AN: A birthday fic for FanaticFics, creator of the infamous Red Nail Polish series! My dearest Crystal, my second Mello, on this day, the day that marks your nineteenth year on Earth, I hope you can enjoy what I wrote for you. I tried my best.

Crystal gave me several prompts/guidelines then let me go from there. Happy birthday! *Clings to* You're a wonderful friend and the best Mello a Matt could ask for :D


Roger would kill them if he found out that they had snuck out of the house at one in the morning. He would tell them countless things; that even within the gates of Wammy's it wasn't safe, that anything could happen, that they needed to be responsible.

But Matt and Mello were just children, and at the tender age of nine neither cared much for responsibility. Both knew they were safe within the gates of Wammy house and ventured further into the trees surrounding the property, but no farther than that.

It was a warm summer night, not a cloud in the sky. Matt and Mello were giggling softly; chasing the fireflies that had began appearing several nights ago. Unlike other boys their age, neither Matt nor Mello crushed the bugs to make their hands or faces glow. Each firefly was precious, and they released them soon after catching them. It was simply too destructive to harm such fragile creatures, something so defenseless and innocent.

They never could have known that years from now, they would worry about killing humans, sometimes not as precious, but often quite defenseless. How much safer the world seems when you have nothing to fear.

The lights, the night, the thrill of being out when they knew they shouldn't be, created a sort of magical atmosphere. Nothing could touch them here. Here, they were in their own little world, needing no one but each other and the fireflies for company.

Of course, years later they would still be in their own little world, inhabited by Kira rather than fireflies, with the Mafia and SPK rather than just each other, and certainly not safe; not ever safe.

They spent what felt like forever chasing fireflies, holding them carefully in small hands before releasing them and allowing them to fly free. Eventually both grew tired and lied down in the grass, just able to see the stars shining brightly through the canopy of trees. Fireflies continued to fly around them, not disturbed by the two still boys. A soft breeze blew, gently shifting the branches above them. Crickets chirped softly around them, and both boys lied there in comfortable silence, content.

Matt yawned, turning from the sky to face Mello. "Hey Mels?"

"Hm?" was the murmured response.

"We can do this again…right?"

"Of course…why wouldn't we?"

"I don't know…"

It was the tone that caught Mello's attention, soft and insecure, two words he did not often associate with Matt. Mello turned to face him now, gazing into the eyes normally hidden behind goggles. He could see why. Matt's eyes were very expressive. They revealed a lot…insecurities and fear; pain and loss.

Mello didn't like to see that look in his best friend's eyes.

"I loved my parents," Mello said softly after several minutes of silence, "but they were strict. They expected me to be the best, and I did all I could to please them. Getting their approval meant so much to me, and when I got it I would have a night free of studying. We'd sit outside and have bonfires on nights like this…it was always my favorite thing to do."

Matt didn't say anything for a moment. "I never had a night like this." He paused, looking back up at the stars. "My parents weren't exactly fond of me." He smiled bitterly but didn't elaborate. He didn't need to though…not with Mello.

The blond reached out and clasped Matt's hand tightly in his own. Matt's smile slowly became more sincere and he squeezed back. They lied there in silence for a while longer, their eyes growing heavy and sleep threatening to overtake them. Still neither moved, not wanting to leave the peace of the summer night and fireflies.

"So…we can do this again?" Matt asked, voice hopeful.

Mello smiled tiredly at him. "Of course."

Years later, Matt and Mello were not protected behind the gates of Wammy House. There were no fireflies now, not in Japan in the middle of the Kira case, and certainly not at the end of January. There hadn't been any fireflies in a long time.

Matt sat on the beaten down couch, worn from use and cigarette burns. Matt lit a cigarette and glanced down at his game, unable to focus. Mello was beside him, staring at the floor. He hadn't seen the blond eat chocolate in a few hours, and it was starting to concern him.

He kept trying to tell himself that this was just another plan. There was always a risk of not coming back…there always had been. Matt couldn't fool himself though. He knew this plan was going to be tougher. It was riskier and there was a lot more at stake. This plan could very well take their lives.

He puffed out another cloud of smoke and turned off his game without saving it, tossing it onto the cluttered coffee table in front of him. Mello spared him a glance but said nothing, finding the floor much more interesting.

They would kidnap Kiyomi Takada in two days.

Matt sighed to himself. The atmosphere was tense. It had never been this tense before a plan before.

Both knew this wasn't another everyday plan though.

"Say Mels…remember the day you left?"

Mello looked up sharply at him. Matt felt a pang of sadness. This was not the Mello he remembered from his childhood. This Mello was permanently scarred, emotionally and physically. This Mello's eyes had sunken circles under them, from days of little to no sleep, trying to catch Kira and beat Near. This Mello had a temper that didn't earn arguments or brawls, but death. This Mello wore leather and was so much icier and hardened than his childhood self.

Matt missed his old Mello. He missed the days of watching fireflies in the night sky.

"It's kind of hard to forget Matt," he said, voice hard.

"You know Mello…it sounds weird but I couldn't stop crying after you left," Matt said casually, as if it was not a big deal.

Mello faced him fully now, staring at him. "Are you trying to fucking guilt trip me? I apologized already. I felt bad enough when I noticed you tearing up as I said goodbye."

"No it's not a guilt trip. It's just…Mello even then you were everything to me. When you were gone Wammy's was just a building. There is nowhere I would rather be right now…then by your side."

"Even now?" Mello asked. "Even with this possible outcome? I don't want you risking your life for something you don't believe in."

"I believe in you, and that's all that matters."

"You're always so sappy," Mello grumbled, but shifted closer, lacing their fingers together. Matt simply smiled at him and they sat there in comfortable silence for a while.

"Mello…do you remember the fireflies?"

"Fireflies?" Mello asked.

Matt shifted uncomfortably. "You know…when we were little we used to sneak out and watch the fireflies…"

"Oh, yeah I remember that. Why do you bring that up?" Mello asked.

Matt shook his head. "It doesn't matter." He leaned towards the blond and kissed him softly. "We've had some good times Mello."

"I want there to be more Matty, you know I do," Mello told him.

"I know. I wish you could just take me away from here…that we could leave all this behind, but I know you can't. This is too important. Besides it's been one hell of a life, and we don't know it's going to end. We could beat Kira and be done with all this shit and never have to worry about anything again."

Mello smiled sadly. "Yeah."

"And when we're the ones to bring Kira to justice Near will be humiliated, and we can exile him to Greenland or something, and then we'll rule the world."

Mello couldn't help but chuckle at that. "He'd fit into a snowy atmosphere. He hates the heat though, so we can exile him to the desert."

"Yeah, and blow up all the toy stores in the entire world, and forbid the making of Transformers and puzzles!"

Mello outright laughed now. "Matt you always know how to get me in a good mood. I am glad I have someone on my side ready to destroy Near's happiness." He leaned in and kissed Matt gently. "Love you."

Matt smiled as they pulled apart. "I love you too, my perfect firefly."

Mello blinked. "Why are you referring to me as an insect Matt?"

Matt chuckled. He leaned in and kissed Mello on the lips, pulling back and smiling at him. "Because once you left…there were no fireflies. There never were without you."


"Those nights were the best of my life…especially at the beginning, when we were really young. You made me feel wanted Mel. Those nights would have meant nothing if I was alone. What made them magical was you wanting to spend them with me. Before then no one had wanted to share anything like that with me. Without you fireflies are just a memory of something better. Without you and those nights, fireflies are just bugs."

"Matt," Mello mumbled, blushing in embarrassment. "You're being way too sappy."

Matt laughed. "You know you love it."

"I do not. And if you think I'm going to start sprouting sappy love lines like a bad chick flick then you don't deserve to be number three."

"Don't worry Mel, I would never dream of you saying overly romantic and sappy lines. Your masculinity remains intact." He rolled his eyes.

"Thank you."

"As much intact as it can be at least."

"What do you mean by that?" Mello growled, shoving the redhead hard. Matt just laughed again and Mello tackled him, both rolling onto the floor in a heap of tangled limbs. The scuffle was short, Mello coming up on top, pinning Matt to the ground. "I could show you how intact it is," Mello purred softly, leaning in and pressing his lips against Matt's.

"I wouldn't be opposed to that," Matt said when they pulled apart.

"I'm sure you wouldn't," Mello chuckled. "But first let's go over the plan more thoroughly. We need to have it planned out perfectly." The mood dropped as Mello climbed off of Matt and the two sat down to go over plans. What to do if caught, where to meet, when to call. This plan may be near suicidal, but that was not going to stop them from doing their damn hardest to come out of it alive.

And that night, after they made love (because it was so much more than just fucking to them) and were curled up in each other's arms, they knew it would be okay. Whatever came in the future was worth it, if they got to be together like this now.

"Hey Mel…when this is all over, can we go and see the fireflies again?"

Mello smiled gently. "Of course."