Deliver Us

BY : Absolute-Ruination
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1147
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Deliver Us

By Absolute-Ruination

Rating: M

Pairing: L x Raito

Summary: Many have wondered but few comprehend… what is the true meaning of God? Some say divinity is in the eye of the beholder.

Chapter 1 - Definition

The Shinigami Realm was, if nothing else, a bleak yet practical reflection of the inhabitants souls. Stretching out beyond the horizon, the landscape of desecrated rock and rubble seemed unending in its stark repetition.

Raito loathed it and loved it all at once. It should have held no interest for him past the first day of his invention, and yet, he would never grow tired of contemplating its wide expanses. It simply seemed so... unnatural, which made no sense, as he had no other site with which to compare it. But he couldn't shake the feeling that something about this world was fundamentally wrong. Which brought him back to the fact that the feeling of wrongness made no sense.

He wasn't certain whether he should mention these feelings to his father either, seeing as how he couldn't explain where they came from, or why they were there. Somehow he doubted his father would be willing to listen to such unfounded distresses and uncertainties.

Which reminded him, he was expected at his father's side soon. It would be best not to test his patience so soon, especially when Raito himself was at such a disadvantage. He frowned, running over that last thought in his mind. It had sounded so... rebellious. Haughty. He honestly had no idea where such thoughts came from. His father had called him into existence, given him his name (Raito - Light. It seemed an odd name on a Shinigami), and given him the Deathnote that preserved his life. By all counts, he should feel unending gratitude toward his father, and he did. But some part of him seemed to scream in rebellion at the thought of subservience, even to the King of Death, his creator.

And it was odd that thinking of the King as his creator sounded wrong too. It was intangible, a stirring at the back of his mind that put him on guard and sickened his stomach slightly.

But it wasn't something that bore thought for long. He had only been - alive? - for a few days, and was still getting used to the world and natural order of things. That had to be where his discomfort came from, he was simply reading too much into it all. Besides, he had delayed long enough.

His father was waiting.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“There you are, Raito.”

A shiver passed down his spine at the almost… seductive pronunciation of his name, as the Shinigami King seemed to draw out the word, as if he were tasting each letter, rolling it about his mouth before letting it escape. He always spoke Raito’s name in such a way that put his nerves on edge, though he’d never show it, purring it into the air almost like a caress.

But Raito recognized the tone beneath it all, somehow. It was possession, ownership, a claim upon Raito’s very soul. Something that made his hackles rise and his temper boil below the surface, cold in such a way that burnt, and gave him frightening clarity. He wanted to rip that tongue out, silence that voice that sought to dominate him so completely.

His hands clenched spasmodically, as if in anticipation of wrapping around a throat, and feeling the life be slowly squeezed out of a struggling form in his grasp.

But he quelled the uproarious heaves of emotion, hushing them in moments. For all the intensity of emotion and personality they conveyed, their hold upon him was weak. He frowned, almost calling for the onslaught of passion and fire he could feel floating around in his head. Where had it come from? It felt foreign, yet so natural. Splintered fragments of something, almost. And when he touched one just right, the world before his eyes would disappear, and he’d see a flash of… of what?

He didn’t know. A towering body made of bleached white bones. A middle aged man who seemed constantly regarding him, the expression stern yet gentle all at once. Large, dark eyes that seemed to swallow the light around them with the force of their longing simply to know.

Sometimes he would even see Ryuk, or the girl his father had told him was named Misa. She lived down on Earth, a human, though one who knew of the Shinigami and their world. Raito wished badly to question why - why had father created him, why did Misa know of the Shinigami’s existence, why were they even here - but he kept his questions to himself. When he was patient enough, father explained things to him. Never exactly what he wanted to know, but useful information nonetheless.

Yesterday, he had told Raito of the realm, the holes that led down to Earth, how to use the Deathnote that would control his lifespan. He guessed that it was the necessary ‘how to be a Shinigami crash course’ that each being had to take to get by. But there were still so many things he didn’t know about the Deathnote, and he was eager to find out. He could ask Ryuk, after all, the Shinigami was whom father had chosen as Raito’s special “companion” (Raito wasn’t sure why, none of the other Shinigami required such supervision, but perhaps it was just temporary until father knew he could get along fine on his own). He had to admit though, he felt comfortable in the other’s presence. Like Ryuk had always been there, just over his shoulder, watching and waiting, occasionally commenting or letting out a smoky and smug sting of his own unique laughter.

So Ryuk was his natural choice as far as asking about the Deathnote went. However, he knew - never mind how at this point - that the Shinigami didn’t really know that much or even care about the object. Ryuk would rather watch something interesting than learn about the possession most precious to any Shinigami. It did it’s job by keeping him alive, and that was good enough for him. So Raito had a feeling any questioning would be useless.

But he didn’t know any other Shinigami, and didn’t particularly wish to meet them either. They seemed a band of merry fools, gambling or sitting around and whining about how bored they were.

Raito wanted to tell them that if they were so bored, they should get up off their asses and do something about it. Surely it wasn’t that hard?

But he was getting off track, lost in his thoughts once more. He seemed to do that a great deal, “space out” as Ryuk would call it, thinking his mind in circles and tangents until he was nearly exhausted and overwhelmed with it all. But he just couldn’t stop. His mind just had to be in constant motion, analyzing and comparing and drawing information and conclusions… Raito thought he’d go mad from it all.

And yet, he knew he’d go insane if it ever stopped. Constant thinking was better than incessant boredom, when it all came down to it. Even if they were equally tiring.

But he was off in his own little world, and father was there in front of him, and he could feel the King’s sense of bemusement at his silence. It was apparent that he had been waiting for Raito’s answer to something, but had figured out that he wasn’t going to get one, Raito once more lost in his uncontrollable thoughts. The burning in his cheeks alarmed him to a small sense of embarrassment at being caught in his state of inattentiveness by his father, but he quickly shook the feeling away, maintaining an even tone to his voice as he spoke.

“I am sorry, I was not being attentive. Will you repeat that?”

“I asked, Raito…” There was that tone again. That tone that made Raito want to find a sharp rock and beat it against father’s scull until it embedded itself so deep that - “…what it was that you wanted to know about the Deathnote?”

He felt his long, bony body stiffen in surprise for a moment, his eyes darting towards the King in a manner an observer would only be able to describe as cunning. Taking a moment to size the King up, it was easy to tell that the being was completely comfortable in the accuracy of his inquiry, and there would be little point in denying it.

But that didn’t mean he couldn’t find out how the King had known. It didn’t occur to Raito that the second he felt threatened or uncomfortable, the being in front of him became the King, rather than the awkward and somehow just wrong father.

“If I may be so bold… how did you guess I wished to more about the Deathnote?”

The King seemed contemplative for a moment, before finally answering Raito in an almost dismissive fashion. “Ryuk had mentioned to me that you seemed most obsessed with looking through it these past few days, yet frustrated by the task. Often you would start to ask him questions, then go silent and return to your perusal of the book. It was the natural conclusion.”

Raito allowed his head to bow in compliance to the evidence and accusation. Only a few minutes later he was automatically storing away information as his father gave him the extended version of the rules of the Deathnote, easily memorizing whatever the King spoke, and spotting a few loopholes he could possibly exploit at a later date. For all his power and influence, it seemed the King was rather inept at the making of iron clad rules in regards to his subjects. Perhaps he should suggest his father hire a lawyer whenever he felt the need to revise the rules of the Deathnote.

But… wait. How did he know what a lawyer was? His concentration was broken for a mere moment, before he reeled it back within his strictly managed control. It was yet another unexplainable piece of knowledge rolling about in his head, yet this time he knew for sure it was a piece of knowledge from the human world.

His head hurt.

He cut off that line of thought quickly, preferring to contemplate it and his existence in a bit more privacy, namely, where the King couldn’t read his face or body language and find out he wasn’t listening quite as hard as he could be. But that brought him to what he had really learned today from his encounter with the King, never mind the rules of the Deathnote, though it was good information to have.

He was being watched. Closely, if they were able to pick up on his wish to know more about the Deathnote. Someone was watching him and reporting his behavior back to the Shinigami King. The question was who, and why.

As for the who, he was pretty sure he could cross Ryuk out. For one thing, despite what the King had said about Ryuk telling him something-or-another, Raito was confident Ryuk would never phrase something in such a manner as the King had suggested. More likely Ryuk had voiced his interest in the Deathnote as a complaint of some sort, something along the lines of “Pays more attention to the notebook than me, don’t know what’s that great about pieces of paper.” Yes, that sounded more like Ryuk. It was more likely that Ryuk’s comment had been just that, a casual comment, not meant to give any information, but rather to convey his annoyance. Or neglect. Over the last few days, Raito had found Ryuk to be much like a pet in the manner of always wanting attention, and being quick to sulk when he didn’t get it. But Ryuk was not nearly devious enough to be able to spy on Raito without his knowledge, and he was firm in the belief that Ryuk was too lazy, or simply didn’t care enough to try.

But at the same time, there were no other Shinigami that Raito was around on a constant basis. Yes, some had approached him out of curiosity (the most memorable instance being a small Shinigami named Gukku, of whom Raito had a strange inclination towards. Perhaps it was the fact that the small, almost cuddly looking Shinigami was not quite as… grotesque as all the other beings, Ryuk included. But Raito didn’t know how he knew that they were grotesque, he had nothing to compare it to - hell, he didn’t even know what he looked like really. For all he knew, he could be the ugliest of them all). But, in the end, none had made any move to become friends or join Raito and Ryuk’s enforced company.

Raito wondered if they were uncomfortable around them. He always got the impression of… unease when he was around them, like something wasn’t quite right. But he would think more on that later.

So that led him to his only real conclusion. The King did not have a Shinigami watching him and reporting back; the King was watching him himself. Out of paternal instincts? Perhaps, but he was more inclined to think that the meaning behind the King’s actions were a bit more practical than that.

But he couldn’t even begin to guess why he thought such a thing, or why the King would be so interested in him. He couldn’t even begin to guess so many things right now, that he was beginning to despair of ever trying. It all seemed so… wrong.

But his head hurt again, and father was still talking.

He would think on it later.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Father seemed worried, Raito observed.

It wasn’t obvious in a way that Ryuk might be able to understand, with creased eyebrows and constant irritation, or a certain tone of voice.

But Raito could tell. Because he could read father like none of the others could, was able to see some of the thoughts running through the mind of the King of Death himself. Why?

Because he actually paid attention, that’s why.

It had been a few months since his invention at the hands of father, and while not all of the wrongness had gone away, Raito had learned to accept it without questioning too hard. Questioning would lead him nowhere, as his mind seemed stock full of riddles, and yet possessed no answers. There had to be a reason behind it all, and when the time was right, he would find the reason and the answers, and that would be that.

He no longer saw the point of trying to force the information - out? Into? - himself and getting nothing more than a headache for his efforts.

But Raito could tell father was worried. Not from any particular body language though, if he’d even be able to recognize such a thing from the Shinigami King. The King was a being wholly impossible to describe, even if one were looking directly at him when attempting. While Raito could physically see that he had a form, it would only be a second or two before his memory would go blank, and the King would become intangible before him once again. He guessed the King had meant it to be that way for his own, personal reasons.

Perhaps the phrase “indescribable majesty” simply appealed to him. Raito held back a snort at the thought, doubting anyone but Ryuk would appreciate his sense of humor.

But he could tell father was worried, not from the outward state of being, but from the feeling he had around the being. For the last few months Raito had being growing accustomed to the King’s constant attention upon him, perhaps because he was the newest of his children, or maybe he was simply the most interesting of them. It had taken a while, but he had come to accept his almost inborn arrogance at face value, taking it and using it to shape himself into something to be proud of. Something of which he could approve.

But back to the matter at hand. He was now so used to the King’s almost undivided attention, that now that he didn’t have it, he felt as though something were out of place. And that was not the only sign. Where father had used to talk to him constantly, explaining new concepts and stories of long ago (mainly about the human realm, for some reason), those times of easy conversation were more rare. Father was more prone to staring out into space, seemingly watching something, though Raito knew not what.

He was starting to feel rather annoyed by it though. He knew that it had to be a matter of great importance to warrant the attention of the Shinigami King, but he was beginning to feel rather neglected, to tell the truth. He had grown used to the constant attention, but, even more important, the constant knowledge that his father would impart to him. He felt himself yearning for the information that he was once made privy to, practically salivating at the idea of something to puzzle and stew over for an undetermined amount of time.

He wanted to think, to process, to plot, to be challenged by something… but his father was too busy to talk to him now, and it was going to drive him insane. He was running out of things to think about, and he didn’t know how to handle it. His shoulders slumped ever so slightly at the thought, his brows furrowing in what was probably the most readable expression he had made since his invention.

“Raito.”

Expression neutral within moments, Raito’s head snapped up, red eyes regarding the King in an almost eager manner. The King was silent for a few more moments, beginning to frazzle Raito’s last nerve, before he finally spoke in a manner of utmost solemnity.

“I would not normally speak of such things to anyone, not even to you, but I fear that the situation is growing to the point where I have little choice. These things I am about to speak of is knowledge that few beings within this realm know, and are not words to be taken lightly. Consider that before I continue.”

Raito knew his mouth had fallen open slightly, and his eyes were wide. But he needed think for little more than a second. He didn’t particularly care what was going on, or about sensitive information (who was he going to tell?), or any of the things father was probably wanting him to “consider” at the moment.

He wanted to know.

“Tell me!”

Perhaps he should have said it more lightly, but he had no patience today to phrase it as anything less than the command it was. Yet he got away with it, father not even hesitating before his response.

“Very well.”

The Shinigami King turned towards him, and once more he felt the full attention of those unseen eyes, and felt something tense in him relax slightly, before coiling once more in excitement.

“How much do you really know about life and death, Raito?”

Raito was silent for a few moments before answering. “Not enough. I know that life is the state in which we and humans exist while still conscious on this world, and that death is what comes after.”

“That is the reality that most live in, knowing little of what separates the two or what awaits them in death. But I suppose starting my explanation there would be difficult, even for a mind such as yours. I will have to start at the beginning.

The first thing you must understand is that reality is largely split into two separate entities - light and darkness. Not a hard concept to understand, as neither can survive with or without the other, being the endless contradiction. I will explain more later. But reality also bows before the laws of the physical and the spiritual. Beings considered ‘alive’ are held within the physical, while in death they cross over to the spiritual. Do you understand so far?”

Raito nodded. “Life is the physical, death transfers beings to the spiritual. Light and dark are the two entities that together form the reality of both.”

“Very good. Now, the spiritual realm is broken up into two realms - the light and the dark. The closest ideas any living beings have to describe these places are heaven and hell, though such concepts encompass little of their actual purpose. I will not go further into explaining them yet, that would take far two long. All you need to know for now is that those are the two powers of the spiritual realm, and are constantly at odds with each other.

What I wish to tell you of today is the physical world, which is more commonly known as the Neutral Realm.”

“Neutral?”

“Yes. You see, when living beings die, according to their lives here in the neutral realm, they have the potential to go to either the light or the dark side of the spiritual realm. Each soul tips the scale between the two forces in some way, giving or taking power from one side. Which is a large part of my current problem.

You see, while the realms of light and dark are in the spiritual realm, both have the ability to directly influence the neutral realm. The only thing that keeps them from doing so is a tenuous balance maintained between the two. As it is, if the dark were to try to interfere on Earth, the light would step in and prevent it, and vice versa. At this point in time, they are too close in power for one to overwhelm the other, so their only choice is to stay out of the affairs in the neutral realm.

I dare say that you can see how this delicate balance is preferable for all the living beings within this realm, no?”

“Yes.” Raito was quiet in contemplation, his voice carefully devoid of feeling. “I would not want either side influencing how I choose to live my life. That is a decision I wish to make for myself.”

“Exactly. Unfortunately, those in command on either side of the spiritual realm have little care for the opinion of any in the neutral realm, and are only concerned with the gaining of influence, and one day winning this unofficial war, as it were. Meanwhile, my main concern, along with the God who reigns over Earth and the Heavens-”

Raito interrupted before he could stop himself. “Earth and the Heavens? “

The King sighed, almost in the manner of a parent humoring an unruly child. “Yes, of Earth and the Heavens. He is the creator of both. Do you have any knowledge of the human Bible?”

“A little, though I have more knowledge of Buddhism and other religions more commonly found in Asia, for some reason.”

“Of course.” The King’s tone was almost ironic. “The God of the Heavens and the Earth goes by no real name other than God, or similar words within the many different languages found on Earth. He is the one who originally created the Physical, then later separated it from the realm of light when his children, Adam and Eve, disobeyed him and had their first taste of darkness. He is the one who instated the balance that maintains the Neutral Realm, and allows all its inhabitants the right to free will.

He understands the importance of maintaining this balance, as does his counterpart in the realm of darkness. The fallen angel Lucifer, who became something… close to a God in his own realm, more commonly known as Satan.”

“Close to a God? Why did he not become a God himself?”

“Because even as he defies him, he still worships he who created him. Him with infinite knowledge and power. He knows his lord, he simply defies him, and created his own realm apart from him. But he understands and respects the balance between the realms, which is the point I’m trying to make.”

“Then why this constant battle between the two, if both their Gods understand the necessity of keeping the balance?”

“Tell me Raito, have you ever seen me dictate the Shinigami in any way? Tell them how to act, what to do?”

“No. Other than the occasional command or favor, such as having Ryuk watch over me, you aren’t really involved at all.”

“Exactly. Such is the case for the other Gods. They are largely uninvolved and do not interfere with the actions of their creations or the inhabitants of their realms. Gods are creators, Raito. We are worshiped. That is all. We bring life into being, the rest is up to it.”

“So… you’re saying that it is the inhabitants under the Gods that are fighting the war, not the Gods themselves?”

“Exactly. Now, the problem I face is this. On the human realm, perhaps a year or two ago, a human came to possess a Deathnote. The way in which he chose to wield his newfound power was… unique.”

Raito felt shattered pieces in his mind stirring, growing hot with recognition and something he couldn’t quite name, though he did his best to ignore it. “Unique? In what way?”

“He used it in an attempt to create a Utopia on Earth, killing of criminals and those who got in the way of his dream, hoping to leave a world where only the good could exist. He wished to be God of such a place.”

Raito could see lights behind his eyes, leading up to something he knew had to be magnificent and wonderful and the King couldn’t stop, he had to know- “What was his name?”

There was a drawn out pause. “The world came to know him as… Kira.”

The colors stopped. There was darkness. Then he saw a balck and white screen, static filled and flickering as though he were watching some very old home screen movie. There was only one word written across it, in shaky, blotched, hand-drawn calligraphy.

KIRA.

Then he could see again. His vision cleared as if the scene had never been hidden within his mind at all. Feeling shivers go down his spine as he recalled the image, he turned back to his father, trying to calm a racing heart.

“Kira?”

“Yes.”

“So what does this…” Raito said the name slowly, savoring the feel on his lips, “Kira have to do with anything?”

“It’s not so much him that is - or was, before his death - the issue as it is the souls he passed on. You see, so many passed on in such a short amount of time, and all but the rare few… were dark.”

Raito didn’t know why it hadn’t seen it before. “Which tipped the balance, even if only slightly, in the dark’s favor.”

“Yes. And, though they are being subtle about it, I can see that they are trying to influence the neutral realm. Starting on Earth. Some have come and are beginning to infect the Earth with their darkness, hoping to spread far enough to gain a large advantage over the light.”

“Some of what?’

“The beings residing within the realm of darkness. Those strong enough to make their way back to Earth. Demons child. Demons.”

Raito was silent.

“Needless to say… we cannot allow their plans to be brought to head. If the Earth falls… it is only a matter of time before they come here.”

“Yes.” That could not happen. Raito could hardly stand the thought of obedience to his own father and creator.

There was no way in hell he was losing his free will any time soon. He hadn’t been alive long enough to truly enjoy it yet.

“Which is where you come in.”

“…What?”

“The realm of light is already in a state of panic over this development, and believe me, they will be sending entities of their own down to attempt to deal with the problem. However, that is just another influence we don’t want within the neutral realm. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether they are on the side of light or dark. They have no place in a realm of choice.”

“But what does that have to do with me?”

“This battle, at its beginning, was started on Earth and for the most part remains upon Earth. For now, neither side is interested in the Shinigami, and I want it to stay that way. But, as I said before, if Earth is taken by either side, it is only a matter of time.

Which is why I am sending you, along with Ryuk, down to Earth.”

Raito opened his mouth to protest, angry and, though he wouldn’t admit it, afraid of this new development. He was a newly born Shinigami, he had no business on Earth, he was still getting used to this realm, there were so many excuses. But his mouth was promptly shut again at a glance from father. A glance full of authority that constituted no room for compromise or disobedience.

“I am well aware that this is not a path you wish to take, Raito. It is not a path I wished for you to have to, nor was it the purpose of your creation. This situation… is a new development I hadn’t considered before it was brought to my attention a few days ago. But there is no doubt in my mind anymore. Of all my children, young though you are, you have the largest chance for success.”

“Success in what?”

“Restoring the balance. Beings from the spiritual realms have no place in our world. The job I am giving to you is this; go down to Earth and, by any means necessary, send them back where they belong.”

Raito swallowed. He didn’t know why, but even as he was trembling at the enormity of the task he had been giving, he felt something stirring deep within his core, his bones, his very soul…

Excitement. He had a purpose, a job to do. It was a revelation, as if this were the moment he had been waiting for since his birth not long ago. It was as if conflict had vanished within him, that sense of wrongness shoved to the side and the small pieces that weren’t quite him floating within his mind were quiet. He needed this.

He needed a meaning to his life so badly it hurt.

But he didn’t let on. Oh no, whispered some part of him, no need to let father know that you want to do this. Better to let him think that you are still hesitant, reluctant to take on such a monumental task.

And he listened to the small, vindictive, cunning part of himself that muttered of betrayal and trickery and all sorts of wicked things. He listened without hesitation now, because he knew that it was there for a reason. That it would keep him alive through the trials to come. And so when it demanded… he obeyed.

“Father, if I am going to take on such a… challenge, I would have a request of mine granted first.”

He felt the King’s surprise, then acceptance, even before the King agreed out loud.

“What is it you want, my son?”

Raito turned his head away from the King, gazing toward Earth as he felt a strange, feral smile curve up the corners of his mouth for the first time.

“I want you to give me wings.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A/N: Sorry it took me so long to update, life's been kinda busy. Anyway, I did my best to make the explanations of the Shinigami King in this chapter easy to understand, though I'm unsure as to whether I succeeded. At the moment, I'm leaning toward not so much. Anyway, just tell me what your confused about and I'll do my best to answer, if you want.

Oh, and just so everyone knows, L will be coming in the next chapter. So, yeah. Expect that. O O

Thank you for reading! Review please!


You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story