I’ve got a bit of a problem. And it’s a big one, for a shinigami. This is real bad.
I think I’m falling for a human. Yagami Light, to be precise. And I think my days are numbered.
Trust me, I never intended for this to happen. I know the rules of my kind and I know the punishments for breaking them. Although there’s a lot of rules, more than there are shinigami left, I’ve had an eternity to learn them all. There’s even a specific rule forbidding this very thing— Rule 36. Never thought it would become my least favorite. Or, more appropriately, the most frustrating.
Rule 36: There are male and female gods of death, but it is neither permitted, nor possible for them to have sexual relations with humans. The gods of death also cannot have sex with each other.
Why in the hell did the Maker give shinigami the possibility of these desires if they didn’t expect us to make use of them? Bastard! Beyond that, we have emotions even if they are mostly incomprehensible to humans. We can admire, feel attraction, feel warmth in our way. We can feel sadness, anger, shame, longing. We can love. It’s downright cruel.
Its the damned death note’s fault anyway. I stole it from that overgrown bandaid Sidoh but now I think it wanted me to. Wanted me to give it to him. To Light. It wants him more than I do. And the cursed thing has him now, or he has it, however that goes. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling this, as I am bound to both him and it. Caught between them, if that makes sense. I wonder if that would absolve me? Probably not. Not in any way that matters at least. His Royal Creakiness may be watching, and his best days are when one of us breaks a rule.
Its not just that he’s physically beautiful, which of course he is. He doesn’t think I’m watching when he undresses, when he showers, when he....but I am. Sorrynotsorry as you humans would say, Light-o. You can’t hide from the eyes of shinigami. You can’t hide from me.
But it’s not that.
It’s what sleeps within him that is unique, his essential reach, his grasping for things that should be beyond any mortal. Yet, he doesn’t care. He just laughs at my reminders of his limitations, and it’s not for show. He doesn’t think he has any. And I’m starting to think that too. For the first time in I don’t know how long (I guess since I was made), I’m wondering if a mortal can be a god. A real god, not just the tarnished reflection of immortality that we shinigami are. But I know how to make that happen too, to make shinigami, even if His Regal Rottenface doesn’t think I know.
Light, what I wouldn’t give to show you your heart’s desire. To take you to the existential plane of Lense as you once said you wanted, and stand there as the memories and emotions of eternal time flowed through us, one after the other after the other. It would be an education for you, more arrows in your quiver of manipulation, as if you needed any more. But that would please you, I think. And I’m finding more and more that pleasing you makes me happy as well. Seeing you really smile at me. Why?
And what I wouldn’t give for you to look upon me and not see death. Your death. To look behind the monster in front of your eyes and see that something ancient as time itself loves you. Sees what you really are and loves that too. Could you grasp that? It would probably just make your head swell to proportions beyond imagining, as I know you could never see me like that. But you’ve become precious to me. And that is so dangerous for shinigami, for me.
You think I want to kill you. And I did, as all shinigami do and should as fulfills our purpose. But how could I ever really write your name now? Base amusement comes and goes, and spread over an eternity these small joys are just faint and transient shadows cast upon the curtain of my forever life. But you’ve burned a hole right through the middle of it, haven’t you? It will never be the same again. You are careless with the care of others, Light, so I must hide that hole as best I can.
When you sit in front of the death note, my death note, I see the real you emerge. It would terrify most any human, I’d imagine, but it’s then when you come alive Light, when you shine. I hear it singing to me when you scrawl upon it, although you cannot. I feel it’s sorrow when you put it away. I hear it’s rare whispers sometimes and you wouldn’t believe what it says. I don’t even believe them yet, and I’ve changed. But I have a feeling I’m not done changing, and neither are you.
You think you are alone in this. I need you to believe that too, for as long as I can; even shinigami have their pride Light-o. But you aren’t alone Light, not as long as you have my death note.
Not as long as you smile at me.
Its a silly fantasy, thinking about any way to get around Rule 36. I’ve seen other shinigami try. I’ve seen them die in a heap of dirt and ash and swept into the dustbin of time. But I know a secret. Not all rules are equal in the death note. Some, the crucial ones, have been handed down from the Maker and are immutable. Some are just the whims of our imbecilic ruler. Rule 36 was made on a day when Prince Putrid was particularly mad at us for something or another. I think somebody left a portal open and all his favorite succubi flew straight to earth never to return. Heh yeah, that was it. So, since they didn’t want his rotten body he figures hey, no one gets any!
But, guess what, you sack of dried pus, your idiotic rules don’t outlive you! That’s right you rattling old whale spleen, if you die no more Rule 36! And maybe even the succubi will come back if they know you’ve croaked at last!
Eh, who am I kidding. It’s not that damned rule standing in my way. It’s not that crowned corpse either.
I’m a nightmare incarnate to you and that can never change. You walk in the sun of adoration in this beating, breathing world, while I walk in fear and trembling, stealing the life from it in your footsteps. You kill the evil. I just kill.
But I still think I’d like to see the Lord of the Louses ground into fine bonemeal and scattered over the plane of Lense. For shits and giggles if nothing else. Heh. We could watch the winds carry his dust away together, Light.
We could watch it as long as we wanted.
L had removed the cameras as suddenly as they had appeared, after just 2 days surveillance. And Light was writing names again, making up for lost time. I remember when he suddently stopped writing and looked at me, a question on his face. And it looked like trouble, which turned out to be an accurate assumption.
”Ryuk, I don’t think I’d fear death as much if I knew what came after. Can you tell me?”
I am information to you. I am hints and secrets. I am powerful because I know.
”I’m not supposed to. Not supposed to talk about that kind of stuff with humans.”
”You already told me about Lense. And some about the shinigami realm.”
You twist my former lapses in judgement to squeeze more from me.
”Yeah, and I’m still not sure I won’t get in trouble for that, hyuk.”
Light smiled, and I knew I was toast. “Nothing’s happened yet.”
You challenge me when you don’t know why I fear.
”Then tell me. Tell me more, Ryuk.”
Wouldn’t care why I fear if I told you.
”Well...most humans just go to a place called Mu when they die. Death note users go there too. It’s a place of nothingness, oblivion.”
”It sounds like it doesn’t exist at all.”
Your brief existence is more real than my eternal life.
”I suppose that’s one way of putting it, hyuk. Non-existence.”
”I don’t like the sound of that Ryuk. I don’t want to end up there.”
You make it sound like it would be a tragedy if the mortal Yagami Light ended up in Mu. It would be.
”Hyuk! Tough cookies there Light-o! I don’t make the rules.”
”You know I don’t like playing by the rules.” Light was biting the pen, and I knew he was thinking he was special again. “Most humans go there. What do you mean most?”
You think you are not most humans. You’re so arrogant. And you’re right.
I wished I hadn’t have said that. “Well, there have been a few exceptions. Just a couple. But nobody forgets those, hyuk.”
”Really? Like who?”
So you can follow them? If you heard of the soul bond I’d be helpless before you.
“There have been two humans before that became shinigami.”
Two mortals that became legend, even among your kind, although long ago to you.
You do not want their end Light.
”Who were they?”
”I really shouldn’t....”
But you’ll make me wont you?
”You really should!”
”It seems recent to us shinigami, but was a couple thousand of years ago by human years.”
A blink of time.
”But who Ryuk?”
”I don’t know their human names anymore. But they were Tyndari and Pindar to us.”
Beautiful creatures, half human, half shinigami. Living among us but not one of us.
”How did they become shinigami?”
”Now that I can’t tell you. And that’s that, hyuk.”
But you’ll still try won’t you? Try, Light.
Light sulked. “Someone must have told them.”
”No, it doesn’t work like that. There’s nothing the human can do.”
But of course, there is. They make us fall in love, but also give you a piece of ourselves. It’s a kind of partnership born of love and trust. And so, that never happens between god and mortal. Almost never.
”So a shinigami has to do something.”
They have to give everything.
”Some kind of deal then? Like the eye deal?”
”It’s not a deal, hyuk. Not really. More like a gift. A transfer. And that’s why it never happens. Because shinigami aren’t prone to giving gifts and we’re just as selfish as you are Light-o.”
Probably not as selfish as that, actually.
”The shinigami that gave them this gift, what happened to it?”
Zeus. You fell from Olympus to Hades when you made that decision, didn’t you? You were a god even written to mortal myth. And now, dust.
”Yeah, oh. Now stop asking, got it?”
Those humans tried something Light. Tried to challenge the immutable order and died. They wanted to live forever too. They wanted to be true gods. And now they’re only cold dead stars.
”Sure, Ryuk.” Light was quiet for a while, lying on his bed and staring up at the ceiling as if writing his future plans upon it. Then he turned to me and I saw the universe expand in his smiling eyes. I saw supernovas be born, explode, and die in the space of an instant. A spark that lit creation. “But one day I think you’ll want to give me that. That gift.”
I laughed then. But really, I felt scared. Terrified. ”Not a chance Light-o. Not a chance.”
But there was more than a chance, wasn’t there? You knew it even then, and so did I.
Yeah, this is bad.