"Once Mello started acting on his own, it was going to be hard to advance the story unless he had someone to talk to. So that's why I created Matt." – Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note 13: How to Read, page 69.
I find that to be one of the most wonderful things I've read about Death Note. Matt was created specifically for Mello. He was put in the story to be there as someone for Mello to talk to. Just for him.
"It may have seemed that all he did was play video games, but his existence itself was important." – Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note 13: How to Read, page 69.
Awww. So here's the last chapter. Yes, the very last!
Matt was just about sober again the day after the party. He had the hangover and all, and was perfectly dramatic about it and said that he was dying and that he'd never drink again.
"Ah, man…" he mumbled, hiding under the bed blankets as I brought him ibuprofen and tomato juice, which was supposed to help cure him according to certain websites. And of course, we both knew I was excellent at finding online cures. "Can't you put something over the windows Mel? The light is killing me."
"It's your own fault idiot," I said.
He peered out with narrowed eyes from beneath the blankets, looking like a complete mess with his hair sticking up at weird angles. "How come you never get drunk?"
"So I can laugh at the people who do when they're lying around the next day moaning because they're sick," I said. "Now just drink this. I'm tired of your complaining and I'm not going to be a servant for you just because of your own stupid choices."
He eventually recovered and felt just fine. So there he was sober again…and I still wasn't. I hadn't even managed to get to the hangover. I think the problem was that I just kept "drinking" my kind of alcohol. That is, Matt.
Just seeing him around was enough, and he didn't seem to be planning on going anywhere. The fantasies had been bad enough, but now it seemed everything he did and said had some underlying sexual innuendo. Just seeing him eat a popsicle made me want to put my head through a wall in frustration. Bananas were just as bad. And there he was not even caring or realizing what he was freaking putting me through. Every time he'd tug at my hair or tackle me or roll over across me while were watching TV I could hardly stand it. He must have thought I was going through a really bad mood, but it was just that I couldn't let myself get too turned on around him…for obvious reasons.
I knew I couldn't stay like this, and it was starting to seem that this wasn't just something that was going to go away. But there was no way I was telling Matt. Either he'd admit to wanting me (if he really did), or nothing at all would happen. Nothing. I would just…suffer through or something.
The nights were the worst. I was feeling pretty damn lonely sleeping alone now, especially when Matt was out spending the night with Alex. There were times when I'd get so close to going over there and bringing him home a gunpoint, but I managed to control myself. It helped to just let myself have my fantasies at night. If I kept trying to distract myself I'd never get to sleep.
What was so wretchedly special about Matt anyway? Why him? Was it just because he was there? No. It was him. Him specifically. Something about him was just too good to leave alone. Something about him made me feel like I was about to lose my mind, yet something about him also kept me from doing just that.
He was the one that was too busy to pay attention to me. He was the boy who played video games all the time and didn't care when I'd run through Wammy's House screaming in a fit. He was third and I was second even though I'd arrived only weeks ago. He, Matt, didn't even look at the grade charts. He threw away his report cards. He didn't care. There was no wonderful triumph for me in passing him up. He never gave me any look of jealousy.
He didn't care. All he ever really paid attention to was that video game.
All the other kids already knew not to mess with me. I was nasty, and they all knew that I'd hurt them if they upset me. The thing with Matt was that he never openly challenged me…he just ignored me. And that was far worse than any taunting. I hated being ignored, damn it! Therefore, one day while we were playing outside, I took action.
"Hey!" I marched over to him, sitting against the house playing his GameBoy. I grabbed hold of those stupid goggles he wore on his eyes, pulled the forward and snapped them back, all before he could react. He yelped in pain, the game dropping from his hands as he reached up to rub at his face. He took off the goggles, glaring up at me.
"What's wrong with you?" he snapped.
"Ha! So you can talk!" I said, putting my hands on my hips and grinning. "I actually made the mute boy speak!"
His glare worsened. "Shut up. Leave me alone."
"Or what?" I taunted. "Are you gonna tell on me, huh, goggle-boy? Stupid gamer. Third."
He shook his head, picking up his game again. What? What?! After all that and he was just going back to his game? No way. He wasn't getting away with that! I snatched the GameBoy out of his hands and snapped off the screen, just as easily as that. He sat there gaping at me.
"Pay attention to me when I'm talking to you!" I said.
I wasn't exactly prepared for him to attack me so suddenly. But still, we were just little boys; we didn't know how to really fight. We could bite, scratch, slap, and pull hair, but for all that we didn't do much damage to each other. We both had cut lips and were covered in dirt by the time Roger and some of the teachers broke us apart, but beyond that, all that was truly damaged was his GameBoy and my pride.
I had to face it: he'd seriously whipped my ass.
All the same, to save face, I had to keep insisting that I be allowed to go at him. So I went through all the proper motions of a temper tantrum, only to be dragged kicking and screaming along with the irritated Matt to our punishment corners, where we had to sit and reflect on our wrongs. I hated sit-and-think punishments. Judging by Matt's expression, which satisfied me greatly, one would think he'd never seen anything quite like what I was doing. Rather than sitting properly and staring submissively at the wall, I rolled over onto my back so that I could kick the wall with my feet and pound my fists against the floor, shrieking, "It's not fair!" at the top of my lungs. I saw his little smirk though when Roger came back and gave me a swat on the backside for all my noise, saying, "You shall quiet yourself at once, sir! At once!"
The room was terribly silent after that. Matt and I sat there at opposite sides of the room sticking out our tongues and making faces at each other, each wishing the other very ill predicaments.
"I hate you!" I hissed.
"That's silly," he said. "You don't even know me! You started this whole mess."
"I didn't! You did!"
"Oh really? How's that then?"
"You ignored me!"
He frowned. "What on earth do you want my attention for? You're already second here. Everyone knows who you are. But you can't expect me to treat you like a prince. If I want to ignore you I will."
My lower lip trembled. "Nooo," I whined. "Don't ignore me." I pounded my fist against the floor with every word. The fact that he had ignored me at all had made this a desperate challenge for me. Now I had no choice but to capture his attention and keep it. I couldn't bear it if this went on. Everyone would see it; Mello isn't good enough for that Matt-boy's attention, they would think. I cringed at the very thought. I certainly was good enough! I was good enough for anyone!
Matt sighed heavily. "You're being so bothersome. Don't you already have plenty of friends?"
I didn't want to answer that, so I just sat up and squished my face into the corner. I didn't make friends. There were children I played with, but I wasn't friends with them nor could I imagine myself ever being their friend. They all either hated me or were scared of me, and I could never be friends with someone like that.
But stupid Matt wouldn't stop talking. "Oh, so you don't have friends. Well no wonder. You aren't very good at making people like you." Perfectly blunt. "Look, we can hang out or whatever. Just don't be a pain."
I hated that he was giving me orders, and I thought that surely I would never want to be anywhere near him ever again…yet, somehow, by the next day we were still with each other throughout the day. It wasn't a conscious thing, where I thought 'We're friends now', it just sort of happened. I could talk to him and he wouldn't try to give annoying advice or sympathy, he'd just listen. If I ranted to him about how frustrated I was after yet another test on which Near had done better than me, he never said he was sorry about it. After a while he was more willing to talk to me too. He mellowed out even more as he got older, and as it turned out he wasn't a fierce or demanding guy. He could be serious, but he didn't like to be.
And the night I left, after I found out L was dead, I remember him watching me pack my things. His expression was confused, the shock of our idol's sudden death and my impending departure too much to take in at once.
"I guess it figured this would happen," he said, his voice quiet, the exact opposite of my own.
"What are you talking about?" I snapped. "This shouldn't have happened! L wasn't supposed to die! He said he'd defeat Kira!"
"I'm not talking about that," he said. "I'm talking about you. One of your temper tantrums brought us together, so it figures that one would tear us apart too."
"This isn't a tantrum!" I said, and even as I did I slammed my fist against the wall. My whole body was trembling, and I was really wishing I wasn't too old to cry. But I was, and I held the tears back and let them sting my eyes. "It's not fair! L was supposed to choose! I worked hard for this! It wasn't supposed to just…end…"
"But it did," he ran his finger along the blanket on my bed as he spoke. "So you're running away."
"No," I snarled. "I'm not. I'm making my own choice. If L had chosen me, I would have known that I'm good enough. Well now I can never have that. So all I can do is try to prove to myself, on my own, that I'm good enough. And I can't do that here."
"On your own?" he finally looked up at me, and this time there was something new in his tone. Was that…hurt?
"I have to. I just…I can't handle it right now. I need to get away. I can't think. Look, I'll call okay?"
I slung my bag over my shoulder and headed for the door, everything in my mind racing far too fast. It was true; I couldn't think at all. Nothing was clear right then. But Matt wasn't willing to let me go just yet. He jumped up from the bed and grabbed my arm, pulling me back. He pressed his forehead to mine, as he did so often after when we met up again.
"Hey…we're friends, aren't we?" he said. Neither of us ever used the word "friends" in reference to each other, but…
"Yeah. Of course. We're friends, Matt."
Drive me insane and then pull me right back down to sanity. Matt seemed to have a tendency to do that. That night, it had been him stopping me for those few brief seconds that probably kept me from being killed in the first few hours after I left Wammy's House. Just a few seconds, stop, think, and concentrate on something that doesn't make me so angry. Because for the rest of the night, in the back of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about that. Matt and I were friends, and we'd finally admitted it. I was hurt and furious, but there was still that little thought to make me feel something different. A silly, ridiculous, giddy fluttering in my stomach.
Matt and I had started off as strangers who wouldn't admit that they already knew the other was even on the same planet.
Then we'd become enemies who wouldn't admit they were friends.
Then we'd become friends….who wouldn't admit…that…
Damn it, Matt. I want you so bad.
"Yes…yes! Come on, come on, go faster! Yes! You have been dominated! Who's your daddy now, fool?"
That's what I had to listen to. Matt was playing the PS3, right in the middle of a desperate battle, and that was what it sounded like. If only it wasn't so wretchedly hot outside I would have left the apartment. But the AC was fixed now, so it was much cooler inside. I'd get through it…I just wouldn't think about it…
It wasn't helping that Matt was currently drinking strawberry Boba. "Those balls taste really weird," he said. He rolled said balls about in his mouth for a few moments. "They're soft…and squishy…they have a really different flavor." I twitched. I wanted to throw something at him just to make him shut up. "Ah, new enemy! Ha! Yes! Thrust!"
I quickly got up, knowing I had to distract myself elsewhere. The kitchen. Yeah. Good place. "Hey Mel!" Matt called. "Why don't you make brownies or something? We haven't had those in a while."
That sounded good. Brownies. Cooking. A perfect distraction. I got out the bowl and the ingredients and started on it. I didn't do stuff like this often, but I was actually pretty good at making certain foods when I tried. I was about midway through mixing the batter when Matt came in for a drink and leaned over my back to get a look at how things were going.
"Cool, looks good," he said. He dipped his finger into the bowl. "Hey, when you're done, I want to lick the bowl. Man, this stuff is good. Did you put more sugar this time?"
Oh…he wanted to lick the bowl. Splendid. Just wonderful. He'd probably get chocolate on his face…on his lips. He'd probably get it on his fingers and slowly suck it off. I ended up just standing there with my mouth hanging open thinking about it. Wouldn't it be nice if he took his shirt off and let me paint the batter all over him and lick it off-
No, no, no! Stop it!
"What was that?" Matt peered back into the kitchen, where I was now standing with a throbbing head on account of some self-punishment. "What'd you do?"
"Hit my head on the counter," I said dazedly.
He gave me a weird look. "Why?"
He frowned, but went back out to his game. This couldn't keep happening!
It seemed that my bad mood was rubbing off on Matt a bit as the days went on. He was quieter and wouldn't say much to me, but instead spent more time out with Alex. It was probably better this way for me too, but it didn't feel any better. I just felt lonelier. Hell, I'd never felt lonely before. I'd always been perfectly fine on my own. Yet here I was moping around the house because Matt wasn't there and it was my own fault. Yet there was nothing I could do, save for actually admit to him that I felt this way. And that was out of the question.
There was no way I'd do that.
But then, one day, Matt didn't come home. He'd spent the night with Alex, as was his habit as of late, but he wasn't back the next morning…or the next afternoon…or the next night. Three nights in total, he was away. He didn't call, and when I tried to get him on his cell phone he didn't answer. Of course my first reaction was anger. How dare he ignore my calls? But then that anger softened, and I started thinking, 'Why?' Had I really been that unfriendly? Yeah, I'd been in a bad mood, but not so much of one that he'd actually leave, right? He wouldn't do that. He wouldn't just move out, not without telling me. He wouldn't move out period. He couldn't. I wouldn't let him!
It wasn't supposed to come to this. I was never supposed to be the one to go to others. They were supposed to come to me. This was just pathetic. What was I supposed to do anyway? Track him down and beg him to come back? No. No, I would demand he come back, and he would do as I said or I'd drag him back here. Damn him, staying away like this. There was no excuse; he'd better have plenty of apologies ready.
All this was going through my head as I paced the house and finally headed toward the door, fully prepared to walk to Alex's home and get Matt back here. Never mind that I didn't know where exactly she lived. I'd track them down eventually, and then I'd tell him. I'd just tell him the truth and have it over with. There was no way things could continue the way they were. That is, I couldn't keep bashing my head against kitchen counters and sulking.
I opened the door, ready to storm out into the hall and throughout the streets of LA. I would have too, if I hadn't run straight into Matt who was standing very inconveniently in front of me. He had been pacing too it seemed, fussing and huffing before he went inside, and his eyes widened as he saw me.
"Damn it, Matt! Where have you been?" I slapped the back of his head, going at him furiously. "You think you can just disappear for days without a word? You think you can do that to me?"
"You've done it plenty of times-"
"This isn't about me, it's about you! Bastard! You couldn't even answer your cell just once and tell me where the hell you were? Do you think I enjoy being ignored like that?"
He was beginning to chuckle at me. "Mello," he shook his head, "you have no idea what you're doing to me."
"I know perfectly well what-"
"No," he grabbed my wrists, shoving me back into the apartment and pushing the door closed. "You don't."
I fought off the simultaneous urges to both hold my breath and hyperventilate. Geez, don't get so close to me, don't get so close!
"I had to get out of the house," he said. "I couldn't stand it anymore. What's the deal Mello, were you trying to taunt me?"
"You know what you were doing! Looking at me like you could see through my clothes. If I was ever blocking you from getting something you'd bend around me all slow and get close to me. And I don't even want to go into the way you'd bend over, even if it was just a little bit to lean on something. Like you were showing off your ass, man. That's just not fair."
I'd been doing that? Huh. I hadn't noticed. Unconscious flirtation I suppose. But what really interested me was that he'd noticed. So he'd been paying attention?
"Should you really be noticing things like that?" I said. Wasn't I one to talk, oh pure Saint Mello. "You're dating Alex, so-"
"No. I'm not. Not anymore," he let go of me and stepped back, running his hand through his hair as he exhaled heavily. "I…we…decided that it would be best…that we'd both be cool with it, if…if we just backed off a bit. You know, from each other. We can really be good friends, and I like her. I really do. But we started into it really fast, and I knew we were both trying too hard…"
My eyebrows had shot up in surprise. "Is there something I'm missing here? Last thing I saw everything looked just fine. Happy little couple…"
"Yeah, we were happy," he said, beginning to sound frustrated. "She was having some rough times and needed someone. Now thing are starting to straighten out, and she's the one who brought it up that yeah, we like each other, but we weren't so in love as we would have liked to think." He began to pace. "Besides, she deserves better. She deserves a guy who's really going to be loyal to her, not someone who's trying to make himself love her as a replacement."
"Again, excuse me? Replacement for what?"
"For you! I knew you'd never…you'd never go for it. I didn't think you would. You've talked about how love doesn't exist and it's all just lust…so if I told you, you'd think it was crap and wouldn't believe me. Well it isn't. People can love each other, damn it! I don't care what you think of it. I got sick of using her; she doesn't deserve that." He held up his arms. "I tried Mello, okay? I tried. I really, really did. I didn't want to ruin us being friends by bringing this into it. But it's going to drive me crazy soon."
I smirked a bit, really liking where this was going. "So you're saying…you love me?"
He hesitated and licked his lips nervously, but said at last, "Yes."
"Well, well." This was good. He'd admitted it first so now I didn't have to. Now maybe if he'd just beg me to have him…this was a good opportunity for me to save face, at least a bit, for all that unconscious flirting I'd apparently been doing.
"Oh yeah, you're one to talk Mello," he went on, really going off now. "You can't tell me you weren't that cocky bastard who pulled me into the bedroom at the party. I know it was you!"
"Yeah?" I laughed a bit, stepping up to him and staring him down. "How're you gonna prove it?"
He kissed me before I could get another word out. I was put off balance at the weight of him holding onto me and took a few steps back, stumbled on the arm of the couch and fell back onto it, with him landing heavily on my chest. He sucked all the breath out of me with that kiss. Every ounce of sense and thought wasn't instantly gone. I closed my eyes, melting into that taste again, the scent of him filling me as I shakily inhaled. His tongue touched mine, and I felt him move his knee up between my legs.
He broke off the kiss, saying, "I remember that taste. I know what it's like to kiss you. No one else is like you. And I've been around you long enough to know how you are, Mello."
Oh man, that was nice. I wondered if I tasted as good to him as he did to me. Maybe I was intoxicating to him like he was to me. He smiled down at me suddenly. "I've never seen you look like that before."
"Like what?" my voice sounded weird, like I'd just woken up and was still drowsy.
"Like you're high on something real good. You're really a jerk, you know that? You should have said something to me."
He kissed my forehead, my nose, and then my mouth again. "About you loving me too."
"Oh really?" he moved his face against my neck, more kissing. "I think you're lying."
He had lowered his voice, and now he nuzzled against my neck, holding my wrists as he kissed and bit my skin, light touches that gave me chills. Then I felt his tongue, soft teasing touches across my throat. "Mello," he said, speaking close to my ear now, "I didn't go through all this just to have you act all tough and prideful on me. You want me too. Say it."
I'd been perfectly prepared to admit everything before, but now…it was my pride that was saying no. Wretched thing had a habit of popping up when it was least wanted. Why did Matt have to be difficult now? He was just about torturing me, touching me like that. Just get my clothes off already! It should have been enough for him to just know I felt the same, as he surely did.
"Say it Mello," he said, and his knee began to rub softly against me.
I gasped a bit, but managed to say, "I'm not going to say any of that…sappy…junk…"
"Alex would say it."
"So? I don't give a damn what…what Alex would say…I…" he released my wrists, instead moving his hands beneath my shirt to caress me. I tried to keep my breathing regular and calm, but that was really an entirely useless and stupid effort. He pulled the cloth up and began to use his mouth, more kisses and again the soft chilling touch of his teeth. Damn it, don't, don't…ah, then his tongue, moving from my stomach up to my chest. I tried pushing him away, but he just caught my wrists again and continued as he was.
"Make it worth it that I left Alex for you," he said. "Otherwise I'll just keep teasing you and won't let you get any satisfaction out of it."
"Bastard. You say I'm the…jerk…" I sounded so stupid, my breath gasping in and out. Why did I have to be so sensitive to every little touch?
He smirked, raising his head slowly to look me in the face with a predatory glint in his eye. I felt a thrill run through my entire body at that. "I'll leave you frustrated," he went on, and started again with his knee rubbing between my legs. I held back what probably would have sounded like a very needy whimper and bit my tongue as I glared at him. "I'll let you get hard and then I'll stop. Maybe I'll let you go and you'll just have to jack yourself off to feel better. Or…no. Instead of that, I'll tie you up so you can't touch yourself at all. And I'll leave you here…" he paused a moment, as I lay there now with my eyes closed, cringing even as I envisioned what he was saying and him really doing it. He could tie me up and tease me if that's what he wanted…I wouldn't mind…I'd go for that…but wasn't I supposed to be in charge here? Yeah…yeah, that was the way it was supposed to work. I called the shots and he did as I said.
"No," I said, trying to get back together some semblance of confidence in my voice. "You can't do that. It should be up to me what goes on. You should be…mmm." He cut me off, getting my mouth with his before I had a chance to close it. When he pulled away it was only barely, and I my mind was so addled that I had to pause a few seconds to find my words again. "You…you should be begging me to have you! You're lucky that I've ever even considered you…worth my…time…s-stop it…"
"Stop being difficult and maybe I will," he said, beginning to trail his tongue on me again. Down my chest, down, down, over my stomach, right to the very top of the shorts I was wearing. He refused to let go of my wrists the whole time, instead choosing to just pull them down with him as he went lower and lower. I swallowed hard, and he took hold of the cloth around the button on the jean shorts with his teeth, giving it a quick tug and popping them open. "Come on Mello…just say it."
"Agh, what do you want?" I struggled, beginning to arch my back a little and try to pull my wrists free. "What do you want me to say? Can't you just…"
"Can't I just what?"
"Just…just fuck me already, would you? We both want it, okay?"
"It's not that simple," he moved back up, slowly, to bring his face close to mine. "Remember? I said I love you. I don't want to 'just fuck', got it? We aren't whores Mello. Anyone can 'just fuck'. Don't you want to try something a little harder? It seems like you of all people would want to challenge yourself."
I didn't get what he was saying, not that it was any surprise. I was too distracted trying to get myself into a position to touch him more. Anything for contact, for some escalation, for something.
"You know what I mean," he said, and he got off of me almost completely, getting up onto his hands and knees and taking away the small amount of contact I'd had. A frustrated sound rose up in my throat before I could stop it. "It's much harder to actually love someone you're doing it with, you know? You have to get over your stupid pride. I'm not into feeling like I'm being used, so unless you give up the act…I suppose I could go back to Alex…"
"Don't you dare!" This was such an irritating stupid position to be in. I needed to start working out or something…Matt couldn't just keep being able to hold me down like this. "Fine! I…I…" Damn it, they were just words! Why couldn't I say them? I was supposed to be good at being honest…and if I said it, it would be the truth, undeniably. I knew it was true regardless of whether or not it was completely stupid. It was worth it though, just to taste him again, just to have him only for me. He brought his face down close to my ear, and said my name soft and slow…not my alias but my real name, the one that really means something.
I mumbled it softly, but that wasn't good enough. Either Matt really couldn't understand me, or he was just being cruel, but he told me I'd have to repeat myself because he hadn't caught a thing I'd said. I clenched my teeth and snapped, "Difficult bastard! I said I love you!"
A few weeks ago, if I had seen myself now, I would have said I'd gotten myself into a pretty idiotic situation. I would have slapped myself upside the head. But that's alright. I'm good with change.
I can't recall at the moment if Matt is alright with change too, but he's done just fine with this.
We've been friends a long time. Fifteen years, hell; that's over a decade. We've been lovers for only a day, but I don't think the length of time really matters. It's the fact that we are that does.
I think I'm starting to warm up to this romance thing. Lust is still great and all, but romance makes lust more personal. It makes it sweeter. It's makes it so that when Matt is naked and sweating, breathing hard and moving against me faster because I'm demanding it, he seems all the more sexy because he's my Matt and I love him enough to kill for him. It makes it so that there's something really nice to fall back on when the sex is over, so you don't have to think you just wasted yourself on someone who doesn't give a damn about you.
But for now, I'm happy enough to not even think about it. It's nice to just lay here against Matt, feeling better than I've ever felt in my life. It's nice to hear him still talking to me, just rambling about junk and running his fingers through my hair. It's nice to see those bullet scars and think that he got those for me. Love marks, that's what they are.
Matt is saying the temperature is going to be crazy again today. Probably somewhere in the hundreds. That's a Southern California summer for you, but I don't mind. I tell him I'd like to make it even hotter. Let's make the temperature soar; let's get it high until we can't breath. Let's melt into each other, and if I stop breathing he can do mouth-to-mouth.
And we can get drunk. So drunk that we can't stand. Then we'll have an excuse to stay in bed.
"What're you gonna get drunk on?" he asks.
"You," I say, and I kiss him again. This is the only way I ever need to get drunk. Hmm, I know Corona tastes good with lime…
You know what? Matt does too.
And there it is. It ends, officially, with another lame innuendo. Oh yes, wouldn't you just like to whack me with something for cutting off right before the lemon and lime? Well, I'll have you know I have yet to discover the secret to good sex scene writing, and I refuse to allow others to read something that I don't feel at least a bit confident about. Look for it in the future, readers :)
Oh yes, about Alex. Since I didn't exactly make her a terrible person, but actually tried to make her nice, it was not as if I could write some kind of dramatic break up scene. I know I could have done a lot of things with this story better/differently, but I'll make up for it in the future.
Thanks a bunch to everyone for reading and reviewing! I'll start replying soon. Maybe I'll see some of you on the 27th at Comic Con :D
Until next time,