Why 'My Own Way'?It's from the manga, when Mello leaves Wammy's House.
My Own Way Chapter 01 - ContactThe story starts with Mello and Matt regaining contact with each other.
My Own Way Chapter 02 - GrownMello and Matt are both reeling from how much the other has grown up. They spent most of puberty apart, hence there are pronounced physical differences. However, there is also psychological growth. They've had different experiences and have been individually influenced by them.
My Own Way Chapter 03 - Of New WorldsThis is partially because Matt is now in America, which was historically known as 'the new world'. It is also partially because the reunion with Mello means that his world is changing.
Mostly though, this is my way of placing the chapter within the wider context of the manga. In chapter 60 'Kidnapping', Yagami Raito thinks, 'The ideal world. The new world, where everyone acknowledges Kira as their God, is just around the corner.'
My Own Way Chapter 04 - The Mattress'Going to the mattress' is, according to Mafia speak dictionaries on the internet, a phrase meaning that one Mafia family is going to war with another one. In this chapter, it's Rod Ross's family who is threatening war on the Batinelli family. They are also planning war against Kira.
Of course, Mello is also halfway to thinking about a different sort of mattress and a Matt to go with it.
My Own Way Chapter 05 - Men of ViolenceI was sure that there was a book about the Mafia called 'Men of Violence', but all I can find is Kate Kray's 'The Twins: Men of Violence'. The Kray Twins weren't actually Mafia, but they modelled themselves very closely on the organisation.
My Own Way Chapter 06 - IntoxicationThere are several intoxicants mentioned in this chapter. The intoxication of love/lust, following Mello and Matt's first kiss; the intoxication of power and violence, concerning Mello's activities in the Mafia; then the more obvious ones of whiskey and ecstasy pills that are mentioned here.
My Own Way Chapter 07 - A Demon in my ViewFrom childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —
'Alone' by Edgar Allen Poe
My Own Way Chapter 08 - Furious AngelsI was listening to the whole of Rob Dougan's 'Furious Angels' double CD, particularly 'Clubbed to Death (Kuryayamino Variation)' and 'Furious Angels'. The tune that Matt doesn't want Mello to hear is 'Left Me For Dead' (still a bit bitter over the whole 'left me at Wammy's and sodded off to join the Mafia thing'.
As this is based on an album not a song, I mused on which video to show you as an illustration. A theme running through 'My Own Way' is 'The Matrix', as well as Rob Dougan. Though called 'Chateau' on 'The Matrix Reloaded' soundtrack, this tune is actually 'Clubbed to Death' by Rob Dougan. The action also illustrates precisely what Matt would do if a gang of Mafia heavies turned up... ish. It's what he'd like to do anyway. Then, when he's finished with them, he'll do this to Kira. Oh yes.
My Own Way Chapter 09 - The Deciding FactorI'm pretty certain that this is a reference from the manga again. Someone somewhere says something with 'the deciding factor' in it. I can't for the life of me find it again now though. -.- It will be around chapters 71-74.
My Own Way Chapter 10 - Those Whom the Gods FavourThe quotation in the title is correctly: 'Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad', which is usually attributed to Euripides, but it wasn't him. Years and years ago, I was reading a biography of James Dean and it quoted that, then went on to say that in his case it was more a case of 'those whom the gods favour they first make mad', in reference to his iconic status since his death. Mello's a hard man to destroy. Kill him off all you like, but he'll be alive again in a million fanfictions and pieces of artwork tomorrow.
My Own Way Chapter 11 - The Winner Takes It AllThe ABBA song, 'The Winner Takes It All', is the inspiration for this title. Agnetha is really singing about a failed marriage, but if you listen with the right kind of ears, you'll find that it's also about Mello and his race against Near to catch Kira. Except the bit about 'I was in your arms, figured I belonged there', because that's just wrong. Oh and the bit about kissing. The MelloxNear fans would be having a field day here.
My Own Way Chapter 12 - HeatThere's a lot of heat in this chapter. The burning of Mello's skin; the 'hot' (ie stolen) car; the heat of the gun being fired.
In my mind though, there was a bit of a nod towards Catmoongirl here. Her 'Beyond' has the recurring, 'it's hot'. This has the same sentiment.
My Own Way Chapter 13 - Colliding WorldsHave you ever had one of those awkward moments when one group of friends meets another group? It's all good if you're the same sort of person with each group, because you can introduce everyone and hope for the best. However, here we have Matt the Druggie conflicting with Matt the Wammy's House Genius. The collision of worlds is happening inside Matt's head, because he doesn't know how to react.
You also have the collision of the partying, carefree world of Aimee and the gang with Mello's Mafia intensity and his injuries.
My Own Way Chapter 14 - Layers of HealingThe overt meaning is the state of Mello's injuries. They need to have certain things happening before they can be sure that he's going to survive from the burning.
The covert meaning is the healing of Mello and Matt's shattered friendship. Another set of layers refers to the strategy to capture Kira.
My Own Way Chapter 15 - Evil Be Thou My GoodThe quotation in the title is from Milton's 'Paradise Lost'.
So farewell, hope; and with hope farewell, fear;
Farewell, remorse! all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
My Own Way Chapter 16 - Matty was a Friend of MineIt is a paraphrasing of the Killers's song, 'Jenny was a Friend of Mine'. For those who know the song, it also foreshadows what happens in this chapter.
My Own Way Chapter 17 - CompassionThis is named after Jonathan Elias's 'Compassion'. I can't find a video for it that has embedding enabled, but you can watch one here.
My Own Way Chapter 18 - His Private PreserveMello doesn't so much ask Matt to be his boyfriend as tell him that he's not free to date anyone else.
'Matt exhaled, "Did you just ask me out?"
"No, stupid." Mello frowned, straightening his clothes. "I don't ask. I take." He swooped down on his chocolate bar and munched on a corner of it. "I'm just telling you that you aren't free to sleep with other people, because you're now my private preserve. Read into that what you like. I'm going in the bath."
My Own Way Chapter 19 - The Deepest CutIt is a reference to Matt's self-harm, but the deepest cuts are happening to Mello. He's cutting through his religious morality and also realising the devastating effect his leaving Wammy's House had on Matt. By implication, the deepest cut refers to Mello leaving Wammy's House.
My Own Way Chapter 20 - The Tender MerciesIt's from a line in Charles Dickens's 'Oliver Twist'.
'Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of church-wardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.'
My Own Way Chapter 21 - Every Action of Our Lives...The Irish playwright Sean O'Casey said, 'Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.'
My Own Way Chapter 22 - Concerning NinjasOne of the best fantasy stories ever is the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy by Tolkien. One of the sections of the Prologue is entitled 'Concerning Hobbits'. This is my nod and also an indication that what you're about to read is fantasy. (In case you missed it, there aren't really ninjas after Matt.)
My Own Way Chapter 23 - That Was Then, This is Now'That Was Then, This is Now' is a book by SE Hinton. It was made into a film, starring Emilio Estevez. The story surrounds two friends, Bryon and Mark. Bryon gets a girlfriend and pushes Mark out. If you know the story, then the chapter title was a bit of a spoiler. Sorry.
My Own Way Chapter 24 - Joyful and TriumphantFrom the carol, 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'.
My Own Way Chapter 25 - An Ordinary ChristmasAn ordinary Christmas was what Mello was aiming for them to have. His inspiration was Matt complaining previously that he'd never had an ordinary Christmas.
My Own Way Chapter 26 - In the Wide Wastes...From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd,
Thus much I at least may recall,
It hath taught me that which I most cherish'd
Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
'Stanzas for Augusta' by Lord Byron