Shades of Mystification

BY : Hellagoddess
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 20577
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.

Note: This chapter has been heavily altered since it has been uploaded. It had a scene at the start to flesh it out – however on revision, the scene does not fit and has since been deleted. For those that have read the old version, I appreciate your input on it. A lot of your opinions made me realize that it didn’t fit with where I wanted to go.

Here is the revised chapter: Sorry it’s so short now!

I’ve broken the 300 reviews and 10, 000 hits! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that THIS story is the one that’s done the best from everything I’ve ever written and it’s the only one that I’ve just…written and not tried to make it into something else. Thanks so much – all of you, for all your input and support. You’re all brilliant!

Here’s this week’s chapter!


Chapter Seventeen


Raito walked into the office, absently sorting the mail in his hands and didn’t notice the flowers till he’d sat down. There was a giant, shocking bouquet of red and white roses on his desk, elegantly arranged in what looked to be an expensive crystal vase.

Raito was stunned, so much that when Misa poked her head around the door to let him know that they’d been delivered this morning, he smiled and thanked her without a second’s hesitation or suspicion that she’d left them there herself. He’d once caught her injecting Spanish Fly into his morning muffin and since then had been wary of any ‘gifts’ left in his office.

Once she’d left, he slowly stood, letting an indulgent smile flit across his face. He’d never been a romantic person and didn’t know the first thing about it, but if this fluttery feeling in his chest was anything to go by, it might be prudent to start looking into it. He hadn’t seen L in over two weeks. The gallery had experienced a few issues and setbacks regarding a shipment that had been lost overseas en route. Raito had been too tired to visit and the occasional call hadn’t been enough to stave off the lonely feeling creeping up on him. Not to mention the frustration.

Pleased with the gesture, he leaned forward slowly and inhaled the scent from the flowers, surprised that he hadn’t smelt it when he’d walked in. The bunch was a substantial size and the room was already filling with the smell of the pollen. He glanced among the stems and found a tiny blue and purple card resting there. Plucking it out, he smiled again, wondering what the occasion had been. It must have been something important, he couldn’t imagine L sending him something like this for no good reason. But then again the man was a bit odd at times. Perhaps he’d just felt like it, perhaps he was missing Raito as much as he was missing the artist. Raito took another sniff of the flowers as he flicked open the seal on the card with his thumb.

His eyebrows furrowed. There was no name. There was only a sentence that made no sense.

~You are a God among men, and I will worship You all my days.~

He looked at the flowers again, then looked back at the card, his lips forming the words as he read them. Confused, he set it down. Why would L quote some kind of biblical reference? And it seemed so unlike him. They were equals in this relationship, so why did L feel the need to send him something like this?

Maybe he was reading too much into it. He took another sniff of the flowers and smiled. He had the evening off, the issue with the paintings had finally been sorted today, so he’d ask him about it tonight.

///////////

“What flowers are you speaking of, Raito-kun? I was unaware you were so cold-hearted as to covet slaughtered plants to decorate your residence of employment.” L’s face was a mix of light, impassive curiosity and something darker that Raito couldn’t exactly place.

“These ones.” Raito set the vase down, having brought it with him. He thought it would be a nice flare of color in the lifeless studio. L eyed them, hardly turning his head from his painting, face more unreadable than usual, which was saying something in itself.

“I have never seen those before, Raito-kun.”

“Well if you didn’t send them, then who did?”

“I don’t know!” The artist snapped suddenly and they both looked surprised at the outburst. L cleared his throat quietly and turned away, mixing something with short jerky motions on his palette. The owner put it down to his lover just being in an irritable mood and took another sniff of the flowers, reading the card again. It was such a mystery.

“I wonder if it was someone through work? Another dealer or maybe a patron? Surely it wouldn’t have been Misa, she would have jumped at the chance to proclaim they were hers.” Raito mused aloud, fingers tapping the edge of the card against the table. “So pretty though. Nice scent…for roses.” Smiling, he leaned forward to smell them again when suddenly there was a snapping noise from where L was sitting.

Raito raised his head quickly and walked over to where L was surreptitiously stuffing the remains of a broken paintbrush down the side of his chair, smearing paint all over his wrist and the cushion he was crouched on.

“Ryuuzaki…what are you doing?”

L had been blankly staring straight ahead, his other hand up near his mouth, thumb being bitten with more force that usual. Raito’s brow furrowed slightly when the artist didn’t respond and he reached out to shake him slightly.

“Ryuu-”

“Hmm?” L quickly turned to look at him, eyes wider than usual, forced calm expression on his face. Raito blinked a few times, eyeing the artist’s paint-stained hand as it came to rest on his knee, snapped paintbrush successfully hidden.

“Are you okay?”

L looked away and took a deep breath, holding it in for a few seconds before letting it out in one big burst. Raito waited, knowing the man was calculating how much hassle it would be to actually talk about what was suddenly bothering him.

“Raito-kun should be wary of gifts from strangers. He is unaware of what the motive behind the bequest was and therefore cannot accept such a gesture without suspicion.” His teeth came down hard on his thumb and his eyes darted away to the bouquet before shooting back down to where the paintbrush was stuffed. “There could be any quantity of intentions why someone would make such an intimation of familiarity towards, Raito-kun. He is very handsome and successful. Rivals may seek to cause his gallery to become inoperative. They may hunt for ways to confuse him from his current existence and into one they desire for him.

“Ryuuzaki I don’t think all that could happen with a bunch of flowe-” He cut off abruptly at the look of veiled hatred the artist shot the blooms. His hands were clenching in his knees and, all of a sudden, Raito knew what was wrong.

L was jealous.

He tried not to smile. He really did, he tried very hard. But a tiny one wriggled its way past his clenched teeth and formed itself on his lips anyway.

L was so jealous.

And Raito didn’t think he’d ever seen something more adorable in his life.

L thought he was going to leave him for whoever had sent these. He honestly felt threatened and it made Raito’s heart feel like it wanted to burst out of his chest.

“I don’t know what Raito-kun is smiling about.” L grouched, knowing the man was laughing at him. “Those flowers could easily have been carriers for poison or some kind of substance that could influence his thinking. Why even now Raito-kun is jovial in such a grave and dangerous situation. Perhaps he has already been affect-ooph!”

Raito had leaned forward, quickly wrapping his arms around the artist and burying his face in L’s neck.

“Thank you.” He whispered into the skin there. L’s hand came up slowly and patted him on the back, slightly confused.

“I am unsure as to what Raito-kun is thanking me for. I did not send these slain flora to his workplace.”

“Never mind. Don’t worry about who sent them. All that matters is that I’m thankful for you.”

For me, Raito-kun?”

The gallery owner lifted his head from the embrace.

“Yes, for you.”

“More thankful than…the flowers?”

Raito tried not to smile again at the childish question.

“Yes. Even more thankful than the flowers.” He leaned his head up and placed a gentle kiss against L’s mouth. “I don’t even really like roses anyway.”

And just like that, L’s pout wavered into a smile.

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

Language of Flowers: Red and White roses: Dreams, True love, Unity
Card: Blue and lavender: Attaining the impossible, love at first sight.

This will hopefully all make sense later!

Let me know what you thought!


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