"Yo, Paige!" yelled Mello from across the room in the abandoned wearhouse, also known as headquarters.

Grumbling to myself and scowling at my "boss," I looked up from the match going on in front of me, making sure to pause first. "Yes, Mello?" I growled between clenched teeth.

Mello "tsk"ed and shook his finger back and forth, shaking his head. Golden locks flew this way and that. He help up a plastic baggie filled with what looked like dried spices of some sort. Mels smirked knowingly, evilly. "I bought some to share."

My jaw hung open in awe. From the corner of my eye, I saw that Matt had also dropped his mouth open after dropping his game controller. At the same moment, Matt and I jumped up from the raggedy couch, crashing into each other in a blur of stripes and neon colors. I fell flat on my butt three yards away from Mello and his drugs. "Hey! Matt! Watch it!" I yelled, beyond fury.

He just stare back at me, eyes glassy with excitement. He grinned from ear to ear before launching himself off of the hard ground. Trying to match his speed and agility, I pushed myself from my sitting position, nearly tackling Mello. The whole time, Mels was smiling at the two of us.

"Oh yeah, this is gonna be fun," he said, smirking maniacally. He pulled out a chair from under the table, a loud scraping sound echoing all around us. Mello took some paper lying around the desk, piled a little of the weed on it, and rolled it up, nice and fat. Matt and I stare at him as he slowly and agonizingly lights the roach and takes a long drag. "This, my friends, is just the beginning."

****One hour later****

"...And then I was like, 'Chill. It was a one-time thing,' and then she was like, 'I want it to be more than a one-time thing,' and I was like, 'That's too bad,' and she was like, 'You're a jerk,' and I was like, 'Thanks." Mello just finished his story about yet another one-night stand he'd held about a week ago. Of course, I was too baked to realize what he was actually saying.

Matt, ever the quiet one, hadn't said a word since he took the first drag of his roach. He just stared at me with glazed-over eyes, fixated on something on my face. Finally, he stood up and spoke, "That's the problem with women. It's never just a one thing time." His words were slightly slurred and didn't make any connections in my brain.

When I didn't say anything, Mello and Matt looked at me, waiting for a reaction. Matt shrugged his shoulders and sat back down.

Mello stood up and took my hand. He bent over so that he could lightly kiss my palm. Then he turned away from me, pausing dramatically. "Farewell, I must leave you all now!" With that, he scampered out of the room, mocking Superman as he fled.

Sharing a special glance of disinterest, Matt and I broke out in a random song, our voices syncing in what had to be the worst duet in the world. As we finished the song, I giggled uncontrollably. I tilted my head back in hysterics, dark blond hair spewing out of my normal messy-bun thing.

Standing up and wobbling on the spot, I made a very super-hero like sound before running into the very back of the wearhouse, humming a tuneless tune along the way. When I reached my destination, I twirled in a million circles.

The world spun wildly around me, mimicking everything that was happening right then, with the Kira investigation under way, and me being right under Mello in the search for justice: the world never seemed to stop. All of the colors of my very existence blurred and mixed together, everything a fucked-up painting in a haunted mansion. In that moment, I'd realized what life was really about.

"Uh, Paige? I think something's on fire."

The voice so close to me, so familiar, scared me and made me stop spinning. Because of the sudden motionless-ness, my head spun even more wildly, vision blurring even worse. As my awareness came back to me, I sniffed the air, and sure enough, something was burning.

Step after step, my feet chasing each other, I ran back into the main room. I looked to the side of me so that I was looking at the wall in the hallway. The paintings of random killing scenes morphed before my eyes, swirls encasing the pictures. Reds cascaded into deep purples, blacks clashing with bright whites.

A rush of air blew past me. Striped zipped by my still body.


I shook my head and began running back towards the burning smell. By the time I'd gotten there, Matt had already been pouring half-empty bottles of water on the small fire that used to be our coffee table. My eyes grew wider (not literally- they were already dilated past all hell) as I scrambled to make sense of how the fire could have started.

Words whizzed through my mind at an incredible speed, causing me to get even more dizzy. Heat was spit at me from the flames of the ever-growing fire, light brightening my cheeks. Everything became intensely hot, so hot I thought my skin was peeling away from me in a vain attempt to leave the heat behind. I couldn't move. I was stuck, frozen. None of my muscles would cooperate with my brain's orders. I heard a voice, if only vaguely in the background. Matt. He was shouting at me to move, do something, so that I wouldn't die in that horrible fire.

My own life flashed before my eyes. My mind replayed all the wonderful moments in my life- meeting Matt and Mello at Wammy's, the first time I beat Matt at his own game, the first kiss Matt and I shared, the first time he'd said "I love you, Paige"- it was all there. The weirdest thing was, I couldn't recollect anything that didn't involve Matt, or Matt and someone else. Even L seemed distant, unrecognizable.

Finally, if only at the right time, I snapped out of whatever the hell I was in and was pushed out the heavy metal door, into the open. Dirt scraped at my knees and hands, blood trailing from the new wounds. I heard a loud explosion from behind me and felt hot, broken and sharp things flying at me, searing my exposed skin.

When things stopped falling on me, I slowly and painfully sat up, legs crossed under each other. My whole body hurt. I didn't care. All I cared about was Matt. Panicking, I frantically twisted my head to look in front and behind me, searching for my lover. I couldn't see him, so I stood up and made my way around the rubble.

A groan erupted from a black pile of yuck on the ground. I knelt down and set my hand tentatively on his back, careful to not hurt him too much.

"Mattie? Are you okay?" I asked, concern dripping from every syllable.

"No..." He choked out, coughs coming from deep within his chest.

I laughed, a tear escaping and slithering down my cheek. Matt was sitting all the way up, holding my hand in his own rough one. We sat, looking at each other, love and care in each other's gazes.

"What the fuck happened?!"

Mello's back...