Café

Chapter Eight: EruEspresso Roast

FTOYWGAD: You guys better be happy that I could update this. To be honest, vacation totally sucks as of right now so that's why I finished this chapter. And I'm not really all that proud of it either. Oh and AnimeNEXT was awesome! :D Uh…not much to say. Wait, wait, no, I do have something to say: last night, I saw a cow and it was eating out of a garbage can, I swear it was there!

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Urgh…


It would have been easy to say that the meeting between Mello and Near had gone smoothly. Then again, easy didn't always mean honest. The events that actually took place in the span of that week were so chaotic, Matt could barely understand what was going on.

Before the weekend even started, there were issues.

(flashback)

"I would be laughing right now if it weren't for that fact that there is a 39% chance you're actually being serious with what you are saying." L sat and tucked his legs underneath himself (a position Mello still couldn't not get used to seeing) and ravished a mini-donut in his mouth.

"L, we are being serious," Matt insisted as he poured milk into one of the cups. Friday. It just had to be another busy day. "Mels and I want the weekend off. Especially him 'cause he's been working his ass off for you since Day One."

Mello glared at Matt from where he was cleaning up one of the tables. "Don't talk as if I'm not here."

Matt ignored the blonde and continued. "And look, even Light agrees." He pointed to the brunet that was currently taking orders from four people at the same time.

"Do not bring me into this," the co-owner said warningly.

"Light happens to be on my side," L pointed out as he poured himself a cup of coffee, making no effort whatsoever to help with the number of customers that were currently pouring in.

"I'm on nobody's side," the brunet corrected, not taking his eyes off the macchiato he was making.

"Whatever," Matt waved off the comment. "Look, L, just this weekend and I promise I'll work my ass off for the next few weeks." He began working on more orders while Mello joined them behind the counter and deposited his cleaning materials in their respective places.

"That's the worst lie in the world if I've ever heard one," L said blankly, his fingers already molesting another sweet.

"I mean it, c'mon, please?" The redhead was close to begging and it was utterly fascinating to Mello. The blonde finished his cleaning duties and sat on one of the barstools, right across Matt and L.

The café was very busy so the smell of caffeine and cocoa beans escalated. It was also a particularly humid day outside, despite the fact that the sun was nowhere to be seen. Mello tugged on his white uniform vest and frowned at his sweaty palms.

Before L could retort with another blatant rejection, Light intervened.

"Look L, why don't you just give them a day off?"

"You are on my side," Matt yelled happily.

Light rolled his eyes and ignored him. "It's not as if we can't handle the café ourselves."

L raised an invisible eyebrow at the mass of businessmen and businesswomen that were practically fist fighting to get to the front of the line. Regardless, this was Light speaking and if his judgment showed that Matt and Mello deserved a break, who was he to stop them (besides being their boss, of course)?

"Very well," L said thoughtfully, putting his donut down. "You'll get this Saturday off but I expect you two back at work on Sunday, twelve 'o' clock exactly."

Matt whopped in victory while Mello allowed for a discreet smile to grace his lips.

(end flashback)


(Mello and Matt's Apartment – Saturday)

Matt, Mello decided, was an utter moron.

It didn't matter that he was trying his best to put the fire out with his beloved vest, because in Mello's mind, if he started the fucking fire,he should put it out. And so, the blonde calmly stood to the side and watched the flames eat their kitchen while Matt desperately tried to save their charred dinner.

Or something like that.

"GODDMANIT MATT, I SAID I WOULD FUCKING COOK! WHO THE FUCK MANAGES TO SET THE KITCHEN ON FIRE BY MAKING A SALAD?"

Mello immediately found a small fire extinguisher near the bathroom ('cause according to Matt, his piss could potentially be a fire hazzard) and hosed the stove down. By this time, Matt was still freaking out and flailing his vest around as if that would solve any problems. One glare from Mello told him to shut up. The redhead laughed nervously and sat on the kitchen table.

"Did I mention that I wasn't a good cook?"

Matt smiled but soon wished for his goggles as if those could protect him from the heat of Mello's glare. The older of the two warily walked over to the black mass of metal on the stove and peered inside.

"No soup for dinner then," he muttered, "it's burnt so badly, it looks like tar."

"Mels, that's supposed to be the chicken."

Mello choked.

The redhead smiled sheepishly and twitched his fingers again. "Um…no salad either." He hitched a thumb toward the far end of the counter where various vegetables were in a mush decorating half a head of lettuce. The mayonnaise and dressing dripped on to the floor.

It was then when Mello decided that Matt was never going to set foot in the kitchen ever again.

"I'll order pizza," the gamer called, already at his cell.

Mello sighed and watched as his roommate animatedly spoke with the pizza guy and their enthusiasm for pepperoni. For the past half hour, both men have tried and attempted to make dinner for their guest who was due to meet them in an hour. It was apparent that they wouldn't get anything decent done in the time given.

Mello picked up a rag from a corner and began to clean up the havoc Matt had wrecked. Five minutes into the cleaning process, Mello gave up trying to get rid of the burn marks and just disappeared into the bathroom. He frowned at his ruined wife-beater and sweaty jeans. Deciding that a shower was in order, he turned the hot water on and began to remove his clothes.

If Matt ordered pizza from the nearest parlor, then it would arrive in twenty minutes. And in forty minutes from now, their guest – whoever the hell he was, since Matt refused to speak about him prior to their introduction – would arrive. Mello didn't give much thought to the guest since the entire fiasco could be Matt's idea of making friends.

Still, Mello thought as he removed the last article of his clothing, I rather like Matt as my friend.

Blinking at himself in the mirror for thinking such strange thoughts, Mello splashed water onto his face. He then turned on the shower, in hopes of not freezing to the point of hypothermia when he washed himself.

It was almost a daily occurrence now, for him to get such attached thoughts about his roommate. In the end, Mello blamed notion on the overexposure to caffeine.

The blonde examined his naked body in the only full-length mirror in the apartment. He tried to focus on his pasty skin or how he desperately needed to eat more (if the visible ribs were anything to go by). But as per usual, his line of vision directly went to his ugly scar. Mello frowned at the angry burn that ran all the way from the top of his head to the reaches of his left hip. It was as if half of his body was someone completely different.

In a way, it was.

Because the shower was running (and also because the Fates decided to play a cruel joke on the boys), Mello couldn't hear any noises outside the bathroom when he reached for the shower curtain.

Then the door opened.

For a while, Matt just stared owlishly at Mello's figure – which was, again, completely naked. Matt would have just as easily kept on staring if it wasn't for Mello realizing what had just happened.

And so began the epic tossing of anything Mello could find that was within his reach.

"JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, MATT, CAN'T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT?" Mello shrieked eloquently. "YOU CAN'T JUST FUCKING WALK INTO THE FUCKING BATHROOM WITHOUT FUCKING KNOCKING!"

First thing that went through Matt's mind was to put up a swear jar as soon as possible because he was sure he could make a fortune off of Mello's bad language.

Second thing that went through Matt's mind was to duck because Mello had frighteningly good accuracy at flinging his shampoo bottles, his shaving cream and razor and other toiletries.

He failed to do so and would suffer major bruises the next day. For the time-being, he needed to get the hell out of the bathroom before Mello took his eye out with his own toothbrush.


(In the Living Room)

Well that wasn't expected.

Matt tenderly rubbed the sore spot on his forehead where his goggles should have been. It was that stupid Garnier shampoo that was so heavy; it could potentially kill someone if used properly (via Mello).

It wasn't as if it was his fault. Yes, maybe he should have knocked and maybe it would have helped if he knew where Mello was in the first place. But he desperately needed to wash his hands and the cheap kitchen soap wasn't cutting through the smell.

Still, Mello didn't have to permanently cause bodily harm to him. What was one supposed to do when he walked in on his roommate naked anyway?

Matt muttered something incoherent when he sat down on the couch, albeit slowly, afraid he might hurt something else. As his karma would have it, as soon as he sat down, the doorbell rang.

The redhead frowned at the pizza delivery boy, still rubbing his forehead. Before the teenager could even say anything, Matt shoved a twenty in his pimply hands, snatched the pizza and shut the door. What the hell was he doing there so early anyway? Hastily, he dumped the box in the kitchen and sank back into the couch, not feeling hungry anymore.

Matt stopped rubbing his soon-to-be-bruises and fisted his hair. For some reason, one other than the fact that he was in pain, he was uncomfortable with what had just happened.

Then again, there would a problem if he wasn't disturbed by what he had seen.

But that was just it: he wasn't disturbed.

Mello looked…nice, Matt's confused brain decided. He should probably start eating more and relax once in a while but he definitely wasn't someone bad to look at. In fact, he was very nice to look at.

Matt winced when one of his bruises – on the forehead again – started throbbing.

Going by how Mello reacted to the humiliating accident, Matt would probably have his eye sockets cleaned out if he tried anything like that again. On top of that, Near was coming over. This called for a total BS session where they would both pretend nothing strange happened.

Totally.


(Matt's Bedroom)

Mello walked into his roommate's bedroom and clutched his already tightly wrapped towel. It was stupid for a man to be covering himself from his chest but his scar was very prominent there. No one should have to look at that.

Making sure that no one was in the hallway, he snuck into Matt's bedroom – where he usually kept his clothes in a neat pile before he showered – and shut the door. Again, making sure that none of the windows were open and that there was no one behind the door, he dropped the towel and began to dress.

The entire while, Mello frowned, utterly frustrated and angry. Matt really was a fucking moron. What kind of idiot just walked in on someone like that? Did he not hear Mello take a shower; did he not even have the thought to knock?

The blonde grabbed a small chew toy and threw it against the wall where it let out a small squeak. In that instant, Billowy came in – Mello never found out where from – and stared curiously at the abused toy. He then noticed Mello's presence and nuzzled against the man's leg.

Not able to stay so enraged any longer, he sat on the messy bed after dressing. Stroking Billowy's ears, Mello let out an aggravated sigh, unsure whether he'd be able to face Matt after what he had seen.

And then, the phone rang.


(Living Room)

Matt, who had been lying down on the couch for the past twenty minutes, was sure Mello was never going to come out of his room. Surely, he would have finished showering and getting ready by now. What the hell was he doing in his bedroom anyway? Groaning again, Matt buried his now purple forehead into the couch's arm.

This is where Mello sleeps, he thought stupidly.

Deciding that a nap would pass the time and maybe even ultimately make him feel better, he tried to sleep.

Then the phone rang.

"Can't anyone give me a break?" He nearly shouted at the ceiling. The redhead yanked the telephone receiver. "Look, L, this is not the time – "

"Is Mihael there?"

Matt made a face. He'd been expecting L to give him an annoying reminder to get to work early the next day or even Light. Besides them, only Mello and Near knew his landline number.

"Who is this?"

"I need to speak to Mihael. It's urgent."

"Who's Mihael?" Matt asked irritably. He was already annoyed; he didn't need this shit from a stranger. "Listen man, you've got the wrong number." Matt nearly put the receiver back in the cradle.

"You really don't want to hang up, boy."

Shit, was it him, or did Matt faintly recognize this voice? Quickly, he put the receiver back in his ear. "Who is this?"

Someone's throat cleared on the other line. "Do exactly as I say."


For a moment, Mello just stood there his palms flat against the door. Slowly, he removed his ear from the door as realization dawned upon him.

Fuck!

The blonde, now a blur, swiftly moved about Matt's room and collected all his clothes. He removed his beaten up duffle bag from underneath Matt's bed and shoved everything he could fit in it. Billowy mewled near his leg but Mello paid no attention to the feline.

In the 45 seconds that he spent packing, he noticed that his revolver was missing. Then the horrifying thought came when he realized that it was under Matt's couch. He spent a second and a half debating whether he should risk going out to get it back. Ultimately, he decided to leave it behind; all the bullets were with him anyway (so even a moron like Matt wouldn't be able to use it).

Mello slung the bag over his shoulder and staggered a little at the weight. When he steadied himself, he rushed to the dirty window to get out of the building using the fire escape. The entire ordeal of him running away sounded ridiculous in his head but Matt now knew too much information and was too involved for Mello to be around him any longer.

Just as he was about to climb down, he noticed Matt's goggles lying near the pillow.

Mello hated those stupid goggles.

Quickly, cursing at himself for wasting even more time, he grabbed them and proceeded with the painstaking task of going down the escape with a heavy duffle bag on his back.

Mello truly, honestly, without a doubt never wanted to see Matt ever again after this.

Then another voice in the back of his head told him to stop lying to himself.


FTOYWGAD: Yeah…I strongly dislike this chapter. It's got the plot moving but I'm unsatisfied with how it turned out. It seems a little choppy and the sentence structure sucks. I apologize! . (By the way, I'm back home from vacation now. :D)

Food For Thought: When cows eat, it's weird. In a village (in the Indian subcontinent anyway) the farmers are in a hurry to herd the cows so the rush them and make them eat fast. So the cows shove as much food in their mouths as they can and then just stick it in a small compartment in the back of their mouths. Then when they have time (like when they're finished with work or something) they bring that food back and chew it slowly and steadily, their mouths moving in opposite elliptical orbits. :D

Or something like that. :P

~Silver