A/N: Okay, normally I'm not really one for angst, but I thought it was time for something serious. Or, well, semi-serious.
This is sorta-kinda an AU, in that the timeline is a little effed up. You'll see what I mean.
Warnings for: Spoilers of Matt's name, and pretty much some of the ending, including who dies and whatever.
I don't own Death Note. If I did, well, it wouldn't be appropriate for anyone under 18. Showers would need to be on-hand for all watchers. Anyhow...
"I'm sorry," Mello muttered. He was sitting in the drying dead grass, arms wrapped around his knees as protection against the harsh autumn breeze. Dark gold leaves blew around him, falling steadily from surrounding ash trees. There were no bird calls, as there were in summertime, and the only noise was the far-away swish of the wind. In the distance, a black wrought-iron gate marked an end to the expanse of browning grass and a beginning to a thin gravel pathway. The sun could barely shine past the thick ash trees, and only very few slim rays could break through, bouncing off Mello's blond hair. Beside the man was a patch of ground, only ever so slightly raised, blanketed with the fallen teardrop-shaped leaves. The headstone at the front of it stood without any wear yet, only a leaf or two adorning the top. Mail Jeevas was etched into the stone, 1990-2010 just below it.
Mello idly picked a few of the leaves off and tossed them to the side, gazing at his old friend's name on the gravestone. He sighed and rested his head on his arms, blinking absently across the graveyard. It all looked slightly blurry to his unfocused eyes, just a dark tawny ground with gray spots scattered throughout.
When he felt that the blurriness was starting to be caused by tears, he picked his head up and shook it, blinking them away. Mello looked back to Matt's grave, still blinking, knees hugged tightly to his chest, burying the lower half of his face in his sleeve. This was as close as he let himself get to outward grief in the few days that his best friend had been dead. No one he knew was aware that he still came here - there hadn't been many people at Matt's secluded funeral, anyway. As far as anyone knew, he was still on the hunt for Kira 24/7.
When L had died, it was different. Sure, Mello respected him, but he'd met him all of a few times, and that was just when he was a little kid. L had been a role model, a sort of invisible father figure in a way. But nothing much more. His death was a shock, yes, and Mello had certainly felt some remorse for him. L was, after all, what Mello's life had been about; being a copy of the world's greatest detective. But when L died, Mello hadn't been extremely affected, emotionally. He'd gotten over the initial shock and worked his ass off to beat Near, just like always.
Now, this wasn't just someone he looked up to. Matt hadn't been invisible. Matt hadn't met Mello but twice, never more. Matt had cared. Matt had been at Wammy's since Mello could remember. They grew up together, in an odd way. They were like brothers. Brothers, best friends...lovers. Mello could still remember his lover perfectly, in every detail.
Even after Mello had left, left Wammy's and left Matt, the redhead still managed to track him down after all those years. He remembered how Matt had stared, green eyes tinted with a light orange from his goggles, unsure whether it was Mello or not. He remembered how the man had laughed and cried with him, hugging him tightly, forcing him to swear never to leave again. Mello had promised wholeheartedly, burying his face in his lover's red hair.
He remembered the silly spats they had over Matt's damn cigarettes - Mello may have been an ex-Mafia boss, but he hated that smell. It seemed to cling everywhere; Matt's clothes, his hair, everywhere he'd been. Oddly, everywhere except his mouth, which Mello had always been thankful for when he kissed him. He remembered Matt's emerald green eyes, beautiful if the redhead would ever take them off for a moment. That had always taken some coaxing on Mello's part, bribing sometimes. But it was always worth it if just to see his lover's eyes. They revealed so much about him, yet his his every thought. He remembered Matt's laugh, his smile, the very way he moved.
Now, that was all he had. Memories. Memories which would forever be marred by more recent ones. In his mind, there were two Matts. The alive one he remembered; stubborn, laid-back, slightly quiet, beautiful Matt. His video-game addict, who could only be torn away from his virtual world for his duties in the real one, and whenever Mello felt he should remind his lover where he was, in as physical a way as possible. The one who cooled him off when Mello got too overworked, the one whose bright eyes and angelic smirk could make even Mello grin. The one who had been with Mello all his life; first as a roommate, then a brother, then his lover.
And then there was the other Matt. The Matt that Mello had found dead on the cold ground, covered in blood, curled up on his side, goggles cracked in one lens. The Matt whose final moments in life had been spent carrying out Mello's plan, and whose final actions had been saving Mello. The one whose eyes no longer shined behind closed lids, who would never give another smile, who would never kiss Mello ever again. The one who was buried in the ground, right beside where Mello was sitting now.
"I'm sorry," Mello murmured again, biting his lip hard to keep from letting the tears spill over.
It was my fault.
He was the one who told Matt to distract the guards, he was the one who left his lover to fend for himself, and he was the one who had gotten his lover killed. It was his fault, it was all his fault. Mello buried his head entirely in his arms, leaning against Matt's cold headstone.
Before Mello had run to his position, waiting for Takada's bodyguards to be distracted, he had clapped Matt on the shoulder encouragingly, grinning at him. Matt had smiled tentatively and embraced Mello lightly. It was almost as if he knew it was the last moment he would ever have with him. Mello promised him, "It's all right; we'll be fine."
But it wasn't all right, and they weren't fine. Matt was as far away from fine as you could get, and Mello...Mello was broken. The day after Matt's funeral, Mello had sped off on his motorcycle, exceeding the speed limit by nearly thirty miles an hour. All he saw was crimson, reminding him of the same color Matt's skin had been covered in, and this only fueled his fire further. In a blind rage, he had done positively every destructive thing he could do, and had finally collapsed on his knees in the apartment he and Matt had shared, shoulders shaking with grief and rage.
That was the last time he would cry, Mello promised himself. Not because he couldn't be the next L if he showed his emotions like that - no, that world was far away to him. He just couldn't bring himself to break down like that. He had to have his self-control, more than he had ever had. If he didn't have that, he had nothing. Matt had been taken away from him, and having a breakdown next to his grave would be his undoing. It had been all he could do to stop taking out his gun and pondering it; he could practically picture Matt swatting his arm away, chastising him, "The fuck are you doing, Mello? Just stop that, you moron."
Now, Mello would have done positively anything to hear those words.
Mello finally picked his head up and looked back at Matt's grave. Unconsciously, he fingered the rosary around his neck.
Mello had never been extremely religious - it was more of a need than a belief. When you lived a life like you did in Wammy's, you tended to be either one of three things: severely depressed (like A), disown all emotions (like L or Near), or trust that there was a higher power who had plans for you. Maybe it wasn't all worthless. Maybe there was a reason for all this. He rarely prayed; the rosary was really just for reassurance. In Wammy's, it wasn't an uncommon thing, but Mello was the one who expressed it the most. Nobody teased. Everyone understood.
But not anymore. There could be no reason, absolutely none whatsoever, for Matt's brutal murder, Mello thought savagely.
He carefully, almost reverentially, lifted the rosary off his neck and coiled it up, a heavy metal crucifix resting on top of a pile of black and red beads. Mello placed it slowly at the base of Matt's gravestone and got up, not bothering to brush the leaves and twigs from his pants.
I'll kill Takada if it's the last thing I do, Mello thought.
"I promise," he whispered as he crossed under the iron archway, out of the cemetery.
A/N: Reviews would be lovely. ...Do I write even semi-good angst? I'ono, I've never actually written it before; I try to stay away from angst because my therapist doesn't want me depressed again. *shrug* Well, I'd love feedback.