Death Note Fan Fiction ❯ A Change of Heart ( And Soul) ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
When Misa Amane-Yagami passed away at the age of twenty-nine, Light was not particularly surprised. Even if she could not remember doing so, she had traded her life twice for the Shinigami eyes. It was her time to go, and that was that. It was how she had died and all that happened afterwards that would truly shake him to the core and threaten his very sanity.

Light had never given much thought to being a father. After it was all over, after Near and the rest of the SPK were dead, after he had gotten rid of Mikami and had Matsuda and the rest of the former Task Force under his thumb in fear of their lives, and after Kira’s will had become true justice, he had given Misa what she wanted. It was the least he could do. She was stupid, impulsive, and had been nothing but a liability when she possessed the Death Note, but she had been nothing if not loyal. He had not given her back her memories, but he could never forget what she done for him. Most of her life had been sacrificed for furthering his plans, so when she became stuck on idea of becoming his wife Light did not protest. He went through the ceremony without any real enthusiasm. His smiles and laughter were purely for the cameras. In the grand scheme of things, such trivial things as matrimony were inconsequential. His marriage to Misa meant little to him, but it made her happy and it was what everyone expected of him. His mother, his sister, even Misa herself, all those who did not know his true identity as Kira. It was a distraction for them, if nothing else.

Misa becoming pregnant was not something he had planned. Dealing with a pregnant Misa was about the last thing he wanted or needed, but it seemed fate had other ideas despite Light’s carefulness.

He had never seen Misa so excited, which was saying something. After awhile, Light warmed up to the idea of being a father. Perhaps it would not be so terrible to have a little son or daughter to raise as his own, to teach his ideals to. In time, Light became almost as excited as Misa.

Misa’s pregnancy was average and uneventful. She went through strange mood swings and cravings just as every woman did when expecting, but she remained healthy throughout. Until it came time for Misa to give birth, there had been no complications. Misa met her end in childbirth.

She had no risk factors and it was her first pregnancy, so none of the doctors were expecting her to experience a uterine rupture. Doctors were able to save the life of their newborn son, but Misa hemorrhaged to death.

Light named his son Yoshirou. It was a common name, but a good one. It did not matter that boy who held the name was anything but common.

After just a day in the hospital, it became clear that Yoshirou Yagami was not well. He was lethargic and refused most of the food he was given. His pulse and breathing were rapid, while his skin began to take on a sickly bluish hue.

Light had not expected to have such strong emotions regarding the situation. There had been a time in his life where he had contemplated killing his own sister. The screams of pain and vengeance he had uttered at his father’s deathbed had been nothing but show. He did not expect to feel such anxiousness and horror as his son was hooked up to various tubes and testing equipment. He did expect to shed a tear when he saw his son, so frail and so near death, stowed away in an incubator with electrodes stuck to his tiny chest.

He had not expected his knees to come unhinged when the doctors told him his son had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and would need a series of three surgeries to correct the problem. They also told him the syndrome was quite rare, and that there was a good chance Yoshirou would develop an arrhythmia as he grew older and would need further surgery, perhaps even a complete heart transplant if the situation became dire enough. Complete and sudden heart failure was also a distinct possibility.

Light could have laughed at the irony. A sudden failure of the heart. It was the method he had used to send countless people to unnatural and untimely deaths. Now his son would die in the same way in the hands of another God.

The tears he shed for his son were real. Those he shed for Misa at her funeral were not.

Despite Light’s worrying, the surgeries were a success. The three procedures took place over the course of a year in which Kira was particularly ruthless and Light Yagami was particularly stressed and sleep-deprived.

Yoshirou grew up like any other child. When he was young, Yoshirou spent his days with his doting grandmother while his father was at work. The Kira Task Force had been dissolved for years by then. There wasn’t a single organization in the world who dared seek Kira out. Kira was worshipped, he was feared, he was accepted as a part of the world society. The Death Note was always on Light’s person, and there were a few people who were perfectly aware of this fact. Matsuda, Mogi, Aizawa, Ide…In the beginning of Kira’s reign they had avoided him as much as possible. They had shot him sideways glances and shook their heads. After a few years even their hostility began to fade, as it was useless anyway. There was nothing they could do. Their lives were in his hands. It still amused Light that after all this time none of them had the heart to kill him, especially after Youshirou was born.

Ryuk on the other hand never changed. He constantly reminded Light that things had become boring ever since Light had killed Near. He complained about not being able to eat apples in the house because Yoshirou might see, and then Light would have some explaining to do.

A little bit older and Yoshirou would walk to his grandmother’s house after school and wait for his father to pick him up. As he grew older still, he would walk himself home from school and sometimes a few friends would tag along. It wasn’t unusual for Light to come home to a house full of noisy high school boys, and the occasional high school girl.

No matter how old he grew, Yoshirou never knew his father was Kira. Yoshirou grew to worship and fear Kira in school, just as every child did. Light would tell the boy when he was older, when he was a man and successfully keep the secret and see his father’s reasoning in all of it. Maybe Kira’s reign would not have to end with Light’s eventual death.

It was when Yoshirou was seventeen that the trouble started up again.

He first noticed it at the dinner table, the way Yoshirou’s free hand wandered up to chest and pressed firmly there. Yoshirou shrugged and said nothing was wrong, but Light did not believe him. Light took his son to the hospital immediately after he screamed in pain and panic at the dinner table one night, his fingers wound tightly into his shirt. They kept the boy under observation, monitoring his heartbeat. They performed an EKG, and an echocardiogram. The longer he stayed in the hospital, the more severe his arrhythmia became. It came to the point where Yoshirou could barely breathe when a spell of erratic heartbeat took hold of him.

It was when Yoshirou was eighteen that Light thought he would bury his only son.

Yoshirou celebrated his birthday in the hospital, and by the time the day was over his bedside table was littered with cards and gifts. There was even an oversized teddy bear with a plastic heart held fast to its chest, a present from his nurses. Light supposed they felt sorry for him. The next day he was scheduled for surgery.

Nobody guessed that he wouldn’t make it to the operating table.

As visiting hours wound down, Light was the only one left. Sachiko and Sayu had come and gone with the promise they would be back in the morning. A number of Yoshirou’s school friends had dropped by as well. Matsuda, Mogi, Aizawa and Ide stopped by to wish the boy luck. They said nothing to Light and acted as if he was not even in the room.

Light yawned as the door to the room’s adjoining bathroom opened and Yoshirou stepped out. Light immediately noticed that something was wrong with him.

“Yoshirou?”

The world seemed to move in slow motion as Yoshirou slumped against the door frame. He slid down the wall before falling forwards, and Light was barely fast enough to catch him before his face collided with the floor. Light turned him over in his arms, screaming for a nurse, for a doctor, for anyone, but he had the feeling no one could hear him. His son’s eyes were blank slates, his breathing shallow. Yoshirou’s left hand was loosely knotted in the front of his hospital gown. He looked so frail that Light was surprised by the boy’s scream. It was a banshee’s wail, something unearthly that rattled his father’s bones. Light gasped as Yoshirou’s hand moved from his chest to clutch at his father’s suit, pulling him closer. Yoshirou quieted, and Light watched as his son smiled at him for a moment, a single horrifying moment before he fell limp. Yoshirou’s eyes rolled back in his head, exposing the bloodshot whites. His eyes closed, and nurses finally filed into the room.

Light was overcome by such a sense of déjà vu that he could have screamed himself. Perhaps he was screaming. He couldn’t remember. It would not be until much later that Light would wonder whether or not his son’s scream was from his son as he had known him, or from the man he was going to become.

Yoshirou Yagami was dead when the nurses pried him from Light’s arms. They managed to get his heart beating again, but could not get him to regain consciousness. The next day came and went, and the surgery was not performed. They would not operate with him in such a state. A week passed, then two, and still Yoshirou remained alive but unconscious. The doctors feared he might go into cardiac arrest again, but he never did. The monitors at his bedside beeped regularly and steadily. When Yoshirou finally opened his eyes almost three weeks later, the doctors were baffled. He showed no signs of cardiac stress or brain damage. He was watched over for a few more days before they finally allowed him to be discharged. The surgery he had missed was not rescheduled. Even so, Light had a sinking feeling that something was wrong with him. He couldn’t put his finger on it exactly, but Yoshirou seemed distant, more introverted.

A few weeks after Light brought his son home from the hospital was when he really started noticing the changes in Yoshirou, and started wondering what exactly they meant.

Yoshirou had many friends, all of whom seemed to stop visiting him. Yoshirou was often by himself when Light came home. It wasn’t normal.

Yoshirou had always loved sports, even though his heart condition had never allowed him to play any. Usually the television in the living room was always turned to a sports channel when Yoshirou was watching it. Now Light noticed he was starting to watch more and more news networks. Light also noticed that his son’s sleeping patterns had changed. In fact, he didn’t think the boy was sleeping at all.

Late one night as Light was heading to bed for the night, he noticed the light seeping out from under Yoshirou’s bedroom door. Knocking lightly, he pushed open the door and found his son sitting at his desk with books and his laptop piled in front of him.

“What are you doing?”

“Homework,” Yoshirou said, swiveling around in his chair. His face looked scarily hollowed in the weak lamplight. “It’s not due until next week, but I thought it would be wise to get a head-start on it.”

“Shouldn’t you be in bed? It’s almost midnight,” Light said.

“Not tired,” Yoshirou shrugged. Light thought he was lying. There were dark circles under his eyes, after all.

Light sighed and left Yoshirou to his work, shutting the door behind him. He found Ryuk waiting for him out in the hallway. As Light walked past him and to his room, Ryuk started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” Light asked.

“Things are getting interesting again, Light,” Ryuk said.

“What do you mean?”

The shinigami only laughed, a wild cackle that Light didn’t particularly like. Ryuk phased through the wall and out of sight before Light could question him further.

The next morning Light found Yoshirou huddled in a chair in the living room, his knees drawn up against his chest. Light wondered briefly if he had been sitting there all night. He was still in his pajamas, his hair sticking up in all directions. Laid out on the coffee table before him was an array of books and junk food, potato chips and candy wrappers, an empty gallon of ice cream. The boy’s laptop sat on top of it all, and Light noticed that his Hanshin Tigers desktop background had been replaced by a blank white slate. Yoshirou himself appeared to be asleep, though Light still couldn’t be sure even as he stepped right beside the boy. His eyes were closed, but it looked like a very strange position to be sleeping in. In fact, it almost looked like — he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead —

Yoshirou’s eyes flickered open, and Light let go of the breath he had been holding. He put a hand on his son’s head, tousling is hair a bit. He wondered when his son’s hair had grown so dark at the roots.

Light considered for a moment that he was starting to lose his mind.

It was almost six months after Yoshirou turned eighteen that Light realized his son’s soul was not the same one he had before he died.

They were sitting in the living room playing chess. Light made his move, then waited patiently for Yoshirou to make his. Yoshirou’s fingers went absently to his lip, and Light felt the corner of his eye beginning to twitch. The boy’s hair had fallen into his face, and Light was made strangely anxious by the fact that he couldn’t see his eyes. Yoshirou made his move, picking up his rook and placing it upon another square. Yoshirou’s mouth turned up at the corners and he sighed, as if he had just thought of something particularly interesting.

“Something wrong?” Light asked. The twitch is his eye was starting to become extremely irritating. He made his next move.

“Why does no one question Kira?” Yoshirou asked suddenly, and Light watched as Yoshirou moved his bishop across the board.

Light’s mouth fell open. The subject of Kira had never been at the forefront of his son’s mind. They had never spoken in detail about the subject, and Light had imagined when they finally did, the course of the conversation would not start off like this. Those were not the words he wanted to hear, nor were the next words out of Yoshirou’s mouth.

“Why would you ask that?” asked Light. Yoshirou grinned.

“Kira is just a murderer,” Yoshirou said. He moved his bishop again. Checkmate. “There’s no difference between him and the people he kills.”

Father’s eyes met son’s, and Light could almost feel the nails being driven into his coffin. Yoshirou Yagami’s eyes had been a golden brown like his mother’s. The eyes looking back at him were gray, nearly black.

It was surreal —no it’s real he’s real he’s— it was impossible, and it would be the death of him. This he knew.

Light felt himself slip out of his chair and onto the floor, mouth agape. His heart hammered in his chest, and when his son — he’s dead, that’s not him, no, not anymore, maybe once, but not now, not now, he’s dead — tried to give him a hand, Light shrank away from him, laughing. Laughing at the insanity of it all. There really was no escaping it. Escaping him.

He wasn’t sure if the smirk on Yoshirou’s face was really there, or if he was just imagining it. Madness was starting to creep in on him. This he also knew.

His son laid his hand on his shoulder, and it felt like a knife in his heart — no, my back, a knife in my back like I did to him Oh God Oh God—

From somewhere far away, Ryuk was laughing at him.

Again the chains of fate were slithering around Light Yagami’s wrists, their hold more biting and cruel than ever before.