Fifteen Days

This is my very first attempt at tragedy. This contains graphic suicide. For those of you who can't stand sad endings, don't read this. And by all means, I do not support suicide. Anyone considering suicide should seek help immediately.

For Near, life wouldn't go on after Mello's death. The last fifteen days...

I don't own Death Note. It would have ended differently.

Mello's death had saved his life. For Near, that was the worst part.

The entire first day, Near was in a haze. It seemed like nothing had changed. Lidner was crying, but for Near, it seemed like Mello couldn't be dead.

He knew death was a very real possibility, but for Mello to die seemed impossible, so he kept working. He knew he was in shock, denying the truth, but it was comfortable for the moment. It had been the same with L. He hadn't cried until it finally sank in a week later.

Grief was like that. It had a tendency to sneak up on you. During the Kira investigation, Near's entire world had shattered one piece at a time. Yesterday, the last two pieces of his humanity had been shattered, but he was still able to clean up the mess.

Mello and Matt were buried on the second day, and Near felt like someone had extinguished the sun. The light was entirely gone from his life as he stared down at the two broken heroes laying side by side in a single casket. Although his team was there along with their peers from Whammy's, Near felt horribly alone.

Brushing blond hair back from a ruined face, Near leaned down and whispered. "You were always number one to me..."

As he dropped first handful of damp, cool earth into their open grave, the pale boy knew he was also burying himself. For Near, life wouldn't go on...

The first crystalline tears fell silently in the back seat of the car. His Mello, his sun, was gone forever.

On day three, Near managed to hold himself together the whole day. He barely even looked up from his work to acknowledge a red eyed Lidner when she came to talk to him. She looked horrible, but Near felt worse.

"I loved him, Near." She confessed, her voice thick with guilt.

"I still do..." And he turned away to continue working. His beloved might have died, but his love for him hadn't.

Day four was hell for Near. He had a press conference to discuss the Kira case and he really wasn't feeling up to it.

Mello would have loved the spotlight... He mused. The depression was slowly settling into his very being.

When the pale boy walked on stage, he was cuddling a toy robot close to his chest. It was the only thing he'd held onto throughout the Kira investigation; the only present Mello had ever given him. The first year he came to Whammy's, Mello gave it to him on Christmas eve in an attempt to cheer him up. That one simple act of kindness had lain forgotten at the back of his mind for a long time, and by the time he realized what it meant, it had been too late.

He answered the reporters' questions robotically, barely caring what they said, until someone brought up Mello's role.

"He saved my life."

The young genius had to be led off stage in tears.

Every newspaper had Near's face, streaked with tears, plastered on the front page by day five.

Near didn't care. He didn't even get out of bed.

Linda called on the sixth day. Near was thankful for her voice. If anyone would understand, she would. Throughout his childhood, she had been his solitary friend.

He asked her to make two grave markers; One for Mello and Matt. She didn't need him to tell her who the other was for, she already knew.

Day seven found Lidner begging Near to eat something. He finally conceded, but all he would eat was chocolate. The bitter sweet candy brought back the taste of Mello's lips.

At the time, Mello took the kiss the wrong way and Near ended up on the floor with a split lip. Near found that even the thought of never being hit by Mello again was depressing. For the rest of the day he refused to eat.

By day eight everyone but Lidner had completely given up on Near. If he wasn't going to lead them, he wasn't worth their time. They went about their business as if he wasn't there.

It was fine with Near. He wished he could fade away if only to escape the horrors of his own mind. He'd briefly considered putting out his own eyes so he could stop seeing Mello everywhere he looked.

That, of coarse, would have gotten him nowhere because it was all in his mind. Lidner took away the scissors without a word and tried to pretend the world wasn't crumbling around them.

Near suspected that she was still there because it eased her own grief.

On day nine, Lidner put Near in the car like a small child and drove him to the award ceremony. He tried his best to stay strong as he stood at attention and accepted the medal of honor from the president.

Instead of an acceptance speech, he said, "I'm only here because the ones who deserve this died in action. They were a thousand times more worthy than me."

The sun rose on day ten to find Near cradling Mello's gun against his chest. The chamber was empty, Lidner removed the bullets. Even though it was never mentioned, she knew what Near was planning and all she could do was delay the inevitable as long as possible. She could see that the grief was slowly killing him and she couldn't really blame him. Everything he ever cared about was gone.

Matt and Mello's memorial stone was placed on day eleven. It was as beautiful as Near had hoped.

Carved from marble, the statue depicted Mello standing looking down at Matt, a pair of huge wings folded behind his shoulders and his gun in his right hand, pointed at the ground. Matt was leaning against him, one arm around his left leg; He was holding a hand-held video game, but his eyes were all for Mello. Their features were carved in such a way that they looked real, as if they might suddenly begin to breathe; both of them were perfect, right down to Mello's scar and the laces on his pants.

The words "I always want to be at your side..." were carved into the pedestal and below that Matt and Mello, followed by their real names and the dates they were born and died.

Near could remember the exact day Matt told Mello that. It was the day Matt begged Mello not to leave him behind. Both of them were gone the next day, off to slay the dragon and save the world. Heroes weren't supposed to die...

Near used the twelfth and thirteenth days to solve a difficult case, then gave the credit to Lidner. She got a fat bonus and a promotion.

When she asked him why, Near said, "Call it a good-bye present."

The email came on day fourteen. It read:

"I'm dead, but you already know that, don't you, Near? We set out this morning knowing that we weren't coming back. I have no regrets. I died loving you. We died loving each other. Thank you for letting us rest together forever. Goodbye, Near. Love, Mello."

Near couldn't stop the tears. "Good night... Mello... I love you, too..."

After fifteen days, Near could no longer bear the pain. Mello was gone, Matt was gone, there wasn't a soul left in the world that he loved enough not to follow them.

Lidner came up onto the roof in time to watch him drop backwards over the railing. For a split second, the sun caught in his snowy hair and cast a halo, then he fell.

"Near!" Lidner screamed, running to peer over the precipice. Fifteen stories below a frail body lay broken on the sidewalk. Blood died white hair red and spread around him in a growing pool.

One name formed on Near's lips with his dying breath.

"Mello..."

OMFG! I had to stop writing three times because I couldn't see past the tears. I'm unbelievably pathetic...