--One-Shot: Twisted Mirror

Summary: Mello was being silent lately and Matt thought nothing of it. Matt/Mello

Gamecrazy's Note: Death Note belongs to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata! I own nothing! This is a different take of how I'd usually write Matt/Mello, but I was inspired at an odd time.

Matt glanced up over the brilliant screen of his DS, electronic music emitting from the speakers. "Mello, you look like you need some chocolate." He opened the pause screen and saved his progress, switching off the console. He stretched, limbs stiff from a couple hours of lazing about on the beaten sofa playing mindless Tetris. Matt ran a hand through his messy dull red hair and plodded to the kitchen, making the refrigerator accessible. He withdrew a bar of Mello's favorite chocolate, backtracked to the living room, and placed it on the low coffee table. "There. Now don't say I don't do anything around here."

Mello only reclined in the cushy armchair, arms and legs spread wide. His expression was one of discontentment, a deep frown embedded in a pale face and eyebrows furrowed. The dim lighting in the apartment glinted off the gorgeous rosary resting against his chest and caused his leather attire to illuminate some. Electricity seemed to crackle in his aura, but the blonde didn't touch the chocolate.

"Moody, are we?" Matt asked in a hopefully humorous tone, his voice bouncing off the walls. They were pretty thin, and he wouldn't be surprised if their neighbors heard the arguments that popped up every now and then--hey, what did you expect when it was a rundown apartment complex? Matt acted disinterested in everything and definitely wasn't a social butterfly, while Mello's personality was like he walked on eggshells 24/7--highly irritable, vulnerable to outbursts, and a grudge holder to the extreme. Sometimes the blonde assumed the redhead didn't care about the danger he seeped himself in to take down a mass murderer and best his self-proclaimed rival, Near. Other times, Matt just didn't understand why Mello suddenly wanted to wring his neck like a chicken's on account of the stress boiling below the surface of skin.

The chocolate bar still laid on the poor excuse for a coffee table, not being grabbed by an awaiting hand to be crunched in a mouth set with gnashing teeth.

Some lady who lived down the hall knocked on the door one day, Matt crushed to realize it was someone he didn't remember instead of his partner. Her impeccable clothing suggested a proper lifetime, but he couldn't really care about it when Mello was out of the living quarters. The time he dragged himself through the door was random; once Matt rolled over in the lumpy bed and shivered at the warm draft of chocolate-scented breath blown in his face in light snores. Another time the redhead was cooking up some eggs when the door banged open, Mello crashing on the sofa soon enough, dead to the world. Matt had taken note of the blood trickling down shallow lacerations as if the other male fell through a blackberry bush. Being Mello's partner, he took responsibility to clean up the cuts with disinfectant and bandages. Had the blonde ever thanked him?

"Sir, could you please keep it down?" The female chomped noisily on a wad of pink bubble gum, ruining Matt's image of a fussy businesswoman in seconds flat. "My parrot is disturbed by your ruckus."

Matt didn't give a hoot about some plumed bird but he muttered just to pacify her, "Yeah, sure, we'll keep it down."

He turned his head to receive Mello's opinion on the matter, but he recalled with a sinking heart that he wasn't here at the moment.

The lady burst an enormous bubble that almost startled Matt. "Thank you." She left and the redhead shut the door, grateful for that useless distraction to be over. He and Mello could fight if they wanted.

Matt awoke in the middle of the night, groggy and having a desperate need to use the restroom. Feeling around for the lamp like a blind man, his still hand brushed against familiar leather. "Oh..." he muttered, voice clogged with sleep and fragments of forgotten dreams. "You awake?"

Locating the switch finally, the sudden glow sending pain shooting through Matt's jade eyes, he discovered that Mello was indeed awake. The other's sapphire eyes stared intently, as if glaring at a lower member of society for incompetence. He was still fully dressed, resting on his left side.

"Sorry if I disturbed you," Matt apologized, kicking away the entrapping of white covers to enter the bathroom. Mello said nothing, the redhead almost experiencing the icy gaze freezing his back.

Another day leapt upon the duo, Matt plopping a couple slices of toast on a plate to start breakfast. He nudged it across the plain, cramped table to his companion. "You'd better eat, Mello."

Mello only crossed his arms like an angry child and his look smoldered like hot ashes. He didn't touch the toast.

"If something's bugging you, tell me." Matt took a seat himself, his gaze a polar opposite of Mello's: concerned for once and serious. "You know I love you, man."

The blonde was silent.

Matt jerked from sleep, clamping a hand tightly over his mouth to keep from screaming. That nightmare again... Something inky black that should never be let out of its cage and released upon him.

It started out a regular day, Matt actually accompanying Mello on one of his tiring escapades for once. He steered the car down countless paved roads, back alleys, and street crossings where pedestrians bumbled across the white lines. Mello was quiet as usual, chocolate bar being devoured in large chunks. It was a wonder he didn't choke one of these days.

Smoke drifted out of the cracked window from Matt's cancer-causing drug. He didn't care if it called all sort of nasty diseases to his lungs and heart, it calmed his nerves.

Matt never saw the person garbed in a black cloak with the shotgun. He never remembered to check out for suspicious strangers. They could be Kira supporters in disguise, but Matt hardly glanced up to see if they were gathered in dark corners, begging for alerted onlookers.

It had to be a nightmare.

Matt exhaled a waft of smoke just as the gun was cocked.

It had to be a nightmare.

Because the chocolate bar hadn't dropped to the car floor with a thud, the wrapper shining dully in the meager sunlight. Because Matt hadn't been showered in splatters of blood and remains of god knows what else. Because the cigarette hadn't been puffed out when the crimson liquid smothered the flame.

Because Mello wasn't flopped like a puppet with sliced strings on the car seat, brains smeared everywhere.

Dream-Matt had been too shocked to shriek at the top of his lungs until his body cried out for glorious air and muscles in his face ached. He was barely able to slam the brakes to stop the car. He hardly heard citizens rush up like ants on a discarded potato chip to see the carnage. His world shut down in seconds.

Mello was always glamorously dressed in leather, and it glowed in the setting sun. His attire was always the best, even if he was dead.

Dream-Matt heard someone screaming and wondered if it was him.

Real Life-Matt sent a small smile across the room to his blonde comrade, the expression not returned because Mello was grumpy as of late. "C'mon, lighten up, Mels." Only he dared to say the nickname. Didn't Mello love it when they were young and in the orphanage? Time eroded people, and Mello now hated the pet name. Matt just wanted to relieve the tension between them.

Mello said nothing.

Matt strode across the sidewalk, his boots thudding against the concrete. Bags of groceries were laden in his gloved hands. He and Mello needed to eat, and they couldn't do that without food. Matt ignored the apologetic look the shopkeeper had given him and walked out of the store.

Now he stood outside the crossing area, waiting for the light to switch to green, no cars to smash you like bugs on windshields. Matt tapped a foot, and glanced over on the other side of the street. Mello waited for him there; he could see the distinguished frame of the blonde from a mile away.

Mello wasn't scowling at the world now. He leaned against a lamppost, arms crossed. His face donned a troublesome smirk, as if an intricate prank was brewing in his brain.

Matt glimpsed the light to make sure it was still safe and stepped off the curb to reunite with Mello. Where had he been lately? The redhead was elated to his best friend, lover, faithful companion, whatever else you could name him.

The traffic light flashed red.