Sweetest Decay

by Ebony

"From me to you, it's not so far."

- 'Baby Skin Tattoo', by David Usher

"You're just as bad as me," Mello would hiss loudly into Near's ear, long fingers grasping a tangle of white curls. Near wouldn't, or couldn't be bothered to resist as Mello tugged him aggressively closer, breathing sickly sweet all over Near's neck. Near would wonder quietly if that's the way Mello would taste too; so sugary it made you want to retch. Like honey gone rotten.

He wouldn't doubt it. Mello had always gone for the vulgar extremes, and was the type that would refuse to change under any circumstance.

"You're just like me, you know," would come the hoarse whispers as a hand forced its way beneath the waistband of Near's pyjama pants, peculiar eyes watching and waiting for the reaction each time, like it was some kind of game played between them.

"You're selfish." Mello would nip at his earlobes. "Obsessive." Nails would dig into his scalp. "Stubborn." Fingertips stroking possessively, insistently. "Too fucking smart for your own good."

Near would remain as unresponsive as he could manage while Mello suckled violently (jealously) on his neck (just above the major arteries, pounding full of life), still limp and doll-like when Mello crushed their bodies together. The pressure-born pain would increase with Mello's growing frustration, swelling desperateness, and his attempts to hide it were only half-hearted. It was childlike, Near would think to himself. Childlike, and obvious and pitiful. But he would play along anyways, knowing he owed Mello that much, at least.

Children are greedy, though… always coming back for more.

"Just like me…" he would hear Mello repeat. The blonde always smirked bitterly whenever he achieved one of his sought after reactions, seizing a moment of ostensible asthenia in the other boy and straddling him – as Near would let him, and Mello would disguise his wince with a scowl. Then came the wispy ends of Mello's hair brushing against Near's cheeks as the blonde leaned over him, knowing Mello was mentally scrutinizing every damn centimetre of him, staring without shame like he always used to.

"Look at me, Near," he would say, quietly at first, pressing his forehead to Near's. Rough patches of scar met smooth (flawless) skin, sending an uneasy shudder all through Near's body. Mello's breath (spoilt chocolate, overly saccharine) would spread over Near's face as he began demanding: "Look at me, Near… Fuck it, look at me! You're just like me, you know! You're just–"

The sounds would die abruptly as Near brought his head upwards until his mouth crashed into Mello's for an instant, lips parting as if to swallow the word on Mello's lips (grinning, delighted in their victory) whole. But he would choke, always, as the taste erupted on his tongue and the trails of saliva on his chest were suddenly ablaze. Panic would shoot all through him – sweet, irrational, dizzying thought – as he pulled his lips away and his eyes flew wide open.

And each time, Near would wake breathless and unsteady in the middle of the night, a rosary gripped in his stiff, sweaty fingers and the nauseous taste of rotting flesh lingering in his mouth, along with that word still stuck deep in his throat…