Disclaimer: Death Note and all associated materials are property of Tsugumi Ohba and Shonen Jump.

Black Poison Blood
By: Nanaki BH

Nights and days of progress that reared no progress at all. Clues that led them to dead ends. So many things yet unfinished or not begun and Mello began to worry that he hadn't the time left to accomplish anything significant. Accomplishment? What was that? A distant word with a meaning Mello no longer understood.

As of late, in fact, it felt like he was kicking around ideas Near had already chewed and spit out, rejected. Life wasn't normal. Not just for Mello and his lazy accomplice (who seemed to be more sincerely interested in working than he personally felt) but for the whole world. Matt somehow ignored the workings of the outside world. So long as he had something electronic in his gloved hands, he would be content to live without sun for the rest of his life it seemed. Matt couldn't avoid television though, and that made Mello wonder endlessly how Matt could be so impartial in the situation.

Matt had the strange and fantastic ability to separate himself from the rest of the world and act like he didn't belong as a part of it. Mello often watched the news to listen to Kiyomi Takada talk about Kira's ideals and Matt would sometimes look up from whatever he was doing and for a while, his attention was captured. Behind his goggles, Mello could see Matt's long eyelashes batting his cheeks as though he was thinking about what he was hearing. Then he would just turn back to whatever he'd been previously doing. Mello figured that Matt somehow managed to write off her words as nonsense. It made his blood boil and his skin crawl just calling to mind all the bullshit Kira's mouth spewed. How Matt managed to ignore it so expertly was beyond Mello's level of comprehension.

He was beginning to grow disheartened. He was more of the instant gratification sort. He knew that Matt was, too. The grand prize waiting at the finish line was surely a tempting one but it was hardly seeming worth the effort it cost to achieve. It was like they had to jump through flaming hoops first; trained to jump through without getting burned but never told what to do should their clothes catch aflame. "Stop, drop, roll" didn't work with Kira. Once they had his attention, that would be one flame that would be too terribly difficult to put out without some special means. Mello had the feeling that when the time came to pursue Kira through that final flaming ring, he'd be going down like an airplane with a shot engine.

If the bastard weren't as reclusive as Matt, he would've found him already and punched the living shit out of him. There was no possible way some scrawny Japanese brainiac could best him in a fight. There were holes in that plan even if that actually went through, though. Assuming he had the chance to kill his face, Kira's little Kira-buddies would just swarm him anyway. It was worth the daydream at least.

A grin blossomed on his face and he folded his arms behind his head, sinking comfortably onto the bed next to Matt. Matt ignored him and continued to play his game. Didn't matter any. Mello enjoyed looking at him as much as he enjoyed his direct attention.

Hair still wet and dripping from his shower, Matt had spent hardly any time drying himself before he was situated again in front of his Playstation. He always preferred to lay on his stomach and lean off the bed a little although Mello knew that Matt could play in any position. (He'd tested out a few more precarious ones personally.) Mello took notice of the way he chewed absently on his lip as he played, his thumbs furiously pressing buttons. His eyes scanned the dip of Matt's bare back, something that felt absolutely lewd in its own way. The curve of his ass was unfortunately obscured by his tight shorts but Mello still appreciated the way Matt's muscles grew taut at the small of his back.

Feeling his eyes, Matt paused and glanced over his shoulder. "You're distracting me."

"I wasn't doing anything. Play your game." Distracted him? Must be more than the usual distraction if it actually forced Matt to pause his game. That never happened. He would rarely bat an eye while playing.

"Do you want to fuck or what?"

There was a question he didn't often receive. Though it didn't sound like a question more than a demand. But who was Mello to decline? Who could tell what the future could hold, right? Live in the moment, that's what his mind told him as he rationalized it.

"You fucking think too much," Matt groaned. He grabbed a fistful of Mello's blonde hair and pulled him close, crushing their lips together. Out of the corner of his eye, Mello could see Matt's other hand gripping the control tightly as if to keep himself from applying all the pressure on Mello's scalp. That made him grateful but still apprehensive to know that Matt was really that urgent. Something felt wrong in the way he kissed him, something made Mello think twice about kissing him back.

Roughly he shoved Matt away, wiping a hand across his offended lips.

"Do you think I'll go to heaven when I die?" A sudden and strange question, it was. It made Mello sit back, not so sure he'd really heard his partner correctly. Matt was the one who didn't give a holy damn so why was he asking Mello that?

"Why ask something like that?" Mello returned simply, his lips still tingling from the force.

"I figure that you're religious so you might know." Or that Mello would at least understand the desperation in such a question.

Mello didn't consider himself particularly religious anymore. He continued to wear the rosary out of force of habit more than sentiment. At the very least, he could still offer something insightful though. Whatever that may have been... "Well, if you're sorry for the wrong things you've done in your life then I suppose you could... possibly. But we've been really shitty people, haven't we?"

"...That's reassuring."

"Hey, you asked. And really, what's with a question like that anyway?"

"I guess I just, you know, don't want to be alone when I die or something."

"You saying you think I'm going to heaven?" From asking him to fuck to this? Was it possible, in some kind of twisted, impossible way, that Matt was actually concerned? No. No way in hell. Mello couldn't accept that. He wanted to, because at least then it would put the two of them in the same boat but then... Then it would really confirm that they were as fucked as he thought they were. He wished he could go back and happily accept that offer to screw.

"Something like that, yeah. But I won't be cheesy enough to call you an angel."

Mello didn't want to be a bastard and tell Matt he'd just said that anyway. He bit his tongue and kept that little retort to himself, as much as it amused him to dwell on it otherwise. "Besides, who says we're dying?"

"Fate."

"Now you're just being ridiculous."

"Right, God doesn't say anything about fate does he? He's all up on Divine Judgment like Kira."

"Kira may be the world's temporary Jesus but he sure ain't the Christ reborn. He's just some whiny Japanese boy who couldn't get a decent lay."

"Who happened to find a notebook that could make him into the world's temporary Jesus."

"You know as well as I do that no God gave Kira that notebook of death. That kid's going straight to hell. It may not be by my hand. It may not be by Near's. I bet that Near will grow tired of all this and it won't be long before at least one of us succumbs to that thing's pages. But when all opposition to Kira is finally demolished, I swear, that's when he'll finally get what he deserves; when we aren't here to see it. God doesn't want to give us such satisfaction. That's his job after all, isn't it? To hold us from what destroys us." That sort of pride would be what it took for Mello or Near to take the final step from the precipice that preceded an eternity's drop to hell. Neither were willing to step away, yet neither could back down either because regardless, even if it meant sacrificing their very souls, killing Kira would be justice.

Well, that sure felt like a nice deep breath of fresh air. Not really. It was enough to incite a coughing fit really but Mello kept his throat closed tight around the words he spoke. Unfortunately for him, it looked like he'd only succeeded in depressing Matt when he'd intended to give him some answers. It was the truth, though. He wasn't certain what to think anymore and he'd be damned if he went soft on Matt.

Gently, he put a hand down on Matt's naked shoulder. He felt the muscles tense underneath, flinching away from his touch. He trailed his hand up and cupped his chin, tilting it upward so their eyes could meet. There he saw his fear and felt the slow and anguished beating of his heart.

"Are you sorry?"

"I regret nothing."

Mello's heart sunk but he knew in the pit of his stomach that that would be Matt's answer before he even asked. He was terribly dedicated and reliant and that would be what sealed his fate.

Fate. Mello would've laughed if it weren't so goddamn true.

"Going to hell in a handbasket..."

"Huh?"

Mello smirked, rubbing his thumb thoughtfully along Matt's jaw. "That's what they say about people like me and you."

"Same basket?"

Mello raised an eyebrow and then shrugged. "Sure, why not?"

Author's Notes: At the time this was/is written, I still haven't seen how Mello and Matt die. So I've been wondering what it would be like for them after they're dead since nothing ends at death in Death Note. Plus, I just love the irony of two characters who die talking about their own deaths. But irony is really what makes Death Note great. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading.