It is the story of my life that I never meant to write the next story. I really didn't have any intention of writing a sequel to 'It Matters', because I knew that I'd have to stray into canon territory. There were ideas, then there was the encouragement of Shini_skittles and Catmoongirl. The reaction to 'It Matters' had been positive, I thought I might just throw some chapters together and see what happens.
What happened confirmed what I'd suspected. It was going to be hard work to write about canon events without rewriting the manga. Two chapters in, I'd decided that this wasn't going to be fun to write and, as entertaining myself is the primary reason for writing, that wasn't an attractive proposition. I still plunged ahead and wrote the third chapter. It confirmed it. I effectively abandoned 'All the Way Here' and went to play Runescape instead.
Enter Miyamashi. She made Mello interesting. He had been a fairly engaging character before, but now Miyamashi pointed out two things. The first was his Catholicism and the second was that, for all his orders and fine talk, there is never a moment in 'Death Note' where Mello is seen to directly kill anyone. There is talk of him bringing in the head of a Mafia don, but no details on how he did that. Mello orders people to be killed, but he never pulls a trigger or writes in the Death Note himself. Instead, when reading between the lines, you find a man who is actually quite polite. While the rest of us are baying for Lady Takada's blood, Mello offers her a blanket so that she doesn't feel too uncomfortable stripping in front of him.
Until now I had been writing Mello as a bit of a rough diamond. His personality was inconsistent, but, at his core, he was a violent brat. I hadn't wondered too much what made a man like that tick. As Miyamashi and I exchanged posts over three forums, she kept pushing me. She kept raising the stakes. There was an undercurrent of a challenge never quite written. Why was my Mello so two dimensional? He's a genius with this well of spirituality, yet he's a member of the Mafia. He's a polite boy who is respectful to women, yet he abducts and terrifies two of them. He's got a reputation for murder, yet we never see him actually kill anyone. He's the only Wammy's House alumni who turns up with a friend. He also earns the respect of Hal, who doesn't seem to suffer fools gladly.
I wrote 'The Exchange' chapter as a nod to Miyamashi. It was a kind of 'here you are, is this less two-dimensional?' Then Miyamashi went off travelling for ages. She'd got my mind all fired up, then wasn't around to answer my posts. I looked at 'All the Way Here' again and started writing. By the time I reached 'Waiting for You', I knew I was going to carry on writing this story.
To be honest, 'All the Way Here' remains the least favourite of all of my MelloxMatt stories. The reason being that it following the canon timeline, without being able to rewrite it, was very restrictive. I couldn't just go off at a tangent. I couldn't do anything to them that would stop them being in a certain place at a certain time. The reader should be able to read my story, then read a few panels in the manga, then back to my story and feel like they were reading a coherent whole. For example, Mello couldn't be abducted by Mafioso and brutalised within inch of his life, then turn up at the airport following a tip-off from Near without a scratch on him.
Even when I had a lot of scope, for example, the three months when they go missing in Japan, it was restrictive. They were on the Kira case, but there's no contact between themselves or any of the major protagonists. I was trying to write about geniuses, but the canon story dictated that they didn't solve anything much during that time. It seemed to go on forever. I skipped whole days, then weeks, because otherwise I risked both slowing the story down to the point of utter tedium or else I'd have to write filler things. The filler things were a problem. Mello was so single-minded about the case that I couldn't see him distracted by much. Hopefully, I got the right balance between their inactivity and their activity.
It was with a huge sigh of relief that I finished the story. I was adamant that I wasn't writing another one, because the canon-reliant restrictions had been so harsh. Besides I'd reached the end of their lives. There was nothing else to write, unless I wrote a supernatural one. Catmoongirl had already written 'Beyond' and there's no way I could match that. Other than going backwards and writing a Wammy's House era story, I was done with Mello and Matt. Still the reception was good. At the time, there was only me and Salixy writing anything MelloxMatt on Adult Fanfiction. She liked my stories. Spoiled-kitten, Orditz, trinity_dream, expertease, nami_assasin, pro_kira and catmoongirl all commented and the things that had to say really blew my mind. I started to feel quite proud of this story.
But there was one person who commented with a request beyond 'I hope you write more'. Saigocage wrote, 'Good job and I hope you write another Matt x Mello fanfic, probably an AU, so they dont have to die. XD' This was the eve of the Glastonbury Festival. I left with Saigocage's suggestion ringing through my mind. A Mello and Matt story which didn't have the canon restrictions. A story where they could also be in the Yellow Bow warehouse. A story where they had to survive no longer having that great purpose in their lives. By the time I returned from the festival, I knew I was going to write 'Poisoned Rationality'. I hope you liked your AU, Saigocage.