Missing
Dantes Edmondiaby

Disclaimer: Completely, utterly, and totally not mine.

- - -

After it's happened, long after the deed is done, on some solitary night alone, he realizes that he never learned his name, and feels cheated - oh, yes, a sweet victory, sugar-sweet and glazed with perfection, and he'd laughed alone for a long time afterwards, laughed so hard he'd wept and choked on bile and killed eighteen men for petty crimes - and alone in the dark, he burns with a hate that can't die because he's won, again, and he can't stand it.

- - -

There is no tombstone, and there never will be, and he thinks it's fitting, that he has no legacy but his heirs, pale imitations of his near-perfection, and it makes him laugh every time the anniversary rolls around - he laughs and laughs and brings home an expensive, worthless, frilly cake, and if Misa's crying as it burns, it's because they're both too drunk to remember who and what they are, half-caught in memory-dreams of what once was.

Light wakes up in the morning with ashes in the fireplace and Misa at his side. He rolls out of bed, showers, dresses, and then bends over the toilet and vomits up day-old tears. When he straightens up again, he's as perfect as ever, and ignores Ryuk's laughter as he flushes another memory down the drain.

- - -

Sometimes, when he's not paying attention, he'll press his thumb to his lips and nibble.

- - -

The old gods, he decides, were fools. But traditions are traditions, and he, shedding his mortal self, had been just as fallible, just as vulnerable as any other to the charms of a particular human.

In his dreams, he is not the only god in his world, and caught in the dreamy haze between sleep and wakefulness, the taste of old blood in his mouth, he grieves for the perfection of what can never be.

Life as a god is lonely, and though he is above all others, he is bored again, restless and lonely even as he rips through the world, secure in the sanctity of his mission and himself. He is beautiful, he is perfect, he is right. He needs no one and nothing. He cannot and will not be haunted by the ghost of a mortal boy.

- - -

He's never wondered about death. It will come when it will come, and though he intends to live forever - who else could maintain his perfect world? - he can't help but be fascinated by his power. Death is necessary, and is liberating, and in quiet precious times, he feels a tug on his wrist and looks for what isn't there and won't ever be again.

Death is sacrifice.

- - -

In the waking world, he is too busy, too important, too powerful to be still, but when he dreams, he is fighting against the perfect opponent, and when they both collapse, panting and exhausted, he curls against his chest and remembers how pretty - caught in the pure beauty of the Truth - he was when he died.

- - -

Because the world is imperfect, he has to make it perfect. Because the world is rotten, he has to kill. Because humanity is frail, he walks through the world a god. Because he is a dreamer, he believes the world can be improved. Because he is a rationalist, he believes he is the being who is in the best position to do so. Because he is an idealist, he wants to leave the world a better place. Because he is insane and knows it, he doesn't fight the rage that swallows him, and the nights he wakes up screaming for a name that he doesn't know are a byproduct of time, clouded memories, and an unbalanced obsession that in a more terrifying world would have made him nothing more than human.

- - -

In the moments that he's dying, guts twisted by betrayal even though he shouldn't have been surprised, he suddenly wonders if Ryuuzaki has been watching him, wonders if he's seen what he's done, wonders if he's proud of his success or scornful of his failure. He wonders if he'll see him again. He wonders why it suddenly matters, why it feels like a floodgate has opened in his head, and though his world is crumbling around him, all he can see is the crook of pale lips curling in satisfaction.

And then it's too late for him to wonder anything at all.

- - -

- fin -