Fandom: Death Note
Word Count: 585
Warnings: tone, AU from Book 12
Summary: And yet Mikami is silent.
Author's Note: I'm still trying to figure out why I like this pairing so much. And why I don't write it more.
Mikami doesn’t talk much.
It’s a pity, because he has a beautiful voice.
Near supposes that the man doesn’t need too many words to sit, head bowed, eyes half-closed, and stay very still as Near runs restless white fingers through long, black hair.
Mikami belongs to him now, has become something a bit like a prize—the spoils have gone to the victor, and said victor is determined to treat them well. Mikami’s methods are all too familiar after the months of close surveillance, and Near provides his captive with all the necessary elements to reestablish the familiar patterns, the intricate rituals that have become a comfort to the both of them.
The man must know that Near is, above all else, protecting him—that with God gone, the world doesn’t want His favorite angel, either. They would rip him apart like so much paper.
And yet Mikami is silent.
His hair is lovely—thick and smooth, silken and alluring. Near lets it slide over his hands like water, the even ends tickling gently at his fingertips.
He imagines that Mikami must resent him—not for the conditions, not for the implied indignity, but for keeping the man’s body alive now that his faith has died.
It would have been a mercy killing if Near had done it—putting him out of his misery. Taking him off of life support. The soul is absent; the shell remains. Perhaps he should have followed through. Perhaps he still should.
Near envisions crushing a one-winged butterfly. Wouldn’t that be inhumane?
He leans forward and breathes in the subtle scent of Mikami’s hair. As always, Near sits in his preferred rolling chair, elevated, with his preferred plaything folded into a cross-legged statue below.
He traces along the matching curves of Mikami’s ears, and he speaks into the silence.
“I believed, once,” he says, “that L was infallible—indestructible as well. He was a thousand things I couldn’t reach or be, and I felt that acutely—Mello was merely the only one susceptible enough to show that it affected him. But L lost. Certainly, he was faced with overwhelming odds, and I don’t blame him—but he failed, and he failed me. He failed my expectations, and he failed my beliefs, and that hurt.” He pauses, fingers working slowly. “When I officially inherited this post, they gave me access to a great deal of files I hadn’t seen before. L was not Justice incarnate. L was not even Justice personified. L was a man—a good man, but a man all the same. He was a human being. Accepting that wasn’t easy when I first found out that he was mortal, and it isn’t easy now. This way, I’ve lost them both—the human being, and the idea. They took Mello with them; dragged him down, because he believed so strongly that he gave up everything. They took Watari. They took a childhood that, I suppose, by all rights, I should have had. But most of all, they took my illusions, and those were difficult to lose. Being disenchanted is… a challenge. It’s exhausting, to have to face the world knowing full well what that world contains. And that, I think, is the most poignant of my losses tied to L—idealism. Innocence. Hope. Faith.”
“Our circumstances are similar,” he murmurs, “but there’s something you haven’t forsaken.”
Near touches the man’s cheek. “What’s that?”
Mikami looks skyward, past him, with a bitter smile, and answers softly, “Yourself.”