Summary: This time tomorrow, he will be dead; and Misa cannot fathom telling him.

Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.

Note: Ten alternative reality moments.

Warning(s): Bad language. Adult situations. Alternative reality.


shun your father's treasure ships -


Penelope


- and hold me close. alone.


8. time is running out

This time tomorrow, he will be dead; and Misa cannot fathom telling him.

"Misa will miss you."

Misa-Misa dropped. No skeletons in the closet. Honest for the first time. She remembers Rem telling her that God rips out the throats of liars, if there is one. If. Misa isn't so sure she believes anymore. She has Light, and Light is a good enough replacement; he's better than the original – but it feels like there will be something missing.

"You never got the chance to learn how."

She, who must exist – she will move on. He's still going to die. And she'll die long after him. He knows this much; he'd want her anyway.

"But Misa will."

Teacups on the table with rabbits painted on. Sour cherries in a bowl. No more favourites. Today, she will not eat strawberries; they are – were – his favourite. Life will continue; her, resplendent in the sunlight. Him, under dirt and not belonging wherever she will send him.

"That's unlikely."

Somehow, he's still finding a way to make this about her. Her world trembles. She continues, although her hands are shaking because he god damn knows and he isn't supposed to. He still raises his like he's about to pray, although it won't save him. Then his hands are on hers and she wants to cry. But she will not. He is a sinner.

"Percentage?"

She asks. That is all she is to him; facts, figures, numbers. Algebra dancing upon an otherwise blank lined sheet. She exists, and he will cease to exist because she has the audacity to love Light; if she really does love him anymore.

"I don't know. High."

Sky high, higher than some kid trying his first pill popping experience before going out and murdering a family because that's what sinners do. She closes her eyes and sinks back into the sofa, white bleeding unto white. She will not be Penelope, she will not weep enough water for Odysseus to swim home in.

"You're wrong."

She insists, although there is a wry smile on his face. L is very rarely wrong. Light is a killer – for the right reasons – Light is Kira – it's murder – Light is her saviour. L didn't stop her family getting murdered, but Light had enacted her revenge. He stands up, and moves to bend down next to her ear. He speaks.

"I'm going to die soon, aren't I?"

Rem is behind him. An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind, but it's a much cleaner place to live in once the bloody mess has been disposed of. She bows her head and hides her eyes, stopping the conversation with the flow of tea.

"Misa is sorry."

She whispers back, regretfully. Misa hasn't wanted regret since the age of reckoning, when her home was covered in her parents' blood and; no. Stop. Breathe. The stalker, too. People died to get her to this point, but that does not make her a bad person. She doesn't want her friend – Lawliet his name is Lawliet and he is not your friend or anything – to die.

"I am too."

Sorry that he couldn't help her, he means. But apologies are just words.


1. it's never that easy though, is it?

The first time she comes to the glass prison, L is captivated.

"You know, I'm a fan of Misa."

Her eyes are fixed anxiously on her plate. He's given her everything he'd want. Tea in a bone china cup, painted with one of the views of Mount Fuji. A pile of pure white sugar. Cake on a matching plate. He'll keep the cutlery when she's left and treasure it dearly, not to be sold. Just owned. He likes the feeling of having something that Light won't ever have; it's a childish, thieving feeling. But he does not like to lose.

"Misa-Misa's not."

She thinks that he hasn't noticed. If you keep people talking and their eyes fixed on you, it's easier to slip food on to their plate. He won't say anything, but gives her a smile which she clearly misinterprets – it means I'll keep your secrets safe and close sorry for seeing your true face – because her lips draw into a tight purse.

"That's modest."

She looks tired. She hasn't been eating. Truth is, she hasn't for three days. She wanted to be lovely when Light saw her; and she is not lovely like the girls he normally seems to find attractive. Misa is not stupid, but she does not have a university degree and she knows that in his eyes she cannot compare with one of the sensible looking dark haired women that surround him every day. She lists the names inside her head to make sure she remembers: she must be pretty, she must be perfect. Light wouldn't want a fat girl.

"Misa-Misa supposes."

He leans forward to take her silver fork, alone and ignored. She fumbles and moves back a bit. She knows that he has noticed, and he curses himself for this untactile move. He likes who she appears to be in the public eye, but he does not know her; and the only reason he needs to is for this investigation. She is - most likely - a murderer. But somehow, grand things like justice don't seem to matter in the face of the everyday depression like hers.

"Or maybe it's the best way for Misa to live with herself?"

It's an outright accusation and she jerks back, shamefaced. Light has warned her not to let this man play games with her. But she will not be beaten. Misa doesn't care if she wins or loses; as her manager says, any publicity is good publicity. People know you. Or they like to think they do. And pretty soon they forgive you for anything. But they don't understand that you'd give anything just to escape -

And she is trapped behind the bars along with him.


3. monster

When Misa was little, she loved ghost stories.

"Misa, do you know what a shinigami is?"

Her mother always said that shinigami weren't cruel. They were just doing their jobs. And in this, she is almost right. Rem is Rem. Rem makes sure that she is eating, she tucks her into bed at night; and unlike Light, she asks for nothing. But she likes apples. So Misa leaves them lying around for her as a silent thanks. But Rem, Rem is giving them the power to kill for fun. Really, each and every human therefore means nothing at all.

"A death god."

She breathes, slight exaltation in her voice. If L notices it, he doesn't comment. He's not good with emotions. To him, everything is numbers and figures. Light is one of them, almost. Almost. He's the closest she'll ever get to really existing.

"So what are humans in comparison?"

This door clicks open signaling the enterance of her own personal God and she smiles brightly, showing her teeth. Her mouth is lined in bright red, and L almost flinches. He stops himself at the last moment. She is a child playing adults games that she doesn't understand; this is what he has convinced himself of.

"Monsters."

And when Misa grew up, the ghost stories were real; and she hated every one of them.


5. braille

Misa hates tears.

"Misa, are you feeling alright?"

She hadn't been a virgin. But it hurt. Life is not beautiful like everyone tells you it is. This is the real world: men are rough because they prefer it that way, and if it makes you cry you probably deserved it, but they promised to love you. Forever. But oh how she wishes the world really was romantic. She needs it to be.

"Misa-Misa knows what it's like to be in love."

He pulls her up from where she is crumpled into herself on the floor into him. He is not sure how to comfort her, or even if it is proper to do so. But she molds into him as they sit awkwardly on the floor, and God he thinks –

"I hope I never know."

But he does. Light might not really want her; and he doesn't understand it but he does. He has only ever had the upmost desire to protect the weak. Democracy demands he must not harm a murderer. Justice. It means everything to him. But she is a murderer, even if he wants to believe otherwise. And they're both just waiting for the moment to betray one another.

"So does Misa. It's so horrible; Misa can't even wish it on you."

She whispers. And he pulls himself away sharply. He must not get close to her. Both he and Light were the same. Just two jerks letting her sit in the middle and wait for the ultimatum. They both use her. And the thought makes him sick.

"We can't just sit here."

He falters for the words. She can't look at him. She is a woman; and all he can see when he looks at her is a little girl. She is barefooted at the end of a bed, sitting on a floor in front of him not really pouring her heart out. She is Cassie, weaving and weaving and never being seen for what she really is; and she is a lonely, cast-our liar, and this is just how it is. They sit and bite their tongues, twiddle their thumbs. They are nothing without Light. They are nothing without – each other.

They can sit here forever.


2. bird stealing bread

"Misa is lovely, isn't she?"

L says conversationally, stacking the final sugar cube on to the top of his pile. He is slyly watching her, or so he likes to believe. She has noticed that he keeps turning to look at her. But for now, she says nothing. Of this much, Light is certain.

"You think so?"

Her boyfriend answers, a noncommittal grunt. L looks over at her again through the glass wall as she raises her arms outside in the rain, dancing barefoot and thinking that nobody who she doesn't want to see this ever will. She's cute, in a self-obsessed, narcassitic kind of way. But she scares him. She scares him so much that it feels like his chest is burning when he looks at her. Something about her is absolutely terrifying. This is what he tells himself that Light is pertaining to with his blank answer.

"Yes. She is lovely. But she's terrifying in the same way."

Light almost smiles at this. He taps his watch as close to L's face as he can, and leans in for the kill. He whispers the truth. This is why her beauty is so terrifying; she has blood on her hands, because she doesn't seem to understand that it's wrong to murder innocent people, because she has killed Gods. This is why Light cannot love her.

"It's because she's not supposed to be alive."


7. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.

"Let us proceed on the premise this is real."

She lifts her hands in a shaking prayer. She believes in Light she does she does she does oh; sun of a gun. Once burned. Not stupid enough to let it happen a second time. He'd left her for dead, blinded. He cannot turn her to golden sunlight when he's just a wandering gypsy with some cheap tricks he has stolen from the real Kings.

"Misa is-"

He cuts her off with one single lifted finger. The mascara is slipping down her eyelashes further in heavy clogs. Not spider legs, but dead poisonous thick sticks sliding further and further down. It's not from tears but rather that she's trying to close her eyes, which is near impossible with this amount of shit clogging up your sight.

"You are the one who is going to kill me."

He is correct. And rarely, she feels some sympathy for him; because she doesn't know what it will be like without him, and because she knows she will genuinely regret so much death being on her hands. Or just his death. He never did anything wrong. He was just in the way of what she wanted to be her reality. So she steadies herself, and reaches out her arms to him. She does not want this to be affection. But it is.

"Why aren't you stopping me?"

He falls forward into them, and presses his face into the crook of her neck. She feels his lips move. He is not conventionally beautiful like Light; but there is something that hints at the raw, unconventional kind of attractiveness nobody she has ever known has possessed. He is skinny and pale, tufty dark hair like a crow, too large eyes – a startled deer trapped in her headlights - and she wishes it had been him that she loved first.

"Because I want you to stop yourself."

He isn't quite telling her that he loves her. Narcissus, Narcissa more like. She has always loved beautiful things. She spent hours at the mirror to be one of them. It is why she completely and utterly loves Light. And so, she will not be the one to admit it.

"You fell for Misa."

She whispers, pressing her face into his hair. He neither confirms nor denies this, but she knows it is a fact. The top of all the percentages he has ever been certain of. She is no longer numbers and figures, questions of what she is doing are gone. He just wants her to know how lovely she is; and this is the reason in one quick movement he kisses her.

"Even your Gods have loved you. Why should I be any different?"

He asks, pulling away. She supposes he has never known anything like this. She likes to think this is the same as the feelings she holds for Light; that she is simply thrown by this admittance. But somewhere beneath her skin, her ribs are aching because she knows it's not true and her organs are being traitors so that she understands. Gods have loved her; and she has loved herself, but she loves someone mortal. Someone who can die.

"Because you're human."

With Misa, life is like this. You go through expecting something brilliant to happen, and it always does. But it happens so much, instead of feeling joy; you begin to feel disappointment. And this is how she feels about herself right now. She could have anyone she wants – and yet she is choosing a human. A creature so breakable it reminds her that she is just flesh and blood. She is mortal. And just like him, she will one day cease to exist.

"And I will die."

He answers. So she kisses him back, just because she doesn't know what else to do and because this world is so damn awful and she's been living on borrowed time for as long as she can remember. And when her hands slide his shirt from his wrecked body and he complies, she desecrates him. And when he whispers that he loves her into her skin, it echoes in her head and each syllable ingrains itself into her skin. But this is only once, she reasons. This can never happen again.

Reality has never been so flimsy.


4. sticks & stones

"Should you be dead?"

She had been monotonously flicking through TV channels, but now she stops. He knows he has no perception of emotion now more than ever. But she is shaking, and he is certain that it is true. Light wasn't joking. And now, he understands why she supports Kira; and why she believes that humans are monsters.

"Misa-Misa's friend died instead."

Again, there is a fanatical gleam in her eyes like she is silently worshipping somebody who he cannot see. And he does not understand any longer. She has become obsessed with living because she should no longer exist. Her unreality is what is shaping the reality of everything around them. He knows now that she is a killer, that Light is most definitely Kira; and that despite all this; he cannot be the one to finally end her existence.

"That friend must have loved you."

He answers, his ghostly whisper coming out from between chapped lips. She still does not turn to face him, but from looking at her profile he can see that Misa knows this very well. She knows that anybody can love her; and for this reason, she will continue to live. And with some regret aching through her body, she tells him a second truth.

"But Misa-Misa didn't even know him."


9. nobody puts baby in the corner

For fifteen seconds, Misa is God.

L is dead. Light has been killed by his successor. And while everybody is running mad in wonderland, she is walking free. It's like nobody can see that she is the one who has been doing all the dirty work. Then, absolution. Ryuk is still there. And Ryuk has new toys for her. She smiles monstrously as he hands her it.

"This doesn't mean that Misa-Misa likes you."

He gives her the death eraser half because he's a cruel bastard, and half because he expects her to bring back his favourite pet.

She does not fail in disappointing him when instead; she rubs out L's name.


6. eve the apple of my eye

"You don't love him."

L says. She bows her head, half wanting to deny it; but knowing that admittance is a far better thing. It's just as Rem had said, she'd never known the God that saved her life; and in the same way, she does not know Light, who to her is the second coming.

"I want to."

She has insisted it has been love, until now. She has done everything for him. She has laid out her body, her flesh and blood; and she has killed for him and bathed herself in sin. Any real God will not forgive her for this sacrilege. But she needs instant fulfillment, and this is what Light gives her. And he gives her justice. He did what real Gods never had; he'd judged those who would have seen her slaughtered as a lamb.

"It's not the same."

They both know it is true, and so the protests die in her throat. But she wants to believe. She has never wanted anything as much as she wants this. And as long as she wants it, she can continue to force herself to believe that he loves her too. They need each other, in a distinctly fucked up way – but in the same way she needs L – and she isn't sure exactly why this is. She just knows that they're supposed to be together. That's her happy ending.

"Misa knows."

She will not cry in front of him again. Her pride refuses to let her. And so she drops her head, brings her knees up and buries her face. Although she does not know it, she looks pathetic; and L is instantly drawn to her admittance of weakness. It's not so much of what she can do that bothers him, because she could kill him any time she felt like it. It's more of what she can't do because she needs to believe that things will turn out right in the end.

"I think I do, too."

Because he doesn't want to love her. But something inside of him, however small, is beginning to. And she is beautiful while he is an outcast, and he cannot accept her as she is; he's never sure whether or not she's going to go for the jugular or break down in front of him like she's praying for some wretched form of forgiveness.

"Misa doesn't want this."

She tells him, a quiet rejection. But she does. Oh how she does.


10. xo

He is cold. So very cold. But he is alive.

"I shouldn't be here."

He whispers. But she in her eternal stabs at creation has made it so. In seven days, the world was made. In three days, the son of God walked again. In a minute, she has resurrected a mortal. She pushes her body against him, although she knows that he will not feel the warmth. It is nice to feel loved. It is nice to feel truly – alive.

"That makes two of us."

He is not the same as the walking dead, but he might as well be. He has been born again. And under her fingertips she can feel his heart beating as she pushes her hands against the skin covering his ribcage. This is not the sound of heartbreak. This is, this is – wrong. But it's done with love. Although he won't understand. Although she doesn't entirely understand herself.

So she holds him close. He's just like her, and she's been waiting.


Penelope and Odyseuss remind me a lot of Misa and L; although I can't quite summarise why.

Constructive criticism much appriciated.