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Champagne Petals
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Not mine.

AN: Takes place immediately following the previous chapter.

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- Heartbeat - An Interlude
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The night air is still crisp in her lungs and the house is quiet as Light tiptoes up the stairs, her mother still at the hospital, Sayu long since asleep, and Ryuk's still drifting close, so she reaches up and lets her fingertips brush the edge of his wings, tugs experimentally on a feather and smiles to hear him squawk.

"Can I steal one from you?" she asks, teasing, thinks of braiding a string of her shinigami's feathers into her hair, letting them drift soft and gentle against her cheek every time she laughs and tosses her head, another mystery for Ryuuga to frown at, a reason for long pale fingertips to card through her hair, and she wouldn't know, it would be impossible to know, and maybe she's too reckless but there's no way, no way for anyone to connect an affectation like that to Kira, except Ryuuga would, of course she would, and that's half the temptation of it all.

Ryuuga would know but have no way to prove it, and Light could smile at her, duck her head and peer up through her lashes and say that it reminded her of her, the feathers ink-black and endlessly soft, and how perfect, how perfect that Ryuuga's hair is the closest thing she's ever seen to a shinigami's wings, her smile a shinigami's smile, her skin death-pale and her eyes the void of eternity.

Light could bring her a honey-colored feather of her own, an offering and a taunt, and she would pour a little of herself into it if she could, open a vein for the only one who would ever deserve it, and Ryuuga would never wear it in her hair, never, but she would keep it, hide it and conceal it, and Light, Light would know, and it would be perfect.

Ryuk won't let her steal his feathers, gives an unhappy flail and escapes to the safety of the ceiling when she tries, and Light flops back onto her bed and laughs up at him, still buoyant with joy.

Her father is alive.

Her father is alive, and Ryuuga is L, and the world she has made is perfect.

Ryuuga is L, and always has been, never a lie except always, always a lie, because L is a liar for now and for always, never a lie because the truth is always beneath it, and she knows, she knows, Ryuuga told her, not a lie and the best of lies, always, always, always.

"Because I am Kira," she whispers to the darkness and her shinigami, fingers pressed to her lips, her lips that had brushed against a porcelain-pale cheek scarce an hour before, "because I am Kira, so Ryuuga must be L."

Alpha and omega, in the western tradition, that slightest hint of other, of an accent that she hadn't been able to place, but the numbers are wrong for kotoamatsukami, but that doesn't matter either, she's building a new world, a new religion, and Kira will reign forever but L, L will always be the beloved adversary, L will always be hers alone.

Light rolls to her feet, showers and re-dresses, preens in the mirror and curls her fingers into her own hair, gives herself another moment to dream, then sits at her desk and continues her work, because there's no time to stop, no matter the wonder of her world.

So much to do, so many plots to plan, and in the silence and the darkness, Light can't stop smiling, can't stop the silvery laughter bubbling past her lips with every stroke of her pen.

Ryuuga is L.

Of course she is.

Oh, of course she is.

She could never be anyone else.