(Spoilers for chapter 58. AU continuing on where DN Arc 1 ended.)
(Little fellas are not of the kind belonging to me.)
Based on the 30 Kisses theme "our distance and that person".
She sits on the windowsill, and she thinks slowly, working through a jumble of crowding, shouting thoughts.
She does not have black roots any more. She goes to the hairdresser weekly and has the blonde touched up, but it is a secret between her manager, herself and her hairdresser that the hair beneath is not a colour; it is a washed-out silvery-grey.
She can feel the exhaustion burning itself in her lungs; she could sleep for a week (she’ll sleep for a lot longer pretty soon) but she can’t. She’s giving her all in this film. It’s her last, she supposes.
She’s cloaked in Light’s shirt. It smells comfortingly of his cologne, and it masks her rapidly thinning figure. She’s gone down a cup-size – which merely means more padding. She rarely ate as a girl, but those days are long gone, and she must eat continually for sustenance, but she keeps getting thinner and thinner. One day, she’ll snap in half or blow away.
The rain is dribbling down the window in a thin staccato. Misa touches one finger along the cold glass, then leans her bare cheek against it. It’s the gloaming. Light will not be home for hours yet. He has Kira to catch; after all, they couldn’t possibly let the horrible man go. What does he think he is? A God?
She wants to giggle, but knows it will result in a coughing fit. After five years on the job, everyone is getting a little sick, a little tired, a little reluctant to try again after the last false start. Light would retire, but he has heard rumors – L was better; L might have caught Kira again – that cause him to increase his efforts. Misa is sure he has a plan cooked up, to frame or incriminate another Kira.
Matsuda still believes that he’s out there. Matsuda plans to avenge two deaths.
She tries to avoid thinking about the movie she’s shooting. It will be her last one ever, she might have thought that seconds ago, she can’t remember… But it will be her best. She’s giving the last of her strength; she’s pouring her rapidly diminishing lifeblood into this. It’s going to be her masterpiece.
She’s a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, an odd, reclusive genius who molds the world to suit her; “Apollo is your character’s nickname, after the God of intellectual enquiry and light” says the director, “though she prefers shorted terms, like perhaps just ‘A’, as an alias." Misa is nearly sick when he says this, but she knows, deep within her still-pounding heart in her bone-wracked breast, that she has to take this part. She couldn’t let anyone else butcher it.
No one told her dying would be like this. Dully she wonders if she’ll be a reaper when she goes – Will she be like Rem, who has mysteriously left her? Will she love apples? Can she still follow Light?
…Does she want to?
She hears the door open and Light’s familiar footsteps make their way inside. Without taking his coat off, he walks to her and encircles her with her arms, but Misa knows he does not feel her, and she barely feels him, although she desperately wants to. All she feels are the hands of a reaper, a man who she promised her beautiful star-studded soul to.
He’s still beautiful. He’s still the genius she once knew. His eyes still light with the flame of the fanatic as he talks with her about the perfect world they have created. Worldwide, the crime-rates have plunged. It’s a utopia, it’s a place of the goodhearted where no one murders or rapes.
There were exceptions of course, in the past. Misa wishes she could just forget about the stupid stinking movie, but her character is starting to haunt her. She sits in the makeup chair every day, to achieve the insomniac’s eyes, to achieve the mussed hair. Light sometimes rubs her back, which aches from the terrible posture she keeps at all times.
Sometimes, when she looks out the window, she can see Ryuuzaki’s pale face staring back at her, even though the stage makeup has long since gone. And sometimes, even when she looks into Light’s eyes, she can still see his reflection, watching her silently. She wonders if Light sees this too. She wonders if Light cares.
She doesn’t know if Light loves her; he said that he would but she never really believed him, or maybe she did and bitterness has clouded her. She doesn’t care, as long as he pretends, because she can be happy. She knew she must have loved him, but that is mostly now a haze of youth and freedom, of finally being out of that horrible place with the cameras and the locks on the rooms and the black, staring eyes watching unblinking.
But she doesn’t regret it, when she is with Light, not when he embraces his pretty little Persephone with her arm-socks, who is soon to join the denizens of her kingdom.
He kisses her. She tastes like pomegranate. He tastes like death.
They lie in bed that night, and the distance between them is the length of her love, the length of eternity, and a metre. She doesn’t know if Light is asleep; she isn’t in the mood for love and hasn’t been for a while. Misa has grown old before her time; or rather, she has grown in accordance with what time she has left. She doesn’t know – doesn’t want to know – whether this is a good or a bad thing. It would mean admitting that she was young and stupid when she met Light. It would mean admitting that he was perhaps a little too charming, perhaps a little too quick to her side when she was useful –
that he always stood perhaps a little too close to L.
She winds her arm around his side. After five years, he does not throw her off, although his sleeping self has always tensed and muttered beneath his breath on nights when his left hand lay stiffly in the dream-memory of a time long past.
She never asks about L. She doesn’t want to know that, either. But she can feel his weight, almost an indent between them. Of course he’d like that, the nasty little pervert, she thinks dully, but it’s an automatic response, as accusations of voyeurism were her only defense against the dark-eyed, unblinking boy. He’d like that Light still feels him even now.
She wakes sometimes to hear Light sobbing in the bathroom, and the space L occupies stretched across the door, like a scruffy, shoeless block she cannot break.
“No! Misa, what are you doing?” he calls over the set.
“Misa is eating the cake, of course,” she blinks, removing the foreign-feeling fork from her mouth. Chocolate crumbles rest on her pale, chapped lips.
“That’s out of character! Your character, she’s a genius detective, she wouldn’t eat cake!”
“Yes,” Misa says. “Yes, she would.”
Later the director turns and remarks to a cameraman that Misa has changed the part, fitting it to a character description he never wanted. But she’s the only one for it. He just wishes she weren’t so stubborn.
In the morning, she cries too. Crying, hiccupping sobs, winding her hands through her sleep-mussed hair, curling her socked toes in the sheets that smell of Light. She cries for her mortality, and she cries because she threw it all away for someone who later discovered that what he wanted was something different entirely. She cries because she’s useful to him, and she cries because her joints creak and ache in the cold now, and in the warmth, and in the snow and the rain and the sun. She cries because she will never see the utopia she helped to create, because she’s stuck looking at the cracks while Light stares at the sky.
She made all the wrong decisions. She opted for a life of his coffee dregs in the morning; his cold dishes stacked in the washing machine, all the remnants of him. She doesn’t want to think like this, she’s sobbing because she never wanted to think this way, because she’s grown up and it hurts so much.
The movie is always as the back of her head, but that’s because she spends hours every day thinking “Did he hold everything like that? How often did he blink? Did he use all his fingers for typing?” and that’s causing the tears to run down her face, too, mourning five years late for the shadow of a person she never really liked. She never had much to do with him; his influence is having all too much to do with her.
She cries because she can now feel L too, just as Light can.
It’s so confusing near the end, trying to sort her thoughts out; it gets worse and worse. Acting is her only refuge. Being Apollo allows herself a little peace of mind. She goes to hospitals in vain, but none can say what is wrong with her. She’s quick to explain that no, it isn’t the drugs. Or the booze. Or the unprotected sex.
Light snaps at her when she comes home from the hospital. He doesn’t want their cover to be blown. Misa chirps that Kira only kills with heart attacks. He only kills the deserving. No exceptions, not ever.
Mentally she adds that a heart attack would be merciful.
She thinks maybe she loved the idea of him, her love of an avenging knight with dark armor black eyes mingling with natural attraction and the manifestation of an old, sewn-together wound that he helped to heal. But her love, to her eternal shame, is not strong enough to stand this, to stand the loss of everything she ever wished. She’s begun to blame him, although she loves her Light. She does.
It may have been the shock of finally realizing that she doesn’t love him any more that kills her.
She posthumously reaps the awards at the movie ceremony, for her poignant portrayal of an ephemeral, odd genius detective. People wonder where she thought of all those mannerisms – “The way she held that fork!” “The posture! The facial expressions! Fabulous!” – but of course she is dead so she can never say.
Her husband accepts the awards on her behalf. Everyone remarks on how well he looks, considering what must be a great tragedy.
Eh. I don't know how well that went down, but I gave it a shot, I guess. It occurred to me that Misa has effectively one-quarter's worth of her life-span left (unless I misread something) so assuming she'd live to the ripe old age of 100, that means that she's going to die pretty soon.
It's not a spectator sport, kids, so please do review!
ETA: He's "Light" the whole way through now! Yay!