A/N: Welcome to the ultimate chapter of But Everyone Likes Matt!. Prepare thyself…
Plus, I'm working on a small illustration for this that may or may not be done tonight~ Here we go.
Footnotes: (1) This is a Russian saying meaning, literally, "Until we meet again." It's a way of saying goodbye.
(2) If you go to the YouTube video of Matt's death (Death Note- Matt (Mail Jeevas) Dies) and stop it around 1:01, you can see what appears to be his gun in the back of his vest.
The silence was palpable and the alleyway was just wide enough to house Matt's car and Mello's motorcycle. Matt ran a gloved hand over the worn but polished steering wheel and yearned for the days at Wammy's House, shoveling snow to pay for an overcharged credit card, hiding Near's LEGOs all over the place, being comforted by Mello during a thunderstorm, nursing curling iron burns and laughing at hairstyles, playing too loudly. No, he thought, tightening his hands on the wheel with a deep breath. I'm ready. This is for Mello… for everything he's ever wanted. This is for Wammy's number two… today, I'll make him number one.
He glanced over at Mello, seeing the blonde without a haze of orange- just in case. The ex-mafia member was sitting quietly, making the final preparations and finishing off a chocolate bar. He crumpled up the wrapper and tossed it to the side, checking his watch. "Three minutes," he informed the waiting redhead, who nodded solemnly. The air was so thick, he nearly couldn't breathe. He focused on the road ahead of him, fingering the wheel in his hands. He could hear the gathering crowds. Any minute now and it would be time. Every moment of his life flashed before his eyes and he bit his lip, looking down at the gun sitting next to him, loaded with two tiny smoke bombs that would shroud the place in grey. Mello met his eye and the redhead looked over.
"We're going to be alright," Mello said quietly, but Matt doubted the blonde's confidence for the first time in his life. Mello clutched his rosary in his hands, bowing his head over the handlebars of his motorcycle. Matt had never understood this habit of his, but it seemed to make the blonde feel better, so he said nothing.
"Matt." His name caught him off guard and he looked over as Mello slinked off of his motorcycle and came to lean on the car door, arms lying on the driver's window. "Listen. "
"Listening," Matt said, smiling halfheartedly. Mello paused, looking serious for a moment, and then he reached to take Matt's hand, squeezing it gently. "Do svidaniya(1)… Give 'em hell, Jeevas." Matt blinked for a moment and laughed, returning the small squeeze powerfully. "Right back atcha, Mello," he said. The blonde smiled, giving him one last glimpse of his icy blue eyes before turning and pulling on his helmet, obscuring his scarred face. Matt slid his goggles down over his eyes and lit a cigarette with now calm hands, placing it between his lips as he pulled out, Mello close behind. The setting sun slowly gave way to night, and the booming of gunshots and screeching of tires filled the air.
Matt rounded a corner sharply, the sound of screeching metal live and aloud in his ears as he shot down the streets at impossible speeds. Everything was a blur all around him as he floored it, watching his speedometer shoot up on the old reliable sports car. His smoke bomb gun was tucked into the back of his vest securely(2) and he held on for dear life to the wheel to keep the car in control. The cars of Takaya's bodyguards were still hot on his tail. He had to shake them without leading them back to Mello. Everything had already been worked out perfectly- his route was mapped out in stone.
Unfortunately, he hadn't counted on the bodyguards' persistence. They were right on his tail, directly behind him, and nearly touching his bumper. With a hiss and a mutter of "Dammit", he tore on down a side street and attempted to weave in and out enough to evade the pesky cars.
The gas pedal was as far to the floor as it could go. Matt leaned his weight into it, frustrated, and veered a bit to the right. Almost there. Nearly home free.
And just like that, he was surrounded. A half-circle of eleven cars sat barricading his exit. Crowds were gathering to see Naomi Takada's assailant. Matt slammed on the breaks with no other choice and the car went spinning, veering expertly to a stop in the center of the now full circle as two cars closed in behind him.
Those cars got ahead of me… Matt's quick eyes darted to and fro behind his goggles and he resigned to his fate. How many damn bodyguards does one woman need, anyway? Remaining as calm as he could, he stared down the wheel for a moment and then, slowly, looked to the left, to the driver's window. For a split second, he saw a shadow of Mello, the Mello who had seen him off, the Mello who had promised him everything would be okay. With a deep drag of his cigarette he forced humor and confidence into his voice and swung himself out of the car, holding up his hands.
"Come on, give me a break," he joked, surveying the area. A man to a car and a gun to a man. Thirteen guns. "Since when are the Japanese allowed to carry such big guns?" There was no sign of humor on any man's face. Matt swallowed. "Alright, you got me."
You're Mello, right? Tough luck Near keeps beating you every time we have a test.
"I'm a part… of this whole kidnapping incident."
Let's be friends, Mello! We'll be best friends!
The image of a small redhead running after his blonde idol haunted his memory as he spoke. A hand itched towards his cigarette with slow, careful movements. Determination set in as his memories took over reality.
You'll see, Mello. I'll be the greatest friend ever!
The greatest friend ever.
I'll be with you, Mihael. Until the end.
"You won't shoot-"
The air filled with gunshots. Matt saw them before he heard them, bright shades of orange before his eyes. Pain consumed him, flowing, piercing, stabbing, holing into his very center. Blood stained his vest, his thin shirt. Every breath was knocked out of him as the bullets kept coming. He would be shown no mercy.
Mail Jeevas was going to die today.
With a gasp for air, all he could inhale was the cigarette hanging from his lips and a final shot did him in. The world showed its cruel hand and darkness drew him in as his back thundered against the metal of his car. The last shell dropped at his feet and his cigarette, limp in his lips, helicoptered off his bloodied vest and onto the ground beneath his boots. Consciousness left him in pieces- first his voice, his scent. He couldn't feel; everything was numb and nothing would move. His vision went black with easing slowness and the very last to go was his hearing. The sound of the panicked world, rolling shells, whispers, gasps, yells. The drone of a bodyguard. Everything faded to a gentle silence and Matt's final thoughts lingered in his head.
Mello is important to me because he's just Mello! He's my only friend and my best friend, and he talks to me even when the other kids don't. I really think he's starting to like me just as much.
"The thing about Matt is that he's the only person who's wanted to associate himself with me before you. But he's an actual friend to me."
A small smile drifted across the redhead's face as oblivion shrouded him. His heart pumped a last weak testament of life.
I'll see you soon.
Mello stared at the news report with ice cold eyes.
Why did it have to be him? Matt… he…
"Matt…." He whispered into the night air. "I- I'm sorry." Realization sank into his gut and he felt sick. He looked down. "I never meant to get you killed." The roads became a blur before him, his goal unclear for minutes on end.
No. I have to finish this. I'll become number one… For Matt.
The blonde's hands suddenly stilled on the wheel.
My best friend.
His heart refused.
His body, his heart, his mind, his eyes- they all hurt at once. The manic chest pain gave disturbing pulses and charges throughout his entire body and he shook and convulsed at the wheel.
The truck swerved and Mello registered a solid being hit before collapsing onto the wheel, his rosary dangling beneath it as he stared blankly at nothing.
I'll see you soon.
The world is dark and Kira is all-powerful. Mad with power, he seeks to eliminate all evil from this earth. In doing so, he has destroyed the greatest good. All that is left for hope is Near, forever Wammy's number one. Little does Kira know that Near, emotionless, logical and pristine, has gotten all his tip-offs from a man that Kira turned his nose down at and waved off as useless. Mello's key works have brought Kira that much closer to justice, and Near will see the man with a god complex fall from superiority, thanks to Mello, who won the case for him.
Little does Kira know that there was another man in the game.
A redhead, a gamer. A chain smoker, a bum. Basically, a computer geek hacker with a lot of free time that idolized Wammy's number two. A child who began only wanting friends and emerged holding his friend to victory, nursing his wounds, becoming his crutch.
Kira would never see the smiling face of Mail Jeevas, otherwise known as Matt.
Kira would never know his laugh or see the eyes behind those orange-tinted goggles.
Kira would never imagine how this man had changed the Wammy boys' lives.
Near sits crouched before a memorial standing proudly outside Wammy's House. The ones who fell at the hands of Kira and those who fell working against those hands. His blank eyes move over Mello's name and he places his palm to the epitaph in commemoration.
"Mello was very dear to all of us," he speaks, in a near-silent monotone that carried an air of grace. "But," he adds, placing his hand on the headstone next to Mello's with a gentle touch, "Matt will always be the reason that I think of Mello this way…. As Wammy's true number one." A gentle smile passes over his features and he drops his hands with a solemn nod.
"Sleep well, my friends."