My first attempt at a story in the ballpark of 500 words (it was about 515 in Microsoft) and it was a lot harder than I was expecting. This is an alternate version of Rem and Misa's exchange in Ch. 27, when Rem tells Misa how to kill a shinigami. Con-crit, thoughts, and general reactions are much appreciated!

I don't own Death Note


"What a beautiful way to kill…"

"Beautiful? How is killing with love beautiful?"

The girl rolled over to look at the hulking shinigami. "It's beautiful because it's different. Everyone kills with violence- and it's horrible. But killing for love of someone- to save someone- and then dying because of that love is different. It's not ugly. A lot of people are killed by ugly things. I'd want to be killed by love."

The god of death stared at her. "Most people would want to stay alive."

The girl laughed, a light trilling sound, and stretched her arms over her head. "I know! But since everyone has to die, they might as well die for something that's lovely! And if I had to be killed, I'd want it to be with love!"

"You wouldn't see that as cruel? That someone would use your love to kill you?"

"Of course! But everything's cruel, Rem, don't you know that? I think love is less cruel than a lot of things that could be used to kill! It's better than accidents, it's better than greed… I think I'd much rather be killed because I loved someone."

"You wouldn't want to spend the time with the person you loved?"

"No, of course I would! But don't you see- it's about just dying. If it's just dying and killing we're talking about, love really is a beautiful way to do both. Living's different altogether!" She sat up and curled her knees to her chest, suddenly looking very solemn. "Living is much harder, Rem. Misa knows that really well."

The shinigami's one visible eye blinked. "Your life has never seemed very difficult, Misa."

"That's because you're only seeing what you're meant to see. That's part of what Misa has to do!" She leapt off the bed and spun around in a graceful circle. "Misa smiles to make other people smile, cries to make other people cry, and all that takes practice. And even outside work, Misa has to smile. And that's hard." Her voice shook a little, and though Rem could not see her face, she could see the girl's hands trembling. The shinigami said nothing, though she looked puzzled.

Misa was silent for a moment before she finally spun back to face Rem, her smile as wide and bright as ever. "So Rem, do you have anyone you love?"

"No."

The girl pouted. "Why not? There must be someone!"

"Well, there isn't."

MIsa threw herself back on the bad, fixing the shinigami with a sharp glance. "Is it because that would be dangerous for you?"

There was a pause. "No. I've never cared enough for that."

"That's horrible!"

"You pointed out that that's dangerous for me to care about someone."

"Love is more important than danger!"

"Perhaps to you."

"Yes, it is," Misa said quietly. "If there was anyone I loved, I'd do anything for them. I bet you would do the same, Rem."

The shinigami turned away. "Perhaps." But her voice was soft, and Misa gave no sign that she had heard either the words or the note of doubt that had crept into Rem's voice.