chilichoc: (taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth)
[personal profile] chilichoc
*The fact that she could smell the rain before she opened the door should've tipped her off that this wasn't really the room with the Wammy's House grounds, but she's already taken the first step in.*

No, no, fuck no.

*She's done this before, more times than she's admitted to anyone, mostly in that awful more-than-a-week when Mail was missing.

She's in the truck; she knows the Nagano street sign by heart. She can't keep herself from feeling desperately lost and alone, can't keep her eyes from flicking to the television screen in the cab, where the car is just a red blur, and she can't make sense of the broadcaster's voice. She could count it down, almost, from the time the wheels leave the pavement. Ten, nine, eight. It's not real, Mihaela, it's just a room. Seven, six, five. You still have your ring, nothing can really break the spell. Four, three, two. The vise about to clamp down on her heart, and the part of her that's in the moment wants it. One. One hand on her rosary, one curled tight around the ring; everything goes black, and she doesn't feel her head hit the steering wheel.*

[[private to [ profile] curtainwizard]]

Date: 2009-04-01 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[Stepping back into his bedroom, sketchbook in hand, Light sees Mel, for just a second, and he begins to stare, to step back - except then he's a lot healthier and saner-looking, immaculately dressed, and somehow, a lot more loathsome to look upon. Light has lost, and it shows: it's killing him, bleaching him out of existence. What the room's turned him back into is Kira at the height of his power, and a hair from losing it all, and prepared to do anything, anything at all, to win.

* * *

Light's eyes are so wide, now, that they might just fall out of his head. They're swollen, red: they'd sting, if he was paying attention. His thoughts aren't tangled, tangled doesn't begin to describe it: they're crashing into each other, leaking, incontinent like the holes shredded through his stomach and shoulder, like the ruin of his writing hand. Frenzied. Somewhere he registers them watching him, as if his writhing is his last performance, an entertainment - Matsuda clambering to his feet, broken and grieving, Near inscrutable as always - but it doesn't signify. There's only one thing that matters—

—and it's about to be gone. Forever. I'm going to die in a few more seconds! No, I don't want to die, I don't want to die, I don't want to die

It's all he can think: his one desire. Nothing else matters. He doesn't care if he spends his life in jail, any longer - whether he wins or loses - just as long as he lives. And he remembers Ryuk's veiled threat - don't think that any human who's used the notebook can go to heaven or hell - how he'd seen the truth, countered the threat. How he'd been so pleased with himself for being the only one who knew that little secret, the one so many would die to know. That he'd spotted the clumsy attempts at flattery. Death is equal.

Feeling his life tick down, second by second, long beyond control, beyond arguments or rationality, beyond madness, now - it all bursts out into a scream, piercing, echoing off the ceiling, as Light pleads for the one thing anyone truly wants. "I don't want to die! I don't want to go!"

Then something else hits him - it's like a fist hitting his breastbone, or a sledgehammer. He falls to the floor: his skull cracks sharply against the concrete, but he doesn't notice. His whole body rocks and shakes. Crushing, paralysing pressure, now, all through his chest, down his left arm: things bouncing against each other inside him, things that shouldn't be moving that way at all. The thready pulse in his bullet wounds trails off to a flicker: the burning, starved pain spreading right through his body as what blood is left sloshes to a halt...

... and it's all so clear, suddenly: all of it spread out behind him. All of it pointless.

Worthless. Wasted.

For nothing.

He whispers to himself, shivering, shaking, trembling. "S-shit."

Then he's gone.

The illusion shimmers away from him, leaving him himself again, thin and faded and broken - but still dead on the floor, staring with dark-eyed horror at something only he can see.]

Date: 2009-04-01 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Mel's mind is too fuzzy for her to puzzle out whether Light can see her; she sits up from where she fell, huddles around the ache in her chest, hands knotted at her rosary, and watches.

What is he doing; does he really think he can talk his way out of this? She remembers him admitting to Miha who he was, but she's never seen Light like this, flaunting that he's Kira, full to the brim with it.

Mel knows Light only sees contempt when he looks at Near; she sees a sort of purity, like the face of a statue of Justice.

He's repeating himself, she wants to say when Light begins talking again. Buying time for some reason... The others realize why the same time as Mel, and she's as surprised as anyone when Matsuda's the one who fires. When Light rails against his father, Mel abruptly remembers that this version of Light is dead: this happened. She doesn't need to break him; he's already broken, and this is what did it.

She hates him, more than Light from her world, probably more than anyone, but it's pitiful, in the most literal sense, as he's reduced to one goal, and then even farther, to the simple need to live; as he begs for people who are dead, who aren't there, to save him. She hears the scratch of Ryuk's pen, and she doesn't look away from Light's death. She wants to see it, but even as she savors his defeat, a buried part of her grieves for what is human in him, for what he could have been. She thinks again that Sayu loves her brother, but hates Kira, and she crosses herself unthinkingly.

If anyone deserves this, it's him, but she has to wonder: Does anyone deserve this?

She's shaking, she should go. She doesn't want to be here when he wakes up. Her muscles still won't obey her.*

Date: 2009-04-02 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[It doesn't seem like twenty-five minutes before Light's eyes start out of his head, and he convulses into a ball, and thrashes for air like a drowning man: a screaming inhalation around useless vocal chords that couldn't, and can't, save him. Hands - both intact - grabbing at himself, where he was ripped open. Leftover pain, throbbing deep inside like hammer blows.

For a few seconds, he gasps like that, clinging to himself. His throat and lungs are screaming: he's got to breathe, nothing else matters. Then his hands slowly spider up to cover his face, his eyes. The sound that comes out through his fingers is keening, broken: not a sob, but a laugh, almost inaudible, cracked and hissing and so, so lost. His hands don't move, except that his thumbs are gliding back and forth over his cheeks and his jawline, whispering reassurance. It looks horribly intimate, something nobody else should ever see. Something he might kill them for seeing.

It's not the sheer relief and confusion of the first time he woke up in the mansion, nor is it the screaming violation of the first time he woke in this room. It's a hollowness, a disbelieving pain - not at the agony, or the humiliation, or the shame. It's going back to who he was, back to that confidence, that secret space he thought nobody could take from him, and having it drain out of him drop by scarlet drop.

He hasn't seen Mel yet, but a whole army could be in here with him right now, and he couldn't care.]

Date: 2009-04-02 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Mel can't watch this; she knows it too well: the feeling of having to put yourself back together piece by mental piece. She curls up again, knees to her chest, fingers of her left hand at the rosary beads, as if relearning how to feel them. Her cheeks are stiff with dried tears, her eyes sore when she squeezes them shut. She gropes for something neutral to say, to warn him she's here. It's bad that she is, but sooner will be better than later. Her voice comes out low and ragged.*

You're in one piece.

Date: 2009-04-02 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[It should alert him, and bring him back under control, but his nerves are still sandpaper-raw. At the sound of her voice, he screams, all ragged, frustrated denial, and having to make it please god stop. Throwing himself backwards, his arm goes out to block: stop it, don't be here, you can't be here.]


[It's not the usual, knowing lilt he places on it - his accent is all over the place, and it comes out more like "Mery". Still tucked down into himself, his face is hidden, blind hands warding her off.]

Date: 2009-04-03 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She hunches even tighter at the noise, and fuck, she wishes she were anywhere but here.*

...yeah. I just woke up myself.

Date: 2009-04-03 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[It's a bandage torn off too fast, spilling him onto the ground for the world to see. He wants to leap on her, claw out her eyes and tongue just so she can't ever see it again, or tell anybody else. He wants to scuttle back against the wall just to feel it support him.]


[What did you see?]

What happened to you?

Date: 2009-04-03 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*I died, and I meant to. But all she says is one word.*


Date: 2009-04-03 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[The laugh, again, cracked and eerie and terribly, frighteningly vulnerable.]

Ah, like Sayu.

Date: 2009-04-03 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She thinks she ought to know what he means, but she can't connect the dots. She lifts her head slightly from her knees.*


Date: 2009-04-03 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

[Breaking off: everything's so thick, and heavy, and maybe he should just be quiet?]

You took them both.

[The unconscious conflation is very unlike him - but then, he is still tucked in a ball, hugging himself. As if he isn't sure he won't start bleeding again. From behind his own knees, he's watching Mel with eyes narrowed to painful slits.]

Date: 2009-04-03 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Had to.

*At least she knows that now: the Mel who just died didn't give her life for nothing.*

Date: 2009-04-03 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[Another laugh, quieter and quicker and darker. It hurts, and he's still so cold.]

You didn't have to.

Date: 2009-04-03 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She remembers her thoughts as she drove. Nothing left to live for, or even to hope for. Just the cold determination: I'll take Kira out with me.*

I did. And. She killed me.
Edited Date: 2009-04-03 05:04 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-03 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What did you expect?

[He remembers the shell of the church, and the photographs of the charred bodies, and something about that keeps the ghost of triumph off his face. It might be the memory of Mikami's mistake, or it might be, far, far down, the whisper of conscience around Takada's death.]

Date: 2009-04-03 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I expected exactly that.

*Very, very quietly, but there's a hard edge to it. She caught that he didn't gloat, when it would be so easy to, when she would expect him to, and wonders why not.*

Date: 2009-04-03 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[He's quiet, for a while, getting used to being again, and breathing again: a wounded child freezing water into Lego blocks and building it into walls around him.

Anyway, he'd already known what Takada did.]

You were the random element. You and him.

Date: 2009-04-04 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Mel has a slight head start on recovering. By now she can take shallow breaths without feeling the ghosts of knives in her chest.*

We had to be. We shouldn't have had to. *Softly, more thinking out loud than anything else.*

What happened to you?

*She's not going to admit she saw it.*

Date: 2009-04-04 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[Light had meant Mikami, not his own Mello. But it still works, he thinks.]


[Abruptly, he remembers, and he doesn't forget things like this: You were here when I came in. I saw you, and you saw me.]

You saw. Don't lie to me.

[What he thinks, bubbling like a tar pit to burn him, is That's not like you.]

Date: 2009-04-04 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't mean to.

*Which is not like her either, and she knows it. But she also knows him well enough by now to know he'll blame her, hate her even more, if possible, for having seen it.*

Date: 2009-04-04 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[It's true - later on, he'll find his hatred for her refined to ash. But at the moment, there's no energy for it: most of it's going outwards to his mental boundaries, the impenetrable bubble around him he needs so badly. The rest is searing him, with memories and flashbacks and heavy, torn pain whenever he moves.]

You did, you did, you did mean to. You saw, and you'll—

[You'll tell them: you'll tell all of them. He's overwhelmed by it again, this thing so private to him that's going to be taken from him forever. His face falls back behind his hands, and words spill out under his breath - not clearly audible, but he's repeating himself: what did I do wrong? what did I do?]
Edited Date: 2009-04-04 03:01 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-04 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did not fucking mean to, I couldn't fucking move.

*Not that she won't tell people if it's relevant, or hesitate to use it against him if she needs to. But he's still so pitiable, so obviously broken, that her next words are a few shades closer to gentle than she really intends.*

I'd at least have made it clean.

Date: 2009-04-04 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[The pity is acid on his skin. Now he breaks down further, sobs and laughs stuttering out on top of each other, frostbitten mental fingers trying to keep the little ice bricks from cracking and crazing and melting to mist.

Usually when something like this happens, there's a tiny, quiet centre that can't be touched: that watches from outside and helps keep him himself. But today it's breached and broken, and can't help him, because it died when he did.]

Don't pretend you pity me! You loved it!

[He's got to hear that she enjoyed it: it would call the hate like a siren. It would protect him. Flipping himself over to face away from you - the pain again, winding him, pulling out a thick sob. Painfully thin hands skating over his face, threading into his hair. This is me. I'm real: I'm still here: I'm not going to die.]
Edited Date: 2009-04-04 04:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-04 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She huddles again, trying to drown out the noise, ignore everything that makes her forget how she despises him. It's still there, a hard, unbudgeable, and strangely comforting knot. But she shakes her head, then realizes he can't see her.*

You really think I'd pretend that?

Date: 2009-04-04 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't pretend you're stupid, either.

[He's convinced you've got to know enough to realise how much worse it makes it, to have someone you despise turn around and show you kindness. It grates against his pride, shattered into dozens of raw edges as it is.]

Date: 2009-04-04 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She knows, and she doesn't care.*

Don't ask me to make it easier for you.

Date: 2009-04-04 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know you're glad, Mel.

[The accent's still flailing all over the place, as he goes on to speak some of the things that steady him: to try and remake reality to be as he wishes.]

I killed my L, and my you. I promised to hurt Mail and you. I know you're glad about what happened to me.

Date: 2009-04-04 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course I'm glad. You'd never stop. You had to die. But if you think I sat here and fucking laughed...

*She looks away.*

Doesn't mean I won't drop you if you so much as look cross-eyed at Mail.

Date: 2009-04-04 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[The gasping draws to a halt: he's focusing on the wrong thing entirely. It sounds confused, and confusing.]

My eyes don't cross.

Date: 2009-04-05 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They sure as fuck do. *She sits up straighter.* You see everything crooked. Think everyone's as twisted as you.

Date: 2009-04-08 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No. I see more.

[A ragged whisper of certainty. Everything he knows about himself is in it.]

You might not like what I thought, but at least I did think.

[All his contempt for Mellos is in that little accusation. His hate for them centres around another locus entirely.]

Date: 2009-04-08 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The world, then. Want to make it over in your image. You don't see, you don't, that it wasn't broken 'til you started fucking with it. You made it rotten. Just like you are.

*She can't know that Light once called the world "rotten" too, but the reversed reflection of her own words from the room that still makes her feel dirty--dirtied--is deliberate.*

I think. *Cold, contemptuous.* I don't believe I should get to think for everyone else.

Date: 2009-04-08 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[At the irony of that accusation - that he made the world rotten - a laugh bubbles from his throat, cracked and babbling. It's such an inversion of what he sees. What he made. Eventually, he spits back condemnation of his own.]

But you did, Mel. You didn't line people up and ask them what they wanted. It was all about you - what I'd done to you, how you had to get me before Near. Admit it. You felt. You acted and reacted. You didn't think.

Date: 2009-04-09 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She remembers the quality of shock in Halle's silence when Mel said "Then I guess I'm going to have to do it": the only thing left to her to do, the only thing she could care about anymore. He's right, in a sense. She simply wanted to be done.*

I did it to keep you from killing them. To win by saving them, yes, of course. But not just to win. To have it mean something, if I had to die. And it did.

Date: 2009-04-09 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[Facing away from her, he can rest one hand on his flank without looking like a screaming child. It still feels as if there ought to be pulped, wet terror beneath it: every breath catches on the pain. He knows there's nothing, nothing that was worth giving his life for. Everyone else's, yes - but Light was supposed to be there, to reign over his creation. To perfect it into dust.]

You wanted to shock us into a mistake. In effect, you gave your life for a gamble. It would have—

[He manages to bite that off: It would have come to nothing, if Mikami hadn't failed me so completely.]

Date: 2009-04-09 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It would've what?

Anyway, it worked.

*She sighs. It doesn't hurt as much now, that deep breath in. The sense of hopeless resignation is taking longer to fade.* You're never gonna get it, are you?

Date: 2009-04-11 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's nothing to get, Mel.

[Everything he's saying is low and vehement: these are things he'll believe, if not till the day he dies, then for at least a hundred years. Concentrating on these axioms brings him a little closer to himself. You can't stop me. One day I'll be gone, and you'll never know why. He wishes he could spit it at her.]

All that brought me down was an oversight. Meaningless. Nothing to do with right or wrong.

Date: 2009-04-11 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*This is so wrong it's insane, and she stares at him for a moment.*

That's what you don't get. Right and wrong apply to you, Kira. You only think they don't.

*She uncurls, puts her hands on the floor. She thinks she might be able to stand.*

Date: 2009-04-11 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[That name, that still feels like Light's secret after all this time: the way she spits it at him makes it an insult. It's the same way Near had used it, as if the plosive and the flap taste foul. Except from Mel's mouth, in this place, at this time, the hate gives him the strength to smile. That's me. Kira, the god of the new world. Writhing on the floor in an interdimensional clusterfuck, but it's not forever.

He's nowhere near being able to stand - turning over, in itself, drained him. Curled on the spot, the undertone's almost a promise.]

You're more like me than you'll ever dream. Right and wrong are what you say they are, isn't that so? Only one of us can be right.

Date: 2009-04-11 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am damn well not like you. *Part of her knows this isn't true, and her denial has a particular vehemence.* No one gets to pick and choose what's right. And no one gets to escape from what they've done. You should know that by now.

Date: 2009-04-13 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[He can hear the lady protesting too much, telling him the attack's gone home. And with a superlative lack of self-knowledge, he knows what Mel's saying is twisted, irrelevant: the chattering drivel of someone who doesn't know she's defeated.]

True, it's true. He paid for what he did. Still too late for me, though.

[A very slight singsong note creeps into the half-whisper, because Light can't see his own defeat to acknowledge it. He's pulling his cloak of lies back around himself - the ones he tells others, and the ones he tells himself.]

Date: 2009-04-14 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not him. *She doesn't know who he means: Mello, Mikami, Matsuda? It's not important.* You.

*She gets to her feet, goes and stands over him. She's not going to hurt him; it's enough that they both know she could.*

You'll see someday.

Date: 2009-04-17 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[It's the other Mello he's thinking of: the one who died back home, and burned, the way Mel just saw. Light flops onto his back again, to look up at her. Pain all through him, sparkles in his vision, and her behind them. No point trying to move: she could shoot him before he ever got to the door. Besides, she isn't going to do it. Why go through all that just to humiliate himself?

They had no right. No understanding. They didn't beat me, they were just ... lucky. It was random.]

Or maybe you will, Mel. One day, perhaps you'll listen, and you'll see it. Wouldn't that be something?

[It's almost, almost mocking: he wants her to go: to give him space to collect himself up and get out. But there's a hint of something else, too: I'd tell you, if you only asked. If you were honest with yourself.]

Date: 2009-04-17 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*She hears that note in his voice: the tone of someone who thinks they hold a trump card. Her curiosity's enough to hold her for a moment longer.*

What is it you think I'll see?

Date: 2009-04-17 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[Contemptuous and overconfident, he's matching her. As if someone like you could dare speak back to me. As if I could be wrong about any of this. "Someday", indeed. ]

One day, Mel. Not today.

[He can't help it: he wants to convince her. He wants to hear her admit it for herself: that Light was right, that Kira was justice, all of it. What would it take? How would he break her, if she did?]

Date: 2009-04-17 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If what you just went through still hasn't taught you anything, you're farther gone than even I thought.

*She steps around him, delicately, as if contact with him might dirty her boots, and goes out the door.*

Date: 2009-04-17 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[The door closes behind her. Before pulling himself back into a ball, Light watches her leave. Will she be back? Who will she bring? He needs to pull himself together, gather up the two books from the entrance and get out. It hasn't been twenty minutes since he woke, and every effort to sit - which he tries, now that Mel's gone - knocks him back to the floor with pain like knives.

Slowly, he catches his breath again, and concentrates on Mel, and her accusations, and the things he wants to do to her: words and blood and knives. There's nothing other people's good luck can teach me, except that it's time for my own.]


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