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.

Chapter Eighteen


“Let’s go somewhere.”

L turned his head slightly to look at Raito out of the corner of his eye, brush poised in the air. The brunette was sitting in the chair behind him, legs either side of the crouching artist as he painted, reading a magazine. Raito caught the look but pretended he hadn’t seen it, still pretending to browse the articles absently

The artist turned back to his painting without saying anything and Raito waited a few more minutes, letting the silence comfortably settle back before saying anything else.

“The park might be nice. It’s sunny today.” He turned a page, nonchalant.

L turned to look at him again and Raito gave up all pretence of reading his magazine. He eyed L over the top of it and smiled.

“We could take a picnic.”

L blinked slowly and turned back but didn’t begin painting again. Raito took it as a sign he was considering. He could almost hear his eyes narrowing in thought.

“We can eat here.” The artist opposed suddenly. “There is no requirement for a recreational area. If you necessitate sunlight, we can consume the noon meal by the skylight.” He indicated the window-seat with the end of his brush, unmindful of the glob of paint that flicked off the end. Raito grimaced at the new stain on the flooring, making sure to remember the spot till it was dried completely. He’d ruined too many pairs of good shoes walking around in here before he’d adapted.

“But it’s the park, Ryuzaki! I know you don’t want to be seen but no one will even know it’s you. We hardly ever go out. I promise you’ll enjoy yourself.”

L muttered under his breath and Raito picked up something along the lines of, “chance Raito-kun is telling the complete truth, seventeen percent.”

Time to tip the scales a bit.

“I’ll buy you a cake from that bakery you like. It’s very near the park I’m thinking of.”

“Watari could just bring the cake here.” L countered pointedly, but Raito could hear the note in his voice which meant he was wavering.

Game.

“I’ll buy fresh strawberries on the way…” Raito had leant forward and wrapped his arms around the artist, letting him lean back against his chest.

L was silent for a few moments, tapping his drying paintbrush against the arm of the chair.

“The chocolate-coated ones?”

Set.

“Sure! Which ever ones you like. We can get some of those little donuts you like too. The filled ones.”

“Bavarian cream?” L sounded quite excited by the prospect. Well, excited for L anyway, Raito thought with a wry smile. To an outsider, the artist’s voice had barely changed.

“Of course.”

“Hmmm.” He made a pensive sound, calculating his endless percentages.

“There’s grass. You won’t even have to wear shoes.” Raito bribed.

L turned quickly, a look of incredulity and hope on his face.

“When can we go?”

And match.

Raito smiled.

//////////////////


The sun was shining and the park, thankfully, mostly deserted. A few couples seated at benches, mere specks in the distance, a man walking his dog and a young woman jogging were the only visible occupants.

Raito unlocked the boot of the car, hefting out the gigantic picnic basket that L had insisted on taking. They had stopped at every bakery and cake shop in the vicinity after a quick trip to the deli down the road for Raito to get something savory. Sure he liked cake occasionally, but not in the enormous amounts that L consumed.

They picked a spot and settled upon the grass. Raito had bought a blanket from the car but L crouched at the very edge so he could feel the grass with his bare feet. Raito shook his head gently, smiling as the artist stared down, fascinated as his toes dug into the dirt, an air of childish delight on his face.

The gallery owner started unpacking the food and L’s attention was quickly diverted. As Raito lifted out the bag containing the strawberries, it was snatched from his hand, and L plucked one out. He tilted his head back and, just before he dropped it into his mouth, he caught Raito’s eye.

He half-smiled and licked the end of the strawberry with the tip of his tongue before lowering it into his mouth and taking a slow bite. Raito burst into an embarrassed smile and flushed. When the artist had looked away, into the bag for another one, Raito cast a hesitant glance around to see if someone had seen the display.

This first outing was a very large step in their relationship. It was the first time they had gone out together as a couple. The trip to the Taiko festival had been fine, because no one could have seen them. And it wasn’t like he’d be having an intimate picnic with a business associate either and could just explain L’s presence away.

Raito had been nervous for days, before deciding that he would finally suggest it. He knew that they couldn’t hide forever but for the moment, he was very uncomfortable with anyone knowing. He’d only just really become comfortable with it himself, and couldn’t imagine what others would think of him for it. Even Misa and Matsuda had no inkling of his real relationship with L. As far as they knew he’d only visited him those few times but had formed a solid friendship with one of the patrons, Mr. Ryuuzaki. And there was no possible way he would tell his family. They’d be horrified and Raito didn’t want to imagine the confusion in his father’s eyes nor the disappointment in his mother’s. She’d always wanted grandchildren and now would only have Sayu to rely on.

But there was no one close, no one to see the look and subsequent light flirting that had passed between them. As long as they sat as they were now and ate and maybe enjoyed the sun a bit, there wouldn’t appear to be anything untoward about them. Raito felt guilty for feeling like this, but until he got over his own insecurity about it, he couldn’t help but feel like he was doing something bad.

So they sat and ate slowly, L actually enjoying being outside. There was a small lake nearby and a flock of ducks waddled quickly over to scrounge some food. L had eyed them warily as they trundled closer till one experimentally nipped at the edge of the blanket. He quickly shot backwards, almost into the food, to crash against Raito, eyes never leaving the bird who eyed him in return at his sudden movement. Raito had just smiled.

“Ryuuzaki, it’s okay. He just wants some food.”

L twisted to look at him, an incredulous look to his face.

“But why would such an animal desire something that I’m consuming. I’m almost 100% sure we have completely different digestive systems and palates for various sustenance.” L turned back, cringing into Raito when the duck boldly took a step onto the blanket, vying for the edge of Raito’s quiche.

Raito quickly raised a hand and shooed it away. The duck flapped and jumped backwards towards the group at the edge. L seemed quite surprised that such a small gesture had frightened the bird. He edged away from Raito and made a similar gesture towards the flock. The ones at the front flapped and backed away. Emboldened, L moved to the edge of the blanket, crouching, and raised his arm sharply again. A few ducks actually took off and the rest moved further away, beginning to look unsettled. Several left completely, realizing that no food would be forthcoming.

A low chuckle came from L that Raito had never heard before and the artist suddenly exploded into movement. He shot to his feet and, screaming wordlessly, sprinted towards the flock, waving his arms madly above his head. The whole lot erupted into the air, quacking and flapping while L chased the rest remaining on land. After those had lifted into the air he sprinted towards the lake to scare the groups sleeping on the ground there. Soon those too were airborne and L slowly returned back to the blanket where Raito was in tears of laughter. The artist shot him a look of embarrassment and settled down again. After Raito’s full-throated amusement had dissolved into the occasional chuckle, they resumed eating.

Raito glanced around the park to see how many people were about. There were only a few, two people jogging and a young, black-suited man sitting at a bench finishing lunch. Encouraged, he slid an arm around L and kissed him lightly on the temple. “I didn’t realize you were afraid of ducks.”

“I am not orinthophobic, Raito-kun. I merely had not encountered those creatures before.”

Raito wanted to remark on what kind of childhood the artist must have experienced if he’d never seen a duck before. His own childhood memories were filled with trips to lakes and playgrounds, camping with the family and fishing as well. He was leaning down to recount an amusing excursion to L when a shadow fell over them suddenly, blocking the sun. The gallery owner froze, his arm around L stiffening.

Raito raised a hand to his eyes, shading them as he looked at who was standing over them. It was the professional-looking young man who he’d noted eating earlier. Closer up he looked vaguely familiar and Raito wondered where he’d seen him before. L looked up also and just slid the tip of his thumb into his mouth and blinked slowly at the newcomer.

“Yagami Raito.” The man said, holding his hand out. Raito, thankfully, had to slide the arm around L off, as the other was being used to prop him up, to shake the man’s hand. He hesitated, pausing and giving time for the man to introduce himself as they shook but he didn’t say anything. Their hands stopped shaking but the other man didn’t let go.

The situation suddenly became uncomfortable and Raito became aware of just how intently the man was staring at him. He hoped to God that the man didn’t know his father. Suddenly it struck him, where he knew him from.

“Mikami Teru.” He murmured distantly. The man from the gallery who had bought all the paintings of him, missing out on the nude. He recalled him well now. But what was he doing here?

The other man gasped and broke into a full-blown smile, his hold on Raito becoming weaker.

“You remember my name!” He sounded ecstatic and in the interim, Raito managed to twist his hand out of the other man’s grip with little notice.

“Yes, how may I help you?” Raito felt like wiping his hand on the blanket next to them, he suddenly felt oily, but realized it would be the height of bad manners to do so.

Raito noted with some distaste that the man hadn’t even greeted L, nor even looked at him, since coming up to them. It solved the issue of introducing him, but the man’s disrespect was becoming severe. Before answering, the man sat down next to him as though they were the best of friends. Raito couldn’t believe the audacity! Here was almost a complete stranger who had interrupted their private picnic, who didn’t have any business with them and was impolite to his boyfriend. Raito was getting ready to display some rudeness of his own when Mikami’s hand casually raised slightly and he rested it firmly on Raito’s upper thigh.

Both Raito and L’s eyes darted to the hand and Raito drew in a sudden breath. Mikami either didn’t realize what he’d done or didn’t care. He sighed happily and leaned back a bit, looking at the sky.

“The weather is nice today, ne, koibito? Did you like my flowers?” He turned to Raito with a smile on his face. Less than a second later he was flying backwards, before landing some distance away, blood streaming from his nose. Raito’s head whipped around and he watched L slowly retract back into a crouching position, a blank but intense look on his face.

In shock, he watched as the artist slowly rose and stalked over to where the man was lying, groaning in pain and dabbing at his face with his pale tie. L ripped the tie from the man’s grasp and leaned down, bringing Mikami’s face up towards his. The young man’s feet scrambled and kicked vainly in the dirt as L whispered something to him, his face calm but his mouth spitting the words as if they would injure the man physically. Mikami’s eyes slowly widened in horror and the kicking increased. He was pulling at L’s hand on his tie and beginning to yell. L drew back his other hand and slowly made it into a fist. Mikami’s eyes quickly flicked between his face and the raised fist as he continued to register the cold words coming out of the artist’s mouth. Suddenly the fist drew back further, sharply and then crashed down into his face. L dropped the tie at the same time and Mikami collapsed back onto the ground and lay there, unmoving. Raito thought for a second that he might be dead. He’d heard the resounding crack that sounded like a cheekbone may have been broken. L leaned down again to whisper something that Raito caught this time.

“You don’t touch what’s mine.”

Then his hand slid into his pocket and the other came up to his mouth and he turned back into the L Raito had always known. He shuffled back to the blanket slowly as though nothing had occurred. Raito sat, open-mouthed at what had happened in the last minute, but L didn’t remark on anything, he just looked up at the sky where it was starting to become overcast and then back down at the gallery owner.

“Let’s go, Raito-kun. The park doesn’t seem very nice today.”

***********
Koibito – lover, beloved, term of affection you would use with someone you’re very intimate with and love dearly.

So! Mikami returns! Good guesses everyone! Not that it was that hard, haah! And violent!, possessive!L makes an appearance.

Sorry for so much of this chapter – the thing with the ducks…well…I just couldn’t resist and I can’t write people fighting to save my life. Forgive me?



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