A/N: This fic has been in my head for so long and I couldn't wait to write it. I seriously neglected school to get it done (and am neglecting school to type/proofread it), but I had to write it. My first Death Note fanfiction. Enjoy!
Matt parked the car and reached up to remove Mello's blindfold. The blond examined his surroundings quickly.
"The airport?" he questioned, thoroughly confused.
Matt nodded. "That's why I took the blindfold off. I would rather have left it, but it would look awfully suspicious to lead someone around the airport blindfolded," he explained with a mischievous grin.
Mello looked at him through narrowed eyes as he replied, "But I still don't get it. Are we going somewhere?" He sighed. "Matt, we really don't have time for games. We have to catch Kira…before Near can find him.
Matt rolled his eyes. "Beating Near…is that all you care about?"
"No," Mello said defiantly, looking out the window and refusing to meet Matt's eyes.
"Come on Mels," Matt said, reaching across the small space to take Mello's hand in his. "It'll just be a few days. Kira will still be there."
Mello sighed in defeat and looked at him, "Will you at least tell me where we're going?"
Matt beamed. "Nope. You'll find out soon enough anyway."
Scowling, Mello kicked open his door and got out of the car. "Shouldn't we have packed first?" he asked.
"Already done." Matt came around from his side of the car and opened the trunk, producing two duffel bags, one of which he handed to Mello before joining him on the sidewalk and proceeding to lead him inside.
"So," Mello began as they made their way through the crowded airport, "is this why you made me wear this?" He gestured to his outfit. Mello's only leather at the moment consisted of his boots and his motorcycle jacket. Matt had forced him into a pair of jeans and one of Matt's t-shirts for some rock band Mello had never heard of.
The redhead nodded. "No offense Mels, your usual leather getup – as much as I like it –makes you look pretty dangerous. Not the best thing to wear in an airport."
Mello shot him an accusatory smirk. "The clothes make me look dangerous?"
Matt did not acknowledge that as he approached the information desk and presented their tickets. Mello caught a glimpse of the destination, and his jaw dropped.
"London?" he exclaimed incredulously. "What the hell is going on, Matt?"
His answer was a wink, followed by, "You'll see."
Mello scowled once again as he followed Matt to the baggage check.
After eleven hours of alternately sleeping, gaming, and reading – and one rather heated make-out session for which the flight attendant scolded them – the plane landed in London.
Outside the gate, Matt scanned the crowd until he apparently saw what he was searching for and began walking in the direction of whatever it was. As they approached, Mello saw where they were going. Before them stood a black-suited chauffeur with a sign bearing the letters "MJ".
"Would one of you gentlemen happen to be Matt?" he asked politely.
"That's me," Matt replied.
The driver nodded. "Pleased to meet you. Please follow me."
"You hired a driver?" Mello muttered as they followed him to the car. "Matt, how are you affording all of this?"
"Oh I didn't pay him," Matt said dismissively. "He works for a friend." The blond was becoming more and more confused by the second, but at this point he knew asking questions would get him nowhere.
Almost an hour later, as they drove through the all too familiar streets of Winchester, Mello began to suspect, with increasing dread and confusion, where they were going, and his suspicions were confirmed when they pulled into the driveway of Wammy's House orphanage. Unfortunately, this raised more questions than it answered.
Mello climbed out of the car and stood looking up in disbelief at the house he left nearly five years earlier. He did not move as Matt retrieved their bags and thanked the driver, who drove around to the back of the grounds to park.
"Mels?" Matt asked, inclining his head toward his friend. "You ok?"
Mello was at a loss for words. "Matt…what is this?"
Matt took Mello's hand and laced their fingers together.
"It's time for a homecoming visit; don't you think?" he murmured gently. "Come on."
Hand in hand, they walked up the old stone pathway to the front door, where Roger was waiting for them. He did not smile, but when did Roger ever smile? He glanced at their intertwined hands as if he were not surprised. "Welcome home," he greeted them as he stepped out of the doorway to allow them to enter.
The sight of the large common room full of children, some of which he vaguely recognized, hit Mello like a gust of wind and left him breathless under the weight of memories that only increased as he allowed Matt to lead him inside and through the familiar hallways.
"Hey, Mello, what do say we go check out our old room?" Matt suggested cheerfully.
Mello hesitated before nodding and heading in the direction of the room, following a path he knew like the back of his hand. They both stopped in the doorway when they reached it. Neither noticed when Roger appeared behind them.
"If you noticed it looks different, that would be because there are two girls living here now, and they keep the room in much better order than you two ever did," he told them dryly. When he turned away both rolled their eyes dramatically and Matt went inside to flop down on his old bed, which was now covered in a purple and green blanket.
Mello remained in the doorway, trying to hide the fact that he was leaning on it for support. He looked into the room nostalgically – though it did look slightly alien with out video games and chocolate bar wrappers littering the floor.
While he was standing there, he was too engrossed in the memories to notice the soft footsteps padding down the corridor, but he did hear the small voice that whispered, "Mello?"
He turned and felt a lump rise in his throat. A young boy with light brown hair stood before him, holding a rubber ball that he had clearly been sent to retrieve. When Mello turned around, the boy's face lit up and he ran forward, the ball entirely forgotten as it fell to the floor. "Mello!" he shouted.
"Anthony," Mello breathed, kneeling down to catch the little boy in his arms and hug him tightly.
Mello generally despised children. He always had. But there was something different about Anthony. He was not as hyper or annoying as most, and when he was just three years old, he had become rather attached to Mello for some unknown reason. Remembering his own admiration for L, Mello felt a rare sensitive spot in his heart for the boy and took him under his wing. Everyone at Wammy's knew the quickest way to get sent to the infirmary was to pick on Anthony.
He stepped back to look at Mello and touched the scar on his face lightly. "What happened?' he questioned.
Mello smiled weakly. "I got in an accident," he whispered, "but it doesn't hurt anymore, and it makes me look tough, don't you think?" he added jokingly.
When Mello left Wammy's, the hardest thing had been parting from Matt, but abandoning Anthony had been a very close second. How old was he now? nine? ten? Mello winced as he thought of everything he must have missed in those years he was gone.
Anthony did not answer his question, but instead scrutinized Mello's face. "Are you going to leave again?"
Mello did not want to tell him the truth - that he couldn't stay, but Matt cut in at that moment.
"Sorry, kiddo," he said cheerfully from the doorway. "We've got to head back in a few days, but we'll come back and visit again sometime."
Mello looked at him. Matt was quite possibly lying, as they could not be sure they would live through this case, but he knew that neither of them could bear to disappoint the boy. Reassured, Anthony smiled and went to hug Matt.
"You should come outside," he offered excitedly. "We're going to play kickball! Come and watch!"
Before Mello could say anything, Matt answered for them. "That sounds like a great idea! Let's go, Mels."
Mello's brow furrowed slightly; Matt's answer seemed almost too enthusiastic. Nonetheless, he agreed, and the three of them made their way to the spacious back lawn.
After the game, as all the children were heading inside, Matt told Anthony to go ahead, and that they would join him in a few minutes. When he was gone, Mello turned to look at the red head.
"What was that all about?"
"Come here," Matt said, taking his hand, "I want to show you something." He led Mello to a spot near the back of the yard, to a small circular patch where the grass was shorter and more sparse. "Do you remember this place?" he asked carefully, almost nervously.
Mello looked around them and examined the patch of ground.
"There was tree here."
Matt nodded. "It blew down in a storm last year, and Roger just had the stump pulled this summer." He paused. "Do you remember what happened here, behind that tree?"
Mello thought for a moment, and then his eyes widened. "Our first kiss," he breathed.
"That's right," Matt answered, smiling. "This is where our relationship started – when you pulled me behind the tree and kissed me, just a few weeks before you le –" he paused and his face fell. He coughed slightly and recovered, "um…before…L died."
Mello looked down in shame as guilt surged through him at the knowledge of just how much he had hurt his best friend all those years ago.
"I'm sorry, Matt," he mumbled. "I never should have left you. It won't happen again."
Matt smiled at that and kissed him quickly before he continued, "That brings me to my next point."
He took Mello's hands in his and looked him in the eyes. "Mello," he said. "This case…we don't know how much longer we have, and…I don't want to die regretting anything." He leaned forward so their foreheads were touching. "But I'm not just doing this because I think we're going to die. I love you more than anything, and whether 'the rest of my life' is tomorrow or another eighty years, I want to spend it with you. So…" he swallowed nervously and released a shaky breath, and then he dropped to one knee before Mello. "Will you marry me?"
The blond's eyes widened as he realized what was happening, and he quickly blinked back the tears that pricked the corners of his eyes.
"Matt," he murmured, pulling the other up so that they were face to face. "You do realize that this is crazy and ridiculous, right?"
Matt nodded, waiting. Mello smiled. "As long as we're on the same page, then," he said, pulling Matt into a kiss – deep, tender, and passionate, and when they parted he whispered, "Ok. I'll marry you."
Matt beamed, drew Mello close, and kissed him again, joy practically radiating off him. Mello pulled away briefly.
"Just don't expect me to wear a dress," he warned.
"Ah, damn," Matt said, feigning disappointment, but when Mello smacked the back of his head lightly he grinned. "I wouldn't dream of it."
A/N: So there it is. Strangely enough, not long ago, I was slightly homophobic and strongly opposed to gay marriage. And then I became a yaoi fangirl and my opinion turned around. My, what anime does to people. But in this case it was for the better. This fic was inspired by the second verse of Brad Paisley's song, "Then":
And I remember, taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around, but I didn't care
I got down on one knee right there,
And once again,
I thought I loved you then
Great song, if you don't know it, but not all of it fits Matt and Mello. Anyway, please tell me what you think of this. I'm really proud of it, actually. Please review!