Author's Note: Back when I had no computer, I was feeling lonely and sat down with a piece of paper. Fluff was born of our unholy union. XD

Written slightly belatedly for RichelleShalark's birthday, with the prompts Matt/Mello and "dark." I didn't forget; I just took a million years to write and a million more to post! XD Enjoy, my dear! :D


DRINKING THE DARK

Thunder shook the air, and lightning rent the sky with greedy, crooked fingers. The rain sloughed in an unbroken curtain from the distended swells of a single plane of cloud, its roiling thickness staining the black night darker still.

Wammy's House, of course, stood as tall as always, unbowed and unrepentant, and warm yellow light seeped out around curtains and drapes to make tentative forays across the rain-slicked lawns. Many of the windows were unlit, the rooms' occupants having long since submitted to the Sandman, but only one of those unlit rooms had its curtains pushed eagerly aside.

Matt knelt on the pillow, his palms on the sill, greedily drinking in the dark. Rain sloshed against the windowpane, trails chasing each other with a senseless hunger, devouring any fellow droplets they could reach. Matt traced a fat one where it crawled sluggishly, as though it couldn't be bothered to rush, as if the others were foolish for darting this way and that way and streaking sill-ward. As if there was no point to any of it, no hurry, no reason, no goal...

The warped board by the doorway creaked, and Matt snatched his goggles from their perch atop his head, slung them around the bedpost, and squirmed under the covers to feign sleep with the practiced ease of one who performed the ritual nightly. The handle turned, the door opened, and a sliver of weak light painted its pallor on the faded red rug. Matt snapped his eyes shut, but he needn't have worried.

"You asleep?" Mello demanded in a whisper that would have woken him if he had been.

"No," Matt answered obediently, sitting up and gathering the comforter around his waist. "Why aren't you? 'Fraid of the dark?"

Mello didn't deign to respond; that would have meant sinking to Matt's level—and, more importantly, admitting that there was something to respond to.

Instead of wading into those shark-infested waters, Mello closed the door behind him, crossed the room, and climbed up into bed next to Matt.

"You're afraid of the dark," Matt concluded smugly, watching Mello's face carefully in the shadow-light afforded by the crack beneath the door, looking for signs of concession.

Not that he'd ever made Mello concede to anything, but he figured he'd know it when he saw it.

"And you're fat," Mello retorted, shoving him. "Move over. And stop hogging the covers."

"It's my bed," Matt huffed, but he slid towards the wall to make room anyway.

Settling and spitting Mello's hair out of his mouth (it had an uncanny ability to end up there despite his most diligent efforts to deter it), Matt snuggled in closer. Mello never seemed to mind, and it was warmer that way, and they both slept better, and there was something fulfilling about the quiet contact. Matt liked being close to Mello, liked the awkward angles of elbows and shoulder-blades and ribs and ankles that sometimes threaded between his, anchoring the body they belonged to. Matt liked the smooth contours of Mello's skin and the tickle of his hair, and in the blurry, complicit haze of sleepiness, in the gentle anonymity of the fragile dark, he didn't have to wonder what that implied.

Just before Matt drifted off, just before Mello's soft breathing ushered him into the tepid waters of temporary Lethe, the vociferous floorboard spoke again.

The door opened a crack, and the boy pausing there spread his silhouette across the floor. Matt pushed himself up on one elbow, squinting, but the light was all from behind—

Mello merely sighed and lifted the edge of the blankets.

"Hurry up, Near," he said. "There's a draft."