ASHES TO ASHES


Light Yagami was never mine.

– - –

I'd give anything to give me to you

– - –

They did not think him capable of love.

She could see it in their eyes as Matsuda handed her the gleaming urn, avoiding her gaze with nothing short of guilt written beneath his skin (and really, she could not believe they thought she could not see it; she was an actress, and no proper person can claim to portray others without a certain understanding of basic human expression). Most of them pitied her for devoting herself to a being that they suddenly viewed as a thing, while some did not waste their time with empty words and disparaging looks; even fewer simply gave up on trying to 'understand' and let her be. (For them, she was thankful.)

There was something so very amusing in the air, but no one else seemed to see it.

Perhaps they just didn't find it funny (whatever 'it' was).

She had always seen things a bit differently, though, and maybe that was why she knew that they were wrong.

At first, he had loved justice. He had loved the good people could do and he loved his ability to weed out those that prevented more good from being done––he had loved his duty and the good it brought with every reclusive chunk of his being. In an offhand moment brought on by much prodding and pleading, he had told her laughingly that, as cliché as it was, he loved the lingering scent of rain-splattered pavement and the flurry of cherry-blossoms in the summer air.

He had most certainly loved himself.

Later, when the heady knowledge that he pulled the strings, that he held the world in the palm of his hands, like an apple waiting to be plucked, had set in, he began to love the fleeting thrill of dominance and manipulation (even before he had grasped the Notebook in his hands, they had been his tools, but they had eventually become his only friends). He loved the numb, oppressive terror with which he reigned. He loved the idea that one day, when he had snipped the loose ends from the tapestry of his deceit and burnt them with the fires of his kingdom, he would rule over the humans and they would create and support, rather than destroy.

He had never loved her, or, for that matter, any human—he himself was excluded from that particular count, in his eye—but Light Yagami had indeed loved.

The way she saw it, it was his love that had eventually killed him.

– - –

Can you forget the world that you thought you knew
If you want me
Come and find me
Nothing's stopping you so please release me

– - –

Ring around the rosies…

– - –

I'll believe
All your lies
Just pretend you love me
Make believe
Close your eyes
I'll do anything for you

– - –

They all attended his funeral.

It made her want to hug her knees and sink to the ground, giggling madly (because Kami knows nothing seemed the same after Light died).

The western-style affair was somber, filled with an unsettling mixture of stony eyes and confused sobs. Only a few knew the truth, but their mood seemed to push itself over the others' and the human interaction was tense—hypocritical. Everything seemed stretched and pained, but she talked and smiled and stemmed the laughter and promised herself she would honor him in front of the few people he had left.

For a reason entirely unfathomable to Missus and Miss Yagami, Light had entrusted his ashes to Misa, who was quite determined to care for them according to his will. He had wished the urn to be present at his funeral, so present it was. A swath of flowers seemed almost gaudy against the delicate vortex of gold-threaded glass, obscuring its intricate simplicity with false cheer and goodwill, but the pile on the altar kept growing with spotted heaps of pictures and petals.

And so, she stroked his urn, placed a bouquet of black and red, and said a few nonsense words her new manager had written up in case the paparazzi managed to interfere with the proceedings (clandestine or not, their relationship was hardly secret now that he was no longer around to keep it so—dead "fiancée" did wonders for celebrity popularity). She had never been good with words, so she was perfectly content with letting the duty slide to him. Words, even names, had never been enough for Light, anyway.

He had not written a death poem, as he was neither Buddhist nor Shinto and had not expected to die. Light, from wherever he was watching, surely found the presence of a Christian preacher to be rich, if not a mite insulting. It was all she could do to withhold more laughter when the priest began to read poetry.

Spleen. Charles Baudelaire. In its original French.

She could not understand it, not immediately, not in its current form, but she had heard it before and oh, she knew what it was about: a man who might be a king, a decadent, unhappy king who had no use for earthly pleasures—who had nothing.

Misa had to wonder which of the task force had the audacity to introduce such a thing to the funeral of a man with a god complex.

– - –

Nothing left to make me feel anymore
There's only you and everyday I need more
If you want me come and find me
I'll do anything you say
Just tell me

– - –

Pocketful of posies…

– - –

I'll believe
All your lies
Just pretend you love me
Make believe
Close your eyes
I'll be anything for you

– - –

Ashes to ashes…

– - –

Anything for you
I'll become your earth and sky
Forever never die
I'll be
Everything you need

– - –

There was not a lot left for her.

No siblings, dead parents. Fake—although fun—job. And crime. So much crime.

Over the ages, the Japanese had developed thousands of ideals and customs regarding death and its nature. Death is release; death is damnation; no one should care about death… death is honor, death is dishonor. Death is the withered petal on a flower's stem; call Buddha's name and you are saved. Die for your master and you will be praised. Kill yourself and all is well.

Karma, dharma, sangha and whatever the heck happened with those after they were mixed with Shinto—she had never quite figured it out, despite the rituals her family had practiced until it had… gone… and if Light had known anything about how the whole mash worked, he had never made a move to teach her. Something told her that if it all applied, though, and if it were all true, killing people was not good for karma. Nor had it been a part of his dharma, his rightful duty.

All that death, all the good he had brought, and the religion his ancestors followed would condemn him to life as a small, insignificant creature lacking even the most basic ability for deeper thought. It would take away his gorgeous, gorgeous eyes and his silvery tongue, strip him of his precious dignity and pride. He would be some beast scraping away at the earth with his claws and his teeth, completely unaware of what he had been—what he could be.

Or perhaps MU took him out of that equation. Perhaps MU, as much as it sounded like Nirvana (emptiness, nothingness, contentedness, Rem had said) was, in some form or anther, that very thing—state—place—sensation. Light would hate it, but at least he wouldn't be a chicken scratching worms out of the ground.

A tiny part of her hoped that some of it all was true, and that somehow, exceptions had been made—that somehow, Light had done what he was meant to do and surpassed expectations with ease, and that he would come back to her, come back to the world, and that just maybe, another Death Note could have its turn and Light could try again.

Light could fix it all.

But then again, after meeting the Shinigami, after learning what most of them really were (lazy, disgusting beasts who had barely a semblance of self-control; back-stabbing, manipulative creatures even more subject to vice, caprice, and whim than humankind itself—Ryuk, at least) Misa Amane was not entirely sure she was ready to hear the truth about reincarnation.

Karma, though, she would be watching out for… for herself. She had slipped her own mind, lately, and it was time to get back on track.

Standing from her library chair—Misa-Misa at a library, avoiding her fans on Valentine's Day… the press would love it—and meandering her books back into place, she left.

And as she walked, gold-and-glass-spun urn in hand, she wondered (if it were all true) what he had done in a past life to be gifted with so much ill fortune.

– - –

I'll believe
All your lies
Just pretend you love me
Make believe
Close your eyes
I'll be anything for you

– - –

We all fall down

– - –

I'll be anything for you

– - –

Then again, I have never been his. Not completely, the woman in white ponders airily as her hair whips against her head, shining clearly as a halo of hand-spun gold in the glinting light of the fading sun.

Seconds later, everything is in the westward wind.

dead.


A/N: Misa, if she could remember.

I'm sure it's been done before. I felt like doing it again. This was, I suppose, abstractly inspired by the book Japanese Death Poems, compiled by Yoel Hoffman. Any information on Japanese religion was garnered from that book or my 9th grade history teacher (with smatterings of supporting Wikipedia—yes, I know, bad me, looking up religions on Wikipedia). Please correct me if you know something I/they don't.

Misa's interpretation of Charles Baudelaire's poem is not exactly… dead on. If it strikes your fancy, you may read the poem here: www(dot)poetry-archive(dot)com/b/spleen(dot)html.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Any of it.

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