Epilogue: The Los Angeles MM Case and other Loose Ends
Somewhere in the suburbs on the outskirts of LA, a crowd of children was playing a game of dodgeball in the street, yelling and jeering at each other in the excitement of the game. The sun was beginning to set, and all were determined to see that their team won before being called in to have dinner.
Parents began to yell names from the front porches of houses, and one by one the children trailed back to their respective homes. The game was put on hold, to be finished the following day.
Eventually only two children remained. They were best friends, and their parents tended to call them in later than the others. The younger of the two threw the abandoned dodgeball at his blond friend's head, laughing.
"Heads up, Michael!"
Michael turned, catching the ball and slinging it expertly back at the other. "You have to be faster than that, Matt!"
Michael Keen and Matthew Jennings had been best friends since they had first met, almost before they could remember. There was something that they saw in each other that most people didn't notice. What people did notice was that together, the two seemed invincible.
Matt stopped the dodgeball, sitting down on the curb at the side of the road. "We have to go back to school in a few days. Christmas break will be over and done with. No more time to play video games or hang out with you…"
"Nice to know I'm second to video games." Michael said sarcastically, sitting down next to him. "You're right though. Eighth grade sucks. I can't wait until we get to high school."
"Because after high school, we can take a trip around the world like we want, right?" Matt asked.
Michael punched the air. "Hell yes! I can't wait to see the world! I really want to go to Japan, or England. That would be awesome."
"Yeah. Japan feels, right, you know? So does England." Matt said. He was silent a moment. "Hey, Mel?"
"Do you ever get the feeling that you don't know everything about yourself?"
"What kind of a weird question is that?" Michael scoffed. "And why'd you call me 'Mel'?"
"That's part of it." Matt said. "You are Mel, somehow. I don't really know. But I feel like the answers are in Japan."
Michael rolled his eyes. He was never sure how to respond when Matt went all cryptic on him. But he was saved from replying by their parents calling them in to dinner.
"Bye, Matt! See you tomorrow!" Michael said, starting for his own house.
"G'night, Mel!" Matt called back, and Michael chuckled. Somehow, it did sound right to be called that. He looked back towards his house, where dinner was waiting with the promise of chocolate cake afterwards, and smiled.
In the small town of Winchester, England, a boy absently kicked his feet against the low wall he was sitting on. His brother looked up curiously from where he was seated on the ground, asking, "What's the matter?"
"Eh… Nervous about the book tour, I guess. I don't know how you can be so calm about it, Ryuzaki."
Ryuzaki laughed. "Alter, all we have to do is go out there, respond to fake names and questions, and act like big-shot writers. It's not that hard!" Ryuzaki and Alter Rue were siblings, and co-writers of a crime novel that was becoming wildly popular all over the world. Under the pseudonyms Beyond Birthday and After Always, they had gotten their book published. Alter was sixteen, and Ryuzaki just a year younger, and already they were at work on another story.
"It was a good idea…" Alter said absently. "Writing Personal Nightmare in alternating perspectives, and in tandem on the dialogue. You play a good serial killer, Ryu."
"It makes it like roleplay, where you just have to make sure you stay true to your character." Ryuzaki said, giggling. "And you make a damn good detective, Alter." They laughed, remembering some of their more memorable writing sessions, more than one of which their mother had interrupted. Well, when you heard your son yelling at the top of his voice, "I know you killed them!" logic dictated that you would go see what the matter was. Ryuzaki had been in the middle of responding when the door opened, and their mother was just in time to see him brandishing a pink plastic knife and declaring, "So what if I did?" They had a habit of acting out some of their more dramatic scenes before writing them down, and their mother eventually got used to it.
"So where is the book tour going, again?" Ryuzaki asked. Alter had been obsessing over the schedule for days.
"New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo… I can't think of any more off the top of my head." Alter replied. Ryuzaki leaned contentedly up against the wall.
"I want to see LA and Tokyo!" he declared. "This is going to be so much fun! We get to meet fans, and sign autographs, and be famous!"
Alter smiled. "You enjoy the spotlight far too much."
"What can I say? I'm an attention whore." Ryuzaki giggled.
"Definitely." Alter agreed. "I wonder sometimes the lengths you would go to get someone's attention."
"Not the ones our guy goes to." Ryuzaki said, referring to their character. "Even if I play a fabulous serial killer, I know murder is wrong."
Alter hugged him. "That's good, Ryu." He looked up at the sky for a moment, then grinned. "Japan will be fun, won't it, little brother? I heard that L was in Japan to solve the new Kira case. What if he comes to our book signing? What if L's read our book? That would be amazing!"
"We wouldn't know it's him. No one knows what he looks like." Ryuzaki smiled.
"He's probably some old guy." Alter said thoughtfully. "We should write about that next. A mystery person that everyone's trying to find, but he's right in front of them."
"Sounds like fun. I call being the mystery person!"
"Ryuzaki, no fair!"
"But I called it…! I wanna pretend to be L!"
Alter sighed. "Fine. You could probably pull it off, too." Ryuzaki grinned happily, and Alter sighed. His little brother had to be the most childish person on the face of the earth. But Alter loved him anyway, and together, their writing was magic. "So Ryu, did you see the other day in town? There's a fortune-teller in that little shop there on the corner. I think she just got to town."
"Yeah." Alter said. "She seems nice enough. I heard her name's Momi. Want to go get our fortunes told before we leave for Japan? Could be fun."
"Sure!" Ryuzaki said happily. "Maybe the future can tell us if we get to meet L!"
"Now you're just being silly…"
Taro Kagami walked slowly down the street, Ryuk at his heels.
"So what are you going to do?" the Shinigami asked. "You can still see the six of us. Won't that get to be a bother?"
"No." Taro said. "What if you told me stories about the past? Like Drevan's past, and the whole story of the original Kira? You could tell me Shinigami stories too!" He looked around. "Even if I were to write them down, people would see them as nothing but fiction. It might be fun to write about Shinigami and Death Notes. What do you think, Ryuk?"
"Heheheh… Well, it certainly wouldn't be boring." Ryuk said. "If you want to write that kind of stories, go ahead. I'll tell you some tales that will make your hair curl…"
Taro grinned, watching people on the street walk by. They could know, without actually knowing. Death Notes would be a fantasy to them, the whim of a childish mind. But if he could write the real story of the real Kira, with the information from the Shinigami who saw everything as it happened… That would be the coolest thing.
"An author, huh?" he mused, turning to grin at Ryuk. "Who would have thought?"
Everyone who asked about Mello, Beyond, or Matt, this is for you. :) And it also shows where Momi went, ne? Taro's future is based off the ending of the pilot chapter.
If you want to see the picture of Mello as a kid, it's in HTR13 on the opposite page from the one of Near as a grown-up.
I hope you all enjoyed this story. It's been a wild ride, definitely. I have two in the works actually, so check my profile on Saturday or so to see if I've gotten them up. There's a serious one and a silly one, so you can choose your poison. :)
Thank you, everyone who made it this far. I love you guys!
Love, hugs, cake, and strawberry jam!