a/n: I'm really sorry this took me so long to update! Those of you who read my KH work know that I worked like crazy on two super long chapters...it's been a month and a day since I updated this. Ugh. See? I'm disgusted with myself.

Anyway. Chapter Seven! It's not very polished, but since I haven't updated...I figure I'll make it prettier later. Unless you think it's okay as is. Tell me what you think!

Death Note is of course the property of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Chapter Seven

Light sat down at his desk with the air of one whom is getting reacquainted with a long lost friend. He would have loved to be sitting down to his writing, but since Thursday was looming he knew that it was time to start researching the peculiar man who'd come to call the day before.

Peculiar? The word wasn't a very good description, really, of the man who looked, for some reason he couldn't fathom, so strange in the charcoal business suit, so unfamiliar with his own straight---intimidating---no, imposing---posture.

There had been something there, something that wasn't confined to the man's enigmatic smile or his expressive eyes that left Light utterly unconvinced of his identity.

"Aren't you worried?" Mello had asked when they sat facing each other last night, each picking at the chicken salad Light had thrown together---courtesy of his mother's recipe and his sister's coaching---with something akin to distaste.

Light had wanted to reply with something that emphasized the fact that the one he should be worried about was the one who kept raiding his clothes and threatening him with defamation.

Not wanting to reenact that morning's scuffle, or worse, provoke Mello to do exactly what he was threatening, Light had answered with a calm, "I already told you, there's no reason for me to worry. I'm sure he's harmless."

At that point Mello threw his fork halfway across the room and stomped up the stairs.

Which was, really, intriguing. It would be oversimplifying to say that Light wasn't stupid. Light had one of the best, brightest, and fastest minds in the world. He'd taught himself to read before he could tie his shoelaces, and could outsmart most adults with his flawless logic by the time he was in fifth grade.

By the time he was in twelfth, no one else really stood a chance, though soon after he was working on At Midnight and for a great deal of time, forgot about normal life in general in lieu of the joy writing and creating brought him.

This may be reiterating, but it leads to a simple truth---analyzing Mello's behavior (or atleast this example of it, Mello was by all means a mystery on other counts) was child's play: the boy obviously had some sort of contact with Mr. North in the past, and since he was pretty sure that Mello was not a published author, Mr. North's explanation of being a literary critic was not holding up. (Not that he had ever called himself such.)

Even more obvious was that this contact was not positive. Or if it was, he believed Light was going to be in over his head. Or something to that effect. Was he trying to help him? Light reflected over the boy's behavior---they hadn't spoken yet this morning, Light assumed he was still sleeping (in Light's bed? He really had no idea, Light hadn't been upstairs to do more than change clothes ever since Mello had started blackmailing him---what, three days ago?).

The whole situation was downright bizarre.

I am a popular author. After going to speak to a public highschool an unusually gifted boy started blackmailing me---he doesn't go to the press with the news that my greatest work has a major flaw in its execution (that I wasn't even aware of) in exchange for a place to stay. The next day I get a visit from a strange man who seems connected to my blackmailer even though there is no visible connection between the two. Now my blackmailer is acting even stranger and (almost) seems to be warning me…

Dear god, it sounded like a mystery novel. All that was missing was a couple of dead bodies.

At which point Light Yagami paused in opening his laptop and instead reached for his pen.

There were some things that Mello had vowed he would never remember. Stripping himself of…well, himself, had certainly served its purpose in that there were quite a few holes in his memory.

But ever since he'd read At Midnight, ever since he'd awakened, he was starting to remember.

He remembered the incident that had led him to his decision, he remembered the people involved. Or rather, the person. The person whose face was starting to enter his mind again as he sat in Yagami's chair and listened to the sound of Yagami writing.

And he remembered the people who weren't involved in the incident, the ones who Mello had wished were there, because he was sure if only they were, things would not have turned out the way they had.

Yes. Mello sat, staring at the blank wall, plotting and thinking.

There were some things that Mello had vowed to never remember.

L Lawliet was one of them.

Every memory Mello had of the man had swept through his consciousness like a dirt devil sweeps the leaves from the streets in autumn---violently and without consideration--- upon seeing that face again.

Admittedly, Mello hadn't ever seen much of him---but the orphanage had been chock full of rumors about the greatest detective to ever walk the earth, the man who hid behind countless aliases and moved through the highest levels of governments around the world like a shadow.

The greatest detective ever. Mello suppressed a shudder. Had he read Yagami's writing? No shit. Had he realized why Mello was there? Did he even know what had happened to Mello, the no good second best cheater? Well, if he'd visited his "home" then he certainly did. What if L turned him in?

Something in Mello tightened.

So what if he did? Mello had beaten himself, for crissakes.

Beating anyone else---even the so called greatest detective ever---would be a holiday in comparison.

Although, Mello thought with a sneer, things might get difficult if Yagami persisted in his fake nonchalance.

No, no. Mello shook his head furiously. He was thinking like a child---L Lawliet didn't spend his time arresting wayward orphans. Even if said orphan had one of the highest IQ's to be found. In fact, Mello was almost certain L had smiled at him, right before taking his leave.

But what was he after? Why would he spend his time chatting with some Japanese author?

Maybe this was L's idea of vacation?

L didn't go on vacations, so far as he knew.

In any case, if Light---Yagami, Mello corrected himself---was expecting an amicable chat on Thursday, he was seriously mistaken.

It didn't really matter, he supposed. L wasn't the reason he was blackmailing Light Yagami. L wasn't the reason he'd spent the past two days trying to think of ways to get back at the person who'd put him in his predicament.

A purpose whose nobility was starting to lose its shine. In retrospect---it probably wasn't the other boy's fault. Hate him he may, but… Revenge for its own sake had lost its appeal somewhere on the way between the thought and his plans.

Which left the real question of: what exactly was he doing here? The same question that he'd thought upon standing in his old room. The same question he'd thought when they brought him to the orphanage.

Mello could think of a hundred maybes.

Maybe his life was one mistake after another.

Maybe it was the only darkness making him feel pensive.

Either way, Mello was tired of staring at the wall. He pulled up the collar of his shirt---it kept slipping over his shoulder. Yagami had broader shoulders than he did, that was for sure---and retreated down the stairs.

Linda carefully stuck her head around the corner of the door that led to Near's room, curling one slender hand around the edge, biting her lip in the vain hope that maybe he wasn't sitting in the dark, that maybe he was playing outside or had gone out to the movies or…she opened her eyes and was met with the usual sad disappointment.

He was sitting on the carpet like he always was: facing the old typewriter that he'd seemed so intent upon dragging upstairs.

Linda hadn't had a very good past few days. She'd been so happy when Near expressed interest in something other than his studies, that she'd dropped everything to look in on him every few minutes. She'd been hoping to catch him at writing, or reading, or something.

She didn't understand. Oh, she wanted to. She wanted to understand Near, but she knew she wasn't nearly smart enough to. What was it that made him so special to her? It might have been his innocence. Fleeting but apparent, that's how it was to her.

It seemed that those qualities were starting to apply to her hopes, but she tried not to think about it. Instead she lost herself in her own studies, in her other friends, in her ambitions---of which she had few. But it always came back to Near. She couldn't stop herself from caring about him.

What was it about him?

And what was that noise?


As if by some unearthly que, Near's hands lifted from his sides to strike the keys of the typewriter in a relentlessly sharp tempo. His shoulders rose and fell with the motions. His eyes were strikingly clear in the dimness, following the bold words that ran across the page with an intensity normally reserved for equations or puzzles or problems.

He almost turned his head to almost smile at her. It was a marvel of their communication that she knew he knew she was there, and that he was happy she was watching.

And Linda watched from the doorway, unable to stop the stupid grin that was melting across her sweet features.

She was perfectly content to watch from a distance in peaceful silence.

"You can come in if you want," Near offered softly.

Ah. That was what it was about him.

Mello ended up staying on the stairs. He had an excellent view of Yagami's profile, bent mere inches away from the scraps of paper he kept striking with a much abused pen.

He wouldn't have said that Yagami was different when he was writing. It was more that all the details that seemed to constitute the author were thrown into a spectacular light that sharpened and exemplified them.

And after Mello had basically screamed at him to dig around Mr. North. What an incorrigible man.Who knew, Mello reflected. Who knew what someone with his mind was capable of. And there he was, writing fiction.

"Are you staring at me for a particular reason?" Mello looked down. Light was twisted in his chair, staring at the younger blond.

"No particular reason," Mello confessed and descended the steps, walking across the room.

"I suppose it's too much for me to ask what you've been doing upstairs."

Light watched Mello's eyes brush the papers with a face devoid of his perpetual anger.

"Thinking," He answered shortly, reaching for one of the sheets. "May I?" He asked.

"I'd rather you didn't," Light said bluntly. "But I'm not really in a position to stop you, am I?"

Emotion flickered back into the boy's face in the form of a swift grin.

"Damn straight you're not. But I've changed my mind." He handed Light the piece of paper.

"You really don't like my writing, do you?"

"I have no reason to like anything."

"I find that hard to believe."

"I'm not asking you to believe me."

"Then what are you asking?" Light pounded the desk with his fist, the words laced with frustration.

"I like your writing," Mello said quietly.

"I---thank you."

"You look like you'd rather strangle me than thank me, Yagami," he said pointedly.

Light exhaled. "You can't seriously blame me."

"You don't take me seriously anyway." It wasn't a question. Mello wasn't expecting an answer.

"That's true. You're immature and impetuous. You obviously act before you think, because whatever plan you had in mind either isn't working or isn't relevant. You have an inconsistently aggressive personality. It's like you're copping out on your own--"

Light paused to take a breath, and Mello seized the opportunity to lunge after the author. His weight was enough to knock both Light and the chair over. The blond gripped Light's shirt collar, raising his fist---but then Light's feet were kicking up and out, catching him directly beneath the chest and flipping him over the chair.

Mello found himself panting and twisting under Light---whose face was flushed with the exertion of forcing Mello down.

"Fuck you!" Mello spat, realizing that Light wasn't going to stupidly relinquish his upper hand.

"That's—hardly polite," Light managed. Thank god he was heavier than Mello. "Quit squirming!" He snapped.

"Let me up. Let me up right fucking now. Or tomorrow morning your name is going to be on the front page, I fucking promise you."

"Somehow, I'm not inclined to believe your promises. And if I let you up then you're going to start in on me, and quite frankly, Mihael, I'm not in the mood. One black eye is sufficient for me, thanks," Light sneered. "And just when we were starting a civil conversation."

Mello glared balefully. "Let me up."

"No way in hell."

"You have to do it sometime."

"Not until you've calmed down, I don't."

"I am calm," Mello snarled furiously.

Light stared at him. A choked laugh escaped his constricted throat. He rolled off the other boy, who immediately leapt to his feet, prepared to start his vicious attack anew---

Light remained sitting on the floor, face in hands.


Mello's fists dropped to his sides. He stared in undisguised consternation.

"What?" Light looked up. His chestnut eyes were shining. Something caught in Mello's throat.

"If you think that's funny, you need to fucking get out more."

One day I met the sky

Atop a green green hill

Where pink pink flowers grew

And purple purple birds flew.

The next day I met a stranger

Under a blue, blue sky

Next to grey grey people

With grey grey eyes.

I never knew the names

Of the sky or the stranger.

But when I see such vivid colors

In your dark deep eyes

All thoughts are gone of others

All thoughts are gone of skies.

Matt reread the poem only once before donning his customary striped shirt and worn vest and facing another day in which he was sure he would not run into his golden haired muse.

a/n: Wah!! Nothing happened, I know. Mello and Light interaction wins in this chapter. Next chapter we have Light and Mr.North's "interview," and the introduction of more--omg---plot.

Which reminds me. You guys know my annoying summary in which it states, "summary will be longer as plot is revealed?" Yes. Well, does anybody have any suggestions? deadpans. Or maybe that should wait until next chapter...(plot starts in chapter eight? I'm a horrible person.)

I think every chapter will include a poem about Mello by Matt...I really am sorry for subjecting you to my shoddy poetry.

Anyway, I'm so grateful to you readers, and I love to know what you're thinking! Don't be shy, leave me a review.