Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg (000_hester_000) wrote,
Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg

Death Note fic: De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum

Title: De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum
Fandom: Death Note
Characters: Ensemble; particularly Light and L.
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1400
Warnings: Character death, obviously.
Summary: Thirteen views on a death.

De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum


So this is what dying feels like.

Rem could say that she has always wondered — but it wouldn’t be true. Death is inevitable for humans but rare for shinigami, who —

— Who can still die. She knows.

As she writes the names she feels her body turn to sand: the granules of herself run down her arms, her legs, fast. Her yellow eyes have already begun to dim.

(And at the time she had marveled at why Jealous would do this. But here is Misa’s life rescued, and here is L’s name in black ink, irrevocable.)

For Misa, she thinks, and —


So this is what dying feels like.

This is Light’s work, of course. He knows that even before he sees the look on Light’s face.

The question is: How? Let’s go over this again: What has been missed? He is clever, but not that clever; he has left some trace —

A clue to a mystery that will take years to unravel. And L, L who has solved more crimes than anyone . . . . There is not a puzzle in this world simple and small enough that he would have the time to solve it now.

And that, that is how he dies.


So this is what winning feels like.

Fake a scream. It’s okay. Light knows that he won’t be challenged again, not in this way. As a child, his father was his personal hero. There is, perhaps, a certain dry sadness in admitting that now, Soichiro Yagami is just another bumbling fool whose strings are easily pulled.

(All gods surpass their fathers.)

L’s body is heavier than he had expected it to be. Dead weight, he knows. That’s what happens when a few seconds transmute that which threatened you most into a weight as dull and meaningless as furniture — that’s winning.


The burial takes place a few days later. Soichiro Yagami, who has had the misfortune of attending the funerals of fellow police officers, cannot determine what is appropriate here. They — L, Watari — were something else, beyond any normal definition of law enforcement. It wouldn’t have been that kind of funeral anyway.

But they were, he thinks, what the police should have been. L came closer to saving this world than anyone else; he is deserving of every honor —

What he gets is another matter. We are being practical, he knows, as they dig secret graves under moonlight like common criminals.


Farewell forever. The time has come; no use staying now. Aiber — the others know it as he does — was only here because of the debt of sorts he owed L. They’re gentlemen, he thinks, these Japanese ex-cops and this seventeen-year-old kid. They don’t try to press him into staying.

It’s warm the day he says his goodbyes, and cloudless. Perfect weather for travel. He’ll go to Europe, he thinks. Life is short, even without Kira. Make the most of it.

He leaves, and knows that he won’t see any of them again as long as he lives.

And he’s right.


Wedy doesn’t say good-bye. She leaves in the night, alone, and only the crescent moon watches her from beside a bank of clouds. There’s nothing to regret, here; she never liked L, only admired his intellect.

She wonders about the odds: Kira found out who L was, somehow, and Watari as well. That means that nobody is safe. Kira could kill her too, she doesn’t doubt. The night wind ruffles her hair and raises goose pimples on her arms. But there’s nothing to be done about it. And what can’t be changed isn’t worth wondering about. And that is that.


The world is nothing but springtime for her. Misa has waited long enough.

L had a meanness to him, a jealousy. She couldn’t have pictured him doing normal things, having friends, and part of her believes that is why he harried Light and herself: not because he had any real knowledge of what they were, but because he could not stand love.

She is glad he’s dead.

L gets coldness now, and darkness. Worms as sly as he was.

Contrast: Light’s hand, and that is as warm as sunlight in hers.

And no one has ever been half so happy.


Humans are a riot. There isn’t any better circus, that’s for sure. Look! Prey that kills its own kind, predatory and weak all at the same time.

— Ryuuk could not have put it into words, not quite like that, but he lived now immersed in those feelings like a fish in its tank. Take one part amazement and one part Schadenfreude. Close enough.

Light is something astonishing, Ryuuk knows, with a mind like shears. Genius, one out of a billion. Also an ant brought to ecstasy by another ant’s demise. (Ryuuk is all shinigami, unsullied. He won’t ever be Rem.)


Matsuda stays, and even he could not say why. Loyalty, he supposes. When you can’t be the clever one, or brave, that’s the best thing left: develop a good heart.

If I walk away, it’s like I’m saying that L did nothing, or that what he started isn’t worth finishing.

( — Knowing all the while that he wasn’t made for this.)

When Light, who was made for this, becomes the new L, Matsuda exhales, and the relief encompasses him like warm water. The smart one, the brave one: another L, as brilliant as the first — now, everything will be all right.


Roger is old, now, and only getting older. A man of his age should, he knows, resign himself to the deaths of friends.

In truth, he’d always thought Quillish would live to be a hundred.

Outside, the children are running. Jumping, shouting — a squall of anger, or delight. There’s nothing obvious to mark any in this group apart from the ordinary children of the world outside.

(Except that they are children who have competed for a poisoned prize, and —

Roger cannot help but think that it is not only the old who will have to get used to losing comrades.)


The day he leaves the orphanage, Mello knows it’s forever. Just as death is forever. The sky is overcast, and he can tell that it’s planning to rain on him.

As he walks he passes some kid with a gap-toothed smile. He considers telling the kid a joke: What’s even worse than always being second-best?

Still being second-best when the guy you’re trying to impress got murdered by a fucking psychopath anyway.

That’s not really a joke. And the kid’s gone now. Mello looks around and realizes that he has no idea where he’s going to.

The rain starts. Hush.


Near is as cold and pure as frost. If there is anything happening in his world, his face betrays no trace of it, and intellectually he knows that it’s just that which enrages Mello. But he doubts he could approach it any other way, even if he wanted to.

And he thinks, If there is such a thing as evil, then Kira is probably it.

And he thinks, But calling him evil like that, as if he were some avatar of it — that’s giving him more credit than he deserves.

But there is no point in saying it out loud.


Here is L, his hands in his pockets. The new L: look at how handsome he is in his new jacket, how the light seems to burnish his brown hair. It’s no wonder that the girl behind the counter, even though she has no inkling as to how important he really is, gives him a special smile when she hands him his drink. (There’s nothing for it, of course; he knows that Misa meant it when she talked about killing any rivals.)

There are shops here: a couple of boutiques, a store selling handmade furniture, some little restaurants. Even L — and even Kira — needs some time off, so he wanders around; pokes his head into each store. An old man tries to sell him an end table he has no use for whatsoever.

Underneath his feet, the floorboards don’t even think about squeaking: the building has been fully renovated since the last time he was here, and everything about it gleams.

(Underneath his feet, further down, is the other L. The shops above open in the morning and close at night; L turns by the seasons further to bone, dust,


— Kira, at least, never really takes a day off.)

All of the sections save for the last one are drabbles. I'm no good at writing short things like that --- so I have no idea why I did this. I feel very ambivalent towards this whole thing. At any rate, criticism is deeply appreciated.
Tags: death note, fanfic, i like death too much help

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