Title: The Temptation Of L
Written For: redbrunja, who got me into this pairing in the first place. Last year, actually, with last year's Advent Fics.
Prompt: Intense smut in an alley behind a church. ;)
Word Count: 2846
Warnings: Um. Religious overtones? Religious discussion? Smut?
Summary: Which weighed more heavily on the mind, and occupied it to the point of obsession? The temptation, or the surrender to it?
Gasping and panting for breath, Naomi leaned back against the wooden fence that blocked off the end of the alley. Even in the cold December air, she was hot and slick with sweat.
Evening was falling quickly, shadows stretching out across the street. The alley was dominated by the church that rose up beside it, like some ancient edifice. The sounds of hymnals and organ music filtered out, eerie in the overcast evening.
She had missed this. The adrenaline, the thrill, the chase. Though this time, she was the pursued, not the pursuer. It was over now, countless backstreets and alleys offering the protection of a maze.
“That was too close for comfort, I believe the saying goes.”
Naomi nodded, unzipping her leather jacket and leaning her head back against the rough wood. She spared a glance at Ryuzaki, who was hunched and shaking, his slim shoulders heaving. Despite his youth and supposed physical prowess, the run through Chicago’s darkening streets had left him without breath as well.
“But we’re close,” she responded, raking her fingers through her hair. And they were. She was certain this case would be wrapped up by the end of the week. And not a moment too soon. Chicago was dull and gray and depressing. “But I could do without being shot at.
Ryuzaki was staring at her. That in itself wasn’t unusual. He stared. He fixed his wide, unblinking eyes on someone or something and simply stared. She’d gotten used to it. But in the darkening alley, in the shadow of the towering church, there was something almost otherworldly about the feel of his eyes on her. About him. He’d always had something of a spectral look about him, but it was amplified and magnified tenfold here. It was unsettling, eerie. But still… there was something strangely mesmeric about him.
“You look like the Ghost of Christmas Past,” Naomi joked, grinning.
“Do I? You look tempting.”
“Tempting?” Naomi laughed. What was that supposed to mean? With Ryuzaki, she could never tell. But he was watching her with a glint in his eye she couldn’t recognize. He was thinking, she knew that, and he was appraising her, but there was something else. Something intent, something strange and unfamiliar.
“You are a beautiful woman, Naomi.”
“I’ve been told that before,” she said, eyebrows raised. But never by him. She’d honestly wondered a few times if Ryuzaki was even aware of gender or physical appeal. He’d never given any indication before in the years they’d worked together.
She had her breath back. But Naomi remained leaning against the fence, jacket open, hands in her pockets. The music from the church was soft in the background as the sky grew ever dark, the gray clouds fading to black. Ryuzaki paced the width of the alley, slouching, dirty sneakers dragging against the concrete. What he was looking for, Naomi didn’t know. But he stopped for a moment, to look up to the church. She followed his gaze, wondering what he was thinking.
She never knew what Ryuzaki was thinking.
“I feel like I’m in a movie,” Naomi mused out loud. “The atmosphere’s almost crushing.”
“Oh?” He turned, and he was very close to her now. He stood with his body angled slightly towards her, his thumbs hooked in the pockets of his loose jeans, his shoulders skewed in an backward cant.
“Yeah.” She didn’t have anything further to add. The heat from the run was starting to fade. It was getting dark and would soon get cold.
“Hn. It is interesting, I think, that the majority of human religions advocate the resisting of temptation. To give in to temptation is to give in to sin, to dirty the soul and the body, or to fall from grace, or to deny enlightenment. To resist temptation strengthens the mind and focus, leaves thoughts clear, and allows for single-minded dedication without distraction. In almost every faith, these ideas are repeated. I find that…interesting.”
“Mankind has always been fascinated with sin,” Naomi commented, not entirely certain where Ryuzaki was going with this. Or why.
“I am not speaking of sin. Sin is an abstract theory, a boogeyman of the clergy created by man to enforce laws of morality. I am speaking of temptation. Sin exists only to those who subscribe to a faith. Temptation exists regardless of religion. And even outside the constraints of organized religion, temptation is… a failing. But I wonder. If temptation exists, is it not itself a distraction? In resisting, the mind is occupied. By that logic, simply resisting temptation is not enough. The act of denying is as much a distraction as the temptation itself, or giving in to it. Therefore, without the fear of sin or godly punishment, it is as logical to give in to the temptation as it is as actively resist. Only freedom from temptation altogether truly eliminates distractions of the mind. ”
“I don’t think it’s possible to be completely free of temptation,” Naomi pointed out, realizing she’d somehow found herself in the middle of a discourse on the philosophy of religious doctrine.
“But it is an ideal to be strived towards, according to a variety of philosophies and faiths. To achieve one with god, with the world, with nirvana, with oneself. So the question becomes: is this a possible ideal, or an unachievable goal? Or perhaps it is meant to inspire a journey of self-discovery….”
“You’re thinking too much.” Naomi folded her arms. “I don’t think practicing rigid mental disciplines reveals any great secrets about the universe or how my mind works. Besides, if you ignore every single temptation that comes along, what’s the point of living? Since if you break it down, everything can be called a temptation. If you deprive yourself of everything but eating and sleeping, what’s the point? You’re not reaching a higher level of knowledge, you’re just existing.”
“Interesting. Then you advise giving in to temptation?”
“Sometimes.” She shrugged. “Giving in to the temptation to kill someone? No. Giving in to the temptation of splurging on a leather recliner or another piece of chocolate cheesecake? Well, you only live once. And life just wouldn’t be the same without another piece of chocolate cheesecake or a comfy chair to eat it in.”
“By your logic, not all temptations are created equal.”
“Of course they aren’t. But giving in to harmless ones? Unless you’re a priest or a nun or something, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging. It’s human nature to indulge, to do things that make us happy. The problem with so many organized religions is that they put anything that makes us happy or brings us pleasure on some level of ‘badness’. Look at the seven sins - according to them, that second piece of cake will send you to hell. So will spending your Sunday afternoon lying around watching football, or having sex with your partner if you don’t have a piece of paper stating the government recognizes your union, or getting pissed off. And that’s ridiculous. For fuck’s sake, some of them will even tell you you’re ‘giving in to temptation’ by wearing makeup, or buying a nice car, or having lots of money. Temptation might be universal, but it’s only religions that make it out to be a bad thing.”
“You don’t approve of organized religion?”
“That’s not what I said.” Naomi rolled her eyes. “But I just think it’s stupid to make everything that feels good or makes life comfortable something ‘bad’. It’s human nature to want things, and to want nice things, and I think it’s ridiculous to make basic human nature into something wrong.”
“Is that truly human nature? To want?”
“I think so.” Why were they discussing this? Was it just the presence of the church that had turned Ryuzaki’s mind to religion? It was certainly dominating. What was it about those buildings that brought out the need to contemplate?
“And your belief is that it is permissible to give in to those wants.” Ryuzaki held up a finger, stalling her protest. “Assuming that those wants do not bring about the harm or misfortune of another.”
“Then your advise to someone who finds themselves tempted would be to give in to that temptation, if the parameters of said temptation are acceptably harmless.”
“I guess. This isn’t exactly something I sit around and think about, you know. I guess I spend more time just giving in to temptation than breaking it down.”
“Hn.” The intensity with which Ryuzaki was regarding her was stumbling, to say the least. His eyes almost burned. She’d seen him like this on cases, sometimes, when he was very close to a break. When he was consumed with the final move, the last piece of the puzzle. His mind was focused on a single thing, working something over and over and over. But she was rather certain whatever was going through his mind had nothing to do with a case.
“The only way to rid the mind of temptation is to yield to it….” Ryuzaki muttered the words as he narrowed his eyes. He reached out, and Naomi froze as she felt his fingers brush against her hair.
“Resist it and the soul grows sick with longing for what it has forbidden itself,” Naomi finished. “Yeats?”
“Wilde.” Ryuzaki’s fingers moved through her hair, lifting a section of it and holding it gently between his thumb and forefinger. The fence felt very hard against her back and her breathing quickened once more. He did nothing more, just remained there, running her hair between his fingers and staring.
Naomi had been pressed against a wall by enough men to know what his intentions were. She supposed she should have realized, when he started to speak on temptation. What had he said? That she looked ‘tempting’.
All of that, for this.
She had never looked at Ryuzaki in that light before. He was her peer, her friend, her confidante… but she had never looked at him as a lover. He’d never shown any interest in affairs of the heart or flesh, despite so many long nights together, so many shared hotel rooms. Maybe she should have realized this would grow between them. Years of being tied together, risking their lives for one another, trusting one another.
What other man could she possibly be with? Logically, she had no room in her life for anyone but Ryuzaki, anyone but L. And it had been so long since she shared her bed with anyone but an old Playboy and the little battery operated device in her bedside drawer. And while he was hardly any girl’s dream lover, she had to admit there was a bizarre sort of appeal about Ryuzaki.
Besides, she trusted him. What was more important in a lover than trust?
The music was still coming from the church, and Ryuzaki was still simply watching her. His hand moved into her hair, deliberately methodical as he reached to cup his fingers almost awkwardly against her scalp. Poised there, on the edge of yielding to temptation, Naomi felt as though she couldn’t take the anticipation. Slowly and carefully, almost afraid moving would shatter the moment, she leaned down. Closing her eyes, she gingerly pressed her lips against his.
It was like a damn had broken. The moment their mouths met, Naomi could feel the change. Ryuzaki’s hand in her hair tightened and he moved in, pinning her back against the fence. There was no skill in his kiss, but it was fierce and frenzied and took her breath away. She couldn’t remember when she’d last been kissed with such vehemence.
Or if she ever had been.
As clumsy as it was - and it was clumsy, all mashed lips and bumping teeth - there was a determination in every move Ryuzaki made that seemed to make up for it. He pressed himself into her, warm and firm and always surprisingly strong. Caught up in the fumbling kiss, Naomi wrapped her arms around him, pressing right back into him. It felt good to be held, kissed, wanted. To have a man, this man, want her so badly.
There was something wrong and exciting about it all. The lights of the church spread across the alley, the music continued - some dark, powerful thing, the words in Latin - and Ryuzaki broke the kiss, moving to press his mouth against her neck, wet and abrupt. Naomi was breathing very hard now, her hands moving across his back, one leg stretching to wrap around his hips and pull him close. She felt his hand on her thigh, gripping almost painfully tight. She could feel him against her, hard and tight between her thighs. God, it felt good. And his hand on her thigh, running along it… his touch was too firm, too tight, but she didn’t care. She stretched, arching back against the fence, her leg stretched out completely, parallel to her body. She bent it, resting against Ryuzaki’s shoulder, head tipped back as he kissed loudly against her throat.
She wasn’t cold any longer. She was hot and she was wet and she arched her hips against Ryuzaki, grinding herself against the hardness trapped between them. Even through layers of clothing, the friction was delicious. And she was used to Ryuzaki’s grasping, inexpert hands by now. They were everywhere. Moving down her thigh, her buttocks, her breasts…. Her shirt was pulled up and his hand was on her bare skin and his fingers were so slender and soft and cold and they ground against one another with small noises in a hurried, mismatched sort of rhythm.
Naomi half expected the music to swell and crescendo, or perhaps for there to be some deafening climax when she felt Ryuzaki stiffing against and heard him exhale loudly against the crook of her shoulder. But the music remained as it was, heavy and ominous and Naomi felt Ryuzaki go limp against her. She rested her cheek against the top of his head, letting her leg slide off of his shoulder until she stood on both feet, her arms wrapped around him.
It was fully dark now, the only light coming from the church windows above. Naomi closed her eyes, listening to the music from the church and the sounds of their mingled breathing.
“We should return to the hotel.”
“Mmm.” Naomi reluctantly let go, as though worried once she let go of him, that would be that.
“As pleasant as it would be to remain, I am afraid I need a change of pants.” Ryuzaki ran a hand through his hair, expression unreadable. It was almost as though it had never happened. Almost. There was a glint in his eyes, an angle to his shoulders that had changed, ever so slightly. Naomi smiled to herself, pulling down her shirt and adjusting her jacket.
“Yeah,” she said, nodding. “Me too.”