Shades of Mystification

BY : Hellagoddess
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 20593
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Hey guys! Hope you like the new DN AFF layout – I tried to think of all the most popular pairings to include – Even B as he’ll become more well-known as more people read the book! But sorry, I completely forgot about the YURI pairings! Hope you don’t mind!

I’m well-aware that Raito was ridiculously OOC in the last chapter – I think that’s why I hated it so much – also it hadn’t gotten the time spent on it that it deserved. Sometime soon I may have to take that missed week from updating just to catch up a bit… :S Regardless…

Here’s your chapter:


Chapter Thirteen

Raito was more nervous about going back this time. He knew what it meant and, in the deepest recesses of his mind, was relieved. The lingering, half-hidden confusion of a lifetime was about to be resolved.

He’d been anxious for the entire week, working on auto-pilot, only half-concentrating. They’d had a showing for another well-known artist that had been going downhill but Raito had pulled himself together at the last minute, selling a larger portion of the set to a young politician’s daughter who had seemed enamored with him. He had felt slightly guilty at the flirting for some reason and had declined her invitation for dinner in a brusque manner, most unlike him. Despite his contrary treatment, she still purchased the paintings and so the night hadn’t been a complete failure.

And now here he was, Friday evening, fixing his uncertainty for good.

His hands shook faintly at he punched in his code in the lift. When the metal box failed to greet him in its mechanical voice or ascend, he punched it in again, embarrassed that he messed up a simple 5 digit code. The embarrassment was soon replaced by nervous energy as the lift rose. He fidgeted with a button on his shirt, twisted his watch and shined a shoe on the back of his pant leg while his mind reviewed the decision he’d come to.

He was going to tell L that they couldn’t get involved.

It wasn’t running away from the issue. It was just…circumventing it in a way that was best for them both. Neither of them was prepared for the scandal if it got out, not to mention the inevitable destruction of their personal relationships with their families. Well…Raito’s family. Now that he thought about it, L didn’t have that much to lose really, but this was for the best. He nodded to himself and wet his lips, steadying his resolve as the lift dinged and the doors slid open smoothly.

He’d tell him straight away…

Immediately…

First thing…

Right.

…Any time now…

He waited so long in the lift that the doors actually began to close. Startled out of his determination, he put out a hand to stop them and stepped forward. They slid shut behind him and he suddenly felt trapped. He didn’t have any notion of how L would react to the news that they weren’t going to be together. He assumed that when L had let him go last time, the artist had expected him to make the decision that was obvious, that they become lovers. But Raito couldn’t help but be contrary. It was just in his nature, he never liked to be herded towards an opinion or decision. And so he’d thought about it and that was that. Decision made.

So, why then did he linger by the door as if putting off an overdue and unwelcome dentistry visit?

Feeling somewhat shameful at his hesitance, he strode forward, determined to get it over and done with. He hadn’t yet called out, thinking that L was comfortable enough with him now that he was welcomed into the house. He didn’t need to be greeted at the door as he was expected and his company acceptable. The thought made his chest twinge a bit. He wondered how much he would be desired as a companion after his we-can-be-friends speech. He hoped that L wouldn’t leave the gallery, or would at least give him some kind of notice, so he could find someone else. Something which he should have started doing the instant he made the decision, but it couldn’t be helped now. He took a deep breath and began looking for the artist.

He wasn’t in the main room or kitchen, so he started to climb the stairs.

“Is that you, Raito-kun?” He heard L call down. He kept going up the stairs, calling back. “Yes, it’s me. Sorry, I let myself in.”

“That’s fine, I’ll be down in a second.”

But Raito had already reached the top of the stairs. For a second or two he couldn’t see the artist, but then L walked around the edge of an easel, cleaning some brushes and eyeing the canvas critically.

Raito’s hand shot out for the banister and he swallowed quickly. The gallery owner had to admit the evening was rather warm, even he’d forgone his normal suit jacket and opted for a buttoned up shirt sans tie, but…

L wasn’t wearing a shirt at all.

Raito had known the man was skinny, but the kind of skinny he’d imagined had been very unattractive. It had factored in slightly to his decision, the point that he didn’t like painfully thin people, however the artist looked anything but. In fact, his mind was supplying him with all kinds of pleasing adjectives to describe the man in front of him.

Where he’d imagined ribs to show through was only lean muscle, overlaid by creamy, pale skin. He’d thought L would look sickly, being so pallid but instead he wanted to touch that flesh, see if it felt as smooth and soft as it appeared. He took a step forward, hand still gripping the stair-rail and noting in the back of his head that L still didn’t realize he was there.

The artist was facing away from him and Raito’s eyes slid slowly down his flawless back, pooling somewhere near the base of his spine, where the top of his boxers showed. Raito had never felt so fascinated by a piece of underwear before, but that tiny strip of material seemed to have the answers to everything he’d ever wanted to know. As hard as he tried he couldn’t look away. The artist turned around, making Raito suddenly realize that his jaw had slackened slightly and was actually in danger of hanging open.

He clenched his teeth hard and swallowed the saliva which seemed to have pooled in his mouth while his mind was elsewhere.

“Raito-kun!” L, it seemed, hadn’t even noticed his glazed stare and gently chided him for coming all the way up the stairs. “I believe I informed Raito-kun that he could await me downstairs. I would not have been long.”

He was walking towards the gallery owner and, for the life of him, Raito’s eyes kept slipping down to the man’s stomach as he walked. His pants were quite loose and had slipped down far enough that his boxers sat across his hipbones, jutting out in a most pleasant manner. Raito wet his lips unconsciously as L reached him. Was he going to kiss him? Embrace him? God, Raito felt overloaded with sudden tension as the other man leaned forward. His bare skin, so close…! His mind fizzled out into nothing as the artist pressed against him and then he felt a light tugging under his hand. With a start he realized that L’s shirt was hung over the banister of the stairs and he’d been resting his hand on it in a daze.

Coughing to cover his lapse in awareness, he turned abruptly and made his way downstairs, listening to L’s quiet tread behind him. He paused at the bottom and the artist slouched past him with his shirt back on, heading for the kitchen.

“Would Raito-kun like some cake?” He called over his shoulder, to which Raito murmured an absent-minded assent. He probably wouldn’t eat it, they both knew, but it was something to hold in his hands so they wouldn’t betray his nervousness.

Why had he come here? Raito suddenly couldn’t remember. The sight of the man shirtless had blown it completely out of his head. He was immediately angry at the artist for making him lose so much of his mental capacity.

He was on the verge of recalling but then the artist walked back in and Raito lost it again. He couldn’t keep his eyes on the cake as L gave it to him, all he could see was the pale wrist and thin fingers handing it to him. His gaze grazed the skin as it disappeared up into the sleeve and his fingers itched to touch it. He settled instead for brushing the artist’s fingers as the plate passed hands. He caught L’s faint smile as he turned back to his own seat and climbed into it. L took a bite of his cake and closed his eyes, savoring it before he opened them again, pinning Raito who had his fork halfway to his mouth.

“I see you have made a decision, Raito-kun.”

Raito dropped his fork in a most uncharacteristic display of nervousness. It clattered jarringly on the plate for a second or two before it fell off the edge and landed on the floor, still with the chunk of cake he’d been about to eat on it. They both looked down at it; Raito, shocked that he’d dropped it and L with a regretful twist to his mouth. Without a word, the artist procured him another fork and handed it to him.

They ate in silence for a minute or two before L broke the silence again.

“You should inform me of what it is, Raito-kun.”

Raito blinked and L elaborated, face blank, eyes unblinking.

“Your decision. You were considering whether you wanted to be my lover or not. Have you decided, Raito-kun? If you would like to be loved physically by me? I have quite the sexual prowess, if that was a concern you were harboring.”

Raito was choking violently on his cake before L had even finished. Again, without another word, L handed him a cup of lukewarm tea which Raito gulped down. He set the cup down, eyes watering a bit and nodded his thanks. L stared back, unmoving, he’d even stopped eating the cake, waiting for Raito to answer. It was obviously something the man wanted to hear.

The gallery owner suddenly felt hot and plucked at his shirtfront unconsciously, not meeting the artist’s eyes.

“Ryuuzaki-san, I…” He swallowed and tried to start again. “I…we…this thing between us. It can’t happen, it can’t go any further. It will be better for the both of us if we’re just friends. It isn’t…healthy.” He finished, glancing up to see that L had tilted his head to the side, questioning.

“I was unaware that the feeling you evoke in me is one of sickness, Raito-kun. On the contrary, you consistently make me feel quite…invigorated.” He ate another bite of cake and mused for a moment or two. Raito remained silent, knowing that he’d already gotten across his doubt at their relationship, now he just had to wait for L to accept it.

But, as per usual, L never did what Raito thought he would.

“So, are you running away, Raito-kun? From this unknown feeling of apparent disease I induce in you?

Raito face scrunched up, it wasn’t like that at all.

“No, that’s not what I meant. I just…”

“Perhaps it is not me who causes the feeling personally, but a carrier agent instead. Is it that I am a man, Raito-kun? Is that tiny detail what is causing you to fuss, like an indecisive child?”

Raito felt immediately insulted and shamed. L had belittled his opinion and feelings and even though he felt a sudden flare of anger, he knew the other man was right. The only thing that was holding him back was the man’s gender. They got on in a way that Raito had never been able to accomplish with anyone else. He never had to explain anything to L, the man just knew. If the artist was a girl, there would be no problem at all.

“I’m not gay.” He suddenly blurted out, face reddening immediately afterwards. L blinked owlishly and set his plate down, cake finished. He squashed crumbs up with the tip of his finger, gathering them, before sucking them off the digit with relish. Raito swallowed and looked down at his own plate.

“I never said you were, Raito-kun. I merely asked if the gender of my person was the issue that was causing you to refrain from completely indulging your…obvious desires.”

Raito’s uncomfortable silence answered for him.

L nodded and began to cut himself another slice of cake as the gallery owner watched him. Raito’s mouth twisted, he didn’t know how the man could do it. Surely he should have been huge by now. And he didn’t know why he was thinking about calories in such a serious conversation either.

“So, my deduction tells me that you are scared.”

Raito opened his mouth, outraged, but L calmly steamrolled right over the top of him. “You are not a person to welcome the unusual. Though somewhat open-minded, you let yourself be clouded by the judgment of your peers.”

“That’s not true at all!” Raito burst in.

“Oh?” L’s face didn’t change but Raito could easily imagine the raised eyebrow for him. “Do enlighten my rather poorly gathered opinion of you then, Raito-kun. I would be interested to hear what you have ruminated on the subject.”

“I like you, but I’m not gay! I’ve said this! So nothing can happen!”

“You like me?”

Raito’s mouth snapped shut as he realized what he’d said. Trust L to jump on the least important thing out of the entire sentence.

“I…well…yes I do, but…”

“So what is the issue? You like me, as you have stated. I find you…” He rolled the strawberry in his mouth, having finished off another slice. He bit and swallowed slowly before answering. “…quite desirable. Occasionally unbearably so. My pursuit of you this year is testament to my attraction to you. You only have to admit to yourself that there is something between us. A reciprocal emotion which requires further attention.”

Raito didn’t know what to say. L just wasn’t listening to him! He shut his eyes, frustrated. This entire conversation was just confusing him. His carefully thought out excuses seemed frivolous now, the pitiful justifications of a frightened man. Everything the artist was saying was true, but he couldn’t just…! There was so much at stake. If he messed up somehow and it got out to the public…or to his family…

He heard the click of the plate as it was set down, the faint rustle of the artist rising from his seat.

He felt a brief touch on his hand, slowly entwining his fingers with those atop his. Breath ghosted across the side of his face as his eyes remained closed. He couldn’t look at him, not right then. It was too overwhelming. How the man stirred this much emotion in him over such a short time, he couldn’t figure out.

“Raito-kun knows what is best for him. Not for his ideals but for his heart. He is not weak-willed, nor is he easily led. He will make his decision based on what he wants and needs, not on the opinions he thinks he should have.” L whispered and Raito suddenly knew it was true. He’d been running from his own happiness for too long. Perhaps L really was the companion he was looking for. But he’d never know if he didn’t let the man in, in the first place. He could think about how he was going to work around it later.

He could sense the artist near him, hovering over the chair, he took a deep breath and turned his head faintly, knowing that’s L’s lips would find his own.

The slightest brush against his mouth and Raito felt a shudder of desire. His hand came up and touched L’s shoulder lightly as the artist moved to straddle him in the chair. The sudden closeness was startling, L’s body was resting against his own, but his lips were coaxing and gentle, his hands resting easily on Raito’s shoulders.

“I’ve never had a boyfriend before.” Raito whispered against his mouth. He felt L’s lips curve into a gentle smile.

“Raito-kun has developed a habit of stating the obvious and well-established.”

Raito flushed and L kissed him again. The gallery owner squirmed a bit in the chair, unsure what to do with his hands. They had dropped down, limp at his sides, fingers flexing. He wanted to touch him, but it just seemed too sudden and strange.

They kissed some more, in that new and intoxicating way that Raito was quickly finding fascinating. He broke apart, his mind still on the same train of thought.

“I...I was just saying that because, well, I’m not completely sure what to do…you know.” He tried to get his point across with the look on his face but L, as per usual, had abandoned all tact from the moment he’d been born.

“You don’t know how to have sex with a man, Raito-kun? Is that what you were inferring?”

Raito’s face was burning and looking away from the artist he nodded shortly. It was always better to have everything up front and on the table beforehand. He didn’t want L to know he was a complete novice, but at the same time, he’d heard it could hurt and didn’t want the artist to rush him into anything. Raito imagined that when it did finally happen, L would teach him or it would all just work out somehow. The lack of knowledge made him uncomfortable though. He’d make sure to browse on the internet when he returned home.

“Well…” At the murmured words, Raito glanced back at the man sitting atop him. L was smiling slightly and Raito caught that glint in his eye that made him feel like a little lost lamb being led up a ramp into a dark building. L leaned forward again, breath hot against Raito’s mouth.

“No time like the present for learning, now is there, Raito-kun?”

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

*ducks thrown objects* I was going to use my two week gap here – but I felt I would receive a number of death threats if you guys didn’t get the next chapter on time. So AFTER the next chapter is posted I’ll be taking a break from updating for a week – just to catch up okay? Thought I’d let you know ahead of time!

Also, for those people wanting to ask questions about the story or wanting to ask me a question – I’ve made a thread of the AFF forums which you can find here:

http://www2.adult-fanfiction.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=5310&st=0&p=173389&#entry173389

Just because I don’t really do replies or anything – here’s the place to ask me!

Hope you all enjoyed the chapter – see you next week!


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