Fandom: Death Note
Genre: Gen, angst
Word Count: 2,063
Warnings: Spoilers for the entire series. Swearing. Some gory details. Implied Light/Misa.
Notes: Second-person post-series fic. Everyone and the end. Title is from "The Hollow Men", by TS Eliot.
What they say about how death makes celebrities out of everyone, well, it's true.
The day they announce your death on the news, the broadcast heard around the world, the day they say you were the man behind the "Kira prisoner murders", well, that's the day the first official service of the Church of Kira is held, in the empty lot behind the warehouse where you died. Your vomit and blood are still there, dried on the floor, like you were some kind of road kill animal, torn open with your quivering glistening guts exposed and cooking on the hot asphalt. The plastic little news anchors, they don't say anything about how humiliated you were the day you died, how you couldn't think, how you screamed for your Misa, how Mikami, the one who turned out to be your Judas (always said you couldn't trust a lawyer), failed you. They don't talk about it. They just say you're dead. And it's better that way. You, yeah, you always liked that, not telling the whole truth.
Religions, they only start because someone had to die.
Matsuda is the one who calls Misa, her new American phone number. Matsuda, he says, "Miss Misa-Misa, I--I'm really sorry to say this, but Light, your fiancé, I--I mean, Mr. Yagami, he's dead. I'm so, so sorry, Misa." The way his voice breaks into static.
You know the way it works. You used to listen to your father make those calls when you were a kid, legs spread on the floor of his office. "This is the National Police Association. Ma'am, you might want to sit down. I'm sorry, but we've found a body that matches your husband's dental records."
And Misa, the girlfriend you left behind, the one who doesn't remember anything, she says, "Oh. Thanks for calling, Matsu. It's okay. I'll be alright." Misa, and the way she doesn't feel anything about you, the way she hangs up the phone and does the dishes, the way she kisses her new American boyfriend on the cheek whenever he comes home, you're going to miss that, deep down inside.
You want to miss her because she was a decoy, a sacrifice. An easy fuck. But you really miss her because she was there, because you could've killed her so many times, but didn't. Misa, and her collection of Gothic Lolita Bibles, the way she called your parents 'mother' and 'father', Misa, and the way she looked at you when you were handcuffed to L, that suspicious hurt look, those are things you're going to miss.
Misa, she doesn't know it was you, but she still prays to Kira every day. This, it makes her like two million other Americans, even though her English is sub par at best. The altar in her closet, behind the tulle skirts and her favorite black corsets. In her dresser, beneath the bloomers and the lacy black thongs her new American boyfriend likes so much, there are pictures of you. You, at your graduation. You, showing off the cufflinks she bought you for your twentieth birthday. You, the way you smiled the night after L lay, jerking, in your arms. After she gets the call, she looks through them, and then, Misa, she calls your mom, your sister, all the way across the Pacific Ocean. She says she wants baby pictures of you. She says she’s sorry, sorry, that the only son, he might've been Kira. She says she's sorry, that she couldn't have married you. She says she's sorry, that Sayu has to go without a big brother now.
And it's not like Sayu knows anything anymore, not like she talks or gets out of that wheelchair, but it's something about Misa saying that that pisses Sachiko off, makes her hang up the phone.
Your mom, she used to be such a nice woman, back when she had a family.
But the person who's hurting the most, the person who's really fucked over by you dying, that's Matsuda. Matsuda, because he was the one that fired those two shots into you, because he was the one that turned you into that screaming piece of road kill on the warehouse floor, all he wants to do is get drunk. Matsuda, he wants to drive with his eyes closed on icy mountain roads. He wants someone to punch him until his eyes are so swollen and caked with pus, he can't open them anymore. He was always a softy, "too young and naive for a job like that, a police officer," is what they said. "Matsuda," they said, "a serial killer isn't supposed to make you question your morals." ("But, but, Kira, he only kills bad people--")
The rest of the police force, they're reeling, too. Because people don't expect Kira, this new-world god, this one-man genocide, to be the boy who's been working with you since he was seventeen. You were beautiful and you were young and you were brilliant. You, Light, you were everything they wished they could be. No one expects the quiet sweet man to come into the office with a pump-action shotgun and start blowing up heads, but he's always the one who does it. The NPA, they didn't expect the quiet young man with the cute little girlfriend to be Kira. They didn't suspect you when you were crying over L, Ryuzaki, your "best friend" for all those months. They didn't honestly think it was you when they installed sixty-four cameras in your room and watched you sleep, watched you talk on the phone, recorded and projected the shape of your naked body in grainy black and white, played your curves and every little curl of brown hair, onto the face of every officer in the room.
You were such a nice boy.
Maybe, it hurts so badly because you were right under their noses for so long. Maybe, it's because so many people died, so much money was spent, all because they didn't believe L.
Yeah, but everyone loves surprises.
Aizawa, after he heard the news, he went home, and, in true police man fashion, he sat on the balcony of his apartment, and he smoked a pack of cigarettes. Chain-smoking, his daughter watching him through the sliding glass door, Aizawa cursed and cried, and with every 'fuck', he saw the time-lapse photos of your face, you, the sweet smiling teenager; you, holding Misa's hand; you, the young and professional chief of police.
"Your daddy had a hard day at work," is what his wife says. "Midori, how about you go play in your room? Mommy has some phone calls to make."
Mikami, in prison, he doesn't even think about it in terms of the SPK, or the police, or you, but he thinks about how God failed him. How he failed his god. How he fucked everything up. He's a violent prisoner. Mikami, they put him in handcuffs because he keeps scratching, 'ELIMINATE' into his skin. The guards, they say he's fucked up. The guards, they say, "Hey, Mr. Mikami, what's it feel like to be on the other side of the law?"
Near, somewhere in Europe, he's not thinking about you. But it's not like you ever cared about him. You hated that arrogant little buttermilk-sallow son of a bitch, anyway. He didn't fight fair, because he couldn't fight at all.
On the TV, the TV Misa watches while she's cleaning, they're uncovering all the stories about you. The hidden books of your bible. They talk about evidence of sexual liaisons between Japanese pop star Misa Amane and former reporter Kiyomi Takada. Misa, she says to her new American girlfriends, that there was so much more to Misa and you than sex, and that what they're saying about you and that Takada, is a lie. Because you two, you never did more than talk, is what Misa-Misa says. Misa, and the way she's in that cute little denial phase, the way she still doesn't believe you were Kira, the way she still hasn't cried, you're going to miss things like that the most.
In Japan, where you were comfortably in control, they're saying Takada was a martyr. She was assassinated by an anti-Kira arsonist. Because Kira wouldn't kill his confidante. Yeah, right. Takada, to the followers of the new Church of Kira, she's not just a smiling made-up face at five in the morning, not anymore. She's a saint. The way she went from local television personality to holy mother, well, that's death at its best. No one really believed Jesus Christ when he was alive. And no one really believes in Jesus Christ now. Jesus, he didn't kill the bad people.
Followers of Kira, they say they want more action, less preaching.
The killings haven't stopped, but you're dead. They're sloppy murders now, done by half-assed followers, trying too hard.
Ryuk, he tells the other shinigami that, yeah, he kind of messed up with all that. He says he's going to hold back for a little while. Which is the way things should be, you guess. You're okay with lying, but you're not okay with substitutes.
And the part of you that's still pining for Misa, you want her to find a death note again, somehow. You want her to keep carrying out your will. Kira's second wind. Crime rates are at an all-time low, but that's not good enough; you want a world entirely devoid of crime. You want your paradise on earth. The ghettos and the bloodstained jungle villages, you want them to be virgin pure. You want your bodies in the streets, the heads on spikes. Therapy through homicide. Ethical cleansing, that's what the Church of Kira is about.
You're not alive to see this, but the followers, they're making this a Hollywood mystery religion. They’re going on mission trips. Preaching peace. They're wearing black. They're mourning you. They are firing bullets into the master minds of crime syndicates. They're telling those tribesmen to be at peace, but them, they're seeking therapy through violence. It's stupid, but it's what they're doing. And you, you can't correct them.
Maybe, Light, you didn't want a following in the first place. Maybe, you, you just wanted a world without anything. You wanted you, and you wanted Misa, maybe; maybe, you wanted Takada; maybe, no one (sometimes, late at night, L), and that's all. You and Ryuk and your empty spotless world, that's what Kira was killing for. Maybe, it wasn't a matter of morals at all. (Maybe, Light, you were scared.)
[A year after your death, the TV psychologists say this about you, on the news, on the crime shows: "The way you raise an attack dog is, you beat it. No reason, you just keep beating it. Every time it does something bad, you reward it. I think Mr. Yagami turned toward murder and his so-called self-righteous 'ethical cleansing' because that's how was brought up, whether his parents intended to raise him that way or not."
Sachiko goes through your old papers, the pictures she refuses to give to Misa, and she wonders where they went wrong, where the common sense and parenting manuals left off and created a killer.]
(Two years later, Valentine's Day, you, you're not alive to see this, but Misa hangs herself in the garage of their chic little California rancher. In a new pink and black teddy, she puts the noose around her neck and kicks the trash can out from beneath her high-heeled feet. See, the thing is, she loves her new American boyfriend, but she wants you. You, and the way you used to wrap your hands around her neck when you fucked her, the way you hugged her and stared over her shoulder at your future, the way you made promises and broke every one of them, she misses that.
Her new American boyfriend, he's getting the box of chocolates from the backseat when he pulls into the garage. The new American boyfriend, he looks up, and vomits when he sees the stilettos clicking against the windshield.)
You, and the way you wanted to be alone, the way you killed because you were scared, well, that doesn't matter now.
"Kira, Light-kun?" she calls. "I'm back."
the six subjunctive crumbs
twitch like mutilated thumbs:
picture His peering biggest whey
coloured face on which a frown
puzzles, but I know the way
(nervously Whose eyes approve
the blessed while His ears are crammed
with the strenuous music of
the innumerable capering damned)
staring wildly up and down
the here we are now judgment day.
-"here is little Effie's head" ; ee cummings