Authors notes: Sorry about this chapter taking so long! This is actually my third time writing it… lets just say I had serious computer issues and this isn't the only thing I lost. But here it is! At last! And I'm glad- I can't wait to start working on part two!
Chapter 11; The last boss
Mello didn't stand around to see how the battle went down. As soon as he saw an opening he went for it, rushing inside- finding Near after that wasn't a difficult task, considering the albino was laying in the middle of the room he'd run into. And while rational thought processes told him that it was obviously a trap and that he shouldn't rush right into it, his body seemed to move of its own accord.
He didn't let himself stop to be shocked when nothing jumped out to attack him as he fell beside Near and pulled the albino into his arms- alive, Near was alive (of course he was alive, he couldn't die), but he was obviously still trapped in the dream because he wasn't waking up, no matter how many times Mello would shake him or call his name.
Deciding he needed to get Near out of there so they could wake him up, regroup, and attack, Mello stood with the younger man in his arms, turning to run away. Instead he found himself falling over onto his butt, Near on top of him.
Kayen was standing behind there, a cold look on his face but an intense look in his eyes.
"Oh god, you scared the shit out of me," Mello breathed, trying to catch his breath.
Kayen began to step forward, lifting a hand out in front of him.
"Kayen?" Mello asked, trying to scoot away as the boy walked closer. He didn't manage to move very far, considering Near's (however small) weight and their position.
The young man continued to approach.
Mello frowned. "Don't tell me… you're working for Holand."
His only answer was a hand being placed on his head, then white.
This wasn't his dream.
Unless Kayen had decided to trap him on a dirt road in the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere, Mello knew instantly that he wasn't in his own dream.
A little boy stepped out of a few trees and onto the road, staring off in the opposite direction of Mello- a little albino boy. Mello was pretty sure he had never seen Near standing on a dirt road wearing something other then all white, not to mention the fact that he was only about seven or eight (which was how old he had been when he'd come to Wammy's).
So he was in Near's dream. Some sort of memories, most likely.
Nearby something exploded. A few moments later, Mello could hear much louder explosions behind him.
Okay… so a bad memory.
Suddenly they were in the middle of the SPK headquarters and Mello could see himself on the screens, walking up with Halle, a gun to her head- another 'bad memory'? Is this what Near had been seeing this entire time…?
"Let him in," Near instructed. The blonde haired man pressed a button and Mello watched as he himself stepped inside.
So this was the other him… the resemblance was one he wasn't sure was amazing, considering he was looking at himself. This other him had the same burn he had back in his own world, as well as the same coat he wore all of the time. It was like watching his own memories through Near… it was somewhat creepy.
"I want the picture you have of me," the other him demanded.
"Of course," Near answered, pulling said photograph out of the front of his shirt. "No copies have been made. I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be killed by a death note."
Although Mello knew how his own story ended, this reality was different. This Mello would die- he wasn't sure how (Near might have mentioned it, but he couldn't remember), but it was probably by Death Note. Of course, Near didn't know this at this time, but it was still ironic.
He was brought out of his thoughts when the other him pulled out a gun and pointed it at Near, ignoring the guns that pointed at him instantly. "Near! I am not a tool for you to use to solve your puzzle!"
Mello sighed. He didn't want to see these memories- although he was pretty sure Near didn't want to see them either.
Wait- had he just… thought of Near's pain while thinking of his own?
I'm telling you, man. That's love.
Leave it to Near to ruin his life and then make him fall in love.
Letting out a frustrated yell, Mello threw his hands up. He was about to storm around and throw a hissy fit when he realized that Near had turned to look at him.
"You can hear me," Mello breathed.
The memory changed again.
He was standing in a hallway, one from not that long ago. Sure enough he heard his own voice say, "Near. What happened last night… it was-"
Near cut him off. "Just sex, no romantic attachments, and not going to happen again. Got it." A few seconds later he said, as opened the door and stepped out of the room, "Red wants us."
Then he walked out.
Mello followed him.
He was about to try and get the other's attention again, but then Near lifted his hands to his face and wiped at his eyes. It was then that the blonde realized he was crying- Near. Crying.
What the shit.
Was this the real Near, or had Near cried that day? Mello couldn't tell, but the image was one that seriously disturbed him- he needed to get Near out of here and he needed to do it now.
But how? How was he supposed to snap him out of a nightmare? Make him happy? How the hell was he supposed to do that-
He couldn't say those words, even if he knew they were true.
There was no way he could say them…
'If you don't,' his mind taunted. 'Then existence will end.'
'No way,' he argued back.
'Near will end too.'
Mello groaned. Why did people keep telling him that?!
There had to be another way… but there was no time to think of one! This was the only thing he could do- he had to say… that.
Taking a deep breath, Mello forced the words out.
"I love you too, Near."
The albino lifted his head from his hands and turned around, a surprised look on his face.
"I love you too," Mello repeated, finding it a lot easier to say the second time around.
"Mello…" Near breathed, wiping at his eyes again. "Mello is… not real."
"Look at me," Mello instructed, waving at himself. "I'm the real deal, Near. This hasn't happened before. It's not a memory, not a nightmare. I'm here."
"Mello is lying!" Near accused. "Mello would never say that…"
"You're right," Mello told him, stepping forward. He reached out a hand and wiped at the tears on Near's cheek. "I wouldn't. Even though it's true. But I had to get your attention somehow and we need to find a way out of here, so I figured I'd try. And, hell- at least this way you know in case existence ends."
Near stared at him for a moment before he laughed a little, lifting a hand to take Mello's off of his cheek. "Okay," he breathed. "Mello is Mello… because I don't think Holand could think that up."
"Lets find a way out of here," Mello said, taking Near's hand in his own. "Then we can kill this bitch." He turned to try and see if there was maybe some sort of exit, but Near pulled him back,
"And after?" The younger man asked.
"After?" Mello repeated.
"After Mello and I kill her," Near explained. "After Mello and I are done in this world."
Mello gave him an annoyed look. "Can't we talk about that later…?"
"No," Near answered, pulling his hand away. "Now."
"After," Mello breathed, thinking about it. He didn't want to stay in this world… he wanted a car and a computer, his technology and his clothes and maybe even his scar back. He wanted to see Matt again, to visit his own Near's grave- to call up Linda and ask how she was doing. But he didn't want to leave Near.
"After," he said again, taking Near's hand once more. "You come back to my reality with me."
"Can we do that?" Near asked, although he was smiling.
"Fuck the rules," Mello informed in a voice that gave no room for argument.
Near smiled even more. He then walked past Mello and pulled the blonde along after.
As they walked up to one of the two stair cases (there was one on each side of the inn), the world went white.
When Mello awoke he realized he was chained against a wall.
A glance around proved it to be a dungeon of some sort with torture devices of all kinds- they even had a Chinese water torture device!- and, sure enough, Near was in there too. Strapped to a table.
The albino had already woken up, but he was staring up at the ceiling. Or- wait, no, Holand was up there, claws hanging on and wings spread out.
"I see your boyfriend has joined us," she told Near. She then glanced at Mello and asked, "Oh…? Not going to deny it, this time?"
Mello didn't give her the satisfaction of an answer.
Holand dropped down, landing on the table on top of Near, one foot on either side of his small body. "Heh," she giggled. "If you weren't so skinny, you would have been crushed. Too bad."
She hopped off the table and reached into a hilt on her belt, removing two daggers that Mello recognized instantly as the ones Aireio had given him. "How fitting," she purred, fingering the tip of the blade only to pull her hand away and sow Mello the blood. "That your own daggers will be the one to cause your boyfriend pain. But don't worry…" With a smirk, she turned and approached Near once more. "He can't die- which means he'll just remain in pain!"
Mello almost bit his tongue as she brought both daggers down, stabbing through Near's wrists where the chains held him to the table. But, like before, the daggers past right through him- and, luckily for him (unluckily for Holand), the passing daggers allowed him to pull his wrists free from the chains.
Before Holand could blink Near was conjuring a magic spell right into her stomach, sending her flying backward. Near nabbed the daggers off of the table and ran over to Mello, stabbing him in the same place and allowing him to pull his wrists out.
"We would have been fucked if I didn't like myself," Mello informed him.
Near let out a hiss of pain in response as Holand swiped at him with her claws. "It wont be that easy!" She hissed, going to swipe again, only to get a fiery punch to the face.
"I should hope not," Mello informed. "Then this wouldn't be a very epic battle."
"It's not going to be, since it isn't epic if the 'bad guy' wins!" Holand screeched, rushing at the two of them. She ended up running into a wall as Mello grabbed Near and sprinted away quickly.
"It's technically ten against one," Mello told her. "You should just give up."
"More like four against one," Holand responded. "Since day and night aren't attacking and I don't think your little boyfriend has it in him to kill anyone himself. No, from what I've seen of his memories, he lets other people take care of that for him."
"Wrong," Near informed, before conjuring up a blizzard quicker then Mello had ever seen him do before and slamming it into Holand. It took her out and the wall behind her, sending her flying off of a cliff that had apparently been behind the castle.
Sadly, Holand could fly.
She flew at them again, only to be thrown back out by a zap of electricity from Near.
"That ones new," Mello whistled, impressed.
Holand flew in again, landing a bit away from them. "That's not fair!" She whined. "Every time I try and attack you guys knock me back! Not fair, not fair, not fair!"
"Oh, like tying us to a table and trying to torture us is fair!" Mello snapped.
"I'm the bad guy!" Holand defended. "I don't have to be fair!"
"News flash," Mello bent over and grabbed hold of the table. He used the power Kamariya had given him, strength, to pull it out of the ground with ease. "I don't have to be fair either!"
He threw the table at her but she managed to fly back and dodge it.
"Missed!" she teased, sticking out her tongue.
The Chinese water torture device hit dead on, though.
"You bitch!" Holand hissed, landing on the ground. One of her wings had broken.
"Lets knock her off the edge," Mello said, readying a fireball.
A sharp pain shot through his back, sending him stumbling forward. It took him a few moments to realize it was a sword that now stuck out through the front of his chest.
"Mello!" Near cried.
"Master Holand!" The man who had thrown the sword yelled, rushing forward.
Near and Mello both stared at him in shock.
"Yagami-" Mello began.
"Light?" Near breathed.
"If Holand is Amane Misa, I'm going to shoot myself," Mello informed.
"How did you know my real name?!" Holand gaped.
Both Mello and Near turned to stare at her.
"I'm kidding," she informed.
"Do you know me?" The man (Yagami Light) asked.
Before they could answer, however, Holand attacked Near, tackling him to the ground.
Mello jumped at her, temporarily forgetting the wound in his chest. He pulled Holand off and threw her, sadly not far enough that she fell out of the hole but he effectively got her off of Near, which was what he was attempting to do.
The pain decided that it was a good time to remind him that he had a sword sticking out of his chest.
He doubled over in pain, landing on the ground next to Near.
"Mello?" Near asked, crawling over to him.
"You have to defeat her," Mello wheezed, noticing the corners of his vision turning black.
"I can't. Not without Mello."
"Near, you have to."
Near bit his bottom lip and glanced at Holand as she stood. He then reached over and took hold of Mello's hand.
'Give me your powers,' he said over their bond, face completely serious.
Mello didn't have the energy to put up an argument, so he just grabbed hold of Near's hand tightly and concentrated on their bond. He felt a pull and the last thing he saw as he passed out was a wave of magic exploding from their hands, taking Holand with it but leaving Yagami unharmed.
When he awoke he was lying Next to Near, back in the castle- existence hadn't ended, so that had to mean Near had beaten her.
It must have been night because he couldn't feel anything or anyone around him- which meant he had to sit up and check to see if Near was okay.
Oh. Right. Near took his powers.
The albino didn't seem to have a scratch on him, but he looked like he was pretty worn out, even though he was asleep. Mello wondered how long they had been out and if Near had awoken yet.
"You've been out for about six hours and he hasn't woken up yet."
He jumped, turning to see Kenny standing against a wall, arms crossed and braid hanging over his shoulder.
"We've been taking shifts watching you, waiting for you to wake up," Kenny explained, answering Mello's next question. "All of us are still alive although Q is badly injuring and has been in surgery since we got back, Seishi got stabbed in the shoulder, Arret broke his arm, and Kamariya had to cut off most of her hair in order to escape a monster that had grabbed her. The rest of us just have a few bruises, although Red is pretty much going insane with worry."
Mello glanced over at Near quietly.
"He's probably just exhausted," Kenny told him. "That wave of magic the two of you shot off was pretty powerful. It wiped out the entire army."
Mello whistled, impressed. "That wasn't me," he explained. "That was all Near."
"What?" Kenny deadpanned.
"He took all of the powers," Mello explained.
The look that Kenny gave him told him pretty flat out that Near wasn't supposed to do that.
"Shit," the brunette stated.
"Did he know he wasn't supposed to do that?" Mello asked.
"Yep," Kenny answered.
"Fucking Near," Mello groaned.
"No," Kenny laughed. "You're the one doing that."
He barely managed to dodge the pillow that Mello threw at him.
It was quite some time before Near awoke- another four or so hours. Quarrel finally came out of surgery but the doctors said everything was up to fate now, the next twenty-four hours were critical and they didn't know if he would live or die.
Mello instantly thought of Near and the brain tumor.
Did he still have it? Would he die if they went back to Mello's world? Mello didn't think he could handle Near dying again- especially now, after all of this.
He didn't want to lose him. And maybe that should have bothered him, but it didn't- which also should have bothered him, but didn't. Funny how people can change, isn't it?
Kenny had been right about Red freaking out. The redhead was pacing outside of Q's room, pulling all of his hair out and biting a hole through his lip. Kamariya didn't look half bad with shorter hair. The doctors said Seishi would be perfectly fine. Arret said he'd broken his arm before so it wasn't that big of an issue.
Mello was inwardly glad that no one had died.
No one had seen Kayen.
Amador stopped by to say hello and congratulations- to Mello, it was about this point that he realized that it was over and they could go home- he also told Mello that their connection had grown strong and was no longer torn. Mello of course didn't need Amador to tell him, but he supposed it was nice to hear.
When Near awoke he was extremely out of it. He lay there with his eyes half open for about half an hour before finally trying to get up. It was then that Kamariya noticed he was awake and called for Mello. She left them alone, closing the door behind herself.
"Hey," Mello greeted, sitting on the bed next to Near. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I haven't slept in tree years," Near replied.
"So normal, then?" Mello joked.
Near gave him a sleepy smile. "I'm not L."
"You look like it right now," Mello informed.
Near's response was to yawn, putting a hand over his mouth.
"I'm guessing since existence hasn't ended that Mello and I won?" Near asked.
Mello frowned. "Yes."
Near stared at him. "Why is Mello frowning?"
"Why did you take my powers away?" Mello questioned. "When you knew you weren't supposed to."
Near frowned as well. "Like I said… I couldn't do it without Mello. Mello was about to pass out and I couldn't think of anything else to do."
Mello sighed. "Still… oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter. We'll probably lose our powers anyway, when we go home."
"Yep," Near replied.
The albino fell back on the bed and Mello climbed over him, flopping down. The blonde cringed a little when Near curled up next to him, but he relaxed after a few moments.
"Did Mello really mean what he said?" Near asked.
"I did," Mello confirmed.
"So Mello loves me?" Near asked.
"Yep," Mello agreed. "But don't make me say it repeatedly."
"I wont," Near told him with a nod.
"Get some rest," Mello said. "You need it."
Near closed his eyes and fell right to sleep.
"He wants to go home?"
Kamariya gave him an annoyed look. "Well, considering you took on all ten powers yourself, I don't see a problem with it. But-" Her face was extremely serious. "He does know that you can't go home, right?"
Near nodded. "Yes. He knows."
"And he still wants to go home?"
She frowned. "You're lying."
Near kept his face straight. "He's told me many times that he doesn't want to stay here."
"But he doesn't know that you can't come with him!"
"Just send him home."
Kamariya groaned. "Fine. Fine. But only because I can't stand him."
Quarrel had lived. Mello was glad, as was Near- he was still very out of it, but the doctors said he should be fine. Red had disappeared into Q's room and hadn't come out.
"So we can go home?" Mello asked.
"Yep," Near replied.
"We should probably say good-bye to everyone," Mello hummed in uncertainty.
"I already did," Near informed.
"Oh," Mello breathed. "Okay."
"Kayen is going to send us home," Near informed as they started walking away from the room they had shared.
"Kayen?" Mello asked, remembering how the young boy had sent him into Near's dream.
"Mmhmm," Near nodded.
They walked quietly the rest of the way, until they had come to yet another large and empty room. Kayen stood in the middle alone, a sad smile across his young features.
"Hello white one," he greeted. "Dark one. Ready to return home?"
"Damn straight," Mello answered confidently, knowing he was more then ready to get out of this place.
With a small nod, Kayen turned around and lifted his hands. "This portal will lead you straight back to where you came from in your world, dark one," he informed as waves of magic began to swirl in front of him and slowly expanded, revealing a bedroom.
"Holy shit!" Came a voice from the other side of the portal.
"Matt?" Mello breathed, happy to hear that voice again.
Just as he was stepping through he felt two soft hands on his back, before a gentle push sent him stumbling to his knees. It was then all too obvious what Near was doing.
"No!" Mello protested, trying to get up. But it was too late- the portal was already closing.
The last words he heard from Near were, "I love you, Mello. I'm sorry."
He had, after all, promised Obi he would see her after he had saved the world. And that was exactly why he was back in that small little village he had started in, walking up and knocking on the little girl's front door. It didn't take long for her to answer, her pigtails bobbing and her face excited.
"It's the white one!" She told someone in the background.
"I told you I would come see you, Obi," he answered, stepping in as she pulled the door open.
"White one, I want you to meet my father!"
Near turned, facing the man standing off to his right. His voice dried up for a few seconds before he managed to breath out, "Oh, my…"
Notes: I know this chapter doesn't explain a lot of your questions… but I promise they'll all be explained in the sequel, which I am working on right now!