Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Final Fantasy, or the song Matt sings.
A/N: No Kira in this one! :D Because that neeeevvver happened.
It's chronological, so look for the dates, measured by their ages, to monitor how time passes. :)
And... this is in honor of Matt and Mello's deaths. Rest in peace. And Takada died too, but I don't care nearly as much about her as I do about Matt and Mello.
At least they died together.
Today was a very sad day. Luckily this fanfic isn't! :D
When I first met Mello, I was eight years, two months, three weeks, and one day old. I can remember every single detail about that day. It was a Tuesday, for example. The air smelled of beans and toast, because it was England and it was 11:14, with lunch at 11:30. Mello was wearing all black, from his shoes to his shirt, something I had never seen taken that far, before. The black contrasted his hair, which was the brightest and most distinctly 'gold' colored hair I'd ever seen. And between the black and the gold, his eyes, the most brilliant shade of sky blue, almost knocked me flat on my back.
I loved him instantly. Before I even knew what love was, before I was even old enough to feel any kind of romantic love, I understood that I'd follow him anywhere, do anything for him, forever. I knew instantly that he was the one, the only one, and that from that moment on, I'd never meet anyone who could come anywhere near close to beginning to compete with him.
Quite the revelation for an eight-year-old.
He walked right up to me and looked me in the eyes, covered by my goggles. Before he even introduced himself, he reached right out and ripped my goggles off my face and let them snap back in my hair, revealing my eyes. And then he smirked.
He owned me. Instantly. And he knew it, too. For the rest of my life, like a puppy, I'd take any order he gave me at any time, no matter what he wanted or when he wanted it. I would lie to anyone I had to. I'd break the law, and not only in minor ways. I would hack into things and change his grades before he asked me to, and then change them back when he screamed at me for changing them.
And the best part was, I knew I was the one for him, too. Because he never hit me. Not even once. When he'd beat the shit out of anyone- man, woman, child, cripple- for giving him a funny look about the way he later dressed, he wouldn't even raise a hand when I called him 'psycho,' 'asshole,' or told him he was PMSing. He would have quite literally killed anyone else that tried anything like that. He was fair to the people who couldn't have known- he always gave people one warning. Usually. When he felt like it. Luckily, only one person had ever thought he was bluffing and tried it again. May God rest his broken body.
When I was ten, I finally understood well enough how I felt to be able to tell him. Except, I didn't exactly tell him, per se. More like, he caught me writing a poem that quite distinctly said 'he' where it should have said 'she.' He figured it out instantly, of course, as I would have expected him to. He screamed at me a lot that day. Called me a lot of things that I've never said aloud to another person. Then he burst into tears, in that hysterical, impassioned way that only Mello could, and kept screaming at me, but now he was screaming about his parents, how they had been homophobes. I didn't see what that had to do with it, and I still don't. It's probably because I grew up at Wammy's almost from birth, where such things are not even blinked at, but I don't even understand why me loving Mello and having sex with Mello is disgusting to some people. I'm not gonna say that gay sex isn't gross and rather scary (I mean... poop comes out of that hole...), but straight sex is pretty disgusting, too. I didn't care at the time, either, and the fact that he was so upset by what he had discovered was more puzzling than hurtful to me.
When he calmed down a little bit, I said, "Mello, you're the one."
He started screaming again, and he said he didn't mean anything he had just said ("I didn't mean any of it, damn it!"), that he wouldn't stop being my friend. I hadn't known that was a possibility, and it was then that I knew he didn't feel the same way, and that he didn't see me as more than his sidekick and best friend. That, and that the one I loved was in serious denial.
And that was okay, because he was Mello.
At thirteen, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him on my computer with his hand down his pants. It was hard, as a hormone-flooded thirteen-year-old, to keep quiet when I could distinctly hear him panting. Sadly, I recognized some of the very-soft sounds coming from the computer as belonging to a site I hit whenever I had the urge. It was free, it was gay, it was... explicit... and you didn't have to actually download anything. I never bothered to clear my history, because no one dared come into our room when someone as scary as Mello lived there. Not even Roger or Wammy. Plus, I didn't care what anyone but Mello thought about me, and he already knew I was into guys.
I, of course, didn't manage to fall asleep until Mello stopped and went back to bed, and even then it took a long time for me to calm down enough to make sleep possible.
I had the most interesting dreams that night.
The next day, I checked my search history. He had cleared it. I was almost painfully unsurprised.
I remember our first kiss. It was when we were fourteen. It wasn't like I had kissed anyone else, but it didn't matter because I didn't need to, to know that this was how a kiss was supposed to be. Even at fourteen, he moved like a panther, stalking up to me and plopping himself onto my lap, grabbing my hair, hauling my head up, and kissing my breath away. It was in the middle of the common room. The girls had cheered, some guy had made puking sounds, and I couldn't have cared less about either. All I knew was that this was my first kiss, that my first kiss was Mello, that it meant that Mello liked me, and that that meant I was the happiest person in the world, bar none. And I remember the feeling of his skin under my fingers as I placed my hands on the small gap between his black shirt and tight... so wonderfully tight... jeans. I remember the cocky raised eyebrow he graced me with when he pulled back to see my reaction, finally releasing my hair, much to the relief of my follicles. It became a smirk (that smirk I had fallen in love with six years earlier) and he went in for another kiss. This time, though, knowing that he had me and didn't need to startle, arouse, or impress me any more than he already had (because he owned me, I was his, and he was the one), the kiss was tender and passionate. And then I knew he didn't just like me, he loved me. I discovered that day that love is something you can taste. At least when it's with Mello.
We made love for the first time when we were fifteen, and believe me, it almost killed me to wait that long. Especially when he went around our room naked, just to torture me. Sometimes, if I was really lucky and the puppy eyes were more effective than usual, I could get him to feel a little guilt for being evil and jerk me off. He still clung to the whispered memories of his parents, low-rank Mafia dogs with a particular vendetta against homosexuals. At some level, he still couldn't accept that, if they were alive, they would have hated him for what he was. So he tried not to be it. The kisses and the gropes could be ignored, justified, denied. But actual sexual intercourse? We had gotten close time and time again (again as a result of him walking around naked and rubbing up on me like some kind of damn cat), but he always pulled away, much to my... frustration. But that night, he made it clear to me that he would never worry about that in the future. And he never did, ever again.
At the height of our collective orgasm, he gasped in my ear that he loved me.
Being loved by Mello is the greatest feeling in the world. Being taken by him, so close a second that it might as well be a tie. Needless to say, the night I discovered both was a good night.
When we were sixteen, I had to watch the one I loved- always had loved, always would love- break down. It wasn't like the other times I had seen him cry. Usually, when he cried, it was just because he simply had too much emotion for one body to contain, and he had to let it out or burst, and hitting people wasn't enough anymore. This time it wasn't, and that's what scared the hell out of me. Because L had come back for a visit and Roger had finally made him choose an heir. It had taken three armed bodyguards to defeat his Capoeira and an extraordinarily stern Wammy to defeat his glare, but he had finally chosen.
Roger says that L tried to choose both Near and Mello, but Wammy had put his foot down, and L had chosen Near.
To the surprise of everyone but me, Mello didn't flip out. When they made the announcement, I cringed, and glanced at Mello out of the corner of my eye. He stood up calmly, without a word, and walked to our room. I followed him. Obviously.
When I closed the door behind us, Mello sat on his bed, his legs over the side, and burst into quiet tears.
I knew, unlike the rest of the people in the House, that it wasn't because he so badly wanted to be L. I knew that he didn't particularly care to be L, not that he would have turned it down had it been offered. What it really was, was simple- L was the best. Mello had always, always wanted to be the best, and he had worked his ass off, and it had come to nothing. He had put eight years of his life into something, and failed.
It was more the symbolism of losing it, of losing his dream, than about losing the actual title.
He cried quietly, and I didn't even hesitate. I sat down next to him and pulled him into me until his head rested in my lap. I petted his hair in the way he claimed to hate but I knew he secretly loved, and he didn't try to escape. My pant leg was already damp from his tears.
"L..." he started.
But I cut him off. "Is for the way you look at me," I said in mock-solemnity.
"O, is for the only one I see." I started singing.
He sighed, but I could tell he was smiling.
"V is very, very extraordinary."
"E, is even more than anyone that you adore."
"Okay, you can stop singing."
"And love is all that I can give to you. Love is more than just a game for two. Two in love can make it, take my heart and please don't break it. Love was made for me and you."
He laughed, shaking his head. "All right. Matt. I get it."
I leaned down and kissed him.
When he had just turned seventeen, and I was still sixteen for a few more months, he badly burned his whole left side, from his face down to his hip. I had never been more scared in my life than I was at that moment, when the thought crossed my mind that he might not make it. That I might lose the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, at the end of my sixteenth year. Assuming you get out of the fire at all, burns are terrible. The possibility of infection is unbelievably high, after the initial sterility. And Mello, he got third degree burns on his side and hip and arm, and second degree burns on his face with some patches of third. I have some burn scars on my back and palms from going in to save him and carrying him out. Wammy didn't even bother trying to stop me, when he saw that Mello wasn't out. He knew it would be better that both of us died, than just one of us. Without me, Mello would be out of control, insane. Without Mello, I might as well be dead. It had to be both of us or neither. That, and he was an old man, while I was just short of my prime. He didn't have the physical strength to stop me, especially with all the adrenalin I'd have on my side, and he thought that I would kill him to get past him if he put me in a situation where that was my only option. He thought absolutely, one-hundred-percent correctly.
When he woke up, Mello screamed at me for going in after him. I didn't apologize. He's alive, I'm alive, and I didn't care then and don't care now what I had to do to make that happen.
It took Mello a long time to adjust to having those scars. Mine were easily hidden, when I wanted to hide them, but his were on his face and there was nothing he could do if he didn't want to go all Phantom of the Opera. He used to be pretty, and he had relied heavily on his angel's face and devil's smirk, the contrast of the two, to get what he wanted when he couldn't think or talk his way into it. His appearance was a huge part of his charisma.
And I have to admit, when they were in the process of healing, they were gross as hell. Pussy and bloody, and sometimes they oozed... stuff. But I wasn't in it for his face or his body (not that I didn't like his face and his body), which I proved to him time and time again.
And when they healed, when the wounds on his face, side, arm, and hip became tough and twisted, they were the most badass things I had ever seen in my entire life. And Mello knew it- he worked them just as well as he had previously worked his angel's face. It was sexy as hell.
My favorite scar is the one on his back. There's just something hot about digging your fingers into a scar like that. There was many a time that I talked him into stripping naked for me, just so I could see them. He thought it was worth it, because there was usually sex afterwards. He would have made an excellent stripper in another life.
When he was eighteen, he bought himself some leather. He brought it home to show off to me, without any warning. While I was innocently lounging on my bed, gaming, he walked right in wearing those pants that lace up in the front and the leather midriff vest. I noticed it immediately the moment I looked up to smile at him. Later, I would congratulate myself for restraining the urge to come in my pants. He put his hands on his hips, plastered his best smirk on his face, and struck a pose that was dangerous... so dangerous...
When he saw my reaction, he asked, "You like?"
"Nnnghyeah. You look... good."
"Really?" he practically purred, raising an eyebrow and stalking up to me. He moved like a hunting panther and it got harder and harder to breathe with every step he took towards me. "Only good?"
Without even waiting for a response, he climbed onto the foot of my bed, on all fours, and prowled up to me, right over my outstretched legs, until he was over me, inches from my face.
Breathing? Pssh, that was so twenty seconds ago.
"Now," he enunciated tantalizingly, kissing my neck. His tongue darted out, tasting and dampening my skin. "Tell me what you're really thinking. Use your words, Mail..." He blew gently, sending a shiver through my entire body. The bastard. That and my real name??
"You're the one," I croaked. Technically I didn't follow orders that time, because after that I simply ripped off my clothes and jumped him. Anyway, he didn't protest.
I remember, very clearly, my nineteenth birthday. Just out of Wammy's House, we were delighted to not have to worry anymore about who would hear what. (We certainly didn't care that our neighbors would know two gay guys had moved in next to them, just in case they couldn't tell from looking at Mello. We had to listen to them, too. Not that we could usually hear them over us.)And that night involved chocolate syrup. On him, on me, on both of us. The patch of carpet there never recovered. It involved chocolate, and Mello singing happy birthday to me in his lowest, sexiest voice, between licks, between touches...
He joined the Mafia at twenty. I would have been afraid for him, but he was so scary that it wasn't a problem. He owned that particular branch in five months, the neighboring branch in two more.
When we were twenty-one, we went to a bar to get publicly intoxicated for the first time without a proxy buying it for us and an ID that was actually valid. Mello can always hold his alcohol better than me, but we drank so much that night that it didn't make a difference in the end. Mello was obnoxious; an angry, horny drunk. I was an emotional drunk. I think the only reason they didn't kick us out was because my 'clingy/emotional' drunk moment happened to align with his 'horny' drunk moment, and we put on quite a show for anyone who cared to watch. And, oddly enough, a lot of supposedly straight guys did care to watch. The owner offered us jobs there, and when I burst into tears for no apparent reason, Mello slurred "fuhkyouh" to a barstool and dragged me out of there. That had been a hangover like nobody's business.
The next year, when we were twenty-two, he finally put his foot down about my smoking. He literally ripped them out of my mouth every time he saw a cigarette. He told me I could smoke, but not around him, knowing perfectly well that I'd rather be around him than smoke, and that I would never give up time I could be spending with him in order to go suck on a stick that would give me cancer. It was more effective than any Nicotine patch or gum could ever have been, and I quit in three months.
When we were twenty-five, we both nearly had a heart attack when Near called us and told us he was getting married. To a man. We were invited.
Mello and I laughed until we couldn't breathe, but we attended the wedding and behaved ourselves to everyone's obvious shock. Linda got drunk and tried to hit on Mello.
On his thirtieth birthday, I surprised him with a huge chocolate cake... out of which popped a male stripper. I laughed tears into my eyes when he completely ignored the stripper (who was giving his absolute best) and ate the cake like there would be no tomorrow. When I asked him about it later, he told me that he had seen the guy, but that the cake had been better.
He added with a smirk, "And why would I want that random guy when I have you sitting right there? No contest."
When I was thirty-five, I found an abandoned puppy. It was adorable and I immediately took it home, even though I knew Mello would flip out, which he did. The puppy, however, adored him immediately, and followed him around with a devotion that was eerily familiar.
On the very first day of Hershey's life with us (I lived with a chocolate addict. The name was inevitable), he started tearing up the carpet. Mello screamed "SIT, DAMMIT!" at the top of his lungs, and the puppy slammed its ass straight down to the floor and stared at him with the hugest eyes I've ever seen on an animal.
That night, as the puppy settled in between us on the bed, Mello told me that he loved the puppy. "It obeys," he explained with a shrug. Then he smirked, and I felt butterflies. "Just like you."
At forty, something serious happened to our washing machine, and the whole place smelled like sewage for a solid week despite the fact that we opened every single window and emptied a whole can of Fabreeze into the trouble area. For that week, we simply hoped that the problem would go away on its own, neither of us willing to dig into the Chocolate fund, the Replace Stuff Mello Broke fund, or the Video Game fund to spring for a repair man. I suggested that one of Mello's cronies do it, but he couldn't let them know where he lived so that wasn't an option. We ended up just throwing away the machine and going to the Laundromat every Thursday night. I liked it because it just meant another thing we got to do together, even if it was embarrassing with all the sheets we went through.
If you lived with someone like Mello, you'd go through a lot of sheets, too.
When we were fifty-two, I made him watch Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, both on the same night. Back to back. I think he twitched for a good three days after that which I found both confusing and hilarious because, seriously, couldn't he almost count as a cross-dresser? Sexiness aside, he had moments where he really looked like a girl. Some people thought he was my wife when we were just walking together.
Anyway, I had the song Origin of Love from the Hedwig movie stuck in my head for a week after that, and every time it made me think, of course, of Mello.
When we were sixty-one, I was sitting on our threadbare couch, playing the newest Final Fantasy game. Mello sat down next to me and put his head on my shoulder.
I accomplished something in-game, and then there was a movie to watch. It was the first time Mello ever saw Cloud.
"It's practically pedophilia by now, but I've always been completely crazy about Cloud," I admitted.
Mello nodded in agreement. "Sexy." We watched the video for a few moments, then Mello added, "I'd hit that."
I had to leave. Mello laughed.
At seventy, Mello needed an operation on his hip. He didn't want one, so I made him. But they botched it. I didn't understand the surgeon because I was too busy trying to talk myself out of murdering him for hurting Mello, but the end result was that Mello could never walk again. I took care of him during the initial recovery time, not that I actually managed to force him to stay in bed very much, but he took it much better than I would have expected him to. I had thought he would be depressed or at least pissed off about being forever confined to a wheelchair. On the contrary, he didn't seem to even notice. He didn't stop running his branches of the Mafia, and his men respected him exactly no less. If anything, he got scarier. Because now he was old and his scars were like the leather he used to wear, and he didn't even have to stand up to dominate you from your toes to your hairline.
His fire never, never went out. Not for a day in his life.
The very next year, when I was seventy-one, I broke my hip and needed a replacement. The thing was, that would put me out of commission for six months. Stuck in a wheelchair like him, we officially could not function on our own anymore. As I lay in the hospital bed (he never left my side and he simply glared down any nurses that tried to get him to leave when visiting hours were over), he stared at me for a long, long time with those eyes that I loved so much. Through the haze of medication, I couldn't tell what exactly he was thinking about, just that he was thinking very hard. When I next woke up, he had signed us up for an assisted living community. That was not something I ever would have expected Mello to do on his own, without me having to talk him into it. If he had been living alone, I know that he would have just dealt with it. But with me, he had a reason to be healthy and a responsibility to take care of me when I couldn't. And he did.
He never let anyone help him into his wheelchair, though. On that one point, no matter how much he hurt or how old he got or how long it took him to do it, he got his own ass into his own chair and every time he did it, with that same furious, fiery glare, I loved him more, if such a thing were possible.
It was weird to think that we were so old. It seemed like minutes ago that we were nineteen, living together on our own. Now I sometimes don't make it to the toilet. But Mello's still the one who makes me laugh. He's still the one that I want to hold, and kiss. He's still the one that knows me better than I know myself, and I'm still the only one that can understand him.
I'm eighty-three now. Sometimes I forget things. I can't memorize cheat codes like I used to, for example. I wrecked my eyes a long time ago with all my staring at various screens, so my sight's not too good, but that doesn't stop me from playing games. Sometimes we sit together, after heaving ourselves onto the couch in our small assisted-living apartment, and Mello eats chocolate and holds me as I slaughter pixilated zombies. I can still beat professionals, by the way. They're usually pretty upset when they find out that I'm eighty-three and just kicked their ass. If only they knew that I'm the same guy who's been beating them all their lives.
I finish a game and smile. The victory dances are long gone, now, but the satisfaction is still always there. Sighing contentedly, I look over at the one I love. He's as beautiful as the day I met him. He catches me watching him and smiles back, and his eyes are so gentle- the way they only ever get when we're together- that I could cry.
I'd known him for seventy-five years, and I'd loved him from the moment I met him. Seventy-five years. Longer than some people even lived, I'd loved him. And I'd never stopped.
"You're still the one, you know."
The softness in his eyes went away for a split second, replaced with that smirk I had fallen in love with seventy-five years ago and that spark that he'd always (always, always) had and, apparently, always would have.
"I damn well better be, Jeevas."