Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note, Matsuda, Sayu or the 1sentence challenge. Or livejournal.

Note: Written using the 1sentence prompts from the lj community. I haven't entered, but I might - unless I have to write a whole new set of these, in which case, no. But it was fun. I started off wanting to make it really angsty. Then I wanted to make it really fluffy. And I think, I think, I ended up striking a nice balance. But that, of course, is up to the readers.


Something Like Grace

01 - Comfort

Sayu isn't aware of much, not the changes in the weather or the myriad of words being thrown at her, but she does register one, frequent presence, and because it seems almost as uncertain of things as she is, it makes her feel just a little bit less alone.

02 - Kiss

They never really had a first kiss - it was more of a collection of incidents where one of them caught the other unawares - so one night when they're watching a movie, Matsuda declares he's going to kiss her, and from there, things just seemed to keep going.

03 - Soft

The doorbell's going and Sayu rolls over and mumbles into Matsuda's chest that he should go and answer it, and he mumbles back that it's too cold, so he pushes him out of bed and tells him, with a sleepy smile, to stop being so soft.

04 - Pain

After everything has come to a close and the curtains have finally been drawn over the bodies, Matsuda knows better than to describe what he's feeling as pain, but when sees Sayu sitting quietly by the window, so far out of anyone's reach, he thinks it might be the only word for it.

05 - Potatoes

"I don't see why I have to do all this," Matsuda says, brandishing the potato he's been peeling, and Sayu tosses a piece of the peel at him and tells him she's seen the state of his fridge, and he's learning to cook one way or another.

06 - Rain

Matsuda notices that when it's bright, Sayu likes to stay inside, but when the world is drowning she likes to sit by the window and watch, and after a while he starts to sit with her, taking comfort from the fact that she never seems to want him to leave.

07 - Chocolate

She can't look at chocolate without getting the same, glassy look on her face that it took him two years to break through, and she won't eat sweets, so Matsuda learns to bake.

08 - Happiness

There are too many people dead for this to be happiness, they tell themselves, but as fingers close round each other and lips shyly meet, they wonder if they can bring it somewhere close.

09 - Telephone

Sayu won't answer the telephone and Matsuda's not sure why, until he remembers that they hadn't had time to tell them about the Chief's death in person, and starts asking people to only call him on his cell phone.

10 - Ears

When Matsuda wakes up in the middle of the night he thinks he can hear gunshots, so Sayu leans over him and talks into his ear, quietly, reassuringly, until her voice drowns it out.

11 - Name

As an unspoken rule, there are things that are only mentioned on certain days and after nightmares, and Matsuda wonders if names are ever going to stop being taboo.

12 - Sensual

Matsuda couldn't pinpoint the moment when things changed from desperation and need to passion and affection, but suddenly things have gotten a lot calmer, and they can just lie together for hours, enjoying the feel of skin and lips on skin.

13 - Death

Neither of them would ever say something as stupid as 'I couldn't live without you', because they've both felt that way before, and they both know they can.

14 - Sex

For a long time they're only intimate when they feel their worst, and they wind up panting and exhausted - one wrapped in guilt and the other in emptiness - and they don't know how they've ended up here, but everything they've been through has tied them together more tightly than sex or love ever could have.

15 - Touch

Sayu reaches up and wraps her fingers around the hand of the man next to her, and she's not sure if he's the same one as before, but when he squeezes her hand back, she's pretty sure he is.

16 - Weakness

After sitting down for most of two years, Sayu can barely walk, but she's learning, and she's practicing, and when Matsuda takes her for a walk in the forest and she has to lean on him, she doesn't care so much about the weakness in her legs.

17 - Tears

For a while, they tried to create a fake, perfect world to block out their histories, but when the tears became too numerous and too large, it came crashing down and they were left, shivering and vulnerable, with only each other to cling to, so they clung on for dear life.

18 - Speed

Matsuda's job means that some days all he can do is sit and think, and others he doesn't have the time to load another round, let alone think - but Sayu remains constant, unfazed by the changes in velocity, and it gives him a way to steady himself, to pull himself back and keep himself sane.

19 - Wind

Maybe neither of them thought this was where they'd end up, but when the winds are howling and a storm is raging, and the world is louder than ever, it's a safe harbour and they're both glad that they're not the only one there.

20 - Freedom

Sayu wonders if 'ironic' is the right word to describe it, when, after months of begging, she is finally let out of the house on her own - and she keeps feeling lopsided without Matsuda following around after her.

21 - Life

After a while Sayu feels strong enough to go out, and when her mother is busy, Matsuda takes her, so it's in those moments when they're alone and he's grabbing her hand as they cross the street that she realises she was better off waking up and coming back to all this, after all.

22 - Jealousy

Sayu sometimes thinks that one of the reasons she's so determined to keep Matsuda is that maybe, through him, she can pull back some of the time she lost with her dad and Light - time Matsuda got with them instead.

23 - Hands

Matsuda can't get the lights on the tree properly, but he's damned if he's going to let Sayu do it for him so he keeps on trying, ending up with his hands completely tangled in wires and pine needles, and she rolls her eyes and starts untying them, asking him if he has to do this every Christmas.

24 - Taste

Grief is a powerful thing, but eventually the taste of it on both of them fades, and turns into something sweeter, sharper, and even more lasting.

25 - Devotion

Matsuda visits Sayu, he helps her mother clean up the house, does all the jobs she can't quite manage with a passion verging on religious fervour, and gradually, the girl in the wheelchair starts to notice him.

26 - Forever

Once upon a time they were the kind who'd exchange platitudes about staying together forever, but now they're older, wiser and a little more tired, and they only promise each other the rest of the night, and whatever they have left to give.

27 - Blood

One night when he's lying next to her, he can hear her heart pumping blood around her body, and when he thinks of how easily that could have been stopped - by a bullet, by a pen - he pulls her close and presses his lips to her neck.

28 - Sickness

She has a cold, and he's worrying about it far too much, so Sayu laughs and asks Matsuda if this is what he was like when she was in the wheelchair, and the cop blushes and stammers out a yes.

29 - Melody

Matsuda's singing in the shower and Sayu can't stop herself from laughing, so he pokes his head out, confused - she tells him he's out of tune and he looks hurt, so she grins and moves over to make it up to him.

30 - Star

Sayu never believed in wishes coming true, but Matsuda's so insistent on her making one that she closes her eyes and humours him, and a second later he's kissed her, so maybe there's something to wishing after all.

31 - Home

Sayu notices that she seems to be in the same place a lot, and a woman with short hair tells her this is home, but it's not until, many months after, she wakes up next to a clumsy detective that she really understands what the word means.

32 - Confusion

The first time she wakes up she is not sure where she is or who she is, but the comforting presence is there and she can put a face to the feeling - youthful, a ruffled mop of dark hair, wide, brown eyes - and she smiles faintly, before dropping back into the dream.

33 - Fear

Sayu has nightmares but she knows Matsuda's are worse, because she doesn't wake up shaking and screaming, and she wonders what has done this to him, but she never asks - she just wraps her arms around him, lets him cry and moan, and lets him know she's there for him.

34 - Lightning/Thunder

When the world is crackling and thundering around him and his memories are more powerful than any amount of alcohol, she's there, kissing him, unbuttoning his shirt, murmuring his name, and he clings onto her, because she's solid and she's safe and she can save him.

35 - Bonds

Three years to the day and they're at the grave site, and she cries because she can't even remember his funeral - so Matsuda holds her hand and listens to her, and doesn't care if she sounds crazy or over-emotional, because he's been there too.

36 - Market

Matsuda realised too late that he didn't find out which fruits Sayu wanted him to get her, so he settled for buying some of everything, and awkwardly trying to explain his reasoning when she gaped at the five bags he'd brought back with him.

37 - Technology

As the man of the house, Matsuda insists he has to do the technical stuff, and Sayu pretends that she doesn't hear him whispering over the phone to Ide, begging for instructions on how to fix the TV, and idly flips through the phone book for their usual repairman's number.

38 - Gift

Matsuda thinks about proposing to her, but he's not sure if that's how their relationships works, and he's never seen her wear rings, so he sighs and buys her a puppy for her birthday instead.

39 - Smile

Sometimes, usually when Ide comes round, Matsuda protests that he's not the immature one in their relationship, and she's younger, after all, so she sends him a sweet smile and tells him to put his toys back in the pram.

40 - Innocence

Matsuda can feel that Sayu is beginning to wake up from her years-long dream, and he feels a sharp pang of regret - the world she has been drifting in is going to be shattered and smeared with the blood of the dead, and the memories of things she would have been better off forgetting.

41 - Completion

He's just finished buying everything he thinks the puppy will need when he remembers that there's something he's never said to Sayu, and in a burst of inspiration, ties a note saying "I love you" to the animal's collar.

42 - Clouds

She's usually awake these days, usually responsive, and he wants to get close to her but he knows that parts of her still shrouded and lost, so he hangs back like an awkward teenager, until she tilts her head and smiles, and asks him what his name is.

43 - Sky

They spend hours talking and it starts to get dark, but it isn't cold yet, even though they're so far outside, and she falls asleep with her head on his chest and his hand in her hair, with the sky sparkling above them.

44 - Heaven

The rest of her life seems a long time to wait to see her dad and brother again, but with Matsuda next to her, Sayu feels that perhaps she can wait it out.

45 - Hell

Waking up is an explosion of noise and misery and emptiness, so she retreats back into the fuzziness of her dreams, blocking out the screaming world outside, but it blocks out the dark-haired man who visits too much, too, and even her dreams begin to seem empty.

46 - Sun

"Sunny days mean you can't stay inside", Sayu tells him matter-of-factly, so he drives her to the park and they spend the day tossing bread to ducks and eating ice-cream, and just as they're heading back, she plants a cold kiss on his cheek.

47 - Moon

They dispensed with romantic gestures when they realised that they didn't have anything left to prove to each other, but sometimes Matsuda still drags her outside to dance in the moonlight, and no matter how many times Sayu rolls her eyes, she enjoys it, too.

48 - Waves

Every time he thinks she's coming out of it, something else will happen - someone will mention Light or she'll remember she used to have a dad - and the waves lapping against the boat will turn it over, then she's drowning again, and he doesn't know how to rescue her.

49 - Hair

Matsuda curses dogs, cats and anything else that sheds, but most of all he curses the puppy that leaves its hairs smugly on his pillow, until he sees Sayu giggling and playing tug-of-war with it, and then he thinks it's the best thing he's ever bought.

50 - Supernova

In the end it was something as simple as Sayu that drove off the guilt and the depression, that turned his loneliness into something explosive and life-changing, and sent sparks of hope for the future exploding through space, and Matsuda puts an arm around her as the New Year's fireworks crackle into the endlessness above them.