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The Misa Problem

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“How about that one?” Ryuk asked, peeping up out of a forest of men’s designer jackets, “It really brings out the color of your eyes.”

“My eyes are brown” Light hissed at his cackling, unseen companion but added the jacket to his basket anyway—it was a lovely shade of red and he had to grudgingly admit that his Shinigami had surprisingly good taste in clothes. Ryuk made an astonishingly good shopping companion and, unlike his little sister, never complained about how long it took for him to pick out the perfect outfit.

Light paused as he was making his way to the checkout and idly wondered what was wrong with him when he happened upon a white long-sleeved shirt and immediately thought of Ryuuzaki. This wasn’t even something Ryuuzaki would normally wear—Ryuuzaki always wore that same plain white sweater. This sweater wasn’t plain but had a rather intricate and artistic pattern on the front and sleeves of two intertwined dragons, one black and one blue, coiled around each other and a roaring tiger that was standing proud in the middle of the motif, crushing a skull beneath its claws. Perhaps he was spending too much time with Ryuk because even though it wasn’t his typical style Light found it to be quite cool. On a whim he added it to his basket and on an even crazier whim decided it would make a perfect gift for Ryuuzaki. He wasn’t quite sure what possessed him to buy something for Ryuuzaki because, despite his limited wardrobe, surely if the man really was L he could probably afford to buy his own damned clothes! Not to mention buying something for someone whose days were numbered (no, don’t even go there. Not again.) Light had just purchased his clothes and was making his way home when he heard the sound he was coming to dread most in the world:

“LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT-KUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The teen had but a split second to know true fear before the blonde terror was upon him. Misa might have been small but she was still larger than a bowling ball and that hurt plenty when it plowed into your chest at top speed. The world spun sickly as Light’s tailbone and then the back of his head hit the concrete when the blonde bullet tackled him to the ground. Light groaned—he was pretty sure he was concussed.

Dammit!

Things would have been so much simpler if he had just killed her! In his defense it wasn’t for lack of trying and it certainly wasn’t because he enjoyed Misa’s company…

***

Light sat at his desk; pen in hand, the metallic portion of the ink cartridge glinting by his desk light like the edge of a blade. Just two names. All he had to do was write two names and his life would be so much simpler. Just two names and he would be free. Two names—the first freely and stupidly given the second victoriously taken when his otherworldly lover had gifted him with a set of shiny new eyes:

Misa Amane and L Lawliet.

Just two names…

And yet when he went to write them he hesitated to press ink to the page. It was most unlike him to have second thoughts but then these two weren’t typical of Kira’s victims.

They were just two names… two names of people he knew. Two names of people who had forced their way into his life so now their fates were intertwined with his own. Just two names… but if he were to write them down everything would change. Everything would become more… complicated.

Dammit, it's a trap!

Just two names… but if he went through with it their suspicion and retribution would immediately fall on him. As much as he might want to, he couldn’t kill Misa. Just because Ryuk could protect him from Rem killing him didn’t mean there would be no consequences if he were to defy her. It was just beginning to sink in that Rem had used his lack of familiarity about the intricacies of the Rules of the Death Note against him. Rem was smart and completely loyal to Misa—that made her far more dangerous than he had even imagined because even if Rem couldn’t kill him, she would no doubt devise some form of retribution on him if he was to get rid of Misa.

Such as going straight to L or the police…

And as for L… that was a whole other can of worms. There shouldn’t have even been an issue. He had his name now—he could kill him anytime he wanted to.

That was the problem—he didn’t want to.

Despite knowing how stupid it was to lower his guard around the detective he had begun thinking of Ryuuzaki as his friend. He enjoyed his company, their verbal sparring matches, and the intelligent conversation even knowing that sooner or later the game would end and it would become necessary to kill him. That led him to now, his pen bleeding black onto a fresh blank page—he had L’s name. But did he really want to end the game so quickly? Light knew he should press the advantage while he still had it. He who strikes first wins—L’s advice that Light had taken to heart. Light had been trying to get into his head to predict his every move and had unwitting let L become a part of him in the process. It felt like he had been playing this game for so long he wasn’t sure where he ended and L began. It should have been so simple—L LAWLIET. Two words, eight letters and L would be no more. A pen stroke down and to the right and the letter “L” sat on the page. Seven more letters and L, no Ryuuzaki would be dead.

Gone.

Forever.

Ryuk startled from his place on Light’s bed at the enraged scream let out by the room’s other occupant. He sat up just in time to see Light throwing his pen, violently across the room. The pen made a satisfying rattle as it crashed into the wall and hardwood floor.

“What’s the matter?” The Shinigami asked in genuine concern upon seeing his human quite visibly trembling. Before he wouldn’t have thought it like Light at all. That was before he’d gotten more intimate with his human and was coming to realize that Light wasn’t just talented at deceiving people, though that was true enough, but it was practically all he ever did. Light put up a front. All the time. Even for him. In fact it came so naturally to the boy that Ryuk suspected that at times Light wasn’t even aware of it—after all he lied to himself just as easily as he lied to the people around him, if not easier. He did it even when he didn’t need to. It was like he couldn’t allow himself to be seen as anything less than perfect.

Ryuk had seen Light snap before and have manic episodes but he had never broken down like this. Ryuk almost preferred Light’s evil cackling because then Ryuk knew Light would get a hold of himself after a moment and things would go back to normal. To break down like this, no to allow himself to break down like this… things had changed, the game had changed, if they could even still call this a game. Ryuk had just wanted a show. He hadn’t meant to become invested in the players to such a degree, especially in such a game which was always about playing for keeps. But in recent days he and Light had grown… close—probably closer than either of them would have liked or cared to admit. In the beginning they’d just been fooling around—he was just killing some boredom and for Light it was just a good bargain.

Ryuk had suspected that Light was more conflicted over the L issue than he let on but he didn’t expect it to get to him so badly. “Light, what’s wrong?”

When the teen finally did respond he was so quiet Ryuk had to strain to hear. “I can’t… I can’t do it. I can’t kill him. Either of them. I… even if I got rid of Misa there would still be the problem of Rem—she could still make trouble for us and L… L!

The brunet hung his head in shame.

“I’m sorry, Ryuk. It’s a… uh, human thing. I don’t think you’d understand.”

“Oh. I think I do understand. It’s okay, Light,” Ryuk shushed him gently as he pulled the distressed, unresisting teenager into his lap, “It’s okay.”

Light sniffled and buried his suspiciously damp face and runny nose in his Shinigami’s broad chest. Ryuk only looked on in concern as his human broke down in his arms.

“I don’t want to. He’s my friend,” the killer howled brokenly.

At one point Ryuk might have laughed but now seeing Light in misery no longer amused him. Before Light would have never have allowed himself to be seen like this let alone let the Shinigami draw him into his lap to cry on his shoulder.

Dammit, he was in too deep—they were both in too deep.

The Shinigami made soft coaxing noises that held none of his usual mockery as he held his human lover in his lap, rocking him gently. “It’s okay, Light. Let it all out.”

It was about then that Light came back to his senses, cheeks burning apple red in humiliation.

“Better?” The Shinigami asked hopefully. Though given his human’s following insane peals of laughter Ryuk figured he was most definitely not. Light was usually so calm. Seeing him breakdown like this and have such violent mood swings was quite unnerving to watch.

“R-Ryuk…” The teen sniffled and wiped the snot off onto the back of his hand. “Can we just pretend the last five minutes never happened?” Light asked after he’d collected himself again, mask of sanity snapping firmly back in place.

“Not a chance.”

“Dammit.”

Light felt the vibrations of Ryuk’s soft, rumbling laugh against his shoulder as the Shinigami patted him on the back. Light relaxed, eyes fluttering closed as Ryuk just held him in his arms. That was good. For the moment the world shrunk down to him and Ryuk and the feeling of the Shinigami's arms around him. He loved such moments and wouldn’t trade them for anything—even though they would one day surely be the death of him. For some reason Ryuuzaki’s warning came back to him unbidden: “You don’t want to get involved with your stalker, Light-kun. I know, I… It may seem alright at first but I… I’ve worked too many of these cases…”

Light jolted in Ryuk’s hold as he was struck by the sudden realization—it wasn’t just Ryuuzaki being sanctimonious and hypocritical (though he still was both of those things)—Ryuuzaki probably had been expressing genuine concern because this wasn’t just a matter of having worked a few stalking cases—Light was sure Ryuuzaki was speaking from personal experience.

Genuine concern? For his Kira suspect?! Who am I kidding? That can’t be. And who would want to stalk L?

Okay, that was a stupid question.

L was L, the world’s greatest detective, he was bound to have a few enemies but didn’t they know L was HIS and… and okay, where the hell had that come from?

Light wasn’t sure what had come over him but at the moment one thing was clear: even though Ryuuzaki’s concerns in regard to his boyfriend were unfounded in this instance the very fact that he did care…

“I’m not going to kill L.”

“Okay.” Ryuk spoke gently. Light flushed, the way Ryuk said it—it was as if he thought he was very fragile, made of glass, and would fall to pieces if he even spoke wrong. Light’s first impulse was to get angry with Ryuk but having already suffered from one stupid emotional breakdown this morning he reined it in and tried to look at the situation objectively. Light decided the Shinigami clearly had not intended offense and Ryuk, too, was concerned for him. Damn, even Ryuk was concerned about his mental state. Perhaps there really was something wrong with him…

Then there was Ryuk’s answer itself—Light looked at his Shinigami like he’d spontaneously grown a second head. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting but he supposed he was kind of hoping Ryuk would object and help convince him he had to kill L and help steer him back on his proper course. He hadn’t considered that Ryuk would agree with his new course… whatever it might be. He knew Ryuk wasn’t truly on his side or L’s side but Light had imagined Ryuk would have wanted to keep watching him try to kill L for his own entertainment if nothing else.

“But I have to kill L.”

“Okay… but why?

“What?!”

“Why do you have to kill him? Damn, Light. You’re so dramatic about this! Kill him. Don’t kill him. Whatever. It hardly matters in the long run.”

“Don’t… don’t talk about L like that!” What was the Shinigami saying? Of course L mattered! He was practically the only human that did matter!

“Okay… I guess I just don’t understand why it’s such a big deal, or for that matter why you think you have to kill him at all.”

“You don’t understand, Ryuk. As long as L is alive the world will not fully accept Kira.”

“And why is that a problem? Even if the world doesn’t support you 100% Kira is still plenty popular. You have lots of supporters…”

“I have to! I need it!”

At present only 70% of people polled agreed with Kira’s ideals and that was a high estimate. That was like getting a C on a test. The honor’s student shuddered at the mere thought. Light knew killing people was a crime, he knew he was staining his hands in blood, but he needed to do this. It had to be done. He didn’t have a choice! But as long as even that few doubted him… it made him doubt himself. He needed it, he needed Kira, he needed to be God of a New World because he no longer had a place in the old one. He needed it… to feel clean again. And if he had to wash his hands in blood to feel clean again then so be it.

He needed Kira… but he also wanted to keep Ryuuzaki alive. That was the problem. Ryuuzaki, L, was Light Yagami’s friend… and Kira’s enemy. But Light felt it in his bones—if he were to write that name he would forever lose his tenuous grip on his sanity.

“I need Kira… but I can’t kill L.”

“But what if he comes to arrest you?”

Dammit! Couldn’t Ryuk have reminded him of that little fact before he had resolved not to kill L?

“I’ll figure something out!” the teen snapped stubbornly.

But then Ryuuzaki’s concern seemed so genuine, perhaps… maybe, just maybe he’d be willing to compromise?

Or maybe he was being a fool.

“Will you?”

“Well, I’m open to suggestions if you have any.” Light huffed, tossing his hair slightly, and crossing his arms across his chest.

“I… may know a place. Er… I mean… you could stay at my place…”

“Your place?”

“You know… if you want… like, if you’re up for it.”

“In the Shinigami Realm?”

“Naturally.”

“That’s… perfect!” He couldn’t think of a more thorough way to completely disappear from the face of the Earth then to do so literally. “Thanks, Ryuk.”

“Don’t thank me, Light. I’m not doing this for you.” Of course Ryuk wasn’t on Kira’s side or anything but Light was his… source of entertainment and he’d rather not see him come to a premature end.

Sure, Ryuk.”

“I’m simply taking care of what is mine. You’re mine to have and mine to kill. I’m not going to let them execute you.”

“All the same thank you, Ryuk,” Light chuckled, kissing him softly on the cheek.

“Cheeky brat.” Ryuk growled, pinning his human to the bed.

***

He was feeling much better that afternoon though overall a bit sore—Ryuk had been quite merciless but Light hadn’t exactly minded—it was a pleasant ache and Light smiled softly at the memory of Ryuk’s hands on him and decided that overall he got the better end of the Deal. Light stepped out of the shower, dressed and neatly combed his hair so he once again looked the pinnacle of perfection and went on to kill another two dozen rapists and murderers. Yes, he was feeling much better now.

“Hey, Light!” Sayu called as he made his way down to the living room.

Light’s mood instantly soured again when he saw the red halo of numbers above his sister’s head. He was still getting used to his new eyes—a most valued gift from his most appreciative lover. He was happy to have them, it made acting in his role as Kira so much easier and he really didn’t need Misa at all now but they were not without their drawbacks—of course there would be a downside to a Shinigami’s gift even if he didn’t take his lifespan. For starters if he didn’t want to alert a certain scruffy detective to his new abilities he had to conceal the fact that he had the Eyes and continue killing as he did before. It was hard—it meant letting monsters run free to terrorize the good people of the world when he could have ended them with a stroke of a pen. So whenever he thought he could get away with it he arranged accidents and terminal diseases for the really nasty ones who were using aliases or whose names had been misspelled by the media.

And there were other problems: some people's names were so strange he had to resist laughing at them and he always had to remember to use the name people gave to him, not the name he saw floating above their heads. Another difficulty was that his Shinigami eyes saw everyone’s names above their heads… and their lifespans or, more specifically their death dates. Floating numbers that appeared random and had no meaning attached… but Light knew that would not remain so. It was the nature of Light’s genius brain to always be thinking and over-thinking and trying to figure things out—the curse of genius he supposed—but in this case he would try to avoid learning the answer for as long as possible. After seeing the number floating above his little sister’s head he decided he most definitely did NOT want to know.

Maybe this was why Misa was so screwed up. No, who was he kidding? Misa was no doubt plenty screwed up even before she got the eyes but no doubt getting them hadn’t done her sanity any favors. Ironically Ryuk was the only one he could hang out with now and not be constantly reminded of death.

Light awkwardly tore his gaze away from the numbers floating above his sister’s head.

“I’m going for a walk!” Light hollered as he ducked back into the hallway.

“Where are you going?” Ryuk inquired as Light donned his coat.

“Out,” Light grunted in poorly concealed irritation.

“Why?”

“I need to clear my head.”

“Well you know that no matter what you decide… I’ll follow you.”

“Even if I can’t count on you?” Light snarked in turn but Ryuk declared a mental victory when he actually got the grumpy teenager to display the wispy ghost of a smile.

“Precisely,” Ryuk rejoined, the corners of his always-grinning black lips stretched further to display the approximation of true amusement as the Shinigami let out yet another rumbling laugh.

…And that’s what had led Light to his little session of retail therapy. Though he wasn’t sure why the idea of him going out shopping should give his Shinigami such a severe case of giggles.

“What? You could never have enough clothes! Any guy with a modicum of intelligence ought to know that!”

“As you say, Light.”

It’s not like he could expect Ryuk to understand—the Shinigami never had to change his clothes. How could Ryuk possibly understand the nuances of fashion, the difficulties of color coordination, the agonizing of choosing a perfect outfit? And no, he wasn’t being shallow or superficial—every outfit told a story and Light was careful of which narrative he wanted to choose, what image he wished to project: The ordinary high school student? The smart young professional? The caring, protective older brother? To Light every outfit served as both mask and armor because, unlike him, the world was superficial and in most situations appearances were all that counted. That’s why Light was genuinely surprised when his Shinigami actually picked out some nice stuff. Perhaps he observed humans more closely than he’d thought.

Yes, that was certainly the case. Light had been trying on one of his new suits in the dressing rooms—it was a crisp grey, excellent brand, weave, thread count, and almost out of his budget had he not been preparing to buy it—he’d had his eye on this one for a month and it looked even better on than he imagined it to be. Light carefully combed his bangs into his eyes—he wanted to look professional but not… old looking. Besides, he was told growing his bangs in his face made him look hot in addition to providing another shield he could conveniently hide behind.

Light tried striking up a Godly pose in front of the mirror until he suddenly heard that familiar deep chuckling behind him. The teen squeaked in mortification, a slight tick forming in his forehead—he had thought for sure that Ryuk was occupying himself by following around that group of Goths dragged in by their mother.

Light whirled around but before he could properly scold his Shinigami, Ryuk had gently drawn him into his arms.

“You look perfect, Light-of-my-life, Ryuk chuckled and Light froze at the sudden feeling of Ryuk’s mouth on his. Light’s eyes fluttered closed in sweet surrender as Ryuk’s tongue dominated his mouth, undulating against his own. It was amazing how his bad mood had instantly vanished.

Light found only two things could truly lift his spirits—creating his new world and (more recently discovered) sex—Ryuk had given him both; and as to the later it wasn’t nearly as an unpleasant of an experience as he expected it to be—and that wasn’t just because it was with Ryuk. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was Ryuk or Misa or (L)… whoever else! Sexuality of any sort was… an acquired taste for him. Of course he'd play the role when it suited him for the sake of his image or to get what he wanted. He'd even dated (and dutifully made out with) several girls when he'd found he could use the assumption of sexuality to, quite literally, get away with murder. However he'd found girls to be boring and the actual biological process had just seemed so gross. Worse, Light hadn’t liked the idea of becoming so vulnerable—in that situation there could be no armor, no masks—nothing to stop someone from truly seeing him and that had terrified him even more than the actual biological process. But Ryuk had been surprisingly compassionate about the whole deal and had helped guide him through it and Light had found the experience to be decidedly enjoyable. Ryuk had technically taken his virginity that night but Light wasn’t about to tell him that—Light was sure that if he did he’d never hear the end of it. Oh, he wasn’t totally inexperienced—he’d fooled around with girls before because that was what was expected of perfectly normal teenage boys but he’d never gone very far with them because they had never truly interested him. (He had masked his lack of interest with a façade of concern and caring for his dates had further cemented his reputation as “the perfect gentlemen” and had only increased his popularity among the female masses—go figure.) Light had never considered that maybe his preferences had lain elsewhere... such as Ryuk’s big black cock. Pleasant shivers raced up his spine at the mere memory.

The teen’s face burned at the perverted turn of his thoughts. He found he’d been thinking about Ryuk a lot lately in contexts that had nothing to do with his role as Kira—he had Ryuk to thank for that too. It was Ryuk, it was all Ryuk. So it was only natural he should feel… good about his Shinigami. Right? Light was pretty sure he hadn’t stretched the truth when he said he loved him—the teen found it alarming to contemplate that that was perhaps the only time in his life he had been completely honest.

Light whined in protest when Ryuk abruptly broke contact, letting him breathe again which he did—harsh, panting breaths that were hardly appropriate for this time or place but for once he couldn’t bring himself to care overly much. Light was giddy, he was over the moon—Ryuk had kissed him and without expecting anything in return. The teen let out a mad, nervous giggle when Ryuk clapped his claws onto his shoulder.

“Knock ‘em dead, kid!"

Well, damn...

He was in love… he wasn’t sure why he’d so scorned this emotion before. Everything seemed so much brighter, even the crisp evening air felt good against his burning face as he ducked his head down so the people around him wouldn’t see his ridiculous simpering smile. Perhaps he had been concerned he wouldn’t be able to sort out his priorities if he had such an influence in his life—as if he was a lesser mortal who had such internal conflicts! No, this wasn’t a problem at all!

The world was still rotten of course—it just his little corner of it felt a little bit less rotten than it did before. Being in love was a great feeling! He’d recommend it to everyone.

“LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT-KUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Okay, maybe not everyone.

Alright, that was mean, but what could he say? He’d never be too fond of Misa. She was a murderer and his creepy stalker and she constantly directly or indirectly threatened his life. Could people really blame him for being a bit cold to her?

Probably.

Rem certainly did.

Light sighed. While Misa might be a murderer and a criminal and clearly more than a bit… unhinged he was still going to have to put up with her in some way if he didn’t want them causing trouble for him.

She wanted love. Okay, he supposed he understood her a bit better now. That was fine—an admirable goal and all. He wished her well in her pursuit of it… so long as it wasn’t with him.

Now if only he could get Misa to see things that way.

“Get off me!” Light snarled as Misa groped him through his pants. She was encouraged to find him a bit hard not realizing that his state had nothing to do with her and everything to do with a certain asshole currently laughing at his predicament.

“You’re so mean, darling,” Misa pouted, making sad puppy eyes as if she was the one who would bear the bruises from this encounter.

Light glared up at the space over her head where the name Misa Amane floated in a red halo (spelled just like it was on the idiot girl’s website where anyone with a computer could find it)—a halo that held no numbers, just like his own. Light’s lips curled back in a sneer—at the moment he was hating the fact that he had anything in common with the idiot girl—It seemed a grievous insult that they even breathed the same air. Light’s writing hand twitched in longing but unfortunately he was well-aware it would cause him more problems to kill her than to leave her alive...

“Ooh! Presents! What did you get for me?”

He snatched back his bag, protecting his purchases from the girl’s greedy hands. Light had gotten some new clothes for himself, a box of apple tarts and assorted, uh toys for Ryuk (well in all honesty the latter was for both of them), the sweater for L… and nothing for Misa. It wasn’t an intentional snub—she honestly hadn’t even crossed his mind.

“Oh, Misa gets it, it’s a surprise! Misa didn’t see!”

“It’s not for you,” Light snapped and immediately regretted his loss of control—he was finding it to be increasingly difficult to keep up a polite façade under the pain.

“Why wouldn’t you buy things for me?! I’m your girlfriend!” Misa screeched out yet another head-splitting cry but even worse than Misa's shrieking was Light's sudden epiphany regarding his own motives for buying a gift for L. It was stupid really and in the end purely selfish; merely to assuage his own guilt. After all—he couldn’t exactly go up to Ryuuzaki and say “I’m sorry I almost killed you today, it won’t happen again” without being arrested but he could show his appreciation for his, uh… friend’s continued existence in other ways.

Perhaps it was just his Misa-induced headache but he had the sudden urge to go home, crawl into bed and not leave it until the world made sense again. Of course he couldn’t act on that—he couldn’t act on it when he was just a high school student stressing out over exams and he certainly couldn’t act on it now. It would be like putting up a sign reading “Something Is Wrong with Light Yagami” in flashing neon letters for his family and the investigators to see.

Light squeezed his eyes shut, the streetlights on the darkening street suddenly seeming much too bright. He had little doubt that Misa’s flying tackle had given him a concussion—it felt like someone had taken a jackhammer to the inside of his skull. Above him Misa was speaking again, or rather she had opened her mouth to shriek about something else. Light bit his lip to keep from crying out when he felt it as a lance of blinding pain right between his eyes. Light attempted to pick himself up off the concrete and dust off his suit—his brand new suit and it was already ruined (okay, perhaps it could still be salvaged… but he was already dreading the cleaning bill)—only to once again be tackled to the ground by the blonde menace. He had never been more tempted to hit a woman. Misa blithely ignored Light’s pained grunts or perhaps not hearing them over her own bubbly giggles as she climbed over him, shoving her perky breasts into his face. Light promptly threw up all over her cleavage. Okay, he was definitely concussed. Misa squealed again in dismay and disgust, making Light’s headache even worse.

Light gulped when he caught sight of Rem eying him like he was a something foul she had stepped in. While Ryuk might own his death, meaning Rem was bluffing about killing him, there were plenty of other ways Rem could ruin his life if she had a mind to.

“You don’t want to get involved with your stalker, Light-kun.”

Didn’t he know it.

Light knew he had to do something about the Misa problem as soon as possible.

“Misa… we need to talk. Come on. Let’s go get you cleaned up and get some coffee.”

Misa immediately perked up to an absurd degree for someone covered in retch. “You’re asking me… Oh, Light! I thought you’d never ask! It’s a date!

Light winced. “It’s not… It’s not a date, Misa. It’s coffee. That’s what I need to talk to you about…”

He should just get this over with now—make it quick and brutal—like ripping tape off a wound; it would hurt less in the long run. Because Misa clearly wasn’t going to let him let her down gently—she either did not or chose not to understand his polite and subtle hints that he was not at all interested in her—he was just going to have to spell it out for her. How bad could it possibly be?

***

Light didn’t know what he was expecting. Well he had been hoping Misa would be rational about this. That had been his first mistake—the words “Rational” and “Misa” didn’t belong together in the same sentence. Taking her out for coffee for this conversation had been his second mistake. Not because it might be interpreted as a date, Light was fairly certain Misa would misinterpret his spending any time with her as a date—it was inevitable and unavoidable—yet he found he was still regretting his choice of venue as he ducked yet another thrown cup of scalding coffee that came sailing towards his face courtesy of the shrieking blonde.

This was most definitely not going according to plan.

“I didn’t mean to lead you on,” Light insisted as he dodged the fork that went whizzing past his head, the tongs lodged with a twang into the back of the booth behind him.

“Why would you kiss me when you didn’t have feelings for me? STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!

Yes, in retrospect he probably shouldn’t have kissed her back then but Misa’s voice was headache-inducing and she wouldn’t shut up. It had seemed the only option at the time, given that writing her name wasn’t one. He somehow hadn’t taken into account that Misa’s shrill shrieking would be even worse when he tried to break it off with her.

Misa continued to scream and throw things at him but he did not dare fight back. Light was well-aware that both Rem and the law would take Misa’s side regardless of the actual circumstances—even though he never laid a finger on her. He would already be in jail if he had even thought of doing the same. Where was the justice in that? It wouldn’t matter that he was, technically, the victim of stalking and harassment of a terrifying older woman who had directly and indirectly threatened his life. No, they wouldn’t see past Misa’s cute façade and crocodile tears. Though galling to admit Light could concede that Misa might just be a better actor than he was.

“In my defense I only just graduated from high school and have never been in a serious relationship. I’ve only recently discovered my preferences.”

Light somehow managed to keep his voice steady even as he dodged another knife, courtesy of the enraged blonde. And cue the live laugh track. Light idly wondered if he could get away with throwing knives in public if he had a vagina. The teen yelped as another piece of cutlery came sailing at him; this time lodging in the seat cushion between his legs, a hair’s breadth away from cutting vital parts he would sorely miss. On second thought he wasn’t that eager to find out.

“Nooooo! This can’t be happening! You’re my boyfriend! You promised!

“I never promised to be your boyfriend, Misa.” Light countered warily, “I said I could act like it.

“That you’d only pretend…” Misa gasped, “You must have known—even then!”

Light heaved an exasperated sigh “Because I never wanted to be your boyfriend! It’s nothing personal, Misa. I may not have known my preferences but I did know I wasn’t fond of dating.”

“Then why?

Because your Shinigami threatened to kill me! “I felt sorry for you.”

Misa’s slap was surprisingly loud and bitterly stung his cheek, cutting even through the gales of laughter that surrounded them—a rather large crowd had gathered to laugh at his misfortune. Light glared at them all through his curtain of mussed up chestnut hair (blissfully unaware that he looked about as intimidating and indignant as an angry kitten) and mentally took note of every name for future reference. At least, for once, Ryuk wasn’t one of them. In fact his Shinigami was oddly silent. Of course, Ryuk couldn’t help him either. Light knew that when it came to dealing with Misa he was on his own…

“Yeah, go on. Laugh it up, assholes. You can bet your own girlfriends are taking notes.”

Around him the laughter continued though in some it had gained a somewhat nervous and strained edge when Misa broke down crying and eventually the crowd began to disperse when Misa’s tantrum no longer proved amusing.

“You could still pretend. We could still pretend. We could have the perfect life together. Surely you’re not… happy… being gay?!” Misa demanded, big blue eyes shining with tears.

Light shrugged. “I’ve come to terms with it. And honestly it wouldn’t be fair to either of us to continue this charade. I think it’s best we see other people. I mean, it’s obvious, to everyone, that we’re no good for each other.”

“Not to me!”

Light sighed again, “Clearly.”

“We are meant to be!”

“No… Look… Misa. You don’t want to be stuck with me. You deserve someone who can actually love you. If we keep on like this we'll both be miserable.”

Misa leapt at him, latching onto him like a leech. She clung, crying into his chest. “But you’ll grow to love me eventually!”

Light grit his teeth and resisted the urge to violently push her away. He tried to gently peel her off of him but Misa proved to be stronger than she looked and he found he was unable to extract himself without hurting her. This was stretching the very limits of his godly patience.

“No. Misa. I can’t. I really can’t. I already told you, I’m gay! Listen. I’m sure you’ll find someone eventually. Someone out there is the one for you Misa…”

“You!”

“No, not me!” Light emphasized with a quick shake of his head. “Never me.”

For a moment it seemed that Misa’s eyes had flashed crimson in their hurt and betrayal.

“Misa…” Rem abruptly cut in with gentle admonishment. “Listen to Light Yagami. He’s telling the truth… for once.”

And thank you Rem for that ringing endorsement. Light thought snidely but still took heart that at least Rem might see reason.

“Misa, even if I were straight, it still wouldn’t work. We have nothing in common.”

“You know that isn’t true! We’re the same! We…”

“We might as well come from different worlds…” Light quickly spoke over her before she could air their dirty laundry within earshot of his tails because really the only thing they had in common was that damned notebook.

“…Like star-crossed lovers?” Misa sniffled.

“Yes… NO! No. I mean we have different careers, different lives… I’m going to join the NPA one day. Would you really want the stress of being a policeman’s wife?” Light immediately wished he could recall his words.

Yes! Yes! I’ll marry you!” Misa cheered.

There was a sickening thump as Light banged his head on the table and the bright lights again flashed behind his eyes but his head pain was already so debilitating that Light barely noticed. He wanted nothing more than to give in to the perverse urge in the back of mind suggesting he should just close his eyes and hope he never woke up. No, he couldn’t afford to—he had to keep his wits about him lest he be trapped with Misa for what remained of his rapidly dwindling lifespan.

“No, Misa. No. I am not asking you to marry you. I would never ask to marry you or any girl. It wouldn’t be fair to you! I told you, I’M GAY! As in bent, homosexual! Do I really have to spell it out for you? I'm about as straight as a rainbow! I like men. Girls make me sick and I like cock up my ass.”

The sound of shattering dishes re-alerted Light to the fact that their argument was very public. The teen flushed with humiliation as he again felt the eyes of everyone in the eavesdropping café but quickly recovered his veneer of calm just as Misa again burst into angry tears.

“Maybe you’ll change your mind once you sleep with me,” Misa sniffled.

“Right, you’ll ‘cure me’ with your magic cunt? I think I’ll pass.”

Misa discovered that the napkin holder wasn’t bolted down and that she hadn’t thrown it yet like everything else at their table and so proceed to try and bash Light Yagami’s brains in with it. She would have too had it not mysteriously slipped from her fingers by an equally mysterious gust of “wind” which had absolutely nothing to do with Ryuk stretching his wings out. Nope, not at all...

Misa wailed and cried again and Light pinched the bridge of his nose. “Alright. Fine. You know what? Let’s… let’s just get you home.”

Misa immediately dried her crocodile tears as if they’d never been. “You’ll walk me home! Yay! Light loves Misa! Misa wins!”

“Misa… “ Light sighed again as he extracted himself from the booth but, unfortunately, not Misa’s grip—the blonde remained attached to his side like a limpet. “You’re right. That does send the wrong message. Maybe the nice policeman over here can help you get home,” Light suggested as he dragged the querulous blonde over to a very surprised and concerned looking Mogi who was currently wondering how he’d been made.

“I don’t want to! I want to go home with you!” Misa whined, clinging and nuzzling against his arm like an animal trying to mark him with her scent.

“Misa… “Light began then hissed as the girl’s long nails sunk into his arm, drawing blood.

Misa stomped her foot. “I don’t want to go with that ugly old geezer!”

“You just said you wouldn’t mind being a policeman’s wife.”

“You know I meant you!”

“And he’s not ugly or even that old. He’s actually a pretty good-looking guy. Strong… buff… big… Hell, I’d date him.” Light teased.

“I’m straight,” said Mogi, speaking for the first time.

“Great!” Light declared, clapping his hands together. “So is Misa! I’m sure you will both get along famously!”

The big man shifted uncomfortably. While he had no idea what was going on his survival instinct was telling him it was best to stay out of it.

“Who?” Misa hissed, her nails, red-painted talons, digging deeper into his arm and while they were not nearly as sharp as Ryuk’s she was not nearly as gentle about it either.

“Who did you ‘discover’ your preferences with? Who defiled my Light-kun? I’ll kill him!”

Light shook his head, disbelieving. “No one defiled me, Misa. It was consensual.”

“You two-timing bastard!”

“Misa, I was never your boyfriend! I just agreed to hang out with you! That’s all.”

“You don’t mean it. You’re my boyfriend! I say you’re my boyfriend! We're dating NOW!

“Then it’s over Misa.”

“YOU DON’T MEAN IT!” She screamed and threw herself bodily at Light, once again putting him on the ground.

She would have just kept hitting him had Mogi not stepped in to restrain her.

“I’ll kill him! I’ll kill him and then you will come crawling back to me!”

Light looked at Misa blankly. “Are you an idiot? Do you really think murdering someone I love is going to make me magically fall in love with you?”

For a moment Misa seemed to shatter when Light mentioned the word “love” in reference to someone else but only for a moment. The blonde’s features hardened—gone was the façade of the naïve little girl, and for a moment one could have sworn that her eyes flashed a murderous red. Mogi was looking at the petite model warily and even Light winced slightly—this must be what his shōnen manga referred to as “killing intent.” But then the moment past and both men just perceived an angry little girl throwing a temper tantrum. Light still held her Death Note and even Rem saw that she was being unreasonable. So really, what harm could she do?

“Son, let it go. She’s clearly hysterical. You can’t argue with them like this.”

Light winced as Mogi slapped Misa in handcuffs. He hoped that Rem didn’t do anything drastic.

“Are the handcuffs really necessary?” Light asked, wincing as he staggered to his feet.

“She cracked your ribs.” Mogi observed.

“It’s not that bad…”

“The handcuffs are for her protection as much as yours.”

“Okay.”

“I need you both to come with me.”

“Alright,” Light grimaced, “But if it’s not too much trouble do you think you could drop me off at the hospital first?”

Mogi grunted in affirmation as he pushed the protesting Misa into the back of his squad car.

Light smiled up at him. “Thanks, Mogi.”

It wouldn’t occur to Mogi until much later that he’d never told Light Yagami his name.