Matt just laughed and shook his head. He didn't know what he'd been expecting. It wasn't as if Mello looked any different than usual, it was just that today it was funny. Because with his tight leather clothes, mysterious facial scar, and the scowl that was firmly planted on his lips, Mello didn't even need a costume to look scary as hell.
It had started out as a plot against Near, but they'd never quite gotten to that stage. Mello's idea had been to gather a huge pile of leaves from behind the orphanage, and then Matt (because Near didn't trust Mello enough to follow him without documented proof of where he was going) would lure Near to their trap. "Then what are we going to do?" Matt had asked, taking the opportunity to allow Mello to feel that much more intelligent.
"We bury him, of course," Mello replied proudly, basking in his brilliance. But they'd never buried Near in the leaves. In fact, Matt had never even left the pile to go fetch the boy. Once they'd seen the massive mound, Mello had decided that this was way too much fun to waste on Near. And as they bounced and bounded through the leaves, Matt couldn't agree more.
When Mello was five, he had his first taste of hot chocolate. At the time, he couldn't think of anything more perfect. It was chocolate and it was hot. What could be better than that?
When he was ten, he had his first friend with whom he could share the wonders of his precious warm treat. Could it really get any better?
When he was fifteen, Mello was drinking it alone again, but more than ever, it offered a respite from the cold. What more could he ask for?
When he turned twenty, Mello swore he would never drink hot chocolate again, because really, it had never been the drink itself that had been important.
After he left the orphanage, Mello avoided going outside during the fall whenever possible. The colors of the changing leaves reminded him far too much of what he'd left behind. But once he had his past back again, or at least the part that mattered, he didn't mind so much. In fact, he would often stare in utter amazement, wishing he had the leaves in front of him as a basis for comparison, before he could shake himself out of the trance.
Matt didn't know why he was even bothering. It wasn't like Mello would let him do anything with it, it wasn't like Mello cared, it wasn't like Mello would even notice. And yet, here he stood, staring down at the rows and rows of pumpkins, trying to find the perfect one for…well, he didn't exactly know what for. It wasn't as if it would ever be used for a greater purpose than to sit on the kitchen counter until it began to rot and Mello tossed it out the window.
Still, he wouldn't leave until he'd found the perfect pumpkin for just that, because Matt knew Mello better than anyone and even he didn't know everything about him. So maybe Mello would appreciate the fact that Matt had thought so hard about this, even if he would never voice that appreciation. Matt didn't know, but he knew it was worth a try.
It was a fact that had been observed time and time again – by soldiers fighting in battle, by fed-up citizens willing to give rebellion (however futile) one last try, by the brazen orange and red leaves that adorned the trees before finally falling to the ground – but Matt didn't truly understand it until he'd felt it himself. He understood the concept, but never the feeling – not until those last few days. Those last few days when hardly anything could pull them apart, when those few precious hours were filled with chocolate and sweat and Mello.
Matt understood now, and it was an undeniable fact: only those who know they are dying are free to be truly alive.
The air was crisp in the fall, cutting at the exposed skin of anyone who dared to step outside. The leaves were crisp, too, crunching when stepped on and scraping across the pavement in true fingernail fashion when the wind blew.
Mello was as crisp as ever. He spoke rarely, and when he did, it was usually in short, terse sentences that were clearly an attempt to keep himself from yelling at Matt for one inaccuracy or another.
Trying hard to reign in his temper, he would raise his current chocolate bar to his lips, the foil around it making tiny crisp crunching noises, and close his teeth around it. The snap was loud, clear, resonant.
And then Matt would laugh at how his mind had wandered, and Mello would look up at him and say "What?" so Matt would laugh harder. He would laugh at how much time he'd wasted on foolish thoughts, and at how annoyed Mello was getting, but mostly he would laugh at the fact that Mello really wasn't very "crisp" at all.
As soon as Mello stepped into the tiny apartment kitchen, he stopped in his tracks. The room was filled with the aroma of…he had no idea what, but it smelled good. More alarming than that, though, was the extensive assortment of food spread over the table. There was a bowl of what appeared to be some sort of bread stuffing, another of lumpy purple-ish stuff, and another of corn. At the center of the table was an entire turkey.
The last thing that Mello noticed was Matt. He was stirring something by the stove, and he was wearing an apron. Before Mello even had the chance to ask, his brain was piecing things together. Yes, today was an American holiday, wasn't it? He'd heard of it before, of course. Supposedly, turkey was a common sight at such an event.
Finally, Mello managed to express his thoughts. "Matt, what the hell is all of this? We're not even American."
Matt turned and flashed him one of his specialty "I'm so brilliant" grins. "I just wanted to honor what I'm thankful for." Mello's confusion must have shown on his face because Matt just laughed and clarified: "You."
Matt was proud. He could cook okay, when he wanted to, but he'd never been very good at baking. Luckily, as far as pies went, pumpkin truly was easy. Therefore, when he pulled it out of the oven triumphantly, it looked rather nice, if he did say so himself. He called to Mello so he could see Matt's masterpiece.
Mello took one look at it and said, "There's no chocolate in that," before walking away.
With the days growing colder, Matt began to wear his fuzzy over-sized vest to keep warm while he was out tailing people and spying on that stupid girl whose name he didn't care to remember. Mello wore his large-collared leather coat on the rare occasions that he went outside. With their jackets wrapped tight around them, the days were less cold.
With the nights growing colder, Matt and Mello moved closer together while they slept for the few hours that Mello allowed. Wrapped tightly around each other, the nights were less cold.
Hello! And good-bye, at least for a little while, because this is the last installment of "Seasons." I have to say, I'm not as happy with how this ones turned out, but hey, you win some, you lose some. Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on this - it's been a ton of fun to write. I'm sure I will be writing more Death Note fic eventually, maybe soon.
Thank you very much Cammie-kuu, Demon Hiei's Girl, deikitty, orangetintedvision, Purplewolfstar35, Asimosan, and .rapist (GOD???!!!?!?!) for commenting! I really love reading about what you guys think.
Thanks again to everyone who's been reading. Until next time.