Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note. I don't own any self control. Lyrics are Blink 182.

Note: Aw, man, I did it again. This is another In Passing chapter that went that little bit too far on, that I wanted to make a one shot all on its own. Dammit why do I keep DOING this. But yeah I really don't write shinigamis enough so here we go :D Elaborate title is elaborate.

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In The Land Where Death Lays Slain

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Fate fell short this time
Your smile fades in the summer
Place your hand in mine
I'll leave when I wanna

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Rem watched Misa a lot at first, drifting behind her, caught in her wake of laughter and starshine. An unusual life for a shinigami, she had to admit – following something this bright, this vibrant, this beautiful. The creatures of the realm of the dead were not used to such vivacity, such verve and sparkle. In fact, Rem had mused, in those early days, there was almost something insulting about it, it seemed to throw the shinigami attitude aside, abandon it as useless and boring. The stark contrast of the barren, barren landscape Rem had left behind and this cluttered little bedroom, and the blonde mane of Misa's hair...

Rem thought, back then, when they had known each other only a little time, that she could understand what Gelus had seen in her, even if it was completely absurd.

A little while later (for a shinigami, anyway, because in that realm where death is something that happens to other people, time doesn't mean all that much until you're running out of it) Misa is bound and gagged and tied to a chair and she's silent and so, so brave, and Rem finds herself wanting to step forward, to embrace her, to promise her that this is going to be alright.

She cannot.

She does not.

She remembers seeing the men charge forward, wrestling Misa away from her manager, heavy masks on their heads – helmets, she thinks the humans call them. Misa struggles, she screams, she opens her mouth and she calls out for Light –

Not Rem. Light. Light, who she has known for mere days, who has never promised to save her life, who has never crossed a bridge between reality and unreality to press a slender black-bound notebook into her hands.

Rem knows that it is stupid to become emotionally invested in a human. She knows that Misa's particular brand of naivety and child-like glamour has already pulled one of the never-dying to their doom, she remembers the fumbling, broken desperation of Gelus scribbling the stalker's name in his notebook, his final, strained glance down into the human world, seeing that Misa was alright, even as non-existence started to eat at his limbs.

He glittered when he died. Rem doesn't think she'd glitter, or decompose that way, either. She'd just cease, she thinks, and falls to the ground in a cloud of dust.

Misa wants to give up the Death Note and Rem doesn't know why that makes something in her chest twist and ache. But it's a rule, and so she leaves, each footfall taking her further, further from Misa, stretching the distance between them.

It's not a distance that can be breached, Rem knows, but in that moment she's sure that if she just goes back

Rules are rules.

Time passes, and Rem sees Misa very little. It makes her think that what she's been feeling, this growing unease in the pit of her empty stomach, that it was all just a little bit absurd. Like Gelus, she'd been caught up in the girl's sparkle and charm, but she was smarter than Gelus. And Gelus had watched her, all the time, every day, but Rem, she was getting a break – letting that little flicker of a flame die out, dwindle, starved of oxygen. And then, Misa steps in front of Higuchi at Yotsuba, and it's like a door has been thrown open and air rushes into the little room where the flame lives, and it's flared into life, blazing, uncomfortable and foreign and Rem realises that being smart has nothing to with it.

Now Light Yagami is pulling the strings and it is out of her hands. Rem believes that Yagami will bring Misa nothing but trouble, and she wants to make her see this, but Misa won't have it. She treated Rem like an overbearing parent when she said it before, with a 'tch' and a 'oh Rem, you worry too much, Light makes me happy'.

And Rem can't see it at all. Can't see the attraction in this boy, moulded of steel and porcelain skin. He seems so uninitiated to her, so bloated on his own success (thanks to an instrument of shinigami lore, by the way, she cannot help but add in her mind) after doing nothing but sitting at home and writing in a book and simply thinking he was better than everyone else.

Light Yagami is good at using people, Rem decides, and that is what scares her the most, because Misa has no idea that he is using her.

One day, Rem thinks sourly, one day he'll get his baptismal by fire – forced to step up, forced to face defeat and humiliation and then, Light Yagami, we'll see how strong and beautiful you really are.

She can remember the look in Ryuk's eye, once, when the three of them were together in the forest. Ryuk was playing his goofball card, confused as ever with the intricate workings of the notebook's rules. But Rem knew better, and there was that glint in the yellow orbs, that Rem knew well.

Light, it said, one day I'm going to kill you.

Because that was the bond between the shinigami and its human – to be the hand that drops the guillotine, the pen that writes the name. And in a little part of her, she would be relieved if Light Yagami killed her. Only a small part, mind you, because at the end of the day she'd still be dead and Misa would have no one to protect her, but in that litte part...

In that little part, Rem is honest. In that little part, Rem knows that if she raised her arm to write 'Misa Amane' in her Death Note, then she would rather turn to sand and rust and other such things, thrown herself into oblivion before staining the page with Misa's blood.

So Rem knows, really, that it's not Light Yagami, but Misa, that will be the death of her. Even if Yagami had never even met her, never passed by that day in Aoyama, the bond between Rem and Misa would still stand.

One day, she would be called on to claim Misa's life. Rules are rules, after all.

But it's another thing that Rem cannot do.

So when Light's eyes flash and the messy-haired detective figure with the strange name is issuing commands, Rem doesn't mind so much, as she floats through the wall and into the room with the old man called Quillish Wammy.

Death is coming one way or another, and it may as well be today.

In the end, she does glitter, and maybe it's love that does it. Maybe it's just Misa.

Rem doesn't know.