Disclaimer: YAH HI I DON'T OWN DEATH NOTE K. Quotes: Jack Kerouac (long quote is long but I was saving it fr a Mellofic), Frankly Mr Shankly by The Smiths, Joseph Heller (in Catch 22, my favourite book) and at the end, lyrics from Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

Note: Really liked writing this. Oh, also: Antivillain was updated lately but went fritzy so idk, just want to shout out because I'm really pleased with this chapter. On another note: you may notice in this story I base each 'kiss' off a prompt. These are my own prompts, and I WANT YOU to try them too. The challenge is: write a Mello story is seven parts - seven bits, seven chapters, whatever, based off these seven prompts. It can be his whole life or just one day. But I DARE YOU. Do it. I promise to read and review everyone who tells me they have.

Title: as far as I have been able to find, Evangelos is a Greek boy's name that roughly means courageous or strong. It seemed to fit, and hell, it sounds good.

Anyway, enjoy. Rambling note is rambling. Probably one of my first stories done exclusively from Mello's point of view and I like it way more than I thought I would so expect more of this kthanksI'mshuttingupnow.

x

Evangelos

-

The only people for me are the mad ones - the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

-

but still I'd rather be famous than righteous or holy
any day, any day, any day

-

You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age?

-

mihael

Mello has precious few memories of actual family.

He has no trouble bringing to mind any number of foster mothers, overbearing and over fragranced, inept at handling children, determined to force their affections on him. But of his own flesh-and-blood mother, the woman who bore him and, later, died with his in her arms, he thinks there is only one memory he is truly certain is real. The rest, he thinks, may be based in truth, but twisted, a fabrication born of tiredness and loneliness and being starved for affection.

In his memory, he is probably about two years old. His mother is a meaty woman and speaks a foreign language, and he thinks she is German, maybe Russian. She seems German, but he isn't sure. He has never traced his origins. It is not encouraged. The woman - his mother - cradles him in her arms, she croons a little. She is weak and ill. She murmurs Mihael and her hand is hot against his head, and her lips are chapped and rough but they are mother's lips, and they brush his forehead as he falls asleep.

-

outside

The time of peacefulness and tranquillity, of being young and unaware and blanketed in a mother's love, pass quickly. Soon there is absence and terror and then there is anger and bad behaviour, and a multitude of different carers, all blurring together. And then there is escape, and he is probably seven years old, and it is raining and he is freezing cold. He is skinny and hungry and he shout and screams at the people who approach him, the ones trying to help. He is angry at the world, furious at the world, he wants nothing to do with a place that would tear love away from him, that would leave him in the cold, that would make starving to death in the gutters more appealing that being closeted away in stiff British homes with ugly people housing ugly souls.

The slender man with shadowed eyes and hair almost as messy as Mello's own, though, does not allow Mello to push him away. The older man with him looks extremely doubtful and Mello thinks he hates him, too, for looking at him like he is a street rat. But the messy haired man does not let Mello scratch him, or bite him, and ignores him when he shouts at him. He takes him in and makes him warm, forces him to eat until he does not waver when he stands.

The messy haired man, who up close cannot be older than eighteen, seems so old when he is doing this, seems ageless, endless, and Mello never learns who he is, but when the man leans over him and kisses his forehead, he is suddenly two years old and protected from the world again, and he resolves, as he falls asleep, content for the first time in three years, that he will do whatever it takes to make that man proud.

-

terror

The resolution wears him well. At Wammy's House he becomes the boldest and the best, blazingly brilliant and painfully precocious. He grows until he has outgrown people's patience, and become labelled a terror, but he does not care. They can hate him, they can scold him, they can do whatever they like but they will keep him here. They will not foist him off, like the other families, because he has something that they want, that they need - his mind, he knows, is irreplaceable, unique.

Then comes Near.

Near is everything Mello is not, except in terms of intelligence. Near has an air of having been loved; Mello is harsh, scrawny, brittle at the edges and innately unlovable. Near is pale and quiet and thoughtful; Mello howls and screeches and tears through the corridors, he blazes gold and blue and black and tries to climb curtains to learn about gravity. Near is first, and Mello is first - until Mello is second.

But Mello has to babysit Near. Near, who is too small and shy to be allowed to learn his way about the way everyone else does, Near, who is too precious to allow anything to happen to. Near, who insists on holding Mello's hand on the way to the shop two streets away, who tugs on his sleeve to ask for an ice cream that costs 87p. Mello counts his change and growls that he doesn't have enough for them both to have something then, and Near nods and goes to put it back, and afterwards Mello will never, ever know why, and probably always resent it, but he buys Near the ice cream and buys himself four penny sweets instead. He chews on them grumpily as he tramps back to the orphanage, and Near grips his wrist with one hand, and licks a dribble of ice cream off the other.

He wants to be lifted up onto a windowsill to look out, later on, and Mello obliges because he is a good little childminder, and because Roger might really not forgive him if he made Near try himself and the boy cracked his skull open. Once seated, Near puts his hands on Mello's shoulders and kisses him, very chastely, to say thank you, in that innately childlike way that most people shed as they age, like before it is uncomfortable for brothers to kiss brothers and fathers to hug their boys. Near, Mello thinks, will never shed that kind of childishness, but a year later Wammy's House has worked its ways and Near has lost all the slightness and babyish cuteness about him, and become cold and removed and honed, and the only child-like thing about him that remains is his penchant for brightly coloured, over priced plastic toys.

-

christmas

Christmas Eve is always a hectic time in the orphanage. It is strange that, in this place where all immaturity is categorised and then marginalised, where all the emphasis is laid on logic and the containment of emotion, that the season illicits such a strong response in them all. Mello watches Mercury and Restart running through the corridors trailing tinsel behind them, and sees Freya and Diana squabbling over a star-shaped biscuit, and eventually splitting it in two, and thinks that despite all the efforts of the powers that be, they have ended up as a family after all. A strange one, granted, bound together by a fusion of minds rather than of souls, but a family nonetheless. And, he thinks, it seems that no amount of pressure on a child can make them forget the kind of sudden, irrational excitement brought on by the twenty-forth of December.

The annual Father Christmas Party starts at eight o'clock sharp, and Mello is late. Mello loves the party, and every year he is always the last to leave - he makes the most noise, plays the most games, even breaks with usual character to be able to say he gave the most presents. But Mello will always be late to the party, because that is what Mello has decided he will do. On the way down to the hall, he is stopped, as someone ducks out of a room behind him, and calls out, "Mello!"

It is Linda. Her hair is tied back in a short ponytail, and some of it does not quite reach back and flicks around her ears. She is in a green velvet dress and her cheeks are flushed with something like excitement. She is holding a small box, covered in very blue paper, and tied with white ribbon. She offers it out to him.

"I wanted to give you your Christmas present." She smiles at him and looks up at him through her eyelashes. They are very long. Mello would normally snatch and growl and rip off the paper, but Mello likes Linda, so Mello sort of swallows down the weird lump in his throat and tries to ignore the weird feeling in his stomach and tries to remember how to say 'thank you'.

Under the paper is a little box, and in the box is a collection of chocolates. Not supermarket chocolates, either, but the ones you get from the chocolate shop in town, the ones Mello spends some of every Saturday looking at, his face pressed to the shop window, until the owner shoos him off. Linda has got him a whole box of them and they are just for him.

"I got - your present is -" He sort of points towards the party hall. "Thank you," he says again, remembering that he probably should. Linda is very pretty, and she tucks her hair behind her ear. She is smiling again.

"Want to go to the party?" she asks. Mello nods. She is shy and cautious but she puts her hand into his, and Mello closes his fingers around hers. Her skin is soft and girly, and there are no cuts or calluses like on his and Matt's hands. Outside the hall, they both look up at the bunches of mistletoe hung over the doors, and Linda stands up on her toes and leans in to Mello, and she closes her eyes and she kisses him, very sweetly and very gently. Mello is much louder than usual that night, even for Christmas eve, and when he catches sight of himself in a silver plate, he is flushed.

A few days later when they are both lying on their beds and Mello is reading a comic book and Matt is playing a game, Matt tells Mello that he thinks he sort of likes Linda quite a bit. Mello tells Matt that girls are stupid, and he does not kiss Linda again.

Mello likes Matt way more than he's ever going to like a girl, anyway.

-

growing up

Sayu Yagami is not much like Linda at all.

She does not smell as good, for a start, but that is probably Mello's fault. He expects Sayu would probably smell much nicer if she was at home and had just showered and was wearing a dress and it was Christmastime, rather than being locked in some mafia hideout, strung out and anxious and probably scared for her life.

Only, Sayu doesn't really seem scared for her life, not right now. Right now she is shivering, and Mello has his hands on the top of her arms, just under the shoulders.

"Don't worry," he tells her. "Listen to me, Sayu. Nothing bad's gonna happen to you. I promise you, I won't let them hurt you."

"You're the one who told them to kidnap me!" She shoots him a venomous look, but she does not shake off his hands. There is this strange camaraderie that has sprung up between them, this odd un-awkwardness, a kind of desperation for company and kindness, and a sort of mutual lust of the blood.

He shrugs, gives her a twisted little smile. "Thought we were past that."

"It is good to have a …trump card?"

He nods. She is not as confident in her English as he is in his Japanese, but she makes the effort. It makes him smile. It makes him feel weird. It makes him want to kiss her. He moves a hand up from her shoulder to the back of her neck, slowly, tentatively, and she bends her head forward and lets him. He tilts his head up and catches her lips against his, kissing, probing, and her arm slips up over his shoulder. The kiss doesn't go particularly deep, but it is quietly passionate and angularly bashful at the same time. It is, Mello realises afterwards, his first proper teenage kiss. On reflection, he should probably have spent a little more time looking at girl's breasts and less trying to get in good with mafia men, because then he'd probably have found himself in a slightly more stable mental state, and able to restrain himself from groping hostages in the basements of mob hideouts.

But he's never really had time for that, in the end. He goes back to Sayu the next day and talks to her for a long time, revelling in human companionship, and realising just how far he has come from a warm and comfortable orphanage and a girl in a green velvet dress. Dimly he can remember safety and good food, and somewhere in the back of his mind are 87p ice creams and penny sweets. Here and now, the walls are slick with damp, and the sound of his boots echo around the almost-empty room. Leather clings to him like a shield, like a second skin, and his feet are no longer bare. The cross jumps at his chest with every step, the string of beads is slender and fragile, but for Mello is means so, so much more - it is a bond, a chain tying him to something bigger and unchanging, something where his existence is not wrapped into Kira's will, not set by what happens to a man called L; it is a lifeline, linking him to a life he has never quite found himself fitting in with.

One day, though, he thinks, and remembers the feel of Sayu's hair, coarse and unwashed and beautiful, and the sensation of her lips on his.

-

corruption

With Lidner, things are very different.

Halle Lidner does not have time for teenage awkwardness, and with Halle Lidner it does not stop at just kissing. He has always loved being in charge of her, threatening her with the Death Note, and then with a gun, making this beautiful, buxom woman do his will. It's a little bit perverse, he admits that to himself, but he doesn't particularly care. He knows she sees the way he looks at her, unrestrained and untempered by other considerations, and this is long after he has realised he is never going to see Sayu Yagami ever again.

It happens after the explosion. When he wakes up for the first time - feels his face, sees himself - he is horrified, and then he feels sick, and then he is sick, violently and loudly, and then he's shaking and blacks out. Then there's gasps of consciousness, and doctors, and pain, and the absence of pain, and delirium, and more blackness. And then there's light again, and there's a dark, furious anger and a hatred of anything whole, half a face in the mirror and a desire to rent and tear and ruin. And then there is Halle Lidner, perfectly sculpted, pale and flawless, stepping out of the shower, and Mello is seized by the sudden desire to sully her. It mixes with his powerful, dormant lust for her, waking it up, rousing him, and before he can stop himself is over her, on her, pressing her down, wrapping his hands in her blonde hair, and she isn't fighting him -

She leans up and kisses him, deep, passionate, lustful, and first it's lips and then it's tongues, and then it's more than lips and tongues and then - and then - and then -

In the moments when they are both coming down, breathing ragged and heavy, a thousand thoughts cross Mello's mind. It occurs to him that she must be ten years his senior, and that she obviously enjoyed that, and while it was his first time it wasn't hers, so he must have been doing something right, and why is he thinking of -

Lidner looks up at him, sweaty and worn down, exposed, vulnerable. He realises, suddenly, that he is very naked, and that the burns span more than his face. He resists the urge to cover himself in a sheet and lets her look at him. Her fingers trace the edge of the scars and he steels himself against flinching. He keeps his face a mask. He must be impassive, he must be hateful. Lidner's hair is splayed out over the pillow and she looks far, far more feminine than he has ever seen her before, far too beautiful to put into words. She is soft and hard at the same time, a kind of hardness he has never seen before - like ice, like diamonds. And behind the coolness of her eyes, behind the embers of passion, he can make out something terrifying close to sincerity, some softness that reminds him of the curl of Linda's fingers and the tenderness of another time.

Lidner's in this too deep, and he knows he'll be back.

-

daybreak

Sooner or later, Mihael Keehl always knew he was going to die.

He has always been achingly, painfully aware of mortality. Before he was five he watched his mother waste away and die - Mello is under no delusions about life and its limits. And he has always known he was playing a dangerous game.

There is something comforting, he decides, in knowing how and when it is probably going to happen. He thinks, logically, it will probably be Kira. Good. Let Kira come. Let him take him. Let him strike him down the same way he took L - the same stunning of the heart, the same catching of breath and stilling of blood. There is something romantic in it, almost, dying the same way as his hero. He only wishes it could be a slightly less inglorious death.

Mello knows that he is never going to be known. He is never going to be seen, he is never going to be first. He is going to fade away into a footnote, alone and unremembered, a blot on a page, a brief spasm in a storyline. Mello is, was, has been and will be nothing. He has never been sensational - just loud, just angry. He has never fit the pattern. He was never a good foster child, he never fit in at Wammy's, he was never the perfect model L like Near was. He is a shell, a device, the linking of two parts of a tale, the way forward by becoming an ending. Mello is full of a sick sadness about himself, a kind of disgust at how pathetic he has become, about what he is reduced to. He hates himself for what he is, when he thinks of what he could have been. He hates the small, smelly apartment they've ended up in, the dingy, peeling wallpaper, and he thinks again of better days. He thinks of other people, and he thinks of being alone.

Then there is a hand on his shoulder, and the bed heaves as Matt sits down next to him. He has those damned stupid goggles pulled up, and for what must be the first time in ages, he doesn't have a cigarette. He's always been heavy with them, but since they decided on the plan he's practically been chain-smoking. Mello has growled at him about it before.

"Yeah," Matt had said, scornful and blasé, "because the real threat to me right now is lung cancer."

Mello had been angry. I'm not making you do this. You don't have to say things like that. You can get out now if you - if you don't want to -

But Matt did want to. And that was even sicker than what he was doing, Mello thinks, because Matt has the chance to get out, to go, to escape this - and he isn't.

"Why aren't you going?" he asks, dropping the words into the silence.

Matt frowns. "I am going? Thought we cleared this up?"

Mello shakes his head. "Leaving. I mean, why aren't you leaving."

Matt's hand is still on his shoulder. "Where would I go?" His voice is quiet.

"Away."

"Away means away from you."

"Yeah. Away from me is good, Matt. Near me means death. It means Kira and it means a suicide run and it means death."

"Okay."

"No - not okay."

Matt sweeps his goggles off and ruffles his hair. God, he looks young. Mello knows Matt's not even two years younger than him, but Mello, he feels old now. He feels old and beaten down and like his own fire is eating away at him; he feels scarred and dirtied and like he has no place in this world of soft skin and showers and green velvet dresses and chocolate and Christmas parties. Matt, he still looks fresh, and clean, and full of future. He has easy angles and a casual shrug, and his clothes slope off him, and his hair is always fairly fresh and always a mess. He shouldn't be here. He shouldn't be near Mello. He should be with Linda, across the world, in an art studio or a computer workshop. He should be living. He should have a life. Before he dies.

"Mello," Matt says, "You really don't get it, do you?"

"I don't get you."

Matt chuckles and looks down, rubbing the back of his neck. His hair is getting long. "This plan is screwed without me here, y'know."

Mello laughs, then. He realises that it's funny. It's hilarious. Matt is sitting here talking about how the plan with fail without him. The plan will fail. The plan will fail but Matt will live, Matt will keep breathing, keep talking, keep wearing goggles and smoking cigarettes and playing games and hacking bank systems. And now Matt is looking at him like he's crazy, and that's hilarious, too.

Mello flops back onto the bed and stares at the ceiling. Tonight is the last night of his life. Tomorrow he is going to die. Tomorrow he is going to die. Tomorrow he is going to -

He should be afraid. He should be terrified. He should be thinking of all the things he never did and all the things he could do if he turned tail and ran right now. But he isn't. Mello has never really had much of a life, not really, not apart from moments here and there, snatched from someone else's story. All he has done is shout and scream and bite his way through the world, and now he is here, in a dirty little apartment, and what he is going to do tomorrow is going to be the stupidest and the most important thing he has ever done or could ever do. Tomorrow, for one sliver of a moment, he is going to be important. He is going to count.

And right now…right now he is lying on a bed and next to him is Matt. Matt who has told him that his real name is Mail Jeevas, because he does not mind confiding that in Mello now, after everything, and in light of the situation, all things considered. Matt, who when they're facing down death, thinks the important thing is that Mello knows he trusts him.

Matt, who saved him from the jaws of death after Mello cast him off, and Matt, who, despite everything, despite logic and sense and self-preservation and everything Mello has ever told or warned him, is still lying there, right next to him, hair red and going everywhere, stuck on the cusp between boyhood and manhood, angular and sloping and breathlessly alive -

And before either of them really knows what is going on they have bumped together, into a clumsy kind of kiss, an awkward joining, and Mello isn't sure if it's brotherly, friendly, or something more, but it is right, right for the here and now, and the here and now is all they have.

And after all of it, Mello still likes Matt more than he's ever liked any girl.

Their hands fall together, and after all of that, the ceiling still looks the same. Yesterday, the ceiling looks the same, and tomorrow, after their blood soaks the streets, it will still look the same. Mello's heart thuds in his chest. Time passes. Light creeps across the floor. Dawn is breaking. Time stands still for no one, least of all a skinny, lonely, flame-charred orphan with barely twenty years of life to talk about and maybe seven moments of happiness to look back on.

Matt's hand tightens round his. He is afraid. They both are. They both could turn and walk out of this now. They're both staying right where they are. They're facing this. They're doing this. This is…

Destiny?

Nah. Neither of them are meant to die today. Neither of them are meant to go like this. But they're going to, by God, they're going to, because Mello, he's given up following the rules a long time ago. This isn't perfect; this is hell. But this is him, Mello, Mihael Keehl, the boy who broke things and tore things and was always in trouble. The mafia prodigy, the spectre in the streets, the lonely, lost boy. This is how he's fought his way and hacked out a path and challenged everything and he has ended up here, today, and he is ready. He grasps Matt's hand, and stands up.

This is it. Deep breath.

Ready. Set.

And - go.

x

for some reason I can't explain
I know St Peter won't call my name
never an honest word
but that was when I ruled the world