Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.
A/N: Inspired by a fic by Lovelyblackheart. The non-cannon last words of L were inspired by my friend (and often muse, when it comes to Death Note) Alanna.
ALSO. This is a mix of AU, anime cannon, and manga cannon, so hold on tight. ^_^
"I wasn't wrong," I mumbled, staring straight at the one I loved, the one who had killed me.
For a moment he only stared back, wide-eyed, and I saw a flicker of regret in his beautiful eyes. For a moment I thought he might cry. His lips moved but no sound came out at first, and what he finally said was "No..."
And then, as my eyes closed, his changed, and I saw the very moment that Kira took over and Light, the beautiful, gentle, arrogant Light, the one I loved, was destroyed forever. I whispered, "I'm glad it was you."
The world went dark.
I was surprised when my eyes opened again. I was definitely killed, but was I dead?
Oh, yes, there was my body on the floor, still in Light's arms.
"Ryuuzaki... snap out of it. Come on, Ryuuzaki..." He shook my body but I didn't feel it.
I knew he was faking, but the desire to hold him nearly overwhelmed me. That was how it had always been. He never fooled me. I knew when he was lying to get his way, when he was acting. But he doesn't feel like most people do, so when he pretends... well, it's pretty much all he's got.
He started screaming. At least part of that was real, although I couldn't tell which part.
"We're all gonna die! Don't you see?! We're all gonna be next!"
No, Kira, Kira's not going to kill you. You would never let that happen. You are too smart for that.
You outmaneuvered me. That's proof. You never fooled me, but you won.
You won, I lost, game over, next case.
He stormed off "to look for the shinigami," yelling as he went. I followed him, pleased to find that I could walk.
He was holding himself together well, I noted as I drifted silently behind him, my feet making no sound. Was I touching the floor? I checked. Yes, I was. Interesting.
He was walking quickly. I could tell he didn't know where he was going. He stumbled into room after room, finally stopping when he found a huge pile of sand. There was a murder notebook in it. What was that? The sand, I mean.
Light slid the notebook down the back of his pants, adjusting his shirt back into place. I sighed. He didn't hear me. They'd never think to search him.
Matsuda, Yagami-san, and Mogi burst into the room.
"What's the meaning of this?" Matsuda wondered aloud. He said something about quitting the investigation.
I was captivated by Light's voice when he turned his back on the room. Flat. Deadpan. Distant. Logical. Just like me.
"...If you can't do that, then maybe you should leave the investigation." Exactly what I would have said.
He walked away as Matsuda echoed my thoughts perfectly. "You're right, but... it's weird hearing that coming from you, Light. You almost sound like Ryuuzaki..."
I padded after my lover, silent as the grave. Pun gleefully intended.
The moment he was out of earshot, he broke into a run. I took off after him and found it, for the first time in my life, not a disagreeable action.
He was in the room that had been ours when we were handcuffed and that we had continued to occupy together once I had freed him. The familiar room made me almost forget, for a moment, that I was dead. It was a new development, after all. I inhaled deeply, longing for the equally familiar smell- the scent of him, cleanness; the scent of me, newspaper; and the sent of us together, sweat, sex. I couldn't smell a thing. It sent pangs of pain through my most-likely-silent heart. I knew he was Kira, but could he really forget it all so easily? On a much less significant level, was I that bad in bed?
He calmly closed the door behind him, locking it. Totally in control, he made his way to the center of the room. Completely in control, he sat on our- or his, now- bed.
And then he broke.
For a moment I could only stare as he put his face in his hands and his elbows on his knees, and as he immediately began to sob. I had never seen him cry like that. Sure, I'd seen him upset, even seen him cry after a nightmare that we both now knew was his subconscious remembering that he was Kira, but seeing him weep, seeing him anguishing, helpless, drowning in a level of grief I'd never imagined he could feel...
His shoulders shook with the force of it, and he fisted his hands in his hair, squeezing his eyes shut, curling over in on himself, crumpling.
"I didn't love you when I made the plan... how could I have known I would? Ryuuzaki, you have to believe me."
Could he see me? I moved to be right next to him, where he'd be able to if he could.
Judging by the fact that he didn't have some kind of fit at seeing someone he knew to be dead walking around, he didn't.
"I know," I told him.
But of course he couldn't hear me, either.
"I wouldn't have done it. If it wasn't already set up, I wouldn't have started it now. I- I couldn't... it was too late to stop it. Rem... Rem, she..."
"It doesn't matter." That was the truth, at the end of it all. It didn't matter if he regretted it or didn't, if he wished I was still alive or if he was glad that I'm dead. It wouldn't change anything.
I suppose, though, for my own interests, I personally cared.
"I loved you. I love you. I didn't lie about that. I'd give up Kira forever if it would bring you back..."
I doubted that, but I knew he meant it at that particular moment. Because it wasn't really about killing criminals to make the world a better place. Only the deeply delusional could convince themselves that it was- for example, he probably believed it completely.
Good intentions pave the road to Hell.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
"I forgive you," I said simply.
"I'm so sorry."
"You are Kira. I am L. I would have put you in prison had I won. We were always just playing the game. My only regret is that Light-kun and Lawliet got in the middle of it."
He cracked again, drenching his sleeves and any hair that got in the way.
My heart broke, still as it way, and I rushed to him, crawling on the bed and sitting behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist as I had so many times before.
He stopped crying, suddenly, with a sharp intake of breath.
"Ryuuzaki?" he whispered.
"Light!" I scrambled around until I was in front of him, never breaking contact. I held him by the shoulders, hard, staring him fiercely in the eye.
He laughed once, a sharp, slightly hysterical bark of sound.
I slipped my hands up to his face. The pressure didn't indent his skin because there was no pressure, because I was definitely dead. And comforting the man who had killed me. Trying to, anyway.
I attempted to force his eyes up, but there was nothing I could do. No effect.
"I love you," I told him. "I know all of it, I love you, and I forgive you. Don't cry. Please."
As usual, he didn't do what I told him to do. The tears came again.
I kissed him. There was no response, nor was there any different facial expression when I pulled back. Blindly, I found his wrist, the one that posessed the handcuff scar, and brought it to my lips.
I froze, he froze, and we both stared at his arm.
Because I had moved it. It was up in the air, and he hadn't told his muscles to do it.
I had had no idea what those handcuffs would end up doing, that first day I put them on us. They'd give me love, give me death. Give me the one I loved after my death.
He took a deep breath. "Ryuuzaki?"
The spell was gone, broken, his wrist fell through my fingers. Literally, through them.
And he looked even more hurt than he did before. "I'm sorry," he repeated loudly, on what he probably figured was the off-chance that I could hear.
I didn't bother saying my whole speech again. I could see there was no point.
He was silent for a moment. Then, "Ryuuzaki, what did you mean?"
"When you said, 'I'm glad it was you'?"
"Did it mean you were glad it was me that was Kira, or glad it was me who killed you?''
I hugged him hard, although, of course, nothing. I couldn't even feel his warmth. Couldn't feel his breath where it should be on my neck.
I'd never be able to tell him. He'd spend his whole life wondering what my last words had meant.
And I know him. In a few years, he'll manage to convince himself that I never loved him, and that I hated him for killing me, when I'll always love him and I've never, even for a moment, hated him. I could now confidently say that I would love him forever: I was dead and I still loved him enough to make nonexistent tears sting at my phantom eyes.
My love for him had transcended his gender and mine, his age and my own, his position as my suspect and my position as his captor, his knowledge that I am L and my gut telling me that he is Kira.
If we were able to overcome those things and bring each other happiness for three months, then it was not a stretch that I could forgive him for killing me.
He doesn't believe in an afterlife. I didn't either, of course, but here I am. He believes that, right now, I am gone forever.
I try to imagine him being gone forever, and I want to curl up just like he is right now.
I touch his face again, and lean down to place a kiss on his forehead. Nothing. Nothing at all.
"Well, Light, we relieved each other's boredom for a while. It's been fun."
'Light Yagami.' Bum-bum. Bum-bum. Bum-bum. Bum- ba---
His sepia eyes slid closed, and the pain from his guilt and his multiple Matsuda-induced gunshot wounds slipped from his features. He couldn't see me but I was there as always, holding his head on my lap, stroking his blood-matted hair, whispering to him that it would all be over soon.
His body shut down, and perhaps I imagined it but I could hear the moment his heart stopped. I counted down the seconds I knew he would live after the Death Note had stopped his heart.
3... 2... 1...
His eyes opened again, and I got to see what it was like when I did the same thing four years ago.
He blinked at me in awe. "Ryuuzaki?"
"Hi," I said softly. I stoop up, easing him off my lap, and he stared up at me. I help out a hand to help him up. He took it. I didn't let go when he was on his feet.
"I've missed you so much," he breathed dizzily, absorbing me with his eyes. "I thought I'd never see you again."
I reached out with my free hand, touching his face as I had a million times before, but this time he was warm. His warmth tingled up my fingers, my arms, took me over completely, just like it did so long ago. He inhaled sharply but never took his eyes off me.
"I never left," I murmured.
Shock and horror shot across his features. "What?!"
I shrugged, suddenly embarrassed that I'd been following him, been with him constantly, seen everything for four years. All the madness, all the murder, all the tears that never really stopped. I saw him "roleplay" with Misa, making her dress up as me. I had never decided if I was comfortable with that or if I wasn't. But he cried after he got back to his (our) room. He'd tried Matsuda once shortly thereafter, who was never the same ex post facto. After Matsuda, there was no one. He was always alone, even when he was surrounded by people. Well, except for me. I watched the insanity grow, watched him destroy himself.
And I never stopped loving him. I even loved the twisted creature he became, and when he came before Near and laughed, for a moment I really believed he would win. I stood in front of him when Matsuda shot him, hoping to take the bullets myself. I couldn't.
"I believe I'm a ghost. And I've been with you since the day I died."
He paled. "Then you saw..." he didn't know where to begin.
"Everything," I confirmed. "But it doesn't matter."
"So... That really was you then?" he asked finally.
"Yes. It was the last time I could touch you, until now." I caressed his cheek with my thumb, and he closed his eyes and nuzzled into my touch. "Although it was by no means the last time I tried. I held you at night. I talked to you."
"I dreamed about you every night. I heard your voice." He put his free hand upon mine on his face. He inhaled deeply, squeezing his eyes closed tighter. I wondered if I had a scent to him.
"Is that why you always cried after you woke up?" I asked softly.
He nodded, not opening his eyes.
I pulled him into me and held him close, pressing our bodies together.
"My name is L. L Lawliet."
"...creative codename, L Lawliet."
"Hiding in plain sight, Light Yagami. Ask your question."
He burrowed into me, closer. I hadn't known such a thing was possible. "What did you mean? When I... when you died. You said 'I'm glad it was you.' Did you mean you were glad it was me that killed you or glad it was me that was Kira?"
I gave him a small smile. "Glad it was you that held me as I died."
"Do you know, I wondered about that every night for four years?"
"I knew about it every time you said it out loud."
The world was turning to a fine mist around us, and I understood that it was because we were finally together. I had been around for four years, and this was only happening now that he was finally in my arms, for real, again.
"Ready to go?" I whispered in his ear.
"To Hell? To Mu?"
"I don't know. But we won't be separated."
He pulled back and smiled sadly. "Ryuuzaki, I belong in Hell. You belong in Heaven. How could we stay together?"
I kissed him lightly, softly, and held up my bare wrist, the one that had the scar matching his. He help up his own, looked at them, and smiled.
"Because we're handcuffed together," I said matter-of-factly. "And I can't find that key to save my soul."
He laughed happily for the first time in four years, kissed me, and took my hand. "Okay."
I squeezed his fingers, we turned, and together we walked straight into-