Matt opened his eyes to find Mello’s side of the bed empty. He sat up and looked around the room in concern. He knew Mello had been having a difficult night, tossing and turning after what had happened, and he hadn’t really gotten any sleep until the early hours. He got out of bed and grabbed his jeans, pulling them on hurriedly, grabbing his shirt as he went out of the door.
He ran to the main door, knowing that Mello liked to sit outside when he was troubled. He quickly surveyed the areas he usually went to but didn’t see him. “Where the fuck are you?” he muttered under his breath then turned and went back into the building. The only other place he could think was the cafeteria, hot chocolate or coffee would be something he’d go for if he were upset.
He ran in the door and looked around, then exhaled in relief. Mello was slumped in a chair, sitting at a table in the corner. Just as he began to walk towards the table he saw someone else was already moving towards Mello and he stopped in surprise.
“Well, I’ll be a son of a bitch,” he said and sat down at the table nearest him; there was no way he was going to
Interrupt, at least not right away.
Near was used to sitting by himself in the cafeteria, it didn’t really bother him to be alone, but it was unusual to see Mello sitting at a table by himself. He, and the rest of the school, had heard about Beyond’s escape and recapture, and he knew how close Mello was to the troubled teen. Right now Mello looked pretty troubled himself, and he was surprised to see that Matt wasn’t with him. He debated with himself what the right thing to do would be, and after a few moments he sighed and made his way over to where Mello was sitting.
“Would you care for a little company?” he asked quietly when he got to the table, “Actually, I think you need a little company.” Mello looked up from his cup of hot chocolate and gazed at him. Part of him wanted him to just go away, and another part of him was actually touched.
“Yea, you can sit down,” he said with a shrug, “Just don’t expect much conversation, I’m not in the mood.” Near nodded and sat down, his hands wrapped around his own cup of chocolate.
“I know what happened last night, and I’m really sorry, Mello. It’s obvious you haven’t slept much, and I can’t blame you. I don’t have any close friends, but if I did, I believe I would be just as distressed as you appear to be.” Mello looked at him briefly before looking back at his hot chocolate.
“Yea, thanks,” he said and then looked at him again, “No, you don’t have any close friends do you? What’s the matter, don’t you like anything that isn’t plastic?” Near chuckled and picked up the robot that was lying on the table next to his cup, his other hand playing with his hair.
“I have discovered that most people don’t like me, and I don’t endeavor to make them change their minds,” he said running his fingers over the toy, “I don’t mind being alone, I rather enjoy it and my toys give me all the companionship I need.” He looked up at Mello who was looking back at him with a questioning expression on his face. At least he no longer looked upset, so his company seemed to be helping.
“I live with a foster family, a family of many foster children as the parents are trying to make as much money as possible from the government and so there is little to no privacy. Being here is the only time I have any space to myself and my toys don’t talk,” he grinned at Mello, “But you don’t want to hear about me, I’m supposed to be keeping you cheery company!” Mello blinked and then laughed. That had to be the first time he’d ever heard Near say anything even remotely funny. Of course it wasn’t as if he’d given him the opportunity to before anyway, he was so busy being a bitch to him.
“Sorry for your home life, no wonder you stay alone all the time,” he sighed, “Look, I’m sorry for how I’ve treated you before. Matt had to kick my ass and show me what a jerk I was being, and I’m really sorry.” Near shrugged and sipped at his hot chocolate.
“It’s fine, don’t worry about it,” he sipped again then looked around the room, “I haven’t seen Light or Lawliet…are they okay?” Mello nodded with a sigh.
“I haven’t seen them since last night, but other than being scared out of his mind I think Lawliet’s okay, and Light’s not going anywhere until he’s sure he is anyway.” He found he really didn’t want to discuss that situation anymore and changed the subject.
“So what are your plans when we graduate?” he asked and Near smiled.
“I will take Watari up on his offer to give us living quarters here on campus. I have no desire to return to the nest, and as I am now 18 and no longer a ward of the state, they probably won’t want me back since they can no longer collect on me. I’m rather looking forward to this, and working with all of you. I hadn’t really thought of a future for myself until this came up, and I believe I will be quite happy with this.”
“Yea, Matt and I decided we needed to get out of here, we’re moving to the city, taking Alexander with us, and we can continue to learn and work together that way, and maybe start doing little jobs on our own…” he stopped when he looked up and saw Matt walking towards him.
Matt watched them talk for a few moments, and when he was sure that Mello was being civil he got up and made his way to their table.
“Try not to scare me like this next time," he said as he sat down, "Leave me a note or something." He looked over at Near with a smile. “Thanks for looking out for him, he needs so much attention.” Near nodded and began to gather his things.
“I didn’t mind, he just looked like he could use some company. Now that you’re here I’ll get my breakfast and go back to my room,”
“Thanks for the company Near,” Mello said and Near smiled and nodded before walking away. Mello looked over at Matt and sighed.
"Sorry, about just leaving, I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to keep you awake."
"It's okay, I just panic easily," he watched him play with his cup for a few minutes before he said anything else. "Tell me what you're thinking, why you couldn't sleep. I mean, I can guess the basics, but something has to be going on in there.” He added pointing to Mello’s head.
"Everything's all fucked up and backwards," the blonde said finally, "The strongest personality I've ever known is shattered like a water glass, and the one that was so fragile is now being so strong I don't know how he's doing it. Everything we planned over the past few months is gone."
"It's not gone babe, it's just postponed for a while as far as B's concerned. He'll get better, he'll get out, and everything can pick up where it left off." Mello snorted laughter and shook his head.
"That's bullshit and we both know it," he said, "When B gets out, are you going to tell me that you're not going to look at him differently from now on? That you're not going to be looking over your shoulder all the time, wondering what could set him off again? Don't lie and tell me you're not because I know I'm going to and he's my best friend. I can't look at him the way I used to, I can't think about him the way I used to and that pisses me off!"
Matt sighed and nodded. "Okay, yea you're right about that, but I think after a while we'll stop looking at him that way. We can't help being cautious about him after what he's done Mello, that's just natural."
"I don't want to look at him differently, I shouldn't. A doesn't, I know he doesn't."
"They have a different relationship Mello, I wouldn't look differently at you afterwards if it had been you. I love you and nothing would change that," he chuckled, "I might lock up all the knives..." Mello looked up at him as if he were angry at what he’d just said...but then started laughing.
“How do you manage to always make me laugh,” he said shaking his head, “No matter how shitty I feel.”
“It’s my job, I’m good at it,” he said and then looked around the cafeteria, “Breakfast is on, and I’m starving. You want me to get you something?” Mello shook his head.
“I’ll come with you, I could stand some food now myself,” they stood up but before walking towards the food line, Mello grabbed Matt’s hand, “Thank you,” he said and Matt smiled with a shrug.
“Thank me later when we’re alone,” he said with a lecherous wiggling of his eyebrows that make Mello laugh again, and realize just how much better he was feeling, and how much he needed Matt.
Lawliet’s eyes shot open and he sat up quickly, his heart pounding as he fully expected to see his brother standing over him. He quickly looked around and took a deep breath when he realized he was being foolish, he was alone. He immediately regretted moving so quickly, groaning in pain. He looked over in the bed and began to panic again when Light’s side of the bed was empty. He began to slide out of the bed, grimacing a little in pain from his wound, but he had to find Light.
“Light? Light!! Light where are you?” he called trying to make it to the door. The door opened and Light ran in, frowning when he saw he was out of bed. He wrapped his arms around him and moved him back to the bed.
"Where the hell did you think you were going?" he asked crossly, "Haven't you had enough drama for a while?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry I didn't see you, I didn't know where you were, I had to find you," Lawliet said practically babbling and trembling in Light's arms.
"Sorry, but I had to go to the bathroom, and I'd rather do that alone," he said with a chuckle as he put L back into the bed. Lawliet looked up at him ashamed at his behavior and then chuckled himself before heaving a sigh.
"I didn't think about that, I'm just...I'm just afraid of everything right now and I hate feeling that way," he complained. Light sat next to him and ran a hand through his hair.
"I think that's completely understandable under the circumstances. But as far as your brother's concerned, I think we've seen the last of him until he's better. They're not that stupid where he is now. So just relax about him and work on healing."
"I have cases that I need to be working on, they're waiting for answers and so much time has been lost..."
"The cases will be there, you need to heal. Probably you can do some work while you're in bed, as long as you don't overdo it. And don't forget you still have some school work to do, we graduate in just a matter of weeks."
"I'm not worried about schoolwork, that isn't important to me," Lawliet said stubbornly, "It's my cases..."
"Lawliet you've got the rest of your life to be this mysterious detective L, right now you need to work on being Lawliet the student. More importantly you need to relax and heal before you can do anything.' Lawliet crossed his arms and pouted, a look Light couldn't help but adore.
"Fine," he said and then softened, "Do you think for a couple of days you could do your school work here? I’m…I just don’t want to be alone right now.” He asked looking down at the floor. Light smiled and nodded as he squeezed Lawliet’s hand.
“Of course, I’m sure I can work that out for the rest of this week, or until you feel comfortable being alone again. Okay?” L nodded.
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a problem, and I’m just…” Lawliet began to apologize and Light shushed him and kissed him softly.
“It’s okay, I understand. I’m sure you’ll be fine after a few days,” they both looked toward the door when they heard a sound from the main room. Lawliet looked terrified and Light shook his head. “It’s okay, I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably Wammy coming in to check on you.” He went to the bedroom door and opened it and sighed in relief when he found he was right, and Wammy was bringing a trolley into the main room.
“It’s just Wammy with breakfast. I’ll be right back.” He called over his shoulder and went out into the main room, closing the door behind him.
“Good morning Light,” Wammy said with a smile, “Is he awake?” Light nodded and then sighed.
“He is, but Wammy he’s so scared of everything. I got up to go to the bathroom while he was asleep and he completely freaked when he woke up and found me gone. I’m really worried about that.” Wammy nodded his understanding and sighed himself.
“I’m not surprised, but I think he’ll be alright in a few days. You have to admit he’s every right to be frightened after looking up and seeing his worst nightmare in his room yesterday.”
“Yes, of course but I’m just concerned,” he stopped and ran a hand through his hair, “How did it go with Beyond after he arrived at the hospital?”
“As long as A was there with him he was fine; A talked to him, promised he’d see him every day and was always going to be there for him. I must say, seeing this side of Alexander after seeing the very timid and quiet side of him for so long is definitely amazing to see.” Light nodded as he looked at what Wammy had brought for breakfast.
“Just goes to show you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re forced,” the bedroom door opened and Lawliet came out, the aroma from the cart obviously bringing him into the main room.
“Is it alright if I eat out here? I just have to get away from that bed for a few minutes at least,” he asked and Wammy nodded. Light went to him and helped him move over to the couch to sit down.
“I think that would be fine as long as you stay in one place,” Wammy finished, bringing him a tray and a plate of food as he sat on the couch, “Light, I brought enough for both of you so you eat as well.” Wammy told him and he nodded taking a plate and sitting next to L.
“Wammy, I really need to work,” Lawliet said earnestly, “I…really need to.” Both Light and Wammy understood he needed to do it to get his mind off of Beyond.
“That’s fine. While you eat I’ll gather up the files from my office and bring them here. We’ve already received several inquiries in response to the cases you’ve already done. I have a feeling this is going to be very big, very quickly.” He smiled and left them alone to finish their breakfast.
“So what happens if this L thing gets really big?” Light asked after a few moments, “What will all that entail for you?” Lawliet shrugged as he chewed on a piece of toast covered in butter.
“I don’t know, I can’t imagine anything will really change that much. Especially if I stay relatively hidden as Wammy wants to do,” he grinned. “I sort of like the idea of being the mysterious, unknown detective in the background.” Light laughed and shook his head.
“It does sound kind of cool,” he admitted, “But it also sounds like it could be dangerous once you get well known. “
“No one will know who I am, so it doesn’t matter,” he smiled at him, “Why are you worried about me?” Light rolled his eyes.
“No, I can’t imagine why you would even suggest such a thing” he said, then reached over and ran his fingers across Lawliet’s cheek. “Well, maybe a little,” he added.
“I’ll be fine,” he assured him, then leaned against him. “You’ll be with me.” He said and Light put his arm around him and chuckled.
“Absolutely. After everything we’ve been through, anyplace else would just be boring,” he said. Lawliet turned away from him as he reached for his coffee.
“Well, I’m glad I keep you entertained,” he said indignantly, his nose going into the air. That only made Light laugh more and he wrapped his arms around him.
“You know you love me,” he said and kissed the back of his neck.
“You just wait until I’m healed Light Yagami,” Lawliet warned leaning against him, “I’m going to remember all of these slights.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” Light answered and then kissed him deeply before pulling away with a sigh and adjusting his pants. “Let’s get back to breakfast before I forget myself.” Lawliet smiled apologetically.
“Hold on to that feeling, it won’t be too much longer before I can help relieve that little problem of yours,” he said and it was Light’s
turn to look indignant.
“LITTLE problem?” he repeated making Lawliet burst into the first real laughter he could remember enjoying in weeks.
A knocked on Wammy’s door, a little concerned at why he’d been called in to see him. He was afraid it was going to be bad news about Beyond; or maybe his grades. He had been visiting Beyond every day after classes were over, taking his homework with him so he could stay with him as long as possible and yet still keep up with his studies. He hadn’t thought it had affected his grades at all, he knew he was more tired these past few weeks so maybe he just hadn’t noticed. He opened the door when he heard Wammy tell him to come in, and nervously walked in.
“Good morning Alexander,” Wammy said with a smile, “Please have a seat,” He gestured to the chair directly in front of his desk.
“Good morning Mr. Wammy,” he answered sitting down, “I came as soon as I got your note; am I in trouble?” Wammy chuckled and shook his head.
“Not at all,” he said, “As a matter of fact I’m rather impressed with how you’ve been handling things these past few weeks since Beyond’s last situation. I called you here because I have a favor to ask you, to help Beyond.” A sat forward in the chair looking earnestly at Wammy.
“What can I do to help him?” he asked, “I’ll do anything…”
“I know you will, Alexander, and this is what I’d like you to do,” he pointed to one of two piles of books on his desk, “These are his books that I picked up from his teachers, along with workbooks, assignments. I’d like you to take these to him the next time you visit, help him work through his classes this way. I believe he’ll get through these without a problem and acquire enough points to be able to graduate with the rest of the class. Of course he won’t be able to attend, but you could bring him his diploma. I believe it would be good for him, boost his spirits and make him feel accomplished. If there are any classes he needs help with, you tell me and we’ll have the teacher prepare a lesson to help him. What do you think?”
“I think it’s a great idea,” A said excitedly, “It will keep his mind occupied; he’s having a difficult time with keeping his thoughts…where they should be. They’ve changed his medications so he’s better but part of the problem is he’s so bored all he can do is think and go over everything that’s happened. Thank you Mr. Wammy, this will help him so much!” He reached over and grabbed the pile of books and papers. “I’ll make sure he gets started today when I go to visit.” Wammy nodded and sat back in his chair.
“Very good Alexander. Just don’t forget to take some time for yourself, do not get over tired or your grades will suffer. If there are any problems, let me know immediately.” A nodded and stood up, moving quickly to the door, then stopped and turned around.
“He is going to be himself again, isn’t he Mr. Wammy?” he asked and the older man smiled at him.
“With your help Alexander, I have no doubt. Don’t expect miracles right away, but I’m sure he will recover.” A smiled and nodded and then went out of the office.
Wammy stood up and picked up the second pile of books at the other end of his desk. Now if only Lawliet would be as eager to get his schoolwork done as he was sure Beyond was going to be. He sighed and left his office.