Categories > Anime/Manga > Death Note

Aquarium Steps

by Asper 2 reviews

You may not realise that she's known all along. In sleep, in dreams, Misa understands better than anyone. (L/Raito and heavy doses of Misa's unrequited love)

Category: Death Note - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst - Characters: L, Misa, Yagami Raito - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2007-02-07 - Updated: 2007-02-07 - 1236 words - Complete

Disclaimer: DN belongs to Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba
Warnings: The infamous chapter 58
Notes: Wasn't sure about posting this, since it was an omitted chaper from Trivium. But then I got all those "what the hell is going on?" questions, and thought this might clear things up. Sorta. Kinda. Maybe. (cracks) OKAY!! I know it doesn't, but I tried, I did! Also, it functions as a standalone, I guess.

I sure lack conviction. Anyways, onto the fic, and keep in mind reviews warrant my unconditional love


Aquarium Steps


Once, Misa dreamt of L's funeral.

When the procession started, the sun was already shining brightly overhead. Misa didn't know whether this is a fitting tribute to Raito's glowing victory or painfully incongruous to the death of his worldly counterpart. In the end, she supposes it doesn't make a difference.

For the moment, Raito stands utterly still. For the moment, Misa sees in his lack of movement the endless procession of a thousand mourning soldiers, after standing over the bloodied corpses of their beloved comrades and weeping in spite of their hard-earned victory.

He is beautiful, and she can see the graceful glide of his cheekbones, casting soft shadows down the curve of his slightly gaunt cheeks like dark, tissue-paper wings. As thin as he gets, she thinks it is lovely, this image he projects: tragic, poignant and dying. For once, he is real. For once, she could reach out and he wouldn't slip away.

She eyes the polished wood of the coffin warily as it is slowly lowered down into the Earth, but feels no real twinge of sadness. She already knows L's not really going down there.

The sunlight is harsh, casting long, thin shadows across the perfectly manicured lawn. It suddenly occurred to Misa how futile such a practice was, as she idly traced the contours down the dark fabric of Raito's suit-clad back. L's memory was not being buried; his presence would never become a mere recollection in time, framed in brass and left to rust on a dusty mantelpiece. The vibrant presence of L in these dreams showed that he hadn't succumbed to such an innocuous fate.

If she had been asked to speak at the funeral, she wonders what she would have said. The service had been brief, and, partially due to the fact that all of them knew woefully little about the detective, no eulogies had been given. But in truth, she knew why no one had said anything: the mere act of putting him into words was a near impossibility in itself. Misa outwardly credited it to the fact he was such a freak of nature, but, though unspoken, knew of the real reason. How could anyone create anything that rivaled the sheer intensity of Raito's emotion? She is the only one that feels it, though.

Misa thinks about the other dreams again, the beautiful feeling such close proximity to him brought. The subdued, warm hues of the atmosphere crackling around them when she touched him, knowing what would happen next with a painful surety. She had done this so many times, in same guise, the same movements, the same words--or lack of. He could never be close enough, even when his nearness was so much that she could feel his manic pulse fluttering against the curve of her neck, and swears his heartbeat is beating to match the one inside of her body. Her heart never beats like his, but this is not her heart she is talking about. She already knows the truth, but concedes to lie still, amidst the burning intensity of their actions. His arms hold her in a tight embrace, but Misa makes no move to return the gesture. She knows her arms will never be long enough to encircle the both of them. If she sits quietly enough, she can hear their blood rushing through them and around her. It is enough, in so many ways. She knows that this is the most Raito will ever give her.

Then, Raito moves from his place at her side. All around them, the few people in attendance are dispersing and fittingly, the rain is beginning to fall. Misa does not move, she knows that it would not be right. She never thought about him until he died, after all. She knows he doesn't want her here, but Raito doesn't understand the situation like she does. There's no way she could be anywhere else. The way he is moving, to her, makes her feel like she's underwater. Aquarium steps. The slow drag of his feet remind her of the languid touches she experienced vicariously through those--these--dreams, the damp sensation of his breath on all the bones along her body. His movements outwardly are perfectly composed; he is merely paying his last respects to his young comrade, angry and upset that Kira made another step ahead in the game. But no one notices the grim set of his autumn eyes, still and unwavering beneath the fringe of his dark lashes. No one notices the achingly slow, deliberateness of his steps, and Misa vaguely acknowledges the fact that the raindrops seem to part around him.

The rain is falling harder now, and strikes the wrapped flowers like the hand of some vengeful god. Misa, hugging herself awkwardly to ward away the cold chill seeping in through her skin, realizes that this dream is different somehow. There's something realer about it, the biting ache in her chest as her heart thumps hollowly within. She clasps both hands over her breast, wondering at the sickness of loving a wound solely because he inflicted it. Her heartbeat is slowing.

Night gives chase to day, and the darkness falls like a velvety curtain around her and Raito. / Around the three of them/. Raito, she mouths soundlessly. Bring me back to life, conjure blood from this beating heart of mine and please set me free. He doesn't move either. The crumbling skeletons of majestic buildings have erected themselves around them, and Misa tries to listen for any sound of life in those ruins. Nothing. Fireflies flutter aimlessly; there is no sound (what do fireflies sound like, she wonders absently) but the white noise is deafening. A minor eternity passes, she faintly registers the arcing paths of stars above her head, before Raito's mouth utters words like a spell.

If L had been there, he would have seen Raito crouched over the deep mahogany of his coffin, the only movement is that of his lips; the familiar, unfinished words from the dream rushing from him in a heated whisper, and the light tint of Misa's slightly widened eyes as she finally understands.

"sometimes," His lips say softly. The dreams rewind around her, and she watches them intently. L, moving through all the dream-motions that were once hers, reaching out and running hands along the length of Raito's body. It had never been her at all, even here, although she's known it all along. The two of them, electric in their radiant talent and brilliance, two concentric circles. They never turn to look at her.

The circularity of it all is striking; her watching them in this reality and in life; perpetual, like the path of those fireflies, fluttering in circles and flickering their lights through the ruined city.

Misa knows with heart-wrenching conviction that she has never known anything so helplessly eternal.

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