A/N: OK, I know what all of you are thinking. Is she updating DEALTHY? I thought it ended. Well, it did. But, the reason I'm adding on this one-shot here to the completed story is that I thought it would make more sense to be attached to it rather than be its own separate story like "Visits" was. Also, yes, I admit that I "borrowed" this idea from 28 Days Later. If you have not seen that movie, you should. Best zombie flick ever.
A "What If"
"Matt, no!" I cried out, bursting out of the cherry red Mustang convertible with no regard to what possibly could have happened.
I must have been foolish to ignore his demand to stay in the car. But, bluntly speaking, I didn't give a damn as long as he was safe, as long as the Kira supporters' bullets didn't touch him.
"Wait, hold your fire!" one of them barked out. "I don't know who this girl is!"
By that time, I had thrown myself on top of Matt's body, a bullet grazing my shoulder. I winced but was surprised to see he wasn't bleeding.
For, in fact, the Kira supporters had barely started firing at him before this pause. Oh, thank God. I breathed out a sigh of glorious relief, feeling fortunate that we had this reprieve. Despite the painful bullet that lodged itself deep in my shoulder, I hoped all would be well.
Matt chuckled, yet his eyes glared at me. "V, you crazy bitch. I told you to stay in the car."
"I know but..." My eyes stung from what could have occurred instead. "I didn't want you to die. I love you."
His beautiful, luminous green eyes softened. "I love you, too."
The remaining tenseness in his face (he was surely stressed over protecting me) dissipated, making him appear more angelic. He was so exquisitely beautiful for a man that yes, I could be in such an intense moment as this and still be quite swept away by it. Not to mention this marked the first time he said those three words aloud, even as a reply.
I was ready to be immersed in this comforting warmth when Matt's wiry yet strong arms wrapped around me. Unluckily for me, I'd forgotten about just how severe my shoulder wound was. I bit back a scream.
Matt automatically let go with a concerned expression. "V...What is it? Oh shit...You hurt?"
"It's merely my shoulder, Matt. No need to panic," I assured him in my cool voice of rationale.
All the while, I sensed a light, dizzying sensation in my head. It was as though I saw stars or dots float before my eyes. I had gravely underestimated my injury.
His gloved fingers tentatively touched my right shoulder, which was beginning to dully throb with pain. "Are you kidding? It's a big deal. I know you care about me, V, but I'm not worth your life."
I gritted my teeth in response to this and the horrid agony I was under. "Yes, you bloody are. You don't even know..."
Damn. I felt decidedly faint now, shadows starting to surround me. A purple prose way to say I was heading to blacking out. Out of sorrow, I sighed due to wondering if I would die. My urgent instinct to save Matt from the maniacal, fanatical Kira supporters could not result in my death. I refused to let it end this way.
I saw the fear in his eyes. "V, hold on. Just hold on. Please."
No matter how much he pleaded and no matter how much I attempted to fight my dizziness, I inevitably lost consciousness. Dear God no...
Deepest black turned into blinding white when I finally opened my eyes. The air had the distinct smell of hospital, one of which wasn't too pleasant, I can assure you. Very slowly, I blinked to ensure my wakefulness and that I was still alive. I breathed evenly enough. It was a miracle that I managed to be taken here without the supporters reopening their fire.
Hopefully, our mission had been accomplished, therefore avenging my brother's death. Though quite honestly, it would truly be so if Light was dead. As much as I usually didn't wish death on anybody...
It was at that moment I glanced Matt sitting in a chair right by my hospital bedside. This endearing image made me smile, touched to the core.
Once he observed that I was awake, he returned my smile with his trademark easygoing grin. He leaned over and touched my cheek.
"Hey, Princess Zelda," he murmured, his warm touch making my heart race.
"Oh, there you go again with your ridiculous nicknames," I feigned scoffing, yet I couldn't resist a giggle.
Now, I could fully relax with him there, the calming force in my life, one of the precious few constants. Was this the man who had been reduced to a fearful boy before I faded out of consciousness? I didn't think this out of disdain (of course not) but of a genuine worry. His fear was my fear. We shared feelings at this stage.
Sure enough, his face turned into that oddly serious expression I rarely ever saw there as he placed his other gloved hand on my face. I knew that he loved me in the truest way anyone could love another. It was sweet and not a big epiphany. The knowledge came gently, as though it decided to take up residence deep in my soul. And my heart.
"I thought I was gonna lose you," Matt whispered. "You really scared the hell out of me, you know. Yeah, just your shoulder, but it was bad. I was relieved when they told me they got the whole bullet out."
When he told me with brutal honesty how precarious my situation had been, I was convinced that I had made too much of a dismissal of being hurt. I was so self-sacrificing to the extent that I cared little about myself and more about him. Good thing that he hadn't a mark on him. However, I swore I saw his eyes well up with tears.
His hands gripped my face slightly. "I don't ever want to lose you. Not because of this case that's been with us everywhere. It would be...a waste...You mean a lot to me. I was so scared when you blacked out...so scared..."
He kissed me passionately on the lips then. He was wonderful.
I felt immense love for him, partially out of gratitude that he'd stayed faithfully near me. After all, he could have easily gone after Mello to help with the plan to herald Kira's downfall. Instead, he remained in hospital with me, which spoke much of his character. He could be comical but noble all at once.
Yet, I didn't wish to see him falling apart in front of me. I would be loath to be the reason for his tears. For, one trailed down his cheek.
"Matt," I said softly, wiping it away. "Come closer. Just hold me."
Matt tentatively settled onto the cot next to me (ah...we'd only shared a bed on a few occasions for strictly sleeping) and wrapped his arms around me.
Cuddling against him, I could feel the ebb and flow of his breathing and the steady beating of his heart. His kind, caring heart that was the purest gem and a good influence on me as a person. When I moved slightly back from him to study his face, I found that he smiled faintly.
"That's more like it." I touched his lips. "I always thought you were handsome, especially with your smile."
My opinion seemed to give him pleasure because he chuckled, shook his head, but blushed all the same. "V, you know how to flatter a guy."
Aw, so modest! It was as though he never thought too much of his appearance, so that probably caused him to adapt that slovenly look. If that disarray was intended to make him look any less handsome, then he failed miserably in my eyes. For, my breath would catch in my throat whenever I saw his disheveled red bangs fall across his green eyes just so. There was something so inexplicably beautiful about it.
No wonder I fell in love with him.
"Well," he muttered, pressing his forehead to mine, "I think you're beautiful. I don't like applying the word 'hot' here. 'Beautiful' fits you."
I was touched until I almost cried. "Really?"
"Yeah." Matt proceeded to carefully remove his gloves, revealing pale, soft hands with suitably long fingers. "Of course. Those big dark eyes, that skin, that dark shiny hair...God, you're amazing."
I knew that it must have been a great indicator of how healthy our relationship was, how attractive we found each other. As it turned out, our admiration for one another was pure. As pure as if we were still young schoolchildren at Wammy's.
I shuddered happily when I felt his warm fingers on my jawline. "Ah, that feels good. This makes this hospital trip almost worth it. Why'd you wait so long?"
"Just was waiting for the right moment," he told me. "I always wanted to touch you without my gloves on. I didn't know when to do it, though. It was almost as big a deal as with the goggles. Remember?"
I giggled from the silly, sweet memory. "How can I forget? It was a perfect evening. With a perfect man."
Smiling softly, Matt kissed me again, only with less needy desperation than before. His lips were longing but gentle, soft, like pillows. His fingers moved up from my jawline and landed lightly on my cheeks.
They rubbed circles against my skin, and I found that my back arched slightly to his touch, which seemed to ignite something each time I felt it. My own lips twitched into a peaceful smile while we kissed. Then, reluctantly, we stopped.
"So, how long was I out?" I inquired curiously, wondering how bad it had been. After all, I could only imagine the pain I'd unintentionally put Matt through.
He grinned wanly. "It's five o'clock in the evening now."
Oh, wow. Not good. Nearly twelve hours or so. I looked him in the eyes, noting that they were bleary and a bit bloodshot.
Concerned regarding the condition of his eyes and his deviance from his two usual habits (smoking, which wouldn't be allowed in here anyway, and video game playing), I cradled his smooth cheek in my hand.
"I'm sorry for giving you so much trouble. For ultimately being the burden I certainly didn't want to be."
One of his hands lowered and grasped mine. "Don't worry about it. I'm normally not an emotional guy, but I care about you, you know? You're my girl, and you're worth a lot of trouble. And you being a burden? Not hardly. V, I'm always going to be here for you. I'm not leaving."
I let out a shaky, emotionally charged sigh as I nuzzled my head against his shoulder.
Not too many people find their true love early in life. I was so fortunate to meet mine after digging up his missing Nintendo 64 cartridge. What was more, Matt had proven himself as an incredible boyfriend whose heart was near golden. He loved me full-heartedly, and with the solemn way he professed his devotion at this moment, I knew it would be the forever kind. He made me whole...not to be cliché.
"I'll never leave you," I promised, my eyes filling up. "I don't want to."
In spite of the slightly uncomfortable medical bandage on my shoulder, I curled my body close to his. After this day, the day where Kiyomi Takada's bodyguards almost killed us, I learned just how grateful I was to have Mail Jeevas in my life. And also how much I loved him, completely, hopelessly adored him.
"I'm glad you don't. Because I wanna stay with you for a long time. You're stuck with me whether you like it or not, V," he declared with a Cheshire Cat grin and a short chuckle.
"What if they try to kick you out when visiting hours are over?"
He winked. "Screw them. I'll tell 'em I'm holding you hostage."
Of course, this made me laugh.
We found out that Mello managed to survive our mission too, though that had hung by a vicarious thread. He later told us, shortly after I'd been released from hospital, that a gut instinct saved him. A premonition of sorts that his mercy toward Takada would cost him.
As much as he wished greedily to steal the glory from Near and take Yagami down, he hesitantly resolved to escape while he still could. He couldn't risk his life any more times that day, especially what he discovered while cruising by an electronics store. It was all over the news that Takada's bodyguards attempted shooting at us.
Alleviation lifted a weight off me when I was told our true names weren't revealed. Of course not. We were only known in the media as a "young man and young woman", ironically touted as the Japanese Bonnie and Clyde. This tickled Matt's fancy.
"Hm...Next up, we should rob a bank." He smirked.
I hit him upside the head. "Shut your trap, Matt. We just barely got out of trouble. How soon we forget, eh?"
He affectionately ruffled my hair. "Just joking. And I remember."
There had been that mature pensiveness in his eyes at the likely thought that I could have died. Mello went on to inform us that for certain, Light was dead. Near had contacted him to give that news...
"And that bastard, I swear, was all smug about it." Our blond friend rolled his eyes. "Even though it's not like he killed him. That Matsuda idiot was apparently the one who shot the shi—"
"He's not an idiot, and I say good for him!" I cut in staunchly, sticking up for my old colleague. He did have his shining moment then.
"Yeah, I gotta agree with V on that one." Matt grinned. "I would give kudos to anybody who took Kira down. Even Near."
Mello frowned. "You're a great friend, Matt. A real pal."
"Oh, get over it, Mello. You were always too impulsive."
I attempted to stifle my laughter, but I ended up letting it out anyway.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noted that Matt's eyes softened before he joined in. Mello smirked but still had his arms firmly crossed. Overall, though, we could all breathe that collective sigh of relief now that Light died. No more would there be a Kira justifying his senseless killings.
I figured that L smiled on that day, a wry quirk to his lips and pleased that his murderer was taken out of the global picture. For the first time in a long time, the three of us could be at ease. No more frenzied Kira worshippers would try to annihilate us either. It felt almost eerie that we were so safe.
In a bittersweet way, however, we no longer lived together. Mello chose to settle in LA, loving the laid-back lifestyle and the world of tattoos, large crowds, and fast motorcycles. Of course. Once I reflected on it, that particular city suited him so well.
Matt and I, after some deliberating, stayed in Tokyo since he wished to pursue video game testing. We compromised that maybe after two or so years there, we would return to England. As much as I loved the sights and sounds of populous Tokyo, I'd always ached for my home.
The next two years did pass in this manner, with the two of us in our blossoming, happy boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Matt would earn enough money to get by, and thanks to L's will, I was practically set for life. Obviously, we didn't want to live totally off my funds.
I mentioned something about being a burden again, but God bless him, he assured me that I was worth it. No matter what.
A few, short days before my twenty-second birthday, Matt suggested that we return to Winchester, to see how the orphans fared. I jumped at the opportunity and agreed. When we got there on June 10th, we didn't go to the small town right away but explored London again.
We went window shopping despite Matt's blatant reluctance to do so, and we passed a jewelry store. A 10-karat diamond ring surrounded by sapphires caught my eye. Shaking my head at my folly, I moved on, glancing over at Matt.
He stood on the sidewalk, pretending to be a mannequin, all stiff and expressionless. I giggled, jokingly called him a tosser, and dragged him away.
On the 12th, we visited the orphans, also being hailed as heroes by all the admiring little ones. And this batch was indeed young! Their precociousness caused them not to look at me, the sister of world-renowned L Lawliet, as an object of envy. Rather, they admired me not only for my blood but also for the fact I'd played a role in bringing down a loathed villain. Those children flocked around Matt and me, wanting the whole story.
"Not G-rated, kids, so it ain't a good idea," my boyfriend told them.
"Exactly, we'd hate to make you all cry," I gently teased.
Thus, finally, I had been accepted at Wammy's House, the orphanage where I'd been constantly rejected on a daily basis. As for my boyfriend, he received more admiration from the residents than he ever had before.
When we waved goodbye to the kids, a few of them gave us hugs. A maternal instinct was brought out in me then, causing me to wonder if I could be a good mother. Maybe...
Matt looked at me fondly when he noticed me enfolding my arms around some of the kids. Every glance he bestowed to me, every tender smile, could make my heart skip a beat. For nostalgia's sake, we decided to take a walk on the grounds. It was early evening by that time, around fifteen minutes til five.
We spoke about how much Wammy's had changed yet what stayed the same. Roger, the old codger, remained head of the place. He'd been at the door when we initially arrived, staring at us in his usual condescendence.
What to do for a replacement...That would be a decision for me to reach, since L was connected the most to Watari. Quillish Wammy. At the very least, despite Roger ("Roger the Codger", the children agreed with me), the orphans were still gifted, still genius. There would be no shortage of detectives in the world. Or no shortage of artists.
When I remarked upon this, Matt said, "Well, you should go back to your music."
The piano...Was it still up there, in my old dormitory? I had never ventured to ask or to search for it. I bit my lip in thought.
He then clasped my hand in both his gloved ones. "You're a really good singer, V. A great piano player. Your voice is beautiful, too. You should use your talent, show it off, you know?"
I blushed shyly. "Perhaps...If people are more receptive to it than the children were at Wammy's. I can recall their glares. They silently said, 'Oh, shut up'."
"Hung up on that still?" One of his eyebrows was raised.
A bit perplexed that we even remotely discussed this, I murmured, "Come now, Matt, if music had been your passion, then these brats decided that your singing shouldn't be heard in class, it's safe to—"
Quite abruptly, Matt pulled me down to lay next to him on the crisp green grass, a playful glint in his eye. I was startled and had to recover from the thumpthumpthump of my rapidly beating heart.
"Sing for me, V," he whispered half-seductively, half-earnestly. "I haven't heard you sing in forever. Please?"
I took a deep breath and then, "'Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better'..."
Admittedly, the very first song I could think of. I knew a ton more Beatles songs than that, but this was the one I'd heard on classic rock radio last. While I softly sang, I observed Matt closing his eyes, calmly enjoying the moment. A loving smile played on his lips.
"I would love to marry someone with a voice like that," he confided in a seemingly idle way. As though those words meant nothing, just hollow.
My eyes dilated immensely, the singing stopped. "What?"
His arms encircled me as he murmured, "Marry me. I can't wait ten damn years, I changed my mind about that. I'm so in love with you, hell, it hurts."
I couldn't...I could barely process...Was he being serious? I studied his eyes vigorously, seeing in them an optimistic glimmer. A confident grin showed through on his face. I swore the Death Note was still in existence, because I assumed a heart attack struck me.
Matt caressed my face as he continued, "I want you to stay with me for a long time. So you can cook my dinner, wash the dishes, do my laundry..."
I laughed, a sound of utter joy. "How tempting."
"But, seriously"—his grin faded—"I love you, and I want to be with you. We were meant for each other, V. You and me forever. What do you say?"
He almost appeared unsure then, because he hadn't heard a proper response from me yet. A lump of emotion obstructed my throat, and I felt the happy tears rising.
"Yes," I whispered, grabbing a hold of his neck. "Of course, a million times, yes. I'm so...I'm so bloody happy right now, I can scarce contain myself."
Running a hand through my hair, he told me, "I haven't even gotten to the best part yet. I got something for you."
He sat up, rummaged around in a vest pocket, and procured a small velvet box.
What was inside, though, surely could not be that one specific...But, it was! There it rested in the silk interior, the exquisitely cut 10-karat ring with the size diamond and the smaller sapphire insets close by.
"Oh my God..." The tears streamed down my face. "How did—?"
"I saw you looking at it right before you looked at me. So, I had to fake being a mannequin to not seem a bit...ah, I don't know...suspicious."
I practically hurled myself upon him, nearly tackling him back down to the ground in the process. This was unarguably the most worthwhile birthday of my life.
"Then, you surely must know I wanted to get married as well," I whispered in his ear.
"Yeah, and you acted like you thought I didn't want to." He chuckled dryly. "But, I'd never go off on you. I can be committed. There's no one else for me out there. I'm too lazy to go out searching anyway. It's you."
Very undignified, with us being sprawled out on the grass, we kissed so passionately, so fervently, that it probably put all our other kisses to shame. Entranced by each other, we held on to each other tenderly. I managed to remove his goggles, for I wanted this moment to be special. Well, ten times more than it was already.
Sure enough, I could clearly see a light that danced in his sparkling emerald eyes.
The wedding was quite simple with Mello both serving as best man and the one to give me away. It was all so hilarious that the two of us, happy to be married indoors (in Wammy's, of course), we could barely stop laughing.
Very unorthodox, but Matt did slap on a handsome tuxedo and me an elegant white gown. Our minister came in the form of a man Mello brought in from LA ("Sometimes, you never know that your neighbor got ordained online til you ask," the blond pointed out).
Oh, so delightfully funny, and yet I couldn't help but feel it summed us up well. We were always ones to deviate from the normal since, quite frankly, there'd never been the true existence of that word for us. Any of us.
Shortly after the quickie ceremony, one orphan named Daryl led us to a tent outside that managed to get Roger the Codger's seal of approval. Apparently, he went out of his way to do one nice thing for us. So, fortunately, there was a fun reception that followed with some interesting song choices. Selected by the orphans, of course, though Matt had picked out two.
"Dear Prudence", dedicated to me. That gesture was so romantic that I tried in vain not to cry. As for the song we danced to, he chose "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. Who knew that my husband could have such a sappy yet romantic side?
Mello didn't partake much in the festivities, only standing in the background with the closest thing to a smile on his face. His two best friends married. Oh, how much we'd all grown up!
At one point, when we stopped to talk to him, Matt declared, "It's not official yet, man, but you're going to be the godfather of Matt Jr.!"
"Looking forward to it." The chocoholic only smirked complacently.
When we heard "Space Oddity" coming on just then, we burst out laughing. Oh, those orphans, and their obscure setlist.
And later that night, when all the excitement had died down, the two of us made love for the first time. Initially, I was skeptical of this occurring. What if it hurt too much?
But, no, this was with the man I loved. It resulted in something beautiful, precious beyond anything I'd ever imagined. I can't even describe it in a word somewhat crass-sounding like "sex." It was that perfect, a true love consummated and fully realized. I would forever remember it, I vowed to myself.
The years have passed in our lovely home that's twenty minutes outside of London in an idyllic suburb. I am now a thirty-two-year-old married mother. For, I doubt Matt and I would ever divorce, unlike other couples.
However, our home life is the one thing normal about us. Matt legally changed his name to Matt Jeevas a year after we got married.
"I mean, my parents called me 'Mail'," he grimaced in disgust. "I guess they didn't expect too much out of me. Oh, I'd be so stupid that the best I'd do is mailman. No thanks. I mean, that's what they thought, right? I was going to deliver mail rain or shine?"
"If you say so, Matt." I giggled. "Though, I was thinking it could have been something infinitely worse."
He appeared confused before his eyes widened in realization. "V...V, what if I came from the mailman? Oh God...OK, sometimes, I think things are better left the way they are. Like, really, I'm really thankful that I ended up in the orphanage. I really am. Ugh...God!"
As tasteless as this was, I wound up laughing hysterically at his overly panicked, OCD-ridden reaction.
And then, two days before our second anniversary, I gave birth to twins. Many twos associated with that. Yes, September 7th, one of the best days of my life.
Our children were fraternal twins (with their father's red hair and their mother's extremely dark eyes—only, they had eyebrows), and we named them Lydia for my mother and Paul, simply for the sake to name our son after a Beatle, admittedly.
They're nine years old now and the sweetest kids. As their mother, I'm so proud of them. Lydia is a creative force to be reckoned with, for she's learning to play guitar already. Paul, on the other hand, is a bit rambunctious but has written thoughtful poems.
So, are they considered geniuses in the technical sense? No, but I can tell they'll be gifted in some way. I enjoy my job of being a mother, even if I'm the disciplinarian parent. Oh, Matt, he's too lazy to punish anybody.
I ended up pursuing my dream of being a musician partially due to his encouragement, partially due to my ardent desire. When I did get around to releasing an album, it was called The Wammy House Years in homage to my orphanage. It comprised of all the songs I'd written as a teenager. One single, "My Redhaired Boy" (you surely don't need to guess whom that was about), charted to #3 on the UK charts and #1 on the American Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.
Critics, not that I would have cared what they thought, compared me to the likes of Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan. I, being modest, doubted them a bit but gracefully accepted the praise.
I actually got nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist but lost out to some trash hip-hop group that released a song about...oh, I don't remember. Some violence rubbish, I know that. Oh well, like they all say, it was an honor to be nominated.
Between you and me, though, the Grammies have increasingly become a joke of an institution.
I go out on tour sporadically these days, for I do have a family to care for. That, I will tell you, is my most monumental role. Is this the pleasantly ideal life that my brother L wished for me? I dearly hope so, for I can't think of anything more perfect than this.
When Matt comes home in the evening from video game designing, I still kiss him on the lips. That action has never gotten old for me.
However, even he has changed in some respects. Prepare yourself for a terrible shock, but he quit smoking. For the kids. He felt like they didn't deserve being exposed to his secondhand smoke. He's also ditched the goggles, wearing them once in a blue moon. It's nice to see those eyes unobstructed.
Tonight, he comes home with his bright smile intact. "V, how you doing?"
"Amazing, now that you're here," I half-flirt, eyes hooded purposely.
He never asks if dinner's ready. He doesn't carry bad days at work (if he has any) home with him. Bless him that he isn't like most husbands. He's never been like most men.
Suddenly, Lydia throws her arms around him. "Hi, Daddy! Did you make a cool game today?"
He chuckles, hugging her back. "I'm always making cool games, Lyds. You know, you can go to college for that."
That's what he did. Matt is preparing himself to win "Father of the Year", I swear. Such a great role model these days...
Paul then comes in the living room. "Hey, Dad. I lost dodgeball today."
In dry humorous, mock sorrow, Matt clicks his tongue. "Well, you didn't get any athletics from your old man, that's for sure."
"You can chat your dad's ear off all you want later," I tell them both, "but it's time for dinner now. Go to the kitchen and set the table."
Our kids oblige, and my husband takes this time to kiss me sweetly. I always feel like a teenager again when he does that.
When he breaks the kiss, he ruffles my hair. "I always miss you at work, you know."
"I sure hope so." I smile. "Love you, hon."
"Love you too...Princess Zelda."
I grin. "I'm glad, Link."
Some things in life will never change. Some things in life will stay the same but never be unnerving in that static state. There will always be simply life. Simply love. Simply happiness. Simply anything and everything.
And I'm simply me, Mrs. Victoria Jeevas, but forever just V.
A/N: Yep, you're right. This would have been the alternative ending if I'd let everyone live. If I hadn't been so keen on doing that L's ghost POV chapter, though, I would have let V, Matt, and Mello live. Yep, you can beat me up now. XD Initially, I wasn't even going to bother putting this up. But, I feel like those of you who read it deserve to know what the happy ending would have been. Happier ending at any rate.