"Mello, I'm home!" Matt called out as he pushed open the front door.
The only response he heard was the clatter of something falling to the floor in the kitchen shortly followed by "Shit!" He started in the direction of the noise but was intercepted by Mello who came running out of the kitchen yelling "No, no, no! Don't go in there!"
He looked at Mello, becoming very confused. When Matt had left for work that morning, Mello had been sick, or at least, he had acted like he was sick. Now he seemed perfectly fine if not delirious. But his actions were not the only thing that made the situation strange. The way in which he was dressed – shirtless, wearing a pair of shorts with his hair pulled back in a ponytail – made it appear as if he had been exercising.
"Mello, what is going on? What happened to you being sick?" he demanded.
"Um… You're home awfully early," Mello responded, trying to evade Matt's questions.
"Only because I didn't have to wait for you," Matt said, trying to go around Mello to see what was going on in the kitchen. Normally, they drove into town together to go to work, but Mello generally worked about a half hour later than him, so he always had to wait for him to go home. Mello quickly stepped over to block his path. "Mello, why can't I go to the kitchen?" he said, becoming annoyed.
"It's…a surprise. Just go upstairs and give me ten minutes," Mello said, guiding Matt towards the stairs and away from the kitchen.
"Fine. Ten minutes," he said, reluctantly climbing the stairs. He went up to their room and pulled out some more comfortable clothes, changing out of the uniform for the electronics store he worked at.
He was a little upset that Mello had lied to him about being sick; he had been worried all day, concerned about how quickly the 'illness' had come on. But if he hadn't, I still would have wanted to know why he was staying home which would have ruined whatever the surprise is. Despite his seeming reluctance, he had become immediately curious about what Mello had planned as soon as he had revealed that he had a surprise for him. After all, if Mello had to take the entire day off for it, it had to be something big.
Not knowing what to do with whatever was left of his ten minutes of waiting, he went over to the window and opened it, feeling the warm breeze flow into the room. He stared out the window at the purple field that stretched out around their house. The barren landscape that had been there when they had first moved in almost six months before had been so unbelievably different that it seemed as if the fields would never produce the lavender that the real-estate website they had found their house on claimed they would. It wasn't that he didn't like the snow, he actually didn't mind it that much, it was just that the warmth of the mid-July air was much more comforting than the frigid atmosphere of late January.
"Okay, you can come down now," he heard Mello yell up the stairs, interrupting his thoughts. He abandoned the window sill, eager to see just what the surprise was as he had no idea of what it could be.
He ran down the stairs to Mello who was waiting for him at the bottom, still dressed in the 'workout' clothes. He held his hand out for Matt to take and led him out the front door. "What about the kitchen?" Matt asked.
"The surprise isn't in there," Mello responded simply.
"Then why wasn't I allowed in there?"
"Well, I didn't want to give you any hints," Mello said with a smile, leading him off the edge of the porch to a ladder than was set up to the side of it.
"The surprise is on the roof?" Matt questioned. It seemed an awfully odd place for it to be.
"Sort of. Go up and see."
Matt climbed the ladder hesitantly, not at all sure as to what could be special about the roof. As he neared the top of the ladder, the roof of the awning that hung over the porch came into view; a blanket was laid out on it with a picnic basket. A small gasp escaped his lips.
"Do you like it?" Mello asked from the ground.
"I love it," he said glancing down at Mello who was smiling up at him. He was about to step out onto the awning when a sudden concern wormed its way into his thoughts. "Is it safe?" he questioned, looking down at Mello with a worried expression. The last he knew, the wood was still rotted in at least the one spot he knew of. He had wanted to fix it, but had never gotten around to it.
"I hope so. I've been working on it all day," Mello replied, sounding a little offended. Matt could just imagine Mello working out under the hot sun all day, discarding his shirt when the heat became unbearable… That would explain how he was dressed.
"'I hope so'? That doesn't sound too confident," he said, stepping out onto it cautiously.
"I'm sure it's fine," Mello said, quickly appearing at the top of the ladder. He walked out onto the slightly slanted surface of the awning with much more confidence than Matt, sitting down on the blanket next to the picnic basket. "Sit down," he said, seeing that Matt hadn't moved since he had stepped off the ladder. He walked gingerly towards Mello and sat down next to him. "I tried to make bruschetta and pasta salad, but I burnt the bruschetta and then dropped the pasta on the floor when you walked in, so instead we have sandwiches," he said, pulling a sandwich out of the basket and handing it to Matt.
"That's perfectly alright." He was kind of amazed by how much work Mello had put into this, first fixing the awning and then trying to make a nice dinner for them. It didn't matter that they had ended up with sandwiches. It seemed a beautiful irony to Matt that Mello had been the one to fix the awning for he had once been so resistant to the idea and everything it stood for.
He looked over at Mello, grateful for the last six months. While they had certainly left a lasting impression on this place, it had also left its mark on them. The new scars that trailed up Mello's right arm and shoulder where a testament to this, but it was deeper than this physical evidence. Their new home had changed them, allowed them to grow together. A sort of internal scar ran through both of their bodies; they would forevermore be connected to the small town of Biei, Hokkaido.
They looked out on the fields of lavender blooming around them, a blanket of purple surrounding the home they had made for themselves. The blue sky stretched out over them, spanning to the few grey clouds that were appearing over the horizon. A soft rumble of thunder sounded in the distance.
Author's Note: I'm so terribly sad that this is over, but I'm also incredibly proud of it. I feel like I've grown as a writer over the course of this story, and it is all because of you readers; I would have never had the motivation to write this without you.
Before I continue, I want to apologize ahead of time for the length of this author's note. This being the end, I have a lot of things I want to address. I have chosen two songs that I believe represent how Matt and Mello feel towards each other. Perhaps with music, my ranting will seem somewhat less tedious.
Matt's song: If My Heart Was a House by Owl City
Mello's song: Chemicals Collide by Boys Like Girls
I've always liked when authors pair music to their writing, but I originally thought that I wouldn't be able to find songs that seemed relevant. When I first heard "If My Heart Was a House," I immediately thought that it was a nearly perfect representation of how Matt feels about Mello. Mello's song was somewhat more difficult to pick out. For quite some time, I was torn between three different songs, but eventually decided that this one was the best representation.
On to something perhaps more relevant, the next fanfiction I start will be the sequel as it received the most votes by far. It will be titled "Cinders in the Ashtray." Sadly, I will not be able to start writing it for awhile. The deal I made with myself was that when this story was over, I would start studying for AP tests. I'm taking six of them this year which means that basically all of my free time will be going towards studying until after they are over (my last one is May 11th). As of now, although this is not definite, I estimate that I will be able to have the prologue and first chapter, which I will be posting at the same time like I did for this story, up by the weekend of May 21st.
The story that is currently in second is "Neon Hearts" which, for those of you who don't know, is MattxMello AU. However, voting will be open until I start writing the sequel, so this might change. If you have not yet voted, please go to my profile page and vote. There are summaries of the stories you can vote for on my profile page. Whichever story ends up in second I will be starting after school is out.
Lastly, I would like to explain something that I alluded to in the author's note of chapter 24. Since the very being, lavender has served as a symbol of the progression of Matt and Mello's love for each other. It is first mentioned in chapter 3 when Mello notes the obvious lack of it in the wintery landscape despite the fact that the fields are supposed to bloom lavender come summer. Then the first time Matt notices the lavender scent of Mello's shampoo is also the first time they say "I love you" to each other in chapter 10. The lavender scented shampoo is mentioned again in chapter 19 when they are in the shower. Matt then brings Mello a lavender bouquet when he is in the hospital in chapter 24, and finally, we see the lavender bloom around their house in the epilogue. So basically, the idea was that as their love progresses, the lavender becomes more prevalent. In addition, the flower lavender also symbolizes devotion.
Again, I'm sorry about the length of this. I'm almost finished, I promise. I would again like to thank all of my readers, for this story would be nothing without you. I greatly appreciate all of you who have supported me through your reviews and all of you who have either added me to your favorite authors list or have favorited the story. And thank you to anyone who reviews the epilogue since I won't have a place to put my "special thanks" section for it.
With much love, sincerely,
Amour en Rayures
A special thanks to the following reviewers:
Midnightkisses10, simply-a-freak, xxFlutterStutterBOOMBOOMxx, kiki1070, TearfullPixie, usagisama7874, Strawberry-Blond Kunoichi, ShadowQueen1996, Armour-Duck, SonicCritic, quarterxqueen