Define Compatible?

BY : ChanceXIII
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1670
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.

Define "Compatible"

Deathnote One-shot

L x Raito


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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen

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Romance, in general, could be considered the antithesis of anything having to do with good common sense.

For what good does romance do anyone, really? It is a catalyst of dangerous potency, unable to leave any it touches unaffected in some way or another. It can bring about wars, set into motion a folly or failure, topple the dominos of any well laid plan. Romance, more than anything else, is a curse upon society and those who seek to uphold it.

Romance, however, must never be mistaken for love.

Romance is the immature infatuation of youth that yells, "I want you, I need you, I can't live without you." Rather, love is the mature decision of the wise that snarks, "I know you, I tolerate you, and I guess I can learn to live with you."

Therefore it should come as a surprise to no one where the greatest of love originates. No love can sprout from sudden, passionate attraction, as no emotions were ever involved in the first place, and hormones are the most fickle of beings. Good love may eventually bloom from long-lasting friendship, as both parties are knowing and understanding of one another, and learn to enjoy each others faults.

However, the greatest of loves fully blossom from mutual and near obsessive antagonism and competition. Neither party may ever grow bored of loving the other, and increase their toleration daily through aggressive and spiteful battles.

But it is a fact of reality that one would never think to look for romance in their worst enemy. They are a bit too busy hating the person to allow their hearts a word in edgewise. The entire situation is deliciously ironic, and not because ones greatest hatred may turn into their greatest affection.

No, the unavoidable irony is how the entire universe bends over backwards trying to push the fated two together, while they both do their stubborn best to stay worlds apart.

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Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. - Jane Austen

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Toes… really were some of the most amazing things in the world, or at least the most fascinating to minds with nothing better to do then contemplate their many reputes.

For example, one L Lawliet was discovering that toes, at specific and random intervals, were much more convenient than hands for the transport of edible substances into one open mouth. That is, when one was busy flipping through a magazine with one hand, surfing through TV channels with another, and lying sprawled out on a quite large couch with delicious sweets present on a table at the end. It required unnatural flexibility, a great amount of focus, the ability to multitask…

And complete disregard for anything remotely resembling etiquette or hygiene. Which left L as one of the few people (maybe three in the entire world) capable of performing such a feat… no pun intended.

After flipping through all 500 channels about ten times (without finding a single interesting program to watch), L threw in the metaphorical towel, finally giving in and turning the contraption off. Flipping through the magazines (all of them geared towards women readers, so he wasn't quite sure why they were in his room…), he had to wonder why people bought them when they were spending their money on more ads than actual reading material. Basically, you were paying money to look at pictures that told you what else to spend your money on.

Was L the only one who didn't really get that?

His foot paused on its slow path to his mouth, a strawberry balanced on the top of the big toe. L temporarily ceased his rapid fire perusal of the pages, his eyes lighting with a small spark of interest.

Find Your Ideal Match From The Whole Batch!

Well, it was catchy, he'd give them that. It seemed to be… a test of some sort. L couldn't help but find his curiosity roused, after all, he excelled at tests of all kinds. Perhaps he should try his luck with this one?

If they expected a female stupid enough to buy the magazine to fill this thing out, it couldn't be that hard, right?

Fishing a pencil from the pocket of his jeans, L read the brief directions, before moving his eyes down to the first question.

What is your idea of an ideal date?



Little quiz say wha?

His ideal date? L's brow furrowed in slightly intrigued confusion. He didn't really get out much, so how was he supposed to know? Thinking about it for a moment, he finally shrugged, going with what he assumed was the common answer. He quickly scribbled it down in barely legible writing;

I would have to say October 31st. Not just because it's Halloween, and all the free candy is a wonderful thing to celebrate, but also because it is my Birthday. Which means I get something even more wonderful than candy, I get presents.

There. That would just have to do, since he didn't know enough about the weather outside to really pick the day that had his most ideal conditions…

But he shouldn't spend so much time on just the first question. Moving on.

What kind of man are you attracted to?

There were different kinds? Was he supposed to be attracted to a certain kind of man? Strangely enough, he never stopped to ask whether he was attracted to men period. L chewed on the eraser of his pencil in a nervous habit, letting the question roll around in his mind for a few minutes. Finally, he pressed the tip of the lead to the paper, answering hesitantly;

I suppose I would be attracted to the intellectual with a strong sense of justice. I want a person I would be able to relate to and have stimulating conversation with, but at the same time, I want him to have strong morals and a clear path for his life. It would be nice if he were good-looking as well.

How would you describe yourself?

That was easy.

I wouldn't.

Okay, next question.

How many times do you feel partners should engage in sexual intercourse a week?

L spit out the sip of tea he had just taken, though he was careful not to get the magazine wet. Sexual intercourse? How the hell would he know? Well, of course he knew the basics of the whole thing, but that was on a strictly need-to-know basis.

And Watari had decided that he needed to know. Because, ahem, "Just in case, in some strange and unexpected twist of fate, he ever actually found someone he wished to engage in such acts with, to save him the embarrassment of being caught naked and clueless…" Well, it hadn't been worded quite like that, but L had gotten the gist.

Unsure how to answer the question (this quiz was harder than it appeared at first glance), L finally went with his lucky number.

Thirty-three.

Where do you imagine yourself ten years down the road?

The same place I am now, only ten years older.

If you could visit one place, in the entire world, where would it be?

A Hostess Factory. Preferably the one that processes Twinkies and the strawberry-vanilla cakes.

Have you experienced a bad relationship in the past?

I haven't experienced a relationship period.

Do you have any special talents?

I can fit three entire bananas into my mouth at once.

What are some of your hobbies, or things you do in your free time?

I enjoy hacking into government accounts and spying on world leaders via my extensive intelligence network, but watching Scrubs is fun too.

Do you feel satisfied with your current profession, or do you strive to move further up the career ladder?

How could I move further up when I'm already at the top?

Do you want to have kids someday?

L couldn't help but think back to the Wammy Orphanage, specifically remembering three rather precocious boys that lived there. Recalling the events of his last visit, his answer came to him with surprising ease.

GOD FORBID.

A few more questions, and L found himself at the end of the quiz, and he surprised himself by feeling slightly disappointed. Oh, well, it was amusing while it had lasted. For no particular reason, he tore out the pages, setting them on the coffee table in front of him. Taking another sip of his tea, he picked up the next magazine, flipping through its contents until something caught his eye.

In Just One Date, Find Your Perfect Mate!

L grinned happily, retrieving his pencil once more and pulling the magazine to him eagerly. Now he knew why women wasted money on these books of advertisements, the quizzes were just too much fun.

He made the sudden decision to send Watari out for more magazines later.

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Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies. - Jane Austen

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Raito had officially decided that, when he was made director of the NPA in his father's place, the first thing he would do was make shopping for more than thirty minute intervals illegal. And not just a small misdemeanor, oh no, he was talking full-blown felony charges here. Second degree if it were a small group of females going over the allotted amount of time.

First degree if they dragged any non-gay male companion along with them for the horrific and ongoing event. What had he been on that morning, exactly, when he agreed to go out with his sister and her friends? Was the house leaking carbon monoxide, was that it? Because Raito had to be smoking some serious shit to have foolishly forgotten what exactly 'going out' entailed.

He checked off the list of crimes against (male) humanity in his head.

First, he had had to wait downstairs for a total of twenty minutes, while listening to his younger sister frantically search her room for her elusive second shoe. Only to get fed up, go up to her room himself, and, surprise-surprise, find the shoe on the shoe rack. Exactly where it was supposed to be.

Second, he had had to walk his sister to all of her millions upon billions (five) friends' houses, then wait at the door for ten minutes for each girl. Who would rush out puffing and panting, explaining how she hadn't been able to find her other shoe. Now that was a shocker. Then Sayu would brag how she had a wonderful older brother who had found her shoe for her that morning, which would turn her friend's attention to Raito. Cue big doe eyes, pink cheeks, and high pitched giggles. Not to mention Sayu looking far too pleased with herself, considering it was Raito being admired, not her.

Third, trek through the mall, the only male of the group, while carrying every bag and package of useless junk the girls "just had to have!" while being glared at by old grannies on the assumption he was a pervert shamelessly taking advantage of innocent school girls. Innocent his ass. Their company and not-so-secret crushes had been nothing short of torture to endure, but endure he did. Though he had a feeling the strain in his smile would become all too visible, if he had to bear another hour of this.

Thankfully, the girls had decided to stop and sit down for a while, and were currently enjoying a fruit smoothie while chatting away about… well, whatever girls chatted about. At the moment, Raito was too exhausted to be curious. He leaned his head back, letting the fan above his chair blow directly into his face. He ignored the enamored glances his way with practiced ease, trying not to let such pointless behavior irritate him. Even if any of the girls were pretty enough to catch his interest, he was a couple of grades older than them, and it wouldn't really look good for him to be dating a younger girl. People might get the idea he was some sort of pedophile or something.

In any case, he must have dozed off for an undetermined amount of time, as he was suddenly awakened by his sisters voice.

Screaming his name in his ear.

"Raito? RAITO! WAKE UP!"

Jumping bout four feet in the air, Raito was awake alright. Taking a few moments to calm his breathing and heart rate, he desperately fought against an embarrassed flush trying to steal across his face. He couldn't believe he had just fallen asleep like that, and in front of his sisters freakish little friends. For all he knew, one of them had snapped a picture with their phone to drool over later that night. Or do other, more inappropriate things with…

He was going to stop that path of thought now, for the sake of his own sanity if nothing else.

Feeling a bit more composed, he looked up, only to meet six pairs of very attentive eyes. Instinctively gulping, Raito leaned back in his chair, intimidated despite himself. Those eyes… they promised nothing good, only severe pain and suffering in the near future. They had a satanic gleam in them, glowing an eerie red in the bright mall lights, with a look that would have scared off any lesser man.

Though Raito imagined running might be the wisest course of action in the current situation, in spite of his dignity. Between pride and his continuing existence on the face of the Earth, Raito chose life. Hands down. What was the point of maintaining image if you weren't around to use it to your advantage?

His plans where quickly demolished as his sisters manicured hand closed firmly over his shoulder. Looking over, he felt a tremor of fear move up his spine at the smirk she was sporting, soon mirrored by the other girls. He didn't even have time to beg for mercy before he was hauled into the middle of the group, flanked by a girl on either side. Glancing around nervously, he met the eyes of his sister, who was sitting directly across from him, holding a…

Magazine?

Now that he thought about it, two more of the girls had magazines clutched in the sweaty, painted little fingers, and they were all biting their lips in excitement. Okay, what the hell was going on here? It couldn't be anything good, he knew that much.

"Hey, big brother…"

"Yes, Sayu?" Raito responded hesitantly, not trusting the fake 'innocent' look in her eyes for a second, if that. He did his best to block out the whispers and disturbing giggles surrounding him as he waited for some sort of explanation.

"Have you ever considered applying for a dating service?"

…He shouldn't have asked. He shouldn't have walked right into it. He shouldn't have come along with her sister and her creepy friends period.

Hell, he shouldn't have even gotten out of bed that morning.

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There are people, the more you do for them, the less they do for themselves. - Jane Austen

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Watari waited till he was inside before closing his umbrella, glad he had thought to take it along. The Weather Channel had warned against sudden showers today, and being an avid fan of the station, he had thought it best to go prepared.

Tucking the umbrella under his arm, he quickly made his way across the hotel lobby, stepping into the elevator and pressing the button for the upper penthouse. He ignored the curious looks that came his way at that, though he did grasp the plastic bag he was carrying a bit more tightly. Though one could hardly blame him for being embarrassed.

He couldn't help but wonder what his young charge could possibly want with such… well, he didn't wish to say girly, loathing the idea of sounding like some sort of chauvinist pig… but it was the only adjective that seemed to suit the particular, er, genre, so to speak. Not just girly either - teenage girly.

Watari sincerely hoped that this was just a phase. Then again, that's what he had originally thought about the whole holding-things-like-I'm-germaphobe when it had first started….

So what did he know?

Nothing, he told himself sternly, and that's how it would stay. L had grown up in a very… unusual environment, and as such he had a right to an eccentric habit now and again. So the least Watari could do was be tolerant of such habits, and do his best to make the young man comfortable.

Even if it meant getting the odd look or two from the young lady at the cash register, when he had purchased about ten magazines from the women's rack.

The elevator finally arrived at the top floor, and Watari quickly disembarked, walking to the door of the suite. He didn't see his charge initially upon entering, but heard the shower running after a moment. Walking towards the couch, relocating some empty wrappers to the trash on the way, he made to set his purchases on the coffee table. He pulled up short, however, at the sight of several pages splayed across the glass surface, apparently torn from various magazines.

Even more curious was the fact that they were filled out. Watari's brows pulled down in a puzzled stare, his curiosity eventually getting the better of him.

Picking up the top sheet, Watari began to read, his eyebrows continuing to raise higher and higher the more he read. It was a… quiz of some sort, meant to assist in finding one an ideal partner? Well, he supposed the theory made sense, after all, relationships needed to be based on something… and yes, there was an address to send it to at the bottom once it was completed, and some other necessary information was filled in. Watari frowned. But why would master L…?

But why wouldn't he? The thought was sudden, and persistent as his mind latched onto it ravenously. Why wouldn't L find himself a bit lonely, in want of some human companionship? Namely, the sort of emotional companionship that often turned physical as time progressed… Watari coughed into his fist, his cheeks warming up slightly with embarrassment. But… the idea did make sense, L was human too, after all…

And wasn't this what Watari had been waiting for? For L to finally put himself forward, to try and interact like a normal human being? And what better way than by initiating a relationship? Perhaps this was the answer to his prayers, L was finally taking a step in a socially healthy direction…

And it was Watari's duty to help him along, the old man decided with determination, eager to assist his young charge in any way he could. However misguided his attempts happened to be. Sitting carefully on the couch and picking up the pencil, he quickly filled in the information on the application part of the quizzes.

Name: Ryuuzaki Hideki (A mix of L's most common pseudo-names, it would be sufficient… besides, he wouldn't be able to tell the young lady that he was L till they got further into their relationship…)

Age: 25 (At least he didn't have to lie about that… and he was pretty sure that was right… maybe…)

Hair and Eye Color: Black and Black (Or a dark gray… but nobody looked close enough to really be able to tell, he supposed…)

Height: 5"9 (Honestly he wasn't sure, that was just an estimation… if only the boy wouldn't slump so much, he was much taller than he looked…)

Weight: 110 lbs. (Far too skinny, but how was he supposed to gain any weights when even all the sweets he ate had no effect… it wasn't like Watari could shove pure lard down his throat…)

Watari quickly finished by filling in their current hotel suits address and a spare cell-phone number. There was no harm in it, and if they got into trouble, they could always trash the phone and move to a different hotel anyway. Folding the applications neatly, Watari quickly retrieved three professional looking white envelopes from a desk in the corner, putting the address for the dating services on the front in clear, even handwriting. A quick phone call had room service at his room in a moment, and Watari handed over the envelopes with a pleased air.

He heard L getting out of the shower just as the door closed behind the hotel employee, and Watari returned to tidying up the room. Cleaning up all the trash, he then relocated to the kitchen, beginning to mix up L's favorite recipe for strawberry cake. Caught up in his task and good mood, he never noticed the confused stare L directed at the empty table, before brightening at the sight of the bag of new magazines.

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One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. - Jane Austen

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It had been two days since what Raito was now referring to in polite company as 'the incident'. In less than polite or his own company, he preferred to refer to it in a more descriptive and accurate manner.

Namely, "The day from hell when my sister and her little satanic cult came down upon my head with all the wrath of the shopping gods, torturing me before wringing out private information from my unwilling throat, which they used to fill out their unholy, sacrilegious documents."

Translation: The day Raito stupidly agreed to go to the mall with Sayu and her friends and was made to schlep around after them and carry their junk for hours on end, till they finally had him tired enough to answer the questions on a stupid dating agency questionnaire.

But that was all in the past. He had spent the last two uneventful, blissfully girl free days recovering from the trauma of such an experience, and at the moment, he was feeling pretty damn good. He had just ordered in an excellent meal, finished his homework for the night, and was planning to take a nice, hot bath before going to bed…

When suddenly, sounding like the screams of tortured souls from the great abyss…

His cell-phone rang.

Raito's eyes snapped open, as he observed the object warily. It did indeed ring again however, despite Raito's glare, and he resigned himself to answering. Gingerly picking up the phone (and noting that he didn't recognize the number), he flipped it open, speaking in a pleasant tone of voice.

"Hello?"

"Hello! Is this Yagami Raito speaking?"

Raito winced. This lady was too damn cheerful. "Yes, it is, may I ask who's calling?"

"Hi there, Raito-kun! This is Sakura Yamimara, I'm from the dating service you turned your application into a few days ago-"

Raito could have sworn he saw his life flash before his eyes in that moment. Of all the… this couldn't be… why the hell did things always happen to him? He was a good kid, wasn't he? A role-model student, a dutiful son, a loving older brother…

Oh, yeah. Sayu. That's the reason things always happened to him. Hell, he could blame global warming on the girl, just give him a day and he'd find a way to prove it. Yes, Sayu was in fact the source of all Raito's, hell, the whole world's, problems. She should come with an enclosed warning, for God's sake…

In the midst of such un-brotherly thoughts, Raito missed most of what the woman said. He tuned back in quickly, not wanting to look like an idiot, even if it was only to a receptionist in some lame dating service. Which he was now registered in.

He hated life. He hated pop-culture. But most of all, he hated little sisters.

"…so you can see why we were at a bit of a loss as to who to pair her up with. But your application is very impressive, and you did mention that you liked interesting people, so we figured you were her best bet…. Anyway, we've already called her and confirmed a lunch date for noon tomorrow, at the café Moo-latte. Is that acceptable to you as well?"

…Moo-latte? What the hell kind of name was that? He'd never even heard of the place… and somehow, he got the feeling he would have gotten along just fine without ever knowing of such a café's existence. But the lady was still waiting for his answer, and he really didn't have time to think about this all now. Suppressing a sigh, Raito succumbed to the inevitable, cursing his cruel, unusual fate.

"Yes, that will be just fine. Ah, how exactly will I know my date when I arrive?"

The ladies tone was foreboding. "Oh, believe me Raito-kun. YOU'LL KNOW." And with that cryptic statement, the woman promptly hung up.

Oh yeah, that made him feel good about tomorrow.

He would never understand women.

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Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does. - Jane Austen

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For the first time in his life, L was sitting alone in a café, and he had no idea why he was there. Watari had mentioned something about an appointment he had made to meet… er, what had been his words exactly?

Ah, yes. "A person of certain distinguishable qualities for whom you are considering having a continued companionship with in all matters regarding your lifestyle."

Whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. But, Watari said he had an appointment, so he had an appointment…. Though, let it be said, never before had he forgotten that he had an appointment, let alone who it was with and why. Maybe this was what people liked to call aging, after all, they said the mind was the first thing to go…

But that didn't make much sense either. He wasn't THAT old. Though in a few years he would be coming up on thirty. He considered that. What was the usual time period for a midlife crisis anyway? And what did you do while you were having one? Buy expensive cars to compensate? That seemed to be the norm… but L already had expensive cars, and he didn't really need to compensate for anything, be it mind or dick. He was very content with the size of both thank you…

L blinked. He did not just compare his mind to his dick. There should never be any comparison between those two body parts, as far as he was concerned. EVER. Except perhaps the fact that they with both closely associated with a head…

Know what, he was gonna stop that entire line of thought right there. Nope, wasn't gonna think about that anymore. Something else, a change in topic, that was what he needed. He looked around, eyes barely visible over the barrier his knees created to scan the room. Unfortunately, it seemed there was nothing of interest that was really worth viewing. How… disappointing.

It was then he heard a small ding, and turned to look at the door. Hopefully it was, ah… whoever it was that he was meeting today, so he could get this over with and get back to his hotel room.

This café didn't even sell cake….

L brought his thumb to his mouth, biting it gently as he observed the young man at the doors. He was… attractive, no doubt. A bit of an understatement really, but whether or not his contact was good looking was hardly a matter of importance. He didn't even know if it was his contact yet or not.

That was about the time their eyes met, as the young man stopped his apparent examination of the café. He had nice eyes, a rich amber color, very unique. L was slightly taken aback, though he didn't show it, as the boy gave him a blatant once over, before striding toward him in a purposeful manner.

Ah, so this was his contact.

That was… interesting.

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My sore throats are always worse than anyone's. - Jane Austen

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Raito stared at the sign in front of him, a deadpan expression on his face. The monstrosity of wood and paint standing before him had a picture of a giant cow spread across its surface, with coffee flowing from it's udders into a rather poorly painted cup below.

How tasteless and utterly unappetizing. He really hoped it hadn't been his date that had picked this place, that the agency had some sort of arrangement with the establishment or something. If not, this was going to be one hell of a long two hours. At least, that was the usual length of a date, according to Sayu. Raito sighed. There would be no, get in, say hi, small talk for fifteen minutes, finish up coffee and leave this time. Not unless he wanted to catch hell when he got home.

Little sisters were more trouble than they were worth. And dating agencies were WAY over-rated. It didn't inspire much confidence that they had affiliations with a place lame enough to name themselves Moo-latte, and degrade themselves with such an hideous logo.

And yet, still, Raito walked in. He did so hesitantly, after all, he had no idea what his date looked like. But the lady had said that he would know, so Raito supposed he could take that one of two ways. Either his date was holding up a sign like an escort in an airport, with a big Yagami Raito written on the front of it. Which wasn't likely. Or they were stuck out like a sore thumb in any crowd. Raito was betting on that one.

Looking over the small café while keeping an eye out for whoever he was here to meet, Raito was startled when he met a pair of blank black holes. Wait a minute. Those weren’t rips in the fabric of space and time, those were eyes. Big, black, staring eyes.

That stuck out like a sore thumb in a crowd. A quick up and down confirmed Raito's suspicions. Loose, baggy, winkled clothing, no shoes, wild, unwashed hair, pallid skin, and the weirdest sitting position Raito had ever seen.

This had to be the girl.

Damn it.

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Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable. - Jane Austen

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L watched intently as the young man finally came to a halt in front of him, plastering on what was obviously a fake smile.

"Ryuuzaki Hideki?"

L blinked. So, that was the name Watari had given him for this meeting? He usually only used that name in more casual situations, like when he needed a delivery or something, but he supposed it would do.

"Yes."

The young man nodded in confirmation, almost to himself, before sitting down across from L. Crossing his legs, hands folded politely on his lap, the young man gave L his full attention.

"So, Ryuuzaki-san…" That was a bit familiar for the first meeting, usually people used the last name. And this boy didn't seem the especially friendly type, not really.

"What did you want to do for our date today?"

L's brain stopped.

After a few moments, it went into automatic reboot, and he could practically feel his nerves charging and firing up again. But they were still having trouble processing that last statement.

"Excuse me? Date?"

The boy in front of him blinked a few times, drawing L's attention to long eyelashes, that really shouldn't flutter quite so attractively on a male… "Yes? That is what we're here for, isn't it? I mean, the agency set up the meeting and everything."

Agency? His brows furrowed slightly. "What agency?"

"The dating agency. You know, the one you filled out the form and applied for." The boy was talking slowly now, as if he were speaking to either a young, or very stupid child. L would have taken offense, but he was a bit too preoccupied at the moment. Dating agency?

The obvious answer to this situation was that the boy had gotten the wrong person. But he had used one of L's most recognizable aliases, and the chances weren't high that he could be mistaken for anyone else. L knew he stood out in a crowd, and knew the reasons.

So obviously the boy had come here for him. Apparently, from a dating agency. The question was, how the hell did L apply to a dating agen-

Wait a minute. A memory was nagging at his mind. A memory of three nights ago, when he had first discovered the wonders that were magazine quizzes. He had filled out three before sending Watari to get more and hopping into the shower for his wait. When he had gotten out, Watari had been in the kitchen and his new magazines were on the coffee table. But the filled out pages were nowhere to be found. L had assumed that Watari had thrown them away…

Obviously, that wasn't the case.

That… that… GAH! L hated the fact that he couldn't even call the old man a bad name in his head. Nothing quite fit the grandfatherly figure, and he knew that it had probably been an innocent mistake. The man wasn't the type for malicious practical jokes, after all…

But really. A date? Him?!

It suddenly occurred to L that his date was also with another male. …Which was either another grave mistake, or Watari was under the impression that L was gay. While sexual preference didn't really bother him, whatever it may have been, the fact that others might be considering what his sexual preference was bother him. A lot. Probably more than it should have, but hell, being the best detective in the world made you a bit paranoid. And besides that, L was already an extremely private person.

Who did not like the idea that others were pondering what exactly got his rocks off. Let alone Watari.

L's monologue was interrupted by a polite voice, irritation lingering just under the surface of the tone. L snapped back onto reality, his eyes once more meeting those of the boy across from him.

"Excuse me Miss, but I-"

L choked, earning himself an odd look from across the table.

"Are you okay?"

Taking deep and even breaths, L waited a few seconds before responding. "I am fine. It's just, I could have sworn you called me Miss."

"And that's… bad?"

Oh dear. He had called him Ms. That was a problem. A very BIG problem. He felt himself getting annoyed, a novel experience.

"Yes, I'm afraid it is. You see, I find it rather odd to be referred to as a Miss when I am, in fact, a male."

L wasn't sure whether he should feel satisfied or insulted by the blindsided look on the boys face.

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I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them. - Jane Austen

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A male. The dating service had hooked him up with… another man.

With all the trauma Raito had, admittedly, been expecting from this meeting, he hadn't quite been prepared for this. The word just kept echoing through the interior of his head, like some sort of psychotic mental bouncy ball, intent on pulverizing any shred of thought inside his scull.

She…was a he.

Brain snapping back into gear, Raito wondered how he hadn't seen it before. After all, one of the first things he had noticed were her rather unique facial features, and the lack of cleavage beneath the loose, white t-shirt. He had also noted the large, flexible, almost monkey-like feet, thought he had assumed that was the reason for the lack of shoes. It would be hell to try and squeeze those into high-heels.

But the voice was what should have tipped him off. It had been unusually low and even, a deep tenor, though not beyond the range of some women. He had just assumed that his date was odd in almost every aspect, voice and tone included.

But he hadn't expected them to be the same gender. That was another matter entirely.

It was his turn to slowly reawaken to reality, when that same deep tenor penetrated his daze of confusion.

"-lo? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hel-"

"I'm listening already! Cut it out!" Those large, dark eyes blinked slowly, as if they had no idea what he was talking about. He let his shoulders slump slightly, dragging a hand down his face. Well, this was a disaster, not that that came as any surprise.

"Excuse me."

Raito glared. "What?"

The thumb was removed between the wo- no, the man's lips as he tilted his head to the side.

"I was simply going to observe that you seem surprised upon discovering my gender. I did not realize that I in any way resembled a woman."

"You don't." And it was true, he didn't. Which led Raito and his wonderful hindsight back down how-the-hell-did-you-not-figure-that-one-out road. Joy.

"Then why was it such a surprise when I informed you I was a man?"

"Because I had assumed the agency would set me up on a date with a woman, and while you aren't exactly pretty…" Raito figured he had no reason to be polite, since this all had to be some huge mistake. "…it is within the bounds of reality that you could, reasonably, be a female."

"You don't think I'm pretty?"



The hell? What kind of- of all the bloody questions- how was this man staying so calm? Raito took a deep breath through his nose, forcing himself to calm down before replying.

"No, I don't."

"Not even a little?"

"Not one damn bit."

"There is no need to get testy, ah…?"

"Yagami. Yagami Raito."

"Bond. James Bond." The man had a stupid sense of humor too.

"Hilarious. Really, if we weren't in public, I'd be on the floor right now."

"Somehow I doubt that Raito-kun."

"Who said you could use my first name?"

"I can't? Raito-kun used mine."

"That's when I thought you were a woman, and my date."

"How very sexist. And who says I'm not your date?"

"Shove it. And I think it's safe to say you're not my date for obvious reasons."

"Ah, but you see, that's the problem." The man held one finger up between them, as if making some important point. "My name is Ryuuzaki Hideki, the name your agency gave you for your date. I was sent here to wait for someone with whom I assumed I had some business relations with. Now, what are the chances that another Ryuuzaki Hideki would choose to come into this café, at this time, on this day, and sit alone waiting for someone? Assuming I'm not your date, you see."

Raito was silent. Damn. He knew already. He knew. Was it too much to ask that this man allow him to drift in his state of denial for even a few minutes?

"I see you understand. So we both agree. I am the only Ryuuzaki Hideki currently present in this place at this time, and I am the one the agency set up for you as a… date."

Raito refused to examine that pause. He absolutely refused. He stared at the tabletop, well, glared more like it, and wondered once more why things like this always happened to him.

"Ah, Raito-kun."

"Don't call me that!" Raito snapped, looking up. Only to feel very stupid upon seeing the waitress, pad out and pencil ready for their orders. She looked very startled by his outburst, and Ryuuzaki was still just sitting there, staring at him. Shit.

"Would you like to place an order, sir?" The waitress asked, uneasy. Raito nearly groaned out loud, holding it in at the last moment. But, what the hell, he was here, wasn't he? And he wasn't expected back for another two hours at least…

"I'll have a cup of coffee, black." Raito said politely, drawing himself back up into perfect posture. He had already done the damage with this Ryuuzaki character, he may as well try to redeem himself in the waitress' eyes.

The two didn't speak again while the waitress was gone, the silence awkward and tense as it can only be in such daunting situations. Finally, their orders were done, and set down in front of them. Raito was just about to take the first, much-needed sip when Ryuuzaki broke the quiet between the two.

"Would you mind passing the sugar, Raito-kun?"

"I told you not to call me that." Despite his dark tone, Raito picked two sugars out of the small dish, handing them across the table. Once more picking up his mug, his lips were practically touching the porcelain when-

"Ah. A few more, if you wouldn't mind, Raito-kun."

He felt a vein throb in his forehead, and didn't bother to correct the man on his name. He pulled out three more sugar packets, practically flinging them across the table, before once more raising his coffee to his lips. He opened his mouth, smelling the rich liquid from such a small distance he could practically taste it on his tongue-

"Um. Raito-kun, if you wouldn't mind, a few mor-"

Raito slammed his mug down to the table, slopping a little coffee over the edge of the rim and onto the table, practically snarling at the man across from him. Fed up, he grabbed the entire dish of sugar packets, banging them down on the table in front of Ryuuzaki and getting a few sidelong glances from other customers.

"There, is that enough!?!"

"That will be adequate, Raito-kun." And just like that, the man went back to ignoring him. Raito seethed at the dismissive tone, suddenly not interested in drinking his coffee at all. Trying to send death through his angry stare, Raito watched as the man picked up the first sugar packet, emptying it into his drink. And another. And another. And another.

Raito watched, fascinated despite himself, his eyes getting marginally wider with every packet emptied into the liquid. Finally, the man stopped after emptying seventeen, and Raito suspected that was only because there were no more packets in their container. The once dark coffee was a light, oozing mass of sugar and liquid in the cup, and Raito felt slightly ill looking at it.

Surely the man wasn't going to drink it?

Yes, Raito thought in horror, watching with disgusted eyes as the drink was lifted to the man's parted lips.

Yes, he was.

~^~^~^~^~^~

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

L couldn't help but be amused at the sight of Raito's expression as he drank his coffee, obviously disgusted at the large amount of sugar it contained. Ah, well. Most were rather put off by this little habit of L's, it was something he had come to expect, really. But he couldn't quite pinpoint just why it was so amusing when it was Raito being grossed out.

Perhaps it was that L suspected Raito was not usually the type to express such an… awkward emotion. He seemed more like Aiber, the kind of con artist that would smile and lie and be so perfect you wondered if they were really real.

But that was just a theory at this point. And did L really need to examine why irritating this young man amused him so? He thought not, since there was nothing to be gained from the knowledge. He would never see the boy after today, so he figured, why not take what amusement he could out of the situation they found themselves thrust into?

Besides, Raito didn't think he was pretty. And despite the fact that L didn't really care about physical appearance, the manner in which Raito had declared the sentiment was vaguely insulting. And L only had one way of responding to the vaguely insulting.

And that was by being directly offensive.

"Has Raito-kun changed his mind about his level of attraction to me, or is there some other reason for his staring?"

The boy choked on the sip of coffee (black, how revolting) he had just taken, coughing loudly, his cheeks heating from embarrassment. "W-what?! NO! God, no! What the hell gave you the impression I might be attracted to you period, you freak?!"

L wiggled his toes absentmindedly. "Well, I simply assumed, as you were the one who mentioned the possibility of a date…"

Suddenly, the boys eyes weren't quite so big anymore, as they narrowed into something L would call - dare he say it? - just on the shy side of dangerous. "Don't go twisting my words into some sick version of reality, in which I would EVER willingly go out with you."

"I was not aware that I was twisting anything, Raito-kun."

"If you don't stop using my first name, I'll be twisting something, and it won't be pleasant on your part."

"Is Raito-kun normally this violent a person?"

"It would seem you bring out the worst in me, Ryuuzaki-kun."

"Sarcasm is dully noted, Raito-kun. And I'm flattered."

"Flattered? By what?"

"The fact that you would give me so much control over you, despite the fact that we just met, as to draw out such feelings." Oh, and that just got the boy seething. Just one more push, and L was sure he'd be just a step away from homicidal. "But I must warn you Raito-kun, before you pursue anything deeper from our relationship, that I don’t swing that way. I would like to keep this purely platonic, if you don't mind. Gay sex simply doesn't appeal to my more delicate sensibilities."

L refocused his attention on his feet, satisfied that he had won the argument. He would admit (under sugar-deprivation and excruciating torture) that he was surprised when, rather than sputtering and huffing and being indignant in general, Raito took a more direct course of action in expressing his anger to L.

Namely, throwing his coffee straight into L's face. Throwing his HOT coffee into L's unprotected face. Throwing his hot, black, steamy coffee, straight into L's face, including straight into his eyes.

L bit his lip till it bled, holding in the scream that wanted to escape.

Ow.

It wasn't until about ten minutes later, after a waitress had come with a cool, wet towel to soothe his burned skin and agonized eyes, that L realized Raito was gone.

And, as if to add insult to injury, it was then the waitress decided to give L his bill. For two cups of coffee.

~^~^~^~^~^~

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn? - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

When Raito finally got home, he made a point of ignoring Sayu for the rest of the night, just on principle alone really. She had been the one to fill out and turn in his application, after all. Even though he rationally knew she couldn't possibly had an inkling as to who the agency would pair him up with, he still blamed her. Why? Because he could, damn it.

She pretty much got the hint that the date hadn't gone well after his first hour of ignoring her. Figuring that out, she promptly shut up and left Raito alone for the rest of the night, smart girl. She did have some survival instinct in her after all, Raito never would have guessed.

Raito tore through his homework that night, his frustration lending him energy in his task and the work aiding in his attempts to keep his mind off the… the… well, 'incident' was already taken. So what should he call it that was vague enough as to not reveal exactly what had happened, yet satisfactorily expressed the amount of disgust he had for the recollection?

Occurrence. Yes, that sounded alright. Henceforth, the disastrous date would be referred to as the 'occurrence'. Raito refused to acknowledge his habit of labeling everything hinted at some mental disorder. He was not OCD, no matter what Sayu claimed.

Well, at least the 'occurrence' was over and done with, and he no longer had to acknowledge the fact that it had happened at all. And with the mood he had been in when he came home, his family knew better than to bring it up. Even Sayu. She had some common sense in that head of hers, and valued her life.

Yes, it was over. In the past. Buried and dead and never needed to be dragged up again. Except when he felt like replaying the look on that bastard's face when Raito threw his coffee at him. It had still been hot, and Ryuuzaki had very fair skin. It didn't take a genius to realize that it must have hurt something awful, and that Ryuuzaki was probably sporting a lovely 'sunburn' right now. He allowed himself a smirk. L may have won their little battle of wits, which was shocking enough, but Raito had gotten the last laugh. And in the end, that was what mattered.

And why was he stressing over it anyway? The date had happened, there was no taking it back, and now he was home free. It had been an unlucky chance that the agency had called him so quickly and set him up with such a freak. Besides, there was little to no chance he would receive a call from the other agencies, if they were as busy as they seemed to be. Modern dating sure was popular these days. But yes, it had been one unfortunate turn of bad luck, and now he never had to go on one of those blind dates ever again. And that was that, he thought, as he got into bed, shutting his eyes and quickly falling asleep.

Or so he thought, until he received a phone call two days later.

~^~^~^~^~^~

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

L was annoyed, uncomfortable, and for once, really irritated by all the incredulous stares he was getting from various people occupying the small bistro he was currently waiting in.

Yes, that was right, waiting. For yet another date. His lips twitched, wanting to curve into a sour frown, but L would allow no such expression in public. If it were only Watari, maybe.

But maybe not. After all, the man was the reason he had come to this date in the first place.

Naturally, after L had returned to the hotel, red-faced and coffee stained, Watari had inquired as to what had happened. L had explained that his 'date' (thank you very much for that, Watari, by the way) had thrown coffee into his face. A statement to which Watari had promptly responded by asking L what he had said to piss the young lady off so thoroughly. To which L had further explained that it was a young man, if you don't mind. To which Watari had paused, before going on to once again ask what he had said. And so L had told him.

To which Watari had responded that he had deserved every moment of pain, and to hurry up and change so Watari could wash his shirt before the stain became permanent.

Yes, L could practically feel the love.

And just to rub salt into his still raw and bleeding wound, Watari had threatened to cut him off from all cake, candy, pie, cookies, and any other sweet food he could think of if L didn't come on this date as well. Saying something about how the last try was a 'learning experience' and how L should 'try to take the lesson to heart'.

Translation: Don't fuck this up like the last time, you boob.

L fiddled with a piece of hair in boredom, dreading the inevitable introduction. He could only hope that this date would go more smoothly than the last, was preferably with a woman, and one with a more even temper than his- well, he couldn't really call the man his ex, now could he? They were never even on the same page, let alone in anything remotely resembling a relationship.

Tiring of his strand of hair, L's hand moved to fiddle with the rose on the table instead, which Watari had thrust into his hands at the last second upon dropping him off. Apparently, it was how him and his date were to know each other, as names hadn't been given out. Something about how initial introductions and first impressions were important, and that they should learn about each other on their own.

What a load of crock. Oh well, wasn't like L was giving out his real name anyway.

"Um, sir?"

L looked up at the waitress, repressing a sigh of annoyance at her wide eyes. For a first, the person wasn't stunned by his wide eyes, baggy clothes, or unconventional sitting habits.

No, they were staring at his face, which was splattered with cherry red burns, especially around the eyes. Suddenly L understood why that lady had sued McDonalds for not warning her that the coffee was hot. Because you never expected it to be quite THAT hot.

"Yes?" L spoke in his blandest tone, just to make the girl that much more uncomfortable.

"Er, well, you said to wait for a person that came in with a red rose, and that they were your date, right?"

"That is correct."

"Are you sure it was a red rose?"

"Yes."

"And positive that there is no one else that would come in here with one at this time today, looking for their date?"

He was starting to really hate this guessing game. "Yes, I am completely, one hundred percent, without a shadow of a doubt sure. WHY?"

"Well, sir, it's because, er, your date-"

"Oh. You have GOT to be kidding me!"

L looked over at the strangely familiar voice, and froze. Fuck. What were the odds of this happening? Pretty damn low…

And yeah, 'you have got to be kidding me' pretty much covered it.

~^~^~^~^~^~

Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong? - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

Though Raito hadn't really been that fond of the idea, he had eventually decided he may as well go on the second date, since his application had been filled out and turned in, and it would be horrible if he were to stand some poor girl up.

Besides, nothing could be worse than the last one right?

Wrong.

He found himself standing behind a waitress in the stupidest apron he had ever seen, in a small bistro downtown, completely shell shocked. He didn't even notice when he grasped the stem of the red rose in his hand too tight, pricking himself in the process. Why? Because there he was, the freak he had thrown coffee in the face of, who was still sporting the bright red burns from said incident, sitting at the table.

With a red rose on the plate in front of him.

Roses were the devil's flower.

The waitress made a quick escape, squeaking something about giving them a few minutes to decide what they wanted to order. Raito didn't bother to watch her go, staring dumbly at the, the… thing before him in abject horror.

It sighed. "Raito-kun may as well sit down, unless he is going for the moron look nowadays?"

Raito hesitated for a moment, before walking stiffly to the booth opposite of L, sinking into the seat dejectedly. Glancing up at his 'date' (and wow was that déjà vu), he told himself he was not going to feel guilty about the burns across the man's face, which really did look painful when he thought about it. Especially around the man's eyes… oh shit. He hadn't thought about that when he had thrown the coffee at him. Hot coffee in the eyes must have hurt like bloody hell, more than the skin burns…

Okay, so he felt a tiny, itty-bitty bit guilty. That didn't mean he was going to apologize. After all, the man had had it coming.

"So…" he began awkwardly, not really knowing what else there was to say. After all, it wasn't like he was expecting to see the man again.

"I'm assuming that Raito-kun feels awkward because he was not expecting to ever see me again." The man stated dryly. Raito glanced up in shock, but calmed down once he saw the look on the man's face. He was probably thinking along the same lines.

"I must admit, this meeting is distressing for me as well. I had hoped this 'date'-" He even did the little bunny ears with his fingers, Raito noted. "-would be more pleasant than the last."

Ouch. But he continued.

"But still, I can't help but be curious as to why we, two men, were paired up again despite all the odds against it."

"I think I have the answer to the 'two man' thing, if you're interested enough to hear it." Raito had extended the peace offering (driven by guilt, a small voice in his mind whispered, before he quickly put it out of its misery), now it was up to the other man to recognize it, then decide whether or not to take it.

Wisely, he chose to accept. "And what would that be?"

"Judging from your behavior and explanation the last time we met, it's pretty clear that you had no clue our meeting was intended to be a date, correct?"

"Correct."

"I thought so. That means that you would have filled out or had filled out for you one of the questionnaires the agencies put in magazines for advertising. The policy is to automatically assume the sender is a woman, since the ads are placed in women's magazines, and the men have to go through a live interview for their applications to be accepted. And no offense, but I doubt you'd pass."

"None taken."

"So, basically it boils down to the fact that, when your application was sent in for God knows what reason, you were filed on the women's side of the system. Congratulations."

Raito had to admit he was a bit amused at the man's harassed look. He obviously hadn't sent the forms in himself, so this was all a revelation to him. But now that Raito thought about it, it was actually kind of funny.

"Raito-kun?"

"Hm?" He felt that maybe he should just concede the name point, unless they wanted this 'date' to end up much as the last one had.

"May I ask why you felt the need to file an application with the dating agencies?"

"Pardon?" Raito was a bit surprised by the question, since it didn't really have any relevancy.

"It's just, when I consider what I know of your personality, it doesn't really fit."

"How so?"' So he would admit, he was slightly intrigued.

"Well, to be frank, Raito-kun is very attractive. Not to mention smart, confident, and with obvious people skills. So it doesn't make sense that he would go to an agency, when he wouldn't have much trouble finding a date himself. And would probably prefer it, as far as I can tell."

"And how do you know that I don't have some fatal flaw that ultimately ends any relationship I enter?"

"Actually, I've already found that too."

"Oh?"

"Raito-kun is very prideful. Though many women may see this as a turn-on rather than a flaw. But it is another reason I can't see Raito-kun going to an agency to find a date."

Raito held back a smirk. Okay, he'd been caught. And this guy was pretty sharp, he'd give him that. "Well, you're right on all counts. I didn't exactly apply for the agency by choice."

"Oh?" Ryuuzaki mimicked Raito, who was enjoying their banter too much to truly take offense.

"My teenage sister and her friends." Raito said by way of explanation, shrugging a bit. Ryuuzaki seemed to understand, or was at least doing a good job of acting like it, as he nodded his head, eyes narrowing. Seemed as though he had some experience with younger siblings as well.

"I see."

"Excuse me, sirs?" Ah, it appeared the waitress had finally scuttled back from beneath her lonely little rock. How kind of her. "Can I take your orders?"

"I'll have a coffee, bla-" Raito cut himself off, glancing at the man across the table. Who was staring back at him with wide eyes, ringed by very recent burns. Burns him and his coffee had caused, as it were.

"Sir?"

"Perhaps…" Ryuuzaki began, addressing the waitress, though he never moved his eyes from Raito's. "You wouldn't mind coming back in just a few more minutes? I don't think Raito-kun is quite sure what he wants yet." There was a small affirmation before the waitress was gone, leaving the two sitting at their table. Locked in what might have been a staring match, if their eyes hadn't been so intense.

It started as a small twitch, Raito observed. Then it became a constant tick, till finally, one corner pulled up, then the other. Ryuuzaki was… smiling, amusement sparkling in his wide, black eyes.

And Raito couldn't believe how cute he looked doing it.

~^~^~^~^~^~

One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

Okay, so L would admit it. He was slightly - only slightly, mind you - charmed by the volatile young man sitting across from him, meeting his gaze with eyes that were nervous, yet confident at the same time. He wasn't sure quite how Raito was pulling that off, but somehow, he was.

And L found the contradiction quite charming. Which was probably why he was smiling at the moment, despite having no intentions to do so. That didn't happen often. In fact, he could count the times it had happened on one hand.

"I'm going to let you off the hook this time, Raito-kun, but only because you didn't think before you spoke."

The boy across from him raised an eyebrow, one corner of his mouth twitching up. "And who said that little slip wasn't on purpose?"

"If it were on purpose, you wouldn't have stopped."

"Someone's confident. Perhaps I was simply trying to lure you into a false sense of security."

"Perhaps. But I think it might be wise for Raito-kun to watch his own back. For all he knows, I might be planning some sort of revenge, likely of the painful and lasting sort."

"I doubt it. If you had any 'painful and lasting' revenge in mind, you would hardly be warning me beforehand."

"Touché, Raito-kun, but I-" L cut himself off as he once more spotted the waitress approaching their table. She looked nervous as she fiddled with her pen and pad, and L couldn't exactly blame her. Alone, he was enough to make people nervous. In the presence of a… worthy opponent, he supposed, there were few people that wouldn't be uncomfortable in his presence.

"A-are you ready t-to order, sirs?"

L cut in, ordering a cup of tea and some chocolate concoction off the desert menu. He stared at Raito-kun, wondering what the boy would order in light of recent events. His interest was further peaked when the boy flashed him a smirk, so fleeting he thought he had been mistaken. Until Raito gave his order.

"I'll have a cup of coffee, black." His eyes were practically leering across at L, daring him to say something. Was this kid… challenging him? L bit down on his thumb, wondering when it had moved back into his mouth. He waited till the waitress was gone before addressing the smug adolescent.

"That wasn't very nice, Raito-kun."

"I haven't the slightest idea what you're referring to, I assure you."

"You don't? Pity. I thought Raito-kun was smarter than that."

"Think what you will, nothing I say will stop you." Damn that boy, he had claimed a small victory and he was reveling in it. And L just couldn't stand it.

Raito was certainly bringing out his competitive side.

"Raito-kun is a very confusing individual. I find myself unsure as to how to respond to him."

"For some reason… I don't believe you. I think you're just an extremely sore loser."

"But to be a sore loser would mean I would have had to lose something, would it not, Raito-kun?"

"Yes, that is the implication made."

"There you have it Raito-kun. I have not lost anything, therefore it is not possible for me to be a sore loser."

"Don't try to pull that, Ryuuzaki, you know damn good and well what you lost."

"I have no idea what Raito-kun is talking about."

"Keep telling yourself that."

"What else would I tell myself, Raito-kun?"

Finally the boy lost his calm façade, showing his frustration. "Damn it, Ryuuzaki, you lost, and you may as well just admit it!"

L leaned in across the table, his eyes intent. "But did I lose Raito-kun?"

Raito paused, his eyes narrowing into agitated slits at the man before him. "No. No, you didn't." Hid mouth pulled down into a dark expression. "But you didn't win either."

"A draw, then."

"Yes, a draw, you bastard."

"Language, Raito-kun."

"I wasn't aware you were my mother, Ryuuzaki."

Ryuuzaki blinked. "I think it should be quite obvious that there are numerous reasons for that to be physically impossible, Raito-kun."

"You know the worst part of that last statement? I couldn't tell whether you were serious, or joking."

"Why would I joke about such a thing?"

"Dear lord, Ryuuzaki, it was a figure of speech! You seriously need to get out more."

"…"

"What, did I hit a nerve?"

"You seem to be most adept at doing so, I'm afraid."

Raito's retort was cut off by the arrival of their drinks, and L's desert. Despite the fact that there was a very small chance that Raito would try the same method of attack twice, L found himself keeping a close eye on the Raito's hands, and the coffee held between them.

L had never claimed he wasn't paranoid, after all.

~^~^~^~^~^~

Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

Raito was having the hardest time holding back a grin, and it was all Ryuuzaki's fault. After all, with the way the man was eyeing his coffee, you'd think he expected it to leap out of the glass all by itself, on a crash course with his still burnt face. And Raito really wasn't the type to let an opportunity pass by.

"It doesn't bite you know, Ryuuzaki."

The man leveled him with a deadpan stare. "I am quite aware of that fact, thank you, Raito-kun. I am not so much worried about the coffee, as whose hands it resides in."

Raito allowed his face to form into a wounded look, his eyes wide and innocent, as if he had no idea what Ryuuzaki was referring to. The other man was less than amused.

"Raito-kun, should not expect such a trick to work on me."

"Trick? How could you say such a thing?"

"I am able to say such a thing thanks to past experiences, which have enlightened me to what lies beyond your little façade."

"And that would be?"

"A spoiled brat." Raito took a bare moment to be insulted before responding.

"Oh, like you're one to talk."

"No, but unlike Raito-kun, I have never denied said fact or tried to hide it."

"So this is just a case of the pot calling the kettle black?"

"No, this is a case of one immature brat recognizing another."

"How charming."

"Not really."

All in all, it hadn't really been a bad date, Raito mused, despite the fact that Ryuuzaki was a guy. He had been amusing to talk to, or if he was being honest, bicker with once the initial awkwardness had faded. That didn't mean that Raito had apologized for the coffee burns still visible across the man's face.

Or that he had felt any guilt for stiffing him with the bill when he left.

~^~^~^~^~^~

Nobody minds having what is too good for them. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

L wasn't entirely sure what he was expecting, really.

He was sitting in a nice restaurant observing the smartly dressed waiters as they carted food around. Apparently the third dating agency he had applied for had higher standards of taste than the past one's, if the setting was anything to go by. L supposed he would probably be stuck with the bill for this, since his companion for the night probably wasn't wealthy enough to afford such a place.

Not that he wasn't used to being stuck with the bill, after his last two experiences. What gave Raito-kun the audacity to-

He was going to stop himself there. Over the last few days he had found himself thinking of Raito far to often, more specifically their second date together. It had truly been an enjoyable affair, as far as L was concerned. Raito was not only smart, he was a genius, and attractive and charming to boot. Furthermore, L had been under the distinct impression the young man had enjoyed their second try a great deal as well.

That hadn't stopped him from leaving L with the bill, yet again though. Thankfully, without throwing his coffee in his face this time.

L was insanely happy that the burns had finally healed up, and his skin was back to its pasty white hue.

But these thoughts of Raito had been getting out of hand. It was actually going so far as to distract him from his work, something that never happened. He just couldn't put the two images together, they clashed so bad. The first Raito he had become acquainted with, that day at the café, that had a temper and a half and had thrown coffee in his face without a flicker of guilt or hesitation. Then the Raito from the Bistro, who had been witty and attentive and really just plain gorgeo-

He was stopping himself there. He was. He was drawing the line. It ended now.

From here on out, he refused to think about Raito even once more.

Just after he had finished the thought, there was a tap on his shoulder. Looking up, his mouth fell open slightly upon seeing a very familiar face.

"Raito-kun."

So much for that.

L watched as Raito-kun gave him a small, long-suffering smile, his eyes resigned. They followed him as he sat down across the table, noting the fall of light honey brown locks and how the black suit Raito had on complimented his amber eyes….

He had never put much stock in things like fate, or destiny, or any of that pre-destination crap. That was for TV psychics and religious nuts, not realists like L. But he couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't an air of… rightness, about all this. If perhaps he could… with Raito…

Did he even want to? L took a long look at the young man in front of him, and took a vote. Then retook it, and double checked the ballots just in case. But the results were the same every time.

An utterly unanimous yes.

Well, why not? It wasn't as if he had ever denied himself anything he wanted before.

Now, the only problem was getting Raito to cooperate. Looking back on their past experiences together, L calculated his chances of getting Raito to come back to his hotel with him tonight. But no matter how many times he tried, the result always stayed the same.

Not bloody likely.

But when had that stopped L before?

~^~^~^~^~^~

I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

Ryuuzaki was acting weird.

Not that that was anything new, after all, the man was practically a walking ball of FREAK, as it was. But still, there was just something about the way he was acting tonight that was…

…Well, in a word, weird.

The annoying thing was, that Raito couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. Every time he looked, Ryuuzaki looked the same as he always had. Same clothes, same posture, same expression…

But still. Something was different and Raito intended to find out exactly what that was. It was obvious that a subtle approach wasn't going to tell him what was going on in that head of his. He had a feeling the subtle approach rarely ever did work with Ryuuzaki. So he would just have to be direct about it, wouldn't he?

He set his glass of wine down, preparing for the confrontation. Honestly, he was a little buzzed, as he rarely drank wine, and never more than a few sips. But Ryuuzaki had bought it for them, and it would have been rude for Raito not to drink some.

"Ryuuzaki."

The man's attention was instantly on him, and he couldn't help but speculate that there was something different about those eyes tonight. Something else lurking within their black depths. But he'd never know unless he asked.

"Is there something on your mind you would like to talk about?"

"What gave Raito-kun that idea?"

"You're acting weird, that's what."

"I wasn't aware that I was acting any differently from usual."

"It's not that…" Raito sighed, not really sure how to explain it. "You just… feel different tonight, Ryuuzaki. You seem distracted, and I can't help but wonder what you're distracted over."

"I'm not… distracted, per se." Ryuuzaki shifted slightly, as though uncomfortable. "I've just got something on my mind…"

"I was under the impression that that's what being distracted is, Ryuuzaki."

"Not quite, Raito-kun. You see, it is only a distraction when it takes your attention away from what it should be focused on."

"Your point?"

"My point is Raito-kun, it that what I should be paying attention to and what I have on my mind are the exact same thing."

"And what would that be?"

"You."

Raito stopped breathing.

After a small pause (that seemed more like an eternity), he finally breathed out.

"Me?"

"Yes."

Dear God, this man was blunt.

"Why?" He didn't like how lost he sounded, not at all. He was supposed to sound sharp, in control! Not… like he was at a loss for words. He was Raito Yagami, people didn't throw him off balance!

Except for one.

"I've been wondering that myself." Ryuuzaki tilted his head back, looking at the ceiling as he refused to meet Raito's eyes. "After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that I am attracted to Raito-kun."

Raito stared. "And you are aware I'm a guy, right?"

"Raito-kun is the one guilty of making that mistake. I would not seek to reciprocate it."

He had a point. "Well, do you have any idea where this, er, attraction came from?"

Ryuuzaki finally looked at Raito, giving him a very blatant look over. "It is not so hard to imagine. Raito-kun is very attractive, and the fact that I found myself enjoying his company at our last meeting only makes such attraction worse."

What the hell was he supposed to say to that?

"But Raito-kun need not worry himself over it."

The hell he didn't… "And what led you to that conclusion, exactly?"

Ryuuzaki brought his thumb to his mouth, his gaze turning to the table-top. "I have already calculated that the chances of Raito-kun actually agreeing to… accompany me tonight were around three percent. Probably lower after this conversation. And seeing as how I only turned in three applications to different services, even if Raito does continue to go on these dates, there is no chance of us meeting again. So Raito-kun really has nothing to worry about."

Raito was angry. And he wasn't sure why. After all, everything Ryuuzaki had said was true. But for some reason, the thought that these little 'dates' were going to end was… slightly troubling. And that in itself was slightly troubling.

Besides, it really pissed Raito off that Ryuuzaki was so certain of how tonight was going to play out.

"Nice to know I'm so predictable to you, Ryuuzaki." He spoke, his tone acidic.

"Raito-kun is mistaken, I do not believe he is predictable at all."

"And yet, you are so sure of the accuracy of your 'calculations' when it comes to this."

Ryuuzaki was silent. And that was just pissing him off more. And when Raito got pissed off, he got competitive. Competitive in very imaginative ways.

And right now, he really wanted to prove this jackass wrong.

"It's really a pity you gave up so quickly."

Ryuuzaki's eyes snapped to his, narrowing slightly from their usual round state. "Is there any reason I shouldn't have given up, Raito-kun?"

"It's just such a big turn off, honestly…" Raito began, using the sexual phrasing to make sure he had one hundred percent of L's attention. "After all, we're both intelligent people. I would have expected you to at least make some sort of effort, or attempt to work this out…"

Suddenly Ryuuzaki's eyes were really intense, fixing Raito with a look he wasn't sure he could turn away from, even if he had wanted to. "And if I had made an effort to, ah, 'work this out'…?"

Raito rested his elbow on the table top, holding his chin in his palm. He allowed his eyes to droop to half mast, while the edges of his mouth curled up teasingly. Ryuuzaki's eyes widened, his mouth falling open slightly at the implications and picture Raito presented.

"I dare say I have made myself clear?" Raito asked, his voice a few shades lower than usual. L gave him one slow, deliberate nod. Raito felt his mouth convert to a full blown smirk as he leaned back once more.

L was shifting around in his seat, looking a bit… unsure, for once. Raito couldn't help but take some pleasure out of the fact that it was him that had done this to Ryuuzaki, that had thrown him off balance enough to actually show some of what he was thinking.

Ryuuzaki's voice was quiet when he spoke. "Just to be certain, we are agreeing to…?"

Raito held his hand out across the table, waiting for L to grasp it.

"The exchange of bodily fluids?"

His nonchalant tone made L's eyes flash with amusement, before his hand was grasped and shaken, as if sealing some sort of deal.

"The exchange of bodily fluids."

~^~^~^~^~^~

One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

Surprisingly, the trip to the hotel wasn't awkward at all. In fact, it was actually quite pleasant, especially when they had stopped and gotten some drinks. Tea for L, filled with what Raito called a supermodel's sugar hell, and a coffee for Raito, black. As always.

They didn't speak, or bicker, or anything really. It was almost as if they had come to an understanding, after all, they had shook on it. The deal was made, and there was no reason to rush or feel embarrassed over its completion. So they didn't. They took the long way back to the hotel, just enjoying their drinks and one another's company.

L couldn't help but notice Raito's surprise when they finally came to the hotel he was staying at, the best and most expensive in the city. He really shouldn't have been, not after L had paid for their ridiculously expensive dinner, but still. L supposed he didn't give the impression of being rich, though he had the eccentric part down pat.

But soon enough they were in his suite, the top one, and L saw the impressed sparkle in Raito's eyes. He felt his chest swell, but wasn't sure why. After all, he had never cared what people thought of him before, why should he now?

Because it was Raito. The boy- no, the young man he had made a bargain with, and was about to sleep with. In this room. Tonight.

That was about the time L started to get a little jittery. He refused to be nervous, or, heaven forbid, scared. But, though he knew how to have sex with a man (thanks to an odd phase of curiosity and plenty of internet research), he had never actually done so before. Women, yes, when his needs got too strong to deny. But even then it was done as quickly and cleanly as possible. Sex was okay, but not really on L's list of priorities.

Which led him to question how it had suddenly claimed the number one spot. But he was jittery, because this was sex with a man, this was sex with Raito, and for the first time…

He really wanted to have sex. And he really wanted for his partner to want to have sex with him.

And he really wanted for this to be good for them both.

Refusing to acknowledge the tension in his shoulders, L walked across the room to the window, which took up the majority of the wall. Looking down, he jumped when a hand was laid on his shoulder, not having heard Raito coming up behind him. He turned stiffly, looking at the familiar face and trying to keep his emotions from his own. He should have known Raito wouldn't be fooled though.

"You're nervous, aren't you?"

L briefly considered lying… but figured there was too much to lose if he did. "To be brief, yes. You see, I know the anatomy of having sex with a man, and how to go about it but… I've never done it before. My experience in this area is limited to women."

"Well, at least you have that much." He couldn't mean…?

"I haven't had any experience, ever. Not even with a woman, or a girl, as it were. Well, nothing past second base, at least."

That was… "How is that possible?" L asked before thinking. To his relief, Raito laughed a bit.

"I just… wasn't interested I suppose. All the girls I knew were so boring, I just sort of assumed sex with them would have been boring too." Raito looked down for a moment, before looking up, his voice firm and confident despite the faint blush across his cheeks. "But you're not boring at all… you're interesting, so, as far as I figure… 'this' should be interesting as well. And even if that's not perfect… it's something, right?"

Somehow… that had helped. L felt the tension easing out of him, now that he knew Raito-kun wasn't more experienced then him and, well, he was right. The experience would be interesting, if nothing else, and even if it wasn't the best or most pleasurable, that was better than boring. "Yes… I would have to say, Raito-kun, that is something indeed."

And with that, L kissed him.

It wasn't earth-shattering, or mind-numbing, and no fireworks were going off behind his eyes like in all the tacky romance novels Watari liked to read. But it was warm, and comfortable, and the way Raito's eyelashes fluttered closed as he kissed back was more than interesting.

It was fascinating.

But it wasn't satisfying. Raito didn't protest when he moved forward, wrapping his arms around his trim waist to pull the boy into him. A slight grunt escaped his mouth upon contact, as though L had maybe pulled him a bit too enthusiastically, but it didn't stop him from wrapping his arms around L's neck.

L was surprised when Raito's tongue flickered across his lips, asking for entrance. But he didn't hesitate to open his mouth, letting the boys tongue explore and returning the favor.

For a while, all L could think about was Raito's mouth, and the way his tongue battled with his own, like their verbal matches. Vicious, yet playful, their own little battles of wits. Nobody else needed to understand, they could be as harsh or cruel as they wanted, because it was just… them. And they had no time for being gentle, or considerate, or anything but passionate and straightforward when faced with the other.

Raito finally broke away from his mouth, gasping for air, and it took L a moment to realize he was panting as well. He supposed that, logically, that was what happened when one's mouth was occupied with something other than breathing, but he would have preferred if Raito had remained where he was…

But he wasn't one for dwelling in the past. He would much prefer to move forward.

Acting upon this urge, he slid his hands beneath the hem of Raito's shirt, pulling it up and over his head before any protest could be made. Not that there would have been one, L observed, as Raito returned the favor, albeit in a less rushed fashion. His body stiffened reflexively, his throat seizing up as Raito allowed his hands to brush along his nipples, sending small sparks through his body. Then his shirt was off and they were both half naked and just standing there, and that just wouldn't do at all…

L closed the space between them, pressing bare chests together and seizing Raito's mouth once more. He noticed the contact was no longer pleasantly warm… somewhere along the line, the contact had become unbearably heated. He could feel the friction between their bare chests, and the inferno was slowly consuming his lower half.

Tearing his mouth from Raito's, unwilling to lose control so quickly from the clever ministrations of that tongue, L occupied himself elsewhere. Tilting the graceful neck to the side, he sealed his mouth over the conjunction of neck and shoulder. Laving the spot carefully with his tongue, he eventually pressed his lips to it, suckling. Raito made no audible noise at the action, but he was unable to hide the gentle rumbles of vibrations in his chest. The only thing L could compare it to was the purring of a cat… no, not a house cat, with their small, pleased little noises. This was too deep, too continuous… it was the contented noise of a jungle cat, taking its pleasure where it would and not performing for any sort of attention.

He wondered what other mysteries the body before him held. Continuing down, he eyed the hard pebble before him, recalling how good it had felt when Raito had brushed along his… Biting his lip, it took him but a moment to come to a decision, and he leaned forward, letting his lips brush gently against the tip of the small protrusion.

Raito stilled under his touch. L took it as a good sign, opening his mouth and carefully taking the bud between his lips, gently clasping it with his teeth. Raito's hitch in breath was audible this time, and L could feel the heartbeat beneath his lips speed slightly. His stomach gave a lurch as his own arousal hardened completely, tenting his pants and fogging his thoughts. As much as he was enjoying taking his time with Raito like this, he wasn't going to last much longer. He was already in a greater state of arousal than he had been at his past climaxes, and he wanted to go all the way. To see if it really was as wonderful as he was beginning to suspect it could be.

Giving the red, slightly swollen bud between his lips a small lick, he slowly removed his mouth, scraping it with his teeth gently. In return he got a slight shiver, and his hands grasped the waist in front of him more firmly, trying to ground himself. Raito's arms were still clinging to his shoulders, while his head was tilted back, hair tumbling away from a smooth, high forehead.

Since he wasn't looking, L didn't hold the small jump against him when he moved his hands to undo the button of Raito's pants. He felt something stir in his chest - pride, perhaps - at the enlarged flesh beneath the material, a direct result of his ministrations. It just felt nice to know that he was the one doing this to someone - no, not just someone. To Raito. The boy he knew so little about, yet felt so familiar with.

A kindred spirit. One that was opening his body up to L tonight, to do with what he would. L would not waste the opportunity, nor would he make the boy regret his decision.

Letting the black material drop to the floor, L slipped two fingers inside the elastic waist of Raito's boxers. Pressing his face to Raito's neck, his lips brushed along the Adam's apple as he inquired quietly, "May I?"

Rather than a response, L felt Raito's hand close over his own, slowly guiding them to push the boxers down, letting them drop next to the pants with a soft, silky sound. It took L a few moments to notice the movement of the hand above his.

Raito was trembling. Whether from fear or nerves, or even anticipation, the emotion he was feeling was enough to send small shudders through his system. That really shouldn't have been as arousing as it was. But still, L wasn't going to force Raito into anything, despite the fact that all actions thus far had been with his consent. So he held Raito's hands, bringing them to the front of his jeans. He gently touched them to the clasp, allowing Raito to feel his own reaction, while allowing Raito to choose how far this went.

There was a moment that lasted hours, a shaky, indrawn breath, an then Raito's hands were in motion. The movement were slightly clumsy, but somehow still graceful in the endless contradiction of Raito Yagami. But L could not dwell upon his thoughts long, as his jeans joined Raito's clothes on the floor, his boxers quickly following behind.

They were both still, neither quite ready to look at the other in their entirety, or allow themselves to be looked at in return. Finally, reprimanding himself, L took charge once more. Taking a firm hold on Raito's hips, he brought the full lengths of their bodies together, his mouth opening in a silent gasp at the sensation. He heard what almost seemed to be a sob from the body in his arms, and the legs next to his seemed wobbly. His own were not in much better shape, as they barely managed to support his weight, seeming boneless beneath him.

There was an easy solution to the problem. Shifting till he was pressed to Raito's side, rather than his front, he walked them both to the door of the bedroom. Entering, he immediately took them to the bed, a hand in the middle of Raito' back urging him onto the comforter and up to the mountain of plush pillows. L joined him shortly, hands moving the body before him into lying down on its back, it's entire front displayed.

L left him for a moment, going to the bathroom and retrieving the hotel hand lotion he would be needing later. He swallowed as he looked down at the small container, before shaking his head and returning to the room. Only to frown slightly as he viewed the figure on the bed. Raito had flipped himself to his side, his back facing L, his posture curled in slightly.

It appeared he was more nervous than L had thought. He moved forward, sitting beside the body on the bed. He didn't touch, or even observe, just gave it what company he could offer. After a few minutes had passed, he finally broke the silence.

"If Raito-kun truly feels he is not ready for this, I understand. It is not something he should feel ashamed of, and in truth, his reluctance may be considered wise. If he wishes to go-"

There was a hand on his bare chest, and burning amber eyes staring into his own.

"Ryuuzaki. Shut up." And with that, they were kissing, and Raito's legs were on either side of his waist, the smooth body straddling his hips. He had but a bare moment to appreciate the situation before a scolding finger was shoved in his face.

"The last thing I need right now, is for you to grow a conscience."

L would have taken offense, if Raito had not chosen that moment to shift his hips, molding them against L's own. Words fleeing his mouth in a shocked exhalation, L's hands grasped Raito's thighs tightly, fingernails biting a bit. But Raito continued to move, his mouth falling open as he did, letting small sighs escape.

The rhythmic, firm pressure of Raito against himself was euphoric, and L's body leaned back without his consent. His own hips began to piston in time with the ones above them, drawing a delightful hiss from Raito's lips. But while the motion was sufficient… it was not anywhere close to what L craved.

He did not stop his rocking motions as he picked up the small bottle of lotion beside him, pouring a small amount on his fingers, trying not to spill. His hand moved around Raito, not immediately going towards their destination. He touched his palm just below the small of Raito's back, hoping he would get the hint.

Raito paused, and L held his breath, only letting it out when smooth legs spread further apart, revealing the boys arousal to his eyes, while opening himself for preparation. He throat working quickly, L pressed the tip of his finger to the small entrance, before pressuring the ring to open for it. Initially resistant, his finger was finally accepted into the warm passage, with only a soft exhalation from the invaded body. Leaving it there for a moment, L didn't wait long before adding another. The muscles around the two digits tensed slightly, before they were literally forced to loosen, Raito willing himself to relax.

Wiggling the fingers, L stretched the passage slightly, trying to be gentle yet fast. Raito did not protest any of the motions, allowing the fingers to prepare him. He received no more reaction until he inserted the third finger, at which Raito let out a slightly pained sound, before biting down on his lip. L thought to protest that for a moment, but changed his mind. In such a situation, it would be heartless for him to force Raito into doing something he considered degrading. The boy's pride might be the only thing keeping him calm at the moment.

Closing his eyes, considering for a moment, L removed his unoccupied hand from its grip on Raito's waste, moving it instead to ghost across the tip of his erect member. The choked sound that emerged from Raito's lips at the contact was all the encouragement he needed before he took the base of the member in a firm grip. He slowly started pumping, trying to get used to the feeling of another man's arousal in his hands. In any case, it was doing its job, and distracting Raito enough for him to prepare him for something slightly bigger than three fingers.

And he wasn't willing to wait any longer. He didn't want to hurt Raito, but his own need was nearing the point of painful, a masochistic sort of pleasure he had never before experienced. Removing his fingers, he did not slow his pleasuring of the member presented to him, positioning the body above him. Pulling it toward him, till he was finally resting against, then breaching the entrance.

With no warning or time to prepare himself, Raito let out a cry of pain, his muscles tensing instinctively. It was too late for that, as L was already halfway in. It was almost killing him not to finish the movement, and thrust into the passage completely. He was already gaping with the feel of it, and still there was more to come. It was almost terrible in the way it took over his mind and livened his body.

But Raito was in pain, and he had to be slow, be careful, because it was Raito he was with. The boy deserved that much, at the very least. So he waited, until his breathing slowed, his fists unclenched, and his eyes lost the almost panicked look they had taken on. And finally, there came a small nod, signaling him to go on.

He started slow at first, barely rocking in and out, gradually pushing in more of his length. He was almost all the way in when it finally happened. There was a shocked sound from Raito as his back arched slightly, his hips instinctively thrusting. L blinked, before thrusting again, getting a similar reaction.

Ah. So he had found the prostate. And it seemed it was sensitive enough for Raito to get a great deal of pleasure from the pressure he was putting on it.

It was only a matter of time that they had both truly begun to enjoy it. With every thrust L would stroke that one spot inside Raito, sending heated shocks through his system till he felt drugged. L had begun to lose himself, each thrust faster and harder than the last, as his firm foundation of control was shaken by the feelings coursing through his body.

It was by no means a perfect joining. Their rhythm wasn't in exact sync, neither was quite sure what to do with their hands, and both were consumed by a need too strong to slow down and truly savor the act. But it was something. It was potential. Even if it wasn't perfect, it was good, and it showed how truly wonderful it could be. It revealed the potential it had to be something truly earth-shattering, mind-numbing, worthy of fireworks and stars and flashing lights behind the eyes.

And it was that that finally threw L over the edge, spilling into Raito with a low yell, his hand still working at the young man's need. A minute late, he watched Raito come with a sigh more like a sob, before collapsing across L's chest, spent and sticky with sweat and come.

They didn't speak when they pulled apart, L removing himself from Raito with a grunt. Nor did they when they each took a turn in the shower, or when L pulled off the first layer of sheets before climbing into the bed. But still, it was an unspoken understanding when Raito crawled in after him, curling up on the opposite side of the bed. It was never mentioned how they slowly shifted closer to the middle, never touching, but near enough to feel the heat coming off the others bodies.

It lasted until they fell asleep, L following Raito.

When L woke up that morning, Raito was gone. And L couldn't help but think, he should have been expecting it.

After all, Raito had left him to cover the bill twice before, even if it was only coffee. He shouldn't have expected him to treat dinner and a hotel room any differently.

It was all giving L the impression that Raito was a cheap bastard by choice, rather than chance.

Oh, well. That was the way L liked him.

~^~^~^~^~^~

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. -Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

It had been a week, an entire goddamn week since the hotel, and Raito still couldn't get his mind off it.

And he couldn't understand why! Sure, it was his first time, but Raito didn't really put that much value on virginity, since it wasn't really worth much anymore. Though, he'd admit, he had never expected to lose his to a man. Not that he had been directly opposed to the idea, but it just wasn't something he'd really considered before.

Hell, sex wasn't something he had really considered before. And then, boom, there it was, right in front of him. And like so many other adolescents, he had dove in, headfirst, without so much as a floaty on hand or a lifeguard in sight.

He would never laugh at girls who got kind of emotional about the whole thing anymore. They were right, sex did change everything. He wasn't sure how yet, nothing in his life was really going that differently. But things were just nagging at the back of his mind, things he didn't want to think about, that he really shouldn't examine too closely.

Things like Ryuuzaki's small, sweet smile, or how it had felt when he had first kissed him. Things like the touch, the smell, the feeling of Ryuuzaki breaching him for the first time. The look on Ryuuzaki's face when he had thrown his coffee in it, or the way his eyes looked when they were arguing over something.

Hell, he didn't even know the man, not really, and yet he couldn't get his mind off of him! It was driving him insane! If this was what sex did to people, then he was going to stay celibate for the rest of his life.

But that wasn't what was really getting him down, not if Raito was being honest with himself. It was just… over. The dates, the meetings, the conversations, the sex… all of it, gone. He was never going to see Ryuuzaki again. And on more levels than he thought he even possessed, that bothered him.

But there was nothing he could do about it.

His musings were interrupted by the intercom, a overly loud, monotone voice projecting through the classroom from the small speaker in the wall.

"Yagami Raito, will you please report to the attendance office. Yagami Raito."

Him? Why in the world would they need him? Though confused, he stood up without pause, nodding to the teacher and making his way out the door. A turn to the left, one long ass hallway, and then a right, and he was at the doors to the office. Walking in, he waited for a few minutes for the receptionist to notice him, as she seemed to be working on something on her computer very intently.

Raito was willing to bet his laptop that she was really playing a game of Tetris.

Finally, scowling at the computer screen (she had probably just lost), she looked up, seeing Raito. Immediately a fake smile was plastered across her overly made-up face, as she 'politely' inquired as to what he needed.

"I was called down here on the announcements just a few minutes ago."

"Oh, you must be Raito, then." No shit, Sherlock. Now the question was whether or not this woman had a brain cell in her entire head. Keep digging, Watson!

"Yes, that's me."

"Well, Raito-san, a friend of yours is waiting for you outside. You really should be more responsible in remembering yours appointments, Raito-san, especially when you disturb other people to get rides to the doctors! You're probably late since we had to call you down…"

Raito had pretty much tuned the rest of the lecture out. Friend? Outside? Doctors appointment? He had no such thing. If he had his mother would be picking him up to drive to the office, not a friend. Besides, Raito never forgot anything, let alone something as important as an appointment.

Now, he wanted to know, who the hell was this guy and what did he want?

"…so please try to be more responsible in the future." Raito tuned in at the end of the speech. Responsible? Oh yeah, she would know ALL bout that, now wouldn't she? Raito nodded his head to the woman, resisting the strong urge to roll his eyes. Instead he walked out of the office, heading for the main doors, ready to go outside and give this guy a piece of his mind.

Pushing open the door, his mouth was already open to begin his tongue lashing, when it was suddenly caught in his throat. There in front of him, wearing his usual baggy outfit, his hair still a complete mess and his posture horrific, stood Ryuuzaki.

It took Raito a few speechless moments to realize that he was being gestured at by the man. Slowly, hesitantly, he made his way down the front steps, approaching the figure in front of him. Stopping a couple of feet away, he stood there awkwardly. After all, the last time he had seen the man had been after they had had sex. And Raito had left the hotel before the guy had even woken up. He couldn't be too happy about that. So why wasn't he upset that the man was here? That he had tricked Raito into coming outside to see him?

Waiting for the man to speak, he was surprised when something was thrust unceremoniously beneath his nose, causing him to take an instinctive step back. Looking down, he saw Ryuuzaki offering him a… cup of something?

"Coffee. Black. It's what you always order, isn't it?"

For some reason, Raito's throat went tight, as his hands rose of their own volition, gingerly taking the cup from Ryuuzaki's grasp. Licking his lips, he finally whispered out a thank you to the man in front of him. Ryuuzaki tilted his head to the side, eyes examining Raito intently.

"Raito-kun is most welcome. I will do my best not to say something offensive enough that Raito-kun will have to waste his cup of coffee once more, if Raito-kun would join me for a walk?"

His lips twitched, slowly spreading into a happy smile, before he let out a few chuckles. Ryuuzaki returned the favor, grinning at him happily, and then Raito was walking beside him, sipping on his cup of coffee, talking about everything and nothing at the same time.

It wasn't until a few hours later that they sat down in a small bakery, ordering their drinks and preparing themselves for another round of bickering. Before they could start though, L held up a hand, stopping their conversation.

"I just wanted to make it clear, Raito-kun, that I have no money on my person at this time, nor do I have a credit card or cell phone with which to pay with."

Raito blinked, a bit confused as to what that had to do with anything. He said as much.

"Raito-kun must understand I only say this so he knows he will have to pay for our meal this time. I found I've grown a bit tired of Raito-kun running out and leaving me with the bill. It's very rude, you know."

Well, thought Raito, eyebrow twitching, some things would never change.

Ryuuzaki was always going to be a jackass.

And he couldn't help but think, as he 'accidentally' knocked Ryuuzaki's tea, spilling it across the front of the man's jeans…

…he wouldn't want it any other way.

~^~^~^~^~^~

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~

In the end, love is all a matter of compatibility. Can two people truly fit together, work together, live together, and not end up hating each other?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, they can do all of those things. No, they cannot do them without hating each other, as any couple truly in love will tell you. There is hardly a day that goes by when a couple in love cannot claim, at least once, to completely loathe the other's existence for an undetermined amount of time for some unspecific reason. Because the other deserves it. Because they're having a bad day. Because it's therapeutic. Simply because they can.

And, in the end, they wouldn't have it any other way.

~^~^~^~^~^~

I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person. - Jane Austen

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

A/N: Wow. My first one-shot. This is like a monumental moment for me, everyone. Usually my stories end up being too long for oneshots... but, despite the great length of this, I did it! I could do a happy dance right now...

Anyway, if you were paying attention to the quotes, it should be pretty obvious that this is dedicated to Jane Austen, my favorite romance writer of all time. I tried to capture a bit of her unique humor in this, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. At the moment, I'm not sure if I care either.

Also my first published lemon... O/o Please, tell me how I did on it, even if you thought it sucked. It was kind of an experiment for me anyway.

Got some news too. Me and Nilahxapiel have found ourselves bemoaning an over-abundance of plot-bunnies, and not nearly enough time to write them all in. So we have officially begun a website called Plot Bunny Exchange, and it is there so we (and anyone else who wishes to do so) may post their unexplored plot-bunnies, and open them for adoption. If anyone wants to claim one of the posted plot bunnies, just e-mail Nilah. The address she'll want you to use is posted on the website.

While I'm thinking of it... BIG THANKS TO THE AMAZING NILAHXAPIEL FOR BETAING FOR ME!! YOU IS AMAZING!! XDDD

Okay, and just to tell you... right now I'm working on the next chapter of Silence, and I should have it done in the next few days. After that I'll get out the next chapters of Lamb and Quidam, God willing, before trying out another one-shot. And... yeah. That's about it for now.

As always, REVIEWS MAKE THIS ONE SUPER SPECIAL HAPPY PANDA... but are not demanded.

Till next time then!


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