And what happened... took Matt and Mello completely by surprise. No one said a word to them, and they said nothing in return. They didn't even stop until they'd reached Matt's car.

"That's it?"

"I figured you didn't want a going-away party, what with your being a fugitive and all." House tapped the side of Matt's car with his cane. A little more paint chipped off. "That, and I've met enough of the potential invitees already."

Matt was almost dumbstruck. He lit a cigarette and forgot to take a drag. Without saying another word, he climbed into the car and turned on the ignition. The engine roared.

Mello opened the door on the passenger side, but stopped before getting in.

"Dr. House, what are you going to tell them? The other doctors, I mean. Is there going to be a report?"

"I'm going to tell them the same thing I'm telling you. Don't ask so many stupid questions." He pulled a chocolate bar out of his pocket, and handed it to the former John Doe.

Mello took it with suspicion, but couldn't stop a thin smile from appearing on the good side of his face.

"Thank you."

Mello climbed into the car, and whispered something to Matt. The car pulled out of the parking lot, and disappeared under the highway.

By the time House got back to his office, there was a file on his computer about the Kira case. It contained everything Matt and Mello knew about the victims and how they really died. It told about the Death Note, how it worked and how Kira used it to commit murder. It even contained contact information, if someone was smart enough to figure out that's what it was from the heavily encrypted line of code Matt had left at the bottom.

House would have dismissed it all as complete nonsense had it not been for one thing – Mello had gotten away. Nobody at the hospital knew his true name or his true identity. House could lie on the report and craft any story he wanted to. The young men didn't have to do anything to save their skins, and yet they hacked into the hospital's computer network to deliver information that at least a dozen secret government agencies would be jealous of.

Of course, House read the entire report, and then took out the new phone that Wilson had bought for him. He pushed a series of numbers, and to his surprise, it rang.

Mello just smirked. There was a lot he had to catch up on, including a secret meeting with Linder and a little rendezvous with Near. But there was plenty of time to take the call.

"Congratulations. I see you read my report." Mello answered cockily, breaking a chocolate bar in his teeth. Now it was House's turn to be dumbstruck. "So, you've been cataloging Kira's heart attack victims for the past five years? I want to know any and all commonalities they share, not just medical ones, plotted against time. That'll tell us when the notebook changed hands, and help us track it down again. I'll give you a few days to work and check back in. In the meantime, try to keep this our little secret."

For the first time, the doctor didn't have a ready answer. The silence was almost humbling. Mello couldn't help but grin.

"Oh, and welcome aboard, H."

Yes, the case was one step closer to being solved…