Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note.
It was Christmas Eve.
The apartment was filled with an excruciating amount of holiday paraphernalia: interminable strings of multi-colored lights, tinsel draped across every available surface—which, by Matt's definition, included people—lopsided gingerbread men baking in the oven, enormous, poisonous crimson flowers, inane carols proclaiming that a grossly obese man was soon going to be storming your city with a herd of mutant deer.
Ah yes. I absolutely loved Christmas.
That meant I hated it, in case anyone here was idiotic enough to think otherwise.
So I sulked quietly in the corner, snapping off square of chocolate after square of chocolate, as Matt ran around decorating in his usual striped shirt and his not quite so usual striped skinny jeans and his definitely not so usual Santa hat. I observed absently that he looked like an elf in such festive gear. An extraordinarily sexy elf.
But I didn't just think that.
Because I was straight.
Boobs. Dresses. Eyelashes. Awesome.
A timer rang shrilly from the kitchen, interrupting my frantic fantasizing. "Cookies are ready!" Matt exclaimed with rabid excitement, sprinting to the oven, donning oven mitts, and pulling the metal tray out with startling swiftness. Why couldn't he be this fast when he made a chocolate run? I briefly wondered whether I should take advantage of his holiday alacrity and tell him to buy me some Ghirardelli in bulk. Then I realized that Matt's seasonal humming had stopped.
"What happened?" I asked grumpily, hoping that I didn't sound too concerned, which would ruin my carefully cultivated air of unalterable annoyance, and joined him at the counter.
He stared down at the cookies through his goggles with crippling sadness. "They're…burnt."
I followed his gaze down to the blackened pastries. They were, indeed, burnt. "Charred," I offered, quite unhelpfully, I was aware. "Scorched. Mutilated."
"No!" Matt shook his head frantically and yanked his oven mitts and goggles off, leaving them hanging at his collarbone, so that he could get a better look. He peered calculatingly at the rock hard slabs of dough and frowned. "I think we can salvage them," he decided confidently and—I quickly decided—completely insanely.
"Are we looking at the same cookies?" I questioned angrily, scowling. "They're beyond saving: destroyed, ruined, disfigured, scarred!"
He looked rather startled by my vehement rejection. "Don't be ridiculous!" he scoffed, folding his arms over his chest. "We can cover up the burnt taste with tons of gumdrops and frosting."
"You're only going to disappoint yourself when you realize that they still taste like shit and you're never going to want to make gingerbread men again." All of a sudden I wasn't sure whether we were arguing about cookies anymore.
Hectic spots of red lit his cheekbones. "Oh, so now you're deciding my feelings for me?"
"No, I'm just being rational! Who in their right mind would want to eat those things?"
"Maybe I would!"
"Shut up, Matt! Just shut the hell up!"
Matt stepped backwards in surprise, his eyebrows folding together. Even if I wasn't exactly the more level headed of us two, I didn't usually get so riled up over a stupid batch of overdone holiday cookies.
"Mello," he began quietly, resting his hand against the counter. Well, not so much the counter as the metal tray on the counter. The still burning hot metal tray.
Matt let out a loud and imaginative string of expletives, jerking his hand away at once. Scarlet licked at the edges of my vision and, before I knew what I was doing or Matt could protest, I had turned on the kitchen sink with one hand and shoved his hand under the cool stream of water with the other. A hiss slithered through his gritted teeth at the abrupt change in temperature.
At least, I was pretty sure it was because of the temperature. Pink blossomed along his cheeks and I was suddenly all too aware how close we were, and how warm he was.
Women, I reminded myself, stepping away and releasing his wrist. Boobs. Dresses. Eyelashes.
We both stared in silence at the cascade of water gushing over his palm.
"Thanks," he mumbled, meeting my gaze almost nervously out of the corner of his eye. "That was…" He curled his fingers experimentally as he searched for an adjective. "Quick."
I shrugged blandly and absently itched at my left cheek. Matt's gaze shifted to the scarred, shriveled, repulsive tissue that was half of my face and he blanched before dropping his eyes to his hand. He shut off the water, then gingerly dried his palm with a dishtowel and shoved the other in his pocket.
I sighed when it emerged with a box of Marlboro and a lighter. "You just burned your hand, idiot," I snapped as he clumsily tried to start his lighter with his blistered hand.
He quirked an eyebrow. "So?"
I scowled. "Give me the fucking lighter. You're going to burn the apartment down."
He good-naturedly handed it over, shaking his hand out at his side. I flicked it on and he leaned into the flame, mumbling a "Thank you" from around the cancer stick. A slinky grey cloud glided towards the disabled smoke detector and scented the warm, burnt kitchen air.
I hated the smell of smoke, and hated that I associated it with Matt and happiness and comfort and home, and hated that I had no desire to change this.
I didn't even bother to conjure pornographic images this time.
"Is the eggnog ready yet?" I wondered aloud because I was sick of being lucid and logical and lonely and all the terrible things that came with being sober.
Matt, who had been looking pensive and aloof and altogether unsettling for the past minute or so, brightened and whipped around to pull open the fridge door. Pale iciness and mechanical humming frosted into the room as he carefully removed the frothy bowl of potential drunkenness, gripping the cigarette tightly between his lips. Once the bowl was safely on the counter, he pulled out his cigarette and dipped his right index finger in the festive beverage.
"Tastes ready to me," Matt observed cheerily and I turned away, partly so that I would be able to rifle through the cupboard properly, and partly because he still had his finger in his mouth. "Just in time too," he continued, a teasing tone slipping into his voice that made me tense preparatorily. "It'll be the only way I can make it through your church flick."
I huffed in frustration and decided to give him the cracked mug. "It's not a church flick," I snapped, sliding two mugs across the counter for him to fill. "It's a brief Nativity movie that you only have to sit through for one fucking hour a year."
Matt smirked as he doled out portions of eggnog. "Imagine what your Mafia friends would say if they saw you now."
My eyebrows lowered over my glaring eyes. "They wouldn't say anything," I answered icily, "because they're dead, just like you'll be if you don't shut the hell up."
Matt filled the other mug and didn't push the subject further, probably not as much because of my tone, as because he'd noticed my fingers brushing over my rosary before I even had.
He held out a mug—the uncracked mug. What was wrong with him?—and smiled. "Okay." I took it from him awkwardly, maneuvering my fingers so that they wouldn't touch his, but he only smiled wider, as if he could read my mind. He nodded with frightening amount of understanding—holy shit, I really hoped he couldn't actually read my mind—and I pulled my mug closer to my chest. "Okay."
The movie was over.
The eggnog was gone.
It was almost midnight.
I was drunk.
I loved Christmas.
This time I wasn't so sure if I was being sarcastic.
Because when Matt returned with the hot chocolate, he was also drunk—though, not quite as thoroughly as me—so he miscalculated and landed dangerously near me on the couch.
"Oof," he puffed, blinked a little confusedly—and cutely—when he noticed how much closer I was than he had intended, then recovered and handed me a steaming drink.
"Thanks," I mumbled, so sloshed that I forgot to be too manly for gratitude, and stared warily at the dark liquid. "Is there alcohol in here?" I wondered aloud.
"Um." Matt's eyebrows twisted together thoughtfully, but before long, he shrugged in defeat. "I can't quite remember."
"Better hope the arsenic was out of reach," I murmured, taking a long drag anyways. It didn't taste like there was any arsenic—though, admittedly, I wasn't exactly sure what arsenic tasted like, which was probably a good thing—and if there was any alcohol, it was thoroughly masked by the rich chocolate taste.
I had been nursing my hot chocolate for several minutes—though it could easily have been far more or less than that, as my perception of time was muddled at best—with Deck the Halls playing in the background when Matt decided to speak again.
"It's midnight," he whispered.
"That means that it's Christmas," he prompted at my audible apathy.
"Hallelujah?" I offered, wondering if he had recently experienced a miraculous religious revival and was expecting us to begin a birthday celebration.
He shook his head patiently. "No." Matt heaved himself off the couch, staggering and catching himself on the coffee table, which he set his empty mug down on before setting off towards the bedroom.
"What the hell are you doing?" I called after him, dropping my head against the top of the couch so that I could watch him walk through the doorway upside down. He didn't deign to answer me and instead came out with his hands behind his back and a devilish grin decorating his face.
"What is that?" I asked, rightfully wary. Back at Wammy's, he'd once held an object secretively behind him and it had turned out to be a homemade bomb. It had turned out to be quite fun, but, boy, had Roger been pissed about that one.
"Close your eyes," Matt instructed mischievously.
I blinked. "God, Matt. You're third for a reason." This statement could be taken as either acknowledgement of how smart he was, and how he should know better than to tell me, Mr. Mello McMafia, to close my eyes, or as an acknowledgement of how stupid he was for being third and thinking that I, Mr. Mello McMafia, would close my eyes. If his unchanging expression of deviousness was any indication, Matt chose to take it how he took many of my comments: not at all.
"Fine," he conceded, unperturbed, and thrust his hands out in front of him cheerfully.
I blinked once, then twice at the impressively sized package before me, wrapped in paper festooned with pink-cheeked snowmen and cascading curls of ribbon.
"Merry Christmas, Mel!" he crowed, clumsily setting it down on the coffee table.
I could practically feel my brain melting and my heart turning into a heap of coal.
I felt a startling likeness to Ebenezer Scrooge.
"But I didn't get you anything," my mouth mumbled quite lamely, having become temporarily detached from the rest of my body as it attempted to reassemble itself.
Matt shrugged, as if he hadn't expected anything else, which, truth be told, sent a tornado of guilt whirling in my stomach. "It's okay. You know, giving is better than receiving or whatever."
I tugged at the glittering ribbon weakly. "Thanks." That was twice in one night. I was going to set a record if I wasn't careful.
"You haven't even opened it yet," he scolded.
I did so and realized that I was without a doubt going to be setting a record.
The wrapping paper revealed a box, which opened to reveal what surely had to be a portal to heaven. Layers upon layers of chocolate glistened, waiting to be devoured: milk chocolate and sprinkle coated pretzels; cranberries and almonds forming little Christmas trees; dark chocolate drizzled with bright green mint; entire blocks of peppermint bark; truffles with whipped chocolate and raspberry filling; peanut butter cups adorned with white chocolate stars of David; chocolate dipped strawberries with their green tops gleaming freshly; nougat and toffee and marshmallow and caramel and cherry and hazelnut and oh God I could absolutely kiss Matt right now.
Women. Boobs. Dresses. Eyelashes. Bras. Thongs. Chocolate sauce.
That was better.
I opened my mouth to swear approvingly or thank him or express my gratitude in a less than platonic fashion, but all that came out was, "Munh."
Always coherent. That's me.
Matt was absolutely beaming. "You like?"
"Hell yeah." That was a little better, but still didn't properly convey the happiness I could feel stretching my lips into an enormous grin.
Matt grinned back, sheepishly adjusting his goggles. "Good."
I probably should have spent a little longer showing my appreciation for the gift before dismantling it, but that truffle was calling my name and I simply could not resist it anymore. "Mmm…" I moaned, once again reduced to an incomprehensible mass of saliva by a mere morsel of chocolate. Not that it was mere. It was anything and everything but mere. Mind-blowingly phenomenal came a little closer.
I turned to Matt to properly thank him for my present, but the words died in my mouth when I saw the way he was eyeing me. I gulped. "What?" I demanded, pretending that the blood rising to my cheeks was from irritation.
He didn't turn away like he usually did on the off chance that I caught him staring. It could have been the eggnog, or something he'd put in the hot chocolate, or my eating chocolate, or my moaning while eating chocolate, or the spirit of Christmas, or sexual frustration, or something else entirely that the world may never know. But whatever it was, it was strong enough for him to lean across the single cushion separating us and plant a kiss square on my lips.
Women! I mentally screamed frantically as his glove encased hands drifted around my shoulders. Boobs, dresses, eyelashesbrasthongschoco—
And…there was his tongue.
I was a goner.
I'd been a goner for quite some time now, if I really considered it. I'd been thrown head over heels for a much longer amount of time than the seconds we'd been kissing: since we'd moved in together, surely; maybe even back when I'd left Wammy's and Matt along with it.
But then his fingers were playing over the zipper of my vest and his goggles and elf shirt were being carelessly thrown into the pile of crumpled gift packaging and I was being so thoroughly intoxicated by the taste of truffle and hot chocolate and eggnog and smoke and pure, unadulterated Matt that there wasn't any room in my head for real consideration anymore.
It was a merry Christmas, indeed.
AN: Wow. Mello is too lucky for words. Not because of the Matt thing—though, admit it, you envy him that too—but because of all that chocolate. Mmm… I had to munch at my leftover Easter chocolate after researching all those delicacies.
Speaking of which: yes, I'm aware that it's May, just in case you were wondering. But my pasty little self hates the summer, so I huddled in the light of my computer screen and pulled my blinds shut and wrote a little Christmassy Matt/Mello fic to brighten—er, darken?—my day.
This is dedicated to my vunderful beta, Scaity, as always, for providing editing skills and encouragement and amusement, as well as a friend at school who provided a Deck the Halls joke that gave me the incentive to continue this story as it stretched on for weeks, sitting aimlessly on my desktop. Not that this aforementioned friend actually, you know, reads my fan fiction…but, hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
Okay, digressing, rambling, babbling—whatever. I'll stop now.
Review and I will love you.