Alright...so this was actually written as a sequel to this very well-written LxLight story I found in the dn_kink meme, but I forgot the name, and I haven't been able to find it. Basically, when people die, they enter a hellish Mu, and the only way to escape is to find their soulmate. In the original story, Light starts out looking for Misa, but, you guessed it, ends up with L instead. I liked it, but I immediately felt bad for Misa, and for B, who made a short appearance but was presumably left alone. SOOO...this was my solution.

You don't have to read that story to get this one, though, I'm pretty sure it stands well on its own. Please read and enjoy!

-Hana


She couldn't breathe, she couldn't see, she couldn't hear. She could only feel, touch, endure the blackness that swallowed her whole, cold walls pulsated around her clammy skin like the beating heart of a constricted snake. They pushed her downwards, contracting, forcing, squeezing their sinister arms around her in a warm embrace before violently tearing away a piece of her and shoving her down the neverending spiral. So this was Death.

Yes. This was the process of death. A black hole rotating, descending into a eternal spiral. With blackness surrounding her and crushing her like a castaway doll? Oh. Doll...yes. She was a doll. How could she have forgotten? She laughed, and laughed, and laughed, the pain peeling away at her flesh and slipping into her veins. And then, she opened her eyes, and realized she was still falling.

Misa, despite the countless murders she had committed, had never really given a large portion of thought to what death exactly was. She had always believed that there was a place for the righteous and a place for the damned. Even if others (specifically, her sister) found this thinking childish, Misa couldn't bear to think any other way, especially after the horrific deaths of her parents. The only way she ever had a remotely pleasant sleep was to believe that they were somewhere happy and safe.

But now...as she stepped from the highest of buildings and fell towards the ground with maddening speed, everything seemed to have suddenly stopped. Her long eyelashes blinked furiously, giving the cement beneath her slight butterfly kisses. Her forehead dipped a bit, making contact with the earth, and then Misa realized that these last seconds of her life, these last excruciating moments were to be last minutes, hours, years, maybe even decades. Pain erupted through her body as the front of her skull slowly cracked, as the bloody dripped down like an hourglass onto the pavement. Pieces of bone meticulously pierced the inside of her head, and she screamed, and screamed, and screamed with horror and writhed, writhed, writhed with meandering torment. Her lips were always silent. Her body was always still.

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes, shuddering gasps begging to me let out as her neck hit the ground and bent, and twisted, and snapped. In a few seconds. In a few eternities.

The pain was unbearable. It was horrifying, brutal. She felt bile eat and inch its way up her throat. Would this ever end? she wondered helplessly? Perhaps. In a few forevers. She would just have to wait, and endure, and hope.

But then, her neck was completely broken, and her body was fully on the ground. The last of her sight was of the cloudy forecast, of tall skyscrapers shooting up from the ground to pierce the heavens above. And then her sight blurred, darkened, and dimmed. Then, nothing.

The blackness took over again, but this time she nearly welcomed its presence.

~0~0~0~

She opened her eyes widely as a violent intake of breath rocked throughout her body. A hoarse cough rose up and racked her throat... dry, and cracked, and peeling. Her hands were grasping fistfuls of dead grass, and at the back of her mind she noted that she was on her knees. A string of blood dangled precariously from her lips, her body still shaking from the forcefulness of it all. Slowly, her eyes drifted away from the translucent ground beneath her and towards the dim sky above her. Everything seemed so vast. So big. And she felt so undoubtedly alone.

There was a hole, a malevolent cavity that was eating away at her humanity, and a great big void of nothingness that filled her entire being.

Still in a daze, Misa struggled to stand, her knees dirty and wobbly. She grasped a nearby tree weakly, her fingertips clawing into the peeling bark as she stumbled onto her feet. She felt so undeniably weak, as if something had been taken from her, and she needed to get it back. That was when she noticed the pain shooting through her chest. Her brown eyes glanced down wearily, but widened in horror, shock, and disgust when they encountered the reality of it all.

There was a hole in her chest. A literal hole in her chest, as if someone, something, had ripped through her body and torn away her heart. There was blood running steadily down her black dress, flesh dangling from the violently-wrought opening. She...she lost her heart. Someone had taken her heart.

With this realization, something inside her died. The light in her eye flickered into a dim nothing, and silently, she joined the million other wandering souls, searching for something to fill the hole in her chest. All alone in midst of a crowd.

She had an inexplicable need to find her other half...Light, maybe? But Death had an almost jeering way of clearing judgement, and part of her hated him with everything she had. A far larger part, of course, still needed him.

"Light..." she called hoarsely, bumping through crying spirits that wandered aimlessly. "Light..."

I want my heart back, Light.

There was no time to lose, yet she had all the time in the world.

~0~0~0~

She staggered into a field, barren, dead, filled with the rotting remains of things that could have been, and of things that might be. There was no sun, no light, no comfort. Just the cold, and the gnawing want to be whole again. How long have I been walking? she asked herself vainly. The pain in her feet suggested days, even perhaps weeks, but it seemed as if she had only just begun. The loneliness was beginning to become overbearing, frightening, even. The other spirits terrified her, horrified her. The only hope she had was Light.

A movement caught the corner of her eye, and she immediately backed up several steps. She...she had seen what she could become. She had seen loneliness corrupt human souls into frightening, grotesque monsters. She couldn't bear to see anymore, and steadied her feet to break into a run.

"Misa Amane."

Her blood froze, her hands began to visibly shake as they hurried to cover up the visible void that was in her chest. Her figure was trembling as she slowly turned around to face whoever spoke to her.

She gave a double-take.

"...Ryuzaki? No...no, you aren't L..." Indeed, this man had an uncanning resemblance to the detective that she had both liked and loathed what seemed an eternity ago. The had the same hair, the same posture, the same despicable clothes. But...he wasn't L. There was a torn and ragged blindfold bound tightly across his eyes. The fabric was crusty with dried blood; crimson trails made their way down the pasty white of his skin.

A sick, demented sort of happiness bubbled up inside her. He's just like me.

"Correct," the man before her said dully. "I am not L. Just his defective...backup." He was seated in a strangely normal position, fiddling around with dead grass, bending, shaping, crafting. Misa noted with distasteful interest that there were at least a hundred grass dolls littered across the ground.

"Backup?" she questioned, hesitantly taking a seat next to him. "And you knew my name. How?"

His fingers kept working. "I know everyone's name." he said simply.

Misa laughed nervously. The man was making her more than a little uncomfortable, but it was as if she was supposed to be here and listen. There wasn't anything else more important she could do, anyways. Except, maybe, find her heart.

She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, trying to keep her composure. "How do you know people's name?" she asked, forcing a small smile.

His movements suddenly stopped. The half-made doll hung limply from his hand, nestled in a caress from its maker. He craned his neck to face her, staring at her with those blind eyes. "It never ends," he said quietly. "You'd think it'd end with death."

The doll was suddenly violently ripped to shreds, the strange man destroying it with cold precision. There was a yelp, and Misa fell from her seat, startled, crawling backwards in fear.

He threw the remains into the still winds, and watched them fade away. And then it was all as if nothing had happened. He plucked more dead grass and began to construct yet another doll. Misa's first impulse was to run.

She sat back down next to him.

"Um..." she stuttered, not bearing to look at the strange man directly, "H...how do you know everyone's name?"

His fingers visibly tensed, but went straight back to work with the new doll. "I have the Eyes."

If you would have had a heart, it would have skipped a beat.

Misa's eyes widened with shock and wonder. "You mean like...Shinigami eyes?" she asked in awe. A mad sort of excitement bounced inside of her.

"Yes," he said. "Like you once did."

She wasn't sure if her body could tremble any more viciously This man...she knew nothing about him. But he knew far too much about her. It was disturbing, and odd. But the pain in her chest intensified, and once again she entertained the insane notion that this strange, strange man could help her recover her heart.

I can be your Eyes.

"You're creepy." she stated. "You're creepy, and a stalker."

A slow, rumbling chuckle escaped his throat quietly, hoarsely, as if he had never truly laughed in his life. "It's strange, and interesting, and horrifying," he said, more to himself than to her. "When we were alive, we used the Eyes to see a person's true name and death date. Now, I see everyone's name and their chains."

Misa scooted a bit closer, her initial revulsion slowly overcome by interest and curiosity. "Chain?" she repeated.

He (presumably) glanced at her, the yellowed white of the blindfold contrasting against the milkiness of his skin. "Yes, chain. Their chain of fate." He nimbly formed the hands of his doll, smoothing it in an almost affectionate manner. "That's the only way a person can get out of this hell."

The two souls were one, once, before Sin tempted and destroyed the neverending circle.

Misa looked at him incredulously. "You mean like..." -she blushed furiously as she thought of Light- "...soulmates?" If she would have looked down, she would have noticed the hole had become a bit larger.

He placed the finished doll next to him, picking up one of the dozens of others that surrounded the area. "Exactly. In order to escape nothingness, you must find the person you care about more than yourself."

She nodded furiously. "That sounds easy enough," she said, her cheeks warming. For a moment, she forgot that he had taken her heart.

He placed a doll gently in her hand, taking the other one into his own. "Not exactly," he responded. "The chain of fate means that there is only one person who can be with you. One person out of billions."

Her heart sank. "Oh." she said quietly. "Is that why there are people moving together constantly?"

"Yes."

"Then why aren't you looking for a way out?"

"Because I don't have anyone," he said casually, as if talking about the weather. "The chain of fate doesn't apply to me. I am destined to be alone. The one purpose I had in life, I failed. I don't care."

And then a smile sliced its way across his face, a demented Cheshire grin. "L's all alone too," he said almost gleefully. "He's got no one." He paused, and then let out a rumbling, bizarre, almost fake cackle. "And if he ends up with anyone, it'll probably be Kira. Can you imagine? The great L becoming his most hated foe's whore?" His face darkened with sinister satisfaction. "That's more than enough to make up for my rotting here."

Misa froze, the small smile she had vanishing completely. "...Kira? You mean Light?"

He hummed with content. "That's right."

She leaned forward, grabbing his shoulders in desperation. "You saw him. You saw them, didn't you? Where did they go? Where did they go?"

The prince galloped away with his beloved, leaving a path of death and despair in wake of their happiness.

He shoved her roughly away from himself, brushing his shoulders in disdain. "Yes. He was looking for you, Misa Amane."

A sense of paranoia swelled inside of her, and suddenly she was crying in fear and in hurt and in love. "He took my heart!" she cried incoherently. "I don't have my heart, and I want my heart...I need my heart..."

She sank to her knees and sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed. "I want my heart back..." she mumbled. And then a strange train of thought entered her mind. She stumbled back onto her feet and approached the stranger. She grasped his shoulders once more, gripping them so tightly she was sure she heard a bone crack. "Help me find my heart," she babbled through her tears. "Help me find my heart, and I'll help you find your eyes."

He tensed beneath her fingers, as if surprised by the notion that this stupid girl had figured something important out. "...my eyes...?" he asked in interest.

She nodded violently. "Yes. L took them from you, didn't he?" She wasn't sure how she was figuring this out, she wasn't sure how she believed...no, knew, this information. But all that mattered was that the emptiness inside her was slowly eating away her soul, and she needed to find her heart quickly.

Find the heart, find the man.

"...Yes...yes he did," the man agreed. "He took my eyes, and now I am blind, only seeing names and chains." There was a smile curling at the corner of his mouth, and Misa wasn't sure whether it was fake or just demented. "But I don't really care. Why should I help you?"

Her grip on his shoulders tightened even more, and she felt him wince slightly. "Because you do care. You want revenge, right? I want revenge too. Help me find my heart, and I'll help you find your eyes."

It was vengeance that destroyed her, vengeance that doomed her, and vengeance that offered her hope.

He was silent, but the blindfold was becoming visibly redder. He was bleeding, Misa noted, watching a tiny sliver of blood sneak from under the cloth and run down his cheek. He did nothing to wipe it away.

And then, a sigh.

"Alright," he said dully, shuffling up to his feet and wading through the sea of dolls that he had created. "I'll help you. If for anything, to see L suffer, and writhe, and rot."

She nodded, though she wasn't sure whether she felt this way towards L, or towards Light. It was strange really. This entire world was strange, so perhaps it didn't really matter. "I'll be your eyes," she told him. "But you'll have to be my heart."

She wasn't sure what she meant by that, and she wasn't sure if he knew what she meant either, but they both went along with it, and began to trek through the pain and the blackness, and the nothingness. She paused and looked at him. "I'm sorry. I didn't get your name," she said. "What is it?"

He stopped and faced her blandly. "It's not important. But you can call me B."