Notes: Whoa, you have no idea just how sorry I am about how long this last hour took me to post. I actually had it written and finished, but it just took me a while to getting around to making the corrections that my awesome beta gave me. Here's the last part and I hope that you enjoy it – and remember, if you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll answer them!
Title: Manor of Sleeping Tattoos
Pairings: L/Light ; Light-centric
Part: Final Hour: Eternal Rest
Words: 1628 words
Beta: elliott ashes
Warning[s]: Major character death
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note or Fatal Frame; Death Note is the property of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata while Fatal Frame is the property of Tecmo (and others, I think).
Final Hour: Eternal Rest
Amane doesn't enter the Chamber of Thorns with him; she remains outside. She seems to be gradually fading away.
"It's time. Go." She smiles at him, "I am happy to have met you, Light. Thank you."
He has to return the smile, this is the last time that he will see her. "I feel the same."
When he enters the chamber, he doesn't look back. There is something inside beckoning to him, and he knows that there will be no return. He doesn't mind.
– – –
Inside the Chamber of Thorns, the sights are familiar. He can see the priestesses impaled on the floors and walls, their eyes glassy and unseeing – like mirrors. All of them dream their dreams of pain with a blank look upon their faces. Each of them rests as peacefully as can be expected; they had no regrets or wishes as Reika did. As he does.
Now, though, there's something new here.
He's here. Light can see him. He's disappearing through a passage from the chamber.
"Ryuuzaki!" Even though he can't reach, Light reaches out to him and runs after him. He has to reach him, he needs to.
– – –
Beyond the Chamber of Thorns is a beach and an ocean of dark water stretching out as far as the eye can see. On its surface float several lanterns. Light can see several shadowy figures disappearing into the fog on the far horizon of the water.
On the edge of the beach, is L.
Much like Amane, his legs seem to fade away, but he's standing up to his ankles in the dark water and that impression might just be an illusion. He looks solid; he looks alive.
That's all that matters.
He doesn't know what to say, though. So they just stand there for what seems like an eternity, staring at each other. L's dark eyes watch him with a soft sort of acceptance; and although they look empty, Light can see the warmth in them, the affection and love.
Inside of his chest, it feels as though his heart might burst. It is this which he has missed the most.
"I never thought you would come here."
Light swallows, "I followed you."
A slight frown mars the other's lips and he raises his thumb to his lips. He's thinking this over, it makes Light's heart thud in his chest and fills him with warmth. Everything is rushing back to him now with a startling clarity.
"I wasn't sure if you would."
– – –
Light isn't sure how much time they have here, but he knows that the other world lies just across the body of water. He'll take whatever time he's given.
The two of them are lying in the sand. L's feet are still in the water and Light's head rests near his, looking into the other's dark eyes. He's ignoring the fact that he's still in the clothes of the priestess, but he knows that it hasn't escaped L's notice.
"I wasn't aware that you were a priestess of any kind, Raito-kun." L is resorting to his rather affectionate name for Light. It's a good sign. "Did something happen when I wasn't paying attention?"
Light gives him a small smile and shakes his head, "It's not important."
"Raito-kun is being evasive. Should I be worried?" There's a smile playing at the corners of L's lips, and Light can't help but take in every feature of the other's face; he commits all of it to memory.
"I don't think so. It's sort of a complicated story, I don't think that I'd be able to explain it properly."
It's true; Light doesn't really understand his connection to Reika himself. Amane said that he held a part of her inside of him, he now knows and understands her pain and the pain of countless others.
He thinks he understands it now, what he's supposed to do. And he's fine with it. In fact, he feels a strange sense of peace about the entire thing.
L is with him. He doesn't feel afraid anymore. The pain is gone now.
– – –
"Why did you follow me?"
Light frowns, "Because I was dreaming of you."
"Does Raito-kun know where we are?"
"You don't?" He's a little surprised, he would have thought that L would have some idea of where we are. After all, he's just as surely here as Light is. But then again, even Light isn't completely sure of exactly where they are.
"I know that if we cross this sea, there will be no turning back. I know I'm dead. But you're not Raito-kun, you can still return."
"I don't want to." It's too late for me... I know what my fate is.
– – –
He's holding L's hand in his, they're both still lying in the sand. Light has no idea how much time has passed them by, but it doesn't matter. It's been so long since he's seen the other that he just never wants this moment to end.
L's skin feels cool, but it's undeniably solid and real.
"Why did you dream of me?"
He sounds genuinely confused. Light can't help but smile; he manages to plant a short kiss on the other's nose, stifling a grin when L's eyes crosses to watch. It's far too cute and it's such an L gesture.
"I wanted to see you again," Light replies softly. "Even if it was just for a few moments."
"You are a very interesting individual, Raito-kun."
Light can't help but smile, "Thanks."
They fall into silence for a few more moments. Each weighing their thoughts carefully before they speak again.
It's Light who breaks the silence.
"Did it hurt?"
"Yes." The detective pauses before he continues, "But it was more shock than it was pain. I knew that there was a very real risk that this case would take my life, but I suppose that you're never fully prepared for your own death."
Light says nothing to that. He's been prepared for his own death for a while now.
"I'm not letting you cross alone." He knows he's caught the other by surprise, just by the fractional widening of his eyes. But his mind is made up, he will not change it now. This is what he wants and what he must do. It has become his duty as much as it was Reika's.
"Take me with you."
– – –
L helps him to his feet. It's slightly surprising to Light that the sand doesn't stick to his clothes or his hair. The other's hands are cool against his, and pale.
He isn't too surprised when the tattoos reappear, swirling up his arms in their elegant designs and patterns. It's a pattern which he alone knows. The tattoos crawl across his chest and back with a slight itching sensation – it isn't uncomfortable or painful – and stretching up to cover his neck. Branches of the holly curl around his jaw, but his face remains clear of the markings.
This tattoo embodies his pain and loss and that of Reika's. He will carry it with him to the other side.
The last of the pain carved into this manor is his to bear away from it.
– – –
The two of them have entwined their fingers together as they stand in the shallows of the waters. It's cool against Light's skin, soaking easily through the dark blue fabric of the hakama. He doesn't shiver, though, and looks forward to what awaits him.
L seems unaffected by the water, standing at Light's side in his typical hunched posture; the hand which isn't holding Light's is tucked away at his side.
Around them are several shadowy figures making their way towards the distant fog-covered shore.
Several lanterns float past them, casting a warm golden light on the water as they do. Light watches them pass with an unreadable expression on his face.
He's ready. It's time.
L gives his hand a gentle squeeze, his eyes also looking forward.
"Are you ready Rait0-kun?"
He nods. "Let's go." Together.
– – –
Sayu has not moved from her brother's side for many days. For several days, he'd been hospitalized as his parents were worried for his health and hoped that they would give them answers. They gave them nothing. It was Sayu who insisted on bringing him home.
"If he's going to... to die, then let him die at home. With us."
Light has not woken in days – weeks, actually. Both of their parents still hope and pray that he will wake up, but Sayu knows better. Light isn't going to wake up.
Her hands fist together in her lap. He looks so peaceful and innocent as he sleeps, breath rising and falling in rhythm. Sayu wonders who it is that he dreamt of, who it is who lured him deeper and deeper into the Manor of Sleep.
Light has never looked so peaceful. This is how she wishes to remember him.
– – –
Light passes away two days later.
Sayu promises to herself that she will honor his memory, that she will hold him in her heart and remember him for as long as she lives.
So long as she is alive, he will live on inside of her.
All she knows, is that he looked so happy, so at peace. She can only assume that he wanted it to end this way.
She loves him. She only knows that someone loves him more.
I'd like to pay a huge thank you to my good friend and beta, elliot ashes, for her help with this fic. You have no idea how much I appreciated it! Thanks so much!
Next, a great big thank you to all of my readers who followed this fic from start to end and have dropped me comments and reviews every now and then to encourage me on and just to let me know that they enjoyed it. Thanks so much!
Lastly, if anyone does have any questions about the fic, feel free to drop me a line! I'll answer your question as best I can.
Thank you so much everyone!