Insert Very Awkward Silence (VAS) here. "Are you fucking crazy?" I demanded of Mello, staring at him with wide eyes and a general 'what the fuck?' look. "Really? A co-hacker? How goddamn inadequate do you fucking think I am? Holy jump-roping nuns, Mello, you know I work alone! Like Batman. I'm Mattman! Not every superhero needs a side-kick, you know!"

After some more VAS, Mello responded with, "True, but every superzero needs a side-dick. Just look at Near and Gevanni. Look, I know you don't like people that aren't me, but I figured that we might be of more assistance to L if we could be twice as efficient. Josh is one of the best hackers in the world, second only to you, ya jackwagon."

"But still!" I whined, crossing my arms over my chest and pouting. Mello just rolled his eyes and left again, telling me to play nice and teach Josh the ropes. I glared at the 'intruder' after my darling best friend vamoosed for the second time that day.

Staring him down really wasn't working, considering he was at least six-foot-four while I stood at a measly five-foot-five. "Um, hi," he said, trying to break the bout of VAS that had fallen upon the room following Mello's departure.

I grabbed him by the shirt collar and yanked him down to my level, growling, "You listen here, and you listen good: if you do anything to fuck up either this investigation or what Mello and I have, you can bet your left nut that I will do everything in my power to make every waking moment a living hell for you. You'll feel the full force of my anger, and you can damn well be sure that that's something you never want to experience. Do I make myself clear?"

He didn't say anything, too intent on staring at my face with his mouth slightly agape. Soon enough, he snapped back to reality and replied, "Yeah, I gotcha. Something about how you're glad I'm here and how well this investigation is gonna go and to not bring home girls. Can I see your eyes?"

"You stupid son of a—what?"

Raising a hand, he tapped my goggles. "Can I see your eyes?"

I pulled a face. "Why?"

"'Cause there's gotta be a reason you wear the goggles in the first place, duh," he answered, making a face as he said 'duh.' "So, can I see 'em?"

Whut tha fugg? "No!"

"Why not?"

"Because."

"Because why?"

"Just because."

"Because why?"

"Just. Because," I said through clenched teeth, letting go of his shirt and letting him stand back up.

"Because whyyyyyy?"

Finally, I'd had enough. "Because Mello's the only one who's allowed to see my eyes!"

Realization dawned on his stupid, pimply face as his mouth opened into an 'o.' "Ah, I get it." Thank fucking God. "You and Mello are 'together,' aren't you?" Air quotes around 'together.'

I wish, pus-pocket. "No, we're not." Yet.

"Oh. So are you friends?"

"Yes."

"How long have you known each other?"

"Since we were six."

"Where did you meet?"

"Wammy's House."

"Is Matt your real name?"

"As far as you know."

"Is Mello his real name?"

"As far as I know."

"Who's that Near person that Mello mentioned?"

"An asshole."

"Why is he an asshole?"

"Because he's an unfeeling, albino, puffball jerk."

"Why is he an unfeeling, albino, puffball jerk?"

"Because he ruined Mello's hopes and dreams when we were kids."

"Can I play with you?" he asked, motioning to the second X-box controller sitting on the coffee table.

Not bothering to look at him, I answered, "No."

He pouted. "Pleeeeeease?"

"No."

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?"

"No."

"Please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh pl—"

Ah. Lovely, lovely silence. I retracted my hand and rubbed my knuckles where I had hit Josh in hopes of knocking him out; just my luck, I did. Propping my feet up on the table in victory, I proceeded to kick ass at my game until Mels came home an hour later to find me gaming and Josh out cold on the floor. "Matt, what the hell did you do?"

"The real question is," I started, pausing my game and turning to face Mello, hands in my lap, "what the hell were you thinking when you brought it home?"

He huffed, dropping his coat on the floor and kicking off his boots. "I was thinking that maybe you'd like some help around here, since you're the only hacker doing all the hacking. Josh is one of the best hackers out there, so I figured he'd be the best one to call in." Finishing his reasoning, he laid down on the couch with his head in my lap.

"I understand what you were trying to do, but maybe you should've gone with the third-best hacker."

"Why is that?"

"Josh is a freaking 'tard, Mels. I mean, God. He's only what, like fifteen?"

"Sixteen," Mello corrected, "but all my sources say he's bright for his age. Maybe he just seems a little odd to you because you're not used to people like him."

I thought about Mello and his big mouth, natural oddities, and strange wardrobe choice. "Chyeah, the hell I'm not. Anyway, where's he sleeping? The bathtub?"

"My bed."

The fuck? "Mels, I'm not gonna let you sleep on the couch. It really sucks to snooze on."

"I'm not going to sleep on the couch. I'm gonna share your bed with you."