Woo! A REALLY long chapter. Hope you enjoy!


Pain.

That was the first thing Matt registered when he finally woke up.

The second thing – that he was not in his bedroom. Or Mello's, now that he thought about it. It was the only other place in Wammy's he was likely to wake up in other than his own bed. More often than not, from passing out after playing games for hours on end.

Mello never minded. At least, that's what Matt gathered. Rather than getting pissed off and complaining about space like any other person would have, Mello pretended not to notice. But Matt would always wake up warm, with the duvet tucked around him comfortably, and Mello sound asleep beside him on the small bed. Matt would watch, sometimes for many minutes, as Mello's chest rose and fell gracefully in time with his soft breathing – his delicate face turned toward him, golden hair splayed out on the pillow, his lips slightly parted as he sighed and his breath tickled Matt's freckled nose. Matt couldn't help but stroke Mello's face when that happened, and as his finger trailed along the blonde's jaw he was rewarded with the slightest shiver and hitch of Mello's steady breathing, but other than that he would continue to sleep, oblivious to the touch.

When Mello woke up, Matt always made a point to be already seated on the floor, playing games like normal. Neither of them would mention the incident, or acknowledge it had happened, but it would repeat itself over and over.

Matt loved those mornings.

But today, he couldn't see Mello. He couldn't feel the warm weight of Mello's lithe body curled up next to his, not even centimetres apart in the tiny bed. He couldn't stroke Mello's soft hair or caress his smooth, pale cheek and hear him purr in contentment. Just thinking about it made Matt's chest feel fluttery and his fingers twitch, aching to touch Mello discreetly. He missed him.

Where was he, anyway?

This place... it looked like the infirmary.

But his vision seemed somewhat skewed as he tried to place himself.

Matt sat up, rubbing his eyes, and suddenly hissed in the new-found pain as his knuckles made contact with his left eyelid. And then it all came flooding back.

Mello.

He'd hit him.

Matt froze, and paled when all the disjointed memories swam in front of him.

Mello acting strange.

Mello admitting to hearing his conversation with Laurel.

Mello getting pissed off and directing his fist straight at Matt's –

Stop, stop, stop.

That wasn't it.

Matt had provoked him, he realised with a sinking feeling. He'd been pretty childish, goading Mello like that. But to be honest... didn't he have a right to? After what Mello had told him?

Matt clenched his fists.

Mello had pretty much said that he didn't want him. No, that he didn't need him. That hurt. It really hurt. How the hell was Matt supposed to understand that?

Matt tried to calm down and think rationally.

He wasn't the type to make excuses for people. Had never needed to. His parents –

OK, forget the parents. Matt never wanted to think of them again.

But even though Mello was notorious for letting his emotions get the better of him, he couldn't have done it without a good reason.

So maybe...

Matt cracked a smirk, wincing slightly as the muscles in his eye clenched, and shook his head. It was utter nonsense to think the blonde would care that much about him. So why would he go that far to make him understand? It wouldn't make sense for him to. Matt considered himself average. Totally average, if not less than that. Totally unworthy of Mello's attention, someone who was constantly fuelled by drive and emotion, someone beautiful. It was obvious Matt had been struck with unbelievable good fortune to be able to be friends with someone like him, to be able to touch a fragment of his life. Like his own personal sunshine, brightening his dull and gloomy life. Who needed the outdoors?

As Matt leaned back to lie down once again, the bed creaked under his shifting weight and his head fell back into the soft pillow. Soft, but firm enough to stir the muscles around his left eye.

Matt winced again.

The noise must have attracted someone, because not a moment later, a dark-haired woman peeked round the door, clutching a laden tray and making an anxious expression at him.

'Oh, you're awake,' she sighed, relieved, and walked round the side of the bed to lay the tray (piled with food, to Matt's great pleasure – he'd only just realised then how hungry he was) on his bedside table and pressing a cool hand against his forehead. 'You don't seem to have a fever...'

'My... I mean, may I –'

'Yes...' she paused for a moment, her expression taking one of self-pity. Not a good sign. 'I warn you... it may come as quite a shock...' She stopped at the look on Matt's face and smiled to reassure him. 'There's no need to worry... it's not like it scarred or anything. We cleaned away the blood...'

Matt's stomach twisted unpleasantly.

He really hadn't needed to hear that.

Just how bad was the damage?

The nice woman, who he supposed was a nurse working in the infirmary (though she didn't wear a nurse outfit, to Matt's intense disappointment), picked up a mirror from the tray she'd put on the table, and held it hesitantly in front of Matt. She looked at him, silently asking his permission, and whether he was sure about this.

'Go ahead,' Matt sighed, in a resigned voice. There was no need to get worked up. She'd as good as told him it wasn't mangled or a death trap of gore, like in those horror movies he watched with Mello when they snuck out to the TV room every week in the middle of the night, bringing a mountain of chocolate with them (and potato chips for Matt, who wasn't as keen on the sugary confection as Mello was). They hadn't done it again for such a long time, what with Mello who studied like he breathed... meaning all the time.

Matt shook his head and prepared himself for the worst, even though he was sure it wouldn't be.

The mirror was unfolded.

All Matt could do was blink a couple of times before the image finally sank in.

Now he understood why his vision was skewed...

His left eye was a little bloodshot, but that wasn't the problem.

The problem was that there was no pupil visible. No little black dot. Nothing.

His iris, a pale lemongrass-green that Mello once said reminded him of mint ice-cream, was blank.

In a way, this was worse than what he'd imagined.

Not only was it creepy, but...

'I'm sorry,' the nurse whispered sadly, confirming his thoughts on the spot. 'We did what we could, but I'm afraid with the damage that was inflicted on the organ, we had to sacrifice your sight. You'll never be able to see out of that eye again.'

Blind.

Blind in one eye.

All because of a stupid, unimportant quarrel between him and Mello. One fight over something so trivial it could have cost them their friendship.

The seconds ticked by, and then the minutes. When it was clear Matt wasn't going to respond, the nurse took it as a sign to leave. She scanned his expression curiously. This one, the redhead... his face was kept carefully stoic, but his eyes... they were too bright. And shimmering. Too large in his pointed, pale face.

She looked away guiltily, like she was intruding on something without permission. So she stood up, not even stirring Matt out of his trance who was determinedly staring into space without blinking.

'I... I'll be through here. Just call if you need someone,' she said softly, and quietly left the room.

Even after she was gone, Matt stayed exactly where he was. He wasn't really looking at anything. His face was just tilted in the direction of the peeling white paint of the opposite wall, without seeing it.

Matt realised, vaguely, that even without his sight the tears could still fall.


'But... but I HAVE to see him! Is he OK? What about his injuries?'

'I'm afraid we can't let anyone see him yet. I'm not even sure if Mr Ruvie will allow you to see him, after the incident. Watari, or even L may be contacted about this. Violence is never acceptable in this institution.'

'No way... L? But please! I have to tell him... I need to see...'

Voices, disorientated and blurred, swam around Matt's ears and brain without the words making sense to him. They buzzed around his head, making it ache. Go away... he mumbled to himself, trying to block them out. He drifted in and out of an awkward sleep, not fully unconscious. He'd always been a pretty light sleeper, he supposed it was the artificial light of his handhelds that kept him tossing and turning. That, and the nightmares that would haunt him about the smell of the dank, rotten floor that pressed into his face forcefully as nails scratched him... tugged and pinched at areas he didn't know were painful... Matt shuddered in his sleep, shaking that comatose thought away. His thoughts drifted to Mello. How comfortable and warm his room was, and how sitting close to him was a source of inner calm and relaxation... how ironic, Matt thought pensively, for a moment.

Then he thought about how he was dead to the world as soon as he closed his eyes in that climate. He could sleep so soundly, that he wouldn't notice Mello gently moving him under the covers, tucking them around his neck to keep him warm, then getting undressed and crawling in next to him... that notion made him jerk a little out of his dreamy slumber as he recalled Mello, sometimes wearing only an oversized black t-shirt to sleep in, would unconsciously wrap a slim arm around Matt's middle and snuggle closely into him. He was so soft... the slight smile that played across his pale lips looked so peaceful and angelic...

'Mello...' Matt breathed. Even when unconscious, the memories could make his heart beat faster...


Later.

Much later.

Matt had no idea how long he'd been asleep.

He opened one eye. His good one. The eye that could see.

The room didn't immediately come in to focus, so he waited for the sleep-induced fog to clear. When it did, he noticed he was still in the infirmary. He could tell from the peeling white paint on the opposite wall, and the creaky bed that shifted under his weight.

It was dark outside. Night had fallen, and it was one of those cool, Winchester summer nights – Matt could feel it. The room was cold, almost like it was being refrigerated. It suited him. He hated heat and sunlight. Probably a factor of his pale skin. Then again, Mello was pale, but even he had a healthier complexion than Matt did. Mello always was the outdoors-y type, Matt smiled to himself. More often than not, Mello had tried to drag him outside to study in the sun, but Matt was content with lurking in the cool shade of the House.

Funny...

The room was cold.

Matt's right hand was cold; his fingers were cool against the heated skin of his cheek as he touched his own face.

But his left hand was warm, he noticed. Why was that?

He looked down, turning his head to get a better view now that the left side of his vision wasn't functioning. Matt realised with a slight jolt that his hand was being held by another hand... a hand attached to an arm... the arm attached to a figure slumping, fast asleep, across a chair that had been drawn up to the side of the bed. It was dark, but the moonlight that streamed in through the window illuminated the outline of light hair and pale skin in a dark silhouette... like an eclipse, or some sort of dark angel... the person wore a thin, long-sleeved, v-neck sweater made of soft, dark material. Their hand was so small and light in Matt's, fingers loosely draped through his...

Mello.

Matt whispered his name, stretching the word out sensually on his tongue. Mello stirred, leaning forward unconsciously to bow his head. His hair hung in golden tendrils, a fascinating shade of blue in the pale moonlight. Only the shape of his lips and his contrastingly dark eyelashes could be seen in this light. And when he turned his head in his sleep, Matt could see the tiniest hint of a tear-trail, from the corner of his eye to his chin, reflecting the soft light trickling through the window. The spikiness of his eyelashes and the texture of his tired eyelids made it look like he'd been crying a lot, but Matt didn't believe that.

After all, this was the guy who'd punched him in the face.

Which didn't explain Matt's actions for leaning closer and closer, to examine each and every little detail of his friend's sleeping face.

Matt reached out to trail his fingers, clumsily, against one pallid, tear-tracked cheek. His usual routine.

As soon as his fingers brushed Mello's soft skin, the blonde let out the quietest of sighs, unconsciously leaning into Matt's hesitant touch. Heart in his throat, Matt's fingers trembled as he gently traced Mello's jaw line, curved delicately along his throat, to the sensitive spot where Mello's neck met his shoulder. He was met with a small, shuddering breath that escaped Mello's parted lips, subtly as a whisper, and it tickled Matt's ear as he leaned in closer.

Matt's stomach felt unnaturally fluttery, like he had butterflies. He felt really weird doing this to Mello, but the sounds his friend made when he was touched like this were intoxicating. Innocent at the same time. It was addictive.

Matt pulled away slightly to inspect the damage.

A straight punch into tough glass was bound to hurt.

Sure enough, Matt's right hand had been wound up in bandage, looking a lot like a teddy bear's paw which made Matt grin and blush (he couldn't resist Mello looking so adorable), yet it looked frail and delicate so he took pity and resigned himself to stroking the material with his free hand.

Matt was touching him more now than he ever had before, consciously at least. He supposed it was the moonlight. It heightened his instincts, and his emotions were breaking out of his stoic demeanour. And Mello looked so much more attractive to him now than usual in his light-headed state, how could he not?

He experimentally stroked lower down Mello's skin, soothing his collarbone, teasing along the edge of the sweater's opening. The contact provoked a traitorous, quiet half-moan to spill from the blonde's lips. Mello stretched in his chair, leaning his head slightly to the side so the hollow in his throat was more pronounced, presenting himself to Matt, who swallowed. He really should stop... it was unfair to Mello, who was being manipulated when unconscious. But... maybe just a little more wouldn't hurt...

Matt was so close he was leaning right over the edge of the bed, his body outstretched as he struggled to get closer still. He was trembling. Mello was just too attractive; he wasn't sure how to compose himself. He wasn't even sure what happened next. Where was he supposed to touch...?

'Matt...'

His name.

Mello had breathed Matt's name in his sleep.

Matt stilled, captivated by Mello's expression on his virtuous face. His cheeks were slightly darker, lips parted into a subtle smirk – his breathing was heavier, his small fingers curling in Matt's palm. He shocked Matt further by spreading his legs a little further apart, knees shivering and twitching on the chair seat. Matt's face was heating up... he was burning. He didn't know what to do with himself. No, that was a lie. He knew what he wanted. He wanted to wake Mello up from his dream, whatever he was dreaming about, and watch Mello's reactions as he repeated his earlier actions from when Mello was unconscious. He wanted to be accepted and taken in by Mello's warm embrace. He wanted to... break free of his inner turmoil.

But Mello would kill him.

Matt had known for a long time what he felt for Mello wasn't natural. He didn't know what it was exactly, but it felt different from the way he interacted with everyone else, people he could possibly call friends. He thought Mello was... dare he say it... cute. That couldn't be right. Mello was the first real friend he'd ever had, maybe the only one who'd care about him that much, more than anyone else would in a lifetime. But even Matt knew it was strange for friends – boys, at least – to be in such close intimacy as they were. He'd noticed girls weren't embarrassed to huddle together, whispering and giggling, linking arms and maybe even holding hands. Nobody found that strange at all. Boys were more... aloof. They joked and laughed and fooled about and slapped friends on the back playfully, but not a lot more. They never really talked about feelings, because it was such a drippy thing to do.

It was different with Mello.

They talked about their problems. Well, not exactly. Mello usually paced the room, whether it was his or Matt's that they'd taken to settling at the time, and have a mini-rant. Whether it was about Near, or lessons, or L, or how Roger didn't trust him, or what he thought of this theory in a book he'd read for class, or that he was sick of this brand of chocolate and wanted something with more bite – he'd talk about anything and everything, like a speech. Like he was letting out all his emotions and mayhem out in the open. He didn't always remember Matt was there, and Matt usually pretended to be playing his game to make it easier for Mello to talk freely and not have to meet his eye, but he always listened. Mello in a vehement discussion was awe-inspiring to watch. Too many times to count, Matt had been distracted and got totalled on whichever level of his game he'd gotten to because he was concentrating on Mello's slim hips and how they swayed in time to Mello's walk, rather than the game.

Mello had often wanted to know more about Matt's past, but he always avoided the questions with vague responses. He wasn't ready to tell Mello yet, and wasn't sure if he'd ever be, but those times had never been the time or place to tell him the exact details. Instead, he'd listen to Mello's wistful reminiscences about the family he'd lost in a fire many years ago. It sounded like he'd really loved them, which made Matt slightly envious. He'd wished he'd known what it was like to have parents who cuddled you when you were feeling down, who worried about you, and told you they loved you. As Mello was remembering, he'd pause and get a miserable expression on his face as he remembered his mother and father and baby sister who'd all died that day, and then Matt would cease his envy and comfort him. Maybe it was better that he'd never loved his own parents, Matt decided. Then he wouldn't have to deal with the hurt and angst that haunted Mello to this day.

Whenever Matt saw the blonde, his heart would give a little leap and a grin would spread across his face, especially if Mello was stalking towards him in the way that he did, hips swaying, with a chocolate bar in one hand and a pout teasing his lips. The sight always made Matt smirk in that knowing way, that would cause Mello to smile cheekily back at him. A mutual understanding.

Matt knew their relationship was different from everyone else's.

He leaned away from Mello, in the dark, to quietly observe him, as he rocked slightly in his sleep.

It would be a large, colossal joke if he thought Mello could ever consider him special like he did him.

Matt smirked – his signature smile that made could make even the harder-to-get girls melt – without humour. He leaned back so that his head was touching the pillow again, and stared up at the ceiling. It would be impossible to get back to sleep now. So he just remained there, stroking Mello's hand absent-mindedly.

Mello had to care a little, if he had stayed beside Matt while he slept, to the point where he'd fallen asleep himself, without a blanket or anything to wrap around his shoulders. Matt wondered for a moment why that was – if a nurse had let him in, then surely they'd have noticed Mello? He thought back to the nurse he'd met earlier. She seemed a nice enough person, the decent kind who'd see Mello and make sure he was warm enough. Mello couldn't have been here that long then, unless it was really late at night. Had he snuck out while everyone else was going to bed? Matt remembered Mello was still in his day clothes. Maybe he had been here a while. Matt got a warm, fluttery feeling in his chest when he considered the idea. Mello had even gone so far as to hold his hand.

A sudden yawn escaped the blonde, and he stretched in fatigue. Matt froze, keeping his eyes trained on the ceiling, careful not to startle Mello as he woke up.

Mello didn't seem to remember where he was until he went to rub his eyes, and remembered one of them was bandaged, the other's fingers knitted through Matt's. That was enough to open his eyes wide, staring at the interlocked hands. His eyes drifted up Matt's slender form hidden by white sheets up to his chest, hovering over his exposed collarbone and willowy neck to the point of his chin, and into darkened eyes that were turned in his direction.

'Hey...' Matt whispered shakily, smiling.

Gasping, Mello stood up and quickly released his grip on Matt's hand in an almost snatching motion. He was glad it was dark, for the blush that was spreading across his cheeks would have been too much for him to bear if Matt saw.

Then he realised, with a sinking feeling, Matt could see his face. The moonlight made everything in the room visible enough to have colour.

Quickly, he turned away, but it was too late. Matt had seen.

'Mello...'

Feeling like his face was on fire, Mello peeked at Matt under his hair, and his cheeks flushed when he saw Matt was also blushing, turned slightly away from him. He couldn't see his eyes any more.

'I – I –'

'It doesn't matter,' Matt sighed, turning back to face him, smiling again. His left eye was closed, or maybe his eyelid was just a bit lazy, after...

Mello felt awful. How could he have done that to his friend? His best friend, who never wanted to be anywhere else but with him, who he always had fun with, who always aided him, who never complained, who had such thin-looking limbs no matter how much he ate...

He'd fucking punched glass in his eye. Holy crap.

Why the hell was he SMILING at him?

'I'd better get going,' Mello stuttered, though he tried to keep his tone emotionless, as he stumbled in his haste to leave.

There was no way Matt would want to –

'Mello...'

Oh, please, please no... not that voice. The only voice in the world that could make Mello hesitate, calm down, manipulate his actions. There was a silent plea tugging on Mello's heartstrings, and before he knew it he'd turned and sat quietly back in his chair. Only Matt could do this to him. He wouldn't stop for anyone else.

'Mello, I'm sorry.'

Mello's head snapped up at that. Matt could see the shock and hurt that filled the blonde's eyes as he processed what Matt had just said.

'What the hell should iyou/i be sorry for?' Mello hissed incredulously, but with no venom. He simply looked... upset, and disbelieving.

'I'm sorry for... being such a pain in the ass,' Matt decided on. He hoped that it might make him crack a smile, but instead Mello bowed his head and averted his eyes. He was still sensitive about what he'd said to Matt in the library. He'd tried to mean it... he'd convinced himself it was all for the best, even if it pained him to do it, but he couldn't avoid the fact that he'd felt the tiniest leap of joy when Matt had fiercely refused. Oh, but then he'd squashed it down. There was no way that another human would willingly throw their life away for one person, after all...

'You're not,' Mello blurted out, before he could stop himself. Shit. He was supposed to be pushing Matt away, before they grew too close for their own good. But the sight of Matt's soft smile and beautifully green eye, unhidden by his mop of red hair and goggles for once, did strange things to his voice of reason.

Oh, fuck it.

He let his heart sing.

'Matt, I...' he began, before his face crumpled and tears spilled down his cheeks. He slid off the chair, crawled over to Matt and wrapped his arms around the redhead, burying his face in his chest as he howled. Oh God, he loved his smell – it was musky, like a comforting spice. He breathed the scent in deeply, as he continued to cry. Matt's skin was so soothing...

'M-Mello?' Matt stammered, staring down at the mess of tousled blonde hair in panic. He was getting soaked in Mello's tears; the blonde was shaking and racking with uncontrollable sobs as he wept his heart out on Matt's chest. Hesitantly, Matt's arms lifted of their own accord to hold Mello close. He let his hands stroke Mello's golden locks, massaging his scalp, running his hands through the tangles in an attempt to calm him.

Mello relaxed, ever so slightly, moving to rest his head on Matt's shoulder. His shuddering breaths ghosted across the heated skin of Matt's neck, lips cool against his throat. Matt fought not to react. But it was near impossible, with his heart beating right next to Mello's in the intimate position. He was sure Mello could sense the slight hiccup in his pulse when he trailed his delicate fingers from Matt's middle to rest on his chest, his palm moving over a sensitive spot. The fingers then took to curling themselves around Matt's shirt, clutching the soft material. Mello could smell his neck, and he wondered vaguely why the scent made him kind of dizzy and light-headed. Kind of like sniffing detergent.

'Matt,' he whispered into Matt's neck. 'I... I hit you...' The tears started leaking again.

'Yeah,' Matt murmured, winding his fingers through the blonde's soft hair some more. The feeling of Mello's lips on his neck was heightening his senses. Somehow, he was reminded of the very first time he met Mello.

Mello moved, to lean his face up directly above Matt's. Their noses were almost touching they were so close. Matt worried if Mello could feel the heat emitting from his face, only to have Mello rest his bandaged hand on his cheek, timidly touching his left eyelid. Ah.

Letting a corner of his mouth quirk up in a small smile to reassure him, Matt moved Mello's hand away, and sat up abruptly, almost tossing Mello to the floor. Mello didn't act surprised, he knew what Matt wanted. So he aided himself in finding the light switch on the bedside lamp.

As the dim light flooded the corner of the room, Mello's attention rested vaguely on the tray of food next to the lamp. It consisted of an apple, a bottle of plain water and a bag of chips. Untouched, by the looks of it. The nurse must have known in advance that Matt may not have an appetite to eat straight away, if at all.

Matt shifted, sitting up straight in an effort to get comfy. With his left eye still unopened, he kept his remaining green eye trained on Mello's blue ones. Damn. The guy's bangs was hanging over one of them slightly. Matt ignored all senses of déjà vu and aching to touch in favour of opening his left eye, quietly presenting the full extent of the damage.

He regretted seeing the look of utterly stricken expression on Mello's face. A hand was clasped over his mouth, and tears threatened to leak again.

'Hey,' he sighed, almost tiredly, 'it's not the end of the world. It could have been mangled, or infected. They may have had to gouge it straight out of its socket, leaving me with an eye patch for the rest of my life. Wow, that's not such a bad idea... I could cosplay. Plenty of redheads with eye patches out there,' he joked, in an effort to reassure Mello that it really wasn't that bad. When it was clear it wasn't working, Matt panicked. 'Come on, Mello –'

'Matt, please don't try to make me feel better,' Mello choked, wiping his eyes on the back of his hand. 'It's all my fault. My own stupid fault. You have every right to be mad at me. So why don't you tell me what you're really thinking?'

'What I'm really thinking?' Matt coldly repeated back at him. Mello looked up, straight into the bottomless pale iris that pinned his attention there, gazing at him accusingly. He shivered.

'What I'm really thinking... he's my best friend, he wanted to get rid of me. I thought he liked me, instead he hits me. I try to put on a brave face to keep him happy, and then he expects me to make him feel like shit. Is that what you wanted me to say, Mello?' Matt questioned him.

Mello hung his head.

'That's not how I feel.'

Mello looked up in surprise... what was he saying?

'Mello, friends have fights all the time. And this... well. It's not the worst that could have happened. Come on, let's be honest – with your temper, I think I got off pretty lightly this time,' Matt joked, cracking a smile. Mello glared, which just made him grin even more widely, and eventually Mello's frown melted into something resembling a genuine smile in return.

'Matty, I don't deserve you.'

Matt almost choked - Matty?

With that, Mello burst out laughing at the look on Matt's face, but quickly remembered to laugh quietly because it was the middle of the night and everyone in the House should have been asleep. That thought gave him a tiny thrill – just him and Matt, talking and laughing together, in a world of their own. The atmosphere made it feel even more secret, like they were two little kids playing inside a den.

'Hey, Mels...'

Mello's head jerked before he could stop himself... Matt was good at retorts. He actually kind of liked the nickname, even though it wasn't based off his real name.

'Yeah?' he asked, smiling.

'...What were you dreaming about earlier?'

Matt waited in anticipation for Mello's reaction, but the room remained silent for several seconds. When Mello finally spoke, it was in a very careful tone that betrayed nothing, which immediately made Matt suspicious.

'What made you think I was dreaming?'

'You breathed my name in your sleep,' Matt said simply. And... other things. But he didn't want to go into great detail about it. It would have sounded almost perverted, the idea of watching Mello so closely while he slept (though he supposed Mello had done the same to him), and the truth was kind of embarrassing and probably meant nothing anyway.

'...Really,' Mello murmured, after yet more seconds had passed.

'Really.'

'I dream a lot of things. I don't remember.'

'But it was right before you woke up.'

'I don't remember.'

'Fine,' Matt sighed, giving up. If Mello didn't want to say, then he sure as hell wasn't going to waste energy on making him. Mello was undeniably one of the most stubborn people he'd ever meet in his entire life, no matter how long it would wind up being.

'It's not like youever tell me anything, anyway,' Mello murmured, before he could stop himself.

Matt stilled immediately. '...What was that?'

'Um, nothing,' Mello said quickly, but he could feel Matt's gaze burning where Mello's bangs hung over his eyes. 'Actually... there's been something I've been meaning to ask you...'

'What is it?'

Matt's tone didn't give anything away, it sounded monotonous as usual. Not encouraging in the slightest. But Mello decided to go for it anyway.

'Matt, I want to know about your past.'

Huh. It'd only been a matter of time, after all, Matt thought dully. Of course Mello would want to know.

'Nothing to know, really,' he said off-handedly.

'Matt, I know for a fact that you were abused.'

Shit.

'How'd you find that out?'

'It was obvious,' Mello whispered. His bandaged hand, clasped in his lap, trembled a little as he hesitantly reached up to brush his bangs out of his eyes. 'You were so thin. I know you're naturally skinny, but you were malnourished. I could tell from how you felt, when I... when I...' he blushed.

'Yeah, when you held me,' Matt murmured. So from day one, Mello had guessed. He never considered, all the times he'd happened to get undressed in front of Mello, whenever they took showers together in the bathrooms – the bruises. The scars. The ruptures of skin that would never fade away. Of course it had been obvious.

And now, they were approaching the climax of the topic.

'Awfully lucky break for you, I guess... I mean, seeing as you ended up here, they had to have died,' Mello smiled nervously. He felt uncomfortable with Matt's lack of expression, now that he was minus his goggles. It was unnerving. Like he'd hardened his heart.

Matt smirked. Again, it was mocking. No sign of humour, anywhere.

'I never told you my biggest secret, because I like you, Mello. I like you. I like living here in Wammy's with you. I like my life now. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me, in my insignificant existence. I want to stay here, with you, and continue to be happy, but I couldn't tell you, or anyone, in fact... because I know someone like you could never understand.'

'...Matt?' Mello asked uncertainly.

'Mello,' Matt whispered.

'I...

...killed my parents.'


DUN DUN DUN! :O Cliffhanger!