"Splitting Atoms"
Written By: thinlimitation, aka. mellomafia.
Disclaimer: Death Note and all related characters belong to Ohba-san and Obata-san. Nor do I own the poem "Genie" by Arthur Rimbaud, which is quoted in this chapter. The plot of this fanfic, however, belongs to me.
Summary: "Splitting the two apart would prove to be as dangerous and explosive as splitting apart an atom... This was ground zero." Matt/Mello, one-sided Near/Mello on Near's side.
Genre: Romance/Friendship/Hurt/Comfort/Spiritual/Angst/Fluff... Let's just call it Romance/Drama, haha... That should sum things up.
Rating: M
WARNING: This story contains major spoilers pertaining to the end of the series, a friendship/relationship between two boys, and explores themes of religion, death, coming of age, sexuality, and similar things. If this isn't your cup of tea, please don't read. Thank you.

II: Gravitational Pull


Who can say what it is exactly that attracts one person to another? Is it, perhaps, chemical reaction? A person's natural scent, pheromones, which cause us to respond to them either positively or negatively, to trust them or not trust them, to desire them or not desire them, et cetera and so on?

Or, is it perhaps something more abstract? An emotional reaction, a connection of souls, a meeting of the heart, the mind, and the body all at once? A gradual, deep connection of spirits?

Or could it be that we are simply like planets, pulled towards each other by an invisible force that cannot be controlled? Are we merely suspect to another person's gravitational pull, unable to resist?

I could not tell you for certain. All I know is that Matt and I were immediately and irrevocably drawn to Mello.

And neither one of us would've resisted, even if we could have.


There were, Mello decided as he idly listened to Roger explain the dynamics of Whammy's House, a lot of rules.

First, there was the matter of his name. It was now, for all intents and purposes, Mello. Any evidence of his life in Russia would be completely erased, including his birth certificate and any other such legal documents, along with any photographs that there might be of him. (He was, however, allowed to keep a small photograph of his mother, along with her rosary, both of which he kept on his person at all times.) Outside of Whammy's House, the headmaster explained, he would not exist. It was safer and more practical this way, but it gave Mello an uncomfortable feeling, as if he were now somehow translucent and insubstantial.

Then, there was the matter of the rankings. There were one hundred and seventy-three students, all of them with genius I.Q.s, currently residing in Whammy's House. Tomorrow, he would be given rigorous intelligence and aptitude tests, as well as an in-depth psychoanalysis from a team of five psychologists and psychiatrists to determine his placement here and the best way to meet the needs of his psyche. If he did well enough, he would be placed within the top fifteen percent, who were the contenders for the title of L. If he did exceptionally well, he'd be placed into the top five, which meant special treatment (larger bedrooms, first pick of classes, extended library hours, and use of a special study room that only the top five students had access to). Mello decided that he would do exceptionally well.

Lights off was eleven o'clock, curfew at ten, and they were provided with three meals a day. The boy's dorms were in the east wing, the girl's in the west, and religious services were held for any student who required them, no matter what faith they subscribed to. Any eccentricities were encouraged, not suppressed. While he lived here, Roger assured, he would want for nothing.

It didn't sound like a bad deal to Mello.

After Roger had given him the grand tour of the House, he led him up the stairs to his new room, opening the door wide and leading the blonde inside.

It was a good-sized room; large enough for two people to stay in comfortably. One side of the room was practically empty; a made bed and blank walls, perfectly clean.

The other side of the room, however, was covered with videogame posters, four different game consoles, two computers--a tangled mess of wire and silicone. Sitting in the corner against the wall on a messy, unmade bed was a little boy, around the same age as Mello, with unruly red hair, a striped shirt about two sizes too big, his face obscured by the glowing screen of a handheld game system.

"Mello," Roger began, gesturing to the other boy in a way that said he had some serious misgivings about this arrangement, "this is Matt. ...He'll be your roommate."

At those words, the redhead pushed a button on the system to pause the game, his head snapping up to attention. His blue eyes flickered from Roger, to Mello, and then back to Roger, fixing him with a hard gaze. "...It won't work," he said finally, his voice faint and gravely from unuse. "What makes you think this time will be any different?"

The Headmaster sighed in a long-suffering sort of way, watching as Mello raised a thin blonde eyebrow at the other boy's attitude. "I don't think anything of the sort," Roger replied a bit testily, his patience waning. "But it just so happens that L thinks so. I expect you'll do your very best to make Mello feel welcome here."

The redhead snorted, picking his game system back up, going right back to pushing buttons listlessly. "...Whatever."

The old man rolled his eyes, looking back to Mello. "Well, then. If you need anything else, ask Matt." His gaze flickered towards the boy on the bed. "...However, if he proves less than helpful, you know where you can find my office. Dinner is in an hour. Try to get settled in somewhat." With that, he turned and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind him with a strange sort of resignation.

The room was silent then, except for the midi music filtering out of the gameboy. Mello stood awkwardly in the doorway for a few moments before determinedly placing his luggage on the pristine bed, opening the first suitcase and removing a pile of clothes before putting them away in a small dresser. Soon, all of his clothes were put away, neatly, and he opened the other suitcase with his more personal belongings. Reverently, he took out a few prayer cards and candles, setting them down on his bedside table, along with a worn, weather-beaten bible, feeling the redhead's eyes on him all the while. He took out a crucifix, standing on the bed to hang it on the nail already in the wall, adjusting it to make sure it was hanging straight, crossing himself briefly. He heard the game go on pause again, the music playing a little more faintly.

"...Are you, like...weirdly religious?" The redhead asked, and Mello turned to face him, a glare on his features. Matt chuckled, shaking his head. "You think your angry little stare is going to bother me? Really? It doesn't. I say whatever I want. You're just going to have to get used to it." Mello was about to retort when Matt sighed, shaking his head. "I mean, honestly. What could L be thinking, giving me a girl as a roommate?"

Fast as lightning, Mello leapt, tackling Matt and pinning him to bed. "Listen here, you cocky little shit," the blonde hissed, his voice dangerously low, "I am not a girl, and you know it. Your intimidation tactics might have worked on your past roommates, but they're not going to work on me." He leaned closer, their faces inches apart. "If you know what's good for you, you'll keep your mouth shut and leave me alone."

"...You're interesting." The redhead's face, which had been frozen in fear, slowly slid into an expression of amusement, a wide smirk set on his lips. "You're really interesting." Shocked, the blonde pulled away, blinking in confusion. Matt sat up, staring at the other boy with that same, unfathomable grin on his lips. "I like that. I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."

Mello composed his features into a glare before turning his back on the redhead pointedly, continuing to unpack underneath the gamers' amused stare.


The next day, the blonde woke up to Matt shaking him awake, smiling widely. "Hey, Mello, get up! It's time for breakfast, and I have to give you the tour."

Confused, the blonde opened his eyes, rubbing away the sleep from them. "What do you mean? I've already gotten the tour. Roger gave it to me yesterday." Still, he got out of bed, stretching and yawning like a kitten, willing himself awake. Matt shook his head, heaving an exasperated sigh.

"You got the boring Roger tour. I'm going to tell you everything he didn't. The Matt tour. Trust me, you'll like it." Mello stripped his pajamas off and pulled on a pair of black jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt, tucking his Rosary underneath. Matt raised an eyebrow. "Don't you ever take that thing off? I thought it was a sin to wear a Rosary. Like...blasphemy or whatever." Mello gave him a piercing glare, effectively silencing him.

"Why are you talking to me, anyways? I thought I made it clear last night that if you know what's good for you, you'll keep your mouth shut around me." Mello picked up a brush that sat on top of his dresser, running it through his sleep-mussed hair until it was sleek and straight again. Matt didn't seem deterred.

"Oh, come on, I know you were just joking. I was doing the same. You know, busting each other chops. Like friends do." The redhead clapped the blonde on the back, grinning widely. "You're just wound too tight."

The Slavic boy set down the brush, rolling his eyes. "We're roommates, not friends. All that means is that we have to silently tolerate each other. I'm not interested in having friends."

Matt laughed loudly, wiping a fake tear from the corner of his eye. "Oh, Mells... You're such a kidder. Really, no one else can make me laugh like you do." The blonde rolled his eyes in exasperation as the redhead sobered, his laughter dying down to a small chuckle. "Seriously, though. Let's go to breakfast. You have all of that boring testing today, so I'm not going to be able to give you the whole tour until after that. But I can at least give you an in-depth who's who of the Whammy orphans. Sound good?"

Mello considered. Matt may be annoying, but there was no denying that he'd been here longer. If he was going to be competing against these students as Roger said he would, it would be beneficial to know who his enemies were, especially who was in the current Top Five. It could only help. He nodded his assent. "Yeah. Let's go."

Beaming, Matt took Mello by the hand and ran with him to the Dining Hall, and, for the briefest of moments, Mello felt like laughing. For a couple of moments, he was like any other child, wanting to run and play with other children his age. The moment soon passed, however, and the redhead dropped his hand as he threw open the door, revealing a large room with a dome ceiling and eight long oak tables. Matt lead him to a ninth, small table in the corner of the room, plopping down unceremoniously, immediately stacking his plate with all manners of breakfast food. Mello sat down next to him a little more cautiously, his eyes scanning the other students as he filled his plate.

There were only two other students sitting at the table with them; a girl with mousy brown hair worn in two pony tails on the sides of her head, who sketched absentmindedly in a small art book, and myself, who silently sat with a toy robot, eating little.

Mello recognized me immediately as the boy with the puzzle from the day before, whom he had seen when he had first arrived. He nudged Matt's side, pointing to my figure across the room, never taking his eyes off of me. "Hey, Matt. Who's that? The kid in the white?"

A devil-may-care grin spread across the redhead's features, and he leaned closer to Mello conspiratorily. "That, my dear fellow, happens to be the immediate competiton. He's called Near, and he's number Three here overall, but he just so happens to be number One in our age group. He's wicked intelligent, but not much else, I'm afraid. He's deathly boring. I've trying talking to him once or twice, but all he does is curl his hair in his fingers and play with his stupid toys. If you can even call it playing. He has no idea how to have fun. Not like you, Mells, I'm glad you're my friend."

Mello rolled his eyes, but didn't bother to correct Matt. Somehow, he didn't think it would matter how many times he tried to tell the other boy they weren't friends. He let his gaze linger on me for a moment before scanning the rest of the crowd, wondering who the other Top Five were.

It was confusing to Mello, though, how the redhead was acting; As if they had known each other for years and were the oldest and best of friends. Still, the blonde had to admit as he listlessly scanned the crowd, he was almost glad of it. Better a pretend friend--even one as weird as Matt--than no friend at all. At least the other boy seemed to know all of the ins and outs of the school, which meant that he could share them with Mello as well. And, a small part of him couldn't help thinking, at least he wouldn't have to worry about being lonely.

"And that," Matt went on, pointing to the girl with the sketchbook who sat next to me, "is Linda. She's Third in our age group, Fifth overall. But if you're looking to become L, she's hardly a threat. She's more of an artist than a detective, and she doesn't even want to be L besides. She's alright. Tons more fun than Near, at least, although, admittedly, that's not saying very much."

So that left numbers One, Two, and Four. Mello's gaze went back to the pool of students, studying each one with a calculative gaze. Obviously numbers One and Two were older than they were, but by how much, the blonde couldn't say. His eyes shifted to the entrance, watching in surprise as L and another teen around the same age entered the Dining Hall. The pair seemed rather close. The blonde felt a hot pang of jealousy run through him.

"Who's that person that just walked in with L?" Mello asked, hands clutching the table in a white-knuckled grip, silently seething.

Matt looked at him, confused. "What are you talking about? L's far too busy and far too important to be dining in here with us. He never comes here." The Slavic boy pointed and the redhead followed his finger with a furrowed brow before relaxing, letting out a good-natured laugh. "Oh, Mells, you're too funny! That's not L."

Mello stared at him, incredulous. "What are you talking about? I just saw L yesterday! That's him." Matt's continuous laughter only soured his mood further.

"Take a closer look, Mells," the redhead said, wiping an imaginary tear from his eyes as his laughter died down, catching his breath.

The blonde did. And the more he looked, and the more he scrutinized, he saw that, indeed, it was not L. The double was a remarkable likeness, but if you looked closely and long enough, you could pick up the subtle differences. For instance, the double's hair was not a natural inky black like the real L's, but was dyed to acheieve an almost identical shade. The sallow skin tone and dark bags under his eyes were not signs of sleep deprivation from solving countless criminal cases, but make-up. And his eyes. They were not the same deep, chocolate brown as the true L's, and they seemed, at least to Mello, to flash red from time to time in the light. Matt spoke again when was sure the other boy saw his mistake. "Don't feel bad, Mells. We've all mucked up that one. Or, at least, the ones of us to have actually met L have. It gets easier to tell the difference." He clapped Mello on the back, smiling brightly. "That's number Two. We all call him B, and he's definately competition. He wants to be L, and he wants to be him badly. Well, he wants to be L only better, I should say. He could probably do it, too, if he didn't have so many screws loose. Definately a nutter, that one is. But he's entirely devoted to A. Even his obsession with beating L takes a back seat to that."

Mello pointed to the person who had entered the Dining Hall with B. They were pale and peaky, with long, limp black hair, and features so androngenous that he could not discern whether the stranger was male or female. They were painfully thin, with eyes the color of honey, and they seemed weak as they were leaning heavily on B for support. "Is that A, then?"

Matt nodded, suddenly (and for the first time,) looking somber. "Yeah. That's A alright. He's number One, but...well, he's not really competition, either." Although Mello pressed him he would say no more, and the both of them watched in silence as A and B approached their table, talking softly to each other, sitting very close, their fingers discretely intertwined.

"So, then, who's number Four?" The blonde asked, breaking the silence as he tore his eyes away from A and B's interlocked hands. "You've told me about all of the Top Five except for number Four. So who is it?"

At this, Matt's somber expression disappeared, and a smirk settled back upon his lips as he exhaled cockily onto his fingernails before buffing them off on his shirt. "That, my dear friend, would be me. Fourth overall, Second in our age group. What do you think of that?" Honestly, Mello couldn't believe it. How could someone like Matt, who didn't seem to take anything seriously, get to be Fourth in line to suceed L? Seeing the skeptical expression set on the blonde's features, the redhead laughed, clapping him on the back once more. "I know, right? And I don't even apply myself! Roger has this theory that I'm actually the smartest one here, but since I always slack off and never put forth any real effort, no one will ever know."

So perhaps Matt was competition afterall. Mello made a mental note to sleep with one eye open from now on. If he wanted to be L, he couldn't ignore a rival, no matter how lazy and idiotic they seemed. He looked over at Linda, still sketching absentmindedly as she ate, and wondered if the same could be said for her. Matt had said that she wasn't competition, but that was before he revealed that he himself was number Four. And then there was A and B, one sickly and the other more than crazy...he wasn't sure what to expect from them. Mello shifted his gaze to me, sizing me up. Number Three. All the major players were lined up. All he had to do was determine each of their weaknesses and find out how to exploit them to his advantage. Then the title of L would be his. No matter what.

The blonde was brought out of his reverie by Matt waving a hand in front of his face. "Hey now, Mells, I know what you're thinking, but I don't want to be L, either. So how about you and me--"

"Excuse me, Matt," Roger said, placing a wrinkled hand on the redhead's shoulder. "But it's time for me to take Mello to his appointment with L before he begins testing. You can continue your little conversation later."

"Yeah, yeah," Matt replied, waving the old man away. "Go ahead, Jeeves, do what you gotta do." He shot Mello a toothy grin, saluting him sharply. "You have fun, Mells. We'll finish our conversation later."

Nodding, Mello stood, following Roger out of the dining hall to the testing rooms.


From the very beginning, the competition meant everything to Mello. The offer of redemption, at possibly saving his immortal soul... Well, he could hardly be blamed for immediately buying into L's mind game.

Which was what it was. A mind game. L knew what it was that would motivate each of us to strive to succeed him, knew what mattered most to each of us that had the right intellectual strengths to carry on the L name. Perhaps it was only Matt who was immune to this pyschology. Even I, who from the very beginning saw this manipulation for what it was, let it rule me. My love for theory and stratagems, for puzzles and mind-benders was too great. How could I say no to the possiblity of playing the greatest strategy games in the world?

...I know my reasons are far from noble. I won't bother pretending otherwise. Despite all of his deep flaws, Mello was the noble one between the three of us. He was the one willing to act, even if there were a chance of failure. Even through his darkness, he believed in a better future, and this is why he is dead and I am not.

...To this day, I regret that.

There are many things in regards to Mello that I regret. I regret that Mello and I could not work together and share the title of L. I regret that the competition drove us so far apart, and he and Matt so close together.

I still wonder if all of that could've been changed, had I not been so bitter the first time we exchanged words...


The meeting with L was breif, and left Mello feeling very dissatisfied, as the dectective basically used the time to tell him what Roger had already explained about testing. There were so many things the young blonde wanted to ask the dectective, but as soon as he opened his mouth to ask him, the Caretaker quickly ushered him out of the room, telling him that L was very busy and could not be bothered with silly questions. Mello glared at him fiercely, but chose not to argue.

The battery of tests took up most of the rest of the day, breaking only for Mello to have a small lunch by himself in an unused study room. He had eaten in silence, wishing that he was enjoying his luncheon with the other children, if only for a chance at observing the Top 5 when they were more or less off their guard. But quickly he was hauled back into testing, giving him little time to dwell.

By the end of the day, Mello was mentally exhausted and he was glad to be able to go back to his room. Hopefully when he got there, Matt would be too distracted by his videogames to give him too much hassle. He sighed as he trudged up the stairs to the Boy's dorm.

They had given him no time table as to when the results would be posted, but Roger had assured him that L would call his room as soon as the results were figured in and about to be posted. He passed by the private study room reserved for the Top 5 and decided to peer inside, silently cracking open the door.

There were only two students currently using the study room, and Mello recognized them as being A and B whom he had seen in the Dining Hall that morning. He watched silently as the two sat side by side, a pile of open books open in front of them.

"...Il est l'amour, mesure parfaite et réinventée, raison merveilleuse et imprévue, et l'éternité: machine aimée des qualités fatales. Nous avons tous eu l'épouvante de sa concession et de la nétre: o jouissance de notre santé, élan de nos facultés, affection égoïste et passion pour lui,—lui qui nous aime pour sa vie infinie..." A recited, his French nothing less than perfect. He seemed absorbed in the poetry, yellow eyes scanning the page hungrily as he held the book in his thin, white hands. "Et nous nous le rappelons et il voyage…"

B sat on the balls of his feet, a decidedly bored expression on his face, only half listening. "A," he said at length, heaving a sigh, "That's enough poetry for today. You know I have no taste for it."

A looked up from his book at B, a shocked expression on his face. "...You don't seem to understand," he said after a moment's recovery, a patient smile on his face. "This is Arthur Rimbaud. Victor Hugo considered him the Infant Shakespeare. He's a great and revolutionary French poet. Surely you can appreciate that."

"I know who he is," B said, dipping his fingers into a nearby jar of jam and sucking the sweet jelly off of each digit. "But it does not mean I am interested in the inane poetic ramblings of a dead Libertine." He turned to face A, a wolf's grin set on his features. "Why don't you and I go back to studying the male anatomy together?"

A's cheeks turned pink as he closed the poetry book he had been reading out of, and picked up another. "No more poetry, then. Why don't we move on to aesthetics? Oscar Wilde had some very interesting essays on the subject, as does--"

"The male anatomy can be very aesthetically pleasing, don't you think?" B said lightly, his predatory smirk widening as he saw the flush in A's cheeks deepen. "Why don't we move onto that. You can help me study."

Mello furrowed his eyebrows, unsure of what was going on between the two older boys, but his eyes widened and he gasped in shock when A leaned forward and kissed B right on the mouth. B broke the kiss at the sound of his gasp and turned his red gaze sharply on the crack in the door. Mello quickly shut it and turned to run away, before running straight into myself.

The blonde's expression, which had previously been one of wide-eyed surprise, quickly shifted to one of contempt, his eyes narrowed to serpentine slits, pure venom in his gaze. "Oh," he spat, "it's you."

Although I found his glare intimidating, I refused to show it. "Ah, so you must be Mello," I said cooly, meeting his eyes with calm composure. "...Congratulations."

Raising one perfectly sculpted eyebrow, Mello crossed his arms over his chest, straightening to his full height so he could look down his nose at me. "...What exactly is that supposed to mean?"

I lifted a finger up to curl around a lock of my hair, still defiantly holding his gaze. "I see...so you don't know yet. I was surprised that they came to a conclusion so quickly myself... Truly extraordinary." The mocking tone in my voice was not lost on Mello, and he gritted his teeth, balling his hands into tight fists.

"What are you babbling about?" The little patience he had was waning. I decided to cut to the chase.

"The rankings, of course," I stated simply, walking past him ot the large bulletin board hanging on the wall beside the study room. I reached into my pocket and took out a small, crisp sheet of paper and slowly, for effect, unfolded it before tacking it purposefully to the cork surface. "Take a look for yourself."

Mello took a few strides towards the board, pushing me roughly out of the way. I watched with interest as his green eyes feverently scanned the paper, holding his breath. "...Fourth. Second in my age group...to you. By only five points." In a flash, he grabbed me by the collar of my pajama shirt, pushing me hard against the wall. I showed no signs of caring. "Enjoy being first while you can, Near. I swear to God, I'll do everything in my power to overthrow you. So you better watch your back from now on." With that, he released me and stalked away towards the dorms.

I let out a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding, trembling ever so slightly. I was shaken. No one had ever been able to affect me like this before. For the first time in my life, my position here was threatened. And, unlike any of the other students there, there was a high probability that Mello could actually take it from me.


Angry still, Mello threw open the door to the room he and Matt shared, slamming it shut behind him. He stomped over to his bedside table, taking out the chocolate bar that L had given him the night before, ripping through the wrapper and savagely biting off a chunk of it with his teeth.

"Now, what's got your knickers all in a twist, Mells?" Matt asked from his corner of the room, briefly glancing up from his game. "Whatever it is, I'm sure that I have a bit of information that will cheer you right up. L called about the rankings while you were gone and you, my friend, are--"

"I already know the rankings," Mello growled, snapping off another piece of chocolate. "That...big-headed Albino twit told me on my way back here. I can't believe I came in second to that idiot."

"Second in our age group without any Whammy training? That's...pretty amazing, Mells. You shouldn't get so down on yourself. I'm sure after your first semester, you'll blow right past Near." Matt put his game on pause, setting in down on the bed next to him, offering up an encouraging smile. "Especially if you and I work together, like I was trying to suggest earlier before Roger interupted. If we were to partner up, then there's no limit to what we could--"

"Look," Mello snapped, fixing Matt with a piercing glare. "We aren't friends. I don't know how you got that idea into your head, but we're not. We're rivals. And I certainly don't need help to get to the top. Not from you, not from anybody. I'll beat Near, then B, and then A all on my own."

Matt's eyes darkened as he slowly pushed himself up off the bed, advancing on Mello. "Right," he said bitingly. "Because you do so well on your own, don't you, Mihael Keehl?" The blonde's eyes widened in shock at the use of his real name, causing the redhead to smirk cruely as he continued on. "Yeah, that's right. I know your real name. You don't honestly think all I do is play video games, do you? I'm an internationally famous hacker. How do you think I got in here?" He circled Mello predatorily, taking full advantage of having the upper hand. "I hacked into your file last night while you were asleep. I reckon I know everything there is to know about you. Including how you got here. Must be a bitch, knowing you just as good as killed your own mum, huh?"

Seeing the pure, unbridled rage burning in Mello's eyes, Matt backed away a few steps, worried he'd gone too far this time. All he had wanted was a friend, someone he could rely on in a school where everyone saw each other as merely rivals. He had been so sure Mello was the one, but the system had got to him too quickly. But instead of making the other boy silently leave and request a room change like all of his other roommates had in the past when faced with an outsider knowing their lives before Whammy's House, Mello looked like he just might kill him.

And he wanted to. Mello wanted to scream at him. He wanted to hit him and hurt him, beat him to a pulp and tell him that he didn't know what he was talking about, that he should keep his mouth shut and never mention his past or his real name ever again. He wanted to strangle him, make him bleed, make him feel even a fraction of this awful violence boiling inside of him. He wanted to kill him.

But instead...he merely fell to his knees and cried, sobbing openly like the six-year-old he was, finally releasing all the hurt and pain that had collected inside of him ever since the death of his parents. He bawled and howled and Matt stood there and watched, unsure what to do.

"...Hey," The redhead whispered softly, taking a few tentative steps toward the older boy, finally crouching in front of him when he was not screamed at or pushed away. "Hey, look, I didn't mean it... You hurt my feelings, is all, so I wanted to hurt you back. I just wanted to be your friend." Slowly, he reached up, gently placing a hand on Mello's back, rubbing soothing circles into his muscles as the older boy wept. "If I'd known you were gonna cry like a big girl about it, I wouldn't have said it." There was no malice in his voice, just the teasing tone of a friend and Mello let out a little chuckle despite himself, wiping away his tears and offering Matt a small smile, which the younger boy returned. "Hey, I'm sorry," the redhead said, straightening to his full height and offering the blonde his hand. "Friends?"

Wordlessly, Mello took it, sniffling as he stood back, nodding his assent. Matt threw his arms around him in a bear hug before releasing him, flashing a mischevious and toothy grin. "Come on. We'll work together. I'll be the Watari to your L. It's awfully hard to fight a war on two fronts, Mells. You in?"

Smiling slightly, Mello nodded. "I'm in. That little twit won't know what's coming to him."

"That's the spirit!" Matt clapped him enthusiastically on the back, beaming. "Let's get to work! I'll hack into the mainframe, and we can form a plan of attack! Let's get to it!"

Letting out his first real laugh in weeks, Mello nodded, and the two settled down on Matt's bed, conspiring together for the first time.


Author's Notes: There's chapter II, finally! Sorry for my long absence! I had multiple cases of writer's block during the course of this chapter. -_- I hope you all haven't forgot about me! I'll be starting the next chapter very soon, so I hope you all enjoy! Hopefully, I will have it finished before May 5th, because that's when I will be shipping out of the military, and as I'm sure you can guess, that means even less frequent updates. -_- But! I am committed to finishing this story! Even if it takes me years! So, read and review! Thanks so much!