By: Demon Usagi

Standard Disclaimers Apply

Author's Note: Just something that popped into my head.

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Something about Mello always left Matt hungry for more. It was his biggest strength and weakness. His strength, because Mello was motivation. The only motivation Matt ever had to move forward. If it wasn't for Mello, Matt never would have studied for that math test, or learned how to climb trees without falling on his ass, or actually participate in class. No matter how many times Roger or his other teachers lectured him, Matt never learned. But all it took was a scolding and a glare from those piercing, icy blue eyes, and Matt was doing his work like he was supposed to. Yes, Mello was just the push Matt needed.

Saying Mello had an inferiority complex was the biggest understatement of the year. The blond boy constantly felt the disappointment of always being "number two". According to the Wammy House's ranks, he was. In everything. No matter how hard Mello tried, he just couldn't quite surpass Near, the pride orphan of Wammy's. What infuriated Mello the most was that it was Mello who studied his brains out for every test, every exam, every quiz... It was Mello who spent hours in the library researching, analyzing, learning... It was Mello who worked super hard at everything he did to try and succeed and pull himself to the top. Not Near. Never was that Near. Near was always in a corner, alone, playing with toys and puzzles while Mello worked hard. Near didn't need to try to be the best. He just was. Mello tried to be the best, but couldn't be. He couldn't defeat someone who didn't try to succeed. Near was born to succeed, and Mello was born to try and fail. And Matt knew this.

Matt knew this better than anyone because he heard every rant and complaint that came from the older boy's mouth whenever Mello did what he was born to do. And despite all this, Mello was still number one in Matt's eyes.

To Matt, Mello was perfect.

Too perfect.

Too damn perfect for him, at least. Matt felt like he didn't deserve Mello half the time. He always felt that way. It wasn't like Mello tried to shove that feeling onto Matt. Mello never really acted "too good" for Matt ever. In fact, Mello gave off the air that Matt was the only person he wanted to spend time with in a friendly fashion. But Matt still felt inadequate. It didn't seem right that a kid who barely tried should get to be friends– best friends– with someone who tried so hard.

Mello never complained or nagged about Matt not trying. To anyone outside their own personal little "M" bubble, it might have seemed like Mello didn't mind Matt's lack of competition. After all, he was so competitive about Near, having to try to fend off Matt too would be just more work. But that wasn't the case. Not really.

If Mello considered Matt a threat, he certainly didn't say anything. In fact, Mello always encouraged Matt to try harder. Forced him to, even. Mello genuinely wanted Matt to try his best. He didn't like that Matt was willing to let his intelligence go to waste.

And Matt remembered this every time he was stuck in a sinking feeling of self loathing. And when he thought of the perfect Mello who tried so hard compared to him, a slacking (for lack of a better term) loser, he began to try harder and harder with his tests, and quizzes, and papers, and reports.

Matt made it up to rank three in no time flat thanks to Mello. He surpassed the long time number three who had tried to beat Mello for his number two spot, but was never anywhere close to a threat. Matt remembered him. He tried hard, not nearly as hard as Mello tried, but he did try hard. And once Matt– Matt the nerd who never put down his hand held systems for anything– beat him in the ranks, he just gave up. Lost hope. Decided to continue to fail. And once that happened, Matt lost faith in him and only respected Mello more.

Mello failed constantly. And the fact that he tried so much harder was just fuel to the fire that was Matt's awe. Mello never gave up when things went wrong. He got pissed, upset, depressed even. But he never gave up.

"Giving up"... those words weren't in Mello's vocabulary.

Matt respected Mello so much as a child. Matt didn't look up and fawn over L like every other child at the Institution. Hell no. It was Mello who he thought was impressive. L didn't fail. L didn't know defeat. In Matt's eyes, (and he would never tell Mello) but it was just like Near.

Success, success, success. Who cares?

When you don't have to try, when you don't have to work for it... is the victory really all that satisfactory?

If Matt really believed Mello was going to always fail, he'd feel sorry for him a little bit. But Matt never believed Mello was going to always fail, so he never felt sorry for him. Matt was just waiting. Waiting for the blond personification of perfection to seize the victory he deserved.

And Matt knew it was going to be so sweet, because he worked hard for it.

Near would never know that sweet victory because he expected it. It would never be exciting, or worthwhile. Only Mello could experience that.

Matt looked forward to that day.

Yes, Mello was perfection. Without a doubt, to Matt's innocent eyes. But no matter how strong Mello made Matt, he was still Matt's ultimate weakness.

Matt couldn't function without the blond hellion. It wasn't possible.

Matt was anti-social, quiet, sarcastic, and unimpressed. He wasn't easily motivated, and had no interest in being L's heir.

Did that mean Matt was dumb? No. He was a genius like every other orphan there, and he knew it. He was an expert of technology. He could hack into anything he needed to and beat Super Smash Bros. Brawl at the same time.

But without Mello, there wasn't a point.

Without Matt's personal perfection, motivation was gone.

And much to Matt's inner grief, Mello did leave.

He left the orphanage upon the news of L's death on to "bigger and better things".

Only not, because the real world wasn't bigger and better.

Wammy's house, with it's shelter, food, entertainment, adult supervision... that was as big and good as things would get for a 14, almost 15, year old orphan. The real world offered no comfort zones, and Mello finished growing up in a hard way. It made Mello stronger, and more resentful. But it also made Mello move forward. And when Matt was reunited with him, it made Matt move forward too.

Mello was Matt's motivation. He was his biggest strength when they were together, and biggest weakness when they were apart. And as Matt lied in his bed and stared at the gorgeous boy right next to him with his blond hair and closed eyes that would have looked icy blue had they been open, he knew that he couldn't lose sight of his personal perfection again. Perhaps, Matt pondered, if Mello had him by his side, together they could overcome what Mello alone couldn't.

The End