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

Side Story Is...
By: Nanaki BH

Search after search led him nowhere until he finally caught hold of one particularly interesting webpage. It was a fansite; something simple, made specifically for a popular videogame. It had, strangely, very few users despite the professional layout and overall appearance and general ease of use. But the webmaster's name, that devious, tongue-biting name was exactly what he had been searching for: Matt. After taking a look at some of the online users, it became obvious that they were all hand-picked; people the webmaster had either allowed to join or chosen himself. More than likely the latter. A normal person would look at it and think it was just a dumb kid's site. But Mello saw the signs written everywhere, things only Matt would do, there to tip him off.

But there was no e-mail. Only a submission form to be filled if you wanted to join. Mello wasn't a fan of anything Konami called a game, though... aside from Metal Gear (which, in all fairness, had a very decent story). He searched the code from top to bottom and couldn't figure out where the form would be sent. So he followed the pages in his friends' profiles until he found some comments left by the bastard himself. He considered joining a blogging site just so he could tell him personally that he wanted to see him again. But doing something like that online would be far less dramatic than doing it in person, especially since he had found Matt's trail.

A club. Or a "night spot". Whatever you want to call it – that was where Mello knew he would be. Making plans with people over the Internet; Mello knew Matt would only do something like that to get his attention. For about a month he had been looking for him. He let his mind drift sometimes so he could wonder what Matt had been doing in his absence. He liked to think that he had left him broken-hearted and alone, hanging on the last words he left him with. It was cruel yet beautiful in a way and it made Mello feel important.

Gathering up his things, he jotted down the address of the club and shoved it in his pocket. A club, though; that was what truly surprised him. Matt was a reckless person, even more so than himself sometimes. He just didn't think of Matt as social. After he left, he thought Matt would go curl up in a corner somewhere and whimper on his blog about it at least once every week. He didn't expect him to go some place populated with drunks and crazy people to sooth his aching heart. It made him jealous, though he hated admitting something like that.

Pulling the hood up on his jacket, he looked back at his nearly empty apartment once more and left. He didn't have a car. He would worry Matt with that later. Instead, he got there on foot. The walk wasn't bad, if not a little cold. For once, as he neared the place, he was glad for his concealing jacket. The people hanging around outside intimidated him a little. If he had come in anything more revealing, he would have been practically inviting the scum of the downtown to rape him. He had a gun but there were more of them than he had bullets for.

The club itself was more like a house. At least, it was built to resemble a house which only made the phrase "house party" more cheesy. Drunk, poorly dressed women stood around the door, hanging onto each other and shouting obscene things at their boyfriends at the bottom of the stairs. Their screaming hurt his ears and only made the tinnitus he had acquired that much worse. He would have yelled right back at them but the blaring music would have made it pointless.

Gently, he plugged his scarred ear as best as he could without hurting himself and made his way inside. Pulsing music, gyrating bodies, swaying limbs. It was like a sea of people, all moving together to the overly-loud beat directed by the DJ at the back. He wished he could just tell them to knock it the hell off but knew that nobody there would be interested in listening. His opinion was that of their parents', probably.

Come to think of it, it was a lot like Matt. He could pretty easily picture him with his hands thrown in the air like everybody else, sweat beading down his shoulders, skin glistening with the red, yellow, and violet lights. His body convulsed involuntarily just thinking about it. He could only imagine what Matt must look like now that he was older. Mello's breathing hitched and he tugged at the collar of his jacket and took off his hood, finding it suddenly too hot.

He decided to move before he let himself get carried away. He found the staircase to the second floor and took it, pushing his way past some exhibitionists in order to grasp the railing. His body had terrible timing. Just when he was sure he had things under control, he felt another hot flash and realized he should have given himself a couple more days to recover. A part of him didn't want Matt to see him like that, so weakened from the burns he'd received. Another part of him knew it would be better if he had someone around to keep an eye on him. Either way, the people around him assumed he was drunk and at least had the courtesy to get out of his way.

He dragged himself to the top, leaning heavily against the railing until his feet were steady on the second floor. His vision blurred for a couple seconds and he let himself lean against the wall until it cleared. When his eyes finally recognized shapes, he took a look around. The hallway was shit. The walls were shit. The floor was shit. The whole place looked like it hadn't been cleaned in months. Mello couldn't believe he had been led to such a place. But it was Matt. And honestly, it looked a lot like his room had looked back at Wammy's. Mello wouldn't doubt if Matt jointly owned the place or something.

But Matt was never popular. He was cute and could get anyone he wanted but he always stayed with Mello.

Mello sighed, leaning his head back against the wall, pushing his hand inside his jacket to touch the cool, smooth metal of his gun. He didn't want to believe that Matt would move on without him. Clearly, a part of him hadn't if he had left him such obvious clues, though...

He pushed away from the wall and felt his stomach lurch. He hadn't eaten anything other than chocolate in a few days and hoped that Matt knew how to use a stove. The nausea he felt was easily ignored and he composed himself enough to walk down the hall. Lovers embraced in the hallway, making out and whispering to each other as if no one else was around. Indeed, it was less active than the ground floor but it certainly wasn't a private place. But when one's lost in their own alcohol-induced world, it's easy to feel alone.

Mello dug the note out of his pocket and looked down at what he'd written. Then up at the door before him. The room number matched. The sound behind the door didn't necessarily match what he imagined, though; a gruff voice yelling, huffing, shouting and a high, tinny one practically shrieking. Hell no. Fuck no. His pointed boot connected with the door and sent it flying in. People around him gasped but didn't seem worried enough to take any action.

Inside, Matt, mounted atop a bleach-haired, nameless woman, seemed to freeze. She was obviously too drunk or high to care about Mello's intrusion and only batted at Matt to continue. The expression he wore was priceless, though; something between horror... and ready to cum in pure excitement. Matt pulled away from her and floundered back on the shaky bed, too surprised to know what to do. He spun for his pants at the end of the bed and only fell off after putting one limb where it didn't belong like a bad game of Twister.

Mello spotted her dress and panties on the floor and scooped them up, flinging them there in her general direction. "There. Get out. Get the fuck out."

She sputtered, legs still apart. She was way too ugly. Her lipstick was way too bright. She was too short. Her hair was a mess. Her dress was barely legal. She was ugly. She was ugly. She was ugly. It wasn't right. He wanted to just shoot her right there. And all the bitch could say was, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" in some sickening, drunk slur.

His teeth gritted and his hand flew to the other gun he kept at the back of his pants. His favorite.

"Mello," Matt gasped, still trying to throw on his clothes. "He's Mello...! Mello...! Bitch, get out!"

Mello pulled out his gun and took aim.

"Bitch, he's serious, get your ass out! Fucking out! Out now! He'll kill you cuz he's totally crazy like that!" Halfway through, Matt started laughing, gasping out each word around hysterical laughter. Despite that, she took his word for it and grabbed her clothes and ran out into the hallway completely naked, save for the dress shielding her bare breasts.

Matt didn't bother zipping his pants and left his shirt hanging from a chair. Ignoring the gun completely, he threw himself into Mello, holding onto his waist weakly. "Mello," he breathed hotly into his ear, rubbing his cheek against his shoulder. "Mello..." He didn't have to say anything else for Mello to understand. He had been waiting for him. And he didn't expect him to come back. The gun fell from limp fingers and hit the floor with an audible thud. Mello hardly realized what he was doing as his arms found their place across Matt's shoulders.

The smell of Matt was so nostalgic. Sympathetic, even. He didn't know what Matt was saying anymore. He was sinking... sinking... He managed out a small, "I'm falling" before he fainted.

His eyes opened slowly. He was shirtless and aware that he was covered in sweat, the sheets sticking to his feverish skin. His throat felt raw and his eyes were a little foggy. But there was still something that made him happy. And something that made him want to blow shit up.

Matt walked in holding a glass of water, clad in his familiar black and white stripes, goggles masking his eyes. "You look like you could use some," he said lightly, offering him the glass. Mello's hand snaked out from beneath the sheets and reached for it just so slightly. Then he realized that he would never get his arm raised enough to hold it properly and drink at the same time.

"Shit," he muttered, head falling back against the pillow. "Can't do it..."

"Here." He helped Mello sit up a little and held the back of his neck, helping him drink without drowning himself first. Mello would've protested if it weren't Matt. Instead, he closed his eyes and just let him do it. The water was refreshing anyway.

After setting the glass down on the nightstand, Matt sat down on the bed next to him. He got close enough to his face to feel his warmth and then muttered, "I missed you."

"I could tell," Mello replied simply.

"Are you mad?"

"About the chick last night? Hell yes. Of course."

"Can you forgive me?"

"We'll see."

That was as close to "yes" as Matt was going to get. He knew that, expected no less, and still felt guilty. He wanted to rationalize it in his own mind by telling himself that he didn't know whether or not Mello would return. But it was inevitable, like some sort of force of nature. They would've seen each other again sooner or later. His heart was hurting so much though and there was no medicine that could cure it better than a quick lay or a quick bullet to the temple. One seemed more appealing if he wanted to remain attached to the hope of seeing Mello again at least.

Still. It was wrong. It felt wrong, no matter how much his lay looked like Mello. Especially if they looked like Mello.

"Where are we?" Mello rasped.

"My place. It sucks but it's home." More home now than before, he thought, his heart heaving a sigh. "I can't believe you found me. I thought that a Silent Hill fanlisting would be pushing it. I know how you hate Konami."

Mello sniffed, looking away into one of Matt's dusty corners. "How do you even remember things like that?" More than that, he was amazed that he'd really, truly managed to find Matt's directions. He'd just confirmed it, after all. It was like he had laid out a road map for him to follow and he knew where to take each turn. He was surprised he knew Matt so well... or maybe he was more surprised at how well Matt still knew him.

"I remember everything. I know everything about you." He stretched out beside him, putting an arm across his chest. "But you know. Not to sound like a stalker or anything. I really have managed to keep up with things. Like this nasty burn you got yourself."

"Fuck you. How do you even hear stuff like that?"

"...I have my sources."

What the hell kind of sources are those? he wanted to ask, but his throat was clenching too much for him to get out even a word. Matt got him more water and wiped some of the sweat from his forehead, tucking his hair behind his ears. He sputtered then, realizing that Matt was seeing his face – his destroyed, terrible, ruined face – and nearly choked on the water, thinking more about getting away than swallowing.

"Shit," he sputtered, water bubbling from his lips. Matt lifted him and hit him on the back just in time. After a moment of trying to keep himself from asphyxiating, Mello managed to calm down. He looked away again, pushing his hair back down, covering his left side with his palm. "Don't fucking do that," he warned.

"Do what?" Matt asked far too innocently.

What was Mello to say to that? Don't put my hair behind my ears like you're my mom? That only brought back terrible memories he wished he could forget. He shut his eyes tightly, his hand clenching down painfully over his scar, letting his black nails dig into the skin above where his left eyebrow used to be. He wanted to focus on that physical pain, to escape from bad thoughts and never let himself stray. It was so hard. So hard.

"You okay? Are you going to puke or something? Did I hit you too hard? That it?"

"How can you be so fucking oblivious?" he yelled, punching his fists into the sheets, looking him squarely in the eyes. His heart was pounding uncomfortably fast.

Matt just looked at him, blinking behind his goggles. He opened his mouth to speak something but Mello didn't care what it was. It was bound to be something he didn't care about. He didn't get it anyhow. His fist flew with a natural sort of ease and hit him right on the cheek, forcing him to the bed on his side.

"Fuck you! Just tell me I'm ugly already!"

Matt sat up, rubbing his cheek, running his tongue around in his mouth to be sure Mello hadn't knocked any of his teeth loose. "Is that it?" he said, a laugh escaping softly as punctuation. "We haven't fucking seen each other in... fuck, Mello, how long? You want me to tell you you're ugly?" He forced down his goggles to hang around his neck and took a deep breath, staring at him eye to eye. "I'm... Fuck, the sight of you alone is perfect enough to me. And here I thought you were going to say something important."

Mello didn't know what to say. But that was obvious. It sounded incomprehensible. "So... what?"

"I love you, you fuck. I could care less what you look like. I think you're perfect."

"That's stupid."

Matt shrugged. "That's love."

Author's Notes: I bet you hate me for ending it right there. I hate me too. But I didn't set out knowing what I was even going to write so this was pretty good for something I pulled out of nowhere. I hope you enjoyed reading!