“Faith was really quite easy. One had only to yield. To ask no questions. The more weary, the more weak, she became, the easier it was. Her religion was to her a kind of protective coloring, shielding her from the cruel light of an unbearable reality.” - Nella Larson
Light Yagami is a serious, beautiful, and well-mannered young woman, destined for success. All who know her regard her with awe, from her gushing mother and starry-eyed sister to her proud father and envious schoolmates.
She has carved an image of herself out of life, left such an impression on everyone she meets that the lack of her leaves an alcove. No one can quite bare to hate her, as she never allows anyone to see her look down on them. She covers her mouth when she laughs, speaks softly but clearly, a quiet yet unyielding strength in the set of her shoulders and the acknowledging tilt of her head.
Her condescension, though it is ever present, never quite peeks out from behind the curtain. Perhaps because she is clever enough to disguise it, and perhaps because no one else is clever enough to look - at least, not effectively, not in the only way that counts.
She is what she has made herself to be - the perfect daughter, in every way that it is possible to be so.
Movies where children lament their family’s expectations make no sense to her. It’s so simple, isn’t it? Being exactly what they want, being more. Easy as...well, everything else.
L, on the other hand, is ridiculous, unkempt, rude, and an already world-renowned sleuth. Her persona has been crafted too, of course, but with a mind that knows itself. Impunity ( freedom ) from convention like L’s is to be ( coveted) condemned, if only inwardly, and so that is exactly what Light does, every waking moment.
In the beginning, Light abhors her; for hunting Kira; for calling her evil; for being the only true obstacle hindering her new world; for their polarity, which in itself seems to mock Light’s careful refinement.
It’s almost nonsense, that she should be the one to make Light smile as herself again.
When L calls Light her friend, she’s clearly lying.
Light does not think she’s ever found another woman so disinterested in sentimental drivel as she is, and the camaraderie she finds in that is followed by a strange disappointment.
Senseless, she tells herself, turning her mind back to the world she’s creating, rather than the one she leaves behind.
It may be true that L is the most intelligent woman that Light Yagami has ever met (save herself), but her brilliance is only matched by her obstinance.
Her unshakeable belief that Light is Kira leaves a sick feeling in her chest cavity, one that is most noticeable when they lie in bed together at night. They banter and bicker, but more than than, they converse. L’s voice is low and smooth in her ears; it becomes so familiar that her brain can simulate it perfectly. Occasionally get nightmares make use of this skill.
Slowly, casual touches turn less casual; brushes of hands turns into laced fingers and playful kicking turns into tangled legs. If Light’s heart races when L’s skin passes over hers, or when her breath whispers across Light’s ear, then is it really the fault of either of them?
When Light calls L her friend, she is not lying, and it as much a surprise to L as it is to Light.
L’s fingers are longer than Light’s, paler, bonier, and her her thumb nails are bitten to the quick. Light’s knuckles are less prominent, her nails manicured and painted clear.The difference is stark when they lace their fingers together, and Light lingers on it far too often.
Even now when she’s left the bed behind, her mind lingers there, on the little touches they shared that had become commonplace.
The chain clinks against itself when she washes her face. She opts to use her other hand to brush through her sweat matted hair.
“You had an unpleasant dream,” L states, lanky form leaning against the doorframe. Her hair is so disheveled that Light has the inclination to brush it for her next. “You don’t look like you want to talk about it.”
“Men must bear their sins alone,” Light intones, schooling her features as she brings a brush through her hair once more, creating a cathartic rhythm. “Don’t you agree?”
“Not at all.”
Light pauses and frowns, meeting L’s gaze in the mirror.
“Even if I didn’t,” L’s lips curve up into one of her little grins, “I would remind you that we are not men.”
Light rolls her eyes and crushes the inclination to smile back.
But she cannot, unfortunately, manage to keep her smiles at bay for long.
Somehow, L manages to incite both fury and elation in her. Perhaps they come from the same place, or perhaps L has simply put them into her somehow. She can’t remember a time before L in which emotions filled her so clearly and potently. She can’t remember crying or laughing genuinely since she was a young child, can’t remember allowing her guard to come down enough that she could make a mistake.
While their respective masks don’t quite fall, they do become transparent in the eyes of one another -
- and so, they do.
Mistakes are made, but Light cannot remember a time where she is happier than in the bed they’ve made for themselves to lie in.
Perhaps L feels the same.
Light can think of no other reason why she snatches the notebook away when every fiber of Light goes to reach for it. Anger and relief rush through Light in equal measure, but in the aftermath she is left with a cold and desolate kind of self-knowledge that leaves her bones aching.
The first time they are alone after the helicopter, there is a heavy tension in the air. They are each aware of one another’s knowing and it hangs between them, a tightrope neither of them feels entirely prepared to cross. It builds until they take a step forward almost in tandem.
They collide without fists this time. Their mouths meet and they hold onto one another almost desperately, Light hand’s in L’s long hair. L holds her by the jaw, hands clutching rather than cupping, each of them exhausting themselves in one another.
We don’t have the right to this, do we?
Light pulls back but L keeps her close, keeps her hands on her. Her fingers are almost bruising on Light’s jaw, and Light can't tell if it's desire or something darker.
Light feels the confession trying to claw up her throat. She feels sick. Her ribs seem too small to contain her heart and lungs.
“Yes,” L confirms, saving her from the trouble of confessing. Her forehead comes to rest on Light’s, and the tenderness in that seems undeserved. “You were.”
“I don’t remember - “ Light rakes her fingers through her hair. She bows her head, shoulders hunched as her knees threaten to give way beneath her. “But I don’t have to. It was me.”
L hesitates, nods, and presses c
She brings her hands down her throat and then up again, bringing
her into a standing posture once more, brushing her thumbs over Light’s cheekbones.
“The way I figure it,” L goes on to explain, brushing Light’s overgrown hair back behind her ears. “I have the choice to betray the world, or my only friend.”
She cuts her eyes back at Light, “I expect that you will not make me face this choice again.”
Light’s eyes widen, chest twisting into a hundred knots. To think that this terrible anxiety that had plagued her might be lifted, that L could forgive her and save her against her own better judgement ( better judgement, isn’t that what had started all this?) is enough to make her fall in love all over again. It’s almost nonsense, except that Light Yagami does not deal in such things.
“Do you intend to -” Her eyes sting and her voice breaks. “- bear my sins for me?”
L shoves her hands deeply into her pockets.
“I am not so arrogant to think that is something that I could possibly achieve.”
There are so many, listed so plainly on the pages of the note that L had not allowed her to touch. Light grits her teeth and begins to avert her eyes.
“ Together , though,” L tells her, shrugging casually and looking away, toward the tall windows and the shimmering lights of Tokyo on a clear night. Her hand brushes Light’s, they hesitate, and then their fingers curl around one another gently, as if afraid gripping too hard will startle the other into flight. “I doubt there is any weight we can’t manage.”
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” -Virginia Woolf