A desolated wasteland stretched for miles in every direction, bones of unknown creatures dotting the surface. Grey rolled above and was mirrored below on its counterpart. Trees stripped bare of their leafed life were left rotted and dying. There was no water, no grass. There was no colour except for grey.

The land was dying.

Inhabitants moved amongst the ruins, some sleeping in the shelter of the animal bones, others gambling what little they had for entertainment. Neither human nor monster entirely, their jobs were to keep the humans in line, taking lives when needed. In truth, they only took lives because they feared death themselves. There was no purpose to their being anymore, except to extend their existence so that death didn't become an overhanging shadow.

A certain occupant of this dismal world was perched atop a rather large skull, searching the crowd below. Blue black was his main colour of choice, and he had long ago lost his human features, opting for a permanent clown like smile to be plastered upon his face. Right now he was bored, but he was intent on finding his target, whether said object wanted to be found or not.

He was broken from his search when one of the gamblers bellowed, "Hey Ryuk! If you're looking for the new Shinigami, he's over by the human entrance."

Ryuk raised a thin arm in thanks and unfurled his wings. It was a short trip to the human pool, and sure enough, the Shinigami he was searching for was balanced on its rocky shores, eyes fixated on the glossy surface.

Ryuk landed, alerting the other to his presence. The newest member of their dreary world wore an odd mask, a yin and yang type representation that ended just above his nose. The colours swirled angrily against one and other in the middle, and were peaceful on their respected sides. Claws of ivory peaked out of the cuffs of a white open collared shirt that hung from his lean shoulders. He wore black pants, and matching boots fastened with chains. Chains criss-crossed over his upper body, tightening in some spots, while loose in others, ending in only a single cuff on his left wrist. His Death Note was clipped to his belt, which was also a chain, and Ryuk vaguely wondered what connection he had to so many binding shackles.

"Have you come to check up me again, Ryuk? That's unlike you," stated the Shinigami, not breaking his gaze from the pool. The mask had no eye slits, so Ryuk wondered if the youth was gazing at him or the pond.

"I happened to be flying overhead and saw you here, again. You've been a Shinigami for two years, and every day you sit by this pool. What's got you so eager?" asked Ryuk, coming to stand beside his companion.

A soft smile touched the cold lips of the Shinigami. "Always looking for excitement. You never change, Ryuk." This time the mask turned towards him. "Care to join me?"

Ryuk shrugged and hunkered down beside him to stare into the swirling depths of the pool, losing himself in the spell it bound. The image within solidified, showing a dark room, lit by a single laptop. Snack containers and other provisions were scattered around, evidence that the human there wasn't the clean type, or wasn't used to it.

The actual human being scrutinized typed furiously away on the laptop with thin fingers, never truly touching the keys. One jean clad knee was brought up to his chest, the other out to the side, his bare toes waging war against one another. A cotton white shirt hung from his skeletal frame, and his skin was pallid from too many years indoors. A messy mat of onyx hair stuck out in disarray atop his head.

Aside from the starved exterior of the human, what truly caught Ryuk's attention were the human's eyes. They didn't hold the indomitable denial that death would soon be phasing through the wall to take one's life. No, the grey eyes with their black circles beneath held something that was a rarity amongst mankind.

They held death itself.

"He stands a little taller, and sleeps a little longer, but has taken on more work, submerging himself into a world of anti-sociability," explained Ryuk's comrade, placing a shackled arm over his bent knee. "Truth be told, he hasn't changed in the years since I parted ways with him."

"Ah, but did you notice the eyes?" asked Ryuk, gesturing towards the pool. "There's no life left."

"I know."

Ryuk fingered the three Death Notes hanging from his belt. Two were his own, and the third happened to be from a Shinigami that had perished in the human world. Not that he cared; it just irked him that that certain Shinigami had written down the human's name that he himself had promised to write.

"Ryuk, what happens to Shinigami that pass away?"

Ryuk drew his gaze away from the binding spell of the pool to glance at the Shinigami. Regardless of the mask, he noticed the play of emotions running beneath. Ryuk mused over whether or not to tell the youth, if what he said would impact him enough that he would abandon his futile human watching. He opted to wait a little longer. After all, he was an excitement grabber.

"How am I supposed to know? I haven't died in this form. Go ask Gramps; he would know."

The Shinigami sighed, gazing back into the pool. The human was still typing furiously on the keyboard, his eyes flickering over every word, over every picture. Suddenly, his fingers stalled over the keys, and his head dropped. One hand receded to his lips, where he bit down on his thumbnail. He then rose, and paced in front of the computer, eye fixated on the one picture that had appeared on the screen. Ryuk raised an eyebrow and glanced at the Shinigami, who was blatantly not looking at the computer.

The picture was of a young human, no older than eighteen. Chestnut hair flowed in perfect locks around his head, and the bangs came to just below his soft coffee eyes. He was tanned, and the lips were upturned slightly in a 'catch me if you can' type gesture. The name beneath the picture was signed in a perfect scrawl, as everything about the youth screamed perfection.

Yagami Raito.

"You still haunt me, even in death," said the human, stopping his fruitless pacing to crumple in front of his computer. A sigh escaped his lips and he withdrew his hand to wipe at moisture that had suddenly escaped his eyes.

Ryuk tore his eyes from the scene playing within the pool to the Shinigami at his side. He was grasping the ledge, claws gouging into the rock circling the pool. He was staring intently into the glistening depths, and Ryuk resisted the urge to pull him back. Yet he was fascinated by what had changed with the Shinigami. The usually peaceful ivory of the mask was roaring to life, thrashing erratically and beating back the onyx. And then it began to fade.

He was still human.

Ryuk stared in awe at the features beneath the mask. Russet eyes stared without knowledge into the depths of mist, and pallid skin had overtaken tan. The ebony snarled in response to this take over, trying to fight back, yet eventually the entire mask was overtaken by ivory, though translucent.

The Shinigami spoke, drawing Ryuk's attention to the pool, "He hasn't broken down once in all the two years I have been watching him. I didn't realize that picture would invoke such a strong reaction."

"Humans have odd ways of showing emotion. When you met him, he never let you in. Why would he show weakness in front of anyone but shadows, and two Shinigami he has no knowledge of?"

The mask was slowly crawling back over to its respected side, solidifying to hide the humane side. The Shinigami sat back, releasing the stranglehold he had on the rocks. Finally, the mask was completely opaque once more, and both sides returned to their peaceful roots.

Ryuk decided finally to point out the obvious, "Your human dies in three days."

"Thank you, Ryuk. I am aware of this," his companion snapped, crossing his arms.

"You are planning on interfering?" enquired Ryuk, his elbows on his knees. This was getting interesting.

"If it's something I can take care of, yes. If not, I have no choice but to sit back and watch," sighed his comrade, turning his mask away. The human within the pool was finally recollecting himself, and wiped angrily at the tear treads that were evident on his cheeks.

Ryuk mulled over his response and finally decided his excitement gauge for the day was filled. Placing a cheek in his hand, his grin widened and he stated, "You asked before what happens to Shinigami that die. I lied. I do know."

His comrade turned to him in shock, which was quickly replaced by fury. "You are just an annoyance, aren't you? Well, are you going to tell me?"

"I might as well. I've gained enough insight into what you've been doing and the human you have your sights on to warn you at least. And besides, you were quite a thrill as a human. I at least thought you would be more so as a Shinigami."

"I'm not a Shinigami," his companion assured. Ryuk raised an eyebrow.

"How can you not be Shinigami?" asked Ryuk, curiosity piqued.

"I never exchanged my humanity. When the Shinigami Overlord asked for it, I blatantly told him no. I...I want my memories."

"Your memories include that.You're shackled to it forever, you know."

His companion shrugged, viewing his nails. "It is a part of me, just as I am a part of it. We share the same heartbeat and whether I like it or not, I'm handcuffed to it. For eternity if I must." He pointed at the mask. "Thus the two sides, Ryuk. I know what I am, and it will not be changed simply because I wish it. That is all there is to it."

Ryuk shook his head, perplexed. Sometimes, his amusers turned out to be too complex for him. And right now, something didn't seem right with this one.

"I wish to know where we go when we pass away, Ryuk," he commanded, gazing through the opaque mask.

Ryuk sighed, and muttered, "Judgement."


"When a Shinigami passes away, they are immediately sent to limbo. There, the spirit is poked and prodded, every aspect of the life they once lived, and the one they had as a Shinigami, influencing the decision."

"What decision?"

"There are two doors along a dirt pathway. Both are non-descriptive, and when the Council decides your fate, they point you to one of the doors. Once you pass through, you can never return. It's an arduous business, but the higher ups are all for it. Something about second chances."

"What lies beyond the doors?" queried his friend, leaning forward on his elbows. Ryuk grinned.

"Our second chance," stated Ryuk simply. He stood, lazily stretching before allowing his wings to appear. His comrade stared up at him in annoyance.

His mask flicked back to the pool, and when Ryuk was ready to take off he asked, inaudibly, "Will I meet him on the other side?"

Ryuk allowed his wings to draw him into the stagnant air. Glancing back, he replied, "That, my friend, is up to the Council."

Ryuk looked out over the valley, eyes trailing over every building, over every skeleton. Nothing surprised him anyone. Well, except for his comrade, who was most likely sitting by the human pool once again. It was the third day.

He stretched his lanky arms out in front of him, his smile shirking. Perhaps he should check up on him? His human was about to die; Ryuk knew his usual companion would do everything in his power to stop it.

Ryuk unfurled his wings, allowing the bones to snap into place, a lethargic yawn finding its way past his lips. He bound into the air, flapping lazily towards the pool, adrenaline already congealing in his system. He knew what he would find, yet he had never once witnessed it happening.

The pool came into view and Ryuk tucked his wings, pulling into a shallow dive. Landing lightly, he looked around, his wings flapping behind him. He didn't see the Shinigami sitting in his usual spot. That meant he either found another pool or the event had already occurred.

Ryuk sighed and wandered over to the churning water, glancing about for any sparkling dust or maybe even the chains his companion had worn. He saw nothing and his lips moved slightly downwards. Well, this was unfair. He had wanted to watch a Shinigami die.

There was a sudden noise to his left and Ryuk wandered over, peeking over a rock to find his excitement sitting beside a new portion of the pool, Death Note out and poised. The water was churning angrily, congealing into angry coils. Ryuk walked forward and announced his presence with a light cough.

His companion didn't move, just continued to focus that opaque mask on the water. Soon, Ryuk was crouched beside him, peering into its depths, watching with mild fascination as the human left his room, slipped on a pair of tennis shoes, and closed the door. The pools' eye followed the raven haired male as he walked down a plush hallway, hands shoved deep in denim pockets. Ryuk risked a glance at the other Shinigami and found his shoulders tensed, hand shaking.

"He dies soon."

"Shut up, Ryuk."

"About ten minutes."

"Shut up, Ryuk."

"I wonder, how will he –"

"Ryuk, I will find some way to kill you, so shut the fuck up."

Ryuk promptly shut his mouth.

They watched as the raven haired human opened a door, revealing a sliver of sunlight and noise. Copious amounts of noise. The human raised his hand, covering obsidian eyes and wincing as the light slanted across his face.

There was a sudden cheer and the pool seemed to widen. Thousands of people were gathered about, all of them waiting impatiently for the human to step up to the podium. Ryuk's companion leaned forward, scanning fervently for the possible threat to his human's life.

"Four minutes and nineteen seconds."


Suddenly, there was movement. The desire to find the humans killer compelled the pool to move and focus on a sole man, standing about ten feet from the podium the young human was stepping up to. The man's hands were shoved into his pockets, and Ryuk could make out the distinct lining of a gun. He watched as his companion suddenly wrote fervently into the Death Note, clawed fingers clumsy. The raven haired human stood up, straightened his spine, and the entire crowd went silent.

A gurgling noise, followed by the same man from before clutching his chest caused men to shoot out of the crowd and promptly surround the pale human. But as the man fell to the ground, spasms wracking his body, the human pushed his bodyguards out of the way to stare in disbelief at the man on the ground. And then he looked up at the sky.

Ryuk's eyes were drawn from the pool as he heard a soft clink. He watched as his companion began to disintegrate, his mask suddenly translucent. The heavy cuff that surrounded his wrist dropped to the ground as the sand overtook his arm.

"I hope you find what you're looking for."

His companion gazed at him through content eyes, "I'm positive I will, Ryuk. I'll find a way. I always do."

As his face was overtaken, Ryuk stood, taking the other Shinigami's Death Note with him. Attracted to the pool once more, he turned, scanning the crowd for that mass of ebony hair. He spotted it easily and mouthed the humans name before scanning his remaining life span.

Sighing, Ryuk allowed his wings to stretch from his back. Tucking the Death Note in his belt, he looked down at the snowy pile of his former comrade.

"Your human dies in three days, Raito."

It was cold.

Raito's eyes blinked open and he shuddered, breath expelling in a curl of moisture. Shivering, he sat up, rubbing his hands along his arms. He suddenly froze. He didn't have claws.

Another expulsion of air curled in front of his face and he touched his cheeks, his nose, his mouth. There was no mask. Feeling his wrist, he found no cuff. He was once again completely human.

Laughing, he stood. With wobbling steps, he began to move forward, eyes scanning his surroundings, trying to figure out where the hell he was. His feet crunched along the dirt pathway and he realized Ryuk had been right about that at least. But he saw no doors.

"This one..."

Raito spun, the voice echoing from high above.

"He is a wayward spirit. A hazard but seemingly useful. Should we send him left or right?"

That was a different voice.

Eyeing the shadows, Raito began to move backwards. The voices were getting closer, but at the same time seemed so far away. He tripped, fell backwards, and suddenly he could see.

"He can see us."

"Finally. I was getting bored."

"We cannot be seen by many, Hyide. This one is special."

"What's going on?" Raito called, trying to make his mind catch up with what his eyes were seeing. Figures, eight of them, all crowded around a single table. They were tall, with short bodies and gangly legs. Each one was wearing a crown of some sort, eyes glowing embers. Raito flinched backwards as every pair of shimmering orbs fixated on him.

"Two souls..."

"Send him right."


"Have you not reviewed his life? He deserves to be sent right."

"But he could be seen as a perfect soul. Send him left."



Raito studied the bickering creatures, wondering if these beings were the Council. Standing, he dusted off his pants and joined their circle, "If I may speak?"

They turned to him as one, all of them quite shocked. One of them clapped his claw like hands in delight before motioning for Raito to speak. The others just continued to watch him, suddenly wary.

"Oh, let the boy speak in his defence," the one that motioned at him grinned, "I'm Hyide. Nice to make your acquaintance, Yagami 'Kira' Raito."

"I'm glad you know of me. Or one side of me in the very least. Now, what is it you plan on doing with my soul?"

Hyide looked thoughtfully at the other seven, watching them turn away. He then sighed and fixed Raito with his white gaze, "Normally, we would question you about your past, as both a human and a Shinigami. But we all know of you – quite well actually. We have had to pass judgement on many of those you killed. So, instead of doing the boring 'prodding into your life' bit, I'm just going to tell you to pick a door. Simple as that."

Raito narrowed his eyes, studying the silver creature before he nodded and moved away, wanting to get on with the proceedings. The pathway seemed to light up with every step, and in the distance he could make out two doors, just an inch apart. Beautifully orchestrated black oak doors with bronzed handles stood identically beside one and other. Raito reached out, tracing the delicate bark, wondering what they meant.

Hyide stood beside him, clawed hands clasped. He motioned towards the doors, "Pick one, and only one. Good luck."

Raito worried his bottom lip, going over everything he had heard. Obviously, one of these doors would lead him to a representation of Hell. He wanted to stay away from that, if possible, but if by chance he was pulled through the wrong door, he had to assure that somehow a part of him would be happy.

That was when inspiration struck. He looked back, calculating the distance the creatures were from him and how fast they would have to move to stop him. Swallowing hard, he looked back at the doors, at their polished wood and shining handles. He hesitantly reached out and heard one of the creatures snicker. And that was when he did it.

His other hand shot out and he grasped both handles. There was a gasp, followed by rushing air, and suddenly Raito was shaking. His body seemed like it was being ripped in two; his mind split in half. A scream tore from his throat as both doors opened, and shining white light engulfed him. He couldn't breathe, couldn't move, couldn't do anything. And when the pain became too much for him, it suddenly stopped.

Blearily, he opened his eyes, wincing as light filtered into his vision. Something was prickling his face; his fingers twitched and grasped something waxen. Groaning, he pushed himself up, shaking his head to clear the lingering pain. When he finally gained his bearings, he sat back in amazement. Hills stretched before him, lush with grass and forests. The sky was unbearably blue; the air crisp and warm.

"What?" Raito asked, stumbling to his feet. He turned in a circle, both frightened and stunned. Where the hell had he been sent? Was this some new form of limbo?

There was a noise behind him and he turned, eyes scanning the horizon. Something speckled caught his sight and he began to move forward, curiosity and a need for normalcy egging him on. When he finally reached what he sought, his mind seemed to shut down. This just wasn't possible.

In front of him was a house. It was tiny; actually quite cute. Raito stepped forward until he could run his fingers along the outside, making sure this was real. His feet carried him around the entire building until he was standing in front of the door. Suddenly unsure, he took a step back, eyes scanning the entire image, looking for some type of flaw. When he found none, he turned away and sat down heavily on the grass.

"I don't understand."

His words echoed through the hills, thrown back at him multiple times. His head dropped in his hands and he massaged his temples, going over everything he remembered. He remembered saving L back in the Shinigami world; remembered Ryuk telling him about the Council and his second chance. He remembered falling into that strange world; remembered the Council of eight and the only one that talked to him, Hyide. He remembered looking at the doors and wondering how he could save himself, how he could make sure he would be happy. And then he had touched both handles.

"So, because of my choice, I was sent here?"

"Not quite."

Startled, Raito threw himself to the side. Whirling, he looked up and stared into the sightless eyes of Hyide. The Councilman brought his clawed hands together, a frown in his voice, "You are the first Shinigami to do something so unpredictable. Of course, we should've expected that from you, Yagami Kira Raito. Or, now, Yagami Raito. Because of your tactics, the doors have stripped you down to a simple human, one without any extraordinary powers. You are now simply Yagami Raito, a being stuck in this plane between Heaven and Hell. Very much like your Earth, actually. And due to the fact that we have stripped you of certain aspects of your personality, you will no longer have any memories of your days as Kira."

Raito realized with dawning horror that there were sudden blank spots in his memory. His hands shook as he tangled one in his hair, staring blankly at the grass as each memory of Kira – who? – was wiped quickly from his mind. Shaking himself, he staggered to his feet, calling out to the retreating Councilman.

"Wait!" Raito shouted. Hyide looked back at him, porcelain orbs blank. Raito stopped before him, "You cannot take away my memories. That was the entire reason I was shackled in the Shinigami world. Please, allow me to keep them."

Hyide studied him, before stretching out one clawed hand. Raito flinched but managed to stay in place as that sharp claw touched his forehead. Pain exploded behind his eyes and he fell to the ground, a barely repressed scream trickling from his lips. Everything he had done, everything he had strived for as Kira came back to him with startling clarity.

"You will owe the Council, Yagami Raito. Do not forget that."

"What will I owe them?"

The Councilman ignored his question, "You are the only one on this plane. You will also be the only one that has ever been a Shinigami. We hope to fill it with others, ones that were human, not monster. Rest assured, you will not be alone for long. I will see you in another hundred years to settle our debt."

Those glowing orbs met Raito's and he saw the smile in those eyes before suddenly, Hyide disappeared.

Raito lay on the grass, panting breath slowing. He brought his fingers to his temple, rubbing diligently until the throbbing pain ebbed. Taking a deep breath, he looked around. He wondered how long he would be alone for, and who would be joining him first. Rolling onto his back, he stared up at the bright cerulean sky.

Raito was still lying on the grass when the third day rolled around. His eyes were closed, body completely at ease under the bright expanse of Caribbean blue sky and puffy white clouds. Raito sighed and opened his eyes, watching a rather dark one roll over one of the copious hills, looking like a giant grey monster. His eye twitched as he realized his IQ was dropping at an exponential rate, and if he didn't find something to keep himself occupied, he would be finger painting and cuddling a teddy bear.

"I think I'm going to go insane before anyone else arrives," he muttered angrily, throwing an arm over his eyes. Breathing deeply, he decided on a nap. God knows, he hadn't slept in seventy two hours. The sun just didn't set in this world, so Raito thought it impossible to actually sleep. At first, when Raito had sat alone outside the little house, he had wondered what time it was, and had diligently started counting the minutes until he realized that after eighteen hours, twenty three minutes and nineteen seconds, the sky stayed the same and the clouds continued to roll over it, almost as if the blue was painted on and the clouds were stuck on a never ending cycle. Raito hadn't even noticed the sun was missing until he did a complete three sixty, searching the horizon for the glowing ball of hydrogen gas.

There was also the matter of Raito not feeling any normal human pangs. Hunger was non-existent; water was no longer required to keep him hydrated; he had learned that sleep wasn't a necessity after staying up for an entire twenty four hours and feeling the same as he had when he arrived. Of course, that didn't stop him from cat napping occasionally, enjoying the freedom in doing so.

Wind blew gently over him as he allowed his breathing to slow, mind fading slowly into that pool of dreamless sleep. He was just about to reach that plane when a shadow suddenly stretched over him. Startled, the brunette shot upwards, eyes widening impossibly at the sight before him.

Denim hung from pale hips and equally pale hands were hooked in the belt loops of the jeans. A cotton shirt hung from a skeletal frame, one that had seen better days, but at the same time looked quite strong. A mass of ebony locks stuck up in disarray atop a pale head, bangs hanging over the eyes. Raito felt himself rising without his knowledge, brain trying desperately to fit the pieces together, to figure out what the hell was going on.

He had saved this man three days ago. He had been sure.

His fingers reached out, touching the pale cheek and the bangs lifted, showing deep obsidian eyes and a barely there smirk. Raito couldn't breathe; his eyesight was becoming blurry and it wasn't until he felt moisture fall on his arm that he realized he was crying. He leaned forward, closing his eyes and wrapping his arms around those slender shoulders, pulling them together. He could feel the heat emitting off the other, knew for a fact that this had to be real, that he wasn't dreaming. He hadn't dreamt during any of his naps; he didn't think he had the capability to dream anymore.

But this – if this was a dream, he didn't want to wake up.

"L," he breathed, pressing his face into the soft ebony locks, feeling those pale hands reach up and grasp his shirt almost desperately.

They stayed that way, neither moving, neither daring to speak. Raito still wasn't clear on what was happening; he briefly thought that Hyide was punishing him for having the Councilman return his memories. But the more he clung to the other male, the more he realized that it was real, that L, the man he had died twice for, was in front of him, hands still twisted in his shirt, eyes closed tightly in concentration.

Finally, Raito moved back, wanting to look into those eyes once more, to see himself reflected not as Kira, but as Raito. L fixed him with that familiar stare, something akin to curiosity in his gaze, and sure enough Raito saw himself, a simple man that had spent two years away from the one that he loved. The brunette felt L's fingers twist in his shirt, keeping him in one place.

"This is why I hate to sleep."

And then those lips were on his, those silken lips that Raito had dreamed about for two years. They brushed almost delicately against his own, as if asking forgiveness, as if asking for atonement. Raito moved forward, hands wrapping around L's waist just as he had not so long ago, fingers slipping under the cotton shirt to brush delicately against those pale hips.

Raito felt L tighten his grip on the brunette's shirt, a desperate cry escaping his lips as he turned away, tears fresh in his eyes. Raito watched him in shock, unable to understand what he had done wrong, what he had happened to make L cry. The detective had never shed tears during their time together and if Raito hadn't been watching him from the Shinigami world, he never would have seen L cry when his photo came up.

"L –" Raito tried.

"I know. I know you are dead. I know. But it doesn't stop, does it? It doesn't stop me from dreaming of you, of having you here with me again and again. God damn it!" He suddenly shoved Raito away, turning his back on the bewildered brunette, shoulders shaking, "Watari says I'm a fool; you are dead and I need to worry about my heirs. I need to stop dwelling on the past. But you are there, in my memories, not letting me go. I don't want you to let me go."

L turned back to grab him again, pressing his face against Raito's neck. Raito carefully wrapped his arms back around the investigator's waist, eyes closing as he simply held the detective, waiting until the tears stopped and the insomniac simply leaned against him, warm breath fanning Raito's neck, "Don't let go."

Raito smiled softly, pressing another kiss to L's temple, listening as L seemed to fall away, his eyes fluttering closed and breathing even. He stared up at the unchanged sky, eyes closing in a silent thank you as he leaned forward, and pressed his lips against L's ear, "I won't."

He lifted the detective so that he could sit comfortably, L in his arms. The investigator slept against him, fingers spontaneously curling into Raito's shirt whenever the brunette shifted. Raito was stroking the insomniac's hair when the detective was roused, obsidian gaze bleary as he woke. His gaze fixated on Raito's face and his eyes widened, arms automatically coming up to push Raito away. He landed heavily on the grass, staring in shock around him, not comprehending why he wasn't in his room, why he wasn't waking up in frustration for dreaming about his long dead lover, "What?"

"You're dead."

L looked at him, eyes like polished onyx, confusion mixed with fear reflected in that usually clear gaze. Raito reached out and touched his cheek, ignoring the way L flinched, the way he looked around, utterly lost. He knew he would have to tell L what was happening; granted, he hadn't meant to sound so callous when he said it. But now that it was out, now that the detective finally knew, Raito hoped everything would come to a close.

"I'm – how did I die?"

"I don't know. But it's all right. Come here," Raito gestured and L shakily moved towards him, unable to stop himself from trembling.

"Then, you're actually here. You're not – this isn't a dream."


"I'm dead..."


L's fingers caught his shirt, "You're here."

Raito grinned, "Yes."

L's lips caught his, hands leaving his shirt to run through mahogany locks. The kiss continued, both of them pressing their longing, their loneliness, their unspoken love into the other. L pulled back first, pressing his forehead against Raito's, eyes closed, "You're here."

Raito captured his lips again, prying them apart and tangling their tongues. The same electricity he felt whenever L and he shared a kiss was still there, thrumming through his veins with abandon. He smiled as he pulled away, pressing soft, nipping kisses upon L's cheeks and nose before taking a deep breath.

"L, I know I said it before, when I was Kira, but I really do –"

Pressing a finger to his lips to silence him, the detective raised misty obsidian orbs to Raito's, a soft smirk dancing over his lips, "I know, Raito-kun. I believe you." His fingers shook as he traced them over the brunette's eyes, "I believe you. This isn't a dream. I'm dead; you're dead. But we're together. This isn't a dream."

Raito closed his eyes and smiled, "Don't let me go."

He felt him grin; chocolate orbs fluttered open to watch that pallid face light up and a small laugh escaped those pale lips, "Don't let me go."


A/N: And so it ends. I hope you enjoyed Abyssal Heart. I thank all of you who have read and left a review.