Author's Note: Huzzah! Presenting oneshot number deux! …Yeah, the dreaded writer's block came a-knocking again. Except this time it brought along its good friend HaHA!-Everything-You-Write-Will-Now-Be-Shite!-So-Deal. ...Yeah. I don't like that guy. At all. Thus, in order to try to get myself out of the rut, I decided to write pointless, innocent Wammy's fluff in juxtaposition to the… erm… other thing I wrote last time. lol. Anyhoo… it's crap; I do realize this, I'm sorry… but I'm trying to get back in my groove… so bear with me. And besides, there can never be enough MelloMatt fluff in the world!

Yeeeeeeah, it was all inspired by the quote Matt says near the end. If you recognize it… shhhh… heheh, I'm not sure who originally said it, but... it's not mine.

Disclaimer: In addition to my filching the quote... nothing else you recognize belongs to me.

Love and Smallpox

"Maaaaaaaaaaatty!" Matt clung to his tree branch desperately, practically molding himself into the bark simply by strength of will alone. "Aw, come down, Matty!" He whimpered, burying his face in his arms in terror. "It's not that bad, Matty! Just once? Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!?" He shook his head fervently. NonononononoNO!

It was common knowledge among the male population of Wammy's House that girls were icky. They bathed regularly, liked playing with dolls more than football, put ridiculous-looking bow-things in their hair, giggled, wore pink, and took part in a copious amount of other girly things that all added up to their generally being icky. All of the aforementioned, however, had been long-standing practices; and so, the boys had come to--if not understand their ways--at least accept that females were clearly from a different planet (galaxy, universe, dimension) and, though their customs were strange and disturbing, they were necessary to the continuation of the human race and thus must be tolerated.

Twelve year-old Matt (no 'y,' thank you very much), however, had just made a new and terrifying discovery about the female species; they wanted to kiss. Now, this in itself wouldn't be such a bad thing--there were plenty of boys around Wammy's to try out this particular practice on… like… Near, or… Timmy, or… L--well… maybe not L; L was a bit… well… you know… in Matt's opinion and probably wouldn't want to go anywhere near the girls and their cooties unless bribed with a lifetime's supply of strawberries first… and even then, it was a bit iffy. Anyway, yes, if that had been the case, all would be right with the world; but as it was, it seemed that all of the girls over the age of eight had had some secret meeting and unanimously voted that they all wanted to kiss him.

He had tried everything--mud slinging, intricate and well-crafted booby traps, locking himself in his room (and when that hadn't worked, his closet), forts, clinging to Roger (and thus hiding behind the old-man smell), paprika, frogs, claiming he'd caught a terrible and highly contagious strain of Ebola… and look where it had gotten him: cornered halfway up a tree like a poor helpless raccoon, with every female in the immediate vicinity milling about the base of the trunk like bloodhounds, batting their eyelashes and calling him (shudder) "Matty."

He chanced a daring glance over the edge of his branch, only to catch sight of Abigail cracking her knuckles and approaching the tree with a look of determination. That was it! He was going to die, or worse… be kissed… and there were so many things he'd never gotten to do! He would never know if Harry triumphed over Voldemort… or play Twilight Princess...! He would never get to (um… legally) drive a car… or win that bet with Mello that Near ate his legos… or… or…!

"Oi! Females!" The giggling from below came to an abrupt halt and Matt cracked an eye open, hope making its dramatic reappearance in the pit of his stomach--he… he knew that voice…. "Your shrieking is really starting to get on my nerves! He's not interested! Sod off!"

There was much whining and general pouting from below. "You're so mean, Mello!" one of the girls had the gumption to squeal indignantly, before she must have found herself on the receiving end of one of the boy's more terrifying scowls… since she took off bawling hysterically in the direction of the orphanage. With more pouting and grumbling and the heaving of sighs, the rest of the girls slowly went their separate ways… and Matt was finally left in peace.

Hardly able to believe his good fortune, he glanced up, blinking, to catch sight of a familiar blond head slipping once more out of view behind a large limb some six or so feet above his own.

He grinned, scrambling to his feet and climbing the rest of the way up to his best friend's perch. Mello was balanced gracefully on his own branch, settled comfortably back against the tree trunk with one leg dangling carelessly over the edge as he pored over a textbook. Matt rolled his eyes; he would never understand how Mello could willingly read their school books cover to cover and actually make it seem like he enjoyed it.

Without a word, Matt poked gently at the other boy's shoulder and waited for Mello to scoot forward a little bit before accordingly maneuvering himself into the abandoned spot. When he was established, his back aligned with the trunk and his legs braced upon a second branch about a foot below, Mello wordlessly settled himself against his friend's chest, head resting on Matt's shoulder, and continued with his studies. The horrors of only a moment ago fading slowly away to be replaced with the familiar routine of a lazy afternoon with Mello, Matt dug into the pocket of his shorts, retrieved his Gameboy, and happily pressed the start button.

After several minutes of comfortable silence, in which Matt had died a staggering and unheard of four times, he paused his game, frowning thoughtfully. Mello didn't seem to notice the other boy's distraction and continued his studying, ignoring Matt as he rested his chin on the blond's shoulder and stared down at the open book, automatically reading, but not really absorbing any of what was written.

Kissing. He knew what it was, of course. They'd taken the obligatory sex ed class, after all… and he and Mello had rebelliously watched enough late night TV to get a rather good idea of the mechanics of it. It was just… the idea of locking lips with a girl and exchanging saliva and… just (ew! Cooties!)… didn't seem appealing to him at all. He'd watched several of the guys turn to the dark side already; Billy, Alan, and Jimbo all had "girlfriends" now… which basically seemed to consist of holding hands in the halls, awkward hugs, lots of giggling, and even more blushing--and… yeah, there'd been some odd noises coming from the closet Alan and Christie had ducked into that one time… but still-- what was the big deal?

He pushed a wayward strand of crimson hair out of his face and stared over at Mello's profile out of the corner of his eye. Hmm. Mello was his best friend... they could talk about anything, right? Then maybe…?

"Hey, Mel…?" he ventured carefully.

"Mm." Mello turned the page, obviously not really paying attention.

"I have a conundrum."

A flicker of green told Matt that the other boy had glanced at him for a second before going back to his European History book and Louis XIV. "Legolas and Link aren't the same person, Matt, we've already talked about this."

Matt huffed, petulantly blowing Mello's bangs into his eyes. "That's not it!" he pouted, watching Mello shake his hair back into ordered perfection, "See… it's… well, the girls were trying to kiss me, right?" This seemed to have effectively caught Mello's attention; he was still staring at his book, but Matt could tell he wasn't actually reading anymore because he wasn't mouthing the words to himself, so he continued. "Well, my conundrum is: I wanna know what the big deal with kissing is… but girls are gross. And--"


Matt blinked at the interruption. "What?"

"I said, 'no.'"

He sulked, distractedly fingering the hem of Mello's black shirt as the other boy pointedly flipped the page. "You don't even know what I was going to say!"

"I'm not letting you kiss me, Matt."

'Oh. Well, maybe he did…' He opened his eyes wide, wrapping his arms around Mello's stomach and nuzzling his neck pleadingly. "But Meeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll…! Girls are nasty, I don't wanna kiss one of them! And… you're pretty like a girl, but you're really a boy, so you don't have cooties, and--"

"No!" Mello pinched one of his hands and he recoiled, yelping. "End of discussion, Matt!"

The blond was on his feet far faster and more gracefully than anyone had any right to be while fifteen feet off the solid ground, and, with a last annoyed glance at Matt, had snatched up the bag that had been hanging on a nearby branch, stuffed his textbook into it, and began the climb back down to the earth. "Meeeeeeelloooooo!" Matt whined, peeking down at him over the edge of the limb with large, beseeching blue eyes.

"Come on," Mello called carelessly over his shoulder when his feet touched the grass, "It's almost dinner time." He stuffed his hands into his pockets and started off in the direction of the House, not waiting for Matt since he knew the redhead would catch up to him in less than a minute, anyway. He was right; hardly forty-two seconds later, Matt had jogged up, slowing down obligingly to keep pace with the blond's shorter strides.

"Why not, Mel?" Matt pressed, as though the conversation had never been put on hiatus.

Mello sighed, kicking a small pebble. "First off, you said I'm pretty like a girl, and we already had a talk about that last Halloween, remember? And secondly, we're both boys! And even if girls are 'icky,'--and really, 'icky?' How old are you, anyway? Seriously? Cooties?--anyway… you aren't supposed to kiss other boys."

Matt scowled. Mello always managed to make him feel like he was years younger than the blond, instead of the actual two or so months that separated them. He hated that! They were the same age! And Mello may be number two… but he was number three--and if he actually tried, he could probably beat out both him and Near and be L by the time he was fifteen! He deserved some respect, too!…And he wanted to know what the big deal with kissing was, damnit!

Grabbing Mello by both shoulders, he blocked the flailing limbs with an ease that came with years of practice and pinned the smaller boy effortlessly to the side wall of the orphanage.

"What the hell, Matt!?" the blond snarled, struggling viciously to break out of his grip.

"I want to know, Mello!" Matt snapped back.

"Then go track down one of the girls who were chasing you! There's no such thing as cooties, idiot! What's the big deal!? What, are you gay!?"

Matt paused, blinking thoughtfully. Gay…? "I don't… think so," he replied slowly, pondering. Was he…? …Nah. Just 'cause he'd rather kiss Mello than Linda or someone didn't make him gay--Mello was his best friend! "Besides!" he countered quickly, "Girls practice kissing on each other all the time! Remember that movie we watched a couple--"

"Oh, come on, Matt! Girls don't really do that. It was a movie! They only did it 'cause guys get off on it, and--" he stopped short, distracted from his train of thought as he was forced to quickly turn his face away before Matt actually landed a kiss to his lips. "Gah!"

"Mello!" Matt said angrily after he had left sloppy kisses on almost every part of his friend's face except for his mouth, "What's your problem!?"

They seethed at each other for a moment, before Mello cocked a haughty eyebrow and rammed his knee into Matt's gut without warning and with far more force than necessary. "Agh!" he gurgled, lunging away from Mello and clutching at his abdomen painfully.

Mello calmly smoothed down his shirt and stood waiting for Matt to regain his breath. A moment later, the redhead straightened up, flushed in the face and baring his teeth at his supposed best friend. "That hurt, you arse!" he whispered furiously. Mello simply rolled his eyes at the dramatics. "I… I'm not talking to you for a whole day, Mello!" Matt finished, backing up slowly before darting into the orphanage angrily.

"Fine!" Mello shouted after him, hefting his bag for a second, before placidly making his own way through the door.

It was odd, Mello mused as he collapsed to sit on the edge of his bed the next evening, but Matt had actually stuck to his word--avoiding the blond all through dinner, wearing his headphones the entirety of the time they were both in their shared room… he had been gone when Mello woke up, there had been no sign of him at breakfast, he'd sat all the way across the room in every class, had eaten dinner with Alan….

Mello was actually starting to regret his harsh actions toward the redhead the day before (not that he'd ever admit it). He just… wasn't used to going so long without Matt by his side, that was all. He sighed, falling back to lay sprawled across the rumpled coverlet, staring sightlessly up at the ceiling. When he thought about it, was it really that big of a deal? It was just a stupid kiss, right? Not like they were proclaiming their undying love for each other… so what if Matt wanted his first kiss to be with his best friend? Better than some anonymous bimbo he'd forget about in a month. And really… the redhead didn't ask for all that much… surely Mello could have obliged him just this once…? After all, they--

The abrupt bang of the door being thrown rather violently into the wall pulled him from his thoughts and he propped himself up on his elbows, watching Matt storm in and toss his bag haphazardly onto a chair before flopping onto the bed and rolling over so his back was facing Mello, all in one jerky motion. The blond rolled his eyes. 'Melodramatic nit.'

Getting decisively to his feet, Mello crossed the room in a few strides and pounced onto the redhead, rolling him over so that he was laying on his back below him. "Oi!" Matt squawked indignantly, making a half-hearted attempt to throw the other boy off of him. Mello pinned his wrists above his head, sitting deftly on his chest to keep him from squirming away. "What the hell are you on about, you git?" Matt growled, glaring up at him.

Mello shrugged nonchalantly, leaning down so that his hair was tickling Matt's cheeks and forehead. "Ready for your kiss, you whiney bint?"

"Who're you to be calling me a 'bint,' bint!?" Matt retaliated, bucking up in a futile attempt to dislodge him (many a wrestling match had taught the boys that, though Matt was the larger of the two, all Mello had to do was latch on and wait a while until the redhead wore himself out). "I don't care anymore!" Matt panted a moment later, "Bugger off!"

Mello glowered down at him for a moment, before slowly easing off to the side and allowing him to sit up. "What the hell?" the blond asked slowly, watching Matt rub his wrists, "You practically molested me yesterday! What do you mean 'you don't care anymore!?'"

"Yeesh. It's not that big a deal," Matt shrugged, leaning over the side to rummage around underneath his bed for his handheld.

Mello's eyes narrowed to dangerous slits. Oh, hell no. Grabbing the back of the younger boy's shirt, he yanked him back up and then forward so they were practically nose to nose. Matt stared at him, wide-eyed. "If it's not a big deal," he hissed venomously, "What the hell was with the silent treatment today?"

"Well--that was for the low blow to the gut," Matt explaining shakily, trying to sound more confident than he really was.

They stared at each other for a tense, silent moment, before Mello growled, fisting his hands viciously in the material of Matt's shirt. "Well, it's time to take responsibility for your actions. You wanted it, so here it is."

"Mell--mmph!" Matt froze, dumbstruck, as Mello irately crushed their mouths together. He blinked in confusion as a warm, prickly sensation made its presence known in the pit of his stomach and began seeping its way up through his chest and down his arms all the way to his fingers, before his eyes fluttered closed and he found himself pressing hesitantly back against Mello. A moment passed in which golden hair caressed across his cheek and Mello's warm, dry lips brushed lightly over his own, eliciting tiny jolts of electricity, before he felt the other boy go stiff.

He opened his eyes questioningly to meet Mello's frenzied, horrified gaze, and then the blond was shoving away from him, tangling himself up in the unmade sheets of Matt's bed before toppling over the side. Matt dove reflexively for the edge, staring down at Mello as he fought to free himself from the blankets.


"Gyaah!" Mello scrambled to his feet, gaping at Matt like a deer caught in the headlights for a second, before turning on his heel and tearing out of the room as though the hounds of hell were hot on his trail.

'What the hell!?' Mello practically flew down the hallway away from their room, beet red in the face with one hand clamped over his mouth in shock. 'What the hell!?'

He blatantly ignored the odd, confused looks he was getting from the other orphans, not even noticing the bemused expression on Near's face as he darted past the younger boy. Somewhere behind him, Roger yelled something about no running in the halls, but he brushed it off, letting his feet go wherever they wanted in his panic.

You weren't supposed to enjoy kissing your best friend! Sure, it was one thing to take part in a tiny little kiss, just to see what it was like… it was another thing entirely to like it! And damnit, he could still feel Matt's lips tingling against his own, feel the butterflies writhing in his stomach. 'Nononononono!'

He took the corner at a mad dash, socked feet skidding precariously on the wooden floor. "L!" he shrieked desperately, flinging open the door to the detective's room and searching out the hunched figure he instinctively ran to in times of confusion.

The detective looked up with a small start, took Mello's distraught figure in at a glance, lowered his legs to the floor, and set his laptop aside just in time to avoid having it crushed as a blur of black and gold hurtled itself into his lap, clinging to his shirt for dear life. With a patient sigh, L allowed the young boy to wrap the man's arms around himself, burying his face in L's shoulder, clearly anxious for comfort.

For a few minutes, L simply combed his spindly fingers through Mello's hair in what he hoped was a calming manner, lightly massaging the child's scalp at intervals. When Mello had finally stilled, he gently shifted him aside in order to reach past him and pluck up the bowl of Hershey's kisses that had been sitting on the table beside his evening tea. Mello mechanically took a handful of the proffered chocolate, popping the first sweet into his mouth thoughtlessly.

"What's wrong, Mello?" L asked, rubbing soothing circle's over the boy's back, jet black eyes once again searching out the laptop screen.

Mello chewed slowly, trying to work out the proper way to explain what had happened to his mentor. When no clever words presented themselves, however, he decided that the best course of action would be to simply tell L the hard facts. If anyone were to understand, it would be the eccentric detective. "I… I... kissed Matt," he muttered, half hoping the words would be lost in the material of L's shirt.

A tiny smile spread across L's lips at the mumble. Ah. So it was time for this conversation. "And?" he prompted placidly.

Mello's head snapped up and he stared at him as though he was missing the point--which, Mello was sure, he was. "And what? L, I kissed Matt! Matt! My best friend! You know… about yay tall, red hair, likes video games… oh! And is a boy!"

L's smirk widened subtly as Mello glowered at him, and he simply handed the boy another chocolate. "Did you enjoy it?"

Mello faltered, feeling his cheeks warming as he glanced down, picking absently at a loose thread in the man's worn jeans. "I…" he gulped, closing his eyes, "…yes."

L nodded slightly, popping a candy into his own mouth. "Did Matt?"

"I… think so." Mello was nearly positive that L could feel the intense heat of his cheeks through the material of his shirt.

"Then what's the problem?" L asked simply, beginning to surreptitiously edge his laptop closer again.

Mello blinked. How could he be so calm about this!? The problem was-- "Well, we're both boys!" he huffed, squirming a bit to find a better spot in the detective's bony lap; honestly, this had been a lot easier and more comfortable where he was smaller.

"If you both enjoyed it, I hardly see how that is an issue, Mello."

"But…" He furrowed his brow.

L cut him off, reaching out for the tea still cooling on the table. "It is only natural to develop deeper feelings for someone so close and precious to oneself."

"Mm…" Mello chewed distractedly on his bottom lip. Come to think of it, Matt--well, and L, of course--was really the only person he didn't feel like punching in the esophagus after ten minutes of their company. And honestly, he felt incomplete if he hadn't seen or spoken to Matt for longer than a couple of hours. He—oh crap.

"L," he whispered, horrified, his eyes comically large as he stared out the window across from their seat on the couch, "Am I gay?"

L chuckled lightly, ruffling the boy's golden hair affectionately. "Only you can decide that, Mello."

Mello eased the door shut quietly, blinking into the darkness of the room in confusion. It was only nine o'clock… usually Matt was up until at least midnight, playing his handheld or doing a rushed, last minute (but still full to brimming with valid, well-thought-out points... though his composition was usually a bit lacking...) essay due the next day. He furrowed his brow, stepping carefully so as to avoid whatever dangers were sure to be scattered precariously around Matt's half of the room. As his eyes began to adjust, he caught sight of the huddled lump of covers on Matt's bed. His eyes widened marginally.

Making his way silently over to the bedside, he gently pulled down the sheets to reveal Matt, headphones in place, curled protectively around his MP3 player, and fast asleep. In this closer proximity, he could hear the faint bass line of Why Do Fools Fall in Love? emanating from the ear buds, and he grinned--The Supremes, Matt's guilty pleasure that even Mello wouldn't have known about had he not barged into the room one day to find the redhead jumping on his bed, belting You Can't Hurry Love in a terrifyingly accurate and on-key octave. It had been months since he'd caught him listening to it, though… he must be really distraught.

Mello gulped, a sudden feeling of guilt settling itself heavily in his stomach. He had run out so abruptly, set on soothing his own fears… he hadn't even thought about how his best friend might be feeling after their encounter.

Quietly as he could, he clambered up onto the bed, crawling around so he was face to face with Matt and gently lifted the other boy's arms before burrowing into his embrace with a small sigh. Closing his eyes, he nuzzled his nose into the crook of Matt's neck, keeping deathly still as he felt the redhead startle awake.

"Mmph…" Matt muttered groggily, slowly plucking his ear buds out with one hand and rubbing at his bleary eyes with the other. Feeling the warm weight pressed into his chest, he blinked, looking down at the blond hair glinting in the dim hall light filtering in beneath the door. "Mel…?" he whispered in confusion, his voice still husky from sleep. It wasn't strange for one of them to crawl into the other's bed after a nightmare… or just to talk… but, he'd been sure that…

Mello curled his arms around his waist in reply, nestling his cheek against Matt's chest. Matt smiled sleepily, all worries forgotten as he cuddled the warm body closer contentedly. He'd been so afraid he'd lost him… "I thought I'd scared you off or something," he mumbled into Mello's hair, trying to make light of the terrifying feelings of hurt and abandonment that had been threatening to overcome him after the blond had disappeared.

"Just had to think," Mello murmured. Matt hummed softly in relief, already drifting back into unconsciousness. Mello clutched the familiar striped shirt for a moment, staring at a small freckle barely visible in the hollow of Matt's throat. "Matt…?"


"…How did you feel?"

Matt yawned, his brows furrowing in confusion for a moment as he tried to work out Mello's inquiry. 'Oh… y'mean…' "Well," he paused, stretching like a cat before automatically wrapping himself back around Mello's slighter form, "I was kinda nauseous… and tingly all over." He could practically feel Mello's perplexed frown burning into his collarbone, and he smiled, hugging him. "It was either love or smallpox."

Mello chuckled quietly as he sat up slightly to get a better look at Matt's face. "What do you think it was?" he asked, idly playing with a fold in Matt's shirt.

Matt grinned. "Well, I don't wanna have smallpox," he said simply, reaching up to grab Mello's arms and pull the other boy closer.

Mello mirrored the smile, allowing himself to be settled comfortably on Matt's chest. Matt tucked the blond head beneath his chin, closing his eyes happily as he felt Mello's arms wriggle their way underneath his back in what he knew was eventually going to be a very uncomfortable position… but he couldn't quite bring himself to care at the moment.

"Matt." He quirked his eyebrows to show that he was listening even though, rationally, he knew Mello couldn't see it. "I'm glad you think girls are icky."

He laughed softly, blissfully pressing his lips into golden hair in an echo of the soft kiss tingling against his throat. "You're prettier'n all of 'em anyway."

"Don't think I won't beat you just 'cause I like you," Mello muttered threateningly, and Matt hugged him closer with a contented sigh.


Haha! Yaaaaay! I didn't realize, until I proofread, how ridiculously British I made them! But, I love it, so it's staying. They're so cuuuuuuute and OOC and fluffy and just… AWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Woot. Yes. You know Matt would listen to The Supremes... you can't deny it.

Mello: Damnit, Matt! Are you STILL listening to The Supremes!?

Matt: You Can't Hurry Love, Mello.

Mello: ...Fuuuuuuuuuck!

PRONGS! Did you see your cameo! Heehee!

Review, please! You'll never guess how happy it makes me!