[Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand]

i.

He wonders who he is to judge this sleeping boy for playing God when he himself has dabbled in God's garden.

His precious heirs, his children, his experiments. Trained and cultivated and grown like little lab cultures in petrie dishes of classrooms. Children taken from all over the globe and brought under his wing and they look to him as they'd look to a god but Kira is Kira and not a god, but L is L and L is a god.

"My name is Lawliet. But shush, it is a secret for only you, 25."

"Don't leave me, D. Please don't leave me."

"I won't. God never leaves."

ii.

She danced at midnight, he remembers, as he watches Light sleep. When all the other children were asleep in their beds, she came and she danced for him. It wasn't a graceful or elegant dance but the attempts of a young child trying to impress her parent with her perceived talent. There was never music, because Twenty Five hated music. There was only the dance and the breathlessness and the flushed face as she moved clumsily about the room, mimicking what Six had taught her.

The princess was just a little girl in a borrowed dress and slippers and the prince was an ogre beneath a pretty mask, but the dance was real and it was enough.

"You dance well."

"Really? Do you really think so L?"

"D, 25. Here, I am D."

"D then." A smile, innocence on an eight year old face and he tries not to feel so dirty. "I'll dance for you always."

"Will you?"

"Yes. Let's be this way forever, Lawliet."

He lets the use of his name slide. "Alright."

iii.

He's probably not going to survive Kira, he thinks. Kira is clever and wily and slippery eel in one. He can feel himself sliding down the slope to the bottom, to the gates of Hell (because he's going to Hell, no doubts in his mind, not enough percents in the world to save him from fire and brimstone and what have you done B, what have you done, look at A and tell me you did not do this!), and he doesn't want to stop it. Looking at Light-this brilliant, intelligent, shining beacon of a boy who seems without emotion, without true human understanding, it hurts him. And if his hair was blonde and his eyes blue and he were old enough to be a father-oh that would hurt.

She'd been tossed away, he remembers, because her parents had not wanted a child. They'd kept her for her first seven years, the years when children were cute and people fawned over them and petted them; but she was too strange, eyes too brightbright and solemn and so very smart. She was scarybrilliant to them all -not of Near or Mello's caliber, oh no but compared to the people around her family she was terrifyingly brilliant and coldcold.-, and no one wants to fawn over a child who ignores them so.

They left her on a street corner one day and smart she may be but she was a child with a child's understanding of emotion and love and what did I do wrong mommy?

Watari brought her to him, and he could not stay away.

"They were stupid."

"Were they?"

"They must have been. That's why they didn't want me. They were dumb and I was too smart for them so they didn't like me."

"Perhaps." He could feel his heart breaking because this was wrongwrongwrong. His children should not hate another so. Hate breeds hate and violence and justice can not take hold in hatred. His heirs must believe only in justice, in L. In letters and numbers because only letters and numbers could save them(him) now. She looks a little lost as she completes the puzzle board in her lap.

"Maybe they'll miss me."

"Maybe." But you're mine now 25 and I won't let them hurt you anymore, won't let anyone hurt any of my heirs.

"I love you D."

Oh but that's what hurt him most.

iv.

He wonders if Light knows how to cry.

"Twenty Five?"

"I'm fine. Go away please D."

"Twenty Five-"

"I'm fine, really. I promise."

"No you're not." He ignores the need to hug her, to pet her hair and promise she'll be okay, that love hurts but it gets better I promise. She wipes her face and turns away and he wants to hit Matt but that's not what L is here for. It's only puppy love, she'll grow out of it in a year or two and Matt will still be her friend.

"I will be. It's nothing important D."

But when had she stopped coming to him, telling him everything as if he were a diary to tell her feelings and hopes and dreams and fears? When had this child-this beautiful, dancing little girl- stopped dancing for her prince?

He left her alone.

v.

The pain is sudden, and consumes him entirely.

He's dying.

"Will you dance for me Twenty Five?"

She looks up from her book, blonde hair tied up in a little red ribbon, confusion on her face. She has not danced for L in a long time, and he wonders if maybe she's forgotten how to dance.

"You want me to dance?"

"Yes. I'd like it very much if you would."

"...Well, alright." She puts the book aside and stands. He watches quietly. He isn't sure when she went from innocent eight year old dancing for him in the middle of the night to this almost teenage girl awkward in her own skin who avoided him at every turn. (Like a caterpillar in the middle of it's transformation to a butterfly, ripped from her cocoon before she's ready and desperately trying to build a new one before anyone sees the monstrosity she thinks she has become.)

He wonders where she will go when he is gone.

-------------

L is Dead.

While the other children mourn, she dances for her lost prince.

There's no fairy godmother here.