Make Me Beautiful
Miya's Note: Hello, all. here's another fic from my archives that I never uploaded here. This was for a competition on MangaBullet, wherein the prompt was to write a DN fic, around the concept of "a year later". It could be any character, a year after any event. Instead of using Mello or Matt, I chose to do something different, and write about Misa, the year after Light's death. The event at the end of this fic and the date it happened are canon, as according to the How To Read: 13. I've never been a fan of Misa (though I like her much more than I used to), but I really felt for her writing this, and I hope you enjoy.
She wished she could remember. She wished she knew the meaning of it all--of the big black holes in her mind, of fear that she couldn't place, and of the sense of nostalgia she got when she thought back to before this had all happened--and she dreaded, most of all, that what she was forgetting were memories of him.
What she did remember was that he had been amazing. He had been smart, too, and smarter than she was or had ever been, she knew. She didn't mind, though, because he'd loved her anyway.
He'd loved her, then he'd died.
She may not have been as smart as he had been, but she had enough sense to reason that she'd probably been right in thinking he'd been the saviour she always knew, deep down, he was. The day he'd died was the same day Kira's killings had stopped. That made it hurt even worse when she thought about him, she realised. Not only had her husband and the man she'd loved died, but so had the man who had avenged her parents. Her lover, her Saint.
God was dead.
Even worse, she mused, was that she didn't know he was the Saviour, until he'd proven his mortality. She wondered often if maybe, deep in the empty holes left in the recesses of her mind, a happier her had known once. Back when she was still beautiful, and made moreso basking in his shine. He had illuminated her. Where she couldn't find the beauty in herself, he had made her complete.
She'd always thought his name was fitting.
When he'd died, however, the sparkle had faded from her eyes--from all of her--and she fell into darkness.
She'd had a common upbringing. She had a mother, and a father, and they loved her. A common Japanese girl, in a common Japanese home, though growing up everyone had always told her she was pretty. She had dreams, then. She dreamt of being extraordinary. She dreamt of turning from pretty to beautiful, and she dreamt of making people happy. After all, that's all the world needed sometimes, right? The touch of something beautiful?
But it was only dreaming, until one day, something happened that changed everything. A man came into her ordinary home, and did something terrible. She watched her ordinary parents die, and she watched the man get away.
But with that, the world watched her back.
What a lot of people, except for her biggest fans who'd looked into her pas, didn't know was that her career started on the news cameras. They didn't know that it was a sob story that got the media eating out of her hand. They didn't realise that her whole career had blossomed from something horrible.
In just weeks, she went from being an orphan, to the daughter of Japan. As she broke into the spotlight, nobody ever looked at the sadness in her eyes. Nobody ever remembered the terrible things that had happened to her. They just knew that she had a presence on the camera, and it made them want to see more. Quickly, the presence morphed from that of an ordinary girl with tears on her cheeks to a peppy fashionista who hid the tears under smiles and sun-blond hair that, she realised, reminded her much less of her parents' dark hair--helped her not to have the nightmares quite as often.
There was another boost to her career, when a maniac fan had tracked her down, cornered her while she was getting some fresh air without the safety of bodyguards and the paparazzo's watchful glass-and-shutter eyes. He'd tried to kill her. However, as he came nearer and nearer with the knife in his hand, ready to cut her down like her family's legacy said he should, he collapsed, and died, instead.
Once again, news cameras were the ones who saw her. This time, "The Lovely Celebrity, Attacked!" graced the headlines. Lovely. Better than pretty, but not quite beautiful, still.
However, not long after, others started to die the same way her attacker had.
When He appeared, that was when her beauty truly blossomed.
Her parents' killer had been eliminated by Kira. Her parents had been avenged, and their deaths hadn't been in vain. The childish fear that he'd escape and kill her, too, was gone. She owed her life to him. Perhaps he'd been the one to save her, too?
A flash, and a familiar, empty ringing in her ears, and she knew she'd hit another void. A numb sensation said it hadn't been Kira, it had been someone who she couldn't remember at all who had spared her from that man. There was an ache in her heart at the feeling that someone had loved her--truly loved her--once. Someone who wasn't him, but who it still hurt to forget. Maybe more than one someone, she couldn't be sure.
She searched her mind even as the ringing hindered her, to remember what had happened next. Blank space and blackness, then her Light in the dark. She didn't know how she'd found him. She only knew that he was the one for her. She only knew that, suddenly, she had been knocked off her feet, and the celebrity, lit up with love, had finally become truly, deeply, simply Beautiful.
At his side, she smiled for the first time she could remember, and the cameras picked up the difference.
But she'd left it all behind not long after, to be with him. She left behind the celebrity's life, so she could be his star alone. She left for promises of happily ever after, of becoming the perfect beautiful housewife. She left, because even if she became a mother, he was too beautiful to let their family be an ordinary one. They would be the king and queen, their sons and daughters princes and princesses. It was a promise that thrilled the ordinary girl inside her.
But the kingdom had all crumbled away when he'd died (He wasn't supposed to die! He said we'd be together forever!) and in the space that she'd been out of the spotlight, the glass-and-shutter eyes had forgotten how to recognise her face.
They'd held an audition and found a new girl who didn't have to face the pain she'd felt to reach the same peaks. The fans, even those who'd felt her pain once, who adored her when she'd been in front of their faces, forgot in her absence. Cruelly, she was shut away from the sets, swallowed and spit back out into the gutter by the monster known as Media.
It had been a little over a year since then, and as the holes loomed in her own mind, similar ones erased who she had been from the world.
She had spent the anniversary of his death curled up in her bed, thinking of the memories they'd made together, driving herself mad trying to find the memories she'd lost, but when night hit, and it wasn't that horrible day anymore, her mind swam with the bleariness of no sleep, and she started thinking in other ways. She started thinking, instead, of how to make it right.
Valentine's Day was coming up, and she had a plan.
She went through her closet, through her old clothes. She found the perfect outfit, tailored it to fit her body as it was now; worked her magic to make it flattering, even though she'd gained weight through the eating and inactivity of depression. She went through her old makeup, threw away the nail polishes that had dried out, and she found the perfect combination of colours. She bleached her hair sun-blond again, and then she looked at herself in the mirror--really looked--for the first time since her beauty had faded away. It terrified her, but she'd be alright, she knew. She would make it better.
She visited the Yagami household, asked for any memories they had of him, asked if she could have some things to try and remember him by. They gave her pictures, and let her take a few things from his old room, which had been restored back to how it had been before he'd moved out to live with her. She went to the store and bought herself a feast with some money she had left over. All through the trip, she shirked away from the eyes of people around her, instead of soaking up their gazes like she had done once before.
Nobody recognized her.
But when the big day came, she put on her dress, dangled sparkle from her ears and around her neck. She lined her eyes and made her lashes glisten with the shiny black of mascara, instead of the cold wet tinge of tears. She brushed her hair and put it up so it framed her face in a heart as it once had, put concealer on to hide the wrinkles she'd gained, and the deep blue bags under her eyes. With lipstick, gloss, and blush, she brought a redness back to her lips, plumped them back up so they looked kissable again, and brought colour back into her pallid cheeks.
She went through the box of things the Yagami family had so generously given her. She piled pillows that still carried his scent on a dining room chair, then folded a shirt on top of those. Above that, she propped up a framed portrait of him, and then she, for the first time since the last Valentine's Day when she couldn't stand its weight anymore, opened the box that contained her engagement ring and put it on, imagining it was a wedding band. She found a simple gold ring and envisioned it had been his, nestling it in front of the portrait. It was almost like they were really married, now.
She set up the feast and sat across the table from the altar to Him, and she spoke to his portrait like he were there, alive, and imagined up new memories to replace the ones that she had lost.
And when it was all said and done, she went to the window of the high-rise apartment--one of the few things he'd left her--and she opened it and leaned out into the fresh air.
She remembered back to where it had all begun, to how something horrible had put her on the road to beauty, and with that memory tucked close to her heart, she climbed out the windowsill and stood on the landing outside, looking over the expanse of people who had once loved her.
And then, Amane Misa, smiling again for the first time in just over a year, jumped.
It was like a dream, looking down at the people looking up at her. What she saw wasn't the horror in their eyes, but the watchful, adoring gazes of a million fans. What she heard wasn't the people screaming in terror, but her audience cheering her on.
The wind whipped through her skirt and her hair, and the afternoon sun shone brightly upon her like stages' lights and camera's flashes. There was a soaring sensation, and it filled her, sending butterflies through her stomach like the feeling of being in love.
And for a moment, she was beautiful again.