((2nd person POV. Mello is 'you', Matt is 'he'. ))
He looks like
When you were six, and he was five. You fell asleep coloring, fatigue brought on by high metabolic rates and noontide, in a patch of sunlight quartering the orphanage hallway floors. When you awoke, the crayons had melted into rainbow puddles on the floorboards. Sea green, timber wolf, and sky blue had all liquefied and combined with each other, a riotous conflagration that spiraled together at the center like the satellite pictures of a hurricane. And somewhere in your head you knew it was wrong and that you would be in serious trouble but you also knew that it was wonderful, and you thought it was a miracle. You left green-gray-blue handprints all over the russet gold varnish, feeling wicked at the beautiful mess you made.
He sounds like
When you were eight, and he was seven. Everyone else was chasing fireflies and calling, hands cupped around the yellow green lights as if they were precious broken jewels, gifts from the twilight as she relinquished center stage to night. You urged him to the pond, teasing him with tales of lake monsters at the same time you glorified the adventure of rule breaking. But you both soon forgot the lure of swimming and lay beside each other, squelching in the mud. The crickets clicked and the frogs answered them in their funny bass croaks, and there may have even been a bat or two, squeaking animatedly at the cat eye moon. And underneath all that you heard the water taking slow sips of the shore, so soothing and constant it seemed to touch you, pet you warmly and urge you to sleep.
He feels like
When you were eleven, and he was ten. You both were finally old enough to go into town, although never on your own, and you both flouted that rule with gusto. It was hot, muggy, the movies were sold out, the shade was sparse, and you were in the middle of a sentence when he walked, casually, into the town square and climbed up into the fountain. You couldn't fathom why you yourself hadn't thought of it, and walked head first under the cold spray. The shock of cold hit you like an ice wall, weakening your knees, but then it was perfect, raising goosebumps as it embraced you. The sensation of cold was so distinct, but familiar at the same time and so much better than you could ever describe afterwards.
He tastes like
When you were thirteen, and he was twelve. A hotter midnight you had never known; you shook him up for a kitchen raid. You took the whole gallon of ice cream from the freezer, chocolate for you, strawberry for him, not bothering with bowls or spoons, eating straight from the scooper and vowing not to wash them, either, as a show of bravado. You were both trying out curse words, and the novelty and thrill of saying such blunt, harsh prohibitions hadn't worn off, but you couldn't think of any more so were quiet. He'd looked at you a long time, like he'd been doing a lot lately when he thought you weren't looking, and without preamble or explanation, tilted his head and put his mouth over yours. It was cool and warm, soft, wet, and the wholly unexpectedness of it gave it that touch of bliss. You licked your lips afterward and tasted strawberry, new and awkward and perfect, clean, sweet as chocolate, and better for the difference.
He hurts like
When you were not fourteen, but almost fifteen, and he was thirteen. When you turned to leave, and looked but didn't really see, just heard, "Fine, I won't stop you." And he didn't.
When you were seventeen, and feeling nostalgic, and called him on his birthday, and he didn't pick up the phone, and he never called you back, either.
When you were eighteen, and you saw him for the first time in a thousand lifetimes, and all he said was "Sure" as he stubbed his cigarette out with the toe of his boot.
When you were nineteen, and he just couldn't help recoiling at the sight of you, ruined, you drinking your own pus and skin and blood as if it really were wine.
When you realize it's you that made him this way. When you finally blame not his attitude, or his videogames, or his blackened lungs, but yourself.
He loves like
When you were twenty-one, and he was twenty. And you both knew that the dash on both your gravestones—the fragment of the lifelines dividing your palms across—that the dash no longer mattered, and neither did the dates that came before and after, or the stones, or the bodies buried beneath them. And you both spoke of past summers in the dead of winter (rebels to the end), stringing the moonlight and the sunbeams and fireflies and laughter along the silver and gold clothesline stretched between your smiles. And you realized he was your summer, the teardrop of paradise shed from heaven to flower at your feet. Constant, and rejoicing, night and day folding and unfolding, perfect and secret like paper cranes, and no one could ever have their thousand, but you were happy with your one.
It was the same night and day, the inescapable labyrinth of time that drove you both, at the end of the world, towards each other, dancing to the slow sonata of give and take, arms as wide as trees.
He dies like
When you were twenty-one, never to see twenty-two, and he was twenty.
He dies like Sebastian, the saint of soldiers, of youth.
But he is pierced by bullets, not arrows.
And he is not roped to a post or a tree or a pillar of salt or whatever the stories say—but you realize that's not true. He is tied to a tree, and to the night sky, and to cold water and velvety, ice cream kisses, to crayons and fervent tears and laughter, to innocence and the thousand degrees of sunshine, each one more beautiful than the last.
It almost makes you want to cry, his crucifixion in winter for the ghosts of summers that will never come again.
He could never be Sebastian. Sebastian lived.
When she brands you, your fingers splay out across your breastbone, every tendon stretching, your knuckles beginning to ache—
As if you were leaving a beautiful, perfect green handprint upon blood-red, sunlit floors.
A/N: My other little submission to mycrimsonrose13's Mello/Matt contest on LJ. I got more poetic than I wanted, but it's short. And there's not any angst! xD yay. Unbeta'd, sorry.
Disclaimer: Don't own Death Note, Crayola crayons, St. Sebastian, Lot's wife (duh), etc.
Reviews? I'll give you my firstborn child...or not...