Wooooooo, look who's back :D *gets shot*

Yeah, I know, another late post. I'm sorry T.T
I've been super distracted lately, and I have suffered from writer's block that I can't seem to shake. I finally managed to scrape together another chapter. Yes, it isn't much longer than the last one, and I know I keep saying I will try to make them longer and better, but I think I might have, at least, gotten the better part down. I was worried after I wrote it that it would be a bit too... I don't know, ahead of the story, if that makes sense? But, I really like this chapter and I think that it can help bring up some things to come later in the story.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! Also, if you guys have anything you want to see happen, don't be afraid to say something! I am open to absolutely any suggestions you guys may have for me n.n ! Anyways, thank you for reading, and remember to review and favorite ^3^

After spending another two days in the hospital since waking up, I was finally able to return to Whammy's. I didn't think I would ever miss the place had I ever needed to leave, but I found the isolated atmosphere I had been subjected to at Whammy's was much more comfortable than being constantly poked and forced to make conversation at the hospital. Mello being there made it that much harder to relax.

I doubt there will be any difference now that I'm back at the orphanage, but at least I will be able to return to my familiar routine in a familiar place.
To be frank, I hate that I missed Whammy's. It only shows how stuck I am in my life, and although I may wish for change to come, I may never be able to fully handle it.

The kids at Whammy's did not welcome me back. Matt ran out, accompanied by Roger when we pulled up to the front gate, both actually to meet with Mello. I decided to leave them to speak while I went ahead to my room.
I sighed and sat my bag down containing a few personal grooming items and spare clothes Roger packed for me. I walked into the bathroom, figuring a bath would help relieve the stress that had built up for sometime. Besides, this would be the first bit of time that I had completely to myself; even when I bathed at the hospital, Mello was always sitting outside the door.

I figured that out when I was taking a shower and I accidentally dropped the bar of soap I was using. As soon as it hit the floor of the tub, the door flew open and Mello rushed in, only to see me unharmed and standing, trying to cover myself with the curtain. I, of course, was embarrassed and a bit creeped out by the incident at first, but the idea that he was doing it to protect me while still respecting my privacy and need of personal space, well, it made me feel... good. It was a kind thing for him to do, and Mello is not a person you would describe with the word "kind".

At the same time, I did miss being able to use the restroom and not have somebody by the door. It is not something I intend to get used to.

Slowly, I began to strip my clothes. I looked at myself in the mirror, an act I've found myself doing more and more often. What do I look for in the mirror? Do I expect to wake and see someone different, or maybe see me, but... changed? So far, the only change I can see is that the bruise from Mello's slap has fully healed. In fact, since Mello's beatings have virtually stopped, all the imperfections marking my skin have vanished.
The thought of them not being there anymore, almost... frightens me. When I had them, I felt a physical weakness, but an emotional and mental strength. I had dealt with them on my own. I had no one ask about the scars, nobody try to treat them, nobody offer words of comfort or support. I was utterly alone to deal with them, and that takes strength. And yet, I find myself saddened to see them lighten on my skin. When they were there, they hurt, and stood out on my white flesh. That to me was like a.. sign. A sign that I was... human.

Emotions are what make people "human". When you have nothing to bring out your emotions but pain, why would you want to give it up?

I had stood there, naked, my head hanging low and heavy with my thoughts when Mello knocked at the door. I didn't move, not even when he opened it.

"Hey, Near, are you in- WA."
I looked up at Mello, who was halfway behind the door with his hands waving wildly in front of his chest. He was frozen in his place, much like me.
"I-I HAD NO IDEA YOU... you... Near... are you crying?" When he said it, I could hardly believe it myself.

I put my head back down, and slowly lifted a hand to my cheek, which was, indeed, wet. When was the last time I cried; the last time I felt my feeling other than pain? I felt an overwhelming rush of emotions hit me and my legs grow weak. Slowly, I sank to the floor. I began to cry more, silent tears traveling down my arm and dropping off my elbow to the cold tile. I could feel myself growing weak and my body start to shake.

This isn't normal, this doesn't happen. Why now, why so sudden?

Soon I felt a warmth surround my body, and pull me off the floor. I opened my eyes to see Mello had pulled me into his lap. He was looking away, I suppose because I was naked and this was extremely out of character. As I looked at him, my eyes began to fill with tears again.
This time I started to sob. It was loud; my voice choked and wheezed and I needed to gasp in order to catch my breath. I had lost all control, and I couldn't see an end in sight. All those years I let my emotions build up inside, they were finally spilling out at once and there was no stopping it. I grabbed Mello's shirt and pulled myself into him, my body shaking even more violently, only to feel him pull me closer.
I felt him press his face against my head and whisper, "Shhh, come on now. Time to stop crying and take a bath. It's okay, it's all going to be okay." His voice seemed to calm me down, and sent a shiver down my spine that spread through to my fingers and toes. Eventually, I was able to stop the tears, leaving me with a horrible headache and unable to breathe through my nose. After spending a moment to collect myself, I tried to climb out of his lap, but he pulled me back down.

"I got it." he mumbled.

I could feel him slip an arm under my knees as he climbed off the floor. He turned around to face the tub, and gently placed me inside of it. He then turned the water on, adjusting it so it wouldn't be too hot, but hot enough to create some steam- most likely to clear out my nasal passage. I pulled my knees up to my chest and watched the water pour out of the spout. I felt Mello tap on my shoulder, and I looked up to see him hand me a box of tissues. I grabbed a couple and blew my nose. I looked over again to see the box replaced with a trash can to do away with the tissues. As the water continued to flow, he grabbed some body wash and poured it into the bath, creating a mountain of bubbles. "They help." he said as he kept pouring the body wash until there was no more left- a whole bottle used for bubbles. It was probably just so he didn't have to see me naked anymore, which is understandable.

After a few moments of watching the bubbles form and spread on the water, I whispered, my voice tired, "Can you hand me a mirror?"

"Huh? What do you want a mirror for?" After a moment of waiting for a response that wouldn't come, he sighed and left the room, shortly returning with a mirror. He handed it to me, his hand on his hip, looking away from me in a stubborn manner. I reached out and grabbed it, bringing it in front of my face. I took in my red, puffy eyes. My pink, tear-stained cheeks. I stared at my reflection, and a small, closed smile appeared. I almost laughed.

I really am human, aren't I?

After washing and getting dressed, with some help from Mello, he left to go get us something to eat. While he was gone, I heard a knock at the door, followed by Roger opening it and entering the room.

"Hello, Near. It's nice to see you back."

"And it's good to be back, Roger."

"Hm, I'm sure. I just wanted to check on you, hear how Mello has treated you- from a reliable source, of course."

"Oh, fine actually. He hasn't tried to murder me yet, which is good I suppose. He has lashed out at me, but what do you expect?"

"Ah, that's good to hear. Well, I will continue to have him check up on you, just let me know when you don't need him anymore"

"Yes, sir." he turned to leave, but I stopped him, " Oh, I wanted to thank you for having some things packed for me to use while I was gone. I appreciate it." A confused look spread across his face.

"What do you mean? I didn't have anything packed. Anyways," he waved his hand and turned back to the door " Have a good night."

If Roger didn't pack the bag... then that must mean...

The door then opened, as Mello walked in with a tray full of food. He sat the tray on my lap, removing his food to sit on the nightstand.

"So, what did Roger want?"

"Oh, he just came to check on me."

"Oh", he replied, more interested in his ramen than my response.

I have to ask...

"Mello... were you the one to pack my bag?"

He scoffed, and stated, mouth full of noodles, " You kidding? No, Roger did."

"If that's the case, why would Roger have no idea what I was talking about when I thanked him for it?"

Mello swallowed, and turned to look at me, his eyes cold. "Who cares, it's just a bag of stuff. Just doing my job. Don't get your hopes up. Now shut up and eat."

Get my hopes up?

After Mello emptied his bowl into his stomach and shoved in a couple of chocolate bars, I told Mello I was finished and I would be going to sleep soon.

"You barely eat half a bowl and you're full?" I glared at him. " Whatever, least you ate." He gathered up the dishes onto the tray and started to leave.

As he was about to shut the door, I blurted out," Thank you!" He stopped in the frame, his back still to me.

"For what?"

"For...doing your job." He stood there for a moment, before completely leaving the room, quietly shutting the door behind him. I sighed and laid down, snuggling underneath the covers.

He's done a good job, indeed.