Justice and Death
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Summary: "We're all given the jobs we do best. Thus, I am Justice and you are Death."
Rotting flesh and old blood. Corpses—their stench filled the air. Most gods of death had no noses, and therefore did not care about the odor. Those that did have a sense of smell were not bothered either, because it was a welcome scent, one they associated with their homeworld. Only the youngest of the shinigami ever complained, and most of them came to tolerate it sooner or later.
Ryuk flapped his wings, scattering black feathers throughout the muggy air. He stared at the world below, peering at the sharp rocks and the bloodsoaked ground. He could see many of his fellow shinigami gambling and sleeping.
A splash of color at the peak of a mountain caught Ryuk's attention. His grin widened.
"Hey, Light!" Ryuk swooped toward the ground, flapping his wings a couple of times before landing. He looked rather like an oversized crow as he hobbled toward the crouching figure. "He's back."
There was a growl of annoyance.
"Tell him to go away. I don't want to see him."
"Aww, come on. He came all the way here to see you!" Ryuk said cheerfully, happy to annoy the other shinigami. There was another moment of pause, and then Light let out a resigned sigh. Pages rustled loudly as a small, black notebook was closed and set to the side. "Hyuk, hyuk... I'll just leave you two alone, then."
Ryuk wobbled off, chuckling to himself.
A few minutes passed. The wind blew dust around the flat surface of the mountaintop. Then, suddenly, there was a new presence—Light was no longer alone at the mountain's peak.
"Don't you have anyone else to bother?" Light asked sulkily.
The young man standing behind him laughed faintly, his shoulders shaking. He looked completely out of place in the realm of the shinigami. He wore a baggy shirt and faded blue jeans, and longish black hair was tossed around his head, its lack of style giving him the endearing look of having just woken up. He had one hand in his pocket, the other dangling at his side. His body glowed with soft, pure light.
"I thought I'd come see you, " the young man said amiably. He moved up beside Light and crouched down next to him, pouting a little when he saw the skull mask covering Light's face. He took the edge of the mask and pushed it so that it hung off the side of Light's head. "You should get a mirror and see yourself. You look just like me right now."
Light turned his head, glaring through his bangs. Behind his mask, he looked much the same as he had when he was human. His dark blond hair was neat and smooth, and he wore a heavy brown coat over his pressed trousers and shirt. He looked professional and all too serious; by contrast, the young man crouching just inches to his left had the warm, approachable appearance of an angel.
"The joke is not appreciated, L."
"I wasn't making a joke, Light-kun. It was merely an observation."
"I don't want to be observed, I want to be left in peace."
L plucked up Light's notebook with his thumb and index finger. He stared at the small, cramped kanji that filled the first few pages and sighed quietly. "This is hardly what I would call peaceful."
"Your idea of peace is strawberry shortcake and sugar cookies."
"Now, now. Don't sell me short. I also like plum blossoms and hot cocoa." Light scowled and grabbed his notebook, opening it so viciously he almost tore the pages. L chuckled.
"Come, Light-kun, you should try to cheer up. Why don't we go to the human world and play some tennis?" Light gave him a scathing look, and L raised his hands in placation.
"Why don't you just go back to heaven or wherever it is you came from?"
"I was going to the human world anyway. I just thought maybe you would like to come with me." Light ruffled the pages of his book and picked up his odd, charcoal-like pencil. His hand was splattered with dark red stains—a manifestation of the crimes he had committed during life.
"I have names to write," Light said dismissively. He peered at a hole in the ground, his brown eyes becoming red and luminous as he willed it to show him the human world.
L peered at Light over his knees. The hole in the ground remained stubbornly blank.
"Do you really? As far as I can tell, you haven't written much in that notebook." Light glanced up, the red in his eyes dimming a tiny bit. The young man poked his own lip with his finger, looking absurdly cute as he stared at the shinigami. "You've had that notebook for years now, and it's not even halfway full. You can't be writing more than a name or two a month."
"What business is it of yours?" Light snarled. L blinked innocently.
"Well, none really. I just thought that there was a reason you were made a shinigami." L leaned forward, poking the hole in the ground with a long, slender finger. It rippled and showed the image of a small boy being bullied by his classmates. "Ah, again? I've been keeping an eye on this one. It seems like wherever he goes, someone is there to hurt him. It gives me plenty to do."
Light scowled as L pulled out a pen and a golden book from seemingly nowhere.
"They didn't make you Justice for nothing," Light bit out jealously.
"No, they didn't. But we're all given the jobs we do best. Thus, I am Justice and you are Death." L stood and offered his hand to Light. "Are you sure you don't want to come with me? We can play after I'm done."
"Hm. Okay, that works too." L dropped his hand and gave Light a quick kiss on the mouth. Light cringed and wiped at his lips furiously.
Just as suddenly as he had appeared, L popped out of the shinigami realm. Light frowned, staring at his black Deathnote. He hadn't added a new name in two weeks. He just had no reason to do so. He didn't even want to write the names of criminals, not when he knew Justice was looking after the human world.
Light watched the image in the ground. L had appeared behind the young boy with his notebook in one hand and pen in the other. The hand that held the pen was raised to his face, one finger smooshing his lip to the side. The god of justice considered the scene with his large, watchful gray eyes and finally scribbled something down in his book.
Just as the bullies raised their fists to punch the boy, the dean of the school and two teachers rounded the corner. Light knew the bullies would probably be put in detention and grounded by their parents; those were the sorts of punishments L gave as Justice.
As if sensing Light's thoughts, the image flickered to show a close-up of L's face. He was a striking mix of dark and pale, freakish and handsome. And Light had noticed long ago that there was not a single spot of red on him.
Light's life as a human had ended five years ago. He had died alone and friendless...at least, that was what he had thought. But as he had breathed out his last breath, he had seen L watching over him. Since then, L had been his devoted companion. He visited Light in his rotten realm every day. He brought sweets along with him and tried to convince Light to eat them with him. This new ritual of kissing had started only a few weeks ago.
Light touched his lips, brushing his fingers over them wistfully. Then he frowned, gripped the edge of his mask, and pulled it back over his face. Just as he did so, Ryuk landed on the mountaintop and grinned at him, taking a large bite of a sandy apple.
"So, what did he have to say?"
"Oh, no declarations of love yet?" Light scowled behind his mask, and Ryuk chuckled.
"Well, at least you could get out of here, right? All you have to do is kill someone for the one you love, and you'll die. I've heard that shinigami who do that can actually go to heaven!"
Light's eyebrow twitched.
"Let's go get some apples, Ryuk," he said abruptly.
"Ooh, in the human world?" Ryuk tossed his apple away. "See, this is why I hang out with you!"
"I know, I know." If Light hadn't been wearing his mask, Ryuk might have been able to see that apples were not the only reason Light wanted to go to the human world. A tennis match, a slice of shortcake, and the chance to see real Justice in the human world… This might not be so bad.
A/N: I know they said that all that happens after death is MU, but... Well, I thought that was bullshit. I liked the idea that anyone who used a Deathnote would become a shinigami after death, so this is what came of it. My sister suggested the idea that Light would be stuck in the shinigami realm until he learned to love someone more than himself, and we all know how likely that is. But as you can see, L is working hard to help his friend out of his horrible fate.