Author's Note: I forgot what color Matt's eyes are in the anime, or if they even showed. So I made them auburn :3 If this is inaccurate, my apologies.

Chapter 4

For most of the day, Mello slept deeply. In the hours he lay on the couch, Matt left and returned with proper groceries, somewhat wondering why he would bother, when he had been living off delivery and take out for months as most of his diet.

He had also found himself piling up the various clothes he had thrown about the living room; it was in a heap in a chair, draped over the desk, a pair of sneakers near the door. He gathered it in his arms, and threw it all in his room.

Sometime around four in the afternoon Mello finally stirred, his weary eyes opening, still heavy with sleep. Half-dazed and aware of the ache all over his body, he could just make out Matt's form, half-visible from behind the white refrigerator door. Barely audible to him, Matt grumbled as he heavily tossed things from the bags on the table onto the shelves more roughly than he probably should have.

Several moments longer he watched, then turned his eyes to the ceiling, at the cracked white paint. To the chips along the junction between the wall and ceiling. To a small black spider making its way across the surface, eventually disappearing behind a cabinet on the other side of the room.

Closing his eyes again, he took a deep sigh, conscious of how it pulled at his injuries. He lay there, still feeling exhausted, not knowing what time it was or even what day, and sometime later Matt's heavy footsteps crossing over into the living room, near him. There was a pause, and Mello distinctly heard the clicking of a lighter; another cigarette.

"Moron."

"...What was that?" Mello's eyes opened.

Innocently, Matt blinked. "Oh. You're awake."

Mello slowly sat up, wincing slightly. "What'd you call me?"

"Oh. That." Not in any hurry to answer, he took a long drag off his cigarette. "Moron, is all."

It only earned him a dark glower, under which he simply shrugged. "Maybe there's a little idiot in there too."

If there was anyone who wasn't afraid of Mello's hardened glare, it was Matt, and if there was anyone who would take advantage of his being unable to fully move and therefore hindering efforts to physically express frustration, it was Matt too.

Not feeling in any danger at the precise moment, Matt wondered exactly how much of this his friend would remember when he recovered. Just enough could get him pretty badly hurt, couldn't it?

And yet he lingered there, and eventually put out his cigarette in the ashtray on the table, still there from last night. Still under Mello's persistent and quite unpleasant glare, he retrieved his PSP, sat down at the end of the couch by Mello's feet, and started playing.

Eventually Mello seemed to dismiss these efforts of his; he couldn't do much in his current condition. And it took more than the average to intimidate Matt. He lay back on the couch, eyes finally off of his surrogate 'nurse'.

Silence seemed to be a natural thing to them, for at least the time being. There they stayed for many minutes, maybe so much as an hour. Drifting in and out of sleep, Mello finally closed his eyes securely and was beginning to sleep before he felt his nose poked.

Flinching, he tried to ignore it, but it came again, prodding the side of his nose. Growling slightly, he feebly tried to wave it away.

"Come on, Mel, don't make me stick my finger up your nose...again."

Mello's eyes opened again, cross. "'Again'?"

Matt grinned. "No, I never did that, but at least it got you up."

With circular motions his fingertips rubbed his eyes. "What time is it?"

Consulting the clock across the room, Matt replied, "It's 5:60."

"Matt." Mello's tone was not one of the jesting, flat and irritable. "There's no such thing as '5:60'."

"So there isn't." Matt yawned. "It's 6 o' clock."

Another pause as his thoughts dwelled on this, and he finally asked, "Why did you wake me?"

Motioning to the pile of bandages and other supplies again present on the table, Matt didn't seem to feel the need to explain further. Mello stared at it for a moment, perhaps sleepiness and pain dulling his sharp mind, and he finally, reluctantly, sat up, secretly longing for more sleep.

They proceeded gradually, Matt's fingers nimble, resisting every time to painfully rip off an adhesive. It was slow work, as Matt tried to give as little pain as possible, but sadly not being able to do anything about alcohol on cuts or other ointments on gashes.

When this delicate work was done, Matt gathered up all the used bandages, not minding the dried blood as he left to the kitchen to throw them out. As he walked, he called back, "You should have seen the cashier's face when I went to go pay for all those things. She looked like she was afraid I almost killed someone."

Mello did not respond. Carefully, he lay back on the couch again. Staring up again at the ceiling, he vaguely wondered how long it had been since he had eaten anything. As he thought this, he felt something cold and hard pressed to his mouth.

Perplexed, he opened his mouth to protest when it was promptly shoved in his mouth, and he sat up, angry, before he recognized the familiar taste of chocolate on his lips. Blinking twice, slowly, he raised his hand to the sweet bar, and snapped a chunk off in his mouth. Chewing, he saw Matt smiling deviously at him from his seat on the table, a bottle of beer at one side and a cup of steaming ramen in his hands.

"I figured it was about that time." Slurping some of the noodles, Matt added, "But I'll get some real food soon."

Mello chewed on the hard chocolate, savoring it; when really was the last time had he had eaten? "I'm starving."

"I thought as much." Matt yawned. "I ordered pizza and Chinese food."

Raising an eyebrow, Mello asked, "Is that all you've been eating?"

"Pretty much." Laughing softly, he stood and drank the salty broth from his soup, and for fun, maybe on an impulse, savagely bit a large chunk off the Styrofoam container and spit it out at Mello.

Glowering again, Mello's teeth clamped onto the remainder of the bar and pulled the wrapping off, which he crumpled into a ball and threw at Matt's face.

"How mature." Matt pouted, leaning to retrieve the paper and foil missile and the piece of Styrofoam that had landed on Mello's leg. In his other hand he picked up his beer. He received no response as he left again for the kitchen, lingering after he disappeared behind the walls. After a while, the smell of cooking food drifted into the living room, at which Mello frowned, and he called, "Didn't you said you ordered food?"

"Eh?" Matt's head poked out of the entrance to the kitchen.

"Didn't you order food?" Mello repeated. His patience was very thin these days.

"Oh. I did say that, didn't I?" Matt grinned. He wasn't wearing his goggles today. "Actually, that was a lie. I'm cooking today."

"Why?"

"Why not?" Matt's face disappeared behind the wall, which blocked the kitchen. "But I'm not making it a habit. Cooking is a pain in the ass."

All Mello could do was wait. He glanced behind him, out the window 6 feet to the right, and saw that it was already dark. Looking back at the neon green numbers of the clock, reading 7:03. Already dark out. The entire day, he hadn't moved from that couch. From last night, in fact.

He sat up and cautiously pulled his legs off the couch. They felt stiff; pangs of ache and stings of pain briefly bombarded him before they stopped festering, and eventually ceased. Gently he placed his feet on the floor, though he still leaned behind him, resting on the back of the couch.

A while later Matt reappeared, and placed a plate of food in front of Mello along with a fork, and sat beside him with his own, half-flopping back against the couch. "You're welcome."

Mello took the plate in his hands, and frowned. "What is this?"

"I dunno." Matt grinned, chewing on the end of his fork. "I just cut up a bunch of stuff and threw it into a pot of boiling water. I put salt in there too, so it should taste good."

Mello was able to identify haphazardly cut, uneven pieces of carrots, potatoes, whole leaves of lettuce, along with hunks of meat that was possibly chicken. These were located within heaps of, "Are these ramen noodles?"

Matt laughed. "Yeah. Top Ramen...I just threw a pack or two of it in there. It'll taste fine."

Not bothering to respond, not sure what he'd even say to that, Mello gave in; not one person was known to be as picky with food when they hadn't eaten for a day, and not especially when they were injured and had been sleeping for hours on end.

So they ate quietly. As soon as Mello finished, the plate was taken from his hands, and Matt, without delay, vanished into the kitchen, from where the sound of the running sink soon floated. Mello's eyes were plastered to the entrance, every so often catching a glimpse of a hand or a shoulder, or his companion's back.

It was about now that Mello's eyes narrowed in suspicion. Matt had been somewhat off with him; he did what he needed to do and more. And yet, his manner was coarse, his words and actions capriciously shifting tone, and that was unlike him. Having been near inseparable from their time as young children at Wammy's House, now that he was well rested, fed, and free of constant searing pain, he was becoming aware of something different in his friend.

As he thought this, Matt reappeared, kicking off his sneakers and tossed another chocolate bar to Mello before he turned away and pulled his shirt over his head, walking towards the bathroom.

"Shower."

Matt disappeared down the unlit hallway, and Mello just make out the opening and closing of the door twelve feet from him. Small cracks of light pushed around the door, and Mello tore his eyes away, and found the remote. Flicking on the television across the room on a metal fold-out table, he searched for a news channel. Somewhat disinterested, he watched the first one he saw, feeling the need for a distraction.

The sound of the shower was surprisingly loud. Mello turned the volume up on the television, and then after a second thought, turned it down a little. Having the bathroom so close to the living room was sometimes a disadvantage.

Chapter 4 End

Ending Notes: Mello needs a shower more badly than Matt. But if I were in that condition, I wouldn't want to get up either. And if I were Matt, I'd be pissed to go through all that cleaning and bandaging just so he can take it all off to go shower an hour later.

Speaking of Matt, he's more mischievous than I thought. But I'm starting to really like him; he's developing very quickly as a character and is writing himself. Mello's being a little stubborn about me writing him :(

There's more possible innuendo here...because Matt sticks chocolate in Mello's mouth. It's not meant that way. It really isn't. Matt's just being a brat. A passive aggressive brat.

Matt's 'dinner' sounds something I'd do.

My notes are too long.