Because boys will boys, even after they're men.

and all a girl wants is to be wanted

Misa knows how to deal with boys.

When she was young, much younger than now, when her hair was short from lack of time for growing, when her father towered above her and her mother hushed softly from miles above her, Misa watched and learned. She toddled around, observing, watching, as her companions, the small girls like her, chose their talents and began their lives. She watched girls, sometimes younger, sometimes older, drift toward subjects, towards different games, and change, trading pigtails for braids, cutting long hair short, straightening unruly curls into organized sheets.

They traded their young, unmade images for self-created appearances, and as they did so, they chose their future. Some picked up books, open eyes going sharp; some picked up music, small hands drifting across pianos and violins much larger than themselves. Most of Misa's friends chose looks, sprinkling make-up on unblemished cheeks and perfecting the art of expression effortlessly. Though some may think differently, Misa thought. She thought and thought and thought and kept thinking long after the lights went out at nihgt, when the only sound was the soft whir of her brain. She watched and waited, observed and noted, found the most effective choice and chose it.

Misa didn't pick violin, didn't spend hours upon hours memorizing chords and notes and harmonies. She didn't pick tennis, didn't spend sweaty afternoons swinging heavy rackets over and over again. She didn't pick gardening, or mathematics, or art.

Misa picked boys.

She learned how they acted, what they wanted, why they did the things they did. While she was a small child still clinging to her mothers skirts and her fathers hand, she watched the world turn and found that it didn't revolve around girls, smarter and harder and tougher than any boy ever could be, but on boys, dirty, unknowing, and, most of all, uncaring. They didn't change for anything, they simply came and ate and charged, sometimes thinking but never reasoning.

Misa's mother was a god, not an angel or a sweetheart or a baby doll. She was smart and pretty and perfect, and she always knew everything. But it was daddy, dear silly daddy who liked to waste the odd paycheck on lottery tickets and gambling and expensive vacations he went on alone, no matter how often Misa cried or her mother silently scolded.

Misa's neighbor ruined her stuffed bear once, ripped off its arms and pulled out one eye and then ground it into the dirt before running off, laughing, to join a group playing tag. Misa muffled her sobs in Mr. Bears' dirty neck and ran home, promising it that she would make him pay.

The next week, he laughingly accepted the position of class president. The day after that, he pulled Misa's friend's pigtails until she fell over, skinning her knee and ripping her favorite skirt.

Misa saw him again last week. He was a bright eyed lawyer lawyer at a prestigious firm with an entire future ahead of him.

Mr. Bear, long thrown out, had never had his promise fulfilled. Misa felt more sad than guilty, because the day she had seen him he was snickering at some overweight woman while sipping his cheap cup of coffee.

Some ten or twenty years later, and nothing had changed. And because the world seemed to have no desire to, Misa did instead.

If I do this, Misa thought, eyes blank of anything she didn't want seen, will they do that?

So, yes, she sculpted her body, bringing it to a stage where, starved, perfumed, and covered (barely) in items meant to reveal more than less, she made it farther in the industry of looks than most of her childhood friends ever did.

It wasn't how good you looked,. It was how well you showed it, how well you played it off towards the boys, boys, boys.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

They don't care about being pretty. Misa, all grown up and smarter than she ever had been given a reason to be, calculates every move, every word, not showing anything that they didn't want to see. And they don't. They don't care about being pretty - in actions or looks. Because they aren't.

They don't care about me being pretty, she tosses her hair, slides her arms over and up, and smiles, vacant, willing. All they care about is someone being pretty for them, for being something they can't, not for my sake, but for theirs. They want to be in control.

So Misa smiles and laughes and acts, not like a blond or a model or a girl, but as Misa-Misa, every little girl's idol and every big boy's fantasy.

Then, one day, as she walkes home from a shooting, she ses a boy (no matter how old they got, they would all be boys to her, still fighting in the sandbox over things that didn't matter while she stood by the side of it and wondered how to become one of them - the things, of course, not the boys) so pretty, so gorgeous, that she almost can't believe it. He smiled; he sparkled, and when he looked at her, he didn't care. He didn't notice her shirt, or her skirt, so short she can't move her feet farther than a few inches apart without showing something, but that was okay because she means to. He just looked past her.

And there, walking up behind her, was another boy, not nearly as pretty, but he acted the same as the other anyway, noticing only that she was in his way. Misa almost can't believe it. Failure at last? She thinks, arms crossed as she watches them laugh and smile at each other, not at her. What did I do wrong?

And then she sees them kiss, lips brushing for a brief moment before sliding away, cheeks flushed. The not as pretty one glanced around nervous, while the prettier one grabbed his hand, laughing. Oh.

They were boys, Misa knows that, but, for once, she sees a possibility that they were boys because they were about sixteen and in love, not because they never thought, and that, one day, they were going to grow up and become men - proper ones.

Misa was shocked and confused and so overwhelmingly happy that she forgave them for the cardinal sin of not wanting her. Then, touching a hand to her lips as she walks away, feeling the curve there that she hadn't called upon, she thinks of girls, not the ones who had dedicated their lives to her profession and failed, but about girls with glasses and messy hair, girls that didn't care about how they looked, whether they were pretty or ugly, but about math or books, or something that really mattered, because she was sure that modeling didn't.

Across the street, another boy gave her an approving glance, so she stored that thought away and smiled, the perfect doll once more. But maybe, her mind whispered.

Later, when she's a little older and still working towards her goal of something-anythingthatmatters- she meets Light. He was dashing, charming, and completely and utterly blank. Eyes focused on the boy, she watches Rem out of her peripheral vision. This is Kira?. Light's eyes didn't see her, yet he still watched her, plans of action flowing behind his brown eyes. For most, he was completely impenetrable. To her, a master in this chosen field, he was as flimsy as tissue paper. No. Not quite, but, maybe...

Light, Kira, her mind whispers. He was like those two boys, passing over her without a glance. Well, she knew the word for it now - gay, homosexual, fairy, faggot - but he didn't seem to be one of those either. He noticed no one.

Kira, she thinks, heart pounding, is the closest to God any boy is ever going to get.

Because there are the wanted and the wanting, those noticed and those doing the noticing, and she had no delusions which she was, and which was her better. She was the best in her field - at being the noticed, the wanted - but Light was best in his.

He was the one who was supposed to want her. He didn't. He didn't want anyone else, either.

He wanted no one, and that meant that to him, there was no one worth wanting.

Keeping her act together, Misa's heart slowed as he left. Unfortunately, she smirked, glancing over at Rem, who hovered nearby, watching over her. For him, at least, waving her hand, she motioned Rem towards her as she walked away, face once more blank. I'm not a boy.

And I don't want to be wanting.

Later, when she finds herself arrested, she turns to Rem, already knowing what answer she's going to give Light. "Rem." Looking over at the shinigami, her shinigami, letting her mind hiss, she smiles. "Don't worry." Ignoring Rem's almost frantic face, she turns back to the boy who aimed to be God. "I conceded ownership of Rem's Death Note."

Passing over the small book, she ignores Rem's pleading, "Misa, Misa, Misa, no, no, no! What are you doing, stop, stop, stop," and then finds she knows nothing.

Later, how much she cannot remember, Misa finds her hand brushing over a black notebook, and, suddenly, Rem is there, looking worse than Misa could ever remember. Struck with a thought, remember, her mind tells her, urging her on along with her heart. Eyes focused on Rem, focused and looking and knowing that, for once, she was actually seeing someone, Misa smiles and remembers.

With the notebook back in her possession, Misa watches as the third Kira was caught and disposed of. So easy, she thinks, a face and a name and, snap, another one bites the dust. Rem was there, always there, whispering anything she thought might help, and Misa thinks she's sweet and lets her, running a hand over brittle bones. She doesn't care about Rem's appearance, and if she thinks back, so far back, to a time where killing wasn't thought of but girls with unkempt appearances were, she knows that this is just another one of her childhood dreams, twisted and warped and all grown up like the world.

What's harder for her to realize was Light. It takes Rem and a few moments in his presence, with L, the curse like letter, lurking nearby, before she finally looks into his eyes and realizes that they're looking, not at her, but at him.

The detective doesn't seem so untouchable as before.

Misa lets her eyes open, her mascara mask falling away with the first tear, and she knows her little boy was growing up. Because that was what Light is, a boy who dreamed himself a god.

A mirror image of herself, right down to the other side of their coin.

Because Light dreamed himself a god, and she dreamed herself a god, only the god she dreamed is Rem, and the god he dreamed is growing up, up, up and away.

She lets her appearance, carefully sculpted and polished, fall away as she takes his hand. "Light," she says, letting her voice fall away too, because if she's going to do this, she's going to do it all the way, and let no one tell her that her acting skills leave something to be desired.

"I need to talk to you." She glances up at Rem, hovering, unsure, and smiles, real and true and prettier than anything the shinigami had ever seen before. Sparing L a glance, the smile still tugging at her lips, she notices him tighten up, tensing almost imperceptibly, and she knows that Light won't see it 'till it's much too late. "Would you spare a moment for me?" It's her, not Misa-Misa speaking, but she doubts that he'll see the difference.

She's always left him wanting, no matter what she calls herself.

"I... suppose." Sitting, crouched, in his chair, L looked as if the world had betrayed him, childlike naivety masking the murderer within. Misa just wishes she could stop smiling. Stepping out with Light, she follows Rem to a place where they would be shielded from most of the monitoring. She leans against the granite counter top, shutting the door on Light's chain.

They stare at each other for a moment, and Misa can tell that Rem was doing the same to Light's shinigami. "Kira," she murmurs, eyes sharp and warm at once, and a smirk plays on her face when Light tenses up, furious.

"Don't say that here!" His voice was hardly a whisper, but she can feel the anger in it and laughs, head tilted back and neck exposed, knowing that she's anything but vulnerable. Rem lurked above her, menacing and silent, and Light felt so, so surprised and wary that she feels as if she could fly on the high this was giving her.

"How far you have fallen." Noticing his momentary lapse in control, at the snarl marring his perfectly pretty face, she nods at the door, where L waited. Her lips curl upwards once more as he paled. "The boy who thought to be God... falling for a detective, and, at that, his." Leaning back just far enough for the chain to cause Light to fall short, Misa watches, coldly amused, as he tried to reach her.

Light was furious, she can tell that much easy, furious at her and at him, at the world and his chain, but, most of all, furious at L, that L had to be the worst person to have to want. Misa pities him, almost, because she's no stranger to the feeling of wanting someone to want you. She keeps her face cold and watches him crumple back, looking more human than she has ever seen him before. "Don't say it." His voice was cracking, breaking, and she watches as the last semblance of Kira fell away, leaving a confused boy with memories almost too complicated to understand.

Misa never had his problem, the problem of looking at what she had done as the Second Kira and wanting to scream, to look back and begrudge the world for going wrong, because he's a boy and she isn't. She can't make the world change for her, she isn't a steadfast, locked in place, boy. She realized long ago that it would be easy for her to change, and with this understanding comes a curse. She had to change now, it was in her blood, in the pounding of her heart; there was nothing else she could do but to change, and she hates it.

Penis envy has nothing on this.

"The plan has changed then." She leans back, suave and ready for anything he could throw back at her. She isn't sure if he knew it yet, knew that by seeing L when he doesn't see others was going to be his final mistake. She didn't know if she knew it either, but she did know that no matter what happened after this was finally going to be all her fault.

Light was impassive, face controlled. "I don't understand what you mean. The plan will continue, as always." Letting a hint of victory show on her face, Misa scoots forward, face twisted in mock surprise. That was the line she hoped for.

There are two choices.

.

"You mean, you want me to kill L?" She can see the war going on just by looking at his hands, knuckles slowly turning white. Looking up at Rem, seeing her almost smile, Misa sighs. My boy, her mind whispers, my baby. Light was younger than her, she knows that, but he was so much like her...

I have Rem. And that, at least, was true. "Light. Kira." She looks at him, eyes patronizing, and she can tell that he knew it. "Don't worry about it, okay?" Letting her smirk grow, she turns to Rem. "Big sister Misa will take care of it."

She pushes open the door, not surprised when Light was jerked toward her. Squirming around the edge of the door frame, L appeared, rubbing his wrist mournfully. "L." Eyes widening, L looked up at her from his position on the floor. Misa isn't sure how smart he really was, but... Leaning down, she places a kiss on his forehead, smiling slightly as he scrambled away. Light, pulled towards him, wasn't as pleased. She isn't sure what to say, something smart or snappy or... Grinning mischievously, because this was fun, she realizes, to have someone else, to have two someone elses to play with, that weren't expecting anything from her... she straightens up and beams, unable to stop. "Take care of him," With a wink, "okay?"

She steps nimbly out of Light's reach when he lunged for her, face red. "Misa!" Giggling softly, she slides back against the wall, staring at her two boys with red faces, refusing to look at each other. Light was fuming, and L... was sprawled on the floor, eyes wide, handcuffed wrist stretched out towards the younger boy. This is fun, she thinks, this is fun, and this is normal. I wonder, is this how other people are? Suddenly serious, she stares at them, accusing.

"This is really, really going to mess up the plan, boys." Shaking her hair back into place, she turns to leave, throwing the boys another glance, lips curved upwards in the perfect smile. "But this is going to be so much fun!"

..

"You mean, you want me to kill L?" She can see the war going on just by looking at his face. Looking up at Rem, seeing her almost smile, Misa sighs. He's my boy, her mind hisses, my baby. Light was younger than her, she knows that, but he was so much like her...

At least this way I'll always have him. And that, at least, was true. "Light. Kira." She looks at him, eyes patronizing, and she can tell that he knew it. "Don't worry about it, okay?" The smile slid from her face as she turned to Rem.

"Misa," Rem's voice, as monotone as ever, still causes something in Misa's nonexistent heart to skip a beat.

"I shouldn't ask this of you," Misa murmurs, eyes sad, sad, sad as they gaze up at her shinigami.

Rem's eyes are steel when they glance at Light, but they're molten with heat and regret when they turn back to her. "You don't need to."

And then Watari's dead, and Rem's dead, and L's dead, and L's protégés, and tens upon hundreds upon thousands upon tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of criminals too.

Misa figures it'll all come even in the wash.

Because just a couple weeks after that, Light's dead too, laughing on a spilt glass floor with her manager's hands covered in his blood. He dies with one last gasp, a smile not too far from his lips, because he's won, he's won, he's won!

At least, she thinks of it in weeks. Time is relative, after all.

Misa kicks her feet, her legs swinging in the vast expanse of air that leads thirty stories down to the concrete street below. There is no book beside her when she jumps, no haunting face to scream as it tries to catch her, to save her.

Still.

There's a smile on her face.

Because.

She doesn't know exactly who she's talking to, and she's not even exactly sure if it matters.

But.

There's one second left and Misa swears she can see the light, and she knows that wherever she's going, she'll never be alone.

Zero.

The human who uses this note can neither go to Heaven nor Hell.

All she ever wanted was to be wanted.