Disclaimer: If you haven't established by THIS point in the story, after forty nine other disclaimers and my continued destruction of the character of Touta Matsuda, allow me to reiterate: I don't own this, I never will.

Note: Omg last chapter. Sorry for delay in updating (and to Sparrow for delays in more War Paint stuff)…real life has intervened a little. But here's Chapter 50. Full EPICALLY LONG note at the end where you can skip over it more easily :3


We Pick Ourselves Up

Prompt: 48. Soul

The warehouse has mostly emptied. A boy is sitting on the floor, twirling between his fingers a scrap of paper, covered in a tight scrawl and smears of blood. There may be someone else there, or there may be a number of people surrounding him. There may also be blood and bodies. He does not notice.

Outside the warehouse, it is not so still. The angel has flown away, it is shedding its red feathers so it should be easy to find, but it isn't. Perhaps the searchers are not looking that hard. Between them, there is an element of hesitation. He is wounded, if they leave him, he will die. And then it will not be their choice (will not be their fault) what happens to him.

They are uncertain, but for Matsuda, there is uncertainty about the uncertainty. If they find Light, what happens to him will be their fault. If they don't, it's only Matsuda to take the blame. His gun and his bullets make it his kill.

Whatever blame there is for catching Kira, anyway. But it's not like the world will know, so, really, it shouldn't bother him.

Later that night he has a dream, and in dreams everything is different so he doesn't make too much of what his dream-self is feeling. The feelings are horrible, a twisted mixture of anger and devastation, and he's glad when he jolts awake. But then he wakes up properly, and he can't excuse it as a dream anymore, because it's still there.

Days pass.

Matsuda fumbles for coffee and burns toast. He rubs his eyes a couple of times and takes some pills (he isn't too sure what) and tries the whole thing again from the start. It works better but he takes his time with it anyway. He tells himself to be careful but really it's to use up time, because he's just worked out that he doesn't know what he's going to do for the rest of the day. Everything is over, slammed shut and locked up, and everything that isn't will be taken care of by Near anyway.

He is tired.

He meanders around the kitchen a bit more, and then grabs his coat. Whenever he was unsure of what do to next he would ask the Chief, but that's not an option anymore so he goes to the NPA because it's as close as he's going to get. Aizawa and Ide and Mogi are there, and he thinks they know what they're meant to be doing but when he looks again they look just as uncertain, just as afraid. Aizawa's saying something but Matsuda, he just stares at him, and he can't work out how to change the sounds coming out of the older man's mouth into something intelligible. Aizawa steers him back the way they came.

They sit in a café. It's too expensive for breakfast and Matsuda isn't hungry, but they make him eat. Aizawa seems to be the most awake, and Matsuda just doesn't understand any of them anymore.

He hasn't dreamt again. He thinks he probably will, though, once he's caught up on four years of lost sleep. He's so, so tired. He doesn't think about Kira. He can't.

Of the three people sitting around him, all know him very well and none are stupid. They notice the glassiness in his eyes, and the fact that his hair sticks up at odd angles and hasn't been washed. They can tell why. In parts of themselves, they feel the same. They know, though, that they don't feel it so keenly.

So they stand up, and pay the bill for Matsuda's uneaten pancakes as well as their own. Ide keeps up a constant stream of chatter while Aizawa drives and talks to Mogi in a low voice. They go to Aizawa's, because it's the biggest and his kids are at school at this time of the day. His wife smiles and fixes drinks, and Ide and Aizawa look at each other across the table.

It will be hard, but they'll get past this. The hardest part will be Matsuda, picking him up and pulling him through and making him go on, making him get past it.

Somehow, though, they'll manage.


..I used the anime ending instead of the manga ending. It allows for more movement even though I personally find the manga ending MOAR EPIC. And there's like fifty other reasons why I prefer it but we don't need another Bialy rant.

Ah, I can't believe this thing is finished! Sorry for making you guys wait for the last chapter, and sorry if it's a bit of a let down. I had this idea planned for a while and I think it turned out okay. Essentially what I wanted to get across was…angst with some hopefulness at the end? Story of Matsuda's life, the way I end up writing him XD

Now, time for some thank-yous. I love all of you who've reviewed and all of you've who've read this far, but some of you have been reviewing every few chapters, not just the once, and some have been reviewing practically every chapter. As such, this thing has gathered up over 170 reviews. It's the first relatively large fanfic project I've undertaken and to get this kind of response is amazing. On a personal note, it's boosted my confidence and given me the initiative to make 'positive changes' in my life, as well as letting me find some great people to chat and write with.


Kudatsuo-chan: thank you for being my first reviewer, and for keeping on reviewing right up to now (even though you have an abysmally busy schedule). Fic is dedicated to you, my friend!

Gamecrazy 25: you've managed to review almost every chapter, I think, from when you started reading, even when I've been talking to you through PMs and there's nothing to say about the chapter.

Dattebayo Girl: you were one of my first readers! You've reviewed and offered up a ton of great anecdotes XD Thank you so much for sticking with this even though it's not really as humorous as you seem to like things usually. I take it as a compliment!

Volital: my dear, you're insane, and your reviews have always made me grin. Hope you and Alyssa have enjoyed XD

Sonar: you've been providing my with ideas and challenges all the way along, so a good portion of this fic is probably thanks to you. Your reviews have been great and I've had so much fun with the stuff you've suggested, thank you!

Death to pink: you even reviewed this when you were one holidays, thank you! I loved reading and replying to your reviews, you always had so much to say.

Morne: you managed to leave such epically long reviews, I think some of your reviews might have actually been longer than the chapters o.O They were so much fun to read and I've loved debating and discussing Death Note with you - I don't get that opportunity much!

Luinramwen: I loved your reviews! You commented on what you liked and it was so nice to read. Thanks so much for keeping on with this thing!

Canderjack, Maelstrom Sparrow and bookthehobbit, thanks go to you too for repeated reviewing :D And Sparrow, I PROMISE to get more War Paint to you soon.

O…kay. My authors note ran WAY on there, but it's the last chapter so just excuse me for it? I've had so much fun writing this and I hope you've liked reading it.

Now…I haven't really asked for reviews much all the way along, but I'm going to now: if you've read this from chapter one to chapter fifty, please let me know. You don't have to say much or write a length critique or anything, but if you've enjoyed it, I'd love you forever if you just left a note letting me know! Especially interested if you had a favourite chapter :D

Anything else you guys want to see, let me know. My collab with Sparrow (War Paint), Occupational Hazards, and a new story In Passing will be continued/started, along with…well, whatever.

This story here is done.