A/N: As usual, I don't have a beta, so if you spot any grammatical errors, feel free to point them out. First new fic in a while :) It's good to be back.

Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note.

"Shit Mel, let me in! I didn't mean to sit on it!"

"Screw you, assface! Don't touch my goddamn chocolates with your fat ass!"

Mello was definitely someone you didn't want to mess with, Matt mused as he broke into his own apartment. Sitting with legs spread wide open, red leather stretched sinfully tight over said limbs, Mello was the picture of sex and rebellion. But Matt, being his childhood friend/punchbag knew better. He knew that Mello was as insecure as hell and constantly needed assurances of security. Both of which grew in need after he obtained his scar.

(He also knew Mello wanted to be loved)

Thus, Matt was also Mello's self-proclaimed body guard/protector/fairy godmother. Whatever you wanted to call it.

He flopped himself down on the beat-up couch next to Mello, kicking away the leg which was taking up too much of his bum space. Mello shot him a glare while taking a vicious chunk out of a chocolate bar, before abandoning the candy in favour of typing furiously on the laptop in front of him.

Matt curled his legs onto the couch and reclined back, watching Mello with half-lidded eyes. He amused himself with Mello's overdramatic antics for a while before switching over to watch the red leather crease and shine whenever Mello made a particularly large movement.

When Mello turned around to stretch, Matt silently traced the large scar with his eyes. He memorized every slight wrinkle and every stretch of skin, memorized how it looked under the cheap fluorescent lights, and the darkness of their bedroom.

Matt knew Mello knew that he liked to watch him. And Matt also knew that Mello knew that he knew. But he supposed Mello didn't know how Mello would subconsciously lean just a bit closer, or spread his legs just a bit wider in order to keep his attention.

Matt smirked.

And Mello turned back to his computer, still typing furiously, but now with a very satisfied air. He had Matt's attention, and it was enough for now.

Forty-five minutes later, Mello was still poking at his laptop keys, and Matt had reclined even further, cigarette between his lips, PSP held above his head. Mello glanced over in annoyance once he noticed that Matt was no longer watching him.



Matt shot a quick glance in that direction, before grinning ruefully at the thoughts that were so obviously etched into the other male's face. Mello wants attention again..

"What's for dinner?" Mello growled before slamming the lid of his laptop shut.

Matt saved his game and stubbed out his cigarette before answering.

"Take-out? Dunno, what do you want?"

"Make me something."

Well, that obviously wasn't a question.

Matt heaved a large sigh before leaving his comfy spot on the couch. He could feel Mello's eyes following his movements, and the tell-tale crinkle and crunch told Matt exactly what Mello was doing again.

Cooking had never been one of Matt's strong points, but then again, Mello had absolutely zero culinary skills beyond opening a chocolate wrapper. So with a sigh, Matt rummaged through the fridge until he found some slightly decent vegetables before chopping them up half-heartedly and throwing them into a pot. He figured that if Mello was desperate enough to command him to make food, he'd appreciate any type of effort.

Of course Matt was wrong.

Mello sneered down at his bowl of vegetable stew.

"What species of shit is this?"

He was halfway in between poking the stew with his chocolate bar before deciding against it. Matt didn't even spare him a glance as he started scooping the food into his mouth, too into his PSP to take notice. Well truthfully Matt did notice, but he learned long ago that throwing retaliations back into Mello's face didn't get him anywhere. Besides, Mello being the smart genius he was, would make the obvious decision between starving to death or eating some 'nasty green space shit'.

The room fell to a comforting quiet as both males continued dining. Matt wondered if the entire evening could stay this peaceful, but then decided that a quiet Mello was just too unnatural.

Then Mello's cell phone rang.

Throwing a loud curse, Mello scrambled over piles of paper, throwing the room into further disarray before realizing that the vibrating pile of chocolate wrappers was actually his cell. Snatching it quickly, Mello violently flipped it open before growling a greeting.

Matt shot him a brief questioning look before returning his attention the the game. Mello would tell him what it was about anyway.

The minutes ticked by steadily, with Mello's expression growing progressively darker and darker. With a final grunt of understanding, he flipped his phone close and promptly threw it over his shoulder, where it landed in another pile of junk.

Clicking off his PSP, Matt sat silently and gave Mello an inquiring gaze. Throwing himself heavily into his seat, Mello gave Matt a relatively heatless glare before starting.

"I have a fucking mission."

Matt raised both brows, "But I thought you were off for the next few days. You just finished a big one two days ago.."

Then his eyes darkened, "Just how big is this?"

"It's a fucking rescue mission, okay?" Mello ran a hand in frustration through his hair. "It's been a three-day standstill between those damn international crooks and the cops."

"So why can't they just call in the elites and let them deal with it?"

"Because they can't fuck this up! They've taken hostages! Children! They moved into the orphanage beside the museum where they stole shit and they aren't feeding them! They don't let them move, they don't let them use the fucking washroom. Fuck!" Mello rambled on in agitation. He was jabbing his spoon into his vegetables now. Looking on in slight worry, Matt couldn't help but wonder if Mello would be able to handle this.

"Mel, don't let get so emotionally invested into this mission. You swore you wouldn't take the ones which would make you lose it-"

"Fuck you, Matt. Why the hell are you doubting me now? Leave me the fuck alone, I'm grabbing my shit and leaving."

Matt sat silently on the couch, arms wrapped tightly around his legs. Everything was probably numb by now, but Matt didn't notice. It was his forth hour waiting for Mello's return. Death was always a threat on any of their missions, but Matt wasn't worried about that aspect, Mello would pull through. But the one thing that scared him more than most was having Mello break on him.

Mello looked tough. He walked the walk, talked the talk and everyone felt his presence. But Matt knew him better than most, better than Mello sometimes knew himself. L's death had been a huge blow to both of them, but it had shattered Mello.

Mello mourned for the first day, but then grew angry. Matt had watched as he raged in silence, boiling away in the stillness of his room before throwing himself headfirst into any and all dangerous tasks which came their way. The final straw had been Yagami Raito's raid into Mello's hideout. Mello had come so close to death then, but with Matt's help, had left with only a scar.

Matt had helped Mello put himself together again after everything, but the truth was Mello would always be fragile and unstable. Mello's tough act was solid and persuasive, and Matt suspected that Mello believed it himself.

The silent click of their lock had Matt twisting his body around so quickly that he nearly tumbled off the couch. Standing quickly despite the pins and pricks running up and down his legs, Matt made his way towards the door.

The Mello that fell in once the door opened was the one that Matt never wanted to see again. Filthy, covered with blood and shivering, Mello grasped weakly at the front of Matt's sweater before pushing him away harshly and growling like a cornered beast.

Matt approached him slowly and gently without saying anything. Gripping one skinny arm steadily, Matt manoeuvred both of them the short distance into the bathroom where he shut the door. He left Mello standing unsteadily by the sink before rolling his sleeves up and setting the temperature of the water.

As the temperature began to rise, Matt went back to Mello and dragged him to sit on top of the covered toilet. Without asking, Matt unzipped the tight jacket quickly before moving onto his pants. He brushed his gaze along the length of Mello's body to check for injuries before dumping the clothes into a pile and leading him into the bath.

Mello sat compliantly in the bath, completely quiet, watching each of Matt's motions carefully with gleaming, wary eyes. The shivers continued to run up and down Mello's body despite the temperature of the water in which he sat in. Matt sighed softly before gently brushing away some hair on Mello's forehead.

"Mel, tell me what happened."

"They lied."

Matt didn't say anything, he just continued washing Mello while he waited for him to continue.

"They fucking lied! They said they wouldn't shoot, that they'd let them out."

Matt almost knew what Mello was going to say next.

"They fucking shot the kids through the fucking crotch! The kids were screaming Matt, crying and screaming, but they couldn't die, and even as I ran towards them, they were shot through the head! I couldn't-"

Matt placed his hand over Mello's mouth.

"It's not your fault," he whispered, "Don't you dare say that. You know full well that there was no way you could've stopped them. You did the best you-"

"NO! I could've done more! If I hadn't taken my damn time getting there maybe-"

"Shut up, Mello."

Mello fell silent.

Matt washed the last of the grime from Mello's body before pulling him up and wrapping him in a clean towel before pushing him into the bedroom. Pure silence rang loudly throughout the room as Matt methodically wiped Mello's body dry. He watched in quiet suspension as Mello's skin turned white under the pressure of his hand before returning to its normal peachy tan colour.

Mello twitched suddenly, and Matt dragged his eyes up towards his friend's face.

"You..." Mello trailed off, insecure or perhaps too secure in the knowledge of their privacy.

Matt watched Mello's face carefully, watching the shadows play their way across the still features, and the way those eyes glittered under the blond bangs at him.

"Fuck me, Matt. Hurt me until I can forget." Mello sat on the bed, the creases on the cover all angled at the pale body. His fingers picked at the small threads in a nervousness that Mello wouldn't show in his features.

Matt watched him in still silence, hands still placed gently on his friend's shoulders.


Mello's face twisted in a hot anger, unable to believe he had been denied. "No? I'm offering to let you fuck me and that's all you fucking say? No?"

"I'm not willing to let you use me as a punishment. And I'm definitely not going to use sex to hurt you. You're fucking retarded if you thought I was going to." Matt let the first signs of his anger show through. He tore his hands off of Mello's shoulders and took a step back, turning his body slightly as if to leave.

"Wait!" Mello wrapped his arms around his waist, still sitting naked on the covers, yet somehow remaining more covered than Matt. "Can you just...stay?"

Matt said nothing, letting his actions show his answer. He settled on the covers beside Mello and pulled his friend closer to him, allowing the slightly damp head to rest on his chest. He wondered if Mello knew how much his heart pounded and how frantically his thoughts rang in his head whenever Mello threw himself into missions.

"You're an ignorant asshole, you know that Mello?" Matt pressed his nose into the wet hair. Mello sniffed slightly but made no move to retaliate. "You throw yourself into dangerous situations, knowing the risks, but not acknowledging them, and then you come home and expect me to what? Fuck you?"

Mello wrapped his arms around Matt's waist, twisting his head around so he could nuzzle softly into the warm chest there.

"It's not your fault. L's death, your scar, those children, it's not your fault. You're a genius, not a superhero, you can't do everything."

Mello sighed and unwrapped his arms from around Matt. He looked off to the side, before pinning Matt with those rare watery eyes that could make him drop everything to dry them again.

"I'm tired."

It was quiet, and unlike the personality which he normally exuded. And it was the most truthful thing to come out of those lips in a long while.

Matt gave him a gentle smile, "I know. Just let me tidy up, yeah? It's been a long night."

Mello gave a small huff and a weak glare before crawling up the bed to slip under the covers, lying still and giving Matt a hooded look that practically screamed why the fuck are you still standing there?

Matt turned away with a small quirk of his lips before going around the house and making sure everything was turned off. The room was darker when he returned, or perhaps more peaceful. Mello's breathing was smooth and even, and until he slipped under the covers himself, he had thought his friend asleep.

Mello turned to face him, his features relaxed as he slipped from slumber to waking. Matt watched as he reached thin fingers to undo the buttons on his shirt and tug off his pants and underwear. There was no arousal in Mello's face, only a sleepy determination. Matt knew Mello was trying to find comfort in skin to skin contact, and pulled his friend closer until their limbs tangled together.

"You know I love you right? Matt whispered into the space above Mello's head.

"And you know you're a fucking sap right?" Mello all but growled roughly back, slapping a hand against the vulnerable stomach presented to him.

Matt just chucked softly into the darkness as he felt Mello's grin curl against his shoulder.