Another new fanfiction. Sigh. I really should finish off things I start *coughBlackHolesandHeroescough* but I had to get this down... The success of the first chapter will determine how often updates get done. Please, enjoy!
Blurb: "...this doesn't look like heaven." L hadn't expected an afterlife. He certainly hadn't expected it to begin with being chained to his killer... again. And he hadn't expected it to end quite the way it did, either... The story of Lawliet, Beyond and the arrancar known otherwise as Ulquiorra Schieffer.
Warning: Spoilers for the whole Death Note and Bleach series. If you haven't read them, Google right now, and have fun.
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note or Bleach (apart from the stuff used to clean the toilet), nor do I own a Death Note (or, indeed, even a computer). The Shinigami's Handbook, though, was my idea (though probably more than one person has thought of that idea already). Don't sue me.
Written To: Sam's Town, The Killers; Spaceman, The Killers; Read My Mind, The Killers. Just a little bit obsessed here, aren't we, Kyr?
Obsessed spirit: a 'plus' spirit with regrets which are attached to a certain person. They are distinguished by the Chain of Fate, attached to the focus of their regrets in the same manner as an earthbound spirit (cref: Chained Spirits). If left, the Chain of Fate will pull at the spirit's heart, which will eventually rip and come away completely from the body, causing the spirit to become a hollow (cref: Hollow).
-The Shinigami's Handbook
The first time I died was when Light finally brought me to my knees. I still remember it quite clearly; he had a strange expression on his face for that one second.
A mixture of emotions; triumph, joy – but also, less expected, sorrow and anguish flickered across his face in that split-second, before the two last took over and were added by fear.
He is Kira.. I was right…
It seemed almost ironic that the moment I realised was the moment I knew for certain I was about to die. And since I was dying, and Light had not made any visible movement for the notebook, that left Rem and Misa Amane, although it was debatable as to why exactly the reaper would put my name in the notebook. Perhaps she had wanted to save Light and/or Misa's lives, although why exactly a creature whose nature was to live by killing would want to save a human was a moot point…
Either way… that meant that the 13-day time limit on the Death Note would be incorrect. Is it possible to write down incorrect rules in the Death Note?
Another thought occurred to me. With my death, it seemed likely that the title of L would go to Light, since neither Mello nor Near had been chosen as my successors. They would have to work together in order to bring down Kira, something I personally found highly unlikely… which meant that the Kira investigation would be seriously impeded, or, indeed, halted by the prescence of Light, who would almost certainly be running the whole thing.
Then I realised I was still there. Next to Light. Except now I was chained to him again, and he was crouched over my body as the rest of the room was in chaos.
"...this doesn't look like heaven."
I had no idea what this meant, the chain coming from my chest tangled around his body, shackling me to him again.
"Light?" I reached out to touch him. Unsurprisingly, my hand passed straight through, confirming my postulation that I could no longer directly interact with the world any more.
"We're next," Light said, looking up, anguished. "Watari, Ryuuzaki… now us."
They rang an ambulance. Couldn't save me. My heart had already stopped by the time they arrived. They had difficulty with me; there were awkward questions due to my lack of identification, and the fact they didn't know my real name.
In the end, I became the equivalent of John Doe.
Just another name to be called by, after all. I had enough of them.
Light rode in the ambulance with me on the way to the hospital by himself. I had no other choice but to come with him. One thing I discovered quickly was that attempting to separate from Light was painful, and resulted in the chain starting to pull away from my chest. It limited my movement dramatically, meaning I had to be within a five-foot radius of Light in order for the chain to stop tugging. Attempting to untangle myself from him, apparently, did nothing except tangle it up even more, losing myself another foot's worth of chain.
That night, I sat next to Light as he slept restlessly at home. He kept muttering my name, disjointed words that suggested the grip of a nightmare. It felt strange, to watch him in this way again; something I'd often done when I had been unable to sleep before.
I looked up to see a humanoid creature. However, it could not be considered in any way human, with widespread black wings, matted black hair, blue skin, bright orange eyes that protruded from their sockets. If anything, it resembled a zombie, I thought, as it tilted its head to inspect me, a grin across its face.
"You're another shinigami?" I asked.
It made a strange noise – hyuk, hyuk – that was probably laughter. "You could call me that."
"Indeed." I paused for a second, since this creature seemed to be a relation to the other reaper, Rem, and therefore probably untrustworthy. However, there didn't seem to be anyone else I could talk to right now… other than Light. And he wouldn't even be able to hear me.
Light turned over in his sleep, murmuring something under his breath that sounded something like "…zaki…"
"I don't suppose you'd happen to know any way for me to get free?" I asked him eventually.
He shook his head. "None that you could use right now."
I considered this. This implied that if there was an object that could break, remove or destroy this chain, it was either not within reach right now, or I was unable to physically interact with it. And I had never bothered to practise the act of breaking a taut metal chain with my bare hands; I was a genius and a detective, amongst other things, but not a karate master. Or, I could remove the chain forcibly, and go with the consequences that went with that, which would probably be extremely painful and therefore undesirable. I'd leave that as a last resort, then.
"What's your name?"
It sounded suitable for the creature currently stood in front of me. Rough.
"Why do you follow him?"
He shrugged. "I dropped my notebook. He just happened to be the one who found it, so I have to wait."
"Until he dies. Then I can take it back."
I felt a chill. "You're just… waiting for him to die?"
"More or less."
I frowned at this logic. The shinigami, supposed and self-proclaimed 'god of death', was waiting for a human to die? It made no sense, there was no motive to it just waiting…
"You never told me your name," Ryuk said, interrupting his train of thought.
"You don't know?"
"Of course I know already. I can see it. It's still polite to ask, though. Isn't it, Lawliet?"
I felt a shiver run down my spine at my name. "Does Light-kun know?"
"If you're referring to your name, no."
"He didn't have me killed directly, then. Misa Amane?"
"No. It was Rem." Ryuk's face dropped at this. "She's dead."
I blinked. "I wasn't aware it was possible for shinigami to die."
"Shinigami can die. We can die from not collecting any souls, but there are other ways as well. If I did something to extend the lifespan of a human – " Ryuk drew a line across his neck with a fingernail.
I got the message, although I strongly suspected there were things Ryuk wasn't telling me.
He stood up, and stretched. "I'm going to find apples."
Ryuk phased through the wall with a tzuk sound before I could protest. I sighed, and sat down next to Light.
"What am I going to do with you, Light-kun…"
I quickly discovered that the mere minor drawback of being dead did not prevent me from feeling hungry. On the contrary, I was starving by the time Light woke up screaming my name. Ryuk wasn't there; it took him quite a while to calm down. My attempts to help did not work, although strangely enough, he still seemed to respond when I touched him. Eventually, he managed to get back to sleep, leaving me awake with my grumbling stomach for company.
…wait… there was my secret stash of Pocky under Light's bed.
I attempted to reach for it. It moved, slightly, which surprised me. I tentatively reached out for it again.
This time, it didn't even wobble.
I glared at it, then reached out for it again, my chain clanking gently against Light's bed. This time, my hand gripped it, and I managed to remove said foodstuff from its hiding place. Perfect, I thought, and smiled.
It seemed I needed to focus in order to interact with anything solid. That was fine. It just meant I had to pay attention –
Light groaned in his sleep, reaching down for the floor, his arm searching for something or other. His hand found my box of Pocky, and came back up with it under my horrified gaze. It was hidden beneath the blanket and hugged tightly with a contented sigh.
Great. I desperately racked my brain for ideas relating to food, when there was a slight ripping noise as Light opened the box in his sleep.
I reached out to grab it. Unfortunately, it slipped between my fingers, waking Light up once more, who jolted awake, spilling my Pocky onto the floor.
"Huh?" Light focused on the Pocky that was currently on the floor, and sighed. "Ryuu – " He stopped halfway through saying my name, and shut his eyes, counting to five silently.
During this period, I rescued as many of the chocolate-coated biscuit sticks as I could, invoking the traditional 10-second rule and depositing them temporarily on the table. Now I just had to pray Light wouldn't spot them there.
Light opened his eyes again in time to see what would appear, to him, to be a stick of Pocky floating off the ground. I hastily dropped it, making silent promises that it would not be wasted.
He shook his head, then started picking up the food and putting it back into its container, leaving one last stick out to eat before placing it on the table.
Light removed the chocolate from the Pocky in the darkness. I suspect at this point he may have been crying, although Pocky was, in general, supposed to make you feel better than before. It was probably the attached memories that came with it.
"L, you idiot… why did you have to be right…" He hit his pillow, hard, before smacking his head down against it.
And I sat next to him awkwardly, crouched on the floor, watching.
It seemed I was stuck as Kira's second guardian angel for now.
I finished off the rest of the Pocky while he was sleeping. It filled something of a hole in my stomach, at least. How was it even possible for a dead person to feel hungry, I didn't know. Where the food actually went was another puzzle to be solved, since I quickly discovered the lack of need to use a toilet.
The irritating thing was that I was still chained to Light. This came with the downside that I was unable to explore freely. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that Ryuk would refuse to answer me whilst Light was awake, and there was nobody else I could talk to. I attempted to drag Light by his end of the chain, but was unsuccessful at getting him to move. This only caused me pain, pulling the chain away from my chest and leaving the beginnings of a hole.
Currently, I was attending my own funeral. Or, rather, my gravestone. There had been a cremation, actually, but there had been some trouble since nobody had really known what to say, nobody knowing me well enough other than Watari, and he was dead as well. I silently hoped that he had gone somewhere better than I had.
The name I had been buried under was Ryuuzaki.
Light had been shopping earlier, with Ryuk following. He now produced a shiny red apple from the bag, and threw it to Ryuk. "Could I have some… private time?"
Ryuk shrugged, "Sure." He soared off into the sky, dwindling to a dark blotch on the sky as Light rummaged in his bag for something else.
It turned out to be the vanilla cheesecake he'd bought earlier.
I stared as he carefully removed it from its packaging, and placed it onto a paper plate before cutting it precisely into sixths with a plastic knife. He placed one piece onto a separate plate, then put it down next to my headstone.
"An offering?" I asked. "For me…"
"I'm sorry it had to be like this, L," Light said quietly. "Maybe if it'd been different and you hadn't got so close, you'd still be here. But… I didn't want this." He laughed humourlessly. "I don't know why I'm doing this…"
Light sat down, as I perched on the headstone. "Ryuk told me something a while ago. He told me, Humans who use the Death Note can't go to heaven or hell. I just took that to mean that there isn't a heaven or hell for us. For anyone." He took a breath at this. "I'm just hoping you went somewhere better."
Light looked down at the cheesecake, as I followed his gaze. "I thought I'd leave you cheesecake. You kept going to the fridge to raid it for Phish Food ice cream and vanilla cheesecake at midnight, and waking me up." He almost smiled. "This is probably really stupid."
"I don't think so." Ryuk's voice caused Light to jump and turn around.
"I thought I asked you to go!" Light yelled angrily.
"You asked for private time. I gave you private time." Ryuk paused. "I thought you wanted him dead anyway?"
Light was silent at this. Since he was currently not facing me, I lifted up the cheesecake and bit into it, before putting it back down whilst I chewed.
Creamy, sugary, crunchy goodness had never tasted so wonderful before.
Light picked up the remaining cheesecake, and put it away, then started to leave.
I glared at him, then decided I wasn't leaving. Besides, it would answer a little question that I currently had. I gripped the headstone firmly, bracing myself against the pain I knew would come next.
There are no real words to describe the feeling of the hollowification process. The closest analogy I could possibly come to it is this one; imagine someone first managed to place their hands in their flesh, take hold of your sternum, and then attempted to rip it out of you.
I suspect strongly at some point I may have started screaming, only stopping when I bit my tongue.
The only thing I could do was hold on to the headstone and hope.