"You're nothing but a crazy murderer."
Kira was, at last, defeated.
No longer a controlled, untouchable picture of cool logic and harsh ethics, but in death reduced to nothing more than a frothing, rabid animal, screaming helplessly in fear of the unknown.
The damning second struck and his movements stopped. Lying disgracefully in a pool of his own blood, all alone.
Not at all unusual for a human in the end.
Yes, the end – that time had finally come. This story had come to a close.
With the name written down on the page, Ryuk gave one last rusty cackle before flying away from that hallowed place and into the sky beyond.
"Man, what the hell was that?"
"Is that seriously the ending? Can you say 'anticlimax'?"
"That little albino gremlin pulled that crap out of his ass! How could Kira be that unprepared?"
"I can't believe those two newbies got that far! The kid was a wannabe and that other guy with the weird thing for leather died as soon as he actually did something!"
"What a bleeding cop-out."
The crowd of Shinigami huddled around the portal to the human world bickered and complained amongst themselves, altogether extremely displeased with the outcome they'd witnessed.
There was a swishing sound, the beating of feathery wings, and their chatter dispersed as the various death gods gathered craned their bony necks around furiously to accuse the source of it. One of them called out.
"Oi! Ryuk! Ryuk!"
Ryuk turned at the call of his name as he dropped down and landed, shaking off the disorientation. Flying back from the human world always gave him terrible jetlag. "What the hell do you want, Nix?"
All the gathered Shinigami started hurling complaints.
"You told us this was gonna be good!" Nix growled.
"Well, it was for a while, I guess," a gravelly voice in the back mumbled.
"Not my fault all you folks get bored so easily," Ryuk replied, scratching his head. "Why don't you just find your own human to mess with?"
The crowd bristled.
"Oi, that's no excuse! We were all watching, you know!"
"I wanted Kira to win!"
"Woulda been cool, but that's just not how it happened," Ryuk grumbled.
Another Shinigami who'd just happened to be flying by and listening in scoffed in their direction. "What, you guys seriously went and stayed? I stopped watching after that freaky guy who challenged Kira in the beginning died. He was my favourite human."
The crowd perked up at once at this, instantly seeming more excited.
"Mine too!" Someone called out. "I was actually kinda disappointed to see a human die!"
"I agree! He was pretty interesting, for a human," another Shinigami added, and everyone else nodded.
Ryuk rolled his eyes at them. "You mean L?"
The crowd of Shinigami burst into noise. "Yeah! Him!"
"I wanted him to challenge Kira till the end..." someone complained.
Ryuk scoffed, laughing and sitting down. "Well, he's dead. Too bad. You guys are honestly reminding me of Rem."
"Oh, she was annoying."
"Don't you remember? She was the one who killed that L guy. Who knew you could actually die that way?"
"Yeah," Ryuk cut in, "And he's not coming back, no matter how much you guys –"
"So sure about that?"
Someone they had not noticed before was standing there now, surveying the gathered crowd. There was silence at once as everyone gazed upon the intruder – a short, stubby-winged Shinigami with three beastly heads, all beaming with mischievous glee. His name was Ximera and no-one really liked him much. "Call me sentimental, but I was rooting for that human too, you know. Everyone here's going to be pretty bored for a while if your show suddenly goes away, Ryuk. I reckon it should get a re-run."
Ryuk scratched at his head, confused. "What are you talking about? If I drop another Note, the humans are going to know it's Kira instantly. And it's clear none of you want to watch that kid who succeeded L."
"I liked him," someone whined.
"Shut up, Sidoh, no one asked you."
Ximera rubbed his four hands together with a high-pitched cackle. "What I mean is that we're going to make things go… differently this time. Let's just say I beat the old man in cards a few times and he owes me a favour."
"Seriously?" Ryuk gawked at the other Shinigami in disbelief. "You're going to try and return a human soul from Mu? And won't it have unforeseen consequences if you go and mess up time in the human world like that?"
Ximera clicked all three tongues at once, rolling his eyes. "Eh, it'll be fine, who cares. I don't pay you to complain."
Ryuk slouched. "You don't pay me."
"Exactly. Wait, what was I saying again? Oh well, let's mess with some human souls."