As Falling Stars

by Ebony

Sometimes, when he was younger, Matt would find himself wishing that he was just a normal kid. That his Dad had never been an alcoholic, and that either there had never been a car crash, or that he had died in it that night along with his parents and two younger sisters, and not been left alone. But as Mello would put it 'Life's not fucking fair'. Get over it. And don't be afraid to give Life a kick in the ass back, if you ever get the chance.

Matt knew there was no point in wishing, but he would always catch himself doing it anyways. Unsurprisingly, he never felt any guilt for it; that just wasn't his style. Maybe because he knew it didn't really matter.

Maybe because he just didn't care.

Sitting in front of blurry television screens fed by security cameras for yet another night, his body sore and his uninterested mind begging for something to happen, Matt remembers the day he and Mello decided to skip their afternoon classes, and went down to the small river that cut through the forest behind the orphanage. Though it had been Mello's idea to go in the first place, the blonde didn't speak a word while they were there, instead stuffing his mouth full with chocolate bar after chocolate bar as he watched Matt trying to skip stones. They stayed on the grassy riverbank, in a silence just like that, for the majority of the day.

When the sun finally faded the edges of the sky into a softly glowing orange and they headed back up to Wammy's House for dinner, no one said a word to them about where they'd been. It was as if either nobody had noticed their disappearance or no one had been bothered by it. It was just like, Matt thinks with a smile, like they'd fallen into a little hole in the world that afternoon and regular rules didn't apply. In that little slice of time that was theirs, the only rules they had to have were the ones they made for themselves. It was the most wonderful thing, if only…

And then Matt remembers – that was the day after L died, and the next morning, Mello was gone. The thought turns bitter and spoils, but not before Matt sees in his mind's eye a projection of his younger self raiding Mello's room in a fury, and ingesting so much of the chocolate Mello left behind that he vomited all over the carpet.

The image fades, until there's nothing in his head but static. He makes another feeble attempt to focus his eyes on the television sets.

Well, this is no fun.

He lasts about ten seconds before pulling his Game Boy out of his pocket again, and slouching back against his chair. Honestly, Matt doesn't care whether they catch 'Kira' and 'the fake L' or not. He's only here because of Mello. And because he's got nothing better to do. Face lit up by the pale light radiating from the screens, Matt nods to himself.

Yeah, that's it.

It's kind of funny, in a not very funny way, that this of all places is where he's ended up. He never imagined himself doing anything like this, but then again, Matt can't really recall ever having a certain life ambition at all. He'd thought about it sometimes, but nowhere near as much everyone else had. Theirs were all essentially the same, though – to be like L. Pretty much every kid in that house lived, breathed and slept the idea of him, and in no way was that discouraged.

Matt will admit, he did harbour a strong liking for L, but it was never anything he could take seriously. Even back then, he knew that he wasn't the smartest kid in the orphanage by a long shot, so there really didn't seem to be a point in reaching for an ideal he couldn't grasp. He wasn't lazy, just realistic. Or something like that. But nonetheless, finding out L had died felt like… it felt like God had shattered right there in front of them, into too many pieces to be gathered and put back together like a puzzle. It was a lost cause from the start, but he dared not say so. To Matt, Wammy's House had been a place full of people all racing for the same dreams, most of those dreams ostensibly unattainable. And of course, not everyone can win. Some might be disappointed, even if they do.

Maybe that's why Mello seemed so frustrated that day by the river…

To tell the truth, Mello confuses the Hell out of Matt. The blonde is strange on the outside – the chocolate bars, the rosaries, the leather… but his insides are another matter altogether. Mello's about twice as unpredictable as a teenage girl overflowing with hormones, and too damn smart for his own good.

That's sort of funny too, Matt thinks, how he's ended up with Mello again. It didn't seem like all that long ago, actually, that Mello had showed up on his doorstep without any warning, called him pathetic, his life a complete waste, and then offered to bring Matt along with him. A chance. And Matt had accepted without a second thought, even though he knew the mess he would be getting himself into with the eccentric blonde.

On certain days, the only name on Mello's lips will be 'Near', while on others, the blonde will refuse to speak to Matt for hours on end if he so much as mentions their former classmate. But Matt has gotten used to letting Mello have his way; kissing him when he wants to be kissed, fucking him when he wants to be fucked, being ignored when Mello feels like ignoring him, and risking his life if Mello starts feeling particularly reckless, or just a little bored. He'll listen if Mello wants to talk, or stay silent with him all night long, if words will only make things worse. Clinging to each other, knowing they only have so much time to live…

In a way, it's kind of like a game. An unfair game, where Mello makes and breaks all the rules and Matt can only guess as to what the right move will be. Yeah, Matt knows he isn't quite on Mello's level and probably never will be, but he's smart enough to know that Mello isn't really using him, and when he disappears without notice, he'll always come back. Mello follows that rule and a few others almost religiously, even if those are the only ones he allowed Matt to make. Not that Matt minds, though. Because sometimes, he likes not being able to figure Mello out – it's more fun that way.

And really, it's not like they have anything better to do.

We see ourselves
as a dream,
unsavable – falling stars.
And in this moment
of reckless plunge,
the sky is only ours.