A/N: This is a Death Note fanfic. I don't own Death Note.
Light sagged against his bedroom door. He wasn’t sure how long he was there, laughing and sobbing hysterically, when Ryuk’s words floated to him as if from far away:
“Breathe Light, breathe.”
How had it gone so wrong?
Light smiled softly as he watched Ryuk fly around in circles—a raven-dark shadow against the blue, cloudless sky overhead, while he walked back home through the park. The Shinigami was so awkward-looking on the ground –who could have guessed that the huge, gangly monster could be so graceful in the air?
Like a swan in flight, Light caught himself thinking and then he couldn’t help wondering if the lack of coffee and sleep deprivation had addled his brain.
Ryuk landed when Light beckoned him over from the park bench, offering to share his apple pie.
“I had fun today… surprisingly.” Light remarked while offering Ryuk a forkful of pie.
“So I make you happy?” Ryuk affectionately ribbed him between snatching up the offered bites.
“…Surprisingly happy.” Light assented.
” Mission accomplished!” Ryuk cheered.
Light laughed over Ryuk’s antics. He's so damned cute…
That thought impacted like a train crash in his head.
Against all logic and reason he might actually be… falling for the Shinigami!
“Yeah, I had a wonderful day too. Not even that asshole could ruin it. I’m sorry about the rude people though…”
“What are you apologizing for? That can’t be helped. I really did have a good time, Ryuk, despite the idiots,” Light assured him. “Besides, maybe one day I’ll work my way down to them... Starting with that fucker.”
The Shinigami let out a mocking gasp. “Light, really, I’m surprised at you! That you would use that kind of language! What would your mother think?”
Light rolled his eyes. What did he expect? He was a high school student. And not even he could be perfect all the time (just the closest thing to it.)
“What? Well since I don’t have a name for him and since he was a total fucker he shall henceforth be known as ‘That Fucker.’”
“Wait, which fucker are we talking about?”
“That fucker. The one from the coffee shop. The crack addict.”
“Oh. Him. Yes, That Fucker,” Ryuk cackled. He supposed that ‘That Fucker’ was a good a name for the overly obnoxious man as any seeing as he couldn’t tell Light the man’s true name. Honestly it was a better descriptor anyway. “He really was a fucker, wasn’t he?”
Light nodded in agreement “Until today I didn’t think it was even physically possible to be that rude. Maybe he has a mental condition or something? But, really, what could have possessed him to sit at our table? Is there just something about me that attracts crazy people?” bemoaned the megalomaniac.
Ryuk gave him a sideways glance. “Do you really want me to answer that?”
Light met Ryuk’s look with a withering glare of his own. “Do you want to sleep on the couch tonight?” he threatened.
Ryuk scratched his head in obvious bafflement. “Why would I want to sleep on the couch when I can sleep in your bed?”
Light shook his head, grumbling “Idiot!”
“I'm surprised, Light. I didn’t think some stranger’s bad manners was enough to rile you up so.”
“That Fucker…” Light spat, throat suddenly dry as he confessed the reason for his ire “he… he sat in your lap!”
Light felt himself blushing again and he couldn’t look Ryuk in the eye.
“He didn’t really sit in my lap, Light. I phased out as soon as it looked like he was going to park his ass at our table. And then he didn’t even do that—did you see the way he was sitting or…? No, I guess the table was in the way. It was the weirdest thing. He kind of looked like he was trying to imitate a frog!” That earned him a giggle from the teen as Ryuk drew in close. “So no—he didn’t sit in my lap… but you are welcome to sit in my lap anytime, Light.”
Light shook his head, with honest regret “Not anytime. I think people would notice if I was floating above a park bench.”
“What if I sit behind you?”
“That… could work…”
“ Like… here?” Ryuk asked as he sat down behind him, Light stiffened and then relaxed as he felt Ryuk pressing up against his back, cuddling up behind him. The teen gave out a startled gasp, his eyes fluttering shut for a moment.
Yes, Ryuk was nice. He liked Ryuk. His Shinigami was clever and funny and, at times, oddly sensitive. Perhaps he should give him a chance? He could do worse, really—he did. His name was Kenji.
Not only was Kenji an abusive ass but also an idiot. Light supposed it was fortunate he was an idiot—Chief Yagami caught him trying to break into their house (and thought he was going after Sayu.) The asshole wouldn’t be getting out of prison for a very long time.
Light had yet to work his way down to rapists and perverts with the notable exception of one Takuo Shibumaru who thought it was a bright idea to try and rape a girl in the middle of the street, right in front of him on the night he was reborn as Kira. Since then Kira had been working his way down the list of the worst of the worst of criminals and he was currently focusing on mass murderers, serial killers, and war criminals. Petty criminals and people like Kenji had frankly not been worth his time.
Besides to put Kenji up in on that same list of the “worst people in the world” would be to acknowledge that he was important, that he still held power over him, and that was unacceptable. He was the God of a New World now and Kenji was no longer a threat. Besides, Light had already decided it would be best not to go around killing people he knew. Kenji could wait his turn and be judged with the rest of the... sex offenders.
No, Ryuk wasn’t Kenji. (He was awful, truly a beast—surely comparing them would be an insult to Shinigami everywhere.)
Despite his misgivings he was curious and he could no longer deny to himself that he was interested. Light considered himself to be a very practical and pragmatic and the benefits of pursuing a relationship with Ryuk far outweighed the negatives—Ryuk shared his power with him allowing Light’s own ascent, Light was grateful to Ryuk and even though the creature could be obnoxious and irritating Light still enjoyed his company, he listened, he was… fun.
He also actually listened when he told him “no” which was a big step up from… before—Ryuk made him feel safe.
Light felt himself relaxing at the feeling of Ryuk’s arms around him, his talons gently carding through his hair.
Light jolted at the realization that a Shinigami made him feel safe.
And even with Ryuk’s obnoxiousness, even with that face he was still attracted…
Just how fucked up did that make him?
Light shook his head as if to clear it.
He’d deal with it when they got home. Maybe if they had the house to themselves…
What am I thinking?!
Light was almost hoping that his family was home because then it would give him an excuse to put off dealing with his feelings… or doing what he was sorely tempted to do. Light abruptly got up off the bench, and out of the clutches of his cuddly Shinigami, determined to get home—he’d work everything out at home. Ryuk only gave a disappointed grunt and resumed floating silently behind him. He seemed to understand now that Light needed space and Light realized, belatedly, that Ryuk seemed to be getting better at reading him. Light wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing—on the one hand it got tiring having to constantly explain himself to the Shinigami to get him to abide by human manners but on the other hand… He didn’t like the idea of anyone being able to read him. He would not be (hurt) manipulated again.
Light turned to cut across a small alleyway, a shortcut that took twenty minutes off his walk towards home, only to crash, head first, into a very solid body blocking his path—a horror from his past he never expected to see again. Kenji wasn’t supposed to get out for another five years (and Light had planned to kill him long before then) and yet here he was, out on the streets again, ready to accost him in a dark alley.
Light was never more grateful to have Ryuk there with him.
It was Ryuk making a racket with the trashcans that provided the distraction that allowed Light to escape when Kenji tried to drag him into a dark alleyway.
It was Ryuk who had given him the Death Note, an emergency scrap of which Light used to end his Kenji problem once and for all when he wrote the bastard’s full name followed by “traffic accident.”
The Death Note didn’t fail him—Kenji was hit by a bus when he tried to cross the street in pursuit of him. Light shook again at the memory.
There was so much blood.
His problem had been reduced to so much meat and viscera—it shook Light to the very core. This wasn’t neat and tidy like Kira’s judgments—of course that could only be a good thing—no one would ever connect it to Kira. Light wasn’t sure why Kenji’s death unnerved him so—he’d even seen an accident before, Takuo Shibumaru, a similar specimen of corrupted humanity—but then, he hadn’t been that close to the action. He had seen Takuo’s “accident” from behind a store window almost a block away. Light found that being close enough to get sprayed with blood splatter was a very different experience.
Light was brought back to the current moment by the feeling of Ryuk’s hand on his shoulder.
Ryuk was… safe and having him here now was good. He even found his Shinigami’s deep, rumbling to be soothing as he reminded him of what he needed to do.
“Breathe Light.” Ryuk insisted again as he sat down next to him as Light sagged against his bedroom door, physically and emotionally exhausted.
Yes, Light remembered, breathing was vitally important to living beings.
Light breathed, his breathing leveling out becoming slower and steadier as Ryuk again pulled him into his lap and slowly rubbed little circles into his back.
Light’s eyes slowly regained focus and drifted back down to the crimson stain that splattered his once pristine white dress shirt and it slowly dawned on him.
He was home.
He had, somehow, made it home.
That much was good but that he had gone about it so thoughtlessly—that was the exact opposite of good.
And he needed to get out of these bloody clothes.
The accident was quite messy. The blood had splattered… It was on his clothes. It was on his face, fuck it was in his hair…
If he was smart about it he should’ve cleaned up, gotten rid of his bloody clothes before coming home but it’s not like he had a spare set he could change into—he wasn’t expecting to be covered in blood today! And after what happened all he could think about was getting someplace safe…
Light reached up to his shirt collar with a trembling hand.
His hands were shaking so much how had he even unlocked the door?
Shit! Shit! Shit!
What if he left blood stains on the door?
Perhaps it was just that his adrenaline chose to cut out at this inconvenient moment where he was most likely to be discovered. His hand was shaking so much that his fingers fumbled when he tried to do anything with them—he couldn’t even undo a single button—how pathetic was that?!
Light thought feverishly that perhaps this was his punishment for trying to be safe and secret–he was doomed to forever wear his crimes and for all to see.
“Ah… Ryuk…” Light began, ever-so-politely.
“Do you think you could help me? These clothes. I need to get rid of them… I mean, they’re evidence.”
“You want me to get you out of those clothes?”
“Yeah... Because they’re evidence.” Light emphasized, an odd bit of warmth inexplicably returning to his pale and drained face.
Ryuk kneeled before him and Light’s breathing leveled out as he felt Ryuk’s forehead gently touching his own. He focused on the sound of the monster’s rumbling purr as Ryuk just ripped the shirt right off him.
Light sighed. The suit was a lost cause anyway. “It’s fine this time but don’t rip them off like that in the future.”
Ryuk chuckled. “So you want me to undress you again in the future?”
Dammit, he was definitely blushing now. “Ryuk…” Light issued a warning growl.
Light nodded when Ryuk was genuinely contrite. The teen was surprised he wasn’t more embarrassed when Ryuk helped him slide out of his pants but then it wasn’t like this was anything new—Ryuk had seen him dress, and undress, before.
“Wait, where are you taking them?” Light demanded as Ryuk bundled up his ruined clothes.
“The fireplace. You gonna be okay for a minute? I’ll be back soon, okay?”
“Yeah… Okay.” Light assented. That would have to do for now.
As soon as Ryuk left the room, Light pulled his knees up to his chest, suddenly feeling very alone and vulnerable.
Pathetic, Light sneered at himself but, surprisingly, this line of thought didn’t make him feel any better.
Meanwhile Ryuk looked around; making sure the house was indeed empty, before taking the blood-splattered clothes to the living room. The Shinigami turned on the fireplace, tossing Light’s ruined, blood-splattered clothes onto the pyre. He then checked the house again, Light’s paranoia rubbing off on him, before he went to set things up in the bathroom, ebon claws adjusting the fake crystal bath knob until the water was within the proper human range—not too hot and not too cold—it seemed almost too warm to Ryuk, though, but then his body temperature tended to run colder than that of a human.
When he returned, Ryuk told him what he had done with the clothes. Light nodded but he knew that wouldn’t do if people were actually looking for evidence against him or if his father looked closely at the fireplace but it would have to do for now. Once his goddamn hands stopped shaking Light would be sure to clean the fireplace thoroughly and then use it again before his family got home to destroy the trace evidence and then to conceal the fact it had been concealed...
“W-what are you doing?” Light grumbled as Ryuk gently picked him up and carried him—weak and unresisting as a kitten. He was all too aware that he’d been stripped naked but it still wasn’t enough—Kenji’s blood had soaked to his skin, even in death defiling him all over again.
Light closed his eyes and sighed, unconsciously snuggling into Ryuk’s broad chest. “Yeah... Okay.”
Ryuk carried him into the bathroom where the warm steam and sweet smells of the bath soap hit him in the face.
“Bath time!” Ryuk announced gleefully.
“Is everything a joke to you…” Light trailed off as he glanced back up at the Shinigami’s ever-smiling face. “Wait! Don’t dump me in the tub!” Light exclaimed when Ryuk held him out over the water.
“Of course not!” Ryuk said, scandalized. “I’m not sure if I got the temperature right. I might have got it too hot. I don’t want to burn you.”
Light gingerly stuck his hand in the bathwater and gave a sigh of relief. The temperature was just right. In fact it was just the way he liked it. “It’s perfect, Ryuk,” Light assented, his voice steady once more. There was even a hint of a smile.
“Yeah. It feels nice.”
“Okay then!” Ryuk said cheerily when, without any further warning, he dunked him into the tub.
Light shouted at him and glared at him angrily but at least he was feeling more like his old self again.
“You asshole,” Light grumbled as Ryuk laughed.
“...yeah,” Light admitted, grudgingly as Ryuk held up the loofah.
The water was warm and relaxing, still Light squirmed in slight discomfort when it slowly permeated into his consciousness that he was bathing with Ryuk. The bath was a nice gesture and all and it wasn’t at all uncommon for men to bathe together—Light had even bathed with other men before but not like this—this, somehow just seemed too intimate.
“I can bathe by myself Ryuk.”
“Are you sure?”
He was better. It’s just his stupid, trembling hands didn’t get the message. Light sighed in defeat when Ryuk offered him the loofah. He didn’t even try to pick it up.
“I’ve been around for quite a while, you know. It’s actually pretty common for important persons like princes and emperors and such to have someone help them bathe and…”
“Fine! Just wash me,” Light ordered.
“As you command, dear sweet prince.”
“Asshole,” Light grumbled again even as he surrendered to the pleasant sensations of the soap and the sponge gliding over his skin. It was almost surreal—Light let out a nervous borderline hysterical giggle as he watched those black talons becoming covered in bubbles and soap suds. His eyelids grew heavy as Ryuk worked the soap into a fine lather, the loofah sopping up the blood.
“That’s gonna have to go in the fire too,” Light murmured, a worried crease forming in his brow.
“I’ll take care of it,” Ryuk assured him.
Light let out a relieved sigh and unconsciously leaned back against his… helper, feeling oddly content.
The bath soap smelled like apples—he should have known. Not that it was hard to acquire—his mother got them on sale—she bought like fifty damn bottles of the stuff. Light suspected that she was now under the mistaken impression he had an apple fetish now given the rate they disappeared around him.
“You did great today.”
Light’s frown returned. What happened today… that wasn’t “great” by any stretch of the imagination. It had reawakened terror and pain he thought he’d left far behind him. He hadn't planned for it. True, he'd planned for vague emergencies where he'd have to kill someone (and that was what saved his life) but he had never considered this particular scenario—it took him completely by surprise. Kenji was supposed to be in jail. Clearly the justice system was even worse off than he had originally thought.
“He’s gone now,” Ryuk gently reminded him. “He’ll never bother you again.”
“Good,” said Light.
That’s right. Kenji was dead, as in deceased, food for worms—and he was God, or would be soon—so why did he shake so?
“You handled it so well, Light. I’m so proud of you.”
Light’s cheeks burned hotly as Ryuk tucked him into bed not-so-secretly pleased with the Shinigami's approval.
“Ryuk… could you do me another big favor?”
Ryuk was silent for a moment before assenting. “What did you need?” Ryuk asked while gazing down at him, utterly besotted.
it would be worth it... Light considered again, squirming slightly beneath the covers, For Ryuk's cooperation alone...
“Uh… could you check to see if there are bloodstains on the door or anywhere else in the house?”
“I don’t think there were.”
“Could you check anyway?”