body fade from his awareness moment by moment.

* * *

...Oh. Well. This is inconvenient.

This is not the first time that L has woken up snuggled into Light Yagami like a kid with a favourite toy, but it definitely the most embarrassing such occasion. He doesn't know quite what it was that woke him, but he has a rather horrible suspicion it may have been a sound from Light. Of course, establishing the validity of that hypothesis would involve admitting that he is awake, which would involve admitting that he knows that not only are the fingers of his right hand entwined with the fingers of Light Yagami's left hand, but that his erection is presently jammed into Light's hip in a depressingly unmistakable fashion. And that, moreover, he knows that his own left hand is presently resting in Light's lap. Or rather, on Light's lap. Or rather...no, L really thinks that this is a good time to play dead. Or at least, asleep, and thus blameless. So he stays quite still, and keeps his eyes squeezed shut, and hopes that this is all some kind of ghastly nightmare brought on by too much sugar. (Not that he believes a person can have too much sugar, but Watari has often opined that this is possible, and muttered about late-onset diabetes, and Near had the nerve to give him 'Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution' for Christmas last year, accompanied by a solemn talk about carbohydrate addiction. Mello, on the other hand, had given him a very large box of Thornton's continental chocolates, which suggested to L that Mello was clearly the brighter of his two possible successors. Still, perhaps he is finally paying the price for all this insulin, and this is some sort of sugar-shock-induced hallucination.)

But no, he is definitely awake, and definitely plastered all over Light Yagami like a second skin, frozen in place, doing his damnedest to feign sleep.

Plausible deniability, thinks L, and stays very still.

(And even now, he has no intention of removing the handcuffs in the morning. Because he is still almost certain that Light Yagami is Kira, and a little embarrassment is nothing compared to that.)

“Ryuzaki,” says Light Yagami after a very long moment, his breath puffing into L's hair and his voice shaking with something that could be either lust or amusement, “I may not be Kira, but if you don't finish what you've just started, I will kill you with my bare hands.”

L swallows, but keeps his eyes closed. He hears Light snort, and a moment later Light Yagami has flipped him onto his back, pinned both his hands to the pillow beside his head, and is kissing him like it's some kind of Olympic sport.

L reflects that this is extremely unprofessional of him, and that Watari would disapprove, and also that this may very well be some kind of trap, some elliptical chess move of Light Yagami's with implications that he hasn't yet understood, because surely, surely Light is Kira – but at the same moment he is parting his lips and letting Light's warm tongue into his mouth, and parting his thighs to let Light slide one leg in between his own, and, oh, oh, it does feel good. Better than good. Better than a hot fudge sundae.

“What are you doing?” L asks, when they pause for breath, and Light gives a ragged laugh and bites his chin quite hard.

“Can't you work it out with your masterly detective skills, Ryuzaki? Do I need to draw you a diagram?” He punctuates his words with a thrust of his hips, and L hates the fact that his intelligence seems to drop in direct proportion to how much his libido rises, because, dear heavens, it does feel good, and it is terribly tempting to switch his brain off and just go along for the ride. But he has never been very good at switching his brain off.

“That's – oh! - that's not what I mean. You know that's not what I mean.” He twists away, trying to make a little space between them, trying to think more clearly, but Light follows him, pressing up against him, and the steel links of the chain clatter as they move. “Why are you – what are you trying to gain here, Light-Kun?”

Light kisses him again, and there is nothing tender about it at all, nothing friendly or considerate. This is the kind of kiss that stakes a claim, plants a flag and dares anyone to object. It's overwhelming, and it strikes L that if Misa Amane could see them now she would have all his sweets laced with arsenic within the hour. And he wouldn't have the heart to blame her for it either. “You started it,” says Light, when L has almost forgotten his own question. Light drops fierce kisses down L's throat and carries on lower, biting through the thin cotton of L's pyjama top and making him shudder. “What were you trying to gain?” There is a ripple of wild laughter in his voice, something very unlike the tightly controlled University student L has come to know.

“I was asleep. I'm – ah, that's – oh!” And he doesn't want to stop, because it does feel wonderful and he has never been very good at putting down a packet of cookies until he's finished every last one... but at the same time he absolutely despises the way that this is blurring his mind. L draws an uneven breath and tries again. “I'm sorry, I accept that this is my fault, but I don't understand what we're doing here.”

“Then you really do need to get out more often, Ryuzaki. L.” Light's voice drops on the last syllable, and something about it sends another shudder from the crown of L's head right down to his toes.

“Is it you?” he gasps out, feeling Light's teeth grazing over his nipple. “Are you Kira?” Light bites down a little too hard, and L lets out a moan that is almost a yell. “Are you?”

“What do you want to hear, Ryuzaki? Which would be worse: yes, or no?” And oh, dear, Light Yagami does know him far too well. Light's hand skates down over his chest and slides between them, slipping quickly inside the waistband of L's pyjamas and dipping down lower. L can feel himself coming apart at the seams. This is too much, all of it at once, and Light's hands are far too sure on his body, and he can barely think now, can't reason... “You want the truth?”

“Yes!” That's exactly what he wants, what he's always searching for. Just that. Truth. The way the pieces fit together.

Light's hand moves more quickly as he leans forward, and his lips brushes the shell of L's ear. “I don't remember any of it. And surely I would remember, if I did these things? I should know, deep down, shouldn't I? And I don't. But...but I think that if I had this godlike power – yes. This is what I'd do. I'd use it to change the world. So – perhaps I am.” He's coming now, can't help it, only half hearing Light's whispered words. “Perhaps it was me that killed Lind L Tailor. That tried to kill you, L.” White-out. Gone. As L hangs there in the shocked, sticky space where he barely knows his own name and waits for the world to reassemble itself around him, he hears Light Yagami's voice again, and this time it is barely a whisper, torn and lost and desperate. “Perhaps I've kept it secret even from myself, somehow. I just. Don't. Know.”

And L, who is gradually remembering his own name (which is not Ryuzaki, nor Lind L Tailor), believes him. And believes also that Light Yagami is Kira, and that he has somehow kept it secret even from himself. Because if anyone could manage such a magnificent trick, it is surely Kira.

L is fairly sure that this should feel terrible, rather than thrilling, but his whole body is buzzing, and he is loose-limbed and pliable, and he can admit, just at this moment, that both Light Yagami and Kira are on the list of things that L likes, no matter whether or not they should be. Right up at the top.

“Turn over.”

Light's voice is rough and urgent. It takes L a moment to understand, still stupid with sex as he is, and then with understanding comes a sudden spike of excitement. And a little surge of dread. “I've never,” he says, awkwardly, but Light is already tugging him into place, and L is letting him.

Light.

Kira.

L closes his eyes. His face is pressing into his pillow and his right hand, his bound hand, is being tugged firmly up to his left shoulder. This is going to happen, and he is mildly appalled to know that he wants it to happen. But...

“Lotion,” he says firmly, his voice a little muffled by the pillow. He hasn't done this before, it's true, but he is familiar with the concept, and he really doesn't relish the thought of blood. “In the drawer. Please.” It is almost as if this is happening to someone else. And it crosses his mind a moment later that what he really should be worrying about is condoms. Definitely. Because he isn't an idiot.

Arguably, though, letting oneself be fucked by Kira is the very definition of unsafe sex, regardless of whether or not one uses condoms. And L knows for a fact that neither of them has any condoms. And yet it looks like this is going to happen anyway.

At least, he thinks, with fatalistic hilarity, he can't get pregnant. And if he manages to survive the Kira case (and the possible wrath of Misa Misa) long enough for concerns of HIV to become an issue (which, he is perfectly sure, they are not), then he will count himself lucky.

There is some scuffling as Light reaches the drawer and extracts the lotion, and then returns to drag L's pyjama bottoms right off, and then to straddle L's thighs.

“Have you done this before?” asks L, trying to keep his tone conversational rather than nervous, then he jumps as Light's hand slides over his backside.

“No,” says Light. There is a little pause, while Light slops really rather a lot of lotion onto L's skin and begins to draw messy circles in it with his fingers. A moment later he adds, in a darker voice: “Or if I have, I don't remember it.” L shudders, suddenly conscious of how very lethally stupid this is in a whole array of different ways, and yet on the verge of beginning to get hard all over again. Which definitely doesn't say anything good about his psyche.

Light slides one slick finger inside L's body with surprising ease. The second goes in with more difficulty, and the third, a moment later, makes him gasp and buck, trying reflexively to escape into the mattress.

“Are you going to stop me?” Light whispers, and L is scrabbling to understand the question as the tangled fingers slide inside him, deep then shallow. “If I'm Kira. If it's me. Will you?”

“I...” gasps L, losing himself again as his cock, quite astonishingly, twitches and hardens under him and Light's fingers push deep inside. “If you're – I – I.”

“Are you going to find the evidence, Ryuzaki? L? Are you going to win?”

He can feel Light's erection sliding against his thigh, and it feels a fair bit bigger than the three fingers twined and thrusting inside him. L groans. “Yes. No. I don't – yes. Oh!” And then they are gone, slid right out, and it is both a relief and a disappointment. But of course that was just the warm up act. That was just – oh! “Christ!” There he is, and, yes, bigger. And it hurts. But not as much as he'd expected. He slides his left hand down and wraps his fingers around his own erection. It's the wrong hand, but it will do.

“Are you going to defeat Kira, L? Can you do it?”

“Yes. Yes. Yes,” gasps L, but the truth is that he has no idea. And he isn't even sure whether he wants to just now. And then Light Yagami – Kira – pushes deep enough inside that for one astonished moment L almost forgets how to speak. Prostate, he thinks, a moment later, still flailing. It's just – it's a perfectly normal – it's just biology, and he shouldn't – but, oh, this is – this is too much. He'd had no idea. Light is pounding into him now, biting his shoulder, fingers laced with his as the chain clatters rhythmically between them, and Light Yagami sounds desperate, almost agonized.

“Stop me,” he snarls or sobs, his fingers digging into L's skin hard enough that there will be bruises in the morning – bruises and bite marks that the long-sleeved t-shirt will have to hide. “Go on. Just try.”

“Yes,” says L, but he could mean anything, anything at all. Yes, more, Yes, harder, Yes, you are Kira, Yes, I'll stop you, Yes, take me, Yes, Yes, Yes. It's all blurring together, all meaningless.

“You can't!” gasps Light, and L doesn't know whether that is shock or triumph in Light's voice, doesn't care, because he's on the edge of coming again himself. “You can't stop me. I'll win. Kira will win.” And that's it. L's gone, and an instant later he feels Light Yagami coming inside him.

Afterwards, of course, everything is awkward. L is beginning to ache in a number of unusual places, and he is thoroughly sticky and disgusting and wants to be able to shower himself on the inside as well as the out, and then change into some new pyjamas. And possibly change the sheets. And if they weren't cuffed together he would get up to go and shower, and maybe when he got back Light would be asleep and they could both pretend this didn't happen, both pretend they didn't say or hear the things that were heard and said. But it's too late for that.

They both stare up at the shadowed ceiling, trying to avoid the wet patch and the elephant that is now in the middle of the room. L winces slightly, and wonders whether he will be able to sit properly in the morning, or if his gait will give him away. “I thought you liked girls,” he says, surprising himself.

“I do,” says Light, and he sounds almost defensive.

L digests this for a little while. “The evidence suggests that this may not be entirely true,” he says. “Misa Misa is clearly head over heels in love with you, and yet you consistently...”

“Ryuzaki,” says Light, and his voice is pitched low enough for a threat or a promise. “I think this would be a good time for you to shut up.”

L bites his lip, and shuts up. He is genuinely surprised when, a few moments later, he feels Light crawling closer on the bed. There is some clattering and a difficult moment that seems to involve too many elbows, and then L is on his side with Light spooning up behind him and Light's left arm slung across his chest.

They fall asleep like that, tired and sticky, with Light's face pressed into the nape of L's neck, and their fingers laced together - and in the morning, L will not be sure whether he really heard Light whisper “Stop me” again as they both drifted off to sleep, or whether it was just a dream.

FINIS