Disclaimer- Still don't own Death Note
So this is now a three shot. Too much going on to put in two chapters.
Always By Your Side, Continued
"Hand me the antiseptic," Alison instructed, eyes never leaving the burns she was carefully cleaning and treating with ointment to help ease the pain that Mello had to have been in. It was hard to tell how much pain he was in at that moment though considering that Alison had slipped a crushed up sleeping pill into a soda he had asked for while trying to refuse to let her help him.
"Is he gonna be alright?" Matt asked.
Alison frowned. "I think he'll be fine, the burns are bad, but they're treatable.. After I clean everything, I'll cover them to help prevent an infection. After that, he'll just have to deal with me taking care of the burns since I know he won't do it."
"What made you go after him," Matt asked after a few moments of watching Alison diligently cleaning and sanitizing Mello's burns.
Green eyes briefly meeting Matt's goggle covered ones, Alison frowned and shook her head. "I don't know. When I heard him on the phone I thought..." She shook her head again and sat back, pursing her lips. "I thought he was dying, he sounded so horrible and so... lonely and sad. I guess I panicked. I looked up the number he called from and traced it back to a pay phone. After that I wound up in the middle of south Los Angeles and you can pretty much figure out the rest on your own."
"Thought you hated him."
She shook her head and looked down at her hands. "..No. I never hated him. I was just too stubborn to admit that I loved him. Don't look so surprised, Matt," Alison said, a slight smirk on her face as she looked back at her friend. "You've known, haven't you?"
Matt grinned and shrugged. "Yeah, but I never thought you'd admit it. Now if only he'd do the same." He bobbed his chin in Mello's direction.
Alison chuckled quietly, but there was no happiness in the laugh. It was empty, hollow. "That's never going to happen."
"You never know," Matt replied with a shrug.
"He doesn't love me, Matt. He doesn't love anyone. He's too obsessed with beating Near."
"That's not all he's obsessed with," Matt stated cryptically.
Alison tilted a brow, but didn't say anything more as she went back to treating Mello's wounds.
When he came too, it took a few moments to fully wake up and get his vision to clear. He could feel the pain of the burns to his face and neck, the sting and heat of them. He could also feel the bandages and knew that despite his protests Alison had treated him after he passed out, probably because she had slipped something into his drink. Sneering, he sat up slowly only to realize that the bed he had occupied was not occupied by only him.
"Al," he questioned, confused as to why she would still be with him since his wounds all seemed to be meticulously treated. He was going to reach for her, but he noticed that her chest was rising and falling slowly and rhythmically beneath the fabric of a white tank top and that her eyes were closed.
Mello put his hand down and frowned at the sleeping woman. Her lips were parted in her sleep and he could see the lines beneath her eyes that showed just how tired she must have been. He wondered how long she had spent taking care of him and just how long he had been out.
He studied her for a few moments. She had changed a lot of the years, she was no longer the scrawny teenager he remembered her to be. She was taller, her skin was practically flawless and her nearly white hair had grown longer he noted since it had come out of the tie that had held it out of her face and it spilled over her shoulders messily.
He found himself reaching to push the stray hairs out of her face, but caught himself just before his fingers would have brushed against her cheek. Pulling his hand back, he grunted to himself and slid off the bed slowly, wincing at the pain the movement caused. Making his way to the door that he assumed led to a living room since the only other door in the room was open to reveal a bathroom, he opened the door quietly and stepped out into another, quietly shutting the door behind himself.
"You're awake, how you feelin', buddy?" Matt asked, his eyes never leaving the screen of a hand held video game as a cigarette bobbed in his mouth.
"I'm fine," he grumbled sourly, taking a seat on a fairly old brown arm chair.
"Sleeping," he answered with a frown while he fingered the scars on his face. "How long have I been out?"
"We've been here for four days."
"I've been asleep that long?"
"Well.. Al may have had something to do with that," Matt answered.
"She shouldn't be here, Matt."
"Then why'd you call her?"
Mello gritted his teeth and stubbornly looked around the room even though Matt wasn't looking at him. "Where are we?"
"A safe house I overheard some of the guys talking about. It's kind of a mess, but it was all I could think of. Given what happened, I'm not surprised there's no one here. It was pretty funny to see Alison nearly freak out at how much of a mess this place was though. She's been cleaning up whenever she's not taking care of you. Not surprised she passed out, she's exhausted and she won't listen to me when I tell her she needs to slow down and take a break."
"She can't stay here," Mello said.
Matt glanced up at his blond friend. "She doesn't exactly have anywhere else to go, Mel. She gave up a lot to help you. It's not like she can just go back to wherever Near is like nothing happened."
"I'll take care of that," Mello replied, standing up and beginning to go through the house, making faces at the amount of dust he stirred up anytime he opened a drawer or moved anything. "What did she use to knock me out," he asked suddenly.
Matt chuckled. "She used some sleeping pills she got from the store. Nothing fancy."
"Where are they?"
"Why," Matt asked slowly, suspiciously.
"I need them."
"For what? Mel, what are you going to do?" Matt asked, putting his game down to stand up and watch his friend worriedly.
"We're not taking her with us."
"So you're going to drug her?"
"She drugged me first," he muttered.
"For a good reason."
"Yeah, well my reason is good too. It's dangerous for her to be with us. We'll just knock her out and take her to a hospital. It won't be long before Near finds out and she'll be fine."
"No, she won't, Mel. She-"
"Can hear everything you're saying."
"Al..." Matt trailed off.
Alison had appeared in the doorway of the bedroom, arms folded over her white tank top as she leaned into the door frame. Her eyes were watery and her lips were pursed as she stared intently at Mello. "I thought you were dying. I thought I wasn't going to get to see you again, Mel. Do you have any idea how scary that was for me?" She paused for a moment then laughed dryly. "No, probably not, because you've never given a damn about anyone but yourself. I risked everything!" she shouted emotionally. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself down and continued softly. "Everything.. when I went looking for you after you called me." She paused again to take a deep breath and shake her. "I chose to give up everything when I found you, Mello. Do you even know why?"
Mello said nothing, he was guiltily watching the tears stream down Alison's tired, pale face.
"Have you ever cared about anything other than yourself and your goals?" Alison let out a deep breath and stood up straight. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she sniffed and chewed briefly on her bottom lip. "Do whatever you want, Mel. Go ahead and leave. It doesn't matter to me anymore, I'm tired of caring," she murmured, turning her back on him and retreating back into the bedroom.
Matt and Mello watched her shut the door in silence and even after the door was closed they both stared at it for several more seconds. Matt was the first to say anything.
"I'm going to go talk to her, she was-"
"No," Mello cut grimly. "I'll... I'll talk to her."
"Yeah. Go get some sleep. We've got a long day tomorrow."
Matt nodded and headed off towards the other side of the house. Mello, not ready to see Alison just yet, plopped back down in the chair and put his head in his hands. His face still throbbed dully, the melted skin was healing, leaving a pretty nasty scar as it did so. He knew that he had Alison to thank for the fact that his face was already healing and a lot less painful than he would have expected it to be. Looking around the living room he was in he noted the fact that it was cleaner than he would have expected a mafia safe house to be, probably because as Matt had said, Alison had exhausted herself cleaning. She never could stand clutter, dust and messes.
It was nearly twenty minutes later before he finally found the courage to stand up and head for the bedroom Alison occupied. Not bothering to knock on the door, Mello let himself into Alison's room and quietly shut the door behind himself. The lights in the room were off, but there was still plenty of light filtering in the window from the street. He could see the outline of Alison's body on the bed. She was on her side, curled up with her hands tucked under her head.
The room was silent and he could see the steady rise and fall of her shoulder as she breathed. She was asleep and as he approached her, he cringed guiltily. Her cheeks were red from crying and they were still damp from what he could see. Strands of hair clung to her wet cheeks and Mello sighed, reaching forward to brush them away. He paused before his hand could brush against her cheek and instead sat down on the edge of the bed, putting his head back in his hands.
"What am I doing," he mumbled to himself, shaking his head and glancing back at Alison.
She should have looked peaceful while sleeping, but she looked lost and he knew that it was his fault she looked that way. His heart clenched painfully, a sensation he tried to ignore. He didn't want Alison involved with him, it was dangerous and she was better off with Near even though it irked him to no end that she would be helping him.. and that she had been starting to see one of the men helping work on the case with them.
He thought back to when they had all still been at Wammy's House, she had been so happy then, always smiling and laughing. Always causing trouble with he and Matt and often times helping them escape without ever being punished. If they did get caught she usually tried to take all of the blame, always tried to protect he and Matt. He remembered the look in her eyes the day he left, the devastation she felt when he said he didn't make any promise to stay by her side.
A lie he regretted to that day. It was like she had shattered when he had said that and he had never forgotten the look on her face or the hurt in her eyes.
His thoughts pulled back to the present and he recalled Matt mentioning something about never telling him what Alison had been like after he had left her standing alone at Wammy's gates. Matt wasn't one for keeping secrets from him, unless he was trying to protect him. He wondered how bad things had gotten for Alison and why Matt felt that it would be better not to tell him about what had happened.
Not wanting to wake Alison up, Mello stood up and quietly left the room. He found himself wandering over to the room Matt had disappeared into and letting himself in.
"Wake up," Mello said, nudging the bed Matt was laying on with hit foot.
"Huh," Matt grumbled sleepily, lifting his head to blink at Mello. "Mel?"
"What happened," he asked and when Matt sat up looking confused, he continued. "When I left Wammy's. What happened?"
"You sure you want to know," Matt asked seriously.
Mello nodded, sitting down at the end of the bed and staring at the floor with a frown.
"She just stopped," Matt said. "Stopped eating, stopped talking and over time stopped functioning. It got so bad that Roger didn't have any choice, but to have her hospitalized... The whole thing was pretty traumatic for her. They forced a feeding tube down her throat, strapped her down to the bed so she wouldn't hurt herself or try to take the tube out. They didn't know her well enough to know that the restraints weren't necessary, Al's not the type to hurt herself. She wasn't trying to hurt herself, she just didn't know how to handle all of her emotions and suppressed them instead."
"What happened?" Mello pressed.
"The treatments she was undergoing were hard on her, she started to put up a fight so the doctors started to sedate her. She eventually started eating again, but I think it was only so that the doctors would leave her alone and she could go back to Wammy's. It didn't work very well because she wouldn't talk and she just stared into space for hours at a time. They put her in the psych ward... The things she saw, Mel. None of it was good. She's never been the same, but she's learned to cope."
Mello was silent when Matt finished talking and after a few moments, he stood up and headed out of the room.
"It wasn't your fault, Mel. She doesn't blame you for what happened to her. So don't blame yourself," Matt told him.
Mello said nothing in reply. It was hard not to blame himself when the reason why Alison had been put through everything she was was because he had hurt her. He had left her standing in the cold without even saying good bye or explaining himself to her because he was too damn stubborn to do so.
Once back in the living room, he laid down on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. The house was unnervingly quiet and his ears started to ring. Unable to sleep, he continued to stare up at the ceiling until a muffled noise caught his attention. He lifted his head slightly and listened to see if he could pinpoint the sound and figure out what it was.
After a moment, he could hear something moving around in Alison's room. He heard her say something before he heard her shout in fear. He was off of the couch in a split second, running to her room and throwing the door open. He was confused when all he saw was Alison on the bed, curled up and sobbing uncontrollably.
"Al," he called worriedly, walking to her side and putting a hand on her shoulder. She was having a nightmare he realized when she jerked away from him and started mumbling incoherently to herself. "Al," he said again, sitting on the bed and shaking her shoulder.
She sucked in a deep, gasping breath and sat up. Her eyes blinked and she looked around, searching the shadows for whatever had been tormenting her in her dreams.
"You okay," Mello asked.
Staring at him for a moment it took her a few seconds to realize what was going on. She had had another nightmare. She nodded and laid back down. "I'm fine. Sorry to have bothered you."
"Go away, Mello."
"Scoot over," he said, nudging her in the back.
She gave him an incredulous look and shook her head. "Get out."
"No, now scoot over." He nudged her again and this time she moved. She scooted towards the end of the bed, but before she could sit up and leave, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back down.
"Dammit, Mello," she snapped, trying to push him as he pulled her towards him.
"Stop squirming so much, Al."
"What are you doing, Mello," she asked tiredly, stopping her struggles against him wearily. "Why are you doing this to me?"
"I told you before that wasn't enough. I-"
"I don't expect you to forgive me, Al. I just want you to know I never meant to hurt you when I left," Mello cut in.
Alison studied him for a moment, her eyes narrowing and her brows drawing together. "He told you, didn't he?"
"...Yeah, he told me."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "So now you feel guilty?" She inquired harshly. "You didn't feel anything for years, but now you-"
"Want to make good on our promise."
"What," she asked, confused.
"We made a promise, didn't we? To always be by each others' sides," Mello said, repeating her words to him from years earlier.
All she could do was blink up at him, caught off guard by the statement and the honesty and regret she could see in Mello's eyes. Closing her eyes, she shook her head. "It's too late for that, Mel. It doesn't matter anymore, you broke that promise a long time ago and you haven't looked back since. You feel guilty about what happened after you left, but you shouldn't, it wasn't your fault. Forget about your guilt and don't use it as an excuse to want to make amends."
"I'm not saying that because I want to make amends."
"Then why are you saying it, Mello," she asked wanly.
He was silent for a moment and when Alison opened her eyes to stare up at him, she was a but confused to him looking rather frustrated and flustered. Her confusion turned to surprise when his lips crashed down on hers.
Pushing him away, Alison found herself beyond angry and raised a hand with every intention of slapping Mello. Only he caught her wrist before she could do anything and pinned it above her head. She was going to use the other hand, but she found that one pinned above her head as well. She glared at Mello as he climbed on top of her, he straddled her waist and kept her arms pinned down, keeping her from her moving and attacking him as she badly wanted to do.
Alison shouted in frustration when Mello smirked at her, not at all concerned about the murderous look in her eyes. "Let go of me," she demanded fiercely.
"No," Mello taunted. "I like this position."
Despite her anger, her cheeks flushed red. "Dammit, Mello. This isn't some kind of game. I'm not a toy for you to pick up whenever you feel like and throw out whenever it suits you!"
"No, you're not but you are mine."
"Excuse me?" She asked, her eyes narrowing dangerously.
"You are mine," Mello repeated, leaning down so that his face hovered inches above hers.
"Let me go, Mello," she hissed.
"Not this time, Al," he answered quietly, placing a soft kiss on her forehead.
The tenderness with which he had spoken and the gentleness of the kiss made Alison freeze and stare up at Mello uncertainly. This wasn't like the Mello she knew. The Mello she knew was rash, emotional and stubbornly refused to let anyone know how he felt.
"Why," she found herself asking softly.
The answer made her breath catch in her throat and she was pretty sure that time actually stopped for a few seconds too.
"I love you."
"I hate you."
"You're an asshole."
"You already knew that."
She laughed, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"You're sure," Mello asked.
"Sure about what?"
"That you wouldn't rather go back to work with Near. It would be safer."
"Yeah, but you wouldn't be there and I wouldn't be able to keep that promise to always be by your side, now would I?"
"I'm serious, Alison."
"So am I, Mello," she replied. "I want to be with you."
"Why? After everything I've done-"
"Because I love you. I'm not saying that I'm okay with everything you did, I'm not, but... I know you. I know how your head works and I can understand why you did things the way you did," she cut in. "You can let me go now, you know."
Mello smirked. "What if I don't want to?" He leaned closer to Alison's face, his lips centimeters from hers.
"Then, I'll just have to do this," she replied, using her leg to push Mello off of her and onto his back. Within seconds, she was straddling him. "I win."
"You sure," Mello replied, grinning up at her. "Because I'm not complaining."
"True, so I guess it's my loss. Oh well," she said, sitting up before hopping off of him and then the bed. She stretched when she stood up, her arms over her head, allowing her tank top to ride up her side and expose some of her smooth stomach. Her low cut, skinny fit jeans, sat low on her hips and she noticed the way Mello was staring at her."Stop staring. It's rude."
"Where are you going?" He asked when she started to walk away.
"To take a shower. I haven't taken one all day. Then I think I'll go back to bed, I'm exhausted."
She squeaked in surprise when she was spun around before she could reach the bathroom and found herself pinned to the wall.
"You're not going anywhere," Mello half growled at her before his lips crashed down on hers.
At first, Alison was going to push him away, but she found herself relaxing against his body that was pressed so tightly against her own. When his hands unbuttoned her jeans, pushing them off of her waist, she took in a shaky breath and let her fingernails dig into his back. She cried out softly, smacking Mello on the shoulder after he bit her neck and smirked at her triumphantly.
The kissing and teasing continued for several more minutes before Alison let her hands roam down his bare chest, her nails occasionally digging in just a little until she reached the waist of Mello's pants. Since he was wearing pajama bottoms that she had had him put on in his sleepy haze, they easily slid off of his waist.
When he lifted her up, she wrapped her legs around him and pressed her back into the wall for extra support as she gripped tightly to him, burying her face into the right side of his neck and biting the skin there playfully. A moment later, her fingers bent and her nails dug into his back as a hot lance of pain shot through her body.
The following morning, Alison woke up in Mello's arms. He was possessively holding onto her as he slept and when she tried to move so she could get up, his grip tightened.
Rolling her eyes, she poked him in the stomach. He grunted in annoyance and opened his eyes to glare at her sleepily. "I can't get up and make something to eat if you don't let me go." For a moment, he continued to glare at her, but then let his grip loosen so she could scoot out of bed and head to the bathroom.
Mello had fallen back to sleep a few minutes after she had disappeared into the bathroom and didn't realize the amount of time she spent in there. If he had he might have been curious to know what was taking her so long.
Instead he didn't wake up until he heard Alison moving around in the kitchen and smelled something that made his mouth water and his stomach grumble hungrily. Getting out of bed, he took a quick shower and got dressed, never noticing the bits of pale blond hair in the trash can or the bright box of hair color that was beneath it.
When he walked out of the bedroom, he saw Matt was just coming out of his room too, rubbing his stomach and looking up to grin at him.
"It's nice having a woman around, isn't it?" Matt chuckled.
Mello grunted and walked into the kitchen, stopping in confusion when he laid eyes on the girl that was cooking. It took him a second to realize that it was Alison, she had trimmed her hair so that the look was less conservative and bit more punk looking. She now had bangs that softly covered her forehead and had feathered the hair around her face so that it fell against her cheeks nicely. There were a few more layers in the back and not only that, but there were now fuchsia highlights brightening up her pale hair.
"What the hell," Mello mumbled.
"Like the hair," Matt said, not at all fazed by the change. After all, he had lived with Alison for a long time and she often changed her appearance, especially if she was working in the field and not just in an office.
"Thanks, Matt," she chirped, scrambling some eggs together in a bowl before dumping them into a warm fry pan. "What," she asked when she turned to see Mello staring at her.
"Nothing," he replied.
"Is that... Never mind," Matt said abruptly after trailing off.
Alison looked at him oddly only to see that he was staring at her neck. Her eyes widened and she clapped a hand over her neck, turning bright red when she remembered the few marks that she had received during the night. She had meant to cover them up with some concealer, but had forgotten after trimming and coloring her hair.
"So I take it you two worked things out," Matt spoke up after a few seconds, grinning from Mello to a reddening Alison.
"Oh, shut up, Matt," she snapped, throwing the dish rag on the counter at him and spinning around to finish cooking.
"There's nothing to be embarrassed about," Matt said, trying not to laugh at the look on Alison's face. "You're both adults and-"
"Oh my gosh, Matt, shut up," Alison shouted, turning around and putting her hands on her hips as she glared at him. "And don't you dare laugh, Mello!"
"You're going to burn the eggs," Mello pointed out, holding in a laugh of his own.
Growling in frustration, Alison went back to cooking and once the eggs were done, plated everything up and practically threw all the food she had made on the table.
"Told you you were mine," Mello muttered under his breath after she sat down and pointedly ignored them as she began to eat.
She choked on her food and turned to give Mello a seriously ticked off look. When Matt burst into laughter, she rolled her eyes and ignored the two boys while she ate her breakfast.