A/N: Happy birthday, Mello! Here's my gift in celebration of this special day.
I won't say much on this, except that it was inspired by two things. One being the song Rokky wa doko? by Yoko Kanno (it was on constant repeat while I wrote this). The other being my experiences with my birthday this year. It was honestly the best birthday of my life, and I want to say thanks to everyone who helped make it special. So, since my birthday was so great, I wrote a really happy, feel-good fic for Mello's. Hope you all enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note.
One-Shot - To Mello, With Love
Deep breath in, slowly exhale.
Another breath, another moment. One less breath to breathe, one heartbeat closer to death.
The slow breaths of the blond reclining on the bed filled the bedroom from wall to wall, even over the muffled sound of running water coming from the bathroom.
It was a powerful sound, the intense resonance of life itself.
"Happy birthday to me," Mello mumbled softly. He paused, staring up at the ceiling, watching the burnt out ceiling lamp stare back.
Deep breath in-
The running water stopped.
For a moment, the world seemed to hover in suspended animation...
The small redheaded child stumbled back into the wall just outside the common room with a slight cry as another group of boys dashed past him , chasing a small girl with a fake spider on a stick. A few moments later, he risked another glance into the room, carefully eying the blond figure sitting in the corner of the room near the window.
He frowned, something low in his stomach churning uncomfortably. He swallowed with some difficulty, the parcel in his hands shaking. Really, it was his hands themselves that were shaking like leaves. He had every reason to be scared. Every time the boy had pushed him to the floor, every time he was called 'stupid' and 'a waste of time', every time those burning green eyes pierced his very spirit and made him cry, he remembered every single time as if they had happened just yesterday.
How had it even started? How did he end up awakening such a terrible beast?
He had wanted to touch his hair. That was it. It looked so nice, so soft and yellow and pretty.
It was when they were sitting in class, because his seat was right behind Mello's, and his lovely hair was just within reach. He wouldn't feel it, right? Just a quick touch.
His fingertips had just barely grazed the blond locks and the chair in front of him had flown backwards with a clatter, his wrist slammed onto his desk before he was pushed roughly to the tile floor.
No one touched Mello, not even Roger. No one spoke to him. No one played with him.
He just sat all by himself in the corner, day after day, knees drawn up to his chin, arms wrapped around his legs, the beads of his rosary tangled in his fingers, with one of the saddest expressions Matt had ever seen.
He was all by himself.
But it was his birthday...
The younger boy's face burned and he ducked back behind the wall, his grip tight on the poorly wrapped package in hand. He looked down at it and felt shame turn up the temperature in his cheeks another few degrees. The gaudy purple bow drooped wearily, the wrapping paper was wrinkled, scotch tape was plastered everywhere. The card was folded unevenly and had smudges of pencil lead all over it.
Birthdays are important, Mail. The world is self-centered, but everyone deserves to know how special they really are. That's why on someone's birthday, we tell that person just how much we love them.
Matt quickly wiped away the tears that bubbled up in the corners of his eyes. He took a deep breath, hugging the gift to his chest before turning and marching stiffly into the common room.
He avoided everyone's gaze, keeping his eyes locked firmly on his target, heart thundering in his chest as he realized that all the children were probably watching him. Although, he couldn't figure out if it was his odd, nervous gait that attracted all the attention or the fact that he was approaching the one person that no one dared go near.
Mello didn't look up until Matt was practically right on top of him. The redhead opened his mouth, but a garbled, hoarse noise was all that escaped his throat.
He blushed. Mello blushed, looked away, started silently counting the beads of his rosary, thin fingers running over each one in a rhythm that Matt couldn't seem to follow.
It was at that moment that Matt realized the entire common room seemed to have fallen silent.
Now or never.
"H-happy birthday!" he squeaked, squeezing his eyes shut and thrusting the gift out to the blond.
Greeted with silence, Matt opened his eyes after a long moment and saw Mello staring curiously at the proffered present. Slowly, so very very slowly, as if he were afraid Matt would suddenly yank the thing away, he reached out and took it.
He stared at the horribly tied ribbon, the faded and crinkled wrapping paper, every single imperfection and blemish.
And Matt stood rooted to the spot, breaths quiet, though rapid and shaky, hands flexing awkwardly at his sides.
And then, Mello's lip trembled, he sniffled loudly, and started crying.
For a long while, Matt waited for him to stop, to thank him, to at least open his birthday present. But the blond continued to cry, wiping his eyes with his shirt sleeves and sobbing quietly into his arm.
This was too much. He should have known, it was such a horrible, ugly looking present.
Mello hated it. Mello hated him.
So Matt turned and ran out of the common room, back to his bedroom and hid under the blankets of his bed, trying to fight back his own tears.
...and then the ticking and clicking of cogs and gears resumed.
The whisper of hair brushing over the tip of his nose and a kiss placed on his lips slowly brought him out of his light slumber.
Matt was kneeling beside the bed with his hands behind his back and a broad grin on his face.
"Happy birthday, Mels," he said, moving his hands out in front of him. A chocolate cupcake rest in his palms, decorated with a single lit birthday candle. "Make a wish."
Mello stretched across to the edge of the bed, reaching out to press his palm against his lover's cheek. "You're so corny," he murmured. The redhead grinned even wider in response as Mello blew out his candle with a wish silently drifting from his mind into vast nothingness, akin to a prayer.
And then he stretched even further across, sliding his hand to the back of Matt's head to pull him into slow and gentle kiss.
Matt could hear the quiet pad of bare feet on his bedroom floor, but pretended as if he hadn't noticed them. He waited until he felt a small hand tug lightly on his blankets to react, which was to twitch in surprise and clutch the sheets ever tighter around himself.
He waited for another tug, but it never came. For a moment, it seemed as if he had been left alone again, but then someone crawled up onto the bed with him, sitting near his feet, jiggling the mattress lightly as they swung their legs slowly over the edge of the bed.
"How did you know it was my birthday?"
"Saw it in your planner," the redhead mumbled shyly.
An awkward silence rushed in where the conversation had suddenly come to halt before it even began. Then...
"Why did you get me a gift?"
Matt chewed his lower lip for a moment, hands loosening their grip on the sheets. "It's your birthday..." Slowly, he poked his head out from beneath the blankets and glanced over at the older boy staring pensively back at him. "Y-you should get gifts on your birthday." He noticed that the present was sitting, still unopened, in Mello's lap. He flushed and looked away. "If you don't like it, that's okay."
"No!" Mello exclaimed, moving to reach out to the other child. Matt flinched and he withdrew slightly, clearing his throat. "No," he repeated, softly this time. "It's not that I don't like it." He clasped his hands together in his lap nervously, risking quick sidelong glances as Matt emerged fully from beneath his sheets. "Is that why you ran?"
"I thought you hated it." How could he not?
"I haven't even opened it yet, stupid," Mello teased, laughing weakly. "How could I hate it?" Matt frowned. He didn't feel like laughing in the slightest. Then...
"I've never gotten a present before."
He whipped his head around to stare at the blond in disbelief. "Never?!"
Mello picked up the present and tugged lightly at the ribbon. "Can I open it then?"
"Of course you can. It's yours after all."
He pulled a little more at the ribbon, untying the bow and made to tear off the wrapping paper, when Matt stopped him.
"You have to read the card first though."
"Mum always said that's how people tell you how much they love you. She says that a gift is only special if you know why you're getting it."
Nodding, the older boy slipped the folded paper from beneath the ribbon and Matt suddenly wished he hadn't said anything.
When Mello opened it, a pair of hurriedly drawn stick figures were laid out before him: one with fire truck red scribbles for hair, the other with a head of dandelion yellow, both possessing smiles almost as wide as their oblong heads.
"It doesn't have any words," he quickly explained, leaning over to point at the pictures. "But I wanted to show you that...um..." He faltered for a moment but then jabbed his finger more insistently at stick-figure Mello. "I thought your hair was really pretty, and I tried to draw it, but I don't have anything with the same color." Mello was staring at him, but Matt tried his hardest not to meet his gaze. "I know it's not very good-"
"I love it."
The redhead blushed and nodded, falling silent. He didn't say anything further after that, even when Mello started crying again after unwrapping his present to find that Matt had gotten him a chocolate bar (he had traded one of his toys with an older child for it because he could think of nothing else that Mello might want), even when the blond hugged him tightly and didn't let go of him for a long time, because nothing needed to be said.
Not even a 'thank you' or 'you're welcome'.
"What'd you wish for?" Matt asked as Mello gently pushed him back down onto the bed and straddled his hips.
"Can't say or it won't come true," he replied with a smirk. "You should know that by now, Matty." The redhead was tugging on the waistband of his pants and he gently swatted the hands away with a frown. "I know it's my birthday and all, but there's a lot of work to do tomorrow. Don't get too excited."
"Mello," Matt said stern tone. "The world can go fuck itself. Today, you're the only thing that matters. You're beautiful, Mello, and I love you so much. You mean the world to me."
Flushing violently, Mello spluttered hopelessly as Matt sat up to forcefully claim a kiss, if only to stop his lover's babbling. It worked, though only for a moment. "God, you are so cheesy-" Another kiss. "-nothing but sappy love lines-" His voice had lowered, eyes half-lidded. A third kiss and he was responding this time, threading his fingers into Matt's hair. "-really, Matty, it's embarrassing."
"But you love it," he murmured against the blond's lips, pulling him forward by the hips until they were chest to chest.
Suddenly, how many years he had left to live didn't matter. He forgot about Kira and Near and the surveillance equipment he'd have to set up in the morning. Everything outside the walls of their bedroom seemed utterly insignificant.
So, Mello accepted the kisses and the fingers on his hips and stomach, drifting lower and lower. He let Matt touch him and hold him and make him whimper and groan and scream, until he was propelled headlong into white-hot oblivion and came spiraling languidly down and Matt leaned in to whisper into his ear,
"Happy birthday, Mihael."