DISCLAIMER: Death Note and all related characters and events belong to Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata, Madhouse Inc., and VIZ Media. This is a not-for-profit work. I am not making any money, nor am I attempting to negatively affect the market for any of the materials shown, or take proceeds from their creators, but rather to expand the fanbase and keep the pre-existing fanbase strong.

RATING: T (for some dark themes, most notably character death, and possible ideologically sensitive material)

No slash.

FEATURED CHARACTERS: L Lawliet, Light Yagami, Kanzo Mogi, the Japanese Task Force

SPOILER WARNING: Contains Spoilers from Episode 25 of the Death Note anime and Volume 7, Chapter 58 of the manga.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The bit about the coffin was inspired by a fanfic I read called "Mortality." It was told from Light's POV at L's funeral, and in at one point Light is thinking that the coffin should be square so L could be crouched knees to chin as usual. He also thinks about how if L had left a will, he might have requested that some sugar cubes be buried with him, so he'd be able to get his sweet fix on his journey. That tiny, perfect moment made me cry warm tears, and smile though them. I wish to God I could credit the person who wrote the fanfic, but I can't find the site anymore. It seems to have been taken down, and I've searched in vain for the story posted elsewhere. Anyway, I just like the idea of L and Light sharing the same thought.

L is dead... long live L.

Thoughts Following Death

Lawliet sees his own dead body, as it lies gently cradled in Kanzo Mogi's arms. He notes, detachedly, how small and fragile the shell he once inhabited seems… the skin as pale and delicate and unblemished as fine porcelain; the dark, weary circles under the eyes (I didn't sleep enough, he thinks); the long slender fingers limp and listless; the chest unmoving, undisturbed by breath, the heart that once beat there lying forever dormant. The hair over the pointed face is black as night, and strands lie over the eternally closed eyelids… L feels the ghost of it tickling his forehead, and wills Mogi to brush the hair out of his face, but Mogi doesn't seem to get the message, so L is still disturbed by that phantom itch whenever he looks at the body. Was his hair really that messy? It had never seemed that bad when he looked in the mirror… He looks at the slender, nearly frail form, thinking how peaceful it looks, how he might only be asleep… but of course no one can see themselves while they sleep. Only in death do you see your own body like this.

The other investigators return. Finally, someone notices that errant shock of hair, and brushes it away… L sends them a silent thank-you. The corpse that had been L is raised from the ground with kind, loving arms, prepared for burial. L is glad he is not subjected to the indignity of an autopsy… the thought of his tiny, pale body lying naked on a cold steel table for all to see bothers him far more than the thought of watching it being cut open and the guts pulled out. Though, honestly, if he could talk to them, he would chide the investigators for not doing something that could be important to the case, just to respect his memory. He would make them do the autopsy, and keep his embarrassed squirming to himself.

The funeral. The coffin is the wrong shape; he's laid out flat on his back. He should be crouched in his favorite position, as if he'd simply fallen asleep in front of the monitors as he has so many times in the past, or perhaps curled up like a cat, his thumb near his mouth for easy nail-biting access. He wonders idly if they could have buried him on a couch instead of in a coffin. The thought of mourners bearing a couch to a grave makes him smile. No one comments on the coffin's shape, but he notices Light seems deep in thought as he sees it, and wonders if he's thinking the same thing. It would be like Light to know how he'd want to be remembered.

In a sudden burst of curiosity that he could never hope to explain, L lies down, unseen, in the coffin, as if still inhabiting his body. He lies there as the coffin is closed… as it's lowered into the grave… as dirt is piled upon it. Each shovelful of earth makes a soft thumping sound as it drops onto the lid. Then the noises stop, and he is alone in the pitch-dark grave.

It's more sad than frightening… he feels cold there in the dark, and very lonely. The body around him is cold and inanimate as the dirt surrounding it; doesn't move, doesn't breathe. It feels alien. He doesn't belong there anymore.

Lawliet leaves.