Okay, this is the last bit.
Just thought I'd leave a note to say that this chapter is at the top of the teen bracket, so those of you who get squeamish about these things look away (and those who have an odd fetish for that sort of this, go ahead and read on!)
It's exactly one week ago, and Matt is lying, shirtless, on the crumpled bed of some cheap Tokyo hotel. A fan rotates lazily on the ceiling, wafting the last dregs of his cigarette smoke into the corners of the room. It mingles with his piles of surveillance equipment. Every screen is on. Blank, blue, waiting.
Mello still isn't home.
He must have dozed, because the next thing he knows it's dark outside and someone is thumping around in their tiny plastic kitchen. He hears the thunk of the fridge door opening and closing, then the sharp crackle of chocolate wrapping being ripped back. Finally, he hears a quick snap, like a broken neck, and a deep, gratified groan that reverberates right down into the pit of his stomach.
"Mell?" He asks, his voice slurred with sleep. The kitchen door opens and a familiar figure lounges onto its frame. Even beneath cheap lights, with his livid scars and slept-in clothes, Mello is beautiful. Matt watches him raise his bar of chocolate to his lips, all-too-aware of the fact that that movement causes his tight leather vest to ride up, exposing a tantalising inch of white flesh.
Matt's blood begins to tingle.
Mello catches the look and, narrowing his eyes only slightly, pauses, with the chocolate bar held inches from his lips. Slowly, watching Matt intently, he draws his tongue along the length of it, careful to take in every contour, smiling as he does so. The flash of white teeth makes Matt's heart stutter, then hammer like a drum.
"Mmmm…" His groan is barely audible but Mello hears it anyway. With another vampire grin, he pushes himself off the doorframe and sashays into the room, giving Matt time to appreciate the swing of his hips, his long legs, his chiselled chest.
The bed creaks as he crawls onto it, making his way up until he perches directly above Matt. The crucifix that he always wears swings down from his slender neck, dangling between them, fracturing the light of the room into a thousand rainbow rays.
Matt is bewitched. He lies there, barely daring to move, to breathe; every atom of him drawn to this vision, this miracle. An angel bending over him, smiling, dressed in the very colour and texture of sin.
With another grin, the 'angel' lowers himself a little, so that his lower half is poised perfectly, just above the fly of Matt's jeans.
This concentrates his attention wonderfully.
"Did you miss me, Matt?" Mello croons, lowering himself another tiny fraction. Matt gasps and squirms. His hands itch to move, to reach out, to touch, but he knows that Mello always has to make the first move. The handcuffs in the drawer by the bed are there for a reason, after all.
"M-Mello…" so much for being the masculine one; his voice is almost cracked with need. It's been ages since they did this; Mello never does things by halves, which means no sex on missions. Ever.
The heavens must be smiling on him today. Either them, or Kira. It's hard to tell who's god and who isn't any more.
"You're always so obedient, you know that?" he dips his head so that his lips almost, almost, touch Matt's. At the last minute he pulls away, moving instead to the line of his jaw, leaving a trail back to his earlobe, then down along his jugular vein. As he descends, his kisses become harder, the lips drawing back to expose his teeth. Matt whimpers and writhes beneath him, almost mad with pleasure.
"Do you want to touch me?" Mello asks, as though with idle curiosity. His mouth is now on Matt's collarbone. Matt jerks his head 'yes', his breath bursting out in gusts. His vision is starting to mist over.
Yes Mello. Yes oh yes oh Yes.
"Go on then..." Mello purrs, straightening up so that their faces are parallel again, their breath mixing, hot, in the stifling air. –
Matt blinked and the vision dissipated. Suddenly the real Mello was standing in front of him, standing close… very close. He has to tilt his head back to see, his lipsslightly parted, a flush decorating his bony cheeks.
His hands reached out, craving the warmth of Mello's skin, the curve in the small of his back, the point of his shoulder, the soft hairs on the back of his neck…
…but again they are turned away. Matt groaned in frustration. The only thing more powerful than his drive to hold Mello was the supernatural entity turning him away. He would give anything to overcome it right now, anything…
Suddenly Mello stiffened, an idea zinging through his head so bright that it made Matt's own head spin and his hair stand on end.
"I know why I can't touch you." Mello whispered suddenly. "It's because you're not dead."
"You're not dead." Mello stepped back, looking Matt up and down. "Yet. You're…more solid…look, compare our arms." He held out a hand. Sure enough, the mist seemed to swirl through Mello's skin, but curled around Matt's, as though only the latter had enough substance to part it.
"I figured it had to be you." Mello was saying. "The Death Note's a pretty foolproof way to die and, in all the memories we've been having, you've been the one with the strongest influence on them. You've got the strongest connection to them. To earth."
"And here was me thinking philosophy was your least favourite subject."
"Still got an A though, didn't I?" Mello wrinkled his nose. "The main issue is to figure out what's still holding you to the ground. What's keeping you alive."
"You make it sound like we need hunt it down and destroy it." Matt said. "Maybe I don't want to die yet."
"Matt, if you came round you'd probably be executed anyway for aiding Kira." Mello's voice was frank, uncompromising. "Near's probably caught him by now. The bastard. But that's not my real point." He stepped closer again. "Matty, the reason why you're here is probably because something helping you to live…I saw you on that screen. You took twenty-whatever bullets. No one walks away after that."
"I know." Matt's voice was little more than a hoarse whisper. His eyes stung, his chest aching as though something was pulling it apart from the inside. Distantly, he realised that he could hear the sound of his heartbeat. Something about it seemed odd; mechanical almost, and very weak.
His heart is keeping him grounded.
His heart is dragging him down.
The words are whispered. He wasn't sure whether he said it, or Mello, or something else entirely, but every fibre of his being melted at the sound of them.
Matt had always been obedient, after all.
The steady beat began to fade, shrinking to a distant pound, then a soundless pulse, getting slower and slower and slower…
His vision was starting to blur, the hard lines of his body softening, like watercolours on an artist's palette. He looked across at Mello and saw that he too was dissolving, his shape now more a mass of colour and light than solid flesh.
"Matty?" What remained of Mello's mouth moved, the voice it created echoing strangely, as though already spoken over a great distance. "Matty, I think I'm going."
"Wait." He stepped forward without thinking, his arms, spun half from whatever essence made him Matt, half from the white mist, reaching out in front of him. "I'm coming with you."
"Good old Matty." Mello murmured. "Following me again. One last time."
"Where are we going?"
"You know what? I don't know." Mello's laugh was like sunshine, though Matt couldn't hear it, not properly, he felt it seep through him, warming him to his very core. "I guess we'll find out when we get there."
Mello stretched out a hand, and Matt, with only the slightest pause, took it.
This time there is no repulsion, no strange force keeping them apart. They melted together, one mind, one heart, one soul, and as they did the mist rose up around them, fresh and sparkling like ocean spray. They leaned together, their foreheads touching, their eyes fluttering closed. And then, just before everything dissolved completely, and things like time and boundaries cease to matter, Matt whispered four more words, one last time.
"Mello." He said. "I love you."
Dr Mizaki sat at the bottom of the hospital bed, staring for one last time at the face of the curious, still nameless, boy. It had been two weeks now, nearly three, and with no papers, no parents and no improvement….
With a small shudder, she took the clipboard from its familiar place, hugged against her chest, and set it aside. Her hands huddled in her empty lap. Small, white, helpless.
Shizuka, one of the junior doctors who hadn't yet learned any better, stood ready by the life support machine. She had a quiet face, but a hard one, and she was waiting for Dr Mizaki.
All it would take was a nod.
Silence. Dr Mizaki looked up sharply, her eyes flying to Shizuka, who was staring in bewilderment at the machine beside the bed. The tiny green line, which had chronicled the heartbeat so faithfully until this moment, now lay flat, emitting a low, dead, tone.
"I…I don't understand!" Shizuka was saying, her small hands fussing over the instruments, checking dials, tapping screens, switching buttons. "All the machines are working fine but, but-"
"He's gone." Dr Mizaki murmured. Her hands, which had formed a tense ball in her lap, suddenly relaxed, falling outwards like the petals of a flower. "He's finally at peace."
"But Doctor, the machines-"
"Sometimes, Shizuka," Dr Mizaki said "Machines are not the only answer." She got to her feet, picking up her clipboard and tucking it beneath her arm. As she turned to go, she caught sight of the face of her patient, and felt something soften deep inside her chest. It was only slight, and doubtless could be explained away as the effects of the scarring or a trick of the eye but…when she looked at that face, she could have sworn the lips were curved up ever so slightly, in a final, quiet smile.
The boy had made his choice.
He was at peace.