There were headaches.

So many headaches.

Matt would wake up in the middle of the night, crying his eyes out, grabbing his hair, screaming for whoever-- his mother, the nurse, mostly Mello--

and regardless of who Matt would be sobbing for, Mello would always go straight to his side. "You got another headache, huh? How bad?"

So, so bad.

Matt spent a lot of time in the infirmary, where the nurse would tenatively diagnose him with a great number of ailments. When it all came down to it, she was pretty sure that he was stressed. Or maybe a hypochondriac. Or maybe he just wanted attention.

The headaches would wear off and Matt would finally decide that he was okay to stand to up. He would slowly climb out of bed, onto his feet, and that's when the headrush came. Just as he started crashing to the ground, Mello caught him and put him back in his bed. "Don't stand up, okay? Don't stand up until you're completely better. Okay?"

Matt would wait and wait, but then the headaches would come back. Mello would sigh and guide him slowly back to their room.

The headaches would lead to crying.

The crying would often-times lead to vomiting.

The vomiting would always lead to pale skin stretched around weak bones. It led to a pathetic, almost nonexistant excuse for a human being trembling on the bathroom floor. At these moments, Mello would strip Matt of any and all dignity and carry his pitiful body back to the infirmary. The children would all see, but they wouldn't laugh.

It was a little bit funny when Mello was all worked up and looked mad enough to punch somebody.

But it wasn't funny when Mello actually looked like he was about to cry. (Even Near would stare and stare and stare at the two boys like he wanted to say something--)

Sometimes, Mello thought that Matt was going to die.

"Is he okay?" Mello would ask, at least ten times every hour.


"Is he going to be okay? Like, in the long run?"

"... I don't know. I don't even know what's wrong with him."

"Oh. Well."

One day, the nurse put her tiny hand on Mello shoulder and she said, "Mello, you're helping him more than I will ever be able to. ... Can you promise me that you'll always do that?"

Mello promised and then one day he ran away without even uttering a goodbye to Matt.

And Matt's headaches never really happened again.