Summary: Mello's moods were so…fickle. Matt's mind was joking with him that living with Mello was dangerous, like rooming with Kira himself. [MelloxMatt [Multi-chaptered
Notes: This is a roleplay between dearest Mahri and me, formatted to look like a fanfiction. It is quite long, so if you're not into long-term reading, then I suggest you look elsewhere. However, the updates will be frequent and the story compelling.
This was a common picture: the apartment somewhat tidy—somewhat being that laptops, wires, power boxes, and a plethora of different electronic parts lying strewn around with everything else neatly put away. The couch pushed against the wall, the coffee table in the corner, the kitchen looked untouched, and Matt was lying on the couch with his laptop precariously perched on his chest. One hand idly operated the keyboard, and the other dangled off the couch like a useless limb. Truly, Matt was just bored.
It showed, too. His hair was disheveled, his clothes twisted around his body, and his goggles were pushed up on top of his head. His vest lay discarded over the edge of the couch. The fact that he remained half-dressed and appeared to be lost in perpetual tedium was a good sign that Matt was not in a very pleasant mood.
Of course, this was a common picture.
Matt had been like this for days—quieter than ordinary, uninterested in too much but doing whatever the hell Mello wanted him to do for this excursion after Kira, lazing around, hardly touching the video games that once consumed a good portion of his life. You'd think that he'd be happy to hear from Mello again, or that he'd be happy to get some excitement in his life—and honestly, he was. 'Was' being the operative word here. Mello proved to be a real damper on his occasion. A real rain on his parade, that was what Mello was.
Quite frankly, Matt wished that Mello would just get out of his damn apartment already.
Mello had never noticed Matt's steady decline in mood until about a week later, when the smoker became unenthusiastic and a little bit disgruntled. And so, the blonde found himself in and out of the apartment more often than not, gathering things and using his reputation to get information. He even set up a plan to meet Near, having his gun still intact and his vendetta to keep in mind. Still, he couldn't do much on his own, no matter how much his ego begrudged him. He had to come back every night, exhausted, only to earn little to no response from Matt, other than the nod or shrug when orders were made.
Not that Mello cared all too much. He was used to giving orders, and then having them followed without question. Matt, on the other hand, was a different story. He was an old friend, dating all the way back to Wammy's House. It was almost uncomfortable ordering a friend around, not that he'd ever admit this. No, he'd just let the guilt weather away the recesses of his mind until he no longer cared. Just as he did after the shocking revelation of L's death.
Today, however, he wasn't in the mood to put up with any shit. He just wanted to lay out the agenda and have the other shrug in his customary way and pull out a cigarette before having Mello point his gun at the younger one with a snarl and say: "Put that out."
He strode in through the door, wearing leather pants that constricted nearly every place on his lower body. It had cost him hundreds of dollars, but he had preserved the money from when his standing in the mafia still invoked a tremor of fear. Now that his hideout was ash and his entire group had been killed by the police, he had almost no money to his name besides what he managed to scrounge up. And apparently, Matt had some money.
Mello raised an eyebrow at the other's lounging form, crossing the room to lean over him diffidently.
"Hey," he said, baiting the other's attention. "Matt."
Matt looked up at Mello, blinking expectantly as though to say, 'hello, may I help you?' Guaranteed, if Matt was on speaking terms with Mello presently, he would say something to that effect. He wanted to make it obvious enough that the blonde could figure that he was really pissing Matt off.
Of course, this was granted if Mello ever stopped thinking about Near and Kira long enough to think about his best friend.
Matt glanced back to his screen and paused his game of pinball, shifting his laptop aside so that he could lean against the corner of the couch. Presently, he arched up his hips to pull out a rather crumpled cigarette box, pulling one out and placing it between his lips. When he finally spoke, he spoke around the unlit cigarette. "Yes?"
Mello wrinkled his nose.
"You better not light that in here," he reminded him, backing off in satisfaction to receive at least a monosyllabic response. He picked up the laptop and exited the game Matt was playing, only to shift the screen to a loading setting, trying to bring up any files he had stored about Kira.
"Weren't you supposed to be watching the news with this? What if Kira did something, and Near got the information first?" He scowled. His tone sounded accusatory, but it was far from that. He was merely irritated. A sigh escaped his lips as the blonde abandoned the laptop in favor of striding to the other side of the room.
He was rather pissed at Matt himself, to be honest, seeing as the gamer had taken a childish approach to all this. He was ignoring him, quite blatantly if he did say so himself, always coaxing a troubled frown from Mello's dangerously placid face. He drove him crazy, honestly... but he couldn't do this without him.
As painful as that was to admit.
Matt felt like today was a good day to thoroughly piss Mello off.
He lit his cigarette.
The redhead jerked in protest to Mello's exiting his game, scowling. Fuck him. Matt leaned off the couch and groped for one of his many laptops, dragging it over to him by the cord and opening a few windows, spinning it around for Mello to see. "Asshole," he said, for there, on the screen, were numerous electronic news videos paired with word documents chock-full of notes regarding anything related to a death that could be linked to Kira. This included names, times, dates, means, whereabouts, as much information disclosed…et cetera. He figured that as long as he did what he was told, he could be as childish as he wanted to be. He was a grown young man who still played video games—what more could be expected of him?
The blonde stomped up to Matt and snatched the lit cigarette from his lips and threw it onto the ground, only to trample it with his boot. He then snatched the packet of cigarettes and tossed it behind his shoulder. There was no doubt that the other male would get another pack, but he could at least keep the putrid smell of smoke out of his nostrils for the time being.
"Christ, Matt, what did I do to you?" he snarled.
Matt had expected some reaction, but not Mello picking up his cigarette and stomping it out. Great. Now his cigarettes were somewhere across the room.
"It's my apartment," he pointed out, his expression still contorted into something none too friendly. At least he had been keeping up with his job. But it wasn't really his job, was it? He was just following orders, when he could have simply kicked Mello out and gone back to his depraved video games.
"What do you mean, what did you do to me?" This was the most that Matt had spoken in a while. "What the hell happened to you, huh? Always have to be number fucking one."
Matt sat up further, standing and crossing the room, scanning the floor to try and find his pack. Giving up, he headed to the kitchen to open a drawer and produce a fresh box. Fuck Mello. "Do you ever stop to think about someone other than yourself, Mello? Jesus." Matt lit another cigarette.
Mello had nothing to say to that. Just an internal fuming, where he stood and seethed until the words had worn off. The only thing that kept the blonde from punching the hell out of him right now was self restraint, and even that was fading fast. "If I piss you off so much, why don't you kick me out?" He knew he was walking a fine line by suggesting such a thing, but it was a point he had wanted to make for quite awhile. Besides, he wanted to bait more than just insults and scathing acknowledgements from the bastard.
"Besides, I thought we agreed that you'd smoke outside? Do you know what that shit can do to your lungs?" If Kira didn't get him first, Mello imagined that Matt would die of lung cancer. It figured. He didn't even care, the son of a bitch. About himself, that was. Seemingly the very opposite of the older one who had come to stay.
"All right. Go. Get out," he answered half-heartedly, sighing and taking a deep inhale off his cigarette. Lung cancer was the least of his worries. Apparently though, not only did he not care about lung cancer, he didn't care about whether or not Mello stayed or went. It went to figure that Mello would bring up something like that and Matt would just blow it off.
After a couple calming breaths through a dangerous filter, Matt seemed to be collected enough to speak again.
"You came to me, didn't you?" he stated, cinnamon smoke unfurling from his lips. "I can't just throw you out."
Another drag. It was apparent that Matt was not only addicted, he was dependent—maybe that was the reason why he was always so mellow, he was constantly chock-full of nicotine. "What kind of friend would I be then?"
"Probably one that's sick of my bullshit," he said honestly, stomping out of the kitchen. Okay, he would admit that he was his vendetta was slightly stupid, but he wasn't giving up so easily. That would only be giving Near the victory. No matter how much he respected Matt, and appreciated his help, there was no way he was giving up for him. Selfish...yes, but this was not something he would die forgetting. Matt would have to understand that. "But fuck...where else was I supposed to go? Can't I come here without worrying about dying of second-hand smoke or something like that?"
He resolved to raid that drawer later and toss out every pack. That would end up saving them both, whether Matt liked it or not, which he probably didn't. Well, that was just too damn bad. He could kill himself on his own time.
"Already got that covered," Matt answered to that one, balancing the cigarette between his lips and opening a window. Maybe that would shut Mello up for awhile.
He doubted it.
Matt stalked back to his couch, but not before exhaling a puff of smoke in Mello's general direction. How was that for secondhand smoke? He pulled his laptop towards him again, making note of the current newsreels before picking up his personally designed and created handheld and resuming his game of Zombie Urban Ninjas. "I donno," he stated finally, staring intently at the tiny screen. "But you just had to drag me in, huh? Guess that's what friends are for." He didn't sound like he meant it.
A sigh escaped Mello's lips, and he turned. "Yeah, that is what friends are for," he said, tossing himself on the couch as well and leaning his head back to examine the ceiling disinterestedly. "And we used to be fucking good friends, huh, Matt?"
He was going absolutely nowhere with this. It was just as well. He didn't feel like following it up with some kind of speech. He just wanted to rant some more. Damn, he wished he had some chocolate… "Hey, do you have any chocolate?" he asked, now sounding sincere. Maybe because he was.
Matt didn't say anything to the comment that sounded more like a probe than any real conversation. Instead, he shrugged at that one. Who said they weren't fucking good friends anymore? They were just in something of a rut. He supposed. Maybe Mello was right, maybe they weren't friends anymore. Matt, however, would like to think otherwise...
"Check the fridge," he answered without commitment, although he knew very well that there would be chocolate somewhere in the house. Matt wasn't an idiot. For as long as Mello was going to stay with him, there would be chocolate in the vicinity.
Gladly, Mello trotted into the kitchen and swung open the refrigerator, eyes lighting up to find a couple of bars sitting inside. He picked one up, tore off the wrapper, and took a chunk off with his teeth. Aahhhh... that was better. His mind cleared, and he was maybe ready to handle Matt's less than favorable attitude.
And so he went back into the living room, gnawing on the chocolate and looking to the entire world like a satiated child, one that was wearing a self-satisfied smirk. "Do you really want me to leave?" he asked. The statement itself was gentle, but his voice was harsh and angry. He could find somewhere else to stay...maybe. Hopefully. Ah shit, who was he kidding? Probably not.
Matt inhaled from his cigarette, still letting it sit placidly between his lips as his ball of coloured scraps and toys rolled around on the screen.
"No," he stated as he exhaled, the smoke drifting away from him. No, he did not want Mello to leave. As annoying as the other got, and as many times as Matt found himself wishing that Mello would collect himself and get out, he didn't honestly want the blonde to go. He had his reasons, of course—none of which he cared to disclose any time soon, but all the same... "You brought it up. Do you want to leave?"
"Hell no," he said, returning to his place on the couch. He lounged across it like a pampered cat, draping one arm across a knee as he glared ahead, pallid eyes ignoring both the man next to him and the bar in his hand. "I could never find another place to go. And besides, who's a better help than you?"
By help, he truly meant help, but the way Mello was working him, Matt could have construed it a completely different way. The male flicked his tongue over the chocolate, taking part of it into his mouth eagerly and chewing. His way of eating chocolate was ritualistic, but it kept him sane. In fact, the sugary food was the only thing that did keep him sane. Hell knew that nothing else could, especially not now when half his body had been burnt to a crisp, and his enemy was gliding by him in their goal.
Matt chuckled knowingly—he figured that Mello's answer would be something to this degree. Of course, despite all his hookups and his notorious, infamous name, there wasn't too much that could be done by way of lodging if no one was willing to take such a hardened criminal in. Besides, without a mafia, what did Mello have left to threaten people with? Mello himself was pretty damn vicious, but it wasn't like he was about to bloody his hands any time soon.
"Of course, I've got the brains and the equipment." Not the attention span, apparently, but he was still doing a damn good job of carrying out whatever Mello wanted without question. It was lucky that Matt wasn't a very confrontational person.
Mello snorted. A most unconventional sound, true, but he was in no mood to restrain his mirth.
"The brains?" he chuckled. "Alright. Sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Matt. But the equipment, yes...and the sustenance? Definitely. And we both know that I couldn't leave because you're the only one with an apartment around here. How that happened, I don't know."
He was walking a fine line again, insulting his only way to stay in the game. Matt could just throw him out, and he had the right to, but he hadn't yet. That made him curious.
"Why don't you throw me out?" he asked, cocking his head. "And don't give me any of that 'fine, Mello, leave' bullshit."
Matt only smiled as the other insulted his intelligence—true, Matt hadn't been the most extraordinary kid in Wammy's house, but he would blame that on his lack of focus any day. Of course, with all sorts of electronics, gadgets, wiring and hacking, he excelled, but anything else he'd just been too busy daydreaming about videogames to care about. How he made it to third was, to this day, equivalent to the eighth wonder of the world.
His smile furthered a bit at the other's curiosity. It was nice to have Mello dangling. "Fine, Mello, leave," he echoed, clearly humoured with himself. It didn't look like Mello would be able to get a straight answer out of Matt any time soon.
Mello rolled his eyes and tilted his head back farther, his shoulder-length hair falling back, to the point where it nearly touched the armrest.
"Ah, fuck you, Matt," he said, righting himself once again and sighing. The no-straight-answer aspect of it was really beginning to piss him off. He was curious, there was no doubt about that, and the male probably wouldn't answer any of his questions, just to irritate him. "You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?"
Of course he was. The blonde merely wanted to hear that from him. He lifted a booted foot and kicked him, almost playfully, but not quite to the point where he could have hurt him.
"Gladly," he muttered under his breath, although that smile still played on his lips. It was obvious that he was still very much amused with the situation, whether or not he should be. As for doing this on purpose, "Of course."
There they were: Mello had heard it out of Matt's own mouth that he was torturing the other by giving less-than-brazen answers and devoting more attention to his mindless video game than the conversation at hand. He yelped in surprise when Mello kicked him, though, his cigarette dropping from his lips. He fumbled with it, making a grab and managing to snatch it out of the air.
"Oh, fuck you," he retorted, throwing the other's insult back at him as he pulled his feet up onto the couch, curling into a corner of it to ward off any further playful blows. "At least you know I'm not gonna kick you out."
"But you're obnoxious just for the sake of being obnoxious," Mello pointed out, drawing back his boot with satisfaction, and sitting up at Matt's recoil. "And you're killing yourself slowly. What's the point of that?" He frowned at the cigarette. "You're just dumping a bunch of ash into your body. And you're okay with that?"
He nibbled on his chocolate, inclining his chin in the anticipation of his answer. He had never really understood what was so appealing about a cylindrical piece of paper with nicotine stuffed inside it. A lot of people from the mafia smoked, but none of them dared to smoke within a few feet of Mello. That was just asking to get shot in the head.
It made sense that Matt, therefore, would be the only one with the guts—or the stupidity—to smoke right in Mello's face. He puffed a smoke ring in the other's direction. "Perfectly okay," he answered, that smile curling his lips again. "You're clotting your veins as we speak, so I wouldn't be talking if I were you," he reprimanded with an air of nonchalance, taking his cigarette between his fingers and blowing out what smoke had accumulated in his mouth. The air around the couch now smelled faintly of cinnamon.
"I have a less likely chance of dying than you," he said loftily. "Besides, I'm not clotting my veins, but I am increasing my blood sugar levels. Same difference, maybe, but you're still going to die first," he grimaced as the smoke came his way and his hand flew to his belt, where he withdrew a pistol and pointed it maliciously at the other. His expression remained blank, though. "Christ, Matt...can't you smoke somewhere else?" He was starting to get immensely perturbed. "Or at least try to keep me from inhaling your godforsaken nicotine?" He sighed, exhaling as much of it as possible.
Matt shook his head—as much as Mello talked, Matt figured that Mello would die first. It wasn't their habits that were going to kill them, it was their lifestyle. Matt versus Mello; Matt whom stayed at home and only went out when Mello told him to, operating all their bases from his couch—and Mello who was out and riding motorbikes around, associating himself with the hotshot mafia.
Three guesses who was going to die first.
"Heh." Matt expertly blew a smoke ring to encase the muzzle of Mello's gun, but inched no further. Mello wasn't going to shoot him. At least, Matt certainly hoped not. Shoot at him, maybe. Shoot him, Matt was banking that they were good enough friends not to deliberately kill each other.
But Mello didn't lower his gun.
"What? Your cigarette?" He shook his head then, and only then, he put his gun away, tucking it into his pants, which seemed to have no room for anything, especially not something as massive as his weapon. He scowled. Matt was infuriating. He had no idea what had possessed him to be friends with the other anyway, besides the fact that at the time, he had been the only one to talk to him. But he supposed that was the hazards of being Mello. He supposed that the gamer wasn't all bad, despite his apparent mood swings, and his disgusting smoke fetish.
Matt actually seemed to breathe easier now that Mello's gun was put away. One day, Mello was going to have a nasty accident with that thing. Matt would be there to say 'I told you so', because he had. Numerous times.
"It's cinnamon," he pointed out shortly as though it weren't already obvious. Matt was having a hard time being shut up and quiet about how pissed off he was at Mello—but with the other there, it was hard to be mad at him. When he was gone, though, Matt could fume all he wanted because he couldn't tease the other with his circulatory ways. "You weren't really going to shoot me, were you?"
A devilish grin curled on Mello's face. "I could have," he said. "Were you going to test me?" He stood up, pleased to have baited a reaction like that. He didn't expect Matt to take him seriously. Then again, he was brandishing a loaded weapon, and he had used it enough times to cause discomfort. It wasn't unheard of, though Mello knew he wouldn't shoot his only chance for survival. Who had helped him when he had gotten himself blown up, anyway? It was Matt, and although he wouldn't openly admit his thanks, he could think about it all he wanted.
Matt only chuckled at the grin that followed onto Mello's features. "I always do," he answered truthfully—and he did. If there was one thing that Matt had to be notorious for other than his expertise in electronics and his smoking habit, it was the fact that he loved to push his boundaries. One day, it was going to get him killed. "I was hoping you wouldn't, though."
Not only were they friends, Matt did realize that Mello almost depended on him. After all—he was the one providing the equipment, the company, the housing, the food—and the debt of dragging Mello home and fixing him up. Yeah. Matt had a lot to bank on in the event of Mello threatening him with a gun.
"Fuck, Matt," he said, supporting one cheek with his knuckles. "I won't shoot you. I can't." He sighed and stretched out his legs, not caring if Matt was in the way or not. Okay, Matt was all right when he wanted to be. Maybe that was the reason they became friends. "And why are you acting friendly all of a sudden? I thought it was your time of the month." He grinned. A stupid comment, sure, but it fit Matt's mood swings lately pretty accurately. Besides, it was all apart of the game they played: back and forth. No one really was pissed at the other, except for when they were alone and in a bad mood.
Matt grinned back. "I know." Hell, if Mello shot him, he'd die of shock and not injury. Upon finishing his cigarette, he leaned over to the ashtray sitting near the foot of the couch and put it out, dropping it to collect with the other butts. "Do you know how hard it is to stay mad at you, you jackass?" Matt questioned Mello, arching a brow at him. He reached a saving point in his game and set it aside, uncurling from his position to accommodate Mello's legs, only to kick up his boots against the other's knees. "I just get pissed when I can brood on it. But hell, I can't talk to you and not crack jokes."
Mello grinned maliciously. "I tend to have that effect on people," he said propping his elbows up on the armrest and surveying the one opposite him. He probably should have been monitoring Kira, but he could use a break...besides, his chocolate was nearly gone, coaxing a small frown from the blonde. But that really didn't matter. He could get some more, right? But he felt unusually tired. Maybe he would get a nap before he took his chocolate and went out on another one of his 'fun runs' around the city. He needed a way to get to Near now, to get his photograph back. Even if he had to pry it out of the kid's cold, dead fingers.
People, huh? He supposed that he was just another person. after all—he'd said it himself. Mello was just around because he had a debt to Matt, and Matt was his only option. Even though he'd thought it, he'd never mentioned it—he'd never said Mello lingered because Mello and Matt were friends. 'Friends' was not a motive in the life they led—at least, Matt refused to believe it was for Mello. That just complicated things too much.
Looking somewhat forlorn, Matt decided that he needed another cigarette. Pulling the new pack form his pocket, he drew one out and lit it, taking a puff and draping his arm over the couch back to keep it out of Mello's way. He attempted a smirk, quite victorious in doing so. "Better?"
He couldn't help but smile. At least the other was making an attempt...but 'cinnamon' was still no excuse to be puffing cancer all over the room. But it wasn't as if he could really do anything about it. Sure, Mello could bitch, and bitch he did, but he could never permanently get rid of the gamer's awful habit. If he could get him to be courteous at least, as he was doing now, maybe the next step would be to convince him to go outside every time he had the urge to light a cigarette. Doubtful, but he wasn't beyond trying.
"Much," he commented, surveying them both. They were sprawled out on the couch, not doing anything at all. A pang of something nagged at the blonde's mind, but he ignored it. Break first...he had once before told himself that he needed it.
Matt contented himself with a couple of drags off his cigarette, letting his head drop back against the arm rest of the couch. It was times like this where Mello was bearable—when he wasn't giving orders, or obsessing over Kira, or talking about Near... Just Matt and Mello, lounging on a couch like the lazy asses they were. Well. The lazy ass Matt was. It made him slightly reminiscent of their younger years at Wammy's. Matt brought his head up and looked at Mello.
"You know," he started, peering at the other obscurely for a moment, then pulling his goggles down as though this would help him. All it did was turn Mello a faint orangey-yellow. "You're finally not talking about Kira." Matt paused. "Are you sick?"
Mello cocked his head and thought about it. It was true. He wasn't. Not that he hadn't thought about that fact before; it was just that when Matt reminded him, it suddenly brought new meaning to the words. Well, fuck Near. He was a bit of an obsessive idiot, anyway...probably playing with his toys. Maybe that would buy the blonde some time to simply do nothing. Well, that was the only thought that assuaged his racing mind.
"Maybe I am," he said passively, looking down at the now empty chocolate wrapper in his hand. He groaned inwardly at the loss. Why hadn't he eaten it slower? Mello made a move to get up off of the seat. Knowing him, he'd have the refrigerator cleaned out by the end of the day.
Matt made a mental note to go out and buy Mello some chocolate once he managed to motivate himself enough to leave the apartment. Fresh air, he supposed, would do him some good anyways. He'd been cooped up in his apartment for a while, watching for anything that could help them corner Kira, so maybe that was why he was getting so damned cranky.
"You're still going to go out and do whatever it is you do even if you're sick, aren't you?" he questioned in something of a monotone, taking an absent inhale from his cigarette.
"Of course," said Mello crossly. "If I don't, how the hell are we supposed to get closer to Kira before Near? He has infinite supplies, the bastard, and we have this craphole." He made no attempt to soften his words. Matt's apartment was a craphole compared to where he used to be, and he couldn't deny it. It was only a statement of facts. "Besides… I'm probably not too bad. Nothing chocolate can't fix." Yes, in his mind, chocolate was the panacea of anything illness-related. It had never failed him before.
"Well, if it bugs you so much, go on and get out," Matt told Mello airily, exhaling a ribbon of smoke over his head as he tipped it back again. So they were back to square one.
Matt might have been a pendulum on the clock of moods, but he had a distinct gut feeling that it was Mello's bad attitude that made him that way. Or at least, that was what he'd like to think. Before Mello had come knocking on his door again, Matt had been completely cool and carefree every hour of every day, of every week. And then...he wasn't. Oh well. That was life, he supposed.
"You know, speaking of," he announced, getting up from the couch. Now was a good a time as ever. "We're almost out. I think I'll go and buy some more."
Oh yeah. He made a lot of sense—get mad at Mello, go buy him chocolate. Amazing reasoning, Matt.
Oh, well. Mello, at this point, was used to Matt's mood swings, and therefore didn't care as long as he was getting what he wanted: chocolate and some free help. But was all that he was to him? A provider and a minion? Well, he certainly didn't think of him as a minion, not really. He still liked to think that they were friends, like they were at Wammy's House. But lots had changed since then, hadn't it? L was dead, and Near had finally become his successor, like the blonde had always dismayingly knew he would. Matt was still, amazingly, the same, though...maybe it was Mello that was different. A sigh.
"Hey...I'll come with you."
Matt was halfway through zipping up his vest over his striped shirt when Mello piped up. He paused, seeming to consider this for a moment, and then pulled his zipper up to his throat.
Maybe it was the circumstances that had changed. Strangely, Matt was thinking about the same sort of thing Mello was—what the hell was going on with them? Mello was still yearning to be number one, and he was still using whatever means necessary to get there. Matt was still playing along. Hadn't it always been that way? Maybe the stakes were just higher. Maybe that made things a little worse.
Whatever it was, it was really fucking with them, and Matt wished that it would stop.