Disclaimer: Death Note is owned by Tsugumi Ohba, and Takeshi Obata. Neither of whom are me.

Author's Note: This fic was originally written for the LiveJournal community of 30 Kisses. I lost the claim to it, but oh well. It shall be finished! We could all use some L/Misa love, let's be honest. This is an alternative timeline/AU/whatever you want to call it, and dabbles with the idea of Misa meeting L before Light. Mature reviews are always appreciated.


Theme 13. Excessive Chain

True to her word, Misa seemed to be in a much brighter mood the next morning. She even got up early to make herself and Mamori a special breakfast. Unfortunately, the end result was some over salted and runny eggs, and some pieces of burnt toast. Misa mourned her cooking failure with a great deal of childish flair, and Mamori, both amused and used to her baby sister's talent of not having any real cooking talent outside of sweets, suggested that they go out to eat instead.

They ended up at Misa's favorite cafe. Usually, the idol would don her usual disguise to make sure she could eat in peace. However, Ryuuzaki had made sure that her bodyguards made a reappearance in her life, and the one that had shadowed her and Mamori was quite effectively keeping any curious bystander at bay by his mere presence. While Misa wasn't very pleased at the idea of her bodyguards scaring away fans (who knew the rumors that could start on the internet from that?), she was begrudgingly grateful for some time alone with her sister.

That was, until the questions began.

"So, this Otani-san," Mamori said between bites of a bagel slathered with cream cheese. "Just where exactly did you meet him, anyway?"

Misa pretended to be very interested in the low fat bran muffin she was nibbling on. "Um, does it really matter?" she asked. "We're looking for an apartment for you, right?"

"Oh, yes. We are. After breakfast," Mamori added, leaning in. "And this is breakfast. So, while we're eating, I think we can discuss other things."

"What if Misa doesn't want to discuss that other thing?" the blonde asked, not making eye contact.

"Then you're probably not going to enjoy your meal very much," Mamori dryly answered.

Misa frowned. "Mamori is a very mean sister."

"Not mean. Just curious," the older woman corrected. "I mean, you've mentioned this secret boyfriend of yours for months now, but never gave me a name, or anything. I think I deserve a few answers now that I've finally bumped into your mystery man."

"There's really nothing much to say," Misa insisted.

"Oh, really? Judging merely on his looks, I'd say otherwise." Mamori smirked at her sister's frown. "But I'll start small. Just how did you two meet?"

Misa strategically chewed a piece of muffin, swallowing it very slowly. She obviously couldn't tell Mamori the true way she'd met Ryuuzaki, as that would send her sister into a fit of rage, and she'd be bombarded by questions she simply was not prepared to answer. Misa wondered for a moment if her bodyguard would give away the lie she was about to say, but then decided he wouldn't. After all, he either worked for L, and knew better than to say anything, or far more likely had no idea who he real employer was or what he looked like. Either way, it was safe to come up with any reasonable story she could. "At one of Misa's modeling sessions."

Mamori blinked. "He's a model?"

The idol nearly choked, quickly taking a sip of water to stop herself from coughing rather unlady-like. It didn't, however, stop her from laughing incredulously. "Oh, God, no! No," she repeated, shaking her head. "Otani-san is behind the scenes. Very behind."

"Oh? Ooooh," Mamori nodded, as if something clicked. "So, he's got a nice, cushy job in the business. Like a producer, or something."

"Something like that," Misa said, thinking that really, Ryuuzaki was rather like a producer in his own way.

"Well, I can understand not wanting anyone to know about a relationship with someone like that," Mamori stated. "I'm sure there would be people in industry, as well as the media who would claim you were only with him to make a name for yourself. Especially with those... interesting looks of his."

"There is nothing wrong with Otani-san's looks!" Misa said, defensively. "He just has his own style, that's all."

"I've seen homeless men with that exact same 'style,' Misa," her sister remarked.

Misa shrugged. "He just doesn't like to stand out, that's all."

"Well, he's doing a poor job at looking inconspicuous," Mamori laughed. "If anything, it's almost impossible not to stare at him. I mean, I know the old saying 'you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince,' but it looks like your Otani-san never bothered to transform."

"Misa doesn't know," she pouted deeply. "She doesn't mind the way he looks."

Mamori smiled, knowingly. "That's because you're used to it. Trust me. He's unique, to say the least."

From behind Misa, Rem's face was a grim mask. The past few days had been a rather emotionally exhausting and frustrating time for the shinigami. She liked neither L or Kira, but she reluctantly admitted that they were both dear to Misa in their own ways. It was just that the whole thing was coming to a rather ugly head, and she more than a little curious to hear where Misa finally stood on it. If she had even come to a decision, as it was. The death god never could predict just what was going on in the girl's head. It would probably not stop Rem from her ultimate decision of killing Yagami Light. He was clearly the more dangerous of the two men, as Rem had no doubt that, unlike Ryuuzaki, Light had no true emotional attachment to Misa, and would therefore get rid of her when it would be the most opportune. However, if Misa showed favoritism to Light, it would have the potential of delaying his inevitable demise at her hands. Rem had no intention of doing the deed in a manner that would give Misa an inkling that her partner had anything to do with the boy's death. Misa was a rather oblivious person about a lot of things, but there were also times where she was frighteningly astute.

"But that's what makes him interesting," said Misa. "Because he's not like anyone else I know."

"You really do like him, don't you?"

"I..." Misa's voice trailed, as she collected her thoughts. "Yes. Yes, I do."

Mamori's eyes narrowed. "Do you love him?"

The blonde's head whipped up. "That's not easy to- "

"Oh, come on, Misa," Mamori sighed. "You're the most emotional person I know. Rational thought is usually not your forte. So, if you've stuck by this odd looking guy for so long, even though you probably could have your pick of any pretty model boy out there, I have to say the answer is kind of obvious by now."

Misa frowned. "If it's so obvious, why did you bother asking?"

Mamori shrugged and grinned. "Because I want to hear it. You do, don't you?"

Juvenilely, Misa took another bite of her muffin instead of answering. Mamori chuckled.

Finally, Misa responded with a bare murmur, "He's... Misa's most precious person. And that's all I'm saying," she loudly added.

For the most part, that seemed to satisfy Mamori. It also satisfied Rem, somewhat.


The first day apartment hunting turned out to be a rather embarrassing ordeal for the Amane sisters. Almost without fail, when the two entered the apartment and waited to be shown around, the landlord or a tenant would come flying over with either a camera or pen and paper, nearly cornering Misa for her time. Even her bodyguard didn't seem to have the intended effect until he had already grabbed the offender and asked them to back away. It wasn't really surprising, when they thought about it in hindsight. Mamori had refused to except any money from her sister for either a better apartment than she could afford on her own salary, or even a condo. Mamori was determined to make it on her own. This meant, however, that all the places they went to were not housing the well to do people that Misa was used to in her own complex. So, instead of her just blending in along with the rest of the wealthy people, she stood out like a (very rich) sore thumb. Of course, Misa was never one to turn down and picture or an autograph- one most always be nice to fans - but it meant that most of their time was wasted.

At the end of the day, Misa and Mamori agreed that the next day they did this, Misa would either wear her disguise or simply not come at all. This simply would not do if they wanted to find Mamori a place to live before she had to go back home.

Misa had suggested that Mamori spend the night again at her place, but this time Mamori convinced her sister that they'd both be better off if Mamori stayed at the hotel room she'd rented.

"Don't want to waste it, after all," she'd said.

Reluctantly, Misa agreed. However, this left Misa alone with her thoughts in her apartment.

Well, not quite alone with just her thoughts.

"Misa," Rem said. "Just how long are you going to drag this out?"

"Drag what out?" Misa asked innocently, walking into her room and closing the door, knowing that the two sentinels outside her apartment wouldn't be able to hear her.

"This situation with L and Kira," the shinigami looked disapproving. "It's not safe."

"Rem didn't seem to mind it so much at the beginning," Misa said, crossing her arms and glaring.

"Remember that I initially didn't even want you to know L's true identity because I didn't want you involved in such a mess. But my hand was forced," Rem sighed. "And at the time, I thought the matter would be settled far more quickly, and with a lot less complications. But that's my fault," she admitted. "I keep forgetting just how much humans love to complicate matters. Nothing excites them more than living dangerously."

"Misa does not like to live dangerously," the girl said. "It's just that this isn't easy."

"It never is with you."

Misa threw her hands up. "Rem will never understand! She's a death god, so she doesn't care about anyone, because they're all just there to kill so she can stay alive, anyway."

Rem cocked her head. "That's almost true."

"Almost?" Misa repeated, confused. "Killing people adds the rest of their life span to a shinigami, doesn't it? Misa is quite sure she remembers that rule."

"Oh, it does," Rem agreed. "But, the fact of the matter is I'll never use my Death Note to kill you, Misa."

The girl blinked. "But, you're supposed to. It's part of the contract."

"It is a part of the contract, that's true. But that doesn't mean I ever have to do it," Rem explained. "That is up to my own discretion, and I have chosen not to act upon it."

"Misa doesn't understand," she furrowed her brows. "Why wouldn't Rem do it, when she's supposed to?"

The death god let out a deep sigh. "Because, Misa, humans are not the only ones who have feelings. They are also not the only ones who can form attachments."

Misa's eyes widened a bit at the statement, and Rem wondered if the girl truly understood what she had meant. Truly, Rem did not know how one properly confessed their feelings to another. She was quite certain that Misa's way was a bit too confusing for her own taste, but maybe that would've been a better course of action. Or maybe she shouldn't have said anything, at all. Even if Misa understood her, it didn't mean she would accept it. In a few seconds though , it was clear to the shinigami that she did not have to worry about rejection of any sort, because Misa grinned ear to ear, and clapped her hands. She hadn't gotten it, at all.

"Rem is a very good friend," she said. "Misa knows she doesn't always show it, but she hopes she is a very good friend for Rem, too."

Stopping herself from sighing again, Rem said, "Misa, this still does not settle your decision on what is to be done."

"Why can't Misa just do nothing?" she asked, smile gone.

"You can do nothing. I'm sure eventually L or Kira will succeed in defeating the other without your help. However," Rem eyed her. "It might not necessarily be the one you truly want to win. And you might not necessarily live to see the end of it."

Misa bristled. "Ryuuzaki-san and Light would never kill Misa! What an awful thing to say!"

"Is it?" Rem challenged. "Even if L and even Kira decided that your life should be spared, what of Kira's partner? Ryuuk is always one to think of ways to make things more interesting. And you, Misa, have made things very interesting for him thus far. But if you were to suddenly stop interfering in L and Kira's little game, I somehow doubt Ryuuk would find that entertaining."

"And you think Light's shinigami would kill Misa for being boring to him?" Misa frowned.

"Not just for that, but also because he would probably love to see the reactions of the two men you've entangled yourself with," Rem said. The death god knew that, unlike her, Ryuuk was no longer in possession of his Death Note, and couldn't act upon any whims he may have had at the moment. There was no need to tell Misa that, however. "As far as Ryuuk would be concerned, it's the least you could do for no longer being part of this little game."

"It's not a game."

"It is to him. Human life has always been a game for us."

Misa involuntarily shivered.

"Misa, at breakfast this morning you said that you loved L, did you not?" Rem asked.

"I never said that," she muttered.

"You called him your most precious person," pushed Rem. "Is it not true?"

Misa floundered. "Well- "

"Is he more precious than Kira?"

"Kira is very precious!" Misa cried. "Kira is my hero."

"But is L more precious to you than Kira? Is he?" Rem demanded.

Misa seemed to cave in on herself. She didn't like this confrontation, at all. Didn't like the idea that choosing was something that she really had to do, whether she wanted to or not. Her fairytale outcome was not meant to be, and the reality of it all left her shaking. Somewhere deep down, she knew that this was coming. That she would have to make a choice, and a move. But she kept hoping that, if she delayed it long enough, that maybe a better option would pop up. However, it didn't look like that was going to happen any time soon.

And still... But still...

Misa stormed past Rem, out her bedroom door, and marched to her apartment entrance, swinging it open. The two bodyguards turned around, both looking a little surprised at her dramatic flourish, but she didn't really care.

"Misa wants to speak to your boss," she told them.

"Pardon, ma'am?" one of them said, unsure.

"Your boss," Misa repeated, insistent. "I. Want. To Talk. To. Him."

"Ah, well, we don't really-"

"Misa doesn't care how you do it," she waved her hand. "She knows you have to have someway of contacting him. A person, who knows a person, who knows a person... It doesn't matter. But make sure he knows that Misa wants to see him tomorrow. And if he doesn't show up, Misa will be very upset and she'll ditch you two again!" She slammed her door before they could respond.

Behind her, Rem frowned. "Just what are you doing, Misa?"

The girl took a very deep breath, and faced the shinigami. "Misa is... not sure. But she thinks she's making a decision."