Disclaimer: The Maiden of Autumn owns nothing.

Misa Amane was not stupid. She knew what kind of sigh Light gave as soon as she uttered the words, and she also was perceptive enough to see the way exasperation flashed across his features a second before they were fixed into a polite, classically handsome smile.

"Hello, Misa. How are you?"

She was also not deaf or oblivious enough to not detect the hint of forced levity in his voice. She knew he didn't particularly care for her, but she didn't care- something made her keep coming back to see him, to demand these dates so she could spend even the slightest amount of time with him. It was almost frightening, the way Light Yagami possessed her thoughts, the way she couldn't get these feelings out of her heart.

But Misa was stubborn enough to not hear what the voice of reason supplied by her brain was telling her; instead, she chose to follow what her heart had to say, and it told her to stay with Light Yagami. Because Light Yagami was perfect, and smart, and… and something else, something fantastic, she was sure, that made her want to be with him.

And so, that was what she would do.

"Hey Light, do you think we can spend some time together after you're finished with work? That'd make me really happy, you know!"

A flinch and then another heaved sigh from the object of her fixation. "I suppose that would be fine, Misa, if it's alright with Ryuuzaki."


L, Hideki Ryuuga, Ryuuzaki- the man had so many names, sometimes it was hard to keep track of them all. The World's Greatest Detective suspected her and Light of being Kira, and so they were here, under constant surveillance by L.

Sometimes, when Misa's mind wasn't occupied by Light, it would wander to Ryuuzaki and watch him, much like one would observe an interesting specimen. It was almost humorous, she thought, that the two were such opposites- L was white, where Light was tanned. L was dark, while Light was fairer. L was cold, calculating and almost cruelly blunt, while Light was warmer, more polite and refined, even though she knew that that was only on the surface. They were like polar opposites, like the cold, silvery moon and warm, golden sun.

Misa wasn't stupid, no. She knew the saying, opposites attractand knew, just knew that when you put these two men together- two of the world's smartest minds, L, the World's Greatest Detective, and Light, the most intelligent man in all of Asia together, something was going to happen.

"Ryuuzaki, can Light and I spend some time together, tonight? If there's nothing going on that's overly important, I mean."

Ryuuzaki turned those large, intense eyes onto her, examining her for a moment just as she had done to him not scant moments before.

"I'm afraid that will not be possible, Misa. You see, Light and I have just discovered a new lead, and I'd prefer to keep working on it before we lose sight of the objective."


There was a slight undercurrent to the words Ryuuzaki had uttered, something that filled the air with tension between him and Light. It was a tension that Misa could sense as she was just an outsider, looking into a world that these two incredibly intelligent men had created for themselves; one that Misa could never hope to intrude upon, or even hope to begin to fathom.

And there, there was a slight flicker of appreciation in Light's eyes as he glanced over ever so subtly at Ryuuzaki, a silent thank you written in those lovely amber eyes.

"Oh… alright, then. I suppose… I'll go to my room and maybe get ready for bed. I have a photo shoot tomorrow, you know. Maybe if you're not doing anything, you could come to it, Light. And you as well, Ryuuzaki. You're welcome to come…"

"I'm sorry, Misa, but catching Kira… to me, that is exceptionally important right now. After we catch him, I promise I'll spend more time with you, but for right now, I'm going to focus all my attention on Kira. You understand, right?"

"Yes, yes, of course. I guess… I'll leave you to your work, Light. Goodnight, Ryuuzaki. Goodnight, Light… I love you, you know."

"Yes, I know, Misa. Goodnight."

And there, there was the briefest flicker of annoyance in Light's face again. Light was a good actor, but he wasn't perfect. She, however, had been acting all her life. It was almost laughably easy able to tell the difference between real and fake.

And there were Ryuuzaki's eyes, still watching her. She met them, seeing the conflicting emotions written there. Empathy, along with a hint of sorrow, was present in those soulful black eyes. They held hers only a moment before they dropped, unable to hold her gaze.

There was an undercurrent there, something that made her breath catch in her throat, and heart thump painfully, before dropping her own eyes and whirling around, leaving quietly in an effort not to disturb Light any more.

And the whole way out, she could feel those eyes return to her, felt them on her back, a regretful black gaze watching her leave quietly in silent defeat.

"Light, maybe we could-"

"Misa, I've told you, until this case is over, it's not likely that we'll be able to spend much time together. I'll be in front of this computer for the rest of the night with Ryuuzaki, so why don't you get some rest It had to be stressful for you today after being at Yotsuba, so sleep would be best for you."

Ryuuzaki, she saw, was tuning this out- or appeared to be, for all intents and purposes. His hands were resting on his knees, but rather than being relaxed, they were tense, clenching the fabric of his jeans tightly. His black eyes flickered downwards for a second as Light said that they would be in that room for the remainder of the night, before forcibly returning to the screen.

She couldn't help but smile inwardly, bitterly. Neither of them could surpass her as an actor, no matter how intelligent and clever they might be.

"I understand, Light. Sorry to disturb you. Goodnight, Light, Ryuuzaki."

And once again, she left silently, but this time, Ryuuzaki's eyes did not follow her, but remained fixed on the screen in front of him, ignoring the sudden tension that seemed to pop up whenever she started to leave the room.

Misa Amane was not stupid- she could sense the type of tension that lingered in the room long after she was gone.

She just wished that she wasn't able to sense it.

Task Force Headquarters were dark at night, Misa noted. It would be easy to stub a toe, if not for the presence following her that alerted her to every possible danger.

"Misa, where are you going?"


Dear, dear Rem that had restored her memories, that had finally let her realize just why it was that she followed Light so blindly, even when it was clear as day to her that he did not love her back.

She didn't want to wake anyone up, so she didn't respond, but just crept along silently, sidestepping the occasional obstacle at Rem's warnings, until she reached the room Light and Ryuuzaki were supposed to be in.

Wouldn't it be a surprise if she were to arrive, to keep them company?

Or not, since she didn't think they would be there-

And as she pushed open the door, she saw they weren't.

Not that she expected them to be.

Quietly, she made her way to the computers and sat down in Light's chair- it still smelled like him, she noted. Slightly musky, but clean, with a hint of soap that she suspected was scented like the ocean. It was a good smell, one that was masculine and clean.

She leaned forwards, over the black-screened computer, and flicked the power switch on, the sudden glow of the computer immediately lightening the room a slight bit.

"What are you planning on doing, Misa?"

Rem hovered over her shoulder, a constant, soothing presence. Still ignoring the Shinigami, Misa quickly typed in Ryuuzaki's password- she was not stupid, and constant hours of watching Light over his shoulder had enabled her to pick up some basic computer lore and hacking skills. The screen lit up a few moments later with a white background and a few icons.

It was Ryuuzaki's basic server, the one all regular members of the Task Force used- but it wasn't what she was looking for.

She quickly typed in a long string of code, and with a little 'blip' the screen flashed black for a second before many small screens popped up. Most of them were black since it was night and the lights were out, but a few of them in grey and white and a tinge of black. They were the Task Force member's rooms, and she clicked on one small, light box after the other, trying to find the room she wanted.

First was Light's father's room- Soichiro slept here some nights, when he was too tired to drive home and it wasn't worth the effort to go home just to come back in the morning a few hours later. He was sitting in bed, a small lamp on by his bedside table and reading a book, looking as if he were falling asleep over it.

Then, she clicked on what was Matsuda's room. He was asleep, curled up in his covers, but his light was on. Misa remembered him saying that he was afraid of the dark once, and Misa supposed that the working on the Kira case would only strengthen fears like that.

Mogi's bed was empty, although his light was on, and so Misa thought he might be going to the bathroom- and her thoughts were confirmed when he came back onto the screen, tucking himself back into his boxers and crawling back into bed.

Ukita was dead, and she knew Aizawa went home every night to his family, no matter how tired or late it was.

Which meant that the next grey box had to be Light and Ryuuzaki's room.

Misa clicked on it and then quickly sat back, steeling herself for whatever was to come. She suspected, yes, but she had to make sure.

Her eyes watched the screen unblinkingly, never looking away as she forced herself to watch what was occurring in the room of the world's two smartest men.

They were… surprisingly beautiful together, Misa couldn't help but notice. They moved together in sync, almost as if they were dancing to a rhythm they both knew perfectly well.

She couldn't see Light's face, but could only imagine how perfect it looked while in the throes of pleasure. His body was glorious, too- just as Misa had imagined it. Toned and gleaming with sweat, it was like a well- oiled machine, pumping in and out of Ryuuzaki's body with a smooth, graceful, forceful beat, like the pistons in a car engine.

And Ryuuzaki… Misa had never looked at Ryuuzaki, but when she did, as she was doing now, she couldn't help but admire the detective's body.

Years of capoeira had sculpted his body into long, lithe, lightly muscled lines, and the sweets he ate did nothing to take away from the beautiful form. He had long, toned legs, ones that she noted were muscular, flexing around Light's waist as he helped pull Light farther, harder, faster into him. Long, graceful fingers were clutching tightly onto Light's shoulders, and in the way he was lying, Misa could, for the first time, truly see and appreciate Ryuuzaki's face, with the way his hair was splayed out behind him and his bangs finally out of his face.

She had never taken the time to appreciate Ryuuzaki's fine features, white and oddly exotic-looking. And like this, with his usually closed-off, emotionless face open, pleasure and ecstasy apparent in his shut eyes and open mouth, Misa realized that Ryuuzaki was actually quite a beautiful man.

She watched, unable to look away, as they moved together, until with a shuddering spasm from Ryuuzaki and last, forceful thrust of the hips from Light, they came together and collapsed, panting.

They lay there for a moment, until slowly, Light released Ryuuzaki's hips and rolled over onto his side. He reached out to twine his fingers in Ryuuzaki's, whose hands had slid from Light's shoulders to the bed immediately after finishing.

Ryuuzaki grasped Light's hand in return, reciprocating the gesture and turned in towards Light, snuggling into the other man. He tucked his head under Light's, black, mussed spikes brushing ever so lightly against the other man's chin.

There was a content look on Ryuuzaki's face, Misa saw, as he let out a slow sigh and relaxed, body going limp as he drifted off to sleep. In response, Light slid his free hand around Ryuuzaki's waist, pulling him closer to his body. A gentle smiled lit up his face as Light closed his eyes, not bothering to turn the lamp off before falling asleep, Ryuuzaki nestled safely beside him.

Misa stared at the screen a second more before leaning forwards, taking in Light's relaxed, content face.

He looked so happy, so perfect entangled with Ryuuzaki- much happier than he had even looked with his family.

And Misa suddenly understood the look in Ryuuzaki's eyes when he was forced to meet her gaze- he knew how she felt about Light, and yet, he was with him every night, sleeping and having sex when they should be working, or when it should be Misa in his place.

She was sad- and angry, if she was to be honest, but somewhere inside her, in her heart, for the first time, it was telling her something right.

Ryuuzaki was Light's perfect match. Ryuuzaki was Light's perfect opposite, the only mind that could meet his and yet still keep him guessing. Misa understood- she was not stupid, nor was she unobservant.

As angry as it made her that Ryuuzaki had taken the place in Light's affections that she had been striving for, she knew it was right that he do so. Two brilliant minds were suited better for each other, and she would only be holding Light's own talents, his own intelligence back.

And so, it was with little reluctance and much understanding in her heart that she let Light Yagami and everything associated with him-anger for his betrayal, sadness at her loss, and hatred for Ryuuzaki in taking her place- go, leaving her empty, but strangely fulfilled.

And then, she sat back once more, reaching out to trace Light's sleeping face on the screen, then Ryuuzaki's.

She smiled.

"Hey, Rem."

"What is it, Misa?"

"You want to make me happy, right?"

"…Of course. Your happiness and safety are of utmost concern to me."

Misa smiled, eyes still on the combined forms of Light and Ryuuzaki. A few tears gathered in her eyes, but that was alright, she thought. It was a sign of her humanity, that she could still feel and adapt and change, and she would move on, because she always listened to her heart, and that's what it was telling her to do. "Then… promise me Light will never be in possession of a Death Note again. Promise me that you'll kill Higuchi in a way that won't let you die to protect me, and make sure that Light never touches a Death Note. Take them back to the Shinigami realm, or give them to someone who won't become Kira."

"Misa… Are you sure that's what you really want? You love Light because he is Kira; if you take the Death Notes away from him, he will not be Kira anymore."


Light would not be her God anymore if she took away the Death Note. If she wished, right here, right now, she could kill L, L. Lawliet, and return Light's Death Note to him. If she wanted… she could make it so that they would govern the world together. It was certainly within her power.

She was Misa Amane, possessor of a Death Note, a Death Goddess in her own right. She should not be denied anything, with this sort of power at her fingertips.

But Misa still had a conscience, and she knew that she would never forgive herself if she did something like that- Light never would, either. She had made her decision, and she would abide by it.

Misa sighed and nodded, shutting the computer off after allowing herself to imprint the picture of Light and Ryuuzaki together into her brain. She didn't want to forget the picture of tranquility and happiness they made together, in case she ever forgot and tried to take Light away from Ryuuzaki.

"I know, Rem. And that is what I want. However, I'll keep my Death Note, so I never forget what happened. But from here… Kira is dead. Light will never become him again, and I refuse to kill with the Death Note. I'll hide it somewhere, so I retain ownership of it, but so I won't be tempted to kill. Can you promise me this, Rem?"

There was a moment of silence, and then Rem nodded in the darkness. "It will be done, Misa. I promise that Light will never become Kira, and that all that you wished for will be done."

"Thank you, Rem. Now, I'm going to bed."

Misa turned and walked out of the room, slowly making her way back to her own floor. The whole way there, she thought about what she had seen, and the picture that was still burned into her mind.

It hurt to let Light go, but it was for the best. She knew in her aching heart that doing this was right, that it was the best way to do this.

The two fit together so well, challenged each other and balanced each other out so perfectly. She knew that by getting between them, it would only cause unwanted interference.

No, she had decided on her course, and it was for the best.

So, with that thought in mind, she smiled to herself. Tomorrow…

Tomorrow held the promise of new starts, new beginnings and new opportunities.

Tomorrow when Ryuuzaki met her eyes with guilt in them, she'd wash that away with a smile and a nod, because this was the course she had decided upon for them, and there was no reason to feel guilty at all.

Because this was what she wanted for them, and this was what they were going to get.

And as she crawled into bed, feeling more numb inside than anything, she did so with a slight spark of hope, because she knew she was young and that time eventually healed all wounds. And… while she may have only half as many years ahead of her as she had before picking up the Death Note, she still had time to let the wounds in her heart heal and find someone else to fill the dark space Light left behind when she let him free.

And thinking about it, she smiled, because deep down, she knew that as long as Kira was dead and Light remained innocent, Ryuuzaki would never have to kill Light, and Light would never have to kill L, and everything was going to work out alright in the end.

She wished them the utmost happiness, she truly did.