Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nothing at all.


Plink. Plink.

Matt groaned and buried his head deeper into his pillow.

Plink. Plink.

He could ignore this. Most definitely, he could ignore this. He could-

Plink.

"Dammit!"

Matt's eyes flew open as he tossed the comforter and sheets aside. He pulled himself slowly to his feet and gazed angrily at the source of the offending noise. The bathroom sink. It had been broken for a while now, dripping constantly, sending his water bill through the roof. Strange. The noise hadn't bothered him greatly before. Then again, nothing could bother him when he was in his usual state. But now, in his current condition, it was nothing short of infuriating.

Plink.

"Fuck." Matt stomped furiously to the bathroom, not bothering to stop at the bathroom door and flick the light switch, preferring the darkness to ease his building headache.

There. There it was. That damn dripping faucet. Matt seized the handle and leant all his body weight into twisting it as far to the right as it would go. The rusting metal creaked in protest as it was forced past its normal resting position.

Plink.

Matt's breath caught in his throat and his eyes flashed murderously as he glared down at sink, barely holding back his frustration. And then… blessed silence. No more dripping. Matt sighed.

It was odd. Normally Matt was more of a pacifist, even when it came to inanimate objects, like game systems or sinks. Mello was the one who let his irrational fury get the better of him. Mello was the one who had kicked a fucking hole in the wall of their crappy little apartment one night when he had run out of chocolate. Matt, on the other hand, tried not to let the little things, the vices, bother him as much as they did Mello.

But that wasn't to say that Matt didn't have his vices too. Because he did. He most certainly did. And for the most part, they were far more dangerous than anything Mello had ever harbored an addiction for.

Matt gave the sink one last glare, and then turned to leave the bathroom and (hopefully) get a few extra hours of sleep before Mello got home. He stopped when he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. Keeping his eyes trained on the glass, he reached behind himself and felt for the light switch. He flicked it on and flinched at the sudden flood of light in the room.

He looked different. God, he looked like shit. Matt brought one finger up to rest on the soft skin beneath his right eye. There were shadows there that reminded him eerily of a certain little albino freak. And it wasn't just his eyes that had changed. His skin was pallid, dry, and lifeless looking. His lips were cracked and there was a bit of dried blood on the lower one from where he had gnawed at it in his sleep. He let the finger beneath his eye slowly droop and trail down the rest of his face. Past his nose, over his pained lips, down his chin, until it dropped uselessly by his side.

'When did I start to look like this?' Matt thought. 'God, why didn't I notice? I mean, Mello-'

Matt stared at himself, wide-eyed in the mirror. Mello. Mello was going to kill him.

Mello had been away on 'official business' for the last two months. Of course, Matt wasn't stupid; he knew that meant something to do with the damn mafia. But Mello hadn't offered up any unnecessary information and Matt hadn't asked. To be honest, Matt wanted absolutely nothing to do with Mello's chosen line of 'work'. And for the most part, Mello didn't give a shit about what Matt did with his time either.

That was, unless it was something that would hurt Matt.

And God, if Mello only knew what Matt had been up to these last two months, while he was away. Mello would know. He would know just by looking at Matt. Just by looking at how changed Matt was. And when Mello put two and two together it would equal something bad for Matt. No, Mello wasn't just going to kill him. Mello was going to fucking murder him.

"Okay," Matt said out loud, still staring at his reflection. "Okay Matt, calm down. You can fix this. Yeah, you look like shit and that's a dead giveaway, but you can still fix this." He gripped the sides of the sink with both his hands, knuckles turning white under the pressure. "Think, Matt, think! There's nothing you can do to help the way you look, short of putting on makeup or getting a fucking face transplant. And I'm pretty sure Mello would notice both of those right away. Wait! You just look like shit because you haven't had any in a while? How long has it been? Two days? Three? That's it! Just go fucking buy some more and you'll be fine. You'll be fine and Mello won't notice a damn thing."

Matt removed his death grip from the sink. God, he looked crazy. Standing here, staring himself down and talking to himself, for Christ's sake!

Matt finally tore his gaze away from the mirror and backed quickly out of the bathroom. His eyes searched the bedroom desperately for his wallet, sweeping over the mussed bed, the cluttered nightstand, and finally settling on the pile of dirty clothes on the floor. He picked up yesterday's jeans and shook them, smiling in triumph when his wallet fell out of the back pocket.

Faster than you could say 'broke', Matt was out the door and walking down the street towards his destination, an apartment he had come to know very well in the last two months.

Matt stuffed his hands into his pockets and shivered. The hoodie he had grabbed on his way out was no use against the biting chill of the winter wind. He would give anything to be in his comfy red sports car right now. His car with the heated leather seats. But of course, he couldn't drive his car anywhere. He was out of gas. He hadn't had any spare money to even get a half of a tank, so his precious car had sat unused for almost six weeks now. He shivered even more violently and bowed his head against the wind.

Truth was, ever since his new addiction had started, he hadn't had money for anything really. Not gas, not to pay the bills, not even to buy food. He almost had to laugh. It was just so cliché.

Drugs.

Drugs were the reason he was broke. Drugs, or the lack of them, were the reason he looked like shit. Drugs were the reason Mello was going to go homicidal on his ass when he got home. Drugs. Or to be more specific, cocaine.

And Matt was supposed to be a genius? Well, he still was, cocaine hadn't changed that. He knew the side effects, he knew the consequences. He knew the mind-blowing stupidity of what he was doing. He knew that he was taking a huge risk every time he inhaled that precious white powder.

He knew. But the thing was, he just didn't care.

God, he didn't even have a good reason. There was nothing wrong with his life. He was smart. He had skills. He could do things with a computer most people couldn't even imagine was possible. He had people- well a person- who cared about him.

That was the only part he ever felt bad about. In between the delicious highs and the not-so-delicious crashes, sometimes he let his mind wander to Mello. Mello, his best friend. Mello, who risked his life daily to actually do something, attain something. Mello was giving everything he had to solve the Kira case. Mello was risking his life for justice. And Matt, what was Matt doing? Matt was risking his life for a fucking high. It was only when he stopped to ponder that fact that Matt truly felt bad about what he was doing.

Luckily, those moments of pondering were few and far between. His brain was usually preoccupied with the rush of elicit substances through his system, and when he wasn't riding out that incredible wave of euphoria, he was plotting and planning how to get more.

He had reached his destination. He eyed the dingy, dirty apartment complex in front of him. This was where he lived. The man with the powder. He had a name, but it was most likely false and Matt had never bothered to learn it. He preferred instead to think of him as 'The Source' Capital T. Capital S. The Source was important to Matt. Without The Source he would have to go find a new supplier. And The Source was good to Matt. He didn't usually have such young customers, but since Matt always had the money up front and had never caused any trouble, The Source liked him.

Matt made his way to the door of the correct unit and knocked loudly.

"Who is it?" A voice from inside questioned.

"It's Matt." Matt replied back.

The door opened a crack. "Matt?" Then once the person inside had confirmed that it was indeed Matt standing outside his door, he opened the door wider. "Matt! It's been a while little buddy. I was just thinking about you. The stash I sold you last week should have run out by yesterday. I was wondering when you were gonna come by for more!"

Matt smiled grimly at the man, the source. The Source. "Yeah, it did. I need more this time. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to get out and come here once my friend comes home. He keeps a pretty close eye on me when he's not working."

"No problem, kid." The Source grinned at him. "Lucky you, I just got some really good shit in yesterday." The Source continued to talk to him as he rifled through some drawers in the apartment's tiny kitchen. "Oh, and you wouldn't believe this, kid! Same day I get this excellent stash in, I got a guy who tries to sell me some laced shit. Can you believe that? Laced with rat poison. How crude. Luckily I only tried a little of it. Hurt like fucking hell too. My nose was bleeding everywhere, and I thought I was gonna die. But that stuff won't kill you if you only snort a little. Wouldn't suggest it though. It's not fun. And now I've got this whole bag of useless powder. It's a real downer, I gotta tell you."

The Source finally stopped babbling and, looking around for people first, handed a small baggie of white powder over to Matt. Matt gave him a wrinkled fifty dollar bill in exchange.

"Thanks." Matt said, "I gotta run. My friend's supposed to be home soon and I don't want to have to explain where I've been."

"Yeah, okay. See ya, kid." The Source gave him one last grin before shutting the door. It was then that The Source realized his mistake. "Well shit," he said, looking at the two bags of powder before him. "Dammit. Kid's in for a hell of a nosebleed. I knew I should've thrown the bad shit out. Oh well, the kid'll realize it's bad. He'll be fine."

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

Matt was in a rush when he got back to the apartment. Mello could be home anytime now. He hadn't given a specific time to expect him back, just that he would be home 'sometime that day'. Matt wanted to get the place, and himself, a little cleaned up before Mello's arrival. But first, he needed to satisfy the craving that had been building in him for the last two days. He wanted- no he needed- that high.

Wasting no time, he quickly shoved a pile of gaming magazines off one corner of the coffee table. He knelt on the floor, putting the table at eye level, as he poured a liberal amount of the white powder out on the flat surface. He pulled his wallet out of his pocket and removed his (mostly useless) credit card and quickly scraped the powder into a fat, white line.

God, he could practically taste the high he was gonna get. It was going to be fucking amazing.

He carefully lowered his face down until his nostrils were poised just above the line he had made. He prepared himself first by taking a deep breath in through his mouth and-

He choked. Something caught in his throat and he was choking. In an instinctual bid for air, he inhaled strongly through his nose.

Too much. Too much powder. And oh god, now he couldn't breathe through his mouth or his nose. He tried to suck up oxygen through his nose again, and only succeeded in sucking up another noseful of white powder. He knew he shouldn't have poured so much out. He was so-

Oh god, it burned. He became aware of an acute pain in his nose. It felt like fucking fire, like someone was taking a blowtorch and trying to reach his brain with it. He sputtered and coughed, finally free of the catch in his throat but now all his attention was on his nose. It burned and it hurt and oh god he had to make it stop, make it stop right now-

He exhaled as hard as he could through his nose. It was clogged with the powder and now it was bleeding. So much blood. He exhaled again and blood sprayed from his tortured nostrils across the table, across the floor. He exhaled again and coated the front of his shirt in a red paint.

The pain was moun


ting now. It was spreading. Oh god it was getting worse. He tried in vain to wipe the blood, wipe the pain away, but it just kept coming. He couldn't stop it. It was a massive wave and he couldn't even keep his head above water.

'Mello…,' he thought, his vision starting to blur, 'Mello will be home soon. He'll know what to do. Even if I pass out he'll take care of me. Take me to the hospital. Mello will help me. Mello will…'

His thoughts became muddled as his brain became consumed with the pain. His vision swam and he could swear that he heard little popping sounds in the back of his head.

'Mello. Mello. Mello…'

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

Mello smiled to himself as he turned his key in the lock. It had been two long months since he'd seen his best friend, and he was glad to finally be back. He hoped Matt wouldn't mind him being a day later than he said he'd be. But some things had come up at the last minute, and Mello had to take care of them. But Matt would understand. He was good about that sort of thing.

But what Mello didn't know, as he swung open that apartment door, was that it didn't matter if he was a day late, a week late, or even a year.

Matt was already gone.

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Beta-ed by: Emo-Nerdy-Insane-Writer