I really can't believe I managed to finish this. (: It's shorter than the rest of the chapters, but…Not much happens, really, it just sums everything up and finishes it. I hope it's enjoyable. :D

I hate modifying canon scenes, but I had to otherwise it wouldn't go with the rest of it.

A few months later, everything was back to normal at Wammy's—for everyone but Mello. The other children were wary of Mello—more so than usual—and Near for a few days after he was released from the infirmary, before realizing nothing else interesting would happen between them, other than glares whenever they passed, and resumed their childish games.

How could life go on without Matt? He was such a huge part of Mello's life, from the moment he arrived. But nobody even acknowledged that anything had happened—Near didn't even say anything. (Though, if he even tried, Mello would either walk away or beat him up himself; he still held a grudge, and always would.)

Although Near was indifferent to Mello as always, aside from a few rage-inducing smirks every now and again as they passed in the halls, Mello hated him more than ever for taking Matt away, and for what he'd done to both of them. It was because of him that Mello would never be the same again.

It was exactly eight days until Mello's birthday, and the knowledge he wouldn't be able to spend it with Matt reopened the wound he'd had for months now, since the day Matt left, sending raw feelings flowing again. He felt just as cold as he had on that late September evening, even without the December wind and rain soaking him and chilling him to the bone.

He opened the door to his room, and since Matt was no longer there to accompany him, he slammed it shut immediately. He stripped off his wet clothes and threw them into a pile on the floor; he no longer cared if anyone thought his room was a wreck. He was a wreck now, anyway, even if he didn't show it.

He'd always been neat, his room spotless, but he no longer wanted to clean it. He wanted to throw everything to the floor in anger.

Maybe it was a way to fill the emptiness the place seemed to have without Matt.

Pulling on a dry long sleeve shirt and jeans, he grabbed his laptop and entered his passwords, fingers flying over the keys. There were other ways he could talk to Matt, and he couldn't wait to talk to him again.

He had no idea where Matt was, but he figured it was somewhere far away. Still, he liked to think he was somewhere close, as if that would make a difference—he knew Matt couldn't pass through the gates ever again.

He opened the new message from Matt. It read:

Sorry I haven't been in touch for a while; I heard some rumors and wanted to move closer to you. I have a feeling you'll know soon, as well. I can't exactly tell you, in case someone else reads this. You'll know what it is, though, when you hear it. When that happens, meet me at the gates.

I've done some things I'm not proud ofillegal, reallybut I've been able to make a living for myself and find a safe place to live. Please tell me you're not the same, and you've left Near aloneI don't want you in trouble, too.

But I guess we'll see each other soon enough; you can explain everything then.

He was close? And I'll see him soon, Mello thought. Though he was elated to hear he would see Matt again, he was a little angry—Matt was the one who had convinced him to stay. And though it was true he still wanted to be L, it was different now—he couldn't let Near be L and allow him to keep doing the things he did to him and Matt, or for him to allow other people do. He would stop that, if he was L.

Still, the possibility seemed far-fetched; everyone liked Near best, and they were already used to the idea of Near becoming L. Wammy's was biased towards Near. Some days, it seemed like he put ip with all the people here he hated—Near, Roger, and L—for nothing.

It didn't make him feel much better that Matt wasn't being obedient, Matt wasn't following the rules, but Mello had to. It wasn't fair, even if he knew why it had to happen.

He decided to wait until later to reply, but still he wondered: just what did Matt know?

Mello wandered down the halls to clear his mind, slamming into kids that walked too close. But as he passed Roger's office, giving it an angry yet nostalgic look, one of the last places he'd seen Matt, Roger grabbed him by the arm.

He was surprised, of course, yet didn't resist; maybe this was how he would hear Matt's 'rumors.'

But when he pulled Near into the office as well, he stepped away, to the other side of the office, as far away as he could get, giving Near a disdainful look.

"What is it, Roger?" he said impatiently. He wanted to leave as soon as possible. He hated being in a room with Near, who defiled the floor Matt once walked.

"L is dead."

Mello was filled with a mixture of relief and horror. Did he choose Near as his successor? He couldn't have! If Near was successor, who knew what he would use his position to get away with!

"Did he choose me?" Mello focused his harsh gaze on Roger—might as well get to the point.

Mello kept his fists clenched—he had to keep his emotions under control, at least until he knew if he would succeed L and break the cycle. He couldn't disqualify himself now.

Of all Kira's crimes, this was both the most and least forgivable. L was dead, paying for his crimes in Hell—but Mello wished he could have done it himself. Kira didn't know him well enough to want him dead, not the way Mello did.

"He died before he could choose between you and Near. If you two were to work together—"

"No, that won't be necessary," Mello interrupted, not needing to hear the rest. "I'm leaving." Mello turned around and walked through the office door. Roger called after him, but didn't even attempt to stop him. Everyone knew the old bastard hated kids—especially Mello.

He went to his room, gathering the few things he owned in a backpack—a journal he'd kept before he was taken here, when he lived with his family, an old photograph of his mother and father (his mother was pregnant; it was technically the only picture of him in existence). He left the textbooks on their shelves (and the desk, where the well-studies ones rested, and the floor, where the useless ones lied, open to random pages they fell to when they were thrown); the time of his life when he needed to study were over.

After he'd packed the few sentimental possessions he owned and some clothes, he opened the laptop to reread Matt's message.

He understood, now. Matt must have been hacking—maybe that was the illegal activity he'd mentioned, but it never bothered him before—likely as an attempt to be sure Mello was still at Wammy's, instead of leaving prematurely, and staying out of trouble. Mello would talk to him about that later; for now, he typed, See you at the gates and sent it, closing his laptop again.

As soon as he left, his room would be cleared out. Maybe the entire building would be demolished, now that L was dead. But Mello didn't care—it could rot for all he cared. He'd let nothing valuable there..Just halls full of memories with matt and violation from Near. He'd rather see it destroyed—he could always remember the fun times when he looked at Matt. If this place was being destroyed, it was as if Near was destroyed with it.

A happy ending. One good thing to hold on to, one thing to counteract some of the bad.

He took one last look out the window he'd spent so much time looking out of, just enough to clear his head. He saw that it was raining, but he didn't care enough to take an umbrella, or even a jacket. He just walked out of his room with his bag, leaving the door open, and ran through the halls, until he made his way outside.

As expected, when he got out there, a figure stood at the gates, offering Mello a smile. Though the wind whipped at his hair, he wasn't soaked like Mello was.

He wasn't technically on the grounds; he was on the other side of the gates. If it were Mello, he wouldn't have cared; nobody was around. He would have ran up to Matt and embraced him. He wouldn't have even waited for Matt to meet him at the gates; he'd go to his room and they'd leave together. But Matt had always been more mature than he was.

Mello pushed the gates open, the cold metal freezing his hand—he wasn't wearing gloves, either.

Though he looked the same as he did when he left—only two or three months had passed, after all—Matt had changed. It wasn't obvious, wasn't something easily visible, but Mello saw it in his distanced stance, the way he stayed off the grounds, rather than run up to embrace Mello, only offering a smile. He had matured; living the way he had described to Mello had changed him. Mello wondered if it would change him, too. But it didn't matter—they were together once again. The world could end and Mello would be just fine, if he was with Matt.

Mello stepped through the gates to embrace Matt, who held the umbrella out to cover Mello, as well. Already chilled to the bone, it wouldn't do much good. Mello pulled away long enough to allow Matt to remove his jacket and hand it to Mello, but the closeness of Matt's body warmed him more. Still, Mello pulled the jacket on anyway, after stripping off his soaked shirt and abandoning it on the ground.

They took the first step to their new home; Mello didn't know where it was, but it didn't matter. As long as he was with Matt, and far away from Near, all was right with his world.

He smiled, wrapping an arm around Matt. Though it was raining, his day couldn't be better.

I don't think I could really say anything to sum it up without ruining the mood of the story. XD I really grew fond of this towards the end, though. I really wish I'd explored the whole "corrupt L" thing. It's far from the only thing I hated about the story, though. XD I'm just glad I got to give it a happy ending. (:

So, now that it's OVER, how did it turn out?