Now that Mello's gone, Near sees him everywhere. Everything he does, Mello comes to mind. Now he must deal with the aftermath of Mello's death - will he be able to and still be sane at the end? Pro...
Oh well. Sushi’s better than nothing. I haven’t slept in days, and coffee seems to be my best friend at the moment. Geez, I wish L was here and that this was all a bad dream.
“Near, come have a look at this.” Gevani says from the other side of the room. I roll over from my place on the floor in my Lego fortress and look at the screen he’s pointing to.
“What is it, Gevani?” I ask.
“Well, it seems that Wammy’s house is re-established.”
“Oh? Well, that’s not surprising.” I roll back to my former position, plopping a sushi roll into my mouth. “If you think about it, they’d need to start looking for my replacement now if I die at 25 like L did.”
“Near, are you okay?” Gevani asked, not unexpectedly. I was obviously run-down and tired, not to mention I kept dropping things like I did when I couldn’t focus.
“I’m fine. Keep working.” I command. “We need to make sure we’re ready for the 28th.”
A cell-phone went off somewhere in the room, apparently Halle’s. I look over, wondering if it was Mello. There would be no reason in particular for him to call, but you never could tell what was going on in his head.
Halle comes over and gives me the phone and whispers “it’s Mello.”
“Near, what’s going on? You’re going to meet up with Kira?”
“Yes, I’m going to meet him and end this circus.”
“And you’re certain that he won’t kill you all?”
I accidentally drop the phone, but pick it up rather quickly. “Yes, I’m certain.”
“Did you just drop the phone?”
“Near, get some sleep.”
“I’m fine, Mello.”
“No you’re not. If you don’t go to sleep right now, I’m coming over and knocking you out.”
“You don’t know where I am.”
“How do you know?”
He was right, I didn’t know. It wasn’t impossible that Halle had told him our whereabouts. “Do you know?” I asked.
“… that’s for me to know and you to find out.”
“I have an idea.”
Suddenly there’s a crash in the background and I hear Mello yell, “Matt I told you, stop messing with those wires! They’re not going to get any better!”
“Then get me something to do, I’m so bored!”
“Find something yourself, idiot!”
“Don’t call me an idiot, idiot!”
Mello growled, but I could hear him smirking as he talked. “Anyway, don’t kill yourself before Kira does. If you don’t sleep, you could end up doing so.”
“Mm. Tell Matt that if he needs something to do, he can get Takada out of the way.”
“Yeah, she’s the only thing that I can’t deal with and the only threat to my plan.”
“… What needs to happen?”
“ She just needs to be out of the way for when I meet Kira. I’ll let Halle give you the details.”
“Why don’t you?”
“Because if I keep talking, I’m going to fall asleep and I might destroy Halle’s phone.”
“Fine, hand it over to her.”
Complying, I hand her the phone and go into the next room. I know that it’s almost two in the afternoon, and that I’ll probably wake up and close to the same time tomorrow if someone doesn’t wake me up first, but my brain is so dead that I don’t care.
Not bothering to grab any covers, I collapse, without changing, onto a small sofa. Drifting slowly, slowly into sleep, the last thought in my mind is, “I hope Mello doesn’t do something stupid.”
And suddenly, he’s in front of my eyes. We’re back at Wammy’s House; the day we found out L had died. Mello’s frozen in shock, as am I. The rush of emotions to my head makes me feel like puking.
“W-what did you say?!” Mello yells in anger.
“W…what?” I mumble, and I feel myself being shaken awake.
“Near! Get up.”
I know that voice. I haven’t heard it in person in a while. But it sounds like my dream. Is this a dream too?
“But you said…”I mumble, attempting to curl up, but hitting whoever it is, curling around them instead.
“I know what I said, but if you don’t wake up now, I’ll shoot you.”
“No you won’t… and you said…”
“Since when do you listen to what I say? Get up!”
“Mello, stop it.” Wait a minute. I shoot my eyes open. Mello? “What are you doing here?” He’s sitting on the couch in front of me, a single lamp shining light across his profile, highlighting his scar. He was unusually grave, and I noticed a lack of his oral fixation: chocolate.
I sit up as he looks at me. “Near, there’s a reasonable chance that I’ll be killed if I do this, isn’t there?” he asks.
I let one leg fall off the couch and glance over to the clock. It’s roughly midnight and I can feel the hair clinging to the side of my face. I must be a sight. “What’s your plan?” He relays it to me in full and falls silent. We’re both silent for a good while.
“Yes, there’s a good chance that you will die, Mello.” I say, finally answering his question.
“I’m going to put it into action as soon as I leave here, so this might be the last time you see me alive.” Mello bit his nail, obviously missing the chocolate. I nod in understanding. Mello takes out a small paper from his jacket and gives it to me. It’s got a small code on it: “034581, third from the left.”
“I think you’ll find this interesting,” he says before standing up. He hesitates to walk out of the room, and instead just stands beside the couch. “Near... if I die, I blame you.”
I begin to twirl hair around my fingers and yank it slightly, a nervous habit I’ve acquired over the years. “Why?” I inquire. “If you die, it’s only because your plan is flawed.”
“You refuse to take any direct action, dimwit.” Mello spits. I can see a small twisted frown on his face, and I can tell that he’s mixed up. “So I’ve gotta bail you out again, like all those years at Wammy’s House.” He laughs at the thought, and I turn my face from him.
I am silent for a moment. Should I tell him? Would he laugh at me? “Well, Mello,” I venture. “I never asked... y-you to bail me out.” I frown at my failure to remain calm. Is his possible death affecting me that much?
One particularly cold afternoon, the children were all in the common room at Wammy’s House, to my great displeasure. I stayed in my place by the fire, but crowds and I do not mix easily. Usually, about ten to twelve children are in the common room, but that day, it was filled with thirty to forty kids, and the noise level had accordingly risen to unbearable decibels.
I decided it would be more peaceful anywhere in the house other than the common room, so I packed up my current puzzle and began to move towards the exit. However, I accidentally bump into one of the older kids on my way out, dropping my puzzle; I can be such a klutz sometimes.
I mumbled an apology as I bent down to pick up the pieces, but before I could complete the act, I find my head being held to the floor by some human appendage, from what I could feel, a foot.
Oh great, it was Sam.
It was always Sam.
I decided it would be less painful to wait out this humiliation than to struggle, so I froze, waiting for him to remove his foot from my head, and also concluded that a shower would follow this incident.
“Stupid Near,” he jeered. “You know, it’s really impolite to run into people like that.”
He removed his limb from my head, and I finish picking up my puzzle pieces. I stand to leave when a muffled voice, accompanied by the crinkling of a chocolate bar wrapper, rang out from behind me. “If your ass wasn’t so big, maybe that problem could be solved, Sammy boy.”
Mello was sitting at one of the chess tables, beating poor Matt for the umpteenth time. Matt didn’t mind; it helped alleviate Mello of his inferiority complex. I turned to look at Mello, and saw a wide smirk on his face, not to mention the crumbs around his mouth.
At Mello’s jeer Sam, though not naturally well built was very tall for his age, grunted in displeasure. Compared to Sam, Mello was cool and collected; Sam, however, was a ticking time bomb, and often let his emotions get the better of him. This was one of those times.
I have found that people are generally scary when angered. I learned this from Sam, who decided that Mello would make a great punching bag at that moment. He marched straight past me, knocking me over on the way, and grabbed Mello’s chocolate bar, right out of his hands, and smashed it on the ground, squishing it with the same foot he had used to press me to the floor.
“Mello, mind your own business.” Sam growled to a now very pissed off Mello. “I’m just following through on what everyone in this institution wants to do.”
Ouch. The hurt was only slightly dulled by the knowledge that, if not wholly, this statement was partially true. Being number one has its price
Mello smirked that smirk that I pray is never aimed at me; scary, sly, spiteful, he often got that way. “Really? You think everyone wants to be a stupid, arrogant, lazy ignoramus? Well, now, that hardly sounds right...”
Sam grabbed Mello by the collar with such ferocity that he knocked over Matt and Mello’s chess table, causing the room to become silent.
“Aw, man, I was winning!” Matt cried in sorrowful denial. Mello, though tied up, laughed at Matt’s outcry.
“So, what, you’re going to hit me?” Mello asked, still chuckling at Matt.
Sam grimaced, tightening his grip on Mello. The thought occurred to me to step in; why should Mello get hit defending me, especially over so trivial. But there was no need, for Sam duly released his grip on Mello. Apparently turning over a chess table does wonders for a tantrum. I noted to recommend this method to Mello when his next fury arose.
“Sorry,” Sam mumbled to Mello, crouching to help pick up the chess pieces he had knocked over. I turned to leave, chancing a glance in Mello’s direction, finding him doing the same. He and I locked eyes for a brief moment, before he slyly turned his attention to restarting his game with Matt.
We never talked when incidents like this arose. However, Mello never failed to step in before anyone laid a finger on me. Being as small as I am, I could have been injured countless times, if Mello had not stepped up to the plate when he did.
“But Near,” Mello’s voice whispers, snapping me out of my memories, “If it so happens I should die…” His voice trails off, hesitating.
‘Unlike Mello,’ I think to myself. I can tell that he’s a nervous wreck. He had the right to be after all. Most notable of the signs is the lack of his chocolate, but also, more subtle is the way he hesitates or fails to finish his thoughts. Looking closely, I notice his hands fiddling with rosary beads, attached to his hip, another nervous habit of his. “If you should die,” I repeat, trying to get him to function like Mello again. He is actually starting to creep me out.
He coughs before continuing. “If I should die... promise me you won’t do anything stupid.” He chances a glance in my direction.
Subconsciously, I tilt my head and entwine my fingers in my hair. Me do something stupid? No, that doesn’t really sound like me. Why would he be saying this? Why would he care? Why would he even bother coming here instead of just charging to his untimely death, attempting to kidnap Takada? Aside from that, why did he care, even at Wammy’s House, whether or not I was beaten to a bloody pulp? We weren’t enemies, we weren’t friends. We had no real, tangible relationship holding us together aside from one-sided competition. No, that’s not true. He always made it a point to converse with me after class, if only to discuss the topic of the class. He picked my brain every day, probably hoping to discover why he always came second, despite his constant studying and my lack of it.
“You think I’ll do something stupid?” I ask, settling on the singular question. The question was more rhetoric. Of course he knew I wouldn’t. Of course he knows how I barely do anything without thinking of every possible consequence possible. He said so himself, before leaving Wammy’s House.
Mello doesn’t respond. I notice an increase of the pressure his hands have on his beads. “No. That sounds more like someone else we both know,” obviously referring to him.
He sighs a rather large sigh while sitting back beside me on the couch. He leans back, his head tilted back on the top of the sofa, his hair falling back, allowing me a full view of his face. I nearly shudder at the sight of his scars. Not that they were appalling, but I can well imagine the intense pain he underwent, while receiving those burns.
“Is that why you came here, Mello? To ask me to not do something you know I would not do?” We both know there’s more to this visit than this. I can’t deduce what he wants, and his hesitation is eating up my valuable sleep time, not that I could get to sleep again anyways. Despite not having much relationship with him, he is still in my thoughts a lot, a figure of concern and care. The thought of his death is troubling, indeed.
Mello smirks. “Near,” he drawls, turning his head towards me. I note his distinctly Russian features, rather attractive. “You backed me into a corner with this one,” he says, obviously angry with me.
“Yes.” I reply, simply. There’s no use denying it. His death would, in part, be on my hands, just as the murders of the SPK members had been.
“What should I do with you, then?” Mello inquires, obviously wanting an answer. His eyes portray a rather wrathful soul, sending shivers down my spine. “Because I honestly just want to rip you apart, now. For being on top, for getting the better of me, for being the cause of my death, and for me not hating you for it.”
Wait a minute.
No matter how hard I try, I can never understand Mello’s gibberish.
“Not hating me for it?” I ask. There has to be an underlying meaning for that.
Unexpectedly, he reaches out an arm, wraps a finger or two around a strand of hair.
That’s very odd, indeed.
What happens next, however, I should have expected.
He yanks me towards him, causing a small yelp to exit my lips, and grabs me in a headlock, a gun to my head.
“Why am I going to let you get away with this?” Mello hisses in my ear. “Why, Near, explain it to me. You’re good at doing that, explaining things to people who are less intelligent than you.”
I’m at a loss. What does one say to a raging inferno of wildfire? Of course, I try wrangling myself free from his grip on my neck, but that seems to be quite impossible considering, not only that he is two years older but also that I’m quite a weak individual.
And there is a silence. Cold, uncomfortable, but not wholly, and thoughtful. Finally, there are the words.
“... It’s not a sense of justice... figuring out difficult cases is my hobby…”
Mello’s grip loosens. “If you measure good and evil deeds by current laws…” he continues.
“I would be responsible for many crimes.” I complete the thought of our mentor, L. “Mello, I am sorry.”
He releases my neck, only to embrace me fully in a bear hug. Maybe it’s not surprising. Mello has always been a touchy-feely person. He can communicate things easily through touch, though touch is usually uncomfortable to me.
Not this time, though.
This scene brings to mind any number of sappy chick-flick movies the girls at Wammy’s House used to watch. Not that I care. Mello is definitely a warm creature, or monster as the case may be. He always put himself across as a cold-blooded being, but I know him better than that. I can feel him trembling, and can hear his irregular breaths, and can see the tears welling up in his eyes.
When he finally releases me, he stands to his feet and wanders to the door. Before he opens the door, he glances at me with his steely eyes, almost begging me to stop him, it seems. “Near.”
He hesitates again, wrapping his hands in his rosary beads. ‘Wow, he’s really nervous,’ I think, wrapping my fingers in my hair. “Which of us will reach Kira first, I wonder…”
I smile slightly. “The race is on.”
“We’re both headed towards the same destination. I’ll be waiting for you.” He exits the room, without another word.
And Mello’s gone.
I hear about twelve hours later of his death, as well as Matt’s.
Which settles the matter.
Kira must be brought down. Because not only has he killed L, but he has also destroyed my other half.
Dear, dear Mello.