2011-2012 Annals Era
> Walls Came Tumbling Down >
1. Walls Came Tumbling Down
2. A Thonnau Gwyllt y Mor
3. Enter the Lawyer
4. One Stressed-Out Addict
6. Back to Reality
7. A Petty Fiefdom
8. The Call of the Fox
9. Enemy Lines
10. Your Heart on the Line
11. Burn for Each Word
12. Butterfly Wings
13. What Fools These Mortals Be
14. To the Letter
15. Counselling the Defence
16. Cé Atá ag Glaoch
17. Strictly Business
18. Hell and High Water
19. Cardigan Hem and Bumble Bee Hat
20. Unlocking the Hacker Ethic
21. Back in the Loop
22. V for Vendetta
23. The Flight of the Gwrach-y-Rhibyn
24. Another Legendary Escapade
25. Fragile Things
26. Seo Droichead na nDeor
27. A Smoke and Mirrors Game
28. If I Just Lay Here
29. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
30. Seeing Scars
31. A Letter to America
32. Down on the Ground
33. Controlling my Feelings for Too Long
34. Something's Got to Give
35. Going Underground
37. Hidden Agendas and Civil War
38. You Who are Negligent
39. The Flick of a Domino
40. The Wretched Refuse
41. You See, But You Do Not Observe
42. Triggers and Traps
43. Facing History
44. A Study in Ambivalent Attachment
45. A Meeting with Old Friends
46. I Have a Dream
47. The Cost of Pride
48. Master and Slave
49. Could Have Been Number One
50. The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow
"There is such a term as 'looting', you know." Deontic sounded cross. She also seemed distant, like she was talking in another room. "I really think you ought to look that up and then consider precisely what you just did."
Mello felt like he had been hit by a double-decker bus. He had no concept of where he was, what had happened to him nor what day it was. He lay very still, with his eyes closed, grasping those last moments of sanctuary. Then it all came back to him, crashing into his consciousness with a sinking dread. His eyes shot open. "Mail." He had tried to speak the word, but his tongue felt stuck to the roof of his mouth. The face that bent over him was not that of his husband.
"Mello." Hal smiled. "Welcome back to the land of the living. How are you feeling?"
Mello felt dead. He tried to shift, but his body was sluggish to obey and ached dully. He recognised that there would be a sharper pain beneath. He was on pain-killers. He had taken enough of those, during his convalescence from his burns, that he knew the sensation. Quite strong pain-killers too. His upper left arm was in a plastic brace. Mello's vision skittered to the side. Deontic did sound far away because she wasn't there. He could hear her one-sided conversation through the closed door. She must have been on the telephone out there. He was in a hospital room, presumably still in Aberystwyth. He swallowed, but not enough saliva washed his parched mouth. His vocal chords were rough and his tongue clicked, as he rasped again, "Mail?"
"Mail's fine." Hal assured him, though there was a flicker to her gaze that sent warning alarms through Mello's mind.
"... here?" Mello croaked out. He had tried to ask, 'Then why isn't he here?', but only the last word made it through.
Hal sighed and lightly patted his shoulder. "Just you lie there. I'm going to find a nurse and tell her that you're awake." She strode across the room, skirting his bed to reach the door. Mello watched her go, with a deep sense of foreboding. She hadn't answered his question. The realisation hit him hard that Matt was possibly dead. It was the only reason that Mello could think of to explain his husband's absence. Or else Matt was badly injured too. Such information was not the thing that you told someone newly awakened after surgery. Hal glanced back, as Mello's heart monitor quickened. She cast him another smile, that was probably meant to be reassuring. "You're alright, Mello. Just chill."
Hal pushed open the door and there was a burst of Deontic's voice, just a touch louder. "Because your actions are wholly unacceptable!" A pause. "Hold on, Century. What?"
"Mello's awake." Hal told her, then the door closed behind her.
Mello stared at the monitors, displaying his vital signs. His eyes shifted downwards to stare at his plastic brace. He couldn't even feel what was broken. He tried to move his right hand to explore his torso, because that's where the greatest aching was. He felt too listless. There was no energy to reach more than an inch or two. He gave up. His mind flew back to Matt. That last sight, when his husband's demeanour had changed beyond recognition, was haunting him. The voice, which had boomed out of Matt's mouth, had not been that of his guapo. It was frightening, even in memory. Especially in memory. Mello closed his eyes again, but the image was there too, imprinted on the back of his eyelids.
The door opened again. Deontic sounded relieved. "How are you feeling, Mello? You had us worried there."
Mello opened his eyes to survey her. She looked tired and ill. Mello could empathise. He just wanted to curl up and die, but he had no energy for that either. He tried to swallow again, but it hurt his throat. "Mail?"
His foster sister hesitated just a beat, before stating firmly, "Matt's been arrested for your attempted murder."
The monitors told their story of a missed heart-beat and rising blood pressure. Mello groaned, "No." He squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them. They didn't feel any more refreshed. "No, Dee." He shook his head, wanting to say a whole lot more, but his mouth was so dry. "Water."
"I daren't until the doctor sees you."
Mello swallowed rapidly, several times in succession. "Please, my Mail."
Deontic was saved from answering by the arrival of Hal and a nurse. Mello closed his eyes, trying desperately to think through the repercussions and to prioritise his needs and feelings, and all that had to happen next. He felt so ill. Hal and Deontic left, with words of encouragement, while the nurse fussed around him. In a bright, sing-song Welsh accent, she told him how the doctor would come and see him on his rounds, then she fiddled with the monitors and made some notes. Mello just wished that she would get some water into him and then go away. He needed the other two women back, so that he could order his husband's immediate release and return. Mello caught himself falling asleep and his eyes snapped back open. He had missed half of what the nurse was saying, but he heard the word, 'hydrate'.
She poured him some from a jug, then helped him drink from the glass. "Just sipping now, cariad." She smiled, her brown eyes watching him. "Not too fast." By degrees, Mello drank the whole glass. "There we go." She helped him lie down again. Mello was still thirsty, but his mind was running faster. Everything was starting to fit back together. "I'll alert the duty doctor that you're awake now, is it?" She bustled out again, paving the way for Hal and Deontic's return. They looked pensive.
Mello's voice was stronger this time. "I want Mail back now."
Hal gave a short sigh, surveying him with a wary expression. Deontic couldn't even look at him. Hal replied. "It's not that simple."
"Yes. It is." Mello stared. "What's he told you?"
"Closed down, anti-social bastard?" Mello barely blinked. "Not said a word at all about anything? Hasn't even acknowledged that you're there?"
Hal shrugged. "Maybe you should concentrate more on getting better, so that you can help us with our enquiries."
Mello scowled. "I'll tell you now. He was possessed. That was not Mail."
Deontic glanced at Hal. Hal just watched Mello. "So that's what happened up there?"
Mello nodded and tried to reach for the jug of water. He was still too weak to get very far. Hal marched across the room and filled another glass for him. She had to hold it for him, so that he could drink. Mello swallowed half of it before he was sated. "Is he in Aberystwyth Police Station or under house arrest in the chalet?"
A new horror dawned upon Mello. "You have not got him in Near's cells? Tell me that that hasn't happened!"
Hal had the grace to look apologetic, but a certain squaring of her shoulders also betrayed how she was not going to be easily swayed on this matter. "He's nowhere near Neuron." She supplied. "Chrissie is representing him and Lauren is with him."
"This is fucking insane!" Mello railed, but he didn't have the energy to pursue it much further. He closed his eyes and let his head rest on the pillow, turned away from her, until he had worked out what was best to say. In truth, he just wanted to cry; and he wondered if that would melt their hearts towards him if he did. It wasn't as though he had any pride left anymore.
Deontic said softly, "Mello, he sent a message for you. I don't know if this will make you feel any better or if he's just telling you where he is." She paused so long that he nearly told her to carry on, though it should have been obvious that he would want to know. "He said to tell you, 'Watari'."
"Oh!" Mello croaked, shifting position, as best he could, onto his side. It was even more painful and he quickly turned back. Tears were pricking at his eyelashes and he moaned in frustration and discomfort. His voice emerged as a whine and he let it. "Please. I don't feel well enough for this. Please can you just get him back?" He opened his eyes, feeling them film and clear, as he focused upon Hal. "I need him here." Hal appeared implacable, so Mello looked to Deontic instead. "You know how he gets without me. For everyone's sake, just..." Mello's words were failing him again. He swallowed and closed his eyes. "We'll sort it out afterwards. Just get him here." He lay, immobile, realising that that might have sounded too rude and demanding. He whispered a final, "Please."
Neither woman was talking. Mello could feel their eyes upon him though. He attempted to rally the strength to make another plea, but Hal tutted. "Just get some rest, Mello. Mail is just fine. We can worry about the rest once you've slept."
Mello peered through slitted eyes at her. His lips formed the words, "Fetch my husband."
"Sleep, Mello." Hal reached to place a hand onto Deontic's back. Both women moved away from his bed. "We're going to be right outside. It's all good."
Mello wondered if that meant that the order would be given to return Mail to him. He heard them leave the room. His mind span around his options. He knew that he should be tearing the bedcovers and wires off himself, then hot-footing it to London. His slowing mind pictured himself gun-blazing a trail through to the cells and busting his husband out. It lingered upon how Mail would rush to him and hug him close. Their kiss hot and passionate. Mello started to work out how he would get in there, but the details kept slipping. He drifted into a fretful sleep.
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2011-2012 Annals Era
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