Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note.

I stared at the thin plastic entity resting in my palm. It wasn't normally something I spent much time actually considering. It was usually something I just did and tried to pretend I hadn't just done. It's not something I'm proud of, by any means. At this point, it's not even something I really do by choice anymore. It's just... a hobby, if you will. A hobby that I make very, very sure my boyfriend never finds out about.

Even Mello wouldn't be big on the idea of me doing heroin.

Not his Matt. Oh no. He's the ex-Mafia man. He's the smart one. He's the one who was almost up to L standards. Mello, in his mind, exists for exactly two things. To:

a) Beat Near and

b) Protect Matt. Me.

He honestly has no idea. I'm good at hiding it. It's exhausting, but I'm certain that Mello had no idea about what I do. I hide my stash in places I know he'll never go. I force myself to act normal even when I'm so, so stoned. There are certain things I've never told him about my past, and, obviously, things I've never told him about my present. I know he would accept me no matter what, but I'd just... rather he not see that side of me. I know it's selfish. He's told me everything- every gory detail- and I can't bring myself to tell him even a relatively small thing like this. I mean, he's done some really horrible things- including heroin for a while, which is one of the best of the things he told me about.

But I just... don't want to shatter that image. If I told him when he was in the wrong mood, he might well storm off and never come back to me and...

Okay, that's a lie. There's nothing I could do or do to him that could make him leave. And there's nothing he could do or do to me that could make me leave him. As dysfunctional as our relationship may sometimes be, I've never doubted it. Even before I knew I was into guys, I knew I loved Mello. From the moment I met him, I knew I loved him. He broke up the monotony of Wammy's House with his constant energy and fire and life. Incidentally, it's those very qualities that prevent him from completing Reason For Existence item A. Fire can't beat water. He knows it as well as I do.

No. The real reason I don't tell him is because I don't want to stop.

It's called addiction. There's even a nice, shiny word for it. You know, addiction. That thing that overrides everything else, overshadows everything. Computers. Video games. Even Mello, who I love more than my own life. I don't have the sobriety or attention span to hack into anything harder than Matsuda's personal laptop. His password, by the way, is 'password.' And I've sold most of my games for money. That only leaves Mello.

Mello, with his energy and his fire and his life.

I've seen him flat-faced drunk. It's not a pretty sight (he's a really violent drunk), but even then, he's beautiful. Even then, he's always moving, always thinking, always laughing, always shouting, always crying, always smiling. I'm the only one he's never beaten to a pulp for whatever assorted reason. Even in a drunken rage he smiles at me when I walk into the room. He lets me calm him down, pull him off of Near or whoever else he just attacked, remove him from the room...

Mello, which his energy and his fire and his life and that smile.

You wouldn't expect him to have a gentle side. I'm the only one who can see it, apparently. People have said it's just wishful thinking, that I'm just hoping that this person I'm hopelessly in love with isn't an asshole through and through. But it's true; he really can be gentle. He always... always hides it, disguises it as something else. Pretends he's not doing it to help or comfort you, but he is. No one else notices when he does it around them, but I always do, and always have. It's all in that smile. His customary sexy, confident, asshole smirk is suddenly replaced with a small, quiet smile. And it's beautiful.

I picked the syringe up out of my palm and brought it close to my eye until I could see through the clear orange plastic.

So, with a love like Mello's, a love that I've always had near me and I've never doubted, how did I end up sitting on my bathroom floor (in an apartment that I shared with this love, no less), looking at the light through a syringe? How did I end up here, hiding something like this from the one I love when he hides nothing from me? How did I even start this? How had I ever thought it would be a good idea?

Truth be told, I don't remember how it started. Suddenly it was just part of my life and at the same time lying and hiding became a key factor too.

"Hey, Matt, I'm home!" I heard the door close and a lock turn, and the sound of Mello's footsteps. Judging by his pace, he was excited about something and going through a bit of a chocolate withdrawal. I smiled to myself when I heard the designated Chocolate Cabinet open and close. Mello had gotten me to install a temperature-control system in that cabinet. Our apartment is a piece of crap, yet we have the most advanced computer systems available, several game consoles, a security system for the ages, several hundred dollars worth of heroin, and a temperature-controlled kitchen cabinet in which we keep mounds of chocolate. Well, we had never been exactly normal anyways. No reason to start now.

Plus, that's the way I love him. As a crazy asshole freak.

"Hey Mels, welcome back," I called to him. Just knowing he was home made me feel warmer. "I'm in the bathroom."

"Well piss faster, I want to tell you something!"

"I'm taking a dump. It's gonna be a while."

I could hear him sigh. Yep, he'd been home for less than a minute and I was already lying to him. Isn't he ever so lucky to have me?

He knocked on the bathroom door. "Can I come in?" he asked innocently. "We could take a bath while we're in there."

I rolled my eyes. Another thing about Mello. Kinky. Horny. And really, really into bondage. Which I wasn't entirely opposed to myself.

"No," I told him without explanation. Although he could easily break or shoot down the door (and he would if I stayed way too long and it was his turn to be on top), I knew he would respect my wishes.

"Fine," he grumbled. He paused, then sighed and said quietly, "Hey. Really, hurry up though. I haven't seen you yet today. I left so early this morning."

I pushed up my sleeve, trying not to look at the track marks that would be scarring my arm forever. "I'll be right there," I promised him.

I heard him lean on the wall next to the door and slide down until he was sitting against it. He was pretty close to me, sitting that way. I'd have to be really quiet.

I filled the syringe with practiced ease.

"Can I just tell you now? I can't wait."

I supposed it didn't really make a difference. "Yeah, I guess so."

"Um, right. Okay."

He was hesitating. Why was he hesitating? Mello didn't hesitate, period. He did many things, but Mello never hesitated.

"There's, um, something I noticed today."

Shit. He had found out about my shit. This was bad on so many levels. That had to be it. Who had told him? My dealer? Had he just figured it out on his own? Well... at least this way I wouldn't have to lie to him anymore...

"And it's that, well," he continued nervously, "I sort of realized something I've never told you. I mean, I've said it, but I've never really told it to you. And I realized there's a difference. So I just... um... wanted you to know that I love you. I'm telling you, I'm not just saying it at you. I love you."

I told you Mello had gentle moments.

"I love you, too," I said. I made sure there was no doubt in my voice, no hesitation, no insecurity about it. He's the one I love. The one I always had loved and the one I always would love. I could tell him that, but it would make him uncomfortable, even if it would also please him to hear. That was the kind of thing I should write in a card, not tell him face to face. Or face to wall. Whatever.

He had his gentle smile on; I could hear it in his voice. "I'm glad, Matt."

Even just hearing that smile made me want to fling the door open and rush into his arms.

I placed the needle I held at the inside crook of my elbow, right over where I knew the vein to be. Had to be careful not to accidentally hit a muscle: that burned like hellfire.


Yeah, as cheesy a connection as that was, even the casual use of the word 'fire' in my own mind makes me think of him. It almost always does, whatever the context. He's always on my mind. Either him or...

Or what I was doing to myself.

It was the first time I had ever allowed myself to imagine him and my habit at the same time. Sure, I had thought about them in relation to one another, but I never stopped to imagine, to really picture...

Mello's eyes if he found out. The sad, torn, broken look that would be in his eyes if he knew what I did to myself on a regular basis. He didn't even like me smoking.

And that smile, his most expressive feature, if I thought his eyes would be bad...

I actually shuddered.

I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. The goggles hid most of the most obvious withdrawal symptoms. They'd get worse, but I could pass them off as flu.

No. No more lying to the one I loved.

I moved closer to the toilet and pushed the plunger.

Into the toilet. The stream of precious liquid splashed harmlessly into the bowl, barely discoloring the surrounding water. I buried the syringe deep in the trash bin.

I flushed the toilet, washed my hands for appearance sake, pushed my sleeve up further and my goggles to the top of my head.

And I opened the bathroom door and smiled at my lover who was seated against the wall.