Death Note Fan Fiction ❯ The Way of All Flesh and Epilogue ( Chapter 15 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
* * *
Going to Marrakesh
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Not mine.

* * *
The Way of All Flesh
* * *
– 9:08 A.M. –

Light watches the way the eyes of the team members skitter, then flashes a blinding-bright smile and tosses the apple neatly upwards.

It stops, hangs, and crunches so loud that it echoes in the resounding silence.

Light laughs. « I’ll show you something fun, Ryuk, » he says, lips curled with happy mischief, and leans back into L’s arms and reaches cuffed hands up to pull him down into a kiss that’s slow and lingering, a show as much for his father as it is for his shinigami, the only one who’ll laugh with him, with them both. He smiles against his lips as L shifts and brushes black leather against his skin, and there, that’s it, mad cackling hoarse laughter, annoying as hell, but familiar, and it’s a bit of a wonder that he’s missed it.

« You’re both insane! » his shinigami crows, and Light tilts his head back and laughs with him, warm and loose and lazy, reveling in the soft chuckle that’s nearly drowned out by their laughter, and the long, callused fingers sliding beneath his shirt and stroking his belly slowly, like he’s something precious, like he’s something deadly, and yes, yes, yes, he’s happy.

* * *
– 10:53 A.M. –

Tick-tock, tick-tock, like a heartbeat or the flutter of warm breath past his lips, and he cups his chin in his hand and smiles lazily, every bit the prize but never the prey. He watches the team scurry around the room through drooping lashes, through slightly manic giggles that he’s decided to put on mostly because they make Matsuda squeak and drop papers, no matter how red his eyes are, no matter how much he knows his fingers would like to twitch towards his gun.

It’s kind of fun to watch, no matter that he might get shot for it. L probably wouldn’t stand for it anyway, and it’s not like it would be the first time for someone he knew and trusted to level a gun at his face.

One-two-three, he counts, one-two-three in a pendulum swing, and there are monsters in the air and logistics to puzzle over, a couch for him to sprawl on and careful insights to breathe out past gently-parted lips, because Soichiro Yagami’s beautiful dutiful son has his bare feet propped up on cushions and the blood of thousands on his hands.

He spared L for many things, he thinks, but most of all for showing him he doesn’t have to play along with the rest of the world, because it feels like he’s sloughed off a dead skin, and it’s funny how being trapped in a cage makes it so easy to breathe, how blatant favoritism and clear corruption in the highest levels of power–everything he once fought against–how sweet it all is when all that is his own.

Hypocrisy is for mortals, capriciousness for gods, and he’s well aware of which of the two he is.

There’s something to be said for childishness and immaturity, and even more for the lazy drawl spilling through the air, low and calm and slow for those minds that just can’t keep up because of sluggishness and shock, and Light pokes his toes against L’s side and thinks about molasses, that strange thick syrup that L had drizzled over tiny delicate cookies, and the peculiarity of the taste on his tongue, sweetness dark and heavy enough to drown in, and there’s an alluring idea, sinking into shadows and never ever letting him go.

« In the event of my death, » L is saying, smooth and slow, maybe a little bit cranky, because he’s been trying to explain this for the last ten minutes and none of them understand, « Light Yagami will be terminated immediately. »

Silence. Then, someone breathes in, and then they’re talking again, a muted mutter that resolves itself into a low-voiced demand, rough with sleep-deprivation and emotional exhaustion. « How long? How long will you let this go on? »

Light’s not really paying attention to who’s talking, because he’s sleepy enough to be completely engrossed in trying to wiggle his toes underneath the waistband of L’s jeans, but even he looks up at that, because that’s a very stupid question for even Matsuda to be asking.

L casts him a long sideways glace, and Light lifts one shoulder in a shrug, because he knows they’re slow but some things are beyond even his understanding, at least when he’s this tired.

« When I die, » L clarifies, slow and deliberate, like he’s talking to a particularly stupid child, and maybe he is, « Light will be immediately executed. »

All at once, there’s a rush of shouting and voices and his father’s indignation, a mild form of chaos erupting, and Light watches it all in bemusement, pulling his legs back under him and resettling down against the curve of L’s side, muffling a soft chuckle against his shoulder at L’s very put-upon sigh. It’s so strange, to have all the adults running about in such a tizzy–have they forgotten who he is already, forgotten how many circles he made them run, how many upstanding FBI agents fell beneath his pen?

« So I’m still getting the death penalty, » he says when there’s a lull in the roaring, deliberately loud, and it silences everyone at once, except for L, who poked him in the side because he’d spoken right next to his ear. « It’s just delayed a little. Nicely played, Ryuuzaki. » And it is – it’s elegant and lovely in its simplicity, because now he’ll have to work to keep him alive, if he wants to save his own skin for as long as he can.

« Thank you, » L murmurs agreeably, and he wants to laugh at the blank disbelief painting every face in the room but his own. Why can’t they see how beautiful it is? It would be terrible to die without him, terrible to live without him, terrible to be left alone in a world of idiots and fools. A moment’s triumph is nothing to an eternity of dancing, and by now he’s guaranteed that L will never let him go. It’s not exactly his new world as he first imagined it, but Kira’s influence will never fade, and history will still call him god.

He is eighteen years old, and already, he’s changed the world, so why aren’t they proud?

« …Light… » his father says, thin and strained and so old that it smooths his slowly-curling smile back down into a frown.

« Dad, it’s only right, » he says, lying flawlessly, still halfway draped over L’s shoulder, silver handcuffs still binding his wrists, his shinigami still drifting partway through the ceiling, « even if I do regret what happened, the fact remains that I was a serial killer. » He drops his gaze low, peeks up through his lashes like a contrite child, and watches his father’s face twist in realization, in something that’s horror or shame or worse, and wonders when L’s prediction will come true. Sayu and his mother will do well with or without his father, he’s sure, and they’ll certainly do fine without him, so it’s just a matter of time and understanding, and his mother is still young enough to move on with a life of her own.

« The most successful serial killer in history, discounting all instances of politically-motivated genocide, » L says placidly, and sips his tea, eying Soichiro Yagami with a blank and careless stare that probably contrasts nicely with Light’s own sleepy-eyed gaze. He’s probably doing it on purpose, and that makes Light smile again, dip his head to brush his lips against his cheek and curl his fingers through his belt loops.

« Ryuuzaki, you can’t just– »

« I am sorry your son turned out to be a sociopath, » L interrupts swiftly, « life would be much simpler for all of us if he did not have delusions of godhood. »

« Not delusions, » Light counters just as smoothly, straightening up a little and vaguely wishing for some tea of his own, and because he’s feeling petty, he hikes up the blank white shirt and jabs a finger against his side. « I have more devoted followers than you do, Ryuuzaki. » He raises his voice just a bit more, pitches his tone just right to hit raw nerves and grate the edges. « Isn’t that right, Matsuda? »

At the edge of his peripheral vision, Matsuda freezes up, but he’s far more fascinated by the wicked slant of L’s smile and the dark gleam in his eyes, six inches and a gaping chasm away.

A delicate clink of china to saucer, but L just reaches for another sugar cube and drops it in the cup. « You toy with your lessers, Light-kun. How cruel. »

« You agree that they are my lessers, » Light says serenely, leaning back in because he’s feeling lazy and content, pleased with the turn of his attention back to where it belongs, « therefore I must be a god. »

« Ah, but I am the one to bring you down. »

Are not, Light thinks, but grins fiercely instead, because this is a fun little diversion, and he wants to make sure that the chains on his wrist are the only bindings that will ever hold him. « That makes you Satan. »

L waggles a finger at him. « Lucifer was most beloved of the angels. »

Light shrugs easily, eying him through his lashes and wondering if he could get away with biting that finger without getting shoved off the couch for it. Probably not, but it might be fun to try. « Even Jesus spent three days in hell. »

L quirks a non-existant eyebrow, which makes him look like an idiot. « The human who writes in this note will neither go to heaven nor hell. »

Light rolls his eyes and pokes him in the side again. « I’m making a new religion. I’ll make a new afterlife as well. »

« How arrogant. » It’s half sing-song, half mockery, three quarters a silver spoon wagging in his face, and he laughs a little, reaches forward and flicks his fingertips through his bangs, spiking them up even wilder than usual.

« You’re the one who challenged god, » he says, and then pokes him in the cheek, because he can.

« I am an atheist, » L retorts, and twirls the spoon in his fingertips and uses the handle to jab him in the side.

Light jabs him back. « Heretic. »

« That is why you like me. »

« Of course, » Light agrees, « Life would be boring otherwise, don’t you think? »

« Dreadfully so, » L nods, and then pauses to consider the teacup in his hand, before tilting it invitingly in his direction. The contents slosh in a decidedly un-liquid manner, and Light wrinkles his nose in quiet disgust. Flirting is one thing, but even he has his limits.

« Hold. I’m not drinking your tea-flavored sugar, Ryuuzaki. »

L frowns at him, a vicious little curve of the lips that Light kind of wants to bite. « Further confirmation that you are Kira. »

Light rolls his own. « I already confessed, that doesn’t count. »

L’s eyes narrow. It’s kind of terrifying in an appealing sort of way. « It counts. »

Light snorts. « Does not. So the points even out, seven to seven, which makes it a tie. »

There’s an incredulous shout somewhere behind him, or maybe it’s in front of him, and he doesn’t know what the team is complaining about, they’re not talking about them–what are they all still doing here, anyway, other than cleaning up the rest of the mess that they’ve left behind because it’s not worth doing on their own?

Anyway, it’s easy enough to ignore the noise so long as none of them are stupid enough to try and touch them, and no one would dare do that. Not now. Not like this.

« I disagree. Yielding the tea counts as a forfeit. »

« The tea was cheating. »

« I disagree. »

Light snorts, but it’s an argument that will just go in circles, so he doesn’t bother to respond, just leans over again and takes a not-so-gentle bite at the nearest bit of pale skin he can find. « You are not playing fair. »

L’s hair tickles his cheek when he tilts his head to the side for a headbutt that is surprisingly gentle. « Unlike you, I never claimed to be. »

Light shoves back at him softly, but there’s no force in the motion, and he idly wonders what L would do if he broke skin, if he would laugh or smile or kick him in the face, if he would bite him back and tackle him to the ground. « And you still claim to be justice. »

« Justice and fairness are two very different things, Light-kun. »

« True enough, » Light agrees, and settles down against L’s side again, listening absentmindedly to the loud chatter in the background–the team is still arguing, he supposes, but they’re not brave enough to confront them, not when they’re together like this–but mostly listening to the aimless tune L is humming as he sips his tea and slides a fingertip slowly along the join of the handcuffs, back and forth and back again, and it’s easy enough to close his eyes again, and let the world fade out from around him.

* * *
– 1:22 P.M. –

« Ryuuzaki, » he says, half-choked with laughter, as he reads over the new ‘official’ reports on how they caught Kira, pretty lies spun by a master to mask his own madness, « I think I might be losing my mind. »

« I think, » L replies, « you already have. »

« We’re all mad here, » Misa quotes softly from her perch beside him, and neither of them should really be surprised by her solid grasp of English, but they are, and even though she’s still blindfolded she still reaches out to thwack them both gently on the arms, and neither of them pull away, because she’s earned that right.

« Stop treating Misa like she’s an idiot, » she chides them, « Misa lost more than you ever did, and has better motives than both of you. »

« Saving people from– » Light and L begin at the same time, then stop and exchange wary glances, weighing their options, and the conclusion they come to is simple and easy enough to implement.

« –fair’s fair, » Light says, and they both lean over to press apologetic kisses to her cheeks, and he sighs out loud but doesn’t turn away when she deliberately turns her head so that he hits her mouth instead.

* * *
– 2:17 P.M –

« Icarus fell. »

« No, Light. Icarus flew. »

« And then he fell. »

« Mmm. You’re the one who wanted to be a god. »

« Wouldn’t you have done the same? »

« Unlikely. »

« Why is that? »

« I am older than you. »

« As if that matters. »

« Spoiled son of an upper-middle-class family, what do you know of the world? »

« How rotten it is. »

« And how much of it have you seen? »

« You don’t have to see it in person to know how it works. »

« And that is why justice is blind. »

« Aren’t you the one who claimed it? »

« So did you. »

« I’m not the only one here playing god, Ryuuzaki. »

« I never claimed to be anything other than what I am. »

« Neither did I. »

« Delusions of grandeur, Light-kun. »

« Staggering drop in the crime rate, loyal worshipers, and L’s attention. »

« You’re a foolish child. »

« And yet here you are. »

« A foolish child with some potential for usefulness that outweighs his idiocy. »

« Tell me that you love me. »

« I love you. »

« You’re a liar. »

« Yes, I am. »

* * *
– 4:42 P.M. –

He doesn’t deserve this – he listened to all the evidence, some that he had helped to collect, and it’s bullshit, it’s bullshit, he’s not the danger to society, society is, and even if he could fit the textbook definition of a sociopath, which he doesn’t, L could too.

You only win because I let you win, he thinks vindictively, and if L’s answering smile is just the faintest bit too smug, it only means that he’ll hit him for it later all the harder.

« I should have killed you when I had the chance. »

« Yes, » L murmurs agreeably, watching him with vindictive satisfaction and the faintest of smiles, « you really should have. »

* * *
– 7:04 P.M. –

« Why not politicians, heads of state? »

« Kira is not an assassin. »

« Think of the wars you could have stopped. »

Light rolls his eyes. « You’re going to lecture me about the sanctity of human life now? »

« Of course not. But crimes against humanity aren’t worth Kira’s noble attentions? »

Light breathes in slowly, ignoring the thick sarcasm. « I needed heads of state to be on my side – or at least to understand my mission. »

« Ah – so a murderer is more worthy of the death penalty than, perhaps, one who orders a genocide. »

« Of course not, that’s absurd. But it’s also too risky to get involved in politics. » He narrows his eyes at him. « You of all people know that, L. »

« Spoken like a politician. You wrote names in a book, where is the risk there? »

« Kira shouldn’t champion any cause other than his own. »

« Ah, I see. Light-kun’s fatal vanity strikes again. »

He glares. « You’ll misconstrue anything I say just to annoy me, won’t you? »

« But of course. »

« I wonder, then, why L only takes on those cases that interest him? »

« Because very many people would like to see L dead, Light-kun included. The last thing I need is more attention. »

« Attention from whom? Nobody knows who you are! »

« You do, Kira-kun. You do. »

Light leans over and kisses him, because it’s true.

* * *
– 9:28 P.M. –

Misa’s soft and beautiful in his arms, and he sighs and settles his chin against the soft fall of her hair, watches the splay of her fingertips and the fall of black lace against pale pale skin, and thinks of sacrifice and broken things.

Punishment in everything you ever wanted, and there’s beauty in that, deeper than anyone can know.

L smiles at him, quicksilver in the dimness, and Light thinks of how very easy it is to die.

He shifts a little, to loop the handcuff chain around the curve of her waist, and watches the sparkle in her ruby-toned eyes, the slow and gentle interest hiding beneath the fall of her lashes in the drag of pale fingers up the length of her arm.

Balance balance balance, because he’s in love with a boy and is owned by a girl and she’s his love but he’s not his, and oh, he’s jealous, always will be, for all that they’re only ever his.

« Don’t you think it’s perfect? » Misa whispers, a spark of cruelty in her eyes, and that’s beautiful too, more than anything, more than anyone.

« Yes, » Light says, « it’s perfect. »

* * *
– 11:37 P.M. –

Misa makes a soft, sleepy noise in the back of her throat, and he pushes back a lock of pale blonde hair and tugs the sheets up higher, even though he’s not sure why, because asking for propriety at this point in time is a little more than ludicrous, and maybe…

He makes a soft, surprised noise at the sudden pressure of a pale finger pressed to his parted lips, and stares in silence as L tugs the sheets higher with one free hand, then reaches over and carelessly slips the handcuffs from his wrists.

Light tilts his head just a little and smiles, pitching his voice to a low whisper for the sake of the girl dozing between them. « And our future…? »

« The world is ours, » L says agreeably, and here in the darkness and stillness, away from his dreams and the thousands he’s tried to save, here with the ones who are all his own, Light smiles and thinks Let it burn.

* * *
– 3:12 A.M. –

« We can’t take you with us, » Light says in the quiet, and Misa’s grip on his arm bites until there’s blood dripping down her nails.

« Misa knows, » she whispers softly, pretty and sad and very tired, suddenly. « She knows you have to run away. »

« I’m sorry, » he murmurs, and maybe it’s true, maybe he’ll miss having her around, maybe he’ll miss her devotion and single-mindedness, maybe he’ll think about her and wish he had known how to love her. Maybe, someday, never.

« I wish I could go with you. »

« I bargained for your freedom, Misa, not for you to be trapped the way I am. »

« And what Misa wants doesn’t matter. »

« Misa… »

« I always knew, » she said softly, reaching one little hand up and smoothing an unruly lock of hair back from his cheek, and he imagines the numbers above his head, spinning down into their own form of infinity. « You didn’t change for me. »

That stings. « Misa, it’s not just that- »

« No, » she says. « You only changed your mind when you realized what you’d lose if he died. I know I’m not interesting enough to keep your attention. »

« Misa– »

« No. » One fingertip presses against his lips. « We are getting married this morning, you will spend our honeymoon with me, and tomorrow, you’ll leave. But you’ll always be mine. »

« …what are you saying? »

« Ryuuzaki agreed with me, » she said mildly. « One day together with nobody watching but him, then we scatter, and maybe when it’s safe again we can be together. »

He thinks of the Note in his watch and almost smiles. « Are you sure that’s what you want? »

She looks at him for a long moment, calm and still and beautiful. « I’m not inviting Ryuuzaki to join us, Light. Not this time. »

Light stares at her, because he doesn’t understand this, what about last night wasn’t wonderful? But she’s talking again, and he has to pay attention to her now, now that she’s something vital and important, not a necessary thing but a lovely one, one that he won’t let go.

« I told you once I’d kill any girl you tried to date, but he’s not a girl and he doesn’t love you, so I don’t mind that you like him. But you’re mine. »

He steps closer, wraps his arms around her, presses his lips to her ear. « And if I could think of a way out of this…? Kill him so we could run away together? »

« No. » She steps back, and whole hand covers his mouth this time. « I want you to be happy. If he dies, you’ll only be happy for a little while. Besides, » and she shrugs, a pretty little motion he knows from an ad half-glimpsed on late-night TV, « all the best romances end in tragedy, and he’ll kill you when he dies. »

Light has to look away then, because she makes him uneasy for reasons he can’t explain. « You knew? So… why? »

« Because I love you, » she says softly, and for the first time he looks at her and feels very young.

* * *
– 12:28 P.M. –

« Misa, » he whispers against her hair, « Misa, what’s his name? »

In the dark, her eyes are luminous. « His name is L, » she murmurs, and pulls him down against her.

* * *
– 10:23 P.M. –

Theirs is a strange parting.

He doesn’t know if he’s fascinated or repulsed when Misa kisses L goodbye, when they curl together like a secret in the dark, and maybe they do know something that he doesn’t after all.

Their plan will work. It will be glorious and wonderful and they’ll come back to Japan to be with her whenever she calls, when her industry contacts and acting ability will serve their cause, and she’ll be safe forever because Rem will never leave her side, and an idol can’t just vanish the way Light Yagami must, with a father and a task force that will cover for what they’ve done, and their disapproval and condemnation will mean nothing, not when they’re long gone from this country, not when they’re tucked safely behind L’s anonymity.

Misa kisses him sweetly, softly, and being parted from her is necessary, but she’ll still be his. She’ll explain to his father, to the team, and she’ll comfort his mother and his sister, because Misa is always loyal, and after all, she’s his wife now, a paper signed in secret and sealed with a quick quiet lie, but it’s true enough for them, and that’s all that matters.

In the dark of the night, Kira and L steal away with each other and all of the data on the case, leaving the second Kira behind to guard their trail.

* * *
– Three Months Later –

The voice over the computer is clear and high and young and brash, a match for the bright blond hair and the wild grin on his face. « You caught him? »

« After a fashion. »

« Is he still alive? »

« Yes. He’ll make a marvelous teaching tool when you’re older. »

« Why? He’s just a serial killer. »

« He’s a very interesting serial killer. Interacting with him will be beneficial to both of you, especially Near. »

« What? Why him?! »

« Because you’re better socialized. »

Light considers the faces on the monitor, the brilliant blond thing, and the pale, staring creature beside him, and thinks you cheater.

When the call is over, he turns L’s chair around, leans forward, and asks, « Will you tell them how I won? »

« You did not win, » L corrects mildly, « we negotiated. »

« Call it what you like, the point remains that I could have killed you. »

« Yes, » L murmurs, slow and certain, « you could have killed me, but you never would have won. »

Light thinks of dark dark eyes and a bright, mad smile, and his lips curl in something that’s neither disgust nor admiration. « Your children will be murderers, » he says, and it makes his breath quicken when he smiles.

« Yes, » L agrees softly, eyes glinting in the dark, « but they’ll be mine. »

* * *
– Fourteen Months Later –

Unexpected, unplanned, but he breathes in deep, pops open the tiny compartment, traces out the letters onto creased notebook paper, and waits.

A man strapped thick with explosives draws out a gothic ‘L’ on the cement, clutches his heart, and dies, and Light tucks the scrap of paper back into his watch, shifts back into the camera range, and blows the lens a kiss before quietly walking away.

L catches up to him at a church in Shanghai and kicks him straight across the alter, and their reunion is a blissful tangle of limbs behind a barrier of shattered wood and glass while sirens blare and police lights flash like hellfire through the stained-glass windows that pour red light through the darkness that surrounds them.

His lips taste blood and his hands are tangled in ink-black hair and glass shards are pricking his back, and he bites hard at his tongue and whimpers « love you I love you I love you » in every language that he knows, and L holds him down and breathes his name against his ear.

Misa, lounging like a dream in black and silver, laughs at them when they stumble out to the getaway car, and they smear her pretty lace dress with crimson and sawdust and fragments of glass like glitter threaded through her hair.

* * *
Epilogue
* * *

Light sits in his chair and watches him watching the world, insulated and secure in their high-rise prison-womb. Light Yagami sips his lukewarm tea and ignores the soft humming of computers in the background, the papers scattered across the table and floor, and the latest missive from Misa, signed with a lipstick kiss, the color of dried blood in the dim light.

He closes his eyes, breathes in, exhales again. Cants his head down, thinks of wild laughter and the smell of burnt leather, thinks of inhuman eyes gleaming scarlet in the darkness. « You are not worth this. »

L’s smile is so, so cold. « Neither are you. »

There’s a cake on the table between them. It’s eight months old. It’s beautiful, frosted and swirled in delicate shades of pink and cream, and its insides have long since liquefied.

They both agree that it’s lovely and symbolic and possibly the stupidest thing ever, but L has never touched it, and Light refuses to throw it away.

Sometimes he just stares at his lips, soft and cool and faintly curved as he sips tea and scarfs down cakes and bites at his ragged fingernails.

It’s such a pretty mouth.

Every kiss feels like dying.

* * *
Fin.
* * *

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