Author's Notes: All right. So I'm actually supposed to be working on some of my other stories on my... mile-long to-write list, but I got a sudden flash of inspiration and this little one-shot came out instead. Dedicated to Moonshine 369 like so many of my stories are these days, because it was her who suggested I write a Misa/Sayu story, even if I suppose this dark and angsty little piece isn't really what she had in mind. Oh, well. I do like yuri and I liked writing this, even if it's not my best work.

Warnings: dark, angsty, liberal interpretation of Misa (dark!Misa), non-graphic yuri, unbeta'd.

Pairing: Misa/Sayu

+ Funeral Dance +
+ A Misa/Sayu One-Shot +

She remembers that he once told her that right after funerals, you were supposed to have sex.

Misa didn't give it much thought then. Far more interested in the way his perfect auburn locks fell against his forehead and framed those amazing eyes, she only smiled and nodded. Often, she'd read about eyes you could drown in, but since meeting him, she has cast that notion away as a trite romance novel cliché just like so many other things her mind got corrupted by back then, huddled underneath the blanket and reading her mother's novels while the light from her bedside lamp cast a buttery glow on the pages. No, Light's eyes, Misa never drowned in - instead they splashed water on her with all their liveliness, sparkling in mischief only she had the privilege to understand.

The cheap bourbon burns down her throat and stomps down her breath as it sizzles to her stomach. She knows that Sayu doesn't like it when she drinks, but she never complains, not on the day she started and not now. Like all roads lead to Rome, all of Misa's thoughts, all of who she is, or rather what is left of her, lead back to that day. Like everything - all the pieces of who she is now - are blood red veins and that day a cruelly beating heart.

Misa looks at Sayu, traces the way her black hair spills around her head and against the white pillowcase with her eyes, sees how the cheap neon lights from outside cast a halo around her head and wreathe her limbs into a rosy nimbus. Outside she hears people cheering. Another day and with it comes another year; Misa dully thinks that living in 2011 felt a surprising lot like living in 2010 and three hundred and sixty-four days.

Outside, the celebration is going on in full force, with drunks bawling and people singing and screaming and laughing and living and dying and Misa remembers that once upon a time, she was one of then. When she first met Sayu, the blonde remembers, the girl said that Misa was almost ethereal in her cheerfulness, that she was like one of those people who saw the silver lining before they ever spotted the cloud. Misa snorts, actually snorts - something she would never have done back then - but it doesn't matter, not really, because she knows that his wasn't the only funeral she attended that day.

The noises from outside intensify, sloshing to a puddle in Misa's head. She crawls over to Sayu and runs a hand over the girl's cheek and for a moment, she's disgusted because it's way too soft, way too smooth, all wrong, but for some reason she doesn't stop and she keeps caressing, keeps feeling, running down over her cheek and tracing the soft (much too soft) line of her jaw, down to the neon-tinted skin of her chest that stretches tightly over her protruding collarbones. She's gotten thinner, Misa notices, but she doesn't care, not really, not when all those memories skate across the surface her memory just aching to find an entrance and flood her. Not when she's too busy grasping at her own sanity to worry about Sayu's.

It isn't love, Misa knows very well. Not now and not that day when she found out that he was right about sex after funeral, right like he always was about everything. The memory is hazy, blurred, like a theater through a rain-drenched window, but she does remember the light. She always does remember the light, doesn't she?

Said light in Sayu's room was soft and Misa remembers that it plunged the room into a feminine dream of pink and Hello Kitty that the ugly gremlins soaring in her chest shied away from, if only for a minute. She found out many things that day, some amusing (what? He was in love with Sayu's Barbie as a child?), others heartwarming (Oh yes, he never did have a girlfriend before her, did he?), but all of them pulled Misa's heartstrings into a million different directions. Misa was never much of a drinker - in fact, the times those college boys took her out for drinking when she was in high school, Misa was only really looking to fill the emptiness in her life with vapid compliments, only sought to drown out the noise by cramming in idle chatter she inevitably forgot the second she heard it. Back then, Misa didn't enjoy it, only sipped at her drink while trying to look cute and playing with her hair. That day, on that day, it was different; she drank because it seemed like a good idea at the time. And like most ideas that this spawns, it ended in utter chaos - because everything in life needs to be orderly, precise, needs a purpose. You do not do things because they seem like a good idea. Misa knows because he said so and she believes him.

But she supposes she isn't really the kind of girl to do what's best for her. Perhaps she never was.

She remembers little, but she does remember that the light of Sayu's lamp raced into her eyes as though trying to blind her as she started to sob uncontrollably, hot tears running down her face in salty streams. Then Sayu's soft embrace - all curves that gave way underneath Misa's palm - and telling her she was okay even though she, too, was sobbing as they clung to each other like two drowning people. Her face swam towards her as though drawn by an invisible string and it was much too close, way too close but then Misa's heart surged as she saw Sayu's eyes sparkling with intensity through the curtain of tears and they were like his, just larger, just a little different, but it was enough.

The kisses that followed tasted of salt and strawberry and the touches felt like whips and butterfly wings at the same time. She tackled Sayu to the floor, all nails and urgent tugging and need and emotion. Only Misa knows that she was tearing at her clothes as much as she was at the girl herself. She could feel the sorrow slipping away and Sayu was the spark that made her flare to life.

It was quiet after it all ended. They sat there huddled together, unsure of what to do, hands running over each other's bodies restlessly, as though trying to grasp and hold onto something that just had to be there, but wasn't.

Back then, she smiled that smile that wasn't really a smile much like she does now. If the tremble around her lips didn't already give it away, then the barrier in Misa's eyes surely would.

"Happy New Year," Misa sighs. Happy?

"Yes. You too, Misa."

The blonde girl settles on the floor and looks Sayu over, silently contemplating.

"Misa?" the girl asks again, putting one too small hand on her shoulder. "I've been thinking."

Misa sighs and puts her arms on the bed, cradling her head between them. "About what, I wonder."

"What we're doing..."

Ohdon'taskdon'taskthisdon'tdon't -

"Is it wrong?"

Misa groans quietly, feeling a migraine forming in her temples. "Don't ask me this. I'm Misa-Misa, remember? I don't know about these things." The irony slathers on thick and bitter.

Something on Sayu's face moves. "You don't love me." There is no accusation in this voice, but Misa can pick up on the pain lurking just underneath that careful layer of nonchalance that's being chipped away just a bit more every time they meet.

"Of course I do." Misa doesn't know why she says it, although she does know that she shouldn't. She peers up at Sayu from out of messy tresses of blonde hair and she sees the emotion flitter across her face, bright and alive and cutting through the darkness. Blonde hair flutters as she breathes up into it. "You're all I have left now." It isn't supposed to sound quite as sad and accusatory as it does, but she sees the hurt slither across Sayu's face and for a moment, her heart sinks and she wants to collect her in her arms and tell her she loves her and make it all better but -

"It's all right if you don't, Misa," Sayu says, voice small and sweet, belying the tremble that races through her body. "I'm not him."

Misa makes a face. "I know you're not."

"Do you really?"

"Yes, silly." Misa secretly enjoys the fact that the day has come on which she calls someone else silly, but she doesn't tell. Of course she doesn't.

It's wrong, something in her mind calls. It's wrong, it's wrong, wrongwrongwrong. But Misa swipes the thought away carelessly and stacks it away in a deep corner of her brain, the one recess of it she never dares visit. Her aim in life used to not be the pursuit of happiness but the happiness of pursuit; as such, that corner is stacked to the roof with suspicions she didn't voice and never will.

Sayu leans down, her soft black hair washing over Misa's bare skin. "I know you're hurting. So do I." A faint hint of reproach taints her voice and Misa looks up but ducks as she meets those eyes.

"Do you ever regret it?" Sayu asks, voice trembling.

It's not love. But sometimes, just sometimes, Misa knows that it could be. Not the kind she felt for him - nothing can replace this, no one, nothing and not ever - but something similar, something precious, a love that lasts a second at a time, rushes into your senses and works its sweet magic. Sometimes, when Sayu laughs and kisses her and moans so sweetly when Misa touches her, she thinks it can be love. Sometimes she thinks that while they are both only pieces, they could use them to build something more. But then she remembers that the pieces she has left are so small they could never be used to build the castle that Misa believes love is.

"Why would I regret this? Misa-Misa is happy."

Sayu smiles. "If you were, that would be lovely."

And then, right that moment, she looks so much like him. Hair in disarray, skeptical smile dancing around her full lips, auburn eyes glazed over with thought and the lingering effect of the bourbon, body tense and smooth and right. Misa's thoughts scatter into a million different directions as she leaps to her feet and pulls her into a kiss. Sayu laughs and tries to fight her off but then her little yelps melt into moans and giggles as Misa doesn't let go and continues to bury her hands in her hair, tugs at her clothes, runs her palms over soft skin, breathes in the girl's scent, laughs and feels and lives.

It isn't love, Misa knows as she slides a bra strap down Sayu's shoulder and casts butterfly kisses along her jaw line. It isn't love, but it is something, her mind calls as her lips capture one erect nub and feels Sayu squirming, then the harsh pain on her scalp as the other girl grabs her by the blond locks and kisses her back, runs her hands over Misa's body, rough now, needy now. It's like-

(like he would have been)

- everything is all right again and Misa wants to capture that moment and never wants to end, right now she needs it never to end. But of course the moment you wish something would never end is precisely when it does.

It ends, and it's sudden and cruel and worst of all, it comes without warning. Desire is drawn back and revulsion spills forth, making Misa's body shudder with its force.

Misa pulls back, gulping in breath, staring at Sayu out of wide eyes. Thoughts and image race through Misa's mind and suddenly she can't do this, suddenly she just wants to go, go, go, suddenly everything is too much, way too much. Thoughts and memories are like a million ants racing over her body and leaving burning marks behind, leaving her restless, making her every fiber beg her to get out.

The screams and laughs and gasps and songs of the living, as though mocking her, him, are all that Misa hears as she stumbles away, hurriedly picking up the clothes strewn across the floor and yanking them over. The still pools that are Sayu's eyes are trained on her as she quickly collects her belongings and when there is nothing left she can do with her hands to stall the thoughts from roaming her mind, she stands. She runs a nervous hand through her hair, back turned to Sayu. "I'm sorry.., Sayu, there, there's somewhere I... have to be."

Sayu understands and nods, cradling the sheets against her chest as though Misa has never seen the curves of her body, as though they have never danced to this tune before. Misa gives her a faint smile, then turns to leave.

"You'll come back tomorrow, then," Sayu whispers. It's not a question.

Misa turns around, lets her eyes rest on Sayu's form and Misa wants to walk over to her and kiss her and hit her and cry and laugh. She doesn't. Instead, she leaves.

Outside, she leans against the door, looking up at the ceiling until the light dances before her eyes.

It's not love, Misa knows and takes a deep breath to calm herself down. It's not love, but it's something. It's precious. It's better than nothing. It's good.

Isn't it?