lead us not into temptation
Light feels himself drifting along the winds of his own past.
L, Misa, Naomi Misora…. They all float about in his mind, and he feels compelled to watch as they glide through the air. His window consumes him; it is the view outside that fascinates. How could he have ever imagined the city of graves, the dystopic utopia of buried corpses? He finds himself glued to the glass the way his daughter had once been glued to the television, and he can't turn away because it is beautiful, because it is horrible, because he sees nothing but a lie.
It does not come as a shock when his own daughter attempts to seduce him, but then, he isn't exactly expecting it, either. She calls his name and watches him with a lower head, her amber eyes burning beneath her dark hair. He stands there, staring at her, wondering how long she has been a mirror portraying his own reflection. He himself crafted that glass, blown it into the perfect, most reflective shape—he remembers the fire's touch against his hands.
He watches with an empty expression as his daughter stands so that she is inches from him. He looks down at the bitterness that twists across her face. She doesn't even try to look as if she enjoys it; she believes truth is the slave-driver that will destroy him. Truth will break him to the ground and make him bleed for her.
She stands before him, cringing before she closes in to press against him. Light has nowhere to back up; he is against the window. But his memories beckon to him beyond the glass and are far more tempting than his own daughter.
"Are you attempting to seduce me, Hikari?" he asks as she waits for the usual hints of lust to show on him, as if he is one of her drunken barmen, reduced to ashes with a mere glance. She has forgotten where she got those eyes, where she got her own name….
"Confess, Light. Tell me your weaknesses, your fears, your desires…. Show me your true face." She is smirking now, and he recognizes this expression—he once wore it.
He is smiling, deepening the contact as he feels Kira rise from where he was sulking, wasting away under the tedium of ruling the world. He feels the power, the pen, the ink; he can practically taste the blood on his tongue. He hears Lind L. Taylor once again; he sees L falling to the tiled floor; he sees Near's pale face it freezes in pain.
"Power, death, wings…." He laughs as he watches her try to back away from him. She asked to see his face, his nightmarish features. He holds her in place and draws her closer, so that he can reach over and whisper in her ear, one hand gliding across her back. "You should know better, Hikari—push me so far and I break. After all, you are young and have never seen the true face of Kira. So what do you think, little girl? Do you like my face? Does it make you fall to the earth in need? Tell me you want me, Hikari. Tell me you want my death, my corpse, my heart…." He breaks into a round of mad laughter. Kira rears his head, only to stare down his apprentice. "You have no idea what you have awakened, little girl. Some things are best left forgotten. You may forget Kira, but he will never forget your face or your pretty little name, Hikari Yagami."
She does not struggle—she knows better. She does not know him, but she does know better. Don't fight, don't run; if she doesn't move, she is invisible. He can't see her through those golden eyes, and Light smiles and continues to hold her in place, enjoying himself far more than he should.
"You are not Kira, Hikari Yagami. Confess. Tell me, do I frighten you? Do you still have nightmares about me looming over you, interrogating you, murdering you? Tell me, tell me what you fear Hikari, and I will give it to you." He is grinning the way he did when he was seventeen, when he was still fit to hold the world in his hands. He is putting his apprentice back into her place with ease; she really has no idea what she is doing, and he shows her what happens when you dance with the devil.
She is shaking. Her eyes are wide and her breathing is unsteady. She hates him and she loves him, and he loves her for it.
"I hate you, Father. I hate you so much," she whispers, shivering against him, her own amber eyes wide with fear as she refuses to cry. Crying is a weakness and he will pounce on any weakness she gives him.
He pulls back so he can see her face, hidden as it is behind the shroud of straight, black hair. She says the words as if they make her special, as if her hatred is different than L's, than Misa's, than anyone he has ever met. It annoys him. What makes her so privileged? She is a child no longer; she should not act so spoiled.
"That's my girl," he says before releasing her and returning with ease to his window.
but deliver us from evil
It is a paragraph that destroys him. She checks it more than once as she writes it, making sure it is perfect. She watches him stare out the window of their home, wondering which one of them is truly trapped in this place—but she ignores those thoughts as she stews over him. He consumes her, he fascinates her, he disgusts her. He used to be a bitter old man. What is he now? Is he a god? Is he the devil? Or is he what she always imagined him to be….
His name fits the paragraph like clockwork. She can see his death. She wants to be there, wants to watch as he falls, wants to laugh and say, I told you so. In some ways, she envies that dead detective, the one that waits outside his window, the one with the dark eyes and handcuffs. He consumes Light's thoughts—always on L. What if the name returned? Would Hikari be good enough? Would small, stupid Hikari be able to best the greatest detective in the world? She wants the detective's blood on her hands almost as much as she wants Light's.
(She has never met him, she has never seen him. Why does she want him?)
She hopes it is her face he remembers when he writes the grave robber's name on the parchment; she hopes that it is her eyes he sees while his heart squeezes out its final breath.
L does not kill him, Hikari does. She is the one who bests him. The detective is dead, Light is dead; Hikari is the winner. And yet, she still sees the faceless detective hanging over her shoulder, laughing at her efforts.
She is no stranger to L. She remembers Light's games—the cold white rooms, the handcuffs, the clank of her chains as she sat weeping in her chair. Please let it end—please, God, let it end. I don't know Kira; I am not Kira; you can't make me believe I'm Kira. In the white room, Light was gone. It is not even Kira she faced. It was something far worse than either of them—a nightmare, a demon. She sobbed before him and he did nothing. He did not smile; he did not budge. He looked at her through her father's amber eyes and asked the question again.
He walks differently in those games, he speaks differently—it is as if he is an entirely different person come to possess Light's body.
She is afraid of L, afraid of his shadow, of the way he can possess people, of the way he pull their strings even in death. She is always watching for him. As a child, he was the dark room, waiting there, microphone in hand ready with the questions. She has never met L in person, only in nightmares. She has to remind herself of what Light always says.
There is no Heaven, there is no Hell. There is only nothingness. Once humans die, they don't come back. How could he come back, this monster from her father's past?
Stop haunting me, she tells him as she clutches her blankets to her. You are my father's ghost—go find him. You don't want me.
He says nothing, he does nothing. She can never see his face—only his dark, curling hair.
She isn't sure if his ghost will die with her father in the graveyard, if, when Light accepts the eyes and writes down the man's name, L will drift away from the world of the living. She only stares at her watch with dark gold eyes, watching the second hand tick her father's life span away.
"Check-mate, Light Yagami."
for Thine is the Kingdom
The stone angels watch as she wanders through their ranks.
She is not her father. Her path is driven and there is thunder brewing in her eyes. She is the dark angel he used to be, Kira reborn again through his heir. They wondered if Light Yagami succeeded or failed in his endevours. They aren't entirely sure as they watch her march past them with a Shinigami hovering over her shoulder—Ryuk, who lived through the life of one Kira and into another, practically as much a part of their world as Kira himself.
She finds him after searching, but of course, she does not recognize the grave or the grave robber who lies dead at her feet. She takes the glass vial from his closed hand, watching the blue liquid glow. She glances down at her father once again before smiling, and the angels remember another Kira standing over a different grave. They remember the emptiness and wonder how it has lasted all these years. How could such nothingness last?
She turns to see the Shinigami looking down at her father in mad amusement. She frowns as she forces herself to look away, to remind herself that the world does not revolve around Light Yagami. He is dead. She broke his pride by making him forfeit his own eyes to kill a man he cared nothing about. She left him to die in mediocrity, along with all the other criminals he had placed beneath the earth. This is her revenge, and still she grits her teeth and blocks out the laughter.
She ignores Ryuk, as she has always ignored him. He is the audience in her life, never to be acknowledged as she moves through the names piled before her. He is her father's shadow, her father's companion, and she can't help but wonder what he sees when he looks at her. Whatever it is, she finds it frightening. He laughs at her as if waiting for her to crack and face him. She doesn't want to know what he sees; she doesn't want her father's secrets.
She remembers the way he would talk to Ryuk as if he were the only one to truly understand him. They had their own word games, memories…. She remembers watching him, fascinated at the way they hardly had to speak to each other—and yet it was as if they had gone through an entire story without her. Who is Raye Penber? she would ask. Who is Mikami Teru? Who are these ghosts that haunt you, Light Yagami? He would turn from the Shinigami and stare at her, debating whether she had the right to know what lurked in his mind. An old friend, was usually the answer.
He lied. He had no friends. He only had angry ghosts and a clown-faced demon.
"Damn you, Light Yagami," she spits, then turns away from his body. She refuses to bury him. Why should she? She wants the whole world to see him rot.
See, he is just as human as the rest of us, this dead god.
and the power and the glory
Humanity is a curious thing.
It is like a fragile dream. Speak the word and it is broken. A butterfly with wings of painted glass—golden, it flies through the sunlight, casting a rainbow spectrum across the flowers it lands upon. Beautiful and terrifying in its weakness—a terrifying nightmare or a beautiful dream? Was Light Yagami a dream or a nightmare produced through a series of deaths, a Notebook, a God of Death, and, of course, through the detective named L, the ruthless twelfth letter? (The letter that disguises itself through layers of screens and false identities—a gothic L, a notebook, an apple.)
What happens when the dreamer wakes up?
for ever and ever
12/2011: Hey, so, looks like there's now a TVTropes page for this. So, uh, check it out if you're interested? XD
Scourge's Note: Wewt, it's all complete. Thanks for staying on for the ride, those of you that did. :D It'd be quite nice if you'd let us know of your thoughts on said ride—should we buy shag carpet seat covers, or stick with leather? And I tend to prefer bumper stickers that insult previous presidents; Carni, however, has this dastardly affection for purple front mirror dice. Ew. ER, I MEAN, REVIEW, IF YOU WANT.
Disclaimer: This disclaimer does not feel like disclaiming. Please go look elsewhere for a statement about how Death Note doesn't belong to fanfiction writers and how Light Yagami is epicsauce, even while being a broken old guy.