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We aren't Romeo and Juliet

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With the words 'Today class, we will be starting Romeo and Juliet' the Sensai lost Light Yagami's interest completely, not that she had much of it to begin with.

Light hated that he had to study English Literature. If it wasn't for the extra credit and how laughably easy it was he wouldn't even have bothered. He hated English class for several reasons: Firstly, The Sensei was an idiot who constantly mispronounced her words. Secondly, He wanted to be a detective and enter the police force. Picking over flowery literature, therefore, would *not* benefit his chosen career path and so was an epic waste of time. And thirdly, and most importantly, *He* was in his English class.

'Urgh, Lawliet' Light flicked his eyes over to the aforementioned *He*

Lawliet was his classmate and someone Light Yagami had decided was his rival and his nemesis and his…

'No. I'm not even going to think it' Light crossed his arms, relying on his stubborn nature to save him from going down that particular rabbit hole. 'He is a fucking weirdo jerk!'

L Lawliet sat at the back of the class, two desks to his left. L Lawliet rarely spoke in class but when he did he captured everyone's attention instantly. L Lawliet had black hair and gray eyes and half the girls were 'in looooove' with his pale skin and his 'Kawaii Britishness', whatever the hell *that* even was!

Light had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the guy. He hated the fact that because Lawliet *was* English born and bred he was top of the class. He hated the fact Lawliet always seemed to be surrounded by an army of adoring fans. He hated the fact Lawliet blanked him but would eat lunch and study with his fan club while never even looking his way (not that he *wanted* him to, but still…)

And most of all, he hated the fact that Lawliet had been, since the beginning of term, his sole wank inspiration. He was crushing on the black haired weirdo and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He'd tried thinking about other people. It didn't work. He'd tried not looking at Lawliet but that hadn't worked either. It was like he just couldnt help himself! For some unknown reason he was fixated on the pale, black haired British Kid.

When Lawliet had first transferred to his school on a foriegn exchange programme it had garnered a lot of excitement amongst his peers. Hell, even Light had to admit he had been mildly curious in the soft spoken, wide-eyed foreigner. He'd instantly picked up on how intelligent he was and had even entertained the notion that they might be friends.

Light detested stupid people and refused to associate with them. He only had a small circle of friends, those he deemed worthy enough to bother with and had been hoping the British kid might join his 'above average intelligence clique'. He'd been hopeful he could make friends with another like minded individual.

Those hopes were dashed when L started dating the school bimbo, Misa Amane.

'Clearly not that intelligent if you've decided to go for *that*' Light had thought haughtily and maintained his distance from L ever since. He'd heard through the grapevine that L felt snubbed by him and felt bad about it, but the dye was cast. L ignored him from that point onwards.

The relationship, didn't last long anyway, L told Misa he just wasn't that into her a month into dating her and after a few weeks of temper tantrums and tears Misa had accepted her lot and moved on to someone else. Curiously though, L had remained single ever since and even remained friends with the girl.

There were rumors going round that he was dating an older *guy* (and oh, how Light's heart pounded at hearing L liked guys too) and that was why he wasn't interested in anyone at school. Light had no idea if it was true, but he supposed there might be some merit to it since L didn't seem interested in anyone else, despite the frequent and numerous offers he received.

"Mr Yagami!"

Light's eyes widened as he realized the entire class was twisted in their seats and looking at him. Even *L* was looking at him. Unlike the others, he seemed more amused than anything.

"Yes?" Light asked, sitting back in his chair and giving the Sensai a blank stare of acknowledgement.

"I asked you a question, Yagami-San, and you have not only ignored it but spent the last two minutes staring into space. Are you unwell?"

Titters erupted from the students, not that Light cared. He noticed L wasn't laughing and he wasn't sure how that made him feel. Why wasn't L laughing at him too?

"Well" Light drawled, closing his eyes and re-folding his arms across his chest, "I was *thinking* Sensai, and I'm afraid I didn't even hear your question. Would you mind repeating it?"

More laughter. Light felt irritated by the sound of it. He wasn't here to be the class clown and he wasn't even trying to be funny. What the hell was wrong with these bunch of idiots?

"I asked if you'd found a partner to work on your report with?" The teacher said, her patience wearing thin. Lawliet and Yagami were her top students and yet both had the same thing in common: they hardly listened to her!

"No" Light shrugged, "I told you, I was thinking so therefore I wasn't listening"

"...." The teacher resisted the urge to bury her head in her hands. An idea hit her and she smiled. Well. Perhaps she would teach her two intelligent but *arrogant* students the merits of working with others and actually listening to other people. "Not a problem, Yagami-San, you will be partnered with Lawliet-San"

L shot him a disgruntled look before turning his attention back to the Sensai. "But I wanted to work with Mello!"

"Well, welcome to life, Kid, we don't always get what we want" Kaho Atsumi mumbled under her breath.

L caught it and grinned at her. He dipped his head in a 'fair enough' gesture and shrugged his shoulders. "Okay. I have no real objection to working with Yagami-San, if that is what you think is best, Kaho-Sensai"

'He said my name! He- Oh my god, SHUT UP brain!' Light sat up straighter and turned in his chair to glance at L. He dipped his head in agreement, even though he was actually filled with nervousness and *dread* at having to work so closely and exclusively with his… rival for the rest of the term. L smiled at him blandly before he returned to passing notes with Matt and Mello.

It was going to be a LONG six weeks!

******************

L skipped the last class of the day (Maths) and met Matt, Mello, Near and Misa behind the bikeshed as he usually did on a Friday afternoon. He wasn't in a great mood. He felt perturbed by being partnered with Light Yagami. It wasn't that he didn't like the guy, it was just he couldn't help but feel a bit threatened by him. Light was *always* staring at him and Light was easily capable of swiping his 'smartest kid in the class' title if he wasn't careful. Every semester was a battle to see who would come out on top. The semester just gone had been a victory to Light. He'd scored 1% more than L had on the exams. The semester before that, L had been the victor. It just seemed like they were always eyeball to eyeball, even if they didn't speak to each other. L felt like they were circling each other and he had no idea *why* he hated not knowing the answer to something and had wanted to speak to Light for *weeks* now. It seemed despite his frequent staring Light had no intentions of speaking to him though.

Which was a shame, in L's opinion. He would have liked to have been Yagami's friend. He'd tried to befriend him soon after he'd arrived but had found himself brushed off. He didn't handle rejection very well and had made a point of ignoring Yagami ever since, mainly out of pique.

'It's so stupid. I'm 17 and I'm spending half of my waking hours thinking about Yagami. I really need to think about him less' L chided himself as he slouched over to his group of friends and sat down on the grass.

"What's got into you, Hon?" Mello, self proclaimed 'Queen of To'oh High', asked as he resumed primping his hair.

"Urgh, I don't know. Just feel like crap" L mumbled.

He liked his friends because he could actually *talk* to these people. He would speak to others, of course, but that was more out of a desire to not hurt their feelings and to not be viewed simply as 'the foreign kid'

Why half the school seemed to idolize him he had no idea. He certainly didn't encourage it either! His reputation of being the most popular boy in school was utterly absurd to him, not to mention undeserved. Perhaps he would start talking to people less and just stick to his small group of actual friends? Maybe the love letters and gossip would stop then...

"Why, Babe?" Misa asked, all pouty lips and fluttering eyelashes. L tried not to grimace at her. He liked Misa, he really did, but he really wished she would stop flirting with him! She was a beautiful girl but there was just no chemistry between them. She was all looks and no brains and that was a deal breaker for L. They'd dated for a few weeks but L knew they just wasn't compatible and it was something of a rebound fling anyway. He'd broken things off gently. Misa has screamed and cried. He'd stood firm and soon enough the whole sorry mistake had blown over. They were friends now, which was something L appreciated, even if they didn't have much in common. 'She's not like Yagami. He has looks *and* brains. If only he wasn't such a rude jerk!' L could have slapped himself for allowing that thought to even happen. He was trying to get over his stupid crush on Yagami, dammit! It always made him feel like shit. He *had* a boyfriend! He was obviously the shittiest person in the world to be even thinking stuff like that about Light in the first place!

"I don't know" L repeated sullenly.

"It's because you're partnered with Yagami for English Lit, isn't it?" Ever perceptive Nate River, aka Near, said, his sharp gray gaze fixed on L.

'God fucking dammit, Near!' L thought. There was no hiding from Near, he seemed to just be able to look at someone and instantly know what they were thinking and feeling. 'No wonder you want to become a psychologist' L thought as he managed a small smile.

"Yes, I guess that is it" L drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. "I wanted to be his friend but he rejected me. I know that sounds utterly ridiculous, but stuff like that affects me. Now we have this whole rivalry thing going on, even though we don't talk to each other and… I suppose he just makes me feel a bit on edge"

Matt and Near shared a knowing look. Right from the very first term of school they had cottoned on to the muted attraction between L and Light. They could deny it all they wanted, and ignore each other all they wanted, but it was a fact that Light and L seemed to gravitate towards each other all the same. Matt was on friendly terms with Light as well, and as a mutual third party he had done some digging.

He'd discovered Light had similar feelings about L. The two supposed geniuses were crushing hard on one another and yet neither of them bloody knew it! 'I'm glad you've been paired up. If anything it will force you two to actually *talk* to one another' Matt thought as he gazed at L consideringly. L deserved much better than the piece of trash he was currently with, that was for sure...

"I think it's a good thing" Mello piped up, "Maybe you guys will become friends?"

'Oh, Mello, you have no idea' L thought miserably, not that he had much of an idea himself if he was being honest. His feelings for Light Yagami were an emotional quagmire.

"You don't *like* him, do you L?"

L spluttered at Misa's question, ears burning red and a blush crawling across his face.

"N-no! Of course I don't! What a propsterus thing to say! I'm not even *single*, Misa!"

Matt, Mello and Near all shared a knowing look. Misa might be dumb enough to buy it (and she was, since she looked relieved) but *they* weren't.

"Psst, Matt" Mello tugged Matt's sleeve and leaned in to whisper to him. "We need to get Light to hang out with us. Now that he is working with L surely that's possible, right?"

Matt smirked, green eyes glinting slyly, "Leave it to me, Babe, I'm telling you now, by the end of the school year those two *will* be dating"

"What are you talking about?" L, who had somewhat recovered, looked at them suspiciously. Matt and Mello were dating, had been since… Well, forever, and were constantly hatching little plots between them. A lot of these plots somehow ended up involving *him* and he suspected whatever they were whispering about was no different.

"Oh, just arranging when I can sneak to Matt's" Mello simpered, an innocent smile on his face, "His parents are out of town from Saturday so we're arranging a little dick engagement-"

"Urgh, Jesus wept" Near muttered and returned his attention to his book.

"Lovely" L, who also really didn't want to hear that, grimaced and looked away.

"Well, if you fine people will excuse me, I've got to grab something from my locker! See you later!" Matt dropped a kiss to Mello's head and sauntered away.

He was off to track down Light Yagami and get the ball rolling on operation 'LawLight!'

****************

Monday morning found L Lawliet and Light Yagami sat together in the library. The gossip mongerers were having a field day. Were they about to fight over who was the smartest? Were they going to give in to their passions and share a steamy kiss (this idea had a surprising amount of backing) or… more boringly, were they just sitting together because they *had* to for their essay?

"So…" Light chanced a look at L. L was his usual scruffy self, his tie was loose and almost hanging off. It infuriated Light. L wasn't wearing his blazer either.

'Stop focusing on those things' Light told himself as he opened his folder and took out a pen. "We need to work together to write an essay on Romeo and Juliet"

"Yes, I am aware of that" L took a long sip of coffee. "What options do we have?"

Light stared at him in disbelief. "You haven't read the essay options?!"

"Obviously not" L replied with a shrug, "I don't particularly like spending too much time on homework, and this weekend I had a gig to go to so-"

"Right" Light forced out through gritted teeth. "Our options are: 'Describe the themes, analogies and symbolism in Romeo and Juliet'"

"Pass"

"Agreed. That is lame. Second option: Discuss the character of Romeo-"

"Nope"

Light forced himself to breath deeply. L was such a pain in the ass!

"Okay, third option… oh for… " Light sighed and handed L the paper. L cast his eyes over it and sighed.

"These questions are utter garbage. If I *have* to re-read that dross I'd at least like to write an essay that is somewhat interesting" L complained. He sat up and smiled at Light, "Hey! Why don't we think of our own essay title? It could be titled 'Why Romeo and Juliet is a pile of wank?'"

Startled at the snort of laughter that left him, Light tried to hide his amusement. L was pretty funny. He felt butterflies in his tummy and prayed to god he wasn't blushing too much.

"Um, no, we won't get a passing mark for that" Light, who was starting to feel more at ease around L, shook his head with an amused grin. "That's not to say we can't make up another question. What about 'Why Romeo and Juliet is utterly unrealistic and unworthy of it's cult like status?'"

L's eyes gleamed. "Yes!" He slammed his hand down on the table, "That is the title of our essay, Yagami-San, we can rip the entire thing to shreds and argue that Shakespeare must have been going through a bad spell when he wrote that. We could even compare it to some of his good plays like Macbeath or Othello?"

"Sure. Some comparisons would help us emphasize our points and show we have a sound understanding of his other works..." Light hurried to scribble down their ideas.

Maybe, just maybe, this project wouldn't be such a disaster after all? Light wondered if he and L might even move past the label of rivals that had somehow been placed on them and become friends?

"Totally got to slate his notion that a 13 year old and a 17 year old would somehow fall in love in 3 days and become so invested in each other they'd actually *die* for one another too. What a load of bull! " L rolled his eyes scornfully.

"Right? Idiots" Light grinned. He was shocked and delighted they'd found some common ground. "It would be like… I don't know, two teenagers meeting in high school and declaring they're going to be together for ever!"

"Hey, that could happen. That was how my mum and dad met. They met in high school and got married five years later" L protested.

Light raised an eyebrow. "Are they together now?" He could have kicked himself when he saw a shadow of sadness sweep across L's face.

Oh...

"They… Uh, died in a car crash three years ago" L mumbled, eyes dropping down to stare at his papers. "I like to believe they would have been together forever if they'd had the chance though"

Light didn't know what to say. He wondered if his parents death was the catalyst for L wanting to leave his home and live and study abroad.

"I'm so sorry, Lawliet-San" Light finally muttered.

"Oh, it's fine. I'm sorry, I don't really talk about them much and um… we should just forget I said anything…"

But Light *couldn't* forget. He'd seen a side of L he didn't show to anyone else. He'd seen beneath the cheery, friendly exterior and saw the real L Lawliet underneath. That shadow that fell across his face at the mention of his parents made Light's heart ache.

Without thinking, Light leaned forward and placed his hand on L's.

L said nothing but squeezed his hand just a little.

They continued to work on their essay ideas in silence but there was something else between them now:

An air of understanding and the possibility of a tentative friendship...

Chapter Text

It had taken all of Light's charm and persuasion but he had succeeded: Kaho-Sensei had agreed to their idea of writing their own essay denouncing 'Romeo and Juliet'

"It isn't just going to be a scathing attack on why you don't like it, is it?" She asked pointedly. She knew exactly how sarcastic and scathing her top students were, and while it might be fun to read a satirical essay ripping the play to shreds it wasn't exactly her *job*

Light widened his eyes innocently and hastily shook his head. "No, Kaho-Sensai! We are planning on proving Shakespeare was under extreme political and social pressure when writing it and plan on comparing it to other works he had the time and leisure to complete to *prove* our point that 'Romeo and Juliet' is… subpar'

'Or shit, in other words, but I don't think she'd appreciate that' Light thought. He knew he'd got her when the teacher thoughtfully nodded and remained silent for a few seconds.

"Alright then, Mr Yagami, I am most looking forward to yours and Mr Lawliet's efforts"

'Ha! I win!'

Light gave his teacher a deliberately humble bow of his head before hurrying off to the library. He was to meet L and his friends for a study session.

Since they'd been partnered last Friday they had actually started speaking to each other when they passed in the hallways. L was planning on going to a fancy Arts school when he graduated, and he spent a lot of his time cooped up in the Art room, but Light did see him occasionally. He even made a point of 'accidentally' swinging by the Art room a couple of times. It wasn't like he was *spying* or being a creep or anything, he just found it oddly endearing to watch L so focused on his work.

'He's a good artist. The things he paints though…' Light thought as he remembered a black sunset over burning fields L had recently finished. There was a lot of untapped pain swirling within L Lawliet and he couldn't help but feel he was expressing it through his art. Perhaps L just didn't have someone to talk to about his feelings?

Light cleared his mind. He didn't even know L that well, and besides, L had quickly changed the subject from his parents deaths the other day. L didn't want to talk to him and he would have to accept that. He'd had to accept his stupid crush on him would never be returned and that the best he could hope for was to be a passing acquaintance of L Lawliet's.

Light didn't *like* that. He walked into the library and ignored the small gaggle of girls who glanced up at him and started giggling and whispering.

L and his small group always sat at the back so they could talk in whispers and eat their junk food without the librarian staring down her nose and yelling at them. Light thought yelling at students was the moody old cows favourite thing in the entire world.

"Hey, Light" Matt smiled cheerfully as he approached and waved him over. Light said hello and dropped down into a chair next to Matt. He couldn't help but notice L looked a bit pale (paler than usual, anyway) and didn't seem his usual cheerful self.

'What's going on with you, L?' Light wondered as L gave him a soft 'Hey' in greeting.

"So…" Misa turned to Light with a bright gleam in her eyes, "How do you find it slumming with us then, Yagami?"

Light glared at her. "Pardon?"

"Well, I've heard that you just don't like people you deem unintelligent and that you only really hang out with Rem, Mikami and Kiyomi-"

"You know, Misa, it's a sad state of affairs when you start a sentence with 'I've heard'" L cut in sharply, "I've heard plenty about you, I've heard plenty about Matt and I've heard plenty about Mello. The point is we're in high school and that's all people do is fucking gossip. It's stupid, and childish and none of it means a damn thing!"

Everyone stared at him. Matt and Mello caught each other's eyes and Matt mouthed 'He's had another fight with B'

"And another thing! This whole fucking rivalry thing has to end, Yagami. You aren't my rival. You're my partner on this project and I don't give a single fuck if people stare and whisper behind their hands we *are* going to study together and…" as if he finally realised the attention he was attracting, L suddenly shut up. His shoulders slumped and he rubbed his eyes. "I'm sorry. I didn't sleep very well last night. I'm going to grab a coffee"

Light stood up and offered him a small smile, "Mind if I join you? Give them something to gossip about at least, right?"

L returned his smile. "Sure, Yagami-San"

"You can call me Light you know" Light chuckled, "That would get tongues wagging"

"Alright then, Light. Let's go and grab a coffee. I'm sorry for snapping at you, Misa, but you really do need to pay less attention to what people say" L spared her a glance. Misa was pouting and looked rather put out by L's rebuke.

"I find what they say interesting!" Misa defended.

"And that is why we never worked out" L muttered under his breath. Light did his best to keep the smile from his face as he happily trotted after L to the small coffee shop at the end of the library.

"Uh, so, L… Oh! Is it alright if I call you that?"

L raised an eyebrow. "Sure. It is my name, Light. I admit I used to struggle with your use of suffixes and rules about when first names can be used"

Light snorted. "By 'your' you mean the Japanese people as a whole?"

"Heh, Yeah" L giggled a little and Light felt his breath catch in his throat. 'That was so cute-FUCK! Goddammit, stop thinking those thoughts about him, Light!'

"You alright? You look a bit… wierd" L frowned at him as Light visibly blanched at the direction his thoughts were taking.

"Fine! I didn't sleep well either last night" Light chuckled nervously and made a show of studying the list of drinks available, even though he knew he would stick to a latte just as he always did.

"Right… " L smiled at the strange behavior because he was secretly pleased by it. He'd often wondered if Light Yagami was an unfeeling piece of marble given the lack of emotion he often displayed. It was good to see this awkward, unpolished side of him. Light was usually so suave and confident and it made L feel like he was wearing a mask sometimes. He had often wondered who the *real* Light Yagami was…

'No wonder Beyond is so clingy. I keep having thoughts about Light. What kind of boyfriend am I?! God, I wish I didn't feel like this. I can't help it though…' L's shoulders slumped as he found himself admiring how the light spilling in from the windows illuminated Light's hair. It brought out flashes of gold and red that were simply stunning. L bit his lip, tempted to paint such a beautiful sight. He'd painted Light before (not that *anyone* knew about it) but he'd promised himself he wouldn't do weird stuff like that anymore…

Light did eventually order his Latte while L went for a double chocolate Mocha with extra cream, extra sugar and extra chocolate sprinkles. Light felt mildly disgusted at the sheer amount of sugar and crap L ate, not to mention confused as hell. How was he so skinny? How did he have such straight white teeth?!

"Mmm" L took a small sip and smiled at the taste of the creamy, sugary beverage. "I can't believe you'd want a boring old Latte, Light, when you could be having this *glorious* Mocha instead" L projected his best 'I'm-happy-and-i'm-totally-okay!' front to try and distract himself from the self-loathing his thoughts were bringing out in him. He hoped Light would buy it. Light didn't really know him that well, after all.

Light made a face as he added two sweeteners to his drink. "I'm not much for sugar"

"What?! Really? What is *wrong* with you?!" L looked genuinely flabbergasted and paused in his task of adding yet more sugar packets to his coffee.

"I guess I just don't want to lose my teeth or weight as much as an elephant" Light sniffed as L continued to snicker at him.

"Well, I mean, elephants are cute and you won't lose your teeth if you brush and floss properly!" L bared his teeth in a big grin, "See!"

Light shook his head, a small smile on his face at the cute, albeit childish, display. "Alright, I get your point, you sugar-junkie. I just really don't like overly sweet things"

L made a face and took another loud slurp of coffee. "There's no accounting for taste, I suppose"

Light ignored the playful jab and they returned to their table. Now L had some sugar he seemed calmer. They opened their notes and compared the ideas they had come up with.

"That's a good point" L leaned over Light and grabbed his paper. Light spluttered as he felt L brush up against him.

'He smells like… sugar? Vanilla? Something sweet. He smells so nice…' Light was trying to place what L actually smelled like when Matt gave him a gentle nudge.

"Huh?"

"You were zoning out, man" Matt grinned because he knew exactly why Light had zoned out. The blush on his cheeks made it pretty obvious. For the thousandth time Matt found himself wishing his friends would just open their eyes and admit they were crushing on each other. Maybe then L would stop dating that douchebag Beyond and actually have a relationship with someone who treated him right!

"Yes, this is good. We can definitely write about societal pressure on young girls to marry early and increase their family fortunes" L mumbled as he skimmed through Light's notes. "Juliet was 13. She had probably been told from a young age what her family's expectations of her were: Smile, be polite, don't speak, get a husband. No wonder she wanted to rebel a little" L rolled his eyes and quickly scribbled some of his own ideas next to Light's. "Funny, sometimes it feels like not a lot has changed, you know?" He added, a thoughtful expression on his face.

"Deep" Mello, who was stuffing marshmallows into his face, nodded 'solemnly'

"That's true in some respects" Light agreed, "It would certainly tie in with our argument that Juliet probably wasn't in love with Romeo but was simply conditioned from birth to seek out male attention and validation"

"Tch" Misa's lips curled, "Things *have* changed, I certainly don't seek out male attention or validation"

Matt snorted, L burst into laughter and Mello banged his fist on the table, shoulders shaking with silent laughter as he shook his head disbelivingly.

"Hey! I don't!" Misa snapped. "I didn't even sleep with L when we were dating!"

L raised an eyebrow. He didn't appreciate stuff like that being discussed in front of everyone but if Misa was going to be a bitch then so was he. "Only because I refused to sleep with you, Misa. On three separate occasions if I remember correctly"

Light flicked his head between them, feeling somewhat relieved that L hadn't slept with her. He didn't even know *why* he felt that way…

"And why?! Why didn't you want to?" Misa narrowed her eyes, "Is it cos your actually *gay* and not bi, L?"

L sighed and shook his head. "Just drop it, Misa. You know that isn't true and you *know* the reason why I wouldn't. I don't appreciate you bringing this shit up in front of everyone" L actually meant 'in front of Light, who just happens to be someone I have inappropriate thoughts about sometimes'

The conversation dropped like a lead balloon. Light was glad when Takada, Mikami and Rem joined them. It was a bit of a tight squeeze around the small table but they managed. Misa was ignoring L but he didn't seem to care. He kept his attention on Light and together they began planning the structure of their essay.

Misa glared at them as she watched them work together. L and Light were sitting close together, heads almost touching. She wondered how Beyond would feel about L and Light getting so cozy? He was a jealous guy and he hated the fact L had remained friends with her. They didn't see eye, true, but Misa was smarting at L's continued rejection of her and talking to Beyond was the perfect revenge.

She slipped away from the group and announced she had stuff to do. She knew Beyond worked at Scales N Tails, the local reptile shop. Perhaps she'd pop in for a visit…

****************

Beyond Birthday was glowering at his phone in annoyance. L hadn't text him in three hours! What the hell was he doing?

'Uh, studying?' His brain piped up.

"As if. He's forever on his damn phone in class" Beyond muttered to himself. It was one of the drawbacks of dating someone a few years younger than he was. He had the relative freedom of working in his dad's shop and hanging out with the reptiles (the snakes were his favourite) while L had to go to school.

Beyond's mood didn't lift when L's little rebound came strolling through the door. L had dated Misa Amane for a month after they'd split up before L had rapidly come to his senses about what a vapid twat Misa Amane actually was and had come crawling back to him.

'Why he even bothers being friends with an idiot like you is beyond me' he thought as Misa made a show of browsing the aisles. Beyond knew she retested 'slimy snakes' and shit, so her whole reason for being in his shop was obviously to speak to him.

"Amane. Cut to the chase" Beyond drawled as Misa picked up a bag of sand, "And don't waste my time" he added when Misa flushed red.

Misa gathered her wits and strolled up to the counter. She leaned her hip against it and gave Beyond a sweet smile.

"I have a bit of gossip for you, Beyond"

"Oh joy. High school gossip. However did you know I was just itching to hear some of those *tantalizing* tales, Amane?" Beyond drawled, flicking his eyes up in a half-eye roll. He deemed her utterly unworthy of the effort to *fully* roll his eyes.

"It's about L" Misa sang cheerfully.

"...What is it?"

Misa smiled spitefully and shrugged cutely. "Why should I tell you? You just said you wasn't interested, and rather rudely too"

"If it's about L then obviously I'm interested" Beyond snapped impatiently.

"Well… it appears there is a rumor going around about him and this guy and they just happened to be paired up to write an essay. They're looking rather cozy, Beyond. Just thought you should know" Misa trilled, eyes flashing with delight at the barely concealed anger that flashed in Beyond's eyes.

"Is that so?" Beyond forced his tone to remain neutral. "L loves me, Amane. He *needs* me. I'm not worried about these stupid rumors in the slightest. Now get the fuck out"

Misa shrugged and strolled out, a cunning smile curling her lips. She knew Beyond *was* bothered by what she said. She could see it in his eyes. She felt slightly guilty about the shit Beyond would probably give L because of what she'd said, but then she remembered how L had stared down his nose at her.

How L had *rejected* her. He hadn't wanted to sleep with her because he was still 'hurting' apparently…

'Oh well. Whatever. Turnabout is fair play!' Misa thought as she slammed the shop door behind her.

Beyond grabbed his phone and rang L. He was slightly surprised when L answered him.

"Hey, B, you know you really shouldn't call when I'm in school-"

"Baby" Beyond cooed, "Can you skip last class? I need to talk to you"

"I really shouldn't, B, I'm in enough shit for skipping as it is and the last class is English Lit. Light and I are-"

"Who is *Light*" Beyond hissed.

"Uh… j-just a guy from my class"

Beyond could tell by the way L stammered he'd hit a nerve. Light must be the boy Misa had been talking about.

"Mmhmm. So you'd rather go to English and be with him than you would me, is that right?"

"What? No! It's not like that! I *have* to go to English, B, I'm working on an essay" L tried to argue but Beyond knew it was only a matter of time before he wore him down. His Baby just didn't know what was good for him sometimes. He was so lucky he had someone older and more mature to guide him!

"It's one class. And I do really need to talk to you, Babe" Beyond soothed.

"I… Right. Okay" L sighed, "I'll say I've got a headache or something and come over"

"Excellent. I'll see you in an hour?" Beyond purred, content he had gotten his own way (again) "Love you, Baby"

"I love you too" L muttered in reply before hanging up the phone.

Beyond smirked as he sat back in his chair and glanced at the clock. Fuck it, he'd shut early for the day.

After all, what was more important than spending some quality time with your boyfriend?

L, meanwhile, stared at his phone blankly for a few seconds before slowly putting it away.

When he said the words 'I love you' they didn't feel genuine anymore. He supposed part of him *did* love Beyond. Beyond had saved his life. Beyond just seemed to make everything better whilst also simultaneously making everything *worse*

"L? You okay?"

L jumped slightly when he realized Light was hovering by his side. He was probably expecting to walk with him to class…

"I… I can't come to class, Light, I am very sorry but I… I just don't feel well" L kept his eyes on the ground as he made his excuse.

"Oh? You do look a little off. Shall I walk you to the nurse's office?"

'Stop being so kind and sweet, Light. Please just stop it' L thought as he shook his head. "No, thank you, Light, I will be fine. Please apologize to Kaho-Sensai and I… I will catch up on what I've missed tomorrow, okay?"

Light gave him a searching look before he pulled out his notebook and scribbled his mobile number and email address down. L tried not to blush when Light pressed the small piece of paper into his hand.

"Here. Email me if you feel better later and I will send my notes over to you, okay? You can, uh… t-text me if you want to as well. Like, it's up to you, no pressure or anything" Light knew he was rambling but his heart was pounding like a base drum. There was no way he could be suave and collected right now. He'd just given his crush ('Because I am going to have to accept that is what he is before the denial drives me crazy!') His phone number.

"Thank you" L curled his fingers around the paper. He'd have to add them to his phone under an alias to stop Beyond throwing a fit when he saw them. Beyond was *always* going through his phone.

Light walked away, unable to resist looking back as L slumped against a locker and put the piece of paper in his pocket.

'What is going on with you, L? Who are you really? The more I get to know you, the less I seem to understand!'

Light decided he would have to have a word with Matt. If anyone knew what was going on with L it would be him…

L glanced up through his hair as Light rounded a corner and disappeared. He quickly entered Light's mobile number under 'Lumiere' (if Beyond asked he would just say the number belonged to an old French friend he'd recently reconnected with) and turned his phone off.

Beyond didn't like it when his phone kept pinging when they were together.

Shoulders slumped and his head pounding, L slunk out of school and headed into town.

He could only hope that whatever Beyond wanted to talk about wasn't anything bad. He wasn't sure if he could take much more…

Chapter Text

As soon as L arrived he knew something was wrong. Beyond's tone of voice was too flat to be normal. He watched Beyond lock the door behind him with mounting trepidation.

'Wonder what I've done wrong *this* time?' L thought as Beyond announced he was going to make some coffee. L glanced at the clock. Light would be probably be working on their essay alone now… he felt shitty about that but what could he do?

"Beyond, is everything alright?" L asked as he followed him out back and into the small kitchenette area.

He could tell by the tension in Beyond's shoulders that something was eating at him.

"L, Misa Amane came here earlier"

"Huh? Why?" L sat down at the small table, his unease quadrupling at the news. What the hell was Misa playing at now?

"She came to warn me, actually. About you and this boy you're writing an essay with. She thinks you two are becoming rather… close"

'What the?! How *dare* she?!' L struggled to contain his fury. 'This is the last straw. She can go fuck herself now, I'm not even going to bother speaking to her anymore!'

"Misa Amane is pissed off because… well, because she's Misa Amane" L sighed and hung his head. Beyond was staring at him intently.

"So you're saying she's just saying shit to stir the pot, is that right?"

"Yes! Uh, we were talking about things earlier and she had a go at me for not sleeping with her and… I suppose I snapped at her a bit. Light and I aren't even *friends* for fucks sake, I've only been speaking to him for a week!"

"Yet you use his first name so casually" Beyond commented dryly as he placed L's cup of coffee in front of him.

"I'm *English* Beyond! I can't help it sometimes, it's just what I'm used to!" L protested. He wished he was in English class and not suffering through this interrogation. He didn't know how he felt about Light, but as far as L was concerned he was a potential friend. He wouldn't have Beyond or Misa messing that up.

"You know how much I love you, Baby. What kind of boyfriend would I be if I wasn't concerned about what Amane had said?" Beyond asked softly, reaching for his hand.

'That's true… I guess I would feel the same if someone came to me and said Beyond was being overly familiar with someone else. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick here. Beyond is just looking out for me and showing that he cares' L gently squeezed Beyond's back and told him he loved him too. Sometimes those words were so very easy to say…

"L, sometimes I feel you forget how important you are to me. I found you when you were minutes away from death. I've done so much for you. Without me, do you honestly believe you would be where you are now?"

L lowered his eyes to the table as he mumbled, "No, Beyond"

"Then please remember that the next time you are with this Light guy. You are *mine*, okay?"

L swallowed thickly. "Yes, Beyond"

Beyond seemed to brighten at that and he swiftly moved the topic of conversation onto more pleasant things. Inevitably it led to kissing and L shuddered when Beyond sucked his tongue hungrily. It was like he was able to cast a spell of pure sensation.

"Want to come upstairs?" Beyond asked softly, red eyes boring into L's as they panted for breath after such an intense kiss.

"Yes" L whispered, dazed with arousal and the heady sensation of feeling nothing but pleasure. Beyond kissed him again and tore off his tie. It landed on the floor, joined by other items of clothing as they pulled at each others clothes in mounting desperation…

***********************

'Matt,

I don't want to pry and I don't want to cause any trouble between you and L, but I need to talk to you about him. What is going on with him lately? He just seems… numb, I guess? Are the rumors true that he's dating an older guy?'

Light hesitated over the last line as he considered crossing it out. He left it and passed the note to Matt, eyes fixed to the front of class to appear as though he was listening. He waited several minutes before he felt a gentle tap to his thigh. His fingers curled around the note and he subtly pulled it out to read behind his textbook.

'Light,

You're not causing problems. I actually wanted to talk to you about L anyway. Yes, he's dating an older guy. His name is Beyond Birthday (I know, stupid) and he is an absolute twat. He's manipulative and controlling and has L wrapped around his little finger. L tried to break things off with him a few months ago but Beyond managed to talk him back around. L says he loves him but I know that is a lie. I think sometimes L knows it is too. L feels indebted to him (I wish I could tell you the reason but I promised L I wouldn't tell a soul) and Beyond just knows how to work him. Mels, Near and I have been trying for *months* to subtly get L away from Beyond but so far nothing had worked. He won't listen to us. L is a stubborn bastard but I know with time and patience he will come around. He has to! Would you be down for trying to help us out?'

Light felt his blood run cold in his veins. Suddenly a lot made sense. This Beyond Birthday was abusing L. All of his friends saw it and had been trying to get him away but Light knew the only person who could break this cycle was L himself. L felt indebted to him… why? Would he be able to help get L out of such a toxic relationship? Not so that he could be with him. As much as he wanted that he realized such motivations, given the circumstances, were wrong. He would have to try and save L because he was worth saving and push his own wants to the side.

He grabbed his pen and hurriedly wrote:

'I'm in. Let's meet after class and talk about it and what I can do to help.'

Matt glanced up from his textbook and flashed Light a smile.

'I *know* L has feelings for you, Light, and if anyone is going to convince him to break away from Beyond it's going to be you'

***********************

The next morning L completely snubbed Misa. She stared after him, his hot glare searing through her as he walked past without speaking to her. Now that she had had time to think about it, Misa had realized just how badly she had fucked up.

"L!" She took off after him and reached for his arm. L jerked away from her, eyes furious slits of ice as he glowered at her.

"Don't fucking touch me, Amane. Don't speak to me. Just keep the hell away from me you toxic little *bitch!*"

The students nearby watched, wide-eyed, as L stormed away from Misa. The whispers started almost immediately and Misa felt like an insect under their curious gazes.

She turned and fled towards the girls toilets, black tears snaking down her face as her mascara ran. She hadn't meant to turn L against her like that! She had only been trying to get him back!

"Oh, Misa" a tall girl with purple and white hair slowly shook her head as she watched Misa flee.

"Christ, she's' a live wire, isn't she?" Mikami noted with an amused smirk. "Why the hell do you have such a crush on someone like *her*, Rem?"

Rem retarded her friend with a cool look but said nothing. She was all too aware of Misa Amane'a shortcomings but she was also mature enough to realize such things didn't affect or change one's feelings. She liked Misa, it was as simple as that.

"I'm going to go and talk to her. See you in class" Rem threw over her shoulder as she strode away. Rem was wise and mature for her years and she hoped having a chat with Misa would at least calm her down a little.

'She is a live wire though. Her emotions get the best of her' Rem thought. She shrugged and walked into the bathroom, wondering at how complicated a bunch of simple Highschoolers lives could be at times.

Light watched the interaction between L and Misa with interest. He wasn't sure what had happened but it was surprisingly heartening to see L could and *would* turn against people he felt had done him wrong. The challenge now was to help him see that *Beyond* was worth the boot as well.

Light locked his locker and seamlessly fell into step beside L.

"Morning, L"

"Morning" L attempted a smile, "I am sorry about yesterday, Light. Did the class go okay?"

"Yeah, it all went fine" Light shrugged, "Did you get the notes I sent you"

L flushed as he belatedly realized that no, he had been too 'busy' to actually check his emails.

"Ah… no, sorry. I um, I will read over them in History" L mumbled, ducking his head to hide the tell-tale flush of red creeping up his neck. He had *tried* to grab a quick study break, but Beyond had complained of feeling 'left out' and then he'd put his tongue in his ear and touched him and…

Well. Studying had been the last thing on L's hormone addled mind, put it that way!

"No worries" Light noted L's agitation but made no comment on it. He'd already decided he would do all he could to get L to open up to him and view him as a friend. That meant being non-judgemental and understanding.

"I was wondering if you'd like to join us in the library again later to study?" L suddenly asked, eyes fixed firmly on Lights. 'Fuck Beyond. I want Light to be my friend. Just because I might fancy him a bit doesn't mean we can't be friends. Beyond should know I'd never betray him. I wouldn't dare!' L startled a bit at that thought. Where had that come from? Beyond had never threatened him or hurt him. Beyond was smothering, yes, but he said it was because he cared for him, wasn't it?

"Sure" Light gave L a small smile, "Guess this makes us more friends than rivals now, huh?"

"Yes" L nodded his head and smiled as Light held out his hand. He shook it and tried not to compare how warm Light's touch was to Beyond's icy one.

"Great. Well, I've got Science so I'd best go. See you at one" Light appeared hesitant to leave and L wondered what his problem was. Light's eyes dropped to his neck and he appeared uncomfortable before he hastily looked away.

Whatever was on Lights mind he kept to himself and walked away down the corridor. L couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed he'd kept whatever was troubling him to himself.

'But then again, don't I do that every damn day? Who am I to judge him. Maybe he will feel more comfortable talking to me the more we hang out. I know Beyond won't really like it but…' L's thoughts seized as he felt his phone vibrate. Beyond.

'Baby, I had so much fun yesterday. I hope no one notices those little love bites on your neck. Text me after first period. x'

'Shit!' L's eyes widened and his hands flew to his neck. *That* was what Light was staring at.

"Oh fuck. Oh fuck" L whispered as he raced to his locker and yanked it open as fast as he could. There were vivid purple bite marks all over his neck! There was no way he could go to class with them. He slumped against the locker as he tried to come up with a plan.

Luckily Kiyomi Takada and Misora Naomi just so happened to be walking past. They were good friends with Light and since *he* was now Light's friend, surely they'd help him out?

L found himself blushing bright red and asking to borrow some of their concealer while they snickered at him and examined his neck.

"You dating a vampire or something, Lawliet-San?" Naomi giggled when L slapped her hand away from his throat.

'Pretty much, yes. He leaves me feeling fucking drained, anyway' L thought. He felt guilty and irritated for thinking such things. Beyond had saved his life and he owed him everything. Beyond was right, where would he be without him? Dead. But then Beyond went and did shit like this! Was it any wonder he was so damn confused about what his feelings were?

"Can I please borrow some. I really need to get to class"

The girls shared a look before Kiyomi reached into her handbag and rifled around for her concealer. She placed it in L's hand and shot him a wink.

"You keep it, Babes, for next time, yeah?"

L stammered out a thank you and bolted to the bathrooms. It was only when he was alone and safe from those looks and giggles did he let out a shuddering sigh, then rest his clammy forehead against the cool glass of the bathroom mirror.

'Oh god. What am I doing? What am I doing?' L thought as cold sweat trickled down his neck. Beyond had given him those marks when he was *asleep*

L stared at them, seeing them for what they really were:

Unmistakable marks of possession.

He was Beyond's but in this moment where it was just himself and his panicked, wide-eyed reflection staring back at him, he didn't *want* to be…

**********************

Light found Science interesting most days, but today he just couldn't focus. Since his conversation with Matt the other day L was all he could think about.

L was putting on a front, much as he did, except L's front was dangerous. People didn't realize how damaged and broken he really was. All they saw was a smiley, foreign kid and failed to see the pain swirling beneath. Light was afraid that this front of L's would stop people from being able to reach out and help him.

Those dark pictures L painted suddenly made so much sense. In his art, L was expressing the pain and fear he was otherwise represing. It made his heart ache. He wanted to protect L. He wanted to make him happy but most of all he wanted to make sure Beyond Birthday never went near him again.

He'd only seen the weirdo once, but once was enough. With a chillingly calculating smile and creepy red eyes, he had made a bad first impression on Light.

'This isn't even about my crush on him anymore. Fuck, I'd gladly see L happy with someone who treated him right. I'd push him into their arms if that is what it took!'

Light sighed and rested his head in his palm. Feelings were complicated things. He'd gone from accepting his crush on L to being willing to set it aside just to see him safe and happy.

Unable to concentrate on the lecture on Neutrons, Light covertly reached for his phone and shot L a text message.

'Hey, L, you alright?'

L must have been bored in maths because he sent a reply almost immediately.

'I'm fine, Light! How are you? Bored in science too?'

Light closed his eyes against the bare faced lie. 'You aren't fine, L. You're Not fine at all…' he sent L another message confirming that yes, he was bored and that he would meet him in the library to go over some new ideas they'd come up with for the essay.

As soon as the class finished Light had grabbed his stuff and bolted for the door. If he hurried he might be able to catch Kiyomi and Naomi and grab a quick coffee with them. He hadn't had the chance to catch up with them, which made him feel a bit crap. He wasn't close to many people but he loved those girls. He sent them a text to meet him in the cafeteria and wasn't surprised in the least when he received a 'You're buying, sunshine!' From Naomi.

Light went to the cafeteria, glancing around for L automatically and sighing when he couldn't spot him, and bought the girls their favourite drinks. It didn't take them long to join him. Both were giggling about something.

"Gonna share or just sit there giggling like idiots?" Light drawled as Naomi continued to snicker.

"Sorry, Babe, just thinking about Lawliet and his vampire. Oh my god, I've never seen marks like them and I thought my Kenchi was kinky" Kiyomi giggled.

'His marks. They're talking about them. Fuck sake, L, why on earth did you think it was acceptable to come to school with them?' Light thought as his friends continued to giggle and gossip. Something Naomi said immediately caught his interest.

"What did you say?" Light asked with a bit more intensity than he had been aiming for. "What do you mean 'it was like he didn't know they were there?'"

"Well, now that I think about it, he seemed really embarrassed and unerved they were there in the first place…" Naomi's eyes widened. "Crap! Do you think someone might have… you know…"

"I think it's his business" Light quickly swept the conversation aside, even though he was reeling.

What kind of sick game was Beyond playing?

Chapter Text

The days passed and L found himself utterly besotted with Light Yagami. The more they worked on their essay together the stronger his feelings grew.

Their essay was pretty much fleshed out and both knew it could be completed in just a week if they wanted it to be. But they didn't. The essay was the reason they were spending time together. It was the catalyst of their growing friendship. Sometimes they spent their afternoons reading 'Romeo and Juliet' together. Light read Romeo and spoke in a deep, macho voice, whilst L made them both giggle as he squealed out Juliet's lines in an exaggeratedly feminine voice. The essay counted as their entire year mark for English Lit. It was a 20 page mini thesis, and L and Light both wanted to ensure that their essay was perfect. That meant going over paragraphs, changing things up, re-edits and the like. It kept them busy and, more importantly, in each others company.

L smiled when he thought about Light's contrived deeply masculine voice booming 'Thou art the fairest!' couldn't stop himself chuckling. He wished Light meant that he thought *he* was beautiful. His feelings for Light were growing along with their friendship.

Light was kind to a fault. He could admit to himself his previous preconceptions of Light being cold and aloof were completely wrong. Light wasn't really like that. He would never be a people person, but those he did let in were truly fortunate, because if you were Light's friend you had someone who would always put you first.

Light was also funny. They had similar sarcastic sense of humors and spent countless hours bitching about the most random things. L found himself feeling *happy* whenever he was with him. Of course, he was careful to keep this from Beyond. He didn't want him reading anything into his friendship with Light. L had accepted things could never progress further (though secretly he did *wish* they could) and was content with just having Light's friendship.

'And he's beautiful. By fuck is he beautiful' L thought as he watched Light smile and chat away to Kiyomi. Light had a face so perfect it would make god's cry. Everything about him was just so utterly perfect. 'No wonder his name is Light. He literally radiates beauty'

"L? You okay?" Light nudged him and L offered a shy smile in return. They were having lunch together and it seemed they were no longer the hot topic of conversation. No one batted an eye as the two former 'rivals' laughed and joked together.

"Sorry. Yes. I'm fine. I was just thinking" L excused. That was another thing they had in common zoning out around each other. Since Light did it too, L didn't feel so bad about it. He doubted Light was zoning out for quite the same reasons he was, but still.

"Thinking about the gig on saturday?" Naomi asked with a grin. Since the whole 'vampire' incident she and L had become sort of friends. She found him oddly cute in a quirky sort of way. Not that she was interested in him romantically. L was dating some older guy and she was astute enough to recognize that Light fancied the pants of L.

'Such a shame. I wonder if L dumps this older guy would he go for Light? Can't see why he wouldn't, Light is gorgeous! I think they would be so cute together' Naomi thought back to what Matt and Mello had been whispering earlier. Something about 'Operation Lawlight' maybe she'd hit them up and ask to be involved. She loved playing Cupid!

"Yes, I can't wait" L did appear genuinely excited as he and Naomi discussed the gig. Light, who had never actually been to one, felt a bit left out until L offered him a spare ticket he had.

"My boyfriend was supposed to go with me but he has to work. Would you like to come?" L asked, hoping his face wasn't as red hot as it felt.

"Sure! I'd love to, thank you, L" Light made sure to keep himself from frowning at the mention of L's boyfriend. L didn't speak about him much and always seemed to sigh when he received a text from him. Light could only hope that with time L would come to the realization Beyond Birthday was bad news. With his friends help, of course…

"Great! Message me your address and I will pick you up"

"You drive?!" Light squeaked. L was seventeen! How the hell had he managed to pass his test so fast?

"Mmm" L nodded, "My Grandfather is in the car business. He paid for me to be taught in an intensive course and bought my car" L had the grace to blush, "I'm very lucky"

"Damn right you are! Why don't you ever drive your car to school?" Kiyomi asked. If L drove what she was going to assume was a *super* fancy car she would definitely ask for a lift or two…

"Because it would make him stand out" Light answered for him. L smiled faintly at him, touched Light understood him so well.

"Well, yeah! But in a good way!" Bubbly Naomi clearly didn't get why some people would prefer to stick to the shadows. She was a girl untouched by life's cruelty. It was one of the things Light liked so much about her. She was an eternal optimist and a kind, generous soul.

"..." L decided not to comment, least he offend the girl. They finished up their lunch and made their way to class. L had art next, and he knew just what, or rather *who*, he was painting. He'd started a picture of Light the previous week after being struck by the sun shining down on him.

L felt excited as he hurried off to art class. Maybe he would even be bold enough to show it to Light?

'I could just tell him a little white lie and say I paint all my friends… he wouldn't think it was weird or creepy then' L decided with a smile. Beyond hadn't text him once today, and with the gig on Saturday and Light's kind smile of farewell earlier…

He could almost say he was happy…

*************************

It was Friday night and Light was trying to unwind from such a busy week at school. He'd helped his sister with his homework, had dinner with the family and did his chores. That meant the rest of the night was his. Usually he'd take advantage of the free time and do what most other seventeen year olds do (that is, jerk off and fantasize about his crush) but he couldn't bring himself to do that. Considering everything going on with L… it just didn't feel right. L had made it clear he thought of Light as a friend and so for the sake of his sanity, Light was going to do his damn best to push his feelings aside. That meant no more jerking off to thoughts of L.

Maybe he'd date someone? It had been a good six months since he and Yamaoto had split up…

'It might help me get over L. The last thing he needs is someone he considers a friend perving over him.'

Light reached for his phone and laughed at how his heart beat skipped when he saw he had a message from L.

'Clearly it's a work in progress' Light thought wryly as he opened the message. His eyes widened as he saw what L had sent him.

It was a beautiful oil painting of *himself* underneath the picture L wrote:

'I hope you don't mind but I was inspired by the way the sun caught in your hair and I thought you would make a great addition to my portfolio! I've painted all my friends now XD'

"Jesus" Light swore softly. He barely recognized himself. L had perfectly captured the soft sunlight filtering through his hair, turning it auburn and gold in various places. The attention to detail was outstanding. L had drawn each eyelash, angled the soft shadow that had fallen across his face…

"You are seriously talented, L" Light shook his head in amazement. "Just another thing I lo-Like! Like about you!"

Flustered at his slip up, Light quickly thumbed a reply that praised L's artistry and thanked him for the honor of being his subject. L's reply sent chills racing down his spine:

'You were made to be painted, Light. You are beautiful'

'He thinks I'm beautiful?' Light thought, cheeks tinged pink as he bit his lip. 'Damn, I'd love to return the compliment…'

'I didn't mean that in a hitting on you way!'

Light chuckled at the message that flashed on his screen. 'Wish you did, L' he thought. He reassured L he knew he hadn't meant it that way and asked what he was up to. Maybe he'd gain some insight into how L was feeling and more importantly if he was with Beyond.

L replied saying he wasnt up to much apart from having a doctors appointment later that evening.

'What for?' Was what Light automatically thought, before shutting that train of thought down. There was still a lot he didn't know about L so speculating over his health was pretty redundant at this stage. 'Maybe I can casually ask him tomorrow how it went?'

Light jolted in suprise when he realized L was ringing him. That was new!

"Hey L!" 'Shit, did I sound too happy then?' Light wondered. He was becoming paranoid in his attempts to keep his crush to himself.

"Hey, Light. I hope you don't mind me ringing. I'm bored. Not that I'm ringing you just because I'm bored! I meant-"

"I know what you meant, L" Light soothed. L was always so quick to explain what he said as if he was frightened he might take offense. That was just one thing he'd learnt about Beyond Birthday from Matt the other day: the guy *loved* making L feel guilty. It was probably the reason L was always apologizing.

"Oh, I'm sorry-"

'Oh, L, stop apologizing, Baby'
Light's eyes flew open at his thoughts. Fuck. He had not meant to think *that*

"It's *fine*" Light stressed a bit more forcefully than he intended. "I'm sorry if that sounded a bit snappy. I'm actually pretty tired" Light excused, hoping L would buy it.

"You should rest then, Light, I will pick you up at five tomorrow, yes? Ah-what-" L's voice lost a little of its sparkle, "B is here. I've got to go. See you tomorrow" L almost whispered and promptly hung up.

Light stared at his phone, a frown on his face. L sounded *afraid* Beyond would hear him on the phone!

"Fuck my life" Light sighed as he flopped back onto the bed. He let his phone drop onto the duvet and closed his eyes. Why, oh why did he have to have a crush on someone as complex as L Lawliet?

'I'm definitely trying dating again. Maybe if I get laid it will help…'

Light yawned and was asleep in seconds. He dreamt of L, just as he always did. Try as he might to close his mind to how he felt about L, when he was asleep those thoughts had free reign…

***********************

"B!" L turned to him with wide eyes and hastily put his phone away. "What are you doing here?"

Beyond raised an eyebrow and walked into his bedroom as if he owned the place. Well, as far as he was concerned L was his so by extension that meant his bedroom was as well. They'd certainly fucked enough times in this room. L was a wildcat, all he had to do was nibble his ear and grab his ass and L was as pliant and willing as a whore.

"Charming. I came to see how you are" Beyond tutted.

"I'm fine! Sorry, I was just startled" L attempted a smile, "I was just on the phone to Naomi"

"Oh? Who's she?"

"A girl from school. She's a new friend" L sent up a prayer that this statement wouldn't be followed by the usual interrogation. Thankfully it wasn't. Beyond crossed the room and pulled him up from his desk. L felt arms curl around his waist before Beyond pulled him close and kissed him passionately. It was so good L forget where he was for a moment and kissed back with equal fervor. It was only when Beyond was reaching to undo his belt did L realize what his intentions actually where.

"We can't!" L tried to pull away, "I have the Drs in an hour, B-"

"You're going to discuss your meds, L, not have a damn prostate exam. The Dr will be none the wiser, promise" Beyond leaned in and took the delicate shell of L's ear between his teeth. A shudder racked through L as Beyond whispered dirty things in his ear. He knew his resolve was weakening by the second. He was powerless to oppose Beyond's demands. Beyond had cast his spell once again and he was ensnared. L didn't protest as Beyond pulled his shirt off and pinched his nipples.

It hurt slightly, but the pain was a pleasant accompaniment to the pleasure sweeping through him as Beyond continued to nibble his ear.

"You're getting hard" Beyond murmured in triumph, one hand slipping to cup L's bulge through his jeans.

"I-i can't help it!" L protested weakly, head spinning with desire as Beyond walked them back towards the bed.

"I know you can't, my little slut"

L's eyes widened before he was pushed back on the bed. His shoulder hit something but he was too preoccupied with a tongue in his mouth and hands all over his body to give it much thought.

Beyond was the only thing he thought about as they ground against each other.

At least, that's what L tried to tell himself later on anyway. It hurt to much to admit he'd been thinking about Light as Beyond fucked him into the mattress…

********************

"Ahh! Oh god, oh *fuck!*"

Light moaned and awoke with a start. Who the hell was moaning?! Another long moan and creaking noises sounded right next to his ear and he jolted up. His phone!

"You are such a dirty little slut, L, look at you begging for it. Lift that ass higher and take my dick, Baby"

'The *fuck?!*' Light snatched up his phone and stared at it in horror. L must have misdialed him because there was no way in hell he would want Light to hear what was going on.

Light gulped as his thumb hovered over the disconnect button. He was just about to press it when L made the most delicious sounding moans and he hesitated. He felt hot and guilty but turned on as hell as he listened to what sounded like L getting his brains fucked out.

'I shouldn't be listening to this!' Light hated himself as he felt his cock throb with each throaty gasp and moan that fell from L's lips.

"Uwaah! Oh god, don't stop, I'm so close. Please!"

Light's hands flew to his erection and he squeezed it. He was panting hard as he battled the urge to shove his hand down his boxers and jerk off to those sexy sounding moans.

He lost the battle as he heard the fleshy sounds of bodies rutting together, the bed squeaking and L's cries of ecstasy. He jerked himself off with a blistering desperation and came almost instantly, a sharp gasp torn from his throat as the powerful orgasm slammed through him. L's own cries of completion rang in his ears as he spurted out the last few shots of come through his fingers.

Light slumped back onto the bed, panting harshly for breath as he tried to process what the fuck had just happened. His breath hitched and tears filled his eyes when he realized what he'd just done.

"Oh shit. Oh, L, I'm so sorry" Light whispered. He hit 'disconnect' and burst into tears, his body shaking with sobs.

No matter what he did he still wanted L! He wanted someone who would never want him back. It fucking *hurt!*

Light cried himself into a restless sleep, tears drying on his face and glinting in the fading sunlight.

'I think I love him' was the last conscious thought he had before blissful oblivion beckoned…

******************

L nearly had a heart attack when he checked his phone. He'd called Light. That bump he'd felt when Beyond pushed him back onto the bed had been his goddamn phone!

"Oh my god. Oh my fucking god" L struggled to breath as panic set in. Beyond was sprawled out on the bed in a sated sleep and L, trembling with panic and fear, clambered into his clothes as fast as he could. He only had twenty minutes to get to the Drs and he could smell the sweat and come on his skin.

How was he supposed to have a shower and get to the Drs in twenty minutes? He *had* to attend that appointment…

And then there was Light to consider. How in the name of fuck would he be able to look him in the eye again? The call had been connected! There was no way Light hadn't heard them.

L slumped on the floor and shuddered, stomach churning in anxiety. He retched and voided his stomach, shaking and crying in misery.

"Baby…"

L looked up through watery eyes to see Beyond hovering over him. It was just like the time before. He'd been vomiting and shivering as the pills he'd taken ravaged his body. Beyond had held him close and promised everything was going to be alright. Just like he was doing now. He felt Beyond raise him up and he swayed on shaky legs. Beyond was telling him everything was going to be okay. Beyond was guiding him into the car and driving him to the Drs…

“You've had another panic attack, Sweetheart. Sit tight and breath deep, it will all be okay. I'm going to come into the Drs with you today, alright, Baby? We will sort this out together"

L was too emotionally distraught to notice the excitement in Beyond's eyes. He sat and concentrated on his breathing the entire journey and it was only when Beyond tugged at him to get out of the car did he finally look up from the floor.

L felt disgusting. He walked on wooden legs and tried not to grimace as he felt cum and lube slither down the back of his leg. Beyond was all soft words and charm as he guided L into the waiting room.

"Could you get me some water, please?" L rasped out. He knew what a mess he looked with his bedraggled hair and red-rimmed eyes. He caught a woman staring at him and promptly turned his gaze to the carpet.

"Of course I can, Darling" Beyond smiled and went to fetch him some water. L tried not to cringe as he heard Beyond assure the concerned woman that he was quite alright, he was just going through some issues right now.

L drank the water Beyond gave him and waited for his name to be called. It wasn't a long wait due to the lateness of the day and he was soon following Beyond into the Drs office.

"So, L, how have you been…"

L stared at the doctor blankly. Wasn't if fucking obvious he was a mess and just seconds away from splintering apart?

"He hasn't been doing so well, Dr" Beyond cut in smoothly, "He had an episode a little while ago and his PTSD has been rather… unstable this month"

By the end of the appointment L had more pills, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medication. Beyond had even managed to sweet talk the Dr into prescribing Diazepam to help him sleep better. Therapy was scheduled and polite, empty smiles were exchanged between Beyond and the Doctor.

L sat as still as a stone, face and mind utterly blank as Beyond drove him back home. He needed a shower. He needed to crawl into bed and think of nothing.

He needed Light...

Chapter Text

Once L was alone, he picked up his phone and stared at his call history. Beyond was back at work and he had a few hours before he was set to pick Light up for the concert. The longer he sat and dwelled upon ringing Light the worse it would be. He needed to ring Light and discuss what had happened last night. If Light thought he was sick and didn't want to be his friend then he'd best just get it over and done with.

He just needed to tap the call button. Just one little tap…

L continued to stare at the phone. He jumped when it suddenly lit up and his heart skipped a beat. Light was calling him!

"H-hello?" L internally cringed at how nervous he sounded and cleared his throat, "Hi Light" he corrected.

"Hey, L, um, look, I was just ringing to-"

"Listen, about what happened last night…" L butted in, needing to just get it over and done with and not caring if he sounded rude. His palms were slick with sweat and his heart was racing in his chest. He wished he had something he could squeeze other than the flesh of his inner thigh.

('Don't do that, Babe, you bruise easily enough as it is. Plus, it's weird.)

"You called me? Yeah, guess I must have fallen asleep on my phone or something. The call connected but i was asleep. Heh, did you pocket dial me or something?"

L's mouth dropped open in shock. What? Light sounded so calm and collected. Perhaps just maybe fortune had been smiling down upon him and Light really hadn't heard him and Beyond? Maybe it was all just a big his understanding!

"Er, yeah, I guess I must have" L said slowly, cautiously optimistic that maybe he and Light could still be friends after all. He really didn't want any awkwardness between them (well, other than the fact he harbored a guilty crush on him)

"Weird. Anyway, I'm really sorry but something's come up with Sayu and I can't go to the concert tonight. She's got a test she hasn't studied for and she's freaking out so bad I feel a bit sorry for her…"

L did his best not to voice his disappointment as Light excused himself from going to the concert. Part of him couldn't help but worry Light was trying to put some distance between them. What if Light *had* heard what was going on but was just trying to distance himself gracefully without calling him out on it?

"Don't worry about it, Light, I will see you in school on Monday" L dug his nails into his palms as he tried to remain upbeat. He needed to start his new medication. Beyond had said they would help with his anxiety and right now he felt on the verge of another panic attack.

'But Beyond won't let me take any meds unless he's there' L thought back to the two bottles of sleeping pills lying on the grass and closed his eyes. Beyond knew what was best for him. If it wasn't for Beyond he wouldn't even be alive. He would wait for him to finish work so he could give him his tablets.

"L?"

"Huh?" L blinked and uttered a laugh. It sounded hollow to him but he hoped Light would buy it, "I'm sorry, Light, I just kinda zoned out for a bit. What did you say?"

"I asked if you were okay"

L closed his eyes against the sting of pain that question gave him. Light was so thoughtful. He really didn't deserve to have him as a friend, not with how he felt about him. He didn't deserve to have Beyond either.

"I'm fine"

"... Good. See you Monday then. Bye." Light's voice lost a little of its warmth. L thought he sounded a bit flat, like he was disappointed in something.

L slowly pulled his phone away from his ear and returned to staring at the screen. So Light apparently hadn't heard anything so there would be no awkwardness. That was a good thing, right?

***********************

"That does it" Light stomped over to his wardrobe and flung open the door. Enough of L and his 'I'm fines' he was going to go out on a date and maybe even get lucky. The cute guy at the coffee shop had given him his number weeks ago and although Light hadn't text he had kept it.

In his irritation with L, he'd texted Takahiro and had soon found himself with a date to look forward to.

'How much more am I supposed to take, he's draining the life out of me! I'm nearly eighteen and I spend every waking moment worrying about him. It isn't fair!' Light rested his forehead against the wood of the wardrobe door and forced himself to breath deeply.

L was, and always would be, a friend. He had to reconcile himself with that for the sake of his sanity. L was in love with that dickhead Beyond Birthday and despite his friends' best efforts, it seemed he wasn't about to ditch him anytime soon.

So what was the point in refusing to date anyone else, becoming sexually frustrated and pining his ass off when he could never get what he wanted?

'At least he bought that I'd slept through that phone call' Light's face flushed at the memory of those sultry moans and their reaction on him. He wasn't supposed to think of that phone call, but every now and then it would just pop into his head and scatter his other thoughts like bowling pins.

"I need to do this" Light muttered as he began rifling through his clothes. He was meeting Takahiro at the coffee shop he worked at after his shift, and then they were going to get something to eat. That meant smart casual. Light opted for a pair of distressed jeans and a trendy green pullover.

It was spring so he added a light jacket to the ensemble and nodded at it in satisfaction. Takahiro was a smart guy, so he knew he would appreciate the effort.

'Unlike L, who can't even seem to button his blazer properly or put his tie on'

Light bit his lip and let out a deep sigh. He actually found L's disheveled appearance adorable, as did most of his other admirers. Perhaps it was that shy, sweet smile of his or those big gray eyes that helped him get away with it?

"Damn it!" Light snatched up his clothes and headed to the shower. "I am *not* going to think about L anymore today!" He told himself firmly.

"Liiiiiiight!"

"I'm going in the shower, Sayu" Light called back, irritation in his voice, "What is it?"

"Nothing! Just being annoying!" Sayu chirped and banged on his door as she passed. Light huffed and slammed the shower door behind him. At least his brat of a sister could admit she was a pain in his ass…

*******************

L tried not to think about the concert his friends were currently at, but that was hard considering they were all sending him snaps of the damn thing. L was glad they were having fun, he really was, but he just wasn't in the mood. He turned his phone off and went back out to the shop to see if Beyond had finished locking up yet.

"I know, but it is what it is, Baby"

L bristled. Who the fuck was Beyond calling 'Baby?!' L cleared his throat and stomped into the shop, eyes narrowed at Beyond. Beyond raised an eyebrow at him and continued his phone call, completely unphased.

L stared at him in astonishment until Beyond hung up and placed the phone on the counter.

"What the *fuck*, B?" L growled, "Who were you just talking to?"

"Oh, just some guy" Beyond smiled lazily, "Look, Babe, I love you, I really do. But… you're just hard work sometimes, you know? Nathan and I just hook up a few times, that's it. It's just sex and I need the break from you at times. Surely you can understand that"

L clutched at the counter, his stomach churning as Beyond's words registered. He was hard work? So that gave Beyond the right to fuck someone else behind his back?!

"I… I'm hard work?!" L spat vehenmontly, "Are you fucking kidding me, Beyond?! You control every single fucking thing I do! You control who I speak to and who I can't. You dictate my entire goddamn life! How dare you say that to me!"

Beyond blinked, surprised at the outpouring of anger from L. He'd assumed L would have sulked and accepted it. L knew he was fortunate to have someone like him, so where was this fire coming from?

"L, this is exactly why I want to have an open relationship right now. Listen to yourself, you're screaming the damn shop down!"

L automatically sat down and tried to gather his thoughts. He couldn't accept this. It was just too much. First Light had bailed on him and now Beyond was seeking comfort elsewhere. Was he that damaged he was hurting those around him too?

'I should have just died. I shouldn't have been sick. If he hadn't found me in that field he wouldn't have the power he has over me. I wouldn't feel indebted to him- No. Fuck that. I'm done. I'm really done this time. He saved my life but that does not give him the right to screw around behind my back! He saved my life but that doesn't mean he *owns* it! I'm such a fool!'

L stood up and stared at Beyond, his eyes gray slits of ice. "I want my meds, Beyond. I want control of my life back and I want you *out* of my life completely" he hissed. "Give me my meds or I will report you for theft!"

Beyond snickered at first, but when he realised L wasn't backing down he stormed over to the cabinet and pulled out the pharmacy bag. He shoved them into L's arms with a cruel smirk.

"Don't go getting tempted to take them all, Sweetheart"

"Go fuck yourself, Beyond. We are over!" L snarled. He walked out of the shop and slammed the door behind him, scarcely able to see through the tears in his eyes. Despite his lack of vision he felt he had never been able to see things as clearly as he could now. Beyond used his problems to control him. Beyond had made himself into his savior and he had expected L to submissively accept he was being unfaithful. Why? Because he expected L to be grateful to even have him. He'd expected L to *share* suddenly everything Matt, Mello and Near said made sense. His friends were worried about his relationship with Beyond but he had ignored them.

And now he was paying the price.

'I'm worth more than that. I have to be worth more than that. I've wanted Light for months and I've done nothing out of loyalty to Beyond, and this is how he treats me?!'

L pulled out his phone and blocked and deleted Beyond's number before dialing his driver to pick him up in twenty minutes. He needed sugar and caffeine and to read up on his meds. A nearby coffee shop caught his eye and L headed towards it, angrily brushing the tears from his eyes. L was so caught up in his thoughts and his bad mood he didn't even realize Light was there until he happened to glance up to check the time.

L stared at Light and the guy he was with. They were sat together in a booth and looked rather cozy indeed. Irritation and jealousy stirred in him and L glared at Light with such fierceness the hair on the back of Light's neck stood up.

Midlaugh, Light turned to see who was staring at him. When he saw L his smile faltered and then disappeared.

"What's wrong, Babe?" Takahiro reached for Light's arm, a small frown of confusion on his face.

L turned his back to Light, paid for his coffee and turned to leave. He'd text Aiber to pick him up *now* before he splintered apart in the middle of the fucking coffee shop.

"Sorry, two seconds!" Light slipped out of the booth and hurried towards L.

"Hey, uh-"

"Save it, Light, if you didn't want to go to the concert that's fine, you could have actually just said that" L snapped acidly, "I've had quite enough of liars for one day, so if you'll excuse me" L brushed past him and walked out of the door, his heart aching with each step he took.

He had once felt torn between Light and Beyond.

L smiled wryly at the thought. Now he didn't have to feel torn between them. He was better off the way he had always been- Alone.

"L, wait, I can explain-"

L ignored Light (who had started to follow him out the door) and sighed in relief when he spotted the silver BMW waiting for him. He slipped inside and stared straight ahead, ignoring Light as he sank back into the warm leather seat and felt his heart break into pieces.

********************

Light didn't have the heart to continue the date. He apologised profusely to Takahiro and fled the coffee shop, his mind reeling. L had looked so upset, and when he tried to ring or text he was met with stony silence.

There was only one thing for it. Go to L's house. He knew L lived with his wealthy grandfather in a lavish gated community just outside of Tokyo but that was all he did know.

'Matt! Matt will now where he lives' Light rang Matt over and over until he finally picked up.

"Dude! I'm at the concert" Matt sounded faintly annoyed, which was a rarity since he was usually so chilled about everything.

"This is an emergency. Where does L live?"

"What's happened?" Matt asked at once. Light briefly explained what had happened, hoping Matt wouldn't ask too many questions.

"Fuck sake, Light" Matt huffed, "He lives at Hollyborne Mansion, just past that fancy gated community you know the one. Think the nearest block to it is Naiko Avenue"

"I know it! Thank you! I will explain everything soon, got to go" Light hung up and checked his wallet. He had just enough to grab a cab to a few blocks before L's home. He had no idea how he would get home (maybe he'd beg his father) but right now that wasn't important. Getting to L was.

Light hailed the nearest cab and climbed in, repeating the address Matt had given him. During the journey he tried to ring L again but found he'd switched his phone off.

'I hope he isn't too pissed off with me for turning up out of the blue, but I have to see him' Light rested his head against the cool glass of the cab and closed his eyes against the glare of neon lights.

Twenty minutes later the heavens opened and Light, who was currently warm and comfortable in the cab, sighed deeply. He wasn't even wearing his jacket since he'd left it with Takahiro.

'Just fucking great. Can this weekend get any worse?' Light grumbled and paid the cab fair. It was a ten minute walk to the gated community L lived in. He hung his head and trudged through the rain, praying L would at least let him in so he wouldn't get soaked to his skin.

Light found himself at the gates and gulped in shock. They had their own security team!

"Can I help you… sir"

Light tried not to bite at the way the woman uttered 'Sir' as if she doubted the sodden teenager was indeed that.

"I need to see L. He lives at Hollyborne" Light bowed his head, "Please, Miss, can you contact his house and let him know I'm here?"

The cool, blonde haired lady lowered her sunglasses (Light had to question why the hell she was even wearing shades at night in the first place) and gave him a not so subtle once over.

"You're a school friend of Lawliet-Kun's?" She drawled.

She sounded foriegn, but her Japanese was pretty decent. Light nodded his head.

"Huh. Fine. What's your name?"

"Light Yagami"

One blonde eyebrow rose at his answer and the lady, who Light would later find out was called Wedy, reached for her phone.

"Hey. Someone to see L, says his name is Light Yagami, a friend from school. Okay… Right, I'll send him through"

Light closed his eyes in relief as the woman opened the gates. "Watari said it was alright for you to visit. Welcome"

Light bowed again before darting through the gates. He was astonished by the immaculate ornate gardens, fountains and the sheer size and luxury of the opulent mansions. Each one was set a respectable distance from the other and some, like L's, had their own extensive grounds separating them. L's, obviously, was set further back from the others. Light swiped his sodden hair out of his eyes and set off on the *ten minute* walk through the luxury estate to get to L's house.

He stared up at the greystone mansion and breathed in the scent of the rain soaked roses. He knew L was from a wealthy family but he honestly had no idea just how wealthy. It was like L lived in another world to what he did. As Light waited for the door to be opened (probably by a maid or maybe even a butler) he spotted a sleek silver jaguar. That had to be L's car! What gave it away was the candy wrappers thrown haphazardly over the dash board.

Light cleared his throat and swallowed thickly when he heard footsteps approaching the door. He braced himself to speak to a maid but his mouth fell open when L answered the door. Dressed in loose fitting white pyjamma pants and a baggy band T-shirt and with hair still damp from a shower, Light thought he had never looked so beautiful.

"Light, what the fuck are you doing here? How do you even know where I live?" L asked, his eyes wide as he stared at Light. He resembled a drowned rat and when he sniffed pitifully L knew he had no choice but to invite him inside. Part of him was touched Light had abandoned his date and come after him. "Come in, Light. I will have one of the maids fetch you some dry clothes" L held the door open and walked back inside the foyer.

The scent of fresh lilies hit Light and he sneezed, startling the maid waiting to take his coat. Realizing there was no coat and the young man was dripping all over the floor, she looked to L.

"Please fetch some of my clothes, we're about the same size so it should be fine"

She bowed and scurried away, wondering who the dishy teenager was. She was used to seeing Matt, Mello and Near in the house, but she'd never met this guy before.

Light winced as his shoes squelched, the sound echoing through the cavernous Great hall.

"Take them off, Light, if you get water all over the carpets Grandfather is going to kill me" L attempted a smile. They stared at each other before Light slipped off his shoes and lined them up neatly by the door. The maid reappeared with a towel and a fresh set of clothing for Light.

"Go and get changed. Elaine will show you to a bathroom and send you into the drawing room when you're finished. Would you like some tea?"

Light blinked. This was so surreal. Drawing room? Was he suddenly in a period drama or something?

"Uh. Sure" Light clutched at his clothes (well, L's clothes, technically) and followed the young maid. He dried and dressed as a quick as he could, noting L's jeans were a little snug and short on him, but not horrendously so. The Faim T-shirt (a band he'd never even heard of) looked pretty sweet too. He toweled off his hair and emerged from the bathroom clutching his sodden clothes. He smiled apologeticly at the maid as she grabbed them off him and rushed to launder them.

"The drawing room is the dark wood door with the Stargazers outside!" Elaine called out over her shoulder as she hurried off.

"The what…?" Light looked around at the vast foyer. Stargazers? They were a type of lily. Pink, if he remembered correctly. He spotted two tall vases next to a grand set of ebony colored doors and headed towards it. L's world was as alien to him as space was.

He knocked and poked his head inside, eyes sweeping across a room that he could only describe as historic. Sat by a coal fire, L was sipping tea and waiting for him, looking every inch the English Aristocrat.

L looked away from the fire and Light felt his breath catch in his throat. The way the firelight played on L's pale face and highlighted his hair, setting it ablaze, made him pause at the threshold.

'I love him. Despite everything, I really love him' Light thought dazedly. It was ridiculous. He was Seventeen. What did he know about love? He just knew without L Lawliet in it his life would be meaningless…Perhaps there was more to Romeo and Juliet than he had thought?

"Come and sit down, Light" L said softly, returning his gaze to the fire.

Light approached slowly and sat down, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. He didn't know what to say to L now that he was finally here. Thankfully, L seemed content to sign and stare at the fire for a while which gave him the time he needed to compose himself.

"L, I'm really sorry. I didn't bail on you to go out on a date, that sort of just happened" it sounded weak, even to his ears, and L simply raised an eyebrow at him.

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't lie to my face, Light. You might be able to fool others but you can't fool me. You heard the phone call, didn't you? And it made you want to put distance between us. I get that. I'm embarrassed as hell about it too, but I would have *said* something to you about it…" L shook his head and wrapped his arms around his knees. "It doesn't matter now. I've dumped Beyond"

'Holy shit!' Light couldn't stop the flutter of hope in his chest. "Why? Other than the fact he's a total douche?"

L smiled bitterly. "That is pretty much the exact reason I dumped him, actually. He was… he's been seeing someone else behind my back, has been for a while. He didn't think I'd be mad since I should be grateful to have him"

Light seethed. "What an entitled fucking prick-"

L chuckled at Light's fury on his behalf, because it was rather sweet. "Three years ago I took two bottles of sleeping pills. I tried to kill myself so I could see my parents again. Beyond found me and saved my life. Ever since then I felt as if I have a debt to him. I think I loved him once, but I haven't loved him for quite some time. I… had a panic attack when I thought you overheard and had to go to the Drs. He took my medicine from me and was going to control it. You know what? I probably would have let him too. It was only when he was so blatantly disrespectful on the phone to his other lover did I realize just how little he thought of me. I was not fortunate to have someone like him, because his love for me is entirely warped and twisted. Beyond needs to be needed, and I suppose I was just his messed up little pet project"

Light slipped from his seat and went to L, enfolding him in a tight hug. L hugged him back, tears coursing silently down his face.

"You are so much more than that, L. You are special and amazing and beautiful and-"

L pulled away, a flush on his tear-stained face. "Beautiful?" He asked weakly.

"Beautiful" Light confirmed with a sad smile. "I've wanted you for so long, L. I was willing to put my feelings aside for you, if it meant you were happy with someone else"

L was absolutely stunned. His crush was returned, and yet he had found out at the worst possible time. His heart ached and whatever feelings he had for Beyond were crushing him.

"Light… I like you too. I've liked you since I first met you. Expect I thought you were a jerk at first" L smirked through his tears, "Working with you on that project made me realize how wrong I was. I wish I could just kiss you now and promise you everything will be okay, but I can't. Beyond was right, I'm too messed up-"

Light pulled away and kissed him. It was just a brush of lips but it made L's heart stuttered to a stop. He could smell the rain on Light's skin and he was so *warm*...

"You have problems, L, yes, But you aren't messed up. You aren't completely broken and I want to help put you back together, if you'll let me"

L touched his lip, eyes wide as he stared into sincere pools of amber.

"You want to help me?" L whispered, wishing Light would kiss him again. His wish was granted when Light gently took his hand in his and pressed a kiss to it, just like Romeo did to Juliet...

"I want to love you, L"

Chapter Text

Light fought back the urge to giggle at the comical level to which L's eyes widened.

"You… you what?" L stammered out, a flush creeping across his face. Light thought it was adorable. L's blushing face was definitely something he wanted to see more often, and if *he* was the cause of said blush, all the better.

"I want to love you" Light repeated softly. "I've been obsessed with you since you arrived here, L. At first I tried to deny it as a simple crush I'd get over. Then I realised the problems you were facing and… I guess I just want to save you, if I can. The original goal was to just support you and try and get you away from Beyond but… I guess I just can't hide how I feel anymore. Even if you aren't ready for a relationship right now I just wanted you to know that someone loves you. Loves you *properly* I mean"

'Well fuck me' were L's first thoughts, followed by, 'He *loves* me! He actually loves me? Like… properly?!'

Light's smile was infinitely patient as he waited for L to absorb everything he'd said.

"So… you'd… you'd wait for me? If I needed a little time before we g-get… intimate?" L asked cautiously, daring to hope Light was indeed that patient and selfless.

"Absolutely" Light grinned, his eyes sparkling with happiness at the prospect of being in a relationship with L. "What you had with Beyond… it wasn't normal and it wasn't healthy. I respect you too much to just try and force things on you. You need to think of your health first, but when you are ready… I will be waiting for you"

L hesitantly reached for Light's hand and held it in his own. Light squeezed gently and L felt tingles shoot down his spine. He wanted Light. He'd wanted him for months, but the thought of suddenly dating the boy he was still trying to understand was daunting. Now that he knew he could have Light's love, it was terrifying.

'What if I fuck up? I fuck everything up' L thought as he looked down at their joined hands. 'I have to take the risk. I can't just run and hide from this. I want him so badly'

L cleared his throat and slowly lifted his eyes to Lights. The integrity in them was heart melting. How he had ever thought this sweet boy to be aloof and standoffish was beyond him.

"Light. I want to be with you. But I'm frightened too. I'm frightened I will mess up. I'm frightened you will think I'm too much hard work or my problems are too-"

L was shut up when Light leaned forwards and pressed their lips together. The kiss lasted for less than a second, but to L it felt eternal. His heart pounded in his chest. It had never felt so *magical* with Beyond. His lips were tingling and he wanted to feel those sweet lips on his again.

"Shit. I'm sorry. I should have asked. I will ask next time-"

"Kiss me again" L whispered, cutting off Light's apology and shifting closer to Light. "Please kiss me again"

Light leaned in and touched the side of L's face. The move was so gentle L felt he might break by the tenderness Light was showing to him. He was used to being grabbed and this tenderness made his head spin. L leaned in and sighed when he felt Light's lips brush over his. It was longer this time, but when Light made to pull back L pressed closer with a soft whine. He felt Light's lips quirk into a smile under his and then they gasped and their tongues were touching…

L stopped thinking. For the first time in his life he felt utterly calm. The sensation of Light's mouth moving against his and the gentle touch to his cheek made him shiver. This was so right. Being with Light was what his soul was crying out for.

Light tilted his face slightly and their tongues shyly danced together, both boys moaned into the kiss as they wrapped their arms around one another.

When the kiss ended the embrace did not. Neither of them were willing to let the other go. L rested his head against Light's shoulder and breathed in the scent of rain and cinnamon. He was so warm and in this moment everything around him faded away. He wasn't damaged or broken in Light's arms, he was loved and cherished. He was L.

"I want you Light" L whispered into his shoulder, "I cannot let you go. Could we…could we take it slow?"

Light's answer was to press a kiss to the crown of L's hair and whisper in his ear; "Love is patient, L. We will take things as slow as you like and together we are going to get you better, okay, Baby?"

L swallowed thickly at the way Light said that pet name and stroked his hair. He sounded nothing like Beyond. Beyond only called him that when he wanted something. Light wanted something too, but it was simply to help him and be there for him.

Light asked for another kiss and L melted into his arms, grabbing on tightly to Light and silently promising himself he would never let go.

******************

Although Light or L hadn't confirmed they were dating, to their friends it was obvious. The way they looked at each other, shared secret little smiles and just stayed close said it all.

Matt had been thrilled to discover L had dumped Beyond Birthday and he and Mello were itching to mark operation Lawlight as a success. But until their friends actually came out and said they were dating, they couldn't. L and Light were to outside appearances, best friends. They only had two weeks left to work together on their essay but it was obvious their friendship far exceeded just study buddies now.

L went to watch Light play Tennis. Light went to L's art exhibit. The whole school were gossiping about the former rivals who were now the best of friends. A few astute students (namely the LawLight fan club) were convinced they were together.

"Just admit it" Mello moaned as he, Matt and Near watched L and Light eat lunch together. L was blushing winningly and Light was laughing as he gestured wildly with his hands.

"Maybe they're taking things slow. It's only been two weeks since L dumped Beyond" Near murmured, dark gray eyes fixed on the 'couple' "Plus, L is on new medication and seeing a counsellor again. He has a lot going on, perhaps he is just waiting for the right time to talk to us"

Matt spat out his mouthful of orange juice. "What?! Since when? I've been trying to get him to go back for counselling for months!"

"Well, clearly Light has the magic touch" Near remarked dryly, "Because since they've been… whatever they are, L has been attending weekly sessions"

"How do you know that?" Mello had to ask, peeved Near knew and he and Matt hadn't been informed.

"Oh, my girlfriend sees L there sometimes" Near said nonchalantley, "And L did mention about wanting to speak to us all to-"

"Woah. Woah, woah, woah!" Mello rounded on Near, blue-eyes wide with disbelief. "*You* have a girlfriend? You?!"

Near huffed. Was it that hard to believe?

"No, seriously. What?" Matt scratched his head, face scrunching up with confusion. "Who? And since when?"

L and Light wandered over, shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip (their desire to be as close as possible obvious) and smiled at them.

"Hey guys, can we join you?" Light asked politely. While Matt was his friend Near and Mello were more acquaintances, for L's sake he was determined to become friends with them. Maybe he could even introduce them to Kiyomi, Naomi and Mikami?

"Yeah, sit down. Near's about to reveal who his girlfriend is and then we are going to have a little chat" Matt flicked his eyes at L. L sighed but nodded his head. It was long overdue…

"Girlfriend?" L asked, a small smile on his face. "Ah, you mean the lovely Mioyki? I was chatting to her yesterday-"

Near flushed and dropped his eyes to his soda, wondering what she had said about him. "God, how does everyone know everything that's going on?" Near muttered.

"It's highschool, Sweetie" Mello chirped, "Everyone knows everyone else's shit. Speaking of. You two" Mello turned to L and Light. "Spill it"

L and Light glanced at one another. Near, who had been let off the hook, took a big gulp of tea as all eyes turned to L and Light.

"Spill what?" L asked, his lips curling into a smile as he enjoyed teasing his friends.

"You and Light. Are you fucking?" Mello asked bluntly. L flushed and Light's face went blank with suppressed annoyance. Mello was certainly going to take some getting used to…

"No, Mello, we are not. We *are* in a relationship though" Light replied flatly, his disapproval obvious. "We don't want anyone to know until after we've handed in the essay and L has finished his first month of therapy"

L took over and thanked his friends for their support and assured them that he would not get lured in by Beyond Birthday again.

"I should have listened to you. I'm sorry I didn't" L admitted with a sad smile, "I was blind to him"

Solemn nods greeted his words. L glanced up and noticed Misa Amane eavesdropping.

'Like I care. Let Beyond find out Light and I are together. Fuck the both of them' L narrowed his eyes in a glare and turned away from her. Whispers sprung up and L internally rolled his eyes. Why was everyone so bloody obsessed with what was happening to other people. Weren't their own lives interesting or something?

Light pressed his leg against L's and gave him such a sweet smile it made L melt.

"If you could keep it a secret for a few weeks we'd both appreciate it" Light said smoothly, a winning smile on his face.

"Alright, consider our lips sealed, but don't be surprised if it gets out anyway. Especially with people like *her* listening in" Matt flicked his eyes to Misa, who promptly scuttled away to Rem. "I'm so happy for both of you. We've been trying to make this happen since the start of term you pair of stubborn assholes"

L thought about all the times he'd longed to talk to Light and about the rivalry (whatever that was) that had kept them apart. He thought about Beyond's control and the way Light would always *ask* for a kiss…

"I'm sorry I couldn't listen to you. I wasn't very well. I'm still not well, but I'm getting better now" L wished he could hold Light's hand and squeeze it tightly. "Thank you all for being such good friends to me" he added softly, his eyes locking with Matt's. Out of all of them, he had been his biggest supporter. From day one Matt had always been there for him with a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.

"Don't thank us for being good friends. Buy us some coffee and muffins you rich bastard" Mello sniffed, a teasing gleam in his eye.

L grinned at him and suggested they all meet up after school and head to the American diner instead.
L assured his friends it was on him and that he wanted to thank them for what they'd done regardless. Light thought it was a great idea and they all decided to meet up at the fountain at five. Somehow, even Near was persuaded to bring his girlfriend along.

As he sat back and listened to the playful bickering of his friends L was struck by an odd feeling.

He was *Happy*

***********************

Beyond Birthday was absolutely seething. It hadn't taken Amane long to text him with the news L and Light were now an item. He'd intimidated the girl into being his eyes and to keep tabs on L for him, and in truth it hadn't taken much work. The girl was a gibbering idiot.

"So, you and your little study partner think you get to just waltz off into the sunset together" Beyond ground his teeth together. Romeo and Fucking Juliet indeed.

It didn't help that Nathan was being a prissy little bitch either. He wanted exclusivity, especially now that L was out of the picture. The man just didn't seem to understand he was simply a hole to Beyond. He wasn't even a good of a lay as L was either.

'I will get you back, L, you might think you don't need me anymore but we both know that isn't true. You need me and you always will!'

Another text flashed on his screen and Beyond smiled darkly. L and his friends would be at the diner later.

Well then. Perhaps he would take Nathan on that date after all…

Blissfully unaware of Beyond's intentions, L sat daydreaming in history class. Since starting counseling and his new medication he felt calmer. But he also knew Light's positive influence and Beyond's negative one being removed were also helping his emotional state. For the first time since his parents deaths he felt hope for the future.

Unable to resist, he sneakily pulled out his phone and sent Light a message:

'Just wanted to tell you that I'm thinking about you xx'

In less than five minutes he got a response that made his face heat up and his stomach flutter:

'I'm always thinking about you, Baby. I love you X'

L bit his lip to stop himself from giggling with sheer joy. Never did a name suit someone as well as Light's did. Light just seemed to illuminate the darkness in his soul. When he was with him smiles and laughter came easily. He dropped his friendly forgiegn kid persona and was simply L. They shared similar interests and could wile away the hours simply talking to one another. Talking to Light was thrilling. He was so intelligent and the way he saw the world and his views on humanity, and the need for tolerance and equality in society warmed L.

Light was a man who could change the world. He would become a brilliant police officer and Detective, L just knew it.

'I am going to have to reconsider my college options though. I don't want to be so far away from Light. I guess we can talk about it at the end of term' L propped his chin in his hand and stared out of the window. He found his mind drifting to Beyond. He'd had weeks of quiet and it was unsettling and not Beyond's style at all. Like the dark gray rain clouds gathering in the sky, L knew Beyond's wrath was brewing.

'As long as I have Light I can handle it. I can't fall for his bullshit again.' L's mood darkened as the first drops of rain began to splash against the classroom window. It was Light, once again, who lifted it when he sent another text:

'I've asked Mikami, Kiyomi and Naomi to come as well. Hope you don't mind but I thought it would be nice if our friends could become friends too? Also, Rem wants to come with Misa? X'

Uncaring if the teacher saw him, L quickly responded.

'That's fine, I'd like your friends to come as well but no Misa. I can't stand the sight of her, Light. Please apologize to Rem for me! xx'

The lesson crawled by slowly and L sighed with impatience. They were learning about the Cold War which was something he was interested in, but something he had learned about years before from his Grandfather. School required very little effort for both himself and Light and it made the whole process frustrating at times. L tried not to be too arrogant, after all, school had taught him how to make friends and manage his time more productively.

As soon as the bell rang L was scooping his books into his bag and heading for the door. He didn't bother to linger, he was looking forward to seeing Light. Which he thought was ridiculous since it had only been a few hours since he'd last seen him.

He found Light and the others waiting for him by the fountain. L wished he could just give Light a hug (maybe a kiss) but there were too many people around. He settled for giving him a smile and standing as close to him as possible. The simmering love he found reflected in Light's warm gaze made his heart skip a beat.

"Good day?" Light asked as the group headed towards the school gates.

"Not bad. Better now" L smiled up at Light, "What about yours?"

"Same. Better now" Light brushed L's shoulder with his. L could hear Kiyomi and Naomi cooing over how it was so cute operation Lawlight had been a success and he blushed. It seemed everyone knew he and Light belonged together but them! He still couldn't believe Matt had been trying to set them up for *months* and he had to wonder if he had a hand in persuading Kaho-Sensai to pair them for their essay. He really wouldn't put it past Matt. For all his placid smiles and easy going nature the boy had a razor sharp mind.

They arrived at the diner fairly quickly since it was only a few blocks from the school. Seeing as it was a Monday afternoon the place was still quiet enough for them to take their pick of the best booths. Mikami and Naomi pulled up a table and soon they were all chatting happily as they scanned the menus.

Light grinned as L pressed close to him and he sneakily slipped a hand up his thigh underneath the table. L looked at him through lowered lashes and Light wondered if it was possible to spontaneously combust with desire.

"L, I love you" Light whispered to him, the sound of his voice barely audible over the upbeat J-Pop blasting out of the diner speakers.

Mello, naturally, heard it. He turned wide eyes to Matt and mouthed 'Love?' Incredulously. Matt simply smiled, his green eyes twinkling knowingly.

A veritable feast of junk food made the tables groan as the group dug in. Laughter rang out as the two groups of friends merged into one and L and Light shared a pleased look when Mikami and Near struck up a conversation about their favourite cars. Near's girlfriend was happily chatting away to Kiyomi about her drama course and it appeared high-school cliques and factions were meaningless had no place here.

The group were having such a good time they almost missed the appearance of a certain red eyed man. Light, however, stiffened as soon as he spotted him and slung a protective arm around L's shoulders.

"Light, what's… " L's words trailed away and he stared, stricken, as Beyond sauntered in like he owned the place. Beyond's piercing gaze pinned him to the spot and L could only stare back at him, his heart racing as he wondered what on earth Beyond was doing in the diner. Beyond had told him often enough it was a 'dive for highschool students'!

L noticed a cute, twenty something on Beyond's arm and immediately identified him as Nathan. So Beyond had took the guy he was cheating on him with out on a date to the very place he knew L and his friends frequented. Nice.

"Don't let him get to you, L" Light murmured in his ear. He could feel how tense L was and pulled him closer. "I'm here, okay? Were all here and there is nothing he can do to hurt you"

L tore his eyes away from Beyond and shakily picked up his milkshake. Light didn't understand that Beyond could hurt him just by looking at him. He felt like an insect trapped in a petri dish each time those narrowed red eyes looked his way.

"Don't even think about going" Naomi whispered when they spotted Beyond and Nathan select a table a few yards away from them. "You've done nothing wrong, L, and we are having a nice time. It's obvious the jerk is just trying to get a rise out of you"

L swallowed thickly and nodded his head. No, he would not run. Not this time. Light's arm was a comforting weight around his shoulders and he had his friends by his side. If Beyond wanted to play his games then so be it- he just wouldn't join in the game.

The conversation was slow to pick up but Light was pleased when his friends began to laugh and chatter as if Beyond wasn't even there. Soon even L was giggling at Naomi's impression of the dour librarian. They finished their meal and decided since it was still early they should all hit Shibuya and find a movie to watch. L payed the bill, Light by his side (and blocking L from Beyond's view) before they walked out of the diner. Light could sense the fury radiating from Beyond Birthday when L refused to look his way.

'There might be trouble ahead. Beyond clearly isn't able to let him go' Light thought. He was pleasantly surprised when he felt L slip his hand into his and he smiled brightly at L.

Trouble or not, they'd be ready for it. They had each other and they had their friends. There was nothing Beyond Birthday could do to ruin that…

Or so Light hoped.

Chapter Text

"L!"

L closed his locker and turned to the tall, purple haired girl calling him.

"Hi, Rem, how are you?" He greeted pleasantly. He didn't really have the time to stand around and chat (mainly due to the extended snogging session he and Light had indulged in in the boys bathroom) but he didn't want to be rude to his friend. God knows Rem had endured her fair share of him venting away at her. It looked like she had something on her mind so L decided he'd have to think of a decent excuse and just be late to Maths.

"Are you and Light dating now? It's all around the school you are" Rem smiled slightly, hoping L didn't just think of her as an idle gossip.

L sighed and shrugged his shoulders. They had finished *and* handed in their essay a whole week in advance and Beyond had been oddly quiet since their run in at the cafe the previous week, was there really much point in continuing to deny the rumors?

"Uh-huh, I get it" Rem nodded her head, "I won't breathe a word and I won't confirm anything if people ask me. I just wanted to say congrats I guess"

L noticed Misa hovering nearby and quirked an eyebrow at Rem. He knew all about the girl's crush on Misa but unfortunately Misa was as dull as a brick and hadn't cottoned on to the fact Rem liked her *that* way.

"Urgh, I know. I am *trying* to show her how I feel but she's just not getting it. Maybe she's just not into girls" Rem mumbled as she slumped against the lockers.

"Oh she definitely is" L reassured her. "She told me she and Takada hooked up once at a party. She's oblivious, Rem, and though I don't like her I would like to see her happy none the less. Why don't you just tell her how you feel?"

Rem sighed and ran a hand through her hair. That sounded easy enough to *say* but to actually do it…

"Hey, I just thought the school dance is coming up soon, right? Send her a note and ask her to go with you" L suggested with a bright smile. He'd already scored his date and he couldn't wait to see Light in the tux he was talking about hiring.

Rem bit her lip and patted his shoulder in thanks. There weren't many people she would talk to but L Lawliet was one of them. Just like her he'd been giving the shitty end of the stick in life and he had a gentle understanding and empathy of the suffering of others. It made him a good friend to have.

"I'll think about it. Thanks, L. See you in art?"

"Yup" L nodded his head, "my days of skipping classes are done"

Rem smiled brightly at him. What a transformation! She wished L had ditched Birthday a damn side sooner than he had. Rem hurried over to Misa and tried to ignore the way she gazed longingly after L as he walked down the hallway.

"Did he mention me? Did he hint he might talk to me again?"

Rem internally rolled her eyes and prayed to whatever deity that happened to be listening to give her strength to endure her unrequited love.

The thought made her giggle because how dramatic was that?!

"What, Rem? What's so funny?" Misa chirped, staring up at her tall friend in confusion.

"Just thought about how we high school students make our lives ten times more complicated by creating our own dramas" Rem shook her head in amusement, "Come on, we better get going or we will be late"

Misa sighed and trudged after her. The entire school were branding L and Light 'Sweethearts' and it wasn't fair! Why couldn't someone love her as much as Light clearly adored L?

******************

As soon as the lunch bell rang Light was out of his chair like a shot and texting L to meet him by the fountains. Perhaps there was some. Validity to Romeo and Juliet genuinely being in love because he felt pretty certain he would die for L Lawliet despite how young they were. He loved L with every fiber of his being and his youth couldn't detract from that. Maybe it even enhanced it.

Spring was fast becoming summer and the Sakura petals were long gone, replaced by young, pale green leaves. The sun was shining brightly and Light was in a very good mood indeed. Tonight was Friday and he was staying over L's House. Watari had made it clear he wanted 'no funny business' occurring but he knew some serious snogging and heavy petting would be happening.

Light spotted L and Matt talking by the fountain and hurried over to them.

"Hey" Light bit back the 'Baby' he had nearly added and beamed at L. The dark circles below his eyes were fading away and L looked *healthy* and happy standing in the sunshine.

"Hey, Light" L shocked him by pulling him close and confirming every single rumor floating around the skill by planting a kiss square on his lips.

Gasps and whispers rang out and L grinned at Light sheepishly. "Cats out the bag, Light, and I really don't give a fuck" L gave him another sweet kiss before pulling away.

"Gross! Fags!"

Light sucked in a startled breath and pulled L close to him as if his proximity alone could shield L from the disgusting slur. L tensed in his arms but stood firm, eyes narrowing into slits as he recognized the slur's owner.

"Gross! A fucking *Idiot*" L snarked in return, "Failed midterms, Taiko-San? Guess it's summer school for you. *Again*"

The jock growled in annoyance and stomped over to L.

"Listen here you little freak-"

"Back the fuck away from my boyfriend" Light got in the way and stared the burly boy down. Just because he had a few inches and more than a few kilos on him didn't mean he was intimidated. Light was confident in his Judo skills and he'd take anyone on who hurt his L.

"Or what? Gonna cry or something, Fagami?" Taiko taunted, a nasty smile making his ugly face even more repulsive.

"Leave it, Babe, that piece of shit isn't worth it" L soothed softly, "If you really want to kick his ass do it outside of school hours. You have a future to consider unlike *some*" L smirked up at the bully, "We'd best go we have plans. Enjoy your extra lessons and do try not to overwork that single brain cell of yours!" L slipped his hand in Light's and gave the bully the biggest shit-eating grin he could muster before they headed towards the gates.

"You… you are gonna pay for that you pasty-ass English freak!" Taiko called after them. Matt rolled his eyes and held up a middle finger in response.

"Ignore that asshole" Matt counseled as they made their way to the waiting car L's driver was sat in. "I know it's a bit lame but I was reading my sisters blog the other day and she'd posted a pile of inspirational quotes, you know the ones?"

L and Light shared a grimace. They did indeed know the ones Matt was talking about. All flowery and cute and so damn sickly.

"Yeah exactly. They're usually lame. Well anyway, this one stuck out to me. It said by putting out other peoples candles you won't make your own burn any brighter. It struck me you know? High-school is like that. Everyone is always trying to scramble over everyone else rather than just be there for one another…" Matt blushed when he noticed L and Light were both staring at him in surprise.

"Matt" L mumbled, utterly awed by his friends empathy. "That is actually a really neat quote"

"Hmm. It is. Thanks for the stoner wisdom" Light bumped his shoulder against Matt and they shared a warm smile. During the journey each thought about that one little quote and made a promise to himself to never be the bastard to snuff out someone else's candle.

"Your stop" Aiber smoothly pulled the car up outside Matt's block, "Take it easy, Matty and give my best to Mello"

"Will do A-man! See you guys on Sunday. Two o clock at the diner, don't forget" Matt pulled L and then Light into a hug before he hoped out of the car. Matt's parents were away on a business trip which explained the extra spring in his step. L had no doubts Mello would probably spend the entire weekend at Matt's.

"Don't forget to stock up on lube!" L yelled through the window as the car sped off. L grinned as Matt flipped him the bird, the sunlight glinting in his ruddy hair.

Life wasn't perfect but he was starting to see beauty now. How could he not with Light by his side?

"So, what are *our* plans?" Light nuzzled into L's shoulder, pressing the sweetest little kiss to his neck.

L smirked at Aiber (who was pretending to not listen in) before he leaned into Light and whispered in his ear:

"I'm ready Light. I want to… " L faltered, hoping Light would get the jist of what he was saying. They'd been growing progressively closer and bolder with each other as the weeks past and after today's events his mind was firmly made him. Yes, he was bi and he liked guys. There was nothing wrong with that and he was done being afraid about what other people thought about him. Light was his boyfriend and he loved him.

He wanted to sleep with him.

"Wow!" Light gulped, "R-really?"

"Shall I stop off at the chemist for you boys? Stock up on some lube and condoms-"

"Shut *up* Aiber" L hissed. The joke wasn't so funny now it was directed at him. "And don't you *dare* breath a word to Quillish, got it?"

Aiber tipped his head. "Aye Aye, mum's the word. I was young once and-"

L pressed the button and the divider smoothly slid up. Light giggled at L's bratty behavior and gripped his hand in his. He was so nervous and excited!

"I've never slept with anyone before, L, I'm really nervous" Light admitted "Are you absolutely certain you're ready?"

L sighed at Light's sweetness and kissed him. "Are you sure *you're* ready?" He countered softly.

"I want my first time to be with you. I want every time with you!" Light blurted out, a blush staining his cheeks. "I… I've done… stuff before but I've never gone the whole way. I wanted to save it for someone special and there is no one more special than you are L. If you're ready then I would… I would love to" Light managed to stammer out. His usual smooth suaveness gone as he fumbled over his words.

'I love him. I love him so much!' L thought as he gently brought Light's hand to his mouth and placed a kiss on it, just like Light had done that stormy night weeks ago. Just as Romeo did to Juliet.

"I would be honoured to be your first, Light and I pray I will be your only" L's voice turned whimsical. They were both only seventeen. No one knew what the future held and it hurt his heart to think about Light with someone else.

'Just concentrate on the here and now. Not the past and not the future' the therapists words echoed through L's mind and he let out a shaky breath. Life wasn't certain and no one knew what the future held but right now he had Light and that was enough for him.

Light was about to lean in for another kiss when a sharp bang against the divider made them jerk away from each other in surprise.

"We're back, Lovebirds!" Aiber sang, "Have a lovely evening!"

L rolled his eyes at Aiber and slipped out of the sleek sports car. He would just mention to Wedy her husband was being a bit of a knob again and leave her to chew him out. It was obvious who wore the pants in that relationship that was for sure!

Light clutched L's hand as he walked up the grand driveway to L's home. He still felt out of place every time he visited but the maids had done their best to make him feel welcome and even Watari (Quillish's unusual nickname) had given him his blessing to date his grandson.

"Grandfather is hosting a business meeting tonight" L informed him with a sly glint in his eye, "I doubt we will have much bother from him. Um… what do you want to do when we get in? Are you hungry?"

Light nodded. He was *always* hungry and L's chef was phenomenal.

"Great. I will ask Maria to make a seafood pizza and we can play some video games?" L was perceptive enough to sense Light's nervousness and didn't want to push the issue of *when* they would sleep together tonight. He was hoping the moment would just happen like it did in the movies. Maybe he'd make it into a game? His eyes lit up as an idea hit him. He'd get Light to make a bet then kick his ass at Mario Kart (L was confident he could because even *Matt* couldn't beat him at it) and then he would ask for his prize and then…

L blushed and wondered if Light had any idea how fucking stunning he was. Their first time together was going to be perfect. He thought back to his first time with Beyond and his face fell as memories of scented candles and rose petals washed over him. It had all seemed so perfect to him back then, but how could he have known beneath the gilt lay nothing but base metal? He had only been fourteen and he had felt so fucking *cherished* by his handsome older lover…

"L?" Light's voice was laced with concern, "What is it, Sweetheart?"

"Just thinking" L cleared his throat and offered Light a small smile "I *am* fine, Light, really. It's just sometimes I think of him and it makes me sad" L admitted quietly. He'd promised Light to always tell him what was on his mind and it was a promise he intended to keep, even if it meant telling Light he was thinking about Beyond and their past relationship.

"I know I can't tell you to not think of him, L. I wish you didn't but I know you can't help it" Light squeezed his hand, a patient smile on his face, "Just promise me you will always tell me what's getting you down and together we will work through it, okay?"

"Okay" L reached up on his tip-toes and pressed a quick kiss on Light's lips. "Now let's go. I'm about to kick your ass at SuperSmashBros!"

*******************

"No! Don't you dare, L!" Light mashed the buttons on his controller but it was no good. L shot him with a rocket and Light's cart went tumbling into the abyss. L cackled as he sped off to victory and leaving Light in a cloud of dirt.

"Ha, loser" L crowed as Light hung his head in defeat. L really hadn't been joking when he said he was good at playing Mario Kart. "That means I get to ask you for whatever I want!"

Light shrugged. He was going to ask L for a kiss if he won and he hoped that's what L would ask him for too.

"I want…" L popped a finger in his mouth and chewed on it, "To suck your dick"

Light choked on the mouthful of orange juice he'd just taken and stared at L through wide, watering eyes.

"What?" He squeaked out as his blood rapidly raced below the belt.

"I want to suck your dick" L repeated, "Can I?"

"Hell yes you can!" Light blurted out, his mind replaying the numerous fantasies he'd had of watching that dark head bobbing in his lap while he fucked L's mouth.

"Come here then" L tugged Light over to the bed and pushed him down. Light shivered as L's nimble hands trailed down his chest to press lightly against the bulge in his jeans. L gave him a naughty little smile that sent Light's blood pressure skyrocketing. Light had very little experience with such things but he had received a blow job once ('I hope L doesn't accidentally bite me like he did!')

"You aren't going to bite it, are you?"

L's eyes flew up to his in surprise. "What? *No!* Jesus, Light, why would you even ask that?" L shook his head and pressed a kiss to Light's jaw, "Has that happened to you before?"

"Um. Yeah, like last year" Light blushed and scratched his neck awkwardly. His sexual exploration experiences had been pretty abysmal since they consisted of a mediocre handjob, a blow job where he was bitten and an attempt to suck someone off that ended up with him retching due to his partners lack of hygiene.

'Fuck. I hope nothing bad happens with L' Light stressed as L tugged down his jeans and stroked his hardening cock through his boxers. His eyelids fluttered closed as he let go of his worries and gave in to the pleasure of L's touch.

"You're so beautiful, Light" L breathed, enraptured by the way pleasure lit up Light's features and softened them. "Can I take your boxers off?"

Light didn't trust his voice so he nodded his head, his heart beating fast when L tugged them down. L gently took Light's cock in hand and began to slowly stroke it. It was odd, touching someone else so intimately. It had only ever been Beyond and now he and Light were about to take the next step together. It felt momentous and amazing. With Beyond he had been scared and confused but with Light…

"Is this okay?" L whispered as he glanced up at Light.

"More than okay" Light managed a crooked grin, "You're really good at this"

L's smile turned impish and he knelt down on the floor next to Light and pushed his legs further apart. Hed show Light just how good he was! The thick cock jutting up from between Light's legs sent a thrill of white hot lust shooting through L's system. Light was this hard for *him* and it was a heady thought indeed. L knew he had something of an oral fixation and the thought of sucking on Light and bringing him pleasure made his cock pulse demandingly in his jeans. He hadn't been this turned on in a *long* time.

L shuffled closer and lapped at the tip of Light's erection and both moaned at the sensation. Feeling emboldened, L swiped his tongue across the slit and Light's fingers spasmed and clutched tightly at his shoulders.

"Oh fuck, that feels so good" Light gasped as L continued to lick him, "Baby that mouth of yours is incredible"

L couldn't help but remember the same impassioned moan falling from Beyond's lips but he shoved the thought aside. He drew his lips over his teeth and drew the throbbing flesh into his mouth. Light choked out his name as L took him all the way to the base of his cock.

"Fuck! You didn't bite me!"

L pulled off and burst into laughter. He was laughing so hard tears trickled out of his eyes. Light gave in to laughter as well and soon they were feeding off one another until their bellies hurt with laughing so much.

"Biting isn't what is supposed to be happening here, Light" L soothed with a small giggle, "I'm very sorry you were so traumatized before but don't worry, I intend on showing you how it's done *properly*"

With that, L drew Light back into his mouth and began to bob his head. The feeling of Light's cock filling his mouth and the shivers running through his body made L determined to give as much pleasure as he physically could. As he continued to bob his head slowly Light's hands found his head and cupped it gently. Fingers twined into his hair and L hummed in satisfaction.

"Oh, L, oh fuck!" Light panted as he rocked in and out of that sucking heat. He felt dizzy and knew if this continued for much longer he was going to come. He wanted more.
"Babe, i'm going to come if you keep this up" Light warned in a strained voice.

L reluctantly pulled away, but not before he lapped at the swollen tip once again. Light was starting to leak precome and he just had to taste it.

"Baby" Light whimpered, "I want to fuck you"

L smiled and climbed to his feet. He clambered onto the bed and tore his shirt over his head.

"Can I… Can I touch you?" light asked hesitantly.

L was tempted to inform Light if he wanted to fuck him then yes some touching would be involved, but he bit back on his natural sarcasam. Light seemed to be overly cautious about getting his permission for everything and L suspected it was to do with Beyond.

"Yes. I want you" L breathed out. Light clambered over him and loosely draped his body over him and L reached up to encircle his arms around Light's shoulders. He could feel Light's cock throbbing against the naked skin of his stomach and he squirmed in anticipation. Light dipped his head anf kissed him, his hesitation and shyness fading away with each moan and writhe he wrung from the squirming body beneath him. They kissed with wet, open mouthed kisses as their desire grew and soon they were grinding against each other frantically.

"Ha! Nnn, Light!" L yelped as Light's hand skimmed down his stomach and cupped his bulge through his jeans. "Oh god" L groaned when Light began to press down on it and rub "Light, please!"

Light drew in a shaky breath and whispered for L to lift up his hips. L did so and he whined in relief when his tight jeans were undone and pulled down his hips. Light shrugged off his T-shirt whilst somehow digesting L off the rest of his clothes. Fully naked, they stared at each other through hooded eyes, chests heaving and hearts beating loudly.

"You are so perfect" Light pressed a shaky kiss to L's collarbone, "Fuck, L, I'm so excited and nervous right now"

L smiled and reached up to pull Light in for a kiss. "Me too" he admitted softly, "This is a big deal for me too. It feels like the first time for me too. I know it obviously isn't but-"

Light shut him up with a series of searing kisses that had them grinding into each other anew, their passion for one another overriding all doubts and insecurities. Light pinned L beneath him and kissed and sucked his way down his chest, leaving no inch of skin untasted as he made his way to L's hard pink nipples.

"Aaahhh" L tipped his head back with a loud moan as Light sucked a nipple into his mouth and began to lathe it with his tongue. "Mm, Light, more" L squirmed with desire, his body shuddering as Light's weeping cock smeared precome over his thighs.

Light tugged at the other one until L thrashed beneath him. Everytime Beyond played with his nipples it hurt him but somehow Light knew just how much pressure to use. Each sharp pulse of sensation had L spiralling further into bliss and he called Light's name loudly, more precome ozzing from his cock and smearing against Light's stomach.

"So sexy" Light whispered, his hooded amber eyes fixed on L's flushed face, "Can I touch you more?"

"Yes!" L pleaded. He whined as he felt those searing lips trail down his chest and over his stomach. His muscles quivered and L forced himself to remain as calm as possible when Light began kissing and licking his erection. Light pinned L's hips to the bed and admired the straining erection before him.

"I can do this. I want to make L feel good. I might not have as much experience as he does but I know I can still make this feel good for him'

"Light!"

Light smiled as he took a little more into his mouth and experimented by bobbing his head and humming around the flesh in his mouth. L let out a choked whimper and clutched at his shoulders, nails digging into Light's skin like little claws.

'He likes it' Light thought as relief washed through him. He ran his tongue up the sensitive underside of L's cock, tracing the heavy, throbbing vein and making L pant out his name.

"Good?" Light lifted his head to ask but forgot what else he was going to say when he saw how beautiful L looked. Flushed pink with his hair splayed around the pillow he was stunning in his passion.

"If you don't stop I'm going to come" L whined, "I want to come with you inside me"

Light pressed one last kiss to the tip of L's cock and backed off. Being inside L was definitely something he wanted and since L was calling the shots here, he was happy to follow his lead.

L rolled over and rummoged in his bedside drawer for the condoms and lube he knew was in there somewhere. After Beyond's admission of sleeping around L was taking no chances with Light's health. He'd been screened for every possible STI and some reulsts had already come back (all thankfully negative) but he was still waiting on a few. Until he knew he was utterly clean there was no way Light was taking him bare.

Light pouted slightly at the condom but didn't protest as L rolled it on him.

"Until I know for certain Beyond has given me anything Light" L assured as he slicked up the latex sheath, "I won't risk your health, Babe"

Light melted at L's care for him and pulled him in for a slow, sweet kiss. "I love you, L"

"I love you too" L replied, one hand still stroking Light's cock. "Are you ready for the next part?"

"Yeah. Um. L… it won't hurt you will it? I googled it and-"

L had to kiss him again. Light was being entirely too adorable right now.

"It'll be fine. It does hurt a little but that is just part of it. Its why lube and stretching are so important" L explained patiently, "Plus, I'm used to it and… it actually feels pretty good" he admitted with a faint blush.

"Can I… you know, finger you?"

L rolled onto his stomach and blew out a breath he hadnt realised he'd been holding it. He couldn't believe this was actually happening. All the candles in the world couldn't make this first time any more special in his eyes.

"Plenty of lube and… be gentle. Please" L whispered the words into the pillow. He felt like he wanted to cry and wasn't quite sure why that was.

"I promise I won't hurt you" Light pressed a kiss to L's shoulder blades before running the palms of his hands down the smooth plane of L's back. "You are so beautiful, L, god I can't believe you're actually mine sometimes"

L smiled at the words and closed his eyes in contentment. Light's hands found his ass and L sighed when he felt him cup and squeeze his cheeks. L let Light dictate the pace and lay quietly as he felt Light part his cheeks and run his thumb down the crack of his ass. He couldn't help but jump when Light pressed the tip of his finger just inside his hole.

"Sorry! Are you okay?" Light apologized at once, heart hammering in his chest as he watched that small pink hole clamp down around his thumb.

"Mmm. Fine" L turned his head to glance over his shoulder at Light. "Go on"

Light applied more lube to his fingers and slowly pressed one inside. He couldn't describe the way L's body seemed to yield to him and he was struck by how hot and *smooth* L felt inside. Light couldn't help but worry he would shatter apart the second he was embedded inside such tight heat.

Light flicked his eyes up to L's back and noted how supple and relaxed he was. He decided to press in a second finger and was rewarded with a low moan and a wiggle of hips.

"Good?" Light had to double check in case that hip wiggle meant L was uncomfortable.

"Good. Re-really good" L stuttered as Light's slim fingers deftly twisted inside him and began to scissor him open. Clearly someone had been doing their homework. "Fuck!" L yelped as Light pressed in a little deeper and his fingertip brushed against his prostate. L let out a breathy whine as Light aimed for that spot again.

"There, Baby?" Light cooed, mesmerized as L's hips began to undulate. L was fucking himself on his fingers and it was mind-blowingly hot.

"Yes! Light, more!" L clutched at the duvet and cried out as Light diligently stretched him out and stimulated his prostate rhythmically. Beyond had never taken much time with prep. In fact, most of the time he had told L to do it himself. So it was amazing for L to hear Light's ragged breathing and feel his arousal through these actions.

"Fucking amazing" Light groaned, his eyes fixed on the hole that eagerly swallowed up his fingers, "Fuck, you have no idea how hot your tight hole looks gripping around my fingers"

L whimpered at the dirty talk and bucked his hips up in a silent plea for more. Light seemed to have come into his own as he needed no more prompting. Light worked swiftly to open him up and by the time those wonderful fingers withdrew L found himself *aching* for more in a way he had never felt with Beyond.

"Please, Light, I'm ready" L begged through a strained voice. He could feel the hot glare of those beautiful amber eyes fixed on his twitching hole.

Light slicked himself up with a shaking hand and shuffled closer to L. L rolled onto his stomach and lifted his hips, smoothly lifting his legs and hooking them around Light's waist. Light groaned as he pressed his cock against the hot hole waiting to take him in.

"I want to see your face" L whispered, one hand reaching up to cup Light's face. L was mesmerized by the trembling of Light's eyelashes as he guided himself into his body and eased forward.

It hurt but it was a mild pain, so L breathed through it easily enough. L let out a breathless giggle as he realised Light was *bigger* than Beyond.

"Um. Babe?" Light whimpered, hips stilling immediately. Why was L *laughing* at a time like this?!

"I'm sorry, I was just thinking your big-ah!" L jolted as Light shifted and pressed further inside. "Bigger than Beyond. Oh fuck, Light!" L clutched at Light's shoulders as a hot coil of pleasure unfurled in his gut. He felt so stretched open and with the slightest of movements he seemed to ache sweetly. Light felt *perfect* inside him.

"Fuck. It's so tight. So fucking good" Light gasped as he thrust completely inside that velvet heat, "It's amazing, L!"

L tightened the grip of his legs, heels digging into the small of Light's back and pulling him in deeper. Both boys groaned raggedly at the feeling of *deepness* and panted harshly as they stared at each other in a hazy mix of lust and adoration.

"Light" L sighed in rapture, head tipping back and breathing deeply, "It feels so good"

Light leaned forward on his elbows a little more and kissed him. He kept kissing as he rocked his hips experimentally. L sighed again and mumbled against Light's lips that he could move faster.

Light grit his teeth at the sensation of L's inner walls clinging and rubbing against him as he pulled out. The drag was exquisite but the push back inside was even more delicious. He cried out as his hips nudged forward and his erection was engulfed in tight, clinging heat again. He could feel the taut rings of muscle yielding to him with each movement. He could feel L's body pulse and convulse around him rhythmically. Light Yagami had never felt anything as amazing.

"So good, Mmm! More, Light, please!" L panted, head tossing on the pillow as Light found a rhythm and fucked into him slowly and steadily. The bed creaked rhythmically and both boys clutched at each other desperately.

Light thought back to that illicit phone call, his loins burning as he imagined drawing those sultry moans from L's lips. L had said he was bigger than Beyond and he was gripped with a sudden firey desire to be *better* than him too.

"You like that?" Light whispered against L's ear, tongue snaking out to lap at the shell of his ear as he deepened the pace of his thrusts. L cried out harshly and Light felt his toes curl into the damp skin of his back.

"Yes! Oh fuck, Light!" L was loud in bed and Light grinned, confidence and vigor flowing through him with each loud cry L made.

Light was educated enough in anal sex to know where the prostate was roughly located and angled his next thrusts carefully, glazed eyes fixed on L's face to gauge his reaction. He knew the instant he found it as L's lax and panting mouth suddenly tightened before L let out a hoarse scream, body going as tense as a bow string beneath him. Precome pulsed out of L's cock and smeared against there stomachs as Light aimed for that spot again and again.

As L chanted his name in increasing urgency, Light splayed one hand against the headboard and began to pound into him harder. L's breathless cries and the way he tensed and clawed at his shoulders egged him on and soon Light was rutting into him, all hesitation and insecurity gone. Light knew what to do. Fucking L felt as natural to him as breathing.

"L! Oh god, fuck you feel amazing!" Light gasped, hips pistoning as he slammed in and out of L's body. Sweat coursed down his face but he couldn't let up, not even for a moment. The hot, sweet coil in his belly alerted him to the fact his release was imminent. L was thrashing and clutching at him, his body spasming as if he were a mass of live wires. Those sultry moans and begs were all for him and Light sobbed as it finally become too much for him. He crushed his mouth to L's and groaned into L's mouth as pleasure hit him like a sledgehammer. The orgasam took his breath away with its intensity and Light could only clutch at L as his thrusts grew erratic, his pulsing cock filling up the condom with come.

L let out a series of strangled little moans and suddenly Light felt the tight heat clamp down around him like a vice. L screamed out his name and came across their sweaty chests. Legs locked around Light's waist, L rode wave after wave of ecstasy until all he could feel was sheer bliss. Nothing in the world mattered more than this feeling. He didn't know when he had started crying but when he finally came back to himself it was to find Light sweetly brushing away the tears from his eyes.

"Okay, Baby?" Light whispered, caramel eyes soft with concern.

L finds he can't speak with the emotions bubbling inside him and the only thing he can do is nod his head before he bursts into tears. Light is still inside him and the feeling of being held so tightly breaks L's heart a little bit. He's never felt so loved before.

"Hush, L, I'm here. I love you. I love you so much"

As L cries Light whispered sweet, soothing words into his ear over and over again until the storm of emotions finally breaks and passes.

"I needed that" L whimpered in weak voice, "Thank you, Light"

"Never be afraid to let it out, L" Light slipped from his body and L shuddered at the feeling. He felt empty without Light inside him.

"I'm here for you. I'm always going to be here for you, I promise" Light vows, fingers gently stroking away the tears that are suspended on L's cheeks.

Exhausted by the outpouring of emotion and their activities, they curl up together and share each other's breath. Hands slowly stroke each others arms, backs and faces until heartbeats slow and sleep descends.

L doesn't think he is happy. For the very first time in his life he *knows* he is.

Chapter Text

L was practically floating as he walked down the school corridors. He and Light were lovers and he felt somehow changed by what had happened in a way he didn't think possible. It was like he had lost his virginity again, but this time he knew everything had been perfect. Light loved him in a way Beyond could not even comprehend. 

L was so happy he didn't even realise someone was calling out to him until he felt a tap on his shoulder. He stopped and turned to find Misa peering up at him hopefully. 

"What do you want?" L growled, dark eyes narrowing in irritation. 

"I just… I just wanted to say thank you for talking to Rem. She sent me an invite to the ball and admitted you were the one who persuaded her to send it" Misa bit her lip and tears pooled in her eyes. "I'm so sorry I've been so horrible to you, L! You've been nothing but kind to me and… I told Beyond you and Light were dating."

L rolled his eyes in exasperation. Of course she had, how else would Beyond have known to come to the Diner on that day at that time? "You're welcome. Unlike you, I'm not a complete and utter bitch. I hope you treat Rem better than you have me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have class" L turned on his heel and walked away from her. He was done with toxic people. He wanted to heal and be happy again and he knew surrounding himself with the likes of Misa and Beyond would be counterproductive to that. 

Misa sighed as L walked away from her and hung her head. She'd ruined a perfectly good friendship. She had come to realise L had been too damaged during their brief stint together to really be with her like she had wanted and he had been honest with her as well. She owed it to him to show that she wasn't a total bitch and could move on and show maturity as well. She made a promise to herself not to contact Beyond again and try and be a good girlfriend to Rem. 

*****************

Light was slowly but surely loosing his mind. He stared out of the window and repressed a sigh. 

Three hours without seeing L suddenly seemed like a lifetime after their magical weekend together. 

Light felt his cheeks heat up as he thought about their first time… and their second… and the third in the shower. 

'Shit' he thought as he felt his loins stir, thinking about that was a sure fire way to get an awkward boner in History class. 

He flicked his eyes to Mello and noted his friend was even less interested than he was. Mello had folded his arms across his desk and was out for the count. Light grinned. Mello had probably had a 'busy' weekend too…

"Mr Yagami, would you mind telling the class why you are staring into space and grinning like the cheshire cat?" The frumpy old history teacher (who was pretty much an ancient artifact herself, in Light's opinion) snarked. 

Light immediately dropped the grin and bowed his head. "My apologies, Sensei, I was merely thinking of someone who makes me happy"

'Awes' and giggles rang out across the room as the students whispered to one another. It was common knowledge that Light Yagami and L Lawliet were a couple now. 

"Sweet" the teacher remarked sourly, "But you're here to learn about The Cold War, not to daydream about your sweetheart"

Light dipped his head again and bit his cheek. Oh shit, she'd spotted Mello and was heading his way! 

As if the gods had answered, the fire alarm suddenly started blaring at a cheer rang out from the students as they happily grabbed their coats and prepared to file out. 

Light grinned as he realised he would be able to see L and hurried to shrug on his coat. He woke Mello up and informed him of his near miss as they hurried outside. 

"Wonder who set it off this time?" Mello giggled as they followed the crowd to assemble on the football pitch. 

"Do people really set them off when they're bored of class?" Light frowned as he thought about how people accomplished that. There were cameras placed on all the main fire alarm points now to try and stop the 'deviant' behavior. 

"Duh. I've done it loads of times. I reckon it's L, he hinted at wanting a break from Sociology earlier and he knows the spots where there aren't cameras" Mello mock-whispered. "Now you're in the gang we will teach you them too"

Light bit his lip to hide his grin. If L was playing these tricks just to see him then that was fifty shades of adorable. Surely it was L, because Mello was with him and Matt was off school. Light doubted anyone else had the balls to do it. 

He spotted L's shaggy black hair amongst a small group of girls and immediately zeroed in on him. Mello trotted after him, happy to finally be free from Miss Trunchball's wrath. 

"L"

L turned to Light with a sunny smile and Light felt his heart melt. 

"There you are" L held out his hand and Light clutched onto it, beaming as L introduced him to yet another group of his friends. "You know, I have a sneaking suspicion someone pulled the fire alarm on purpose" L's eyes were dancing with amusement as they peeked roguishly at Light's. "What do you think, Light?"

"I think you're right" Light nudged L's hip with his own. "I wonder who it could be?"

"Heavens knows, but classes will be out for the rest of the afternoon. Apparently whoever did it used superglue to hold the lever down…"

Snickers rang out and Light raised an eyebrow at L in amusement. 

"So I guess we can go to that museum exhibit you wanted to see after all" L summarized brightly. 

As the couple walked out of school neither had any idea of the calamity that was about to befall them… 

*******************

Misa sobbed as she was roughly pushed towards the school gates. She'd pulled the fire alarm at Beyond's request. She hadn't had much choice, Beyond had pressed a gun against her head. Beyond smirked at the terror in her eyes. The girl had tried to avoid him and had refused to spy on his L anymore. He'd soon changed her mind. 

He'd hoped by now L would have come to his senses and return to him but it seemed his silly love thought he was in love with Light Yagami. It was utterly ridiculous. 

He'd had enough. L and Light were going on some ridiculous date to the Museum and Beyond had plans to gatecrash it… 

He'd win L back or die trying. Beyond cocked the gun he was carrying and smiled sinisterly. L had wanted to die before so if L did refuse him again... Well, he'd just grant his wish and then shoot himself aftwards. 

If he couldn't have L, no one could. 

Chapter Text

"Wow, look at this, Babe!" Light dragged L over to an exhibit, his excitement obvious. L smiled and slipped his arm around Light's waist. 

"It's amazing" L nuzzled into Light. So caught up were they, neither of them spotted Beyond lingering in the background. Beyond watched them like a hawk, just waiting for his opportunity to strike. He got it when L announced he was going to use the bathroom. 

It took everything he had not to storm over to them and tear them apart when the two lovers indulged in a lingering kiss. 

Holding back, he waited until L had entered the bathroom before he followed. He waited impatiently as L used the urinal, half-hidden behind a cubicle door. 

'Come on, L' Beyond felt adrenaline and impatience thrum through him. The instant L emerged he barreled into him and slammed L into the wall. L's eyes widened with panic and then a chloroform covered rag was pushed over his nose and mouth. 

"Mmmppp!" L struggled as hard as he could but it was to no avail. "B-"

"Shhh, L, it's alright." Beyond soothed, "Silly thing, thinking I'd just let you go? You're mine, L!"

L could feel himself slumping forward and his eyelids felt so heavy… 'Light! I'm so sorry…'

"And if you can't see that, L…" Beyond chuckled darkly as L slumped into his arms, unconscious. "Then I suppose I will just have to make you" 

Now came the tricky part. He had a car waiting for him outside, but he needed to get L passed the guards near the fire exit and avoid Light. Beyond scooped L up into his arms and peeked his head out of the door. He could see Light, but the idiot wasn't looking their way but listening to a tour guide. He used the opportunity to quickly leave the room and headed towards the exit. 

"Excuse me!" Beyond plastered on his best 'Scared face' as he approached the guards. "My brother's epileptic and he's just had a fit. I need to get to the car, his meds are there!"

As predicted, the guards clambered over themselves to offer him assistance and soon Beyond found himself thanking the guards for their help, while L was strapped securely into the passenger seat. 

"I'm going to take him straight to hospital. Thanks again" Beyond waved as he slammed his foot on the gas and sped off into Tokyo traffic. 

His wheels screeched loudly and could be heard from inside the museum. Suddenly Light felt a cold chill run through him. 

"L!"

******************

When L next awoke it was to find himself bound and gagged in Beyond's car. His heart skipped a beat when he realised where they were parked. Overlooking the cliffs, the remote car park used to be one of their favourite spots for making out and watching the stars. The sheer drop was terrifying. Almost as terrifying as the manic gleam in Beyond's eyes. 

L flinched when Beyond ripped the duct tape from his mouth. He tried to ignore the sting the best he could, his heart hammering against his chest. 

"Beyond, Please-"

"Beyond, Please!" Beyond mocked, a nasty cackle in his voice. "You've only got yourself to blame for this, L. I was willing to be patient with you and give you some time. Nathan was just a fuck, you knew that, but no! You wanted Yagami instead"

L licked his lips nervously. "It's not that! Beyond, I… " L's words died in his throat. He couldn't deny his love for Light, even in a situation like this. "I wasn't happy with you for a long time, even when I thought I was. You saved my life once, but since that day you've acted like you own it. We just weren't suited-"

"Shut UP!" Beyond slammed his fist into the dashboard and L jumped with fright.  

'Oh god. Oh god he's going to kill me!' L felt cold terror grip him as Beyond began to giggle. Beyond pulled out his gun and placed it against his head. 

"You wanted to die before, L. Do you still want to die now?"

L swallowed thickly, body trembling as he shook his head. Of course he didn't want to die. He had Light. He had his friends and he had a future ahead of him he hadn't even realised he had when he took those pills. 

"No" L whispered, "Please, Beyond, if you have any love left for me just let me go. I won't go to the police. I… I'll leave Japan!"

Beyond scoffed at his words. Leave Japan? Leave his pretty little Light and those group of freaks he called friends? Things were easier before when L only had him. He was the center of L's world, but now L had destroyed that. Beyond took a deep breath and let it out in a long sigh. 

He knew there was only one option left to them now. If L did escape, he would certainly contact the police. He would return to him and Beyond felt physically sick at the thought. He'd tried to win L back. He'd tried to be patient. 

'I've done all I can. There's only one way we can be together now. In death' 

"Beyond! No!" L screamed in terror as Beyond suddenly yanked up the handbrake and put his foot down on the gas. 

L's breath caught in his lungs and time seemed to slow down as the car shot forward and hurtled over the edge of the cliff. The sky flashed above him and instinct suddenly kicked in. L reached for Beyond's gun and the penknife on the dash as they slide his way. Beyond's eyes were closed, a peaceful look on his face as the car plummeted to the sea. 

'I won't die! I won't let you win!' L curled his fingers around the gun and knife just seconds before the car crashed into the water. 

For a brief moment, it floated. L took his chance and aimed the gun at Beyond. 

Beyond's eyes flickered open and a smile curled his lips. "You won't shoot me-"

L shot him in the chest. Beyond's face went lax with shock and L took the opportunity to frantically saw at the rope around his wrists. The car was beginning to sink under the water and L felt his body burn with fatigue as he kept sawing at the rope. The only thing that kept him going was a single thought:

'I must see Light again!'

"L-"

Whatever Beyond had tried to say was cut short when the car suddenly submerged. With his wrists free, L bent over and began on the rope around his ankles. Water was already trickling into the car and with each passing second panic set in and slowed his movements. 

L cried out in frustration as he struggled to free the last few strands of rope. 

"Love you…"

L sobbed as Beyond let out a liquid-sounding gurgle, head lolling forward. L knew he was still alive, but it wouldn't be for long. Beyond would drown in the car… 

'But I will not!' L yelled as he yanked the last bit of rope free. Water sloshed around him and he gulped for air. With fumbling hands he shot the car door and forced it open. He had one last look at Beyond, pale faced, blood dying the water red and that dark hair dancing around his head, before he pushed himself forward.

The water was freezing and his lungs burned for want of air, but L grit his teeth and forced himself to keep going. The car was sinking into the sea, lower and lower. Bubbles of oxygen, Beyond's last breaths, slowly rose to the surface. 

L tore his gaze away and focused on the sunlight he could see ahead of him. Nearly there! 

******************

Light raced out of the car and cried in fear when he saw the safety railing had been smashed open. He remembered L telling him about this spot. It was L and Beyond' special place, once upon a time. 

Light felt cold sweat trickle down his back. There was recent tyre tracks, the safety railing was smashed open.. 

"Oh, god no. Please no!" Light ran to the end of the cliff, a scream (his?) Pierced the air as he saw a large shadow sink further and further beneath the waves. "L!!"

His father was already on the phone to the police, his face grim as he reported the tragic occurrence. 

Light sobbed brokenly, his mind torturing him with images of L gasping for breath and clawing at the water, eyes bulging as he drowned… 

Light lifted his head and wiped at his eyes, preparing to yell at his dad to call the coast-guard too when he saw it:

L had broken the surface and was treading water. He was pale faced and exhausted but he was alive. 

"L! I'm coming!" Light scrambled up and dashed down the steps that led to the small cove. He wasn't the best swimmer in the world but he was good enough to get L. He wasn't far from the shore but was too exhausted to do much else than tread water. 

'Got to get to him before he can't stay afloat anymore'

Light ignored his father's panicked cries as he yanked off his shoes, his jacket and threw his phone onto the wet sand. 

It didn't matter if his dad didn't want him to do this. It didn't matter if he wasn't a brilliant swimmer. 

All that mattered was getting to L. 

Light dived into the water and swam with everything he had. If L didn't survive this then he'd be happy to die too. 

He didn't know it, but his thought was eireely similar to Beyond's... 

Chapter Text

When L awoke, six months had passed. 

At first, he refused to believe that much time had passed. He refused to believe Beyond was dead and that Light had nearly died saving him.

How could such things have happened to him? Hadn't he finally been enjoying life? 

When he discovered Light had been unable to follow him to England, L had broken down completely. His treatment was ongoing and so Watari had made the difficult decision to return to the UK with a still unconscious L to try whatever he could to get the boy to wake up. 

'How has he managed these long months? Is he okay? God, does he think I've abandoned him?!'

"Light facetimed with you everyday to speak to you, L. He never missed a call. It's been difficult for him, but his 18th birthday has been and gone, and I believe he is planning on traveling here as soon as he can" Watari soothed as he plumped L's pillows. "Once you've had some tests done you can ring him. He will be so relieved to know you're finally awake"

L sniffled at the tender kiss his Grandpa dropped to his head. "Grandpa… I killed Beyond"

Watari let out a deep sigh and kissed L's head again. "You did what you had to do to survive, L. That is all that matters"

L thought about Beyond's last words, and that calm, accepting look on his face and shuddered. Had Beyond wanted to die? He hadn't even tried to fight back as he had desperately struggled to escape the car. 

Had Beyond's love for him killed him when he realised L no longer loved him in return. L wished Light was there. Light would probably make a parallel with Romeo and Juliet and coax an exasperated smile from him.

"Please get the nurses to perform these tests. I need to speak to Light as soon as possible" L rasped out. He didn't know what condition his body was in, but he had to speak to Light. He had to shout at him for risking his own life and thank him for being so brave. 

He had to tell him how much he loved him. He had to tell him it was Light himself that had given him the strength to fight. 

*******************

 Light sighed as he stared out of the classroom window. Nothing was the same without L. He kept expecting to see him waiting for him outside of class or sitting by the fountain with Matt and Mello. 

It felt like he was being haunted by the ghost of his memory at every turn. 

'Get a grip, Light. He is going to wake up. He has to wake up' Light rubbed at his eyes, wishing he had managed to get a few more hours of sleep last night. A sharp 'Psss!' caught his attention and he accepted the note from Matt. He unfolded it and smiled thinly. Matt was worried about him. They all were, but what did they expect? He'd nearly died. His L had nearly died. 

He wasn't sure how he could move on from it. Beyond's Death had been in the news and he was long buried, but his memory, and the memory of what he did, still haunted Light. 

Light was just frustrated. He didn't care about his future or college anymore. He just wanted to be by his love's side. 

He was on his feet before he realised what he was doing. 

"Is there a problem, Yagami-San?"

Light stared at the teacher, feeling as if the shock and numbness was finally wearing off. What was he even doing, trying to carry on and go to school. He needed to be in England with L. 

"Yes. I'm leaving" and with that, Light strode out of the classroom. Fuck school. Fuck his parents expectations. He was 18 now. He wasn't sure how he was going to manage it but he was going to England. 

'Watari?' Light quickly answered his phone, heart hammering in his chest. "Yes? Any news?!"

"He's awake!"

Light fell to his knees, uncaring of the stares he attracted as he burst into tears. "Thank god! Thank god, please, you have to help me get to England. My parents wouldn't let me get a passport and won't loan me the money I need for flights-"

"I will see that it is done within a week. I will send you the money and show you how to get a passport, so don't worry about that" Watari was quick to soothe. "L is weak and disoriented but he is asking for you. Can you speak to him?"

"Yes!" Light scrambled up and headed towards the benches for some privacy. His hands shook as he accepted the video call and he burst into a fresh bout of tears as he saw L's pale, thin face. 

"Baby!"

"Light!" L's voice was raspy but his eyes said everything. "I need you!"

"I'll be with you within the week, I promise you, Baby" Light forced out through a throat thick with tears. "God, you look so frail…"

"I'm alive because of you. Light, I love you so much!"

"I love you too, Babe" Light stroked the screen, wishing he could run his fingers through that wild, black hair. "I will be with you as soon as I can. I'm coming to Britain and I am not leaving your side again, L. I don't care if my parents get pissed off. You are more important than everything"

L faltered a little. He hadn't even taken into account Light's schooling. It would soon be time to pick out colleges, their finals… "Light… " L bit his lip, "You have important decisions coming up-"

"Yeah. You" Light answered flatly. "Look, Babe. Remember when we studied Romeo and Juliet and you said it was prosperous for such young characters to want to put their entire futures on hold for someone they just met? It isn't propsterus. It's love. I get it now. I get all of it. Beyond did what he did because he knew you no longer loved him and he didn't want to live with it. In his own sick way, it was an act of love"

L said nothing but listened in absolute fascination. 

"Romeo and Juliet is a play about love and the incredible, often stupid and nonsensical things it makes you do. I do not care about school. I don't care about any other future than my one with you. That is why I am coming to England and being with you. We can work the rest out later"

L smiled tearfully. Romeo and Juliet. L and Light. Yes, he could see the similarities now. He finally understood. 

Perhaps he should write that bitch English teacher a thank you note. Would she ever realise what her actions had done to their lives? She'd changed them forever. 

It was soon time for L to rest, and reluctantly, Light ended the call. He walked out of the school and didn't look back. 

Love was what was going to guide him back to L and be damned with what everyone else thought. 

Chapter Text

Light woke up early, as he usually did. Today marked two years to the day since Beyond Birthday had tried to kill L. 

L was still asleep next to him, the dark shadows and pallor of his skin testament to the sleepless nights and the hardships he had endured every day and night since that fateful day. 

'But we won't give up. We're getting there' Light thought to himself as he climbed out of bed. Since moving to England and essentially exiling himself from his family, life had been difficult for both of them. 

They were both just 18. Light was studying in his spare time to pass the exams he'd missed whilst L was too terrified to leave the house. He had been diagnosed with PTSD and every day was a struggle. 

'But we are getting there. L managed to go grocery shopping yesterday' Light had to remind himself once again. 

Since Light couldn't work and L struggled to even leave the house on bad days, Quillish had secured them their own home and provided for them financially. He even flew their friends over to see them, knowing this would cheer up L. 

Matt, Near, Mello and Mikami would be arriving soon, and Light hoped their visit would give L the motivation he needed to socialize. 

As Light prepared breakfast he let out a long sigh. This reality was not the golden future he had envisioned for himself and L. He'd dreamed they would date through college, graduate and then move in together. 

He never dreamed that life could be this hard. In low moments, he always took out his battered copy of Romeo and Juliet and by the time he'd finished reading a scene he was either crying or smiling. Sometimes both. 

It never failed to remind and motivate him of the importance of their love and his dedication to L. They wouldn't crash and burn like Romeo and Juliet did. Love wouldn't kill them like it had Beyond. 

Light plated up breakfast and brought it up to L. He was pleasantly surprised to find L was up and brushing his teeth. 

"Morning, Baby" Light cooed, hopeful L was having a good day. 

"Hey, Light" L smiled at him as he entered the bedroom, "Guess what?"

"What?" Light smiled. It had been a while since L had teased him with the 'Guess what' thing. 

"No, you have to guess" L's smile was infectious and Light couldn't help but grin back. 

"You love me?" 

L snorted. "Duh, of course I do!  I… I don't know, Light, I feel like something's changed. I… want to go out for a walk today. I want to do things today" L smiled shyly. He knew his fragile mental health had put a strain on Light. He knew things were far from perfect but today rather than dread, he had woken up with hope in his heart. 

Light was overjoyed and rushed to kiss him. It was a slow process, but, day by day he was getting his L back. They hurried to get ready and walked, hand in hand, out into the spring sunshine. 

Looking back, Light would say that was the first day of L's healing. 

The next day, their friends arrived, and L was moved to tears at the sight of them. Suddenly the high school gossip and drama didn't matter. These people had been part of his childhood but they were adults now. High school was over and they had their whole lives ahead of them… 

"I've missed you so much" L sighed into Matt's shoulder, "It feels like everything has changed" 

"Everything has changed" Near smiled sadly, "it's so good to see you both again. When Light left Japan we worried we wouldn't"

They sat down together and L caught up on all the gossip. Rem and Misa were still an item, and, free from Beyond's influence and threats, Misa was actually a nice person once again. She sent her best wishes to L and Light, along with a little card wishing L a speedy recovery. L was touched by it, and even though his life would take him down a path where he wouldn't see Misa again, he kept her card. 

Matt and Mello had moved in together and were attending the same college. Near and his girlfriend were still going strong and Mikami had started dating Kiyomi. Naomi and Raye were talking about getting married and suddenly L felt guilty for missing so much. Beyond had stolen another two years of his life and he was damned if he would lose anymore. 

It was time to emerge from the cocoon of self-pity he'd been hiding in and face his future with Light. Perhaps it was seeing his friends again and hearing about their hopes and dreams for the future, but suddenly L felt hope for himself too. 

He had Light by his side. He'd cheated death twice. For the first time in his life he realised just how incredibly lucky he was. 

The visit flew by and soon it was time to wave goodbye at the airport. L swallowed back his tears as he hugged Matt and Mello. He pressed kisses to their cheeks and made them promise to keep in touch. He and Light had decided their future, their new life, was in England now. Japan held too many dark memories, and they were thinking about enrolling into university. 

"Love you, Juliet" Near smiled at L and patted his shoulder. "Never forget that, and maybe one day you can come back to Japan for a visit?"

L nodded through his tears, smiling wryly at the name Near had called him. All too soon, they were gone, and L turned to Light and buried his head in his chest. 

"Are you okay, Baby?"

"No" L admitted with a small sniffle as he breathed in that scent, woodsy, sweet and warm, just pure Light, "But I will be"

*********************

Two months later, L and Light were officially University students. They had both achieved the remarkable and had been accepted into Oxford university. Light was studying criminology and L was focusing on his art. 

Watari bought them a flat in Oxford and became their biggest supporter and mentor. L still had days where he felt it was too much, but therapy, medication and a hug from Light all helped to put that dazzling smile back on his face. 

Light found he loved student life in Oxford. There was no bitchiness. No drama. He and L could walk around campus, hand in hand, and no one would bat an eye at them. 

It was summer, near the end of their first term, when Light showed L the letter he'd received from his parents. "I've been too afraid to open it," he admitted, "They haven't spoken to me for years…"

L squeezed Light's hand in sympathy. He knew how much Light missed his family. Knew how much Light had sacrificed for him. "Do you want me to read it?" He asked gently. 

Light nodded and handed over the letter, his stomach churning with anxiety. 

"Light, 

It has been two years since we have last spoken to you and we all want to apologize for our behaviour. We see now that your love for L is unshakeable and we should never have pressured you into continuing your studies in Japan. Your heart is with L and we respect that. Watari has been keeping us updated on your progress and we are all so very proud of both of you. 

If you can find it in your heart to forgive us, please get in touch. We love and miss you very much. 

L, you are a truly remarkable young man and we hope to see you in the future. We are sincerely sorry for what you have endured and wish you nothing but the best. 

All our love, Soichiro Yagami and family"

Light wiped at his tears and buried his head in L's shoulder. He sobbed his heart out and L did nothing but stroke his hair and let him. Light needed this emotional release. He understood that now, after years of therapy, nightmares and flashbacks, he knew how important it was to not keep things bottled up like he used to. 

"We can go back to Japan to visit" L soothed as he ran his fingers through Light's hair, "It would be best to talk to them face to face"

Light clung onto him, and L tightened his arms around Light. Long had Light been his rock and now it was his turn to offer the same support. "When can we go back?"

L squeezed Light and kissed his hair. "We can go back during summer break. Surprise everyone"

"Will you be okay?" Light looked up through red, tear filled eyes. "Can you-"

L silenced him with a sweet, lingering kiss. "As long as I have you I can do anything, Light. And we both have ghosts to lay to rest in Japan. It's been a long time coming and I think I'm ready to go back…"

They returned to class, both excited about the prospect of returning to Japan and the prospect of resolution. 

Exams soon occupied their lives, but L and Light studied together as they had in school, no longer rivals but allies. Spring burnt off into a long, hot summer and the boys prepared to return to the place it had all started. 

It was time. 

*****************

Japan was as beautiful as they remembered it and walking down the familiar streets leading to their school made them smile. Fond memories of friends, some like Matt and Mello moved far away, gave them a bittersweet ache. They weren't school kids anymore. Life had taught them hard lessons but it had made them all the stronger for it. 

Light insisted on getting his visit with his parents over with first and L stood by his side as Sachiko and Souichiro sobbed over their son. 

"My future is with L now" Light told his father firmly. "After we graduate we are going to marry-"

"We are?!" L squeaked, his face flaming red as he gawped at Light. 

'Ah, shit!' Light could have facepalmed. He heaved a sigh and dropped to one knee, fumbling for the ring box in his pocket. "I bought this engagement ring a few months after we arrived in England. You're my life, L, and I want you to be mine forever. Will you marry me?"

"Yes!" L burst into tears and grabbed Light to pull him up. The young lovers clung to one another as happy tears trickled down their face. 

Sachiko and Souichiro shared a small smile and gave their blessing. 

Finally, finally life was perfect… 

(2 years later) 

L and Light, newly married and utterly besotted with one another, found themselves in Japan once more. 

Before them was the simple monument to Beyond Birthday. L had wanted to see it one last time before he prepared to close that horrible chapter of his life for good. 

Hand clasped, and with rings glinting in the sunlight, L reverently placed Light's battered copy of Romeo and Juliet on the headstone. 

A final message to Beyond. Love could kill but it  wouldn't kill them

Together, they turned from the grave and walked forwards into a future that had never been so bright.