She wonders when they will stop pretending, her and the shinigami. It's in their nature she supposes after a while, they're liars it's what they do, and it's what they've always done. They change shape, they bend lines, they do what they must but honesty has never come easily to them.
He watches her out of the glowing ember of his eyes, once again she searches, but she's so tired of this game. Of waiting and watching, seeking and not finding, tempting and setting bait into the trap. She's getting older than she ever imagined.
It's getting harder to find bits of him inside those eyes, she sees the apathy but it's not Light's apathy. There's an ignorance to the shinigami that can't be explained, at first she thought it was a memory thing and that it would come back. But perhaps it doesn't want to remember, perhaps it remembers the bullets and the squeezing of its once mortal heart.
Or perhaps it was never him at all.
They are all three liars, Ryuk included. The world is full of liars, swindlers and thieves, they ignore it best they can but it's still there. At least Misa, at least Light, at least they were honest in their lying they did what they had to and they moved on. Misa stopped tracking Ryuk's motives that day on the roof when she was given the choice.
To jump or to wait, to fly or to fall.
Sometimes she regrets her decision, it's the days when they look at each other and still can't see the familiarity. It's the days when she sees a photo of his unsmiling face, a picture of what he used to be, one of the few she has. It's the days when the shinigami says nothing at all, when it fingers an apple between its skeletal fingers and takes a bite.
But she wears the white robes anyway, because he's here and because she can pretend, Misa's always been a good liar. It doesn't matter that his arms are now bones and that his face is a skull that lacks a smile, it doesn't matter that his eyes glow like hellfire, because things change and she knows this.
She always knew he would come back, even on the roof she knew that he'd come back, he always has. He had too much to do; graveyards may be filled with indispensible men but Light was different. He'd walk through hell and back if he had to.
(She's always struck by the fable of Orpheus, the man with the harp in his hands, and she knows that if she learned to play she would tempt the gates of Hell for him.)
And so they look at each other in the stillness of the twilight, the light fading through the room, glinting off all the symbols she has created for him the useless symbols that represent a god who never meant to have a face. And sometimes in their silence, she thinks they both understand the truth.
"You gonna jump so soon Misa? What if he's alive, what if he's still floating out there, what if he just hasn't found you yet? You gonna jump with that in mind?"
Though she stands in white above the mask, her hands lifted to the carved face of the unknowable god, she does not feel his gaze. It's laughable, she thinks, that Kira has come to this.
They're nice people, but they aren't good. Not the good Light imagined, not the good she imagined, there are no good people. There are only nice people, and nice people lie. Their show of worship and praise, it's a lie. After all, Kira had never wanted a face; Kira didn't need one. That's what made him a god, he didn't need prophets or symbols, he didn't need a name but his people did. So she became his face, because she was always good at lying especially when it was for him.
So she lies for him, because the world needs to remember that he can and will come back. She doesn't believe in reincarnation, in heaven, or even in hell but she does believe in Light Yagami and she knows that not even nothingness could stop him. He will return, whether in the form of a skeleton or the very earth itself he will come back. Maybe not for her, maybe not for his people, but certainly for his revenge. She's just laying the path for him.
Matsuda doesn't understand at first, he understood suicide, he understood the faith, he understood everything but the truth.
("He'll come back," she told him in her apartment, the white of her robes outlining her thin face. She watched as he squirmed in his seat, a recent alcoholic the circles run deep beneath his eyes almost like Light's.
"But he's dead Misa, I saw him. I shot him, Misa, he's dead." Matsuda's hands shook as he fingered his glass, and she can see the blood that stained his hands and can understand the darkness in his eyes.
"It doesn't matter," not for Light. Death didn't matter to Light.)
And so she prays. She brings incense in with her, she hangs keys above her doorway but she doesn't believe in it. The shinigami looks curiously at the knickknacks, the useless rubbish that she has collected for her faith, his questioning eyes look at her and for once it is she who explains.
"Humans need something to cling to, to know that he was real, that he can come back. We need the physicality of things, we need the proof of the miracle. I just provide what I can until I can remember what a real miracle looks like."
It shakes its head at her foolishness, scowling at its lack of understanding before floating off to the other room, hovering the way Ryuk used to all those years ago.
"He had to die, you know he had to die Misa. We couldn't let him live, not like that, we had to do it. And really, we didn't kill him, the Shinigami did. We would have stuck him in prison, or something, but we wouldn't have killed him there. Not like that."
The worst is when they lie to her, as if she is too stupid to understand, even before the memories came back she knew. It made sense after all, all the pieces fell into place and even the most mundane of mysteries were explained. And even when they look down on her with their superior (guilty) expressions she hates them, she hates all of them because they're useless, worse than useless and they don't even know it.
(Matsuda comes into his realization far later, his epiphany comes with the tears and the alcohol, it comes with the late nights at the bar and the drunken laughter. It comes with the memory of Light Yagami's golden eyes staring back at him through a pool of his spilt blood.)
At first they lie, because lying is easiest for them, because nice people lie and because they mean well it makes it even worse. They aren't good, they aren't bad, they're just nice. And they tell her it was a drug raid, they tell her some patchy lie and expect her to go home and sleep it off. But, they don't know and they still don't know.
They tell her after the first suicide attempt, after the overdose had failed, because they're afraid they'll have more blood on their hands. And this time it's Matsuda who breaks. The one with the gun, the one who shot.
"He was Kira Misa, he was Kira all along and…" He trails off because there are so many things left unspoken in that hospital, the lies they had been told the betrayal all of it.
"And you shot him?" Misa asks, but she doesn't need to, she can see it she can see the gun in his goddamn hands and she can see the blood dripping down Light's torso. She can see all of it and she is shaking with the sight, with the nightmare.
Though they have not asked her she would gladly tell them that she is in hell if only they would give her the time.
There's no answer from the silent, stunned group, perhaps they regret it but the pieces are falling into place. The unspoken accusations… (Because if Light was Kira then Misa must have been the second Kira)
She stands on the roof of the world because she got tired of waiting, because the emptiness is overwhelming, but the shinigami makes her wait because all good things come to those who can wait. So she waits, in her white robes with her candles and her crucifixes she waits. She waits before the alter her head bent in prayer a shinigami at her back. She waits when all the world is watching and waiting and praying for his return.
Even Matsuda with his bleeding hands, with his eyes filled with guilty tears and his harsh features, even he waits for Light to come back. But Matsuda waits for revenge, Matsuda waits for the blow that is taking far too long to come, even nice people have learned to wait.
No, in spite of what L might have thought the world had not forgotten Kira? How could they, though crime rates soared, though bullies pushed through schoolyards, though murder and theft pursued they had not forgotten Light Yagami's baleful eyes.
All they had to do now was wait.
"I do remember some things, cracked and discarded mirror images of what used to be. I remember a rooftop, I remember falling, I remember that I had forgotten my wings but I also remember that I had jumped with that in mind. The reason why I jumped, however, is beyond me."
It doesn't talk much, the thing that thinks might have been Light. It stares at her, it cocks its head as if trying to remember, but it does not throw out empty words. It hovers as it watches her, deciding truth from reality its bony limbs dangle and in spite of herself she feels tears come to her eyes.
Because it is not what she expected, because it is different, because he didn't come back unscathed.
It's obvious it doesn't remember, it knows the stories, it knows the basics but it knows in a Shinigami's knowing. It can't understand, it can't understand why she looks at him with such wide eyes. It can't understand why she lies to her people and to herself with her white robes and her fake words. It can't understand why she waits by the window, looking out onto the night and loathing herself because she couldn't save him.
She likes to think Ryuk didn't lie, but she doesn't know. It could be Light, sometimes she's certain, but other times. Neither of them can know for sure, though they question and pursue, though they riddle through the night they can never know. Just because they can lie doesn't mean they know the truth.
A glimmer will come into its eyes sometimes, as it stares out at the masses, and she wants to ask if he's alright. But then it will dim and be gone again, and Light Yagami will sink back into the depths of their memories. Forgotten in the silt of the river's bottom.
She prays for it, she prays it remembers and finds itself, because it is lost in her world perhaps in both worlds it is lost. So she prays it is Light and that he can find his place with her though Light wouldn't have wanted it in the first place. She prays because she is a fool and in love, though he has been dead for far too long.
She prays because at the end of her lies she has few words left to say, and a prayer is words enough.
"I've forgotten how to dream, but that's ok. I only needed Light's dreams after all, he dreamed for me, and in the end his dreams were so much better. After all, in the end which of our dreams were closer to coming true?"
He once told her that he had dreams of falling, that he stood on the roof of the world with an apple in hand, that all the people looked up to him and one day he fell, and for a while he was suspended half way, trapped between life and death. The dream came in pieces, some days it was the description of the wind, other days little facts she didn't know.
The last day she saw him he told her that he jumped.
("Why would you jump? Weren't you happy, didn't you have everything you wanted?" Misa had asked pulling at his sleeve. He looked at her with those eyes, the empty eyes he had after L's death, the dull red that haunted her.
"It was cold, dark, and lonely on top of the world. So I jumped." He sighed, sitting down on the bed his hand circling his wrist where the handcuff used to be.
"But why? You still have me, you have everyone, Kira has everything."
He smiled at her, knowing that she couldn't understand, not yet not until she climbed the roof herself.
"It was only a dream, Misa.")
But Light's dreams had always been different, they had changed the world, were still changing it. People hung to the power his dreams had, L had resented that power and had died for it. And now she still stands chasing after the dream of a man long since dead and the memory of him preserved by a Shinigami's garnet eyes.
And in the end he had jumped regardless of dream or reality, and she had so very nearly gone after him. But…
Even in dreams she had regrets.
"Kira is a silent god, he takes things in his own time. You have to understand that, he can't answer every prayer. There are too many of us, but he will act. He's always been good for action."
They don't understand why he isn't there, why he seems so deaf. They don't understand where he's gone or why he's taking so long to get back. But then they aren't like Misa, because Misa knows, she knows where he's gone and that there's no coming back.
(She looks over towards the looming reaper, his crimson eyes staring down upon her in condemnation as if it is she that prevents his memory from returning. Invisible he leans against the pillars surveying the crowd in distaste, his eyes burning. For they have the one thing he has chosen to envy, they have past and memory where he has only nothingness.)
They look up with their youthful innocent eyes and she tries to come up with words of council. She could tell the truth, but that is difficult and it always comes out too brutal. She could ignore, but then the questions would grow and fester. But she could also lie, which she chooses to do most often.
(It always looks at her when she says he'll come back in his own time; because it's not a lie but it's too far from the truth to be taken seriously. What is time to the dead anyway, or even to a god of death? His own time could be anything, but it could also be nothing which Misa fears is the truth.)
They smile and thank her, but they are disconcerted by her answer. She can always tell, it's in the way the walk past her back outside the building. It's in their eyes, but there's nothing more she can do. She's always been a liar, she can't remember being anything else, but that doesn't mean that others can't see behind the mask. A glimpse of her true face…
She's growing so very tired and the clock has nearly struck midnight once again, the Shinigami looks down on her with its garnet eyes; far from the warm human eyes that Light once had. They don't understand each other, not anymore.
Maybe once they did, maybe, she can't remember anymore. That's the trouble with Kira, he steals your memories and leaves you only a shred of doubt. He haunts but he doesn't linger, and sometimes all she really wants is a good look in his face.
"Revenge, really what is it good for? I've thought about it before you know, especially the first couple weeks. Those were the worst. You want him to come back and shoot me in the face like a dog, I know. You want him to pick us off one by one until we have nothing left but the sheer terror of knowing we're all gonna die. Funny isn't it? That for a long time this is what I wanted too."
Sometimes she wakes in the night, after the nightmares, and she wants nothing more in the world than to kill all of them. Because it's someone's fault, someone has to be blamed, because he's dead and nothing matters anymore.
At first she picks L, because she never liked L and well they were his heirs weren't they? She always knew Ryuzaki would be the death of Light, after all he was never the same afterwards. His eyes had become like the stars, still beautiful, still lovely beyond all description but she couldn't reach these eyes. Not anymore. She remembers the chain, and she wonders if it ever really broke. She wonders if L dragged Light down into the grave with him, out of spite. (Perhaps out of something darker, something unseen, something she refuses to see… She stops thinking about it.)
But there were others, it wasn't just L. How could it be? L was dead. What about Matsuda, he was the one that shot Light after all. He even told Misa, he told her with those wide sad eyes how he shot Light not once but three times. She blames him for that, because even if he had dragged himself home he would have been a cripple. She blames him for the blood on Light's hand and his shaking dying body.
She blames Near for Light's corpse, for the dead body that she never got to see.
She blames Ryuk for the name decorating his notebook.
She wishes they all would die, she wants to kill all of them. God of Death, corpse, the greatest detective, the guilt ridden police man. She dreams of killing all of them.
With tears streaking down her face she stands, the memory of her distant Light. Her lovely, indifferent, beautiful Light. The man who had never loved her, but had told her the lie often enough. She wants him back, but most of all she wants them dead.
Misa never pretended she wasn't spiteful. She spat on Ryuzaki's grave after all, because she won and he's dead and that should have been the end of it.
But they never die, and Light never comes back, and in the end it never matters because alive or dead they're damned anyway.
"Don't be stupid, people wear masks. People are masks, just layers and layers of deception. Only a few people realize it though, and even though they still lie and swindle and deceive it doesn't matter. Because in the end they're the honest ones."
The Shinigami will leave her, she tries to tell herself she doesn't mind, that it wasn't him anyway or if it was it didn't seem to find her worth remembering. She tries to tell herself it doesn't hurt to see the dullness in his eyes, to see how familiar it is. Just like Light, there are times when it looks just like Light.
She's never been good at lying to herself though, she loves it. She loves it because it might be Light or it might not, she loves it because there's a chance. A slim chance. It is familiar, she doesn't need to deceive it, she doesn't have to lie to it. The priestess robes are set aside, the Lolita is thrown in the closet and she is simply Misa.
But it will leave her anyway, because she couldn't give it the answers it needed. In the red of its eye it saw what she was, and that she had nothing to give. She needs it (him), she needs the idea that he might still exist, that he cared enough to come back for her (for his memories), and more importantly that he chose to stay.
She needs it. More than she likes to admit.
Things have changed. Matsuda used to visit, even in his drunken stupor he sometimes came just because he needed someone to talk to. She wonders if he's dead or if he couldn't stand the reminders, if he couldn't stand the cold accusation in her eyes.
Kira has been dead for a very long time, and people are leaving because they can't bring themselves to wait any longer. What does it matter? Misa is still waiting, with the Shinigami she waits, staring into its cracked face and its jeweled eyes. She loves it because it reminds her of what she once had.
She's getting older, and she no longer has the courage to fall from a rooftop.
Near must have grown up by now, the new L taking on new cases, never quite as good but no one pays enough attention to see through the mask anyway. It doesn't matter anymore, things change, and yet in the end nothing changes.
They've returned back to the beginning, all the pieces have fallen back to the places where they used to be. Everything's different now (but nothing's really changed after all).
Staring at her reflection in the apple she wonders if even she believes in Kira anymore, so she clings to the Shinigami. She clings to the thing that might or might not be Light Yagami; to the thing that might or might not bring about change once again.
But then it hardly matters anymore, yet she can't remember it mattering in the first place.
"Do you think it was worth it? What he did, for whatever reason he chose to do it, do you think it was worth it?"
One day she wakes up to find the apartment empty. She sees the false idols hanging from her walls, overflowing on her desks, scattered on the floor and on her tables. She searches for him just like she knew she would, she calls out his false name, the name she calls him because she never found out the new one.
The silence isn't unexpected, but it is colder than she thought it would be.
She shivers in the bare lights of her kitchen, holding herself together as she consumes the emptiness surrounding her, she is alone once again. The knowledge is terrifying, but there it is nonetheless, it's as if no time has passed and she is still standing on that rooftop staring down at the streets below her.
But even that day hadn't been as silent as this one.
She picks at the items cluttering her kitchen table, distracting herself from the epiphany, from his absence which is tearing a second hole in her heart.
Alone, she is alone again.
It's gone, he's gone, they're never coming back.
But that's not the worst bit. The worst bit was that it didn't make any difference, the Shinigami with no memory of her, Matsuda, Ryuk. None of it made any difference at all.
She's always been alone, standing in that empty kitchen, staring out the window with tears in her eyes wondering when he'll come back home. She is naïve and deluded and it is only now that she can here the silence.
(Among the forgotten papers on her desk there rests a photograph of a boy with golden eyes and auburn hair, his face is somber and his eyes are weary, he is left beneath the pile and slowly but surely his face is forgotten.)
Author's Note: Well there's that. Desparation is so very touching. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed it please review. If you didn't, well then... you could still review. Constructive criticism and all that.
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.