[Summary] Lately, Ryuzaki has noticed that Light can't seem to relax. So he decides to help him wind down in a slightly different way to the usual. This one-shot takes place in the painfully short time where Light was completely unaware that he was ever Kira.
This is my first Death Note fic, so I hope you enjoy it. ^_^
Recently, Light couldn't help but notice that a large amount of boxes had been accumulating in his and Ryuzaki's room. The non-descript cardboard boxes had been piling up in their room for almost a week now, and Light's curiosity had peaked. Even though they were chained together from one sunrise to the next, Light had not yet asked Ryuzaki why the boxes were collecting in their previously spacious room; nor had he enquired about the contents. The two of them had done quite an excellent job of ignoring their existence almost completely - focusing their attention on the fruitless Kira investigation. But now, as Light gazed at yet another information packed computer screen, he felt far too distracted to concentrate on the task in hand. What harm could come of asking him anyway? One should always let their curiosity free once in a while.
Turning to Ryuzaki, who was crouching in his usual seemingly uncomfortable position - perching on a plastic spinning chair.
"Ryuzaki?" he began. L's sun neglected face turned to face Light with a slightly bored expression, his thumb poised on his lower lip. "Are the boxes in our room related to the investigation?"
The corners of L's mouth suppressed a twitch. The boy was curious - but of course Light would never ask him outright about anything. Nothing was ever simple with him.
"No." he answered mildly "They are some of my personal affects that I've had sent to me from England."
"From your home?" Light asked quickly. Too quickly - almost certainly without thinking. He instantly regretted it. He knew he could never ask Ryuzaki anything about his past. Knowing that every time he did so, the probability that he was Kira whent up the slightest of percentages.
L smiled at the conflicted look of interest and regret on Light's face before replying coyly: "Something like that."
The two of them sat chained together, in the main room of the Taskforce Headquarters for what seemed like many wasted hours. The silence between them was broken only by the monotonous hum of the computers, that seemed to lull and lead them closer to tiredness. Soon, Light's brain felt as if it were drowning in the thick computer noise, as the numbers swam on the harshly bright screen. Closing his dry overexposed eyes, Light felt a full buzzing beneath his forehead. He was getting weary. However L was still wide awake. Every night he displayed an inhuman relentlessness to sleep, as Light began to wilt quietly beside him. It made him feel like a child; to so diligently try to stay awake, and kid himself that he could manage a few more hours of work - maybe even stay awake longer than Ryuzaki. But he never could, which made him feel smaller still.
"Light?" L's low mundane voice cleanly cut the silence. "Light, you're falling asleep."
Light's eyes snapped open as his mind slurped his last dregs of adrenalin to wake him up. When he looked round he saw that L was already standing at his side, his open ebony eyes looking down on him almost warmly.
"I think it's time we retired to bed, don't you?" he asked tilting is head lazily to one side.
"Yeah, it's getting late." replied Light; his voice wasn't nearly as drowsy as he felt, as he smoothed his furrowed brow even with cool fingertips.
"Alright then," said Ryuzaki absentmindedly, his voice in tune with computer hum as he walked towards the glass stairs, pulling a reluctant and half dead Light behind him. "Come along sleepy head."
Light sneered silently at L's hunched back as it made it's way up the stairs. Sleepy head indeed. How childish. Did he really think of him as a child?
No, of course he didn't.
L was constantly testing him to see if he was Kira. Always looking out for the slightest of clues or indications in his behaviour that would show a different and darker side to him. But maybe that had changed now. Would he really call the man - the boy - he suspected of being Kira sleepy head?
He must still suspect him. Ryuzaki would never unshackle him until he was completely confident that he was not Kira. Every time their chain made the slightest of jangling sounds, Light was reminded of L's distrust in him. And for a reason unbeknownst to him, that hurt deeper than anything else before it. Ryuzaki truly believed that Light was guilty of mass murder, and yet at the same time, he called him a friend. The man was an utter complex. Most of the time this frustrated Light. But other times - other quiet peaceful and empty moments - it saddened him.
Ryuzaki opened the door to his and Light's room to reveal that yet more boxes had been dumped in the large room. A small fort of boxes lined the glass window wall, through which the two of them could see a deep blue cloudless night's sky.
"Ah, that should be the last of them." remarked L, as if talking to himself.
Light said nothing. True, there was a squirming inquisitiveness in his stomach that would not settle, whilst the closed mysterious boxes nagged at him from the other side of the room. But he could restrain himself. With ease he could restrain himself, and not give L the satisfaction of playing into his hands once again. These boxes had to be another test set by Ryuzaki. He could almost smell his guile in the air.
Without bothering to switching the lights on, Ryuzaki walked over to the boxes and crouched down low next to them. Silhouetted against the glare of the city lights several floors beneath them, Ryuzaki looked demon-like; spiky haired and hunched over. With his uneven fingernails, he dug grooves into the masking tape that sealed the cardboard lids, as he ran his fingers up and down the potential opening.
"Aren't you the slightest bit curious as to what's inside?" L asked persuasively, looking up towards Light with such an expression that made his heart coo and quiver.
Light sighed. It was getting far too late for another one of Ryuzaki's mind games. Although
he really was curious. And the wide and cold double bed in the corner, was looking less and less alluring with every breath he took.
The structure of this whole scenario seemed to be yet another plan to test Light and gather more information about Kira. To prove him to be Kira.
"If you want to show me - then show me. If you don't, then don't, and just let me go to sleep." he replied shortly, with the tone of a child who does not wish to play a game.
L looked up at Light to see his arms crossed and his face untrusting. The dimmed lights of the city beneath them lit up his hazel-amber eyes, that seemed to be withholding so much. L thought for a moment, examining his friend's posture, before talking to Light again:
"You look awfully tense." he posed simply. Light inhaled perhaps too quickly and relaxed his arms. "Far too tense to be considering slumber anyway
" continued L before tailing off.
He pinched the corner of the masking tape before ripping it clean from the box and parting the cardboard flaps. Within the box where some plainly ordinary things; a dark wood jewellery box, some worn books, shapeless bails of material cloths or blankets, photo frames. But among these mismatched objects, Light saw something far more interesting; a violin case. He himself had played the violin when he was younger, along with the piano, up until the end of junior high. But he had never thought Ryuzaki to be the musical type.
L swiftly removed the instrument carrier from the box, before closing the lid on his past once more. He unclipped the catches of the case with slick procession, as a renewed fondness played on his lips.
"What are you doing?" asked Light before L could reveal the instrument.
"Sit down." murmured L politely, as he flipped the lid open.
"What are you doing Ryuzaki?" reiterated Light, less patiently than before, as his suspicion fought to eclipse his interest. Withdrawing the violin and it's bow from the case L looked up at Light innocently, as if his intentions where crystal clear.
"I'm going to help you relax." he said smoothly as he rose from the floor and stood up straighter than Light had ever seen him stand. "It's clear to me that you're stressed or wound up about something - whether that something is me, or the Kira case or something else, I don't know. But you've been tense these past few days, anyone can see it. But I'm sure I can sooth you." his voice seemed to trickle and run over Light's bones, coating him inside out with frightening ease. He could always slip under his skin far to easily; it made Light feel weak. Ryuzaki poised the chinrest on his shoulder and held his bow at the ready. The moonlight seeped through the window and around his form, lending him a luminous glow: "It can't hurt to try, can it?"
Ryuzaki held his gaze tightly, with eyes of dark chocolate. Light's arms had already fallen to his sides as his wide eyes sparkled with desire. There was no point denying it. Ryuzaki had just effortlessly dismantled every remaining defence and barrier Light had left. How could he be opened up - made bare - so easily? There was the temptation to blame his weakness on the late hour, but that seemed like a foolish thing to do. It would do him no good to lie, especially to himself. But at the very least, he should try and hide it from Ryuzaki; who was patiently awaiting his response.
"Fine," he groaned, dropping heavily but gracefully onto the bed. "Just
do what you want."
L blinked at the boy for the briefest of moments, slightly surprised at his early submission. He had expected a much longer protest. Light sat slumped forward, his head bowed, as if he refused to look at Ryuzaki or get comfortable. But still there was an air of failure and disappointment to him. (L didn't know what had caused it, but it was there. He had a certain skill for sensing these things.) It seemed, the night held Light a less resilient prisoner after all.
"Alright then." he said softly, a new respect lingering in his voice.
L began to play. The long and whimsical notes filled the room and took over the quiet stillness of the night. Sitting ridged and unmoving in obstinate hostility, Light refused to look up. Refused to look up on Ryuzaki. Refused to fall under his spell.
But he couldn't help but listen. No matter how diligently he tried to close his mind and ears to the sweet music, his soul couldn't help but quiver with delight when he heard it. The sound seemed to surround him and ensnare his senses like incense smoke. Seeking him out and targeting him head on. Slowly but surely he could feel his body and defences winding down as the music seemed to tune him into submission. As easy breath after easy breath circulated Light's lungs, he could feel his muscles relaxing; and indeed - as Ryuzaki had promised - his mind felt soothed.
Light was on the verge of purring when he finally looked up through his disorderly fringe. For once, Ryuzaki's spine was something resembling straight. . His long pale fingers danced over the fingerboard, stepping into numerous complex chords. He drew the bow across the strings smoothly, gently applying pressure as he eked out the beautiful notes.
A full and yellow moon shone its rays down into the room and pressed close to Ryuzaki's form; illuminating him with an almost angelic light, and highlighting the greyness of his skin. Beneath his thoughtful gaze, the redwood violin's varnish was set ablaze, as its fine colouring shone in the meagre glow of the city lights several floors below. Ryuzaki dipped his head forwards and let his thick dark hair obscure his face as the notes became more quick and complicated. Though the pace had quickened, the notes had become heavier with emotion . They were mournful, sorrowful, almost apologetic.
Light sat in hypnotized silence, soaking the music up into his psyche. Why was he doing this? It was so out of the blue it almost felt like a premeditated attack. But, if this was an attack, it had to be the softest, and most pleasant, attack Light had ever been subjected to. He felt no desire to fight it. The fight and aggression had been drained from his veins - and yet he yearned to feel it pulsing through him again. This lack of resilience and conflict, filled instead with calm and trusting submission, felt disgusting. Light didn't know why - but the thought of being at peace with Ryuzaki felt vile. More so, it felt like losing or surrendering. And yet, at the same time, the thought was wonderful, and filled with blissful warmth.
Looking at Ryuzaki confused him too much. It was so frustrating to be so easily perplexed - the thought of sorting and resolving his misplaced emotions was almost daunting. True, he was captivated by the man. He was beautiful. As he gazed upon him, Light was on the verge of gawping. Ryuzaki's posture was perfect, almost formal, as he shaped and commanded the music. His casual clothes hung loose from his skinny deprived-looking body. His arms moving mechanically, as behind his deep racoon-like eyes his mind relayed the hours of practise he had spent with his instrument. There was no denying it, he could feel it deep inside. Deep within the neglected cell of his heart, Light could feel Ryuzaki's beauty unlocking a weaker side to him. Ryuzaki was neither a help nor an ally, for he made him weak. Whilst he was with Ryuzaki, he was weakness; and yet, without him, he felt he would be weaker still.
Light wouldn't allow himself to think like that. This late hour always brought with it such thoughts. Such exaggerations. Such lies. They never failed to creep through his mind, just as he was drifting off to sleep. In the dark, comfortable and empty late hours, his repressed thoughts enjoyed vexing him. They'd convince him that he was Kira. That he was truly evil. And also, more worryingly, that he loved L.
Light's torso toppled backward and onto the bed, as if his head were so heavy with thought he could no longer keep it upright. Flattening his cold palms and fingers to his overly warm face, Light attempted to clear his mind of the ever perplexing Ryuzaki - but it was impossible. The air was dense with his music as every thought screamed Light's name. Silence. Why could Light never have silence? Always the thoughts in his brain overlapped, wobbled, distorted, spoke in his own voice. His own voice that would not be quiet for one moment; constantly speaking of the rotting world around him, and how powerless he was, as he was now, to fix it. How could he think of fixing the world now, when he couldn't even fix himself? He could never confide in anyone. Never empty his head of exes guilt and paranoia. Why was his head so, so loud?
Suddenly, silence. The music evaporated clean from the air, leaving it pure and hollow.
Beneath him, Light felt the mattress give way as extra weight was placed on the bed. Light swiftly withdrew his hands from his face to see that Ryuzaki had climbed onto the bed with him. Placing his hand next to Light's head, L leaned forward so that his was face was directly above Light's. He wore an expression of true and honest concern as he asked:
"Light?" L's voice drizzled down Light's spine, as he attempted to stop himself from drowning in the depths of Ryuzaki's eyes. "What's wrong? Why do you look so, strained?"
L's voice was careful and wary, as his form cast a shadow over Light, who lay in stammer-less silence. Only his breathing filled the stagnant air as he gathered his thoughts. His amber-hazel eyes were wide. Too wide; as if he felt scared or threatened.
L leaned in closer, causing Light to shiver; concern deepened in the centre of his brow as he asked again, quiet and low: "Light?"
Light instantly backed up the bed and away from Ryuzaki; the chain following him across the even sheets in a snakelike fashion. He had rapidly become all too aware of every bone and muscle in his bony, and the little control he had over them.
"Why did you do that?" he asked L sceptically.
"What?" retorted L, looking vexed.
"Why did you play the violin just now? Why did you have all this stuff brought here from the UK? Why are you doing all of this?" asked Light defensively, almost angrily, as if he felt he'd been tricked.
"I'm afraid I don't know what you mean." replied L, keeping calm. "I was only trying to help."
"No." insisted Light, the lights of his eyes shook with stress "This is another one of you tests. You're trying to see if I'm Kira. That's all you ever do."
When Light made these kinds of assumptions about L's behaviour, they were usually correct, but not this time. A small drop of guilt ran down L's insides, leafing a cold and uncomfortable sensation behind it. Had his continual tests and unbending distrust really affected the boy this much? The one person he had ever considered to be a friend, was constantly wary, constantly on edge, because of him. That was no way to treat a friend. No way to make a friend feel.
Ryuzaki dropped his gaze: "I'm sorry. I assure you, I only wanted to help you." At the remorse in L's voice, Light's guard dropped again. "I wish that you could understand
He leaned slightly closer to his raven haired friend and attempted to study his expression.
"Understand what?" he asked pressingly.
L lifted his face into the moonlight one more. The bags under his eyes looked heavier than before. "That I don't want to see you as Kira."
Light's breath caught in his throat. The honesty in his voice was unmistakeable. Silence shrouded the two of them.
"If this situation plays out badly, and it turns out that you are in fact Kira," L paused as he carefully searched for the right and sincere words in his mind. "It would be truly soul-destroying. I don't think I could bear it."
L's words pierced and burnt spreading holes in Light's coveted silence. He wasn't lying; the shadows of hurt playing on his face proved this. At that precise moment, Light felt compelled to rush out into the night, to stop and catch Kira, as soon as possible. Not only to bring him to justice, but to lift the copious amount of sorrow from upon Ryuzaki's shoulders. To ease his friend as he had done him. But he couldn't. Not Now. Not even that soon. All he could do was give L his words. Yet more useless words.
"Ryuzaki, I swear to you, I am not Kira." Light's voice sounded desperate, almost pleading. He leaned in closer still; trying to penetrate the low gaze of his friend, he pressed his stomach close to the mattress. "He's just not me. I could never - I would never - kill anyone. You sound as if, you're convinced I'm him. I could never
" Light paused, realising that his words were falling faster than he had intended them to. He swallowed, pacing himself:
"I could never hurt you."
Light hadn't realised it. He couldn't have realised it - but he had successfully stunned L. The air within his lungs grew stiff, as his mind whirled round, chasing its own tail, as he tried to formulate a response. The boy really did care. He was never this open.
Light stared up at him, his heart frozen, waiting for Ryuzaki to say something. L smiled warmly down on him. Tenderly, he moved a hand to Light's face and stroked a few stray hairs from his eyes.
"You're very kind, Light Yagami." shame weighed on his features as he said this, not allowing him to look completely happy. "I'm sorry, I've caused you so much stress."
Light sat up again, a truly pleasant feeling blooming within his chest. He shut his eyes for a moment and said: "It's alright. I understand now." Acceptance and sincere forgiveness ran through his words.
"Good." said Ryuzaki casually, as he moved over to his side of the bed and slid beneath the covers. "Tonight, let's forget about Kira; that way you might get some rest."
"Sounds good." agreed Light amiably. Slowly, he made his way into bed, with the grace of a drowsy domesticated animal. Ryuzaki lay with his back to him, for hours. The stars and clouds moved across the sky as the moon slid lower towards the horizon, before the sky began to blush pink with the impending day. For these many somnolent hours Light's repressed thoughts ran riot in his newly relaxed mind. He paid them little, if not no attention. He concentrated on one thought, and on one thought only: Should he hold L as he slept?
Of course he could.
Would he mind?
But, still, something resonated deep within him. Something old. And that something told him that holding Ryuzaki was the wrong thing to do.
Light turned over, and away from L. He could restrain himself. With ease, he could restrain himself.
A/N Any feed back, bad or good, will be gobbled up so quickly I'll get hiccups. Thanks so much for reading ^_^