With the last candle finally lit, Mello shook the dying flame from the match and looked into the steadily filling bathtub. Half full, as Matt would say. Mello peered into the half empty tub a second longer before pulling his top over his head, letting it drop to the floor in a small black heap. With graceful, almost methodic movements the laces on his pants were loosened and the leather pulled down over his hips, past his knees, til he could shake them off easily. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror over the sink as he pinned his hair up in a messy sort of ponytail, and even in the faint glow of those candles the scar tissue that spanned a good portion of his left half stood out. Mello quickly looked away at his own reflection and stepped into the tub.

The buzzing heat of the water nearly sent chills pulsing up his spine as he slowly lowered himself down into it, savoring that almost desensitizing sensation it gave as it enveloped him. The steam melted together with the aroma of milk, honey, and almonds, gently creeping into his senses as he closed his eyes and leaned back against the pristine white porceline, pulling the slightest contented sigh from his lips.

Yes, Mello certainly enjoyed his alone time he got from his baths. It was in those quiet moments he could actually slow down, if even for a short time. He didn't have to think about anything. No figuring out the Kira case, no beating Near, no worrying about Matt. Actually, that wasn't the exact truth. In these relaxed moods, his mind often wandered to his only friend in the world. Perhaps things would've been different between them, had they met under different circumstances. Mello could only build a world for the two of them to live within his thoughts, a place where he could give him everything that he just couldn't in reality.

Mello lifted a foot from the water and sluggishly pushed the faucet handles back, turning the rushing water off. Silence, beautiful silence. And there was just enough light in the small bathroom for him to catch up on some reading. He pushed himself up into a semi-sitting position and stretched his hand over to a small table beside the bathtub, grabbing a small case and the book underneath it. He opened the case, carefully pulled out a pair of black wire frame glasses, and slid them on. Much better. Mello opened his book, an extremely worn copy of Purgatorium, to where he'd left off and began reading.

He wasn't even two pages in before he was interrupted by the bathroom door, a door he thought he'd locked, opening and the light being turned on.

"...Oh shit, Mello! I... I'm sorry!" The bewildered red-head froze in the doorway, staring straight ahead at his friend and blushing furiously. "I just... I just..." Matt trailed off, his eyes darting nervously from Mello to the floor to Mello again.

"What the fuck, Matt! Get out!" Mello growled, snapping his book closed and throwing it at him. He curled into a ball, his chin resting upon his knees and arms wrapped around himself.

Matt dodged the incoming piece of literature, thank God. That was a hardcover version. And everything in him told him to just close the door and stay out of Mello's way for the rest of the evening, but he just couldn't tear his gaze from him. Those little pieces of hair dangling in front of his eyes, the slight hint of sweat glowing across his cheekbones, those glasses. God, those fucking glasses. Mello may have been giving him the look of a thousand deaths at the time, but all Matt could do was stare. His head started to fill with some very curious thoughts. Did Mello's mouth taste like chocolate or not? Probably. Would his hair stay up like that if he were buried face down in a pillow? Doubtful, Matt liked to pull hair. Would Mello possibly return the favor after Matt was done? That was the most important question, after all.

Mello fumed in embarrassment as Matt just stood there. "What part of get out is hard to understand? Go. Now." he deadpanned, which was pretty bad news for Matt if he didn't get out of there. Fast. Mello was scary when he stopped yelling.

"...Alright," Matt calmly replied, his eyes still fixed on the blushing blonde. He quietly backed out of the room and closed the door.

Finally. Mello slowly relaxed, stretching his legs back out into the water. What was Matt's problem? And why was he just staring at him? It was like he'd never seen a guy in a bathtub before. With his hair pinned up. Wearing little glasses that belonged on a school girl. A blushing, slightly aroused school girl. Stupid Matt. Stupid fucking Matt. Fucking Matt. Mello suddenly forgot what he had been brooding about.

Perhaps he could've remembered if a certain intrusive companion hadn't just walked in on him. Again. Mello made a mental note to not hurt him too seriously once he got out. "What is it now, Matt? Already fucking forgot I was in here?" Mello really needed to stop using the word fucking so close to Matt's name. It was dirty. So... Fucking dirty.

Matt simply stood there for a moment, motionless. His stare was still burning through Mello, however. He stepped closer to the bathtub with an almost arrogant swagger in his steps and leaned over til he was near eye level with Mello. "...Here's what's gonna happen, okay? You're gonna get out of this bathtub in a few minutes and you're gonna keep the glasses and the hair the way it is." His voice was so commanding, it was almost disturbing to Mello. Almost.

"...And then what happens?" Mello asked, trying not to focus on the incredible heat sweeping over his face. Wait, did he just say what he thought he said?

Matt smirked at his friend and laughed under his breath. "Well, I don't know about you, but I plan on nailing a hot librarian."

Mello wanted to say something, but exactly what could he say to that? He looked away for a moment, trying desperately to piece together something he could use as a response that wouldn't make him sound like a complete fool. "...Matt, I... Uhhh..."

"Just be a good boy, Mello. And do as I say," Matt instructed, smiling at his friend with an almost cat-like grin. He gave Mello no chance to reply, quickly turning back around and leaving the room.

Wow. Mello had always cursed his slightly failing eyesight. Perhaps he should try to look on the bright side more often.


Author's Notes... This story has been collecting dust for quite some time now, but after re-reading it, I have come to the realization that it actually stands pretty well just as it is. The end needs a bit of work. It was meant to be a multi-chapter kinda deal. A second smut-filled chapter would be nice, though. Perhaps one day.