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

Rusty Nail
By: Nanaki BH

"You're a real trip, you know that?"

"Yeah, I know," Mello muttered, kicking Matt lightly in the shin as he worked on the burn on his shoulder.

"Just hold still and it'll be over, alright? Why are you so difficult...?"

Mello averted his stare, choosing instead to take a look around his surroundings. Matt's place was quite something. Or rather, it wasn't much; certainly not something worth writing home about. But its simplicity made it inviting, warm even. His bed was a disheveled mess, though he wondered if he was partly to blame. He had pillows and blankets gathered on the floor in a circle in front of the television beside them. It looked like he had every game system all in one place, all mysteriously connected to the same T.V. somehow. The nearby shelf was the only thing around with some semblance of order; hundreds of videogames for different systems all arranged neatly in one place. At least he kept something organized...

Who knew what the rest of his place would look like. Unfortunately, he couldn't even tell how big it was since he hadn't made it there on his own. From what little he could see of the living room though, Matt lived in an apartment. Sort of typical. Neither of them were the real house sort. That would require far too much dedication that neither were willing to give. Dedication...

Mello looked back at Matt as he worked dutifully on his scarred shoulder. Maybe he had some real dedication after all.

"You're staring," Matt quipped.

How'd he notice? "Yeah, can't I?"

"...Go right on ahead. Just that normal folks would think that's inappropriate. Hold this bandage down for me, will you?"

A snort from Mello. He intentionally ran his fingers over Matt's before he let go of the bandage, wondering just when he would look at him again with the same smoldering gaze he'd given him earlier. That was really something. It was painfully embarrassing but it left a good sort of sting on his pride. It hurt more than the scars on his body to see Matt so serious. Matt... wasn't supposed to be serious. Love. Such a serious word.

"Say something dumb, won't you?" he asked.

Matt looked up, tearing a strip of tape from the roll with his teeth. "Huh?" He quirked an eyebrow over his goggles and Mello smiled. "What are you smiling about now? Stop it, it's unnatural."

The smile remained unwavering and he placed a hand atop Matt's head. Their position felt somewhat erotic; Matt on his knees right between his legs. Mello's head still felt clouded and if he didn't know better, he would've suggested something. But he kept that to himself. He was sure that Matt would've been all over him in a heartbeat if he said anything. Tempting Matt would be a terrible idea, he decided. If he gave him even a taste, he would undoubtedly keep coming back. Something about it sounded appealing and annoying at the same time. Still, he wanted so badly to erase that girl from the night before. He wanted to fuck Matt into the sheets over and over and make him howl his name and make him promise he would never even look at anybody else that way.

Supposedly he had his heart already, though. Mello wasn't too familiar with love but from what little he did know, it did not involve sleeping with other people. Especially not cheap tricks.

Jealousy tasted disgusting.

"Done," Matt announced. Mello surveyed his handiwork, surprised by what a good job he had actually done. He wasn't sure why that surprised him, though. Matt had taken the same first aid classes he had taken. He didn't really pay attention, though. Not enough to really remember it at least. None of the really valuable things stuck with him. Matt was the one with all the boyscout knowledge. Mello's knowledge was... well...

"Worthless..."

"Huh?" Matt sunk back on his heels and looked up at him, suddenly looking stricken.

"Not you. Me."

A warm gloved palm brushed his cheek and held him. That look again. It made his chest ache and his heart swell at the same time. He didn't hesitate anymore and leaned forward, pressing his lips calmly against Matt's. It was a simple enough kiss to tell him that he wanted more. More of something he had known he'd had in waiting for a very long time. Matt let his hand slide around to hold the back of his head, lacing his fingers through Mello's hair. They separated slowly and Matt pressed his cheek to Mello's bandaged left, his breath wisping warmly past his ear.

"You can stop hating yourself now, you know. Hate Near. Hate me. Just... Knock it off already. Christ."

Mello smirked, resting his weight against Matt's cheek. "Do all your kisses come with lessons or is this the first?"

"I like to think of our relationship as a mutual learning experience."

Mello gasped indignantly, cheeks burning a furious red. A part of him was enraged that he was putting them on the same level. Another part of him wanted to crush the other part and be flattered. That part was quickly winning the slug match. He swallowed hard and tried to ignore the quickening pace of his heart and the way Matt's skin felt pressed against his still-stinging cheek. But they weren't kids anymore – He pushed him away and flopped back on the bed.

He lifted his arms to rest behind his neck and only succeeded in hurting himself. The strain placed on his left shoulder was too much; it scorched a trail down his arm, his shoulder blades, and down half of his back. He would've tried to ignore it again had the pain not been so sudden and intense. He straightened out and then fell limp, trying, rather, to do nothing in the hope that it would go away if he stopped moving.

"You see what I'm saying now?" Matt asked, leaning over him with his hands on either side of his chest. "I know you don't want to hear it, but you should probably listen to me once in a while. I know what I'm talking about; I wasn't number three for nothing. So I suggest you just stay put for a while and rest. 'Kay, sound good?"

"Sounds awful and boring." Matt grinned a terrible grin that Mello knew to mean only one thing. "Oh Lord, Matt," he groaned. "Stop being such a fucking horndog, will you?"

Matt's grin didn't fade, the bastard. It stayed as if glued and he lowered himself closer, closer still, until their faces were almost touching again. He could see Mello's nostrils flaring, noticed the way his chest rose and fell quickly with each nervous breath he took. Matt knew how it must have been killing Mello to allow him to have so much control. Then again, it was out of his hands. Matt felt a little bad for taking advantage of his situation. Not like he absolutely had to do anything with him...

But from the start, it seemed as though that was what Mello had been expecting all along.

"Do you not want me to?" he whispered, breath rushing across the pale skin of Mello's face.

It was strange how nervous Mello really appeared to be. That wasn't among his usual expressions, it looked awkward and out of place on his face. "I..." He started but his voice fell quiet. Matt leaned a little closer, as if expecting to hear him if he moved closer, their noses brushing together.

"Yeah?" he breathed.

Mello found it hard to avoid his eyes, being so close. "I... missed you, is all."

Something so simple and small that meant so much more than sex to Matt. It wrecked the mood somewhat, but it was entirely forgivable. Matt sat back and took a great breath, unbelievably elated and shocked at the same time. "You really mean that?"

"Why the hell wouldn't I? You're the only person I know that makes a bit of sense to me. I'm sure you figured that out already, though, with all the trouble you went through making that website to find me." He gingerly lifted his hand to brush the hair out of his eyes. "And you're really the only person I care to understand. The rest of the human race makes no fucking sense to me. You're hard enough as it is."

That basically felt like "I love you" to Matt with sharp undertones of "so don't make me explain anything more or I'll rip your fucking throat out". So he left it alone and decided that it was as close as he was going to get for a while. He was still determined to wrench it out of him one day, though, even if it had to be during sex. Or some light torture.

"I love you too," Matt said smiling.

"I didn't –"

"I know. Don't spoil it. I'm still basking in its glory. Let me bask, dammit."

"Whatever. If you keep saying that, I'm going to start feeling inadequate." It was only because the words didn't roll off his tongue quite the same way they did from Matt's. Speaking the word "love" felt like swallowing a brick. It was rather unpleasant. "If I keep saying I love you the way you do, it'll get worn out." He could stand a brick or two.

Author's Notes: Well, this was supposed to be the continuation of Side Story Is... But it didn't feel much like one. XD It feels more like a stand alone to me. Well, it's partly because I didn't want to end up writing a series or something. Either way, there you go. I hope you enjoyed reading!