This story started out as a fanmix about the how Sachiko and Soichiro negotiate their enduring, though at times rather difficult relationship. It was inspired by a lot of music, though it's not a songfic since I edited the lyrics out. So what this is is a series of connected drabbles, each inspired by a different song. I hope you enjoy it!

Warnings: A non-graphic sex scene, and some mid-series spoilers.

I'm Not Here, You're Not Here

By SunMoonAndSpoon

She sits watching her boyfriend be ridiculous, playing an impossibly bad solo on his dysfunctional guitar. He's singing sap in hopes of screwing her, it's sweet and she's giggling, Soichiro's crazy if he thinks she needs convincing. "You have no idea how to play that thing," she says, wrapping legs around his waist in front of everyone. All his friends, all her friends, they're at a party making out. Showing off, okay. They're insane, this is great, the drunken hoarde's joined in on the singing.

"Sachiko," Soichiro says, stopping the guitar for a second, grabbing her hand. "Sachiko, darling sweetie baby, will you marry me?"

She throws her head back, laughs and says of course of course but he is so drunk, he's never going to remember this but yes. The bar breaks out in hallelujahs, the air is thick with the joy of the future and the vague, nagging knowledge that it will never get better than this.

Work takes it out of him. It's hard to come home every night, bones aching and consciousness scarred. Hard to see that sweetness sitting on his couch, in his bed, in his arms every night and god she's perfect. And she loves him, says so every time he doubts humanity, the existence of love in the world.

Work brings screaming terror into a life that was once peaceful, but it's easier out there than with the warmth of her. He will taint her with the things he knows, and when the baby comes he'll taint him too. Sachiko needs him here and he can't be.

Sachiko sits reading endless stories to the children, it's late and she's tired but they're staying up to wait for Daddy. They can't be talked out of it, they haven't seen him in days and she's sensed his presence for mere moments in bed. He is not home, he has priorities and obligations that do not involve the woman he loves or the children he brought into this world. They don't understand and she does, she bows her head and tries to tell her babies that they just don't mean as much as everybody else does.

It's night and it's dark and the children are sleeping, Soichiro's home for once and Sachi's sexed-up, wanting it and wanting him and wanting him inside her. She pulls him in, wraps her legs around his waist and attacks him, sinks her tongue into his face. "I love you," she says when she breaks for air, and he agrees, says yes he loves her too and it's wonderful to finally have time for her. "It doesn't matter," she says, "don't talk about work, don't talk about time, just focus on what's happening right now." She kisses him again, soaks him into her skin and tears his shirt off. "I deserve this after waiting so long. Let's make some more beautiful genius babies together."

He's still not home and she's expecting it, she doesn't care. It's been so long she wouldn't know what to say to him, she's used to solitude and silence late at night. In her head she lives all by herself, the kids are here but they're quiet. They keep to themselves now that they're older. They'll leave soon enough and then she'll never see a soul but that's fine. She's fine. It'll never change and Sachi can handle it this way.

"Lets go out tonight," Soichiro says, cell phone wedged between his neck and shoulder. "I might be able to get out of work early today, and it's been ages since we've done anything. Aizawa was telling me about a restaurant he went to called Soukyuu…it's supposed to be good, and it's cheap enough, so would you like to check it out? Call me back and let me know, okay Sachiko?" And he ends the call, clicks it off and gets called in to for an international conference. The famous L intends to speak to them, he forgets all about his plans. When Sachi calls back he says "listen, I'm sorry, I just can't. I have work."

Every morning Sachiko sees her daughter flounce out the door, pretty and thin and looking just like she did at her age. She's proud of spawning something so lithe and lovely, but pride doesn't prevail, not really. Instead she's jealous, wishing she were still that beautiful, that young and that able to change things. She will never find anyone else but Soichiro. She loved him once and he treats her well, but he hasn't been a husband to her, it makes sense with his work and all, but this is a marriage, they haven't had sex in months. But there's no one else and she'll keep saying she loves him, coax the kernel of feeling she still has into something real.

"We've known from the beginning that this case is dangerous. People have died. It may be too late to back out at this point, but consider it. Think about yourselves and think about your families. We are all targets. So please consider this carefully and come back to me." Soichiro says this knowing that there's no way anybody's leaving, it's just a test to ensure the taskforce's loyalty. Ryuzaki would have approved. He knows they'll never quit but he wishes Aizawa would, that he'd protect his wife and kids because then at least someone's family will stay safe. His own daughter's missing, his wife could be next and Light's leading this. He's crazed over Sayu, Sachiko wants to kill him and he'll probably quit or kill himself if something happens to her too.

It shouldn't matter so much. He's supposed to be professional. But it does.

He has a three-hour break, a reward and a reprieve for bringing Sayu safely home. And he's sure that for this his wife will leave him, he has brought her back but the fact that she's been put through this is more than enough. Their son has already been lost to this, sucked into the Kira case, accused and ruined and Sachiko doesn't know but she senses it. Every word she says makes him think that she will leave him, he avoids her and he stays at work but here's this three hour break. He's at home. And he finally says it.

"No," Sachiko says, small hand stroking his large one. "No I'm not going to leave you. I've stuck it out this long, and I love you, so I won't. Don't worry about it; just get us out of here. Please."

"Your husband was killed," says a voice like hornets and white noise, a hand's on her shoulder and she shrugs it away, whoever this is has got no right to touch her. They are lying. He's working still, an automaton far away from her, but no, God no, he isn't dead. "He was shot," the voice says and no, no, no, she will not accept this NO!

But she does. She has no choice because she's not insane, she's stuck in reality whatever she may want. All she can do is gather her memories, gather her strength, prepare for a funeral and pray that the voice has lied.

Nana: Well I hope that was to your liking. For those of you reading Kids, don't worry, this isn't taking time away from that! I had this written out a long time ago, I just did some editing and formatting, that's all. So yes, please leave a review and have a nice day!