Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note.
Author's Notes:The last chapter... The first part of this chapter is mostly to show how much Rylie and L appreciate each other and how they usually treat one another. it's nothing specific, actually it's a bit random. Be warned the second half of this will be sad, though happy at the same time. Since this is an LxOC story, this last chapter will focus mainly on the two of them. If I do make a sequel, it will be taking place after the death of Kira... the second part of this one is pretty much the end.
TO ALL OF MY REVIEWERS: As corny as I'm expecting this to sound, I'm saying it anyway. You guys have really opened up a completely new world to me. I have always enjoyed writing, though I never felt that I had what it took to really make it into something I could do possibly for a living one day. Now that I've written this story and it got such praise that I had NEVER expected, I feel like I'm one step closer to doing what I love the most. The fact that some of you even wrote and said I inspired you to write your own stories is just really an amazing feeling. It's like a circle I suppose. I wrote the first chapter, and with you guys reviews, I was encouraged to write another, and another and another... Then you write a story that I'm drawn into, and hopefully I will be able to encourage someone else to continue as well.. How cool is that?! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Well, to all of you who encouraged me on to finish this story, I couldn't thank you enough. I'm glad you all voted that I keep with it for the long run, and I hope the ending touches you as much as it touched me while writing it.. :) Is it natural that I'm crying because of a story?? That doesn't feel normal! :( Gah! I'm such a nerd!
Please share your thoughts on the overall story when you finish reading this chapter. I would LOVE to hear everyone's thoughts.
Now that I'm done with what felt like a speech, I hope you all enjoy the last chapter of Before I Fade...
CHAPTER FORTY SEVEN
AFTER I FADE
"What are you doing?!" Rylie asked, covering her mouth with her small hand to keep her laughter at bay from the sight she was seeing.
It was nighttime, just past six thirty on October 31. Lawliet was wrapping up things in the office to come and help Rylie get Watari and the twins in their costumes.
Lawliet turned to her, grinning at how cute she looked with that belly of hers just barely showing her early stages of pregnancy in relation to her tiny figure in a soft pink baby doll top and dark denim jeans. Her hair was pulled back and her face, framed by a few stray chestnut strands, lit up extra sweetly, kissed by a touch of crimson in her cheeks. Even her eyes seemed a slightly brighter green when she was pregnant. He briefly wondered if that was why he kept encouraging her pregnancies by... well, encouraging them.
His eyes trailed down from his slouched form at two silly little girls grasping his ankles and giggling relentlessly. He took two very large footsteps forward, his hands remaining tucked securely in his pockets as the two little monsters squealed in delight. Rylie chuckled at them humorously, placing a delicate hand over her pink lips.
"It seems I'm sweeping!" The adorable detective told his wife humorously.
Rylie placed a finger on her chin, lifting her eyes towards the ceiling.
"Ah! I see. Well the hallway needs a bit of dusting off too. Could you drag them to their room for me baby?"
Every and Echo screamed in delight as their father continued dragging them along, following Rylie as she made her way towards Watari's room.
Lawliet stared at his wife through a curtain of black messy hair and smiled, the sound of the two girls laughter like medicine to his, once, very lonely soul. A time so far away that it felt like several lifetimes ago. He then looked over his shoulder and down towards the floor at the two being dragged so playfully behind him.
"Perhaps we should inform your mother of how pretty she looks."
Rylie turned and smiled as the two girls began screaming.
"Thank you sweethearts!" She then averted her eyes up to her husband again. "You're teasing me Lawliet."
He retraced his eyes back over to her and his smile widened. She instantly detected a hint of mischievousness in his tone.
"You like it when I tease you love." He said sweetly as he walked up next to her. Never pulling his hand from his pockets, he leaned over towards her, placing a sweet kiss on her cheek.
"I suppose you got me there!" She laughed. "But, you can't sweet talk me yet Mr! There's a long night ahead for you."
Lawliet faked a rather convincing frown, and again, Rylie chuckled.
The moment they stepped into Watari's room, the two girls quickly let go of Lawliet's ankles, both scrambling over to their older brother who was reading a book on his bed. He turned to them and smiled.
"You want to read with me?"
They both instantly nodded in excitement, and Watari looked up at his parents with pleading eyes.
Rylie's eyes widened from his request. She was certain he would be excited about getting dressed more than reading, but she smiled nonetheless.
"Twenty minutes angels. I'll get our costumes ready first, and then we'll come and help you guys out okay?"
"OKAY!" The yelled in unison.
Lawliet and Rylie walked out the door, Watari continuing to watch them as his father grinned, leaning backwards so when his feet kept walking it looked to Watari as if his father were shrinking. The little boy laughed and Lawliet's head disappeared from the side of the door.
As they walked together, Lawliet pulled his hand from his pocket, taking Rylie's and weaving their fingers together tightly.
"I detect a 95 percent possibility that you have something planned love."
Rylie stared straight ahead, refusing to turn to him, a grin teasing the corners of her lips. Lawliet chuckled.
"Ah! I see. You are terribly gifted at keeping secrets." He teased.
She chuckled then, her head bowing towards the floor.
"I didn't say a word."
"In fact you did!" He corrected her, watching as her mouth dropped open from his accusation.
"Not five minutes ago, you informed me of the extended night I had awaiting me."
Through a smile, she rolled her eyes.
"Can't you forget anything?"
"Well yes, I suppose I'm capable... Though I choose not too for the most part."
Conceivably, she was right. It seemed he did remember everything, from her birthday, the kids birthday, their anniversary, every little thing in between, as well as how far his hand would have to travel down the small of her back until it reached the tips of her long hair. He always knew when it had grown just the slightest. This kind of memory made Rylie feel like she had Alzheimer's at times. It just didn't seem natural in comparison.
Rylie raised her head, faking a slight haughtiness as she squeezed his hand tightly.
"Besides baby, I was referring to the Halloween events of the night, nothing more."
He grinned, staring her down with his wide eyes to try and drag out her constant awkward smile when he knew she was not telling him the truth...
"Ah, yes I see."
And there was the smile...
It suddenly seemed to Lawliet that the closer they got to their bedroom, the quicker Rylie set her pace. What exactly was she trying to accomplish by walking faster than him when their hands were tied together?
Suddenly, she withdrew her hands from his, bolting inside their room. Lawliet ran after her, listening adoringly as a laughing Rylie ran into the bathroom connecting to their room. Quickly she shut the door, locking it before Lawliet had the chance to catch her.
He smiled humorously, placing his full palms against the door, and leaning in closer to listen in case her sounds could deceive her sneaky planning. After hearing her stumbling around, he concluded that she must be changing, and his face lit up.
"Suppose you need assistance with your costume dearest?"
"I don't, but thank you honey!" She replied in a teasing tone. She never called him "honey." Though she did call him "sugar" at times. He enjoyed that considering it seemed quite fitting.
Placing his index finger against his lips, he sighed.
"I see... What if I-"
"Yup! Thank you though baby!"
He chuckled again. His hands left the door, returning to his deep pockets as he shifted his legs to spin himself around. Strolling slowly over to the bed to sit and await his wife, he lifted a thumb to his lips, chewing on his nail anxiously.
Lawliet knew Rylie had something planned, for not only was it the biggest sugar high night of the year, but it was also his birthday... and he was thirty!
Perhaps she had strawberry shortcake on the agenda...
Lawliet's eyes lifted when he heard Rylie emerging from the bathroom, much sooner than he had assumed she would. She was adorned in a plain white, long sleeve shirt and oversize jeans. Lawliet smiled through his thumb when he took special notice of the three very large, colorful buttons down the front of her shirt. (colored paper that the kids had cut out for her.) She had put an entire bottle of gel in her long hair, making it stick out in all directions messily. Though according to Lawliet, it didn't hinder her beauty, rather it oddly it added to it.
She walked up to him slowly with her tiny hands engulfed in the deep pockets. When she reached him, she pulled out a small makeup bag, holding it in front of him temptingly.
"Considering your rather narrowed opinion of comfortable clothes, we are going to spruce up what you are already wearing." She explained happily as she showcased her wardrobe.
He chuckled, letting one foot fall to the ground and entangle the back of her leg to urge her closer.
"Is that so?"
Rylie's face lit up in a smile. She seemed utterly excited about something.
"I get to paint your face! We will be clowns!"
"And is it safe for me to assume that I get to paint yours in return?"
She nodded, a full out grin overwhelming her lips.
"Deal!" He exclaimed immediately, stealing the bag from Rylie's fingers.
She clapped her hands excitedly and hopped onto the bed beside him. Lawliet opened the bag, dipping two long fingers inside and pulling out the face paint... white, red, blue and black.
"Any particular look you're going for love?" He asked.
Rylie shook her head excitedly.
"Nope! Just go to town!"
He found that her excitement was quickly reflecting on him. It was quite infectious, and he suddenly couldn't wait to see his artwork displayed. He grinned childishly, dipping his index finger into the red color and lifting it to her scrunched up nose.
"Relax your face love."
Rylie's eyes trailed up to the ceiling as she straightened her nose, making Lawliet smile. She could see the delight in his large black eyes even when she wasn't looking at him. It felt good to know he was enjoying himself, even if he was quite possibly making her look ridiculous. She didn't mind.
"There is something I would like to speak with you about Rylie. It's best that it been done in private as well." He said as he finished with the color on her nose and moved to her cheeks.
He saw her green eyes fall back down to him adoringly, a hint of worry in them.
"Is something wrong?" She asked hesitantly.
His head tilted a bit to observe what he had accomplished so far, and he smiled, certain that even if it ended up a mess she would look adorable anyway.
"No. There is no need to worry. In fact, I believe you will find pleasure in what I have to say."
A smile passed over Rylie's lips and she firmly squeezed the hand he had steadying himself on the bed with her own.
He turned away from her then, pretending to keep a strait face, but failing exceedingly.
Rylie bit her lips in response to his teasing. Her excited and pleading eyes, impatiently waiting for him to open his mouth and tell her what he wished to say.
"What, what, what?!" She asked excitedly, nearly jumping up and down on the bed in suspense when his finger left her face to grab more color.
Lawliet chuckled, placing a hand on her shoulder in attempt to calm her down a bit.
"Should I be offended that you're more excited now than when I attempted proposing Rylie?"
She brought both hands to the sides of her face, and shook her head, attempting to ignore his teasing.
"AHHH! WHAT IS IT??"
God, he just loved this...
Lawliet casually lifted his hand from underneath hers, placing it annoyingly to the back of his head and scratching in between the thick strands slowly. Rylie's nose began to flare when his mouth opened widely, making her believe he was about to speak when he inhaled a deep yawn instead.
"I'm going to hit you." She warned in a deceivingly calm tone as she began painting his face as well, for time seemed to be running away with them.
He frowned, and she lifted a single eyebrow.
"Relax your face!"
He did as demanded without question.
"My love, I seem to recall you being quite patient when we first met."
"That's because I didn't know you!" She laughed, balling her hand into a fist and punching his arm. Lawliet chuckled, grabbing the area she hit and pretending that it hurt tremendously. "You're just trying to get a rise out of me now!"
Forcing his lips into a pout, Lawliet looked down at her with widened eyes.
"Good! I can make you a hobo!"
"It did not! What is it you have to tell me!?"
"Well now I don't want to tell you."
A grin teased Rylie's lips, as he brought his finger back up, attempting to draw thick black eyelashes above her eyes. It didn't work very well.
Rylie sighed. He found teasing her was quite enjoyable. Again, she was never cuter than when she was mad. She always knew she fueled his teasing herself, so instead of getting mad this time, she smiled. It was his birthday after all!
"Guess what I made today?" She teased, lifting her hand to Lawliet's nose, encouraging him to inhale the delectable scent.
Okay, he smelled cake! Not saying he didn't expect a cake on his birthday, but her hand somehow smelled extra delicious.
His large eyes widened in response. It was like strawberry shortcake but... sweeter! She knew the way to his heart was through cake!
"Your seductive skills are impeccable. Though I do not yield to bribery."
Rylie laughed whole-heartedly then.
"Ha! You'll fold. Just wait!"
Suddenly, the lights flickered. There was a silence that filled the Wammy's House as Carly's voice suddenly poured over the intercom, masked evilly with a witches laughter.
"Guess what time it is children... "
Rylie and Lawliet chuckled. Every year since Rylie and Carly had been put in charge of Halloween, they had gone all out. All the guardians hid themselves throughout the house, along with a bucket filled to the rim with candy. The halls were lit with lanterns, all the superficial lights turned out, and every child, whether they found the tradition ridiculous or not would end up having the time of their lives.
Carly flipped a switch and the album for "The Nighmare Before Christmas" was suddenly playing throughout the house.
Rylie squealed and jumped into Lawliet's arms, knocking him back against the bed. His arms flew around the small of her back and he laughed. She grasped her hands softly around his face and smiled at him sweetly, the smile only visible to him through the candle light. Her eyes trailed up and down his face as his hand softly grazed her cheek.
"I don't need a surprise Lawliet. It's your birthday, not mine."
"Since when do I need a specific date to indulge my wife?"
She smiled again, pressing her lips sweetly to his. His fingers entangled in her stiffened hair causing him to chuckle against her lips before she pulled away.
"I had Quillish Wammy's name engraved on a stone in the garden with our kids hand prints surrounding it. When this one is born, his hand print can join them."
Lawliet smiled sweetly, knowing Quillish was delighted by this wherever he was. His eyes closed softly as his fingers brushed her painted face.
"I love you." He said softly as he kissed her again, sweetly rubbing his nose against hers in attempt to mess up their artwork.
Rylie squirmed playfully, returning sweet kisses all over his face, from his forehead, to his cheeks, to his eyelids.
"I love you too Lawliet."
"I seem to recall you mentioning something to me a few years back, a request that I shamefully have yet to fulfill."
Rylie grinned, hearing the sudden knocking on the door and the screaming of their three children to hurry up. Just when he had lost her attention, he decided it was the best time to speak..
"I have a helicopter waiting outside to take us to Tokyo Disneyland for a week after we get our fill of candy."
Every year, Rylie asked Lawliet to build a haunted house in the back of Wammy's. Every year he would take her through and watch as she squealed and screamed, jumping into his arms and hiding her face in his shoulder. Afterwards, not only would she laugh ridiculously loud at her own expense, but it seemed she enjoyed it to a degree that Lawliet never quite understood. Why be scared of something you know is fake? Still, she must have been a little disappointed when she couldn't go through it this year due to being pregnant... Therefore...
Rylie's eyes gradually widened as if she wasn't sure she had heard him correctly.
"Did you just say... Disneyland? Did you just say Tokyo, and did I hear you correctly when I heard 'tonight??'"
Lawliet smiled and nodded his head.
"Indeed you did love."
Finally she squealed, throwing her arms around her husband.
"You jerk! I can't believe you are taking us there tonight! What about the school?"
"They can handle themselves for a week, Rylie. I'm wanted else ware."
Rylie lifted her head, smiling endearingly at him as she wiped his black hair away from his large eyes.
"What about the crowds?"
"They will be ignored."
Hearing the children outside begin to pound of the door, Rylie quickly kissed him and jumped up. She could not stop laughing out of pure excitement.
"They are going to be THRILLED! What would I do without you baby?!" She exclaimed.
Lawliet joined in her laughter. He enjoyed nothing as much as he enjoyed pleasing her, for she always had the best reaction to his surprises. She turned the, before opening the door and smiled widely.
He would always remember that smile, peaking widely on her adorably smeared clown face. Her arms lifted carelessly in the air as she spun around in a full circle. She loved him more than life itself...
"Scratch that Lawliet!" Rylie exclaimed, watching as his large black eyes lifted to her happily."I would die without you!"
"Nonsense love! You will never be without me."
Life was far from perfect, they both knew that. Bad people existed everywhere and crimes continued to be committed. There was the occasional disagreement between Lawliet and Rylie, but considering how precious their time together was, it always ended with a kiss.
Through the years, children continued to be brought to Wammy's House, and the couple continued to care for them. Eventually their own children grew... all six of them. And their children soon had children of their own.
"You will be together always." Watari told his parents, somewhat strangely as his eyes focused just above both their heads. The first time he said that, he was five. The second time he said it, he was seven. It was at the Halloween party as he dressed in a costume his mother helped him make. A very familiar costume in fact.. one resembling Watari's favorite Shinigami. Ryuk probably got a few chuckles from that while in the Shinigami realm as he looked down on them. Again, Watari said it when he was nine. The third time he said that, he was sixteen... and the fourth time he said it... he was sad... and he was right...
Nearly thirty years passed, and neither Lawliet nor Rylie was oblivious to the fact that their time was coming to a very swift close.
At the age of fifty seven, Lawliet ironically suffered from a heart attack. From there, his health slowly failed and Rylie cared for him lovingly, until the day he passed away, three years later.
His last words.. "This isn't the last time my love."
The same words she spoke to him years earlier, the first time they were forced to part.
Although it was just a hunch, it was as if the great detective had known all along that this was true, and he was right once again. He had remembered Ryuk's hesitance in letting him write Rylie's name in the Death Note first when he sacrificed half of his remaining life to the Shinigami. Once again, the great detective solved the puzzle..
That very night, many family and friends had gathered to mourn with Rylie and her large family at Wammy's House. At the same time, Ryuk watched intently from the Shinigami realm, observing both heaven and the human world. From there he could see Lawliet, now restored to his young age, doing exactly as he had promised Rylie all those years ago... he waited, now knowing they would be together again, for the Death Note never stated this particular rule:
'Those who use the Death Note with the true intent of saving someone's life instead of taking it away, and therefore sacrificing part of their own life, have an assured place in heaven.'
Ryuk grunted to himself. It wasn't exactly a rule most Shinigami's took special notice of.
"And your hunch was correct L... Now you know why I wrote Rylie's name first..."
If Lawliet had written Rylie's name in the Death Note first, he would have caused her death, therefore rendering him to nothingness after his passing. Writing her name second, he caused her life... just as she did him.
The Shinigami's heart softened considerably as he waited for night to fall, waited for Rylie to curl up alone in their, now cold, bed. His eyes focused on the time remaining on her life span, and he knew she simply had another few, very painful hours ahead of her. They were intended to die on the same day.. Lawliet first, Rylie very soon after..
Just as she said, "I would die without you.."
She cried, gently touching the pillow on Lawliet's side of the bed, the pillow he rarely used except when he watched her sleeping.
"Goodnight baby..." She said, her voice shaky with tears, and a broken heart. "... You finally.. get some sleep..."
Her hands, thin and stained slightly by time, were trembling as she dug them into the sheets at her side. She could not feel Lawliet's eyes on her now, not in front of her, and his arms were not surrounding her, keeping her warm.
The time had come, and Ryuk pulled out his Death Note, flipping it to an empty page, and writing on a blank sheet...
"Rylie Shita... In forty seconds, dies painlessly as she sleeps.."
He stared at the page for a while. Grunting then, he closed the book, watching carefully. He smiled, knowing that since Rylie's natural life was so close to ending, no doubt from heartache from the thought of never seeing Lawliet again, he would not benefit from writing her name... but, he didn't mind.
Slowly, Rylie's tears subsided, and her eyelids became heavy. A warmth washed over her, causing her to smile. She could almost feel Lawliet's embrace as she allowed herself to drift into a gentle slumber.
"Hmm... Thanks for the apples."
... And Watari knew all along, for he had the gift of, not only Shinigami eyes, but Shinigami knowledge as well...
The grown man, now thirty seven years old, tilted his head towards his watch, seeing the minutes ticking by slowly. He looked up through his curtain of black untamed hair at a picture from their family photo album of the memorable trip to Disneyland the his father had planned with his mother in mind. Though they were intelligent, they both loved playing the child at times.
Watari smiled and looked up. His nieces and nephews played on the floor, along with other children from Wammy's House. Just like with everyone else, he could see their lifespans as well.
His green eyes fell closed softly.
"Every will see you in twenty seven years, Echo in fifty three..." He continued with a list of people, all family and friends, and all whose lifespan he had taken to memory. What a blessing, and what a curse it surely was. Just like his parents, never taking each other for granted, knowing there was only a short time they would be together, Watari felt this with everyone around him. "... and I will see you again too someday... mom and dad."
At that, Watari smiled.
"... Thank you Ryuk."
Just like that, the two of them were gone... but they were together.
Instead of the memorial held in L's honor many years earlier, with barely twenty people to witness, this one, held in memory of Lawliet and Rylie brought in well over 8,000 in attendance. Many were family and friends, a lot were those cared for lovingly at the orphanage, adults and children alike.
There wasn't a dry eye present as, one by one, many people spoke from the podium, including Misa, Mello, Matt, Matsuda, Carly, Near... and Light Yagami. They bid farewell to the greatest detective in the world that day, along with the woman who allowed him to be known as an even better person.. a happy person.
The world now new the name and face that belonged to "L."
Their love story was of great inspiration against the evil in the world. So many loved them, so many cared, and they would be greatly missed...
But in this dream, they would be together forever...
Lawliet greeted Rylie that night, in a so-called dream she never awakened from. The moment she opened her eyes, he was there, holding her as he would every morning when she woke up as if he had never passed away. It was a dream where they both appeared young again, and time stood still. A dream where Lawliet embraced Rylie as tightly as he could, and she held him back without fear of ever having to let go. A dream where they would be met by those they loved and lost, her father, mother, and Watari... and one day everyone else they left behind. In this place, pain, suffering and loneliness didn't exist and there were no fake names, no hidden identities. It was the ideal world Light Yagami... Kira had so desperately tried to achieve, and possibly could have experienced... if he had never picked up a Death Note.
'... Before I fade, and forever after... I love you...'