Undisclosed Desires: Matt is working at a bar in order to take his mind off of his past. A lonely husband and a crime syndicate are among his usual patrons, but when a familiar blond enters the building, Matt's past catches up with him. M for swearing and yaoi.
Disclaimer: Don't own Death Note. Obviously, or else I wouldn't be posting this story here. I also don't own the song "Undisclosed Desires" by Muse, which I shamelessly plucked as the title and inspiration for this story.
A/N: Right, well, when I said in the Author's Note on my previous story that it was a far cry from my usual writing style, I was serious. This story is much closer to how I like to write, and how I'm comfortable writing. Originally this was supposed to be a scene from a longer fic that I'm working on - one that spans the majority of Matt's life, but I decided to go in a different direction with the reunion. As a result, I've decided to post the original idea as a standalone piece.
I hope you enjoy reading =)
I re-shelved the bottle of tequila after filling up Jeff's drink. He was a regular at the bar and a really nice guy. He went to college locally, married his sweetheart, had two wonderful children who, upon mention of, would light up his face. Jeff had a great job, too. I think he was an executive at some fortune 500 company that held its headquarters in the city. Every night, he came to the bar and drank his problems away. Every night I listened and filled up his glass.
One day Jeff was in the copy room of his building after hours. He heard two of his employees laughing and carrying on. Although he didn't stop his work, he focused on listening to their conversation.
That night he found out his wife had been cheating on him for years.
Jeff loved his wife too much to confront her about it. He simply continued on, loving her and providing for her and the children, hoping that one day she would come back to him.
He never got drunk. Despite all the heartache, Jeff always left after a drink or two.
I guess he just needed someone to listen.
I wasn't completely selfless when I listened to Jeff and the others - I liked the interactions too. Listening to him reminded me of the days back at the orphanage, how I would listen to my few friends whenever they needed to me. I was the silent therapist.
Against my will my thoughts drifted to my roommate. The roommate who I befriended, who would become my best friend, my crush, and my lover. The roommate who left me - ripped himself from my life as easily as he tore through those chocolate bars.
Before the pain could come I shook off the thought, focusing instead on the dodgy looking guys at the VIP table in the back.
They met at that table every week, smoking their expensive cigars and drinking the most expensive wine we offered at the bar.
If I was an average person I'd probably assume they were business men.
As a former student at The Wammy House, I knew they were an organized crime syndicate.
There was a big guy who took the head of the table. He had a shaved head and some crazy goatee. He was obviously the leader of their organization. Around the table sat a rag tag group of criminals, ranging in ages and builds. I could tell their ranks by where they were sitting, but the strange thing was, the other end of the table - the figurative spot for the second in command - was always left empty. It seemed odd that the group would have nobody sit there.
Every week they came and talked, and after a few hours they left. They always paid, they kept a clean table, and they always left a generous tip. Perhaps it was gratitude for not intruding on them. I always allowed them their space. If they were Mafia, which they were, the last thing they wanted was me encroaching on whatever business they had. I knew much better than to do that.
Today though, they stayed longer.
Jeff was paying his tab, finishing the last sip of his Margarita.
My eyes followed him out the door, wishing him good bye. My thoughts remained on the Mafia group and the empty chair.
The heavy door swung to a close, and without a moment to rest, the old hinges were stressed further when the door was slammed open.
If I had been holding something, it would have broken on the floor.
It was him. Mello. My roommate, my best friend, my first love - my only love. In the flesh. Striding confidently into the bar that I worked at.
Instantly, even after almost four years apart, I could tell he had changed. It wasn't just the obvious things like the tight black leather in place of loose fitting cotton, or the rippling, burned skin covering the left portion of his face and shoulder. It was in his eyes. They were hardened and distant - so full of pain it almost made me want to cry. It was the look he used to get when Near beat him on a test, the look I could alleviate just by talking to him.
Four years I had gone without seeing him. Four years of heartache, four years of pain, four years of contemplating suicide - of attempted suicide. Four years of pent up rage because he left me without a goodbye, left me when I was so young and vulnerable. I hadn't ever expected to meet him again, but I had thought about what I would do. I would hurt him - beat him within an inch of his life for causing me so much pain.
When he walked into the bar - into my life, the moment I saw that look, all I wanted to do was comfort him. To take away the suffering that he tried earnestly to hide.
I was a bit concerned when he prowled up to the bar and didn't recognize me. Then again, sometimes I didn't recognize me either. For a while after he left I wouldn't eat and I couldn't sleep. My appearance suffered, I was painfully thin - gaunt even. When I looked in the mirror I didn't see myself. I had dyed my red hair a dark brown when he left - like some kind of whiny emo kid. Maybe I was. My trademark goggles were missing from me also, I didn't wear them to work. The uniform didn't do much for my identity either - but that was the point. I was flying off the radar. I didn't want to be recognized.
He ordered a shot of vodka without looking at me.
I didn't put it on the table, I handed it to him and I let my fingers linger in contact with his for longer than the appropriate amount of time. They tingled under the contact and my stomach dropped to my toes.
He noticed and turned his icy glare on me.
It never worked on me when we were younger. Aside from letting me know he was angry, Mello's glare failed to do anything to me.
It was different now though, much like his blank expression had been.
Even in his hardened glare I could see years of pain, of masked emotions, of a cold, loveless existence.
"So, what makes you drink?" I asked, not entirely trusting my voice. It was a customary comment for me. The majority of people who came to this dive bar had a reason. Like with Jeff, I was their silent therapist.
He gave me that incredulous look, the same one he gave me when I told him I thought I was gay. His look was almost natural.
"None of your fucking business, that's for sure," he grumbled and it made my heart hammer in my throat. His voice, oh god his voice. It was the same underneath, but it had gotten older - rougher. If his eyes held the pain of the last four years, his voice held the part of him that would never fully change - the confidence that you couldn't erase, the command that his presence held. I tried to savor the sound and failed to forget what it sounded like in the heat of passion - moaning and screaming my name. It hurt that he didn't recognize me. It hurt that he didn't know that I was right there willing to take his pain upon myself and comfort him like I had all those years at the orphanage.
It must've shown in my eyes, the expressive deep blue eyes that I'd been cursed with, because his gaze softened a bit and I could tell he was searching my face. The spark of recognition had been ignited. He opened his mouth to say something but quickly looked away. He picked up the vodka and walked from the bar.
I shouldn't have been surprised when he sat down at the table with the Mafia members - taking his rightful place at the other head. I knew it had been bad, but Mafia? It suited him almost comically, but I couldn't help the ache that I got in my chest when he sat at that table. He had fallen so far. He wasn't the devil in the guise of an angel. He was an angel, fallen, living and working in the depths of Hell. I wanted to be Dante - to journey into the thick of Sin and rescue him, to remind those pained blue eyes that he was beautiful inside and out. I wanted to provide for him like Jeff provided for his family. Just like Jeff, I didn't care if Mello wanted the help, if Mello would love me like I loved him, all I wanted to do was to help him. To exorcise the demons from his past.
Two guys walked in wearing suits. Cheap suits. They weren't businessmen coming to forget their problems, I'd been working here long enough to meet everyone that fit that bill. They weren't mafia members - they looked too timid, and their suits were probably bought at a department store. They were, without a question, law enforcement. The taller of the two sat down at the bar, while the other backed against it - gaze lingering just a second too long on the VIP table in the back.
The man ordered two beers - draft, and looked to his partner. Vital information changed hands with that look.
They were good. Quiet, efficient, and most importantly, informed. They had to be FBI, no police officer I had ever encountered was that competent.
The agents switched positions and the short one gave me a long look.
"So, got some famous people over in the back? How come it's roped off over there?"
Great. I was being questioned.
"Hm? Oh, those guys? They're just regulars. They've been coming here every week for years. I give them the VIP booth as a token of appreciation for their generous patronage,"
He seemed to buy it. If there was one thing I was good at playing, it was clueless.
The tall one shifted nervously and glanced out the dirty window. They were planning an arrest.
I looked over at the VIP table, trying to tell Mello with my eyes that he was in trouble. He didn't recognize me though, so he conversed with his accomplices without looking in my direction.
I tried to think of something to do - some way to distract the agents. Some way to warn the crime syndicate. Though I didn't exactly approve of Mello's connection to the mob, I would much rather that than know he was rotting in a Federal Prison.
The easiest way to do it would be to knock them out. I could hit them over the head with bottles of alcohol and point Mello and his gang to the alley that lay just beyond the kitchen. Problem was, I didn't trust my body to react that quickly. Video games were one thing, but in my weakened physical state, I would probably end up getting arrested or shot. I needed to be sneaky, to avoid suspicion.
That's when I saw it. The bottle of Dom Perignon champagne in the glass case under the register. I don't know why we had it - no sane person would spend that much money on a bottle of fizzy wine. I entertained the thought that perhaps it was there for this moment. I picked it up, wrapped it in my hand towel and exited from behind the counter.
Before I walked over there, I turned to the FBI agents, gave them an apologetic look, "Excuse me a moment, gentlemen," I said, before walking over to the VIP table.
The big guy tensed when I walked over, he reached for the gun I knew he had on him, but I kept my gaze away from him. It was similar to a pack of wolves. To avoid confrontation, the subservient members of the pack avoid eye contact with the alpha. It seemed to calm him - if only a little.
I approached Mello, bottle in hand. He seemed to tense around my presence as well, but I expected it. They liked to meet here because I would never approach them. They would send one member at a time to get a round of drinks. That was the extent of our interaction. My walking over there was like breaching a silent contract. I was defying their trust. I was meddling where I shouldn't.
"A little birdie told me it was someones birthday today! Our finest bottle of Dom Perignon for our finest patrons. Don't worry about the cost. It's on the house," I cheered, handing the bottle of champagne to a very confused Mello. It was nowhere near December, but I'm fairly certain that's not why he was uncomfortable. As soon as he touched the bottle, he eyed the boss. I saw the big guy shrug, and Mello completed the transaction - fingers finally leaving mine. I tried to ignore the tingling sensation that remained while I walked back to my post.
"That was awfully generous," said the shorter agent. They were rightfully suspicious of my behaviour.
"It's not as unusual as it seems. See the blond one? He doesn't usually come along. The big guy bought the bottle before the blond got here, told me it was a surprise for his birthday. He told me not to reveal that it was him - didn't want to seem gay or something I suppose."
When both the agents chuckled I knew they bought the lie. It was interesting using my training outside of the orphanage for the first time ever. You don't realize how much of an expert you are at criminology until the situation calls for it. I knew what the FBI agents were looking for, so I gave them everything that countered their expectations. I realize I wasn't exactly assisting the whole Justice process - Lord knows what Mello had done just to get into a position of power within the mob, but the thought of Mello in danger made me throw away any moral obligation I thought I might have. Protecting Mello always came first.
When he looked at me from the corner of his eye, I knew he got the note I slipped into the hand towel. The note that very explicitly stated the two men by the bar were FBI Agents who had backup outside of the building. He and the big guy exchanged a look, and a weasel looking guy with glasses pulled out a cell phone. Minutes later there was gunfire and an explosion outside. The two agents rushed out the front, drawing their guns. As soon as they left the Mafia members rose from their table and made their way to the front door.
I coughed and got Mello's attention. He looked at me long enough for me to nod in the direction of the kitchen.
Just in case the Agents came back in, asking me where the fuck the Mafia went, I ran out the door trying to look as frightened as possible. Luckily, there were other bystanders. As I had expected, there were several dead FBI operatives and the burnt shell of an SUV. The agents never returned to question me.
A week went by and nothing happened. The Mafia members didn't return and the VIP booth remained empty.
I couldn't help but wonder if they talked about what I had done, wondered how I found out they were Mafia, how I figured out about the Agents. I wondered if they considered killing me for knowing too much. I imagined Mello telling them that I would be an unnecessary kill - that cooperation shouldn't be taken as an offense. For all I knew though, he was the one suggesting my demise in the first place.
Mello had always been unpredictable - even for me. That's why I almost fainted when he walked into the bar and sat down like he was any other patron.
I got him a shot of vodka before he could ask for it, moving then to ignore him in favor of Jeff.
Mello hated being ignored, that would never change. He was almost like a little kid that way. When he demanded attention he was serious. If someone ignored that demand, he got increasingly more intrusive before his target eventually gave in.
He was sighing dramatically and leaning way too far over the counter. I glanced over questioningly, and I saw annoyance in his eyes. The pain was dimmed even more, he was too focused on getting my attention to be worrying about his past. I smirked both in the satisfaction that I could help him even slightly, and the fact that I was winning his little game. He bristled slightly in his seat when he caught my expression.
Then Jeff left and fucked everything up.
As I was saying goodbye to the businessman, Mello grabbed my arm and pulled me forcefully toward him. I'm not exactly a heavy object to move, but he had gotten a lot stronger since we parted. That's when I noticed the toned muscle in his arms. The definition continued across his chest and my eyes followed its path. I couldn't help but notice how the vest he wore clung to his body giving way to defined abs. His pants were placed sinfully low on his body. I was staring blatantly obviously, almost salivating over the angled lines that pointed inward from his hips.
He coughed and I turned my eyes toward his, blushing at being caught oogling him. My embarrassment seemed to feed the spark of recognition. He looked at me again, trying to figure out why I looked so familiar. If it didn't tear at my heart, it would have been comical. He shook off the thought and the pain reentered his eyes.
"Why?" He asked, in that dead serious, threatening tone. That tone could move a mountain - or get an incredibly shy redhead to admit the reason he'd been acting so unusual was because he harbored a crush for his best friend. In short, it was a powerful tone.
"Why what?" If there was one thing that pissed Mello off more than failing, it was stupid people. I'm not stupid, but like I said, I'm good at pretending. Funny how after all these years I just slip into the same behavior from the orphanage, bringing him back to the good days, the simple days. Funnier still how I could waste time joking with him when all I wanted to do is hold on to him and cry, never letting go.
"Don't play fucking stupid, asshole. You were smart enough to figure out what was going on last week and crafty enough to warn us without causing a scene. What I want to know is, why?"
"Your little group holds the title of my best customers. I really didn't want to lose your business to the feds."
"Cut the crap, dumb ass. I can tell you're lying. I can see it in your eyes you're just like..."
He cut short and just stared at me. Looking right into my eyes, searching again. I caught the instant the spark took over his entire brain and recognition clicked, memories firing across axons. The pain in his eyes took the forefront. It looked as if he was on the brink of tears. The shot glass slipped out of his slender, gloved fingers and exploded into a thousand pieces on the ground.
"...Matt?" he whispered, in a tone so utterly broken it was unrecognizable. I caught a faint, "no," before he ran out the door.
I couldn't stop myself.
I sank to the floor of the bar and I sobbed.
Mello had walked out on me again. He walked out on me before he even regained his place in my life.
It wasn't pain this time, well, not the same kind. I wasn't hurting because Mello had left me twice. I was hurting because I saw the pain in his eyes, saw the torture when he recognized me. He wasn't stupid, he knew that I had figured out he was in the Mafia. He knew I had saved them because it was him. He knew that despite everything all I could do was help him. I saw the pure anguish in his eyes when he realized that no matter what happened I would always be there for him, even if he didn't notice me.
The pain in his eyes when he recognized me wasn't the memory of the deeds he'd performed to gain his spot in the Mafia. It was the regret of leaving me four years ago.
My throat ran dry, my eyes blurred, and my nose dripped because I knew he was just as torn up over his departure as I had been. My shirt was soaked with my own salty tears and there was a broken bottle of rum from my spasm because I knew he loved me just as much as I loved him.
He ran. He always ran. He ran when I told him I was gay, he ran when I told him that he was the reason I was gay, he ran when I told him that I loved him, he ran after we lost our virginity. He ran when L died.
Funny thing about Mello though, no matter how many times he ran, he always found his way back. The fallen angel may have been a coward, a slave to his own emotions, but he always returned to me - to where he knew I would be waiting, waiting to love him for the wonderful person he was.
It was about two hours before the door opened again, another ten seconds before I was peeled off the floor. I didn't have to open my eyes to tell it was him. I could tell by the way he smelled. Chocolate and determination. I immediately wrapped my arms around him, clutching with all my strength. He went limp, sobbing harder than I had, scratching at my back trying to hold himself up. I grabbed him by the middle, supporting him with all my strength.
"I'm so sorry, Matty. Oh God I'm so sorry. I left you. I left you and I didn't even say goodbye. I fucking left you,"
"It's okay Mello. You're here now, it's okay, don't cry," I don't know how I managed to get that out, or if he even understood me through our mutual sobbing, but he hugged me tighter.
"Matty, the things I've done..."
"It's okay Mello. None of that matters to me. You're here, we're together, that's all that matters to me," I buried my face in his soft golden hair - savoring the sensation.
He threw himself off me, but I grabbed his hand before he could run again.
"You don't understand Matt. I've killed people! I'm no better than Kira. People have DIED because I didn't have a choice. I HAVE to beat Near - to avenge L. Matty, I shot them,"
I threw him up against the back wall and looked him hard in the eyes. I rarely got pissed off, but he was doubting me. He was trying to prove to me that he wasn't good enough. It was the same thing he used to do after every ranking exam he failed. He would tear himself apart for not being better. It was sickening. Before he could protest, I slammed my mouth against his. He responded to that kiss quicker than any before. He opened his mouth almost the instant our lips made contact, silently begging me to continue - to prove that my words were sincere. I obliged. I tried as hard as I could to forget about the four years apart, to show him how much I loved him, but I failed. The kiss was desperate and needy, it was a kiss that was more akin to a final parting than a reunion. We were both clutching desperately to each other, trying to accept that everything was exactly as it seemed. That we really had, after all those years, found each other. Time became irrelevant - we both knew that. We just kept exploring each other, getting reacquainted with the change that adulthood had brought on our bodies. The moment was perfect, and then he started rubbing - grinding his hips into mine. It was too much for me. More than I could handle. I pulled away from him and held him at arms length.
"It doesn't matter to me Mello. I don't care what you've done. I love you. I've always loved you. It'll never matter what you do because I'll always be there for you - to reconcile the violence in your heart, because dammit Mello. You. are. the one."
He pulled me into another kiss and, after about three hours and countless broken bottles of alcohol, we left the bar together, my resignation evident in the drying remains of our passion.
Please review. I'm kind of biased when it comes to my writing. What I think is good enough may not be at all, and I would most definitely like to improve. Reviews are a quick and easy way to let me know how I'm doing. I will be sure to reply to every review I get. Im not the biggest fan of flames, but if that is how you wish to express your opinion, I give you my full permission.