“Wake up, (Name).”
It’s dark. You’re certain you know that voice.
There is the sweet stench of rot in your nostrils, flooding the nerves of your mind and sending them into a crazed frenzy. Your feet and hands are numb, aching from the lack of movement, the pins and needles piercing deep into tattered flesh. You’re gagging, you realize—your lips, split from bites of anxiety, are parted slightly in disgust and horror, eyes wide under a black fold of uncertainty.
Your feet and legs are dangling beneath you. You realize this when your toes flex, sending burns throughout your veins, and do not touch a ground.
“... Where… Where am I…?”
Your eyes refuse to open up, as if they've shut themselves out from the world before them. They’re heavy, fashioned of acid-drenched lead, and reject the command to lift away your eyes.
“Welcome to the new World. Do you like it?”
Turpentine blackness seeps into your skin from the air, bringing along with it into your vessels a burning singe. You finally bend that acid lead to your will and try to test your eyes—but one blink, and you realize that they, too, hurt to move.
“Do not blink, (Name). Open your eyes, and leave them that way. I would much prefer that you lie awake to drink in the sight of this World.”
Your body stiffens at the familiar rich and sultry tone, limbs seizing up—only to be reintroduced back to the sweet sting of pain. You want to look down at yourself, to be able to view the state of your flesh. But as you attempt to tilt your head, to crane your neck downwards, your body is ripped straight through by another bolt of fresh, blazing agony, and you are forced to use those burning eyes to continue staring straight forward. Your head lolls, useless, onto one shoulder and remains there, and you stay like that, looking forward at a sideways world.
‘My eyes can’t see clearly. My arms won’t move… my legs feel broken—no, they feel dead, unusable.’
Death is lingering in the atmosphere, as abundant and heavy as the tainted oxygen filling your drowning lungs.
The air is thick and stings your eyes, like that heavy turpentine you’re breathing in. If you squint closely, it seems to be tinted… red. A crimson colour spilt across white carpet and poisoning your every breath with corruption.
“Look here, (Name). Look upon your God.”
Those traitorous, burning eyes of yours trail up to gaze at your surroundings.
Across the reddened, once pure-white carpet, across a vast expanse of a majestic room in which pillars of fanciful, archaic obsidian are erected, upon a set of high-strung stairs, lies an elegant throne.
The seat is fashioned, twisted, of blackwood and amber skulls. And those roses—oh, those roses!—they are lovely and black, all those withering roses entwined in such macabre display, wringing their way up to the top of the throne. In the centre, above the head of the man resting atop such a monstrous chair, is the golden iridescence of a beautifully smithed cross in the midst of black and bloody thorns. A crucifix.
“Is it not beautiful, (Name)? The throne of a Ruler of the Heavens. The throne of the Light of the Sky.”
“Wha…? Wh-What is...”
Stalagmites of ebony bone rise from the floor around the hideous throne of a corrupted God, the dual blades of a blackened human spine curving up from the dead ground towards the King in his holy seat.
‘It’s only a dream… Please let it be only a dream...’
The throne is large, wonderful, and beautiful. Wide enough to host three bodies comfortably, its limbs and base stretch out to loyally accommodate its one king, who sits with legs crossed and elbow resting upon the arm of his chair, a small smirk nestled upon thin, pink lips.
A single apple lies atop the other arm of his throne, its crimson face beaming with tantalizing suppleness. You imagine the lips of that man descending upon the red skin of the fruit, biting away its sweet pureness and tasting the forbidden juices within, and shut your eyes to block away the image.
“Welcome,” says the impious God in the throne, his smile ever widening in a perfect curve on a flawless, pale face, “to my World. Isn’t it so very beautiful?” A moment of silence between Devil and Human before he adds, the sinfully euphonious tone resounding in this endless realm, “You may speak.”
‘This is not your world.’
“G-Get out of my head,” you rasp aloud, the poisonous air puncturing your lungs with every heave of your chest, and it weakens your voice to a near murmur. And then you utter that accursed name: “L-Light…”
The self-proclaimed God cocks his head, as if in innocent curiosity, and leans forward from his vine-curled throne. One hand rests atop the other as he props his elbows on his knees and rests his chin on his clasped hands, tilting his eyes down towards you.
“Your head? Wherever do you get the idea that this is your mind?” he purrs, his voice a light and musical lilt that makes your spine tingle. Your mind is swimming, going in roundabout circles. “This is a World, (Name)—fashioned from the beauty of the deeds I have been doing for your own rotting world.
“And this… this is my World.”
“This World smells,” you say, slowly, your own whispers mere croaks that reaches his ears with so very little weight, “like death.”
‘A World that smells of rotting flesh and a sea of blood...’
His lips purse disapprovingly, his expression darkening and brows setting upon their lids. Then suddenly, brushing a lock of deep russet from gleaming eyes, he smirks slightly, and dulcet laughter rings through the decaying air. Softly, burnt brown lashes flutter momentarily, dark eyes shuttering and unshuttering, before he calms. Then the pseudo-God chuckles briskly and sets those golden, amber-glowing eyes that flicker red on your twisted form once more.
He offers a small, sweet smile.
“How very observant of you, (Name),” he says with a virtuous nod of his head, a devilishly innocent grin like that of a child’s when at play. “Doesn’t it? That is because everything I’ve done, (Name), the very empire that I’ve resurrected, is built upon that exactly.”
He rises from his seat, parting from his throne up in the skies, high above the ground, and slowly begins to descend that grandly towering staircase draped in reds and blacks. Tattered robes of black shadow engulf his body.
You try, desperately, to twitch your fingers, to shift your legs, to break free from where you hang and tumble to the ground—anything. If only to move away, to run as far as possible from this monstrosity.
‘I can’t move… damn it…!’
The pain is too great, and your entire body is on fire. You want to scream, and the only thing that stops you is the fear of more anguish cracking bone and marrow and tearing away flesh. Your lips press tightly together; you’re fearful that if you speak, then this usurper of God will cast you down to your death.
‘Why am I even here?! Let me out… let me out, please! Am I in hell? Have I sinned against any one God? I’ve never murdered, I’ve never deliberately hurt another human being—I’m virtuous, just as virtuous as any average human... Why am I here if I’ve done nothing wrong?!’
“It’s rather hard,” sighs the tuneful lilt of the Devil below your rotting body, “to step on ants without crushing them.”
He straightens himself, almost drawn up level with you, and you go limp, stricken and motionless with the pure fear sending bursting adrenaline through your blood. It is a moment later that you realize it.
‘He… He’s standing below me…? By at least three inches…’
The locks of silky lustrous hair tumble down and frame that handsome, frightening human face. He reaches up, with petal-soft fingers, to brush a single, baby-skinned pad against your cheek.
There is oil boiling in your flesh where he touches, your stone-heavy eyes wide with the fear of impending death and eternal damnation at the hands of a human who declares himself a God.
‘No… now that I think about it… this man…
‘... He cannot be a human.’
There is no human who has no fear of a God—whether that God be their Jehovah, their Jesus, their money, their pride, or their mistress.
There is always fear in human nature.
The capacity to fear is human nature.
‘But this man…
‘... feels no fear at all.’
Not of God, not of the world, not of L or the police force.
‘Yagami Light is no human.’
He is a beautiful man—a beautiful young man with tawny chestnut strands hanging over lovely, well-kept skin, with a respectful manner about him at all times and good, expensive clothes on his back. He is a man who will never settle for anything but the very best.
He is a man, at that… But he is no human. And that is what makes you tremble and fear and makes you keep tight-pressed lips and empty eyes devoid of all but fear.
The man who is not a man leans towards you, lifting himself up onto the balls of his feet, so that amber eyes face yours and copper hair lightly brushes already poisoned skin and leaves more burning marks in their wake. He smiles sweetly with his poisonous lips, so that unsharpened fangs of white are illuminated with the cast light of red.
“You are afraid, (Name)...” he murmurs, casting evil lips upon your brow, and you tremble in terror.
‘Will he bite me? Will he rip out my throat and drink my blood? Will he burn away my body slowly? Or will he first set me to burn here, in this spot, forever?’
“... I wonder why,” he finishes slowly, smoothly as the turpentine that is thick in this hellish air.
‘You… wonder why? Is it not obvious? Or are you too long wallowed in such hideousness to realize the cruel repulsiveness of your surroundings, Light?’
“You know, (Name)...” he whispers along a neck of tearing skin, “I can read every hint of fear in those beautiful eyes of yours.”
‘No… no… no, I won’t let you into my head...’
“Am I not already in your head?” he laughs apathetically, the richness of the tone echoing off the boney emptiness of this dying landscape. “Did you not say so already, (Name)? Imagine—my World being yours. This can be real.”
And the certainty of his tone, the absoluteness is deadly frightening.
“No,” you find the strength to cry out hoarsely, “No. No one… no one wants a World like this.”
“No one?” he lets out a strange chortle, an odd laugh that doesn’t sound like the laughter of a nineteen-years-old boy. “There are so many who cheer on the name of Kira, (Name). You are ever so blind. But you’ll see… you’ll all see.”
‘This isn’t you, Yagami Light…
‘No. This is Kira. Kira taken over the body of Light.’
“Light,” you utter desperately to him—to whomever this is, because it is not the Light you know. Light’s body is, at the moment, merely an instrument for some devil, for some evil spirit taking residence inside his shell of a body. He cannot be blamed for any sin it commits. “Light, come… come back.”
He laughs, fingers reaching up and laying themselves on your broken body and wrapping around your neck. He grins wickedly, a look so unacceptable on him, as he begins to squeeze with that evil smile adorning his once pure expression.
You want to move your arms to fight back. But your hands are fastened down, your back against a thick wall of black rock, and you cannot escape.
“Come back?” he whispers down to you, as if sharing some dark secret that none were privy to hear but you. “What are you talking about, (Name)? I am here already—and I always have been, inside your head, inside your soul.” The smile spreads, like splattered red upon canvas. “Isn’t that wonderful? Wouldn’t you like me in here? Living here, taking over your mind, making you into Kira’s stronghold? You could serve a God, (Name)...
“You could serve me.”
He steps back, just an inch or so, and sets his eyes upon your bloody body. "Look at how beautiful you are," he exclaims. "Placed onto a cross, with your arms outstretched—you could very well be the Virgin Mary in all her pure beauty."
'Tied to a cross.
'My hands... they're bleeding. There's warmth all over them.
'My arms are spread out... and my feet, they ache.
'Could it be...? Is this how I die, a fake Jesus upon his cross?
'No... No... I don't want to die like this...
'I don't want to serve at the hands such a monster who declares himself a God...'
“No,” you hiss, your bloodied fingers coming up to claw at the hand that is on your neck, slowly gripping and choking you. “No… Light. Light…" The beautiful name that you so love is chanted over and over again, becoming a hissed mantra that is further stifled when he squeezes tighter at your throat. "... Light, Light, Light, listen… l-listen to yourself! Light!”
“Light?” he mumbles, almost indiscernible as he crooks his neck and bends even closer to you. “Light, you say?”
And he begins to speak in low grumblings, whispers that are of no sense at all: “Light? Kira? Light… Light…
“... Who is Light?”
The sound of devilish laughter, Kira’s laughter, rings through the burning air and rips through your bone and muscle like a dulled blade. Your screams—you’re sure you’re screaming, because your mouth is wide open and your throat burns—are barely audible above his crowing of cackling.
There’s burning trails of water on your cheeks and turpentine leaking into your skin.
Here, there is only a rotten God and his dying World.
“(Name)? Wake up, (Name).”
“Wake up, (Name).”
You blink, eyes shuttering instantly in recoil from the harsh light. Hand raised to your face, lashes lowered so that only the most penetrable light will pass through, you tilt your head to drink in your surroundings.
… Computers. Swivel chairs.
A single figure sits upon the seat before the computers set onto the worktable near the couches, a cold white light washing across his form and blending the sharp obsidian outline of broad shoulders into blurry smears against the artificial glow. The slightly slouching figure, bent over a laptop and scribbling away at the slowly brimming, ink-strewn pages of a notebook, is dressed in a black denim shirt and decent slacks.
Why someone would go to such efforts to look decently presentable at such a horrible time is inexplicable. With a glance out the window, you’re able to determine that any sane person would be in bed right now, comfortably splayed out in a nice set of pyjamas that would not bear them such great pains.
You lift your head, blinking firmly, eyes wide as you stare at him. Then, hesitantly, you reach up to the couch’s arm, where your head had previously been resting, and haul yourself up to a half-sitting position. The bones in your cervical spine are aching, rusting discs grating against the other.
You grimace at the feeling as you call, in an oddly hoarse voice: “Light, is that you?”
A grating of plastic wheels against cold floor as the figure in the chair turns around, shifting limbs casting long, stretched shadows across the room. Through the cold lamplight beaming brightly from behind him, drowning his face in unpleasantly rough luminescence, you can barely discern golden, amber-glowing irises gazing tenderly back.
“Of course it’s me,” he scoffs lightly as he rolls his eyes with a short sigh and a playful shake of the head. The youth cocks his head, familiarly, in curiousity. “Who else did you think it was? Matsuda?”
His tone is casual, light, and as usual those rich, dulcet tones are pure drugs—like sweet, airborne heroine—flowing through your ears and straight to your brain. Your mind is dazed, unfocused, and you blink towards him with half-lidded eyes as you stretch out your arms and groan silently.
“... Maybe…” you sigh. “I’m not sure… Light, what time is it?”
“00:12,” he states very simply before turning to slide shut the laptop he has positioned in front of him on the table that he and Ryuuzaki usually work at. The notebook is slid quietly, discreetly, into a nearby drawer that is, of course, immediately locked. The lamp beside him beams brightly and casts a pretty glow on his lips that shifts when he turns to you with a lovely smile, a twinkle in those young eyes, and says calmly: “Pretty early.”
“... Why did you wake me up?” you moan, exhaustion dragging in your bones, and pulling yourself up to a straight sitting position, you take a brief glance around the room. There’s the mellow downpour of soft, velvet moonlight through the windows that line the white walls, streaming through and hitting the floors with a faintly sparkling glow.
There’s no one else there; everyone must have left for home already.
“Light, everyone’s left…”
“I suppose they have,” he says plainly before standing from his seat and stretching all too gracefully, as always, long limbs curving beautifully in the half-dimness of the headquarters. They look strong, beautiful, and unyielding, like towering strongholds of iron, in the dim of the blue moon glow. “It’s very early, after all.”
“You mean late,” you grumble, reaching up clumsily to grope at your hair, which seems to have taken your nap as an invitation to tangle itself up into all kinds of impossible knots. “My hair…”
It’s too late/early/whatever for this sort of banter, and you’re already tiring of it all. You vaguely recall the stretch of firm leather under your skin—you must have slept awhile on the couch, and it wasn’t comfortable at all…. There’s something bothersome lingering in the back of your mind, like a metaphorical tiger waiting to spring upon its prey. Must have been a nagging dream of some sort.
… Probably of Ryuuzaki, and of frighteningly diabetic-ensuring sweets and wide obsidian eyes with the apathetic decree of their cruel, pale owner. Who was probably bestowing upon your poor soul more piles and more of unmerciful, infinite paperwork.
“No, I mean early,” Light insists with a gentle chuckle rising in his throat as he begins to make his way over, wading easily through soft moonlight and thick darkness. “It’s morning, (Name), 00:16.”
“You’re crazy,” you retort, and he gives a startling laugh that jars you and rips through you with the cold edge of a blade at flesh. The sound sends trickles of sweet ice washing violently down your spine.
“Maybe. But anyways…” He stops, standing right above you with that cold moon washing over his form. You’re tempted to slide back and away for a moment as he makes himself comfortable in the seat beside you. “It means more time to us, anyways.”
“...” You furrow your brows at you tilt your head up at the clock on the other wall—you don’t recall lying down to rest. “What time did I fall asleep last night?”
“17:30.” Light gives a small smirk, and you can practically see the glistening cogs turning in his impeccably ingenious head. “L was rather unbothered when you fell asleep right where you were standing and hit the floor falling.”
“How kind of him,” you sigh.
L has always been an apathetic one—then again, he is much like Light, who seems to be an overall cautious man, wary of any threat to his person, and doesn’t often show his true emotion on his face; but that’s why the nature of the boy draws you in so tantalizingly, like an artist to his only, holy muse. You wonder what kind of a person you are, to love someone who displays such amazing acting skills in the presence of others. After all, what’s keeping him from hiding things from you?
You shake your head to clear the musty thought from it. “Well, at least I wasn’t left to lie there on the floor. But why did I not expect any less from the Great L?”
“I wouldn’t expect less, either, if I hadn’t been the one to move you,” admits Light.
Then he holds up a digit, smiling slightly, and says softly: “Oh… Wait a moment.” Warm, slender fingers close over your own and pull them up to mask your eyes, and a gentle tone is whispered, hushed, in your ear: “Please, close your eyes.”
As usual, you don’t question his tactics.
It’s not wise to question a man of Light’s nature, after all.
‘Is that why I like him? Then I really do wonder what kind of a person I am...’
There’s a slight rustling, the rustling of the leather under where you sit. Then a tap on your shoulder, and Light reaches to bring your hands down and away from your eyes. He slides a feather-light hand onto the back of your neck, squeezing once gently, warmly, and then he smiles and gently prompts your gaze downwards.
“... Chocolates, Light? How creative.” You ignore his weak attempt of a teasing slap on the shoulder, fighting back a delighted smile, as you inquire: “To what occasion do I owe this sudden affectionate gift?”
After all, Light rarely shows his emotions, and physical displays of affection, despite what one may think upon seeing and meeting him, are not for a man like him. That fact was made very blatant once the two of you entered an actual relationship—although, hidden and concealed from the rest of the task force, it can hardly be called that.
“It’s White Day,” states Light with a bright smile on his face. “For the chocolate you gave me on Valentine’s Day. Have you lost track of the date already, (Name)?”
“... Oh,” you say dumbly as you blink down at the chocolates beaming back at you. “... Maybe I have lost track of everything. With all the Kira-hunting we’ve been doing, it might as well be Christmas, and I wouldn’t know it.” You pause in consideration of the circumstances. “Not that L would care to announce it either. He probably plans to work us to the death.”
“But,” says Light slowly, firmly, as he takes your chin in hand and offers a brief peck on one cheek, then the other... “whatever happens here, in this building, no matter how high the work stacks up, I believe,” he says softly, barely a murmur as he places a chaste kiss on your lips, “that there should always be a moment for just the two of us.”
“Yeah,” you muse aloud. “I guess so… It’s important to spend time together, isn’t it...”
‘There’s still that thing nagging at the back of my head… what can it be?’
“Yes?” he inquires gently with an expression, a concerned purse of the lips and an arm wrapping itself around your shoulder to pull you into his protective embrace, that states almost as if he would do anything in the world for you. You’re not sure, however, if you can believe that or not. “What is it, (Name)?”
“I know this is weird, but…” You pause, then shrug inwardly. If there’s anyone you can trust your thoughts with, it’s Light. “I was wondering... What if Kira is some sort of a parasite?”
“Oh?” It’s his turn to furrow those elegantly-shaped brows when he hears this. “And… what makes you think that?”
You clear your throat, half in shame, as you glance to the side. But really, can it bring any harm to share one theory with another task force member—with your lover? You open your mouth and voice aloud your thoughts: “We’ve found that he can switch hosts… right?” Light nods to confirm this. “And that one’s memory vanishes after that period of their existence as Kira. So, Kira… what if he’s just using the body of a human as a vessel?”
There’s a brief sigh as Light pulls away to brush a hand through his perfect hair. “I’m sure,” he says slowly, as if ascertaining his own words, “that that’s very well possible.” Here he places a pregnant pause. “But I doubt it—Kira is one and his own. None other. Does he not claim to be a God?” The boy exhales deeply at this, shaking his head in disapproval. “Of all the wretched things in this world… claiming to be a God. How blasphemous.”
Then he gives you a startled look, as if stricken with shame at what he’s just said. “But we shouldn’t be talking about such depressing subjects now… it’s our time together. Such an opportunity rarely crops up like this nowadays—so let’s spend it right, (Name).”
He smiles at you, so sweetly and innocently that you want to fall apart, and then descends upon you with thin lips of pink roses and the scent of saccharine petals on his breath.
… There is that nagging feeling against the back of your skull. You squeeze your eyes shut, trying to push it off and uttering, quietly: “... L-Light…?”
“Yes, (Name)?” he mumbles, perfect as always against your lips, pausing to let you gather your thoughts.
… “Light…” Your fingers grope for his. “Promise…?”
“Promise what, (Name)?”
“Promise…” You hesitate when you feel his fingers intertwine with yours and squeeze once, comfortingly, urging you on. “Promise that you’ll always be here?”
He chuckles, the deep rumble resounding in his chest, as he breathes against your lips with a smile: “Of course, (Name). I’ll be here—to hold you, love you, whatever you want—and I’ll protect you from Kira.”
You let your eyes shutter open just in the slightest, and you almost see a flicker of red briefly flit across glowing amber-glowing eyes.
And for a moment, you just barely taste turpentine blackness on your lips and feel the traces of burning water down your cheek.