Title: Angelica

Anime: Death Note

Pairing: Matt / Mello

RATED: T

Warning: mild shounen-ai

Summary:When Mello calls Matt self-centered, his best friend is determined to prove him wrong so he cuts down his allowances and gives half of it to send an unknown nine-year old orphan to school. Then he meets her for the first time Mattcentric Shounenai with sexual tension.

This story is dedicated to those who favor Matt and Mello pairing especially my close friend susuwatari7

XXX

Friends with benefits

Whatever went on his mind that day was most probably Mello's fault. Matt had been very comfortable the day before and did not actually anticipated that it would be short-lived. Mello was on his usual snappy moods, the punk, leather-wearing handsome blond was frequently irritated by the smallest things. Being around him, being pushed around by him, being told to wear headphones while playing that stupid game that makes noises, being able to mentally slap oneself when he is around are just few things Matt have to deal with when Mello and him became the best of friends. "Best of friends" is such a heavy word here because that comes with love and respect and Mello cringes at the very essence of that. He sees Matt as a constant companion; probably a dog with stripes and goggles but Matt was fine with that. Matt really liked Mello even when most people did not want to associate themselves with the angry blond except when you belong to a mafia group or a bunch of fangirls.

It all started with the stupid grin on Matt's face that day. Mello was slouching on the sofa, arms resting on the upper edge, legs stretched on the table. He was biting on the last chunk of thick chocolate bar. He saw Matt entered the room with that silly grin and the languid but happy eyes behind the orange goggles. Mello scoffed at it. He doesn't like people happy unless he wants them to be. He also has a fair amount of experience in making people miserable and this particular situation involved that since he was bored and Matt had that stupid, absolutely moronic grin plastered on his goofy face.

"What's up, stupid head?" Mello has a way with greetings.

Matt did not seem to hear him at first and then he looked at Mello as if shocked that he was there. Mello did not like how Matt is acting so he said frankly, "I want to be nice to you, Matt, really, I do."

"Okay," Matt gulped. With Mello, you have to expect a sting.

"But because I put high regards on our friendship, let me just say you sicken me and stop being such a fucking ray of sunshine."

Matt did not mean it but he suddenly laughed, laughed too loud that it almost echoed around the room. He was really happy that day and then he didn't even think before he acted. He should have been more careful especially that Mello is being his usual ass self. It was a dreadful mistake to laugh at Mello's face like that and Mello wad determined that it would really hurt.

The redhead boy managed to stop himself from laughing at last. He saw the scornful look from Mello. He was seriously appalled.

Matt muttered a low "I'm sorry." He felt his knees were about to break.

"Matt," Mello began. Matt felt ice picks on his spinal cord the moment Mello called his name casually. And to think this was supposed to be a happy day.

"I'm giving you less than ten seconds to tell me your death wish."

"Mello, I was just goofing around, you know." Matt tried to step back but his feet were stuck on the ground, stuck in fear.

"Well?" Mello remained on his usual position on the sofa but his eyes were like daggers burrowing deep on Matt's skull.

"I...well...I upgraded my PSP."

"And it matters to me?"

Matt tried again to speak, "Not really. I just...well, you know how much I like stuff like games and tech."

"Restating the obvious, go on."

Matt gulped. "And that's why I am so happy today. Was that unreasonable of me?"

Mello sighed and finish his chocolate bar. "Well, idiot, you shouldn't be too happy. It's just stupid tech stuff."

Matt should have not countered that comment. But his ego was hurt and his tech stuff was put into an awful sacrilege by a boy who was supposed to be his best friend. So Matt countered, "You always make everything about you."

Mello glared intensely once more. This time Matt did not back down. "You're so full of yourself."

The blond boy stood up at last. Matt's initial fear was back. He should be running for his life now. Yet his feet stayed on the ground, the soles of his shoes adhesive.

"What did you just say, Matt?" The question already made him tremble.

"Look, I know you're in your worst moods but don't go pinning your crap on me again. You should be rather thankful that I hang out with you." Matt was blabbering rubbish without pausing. Each word darkened Mello's expression.

"Mello..."

"Matt," Mello spoke softly. "You're the one who is selfish."

Matt could not believe what he was hearing. And Mello looked hurt too. Uh-oh, what did he do this time? Idiocy really is his expertise. Mello did not look angry anymore but he was obviously hurt of what Matt said earlier.

"Look, Mello..."

"Go play your thing and shut up," Mello went to the open window and sat on the still morosely. Matt frowned.

"Do you want to talk about something—"

"I said shut up."

Matt sighed and sat down on the coach, still glancing at Mello. The other boy did not budge or even breathe. He was obviously pissed off with something. Matt wished he could offer some words of comfort but seeing that he is also part of the problem, he decided to let his best friend cool down first. It's dangerous to approach a lion when he is in deliberate anger. Matt knew such thing too. It helps hanging out with a predatory friend.

"Mello, look, man—"

"Dude!" Mello snapped his head at him. "Don't you listen to anything I say? Just play your stupid game!"

Matt glared back. "No."

"And why the hell not?"

"Not until you tell me what is going on with you."

"Look, you have a great day. I don't. That's all you need to know!" Before Matt could open his mouth to respond, Mello stormed out of the room, leaving his best friend full of confusing guilt.

That night Matt didn't find the right energy to play any computer game. He was feeling bad and there's a queasy feeling knotted in his stomach. He better go apologize to Mello. But what will he say? And most of all, what did he do exactly? It was Mello who got bitchy and not him. So why does it always feel like he has to be the one to apologize to Mello? This is crap.

He went looking for his friend. He saw him outside the hotel, sitting on one of the benches where people sit to wait for a cab. Matt scratched his head as he walked towards him. Then he sat down and said nothing for a couple of minutes. Mello pretended he wasn't there or at least he tried. When he turned to ask for something, Matt produced a chocolate bar from his pocket.

Mello scoffed. "I don't want it."

"So I assumed you wrongly when I thought you wanted one?" Matt grinned.

"You jump into conclusions easily," Mello was saying but he saw Matt was still holding out the chocolate so he rolled his eyes and grabbed it.

"See?" Matt grinned wider.

Mello stared at the chocolate bar gravely. "You really didn't have to come with me when I left Wammy's."

"You kidding? I hate that darn place and all of Roger's regulations," Matt stretched his arms up and then he lit a cigarette. "Doesn't matter now. I'm here for you, you know."

"Yeah, I know." Mello finally looked at him. Matt looked back. Mello's eyes were pale blue and most of the time they held a certain kind of pride when he looks at something or someone. Now they look different. They seem softer and sincere.

"Better open that," Matt said, blowing smoke.

Mello looked away and started unwrapping the chocolate bar. Matt watched him eat and didn't expect his buddy to apologize for his rude behavior. He didn't have to because Matt didn't care about that. Mello is Mello.

"I love you, dude." Matt said before his could think it. Mello, who was about to take another bite, stopped abruptly and glared.

"Oh, so you wanna, like, start hugging me and then roll around the floor laughing together like we was a couple, come on!"

Matt laughed and saw Mello blushed at his own sarcastic remark. Then the blond mafia boy stood up and nodded his head up the sky.

"Andromeda," he said.

"You like constellations for some reason, you know. You're weird, Mello." Matt looked up at the stars and then at Mello who seemed to be gazing hopefully at them.

"There's a reason." Mello simply replied.

"Ah, okay, whatever." Matt stood up too and started to walk away. Mello didn't follow but then again, Matt didn't mind and didn't want to force him to go with him back to their hotel room.

"Hey, Mello!" Matt called out but his friend didn't turn. He said it anyway. "Promise me you'll tell me what's wrong when you feel like it, okay?"

Mello didn't respond. Again, he didn't have to.

Matt sat in front of his laptop. Now he is sure that there really must be something bothering Mello and it wasn't him. At least he had established that fact. He started clicking on some folders. Then he saw that Mello left a webpage open. He launched it up and cocked his head in curiosity. "World Vision Organization? What is he up to lately?"

Matt scrolled down the page. "This is serious shit."

He read some paragraphs. "Really serious shit. What is Mello doing with this? Sudden need for charity work? Nah...Isn't he supposed to be on e-bay right now, checking on guns to buy?"

He sighed and closed the webpage, the answer to why Mello was looking at such a page haunting him even as he went to sleep.

The next morning he found Mello beside him on the bed. They couldn't afford a room with two beds since Mello said it was completely unnecessary and he didn't mind sharing a bed with him. Matt agreed with it. He liked to have Mello on the bed with him. At least when things go wrong, they could cover for each other since their proximity is close. It's what friends do. They can sleep beside each other and not feel weird about it.

Embarrassing moments occurred seldom. One time Mello had his arm above Matt's chest the whole time and pulled him close for an embrace. They started shouting names at each other the next morning they woke up. They stopped talking about the incident. If there were times it happens again, they simply ignore each other for a while and then talk about boy stuff.

Matt learned to read Mello perfectly well. His friend was rarely verbal. Well, that is, verbally proper when trying to convey how he feels. The rest is left to muttering profanity or telling him off with sign language.

"What are you staring at, Matt?" Mello was awake the whole time even with eyes closed. He and Matt were facing each other on the bed.

"Nothing,"

"Then quit staring at me."

"You have really nice hair color."

"Matt." Mello opened one eye. "Shut up or I'll knee you where it hurts."

"Wanna eat breakfast? It's almost nine." Matt yawned and sat up. He moved shook Mello. "Come on, we have to eat."

"I just started sleeping an hour ago, okay, leave me alone!"

"What? You jerk-wad! Is there a girl who kept you up all night again?"

Mello jerked up defensively and grabbed his friend by the scruff of his shirt. "Why do you always tease me with girls and sex, huh?"

"Oh, right, sorry...it was Near again, right?"

"Don't mention that chicken shit's name!"

"Why are you so angry at him? You barely know each other."

"He thinks he can do everything but he's lame and younger than me so it's not fair that he gets to be the new L!" Mello was finally out of bed.

"You left, remember?" Matt swung his legs out of bed but stayed.

Mello was grabbing another chocolate bar. Matt shouted at him. "Hey! Not until you have a real meal, dammit!"

Mello ignored him. Matt was just in time to jump on Mello before he could take a bite. He tackled him to the floor. Mello was ticklish and Matt knew that.

"Fuck! Stop it right now, Matt! Goddammit, I said stop!" Mello ordered between giggles and all the scoffing.

Matt paused for a while, holding Mello by the waist. They were awkwardly positioned; Matt was on top of him with half of his body turned to the side a little. Mello was struggling but had a minor difficulty getting him off. They were laughing and trembling on each other.

"Matt."

"What?"

"I'm not giving you the chocolate bar."

"Okay," Matt started poking him on the stomach, his fingers easily reaching on the right spots. Mello squirmed and tried to contain himself from giggling but failed. He cussed here and there.

They right themselves after a few minutes. Mello was holding his stomach, taking huge breaths. Matt was grinning and holding the chocolate bar. "I know you're gonna surrender. You just take too long."

"You better make sure I get more bacon than you, douchebag!"

"Have I told you lately how much I love you?" Matt taunted. He knew Mello hated him saying it but Mello doesn't tell him that directly. He would get assorted responses in different ways.

"Are you such a sappy loser who wants every shit with me a 'moment'?"

"Aren't we having a moment?" Matt teased again.

Mello stood up, saying nothing. He wasn't eager with affection and definitely not big on giving it back. He shrugged every kind of it whenever he has to especially from call girls whom his mafia group used to have around. He disliked being touched. But he is okay with Matt. When Mello stumbled one night on Matt after half of his face and body got burned, he allowed Matt to dress his wounds. He allowed Matt to touch his sizzled flesh. He let Matt hug him tightly when he started to almost cry from the pain. Mello hugged him back, holding on. Then they never spoke about it again.

"Mello, where do you wanna eat?"

"Hotel breakfast is fine, you know. I just want my chocolate back."

"I'm thinking we should go down."

"But I like room service."

"No, you like to stay in the great indoors."

"Whatever. I'm not going—and don't you even think about tackling me again!"

"Mello..." Matt was circling around him, ready to attack.

"Okay! Okay!" Mello grabbed his jacket and stormed out of the room. Matt was laughing behind him. "You're too easy, Mel!"

"I get ticklish, you know that and you're using it to get what you want!" Mello shouted back.

"Well, maybe I just like having my way with you, if you catch my drift." Matt winked when he caught Mello's gaze.

"Would you stop flirting with your own best friend, fag?"

"Give me a girl then!"

"Do I look like a bordello to you, ass face?" Mello argued with him even as they reached the elevator. The people with them gave them sharp looks but said nothing.

"I can settle for you then, you look like a girl, doesn't he look like a girl?" Matt grinned as he pointed at Mello, looking at the two people with them. The elevator door bell rings and the two got out.

"I swear I'll hurt you, Matt."

Matt laughed and put his arm around Mello's neck. Mello let him. The elevator door opens and they went out, Matt's arm still wrapped securely around him.

"Mello, can I ask you something?" Matt was saying after biting on the sausage. Mello was sipping his hot chocolate.

"Uh-huh?"

"It's probably none of my business."

"Then don't ask it, shithead."

"Nah, I'm gonna ask," Matt leaned closer. Mello gazed at him languidly from the other side of the table. "What are you doing viewing this webpage last night?"

"Yeah, it is none of your business." Mello answered calmly. Too calmly, a clue that he's hiding something. Matt isn't sure if he'll push it.

"Okay," Matt sighed. "You'll tell me, right?"

Mello placed down the cup and sliced his bacon. He said nothing.

"Mello?"

Still no answer.

"Whatever it is, I'll understand. You know I always understand you."

Mello munched nonchalantly, his face blank. Matt tried again.

"Mello, you need me. You know you do. And I will stay and will take crap from you and I promise to like it. I promise you can beat me around all you like."

Mello looked at him sternly. Matt continued. "Just don't ever lie to me."

"I won't." Mello let out a small, almost invisible smile. "Now are you gonna give me back my chocolate? I'm done eating."

Mello pushed himself off the table and stood up, walking towards Matt. He had his hand outstretched. Matt looked down at it. Then he stood up and took the chocolate bar from his pocket, placing it on Mello's hand. After Mello closed his hand around it, Matt leaned close and pecked him slightly on the cheek.

Mello's eyes rounded an inch. "Matt! We talked about that, right?"

"You said once I can kiss you."

"No, I didn't!" Mello turned away from him and started walking, ignoring the other waiters who saw what happened.

"Look, okay, sorry. I just got carried away." Matt run after him.

Mello stopped and glared at Matt. "Dude, I get it. You love me. Just don't kiss me in front of everyone, okay?"

"Okay." Matt answered. "But you said—"

"You need my permission, Matt! And when I say no, it's final!"

"Okay."

"Okay." Mello started walking away then he called, "You're sleeping on the floor tonight!"

Matt opened his mouth to argue but decided against it. This is what happens when he spends too much time with someone he has gotten to know well and liked for many reasons. He needs a different hobby. Or maybe he needs to but himself another box of Marlboro.

His feelings for Mello are exclusively confusing. He doesn't have time to think about it and he certainly didn't want any reason why he kissed his best friend like that. It was impulsive and he couldn't even explain it so he will just shut it off and place it at the back of his head for future analysis later. He doesn't want to screw things with Mello. Not now. Especially not now that they're in the middle of a crisis. He took the elevator alone, hoping to see Mello has cooled down and decided to forget about what happened like they always do. But he knows he is still sleeping on the floor later. Better get some extra blankets.